TOP STORY: Why do we Love the Sport of Cycling?
I guess you only have to look at Sunday’s Ronde Van Vlaanderen for the answer. The two bookies favourites finished first and second, so there shouldn’t have been any drama then. But I bet most of you watched the whole race, or as much of it as you possibly could. We all had a good idea of what was going to happen, but we didn’t know where or when and how. As Cancellara said after the finish; “You can’t always predict how but it’s amazing to win. A year ago I was on the ground.” The same thing happened to Tom Boonen this year, a crash ruined his chances on Sunday and for Paris-Roubaix, this time last year he was unstoppable.
The early break looked strong, we don’t believe in early breaks going to the finish in a Classic, then the break including Roelandts shot up the road with 30 kilometres left, it was fast, it gelled and maybe they could have done something. Of course the stars were not present, but that move was the springboard for the eventual victory. Remember; a “nobody” ever wins in the Ronda or in Roubaix.
Have I answered the question? Probably not and probably never will, so roll on next Sunday and all the cobbled action of Paris-Roubaix. Another double for Cancellara is on the cards, there will be no Sagan or Boonen, maybe a new name will appear, what about a French winner, the last one was Frédéric Guesdon in 1997 and that was close to a nobody winning a “Monument” although in those days the joke used to be: “Why do the Belgians go to Roubaix on Monday? To watch the French finish Paris-Roubaix!”
Whatever the reason; we love it anyway.
Guesdon in ’97:
Ronde Van Vlaanderen/Tour of Flanders 2013
Fabian Cansellara (RadioShack Leopard) took his second Ronde van Vlaanderen victory in a show of raw power. After all the earlier breakaways were brought back; Yoann Offredo (FDJ), Jurgen Roelandts (Lotto-Belisol), Sébastien Hinault (IAM) and Sébastien Turgot (Europcar) made what looked like a very decisive move with 30 kilometres to go. Behind in the peloton, Stijn Devolder kept the escape at 30 seconds for his leader Cancellara who made his move on the last ascent of the Kwaremont, PeterSagan (Cannondale) managed to hold the Swiss wheel. Roelandts had dropped the others and was swept up by Cancellara and Sagan before the Paterberg and three charged up the cobbled climb together. By the top Cancellara was on his own and flying towards the finish in Oudenaarde. Sagan and Roelandts got together, but could only lose time to Cancellara, they managed to hold the chasers off by only 10 seconds at the line for second and third, the on-form Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) won the bunch sprint for fourth.
After the finish, Cancellara looked for his wife for the big hug and then told the TV: “The goal was to win. You can’t always predict how but it’s amazing to win. A year ago I was on the ground. It’s never easy but I’m really happy.” He added: “It was a strange race. It was fast at the beginning. There weren’t many riders left at the end but I did the right tactic. Everyone expected me to go and I tried to make the first selection on the Kwaremont. I love the cobbles and so after that I did what I had to do.”
Later Fabian Cancellara spoke to the RadioShack Leopard team web-site: “This was an amazing team job. Everyone was against us and we just stayed focused. We came on the Oude Kwaremont for the last time and Gregy Rast said everyone looked tired, so I tried to do the first selection there. Peter (Sagan) and I came up to Roelandts then and I knew I had to go again to get away from Peter. It happened like we’ve been planning for months. Hard work from me and the team and sacrificing time with our families. I can count on two hands the number of days I’ve been home this winter. It hasn’t been easy for my wife and kids but these are the hard choices we make. My career won’t last forever so it’s important to pick moments to enjoy. This victory is for my family and team. They gave me so much support. And for the fans – it was a perfect day. My second win in Flanders has been exceptional. I will relax now and recover from this effort and see what happens next week,” he concluded, referring to Paris-Roubaix next Sunday.
Asked if she will be at Paris-Roubaix next Sunday, wife Stefanie said, “He deserves this so much after last year’s misery. Oh, yes, I will stay until Roubaix now.”
Cancellara attacked on the Oude Kwaremont to soften up the competition, with Peter Sagan on the wheel. Not wanting to take the sprinter to the line, Cancellara patiently waited for the Paterburg to put the final nail in the coffin, attacking from a seated position on the climb and immediately creating a gap. From then on it was time trial mode for the four-time world TT champion. Sagan (Cannondale) and Roelandts (Lotto-Belisol) rounded out the podium at well over a minute behind the Swiss champion.
Team director Dirk Demol was in the car, directing Cancellara throughout the day: “We could see in the previous races he was good. He was working on his condition and always improving. Everyone was riding hard today and waiting for his attack. There were comments before the race that RADIOSHACK LEOPARD TREK would not be one of the strongest teams in the race today but I was laughing at that. I knew better. I knew we had the team here to support Fabian and they were ready to die for him. Between 10km and 5km to go, there was no race information so I pulled up beside him and told him he was going to win the 100th Tour of Flanders. He’s full of confidence now – he is the one to beat next week in Roubaix.”
Teamwork was the key ingredient in today’s win with every team rider playing a part in positioning Cancellara for the finale. One member of the armada was New Zealand’s Hayden Roulston.
Hayden: “This was a super win. Fabian was able to confirm what everyone thought before the race and that isn’t easy to do when you’re a big favourite. The team did our maximum and it was great to see Fabian win in that way. Early in the race we went to the front with our plan to keep everyone together and stay in the front. We knew we could react better from that place. It’s such a nice feeling to work so hard and then deliver the win. It’s good for the riders, the staff, the sponsors and our families. It’s pretty special. It’s easy to buy in to the plan when you have a leader like Fabian who can deliver.”
Cancellara won the 2010 Tour of Flanders and wanted to repeat the effort after last year’s race-ending crash in the feed zone took him out of the classics. Cancellara and RADIOSHACK LEOPARD TREK have targeted this race since then.
Fabian: “One year ago I was on the ground and now I’m back and I’ve won Flanders on the new course. It isn’t easy winning as the big favourite but I’m really happy. In the end it was a strange race, but strange good because I won! It was so fast in the beginning and we had to take over early but I think that was the key. There were not so many riders left at the end. The team did a fantastic job and I did what I had to do: bring the Ronde Van Vlaanderen home.”
Stijn Devolder, winner in 2008 and 2009, was part of the winning team too, giving his all for leader Cancellara: “I’m happy to be able to do this today after some bad years. In the beginning of the race I didn’t feel so good but I’m happy I was able to go on and help the team. The entire team did a super job.”
Team manager Luca Guercilena was bursting with pride at the race’s end: “This is one of the best days of my life. We led the race for 160km with no fear and used all of our talents to put our star in the perfect position to use his power. Then Fabian went to work. I’m really, really happy. We look now to Roubaix. We can be at the start with some pressure but confidence too because of our performance today. This victory is special to us. We get many comments in the press about our team and we can only answer them with the pedals. Our new sponsor BPURE came in at just the right moment. We hope it will be a good sign for the future.”
Second placed Peter Sagan: “I am satisfied with my second place, which was the highest attainable today,” said the Slovakian. “Today Cancellara was the strongest of all. Why could I no longer follow? My legs were too much pain.”
“I had been struggling to hold his wheel on the Old Kwaremont and climbing the Paterberg is much steeper. There was nothing to be done. I turned the screw for second place. Together with Roubaix these are the races of Cancellara. I’m just glad the last climb was there. I felt that in the future I can win. I rode a nice race, but Cancellara rode the best race.”
Third was Lotto Belisol’s Jurgen Roelandts, he spoke to the Lotto Belisol web-site: “For once the race went our way and I had no bad luck, no flat tires and nobody rode over my head. It’s the first time during this spring that I was able to show that I’ve taken a step up. Finishing third behind big guns like Cancellara and Sagan is nice. I knew before the race that those two were stronger than the rest. Beforehand I had said that I wanted to take off before the final passage on the Oude Kwaremont, I had the legs today and decided to go for it. When only three riders joined me I first thought that weren’t many, because it was the right moment for riders from the second line to jump away. But it turned out well for me (laughs)”. Roelandts crossed the Kwaremont solo: “Riding alone over the Kwaremont was one of the highlights of my career.” Then he saw Cancellara and Sagan: “When I saw the two riders coming up I knew straight away who they were. I tried to recover and stayed in the wheels until the Paterberg. It was impressive to see how Cancellara rode away. I reached the top and could no longer see him. The only thing I thought about was getting back on Sagan’s wheel.” From there to the finish line: “There was a headwind towards the finish. It hurt massively. We came on the main road towards the finish and saw the group coming up behind us, they came very close (10 seconds). I fully co-operated with Sagan. I went 100% for the podium. By then Cancellara was already half a minute ahead of us.”
Sylvain Chavanel: “When Cancellara and Sagan attacked I was on the wheel of Boasson Hagen,” Chavanel said. “Cancellara and Sagan were really strong today, but personally I have no regrets. I think I did a good race, as one of the controlled guys of the races I couldn’t attack from afar. The circuit is also so difficult that it blocked the race. Nobody wants to take the risk to jump before the last lap and I think that in the future things won’t change a lot. Today we also lost Tom. Tom has been unlucky since the beginning of the year, I feel so sorry for him. I saw all the effort he did to be in shape for this race. Unfortunately crashes are part of the race. Maybe if Tom was there, something could have changed. For Paris-Roubaix it’s different. The cobblestone sections are longer and normally there is more natural selection, so it won’t be a blocked race.”
Michal Kwiatkowski: “I had good legs today,” Kwiatkowski said. “That was a really hard day for me. I did my best, doing my best to try to stay in the front to help guys in the back so they could stay calm. I’m happy about my day. Unfortunately Tom had a crash in the beginning so that was really bad for us and finally I was able to get in front for the team. I’m still young, I want to fight everywhere but you know that’s why I say, I had good legs today, and was looking for chances in the breakaway. It was a mistake today that I didn’t follow Roelandts before the Kwaremont because I could stay with him on the bottom probably. But Ok, Cancellara and Sagan came and I tried to follow the wheel of Sagan. In the last 50 meters I had tired legs and could not follow. I think I did a good job for the team with my situation today, and that’s the most important thing.”
The crash of Tom Boonen:
Omega Pharma – Quick-Step Cycling Team rider Tom Boonen had an unfortunate crash at 19km of the Ronde van Vlaanderen after accidentally hitting an object. As a consequence of the crash, Boonen had to abandoned on Sunday.
“I was behind Stijn and we were riding on the side of the group,” Boonen said. “The speed was really high. The peloton swung a bit on the left and we were following, when suddenly I hit a plastic sign on the road. In a moment I went on the ground. I couldn’t even breathe at the beginning. I understood immediately that somethig wasn’t good. I had pain especially on the left side of my body. Then I saw also a deep wound on my right knee and I understood that my race was over.”
He was transported to the hospital of Roeselare. Boonen has a contusion at his left hip, as well as a wound on his left elbow. He also has a contusion and a wound on his right knee that required a few stitches X-rays showed no fractures. In agreement with the team medical staff, Boonen won’t take the start of Paris-Roubaix.
“It’s really not an option” Boonen said. “It’s hard to renounce a race like that, but I really can’t ride. I have a lot of pain and in the next days for sure it won’t be better. Unfortunately 2013 is not really my year, not my number. I had too much troubles this year and than this. Now I really have to be careful with my physical problems. The elbow and the hip are really swollen and painful, all the left part of my body is sore.”
Boonen reflected also on today’s Ronde.
“It was a nice race and the strongest won,” Boonen said. “Everybody was expecting for something, but at the end the two strongest guys went away. OPQS team did a good race. It’s more painful not to be there if we consider the strong collective race they did. Congratulations to Cancellara. Concerning me, I have time to come back and for sure I will try again next year.”
Boonen sent a message via Twitter to Cancellara after the race: “CONGRATS BUDDY”.
Ronde Van Vlaanderen Result:
1. Fabian Cancellara (Swi) RadioShack Leopard in 6:05:58
2. Peter Sagan (Svk) Cannondale at 1:26
3. Jurgen Roelandts (Bel) Lotto Belisol at 1:28
4. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha at 1:38
5. Matthieu Ladagnous (Fra) FDJ
6. Heinrich Haussler (Aus) IAM Cycling
7. Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC
8. Sébastien Turgot (Fra) Europcar
9. John Degenkolb (Ger) Argos-Shimano
10. Sebastian Langeveld (Ned) Orica-GreenEdge.
Fabian Cancellara Attacks on the Paterberg:
And the final kilometre’s:
Woman’s Ronde Van Vlaanderen 2013
World champion Mariannne Vos (Rabobank) won her first Ronde Van Vlaanderen from a break four. Vos, Emma Johansson (Orica-AIS) and Elisa Longo Borghini (Hitec Products UCK) broke away to be joined by Ellen Van Dijk (Specialized-lululemon) in the final kilometres. Johansson tried to jump the others but was pulled back before Vos settled the race in the sprint.
Woman’s Ronde Van Vlaanderen 2013
1. Marianne Vos (Ned) Rabobank Liv/Giant in 3:33:21
2. Eleonora Van Dijk (Ned) Specialized-lululemon
3. Emma Johansson (Swe) Orica-AIS
4. Elisa Longo Borghini (Ita) Hitec Products UCK
5. Annemiek Van Vleuten (Ned) Rabobank Liv/Giant at 2:37
6. Adrie Visser (Ned) Boels Dolmans Cycling Team
7. Anna Van Der Breggen (Ned) Sengers Ladies Cycling Team
8. Loes Gunnewijk (Ned) Orica-AIS
9. Elizabeth Armitstead (GB) Boels Dolmans Cycling Team at 2:39
10. Kirsten Wild (Ned) Argos-Shimano at 4:33.
Vos wins in Vlaanderen:
VDK-Driedaagse De Panne-Koksijde 2013
In great show of power, Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) won Stage 3a by taking to the front into the last corner and not letting anyone come past him. Kristoff was already the points leader and going into the last time trial stage on Thursday afternoon he was also leading the overall. A break did try to sneak away in the 112 kilometre stage based in De Panne, but Russell Downing (Team NetApp-Endura), Mike Terpstra & Thomas Vanhaecke (Team 3M), Tim De Troyer (Accent Jobs-Wanty) and Niko Eeckhout (An Post-Chainreaction) had no chance and were caught with 20 kilometres remaining. As the sprint teams got themselves in order Start O’Grady (Orica-GreenEdge) gained a small lead but was pulled back by Argos-Shimano, although their sprinter Marcel Kittel was not in good form suffering from the a recent flu. Katusha took control of the peloton to put Kristoff on the front for the win.
VDK-Driedaagse De Panne-Koksijde Stage 3a Result:
1. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha in 2:29:02
2. Sacha Modolo (Ita) Bardiani Valvole-CSF Inox
3. Elia Viviani (Ita) Cannondale
4. Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bardiani Valvole-CSF Inox
5. Baptiste Planckaert (Bel) Crelan-Euphony
6. Davide Cimolai (Ita) Lampre-Merida
7. Kenny Dehaes (Bel) Lotto Belisol
8. Mark Cavendish (GB) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step
9. Kenny Robert van Hummel (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM
10. Alessandro Bazzana (Ita) UnitedHealthcare.
VDK-Driedaagse De Panne-Koksijde Overall After Stae 3a:
1. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha in 12:16:16
2. Arnaud Demare (Fra) FDJ at 0:04
3. Mark Cavendish (GB) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step at 0:09
4. Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step at 0:10
5. Maxime Vantomme (Bel) Crelan-Euphony
6. Niki Terpstra (Ned) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step
7. Davide Cimolai (Ita) Lampre-Merida at 0:15
8. Johan Le Bon (Fra) FDJ at 0:18
9. Oscar Gatto (Ita) Vini Fantini-Selle Italia
10. Baptiste Planckaert (Bel) Crelan-Euphony at 0:19.
French National time trial champion; Sylvain Chavanel (Omega Pharma – Quick-Step) won the 14.7 kilometre battle against the clock for Stage 3b and final overall victory, a similar situation to last year’s event. This year Chavanel needed 11 seconds to move ahead of overall leader Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) and the others. Chavanel did this by 32 seconds from the Norwegian, the nearest to him was Kristoff’s team mate Anton Vorobyev at 19 seconds so giving the Frenchman a two year double. Kristoff held on for second overall with Niki Terpstra (Omega Pharma – Quick-Step) 9 seconds behind him.
It was not just individual success for OPQS on Thursday. Terpstra also finished 3rd in the GC, and OPQS riders Guillaume Van Keirsbulck and Mark Cavendish were 9th and 10th overall. Furthermore, OPQS won the team classification.
Chavanel added the 19th and 20th win, in three disciplines, for OPQS in 2013 by taking the stage and overall. Chavanel achieved three of those 20 victories.
“I like to race, it doesn’t matter which race,” Chavanel said. “I like this race a lot, however. Now I have 48 hours to recover after this double victory and be ready for the race on Sunday. Last year I had a few little problems with my health during Paris-Nice. This year everything went good and normal so far. I’m in good condition. My objective is to maintain this form until Paris-Roubaix. As for the Ronde, I’m not one of the favorites. Sagan is strong and also Cancellara, but we have a strong, united team. We are experienced in these kinds of races and also with great specialists such as Tom and Niki. The strategy will also be important. Maybe there are also a few underdogs for the race on Sunday that can surprise everyone. We will do our best as a team and we will see!”
Lotto Belisol aimed for a stage win in this race with André Greipel, but partly because of the fact that Greg Henderson was absent, an important wagon in his sprint train, this didn’t succeed the first two stages. Greipel himself didn’t begin the morning stage of the last day anymore. The German had a bit of a sore throat and as a way of precaution he decided to leave the Three Days. In the opening stage Greipel had won the sprint of the chasing group, which yielded him an eleventh place. In the preparation on yesterday’s bunch sprint Kenny Dehaes brilliantly brought his leader back into the wheel of Cavendish after Omega Pharma – Quick-Step had caused a small split. But Greipel only became twelfth.
Marc Wauters, sports director: “That Greg Henderson didn’t start this race because of illness was immediately bad news for the team. He’s an important member of Greipel’s train. Now guys like Kenny Dehaes and Fréderique Robert had to take over and that always takes some time to get used to, although they did a great job. Yesterday Kenny Dehaes did an amazing effort to bridge the gap in the final. Besides, it is a fact that André is always better if the temperatures are higher.”
“On day one Kenny Dehaes sat in an escape with big names, he was there as a sprinter, but when there was an acceleration he couldn’t hold on to that group. André could win the sprint of the chasers. We missed Henderson that day, because he could have helped to close the gap on the breakaway. Also in today’s morning stage our riders sat in a good position again in a nervous final. They worked for Kenny, but in the last hectometers he wasn’t in the wheel of Jonas Van Genechten anymore and he became seventh. We had a young team here in the Three Days of De Panne – Koksijde that all things considered did a good job.”
VDK-Driedaagse De Panne-Koksijde Stage 3b Result:
1. Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step in 18:03
2. Anton Vorobyev (Rus) Katusha at 0:19
3. Lieuwe Westra (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM at 0:21
4. Johan Le Bon (Fra) FDJ at 0:24
5. Niki Terpstra (Ned) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step at 0:31
6. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha at 0:32
7. Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Argos-Shimano at 0:34
8. Jens Mouris (Ned) Orica-GreenEdge at 0:35
9. Luke Durbridge (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge
10. Guillaume Van Keirsbulck (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quick Step at 0:41.
VDK-Driedaagse De Panne-Koksijde Final Overall:
1. Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step in 12:34:28
2. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha at 0:22
3. Niki Terpstra (Ned) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step at 0:31
4. Johan Le Bon (Fra) FDJ at 0:32
5. Lieuwe Westra (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM at 0:38
6. Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Argos-Shimano at 0:51
7. Luke Durbridge (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge at 0:52
8. David Boucher (Fra) FDJ at 0:57
9. Guillaume Van Keirsbulck (Bel) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step at 0:58
10. Mark Cavendish (GB) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step at 1:06.
The final stage 3b TT:
Route Adélie de Vitré 2013
Alessandro Malaguti (Androni Giocattoli-Venezuela) surprisingly won this Semi-Classic on Saturday in terrible Breton weather. The race had many escapes, but it was the cold and rain that brought the race down to 34 finishers and around 16 together to fight out the finish. Malaguti was riding for his teams sprinter Omar Bertazzo, but he rode too hard and had a gap on the up-hill finish and held it too the line. A very emotional Alessandro could hardly speak at the finish, but did manage to say: “In the uphill finale, I looked back three times to believe that I was going to win. I started from far out after passing the final curve in sixth or seventh position. When I crossed the line, I thought of my mother who passed away one month ago and I cried. Excuse me, I’m still crying. People from Romagna, we are special.”
Second was Yauheni Hutarovich (Ag2r-La Mondiale), he told media that he saw Malaguti go but couldn’t follow, he summed up the feeling in the peloton with; “we were all cooked!”
After an incredibly cold and wet race, Team Novo Nordisk celebrates its first top ten finish with rider Andrea Peron coming in at 8th place. The 24-year-old Italian rider came in with the group of approximately 25 riders who decided the 197.7 kilometres the race. “It was a terribly hard race,” Peron says “So cold and up and down the whole day – nothing flat.”
After 90 minutes racing, with temperatures near 8°C, rain started coming down, and in the last 60 kilometres riders had to struggle with temperatures as low as 4°C. “It was so cold, I couldn’t feel my fingers any more for the last two hours,” says Team Novo Nordisk rider Joonas Henttala, who had to quit the race due to the extreme cold. “It was impossible to shift or to break.”
Peron, however, after a good push from the team, was still able to show the Team Novo Nordisk jersey in the lead group of riders and finish at 8th place. “I was in second 400 meters before the finish,” says Peron, “but at the end my legs were empty.”
Route Adélie de Vitré Result:
1. Alessandro Malaguti (Ita) Androni Giocattoli in 4:53:55
2. Yauheni Hutarovich (Blr) Ag2r-La Mondiale
3. Justin Jules (Fra) La Pomme Marseille
4. Fabien Bacquet (Fra) Big Mat-Auber 93
5. Omar Bertazzo (Ita) Androni Giocattoli
6. Julien Simon (Fra) Sojasun
7. Arnaud Gérard (Fra) Bretagne-Seche Environnement
8. Andrea Peron (Ita) Team Novo Nordisk
9. Laurent Pichon (Fra) FDJ
10. Julien Bérard (Fra) Ag2r-La Mondiale.
The last K’s:
Gran Premio Miguel Indurain 2013
A group of twelve riders went from the gun, the pelotón were slow to react, but eventually they had them under control. With 40 kilometres to go, Simon Spilak (Katusha) left the struggling break to solo to the finish. Igor Anton (Euskaltel-Euskadi) took second ahead of Garmin-Sharp’s Peter Stetina with Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) in fourth.
Gran Premio Miguel Indurain Result:
1. Simon Spilak (Slo) Katusha
2. Igor Anton Hernandez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
3. Peter Stetina (USA) Garmin-Sharp
4. Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar
5. Giampaolo Caruso (Ita) Katusha
6. Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Team Saxo-Tinkoff
7. Danail Andonov Petrov (Bul) Caja Rural
8. Alberto Losada Alguacil (Spa) Katusha
9. Daniele Ratto (Ita) Cannondale
10. Angel Vicioso Arcos (Spa) Katusha.
A tribute to Miguel Indurain:
Volta Limburg Classic 2013
At the end of 196 kilometres to Eijsden, Rüdiger Selig (Katusha) outsprinted the others in a group of nineteen riders. A large break had been away for most of the race, but was eventually pulled back with 70 kilometres to go, and then various groups tried their luck until the decisive break formed within the last 10 kilometres. Martijn Keizer (Vacansoleil-DCM) went for a solo win in the last kilometres, but Katusha wanted the win and pulled him back and brought Selig to the front to take his first Pro win.
Volta Limburg Classic Result:
1. Rüdiger Selig (Ger) Katusha in 4:55:46
2. Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bardiani Valvole-CSF Inox
3. Paul Martens (Ger) Blanco
4. Davide Rebellin (Ita) CCC Polsat Polkowice
5. Pim Ligthart (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM
6. Sander Armee (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise at 0:04
7. Mike Terpstra (Ned) Team 3M
8. Marc De Maar (AHo) UnitedHealthcare
9. Luc Hagenaars (Ned) Metec-TKH Continental
10. Sébastien Delfosse (Bel) Crelan-Euphony.
Volta Limburg Classic 2013 Highlights:
BMC Racing Team’s Evans To Race Giro d’Italia
Cadel Evans will compete in the Giro d’Italia in May, adding a second grand tour to his racing program for the 2013 season, the past Tour de France and world road champion announced Saturday.
A Different Approach
Evans said the plan to compete in the Giro for the first time since 2010 – when he won a stage while wearing the rainbow jersey and led the race for one day – was proposed to him earlier this month. “I could stick with my normal program that I do every year or try this different approach – which may be too much, but certainly enough,” he said. “I have always wanted to race again at the Giro, but after I raced it in 2010, I didn’t get to the Tour fresh. I’m not saying that the Giro and the Tour together is too much. The illness and injury I had in 2010 made it impossible to judge.”
Tour Still Top Objective
Evans, winner of the 2011 Tour de France, said that race remains his No. 1 goal. “The team will put everything into the Tour de France,” he said. “My situation is a bit strange because there are not many riders who perform better with two grand tours than one in their legs. In my situation, with the racing I missed last year, I need and I feel comfortable with this program.” His objective for the Giro d’Italia, which runs May 4-26, is simple: “To get back to my best,” he said. “Since the virus I had last year, I have had to change my approach to my work. It’s difficult when you struggle to get to your best even though you are doing everything correctly. I am not coming to the Giro just for training. I don’t know where I will be with my form, but for sure, I will give it everything.”
Good Preparation For July
BMC Racing Team Directeur Sportif John Lelangue said he has no concerns about Evans riding back-to-back grand tours and still being the team’s clear leader for the Tour de France. “When he did both in 2010, he did good two performances and he has proven in the past he can do both the Tour and the Vuelta a España,” Lelangue said. “So three weeks of racing in what is a nice Giro for him, will be the best way to prepare well and be ready for the month of July.” Assistant Director Fabio Baldato, who will direct the BMC Racing Team at the Giro, said having Evans on the roster will be a major benefit, especially for the team time trial on Stage 2. “To have Cadel on board at the Giro will really be a big motivation and provide great morale for the whole team,” Baldato said. “It’s a great advantage to have him on the roster.”
Thanks to the BMC Team for the info.
Back in the Giro d’Italia 2010; Stage 7: Carrara – Montalcino:
Lotto Belisol: Preview Vuelta al País Vasco
Press Release: The 53rd Vuelta al País Vasco will start on Monday the first of April. This WorldTour race consists of six stages and will end on Saturday 6th of April. Just like the Tour of Catalunya also this stage race is going up and down all the time. That’s why the teams delegate their best climbers.
Lotto Belisol will start with Jurgen Van den Broeck. Bart De Clercq is going to the Basque Provinces as well, his first job is to assist the team’s leader VdB. Jelle Vanendert will prepare himself in Spain for the Walloon classics. Sports director Mario Aerts tells about the team’s ambitions.
Mario Aerts, sports director: “We start with a strong team and aim for a place in the top ten with Jurgen Van den Broeck. The third stage, with finish on top of a climb of 2nd category, is an important day for the GC-riders, a lot will be decided already. The Vuelta al País Vasco is the toughest of the races of one week, there can be changes in the GC each day. On the last day there is a time trial, this is of high importance to Jurgen Van den Broeck. Every time trial you can learn something and to set a good result in the GC he will have to go full gas.”
“Apart from a good GC with Jurgen, we expect that Jelle Vanendert will test his condition now the Walloon classics are coming up. Our priority is a nice place in the GC for Jurgen Van den Broeck and then we’ll see if a stage win is possible for him, Bart De Clercq or Jelle Vanendert.”
Selection Lotto Belisol:
Dirk Bellemakers, Brian Bulgaç, Bart De Clercq, Olivier Kaisen, Jurgen Van de Walle, Jurgen Van den Broeck, Dennis Vanendert and Jelle Vanendert.
Sports directors: Mario Aerts and Jean-Pierre Heynderickx.
Stages Vuelta al País Vasco:
Stage 1: Elgoibar – Elgoibar (156,5 km)
Stage 2: Elgoibar – Vitoria (Gasteiz) (170,2 km)
Stage 3: Vitoria (Gasteiz) – Trapagaran (164,7 km)
Stage 4: Trapagaran – Eibar (Arrate) (151,6 km)
Stage 5: Eibar – Beasain (166,1 km)
Stage 6: Beasain – Beasain (24 km) (ITT).
Vuelta al País Vasco 2007 Stage 1:
RadioShack Leopard Trek’s line-up for the Basque Country-No Horner
2010 Tour of the Basque Country winner Chris Horner, suffering from an iliotibial band friction syndrome since the end of Tirreno-Adriatico, is recovering in Bend, Oregon, and will not take the start. The medical staff of the team expects Chris to be able to start training next week. Last week Horner was treated in Basel (Switzerland) for the pain at the outside of his left knee.
Tour of the Basque Country (Spain) – April 1-6 – UCI WorldTour
Matthew Busche, Laurent Didier, Ben Hermans, Andreas Klöden, Maxime Monfort, Andy Schleck, Jens Voigt & Haimar Zubeldia.
Directors: Kim Andersen & Josu Larrazabal.
Mollema to lead Blanco in the Tour of Basque Country
Bauke Molllema will start Monday as the leader for the Blanco Pro Cycling Team in the Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco (WT). The Dutchman will be supported in the Basque Country by amongst others, Laurens ten Dam and Tom-Jelte Slager.
“We’ll go with the guys that we also want to deploy in the Wallonia Classics, “according to Sports Director Erik Dekker who added that, “This round is a goal unto itself. Bauke is the lead man but Laurens and Tom-Jelte can also perform well on this tour and they could play an import role in certain stages.”
The Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco runs from the 1st until the 7th of April.
Laurens ten Dam, Juan Manuel Garate, Paul Martens, Bauke Mollema, Lars Petter Nordhaug, David Tanner, Tom-Jelte Slagter and Bram Tankink.
Sports Directors: Erik Dekker and Frans Maassen.
Ciclismo Vuelta al País Vasco 1998:
Gilbert, Van Garderen Head To Vuelta Al Pais Vasco
World road champion Philippe Gilbert and recent Critérium International podium finisher Tejay van Garderen headline the BMC Racing Team’s roster for Vuelta al Pais Vasco.
Gilbert changed his program to include the six-day race after withdrawing from the Tour of Flanders due to a lingering cold. “This is the best race to prepare for the Ardennes classics, which are my main goal,” Gilbert said. “I need a stage race where I can go hard on the climbs.” The 833-kilometer race includes 31 categorized climbs and a 24 km time trial that van Garderen – third at Critérium International last weekend and the race’s best young rider – said will allow him to gauge his form. “I can’t say this race has been a big target of mine going into the season, but it would be good to test myself a little bit,” he said. “Looking at the stage profiles, they all look pretty hard. Stage 3 – with its summit finish – looks like an interesting one. And obviously the time trial on the last day is something I will go for.” BMC Racing Team Assistant Director Yvon Ledanois said the team’s roster is built for chasing stage wins and breakaway opportunities. “With Tejay coming off a good Paris-Nice and Critérium International, I trust this will be a good experience for him and the entire team,” he said. “There are a lot of opportunities for us.”
Thanks to Sean Weide at BMC.
Download the official BMC Racing Team race sheet (PDF with roster, statistics, bio, etc.): http://bit.ly/XJ0jvD
BMC Racing Team Vuelta al Pais Vasco roster (April 1-6):
Brent Bookwalter (USA), Steve Cummings (GBR), Philippe Gilbert (BEL), Martin Kohler (SUI), Amaël Moinard (FRA), Dominik Nerz (GER), Tejay van Garderen (USA), Larry Warbasse (USA).
Sport Directors: Yvon Ledanois (FRA) & Jackson Stewart (USA).
Performance Manager: Allan Peiper (AUS).
Orica-GreenEdge Sport Director Neil Stephens Previews Pais Vasco
Press Release: Daryl Impey scored his first WorldTour victory at Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco last year. Back this year with the form needed to repeat the feat, Impey is one of several riders ORICA-GreenEDGE can look to in their quest for stage wins at the second Spanish stage race of the season. Before they begin the six day tour on Monday, the team will race the one day Vuelta Ciclista La Rioja on Sunday. In his own words, Sport Director Neil Stephens previews both races below.
La Rioja is a bit of a hit out for the team before the start of the Pais Vasco. We don’t have identical line-ups for La Rioja and Pais Vasco, but there is some overlap. A few of the guys who have spent more time training than racing lately will have a warm-up race at La Rioja on Sunday before starting Pais Vasco on Monday. The opening stage of Pais Vasco is tough and would be made even tougher without La Rioja to open up the legs first.
Many years ago, La Rioja was a three day race. Because of the economy, it’s gone down to a single day race. Last year, La Rioja was won by a two man breakaway. Sixty riders contested the final podium spot. We’ll hope to try to get some sort of bunch together at the finish.
We’re bringing fast guys like Michael Matthews, Daryl Impey and Leigh Howard. Michael Albasini and Simon Clarke know how to win from a small bunch. We also have some good lead out riders with us in Brett Lancaster, Wesley Sulzberger and Travis Meyer. Each of our riders will have a specific role dedicated to assisting the team in pulling off the win.
A few other WorldTour teams will race La Rioja. The competition on Sunday won’t be as high as the competition at Pais Vasco, but winning will still be tough.
Come Monday, we send home Brett Lancaster, Leigh Howard and Travis Meyer and welcome Christian Meier, Pieter Weening and Simon Gerrans. Our team objective with Pais Vasco is very much like our goal last year. We’re here to go after stage wins. I’ll review the roster with you now and explain how I anticipate each of our riders supporting this goal.
Christian Meier: Fantastic work by Christian one week ago to win the two sprint jerseys at Tour of Catalunya. I was concerned about how he would recover after so many attacking days early on in the tour. He said he’s bounced back fresh and is ready to go. Christian is a rider that always puts in a huge effort, and he rides even harder for the boys than he does for himself.
Daryl Impey: The winner of stage two last year will play a major support role for his teammates this year as well as get some chances of his own. Daryl’s climbing well and it’s clear he’s developing into a really good all-rounder. He’s gaining experience in getting to the end of a hard stage, and we expect him to be at the finish of most of the difficult days.
Michael Albasini: He took a fine win in Paris-Nice, and I was quite eager for him to do Milan-Sanremo with the form he had. He said that he was not quite 100% and wanted to brush up a little bit before his next block of racing. Michael has been training at altitude in Tenerife. He was a little bit sick there but has bounced back well. With his minor illness and hard block of training, he’s not quite sure how well he’ll go at Pais Vasco. He knows he feels good while training but that doesn’t always mean it will translate to feeling good while racing. If it does, the race suits him. He’s won here in the past, and there are a couple of stages that could be right down his alley.
Michael Matthews: He’s a rider coming in off of an injury. Theoretically, the terrain suits him. He’s a funny one; a new addition to the team this year and we’re still finding our way with him. He can do a little bit of everything. He’s a critical piece of our lead out train and good enough to take out a bunch sprint from a small group. Towards the finish when other leaders have had their opportunities, Michael may see some of his own.
Pieter Weening: He’s our only rider that could do something on the overall. Last year, we didn’t bring any riders that could have targeted general classification. Pieter definitely can. With that said, our primary goal is to win stages, and Pieter may have to work for his teammates, forgoing any personal ambitions. I’ll leave him as the last option to work for the other boys. He’s been at the Tenerife altitude camp and is in good form. I’d like him to be able to go after a decent overall GC if he’s not called to duty for his teammates.
Simon Clarke: Like Albasini, Simon isn’t quite sure where his form is because he hasn’t raced as much this season as he did last year at this time. Pais Vasco is an important objective for him after altitude camp in Tenerife. He’s shown that he can do well at lumpy, hard races after winning the mountain classification at the Vuelta last year. Simon will be a key support rider for Gerro [Simon Gerrans] and may see his own chances later in the week.
Simon Gerrans: Catalunya and Pais Vasco together are a big part of Gerro’s prep for the Ardennes. There are a couple of stages for him, beginning with a very fast day of racing, and we’re hoping to see him pull of a stage win. We’ll be fully dedicated to Simon during the first half of the race.
Wesley Sulzberger: He’s been going really well with a strong start to the year. Like Christian, Wes is the sort of rider that is willing to turn himself inside out for his teammates. We’ll see him play an important support role mostly during the first half of each stage.
I live in the Basque Country, and I know these roads and this race well. Pais Vasco is a difficult race in terms of undulating terrain and rough weather. We race over lumpy, short hard climbs making for aggressive racing day after day. There’s nothing easy about this race.
It’s the fast, punchy rider that can win here. Look at the riders we’re bringing. They all excel over this terrain. They know how to punch their way up little climbs or sprint from a small bunch that makes it to the line together. They can get into breaks and stay away. Last year, we didn’t have anyone to do the two big mountain stages. This year, we have Pieter here for that.
I want to see the team win at least one stage and be present in several others. If they can do that, that’s enough for me. It’s also important that Gerro feels he’s furthered his condition in preparation for the Ardennes by this time next week.
ORICA-GreenEDGE for Vuelta Ciclista La Rioja:
ORICA-GreenEDGE for Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco:
Orica-GreenEdge take 1st & 2nd in Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco 2012, Stage 2:
OPQS to Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco
Press Release: Omega Pharma – Quick-Step Cycling Team has announced the selection that will take part in 837km Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco, taking place from April 1st until April 6th. The six-stage, 837km UCI WorldTour race ends with an important 24km time trial in Beasain, which includes some tough climbing sections of 7.33%, 6.92%, and 12.14% gradients.
The stages are relatively short, with no stage more than 170km. However, the race is challenging from the start. Stage 1 features six categorized climbs, including two Category 3, three Category 2 and a lone Category 1 climb. The stage is not a summit finish, but will still test the legs of the peloton before a potential sprint finale. Stage two has five climbs, but also may be one for the sprinters as the finish is again flat. Stage 3 is the first summit finish of the race. The riders will ascend Category 2 Alto de La Lejana (5.74%) after already climbing four categorized climbs earlier in the stage. Stage 4 is another summit finish, only this time on Category 1 Alto de Usartza (6.71%). Finally, the peloton must conquer a tough final mountain stage before the closing time trial. 166km Stage 5 features 10 categorized climbs from kilometer 11.5 until kilometer 160.3, and the peloton must then descend Category 2 Alto de Olaberria (12.27%) before reaching another flat finish.
OPQS rider Gianni Meersman was scheduled to race, but is unable to participate due to Gastroenteritis. He will be replaced by Carlos Verona.
“I was looking for Stage 1 and 2 as targets, like Catalunya when I won both stages,” Meersman said. “For me it’s a shame, but I wish all my teammates good luck and am sure they will do their best for a good result.”
“Basically our tactic will remain about the same, even though our sprinter Meersman is sick,” Holm said. “For the GC we have Tony Martin and Peter Velits. In the GC we have to watch out for riders such as Samuel Sanchez, who won last year, and then Alberto Contador and Richie Porte. We will hang on with riders like that in the mountains and see what can happen. I think the last stage will be a good time trial for Tony and Peter, and even Dries Devenyns. The time trial is normally tricky at this race. It’s up and down. But last year Tony was 3rd in the time trial, so we’re going to be close again I think. Tony and Peter will be leaders for the time trial. If Peter is good in terms of his legs, he can finish in the top 10, that’s for sure. He was 10th at Paris-Nice and he can do it again. This is a parcour that suits both our GC riders. To support them we have a strong and solid team.”
Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco (ESP).
Kevin De Weert (BEL),
Dries Devenyns (BEL),
Tony Martin (GER),
Jerome Pineau (FRA),
Pieter Serry (BEL),
Kristof Vandewalle (BEL),
Peter Velits (SVK),
Carlos Verona (ESP).
Sports Director Brian Holm (DEN) & Jan Schaffrath (GER).
Team Lampre-Merida will face Volta al Pais Vasco with Good Ambitions
Press Release: Most part of the team will be the same that ruled in Coppi e Bartali, thanks to Cunego, Ulissi, Malori, Bono and Pietropolli. They’ll be joined by Mori, Stortoni and Serpa Perez.
“For Cunego and Ulissi there will be a double target: the overall classification, in which we expect they could be in the top part, and the fine tuning of their shape in view of the Ardennes Classics,” sport director Piovani explained. “The race will be as usual; demanding and very suitable for our cyclists. Cunego is focused on the target and his condition should allow him to go in chase of top results; Ulissi was outstanding in Coppi e Bartali, that’s why he’ll be very important for the team. Malori, Pietropolli, Mori, Bono and Stortoni recently confirmed their qualities and their good shape, so they’ll be able to play their own roles in the best way. In addition, the team will be enriched by Serpa Perez, who reached Europe in the past week after having spent the winter in Colombia. The first tests he performed indicated that he could be ready to be on a competitive level.”
Cunego explained: “I like Volta al Pais Vasco, usually its course is suitable for me and I often realized good performances. It won’t be easy to get top results, since there will be many strong opponents, but me and the whole Lampre-Merida team are in a good moment and we can aim to be protagonists.”
Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco 2012 – Stage 5 – Final kilometers:
No Paris-Corrèze in 2013
The 2-Day French stage race, the Paris-Corrèze (UCI 2.1) will not take place this year and maybe never again according to French newspaper La Montagne. The race was started by Laurent Fignon in 2001 and has had many top class winners over the years; Thor Hushovd in 2001, Philippe Gilbert in 2004 and Edvald Boasson Hagen in 2007, with Egoitz Garcia winning last year’s event. All the organising for the event was in place, but the money was not and the organisers had to make their announcement and the UCI removed it from the EuropeanTour. It’s always a shame to hear of the demise of a race, but doubly in this case as it was the brain-child of Fignons’.
Paris-Corrèze : passes the finish in Chaumeil:
Schumacher Admits Doping
It came as no surprise when Stefan Schumacher admitted to doping during his professional career and also joining the long line of ex-dopers blaming someone else for their deeds. In the German paper; Der Spiegel he confirms his use of EPO, which he tested positive for in 2008 during the Tour de France and the Olympic Games, plus Human Growth Hormones and cortisone. He blames his manager, Hans-Michael Holczer, at Gerlsteiner and the team doctors. He commented that “Anybody could just take most of the things right from the medicine box.” If that is true then he had a choice. Schumacher is facing fraud charges for taking three months wages after he was tested positive and his two year ban. Up until his confession, Schumacher has always denied doping.
Stefan Schumacher wins Amstel Gold Race 2007?
British Cycling team up with British Eurosport for 2013 Road Season
Press Release: British Cycling today announced that both of its national road series will broadcast on British Eurosport in 2013, bringing the best action from the British pro peloton to the home of cycling on TV.
Jonny Clay, Cycle Sport and Membership director at British Cycling said: “British Cycling is happy to be working with Eurosport again on airing our national road series. The channel gives us a great route to the core cycling audience and puts the best of our domestic calendar alongside the broadcast of some of the monuments of our sport. This broadcast deal provides the organisers of the events across the series with a great platform upon which to capitalise on the unprecedented popularity of our sport.”
The 2013 broadcast deal covers the 6 rounds of the Elite Circuit Series and Premier Calendar respectively. David Kerr, Managing Director of British Eurosport, spoke of their satisfaction at the deal when he said: “Adding the best domestic races to our existing 40 race programme of Grand Tours and Classics adds even greater depth to our year round cycling coverage and strengthens our position as the home of Cycling.”
The provisional calendar looks as follows:
Premier Calendar & Provisional Broadcast Date:
27-28-Apr: Tour of the Reservoir – 03-May
12-May: Lincoln GP – 18-May
30-Jun: Beaumont Trophy – 05-Jul
07-Jul: Velo 29 Stockton GP – 13-Jul
14-Jul: Grand Prix of Wales – 19-Jul
28-Jul: Ryedale GP – 03-Aug.
Elite Circuit Series & Provisional Broadcast Date:
03-Jul: Otley GP – 07-Jul
05-Jul: Velo 29 Stockton Town Centre – 10-Jul
12-Jul: Wales Open Criterium – 16-Jul
17-Jul: Colne GP – 21-Jul
19-Jul: Beverley Town Centre Races – 27-Jul
24-Jul: Sheffield GP – 28-Jul.
For more information about how to get into cycling visit: www.britishcycling.org.uk/getinvolved.
The 2012 Lincoln Grand Prix:
BPURE Becomes New RadioShack Partner
Press Release: On the eve of the Tour of Flanders RadioShack Leopard Trek is happy to announce BPURE as a new partner, effective immediately.
BPURE is a new generation power drink that is 100 percent natural. The drink is directly pressed from fresh pears and is naturally spiced with cardamom. There’s no addition of water, sugar or artificial coloring. Bpure is the perfect thirst quencher and a healthy source of energy for your sport efforts but also for your daily wave of tiredness.
For more information about BPURE, please visit www.b-pure.com or contact [info@b-pure].
RadioShack-Leopard-Trek Recons Corsica 2013 Tour de France stages:
Wega Coffee Machines an Official Partner for Cannondale Pro Cycling
As you know we like our coffee at EuroTrash and so does Peter Sagan and the Cannondale Team:
Press Release: Wega Coffee Machines, the leading Italian company producing professional espresso coffee machines, is pleased to announce a new partnership deal signed with team Cannondale Pro Cycling, one of the strongest cycling formations in the world. Under the agreement the Wega brand will be able to boast the title of official supplier to the team that features Ivan Basso, Moreno Moser and recent winner of the Gent-Wevelgem as well as current World Tour leader Peter Sagan, as the company follows the team along roads the world over.
This high profile partnership confirms Wega’s propensity to align itself with international events in order to increase the brand’s visibility and highlight the quality of its products.
Wega branded espresso coffee machines will be placed in the Cannondale motor homes, campers and logistical offices, lending support to the performance of the team and staff and offering team guests the chance to savour a coffee break in the excellence of Italian style.
“The collaboration we’ve started with Cannondale is a strategic opportunity in terms of brand recognition,” comments Paolo Nadalet, CEO for Wega Coffee Machines. “The agreement will allow Wega to increase their exposure in strategic markets, thanks to the international dimension of the team which, like us, operates on all five continents. This opportunity is doubly interesting in light of the company’s hospitality activities during the Giro d’Italia which will allow company guests to experience a unique perspective at this important world class event.”
“We’re happy we reached this agreement” comments Roberto Amadio, Team Manager for Cannondale Pro Cycling. “The tradition of Italian espresso coffee is recognized all around the world. We hope that our activities and our victories will offer visibility to this prestigious brand that is recognized internationally for its quality.”
mmmm! Perfect coffee from a Wega E61 machine:
Team Sky Launch Flanders and Roubaix Video
With two of the most spectacular one-day races of the season – the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix – are upon us again and Team Sky have produced their latest YouTube video which gives new fans of cycling an introduction to these historic ‘Monument Classics’ – with insights from the staff and riders who are set to tackle them.
While Flanders, last Sunday, is famous for its steep ‘hellingen’ climbs, Paris-Roubaix on Sunday 7th April is a pan-flat test of endurance over bone-jarring sectors of pavé, each graded on their length and severity.
The races are 100 and 117 years old respectively, and Belgium and northern France will come to a virtual standstill as the action unfurls with over 500,000 fans expected to line each the world-famous routes and millions more watching on television.
The Team Sky Classics video:
Another Great Giro d’Italia Video
Continuing the series of videos from the Giro d’Italia; in this one the 2013 Giro contenders reveal their cycling memories. 2012 winner Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Sharp), Vincenzo Nibali (Astana), Ivan Basso (Cannondale), Samuel Sanchez (Euskaltel-Euskadi) and Bradley Wiggins (Sky) all feature.
Any comments drop me a line, email address: email@example.com or Twitter. And there is the PezCyclingNews Twitter and Facebook Fan Page.