TOP STORY: No Wiggins at the Tour…Ever!
So Bradley Wiggins might never line up in the Tour de France again. I guess it shouldn’t be a surprise really as there probably won’t be another Tour that is tailor made for him like in 2012. He has commented that he doesn’t want to make the same sacrifices that he had make to win the Tour. OK there is more to life than cycling and putting your family first is commendable. But if cycling is in your blood along with winning and making money for you and your family’s future, then racing at the top level, as Wiggins can, is the place to be.
Maybe he has enough money now and that’s the end of his serious career.
It’s a shame he couldn’t have helped Chris Froome out at this year’s Tour, as was promised either by him or the team management. A time trial stage win and sacrificing himself for the rider who helped him to his victory would have been a good step aside. He is only 33 years old, there are years left in those legs. Not the end of the road, just a change of direction?
The 2013 National Road Race Champions
Italian National RR Championships
Ivan Santaromita of the BMC Racing Team out-sprinted breakaway companions Michele Scarponi (Lampre-Merida) and Davide Rebellin (CCC Polsat-Polkowice) Saturday to win the Italian national road championship.
‘It Was A Dream’
Santaromita had been part of a five-man group – which included Alessandro De Marchi (Cannondale) and Simone Stortoni (Lampre-Merida) – that got away from the peloton on the last of four 30.5-kilometer circuits in the 229 km race. Attacks by Scarponi and Santaromita eventually whittled the group to three before Santaromita launched his decisive move with 500 meters to go on the twisty run-in to the finish. “This is the most beautiful day of my life,” Santaromita said. “It was a dream for me to win the jersey and now I have it. I finished the Giro d’Italia in good shape, had good shape in the Critérium du Dauphiné and I had been training hard for this race.” Assistant Director Max Sciandri said with only Santaromita and past world road champion Alessandro Ballan competing from the BMC Racing Team in the race, it was important to race strategically. “I told Ivan that starting a national championship with just two guys is a waiting process,” Sciandri said. “He played it well.” Santaromita’s performance added to a runner-up finish in the 2010 road nationals. It also came in the same area where he took his first stage victory by winning Stage 3 of the Giro del Trentino in April. “I always have good luck in Trentino,” he said.
Thanks to BMC.
Italian National RR Champs Result:
1. Ivan Santaromita (BMC) in 6:14:48
2. Michele Scarponi (Lampre-Merida)
3. Davide Rebellin (CCC Polsat-Polkowice).
Spanish National RR Championships
Movistar Team continue their impressive streak in the Spanish road race championships as one of their riders claimed the professional title again. While their two fast men, José Joaquín Rojas and Fran Ventoso, were the ones to take the titles in 2011 and 2012, it was time today for youngster Jesús Herrada. The rider from Mota del Cuervo in Cuenca, just 22, will wear the Spanish champion jersey for the next twelve months after winning the race held in Bembibre (León) over 208 kilometres of tricky roads that took their toll over a front group of about 40 riders after a hectic race where the telephone squad always kept control of the situation. Herrada ended up winning with a slender margin over Ion Izagirre (Euskaltel-Uskadi) after the duo stayed away in the final kilometres over a group of favourites -including Plaza, Erviti, Madrazo and José Herrada- charging to chase them down and featuring a notable José Joaquín Rojas (4th), one step off the podium as in last year’s race.
The event was marked by an opening breakaway of five riders, where Movistar Team initially put Imanol Erviti before bridging with a superb Fran Ventoso, in a solo pursuit where he took 5 minutes on the leaders. The now-former Spanish champion took command of the escape before dropping with 50k remaining and leaving Erviti alongside Astarloza (Euskaltel-Euskadi) at the front. Movistar Team made the junction with 20k remaining, when Jesús Herrada became the major protagonist of the race. A solo attack in one of the final climbs took him into a group with Ángel Madrazo (Movistar), Zaballa (Christina Watches-Ofone), Arroyo (Caja Rural), Iturria (Euskaltel-Euskadi) and Izagirre (Euskaltel-Euskadi), the man from La Mancha going away again with the Basque at the 2k banner and dropping him for the victory with a “finisseur” action under the ‘flamme rouge’. It’s Herrada’s second pro victory after taking stage 2a in the Vuelta a Asturias last year, and his fourth Spanish champion jersey after the two claimed in the time trial as junior (2007 and ’08) and 2010, in the under-23 ranks.
Jesús Herrada (Movistar): “When Erviti and Astarloza went away, we decided to chase on full steam and play our cards in the finale by making things as hard as possible into the climbs. I attack with Madrazo in one of those, and at the final slope, with 3k to go, I moved again with Izagirre. We cooperated well until the last kilometre when I attacked – I knew it was hard to beat him into a sprint – and it went well. At the strategy talk yesterday, we knew we had seven or eight riders to win, also Fran and Rojas for the sprint, but in the end, we decided to give it a try with Ángel or myself to drop the other sprinters. The work from all my team-mates was fantastic, and Ventoso’s was simply amazing. His labour, as well as Imanol’s, was crucial so we could ride easy behind and work only in the finale. We had a strong majority in the decisive point of the race and we took advantage of it. If they told me yesterday I would be winning today, I wouldn’t believe them, but I can’t believe it now either (laughs). I came here with the intention of doing a good race in the TT, but it didn’t go well. This victory is for my family, for the team, for an old team-mate from my under-23 age, Rubén Cuesta, who is going through a hard time in his life, and for Rufino Murgia, who passed away today. This gives me confidence for the future, because 2012 wasn’t a good season for me – despite the win in Asturias, it turned out badly for me, and I didn’t kick off this season well either – the April classics were hard for me and I couldn’t bounce back until the Tour de Suisse. It’s hard to know which kind of a rider am I, but I do well in one-week stage races, especially those ones with a TT, and also in hard one-day races. We’ll see how I evolve in the future.”
Spanish National RR Champs Result:
1. Jesús Herrada (Movistar) in 5:27:16
2. Jon Izagirre (Spa) (Euskaltel-Euskadi) at 0:02
3. Luis León Sánchez (Spa) (Blanco) at 0:05.
GB National RR Championships
In the British National Road Championship, Cavendish was eventually in an escape group of four riders with more than a four minute gap on the next closest rider with just a few laps remaining in the race. Andrew Fenn was also in the group earlier for OPQS, but lost contact.
“The weather was a bit rainy, and the parcour a lighter version of Tour of Flanders,” OPQS Sport Director Brian Holm said. “They basically closed Glasgow, the centre of the city, for this race. The crowd was fantastic. I also have to add that Fenn did a great job for Cavendish today. He entered into the breakaway in the first part of the race and he permitted Cavendish to sit behind and stay covered until the final kilometres.”
As the race progressed Cavendish was showing his form, keeping pace on the climbs with the leaders. He also attacked on the final climb, and was even able to take the victory after chasing down David Millar (Garmin-Sharp) when he attacked with less than 3km to go. Ian Stannard (Sky) was 2nd, and Millar 3rd.
The victory of Cavendish concluded a very successful week of national championships for OPQS in 2013. The team won three in the time trial with Sylvain Chavanel (France), Tony Martin (Germany), and Peter Velits (Slovakia) earlier in the week. Cavendish’s win — his first British Championship — was also the 39th victory (37th road) for the team this season.
“I’m really happy with this result,” Cavendish said. “To be honest this morning I wasn’t so sure because there were so many teams here with a lot of riders and there were only two of us here — me and Andy. The parcour was not so easy, really technical. Fenn was in the original breakaway with Stannard. It was a good move to put Fenn in the front so I could save myself and sit on the wheels of the chasing group and stay relaxed. Then when we caught Fenn and Stannard, I started riding. In the final kilometres there remained only three of us and I went for the sprint. It was really, really nice. I’m happy because I am proud to be British and wear this jersey for the first time in my career, especially heading into the Tour de France.”
GB National RR Champs Result:
1. Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma – Quick-Step)
2. Ian Stannard (Sky)
3. David Millar (Garmin-Sharp).
Photo: Mark McGhee.
Russian National RR Championships
Katusha’s rider Vladimir Isaychev took a very beautiful victory in the Russian road race Champs and became new Russian Champion. The Championships road race of 196 km was held in the centre of Samara and became one of the hardest races of recent years. Katusha brought practically all their Russian riders to Samara with exception of Yuriy Trofimov and Anton Vorobyev. The race has started with a lot of attacks, one of them created a 3 man breakaway with Pavel Kochetkov from Rusvelo, Igor Frolov from ITERA-Katusha and Sergey Belykh from Udmurtia. With 100 km to go; four Katusha riders made a strong contra-attack with Vladimir Gusev, Vladimir Isaychev, Pavel Brutt and Eduard Vorganov. Only Ivan Rovny from Ceramica Flaminia and Andrei Solomennikov from Rusvelo could follow them. Within 10 km the chasers caught the three riders out front, making a group of 9 riders at the head of the race.
With 30 km to the finish after a number of attacks; Vladimir Gusev, Vladimir Isaychev and Andrei Solomennikov came out from the group, quickly taking a good advantage. Vladimir Gusev, who rode a very strong race, sacrificed his chances and gave his best to provide help to his teammate Vladimir Isaychev. Isaychev attacked with 1,5 km to go on the last climb and gained a gap of 5 to 7 seconds and held it to the finish. Vladimir Gusev took second place, while Andrei Solomennikov completed the podium.
“I am very happy today! I can’t describe how I am happy. This is the most important victory in my career. To win Russian Championships in such a great race, in such a strong fight, in my home city Samara – it’s something special! I thank all my team for the great support and help they provided me today during the whole race. It was a hard race, so the team’s work was crucial for my success. In the final part of the race I tried to stay calm and to save some energy for the decisive attack. I could do it and in the last climb I gave my all. This victory is very special for me, so I want to dedicate it to my brother Alexander, who tragically died last year,” said Vladimir Isaychev.
Russian National RR Champs Result:
1. Vladimir Isaychev (Katusha)
2. Vladimir Gusev (Katusha)
3. Abdrei Solomennikov (Rusvelo).
French National RR Championships
Arthur Vichot (FDJ) left his winning move until the last kilometre where he dropped the other two riders in the break; Sylvain Chavanel (Omega Pharma – Quick-Step) and Tony Galopin (RadioShack Leopard). Vichot had been in a long break which he eventually left behind as the peloton was gaining. Chavanel and Galopin crossed to Vichot, but they were surprised when he made his winning move near the end and couldn’t catch him.
Sylvain Chavanel (Omega Pharma – Quick-Step) was 2nd: “I think I did a good race” explained Chavanel. “I took the responsibility and about three laps from the end I made my move. Everything was perfect until the last kilometre. I knew that Gallopin was faster than me at the sprint so when Vichot attacked I let him close the gap. But Vichot was really strong. He took 30 to 50 meters and at that point it was too late. Congratulations to the winner, he did a great race. Concerning me, I’m a little bit disappointed because I really believed in the double, it means winning the TT and the Road race. It was my objective, but I found a great Vichot on the road. He deserves the victory. The good thing is that the condition is there and I approach the Tour de France with a good spirit, ready to fight.”
French National RR Champs Result:
1. Arthur Vichot (FDJ) in 6:04:38
2. Sylvain Chavanel (Omega Pharma – Quick-Step at 0:04
3. Tony Gallopin (Radioshack-Leopard) at 0:13.
Belgian National RR Championships
Devolder returns to a run in his national jersey for the third time with his earlier wins coming in 2007 and 2010. Stijn won after a solo break of 25 kilometres: “I was really focused on this championships – I wanted to win. This is a nice moment for me. I wanted to show that I am really back after some bad years. I promised myself that I would win a big race again and now I want to enjoy this moment with my family. They stuck by me and we deserve this.” Taking the silver and bronze medals were Gianni Meersman, son of RSLT sports director Luc Meersman, and fellow teammate Jan Bakelants, who animated the race throughout the day.
Rider Ben Hermans could not start due to a rib fracture, leaving three riders from RADIOSHACK LEOPARD TREK to go up against the powerhouses of Omega Pharma – Quick-Step and Lotto Belisol, with Maxime Monfort the third team rider of the group. Devolder: “We didn’t have the numbers but I chose the right moment to attack. You need to be strong but also smart. It was the right moment to attack at two laps to go. It absolutely played out the way I had pictured it over the last couple of months. Having Jan in the front with Seeldraeyers and De Gendt was just perfect. I could sit back and wait to see how the race would unfold. I knew I had put out one massive effort instead of playing a game. Thanks to everyone on the team that was here today, both the riders and staff. I can’t believe I won this! I knew how good I was, but I had been hiding my shape a bit because I didn’t want to be named as a favourite. There were so many favourites, and I didn’t want to start the race with pressure.”
Bakelants also did a strong race, attacking with Thomas De Gendt (Vacansoleil-DCM) and Kevin Seeldraeyers of Astana. When the three were caught, Devolder attacked and stayed clear to the finish line. Devolder will not start in the 100th Tour de France next week. Asked about his non-selection, he replied: “No, this is not an answer to my non-selection. I had no time to be disappointed as I was so busy preparing for this championship. Nothing could keep me from concentrating on this goal these past days. After the classics, these championships were my only goal. I bundled all of my energy into this day. I’m very, very happy and proud. It’s an honour to wear this jersey.”
When Stijn crossed the finish line he held his hands into the shape of a ‘W’ in honor of his fallen friend Wouter Weylandt who died in a high speed descent on the third stage in the 2011 Giro d’Italia. Devolder: “When I was alone, I didn’t really think of much except of Wouter Weylandt. That’s why I made that sign when I crossed the finish line. I have been wanting to dedicate a victory to him since he died and now I finally had the chance.”
Second placed Gianni Meersman (Omega Pharma – Quick-Step) “It was a really hard race since the beginning,” Meersman said. “When Devolder attacked everybody understood immediately that it would have been difficult to catch him back. This is the second time I finished 2nd at the Belgian Championship. Today I started with the hope to win the race. So I’m a little bit disappointed but, when you find on your way that there is somebody stronger than you there’s nothing you can do. I have to be happy about my performance and about my first part of the season. Now I will take a period of rest and then I will start to build up the second part of my year.”
Jurgen Van den Broeck: “I was very motivated for this championship, although people suggested otherwise. I was part of the final. There were many attempts, but everyone was immediately in each other’s wheel. Unfortunately there was no cooperation in the chase. I definitely don’t have a bad feeling about this and am not unhappy. In the beginning of the race I didn’t feel that good and was riding at the back, but Frederik Willems took me to the front. I’ve only returned from training camp since last Friday and probably that played a role. Other years the Belgian national championship was never cut out for me, now I was in the front group for a long time, but the course was a bit too explosive for me.”
Belgian National RR Champs Result:
1. Stijn Devolder (RadioShack Leopard)
2. Gianni Meersman (Omega Pharma – Quick-Step)
3. Jan Bakelants (RadioShack Leopard).
Belgian Champs race:
Netherlands National RR Championships
Johnny Hoogerland (Vacansoleil-DCM) is the new Dutch champion after a solo ride to the finish at the end of 228.8 kilometres. The race was so hard that only 24 riders finished the 22 lap race. The crash prone rider took hold of the race after his team mate Lieuwe Westra had been out front from the first lap, originally on his own and then with a group. The Blanco team chased hard and he was caught with 5 laps to go. Hoogerland attacked with Sebastian Langeveld (Orica-GreenEdge) and Bram Tankink (Blanco) and Hoogerland eventually rode to the victory on his own.
Netherlands National RR Champs Result:
1. Johnny Hoogerland (Vacansoleil-DCM)
2. Tom Dumoulin (Ned) (Argos-Shimano)
3. Sebastian Langeveld (Orica-GreenEdge).
German National RR Championships
Gerald Ciolek just missed out on his second German national title. The MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung captain finished second in the pouring rain after 225 kilometres behind Andre Griepel (Lotto Belisol). Third place went to John Degenkolb of Argos-Shimano, as the three took the podium out of a 22-man lead group.
“Andre was very strong today. I didn’t have any chance against him in the sprint,” said the Milan-Sanremo winner, who won the national title in 2006 at the age of only 19. „That was hard work, so I am satisfied with the results.”
“To see Gerald get so close in the German National Championships is fantastic; it was a goal for him and the team this season. Gerald has been such an inspiration to all our riders, he is easy going and has such a positive attitude and he leads by example. He is definitely having one of his best seasons and I am sure there are many more wins coming his way this year“, said team Principal Douglas Ryder.
André Greipel: “I am very happy with this title. In the beginning of the race the smaller teams controlled the race. In the last lap there was a split-up in the peloton on the first of two climbs. Together with Marcel Sieberg I got in front in a group of 18 riders. Marcel Kittel was in a group behind. Sibi attacked two kilometers from the end, but with 700 meters to go he got caught. I started sprinting at 250 meters and won.”
“Everything happened according to plan today, also the attack of Sieberg was planned. I am very proud of my first national title. I’ve always wanted this. This doesn’t change much for the Tour, because I was already motivated. But of course I’m very glad to wear this nice jersey.”
German National RR Champs Result:
1. André Greipel (Lotto Belisol)
2. Gerald Ciolek (MTN-Qhubeka)
3. John Degenkolb (Argos-Shimano).
Danish National RR Championships
Things were cooking from the start of today’s Danish national championships on the 199.9 kilometre long and flat course around Vordingborg, south of Copenhagen. The defending champion, Sebastian Lander (BMC) used the very first small hill to catapult himself away from the peloton but he was joined by Team Saxo-Tinkoff’s Christopher Juul-Jensen and six other riders including Team Cult Energy’s André Steensen and double u23 Danish and Olympic champion, Lasse Norman Hansen (Blue Water) and they worked up a lead of more than 3 minutes to the peloton.
As the defending champion at a very early started attacking from the front group, the pace dropped and the peloton was getting very close to the escapees. And as the peloton could smell the escapees, Michael Valgren (Team Cult Energy) leaped away and bridged the gap to the front group alone. But the massive pressure from behind was intense as Team Saxo-Tinkoff put pressure on the field and suddenly, the race was neutralized and a new front group of 35 riders was established including Saxo-Tinkoff’s Jonas Aaen, Nicki Sørensen, Anders Lund Christopher Juul-Jensen and Matti Breschel.
Entering the short circuits in the town of Vordingborg, the front group shattered completely as a series of deep attacks from Team Saxo-Tinkoff shook the other escapees. However, Nicki Sørensen launched a painful punch with 25 kilometres to go and created a solid gap while teammates, Matti Breschel and Anders Lund could easily stay on the wheel of their rivals in the chase group counting 12 riders. Behind the chase group, the peloton kept accelerating as Team Cult Energy animated the pace closing in on the chase group.
With 12 kilometres to go, the main field lead by Team Cult caught the chase group and now initiated the chase of the leading rider, Team Saxo-Tinkoff’s Nicki Sørensen. Unfortunately, the Danish veteran was caught with 6 kilometres to go and in the chaotic bunch sprint; Team Saxo-Tinkoff’s Michael Mørkøv outsprinted everyone and took the Danish national championship in superb style.
Danish National RR Champs Result:
1. Michael Mørkøv (Saxo-Tinkoff)
2. Morten Øllegaard (Blue Water Cycling)
3. Casper Von Folsach (Team Tre-For).
Norwegian National RR Championships
Racing in his hometown of Grimstad, Hushovd attacked with about 25 kilometres remaining in the 198-km race to narrowly hold off runner-up Alexander Kristoff and third-placed Edvald Boasson Hagen. “There were thousands of people, a massive crowd, that gave me a lot of motivation and helped me dig a bit deeper,” Hushovd said. “I can’t remember when I have been this strong in the past. So it’s a bit sad that I was not selected to the Tour de France team. But like I have always said in the past, I respect the team’s decision.” The national road title was Hushovd’s third, adding to those won in 2004 and 2010.
Norwegian National RR Champs Result:
1. Thor Hushovd (BMC)
2. Alexander Kristoff (Katusha)
3. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Sky).
Irish National RR Championships
Champion System Pro Cycling Team’s Matt Brammeier captured his fourth straight Irish national road title Sunday by out-sprinting three survivors from an original six-man breakaway.
“To repeat as a national champion is such a difficult task, but Matt has done it four years in a row and that’s beyond unbelievable,” Champion System General Manager Ed Beamon said.
The Irishman said this was the most challenging of his championship wins, but a recent personal loss served as extra motivation.
“It was the hardest of the four titles to win,” Brammeier said. “I lost my grandma recently and one of the last things she said to me was how proud she was and how proud my granddad would have been of me. I had that in my mind all day and really wanted to win it for them. It was a special day and I’ll never forget it.”
Brammeier, 28, joined Champion System this season from Omega Pharma-Quick Step. His previous best result this season was 10th on Stage 10 of the Amgen Tour of California. In addition to his four national road titles, he also won the Irish national time trial title in 2011.
Brammeier, Philip Lavery (Amicale Cycliste Bisontine) and Philip Deignan (UnitedHealthcare) escaped early into the 172-kilometer race and built a lead of about one-and-a-half minutes before being joined by three chasers. While the gap dropped below 20 seconds with less than two kilometers to go, ultimately the peloton was unable to bring back the escapees.
“I gambled all on the sprint, hit out hard with 200 meters to go and never looked back,” Brammeier said. “I got a good jump and won by a good margin.”
Lavery finished second and Damien Shaw (Aqua Blue) was third.
Brammeier is the second Champion System rider to win a national championship this weekend. Teammate Zach Bell won the Canadian national road race on Saturday.
“It’s great to have national champions on the team,” Beamon said. “We started the season with five, but it is that much more exciting when a guy wins the championship as a member of our team.”
Champion System’s title sponsor is a leading Hong-Kong based custom cycling clothing manufacturer and Beamon said that these national jerseys allow the team to showcase the company’s apparel.
“We love seeing the shamrock jersey in the peloton and I’m sure the Champion System factory is happy to keep the Kelly green on the production line,” Beamon said.
Irish National RR Champs Result:
1. Matt Brammeier (Champion System)
2. Philip Lavery (Amicale Cycliste Bisontine)
3. Damien Shaw (Aqua Blue).
Champion System Pro Cycling Team’s Matt Brammeier took the win at the Irish national road championships ahead of Philip Lavery. (Photo ©IrishCyclingNews.com)
Swiss National RR Championships
Schär said he felt strong from the moment he pulled on his Pearl Izumi Speed Suit for the 192 km race that saw him part of a late breakaway that included teammate and defending Swiss road champion Martin Kohler. “I knew I would have to make a long sprint,” Schär said. “I trained a lot for the sprint this week because I knew I would need a strong sprint. I think that helped me a little bit.” Schär out-sprinted Martin Elmiger (IAM Cycling) and Kohler to earn the first victory of his professional career that began in 2006. “This will always be the one I remember,” he said. “I’m happy – but what makes me happier is there are so many people who are happy for me, too. I’m usually the guy who helps. But now I finally have my own victory.” Two riders from the BMC Development Team also took home national honors in the Swiss championships. By finishing sixth and seventh in the men’s professional race, Silvan Dillier and Stefan Küng earned a 1-2 finish, respectively, on the elite podium.
Swiss National RR Champs Result:
1. Michael Schär (BMC)
2. Martin Elmiger (IAM Cycling)
3. Martin Kohler (BMC).
Luxembourg National RR Championships
Also leading the way with a gold medal was Bob Jungels in the Luxembourgish championships, making young Bob both the time trial and road champion in his neo-pro year. Jungels: “It was really hard because we said we would go for Andy. Laurent (Didier) and I were there to help him. I was pulling from the first lap to control the race. The break was composed of local riders so we actually caught them a bit too early. With the rain and everything, Andy didn’t feel good enough so we changed tactics. Laurent and I were also tired so we had to see what was possible. He attacked with 20km to go but was brought back after 5km. I counterattacked straight away and rode the last 15km alone. Everyone was looking at us to control the race so that was a lot of pressure.”
The course was 12 laps with two climbs, for a total or 170km. Jungels had a big following on hand with the course close to his home: “I can wear the Lux flag in every single race now, having won both the time trial and the road race. It’s my first year as a pro so these two wins are so awesome and I’m really happy!” Today’s win marks the tenth career title for Bob Jungels having taken the Junior road twice, the U23 roads twice, the time trial six times, along with this week’s wins in the elite time trial and road, all by the age of 20.
Luxemboug National RR Champs Result:
1. Bob Jungels (RadioShack Leopard)
2. Pit Schlechler (Leopard-Trek Conti)
3. Jean-Pierre Drucker (Accent.jobs-Wanty).
Czech National RR Championships
Jan Barta from Team NetApp-Endura has become national road race champion for the first time in his career. The 28-year-old Czech cyclist clinched the 199-kilometer race in Dubnica under summer conditions – his second win in a matter of days, since he won the title for the individual time trials on Friday.
“The race wasn’t easy for me today. I had thought I could get a result, but I was an individual starter today and had to beat a lot of teams. In the end it was a pretty close thing. Right now I’m just happy that I’m able to wear the jersey for a whole year – not just in the time trials but in every race”, said Jan Barta after his title win.
Jan Barta is the first rider in the team’s four-year history to be able to wear his champion’s jersey in the road race. “Jan put in a great performance. It’s really something special that he was able to clinch the title in the time trial and on the road. It’s an honour for the whole team to have a national champion in its ranks”, said Ralph Denk, Team Manager of Team NetApp-Endura, commenting on Barta’s success.
Czech National RR Champs Result:
1. Jan Barta (Team NetApp-Endura)
2. Martin Bina
3. Petr Lechner (Arbö Gebrüder Weiss-Oberdorfer).
Photo: Josef Vaishar/roadcycling.cz.
Lithuanian National RR Championships
Tomas Vaitkus earned his third Lithuanian national road title from a five rider breakaway that formed during the last hour of racing. Plagued by injuries throughout the last two seasons, Vaitkus’ wins confirms his condition is on the upswing.
“It’s a good feeling to win the race and wear the national jersey,” said Vaitkus. “It’s always special. I feel better and more confident with my condition. I think this is a good time for me to have this performance and show improvements.”
Vaitkus described the race as hard-fought. An early breakaway of two riders established more than a ten minute advantage before the field began to chase. With the gap falling, riders in the bunch began to attack. Eventually, Vaitkus slipped free of the peloton with four other riders. “It wasn’t so easy today even when we got away from the peloton,” explained Vaitkus.
“Ignatas Konovalovas (MTN Qhubeka) attacked on the last lap. He was really strong today. Maybe he was the strongest opponent for me. I really needed to work hard not to let him go to the line alone.”
Vaitkus’ efforts brought the group back together before the finish, and the race was decided by a five-up sprint. Vaitkus bested Konovalovas and Evaldas Siskevicius (Sojasun) to take the title.
“I’m happy to come back to our national colours,” said Vaitkus, who last wore the national champion jersey in 2008. “I feel proud when I can race in it.”
Lithuanian National RR Champs Result:
1. Tomas Vaitkus (Orica-GreenEdge)
2. Ignatas Konovalovas (MTN-Qhubeka)
3. Edvaldas Siskevicius (Sojasun).
Canadian National RR Championships
Zach Bell of the Champion System Pro Cycling Team captured his first Canadian national road title Saturday by out-sprinting six other survivors from an original 12-man breakaway that escaped early in the 180-kilometre race.
Bell said he knew if the race came down to a sprint, chances were good he would earn his third victory of the season and the biggest of his seven-year professional career.
“That’s the way it’s been for me this year,” he said. “If I can just get my speed rolling and get the power opened wide, it’s tough to come around me in the wind. When I crossed the line, I couldn’t believe it. I had to ask myself if this was really happening. I was in a group of guys that were all hungry to win, so this is a pretty big thrill.”
Ryan Anderson (Optum Pro Cycling presented by Kelly Benefit Strategies) finished second and Antoine Duchesne (Bontrager Cycling Team) was third.
Bell and Ryan Roth – the race’s defending champion – were the only two Champion System riders in the race. But early mechanical problems prevented Roth from finishing.
Christian Meier, the 2008 national road champion, launched what appeared to be the race-winning attack in the last 25 kilometres. But Bell and the other five escapees remaining from the original breakaway worked hard to bring him back in the final 10 kilometres.
“He (Meier) was one of the strongest guys here for sure,” Bell said. “We had to put in a full-on effort to bring him back and I did quite a bit of work because I knew it was in my best interest to bring it back together.”
Bell’s victory follows his win in Stage 6 of the Tour de Korea earlier this month and on Stage 4 of the Tour de Taiwan in March. The two-time Olympian had come close to winning a national title before, finishing third in the road race in 2011, second in the time trial in 2010 and third in the time trial in 2007, 2008 and 2009. He was fourth in this year’s time trial on Thursday.
“I am so very proud of Zach,” Champion System General Manager Ed Beamon said. “His unselfish commitment to the team all year has been an inspiration to his teammates and he deserves this victory more than anyone I can imagine.”
Thanks to the Champion System Team.
Canadian National RR National Champs Result:
1. Zachary Bell (Champion System Pro Cycling) in 4:13:51
2. Ryan Anderson (Optum-Kelly Benefit Strategies)
3. Antoine Duchesne (Bontrager).
The 2013 National Time Trial Champions
Spanish National TT Championships
Jonathan Castroviejo conquered at last his long-awaited ‘rojigualda’ jersey -he had been 6th in 2009, 5th in 2010 and 2nd in the last two editions- in the Spanish TT held over 44km, the Basque showing strength and constancy from the first intermediate times, where he kept big favourite Luis León Sánchez (Blanco) behind before eventually beating him by 45 seconds. The great performance from Movistar Team was complete with Rubén Plaza claiming the bronze medal -back into the podium after silver in 2006 and 2008-, Alejandro Valverde’s 5th place -just 15 seconds off the podium in his last TT before the Tour-, Eloy Teruel 6th and Jesús Herrada’s 7th, with all Movistar Team riders within the best ten in the race.
Jonathan Castroviejo (Movistar): “I found myself really strong all day. I had finished twice second in the last two years but I came in better physical condition to this year’s race, with the only goal of winning the race. It was a beautiful course and a technical one – you had to distribute your energy well over it. There was a steady climb in the beginning and you couldn’t give everything there. Then, there was much wind halfway through the course and it made it harder – it was the crucial point to win or lose, because the final part was almost downhill, and a matter of keeping the gaps. I had all references I needed and knew that I had to keep calm into the climb. I did and came through it with the same time as ‘Luisle’ – since that point, I kept taking time on him. After my TT in Dauphiné, I was quite confident, and I proved today my condition was good. I’m feeling well these days and I hope to do well in the Tour.”
Spanish National TT Champs Result:
1. Jonathan Castroviejo Nicolas (Movistar) in 54:52
2. Luis Leon Sanchez Gil (Blanco) at 0:45
3. Ruben Plaza Molina (Movistar) at 1:46.
Italian National TT Championships
Pinotti captured his sixth national time trial crown by powering his BMC timemachine TM01 to a time 1:11 faster than runner-up Stefano Pirazzi (Bardiani Valvole-CSF Inox) and 1:28 over Adriano Malori (Lampre-Merida) in the 39-kilometer race against the clock. “I wanted to get the jersey back because the last two years I was missing it,” he said. “I wanted to set the record straight that I am the strongest time trialist in my country and that I am still there.” Pinotti thanked BMC Racing Team managers who permitted him to withdraw from the Critérium du Dauphiné earlier this month when he was suffering from fatigue. “That allowed me to recover and then train specifically for this race,” he said. “It was nice to have the team’s full support for this race.” Pinotti had previously won the national time trial in 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010. He was runner-up in 2006 and third in 2004 and 2012.
Italian National TT Champs Result:
1. Marco Pinotti (BMC) in 49:04
2. Stefano Pirazzi (Bardiani Valvole-CSF Inox) at 1:11
3. Adriano Malori (Lampre-Merida) at 1:28.
GB National TT Championships
Thursday evening saw Alex Dowsett making history by becoming the first-ever rider to win three consecutive British time trial championships. The Movistar Team, Essex-born rider proved to be superior into the 48km course in southeast Scotland despite a crash that caused him wounds in his legs and arms and forced him to change bikes. Dowsett, who had a significant gap over his competition before the incident, was able to hold off his rivals and win with twenty-one seconds over Matthew Botrill (D2Z) and Ben Swift (Sky).
Alex Dowsett (Movistar): “I’m really happy – it’s not easy to win three times in a row. When I claimed the first one, Wiggins told me I had to take care of it, and to be honest, I feel really committed to it and it’s becoming my favourite jersey. It was a hard one, because even though I got back well after the crash, I had some wounds in my hands and couldn’t grab the handlebars well. I don’t know what really happened, but it might have been a problem with the front tire. Besides, I lost my power meter and didn’t know how I was doing. It’s the first time I crash into a TT, and it’s important to look at the watts all the time. I also had pain in my elbow, but my pedal stroke was good, I was going well and had no other option but suffering until the end. I did a great Giro, now this championship… this season is being a really great one and I hope to stay like this for the remainder of the year.”
GB National TT Champs Result:
1. Alex Dowsett (Movistar) in 1:02:30.85
2. Matthew Bottrill (www.drag2zero.com) at 0:20.60
3. Ben Swift (Sky) at 0:20.70.
French National TT Championships
Omega Pharma – Quick-Step Cycling Team rider Sylvain Chavanel won a record fifth French National TT Championship on Thursday, setting impressive times at every checkpoint and finishing fastest by more than two minutes.
“My children gave me small hands holding up five fingers with my name on them,” Chavanel said. “I put them in my pocket today during the race and I showed it at the finish. It was a special moment for me because these gifts showed they understood that this race meant a lot to me.”
Chavanel also won French National TT Championships in 2005, 2006, 2008 and 2012. He will wear his fifth tri-colored National Champion jersey for the first time at the Tour de France, which begins in nine days.
“Today everything was perfect,” Chavanel “Everything was as I liked. It was raining, and these kind of conditions I like. The parcour was flat but with a few false flat sections. This suits me perfectly. For me I understood immediately that it was a good day. I pushed as much as I could to win the race. For me it is a dream to once again wear this jersey for the time trials of the Tour de France. It’s a pleasure to ride with the jersey in front of the French public. But the most important thing is in the last few days I found the good sensation. At the Criterium du Dauphine I wasn’t really so good, but I didn’t panic. I was relaxed. To be honest last Sunday I did a long period of training, and understood things were going well. I’m really happy and will try to focus my attention on the race on Sunday. I will do my best for a good race.”
French National TT Champs Result:
1. Sylvain Chavanel (Omega Pharma – Quick-Step) in 56:48
2. Jérémy Roy (FDJ) at 2:01
3. Johan Le Bon (FDJ) at 2:20.
German National TT Championships
Omega Pharma – Quick-Step Cycling Team rider Tony Martin continues his great 2013 season with another ITT victory — this time, the Panzerwagen earned his second straight German National TT Championship.
Martin, with a time of 1:00.58, bested Patrick Gretsch (Argos-Shimano) and Stefan Schumacher (Christina Watches-Onfone) by 1’33” and 1’53”.
“Today I won the race and I am really happy,” Martin said. “The road was really good. There was no rain, not too much wind and I really liked the environment. The people and the crowd — it was really nice. This victory was really another great moment of my career.”
“Last year I won both the National ITT and World ITT Championship,” Martin continued. “I hope it can happen again. I am really proud to have this jersey even if I can’t wear it during races because of the World Champion jersey. As a German guy, I am really proud to be the champion of my country once again.”
German National TT Champs Result:
1. Tony Martin (Omega Pharma – Quick-Step) in 1:00:58
2. Patrick Gretsch (Team Argos-Shimano) at 1:33
3. Stefan Schumacher (Christina Watches-Onfone) at 1:53.
Portuguese National TT Champs Result:
1. Rui Alberto Faria Costa (Movistar) in 42:29
2. Domingos Andre Maciel Gonçalves (Radio Popular-Onda) at 1:22
3. Hugo Manuel Madeira Sabido (La Aluminios-Antarte) at 1:28:
Canadian National TT Champs Result:
1. Curtis Dearden (Russ Hay Raising) in 48:24
2. Christian Meier (Orica-GreenEDGE) at 0:13
3. Alexander Cataford (Équipe cycliste Garneau-Quebecor) at 0:58.
Danish National TT Champs Result:
1. Brian Vandborg (Cannondale) at 48:44
2. Rasmus Christian Quaade (Team Tre-For) at 0:06
3. Rasmus Sterobo (Team CULT Energy) at 0:49.
Norwegian National TT Champs Result:
1. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Sky) in 36:04
2. Thor Hushovd (BMC) at 0:27
3. Reidar Bohlin Borgersen (Joker-Merida) at 0:42.
Netherlands National TT Champs Result:
1. Lieuwe Westra (Vacansoleil-DCM) in 1:03:59.10
2. Niki Terpstra (Omega Pharma-Quick-Step) at 0:04.51
3. Tom Dumoulin (Argos-Shimano) at 0:40.86.
Swiss National TT Champs Result:
1. Fabian Cancellara (RadioShack Leopard) in 50:35.391
2. Martin Elmiger (IAM Cycling) at 0:59.228
3. Reto Hollenstein (IAM Cycling) at 1:57.177.
Tamouridis Wins the Greek TT Champs
Ioannis Tamouridis has given Euskaltel Euskadi another win to become Greek champion against the clock. The powerful rider was fastest over the distance of 39 km in the town of Kalabaka on Friday. Ioannis was the favorite for gold in a discipline in which he had been champion six times. It is the fourth win of Euskaltel Euskadi this season, after those obtained by Paul Urtasun, Juanjo Lobato and Samuel Sanchez. Ioannis dedicate the victory to Rufino Murguia, the team masseur who was injured on Thursday at the Spanish championships. “This win is dedicated to Rufino, our masseur. Has had a serious accident and we all you have in mind. Sure you are improving slowly and I send a big hug and much encouragement from here. Rufino Animo!”
Euskaltel-Euskadi Sad News
After an accident with the team bus on the way to the Spanish championships in Bembibre (León), team masseur, 55 year old Rufino Murguia has died of his injuries. The Euskaltel-Euskadi team sends a big hug and gives their condolences to the family and friends of Rufino. He stays with their unconditional love for the sport, his companionship and joyful spirit, his example and delivering to a world that fascinated him, from the professional to the less modest ranks. Rufino Murguía, Descanse en Paz.
Jan Ullrich Admits Blood Doping
In an interview with Focus magazine, the ex-champion admits that he worked with Dr. Eufemiano Fuentes, but he states that he didn’t do anything that all the others did. He commented “I didn’t take anything that was not taken by the others. It would only have been cheating for me if I had gotten an advantage which was not the case. I just wanted to ensure I had an equal opportunity.” During his career, Ullrich was one of the few to get near Lance Armstrong in the Tour de France and suggested that perhaps the American was being protected. “I always knew that Lance Armstrong wouldn’t get away with it, even if he was probably protected for years by some other institution and the world governing body.”
BMC Announce Tour de France Team
The nine riders who will take the start in Corsica on June 29 include six who were a part of the BMC Racing Team’s squad when Evans won the Tour de France in 2011: Brent Bookwalter, Marcus Burghardt, Amaël Moinard, Steve Morabito, Manuel Quinziato and Michael Schär. Joining them will be reigning world road champion Philippe Gilbert and last year’s Tour de France best young rider and Amgen Tour of California winner Tejay van Garderen. BMC Racing Team President/General Manager Jim Ochowicz said choosing the final roster was the culmination of a nearly year-long process. “Selection starts the day after the previous Tour in regards to evaluation, and we take into final consideration the course design and performance and health issues leading up to this point,” Ochowicz said. “The evaluation of that information was used to select nine athletes and three alternates, who equally earn a right to take the start. But for any one of several of the selection criteria, they (the alternates) just didn’t get there.” Alternates for the Tour squad are Mathias Frank, Thor Hushovd and Dominik Nerz.
Evans will start his ninth Tour de France coming off a third-place finish at the Giro d’Italia last month. “My recovery and training has progressed well this time as we attempt the ‘Giro-Tour double,’ ” he said. “When I look back at our 2010 attempt, I feel a lot better this time around.” Evans said the team assembled around him is even stronger than the 2011 squad. “I am happy to have my three ‘guardian angels’ – Quinziato, Burghardt and Schär – around me, plus Brent, Amaël and Steve from our successful 2011 team. And with Tejay coming into the mix, we are a lot stronger in the mountains than in past years.” When he last raced both the Giro and the Tour as the reigning world road champion in 2010, Evans finished fifth at the Giro despite suffering from illness and wore the yellow jersey for one day at the Tour before breaking his elbow and finishing 25th. “It will be crucial to be consistent everywhere: on the flat stages and time trials, etc.,” he said. “The climbs will be particularly important this year. Avoiding bad luck is always key as well.”
BMC Racing Team Directeur Sportif John Lelangue said the six returning riders form a solid foundation for Evans’s run at the podium. “We have a really strong team and can go to Corsica with a lot of confidence with this team of experienced guys,” he said. “They are all in good shape and focused on a sole objective. They also have been working well together in one-week races this year, so they know how it is to work for a leader.” Assistant Director Fabio Baldato, who directed Evans at the Giro, said Evans showed in that race that he is always attentive to the little things that can make the difference over three weeks. “Cadel has shown he can be good in all areas – whether it’s a technical parcours or a tricky final, he will be there,” he said. “We saw this at the Giro. In situations like this, he’s good and is always in good position. Plus, he has a great team around him to put him in the front.”
Van Garderen, who was fifth last year in his second Tour appearance, said repeating as the race’s best young rider is not an objective. “The white jersey wasn’t a goal of mine last year and it’s not again this year,” he said. “It just came along with me being up there every day, helping Cadel, which is my focus again this year.” Gilbert, a stage winner at all three grand tours, said he is also putting aside any personal ambitions in order to help Evans. “For me, I am just a helper, but it will be special to be part of the 100th Tour de France,” he said.
Thanks to the BMC Team.
BMC Racing Team Tour de France Roster (June 29-July 21):
Brent Bookwalter (USA), Marcus Burghardt (GER), Cadel Evans (AUS), Philippe Gilbert (BEL), Amaël Moinard (FRA), Steve Morabito (SUI), Manuel Quinziato (ITA), Michael Schär (SUI), Tejay van Garderen (USA).
Directeur Sportif: John Lelangue (BEL).
Assistant Directors: Fabio Baldato (ITA) & Yvon Ledanois (FRA).
Astana team for the Tour de France
Astana will be led by Jakob Fuglsang in the French race starting in Corsica on the 29th of June. The team DS; Dimitry Sedoun said “Fuglsang showed at the Criterium du Dauphine how well he can ride when he has the proper training and confidence, and he is very motivated to do well. The pressure is on the big favourites in this race, and we are content to come in low-stress with a strong team and ride well.” He added; “This Tour de France has a lot of individual opportunities for stage victories, and we will send an experienced set of riders to seek them out. The winds off the Atlantic seacoast will split the peloton to favour breakaways, and the four stages in the Alps are going to make the whole race a fight to the finish. In particular the Alpe d’Huez day we expect a very, very hard first climb, and an extremely difficult descent to come back for the second time up the mountain.”
Astana 2013 Tour Team:
Jakob Fuglsang, Assan Bazayev, Janez Brajkovic, Enrico Gasparotto, Francesco Gavazzi, Andrey Kashechkin, Fredrik Kessiakoff, Alexey Lutsenko and Dmitri Muravyev.
MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung with wildcard to the Giro di Lombardia
Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung has received an invitation to another top-ranked race – the Giro di Lombardia, the Autumn Classic which is considered one of pro cycling’s Monuments. Race organizers announced Thursday that the first African Professional Continental team will take part in the “Race of the Falling Leaves” (October 6 / UCI WorldTour).
“Giro di Lombardia is a race I watched live last year and it goes over such beautiful and tough terrain and has a similar type of finish to Milan-Sanremo with hard climbs near the end,” said team principal Doug Ryder. “It will be a great event for our team and fantastic to end our first Pro Continental racing season with a World Tour event. We have had 7 UCI victories this season and we are looking forward to a successful autumn.”
Il Lombardia is run by RCS Sports, which also organizes Tirreno-Adriatico, which was the team’s first WorldTour race, and the subsequent Milan-Sanremo, which Gerald Ciolek convincingly won in an upset over favoured riders Peter Sagan (Cannondale) and Fabian Cancellara (RadioShack-Leopard).
MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung replaces Vini Fantini-Selle Italia, which withdrew after two doping cases. The other wildcards went to Androni Giacattoli-Venezuela, Colombia, IAM Cycling, MTN-Qhubeka, Europcar and NetApp-Endura.
The Giro di Lombardia covers some 250 kilometers from Bergamo to Lucca, and includes numerous climbs with steep gradients, narrow roads and tricky hairpin curves to challenge the riders at the end of the season.
Tour Time Baby!
Great Tour De France 2013 Preview from globalcyclingnetwork: “What Will Happen In The 100th Tour De France?”
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