TOP STORY: Giro d’Italia ‘Wild Card’ Teams
RCS Sport, the Giro d’Italia organisers, has announced the three teams who will join Androni-Venezuela in this year’s Italian Grand Tour. The three are: Bardiani-CSF, YellowFluo-Neri Sottoli and Colombia. Androni-Venezuela gains automatic selection due to winning the Coppa Italia, the others, it would appear is because they are either Italian or in the case of Colombia; based in Italy. In a statement RCS said: “The choices made were dictated by the opportunity, at this historic moment, to sustain the Italian cycling movement, without ever losing sight of international development. All four teams with wildcards for the 2014 Giro d’Italia are members of the MPCC (Movement for Credible Cycling).”
Androni, Colombia and Bardiani deserve their places on merit, but the case of YellowFluo is harder to understand due to the embarrassment the team brought on the Giro with positive tests for EPO by two of its riders, Danilo Di Luca and Mauro Santambrogio. The team claim that the Vini Fantini-Selle Italia team of last year is not the same team as this year’s YellowFuo, but this argument didn’t work for the Astana team when it was not invited to the Tour de France in 2008, even though it was under new management and mostly new riders. Why a team that signed and allow ride in the Giro a rider who had been banned twice before and the other; one of the most suspicious riders in the peloton. But then it’s an Italian team in an Italian race.
Not much interest in Di Luca at the 2013 Giro d’Italia:
People’s Choice Classic-Adelaide 2014
The newly named Team Giant-Shimano got the 2014 season off to a perfect start today as Marcel Kittel (GER) won the opening criterium of the Tour Down Under in Adelaide, Australia.
It was a historic day for the team as the riders took to the start line for the first time with title sponsor Giant emblazened across their chests, and everyone was ready to race after a solid winter of preparation with staff, sponsors and partners fine-tuning not only their bikes and equipment, but also all aspects of their training in preparation for the new season.
The race itself is just a warm-up for the tour itself but there was no let up in action as some of the top sprinters in the world were out to battle for victory.
The team controlled the race throughout and set Kittel up in perfect position in the final few laps to allow him to give it his all, and he had the power in his legs to come past on the line to take a well deserved.
“I’m really pleased with the work the boys put in today,” said Kittel. “It’s a great way to start the new season for both the team and our new sponsor Giant.
“The guys put me in a perfect position to finish off the job. It’s a relief to get the first win under my belt and we can build on our confidence from here. The bike felt great today and it’s a nice pay back to Giant for their confidence in us.”
Team Giant-Shimano coach, Addy Engels (NED), said: “What better way to start the new season. We have been in Australia for a little while now to get used to the time and temperature difference and the guys have been picking up their training, but today I really felt a change in everyone, they knew what they had to do and were ready to race.
“From lap one Marcel knew he had good legs to go for the win and the guys did a great job. Simon Geschke (GER) came down in a small crash but was ok, no damage done. It’s great to show off our new jersey and new sponsor, Giant right from race one.”
Tinkoff-Saxo DS, Fabrizio Guidi said: “The team worked really well together throughout the race and we tried to set up Michael Kolar for the sprint but he lost a solid position in the final bend before the finish line and lost his chance for a top result. However, the team is strong and we have several cards to play. Chris (Juul-Jensen) and Rory (Sutherland) are both in great shape and they get a chance to aim for the GC.”
People’s Choice Classic-Adelaide Result:
1. Marcel Kittel (Ger) Giant-Shimano in 1:04:34
2. Andre Greipel (Ger) Lotto Belisol
3. Caleb Ewan (Aus) UniSA
4. Christopher Sutton (Aus) Sky
5. Jose Joaquin Rojas (Spa) FDJ
6. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step
7. Mark Renshaw (Aus) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step
8. Jonathan Cantwell (Aus) Drapac
9. Elia Viviani (Ita) Cannondale
10. Jurgen Roelandts (Bel) Lotto Belisol.
Kittel in Adelaide:
La Tropicale Amissa Bongo 2014
After receiving disappointing news of its exclusion from this year’s Giro d’Italia, Ferekalsi Debesay changed the team’s fortunes when he took the first victory of the season in La Tropicale Amissa Bongo on Thursday. The Eritrean rider was part of an escape group that survived the day and outfoxed his rivals at the finish.
The move formed part of the team’s strategy to place a rider in the breakaway every day. Linus Gerdemann and Adrien Niyonshuti made the opening day’s escape while Songezo Jim went on the offensive during stage two and three.
Stage 4 was the longest stage of the race over 190 kilometres from Lambarene To Mouila.
“We had a really good group in the breakaway and in the last hour it looked like we were going to stay away,” a smiling Debesay said after coming off the podium. “I started thinking about the finish and didn’t want to wait for the sprint. I attacked with 2 kilometres to go and stayed away. I’m really happy for myself and for the team.”
Sports director Kevin Campbell expressed his praise for Debesay: “We knew he could do it despite being with good riders in the break. He is a natural racer and has great instincts during a race. He was hungry for success here and this isn’t a surprise at all. We knew a break would stay away eventually and we’ve put a rider there for this very reason. I’m really happy for him,” Campbell concluded.
The overall standings remained the same with Gerdemann holding onto his fourth place in the classification. He trails yellow jersey Luis Leon Sanchez (Caja Rural-RGA) by sixteen seconds with three days left to race.
Thanks to MTN-Qhubeka for race info.
La Tropicale Amissa Bongo Stage 4 Result:
1. Frekalsi Debesay (Eri) MTN-Qhubeka in 4:42:36
2. Mouhcine Lahsaini (Mar) Morocco at 0:02
3. Marco Minnaard (Ned) Wanty-Groupe Gobert at 0:03
4. Hervé Raoul MBA (Cmr) Cameroun
5. Louis Verhelst (Bel) Cofidis
6. Raul Costa Seibeb (Nam) Namibie
7. Romain Guillemois (Fra) Europcar
8. Valens Ndayisenga (Rwa) Rwanda at 0:10
9. Roy Jans (Bel) Wanty-Groupe Gobert at 6:40
10. Youcef Reguigui (Alg) MTN-Qhubeka.
La Tropicale Amissa Bongo Overall After Stage 4:
1. Luis Leon Sanchez (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA in 14:35:16
2. Egoitz Garcia (Spa) Cofidis at 0:01′
3. Natnael Berhane (Eri) Europcar at 0:08
4. Linus Gerdemann (Ger) MTN-Qhubeka at 0:16
5. Grégory Habeaux (Bel) Wanty-Groupe Gobert
6. Fabrice Jeandesboz (Fra) Europcar at 0:20
7. Jérôme Baugnies (Bel) Wanty Groupe Gobert at 0:47
8. Florian Senechal (Fra) Cofidis at 1:02
9. Giovanni Bernaudeau (Fra) Europcar at 3:02
10. Salah Eddine Mraouni (Mar) Morocco.
The Rwandan Bonaventure Uwizeyimana won Stage 5 of the Tropicale Amissa Bongo of Gabon on Friday between Lambarene and Kango. After 85 kilometres; 10 riders escaped, they were: Tim De Troyer (Wanty-Groupe Gobert), Benaventure Uwizeyemana (Rwanda), Youcef Reguigi (MTN-Qhubeka), Meron Teshome (Eritrea), Bryan Naulleau & Yohann Gene (Europcar), Issaka Kabre (Bukina Faso), Karim Hadjbouzit (VC Sovac), Adrien Petit (Cofidis) and Mouhcine Lahsaini (Morocco) and stayed away to fight for the victory. With 10 kilometres to go Lahsaini and Uwizeyimana jumped away for the Rwandan rider to take the stage win, Uwizeyimana was more than 19 minutes down overall and no worry to the Spanish leader Luis León Sánchez (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA) who is still leading with only 1 second from Egoitz García (Cofidis).
La Tropicale Amissa Bongo Stage 5 Result:
1. Bonaventure Uwizeyimana (Rwa) Rwanda in 3:16:31
2. Mouhcine Lahsaini (Mar) Morocco at 0:05
3. Tim De Troyer (Bel) Wanty-Groupe Gobert at 0:26
4. Yohann Gene (Fra) Europcar
5. Meron Teshome (Eri) Eritrea
6. Youcef Reguigui (Alg) MTN-Qhubeka
7. Adrien Petit (Fra) Cofidis
8. Karim Hadjbouzit (Alg) Velo Club Sovac
9. Issaka Kabre (Bur) Burkina Faso at 0:31
10. Bryan Naulleau (Fra) Europcar.
La Tropicale Amissa Bongo Overall After Stage 5:
1. Luis Leon Sanchez (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA in 17:57:46
2. Egoitz Garcia (spa) Cofidis at 0:01
3. Natnael Berhane (Eri) Europcar at 0:07
4. Grégory Habeaux (Bel) Want-Groupe Gobert at 0:17
5. Linus Gerdemann (Ger) MTN-Qhubeka at 0:18
6. Fabrice Jeandesboz (Fra) Europcar at 0:22
7. Jérôme Baugnies (Bel) Wanty-Groupe Goubert at 0:49
8. Florian Senechal (Fra) Cofidis at 1:04
9. Dan Craven (Nam) Namibia at 3:01
10. Giovanni Bernaudeau (Fra) Europcar at 3:04.
Fréderique Robert (Wanty-Groupe Goubert) won Stage 6 of La Tropicale Amissa Bongo after 126 kilometres starting and finishing in Port Gentil. Luis León Sánchez (Caja Rural-RGA) held onto the overall lead going into the final day. Robert won in a sprint from 19 riders who had escaped in the final kilometres of the stage. This is the third win for Wanty-Groupe Gobert, after the triumphs of his teammates Jerome Baugnies and Roy Jans. Robert won two stages last year’s race when he was with the Lotto Belisol.
La Tropicale Amissa Bongo Stage 6 Result:
1. Frédérique Robert (Bel) Wanty-Groupe Gobert in 2:19:56
2. Roy JANS (Bel) Wanty-Groupe Gobert
3. Tarik Chaoufi (Mar) Marocco
4. Giovanni Bernaudeau (Fra) Europcar
5. Tim De Troyer (Bel) Wanty-Groupe Gobert
6. Bryan Naulleau (Fra) Europcar
7. Amanuel Ghebreigzabhier (Eri) Eritrea
8. Frekalsi Debesay (Eri) MTN-Qhubeka
9. Tesfom Okubamariam (Eri) Eritrea
10. Francisco Aramendia (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA.
La Tropicale Amissa Bongo Overall After Stage 6:
1. Luis Leon Sanchez (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA in 20:19:34
2. Egoitz Garcia (Spa) Cofidis at 0:01
3. Natnael Berhane (Eri) Europcar at 0:04
4. Grégory Habeaux (Bel) Wanty-Groupe Gobert at 0:20
5. Linus Gerdemann (Ger) MTN-Qhubeka at 0:21
6. Fabrice Jeandesboz (Fra) Europcar at 0:25
7. Jérôme Baugnies (Bel) Wanty-Goupe Goubert at 0:52
8. Florian Senechal (Fra) Cofidis at 1:07
9. Giovanni Bernaudeau (Fra) Europcar at 1:12
10. Dan Craven (Nam) Namibia at 3:04.
Fréderique Robert (Wanty-Groupe Gobert) won the Final Stage 7 of La Tropicale Amissa Bongo from Owendo to Libreville (130 kms). Natnael Berhane (Europcar) was declared the final overall winner to snatch the top spot from Luis León Sánchez (Caja Rural-RGA) thanks to the time bonus. Berhane from Eritrea, managed to take first position from Luis León Sánchez who had been leader since his victory on the first day. The Europcar rider showed his progress last year with a stage win and second place in the Tour of Turkey which was won by Mustafa Sayar who tested positive for EPO. This continues the winning streak of the Europcar team as Charteau won between 2010 and 2012 and Gene last year.
For the Wanty-Groupe Goubert team the beginning could not be better in Gabon, with four stage victories, the last two from Robert plus one each from Baugnies and Jans.
Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung completed its first race of the season on Sunday in La Tropicale Amissa Bongo. The team leaves the race with a stage win thanks to Ferekalsi Debesay’s strong stage four ride. Linus Gerdemann marks his return to racing by finishing fifth overall and Songezo Jim leaves as the most combative rider.
“I’m really happy with how things went,” Gerdemann said at the end of the stage. “To finish in the top five in my first race for over a year is good. I came here to get some racing in the legs and I felt very strong. I was also surprised by the level of the racing here. I think it was a very good advert for African cycling. I wasn’t surprised by Ferekalsi’s win at all because from the first day he was so strong. The guys on the team are incredible and have huge potential and myself and John-Lee [Augustyn] in particular used his experience to help the younger guys. I am excited for the season ahead,” Gerdemann added.
The team was aggressive throughout the race and made the main escape of each day which was the plan explains sports director, Kevin Campbell.
“Overall the team rode really well and we were in the racing every day except for maybe today. The guys were working well together and they really gelled which is great for the first race of the season. Ultimately we would have liked a little more but it doesn’t always go according to plan,” Campbell said.
“We’re happy to have won a stage. This is our third participation in the race and we’re happy to walk away with a victory. We would have liked to achieve more in GC and place a rider on the podium but there was some really good opposition here this year.”
The team now turns its attention to training camps in South Africa and Mallorca where it will prepare for the South African national championships and the European season which is to get underway shortly.
La Tropicale Amissa Bongo Stage 7 Result:
1. Frédérique Robert (Bel) Wanty-Groupe Gobert in 2:32:52
2. Roy Jans (Bel) Wanty-Groupe Gobert
3. Meron Amanuel (Eri) Eritrea
4. Luis Leon Sanchez (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
5. Egoitz Garcia (Spa) Cofidis
6. Rasmané Ouedraogo (Bur) Bukina Faso
7. Natnael Berhane (Eri) Europcar
8. Bonaventure Uwizeyimana (Rwa) Rwanda
9. Salah Eddine Mraouni (Mar) Morocco
10. Frekalsi Debesay (Eri) MTN-Qhubeka.
La Tropicale Amissa Bongo Final Overall Result:
1. Natnael Berhane (Eri) Europcar in 22:52:24
2. Luis Leon Sanchez (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA at 0:01
3. Egoitz Garcia (Spa) Cofidis at 0:02
4. Grégory Habeaux (Bel) Wanty-Groupe Gobert at 0:22
5. Linus Gerdemann (Ger) MTN-Qhubeka at 0:23
6. Fabrice Jeandesboz (Fra) Europcar at 0:27
7. Jérôme Baugnies (Bel) Wanty-Groupe Goubert at 0:54
8. Florian Senechal (Fra) Cofidis at 1:09
9. Giovanni Bernaudeau (Fra) Europcar at 1:45
10. Salah Eddine Mraouni (Mar) Morocco at 3:06.
Bushfires at the Tour Down Under
With a large forest fire raging in the Eden Valley in the Barossa and the announcement of an emergency fire warning for the area, there is a possibility that stage 1 could be cancelled. Race director Mike Turtur stated at a pre-race press conference: “”If it’s a no-go zone for the Barossa, it’s a no-go zone; it’s as simple as that. It’s possible that there will be a cancellation of the stage depending on the advice of the correct people. We exist in a volatile environment with a climatic condition but fire has always been a big consideration for us but you just have to deal with the situation on its merits. A decision will be made by 5pm on Monday.” He added that “we will take advice from the South Australian police, country fire service and so on and make a decision.” Stage 1 is planned to be 135 kilometres from Nuriootpa to Angaston with the climb of Menglers Hill to break things up.
Tour Down Under – Team Presentation And Preview by Global Cycling Network:
Ill-fated debut for Visconti
It was a bitter start of the 2014 season for the Movistar Team. Despite José Joaquín Rojas’ fifth place in the People’s Choice Classic; a criterium over 25 laps of a circuit in the streets of Adelaide, in a mass sprint won by German Marcel Kittel, the telephone squad’s debut on Australian soil was overshadowed by a crash by Giovanni Visconti in the first half of the race.
The Italian rider fell after some riders crossed path’s in the middle of the peloton through a left hand corner, Visconti was the only man unable to continue the race. Helped quickly by the team staff on course and moved to a hospital nearby by ambulance, checks confirmed a broken tibia in his right leg, which will be operated on on Sunday night (Australian time).
Ballan Banned for Two Years
Alessandro Ballan has been given a two year ban by the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) due to phone taps from the Mantova doping investigation where blood a transfusion for Ballan was discussed. Ballan admits to receiving ozone treatment for cytomegalovirus and not for performance enhancement. CONI did not believe his excuse and handed down the ban.
The BMC team released this statement on Friday: “The BMC Racing Team announced Friday that it is terminating the contract of Alessandro Ballan. Ballan received a two-year suspension from CONI Friday for charges in connection with his former team. In accordance with the BMC Racing Team’s strict anti-doping policy, Ballan is no longer a member of the BMC Racing Team, said president/general manager Jim Ochowicz.”
Ballan spoke to la Gazzetta dello Sport after he received the decision, saying “I had expected more understanding from the judges; I made a minor error and was negligent. But the price to pay is too high.” He explained the treatment he received “I was hospitalised and my values were at the bottom, with acute hepatitis due to cytomegalovirus. And as for my biological passport, it was clear. The surveys were never discussed. I was never suspected. I was completely down. It was hard to walk, climb stairs and, especially, cycle.” Ballan may appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
De Greef & Napolitano Sign for Wanty-Groupe Gobert
Francis De Greef and Danilo Napolitano have both signed contracts with the Belgian ProConti team; Wanty-Groupe Goubert for this year. Napolitano was in the Accent Jobs-Wanty team in 2013, but was not resigned until now. De Greef had been with Lotto Belisol since 2008 but was without a team for 2014.
The video announcement:
‘Wild Card’ Selections for E3 Harelbeke
Belgium’s first Classic of the year, the E3 Harelbeke, has announced the seven ProContinental teams that will join the ProTour teams on the start line on March the 28th. They are: Wanty-Groupe Gobert, Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise (Belgium), IAM Cycling (Switzerland), Cofidis (France), Androni-Venezuela (Italy), MTN-Qhubeka (South Africa) and UnitedHealthcare (USA).
Cancellara wins the E3 Harelbeke in 2013:
BMC Racing Team Announces Early Season Racing Programs
Press Release: Approaching the opening week of the 2014 season, the BMC Racing Team announced the prospective early season programs of several riders Friday.
Will Help Fans See Their Favorites
BMC Racing Team President/General Manager Jim Ochowicz said the publication of competition schedules for some of the team’s past world road and national champions and top contenders is beneficial in a number of ways. “This is something new for us, as we previously have not publicized specific race schedules. But by going public with some of our top riders’ objectives, we hope to send the message that we are ready for the new season. Our motto this year is ‘winning’ and we’re ready to start doing it.” Ochowicz said publicizing schedules is also good for fans who might want to travel to a specific race to see one of their favorite riders. Sporting Manager Allan Peiper said the BMC Racing Team has worked carefully with each rider on the team to craft a racing program with goals being set for each rider that suits his strengths and maximizes the potential for victory. “Our newly-created Sports Science group can then work with our riders to build the phase plans towards specific goals that will hopefully lead us to some great victories in 2014.”
BMC Racing Team rider programs being announced are:
Cadel Evans (AUS):
Santos Tour Down Under (Australia, Jan. 21-26), Tour Méditerranéen (France, Feb. 13-16), Tour du Haut Var (France, Feb. 22-23), Strade Bianche (Italy, March 8), Tirreno-Adriatico (Italy, March 12-18).
Philippe Gilbert (BEL):
Tour of Qatar (Feb. 9-14), Tour of Oman (Feb. 18-23), Classic Sud Ardèche-Souvenir Francis Delpech (France, March 1), Drôme Classic (France, March 2), Roma Maxima (Italy, March 9), Tirreno-Adriatico (Italy, March 12-18).
Thor Hushovd (NOR):
Dubai Tour (Feb. 5-8), Tour du Haut Var (France, Feb. 22-23), Omloop Het Nieuwsblad (Belgium, March 1), Paris-Nice (France, March 9-16).
Taylor Phinney (USA):
Tour de San Luis (Argentina, Jan. 20-26), Dubai Tour (Feb. 5-8), Tour Méditerranéen (France, Feb. 13-16), Omloop Het Nieuwsblad (Belgium, March 1), Paris-Nice (France, March 9-16).
Greg Van Avermaet (BEL):
Tour of Qatar (Feb. 9-14), Tour of Oman (Feb. 18-23), Omloop Het Nieuwsblad (Belgium, March 1), Strade Bianche (Italy, March 8), Tirreno-Adriatico (Italy, March 12-18).
Tejay van Garderen (USA):
Tour of Oman (Feb. 18-23), Paris-Nice (France, March 9-16), Volta Ciclista a Catalunya (Spain, March 24-30).
3T at the BMC Training Camp:
New Big Prize for the 100th Liège-Bastogne-Liège
To celebrate the 100th ‘La Doyenne’ the organisers are putting up a €5,000 prize at the 100 kilometre mark which is in Bastogne. The course was announced 100 days before the race which is on Sunday the 28th of April by organisers ASO. There are ten climbs on the 263 kilometre route including the Côte de Stockeu (173,5 km), La Redoute (218.5 km) and the final Côte de Saint-Nicolas (257.5 km) in Ans, the Côte de Roche-aux-Faucons makes its return after missing from last year’s race due to road works.
Clip spécial 100ème por tourdefrance
RCS ‘Wild Card’ Teams
As well as releasing the Giro d’Italia ‘Wild Card’ selections, race organisers RCS have also announced which ProContinental teams would be contesting the other top Italian events in 2014. Obviously there is still the predominance of Italian teams, but most of the other top ProConti teams get a look in.
IAM Cycling (Swi)
Team Net App-Endura (Ger).
Androni Giocattoli-Venezuela (Ita)
IAM Cycling (Swi)
Team Net App-Endura (Ger)
Unitedhealthcare Professional Cycling Team (USA)
Yellow Fluo (Ita).
Androni Giocattoli-Venezuela (Ita)
Caja Rural-Seguros RGA (Spa),
IAM Cycling (Swi),
Team Net App-Endura (Ger),
Yellow Fluo (Ita).
Il Lombardia – Official Trailer:
BMC Racing Team has Several Goals for Tour de San Luis
Press Release: Targeting the individual time trial as well as the overall classification are just a few of the BMC Racing Team’s goals for the Tour de San Luis.
California Training Camp Helpful
The seven-day race begins Monday and includes three uphill finishes, plus Friday’s 19.2-km time trial. BMC Racing Team Sport Director Jackson Stewart said a camp last week in Southern California provided four of the team’s six riders – Taylor Phinney, Larry Warbasse and newcomers Darwin Atapuma and Peter Stetina – with a solid training block. “It was a good group, with good weather and good training rides,” Stewart said. “A lot of what we saw from them at camp re-confirmed the data we had seen from them in training.” Stewart said Atapuma, Stetina, Warbasse and Dominik Nerz could all contend for the overall in Argentina. Atapuma, who has never raced this early in six years as a professional, said he feels ready to go. “I had good training at home in Colombia and at camp,” he said. “My condition is good and this race will be a good test for my climbing. I hope not to lose too much time in the time trial so I can take advantage of the three uphill finishes.” Phinney said he aims to win the time trial or one of the three less mountainous stages after enjoying injury-free training this winter. “I have always struggled with injuries in the offseason, mainly due to cold weather, changes in bike position and not making use of the available therapy,” the past U.S. national time trial champion said. “But I have been able to knock out every training day and I owe that to having hired my own personal soigneur, plus being a couple years older and not growing anymore.”
Download the official BMC Racing Team roster card (PDF with rider bios, statistics, etc.): http://bit.ly/1dGorKj
BMC Racing Team Tour de San Luis Roster (Jan. 20-26):
Darwin Atapuma (COL), Dominik Nerz (GER), Taylor Phinney (USA), Manuel Quinziato (ITA), Peter Stetina (USA), Larry Warbasse (USA).
Sport Director: Jackson Stewart (USA).
Tour de San Luis presentation:
Behind the Scenes Video of Paris Roubaix
As usual while searching through YouTube for today’s EuroTrash, I found this great bit of video by SHIMANORaceTV of behind the scenes at Paris-Roubaix.
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