PezCycling News - What's Cool In Road Cycling : EuroTrash Thursday!

EuroTrash Thursday!
The Spring Classics are just a memory now, but there is no let up on the action. The stage race riders are looking to the Giro and the Tour, so we now have the Tour of Turkey and Tour de Romandie, results with video as always in EuroTrash Thursday. Plus loads of other stuff for a pre-weekend coffee break.

TOP STORY: Has Alessandro Petacchi Retired?
As you will read below and will have seen in our Alessandro Petacchi Photo Book, Italian fast man; AleJet has announced his retirement. But has he? In an interview with La Gazzetta dello Sport he said “It's wrong to say I've retired. I haven't closed the door on cycling and don't know what the future will bring.” He added that his motivation wasn’t right and that “it just didn’t make sense to carry on.” As to the suggestion that he could be a younger sprinters lead-out man: "I remember that even a great rider like Erik Zabel led me out in the sprints when we were at Milram. I could consider doing something like that but not just for anyone. The conditions would have to be right."

So maybe we will see the big Italian on the front in the last kilometre this year, but why do you think he announced his retirement and terminated his contract this week? Could it have been that the Lampre-Merida team did not want him to ride the Giro d’Italia this year, which would probably be his last Tour of his homeland, so the toys were thrown out of the pram and he left. Lampre now have the services of Roberto Ferrari who may not be the fastest man in the peloton, but he has promise and is much younger than AleJet. Was it a case of the old (Italian) dog not wanting to give way to the young (Italian) pup? Helping a foreign star who already has a good palmarés would maybe not be so hard on his ego. Anyway, Petacchi was great to watch when he was sprinting and seeing him in a lead-out train wouldn't be such a bad thing.

Tour de Romandie 2013
Sky rider Chris Froome was the last man down the ramp and tore into the 7.45-kilometre Prologue climbing test, catching and passing his minute-man on the way to a superb time of 13 minutes and 15 seconds. That effort was six seconds quicker than anyone else and moved Froome into the early race lead, capturing the yellow jersey won by team-mate Sir Bradley Wiggins last season.

Richie Porte ended the tough opening test in fourth, his time of 13:30 standing firm at the top of the charts for a long time as the Tasmanian once again demonstrated his form. Andrew Talansky (Garmin-Sharp) dethroned Porte as he set a time nine seconds quicker than anyone else as pacing in the final steep 500 metre section emerged as a key to success in Bruson.

Robert Kiserlovski (RadioShack Leopard) also elevated himself onto the podium before Froome, undeterred by the fast times, blew the competition away to register his sixth success of the year. The result also marked a second successive prologue victory in the race after Geraint Thomas went fastest in Lausanne 12 months earlier.

Chris Froome, Team Sky Rider: “I haven’t raced now in a stage race for a month since Criterium International. I wasn’t sure how my condition would be coming into this race. Winning the prologue today is definitely a good sign and I’d like to try and defend the jersey this week the best I can. I know it’s going to be a very hard week of racing."

“We have a really good team here. Richie who came fourth today is also sitting in a very good position. That could be really important for us over the next few days as it means we have some other cards to play with the rest of the riders here to support us. It should be a good week of racing."

“We’re going to try and keep [the jersey]. I don’t have a really big advantage on the other GC contenders here. I think the big stages will be this coming weekend. On Saturday we have a really hard mountain stage followed by a time trial on Sunday. So we have to do as much as we can there and hope that nothing bad turns against us in the race.”

Team Saxo-Tinkoff Italian, Manuele Boaro finished 16th on the mountain prologue:”After having trained in the high altitude with the team, I'm happy to be back in competition. I feel strong and I'm highly motivated for the coming week of racing in Romandie. It was a significantly demanding prologue today and in a terrain where I'm not feeling at my best but I'm happy about the result and my sensations on the bike. Now, I'm looking forward to supporting my teammates and of course to the closing time trial on Sunday,” said a confident Manuele Boaro.

Tour de Romandie Prologue Result:
1. Christopher Froome (GB) Sky in 13:15.59
2. Andrew Talansky (USA) Garmin-Sharp at 0:06.26
3. Robert Kiserlovski (Cro) RadioShack Leopard at 0:13.02
4. Richie Porte (Aus) Sky at 0:15.29
5. Rui Alberto Faria Da Costa (Por) Movistar at 0:16.23
6. Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ at 0:16.48
7. Stef Clement (Ned) Blanco at 0:16.69
8. Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar at 0:16.91
9. Thomas Danielson (USA) Garmin-Sharp at 0:17.00
10. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Blanco at 0:17.51.

Tour de Romandie Overall After The Prologue:
1. Christopher Froome (GB) Sky in 13:16
2. Andrew Talansky (USA) Garmin-Sharp at 0:06
3.Robert Kiserlovski (Cro) RadioShack Leopard at 0:13
4. Richie Porte (Aus) Sky at 0:15
5. Rui Alberto Faria Da Costa (Por) Movistar at 0:16
6. Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ at 0:16
7. Stef Clement (Ned) Blanco at 0:17
8. Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar at 0:17
9. Thomas Danielson (USA) Garmin-Sharp at 0:17
10. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Blanco at 0:18.

The prologue action:

Gianni Meersman (Omega Pharma – Quick-Step) outsprinted Giacomo Nizzolo (RadioShack Leopard) and Roberto Ferrari (Lampre-Merida) at the end of Stage 1 in Renens after 176 kilometres. Matthias Brandle (IAM Cycling) and Jérémy Roy (FDJ) tried to get away before the final rush, 25 kilometres out, coming off the Col du Mollendruz. They managed a lead of 30 seconds, but with Omega Pharma – Quick-Step and Astana chasing they caught with less than 10 kilometres to go. Saxo-Tinkoff’s Manuele Boaro put in a brave attack with 2 K’s left, but the sprint trains had him back to set up their men. Chris Froome (Sky) finished safely in the bunch to hold the overall lead.

"It was a difficult stage," Meersman said. "The team worked perfectly. It was hard in the final, at 500 meters to go I had to brake. But then I found my good legs and saw a way to the victory. The goal today, if Mark Cavendish was still there after the last climb, was to go for him. If not, it would be a final for me. Unfortunately Mark had a mechanical and at that point we went for me. I was a little bit closed at 400 meters to go, but I managed to stay in the front. Peter Velits brought me to the wheel of Matthew Goss (Orica Green-Edge) but when I saw the possibility to pass in the chaotic sprint I didn't wait. I decided to go by myself and not to wait for someone else to launch. I did my sprint and if they passed me, no problem, but if not I could win. I'm in good condition if I can win a sprint like that, against riders such as Goss and others. My goal is to possibly go for another stage tomorrow or the day after. You never know."

"Everything went well today," Holm said. "The team worked really well together. We had to save Gianluca Brambilla and Tony Martin. Grabsch stayed with Cav, which was the plan, and the rest of the team was really committed to go for the win. We said already yesterday that we had two cards to play, Cav and Gianni. Cav had a mechanical at the bottom of the last climb, so we went for Gianni. Gianni finalized perfectly the job of the team."

Third placed Roberto Ferrari (Lampre-Merida) describes the sprint: "My team mates supported me until 2 km to go, that's what they were asked to do and thanks to their work I could pedal in the front positions of the bunch. The road was winding and narrow, I could use my skills to defend the position, but in the final kilometre the speed decreased, giving to other riders the chance to recover the head of the group. That's why the sprint became chaotic: I had to brake since I could not find the best path; this prevented me from battling until the finish line against Meersman. Anyway, I could get good signals about my condition."

“The stage was fairly easy to control for Sky and we only had to stay safe in the peloton and save energy. Manuele took the opportunity to launch a bold attack in the finale but the pace was simply too high in the pack to create the crucial gap. Tomorrow, I expect a hilly but rather fast stage where the peloton will be controlled. We'll stay cool in the bunch until the right moment and I don't see any chance tomorrow to gain time in the GC,” said Team Saxo-Tinkoff Italian DS, Fabrizio Guidi.

Tour de Romandie Stage 1:
1. Gianni Meersman (Bel) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step in 4:29:09
2. Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) RadioShack Leopard
3. Roberto Ferrari (Ita) Lampre-Merida
4. Luka Mezgec (Slo) Argos-Shimano
5. Kévin Reza (Fra) Europcar
6. Francesco Gavazzi (Ita) Astana
7. Matthew Harley Goss (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge
8. Rui Alberto Faria Da Costa (Por) Movistar
9. Gaetan Bille (Bel) Lotto Belisol
10. Marco Marcato (Ita) Vacansoleil-DCM.

Tour de Romandie Overall After Stage 1:
1. Christopher Froome (GB) Sky in 4:42:24
2. Andrew Talansky (USA) Garmin-Sharp at 0:06
3. Robert Kiserlovski (Cro) RadioShack Leopard at 0:13
4. Richie Porte (Aus) Sky at 0:15
5. Rui Alberto Faria Da Costa (Por) Movistar at 0:16
6. Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ at 0:17
7. Stef Clement (Ned) Blanco
8. Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar
9. Thomas Danielson (USA) Garmin-Sharp
10. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Blanco at 0:18.

Stage 1 sprint:

Presidential Tour of Turkey 2013
Aidis Kruopis (Orica-GreenEdge) managed to miss a big crash that brought down most of the peloton 600 metres from the line on Stage 2. It looked like Blanco’s Mark Renshaw hit the ground due to a puncture; he hit the deck (breaking a collar bone) and the carnage ricochet down the bunch. Marco Coledan (Bardiani Valvole-CSF Inox) was second and André Greipel (Lotto Belisol) was third and the German moved into the overall lead.

The break of the day went after only five kilometres and it included: Clément Koretzky (Bretagne-Séché Environnement), Fabricio Ferrari (Caja Rural), Piotr Gawronski (CCC Polsat-Polkowice), Duber Quintero (Colombia), Junya Sano (Vini Fantini-Selle Italia) and Ahmet Örken (Torku Sekerspor). They built up a lead of 2:30 in five kilometres and a maximum advantage of 6:20 by 35kilometres. Argos-Shimano, for Marcel Kittel, held then at around 5 minutes before pulling them back with 15 kilometres to go.

Stage winner Orica-GreenEdge’s Aidis Kruopis: “I feel very good to have won today,” said Kruopis. “I had a bit of bad luck with Qatar and Langkawi. I was looking for a victory at both of those races and came up empty. It was especially nice to take the victory today after that.”

“The sprint was very dangerous,” said Kruopis. “Leigh helped me a lot. There was a big crash, and after the big crash, I managed to come through with five guys ahead of me. I basically started right after the crash happened, and I passed all the guys before me to take the win.”

Presidential Tour of Turkey Stage 2 Result:
1. Aidis Kruopis (Ltu) Orica-GreenEdge in 3:23:54
2. Marco Coledan (Ita) Bardiani Valvole-CSF Inox
3. André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Belisol
4. Sergiy Grechyn (Ukr) Torku Sekerspor
5. Alexander Porsev (Rus) Katusha
6. Leigh Howard (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge
7. Vicente Reynes Mimo (Spa) Lotto Belisol
8. Maximiliano Ariel Richeze (Arg) Lampre-Merida
9. Mateusz Nowak (Pol) CCC Polsat-Polkowice
10. Filippo Fortin (Ita) Bardiani Valvole-CSF Inox.

Presidential Tour of Turkey Overall After Stage 2:
1. André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Belisol in 6:32:21
2. Marcel Kittel (Ger) Argos-Shimano
3. Aidis Kruopis (Ltu) Orica-GreenEdge
4. Marco Coledan (Ita) Bardiani Valvole-CSF Inox at 0:04
5. Yuriy Metlushenko (Ukr) Torku Sekerspor at 0:06
6. Maximiliano Ariel Richeze (Arg) Lampre-Merida at 0:10
7. Leigh Howard (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge
8. Roger Kluge (Ger) Team NetApp-Endura
9. Andrew Fenn (GB) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step
10. Francesco Lasca (Ita) Caja Rural.

Stage 2:

Europcar’s Eritrean Natnael Berhane, who is also the African time trial and road champion, won Stage 3 from Antalya to the steep summit finish on the Göğübeli Pass. Of the four riders that were off the front on the murderous climb; Berhane was the strongest as he attacked again and again until he cracked the others to finish on his own. Kevin Seeldraeyers (Astana) got the better of KOM leader Mustafa Sayar (Torku Sekerspor) for second and Maxime Mederel (Sojasun) was fourth.

The break of the day was not allowed too much of a time advantage and was held to below 5 minutes, they were: Clément Koretzky (Bretagne-Séché Environnement), Jaroslav Marycz (CCC Polsat-Polkowice), Serge Pauwels (Omega Pharma – Quick-Step), Björn Thurau (Europcar), Mauro Finetto (Vini Fantini-Selle Italia) and Sergiy Gretchyn (Torku Sekerspor). As they approached the final climb Thurau went away on his own with 10 kilometres to go. Serge Pauwels jumped past him and in turn was chased down by Berhane, Seeldraeyers, Sayar, Mederel, plus Darwin Atapuma (Colombia) and Angelo Pagani (Bardiani-CSF), but the pace was too high for Atapuma and Pagani. This left the four to fight out the win. Berhane also moved into the overall lead.

The final three kilometres were the steepest and four riders made a gap to a chase group with Rory Sutherland. No one was able to catch Berhane (Europcar) when he opened up the sprint but Team Saxo-Tinkoff's Rory Sutherland did a solid effort on the steep slope finishing sixth and is now fifth overall: “I'm really impressed by Timmy's condition after his long break from racing and to see him launching an attack like this is promising but surely, he needs a few more races in order to be back in perfect form. Besides, we had Bruno and Rory in the right spot entering the finale. Bruno had to fall back when the slope got dramatically steep and Rory did an almost perfect finale that gave him an overall fifth place in the GC. Tomorrow, there's another climb in the finale but it's followed by a descent to the finish line and we have to make sure, Rory is in the right position at the foot of the final climb,” said Team Saox-Tinkoff DS, Tristan Hofmann after the stage.

And Rory Sutherland comments: “It was a very nice result for me and my teammates did a great effort positioning me before going in on the climb so I'm thankful for the help and support. The final three kilometres were really nasty and obviously, the small climbers had a huge advantage compared to me so I kept focusing on my own rhythm trying not to go too deep too soon. Just too bad there's no time trial in this race because that would really have been an advantage for me now but tonight, we'll take a look at the stage profiles and see what we can do,” said Team Saxo-Tinkoff's Rory Sutherland after the stage.

Presidential Tour of Turkey Stage 3 Result:
1. Natnael Berhane (Eri) Europcar in 4:16:06
2. Kevin Seeldraeyers (Bel) Astana at 0:06
3. Mustafa Sayar (Tur) Torku Sekerspor
4. Maxime Mederel (Fra) Sojasun at 0:16
5. Yoann Bagot (Fra) Cofidis at 0:24
6. Rory Sutherland (Aus) Saxo-Tinkoff
7. Cameron Meyer (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge
8. Florian Guillou (Fra) Bretagne-Seche Environnement at 0:28
9. Darwin Atapuma Hurtado (Col) Colombia at 0:30
10. Nicolas Edet (Fra) Cofidis at 0:33.

Presidential Tour of Turkey Overall After Stage 3:
1. Natnael Berhane (Eri) Europcar in 10:48:27
2. Kevin Seeldraeyers (Bel) Astana at 0:10
3. Mustafa Sayar (Tur) Torku Sekerspor at 0:12
4. Maxime Mederel (Fra) Sojasun at 0:26
5. Rory Sutherland (Aus) Saxo-Tinkoff at 0:34
6. Yoann Bagot (Fra) Cofidis
7. Cameron Meyer (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge
8. Florian Guillou (Fra) Bretagne-Seche Environnement at 0:38
9. Darwin Atapuma Hurtado (Col) Colombia at 0:40
10. Nicolas Edet (Fra) Cofidis at 0:43.

Stage 3:

Stage 4 came down to a sprint between around 30 riders who slipped off the front of the peloton on the descent to the finish Marmaris. André Greipel (Lotto Belisol) beat Niklas Arndt (Argos-Shimano) and Moreno Hofland (Blanco) as yesterday’s stage winner Natnael Berhane (Europcar) held onto his overall lead by holding the front group. Greipel’s win was dedicated to his grandmother who had died; “I said I'd stay at the race and win a stage for her. I'm happy I did that and that my family supported me," the big German said.

Earlier in the stage a group of ten escaped on a head wind section. In the peloton, Europcar controlled the pace and towards the finale other teams joined in on the chase and with 20 kilometres to go, the last standing escapee, Mikhail Ignatiev (Katusha) was reeled back in.

On the descent, Saxo-Tinkoff's American champion, Timmy Duggan launched another promising attack but the sprinters were eager to enter the finish line in one long line. As Duggan was reeled back in, Saxo-Tinkoff gathered in front of the pack and put Rory Sutherland in an excellent position for the final climb where he launched an attack that split the peloton.

André Greipel: “Ten kilometers before the finish it went uphill till six kilometers to go, then it was downhill. The last two kilometers were flat. We didn’t need to work today, because Adam was in the breakaway. I could stay with the front group when it went uphill the last time, there were no others sprinters left. Then I took my chance and got the victory. We look day by day, if there’s another sprint we’ll try again, like Sunday in Istanbul.”

There is also less good news from the Lotto Belisol team. In the descent of a climb of second category, after 50 kilometers of racing, Oliver Kaisen crashed together with about ten others. He has an open wound of his thighbone and that had to be stitched. After Jonas Van Genechten dislocated his collarbone in a massive crash in stage two, the team now loses a second man.

Lampre-Merida’s Filippo Pozzato was 4th on the stage: "I knew today’s stage could have been suitable for my skills,” Pozzato explained. “I had good legs that allowed me to be in the head of the race on the Marmaris climb. Anyway, Greipel too was in good condition and he was too strong in the sprint. Without a skid in the last bend, maybe I could have obtained the 2nd place.”

Saxo-Tinkoff's Rory Sutherland defended his fifth place overall. “At the end of the stage there was a climb where Rory went up there and put some heavy pressure on the peloton that exploded because of the acceleration. He's in super form and even though there's no time trial in the race, I believe that he can improve his overall fifth and go on the podium on Sunday. That's our goal and I think we can make it on the steepest mountain sections coming up,” said DS, Tristan Hofmann after the stage.

Presidential Tour of Turkey Stage 4 Result:
1. André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Belisol in 3:38:47
2. Nikias Arndt (Ger) Argos-Shimano
3. Moreno Hofland (Ned) Blanco
4. Filippo Pozzato (Ita) Lampre-Merida
5. Michal Golas (Pol) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step
6. Francesco Lasca (Ita) Caja Rural
7. Geoffroy Lequatre (Fra) Bretagne-Seche Environnement
8. Nicolas Edet (Fra) Cofidis
9. Jonathan Hivert (Fra) Sojasun
10. Serge Pauwels (Bel) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step.

Presidential Tour of Turkey Overall After Stage 4:
1. Natnael Berhane (Eri) Europcar in 14:27:14
2. Kevin Seeldraeyers (Bel) Astana at 0:10
3. Mustafa Sayar (Tur) Torku Sekerspor at 0:12
4. Maxime Mederel (Fra) Sojasun at 0:26
5. Rory Sutherland (Aus) Saxo-Tinkoff at 0:34
6. Yoann Bagot (Fra) Cofidis
7. Cameron Meyer (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge
8. Florian Guillou (Fra) Bretagne-Seche Environnement at 0:38
9. Darwin Atapuma Hurtado (Col) Colombia at 0:40
10. Nicolas Edet (Fra) Cofidis at 0:43.

Stage 4:

Team Sky Announce Giro D’italia Line-Up
Team Sky today confirmed their line-up for the Giro d’Italia, with Sir Bradley Wiggins heading up a strong nine-man team.

Starting in Naples, the first Grand Tour of the season is staged from Saturday 4 to Sunday 26 May with 21 stages in the contest for the famous maglia rosa, the pink winner’s jersey.

The Team Sky line-up for the 96th edition of the race will be:

• Sir Bradley Wiggins – He follows his success at the 2012 Tour de France by mounting a challenge on the next Grand Tour, supported by one of Team Sky’s strongest line-ups to date.

• Dario Cataldo – A strong addition to Team Sky this season, he finished 12th in the last two editions of the Giro and, after winning an epic mountain-top finish at the Vuelta a Espana last season, his Grand Tour credentials are undeniable.

• Sergio Henao – Made an impression on his Giro debut in 2012, routinely riding at the head of the race on his way to ninth position overall. The Colombian has enjoyed a superb start to the season and will be a crucial asset in the mountains.

• Christian Knees – The former German national champion brings power and Grand Tour experience. One of three riders from the Tour-winning team, where he played a key role riding hard on the front and keeping Wiggins out of trouble on the road.

• Danny Pate – Reads a race like few others and his knowledge and selfless work ethic make the American an integral part of the nine-man unit. Pate rode alongside Wiggins as he chalked up a string of stage-race victories in 2012.

• Salvatore Puccio – Makes his Grand Tour debut at the Giro. The young Italian will tackle the biggest challenge of his career to date. Despite being just 23, he has already contested all five of cycling’s monument classics.

• Kanstantsin Siutsou – Brings both power and climbing prowess to the team. A former stage winner back in 2009, ‘Kosta’ makes his Grand Tour return after suffering a broken leg at the Tour de France last year.

• Rigoberto Urán – Team Sky’s highest-placed Giro finisher to date, riding to seventh overall and the young rider’s jersey last year. He has formed an exciting climbing partnership with compatriot Henao and will support Wiggins in the mountains.

• Xabier Zandio – The Spanish domestique is another rider who brings incredible Grand Tour know-how in addition to a laid back, calming and cheerful demeanour.

Confirming the line-up, Team Principal Sir Dave Brailsford said: “We’ve had a good run into the Giro, have a strong squad and the preparation has gone well. The final touches have been put in place after the Giro del Trentino and we’re all set to go.

“It’s well-documented that the Giro has been a season goal for Bradley. With that in mind we want to get the best performance possible and try to win the race. If you work back from there you need support in the mountains and a strong nucleus of the team who can work hard.

“We’ve got quality climbing support and some really big engines too. There’s also the team time trial to think about and we’ve got a very strong squad.”

Sir Bradley Wiggins added: “Alongside the Tour de France and Paris-Roubaix the Giro d’Italia is one of the biggest bike races in the world and one I’d love to win. I’ve watched the Giro since I was a kid and have seen my idols win it, which makes it even more special. It has always been a race that I’ve wanted to ride well in and I just can’t wait to get started.

“I believe the Giro team this year is just as strong as the Tour de France team last year and the results prove that everyone is ready to go.”

Dario Cataldo said: “The Giro d’Italia is the biggest and most popular race in Italy. Even people who don’t follow cycling that much in Italy follow the Giro. There are some really incredible places to ride in Italy and that is one of the things that makes the race so beautiful.

“When I was six or seven years old I went to watch the Giro at the side of the road. I got some bottles from the riders and then when I started cycling I always went to watch the race to feel what real cycling is like. This year is even more special for me as I will go to the Giro with the national flag on my skinsuit as time trial champion. To be riding in a big team like this with a big goal will make it a really emotional race.”
Thanks to the Sky team.

Weekend Races In Italy Ahead For BMC Racing Team
The BMC Racing Team will compete in a pair of one-day races this weekend that serve as a final tune-up for teams and riders competing in the Giro d'Italia.

Oss Recharged After Break
Taylor Phinney is the only rider confirmed for the Giro who is on the BMC Racing Team's roster for the GP Industria & Artigianato Larciano on Saturday and Giro Della Toscana on Sunday. The remainder of the six-rider line-up consists of national road champions Martin Kohler (Switzerland) and Sebastian Lander (Denmark), plus Steve Cummings, Daniel Oss and Larry Warbasse. Oss, who has not competed since the Amstel Gold Race, said the nearly two-week layoff has been good. "I felt a bit tired after the spring season, but being at home recharged my battery," he said. "I think this weekend will be perfect for me. I don't really know my condition, but my morale and spirit is ready." BMC Racing Team Assistant Director Max Sciandri said both races will be good tests of form. "These are pretty hard races, so any guys who might be going to the Giro will know where they stand," he said.
Thanks to BMC for the info.

GP Industria & Artigianato Larciano roster (April 27):
Steve Cummings (GBR), Martin Kohler (SUI), Sebastian Lander (DEN), Daniel Oss (ITA), Taylor Phinney (USA), Larry Warbasse (USA).

Giro Della Toscana roster (April 28):
Steve Cummings (GBR), Martin Kohler (SUI), Sebastian Lander (DEN), Daniel Oss (ITA), Taylor Phinney (USA), Larry Warbasse (USA).
Sport Director: Max Sciandri (ITA).

Italian Racing Weekend Awaits
Press Release: Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung will be in action in Italy this weekend taking part in two one-day races. GP Industria & Artigianato happens on Saturday while Giro Della Toscana will take place on Sunday. Most of the team who recently completed the Giro del Trentino will form the core of the line up with Sergio Pardilla as captain. The Spaniard said this week he had not been in his best form at Trentino due to illness but feels refreshed and is looking forward to racing this weekend. He will be joined by South African u23 National Road and Time Trial champion Louis Meintjes who finished seventh in the young rider competition at Trentino.

Jacques Janse van Rensburg who last week was seventh on the opening stage of the Italian race could again play a part in finding the right breakaway for the team. Jani Tewelde makes a return to racing after a lengthy knee injury. The Eritrean will be joined by compatriot Meron Russom while Songezo Jim, Tsgabu Grmay & Johann van Zyl make up the rest of the team.

GP Industria & Artigianato (Italy) – (April 27/UCI1.1): Jacques Janse van Rensburg (RSA), Jani Tewelde (ERI), Johann van Zyl (RSA), Louis Meintjes (RSA), Meron Russom (ERI), Sergio Pardilla (SPA), Songezo Jim (RSA), Tsgabu Grmay (ETH).

Giro Della Toscana (Italy) – (April 28/UCI1.1): Jacques Janse van Rensburg (RSA), Jani Tewelde (ERI), Johann van Zyl (RSA), Louis Meintjes (RSA), Meron Russom (ERI), Sergio Pardilla (SPA), Songezo Jim (RSA), Tsgabu Grmay (ETH).
Staff: Brent Copeland (Sports Director), Kevin Campbell (Sports Director), Daniele Nieri (Mechanic).

Final Giro d’Italia setup for Colombia in Larciano and Toscana
Press Release: While taking part to the Tour of Turkey, Team Colombia will also be in the action in the Italian weekend. The Escarabajos will enter both GP Industria e Artigianato (April 27th) and Giro di Toscana (April 28th) to round out their run in to the Giro d’Italia.

The mileage of the two races (both grazing the 200 Km threshold) and their hilly courses, will allow the Colombian team to test and refine their athletic condition. GP Industria e Artigianato will be characterized by a triple ascent to San Baronto climb, the final one peaking at 19 km to the finish line. Giro di Toscana’s route is much more varied: Volterra, Castelnuovo and Civitella climbs will be preview to the 2 laps on the final circuit characterized by the Stoppe d’Arca climb, very close to finish line in Arezzo.

For the weekend, Sports Director Valerio Tebaldi will rely on the same line-up that rode the Giro del Trentino, with only Dalivier Ospina replacing Leonardo Duque. Fabio Duarte and Jarlinson Pantano, in good athletic condition after Giro del Trentino, will find courses suited to their characteristics, being supported by Ospina himself, Marco Corti, Carlos Julian Quintero, Michael Rodriguez, Jeffry Romero and Juan Pablo Suarez.

“This weekend will be our final test ahead of the Giro – Tebaldi said. “After their altitude training camp and the Giro del Trentino, Duarte and Pantano are improving in condition, but I expect a lot from the team as a whole. We need to take any chance”.

GP Industria e Artigianato (April 27th) - Giro della Toscana (April 28th)
Line-up: Marco Corti, Fabio Duarte, Dalivier Ospina, Jarlinson Pantano, Carlos Julian Quintero, Michael Rodriguez, Jeffry Romero, Juan Pablo Suarez.
Sports Director: Valerio Tebaldi.

AleJet Anounces his Retirement
Alessandro Petacchi said on Tuesday morning “Mi fermo qui” (I stop here). The Italian sprinter was one of the classiest riders in the peloton and when he was on form he was one of the fastest bunch sprinters, but he was famous for questioning himself and always needed to be reassured that he was on form. On his day he was unbeatable, when he was unsure of himself, then he was nowhere.

AleJet had this to say on the Lampre-Merida web-site: “Paris-Roubaix closed an early part of the season in which I raced a lot, trying to be protagonist in traditional appointments, such Milano-Sanremo, and in competition for me less usual as Paris-Roubaix.

I approached all these races in the whole professional way, driven by the enthusiasm that Galbusera family and the new sponsors gave to the team.
I’m aware I gave my best, as I always did in the 18 seasons as professional cyclist.

My career has been full of satisfactions and enriched by all the most important victories that a rider like me could ever aimed to.

At the threshold of the 200 victories in career, I feel my life reaches a peculiar moment, a turning point in which I perceive the need to find a new dimension and to have more time to dedicate to my family.
These considerations induce me to the decision to pause my career.

I always put first the professional side of my job, honoring the efforts made by sponsors, such Lampre, Merida and all the other partner of the team: I really thank them for the trust they gave me in these marvelous years.

I feel it’s time to dedicate time for myself and to go in search for new spurs.

By now, I want to say goodbye to all the cycling fans, considering that maybe there will be the chance to come back some day to be part on the world that gave me so much, offering my experience to the new cycling generations.

I’d like to thank the team, the sponsors, the management, the staff and athletes and everyone that supported me during my career, confirming by now my availability to support, when necessary, my mates and the team with advices and my experience.
Your sincerely,
Alessandro Petacchi.”

Alessandro Petacchi wins Milan-San Remo 2005:

The Belgian National Team Tests the Courses of Toscana2013
The World champions keep on stopping over in Tuscany to test the courses of the next UCI Road World Championships; that from 22nd to 29th September will pass through Florence, Pistoia, Lucca, Montecatini Terme e Fiesole. After the inspections of the reigning champion Marianne Vos and the Australian Richie Porte, it is the turn of the Belgian National Team.

In fact yesterday and today the streets of the UCI Road World Championships Toscana2013 are hosting Jessie Daams, Liesbet De Vocht, Sean De Bie and Jasper Stuyven.

Supported by the federal coach Carlo Bomans (Elite Men and Junior Men), Ludwig Willems (Elite Women) Jean-Piere Dubois (Under 23), and former champions Andrea Tafi and Roberto Poggiali, last Tuesday the Belgian riders tested the street that goes from Montecatini Terme to San Baronto (Pistoia), and today will face the World Championships route that wind from Florence to Fiesole, including the fearful climb of Salviati Street that Marianne Vos compared to a typical wall of the Northern Classics and everyone has described as the crucial point of the next World Championships.
Thanks to Toscana2013 for the info.

Watch the photogallery at this link:

10 Week Cycling Training Plans for Novice, Intermediate and Advanced
Bringing indoor and outdoor cycling together for maximum results.

Press Release:
If you're anything like the Minions here at Sufferfest Studios, you're not afraid of hard work.

You're quite capable of getting on that bike and bashing yourself (and others) into the next time zone. We like that about you. Its endearing.

But, also like us, you're probably not that structured in your training.
Most times you're just making it up and hope that it all makes you faster.

Let's do better than that, shall we? Together with the expert team at Dig Deep Coaching, we're proud to present three, 10-week training programmes based on The Sufferfest videos for speed and power and outdoor riding for endurance.

Novice Plan: For new cyclists. Requires 4 days a week riding 4-6.5 hours a week.
Intermediate: For racers. Requires 5 days a week riding between 5-8 hours a week.
Advanced: For elite racers. 6 days a week riding 8-9 hours/week.

Our plans, which are downloadable, printable PDF documents, are $29.99/ea and tell you exactly what to do every day for 10 weeks. Kind of like an evil dictator (who really has your best interests at heart, of course), but in print form.

Our focus in creating these plans was to:
Help you make the most out of your limited time to train.
Work year-round. The plans incorporate both indoor and outdoor riding.
Get you results. Structured blocks of intensity and recovery build you up progressively.
Be easy-to-follow. Clear language and beautiful design make the plans a joy to follow (well, sort of: they'll still hurt.)
Give you the knowledge. What videos to ride, when and in what sequence. And when to get outside and what to do there.

Each plan is about 19 pages long and includes:
Introduction and definitions of the different effort and workout types.
Fitness test instructions so you can calculate your Functional Threshold Power (FTP).
A zone calculator sheet so you can map your FTP to power, heart rate and recommended perceived exertion zones.
An overview of the entire ten-week plan on one sheet.
Detailed weekly overviews with daily workouts, explanations, tips and space for notes.

Find out more about the plans and buy them here >>

Tour de France 100
A Photographic History of Cycling's Most Iconic Race
By Richard Moore

Press Release: First staged in 1903, the Tour de France lasts three weeks and takes its 200 competitors through over 3600km of varied terrain, including the high mountains of the Alps and Pyrenees.

The race is broken into stages, with the overall leader wearing the fabled yellow jersey. In Tour de France 100, Richard Moore celebrates 110 years of the Tour and anticipates the 100th race in 2013.

The tale of the Tour is told through a series of defining visual images from the race’s history, each accompanied by an illuminating essay that relates the story behind the picture.
Each chapter also includes images of heroes of the race from Octave Lapize and Eugène Christophe – the first man to wear the yellow jersey – to Eddy Merckx and Miguel Indurain – and most recently, Bradley Wiggins.

There are great rivalries – such as that between Fausto Coppi and Gino Bartali and more recently Greg LeMond and Bernard Hinault. There is also tragedy, including the death of Tom Simpson, and controversy, with the disgrace of record winner Lance Armstrong, stripped of his seven titles for doping.

Moments of high drama include the Tour’s mysteries, accidents and the stories behind numerous scandals and intrigue, all accompanied by enthralling and authoritative text that expands upon the superb imagery.

Richard Moore is a journalist, author, and former racing cyclist. He has competed in the Tour of Langkawi for Great Britain and the 1998 Commonwealth Games for Scotland. He has written for the The Guardian, The Sunday Times, The Daily Mail and The Scotsman. Richard’s first book In Search of Robert Millar won the Best Biography award at the 2008 British Sports Book Awards. His second, Heroes, Villains & Velodromes: Chris Hoy and Britain's Track Cycling Revolution, was published in June 2008. His latest book is The Dirtiest Race in History: Ben Johnson, Carl Lewis and the Olympic 100m Final.

Tour de France 100:
A Photographic History of Cycling’s Most Iconic Race By Richard Moore.
Published by Bloomsbury Sport 9th May 2013.
Hardback - £30.00.

Scotland’s Number One Launches British Cycling National Road Race Championships
Press Release: Scottish National Road Champion Kayleigh Brogan was in Glasgow today (24 April 2013) to help launch the British Cycling National Road Race Championships (NRRC) taking place in Glasgow from 20 to 23 June 2013.

Leader of Glasgow City Council Councillor Gordon Matheson, British Cycling Board Member Alasdair Maclennan, Scottish Cycling’s Chief Executive Craig Burn and Depute Provost John Campbell from East Ayrshire council were all on hand to show Kayleigh the route.

The NRRC is the highlight of the national Elite Road Racing calendar in the UK and attracts the biggest names in the sport such as Bradley Wiggins, Mark Cavendish and Lizzie Armitstead.

For the first time the championships will take place in an urban environment with the race weaving through the heart of the city. The road race course will feature elements of the proposed route for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.

Another first for the championships will be the inclusion of the National Time Trial Championship contested as part of the same weekend as the road race events. The Time Trial will run through East Ayrshire on Thursday 20 June.

Both the men’s and women’s races will take place on Sunday 23 June starting at Glasgow Green. The course will run through the city centre, taking in the world-renowned shopping hub of Buchanan Street, before carrying on to the west end of the city where it will pass through Glasgow’s beautiful Kelvingrove Park. The course will then circuit the west end before heading back towards the city centre and the finish at Glasgow Green.

As well as spectator areas at Glasgow Green there are many opportunities along the route for spectators to join in the fun and watch the action as it unfolds.

Against the backdrop of Glasgow’s streets, Britain’s top road cyclists and teams will be competing to get their hands on the coveted red, white and blue National Champions striped jersey. The shortlist of riders taking part will be announced in the fortnight prior to the event.

Councillor Gordon Matheson, Leader of Glasgow City Council, said: “Cycling has really grown in popularity recently with the success of British athletes at the London 2012 Olympic Games and the Tour de France. To get the chance to see world class cyclists competing here on our door step is great for Glasgow and Scotland.

“There will be a real buzz around the city that weekend and I hope that people will turn out to soak up the atmosphere and show their support. Businesses too can benefit from the increased number of visitors to the city.

“We are committed to bringing major sporting events to the city and developing sport at all levels. The new Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome at the Emirates Arena has already played host to the UCI Track Cycling World Cup and in August will welcome the next generation of cycling stars at the UCI Juniors World Track Cycling Championships.”

British Cycling Board Member Alasdair Maclennan, said: “Glasgow was the strongest of a number of exciting bids for to host the 2013 National Road Race championship, further cementing its reputation as a major cycling city after last years Track World Cup and with the Junior Track World champs in August. We’re certain that Glasgow will do a great job of delivering this, the latest major sporting event to be hosted in the city this year.”

Scottish Cycling’s Chief Executive, Craig Burn, added: “We are delighted that the British National Road Race and Time Trial Championships are coming to Glasgow and the surrounding area. It will give cycling fans all over Scotland the chance to see world class cycling stars in action on home soil, right in the heart of the city.”

“I have no doubt that world class events taking place in Scotland will aid the development of cycling in this country, by providing inspiration to our current riders and encourage spectators all over Scotland to try their hand at this fantastic sport.”

“Over the past ten years cycling in this country has gone from a minority pass time to become one of the UK’s fastest growing sports and right across Scotland and the UK we have seen a substantial growth in the number of people taking part in cycling. Here in Scotland we have seen a 109% increase in membership in the last four years.”

Paul Bush OBE, Chief Operating Officer for EventScotland, said: “Cycling is a hugely important part of Scotland’s annual sporting event portfolio and with the Glasgow Commonwealth Games on the horizon it is fitting that we will host the British Cycling National Road Race Championships this year. Scotland is the perfect stage for events, and the Championships will showcase Glasgow ahead of 2014, and promote live road cycling to a new city audience.”

Depute Provost John Campbell, East Ayrshire Council said: “East Ayrshire Council is absolutely delighted to be a part of this incredibly exciting event. Cycling has well and truly grasped the imagination thanks to the sterling efforts of our cyclists at London 2012 and, of course, Sir Bradley Wiggins winning last year’s Tour de France. “Stewarton will play host to the National Time Trial Championships and the streets of East Ayrshire will come alive as the best cyclists in the country compete for the winner’s jersey.”

Backstage Pass at Liège
Another great behind the scenes video from Orica-GreenEdge, this time from the 2013 Liège-Bastogne-Liège. We are introduced to the Pieter Weening fan club, the Sheriff buries a hatchet and Sky rider Richie Porte makes a cameo appearance.


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