TOP STORY: Is Spain Happy?
Most countries would be happy with two medals in the ‘Pro’ World road championships, but Spain feels cheated and worse; cheated by one of its own riders. All of the Spanish sports press on Monday morning printed their thoughts on the subject and agree that the Rainbow jersey should have been on Spanish shoulders. They each had a different angle, whose fault was it? No one said it was Joaquim “Purito” Rodriguez’s fault; he should have been the victor of the day.
If you believe Alejandro Valverde, he didn’t have the legs to follow Champion to be; Rui Costa. On the other hand you could listen to Spanish team manager Javier Minguez when he said “Joaquim raced fantastically well, but Valverde made a serious mistake. If Rui Costa goes for Purito, he has to go after him. If he had done that, he’d be in the rainbow jersey now. He should have chased down anything that moved; even the television motorbike.”
You can look at that statement in two ways, first he’s saying Valverde could have won the World championships if he had followed Costa or he could be saying Valverde made the mistake of following the wrong man and also he should have protected his team mate Purito.
Alejandro Valverde is not popular, forget his doping ban that he has never admitted to, just look at the way he has behaved in the past. Ask Samuel Sanchez about Salzburg 2006, he attacked to disarm the sprinters and then had to lead out Valverde, but Valverde had nothing left and the race was given to Bettini on a plate.
And what about poor Purito, did Valverde prefer to have a rider from another country in the Rainbow jersey than a fellow Spaniard, or as most people believe it just came down to Alejandro Valverde looking after…Alejandro Valverde. If Nibali had the legs to drag Valverde up to Costa and Rodriguez then the man from Murcia would be World champion, had he jumped on to the wheel of Costa he would have been World champion or the good team mate who stopped Costa from catching Rodriguez and maybe the Silver medal winner.
In the end it looks like he will go down in history as “the worst team mate of all time.” Or as someone else said “Alejandro Valverde, the cyclist who was never World champion and prevented others. No, Alejandro Valverde is not popular.”
It could be worse and have the result of the British team.
Just in case you missed it here is the road World’s highlights, the full eight and a half hour video is available on the UCI Channel:
Last year Diego Ulissi (Lampre-Merida) was 2nd in Milano-Torino behind Alberto Contador, this he went one place better for his fourth success of the season.
At the end of the 193.5 kilometres from the start in Settimo Milanese and the finish on Superga hill; Ulissi waited until the final 250 metres to attack, escaping from a 6 rider group for the win ahead of Rafa Majka (Saxo-Tinkoff) and Dani Moreno (Katusha).
Earlier in the race a breakaway of two; Jay Robert Thomson (MTN-Qhubeka) and Björn Thurau (Europcar) was brought back mostly by Movistar, then Durasek of Lampre raised the pace of the group on the first lap over Superga hill, followed by team mate Cunego, then it was Ulissi’s show time on the final climb to Superga.
Diego Ulissi explained his day: “Because of the bruises I got in the crashes I had occurred in during world championship, this morning my feelings were not so good,” Ulissi explained. “Anyway, during the race my condition got better and better, even if I was not at the top on the first passage on Superga hill.”
The Italian continued: “Then, I could approach the final climb to Superga in the best way, also thanks to the support of my team mates and especially by Durasek. So, in the final kilometre, I joined Pozzovivo and Majka who had escaped from our six men group, then I waited until I noticed that Moreno, Contador and Valverde were close to neutralize the gap: in that moment, I decided to anticipate everyone and so, at 250 metres, to go, I began the action that gave me the victory. Obtaining a victory on such top riders, just few days after world championship, is a huge satisfaction.”
Saxo-Tinkoff DS, Fabrizio Guidi said after the race: “With these guys on the start line it ‘s only natural to expect a good result and to go for the win and we came pretty close. The whole team did a good job first by catching the breakaway and afterwards several attacks by Rafal and Alberto on the final kilometres of the race. The result reveals that we’re ready to take on the final races of the season in good form and we will do what we can to get a similar or even better result in Giro di Lombardia,”
Andy Schleck didn’t start in Milano due to sinusitis and is preparing for the Tour of Lombardy on Sunday.
1. Diego Ulissi (Ita) Lampre-Merida in 4:21:02
2. Rafal Majka (Pol) Saxo-Tinkoff at 0:03
3. Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Katusha at 0:05
4. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Ag2r-La Mondiale at 0:07
5. Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Saxo-Tinkoff at 0:11
6. Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar at 0:15
7. Mauro Finetto (Ita) Vini Fantini-Selle Italia
8. Thomas Voeckler (Fra) Europcar
9. Matteo Rabottini (Ita) Vini Fantini-Selle Italia
10. Franco Pellizotti (Ita) Androni Giocattoli.
Here is the link on GazzettaTV.
No Samu for Lombardy
Samuel Sanchez will not start the Tour of Lombardy on Sunday due to his crash on lap 2 of the World Championships in Florence. He will have to have 15 days of rest as after an MRI on his left knee showed “traveculares non-displaced fractures, collateral ligament injury and hemarthrosis both with an atension that required atrocentesis, wound care and immobilization.” As to his future he commented “because I have two years left on this contract, everything is in the hands of my lawyers.”
2014 Giro d’Italia Route Rumours
The rumours coming out of Italy are that next year’s Giro will be crossing the Monte Carpegna and finish on the summits of the Oropa and the Montecampione. These three climbs pay tribute to Marco Pantani as the Carpegna was his training climb and the Oropa were he won Stage 14 in 1999 and the climb to the top of Montecampione were he battled out the Giro victory in 1998. The full 2014 Giro d’Italia course will be announced on Monday the 7th of October.
Giro d’Italia 2014 Official race promo:
Broken Ribs End Chris Horner’s Season
He might be the oldest Grand Tour winner, but if you land heavily on an Italian road during a rain soaked World Championships then you’ve got a good chance of breaking something. Vuelta a España champion Chris Horner is effectively ending his season after breaking ribs in a high speed crash at the World Championships last Sunday. Horner, who was one of many riders involved in a huge pile-up in the first lap of the road race, broke ribs on the back side of his body and will not be able to participate in the races he was scheduled to ride, most notably Il Lombardia and the Tour of Beijing.
Chris Horner: “Everything went well in the last couple of months, except for the World Championships. Broken ribs are really painful and I’ll be off the bike for at least two or three weeks. It’s sad that I can’t finish my season on a good note in Lombardy or China.”
Trek Signs More Riders
The new Trek team (the soon to be ex-RadioShack Leopard Trek team) has added three new riders to its roster. The van Poppel brothers; Boy and Danny from Vacansoleil-DCM and Fabio Felline from Androni Giocattoli. Boy van Poppel is the oldest of the brother and has been a Pro for 7 years, the younger van Poppel, Danny was the youngest rider in the WorldTour last year. Felline turn Pro in 2010 for Footon-Servetto, which became Geox-TMC, and rode for Androni Giocattoli last year. The team’s manager: Luca Guercilena said of their new signings: “The van Poppel brothers are very talented sprinters that have a big potential for the future. They are both still young and we believe that they can make a big progression with our team. Fabio Felline has already posted some nice results in the recent past. His capacities reach very wide and I’m curious and confident to see what he’s capable of with the support, program, and equipment that our team can offer him.”
No Sojasun in 2014
The French UCI ProContinental team Sojasun will stop at the end of this season according to L’Equipe on Monday. The team has received ‘Wing Card’ invitations to the Tour de France on three occasions and has had five victories in 2013. Team manager Stephane Heulot has been holding out to the last minute, but the money for next year has to be deposited by the 1st of October (last Tuesday). Heulot had been in negotiations with the NetApp-Endura team with hope of a merger between the two teams, in the end he pulled out when he realised NetApp-Endura only wanted five of the riders and Heulot himself.
Daniel to Ag2r-La Mondiale
Sojasun rider Maxime Daniel has signed a three year contract with Ag2r-La Mondiale. The 22 year old 1st year professional won a stage of the Tour of Portugal and had 3rd places in stages of the Tour del Mediterráneo and the Tour du Poitou-Charentes.
Farewell to Mikel Astarloza
Mikel Astarloza, the Euskaltel-Euskadi rider has announced his retirement after 22 years of racing, the last 12 years with the Pro’s. The Tour of Beijing next week will be his last race. Although he only won three races as a professional, he loved the Tour de France, riding it 9 times. In 2009 he tested positive for EPO, but always claimed his innocence. In an open letter he said: “While I only managed to raise the arms 3 times my greatest triumph has been to enjoy my profession and earn a living doing what I like, to pedal … It’s been a long journey in which I have made many friends, I have been too many places and carry with me many good memories.”
“It was the hardest decision I’ve had to make so far, but I turned 34 and I think it’s time to change your lifestyle. I will leave aside many things that I will surely miss, but ahead there are new life projects with the same enthusiasm as I have done so far.”
“I would not want to say goodbye without to thank everyone who have helped me in my career, family, friends, teammates, masseurs, mechanics, managers, journalists, organizers, fans and especially the town of San Pedro. Continue watching cycling and, of course, at the roadside …
A warm hug and see you soon!”
In San Pedro, the October 1, 2013
Mikel Astarloza Chaurrea.
Nieve to Sky
Ex-Euskaltel-Euskadi rider; Mikel Nieve has signed a two year contract with Team Sky. He still has a year left on his Basque contract, but as the team will stop at the end of the year he had been free to negotiate and Sky is where he will go. As the move, Nieve told El Diario de Navarra: I believe this change will suit me very well. It is the best team in the world and I believe I can progress as a rider.” He added: “I know that I am going to a team in which I am going to ride in a very different way and in which things are going to be very different all-round.” As to the team and riders he is leaving behind, “I’ve spent five years with these guys. I don’t know if all of them are going to find a team for next season. It’s not an easy situation; I wish them all the best of luck.”
Van Der Schueren Saves Two Teams
Hilaire Van Der Shueren has saved two teams, or what’s left of two teams. The Vacansoleil-DMC director sportif has taken over the Accent Jobs-Wanty team for next year with Wanty being the main sponsor along with a new sponsor that Van Der Schueren is bringing in. The team will be ProConti and will have around 20 to 25 riders, some from the Accent Jobs-Wanty team and some from Vacansoleil-DCM. Who the riders will be is not certain as yet, but there is still a long list of (so far) un-signed riders for 2014.
Telenet-Fidea till 2017
Belgian Continental team Telenet-Fidea have announced they will continue until at least 2017. The team is mostly based around cyclo-cross with two-time World cyclo-cross Champion Bart Wellens along with Tom Meeusen and Rob Peeters. Telenet-Fidea also has the woman’s, U23 and junior team’s which will also carry on.
Bart Wellens (in Flemish):
New Sponsor for Saxo?
Saxo-Tinkoff team manager Bjarne Riis has told bt.dk that he is in negotiation with a replacement sponsor for Tinkoff Bank for next year. He said “We are working to get the last details in place, and hopefully we will soon announce something concrete soon, but there are still some things that need to fall into place.” Fifteen riders have contracts with Riis Racing for next year and the team have only signed one new rider, leaving thirteen other riders unsure of their future.
Three New Rider’s for Caja Rural
Spanish team Caja Rural-Seguros RGA has signed three new riders for next year. Angel Madrazo from Movistar and under 23’s Antonio Molina and Fernando Grijalva. David Arroyo has renewed until 2015, plus Ruben Fernandez has a contract for 2014 has been offered a contract for 2015 and 2016. Italian Francesco Lasca had already signed till the end of 2015.
No Acevedo for OPQS
Jamis-Hagens Berman rider Janier Acevedo had verbally agreed to ride for the Belgian Omega Pharma – Quick-Step team in 2014, but it seems that is all now off. It appears that he might be with Garmin-Sharp instead. Apparently Acevedo had said things about the Belgian team and this caused a cooling of relations. This could leave a place free for Thomas De Gendt who was expecting to fill the last remaining place on the team taken by Jan Bakelants, or that place might now go to Basque climber Igor Anton.
Four Re-Sign for Argos-Shimano
Marcel Kittel, John Degenkolb, Simon Geschke and Tom Dumoulin have all re-signed for Argos-Shimano for a further two years, except Dumoulin for one. Kittel has had his best year with four Tour de France stages and has big plans: “I want to develop into one of the best sprinters in the world, working with this team. I made my start as a professional here, and I am firmly convinced that the team will be able to help me develop further in the future. I didn’t hesitate to extend because in this team I have found the environment that I want for my sport. It is important to me to be fully supported in promoting a clean and sustainable sport.” John Degenkolb said: “I feel at home and very comfortable in this team, it’s great to see how everyone really works together and sacrifices themselves for a common goal, building toward the future of cycling.”
Argos-Shimano Women’s Team
Kirsten Wild and Lucy Garner have re-signed with Argos-Shimano for 2014 and in the case of Garner 2015 too. The team have also taken on three other riders: Maaike Polspoel, Floortje Mackaij and Kyara Stijns on two year contracts. Polspoel has been riding for Sengers Ladies Cycling Team, Mackaij and Stijns are both 17 years old.
Team Argos-Shimano InsideOut training day:
Europcar Wants to be in the WorldTour
The French ProConti team has applied to the UCI for a WorldTour licence for 2014. Europcar manager Jean-René Bernaudeau told Sudoust.fr “We’ve received confirmation of receipt (of the application) and we just have to wait for the decision. Our sponsor would love to take part in all of the big races, and especially the Vuelta.” The French team has always received a “Wild Card” invitation to their home Grand Tour, but never any others since 2010. Due to the loss of Euskaltel-Euskadi and Vacansoleil-DCM from the top rung of the sports ladder and the WorldTour returning to 18 places there is a place left for Europcar (including Katusha). If the team is successful they say they will hire new riders. Bernaudau commented that he would add to his present 22 riders “if we move up to the WorldTour, I’d take on three more.”
Europcar in Up and Coming Races
Eurometropole Tour/Circuit Franco Belge (3-6/10/2013):
Sébastien Chavanel, Jérome Cousin, Damien Gaudin, Tony Hurel, Christophe Kern, Julien Morice, Alexandre Pichot and Sébastien Turgot.
Directeur Sportif: Dominique Arnould.
Tour de Vendee (6/10/2013):
Anthony Charteau, Bryan Coquard, Romain Guillemois, Pierre-Henri Lecuisinier, Bryan Nauleau, Alexandre Pichot, Perrig Quemeneur, Kévin Reza.
Directeur Sportif: Ismaël Mottier.
Il Lombardia (6/10/2013):
Natnaél Berhane, Giovanni Bernaudeau, Cyril Gautier, Vincent Jerome, Davide Malacarne, Björn Thurau, Angélo Tulik, Thomas Voeckler.
Directeur Sportif: Andy Flickinger.
Sébastien Chavanel, Jérome Cousin, Romain Guillemois, Tony Hurel, Christophe Kern, Brian Nauleau, Julien Morice.
Directeur Sportif: Dominique Arnould.
IOC Receives Armstrong’s Bronze Medal
It has been confirmed by the International Olympic Committee that they have received Lance Armstrong’s 2000 Olympic Bronze medal that he was stripped of due to his admitted drug taking. The medal has not been awarded to the fourth placed Abraham Olano.
2000 Olympic Games Men’s Time Trial Sydney:
Racing in Belgium and Italy Awaits for MTN
Press Release: Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung returns to racing this week with Milano-Torino (1.HC) and Tour de l’Eurométropole (2.1) starting on Thursday. The races are part of the final European program for 2013 and being used as a build up to the last major events of the season, Il Lombardia and Paris Tours.
Sergio Pardilla will captain the team in Milano-Torino and will be backed up by Louis Meintjes after recently winning the silver medal in the world under 23 road race championships. Jacques Janse van Rensburg, Meron Russom, Tsgabu Grmay, Songezo Jim, Ignatas Konovalovas and Jay Thomson form part of the strong line up for the team.
“I took a look at the profile and I watched last year’s race on the internet when [Alberto] Contador won and I think it’s a good race for me and Louis,” Pardilla said. “I think we have a good team now for these last races. My feeling is good after Tour of Britain. I was home for a week taking it easy and now I am ready to go again. I think Louis is a really good rider and his performance is very good. Second in the world championships is fantastic, it’s a big and important race. I think in Milano-Torino he can be in the front group and even if he doesn’t win now I think it’s really good experience for him and next year we will see him winning races.”
Tour de l’Eurométropole is a four-stage event starting on Thursday. The team will send seven riders who are eager to finish the season on a high. Bradley Potgieter was a last minute withdrawal from the race after breaking his collarbone in training. The composition of the team will include Andreas Stauff, Johann van Zyl, Gerald Ciolek, Kristian Sbaragli, Martin Reimer, Martin Wesemann and Youcef Reguigui.
“This is will the next race after Tour of Britain,” Ciolek said. “To be honest the season is getting long now but we have important races coming up so we’re keeping the motivation high. We have goals for the last week. We got a wild card for Paris-Tours and we need to use this opportunity to get a good result. Eurométropole is a typical Belgian race. There aren’t that many cobbles but the racing won’t be easy. The guys are in great shape and we have riders like Martin [Reimer] and Andy Stauff who could pull off a surprise.”
Milano-Torino (Italy) – (October 2 / 1.HC): Jacques Janse van Rensburg (RSA), Louis Meintjes (RSA), Tsgabu Grmay (ETH), Songezo Jim (RSA), Ignatas Konovalovas (LTU), Jay Thomson, Meron Russom (ERI), Sergio Pardilla (SPA).
Tour de l’Eurométropole (Belgium) – (October 3-6 / UCI 2.1) Andreas Stauff (GER), Johann van Zyl (RSA), Gerald Ciolek (GER), Kristian Sbaragli (ITA), Martin Reimer (GER), Martin Wesemann (RSA) and Youcef Reguigui (ALG).
Singing in the Rain!
This video from the World Championships was filmed from the Shimano service car. Lots of rain, crashes and suffering…Classic!
The PEZ NEWSWIRE!
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