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EuroTrash Giro d’Italia Thursday!
Giro'14: Sure, everyone's all smiley and buddy-buddy at the pre-race press conference, but come Friday, that'll change. The 2014 Giro d’Italia is in countdown mode and we have wall to wall ‘Fight for Pink’ from Belfast in today’s EuroTrash. It’s not all Giro as we also have race news from the 4 Jours de Dunkerque, Azerbaijan and The Woman’s Tour, plus catch up with Alberto Contador, the USA Pro Challenge, a new Marco Pantani film and the last round of the Orica v Sky battle. Un caffè grande per avere più forza!


TOP STORY: The PEZ Giro d’Italia!
It’s that time of the year again and the Pez’s favourite Grand Tour, the man himself can’t make the trip to Europe this spring, but it’s all hands on deck for full a coverage for the ‘Fight for Pink’. Gord, Ale and Steve will be Roadside, Ed will be chasing riders for interviews and there will be Race Reports on every stage. If you miss any action you can catch up in EuroTrash with reports, results, comments and video, plus any other team news will be in NEWSWIRE. Bring it on!

Click here to read Ed’s 2014 Giro d’Italia preview.

The 2014 Giro d’Italia Route:




4 Jours de Dunkerque/Tour du Nord-pas-de-Calais 2014
A hectic day in the windswept Northern France created havoc in the peloton that split into two big pieces in the crosswinds during Stage 1 of 4 Jours de Dunkerque. The stage was won by the talented young French sprinter Arnaud Démare of FDJ.fr from Ramon Sinkeldam (Giant-Shimano) and Yannick Martinez (Europcar) after 163 kilometres.

Manuele Boaro (Tinkoff-Saxo) established the early breakaway together with three other riders. He managed to win the mountain’s jersey by doing well in the hilly mid-stage section before the breakaway was dragged in by a pursuing peloton. Sylvain Chavanel (IAM Cycling) tried unsuccessfully to to take the win in a late solo attack, but was hunted down with just two kilometres to go. FDJ controlled the peloton, but Giant-Shimano launched a massive lead-out. But Démare came through for his second win of the season since Qatar in mid-February.

Tinkoff-Saxo had four riders in the first group – a number that pleases DS Tristan Hoffman. “Today was really windy. Mørkøv, Valgren, Kump and Hansen finished in the front group. This is important for the upcoming stages and it means that we have different tactical possibilities for the overall classification”, says Hoffman after the riders crossed the finish line. “After the hilly section the riders hit the cross-wind on the flat roads. The peloton was ripped apart and the front group quickly caught the breakaway due to a very high pace. The second group crossed the line with a deficit of 12 minutes after the two groups had fought for 100 kilometres. So it’s sure to say that on a day like this, where Northern France shows itself from its most demanding side, it always gets was very tough.”

4 Jours de Dunkerque Stage 1 Result:
1. Arnaud Demare (Fra) FDJ.fr 3:49:32
2. Ramon Sinkeldam (Ned) Team Giant-Shimano
3. Yannick Martinez (Fra) Team Europcar
4. Kenneth Van Bilsen (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise
5. Sam Bennett (Irl) Team NetApp-Endura
6. Matteo Pelucchi (Ita) IAM Cycling
7. Samuel Dumoulin (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
8. Nikias Arndt (Ger) Team Giant-Shimano
9. Maxime Vantomme (Bel) Roubaix Lille Metropole
10. Roger Kluge (Ger) IAM Cycling.

4 Jours de Dunkerque Overall After Stage 1:
1. Arnaud Demare (Fra) FDJ.fr in 3:49:32
2. Ramon Sinkeldam (Ned) Giant-Shimano
3. Yannick Martinez (Fra) Europcar
4. Kenneth Van Bilsen (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise
5. Sam Bennett (Irl) NetApp-Endura
6. Matteo Pelucchi (Ita) IAM Cycling
7. Samuel Dumoulin (Fra) Ag2r-La Mondiale
8. Nikias Arndt (Ger) Giant-Shimano
9. Maxime Vantomme (Bel) Roubaix Lille Metropole
10. Roger Kluge (Ger) IAM Cycling.

Stage 1:




Tour of Azerbaijan 2014
The Dutch rider Kenny Van Hummel (Androni-Venezuela) won the first stage of Tour of Azerbaijan (UCI 2.1) at the end of the 154 kilometres from Baku to Sumgayit, and he is the first race leader.

Klemen Stimulak (Adria Mobil), Youcef Reguigui (MTN-Qhubeka), Luis Mas (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA) and Mykhaylo Kononenko (Kolss) were part of an early break, but was caught before the sprint.

Tour of Azerbaijan Stage 1 Result:
1. Kenny Robert Van Hummel (Ned) Androni-Venezuela in 3:46:38
2. Vitaliy Buts (Ukr) Kolss
3. Davide Vigano (Ita) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
4. Maxim Averin (Ukr) Baku
5. Youcef Reguigui (Alg) MTN-Qhubeka
6. Matej Mugerli (Slo) Adria Mobil
7. Yuriy Metlushenko (Ukr) Konya Torku Şeker Spor
8. Dmytro Krivtsov (Ukr) ISD Continental Team
9. Peio Bilbao (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
10. Radoslav Rogina (Cro) Adria Mobil.

Tour of Azerbaijan Overall After Stage 1:
1. Kenny Robert Van Hummel (Ned) Androni-Venezuela in 3:46:38
2. Vitaliy Buts (Ukr) Kolss
3. Davide Vigano (Ita) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
4. Maxim Averin (Ukr) Baku
5. Youcef Reguigui (Alg) MTN-Qhubeka
6. Matej Mugerli (Slo) Adria Mobil
7. Yuriy Metlushenko (Ukr) Konya Torku Şeker Spor
8. Dmytro Krivtsov (Ukr) ISD Continental Team
9. Peio Bilbao (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
10. Radoslav Rogina (Cro) Adria Mobil.

2014 Tour of Azerbaijan Promo:




The Women’s Tour 2014
Emma Johansson scored her fourth win of the season, sprinting to victory on the opening stage of the inaugural Friends Life Women’s Tour. The Swedish all-rounder edged out World Champion Marianne Vos (Rabobank-Liv) in a hotly contested field sprint to pull on the yellow leader’s jersey in Northampton. Johansson will head into the second stage of the five day British tour with a 4” advantage over Vos.

“I didn’t believe it at first,” admitted Johansson. “I was on Marianne’s wheel, and when I could come around her, I thought: ‘Wow, I’m actually going to beat her in a sprint.’ Marianne has a really good sprint, so I was quite surprised. I can sprint obviously – especially when it’s been technical or hard or cold like it was today. Still, I can hardly believe it.”

“I love it here!,” Johansson added. “I made my good memory in England today. Hopefully this is just the first one.”

Massive crowds turned out to cheer on the women’s peloton as they set off to start the Friends Life Women’s Tour. Sidewalk space was at a premium in Oundle as locals jostled for a roadside spot. The scene was goosebump-inducing.

“We’re not used to crowds like this at women’s only events,” said Johansson. “It was really amazing at the start and the finish and all the towns on the course. It seemed like every school brought the kids out to the race. I loved it.”

“We were all extremely impressed,” Sport Director Martin Barras confirmed. “The response from the public was incredible. I commented quite a few times that I felt like we were the Beatles while I was driving in the race caravan. People, especially the school groups, were jumping and cheering and waving flags as we came by, and just by responding with a toot of the horn to show our appreciation, the noise level would increase noticeably.”

“It’s a fantastic feeling,” Barras added. “Everyone is talking about it – the riders, the staff, everyone associated with the race. We’ve all been craving this for many, many years, and it’s great to see this sort of endorsement from the local communities. We want to thank Sweet Spot and the race organisation for providing all of us with the opportunity to show that the interest in women’s cycling is real. Hopefully it paves the way for other races to follow the same mold.”

ORICA-AIS took a slightly conservative approach to the stage. Traditionally the protagonists, the Australian outfit elected to leave other teams to animate the action. Rather than throw down attacks, they would respond to any dangerous moves.

“We all sat down before the race and discussed our tactics,” said Barras. “The idea was that we would let the teams that had the pressure to perform feel that pressure. We were keen to manage the situation to alleviate any responsibility or pressure that we felt in the interest of the opportunities this would create for us later.”

“This plan worked out really well – almost too well – because Emma ended up winning the race,” said Barras. “No one is going to sit here and complain about winning a stage in a big tour like this one, but it certainly puts us in a position where we can no longer take advantage of the expectations on other teams and riders. Expectations now fall on us.”

The first hint of action on stage one came on the opening YodelDirect Sprint. Until that point, the peloton had been unusually quiet. The bonus seconds (3”-2”-1”) on offer at each of the two daily intermediate sprints incentivized the peloton into action. Ellen van Dijk (Boels-Dolmans) won the first sprint, taking three bonus seconds, ahead of Johansson and Vos.

“I felt really good in the first intermediate sprint,” said Johansson. “It was actually a bit weird. There was a sign for one kilometre and a sign for 500 metres, and I think we all thought there would be another sign before the finish. There wasn’t, so nobody actually really sprinted. The lead-out trains were still at the front, which is why Ellen took it. She was meant to lead-out Lizzie [Armitstead] (Boels-Dolmans).”

Rossella Ratto (Estado de México-Faren Kuota) launched the first significant breakaway attempt between the initial intermediate sprint and the first Strava Queen of the Mountain. She stretched out her advantage to nearly a minute before the bunch closed the gap, overtaking her with 50 kilometres left to race.

“It was quite windy but a lot of the course was reasonably sheltered,” noted Barras. “It was also clear from the outset that most of the race would be done with a headwind, which greatly reduced the chances for breakaways and attacks. It certainly dictated the sort of tactics we saw today.”

The peloton stayed together until they hit Althrop Estate. The narrow roads and rough pavement put the peloton under pressure. The bunch split, and Elise Delzenne (Specialized-lululemon) went on the attack. She remained up the road for the second YodelDirect Sprint, scooping up the bonus seconds for first across the line.

“Coming into the second sprint, Marianne attacked,” recalled Johansson. “She came in really early. I jumped to follow, but I lost my SRM, so I sort of lost focus for a minute, which meant that I didn’t get any seconds in that one. I actually had to dig deep just to stay with her and Lizzie. I was afraid they were going to try to ride away.”

Neither Vos nor Armitstead made a move at that point in the race. Instead, they sent their teammates to the front to chase down Delzenne, who had 45” in hand over the second QOM. Rabobank-Liv and Boels-Dolmans collaborated at the front, reeling Delzenne back just past the two kilometre to go mark.

“Coming into the final, Nettie [Edmondson] found me,” Johansson explained. “She was looking after me until Loes [Gunnewijk] came up the side and shouted at me. I jumped to her wheel. When an Astana rider attacked, Loes went after her.”

“I tried to make myself as small as possible so I took only a little wind,” Johansson added. “After the one kilometre banner, it turns right and then left. Loes cut the corner, so we were the first two through. I knew Loes couldn’t go anymore at some point, and I needed to ready for whatever would come from behind me.”

“Ellen came up on the left side,” Johansson continued. “I told Loes to go left but Ellen was a bit faster, so it was Ellen and Lizzie and then Loes and me. I came off Loes’ wheel and onto Lizzie’s wheel at the 500 metre mark.”

Armitstead was the first to open the sprint. The British National Champion jumped 450 metres from the line. Johansson stuck onto her wheel.

“I was like: ‘Whoa! That’s really early.’ because the finish was uphill and into a headwind,” Johansson explained. “I think she must have been really excited. Marianne came up and past Lizzie, so I got onto her wheel. I actually had to sit down and then stand up again. I was fighting next to her all the way to the line.”

Johansson edged out Vos for the stage win. Briton Hannah Barnes (UnitedHealthcare) rounded out the podium. The trio occupy the same top three spots on the general classification with Vos at 4” and Barnes at 8”.

“It’s really nice to see so many strong riders out there,” said Johansson. “To win bike races these days is not easy. You have to fight really hard for every win. Teams are riding really tactically and have more than one card to play. I think the peloton as a whole is stronger than it’s ever been.”

“The whole team was really good today,” said Johansson. “Everyone was present. Everyone rode next to each and communicated really well. We didn’t attack, but that wasn’t the plan. We wanted to have a crack at the intermediate sprints, which was exactly what we did.”
Thanks to the Orica-AIS team for the race info.

The Women’s Tour Stage 1 Result:
1. Emma Johansson (Swe) Orica-AIS in 2:28:29
2. Marianne Vos (Ned) Rabo Liv
3. Hannah Barnes (GB) UnitedHealthcare
4. Trixi Worrack (Ger) Specialized Lululemon
5. Giorgia Bronzini (Ita) Wiggle Honda
6. Lucy Garner (GB) Great Britain
7. Elena Cecchini (Ita) Estado de Mexico Faren
8. Lizzie Armitstead (GB) Boels Dolmans
9. Amy Pieters (Ned) Netherlands
10. Tiffany Cromwell (Aus) Specialized Lululemon.

The Women’s Tour Overall After Stage 1:
1. Emma Johansson (Swe) Orica AIS in 2:28:17
2. Marianne Vos (Ned) Rabo Liv at 0:04
3. Hannah Barnes (GB) UnitedHealthcare at 0:08
4. Ellen Van Dijk (Ned) Boels Dolmans at 0:09
5. Elise Delzenne (Fra) Specialized Lululemon
6. Lizzie Armitstead (GB) Boels Dolmans at 0:10
7. Trixi Worrack (Ger) Specialized Lululemon at 0:12
8. Giorgia Bronzini (Ita) Wiggle Honda
9. Lucy Garner (GB) Great Britain
10. Elena Cecchini (Ita) Estado de Mexico Faren.

The Women’s Tour Promo:




giro_header
Giro d’Italia News:
As you know the Giro d’Italia starts tomorrow (Friday) in Belfast, but not all riders are confirmed due to the British embassy not issuing visas for some of the Russian and Colombian riders. We will publish a confirmed list in the ‘NEWSWIRE’ section as soon as we get one.

For now, these are the confirmed riders and video’s of the main contenders:
Ag2r-La Mondiale: Domenico Pozzovivo, Davide Appollonio, Julien Bérard, Maxime Bouet, Axel Domont, Hubert Dupont, Patrick Gretsch, Matteo Montaguti and Alexis Vuillermoz.
Androni-Giocattoli: Franco Pellizotti, Marco Bandiera, Manuel Belletti, Marco Frapporti, Yonder Godoy, Johnny Hoogerland, Jackson Rodriguez, Diego Rosa and Emanuele Sella.
Bardiani – CSF Pro Team: Enrico Barbin, Enrico Battaglin, Nicola Boem, Manuel Bongiorno, Sonny Colbrelli, Marco Canola, Stefano Pirazzi, Edoardo Zardini and Nicola Ruffoni.
Belkin Pro Cycling Team: Wilco Kelderman, Steven Kruijswijk, Jetse Bol, Jos van Emden, Rick Flens, Marc Goos, Martijn Keizer, David Tanner and Maarten Tjallingii.
BMC Racing Team: Cadel Evans, Samuel Sanchez, Brent Bookwalter, Yannick Eijssen, Ben Hermans, Steve Morabito, Daniel Oss, Manuel Quinziato and Danilo Wyss.
Cannondale: Ivan Basso, Elia Viviani, Moreno Moser, Daniele Ratto, Oscar Gatto, Paolo Longo Borghini, Alan Marangoni, Davide Villella and Michel Koch.
Colombia: Fabio Duarte, Edwin Avila, Robinson Chalapud, Leonardo Duque, Jarlinson Pantano, Carlos Julian Quintero, Jeffry Romero, Miguel Angel Rubiano and Rodolfo Torres.
Europcar: Pierre Rolland, Yukiya Arashiro, Angelo Tulik, Tony Hurel, Perrig Quemeneur, Davide Malacarne, Méderel Maxime, Romain Sicard and Björn Thurau.
FDJ.fr: Nacer Bouhanni, Sébastien Chavanel, Arnaud Courteille, Murillo Fischer, Alexandre Geniez, Johan Le Bon, Francis Mourey, Laurent Pichon and Jussi Veikkanen.
Garmin-Sharp: Andre Cardoso, Thomas Dekker, Tyler Farrar, Koldo Fernandez, Nathan Haas, Ryder Hesjedal, Dan Martin, Dylan Van Baarle and Fabian Wegmann.
Giant-Shimano: Bert de Backer, Simon Geschke, Marcel Kittel, Tobias Ludvigsson, Luka Mezgec, Georg Preidler, Tom Stamsnijder, Albert Timmer and Tom Veelers.
Katusha Team: Joaquim Rodríguez, Maxim Belkov, Giampaolo Caruso, Vladimir Gusev, Alberto Losada, Daniel Moreno, Luca Paolini, Eduard Vorganov and Angel Vicioso.

Fight for Pink: Giro d’Italia 2014 protagonists #1


Lampre-Merida: Anacona Winner, Matteo Bono, Mattia Cattaneo, Damiano Cunego, Roberto Ferrari, Przemyslaw Niemiec, Manuele Mori, Jan Polanc and Diego Ulissi.
Lotto-Belisol: Maxime Monfort, Sander Armee, Lars Bak, Kenny Dehaes, Gert Dockx, Adam Hansen, Tosh Van der Sande, Tim Wellens and Dennis Vanendert.
Movistar Team: Nairo Quintana, Jonathan Castroviejo, Andrey Amador, José Herrada, Adriano Malori, Eros Capecchi, Gorka Izaguirre, Igor Anton and Fran Ventoso.
Neri Sottoli: Mauro Finetto, Matteo Rabottini, Simone Ponzi, Francesco Chicchi, Daniele Colli, Jonathan Monsalve, Andrea Fedi, Ramón Carretero and Giorgio Cecchinel.
Omega Pharma – Quick-Step: Rigoberto Uran, Gianluca Brambilla, Thomas De Gendt, Iljo Keisse, Serge Pauwels, Alessandro Petacchi, Wout Poels, Pieter Serry and Julien Vermote.
Orica-GreenEDGE: Brett Lancaster, Cameron Meyer, Ivan Santaromita, Luke Durbridge, Michael Hepburn, Michael Matthews, Mitch Docker, Pieter Weening and Svein Tuft.
Sky: Edvald Boasson Hagen, Dario Cataldo, Philip Deignan, Bernhard Eisel, Sebastian Henao, Pete Kennaugh, Salvatore Puccio, Kanstantsin Siutsou and Ben Swift.
Trek Racing Factory: Robert Kiserlovski, Giacomo Nizzolo, Julian Arredondo, Riccardo Zoidl, Fabio Felline, Danilo Hondo, Eugenio Alafaci, Fumy Beppu and Boy Van Poppel.
Tinkoff-Saxo: Rafal Majka, Nicolas Roche, Michael Rogers, Chris Anker Sørensen, Pawel Poljanski, Evgeny Petrov, Ivan Rovny, Jay McCarthy and Christopher Juul-Jensen.

Fight for Pink: Giro d’Italia 2014 protagonists #2



In Belfast, Pink Fever is Growing
Expected contenders talk at pre-race press conference

Precisely 48 hours before the 97th Giro d’Italia starts, in front Titanic Belfast at 17.50 on Friday, the expected protagonists spoke to the world’s press in the Top Riders press conference. The following likely protagonists contributed:

Nairo Quintana (Movistar): “For the first time ever, there are two Colombians here as favourites, which is a cause of national celebration. But I think everyone sitting here has almost equal conditions to win the Giro. The race will put us all in our place.”

Joaquín Rodríguez (Katusha): “There are only 6 riders here because the table is too small for all the others. There are stages for everyone, and I think it will be a very open, very entertaining race, of a very high sporting standard.”

Michele Scarponi (Astana): “Astana comes to the Giro with a team that hopes to be competitive on all fronts. I’m the captain, but there’s also Fabio Aru, who is very talented and will one day be a rider who can do well in Grand Tours. He won’t just be a support rider: he’ll have chances to ride for himself too.”

RIgoberto Urán (Omega Pharma – Quick-Step): “The Irish stages will be very important to the overall outcome: they are complicated , windy and cold and it is consistency that wins Grand Tours.”

Nicholas Roche (Tinkoff-Saxo): “I’ve been looking forward to this moment for many months. I’m super-excited to be here, and to get going after such a long wait. There’s no great advantage in being the homeboy, but I’m sure it’s going to be a great event starting tomorrow with presentations.”

Dan Martin (Garmin-Sharp): “This is big goal of my season and I’m here to do the best possible. I’ll take it day by day before I know whether I’m riding for the General Classification or for stage wins.”

Cadel Evans (BMC): “This is my first time in Northern Ireland, and it’s going to be every interesting. The wind is going to be a factor, making these days when we GC contenders must try not to lose time, rather than thinking about gaining time.”

Of the sprinters and stage hunters, the following also attended:
Marcel Kittel (Giant-Shimano): “I’m now in the second phase of my season now. I want to be good here, I’m looking forward to my first Giro start so that I can get some experience of this race and, with the team around me, I’m very confident that we can do good things.”

Nacer Bouhanni (FDJ.fr): “To win the sprints, you need a good team to keep you at the front in the crucial moments. I’ve yet to win a Grand Tour stage, and I hope that this will be the opportunity.”

Ben Swift (Sky): “I’ve only known I’ll be riding for about 2 weeks, but I’m coming off the back of some decent form, so it’s a good opportunity to use this form and see what we can come up with.”

Moreno Moser (Cannondale): “There’s a lot of interest in me, because it’s 30 years since my uncle [Francesco Moser] won the Giro d’Italia. Honestly, I’m not even thinking about it. I’m happy to be at the start of the Giro d’Italia and I’ll play my cards as best I can.”

Diego Ulissi (Lampre-Merida): “Everyone knows who the favourites are. The team captains are Cunego and Niemiec for the General Classification. My goal is to win at least a stage.”

The team presentation will take place tonight (Thursday) at 1800 hours local time, at Belfast City Hall in Donegall Square.

giro_stars


Tinkoff-Saxo Target Giro GC
Friday the 9th of May, this year’s first Grand Tour, Giro d’Italia is launched with the toughest discipline in the world of cycling – a team time trial. 21.7 kilometres of pure acid-burning pain to get things started in Belfast. Then another two stages in Belfast and Dublin before the entire peloton is transported to the homeland of the Giro. In Italy, two individual time trials, 8 sprinter stages and no less than 9 stages with uphill finishes await the riders, caravan and spectators. No matter if you’re racing, a fan or spectator on the road, it’s going to be a spectacular 2014 Giro d’Italia.

Tinkoff-Saxo will be on the start ramp with two captains, Rafal Majka and Nicolas Roche: ”Our main goal is to make a GC result with either Rafa or Nico. Our secondary goal is to win a stage in case an opportunity occurs. All way through the race, we will focus on supporting our leaders in order to make a Top-5 GC result. With Michael (Rogers) back in the group, we have a strong and experienced road captain, which is crucial during both the first chaotic stages as well as in the long run to keep focused. Going into the 3rd week of the race, we will face five very important mountain stages, where the GC will be battled out and we’ll see who has more fuel left in the tank,” says Tinkoff-Saxo DS, Lars Michaelsen.

Irishman and home ground favourite, Nicolas Roche says: “I have been through a very hard altitude training camp with the team for the Giro and we just finished Tour de Romandie to brush off our shape. I feel ready and naturally, I’m extremely motivated to do the Giro on home soil. The home ground launch is the bonus to me. I can’t wait to get a feel of the buzz that the Giro has created in Ireland over the last few months. It’s a huge deal for the Irish fans, Irish cycling and it’s a huge deal for me,” said Tinkoff-Saxo’s Nicolas Roche.

The Tinkoff-Saxo line-up: Rafal Majka, Nicolas Roche, Michael Rogers, Chris Anker Sørensen, Pawel Poljanski, Evgeny Petrov, Ivan Rovny, Jay McCarthy and Christopher Juul-Jensen.


Team Garmin-Sharp Announces 2014 Giro d’Italia Roster
Team Garmin-Sharp today announced its much-anticipated 2014 roster. The squad is headlined by former Giro champion, Ryder Hesjedal, and Dan Martin.

Charly Wegelius, Director of Team Garmin-Sharp, said: “We will go to the Giro with two GC leaders – Ryder Hesjedal and Dan Martin. Ryder already has the experience of winning a Giro, while Dan will have his first full out effort at GC in a three–week race. This will be an important experience for Dan, and he is in the very fortunate position of having Ryder by his side. We will also bring Tyler Farrar, who hopes to build on a strong spring Classics season. The rest of the team is a great blend of experience and youth, with neo pro Dylan Van Baarle having his first experience of a Grand Tour, which we hope will help lay the foundation for a bright future.”

Jonathan Vaughters, CEO of Slipstream Sports and Team Garmin-Sharp added: “Charly Wegelius is an outstanding DS and has led us to one Giro victory. I’m sure his leadership and intelligence can help us achieve a high level of success yet again, and we have a strong team to be able to do that.”

Team Garmin-Sharp 2014 Giro d’Italia Roster:
Andre Cardoso, Thomas Dekker, Tyler Farrar, Koldo Fernandez, Nathan Haas, Ryder Hesjedal, Dan Martin, Dylan Van Baarle, Fabian Wegmann.


Lotto Belisol Leader Maxime Monfort Talks about his Giro Ambitions
Lotto Belisol goes to the Giro with Maxime Monfort as leader. He will battle along for a top ten place in GC. It’s Monfort’s second Giro, his eleventh Grand Tour. Two days before the start Maxime talks about his ambitions and his preparation.

Top 10 would be an excellent performance
Maxime Monfort: “Getting a top ten place in the Giro would be a very good result. In 2011 I became sixth in the Vuelta, that was unexpected. But I’m realistic; achieving a top ten isn’t easy. Finishing in top fifteen would be a good performance, finishing in top ten would be an excellent performance. It all depends on the opponents, the course and of course my own form. I did everything to stand well at the start. This season I haven’t been ill or injured either.”

Tight schedule
“In the Vuelta of 2011 and 2012 I could ride for the GC, but I’ve grown since then. This is also the first time I had a tight schedule to prepare myself for a Grand Tour. This is my eleventh year as a pro and for seven years I’ve been working on a scientific basis. I train for example with the SRM-system, which helps me gather useful info. I have the experience and know my body.”

The preparation
“After Paris-Nice I started the preparation for the Giro. Because of the weather it’s difficult to train in the Italian mountains, but I did simulations of climbs during my trainings. I slept in a tent that simulates sleeping on height. The Vuelta al País Vasco and Tour de Romandie were part of my preparation. Until Saturday I stood around the fifteenth place in GC of Romandie, but a mechanical problem made me lose much time.”

The final week is the most important
“The first two Giro weeks there’s a team time trial, an individual time trial and two mountain stages, but the last week is the most important one. Almost every day a change in GC can take place. You have to make sure that you can still handle the succession of stages. Evans, Pozzovivo, Rodriguez and Quintana are the contenders for the pink jersey according to me. Behind them there are about twenty riders who can play along for a place in top ten like Kiserlovski, Majka, Dan Martin, Roche and Uran. It’s up to me to measure myself against them. You need to be explosive to win a stage and I’m not. But never say never. Who knows I can join a break and get result. On top of that I have a good team around me.”


Giant-Shimano Giro Preview
The 97th Giro d’Italia gets underway this Friday with a 21.7km team time trial around Belfast, Northern Ireland.

The following 20 stages present plenty of opportunities for Team Giant-Shimano in both sprints and also the more opportunistic stages with a versatile team looking for both stage results and also for a step forward in their development as riders.

The full line-up for the 97th Giro d’Italia is: Bert de Backer (BEL), Simon Geschke (GER), Marcel Kittel (GER), Tobias Ludvigsson (SWE), Luka Mezgec (SLO), Georg Preidler (AUT), Tom Stamsnijder (NED), Albert Timmer (NED) and Tom Veelers (NED).

Marcel Kittel (GER)
“I think that the route this year is good for me as a sprinter given the different opportunities for bunch finishes so I am happy about that and am looking forward to getting going. I am confident about the early flat stages here in Ireland and want to get the race off to a good start for the team. The Tour de Romandie proved a good race to prepare for the Giro, even if the climbs ended up being a bit too hard to race for a bunch sprint. But it was a tough workout and was also a good way to get working as a team. I am confident about the line-up that we have here, especially for the sprints as there’s good support for not just myself but for Luka also. Then there’s also other guys who can do well on harder stages. I think if we don’t come away with some good results it will not be because of a lack of strength in the team.”

Tobias Ludvigsson (SWE)
“I love the Giro and it is made extra special by the passion that all the Italian fans have for this race. The first week I will take each day as it comes and help out the team where I can before seeing how my legs are feeling when the stages become a bit harder. I am keen to go well in the time trials and will go full gas for those two stages. My personal goal is to be on the podium on one stage, something I just missed out on last year, and to use the race to take another step forward in my development. Overall I think that we have a strong team here and can challenge on different stages, with a strong lead-out for Marcel and Luka, and a balanced team for the whole race.”

Luka Mezgec (SLO)
“The Giro is a tough race but I like it and it has several opportunities for us as a team. The first goal is obviously going to be to go for a stage win with Marcel on the flat days in the first week. After this it becomes a bit harder and I personally hope that I can get some good results on the tougher sprint stages where some of the fast guys don’t make it to the finish in the front group. I feel in better shape than I did here last year and feel that I’m not only sprinting better but I’m climbing better too, something which is a result of the hard work we put in over the winter. With some wins already this season I am mentally more confident, but this is a hard race and I’ll take it like any other. It’s going to be hard but I think that we have what it takes to get some strong results.”

Addy Engels (NED)
“The first goal for the Giro with Marcel in the team will obviously be for the sprints, and then for the stages that are slightly too hilly for him we can ride for Luka too. We have a strong line-up of riders who will be able to support this in terms of chasing down the breaks and also for the lead-outs. Then there’s a part of the team that will be looking for results on other stages and taking their chances when they can – guys like Tobias, Simon and Georg. Opportunities like these are great for learning and development, as being out front in the final stages of a Grand Tour stage is no easy feat. This worked well last year and Tobias very nearly pulled off a big result. We will take it day-by-day without an immediate focus on the overall GC.”


Youth and Age Compete at the Giro d’Italia: The Numbers
171 countries in 5 continents to see the race on TV

The 97th Giro d’Italia starts on Friday in Belfast (the 11th time the race has started outside Italy in its 97 year history) with a 21.7 km team time trial. It wends its way across Ireland and Italy for three weeks, to conclude in Trieste on 1 June. The race presents an intriguing context between a new generation of challengers in international cycling, and many of the sport’s long-established champions.

The Giro in numbers
3445.5 kilometres, 198 riders on 22 teams with 9 riders each, 40 categorised climbs, 10 uphill finishes (including the mountain time trial at at Cima Grappa, Stage 19), the Cima Coppi – the race’s highest point – at 2758m on the Passo dello Stelvio (Stage 16, Ponte di Legno – Val Martello), longest stage at 249km (St. 11, Collecchio – Savona), the shortest at 21.7km (the Team Time Trial around Belfast on St. 1).

The oldest rider in the race, at 40 years and 129 days, is Alessandro Petacchi. The youngest, aged 20 years 280 days, is Sebastián Henao.

Ensuring safety in and around the race, 6 km of barriers are erected on every stage, and the Italian police provide 26 motorcyclists, 6 police cars, 1 breakdwon service van, and no less than 500 police patrols along the race route. In addition, 2 police cars and 2 blue police buses accompany the caravan, educating children in the Biciscuola project.

Jerseys
Maglia Rosa (pink) Balocco’: leader, General Classification
Maglia Azzurra (blue’) Banca Mediolanum’: leader, Mountains classification
Maglia Rossa (red) ‘Algida’: leader, Points classification
Maglia Bianca (white) ‘Orsero’: leader, Young Riders’ Classification (born on or after 1 January 1989)

Time bonuses
With respect to previous years, time bonuses have been slightly altered, for intermediate sprints, to 3, 2, and 1 seconds, and for stage finishes to 10, 6, and 4.

Age and Youth
From the poem by William Butler Yeats:
Much did I rage when young,
Being by the world oppressed,
But now with flattering tongue
It speeds the parting guest.

Television
The 2014 Giro d’Italia is being broadcast in 171 countries across 5 continents via the following platforms:
in Italy, RAI, the host broadcaster and the event’s longstanding partner, shows the race on RaiSport 2 from 1430 hours (all timings CET) and on RaiTre from 1510. The first live links begin in the morning with previews, studio programmes and on-site insights, and continue throughout the day with a succession of programmes which tells the story of the Corsa Rosa. The race will be streamed on www.raisport.it.

The Giro d’Italia will be broadcast throughout Europe on Eurosport International every day at 1430. News, highlights and analysis on www.gazzetta.it.

The 97th Giro starts in Ireland with three stages that will be shown live on BBC Northern Ireland. UK-wide, Sky Sports will broadcast extended evening highlights with comment, interviews and live links.

Elsewhere in Europe, the Giro d’Italia will be shown on the Flemish-language channel VRT/Sporza and in Denmark via TV2 Sporten. The Giro d’Italia is live in Spain on the FORTA channels belonging to the autonomous communities: TV3 in Catalonia, TVG in Galicia, TPA in Asturias and EITB in the Basque Country. beIN Sports has exclusive Giro d’Italia rights for France. NOS broadcasts highlights in the Netherlands. In Switzerland the Giro d’Italia is available on SRG SSR.

In the USA, beIN Sports carries the Giro on its English and Spanish-language networks. English-speaking Canada can follow the Giro d’Italia on the Rogers Communications’ channel Sportsnet, while Francophone Canada can watch on RDS (Réseau des Sports). TDN (Televisa Deportes Network) provides race coverage in Central America, while ESPN Sur and ESPN Brasil broadcast the Giro in South America. Al Jazeera shows the Giro in the Middle East, and SuperSport broadcasts the race in Sub-Saharan Africa. In Asia, the channels Eurosport Asia-Pacific, J Sports (Japan) and Hy Sport (China) provide live race coverage. Sony SIX (India) and TrueVisions (Thailand) show race highlights. In Australia, the public service channel SBS shows all 21 stages live for the first time.

Two new broadcasters come to the Giro this year: FOX Sports in Australia and Sky Sport (New Zealand), who both provide highlights coverage. News access footage is distributed worldwide by SNTV (Sports New Television).

Giro d'Italia 2013 - Ventunesima Tappa


Greener than Ever: The Giro d’italia with Camelbak® And PEFC
Race routes to become Green Zones, recycled paper for race communiqués

There is no greener means of transport than the bicycle and, accordingly, the 97th Giro d’Italia is deeply aware of the environment and the need to protect it. This year, the Giro pursues its green initiatives in partnership with two international organisations: Camelbak® and PEFC.
Following the great success of their work in 2013, Giro d’Italia organisers RCS Sport/La Gazzetta dello Sport were keen to renew their partnership with Camelbak®, an Italian company from the Venice region and a world leader in the manufacture of sports hydration equipment. Together, Camelbak® and RCS Sport have extended their agreement to establish Green Zones along the route of the Giro d’Italia. This initiative was first launched in 2013, with the slogan “Non buttiamo le borracce in Giro” (Roughly “Don’t make litter with water bottles!” – an estimated 23,000 bisons were collected last year). The scheme continues in 2014 with some important developments:

There are approximately 2 Camelbak® Green Zones per stage on 15 stages, except time trials. They are signposted by large, red, bottle-shaped signs measuring 1m x 3m.

A Camelbak® motorbike distributes bidons of water (or, depending on the weather conditions, hot tea) and Camelbak® also provide bidons to Vittoria Servizio Corse, the official neutral service provider to the Giro d’Italia. The neutral service vehicles then distribute them to any rider who asks. At the end of the Giro, a special prize will be awarded by Camelbak® to the team that collects the most bidons.

The Giro’s other green partner is PEFC Italia (PEFC, the Programme for Endorsement of Forest Certification, is an international non-profit, non-governmental organisation dedicated to promoting sustainable forest management, and is the world’s largest forest certification system). As well as this partnership, whose initiatives are centred on Stages 16, 17, 18 and 20, the Giro d’Italia will use PEFC-certified paper provided by International Paper for press releases and other information bulletins and publicity material. This agreement guarantees that paper products used at the Giro are from legal and sustainable sources, and supports PEFC-certified product suppliers. For further information: www.pefc.it and www.camelbak.com.

green_giro


Manage Your Own Fantasy Giro Team
After the success of the PEZ Tour de France fantasy mini-league last year, we have set up another for the 2014 Giro d’Italia. All you have to do is log on at Velogames, (http://www.velogames.com/giro-ditalia/2014/index.php) pick your fantasy Giro team riders and enter the PEZ mini-league with code No. 04160343 and that’s it. You can also use the new PEZ jersey. No prizes, just for fun.
mini_PEZ_jersey



Marco Pantani Biopic to Launch in UK Cinemas on Friday May 16th
PANTANI: The Accidental Death of a Cyclist, the much-anticipated feature documentary of the cyclist Marco Pantani’s tragic life, is to launch in UK cinemas on Friday 16th May 2014.

The film’s premiere will be held in London on May 13th at Cineworld Haymarket, with special guests in attendance including ITV cycling presenter Ned Boulting, who will be hosting a live question and answer session with the film’s director and producer James Erskine. 200 limited tickets for the premiere are being made available to the public and have been released online at www.pantanifilm.com/premiere today, costing £25.

A special preview screening will also be held in Belfast at the Queen’s Film Theatre on May 8th, the eve of the Giro d’Italia, which this year sets off from the Northern Irish city with a route set to celebrate some of Pantani’s greatest victories in the race, ten years on from his tragic death at the age of 34.

PA_241854
Marco Pantani, Alpe d’Huez, Tour de France, 1997 – Credit: Michael Steele/EMPICS Sport.

Launching in over 20 cities across the UK, including London, Belfast, Edinburgh, Leeds and Birmingham, PANTANI will be in cinemas from the 16th May – information on showings can be found on the Pantani Film website, and will be regularly updated with new venues. The film will also be released on DVD and Blu-ray on May 26th, and can be pre-ordered on Amazon.

A New Black Films and Media Squared Films production in association with 4 Rights, the work charts the meteoric rise and spectacular fall of Marco Pantani, the cyclist affectionately known as ‘Il Pirata’ for his diminutive, pirate-like image. Born in 1970 to a humble family in Cesanatico in northern Italy, by the late 1990’s Pantani had become the most successful, flamboyant and popular cyclist of his era.

In 1998, Pantani won both the Tour de France and Giro d’Italia – a titanic feat of physical and mental endurance that no rider has repeated since. He was a hero to millions; at the time, the saviour of cycling following the doping scandals, which threatened to destroy the sport. However, less than six years later, he died alone, in a cheap Italian hotel room.

PANTANI: The Accidental Death of a Cyclist explores the startling truth behind one man’s remarkable descent from being amongst the finest athletes on earth to his tragic end in a sport riven by intrigue. Based on two years extensive research and inspired by Matt Rendell’s The Death of Marco Pantani, the film combines scintillating race archive with contemporary news footage, stylised reconstructions, and interviews with Pantani’s friends, family, colleagues, and rivals, including Sir Bradley Wiggins, Evgeni Berzin and Greg LeMond.

PANTANI was made by the successful British partnership behind previous sporting documentaries One Night in Turin and The Battle of the Sexes. Multi-talented writer and director James Erskine also took on production duties together with Victoria Gregory, whose credits include the BAFTA Award-winning Senna and Academy Award-winning Man on Wire.

For further information, please visit www.pantanifilm.com.

Official trailer:




Contador Reconnoiters the Pyrenees and Bergerac time trial
Not everyone is in Belfast for the Giro, last week, Alberto Contador traveled to France from Lugano to check-out the stages in the Pyrenees and the last time trial of the Tour 2014.

Accompanied by Jesús Hernández, the leader of Tinkoff-Saxo made a break in his first training block before having an altitude camp prior to Dauphiné Libéré that will be his last race before the French tour. “The Pyrenees will mark the Tour this year, although already it will have passed the Vosges and the Alps,” says Alberto.

“After the Vosges and the Alps, the Pyrenees will have a particular hardness,” said Contador. “Saint Lary stage will be really tough. With 124 km, is not long, but more than half is uphill, with Portillon, Peyresourde and Val Louron before the final climb. It will be a fast day and difficult to control for the leader. It gives options to make tactical moves.”

Regarding the Hautacam stage, Alberto believes it will be “an easier day to control. There are two small climbs before Tourmalet, but the highlight is that after the descent, there are few kilometres to the start of Hautacam, which may result in some movements already on the Tourmalet.” Alberto, who did not know this last climb, says it’s “really hard and specially being the last mountain stage of the 2014 Tour.”

Alberto Contador points out that Pyrenees 2014 “will be the third mountain block after the Vosges, which will cause heavy fatigue and will mark the first differences, and the Alps, perhaps less hard than other occasions. The three Pyrenees stages will be crucial, because if the leader has a bad day he can lose everything.”

Besides the Pyrenees, Contador also studied the course of the last time trial, which he said will be “very demanding because of its length, 54 kilometers. It will be one of the hardest days of the entire race, depending on how the classification was at that time, but lately it has been the stage that has tipped the scale. I would have preferred to have a pair of climbs, like last year, but you have to adapt to the course and I hope I’ll have a good day,” concluded the Tinkoff-Saxo leader.

A.Contador 2



Ain’t No Mountain High Enough for the 2014 USA Pro Challenge
Press Release: Route Announced for American Cycling’s Most Difficult Professional Race Featuring Lung-Searing Altitudes and First-Ever Mountaintop Finish.

The 2014 USA Pro Challenge professional cycling stage race, taking place Aug. 18-24 in Colorado, will feature an exhilarating new route that will include the race’s first-ever mountaintop finish on storied Monarch Mountain. Taking riders to unprecedented elevations, higher than any of the Grand Tours (Tour de France, Giro d’Italia and Vuelta a España), the race will be a heart-pounding journey through the breathtaking Colorado Rockies.

“We’ve set out to create the greatest professional cycling event in the U.S. with the USA Pro Challenge,” said Rick Schaden, owner of the race. “The 2014 route will be a challenge for the riders and will provide plenty of great viewing opportunities for the spectators. This year is looking like it will be the best yet.”

The largest spectator event in the history of the state, the race will visit 10 official host cities for the starts and finishes of each stage, ranging from small towns to cities as large as Denver, with a population of more than 634,000. The final stage should serve to break any previous single-day attendance records with a start in Boulder, one of the most bike-friendly cities in the U.S., two passes through Golden, which has brought out huge crowds in past years, and a finish in Denver, the state’s capitol.

“Every year we strive to create a route that will challenge the riders in new ways, give spectators more opportunities to see some of the toughest athletes in the world and highlight new parts of Colorado,” said Shawn Hunter, CEO of the USA Pro Challenge. “The mountains are such a big part of the USA Pro Challenge and we always have incredibly enthusiastic fans packing the summits, so we’re adding a new test for the riders this year, and a new viewing opportunity for our dedicated fans, with the Stage 3 mountaintop finish on Monarch Mountain.”

The two new locations joining the 2014 race – Monarch Mountain and Woodland Park – each offer breathtaking scenery that will add to the overall excitement. Reaching a top elevation of 11,542 ft. on Hoosier Pass, the race will include a total elevation gain of nearly 40,000 ft. over the seven days. Two new mountains – McClure Pass and Kebler Pass – will help reach that number.

“It looks to be the most challenging route yet,” said Tejay van Garderen, professional cyclist on BMC Racing Team and defending champion. “I have fond memories of many of the stages that are included in the route…most notably Aspen, which is my hometown, Crested Butte and Vail, where I took a stage victory last year. I don’t know the Monarch Pass ski resort, but it will be cool to have a tough summit finish. This route suits me well. I’m anxious to add another title to my resume.”

One of the most highly anticipated events on the race calendar, the 2014 USA Pro Challenge will test the riders’ strength and endurance over a 550-mile course. To give fans the opportunity to see their heroes up close and in action, each stage, with the exception of the individual time trial, will start with at least one circuit lap before leaving town.

Highlights of the route include:
Stage 1: Aspen Circuit Race – Monday, Aug. 18
Stage 1 of the 2013 race was such a success, so it’s back for 2014. The Aspen/Snowmass Circuit may be short on distance, but it packs a punch. At 65 miles (3 laps of nearly 22 miles each), and 2,300 ft. of climbing per lap with minimal recovery, this circuit puts the “challenge” in USA Pro Challenge. Each lap will see the riders grind up to Snowmass Village, then a quick descent leads to two short but steep climbs, and a quick loop through downtown before doing it all again. Pair that with a starting elevation of 7,900 ft. and you have one tough opening day.

Stage 2: Aspen to Crested Butte – Tuesday, Aug. 19
Each year the USA Pro Challenge searches for ways to include more of Colorado’s deep cycling history. Last year it was the climb up Bachelor Gulch and this time around it will be Kebler Pass. Stage 2 opens fast by ripping down the Aspen Valley through the sprint cities of Basalt and Carbondale before tackling the 8,700 ft. McClure Pass. A short descent brings the race to Gunnison County Road 12, which is a 20-mile rollercoaster that constantly changes from pavement to dirt and back again, while topping out at 9,900 ft. over Kebler Pass. A technical descent into Crested Butte brings the race back to familiar terrain. As in 2011 and 2012, the race will finish up with a sprint through downtown Crested Butte and the steep finish climb up to Mt. Crested Butte.

Stage 3: Gunnison to Monarch Mountain – Wednesday, Aug. 20
During Stage 3 of the 2014 race, riders will not only have to contend with a mountaintop finish, they also will have to pass over it first, giving spectators a chance to see the race multiple times from the same vantage point. Stage 3 starts in Gunnison and heads east for 35 miles before tackling the 11,300 ft. monster that is Monarch Pass. The riders will then descend the eastern slope of the pass and do two 9-mile loops through Salida and the surrounding countryside. Then it’s game time as they tackle nearly 20 miles of climbing to a finish at 10,800 ft.-Monarch Mountain Ski Area.

Stage 4: Colorado Springs Circuit Race – Thursday, Aug. 21
Colorado Springs keeps reinventing itself as a host city. In 2011 it hosted a prologue, in 2012 it was a fast road stage finish for sprinters and for 2014 it will be a challenging circuit that could contain a surprise general classification shake up. After a ceremonial start at the world famous Broadmoor, the race will head into town and join up with a 16-mile circuit that will be raced four times. With climbs through Garden of the Gods, Mesa Rd. and the infamous Ridge Rd., which hits grades of nearly 17 percent, the route will present some challenges for the riders. If a sprinter hangs on to win, they will have earned it the hard way.

Stage 5: Woodland Park to Breckenridge – Friday, Aug. 22
The 2014 USA Pro Challenge does not let up with Stage 5. This stage’s serene first 80 miles hide a vicious finish and a last chance for climbing specialists to really make a move. Starting in the new host community of Woodland Park, Stage 5 heads west then north through some of the most picturesque terrain in Colorado. The route takes the riders on a quiet run through the Pike National Forest on Tarryall Rd., which was unpaved until just last year and the riders will christen it properly with high speeds and lots of breakaway attempts. The action really starts when the race hits Fairplay and begins the long grind up 11,500 ft. Hoosier Pass, the highest point in the race. Then it is on to Breckenridge, where last year’s challenging finish up Moonstone Rd. will be repeated again. This nasty little climb can kill a break or launch a winner.

Stage 6: Vail Individual Time Trial – Saturday, Aug. 23
Last year the USA Pro Challenge visited Vail, and the time trial was decided by four seconds. In three visits to the Vail individual time trial course, this was the largest margin of victory. Competition will be equally fierce this time around, but the names may change a bit. The course’s roots are in Colorado racing lore and trace back to the Coors Classic. Starting in Vail and climbing most of the way up Vail Pass the route is no easy proposition, even for the best riders on earth. The gentle grades of the first half of the course give way to a steady climb for the last three miles. It takes more than legs on this strategic course though; go too hard early and the climb may kill your chances, but conserve too much for the climb and the leaderboard may be out of reach.

Stage 7: Boulder to Denver – Sunday, Aug. 24
It is no secret that some of the largest crowds in USA Pro Challenge history have been in Boulder, Golden and Denver, so why not put them all in one stage?

“I am really happy to see the 2014 edition of the USA Pro Challenge return to my hometown of Boulder,” said Taylor Phinney of the BMC Racing Team. “The energy at the finish two years ago was unreal, and it is always special to race near home. This is one of my favorite races of the year and I hope to be able to participate since I missed it last year.”

While Stage 7 stays on familiar terrain, every year is different and anything can happen in bike racing. Leaving Boulder on CO 93 the riders will have several hilly and windswept miles for breakaways to set up before reaching Golden for the first of two passes. Through Golden, the riders will tackle the 4-mile climb of Lookout Mountain, which they haven’t seen since 2011. Another quick pass of Golden and the race is screaming through suburbs en route to downtown Denver. An abbreviated version of last year’s circuit awaits the riders for three and a half fast laps through downtown, 17th Ave. and City Park. Over the years, the race has witnessed some incredible sprinting on Broadway in the heart of Denver and 2014 should be no exception.

Host city information, maps and elevation profiles are available on the race website at http://usaprocyclingchallenge.com/2014-pro-challenge-route.

About the USA Pro Challenge
Referred to as “America’s Race,” the USA Pro Challenge will take place August 18-24, 2014. For seven consecutive days, the world’s top athletes race through the majestic Colorado Rockies, reaching higher altitudes than they’ve ever had to endure. One of the largest cycling events in U.S. history and the largest spectator event in the history of the state, the USA Pro Challenge continues to set records in professional cycling by taking the riders to unprecedented elevations. Featuring a challenging course, the fourth annual race will spotlight the best of the best in professional cycling and some of America’s most beautiful scenery.

More information can be found online at www.USAProChallenge.com and on Twitter at @USAProChallenge.

2014-route



Team Sky v Orica-GreenEDGE – #SKYvOGE – Round 5
Welcome to the Round 5 of the #SKYvOGE YouTube Battle Series which sees Team Sky go toe-to-toe with Orica-GreenEDGE one last time to decide the overall winner!

The score is tantalisingly poised at 2-2 right now and this round sees Team Sky take on Orica-GreenEDGE in the Yes/No Challenge.

The rules are simple – each rider has to try and make his opponent say either ‘yes’ or ‘no’ in the fastest time possible under one minute. The first team to two wins takes not only the round, but wraps up the entire series!





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The PEZ INSTAGRAM
Take a look at our new Instagram page for a live feed of #PeloPics, #DailyDistractions, and giveaways straight from your phone: http://www.instagram.com/pezcyclingnews


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The PEZ NEWSWIRE!
Don’t forget to check the “NEWSWIRE” section, you can find it down the right hand side on the home page, just above the EuroTrash section. The bits of news that missed the EuroTrash deadline are in there, plus any news as-it-happens will be added there too.


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Any comments drop me a line, email address: alastair@pezcyclingnews.com or Twitter. And there is the PezCyclingNews Twitter and Facebook Fan Page.

 

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