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EuroTrash Thursday!
sanchez650 Katusha played a perfect game of poker at Flèche-Wallonne, but it wasn’t the “Purito” card they threw down, but they used the Dani Moreno card to trump all the others on the Mur de Huy. The Giro del Trentino has hit the hills and Sky put Siutsou up the road with Wiggins waiting in the wings. Lots of news in a fun packed EuroTrash Thursday catch-up coffee break.



TOP STORY: Sanchez appeals Blanco “Suspension”
Last Tuesday it was reported in La Gazzetta dello Sport that Luis León Sanchez would ask the UCI for clarification on his alleged suspension by his Blanco team since February the 2nd. The team claim that Sanchez is not suspended, in the words of DS Frans Maassen; “just that the team say that maybe something is not good.” A rider of Sanchez’s talents should be racing this week in the Ardennes Classics as these are the races that suit the Spaniard and Blanco needs all the help it can get to find a new sponsor before the end of the year. It has been calculated that Sanchez’s wage bill for the year is 800,000€ and this is scaring off prospective sponsors as his contract still has two year left to run. The rumour going round the peloton is that Blanco want him to cancel the last two years of his contract before they let him race, but surely this is a no win situation for both parties. Of course the fallout from “Operacion Puerto” could cause more damage to the Blanco team sponsor hunt than the money.



La Flèche Wallonne 2013
Initially, the 205 kilometre long Belgian semi-classic, Fleche Wallone was dominated by a breakaway trio consisting of Gilles Devillers (Crelan-Euphony), Pirmin Lang (IAM Cycling) and Jurgen Van Goolen (Accent Jobs-Wanty) who worked up a gap of almost ten minutes before the field started dragging them back in.

With 46 kilometres to go, the trio was caught and the race was re-started with a series of new attacks leaving BMC with more hard work stretching the field. On the penultimate climb of the race with nine kilometres to go, the pack was complete and Katusha took control of things wanting to enter the uphill finish on Mur de Huy with an intact peloton.

At the base of the climb all the lot men were watching each other, that’s when the diminutive Colombian; Carlos Betancur (Ag2r-La Mondiale) took his chance and attacked with what looked like the winning move with less than 1 kilometre to go. The World champion; Philippe Gilbert (BMC) rode hard on the front with Peter Sagan (Cannondale) on his wheel, it was too early for the full effort and a Katusha jersey came flying out of the heaving bodies, it was not Joaquim Rodriguez, but his best mate; Dani Moreno. Moreno passed the struggling Betancur to cross the line with his arms held wide. Behind him Sergio Henao (Sky) made a late rush for the line passing Betancur for second as Dan Martin (Garmin-Sharp) pushed his way to 4th place just ahead of Michal Kwiathowski (Omega Pharma – Quick-Step).

Dani Moreno knew which wheel to follow; Philippe Gilberts’: “I knew that Gilbert was very strong, he’s always good and he attacked where he did two years ago. So I followed him, maybe he’s not on his best day, but it was certainly mine.” As to the two Colombians Sergio Henao (Sky) and Carlos Belancur (Ag2r-La Mondiale), Moreno had them noted: “Henao was one of the big favourites and we saw that Betancur was good in the Vuelta al País Vasco as well. The Colombians are definitely getting stronger all the time.”

Omega Pharma – Quick-Step Cycling Team rider Michal Kwiatkowski continued to demonstrate good form, and the ability to contest difficult finals with the best of the peloton, by placing 5th at 205km La Flèche Wallonne on Wednesday. Kwiatkowski was amongst a very small group that was able to contest the final podium spots on the Mur de Huy. OPQS did a tremendous job protecting Kwiatkowski throughout the race.

“I am really happy about my performance today,” Kwiatkowski said. “We started this morning with a plan to protect myself, and the fact that I was a captain for the very first time gave me great motivation. I was really focused on the race and I felt also the guys surrounding me as a team. It was a special feeling. All the guys did an unbelievable job to put me in the best position and help me out. I don’t want to say one name because really, everybody on the team was motivated for me. In the final, on the last passage on the Mur de Huy, I took the wheel of Gilbert. I started following and looked around me to see the gears other guys were using. I did my best to resist any acceleration. Then on the steepest part I had the power to pass well. In the last 300 meters I tried to get the best position possible and I think I did it. It’s a really big achievement for me and the team. I want to share this result with my teammates.”

“To be honest I am always surprised about the fact that I am still so strong,” Kwiatkowski continued. “My objective for the first part of the season was Tirreno-Adriatico and I did well there. I then focused a bit on Ronde van Vlaanderen and did well even there. Now I am a little bit surprised, but also really happy about how things are going and the feeling I have with my team. Tomorrow we will take a day of rest and then Friday we will go to the parcour to make a reconnaissance of Liège-Bastogne-Liège. I really hope to do another good race for me and my teammates.”

Alberto Contador finished the Fleche Wallonne with the feeling “of not having found the pedal stroke, I don’t know if due to fatigue or because I’ve been so long stopped in the last week”, he said after crossing the finish line in Huy. Alberto said that at “the end I saw that I had no legs and I decided to go there and take it easy”. Regarding the work of Saxo-Tinkoff, he said the team “has been very good, attentive in front of the race. Today I have not had good legs”, he repeated, “but we’ll see on Sunday.”

La Flèche Wallonne Result:
1. Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Katusha in 4:52:33
2. Sergio Luis Henao Montoya (Col) Sky at 0:03
3. Carlos Alberto Betancur Gomez (Col) Ag2r-La Mondiale
4. Daniel Martin (Irl) Garmin-Sharp
5. Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step
6. Joaquim Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha at 0:08
7. Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar
8. Igor Anton Hernandez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
9. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Blanco
10. Rinaldo Nocentini (Ita) Ag2r-La Mondiale
11. Giampaolo Caruso (Ita) Katusha
12. Peter Sagan (Svk) Cannondale
13. Diego Ulissi (Ita) Lampre-Merida at 0:13
14. Tom Jelte Slagter (Ned) Blanco
15. Philippe Gilbert (Bel) BMC at 0:15.

La Flèche Wallonne:




Giro del Trentino 2013
The 128.5 kilometre Stage 1a in the Austrian city of Lienz was won by Maxime Bouet (Ag2r-La Mondiale) from a break of three, he outsprinted Josef Cerny (CCC Polsat-Polkowice) and Michael Rodriguez (Colombia) after they had dropped the others of an earlier eight man escape. The main bunch trailed in nearly seven minutes down on the Frenchman. The break of the stage consisted of; Bouet, Rodriguez, Cerny along with Enzo Moyano (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA), Gang Xu (Champion System), Jacques Janse Van Rensburg (MTN-Qhubeka), Pavel Kochekov (RusVelo) and Nicola Dal Santo (Ceramiche Flaminia-Fondriest) and after 60 kilometres of racing they had a lead of nearly 9 minutes over an uninterested peloton. At the first climb of the race, the Iselsberg after 115 kilometres, Rodriguez came over the summit 17 seconds ahead of Bouet and MTN-Qhubeka’s Van Rensburg, but all eight got together again on the descent. Coming into the finish; Cerny attacked, Bouet and Rodriguez got across to him and Bouet was too strong for them in the sprint. Bouet took the first leaders jersey going into the afternoon 14 kilometre team time trial.

Champion System Pro Cycling Team’s Gang Xu earned the most aggressive rider jersey on the opening stage. “I really wanted to help the team; I knew my best opportunity would be to try to make the breakaway.” The Chinese national champion added: “I struggled a little on the climb and lost some places,” he said. “But I was determined to get back, so I pushed hard all the way to the finish. I was very happy to go to the podium and show the Champion System team and the Chinese national champion jersey,” he said. “It was a very good feeling for me.”

Giro del Trentino Stage 1a Result:
1. Maxime Bouet (Fra) Ag2r-La Mondiale in 2:48:59
2. Josef Cerny (Cze) CCC Polsat-Polkowice
3. Michael Rodriguez Galindo (Col) Colombia
4. Nicola Dal Santo (Ita) Ceramica Flaminia-Fondriest at 0:39
5. Enzo Moyano (Arg) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
6. Pavel Kochetkov (Rus) Rusvelo
7. Jacques Janse Van Rensburg (RSA) MTN-Qhubeka at 0:41
8. Gang Xu (Chn) Champion System at 1:11
9. Enrico Battaglin (Ita) Bardiani Valvole-CSF Inox at 6:51
10. Leonardo Fabio Duque (Col) Colombia.

Giro del Trentino Overall After Stage 1a:
1. Maxime Bouet (Fra) Ag2r-La Mondiale in 2:48:53
2. Josef Cerny (Cze) CCC Polsat-Polkowice at 0:02
3. Michael Rodriguez Galindo (Col) Colombia at 0:04
4. Nicola Dal Santo (Ita) Ceramica Flaminia-Fondriest at 0:45
5. Enzo Moyano (Arg) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
6. Pavel Kochetkov (Rus) Rusvelo
7. Jacques Janse Van Rensburg (RSA) MTN-Qhubeka at 0:47
8. Gang Xu (Chn) Champion System at 1:17
9. Enrico Battaglin (Ita) Bardiani Valvole-CSF Inox at 6:57
10. Leonardo Fabio Duque (Col) Colombia.

Stage 1a highlights:




The Sky team won the 14.1 kilometre Stage 1b team time trial by 13 seconds from Astana and 16 seconds from Lampre-Merida, but as none of their riders had been in the morning break it made no difference to the overall. The better ride by CCC Polsat-Polkowice put Josef Cerny ahead of the morning leader Maxime Bouet whose Ag2r-La Mondiale team was beaten by the Polish team by 13 seconds over turning Bouet’s 2 second overall lead.

Kanstantsin Siutsou, Team Sky Rider: “Today was a really nice result for the team. There was no stress. We felt good before the start and we knew what we needed to do. For preparation ahead of the Giro it is important. I’m happy that I could do my best today, as did everyone, and we worked together perfectly. I’m really happy that we could produce a performance like this and it is great for morale.”

“We’ve just got back from Tenerife so we will see how we get on in the mountains. The form is coming and I think it will continue to improve here in Trentino and then obviously we need to be ready at the Giro to help Bradley.”

“The most important thing here is that we work together well as a team. Making sure every element of the team is looked at like we did today in the team time trial. Tomorrow it is on to the climbs and that will help us to see how we work in and around the big teams and the guys like Nibali, Basso and Evans.”

Bradley Wiggins: “But the most important thing is that I had good feelings. I feel ok and confident. Tomorrow’s test to Vetriolo will be really tough, but we are here to see where we can get, hopefully as high as possible.”

MTN-Qhubeka’s Jacques Janse van Rensburg got off to a great start by getting into the break on stage 1ª and with the good ride of the African team, he moved to 4th overall. “Fantastic start to Giro del Trentino for our team with Jacques being in the breakaway all day after only arriving in Europe a few days ago. He, along with most of the team, have just arrived from South Africa and only rode together once before heading to the race”, says team principal Doug Ryder. “They rode an exceptional TTT too to bring Jacques up to 4th overall which will give them some confidence for the rest of the tour.”

Giro del Trentino Stage 1b Result:
1. Sky in 15:20:64
2. Astana at 0:12:77
3. Lampre-Merida at 0:16:15
4. Team NetApp-Endura at 0:23:59
5. Europcar at 0:34:46
6. Bardiani Valvole-CSF Inox at 0:35:21
7. Vini Fantini-Selle Italia at 0:39:18
8. Androni Giocattoli at 0:44:11
9. BMC at 0:48:44
10. Cannondale at 0:48:83.

Giro del Trentino Overall After Stage 1b:
1. Josef Cerny (Cze) CCC Polsat-Polkowice in 3:05:07
2. Maxime Bouet (Fra) Ag2r-La Mondiale at 0:11
3. Michael Rodriguez Galindo (Col) Colombia at 0:16
4. Jacques Janse Van Rensburg (RSA) MTN-Qhubeka at 0:44
5. Pavel Kochetkov (Rus) Rusvelo at 0:49
6. Enzo Moyano (Arg) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA at 0:50
7. Nicola Dal Santo (Ita) Ceramica Flaminia-Fondriest at 0:59
8. Gang Xu (Chn) Champion System at 2:05
9. Peter Kennaugh (GB) Sky at 6:03
10. Christian Knees (Ger) Sky.

Stage 1b TTT:




Konstantin Siutsou showed the climbing depth of the sky team on Stage 2 on the summit finish to Venriolo Terme after 225 kilometres from Sillian in Austria. The early break was caught at the base of the near 20 kilometre final climb to the finish, Siutsou attacked about half way up the climb to be joined by Stefano Pirazzi (Bardiani-CFS Inox) and Pierre Rolland (Europcar). Behind; the Astana team had the pressure on and when the group was paired down a little, Vincenzo Nibali attacked to take the little Italian Domenico Pozzovivo (Ag2r-La Mondiale) and eventually Bradley Wiggins. Siutsou was too strong for Rolland and Pirazzi and rode on at full speed, although not as fast as the Nibali group. Another push by Nibali got rid of a few more riders from the back of the group and jettisoned Mauro Santambrogio (Vini Fantini-Selle Italia) up the road after Siutsou. Nibali kept the pressure on and Wiggins marked him as Pozzovivo couldn’t hold on and they finished in that order.

Maxime Bouet (Ag2r-La Mondiale) managed to move into the overall lead as he was the last rider of Monday’s break to not lose his advantage, he now has 3:19 on Siutsou with Wiggins and Nibali not that far behind.

Kanstantsin Siutsou, Team Sky Rider: “When we started the climb we tried to go to the front and share the work with the teams like Cannondale and Astana. Nobody took full responsibility on the climb in the first four kilometres. We had Joe Dombrowski and Dario Cataldo at the front to cover moves and pull but in the end we left it to other teams to take it up. Again it’s about preparation for the Giro and it was a really hard climb today.”

“I thought maybe I could try to make an attack and see what happened,” he added. “Maybe a team would come to the front and control the tempo which would suit Bradley. A couple of riders followed me but didn’t really want to ride so I just kept pushing a little bit more and tried to control my power.”

“Astana tried to close it down but when I saw that there was 5k to go and the gap of just over 30 seconds I tried to push a little bit harder, but not to go to the very maximum as I wanted to try and keep something for the final kilometre in case someone closed me down.”

Overall leader Maxime Bouet: “I was disappointed to have lost the lead yesterday, but it some way it also favored me today, as the team could focus on the finale, working great and leading me into a perfect position. Now I have got three minutes left, I don’t know if it will be enough, but I hope for a podium now. Among my opponents, Siutsou is clearly very strong, but Wiggins is spinning his legs in a really comfortable fashion.”

Lampre-Merida’s Michele Scarponi lost time and had this to say: “Honestly, I was hoping to do better on today’s last climb, until the middle the sensations were still good, then the rhythm in the final to me at the time was too much and I had to give up the group of the best riders. I am sure that I have prepared with the maximum attention to the Giro d’Italia, but maybe the workload to date has not yet been fully assimilated. I’m convinced that the next few days of racing will need me to find the brilliance that I was hoping for today, so I do not get demoralized and I’ll continue with unflagging determination.”

Giro del Trentino Stage 2 Result:
1. Kanstantin Siutsou (Blr) Sky in 5:48:07
2. Mauro Santambrogio (Ita) Vini Fantini-Selle Italia at 0:04
3. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana at 0:19
4. Bradley Wiggins (GB) Sky
5. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Ag2r-La Mondiale at 0:28
6. Stefano Pirazzi (Ita) Bardiani Valvole-CSF Inox at 0:34
7. Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana at 0:37
8. Alexsandr Dyachenko (Kaz) Astana at 0:38
9. Pierre Rolland (Fra) Europcar at 0:45
10. Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC at 0:46.

Giro del Trentino Overall After Stage 2:
1 Maxime Bouet (Fra) Ag2r-La Mondiale in 8:55:48
2 Kanstantin Siutsou (Blr) Sky at 3:19
3 Pavel Kochetkov (Rus) Rusvelo at 3:35
4 Bradley Wiggins (GB) Sky at 3:48
5 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana at 3:57
6 Michael Rodriguez Galindo (Col) Colombia at 4:02
7 Mauro Santambrogio (Ita) Vini Fantini-Selle Italia at 4:06
8 Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana at 4:19
9 Alexsandr Dyachenko (Kaz) Astana at 4:20
10 Stefano Pirazzi (Ita) Bardiani Valvole-CSF Inox at 4:38.

Stage 2 action:




Rapha Condor JLT: Tour du Loire et Cher
Press Release: Rapha Condor JLT put in their best international performance of the season so far last week, with team leader Kristian House scoring an excellent 5th place overall in the Tour du Loire et Cher in France.

After two wet, crash marred stages that both finished in bunch sprints, House, as well as Felix English, made the twelve-man selection on a tough windy third stage that decided the overall of the five-day race.

House explained, “The first day was pandemonium, with crashes all over the place. I think our guys were involved in 8 crashes that day. Fortunately, I made it through that with only a few cuts and bruises. On the third stage, knowing the winds were likely to make the difference, we put Felix in the break and then when the bunch split I made the selection and we came up to them.”

“It felt good to be in the thick of it for the first time this year, you know. We’ve had a good number of race days so far and I am starting to feel the benefits.”

Whilst House took sixth in the sprint on the stage to move into fifth overall, Felix English managed an excellent fourth place on the day, taking the Under 23 jersey in the process.

Unfortunately for English his race would be cut short less than 24 hours later, when a bout of food poisoning forced him out of the race, and left House with a young team to help him fight to hold on to is high overall position.

Team manager John Herety was very impressed by the performances of the whole team throughout the week, citing the rides by English and first year senior Will Stephenson as highly encouraging. “Things went really well here. We come to these races for the young guys to learn and for the older guys to perform, and that is what we did. Felix’s form has been steadily improving all year, and he was very unlucky with the food poisoning. But even with him gone, the young guys rallied around Kristian and did everything they could for him – which was a steep learning curve for some at this level.”

“Will Stephenson in particular rode very well. It was his first international race as a senior and he was one of the riders who didn’t come out to Australia, so to see how hard he has worked to be in such good shape is very encouraging for me.”

“The result was really good for Kristian too of course; he is a proven rider who knows what to do to get into form, and always delivers when he does. He will take a lot from this.”

Having won the Tour of South Africa in 2010, House will indeed be particularly motivated this week, as the team travels to Johannesburg for the five-day Mzanzi Tour in the Gauteng province that starts this Wednesday.

Tour du Loire et Cher stage 1:




No Tour for Fabian Cancellara
It seems the Fabian Cancellara will be riding the Vuelta a España this year to prepare for the World championships in Florence and probably won’t start in the French Grand Tour. He had suggested that he was interested in riding the Giro d’Italia, but he is resting for the next two weeks which would rule out the Italian race with a ride in the Tour of Belgium more likely. So the Vuelta will be his only Grand tour for 2013.



Blanco to Liège-Bastogne-Liège
Press Release: The Blanco Pro Cycling Team will enter Liège-Bastogne-Liège well prepared. Sport Director Frans Maassen has seen solid team performances in the first two parts of the Ardennes triptych and sees no reason why the last installment this Sunday should be any different.

Frans Maassen:
In the Amstel Gold Race, Lars Petter Nordhaug and David Tanner ran well in the front and Bauke Mollema finished 10th whilst Laurens ten Dam was knocking on the door in the Le Fléche Wallone where three Blanco riders finished in the top twenty. Mollema was ninth, with Tom-Jelte Slagter fourteenth and Paul Martens twentieth. ‘I’ve seen good things over the last couple of weeks’, said Maassen, who added, ‘Bauke will be the lead man in Liége but as I have said before, we have a lot of depth in the team. We are going to try to continue the momentum we’ve build up in the past week.’

Bauke Mollema:
Mollema had already announced before the Ardennes Week that La Doyenne (the old lady) suited him the best. After three weeks off, the rider from Groningen has the necessary kilometres in the legs and that is a confidence booster. ‘I noticed during the Amstel and La Fléche that I did not relent like last year. The results were actually quite good but I still have the feeling it could have been better. It’s a question of waiting for a spike and there’s no reason that won’t come in Liége. The climbs there are a bit longer and that suits me – better, in fact, than the very explosive climbs of the last races.

Team line-up:
Marc Goos, Paul Martens, Bauke Mollema, Lars Petter Nordhaug, Tom-Jelte Slagter, David Tanner, Bram Tankink and Laurens ten Dam.
Sports Directors: Erik Dekker & Frans Maassen.



OPQS to Liège – Bastogne – Liège
Press Release: Omega Pharma – Quick-Step Cycling Team has announced the selection that will participate in the final and oldest race of the Spring Classics Season: Liège – Bastogne – Liège. The race may be not be one for a select group as it has been known for in the past due to the removal of Côte de la Roche-aux-Faucons from the parcour. The climb was replaced by Côte de Colonster (6%) at the 244.5km point. There are 11 climbs in total including Côte de Saint-Roch (11%) and Côte de Stockeu (12%), which are each 1km in length and are located at the 116.5km and 166.5km points. The final, often decisive climb is Côte de Saint-Nicolas (8.6%) at the 256km point, just before the finish at 257.5km.

“Today we performed as usual the reconnaissance of the parcour,” Sport Director Davide Bramati said. “We started from Spa, with about 70km to go. We saw some of it by car, and then we did the rest of the course from Spa to the finish by bike. We arrive at the race with a very motivated team. The guys were motivated by the last two races, Amstel and Fleche. We’ve found a good leader in Michal Kwiatkowski, so the team will ride for him. We will see about the situation, as the new climb can change the race by making it more difficult to control. But we will do our best for a good result with a good team spirit.”

“The Rocheaux-Faucons is steeper and shorter than the new one,” Jerome Pineau said. “The new one is a little bit longer, about 2.5km. The race will probably change. The La Redoute and the Saint-Nicolas will again be two important parts of the race, as they were before the Rocheaux-Faucons was added to the parcour years ago. it’s important to survive La Redoute, so we can have as many riders as we can in the final.”

“It was good today to train on the parcour,” Michal Kwiatkowski said. “I am looking forward to this race. I can’t really compare the new final without the Rocheaux-Faucons to the previous one, as I stopped last year before that point. So for me, everything is very new. I will try to do my best, surrounded by the team.”

Riders:
Gianluca Brambilla (ITA)
Kevin De Weert (BEL)
Michal Kwiatkowski (POL)
Jerome Pineau (FRA)
Pieter Serry (BEL)
Kristof Vandewalle (BEL)
Julien Vermote (BEL)
Carlos Verona (ESP)
Sports Director Davide Bramati (ITA) & Tom Steels (BEL).



BMC Racing Team Reveals Liège-Bastogne-Liège Roster
Press Release: The BMC Racing Team announced its roster for Sunday’s Liège-Bastogne-Liège that includes world road champion Philippe Gilbert and Greg Van Avermaet, who has posted a half-dozen top 10 finishes in spring classics and semi-classics.

Gilbert A Winner In 2011
The 257.5-kilometer race in Belgium caps the Ardennes classics. Gilbert won Liège-Bastogne-Liège in 2011 to go along with a third-place finish in 2010 and fourth in 2009. He finished 15th in Flèche Wallonne on Wednesday. Van Avermaet did not compete in Flèche Wallonne, but has placed a career-best seventh at this race (in 2011) in two previous starts.

Download the official BMC Racing Team race sheet (PDF with roster, bios, statistics, etc.): http://bit.ly/178lXQ5.

BMC Racing Team Liège-Bastogne-Liège roster:
Brent Bookwalter (USA), Marcus Burghardt (GER), Steve Cummings (GBR), Mathias Frank (SUI), Philippe Gilbert (BEL), Amaël Moinard (FRA), Dominik Nerz (GER), Greg Van Avermaet (BEL).
Directeur Sportif: John Lelangue (BEL).



In His Own Words: Sport Director Neil Stephens Previews Liège-Bastogne-Liège
It is the oldest one day race of the year. Liège-Bastogne-Liège marks the end to the spring classics and another opportunity for ORICA-GreenEDGE to secure a podium in the Ardennes. With over 4,700 metres of climbing, the testing parcours measures stamina, strength and team support. In his own words, Sport Director Neil Stephens previews ‘La Doyenne’ (that’s ‘the old lady’ for you non-French speakers).

Liège is the most attractive race in my mind of all the races in the season. It’s a race that’s got everything. There’s punchy climbs and fast descents. There’s rolling roads through the Belgian countryside. It’s a tactical race where team support comes into play, but it’s also a race of attrition. It’s both beautiful and demanding. I always enjoy watching this race, and this year, I will enjoy watching the race unfold from behind the steering wheel.

I tend to think that if the team performs as well as they did last Sunday at Amstel Gold Race, we have a real shot at the podium. I had spent the week prior to Amstel at Pais Vasco where I directed the large majority of our Ardennes team to two stage wins and sixth place overall. Having seen how they raced in the Basque Country, I wasn’t surprised when the team worked well together to put Gerro [Simon Gerrans] onto the podium.
Thanks to Orica-GreenEdge’s Neil Stephens for the preview.



Coltman to be Head of Performance with Scottish Cycling
Ex professional rider; Gary Coltman is to be head of performance with Scottish Cycling, previously he had been performance manager with British Cycling’s Olympic Talent Programme. He will start his new job this month and will be responsible for delivering success and creating World class talent development systems in Scotland. Coltman has worked for British Cycling for the past ten years. In addition to managing a successful performance programme, which has produced amazing success over the last two Olympics’, Coltman’s own cycling career highlights include a Commonwealth Games Medal in Team Pursuit at the 1986 Games, held in Edinburgh and 11 times British National Champion across road, track and Mountain Bike. He also studied at Loughborough College and holds several coaching qualifications.
Speaking about his new role, Coltman said: “I am thrilled to be joining Scottish Cycling at such an exciting time in the development of the sport in Scotland. Cycling is currently going through a period of extraordinary growth in this country and I believe we have the opportunity to harness that popularity and convert it into success for Scotland on the world stage.”



Jalabert Leaves French Job
Laurent Jalabert will no longer be the French national team coach, his reason being a lack of support from the French Cycling federation. It all started at the London Olympics when he had to include track rider Mickaël Bourgain in his five man road team so that he would qualify for a ride on the track. This seemed to be the last straw, as the Frenchman confirmed to L’Equipe; “in my head, I knew that my mission as national coach had finished, it finished there, even if that’s not what I wanted.” He added that he felt the injustice of taking the blame of the bad performance of the team; “I simply saw the Olympic Games as an injustice because I was lacking in support. I wasn’t the one who chose to select a track rider for the road race but I was judged as the only person responsible for the failure of the French team, even if that’s relative.” Jalbert said that his recent accident when cycling also helped him come to the decision.



Cycling Ireland Board Member Resigns
The one member of the Cycling Ireland board to vote against supporting UCI president Pat McQuaid in his bid for a third term of office has resigned. Anthony Moran was the one member of the six man board to abstain and has now resigned his seat. Moran had been on the board since 2009 and was vice-president.



Lotto Belisol fan day on Saturday 4th of May at Circuit Zolder
Press Release: On Saturday 4th of May the Lotto Belisol team will hold its first fan day on Circuit Zolder, from noon till six o’clock in the evening. Everybody’s welcome to this free event, not only the Lotto Belisol fan but all cycling and bike lovers. U can make a fun day out with the whole family.

That day you can meet Lotto Belisol riders and staff. You get the unique opportunity to make a tour on the circuit with our riders, because the circuit is open to cyclists during the entire afternoon. A Lotto Belisol village will be set up where our partners will be present with different activations.

There will be several activities all over the domain like a kids’ corner and a bar where you can have a nice chat, just like diverse stands where you can get a drink or a bite to eat. A Lotto Belisol fanshop will be there as well. Don’t miss this fan day and bring your friends and family.

Visit our Facebook event page and let us know you’re coming! That way you can also invite your friends. http://www.facebook.com/#!/events/144001142446784/.



adidas launches new British Cycling replica team kit for 2013/14 season
Press Release: Following months of close work between adidas and British Cycling, the new look replica team kit was officially launched on Saturday at adidas’ Market Street store in Manchester, giving cycling fans the first opportunity to try it on.

adidas recognise the growing popularity of cycling in the UK, a trend that has gone hand in hand with the continuing success of the British Cycling team and as a result have designed a replica shirt to allow fans to show their support for the team on both the road and the track

Three time Olympic champion Jason Kenny, GB Cycling Team Olympian Jess Varnish and multiple Paralympic gold medallist Jody Cundy all attended the launch in store. They spent a couple of hours meeting cycling fans, signing autographs and helping adidas staff behind the till.

The adidas British Cycling replica range is designed for comfort: the quarter length zip and slightly more relaxed fit make it the ideal jersey for sportive, commuting and even supporting the British Cycling team.

GB Cycling Team Olympian Jess Varnish said: “It was great to be in store on Saturday and meet cycling fans. There is a real buzz about the new kit – it’s really comfortable and wearing it makes me feel really proud to be part of the team.”

The new kit marks a new chapter in a longstanding partnership spanning seven years, during which aides have provided British Cycling with performance kit that has helped contribute to an unprecedented period of success for the team, with 26 Olympic medals, 42 Paralympics medals and 57 World Champions.

For further information visit www.adidas.comwww.adidas.com or follow @adidasUK to join the conversation.



British Cycling Announces 2013 National Circuit Race Championships Venue
York to host 2013 Men’s and Women’s National Circuit Race Championships as Tour de France baton handed to Yorkshire

Press Release:
York will host the 2013 Men’s and Women’s British Cycling National Circuit Race Championships on Sunday 21st July, the day that the 100th Tour de France draws to a close and the baton is passed to Yorkshire ahead of Le Grand Départ 2014, stage 2 of which will start in York.

The championships, which will see the men’s and women’s events contested on the same day for the first time in its history, will form the showpiece of an exciting evening of bike racing in the historic city. As one of the pinnacle events on the domestic elite road racing calendar, the championships are fiercely contested by the country’s top professional riders and teams and previous winners include the likes of 2011 Road World Champion Mark Cavendish and Olympic medalists Ed Clancy, Lizzie Armitstead, Joanna Rowsell and Dani King.

With the date marking the beginning of the countdown to Yorkshire’s hosting of the Tour de France Grand Départ in 2014, 21st July will be a symbolic day for the city of York. To mark the occasion, the city is planning big screen coverage of the final stage of the Tour de France, timed to follow on from the conclusion of the national championships.

The circuit on which the national championships will take place truly showcases the historic city centre in York with the iconic Minster a dominating backdrop to the finish line for all the events taking place on the day.

Jonny Clay, Cycle Sport and Membership Director at British Cycling commented: “We are delighted to award the 2013 Men’s and Women’s National Circuit Race Championships to the city of York on what will be a momentous day for British cycling as well as for Yorkshire.

“York will provide a spectacular backdrop for the racing and the championships will treat the people of York to a thrilling spectacle as they witness the country’s top cyclists racing on their city’s streets.”

Cllr Sonja Crisp, City of York Council Cabinet Member for Leisure, Culture and Tourism said: “I am delighted that British Cycling has chosen York as the host city for both the Men’s and Women’s 2013 National Circuit Race Championships. This is another great achievement for York ahead of the 2014 Le Grand Départ with stage 2 beginning on the city’s historic streets. We look forward to hosting another high quality event and I hope that spectators will be lining the route and cheering the riders along.”

The 2012 National Circuit Race Championships men’s title was won by Scott Thwaites of Endura Racing. The 22 year old Yorkshireman claimed the coveted national champion’s jersey after a hard fought battle on the streets of Otley. Double Junior Road World Champion Lucy Garner (Node 4 Giordana) took the women’s title, winning a bunch sprint in front of huge crowds in Sheffield city centre.

The latest news from the Men’s and Women’s National Circuit Race Championships can be found on the British Cycling website at www.britishcycling.org.uk/road.

For more information about how to get into cycling visit www.britishcycling.org.uk/getinvolved.



Roman Kreuziger Talk After Amstel
Nice catch up with Roman Kreuziger after his Amstel Gold Race win on Sunday by Specialized. he talks about his victory, career, equipment and the Tour de France:



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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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