domenica 4 ottobre 2015

Il Lombardia: A Lake Shark Attack

Rain rain go away! A bet against the weather that was supposed stormy. A dry Lombardia landing in Como after too many years. The sun shining and the Shark on the attack.
After 35 km a small group excapes: Barbin, De Negri, Van Winden, Geschke, Schumacher, Polanc, Canola, Busato, Gatto and Benedetti have 4'10". 60 km to go only Benedetti and Canola remain ahead. Gap is 3’20”. 
50 km to go, Muro di Sormano: break caught, Kwiatkowski is leading solo, Wellens chasing just behind. They reach the top together 20" ahead the first group with the all the favorites, while the peloton exploded up the climb
43k to go: it's a technical descent down the Muro di Sormano. 
Embedded image permalink20 km to go, Civigno: Wellens and Kwiatowski are caught. Team Astana is chasing hard by Diego Rosa. Bardet gets dropped. Up they go, on a very high pace. Toward the top Nibali attacks, Pinot on his wheel. In this decimated group there are Thibaut Pinot (FDJ), Vincenzo Nibali, Diego Rosa (Astana), Esteban Chaves (Orica-GreenEdge), Daniel Moreno (Katusha), Alejandro Valvede (Movistar) and Mikel Nieve (Team Sky). 
19 km to go Nibali attacks again, Chaves on his wheel. Nibali attacks for the 3rd time but Chaves is there. Now Pinot attacks with Nieve but Rosa is fast to close on him.
All together again. Today Diego Rosa is simply on fire.
Descent: Nibali attacks and nobody respond. He goes.
10 km to go, San Fermo della Battaglia: the last, short, steep climb. Nibali is solo at 30'', Rosa playing stopper in the chasing group against Chaves, Nieve and Pinot. Chaves is now cramping and can't keep the wheels. 
6 km to go Moreno and Pinot attack together, then is Moreno solo. Too late: in Como Nibali is in the barriers, Moreno still chasing at 12''. Lungo Lago. Huge crowd. Windy. An Italian flag flies to rest on the winner chest.
A clod breeze ripples the dark blue water of the lake and solitary dark green hills savagely stand out agaist the clean cold sky. I'd like to be there.

Vincenzo Nibali:
"It's a special day, my wife's birthday so this victory is for her. My team has been splendid. I tried several times on the climb but the pace was very high and I was closely watched. I undderstood I had to wait. Winning a Classic isn't easy, it's just one day, you need a bit of good luck. My team has been great."
Embedded image permalink
Bauke Mollema:
“Yeah, maybe the season was just a little bit too long for me. I wanted to try today, I really like this race, and I felt quite good for the first part of the race. When it really started on the first part of the Sormano I was in good position and felt okay until we hit the steepest part and I just didn’t have the power.
This is a really hard race, it’s an honest race, and when you are not good enough you just get dropped and that was my story.  As a team, it’s a pity because we were not in the race for the last 50 kilometers.
For the first 150 kilometers Giacomo [Nizzolo], Laurent [Didier] and Popo [Yaroslav Popovych] did a really good job of protecting us and keeping us in front so it’s too bad we couldn’t transfer that in a result.”

Team Sky DS Dario Cioni:
"The guys did a good job out there and I think as a team it was a good performance. We probably expected a bit more from Wout but it's the end of the season and it was a hard race. At the end of the day the legs are how they are and you can't always be up there at the end. It was good to see so many of our guys still in the front group going for the win with 10km to go. Unfortunately no one had the punch to finish it off. Mikel did a good ride. He was just behind the podium and in that group he wasn't the favourite for the sprint against Valverde and Rosa. It was also good to see Sergio finishing the season off on a high with a good result. This time last year he didn't even know if he'd be back racing so he must be really pleased. With all the work he's done this year he'll be in a much better place next year."

Thibaut Pinot:
“It’s a hard race but it’s a great race. Nibali was simply too strong for the rest of us today. He was the strongest, the smartest and the sneakiest. He attacked at the right moment after bossing the race. He attacked several times on the climb and then attacked on the descent too. He got 200 metres on us and that was enough, it was race over for the rest of us.
I’m proud of my place on the podium because Lombardia was a big goal of mine and I worked hard to be good here. To make it on the podium after such a hard, selective race against such good riders is a good day for me. I’m happy.
I’m heading home tomorrow morning and I’m on holiday from tonight. It’s time to relax and switch off a little bit. I think I’ve had a good season. I won five races, a podium in a monumental Classic and a stage win at the Tour, so it’s been a good season.
I hope to ride the Giro d’Italia next year to aim for a place on the podium. I like the Giro but of course, like for any French rider, the Tour de France always has priority. We’ll see….”

1 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Pro Team 6:16:28
2 Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Team Katusha 0:00:21
3 Thibaut Pinot (Fra) 0:00:32
4 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team 0:00:46
5 Diego Rosa (Ita) Astana Pro Team
6 Mikel Nieve (Spa) Team Sky
7 Tony Gallopin (Fra) Lotto Soudal 0:00:56
8 Sergio Luis Henao (Col) Team Sky
9 Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) Etixx - Quick-Step 0:01:10

Cyclocross: Great Start in Gieten!

Embedded image permalink
Pic by Youri IJnsen
Cyclocross finally!!! No will to switch to Il Lombardia.
Fast route, a beautiful warm light and still a warm temperature. A fast start for Lars van der Haar who quickly breaks away with Wout van Aert and David van der Poel.
The last one is finally dropped and the fight for the victory is down to van Aert and van der Haar
Both look confortable but van Aert today is stronger: van der Haar distanced, he wins solo. A beautiful start for the Dutch champion anyway, who has also raced a successful road season.
3rd is Tim Merlier, at the bunch sprint.

Wout van Aert:
“This streak will end at some point and I will have no trouble with that. I’m starting relaxed at every race. It’s fun to race this way.
I looked back and saw I had a gap of 10 metres. Ten metres means you’re on the verge of cracking. I was able to accelerate a bit more. It was the time to go".

Class Vantornout:
“When Van Aert accelerated everybody knew you had to be on his wheel but not everybody can be there".

Lars Van der Haar:
“It’s too bad but I was beaten in a fair duel which makes it easier to cope with it. I’m there, able to reply to his first acceleration but I didn’t have that second acceleration. You feel that he’s playing with you. He punished every mistake. He’s riding better than me right now."

Tim Merlier:
“This feels good. I didn’t expect it but it’s fun to experience it. It’s the first time I’m riding top-5 in a major race. I know that I’m fast on the line. They told me to ride in front in the last lap and that’s what I did. The pace dropped in front of me. I had to enter the final corner in front. It worked out well. More of this please."

Sven Nys [who according to Cyclinews "clicked out of his pedal":
“It felt like I was able to ride in front today. It was a high-speed cross which usually doesn’t suit me. I had good legs, good sensations. It’s a pity to drop away with a flat. It’s bad luck. Wout Van Aert is a level above the rest for the moment. With good positioning one can do well over here. With fourth place I’m pleased".

1 Wout Van Aert (Bel) Vastgoedservice - Golden Palace
2 Lars Van Der Haar (Ned) Giant-Alpecin
3 Tim Merlier (Bel)
4 Sven Nys (Bel)
5 Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games
6 Gianni Vermeersch (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games
7 Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games
8 Vincent Baestaens (Bel) Bkcp-Corendon
9 Rob Peeters (Bel)
10 Julien Taramarcaz (Swi) Era Real Estate - Murprotec

1. Sanne Cant
2. Nikki Harris
3. Jolien Verschueren

Sanne Cant:
“I’m delighted with my first win of the season. I wanted to make the difference straight from the start and that worked out pretty well. Riding the whole race at full gas is a good training. For a moment it seemed like Harris was keeping the pressure on me but I was keeping the race under control. It was difficult to ride in the sand as there was no path. For the chasers that was a bonus.”

sabato 3 ottobre 2015

Il Lombardia: Start List (and memories)

I'm sick. I have been forced to canceal my BnB reservation in Como and I'm going to spend the weekend in bed instead. 
It's annoying, especially beacuse I'm not SO sick, just sick enough. Few years ago and with Andy Schleck racing I would have probably dared my flu, now I'm wiser or less motivated. And to be honest I have been disappointed so many times that I should be really stupid to keep following a passion blind eye.
However one of my favourite Rumi's poem says you must keep breaking your heart because the wound is the point where the light gets in. Am I broken enough? Yep, I think I'm at the moment like a tiny dust of heart dancing in the light. And so joyfully! 
No Lombardia, a sore throat, two messy classes in school, a busy son at home, a world around full of infinite. I'm learning to take it day by day, expecting nothing, creating my stuff. 
Yesterday I got by e-mail the Lombardia's start list in 'office' format. I asked it as 'open' but got no reply. Now, I don't buy Microsoft product so I can't open this file. I could try it for free creating a Microsft account. I don't want it. This file remains unopen. Then my son says: "Grandpa has got Office, I'll install him Open Office and convert the file." Smart move!
The fact is, an important race press office can't suppose we all use a commercial product. Moreover, it would be nice to support open source platforms. But I'm not surprised: I asked many times  RCS races press office to send me press releases in English, once even face to face during a Giro, but I keep getting them in Italian. Must I add that they usually come when I have already published my report? 
It isn't important. Important is the race. I'm missing the lake, the magic of Como, the rain and the nacked trees, the savage climbs. I'm left here with my memories of many Lombardia ago, imaginating. 

1 IRL19860820 MARTIN Daniel IRL
2 ITA19931029 BETTIOL Alberto ITA
3 POR19840903 CARDOSO Andre Fernando S.M. POR
4 USA19910512 DOMBROWSKI Joseph Lloyd USA
5 ITA19840716 MARANGONI Alan ITA
6 ITA19901225 MOSER Moreno ITA
7 NED19890209 SLAGTER Tom Jelte NED
8 ITA19910627 VILLELLA Davide ITA
D.S. GUIDI Fabrizio

11 ITA19821130 POZZOVIVO Domenico ITA
13 FRA19901109 BARDET Romain FRA
14 FRA19860317 CHEREL Mikael FRA
15 FRA19931012 LATOUR Pierre-Roger FRA
16 ITA19840106 MONTAGUTI Matteo ITA
17 ITA19770925 NOCENTINI Rinaldo ITA
18 FRA19880601 VUILLERMOZ Alexis FRA
D.S. BIONDI Laurent

21 ITA19780115 PELLIZOTTI Franco ITA
22 ITA19840612 BANDIERA Marco ITA
23 ITA19850330 FRAPPORTI Marco ITA
24 ITA19850101 GATTO Oscar ITA
25 ITA19850707 STORTONI Simone ITA
26 ITA19901011 TALIANI Alessio ITA
27 ROU19881229 TVETCOV Serghei ROU
28 ITA19900305 ZILIOLI Gianfranco ITA
D.S. ELLENA Giovanni

31 ITA19841114 NIBALI Vincenzo ITA
32 ITA19850106 AGNOLI Valerio ITA
33 ITA19850317 CATALDO Dario ITA
34 ESP19891213 LANDA MEANA Mikel ESP
35 COL19940204 LOPEZ MORENO Miguel Angel COL
36 ITA19870711 MALACARNE Davide ITA
37 ITA19890327 ROSA Diego ITA
38 ITA19790925 SCARPONI Michele ITA
D.S. ZANINI Stefano

41 ITA19900517 COLBRELLI Sonny ITA
42 ITA19900304 BARBIN Enrico ITA
43 ITA19900901 BONGIORNO Francesco Manuel ITA
44 ITA19920716 CHIRICO Luca ITA
45 ITA19870311 PIRAZZI Stefano ITA
46 ITA19931211 STERBINI Simone ITA
47 ITA19920529 TONELLI Alessandro ITA
48 ITA19891102 ZARDINI Edoardo ITA

51 BEL19820705 GILBERT Philippe BEL
53 ITA19871012 CARUSO Damiano ITA
54 ITA19860519 DE MARCHI Alessandro ITA
56 ITA19920311 SENNI Manuel ITA
57 BEL19920301 TEUNS Dylan BEL
58 SVK19850221 VELITS Peter SVK

61 ITA19870803 BENEDETTI Cesare ITA
62 CZE19841207 BARTA Jan CZE
63 GER19921118 BUCHMANN Emanuel GER
64 AUT19911013 KONRAD Patrick AUT
65 GER19890825 NERZ Dominik GER
67 ITA19850218 SALERNO Cristiano ITA
68 GER19860326 VOSS Paul GER

71 ITA19710809 REBELLIN Davide ITA
72 CZE19910121 HIRT Jan CZE
73 POL19880227 HONKISZ Adrian POL
74 POL19900224 OWSIAN Lukasz POL
75 POL19860912 PATERSKI Maciej POL
76 POL19900603 PLUCINSKI Leszek POL
77 GER19810721 SCHUMACHER Stefan GER
78 POL19780302 SZMYD Sylvester POL

81 COL19830313 CANO ARDILA Alex COL
83 COL19860611 DUARTE AREVALO Fabio Andres COL
84 COL19811127 PEDRAZA MORALES Walter F. COL
85 COL19860305 QUINTERO Carlos Julian COL
86 COL19921120 RAMIREZ CHACON Brayan Stiven COL
87 COL19841003 RUBIANO CHAVEZ Miguel Angel COL
88 COL19870321 TORRES AGUDELO Rodolfo A. COL
D.S. TEBALDI Valerio

91 POL19900602 KWIATKOWSKI Michal POL
92 FRA19861103 BOUET Maxime FRA
93 ITA19870822 BRAMBILLA Gianluca ITA
94 POL19840429 GOLAS Michal POL
95 CZE19851211 STYBAR Zdenek CZE
96 CZE19920711 VAKOC Petr CZE
98 POL19911207 WISNIOWSKI Lukasz POL

101 FRA19900529 PINOT Thibaut FRA
102 FRA19910722 ELISSONDE Kenny FRA
103 FRA19930630 LECUISINIER Pierre Henri FRA
104 SUI19830130 MORABITO Steve SUI
105 FRA19850508 PINEAU Cédric FRA
106 FRA19830622 ROY Jérémy FRA
107 FIN19810329 VEIKKANEN Jussi FIN
108 FRA19881126 VICHOT Arthur FRA
D.S. GAYANT Martial

111 NED19820924 CLEMENT Stef NED
112 FRA19860806 COPPEL Jerome FRA
113 AUT19870920 DENIFL Stefan AUT
114 SUI19780923 ELMIGER Martin SUI
115 SUI19861209 FRANK Mathias SUI
116 COL19881119 PANTANO Jarlinson COL
117 USA19900628 WARBASSE Lawrence USA
118 SUI19860625 WYSS Marcel SUI

121 ITA19890715 ULISSI Diego ITA
122 ITA19831111 BONO Matteo ITA
123 ITA19901025 CATTANEO Mattia ITA
124 ITA19930330 CONTI Valerio ITA
125 CRO19870726 DURASEK Kristijan CRO
126 POR19861005 FARIA DA COSTA Rui Alberto POR
127 BLR19910320 KOSHEVOY Ilia BLR
128 SLO19920506 POLANC Jan SLO

131 FRA19880524 GALLOPIN Tony FRA
132 BEL19851210 ARMEE Sander BEL
133 BEL19940311 BENOOT Tiesj BEL
134 BEL19860826 DE CLERCQ Bart BEL
135 BEL19830114 MONFORT Maxime BEL
136 BEL19850219 VANENDERT Jelle BEL
137 BEL19931006 VERVAEKE Louis BEL
138 BEL19910510 WELLENS Tim BEL

141 ESP19800425 VALVERDE BELMONTE Alejandro ESP
144 ESP19840718 MORENO BAZAN Javier ESP
145 ESP19850608 ROJAS GIL Jose Joaquin ESP
146 ESP19931122 SOLER GIMENEZ Marc ESP
147 GER19921104 SÜTTERLIN Jasha GER
148 ITA19830113 VISCONTI Giovanni ITA

151 ITA19810919 CUNEGO Damiano ITA
152 ITA19920205 BERLATO Giacomo ITA
153 ITA19850307 BISOLTI Alessandro ITA
154 COL19870717 CHAPARRO LOPEZ Didier Alonso COL
155 ITA19860605 DE NEGRI Pier Paolo ITA
156 ITA19920117 FILOSI Iuri ITA
157 ROU19920904 GROSU Eduard Michael ROU
158 JPN19911119 YAMAMOTO Genki JPN

161 AUS19800516 GERRANS Simon AUS
162 SUI19801220 ALBASINI Michael SUI
163 COL19900117 CHAVES RUBIO Johan Esteban COL
164 AUS19920813 HOWSON Damien AUS
165 BEL19881123 KEUKELEIRE Jens BEL
166 CAN19850221 MEIER Christian CAN
167 GBR19920807 YATES Adam GBR
168 GBR19920807 YATES Simon GBR
D.S. WHITE Matthew

171 ITA19851014 BELLETTI Manuel ITA
172 ITA19871220 BUSATO Matteo ITA
173 ITA19910914 CONTI Samuele ITA
174 ITA19910529 FEDI Andrea ITA
175 ITA19850510 FINETTO Mauro ITA
176 ITA19840801 GAVAZZI Francesco ITA
177 ITA19870117 PONZI Simone ITA
178 ITA19920313 WACKERMANN Luca ITA

181 NED19901111 DUMOULIN Tom NED
182 FRA19911028 BARGUIL Warren FRA
183 USA19920220 CRADDOCK Lawson USA
184 GER19850609 FRÖHLINGER Johannes GER
185 GER19860313 GESCHKE Simon GER
186 USA19880826 HAGA Chad USA
187 SWE19910222 LUDVIGSSON Tobias SWE
188 AUT19900617 PREIDLER Georg AUT

191 ESP19790312 RODRIGUEZ OLIVER Joaquin ESP
192 RUS19810114 LAGUTIN Sergey RUS
193 ESP19820228 LOSADA ALGUACIL Alberto ESP
195 RUS19840126 TROFIMOV Yury RUS
196 ESP19770413 VICIOSO ARCOS Angel ESP
197 RUS19821207 VORGANOV Eduard RUS
198 RUS19890915 ZAKARIN Ilnur RUS

201 NED19910325 KELDERMAN Wilco NED
202 NZL19900407 BENNETT George NZL
203 NED19860531 GESINK Robert NED
204 NED19870607 KRUIJSWIJK Steven NED
205 NED19890616 LINDEMAN Bert Jan NED
206 NED19930111 ROOSEN Timo NED
207 NED19781203 TANKINK Bram NED
208 NED19871202 VAN WINDEN Dennis NED
D.S. ZEEMAN Merijn

211 CZE19871115 KONIG Leopold CZE
212 USA19910207 BOSWELL Ian USA
213 COL19930805 HENAO GOMEZ Sebastian COL
214 COL19871210 HENAO MONTOYA Sergio Luis COL
215 GBR19890615 KENNAUGH Peter GBR
216 BLR19810628 KIRYIENKA Vasil BLR
217 ESP19840526 NIEVE ITURALDE Mikel ESP
218 NED19870110 POELS Wouter NED
D.S. RASCH Gabriel

221 POL19890912 MAJKA Rafal POL
222 ITA19800924 BENNATI Daniele ITA
223 DEN19901023 HANSEN Jesper DEN
225 CRO19860809 KISERLOVSKI Robert CRO
226 POR19810515 PIRES Bruno POR
227 POL19900506 POLJANSKI Pawel POL
228 DEN19840905 SÖRENSEN Chris Anker DEN

231 LUX19800415 SCHLECK Frank LUX
232 ITA19900809 ALAFACI Eugenio ITA
233 COL19880730 ARREDONDO MORENO Julian Davi COL
234 LUX19840719 DIDIER Laurent LUX
235 ITA19900329 FELLINE Fabio ITA
236 NED19861126 MOLLEMA Bauke NED
237 UKR19800104 POPOVYCH Yaroslav UKR
238 ESP19770401 ZUBELDIA AGIRRE Haimar ESP
D.S. BAFFI Adriano

241 USA19860601 REIJNEN Kiel USA
242 ITA19840716 BAZZANA Alessandro ITA
243 SLO19831218 BRAJKOVIC Janez SLO
244 ITA19881226 CANOLA Marco ITA
245 USA19831205 EUSER Lucas USA
246 USA19920421 PUTT Tanner USA
247 ITA19891005 RATTO Daniele ITA
248 ITA19940225 ZURLO Federico ITA
D.S. REDANT Hendrik

martedì 29 settembre 2015

Cyclocross: There we go! Lars van der Haar's Schedule... and the Joy of Commuting

On my way to Figline: crossin the river in Rignano
It's cold. Yeah, cold and windy here in Florence and I guess it's colder in Belgium. The road Worlds are done and dusted and in few days Il Lombardia will put a end to the whole road season. There are a few other races on the road calendar but after Como my focus will switch to the cycloross. It's about time.
And here my rider is Lars van der Haar, one of the purest talents in the cross peloton. I'll keep an eye also on my favourite ousider Angus Edmond. They both have already started their cross season - Lars in Vegas, Angus in Three Peaks (UK), the craziest race I have ever seen... - and both did great - Lars 4th and Angus 37th. Bravo!
A misty morning
As far as me I'm back enjoying the pleasure of commuting, and I mean it. I feel a lot of pity for people stucked in their cars when riding by in a misty morning, my legs a little lazy yet, breathing free, my world in my wheels, spinning at the same rhythm of my heartbeat. It's a great feeling.
By bike and train
This year I teach in two different schools and I have to take a train to get to one of them, in a small town near Florence. The rail station is very close to my home, I pedale just 15' and still I like it, it gets me awake. Then I apreciate the fact that in spite the trip is short on the train I have time to read my book  - Jung's autobiography at the moment. Quite often I just look outside the window at the beautiful country touched by the first rosy rays of the sun. I love the early morning!
Angus Edmond in Three Peaks
I even love riding in the rain when a storm catches me on my way back from th other school, that is in Florence - the same as last year. At first, when you aren't used, you are like: "Oh! Nooooo! I'm getting wet!" or "Damn it! it's dangerous!". Then you realise that all the fuss has no reason really because hey, you're getting wet but pedaling keeps you warm enough and you'll change your clothes once at home. And it's true that a wet road is more dangerous that a dry one but, talking about commuting, you don't need to take any risk, you can take your time and enjoy it actually. Riding in the rain can be absolutely safe and even nice when you stop complaining and start living the moment, here and now. It can be amazing.

Lars van der Haar
Lars van der Haar:
“I hope to take another step forward in my development as a CX rider this season. In general, my season goals are to perform well at the World Cup and Superprestige races. On top of that I will be aiming to reach top form at the world championships in Zolder, Belgium, and to go for a good result there.”

Coach Dirk Reuling:
“The main target for Lars will be the world championships in Zolder. The course suits him very well, as it will be same as the Zolder World Cup race, where he has won a couple of times already. For his season in general we will aim for podium finishes in both the World Cup and the Superprestige classifications. There are a lot of races, and we have decided to focus on those two classifications. The World Cup is obviously the most important, and the Superprestige races suit him well.
Last year Lars made a step up to ride with the best cyclo-crossers in the world, and we are now seeing other talents rising too, so the top is becoming broader. This season we hope to confirm that Lars consistently belongs among the world’s top racers and take whatever opportunities come in races that suit him, such as the World Cup race in Valkenburg, for example.”

04/10/2015 – Gieten, the Netherlands
11/10/2015 – Ronsse, Belgium
18/10/2015 – Valkenburg, the Netherlands
20/10/2015 – Woerden, the Netherlands
25/10/2015 – Zonhoven, Belgium
31/10/2015 – Boom, Belgium
01/11/2015 – Oudenaarde, Belgium
07/11/2015 – European Championships: Huijbergen, the Netherlands
08/11/2015 – Ruddervoorde, the Netherlands
15/11/2015 – Asper Gavere, Belgium
22/11/2015 – Koksijde, Belgium
29/11/2015 – Hame Zogge, Belgium
12/12/2015 – Mol, Belgium
13/12/2015 – Spa Francorschamps, Belgium
19/12/2015 – Antwerpen, Belgium
20/12/2015 – Namur, Belgium
26/12/2015 – Heusden Zolder, Belgium
27/12/2015 – Diegem, Belgium
01/01/2016 – Baal, Belgium
10/01/2016 – National Championships: Hellendoorn, the Netherlands
17/01/2016 – Bourges, France
23/01/2016 – Rucphen, the Netherlands
24/01/2016 – Hoogerheide, the Netherlands
31/01/2016 – World Championships: Zolder, Belgium
03/02/2016 – Maldegem, Belgium
06/02/2016 – St Niklaas, Belgium
07/02/2016 – Hoogstraten, Belgium
13/02/2016 – Middelkerke, Belgium
14/02/2016 – Heerlen, the Netherlands
21/02/2016 – Oostmalle, Belgium
24/02/2016 – Waregem, Belgium

domenica 27 settembre 2015

Worlds: Elite Men RR: At The Last Climb!

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Two laps and the break goes away: King (USA), Alzate (COL), Sergent (NZL), Stevic (SRB), Tvetvoc (ROU), Dunne (IRL). They still have 2' 8 laps to go but the chase is on and 6 laps to go the break away gets caught.
Embedded image permalink75km to go a new break forms: Pantano, Boivin, Siutsou and Phinney. They have a small gap on the peleton, just 20" and Sep Vanmarcke attacks from the peloton with Geschke, Bennati and Stannard. Pantani dropped waits for them but they get all caught.
55 km to go Badgonas attacks and is trying to bridge to the leading trio when a crash happens in the feed zone. Kristoff is also involved. while Alaphilippe, already dropped with Bouhanni, retires.
Embedded image permalinkIn front Boivin, Siutsou and Phinney keep pulling. Rodriguez attacks and splits the group. Spain is making the race hard.
Embedded image permalinkEverything back together with 35km to go, Stannard attacks on the 23rd street climb, Mollema and Boonen follow. Caught. Mollema goes on counter. A small group formed in front, including Andrey Amador (CRc), Tom Boonen (Bel), Elia Viviani (Ita), Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol), Ian Stannard (GBr), Daniel Moreno (Spa) and Bauke Mollema (Ned). Germany is leading the chase and 17 km to go the group is caught. 
Embedded image permalink20 riders are now in the lead but at the bell ring the peloton is compact and new attacks come.
10 km to go Sioutsou attacks  and Farrar follows. They get a gap but they are caught 4 km to go. Last passage on the cobbles and Stybar attacks but can't go away. Second climb: Sagan attacks and keeps going in the descent. 2 km to go and he's solo in front. Last climb. It's done. 
He walks on the line and many riders arriving go shaking hands with him. he throws away his helmet and rise his ends again toward the crowd.
Michael Matthews is 2nd and Navardauskas 3rd.
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Peter Sagan:
"I think it's the biggest victory of my career, and I'm very happy because I sacrificed a lot these last three weeks after the Vuelta.
It's unbelievable for me. Today I was just waiting, waiting, I had my brother with me .. my teammates were always with me. If something happend they were always there. It was a little bit crazy in the last laps, and I thought everyone has to be tired. I gave everything on last cobblestone climb and then it was full gas until the finish.
I knew if the group caught me, I was very tired for the sprint. But it was the right attack for me. I saw also a lot of comments from people that I am not good for a long race like this. But now I have this jersey for all next year."

Michael Matthews:
"I think that I had maybe three guys. Heinrich Haussler and Simon Gerrans. Heinrich did a really good job trying to pull it back a bit on the climb but he was working all through the race for me to keep it together and keep me in position, so he didn't really have much left in the end. Heinrich did a really good job today and kept himself out of trouble and put me in the perfect position, which is a really hard job to do. I'm really grateful for that.
No, Gerrans didn't help me. I think we were sprinting against each other unfortunately. We had two leaders so it is was it is. Yeah, I'm disappointed. I would have liked the full support but it is what it is. We came in with two leaders.
I actually really enjoyed the race today. It was a really nice course with those cobbles and I've never really raced this sort of circuit before, with uphill cobbles. It was a Flanders sort of race and it was really fun. Unfortunately it's not the gold. I came here to win the race and I had the legs and had the form to win but Sagan slid away there and we weren't able to catch him.
I was about fifth or sixth wheel when Sagan went and two guys in front of me and the three guys that got away dropped the wheel. I thought that some other guys would close it but obviously they didn't. I thought that we'd catch him with three kilometres to go and it being such a hard race but maybe we underestimated him a little bit. I'm really happy for him actually. 
It's good in way [to get another medal] but bad in way because we've not won one yet in these last few years. I think maybe we need a change of strategy. Should the team work for one leader? Hopefully." 

Ramunas Navardauskas:
"I'm very proud, for myself, I am happy to be third. So far this is the best result in a road race for the team. I'm happy I have this, and I'm happy to bring this home to me country, my family and my team.
The world championships are a one day race, and if you can achieve a medal it's a big thing for you, it can hang on your wall the rest of your life. I think it's better than a stage of the Giro our Tour. It's a bigger event, the world championships is the world championships.
It was a very hard race, until the last two laps it was always at the back of 50 guys in the front of the bunch, and it was very hard to fight for position.
Until the last two laps I couldn't see where I would finish. I thought if they went harder I wouldn't be finishing today. It was a very hard race and in the end I'm happy I was strong enough to come top three.
The Australians had three guys in the end, the Belgian boys were close to each other. [Norwegian Alexander] Kristoff was ready to go full gas. I just tried to stay there and see how it goes. At the last moment you could see there were splits and you didn't know if they would come back together, or everyone come one by one. I was just sitting in waiting until the last sprint. You can just wait, wait and then do your best."

Alexander Kristoff:
"I got fourth but they went quite hard, quite early so from the start I know that it would be quite difficult because with the climbs so close to the finish it was also going be hard and with a guy like Sagan you know that he can stay away. 
When Sagan went away he kept the gap and you saw that riders could do that in the U23 race. We tried to neutralise that by sending up Edvald but in the end Sagan was too strong and took the victory.
I wasn't close when the attacks came, and I was just trying to stay in the group. In the sprint I took the wheel of Gilbert and I started with 150 meters to go but I just couldn't hold it. It was a lack of power." 

Tyler Farrar:
"I was suffering all day on Libby Hill, so I knew if I waited and waited I would be in the second group. I just didn’t have the legs. But on the other climb, it was so short and powerful, no one could drop me there and then the final climb is the final climb. My tactic was, well if they hesitate just long enough that they catch me with the front group at the top of Libby Hill, then I'm in with a shot there.
It was an insane day out there. I had goosebumps from start to finish. It was nuts. It was deafening on the climbs. Really unbelievable as an American with the World Championships in America. I've never had six hours on the bike go by so fast.
I don't think we had a top favourite in this race, so it was important for us to put on a good show and race aggressively, and we did. 
We had Ben [King] riding the early break, Taylor [Phinney] getting out front, and I gave it a go at the end. I think Alex ended up 10th or 11th, so it's not a total wash. I think all things considered we rode the best race we could."

Michal Kwiatkowski: 
"For sure I feel unsatisfied. I competed with the aim of defending the rainbow jersey. That was my goal. At the very end there was a real chance, to win maybe not, but for a medal. I had no power in the final sprint. There was no desire to retreat to the main group. No one in this escape was not going a hundred percent, and we easily won a 30-second advantage. Coming onto a flat stretch the escape was losing strength, but those who chased us lost power after jumping over to our group.”

Rigoberto Uran:
“We were good, we intended to be ahead in the final but it wasn’t as selective a course as we’d hoped, although it was hard and there was a lot of people. They are special races. I intended on attacking at 800 metres to go and they didn’t give me the space but the important thing was to try.”

Niki Terpstra:
“I tried, but it was immediately responded and the next attack was immediately good. Sometimes you have luck behind you if you waited a moment, but that did not happen. The plan was just right, we rode like a real group, we worked really well together. But unfortunately the reward did not come."

Matteo Trentin:
"For the result it wasn't so good because we didn't reach the top ten. Basically if you see the results it wasn't good but we raced in the best way possible and in every action we were there. From my side I probably made a mistake when I saw the move from Degenkolb and Van Avermaet I went also with them but I spent my bullet at the wrong time and that's all. Sagan waited and made the best race. What we saw on this parcours was that you had one bullet and once you used it, your race is over.
I think we raced the best way. Of course the best way of racing, normally gets a result, normally, but I think we took the best that was possible. Giacomo went for the sprint and kept safe the whole day but if you saw from Kristoff it wasn't an easy sprint. It was a really hard race.
We had a really good team and I think we raced well, in my opinion. Instead just the result you really need to see the whole picture. The guys, most of them, are young and born between 1988-91 so it's a young team and we need time to be at the front of these races. We need more time to grow but we're starting to come together.
If you look at one of the great Italian teams from around 2002 from the years of Cipollini and they started to work and grow together. They had some really good results and we need to work towards that. Of course we have passion but we know that we need results too. We don't want to be here to make up the numbers. At this point we just need to analyse everything and then go better next time." 

Greg Van Avermaet:
"I think I was really good and I took the right moment to go but then Sagan came over me and on the cobbles it was not so easy. I was just one or two metres behind him over the top but then he had a few pedal strokes stronger than me. I tried to push with everything that I got but I just didn't have it. It was just a few seconds and I think if I was there I would have been able to sprint for a world title, but he was gone.
It was hard to close it because Boasson Hagen didn't want to work with me and then you know it's hard to stay on the front. If there is one guy on your wheel that doesn't want to work and then there is one guy in front who is going for the world title then my race was over in the moment. I saw that Boasson Hagen was there, I hoped that he would directly work with me because he's pretty fast also in the sprint but he didn't want to work with me, he just wanted to wait for Kristoff. If Sagan is gone then the world title is also gone.
I think we did a pretty good race and if we had won everything would be perfect. I tried to win myself and gave everything on the second last climb, I just came up a few metres [short], and I was not good enough to follow Sagan, but then you get back in the peloton and the race was over."

Alejandro Valverde:
"It ended up being a harder circuit than expected - a bit of it due to elimination in the finale, riding under constant danger due to speed and crashes. I consider it was a good result. I already stated it wasn't a route that suited me much, though it's true that it became harder in the end. We were up there once again, giving everything we could, just as much as the rest of the national team. 
Almost all sprinters made it to the last sprint, and even with that, we could bring a good result home with that fifth place. When Sagan attacked with Van Avermaet, it wasn't a problem that I was too far behind, I was like eighth at the beginning of the 23rd Street slope, but it was really hard to keep pushing forward, impossible for me at that point.
I didn't lack that energy quite as much in the sprint as there; probably I could have been a bit closer to the medals with better positioning in that sprint, but we shouldn't make up any excuses."

Zdnek Stybar:
"I think I gave everything and I think we had a very good and motivated team, and I think today didn't work out but that's how it is. Sagan definitely deserved the win. Now he makes his palmares complete. I think he was really peaking for this because he was very strong, especially on the steep climb - he was very strong.
I just wanted to go there on the climb because I was there alone from my team. I thought, 'OK, if we make a little selection or if I could do a little selection then it would be easier to make something in the final' but it was just done directly and there was nothing left to do any differently anymore on the last climb.
It was just [after] the attack that I did. When I went, I had lost some positions, and then when he went on the steep climb I was a bit too far back. You could see that everyone was underneath and when he went I could feel that it would be really difficult to close the gap. It was the only possible thing to do."

1 Peter Sagan (Slovakia) 
2 Michael Matthews (Australia)
3 Ramunas Navardauskas (Lithuania)
4 Alexander Kristoff (Norway
5 Alejandro Valverde (Spain)
6 Simon Gerrans (Australia)
7 Tony Gallopin (France)
8 Michel Kwiatkowski (Poland)
9 Rui Costa (Portugal)
10 Philippe Gilbert (Belgium)
11 Tom Dumoulin (Netherlands)
12 Alex Howes (United States)
13 Niki Terpstra (Netherlands)
14 Rein Taaramae (Estonia)
15 Viacheslav Kuznetsov (Russia)
16 Nelson Oliveira (Portugal)
17 Yukiya Arashiro (Japan)
18 Giacomo Nizzolo (Italy)
19 Brent Bookwalter (United States)

20 Edvald Boasson Hagen (Norway)