giovedì 21 agosto 2014

Vuelta a Espana: Start List, All Stages... and more

I'm very happy today! not only because my favourite stage race is about to start and I'm looking forward to watch some beautiful cycling but also and moreover because...  well, you know... it was since Paris-Nice that I didn't hear from Andy Schleck and we had had a kind of fight that time. It wasn't - and it isn't - an easy period for him and it wasn't easy for me to see things going from bad to worse. But we can't stay angry so long. Today I think we made up and for me it's as if the world had got back its colour and its sense. So deeply I care about him. Yes, I still care very much and I'm glad we are still good friends.
Now lets enjoy La Vuelta!

Start List

Ag2R La Mondiale 

Carlos Alberto Betancur Gomez (Col) 
Maxime Bouet (Fra) 
Hubert Dupont (Fra) 
Damien Gaudin (Fra) 
Patrick Gretsch (Ger) 
Yauheni Hutarovich (Blr) 
Lloyd Mondory (Fra) 
Rinaldo Nocentini (Ita) 
Sébastien Turgot (Fra) 

Astana Pro Team 

Fabio Aru (Ita) 
Daniil Fominykh (Kaz) 
Andrea Guardini (Ita) 
Jacopo Guarnieri (Ita) 
Tanel Kangert (Est) 
Mikel Landa Meana (Spa) 
Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) 
Paolo Tiralongo (Ita) 
Andrey Zeits (Kaz) 

Belkin Pro Cycling Team 

Stef Clement (Ned) 
Robert Gesink (Ned) 
Moreno Hofland (Ned) 
Martijn Keizer (Ned) 
Wilco Kelderman (Ned) 
Paul Martens (Ger) 
Laurens Ten Dam (Ned) 
Maarten Tjallingii (Ned) 
Robert Wagner (Ger) 

BMC Racing Team 

Rohan Dennis (Aus) 
Cadel Evans (Aus) 
Philippe Gilbert (Bel) 
Steve Morabito (Swi) 
Dominik Nerz (Ger) 
Manuel Quinziato (Ita) 
Samuel Sanchez Gonzalez (Spa) 
Larry Warbasse (USA) 
Danilo Wyss (Swi) 

Caja Rural - Seguros Rga 

Javier Aramendia Lorente (Spa) 
David Arroyo Duran (Spa) 
Pello Bilbao (Spa) 
Karol Domagalski (Pol) 
Francesco Lasca (Ita) 
Luis Mas Bonet (Spa) 
Antonio Piedra Perez (Spa) 
Luis Leon Sanchez Gil (Spa) 
Amets Txurruka Ansola (Spa) 

Cannondale 

George Bennett (NZl) 
Maciej Bodnar (Pol) 
Guillaume Boivin (Can) 
Damiano Caruso (Ita) 
Alessandro De Marchi (Ita) 
Oscar Gatto (Ita) 
Matthias Krizek (Aut) 
Paolo Longo Borghini (Ita) 
Peter Sagan (Svk) 

Cofidis, Solutions Crédits 

Yohan Bagot (Fra) 
Jerome Coppel (Fra) 
Romain Hardy (Fra) 
Gert Joeaar (Est) 
Christophe Le Mevel (Fra) 
Guillaume Levarlet (Fra) 
Luis Angel Mate Mardones (Spa) 
Daniel Navarro Garcia (Spa) 
Romain Zingle (Bel) 

FDJ.Fr 

Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) 
Kenny Elissonde (Fra) 
Murilo Antonio Fischer (Bra) 
Johan Le Bon (Fra) 
Laurent Mangel (Fra) 
Cedric Pineau (Fra) 
Thibaut Pinot (Fra) 
Anthony Roux (Fra) 
Geoffrey Soupe (Fra) 

Garmin - Sharp 

Nathan Brown (USA) 
Andre Fernando S. Martins Cardoso (Por) 
Koldo Fernandez De Larrea (Spa) 
Nathan Haas (Aus) 
Ryder Hesjedal (Can) 
Daniel Martin (Irl) 
David Millar (GBr) 
Andrew Talansky (USA) 
Johan Van Summeren (Bel) 

IAM Cycling 

Marcel Aregger (Swi) 
Jonathan Fumeaux (Swi) 
Sébastien Hinault (Fra) 
Dominic Klemme (Ger) 
Pirmin Lang (Swi) 
Matteo Pelucchi (Ita) 
Vicente Reynes Mimo (Spa) 
Aleksejs Saramotins (Lat) 
Johann Tschopp (Swi) 

Lampre - Merida 

Winner Anrew Anacona (Col) 
Damiano Cunego (Ita) 
Elia Favilli (Ita) 
Roberto Ferrari (Ita) 
Christopher Horner (USA) 
Przemyslaw Niemiec (Pol) 
Filippo Pozzato (Ita) 
Ariel Maximiliano Richeze (Arg) 
Jose Rodolfo Serpa Perez (Col) 

Lotto - Belisol 

Sander Armee (Bel) 
Vegard Breen (Nor) 
Bart De Clercq (Bel) 
Jens Debusschere (Bel) 
Adam Hansen (Aus) 
Gregory Henderson (NZl) 
Pim Ligthart (Ned) 
Maxime Monfort (Bel) 
Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) 

Movistar Team 

Andrey Amador Bikkazakova (CRc) 
Jonathan Castroviejo Nicolas (Spa) 
Imanol Erviti (Spa) 
José Herrada Lopez (Spa) 
Gorka Izaguirre Insausti (Spa) 
Adriano Malori (Ita) 
Javier Moreno Bazan (Spa) 
Nairo Alexander Quintana Rojas (Col) 
Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) 

MTN - Qhubeka 

Gerald Ciolek (Ger) 
Jacques Janse Van Rensburg (RSA) 
Louis Meintjes (RSA) 
Kudus Merhawi Ghebremedhin (Eri) 
Sergio Pardilla Bellon (Spa) 
Kristian Sbaragli (Ita) 
Daniel Teklehaymanot (Eri) 
Jay Robert Thomson (RSA) 
Jacobus Venter (RSA) 

Omega Pharma - Quickstep Cycling Team 

Tom Boonen (Bel) 
Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) 
Nikolas Maes (Bel) 
Tony Martin (Ger) 
Wouter Poels (Ned) 
Pieter Serry (Bel) 
Rigoberto Uran (Col) 
Martin Velits (Svk) 
Carlos Verona Quintanilla (Spa) 

Orica Greenedge 

Sam Bewley (NZl) 
Johan Esteban Chaves Rubio (Col) 
Simon Clarke (Aus) 
Mitchell Docker (Aus) 
Brett Lancaster (Aus) 
Michael Matthews (Aus) 
Cameron Meyer (Aus) 
Ivan Santaromita (Ita) 
Adam Yates (GBr) 

Team Europcar 

Natnael Berhane Teweldemedhin (Eri) 
Jerome Cousin (Fra) 
Dan Craven (Nam) 
Jimmy Engoulvent (Fra) 
Vincent Jerome (Fra) 
Yannick Martinez (Fra) 
Maxime Mederel (Fra) 
Bryan Naulleau (Fra) 
Romain Sicard (Fra) 

Team Giant-Shimano 

Nikias Arndt (Ger) 
Warren Barguil (Fra) 
Lawson Craddock (USA) 
Koen De Kort (Ned) 
John Degenkolb (Ger) 
Johannes Frohlinger (Ger) 
Chad Haga (USA) 
Tobias Ludvigsson (Swe) 
Ramon Sinkeldam (Ned) 

Team Katusha 

Giampaolo Caruso (Ita) 
Sergey Chernetsky (Rus) 
Alexandr Kolobnev (Rus) 
Dmitriy Kozontchuk (Rus) 
Alberto Losada Alguacil (Spa) 
Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) 
Joaquin Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) 
Yury Trofimov (Rus) 
Eduard Vorganov (Rus) 

Team Sky 

Dario Cataldo (Ita) 
Philip Deignan (Irl) 
Christopher Froome (GBr) 
Peter Kennaugh (GBr) 
Vasil Kiryienka (Blr) 
Christian Knees (Ger) 
Mikel Nieve Ituralde (Spa) 
Luke Rowe (GBr) 
Kanstantsin Siutsou (Blr) 

Team Tinkoff-Saxo 

Daniele Bennati (Ita) 
Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) 
Jesus Hernandez Blazquez (Spa) 
Sergio Miguel Moreira Paulinho (Por) 
Ivan Rovny (Rus) 
Chris Anker Sørensen (Den) 
Matteo Tosatto (Ita) 
Michael Valgren Andersen (Den) 
Oliver Zaugg (Swi) 

Trek Factory Racing 

Julian Arredondo Moreno (Col) 
Fabian Cancellara (Swi) 
Fabio Felline (Ita) 
Bob Jungels (Lux) 
Yaroslav Popovych (Ukr) 
Jesse Sergent (NZl) 
Jasper Stuyven (Bel) 
Kristof Vandewalle (Bel) 
Haimar Zubeldia Agirre (Spa) 

All Stages
Stage 1 August 23, 2014 Jerez de la Frontera (TTT) 12.6 km
Stage 2 August 24, 2014 Algeciras - San Fernando 174.4 km
Stage 3 August 25, 2014 Cádiz - Arcos de la Frontera 197.8 km
Stage 4 August 26, 2014 Mairena del Alcor - Cordoba 164.7 km
Stage 5 August 27, 2014 Priego de Cordoba - Ronda 180 km
Stage 6 August 28, 2014 Benalmadena - Cumbres Verdes (La Zubia) 167.7 km
Stage 7 August 29, 2014 Alhendin - Alcaudete 169 km
Stage 8 August 30, 2014 Baeza - Albacete 207 km
Stage 9 August 31, 2014 Carbonera de Guadaza - Valdelinares 185 km
Rest Day 1 September 01, 2014
Stage 10 September 02, 2014 Monasterio de Veruela - Borja (ITT) 36.7 km
Stage 11 September 03, 2014 Pamplona - San Miguel de Aralar (Navarre) 153.4 km
Stage 12 September 04, 2014 Logroño - Logroño 166.4 km
Stage 13 September 05, 2014 Belorado - Obregón 188.7 km
Stage 14 September 06, 2014 Santander - La Camperona 200.8 km
Stage 15 September 07, 2014 Oviedo - Lagos de Covadonga 152.2 km
Stage 16 September 08, 2014 San Martin del Rey Aurelio - La Farrapona 160.5 km
Rest Day 2 September 09, 2014
Stage 17 September 10, 2014 Ortigueira - A Coruña 190.7 km
Stage 18 September 11, 2014 A Estrada - Monte Castrove en Meis 157 km
Stage 19 September 12, 2014 Salvaterra de Miño - Cangas de Morrazo 180.5 km
Stage 20 September 13, 2014 Santo Estevo de Riba de Sil - Ancares 185.7 km
Stage 21 September 14, 2014 Santiago de Compostela (ITT) 9.7 km

mercoledì 20 agosto 2014

In Short: TM Luca Guercilena about Andy Schleck's (no) future with TFR

There is an interview here:
http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/guercilena-builds-for-the-future-at-trek-factory-racing
In short:
1. Team has to diet: "We’ll have around thirty riders next year, and then look to drop down to 22 riders in a few years time with the UCI rules changing".
2. Andy is hard to evaluate but still not in shape: "We’ve seen that Frank can come back to a certain level, while Andy wasn’t super before the Tour and then picked up another injury in a crash so it’s hard to evaluate him. We didn’t get the answers we wanted with Andy at the Tour so now it’s important to see what level he can come back to and then make the right analysis before making a decision. Frank has proved his level and we’re talking to him to find a common solution. For Andy, it’s difficult to say something because he’s still not back and he’s not shown that much or shown the level he’s supposed to be at. That’s the situation.”
3. He will hardly find a spot: “I don’t have an answer for this. It’s not a no comment it’s just that it’s really difficult to make a realistic view. For sure at the moment he’s not reached the level we wanted. It’s going to be tough for him because as a manager you analyse the rider, the performance and the trend. The general picture of the team is more important than an individual. Is there space? That will be discussed by the team but it’s no longer enough to say ‘I’m fit and I’m ready and good’. I think that a pro rider has to prove it with performance and not just with words.”
My opinion
I'm sorry but not surprised. That's cycling and that's world when you come to job. Guercilena has to build a team able to achieve results so needs the right riders, no more no less. As far as Andy, I'm no more in touch with him so I know as much as you. I said and I repeat that in my opinion he should stop and think about what he really wants to do with his life. He's still relatively young, still in time to learn something else, to build himself a life as an adult. I wish him all the best.

martedì 19 agosto 2014

Cycling So Far (...from far)

Eneco Tour final podium
I tried hard, but it didn't work and after a while I gave up. I'm talking about Eneco. I really tried to watch the last stages but miserably failed. When stage 6 started I was in train but arrived in time for the streaming, sadly there wasn't wii-fii in my room and mine didn't work. It was rainy and fucking cold, I sank into my bed and emerged only for dinner.
Where am I? You'll find out in the next posts!
As far as Eneco is concerned, I'm totally aware that I missed some great racingTim Wellens won the overall bravely attacking in the mini-Liège in spite Lars Boom bravely responded. Geraint Thomas scored another top ten result, that's good but not so good. Dumoulin, Grivko, Van Avermaet and Keukeleire confirmed to be in a splendid shape. Also bravo to Matteo Trentin and Ben Gastauer. 
Team Belkin simply dominated the Artic Race of Norway. That was one of BMC Thor Hushovd 's last races, in the last stage he attacked with 1.5 kilometers to go and was overtaken in the final 100 meters by Katusha's Alexander Kristoff who won. A great racing and a great lanscape for a short tour that is growing up.
Bad news for TFR Eugenio Alafaci: he crashed in the Eneco last stage and got injuried - some ribs and the collarbone. Kroon brought him down and today apologised. 
Instead Alexis Vuillermoz was training while he crashed:  fractured wrist for him and no tour du Limousin. "Hard to be back to the home trainer in August!" he said. Get well soon both of you!

Eneco's winner Tim Wellens:
"Before this weekend I had never won a race yet, so this is definitely the highlight of my career so far. A WorldTour victory in Belgium is really special. Many people cheered for me along the way, start town Riemst is at 20 kilometers from my parents' house.
Before the stage there was more attention for the danger of the wind than for Boom and Dumoulin. The way the team performed today is fantastic. I could actually be relaxed in the wheel of Sieberg first and than that of Roelandts. Belkin tried to make an echelon twice, but we never had problems. We were really focused and only on the last hill Boom and Dumoulin tried to force something.
Two days before the start I went to see the team doctor because I was ill. We postponed the decision to start and of course I'm very pleased I did start. The beginning of the week was difficult for the team, but as of Friday I started believing there were opportunities. And with Jelle Vanendert I had a teammate who was really strong as well.
The opportunities me and other young Belgian riders get wouldn't be there without the immense support of Lotto. The different projects with which they give chances to young riders to develop their talent brought me to where I am today. The Belgian cycling project, with the support of so many Belgian partners, is indispensable for our cycling sport.
This victory doesn't mean I will start as a favourite in the next one-day races of the WorldTour, but I'm eager to perform well in Plouay - working for the team - Québec, Montréal and Lombardia."

Lars Boom (2nd):
“Tim was the strongest and deserved to win. I’m satisfied, however. I have had a super Eneco Tour. I felt good every day of the race. It was a beautiful week. Last year, I had a weak day in the Ardennes, but yesterday, I finished second there. I’m very happy with that. You could say that this is a new milestone in my career.
We were in Limburg today and the narrow roads made it very nervous. The boys rode super-fast to put Wellens under pressure. In the final, Greg Van Avermaet was early with an attack and I had to jump to get back in his wheel. That was a pity. 
Tomorrow morning, I’ll go for a swim with my daughters. After that I’m scheduled to ride Hamburg, Plouay, the Tour of Britain and hopefully the Worlds. I’ve shown that I still have the desire to race and that my motivation is huge.”

Artic Race's winner Steven Kruijswijk
"I am really happy. I’d never expected this in advance to win this race. It’s really great. It’s nice to give something back after the renewal of my contract with the team. 
It was a real team effort. From the beginning of the week, we took initiative and carried the race. Today, again, we were able to keep the leader's jersey. It was difficult to keep the pace high — because we were missing one man — but we managed to stay within time on Kristoff."
Petter Nordhaug:
"We're the strongest team here,"
Belkin DS Michiel Elijzen:
"We were able to control most of the race. It was a great job by Stef Clement, Jonathan Hivert and Nick van der Lijke. Unfortunately, we lost David Tanner, who had to abandon on the first day. It was a tough victory, but we made it. We knew Kristoff would take some bonus seconds today; and it was close, but you only need one second to win.

Thor Hushovd (2nd):  
"I really wanted to win for myself and everyone here. I could hear the cheers and applause of the crowd all around today. I was thinking I had to attack and I think I did a good move, but I could not stay away. To get beat on the line like that was hard." 

BMC DS Yvon Ledanois:
"We knew how important this was for Thor. A victory would have been perfect, but second is not bad. It changes nothing in the way people here celebrated him and his career today."

Eneco Tour

STAGE 6
1 Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Belisol 4:28:19  
2 Lars Boom (Ned) Belkin-Pro Cycling Team 0:00:50  
3 Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team 0:00:52  
4 Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Giant-Shimano  
5 Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team Sky 0:00:56  
6 Andriy Grivko (Ukr) Astana Pro Team 0:00:58  
7 Jelle Vanendert (Bel) Lotto Belisol 0:00:59  
8 Niki Terpstra (Ned) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team  
9 Philippe Gilbert (Bel) BMC Racing Team  
10 Marco Marcato (Ita) Cannondale  
11 Ben Gastauer (Lux) AG2R La Mondiale 0:01:04  
12 Arnold Jeannesson (Fra) Fdj.fr  
13 Elia Favilli (Ita) Lampre-Merida 0:01:07  
14 Jens Keukeleire (Bel) Orica GreenEdge  
15 Sebastian Langeveld (Ned) Garmin Sharp
STAGE 7
1 Guillaume Van Keirsbulck (Bel) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team 4:25:47  
2 Matteo Trentin (Ita) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team 0:00:46  
3 Yves Lampaert (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise  
4 Julien Vermote (Bel) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team  
5 Kristijan Koren (Slo) Cannondale  
6 Laurens De Vreese (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert  
7 Pablo Lastras Garcia (Spa) Movistar Team  
8 Danilo Hondo (Ger) Trek Factory Racing  
9 Silvan Dillier (Swi) BMC Racing Team  
10 Dylan Van Baarle (Ned) Garmin Sharp  
11 Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team 0:01:01  
12 Andriy Grivko (Ukr) Astana Pro Team  
13 Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Giant-Shimano  
14 Filippo Pozzato (Ita) Lampre-Merida  
15 Boy Van Poppel (Ned) Trek Factory Racing
GC
1 Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Belisol 25:30:15  
2 Lars Boom (Ned) Belkin-Pro Cycling Team 0:00:07  
3 Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Giant-Shimano 0:00:13  
4 Andriy Grivko (Ukr) Astana Pro Team 0:00:33  
5 Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team 0:00:34  
6 Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team Sky 0:00:38  
7 Philippe Gilbert (Bel) BMC Racing Team 0:00:48  
8 Jens Keukeleire (Bel) Orica GreenEdge 0:00:56  
9 Sebastian Langeveld (Ned) Garmin Sharp 0:01:04  
10 Marco Marcato (Ita) Cannondale 0:01:11  
11 Viacheslav Kuznetsov (Rus) Team Katusha 0:01:15  
12 Jelle Vanendert (Bel) Lotto Belisol 0:01:32  
13 Ben Gastauer (Lux) AG2R La Mondiale 0:01:34  
14 Arnold Jeannesson (Fra) Fdj.fr 0:01:51  
15 Pavel Brutt (Rus) Team Katusha 0:01:57  
16 Alexandre Pichot (Fra) Team Europcar 0:02:10  
17 Jack Bauer (NZl) Garmin Sharp 0:02:23  
18 Manuele Mori (Ita) Lampre-Merida 0:02:40  
19 Vincent Jerome (Fra) Team Europcar 0:03:09  
20 Julien Vermote (Bel) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team 0:05:59
SPRINTS
1 Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Giant-Shimano
PRIUS
1 Kenneth Van Bilsen (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise
TEAM
1 Garmin Sharp

Arctic Race of Norway 
14.08 Stage 1 NORDHAUG Lars Petter   NORDHAUG Lars Petter 204
15.08 Stage 2  KRISTOFF Alexander   NORDHAUG Lars Petter 207
16.08 Stage 3 ŠPILAK Simon   KRUIJSWIJK Steven 132
17.08 Stage 4 KRISTOFF Alexander   165
17.08 General Classification KRUIJSWIJK Steven  
17.08 Points Classification KRISTOFF Alexander  
17.08 Mountains Classification JENSEN August  
17.08 Youth Classification VILLELLA Davide  

17.08 Teams Classification BELKIN-PRO CYCLING TEAM  
FINAL GC
1 Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling Team 17:22:12  
2 Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Team Katusha 0:00:04  
3 Lars Petter Nordhaug (Nor) Belkin Pro Cycling Team 0:00:18  
4 Davide Villella (Ita) Cannondale 0:00:19  
5 Paul Voss (Ger) Team NetApp - Endura 0:00:25  
6 Kevin Ledanois (Fra) Bretagne-Séché Environnement 0:00:29  
7 Martin Elmiger (Sui) IAM Cycling 0:00:30  
8 Loïc Vliegen (Bel) BMC Racing Team 0:00:42  
9 Amaël Moinard (Fra) BMC Racing Team 0:00:45  
10 Romain Lemarchand (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Crédits 0:00:52  
11 Michael Einar Olsson (Swe) Team Ringeriks - Kraft 0:00:59  
12 Michel Kreder (Ned) Wanty – Groupe Gobert 0:01:01  
13 Matthias Brandle (Aut) IAM Cycling 0:01:17  
14 Jonathan Hivert (Fra) Belkin Pro Cycling Team 0:01:23  
15 Vegard Stake Laengen (Nor) Bretagne-Séché Environnement 0:01:27  
16 Quentin Jauregui (Fra) Roubaix Lille Métropole 0:01:37  
17 Marc De Maar (Aho) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team 0:01:45  
18 Preben Van Hecke (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise 0:01:46  
19 Sindre Skjoestad Lunke (Nor) Team Sparebanken Sør 0:01:51  

20 Frederik Wilman (Nor) Team Ringeriks - Kraft 0:01:52

venerdì 15 agosto 2014

Eneco Tour: UPDATE about Zdenek Stybar

OPQSFrom OPQS:
"15-Aug-2014: OPQS communicates that the condition of Zdenek Stybar is improving. Stybar underwent reconstructive surgery on wounds in the area of his mouth last night. The surgery went well, and was performed by Professor Gerd Fabré. Surgery included both internal and external stitches. Medical staff also replaced three teeth that Stybar lost in the impact with the ground. Due to difficulty eating and drinking as a consequence of both the crash and the operation, the Czech champion will remain in the hospital today under observation of hospital staff. OPQS thanks Professor Fabré and his staff for their professionalism and care of Stybar."

Eneco Tour 5: Up The Muur

Rest of a larger break, it was Lastras and Trentin still 1' away 10 km to go. 
In the Three Days of Classics of the Eneco Tour it was the Ronde today (next one is Liège, then Amstel Gold Race) and the Flanderians were all up there. 
Embedded image permalinkTrentin looked the most brilliant and had attacked on the Muur. Behind BMC was making the race, with Dillier first, then with Gilbert,  GC man Quinziato on his wheel. Attacks, selection, peloton splitted since the first passage on the cobbles, pain and pride. Boom, Gilbert, Keukeleire and Quinziato ahead, Cancellara, Thomas, Vanmacke and others just behind. Riders started bridging. 4 km to go the break-away was over. De Vreese solo, quicly caught.
Embedded image permalink
Van Averamet wins
On the last climb up the Muur, as expected, the race got decided but unespectedly: not Cancellara, nor Vanmarcke not even Gilbert. Greg Van Avermaet attacked and won, outsprinting the sprinter Tom Dumoulin just on the line. But Dumoulin is the new race leader, ousprinting Lars Boom in the GC.
Geraint Thomas was 3rd on the last corner, then lost terrain, passed by many he finished 7th. Boomer! He was my pick for today.
Embedded image permalink
Dumoulin new leader
Personal PS
Last year somebody was texting me from this race saying "Pavé isn't my thing". Yeah: pavé is not for cowards :)

Tom Dumoulin:
“Before the stage it was not my goal to become leader today but I wanted to go for the victory as I felt really good. I was the fastest over the final 500m in the bunch but I was slightly out of position at the bottom of the climb and Greg was too far ahead already.
I feel in superb condition – the Tour did me good and I hope to hold onto the overall lead now after today. Even though I did not plan on taking the lead it is not bad to be leading heading into the last two stages. There are people we have to watch tomorrow and it will be a tough race but we will make a good plan and our team is strong."

Lars Boom:
“I’ve lost the jersey, but that doesn’t mean that I won’t keep fighting for the remainder of the race. We have done that already, and we will continue to do so.
Yesterday, wasn’t a very good day, but today, I felt good again. Van Avermaet won and was the strongest. He attacked at the right moment. I was a little further back at that point.
It’s going to be a good battle with Dumoulin, but he’s not the only one. There are other guys who are going to make it hard for us. We’ll see a big fight over the weekend.”


Geraint Thomas:
"Went from 'hero to zero' in the final 200m today!! Probably heard the explosion back in Wales!! #bang"
Graint Thomas 
TFR DS Dirk Demol about Fabian Cancellara:
“I had hoped we could do well, especially in the finale when there began to be a selection and the peloton was down to 80 or 90 riders and we still had five. But then on the next lap when it went down to around 50 we lost four, and so Fabian was by himself.  There is not so much you can do alone because you are fighting for position, having to move up all the time, and it was hard for him. But okay, he was again there, and that shows his condition is in the right way. 
It was an honest parcours. We simply were not good enough today. If we can do something our chances are probably better on Sunday. We will take each of the next days as they come, and we will see – we will try and make the best of it, that’s for sure.”


MORE TO COME

RESULTS

STAGE
1 Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team 3:45:36  
2 Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Giant-Shimano 0:00:02  
3 Pavel Brutt (Rus) Team Katusha  
4 Matti Breschel (Den) Tinkoff-Saxo  
5 Lars Boom (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling Team  
6 Niki Terpstra (Ned) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team 0:00:06  
7 Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team Sky  
8 Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Belisol  
9 Filippo Pozzato (Ita) Lampre-Merida 
10 Philippe Gilbert (Bel) BMC Racing Team

GC
1. Tom Dumoulin 
2. Lars Boom +2
3. Manuel Quinziato + 11


giovedì 14 agosto 2014

Artic Race of Norway 1: Nordhaug solo atop the world (litterally)

Embedded image permalink
TEAM BELKIN PRESS RELEASE:

The Belkin Pro Cycling TEAM's rising Norwegian star, Lars Petter Nordhaug, took the greatest victory of his career Thursday, winning the 204km first stage of the 2014 Arctic Tour of Norway from Hammerfest to Nordkapp.
 The 30-year-old from Tonsberg, who won the race's King of the Mountains competition last year, finished all alone with enough time to kiss his wedding ring at the finish line. Teammates Steven Kruijswijk and Jonathan Hivert rounded out the top five just seconds later, finishing third and fifth respectively behind second-place finisher Davide Vilella of Cannondale.

Lars Petter Nordhaug
"For a Norwegian to win in Norway, in this special place, is really good. I was feeling super today," Nordhaug said on worldwide television immediately after the stage. "I have to thank my team for pulling at the front. We are three in the top five, so that's amazing."

In control
The Belkin boys, led by Kruijswijk, controlled most of the stage through the dramatic, rolling tundra of Norway's Finnmark region above the Arctic Circle, the northernmost part of Europe and the farthest north pro cycling has ever ventured.

The six-man squad rode at the front of the peloton the entire race, then dominated the final kilometers as the race blew apart in crosswinds. Frenchmen Hivert and Dutchmen Nick van der Lijke controlled attacks from other teams hoping to launch their sprinters; but Nordhaug, seeking victory in his home country, proved to be the strongest man of the day, launching a series of blistering attacks, the last one taking him alone to the finish line.

Strongest team
With Kruijswijk, who placed 15th overall in this year's Tour de France, poised to follow through in the remaining stages, the Belkin Pro Cycling TEAM is in a very good position to capitalize in the coming days.   "We're the strongest team here," Nordhaug said. "There are two stages for sprinters, but our goal is the overall classification."      

The Arctic Tour of Norway resumes Friday with a rolling, 207km second stage from Honningsvag south to Alta, with an especially sharp, 3.5km climb from below sea level out of the Nordkapp Tunnel early on. The four-day race, in its second year, concludes Sunday in Tromso.

Eneco Tour 4: A Bloody Sprint

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It looked dangerous: the final circuit included a series of curves that could be crucial in the last lap high speed
A nervous peloton had just caught the last attacker Daniel Oss, trains were in full swing, Cancellara pulling in front to deliver Nizzolo safe and sound. 
Dangerous it was not only for the route but also for the barriers' feet. How allowed? how still in use?
It seems that van Rensburg and Guardini's handlebars touched, they went down and many other too. Stybar hit the barriers. He looked immediately bad.
Nacer Bouhanni won while Giacomo Nizzolo was 3rd, passed on the line by Luca Mezgec. They sprinted ahead the crash. I wonder if they heard it, probably no. 
Riders kept arriving, Stybar still down, doctors around him, photographers doing the dirty job, a stretcher, a dreep-feed. He's taken away in the ambulance.
Then you say... riders' safety... 

Nacer Bouhanni:
"I just found a solution at the end when the line came. I'm back here at the Eneco Tour I've been busy with the Route du Sud, but it's been a sparse season for me. It's the first sprint in the Eneco Tour that I've been able to contest and that is good for me."

Luka Mezgec 
“I had already used a lot of energy before the sprint and all I could do was follow Bouhanni at the end. There’s room for improvement but looking at where we were with 1200m to go I think that second was my maximum today so I can be happy with that. 
We are all now looking forward to riding for and protecting Tom in the climbs – he’s looking really strong and is riding well.

Giacomo Nizzolo
“The team did a great job today. The feeling the first two days was not very good and this result is good for the morale. I hope now it will be better over the next days.
The whole team worked super well all day long. There was not too much wind, which was nice, and we stayed together all day and that was really great to see. It was the most important thing for us to pull together like this after the first two days did not go well for us.
Fabian did a really strong, long pull. It’s always impressive when he’s in the front! With one kilometer to go he pulled out and Boy pulled - also a very good pull. Then at 500 meters other teams began to come and it was a little bit chaos and then I had to move up by myself. 
I think it was the best I could do today. My feeling after Wallonie was not great and I am still on the way to come back, so it was difficult to do better in the end. It was not a bad result for me, I am happy with it, and I will keep moving forward.”

OPQS about Zdenek Stybar:
"OPQS rider Zdenek Stybar suffered a crash during the sprint of Eneco Tour Stage 4 on Thursday. The crash forced Stybar to withdraw from the race. 
Stybar, who did not lose consciousness at any point, immediately underwent examinations at H.-Hartziekenhuis Roselare.
Results of the examination showed deep wounds on the upper and lower lip, as well as broken teeth. He had radiological examinations, as well as scans, which showed no fractures or cerebral lesions.
Stybar has to spend the night in the hospital under observation. Further information will be available tomorrow.
OPQS medical staff wants to thank race medical staff and the personnel of the hospital for their professionalism and care of Stybar."

Lars Boom:
“Quite easily we got through the final,” said Boom. “The boys did well by pulling at the front and reeling in the only remaining breakaway rider. That wasn’t a problem for us. In the final lap, it was still stressful because we were heading for a bunch sprint.
A crash in the hectic sprint cost the Eneco Tour its defending champion. Zdenek Stybar of Omega Pharma-QuickStep had to abandon the race after heavy spill that happened right behind Boom.
I haven’t seen a lot except for some flashes on television. It’s never pleasant to see someone crash so hard. Here in Ardooie, it’s always a big fight. Of course, the riders create dangerous situations themselves, but honestly, I have to say I don’t really like the final here.”

Daniel Oss:
"I found a small hole and I tried, but nobody followed me so I was a alone. I got a gap, but not enough to enough to make it to the finish. It was a good attack for my morale and to find out my shape."



RESULTS
STAGE
1 Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) FDJ.fr 4:13:59
2 Luka Mezgec (Slo) Team Giant-Shimano
3 Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) Trek Factory Racing
4 Michael Van Staeyen (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise
5 Jens Debusschere (Bel) Lotto Belisol
6 Andrea Guardini (Ita) Astana Pro Team
7 Tyler Farrar (USA) Garmin Sharp
8 Yohann Gene (Fra) Team Europcar
9 Roy Jans (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
10 Nikolay Trusov (Rus) Tinkoff-Saxoo
GC
1. Lars boom