mercoledì 1 aprile 2015

Three Days of De Panne 2: Kristoff!! (but Viviani...)

Embedded image permalink
A windy day again. A dry one - so far. 12 riders get off - they are Capiot, De Troyer, Dougall, Druyts, Dufrasne, Engoulvent, Mortensen, Pfingsten, Pozzo, Sütterlin, Tedeschi and Vingerling. The peloton agrees and the gap is already 7', 190km to go.
But the break-away has to face a strong headwind, the peloton comes closer.
Still they pass the Kemmelberg ahead, 87 km to go. TFR put the squad in front pulling for Stijn Devolder.
63 km to go gap is dramaticly decreased, under 1', but few km later it starts increasing again. The impression is that the peloton is keeping the break-away on control.
Embedded image permalinkIt's a quite boring race. 40 km to go something happens: van Keirsbulck get off the peloton with Boom, Porsev, Vanlandschoot, Zhupa and Vermeulen. Others bridged, the group gets caught, counter attacks follow...  As a result the break-away's advantage is down to 19''. Christoph Pfingsten tries to go solo but he can't.
Now it's just three local laps of 12.9 km to the finish. The break-away already crossed once the line. We sea a cold sea and a large desert beach. The gap is up againg, 33''. FDJ and Team Sky are off the front. At the 2nd passage on the line the break-away is almost caught and riders are trying to bridge from the peloton, including De Bie and Bonnet. 
20 km to go the race explodes: Bak in Blue Jersey is leading the move. A new front group formed, then they are all together again, while Martin Mortensen tries to stay away. Coenen and Malaguti joins, they have a slight gap. Starting the final lap their advantage is 20". Team Qhubeka is pulling the peloton. Sprinters want their sprint.
6 km to go Team Sky takes the lead. All together 3 km to go. Trains, shoulders against shoulders and eventually heads against heads.
Kristoff. And Viviani. Tough sprint!

Alexander Kristoff:
"I must really thank my team today. I did not feel so strong but in the end they delivered me perfectly and I could take it home. It was quite technical coming into the end and I lost Jacopo a little bit so I was on Sacha Modolo’s wheel and could start from his wheel. I was leading from the front for a long time and no one could come around so it was a nice victory. I knew it was a hard race today and there would not be many fresh legs at the end. I will try to keep the jersey but the real goal is on Sunday".

Bora Argon 18 DS Enrico Poitschke:
“When Kristoff wins, Viviani is second and we sprint to the podium, we haven’t done anything wrong. Given the competition here, scoring a third place is a great result. We definitely wanted to be part of a larger break-away group, so our sprinters could save some energy in the field. Christoph did exactly that, also with his attacks in the finale. The guys back in the peloton tried to keep a good position and to protect our sprinters, like Shane and Michael. On the final kilometers, the guys found quickly each other and thus they could prepare the sprint optimally. That was a top performance from the whole team”. 

TFR DS Dirk Demol:
“We were down to six for the start as it was impossible for Boy [van Poppel] to take the start today with an infection in his eye. The plan was simple: to protect Stijn the maximum today as we are still in the running [for the overall win] with the TT the last day. We can’t say for sure we will win but we can be on the podium, and you never know with Stijn, so I ordered the boys to keep him up front, and be around him all day to give him the maximum protection. And what the boys did today shows they are ready for the big Classics.”

RESULTS
STAGE

1 Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Team Katusha 5:33:32
2 Elia Viviani (Ita) Team Sky
3 Shane Archbold (NZl) Bora-Argon 18
4 Antoine Demoitie (Bel) Wallonie-Bruxelles
5 Sacha Modolo (Ita) Lampre-Merida
6 Kristian Sbaragli (Ita) MTN - Qhubeka
7 Raymond Kreder (Ned) Team Roompot
8 Mark Renshaw (Aus) Etixx - Quick-Step
9 Magnus Cort Nielsen (Den) Orica GreenEdge
10 Rafael Andriato (Bra) Southeast Pro Cycling
GC
1 Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Team Katusha 9:32:43
2 Stijn Devolder (Bel) Trek Factory Racing 0:00:16
3 Lars Ytting Bak (Den) Lotto Soudal 0:00:17
4 Sven Erik Bystrøm (Nor) Team Katusha 0:00:26
5 Elia Viviani (Ita) Team Sky 0:00:48
6 Gerry Druyts (Bel) Vastgoedservice - Golden Palace Continental Team 0:00:50
7 Stefan Küng (Swi) BMC Racing Team 0:00:52
8 Sacha Modolo (Ita) Lampre-Merida 0:00:54
9 Kristian Sbaragli (Ita) MTN - Qhubeka
10 Raymond Kreder (Ned) Team Roompot

A New Hour Record!

Embedded image permalink
By Het is koers! ‏@hetiskoers 

martedì 31 marzo 2015

Three Days of De Panne 1: Kristoff (but Devolder...)

Embedded image permalinkRace radio says they are expecting 60 km/h winds, mostly tail wind so a fast race. Sunny. 
The first 12 km neutralised, crashes anyway just out of it. 
Seven riders in front: Archbold, Barbin, Dufrasne, Grosu, Hulsmans, Rickaert and Vermeulen. Just 30" lead. Easily caught. 
The peloton flies in the wind at 56.2 Km/h.
Embedded image permalinkLars Bak gets a gap, Jan Debusschere on his wheel. 35 km to go they have 1'. Behind a group of 8 riders get off the peloton on the Leberg. The leading duo's advantage is decreasing: only 30'' with 25 km to go. Move neutralised but  Sean DeBie, Stijn Devolder, Alexander Kristoff and Sven Bystrøm managed to join Lars Bak and Jan Debusschere. 
Embedded image permalink22 km to go gap is 18". This group is working well together and the gap increases. Team Sky is leading the chase. Team Katusha makes the stopper. 17.5 km to go the break-away has got a 43". Only two hills are left: Eikenmolen and Klemhoutstraat. The front group passes them together. 6.4km to go, 36” gap, decreasing. No way back: it's a small group sprint. And Kristoff wins it.
Still I believe that Devolder raced a smart race. Two days to go.

MORE TO COME

RESULTS
Stage 1 and GC
1 Alexander KRISTOFF NOR KAT 28 3:59:31
2 Jens DEBUSSCHERE BEL LTS 26 +0
3 Stijn DEVOLDER BEL TFR 36 +0
4 Sean DE BIE BEL LTS 24 +0
5 Lars Ytting BAK DEN LTS 35 +0
6 Sven erik BYSTRØM NOR KAT 23 +6
7 Stefan KUENG SUI BMC 22 +32
8 Arnaud DEMARE FRA FDJ 24 +34
9 Sacha MODOLO ITA LAM 28 +34
10 Kristian SBARAGLI ITA MTN 25 +34

GO ALEX! New Date For The Hour Record

Embedded image permalink

domenica 29 marzo 2015

Criterium International Sum Up: AG2R and TFR

Embedded image permalinkAs far as me that's the interesting result: AG2R confirms to be one of the srongest teams in the peloton and TFR demonstrates that it's true what they say about the team as fully focused on the young talents.
AG2R won the race and the Team Classification, in add put three riders in the top ten, including a pure classy champion like Alexis Vuillermoz
TFR won the Points Classification with Fabio Felline, rocked the itt with Bob Jungels, put Julian Arredondo in the top ten. Those are guys you'll see soon and very often in the finish list.
Well done!

RESULTS
28.03 Stage 1 - Porto-Vecchio › Porto-Vecchio KING Benjamin  GC KING Benjamin
28.03 Stage 2 (ITT) - Porto-Vecchio › Porto-Vecchio FELLINE Fabio  GC KING Benjamin
29.03 Stage 3 - Porto-Vecchio › Col de l'Ospedale GC  PERAUD Jean-Christophe
29.03 General Classification PERAUD Jean-Christophe
Points Classification FELLINE Fabio
Mountains Classification CANOLA Marco
Youth Classification PINOT Thibaut
Teams Classification AG2R La Mondiale
FINAL GC
1 Jean-Christophe Peraud (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 7:35:45
2 Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ.fr 0:00:10
3 Fabio Felline (Ita) Trek Factory Racing 0:00:18
4 Pierrick Fedrigo (Fra) Bretagne-Séché Environnement
5 José Mendes (Por) Bora-Argon 18 0:00:40
6 Jan Bakelants (Bel) AG2R La Mondiale 0:00:41
7 Nicolas Edet (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits 0:00:43
8 Julian Arredondo (Col) Trek Factory Racing 0:00:44
9 Alexis Vuillermoz (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:00:45
10 Manuele Boaro (Ita) Tinkoff-Saxo 0:00:46

Settimana Coppi E Bartali: The Short Way Down


Embedded image permalinkIndead! A disappointed Ben Swift had to say bye bye to the leader jersey at the true last second. Well... two.
That's cycling.
And Louis Meintjes today was stronger.
Team Sky wins the Team Classification.


Louis Meintjes
This win really means a lot to me. It's my first win in Europe and I have to thank the whole team who supported me at this race. They were always there and it makes me really proud. I hope this win also motivates people to help us and Qhubeka putting more kids on bikes in Africa.



Embedded image permalinkBen Swift:
“I gave absolutely everything I had today. There were 3500 metres of climbing, and the one where Meintjes went away was so steep. It was 18% for about 1.5km and then had stepped section all the way to the summit.
Luckily I had Sergio with me. He produced an unbelievable ride, especially after being out for the best part of a year through injury. I had to keep telling him to slow down because I was on my limit, and once I’d recovered we went again.
To lose the race by two seconds is gutting but I was so tired I couldn’t even get out of my saddle at the end. I keep thinking ‘what if’, but know I couldn’t have given any more.
I’ve got to look at the positives. Finishing second after such a mountainous week of racing is pleasing, and it was just unfortunate I got rolled on the line for third as that would’ve given me the bonus seconds I needed to win.  
It’s been a strong team display this week, especially given we lost two riders through illness. We were the only WorldTour team in the race which meant we had to control all week and I’m happy with the way we rode.
I’ve got to focus on the future now. I’ve got a busy schedule of racing coming up and I want to take this form into those and get some more results.”


RESULTS

26.03 Stage 1a - Gatteo › Gatteo  BELLETTI Manuel GC  BELLETTI Manuel
26.03 Stage 1b (TTT) - Gatteo a mare › Gatteo  CCC Sprandi Polkowice GC REBELLIN Davide
27.03 Stage 2 - Cesenatico › Sogliano al Rubicone SWIFT Ben GC  SWIFT Ben
28.03 Stage 3 - Calderara di Reno › Crevalcore CHICCHI Francesco GC  SWIFT Ben
29.03 Stage 4 - Pavullo › Roccapelago  MEINTJES Louis
29.03 General Classification  MEINTJES Louis
Points Classification  SWIFT Ben
Mountains Classification  ROGLIč Primož
Youth Classification  PETILLI Simone
Teams Classification  Team Sky
FINAL GC
1 Louis Meintjes (RSA) MTN - Qhubeka 14:31:42
2 Ben Swift (GBr) Team Sky 0:00:02  
3 Matija Kvasina (Cro) Team Felbermayr Simplon Wels 0:00:46
4 Francesco Manuel Bongiorno (Ita) Bardiani CSF 0:01:01
5 Davide Rebellin (Ita) CCC Sprandi Polkowice 0:02:31
6 Kanstantsin Siutsou (Blr) Team Sky 0:02:38
7 Franco Pellizotti (Ita) Androni Giocattoli 0:02:39
8 Simone Stortoni (Ita) Androni Giocattoli 0:03:12
9 Valerio Agnoli (Ita) Italian National Team 0:03:33
10 Carlos Julian Quintero (Col) Colombia 0:03:35
11 Francesco Reda (Ita) Team Idea 2010 ASD 0:04:09
12 Yonattah Monsalve (Ven) Southeast Pro Cycling 0:04:11
13 Antonio Santoro (Ita) Mg.Kvis-Vega 0:04:26
14 Damiano Cunego (Ita) Nippo - Vini Fantini 0:05:14
15 Simone Petilli (Ita) Unieuro Wilier 0:05:33
16 Edoardo Zardini (Ita) Bardiani CSF 0:06:46
17 Sergio Luis Henao Montoya (Col) Team Sky 0:07:23
18 Stephen Cummings (GBr) MTN - Qhubeka 0:08:34
19 Domen Novak (Slo) Adria Mobil 0:09:02
20 Primoz Roglic (Slo) Adria Mobil 0:10:07


Vuelta a Catalunya Sum Up: The Long Way UP

Embedded image permalinkThe peloton had done its math wrong, Team Sky included, so they had to work hard to build back a leadership and to grab that jersey. It has been a crazy race. In the end they managed to win the overall. Richie Porte looks really strong. 
And I don't like to admit it, but also Valverde looks incredibly strong. 
And I like to see that Domenico Pozzovivo is in a splendid shape too. He's back from a bad injury and that's a very good news because in my opinion Pozzovivo is one of the best climbers in the peloton.
Fabio Aru is getting there, slowly but steadly. Here, 6th. Tomorrow... we'll see.
Contador crashed and the Riis/Tinkoff Telenovela didn't help for sure to keep the focus.
Nicely spotted Darwin Atapuma and Daniel Martin.
But no, I barely watched it. I have been busy.

Richie Porte:
“It’s unbelievable to be honest. It’s capped off a pretty awesome start to the season - starting from Down Under to now. I really couldn’t have imagined it would go this well after the year I had last year.
Each and every one of them through the week has been there. In cycling you have good and bad days. You think they might be down but they bounce back and have a strong day. Xabi Zandio yesterday rode all day with Leo. Whenever there was a stick situation Lopez was there. We know Froomey is class but he really went out of his way to repay me and the sacrifices I’ve made for him. Kiry, Nico and Wout have all been incredible. It’s been a massive team performance.
I’ll go home to Monaco and have a good week to rest, not do too much on the bike, and spend time with my fiancée. Then it’s into training camp and Trentino. We’ve got a good little run-up to the Giro so we can hopefully hit that in top form. I’m quite confident now that I can go there and fight for the podium.”

Alberto Contador:
“This was the toughest stage of the Volta a Catalunya because of the injuries I sustained in yesterday's crash. The only injury that worries me a little bit right now is in my back. I think that when I crashed yesterday a nerve must have been affected. I felt a sensation of intense heat in my back and I noticed it a bit today going over speed bumps.
The Volta a Catalunya is over and, again, I now have to recover and focus physically and mentally on the season's first big target, the Giro d'Italia. Our preparation schedule this year is spread over a longer period in all aspects and right now everything is going exactly as planned.
Despite the crash, I'm happy with my performance and my current form. A lot of people might compare my performance with that of last year but they are two completely different years. Last year my main goal was the Tour and the first peak in my performance took place in spring. This year this peak has to take place later. I now have to fully recover from my injuries and focus on the Giro d'Italia, which is what obsesses me right now and what I think about every day”.

Wilco Kelderman:
“I’m quite satisfied with thatI’m glad that I was able to finish top ten another time in a stage race with such good participants. I was looking for some confirmation after Paris-Nice anyway. I have always been confident about my preparation and my form. I do everything I can and that will pay off sometime.
Ardennes classics are my first big targets. It will be the first time for me to compete in those races. It’s hard to predict how I will perform there, but I’m curious to see.”

RESULTS
23.03 Stage 1 - Calella › Calella PATERSKI Maciej GC:  PATERSKI Maciej
24.03 Stage 2 - Mataró › Olot VALVERDE Alejandro  GC PATERSKI Maciej
25.03 Stage 3 - Girona › Girona POZZOVIVO Domenico GC ROLLAND Pierre
26.03 Stage 4 - Tona › La Molina VAN GARDEREN Tejay GC DE CLERCQ Bart
27.03 Stage 5 - Alp › Valls VALVERDE Alejandro  GC PORTE Richie
28.03 Stage 6 - Cervera › Port Aventura CHERNETCKII Sergei GC PORTE Richie 29.03 Stage 7 - Barcelona › Barcelona VALVERDE Alejandro 29.03 General Classification PORTE Richie
Mountains Classification DANIELSON Thomas Youth Classification KELDERMAN Wilco Teams Classification BMC Racing Team

FINAL GC
1 Richie Porte (Aus) Team Sky 30:30:30  
2 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team 0:00:04  
3 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale 0:00:05  
4 Alberto Contador (Spa) Tinkoff-Saxo 0:00:07  
5 Rigoberto Uran (Col) Etixx - Quick-Step 0:00:18  
6 Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:00:27  
7 Darwin Atapuma Hurtado (Col) BMC Racing Team 0:00:33  
8 Rafael Valls Ferri (Spa) Lampre-Merida 0:00:43  
9 Daniel Martin (Irl) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team 0:01:35  
10 Jarlinson Pantano (Col) IAM Cycling 0:02:16