1.22.2017

Lost in Nepal 10: From Landruk to Phedi and Pokhara

Image may contain: mountain, sky, outdoor and nature
Annapurna from Landruk
See also Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8 and Part 9.

Last day of the trekking. We took a picture just outside the lodge with the whole group, trekkers and porters, Italians and Nepalis. It was coming to a end and I wasn't ready for it. Fortunately my thoat was better, but I had a bad cold. 
We left Landruk at 8 am and climbed to the top of another hill, where we had our lunch... or at least we tried! we sat at the table and ordered but after almost two hours (!) we barely got some tea. Then dishes started coming, and we found out that the restaurant was basicly closed, there was a cook and there was some food but our porters had to prepare almost everything, and to serve it also. It seems that by that side of the mountain the season is over...
Image may contain: 13 people, outdoor
Our group, trekkers and porters
We arrived to Phedi in the afternoon, and the porters got their tips. They were standing in front of us, ordinately in a row, and our team leader gave each one 40 euros. After that, each one came to thank us individually with big smiles, handshakes and pats on the shoulders. It was touching, especially when I say bye to the good old Satra. He looked confused like a child! Lalit was a little a part, because we were going to meet again in Kathmandu, where he lives. 
But the real farwell was in Pokhara. We all got on the same bus indead, and it brought us directly to our hotel. Here we got off, while the porters remained on, as they were going to travel at night, six hours to Kathmandu and more on foot for someones. Ram Bir was going to stay with us in Pokhara, then we were flying back to Kathmandu.
Pokhara is a nice city, more tourist than Kathmandu, also smaller and less cahotic. Less traffic means less pollution, the lake is really beautiful and the main street full of shops and restaurants. It was a little shocking after so many days in the mountains... Then I was half sick and rather sad. 
Image may contain: sky, mountain, cloud, outdoor and nature
Machapuchare from Pokhara
That night we made a mistake: the mountaineer Pompili, the one we had met on the way to the Annapurna Base Camp, was coming the next day and we had arranged to go eating in the famous (?) "Everest" steakhouse. He assured it's a very fascinating place and the food is good. We decided to go there also that first night, to find out that it wasn't that fascinating and the food was definitely bad. In add... we had some problem in understanding the waiter, probably because we were used to our porters' accent in English, and they came from a different area of Nepal. 
Anyway, after dinner I left the company and went straight to bed. It involved a solo walk at night in the barely illuminated street of Pokhara, and I thought I was a little mad but it was too late. Probably I was just very tired: Nepal is one of the less dangerous countries I have ever visited... 

...MORE TO COME...

Cyclocross: World Cup in Hoogerheide: HUGE SOLO VICTORY for Lars van der Haar ...and more results

Thomas Pidcock,

Tom Pidcock:
"A difficult course made for a difficult victory yesterday in #hoogerheide. However the day overshadowed by the news of Charlie Craig's passing. My thoughts are with @nick1craig @tom1craig and family. Charlie, someone I didn't know, but knew of. A rare talent that won't be forgotten. This victory is dedicated to Charlie. RIP X"

Marianne Vos: 
“Well yeah, I already felt good the last weeks but it’s good to have such a race and final preparation. 
I attacked at one lap and a half from the end. That’s ten minutes of racing and that should work out. I felt good and straight away I had a gap, but anything can happen, slipping away, so it was better to have a bonus.
We’re in a good position. Too bad home rider Thalita de Jong literally crashed away”.


Lars van der Haar:
"‪Win in WC Hoogerheide!! No words just WAUW! Thanks Telenet-Fidea Lions!"
"Very unexpected. It was special. The last lap I couldn't stop smiling.
I was struggling in the beginning but then I came back in the race. Van der Poel just did a hard lap. I thought, I'll go in the front and help him, and go on. I think, at that Van der Poel thought, this is ok, let him go. Behind him, were some teammates of mine. It gave me a big gap in a short period of time. Then I was alone.
The support of my teammates was really nice and it offered me a big gap. Still, it was difficult to hold onto my lead as it was such a fast course. It was cool to see that my teammates also got onto the podium.
Worlds? I'm good but it'll be a completely different race. Mathieu? Don't worry. He trained hard. I believe in Mathieu. We all can." 

Mathieu van der Poel:
"It wasn't what I expected. I hoped to go betterIt's no drama as next week is what matters most. I'm a bit disappointed but prefer it today over next week. After my first acceleration I realised that there was no punch on my move. I started becoming worse and worse. My legs were really feeling the fatigue.
I tried to finish the race as good as possible but after a while nothing was going right. Technically it wasn't good either. On a bad day, everything goes bad. The last two years I was always very good here and the week afterwards it was slightly less good. Hopefully it'll be the other way around this time."

RESULTS
Junior Men
1. Thomas Pidcock,
2. Ben Turner,
3. Timo Kielich.
WC winner: .Toon Vandebosch
U23 Men
1. Joris Nieuwenhuis,
2. Clément Russo,
3. Thijs Aerts.
WC winner: .Joris Nieuwenhui
Elite Women
1.Vos,
2.Brand,
3.Worst,
4.Cant,
5.Verdonschot,
6.Richards,
7.Nash,
8.De Boer,
9.Kaptheijns,
10.Majerus
WC winner: Sophie De Boer
Elite Men
1.Van der Haar,
2.Meeusen,
3.Van Kessel,
4.Venturini,
5.Pauwels,
6.Merlier,
7.Vermeersch,
8.Meisen,
9.Aernouts,
10.Walsleben
WC winner: Wout van Aert


Procycling: Richie Porte wins Tour Downn Under

The Winner's Interview with Richie Porte

Richie, how does it feel to win the Santos Tour Down Under?
"It's an incredible relief. I think back to nine years ago when this race really kicked off my career. This is where I came a wild card. Then two years later I was in the WorldTour. So to win it is a massive relief. I've been close two times before so it just feels fantastic. Cycling is kicking massive goals in Australia with the crowds you're seeing on the road. I must say I'm so happy with my team too. They rode incredibly today and the whole week so it's just an overwhelming feeling of satisfaction to win this."
When were you able to enjoy the victory?
"It's not over until you ride over the line. I felt good and the team put in me in a great position all day and kept me out of trouble. So it was probably the most uneventful final criterium that I've done on this circuit, so that's thanks to the team."
You first rode the Santos Tour Down Under in 2008. How would you look at your career since then?
"It's been a journey for sure with ups and downs. There have been so many great people who have helped me. I'd like to say thanks to my parents and the teams that I've ridden for over the years. Hopefully it will be a great season for me and I'm really looking forward to getting back to Europe and getting stuck in."
How much confidence does this win give you?
"Quite a few of the guys here will do a program in the lead up to the Tour de France with me. That's exciting that I've got a team built around me for the first time ever. I've often been the plan B but BMC Racing Team has put a lot of faith in me this year. I think today I've shown that I can repay that faith they've put in me."
How does this bode for the rest of your season?
My next race is Paris-Nice. I love that race. It's sort of my adopted home race in Europe. It's early days but I'm ok with any pressure. If there was pressure here from the team, then I didn't feel it. Nothing was really ever said. It was just in the media that people were saying that I was the favorite."

Rohan Dennis:  
"We did everything perfectly. Obviously I didn't have great luck on one of the stages but the best man in the peloton won, and the most-deserving. He's been second twice and he's always constantly coming back just as motivated every year. The fact that he's able to do that every year in, year out, is impressive and I'm really, really happy for him. 
I haven't been quiet about the transformation from pure time trials and one week races to Grand Tours. That was my role here this week in that whenever something went wrong or I got dropped or when you would sit up and try and save energy, it was all about trying to minimize any time loss. It's all practice for when I go to the Giro d'Italia this year, or the Tour de France or Vuelta a Espana in other years. It's all about making sure I don't sit up when something goes wrong or I have some bad luck, it's about being consistent. It was a learning curve this week."

Caleb Ewan:
“I actually joked with my girlfriend at the start of the week that I would go for four stages but I didn’t actually think it was going to be possible. I kept backing up and feeling good every day, the team backed me 100% on the days that could have gone either way and I really have them to thank.
I felt like the pressure got more as I won more. It’s not usual that you get lucky enough to win all of the sprints in one race and I was just waiting for something bad to happen because there’s a whole lot of luck that goes into winning a race.”

Esteban Chaves:
“We are really really happy, not just me but all the team. We won four stages, the (People’s Choice) criterium and second in overall so this is a beautiful form for starting the season. Richie started very well here. He showed a really good performance and on the two climbs he had no contenders. We came here for the summer because the other seasons, for me, start super hard in the beginning, in March or April when it’s cold, and it’s not really good. So we tried something different, we started early, so we will see. It’s one experiment.”

RESULTS
Stage 1 - Unley › Lyndoch: EWAN Caleb  GC EWAN Caleb 118.5
Stage 2 - Stirling › Paracombe PORTE Richie  GC PORTE Richie 148.5
Stage 3 - Glenelg › Victor Harbor EWAN Caleb  GC PORTE Richie 144
Stage 4 - Norwood › Campbelltown EWAN Caleb  GC PORTE Richie 149.5
Stage 5 - McLaren Vale › Willunga Hill PORTE Richie  GC PORTE Richie 151.5
Stage 6 - Adelaide › Adelaide EWAN Caleb GC PORTE Richie
FINAL GC
1 Richie Porte (Aus) BMC Racing Team 19:55:49 2 Esteban Chaves (Col) Orica-Scott 0:00:48 3 Jay McCarthy (Aus) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:00:51 4 Nathan Haas (Aus) Dimension Data 5 Diego Ulissi (Ita) Team UAE Abu Dhabi 0:00:59 6 Rohan Dennis (Aus) BMC Racing Team 0:01:02 7 Rafael Valls (Spa) Lotto Soudal 8 Robert Gesink (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo 9 Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Team Sunweb 10 Jhonatan Restrepo (Col) Katusha-Alpecin 0:01:04 11 Nathan Earle (Aus) UniSA-Australia 0:01:06 12 Sergio Luis Henao Montoya (Col) Team Sky 13 Jesus Herrada Lopez (Spa) Movistar Team 0:01:15 14 Tom Jelte Slagter (Ned) Cannondale-Drapac 0:01:18 15 Michael Storer (Aus) UniSA-Australia 16 Luis León Sánchez (Spa) Astana Pro Team 0:01:19 17 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale 0:01:23 18 Ruben Guerreiro (Por) Trek-Segafredo 0:01:25 19 Odd Christian Eiking (Nor) FDJ 0:01:29 20 Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Bahrain-Merida 0:01:38 21 Michael Woods (Can) Cannondale-Drapac 0:01:44 22 Ondrej Cink (Cze) Bahrain-Merida 0:01:45 23 Jarlinson Pantano (Col) Trek-Segafredo 0:02:03 24 Lucas Hamilton (Aus) UniSA-Australia 0:02:04 25 Jai Hindley (Aus) UniSA-Australia 0:02:08 26 Enric Mas (Spa) Quick-Step Floors 0:02:12 27 Dries Devenyns (Bel) Quick-Step Floors 0:02:16 28 Gorka Izagirre Insausti (Spa) Movistar Team 0:02:20 29 Peter Stetina (USA) Trek-Segafredo 0:02:24 30 José Gonçalves (Por) Katusha-Alpecin 0:02:25 31 Jan Bakelants (Bel) AG2R La Mondiale 0:02:45 32 Ben O'Connor (Aus) Dimension Data 0:02:47 33 Petr Vakoc (Cze) Quick-Step Floors 0:02:49 34 Anthony Roux (Fra) FDJ 0:03:12 35 Maurits Lammertink (Ned) Katusha-Alpecin 0:03:15 36 José Herrada Lopez (Spa) Movistar Team 37 Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) Quick-Step Floors 0:03:44 38 Ben Swift (GBr) Team UAE Abu Dhabi 0:04:16 39 Laurent Didier (Lux) Trek-Segafredo 0:04:23 40 Simon Gerrans (Aus) Orica-Scott 0:04:43 41 Damiano Caruso (Ita) BMC Racing Team 0:04:48 42 Daryl Impey (RSA) Orica-Scott 43 Víctor de la Parte (Spa) Movistar Team 0:04:57 44 Sander Armee (Bel) Lotto Soudal 45 Patrick Bevin (NZl) Cannondale-Drapac 0:05:04 46 Alexey Vermeulen (USA) Team LottoNL-Jumbo 0:05:34 47 Janez Brajkovic (Slo) Bahrain-Merida 0:06:05 48 Marc Soler (Spa) Movistar Team 0:06:17 49 Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team Sky 0:06:27 50 Jack Bauer (NZl) Quick-Step Floors 0:06:28 51 Matteo Montaguti (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale 0:06:44 52 Cameron Meyer (Aus) UniSA-Australia 0:07:00 53 Sven Erik Bystrøm (Nor) Katusha-Alpecin 0:07:07 54 Paul Martens (Ger) Team LottoNL-Jumbo 0:07:27 55 Lars Ytting Bak (Den) Lotto Soudal 0:07:28 56 Chris Hamilton (Aus) Team Sunweb 0:07:31 57 Ben Gastauer (Lux) AG2R La Mondiale 0:08:01 58 Tiago Machado (Por) Katusha-Alpecin 0:08:03 59 Louis Meintjes (RSA) Team UAE Abu Dhabi 0:08:04 60 Matthieu Ladagnous (Fra) FDJ 0:08:08 61 Adam Hansen (Aus) Lotto Soudal 0:08:14 62 Jacques Janse van Rensburg (RSA) Dimension Data 0:08:24 63 Manuele Mori (Ita) Team UAE Abu Dhabi 0:08:36 64 Michael Valgren Andersen (Den) Astana Pro Team 0:09:22 65 Francois Bidard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:09:32 66 Gregor Mühlberger (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:09:41 67 Clement Chevrier (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:10:11 68 Danilo Wyss (Swi) BMC Racing Team 0:10:13 69 Artyom Zakharov (Kaz) Astana Pro Team 0:10:18 70 Yukiya Arashiro (Jpn) Bahrain-Merida 0:10:20 71 Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:10:24 72 Eros Capecchi (Ita) Quick-Step Floors 0:10:39 73 Vegard Stake Laengen (Nor) Team UAE Abu Dhabi 0:10:59 74 Marco Marcato (Ita) Team UAE Abu Dhabi 0:11:08 75 Tsgabu Grmay (Eth) Bahrain-Merida 0:12:10 76 Angel Vicioso Arcos (Spa) Katusha-Alpecin 77 Jasha Sütterlin (Ger) Movistar Team 0:12:16 78 Enrico Battaglin (Ita) Team LottoNL-Jumbo 0:12:27 79 Jeremy Maison (Fra) FDJ 0:12:38 80 Lachlan Morton (Aus) Dimension Data 0:12:57 81 Sebastian Henao Gomez (Col) Team Sky 0:13:08 82 Simon Geschke (Ger) Team Sunweb 0:13:09 83 Baptiste Planckaert (Bel) Katusha-Alpecin 0:13:33 84 Koen de Kort (Ned) Trek-Segafredo 0:14:10 85 Paolo Tiralongo (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:14:31 86 Amaël Moinard (Fra) BMC Racing Team 0:14:57 87 Lennard Hofstede (Ned) Team Sunweb 0:15:08 88 Kenny Elissonde (Fra) Team Sky 0:15:11 89 Caleb Ewan (Aus) Orica-Scott 0:16:11 90 Martin Velits (Svk) Quick-Step Floors 0:17:00 91 Edward Theuns (Bel) Trek-Segafredo 0:17:05 92 Samuel Jenner (Aus) UniSA-Australia 0:17:08 93 Sean De Bie (Bel) Lotto Soudal 0:17:59 94 Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Lotto Soudal 0:18:29 95 Jacobus Venter (RSA) Dimension Data 0:18:45 96 Alex Howes (USA) Cannondale-Drapac 0:20:28 97 Luke Rowe (GBr) Team Sky 0:21:03 98 Nikias Arndt (Ger) Team Sunweb 0:21:11 99 Luke Durbridge (Aus) Orica-Scott 0:21:59 100 Julien Berard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:22:45 101 Arnaud Courteille (Fra) FDJ 0:22:54 102 Chun Kai Feng (Tpe) Bahrain-Merida 0:22:55 103 Bert-Jan Lindeman (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo 0:23:35 104 Niccolò Bonifazio (Ita) Bahrain-Merida 0:24:02 105 Callum Scotson (Aus) UniSA-Australia 0:24:46 106 Thomas Scully (NZl) Cannondale-Drapac 0:24:50 107 Ian Stannard (GBr) Team Sky 0:24:56 108 Miles Scotson (Aus) BMC Racing Team 0:25:01 109 Marko Kump (Slo) Team UAE Abu Dhabi 0:25:39 110 Lorrenzo Manzin (Fra) FDJ 0:26:19 111 Laurens De Vreese (Bel) Astana Pro Team 0:26:38 112 Roger Kluge (Ger) Orica-Scott 0:26:44 113 Carlos Barbero Cuesta (Spa) Movistar Team 0:27:13 114 Tom Van Asbroeck (Bel) Cannondale-Drapac 0:27:49 115 Rudiger Selig (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe 116 Matti Breschel (Den) Astana Pro Team 0:28:09 117 Mark Renshaw (Aus) Dimension Data 0:28:14 118 Sam Bennett (Irl) Bora-Hansgrohe 119 Danny van Poppel (Ned) Team Sky 0:28:42 120 Phil Bauhaus (Ger) Team Sunweb 0:30:01 121 Tyler Farrar (USA) Dimension Data 0:30:02 122 Michal Kolár (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:30:24 123 William Clarke (Aus) Cannondale-Drapac 0:30:36 124 Robert Wagner (Ger) Team LottoNL-Jumbo 0:32:01 125 Johannes Fröhlinger (Ger) Team Sunweb 0:36:11 126 Damien Howson (Aus) Orica-Scott 0:36:58 127 Lukas Pöstlberger (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:37:02 128 Koen Bouwman (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo 0:37:44 129 Francisco Ventoso (Spa) BMC Racing Team 0:38:19 130 Mads Pedersen (Den) Trek-Segafredo 0:38:59 131 Oscar Gatto (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:46:55 SPRINT 1 Caleb Ewan (Aus) Orica-Scott 63 pts 2 Danny van Poppel (Ned) Team Sky 51 3 Nathan Haas (Aus) Dimension Data 46 4 Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe 44 5 Jay McCarthy (Aus) Bora-Hansgrohe 39 6 Richie Porte (Aus) BMC Racing Team 30 7 Sean De Bie (Bel) Lotto Soudal 28 8 Esteban Chaves (Col) Orica-Scott 26 9 Baptiste Planckaert (Bel) Katusha-Alpecin 25 10 Marko Kump (Slo) Team UAE Abu Dhabi 25 11 Niccolò Bonifazio (Ita) Bahrain-Merida 24 12 Diego Ulissi (Ita) Team UAE Abu Dhabi 22 13 Jasha Sütterlin (Ger) Movistar Team 20 14 Nikias Arndt (Ger) Team Sunweb 20 15 Edward Theuns (Bel) Trek-Segafredo 19 16 Lorrenzo Manzin (Fra) FDJ 18 17 Ben Swift (GBr) Team UAE Abu Dhabi 17 18 Ruben Guerreiro (Por) Trek-Segafredo 16 19 Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Lotto Soudal 15 20 Gorka Izagirre Insausti (Spa) Movistar Team 14 21 Sam Bennett (Irl) Bora-Hansgrohe 13 22 Jeremy Maison (Fra) FDJ 12 23 Rohan Dennis (Aus) BMC Racing Team 12 24 Jack Bauer (NZl) Quick-Step Floors 11 25 Nathan Earle (Aus) UniSA-Australia 10 26 Rafael Valls (Spa) Lotto Soudal 9 27 Koen de Kort (Ned) Trek-Segafredo 9 28 Cameron Meyer (Aus) UniSA-Australia 8 29 Sergio Luis Henao Montoya (Col) Team Sky 8 30 Michael Storer (Aus) UniSA-Australia 8 31 Callum Scotson (Aus) UniSA-Australia 8 32 Robert Gesink (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo 7 33 Michael Woods (Can) Cannondale-Drapac 7 34 Miles Scotson (Aus) BMC Racing Team 7 35 Tom Jelte Slagter (Ned) Cannondale-Drapac 6 36 Luis León Sánchez (Spa) Astana Pro Team 6 37 Enrico Battaglin (Ita) Team LottoNL-Jumbo 6 38 Jhonatan Restrepo (Col) Katusha-Alpecin 5 39 Laurens De Vreese (Bel) Astana Pro Team 5 40 William Clarke (Aus) Cannondale-Drapac 5 41 Ondrej Cink (Cze) Bahrain-Merida 4 42 Simon Gerrans (Aus) Orica-Scott 4 43 José Gonçalves (Por) Katusha-Alpecin 3 44 Vegard Stake Laengen (Nor) Team UAE Abu Dhabi 3 45 Michal Kolár (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe 3 46 Johannes Fröhlinger (Ger) Team Sunweb 3 47 Clement Chevrier (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 2 48 Jacobus Venter (RSA) Dimension Data 2 49 Rudiger Selig (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe 2 MOUNTAIN 1 Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Lotto Soudal 35 pts 2 Richie Porte (Aus) BMC Racing Team 32 3 Esteban Chaves (Col) Orica-Scott 22 4 Jack Bauer (NZl) Quick-Step Floors 19 5 Jeremy Maison (Fra) FDJ 14 6 Nathan Haas (Aus) Dimension Data 12 7 Ondrej Cink (Cze) Bahrain-Merida 10 8 Laurens De Vreese (Bel) Astana Pro Team 10 9 Gorka Izagirre Insausti (Spa) Movistar Team 8 10 Diego Ulissi (Ita) Team UAE Abu Dhabi 6 11 Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Team Sunweb 6 12 Cameron Meyer (Aus) UniSA-Australia 6 13 William Clarke (Aus) Cannondale-Drapac 6 14 Jay McCarthy (Aus) Bora-Hansgrohe 4 15 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale 4 16 Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Bahrain-Merida 4 17 Jan Bakelants (Bel) AG2R La Mondiale 4 18 Clement Chevrier (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 4 19 Jhonatan Restrepo (Col) Katusha-Alpecin 2 20 Nathan Earle (Aus) UniSA-Australia 2 21 Ruben Guerreiro (Por) Trek-Segafredo 2 22 Ben O'Connor (Aus) Dimension Data 2 23 Chris Hamilton (Aus) Team Sunweb 2 24 Adam Hansen (Aus) Lotto Soudal 2 25 Vegard Stake Laengen (Nor) Team UAE Abu Dhabi 2 26 Jacobus Venter (RSA) Dimension Data 1 27 Alex Howes (USA) Cannondale-Drapac 1 YOUTH 1 Jhonatan Restrepo (Col) Katusha-Alpecin 19:56:53 2 Michael Storer (Aus) UniSA-Australia 0:00:14 3 Ruben Guerreiro (Por) Trek-Segafredo 0:00:21 4 Odd Christian Eiking (Nor) FDJ 0:00:25 5 Lucas Hamilton (Aus) UniSA-Australia 0:01:00 6 Jai Hindley (Aus) UniSA-Australia 0:01:04 7 Enric Mas (Spa) Quick-Step Floors 0:01:08 8 Ben O'Connor (Aus) Dimension Data 0:01:43 9 Alexey Vermeulen (USA) Team LottoNL-Jumbo 0:04:30 10 Marc Soler (Spa) Movistar Team 0:05:13 11 Chris Hamilton (Aus) Team Sunweb 0:06:27 12 Gregor Mühlberger (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:08:37 13 Jeremy Maison (Fra) FDJ 0:11:34 14 Sebastian Henao Gomez (Col) Team Sky 0:12:04 15 Lennard Hofstede (Ned) Team Sunweb 0:14:04 16 Caleb Ewan (Aus) Orica-Scott 0:15:07 17 Samuel Jenner (Aus) UniSA-Australia 0:16:04 18 Niccolò Bonifazio (Ita) Bahrain-Merida 0:22:58 19 Callum Scotson (Aus) UniSA-Australia 0:23:42 20 Miles Scotson (Aus) BMC Racing Team 0:23:57 21 Lorrenzo Manzin (Fra) FDJ 0:25:15 22 Danny van Poppel (Ned) Team Sky 0:27:38 23 Phil Bauhaus (Ger) Team Sunweb 0:28:57 24 Koen Bouwman (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo 0:36:40 25 Mads Pedersen (Den) Trek-Segafredo 0:37:55 TEAM 1 UniSA Australia 11:51:47 2 Movistar Team 0:01:19 3 Trek - Segafredo 0:01:20 4 Team Katusha Alpecin 0:01:43 5 BMC Racing Team 0:01:50 6 Quick - Step Floors 0:02:32 7 Team Dimension Data 0:02:53 8 AG2R La Mondiale 0:02:54 9 Bahrain - Merida 0:03:13 10 Cannondale Drapac Pro Cycling Team 0:03:42 11 Lotto Soudal 0:05:33 12 Orica - Scott 0:06:05 13 FDJ 0:06:25 14 UAE Abu Dhabi 0:06:32 15 Team Lotto Nl - Jumbo 0:08:38 16 Astana Pro Team 0:10:11 17 Team Sunweb 0:12:37 18 Team Sky 0:14:15 19 Bora - Hansgrohe 0:14:41

1.21.2017

Cyclocross: Lars van der Haar wins in Rucphen... and more results

Pic by Ad Pertijs ‏@adpertijs
Lars van der Haar:
"This gives me confidence. I had a different approach than in the previous races, when my first lap was always the weakest. This time I attacked immediately and put up the pace. After half a lap I would have to see how the cards lay. It paid out.: I got a 8'' gap. I was surprised! I also saw that Jim Aernouts was doing an excellent stopper work in the chasing group. No need to wait anymore, so I went solo to the finish line. 
Here today some of my main opponents were not present.  In Hoogerheide we'll see where I stand in the highest level raciing. Still, I especially hope to get my best form in the World Cup. "

Jim Aernouts:
"At the start I couldn't stay on Lars' wheel and I ended up in the chase group with Godrie. Though obviously I don't chase a teammate, so I tried as far as possible to play the stopper and when Lars' lead was big enough, I went solo. 
Also my legs were good. Too bad that I couldn't go with Lars in the first lap. I don't think I would have finished on his wheel. Anyway I demonstrated that my condition is good. Hopefully I can keep on until the end of the season."

[My translation fron HERE, don't be too harsh.]

RESULTS
Elite Women
1. Laura Verdonschot
2. Nikki Brammeier
3. Maud Kaptheijns.
Elite Men
1. Lars van der Haar
2. Jim Aernouts
3. Stan Godrie
4. Marek Konwa
5. Marcel Meisen
6. David van der Poel
Junior men
1. Niels Vandeputte,
2. Arno van den Broeck,
3. Vince van den Eynden.

Cyclocross: Kasteelcross in Zonnebeke

Junior Men Podium
...

RESULTS
Junior Men
1. Gerben Kuypers,
2. Joren Thys,
3. Thibaut De Smet.
Elite Women 
1. Thalita De Jong,
2. Christine Majerus,
3. Ellen Van Loy
Elite Men
1. Wietse Bosmans,
2. Vincent Baestaens,
3. Michael Vanthourenhout

1.20.2017

Lost in Nepal 9: From Sinuwa to Landruk, and Jhimuwa hot springs

Image may contain: mountain, sky, outdoor and nature

A long day walking the way down. It was sunny and even too hot, but the tops of the mountains were hidden by thick white clouds. Up there it was snowing, the rain couldn't be too far from us. 
Down we went, crossing villages and terraced fields, rope bridges and more steep stairs. We stopped in Jhimuwa to have a bath in the famous hot springs: three pools of naturally hot water just by the river, where water is definitely cold. 
Image may contain: mountain, sky, outdoor and natureTo get there we had to pay a ticket and to descend in the forest by a lot of stone stairs. Our porters remained in the village, Ram Bir went ahead... and Lalit came with me, in spite the ticket man didn't look persuaded he could. 
Those two hadn't got a swimsuit: Ram Bir just got in the pool fully dressed, Lalit in his underpants. As far as me, I had put my bikini on that morning... but I had forgotten my slip in the bag. No need to say we had fun anyway. 
The problem was the weather: it was changing fast, getting windy, clouldy and... the rain was coming. I was the first one to leave - wearing my trekking trousers with no underwear because of course my swimsuit was wet. I had just the time to find a shelter under a big rock and it started raining. I waited a little but it was getting worse, so I put on my raincoat and attacked the climb.
Image may contain: one or more people, outdoor, water and natureWhen I arrived to the village, first and alone, our porters greeted me warmly, like you do with friends. We shared some chocolate and I had a mint tea, while waiting for the others who had decided to stay until the rain stops. 
Fortunately the weather improved after lunch. We still had a long way to go! More villages, more fields and more bridges, a last dramatic series of stairs. More Nepali songs by Lalit, who remained in the backguard with me until our destination, the big village of Landruk.
Image may contain: plant and outdoorIt was big indead, almost a little town. But it was totally shut down! At dusk we climbed to the top of the hill, among closed lodges and deserted houses. Ram Bir had come to meet us and to indicate the way. Finally we reached a big beautiful hotel... not provided with electricity, because it was closed. They agreed to have us, even prepared a good dinner on the spot - for 30 people, don't forget! - but cound't offer us any hot shower, and we had to eat in the candle light.
As far as me, I had a cold shower, dropped my stuff in a room and went straight downstairs. Our porters were all gathered in the dark around a big stove, as it was humid and rather cold. I sat there, looking for the well known faces in the poor light of a candle put on the floor, listening to the lovely sound of the Nepali language, that I couldn't understand but I had got used to. I was feeling sad, and a little sick. My throat was sore, I was very cold. 
Image may contain: 1 person, sitting, table and indoorMeanwhile in the small kitchen two bossy Nepali women were directing a few Italian volunteers. My fearless mates prepared momo, lentils and rice for Dal Bhat and other typical Nepali dishes, with a lot of laughing and shrill reproaches.
Sum up, the dinner was great. The candle light made for a cosy, romantic athmosphere. And after dinner our porters celebrated the end of the trekking by a little party, singing, dancing and playing madal (the typical Nepalese drum). We went to sleep instead. I was definitely sick. And sad. I even cried a bit.

.....MORE TO COME....

1.19.2017

Lost in Nepal 8: From the Annapurna Base Camp to Sinuwa, and New Years Eve

Image may contain: mountain, sky, outdoor and natureSee also Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6 and Part 7.

I had slept well and was feeling good, no headache, no nausea. It was warm, almost hot in my sleeping bag, so during the night I had taken off some clothes... and it had been more demanding than expected! The altitude. Breathless. Exhausted
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Lalit playing
Still in the early morning I was perfectly fine. From my bed I could see the sky was turning bright outside the window, cloudy but softly pink. Noise of people waking up, preparing their backpacks, going to the loo. Lalit singing. 
I got up, put on my clothes - kept confortably warm inside the sleeping bag - and stepped out the door. The Annapurna! oh! you can't get used to it! not in one night. Lalit, indead. We said good morning and I asked him where was a sink to wash my face, as usually there is one somewhere, not in the toilet but outside downstairs. "There isn't here" he said "When we go down, there you can find one." 
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Celebrating New Years Eve
A sink outisde at 4.000 m isn't a good idea, I should know... "Ok, no matter" I was. There was plenty of snow so I took a handful of it and washed my face with it", "No! no! don't do that!" Lalit exclaimed He was looking alarmed and I was surprised. "Don't use it! your face get dark and your skin get sick!" he explained. I was puzzled. It wasn't the first time I washed my face with the snow and I thought a guy from Solo Khumbu was also used to do so. By the way, my face didn't turn dark and my skin was ok. "Feel, it isn't that cold" I said touching his hands with mine. "True, it isn't cold" he doutbful admitted. "But it's your country, you know better" I added. I thought he had his reasons, and he told me indead. 
"Once I have been camping on the Dhaulagiri. In the morning I came out my tent and washed my face with snow. My face turned dark and my skin got sick.", "Oh! I see... Probably it was very very cold there...", "Yes, it was very cold."  Maybe that was the first symtom of  frostbite.
Image may contain: 1 person, sitting, night, fire and indoorIt wasn't that cold in the Annapurna Base Camp, it had been down to -15 degrees during the night but now it was around 0 degrees and it was expected to snow. We were better to descend because the stage was long and hard: that night we had to sleep in Sinuwa.
We started around 8 am. I was behind with Lalit who once again was singing a beautiful Nepali song. I was feeling good, just enjoying my way, but someone in our group had had a crappy night due to mountain sickness, couldn't eat a proper breakfast and felt weak all day. 
At 1 pm we arrived to Bamboo and stopped for lunch. Sinuwa was still far away and the weather was worsening.
It was raining hard now. Two hours to go, a long series of slippery stairs to climb, the dark of the night coming soon. I asked Lalit if it was possible to open my bag to take off my raincoat, "If you want, you can" he said, so we went to my porter, I found my jacket, put it on and said good bye.
Image may contain: one or more people, people sitting, outdoor and indoorIt wasn't nice to walk in the pourring rain on that hard terrain, moreover because it wasn't cold and I was sweating under the raincoat. I haven't gone far when a porter joined me. he was carrying my bag but he wasn't my porter. He's name was Bibi, he said, and I think he was the only one wearing a decent raincoat, so Ran Bir had sent him after me with my stuff. 
Now it was raining a little less and I was able to enjoy the magic of the forest. No humans in sight, silence, some monkies, a big dear in the middle of the track, and I all excited: "A DEAR! A DEAR!", "Yes, a dear". Calmly. Because a dear for Bibi was nothing new.
We arrived in Sinuwa in the evening. It was New Years Eve, we had a guitar and we were determined to celebrate. After dinner we gathered around the fire, trekkers and porters, singing "Resham firiri" and laughing a lot. We had fun until midnight. And we were so loud that a man came complaining because people couldn't sleep. "But we are celebrating the new year" Lalit said, quitly but stubbornly. The most of the porters had already gone to sleep. The new year begins in April for them, still Lalit thought it was important to celebrate with us.

....MORE TO COME...