Andy's diary of April

Time to reflect for 'Dancin' Andy'
No matter how much I try and look to the future as a bike rider, there's always a part of me that's looking into the past. As a child I remember Djamolidine Abdoujaparov coming to stay with my family, as he and my father were friends. I'd watched the sprinter on television so many times - the way he'd sway across the road, stomping through the opposition, before throwing his bike towards the line. I must have been around 11 or 12 years old and I was so awestruck seeing him in our house.
During his visits my father and Abdoujaparov would hunt in the corn fields near our house, before coming back to show off the day's spoils – usually a wild pig that we'd skin and cook ourselves or hand out to friends. For them it was precious time away from the hustle and bustle of professional cycling and work, and now I can see why they used to enjoy it so much. It was their time of peace and reflection and it's something I've grown to appreciate over the last few months.
A lot has happened in the last month and I've had mixed fortunes throughout. Last time I checked in with Cyclingnews I'd just finished in the top ten at Eroica and was on my way to Tirreno-Adriatico. That race was always about building form for the rest of the season and not about the results but even at this stage in my season things aren't going in the direction I want them to.
From Achilles problems to sickness at training camp, it has been tough. At the end of the Tour of California I was in starting to feel better but then on the second stage of Tirreno-Adriatico I strained my knee and had a small inflammation. It wasn't a major problem but it was enough to put a downer on things and I was forced to pull out before stage six.
Before pulling out I had one really surreal moment with my teammates. After one stage finish we had a really long transfer that took about three hours. Luckily the team bus is pretty pimped out, with a huge TV at the back, room to sleep four and a sound system even Jay Z would be proud of. The team was bored and all we could find was a movie called Step Up.
Don't ask me how it found its way onto the bus or who took it home, but we stuck it on and by the end we were all on our feet trying to replicate the moves.
I won't say who was there [ed – here's a handy start list] but it was pretty hilarious, with gangly cyclists trying to perform dance steps on a moving bus. The riders and management at the front must have thought we were off our heads. But that's our team spirit for you. We all like to have fun together and there are no big egos.
At Milano-Samremo I was in much better spirits and was glad to get Tirreno out of my mind. I was lying in fourth place on the second-to-last climb and was starting to feel like I had strong legs. I eased up a bit as we approached the top, in order to save energy, and slipped back a few places.
But on the descent I messed things up on a corner. It was the type of bend that you need to take at full speed; without even feathering the brakes, but I totally misjudged it and braked hard, losing a hundred meters. Riders were yelling at me but there was no way I could chase when there were four Liquigas riders on the front of the bunch pushing hard. Game over for me and game over for my teammate Stuart O'Grady, who crashed out.
His crash was a blow for the team but for me it was another personal set-back as he's a good friend of mine and it's never nice to see a friend fall. I spoke to him on the phone and we talked at length. I've come to realise that sometimes these things happen and there's nothing you can do about it. But since that chat, my fortunes have started to look up.
Stepping up and reaffirming my ambition
Bobby Julich has been staying at Frank's house for the past few days. Just like Abdoujaparov's visits, it has been good having a friendly face about the place. Today I did three hours in the rain with Frank, Fuglsang and Chris Anker Sorenson.
Bobby was out with us and he made us do some time trial training with him, which included a team time trial and then some tests on the bikes that will help us in the future. I'm also riding pain-free for the first time this year. Frank's neighbour is an osteopath and she's cured my Achilles problems with a series of different treatments. It's a miracle and she's my new hero.
Since I've been back home I've been walking my dogs every day. I usually take them out over the grounds my dad hunts on. There are no wild pigs around but quite often the dogs will get the scent of a rabbit and run off at speed into the trees. Once they dart off and are out of sight I'm left alone with my thoughts.
Like my dad's hunting, this is my time for reflection. Two years ago this week I was just coming back from a skiing trip. I'd spent eight days off the bike and on the slopes and went straight to the Criterium International with no form or miles in my legs. I was dragging myself around and felt awful, although I went on to finish second in the Giro a couple of months later.
I guess what I'm saying is that when I think back to that time I can see how far I've come as a rider. I know I still have a long way to go and that my development is crucial if I'm to reach my goals but I'm certainly maturing and I know that when I train and have a clear run of health that things will come for me. I'll be there when it really matters.

JENS: 5 CI! ..and Coppel ...

...next year you'll breack the record!
1. VOIGT Jens 7h 23' 00"
2. RABON Frantisek + 00' 02"
3. PATE Danny +00' 09"
4. MONFORT Maxime + 00' 12"
5. LEMOINE Cyril + 00' 18"
6. COPPEL Jérôme " + 00' 23".. interesting boy: did you noticed him in the Tour de l'Avenir 08?
7. OROZ Juan José + 00' 30"
8. DEMARET Jean-Eudes " + 00' 34"
9. NOCENTINI Rinaldo + 00' 35"
10. PETROV Evgeni + 00' 37"
13. SCHLECK Fränk +00' 44"
46. SCHLECK Andy +03' 04"
Le commentaire de Fränk sur l'étape
"...Jens a bien mené son coup! Il a attaqué dès le début. Il a rejoint le premier échapé de la journée, Gregorio, avec deux autres coureurs. Ce qui m'étonne c'est que les autres équipes n'ont pas réagi tout de suite. ...bon ceci nous a un peu facilité la tâche pour contrôler la course au début. Heureusement,- parce que toute l'équipe, à part Jens et Haedo avait la diarrhée...." "...Cet après-midi Andy et moi on n'a pas fait le contre-la-montre à bloc. On n'avait rien à perdre et on était content que Jens a encore une fois réussi à gagner "son" Critérium..."
["...Jens really made it! He attacked at the very beginning of the stage and closed up with two other guys to the first breakaway of the day, Gregorio. I am surprised that the other teams did not react right away..." "...well this made things easier for to control the race at the beginning. Fortunately,- because everybody from the team, except for Jens and Haedo, suffered from diarrhoea...""...this afternoon Andy and myself did not go full power in the time trial. We had nothing to loose and we were happy that Jens had another victory of "his" Criterium..."]
[Jens ce l'ha fatta! ha attaccato subito. Ha raggiunto il primo fuggitivo della giornata, Gregorio, con altri due corridori. Mi sorprende che le altre squadre non abbiano reagit subito... Meglio così: questo ci ha permesso di controllare più facilmente la corsa all'inizio. Meno male, perché tutta la squadra, aparte Jens e Haedo, aveva la diarrea... Questo pomeriggio io e Andy non abbiamo fatto la coronometro a tutta. Non avevamo niente da perdere ed eravamo contenti che Jens riuscisse avincere ancora una volta il 'suo' Criterium..."]


CI: Voigt uber alles (...and Schlecks closing the gap)

Les commentaires d' Andy sur l'étape [1]:"J'ai du mettre pied à terre à la suite d'une chute collective dans la première partie du peloton..." nous explique Andy. "...c'est ce qui fait qu'une cinquantaine de coureurs ont passé la ligne d'arrivée avec 34" de retard". "Fränk a pu éviter la chute et il a terminé dans le même temps que le vainqueur." "Avec trois autres gars de notre équipe j'ai bossé beaucoup aujourd'hui pour reprendre l'échappée, qui à un certain moment avait une avance de 10 minutes. C'était dur avec les rafales violentes! A la fin il y avait encore les Euskatel qui nous donnaient un coup de main. Finalement on a pu reprendre l'échappée à 20 kilomètres de l'arrivée."

Classement de la 2ième étape 29 mars 2009 Les Vieilles Forges - Monthermé
1. VOIGT Jens 2h 30' 22"
2. PATE Danny + 00' 07"
3. FEILLU Romain + 00' 09"
4. COPPEL Jérôme + 00' 09"
5. CARRARA Matteo + 00' 12"
6. MORENO FERN Daniel + 00' 12"
7. TROFIMOV Yury + 00' 12"
8. NOCENTINI Rinaldo + 00' 12"
9. LEMOINE Cyril + 00' 12"
10. BOTCHAROV Alexandre + 00' 12" 1

13. SCHLECK Frank + 00' 12"
43. SCHLECK Andy + 01' 17"

Classement Général (provisoire)
1. VOIGT Jens 7h 12' 37"
2. PATE Danny + 00' 07"
3. LEMOINE Cyril + 00' 08"
4. FEILLU Romain + 00' 09"
5. COPPEL Jérôme + 00' 09"
6. BOTCHAROV Alexandre + 00' 12"
7. CARRARA Matteo + 00' 12"
8. DEMARET Jean-Eudes + 00' 12"
9. MONFORT Maxime + 00' 12"
10. NOCENTINI Rinaldo + 00' 12"
11. TROFIMOV Yury + 00' 12"
12. SCHLECK Frank + 00' 12"
41. SCHLECK Andy + 01' 51"


Criterum International stage 1: Casper

Criterium International Stage 1
36 SCHLECK Fränk
Pippo Pozzato won - finally! - in E3 Prijs Harelbeke. Leiphaimer won in Vuelta Castilla y Leon. And Cunego won - on Evans: eheh! - in Settimana Coppi&Bartali.

Criterium Internationale : good luck my loves!

Team Saxo Bank
1 Jens Voigt (Ger)
2 Lasse Bochman (Den)
3 Jakob Fuglsang (Den)
4 Juan José Haedo (Arg)
5 Gustav Larsson (Swe)
6 Andy Schleck (Lux)
7 Fränk Schleck (Lux)
8 Chris Anker Sørensen (Den)


Coppi&Bartali: Cunego leader

Funny pic of Lampre racers: can you detecte all them? just try!

L'ordine d'arrivo della terza tappa della Settimana Coppi e Bartali, da Borgo, 163 km:
1. Damiano CUNEGO (Ita/Lampre Ngc)
2. Cadel Evans (Aus/Silence Lotto)
3. Cristian Pfannberger (Aut/Team Katusha)
4. Robert Kiserlovski (Cro/Amica Chips Knauf)
5. Massimo Giunti (Ita/Miche Silver Cross)
Classifica generale
1. Damiano CUNEGO


Schlecks about the Critérium International (Happy bithday to me!)

Today is my birthday, but I started official celebrations yesterday with a little trip by bike (30 km, Firenze-Pontassive-Firenze) smelling springtime and daring traffic. A bit late, I admit, to begin my cycling seanson... beside I have been very busy and quite ill till now. The weather then was too bad... Now I have no more excuses: let's go!
Fortunately there are a lot of races in theese days and I can't write about all. I'm following the Vuelta Castilla y Leon because there are racing the most of my favourite cyclists (allez DZ!), but near here today will start a stage of Coppi&Bartali: in the yesterday one Damiano Cunego achieved a good victory. Pozzato indead didn't reach the finish line in Warengem. The winner, Kevin Van Impe (Quick Step), dedicated his result to his little son, died last year: wada agents choosed just those days for an out-competition antidoping-test...

Andy and Fränk talk about the coming Critérium International!
Fränks comments: "My left hand does not cause me major problems anymore. I don't think it will hamper me during the race."
"There is no designated leader for our team, - we will see how things will turn out during the race. I would be happy to see Jens Voigt winning the Critérium for the fifth time, thereby breaking the record of personal victories of that race. It would be a pleasure for me to give him a hand to achieve this goal and pay him back for all he did for me in Paris Nice."
"Anyway you never know how things will develop, if I happen to be in a potential winning situation I will obviously not let my chance pass by."
Andy's opinion about the race:" You have to be vigilant all over the first stage,- especially beware of breaks in the main bunch! We cannot let go a breakaway unless one of our guys is amongst them."
"You have to have good legs to finish the second stage amongst the top riders: the short distance of less than 100 kilometers will make it a stage spooled off at full speed."
"Now concerning the individual time trial, only those riding for a good final classification and the time trial specialists will make a full power run."

What is cycling without Schlecks? Snif! Snif!

3ª tappa della Vuelta Castilla y Leon
Ordine d'arrivo
1. Alejandro VALVERDE (Spa/Caissed'Epargne) 3h28'16"
2. Ruben Plaza (Spa/Liberty Seguros) s.t.
3. Javier Moreno (Spa/Andalucia Cajasur) s.t.
4. J. Alberto Benitez (Spa/Fuji Servetto)
5. Ruben Perez (Spa/Euskaltel) s.t.
11. Contador (Spa/Astana) s.t.
12. Menchov (Rus/Rabobank) s.t.
18. Leipheimer (Usa/Astana) s.t.
Classifica generale

1. LEIPHEIMER (Usa/Astana)
2. Contador (Spa/Astana) a 16"
3. Zabriskie (Usa/Garmin) a 22"
4. Clement (Ola/Rabobank) a 49"
5. Menchov (Rus/Rabobank) a 55"


Levi, Alberto, Dave (no more Lance here)

I'm very busy in theese days. I know: Sir Lance crashed. Unfortunately he's not the only one and in any case you'll never see his pic on my blog. So I waited for a good news: 1Levi, 2Alberto, 3Dave. I like all them.
General classification after stage 1
1 Joaquin Sobrino Martinez (Spa) Burgos Monumental - Castilla y Leon 4.31.53
2 David Vitoria (Swi) Rock Racing
3 José Joaquín Rojas (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne
4 Rubén Pérez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
5 Manuel Antonio Leal Cardoso (Por) Liberty Seguros
6 Hans Dekkers (Ned) Garmin-Slipstream
7 Juan Francisco Mourón Doldan (Spa) Xacobeo Galicia
8 Denys Kostyuk (Ukr) ISD
9 Ricardo Serrano (Spa) Fuji-Servetto
10 Pablo Urtasun (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
Results stage 2
1 Levi Leipheimer (USA) Astana 33.17
2 Alberto Contador (Spa) Astana 0.18
3 David Zabriskie (USA) Garmin-Slipstream 0.22
4 Stef Clement (Ned) Rabobank 0.49
5 Denis Menchov (Spa) Rabobank 0.55
General classification after stage 2
1 Levi Leipheimer (USA) Astana 5.05.10
2 Alberto Contador (Spa) Astana 0.18
3 David Zabriskie (USA) Garmin-Slipstream 0.22
4 Stef Clement (Ned) Rabobank 0.49
5 Denis Menchov (Spa) Rabobank 0.55


Haedo goes! ...O'Grady doesn't...

Sexy Banker J.J.Haedo won in GP Cholet sprinting in front of Jimmy Casper (Besson Chaussures – Sojasun)!
On SB site we read: "Team Saxo Bank's Danish sports director, Kim Andersen won the race in 1990, and he was with the team today [...] "It was a fantastic race where we were ahead of things and were in several breakaways throughout the race. The race was done at a really high pace and on the last laps in Cholet, we tried to keep the peloton in one group, so JJ was able to sprint to victory, "said a happy Kim Andersen after the race."I am pleased to offer this victory to the team after a strong effort from my teammates”, said Team Saxo Bank's Juan Jose Haedo after the race and added: "I had to wait until the very last second to go past and push the bike across the line in front of Casper in the bunch sprint."

Worse than expected for O'Grady, indead! He must skip the classics. His right collar bone is broken and that there is a further fracture on a rib and an edema between the lungs and the ribs. "It is extremely sad to see the classics disappear for my part, because of a crash. The past several months of hard work had a purpose and focus: classics and especially Paris-Roubaix. Now I see it all crumble, but hopefully I get the opportunity to come back later, "said the O'Grady.
"The whole team wishes him a speedy recovery and we hope to see him back in peak shape soon, " said Uncle Bijarne, and me too, of course.
[TRADUZIONE: Il Sexy Banker JJ Haedo ha vinto il GP Cholet in volata su Jimmy Casper! Il DS K.Andersen, che ha vinto a Cholet nel 1990, era lì con la squadra e ha detto felice: "E' stata una corsa fantastica, in cui abbiamo avuto più volte l'iniziativa e siamo entrati in diverse fughe. Il passo era molto veloce e negli ultimi giri a Cholet abbiamo cercato di tenere cucito il gruppo per permettere a JJ HAedo di vincere in volata." "Mi fa piacere dedicare questa vittoria alla squadra dopo il duro lavoro che hanno fatto i miei compagni." ha detto Haedo "Ho dovuto aspettare proprio l'ultimo secondo per passare e mettere la ruota sul traguardo davanti a Casper". Peggio del previsto per O'Grady, invece: dovrà saltare le classiche. Si è rotto la clavicola destra, ha una frattura a una costola e un edema fra i polmoni e le costole. "E' estremamente triste per me vedere svanire le classiche per un incidente. Il duro lavoro dei mesi scorsi aveva come obbiettivo le classiche e soprattutto la Parigi-Roubaix. Adesso vedo tutto franare, ma per fortuna ho la possibilità di tornare più avanti." ha detto O'Grady. "Tutta la squadra gli augura di guarire in fretta e speriamo di vederlo tornare presto nella sua forma migliore." ha detto lo zio Bijarne, e anch'io naturalmente. ]


Andy about Milano-Sanremo (and Stuart O'Grady's crash)

From Lux-Club site: "Milano - San Remo: dem Andy säin Kommentar no der Course
“Ech war ganz gutt an d'Cipressa era komm, hu mech esouguer no vir geschafft an uewen och nach bei den Top 20 derbäi. Ech hunn Descente awer guer net kannt an hu mech dunn an enger Kéier verschätzt. Ech hu missen e Fouss aus der Pedall huelen. Et ass ganz séier gaangen, well d’Liquigas si vir voll gefuer an ech hat séier 100 – 200 Meter Retard. Ech hun mech dunn an den zweete Peloton agereit. Et war souwisou haut näischt dran. Ze vill Sprinter vir derbäi!“ "
Do you undestand anything? I don't. Hope in a quick translation!
From SB site: "For Team Saxo Bank's Australian classic specialist, Stuart O' Grady, the party was over before it barely had begun. About 30 kilometres on the course, O'Grady was involved in a violent crash and was transported to a nearby hospital in an ambulance. The first reports from a subsequent x-ray in Monaco, however, reported no fractures. "


Milano-Sanremo: sad, boring, Cav!

O'Grady crashed, Andy is 128, the first Sexy Banker is Kroon (14).... Amazing finish of a boring race: Cavendish won on Haussler in a wonderful sprint.
Results - 298km
1 Mark Cavendish (GBr) Team Columbia - Highroad 6.42.45 (44,420 km/h)
2 Heinrich Haussler (Ger) Cervélo TestTeam
3 Thor Hushovd (Nor) Cervélo TestTeam
4 Allan Davis (Aus) Quick Step
5 Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) LPR Brakes - Farnese Vini
6 Daniele Bennati (Ita) Liquigas
7 Aitor Galdos (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi 0.08
8 Enrico Rossi (Ita) Ceramica Flaminia - Bossini Docce 0.39
9 Luca Paolini (Ita) Acqua & Sapone - Caffe Mokambo 0.49
10 Peter Velits (Svk) Team Milram
11 Lloyd Mondory (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
12 Martin Elmiger (Swi) AG2R La Mondiale
13 Greg van Avermaet (Bel) Silence-Lotto
14 Karsten Kroon (Ned) Team Saxo Bank
15 Tom Boonen (Bel) Quick Step 1.37
16 Assan Bazayev (Kaz) Astana
17 Francesco Gavazzi (Ita) Lampre - N.G.C. 3.39
18 Christian Knees (Ger) Team Milram
19 Julian Dean (NZl) Garmin - Slipstream
20 Manuele Mori (Ita) Lampre - N.G.C.
21 Sebastian Langeveld (Ned) Rabobank 8.05
22 Filippo Pozzato (Ita) Team Katusha
23 Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Silence-Lotto
24 Fabian Wegmann (Ger) Team Milram
25 Egoi Martínez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
26 Carlo Scognamiglio (Ita) Barloworld
27 Anthony Geslin (Fra) Française des Jeux
28 Benoît Vaugrenard (Fra) Française des Jeux
29 Juan Antonio Flecha (Spa) Rabobank
30 Giovanni Visconti (Ita) ISD
31 Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Garmin - Slipstream
32 Nick Nuyens (Bel) Rabobank
33 Andreas Klier (Ger) Cervélo TestTeam
34 Luis León Sánchez (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne
35 Nicholas Roche (Irl) AG2R La Mondiale
36 Eros Capecchi (Ita) Fuji-Servetto
37 Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Quick Step
38 Davide Rebellin (Ita) Serramenti PVC Diquigiovanni-Androni Giocattoli
39 George Hincapie (USA) Team Columbia - Highroad
40 Murilo Fischer (Bra) Liquigas
41 Danilo Di Luca (Ita) LPR Brakes - Farnese Vini
42 Lorenzo Bernucci (Ita) LPR Brakes - Farnese Vini: good race today!
43 Matteo Tosatto (Ita) Quick Step
44 Ivan Basso (Ita) Liquigas
45 Franco Pellizotti (Ita) Liquigas
46 Michele Scarponi (Ita) Serramenti PVC Diquigiovanni-Androni Giocattoli
47 Daniele Pietropolli (Ita) LPR Brakes - Farnese Vini
48 Jérome Pineau (Fra) Quick Step
49 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas: brave as usual he tried the breack, but nobody helped...
50 Stefano Garzelli (Ita) Acqua & Sapone - Caffe Mokambo
51 Yoann Offredo (Fra) Française des Jeux
52 Maxim Iglinskiy (Kaz) Astana
53 Robert Hunter (RSA) Barloworld
54 Gabriele Bosisio (Ita) LPR Brakes - Farnese Vini
55 Oscar Pereiro (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne
56 Carlos Barredo (Spa) Quick Step
57 Vasil Kiryienka (Blr) Caisse d'Epargne
58 David Loosli (Swi) Lampre - N.G.C.
59 Imanol Erviti (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne
60 Gabriel Rasch (Nor) Cervélo TestTeam
61 Johan Van Summeren (Bel) Silence-Lotto
62 Alessandro Bertolini (Ita) Serramenti PVC Diquigiovanni-Androni Giocattoli
63 Yaroslav Popovych (Ukr) Astana
64 William Frischkorn (USA) Garmin - Slipstream
65 Serguei Ivanov (Rus) Team Katusha
66 Marco Corti (Ita) Barloworld
67 Robbie Mcewen (Aus) Team Katusha
68 Giuseppe Palumbo (Ita) Acqua & Sapone - Caffe Mokambo
69 José Joaquín Rojas (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne Gil (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne
70 Steve Chainel (Fra) Bbox Bouygues Telecom
71 Said Haddou (Fra) Bbox Bouygues Telecom
72 Alessandro Vanotti (Ita) Liquigas
73 Alessandro Donati (Ita) Acqua & Sapone - Caffe Mokambo
74 Josep Jufré (Spa) Fuji-Servetto
75 Dmitriy Muravyev (Kaz) Astana
76 Serguei Klimov (Rus) Team Katusha
77 Arnaud Labbe (Fra) Bbox Bouygues Telecom
78 Aurélien Clerc (Swi) AG2R La Mondiale
79 Rui Costa (Por) Caisse d'Epargne
80 Mikael Cherel (Fra) Française des Jeux
81 Ruggero Marzoli (Ita) Acqua & Sapone - Caffe Mokambo
82 Didac Ortega (Spa) Acqua & Sapone - Caffe Mokambo
83 Niki Terpstra (Ned) Team Milram
84 Luca Mazzanti (Ita) Team Katusha
85 Alberto Ongarato (Ita) LPR Brakes - Farnese Vini
86 Marco Velo (Ita) Quick Step
87 Johannes Fröhlinger (Ger) Team Milram
88 Maurizio Biondo (Ita) Ceramica Flaminia - Bossini Docce
89 Marcus Ljungqvist (Swe) Team Saxo Bank
90 Jürgen Roelandts (Bel) Silence-Lotto
91 Leonardo Duque (Col) Cofidis
92 Roger Hammond (GBr) Cervélo TestTeam
93 Mathew Hayman (Aus) Rabobank
94 Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Team Columbia - Highroad
95 Sébastien Hinault (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
96 Mark Renshaw (Aus) Team Columbia - Highroad
97 Ermanno Capelli (Ita) Fuji-Servetto
98 Alexandre Botcharov (Rus) Team Katusha
99 Wesley Sulzberger (Aus) Française des Jeux
100 Leonardo Giordani (Ita) Ceramica Flaminia - Bossini Docce
101 David De La Fuente (Spa) Fuji-Servetto
102 Iker Camano (Spa) Fuji-Servetto
103 Hayden Roulston (NZl) Cervélo TestTeam
104 Andriy Grivko (Ukr) ISD
105 Fredrik Kessiakoff (Swe) Fuji-Servetto
106 Vincent Jérôme (Fra) Bbox Bouygues Telecom
107 Thomas Lövkvist (Swe) Team Columbia - Highroad
108 Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Garmin - Slipstream
109 Pavel Brutt (Rus) Team Katusha
110 Marco Bandiera (Ita) Lampre - N.G.C.
111 Maxime Monfort (Bel) Team Columbia - Highroad
112 Francesco Ginanni (Ita) Serramenti PVC Diquigiovanni-Androni Giocattoli
113 Paolo Longo Borghini (Ita) Barloworld
114 Arnaud Coyot (Fra) Caisse d'Epargne
115 Bingen Fernandez (Spa) Cofidis
116 Patrick Calcagni (Swi) Barloworld
117 Diego Caccia (Ita) Barloworld
118 Massimo Codol (Ita) Acqua & Sapone - Caffe Mokambo
119 Dario Andriotto (Ita) Acqua & Sapone - Caffe Mokambo
120 Joost Posthuma (Ned) Rabobank
121 Felix Rafael Cardenas Ravalo (Col) Barloworld
122 Ivan Velasco (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi
123 Koldo Fernandez (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi
124 Julien El Fares (Fra) Cofidis
125 Lance Armstrong (USA) Astana
126 Dario Cioni (Ita) ISD
127 Oscar Gatto (Ita) ISD
128 Andy Schleck (Lux) Team Saxo Bank I love you! still bad at your knee? :(
129 Samuel Dumoulin (Fra) Cofidis
130 Amaël Moinard (Fra) Cofidis
131 Xavier Florencio (Spa) Cervélo TestTeam
132 Joaquím Rodríguez (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne
133 Jeremy Hunt (GBr) Cervélo TestTeam
134 Matti Breschel (Den) Team Saxo Bank
135 Daniele Righi (Ita) Lampre - N.G.C.
136 Thomas Dekker (Ned) Silence-Lotto
137 Enrico Gasparotto (Ita) Lampre - N.G.C.
138 Svein Tuft (Can) Garmin - Slipstream
139 Tom Leezer (Ned) Rabobank
140 Christopher Sutton (Aus) Garmin - Slipstream 11.24
141 Yuriy Krivtsov (Ukr) AG2R La Mondiale
142 Dainius Kairelis (Ltu) Ceramica Flaminia - Bossini Docce
143 Mickael Delage (Fra) Silence-Lotto
144 Sébastien Turgot (Fra) Bbox Bouygues Telecom
145 Yauheni Hutarovich (Blr) Française des Jeux
146 Sébastien Minard (Fra) Cofidis
147 Hervé Duclos-Lassalle (Fra) Cofidis
148 Emanuale Bindi (Ita) Lampre - N.G.C.
149 Luis Angel Mate (Spa) Serramenti PVC Diquigiovanni-Androni Giocattoli
150 Cristiano Fumagalli (Ita) Ceramica Flaminia - Bossini Docce
151 Wilfried Cretskens (Bel) Silence-Lotto 12.15
152 Leonardo Moser (Ita) Serramenti PVC Diquigiovanni-Androni Giocattoli 12.16
153 Peter Wrolich (Aut) Team Milram
154 Martin Velits (Svk) Team Milram
155 Grégory Rast (Swi) Astana
156 Pedro Horrillo (Spa) Rabobank
157 Andoni Lafuente (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi
158 Michael Friedman (USA) Garmin - Slipstream
159 Frank Hoj (Den) Team Saxo Bank
160 Giampaolo Cheula (Ita) Barloworld 12.19
161 Kasper Klostergaard Larsen (Den) Team Saxo Bank 12.21
162 Christophe Le Mevel (Fra) Française des Jeux


Please, you! stop with bad luck to Schleck or I'm going to get angry!

From Cyclingnews:
"Schleck crashes in training
Fränk Schleck of Saxo Bank crashed during training on Wednesday and was forced to go to hospital. He received seven stitches on the chin and had a heavy contusion on his left wrist. Subsequent examinations showed no signs of fractures.
The rider from Luxembourg skidded with his front wheels during a training ride and crashed in a curve going downhill. "I guess I should consider myself lucky that nothing is broken. This doesn't come at a convenient time, since I'm in really good shape after Paris-Nice and I hope to get back into racing as soon as possible," said Schleck. His next race is now set to be the Criterium International at the end of March.
Sports Director Kim Andersen took precautionary measures. "We need Fränk to be back racing as soon as possible and since nothing is broken we had the possibility to send him to do the cobblestone races in Belgium next week. Since these races are demanding on the whole body, it's better to wait and then have him come back 100% fit in the race in France, where we should have a good possibility to get some results with him and Jens Voigt." "
[Fränk Schleck ha avuto un incidente mercoledì durante un allenamento ed è stato costretto ad andare in ospedale. Ha ricevuto sette punti al mento e ha una forte contusione al polso sinistro. Gli esami successivi hanno mostrato che non ci sono segni di fratture.
Il corridore lussemburghese è scivolato con la ruota davanti durante un giro di allenamento ed è caduto in una curva finendo di sotto.
"Penso di potermi considerare fortunato di non essermi rotto niente. Questo incidente capita in un momento veramente inopportuno, visto che sono in ottima forma dopo la Parigi-Nizza e spero di tornare a correre prima possibile." ha detto Schleck.
La sua prossima gara dovrebbe essere adesso il Criterium Internazionale a fine Marzo. Il DS Kim Andersen ha preso misure cautelative: "Abbiamo bisogno che Fränk torni a correre prima possibile e se non si è rotto niente avremmo la possibilità di mandarlo a fare le corse sul pavé in Belgio la prossima settimana. Visto che queste corse sono impegnative per tutto il corpo, è meglio aspettare e averlo al 100% nella crsa in Francia, dove dovremmo avere buone possibilità di ottenere un risultato con lui e Jens Voigt." ]


Andy goes to Milano-Sanremo (Fabian doesn't)

http://www.riis-cycling.com/ "Fabian Cancellara will not defend his victory in Milano-Sanremo, but instead focus on his preparation to Northern European classics and the races ahead by doing the stage race, Settimana Internazionele di Coppi e Bartali next week in Italy." Fabian talks also about 'family reasons': does anybody know what they are?
Marit instead informed us that Andy is going to race Milan-Sanremo:
in http://www.wort.lu/wort/web/sport/artikel/11020/andy-schleck-startet-bei-mailand-san-remo.php "he says he is taking it easy and is just planning to start on saturday."
Good luck! I hope I'll be there too.
[Fabian Cancellara non difenderà la sua vittoria nella Milano-Sanremo, ma si concentrerà sulla preparazione per le classiche del nord e le corse successive facendo la Coppi e Bartali la prossima setimanain Italia. Fabian parla anche di 'ragioni familiari': qualcuno sa quali?
Marit invece ci informa che Andy correrà la Milano-Sanremo: dice che la sta prendendo con tranquillità e pensa proprio che sabato sarà alla partenza.
Buona fortuna! spero di esserci anch'io.]

We wont you smiling

In TA Andy (and Sexy Baners in general) had not a good luck... In pic 1 my sweety guy looks quite sad and perhaps worried.

You know, Scarponi (pic 2 from Gazzetta) won the race, and it's fair, becouse he demonstrated to be very strong on climbs and in TT. Cav won yesterday sprint on Fahrar. Bennati was too slow there. But, to be honest, I followed the last stages distractly....

I'm too sad and worried me too: we wont you smiling as in pic 3, Andy! how are you? I'm waiting to know if you are goin to race in Sanremo... perhaps it's better you will not... Let we know: we love you!


Get well soon, Andy!

"A rest time period ordered by the team doctor. Since the first stage of Tirreno -Adriatico Andy suffered from pain in the left knee. The treatment given to him between the stages did not bring any relief. As a precautionary measure the team doctor ordered an rest for some days. So far Milano - San Remo is still in Andy's race programm."
[Un periodo di riposo ordinato dal dottore della squadra. Fino dalla prima tappa della Tirreno-Adriatico Andy soffriva per il dolore al ginocchio sinistro. Le cure ricevute fra le tappe non gli hanno portato alcun sollievo. Per precauzione il dottore della squadra ha ordinato un riposo di qualche giorno. Per adesso la Miano-San Remo è ancora nel programma di gara di Andy.]


Why didn't Andy start today?

At the moment I don't know, but I'm quite sad and a bit worried. Anyway I hope all is ok. Perhaps he and his Team decided that it made no sense keep on after the problems of previous stages...
Good luck, Andy and see you soon at the next race.
[I think this pic is from FB, but I'm not so sure...]
Stage 6
1.SCARPONI Michele
2.GARZELLI Stefano
3.BASSO Ivan
4.DI LUCA Danilo
6.EL FARES Julien
7. REBELLIN Davide
9. LOVKVIST Thomas
11. HESJEDAL Ryder
12.SIUTSOU Kanstantsin
13. KLODEN Andreas
Geneal Classification
1. SCARPONI Michele
2 GARZELLI Stefano
3.KLODEN Andreas
5.BASSO Ivan
9.SIUTSOU Kanstantsin
10.NIBALI Vincenzo

Allez Andy! Tirreno-Adriatico: Montelupone and TT

Montelupone could have been a stage for Andy, but Sexy Bank was very unlucky that day! From http://www.schleck.lu/ "Andy was amongst the 30 riders who made the gap in the fore last climb, a "mur" in which most riders were not much faster than a pedestrian walks. They started the final and not less steep climb of 1.5 kilometers to the arrival in Montelupone. Andy tells us that he lost contact with the main leaders, because a rider who was behind Andy touched his aft wheel, so that he had to get off the bike to readjust the wheel which touched one of the a braking shoe. "
["Andy era nel gruppo dei 30 corridori che erano davanti nella prima parte dell'ultima salita, un muro in cui molti corridori andavano poco più che a passo d'uomo. Hanno attaccato l'ultima salita, non da meno: 1.5 km fino all'arrivo di Montelupone. Andy ci ha detto che ha perso contatto con il gruppetto di testa perché un corridore che era dietro di lui ha toccato la sua ruota. Andy è dovuto scendere dalla bici per raddrizzare la ruota che toccava uno dei pattini del freno." ]

And he was alone on the climb, because Fabian Cancellara was a lot behind (he still feels bad) and Matti Breschel (7 in CG) fell in this big crash:
Anyway Andy managed to improve his CG: he was 33 and after Montelupone stage became 21. Ehi! nothing can stop my boy!
Yesterady stage was a TT and as usual Andy lost something: he's 23 now.

The winner is Kloden: I like him in this this pic:

And this is Bello Benna, just for Sansen.


PARIS-NICE: Fränk on the podium

Fränk second... for a second! (...1 LL Sanchez 3 Chavanel...)

[Waiting for P-N pics... I like theese :D]
Final stage
1 Antonio Colom (Spa) Team Katusha
2 Alberto Contador (Spa) Astana
3 Fränk Schleck (Lux) Team Saxo Bank 0.01
4 Jonathan Hivert (Fra) Skil-Shimano 0.17
5 Christophe Moreau (Fra) Agritubel
6 Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Quick Step
7 Juan Manuel Garate (Spa) Rabobank
8 Christophe Le Mevel (Fra) Française des Jeux
9 Jens Voigt (Ger) Team Saxo Bank
10 Sandy Casar (Fra) Française des Jeux
Final general classification
1 Luis-Leon Sanchez (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne
2 Fränk Schleck (Lux) Team Saxo Bank 1.00
3 Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Quick Step 1.09
4 Alberto Contador (Spa) Astana 1.24
5 Antonio Colom (Spa) Team Katusha 1.47
6 Jens Voigt (Ger) Team Saxo Bank 1.59
7 Kevin Seeldrayers (Bel) Quick Step 2.29
8 Jonathan Hivert (Fra) Skil-Shimano
9 Yury Trofimov (Rus) BBox Bouygues Telecom


Fränk is 3!! and stop talking about chocolate medal!

Paris-Nice Stage 7
1 Luis Leon Sanchez (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne 4.43.34 (40.414 km/h)
2 Antonio Colom (Spa) Team Katusha 0.50
3 Fränk Schleck (Lux) Team Saxo Bank
4 Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Quick Step
5 Jens Voigt (Ger) Team Saxo Bank
General classification after stage 7
1 Luis Leon Sanchez (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne 28.05.45
2 Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Quick Step 1.09
3 Fränk Schleck (Lux) Team Saxo Bank 1.21
4 Alberto Contador (Spa) Astana 1.50
5 Jens Voigt (Ger) Team Saxo Bank
1 Team Saxo Bank 14.13.59
2 Euskaltel - Euskadi 1.50
3 AG2R-La Mondiale 2.29
4 Caisse d'Epargne 6.03
5 Quick Step

Chocolate medal?

[Why can't I find pics of the yesterday stage podium?]

From http://www.schleck.lu/ "Fränk comments after the stage: This stage was difficult from start to finish! Extremely high speed all the time. In the last climb to the arrival I noticed that everybody reacted to whatever they believed Contador was going to do. The attack placed by Jens Voigt was unexpected and not part of our tactics. But still it was a good move, because Contador had to react, considering Jens position in the G.C. I had problems to follow Contador. After every turn when he was accelerating I lost a meter or two and had to close the gap again. Colon, who was with me behind Contador, refused to take a lead so I had to get rid of him. This spoiled my rhythm a bit. Eventually Sanchez closed up and we tried to keep the gap to Contador at a minimum. Now what I wouldn't like is to finish this Paris - Nice with the "chocolate" medal. So lets see what tomorrow's stage will bring."


Fränk you are great!

... and we love you!

P-N Stage 6: Fränk is second!

...and 4 in GC!
[Better pics later. This is by TdW]
Stage 6 - March 13:
Saint-Paul-Trois-Châteaux - La Montagne de Lure, 182.5km
1 Alberto Contador (Spa) Astana 4.47.46
2 Fränk Schleck (Lux) Team Saxo Bank 0.58
3 Luis Leon Sanchez (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne
4 Cadel Evans (Aus) Silence-Lotto 1.26
5 David Moncoutie (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne
6 Jens Voigt (Ger) Team Saxo Bank
7 Samuel Sanchez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
8 Jonathan Hivert (Fra) Skil-Shimano
9 Christophe Moreau (Fra) Agritubel
10 Chris Anker Soerensen (Den) Saxo Bank
General classification after stage 6
1 Alberto Contador (Spa) Astana 23.21.08
2 Luis Leon Sanchez (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne 1.13
3 Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Quick Step 1.24
4 Frank Schleck (Lux) Team Saxo Bank 1.38
5 Kevin Seeldrayers (Bel) Quick Step 2.01
6 Jens Voigt (Ger) Team Saxo Bank 2.06
7 Samuel Sanchez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 2.14
8 Jonathan Hivert (Fra) Skil-Shimano 2.29
9 Antonio Colom (Spa) Katusha 2.35
10 Yury Trofimov (Rus) Bbox Bouygues Telecom 3.09
In Tirreno-Adriatico GC Matti Breschel is 7 and Andy 33. Today winner is Farrar (Garmin), the leader is still El Farès.
Have a look to best young rider classfication:


A wrong day is a wrong day

So I got this damned train to go to Carrara. The finish was in Marina di Carrara and I must got a bus too. BUT, 'couse a wrong day is still a wrong day, and this one was clearly a wrong day since my waking up, my train was late. TOO LATE: when I arrived the street to Marina di Carrara was already closed and no more bus was going to start. The peloton had already passed by Carrara the first time, anyway I managed to reach a crossroads just in time to see the race going by the second time. I saw Andy too - I presume at least! and I would have taken some pics too... if I only had put the memory card in my camera :S Then I came back to the railstation and got two trains and a bus: all perfectly in time, of course.

I don't like Ale-jet Petacchi, so I'm sorry he won. I'd prefer Bello Benna, and you too I think. Becouse of that I decided to post El Farès' pic: he's still the leader and I'm happy. He's a young nice guy. Breschel is 7, that's a good place. I have no info about Andy at the moment....

Stage 2
1 Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) LPR Brakes-Farnese Vini
2 Daniele Bennati (Ita) Liquigas
3 Koldo Fernández (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
4 Dominique Rollin (Can) Cervélo TestTeam
5 Luca Paolini (Ita) Acqua & Sapone-Caffè Mokambo
General classification
1 Julien El Farès (Fra) Cofidis
2 Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) LPR Brakes-Farnese Vini 0.15
3 Daniele Bennati (Ita) Liquigas
4 Enrico Rossi (Ita) Ceramica Flaminia-Bossini Docce 0.24
5 Leonardo Duque (Col) Cofidis 0.25
6 Assan Bazayev (Kaz) Astana
7 Matti Breschel (Den) Saxo Bank
8 Lorenzo Bernucci (Ita) LPR Brakes-Farnese Vini
9 Filippo Pozzato (Ita) Katusha

[Così ho preso questo maledetto treno per andare a Carrara. L'arrivo era a Marina di Carrara, perciò dovevo prendere anche un autobus. Ma siccome un giorno storto è un giorno storto, e che questo qui lo fosse l'avevo capito fin dal risveglio, il mio treno era in ritardo. TROPPO IN RITARDO: quando sono arrivata la strada per Marina di Carrara era già chiusa e gli autobus non partivano più. Il gruppo aveva già effettuato il primo passaggio da Carrara, ma sono comunque riuscita a raggiungere una rotonda giusto in tempo per vederli al secondo passaggio. Ho visto anche Andy - almeno credo! e avrei anche fatto qualche foto... se soltanto avessi messo la memory card nella macchina fotografica :S Dopo di che sono tornata alla stazione e ho preso due treni e un autobus: tutti in perfetto orario, naturalmente! ]

T-A stage 1: Andy said....

From http://www.schleck.lu/
"The race is real nervous in this huge peloton. You have to concentrate all the time. At the end there was a real difficult climb. That one did hurt because it was taken full speed. The sprint is not my business. I kept out of it after I placed Matti Breschel, my team mate in a good position, so at least we also get a good position of our team car in the line tomorrow."
We'll meet again today: goos luck, Andy :D
[Con un gruppo così numeroso la corsa è molto nervosa. Ti devi concentrare tutto il tempo. Alla fine c'era una salita davvero difficile. Quella ha fatto male perché l'abbiamo presa a tutta velocità. Le volate non sono affare mio. Mi sono tirato fuori dopo aver piazzato Matti Breschel, mio compagno di squadra, in una buona posizione,così per lo meno otterremo anche una buona poizione per la nostra ammiraglia alla partena di domani."
Ci vediamo di nuov oggi: buona fortuna Andy :D]
Tirreno Adriatico
Stage 1:
1 El Fares (Cofidis)
2 Duma
3 Bennati
10 Matti Breschel
27 Andy Schleck (love him)


A sexy race for a sexy racer - and an interview with Fabian Cncellara

In an article about Eroica in “La gazzeta sportiva” 8.03.2009 Andy Schleck said: “My result [8] is only a statistic dettail. I keep the pleasure and also the pride to have done a race that is so seductive.” A sexy race for a sexy racer!
In the same pink newspaper there was an interview by the great Pastonesi with poor Fabian Cancellara, here you have the translation:
“And we have found Cancellara: My spring is ruined - A meeting with the Swiss during his training – I fell when I was still, then I wasn't able to raise a cup of coffee.
Monteroni d'Arbia (Siena) – In a bar, cappuccino, 2 cane sugar bag. Fabian Cancellara drinks and takes his breath after 4 hours of training. He's the winner of Montepaschi, Tirreno and Sanremo 2008.
- Cancellara, how are you?
FC The season has just started and I'm already chasing.
- You won the Tour of California TT prologue...
FC Yes, but I had got fever: before the start I was closed in the car and after the finish I went to bed.
- Then you fell during a training, didn't you?
FC It's quite incredible, I fell when I was nearly still, I sliped at 10 km/h: I hit my right shoulder, I got an inflammation, I couldn't hold my bike handlebars neither raise a cup of coffe. 2 weeks still.
- And now?
FC In these days I'm in Lido di Camaiore [near Lucca, on the Tirreno coast], at the Hotel Caesar. I'm training even if I'm not ok: I feel no more pain but my shoulder has still some problems. Since Wednesday I'll do the Tirreno-Adriatico, trying only to reach the finish line in the maximum time.
- What about the classics?
FC I'm going to race Sanremo, Fiandre and Roubaix, but without any hopes. You can't improvise. It will be usefull for the future.
- And then?
FC I'm going to race always: Giro, Tour of Switzerland, Tour, Vuelta and Mondiali."
Pic 1 is by me, pic 2 is from FB Brigade du style - section peloton, pic 3 is from ??...anyway I post it 'couse here Fabian is with Fränk: I didn't forget him! simply I have no time now to write about Paris-Nice.
[In un articolo sull'Eroica della Gazzetta sportiva dell'8.3.2009 Andy Schleck dice: "Il risultato - 8° - è soltanto un dettaglio statistico. Rimane il piacere, e anche l'orgoglio di aver fatto una corsa così seducente." Una corsa seducente per un corridore seducente!
Nello stesso numero del giornale rosa c'è un'intervista del grande Pstonesi col povero Fabian Cancellara:
"E spunta Cancelara - Primavera rovinata - L'incontro con lo svizzoro in allenamento. "Sono caduto da fermo, non potevo neppure alzare una tazzina di caffé"
Monteroni d'Arbia (Siena) - Bar, cappuccino, due bustine di zucchero di canna. Fabian Cancellara manda giù e tira il fiato, dopo quattro ore di allenamento. E' il vincitore di Montepaschi, Tirreno e Sanremo2008.
- Cancellara, come va?
FC La stagione è appena cominciata e sto già inseguendo.
- Aveva vinto il cronoprologo al giro di California
FC Ma avevo la febbre: rima del via ero chiuso in macchina, dopo l'arrivo mi sono infilato a letto.
- Poi è caduto in allenamento?
Incredibile, quasi da fermo, scivolato a 10 all'ora: ho battuto la spalla destra, mi è venuta un'infiamazione , non riuscivo a tenere il manubrio dellabici, e neanche a sollevare una tazzina da caffé. Due settimane fermo.
- Adesso?
FC In questi giorni sono all'Hotel Caesar, al Lido di Camaiore. Mi alleno anche se non sono a posto: non sento più male, ma solo fastidio. Da mercoledì farò la Tirreno, cercando di arrivare entro il tempo massimo.
- Le classiche?
FC Farò Sanremo, Fiandre e Roubaix, ma senza speranze. Impossibile improvvisare. Servirà per il futuro.
- Il resto del calendario?
FC Correrò sempre: Giro, Svizzera, Tour, Vuelta e Mondiali."
La foto 1 è mia, la 2 da Face Book - Brigade du Style, la 3 boh? la posto perché qui Fabian è insieme a Fränk: non mi sono dimenticata di lui! semplicemente adesso non ho tempo di scrivere della Parigi Nizza.]


Team Aquila [= Eagle] flew off!

Cycling Team Aquila is a old glorious one! you have only to know that Gino Bartali started cycling in this Team. It was founded 82 years ago in Ponte a Ema, a little town near Florence, and collected a lot of victories.
Team 2009 presentation has been a great party, because for the first time after many years there are a huge number of youngest racers. Here you can see some of them during the weekly training. Amongh Aquila new entries I must point out Liveri Pinton, a really promising cyclist: of course, he's my son!

[La squadra ciclistica Aquila è antica e gloriosa. Basti dire che Gino Bartali ha cominciato a correre in questa squadra. E' stata fondata 82 anni fa a Ponte a Ema, paesino vicino a Firenze, e ha colezionato molte vittorie.
La presentazione della squadra 2009 è stata una grande festa, perché per la prima volta dopo tanti anni c'è un numero enorme di Giovanissimi. Qui potete vedere alcuni di loro durante l'allenamento settimanale. Fra i nuovi acquisti dell'Aquila devo segnalare Liveri Pinton, un ciclista davvero promettente: ovviamente, è mio figlio!]


I TOUCHED HIM!! (...but Lovkvist won...)

1) Andy, if you ever read this, please don't laugh at me!
2) ...and you, English speaking fangirls, please don't care my barbaric writing.
Ok, now you can start reading.]

I touched Andy Schleck. Yes! I did.

But lets start by the start... or rather, by the finish: in pic 1 (by me) you can see the line on Pizza del Campo, in the ancient center of Siena. Racers arrived here after a very hard journey, with 8 stretches not asphalted, a really steep narrow uphill street in pavé and....
... the sudden 90° curve that you can see in pic 2 (by me). At 2 pm I already was in Siena and decided to have a look to the last 500 m. When I saw this curve I thought: "Damn! somebody is going to crash here!" Fortunately I was wrong. Lovkvist took too large a curve, but not ths one: otherwise he had not passed the line. And he passed it first, you know.

At about 20 km to the finish an 8 racers group (Andy included) chased the morning break and went in front. The peloton was few seconds late.

I was at the barrier near the line. The speaker said that Linus Gerdeman had spreaded out by the group, then that another racer was on his wheel... and we saw Lovkvist entering the square as an arrow...

On the line Wegmann was 2 and Imiger 3 [Pic 3 by Bettini]. But honestly I was looking for Andy and missed the sprint. His result is quite good: 8. He has been always in the best group and in the last part of the race he pulled in front to chase the break [pic 4].

I missed the podium too, 'couse I was running behind Andy's bike to the end of the square, where finally he stoped and took a sip of something that looked like... Fanta! Poor boy, when he stopped his bike he was shivering.

He was surrounded by journalists and a stupid fellow near me kept saying: "Ma quello chi è?" [Who's that?]. How "Who's that?"! He's ANDY SCHLECK! After a while they let him get his breath and I started to call: "ANDY! ANDY!" and....

.... I was shivering too: he looked at me with his wonderful lovely sweety [etc etc] eyes and came to the barrier.

I handed my pen - and taking it he touched my fingers: YES! -and Andy signed my white skoda hat [pic 6, by me].

After that I was a bit... euphoryc and completely unable to speak, so my dear guy smiled and went away. Perhaps he was tired, but to go out from Piazza del Campo he climb another of theese steep uphill street as if it was a bump and disappeared.
Now I'm a very happy girl.

[Ho toccato Andy Schleck!
Ma cominciamo dall'inizio, anzi, dalla fine. Nella foto 1 - fatta da me - potete vedere l'arrivo in Piazza del Campo. I corridori ci arrivavano dopo un duro percorso: otto tratti sterrati, una salita ripida, stretta e in pavé e infine la curva secca che vedete nella foto 2 - fatta da me -. Io alle 14.00 ero già a Siena, così ho deciso di dare un'occhiata agli ultimi 500 metri. Quando ho visto questa curva ho pensato: "Accidenti! Qui qualcuno si schianta!" Fortunatamente mi sbagliavo. Lovkvist ha preso larga una curva, ma non questa, altrimenti non avrebbe passato il traguardo, e come spete l'ha passato per primo.
A circa 20 km dall'arrivo un gruppo di 8 corridori - fra cui Andy - ha ripreso la fuga partita la mattina e si è portato in testa, col gruppo staccato di pochi secondi.
Io ero alle transenne vicino all'rrivo. Lo speaker ha detto che Linus Gerdeman si era staccato dal gruppo di testa... poi che un altro corridore aveva preso la sua ruota. E poi abbiamo visto Lovkvist entrare in piazza come una scheggia. Sul traguardo Wegmann è stato secondo e Imiger terzo. - Foto 3 di Bettini - Ma onestamente io mi son
o persa la volata, perché stavo cercando di vedere Andy. Il suo risultato è stato abbastanza buono: ottavo. E' stato sempre nel gruppo dei migliori e alla fine ha anche tirato per riprendere la fu
ga. - foto 4, di Bettini -
Mi sono persa anche il podio, perché stavo correndo dietro alla bici di Andy fino in fondo alla piazza, dove finalmente si è fermato per bere un sorso di qualcosa che sembrava....Fanta! Povero ragazzo! quando si è fermato tremava.
Era circondato dai giornalisti e uno stupido tipo accanto a me continuava a dire: "Ma quello chi è?" Ma come chi è? E' ANDY SCHLECK! Dopo un po' l'hanno lasciato respirare e io ho cominciato a chiamare: ANDY! ANDY! e.....
....tremavo anch'io! Mi ha guardato con i suoi occhi stupendi, amabili, dolcissimi etc etc e si è accostato alla transenna. Io gli ho porto la penna - e nel prenderla ha toccato le mie dita: SI! -e mi ha fatto l'autografo sul cappellino bianco skoda - foto 6, mia -.
Dopo di che io ero un tantino euforica e assolutamente incpace di parlare, così il mio caro ragazzo ha sorriso e se n'è andato. Sarà stato anche stanco, ma per uscire da Piazza del Campo si è fatto come nulla un'altra ripidissima stradina in salita ed è scomparso.
Ora sono una ragazza veramente felice. ]