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EuroTrash Cav Monday!

Big catch-up time with four days of racing from the Tour Down Under and San Luis, plus the cyclo-cross World Cup from Hoogerheide with all the results, video and rider quotes. In other cycling news: Kreuziger lie test, no hour for Dowsett, Samu back at BMC and lot’s of other team and rider news. A full EuroTrash Monday.

TOP STORY: Roman Kreuziger takes Lie-detector Test
Czech rider Roman Kreuziger has taken a lie-detector test to prove that he has never doped or lied about doping. The case goes back to the time when he was with the Astana team (2011 to 2012), the UCI claim that there are very serious anomalies in Kreuziger’s Bio-Passport, saying that the UCI and CADF experts have a very strong indication of manipulation.

Kreuziger has said that he received treatment for an under-active thyroid during 2011 and 2012, which could affect his readings. His legal team also claim that his blood samples were not treated properly and will give false reading. The Tinkoff-Saxo rider is clear to race at the moment as the Czech Olympic Committee cleared him in September, but the UCI have appealed the decision and the case will be heard by the Court of Arbitration for Sport at some point yet to be decided.

Roman Kreuziger states that: “I took a lie detector test. I answered three key questions and for all of them the detector confirmed that I told the truth. I repeat: I am not a cheat or a liar and I have never doped.”

Innocence if you believe in lie-detector tests, he must be innocent, but maybe you don’t, much like most legal systems. Although for him to actually take the test shows he is keen to prove his innocence. But how long will the case drag on?

Roman Kreuziger back when he rode for Astana:

header-TDU15Santos Tour Down Under 2015
Steele von Hoff (UniSA-Australia) won a dangerous Stage 4 bunch sprint finish in Mount Barker as a crash brought down a large group in the final meters (see video at the bottom of the page). Von Hoff out sprinted Daryl Impey (Orica-GreenEDGE), Wouter Wippert (Drapac), Heinrich Haussler (IAM Cycling) and Samuel Dumoulin (AG2R-La Mondiale) in fourth.

All the early attacks were pulled back by the BMC team, but eventually four rider succeeded, they were: Michael Hepburn (Orica-GreenEDGE) Peter Kennaugh (Sky), Cedric Pineau (FDJ.fr) and Jack Bobridge (UniSA-Australia). Nathan Haas (Cannondale-Garmin) tried to cross to the leaders, but a puncture finished his chances. The lead soon jumped up to 2:30 but by the top of Sellicks Hill, after 45kms, it was down to 1:30 due to the pressure of BMC. Bobridge won the King of the Mountains points and sat up as he had the climbers jersey. With Bobridge gone the lead went up to over 2 minutes again, but the three could not work together and were caught. After the second intermediate sprint, Ruslan Tleubayev (Astana), Maxim Belkov (Katusha) and Pieter Serry (Etixx – Quick-Step) broke away to a 2 minute lead, they were caught inside the last 10kms as Movistar upped the pace splitting the race.

New Astana signing Luis León Sanchez tried for the win, but Orica-GreenEDGE pulled him back and set up the sprint. Coming into Mount Barker at top speed, at 300 meters out there was some bumping and a large group of riders hit the road with Lars Boom, Richie Porte, Maxime Bouet, Kenny Dehaes, Lorrenzo Manzin, Olivier Le Gac, Travis Meyer, Alexey Tsatevich and Vladimir Isaychev being amongst the worst affected.

Van Hoof was safe at the front and took the win. All the top riders on GC finished and were given the same time.

Earlier in the stage Lawson Craddock (Giant-Alpecin) crashed and was taken to hospital where it was found that he has a fractured sternum, rib and wrist.

Race leader Rohan Dennis (BMC): “It was a hectic day, a bit stressful. But the team was great. They really rode well together and kept me out of trouble whenever it was stressful. They protected me perfectly. Our goal is to get both Cadel and me on the podium as one and two,” Dennis said. “There is no definite leader. What we want to do is strive to be one and two at the finish and try to pull off the team classification. The one thing in cycling is that you have to risk everything to win everything. It is risky, but it is definitely possible – with Cadel’s form, with my form and with the team we have.”

Stage winner Steele von Hoff (UniSA_Australia): “Jack Bobridge was looking after me saying, ‘be patient, be patient. I know these roads like the back of my hand’. I just trusted and then he delivered me in the final km under the banner and then I just swiveled and held the wheel of the trains. He told me to get on the Quick-Steps because with Renshaw here there was definitely a fantastic chance and I did that and it opened up on the left hand side of the road. I think we’re batting well above our average here: two stage wins, the ochre jersey for two days now. This is fantastic, we’ve got such a good team here and good staff as well. My goal is to get back into the WorldTour. The merger between Cannondale and Garmin left me behind this time but this win today will help me to go back to the highest level.”

Third on the stage Wouter Wippert (Drapac): “I am happy for third today. The boys were looking after me all day. They moved me up on the flat parts so we could drop a few positions on the hills and protected me. Travis brought me to the last corner and Graeme then delivered me perfectly. I knew with the slight downhill at the finish and the tailwind, my top speed would be high. I was on the edge along the barrier, Graeme was guiding and I followed. We had great positioning and he got me where I needed to be. I am pleased with the place and know I can do better. Again, we have a good team and today we showed it.”

Fourth Heinrich Haussler (IAM Cycling): “The legs are good and once again not much was missing to get the win. But sprints in cycling will never be an exact science. Sunday I still have a good chance for victory. I’d really like to thank them because they have once again done everything possible to put me in the perfect position. The sprint was very tactical with a tail wind and a slight descent. After following Roger Kluge, I jumped on Meersman’s wheel on the right but the others managed to outflank us on the left. It’ll come together one of these days.”

Sixth Niccolò Bonifazio (Lampre-Merida): “I could avoid getting involved in the crash, this is a good results. Of course, I would have preferred to do a simpler sprint, I had to hesitate a little bit because the crash occurred close to me. It was a pity, because my teammates supported me very well and Cimolai was a perfect pilot for me.”

Santos Tour Down Under Stage 4 Result:
1. Steele von Hoff (Aus) UniSA-Australia in 3:24:28
2. Daryl Impey (RSA) Orica-GreenEDGE
3. Wouter Wippert (Ned) Drapac
4. Heinrich Haussler (Aus) IAM Cycling
5. Samuel Dumoulin (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale
6. Niccolò Bonifazio (Ita) Lampre-Merida
7. Rudiger Selig (Ger) Katusha
8. Gianni Meersman (Bel) Etixx – Quick-Step
9. Eugenio Alafaci (Ita) Trek
10. Koen de Kort (Ned) Giant-Alpecin.

Santos Tour Down Under Overall After Stage 4:
1. Rohan Dennis (Aus) BMC in 13:41:34
2. Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC at 0:07
3. Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Giant-Alpecin at 0:09
4. Daryl Impey (RSA) Orica-GreenEDGE at 0:13
5. Richie Porte (Aus) Sky at 0:15
6. Michael Rogers (Aus) Tinkoff-Saxo
7. Jack Haig (Aus) UniSA-Australia
8. Maxime Bouet (Fra) Etixx – Quick-Step
9. Rubén Fernandez (Spa) Movistar
10. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R-La Mondiale.

Stage 4 highlights:

Rohan Dennis of the BMC Racing Team gutted out a runner-up finish on Old Willunga Hill on Saturday’s Stage 5 to keep the overall lead of the Santos Tour Down Under by two-seconds over stage winner Richie Porte (Sky). With only Sunday’s 20-lap, 90-kilometer circuit race through the streets of Adelaide to go, Dennis is on the verge of scoring his first overall victory in a WorldTour race while teammate Cadel Evans sits in third after finishing fourth on the day.

“I am so, so happy,” Dennis said after donning the race leader’s ochre jersey in front of a sun-baked crowd. “I really could not have done it without the team. I know it is cliché, but they really were amazing. Every single time there was a stressful situation, they were there to surround and protect me and make my job as easy as possible.”

After teammates Silvan Dillier, Michael Schär and Danilo Wyss helped with the pacemaking to bring back the last rider from the day’s breakaway, Peter Stetina and Evans went to work. The three BMC Racing Team riders combined efforts with three Astana Pro Team riders and two from FDJ to push the pace. The result was a nearly 10-second advantage that forced a furious pursuit before the group of eight was caught with 4.5 km left in the 151.5-km race. “We were up there with Peter, Rohan and myself and it was great,” Evans said. “We didn’t miss anything all day. But of course that left us a little bit more fatigued in the finish, which may have cost me in the last few hundred meters. But if I am behind, they are going to ride like crazy in front. So we had to be there being first and second on the general classification. Sometimes defending can be a little bit harder.”

Porte, who won this same stage a year ago, made the first of several attacks with 1.2 km left. And like last year, Evans was first to follow. But the past Tour de France winner and world road champion could not keep pace, leaving Dennis to take up the chase. “I actually felt pretty comfortable when he (Porte) first went,” Dennis said. “But then he kept kicking and kicking – and then he kicked again. I think it was at about 350 or 400 meters to go that I had had enough. I actually thought if I kept going, I would have dropped dead. But Richie sort of went – in hindsight – probably a little bit too late, because really he had better legs than me. I will have to thank him for that.”

Porte crossed the finish nine-seconds ahead of Dennis. Ruben Fernandez (Movistar) finished third – seven-seconds later – with Evans arriving in the same time. In the overall standings, Evans is 20 seconds off the lead, with fourth-placed Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin) a further two seconds back.

Evans, runner-up at this race a year ago and set to retire after competing in his own race on Feb. 1, said he was glad he could help Dennis hold onto the lead gained Thursday after a solo victory on Stage 3. “Obviously he was riding a little bit better than me and the results proved that,” Evans said. “I would rather walk away with a high place on the classification. I wanted to come here and enjoy my time and do the best that I can. I really got everything out of myself this week. I don’t think we made any mistakes. We certainly are in a better position that we hoped to be.”

Stage winner Richie Porte (Sky): “I know this climb really, really well, better than the finish in Paracaombe. I’m just disappointed that I came short of getting the jersey. The race isn’t over just yet and we will take it as it comes tomorrow. It is going to be hard but I haven’t lost the tour. I am second and very happy with how today went. The team was fantastic and it’s a nice way to start the season off. I am a fair bit lighter than last year when I won the stage here. I am not massive on the whole maths of things but I sat down with our sports scientists last night and we went through those numbers of it. At the end of the day, you still have to have a bit of ticker and how could you not with a crowd like that. It was like being at a stage at the Giro or Tour. Full credit to Rohan. I gave it to him as hard as I could but it just wasn’t quite to be. I’m very happy to win the stage. It’s a great way to start the year. I had it rough last year so it’s just nice to get it off to a good start.”

Jarlinson Pantano (IAM Cycling) moved up to 10th place overall: “I cannot believe it; this is the first time in my career that a team has worked like that for me. This is absolutely magical. I’m so happy, I do not know how to thank them. When Richie Porte attacked on the final, I told myself, don’t give up, resist, hold on. I did the best I could and I’m happy with what I did. Given what the team has done for me today, I will be happy to return the favor Sunday. I will give everything to help Haussler for the final stage. The mountain was for me, but now that that is over, I’ll put myself with great pleasure at the service of the team.”

Santos Tour Down Under Stage 5 Result:
1. Richie Porte (Aus) Sky in 3:37:32
2. Rohan Dennis (Aus) BMC at 0:09
3. Rubén Fernandez (Spa) Movistar at 0:16
4. Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC
5. Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Giant-Alpecin
6. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R-La Mondiale at 0:19
7. Tiago Machado (Por) Katusha at 0:24
8. Moreno Moser (Ita) Cannondale-Garmin at 0:26
9. Gorka Izagirre Insausti (Spa) Movistar at 0:28
10. Arnold Jeannesson (Fra) FDJ.fr.

Santos Tour Down Under Overall After Stage 5:
1. Rohan Dennis (Aus) BMC in 17:19:09
2. Richie Porte (Aus) Sky at 0:02
3. Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC at 0:20
4. Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Giant-Alpecin at 0:22
5. Rubén Fernandez (Spa) Movistar at 0:24
6. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R-La Mondiale at 0:31
7. Daryl Impey (RSA) Orica-GreenEDGE at 0:38
8. Tiago Machado (Por) Katusha at 0:46
9. Gorka Izagirre Insausti (Spa) Movistar at 0:52
10. Jarlinson Pantano (Col) IAM Cycling at 0:53.

The final K’s of stage 5:

BMC Racing Team’s Rohan Dennis won the Santos Tour Down Under on Sunday while teammate Cadel Evans finished third in the final WorldTour race of his career. Dennis secured a two-second victory over Richie Porte (Sky) while Evans was a further 18 seconds back in his second-to-last race before retirement. The all-Australian podium was only the second in the race’s 17-year history.

Dennis had to stay vigilant during the 20-lap, 90-kilometer circuit race Stage 6 through the streets of Adelaide. But his only brush with danger in the stage won by Wouter Wippert (Drapac) came when a pile-up happened behind him with less than two laps to go.

Dennis seized the overall lead on Stage 3 Thursday, attacking in the final kilometer of an uphill finish. He kept his grip on it by finishing runner-up to Porte on Saturday’s finish at Old Willunga Hill. Sunday, he hoisted his BMC teammachine SLR01 overhead on the podium to the cheers of the crowd before accepting the race leader’s ochre jersey.

Evans, runner-up to Simon Gerrans by one second here a year ago and 2011 Tour de France champion and 2009 world road champion, said he continues to surprise himself in the closing days of a professional road racing career that began in 2001. Helping Dennis and Evans reach the podium were teammates Silvan Dillier, Michael Schär, Peter Stetina and Danilo Wyss. Another teammate, Campbell Flakemore, was lost to a broken collarbone suffered in a crash Wednesday on the ride back to the team’s hotel after Stage 2.

Dennis has enjoyed a bevy of success since joining the BMC Racing Team last August in a rare, mid-season transfer. In September, he was third in the final time trial at the Vuelta a España, then helped the BMC Racing Team win the world team time trial championship in Ponferrada, Spain. He was runner-up to Porte earlier this month in the Australian national time trial championships and next month will try to better the world hour record at the Velodrome Suisse in Grenchen, Switzerland.

2015 Santos Tour Down Under winner Rohan Dennis (BMC): “It is an incredible feeling to win the Santos Tour Down Under. Doing it with Cadel during his last WorldTour race took a lot of pressure off me. But I was not comfortable at all in this last stage. I had to make sure I kept within distance of Richie, especially after that little spill. It was all about following him and making sure I was there if there was a split, it was not too hard to jump across and making sure there were no splits in the finish. The team rode awesomely again. They sat at the front. They made sure I was out of the wind. Even when I got pushed back someone always dropped back to pull me back forward. They really helped me win this and made it a lot easier.”

BMC President/General Manager Jim Ochowicz: “For Rohan, this is the beginning of a career. This is his first big win as a pro, and to have it be a WorldTour event says even more. He went against a real seasoned rider, Richie Porte, to fight the fight. That was a great sign for the future. We came here for Cadel. He tried, he got third; but Rohan was just better.”

Retiring Cadel Evans (BMC) was 3rd at 20 seconds: “To go out on the podium, not quite at the top, I think puts me at No. 3 ranked in the world. To bow out of cycling at that level is probably a little bit more than I hoped. Most of all, I have been here as an optimal teammate and to pass on the baton to the next generation of riders and to bring Rohan here in the jersey and the lead.”

Stage winner Wouter Wippert (Drapac): “It was a really nervous race today. The team were all day on the front, but after a few laps I was tired and I went to the back. Then near the end of the race one of my teammates came back and brought me up. It’s fantastic to win here being part of an Australian team in Australia for a WorldTour race. We did it. The team put it together. The team rode all day in the front. I knew I had to wait a bit as I learned that on Friday. The last few pedals I just focused on myself and nothing else. I just kept trying to remain in control. The crash threw some of the guys off but we remained calm. I was sitting on Lampre’s wheels, they were on the left and Orica-GreenEdge was on the right, I was sitting in the middle and Graeme picked me up and brought me to the perfect position. I stayed out of the wind and just followed Graeme. We train to do this and it paid off.”

3rd on the stage Boris Vallée (Lotto Soudal): “This third place is a nice result. Two days before the start of the Tour Down Under I crashed and I had a small injury on my right leg. Each day I got better and today I could take my chance in the sprint. That I was able to take part in the sprint for the stage win is a positive sign and it’s great to finish the Tour Down Under that way. Greg Henderson coached me really well before the stage. I followed his guidelines, where I had to be positioned for example. I really wanted to win for Olivier Kaisen, our thoughts are with him and his family in these difficult times.”

8th Ruslan Tleubayev (Astana): “The last turn, I was in fifteenth position and when the sprint started I recovered to eight place” – Ruslan Tleubayev

Santos Tour Down Under Stage 6 Result:
1. Wouter Wippert (Ned) Drapac in 1:56:09
2. Heinrich Haussler (Aus) IAM Cycling
3. Boris Vallée (Bel) Lotto Soudal
4. Pavel Brutt (Rus) Tinkoff-Saxo
5. Daryl Impey (RSA) Orica-GreenEDGE
6. Niccolò Bonifazio (Ita) Lampre-Merida
7. Steele von Hoff (Aus) UniSA-Australia
8. Ruslan Tleubayev (Kaz) Astana
9. Rudiger Selig (Ger) Katusha
10. Sébastien Chavanel (Fra) FDJ.fr.

Santos Tour Down Under Final Overall Result:
1. Rohan Dennis (Aus) BMC in 19:15:18
2. Richie Porte (Aus) Sky at 0:02
3. Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC at 0:20
4. Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Giant-Alpecin at 0:22
5. Rubén Fernandez (Spa) Movistar at 0:24
6. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R-La Mondiale at 0:31
7. Daryl Impey (RSA) Orica-GreenEDGE at 0:35
8. Gorka Izagirre Insausti (Spa) Movistar at 0:52
9. Jarlinson Pantano (Col) IAM Cycling at 0:53
10. George Bennett (NZl) Team LottoNL-Jumbo at 0:57.

The final meters of stage 6:

header-sanluis15-leftTour de San Luis 2015
Daniel Diaz (Funvic-Sao Jose dos Campos) took his second stage win on the Alto El Amago and strengthened his hold on the overall lead at the end of Stage 4.

The early break of the day included: Julian Arango (Colombia National Team), Dario Diaz (SEP-San Juan), Giacomo Berlato (Nippo-Vini Fantini) and Juan Pablo Valencia (Colombia), their lead went to over 7 minutes and with 20 kilometers and the final climb to come they still had a 4 minute advantage. By the time the race hit the start of the Cerro El Amago they were down to 2 minutes and under the pressure of the Movistar team they were caught one by one. Nairo Quintana attacked twice, the first jump was covered by Diaz’s Funvic-Sao Jose dos Campos teammate Alex Diniz, the second time Diaz shot off on his own.

Behind him Quintana, Diniz, Eduardo Sepulveda (Bretagne-Séché Environnement) and Rodrigo Torres (Colombia) chased but could not do anything about the flying Argentinian, finishing over 50 seconds back. Diniz dropped the others for 2nd as an exhausted Quintana came in 4th.

Stage winner and overall leader Daniel Diaz (Funvic-Sao Jose dos Campos): “I felt very strong on the climb even though the speed was really high at the bottom. Nairo attacked twice. The first time, my teammate Diniz went with him, and then the second time, I knew that it was time to act. I don’t think a one-minute lead is enough, the time trial could make a big difference and you could very easily lose a minute on the last mountain stage if you have a bad day, so it’s definitely not over. I feel like I’m in the best moment of my career, not just physically but mentally too. I’m very happy and that showed in my performance today.”

Giro d’Italia winner Nairo Quintana (Movistar) made the attacks, but lost 56 seconds to Diaz: “There was an incredibly fast tempo at the bottom of the climb, it was very difficult. I tried to attack but Diaz came with me, and when he attacked, I couldn’t follow. The overall? It’s unthinkable.”

Tour de San Luis Stage 4 Result:
1. Daniel Diaz (Arg) Funvic-Sao Jose dos Campos in 3:29:25
2. Alex Diniz (Bra) Funvic-Sao Jose dos Campos at 0:52
3. Rodolfo Torres (Col) Colombia at 0:54
4. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar at 0:56
5. Eduardo Sepulveda (Arg) Bretagne-Séché Environnement at 1:19
6. Rodrigo Contreras (Col) Colombian National Team at 1:57
7. Leandro Messineo (Arg) San Luis Somos Todos at 2:10
8. Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Katusha
9. Miguel Angel Rubiano (Col) Colombia at 2:36
10. Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Katusha at 2:47.

Tour de San Luis Overall After Stage 4:
1. Daniel Diaz (Arg) Funvic-Sao Jose dos Campos in 16:31:48
2. Rodolfo Torres (Col) Colombia at 1:00
3. Alex Diniz (Bra) Funvic-Sao Jose dos Campos at 1:19
4. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar at 1:23
5. Eduardo Sepulveda (Arg) Bretagne-Séché Environnement at 1:46
6. Rodrigo Contreras (Col) Colombian National Team at 2:33
7. Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Katusha at 2:37
8. Miguel Angel Rubiano (Col) Colombia at 3:33
9. Daniel Jaramillo (Col) Jamis-Hagens Berman at 3:58
10. Leandro Messineo (Arg) San Luis Somos Todos at 4:04.

Stage 4 final kilometers:

Adriano Malori (Movistar) repeated his TT win of last year in Stage 5 over 17.4km in and around the province’s capital and up to the Terrazas del Portezuelo. While the Italian beat American Taylor Phinney (BMC) by only 3 seconds in 2014, this year it was a 4 second margin over runner-up Michal Kwiatkowski (Etixx – Quick-Step). Malori was 17 seconds better after the opening 9km, which was downhill and with a favorable wind, but later suffered under the headwind and the slopes leading up to the finish.

As Malori secured his 15th professional victory, his sixth in Movistar Team colors: the Argentinian TT in 2014, time trials in all Tirreno-Adriatico, Vuelta a España, the Italian National Champs plus the final road race of the Route du Sud. Nairo Quintana took 3rd place on the GC podium due to Alex Diniz (Funvic-Sao Jose dos Campos) not starting due to a stomach problem. Quintana finished 44 seconds behind Malori and 12th on the day.

Stage winner Adriano Malori (Movistar): “I’m obviously really happy. There’s no better way to start the season. 2014 was my best year as a pro cyclist and winning here gave me good luck for the rest of it, so I wanted to repeat that performance today. I hope this race is the beginning of another step forward in my progression. It wasn’t easy at all to win today. I wasn’t feeling really good and was dubious about my real level; besides, the heat played a huge impact, the wind also changed from the morning recon to this evening’s race… all those things made it quite harder. To be honest, I started too fast, because that wind change didn’t let me realize that the second part of the circuit would be harder than the downhill one. The last 7km after the U-turn, with the slopes and the headwind, were absolutely hellish. I knew that Kwiatkowski would be my biggest rival and beating him wasn’t easy at all. Regarding the race finale, I hope that Nairo, whose form is improving day by day, can contest the stage win tomorrow. We will surely work for him. I want to dedicate this success to my love, Elisa, a big supporter of everything I do, who celebrates her birthday on Tuesday – this is for you.”

Second in the time trial World champion Michal Kwiatkowski (Etixx – Quick-Step): “I’m really happy with my result. Four seconds behind a guy like Malori is something I can be happy with. But regardless of the result I felt right on the road, from the start until the end. That’s proof that I was well prepared until now. I did some basic training during the winter and I’m actually on the good level. That’s pretty surprising for me. But that proves I am going in the right direction at the beginning of the season. It was also really hot today, and I had to warm up inside which meant it was even hotter. But OK, I dealt with it and did my best on the parcours. As for the race, the first part was a descent at always 1 or 2 percent, and a tailwind. So I reached 70 kilometers per hour at times. On the way back it was really hard. There was a headwind and it was slightly uphill. But I could really push on the pedals at that moment. I actually felt really good on the hard part. I also have to say that my feeling on my Specialized Shiv was really good. I felt comfortable and the bike gave me full confidence on all aspects of the course. I am very satisfied today. I don’t want to race outside myself at my current condition during this Tour de San Luis, but in a time trial you always have to try to make a progression and use it as a fitness test. My performance shows everything is good at this part of the season. This is just a first step of my season.”

Tour de San Luis Stage 5 Result:
1. Adriano Malori (Ita) Movistar in 20:07
2. Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Etixx – Quick-Step at 0:04
3. Hugo Houle (Can) AG2R-La Mondiale at 0:05
4. Serghei Tvetcov (Rom) Androni Giocattoli at 0:29
5. Leandro Messineo (Arg) San Luis Somos Todos at 0:32
6. Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Katusha at 0:33
7. Przemyslaw Niemiec (Pol) Lampre-Merida at 0:34
8. Carlos Oyarzun (Chi) Chile at 0:40
9. Eduardo Sepulveda (Arg) Bretagne-Séché Environnement at 0:42
10. Daniel Diaz (Arg) Funvic-Sao Jose dos Campos.

Tour de San Luis Overall After Stage 5:
1. Daniel Diaz (Arg) Funvic-Sao Jose dos Campos in 16:52:37
2. Rodolfo Torres (Col) Colombia at 1:09
3. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar at 1:25
4. Eduardo Sepulveda (Arg) Bretagne-Séché Environnement at 1:46
5. Rodrigo Contreras (Col) Colombian National Team at 2:43
6. Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Katusha at 3:15
7. Leandro Messineo (Arg) San Luis Somos Todos at 3:54
8. Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Katusha at 3:57
9. Daniel Jaramillo (Col) Jamis-Hagens Berman at 4:18
10. Janez Brajkovic (Slo) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling at 4:37.

Stage 5 TT:

Kleber Da Silva (Funvic-Sao Jose dos Campos) took the Stage 6 victory on the summit of the Filo Sierras Comechingones as his teammate, overall leader Daniel Daiz, saw off any danger to confirm his overall win with one stage left.

The break of the day included: Juan Arango (Colombia National Team), Antoine Duchesne (Europcar), Mattia Cattaneo (Lampre-Merida), Tom Danielson (Cannondale-Garmin), Pavel Kochetkov (Katusha) and Marco Canola (UnitedHealthcare), they built up a lead of 5 minutes before the peloton decided to start the chase. The lead was down to 1:30 when they hit the third category Balneario El Rincon and from then on all the riders were caught, the last being Marco Canola. Movistar’s Nairo Quintana made a big effort which left only nine riders at the front with Diaz and Da Silva in attendance

Into the last 2 kilometers and there was only Da Silva, Diaz, Quintana and Rodolfo Torres (Colombia) in the lead. Quintana attacked with 1 kilometer remaining, but Da Silva, Torres and Diaz pulled him back for Da Silva to jump away with Torres on his wheel. Da Silva won the stage just ahead of Torres, Diaz was 6 seconds back with Quintana at 15 seconds down just in front of Dani Moreno (Katusha) in fourth.

Overall leader Daniel Diaz (Funvic-Sao Jose dos Campos): “It was a very hard and long climb, and it was even tougher because of all the wind,” Diaz said. “But I had phenomenal work from Kleber and that made it so much easier for me. In the finale, it was the two of us with Torres and Nairo, and it was hard work once it fragmented in the last kilometer.”

3rd overall Nairo Quintana (Movistar): “I attacked once but afterwards I just followed the wheels, my rivals were very strong. I’m not very happy because I didn’t really do anything but I’m not disappointed because I hadn’t raced for months and this is the first step towards the Tour de France.

Tour de San Luis Stage 6 Result:
1. Kleber Ramos (Bra) Funvic-Sao Jose dos Campos in 3:10:55
2. Rodolfo Torres (Col) Colombia at 0:02
3. Daniel Diaz (Arg) Funvic-Sao Jose dos Campos at 0:06
4. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar at 0:15
5. Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Katusha at 0:17
6. Eduardo Sepulveda (Arg) Bretagne-Sèchè Environnement at 0:22
7. Joseph Dombrowski (USA) Cannondale-Garmin at 0:34
8. Rodrigo Contreras (Col) Colombian National Team at 0:39
9. Alexis Vuillermoz (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale at 0:50
10. Daniel Jaramillo (Col) Jamis-Hagens Berman at 1:23.

Tour de San Luis Overall After Stage 6:
1. Daniel Diaz (Arg) Funvic-Sao Jose dos Campos in 20:03:38
2. Rodolfo Torres (Col) Colombia at 1:05
3. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar at 1:34
4. Eduardo Sepulveda (Arg) Bretagne-Sèchè Environnement at 2:02
5. Rodrigo Contreras (Col) Colombian National Team at 3:16
6. Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Katusha at 3:26
7. Leandro Messineo (Arg) San Luis Somos Todos at 5:21
8. Joseph Dombrowski (USA) Cannondale-Garmin at 5:29
9. Daniel Jaramillo (Col) Jamis-Hagens Berman at 5:35
10. Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Katusha at 5:39.

The stage 6:

A nine man break of: Adriano Malori (Movistar), Enzo Moyano (San Luis Somos Todos), Ben Gastauer (Ag2r-La Mondiale), Michal Golas (Etixx – Quick-Step), Thomas Voeckler (Europcar), Przemyslaw Niemiec (Lampre-Merida), Ben King (Cannondale-Garmin), Marco Bandiera (Androni-Giocattoli) and Marco Finetto (Italy) kept the action going on a very hot Final Stage 7 on Sunday. With a Etixx – Quick-Step rider in the front group, Mark Cavendish could keep his powder dry for the sprint he so wanted. After the group were caught in the last 10 kilometers, the Etixx team were in charge with some help from Lampre-Merida for Sacha Modolo. World champion Michal Kwiatkowski rode hard in the last K before Fabio Sabatini finished the job for Cavendish who held off the young hope; Fernanado Gaviria (Colombian National Team). Sacha Modolo missed out on 3rd as Jakub Mareczko (Italian National Team) got the better of him at the line.

Overall winner Daniel Diaz (Funvic-Sao Jose dos Campos): “I felt good from the start and I had a bit of luck too, which is an important ingredient,” Díaz said. “As a team, we won the three summit finishes and when you do that you’re in a strong position to do well on general classification. I kept the memory of 2013 as something to tell my grandchildren,” Díaz said. “And I kept the pictures too, in case they don’t believe me. I’ll do the same this year.”

Second overall Rodolfo Torres (Colombia): “It has been amazing racing here, I enjoyed the experience a lot too. It is a big change from last season’s start: the last was my first year in the pro bunch, and I still had a lot to realize about what to expect and what is required to compete at this level. The experience I collected in 2014, starting with the Giro d’Italia participation, has been vital. I went through my winter preparation with a different mentality, and way greater confidence. I immediately had the feeling I could be able to compete at a very high level here, and the amazing support by our team here made it possible: the teams’ classification was a very deserved reward, and an extremely good sign for what’s next in the season.”

Stage winner Mark Cavendish (Etixx – Quick-Step): “The team was really motivated today after several close calls. I was 2nd in two sprints, and Michal Kwiatkowski was 2nd in the time trial. So we wanted to close Tour de San Luis with a win because we rode really well together as a team all week. We wanted to get something from it and we did. We worked hard at this race I’m thrilled to leave Argentina with a victory. We rode a tactically smart race. When the break went, Michal Golas went with it. But eventually the teams who didn’t have riders in the break chased it down. We didn’t have to pull earlier because he was in the break, so we were all fresh for the final. With 4 kilometers to go Guillaume Van Keirsbulck took it up. Other teams came close, but then Lukasz Wisniowski took over the leadout. He took it into the last corner. Lampre-Merida took over from there, but then Michal Kwiatkowski went fast with just under a kilometer to go. Fabio Sabatini was the last guy and he led me out starting at 600 meters to go. At 300 meters to go I went. We knew we could go long, as we did recon of the finish prior to the race. It’s slightly downhill. So with the long distance acceleration of a guy like Gaviria and that kind of a finish, it’s important to anticipate his sprint and do the job before he does. We did that, and I’m super and happy and proud we could come away with a win here. It’s important, not just for myself, but for the whole team, to get a good feeling started here. This is important race experience that we will use to build for our season. You can’t replicate this kind of preparation at any kind of a training camp. You need to have other riders around you to really work on your leadout. Tour de San Luis in January is a perfect way to do that. A win is the best way to show you are building for the rest of your season.”

Tour de San Luis Stage 7 Result:
1. Mark Cavendish (GB) Etixx – Quick-Step in 2:33:29
2. Fernando Gaviria (Col) Colombian National Team
3. Jakub Mareczko (Ita) Italy
4. Sacha Modolo (Ita) Lampre-Merida
5. Yauheni Hutarovich (Blr) Bretagne-Sèchè Environnement
6. Ken Hanson (USA) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling
7. Nicolas Marini (Ita) Nippo-Vini Fantini
8. Francisco Paiva (Arg) Funvic-Sao Jose dos Campos
9. Julian Gaday (Arg) Buenos Aires
10. Daniel McLay (GB) Bretagne-Sèchè Environnement.

Tour de San Luis Final Overall Result:
1. Daniel Diaz (Arg) Funvic-Sao Jose dos Campos 22:37:07
2. Rodolfo Torres (Col) Colombia at 1:05
3. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar at 1:34
4. Eduardo Sepulveda (Arg) Bretagne-Sèchè Environnement at 2:02
5. Rodrigo Contreras (Col) Colombian National Team at 3:16
6. Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Katusha at 3:26
7. Joseph Dombrowski (USA) Cannondale-Garmin at 5:29
8. Daniel Jaramillo (Col) Jamis-Hagens Berman at 5:35
9. Leandro Messineo (Arg) San Luis Somos Todos at 5:39
10. Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Katusha.

The final stage 7:

header-wc.cross14-15UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup Hoogerheide 2015
Mathieu van der Poel (BKCP-Powerplus) won Sunday’s World Cup cyclo-cross in Hoogerheide and throw his hat in the ring for next weeks World Championships in Tabor. Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Napoleon Games) finished fourth and so won the UCI World Cup series.

Van Der Poel rode away from the field and soon built up a lead of a minute as the rest of the race split to piece. He had such a comfortable lead that he had time to take a Dutch flag to cross the line. Wout Van Aert (Vastgoedservice-Golden Palace) was 2nd at 1:04, Gianni Vermeersch (Sunweb-Napoleon Games) was third.

Race winner Mathieu Van Der Poel (BKCP-Powerplus): “It was awesome, the crowd were screaming and it was really nice. It was very hard but it was so much fun, especially because it was my dad’s race. After a hard week of training it could go either way. I didn’t have the intention to ride alone all race long but then I figured that with a couple of fast laps I could be safe.”

UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup Hoogerheide Result:
1. Mathieu Van Der Poel (Ned) BKCP-Powerplus in 1:08:38
2. Wout Van Aert (Bel) Vastgoedservice-Golden Palace at 1:04
3. Gianni Vermeersch (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games at 1:21
4. Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games at 1:22
5. Lars Van Der Haar (Ned) Giant-Alpecin at 1:37
6. Sven Nys (Bel) Crelan-AA Drink at 1:56
7. Francis Mourey (Fra) FDJ.fr at 2:18
8. Tim Merlier (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games at 2:52
9. Jens Adams (Bel) Vastgoedservice-Golden Palace at 2:57
10. Fabien Canal (Fra) Armee De Terre E-Sportsante at 3:04.

The full race on UCI TV:

header_movistar-leftAlex Dowsett, Movistar Team’s UCI Hour Record Attempt Postponed
Alex Dowsett and Movistar Team regret to announce that the British rider’s UCI Hour Record attempt, scheduled for February 27 on the velodrome of London’s Lee Valley VeloPark, has been postponed.

Following Dowsett’s crash last Tuesday, his collarbone fracture and the subsequent surgery, the initial recovery program proposed to secure the attempt on the original date has not been fulfilled. Both rider and squad consider it would not be realistic to carry on with February 27 as a goal. Movistar Team also states that attempting the record would have been a risky decision, compromising the rest of the season for Alex and putting extra pressure on his recovery.

“I’m really gutted this has happened,” says Dowsett. “I’ve never worked harder for anything and to make this difficult decision with the team and lose this opportunity is a real blow. The positive is that it is a record attempt so we will be attempting it at a later date. I cannot thank Movistar, Canyon, Endura and the rest of the team partners enough for their continued support as well as my family and friends. But most of all I’d like to thank everyone that’s supported me with words of encouragement both in training pre-crash and words of support and well wishes post-crash, it really was overwhelming. I’ll now recover properly and be back to full fitness for the road season and another crack at the ‘perfect hour.’”

Movistar Team wishes to thank Canyon, Endura, Power2Max, Eurosport, FACE Partnership and Cyclevox for their support, comprehension and full backing of Dowsett and the team’s choice, as well as the media and especially the fans, for their countless heart-warming messages during the last few days.

Once Alex is fully recovered, all the parties will re-evaluate the UCI Hour Record process to begin again, in order to find the most suitable date.

Volta  Algarve 2014 stage-3 ITT

header-BMC14Sánchez Returns To BMC Racing Team
Samuel Sánchez has signed with the BMC Racing Team for the 2015 season, President/General Manager Jim Ochowicz announced Friday.

The 2008 Olympic road champion was one of the BMC Racing Team’s leading contributors last year. He finished sixth in the Vuelta a España and fifth at Il Lombardia while regularly playing the role of super domestique. At Amstel Gold Race, his attack on the climb of the Cauberg set up teammate Philippe Gilbert’s victory. At the Giro d’Italia, the Spaniard rode in service of teammate Cadel Evans, who led the race for four days before finishing eighth. Sánchez later helped Gilbert win the overall at the Tour of Beijing.

“We are pleased to extend our relationship with Samuel for the 2015 season,” Ochowicz said. “He was a great contributor to our success in 2014 and we expect to see the same again this year. His program will focus on the grand tours and WorldTour races where his strong experience and multitude of skills will be a big benefit to the team.”

Sánchez said returning to the BMC Racing Team is the perfect fit for him in the twilight of his career. “For me, the BMC Racing Team is my team,” he said. “I know the riders. I know the team. And I don’t like to change much. I prefer one team. As for my fitness, I may not be ready to race tomorrow, but I did a good job at home to stay active. I was riding my mountain bike and doing cyclocross. My level is not good, but it is not bad, either.”

BMC Racing Team Sporting Manager Allan Peiper said Sánchez’s return is more good news in a month that has already included a silver medal by Rohan Dennis at the Australian national time trial championships and Dennis’s stage win and race leadership this week at the Santos Tour Down Under. “Everyone is very happy to have Sammy back,” Peiper said. “From a sporting perspective, he gives us that much more depth. We saw last year what a game-changer he can be. This year we expect him to contribute in pretty much the same way, but maybe with a little more focus on the support and development of the big influx of young talent we have brought into the team.”

Specific terms of Sánchez’s contract were not disclosed, in keeping with BMC Racing Team policy.

Ster ZLM Toer 2014 stage - 5

header-lottosoudal15Lotto Soudal for Challenge Mallorca, GP la Marseillaise and Etoile de Bessèges
The Tour Down Under was the start of the international road season 2015. Soon the peloton can be spotted on European roads. Today Lotto Soudal announces its selection for the next races. Those are the Challenge Mallorca, the GP la Marseillaise and Etoile de Bessèges.

Challenge Mallorca (29th January – 1st February):
Tiesj Benoot, Stig Broeckx, Jens Debusschere, Bart De Clercq, André Greipel, Jürgen Roelandts, Marcel Sieberg, Dennis Vanendert, Jelle Vanendert, Louis Vervaeke and Tim Wellens.

GP la Marseillaise (1st February) and Etoile de Bessèges (4th – 8th February):
Sander Armée, Kris Boeckmans, Vegard Breen, Sean De Bie, Tony Gallopin, Pim Ligthart, Maxime Monfort and Tosh Van der Sande.

Training Camp of Lotto-Soudal at Benicassim - 13122014

header-europcar15Europcar for the Mallorca Challenge
Thomas Boudat, Bryan Coquard, Dan Craven, Tony Hurel, Vincent Jerome, Morgan Lamoisson, Yannick Martinez, Maxime Mederel, Julien Morice, Perrig Quemeneur and Angélo Tulik.
Directeur Sportif: Andy Flickinger.

Giro del Trentino 2013 - stage 1B TTT

header-CritInt15Critérium International 2015: 16 Teams Head for Porto-Vecchio
Sixteen cycling teams have been selected to take part to the 84th edition of the Critérium International which will take place in Porto-Vecchio on March 28th and 29th :

Cult Energy Pro Cycling.
AG2R-La Mondiale, Auber 93, Bretagne – Séché Environnement, Cofidis, Solutions Crédits, FDJ.fr, Team Europcar, Team Marseille 13 KTM.
Bora – Argon 18, Team Giant – Alpecin.
Team Roompot.
Tinkoff – Saxo.
IAM Cycling.
Team Cannondale – Garmin, Trek Factory Racing, UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team.

header-cult-leftCult Energy to Mallorca and Criterium International
From January 29th, Cult Energy Pro Cycling take on a 1.1 race series containing four separate races on Mallorca as a natural extension of their team training camp. The races vary from flat to mountainous terrain and according to sports director, Michael Skelde it’s an excellent way of kick-starting the season with a team containing a lot of new riders:

“Besides from training hard during our training camp, we’ll get to know one another and along the way we get to define each rider’s role on the team. Participating in the Mallorca race series allows us to getting into the race rhythm and getting to know the style of racing that we want,” says Skelde.

Besides from the Mallorca race series, Cult Energy Pro Cycling will participate in these races throughout February and March:

Haut Var, GP Etruschi, Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, Criterium International and Driedaagse van West-Vlaanderen.

Criterium International & Chris Froome’s attack:

header-wanty-leftWanty-Groupe Gobert to Ride the Volta a Catalunya
Wanty-Groupe Gobert received a wildcard for the Volta a Catalunya. This seven-day stage race takes place from 23 to 29 March in the northeast of Spain.

“A race of this level, with the depth of riders that takes the start and the length of the stages, is important as preparation for the Ardennes races Amstel Gold Race, Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège,” sports director Hilaire Van Der Schueren explains.

Amstel Gold Race-winner Enrico Gasparotto will be one of the riders starting in Calella on the 23 of March.

“We hope to achieve a good result with Enrico. Climbers like Yannick Eijssen, Marco Minnaard and Francis De Greef will be there to assist him. The other riders will be announced later.”

The Volta a Catalunya was one of the 13 WorldTour races Wanty-Groupe Gobert received a wildcard for in 2014.

“Last year we laid a good foundation for a successful Tour de Suisse, a WorldTour race too, in Catalunya,” Van Der Schueren concludes. “We hope to take the start in Switzerland again too in 2015.”

header-colombia15The Escarabajos are coming to Spain: wild card for Volta a Catalunya
After the three Wild Cards granted by RCS Sport for Milano-Sanremo, Tirreno-Adriatico and Il Lombardia, on Thursday January 22nd Team Colombia-Coldeportes celebrated its fourth Wild Card of the year for a World Tour race, and this time it will mark an absolute debut. The team managed by Claudio Corti is in the list of 24 teams taking part to the upcoming Volta a Catalunya, the traditional Spanish stage race taking part from March 23rd to 29th.

Spain will play a big part in Colombia-Coldeportes’ 2015 season: before Catalunya, the Escarabajos will fly to Spain in February to take part to the Vuelta a Andalucia – Ruta del Sol (February 18-22), and wish to take part to several more races in the Country, including the Vuelta a España. If an invitation for the Iberian stage race will be awarded, a whole-Colombian team would make a historical comeback to the Vuelta.

“We are happy and proud of the trust Volta a Catalunya showed to us – General Manager Claudio Corti said, – it’s a race with a great tradition, and certainly suited to our climbers’ characteristics. To us, the Volta a Catalunya invitation is an acknowledgement of the team’s technical and organizational value, and of all the work we made through the past seasons: we are ready to stand up to this new challenge.”

Volta a Catalunya 2015:
Stage 1: Calella – Calella (191,1km)
Stage 2: Mataró – Olot (195,5km)
Stage 3: Girona – Girona (159,6km)
Stage 4: Tona – La Molina (191km)
Stage 5: Alp – Valls (197km)
Stage 6: Cervera – Port Aventura (197,7km)
Stage 7: Barcelona – Barcelona (123,5km).

Volta a Catalunya 2013:

header-MTN14-leftMTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung to race Amgen Tour of California
Today the organizers of the Amgen Tour of California announced the 18 teams that will participate in its 10th anniversary event. Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung are really happy to have been included in this years’ edition of the race. The Amgen Tour of California is America’s premier cycling race and takes place from 10-17 May.

The Amgen Tour of California is a race that for the last two years we hoped we would be invited to, we are grateful that this year we have been given our chance. If you look at past editions of the race, you will see it attracts some of the best Grand Tour riders in the world and is held in high regard by all the professional teams.

California has fast become one of the world cycling hubs, the crowds at the Amgen Tour of California are testament to this fact. We are delighted to now be able to bring the message of Qhubeka to these cycling fanatics and the continent of America.

Michel Cornelisse – Sports Director: “It’s the first time our team will be doing the Tour of California. Not only is it an important race for our sponsors but also for us it is a really important race and we really look forward to going there. Obviously when we are there we will want to play a prominent role in the action at the front of the race.”

Steve Cummings – Rider: “It’s exciting for the team to be debuting in the race. Our ENVE wheels are also made in America so it’s cool that we can go over there and show off how fast their wheels are. We don’t know the parcours yet but there is a time trial and that’s always a good test against the others. Generally the race always has a balanced route, sometimes it is a bit hot but it’s normally a really good race. It comes at a good time in the year, just as a lot of riders are getting back into racing after the classics and it is used by a lot of riders in preparation for the Tour de France.”

All the teams for the Tour of California:
BMC Racing Team (USA)
Etixx – Quick-Step Pro Cycling Team (Belgium)
Team Cannondale-Garmin (USA)
Team Giant-Alpecin (Germany)
Team LottoNL-Jumbo (Netherlands)
Team Sky (Great Britain)
Tinkoff-Saxo (Russia)
Trek Factory Racing (USA)
Drapac Professional Cycling (Australia)
MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung (South Africa)
Team Novo Nordisk (USA)
UnitedHealthcare Professional Cycling Team (USA)
Axeon Cycling Team, USA)
Hincapie Racing Team (USA)
Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis (USA)
Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies (USA)
Jamis-Hagens Berman p/b Sutter Home (USA)
Team SmartStop (USA).

Pismo Beach looks nice:

header-iamcyclingRubens Bertogliati: “The Playa de Palma Challenge is an ideal race to start the season”
Less than a week after completing an eleven day training camp on Mallorca, thirteen IAM Cycling riders find themselves riding and racing over the same roads again. Now their challenge is to do as well as the IAM Cycling riders who succeeded so well this past week at the Santos Tour Down Under. Rubens Bertogliati, their directeur sportif for the event, emphasizes that this particular event is unique in format. “The Playa de Palma is a great way to start the season. There are four days of racing, but with different profile characteristics where we can field any eight riders of our choice according to the day’s route. This means that the sprinters will be raced for the first and the fourth stages while more versatile riders will fill out the squad for the second and third stages. Those are the two stages that will incorporate more climbing. Then the general classification is defined on the basis of the points earned over the four days.”

Bertogliati has very much appreciated the great attitude his riders showed over the course of their training camp around the Palma area. “Since we can mix and match our daily squad for each stage of the Challenge, I am confident that all our riders will show proof of the excellent work we all did for more than ten days in camp. When I see how well the guys in Australia did, there is no reason to be pessimistic about our chances here. I spoke with the riders during the training camp and they did not hide their ambitions. The two goals of the sports management will be to confirm the strength and spirit of the team in setting up both the sprints as well as the climbs. Any podium results or even a victory will just be so much gravy.”

Playa de Palma Challenge Cyclista Mallorca:
Thursday, January 29th : Trofeo Santanyi – Ses Salines – Campos 175,5 km (dep. 11h55 – arr. 16h04)
Friday January 30th: Trofeo Andratx – Mirador d’es Colomer 149 km (11h50 – 15h43)
Saturday January 31th: Trofeo Serra de Tramuntana 165,7 km (11h30 – 15h43)
Sunday February 1st: Trofeo Playa de Palma – Palma 168 km (10h – 14h04)

Clément Chevrier (F), Jérôme Coppel (F), Thomas Degand (Bel), Mathias Frank (S), Jonathan Fumeaux (S), Sondre Holst Enger (Nor), Pirmin Lang (S), Simon Pellaud (S), Matteo Pelucchi (It), Aleksejs Saramotins (Let), Patrick Schelling (S), Lawrence Warbasse (USA), Marcel Wyss (S).
Directeur sportif: Marcello Albasini, Rubens Bertogliati.

Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race (Sunday, January 1st):
Geelong – Geelong, 174 km (dep. 1h50 – arr. 6h00 CET)

Stef Clement (Ned), Martin Elmiger (S), Heinrich Haussler (Aus), Jarlinson Pantano (Col), Vicente Reynes (Esp), David Tanner (Aus).
Directeur sportif: Kjell Carlström.


header-MTN14-leftPersonalised Race Jersey’s for all MTN-Qhubeka Riders
All MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung riders will sport different letters on the back of their jerseys this year. Watch out for Nic Dougall who opts for the big U! Soon, fans will have the opportunity to own their very own team jersey with their initial on it too.

The personalised letters should make it easier to spot where your favourite MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung riders are in the peloton this year. We suggest you bookmark this list until you get the hang of who is riding with which letter. This innovation, while fun, is also really important to our team as we believe professional cycling needs to engage its fans in every way possible. This is just one way we hope to bring cycling closer to the fans this year.

A – Andreas Stauff
B – Theo Bos
C – Gerald Ciolek
D – Daniel Teklehaimont
E – Edvald Boasson Hagen
F – Tyler Farrar
G – Matt Goss
I – Matt Brammeier
J – Jacques Janse van Rensburg
K – Kristian Sbaragli
L – Louis Meintjes
M – Merhawi Kudus
N – Adrien Niyonshuti
P – Serge Pauwels
Q – Songezo Jim
R – Reinardt Janse van Rensburg
S – Steve Cummings
T – Jay Thomson
U – Nicolas Dougall
V – Jaco Venter
X – Natnael Berhane
Y – Youcef Reguigui
Z – Johann van Zyl

Nic Dougall: The Letter U:

header-oricage14More Power for ORICA-GreenEDGE from 2016
ORICA-GreenEDGE has further boosted its talented young roster, confirming the signing of 19-year-old Robert Power from 2016. The West Australian will join Victorian Jack Haig and the recently confirmed South Australian Alexander Edmondson as neo-pros next season. Power, who will make his WorldTour debut alongside Haig and Edmondson with the Uni-SA National Team at this week’s Santos Tour Down Under, raced his first full season in Europe in 2014 and tasted instant success.

Two impressive hilltop victories in Italy, at the GP Capodarco and GP Poggiana under 23 races, immediately put the young climber on the radar of a number of big names teams, but Power is confident ORICA-GreenEDGE is the best place to take his career to the next level. “Above all, I’m really excited to join a team with a great atmosphere and where I’ll be training and racing with a great group of guys,” Power said. “I think the team will help me become a better rider and I’m convinced that it will be the best place for me to learn what it takes to be a professional. “It’s already been very overwhelming, in a good way, to be part of the team camps and now riding next to some of the best riders in the world at the Tour Down Under. I’m still only 19 years old and I’m very ambitious about this season on the development team. I want to go back to Europe and do better than last year and I think it will help me knowing that I have the next part my future in place.”

Alongside his victories, Power also finished second overall at the 2014 Tour de l’Avenir – the birthplace of many of the world’s best future climbers – creating history as the first ever Australian to podium at the French race.

The result positions the teenager amongst some exciting names, including ORICA-GreenEDGE teammate Adam Yates (2014), 2013 world champion Rui Costa (2008) and three-time world time trial champion Tony Martin (2007) who have all reached the podium at the coveted race. “Rob is one of the most exciting climbing talents we’ve seen in Australia cycling for a very, very long time,” ORICA-GreenEDGE sport director Matt White said of the team’s most recent signing. “His results last year were incredibly impressive. He won some really high quality races in Italy and his second place at the Tour de l’Avenir was a clear indication of the immense talent that he’s got.”

Despite the excitement of a rider like Power, White reiterated the importance of not rushing progression and instead focusing on the development of potential. “We are seeing quite a few guys coming out of a different type of talent pool than the tracks these years and Rob is one of the best examples of that type of rider. I think he’s got huge potential,” White said. “The future is generally looking really bright for Australian cycling and the amount of talent is significant and there are a lot of riders for the WorldTour teams to pick from. “The important thing for us as a team is to let them grow and develop progressively in a good environment without any added pressure. Most of these guys are still very young and we need to make sure they make the transition to the pro ranks in the best possible way.”


header-TDU15Tour Down Under Stage 4 Crash
If you are of a nervous disposition don’t watch this bit of on-board footage from Australia:

header-sanluis15-leftCameraman at the Tour de San Luis 2015 Distracted for a little Moment
We have all been caught looking at something we shouldn’t be, but with a TV camera it’s maybe a better idea to keep your eye on the job.

Take a look at our new Instagram page for a live feed of #PeloPics, #DailyDistractions, and giveaways straight from your phone: https://www.instagram.com/pezcyclingnews


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