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EUROTRASH Crazy Vuelta Monday!

Only two days into the 2015 Vuelta a España and it has been controversy all the way. Arguing over the stage 1 team time trial course and the expulsion of Vincenzo Nibali on stage 2 for holding on to his team car. We have all the results, reports and video from the Vuelta, USA Pro Challenge and the Vattenfall Cyclassics. Plus more contract news and video of the Nibali offence. Monday coffee.

TOP STORY: When is a race not a race?
When it’s the first stage of the 2015 Vuelta a España. The Spanish Grand Tour started on Saturday with controversy as the course was condemned as unsafe to race on by the riders and in the end it was decided by the UCI that the result would not count towards the overall. It had been reported that both the UCI and the riders union had previously OK’d the course and it was only when the riders actually tried the course for themselves that the complaints started. In the end there was an agreement between all concerned that the time would not count, although Unipublic, the Vuelta organizers, were less than pleased with the decision. In the end there were no crashes and the winning BMC team raced at over 54 kilometers an hour over the 7.4 kilometer test, which isn’t hanging about. BMC’s team leaders, Samu Sanchez and Darwin Atapuma like most of the other GC men, eased up to finish behind the front men in safety. La Vuelta’15 really started on Sunday with stage 2 and its Cat 3 summit finish up the Alto de la Mesa in Caminito del Rey, it also ended there for Vincenzo Nibali. Holding onto a car to regain the bunch in view of the TV cameras is never a good idea. hViva la Vuelta!

Marbella - Spain - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme -  BMC Racing Team pictured during La Vuelta 2015 Stage 1 from Puerto Banus to Marbella - TTT -Team Time Trial - photo Sabine Jacob/Cor Vos © 2015

Vuelta a España 2015
The setting for the opening Stage 1 of the 2015 Vuelta a España could not have been more picturesque, pity the course and road surface couldn’t have been rideable. In the end it was decided by the UCI to allow the stage to run, but the times would not count towards the overall. There was still the stage to be won and the first leaders jersey to be presented.

Some teams wanted to go for the win and some just went through the motions. Early leaders; MTN-Qhubeka set the benchmark time as first team off, but it was the LottoNL-Jumbo team who showed they were taking the race seriously with a time of 8:18 which kept them in the hot seat for a long time. Orica-GreenEDGE and then Tinkoff-Saxo knocked them off, but it was the World team time trial champions, BMC who came out top putting Peter Velits in the leaders jersey.

Marbella - Spain - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme - BMC Racing Team pictured during La Vuelta 2015 Stage 1 from Puerto Banus to Marbella - TTT -Team Time Trial - photo Sabine Jacob/Cor Vos © 2015

Overall leader and winning team, Peter Velits (BMC): “I am super happy, we did everything perfectly – everything that we spoke about was done to plan. The only thing we did not discuss was who would cross the line first. The last kilometer went so fast, we really did not change position or think about who was going to be first to the line. We just wanted to get to the finish as quickly as possible.”

1st team, Tejay van Garderen (BMC): “Being world champions gives us an incentive to put it out on the line and really go for it, the tactic we had was perfect. On a course like this, you can’t really go much faster with more than five guys. So we picked five guys to bring it to the end and we had the rest just line it out from the start and do a one-kilometer effort.”

1st team, Samuel Sanchez (BMC): “It’s a great way to start the Vuelta. It’s a perfect course for an individual time trial maybe not so much for a team time trial but we can’t complain. The trickiest parts were the chicanes because you could hardly see a thing with the dust.”

2nd team Rafal Majka (Tinkoff-Saxo): “Although the time-trial was neutralized and doesn’t count towards the GC, our plan was to give our best and fight for the win. We didn’t want to take any unnecessary risks but at the same time we weren’t there to take an easy ride. Congratulations to the entire squad for the great effort they put today on that tricky and technical course. We missed the first spot for less than a second but that is just the start of a long and tough Vuelta.”

3rd team, Simon Gerrans (Orica-GreenEDGE): “Of course we went full gas, there were a lot of teams who went full gas today. Everybody was saying before the start we would take it easy, take it easy… But once you’re on the bike, you never take it easy. Maybe the big favorites for the general classification might not have taken so many risks but I’m sure almost everybody went as fast as they could. A few sections in the corners were quite tricky so we did not take so many risks not to crash on the first stage. Coming back from a broken wrist to a time trial on those roads was not ideal! But I worked very hard just to be here and we’ll see what the rest brings.”

4th team and white combine jersey wearer, Martijn Keizer (LottoNL-Jumbo): “We knew that today was a big opportunity for us, we saw the course for the first time on Friday and immediately decided to give everything we had in us. We didn’t hesitate for a second, and approached the time trial very professionally. We were all focused on a good result. This morning, we did three dedicated recons and this is the result. Very nice, especially when you see that we are here with three debutants. This is a good start and immediately creates additional challenges. We must aim to keep the jersey within the team.”

4th, Mike Teunissen (LottoNL-Jumbo): “It was not possible to ride at full speed with nine guys on such a narrow course. So the thing was to drop a couple of guys and go on with six or seven riders, which we did. We rode a good time trial but it was not enough. All course are dangerous, you have to adapt your speed to the danger”

5th, Maxime Bouet (Etixx – Quick-Step): “We wanted to win and we really failed big time! It’s terrible.”

11th team, Sylvain Chavanel (IAM Cycling): “It is a little tricky to start with a course like this. Everyone recognized how dangerous it was, so we did not want to take any unnecessary risks. We know that we will all be classified with the same time at the end of this stage, so basically, there was more to lose than to gain. But we were really riding, though in the difficult places we naturally eased off a little bit. For me personally, this year my focus was on the classics in the spring, and then stringing together these three grand tours in a row. But in between all of the tours, there are three weeks where I did not race at all, so that was a time for recovery. Now I just want to find my racing legs and the pleasure of racing at this Vuelta, neither of which I had at the Tour. I want to go on the attack, a little like I raced at the Giro this year. And hopefully I can find an opening for a win, even if the Vuelta parcours is often very difficult with a lot of mountain finishes with serious climbing.”

14th, Johann van Zyl (MTN-Qhubeka): “It was really fast and over pretty quickly actually. It was almost too quick to take any of it in but I am glad it is done and now the real Vuelta can start, which I am really excited for.”

20th team, Chris Froome (Sky): “Well the race for the GC is only really starting tomorrow. It’s going to be a much, much harder day tomorrow. And what’s for sure is that there will already be big gaps after stage 2.”

21st team, Dan Martin (Cannondale-Garmin): “It’s a beautiful course and a beautiful show. It must have looked good on TV. We owed it to the public to make a show.”

Vuelta a España Stage 1 Result:
1. BMC in 8:10
2. Tinkoff-Saxo at 0:01
3. Orica-GreenEDGE
4. LottoNL-Jumbo at 0:08
5. Etixx – Quick-Step at 0:10
6. Trek at 0:11
7. Lotto-Soudal at 0:18
8. Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
9. Movistar at 0:24
10. Cofidis at 0:27.

Vuelta a España Overall After Stage 1:
1. Peter Velits (Svk) BMC.

Stage 1:

After the disappointment of the team time trial, Stage 2 looked to have the recipe for excitement with the first summit finish of the race. The finalé didn’t disappoint as the race blew apart on the short but steep ramps of the Alto de la Messa. First to attack was Cyril Gautier (Europcar), Katusha kept him close for Joaquim Rodriguez or Dani Moreno. Nairo Quintana (Movistar) jumped over to Gautier and was joined by Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin), Nico Roche (Sky) and Louis Meintjes (MTN-Qhubeka). Meintjes was dropped and was replaced by Esteban Chaves (Orica-GreenEDGE) as Quintana also lost his place due to the power of Chaves. Roche attacked first but he was brought back by Chaves. Dumoulin hung on when Chaves jumped with less than 1 kilometer to go. Chaves and Dumoulin battled it out as Roche lost contact, but it was the young Colombian who took the win ahead of an exhausted Dumoulin. Chaves also took all the jerseys including the overall red one. Dan Martin (Cannondale-Garmin) slipped the chasers for 4th ahead of all the other GC men except Nibali, but he was disqualified anyway, so it didn’t matter.

Earlier in the stage there was a break of Nelson Oliveria (Lampre-Merida), Matteo Montaguti (Ag2r-La Mondiale), David Villella (Cannondale-Garmin), Bert-Jan Lindeman (LottoNL-Jumbo), Jose Goncalves (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA) and Walter Fernando Pedraza Morales (Colombia). They were never given too much of a lead and the last man out front, Jose Goncalves, was caught with 15 kilometers to go. During this time there were two bad crashes, the second of which brought down most of the peloton including Nibali. He needed a new bike, but the change was slow and the Italian champion had a hard chase back which included some help from his team car. Once Nibali made contact the racing commenced and he lost all the time.

Nibali out of Vuelta for clinging to team car
Italy’s Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) was ruled out of the Tour of Spain for clinging to his team car in order to return inside the peloton after being involved in a collective crash in stage 2 of the Tour of Spain. The 2010 Vuelta champion, was 1:30 behind the peloton 20 km from the finish line but managed to make it back into the bunch nine kilometers later. Basing their decision on television images clearly showing an infringement of the rules, the Vuelta race commissaires decided to take him out of the race.
“The film shows clearly that Nibali was clinging to the car for 200 meters. The decision of the commissaries panel is to disqualify Nibali from the race”, said Bruno Valcic, the president of the race commissaires. Valcic added that team director Alexandre Shefer, who was driving the car was also out of the race. “It was a tough decision for the commissaires panel but after looking at the images, it was clear that we had no opportunity to give any other penalty to the rider,” he added.

Caminito del Rey - Spain - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme -  Chaves Rubio Jhoan Esteban (Team Orica Greenedge) - Tom Dumoulin (Team Giant - Alpecin)  pictured during La Vuelta 2015 Stage 2 from  AlhaurÌn de la Torre to Caminito del Rey - photo Sabine Jacob/Cor Vos © 2015

Stage winner and overall leader, Esteban Chaves (Orica-GreenEDGE): “It’s an amazing feeling. I want to say thanks to all of my teammates, all the staff, this is unbelievable. It’s really important. It’s the most important victory of my life. The first road stage of the Vuelta and to take the red jersey… it’s unbelievable. The team have all the confidence in me and they did the best today. Thank you mates! I want to leave skin on the road to keep the red jersey. This is the reason I am a rider, I will try to stay in front for as long as possible. We worked really hard after the Giro d’Italia and after Suisse and this is the compensation.”

2nd on the stage and overall, Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin): “I am very happy and satisfied. It took me two weeks to recover after my crash in the Tour, and from that moment I was determined to come back even stronger. I worked really hard for this and I am delighted that it worked out so well.”

3rd on the stage and overall, Nico Roche (Sky): “The plan had always been for me to be there at the finish and I decided to go early when I saw Quintana make his move. I got carried away and went really deep with that attack in the last 500-600m, and that meant I didn’t have anything left when Chaves made his move. My head was definitely stronger than my legs. I’m feeling good at the moment though, and I am motivated to ride well in a race that I love. We’ve got some hard days to come and it was nice to be in the mix today. We rode well as a team and stuck together as usual. Everyone did a good job to keep us near the front. The roads here are so slippery that positioning is vitally important. Sergio [Henao] went down on a corner today and obviously there was that massive crash with over half the peloton involved. Tomorrow looks like a day for the sprinters – there’s a little kick with about 10km to go but I don’t think that’ll have a major bearing on the outcome. Our goal is to keep everyone safe once again and wait for the higher mountains to come. We’ve got a great GC set up for that and I’m sure Froomey will be right up there in the next week.”

Rafal Majka (Tinkoff-Saxo): “We had some bad luck today. I went down together with Brutt, Bennati and Sagan, when the big crash happened. I was able to get going rather quickly and I stayed in the second group until we came back with 14 kilometers to go. Together with my teammates, I had to spend energy to get back. Still I’m happy because I escaped almost unharmed from the crash and I didn’t lose big amounts of time. I was not super on the last steep climb but it’s my first race after the Tour and it’s definitely not easy with a finish like this after one month without racing. I’ve been at altitude and I’ve been training a lot, but it’s impossible to simulate these situations so I look forward to getting back to race speed during the coming days.”

Louis Meintjes (MTN-Qhubeka): “It was a nice stage for me, it was really hot and a good way to start the Vuelta. I liked the finish and the guys supported me all the way. I went a bit early and the climb was just a kilometer to long but that is racing and we will try again in the coming days.”

Break rider, Bert-Jan Lindeman (LottoNL-Jumbo): “I started with ambitions today, the first 40 minutes we’re really hard. As a team, we rode strongly by attacking one by one. I was lucky to make it into the break, it easily could have been of one the other guys. The plan was to conquer the mountain jersey, but it was just not in me.”

LottoNL-Jumbo Sports Director Erik Dekker: “Yes, they were two strange days. Yesterday was special because the time difference didn’t count and today, the racing was very aggressive right from the start. You do not see that too often during the first day of a grand tour. Everyone felt that there was something to win today.

IAM Cycling DS Marcello Albasini on the loss of Matteo Pelucchi and David Tanner on stage 2: “We certainly have not enjoyed the type of start that we would have liked, the first big crash resulting in Matteo Pelucchi’s withdrawal was already a huge hit to the morale. But then also to lose David Tanner was almost the final straw. I saw Matteo crash. It was a pretty fast descent, he had to take a turn and his front wheel slipped out from under him without any reason. The road was pretty slippery, and I think he was surprised. As for David’s mishap, the peloton was traveling at a very high speed when he crashed into the pile-up. From now on, we will continue to fight as a team. Our objectives will remain the same; we will not change any of our tactics. Of course a stage win will be harder to achieve now, but we will continue to believe in our chances.”

Vuelta a España Stage 2 Result:
1. Esteban Chaves (Col) Orica-GreenEDGE in 3:57:25
2. Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Giant-Alpecin at 0:01
3. Nicolas Roche (Irl) Sky at 0:09
4. Daniel Martin (Irl) Cannondale-Garmin at 0:14
5. Joaquim Rodriguez (Spa) Katusha at 0:26
6. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar
7. Christopher Froome (GB) Sky at 0:30
8. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar at 0:31
9. Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Katusha
10. Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana at 0:37.

Vuelta a España Overall After Stage 2:
1. Esteban Chaves (Col) Orica-GreenEDGE in 3:57:25
2. Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Giant-Alpecin at 0:01
3. Nicolas Roche (Irl) Sky at 0:09
4. Daniel Martin (Irl) Cannondale-Garmin at 0:14
5. Joaquim Rodriguez (Spa) Katusha at 0:26
6. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar
7. Christopher Froome (GB) Sky at 0:30
8. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar at 0:31
9. Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Katusha
10. Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana at 0:37.

Stage 2:

USA Pro Challenge 2015
Rohan Dennis soloed to victory in Thursday’s Stage 4 to deliver the BMC Racing Team its third win in four stages of the USA Pro Challenge while assuming the overall lead from teammate Brent Bookwalter, who finished runner-up. Dennis zoomed up and over the final climb of the 202.5-kilometer stage, past eventual third-place finisher Robbie Squire (Hincapie), who had attacked at the bottom. In front of a massive crowd in Breckenridge, Dennis sat up and freewheeled his BMC teammachine SLR01 across the line to celebrate his fourth individual win on the season.

Dennis became the third BMC Racing Team rider to wear the Pearl Izumi yellow leader’s jersey. Taylor Phinney won Stage 1 Monday before Bookwalter soloed to win Tuesday ahead of Dennis at the summit of Arapahoe Basin. Wednesday, Bookwalter kept the lead as Dennis finished runner-up.

Dennis also took the lead in the “king of the mountain” classification and the sprints classification while the BMC Racing Team kept its lead in the team standings. Friday’s stage is a 13.5-kilometer individual time trial. Dennis leads Bookwalter by 13 seconds while Squire is third at 26 seconds.


Stage winner and overall leader, Rohan Dennis (BMC): “I used Robbie as a bit of a carrot, you could say,” Dennis said. “I was playing mind games with myself the whole way up. I was waiting for the one-kilometer-to-go banner to the king of the mountain. Then I saw the 200-meter sign and the crowd was going nuts. I thought I would click into a bigger gear and go. It hurt still, I won’t lie. But there was the adrenaline of knowing you are going over the top first and there was a gap. That gives you a bit of a boost.”

2nd on the stage and overall, Brent Bookwalter (BMC): “The crosswinds and Cannondale-Garmin’s aggressive riding sort of thwarted his hopes, but it was still nice to have him up there,” Bookwalter said. “I think it is a testament to the depth of the team and the motivation of the team here to be riding the front of the race every day and then to put a guy in the break to play for the stage win.”

BMC Sport Director Jackson Stewart: “We did everything we could to support Brent, with Rohan in the background,” Stewart said. “We knew if anything happened, we could always play that option of putting Rohan somewhere or trying him for the finish. It was amazing how the guys did everything. The way (Michael) Schär and Phinney brought Rohan and Brent into town was perfect.”

USA Pro Challenge Stage 4 Result:
1. Rohan Dennis (Aus) BMC in 5:10:55
2. Brent Bookwalter (USA) BMC at 0:19
3. Robbie Squire (USA) Hincapie
4. Jonathan Clarke (Aus) UnitedHealthcare at 0:23
5. Bruno Pires (Por) Tinkoff-Saxo
6. Gavin Mannion (USA) Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis
7. Toms Skujins (Lat) Hincapie
8. Dion Smith (NZl) Hincapie
9. Tao Geoghegan Hart (GB) Axeon Cycling Team
10. Lachlan David Morton (Aus) Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis.

USA Pro Challenge Overall After Stage 4:
1. Rohan Dennis (Aus) BMC in 17:24:03
2. Brent Bookwalter (USA) BMC at 0:13
3. Robbie Squire (USA) Hincapie at 0:26
4. Jonathan Clarke (Aus) UnitedHealthcare at 0:27
5. Hugh Carthy (GB) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
6. Lachlan David Morton (Aus) Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis at 0:42
7. Jaime Roson (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA 0:44
8. Davide Formolo (Ita) Cannondale-Garmin 0:48
9. Julien Bernard (Fra) Trek at 0:55
10. Toms Skujins (Lat) Hincapie at 1:01.

Stage 4:

Rohan Dennis of the BMC Racing Team increased his overall lead at the USA Pro Challenge on Friday with a dominating performance in the Stage 5 individual time trial. The BMC Racing Team’s winningest rider on the year powered his BMC timemachine TM01 to a 27-second victory over Rob Britton (SmartStop). BMC Racing Team’s Brent Bookwalter finished third, 31 seconds back, and sits firmly in second place, 44 seconds ahead of third-placed Britton. Since finishing 38th on the race’s opening stage that was won by teammate Taylor Phinney, Dennis has won the past two stages and was runner-up on Tuesday and Wednesday. He leads the overall classification, the sprints classification and the king of the mountain standings. Friday’s victory was his fifth individual win of the season and the team’s 29th, one shy of its team record, achieved in both the 2013 and 2014 seasons. The BMC Racing Team also leads the team classification.

Bookwalter said he tried to gauge his effort in the 13.5-kilometer race that featured the climb of Moonstone Road, where Dennis made the winning attack Thursday and hundreds of fans turned out to watch and cheer. Phinney finished sixth, 39 seconds back, and rode his first time trial since winning the 2014 U.S. national time trial championship days before a bad crash would sideline him for the next 62 weeks.
Thanks to Sean Weide of BMC for the race info.


Stage winner and overall leader, Rohan Dennis (BMC): “I might have won, but I really didn’t feel all that good out there. That was a harder effort than yesterday, but it was again amazing to ride through all those fans who came out to watch on the climb.”

3rd on the stage and 2nd overall, Brent Bookwalter (BMC): “I knew I couldn’t be red-lined on the climb, I tried to attack the climb and sort of went over my limit a few times. So I had to back off a bit on the flatter sections and then go harder on the steep parts. On the descent, I was trying to sporadically pedal to keep my speed up. But every three pedal strokes, I thought I was going to pass out. So I ended up having to coast for a lot of it.”

USA Pro Challenge Stage 5 Result:
1. Rohan Dennis (Aus) BMC in 18:11
2. Rob Britton (Can) SmartStop at 0:27
3. Brent Bookwalter (USA) BMC at 0:31
4. Daniel Eaton (USA) Axeon Cycling Team at 0:38
5. Gavin Mannion (USA) Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis at 0:39
6. Taylor Phinney (USA) BMC
7. Tao Geoghegan Hart (GB) Axeon Cycling Team at 0:47
8. Lachlan Norris (Aus) Drapac at 0:48
9. Jack Bobridge (Aus) Team Budget Forklifts
10. Nathan Brown (USA) Cannondale-Garmin at 0:01.

USA Pro Challenge Overall After Stage 5:
1. Rohan Dennis (Aus) BMC in 17:42:14
2. Brent Bookwalter (USA) BMC at 0:44
3. Rob Britton (Can) SmartStop at 1:31
4. Gavin Mannion (USA) Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis at 1:49
5. Lachlan David Morton (Aus) Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis at 1:53
6. Tao Geoghegan Hart (GB) Axeon Cycling Team at 1:58
7. Lachlan Norris (Aus) Drapac at 2:02
8. Toms Skujins (Lat) Hincapie at 2:08
9. Hugh Carthy (GB) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA at 2:13
10. Julien Bernard (Fra) Trek at 2:14.

Stage 5 TT:

BMC Racing Team’s Rohan Dennis and Brent Bookwalter remained 1-2 in the overall standings after Saturday’s penultimate Stage 6 of the USA Pro Challenge. Dennis finished 15th and Bookwalter was 16th as the two arrived in the peloton 44 seconds after Roman Kreuziger (Tinkoff-Saxo) won the 164.5-kilometer stage from the six men who were left from breakaway. Dennis also kept his lead in the king of the mountains competition but conceded the sprint jersey. The BMC Racing Team still leads team classification but lost Peter Stetina when he withdrew midway through the stage. Dennis leads Bookwalter by 44 seconds. Gavin Mannion (Jelly Belly presented by Maxxis) is third, 91 seconds back.

The break of the day included Kreuziger, Javier Megias (Team Novo Nordisk), Leonardo Basso (Trek), Dylan Girdlestone (Drapac), Tom Zirbel (Optum Pro Cycling), Nathan Brown (Cannondale-Garmin) and Danny Summerhill (UnitedHealthcare). They built up a maximum lead of over 4 minutes, but UnitedHealthcare and Team SmartStop kept them close. Summerhill crashed


Stage winner, Roman Kreuziger (Tinkoff-Saxo): “I’m very happy to finally raise my arms and win. I haven’t been on top of the podium, since I won Amstel Gold Race, so this is naturally a very special moment. Over here, we had two goals. We missed out during the GC but now we’ve managed to get the stage win that we aimed for. All of us have suffered a lot on the first days as we had to adapt to the altitude, but we kept the morale high and I have personally made good progression. I felt strong today, as if my body was able to cope with the thin air and it’s just great for the entire team that it ends in a win. We were a really good group and we worked well together to keep the peloton behind us. With 25km to go we had a steep climb and we decided to work together instead of starting to attack. It was risky because it meant that everything had to be decided in the absolute finale. So with four kilometers to go I decided to attack and Nathan Brown went with me. I was a bit nervous because he wasn’t pulling that much, while the group behind kept up the chase. But I knew that I had to make the finale as hard as possible. The four guys behind us caught up with us with around 600 meters to go after nearly four k’s of full speed chasing. So everybody was on the limit and I decided to follow straight away, as the first riders started his sprint. He effectively led me out and I started my sprint with 300-400 meters to go. It was a big relief seeing that nobody had passed me, as I crossed the line. It’s an important and hard fought win for the team and I want to use it to keep up the momentum ahead of the Canadian World Tour races that will be my next goal. I’ve had a very hard race program but this win proves that it was not too ambitious and now I want to finish it off in the best way possible.”

2nd on the stage, Javier Megias Leal (Team Novo Nordisk): “We believed we could stay away, so we worked really well together heading into the finish. I played my cards well but the sprint was very long and I was caught at the line. Today’s result is a fantastic accomplishment for me and the team and for people around the world who are affected by diabetes.”

Overall leader, Rohan Dennis (BMC): “The first 33 kilometers there were two sprints and UnitedHealthcare, with Kiel Reijnen, was able to take that green jersey off of me, We let them (UnitedHealthcare) control it and just sat behind them. The attacks came after that, but we just rode our own tempo and brought back anything that was dangerous.”

Peter Stetina (BMC) had to withdraw suffering from a sore achilles tendon: “It is a shame not to finish, but we have to look forward and take the safer-rather-than-sorry route. I am proud to have actually helped the guys and be a part of the race versus being a pack-filler in order to finish. Unfortunately, it (the achilles) was not getting any better. But it was real positive because the knee and the muscles never hurt; they were actually getting stronger. I was climbing higher and higher in the group every day. So the fact that the knee held up and there was no pain is great.”

Team Novo Nordisk CEO and co-founder Phil Southerland: “Javier has been a part of this team since the beginning. He has always been one of our veterans, leaders and strongest riders on the team and the entire organization is very proud of his performance today. The USA Pro Challenge airs in 220 countries, so millions of people affected by diabetes just saw Javier get a second place finish and we hope it serves as massive inspiration. This is a special race for Team Novo Nordisk, not only because we are an American team, but also because the CEO of the race, Shawn Hunter, has two children with type 1 diabetes. We’re extremely happy to get such a big result at this race and show the world what may be possible with diabetes.”

USA Pro Challenge Stage 6 Result:
1. Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Tinkoff-Saxo in 3:50:35
2. Javier Megias Leal (Spa) Team Novo Nordisk
3. Leonardo Basso (Ita) Trek
4. Dylan Girdlestone (RSA) Drapac
5. Tom Zirbel (USA) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies at 0:04
6. Nathan Brown (USA) Cannondale-Garmin
7. John Murphy (USA) UnitedHealthcare at 0:41
8. Lucas Sebastian Haedo (Arg) Jamis-Hagens Berman
9. Kiel Reijnen (USA) UnitedHealthcare
10. Logan Owen (USA) Axeon Cycling Team.

USA Pro Challenge Overall After Stage 6:
1. Rohan Dennis (Aus) BMC in 21:33:33
2. Brent Bookwalter (USA) BMC at 0:44
3. Rob Britton (Can) Team SmartStop at 1:31
4. Gavin Mannion (USA) Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis at 1:49
5. Lachlan David Morton (Aus) Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis at 1:53
6. Tao Geoghegan Hart (GB) Axeon Cycling Team at 1:58
7. Lachlan Norris (Aus) Drapac at 2:02
8. Toms Skujins (Lat) Hincapie at 2:08
9. Hugh Carthy (GB) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA at 2:13
10. Julien Bernard (Fra) Trek at 2:14.

Stage 6:

The Final Stage 7 of the seven-day USA Pro Challenge was a 109.7-kilometer run from Golden into downtown Denver. Attacks flew from the start, but it took some time for a six-man breakaway to form. The front group started to disintegrate once the race hit the finishing circuits and everyone was reeled in by the final lap. The race came down to a bunch sprint with John Murphy (UnitedHealthcare) sprinting to the win. Rohan Dennis won the overall on Sunday as teammate Brent Bookwalter claimed runner-up honors and the BMC Racing Team took home the team title for the third straight year. BMC Racing Team’s Taylor Phinney, who won the opening stage and led the race for a day, finished runner-up to John Murphy on the stage.


Overall winner, Rohan Dennis (BMC): “I had a lot of fun this week and hopefully I can come back next year and do it again, I have to take my hat off to the team. They never put any pressure on me. I came here to help Brent originally, then found my legs, and ended up taking the yellow jersey. I have to thank him for quietly supporting me for the general classification.”

2nd overall, Brent Bookwalter (BMC): “Personally, it was a good, diverse week for me, but really, the highlight was the way the team rode. It was a team effort from everyone like the young guys – Manuel Senni and Kilian Frankiny – to our road captain, Michael Schär – to Rohan and me, Taylor, Pete Stetina and Damiano Caruso – who are some of the more experienced guys. Everyone was doing their job and having a lot of fun doing it.”

Javier Megias (Team Novo Nordisk) took the overall 1st Bank Most Aggressive Rider jersey, he is the only rider to finish all five editions of the USA Pro Challenge: “Finally, I won the jersey. I have raced all five years of the USA Pro Challenge and I try to be active and aggressive every single year. This jersey is a testament to the hard work of our entire team and I promise we will keep fighting at every race to show what may be possible with diabetes.”

Team Novo Nordisk’s CEO and co-founder Phil Southerland: “Today was the perfect ending to a great, but challenging race for the team. Javi has now raced 35 days at the USA Pro Challenge and has fought hard during every single one of them. I couldn’t be any happier for him. This jersey shows success can be possible if you stay focused and fight hard. We also want to give a big thanks to race organizer Shawn Hunter. We are so proud to have been a part of this amazing race over the years.”

BMC Racing Team Sport Director Jackson Stewart: “We had a couple days of training before the race and saw how strong Rohan was and how well Brent was riding, so we knew Rohan would be really strong in Friday’s time trial. But to finish first and second overall this week? I don’t think anyone had planned for that. So to have it happen was great.”

USA Pro Challenge Stage 7 Result:
1. John Murphy (USA) UnitedHealthcare in 2:20:03
2. Taylor Phinney (USA) BMC
3. Lucas Sebastian Haedo (Arg) Jamis-Hagens Berman
4. Travis McCabe (USA) Team SmartStop
5. Fabio Silvestre (Por) Trek
6. Kiel Reijnen (USA) UnitedHealthcare
7. Guillaume Boivin (Can) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies
8. Dion Smith (NZl) Hincapie
9. Jordan Kerby (Aus) Drapac
10. Adam Phelan (Aus) Drapac.

USA Pro Challenge Final Overall Result:
1. Rohan Dennis (Aus) BMC in 23:53:44
2. Brent Bookwalter (USA) BMC at 0:44
3. Rob Britton (Can) Team SmartStop at 1:31
4. Gavin Mannion (USA) Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis at 1:49
5. Lachlan David Morton (Aus) Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis at 1:53
6. Tao Geoghegan Hart (GB) Axeon Cycling Team at 1:58
7. Lachlan Norris (Aus) Drapac at 2:02
8. Toms Skujins (Lat) Hincapie at 2:08
9. Hugh Carthy (GB) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA at 2:13
10. Julien Bernard (Fra) Trek at 2:14.

The final stage 7:

Vattenfall Cyclassics 2015
The 20th edition of the Vattenfall Cyclassics started in Kiel, the finish was in Hamburg after a race of 221.3 kilometers. The riders had to climb the Waseberg three times in the final 70 kilometers. Four riders set up a break: Barta, Bono, Mortensen and Dowsett. At about 40 kilometers from the finish they were caught and after that there were some new attempts to escape, it actually never stopped after that. Especially on the final ascent of the Waseberg a few riders tried to get away to avoid the expected bunch sprint, but no one was able to make a big gap. Also at the end there were a few late attempts but a bunch sprint was coming due to the good control of the sprint teams.

André Greipel was the best in the sprint after great work from his team. Kristoff finished second, Nizzolo third. It’s the fifteenth victory for the Gorilla this season, he is still in great shape, just like during the Tour de France. It is his first win in the Vattenfall Cyclassics, the only WorldTour race in his homeland.

Hamburg Vattenfall-Cyclassics 2015

Race winner, André Greipel (Lotto Soudal): “We already tried it a few times to win this race, I’m so glad it finally worked out. Although, the race didn’t start so well. I crashed in the beginning of the stage. I wanted to take a sanitary stop, but a guy behind me didn’t see me and hit me in the back. It was without speed, but still painful. Also Greg, Jens and Jürgen hit the ground. For the finale we were four guys down. But I could still rely on Lars Bak, Tiesj Benoot and Marcel Sieberg.”

“As usual it all came down to the last ascent of the Waseberg, that’s crucial for the difference between winning and losing. We controlled as much as we could and all maintained a good position on the climb. Before the sprint I talked to my teammates, it was really important to be in a good position with three kilometers to go. I trusted them to help me. Sibi put me on the wheel of Kristoff and I was happy to have the legs to pass him by. This is the first time I won a one-day WorldTour race, so this is really special. Certainly because it’s in my home country. I won’t compare it to winning a Tour stage for example, I’m just very proud I could win this race.”

2nd, Alexander Kristoff (Katusha): “Of course I am a little disappointed as I just missed half a wheel, and also as the team did such a wonderful job and made a good lead out. If there would have been more head wind, I could have won, but that is not so important. Greipel was strong the whole summer and we’ve seen him beat me more often this year. Jacopo Guarnieri took over from Marco Haller at 600-700 meters from the finish. It was crazy fast and at 200 meters it was up to me. I had good legs and went faster and faster. But at 50-60 meters from the finish Greipel passed me. I tried to not let him pass but he was faster. In the end it was just him and me and no one else and I missed half a meter. Next week in Plouay, on a harder circuit, we will try again.”

Vattenfall Cyclassics Result:
1. André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Soudal in 4:57:05
2. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha
3. Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) Trek
4. Tom Boonen (Bel) Etixx – Quick-Step
5. Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC
6. Arnaud Demare (Fra) FDJ.fr
7. Matti Breschel (Den) Tinkoff-Saxo
8. Ramon Sinkeldam (Ned) Giant-Alpecin
9. Niccolo Bonifazio (Ita) Lampre-Merida
10. Rasmus Guldhammer (Den) Cult Energy.

Vattenfall action:

Mike Woods will Join Cannondale-Garmin in 2016
Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling today announced that Mike “Rusty” Woods will join the team in 2016.

Woods is a former New Balance-sponsored runner. New Balance is also a long-time sponsor of Slipstream Sports. The 28 year-old Canadian started cycling about three years ago after suffering a devastating running injury. He set out by borrowing his father’s bike and testing his skills at local races. Woods’ progression in the sport most recently earned him a win at 2015 Tour of Utah, and the leader’s jersey. He eventually finished second overall in that race, to Cannondale-Garmin’s Joe Dombrowski. Although he loves his cycling career, running still has a special place in Woods’ heart; and the multi-talented athlete currently coaches running (and also holds a degree in English from the University of Michigan).

Jonathan Vaughters, CEO of Slipstream Sports and Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling, has been a long-time admirer of Woods. He said: “Mike is the real deal. He runs a 3.57 mile and is a former New Balance-sponsored runner and a junior Pan Am Gold medalist. But one of the things that impressed me most about Mike is the way he earned his way into cycling. He wasn’t a part of any development team and he got where he is by hard word, camping in his car, and really toughing it out. Once he got the chance to ride for Optum, he was able to ride in some bigger races with smart teammates and directors. I continued to watch him closely. He learned how to maneuver in the peloton, which is difficult for runners to do, and that convinced me. While he’s got a long way to go, I think he could be one of the top Ardennes riders in the world someday. And if he does that, I will be very happy and proud, because he will have earned it the hard way.”

The feeling was mutual. While Woods was still running, he was watching the Slipstream organization. “I followed the team when I was running and I knew if I ever somehow got into cycling, it was the team I would want to be a part of,” said Woods. “I always liked what the team stood for, and they always seemed to have a great group of riders. Getting picked up by Cannondale-Garmin is a dream come true for me.”

Mike Woods won stage 5 in Utah:
stage 5 of The Larry H.Miller Tour of Utah 2015

Lampre Merida Team f_chiari
Petilli and Ravasi: Future in the WorldTour
Blue-fuchsia-green reflections on the Italian national selection which will participate in the next Tour de l’Avenir, one of the most important competition for Under 23 category.

LAMPRE-MERIDA has set the agreements which will allow to enroll in the team two of the most talented young Italian climber, namely Simone Petilli and Edward Ravasi, who will both be in the Italian national team in the Tour de l’Avenir.

Simone Petilli (in the picture, on the left), who was born in Bellano on 4/5/1993, is now in Team Unieuro’s roster and during the season he demonstrated his skills as climber by obtaining a long series of top results (the most important is the 3rd place in the genera classification of the Giro della Valle d’Aosta) and the victories in the youth classification in the Settimana Internazionale Coppi e Bartali and one stage and the final classification in the Ronde de l’Isard.

 Edward Ravasi (in the picture, on the right), born in 1994 in Besnate, is a member of Team Colpack and he’ll foretaste the blue-fuchsia-green atmosphere as trainee in the next months.
In 2015, the Italian climber won two races (Giro della Provincia di Biella and Memorial Gasparotto) and many other top results which confirm his qualities.

LAMPRE-MERIDA will watch the performances in the Tour de l’Avenir of the talented duo and dedicate a wish of good luck to both.
Soon, the details of the passage to World Tour of the two cyclists will be detailed.
Petilli and Ravasi: a duo of Italian talented riders which reinforce the tradition of the team in the enhancement of young cyclists, as it will happen with Filippo Ganna, who has already an agreement with LAMPRE-MERIDA and will be trainees in the next months, and who’ll soon evaluate with the team’s technical staff when debut in the pro world.


Etixx – Quick-Step Reaches Agreement with De Plus for Three Seasons
Etixx – Quick-Step is happy to announce the signing of young Belgian Talent Laurens De Plus for the next 3 seasons (2016-2018).

Born in Aalst in 1995, De Plus shined this year in few of the most important stage races for Under 23 riders. Some examples are Giro Ciclistico della Val D’Aosta (one stage victory and 2nd place GC), the Course de la Paix (4th in the GC) and the Tour de L’Isard (1st in the Youth and Point classification, second in the GC).

“I’m really happy to join the team,” De Plus said. “It’s a real dream, and to be honest, it’s a bit strange to me if I think that from this winter forward, I will start training with a few of the guys that I really admire in cycling. I’m happy that Patrick Lefevere gave me this chance. We talked a lot about how we see my next future within the team and how I will approach next season. In this team I feel that I can grow up without pressure as I am only 19. I have a lot of to learn from the other guys and from the team structure.

“I like the stage races and I like to climb,” continues De Plus, who will ride Le Tour de l’Avenir starting next Saturday. “My first goal in the future will be to do my best, to develop my skills, and start to build up my career among the professionals.”

“We were following Laurens a long time,” said CEO Patrick Lefevere. “Together with Fernando Gaviria and Rodrigo Contreras he was on the top of our list concerning our priority with young riders. Our scout recently followed him from nearby, and I had a few constructive talks with him. We believe he has the potential to become a good professional rider, and both parties decided to invest time in this common project. Together with the team technical staff, we will prepare for him a program that will allow him to discover step-by-step the world of the professional cycling, and to grow up with us.”

photoshoot Under 23 Team of Lotto Belisol 2014

Martens extends with Team LottoNL-Jumbo
Paul Martens stays with Team LottoNL-Jumbo. The experienced German signs a two-year contract extension with the Dutch team. “I like to work with the younger men in the team.”

“I’m very glad with this contract extension,” Martens says. “I’m feeling good with this team and I’m happy that I can do the things I love for two more years. I like to work with the younger men in the team. I’m one of the older riders, yet I don’t feel that in a physical way, but I do during the conversations at dinner. I enjoy the differences between the generations. I got a lot of positive feedback about the way I treat the younger guys. That grew in a spontaneous way. I feel that I can help when some of the younger riders are making mistakes. I used to make those mistakes myself before, so I’m able to recognize them and teach my teammates how to deal with it. Everyone wants to give their best, but that doesn’t always turn out the best way.”

Win-win situation
“Paul is always very useful with his qualities”, sports director Nico Verhoeven judges. “We are very happy with his extension. He rode a good Tour de France and confirmed his strength for us another time. It’s a good thing to have somebody in your team who has as much experience as Paul does. That he likes to share that experience with the younger riders is a win-win situation. He still has a very high level himself as well. He is important in the Walloon classics and in the tough stages in the big stage races.”

Paul Martens with IAM Cycling’s Mathias Frank in Fléche Wallonne:
FlËche Wallonne Elite 2014

Nibali and his car tow!
If you have any doubt of Vincenzo Nibali holding onto his team car have a look at this video. At the end he shoots off at the side of the car at high speed. Caught red handed as I’m sure his hand is from the door handle.

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