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EuroTrash Dutch Monday!

The Tour de France is well under way and excitement has packed the first two stages in Holland. We have race reports, results, rider quotes and video from the French Grand Tour. It’s not all Tour news, we also follow the Tour of Austria and have news from the Trittico di Autunno, Taiwan KOM Challenge 2015, video from Giant-Alpecin and Martyn Ashton rides again. A full EuroTrash from Holland.

TOP STORY: Boom, to ride or not to ride?
That is the question. Lars Boom did start the Tour de France in Utrecht, he looked quite upset on the start ramp, but put up a fair time under the circumstances. OK, poor Lars had a low cortisol count and according to the MPCC he shouldn’t start, but the team were not told until after the team rider list had been given to the organisers and so (under UCI rules) he could not be substituted by the Astana team. So, what to do? Go against the MPCC and stay within UCI rules or go stay within MPCC and UCI rules and not start with Boom. BMC, Sky, LottoNL-Jumbo and the other teams who are not members of MPCC do not have this problem, if one of their riders has a low cortisol count he can start a race, so where does this leave the MPCC? If teams leave or just ignore the rules or don’t join in the first place, what is the point. They could change their rules on cortisol, but then their rules would be the same as everyone else: UCI and WADA. Lars Boon said his low count was due to an asthma spray. Storm in a tea cup or the end of the MPCC?

Lars Boom started in the 2015 Tour de France stage 1 TT:
Tour de France 2015 - stage 1 AI

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Tour de France 2015
Stage 1 saw a very strong ride form BMC’s Rohan Dennis early in the day to post the only sub 15 minute ride for the 13.8 kilometers round Utrecht on Saturday. From then on it was a case of crossed finders and a long wait for the young Australian. Home favorite; Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin) was roared around the course, but came up 8 seconds short. The only two riders who could beat him – Tony Martin (Etixx – Quick-Step) and Fabian Cancellara (Trek) threw themselves into the fray, but Martin said he was cooked by the hot temperatures and Cancellara thought that age was his problem. In the end Martin was second at 5 seconds and Cancellara third, one second slower. Dennis took the first yellow jersey (plus green and white) of the 2015 Tour de France and the record of fastest Tour time trial with an average speed of 55.446 kph.

All the GC men lost time on Rohan Dennis: Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) lost 1:26, Nairo Quintana (Movistar) 1:01, Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) 58 seconds, Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) 56, Chris Froome (Sky) 50, Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) 43 and Tejay Van Garderen finished 42 seconds back on his BMC teammate.

Stage winner and the first yellow jersey, Rohan Dennis (BMC): “It was nerve-wracking watching the screen, I didn’t expect to go that fast time-wise. When I got to back to the bus, I was told that it was the quickest time trial by my friend back in Adelaide. So that was a nice little bonus, you could say. We went with the tactic of going off early – there’s no stress, you don’t have to sit around all day – just set a benchmark and make everyone else chase me. It worked out perfectly. Tour de France … yellow jersey … it’s a dream. I have always wished to be in this position and now I am.”

2nd, Tony Martin (Etixx – Quick-Step): “I knew starting the Tour de France with this time trial was a great chance for myself and the team to possibly wear the yellow jersey in Utrecht, I did the best preparation possible to be at this race at 100 percent. I had great support from the team and the staff around me, so I could really focus on the race. But today I was struggling a little bit with the heat. It was not easy to warm up on the rollers and then riding 15 minutes in the heat. Even in the second half I was already tired. I’m used to warming up after 5 to 7 kilometers, and then my race starts. But today I couldn’t really change rhythm. I was doing my best to go until the finish. I am sure in different weather circumstances I could do better. Still, considering everything, to still finish 2nd I am happy about it. I always want to win, but today I found a great Rohan Dennis who deserved the victory. There is still a big opportunity for yellow in the next days. Everyone knows this first week will be crazy and we have for sure one of the strongest and best teams for the parcours of the next days. So, yes, I am disappointed, but the Tour de France has only just begun. I have a great team around me that will further boost my morale, for sure.”

4th, Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin): “I rode a strong time trial, which I enjoyed but unfortunately it was not enough for the win. I didn’t hear anything from my coach because I was riding through a wall of sound from the spectators, which was really cool. Of course it’s very special to ride on home grounds. Right now I’m a little bit disappointed so I’m not the most enjoyable person to be around.”

5th, Jos van Emden (LottoNL-Jumbo): “This was outstanding, the people were all shouting. With 800,000, you have a feeling as if you’re riding in a big stadium. It was a 14km tunnel of noise. Especially so in the tunnels, were it was resounding.”

7th, Matthias Brändle (IAM Cycling): “I managed to give the best of myself in front of the huge crowd and impressive atmosphere. I started off a touch easily since I was afraid of weakening by the finish. By mid-race, I tried to increase my pace. This allowed me to finish stronger than some others. I am really pleased. I have never seen so many people on the roadside. It was very impressive to ride in a kind of channel edged off by spectators. I couldn’t even hear the directions that the directeur sportif was telling me over the radio since the crowd noise was so great. In the end, I managed to join the top-10, which was my goal for this stage at the Tour de France.”

9th, Wilco Kelderman (LottoNL-Jumbo): “It was superb, It was one big wall of sound. That gave me adrenaline and I think that we all went faster because of that. I imagined it, but of course, it was even better. I’m very satisfied with my race. I started this Tour in a good way.”

10th, Steve Cummings (MTN-Qhubeka): “It was a super day. Physically the effort was good but I also never really felt composed. I don’t know, I think it was possibly the occasion that got to me a bit and I messed up a lot of corners, well pretty much every corner actually. But having said that, to come to the biggest bike race in the world it is great for the team to see we can all make mistakes but are able to compete with the best in the world. It was my goal to really deliver something good today for that reason, to give the team a bit of a lift and some confidence. Unfortunately it wasn’t as good as I hoped but I think it was still pretty good to be honest.”

11th, Robert Gesink (LottoNL-Jumbo): “I tried to manage my energy as well as possible, some uncertainty means that I started a little bit too fast. I tried to focus on the rhythm of my legs. That worked. I wanted to feel the noise as much as possible on the other hand, because it helps you to ignore the pain. It was one long scream from the beginning until the end. That carried me on.”

Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo): “It was a very tough time-trial and I felt my legs quite well, I had good sensations. The race course was very, very fast. I decided to take the first half of the race at a slightly slower pace and then push hard. I got off slower but then I wasn’t able to finish off strongly. All in all, I think it was a normal time-trial and all the favorites are within a few seconds of each other. We now have to focus on tomorrow. I don’t think the wind was a factor because even if it blew strongly, it was the same for everybody. Maybe the current high temperatures make the heart beat faster but it wasn’t an issue. Again, a few seconds separate the main rivals and that is, in my opinion, a good thing.”

Tour de France Stage 1 Result:
1. Rohan Dennis (Aus) BMC in 14:56
2. Tony Martin (Ger) Etixx – Quick-Step at 0:05
3. Fabian Cancellara (Swi) Trek at 0:06
4. Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Giant-Alpecin at 0:08
5. Jos Van Emden (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo at 0:15
6. Jonathan Castroviejo (Spa) Movistar at 0:23
7. Matthias Brandle (Aut) IAM Cycling
8. Adriano Malori (Ita) Movistar at 0:29
9. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo at 0:30
10. Stephen Cummings (GB) MTN-Qhubeka at 0:32.

Tour de France Overall After Stage 1:
1. Rohan Dennis (Aus) BMC in 14:56
2. Tony Martin (Ger) Etixx – Quick-Step at 0:05
3. Fabian Cancellara (Swi) Trek at 0:06
4. Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Giant-Alpecin at 0:08
5. Jos Van Emden (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo at 0:15
6. Jonathan Castroviejo (Spa) Movistar at 0:23
7. Matthias Brandle (Aut) IAM Cycling
8. Adriano Malori (Ita) Movistar at 0:29
9. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo at 0:30
10. Stephen Cummings (GB) MTN-Qhubeka at 0:32.

Stage 1:

Summary – Stage 1 (Utrecht > Utrecht) – Tour de… por tourdefrance_en

Stage 2 was contested like a Spring classic in windy and wet conditions, it created significant differences between hot favorites for the overall classification. Chris Froome and Alberto Contador made the front group in which André Greipel proved to be the fastest against Peter Sagan and Mark Cavendish while Fabian Cancellara, third, moved into the lead. Vincenzo Nibali and Nairo Quintana lost 1:28.

Armindo Fonseca (Bretagne-Séché Environnement) was the first attacker of the Tour de France as soon as race director Christian Prudhomme flagged off the start of stage 2. Perrig Quémeneur (Europcar), Jan Barta (Bora-Argon 18) and Stef Clement (IAM Cycling) joined him. They got a maximum advantage of 2:45 after 28 kilometers while Etixx – Quick-Step took control of the chase straight away. Gusts of wind inspired Tinkoff-Saxo to create echelons. As the race came to the intermediate sprint at Rotterdam (80.5km), there was a lot of action, with the likes of Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) and Bauke Mollema (Trek) in trouble.

Barta rode away solo in the streets of Rotterdam to win the intermediate sprint. With 50km to go, the peloton was split into pieces. 26 riders including Chris Froome (Sky), Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo), Tejay van Garderen (BMC), Peter Sagan Tinkoff-Saxo), Mark Cavendish (Etixx – Quick-Step), André Greipel (Lotto Soudal), Tony Martin (Etixx – Quick-Step) and Fabian Cancellara (Trek) composed a front group while many top contenders couldn’t avoid the split. Vincenzo Nibali (Astana), Nairo Quintana (Movistar), Thibaut Pinot (FDJ.fr) and yellow jersey holder Rohan Dennis (BMC) were forced to chase. Nibali had a flat tyre with 25 kilometers to go but made it back into the chasing group. Despite the combination of forces, they never came across to the leaders and lost 1:28 at the finishing line.

As Etixx – Quick-Step outnumbered the other teams in the front group, Cavendish looked in the best position for the sprint on the causeway in Neeltje Jans, but Marcel Sieberg led Greipel out perfectly and the German claimed his seventh stage victory at the Tour de France ahead of Peter Sagan. The Slovakian had a flat tyre with 12 kilometers to go but managed to get back to the first group. Third on the line, Fabian Cancellara deprived Tony Martin of the yellow jersey through the time bonus. He leads the Tour de France for the 29th time.

Stage winner, André Greipel (Lotto Soudal): “This was the first stage I could win, it’s magnificent that I did. This is a fantastic reward for the team and me. In the Tour everyone starts from zero, it’s the results here that count. This determines if your season is successful or not. A victory at the Tour is at least as double important as anywhere else. In our echelon were six riders of Etixx – QuickStep and strong riders like Cancellara and Dumoulin. We tried to stay a bit under the radar, but did our bit when the echelons were formed. The first time eight of us were part of the first group. The second time the selection was bigger and we were with three in a group of twenty-five. I considered Cavendish and Sagan to be my main opponents for the sprint. I’m happy I could stay ahead of them. We had a plan before the start and did a recon last Wednesday. We were focused today, but not stressed. I finished it off, but this victory one is of the entire team. I win a Tour stage for the fifth year in a row, but it’s the first time my wife is here so that makes it even more special. I’m wearing the green jersey for the first time in my career, that’s a nice extra. Tonight I will enjoy this victory and then we’ll see what happens the next days.”

Overall leader, Fabian Cancellara (Trek): “I had cramps at the end, it was so fast and nervous, but finally some luck. I had so much problems out of the corners, out of the roundabouts, the problem was from yesterday, I paid a lot – I mean everyone probably did – from yesterday’s effort. I am not sure what happened, if it was a crash or just a split because the guys from Lotto-Soudal went full gas. But we went through this small city and there were a lot of roundabouts and with the rain and wind…it was not easy and I was just there and suddenly the group split up. I hoped for sure at the end to get something out and now of course with the yellow I am really happy. I did not have it in my mind to beat anyone, just on the yellow [jersey]. I was just behind Peter [Sagan] and I was waiting and waiting, and then all of a sudden they were going! But it was so long to the finish still! I just tried to get as close to the front as possible to maybe have a gap with Tony [Martin]. Honestly I was not expecting the yellow today, maybe in the next days, and the big chance on the cobblestone stage. Today, I thought it was more for the sprinters. I was coming to the Tour to win and get the yellow yesterday, and I didn’t win yesterday and not today, but I made a nice sprint at the end and I got third and the yellow and that is really a success. It’s always special.”

2nd overall and 9th on the stage, Tony Martin (Etixx – Quick-Step): “The work we did as a team was incredible today, especially Kwiatkowski and Zdenek Stybar. Everyone did a great job to possibly put me in Yellow and I am really thankful for that. I thought with five kilometers to go there were so many sprinters in the group that it would be hard for Cancellara to get top three for the seconds he needed. But, he raced smart today. Congratulations to him for becoming race leader. As for me, I was happy to work today but I also did not go too hard and saved my legs a bit. Now we will see what can happen in the next days.”

8th on the stage and 3rd overall, Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin): “My day was good but not perfect. We went for the sprint opportunity for John [Degenkolb] today. He was caught up and not in the first group after the split. I only enjoyed the first 20km today, with all the amazing crowds in the Netherlands. After that, the Tour started with all its chaos and stress. I fought for my position all day, which went quite well as the split took place behind me. That was not just luck. I can leave the Netherlands with my head held high, as I performed well yesterday. Now I have the white jersey, which feels good and is nice, definitely more special than just wearing it. I hope I can go for yellow now, I will fight and will do my best.”

4th on the stage, Mark Cavendish (Etixx – Quick-Step): “I think Mark Renshaw went a little too early and it left me hanging a bit. It seemed to be a cross/headwind when we came in, and that’s why I held the barrier. It’s kind of hard to feel it unless you’re in the wind, and we don’t want to really be doing it until about the last kilometer. If it had been a cross/tailwind, we would have been OK. Maybe I could have waited, let them jump, and then jumped on their wheels, but it’s a risky move. With a headwind finish I didn’t want to go with more than 200 meters to go. I knew it was a gamble to go so long, but I just went and with good luck I stay ahead. But with three strong guys like Greipel, Sagan, and Cancellara, it’s not so easy. I gave them a lead-out in this case. I’m disappointed obviously, but you can take the positives that Etixx – Quick-Step rode strong today. They forced the split and rode to the end selflessly. Tony Martin rode in the green jersey. I’m disappointed we couldn’t get it, but it’s the Tour de France and Andre Greipel deserved the win today. Now we look to tomorrow. It’s a finish that can suit guys like Michal and Rigo. We’ve got a team that can be in the actions of a lot of stages in this first week. For me personally, the day of the cobblestones might be a chance, but the stages after are more likely to be a bunch sprint. We will see what can happen as we have nine strong riders who can try to make something happen, as we did today.”

Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) moved up to 14th overall: “I’m happy with the way we raced today. It was a day where one could build time advantages. It’s a pity there was number of teams such as BMC or Sky that didn’t start working until late in the stage. However, at the end they gave us a hand and I’m satisfied with the result. In what regards myself, it wasn’t very tiring and in addition we avoided having any crashes. I would like to thank my teammates for their work and the focus is now on recovering tonight as we have another difficult stage ahead of us tomorrow. It’s always good to have a few of the main rivals behind me in the GC than at the front but we still have a long way ahead of us and I think the advantage I have today will mean nothing by the end of the Tour.”

Breakaway rider, Stef Clement (IAM Cycling): “You try your luck, and you lose; that is also part of cycling. I used up a lot of energy working in the break. But I’m not disappointed, even if the day was pretty strange. This morning, some guys announced that we’d have rain for the departure, then others said it would be at the finish, and then eventually we ended up being soaked mid-race due to a severe thunderstorm. That was enough to make the road really wet and slippery. The nervousness was tangible and the crashes quickly started.”

Nairo Quintana (Movistar) lost some time: “All those crashes under the rain were a bit unlucky for us. We lost a bit of time, but we hope to get it back, day by day. We managed to keep the squad together, also joined our forces with Astana’s and kept the gap closer than it could have been.”

Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) also lost time: “It was really complicated due to foul weather, stressful. The important thing is that we two didn’t crash and everything has just started. Nairo was at the front with Dowsett, but the group started to split into the crosswinds, it also started to rain, another crash happened, we turned left towards a wind-exposed zone and echelons kept forming and forming until we were all of us trailing behind. From that point on, there was nothing to do but chasing.”

Stage 1 winner, Rohan Dennis (BMC), lost his yellow jersey: “We were going through a lot of roundabouts and I was sort of toward the back, thinking it was safe because it wasn’t too hard. Then Pinot let the gap go. He swung out and basically looked at me, saying I had to close it. I looked around and saw Nibali was there as well. So I made the call not to chase because if Nibali losses time, it is better. It was a bit hard to swallow, but I came to terms with it. I could have closed the gap and taken Nibali with me – which more than likely would have meant I would have kept the jersey. But by sitting up, Nibali lost time, which makes it better for Tejay, who is our goal for the Tour.”

Laurens ten Dam (LottoNL-Jumbo) Crashed: “We were in charge, but today, it was the other way around. I’m fed up with that. It’s disappointing for Wilco, but for me as well. It was hectic. After the crash, we ended up in no man’s land. I knew that we were going to lose time at that moment, but we still have three weeks to repair this. Yesterday, we showed that it’s not about our form. We have to put ourselves back together.”

Tyler Farrar (MTN-Qhubeka) missed the split: “With the wind and the rain and everything else, it was an extra crazy day of the Tour. Everyone is always nervous anyway but everyone was extra nervous today so it was quite hectic out there. We had Serge, myself and Jacques in the 2nd group and initially Serge and I were in the front split. There were some crashes in that town with all the roundabouts at 40km to go and that split our group, and Serge and I were caught behind that so we just had to watch the race ride away.”

Tour de France Stage 2 Result:
1. André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Soudal in 3:29:03
2. Peter Sagan (Svk) Tinkoff-Saxo
3. Fabian Cancellara (Swi) Trek
4. Mark Cavendish (GB) Etixx – Quick-Step
5. Daniel Oss (Ita) BMC
6. Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC
7. Christopher Froome (GB) Sky
8. Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Giant-Alpecin
9. Tony Martin (Ger) Etixx – Quick-Step
10. Warren Barguil (Fra) Giant-Alpecin.

Tour de France Overall After Stage 2:
1. Fabian Cancellara (Swi) Trek in 3:44:01
2. Tony Martin (Ger) Etixx – Quick-Step at 0:03
3. Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Giant-Alpecin at 0:06
4. Peter Sagan (Svk) Tinkoff-Saxo at 0:33
5. Geraint Thomas (GB) Sky at 0:35
6. Daniel Oss (Ita) BMC at 0:42
7. Rigoberto Uran (Col) Etixx – Quick-Step
8. Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC at 0:44
9. Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC at 0:48
10. Christopher Froome (GB) Sky.

Stage 2:

Summary – Stage 2 (Utrecht > Zélande) – Tour de… por tourdefrance_en

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Tour of Austria 2015
Katusha won the team time trial Prologue of the 2.HC stage race, the Tour of Austria. Katusha was the fastest team in the 5,4 km race, stopping the clock at 5 minutes and 45,38 seconds with 56,28 km/h average speed. Second place, 1 second behind, went to MTN-Qhubeka; the podium was completed by BMC Racing, 5 seconds behind Katusha. Rudi Selig was the first rider of Team Katusha to cross the finish line, so he became the overall leader taking the first yellow jersey of the Tour of Austria 2015.

1st, Katusha sports director Gennady Mikhaylov: “I am very happy with our team – the guys did an ideal race from the start until the finish line. Katusha was really fast today. Every rider did his best in the race; we did not have any weak moment and did not lose any rider. We finished all together and it proves all riders are prepared at 100%. Indeed we hoped to fight for a good result, and I am glad we won this race. It was a prologue only and all the main things are still ahead, but we are ready!”

2nd team, MTN-Qhubeka rider Johann van Zyl: “That was such a hard effort after not racing since Tour of California, but it felt awesome. From the start we all went full gas and not once did we lose speed. It is such a pity that we lost by less than 1 second but this builds morale for the coming days so let’s hope for some stage wins.”

The BMC Racing Team was five seconds off the winning time after starting without past Slovakian national time trial and world team time trial champion rider Peter Velits, who was held up at the pre-race bike check. “The saddle of Peter was 0.3 millimeters out of the level,” BMC Racing Team Sport Director Valerio Piva said. “They usually do not check the road bikes before a race like this and they did not have a jig to measure the bikes. So the guys were a little bit stressed. Without this problem, I think we would have been fighting for the victory.”

3rd, Brent Bookwalter (BMC): “We did a good job of refocusing once we were out there, but there was still some confusion of how many riders we had and it took a minute to re-position. I felt like we finished very strong. But in such a short race, it’s hard to pull back any time once we were a couple of seconds back.”

5th, IAM Cycling DS, Thierry Marichal: “This prologue was a bit special since everyone had to use the traditional road set-up, and not time trial equipment,” DS Thierry Marichal explained. “We came to this race with some of our younger guys who are perhaps better climbers than experts against the clock, so we were afraid that we wouldn’t be completely competitive. But ultimately, our riders did a very good job, and took an excellent 5th place.”

20th, Tinkoff-Saxo DS Nicki Sørensen: “We’ve complained to the organizers, as all our riders were on site and present as required. It’s a costly mistake and it’s a shame, as we are here to compete for a top spot in the general classification. But we will have to wait and see what the result of the complaint will be and if we are compensated in any way. Teams started two minutes apart, while it’s usually customary to have at least three minutes between teams on a time-trial. One rider from BMC was delayed, so as a result, the controls of our bikes started less than two minutes before the scheduled start. In essence, only Hansen, Chris Anker, Poljanski and Zaugg had their bikes controlled, when the gun fired, while our four other guys, including our GC-captain Kiserlovski, were held up. The team has put in a lot of effort and preparation to come here to Tour of Austria well prepared and as a serious contender in the race. We will look ahead and do our best as we always do on the stages to come. The guys, no matter what, are in shape and dedicated to the job.”

17th, Cult Energy DS, André Steensen comments: “To be honest, we haven’t spent enough time together rehearsing this time trial in order to compete with the best teams here. We’re aiming for stage results and we wouldn’t risk anything today to finish in the top-15. Now, we’re looking forward to taking on the challenges waiting for us and I think we have the riders to do well in all terrains.”

Tour of Austria Prologue Result:
1. Katusha in 5:45.38
2. MTN-Qhubeka at 1:00
3. BMC at 5:08
4. Cofidis at 7:98
5. IAM Cycling at 8:12
6. Cannondale-Garmin at 8:39
7. Team Felbermayr Simplon Wels at 9:78
8. AG2R-La Mondiale at 11:07
9. Amplatz-BMC at 13:53
10. Roompot at 13:76.

Tour of Austria Overall After The Prologue:
1. Rudiger Selig (Ger) Katusha in 5:45
2. Vladimir Isaychev (Rus) Katusha
3. Gatis Smukulis (Lat) Katusha
4. Danie Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Katusha
5. Sven Erik Bystrom (Nor) Katusha
6. Egor Silin (Rus) Katusha
7. Angel Vicioso Arcos (Spa) Katusha
8. Eduard Vorganov (Rus) Katusha
9. Youcef Reguigui (Alg) MTN-Qhubeka at 0:01
10. Natnael Berhane (Eri) MTN-Qhubeka.

Katusha on the start line:
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The IAM Cycling Team did not waste any time at the Tour of Austria. The first full Stage 1 resulted in the first victory for the team at the race, but also Sondre Holst Enger’s first pro win. After a long day in the saddle with 206.6 kilometers ticking by, the young Norwegian rider out-kicked Paolo Simion (Bardiani-CSF) and Gerald Ciolek (MTN-Qhubeka) to finish off a beautiful day. This victory not only opens his account among the professionals, but it also provides ample reward for all the hard work his teammates accomplished throughout the day. Having crossed the finished line with his fists raised in the air, the 21 year old Holst Enger was still trying to believe what he had achieved. Generously thanking his teammates with warm hugs, Holst Enger was eager to enjoy his first success.

Stage winner and 3rd overall, Sondre Holst Enger (IAM Cycling): “It was normal that the team would try to compete for the sprint, but I still had some concerns about the climbs. Finally, I got through everything well, and I was able to give my all in the final. I really had endless help from my teammates throughout the stage, especially when it came to having enough to drink since it was very hot. At the end, David Tanner put me in perfect position in the last corner, just as we had planned, and I had to produce my top effort only in the last meters, but I gave absolutely everything. I am really very happy with this victory.”

3rd on the stage and overall leader, Gerald Ciolek (IAM Cycling): “The team was really good today. They supported me all day and didn’t put a foot wrong. Tomorrow is another day and another chance so we will try once more to get a good result.”

10th on the stage, Troels Vinther (Cult Energy): “It was 206 kilometers in undulating terrain but the thing that made it tough today was the heat. The plan was to stay focused in the final part of the stage and the boys put me in good position on the final kilometers. However, in the rather technical finish I wasn’t able to get all the way to the front but finishing tenth in a bunch sprint when you’re not really a sprinter is a decent result for me. Tomorrow’s stage is looking pretty bumpy but I hope to be able to get in the mix again.”

Tour of Austria Stage 1 Result:
1. Sondre Holst Enger (Nor) IAM Cycling in 5:02:07
2. Paolo Simion (Ita) Bardiani-CSF
3. Gerald Ciolek (Ger) MTN-Qhubeka
4. Grischa Janorschke (Ger) Team Vorarlberg
5. Jan Tratnik (Slo) Amplatz-BMC
6. Sjoerd Van Ginneken (Ned) Roompot
7. Marco Marcato (Ita) Wanty-Groupe Gobert
8. Rudiger Selig (Ger) Katusha
9. Clement Koretzky (Fra) Team Vorarlberg
10. Troels Vinther (Den) Cult Energy.

Tour of Austria Overall After Stage 1:
1. Gerald Ciolek (Ger) MTN-Qhubeka in 5:07:49
2. Rudiger Selig (Ger) Katusha
3. Sondre Holst Enger (Nor) IAM Cycling at 0:01
4. Sven Erik Bystrom (Nor) Katusha
5. Angel Vicioso Arcos (Spa) Katusha at 0:02
6. Eduard Vorganov (Rus) Katusha at 0:03
7. Egor Silin (Rus) Katusha
8. Danie Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Katusha
9. Natnael Berhane (Eri) MTN-Qhubeka at 0:04
10. Youcef Reguigui (Alg) MTN-Qhubeka.

Sondre Holst Enger (IAM Cycling) takes his first pro win:
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Milano-Torino, Gran Piemonte and Il Lombardia: RCS Sport Announces the Return of the “Trittico di Autunno”
It’s going to be an autumn marked by great cycling races – organised by RCS Sport / La Gazzetta dello Sport – with three classics scheduled for the first few days of October.

The first one will be the Milano-Torino on Thursday 1 October that, after previously having been organised by another company, comes back entirely under the RCS Sport umbrella. The oldest classic in the world, its first edition was raced in 1876 and won by Paolo Magretti. Milano-Torino has seen many champions winning it in its old history, such as: Costante Girardengo, who won for a record five times in the first decades of the last century; Magni, Kubler and Poblet in the 50s; Saronni and Moser in the 80s; Bugno and Jalabert in the 90s, while the last three editions were won by Alberto Contador (2012), Diego Ulissi (2013) and Giampaolo Caruso in 2014.

Gran Piemonte will be back on Friday 2 October. The last edition was raced in 2012 – from Fossano to Biella – where Rigoberto Urán was victorious.

The final race of the trio will be the monument “classic of the falling leaves”, Il Lombardia, on Sunday 4 October. The race starting in Bergamo takes a challenging and spectacular course before ending in Como. The revenge of the UCI Road World Championships in Richmond is served. As usual, among the starters, will be the greatest champions of the international scene, including the then freshly crowned World Champion, who could wear his Rainbow Jersey for the first time in the race that close the monuments season and last year saw victory for Daniel Martin.

Gara ciclistica 'Il Lombardia' - Gara

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Taiwan KOM Challenge 2015
Brought to you by the Taiwan Travel Bureau & the Taiwan Cyclist Federation

Event Date & Time: OCTOBER 30th 2015
Total Prize Money: $2,410,000 (New Taiwan dollars, equivalent to over $80,000 US)

One Million New Taiwan Dollars for Overall Men’s Winner, $450,000NT Prizes for the Women’s Race, and Zero-Tolerance Anti-Doping Policy Continued. The Taiwan Travel Bureau in association with the Taiwan Cyclist Federation is proud to announce the details of the eagerly anticipated 2015 Taiwan KOM Challenge.

This year’s race sees $1,000,000NT first prize up for grabs in the men’s elite category ($32,200US), and a continuation of the zero tolerance drug policy that was first introduced in 2014 to international acclaim, the first (and still only) policy of its kind in Asia.

Now in its fourth year, the Taiwan KOM Challenge is firmly established as Asia’s premier hill climb event and as the toughest of its kind in the world. Indeed, anyone who witnessed last year’s wet, cold edition will attest to that.

The 105km route travels from the eastern coastal town of Hualien, starting at sea level, and rises along its route to the roof of Taiwan, up on HeHuan Mountain at 3,375 meters.

The course takes the participants up at an average 4% through the breathtaking Taroko Gorge to the 97km point at Dayuling, and then rises up over its remaining kilometers to a maximum incline of 27%, making for a brutal final 8 kilometers.

The mountain dwarfs anything that North America and Europe have to offer, making the Taiwan KOM Challenge truly a once in a lifetime experience.

Spectacular views of the surrounding countryside, oxygen-depleted air and an overwhelming sense of accomplishment wait to greet those who finish the ride within the 6 and a half hour time limit. Last year’s winner John Ebsen of Denmark completed the race in an astonishing 3 hours 40 minutes and 5 seconds from the official timed start, which begins after the 18km of neutralised riding.

In the past professional riders of the caliber of Jeremy Roy of Francaise des Jeux, Simon Clarke of Orica-GreenEdge and Tiffany Cromwell of Velocio-SRAM have taken part in the event, a tradition which continues this year with some big name riders, to be announced later.

Prize money this year will total to 2,410,000 New Taiwan dollars ($80,000US), with NT$1,000,000 (US$33,376) going to the overall winner of the men’s event. Cash prizes will go down to the 6th rider over the line, with NT$1,750,000 in total available for the men.

Recognizing the growing interest on the women’s side of the sport and eager to encourage more women to ride the Taiwan KOM Challenge, the TTB and the TCF are again offering NT$200,000 ($6,675US) for the first female rider over the line. Similar to the men, cash prizes are available to the top 6 riders. In total there will be NT$440,000 ($15,000US) on offer for the women’s race.

The organisers of the Taiwan KOM Challenge 2015 will continue to implement drug testing for the top 6 riders and reserve the right to randomly test any other participant.

Furthermore, any rider with a previous record of doping will not be allowed to compete in the race. This decision is one that the Taiwan Cyclist Federation feels reflects the current climate in world cycling and is one that will encourage fairness.

The testing will be carried out by the Chinese Taipei Olympic Committee and the tests will be analysed at a laboratory in Japan.

Registration for the event: https://www.taiwankom.org/.

Press and online media enquiries can be sent to our Communications Manager.[email protected].

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Unique Behind-the-Scenes Documentary
Last week Team Giant-Alpecin announced its journey towards the Tour de France through a new documentary, “Keep Challenging”, which shows a group of dedicated riders, coaches and experts fine-tuning every detail of the team’s equipment, training, support and logistics in a continuous preparation process that started months ago.

The documentary follows the team behind the scenes from its launch at the French embassy in Berlin, Germany, in the search for new insights, new innovations, new technologies and successes, and concludes with the final step in this journey; the altitude training camp in Sierra Nevada, Spain. As of July 1, the documentary runs in three episodes and will be broadcast through Team Giant-Alpecin’s social media channels.

The full documentary can be seen here:

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Martyn Ashton Rides Again
Martyn Ashton – paralysed ex-World Champ trials bike rider and YouTube sensation – returns to the trail with Danny MacAskill and friends in a highly emotional film

Last week saw the launch of Back On Track an uplifting, spectacular film from former Biketrials World Champion Martyn Ashton, who was left paralysed from the waist down after an accident when performing a trials display at Silverstone in 2013.

It was universally believed that the star of the Road Bike Party series would never again walk or ride a bike. But Martyn Ashton had other ideas. He has overcome incredible odds to become the first person with such injuries to ride a two-wheel mountain bike – and he simply had to film it and share with us the unique and moving experience.

His ride through the Snowdonia (UK) mountains with fellow trials legends Danny MacAskill, Chris Akrigg and Blake Samson was shot by expert filmmaker Robin Kitchin and presented by the Global Mountain Bike Network.


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