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TOP STORY: Cyclo-cross Worlds in the USA
The UCI World cyclo-cross championships in Louisville, Kentucky were a success, there may not have been the crowds we are used to seeing in Belgium, but the riders were more than happy with the event, even with the change of race times from Sunday to Saturday due to the possible impending flood.

The men’s World champion; Sven Nys said: “There was a good atmosphere, everyone was yelling for all the riders, and that’s what we want for the world championships.” As to the course, he added: “For me it’s the best race of my career! The race itself was European; it was hard, technical and it was a nice world championship race. It was difficult until the end.”

Nys also spoke about of his race: “I’ve got a lot of podium places in the world championships, but for me it doesn’t work at the end of the season. One of the reasons is most of the races have been very fast over the past 10 years, and it is difficult for me to win those races. Over here there were a lot of technical skills required, and the atmosphere helped a lot. I felt it the whole week.”

The women’s World champion; Marianne Vos commented: “I have to say, the Americans were really cool and cheering for me, too. Becoming world champion is an amazing feeling, it’s different because it’s the first time overseas, and that makes it special.” The multi-champion also said: “A world championship is always special. For me, the pressure is going up every year because everyone expects you to win. Of course, if you already won it five times, they think you can win it for the sixth time. They think it will be easy, but I was kind of nervous. The difficult moments were in the past two weeks.” And her performance: “This was a really good day. I had a good feeling from the beginning. In these conditions you have to keep concentrated from start to finish and make no mistakes. You need a special day to do that, but it helps to be in the lead so you can race your own race.”

Second placed Klaas Vantornout: “When I rode the course before the race, the atmosphere was great. It was special. It was another atmosphere like Belgium. The people supported everyone, and it was very nice to ride here.” And his performance; “I was very close today; it’s a double feeling, I’m lucky that I have my Belgian champion’s jersey and the season was already very, very good from the beginning to the end.” The Belgian champion added; “but today it was also a good race. I felt strong, even as strong as Sven Nys, but just on the moment he was riding on the front and I made two little mistakes and my race was over.”

So it sounds like everyone was happy, maybe they should have flown in more Belgian fans and more beer from the heart of Flanders. But maybe not this one:

UCI World Cyclo-cross Championships 2013
Elite Men:
They said Sven Nys would never win the World cyclo-cross championships again after his 2005 victory. The Belgian wins nearly every race, but when it comes to the Worlds he has always missed out, not this year as he played it safe and watched the others fall by the wayside. Frenchman Francis Mourey was the early protagonist, but the Belgians took over as Kevin Pauwels, Sven Nys and Klaas Vantournout caught him and forced the their way off the front. Pauwels was the first to have a problem, it looked like his chain had got caught in the front gear change or in the chainset and he struggled for quite some time to shift it and lost over 1 minute and then before he could reach the next pit area it happened again. Nys and Vantornout forged on, both looking very strong, with Vantornout maybe having the edge. On the last lap on a flooded section at the base of a steep climb Vantornout stumbled and lost a length and then at the top as he was about to remount he caught a pedal on the barrier and lost another two lengths and that’s how it stayed to the line. Lars Van Der Haar (Netherlands) finished a happy third as defending champion; Niels Albert was on a bad day finishing in eighth place.

After the finish Nys said on TV; “I didn’t see it (the problem of Vantornout), I had had a flat tire just before the pits, and I tried to close the gap immediately. It cost a lot of energy. Then at the end of the race, I felt strong. I knew I needed to be first in the technical zone in the last part of the race. I did my acceleration and then it was full gas until the finish line. I was really nervous and that cost a lot of energy.” As to the fans and his win; “I would like to say thanks to all the US fans. They helped me a lot and gave me a lot of motivation, they created something special here in the States. All my fans in Belgium and the National Federation did a hell of a job, too, and I’m happy with my second world title.”

UCI World Cyclo-cross Championship Elite Men Result:
1. Sven Nys (Belgium) in 1:05:35
2. Klaas Vantornout (Belgium) at 0:02
3. Lars Van Der Haar (Netherlands) at 0:25
4. Bart Wellens (Belgium) at 0:41
5. Philipp Walsleben (Germany) at 0:44
6. Julien Taramarcaz (Switzerland)
7. Radomir Simunek (Czech Republic) at 1:15
8. Niels Albert (Belgium) at 1:19
9. Thijs Van Amerongen (Netherlands) at 1:31
10. Martin Bina (Czech Republic) at 1:41.

Elite Women:
Marianne Vos (Netherlands) won her sixth World cyclo-cross title to go with her long list of other achievements. She was part of the lead group on the first lap along with Lucie Chainel-Lefevere, Christel Ferrier Bruneau (France) and Eva Lechner (Italy) with the others not too far behind. On the second lap Vos attacked with Katerina Nash (Czech) chasing to close on Lechner who had been joined by Sanne van Paassen (Netherlands), behind Katherine Compton (USA) was recovering from an early crash and working her way forward. French girl Chainel-Lefevere struggled through the halfway point pull herself back into contention. Vos was never troubled by the others to take her rainbow jersey as Compton fought into the silver medal position, the bronze was going to be between Chainel-Lefevre and Nash who sprinted for the line, but Nash lost her chain and had to run to the finish.

UCI World Cyclo-cross Championship Elite Women Result:
1. Marianne Vos (Netherlands) in 43:00
2. Katherine Compton (United States Of America) at 1:34
3. Lucie Chainel-Lefevre (France) at 2:10
4. Katerina Nash (Czech Republic) at 2:12
5. Sanne Van Paassen (Netherlands) at 2:15
6. Eva Lechner (Italy) at 2:17
7. Jasmin Achermann (Switzerland) at 2:36
8. Sabrina Stultiens (Netherlands) at 3:06
9. Ellen Van Loy (Belgium) at 3:18
10. Kaitlin Antonneau (United States Of America) at 3:19.

Under 23 Men:
Holland took yet another gold medal, this time in the Under 23 Men’s with Mike Teunissen who finished ahead of the Belgian pair of Wietse Bosmans and Wout Van Aert. Bosmans was in the lead and looking good for the win, but Teunissen, who had crashed earlier came back to the suffering Bosmans and dropped him.

UCI World Cyclo-cross Championship Under 23 Men Result:
1. Mike Teunissen (Netherlands) in 48:40
2. Wietse Bosmans (Belgium) at 0:14
3. Wout Van Aert (Belgium) at 0:22
4. Tijmen Eising (Netherlands) at 0:35
5. Jens Adams (Belgium) at 0:38
6. Laurens Sweeck (Belgium) at 0:54
7. Michiel Van Der Heijden (Netherlands) at 1:05
8. Michael Vanthourenhout (Belgium) at 1:15
9. Corne Van Kessel (Netherlands) at 1:29
10. Gianni Vermeersch (Belgium) at 1:34.

Junior Men:
Two more medals for the Netherlands, Gold for Mathieu Van Der Poel and Silver for Martijn Budding, Adam Toupalik took the bronze for the Czech Republic. Van Der Poel is unbeaten this season and had no problems in Kentucky, going into the lead at the start and staying there to the finish, with only one fall to slow him early on. Budding was clear for second place with a battle going for third between Toupalik, Yannick Peeters (Belgium) and Logan Owen (USA). Peeters was looking good for the podium, but lost it all on the last lap and finished in 7th, with Toupalik getting the bronze.

UCI World Cyclo-cross Championship Junior Men Result:
1. Mathieu Van Der Poel (Netherlands) at 40:47
2. Martijn Budding (Netherlands) at 0:57
3. Adam Toupalik (Czech Republic) at 1:19
4. Logan Owen (United States Of America) at 1:23
5. Nicolas Cleppe (Belgium) at 1:25
6. Dominic Grab (Switzerland) at 1:33
7. Yannick Peeters (Belgium) at 1:38
8. Quinten Hermans (Belgium) at 1:47
9. Ben Boets (Belgium) at 2:02
10. Leo Vincent (France) at 2:33.

Tour of Qatar 2013
The 145 kilometre Stage 1 from Katara Cultural Village, saw Brent Bookwalter (BMC) win the sprint from his two break away companions as they were being engulfed by the remnants of the peloton at the finish in Dukhan Beach. Bookwalter, Martin Elminger (IAM Cycling) and Gregory Rast (RadioShack) broke away with 10 kilometres remaining after the peloton had been decimated by the strong cross winds. Mark Cavendish had missed the vital echelon and his Omega Pharma – Quick-Step team had to work hard to get him back with the leaders. The bunch, led by Sky, chased hard to catch the leaders, but only managed it on the line.

Bookwalter said he was hoping his breakaway companions would start sprinting farther out. “But they left it really late – they’re both smart, really strong riders,” he said. “But I was able to tuck in just for a second and get around them. I had been telling myself (in the final kilometres) that I was going to win, but it was a shock to see my wheel go over that line first. It was a feeling I haven’t had in a really long time so it was really special and exciting.”

Before Bookwalter’s escape, a host of other BMC Racing Team riders showed themselves in the leading group. Blythe, Taylor Phinney, Michael Schдr and Greg Van Avermaet all made the decisive splits with Schдr integrating himself in a four-man move that was caught with 12 km to go. “The guys did everything according to plan today,” BMC Racing Team Assistant Director Jackson Stewart said. “We knew were we always riding for Taylor and he got a few time bonuses. The only thing we’re worried about now is the winds might down die down a little bit. So we are wondering how much harder the stages will be if that happens and how much time is out there to get.” Phinney, who was eighth on the stage, won the first intermediate sprint and was third on the other to earn the best young rider jersey. He is fifth overall, six seconds off the lead.

Tour of Qatar Stage 1 Result:
1. Brent Bookwalter (USA) BMC IN 3:28:47
2. Martin Elmiger (Swi) IAM Cycling
3. Gregory Rast (Swi) RadioShack Leopard
4. Bernhard Eisel (Aut) Sky
5. Elia Viviani (Ita) Cannondale
6. Mark Cavendish (GB) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step
7. Matti Breschel (Den) Saxo-Tinkoff
8. Taylor Phinney (USA) BMC
9. Heinrich Haussler (Aus) IAM Cycling
10. Matthieu Ladagnous (Fra) FDJ.

Tour of Qatar Overall After Stage 1:
1. Brent Bookwalter (USA) BMC in 3:28:37
2. Martin Elmiger (Swi) IAM Cycling at 0:04
3. Gregory Rast (Swi) RadioShack Leopard at 0:06
4. Bernhard Eisel (Aut) Sky
5. Taylor Phinney (USA) BMC
6. John Degenkolb (Ger) Argos-Shimano at 0:08
7. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha
8. Elia Viviani (Ita) Cannondale at 0:10
9. Mark Cavendish (GB) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step
10. Matti Breschel (Den) Saxo-Tinkoff.

The Last 5K’s:

Etoile de Bessиges 2013
First year Pro; Bryan Coquard (Europcar) won Stage 2 in a bunch sprint in Les Fumades at the end of the 157 kilometres from Nоmes. Stage 1 winner Michael Van Staeyen (Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise) was second and held onto the overall lead. Three men enlivened the stage; Alphonse Vermote (An Post-Chainreaction), Thomas Vaubourzeix (La Pomme Marseille) and Jimmy Engoulvent (Sojasun) broke away early in the stage, but were pulled back with 15 kilometres to go. Coquard was by far the fastest winning by more than a length.

Etoile de Bessиges Stage 2 Result:
1. Bryan Coquard (Fra) Europcar in 3:45:18
2. Michael Van Staeyen (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise
3. Baptiste Planckaert (Bel) Crelan-Euphony
4. Stefan Van Dijk (Ned) Accent Jobs-Wanty
5. Cyrille Patoux (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole
6. Jonas Van Genechten (Bel) Lotto Belisol
7. Benjamin Giraud (Fra) La Pomme Marseille
8. Nicolas Vereecken (Bel) An Post-Chainreaction
9. Samuel Dumoulin (Fra) Ag2r-La Mondiale
10. Frederique Robert (Bel) Lotto Belisol.

Etoile de Bessиges Overall After Stage 2:
1. Michael Van Staeyen (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise in 7:09:25
2. Bryan Coquard (Fra) Europcar at 0:06
3. Frederique Robert (Bel) Lotto Belisol at 0:10
4. Justin Jules (Fra) La Pomme Marseille at 0:12
5. Alphonse Vermote (Bel) An Post-Chainreaction at 0:13
6. Thomas Vaubourzeix (Fra) La Pomme Marseille at 0:14
7. Benjamin Giraud (Fra) La Pomme Marseille at 0:16
8. Stefan Van Dijk (Ned) Accent Jobs-Wanty
9. Cyrille Patoux (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole
10. Jonas Van Genechten (Bel) Lotto Belisol.

Stage 2:

Europcar got their second stage win in Stage 3; this time from Jerome Cousin, he also took the overall lead. He was part of an eleven man break that finished 36 seconds ahead of the pack which was brought in by the yellow jersey of Michael Van Staeyen (Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise), but he was too late and he dropped to 9th overall.

Etoile de Bessиges Stage 3 Result:
1. Jйrфme Cousin (Fra) Europcar in 3:40:02
2. Anthony Roux (Fra) FDJ
3. Arthur Vichot (Fra) FDJ
4. Romain Bardet (Fra) Ag2r-La Mondiale
5. Bjцrn Leukemans (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM
6. Jonathan Hivert (Fra) Sojasun
7. Pierrick Fedrigo (Fra) FDJ
8. Cyril Gautier (Fra) Europcar
9. Julien Antomarchi (Fra) La Pomme Marseille
10. Bertjan Lindeman (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM at 0:06.

Etoile de Bessиges Overall After Stage 3:
1. Jйrфme Cousin (Fra) Europcar in 10:49:31
2. Jonathan Hivert (Fra) Sojasun at 0:03
3. Romain Bardet (Fra) Ag2r-La Mondiale at 0:12
4. Cyril Gautier (Fra) Europcar
5. Bjцrn Leukemans (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM
6. Bertjan Lindeman (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM at 0:17
7. Julien Antomarchi (Fra) La Pomme Marseille at 0:24
8. Pierrick Fedrigo (Fra) FDJ at 0:27
9. Michael Van Staeyen (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise at 0:32
10. Bryan Coquard (Fra) Europcar at 0:38.

Stage 3:

Another bunch sprint and another stage win for the young Bryan Coquard (Europcar). At the end of Stage 4 from Sabran, over 100 riders shot into Pont Saint Esprit after 154 kilometres, Coquard got the better of Frйdйrique Robert (Lotto Belisol) and Samuel Dumoulin (Ag2r-La Mondiale), Coquard’s Europcar team mate; Jйrфme Cousin held onto the overall. By 3 seconds from Jonathan Hivert (Sojasun).

Second on the stage Frйderique Robert (Lotto Belisol): “At 300 meters from the finish I was in third or fourth position, ideal to start the sprint. But then my rear wheel was tapped and I crashed. The boys had made an ideal train, just as we had tried the past few days. We believed in our chances every day, we worked well as a team and a stage win would have been the icing on the cake, although I can’t be unhappy with my two second places. You could feel that there was more confidence after our victories in Gabon.”

“If you had told me last year that I would have realized this by now, I would have been over the moon. With some more experience and some better automatisms I think we are ready to score in the smaller races like for example the GP le Samyn and the Handzame Classic. We have to go on like the past few weeks and I think I can still make progression.”

Etoile de Bessиges Stage 4 Result:
1. Bryan Coquard (Fra) Europcar in 3:53:36
2. Frйdйrique Robert (Bel) Lotto Belisol
3. Samuel Dumoulin (Fra) Ag2r-La Mondiale
4. Mathieu Drujon (Fra) Big Mat-Auber 93
5. Bert De Backer (Bel) Team Argos-Shimano
6. Michael Van Staeyen (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise
7. Romain Feillu (Fra) Vacansoleil-DCM
8. Benjamin Giraud (Fra) La Pomme Marseille
9. Justin Jules (Fra) La Pomme Marseille
10. Anthony Roux (Fra) FDJ.

Etoile de Bessиges Overall After Stage 4:
1. Jйrфme Cousin (Fra) Europcar in 14:43:07
2. Jonathan Hivert (Fra) Sojasun at 0:03
3. Bjцrn Leukemans (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM at 0:11
4. Romain Bardet (Fra) Ag2r-La Mondiale at 0:12
5. Cyril Gautier (Fra) Europcar
6. Bertjan Lindeman (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM at 0:17
7. Julien Antomarchi (Fra) La Pomme Marseille at 0:24
8. Pierrick Fedrigo (Fra) FDJ at 0:27
9. Bryan Coquard (Fra) Europcar at 0:28
10. Michael Van Staeyen (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise at 0:32.

Stage 4:

Stage 5a was a short 69 kilometre race around Ales and Samuel Dumoulin (Ag2r-La Mondiale) got the better of Bryan Coquard (Europcar). Jйrфme Cousin (Europcar) retained his overall lead going into the last stage; a 9.7 kilometre individual time trial also in Ales.

Etoile de Bessиges Stage 5a Result:
1. Samuel Dumoulin (Fra) Ag2r-La Mondiale in 1:31:03
2. Bryan Coquard (Fra) Europcar
3. Mathieu Drujon (Fra) Big Mat-Auber 93
4. Cyrille Patoux (Fra) Roubaix Lille Mйtropole
5. Jure Kocjan (Slo) Euskaltel-Euskadi
6. Maxime Bouet (Fra) Ag2r-La Mondiale
7. Anthony Roux (Fra) FDJ
8. Gijs Van Hoecke (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise
9. Tim De Clercq (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise
10. Lieuwe Westra (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM.

Etoile de Bessиges Overall After Stage 5a:
1. Jйrфme Cousin (Fra) Europcar in 16:14:10
2. Jonathan Hivert (Fra) Sojasun at 0:03
3. Bjцrn Leukemans (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM at 0:11
4. Romain Bardet (Fra) Ag2r-La Mondiale at 0:12
5. Cyril Gautier (Fra) Europcar
6. Bertjan Lindeman (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM at 0:17
7. Bryan Coquard (Fra) Europcar at 0:24
8. Julien Antomarchi (Fra) La Pomme Marseille
9. Pierrick Fedrigo (Fra) FDJ at 0:27
10. Michael Van Staeyen (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise at 0:32.

Anthony Roux (FDJ) won the Stage 5b individual time trial, but Jonathan Hivert (Sojasun) won the final overall by beating the previous leader; Jйrфme Cousin (Europcar) by 7 seconds taking the race by 4 seconds. This must be the modest French Sojasun teams’ best performance.

Etoile de Bessиges Stage 5b Result:
1. Anthony Roux (Fra) FDJ in 14:46
2. Jйrйmy Roy (Fra) FDJ at 0:02
3. Lieuwe Westra (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM at 0:23
4. Arthur Vichot (Fra) FDJ at 0:28
5. Pierrick Fedrigo (Fra) FDJ at 0:30
6. Tobias Ludvigsson (Swe) Argos-Shimano at 0:32
7. Frederik Veuchelen (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM at 0:34
8. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Ag2r-La Mondiale at 0:35
9. Jonathan Hivert (Fra) Sojasun at 0:37
10. Cyril Gautier (Fra) Europcar at 0:39.

Etoile de Bessиges Final Overall Result:
1. Jonathan Hivert (Fra) Sojasun in 16:29:35
2. Jйrфme Cousin (Fra) Europcar at 0:04
3. Anthony Roux (Fra) FDJ at 0:05
4. Jйrйmy Roy (Fra) FDJ at 0:11
5. Cyril Gautier (Fra) Europcar
6. Pierrick Fedrigo (Fra) FDJ at 0:17
7. Romain Bardet (Fra) Ag2r-La Mondiale at 0:20
8. Lieuwe Westra (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM at 0:31
9. Arthur Vichot (Fra) FDJ at 0:35
10. Julien Antomarchi (Fra) La Pomme Marseille at 0:36.

Stage 5a and 5b:

Challenge Mallorca 2013: Trofeo Palma
The first race in the Challenge Mallorca series; the Trofeo Palma ran to form and ended in a sprint finish. Kenny Dehaes (Lotto Belisol) took some top sprint scalps beating Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Sharp), Ben Swift (Sky), Alessandro Petacchi (Lampre-Merida) and the two Movistar fastmen; Ventoso and Rojas.

Race winner Kenny Dehaes (Lotto Belisol): “We knew this stage usually ends with a bunch sprint, so before the race we agreed that we would give me a chance, which turned out perfectly. After a turn of 180 degrees we had a headwind for the last two kilometers, so we had to wait pretty long. Dennis Vanendert got us perfectly to that turn, but then I lost Vicente Reynes. At 800 meters before the finish I was rather far, but Gaлtan Bille did a brilliant effort to bring me back in front, where I could place myself in the wheel of Farrar. I felt someone was coming from the left, so I decided to start sprinting, because In the past I sometimes let others close me in. And luckily I could hold on; the puzzle pieces fell perfectly into place.”

“It has been a while since I could win a UCI race. In 2008 I won a stage in the Four Days of Dunkerque and in the Tour of Belgium. It pleases me a lot to win today. In the first stage of the Tour de San Luis I finished ninth, but I had the feeling it could have been more. Of course it has to do a lot with confidence and once you get a first win, you can easier win a second. I keep on working hard and I hope to repeat a season like 2008, I would sign immediately for it.”

Challenge Mallorca 2013: Trofeo Palma Result:
1. Kenny Dehaes (Bel) Lotto Belisol in 2:39:07
2. Tyler Farrar (USA) Garmin-Sharp
3. Ben Swift (GB) Sky
4. Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Lampre-Merida
5. Fco. Jose Ventoso (Spa) Movistar
6. Jose Joaquin Rojas (Spa) Movistar
7. Adrien Petit (Fra) Cofidis
8. Viktor Manakov (Rus) Rusvelo
9. Yoeri Havik (Ned) Ct. Rijke Shanks
10. Arthur Ershov (Rus) Rusvelo.

Challenge Mallorca 2013: Trofeo Palma lap 3:

Rasmussen Admits Doping
“I used EPO, growth hormone, testosterone, DHEA, insulin, IGF-1, and cortisone and did blood transfusions,” was part of a statement from the Danish rider; Michael Rasmussen to the Denmark authorities. He admitted using doping methods for most of his professional cycling career from 1998 to 2010. This include his years in MTB where he won the cross country World championships in 1999 in Are, Sweden and his years with CSC and then Rabobank before his ban for being unavailable for testing. Rasmussen could probably be “Rider-14” in Levi Leipheimer’s USADA affidavit. Rasmussen has confirmed that he has “also spoke about other riders, coaches who helped and where the products came from, I indicated that I would fully cooperate and I have kept that promise.” He added in a statement to De Telegraaf newspaper; “I have made a full disclosure of the facts. Nowhere have I spoken half truths.”

The confession:

Luis Leуn Sбnchez Suspended by Team Blanco
The ex-Rabobank, now Blanco team have suspended Luis Leon Sanchez until further notice as they investigate his dealings with Dr. Fuentes and his possible involvement in “Operaciуn Puerto”. The team announced that they have “started an investigation against rider Luis Leуn Sбnchez after stories in the media about his possible involvement in the case-Fuentes. Until there is clarity about the outcome of the investigation is Luis Leуn Sбnchez is not included in a selection of Blanco.” It has been claimed by NRC Handelsblad that Sanchez was known in the Puerto files as No. 26 and the code name Huerto.

L.L. Sбnchez, doper?

Johnny Hoogerland in hospital after he was hit by a car while training
Rider was in Spain preparing for Tour Mйditerranйe.
This afternoon (Sunday) Johnny Hoogerland crashed hard while training. The rider of Vacansoleil-DCM was going slightly downhill in front of the scooter which was going to motopace him for another hour or so. A turning car didn’t see the rider coming and hit the unfortunate Hoogerland.

The 29 year old was taken to the hospital of Villajoyosa where they diagnosed some rib fractures and some injuries that ask for extra examination on Monday. More information on the condition of the rider will follow on Monday.

No I wont show the video of the Tour crash, and we hope he makes a quick recovery.

10 Million GB Pounds for Yorkshire Tour de France
According to the Yorkshire Evening Post it is estimated that the Grand Depart of the Tour de France in 2014 will cost the 10 million GBP, split between Yorkshire and the other cities to host the French Tour. As well as the stages in the north of England, there is also a stage from Cambridge to London. Leeds city council leader Keith Wakefield said: “Hosting the Grand Depart of the 2014 Tour de France is in my view the biggest sporting coup Yorkshire has ever achieved. The eyes of the world will be firmly on the city and the region next July, offering profile-raising and promotional opportunities for the county on an unprecedented scale. While this is a significant amount of money, the expected return on that investment for the region is likely to be well in excess of Ј100m, a ten-fold return which will provide an incredible boost to the economy of Leeds and Yorkshire.”

The route announcement in Leeds city centre:

Lotto Belisol: Preview Challenge Mallorca with Jelle Vanendert
From Sunday to Wednesday the annual Challenge Mallorca will take place, it consists of four successive one day races, in which riders who finish each day can battle for the GC. For Sander Cordeel (back after an injury), Dennis Vanendert and Jelle Vanendert it will be their first competition kilometers. Joost Van Leijen is ill and has to pull out.

Jelle Vanendert: “As a cyclist you always look forward to your first race of the season. Usually the circumstances in Mallorca are good, so that seems to me the ideal place to start my cycling year. My winter has been really good. When the season ends, I put the bike aside for one month, and afterwards I start to build up. I haven’t been ill and was able to train well the whole time. Those two weeks of bad weather didn’t bother me, I rode on the cross bicycle and trained some more on the rolls.”

“I think I will ride all stages in Mallorca. I don’t have any concrete goals; it’s mainly about seeing how the shape is at the moment and getting in the competition rhythm. I choose to start the season in February because I can have a longer winter and because my first peak is later than for most of the riders. After Mallorca the Ruta del Sol is on my programme, which perfectly matches this four days. There it might be possible to pick out a stage or keep more of an eye on the GC. At the beginning of March the Tirreno-Adriatico follows, and after that I go training for two weeks in the Sierra Nevada. Then I will ride the Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco where I will finalize my preparation for the Ardennes classics.”
Thanks to Lotto Belisol for the preview.

Selection Lotto Belisol:
Gaetan Bille,
Sander Cordeel,
Kenny Dehaes,
Bart De Clercq,
Vicente Reynes,
Jurgen Van den Broeck,
Dennis Vanendert,
Jelle Vanendert.
Sports director: Bart Leysen.

Lampre-Merida in Mallorca
In Balearic Island, Damiano Cunego will come back to race 120 days after his last appearance in Giro dell’Emilia 2012. Also for Niemiec Challenge Mallorca will be the seasonal debut.

“The season for the team began very early, but I preferred to postpone the first race in order to plan a longer program of traning,” Cunego explained. “Following Michele Bartoli’s indication, I performed very good training, so I’m ready to taste again the feelings of being in the bunch.”

Team LAMPRE-MERIDA will alternate 12 cyclists:
Matteo Bono,
Mattia Cattaneo,
Davide Cimolai,
Damiano Cunego,
Adriano Malori,
Przemyslaw Niemiec,
Andrea Palini,
Alessandro Petacchi,
Filippo Pozzato,
Diego Ulissi,
Davide Viganт,
Luca Wackermann.

Movistar for Mallorca
After its debut in Australia and Argentina, Movistar Team starts with its European schedule on Sunday with the four trophies of the Balearic Challenge.

Press Release: Following the sweet taste left by their debut in the 2013 World Tour -with the second place from Javi Moreno and the squad at the Tour Down Under-, Movistar Team will be making their first Europe outing of a packed calendar this season in the Balearic Islands. The Challenge Ciclista a Mallorca will mark again the kick-off for the Spanish season, with four different trophies –Palma, Ses Salines, Serra de Tramuntana and Playa de Muro (the hardest ones on Tuesday and Wednesday) – where the squad managed by Eusebio Unzuй will try to open their victory account.

The chance to line up different riders in each race will take fourteen Blue riders to the island this weekend: Andrey Amador, Rui Costa, Alex Dowsett, Imanol Erviti, Beсat Intxausti, Pablo Lastras, Бngel Madrazo, Rubйn Plaza, Josй Joaquнn Rojas, Enrique Sanz, Eloy Teruel, Alejandro Valverde, Fran Ventoso and Giovanni Visconti, father of a baby girl, Noemi, who was given birth on Wednesday evening. The riders –up to ten every day- that will take part in the race will be defined after the previous one. At the Trofeo Palma –the traditional city circuit in the island’s capital, with 10 laps and 116km in total- on Sunday, the roster will be formed up by Rui Costa, Dowsett, Erviti, Lastras, Plaza, Rojas, Sanz, Teruel, Valverde and Fran Ventoso.

Apart from the 2013 European debut for the Movistar Team riders, the Majorcan event will always be the first race as team DS’s for Josй Luis Laguнa and Chente Garcнa Acosta, the men in charge of leading the telephone squad through the four days of competition.

2012 Challenge Mallorca stage 1:

BMC for the Tour Mйditerranйen
Press Release: The Tour Mйditerranйen that begins Wednesday in Limoux, France, shapes up to be different than past editions, said BMC Racing Team’s Amaлl Moinard, who will be competing in the race for the sixth time.

Something For Everyone
Moinard said the addition of a 24 kilometer individual time trial that finishes on Mont Saint Claire isn’t the only change. “The first stage could be windy to Gruissan and then it will be tricky and hilly for the next few days until the (Stage 4) finish on the Mont Faron, which I think will decide the final winner,” Moinard said. BMC Racing Team Assistant Director Yvon Ledanois said with a roster that includes sprinters, climbers, a time trialist and breakaway specialists, there are a number of opportunities to make some results. “Because this race includes some of the same roads, it will also help prepare the riders who will be doing Tour du Haut Var and then focusing on Paris-Nice,” he said.

Download the official BMC Racing Team race sheet (PDF with roster, bios, statistics, etc.): https://bit.ly/UMfDcA.

BMC Racing Team Tour Mйditerranйen Roster (Feb. 6-10):
Marcus Burghardt (GER),
Thor Hushovd (NOR),
Klaas Lodewyck (BEL),
Amaлl Moinard (FRA),
Steve Morabito (SUI),
Daniel Oss (ITA),
Marco Pinotti (ITA),
Danilo Wyss (SUI).
Sport Director: Yvon Ledanois (FRA).

The Escarabajos get season started at Tour Mediterraneen
With the beginning of the European season, it’s also time for Team Colombia to get things started. The Escarabajos will debut in France, at the 39th Tour Mediterraneen (February 6-10), under the guidance of Sports Directors Oscar Pellicioli and Oliverio Rincon.

The French stage race will give the Team a valuable opportunity to state the overall condition after 4 days of solid training in Arco – Garda Trentino. Sports Director Oscar Pellicioli shows confidence: “Ahead of the first race of the season, there’s always great expectations, but also a fair deal of uncertainty – we know where our guys are, not so much about the others. Nevertheless, we are confident that our riders made a good job, and the indications we got were reaffirmed during our good training days in Trentino. This race will be very important to make a point about the overall situation, yet our guys will be going for it with great commitment and motivation. In addition, the Team Time Trial on day two will be our first for the season: we need to improve a lot in this specialty, and I feel elements like Arango and Camacho can prove to be very important assets.”

Apart from the TTT, when the team expects a good contribution from track specialist Juan Esteban Arango and Alexis Camacho, both debuting on the European stage, Tour Mediterraneen also features the classic uphill finish on Mont Faron – an early but significant test for both Fabio Duarte and Esteban Chaves. Leonardo Duque, in his first race in a Team Colombia jersey, will put his experience to good use in flatter stages, while Jarlinson Pantano, Carlos Julian Quintero and Juan Pablo Suarez will round out the line-up for the event.
Thanks to the Team Colombia for the info.

Tour Mediterraneen (February 6-10)
Team’s line-up:
Juan Esteban Arango,
Alexis Camacho,
Esteban Chaves,
Fabio Duarte,
Leonardo Duque,
Jarlinson Pantano,
Carlos Julian Quintero,
Juan Pablo Suarez.
Sports Directors: Oscar Pellicioli & Oliverio Rincon.

Behind the scenes at the 2012 Tour Mediterraneen:

Fabian Cancellara Starts Season in Qatar
RadioShack Leopard Trek’s line-up for the Tour of Qatar (Qatar) – UCI 2.HC (February 3-8).

Fabian Cancellara,
Stijn Devolder,
Tony Gallopin,
Markel Irizar,
Nelson Oliveira,
Yaroslav Popovych,
Gregory Rast,
Hayden Roulston.
Director: Dirk Demol.

2013 Tour of Murcia Reduced to One Day
The Vuelta Ciclista a Murcia has been reduced even further to just a one day race for this year; it had always been a five day stage race taking in most of the Region of Murcia, especially the climbs of the Sierra Espuсa. In 2011 the race was reduced to three days and in 2012 it became a two day race. The race will be held on the 23rd of February and should have a good selection of WorldTour and ProConi teams.

Vuelta Ciclista a Murcia 1998:

Lighting and Junior Track to be Installed at Herne Hill Velodrome as Part of Legacy from London 2012
Press Release: The Herne Hill Velodrome Trust has secured planning permission from Southwark Council to carry out further improvements to the track, British Cycling announced today.

The improvements, which include a junior track, hard-standing and new trackside lighting, are being funded by Southwark Council’s Olympic Legacy Fund and will allow the velodrome to be used by more people throughout the year, particularly younger riders, families and people with disabilities.

The installation of much needed lighting will mark the first time the track has ever been lit in its 122 year history and will allow the velodrome to be used during the winter months. The construction of an area of hard-standing and a junior track will mean that riders will now have space to warm up and cool down.

British Cycling’s Chief Executive, Ian Drake, said: “We are delighted that the Herne Hill Velodrome Trust has been successful in obtaining planning permission for what is effectively phase two of the velodrome’s rebirth. Phase one was achieved in 2011 when British Cycling resurfaced the track, saving it from closure and we look forward to working with the Trust, the Dulwich Estate, Sport England and all our local members and supporters to deliver phase three – the redevelopment of the pavilion.”

The following improvements will be made:

Junior track – a 250m circuit in the track centre to enable the development of younger riders’ track skills. The circuit will also offer a suitable warm up and cool down track for riders during events.

Hard-standing – an enclosed tarmac area in the track centre for activities such as Bikeability training, bike polo and non conventional bikes such as hand bikes that require a hard surface independent of the main 450m velodrome track. The hard-standing will also provide a safe designated waiting area for riders. Both the junior track and the hard-standing area have been carefully positioned so as not to obstruct the view of the main velodrome track.

Trackside lighting – the Trust will install lighting columns to extend usage of the track beyond daylight hours, particularly in the autumn and winter months. Usage of the lights will be subject to time limits and will be designed to have a minimal impact on local residents.

Some retro action from Herne Hill:

The Giro d’Italia on Video
Weekly features leading towards the 2013 race

Press Release: From this afternoon and on a weekly basis, the Giro d’Italia will be publishing exhilarating videos on the Giro’s official YouTube channel. These short films will guide roadside tifosi and sofa-based aficionados towards the start of the 96th edition, in Naples on 4 May.

They will cover racing, but also all the surrounding bustle that characterizes the event, revealing the many hidden dimensions and behind-the-scenes curiosities of this great race.

They are available for your enjoyment on the official Giro d’Italia YouTube channel, or you can download them and reproduce them according to your requirements.

You will find, attached to this communication, a provisional calendar of the topics that will be covered. We will inform you in good time of any modifications to this schedule.

The first video is dedicated to the legendary Passo di Gavia, which will feature in stage 19 of the 2013 event, on Friday 24 May (Ponte di Legno-Val Martello).

The Passo di Gavia video:

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