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EuroTrash Monday!

I would say the 2013 Euro season is at “full gas” now with races all over the place this last weekend. As always we have all the results and videos; where we could find them. Loads of other news and videos in yet another packed EuroTrash Monday. Time for a coffee I would think?

TOP STORY: Fatality during English Road Race
On Sunday during the Severn Bridge road race, near Bristol in the South of England, there was a fatal crash as an unnamed rider crashed head on in to a car, going through the windscreen and died at the scene. Rapha Condor rider Elliot Porter witnessed the crash and called for the race to be neutralised or stopped. The rider is believed to be Junior Heffernan who rides for Herbalife-Leisure Lakes Bikes.com, an Elite rider from Devon.
Our condolences go to the riders’ family and friends.
Thanks to John Pierce of PhotoSport International for the information.

Paris-Nice 2013
The prologue of the 2013 Paris-Nice had a surprise winner in the shape of Europcar’s Damien Gaudin with a time of 3:37 for the 2.9 kilometres technical course in Houilles. He beat French National time trial champion; Sylvain Chavanel (Omega Pharma – Quick-Step) and Dutch National time trial champion; Lieuwe Westra (Vacansoleil-DCM) by 1 second. Geoffrey Soupe (FDJ) was early leader and still managed to finish 5th at 2 seconds. Seven more stages to come with the Col d’Eze 9.6 kilometre mountain time trial final stage.

“I’m satisfied about my race,” Chavanel said. “After the finish line, you know, you start thinking about the small things that can change the result. But I think Gaudin deserved this victory. He was really strong. He is a specialist of this kind of race and he is also a good track rider. Today I tried to go for the victory and I’m happy about my performance and the feeling I had along the parcour. Of course it would have been better to start tomorrow with the yellow jersey, but the road to Nice is still long. Paris-Nice is the first real objective of the season for me. I would like to do well and try to win a stage. I think it’s the best approach for me prior to the classics.”

“I’m happy about my race,” Velits said. “In such a short and technical race you don’t have the time to get into the rhythm. You have to ride at 100 percent from the beginning and take a few risks on the corners. It’s not exactly the kind of TT I prefer, but I think I performed well. I hope to get a chance to do something good during this week.”

Third placed Lieuwe Westra of Vacansoleil-DCM: “Since the prologue was short and technical I wanted to reduce the damage. I took all risks and went full gas where possible. The result is superb. It proves that I am more than okay. I felt power. It seems that I’m in shape on the good moment.”

Paris-Nice Prologue Result:
1. Damien Gaudin (Fra) Europcar at 3:37
2. Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step at 0:01
3. Lieuwe Westra (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM
4. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Blanco at 0:02
5. Geoffrey Soupe (Fra) FDJ
6. Peter Velits (Svk) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step at 0:03
7. Tony Gallopin (Fra) RadioShack-Leopard
8. Borut Bozic (Slo) Astana
9. Sébastien Turgot (Fra) Europcar at 0:04
10. Andriy Grivko (Ukr) Astana at 0:05.

Paris-Nice Overall After Prologue:
1. Damien Gaudin (Fra) Europcar in 3:37
2. Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step at 0:01
3. Lieuwe Westra (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM
4. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Blanco at 0:02
5. Geoffrey Soupe (Fra) FDJ
6. Peter Velits (Svk) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step at 0:03
7. Tony Gallopin (Fra) RadioShack-Leopard
8. Borut Bozic (Slo) Astana
9. Sébastien Turgot (Fra) Europcar at 0:04
10. Andriy Grivko (Ukr) Astana at 0:05.

Paris-Nice ’13 promo:

Link to the prologue on rtbf.

Strade Bianche 2013
The Italian version of Paris-Roubaix; the Strade Bianche has become one of the most exciting races of the early season and maybe it should be a WorldTour event not a UCI 1.1 as it is at present. Today’s Strade Bianche split to pieces, the biggest group at the finish being twelve with 79 finishing of the 136 starters. Cannondale took the first two places, but surprisingly it was Moreno Moser first and not the man on form Peter Sagan, although the Slovak was second at 6 seconds. The race started fast and no breaks were allowed a lead until after the first section of “White Roads” where Michael Schär (BMC), Aleksejs Saramotins (IAM Cycling), Maxim Belkov (Katusha) and Giairo Ermetti (Androni Giocattoli) took a 4 minute advantage, which they extended to nearly 11 minutes with 120 kilometres of the 188 kilometre race. At the 5th section of bad road with about 60 kilometres to go, Cannondale took control and brought the lead down to 5 minutes and split the peloton. Juan Antonia Flecha (Vacansoliel-DCM) attacked too early, while behind; last year’s winner Fabian Cancellara (RadioShack) has no team mates as Cannondale have six in the chase group-

Moser attacked, crossed to Flecha, drops Flecha, then Moser catches the leaders as their race fell apart, eventually Moser is on his own in the last K with the smell of the win in his nostrils. Sagan got a gap on the other chasers for 2nd putting Rinaldo Nocentini (Ag2r-La Mondiale) in 3nd and a frustrated Fabian Cancellara in 4th.

Lampre-Merida’s Damiano Cunego was 16th, he had this to say about his day: “I was willing to obtain a top result, but my shape, that is going better and better, was not enough to compete for the victory – Cunego explained – The race was controlled until the final part, so I had no problem to be in the main group and I was quite reactive when the selection was performed. In the most intense moments, I suffered, but I always could recover. On the final hill, I was not brilliant enough to try a move”.

Strade Bianche Result:
1. Moreno Moser (Ita) Cannondale in 5:01:53
2. Peter Sagan (Svk) Cannondale at 0:06
3. Rinaldo Nocentini (Ita) Ag2r-La Mondiale at 0:07
4. Fabian Cancellara (Swi) RadioShack-Leopard
5. Aleksejs Saramotins (Lat) IAM Cycling
6. Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC
7. Alexandr Kolobnev (Rus) Katusha
8. Francesco Reda (Ita) Androni Giocattoli
9. Giampaolo Caruso (Ita) Katusha at 0:10
10. Maxim Belkov (Rus) Katusha at 0:13.

Strade Bianche:

Driedaagse van West-Vlaanderen 2013
Omega Pharma – Quick-Step Cycling Team put on a show in Middelkerke at the 7km Driedaagse van West-Vlaanderen Prologue on Friday, as Belgian National TT Champion Kristof Vandewalle won with a time of 8’09”, and his teammates were not very far behind.

Gert Steegmans, Niki Terpstra, Mark Cavendish, and Frantisek Rabon finished 3rd, 5th, 8th, and 10th respectively. Dries Devenyns, Iljo Keisse, and Julien Vermote also finished in the top 20. Vermote was the overall winner in 2012. Vandewalle beat RadioShack’s Tiago Machado by 8 seconds, and then it was his team mates Steegmans & Trepstra and Tobias Ludvigsson (Argos-Shimano) all on 9. Comeback man Stijn Devolder rode well for 6th at 10, while Cavendish split the FDJ pair of Johan Le Bon and Mattieu Ladagnous and Patrick Gretsch (Argos-Shimano9 in 10th at 15 seconds.

“It was an amazing performance today,” Sport Director Tom Steels said. “Quite exceptional for a team to do so well in such a short time trial. But, of course, we also have a very strong team here. We knew we had the talent to win, but sometimes in a race like this you never know. Someone can be unlucky and our competition was also very good. I have to say, Kristof was really strong today. In the last 2km he was going about 50km/h with a full on wind in front of him. He did a very good job.”

“As for the parcour, it was the same as last year,” Steels continued. “3.5km up, 3.5km down, wind in the same direction as last year as well. Tailwind in the first half, headwind in the second half. It’s not so difficult technically, so it is all about the power and the position. It’s not a difficult course, and the wind and the weather was almost the same during the whole race, which makes the result of the team also good because you can truly compare it to all the other riders. It was a really impressive day for the team.”

“It was great to win today, with it only being my fifth race of the season.” Vandewalle said. “To start winning like this is good. We started with a really strong team and we did a good warm up. We started warming up through motor pacing (derny) behind our bus driver Dirk Clarysse, which was 40km from the start. I think it was the right decision to do it like that. As for me, my condition was good for this race. But last week I became sick so it was one big question mark if I would be good today or not. So I had quite a good feeling when I started today, but did not come into this race expecting to have such a good result.”

Vandewalle said the Specialized Shiv TT bikes, and the materials provided by the OPQS technical sponsors, are an important part of such a strong team performance. “Of course the bikes and materials we use are really good,” Vandewalle said. “We already saw last year, everyone performed really well during the time trials. Now again, this year, we have a big advantage with our bikes. Everyone has a really good measure on it, they are in good position on it, and they train a lot on it. That makes a big difference.”

As for the next days, Vandewalle said a win in the prologue should give the team good momentum. “It’s good for the morale,” Vandewalle said. “Everyone performed really good and everyone was already motivated for this weekend. Now we have to perform in the next days. We will do our best to keep the leader’s jersey in the team. Hopefully we can come into the next races with a win. I think it can be two times a bunch sprint if the wind is not that strong in either stage. With a guy like Cavendish on the team we always have a good chance.”

Driedaagse van West-Vlaanderen Prologue Result:
1. Kristof Vandewalle (Bel) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step at 8:09
2. Tiago Machado (Por) RadioShack-Leopard at 0:08
3. Gert Steegmans (Bel) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step at 0:09
4. Niki Terpstra (Ned) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step
5. Tobias Ludvigsson (Swe) Argos-Shimano
6. Stijn Devolder (Bel) RadioShack-Leopard at 0:10
7. Johan Le Bon (Fra) FDJ at 0:11
8. Mark Cavendish (GB) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step at 0:12
9. Matthieu Ladagnous (Fra) FDJ at 0:14
10. Patrick Gretsch (Ger) Argos-Shimano at 0:15.

Driedaagse van West-Vlaanderen Overall After Prologue:
1. Kristof Vandewalle (Bel) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step in 8:09
2. Tiago Machado (Por) RadioShack-Leopard at 0:08
3. Gert Steegmans (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quick Step at 0:09
4. Niki Terpstra (Ned) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step
5. Tobias Ludvigsson (Swe) Argos-Shimano
6. Stijn Devolder (Bel) RadioShack-Leopard at 0:10
7. Johan Le Bon (Fra) FDJ at 0:11
8. Mark Cavendish (GB) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step at 0:12
9. Matthieu Ladagnous (Fra) FDJ at 0:14
10. Patrick Gretsch (Ger) Argos-Shimano at 0:15.

Prologue winner Kristof Vandewalle:

Stage 1 from Brugge to Harelbeke came down to a bunch sprint, the race hardened Italian riding for the Accent.Jobs-Wanty team showed his career may have slipped but is far from over. Earlier in the stage James Vanlandschoot (Accent.Jobs-Wanty), Christophe Pfingsten (Cyclingteam de Rijke) and Jelle Wallays (Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise) rode off the front for nearly 160 kilometres of the 176 kilometre stage, but they were caught in good time for the sprint trains to get organized. Omega Pharma – Quick-Step had it all under control until a crash including Gert Steegmans ruined the team’s chances of putting Mark Cavendish over the line first. There was also a second crash nearer the finish which included Europcar’s Sébastien Chavanel. Kristof Vandewalle (Omega Pharma – Quick-Step) held his overall lead of 8 seconds from Taigo Machado (RadioShack) and 9 from his team mate Niki Terpstra. The RadioShack team had the added difficulty of having eight of the team bikes and many wheel-sets stolen during the night.

Driedaagse van West-Vlaanderen Stage 1 Result:
1. Danilo Napolitano (Ita) Accent.Jobs-Wanty in 4:06:12
2. Tom Van Asbroeck (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise
3. Barry Markus (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM
4. Kenny Robert van Hummel (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM
5. Jarl Salomein (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise
6. Gediminas Bagdonas (Ltu) Ag2r-La Mondiale
7. Adrien Petit (Fra) Cofidis
8. Kenny Dehaes (Bel) Lotto Belisol
9. Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) Cyclingteam De Rijke-Shanks
10. Yves Lampaert (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise.

Driedaagse van West-Vlaanderen Overall After Stage 1:
1. Kristof Vandewalle (Bel) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step in 4:14:21
2. Tiago Machado (Por) RadioShack-Leopard at 0:08
3. Niki Terpstra (Ned) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step at 0:09
4. Tobias Ludvigsson (Swe) Argos-Shimano
5. Stijn Devolder (Bel) RadioShack-Leopard at 0:10
6. Johan Le Bon (Fra) FDJ at 0:11
7. Mark Cavendish (GB) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step at 0:12
8. Matthieu Ladagnous (Fra) FDJ at 0:14
9. Patrick Gretsch (Ger) Argos-Shimano at 0:15
10. Frantisek Rabon (Cze) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step.

Stage 1:

Sunday’s Stage 2 gave the first African team its first win on European soil as Gerald Ciolek won into Ichtegem from Adrien Petit (Cofidis) and Bobbie Traksel (Champion System).

Shortly after the stage got underway today, riders started attacking in order to be represented in the day’s move. Eventually six riders got away but were never given a lead of more than 3 minutes. Omega Pharma – Quick-Step took control of the chase for Mark Cavendish and race leader Kristof Vandewalle. They eventually caught the break with 50 kilometres to go. This forced a number of splits in the group until three riders who got a 40 second gap in the closing kilometres but were eventually reeled in to ensure a sprint.

“I am very tired now but feel great at the same time,” Ciolek said after the win. “The race started really fast. There wasn’t much wind but it’s a Belgian race so you always have to be awake and stay alert and concentrate. At one point there was a small breakaway close to the finish but the team worked quite well together to bring it back.
“There were narrow roads and it was quite technical towards the finish which suits me perfectly. I had the perfect leadout from Ignatas [Konovalovas] then my last guy was Andreas [Stauff] and he just lead me out to 250m to go and I just had to finish the job. Cycling is amazing. One day you have all the bad luck and then the next day you are on the podium.”

Ciolek was forced to miss Le Samyn earlier in the week after suffering from a cold. A decision was made the day before Three Days of West Flanders for him to start the Belgian race after he had recovered sufficiently. He was frustrated during yesterday’s first road stage after a crash with 3 kilometres to go ended his chance to of contesting the bunch sprint.

Directeur Sportif, Jens Zemke, said, “It was all or nothing for us today, much like yesterday. Yesterday was nothing, today was all. There was such great team work today. The plan for the day was to lead Gerald out and after 100km, the bunch split. We had 4 guys in the front split and they just looked after him. In the final leadout they brought him into a great position and he won the sprint clearly with a few metres.”

OPQS was well represented in the lead group, and Niki Terpstra was even able to contest the third sprint section of the day, getting 2nd and earning two seconds. “I am super happy about this victory,” Vandewalle said. “For me it’s something special because I am from this region, making it a bit of a hometown race. It was a pleasure for me to win in front of my public. I have to say also that, I had a good performance in the prologue and yesterday I felt good, but today I really got great support from my teammates. I have to thank them, they did a great job because today wasn’t one of the best racing days of my life. Fortunately I can count on a strong team. I think the problem was I felt a little bit the sickness of last week, when I had a fever. So, today, I felt a little weak after three days in a row of racing after a few days of sickness. It was not so easy but I am happy I pulled it off. I will celebrate this victory with my team and look forward to my next appointment: Cape Argus Pick ‘n Pay Cycle Tour. We will go there with Iljo Keisse and Julien Vermote to try and get a good result there also. Why not? We will try to do our best and maybe even get a victory. We will see!”

Traksel, winner of West-Vlaanderen in 2008 and third in 2010, said he spent the day trying to break free from the peloton, but ultimately got his best shot for the win at the end. “Early in the race, I tried to escape on the cobblestones and I tried again 20 kilometers from the finish, but the peloton kept taking me back,” he said. “I like a sprint after a hard race. It wasn’t just a real sprint – it was a power sprint and today I had the power.”

Matt Brammeier was Champion System’s best-placed rider in the final overall classification, finishing 51st, 42 seconds behind Vandewalle.

Driedaagse van West-Vlaanderen Stage 2 Result:
1. Gerald Ciolek (Ger) MTN-Qhubeka IN 4:19:01
2. Adrien Petit (Fra) Cofidis
3. Bobbie Traksel (Ned) Champion System
4. Stefan Van Dijk (Ned) Accent Jobs-Wanty
5. Roy Jans (Bel) Accent Jobs-Wanty
6. Kurt Hovelijnck (Bel) Crelan-Euphony
7. Jonathan Cantwell (Aus) Saxo-Tinkoff
8. Alessandro Bazzana (Ita) Unitedhealthcare
9. Jonas Van Genechten (Bel) Lotto Belisol
10. Alexander Porsev (Rus) Katusha.

Driedaagse van West-Vlaanderen Final Overall:
1. Kristof Vandewalle (Bel) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step in 8:33:22
2. Tobias Ludvigsson (Swe) Argos-Shimano at 0:06
3. Niki Terpstra (Ned) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step at 0:07
4. Tiago Machado (Por) RadioShack-Leopard at 0:08
5. Johan Le Bon (Fra) FDJ at 0:11
6. Mark Cavendish (GB) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step at 0:12
7. Jelle Wallays (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise
8. Matthieu Ladagnous (Fra) FDJ at 0:14
9. Frantisek Rabon (Cze) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step at 0:15
10. Roger Kluge (Ger) NetApp-Endura at 0:18.

Tour de Langkawi 2013
Young French rider; Bryan Coquard (Europcar) won the sprint at the end of Stage 8 to beat another young Pro, Andrew Fenn (Omega Pharma – Quick-Step) and Francesco Chicchi (Vini Fantini-Selle Italia) picked up another podium place, with Andrea Guardini (Astana) in fourth. After a fast start, Wen Low Ji (OCBC) and Jianpeng Liu (Hengxiang) broke away after 50 kilometres and gained a maximum lead of 11 minutes, but they were caught with 10 kilometres before the finish in Tanah Merah (165 kms). Coquard was the fastest in the flat finish and he showed his Olympic rings tattoo on his inner arm as he crossed the line. Julian Arredondo (Nippo-De Rosa) held his overall lead of 1:15 over Pieter Weening of Orica-GreenEdge.

Tour de Langkawi Stage 8 Result:
1. Bryan Coquard (Fra) Europcar in 3:36:47
2. Andrew Fenn (GB) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step
3. Francesco Chicchi (Ita) Vini Fantini-Selle Italia
4. Andrea Guardini (Ita) Astana
5. Rico Rogers (NZl) Synergy-Baku Cycling Project
6. Omar Bertazzo (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Venezuela
7. Raymond Kreder (Ned) Garmin-Sharp
8. Hossein Nateghi (IRI) Tabriz Petrochemical
9. Anuar Manan (Mas) Synergy-Baku Cycling Project
10. Jani Tewelde Weldegabir (Eri) MTN-Qhubeka.

Tour de Langkawi Overall After Stage 8:
1. Julian D Arredondo Moreno (Col) Team Nippo-De Rosa in 29:31:52
2. Pieter Weening (Ned) Orica-GreenEdge at 1:15
3. Sergio Pardilla (Spa) MTN-Qhubeka at 2:10
4. Peter Stetina (USA) Garmin-Sharp at 2:32
5. Meiyin Wang (Chn) Hengxiang at 2:40
6. Nathan Haas (Aus) Garmin – Sharp at 2:47
7. Fortunato Baliani (Ita) Team Nippo-De Rosa at 2:49
8. John Ebsen (Den) Synergy-Baku Cycling Project at 2:55
9. Tsgabu Gebremaryam Grmay (Eth) MTN-Qhubeka at 2:58
10. Amir Kolahdozhagh (IRI) Tabriz Petrochemical.

Stage 8:

Another win for Bryan Coquard of Europcar as he beat Francesco Chicchi (Vini Fantini-Selle Italia) into second place on Stage 9 to Kuala Berang. Points leader Andrea Guardini (Astana) was missing from the sprint action due to the food poisoning that has struck down many riders. The bunch stayed together for the early part of the stage as Chicchi tried to get as many sprint points as he could with Guardini out of sorts. Yilin Liu (Hengxiang) and Endra Wijaya (Indonesia) went away before the climb as Liu was protecting Meiyin Wang mountains lead. The two stuck it out front until the last 20 kilometres before the sprint teams took over. A crash on the run-in ruined the sprint for some, but not Coquard who took his second stage in a row.

Fabian Schnaidt avoided a pile-up in the final moments of Stage 9 Friday at the Tour de Langkawi to finish fifth and register the Champion System Pro Cycling Team’s best placing on the penultimate day of the 10-stage race.

Entering the last kilometer of the 123.6 km race, the front of the peloton swung wildly from the left side of the road to the right. The abrupt move took down a half dozen riders who were tucked in the middle of the pack.

“I decided a few days ago that we needed to be a bit more assertive approaching the finish,” Champion System General Manager Ed Beamon said. “The aim was to get Fabian away from the dogfight and give him a more clear path to the line.”

New to Champion System this year and a stage winner last year at the Tour of Qinghai Lake, Schnaidt said his secret to a high placing was his teammates keeping him ahead of the chaos. On Stage 2, he also cracked the top 10 (in ninth place) but managed no better than 12th in the sprint finishes that concluded Stages 4, 7 and 8.

“The sprints have been crazy and there have been crashes almost every day,” Schnaidt said. “The guys did a great job keeping me in front of the fight today and I was able to have a good sprint and getting closer.”

Tour de Langkawi Stage 9 Result:
1. Bryan Coquard (Fra) Europcar 2:42:11
2. Francesco Chicchi (Ita) Vini Fantini-Selle Italia
3. Allan Davis (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge
4. Raymond Kreder (Ned) Garmin-Sharp
5. Fabian Schnaidt (Ger) Champion System
6. Jacob Keough (USA) UnitedHealthcare
7. Anuar Manan (Mas) Synergy-Baku Cycling Project
8. Sung Baek Park (Kor) KSPO
9. Rico Rogers (NZl) Synergy-Baku Cycling Project
10. Hossein Nateghi (IRI) Tabriz Petrochemical.

Tour de Langkawi Overall After Stage 9:
1. Julian D Arredondo Moreno (Col) Nippo-De Rosa in 32:14:03
2. Pieter Weening (Ned) Orica-GreenEdge at 1:15
3. Sergio Pardilla (Spa) MTN-Qhubeka at 2:10
4. Peter Stetina (USA) Garmin-Sharp at 2:32
5. Meiyin Wang (Chn) Hengxiang at 2:40
6. Nathan Haas (Aus) Garmin-Sharp at 2:47
7. Fortunato Baliani (Ita) Nippo-De Rosa at 2:49
8. John Ebsen (Den) Synergy-Baku Cycling Project at 2:55
9. Tsgabu Gebremaryam Grmay (Eth) MTN-Qhubeka at 2:58
10. Amir Kolahdozhagh (IRI) Tabriz Petrochemical.

Stage 9:

The final Stage 10 gave Francesco Chicchi (Vini Fantini-Selle Italia) his second stage win into Kuala Terengganu ahead of Rico Rogers (Synergy-Baku Cycling Project) and Graeme Brown (Blanco). Rogers had opened the sprint early and Chicchi got on his wheel for a perfect ride to the line. With this win Chicchi also took the point’s prize from Andrea Guardini (Astana) who was still suffering from a stomach upset and couldn’t contest the rush to the finish line. Six riders were allowed to break away early in the stage: Diago Rosa (Androni Giocatolli), Meron Russom (MTN – Qhubeka), Amin Sharul (Terengganu), Seo Keong Loh (OCBC), Yasuharu Nakajima (Aisan Racing Team) and Rauf Nur Misbah (Malaysian National Team). They were allowed a lead of 2 minutes, but no more. Vini Fantini and Astana were interested in the sprint so they brought back the break rider by rider as it fell apart on the finish circuit. The yellow leaders jersey didn’t move far from the front of the race and Julián Arredondo (Nippo-De Rosa) took the biggest win of his career, after the stage the 24 year old commented; “I hope this is only my first victory and there are many more to come. I hope to have the opportunity to join a big team and I’ve made a lot of sacrifices to reach that goal.”

Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung finished the 2013 Le Tour de Langkawi today as the best team in the race and placed Sergio Pardilla on the podium. The Spaniard finished third overall on the general classification in what was his debut race for the African team. The team won the overall team prize by nine minutes. Ethiopian, Tsgabu Grmay, was ninth overall while Jacques Janse van Rensburg finished fourteenth.

“We wanted a podium and we wanted to do well in the team prize,” said directeur sportif, Kevin Campbell. “Winning the team prize is great and putting Sergio on the podium is fantastic. We knew we were going to be a strong team in contention for the overall prize and were excited by the fact that we had five guys in contention for most of the tour. The guys supported each other very well and everyone did their job and knew their place in the team. Everything just went really well for us.”

The major shake up of the overall standings happened on the queen stage up Genting Highlands on stage five. Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung was well represented when Pardilla finished fourth, Grmay seventh and Janse van Rensburg thirteenth.

“This is a really good performance for the first race of the season with a new team,” Pardilla said after the prize giving presentation. “I am very happy with the whole team because everyday they did a good job. I had some stomach problems two days ago but the guys looked after me and I managed to get through the stage. I am happy to finish strong and now I will fly to Italy to start Tirreno-Adriatico next week. I hope that I can do a good job for the team again.”

Dennis Van Niekerk who started the tour as one of the team leaders suffered stomach problems on the morning of the decisive Genting stage. He recovered well to finish the race and support Jani Tewelde and Meron Russom during bunch sprints.

Tour de Langkawi Stage 10 Result:
1. Francesco Chicchi (Ita) Vini Fantini-Selle Italia in 2:39:04
2. Rico Rogers (NZl) Synergy-Baku Cycling Project
3. Graeme Brown (Aus) Blanco
4. Allan Davis (Aus) Orica-Greenedge
5. Andrew Fenn (GB) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step
6. Anuar Manan (Mas) Synergy-Baku Cycling Project
7. Fabian Schnaidt (Ger) Champion System
8. Omar Bertazzo (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Venezuela
9. Kazuhiro Mori (Jpn) Aisan Racing Team
10. Saleh Mohd Harrif (Mas) Terengganu Cycling Team.

Tour de Langkawi Final Overall:
1. Julian D Arredondo Moreno (Col) Nippo-De Rosa in 34:53:07
2. Pieter Weening (Ned) Orica-Greenedge at 1:15
3. Sergio Pardilla (Spa) MTN-Qhubeka at 2:10
4. Peter Stetina (USA) Garmin-Sharp at 2:30
5. Meiyin Wang (Chn) Hengxiang at 2:40
6. Nathan Haas (Aus) Garmin-Sharp at 2:43
7. Fortunato Baliani (Ita) Nippo-De Rosa at 2:49
8. John Ebsen (Den) Synergy-Baku Cycling Project at 2:55
9. Tsgabu Gebremaryam Grmay (Eth) MTN-Qhubeka at 2:58
10. Amir Kolahdozhagh (IRI) Tabriz Petrochemical.

The final stage 10:

Roma Maxima 2013
Blel Kadri soloed to victory in the Roma Maxima on Sunday; the Ag2r-La Mondiale rider had been in a break for nearly the whole of the 180 kilometre race around the Italian capital. Filippo Pozzato (Lampre-Merida) finished 37 seconds behind the Frenchman and thought he had won as he celebrated with his arms in the air, but soon realised his mistake. The race started by heading south from Rome and into the hills before returning to town for the finish. A 5 man break headed up the road after 50 kilometres, including; Andre Cardoso (Caja Rural), Christophe Premont (Crelan-Euphony), Pim Lightart (Vacansoleil-DCM) and Albert Timmer (Argos-Shimano) and Blel Kadri. Over the top of the climb of the Campi di Annibale with 40 kilometres to go, Kadri was on his own as the others in the break were caught, the sprinters teams thought they had done their work and Lampre-Merida set Pozzato up perfectly for the win, except due to their being no race radios he didn’t know he was sprinting for second.

Roma Maxima Result:
1. Blel Kadrid (Fra) Ag2r La Mondiale at 4:26:17
2. Filippo Pozzato (Ita) Lampre-Merida at 0:37
3. Grega Bole (Slo) Vacansoleil-DCM
4. Enrico Barbin (Ita) Bardiani-CSF
5. Simone Ponzi (Ita) Astana
6. Leonardo Duque (Col) Colombia
7. Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Movistar
8. Simon Geschke (Ger) Argos-Shimano
9. Sergey Lagutin (Uzb) Vacansoleil-DCM
10. Sergei Chernetskii (Rus) Katusha.

The Roma finish:

G.P. Camaiore 2013
Peter Sagan (Cannondale) showed why he is one of the most exciting young riders in the Pro peloton at the moment by beating his eleven break companions at the end of Thursday’s G.P. Camaiore. The last time up the Monte Pitoro, Vincenzo Nibali (Astana), Diego Ulissi & Michele Scarponi (Lampre-Merida), Ronaldo Nocentini (Ag2r-La Mondiale), Matthew Busche (RadioShack), Mauro Santanbrogio (Vini Fantini-Selle Italia), Miguel Angel Rubiano & Francesco Reda (Androni Giocattoli), Denis Menchov & Giampaolo Caruso (Katusha) and the two from Cannondale Moreno Moser & Peter Sagan were away and ready to fight it out. Moser worked perfectly for Sagan and the others could only fight out the lower placings.

Earlier in the race Taylor Phinney (BMC), Stefano Agostini (Cannondale), Maxim Belkov (Katusha) and Alessandro Proni (Vini Fantini Selle Italia and Pedro Paulinho (Ceramica Flaminia) had a lead of 6 minutes, but the climbs of Monte Pitoro finished them off and they were back in the fold for Franco Pellizotti (Androni Giocattoli) to animate the race with a strong attack that erupted into the race winning move. Giacomo nizzolo (RadioShack) brought the remainder of the bunch in at 40 seconds and Andy Schleck (RadioShack) finished his first race for nearly a year 5:30 down.

Second placed; Diego Ulissi (Lampre-Merida) said after the finish: “My condition was very good, that’s why I could compete for the victory,” Ulissi explained. “The support by the team was great, Scarponi’s too gave in the final part of the race his contribution, but I could not beat Sagan.”

G.P. Camaiore Result:
1. Peter Sagan (Svk) Cannondale in 4:17:34
2. Diego Ulissi (Ita) Lampre-Merida
3. Rinaldo Nocentini (Ita) Ag2R-La Mondiale
4. Matthew Busche (USA) RadioShack-Leopard
5. Mauro Santanbrogio (Ita) Vini Fantini-Selle Italia
6. Miguel Angel Rubiano Chavez (Col) Androni Giocattoli
7. Francesco Reda. (Ita) Androni Giocattoli
8. Denis Menchov (Rus) Katusha
9. Giampaolo Caruso (Ita) Katusha
10. Michele Scarponi (Ita) Lampre-Merida
11. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana
12. Moreno Moser (Ita) Cannondale
13. Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) RadioShack-Leopard at 0:40.

The final kilometres of the G.P. Camaiore:

Great Weekend for Rapha Condor JLT
Press Release: Rapha Condor JLT’s double Olympic champion Ed Clancy, took his first win road win of 2013 with a brilliant victory in the Eddie Soens handicap at Aintree on Saturday.

Clancy, who missed the team’s Australian camp in order to focus on the World Track Championships in Minsk, fitted seamlessly into the team, inspiring a flawless effort from his Rapha Condor JLT teammates.

“John (Herety) put the whole team at my disposal, and the lads did a brilliant job. As soon as the race started I was felling good and everything went to plan.”

“Rich Handley did a huge turn with three laps to go, and then Felix and Jimmy Mac helped me finish off the job. I have been away from the guys in the team a fair bit with my track commitments, so it feels great to do the job after all that work and repay the lads.”

The race, was run off under sunny blue skies, saw over 200 riders take to the start line in various groups, with the scratch group having almost an entire lap to make up on the limit markers. The Elite riders soon got down to business, as Rapha Condor JLT and Team Raleigh both worked hard to make up ground on the leaders and the race was all together before half way.

With more than one team interested in a sprint on the fast, flat course, the numerous attacks soon died down and as the men in black drove the peloton along, it seemed certain that a mass sprint would decide the 52nd edition.

In the frantic rush for the line it was Clancy, sprinting in his characteristic seated style, who held out to win comfortably ahead of New Zealander Tom Scully.

The following day Luke Grivell-Mellor made it three wins for the men in black in as many races when he won the first round of the CDNW race series in Pimbo.

Mellor’s win was his first road race victory for the team and comes after specific work that the team has put in over the winter during the team’s extended training camp in Australia.

The team will be looking for more wins in domestic racing action next weekend with another double-header weekend at the Jock Wadley Memorial and the Spring Chicken Road Race.

South Africa National Championships 2013

Road Race:
Jay Thomson became the new South African National road champion after winning the elite championships in Nelspruit. Louis Meintjes won the under 23 category after the two Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung riders attacked what was left of the main field with 35 kilometres to go.

A big group formed behind to bring the dangerous move back but the chase was in vain as Thomson and Meintjes crossed the finish line together to win the championships.

“There are no words that can describe what it means to be the South African National Champion,” Thomson said after the finish. “It feels like a weight has been taken off my shoulders. I am really excited about it and can’t be happier. I can’t wait to have the jersey on my back on Wednesday in Tirreno-Adriatico.

“I can’t not name one of my teammates today. They were just super strong. We were hoping that one of us would get away and other teams would chase and if it got brought back we’d attack again. When I saw Louis go up the road I attacked up one of the steep sections and got across to him as I sensed that was the moment in the race. With the two of us being in the top four of the time trial on Thursday, we knew we had the legs to take it to the finish,” he said smiling.

The gold medal for Thomson follows his silver he won in the individual time trial on Thursday. Today’s result means double gold for Meintjes after he won the under 23 category in the time trial on Thursday.

“Our feeder team [MTN-Qhubeka World Cycling Centre Africa] made the race really hard on the first two laps,” Meintjes said. “We planned to make it hard on the third lap so on the last little uphill section, I went and got away and shortly after Jay came across and we just stayed away. Our plan worked pretty well. It’s just amazing to have the jersey in the team. The way we rode today shows we have incredible depth in the team and we are all very happy,” the 21 year old concluded.

Thomson will fly to Italy tonight where he will line up in Tirreno-Adriatico on Wednesday. This will be the first time ever that an African team lines up in a WorldTour event.

Time Trial:
Daryl Impey won the individual time trial at the Clover South Africa Road Cycling Championships. Averaging 46.172 kilometres/hour over the 33 kilometre course, Impey bested Jay Thomson (MTN Qhubeka) for the win by 16 seconds. It is the second national title for Impey, who also won the individual time trial in 2011.

“I’m happy to take the jersey back to Europe and show it off in Tirreno,” said Impey, immediately following his effort. “This is the second time I’ve won the elite time trial. I couldn’t race the national champs last year because I was already in Europe. This year, the team gave me the opportunity to do it. I’ve been working with a few people to help me prepare specifically, and I think it really paid off today.”

The time trial, held in Nelspruit, featured an out-an-back course on a highway road. “It was a pretty straightforward route,” said Impey. “Nothing technical at all. I relied on maintaining my power and a good aero position. I had a good first half of the effort. I kept it steady all the way through. Once I caught my minute man, I got some extra motivation there.”

While Impey would have been a favourite for the road race had he started, he’ll have to miss out on the event. “Tirreno is just around the corner,” he explained. “I would have loved to have done the road race, but I’m quite happy to go back to Europe and fulfil my obligation to the team, too. I know we can do something there. Our National Championships are too late in the year for the WorldTour guys. I wish our national champs could be moved to January so that we could have the best field here for both races.”

Impey returns to Europe this weekend and will debut his new national champion skinsuit in the team time trial at Tirreno Adriatico.

Jay Thomson earlier today won the silver medal in the South African National Individual Time Trial Championships while Louis Meintjes successfully defending his title in the under 23 category.

The event took place over 33 kilometres and Thomson ended in a time of 43:09, sixteen seconds behind victor, Daryl Impey (Orica-GreenEdge).

“Of course I am happy because I’ve won a medal and because I came second to a rider of Daryl Impey’s caliber but in the same breath I am disappointed because this is the third year in a row that I’ve come second in the championships,” Thomson said.

“It’s bittersweet because I’ve closed the gap between Daryl and I. In 2011 he beat me by over a minute in the time trial and today it was only 16 seconds so I am stepping up my game up which is important but obviously the jersey is most beautiful to wear.”

Along with winning the under 23 category, Meintjes finished fourth overall, missing the elite podium by only 6 seconds.

“I am very happy but especially because I moved up in total against the elites,” the 21 year old said. “Last year I was seventh overall so I am happy to be fourth this year. I didn’t synchronize my power meter properly so it was a little confusing when I started and I couldn’t see what power I was pushing out but I changed my game plan and after that I started feeling good because I think I paced myself well and felt good.”

Next on the agenda for Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung in the championships is the road race on Sunday.

Thomson looked ahead to the road race saying, “I think it’s an encouraging result before Sunday’s road race. I would have liked to have had some more racing in my legs but I can still go into Sunday with confidence. I have a strong team around me and like today, we will give it everything we have and we will see what comes from it,” he concluded.
Thanks to Orica-GreenEdge & MTN-Qhubeka teams for race info.

SA National Championships TT Elite Men Result:
1. Daryl Impey in 42:53
2. Jay Thomson at 0:16
3. Johannes Rabie at 0:42.

SA National Championships TT U23 Men Result:
1. Louis Meintjes in 43:41
2. Johannes Christoffel Nel at 0:40
3. Willie Smit at 1:35.

Orica-GreenEdge to Tirreno-Adriatico
ORICA-GreenEDGE had a spectacular debut at Tirreno-Adriatico last year. The team won the opening stage team time trial and put Matt Goss in the blue race leader’s jersey. They went on to defend the race lead through the first two road stages before ceding it after the mountainous fourth stage. Cameron Meyer showcased his general classification potential, racing with guts and determination, to round out the top ten after finishing third in the individual time trial on the final day of racing. Neil Stephens will direct the team to what he hopes will be another successful week of Italian racing. In his own words, he reviews the roster and the team objectives.

Tirreno-Adriatico is a great festival of fantastic sprint stages mixed with short, sharp climbs as the race travels through the Apennines. This type of racing is suited to the punchy, strong and fast riders. The early season stage race has a special place in the hearts of the Italian public, who have been somewhat starved of their usual cycling fix over the European winter.

We approach this race a bit different than last year. We have no rider specifically targeting the general classification in Tirreno. That said, with the form Daryl Impey has at the moment, you never know what can happen. Our major target will be to pull off at least one stage win.
While we’ll happily take any stage win, our main focus is on the team time trial. The entire squad will travel to Italy four days before the event to do some specific training over the course and to fine tune the motors. We are highly motivated to back up our win from 2012. We’re also very conscious that there are other teams who have similar goals and will be very hard to beat.

We’re fielding a strong and extremely determined team in Italy. Rider by rider, I’ll review their roles here:
Matt Goss: After the Tour Down Under, Tour of Qatar and Tour of Oman, Matt will take advantage of the race kilometres in his legs to fine tune his sprinting. Tirreno is a race that is well suited to his capabilities, but he will be up against some stiff opposition from other sprinters.

Mitch Docker: Mitch has been fulfilling his role as a lead out rider for the team incredibly well this year. In several races, he has assisted Leigh Howard in achieving some great results – including two wins in Majorca. He is looking forward to taking on a similar role in Tirreno with different teammates.

Daryl Impey: Daryl will pull on his new colours as the South African Time Trial Champion for the first time in the team time trial on stage one of Tirreno. Daryl is in excellent shape. We will use him in a working role as well as hopefully give him a chance to shine for himself on certain stages.

Brett Lancaster: Brett is coming off a slight injury sustained during the Tour of Oman, but he has trained well in his Gerona base over the last week. As always, Brett is very motivated to add horse power to the sprint train and the team time trial.

Sebastian Langeveld: Sebastian is taking a break from the Northern Classics to put in some solid work for the boys. While he already has great form, his work in Tirreno should also leave him at a high level building back up to the major Belgium Classics for which he has personal ambitions.

Jens Mouris: Jens shares a smilar role to Brett Lancaster. Big Jens is always willing and able to guide his teammates through the final kilometres.

Stuart O’Grady: Stuey is a valuable piece in any team. During Tirreno, he will act as team captain on the road and make the calls in any crucial moments. His form is coming up nicely, and he should leave Italy with optimal fitness before the classics.
Svein Tuft: Svein has had a solid start to the season. After taking a win in Argentina in the time trial, he has been quietly supporting wins for teammates. Svein’s qualities will be called upon during the team time trial on stage one, during the week while working for the boys, and finally for the individual time trial in San Benedetto on the last day of racing.

The high level of competition and the long, hard days in the saddle make Tirreno-Adriatico great preparation for the single day races that come later in the month. The ambience and the Italian food create a special vibe that we’ve come to associate especially with this stage race. I hope for a strong showing from our team and expect a good week of racing from the entire professional peloton.
Thanks to Orica-GreenEdge for the info.

ORICA-GreenEDGE for Tirreno-Adriatico:
Brett Lancaster,
Daryl Impey,
Jens Mouris,
Matt Goss,
Mitch Docker,
Sebastian Langeveld,
Stuart O’Grady,
Svein Tuft.

OPQS to Tirreno-Adriatico
Press Release:Omega Pharma – Quick-Step Cycling Team has announced the selection that will take part in Tirreno-Adriatico — seven stages in total covering 1054km from March 6 until March 12th. Tirreno-Adriatico features a TTT and a TT on Stage 1 and Stage 7, and also two mountain stages (Stage 4, Stage 5). Stage 4 is a tough, 14.5km summit finish to Prati Di Tivo. The final climb, which decided the winner of the 2012 edition, is a 7.1% average gradient.

“We will be there with a good team,” Sports Director Davide Bramati said. “We have a good and complete team able to be protagonists in all situations of the race. It’s a parcour we know, a bit like the parcour of last year. We have an objective in the TTT at the beginning of the race. We have a strong group of riders led by UCI World TT Champion Tony Martin, and Michal Kwiatkowski who is also good in the TT. But other riders of the team are also good time trialists. We will do our best even if the competitors are strong.”

“Tony and Kwiatkowski will also be our main players for the final 9.2km TT in San Benedetto,” Bramati continued. “In the middle of the race we will have Mark Cavendish with the possibility to do a good sprint, such as the final of the second stage in Indicatore. We will see after that, day by day. We will see some difficult finals. Prati di Tivo and the stage from Ortona to Chieti will be decisive stages for the GC. We will try to put one of our riders in the best situation to be at the top of the GC, so we really have two different goals. We want to go for the stages, but at the same time put one of our riders at the top of the GC. We have the potential and the credentials to do it.”

Mark Cavendish (GBR),
Michal Kwiatkowski (POL),
Tony Martin (GER),
Gert Steegmans (BEL),
Zdenek Stybar (CZE),
Niki Terpstra (NED),
Guillaume Van Keirsbulck (BEL),
Martin Velits (SVK).
Sports Director: Davide Bramati (ITA) & Brian Holm (DEN).

Prologue San Vincenzo – Donoratico 16.9 km (TTT)
Stage 1 San Vincenzo – Indicatore 230.0 km
Stage 2 Indicatore – Narni 198.0 km
Stage 3 Narni – Prati di Tivo 165.0 km
Stage 4 Ortona – Chieti 224.0 km
Stage 5 Porto Sant’elpidio – Porto Sant’elpidio 208.0 km
Stage 6 San Benedetto del Tronto – San Benedetto del Tronto 9.3 km (ITT).

Tirreno-Adriatico 2013 promo:

RCS Sign 4 Year TV Deal with RAI
RCS, the Giro d’Italia organizers have signed a deal with Italian TV station, RAI for the next 4 years. They will carry on covering the Giro d’Italia, plus Milan-Sanremo, Tirreno-Adriatico, Il Lombardia and this weekend’s Roma Maxima and Strade Bianchi. RCS has also signed a deal with IMG for Worldwide distribution rights, but it will be RAI handling the live broadcast and highlights show in Italy. On a personal note it will be great to see Alessandra De Stefano presenting the after race show.

Here is Alessandra De Stefano presenting the Felice Gimondi happy birthday show:

Riccò Banned for Life
Multiple doper; Riccardo Riccò has had his life time ban confirmed by the Court of Arbitration for Sport who rejected his appeal to the 12 year ban he was given by CONI, the Italian Olympic Committee. The Italian can return to racing in 2024 when he will be about 40 years old.

Good bye Riccardo:

WD-40 BIKE Announces Wrench of the Month Program
Press Release: WD-40 BIKE Company, a subsidiary of WD-40 Company, is excited to announce its inaugural Wrench of the Month program. Intended to shine a spotlight on the men and women behind the scenes at bicycle retailers nationwide, the program applauds those who repair, assemble, mend, and otherwise tend to the hundreds of details that keep our beloved bikes operating at peak performance.

“The bike shop mechanic is often the un-sung hero of the cycling industry” offered WD-40 BIKE’s Mike Irwin, “There is a hidden story behind every well-running bike – that of a dedicated mechanic who takes pride in each machine and its rider. Our Wrench of the Month program is a salute to the folks who make riding safer, smoother and more enjoyable.”

Bike shop mechanics may nominate themselves or consumers may nominate their favorite mechanics via WD-40 BIKE’s online entry form.

Monthly winners will receive an assortment of WD-40 BIKE products and branded merchandise. Winners will also be featured in upcoming WD-40 BIKE social media promotions. A Wrench of the Year will be selected near the end of 2013, and accompany the WD-40 BIKE Tech Support Team to a major event to be named.

For more information on the WD-40 BIKE Wrench of the Month program, to apply, or to nominate a colleague, please visit the Wrench of the Month page on the WD-40 BIKE website: www.wd40bike.com.

HotChillee’s Global Event Series kicks-off in South Africa with the Cape Rouleur
HotChillee’s Global Event Series kicks-off in 2013 with the Cape Rouleur in South Africa on 3rd March. The newest addition to HotChillee’s Global Event Series, the Cape Rouleur is based out of Franschhoek, the heart of gastronomy and wine in South Africa. It covers almost 600km and takes riders up 5000m of climbing.

On 3rd March, Cape Rouleur participants, will head to HotChillee’s Riders’ Village – next to Huguenot Monument – for sign-on and the 7.6km Prologue. This time trial is used to seed riders into the three speed groups for the following three stages, led by HotChillee’s experienced Ride Captains. The overall route gives riders the experience of cycling through the stunning South African scenery in the Western Cape, over mountain passes around Paarl Mountain and through the Perdeberg National Reserve.

150 cycling professionals, legends, celebrities, politicians and cycling enthusiasts will be on the start-line in 2013. A crew of 50 including masseurs and mechanics from Local Retail Partner, Cycle Lab, motorbike outriders, lead and support vehicles from Vehicle Partner Hertz, will support the riders for the duration, allowing them to get on with the business of pushing themselves to achieve the extraordinary and competing – as close as it gets to the experience of the Pro Tour rider – for the jerseys over the gruelling four-stage event, including the Prologue. Each stage will start and finish in the Riders’ Village, the hub of the event which provides everything the rider needs, including refreshments, bean bags and picnic areas, allowing for relaxation together before and after the ride.

Participants include 1987 Triple Crown Winner, Stephen Roche; 1988 World Champion Maurizio Fondriest; professional mountain bike team, Team Bulls; actress, model and endurance cyclist Vanessa Haywood; rugby legend Joel Stransky and Western Cape Minister of Finance, Economic Development and Tourism, Alan Winde. Also riding the event are HotChillee’s Development Riders, Nicholas Dlamini and Reyatile Mthakathi, two Development local riders selected based on their cycling prowess.

As part of the entry to the Cape Rouleur, riders get a seeded entry to the Cape Argus Pick n Pay Cycle Tour, the world’s largest individually timed cycle race. This gives participants a full week of cycling, comprising the four stages of the Cape Rouleur, a social 105km Festival Ride back to Cape Town escorted in “Festival” style from Durbanville into the City Waterfront by the Cape Town City VIP motor cycle police, finishing at the Cape Town Hotel School. This is followed on Friday by an optional ride around the Cape Peninsula with local Ride Captain Craig Edwards, a twitter ride on Saturday with Maurizio Fondriest and culminating with the Cape Argus on the Sunday.

Minister of Economic Development and Tourism, Alan Winde, says: “Last year’s Cape Rouleur inspired me to get back on my bike. This year I’ll be riding all stages and I can’t wait. The highly professional event has gained our backing. It allows riders the experience of a lifetime. The full support crew allows riders to get on with the business of cycling, while taking in the beautiful views of the Western Cape, testing their endurance to the limits and mixing with like-minded cyclists, whether they are legends, pros or enthusiasts. Welcome back HotChillee.”

David Bellairs, the Director of the Cape Town Cycle Tour Trust who organise the Cape Argus Pick n Pay Cycle Tour, says: “At the beginning of March each year, Cape Town becomes an oasis for cyclists from across the globe. The week of cycling, starting with the Nashua Grape Escape, then the Cape Rouleur, followed by the Cape Argus Pick n Pay Cycle Tour and the Absa Cape Epic, is incredibly exciting for us in the region. We love seeing international guests and cyclists take-over the region, enjoying this beautiful country on their bikes. Whether you’re a roadie or a mountain-biker, March has something for all cyclists here.”

Riders on the Cape Rouleur will also be raising money for HotChillee’s three local charity partners, Christel House South Africa, JAG Foundation and The LumoHawk Foundation.
Thanks to Claire at Aspire Marketing for the Info.

Divine Cycling Group Acquires Mad Fiber Wheel Company
Press Release: Divine Cycling Group (DCG) announced today that it has completed an acquisition of Mad Fiber, Inc., including its ground-breaking, carbon-fiber wheel technology and products.

DCG was recently formed with the aim of acquiring, financing and growing high-quality product companies in the bicycle industry. The Mad Fiber acquisition represents the first of several acquisitions targeted for the 2013 calendar year.

“We are thrilled to have entered the cycling market through the acquisition of Mad Fiber, which brings with it revolutionary wheel technology and products, as well as a management team with a history of success in the industry,” said Gary Ullman, co-founder of DCG. “The Mad Fiber management and product development teams will remain in place, and with DCG’s financial support, that team can now focus on what it does best: design, build and market what we believe to be the best overall wheels on the market.

“We look forward to using Mad Fiber as a platform for additional medium to larger strategic acquisitions in the short-term,” Mr. Ullman concluded.

“While considering several options to finance Mad Fiber’s growth and future product development, it quickly became apparent that DCG represented the best path forward for both Mad Fiber and its customers,” said Russ Riggins, Mad Fiber CEO. “As part of DCG, Mad Fiber will have the ability to more rapidly expand its product offerings, improve sales, distribution and customer service, and will benefit from partnerships with future DCG acquisitions and the efficiencies that can be realized through being part of a larger organization.”

While Mad Fiber’s all carbon wheels were launched only two years ago, the company has already sold wheels through over 150 U.S. retail stores, formed 10 international distribution agreements, and have customers in over 20 countries.

THE SUFFERFEST: “I will beat my ass today to kick yours tomorrow
Press Release: Blender – ON SALE NOW – $13.99 USD
You can get it here: https://www.thesufferfest.com/video-sufferfests/blender/

• How long: 1 hr and 40 minutes
• What it’s about: Threshold, VO2 and Anerobic work
• Best for: Improving your performance toward the end of longer distances
• Featured races: UCI Road World Championships 2012 (Men’s and Women’s), UCI Cyclocross World Cup 2012/13, UCI Cyclocross World Championships 2013, UCI Mountain Bike Cross Country World Championships 2012, UCI Mountain Bike Downhill World Championships 2012
• File size: 2.7gb (it’s a big one, as it’s so long and in our highest resolution yet)
Endurance. Turbo trainers. The thought of developing the first on the second is soul-destroying. It means spending time – a long time – on that horrific device. Even our Minions, who love indoor training, have always struggled to stay on the trainer after our one hour Sufferfest videos finish. Not any more. Blender changes everything. This is the video that softens you up, takes you to the edge of exhaustion, sneaks up behind you and kicks you over that edge and down the hill, then makes you run back up while being chased by a raving mob all the while pouring molten lava down toward you. You’ll love it.

Background: As our mission is to heal the world of Turbo Trainer Boredom Syndrome (TTBS), we got in touch with a friend of ours who knows something about spending a lot of time on the bike: Connie Carpenter. Yeah, the one who won a Gold medal at the 1984 Olympics, former World Champion, etc. She put us in touch with Neal Henderson, who coaches her son, Taylor Phinney (Yeah, the World Champion, US National Champion and Giro d’Italia Pink Jersey wearer) and superstars like Evelyn Stevens. Neal happens to be the Elite Cycling and Triathlon Coach at the Boulder Center for Sports Medicine, a mecca for professional endurance athletes. Well, one thing led to another and Neal sent us a workout that he gives to his professional athlete’s and his national-class Masters riders to prepare for competition. It’s got a bit of everything – from longer threshold efforts to leg-searing sprints for the line.

Blender also sees us take the quality of our footage even higher and the design is simply beautiful (assuming you can see it while your head is down, shaking side to side during the intervals). Clear indicators of effort and cadence are always present in the upper right and when new instructions come up, they pop-up from the bottom in a large red bar so you can’t make any excuses about missing them!

We’re super pleased to have the Davis Phinney Foundation as one of the presenters of this video. The mission of the DPF is to help people with Parkinson’s disease live well TODAY. Davis (and Connie) was a personal hero of mine back in the mid 80s and what he’s done with the DPF is sensational. We’d also like to thank Neal and the Boulder Center of Sports Medicine for helping us put the workout together.

The Workout:

About 10:00 at RPE 4, then a progressive build to higher RPEs and then a 2:00 recovery.

Interval Set 1: Mixed Longer Intervals Threshold/VO2 Max
• 10 minutes Threshold (RPE 7/10)
• 2 minutes Recovery (RPE 1-2)
• 2 minutes VO2 (RPM 9/10)
• 2 minutes Recovery (RPE 1-2)
• 8 minutes Threshold (RPE 7/10)
• 2 minutes Recovery (RPE 1-2)
• 4 minutes Supra LT (RPE 8/10)
• 2 minutes Recovery (RPE 1-2)
• 6 minutes Threshold (7/10)
• 4 minutes Recovery (RPE 1-2)

Interval Set 2: 18 Short/Intense Power at VO2 Max and Anaerobic Capacity
• 6 repeats of 40s VO2 (RPE 9/10), 20s Recovery (RPE 1-2)
• 2 minutes Recovery (RPE 1-2)
• 6 repeats of 30s VO2 (RPE 9/10), 30s Recovery (RPE 1-2)
• 2 minutes Recovery (RPE 1-2)
• 6 repeats of 20s Sprint (RPE 10/10), 40s Recovery (RPE 1-2)
• 4 minutes Recovery (RPE 1-2)
Interval 3: Grand Finale, Threshold with limited recovery when fatigued.

3 repeats of 4 minutes Threshold (RPE 7.5/10)/ 1 Minute Recovery (RPE 1-2)

5 minutes relaxed spin (RPE 2)

You can get Blender here: https://www.thesufferfest.com/video-sufferfests/blender/.

New Lookbook from Rapha
The great new lookbook featuring Rapha’s 2013 Spring Summer for Training & Racing. Take a look through some fantastic imagery from Corsica and Australia shot by the always awesome Ben Ingham.

Here is the link to the lookbook: https://ss13.rapha.cc/.

The 100th Tour de France
The Tour isn’t that far away and ASO have released this nice little taster of a promo video, Enjoy:

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