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EuroTrash Monday!

Paris-Roubaix we love you! It never disappoints, we all knew who was going to win the “Sunday in Hell” but it was exciting to see how Spartacus would do it. Lots of Roubaix rider quotes and a résumé of the action. We also catch-up with the Vuelta al Pais Vasco, Circuit de la Sarthe, Klasika Primavera and the G.P. Pino Cerami, plus a bag load of other stuff. As usual a very full EuroTrash Monday, so it’s time for a big coffee.

TOP STORY: Paris-Roubaix; A Race for Specialists?
As I watching Paris-Roubaix yesterday I got to thinking back to when every rider wanted to win in the “Hell of the North” and you would get Tour de France winners on the starting line and sometimes first over the finish line first too. Riders like: Maurice Garin, Louis Trousselier, Octave Lapize, François Faber, Henri Pélissier, Fausto Coppi, Louison Bobet, Jacques Anquetil, Felice Gimondi, Jan Jansen, Eddy Merckx and the last Tour/Roubaix winner Bernard Hinault who took the win on the cobbles in 1981. You can also add to that other Grand Tour winners like Francesco Moser who won the Giro d’Italia in 1984 and Roubaix three times in a row and Vuelta a España winner Sean Kelly who twice won Paris-Roubaix. Add to that the GT winners who have ridden Roubaix, Greg Lemond comes to mind and there was that other American who also rode on the cobbles, but now didn’t win any Tours. Hinault famously said he hated Paris-Roubaix, but he rode and won it as reigning World road race champion in 1981.

Sean Kelly was more of a Classics rider who won a Grand Tour, where as Hinault was a Tour winner (5 Tours, 2 Vueltas and 3 Giros) who could win Classics, he also won Flèche-Wallonne, G.P. des Nations, Lombardia, Amstel, Liège and Wevelgem, but he is the last Tour-man to win Roubaix.

It’s sad that the days of all the top riders riding all the top events are gone, understandable though it is, as a Tour win will set you up for life and also there would be no point seeing Alberto Contador or just about any Colombian riding Roubaix, but someone like Cadel Evans, Ryder Hesjedal, Denis Menchov and maybe Ivan Basso and Vincenzo Nibali could ride the cobbles, if they wanted to, that is. But maybe it’s better for us spectators to have horses for courses with specialists for every event.

Bernard Hinault in 1981 and a small white dog:

Paris-Roubaix 2013
I guess it was no surprise that Fabian Cancellara (RadioShack Leopard) won Paris-Roubaix on Sunday, but it was surprising that he didn’t cross that famous finish line on the Roubaix velodrome on his own in the manner we are used too. The main battle for the win of the 2013 “l’enfer du Nord” came after cobbled section No. 7 as Sebastian Langeveld (Orica-GreenEdge), Sep Vanmarcke (Blanco), Damien Gaudin (Europcar), Stijn Vandenbergh & Zdenek Stybar (Omega Pharma – Quick-Step), Greg Van Avermaet (BMC), Juan Antonio Flecha (Vacansoleil-DCM) and Luca Paolini (Katusha) were away and looking dangerous. This is where Fabian Cancellara showed his time trialing abilities to their fullest by riding across the leading eight before section 6. By the time he got there, Vandenbergh and Vanmarcke had gone off the front, nothing to worry Spartacus, he just launched himself after them with cyclo-cross star; Zdenek Stybar the only rider able to hold his wheel. The four riders got together as they hit sectors 5 and 4, bad news for a tired Vandenbergh as he touched a road side fan and fell, although he did look like he wouldn’t be hanging on for much longer. Next to have trouble was his OPQS team mate Stybar, he looked cool sitting behind Cancellara and Vanmarcke when he clipped a fan and pulled his left foot out of the pedal and veered to the other side of the road and into the spectators with around 15 kilometres to go. From then on it was down to Cancellara and Vanmarcke to make the most of their chance and build up a lead of over a minute before entering the outskirts of Roubaix. On the rise before the last cobbles to the velodrome, Cancellara put in a strong attack, but it wasn’t strong enough and the Belgian Vanmarcke closed the gap. From then on we knew it would be a track sprint for the win. Both riders showed their track craft, riding up the track, stalling and foxing for the best position, but in the end Vanmarcke led-out and the powerful man from Switzerland eased past the Belgian for his third win in Hell. Behind the chase had split and Niki Terpstra (Omega Pharma – Quick-Step) won the sprint for the third step on the podium ahead of Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) and Damien Gaudin (Europcar). The unlucky Stybar was 6th and the broken man that was Stijn Vandenbergh was 20th. 118 riders finished; Christopher Juul-Jensen (Saxo-Tinkoff) was last at 26:16, although Tom Stamsnijder (Argos-Shimano) did make the velodrome 43:59 after Cancellara he was unclassed.

Cancellara collapsed to the ground after his huge effort, taking a moment to recover and savor his victory: “I was in another world of riding! I still don’t know how I did it. I was dropped and pretty far back but then I started to move up. This is a race you can never give up on until the end. I had to play with him in the end because I tried to go away but he followed so then I knew it was man against man. I’m happy for the team and for me. Now I look forward to rest and a holiday. Mission accomplished,” said a satisfied Fabian Cancellara.

With his Tour of Flanders win last week, Cancellara headed into the race as the clear favourite and in the position of having everyone ride against him. Cancellara: “It’s amazing having a third victory. When I see how in this race everyone was against our team, against me, I just had to do a selection. The team came into a little bit of difficulty because we lost a few guys because of bad luck. But that’s Roubaix. It’s always nice to win alone but today there was pure fighting until the very end. I could not believe it when I crossed the finish line. My legs and my head wanted to bring me here.”

In the car for Fabian was 1988 Paris-Roubaix winner and team director Dirk Demol, encouraging Cancellara and reminding him he was the best: “I was nervous the whole day. We knew what we were facing. We knew we had the best rider and best team. But I told the guys this race wasn’t only for Fabian, it was for the whole team. We weren’t riding for second place, only the victory. I know Vanmarcke very well. He’s from my neighbourhood and I knew he would be a fighter. I told Fabian to ride to keep him working and not make any mistakes. He had to stay focused as we knew Vanmarcke could do a good sprint. It was too bad Stybar crashed. This was perfect for him. But this time others had the bad luck and we had the good. That’s the way it goes in Roubaix. Fabian feels this race. That really helps in a race. He’s good at that. Really good.”

Whilst Cancellara edged Blanco’s SepVanmarcke for the top step in the podium, the second place for Vanmarcke was one of several impressive accomplishments for the boys from Blanco in the “Hell of the North.” Four riders in total took top-twenty places in the Roubaix Velodrome delivering a handsome overall result for the Blanco squad.

The youngster from Kortrijk summed up his feelings by saying, “I know that I should be very proud of this especially with my fall in Tirreno-Adriatico still etched on my mind. Paris-Roubaix was actually the only race wherein I could still perform. To be honest, I had my doubts but the team stood behind me and I am very thankful for that. At the finish, I felt pretty good about my chances – after all, Cancellara is also human! I saw that he was also tired and he could not shake me in the last kilometres That gave me an enormous boost. That’s why second place feels so frustrating – I don’t know if I’ll have another chance to win Paris-Roubaix. I just can’t fully appreciate what second means at this moment.”

Cancellara and Vanmarcke got their game on at the Carrefour de l’Arbre pave. Aside from an attempt to shake him with five kilometres to go, Sep shared the lead with the Swiss favourite right into the banked turns of the Velodrome in Roubaix. Vanmarcke was not the only Blanco rider to enjoy success on the French cobble. Maarten Wynants, Maarten Tjallingii, and Lars Boom also booked top twenty spots.

Maarten Wynants looked back on the 13th place saying, “I did not expect this – I’ve been sick all week but I felt good throughout and the race. I kept thinking that I’d hit a wall but it never came. Who knows, if I wasn’t sick, I might have placed even higher!”

Maarten Tjallingii reacted enthusiastically about the team performance. He knew Vanmarcke was disappointed but told him that. “He rode one hell of a race,” he added. “Sep signed his name under what we came to do.”

Lars Boom chimed in: “I am very pleased with Sep’s result – he darn near won the whole thing – what a great finish to the Cobbled Classics.” Boom came in 14th and might have done better where it not for some wheel troubles.

The satisfaction with the result was not limited to the riders. Sport Director Jan Boven was also pleased. He stated: “Of course the win is always the goal but I look at how we did today and the fact that the four men we were counting on rose to the occasion – that’s a beautiful thing. Since the E3, we made some serious strides.”

Third placed Niki Terpstra (OPQS): “I’m happy to be on the podium of course,” Terpstra said. “The team was really strong. Tom Boonen was not here, and he is our leader, but we had our chances. Sylvain Chavanel was of course our leader here, but also we can go if we have our chance. Chavanel had a bad moment and of course we have to go when the opportunity is there. Of course Cancellara was the big favourite today so we wanted to have as many riders as we could in the first group. We had three riders in the top 10 in the final kilometres, which was perfect. Unfortunately Stijn Vandenbergh and Zdenek Stybar crashed at the end. I didn’t see what happened. I was sitting in the group behind and suddenly I see Stijn lying on the side of the road. I was thinking, ‘man,’ because he was really strong. But I thought ‘OK we still have Zdenek there.’ Then I heard he crashed but I just kept focusing on the group. Of course I was not working because we had men in front and for me it was to our advantage. So I could then save my energy in the final. Also I could use the experience on the track this winter, training with the team. That is why I could sprint well and take the podium place in the end. I think we could have played a very nice tactical game in the final, but Zdenek and Stijn crashed so I think in the end I am happy to take this podium place. I feel Roubaix is one of the craziest races, but it’s beautiful to do because I can do it really well. Of course it’s a special race, my specialty as well and that’s why I loved it. I proved I could do really well today with a podium.”

Zdenek Stybar: “I had Stijn in front at first, so I didn’t have to pull,” Stybar said of the breakaway with Cancellara and Vanmarcke. “I was just following Cancellara. I had really perfect legs and I was feeling very good. Then, there were three of us away and I thought ‘I think I am one of the fastest,’ so I was really focusing on what I could do in the final. Niki was behind me so I didn’t have to pull at all. I was really in a super situation. But after there was some photographer or something in the way and I hit him with my shifter and I nearly crashed. Before I could put my foot back in the pedal I just lost contact with the wheel of Cancellara. Once you have a gap of 5 to 10 seconds, it’s impossible to close on this parcour, especially after 240 kilometres. So on the one hand I am extremely disappointed, but on the other hand, for the first time here on the cobblestones and the Classics, I can be happy I was really close. I did a final and I hope to come back and win this race.”

“I think as a team we did a really perfect job,” Stybar continued. “From kilometre zero there was always someone in the breakaway. There was not once a group without our team. So, I think after the bad luck of Tom Boonen we proved we can still do really well as a team. All the group was very focused and motivated in the last days and weeks. We’ve just always had bad luck. For this race, once we hit the cobbles and saw all those crowds I realized it’s very unique to be so lucky and so strong every single second. One moment you can lose everything, or you can win everything.”

20th Stijn Vandenbergh: “I was just on the side of the road, and a spectator was lined up in front of me,” Vandenbergh said. “So I hit him and I crashed, and that’s that. I chose the side and not the cobblestones. I was too close to the spectators and I crashed. In any case, I felt really good when I was away with Sep Vanmarcke earlier in the race. I was riding just 90 percent, and I saw on his face that he was suffering and I felt better. He is 2nd today, so it is hard for me that I am not on the podium today. When Vanmarcke saw Cancellara coming just before the pave he didn’t want to ride anymore. He waited, and I also waited. So then we went with four. It was a good scenario for us, but we had bad luck. Maybe I could have even won. When Fabian went, Vanmarcke was able to stay on his wheel and I felt stronger than Vanmarcke. It’s always possible to attack when they are busy looking at each other. So, if you can podium, for sure you could always win as well. As for my crash, my left elbow will need some stitches due to a deep wound and there is pain on my leg. But I’m in my rest period now, so I can recover.”

Sylvain Chavanel: “I was pedalling really well, everything was under control,” Chavanel said. “Suddenly on the cobblestones sector of Auchy-lez-Orchies à Bersée (number 11) the cable of the front gear brake had a problem. I couldn’t shift anymore and the chain was on the small ring. In the front they started attacking but I couldn’t follow because of this technical problem. When I changed the bike it was already too late, the race was gone. I’m really frustrated because I showed that I could have been with the best in the final. Once again I had bad luck, but that’s also Paris-Roubaix and you have to accept it.”

Gert Steegmans: “I was one of the riders who had to try to enter in the early breakaway” Steegmans said. “In the first hour of the race we really flew. When the group caught us I had the power to stay in the front again. It was part of our tactic today to stay always in the front with a rider but … The bad luck hit us again. It’s a shame because as a team we really did a great job and Styby or Vandenbergh could have finalized the entire team’s work.”

Omega Pharma –Quick-Step DS Wilfried Peeters: “I think today the guys were really committed to mark the race with a strong performance,” Sport Director Wilfried Peeters said. “We were always in the action even if a technical excluded a strong Chavanel from the fight. In the final we had three guys and then two of four riders in the front. It was the perfect situation for us, but once again we had bad luck. Vandenbergh hit a spectator and he crashed and a few seconds later Styby was almost on the ground because of another spectator. Fortunately, Niki had the power to do a great sprint and gain a 3rd place that honestly I think the team really deserved, even if with two guys in the final we could have done even better.”

Greg Van Avermaet added to his string of top 10 placings for the BMC Racing Team this spring with a career-best fourth place Sunday in a dust-choked edition of Paris-Roubaix. A late addition to the team’s roster for the 254.5-kilometer race along narrow, cobblestoned roads, Van Avermaet was narrowly edged out of a podium position by Niki Terpstra (Omega Pharma – Quick-Step). Van Avermaet, Terpstra and fifth-place finisher Damien Gaudin (Europcar) finished 31 seconds after Fabian Cancellara (RadioShack Leopard) out-sprinted Sep VanMarcke (Blanco) in Roubaix’s outdoor velodrome to win the race for the third time. Van Avermaet’s solid spring season includes third at Gent-Wevelgem, fifth at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, sixth at Strade Bianche and seventh at the Tour of Flanders. “I had a good feeling I could do well here after Flanders,” he said. “So it was a good decision to do this race.” Van Avermaet’s result capped a day for the BMC Racing Team that saw Michael Schär in a breakaway, Taylor Phinney lead the peloton through the Arenberg forest and Thor Hushovd riding in the front group until a string of misfortune.

As the race split into pieces and several small groups formed at the front, Van Avermaet found himself marking and matching each one. But when Cancellara and Zdenek Sybar (Omega Pharma – Quick-Step) attacked in the last 25 km, Van Avermaet was caught in traffic. “Gaudin was in between and he took a corner really bad and lost two meters,” Van Avermaet said. “I tried to catch them and came to one meter but couldn’t close it. If you’re not in the wheel and you are in the wind, you are killing yourself.” BMC Racing Team Assistant Director Fabio Baldato said he was proud of Van Avermaet’s best result in five starts at Roubaix. “It was really a tremendous day with some really bad luck,” he said. “But we were close to reaching our goals. I’m proud of what the guys did today. Everybody was being a good teammate.”

Taylor Phinney, who finished 23rd, said after feeling good through the first 200 kilometres, things began to unravel on the 10th-to-last of the 27 sectors of cobblestones. “I was maybe feeling a bit too good,” he said. “I think I got a bit excited. I never had any bad luck or any crashes. But when I needed to have the big kick to stay with the front group on Mons-en-Pévèle, I didn’t have it. That was too bad.” Hushovd, who finished his 10th edition of the race (in 13 starts) in 35th place, said he was the victim of some bad luck. “I felt really good but I had to change my bike and it was hard to get back,” he said. “Just when I came back, I had a flat, then another flat and then I had a crash. I had to fight to come back to the front four times. That put me in the red a little bit. But I was still there. When they went hard once I went all kind of flat. So it’s another disappointing day for me.”

Team Saxo-Tinkoff’s Matti Breschel finished 15th entering the Velodrome in a chase group. “The riders did exactly what we had planned to do and besides a single crash (Tosatto) and a puncture (Cantwell), we managed to stay out of trouble. We were among the first on Arenberg and we had four riders in the first group after the legendary section. Matti was in good position when the finale unfolded and he made a few good attacks which emptied RadioShack of riders leaving Fabian Cancellara by himself. Our goal was a spot in top 15 which we got but of course you always want more when you’re this close to the top,” said Team Saxo-Tinkoff’s Lars Michaelsen after the race.

Despite his good intentions and his efforts, Filippo Pozzato (Lampre-Merida) could not obtain more than the 22nd place in Paris-Roubaix. Lampre-Merida’s captain tried to do his best, fighting against a lack of energies and also facing a crash at 70 km to go.

He could not be in the head group and he crossed the finish line 2’52” after Cancellara. Only another one blue-fuchsia-green cyclist completed the race: Andrea Palini, 89th (+14’38”) at his first participation in Paris-Roubaix.

Pozzato was not satisfied: “Things went in a wrong way and so I could not be in the head of the race, I’m not happy. At -70 km, I got involved in a crash: in Paris-Roubaix, crashes and punctures could happen, so it was not the main reason for my defeat, also considering that the crash happened in a non key moment, but I was forced to spend energies to recover the group.

Then, in the final part of the race, I felt that my legs could not pedal in a powerful way and in this condition you can’t aim to compete for a top result. I don’t know the reason of these troubles; they were more or less the same I got in Tour of Flanders: I trained in a proper way, I give my best to be ready for these appointments, but I missed them.

I’m even sorrier because I’d really liked to give satisfactions to Mr Mario and Mr Emanuele Galbusera from Lampre, who reached the team in France, and to Merida, that supported the team supplying outstanding bikes.”

Lotto Belisol’s Jürgen Roelandts: “Just before Fabian Cancellara attacked for the first time I had a flat tyre. The whole field fell apart into different groups and each time I closed a gap I saw that others were riding in front of me. After Mons-en-Pévèle my chain got between my frame and cogwheel, so I had to step off my bike. I had the same legs as in the Tour of Flanders and I think I could have played along today. Now there is a period without competition, I start again in the Tour de Picardie or in the Tour of Belgium. In this first half of the year I was very good, but in the E3 and Ghent-Wevelgem I had bad luck. In the final of Milan-Sanremo I crashed; probably I was a bit too energetic. My third place in the “Ronde” definitely is a reward.”

Check-out Ed Hood’s race report here.

Paris-Roubaix Result:
1. Fabian Cancellara (Swi) RadioShack Leopard in 5:45:33
2. Sep Vanmarcke (Bel) Blanco
3. Niki Terpstra (Ned) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step at 0:31
4. Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC
5. Damien Gaudin (Fra) Europcar
6. Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step at 0:39
7. Sebastian Langeveld (Ned) Orica-GreenEdge
8. Juan Antonio Flecha Giannoni (Spa) Vacansoleil-DCM
9. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha at 0:50
10. Sébastien Turgot (Fra) Europcar
11. Heinrich Haussler (Aus) IAM Cycling
12. Bernhard Eisel (Aut) Sky
13. Maarten Wynants (Bel) Blanco
14. Lars Boom (Ned) Blanco
15. Matti Breschel (Den) Saxo-Tinkoff
16. Björn Leukemans (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM
17. Steve Chainel (Fra) Ag2r-La Mondiale
18. Maarten Tjallingii (Ned) Blanco
19. Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step
20. Stijn Vandenbergh (Bel) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step.

The last 15 kilometres:

Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco 2013
Stage 4 was a rain-swept affair, but Nairo Quintana (Movistar) came good on the road to Eigar on the climb to Arrate, overall leader; Segio Henao (Sky) was second and held onto his leaders jersey. Peter Velits (Omega Pharma – Quick-Step), Eduard Vorganov (Katusha), Daniele Ratto (Cannondale), Rein Taaramae (Cofidis) and Matteo Montaguti (Ag2r-La Mondiale) made the early break and max’d out at 5 minutes lead, Velits was a danger man as he was sitting at only 1 minute 49 down on overall. With 30 K’s to go they still had 4:50 and two climbs to come. Movistar came to the front for Quintana and managed to isolate Sergio Henao from his Sky team mates as only Richie Porte for company. On the final climb the break fell apart as the bunch also slimmed down under the impetus of José Herrada (Movistar). The escape was finished with 5 kilometres to go as Simon Spilak (Katusha) took the lead by 27 seconds with only 4 kilometres remaining. Henao was forced to chase with Porte, Contador and Quintana at hand. Jean-Christophe Peraud and Carlos Betancur, both of Ag2r-La Mondiale were also there, but in trouble. Spilak was caught and on the slight decent before the finish Quintana threw down the gauntlet and no one was stupid/brave enough to follow and he held the others off for the win.

Contador remained fourth overall with a gap of ten seconds to Henao: “It was a good but very cold and wet day for us. Alberto however becomes stronger and stronger while other riders had a hard time in the cold and on the much tougher stage than yesterdays. Tomorrow’s stage will be very hard to control for any team and we’re aiming to do a good result on the most demanding day of all here,” said Team Saxo-Tinkoff’s Philippe Mauduit.

Alberto Contador was satisfied with the effort and is now looking forward to the final mountain battle: “It was a very, very fast stage where everyone wanted to get into the break. It was a day dominated by bad weather with constant rain and slippery surface. At the end of the stage, I responded the attacks from Henao and Richie Porte but couldn’t respond to all of the attacks and in the last 300 meters, Quintana created a little gap and took the stage win. The race is still wide open with the only news that some riders have been excluded from the GC. My sensations have not been bad but it was really cold and you always suffer a little bit more in this kind of weather but that’s the same for everyone. Tomorrow, we’ll see what happens. It will be a tough day where anything can happen,” said Team Saxo-Tinkoff’s Alberto Contador.

Nairo Quintana: “It’s a very important win for me because this is one of the biggest races in the World Tour. It’s a massive joy for me and a huge boost of confidence for the future, because this climb has such a rich history, and the weather conditions all day, with cold and rain, make it really special. The team worked perfectly all day long and I only had to put my best effort at the end. The rain took much energy out of us and none knew how their rivals were, hence the lack of attacks. I kept my mind cold in the Arrate climb to avoid any timing errors like yesterday, and only took risks into the downhill. I knew the finale, because we went into the recon and we saw that the final meters were the key for the result. I took chances there and it paid off.

“This victory is for all team members. The mechanics, the carers, the sports directors… all of them who fully commit to us, and also my team-mates, always helping out: bringing me some food, a rain jacket, protecting me for the weekend. It’s real clockwork and it brings you results. We still have two stages left; when we started the race, they seemed decisive, and it looks so now. We hope to stay as it is now tomorrow and give our best into the TT. I know the route and it suits me well, with some climbing too – I don’t really do badly in the flat. It will be hard, because we will have to fight with the likes of Sergio, Contador and Porte, those that everyone is naming, but also with riders like Spilak, which have shown themselves strong this week.”

Jurgen Van den Broeck has quit the Vuelta al País Vasco. After his crash in stage one especially his knee and hip were damaged. With the wet and cold conditions and the tough stages ahead, the decision was made not to take any risks. The next few days he’ll focus on his recovery and afterwards he will work further on building up his condition.

Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco Stage 4 Result:
1. Nairo Alexander Quintana Rojas (Col) Movistar in 3:58:52
2. Sergio Luis Henao Montoya (Col) Sky at 0:02
3. Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Saxo-Tinkoff
4. Carlos Alberto Betancur Gomez (Col) Ag2r-La Mondiale
5. Simon Spilak (Slo) Katusha
6. Richie Porte (Aus) Sky
7. Jean-Christophe Peraud (Fra) Ag2r-La Mondiale
8. Pieter Weening (Ned) Orica-GreenEdge at 0:16
9. Samuel Sanchez Gonzalez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi at 0:23
10. Alberto Losada Alguacil (Spa) Katusha 0:00:24.

Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco Overall After Stage 4:
1. Sergio Luis Henao Montoya (Col) Sky in 16:23:20
2. Nairo Alexander Quintana Rojas (Col) Movistar at 0:06
3. Richie Porte (Aus) Sky at 0:10
4. Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Saxo-Tinkoff
5. Simon Spilak (Slo) Katusha
6. Carlos Alberto Betancur Gomez (Col) Ag2r-La Mondiale at 0:21
7. Jean-Christophe Peraud (Fra) Ag2r-La Mondiale at 0:26
8. Pieter Weening (Ned) Orica-GreenEdge at 0:35
9. Giampaolo Caruso (Ita) Katusha
10. Samuel Sanchez Gonzalez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi at 0:47.

Stage 4:

Ritchie Porte (Sky) won Stage 5 solo in front of a select group on another wet day in the Basque Country. The stage came down to the final descent of the day to Beasain after 166 kilometres of roads with not many flat sections. The Sky team kept the pace high, but Jose Herrada, Javier Moreno and Rui Costa (Movistar), Egor Silin (Astana), Andrew Talansky (Garmin-Sharp), Jakob Fuglsang (Astana), Ion Izaguirre (Euskaltel-Euskadi) and Daniel Navarro (Cofidis) managed to gain a small lead. By the final climb on the Alto de Olaberria the race was all together, Samuel Sanchez (Euskaltel-Euskadi) tried just before the top, but he didn’t get far and Porte made his move on the wet descent and held on for the stage win and more importantly some precious seconds on Alberto Contador (Saxo-Tinkoff) before the final TT on Saturday.

Team Saxo-Tinkoff’s Alberto Contador comments: “I’m going to remember this stage for a long time. The weather was so very bad and there have been moments of rain and even snow. I got the cold into the body and once that happens, it complicates the physical condition but at the end we saved the day without too much trouble. Now, I’ll try to recover as effectively as possible and wait to see how the race goes tomorrow. The time differences between us are very small and it’ll all depend on how we’ve recovered. Richie Porte has made some impressive time trials this year so he’s the favourite but let’s see how he feels tomorrow,” said Team Saxo-Tinkoff’s Alberto Contador.

Richie Porte, Team Sky Rider: “It was the last road stage and everybody wanted to be in the breakaway. In the end the guys up the road were the guys who had the legs to be there. They were strong riders but [Vasil] Kiryienka and Xabi [Zandio] were just absolutely incredible. They controlled things all day.”

“For Sergio and myself we just had to finish it off and it worked perfectly.”

“[The weather] was the same yesterday and I think tomorrow could be much the same. At the end of the day everybody’s in the same boat. Everybody just got on with it and that’s what we do at Team Sky. I think there was no better place to be today than riding up at the front. The team were just incredible. We came here with a depleted team and I think everyone has stepped up and done a brilliant job.”

“I guess that’s the goal now – to finish it off. I’ll enjoy today and winning this stage but tomorrow is going to be a whole different ball game. It’s not a typical time trial. There’s some climbs in there and I’ll take it as it comes. Regardless it’s been a brilliant Pays Basque. We’ve won two stages and Sergio’s had the jersey for three days now.”

Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco Stage 5 Result::
1. Richie Porte (Aus) Sky in 4:40:43
2. Samuel Sanchez Gonzalez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi at 0:04
3. Sergio Luis Henao Montoya (Col) Sky
4. Nairo Alexander Quintana Rojas (Col) Movistar
5. Pieter Weening (Ned) Orica-GreenEdge
6. John Gadret (Fra) Ag2r-La Mondiale
7. Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Saxo-Tinkoff
8. Simon Spilak (Slo) Katusha
9. Diego Ulissi (Ita) Lampre-Merida at 0:20
10. Giampaolo Caruso (Ita) Katusha.

Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco Overall After Stage 5:
1. Sergio Luis Henao Montoya (Col) Sky in 21:04:07
2. Nairo Alexander Quintana Rojas (Col) Movistar at 0:06
3. Richie Porte (Aus) Sky
4. Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Saxo-Tinkoff at 0:10
5. Simon Spilak (Slo) Katusha
6. Pieter Weening (Ned) Orica-GreenEdge at 0:35
7. Carlos Alberto Betancur Gomez (Col) Ag2r-La Mondiale at 0:37
8. Samuel Sanchez Gonzalez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi at 0:47
9. Giampaolo Caruso (Ita) Katusha at 0:51
10. Diego Ulissi (Ita) Lampre-Merida at 1:03.

Stage 5:

The final time trial Stage 6 was expected to be a battle for the overall lead between Richie Porte (Sky) and Alberto Contador (Saxo-Tinkoff), with the possibility of Pieter Weening (Orica-GreenEdge) edging on to the podium, but Nairo Quintana (Movistar) had other ideas and jumped over the previous leader; Sergio Henao (Sky) and held Porte off to take the final overall for his biggest win so far. Omega Pharma – Quick-Step’s Tony Martin won the 24 kilometre stage in Beasin in a time of 35:05 beating a surprisingly fast Quintana by 17 seconds with Benat Intxausti (Movistar) third at 32 seconds. Richie Porte was fourth at 40 seconds with a disappointed Contador at 1:07 in tenth as Henao tried his hardest but lost 40 seconds and the overall to Quintana.

“I’m very very happy with this victory,” stage winner Tony Martin said. “I was here for the GC but I crashed the first day and the GC dreams went away because of the pain I had to the wrist. I was really disappointed. I was here to make a good classification. I don’t know if I could have made it until the finish, but the truth is that I was here for a top five. Together with the team I maintained the focus for this TT. I was riding with pain the entire week but I kept going on thinking about this TT. I knew it wasn’t an easy parcour for me with a lot of up and down stretches. But I was really committed. This morning it was also snowing and then we had the rain. But when I’m focused I can keep it out of my mind. This morning I went to see the parcour before by car than by bike. I really knew the parcour 100 percent and I have to thank Specialized for their tires. On the wet road they have an unbelievable grip and they really permit me to go full gas, even in the corners and downhill sections without fear. Concerning my wrist, I think things are going better day by day. During next week I will pass other medical checks just to make another evaluation. I also want to wish the team good luck at Paris-Roubaix tomorrow.”

Nairo Quintana: “I’m super happy with this victory and this time trial that went quite better than I expected. I was fighting for such a victory since Paris-Nice, I felt really good all these days and was able to confirm today that good feeling on the road. It was quite a good parcours for me: it had flat sections, where I don’t do badly at all, also some slopes and several turns – as it was also a short TT, it suited me well. We rode with calmness and confidence, distributing my strength equally over the course, and it went well. The roads were slippery and we had to take some risks into the descents; actually, I was close to crashing once, but at the final descent, I already knew I had a good gap and could take things easier.
“It’s my first victory in such a big race – it’s something wonderful, it makes me really happy. I don’t know yet how far I can reach: I’m relatively young and we’re yet to see how my body progresses. I appreciate and I dedicate this victory to my team, my teammates both as assistants, technicians and Eusebio Unzue (Movistar manager), for caring, for taking forward in difficult times and always having the confidence in me. This victory is for all of them and for the fans that support us in Colombia and around the world. Knowing that I and my compatriots are giving good image before the world fills us with pride.”

Team Saxo-Tinkoff’s Alberto Contador finished tenth on the stage and was fifth overall: “After a difficult start of the stage where Alberto struggled to find a rhythm, he had a good second half of the time trial and especially on the climbs, he managed to maintain a steady pace. Looking back over the last week of racing, Alberto delivered a pretty good effort following the best climbers considering the fact that he was lying in bed with a cold ten days ago. Furthermore, the team has improved since Tirreno-Adriatico and we’re definitely on the right track to the overall goal in Tour de France,” said Team Saxo-Tinkoff DS, Philippe Mauduit.

Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco Stage 6 Result:
1. Tony Martin (Ger) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step in 35:05
2. Nairo Alexander Quintana Rojas (Col) Movistar at 0:17
3. Benat Intxausti Elorriaga (Spa) Movistar at 0:32
4. Richie Porte (Aus) Sky at 0:40
5. Simon Spilak (Slo) Katusha at 0:48
6. Jean-Christophe Peraud (Fra) Ag2r-La Mondiale at 0:51
7. Sergio Luis Henao Montoya (Col) Sky at 0:57
8. Carlos Alberto Betancur Gomez (Col) Ag2r-La Mondiale at 1:05
9. Pieter Weening (Ned) Orica-GreenEdge at 1:06
10. Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Saxo-Tinkoff at 1:07

Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco Final Overall:
1. Nairo Alexander Quintana Rojas (Col) Movistar in 21:39:35
2. Richie Porte (Aus) Sky at 0:23
3. Sergio Luis Henao Montoya (Col) Sky at 0:34
4. Simon Spilak (Slo) Katusha at 0:35
5. Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Saxo-Tinkoff at 0:54
6. Pieter Weening (Ned) Orica-GreenEdge at 1:18
7. Carlos Alberto Betancur Gomez (Col) Ag2r-La Mondiale at 1:19
8. Benat Intxausti Elorriaga (Spa) Movistar at 1:57
9. Wouter Poels (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM at 2:47
10. John Gadret (Fra) Ag2r-La Mondiale at 2:56.

Stage 6 final time trial:

Circuit Cycliste de la Sarthe – Pays de la Loire 2013
Orica-GreenEdge’s Luke Durbridge was in the overall lead after his time trial win on Wednesday, but the Europcar team had ideas to change that and Pierre Rolland was their man for the job in Stage 4. The first action was from Marco Coledan (Bardiani-Valvole-CSF Inox), Cyril Bessy (Cofidis) and Jimmy Engoulvent (Sojasun) who went away after around 20 kilometres, they worked well together, but were never a threat overall. With 30 kilometres to go; Sébastien Duret (Bretagne-Séché) and Lloyd Mondory (Ag2r-La Mondiale) along with the more dangerous Kevin Reza from Europcar. This forced Orica-GreenEdge and RadioShack Leopard to chase to protect the overall places of Durbridge and Jungels with Rolland in tow. On the tough circuit Rolland attacked and soloed to take the stage atop the Mont des Avaloirs in Pré-en-Pail, he also moved into the lead overall with NetApp-Endura’s Jan Barta in second and Tobias Ludvigsson (Argos-Shimano) in third, both at 10 seconds.

Circuit Cycliste de la Sarthe-Pays de la Loire Stage 4 Result:
1. Pierre Rolland (Fra) Europcar in 5:33:16
2. Stefan Denifl (Aut) IAM Cycling at 0:09
3. Tobias Ludvigsson (Swe) Argos-Shimano at 0:23
4. Jan Barta (Cze) Team NetApp-Endura
5. Samuel Dumoulin (Fra) Ag2r-La Mondiale at 0:25
6. Nicolas Edet (Fra) Cofidis
7. Tony Gallopin (Fra) RadioShack Leopard
8. Rudy Molard (Fra) Cofidis
9. Julien Berard (Fra) Ag2r-La Mondiale
10. Marcel Wyss (Swi) IAM Cycling.

Circuit Cycliste de la Sarthe-Pays de la Loire Overall After Stage 4:
1. Pierre Rolland (Fra) Europcar in 12:44:39
2. Jan Barta (Cze) Team NetApp-Endura at 0:10
3. Tobias Ludvigsson (Swe) Argos-Shimano
4. Tony Gallopin (Fra) RadioShack Leopard at 0:11
5. Stefan Denifl (Aut) IAM Cycling at 0:12
6. Nicki Sörensen (Den) Saxo-Tinkoff at 0:17
7. Mads Christensen (Den) Saxo-Tinkoff at 0:19
8. Pierrick Fedrigo (Fra) FDJ at 0:20
9. Jonathan Hivert (Fra) Sojasun at 0:22
10. Rory Sutherland (Aus) Saxo-Tinkoff at 0:25.

Stage 4:

More normally seen at the cyclo-cross, Francis Mourey (FDJ) showed in Friday’s final Stage 5 that he is quite happy on the road. After 50 of the 165 kilometres to St. Vincent du Loroüer; Mikhail Ignatiev (Katusha), Marco Canola (Bardiani-Valvole-CSF Inox), Lloyd Mondory (Ag2r-La Mondiale) and Cameron Meyer (Orica-GreenEdge) made the break of the day, but in the cold conditions only Marco Canola and Lloyd Mondory toughed it out. With 30 kilometres to go the French cross champion Francis Mourey “crossed” to them and pushed on to the finish with Mondory holding his wheel. The bunch eventually put in a hard chase to pull the duo back for Jonathan Hivert (Sojasun) to take the bunch sprint at only 2 seconds. Pierre Rolland was well looked after by his Europcar team and finished safely in the bunch for the final overall.

After he was presented with the final yellow jersey he said: “To win an overall classification gives a very different feeling. Now I know what it means to wear the yellow jersey and to have a team behind me.”

Jan Barta managed to defend his second-place standing in the general classification during the final stage of the short French tour. Pierre Rolland (Europcar) only barely beat out Barta with a lead of 10 seconds. Team NetApp-Endura’s 28-year-old Czech rider laid the foundation for his success with a good time trial (seventh place) and by taking fourth place in yesterday’s queen stage. “It was no easy race today, but Jan defended his position very well. The stage was incredibly fast from the very beginning. Only a small field managed to assert themselves at the end of the race, because more and more riders fell behind on the difficult course. Jan did a great job, and we can be very satisfied,” said Alex Sans Vega after the race.

Team Saxo-Tinkoff have had a good race finishing with three riders in the top 10 overall. Mads Christensen was sixth, Nicki Sørensen seventh and the team won the team classification: “We took every opportunity there was to get an even better overall result but three riders in the top-10 and the team classification isn’t that bad. But of course, we always go for the win and I’m completely happy with the way the riders worked together as a team. Jay (McCarthy), Karsten (Kroon) and Takashi (Miyazawa) worked hard for our three GC riders who have all shown increasing form in this race,” said Team Saxo-Tinkoff DS, Fabrizio Guidi.

Circuit Cycliste de la Sarthe-Pays de la Loire Stage 5 Result:
1. Francis Mourey (Fra) FDJ in 4:19:20
2. Lloyd Mondory (Fra) Ag2r-La Mondiale
3. Jonathan Hivert (Fra) Sojasun at 0:02
4. Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bardiani Valvole-CSF Inox
5. Alexey Tsatevich (Rus) Katusha
6. Mads Christensen (Den) Saxo-Tinkoff
7. Nicki Sörensen (Den) Saxo-Tinkoff
8. Scott Thwaites (GB) Team NetApp-Endura
9. Samuel Dumoulin (Fra) Ag2r-La Mondiale
10. Steele Von Hoff (Aus) Garmin-Sharp.

Circuit Cycliste de la Sarthe-Pays de la Loire Final Overall Result:
1. Pierre Rolland (Fra) Europcar in 17:04:01
2. Jan Barta (Cze) Team NetApp-Endura at 0:10
3. Tobias Ludvigsson (Swe) Argos-Shimano
4. Tony Gallopin (Fra) RadioShack Leopard at 0:11
5. Stefan Denifl (Aut) IAM Cycling at 0:12
6. Nicki Sörensen (Den) Saxo-Tinkoff at 0:17
7. Jonathan Hivert (Fra) Sojasun at 0:18
8. Mads Christensen (Den) Saxo-Tinkoff at 0:19
9. Pierrick Fedrigo (Fra) FDJ at 0:20
10. Rory Sutherland (Aus) Saxo-Tinkoff at 0:24.

The final stage 5:

G.P. Pino Cerami 2013
Lotto Belisol rider Jonas Van Genechten has won the GP Pino Cerami. He is the successor of his teammate Gaëtan Bille. Van Genechten beat Romain Feillu and Andris Smirnovs in a bunch sprint. Three riders stayed in front till the first of four local laps of 18,6 kilometers. Before Gaëtan Bille had gone in the counterattack, just like Tosh Van der Sande and Jonas Van Genechten himself. Many attacks followed, the last escapee was caught in the final two kilometers. Lotto Belisol introduced the sprint for Jonas Van Genechten who brilliantly finished off the teamwork.

Jonas Van Genechten: “Greg Henderson told me in the last kilometers that I could take my chance, I wasn’t completely certain about my shape, but Greg encouraged me to try. He gave me the necessary confidence. The team did a great effort today; Tosh was in the attack for example. Maarten Neyens and Fréderique Robert took me to the front and closed the last gap. Thanks to the experience of Greg I didn’t get in front too early. I am very satisfied the team gave me confidence.”
Thanks to Lotto Belisol.

G.P. Pino Cerami Result:
1. Jonas Van Genechten (Bel) Lotto Belisol in 5:13:46
2. Romain Feillu (Fra) Vacansoleil-DCM
3. Andris Smirnovs (Lat) Doltcini-Flanders
4. Jérémie Galland (Fra) Sojasun
5. Egidijus Juodvalkis (Ltu) Crelan-Euphony
6. James Vanlandschoot (Bel) Accent Jobs-Wanty
7. Pier Paolo De Negri (Ita) Vini Fantini-Selle Italia
8. Andreas Stauff (Ger) MTN-Qhubeka
9. Nicolas Vereecken (Bel) An Post-Chainreaction
10. Jean-Luc Delpech (Fra) Bretagne-Seche Environnement.

The final K’s:

Klasika Primavera 2013
There couldn’t be a better finish to Movistar Team’s splendid performance in the biggest week of Basque cycling. The telephone squad claimed its 8th success of the 2013 season on Sunday into the 59th Klasika Primavera, over 171km in and around Amorebieta. Portuguese rider Rui Costa beat Spaniard Pablo Urtasun (Euskaltel-Euskadi) into a 20-man field sprint after Beñat Intxausti and Alberto Contador (Saxo-Tinkoff), lead protagonists of a strong break through the final circuit, with the climbs of Muniketa and Autzagane being passed three times, caught into the finishing straight. The roster directed by Chente García Acosta held main responsibilities into the race until the final 25k, in pursuit of the day’s lone escapee Rubén Fernández (Caja Rural), and started shaking the peloton into the last Muniketa uphill, with Intxausti and José Herrada into a quintet also featuring Contador, Delio Fernández (OFM-Valongo) and Mikel Nieve (Euskaltel-Euskadi).

The short time gap by Intxausti and Contador into the final descent, the Basque rider always leading the duo, was reduced to nothing into the finish, where strong work by Euskaletl-Euskadi into the pursuit group left Rui Costa free to sneak out of Urtasun’s wheel in the final meters to claim his 13th pro victory and the third in just four days’ time -after the two claimed by Quintana in the Vuelta al País Vasco- for Movistar Team, which also put Intxausti (4th) and Herrada (5th) within the race’s top five.

The winner Rui Costa: “It was an exciting victory – I’m really happy since it’s my first this season. The recovery after my crash in Paris-Nice was fast; I felt already well before País Vasco, where I had a good progression day by day, and today I could make it count with this win. The team’s strategy was the two of us, Beñat and me, going after the attacks in the final climbs, and it was him who responded when Contador made his move. That’s why I waited calmly for the group to bridge the gap in the finale. Euskaltel was pushing behind and I followed Urtasun’s wheel to look for my chances into a sprint. Once Beñat and Contador were caught, I waited until the final 50 meters to jump and overcome him. After yesterday’s victory with Nairo, notching up another success here is something important for the team and also for myself – now I can leave my injury behind. I thank all my team-mates for the work they did for me – this victory is dedicated to them.”

Alberto Contador demonstrated fantastic will power and attacked on the penultimate climb. Unfortunately, he was caught 50 meters from the finish line but finished third while teammate, Rory Sutherland sprinted his way to sixth place: “Alberto was doing a great job out there after a very tough week of racing in Pais Vasco that finished yesterday. But quite unimpressed, he went out there and launched an attack where only two riders were able to respond. Unfortunately, he was swept up on the very final meters of the race and had to settle with the bottom step of the podium,” said sports director, Steven de Jongh.

Alberto Contador finished in third place on the podium of the Spring Klasika after a tough week in the Basque Country and despite this good outcome; he said that “legs were heavily burdened. The body feels fatigue after all of these days, but although we could not win, we had fun.”

Contador attacked “on the last climb and at the end we remain only Beñat Intxausti and me. It was a pity that they caught us 25 meters to go and I was only third”, said the leader of Saxo-Tinkoff.

Despite this latest attack and being very close to victory in this race, Alberto said he is “tired after the Tour of the Basque Country. It has been a principle of year where I started racing in January, in Argentina, and as I am a rider that always likes to get into the fight in races, and I did so at the Tour of San Luis, there I had not a sufficient basis for entering in such battles. Although I got good results there, it has taken its toll a little later.”

After this intense week of competition, where bad weather has increased the wear (on the body), Contador thinks only of rest and take stock of his state before taking decisions. “Now I’ll rest a little to see how the body reacts to these efforts of the early season and, more recently, the Tour of the Basque Country. From there we will decide what to do,” he said in reference to his possible participation in the Ardennes classics.

Klasika Primavera Result:
1. Rui Alberta Faria da Costa (Por) Movistar in 4:07:58
2. Pablo Urtasun Perez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
3. Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa ) Saxo-Tinkoff
4. Beñat Intxausti Elorriaga (Spa) Movistar
5. José Herrada Lopez (Spa) Movistar
6. Rory Sutherland (Aus) Saxo-Tinkoff
7. Eduard Prades Reverte (Spa) OFM-Valongo
8. Julien El Fares (Fra) Sojasun
9. Edson Calderon Erazo (Col) 472 Colombia
10. Evgeny Shalunov (Rus) Lokospinx.

Miguel Poblet Dies at 85
The Spanish cyclist, Miguel Poblet has died at the age of 85 in Barcelona of kidney failure. He won Milan-Sanremo twice and was second in Paris-Roubaix and the Tour of Lombardy. He was also the first rider ever to win a stage in all three Grand Tours in the same year, 1956, the only other riders to do the same are Pierino Baffi in 1958 and Alessandro Petacchi in 2003. During his career, from 1952 to 1962, he won 20 stages in the Giro d’Italia, and three stages in both the Tour de France and the Vuelta a España, he was the first Spanish rider to wear the yellow jersey in the Tour de France.

Miguel Poblet in the 1957 Giro d’Italia:

Serebryakov Positive
The Russian rider at Euskaltel-Euskadi; Alexander Serebryakov failed an out of competition drugs test taken at his home on the 18th of March for an (as yet) unnamed substance, he accepts full responsibility for his actions and released this statement: “I, Alexander Serebryakov, wish to clarify the matter of my recent positive doping control. I want to make it clear that the team has nothing to do with this situation, and that it is a personal problem that I will try to clarify in the next few days. Team Euskaltel-Euskadi and its technical, medical and support staff have always emphasized their commitment to zero tolerance with doping, and their work in favour of a clean, transparent and credible cycling. I deeply regret what happened, and I apologize to the team and my teammates for this unfortunate situation.” The Euskaltel-Euskadi team stated: “True to its commitment towards a clean and credible cycling, and in application of the internal rules of procedure consistent with this spirit, the team has decided to immediately expel the cyclist from the team and suspend him of employment and salary.” Adding that; “the team is astonished that some riders have not yet understood that cycling should be a clean sport without shortcuts, so it condemns emphatically this type of behaviour.”

Lotto Belisol: Jelle Vanendert Up-Date
On Tuesday Jelle Vanendert had to leave the second stage of the Vuelta al País Vasco. Tests in Belgium showed that he has an inflammation of his oesophagus. That’s why he could hardly eat anything the past few days. The medication cure that has been started should help to overcome the problem. Vanendert won’t participate in the Brabantse Pijl next Wednesday and will prepare himself for the Amstel Gold Race.

Good news for Gert Dockx, who got a fracture of his elbow and collarbone due to a crash in the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad. At the moment Dockx is on training camp to prepare himself to get back in competition, presumably in the Tour of Turkey.

Jelle Vanendert second in the 2012 Amstel Gold Race:

A Combative Line-up to tackle Klasika Primavera
Team Colombia is back in Spain in early April to start at the Klasika Primavera on Sunday 7th. The 171 km route around Amorebieta of the Basque semi-classic is basically unchanged: after a flat start, the riders will find some difficulties around the halfway stage in the Basque inland, while the final circuit – to be repeated three times – features Muniketagane and Antzagane tough climbs. After passing atop the final Antzagane climb there will be only 4,5 km on descent left, that could favour a brave attacker.

For the demanding Spanish race, Sports Director Oscar Pellicioli picked the same group of riders that provided battling performances at Vuelta a la Rioja and GP Miguel Indurain. After last week’s brave displays, Robinson Chalapud and Wilson Marentes will go for another strong test on Sunday, along Alexis Chamacho, Marco Corti, Dalivier Ospina, Michael Rodriguez, Jeffry Romero and Juan Pablo Suarez.

Next week, Team Colombia’s Spanish campaign will continue with prestigious Vuelta Castilla y Leon (April 10-14), followed by Fleche Wallonne (April 17th) and Giro del Trentino (April 16-19), on the way to the Giro d’Italia.
Thanks to the Colombia Team.

Klasika Primavera (April 7th)
Line-up: Alexis Camacho, Robinson Chalapud, Marco Corti, Wilson Marentes, Dalivier Ospina, Michael Rodriguez, Jeffry Romero, Juan Pablo Suarez.
Sports Director: Oscar Pellicioli.

Klasika Primavera 2012:

Evans to face Wiggins, Nibali and Basso in Giro d’Italia? No, Giro del Trentino!
Press Release: Another yellow jersey adds on an outstanding collection of stars who announced their presence at the 37th Giro del Trentino (April 16-19). Australian Cadel Evans, Tour de France winner in 2011, and leader of BMC Racing Team, winner of Giro del Trentino opening team time trial in 2012, is the latest top-range name to land on the starting list for the race opening in Lienz, Austria, on Tuesday April 16th.

The race organized by GS Alto Garda is ready for a unique edition, providing a very interesting anticipation of the duels that will characterize the upcoming Giro d’Italia: just like Evans, last year’s Tour de France winner, Sir Bradley Wiggins, as well as Vincenzo Nibali and Ivan Basso, will come to Trentino to take their final and most crucial tests ahead of the fight for the pink jersey.

Evans is the sixth GC winner at the start of this year’s Giro del Trentino: along with Wiggins, Nibali and Basso, Michele Scarponi and Stefano Garzelli will look to shine over the four days of racing, and Domenico Pozzovivo, wearing the #1 bib as deserving winner of last year’s Trentino, definitely cannot be counted out of contention.

Six WorldTour Teams (Lampre-Merida, Cannondale Pro Cycling, Astana, Ag2r-La Mondiale, BMC Racing and Team Sky) will be at the start in Lienz, sharing the stage with some of the top Italian and International Pro-Continental outfits: Androni Giocattoli – Venezuela, Bardiani-CSF, Vini Fantini-Selle Italia and Team Colombia, winner of last year’s uphill finish on snowy Pass Pordoi, will be joined by Team Europcar, led by talented Pierre Rolland, who won the Alpe d’Huez Tour de France stage two years ago and is looking in great shape in the setup to Trentino.

Among international teams, Chinese Champion System will be back for the second year in a row, while South-African MTK-Qhubeka will make its debut after surprisingly winning Milan-Sanremo, showing GC ambitions with Spaniard Sergio Pardilla.

The tasty menu of 2013 edition will be unveiled to the press and fans during the official presentation on Monday April 8th, 2013, in the headquarter of Casse Rurali Trentine in Trento, Italy, at 11.00 AM. All the stages’ profiles and details will be presented on the occasion, and then it will be a matter of waiting a few days: a top-class Giro del Trentino is just around the corner. More info at: www.girodeltrentino.com.

Giro del Trentino 2011 – Madonna di Campiglio:

British Cycling Launches National Youth Forum
Press Release: British Cycling has established a National Youth Forum and is currently searching for a group of young volunteers to pilot the project.

If you love cycling and are committed to ensuring that young people remain involved in the sport, then this is a fantastic opportunity to gain an insight into the National Governing Body and have an influence on the issues that impact grass roots sport, and to gain valuable experience.

The aim of the initiative is to empower young people to develop opportunities for their peers, providing the chance to ride, race and volunteer beyond the age of 16.

British Cycling are looking to recruit a group of eight to12 volunteers aged between 16-24, who would like to represent other young people and ensure their voice is heard. Knowledge and understanding of the issues that their peers face, along with an understanding of current programmes available for young people in cycling is important for someone to take on the role.

British Cycling is always investigating new ways to get young people involved in cycling. British Cycling would like young people to drive this next stage of development and the establishment of the National Youth Forum is an important part of beginning that process.

“It is vital that young people have a say in the direction of cycling’s future. We want them to drive this project and create new opportunities for both themselves and their peers in what is an unprecedented period of popularity for cycling,” said British Cycling’s Andrew Chaston, Development Manager for Clubs and Volunteers.

“Working in conjunction with our Go-Ride and Young Volunteer programmes, it will be an opportunity for them to enhance their team building and leadership skills which will stand them in great stead in the future.

“We want young people to have a voice and by holding the forums, we hope to empower our young volunteers with some genuine influence in order to build a better sport.”

If you are interested in the National Youth Forum and would like more information please email Andrew at [email protected]

For more information about how to get into cycling visit www.britishcycling.org.uk/getinvolved.

Get into Road Racing with British Cycling:

The Intrepid Stage Ride – Okanagan
The enrollment is now open for “The Next Adventure in Cycling”, the Intrepid Stage Ride – Okanagan. You can ENROLL HERE and find out more about the three day stage ride through British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley, September 20-22, 2013: 3 days, 500 Kilometres, 5,000 metres.

Here is the Promo video:

Another Great Video from the Giro
In this video from the Giro d’Italia organizers; RCS Sport, the main protagonists for this years race discuss the 2013 Corsa Rosa. 2012 winner Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Sharp), Vincenzo Nibali (Astana), Ivan Basso (Cannondale), Bradley Wiggins (Sky) and Samuel Sanchez (Euskaltel-Euskadi) express their thoughts on the Italian Grand Tour.

Any comments drop me a line, email address: [email protected] or Twitter. And there is the PezCyclingNews Twitter and Facebook Fan Page.

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