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EuroTrash Clasicá Monday

Was Marco Pantani murdered? New evidence points that way and it is today’s top story. A busy weekend with the Clasicá San Sebastián, the Tour de Pologne, Commonwealth Games Road Race and the Circuito de Getxo. Plus in other cycling news: We preview the Tour of Utah and catch-up with the transfer news. Loads of video and comments in a Clasicá EuroTrash.

TOP STORY: The Death of a Champion
After many books, articles, films and documentaries, the case of the death of Marco Pantani has been reopened by the public prosecutor of Rimini. It was believed that Pantani killed himself, either accidentally or otherwise with an overdose of cocaine. Tonina Pantani (Marco’s mother) never believed the official findings and hired a private investigator to find new evidence. Pantani was found dead in a Rimini hotel on the 14th of February 2004; two drug dealers were jailed after admitting selling Pantani the cocaine.

The new evidence was revealed in the Italian sports paper La Gazzetta dello Sport on Saturday, stating that: The request was, to reopen the case on the basis of many new facts contained in the pages of the report. With a shock conclusion: murder and alteration of the body and situation. The answer came in a short time; case reopened and assumptions of murder against persons unknown. The dossier was assigned by the chief prosecutor of Rimini, Paolo Giovagnoli to Elisa Milocco, a young deputy prosecutor, who arrived in Rimini a few months ago. ‘It’s up to you to shed light on what happened February 14, 2004 inside the residence Le Rose.’

The last minutes of Pantani life are said to be: He would open the door to his murderer (or murderers), who he knew, perhaps trusted. But soon the situation would become uncontrollable. Twice Pantani called the front desk, asking for the intervention of the police (a double SOS first ignored and then underestimated), a fact known at the time. A verbal argument soon degenerated, resulting in aggression. Pantani was injured in several places of the body, before succumbing; dazed, he would become easy prey.

At this point the only thing missing is the final blow. Cocain was dissolved in a bottle of water and drunk (forced?) by Pantani. A half-empty bottle is left in the room, which is clearly seen in the footage shot by the police in 2004. That bottle has never been analyzed and, incredibly, fingerprints were not taken despite the presence of a corpse lying in a pool of blood in an up-turned room. The death of the cyclist was before lunch, but it is not “discovered” until dinner time. A long-time that would have allowed alteration of the room in order to simulate a frenzy after taking drugs. In short, a misdirection to conceal the murder.

Then there is the story of the jackets – There were three ski jackets found in Pantani’s room, but he arrived in Rimini without luggage. He only a carrier bag with medicines (that were taken on the morning of the 14th), two t-shirts, a shaveing bag and a bag with money and documents. No suitcase, trolley or bag.

For whatever reason, if this is true, Marco Pantani was murdered. He took drugs, cocain being his favourite, that is well known, but if it was not an accident then he was murdered. If/when the truth is found, it wont bring him back and what ever you think of him as a person, he didnt deserve to be murdered.

Pantani: The Accidental Death Of a Cyclist (Full movie):

Logo_sansebastianClasica San Sebastian 2014
After a bittersweet result in the recent Tour de France; Alejandro Valverde (Movistar ) returned to the Basque Country to show his form in the Clásica San Sebastián with a win. Valverde claimed his second Clásica de Sebastián at the end of 219 kilometres after his Movistar team took him to the base of the new Cat 2 climb of Igeldo.
The Herrada brothers, Antón and Castroviejo kept the day’s solo escapee Amets Txurruka (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA) under control for Valverde before he was caught with 50km remaining as several counter attacks livened things up. The bunch came together on the Pico de Borda, where Jesús Herrada led Valverde out as Visconti responded to the first moves. The decisive attack by Joaquim Rodríguez (Katusha) saw Valverde jump after him and then attack on the fast descent to open a gap over the chasers. Valverde held the lead to win by 14 seconds from the group of Bauke Mollema (Belkin), Joaquim Rodriguez (Spa) Katusha) and Mikel Nieve (Sky).

Unluckiest rider of the day must have been Adam Yates (Orica-GreenEDGE) who crashed on the descent of the Igeldo as he was trying to cross to Valverde and was guaranteed a top 5 place.

Clásica San Sebastián winner Alejandro Valverde (Movistar): “It was not really like a big grudge held by me, because I’ve shown how I can do, all year long. It’s just that it was a bad end to my Tour, not being able to achieve the podium goal after coming so close. The only thing we could do was racing on full steam, like I always do when I put on a number. San Sebastián is a race I really like, even more with this route. It’s my second victory here, plus two other podiums. Ten wins already this season, now on top of the WorldTour… I can only be happy.”

“The Igeldo climb was amazing. It really changes the race. Those like me who come to win it will always save something for the end. It gets harder when the pace picks up in Jaizkibel, where the group shrinks, but the rhythm is not so hard afterwards. It was important to do well on the climb, but also on the descent. If you gained a few meters on the uphill section, it was very difficult for your rivals to get back on the downhill. I followed Joaquim’s wheel when he jumped away, but he kept accelerating and went solo. As he told to me after the race, he lacked a bit of strength at the end of the climb, while I kept the pace stable and went full gas in the final slopes to reach him down. I took the lead in the downhill to try and fight for it, just the two of us, and wasn’t really aware of Yates’s crash. When I saw I was alone, there wasn’t other thing to do than going flat-out until the finish.”

“This victory is a tribute to the Movistar Team and my wife, Natalia, always by my side. Now we’ll keep training, but taking things easy, having some rest and starting thinking about the Vuelta. We’ve got a really strong squad, with Nairo in, and we’ll do our best to keep the overall title within the team.”

After 10th in the Tour de France, Bauke Mollema was on the hunt in Spain and sprinted into second place: “We worked together well,” Mollema said, “but Valverde was just too strong. In the second part of the descent, Valverde got 50 metres on us and another 50 after Yates crashed. That was enough for Valverde,” added Mollema. “In the last kilometre, I just thought about at least getting second place.”

Laurens ten Dam (Belkin), who also carried his form over from the Tour de France, attacked on the Jaizkibel with 40 kilometres remaining to bridge to a group of four: “Bauke was for the final and Laurens attacked on the climb, it was a good situation for us,”

Belkin Sports Director Jan Boven said: “If you have man up the road, it’s always better because it takes the pressure off your leader behind. It wasn’t just Laurens, though, the whole team did a great job. Including guys like Jonathan Hivert.”

2013 winner Tony Gallopin was fifth and his Lotto Belsol team mate Jelle Vanendert was sixth; Kurt Van de Wouwer, sports director: “It was the perfect scenario for our team and we can definitely be satisfied with this result. Fifth and sixth is a good result and we earn WorldTour points. Tony Gallopin won here last year, but the last climb was added to the course. It was a very steep one with top at 7.3 kilometers from the finish. That’s an advantage for types like Valverde and Rodriguez. Tony and Jelle were positioned well in front at the bottom of the climb. They did a recon yesterday. Tim Wellens did good work for the team, just like the others. He was part of the peloton until the second ascent of the Jaizkibel. Louis Vervaeke got dropped on the second ascent of the Arkale, but could return and then hang on until the last climb. It’s a very positive evaluation after his first classic.”

Andrei Grivko attacked with 25km to go, but was recaptured when the changed parcourse turned to favor those who already knew the new topography: “The final lap was harder this year, but my gap got out to 40 seconds and it felt good. After three weeks of working mostly in the first half of a race it’s a bit difficult to get up and start the attacks after 200km.”

Clásica San Sebastián Result:
1. Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar in 5:31:11
2. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Belkin at 0:14
3. Joaquim Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha
4. Mikel Nieve Ituralde (Spa) Sky
5. Tony Gallopin (Fra) Lotto Belisol at 0:26
6. Jelle Vanendert (Bel) Lotto Belisol
7. Haimar Zubeldia Agirre (Spa) Trek
8. Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC at 0:40
9. Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Movistar
10. Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Omega Pharma-Quick-Step at 0:43
11. Alexandr Kolobnev (Rus) Katusha
12. Arnold Jeannesson (Fra) FDJ.fr
13. Jose Serpa (Col) Lampre-Merida
14. Tom Jelte Slagter (Ned) Garmin-Sharp
15. Anthony Roux (Fra) FDJ.fr.

Clásica San Sebastián:

TdP_2014_mapa_nologoTour de Pologne 2014
Stage 1 of the Tour de Pologne was hit by hail-stones and strong winds causing just about every rider to fall off at one point or another. At the finish Yauheni Hutarovich (AG2R-La Mondiale) took the sprint from around 80 riders, beating RusVelo’s Romain Maikin and Lampre-Merida’s Manuele Mori.

After the start from the Gdansk, where the peloton met historical leader of Solidarnosc, Nobel peace prize in 1983 and President of Poland from 1990 to 1995, Lech Walesa, the race headed off on its 226 kilometre journey to Bydgoszcz. The break of the day soon showed it meant business: Jimmy Engoulvent (Europcar), Matthias Krizek (Cannondale), Kamil Gradek (Poland), Maciej Paterski (CCC Polsat Polkowice) and Anton Vorobyev (Katusha) built up a lead that crested 12 minutes at some points. With 50 kilometres to they had 4 minutes and the heavens opened with hurricane winds with rain and hail amongst it. Trees were blown on to the road and vehicles were also having problems on the road. On the finishing circuit Paterski, Krizek and Engoulevent had managed to stay ahead, but only had a slim advantage and in the end only Paterski was left out front to be caught in the last kilometre. In the sprint Giant-Shimano’s sprinter Luka Mezgec crashed into the barriers allowing Hutarovich to slip through.

Stage winner Yauheni Hutarovich (AG2R-La Mondiale): “It’s my second victory at Tour de Pologne and I had a lot of placements here, so I like this race. The sprint today was complicated, with a short uphill sector in the final and the wet road. The final meters were also slightly downhill so I paid attention to keep my place and not be boxed in. Then I launched my sprint and I kept the speed until the end. I have to thank my team for putting me in the best position possible to contest the sprint. Today we had incredible weather: Hot, wind, then rain and hail. Basically everything. Tomorrow and the day after tomorrow on paper there will be room for 2 other sprint finishes. We have a jersey to defend. We will try to go for the victory and to keep the jersey as long as possible.”

Second on the stage Roman Maikin (RusVelo) said: “It was an extraordinarily eventful day. The atmosphere before the start felt just amazing; it is my first time that I see such a big and enthusiastic audience from within a peloton. You feel a part of a great cycling festival, there were even fighter aircrafts above our heads like at the Tour or the Giro. First it was really, really hot, around +37 C; then a storm came that let us breathe easier, but didn’t help the race safety. As soon as we hit the final circuit, there was a crash, I braked in time and avoided it, just to be brushed off by another rider. It was a poorly prepared fall on my knee and elbow; there was no time for licking the wounds though, I jumped on my bike and started chasing. I came back to the front , there was a violent pull on a 1.5 km-long drag 3 km to go, and after a sharp turn there were about ten of us with a small gap. I watched every move of Hutarovich as I saw he had good legs today and was ready for the sprint as a top favorite. The descent before a slight uphill for the line was so fast and slippery that we could barely pedal; all of a sudden I heard Timofey shout my name, he flew by like a bullet but I somehow managed to catch his wheel. He delivered me to the very front flawlessly, the only thing left for me to do was a head to head with Yauheni; it was an aggressive battle, and I was left with little space for maneuver. Yes, it was dangerous, but that’s what a sprinter’s life is all about. After all, to finish second at this level is not a bad result at all. On the negative side, I feel a knee pain now, I hope we can sort it out with the team doctor before the next stage so that it wouldn’t compromise my chances in the next stages.”

Last man standing from the break, Maciej Paterski (CCC Polsat Polkowice): “It was a long breakaway. We missed a little bit of luck in the final. At about 20 kilometers to go in a left corner , all the guys in the breakaway went down because of the wet road. That crash conditioned the last part of the race. I tried to go full gas in any case, because I knew that in a technical circuit with wet road sometimes the peloton doesn’t take great risks but I didn’t manage to go until the end.”

Dmitriy Sedoun (Astana) after stage one at the Tour de Pologne,a long, wild day in the saddle: “Everybody fell except Gaspa and Kamyshev – Brajkovic did something to his feet, he’s out – Tira went down, Aru crashed twice. Two trees blew into the road – the wind was so strong it felt like a hurricane.”

Race Director Czeslaw Lang: “It was a really hard stage. We started this morning with a temperature of 36 degrees. It was really hot, then the weather suddenly changed. It was like a storm with hail and also a tree fell on the road. That’s cycling for strong men, and the riders once again showed how strong and great they are. In the final circuit with the rain it was a bit dangerous, but fortunately the weather conditions were better in the final part of the race. It was a difficult race, but also really emotional.”

Tour de Pologne Stage 1 Result:
1. Yauheni Hutarovich (Blr) AG2R-La Mondiale in 5:47:50
2. Roman Maikin (Rus) RusVelo
3. Manuele Mori (Ita) Lampre-Merida
4. Guillaume Boivin (Can) Cannondale
5. Marco Haller (Aut) Katusha
6. Nikolas Maes (Bel) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step
7. Boris Vallee (Bel) Lotto Belisol
8. Sebastian Lander (Den) BMC
9. Davide Formolo (Ita) Cannondale
10. Enrico Gasparotto (Ita) Astana.

Tour de Pologne Overall After Stage 1:
1. Yauheni Hutarovich (Blr) AG2R-La Mondiale in 5:47:28
2. Roman Maikin (Rus) RusVelo at 0:04
3. Manuele Mori (Ita) Lampre-Merida at 0:08
4. Maciej Paterski (Pol) CCC Polsat Polkowice
5. Matthias Krizek (Aut) Cannondale
6. Guillaume Boivin (Can) Cannondale at 0:10
7. Marco Haller (Aut) Katusha
8. Nikolas Maes (Bel) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step
9. Boris Vallee (Bel) Lotto Belisol
10. Sebastian Lander (Den) BMC.

Stage 1:

header-commgames2014 Men’s Commonwealth Games Road Race
Through terrible weather in Glasgow; Welshman Geraint Thomas solo’d to the gold medal ahead of Jack Bauer (New Zealand) and Scott Thwaites. Hero of the day was Peter Kennaugh from the Isle of Man who attacked from the gun, although his maximum lead was never much over 2 minutes, he was out front for 100 kilometres of the race. Eventually Bauer crossed to him to be joined by Thomas and Thwaites and the tired Kennaugh was dropped. On the last lap of the City circuit; Thomas attacked on the climb of St. Vincent Street and looked like he had it in the bag when he punctured. After a slow front wheel change from a neutral moto, he was back on his way without any problem and gained more time before the finish. Bauer only just got the Silver in a close decision from Thwaites in Bronze. The conditions were so bad that only 12 riders finished.

2014 Men’s Commonwealth Games Road Race Result:
1. Geraint Thomas (Wales) in 4:13:05
2. Jack Bauer (New Zealand) at 1:21
3. Scott Thwaites (England)
4. Russell Downing (England) at 4:29
5. Mark Renshaw (Australia)
6. Luke Rowe (Wales) at 4:32
7. Greg Henderson (New Zealand) at 5:15
8. Peter Kennaugh (Isle of Man)
9. Dan Craven (Namibia) at 09:03
10. Scott Davies (Wales) at 10:10
11. David Millar (Scotland) at 10:21
12. Caleb Ewan (Australia) at 11:22.

Geraint Thomas wins Gold:

header-getxoCircuito de Getxo 2014
Carlos Barbero of the Euskadi Foundation won the sprint from Luca Chirico (MG Kvis-Trevigiani) to take the 69th edition of the Circuito de Getxo – 14th Memorial Ricardo Otxoa. It was his third win of the season after the overall in the Volta ao Alenteixo and the team time trial in the Tour de Gironde. Barbero said after the race: “This win is for all teammates and for all the Ciclista Euskadi Foundation’s work. The team has completed a great job and the victory has been very exciting, very special, with our partners, supporters and friends.” Carlos described the race: “We took the responsibility with Cofidis for controlling the race on the last lap and I rode on the decisive bottom ramp hard. The Italian (Luca Chirico MG Kvis-Trevigiani) was on my wheel and thought he could top me, but I resisted.”

Area Zero D’Amico figured well on the roads of Spain in the Circuito de Getxo. The team made it to the finish line together with the top riders: 5th place for Fabio Chinello and 11th for Gianluca Mengardo. “I’m very pleased with our guys’ ride today,” explained team manager and sports director Andrea Tonti. “We were in the thick of things in all phases of the race. Simone Petilli immediately got in to the first break away attempt which was unfortunately annulled by the group. Then it was Gianluca Leonardi’s turn to give it a go with a nice action on behalf of 7 riders who got caught with only 2 km to go to the finish. In the end even in the bunch sprint we tried to shine and we made it to another nice placement in the Top 5. The most important aspect is that we rode the race well and we raced with guts and character, managing to stand out. It was a real race, with a good level of riders and teams lined up at the start (editor’s note: for example Giovanni Visconti from Movistar, fresh off the Tour de France, who came in 7th at the finish line.). “I’m sure that for all our riders the Circuito de Getxo was another important experience in the path to growth that they’re on.”

Circuito de Getxo Result:
1. Carlos Barbero (Spa) Euskadi in 4:00:28
2. Luca Chirico (Ita) MG Kvis-Trevigiani
3. Peio Bilbao (Spa) Caja Rural – Seguros RGA at 0:02
4. J.J. Rojas (Spa) Movistar
5. Fabio Chinello (Ita) Area Zero D’Amico
6. Daniele Aldegheri (Ita) MG Kvis-Trevigiani
7. Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Movistar
8. Matteo Busato (Ita) MG Kvis-Trevigiani
9. Benat Intxausti (Spa) Movistar
10. Stéphane Poulhies (Fra) Cofidis.

Getxo podium:

logo-utahTour of Utah 2014
The Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah is one of only five UCI-sanctioned, multi-stage, North American pro cycling events in 2014. Showcasing some of the world’s most prestigious teams and cyclists for seven days in August, this event now attracts worldwide attention as the top international cycling event that follows the Tour de France. Nearly a decade since its opening circuit, the Tour of Utah, today, stands shoulder to shoulder with the most prestigious professional bicycle stage race events as our answer to the greatest cycling challenges the world has to offer.

Seven stages starting in Cedar City today (Monday) and finishes on Sunday on Main Street, Park City with lots of climbing to the Utah ski resorts. BMC, Cannondale, Belkin, Garmin-Sharp, Lampre-Merida and Trek from the WorldTour, plus Drapac from Australia, Funvic Brasilinvest-São José Dos Campos from Brazil and all the top USA teams will line up.

Race web-site: https://www.tourofutah.com/

Stage 1, Monday August 4th: Cedar City-Cedar City
Stage 2, Tuesday August 5th: Panguitch-Torrey
Stage 3, Wednesday August 6th: Lehi-Miller Motorsport Park
Stage 4, Thursday August 7th: Ogden-Powder Mountain
stage 5, Friday August 8th: Evanston-Kamas
Stage 6, Saturday August 9th: Salt Lake City-Snowbird
Stage 7, Sunday August 10th: Park City-Park City stage.

Stars and stripes for Lampre-Merida in August
Blue-fuchsia-green team will take part in theTour of Utah, UCI category 2.1. Nine years after the last time the team raced in the USA (2005, San Francisco), Lampre-Merida will debut in the Tour of Utah with an American captain, Chris Horner. The winner of Vuelta a España 2013 will receive a huge support from American fans in his come back to Utah, where during the past edition he won the Snowbird stage and he obtained the 2nd place in the overall classification. Horner will race Tour of Utah after finishing the Tour de France in 17th place.

In addition to Horner, Team Lampre-Merida’s sport director Bruno Vicino will rely on Winner Anacona, Valerio Conti, Luca Dodi, Andrea Palini, Luca Wackermann and stagieres Ilia Koshevoy and Andrea Vaccher.

BMC Racing Team Roster: Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah
Past Tour de France and world road champion Cadel Evans headlines the BMC Racing Team’s roster for the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah.

Bookwalter A Former Stage Winner
Winner of the world title in 2009 and the Tour de France in 2011, Evans and four others on the BMC Racing Team’s roster are first-time participants in the seven-day race that begins Monday. Brent Bookwalter, who has competed in six of the race’s 10 editions, is a former stage winner and has twice helped BMC Racing teammates win the race overall: Jeff Louder in 2008 and Johann Tschopp in 2012.

Download the official roster card (PDF with bios, statistics, etc.): https://bit.ly/1pIvtQZ

Brent Bookwalter (USA), Yannick Eijssen (BEL), Cadel Evans (AUS), Ben Hermans (BEL), Michael Schär (SUI), Dylan Teuns (BEL), Danilo Wyss (SUI), Rick Zabel (GER).
Sport Director: Jackson Stewart (USA).

Hofland returns in Tour of Utah
The Belkin Pro Cycling TEAM will start the Tour of Utah on August 4 with a new face, stagiaire Martijn Tusveld, and welcome back Moreno Hofland.

Hofland returns to racing after a harsh crash in the Tour of California ruled him out for weeks. He broke several ribs and also suffered a fracture in his L2, lower back, vertebrae. “The doctors said that I wouldn’t be able to train for six or seven weeks. I was afraid that I wouldn’t be fit for the start of the Vuelta, but I recovered very well and I’m pain-free now,” Hofland said. “I’m glad I can ride the Tour of Utah. The first stages offer opportunities for fast men like me. During training rides, my sprints are going well and I’ll just go for it.”

Erik Dekker
Erik Dekker sent his riders to the United States over a week ago, so that they could adjust to the altitude and the time difference. “The first two days we’ll ride between 1800 to 3200 meters altitude, which gives you an idea what the race is like. We are well prepared, however.

“We’ll start the race with an open mind. For everyone, this is the first race after a relatively easy period. The roles will be based on qualities, and not completely fixed in advance. For our stagiaire Martijn Tusveld, this is a brilliant chance to step in the spotlight. He’s a talented rider and can handle the parcours. Maybe he can surprise us.”

Martijn Tusveld
Tusveld, who normally rides his races in the orange colours of the Rabobank Development Team, looks forward to the wonderful opportunities with the Belkin Pro Cycling TEAM. “The atmosphere within the team is very good and we’ve already done some nice training loops through the beautiful Utah area. I know Moreno well as we used to be on the same team and Mathieu Heijboer was my trainer.

“During the race I want to help the team as much as possible. I hope to hang on as long as possible in the mountains. This is a good race for me and I will try to show what I am worth.”

TEAM line-up:
Jetse Bol, Moreno Hofland, Martijn Keizer, Wilco Kelderman, Maarten Tjallingii, Martijn Tusveld, Robert Wagner and Dennis van Winden.
Sports Director: Erik Dekker.

2014 Tour of Utah Route Announcement:

header-astanaAstana Contract News
In August Astana Pro Team will take on three young stagiaires from Astana Continental Team to race through the end of the 2014 season –
Maksat Ayazbaev – KAZ
Bakhtiyar Kozhataev – KAZ
Ilya Davidenok – KAZ
Davidenok recently won the overall general classification at the Tour of Qinghai Lake in China .
Kozhataev has shown consistent Top-5 finish capability in races for the past two seasons.
Ayazbaev will start the upcoming Tour of Denmark in support of Jakob Fuglsang.

Astana Pro Team has signed contracts with the following riders to begin in the 2015 season – more information to follow:
Lars Boom – NED – 2 years
Luis Leon Sanchez – ESP – 1 year
Diego Rosa – ITA – 2 years
Davide Malacarne – ITA – 1 year

Astana Pro Team General Manager Alexandr Vinokurov said: “Boom is a classics rider as well as a Grand Tour teammate, and won stage five this year at the Tour de France in conditions not seen on the pave in more than a decade. Malacarne and Rosa are strong Italian riders who can help Fabio Aru in stage races.”

header-garmin-sharpTeam Garmin-Sharp and Team BMC Agree To Unprecedented Mid-Season Transfer For Rohan Dennis
Team Garmin-Sharp rider and Commonwealth Games silver medalist Rohan Dennis will begin competing for the BMC Racing Team Monday, Aug. 4, thanks to a rare, mid-season transfer agreement.

Dennis received clearance from Team Garmin-Sharp and approval by the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) and the Professional Cycling Council (PCC) to join the BMC Racing Team under a contract that extends into the 2015 season. Cooperation from all parties cleared the way for the 24-year-old Australian to make the switch between the two U.S.-registered WorldTour teams. “Rohan is a great athlete, said Jonathan Vaughters, CEO of Slipstream Sports and Team Garmin-Sharp.”He has been a solid team member and together we have achieved great success, including a stage win at year’s Tour of California and the overall win of 2013 Tour of Alberta. However, we understood his desire to work again with his former director Allan Peiper, when he was given the opportunity to do so in 2015. Rather than prolong the inevitable, we came up with a rare transfer solution that works best for Rohan and both teams. We view this move as not only a good step for the athlete and teams, but as major progress in the way the sport of cycling handles rider transfers. We wish Rohan luck in his new team.”

BMC Racing Team President/General Manager Jim Ochowicz said Dennis will make an immediate impact. “This vastly improves our ability to be competitive in races that have prologues and time trials,” Ochowicz said. “Rohan will also play a leadership role in some one-day races and one-week stage races that fit his profile. We expect him to a big asset in grand tours and one-day races, too, where he will have a working role.”

Dennis said he was appreciative of Vaughters not only for his time at Garmin-Sharp but also for signing off on the new opportunity. “I want to thank Jonathan Vaughters, my teammates and the staff at Garmin-Sharp for all the opportunities they gave me the past year-and-a-half,” Dennis said. “I had a lot of success with Garmin-Sharp and I’m very thankful for that.” Dennis said he is looking forward to working with Peiper again. “My first experience with professional teams was with him at the Tour Down Under when I went to Garmin-Sharp,” he said. “I think he is one of the best guys to look after me and I am looking forward to working with him as part of another great team. I am very excited for my future at the BMC Racing Team.” In keeping with BMC Racing Team policy, specific terms of his contract were not revealed.

While riding for Team Garmin-Sharp, Dennis won a stage of the Amgen Tour of California in May on the way to a runner-up finish overall. He was also runner-up overall at the Circuit de la Sarthe and finished second and third in time trials at Critérium International and the Tour de Suisse, respectively. In 2013, he won the inaugural edition of the Tour of Alberta in Canada. The second-year professional said one of his goals is to improve on his runner-up finish at the 2013 national time trial championships. “I would also like to start winning time trials in Europe and hopefully get on the podium for a tour in Europe, not just for a stage or a time trial,” Dennis said. “To get a good overall position at a stage race is a huge goal of mine.”

Rohan Dennis wins the Tour of California stage 3:

header_BMCBMC Racing Team Signs Alessandro De Marchi
The BMC Racing Team announced Saturday the signing of Alessandro De Marchi, the “most aggressive” rider at this year’s Tour de France.

‘Goal Is To Work For The Team’
The 28-year-old Italian earned the combativity award of the Tour de France for his part in breakaway moves on Stages 13 and 14 on the way to earning the top prize of the classification Sunday in Paris. De Marchi’s other notable accomplishments in four seasons as a professional include winning the king of the mountains classification at the Critérium du Dauphiné in June, a fifth-place finish on Stage 17 of this year’s Tour and a stage win on the final day of the Dauphiné last year. “Alessandro brings another sharp edge to our team’s bag of tools,” BMC Racing Team President/General Manager Jim Ochowicz said. “He is an aggressive rider with multiple skills, but we are especially excited about his skills in the mountains.” De Marchi said he looks forward to playing a supporting role for the BMC Racing Team. “My goal is to work for the team,” he said. “I know that is my strength and my best quality. Of course, if there are some opportunities, then I will go after them – just as I did this year at the Tour. But my first goal is to work for the captain and the team leader.” In keeping with BMC Racing Team policy, specific terms of De Marchi’s contract were not revealed.

Cannondale Pro Cycling’s Alessandro De Marchi Interview:

header-cofidisBouhanni for Cofidis
Nacer Bouhanni will be leaving his present FDJ.fr team to ride with Cofidis for the next two years. The French sprinter will be joined by Steve Chainel and Geoffrey Soupe plus Canadian Dominique Rollin will come out of retirement to become an important part of Bouhanni’s lead-out train. Bouhanni will ride the Vuelta a España before ending his season.

The best of Nacer Bouhanni:

header-tinkoffsaxoTinkoff-Saxo Informed about Provisional Suspension of Roman Kreuziger
Saturday 2nd of August, Tinkoff-Saxo was informed by Roman Kreuziger about the UCI Anti-doping Commission’s decision to provisionally suspend him, based on their assumption that his future race results are “likely to be affected by the asserted anti-doping rule violations”. Consequently, Roman Kreuziger will not take part in Tour de Pologne, which begins Sunday, as he will remain suspended from all racing until a verdict has been reached in Roman’s case.

Tinkoff-Saxo cannot avoid criticizing the timing of this decision – as the rider and team was notified less than 24 hours before the start of WorldTour race Tour de Pologne. The team notes that this materially impairs it’s participation in this important race and that Kreuziger’ receives his provisional suspension without solid evidence of any wrong doing but only based on the opinion of medical experts of the UCI Anti-doping Commission.

Team owner; Oleg Tinkov Tweeted: “We’ll sue #UCI for non-disclosure that @Roman86_K had bio passport violations in 09/10 when we signed him in 2012.They knew, and hide this?” and followed that with: “I lost millions of euro for not knowing this issue once the contract was cleared by UCI. Now, they have to pay us big bucks for this.” Although he also announced that: “Here is the first real announcement: We signed Bradley Wiggins and Michael Ignatiev.” adding later that: “you must know that by just signed contract with #Wiggo I forced to shave off his whiskers.” And later: “Sorry, actually, Froomey just called me and stop me to sign Wiggo, he and his wife against his carrier development in cycling :-(. #messSKY.” Although his Twitter account could have been hacked.

Tinkoff-Saxo Extends Contract with Major Talent
Tinkoff-Saxo is proud to announce that the team has signed a new 3-year contract with Rafal Majka. The 24-year old rider is one of the major talents in cycling and has shown his potential as a top GC-rider for the seasons to come. Team manager Bjarne Riis brought Majka to the team in 2011 and is very pleased with how he has grown. “I’m very happy to announce that we’ve extended Rafal’s contract. He still had one year left of his contract but he deserved to get an extension after his efforts this year and during the Tour. He has developed solidly and quickly during the last seasons. I know how hard Rafal has worked during the season and he definitely deserves a spot on the team”, says Bjarne Riis.

Rafal Majka has proved his ability as a climber and GC-rider by finishing 7th and 6th in the last two editions of Giro d’Italia and by winning the mountains classification and two stages in this year’s Tour de France. Bjarne Riis is certain that we haven’t seen Majka’s full potential yet. “The way Rafal performed during the Tour coming out of a hard Giro shows that it’s realistic to aim for the podiums in the Grand Tours. He is still young and he can still improve and become even better but he’ll be a key rider for us”, explains Bjarne Riis.

Team owner Oleg Tinkov is pleased with the new deal, as he has seen how the winner of the polka dot jersey has improved under the supervision of the team’s sporting staff. “Rafal is one of the youngest and most talented riders in the peloton. He obviously has a great future ahead of him. It’s a pleasure for the team to have such a skilled rider like Rafa for the next three years. He’s capable of winning Grand Tours some day and I’m absolutely sure that our team is the best place for him to develop and to get experience”, concludes Oleg Tinkov.

“I’m really happy and pleased that I will stay with my team for three more years. In my view, it’s the reward for working really hard these past seasons. I’ve trained so seriously and determined this season and I’ve received a lot of advice and support from Bjarne, Oleg, the sport directors and my teammates. This is the right team for me to improve even more”, says Rafal Majka following the announcement of the new contract.

The talented Tinkoff-Saxo rider tells that he signed the new contract full of confidence after a memorable Tour de France.

“We experienced ups and downs but I really found myself on the climbs of this year’s Tour de France. I need to learn more and get more experience but my ambition is to aim for the overall win in the Grand Tours in the future. I have very strong teammates and really skilled sport directors to support me all the way”, adds Rafal Majka, who is back in action today in Tour de Pologne.

In 2011, team manager Bjarne Riis brought the talented Polish climber to Tinkoff-Saxo, where he gained significant attention during Vuelta a Espana 2012 as an important helper in the mountains for Alberto Contador. Since then, Rafal Majka has established his status as a talented climber and GC-rider by finishing 7th and 6th in the last two editions of Giro d’Italia and by winning the mountains classification and two stages in this year’s Tour de France.

Rafal Majka wins stage 17 in the 2014 Tour de France:

mini_PEZ_jerseyPEZ Fantasy Tour de France League
This year’s winner was Neil Robert with his team Socratic Cyclists, well done Neil and thanks for beating me by nearly 3,000 points. Next up the Fantasy Vuelta a España, details soon.

The Battle of Stage 5 of the Tour de France
This year the handlebar cam has been the big innovation of the Tour de France and there are lots of examples. This one from Cannondale on the cobbles of stage 5 is one of the best. Check out the battle from the bike.

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