EuroTrash Nat Champs Monday!
Most of the National road championships were at the week-end and we have nearly all of them here, we apologize to any we missed. As always we have race reports, rider quotes, results, photos and video action, if video is available (Spain?). Other cycling news: Etixx – Quick-Step team for the Tour de France and video from the Veloroos in the RAAM. Coffee morning time.
TOP STORY: What Went Wrong at the Italian Champs?
Probably the right man won on Saturday in the Italian National road championships as Vincenzo Nibali is, as he should be, in his top form to defend his Tour de France crown starting next week. But it seems that not all the riders on the podium were just as welcome. Second was Francesco Reda, who? I hear you say. He hasn’t done so much this year, up until now. That’s because he had been serving a ban for evading a doping test when he rode for UCI Professional Continental Team Androni Giocattoli-Venezuela. His ban was reduced after he gave evidence to the Cycling Independent Reform Commission. Anyway, it looks like his second place was not too popular with the race organizers, or as they said: they forgot the silver medal, so Reda didn’t get his.
The other problem was at the doping control. After racing for five hours, Androni’s Gianfranco Zilioli had to wait for four hours because the doctor didn’t have enough containers for the samples. Ironic really that Reda missed a control, but another rider had to wait to give his sample.
Italian Road Race Championship 2015
Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) won his second in a row Italian National road championship on Saturday, attacking on the final climb after his team had softened up the competition. Second was Francesco Reda (Team Idea) and Diego Ulissi (Lampre-Merida) was third. Nibali soloed the final 3 kilometers for the win. Gianfranco Zilioli (Androni-Sidermec), Davide Rebellin (CCC Sprandi) and Domenico Pozzovio (AG2R-La Mondiale) were at the head of the peloton at the line.
Six riders made up the race break: Giorgio Cecchinel (Southeast), Marco Frapporti (Androni-Sidermec), Antonio Nibali (Nippo-Vini Fantini) Luca Sterbini (Bardiani-CSF) and Filippo Fortin (CM Cycling Team). They were held close and were eventually pulled in before the final climb. Nibali made his first attack and Reda and Ulissi went with him. Behind there was a strong chase, but they could not bring the three back before the finish. With 3 kilometers to go, Nibali made his winning move.
3rd, Diego Ulissi (Lampre-Merida): “My condition is good and I like this course, where I won Milano-Torino. Unfortunately for me, Nibali is at the top of his form and he’s ready to face the Tour de France, so he deserved the victory. I completed a long period of races obtaining the podium and being satisfied for having tried to do my best to obtain a top result in today race.”
Italian Road Race Championship Result:
1. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) (Astana) in 4:57:38
2. Francesco Reda (Team Ideal 2010 ASD) at 0:13
3. Diego Ulissi (Lampre-Merida) at 0:29.
French National Road Race Championship 2015
The 2015 of the French Road Race Championships certainly held the fans spellbound until the final meters of the race that in the end saw the victory of Steven Tronet (Auber-93). The 247 kilometer circuit on a course around Chantonnay offered a tailor made course for puncheurs like the winner. However, minus a crash with 200 meters to go to the finish, everything seemed predestined to find Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis) raising his arms in victory across the line. IAM Cycling’s Sylvain Chavanel placed himself well among the sprinters and ended the day by distinguishing himself with a podium position on the third step, after Anthony Roux (FDJ.fr) was relegated. But IAM Cycling was visible throughout the race since Jérôme Coppel, the new French time trial champion, spent the day in the main break of the race.
Having taken his second podium position in four days, Sylvain Chavanel was prepared to discuss his race only minutes after crossing the line. “Nacer Bouhanni’s crash surprised a lot of people. I was in sixth or seventh position at the time. But Steven Tronet and Anthony Roux had already made their moves, so it was too late. I am very happy to have finished third, but I do feel a lot of sympathy for Bouhanni because he certainly had the legs to take another title; and I take my hat off to his team, which really rode perfectly all day. That’s why I was not banking on this race, and why I made my tactics according to what Cofidis did. Nacer had clearly displayed his ambitions, and given the number of riders entered, it seemed useless for me to try something earlier. However, Jérôme Coppel did spend his day at the front of the peloton, and made it a tough race. As far as I’m concerned, he had a great championship.”
Apropos, Coppel, who took his place on the top step of the podium on Thursday, was not intimidated by his recent success. “We were only four riders from IAM Cycling, and I think that we had a great race. Personally, I was not feeling amazing, so I wanted to anticipate the attacks. I would not have been able to follow the favorites all day. But when the break was a group of seven including Thomas Voeckler and Romain Bardet off the front, honestly I began to believe. I thought we might be able to take it all the way. We were pulled back, though. The course was hard, but the result proved that an in form sprinter could win it. For IAM Cycling, Sylvain Chavanel secured a good result, which bodes well for the Tour.”
French National Road Race Championship Result:
1. Steven Tronet (Auber 93) in 5:58:11
2. Tony Gallopin (Lotto Soudal) in 0:03
3. Sylvain Chavanel (IAM Cycling).
French National Time Trial Championship 2015
In the Vendée heat, there was no mirage, but rather a beautiful reality. At the time trial championships of France, the IAM Cycling team again performed very well. Though Sylvain Chavanel did not manage to win a seventh title, Jérôme Coppel, who already proved he was in great shape by producing a fantastic result in the final time trial of the Tour of Switzerland last week, improved upon his efforts there by climbing up to the top step of the podium on Thursday. Coppel won by three seconds ahead of Stéphane Rossetto (Cofidis) and Sylvain Chavanel by seven seconds.
The French national champion, Jérome Coppel (IAM Cycling): “As far as I’m concerned, Sylvain Chavanel is the best in France against the clock. When I crossed the line, I knew I had a good time, but I honestly could not believe it. I thought I was second behind Chava. And then there was suddenly a rush of emotions. During the national anthem, I thought of my friend, Arnaud Coyot because he believed in me. I was even thinking of him during the time trial. He was able to help me, and it’s also thanks to him that I’m here. This is my first title as a pro, so I am super happy. Since joining IAM Cycling, I have changed my mindset. Now I definitely want to try to win stages and to work for my leader, Mathias Frank. Going for the general classification is over for me. At IAM Cycling, I can work with great racers who have tons of experience like Chava, and who give good advice. The directeur sportifs are all great also and experienced, which is very important. Sunday, we have a chance and a card to play. Four from the team will participate; we’ll be missing some numbers, but we’ll ride as a team. The last time that Sylvain was not the time trial champion of France, he made up for it by being the road champion.”
3rd, Sylvain Chavanel (IAM Cycling): “I felt from the beginning that I was not on an exceptional day,” the six time champion of France said. “I started well, but by the finish, I was seven seconds behind. And that was good enough for third. I’m very happy for Jérome after all the problems he had. But I am disappointed because I did want a seventh title. My strength is in moving forward; tomorrow I will have turned the page.”
French National Time Trial Championship Result:
1. Jerome Coppel (IAM Cycling) in 59:56
2. Stéphane Rossetto (Cofidis) at 0:02
3. Sylvain Chavanel (IAM Cycling) at 0:07.
Belgian National Road Race Championship 2015
In the first of fourteen laps twenty-five riders got away and that was the breakaway of the day. They had a maximal lead of seven and a half minutes. With 85 kilometers to go the front group fell apart due to attacks from Lotto Soudal. Seven riders were left in front, including Dehaes, Roelandts and Van der Sande of Lotto Soudal. During an ascent of the Horenberg Roelandts and Van der Sande took off with Preben Van Hecke (Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise). In the penultimate lap Van der Sande was dropped after a strong race. Roelandts and Van Hecke managed to stay ahead of a solo chasing Van Avermaet. In the sprint Van Hecke was to fast for Roelandts.
2nd, Jürgen Roelandts (Lotto Soudal): “This is a huge disappointment, the biggest one of my career. I felt I was the fastest, although I knew Preben isn’t slow. He made a strong impression today. Greg and Preben train together, so I couldn’t let Greg join us, if he would attack I would have been the one to close the gap. The team was in a good position right from the start. It wasn’t a specific plan that I would attack early. In the break of twenty-five I was riding in a comfortable position. Thomas de Gendt and Louis Vervaeke did lots of work to create a big gap. Then Jasper De Buyst, Kenny Dehaes and Tosh Van der Sande did a hell of a job. 80 kilometers before the end we caused a selection. The situation was good for us all day long. It isn’t enough for me that we rode a fantastic race as a team. I really wanted to win the title. Until the last two hundred meters it was looking good. In the sprint it went wrong. Preben rode a strong race, but it’s still a disappointment for me.”
Belgian National Time Trial Championship Result:
1. Preben Van Hecke (Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise) in 5:12:20
2. Jürgen Roelandts (Lotto Soudal) at 0:01
3. Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) at 0:06.
Belgian National Time Trial Championship 2015
Jurgen Van den Broeck (Lotto Soudal) won the time trial at the Belgian Championships. The Lotto Soudal rider needed 58’32” to cover the course of 48.8 kilometers. Yves Lampaert was 42 seconds slower and won the silver medal, Kristof Vandewalle was third at 1’07”.
Belgian TT champion, Jurgen Van den Broeck (Lotto Soudal): “This feels good. I gave it all, right from the start, that was the best you could do on that course. It was almost all straight ahead and there was not much wind. Those long straight roads might have been mentally hard for some riders. You could never recover. I live close to the course. It wasn’t a big advantage that I knew it very well, but it might have been a small advantage in the few curves. Anyhow, it was very motivating. I set the best times at the intermediate time checks, there were about three riders behind me that could still threaten me, so I wasn’t sure yet but I started dreaming. In the Tour de Romandie and Giro I rode a good time trial and that’s why this championship was a goal, you can always do more close to home as well. In the time trial you only depend on yourself. The last races I have been a bit unlucky, this victory is good for my confidence. I have been asked already several times what the reason is of my strong time trials this year, but I don’t know. I won’t think about it too much and just want to keep it this way (laughs). It will be a special feeling to put on the jersey for the time trials.”
Belgian National Time Trial Championship Result:
1. Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Lotto Soudal) in 58:32
2. Yves Lampaert (Etixx – Quick Step) at 0:43
3. Kristof Vandewalle (Trek) at 1:07.
Dutch National Road Race Championship 2015
Niki Terpstra won the 253km Dutch Road Championship out of a sprint, as the peloton caught the lead group in the final kilometers even though the breakaway riders had a gap of at least 16 minutes at one point in the race. Terpstra, despite coming through the final corner in about 2nd position, passed Ramon Sinkeldam in the final meters to win his third National Road Championship of his career. Danny Van Poppel was 3rd.
“I am happy because this is the third national title on the road in my career, but probably the most difficult of the three,” Terpstra said. “The race was really crazy. There was a breakaway group with about eight riders that took more than 16 minutes of an advantage. No one wanted to work to close the gap. In the last laps we worked hard to bring these guys back. In the last lap I thought maybe I could be there and do the final. We caught the breakaway at about 6 or 7 kilometers to go and I knew in the last two or three kilometers there were a lot of corners where I could try to do something. It was also slippery due to the rain. So, I went at a certain moment and fortunately I took advantage of our tyres that are super good in wet conditions. Then I came into the final sprint with the other guys, but when I looked around me it was only sprinters. So, I was thinking I will end up with another 2nd place, but I gave everything and in the end I passed Sinkeldam and I won. After a few podium places during the Classics winning is important. This is also a special, as any time you can be a champion in your country, it is beautiful. I am really waiting for my Vermarc box to arrive with my Dutch outfit, so I can have a look and enjoy the moment when I will wear the jersey for the first time.”
Dutch National Road Race Championship Result:
1. Niki Terpstra (Etixx – Quick-Step) in 5:47:41
2. Ramon Sinkeldam (Giant-Alpecin)
3. Danny van Poppel (Trek).
British National Road Race Championship 2015
Mark Cavendish (Etixx – Quick-Step), after a gutsy effort in the British Road Championship on Sunday, was 2nd to Peter Kennaugh (Sky) as it came down to those two riders out of a four-rider breakaway in the finalé. Ian Stannard (Sky) finished 3rd. Cavendish bridged to Stannard and Kennaugh with Luke Rowe (Sky) on the penultimate lap, and was able to contest the race on an up-and-down circuit that also featured a tough, cobbled Michaelgate climb.
British National Road champion, Peter Kennaugh (Sky): “I didn’t think I’d won it until the last right-hand bend when I saw Cav wasn’t on my wheel. Up until then he’d been incredibly strong and hats off to him, I’m sure he’ll get this jersey again another year. Winning the race last year meant everything to me and it’s been a great 12 months. I couldn’t believe how quickly it came around again and I’m over the moon to be staying in the white jersey, with my white bike and white accessories. All that means a lot to me, and having the added pressure of wearing it in the pro peloton gives me that extra motivation to perform.”
2nd, Mark Cavendish (Etixx – Quick-Step): “I’m super happy with my performance today, I felt really strong throughout the whole race. I feel I’m in good form now going into the Tour de France. I’m looking forward to it.”
3rd, Ian Stannard (Sky): “It was a tough day. We rode from the start as we wanted to break the race up as a team. That put pressure on us for the whole day. Michaelgate isn’t hard as a standalone climb, but going nine times up it burned the legs, and I had a tough sprint with Luke at the end.”
British National Road Race Championship Result:
1. Peter Kennaugh (Sky) in 4:27:33
2. Mark Cavendish (Etixx – Quick Step) at 0:05
3. Ian Stannard (Sky) at 0:39.
British National Time Trial Championship 2015
Former Hour Record holder without opposition in Cadwell Park, claims fourth British national TT title to equal Stuart Dangerfield and crown a wonderful season, his Movistar Team now up to 25 wins in 2015
Movistar Team claimed on Thursday its second victory in as many chances so far to take national jerseys in Europe this week. The Eusebio Unzué managed squad saw Alex Dowsett snatching the Blues’ 25th victory of 2015 with a convincing performance in Cadwell Park, venue of the 44km elite individual time trial course in Lincolnshire.
Without any references on the course and with misfortune as a wasp stung him inside his thigh into the first lap, Dowsett’s pace was still impressive, the Essex-based rider leaving Ed Bradbury (NFTO) three-and-a-half minutes back, with Ryan Perry in third at almost 4′. Dowsett, only 26 years old, has this way equalled the four titles obtained by record-holding Stuart Dangerfield.
Alex Dowsett (Movistar): “It’s lovely to get it back. It’s really significant being national champion. Now every time I do a time-trial I get to wear this, it stands me out as either the British or Dutch national champion! (jokes). I couldn’t have lost it to a more talented guy last year in Brad but it’s nice to have it back.
“That was tough. I didn’t have a radio so I had no idea where I was in relation to anyone else. The course itself – in training I thought it would be easier in the race but it was actually harder, so I had no idea how well I was going out there. But when I saw Matt (Bottrill) I knew that either he was on a horrendous day or I was on a good one. I had a bit of a moment on the second to last corner around here. I’ve got quite a few friends who race British Superbike and I’m not going to hear the end of it from missing that apex!
“I thought I’d overcooked it a little bit early on. Being as hilly as it is it’s difficult – you don’t want to give away too much early on but you don’t want to go too hard. It wasn’t easy getting it right. On lap one I got stung by a wasp just inside my thigh, which kind of added insult to injury. Something always happens at nationals for me. I think I’ve had a crash, a bike change, being sick as a dog and this year a wasp sting so – yeah – a thrill a minute!”
British National Time Trial Championship Result:
1. Alex Dowsett (Movistar) in 1:00:11
2. Edmund Bradbury (NFTO) at 3:31
3. Ryan Perry (SportGrub Kuota) at 3:51.
Norwegian National Road Race Championship 2015
Edvald Boasson Hagen won the Norwegian national road race title for the 2nd time in his career on Sunday after an enthralling finale. 2nd and 3rd place went to the Team Joker duo of Odd Christian Eiking and Vegard Stake Laengen respectively.
It would be a non-stop action packed race with numerous attacks from the gun. The general protocol of an early break goes clear only to be caught later on was totally thrown out the window. Just after 50km into the race, making that 130km still to go, 3 main groups would form on the road.
10 riders made up the front group, including Edvald. The 2nd group contained 7 riders, including Alexander Kristoff (Katusha). The 3rd group would be considered the peloton but they were strung out in smaller groups all over the road. The front group would give it a full go for the next 40km in order to establish a gap over the 2nd group, consequently eliminating the dangerous Kristoff from contention. Team Joker had the numerical advantage in the lead group with 4 riders and soon began the attacking once again.
Eventually the Norwegian continental team put themselves in a great position by placing 2 riders up the road with Lars Petter Nordhaug (Team Sky) while Edvald was left chasing with Sven Erik Bystrom (Katusha), Vegard Breen (Lotto Soudal) as the two other Joker riders sat on; all the other early leaders dropped. The situation at 10km to go saw the chasers trailing by over 1 minute.
It looked all said and done until Bystrom put in a monstrous turn with around 3km to go, bringing the gap down to 20 seconds with 1.5km to go. This would prove to be a really friendly gesture by the Katusha rider. With the road gradually rising for the final 1500m, Edvald really just threw the kitchen sink at the race in order to try and bridge. With 100m to go, Edvald made contact with the front runners and then managed to edge ahead to take the victory after what was in essence, a kilometer long sprint.
Edvald Boasson Hagen (MTN-Qhubeka): “It was obviously a very good day and a close finish but yeah I was so happy to win. It was a tough race though, lots of attacking all day over a very tough course. It came down to us chasing that small group at the finish and I was just going full gas for what seemed like a long time. I was feeling good though so yeah I must say i’m quite pleased with how things went today, eventually catching the group and getting the win by a small margin.”
Norwegian National Road Race Championship Result:
1. Edvald Boasson Hagen (MTN-Qhubeka) in 4:38:13
2. Christian Eiking Odd (Team Joker)
3. Stake Laengen Vegard (Team Joker).
Norwegian National Time Trial Championship 2015
Edvald Boasson Hagen has won the Norwegian national time trial championships for the 7th time in his professional career today. The silver medal went to Andreas Vangstad (Sparebanken Sor) and Truls Engen Korsaeth (Team Joker) picked up the bronze medal. Edvald would put in a commanding performance over the 49km course today as his average speed of over 46km/h was good enough to ensure he finished 2’16” ahead of his closest rival. Edvald missed out on the competing at the 2014 championships due to injury and so the Norwegian star was really motivated to win back the Norwegian national time trial jersey today.
It would be a bit of a long wait from the time Eddy crossed the line until victory was confirmed though as there were still a number of riders who were still out on course after Edvald had finished. Defending champion Reider Borgersen (Team Joker) was the last rider to start today and so once he came home well off the pace, it was confirmed that Edvald would take home the gold medal. With the Tour de France starting with a 13km individual time trial, Edvald will be able to show off his national colors on the 1st stage of the Grande Boucle in just over a weeks’ time.
Edvald Boasson Hagen (MTN-Qhubeka): “I am really happy to take the win today. I felt good on the course so to come away with the jersey is great, especially as we are going into the Tour now and I will be able to ride in the Norwegian colors once again. I’ve still got the road race on Sunday now before the Tour. It will be a special race as we are racing in my home town but there will be more competition on Sunday than we had today. Guys like Alexander Kristoff will be there and it is a hard course but I look forward to it.”
Norwegian National Time Trial Championship 2015
1. Edvald Boasson Hagen (MTN-Qhubeka) in 1:01:30
2. Andreas Vangstad (Team Sparebanken Sor) at 2:16
3. Truls Engen Korsaeth (Team Joker) at 2:35.
Luxembourg National Road Race Championship 2015
Trek Factory Racing’s Bob Jungels added the road title to the time trial he won this past Thursday to take home the sweet double in the Luxembourg National Championships on Sunday.
“This feels really good!” said an elated Jungels. “It’s always nice to race at home and then to take both jerseys is always special. And now to take them to the Tour [de France] is overwhelming. It’s always nice to have it and then to show it in the Tour is really big.”
Jungels, 22, came into this year’s time trial and road Championships sporting top form as he prepares for his first Tour de France next Sunday, and he won both the time trial and road events convincingly.
A road race is usually a more difficult race to capture, but Sunday’s contest unfolded flawlessly for Jungels, and in the end it was the strongest man that won.
Jungels explained, “We knew we had to make a hard race so it did not come to a sprint. So Ben Gastauer (Ag2R-La Mondiale) attacked from the start line, so straight away we went full gas up a small climb and at the top we were only four guys left and we did the whole race with the four of us.
“After that is was an elimination race, which suited me. We lost one guy with 60kms to go, and then another we could see was struggling on the climbs each lap and so in the end it came down to Gaustauer and me.”
Jungels eventually shed Gastauer to solo into the Luxembourg Champion’s jersey by almost a minute. Gastauer held on for second and Pit Schlechter (Leopard Development) rounded out the podium.
Jungels was double Luxembourg National Champion in his first elite nationals in 2013 before ceding the titles to his Trek Factory Racing teammates last year.
The pressure was on this year to keep the National jerseys in the team, and with Fränk Schleck sidelined by a knee injury and Andy Schleck now retired, the onus was to Bob Jungels and Laurent Didier to bring home both titles.
Jungels rose to the occasion, winning both the time trial and road championships, and when asked how this time around compares to 2013 he answered, “In 2013, it was my first year professional so that was really special for me, but I think this year I was the favorite, a lot of people expected it, and that is not always easy because you have a lot of riders against you. And now this year I get to wear the jersey in the Tour, and that is really, really special.”
Luxembourg National Road Race Championship Result:
1. Bob Jungels (Trek) in 3:25:43
2. Ben Gastauer (AG2R-La Mondiale) at 1:24
3. Pit Schlechter (Leopard Development) at 4:29.
Luxembourg National Time Trial Championship 2015
Trek Factory Racing’s Bob Jungels reclaimed the Luxembourg National Championships Time Trial he’d won in 2013 while teammate and last year’s champion Laurent Didier finished in third. Jempy Drucker (BMC) was second. Jungels won the 24.6-kilometer race against the clock despite suffering a puncture on the second of two 12.3-kilometer laps.
The past two years at the Luxembourg Championships Jungels and Didier swapped places, doing a successive one-two, but BMC’s Jempy Drucker slotted in between the two teammates on Thursday. Laurent Didier’s third place gave Trek Factory Racing two of the three podium steps.
Jungels, Junior World Time Trial Champion in 2010, finished in 6th place in the Tour de Suisse last week after racing one of his best ever time trials in the final stage. Thursday’s Luxembourg National Time Trial title was confirmation of his top form and showed that Jungles, 22, is more than ready to compete in his first Tour de France starting on July 4th.
Luxembourg TT champion, Bob Jungels (Trek): “I was confident, not about the victory, but about my performance. At the start of the second lap I could see Drucker already so I knew I was on course for a good time. I had a flat tire in the second lap and I had to change the bike. I was just about to catch Drucker who started in front of me by a minute, and then I punctured, so I was not nervous, I knew I was in a good position. I changed the bike and I was about 100 meters behind him at the line so I knew it was probably enough to win it.”The course was similar to [the Tour de Suisse time trial], hilly and technical, but not as long. It’s always different in a one-day time trial compared to competing after a week of racing, but I can see that my shape is really good right now and I feel very good on the bike. This gives me a lot of confidence for the Tour de France and the time trial on the first day. It was a pretty hard course, a lot of false flat climbing and one climb at the end. It was not easy. I felt really good, pretty recovered from the Tour de Suisse and I am super happy to take the victory again.”
2nd, Jempy Drucker (BMC): “I am pretty happy about it,” he said. “Losing against Jungels is nothing to be ashamed of. He is a specialist who just finished sixth in the final time trial at the Tour de Suisse. So he is pretty strong in time trials. I am satisfied with my performance.”
Luxembourg National Time Trial Championship Result:
1. Bob Jungels (Trek)
2. Jempy Drucker (BMC)
3. Laurent Didier (Trek).
Russian National Road Race Championship 2015
One of the leaders of WorldTour Team Katusha Iurii Trofimov won the road race title of the Russian Championships 2015 in Saransk, Mordovia. Trofimov attacked in the last lap with 13,5 km to go and managed to get a good gap, enough to win the gold medal.
“The Russian Championship is a very prestigious race and today’s success is a very important moment in my career. I was already on the podium in previous years and now everything went perfect for me to win. First of all I want to thank my team who supported me during the whole day – the guys did a perfect race! Saransk has organized great championships, so I would like to thank the city government and the event organizers. It was a tough race, so we had to do our best to get success. In the second part of the race, after a number of attacks, a group of 6 riders, including me, was in front. We managed to organize a good work inside our group and we increased our advantage over the peloton. With two laps to go I tried to attack just to see what would happen but in the last lap I attacked again, this time for 100%. I was able to get away, while my teammates supported me in the back. I really struggled in the final kilometers, but finally I won!” Said Iurii Trofimov.
The 204 km race in the streets of the centre of Saransk began with a number of attacks. Many riders tried to escape, while Team Katusha was very active in front, working hard for its leaders. After a good attack it was Eduard Vorganov who went in a solo breakaway. Later a group of 14 joined him, while after another counterattack the leader’s group of 6 managed to get a substantial gap. Vladimir Isaychev, Iurii Trofimov, Sergey Lagutin and Viacheslav Kuznetsov from Katusha as well as Pavel Brutt from Tinkoff-Saxo and Sergey Belykh from ITERA-Katusha made part of this group.
With 13,5 km to go Iurii Trofimov did a powerful attack resulting in his debut gold medal in the Russian Championships. Pavel Brutt was second 15 seconds behind, while Sergey Lagutin finished 3rd, 6 seconds behind Brutt.
“Iurii Trofimov was our leader for this race and the team did all possible to help him today. The race was really hard, the first part was very fast and nervous – a lot of attacks, and our team worked hard to control the situation and to protect the leader. We’ve managed to split and to reduce the group and to create a leading group with 4 our riders: Isaychev, Kuznetsov and Lagutin did a perfect second part of the race, while Iurii Trofimov was really strong in the final, making a victorious attack. What a beautiful race!” Added Team Katusha’s sports director Dmitry Konyshev.
Russian National Road Race Championship Result:
1. Yuri Trofimov (Katusha)
2. Brutt Pavel (Tinkoff-Saxo)
3. Sergey Lagutin (Katusha).
Russian National Time Trial Championship 2015
RusVelo rider Artem Ovechkin is back on the top step of the podium of the Russian elite time trial championships. Six years ago it looked like a beginner’s luck; lately, when he placed third twice in a raw, luck was clearly not on his side. Today the battle was hard, and for a long hilly course (56 km in 1.12’00” at an average of 46.661 kmh) the gaps between Ovechkin and the other two medal winners, Sergey Nikolayev (ITERA – Katusha) and Pavel Brutt (Tinkoff-Saxo), 22 and 24 seconds respectively, didn’t look really huge. Anyway, the reasons for this win were meticulous preparation, planning and experience accumulated over the years rather than a chance he managed to catch.
That’s what the newly-crowned champion had to say after the finish: “The course was cut out for me. It looked flattish and fast on paper, but in the reality the minimum speed fell as low as 26 kmh, while the top speeds soared over 65 kmh, the changes of rhythm could kill anyone. I focused more on my heart rate than on the watts. I planned to ride the opening 28 km-long lap in a more discreet way tactically, but failed to keep a full control over my dynamics; it was little surprise that by km 40 I felt a crisis coming. Only than could I pace myself on the descent, lowered the HR and felt better again. I rode the final stretch strongly, but had some serious doubts as to how much time I lost in that “recovery ride”.
Most of the experts bet on Anton Vorobyev as a potential winner, and it was logical enough, he’s a world-class time trialist. But when I tested the course, I realized that Sergey Chernetskiy and Ilnur Zakarin could be far more dangerous on it. With his climbing legs this season Ilnur could create a serious gap on that long drag, and while most of the riders were left out of breath for quite a while after it, Zakarin could keep on riding fast and accumulating great deal of time gap. Somehow he didn’t deliver, in my opinion, this championship was low on the list of his priorities. I have to admit that I’m generally surprised by the composition of the top-10.
Last year the team wanted me in front in the mountains and I shed some kilos. This year it was completely different: when we mapped it out ahead of the season, I made it cleat that I’d focus on the preparation for the World’s; I’m not a prototypical time trial specialist, I’m too small and need to put on muscles to be competitive against the big guys. Which means different accent in the training, visiting the gym regularly (I wish it was more regular actually, the racing schedule didn’t leave too much space for it).
All in all, I’m happy with the way I’ve got to know myself better and started to hit the top form exactly when necessary. June has always been the month for me, while my autumn peak came too late normally, in October. Now I feel much more in control here.”
Russian National Time Trial Championship Result:
1. Artem Ovechkin (RusVelo) in 1:12:00
2. Sergey Nikolaev (Katusha) at 0:22
3. Brutt Pavel (Tinkoff-Saxo) at 0:25.
German National Road Race Championship 2015
Emanuel Buchmann of the German pro team BORA – ARGON 18 has surprisingly won the German championships in road cycling. After 205 kilometers, the 22-year-old won with an attack in the finale. For Buchmann, who is riding his first season in the pro ranks, today’s success is also his first professional win. Only on Tuesday Buchmann was appointed to the line-up of his team for the Tour de France. Thus, the new German champion jersey will premiere at the biggest cycling race in the world starting next weekend.
“It’s a crazy day for us! It took us six German championships to win this jersey. In the last group of 16 riders, we were represented with still five guys. This shows how compact as a team we rode today. Our tactic was to avoid a sprint and therefore, individual attacks were planned in the finale. And the first one of Emanuel was already the decisive one. Emanuel isn’t a winner by coincidence, but with him one of the strongest riders in the peloton won the race. Hats off to the performance of such a young guy”, comments a pleased BORA – ARGON 18 Team Manager Ralph Denk on the victory.
“First the Tour nomination and now the champion jersey – these are overwhelming events within one week for a young rider. The jersey is not a burden for Emanuel, it will rather inspire him for the Tour de France. I hope he’ll line-up at the start in Utrecht with strong nerves”, Denk concluded.
German National Road Race Championship Result:
1. Emanuel Buchmann (Bora-Argon 18) in 4:55:22
2. Nikias Arndt (Giant-Alpecin)
3. Marcus Burghardt (BMC) at 0:07.
German National Time Trial Championship 2015
Etixx – Quick-Step rider Tony Martin dominated the 45km German National Time Trial Championship on Friday, winning his 5th gold medal in the event with a time of 52 minutes and 10 seconds (51.74km/h). Martin, also a three-time UCI World Champion, was 2’10” faster than 2nd place finisher Nikias Arndt, and 2’58” faster than Stefan Schumacher.
The course, which wasn’t technical and was mostly flat, included three laps of 15km apiece. Martin hasn’t given up the German National TT Champion jersey since 2012. Martin’s victory is the 32nd on the road for Etixx – Quick-Step in the 2015 season.
“I am very happy to have won this race,” Martin said. “This is the 5th title for me, so being able to wear this jersey at the Tour de France to represent this is also something special. As for the parcours, it was flat and simple. But to me it was really good because it was kind of a last test prior to the opening time trial of Le Tour in Utrecht. After Dauphine I was a little tired, and didn’t train as I wanted to. I didn’t know exactly what I could expect from this race, so I have to say I am satisfied with the feeling I had on the bike today. In the race I really felt good. I started quite strong because to me it was also a question of simulating the TT effort of Utrecht. Then, when they told me I had a good margin on the second intermediate point, I continued to push until the end to see how good the feeling really was. In function of Utrecht I think this was a really good race for both my legs and my morale. Also, when you are on your time trial bike for 45 kilometers, it always important to have a good setup. The setup of my Specialized Shiv was perfect. It will be the same as next week at Le Tour. Tomorrow I will analyze my effort again and see how I can further tune up my condition before next Saturday. That is why I won’t ride on Sunday in the German National Road Championship. I want to do specific and quality training prior to the Tour de France.”
German National Time Trial Championship Result:
1. Tony Martin (Etixx – Quick Step) in 52:10
2. Nikias Arndt (Giant-Alpecin) at 2:10
3. Stefan Schumacher (CCC Sprandi Polkowice) at 2:58.
Danish National Road Race Championship 2015
Tinkoff-Saxo’s Chris Anker Sørensen was crowned Danish Road Race Champion on Sunday afternoon after securing the win in a two-man group. Chris Anker, who will now race in red and white for the next year, says that he is very touched by taking the win after, what he describes, as a difficult period.
Crossing the line in Rønde, Denmark after 206 hilly kilometers, Chris Anker comments that he is surprised and delighted to win his first national championship. “It’s amazing, I’m very, very happy. I didn’t believe that this would ever happen so I’m very touched by the fact that it did. This national championship comes after one and a half year, where things have been difficult for me with a couple of costly crashes. It has been an uphill battle and I nearly lost hope that things would turn around. But I guess that today stands testimony to the fact that you should never give up and keep working hard”, says Chris Anker Sørensen, who thanks his three teammates from Tinkoff-Saxo.
“We were only four guys from Tinkoff-Saxo and we rode together to ensure that one of us could win. It was very difficult and it was a hard-fought win but I have to thank my teammates that rode fantastically well and I also have to thank our sports director Lars Michaelsen, who was just behind me in the team car, when I broke loose with Martin Mortensen on the final five kilometers. Without him I would probably have spent much of my energy pulling at the front, but he advised me to sit on Mortensen’s wheel and keep cool as Valgren was in the group behind”.
“I arrived at the final uphill sprint in Rønde with Mortensen, I’ve known him for many years and I know that he’s quick but somehow I had it in me to beat him on the very last meters. It’s a big confidence booster to take this championship and I am very excited about the prospect of racing and riding in the Danish champions jersey for the next year”, adds Chris Anker Sørensen.
2nd, Martin Mortensen (Cult Energy): “I’m hugely disappointed. I’ve done the national championships quite a few many times in my career and the top step of the podium was the only target for me so of course it’s devastating being this close. I had a puncture within the final 25 kilometers and Michael Reihs unselfishly offered me his wheel so I had a chance of making it back. Naturally, it took some of the fuel in the tank this late in the race to make my way back but I believed in the win all the way in to the finish line. I guess I felt a little too sure of it and opened a long sprint and was then passed on the final meters. However, as a team I think we delivered a solid performance and we were represented in all the moves up front. Hats off for Chris Anker who rode a very strong race. Now, I need a few days off and then start the build-up for the second part of the season”,
The Danish National Road Championship consisted of 15 laps of 13.9km for a total distance of 206km in hilly terrain.
Danish National Road Race Championship Result:
1. Chris Anker Sørensen (Tinkoff-Saxo)
2. Martin Mortensen (Cult Energy)
3. Alexander Kamp (ColoQuick).
Latvian National Time Trial Championship 2015
For the fifth time in a row Team Katusha’s Gatis Smukulis won the gold medal in the Latvian Individual Time Trial Championships. In Dobele, after 35 kilometers, Smukulis was 8 seconds faster than Aleksejs Saramotins from IAM Cycling. The bronze medal was for Krists Neilands from Rietumu – Delfin, who finished with 2 minutes and 22 seconds behind Smukulis
Latvian TT Champion, Gatis Smukulis (Katusha): “I am happy to win again the time trial. The Latvian Championship is an important race for me. So every time I try to be in good shape here. Today I felt quite good. After the Critérium du Dauphiné I was tired and I still felt it during the European Games in Baku where I missed some freshness, but afterwards I had time for some recovery until the Championships and now I really feel good. The race was almost flat with some small uphill and downhill. I started behind Saramotins, so I knew his intermediate times and had the possibility to control the situation. In this way I had some reserve and I didn’t have to force anything as the road race on Sunday will be very tough and I want to be ready for 100%”, explained Gatis Smukulis.
Latvian National Time Trial Championship Result:
1. Gatis Smukulis (Katusha) in 41:32
2. Aleksejs Saramotins (IAM Cycling) at 0:08
3. Ervins Smolins at 4:14.
Wyss powered his BMC teammachine SLR01 past Sébastien Reichenbach (IAM Cycling) to win his first race since 2009. Mathias Frank (IAM Cycling) finished third in the 192-kilometer race.
“I tried to attack Michael Albasini (Orica-GreenEDGE) with two kilometers to go because I knew he was really fast and really good on this type of finish,” Wyss said. “It was a tricky finish because the last kilometer was a bit downhill and then there were two 90-degree turns. I knew I had to take one of the last turns in the front. I took all the risks and sprinted before the turn. Albasini did the same and we entered too fast and he crashed.”
Wyss’s title added to the Swiss national time trial title won by teammate Silvan Dillier on Wednesday. Dillier finished fourth in Sunday’s race, 19 seconds back.
BMC Racing Team Sport Director Fabio Baldato said hard work done by five riders from the BMC Development Team was instrumental in helping Wyss take the win. They combined to bring back a dangerous breakaway that included defending Swiss national road champion Martin Elmiger (IAM Cycling).
“We had two teams here, but they really raced like one today,” Baldato said. “All of the guys from the Development Team were working to give everything for the other guys. It was very impressive. Michael Schär completed the job in the last 30 kilometers and we brought back the breakaway 10 kilometers from the finish.”
Wyss’s victory was the third of his professional career that began in 2008 and has been spent entirely with the BMC Racing Team. His last win came in June of 2009, when he took the opening stage of the Tour de Beauce in Canada.
Sébastien Reichenbach (IAM Cycling): “We really fought from the start. Martin Elmiger and Patrick Schelling went in a break that had no BMC riders, with eight laps to go. So we were able to leave the work to the other teams. On the last lap, the fireworks started, and on the descent of the last climb, I joined an attacked led by Danilo Wyss and Michael Albasini. When I looked behind, I saw that Mathias Frank was also chasing out of the pack. So I was reserved in joining the effort, and hoped he could bridge the seven or eight second gap. I was sure it would not end in a sprint, but the other two were really strong and Mathias was not able to join us. It’s particularly annoying because we were really close to keeping the jersey.”
3rd, Mathias Frank (IAM Cycling): “The victory is what counts with the Swiss nationals. We did not win, so we did not meet our goals. I felt good, and was nearly able to bridge up to the lead trio. It’s a shame, but tomorrow I’ll have something else to think about. The Tour de France is coming quickly, and I definitely want to do well there.”
Swiss National Road Race Championship Result:
1. Danilo Wyss (BMC) in 4:37:27
2. Sebastien Reichenbach (IAM Cycling)
3. Mathias Frank (IAM Cycling) at 0:06.
Portuguese National Road Race Championship 2015
The Portuguese National championships belonged to the Lampre-Merida, as it had happened in the 2014 season thanks to the double by Oliveira. On Sunday Rui Costa won the road title, after Oliveira won the time trial on Friday. Rui Costa was first at the finish of a very demanding course (193,2 km, Braga), also thanks to the support by his teammates Mario Costa and Oliveira, who led the group and supported Rui until the final part of the race. The 2013 World champion in Florence beat Joni Brandão (Efapel) and Tiago Machado (Katusha), 3rd at 2 seconds and Amaro at 5. This is Costa’s first road national title in his career, but he had twice won the Portuguese time trial championships.
3rd, Tiago Machado (Katusha): “I really deserved the title after my attacks in the last laps but I am unlucky to have a poor sprint. It is not the first time this happens. Last year I finished 3rd, the year before 2nd. I can live with it. This is cycling. You just need to win, my day will come, I am sure about this. I really had good legs today. I liked the course with its 5 kilometer climb (6 percent) every lap. In the one to the last lap I attacked and just some ten riders were able to follow. It was the decisive moment of the race.”
Portuguese National Road Race Championship Result
1. Rui Costa (Lampre-Merida) in 4:44:57
2. Joni Brandão (Efapel)
3. Tiago Machado (Katusha) at 0:02.
Portuguese National Time Trial Championship 2015
The jersey of the Portuguese time trial champion did not change the owner: it will be for the next year too on the shoulders of Nelson Oliveira. The Lampre-Merida’s cyclist obtained the first place on the 36km course in Braga (4 laps of 9 km each) stopping the watch at 44’05”, 4″ better than Machado (2nd) and 47″ better than Mendes (3rd). In the first, second and third lap, Oliveira was behind Machado, but in the last lap he succeeded in increasing his pace and moved into the lead.
“I’m very happy, because it’s always something difficult to repeat a victory, especially on this year course, which was very demanding – Oliveira, at his third national time trial title as pro, in addition to one title he had conquered as Under 23 – The circuit was characterized by a climb, which was not long but it was quite demanding, and by a descent with headwind, where it was fundamental to have the necessary energies to push on the pedal. I managed my energies in the first part of the race, then I increased my pace and I had the energies to be very fast in the last lap. I obtained very good feedbacks from my legs, so I decided to participate in the road race too, with the aim to support Rui Costa: it would be great if he could wear the national champion jersey I worn this year.”
Portuguese National Time Trial Championship 2015
1. Nelson Oliveira (Lampre-Merida) in 44:05
2. Tiago Machado (Katusha) at 0:04
3. José Mendes (Bora-Argon 18) at 0:47.
Slovak National Road Race Championship 2015
Tinkoff-Saxo’s Peter Sagan claimed the victory in the combined Slovak and Czech Road Race Championship for a stunning fifth year in a row. The win came as a result of a solo move deep into the race that finished in Sagan’s hometown of Žilina, where the champion was joined on the podium by his brother Juraj, who claimed second place in the Slovak classification.
After having received the Slovak national jersey for the fifth time since 2011 in front of his cheering fan club, Peter Sagan tells that he is excited to reclaim the national championship.
“I am very happy that I managed to win a joint Czech – Slovak Championship. The conditions were difficult, but the competition was great. It’s a shame that together with Roman Kreuziger we failed to reach a team double for Tinkoff–Saxo. I have to thank everyone from Žilina and all the fans who came here. Despite the weather not being that nice, still the turnout was great and I’m glad that we have such a fan club. I am pleased that the race was organized in my hometown Žilina”, says Peter Sagan.
Slovak National Road Race Championship Result:
1. Peter Sagan (Tinkoff-Saxo) in 4:51:15
2. Juraj Sagan (Tinkoff-Saxo) at 1:23
3. Patrik Tybor (Kemo Dukla Trencin) at 1:24.
Czech Republic National Road Race Championship 2015
Petr Vakoc also won the Czech Republic Road Championship on Sunday, which means the Czech Champion colors stay in the team for a second consecutive season. Zdenek Stybar won the Czech road title in 2014. Leopold Konig was 2nd in the 2015 edition behind Vakoc, and Jiri Polnicky was 3rd.
“It’s amazing,” Vakoc said of his victory. “It’s the first time I became national champion on the road in all my life, so it’s a really great feeling. I knew I had a chance to win today, but it was a really hard race until the last meters. The race really started at 40 kilometers to go more or less, with the big guys like Peter Sagan, Jan Barta, Roman Kreuziger, and Konig starting to accelerate. There were a lot of attacks. At 20km to go I took my own chance to attack. I went and was joined by Sagan, and also Konig arrived. In the last cimb Sagan attacked, and I followed, and we dropped Konig. I was pushing to keep him away to try and win this title. In the finale we came together again, all 3 of us. Sagan went and he won the Slovak title. Konig and I started playing a bit for the Czech title. I attacked at 500 meters to go just before the top of the climb. I gave everything and took a small gap. When I looked behind me I saw that I was alone and I could finally celebrate my victory. But it wasn’t easy. It was raining the entire day and the competition was really hard in the final. But I am happy, I showed in Baku I had good condition, and this win is basically icing on the cake. I really can’t wait to ride with this jersey. I was often 2nd and 3rd in these championships in the past, but a national championship is another level. I want to celebrate this big achievement now with my family.”
Czech Republic National Road Race Championship Result:
1. Petr Vakoc (Etixx – Quick-Step) in 4:51:30
2. Leopold König (Sky) at 0:11
3. Frantisek Sisr (Team Dukla Praha) at 1:08.
Spanish National Road Race Championship 2015
For the sixth time on a row -the last five, in Movistar Team colors-, Eusebio Unzué’s squad has dominated the road race of the Spanish Championships, held on Sunday over five laps and 189km in Cáceres, on roads exposed to winds and including a slight uphill sprint, where Alejandro Valverde beat Carlos Barbero (Caja Rural-RGA Seguros) while Jesús Herrada took bronze.
The race in Extremadura was an attacking exhibition by Imanol Erviti. The Pamplona-based rider, who jumped after roughly 15km together with Benito, Sáez (CJR), Lizarralde (MUR), Aitor González (AMP) and Marcos García (LRJ), made a further selection with just over fifty kilometer to go together with García and even went solo as the Caja Rural train approached from behind.
Imanol’s excellent effort, chased down with 10km to go, and a late move by Gorka Izagirre together with Bilbao (CJR), eventually left room to a group sprint, where Valverde claimed the Movistar Team’s 27th victory of the 2015 season and showed his usual impressive form leading up to the Tour de France, which starts on Saturday.
Alejandro Valverde (Movistar): “I leave Cáceres with many good memories: it’s been a pleasant three days here, calm and relaxed… and I was able to get this victory! I don’t ride bad with strong heat, but it was a really extreme race today, just like when I won in Talavera. The Dauphiné was intense, difficult, but it left me really good form and we could profit from it today. The squad kept the race really under control and with every kilometer passing, it was clearer that we would finish with a bunch sprint. It was only a matter of giving it all at the appropriate time and contest the win. At the final meters, more than Jesús’s position, I was concerned about Barbero’s. It’s really difficult to look behind: you can only look for the finish, the rivals are strong, and even though I gave a look to my back, searching for my team-mate, I had to really give it all to secure the win. It was a finish that really suited me and I could use my top speed. Now it’s time to go to the Tour: I think we’re in really good form.”
Spanish National Road Race Championship Result:
1. Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) in 4:27:23
2. Carlos Barbero (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA)
3. Jesús Herrada (Movistar).
Spanish National Time Trial Championship 2015
Telephone squad astonishes the crowd Against tremendous heat in Cáceres, as they repeat their 1-2-3 from 2014 with Castroviejo -second career title-, Gorka Izagirre -silver- and Jesús Herrada -bronze-
Impossible to repeat last year’s result in the mountains of the Bierzo, as only four riders took part in Cáceres against six in Ponferrada’s Worlds route, the Movistar Team still showed their dominance in the Spanish fight against the clock as they took all three medals in the National TT Championships, held over 45.6km in Extremadura. Jonathan Castroviejo repeated his brilliant role from 2013 in Bembibre as he took gold in front of Luis León Sánchez (Astana), beating him clearly into the second part of the parcours after only twelve seconds separated them following the opening 22km.
Behind the two, under terrible heat which quickly took all riders’ water supply away, a fight initially going for bronze between Jesús Herrada and Gorka Izagirre started in favor of the younger -Herrada 3″ ahead at the intermediate point-, but a fantastic finish from the Basque awarded him silver as Sánchez collapsed, with Herrada claiming bronze while Imanol Erviti finished in 9th spot. This 1-2-3 also means three Movistar Team riders will wear national TT champion jerseys for the next twelve months, the telephone squad taking its victory tally up to 2016 so far in 2015.
Spanish champion, Jonathan Castroviejo (Movistar): “An easy win? Well, you better don’t say so… (laughs). Just like two years ago, the biggest goal of the season for me is the Tour de France, and the Spanish Championships, just one week earlier, force you to profit from your good fitness. I was doing well – you might lack a bit of competition after a stop following the Dauphiné. I started it off really fast and soon I could get sight of Luisle, but I completely lost all my pace halfway through the race; even, I though of withdrawing after 15km, I had no energy, probably because of the heat. Fortunately, my body more or less responded again, I got back to good feelings minute by minute and I also realized that my rivals weren’t doing well either. Once I caught Luisle, I knew I only had to keep the pace, without losing pace, until the very end. It was a horrible day: I raced almost the whole TT without any water, and at the bus, due to an elasticity problem, the heat and the posture over the TT bike, my shoulder came off – luckily, I could get it back on. The Sunday race? We’re a strong team, with Valverde, Ventoso and Rojas suited well for such a finish, and we might probably work for them, but we’ll see how the race goes. Obviously, after taking this jersey, you only think about wearing it at the Tour: it’s probably the year I head into it in best condition. I felt really well at the Dauphiné, not having trained much, and I didn’t either afterwards, so I should be fresh coming into it. Should health and injuries respect me, I hope to do really well.”
Spanish National Time Trial Championship Result:
1. Jonathan Castroviejo (Movistar) in 55:35
2. Gorka Izagirre (Movistar) at 1:08
3. Jesús Herrada (Movistar) at 2:01.
Austrian National Road Race Championships 2015
For the first time in his career Team Katusha’s Marco Haller won the Austrian pro title after a hard and selective race in Güssing. After 192 kilometers Haller finished 12 seconds ahead of Matthias Krizich (Team Felbermayr – Simplon Wels) and 1 minute 16 ahead of Bora – Argon 18’s Daniel Schorn.
“I am very happy with this title. I won many youth titles but just a pro title counts. This is my first pro title. It is especially nice to me as I won the race after a real elimination race. I am a sprinter, but I didn’t want to take the risk to wait for the sprint. I felt all-day-long good legs. Already early in the race I was in a group of 14 riders. We stayed in the front. Every lap some riders dropped. In the end we started the penultimate lap with just four riders left. That’s when I attacked on the penultimate climb. It was the right moment and nobody was able to chase me down,” said winner Marco Haller.
It was a hard and windy race with four steep climbs in every lap. Marco Haller proved to be in the right shape to start next week in the Tour de France. “I am really happy and so proud to show the national jersey in the biggest race in the world. Team Katusha can count on me in France”, concluded Marco Haller.
Austrian National Road Race Championships Result:
1. Marco Haller (Katusha) in 4:35:46
2. Matthias Krizek (Team Felbermayr – Simplon Wels) at 0:12
3. Daniel Schorn (Bora-Argon 18) at 1:16.
Austrian National Time Trial Championship 2015
Georg Preidler (Giant-Alpecin) raced to victory at the Austrian National Time Trial Championships, taking his first professional victory of his career.
Georg came to the Austrian Nationals with a lot of confidence after being selected for his first Tour de France participation and a strong spring season behind him.
He raced around the 25km time trial in a time of 32’06”, hitting an average speed of 49km/h.
After his time trial, a happy Georg said: “This is unbelievable for me, I can’t believe I won and beat the guys who normally are in front of me. I had good legs and was able to push hard. In the first part my power meter showed good numbers, and I thought if I can continue like this I will have a fast time. In the second part I could even accelerate, which turned out to be enough for the win.
“We have worked hard with the team’s trainers towards this part of the season. I felt good in the Tour de Suisse, where I finished with a good time trial last weekend. Now I repeat that at the Nationals and I am going to the Tour de France with this excellent form.
“It’s like a dream for me to start the Tour de France next week and really unbelievable to do that in the national colors. I always dreamed of that and if people would have told me that three years ago I would do so, I would have laughed, so I am really happy.”
Austrian National Time Trial Championship Result:
1. Georg Preidler (Giant-Alpecin) in 32:06
2. Riccardo Zoidl (Trek) at 0:32
3. Andreas Graf (Team Hrinkow Advarics Cycleang) at 1:21.
Eretrean National Road Race Championship 2015
In what would be a hotly contested race with a field of around 150 starters. Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung lined up with Natnael Berhane, Daniel Teklehaimanot and Merhawi Kudus all eager to make a challenge for the coveted national jersey.
Riders would take on 196km around Asmara and there would be an early attack of 4 riders, including Natnael, Meron Teshome, Metkel Eyob (WCCA MTN-Qhubeka) and one other local rider. The quartet went clear inside the first 15km of racing and few would have given them much hope of staying clear of the strong field. Natnael had other ideas though.
With Merhawi and Daniel marking the countless attacks coming from the field, Natnael was able to drive the lead out to a maximum advantage of 4 minutes. The attacks did not stop though and with 50 kilometers to go 7 riders, including Merhawi and Daniel would bridge to the 4 leaders. Almost immediately Natnael attacked the new lead group and he would not be seen again.
A number of counter attacks came from the chasers but with Daniel and Merhawi marking each move, Natnael was able to open his gap to just over a minute and then held his advantage to the line in what would be a sterling performance. Massive credit must also go to Daniel and Merhawi for being the perfect teammates today. Tesfom Okubamariam (WCCA MTN-Qhubeka) would finish 2nd and local rider Amanuel Gebreigzabhier claimed 3rd place.
MTN-Qhubeka Sports Director, Jean-Pierre Heynderickx: “It was a very good performance from the guys today. It was a flat race so we had to make the racing really tough. Berhane was already in the break by 20km and he made it to the end. Everybody was looking at us today but with good team work and a good strategy we were able to win the jersey. I was really impressed with the number of crazy Eritrean cycling fans here in Eritrea, it was great to see.
Eretrean National Road Race Championship Result:
1. Natnael Berhane (MTN-Qhubeka)
2. Tesfom Okubamariam
3. Amanuel Gebreigzabhier.
Eretrean National Time Trial Championship 2015
Daniel Teklehaimanot has won the Eritrean national time trial championships after beating the MTN-Qhubeka Feeder Team rider, Meron Teshome by just 4 seconds over the 38km course. Natnael Berhane made it an even better day for MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung by finishing in 3rd place.
It would be an extremely long day of competition at the Eritrean national time trial champs today as the first rider would start as early as 06:00am. A total of 108 riders would set off in the race against the clock and after a few delays during the course of the day, the last 8 riders finally got underway around 17:00pm.
Merhawi Kudus was one of the first starters and his early benchmark would stand the test of time right up until the last wave of 8 riders set off. Teshome would better the time set by Merhawi by just 33 seconds to briefly go into the lead. Daniel soon followed the MTN-Qhubeka Feeder Team rider home and would post a new best time by 4 seconds. Defending champion, Natnael was the last rider to finish and he would split Teshome and Merhawi to claim third place.
Overall it was a great day of racing for MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung with the 3 riders in the top 4 and the other rider coming from the MTN-Qhubeka Feeder Team. Daniel’s victory also means that the national time trial jersey of Eritrea will debut at the Tour de France when stage 1 gets underway on the 4th of July.
Daniel Teklehaimanot (MTN-Qhubeka): “I am very happy to take this victory. It was a long day but to finally end with a win is a great feeling. To wear the flag of Eritrea at the Tour de France will be very special and I will try to do everyone proud. Thank you to everyone for all the support.”
Eretrean National Time Trial Championship Result:
1. Daniel Teklehaimanot (MTN-Qhubeka) in 43:40
2. Meron Teshome at 0:04
3. Natnael Berhane (MTN-Qhubeka) at 0:37.
U.S. National U23 Time Trial Championship 2015
Daniel Eaton (Mesa, AZ/Axeon Cycling Team) won the men’s U23 time trial on Friday, while Kelly Catlin (Arden Hills, MN/NorthStar Development) won the women’s U23 time trial. The win marks the first ever U.S. national championship for Eaton, while Catlin won her second in three days.
Times set early on in the men’s U23 time trial stood for much of the race. However, as the riders seeded at the end of the race took to the course, those times began to fall. As the final rider crossed the line, it was official that the Arizona native would take home gold. Alexey Vermeulen (Pinckney, MI/BMC Development Team) took home silver and Greg Daniel (Englewood, CO/Axeon Cycling Team) secured bronze. Daniel’s place on the podium is his second of these national championships, after placing second in the road race on Wednesday. The men’s U23 time trial win also marks the second straight championship performance by Axeon Cycling Team, which also won the road race.
After winning the road race for the second year in a row on Wednesday, Catlin continued her success by repeating her championship performance in the time trial, which she also won in 2014. Sara Youmans (Ketchum, ID/Kryki Sports) and Allison Arensman (Rutherford College, NC/Twenty16 Devo p/b SHO-AIR) finished second and third, respectively.
After finishing in the top ten in the junior men’s 17-18 road race, Brandon McNulty (Phoenix, AZ/LUX-Specialized by Cynergy) won gold in the time trial. McNulty’s winning time was nearly three seconds ahead of second-place finisher Adrien Costa (Los Altos, CA/California Giant Berry Farms-Specialized). Gage Hecht (Parker, CO/Hot Tubes Development Cycling Team) finished third, adding to his silver medal in the road race.
Two days after winning the junior women’s 17-18 road race, Chloe Dygert (Brownsburg, IN/Twenty16 Devo p/b SHO-AIR) added to her success by winning the junior women’s 17-18 time trial. Emma White (Delanson, NY/Hot Tubes Development Cycling Team) finished second, while Skylar Schneider (West Allis, WI/ISCorp Cycling p/b SmartChoice) finished third.
Team Twenty16 continued their claim on the podium when Summer Moak (Huntington Beach, CA/Twenty16 Devo p/b SHO-AIR) won the junior women’s 15-16 race with a winning time of 28:27.51, 38 seconds ahead of the field. Megan Doherty (Bellevue, WA/SCCA-Starbucks Cycling) and Megan Heath (Alpharetta, GA/Frazier Cycling) rounded out the top three. Moak now adds a seventh USA Cycling national championship to her name and her first in the time trial.
Colby Lange (Edwards, CO) won the junior men’s 15-16 category, followed by Avery Cronyn (Tucson, AZ/El Grupo Youth Cycling Club) and Liam Holowesko (Ft. Lauderdale, FL/Hot Tubes Development Cycling Team). In the closest race of the day, the top three riders were separated by only 14 seconds.
Team Mike’s Bikes p/b Equator Coffees also kept their winning ways in tact, after Max Korus (Palo Alto, CA/Team Mike’s Bikes p/b Equator Coffees) posted the fastest time of the day in any category. Justin Rossi (Reno, NV/Herbalife p/b MarcPro-Strava) and Christopher Barton (Ojai, CA/KHS-Maxxis-JLVelo) placed second and third, respectively.
The remaining junior category time trial races continue on Saturday at the same location in Loyalton, CA.
Canadian National Road Race Championship 2015
Guillaume Boivin (Longueuil, QC) of Team Optum-Kelly Benefits Strategies sprinted to victory today in the Elite Men Road Race at the 2015 Global Relay Canadian Road Championships in Saint-Georges, QC.
Boivin out-sprinted his teammate Ryan Anderson (Spruce Grove, AB) and Ryan Roth (Cambridge, ON) of Silber Pro Cycling after 4:34:00 of racing the 185-km challenging course.
The race started with repeated attacks in the first kilometers of racing. Quickly a solid breakaway formed, which included Kris Dahl (Team Smartstop), Derek St-John (Silber Pro Cycling), Michael Woods (Optum-KBS) and Adam de Vos (H&R Block Pro Cycling). The four of them rode away for most the day through the circuits, gaining upwards of four minutes on the peloton.
Eventually, the lead group was joined by Hugo Houle (AG2R La Mondiale), Will Routley (Optum-KBS), Alex Cataford (Silber Pro Cycling) and Rob Britton (Team Smartstop), adding much strength to the breakaway, which lasted through to 40 kilometer left of racing.
At that point, Routley and St-John attacked the lead group. Responding, a second chase group propelled out of the peloton and joined the main chase group, a bridge attempt that included Boivin, Anderson, Roth, Antoine Duchesne (Team Europcar) Zach Bell (Team Smartstop), and Christian Meier (Orica GreenEDGE).
The group gained upwards of 1m40s on the chase group with less than 15 km to go. Working together well, the duo stayed ahead until the last two kilometers to go when Duchesne managed to pull the chase and bridge to the two attackers.
At the finish line, 12 riders went all out to contest for the coveted Red and White jersey, and it’s Boivin who managed to pull the victory by more than a bike length, winning his first official Canadian Road Race title.
Perry Takes U23 Titles by Centimeters
Benjamin Perry (Silber Pro Cycling) took the title and Canadian Champion jersey in the Men’s U23 category finishing in fifth place of the combined race, edging Adam de Vos (H&R Block Pro Cycling) by a few centimeters, requiring a photo finish to determine the winner. Alex Cataford (Silber Pro Cycling) crossed the finish line third of the U23 riders, just behind Perry and de Vos.
Canadian Elite Men Road Race Result:
1. Guillaume Boivin (Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies) in 4:34:00
2. Ryan Anderson (Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies)
3. Ryan Roth (Silber Pro Cycling)
Canadian National U23 Men Road Race Result:
1. Benjamin Perry (Silber Pro Cycling) in 4:34:02
2. Adam De Vos (H&R Block Pro Cycling)
3. Alex Cataford (Silber Pro Cycling).
Etixx – Quick-Step to Le Tour de France
Etixx – Quick-Step has announced the selection that will participate in the 102nd edition of Le Tour de France, which includes nine flat stages, three hilly stages, seven high mountain stages with summit finishes, one individual time trial, and one team time trial. There are also two rest days during the three week grand tour that starts on Saturday, July 4th, and goes until Sunday, July 26th.
“We are at the start of this Tour de France with a very talented and experienced team,” Sport and Development Manager Rolf Aldag said. “Of course for a team like ours, until the 9th Stage at the TTT, every day will be a challenge. Starting in the beginning in Utrecth with the ITT, and continuing the day after with a stage that, on paper, looks to be conditioned by crosswinds along the sea. It’s no secret we have a team that is built for these kinds of efforts. So we are looking forward to this stage. Then we move into Belgium. As a team based there, it is a key moment of Le Tour to show ourselves in front of our home public. We also have the day of the Mur de Huy finale, where we can play with several options. Then the day after, Stage 4 with the cobbles, it is another stage that suits our team perfectly, even if riding on a Classic parcours during the Tour de France is not exactly like riding the spring races. Of course, in cycling anything can happen during these stages, but we know we are as prepared as any team in the peloton to do well on the cobbled sectors. Then we have a couple of stages for fast riders, where Mark Cavendish can be a protagonist. Mark will have the team at his service these days. To conclude the first week of the Tour de France is the arrival of Mûr-de-Bretagne, and the TTT, a discipline where technique and commitment are important. We have tradition in this discipline, that’s why we consider it an important appointment on our road to Paris. Our goal is to perform well in this first part of the race. We want to go into the first rest day happy with our overall performance. It will be important to perform, find results, and then good confidence for the second part of the race starting with the 10th stage. In the second part of Le Tour there are still some stages for the sprints, but also a lot of ground for climbers and attackers. We have options also in the mountains with a rider like Rigoberto Uran, but not only him. Riders such as Tony and Michal showed already in the past that every day they can invent something significant. We want to be consistent over the three weeks and try to be present on multiple levels. We want to be present in the stages, and why not, try to get the yellow jersey for a few days. Wearing that jersey even for few days is always a big achievement. The guys prepared well for this race, and we are confident that all the jobs we’ve done in the last weeks will pay off at the right moment. We believe in our selection formed by riders of eight different nationalities. Our ultimate goal is to leave a mark in this Tour de France, and we believe we have the potential to do it.”
Etixx – Quick-Step tour team:
Mark Cavendish (Great Britain), Michal Golas (Poland), Michal Kwiatkowski (Poland), Tony Martin (Germany), Mark Renshaw (Australia), Zdenek Stybar (Czech Republic), Matteo Trentin (Italy), Rigoberto Uran (Colombia), Julien Vermote (Belgium).
Veloroos win RAAM
In May Chris Selden interviewed the Veloroos before they took on the RAAM Race Across America. Well, they won and now we have the video.
Here are the final highlights of the Veloroos winning the 4 x Womens RAAM Race Across America….
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