What's Cool In Road Cycling

EUROTRASH Rebellin Monday!

Still a professional at 44, time to give up Davide Rebellin? Cyclo-cross from Ruddervoorde and the European championships in Holland with results, reports, rider quotes and video. Other cycling news: Tour for Düsseldorf, young rider for Movistar, new sponsor for RusVelo and Fortuneo-Vital Concept, Caja Rural-Seguros RGA first meeting, Dave Rayner book, Dr. Mark Cavendish and a Peter Sagan interview. EuroTrash time.

TOP STORY: Yet Another Year for Rebellin
At 44 years of age, Davide Rebellin has signed for another year with the Polish CCC Sprandi ProConti team for his twenty-fourth season as a professional. Of course during that time he was banned for a positive test for CERA and lost his silver medal from the Beijing Olympics.

The Italian ‘Old Timer’ said via FaceBook: “The heart always has the last word and seeing that my body and my mind are ready for new battles, I’m going to carry on for another season in search of more emotions to share with everyone. The enthusiasm of a child combined with 23 seasons of experience, with high and lows that have made me understanding, will help me give my best! Thanks to everyone for encouraging me to continue so much and thanks to CCC for this new adventure. I’m still too motivated and determined to call it a day. Passion has no age.”

Rebellin may think he can still compete at a high level, this year he won the Coppa Agostoni and a stage in the Tour of Turkey, but is it not time for him to make space for a younger rider. The Polish team was invited to the 2015 Giro d’Italia, but it was rumored at the time that Rebellin was not welcome and was not picked to ride. Rebellin’s wage is unknown, but the Polish team could maybe give two or three young riders a start on the professional ladder for the price of the old doper.

Rebellin talks, back in 2012:

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Superprestige – Ruddervoorde 2015
The Superprestige in Ruddervoorde was dominated by Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Napoleon Games) who rode away from the others for his first win of the season. Wout Van Aert (Vastgoedservice-Golden Palace) fought Sven Nys (Crelan-AA Drink) for second place and held his overall lead in the Superprestige competition after 3 rounds.

Pauwels went on the offensive from the start and just dropped everyone. Nys and Tom Meeusen (Telenet-Fidea) managed to hold the flying Pauwels, but Meeusen had to give up on lap 3 and Nys fell and was joined by Van Aert. After his slow start, Van Aert looked to be catching Pauwels, but in the end he couldn’t make up enough time on Pauwels or dislodge Nys and that’s how they finished. Belgian champion Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb-Napoleon Games) finished ahead of Meeusen for 4th. New European champion, Lars Van Der Haar (Giant-Alpecin) was not as strong at the previous day to finish 6th. Corne Van Kessel (Telenet-Fidea) took 7th ahead of the Sweeck brothers, Diether and Laurens (Corendon-Kwadro) and Tim Merlier (Vastgoedservice-Golden Palace) in 10th.

Wout Van Aert leads the Superprestige competition with 44 points, Pauwels and Nys are on 37. Lars van der Haar (Giant-Alpecin) is 4th on 35.

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Race winner, Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Napoleon Games): “I had to wait quite a long time for this because Wout and Lars were so good. This win makes up a lot for that. It wasn’t my goal to ride away, but I felt good and at my pace I wasn’t hitting the red zone. Maybe it seemed simple but it was very hard. To me the race was endless. I feared Wout Van Aert who got close. Once the gap remained the same I knew it was possible. I was suffering but knew it was going to work out.”

2nd, Wout van Aert (Vastgoedservice-Golden Palace): “On this course it’s hard for me to use my power. The first few laps weren’t good and then my legs got going. I lost 10-15 seconds on Kevin and that gap remained the same. I couldn’t go any faster and a few laps before the end I realized that I wasn’t going to win. I’m still very disappointed with yesterday’s defeat. I’m pleased that I showed character and finished second today. I did a good job classification-wise. It’s on a bad day that one can take control of the series.”

3rd, Sven Nys (Crelan-AA Drink): “Kevin was impressive today. I’ve not often seen him riding this well in Ruddervoorde. I was nearly suffering from cramps in the final lap. I was sweating a lot. I rode on normal tubulars while others used rhino profile. I was going fast on the long straight sections but I had to work a lot after the corners to close the gaps. I got the maximum out of it.”

Superprestige – Ruddervoorde Result:
1. Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games in 1:01:05
2. Wout Van Aert (Bel) Vastgoedservice-Golden Palace at 0:15
3. Sven Nys (Bel) Crelan-AA Drink at 0:29
4. Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games at 1:07
5. Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet-Fidea at 1:17
6. Lars Van Der Haar (Ned) Giant-Alpecin at 1:36
7. Corne Van Kessel (Ned) Telenet-Fidea at 2:01
8. Diether Sweeck (Bel) Corendon-Kwadro at 2:07
9. Laurens Sweeck (Bel) Corendon-Kwadro at 2:10
10. Tim Merlier (Bel) Vastgoedservice-Golden Palace at 2:13.

Superprestige round 3 in Ruddervoorde:

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European Cyclo-Cross Championships 2015
The Men’s European cyclo-cross championships was a fight between Lars van der Haar (Netherlands) and Wout Van Aert (Belgium), but in the end Van Aert made a mistake and van der Haar maximized his opportunity to beat the Belgian for the first European championships by 19 seconds.

With Sven Nys not starting due to an overnight stomach upset and World champion Mathieu van der Poel recovering from his knee operation, the favorites for the win had to be the on-form Van Aert and the home rider van der Haar. Kevin Pauwels (Belgium) could have upset their plans, but an early puncture caused him to chase the leading pair all race to finish third.

Michael Vanthourenhout (Belgium), Laurens Sweeck (Belgium) and Clément Venturini (France) made the early split, but after three laps of the nine lap race, Venturini had been dropped. Vanthourenhout and Sweeck were caught by van der Haar and Van Aert who had left the others behind. Vanthourenhout and Sweeck could not hold on to the winning pair. Van Aert and van der Haar worked together to keep Pauwels and the others at bay.

On the sixth lap, van der Haar could not hold the wheel of Van Aert on the back part of the circuit. It looked like the Belgian had the win in the style of his recent victories, but he was in trouble a lap later allowing van der Haar to catch him. Going into the last lap; van der Haar attacked to take enough lead onto the steep sandy section and hold that lead to the finish ahead of a very disappointed Van Aert. Pauwels fought through the other riders for the bronze medal with Michael Vanthourenhout (Belgium) 4th at 56 seconds, Julien Taramarcaz (Switzerland) 5th at 1:20 and Thijs van Amerongen (Netherlands) at 1:33. Laurens Sweeck (Belgium) 7th, Corné van Kessel (Netherlands) 8th, Radomir Simunek (Czech Republic) 9th and crash victim, Tim Merlier (Belgium) in 10th at 2:21.

European Championships Cyclocross 2015

European champion, Lars van der Haar (Netherlands): “I still can’t believe it. It has to sink in. Honestly, I have to admit that I figured it was over when Wout was gone. I somewhat gave up on it. I did hope that with one mistake from him that I could come back. It was a difficult, hard race. Wout (van Aert) was stronger on one side of the track and I on the other. He got away but he didn’t crack me. He made a small mistake and I gave my all to close the gap again, which worked out. In the final lap I chose to attack because I thought it wasn’t a good plan to let him be in first position on the walking climb. I got a small gap and could hold it to the walking climb and even until the finish to win the race. It is a very nice win and I am extremely happy with it. It was quite obvious that Wout was better on the run-dune section. I felt that I was better at the other side of the course in the technical section. When I went I just wanted to try it, to play all my cards. If he would be able to counter me then so be it, because he was running better anyway. But I knew that if I could reach that running section with a bonus then victory was within my reach. In hindsight you’re always right. Wout played his cards too. He did all he had to do but made one mistake.”

2nd, Wout Van Aert (Belgium): “I had it in my hands but suddenly it just didn’t work anymore. He was smarter and stronger in the final lap. I never should have given it away when I was leading. I felt good but in the end I reached my limit and hit the wall. I really looked forward to becoming the first European champion but it didn’t work out. I would love to swap some of my eight victories this season for this one. Obviously it’s very disappointing that it didn’t work out on a day like today. I felt really good and was able to create a gap on Lars. Normally I would just pull through but one lap later I felt that I was hitting the red zone. My chain briefly dropped when hopping back on the bike and I briefly blocked. Lars was back in no time. In the final lap I still had my chances but I made the mistake not to be in front at that small forest. I briefly had to get off the bike.”

3rd, Kevin Pauwels (Belgium): “I was riding on my limit for most of the race. Maybe that more was possible if I hadn’t flattened. I saw them riding in the penultimate lap but they were holding back.”

European Cyclo-Cross Championships Result:
1. Lars van der Haar (Netherlands) in 1:02:29
2. Wout Van Aert (Belgium) at 0:19
3. Kevin Pauwels (Belgium) at 0:39
4. Michael Vanthourenhout (Belgium) at 0:56
5. Julien Taramarcaz (Switzerland) at 1:20
6. Thijs Van Amerongen (Netherlands) at 1:33
7. Laurens Sweeck (Belgium) at 1:51
8. Corné Van Kessel (Netherlands) at 2:08
9. Radomir Simunek (Czech Republic) at 2:13
10. Tim Merlier (Belgium) at 2:21.

Link to the finish of the European Cyclo-Cross championships:

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Düsseldorf for 2017 Tour de France Start?
After London saying they didn’t want the 2017 Tour de France Grand Départ, the German City of Düsseldorf has stepped up and moved its bid for 2018 forward a year. London pulled out in September and Tour organizers, ASO, are looking for a replacement city, the possible Düsseldorf bid should be happily accepted.

Düsseldorf follows Cologne (1965), Frankfurt (1980) and Berlin (1987) hosting the French Grand Tour start and shows the resurgence of German interest in cycling. Tony Martin (Etixx – Quick-Step) has spoken up for the bid, which is the first since the reunification of Germany. The time trial multi-champion said: “It is a nice political signal that our work to bring more credibility to cycling has paid off.”

1987 Tour de France Stage 1 Berlin:

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Antonio Pedrero completes 2016 roster
24-year-old climber to further strengthen Blues’ gamble for the future after solid amateur career with Lizarte development squad

Just three days before the Movistar Team’s first meeting at the Castillo de Gorráiz kicks off, the Blues announce that Antonio Pedrero (Terrassa, Barcelona; 1991) will be joining the squad for the next two seasons. Pedrero, a climber of extreme consistency, is reaching the top tier in cycling after a brief stay in the Dominican team Inteja during the summer of 2015, claiming a stage win and a podium finish (3rd) in the Tour of Guadeloupe, a Continental adventure preceded by a solid amateur stage within the ranks of Lizarte.

Winner of the prestigious Vueltas of Cantabria (2013) and Navarra (2014), Pedrero has claimed eight victories in the last three years despite having suffered many injuries in 2014. His palmarès includes Spanish Cup events, Torredonjimeno (2015), or one-day classics in the Basque Country, like last spring’s Subida a Urraki. Pedrero, who will be part of next week’s training camp, is certain to fit perfectly well into Unzué’s team, all Arcas, Soler and Dayer Quintana being former team-mates of Pedrero as an espoir.

Antonio Pedrero:
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Gazprom to be Main Sponsor of RusVelo
The Russian energy company, Gazprom, will be the main sponsor of the RusVelo team in 2016 and the lead up to the Olympic Games. The RusVelo team is a development team and many of the Russian National track riders are part of the ProContinental team. Many of the teams road riders have moved up to the WorldTour Katusha team, which is also sponsored by Gazprom. Gazprom is a big sports sponsor, putting money into Russian sport as well as European Football.

RusVelo’s Sergey Firsonov second in Tre Valli Varesene:
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Another Sponsor for Fortuneo-Vital Concept
The new Fortuneo-Vital Concept team (ex-Bretagne-Séché-Environnement team) will be joined by Oscaro.com, bit only on the sides of the team jerseys. The online retailer has previously sponsored football and motor racing. Team manager Emmanuel Hubert said: “I am proud that Oscaro.com are joining us and, on behalf of the team, we wish them a warm welcome.”

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First Meeting A Success For Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
Two days of pre-season meetings in Spain were deemed a success by Team Caja Rural-Seguros RGA, which aims to better its team-record win total and compete again in the Vuelta a España in 2016.

The team’s 20 riders, plus staff and managers, gathered in Tudela, Navarra, Spain last week to plan and prepare for the upcoming season. The Spanish pro continental squad is coming off a year that saw it win a team-record 17 races and the “king of the mountains” classification at the Vuelta.

“These meetings were very important for the team,” said Sport Director Eugenio Goikoetxea. “It was a nice opportunity to greet the new riders and introduce them into our family. We also had meetings with our sponsors to go in the same direction and develop the team and reach our goals. The 2015 season was an excellent one, so exceeding our win total in 2016 will be very difficult. Our principal goal is to ensure participation in the Vuelta a España. Getting there starts by working together day-by-day.”

Riders spent Thursday and Friday getting acquainted with their new Fuji bikes featuring ROTOR cranks. Sponsor representatives provided riders with detailed explanations about the oval cranks and power meter systems and ways to improve their training. Helmets and sunglasses from Spiuk and clothing from ALÉ were also fitted.

“This was a nice opportunity for the riders to learn how to prepare for the season, like properly training and manage their nutrition,” Goikoetxea said. “This was the starting point of how things work with us – knowing about our sponsors, Caja Rural and Seguros RGA, and the values, philosophy and methods of working as a team.

Alberto Gallego, a promising Spanish climber, said he and the four other riders new to the team quickly bonded with the returning ones. Gallego, 24, was third overall at Vuelta Ciclista Comunidad de Madrid and the GP Internacional Torres Vedras and seventh at the Route de Sud.

“This first meeting was very productive to learn about the team and we all related well,” Gallego said. “We are looking forward to being teammates and working together in the best way. The expectations I have for myself are to be ready for the team when they ask me to do something and to take advantage of my climbing strength and perform well in the mountain stages.”

Great Britain’s Hugh Carthy, who just completed his first season with Caja-Rural after winning the Tour de Korea in 2014, said team meetings before the start of the new season are important.

“It is a great opportunity to bond with the new riders on the team and meet our sponsors and test new products during the winter before the season begins,” said the 21-year-old climber. “This year the meetings were successful and enjoyed by everyone and we all hope to have a successful 2016 season.”

Sprinter Carlos Barbero is one of Caja Rural’s top returners, having won a team-high five times in 2015. The 24-year-old was also runner-up at the Spanish national road championships for one of his 21 top 10 results. Other top riders back include Pello Bilbao (overall champion of the Tour de Beauce), all-arounder José Gonçalves (stage winner at the Volta a Portugal) and Lluís Mas (stage winner at the Tour of Turkey).

Since 2010, Caja Rural has won 44 races in 10 different countries with 20 different riders. That total includes 28 stage wins, seven in one-day races, six overall titles and three national championships.

2016 Rider Roster:
Javier Aramendia (ESP), David Arroyo (ESP), Carlos Barbero (ESP), Miguel Angel Benito (ESP), Pello Bilbao (ESP), Hugh Carthy (GBR), Fabricio Ferrari (URG), Alberto Gallego* (ESP), Domingo Gonçalves* (POR), José Gonçalves (POR), Jonathan Lastra* (ESP), Angel Madrazo (ESP), Lluís Mas (ESP), Antonio Molina (ESP), Sergio Pardilla (ESP), Eduard Prades (ESP), Jaime Roson* (ESP), Diego Rubio* (ESP), Hector Saez (ESP), Ricardo Vilela (POR).
*Indicates a rider new for 2016.

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Everybody’s Friend – Dave Rayner
Everybody’s Friend – The life and career of Dave Rayner 1967 – 1994 and his legacy to cycling

Profits from the sale of this book go directly to the Dave Rayner Fund. By buying this book you are helping to support the fund. In 1987 Dave finished his first Milk race as the best under – 22 rider and was well on his way to becoming one of Britains leading professional cyclists. In 1991, when the hugely popular Yorkshireman joined the powerful Buckler team, his career took off . Racing regularly in cycling’s biggest events, he looked set to become one of Britain’s cycling greats. Tragically, in November 1994, just five weeks after getting married, Dave Rayner died following an assault in a Bradford nightclub. He was 27.

Everybody’s Friend is the story of Dave’s life and career, the astounding success of the Dave Rayner Fund and of the riders who have benefited from it, including Olympic champions, stars of cycling’s Grand Tours and One-Day Classics, and many who didn’t reach the top but made the most of their chance to do so.

Published by Pan y Agua Velo Europe Ltd. Price: £10.00 + £2.50 post and packing.
The book can be bought at the Dave Rayner Fund web-site HERE.

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Dr. Mark Cavendish
Sprinter, Mark Cavendish has been given an honorary degree from the University of Chester, he is now a Doctor of Science for his contribution to cycling. On Thursday he received his degree from the University chancellor, the Duke of Westminster. Cavendish said: “I am honored and feel very privileged to receive this from the University of Chester.” Cavendish will be riding for the South African Dimension Data team for the next three years.

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Interview with Peter Sagan by BeIN-France
You just can’t tire of Peter Sagan, here is an interview with quite a bit of him showing his bike handling abilities.


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