What's Cool In Road Cycling

EuroTrash Sven Nys Thursday!

Sven Nys is back on form winning in Niel on Tuesday, full video of the day, plus report and result. Jail time for dopers in Germany? Race news from Dubai and Pais Vasco, rider up-dates from Mark Cavendish, Rafal Majka, Jasha Sütterlin and Christophe Le Mével and UnitedHealthcare team for 2015. Add video of Alberto Contador up Kilimanjaro and it’s Thursday Coffee time.

TOP STORY: Jail Sentences for German Dopers
A new anti-doping law was presented to the German Government yesterday. Athletes if found positive, or possessing drugs could be sentenced to incarceration of up to three years and a large fine. The sanctions would apply not only to German athletes, but to any athlete who is caught doping or possessing doping products in Germany. Drug dealers and doctors who assist athletes could face up to 10 years in prison due to them endangering the health of an athlete. If the bill is approved by the German parliament it would come into effect by the spring of next year.

If they had passed this law in the 80’s either no one would race in Germany or they would have had to build a new prison just to handle athletes.

Eric Zabel and Jan Ullrich: Two German ‘heroes’
Archieffoto scans

header-soudal14Soudal Classics – Jaarmarktcross Niel 2014
Belgian national champion Sven Nys (Crelan-AA Drink) solo’d to victory on Tuesday at the Soudal Classics Jaarmarktcross in Niel, Belgium. Nys finished a minute ahead of Wout van Aert (Vastgoedservice-Golden Palace) and Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Napoleon Games).

Tom Meeusen (Telenet-Fidea) had the fastest start, but it did him no good. Nys on the other hand was stuck behind French rider Clement Lhotellerie who crashed, which caused a gap he had to cross. Along the banks of the river; Corné van Kessel (Telenet-Fidea) pushed hard on the front and was joined Nys, they continued their effort on the running sand section and put a gap of 15 seconds on the chasers led by the German, Philipp Walsleben (BKCP-Powerplus). On lap 2 Nys went into overdrive and rode away from Van Kessel to solo to the finish.

Van Kessel cracked to finish 15th as Van Aert and Pauwels chased hard to catch Nys. Pauwels crashed on one corner and then Van Aert flew over his handlebars, but managed to hold off Pauwels for 2nd for a very successful week-end after winning the European Under 23 cyclo-cross title on Saturday. Walsleben was on his own in fourth, with Dieter Vanthourenhout (Sunweb-Napoleon Games) in fifth ahead of a group containing: Rob Peeters (Vastgoedservice-Golden Palace) and Sven Vanthourenhout (Crelan-AA-Drink).

Winner Sven Nys (Crelan-AA Drink) said on Sporza TV after the finish: “I rode at a pace that I could maintain for one hour. That’s not easy, it’s a challenge. I had good legs, and I love courses where anything can happen. It was a technical course, but very open, you could pass anywhere. It was a long race, with a headwind on the road. [Van Aert and Pauwels] were sharing the work, and it was 30 seconds for a long time. A mistake could have easily cut 15 seconds out of the gap.”

2nd was new European Under 23 champion Wout Van Aert (Vastgoedservice-Golden Palace): “You never know what the impact would be but it turns out well. I didn’t have a great start but quickly moved to the front. Fighting for the win wasn’t possible as I kept making mistakes on the off-camber section,” Van Aert told Sporza.

3rd Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Napoleon Games): “The course didn’t suit me with the off-camber and the sand section. Wout was better than me”

Soudal Classics – Jaarmarktcross Niel Result:
1. Sven Nys (Bel) Crelan-AA Drink
2. Wout Van Aert (Bel) Vastgoedservice-Golden Palace
3. Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games
4. Philipp Walsleben (Ger) BKCP-Powerplus
5. Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games
6. Rob Peeters (Bel) Vastgoedservice-Golden Palace
7. Sven Vanthourenhout (Bel) Crelan-AA Drink
8. Julien Taramarcaz (Swi) Corendon-KwadrO
9. Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet-Fidea
10. Jim Aernouts (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games.

All the racing from Niel:

header_OPQS_PRMark Cavendish to ride Zurich ‘6 Day’
After announcing that he will be riding the ‘6 Days’ of Gent (18-23 November), Mark Cavendish will also be on the start line in Zurich three days after the finish in Ghent. Gent has always been the most popular ‘6 Day’ with the British fans and has been sold out in the past. Our piste specialist, Ed Hood, will be there sending his behind the boards experiences.

Teams for the Gent 6:
David Muntaner (Spa) and Albert Torres (Spa)
Jasper Buyst (Bel) and Kenny De Ketele (Bel)
Morgan Kneisky (Fra) and Vivien Brisse (Fra)
Iljo Keisse (Bel) and Mark Cavendish (GB)
Leif Lampater (Ger) and Silvan Dillier (Swi)
Alex Rasmussen (Den) and Marc Hester (Den)
Shane Archbold (NZl) and Glenn O’Shea (Aus)
Otto Vergaerde (Bel) and Nick Stöpler (Ned)
Viktor Manakov (Rus) and Ivan Savitksy (Rus)
Moreno De Pauw (Bel) and Christian Grassmann (Ger)
Yoeri Havik (Ned) and Michael Vingerling (Ned)
Andreas Muller (Aut) and Lucas Liss (Ger)
Melvin Van Zijl (Ned) and Didier Caspers (Ned).

The ‘6 Days’ of Gent:

header-dubaitour2015 Dubai Tour Presented with Vincenzo Nibali as Guest of Honour
After the great success in 2014, the UAE’s Dubai Tour will return, being held from the 4th – 7th February. Upgraded UCI category, 4 in line stages with no time trial and a climbing finish. Guest of Honour Vincenzo Nibali who will start his season with his team in 2015 at the Dubai Tour. Commercial Bank of Dubai is the new top sponsor of the race and of the general classification leader’s blue jersey.

Presentazione Dubai Tour 2015

The 2015 edition of the Dubai Tour was presented today in the amazing scenery of Dubai and in the exclusive location of Westin Mina Seyahi Hotel.

The race, which is organised by the Dubai Sports Council in partnership with RCS Sport, established itself on the international cycling scene in 2014 and has already gone to another level, with cycling’s governing body, the UCI, promoting the Dubai Tour, upgrading it from 2.1 to 2.HC, the second highest category.

This change highlights the quality of the race and allows a greater number of the elite UCI WorldTeams to race at the event.

16 teams of 8 riders will start the Dubai Tour. The inaugural, 2014 edition general classification was won by the American BMC rider Taylor Phinney, with three stages ending in sprints, with Marcel Kittel holding off Mark Cavendish and Peter Sagan to take all three.

This second edition of the race will be held from February 4th until February 7th, with some changes to the course: no time trial stage will be held, a hill climb finish has been added and the total distance raced increases by 60%, from 418km in 2014 to 663km in 2015.

The course
The Dubai Tour is a stage race divided as following:
Stage 1 – 4th February 2015 – UNION FLAG STAGE – 145 km
Stage 2 – 5th February 2015 – PALM STAGE – 185 km
Stage 3 – 6th February 2015 – DESERT STAGE (Dubai Hatta Dam) – 205 km
Stage 4 – 7th February 2015 – BURJ STAGE – 128 km
They will be three flat stages with potential bunch sprint finish and a hilly stage with medium difficulty climbs and a final tough climb.

All stages start from the Dubai International Marine Club, finishing each time in a symbolic location for Dubai.

The 2015 Dubai Tour will end in the same location as 2014, in front of Burj Khalifa.

Stage 1 – Starting from the Dubai International Marine Club, heading south to reach Jabal Ali and crossing the area where Expo 2020 will be held. Riders will then face a short and twisting course through Dubai Marina and on to Jumeirah Road, where the race will enter the first of four loops of an 8.2km circuits, with riders finishing by going around the buoy and under the Union Flag.

Stage 2 – The stage is divided in two parts. The first part runs outside the city, partly in the desert, with the second taking place from Dubai Marina and ending at Palm Jumeirah. Alongside the first part, riders will pass through the Academic City, the Camel Track and the Al-Qudra Cycletrack. The second part goes through Jumeirah Islands and on to the world famous Palm Jumeirah, with a very fast finale similar to the one in 2014.

Stage 3 – Starting from the Dubai International Marine Club, racers will head towards the desert and the Hatta enclave in the mountains on the border with Oman. A few other Emirates are touched by the course (Sharjah, Ras al-Khaimah and Fujairah). After facing a series of short climbs, riders reach the finale in Hatta, at the top of the dam (Hatta Dam) after a short tough climb at of approximately 200m and a maximum inclination of 17%. The stage will take place in the stunning Hajar Mountains, an area defended throughout history by military towers, and today a major tourist attraction with their famous orange mountains. At the end of the stage, riders will have faced a total elevation of 1200m.

Stage 4 – The stage crosses the Old City, touching the Meydan hippodrome and Mushrif Park before reaching al-Mamzar and crossing Deira and its harbour on the creek. Riders then head onto Jumeirah Road and onto a very fast sprint in front of the renowned Burj Khalifa.

CBD new top sponsor
Commercial Bank of Dubai have signed a deal to become the main sponsor of the Dubai Tour and the blue jersey, which is worn by the race’s general classification leader.

Presentazione Dubai Tour 2015

Vincenzo Nibali, guest of honour at the presentation and one of only two current pro riders to have won all three grand tours – Vuelta a Espana (2010), Giro d’Italia (2013) and Tour de France (2014) said:
“I’m very happy to be here at the presentation of this very beautiful race.

“I’m in Dubai for few days on holiday and I can say I really like the city, a lot of tourist attractions, delicious food and amazing weather. I enjoyed myself riding my bike on the desert cycle path too, which is really fantastic.

“I’m convinced that Dubai represents a great opportunity for cycling and vice versa. Dubai Tour, which I raced last year too, will be my seasonal debut with my team in 2015. The course is very interesting and the third stage, with the final steep climb, it’s something very nice, very hard to find in these surroundings.”

Dubai ProMo video:

header-paisvasco2015 Vuelta al País Vasco
The first details of the 2015 Vuelta al País Vasco (Euskal Herriko Itzulia) have been announced by the organisers. The six stage stagerace will start in Bilbao on April the 6th and finish with a 18.3 kilometer time trial in Aia. As usual there will be a summit finish in Arrate (Eibar). The main sponsor Banco Sabadell is secure for 2015 and 2016. The race will be televised live in full HD by the basque TV station Euskal Irrati Telebista (EITB). Last year Alberto Contador took the lead on the first stage and held the lead to the finish where he won by 49 seconds from Michal Kwiatkowski (Omega Pharma – Quick-Step).

La Vuelta al País Vasco race website: www.itzulia.net.

Vuelta al Pais Vasco 2015:
Stage 1, April 6: Bilbao – Bilbao
Stage 2, April 7: Bilbao – Vitoria-Gasteiz
Stage 3, April 8: Vitoria-Gasteiz – Zumarraga
Stage 4, April 9: Zumarraga – Arrate (Eibar)
Stage 5, April 10: Eibar – Aia
Stage 6, April 11: Aia – Aia.

The last kilometres of stage 1 of the 2014 Vuelta al Pais Vasco:

header-unitedhealthcareUnitedHealthcare 2015 Team Line-up
The UnitedHealthcare team will not change much for the coming 2015 season. New riders for next year include Janez Brajkovic from Astana, Marco Canola from Bardiani–CSF and Daniele Ratto from Cannondale.

2015 UnitedHealthcare Team Riders:
Adrian Hegyvary (USA), Alessandro Bazzana (Italy), Brad White (USA), Carlos Alzate (Colombia), Chris Jones (USA), Daniele Ratto (Italy), Danny Summerhill (USA), Davide Frattini (Italy), Federico Zurlo(Italy), Hilton Clarke (Australia), Isaac Bolivar (Colombia), Janez Brajkovic (Slovenia), John Murphy (USA), Jonny Clarke (Australia), Karl Menzies (Australia), Ken Hanson (USA), Kiel Reijnen (USA), Lucas Euser (USA), Luke Keough (USA), Marco Canola (Italy), Robert Förster (Germany) and Tanner Putt (USA).

UnitedHelthcare 2014:

header-cofidisChristophe Le Mével Retires
Frenchman Christophe Le Mével has decided to hang his wheels up after 14 years as a Pro. In an interview with Le Télégramme he said: “It is a reasoned decision, I was very motivated to join a French team, but they didn’t have the budget. I could have been able to sign with a foreign team which made a concrete proposal, but I don’t want to be a mercenary cyclist. To continue, the priority was fun.”

He also Tweeted: “Full of emotion, and after reflecting upon it for a long time, I today announce the end of my career after 14 years as a professional.”

During his career he won a stage in the 2005 Giro d’Italia and the overall in the 2010 Tour du Haut, 9th in the 2009 Tour de France, 14th in the 2011 Giro d’Italia.

Garmin Winter Training – Christophe Le Mével:

header_movistarJasha Sütterlin with Movistar to 2017
will stay two extra years with Movistar, his present contract was due to run until the end of next season, the new contract now runs until the end of 2017. “It makes me very happy that the team has such confidence in me, which I want to pay back with power, of course,” the young German told RadSport-News.


header-tinkoffsaxoRafal Majka After Successful Season: “Still room for improvement”
Tinkoff-Saxo’s Polish climber Rafal Majka has shown his promising talent for multiple seasons since he joined the team in 2011. But this season sparked his big breakthrough with two mountain stage wins and the polka dot jersey in Tour de France, the overall win in Tour de Pologne as well as several top results during the season. Before heading off to the team building camp on Kilimanjaro, Rafal acknowledged that 2014 took his career to the next level.

“I’m really satisfied with my season. In the previous years, I’ve done well, worked hard for the team and gotten some good personal results. But now I’ve started winning, which was the one thing missing in the past years. The team has supported me and I was able to step up,” says Rafal Majka.

After a demanding race program starting with Volta ao Algarve in February, Rafal Majka concluded his season in late august. Since then the 25-year old has stayed away from the spotlight resting, recovering and training at home.

“Since USA Pro Challenge, I haven’t done any races. But I had a very hard schedule in the first half of the season with two Grand Tours. So for me to improve even more, I had to rest and recover. I’ve been training 2-3 hours a day to maintain my strength, and when the entire team gathers on Gran Canaria, I’ll start preparing for 2015,” explains Majka, who still believe there’s room for improvement:

“I still have to work on some key areas, if I want to become even stronger in the big stage races. During the winter, I will focus on my time trial. Both the team and I know that there’re still quite a lot of seconds to gain here. I’m really motivated and I share the same big ambitions as the team. We want to deliver results in the races of 2015 and perhaps I will also look into doing some of the classics in the future.”


header-contadorAlberto Contador up Kilimanjaro
If you have been following the Tinkoff-Saxo team’s expedition in Africa up Mount Kilimanjaro, here is the video:

Fastest Man on a Bike
207 mph or 333 km/h is impressive, but he’s cheating, I don’t see any peddling:

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