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EuroTrash Thursday!

Lots of racing this weekend, let’s hope the weather is better than for Kuurne. We’ve got all the team and race news plus the results and videos from Langkawi and Le Samyn. Belgium is a hard place at the best of times, but if you’re from Africa or China? TOP STORY: Lost in Belgium. OK, it’s a very full EuroTrash Thursday…the weekend is here baby!

TOP STORY: Two Riders Lost in Belgium!
Saturday’s opening Belgian Classic, Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, was held in typical cold conditions and so bad was it that Sunday’s Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne was cancelled for the safety of the riders and looking at the photos of the road; for the safety of everyone else going to the race and the vehicles driving on the course. Two riders from outside of Europe were a bit more unlucky than the other riders who took part in the Het Nieuwsblad.

While MTN-Qhubeka team leader; Gerald Ciolek was finishing 11th in Saturday’s Classic, his African team mate Ferekalsi Debesay Abrha was lost somewhere in Flanders. An hour after Katusha’a Luca Paolini crossed the finish line as winner, the Eritrean had not shown up.

According to Flemish TV he had abandoned after 115 kilometres, but had not been picked up by the broom wagon. He eventually turned up, much to the relief of team manager Jens Zemke who explained to Het Laaste Nieuws “we were a very long time in the finish area waiting for him. It began to get dark, but in the end he came rolling out of the darkness and crossed the finish line more than an hour after the last rider. He looked somewhat crestfallen.” He added that; “the biting cold is deadly for an African rider and there are no cobblestones in Eritrea. Actually, I think it was highly regarded by him.”

The second rider to lose his way on Saturday was Chinese rider Wang Yip Tang who rides for Champion System, he had crashed and dropped out of the race and was told to ride back to the teams hotel in Oudenaarde, but he was later found, frozen in someone’s car. Champion System Team DS Franky Van Haesebroucke takes up the story: “He came back after a crash in Brakel, and there was not much sense in letting him continue, so I told him to ride back to the hotel in Oudenaarde. Nearly two hours later I saw him back on Lippenhovestraat, where he sat in a car that belonged to a guy who had picked him up. He was totally frozen and could not speak, so we took him into our following car. It’s not the first time this has happened.”

“They (Chinese) can of course hardly speak English and cannot read road signs, but in the future we will give the riders a letter in English with the name of the hotel. Then they can show it when they ask for directions.” Franky Van Haesebroucke finished with a thoughtful question: “I wonder how it would go for us if we were put out in the Chinese countryside?”

This is probably one problem that the UCI hadn’t thought of when they started to promote “Mondialism”.

Some Het Nieuwsblad action from last Saturday:

Le Samyn 2013
The Katusha run of good form continued on from Saturday’s Omloop Het Nieuwsblad to Wednesday’s Semi-Classic La Samyn as Alexei Tsatevich won the sprint from a sizeable bunch at the end of the 5 hours of racing over the 206 kilometres. An early break of Elias Van Breussegem (Doltcini-Flanders), Luke Rowe (Sky) and Thomas Sprengers (Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise) managed a lead of 5 minutes, but they were pulled back as the race came into the last10 kilometres. The Sky team put Geraint Thomas up the road with three others, but the sprint teams had other ideas and it was altogether coming into the last kilometre. Sébastien Chavanel (Europcar) went for a long sprint, but Alexei Tsatevich was soon on his wheel and coming round him for the win.

Le Samyn Result:
1. Alexey Tsatevich (Rus) Katusha in 5:05:19
2. Kris Boeckmans (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM
3. Adrien Petit (Fra) Cofidis
4. Kenny Dehaes (Bel) Lotto Belisol
5. Kristian Sbaragli (Ita) MTN-Qhubeka
6. Alessandro Bazzana (Ita) UnitedHealthcare
7. Scott Thwaites (GBr) NetApp-Endura
8. Andreas Stauff (Ger) MTN-Qhubeka
9. Christopher Sutton (Aus) Sky
10. Marco Haller (Aut) Katusha.

The last kilometre:

Tour de Langkawi 2013
Colombian Julián Arredondo (Team Nippo-De Rosa) rode to a fine solo win in Stage 5 from Orica-GreenEdge’s Pieter Weening after the pair had dropped the lead group up the Genting Highlands, he also grabbed the overall from Meiyin Wang (Hengxiang), who tried his hardest to stay with the action. Travis Meyer (Orica-GreenEdge) went for a long one but was swept up soon after the start of the long climb to the finish. A group of 20 of the top GC riders tackled the climb and stuck together until the attack from Weening with around 5 kilometres remaining. He was followed by Arredondo, who counter-attacked the Dutchman with 3 kilometres to go and soloed to the finish.

MTN-Qhubeka’s Sergio Pardilla finish in fourth place: “The team was incredible today and I am sad I could not win the stage but its ok,” Pardilla said. “Everyone in the team was really strong and professional and looked after us well. My feeling on the bike is good even though I am not on top form yet. I need more time on the bike to get better and get to the best form. I am good now but not very very good yet.

“Tsgabu today was very strong but the last kilometre was very long for him. He is a very good rider and I am very happy for him. The team today was very professional and we have incredible riders.”

Dennis van Niekerk, who started the day in fifth overall, suffered stomach issues before the stage. Grmay took up a leadership position after van Niekerk’s misfortune.
“The climb was good and long but very steep,” Grmay explained after the stage. “Meron [Russom] controlled for us when the GreenEdge guy was in the breakaway, and when we started the climb, Europcar was pacing. After that Jacques [Janse van Rensburg] took control on the front and did an amazing job. There were only six riders left with Sergio and me in there and then the winner attacked with a GreenEdge rider. After a while I was third on the road but started getting tired. Sergio caught me with 2km to go. The last kilometre I was very tired and two other riders caught me. The climb was hard but it was a very good day for us.”
The performance saw Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung extend its lead in the team competition to 09’32″ after Janse van Rensburg finished 13th on the day.

Team Principal, Douglas Ryder, commented on the day’s events saying, “Tsgabu is the first Ethiopian professional bike rider and his performance shows the depth and talent in cycling across Africa. These results are very encouraging for us as it shows the amount of time and money our infrastructure and especially our sponsors are investing in the riders is worth it and encouraging for the future of African cycling.”

Tour de Langkawi Stage 5 Result:
1. Julian D Arredondo Moreno (Col) Team Nippo-De Rosa in 3:11:41
2. Pieter Weening (Ned) Orica-Greenedge at 0:26
3. Victor Nino Corredor (Col) RTS at 0:44
4. Sergio Pardilla (Spa) MTN Qhubeka at 1:05
5. Peter Stetina (USA) Garmin-Sharp at 1:28
6. Amir Kolahdozhagh (IRI) Tabriz Petrochemical at 1:40
7. Tsgabu Gebremaryam Grmay (Eth) MTN-Qhubeka at 1:43
8. Fortunato Baliani (Ita) Team Nippo-De Rosa at 1:47
9. John Ebsen (Den) Synergy-Baku Cycling Project at 1:50
10. Nathan Haas (Aus) Garmin-Sharp at 1:58.

Tour de Langkawi Overall After Stage 5:
1. Julian D Arredondo Moreno (Col) Team Nippo-De Rosa in 17:43:20
2. Pieter Weening (Ned) Orica-Greenedge at 1:22
3. Sergio Pardilla (Spa) MTN-Qhubeka at 2:10
4. Peter Stetina (USA) Garmin-Sharp at 2:33
5. Meiyin Wang (Chn) Hengxiang at 2:40
6. Tsgabu Gebremaryam Grmay (Eth) MTN-Qhubeka at 2:45
7. Amir Kolahdozhagh (IRI) Tabriz Petrochemical
8. Fortunato Baliani (Ita) Team Nippo-De Rosa at 2:49
9. Nathan Haas (Aus) Garmin-Sharp at 2:54
10. John Ebsen (Den) Synergy-Baku Cycling Project at 2:55.

Stage 5:

Another solo win in Stage 6, this time by Tom Leezer (Blanco) from an original 16 man break that broke away with around 50 kilometres to go to the finish in Kuantan after 218 kilometres. The lead group split and Leezer took his chance in the last 10 kilometres to finish on his own. Min Jung (KSPO) won the sprint for second place from Michal Golas (Omega Pharma – Quick-Step). Leezer’s team mate and double stage winner; Theo Bos abandoned early in the stage with illness. After the finish Leezer commented on his first professional win; “I rode off alone and kept hammering to the finish. In the end I succeeded. I’ve waited for this for five years and it’s finally happened. Unbelievable what a indescribable feeling. It’s my first victory as a professional. I only started training from the end of November, since my crash 19th September last year. I wasn’t expecting to race in Langkawi already. The stage wins with Theo where great, but to finish it of solo is really special. I guess Theo feels less guilty now for keeping me up all night,” laughed Tom.

Blanco sport director Jeroen Blijlevens explains today’s stage. “We started with the news of Theo’s illness, and decided to change our plans and react on all movements in the peloton. The stage was aggressive from the start with several breakaways. In all the break we had one or two guys of the team represented. At 40 kilometres to go Tom jumped to right group. With Europcar, Omega Pharma – Quickstep and Orica Greenedge having two or three guys in the break, it would not be easy for Tom. He tried at 4 kilometres from the finish line and succeeded. Great performance of the team again.”

Jeff Louder of UnitedHealthcare could not start stage 6 due to being hit by an official car which wrecked his bike and drove off without checking that Louder was OK or passing on any information, Louder was unable to finish the stage. The overall stays unchanged with Julian Arredondo (Nippo-De Rosa) leading by 1:16 from Pieter Weening (Orica-GreenEdge), he lost 6 seconds because of a late split in the peloton.

Tour de Langkawi Stage 6 Result:
1. Thomas Leezer (Ned) Blanco in 4:33:42
2. Ji Min Jung (Kor) KSPO at 0:27
3. Michal Golas (Pol) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step at 0:35
4. Jackson Rodriguez (Ven) Androni Giocattoli-Venezuela
5. Travis Meyer (Aus) Orica-Greenedge
6. Andrea Guardini (Ita) Astana at 0:40
7. Allan Davis (Aus) Orica-Greenedge
8. Jacob Keough (USA) United Healthcare
9. Saleh Mohd Harrif (Mas) Terengganu
10. Anuar Manan (Mas) Synergy-Baku Cycling Project.

Tour de Langkawi Overall After Stage 6:
1. Julian D Arredondo Moreno (Col) Team Nippo-De Rosa in 22:17:48
2. Pieter Weening (Ned) Orica-GreenEdge at 1:16
3. Sergio Pardilla (Spa) MTN-Qhubeka at 2:10
4. Peter Stetina (USA) Garmin-Sharp at 2:32
5. Meiyin Wang (Chn) Hengxiang at 2:40
6. Nathan Haas (Aus) Garmin-Sharp at 2:48
7. Fortunato Baliani (Ita) Team Nippo-De Rosa at 2:49
8. John Ebsen (Den) Synergy-Baku Cycling Project at 2:55
9. Tsgabu Gebremaryam Grmay (Eth) MTN-Qhubeka at 2:58
10. Amir Kolahdozhagh (IRI) Tabriz Petrochemical.

Stage 6:

Stage 7 came down to a bunch sprint and Andrea Guardini (Astana) added to his list of Langkawi stage wins to give him twelve. He beat Francesco Chicchi (Vini Fantini-Selle Italia) into second, with Aidis Kruopis (Orica-GreenEdge) in third. Overall race leader; Julian Arredondo (Team Nippo-De Rosa) finished in the bunch to retain his overall lead, although he lost 1 second to Pieter Weening (Orica-GreenEdge) in second place. Travis Meyer (Orica-GreenEdge) and Cyrille Gautier (Europcar) supplied the action of the day attacking from the line. The two riders were never allowed much of a lead and were reeled back in with around 30 kilometres to go to the finish in Dungun. For the sprint Omega Pharma – Quick-Step and Orica-GreenEdge took control, but Guardini infiltrated the lead-out trains and had the best jump.

Tour de Langkawi Stage 7 Result:
1. Andrea Guardini (Ita) Astana in 3:37:17
2. Francesco Chicchi (Ita) Vini Fantini-Selle Italia
3. Aidis Kruopis (Ltu) Orica-GreenEdge
4. Allan Davis (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge
5. Andrew Fenn (GBr) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step
6. Steele Von Hoff (Aus) Garmin-Sharp
7. Graeme Brown (Aus) Blanco
8. Bryan Coquard (Fra) Europcar
9. Taiji Nishitani (Jpn) Aisan Racing Team
10. Rico Rogers (NZl) Synergy-Baku Cycling Project.

Tour de Langkawi Overall After Stage 7:
1. Julian D Arredondo Moreno (Col) Team Nippo-De Rosa in 25:55:05
2. Pieter Weening (Ned) Orica-GreenEdge at 1:15
3. Sergio Pardilla (Spa) MTN-Qhubeka at 2:10
4. Peter Stetina (USA) Garmin-Sharp at 2:32
5. Meiyin Wang (Chn) Hengxiang at 2:40
6. Nathan Haas (Aus) Garmin-Sharp at 2:48
7. Fortunato Baliani (Ita) Team Nippo-De Rosa at 2:49
8. John Ebsen (Den) Synergy-Baku Cycling Project at 2:55
9. Tsgabu Gebremaryam Grmay (Eth) MTN Qhubeka at 2:58
10. Amir Kolahdozhagh (IRI) Tabriz Petrochemical.

Stage 7:

UCI Enforcing the “Same Sponsor” Rule
It wasn’t that long ago that the UCI wanted all the WorldTour team to have development teams, to encourage and help the younger riders to make the step up the ladder. Some of those teams share sponsors, others share the same management/paying agent, the UCI now don’t want any of these team to compete against, or together in any events. This rule has been around for some time but has been fairly loosely adhered too in the past, even last year; RadioShack-Nissan-Trek and Bontrager-Livestrong both rode the Tour of California. Omega Pharma – Quick-Step manager, Patrick Lefevere, has been the most affected as his Etixx-IHNed team was not allowed to start last Sunday’s Classic Sud Ardèche because OPQS were also on the start line. There is also the EFE-Omega Pharma – Quick-Step Under 23 team which is also affected. Lefevere rightly asks whether he should bother setting up these teams, saying; “why should we still invest?” It is said that €500,000 had been put into running the Etixx-IHNed team, will that all be for nothing?

The OPQS team presentation:

Flèche and Liège “Wildcard” Teams Announced
The Liège-Bastogne-Liège and Flèche Wallonne organisers; ASO, have announced the six teams who will be joining the 19 WorldTour teams in the two Ardennes Classics. They are: Accent Jobs-Wanty, Colombia, Crelan-Euphony, IAM Cycling, Sojasun, Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise for Flèche Wallonne and then for Liège; Accent Jobs-Wanty, Crelan-Euphony, IAM Cycling and Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise will be joined by French teams Cofidis and Europcar.

2012 Liège:

Paris-Nice A Primary Objective For BMC Racing Team
The BMC Racing Team will put all of its support behind Tejay van Garderen at Paris-Nice in a quest to get last year’s best young rider and fifth-place finisher at the race an even better result, Directeur Sportif John Lelangue said.

Strong Roster
“We are bringing a strong team totally dedicated to Tejay,” Lelangue said of the eight-day race that begins Sunday with a prologue time trial. “There is never pressure, but we are going to Paris-Nice to win. With Tejay and the progress he has made in the last season, and also what he has done during the winter, and what we have seen him do in Argentina, we are going there to make a good result.” World road champion Philippe Gilbert, who has been training with van Garderen this week, will be joined by Tour of Qatar runner-up Brent Bookwalter, past Paris-Nice King of the Mountains and stage winner Amaël Moinard, plus three riders who helped van Garderen finish runner-up last month at the Tour de San Luis: Mathias Frank, Dominik Nerz and Daniel Oss. Ivan Santaromita, who will make his fifth career start at the race, rounds out the squad.

Van Garderen Climbing Well
While van Garderen has only raced once this season, he said he feels good about his form, having spent the past several weeks training in California. “My climbing was good in San Luis, and I feel it has only improved,” he said. “Plus, the type of climbs we will see in Paris-Nice suit my ability. The time trials aren’t normal, with only a 2.9-kilometer prologue there shouldn’t be too big of gaps. The uphill time trial (on the last stage) will shrink the advantage I have over the climbers. But our performance team has worked hard to get the best equipment setup dialed in, so we should be prepared.” Van Garderen said the weather, which is sometimes a factor at the first WorldTour calendar race in Europe, is not a concern. “I’m not too worried about it and I have a strong group of guys to protect me in the windy stages,” he said.

Preparation Race For Gilbert
Gilbert said he is pleased with the way his season has started. His results include third on a stage of the Santos Tour Down Under and helping Cadel Evans finish third at the Tour of Oman as the BMC Racing Team won the team classification. “This race is one of the nicest on the calendar and also a very important one to step up my condition with a hard week on the bike,” he said. “I hope to do a nice prologue and give my best to protect Tejay. I am doing much better now than I was 12 months ago.”
Thanks to the BMC team.

Download the BMC Racing Team’s official race sheet (PDF with roster, bios, statistics, etc.): https://bit.ly/XGmT80.

BMC Racing Team Paris-Nice Roster (March 3-10):
Brent Bookwalter (USA),
Mathias Frank (SUI),
Philippe Gilbert (BEL),
Amaël Moinard (FRA),
Dominik Nerz (GER),
Daniel Oss (ITA),
Ivan Santaromita (ITA),
Tejay van Garderen (USA).
Directeur Sportif: John Lelangue (BEL).

Busy Schedule Coming up in Italy and France
Press Release: Movistar Team starts this weekend a hectic 17 racing days, with the Strade Bianche, the Roma Maxima and Paris-Nice –kicking off on Sunday- before the Tirreno-Adriatico from next Wednesday

After a successful start to their season in Spain, with four victories in the opening month of racing, Movistar Team will try to continue their reach as they take on two weeks of competitions through the roads of Italy and France from this Saturday. Two one-day races -the Strade Bianche, with its picturesque, challenging sterrato sections, and the Roma Maxima (former Giro del Lazio), which includes a brandnew finish in front of the Colosseo- will preceed the eight days in France with the 71st edition of Paris-Nice. Another roster from the telephone squad will be tackling the Tirreno-Adriático from next Wednesday.

Movistar Team will be presenting the following lineups:
Amador, Cobo, Lastras, Madrazo, Sanz, Teruel, Valverde, Visconti (DS: Chente García Acosta).

ROMA MAXIMA (Sun. 3): Capecchi, Dowsett, Madrazo, Sanz, Teruel, Valverde, Ventoso, Visconti (DS: Chente García Acosta).

PARIS-NICE (Sun. 3-Sun. 10): Costa, Erviti, Gutiérrez, Jesús Herrada, Moreno, Plaza, Quintana, Rojas (DS’s: José Luis Arrieta, José Luis Laguía).

TIRRENO-ADRIÁTICO (Wed. 6-Tue. 12): Amador, Capecchi, Castroviejo, Cobo, Dowsett, Intxausti, Ventoso, Visconti. Reserve: Lastras (DS’s: José Luis Jaimerena, Chente Gª Acosta).

Next Races for Team Blanco
Strade Bianche:
The Blanco Pro Cycling Team will start their adventure this Saturday 2nd of March in the Strade Bianche with the following riders: Robert Wagner, Lars Boom, Paul Martens, Moreno Hofland, Lars Petter Nordhaug, Tom-Jelte Slagter, Sep Vanmarcke, and Maarten Wynants. All of them are looking forward riding the twisting and hilly dirt roads of Tuscany.

“It is one of the newest races on the international calendar, and for us the first time that we’ll start. The race has become popular in very short time in the Netherlands and Belgium, explaining the live broadcast on Sporza Belgium. As a collective group of fighters we will ride the white gravel roads in Italy,” said sports director Nico Verhoeven.

Paris-Nice will celebrate it’s 69th edition this Sunday 3rd of March. The Blanco Pro Cycling Team will start with the following riders: Stef Clement, Robert Gesink, Wilco Kelderman, Steven Kruijswijk, Mark Renshaw, Rick Flens, David Tanner en Maarten Tjallingii.

“Last week my condition has been good. I have finished Ruta del Sol, Murcia and Almeria with a good feeling. The team has started the season with an important victory of Tom-Jelte Slagter in the World Tour. Ten victories in total for the team already, not a bad start at all I think. For Paris-Nice I am surrounded by strong guys. Especially our youngsters Kelderman and Kruijswijk helping me on the climbs is a comfortable feeling. Working with these guys could set the standard for the rest of the year. I keep good memories of Paris-Nice and will start with confidence,” Robert said.

“Our main focus will be the general classification with our leader Robert Gesink. With Wilco and Steven we have three guys for the difficult uphill stages. In the flat stages we have strong guys like Flens and Tjallingii surrounding Robert to protect the GC. On the other hand we will have Renshaw for finishing it off in a peloton sprint, but our absolute priority will be the general classification,” said sports director Nico Verhoeven.

OPQS to Paris-Nice
Press Release: OPQS Cycling Team have finalized the team that will participate in the 71st edition of Paris-Nice. As usual the race will cross France from North to South, with an opening Prologue and a conclusive individual Time Trial from Nice to Col D’Eze, for a total of eight days of racing and 1,174 km covered.

“As usual the race will be tough,” Sport Director Wilfried Peeters said. “After a short Prologue the riders will face a few nervous stages. The weather conditions, especially the wind, could be a factor. Concerning the GC, the race will be decided in the last three stages with the uphill finish on La Montagne de Lure on Friday, the stage of Nice and the final ITT from Nice to Col d’Eze. We have an experienced team over there. Peter Velits and Chavanel will be our cards for the GC. Sylvain was third with our team a few years ago in the GC. We will count also on a rider such as Meersman, who won a stage last year in Paris-Nice. Concerning Tom Boonen, the race will be another important step to build up his condition prior to the Classics. If we will have the possibility, of course we will try also to go for a stage with him, counting on a great team.”

Tom Boonen (BEL)
Sylvain Chavanel (FRA)
Kevin De Weert (BEL)
Nikolas Maes (BEL)
Gianni Meersman (BEL)
Jerome Pineau (FRA)
Stijn Vandenbergh (BEL)
Peter Velits (SVK)
Sports Director: Wilfried Peeters (BEL) & Jan Schaffrath (GER).

Prologue Houilles – Houilles 2.9 km (ITT)
Stage 1 Saint-Germain-en-Laye – Nemours 195.0 km
Stage 2 Vimory – Cérilly 200.5 km
Stage 3 Châtel-Guyon – Brioude 170.5 km
Stage 4 Brioude – Saint-Vallier 199.5 km
Stage 5 Chateauneuf-du-Pape – La Montagne de Lure 176.0 km
Stage 6 Manosque – Nice 220.5 km
Stage 7 Nice – Col d’Eze 9.6 km (ITT).

2013 Paris-Nice route:

Sky team Line-up’s for the Next Races
The Sky team’s Classics riders will be in Belgium from March 20th for Dwars door Vlaanderen and then the E3 Prijs Vlaanderen on March the 22nd, Gent-Wevelem on March the 24th and then the Ronde van Vlaanderen on March the 31st.
The Team Sky classics squad is:
Edvald Boasson Hagen,
Bernhard Eisel,
Mathew Hayman,
Salvatore Puccio,
Gabriel Rasch,
Luke Rowe,
Ian Stannard,
Chris Sutton,
Ben Swift,
Geraint Thomas.

Volta a Catalunya (March 18-24).:
Bradley Wiggins,
Rigoberto Urán,
Dario Cataldo,
Josh Edmondson,
Peter Kennaugh,
Christian Knees,
David López,
Danny Pate.

Criterium International (March 23-24):
Chris Froome,
Ian Boswell,
Joe Dombrowsim,
Jonathan Tiernan-Locke.

Lotto Belisol: Selections upcoming Races
Press Release: These are the selections for the Three Days of West-Flanders, Paris-Nice, Tirreno-Adriatico, Dwars door Drenthe and the Tour of Drenthe.

Paris-Nice (3rd till 10th of March):
Lars Bak,
Dirk Bellemakers,
Gaëtan Bille,
Bart De Clercq,
Francis De Greef,
Jens Debusschere,
Dennis Vanendert,
Frederik Willems.
Sports directors: Mario Aerts and Marc Wauters.

Tirreno – Adriatico (6th till 12th of March):
André Greipel,
Adam Hansen,
Greg Henderson,
Olivier Kaisen,
Vicente Reynes,
Jürgen Roelandts,
Marcel Sieberg,
Jelle Vanendert.
Sports directors: Herman Frison and Bart Leysen.

Dwars door Drenthe (9th of March) and Tour of Drenthe (10th of March):
Brian Bulgaç,
Sander Cordeel,
Kenny Dehaes,
Maarten Neyens,
Fréderique Robert,
Jurgen Van de Walle,
Tosh Van der Sande,
Jonas Van Genechten,
Joost Van Leijen.
Sports director: Jean-Pierre Heynderickx.

The Three Days of West-Flanders will take place from the 1st till the 3rd of March. 25 teams will start this Friday, nine of them are Belgian and nine are member of the WorldTour. The prologue on Friday will be the most important for the GC. When you take a look at the winners of these Three Days, you see that the winner of the prologue usually becomes the overall winner at the end, like last year was the case with Julien Vermote.

The first stage is cut out for the sprinters; Lotto Belisol is in the luxurious position to choose between a few fast guys like Robert, Van der Sande and Dehaes. The final stage is on a slightly rough course and finishes in Ichtegem with three local laps in which the riders will have to climb two hills. If something will change in the GC it will be in this stage.

Bart Leysen, sports director: “We go to the Three Days of West-Flanders with a young but also motivated team. Our goal is simple: winning a stage. There is a good chance that there will be one or two bunch sprints and with fast guys like Kenny Dehaes and Fréderique Robert we have different cards to play. The overall classification will with 95% certainty be determined on Friday with the prologue.”

“Still, the Three Days of West-Flanders is always hard to predict. On the third day there are some hills at the end that can make the difference and can still change the classification. It will mainly depend on the fact if the right men are in the breakaway, so we have to have a guy in every escape.”

Three Days of West-Flanders (1st till 3rd of March):
Brian Bulgaç,
Sander Cordeel,
Kenny Dehaes,
Maarten Neyens,
Fréderique Robert,
Jurgen Van de Walle,
Tosh Van der Sande,
Jonas Van Genechten.
Sports directors: Jean-Pierre Heynderickx and Bart Leysen.

Stages Three Days of West-Flanders:
Prologue: Friday 01/03: Epernayplein – Middelkerke (7,0 km)
Stage 1: Saturday 02/03: Bruges – Harelbeke (175,4 km)
Stage 2: Sunday 03/03: Nieuwpoort – Ichtegem (181,8 km).

OPQS to Driedaagse van West-Vlaanderen
Press Release: Omega Pharma – Quick-Step Cycling Team has announced the selection that will take part in Driedaagse van West-Vlaanderen from March 1st until March 3rd. Julien Vermote was the overall winner in 2012 and will return with his OPQS teammates in 2013.

On Friday, March 1st, there is the 7km Prologue Middelkerke — in 2012, Michal Kwiatkowski won the prologue, with Vermote placing 2nd. This year’s prologue features some undulation.

On Saturday, March 2nd is the 175.4km Stage 1 from Brugge to Harelbeke. The first stage features a couple tough climbs: The Tiegemberg at the 117.5km and the Holstraat at the 121.5km mark. The finish is slightly uphill.

The final stage on Sunday, March 3rd, is the 181.8km stage from Nieuwpoort to Ichtegem. There are many climbs including the Goeberg, the Zwarteberg, the Rodeberg, the Monteberg, the Kemmelberg, the Keiberg and the Ruidenberg. The Keiberg and the Ruidenberg are climbed three times in an 11km final circuit.

“The race will be similar to last year’s race, and last year we won with Vermote.” Sport Director Tom Steels said. “We will try to defend his title this year. There will be a short prologue and then two stages. The most important stage will be the one on Sunday with the climb of Monteberg and Kemmel. Last year this stage was really difficult because of terrible weather conditions. On the team we will also have Mark Cavendish, who decided together with the team to participate in the race after Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne was canceled. The race will be perfect for Mark to prepare in the best way for Tirreno-Adriatico. We will count on a very strong group of riders for this race, including Niki Terpstra — who is in good condition —and Gert Steegmans, who will start working on setting up the sprint and his leadout with Mark. Our objectives are to try and win a stage and repeat the good GC results of 2012. We have the potential to do that.”

Mark Cavendish (GBR),
Dries Devenyns (BEL),
Iljo Keisse (BEL),
Frantisek Rabon (CZE),
Gert Steegmans (BEL),
Niki Terpstra (NED),
Kristof Vandewalle (BEL),
Julien Vermote (BEL).
Sports Director Tom Steels (BEL).

Champion System Reveals Driedaagse van West-Vlaanderen Roster
Press Release: Bobbie Traksel will lead the Champion System Pro Cycling Team when Asia’s first and only pro continental squad takes the start line Friday at Driedaagse van West-Vlaanderen.

Champion System Sport Director Franky Van Haesebroucke said the three-day race that begins with a prologue time trial favors Traksel. The veteran Dutchman won the race in 2008 and finished third in 2010.

“We are looking to Bobbie’s experience to lead the team over a course that features hard cobblestone roads and short, steep finishing climbs,” van Haesebroucke said.

Traksel, “most aggressive rider” at the Tour of Oman earlier this month, said he is ready for a better experience than the opening weekend of the Belgian classics. A crash blocked him from making the front group at last Saturday’s Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and racing was called off Sunday for Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne due to snow.

“You could say that Three Days of West-Vlaanderen is my race,” Traksel said. “My condition is good, the spirit of the team is strong, and this is a race that I love.”

Among the others on Champion System’s roster with experience at Driedaagse van West-Vlaanderen is Ryan Roth. The Canadian national road champion finished 10th in last year’s prologue.

Champion System will also benefit from Van Haesebroucke’s knowledge of the area. The Belgian won Stage 6 of the Ronde van West-Vlaanderen in 1991.

Driedaagse van West-Vlaanderen Roster (March 1-3):
Clinton Avery (NZL),
Matt Brammeier (IRL),
Matthias Friedemann (GER),
Pengda Jiao (CHN),
Mart Ojavee (EST),
Ryan Roth (CAN),
Bobbie Traksel (NED),
Kin San Wu (HKG).
Sport Director: Franky van Haesebroucke (BEL).

Team CykelCity at Driedaagse van West-Vlaanderen, Belgium 2012:

GP Citta di Camaiore Next For BMC Racing Team
Press Release: After a pair of races Sunday were cancelled by snow, the BMC Racing Team gets back in action Thursday in Italy at GP Citta di Camaiore.

Six Times Up Monte Pitoro
BMC Racing Team Assistant Director Max Sciandri said the 183-kilometer course favours riders like Steve Cummings and Yannick Eijssen, both of whom lasted raced at the Tours of Qatar and Oman. Eijssen was 10th on the Oman stage that finished atop Green Mountain on the way to 13th overall. “It’s a little bit of a local race for Steve, being that he lives 40 kilometres from there,” Sciandri said. “It will also be nice to see Yannick in a one-day race.” The final 129 kilometres take place on a circuit that features six ascents of Monte Pitoro, a 1.9 km climb averaging seven percent. Danish national champion Sebastian Lander, who made his BMC Racing Team debut at another Italian race, Trofeo Laigueglia, is hoping for good weather. “At the moment, the weather in Europe has been pretty bad, so hopefully we can race in the sunshine,” he said. “We bring a strong team to the race so I’ll be working hard to help our leaders get a good result.”

BMC Racing Team GP Citta di Camaiore Roster (Feb. 28):
Stephen Cummings (GBR),
Yannick Eijssen (BEL),
Martin Kohler (SUI),
Sebastian Lander (DEN),
Klaas Lodewyck (BEL),
Taylor Phinney (USA),
Larry Warbasse (USA).
Sport Director: Max Sciandri (ITA).

Lampre-Merida to the GP Camaiore
Press Release: After the pause that was caused by the snow in the week end, Team Lampre-Merida will come back to racing in the GP Camaiore (28 February).

Blue-fuchsia-green sport director Fabrizio Bontempi will guide the group of cyclists that will aim for a top result, with Cunego, Scarponi and Ulissi, in addition to team mates Malori, Petacchi, Mori, Wackermann and Niemiec.

The race (183 km) will have its key moments on the 6 passages on Monte Pitoro, the final one 9 km from the finish.

“It’s a pity we could not race in GP Lugano, since I was willing to try to get a top result. Anyway, I’m going to focus my attention on GP Camaiore, whose course is really suitable for my characteristics”, Ulissi explained.

The race will be important for Cunego too: “GP Camaiore will be an interesting test, in order to evaluate how competitive I am. My aim is to be at the head of the race, then I’ll evaluate with Diego and Scarponi how to move in the final kilometres.”

Sport director Fabrizio Bontempi pointed out that: “Usually, Monte Pitoro and the donwhill to the arrival select a group of more or less ten riders. If it will be so, I think we could be in this group with more than one rider, since Ulissi, Cunego and Scarponi are in god condition. Don’t forget Niemiec.”

Team Colombia at GP Camaiore on Thursday
Press Release: After a weather-marred weekend in France and Switzerland, Team Colombia’s Escarabajos are set to get back in the action in Italy. On Thursday, February 28th, Team Colombia will take part to GP Città di Camaiore, that last year was won by a shining Esteban Chaves. Unfortunately, the Colombian prospect will not be able to defend his crown, as he is still recovering from his severe crash at Trofeo Laigueglia.

Nevertheless, 2011 Tour de l’Avenir’s winner looks primed for a quick and successful recovery: the surgery performed today, at the Bolognini Hospital in Seriate, to reduce the compound fracture to his right collarbone was successful, and Chaves will be able to start riding on turbo soon. Meanwhile, here is the 8-man lineup who will travel to Tuscany to try and defend the number 1 dossard: Darwin Atapuma, Fabio Duarte, Leonardo Duque, Dalivier Ospina, Jarlinson Pantano, Carlos Julian Quintero, Michael Rodriguez and Jeffry Romero, guided by Sports Director Oscar Pellicioli.

GP Città di Camaiore (February 28th)
Team’s Line-up:
Darwin Atapuma,
Fabio Duarte,
Leonardo Duque,
Dalivier Ospina,
Jarlinson Pantano,
Carlos Julian Quintero,
Michael Rodriguez,
Jeffry Romero.
Sports Director: Oscar Pellicioli.

The RadioShack-Leopard-Trek Line-up’s for the Next Races:
Gran Premio Città di Camaiore (Italy) – UCI 1.1 (February 28).
Jan Bakelants,
Matthew Busche,
Laurent Didier, Danilo Hondo,
Giacomo Nizzolo,
Yaroslav Popovych,
Thomas Rohregger,
Andy Schleck.
Director: Kim Andersen.

Three Days of West-Flanders (Belgium) – UCI 2.1 (March 1-3).
Stijn Devolder,
Ben Hermans,
Bob Jungels,
Ben King,
Tiago Machado,
Nelson Oliveira,
Jesse Sergent.
Directors: Dirk Demol & Luc Meersman.

GP Citta di Camaiore 2012:

South Africa National Championships
Jay Thomson and Jaco Venter will lead Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung at the South African National Championships this week. The event kicks off on Thursday 28 February, with an individual time trial, then, the team will compete in the road race on Sunday which starts at the Mbombela Stadium.
Along with Thomson and Venter, the team will comprise Songezo Jim, Louis Meintjes, Bradley Potgieter and Martin Wesemann.

When quizzed on preparation leading up to the championships, Thomson said, “I’m really happy with the way I have been training this year. There’s been more discipline in the sense that I am doing the intervals I need to do and putting in the hours, so I have no complaints.”

“So far I am very happy with my preparation,” Venter added. “I’ve had no health issues or injuries, training has been going accordingly and I am very happy with that. I’ve just done the last bit of prep and we have a good team so I think we have a good chance of doing well.”

The two South African’s will be part of history when they fly to Italy straight after the National Championships to race Tirreno-Adriatico. The race is a WorldTour event and is the first time a team from Africa will ride a race in cycling’s highest category. Winning the road race at the South African Championships would be an ideal situation for Venter or Thomson.

“I don’t think words can explain how much it would mean to have the South African flag on the jersey on Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung,” Thomson explained. “It would be unreal and be it Martin, Songezo, Brad, Louis, Jaco or myself winning, I can’t tell you how great that would be. From SA Champs we go to our first WorldTour race and to have the jersey there would be even better.”

After predominantly still racing an African calendar, Venter left Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung at the end of the 2010 season to join a Belgian Professional Continental team. He gained valuable experience in races like Flèche Wallonne and Tour de Luxembourg and now has the opportunity to share that knowledge on a team from his own country.

“It’s much better being on a team from Africa,” Venter said. “The support has been incredible and you feel so much more at home and relaxed. It’s nice to just worry about the races and what you have to do in terms of getting yourself into shape. The team is organised and takes care of everything else. It’s a dream come true for South African cyclists to be on this team and I am happy to be here,” he concluded.
Thanks to MTN-Qhubeka for the info.

No Luxembourg Appeal in Fränk Schleck Case
The Anti-Doping Agency of Luxembourg will not appeal the one year doping ban given to Fränk Schleck for his positive for Xipamide during the 2012 Tour de France. The UCI and Fränk Schleck can still make an appeal and the rider will be free to race after July the 14th 2013, which means he will not be able to start this year’s Tour for his team; RadioShack.

Strade Bianche Normally One For Ballan
The absence of Alessandro Ballan for Strade Bianche will certainly be felt by the BMC Racing Team, Assistant Director Fabio Baldato said. Saturday’s race is the first of two semi-classics in Italy this weekend for the BMC Racing Team.

Crash Recovery Continues
Ballan, twice a runner-up in Strade Bianche (2008, 2011) and fourth last year, continues to recover from a training ride crash in Spain in December. He broke his left leg in two places, fractured a rib and needed surgery to remove his spleen and later his appendix. But Baldato said the presence of a strong team around another past world road champion, Cadel Evans, and Greg Van Avermaet (fifth last Saturday at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad) will help make up for Ballan’s absence. “Cadel will be our leader and Greg is in very good condition too,” Baldato said. “Greg is really a fighter and this race is one for the fighters. He was right there to help Alessandro last year near the end.”

Evans Off To Good Start
Evans won Stage 7 of the 2010 Giro d’Italia on a rain-soaked course that included stretches of Strade Bianche’s white gravel roads through the rolling hills of Tuscany’s wine country. Third place at the Tour of Oman earlier this month, the 2011 Tour de France champion said the cancellation of GP di Lugano Sunday “was a bit of a pity,” because the course runs close to his home. But indoor training sessions this week due to more snow have not dampened his enthusiasm. “So far, the start to the season has been good,” Evans said. “It’s only been Oman, but I prefer to start off at the point end of the peloton so it sets the standard for the rest of the year. I look to progress from Oman from here and onwards to Tirreno-Adriatico and so on.”

Cummings Eyes Roma Maxima
Sunday’s inaugural edition of Roma Maxima, which is based on the former Giro del Lazio (last held in 2008), is one BMC Racing Team Assistant Director Max Sciandri knows well. He won Giro del Lazio 13 years ago in his final race as a professional. “It’s a beautiful race with amazing scenery,” Sciandri said. “It finishes 500 meters from the (Roman) Colosseum. We bring a team that provides us with a lot of options.” One of those is Steve Cummings, who was part of the BMC Racing Team squads that won the team classification at both Qatar and Oman. “I’m a big fan of racing in Italy,” Cummings said. “I didn’t get to race much here last year so I’m really looking forward to it. There is a great atmosphere amongst our group right now, which helps you a lot during the races. When you look ahead to what’s coming it’s a very exciting time for the team. I’m happy to help as much as I can, and take my opportunities if and when they come.”
Thanks to BMC.

BMC Racing Team Strade Bianche Roster (March 2):
Adam Blythe (GBR),
Stephen Cummings (GBR),
Cadel Evans (AUS),
Martin Kohler (SUI),
Taylor Phinney (USA),
Manuel Quinziato (ITA),
Michael Schär (SUI),
Greg Van Avermaet (BEL).
Sport Director: Fabio Baldato (ITA).

Strade Bianche 2013 promo:

A Colombian party in Rome on Sunday Embassy Minister to meet team at Roma Maxima
Press Release: A very prestigious weekends awaits the Escarabajos: Team Colombia will be in contention in Sunday, March 3rd “Roma Maxima”, the new race organized by RCS Sport, formerly known as Giro del Lazio. Even after 5 year of absence from the UCI calendar, the Italian race can still boast a significant charm, with classic climbs like Rocca Priora and Campi di Annibale to reduce the bunch of contenders ahead of a great finale on the Fori Imperiali, one of the most historical and iconic places in the Italian capital.

Team Colombia will present the same line-up of Thursday’s GP Camaiore: Darwin Atapuma, Fabio Duarte, Leonardo Duque, Dalivier Ospina, Jarlinson Pantano, Carlos Julian Quintero, Michael Rodriguez and Jeffry Romero. Sports Director will be Oscar Pellicioli.

Roma Maxima will also host a very special event: the Colombian citizens’ organizations in Italy have organized a special gathering in Rome to support Team Colombia, bringing Colombian music, culture and folklore in the thick of the Roman Empire capital. Colombian Embassy in Italy’s Minister Counsellor Sylvia Amaya Londono will also reach the finishing line to meet the Team riders and staff and welcome in Rome all the Colombian fans that will animate an exciting day of cycling.

Roma Maxima (March 3rd) Line-up:
Darwin Atapuma,
Fabio Duarte,
Leonardo Duque,
Dalivier Ospina,
Jarlinson Pantano,
Carlos Julian Quintero,
Michael Rodriguez,
Jeffry Romero.
Sports Director: Oscar Pellicioli.

OPQS Injury Update: Pieter Serry and Matteo Trentin
Press Release: Pieter Serry has run into a bit of bad luck. The Belgian rider from Omega Pharma – Quick-Step Cycling Team fell today, on a downhill stretch before the final climb during Tour de Langkawi Stage 5. He sustained an injury after taking a hit to his left elbow on the asphalt.

However, Serry properly finished the stage and was immediately taken to the nearby hospital to undergo some x-rays, which excluded any fractures.

In agreement with the team’s medical staff, Serry will decide tomorrow whether or not to take to the start of the Tour de Langkawi Stage 6.

Matteo Trentin had surgery on Sunday at the Herentals Clinic (Belgium) for a fracture to the scaphoid of his right hand — the result of a fall in the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad on Saturday, February 23rd.

Due to the complexity of the fracture, Trentin will have to observe a period of rest for four weeks, after which he may gradually return to training.

Matteo Trentin’s crash in Het Nieuwsblad:

Adrien Niyonshuti Sidelined by Illness
PressReleas: Adrien Niyonshuti will miss the bulk of the 2013 season after being diagnosed with deep vein thrombosis (DVT) complicated by pulmonary emboli, just prior to departing for Europe where he was expected to line up in Tirreno-Adriatico.

Symptoms of the DVT occurred after an international flight, and his doctors believe that prolonged inactivity exacerbated by mild dehydration was the likely cause.

On his return from Rwanda in mid-January, Adrien reported mild swelling of his right calf. Investigations confirmed a DVT complicated by pulmonary emboli. He was immediately admitted to hospital under specialist care.

Adrien has since been discharged and is feeling well. He will need a prolonged course of anticoagulant (“blood thinning”) treatment and will not be able to participate in any contact sport during this time. He will be out of competition indefinitely.

Dr Jon Patrios, MTN-Qhubeka Team Doctor said, “In a situation like this the immediate and long-term health of the athlete takes absolute precedence over the disappointment associated with the team losing one of our high profile riders. Team MTN-Qhubeka’s medical network will continue to investigate possible intrinsic causes of Adrien’s illness and monitor his recovery while striving to facilitate his return to high level cycling”.

After coming to terms with the news, Niyonshuti said, “I am disappointed but grateful that this was discovered sooner rather than later. I was looking forward to testing myself against some of the biggest riders in the world. I will use this time to rest and reflect on my career and what I’ve achieved so far. I will be able to start indoor training in a couple of weeks and we’ll keep closely monitoring my health and progress.”

“This is sad day for the team as we know Adrien’s potential and we know how badly he wants to make the transition to the road cycling discipline and race in the world’s biggest races,” Team Principal, Douglas Ryder added. “We believe things happen for a reason and this is an opportunity for Adrien to inspire Qhubeka bike recipients in communities to become professional cyclists telling his stories of working hard to become an Olympian and living abroad. It gives Adrien time to focus on his cycling academy in Rwanda and the next generation of Rwandan cyclists.”

Adrien Niyonshuti in the 2009 Tour Of Ireland:

The Tour of Poland to Start from Trentino in 2013
Two sages scheduled in Trentino for Saturday the 27th and Sunday the 28th of July.

Press Release: The Organizing Committee for the Tour de Pologne, guided by its Director Czesław Lang, chose the splendid backdrop offered by the Fiemme 2013 Nordic Skiing World Championships to present the kickoff from Trentino of the 2013 Polish stage race scheduled from July 27th to August 3rd.

There are two stages scheduled to be held in Italy, both in Trentino. The first one, on Saturday, July 27th, will be Rovereto-Madonna di Campiglio for 183.5 km. The second one, on Sunday the 28th, will be Marilleva Val Di Sole – Passo Pordoi, for 195.5 km, with the arrival in the heart of the Dolomites, the natural monument elected by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. After this the Tour de Pologne will return within its national borders, to set off again from Krakow with 4 stages around Poland and a conclusive time trial back in Krakow.

In 2013 the Tour de Pologne celebrates its 70th edition, an important milestone. The start from abroad is an absolutely new trend for the Tour de Pologne, which in past editions has merely gone beyond its borders briefly during the race (for a short stretch in the Czech Republic), as well as for Italy, which for the first time will host the start of a foreign race on the World Tour calendar.

The Tour de Pologne with its stages in Trentino was baptized today, with a press conference held this evening, Monday, February 25th, in Cavalese, in the press room for the Nordic Skiing World Championships. The event was hosted by the Director of the Tour de Pologne Czeslaw Lang, accompanied by Tiziano Mellarini (Council member for Agriculture, Forests, Tourism and Promotion for the Autonomous Province of Trento) and Katarzyna Sobierajska (representing the Ministry of Sport and Tourism of Poland).

“To start from abroad and, among other things, from a country with no direct borders but which is however very close to Poland is an enormous undertaking but also a tremendous achievement,” explains Czesław Lang. “Our proximity is not dictated by kilometres as much as it is by the cultural and historical events that tie these two great nations together. I spent many years of my life in Italy, growing as a cyclist and garnering some of the most brilliant results of my career. For me this is a dream come true; the Dolomites have written the pages of cycling legend and this is why I’ve always wanted to be able to bring the Tour de Pologne here to take on these climbs.

We’d like to thank all our partners and especially Trentino Sviluppo (the Division of Tourism Development and Promotion of Trentino), which in 2013 will be the official partner of the Tour de Pologne for the fourth year in a row, because without their contribution it wouldn’t be possible to make this project a reality.”

This affinity between Poland and Italy was also underlined in the words of Council member Tiziano Mellarini. “Tourism and sport is the engine that drives Trentino. There could be no better occasion than the Fiemme 2013 Nordic Skiing World Championships to present this partnership. We’d like to thank the Tour de Pologne for having decided to start out from our territory. With the Lang Team we’ve found fantastic organizational professionalism, which we will do our best to honour with our hospitality. This partnership underscores Poland’s interest in Trentino and Trentino’s interest in Poland. It is an important opportunity for both parties. For us it will be further occasion to promote our territory to foreign markets, particularly Poland. Polish tourists feel right at home in Trentino and have shown a deep appreciation for this land and the beauty of our mountains, as well as everything we have to offer to tourists. I hope that this collaboration will bring enormous satisfaction to both of us.”

Of course it was an event not to be missed by some of the great names of the Trentino cycling, led by Francesco Moser, the great champion uncle of the 2012 Tour de Pologne winner Moreno Moser. “Few years ago Lang invited me to the Tour de Pologne I immediately understood the potential of this race and I told him that it would have been important to have a start in Italy and why not in my region Trentino. Our dreams will become truth this year.”

Among the many guests at the conference were also Paolo Manfrini (Director of the Division of Tourism Development and Promotion of Trentino and Maurizio Rossini (Director of Tourism Marketing Division of Tourism Development and Promotion of Trentino), the gen-eral secretary of the World Championships Fiemme 2013 Angelo Corradini, representatives of the Trentino resorts place of departure and arrival of the two stages and representatives of Poland’s Tourism. And some of the main sponsors of the Tour de Pologne which Pawel Ziemba President Skandia S.A., Pawel Olechnowicz President of Lotos and Messers Kuchta representing Bukovina Terma Hotel Spa. Also stopping in to say hello were members of the Italian Cycling Federation with their Federal Counsellor Renato Riedmuller, representing President Renato Di Rocco, and the President of the FCI in Trentino Dario Broccardo.

Skandia Poland – Tour de Pologne promotional campaign:

Andreas Klier Announced to Ride the Trois Etapes
Press Release: Team Garmin-Sharp Pro Cycling’s Andreas Klier has added his name to the already star-studded list of professional riders to captain one of the 14 charity teams taking part in The Trois Etapes this July.

Andreas, now 37, is one of the most respected cyclists in the peloton in his 14th year as a professional. A previous winner of the Belgian classic Gent-Wevelgem, Andreas boasts several high finishes in his favoured one-day Classics as well as a stage win in the 2007 Tour of Spain.

Having started his professional career in 1999, Andreas learnt his trade in Europe before more recently racing for the Cervélo Test Team and then joining the Garmin-Sharp WorldTour set-up in 2011.

When asked about riding the event, Andreas was quick to cite his lack of ability as the road turns upwards: “It’s a well known joke within the peloton that I’m a bad climber but I’m actually really looking forward to this great event.

“The Trois Etapes will make us all ride as fast as we can, together, as a team, for one great goal – to raise as much money as possible for charity. I am sure that all participants will not only be looking for a team victory, but will know that with every single kilometer that we suffer in the mountainous climbs of the Tour de France we are doing something good.”

He will join, amongst others, former Tour de France winner Carlos Sastre, previous teammate Daniel Lloyd, Irish Paralympian Colin Lynch, female professional Evelyn Stevens of Team Specialized Lululemon, Songezo Jim of Team MTN Qhubeka, and record-breaking long distance British cyclist Mark Beaumont.

The Trois Etapes, in its second edition this summer, will see 14 charity teams of eight, seven riders and one pro, compete over four days whilst raising money for the charities of their choice. The event offers riders the ultimate pro-am cycling experience, giving competitors the chance to experience the conditions of a full-scale professional racing environment, in cycling’s most famous terrain – the Alps.

The racing takes place over four days from 26th – 29th July 2013 with highlights of the action being televised on Channel 4 and British Eurosport. Riders face a flat prologue followed by three mountain stages, with Team Time Trials on three of the four days which include a final test up the infamous Tour climb, the Col de la Madeleine, on their final day in the saddle.

Klier will be leading the Prostate Cancer UK team, looking to use his knowledge and tactical nous to help his team through the event and to raise as much money as possible for their worthy cause.

More pro riders will be announced ahead of the event, which takes place 26th – 29th July 2013.

For more information about the event, please visit: https://www.troisetapes.org.

Andreas Klier talking about the Tour of Flanders a few years ago:

HotChillee Announces the 2013 Cape Rouleur Route
Press Release: HotChillee today announces the route for the Cape Rouleur in March this year. Based out of the heart of gastronomy and wine, Franschhoek, the Cape Rouleur covers almost 600km and over 5000m of climbing.

HotChillee’s Riders’ Village is next to the Huguenot Monument and each stage will start and finish here. The Riders’ Village will be a hub of everything the rider needs, including massages, mechanics, refreshments, bean bags and picnic areas, allowing riders to relax together after the ride.

The overall route takes riders through the stunning South African scenery in the Western Cape, over mountain passes such as Franschhoek, around Paarl Mountain and through the Perdeberg National Reserve. Riders experience sunrise on Clarence Drive and cycle past the glorious Gordon’s Bay overlooking the ocean.

On Sunday 3rd March, following registration and the briefing, there will be a 7.6km Prologue, out and back from Franschhoek to Berg River Dam. This time trial will be used to seed riders into the three speed groups.

Stage 1 is a 128km flat route, with lunch at 82km in the Ridgeback Winery. As Stage 1 is relatively flat there is no Red Flagged mountain section, but the Yellow Flagged section for the male and female leaders’ jerseys is positioned on the Voorpaardeberg Road. The route then circumnavigates Southern Paarl. The Green Flagged section, for the sprinter’s jersey, finishes at Drakenstein Prison, formerly Victor Verster Prison from where Nelson Mandela was released. It’s then a steady climb back to Franschhoek for massages, socialising and relaxation.

Stage 2 is 146km with 1939m ascent and a max gradient of 8 per cent. There are two Red Flagged mountain sections working in the climbers’ favour. The first comes 38km in on a Category 3 climb, Viljoen’s pass. It’s then down to Houw Hoek Farm Stall where lunch takes place at 66km. The tough Yellow Flagged timed section is 15km after lunch towards Villiersdorp. Last year riders experienced a freak situation of a road full of squashed grapes here. Following Villiersdorp, riders will get a view of the Theewaterskloof Dam before the Green Flagged section on the approach to Franschhoek Pass and the final sting of the day, the Red Flagged mountain section over the Pass.

Stage 3 is the longest at 208km with a 2006m ascent and max gradient of 8 per cent. The ride will start at approximately 05:15 due to heavy traffic in Stellenbosch at peak times. As sunrise is not until 06:38 riders will be given high visibility jackets and will need to bring appropriate lighting. All three speed groups will ride as one peloton over Helshoogte Pass and will have police escorts through Stellenbosch. The ride will then stop at Mooiberge Farm Stall for coffee and muffins before the speed groups separate and ride towards Somerset West and Gordon’s Bay. The riders will experience sunrise on the spectacular Clarence Drive, Phil Liggett’s “most favourite road on the planet”. It’s an undulating 60km from coffee to the Yellow Flagged timed section, where riders can put in their final push for the leaders’ jerseys. The ride then passes through the town of Kleinmond before riders are faced with the Green Flagged section for their last chance to take the sprinter’s jersey home for 2013. Lunch comes at the 132km mark in Salandra Farm Stall and it’s straight onto the Red Flagged mountain section for the King of the mountain’s jersey, up category 3 Houw Hoek Pass. The rest of the ride is a tough 60km up Viljoen’s Pass, past the Theewaterskloof Dam and back up the Franschhoek Pass before descending for the final time into Franschhoek.

The early start should mean that all rider groups will be home by 3.00pm, enabling some recovery time and relaxation before the Celebration Dinner, which this year will be held under a bedouin tent at the Riders’ Village next to the Huguenot Monument.

With the official Stages finished, the final day of the Cape Rouleur is a 112km Festival Ride from Franshhoek back to Cape Town. This takes riders under the Taal Monument, past the Fairview winery, past Fisantekraal and around the outskirts of Durbanville. Lunch is at 76km at the Nitida Wine Farm. Here the cyclists will be met by the VIP Escort Division of the Cape Town Motor Cycle Police who will escort one peloton of riders in style, as they get views of Table Mountain before descending on the Cape Town Waterfront. The finish is at the Cape Town Hotel School with amazing ocean views.

More information on the Flagged sections:
The Yellow Flagged sections (General Classification) – this is for the leaders’ jersey (yellow and pink) and all riders are timed.

The Green Flagged section – this is for the sprinter’s jersey and the first 3 over the line will be awarded points. The rider with the most at the end of the event will take the jersey home (pro & amateur).

The Red Flagged section – this is for the ‘King of the mountain’s’ jersey and the first 3 over the line will be awarded points. The rider with the most points (pro and amateur) will take the Red Jersey home. The different Category climbs will attract differing points.

For route maps and images, go to: https://www.caperouleur.com/routes.php.

Mavic and TIME Announce Technical Collaboration
Two French companies join forces to share pedal technology

Press Release: The French companies TIME and Mavic are pleased to announce the signing of an agreement for a technical collaboration to develop and market automatic road and MTB pedals made in France based on the ICLIC and ATAC technology.

“Such a strategic alliance allows the 2 brands, whilst remaining independent to share their experience and join forces to explore new technological opportunities with the objective of developing products of the highest quality,” said Roland Cattin, president of Time.

“I am convinced that this alliance will contribute to the success and development of our 2 brands. Our respective expertise will allow us to meet our consumers’ needs with the best performing and most innovative solutions,” added Bernard Millaud, president of Mavic, SAS.

These two French companies share the same values of innovation and quality to create top of the range products. Combining their respective expertise will create a considerable advantage in a highly competitive environment.
More information about Mavic at: www.mavic.com.

Here is how Mavic handles Paris-Roubaix:

Italian Cycling
Another great video from Giro d’Italia organzers; RCS Sport. A whole season of sensational cycling: one year of Italian passion:

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