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EuroTrash Thursday!

Two of the best stage races of the season are on at the moment; Paris-Nice and Tirreno-Adriatico, the French race has been all action since it started and the race across Italy has kicked off with a great team time trial; results and videos. Back to doping for the TOP STORY and there’s loads of other news and video to take you to the weekend. Ease into Thursday with EuroTrash and maybe a latte macchiato?
***STOP PRESS*** Amgen Tour of California announce teams’ for 2013.

Sixteen Teams Selected to Compete in 2013 Amgen Tour of California
Most Competitive Field Yet Assembled for America’s Eighth Annual Premier Cycling Race; Lineup to Include Boonen, Farrar, Gilbert, Horner, Sagan, and van Garderen.

Press Release: LOS ANGELES (March 7, 2013) – Amgen Tour of California organizers have selected 16 teams from among the best international and domestic squads to compete in the country’s largest professional road cycling stage race May 12-19, 2013. With full rosters yet to be announced, the field will include Olympic medalists, Tour de France competitors and the reigning world champion.

This year’s event will be headlined by eight of the world’s top ranking Pro Teams along with UCI Pro Continental and Continental squads, collectively representing nine countries. Included among the American teams are the top two U.S. Pro Teams: BMC Racing Team of Santa Rosa, Calif., whose roster includes current world road champion Philippe Gilbert of Belgium, and eight-time* participant Team Garmin-Sharp of Denver, which will be defending its record-setting three Overall Team Standings wins.

Returning for their sixth year of California competition are Belgium’s top team Omega Pharma – Quick-Step Cycling Team, who has confirmed Tom Boonen, who last year became the first rider to win all four “cobbled classics” in Europe, for the race; and Italy’s top professional team Cannondale Pro Cycling. Other top World Tour teams selected include perennial powerhouse RADIOSHACK LEOPARD TREK of Luxembourg, whose roster includes 2011 Amgen Tour of California champion Chris Horner of Bend, Ore., Australia’s top team ORICA-GreenEDGE, Denmark’s top professional club Team Saxo-Tinkoff, and Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team from the Netherlands.

“The Amgen Tour of California consistently attracts the world’s elite teams and riders, and has become one of the most important races on the international calendar,” said Kristin Bachochin, executive director of the race and senior vice president of AEG Sports. “With our eighth edition this year, we are honored to again host one of the top fields ever assembled in a spectacular showcase for cycling fans in California and around the world.”

UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team of Oakland, Calif., the top American-based Pro Continental team, will compete alongside Germany’s Team NetApp – Endura and China’s top squad Champion System Pro Cycling Team in their Amgen Tour of California debut. Also announced to the lineup are some of the United States’ top Continental squads: BISSELL Pro Cycling, the winningest team in the National Racing Calendar (NRC) in 2012; Optum Pro Cycling presented by Kelly Benefit Strategies; Team Jamis – Hagens Berman; Bontrager Cycling Team; and 5-hour Energy presented by Kenda Racing.

“This year’s Amgen Tour of California will be awesome,” said Peter Sagan, Cannondale Pro Cycling, winner of five stages at the 2012 Amgen Tour of California. “I had an amazing experience last year and from the looks of the route this year, there are some incredible stages and sprints I can’t wait to take on.”

Several teams returning this year have made many prior appearances, including seven-time participant BMC Racing Team, which in addition to Gilbert, will race Tejay van Garderen, the top American finisher in the 2012 Tour de France (5th overall).

“The Amgen Tour of California is a big objective of mine because it’s not very often that we get to race in front of a home crowd. So I’m really going to relish that,” said Tejay van Garderen, BMC Racing Team. “If we can go into the hometown of the BMC Racing Team (Santa Rosa) on the last day in the leader’s jersey, that would be a special feeling. I’d love to be able to do that and to pay back the team for the support it’s given to me. To get the reception of the crowd in a situation like that would definitely be a career highlight.”

The race will wind through some of California’s most demanding – and scenic – roads and serve as a preview of key contests, including the Tour de France. This year, worldwide fans will get a new perspective on nearly 750-mile course. In February, organizers announced that for the first time, the 2013 Amgen Tour of California will run from south to north and provide new challenges for the athletes.

“As the biggest stage race in the U.S., the Amgen Tour of California continues to provide our cyclists with a challenging and exciting competition, and our North American and Asian athletes are looking forward to the test,” said Ed Beamon, General Manager, Champion System Pro Cycling Team. “This year will be over-the-top, literally, with several grueling climbs and a mountaintop finish at Mount Diablo.”

The race will begin in Escondido on May 12, north of San Diego proper, and will conclude on May 19 in Santa Rosa in the San Francisco Bay Area. Teams will cover a full range of challenging terrain as they speed through some of California’s most majestic and iconic highways, bridges, roadways and coastlines to claim stages in 12 official host cities.

“Every year the organizers of the Amgen Tour of California take it up a notch with a route that challenges cyclists and gives fans an incredible event,” said Team Garmin-Sharp’s Tyler Farrar, an elite cyclist who has won stages at all three Grand Tours. “I’m really looking forward to racing again on the West Coast with some of the best riders in the world, and I’m excited about this year’s route, especially the Santa Barbara stage and the final stage in Santa Rosa.”

“The Amgen Tour of California is the jewel of U.S. racing. I’m very excited that the 5-hr Energy presented by Kenda Racing Team will compete in this year’s race,” said Frankie Andreu, the team’s Director Sportif. “The new route will be challenging and should be great for the fans. We look forward to taking our shot at winning one of the stages or a coveted jersey.”

Also this year, the third annual Amgen Tour of California Women’s Time Trial Race, presented by SRAM, will take place in San Jose on Friday, May 17, just prior to the men’s Stage 6 individual time trial. The invitation-only women’s time trial will use the same course as the men and will offer a $10,000 prize.

The 2013 Amgen Tour of California roster includes:
UCI ProTeams:
BMC Racing Team, USA
Cannondale Pro Cycling, Italy
Omega Pharma – Quick-Step Cycling Team, Belgium
ORICA GreenEDGE, Australia
Team Garmin-Sharp, USA
Team Saxo-Tinkoff, Denmark
Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team, The Netherlands
UCI Professional Continental Teams:
Champion System Pro Cycling Team, China
Team NetApp-Endura, Germany
UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team, USA

UCI Continental Teams:
5-hour ENERGY presented by Kenda Racing Team, USA
BISSELL Pro Cycling, USA
Bontrager Cycling Team, USA
Optum Pro Cycling presented by Kelly Benefit Strategies, USA
Team Jamis – Hagens Berman, USA

Cycling fans can experience the excitement of America’s biggest professional stage race up close and personal by becoming a race volunteer. Race organizers are looking to fill nearly 5,000 volunteer positions. Registration and further information about the various duties available are now online at www.AmgenTourofCalifornia.com.

2013 Amgen Tour of California:

TOP STORY: At Last; Boogerd Confesses!
You probably remember Michael Boogerd for those big teeth always flashing white at the front of the peloton. Well now he can be remembered for something else. He said he met up with Stefan Matschiner “for vitamins” and nothing else. Of course Matschiner was a contact with the Human Plasma blood doping programme that was running at the time. Being a member of the Rabobank team in those years now seems to be a direct pointer to doping, although there is bound to be exceptions.

So Boogerd admitted on Dutch TV station NOS Sport that he doped for 10 years from 1997 to his retirement in 2007, using EPO, cortisone and more so blood transfusions when he thought EPO was too risky. He also claimed that he rode the Tour de France clean, but that he “prepared” during periods of training. He also states that “I mention no names” and “I looked into it and then I searched myself. It was my responsibility, my choice.”

This throws up a few questions:
When he says “too risky” my first thought was he meant to his health, but no he is referring to his chances of being caught which shows the mentality of a doper, getting caught being put above how the drugs might affect your body, i.e. possible death.

He also claims he “rode the Tour clean” but had used drugs during preparation periods. Well that is splitting hairs, if he was taking drugs to make himself stronger for the Tour, then he did not ride it clean.

“I mention no names” that’s Omerta rearing its ugly head again, admit your crimes, but don’t say who you paid a load of money too; the drug dealer.

“I looked into it and then I searched myself. It was my responsibility, my choice.” So he knew what he was doing, no excuse. No story of being coerced by team management or of being forced by the big rider in the team, or being given an injection and being told it was vitamins or something to help recovery.

Boogerd is another rider who never failed a drug test, but we now know he doped all those years. Would he get away with it now? Can we thank the rider passport for this?

Boogerd in the Tour de France 2002:

Paris-Nice 2013
Stage 1 came down to a sprint after a three man break of Romain Sicard (Euskaltel-Euskadi), Bert-Jan Lindeman (Vacansoleil-DCM) and Yannick Talabardon (Sojasun) had escaped soon after the start in Saint-Germain-en-Laye. They worked well together to gain a lead of 7 minutes, but were caught coming into the last 20 kilometres. Coming into the finish a very strong Sylvain Chavanel (Omega Pharma – Quick-Step) put the pressure on with around 300 meters to go, but Nacer Bouhanni (FDJ) was on his wheel in a flash for the lead out, Alessandro Petacchi (Lampre-Merida) tried to come round but Bouhanni had the win by the smallest of margins. Mark Renshaw (Blanco) could have come through the middle, but held back and came 6th. Bouhanni moved into the overall lead 1 second ahead of Prologue winner Damien Gaudin (Europcar).

Things did not go well for Movistar Team on the first road stage of Paris-Nice, the WorldTour’s inaugural event on European turf. The telephone squad’s designated leader for the race, Rui Costa, was forced to abandon after a crash with just under 70km from the finish.

The Portuguese rider, who initially attempted to get back to the group with pain and bruises all over his body, was eventually moved to a medical centre in Fontainebleau, where the medical checks ruled out any fractures in his left hand, a broken wrist was feared, having received several stitches at the crash’s site. Costa was back in the hotel with his team-mates at around 6pm and will return to Portugal soon. Also Imanol Erviti, with several bruises, crashed at the same incident point, he was dropped, along with Javi Moreno, to the second of three groups; this was caused by crosswinds in the finale to the 195 kilometre stage to Némours.

Paris-Nice Stage 1 Result:
1. Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) FDJ in 4:47:24
2. Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Lampre-Merida
3. Elia Viviani (Ita) Cannondale
4. Jens Debusschere (Bel) Lotto Belisol
5. Heinrich Haussler (Aus) IAM Cycling
6. Mark Renshaw (Aus) Blanco
7. Jose Joaquin Rojas Gil (Spa) Movistar
8. Leigh Howard (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge
9. Borut Bozic (Slo) Astana
10. Romain Feillu (Fra) Vacansoleil-DCM.

Paris-Nice Overall After Stage 1:
1. Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) FDJ in 4:51:01
2. Damien Gaudin (Fra) Europcar
3. Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step at 0:01
4. Lieuwe Westra (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM
5. Elia Viviani (Ita) Cannondale
6. Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Lampre-Merida at 0:02
7. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Blanco
8. Geoffrey Soupe (Fra) FDJ
9. Peter Velits (Svk) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step at 0:03
10. Tony Gallopin (Fra) RadioShack-Leopard.

Stage 1:

The German Adonis; Marcel Kittel (Argos-Shimano) won the sprint at the end of Stage 2 beating Elia Viviani (Cannondale) into second place, but the Italian took the overall lead from the crashed out Nacer Bouhanni (FDJ). Sylvain Chavanel (Omega Pharma – Quick-Step) is still in second place, now at 7 seconds. Gatis Smukulis (Katusha), Kris Boeckmans (Vacansoleil-DCM) and Mads Christensen (Saxo-Tinkoff) were today’s early break, then the next break included two Vansoleil-DCM riders; Thomas De Gendt and Romain Feillu, they were soon by Mikel Astarloza (Euskaltel-Euskadi) and Maxime Bouet (Ag2r-La Mondiale), this was after Bert-Jan Lindeman was away the previous day and today he held onto his mountains jersey. The rain started to fall making the roads quite slippery causing a few crashes, the yellow jersey of Nacer Bouhanni hit the road hard after he skidded on a corner and hitting the kerb, he was taken to hospital in an ambulance ending his race. Argos-Shimano upped the pace to pull the escapees back with 45 kilometres to go. Viviani won the time bonus for the intermediate sprint with Chavanel on his wheel. Tom Boonen was in the drivers for Chavalel keeping the speed high on the last finishing lap, FDJ and Lampre-Merida took to the front with Alessandro Petacchi off the front too early. Kittel was by far the strongest and took a well deserved win.

The crash of Nacer Bouhanni:

Lampre-Merida DS, Piovani explained: “The rising road made the sprint difficult, no team could raise heavily the speed in the final 500 meters, so when Palini started his action, he obtained a little gap. Petacchi followed him, maybe the sprint started too early. For what concerns our riders for the overall classification, no problems for Ulissi and Scarponi.”

Paris-Nice Stage 2 Result:
1. Marcel Kittel (Ger) Argos-Shimano in 5:42:18
2. Elia Viviani (Ita) Cannondale
3. Leigh Howard (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge
4. Borut Bozic (Slo) Astana
5. Samuel Dumoulin (Fra) Ag2r-La Mondiale
6. Gianni Meersman (Bel) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step
7. Romain Feillu (Fra) Vacansoleil-DCM
8. Jens Debusschere (Bel) Lotto Belisol
9. Jose Joaquin Rojas Gil (Spa) Movistar
10. Tony Gallopin (Fra) RadioShack-Leopard.

Paris-Nice Overall After Stage 2:
1. Elia Viviani (Ita) Cannondale in 10:33:11
2. Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step at 0:07
3. Damien Gaudin (Fra) Europcar at 0:08
4. Lieuwe Westra (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM at 0:09
5. Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Lampre-Merida at 0:10
6. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Blanco
7. Geoffrey Soupe (Fra) FDJ
8. Peter Velits (Svk) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step at 0:11
9. Tony Gallopin (Fra) RadioShack-Leopard
10. Borut Bozic (Slo) Astana.

Stage 2:

It was a very happy Andrew Talansky (Garmin-Sharp) who crossed the finish line at the end of Stage 3 in Brioude after 170 cold and wet kilometres to take the stage, young rider and GC overall. The young American was in a group of seven experienced riders of the calibre of Richie Porte (Sky) and Andriy Grivko (Astana), a lot of the top men were 7 seconds behind while the yellow jersey of Elia Viviani (Cannondale) was in trouble on the Côte de Mauvagnat 15 kilometres from the finish, to come in 2:58 down. Early break of the day was Martijn Keizer (Vacansoleil-DCM), Sébastien Minard (Ag2r-La Mondiale), Mads Christensen (Saxo-Tinkoff) and Alexis Vuillermoz (Sojasun). This was good for Martijn Keizer as he took over the KOM jersey from Vacansoliel-DCM team mate Bert-Jan Lindeman. The four escapees had a 4 minute lead after 60 kilometres; this slowly came down under the impetus of the Cannondale team helped by Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma – Quick-Step) and eventually RadioShack. They were caught on the last climb with 22 kilometres to go and Sky put the pressure on splitting the peloton with Viviani in the back half. Astana’s Maxim Iglinskiy attacked, but was brought back for team mate Andriy Grivko to try his luck, Richie Porte crossed to him with Talansky and the others to give us the seven riders up front who will be fighting out the win. Behind them the chase was on but not getting closer and Viviani was losing his overall lead. Porte looked the strongest in the group, but Talansky came to the front with 200 metres from the line and added this top win to his palmarés.

Paris-Nice Stage 3 Result:
1. Andrew Talansky (USA) Garmin-Sharp in 4:06:15
2. Davide Malacarne (Ita) Europcar
3. Gorka Izaguirre Insausti (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
4. David Lopez Garcia (Spa) Sky
5. Richie Porte (Aus) Sky
6. Romain Bardet (Fra) Ag2r-La Mondiale
7. Andriy Grivko (Ukr) Astana
8. Jonathan Hivert (Fra) Sojasun at 0:07
9. Enrico Gasparotto (Ita) Astana
10. Maxime Bouet (Fra) Ag2r-La Mondiale.

Paris-Nice Overall After Stage 3:
1. Andrew Talansky (USA) Garmin-Sharp in 14:39:36
2. Andriy Grivko (Ukr) Astana at 0:03
3. Davide Malacarne (Ita) Europcar
4. Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step at 0:04
5. Gorka Izaguirre Insausti (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi at 0:05
6. Lieuwe Westra (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM at 0:06
7. Richie Porte (Aus) Sky at 0:07
8. Peter Velits (Svk) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step at 0:08
9. David Lopez Garcia (Spa) Sky at 0:09
10. Jonathan Hivert (Fra) Sojasun at 0:12.

Stage 3:

Tirreno-Adriatico 2013
Stage 1 of the 7 stage race across Italy was a team time trial of 16.9 kilometres from San Vincenzo to Donoratico and the Omega Pharma – Quick-Step team covered the course at an average speed of 52•286 kilometres an hour to put Mark Cavendish in the leaders blue jersey. Second at 11 seconds was Movistar and Cadel Evans and Taylor Phinney with their BMC team were third at 16 seconds.

“One name is a huge reason why we did so well today: Tony Martin,” Cavendish said of the UCI World TT Champion. “He did the majority of the work, but the guys today, all of them, were just incredible. As for the planning, we did a lot of it but we didn’t too much pressure on it. It was actually quite relaxing. Everyone knew what they had to do. We finished with five but everyone had a part to play. Maybe that’s what makes us so good, because no one has a real ego except maybe me (laughs). For everybody, it’s about getting eight guys from point A to point B as fast as possible. I’m super proud to be a part of it. For me, when there’s a team time trial win, it’s one of the nicest things in cycling. The whole team gets to celebrate. That’s what makes this event special.”

Cavendish wanted to make it clear that, while five riders out of eight crossed the line together, it was a complete team effort to win the stage.

“The five we crossed the finish line it’s quite a misconception to think that the five that crossed the finish line are the five strongest,” Cavendish said. “It doesn’t work like that. For example at the top of the climb it was difficult. Tony went away. It could have been easy for Gert Steegmans to go with Tony, but instead he waited and brought the rest of the team back to Tony. That finished Gert, you know. So maybe he did one of the best rides of the team today, but he’s not there in the top five. So I think it’s got nothing to do with being in the top five when it comes to your condition. It really depends on where you are, or the circumstances.”

As for Cavendish, he is having plenty of fun riding for OPQS in 2013. The morale is clearly high for the Manx Missile.

“I’m really enjoying riding my bike again,” Cavendish said. “I don’t know if it’s the past or this team is just so nice, but I am just really, really happy. I found a new motivation again. This is my 7th or 8th year as a professional, but whatever happened this year I have newfound love again. It’s just really refreshing to be part of a team where I’ve got so many friends where I grew up in the past with them and now I’m having so much fun. This is the most I’ve raced this kind of year and I’ve got a daughter and fiancée at home. It’s really hard to be this far away for this long, but when you’ve got a good group of people like I am with, I couldn’t ask for anything more.”

“It was not easy today,” Martin added about the team victory and the challenges of the parcour. “We knew we were one of the big favourites, but it is always difficult on this kind of short distance, but also with some rain and some corners. You always have to take some risks in these kinds of races. I think the whole team found a good way to handle this pressure. I knew I am one of the strongest so I knew I had to take some of the responsibility. But I had a good feeling, good legs, so I could really give everything. The bike and material was perfect. I could already see it in Volta ao Algarve. The Shiv is working perfect, even today. Given the extreme weather conditions and the wet road, tires were becoming a key element. In the morning the mechanics set up the pressure according to the road condition, and during the race our tires proved to be equally good in grip and rolling resistance. I want to also add that I had really strong teammates and everyone did their job perfectly, even in the difficult conditions. A win is always better when you can share it as a team.”

The BMC Racing Team finished 16 seconds off the winning time of Omega Pharma-Quick Step and five seconds behind runner-up Movistar Team in the 16.9-kilometer race against the clock. Cadel Evans said he was satisfied with the BMC Racing Team’s performance as he aims to duplicate his overall win here in 2011. “We lost a few riders midway through, but I think it was more of a bit of a discrepancy of strength,” Evans said. “When you have a couple of time trial specialists in a team, it is stronger. But it means for the four guys who have to follow behind, it’s not always easy. But it’s always good to have a few seconds on whom I consider to be the main GC (general classification) contenders like Vincenzo Nibali (Cannondale), Alberto Contador (Team Saxo-Tinkoff) and Chris Froome (Sky Procycling).”

Greg Van Avermaet, who was part of the BMC Racing Team’s winning team time trial squad at the Tour of Qatar, said the adverse conditions and a lack of specific training on his BMC time machine TM01 limited his effectiveness. “I wasn’t feeling really good and, in the end, on top of the climb, I decided to let them go because it was a bit too hard for me with the cold and everything,” he said. “I think my condition is there but I haven’t trained much in the time trial position and it’s a big difference from my road bike. I couldn’t bring the power over.” BMC Racing Team Assistant Director Max Sciandri said he was glad there were no mishaps on the slick roads. “The good news is everybody came in safe, the team gave its best and now we put it aside and move forward,” he said. “Tomorrow will probably be wet again. So we will shift into GC mode and have a mission and a clear objective to move Cadel forward.”

The Saxo-Tinkoff team was 8th, Alberto Contador commented: “Others have been better, but I’m happy with the result,” but made an optimistic analysis of the stage, “I felt pretty good and has been a good time trial. The team worked well and although we were left with 6 riders pretty quickly, they did great work.”

Alberto acknowledged that “others have been better than us, but I’m happy with the result. It is true that these races are won or lost by a few seconds, but well, this is just beginning.” Regarding the overall situation, “there are riders who have taken several seconds, but we have to go day by day,” said Contador. “The differences are important, we lost 16 seconds too BMC and have ceded too Astana and Sky also, who are direct rivals, but we cannot think that this is definitive. The race has just begun. Now they have more responsibility because they have time in favour and I have time to recover.”

The weather, with wind and rain throughout the day, made the race dangerous and Saxo-Tinkoff would not take risks. “The road was really dangerous and we made it very clear we didn’t want to take any risk, we thought a little more on the overall. Today was secondary; the main thing was not have falls.” Finally, Alberto Contador said the race remains open. “In these races the strategy is complicated. The uphill finish stage (on Saturday), we’ll see which team takes the responsibility. The rivals gave us a handful of seconds and will have to see how they do it and how I find myself.”

Team MTN Qhubeka p/b Samsung finished amidst the world-class teams one minute back in 17th place. “We are proud to be at the start of such an important race. Our riders came here from three continents and we didn’t really have a chance to train together on our new Trek time trial bikes. So we are just happy to have safely covered the wet course without any crashes. Under these conditions we can be satisfied with the 17th place,” said sport director Jens Zemke after the team time trial. “In the coming days we will try to bring attention to ourselves in this community of world class teams. All the riders are highly motivated and looking forward to the upcoming stages.”

Tirreno-Adriatico Stage 1 Result:
1. Omega Pharma – Quick-Step in 19:24
2. Movistar at 0:11
3. BMC at 0:16
4. Cannondale at 0:19
5. Astana at 0:20
6. Orica-Greenedge at 0:24
7. Sky at 0:25
8. Saxo-Tinkoff at 0:32
9. Lampre-Merida at 0:35
10. RadioShack-Leopard at 0:36.

Tirreno-Adriatico Overall After Stage 1:
1. Mark Cavendish (GB) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step in 19:24
2. Tony Martin (Ger) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step
3. Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step
4. Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step
5. Niki Terpstra (Ned) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step
6. Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Movistar at 0:11
7. Benat Intxausti Elorriaga (Spa) Movistar
8. Andrey Amador Bakkazakova (CRc) Movistar
9. Jonathan Castroviejo Nicolas (Spa) Movistar
10. Eros Capecchi (Ita) Movistar.

Stage 3 TTT:

Mollema and Slagter aim for GC in the Tirreno Adriatico
The Blanco Pro Cycling Team will start their campaign in the Tirreno Adriatico with the following riders: Bram Tankink, Lars Boom, Paul Martens, Bauke Mollema, Lars Petter Nordhaug, Tom-Jelte Slagter, Sep Vanmarcke and Maarten Wynants.

“We will start with World Tour leader Tom-Jelte Slagter in our team. This young rider is on track for a great start of the season. There are several possibilities to finish it off in the difficult uphill stages. Normally Bauke Mollema is our guy for the general classification. He has shown his early season form in the Ruta del Sol and Murcia. We have a strong team surrounding these guys with unlimited support. We aim for several stage wins, although our main focus will be the general classification” says sports director Nico Verhoeven.
Thanks to the Blanco team.

RadioShack for Tirreno-Adriatico
The RADIOSHACK LEOPARD TREK line-ups for Tirreno-Adriatico (Italy) – UCI WorldTour (March 6-12).
Fabian Cancellara,
Stijn Devolder,
Danilo Hondo,
Chris Horner,
Giacomo Nizzolo,
Yaroslav Popovych,
Hayden Roulston,
Andy Schleck.
Directors: Kim Andersen & Dirk Demol.

Tirreno-Adriatico: First African team to start a WorldTour event
Press Release:African cycling is taking another step forward. This coming Wednesday, Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung will take on its first season highlight at the Italian race Tirreno-Adriatico (March 6-12, UCI WorldTour). This is the first time in the history of international cycling that an African team will start in a WorldTour race, the highest ranking of the UCI. The Professional Continental team will be led by their German team captain Gerald Ciolek and Spaniard Sergio Pardilla. And for the first time, newly-crowned South African road champion Jay Thomson will wear the jersey with the national colours at a UCI race.

“The 2013 Tirreno–Adriatico will see the first African registered Pro Continental Team take the start in a WorldTour event. I want to thank RCS Sport for having a great vision of globalising world cycling and for giving our team the opportunity to participate and race against the best cyclists in the world”, said team principal Douglas Ryder. “When you are racing to mobilise people on bikes in Africa, you have more motivation than racing for yourself and our riders are looking forward to the challenge.”

Pardilla will start the race on the back of a successful debut for the team in Le Tour de Langkawi where he finished third overall. The Spaniard was supported by an outstanding team, which also won the team ranking in the Asian race.

Despite being hampered by sickness, team captain Gerald Ciolek has showed good form during the early part of the season by winning the final stage in Three Days of West Flanders and sprinting to eleventh place in Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and fifth place in Trofeo Laigueglia.

“Our team presented itself very well in the first races of the season and brought in noteworthy placings. Everyone on the team worked perfectly together and was highly motivated for the races,” said sport director Jens Zemke. “The appearance at Tirreno-Adriatico is our first big highlight. In Italy we want to justify our invitation to our first WorldTour race with a good performance. We will look to Gerald Ciolek in the sprint arrivals, and in the mountains, Sergio Pardilla will be our man.”

The race starts Wednesday with a team time trial in San Vincenzo and ends seven days later with an individual time trial in San Benedetto del Tronto on the Adriatic Sea. One of the highlights of the “Race of the Two Seas” is the mountaintop finish at Prati di Tivo on Saturday.

Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung has a dedicated website for the race on its Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/?ref=logo#!/TeamMTNQhubeka/app_351105568338242.

Tirreno-Adriatico (Italy) – (March 6-12):
Gerald Ciolek,
Ignatas Konovalovas,
Andreas Stauff,
Martin Reimer,
Jay Thomson,
Kristian Sbaragli,
Jaco Venter,
Sergio Pardilla.

Mark Cavendish and Chris Froome look ahead to the Tirreno-Adriatico:

Strong Team Time Trial First Goal At Tirreno-Adriatico
The BMC Racing Team will be looking for a fast start to help Cadel Evans on his way toward a strong performance when Tirreno-Adriatico begins Wednesday.

A Talented Field
A 16.9-kilometer team time trial that opens the seven-day race is an opportunity to immediately set the tone, BMC Racing Team Assistant Director Max Sciandri said. “The most important thing is to get the team started in the right way in the team time trial,” he said. “We certainly have the manpower to do well.” Evans, who finished third in his first stage race of the season (Tour of Oman) and won Tirreno-Adriatico in 2011, said he looks forward to testing himself against a talented field. “Some of the biggest stage racing riders in the world will be there,” he said. “Strade Bianche was a good indication for me, though I didn’t make the final in the front group. We’ll see how the team time trial goes and then we’ll take it from there.” The BMC Racing Team will look to Taylor Phinney in both the team time trial and as a potential winner of the final-stage, 9.2 km individual time trial. Phinney was part of the winning team time trial squad at the Tour of Oman and was the silver medallist at last year’s UCI world time trial championship. “The course for that last time trial is a great one for him,” Sciandri said.
Thanks to Sean at BMC for the info.

Download the official BMC Racing Team race sheet (PDF with roster, bios, statistics): https://bit.ly/WEj48Q.

BMC Racing Team Tirreno-Adriatico Roster (March 6-12):
Steve Cummings (GBR),
Cadel Evans (AUS),
Thor Hushovd (NOR),
Klaas Lodewyck (BEL),
Taylor Phinney (USA),
Manuel Quinziato (ITA),
Michael Schär (SUI),
Greg Van Avermaet (BEL).
Sport Directors: Fabio Baldato (ITA) & Max Sciandri (ITA).

Alberto Contador at Tirreno-Adriatico
Alberto Contador said at the press conference of the presentation of the Tirreno-Adriatico this will be “the year’s most fought race after the Tour, the Giro and the Vuelta,” referring to the large roster of stars who will take the start. Alberto attended the meeting together with the other big names as Cavendish, Froome, Nibali, Purito, Cancellara, Evans and Sagan (who was late for the group photo). Contador said he is “very happy with the high level of this race. It’s good that the season does not focus on a single month and begin as early as March.” The Saxo-Tinkoff leader said he was very happy in Italy “because it is a very special country to me, is like my second home. I have never been at the Tirreno and wanted to come. As always, my idea is to fight it, but I know it will be really hard to win.” Alberto Contador spent the morning reconnoitring the route of the team time trial with his team mates, which covers two laps of the circuit, under intermittent rain. Forecasts for Wednesday also indicate that it will rain during the race.

Lotto Belisol Preview Tirreno-Adriatico
Press Release: The Italian stage race Tirreno – Adriatico is the third race of the UCI WorldTour calendar this season. We start looking for a successor of the overall winner of last year, Vincenzo Nibali, on Wednesday the 6th of March. 22 teams will appear at the start: the 19 WorldTour teams and three teams the organization gave a wildcard to.

The focus for the GC riders will, apart from the team time trial and the closing time trial, be on the stage to Prati di Tivo. The riders will ride on a rough course before finishing on the steep climb of Prati di Tivo. Lotto Belisol starts with a strong team in Tirreno – Adriatico, with sprinter André Greipel. We count on our climber Jelle Vanendert for the GC.

Herman Frison, sports director: “The main goal in Tirreno – Adriatico is first of all winning a stage with André Greipel. We have a chance in the first and possibly also the second stage. It will be the first time this season he encounters other top sprinters like Mark Cavendish and Peter Sagan. Tirreno – Adriatico also is a race to prepare the Italian classic Milan – San Remo where we aren’t without chance.”

“Apart from André Greipel also Jelle Vanendert is in our team, he’s building up his shape to the Tour de France. The most important stage for the GC will be the one to Prati di Tivo that ends with a tough ascent. If Vanendert wants to aim high in the GC he’ll have to follow the big names like Alberto Contador, Christopher Froome and Ivan Basso.”

Selection Lotto Belisol:
André Greipel,
Adam Hansen,
Greg Henderson,
Olivier Kaisen,
Vicente Reynes,
Jürgen Roelandts,
Marcel Sieberg,
Jelle Vanendert.

Stages Tirreno – Adriatico:
Stage 1: Wednesday 06/03: San Vincenzo-Donoratico (16,9 km)
Stage 2: Thursday 07/03: San Vincenzo-Indicatore (232 km)
Stage 3: Friday 08/03: Indicatore-Narni Scalo (190 km)
Stage 4: Saturday 09/03: Narni-Prati di Tivo (173 km)
Stage 5: Sunday 10/03: Ortona-Chieti (230 km)
Stage 6: Monday 11/03: Porto Sant’Elpidio-Porto Sant’Elpidio (209 km)
Stage 7: Tuesday 12/03: San Benedetto del Tronto-San Benedetto del Tronto (9,2 km).

Some retro Tirreno-Adriatico from 1989:

2013 Ronde van Vlaanderen “Wild Cards”
The Tour of Flanders has announced seven UCI ProConti teams that will join the nineteen UCI WorldTour teams. There will be 208 riders split into 8 riders for each of the 26 teams starting from Brugge on the 31st of March.

The 19 WorldTour teams plus:
Accent Jobs-Wanty (Bel),
Crelan-Euphony (Bel),
IAM Cycling (Swi),
Team Europcar (Fra),
Team NetApp-Endura (Ger),
Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise (Bel),
Vini Fantini-Selle Italia (Ita).

The Ronde van Vlaanderen course:

Team NetApp – Endura gets wildcard to the Tour of Flanders
Press Release: Team NetApp – Endura will be competing in the Tour of Flanders this year as well. After making an aggressive showing last season, the German cycling team also received an invitation for the 97th running of the monumental Belgian race. The 255-kilometer classic will be held on March 31.

“We celebrated our premiere last year at the Ronde. We had two riders, Andreas Schillinger and Daniel Schorn, in the lead group for more than 150 kilometers. Once again, we showed that we don’t shy away from the big races and can even make them more attractive,” says Ralph Denk, Team NetApp – Endura’s Team Manager.

“We have a very high-quality racing schedule coming up for our contingent of riders specializing in classic races. After the Tour of Flanders we’ll be competing in Paris-Roubaix and then a week later in the Amstel Gold Race. In between those dates we will also be competing in traditional races like the Scheldeprijs and the Brabant Arrow. This schedule is indeed very demanding, but it is also an incredible motivation for the guys,” Denk adds.

The invitation to the Tour of Flanders is already the sixth wildcard that Team NetApp – Endura has received for a WorldTour race this season. In addition, the team is also among the candidates for a wildcard at this year’s Tour de France.

Team NetApp – Endura to be a wildcard candidate for the Tour de France
German cycling team NetApp – Endura is one of the candidates that can hope for an invite to participate in the Tour de France. For the 100th edition of the world’s most important cycle race, organizer ASO is issuing three wildcards this year. For the first time in its history, the German squad has made it onto the shortlist of six teams.

“Our team represents a new generation of cyclists. We have been pursuing this objective not only in tough times such as these, but consistently for four years. The young team of clean riders is certainly not going out there to win the Tour de France, but we are confident enough to play a deciding role in the world’s best cycle race”, comments Ralph Denk, team manager of Team NetApp – Endura.

Only last year the team was invited to take part in the Giro d’Italia. With two second places, various placements among the top ten and a strong presence in the breakaway groups, the team enjoyed a successful debut in a Grand Tour.

“I would be delighted if our hard work and constant development were rewarded with an invitation to the Tour. After two years with no German team, our participation in the 100th Tour de France would be something really special for the German fans”, Denk goes on to say.

The Tour de France will begin its anniversary run on June 29 in Corsica. After 21 stages and almost 3,500 kilometers, it will finish on 21 July with an evening stage in Paris on the Champs-Élysées.

The 2013 Tour de France route:

Giro del Trentino: Wiggins vs. Nibali with a 6-hour live TV coverage
Press Release: It’s the most anticipated duel of the upcoming Giro d’Italia: 2013 Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins against Italian Vincenzo Nibali, who stepped on the third podium spot in Paris and has now set his sights on the famous maglia rosa. 15 days earlier, though, Wiggins vs. Nibali will also be the fascinating main theme of the 37th Giro del Trentino, boding a great show on a traditionally tough and selective route from April 16th to 19th.

For the second year in a row, Italian channel RaiSport will provide an overall 6-hour live coverage, one and a half hour per day.

2013 Giro del Trentino will start in Lienz, Austria, with a doubleheader on day 1: a short road stage in the morning and a team time trial in the afternoon. Wednesday April 17th will present the first uphill finish in Vetriolo Terme, followed by a medium-mountain stage finishing in Condino – Valle del Chiese and ultimately, on Friday April 19th, the final showdown will take place on the final ascent to Sega di Ala, another first-appearance climb.

GC riders will have plenty of chances to show up an make battle, and Trentino will be an interesting testing ground for Bradley Wiggins’ shape: the Brit conquered all the stage races he had took part to in the set up to his successful Tour de France campaign, but got no previous experience at the Giro del Trentino. On the other hand, Nibali is very familiar with the Italian stage race, being a major protagonist in several occasions and having clinched the overall title back in 2008.

Here is 37th Giro del Trentino’s programme and TV schedule:

Tuesday, April 16th: 1st half-stage Lienz-Lienz; 2nd half-stage Lienz (TTT) (live coverage: Raisport2, 15:30-17:00)
Wednesday, April 17th: Sillian-Vetriolo Terme (live coverage: Raisport2, 13:30-15:00)
Thursday, April 18th: Pergine Valsugana – Condino Valle del Chiese (live coverage: Raisport2, 14:30-16:00)
Friday, April 19th: Arco-Sega di Ala (live coverage: Raisport2, 14:30-16:00).

Giro del Trentino 2012 Punta Veleno:

Registration Now Open for 2013 Tour of America’s Dairyland presented by Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board
Eleven Straight Days of Racing Offered for Riders of Multiple Categories.

Press Release: Registration is now open for the 2013 Tour of America’s Dairyland presented by Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board (ToAD) at PreRace.com, event promoter Midwest Cycling Series, LLC, has announced.

Entering its fifth year, the omnium competition will travel throughout 11 Wisconsin communities, June 20-30, 2013, and include two road races and nine criteriums, four of which will be on the USA Cycling National Criterium Calendar (NCC).
2013 Tour of America’s Dairyland Schedule:
• Thursday, June 20 (NCC Event)
Shorewood Criterium Cycling Classic
• Friday, June 21 (NCC Event)
East Troy Cycling Classic (Criterium)
• Saturday, June 22 (NCC Event)
Giro d’ Grafton (Criterium)
• Sunday, June 23 (NCC Event)
Waukesha Carl Zach Cycling Classic (Criterium)
• Monday, June 24
Sheboygan Criterium
• Tuesday, June 25
Schlitz Park Criterium (Downtown Milwaukee)
• Wednesday, June 26
Fond du Lac Road Race
• Thursday, June 27
Elkhart Lake Road Race at Road America
• Friday, June 28
Fond du Lac Commonwealth Classic (Criterium)
• Saturday, June 29
ISCorp Downer Classic (Milwaukee’s Eastside)
• Sunday, June 30
East Tosa Gran Prix (Criterium)

Updates will be announced on the Official Website (www.TourofAmericasDairyland.com), on Facebook (Tour of America’s Dairyland), and on Twitter (@ToADcyclingrace).

Tour of America’s Dairyland:

Orica-GreenEdge Exclusive Members Rides Dates Announced
Press Release: We are thrilled to announce the dates for the 2013 ORICA-GreenEDGE members rides.

This year as a benefit of GreenEDGE Membership ALL 2013 GreenTEAM, Domestique and Peloton Members will be given the opportunity to ride with the team when they are home for summer.

Sydney Ride // 9th November 2013
Queensland Ride // 9th November 2013
Melbourne Ride // 23rd November 2013
Adelaide Ride // 18th January 2014*
*Saturday before Tour Down Under- subject to UCI Calendar
These are member only rides and will not be open to the general public!
We will announce the specific routes and further details for these rides when we open entries later this year.

We are delighted that this year members will have the flexibility to attend the location which is of greatest convenience to them. The teams training and racing commitments unfortunately prevent us from extending the number of ride member locations – thanks in advance for your understanding.

Entry fees for exclusive members rides including breakfast are:
GreenTeam – $150 per person
Domestique – $150 per person
Peloton Member – included in membership.

Make sure your membership is current and has been renewed for the 2013 season to ensure you are kept informed and will be eligible to participate.
Lock it in your calendar!

Yea, OK I never tier of this video:

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