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EUROTRASH Wallonie Thursday!

The 2015 Tour de France is becoming a memory, but not to worry we have Niki Terpstra winning in Wallonie and the result from Westrozebeke. We take a good look at Gianni Savio in the Top Story, smooth or dodgy character? We review the Clasica San Sebastián for this Saturday. Plus: New sponsor for Bretagne-Séché Environnement, Tejay van Garderen will ride la Vuelta a España, no team for Reichenbach, Klas Johansson is crowned World Bike Packing Champion 2015 and 77 year-old will ride down the Stelvio with no bars and brakes at night. Loads to get through.

TOP STORY: Mr Smooth, or ?
The UCI Disciplinary Commission has suspended the ProConti team Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec for the month of August. This is in accordance with article 7.12.1 of the UCI Anti-doping Rules and due to a second anti-doping rule violation within the team in a 12 month period. The two cases are of Fabio Taborre for the blood booster FG-4592 and Davide Appollonio for EPO. Of course the team manager, Gianni Savio, is no stranger to riders with ‘adverse analytical findings’. As well as Taborre and Appollonio, there was the case of Patrick Facchini positive for Tuaminoheptane. Plus Savio is not too choosy about the riders he signs: Emanuele Sella tested positive for CERA and confirmed that he had used EPO. Miguel Ubeto rode for Savio in 2012 and was given a two year ban for GW501516 in 2013. Michele Scarponi rode in 2010, he was suspended for his part in ‘Operación Puerto’ and worked with the banned doctor, Michele Ferrari. Davide Rebellin rode in 2009, he was later banned for a positive test in the 2008 Olympic Games. Leonardo Bertagnolli rode in 2009 and 2010, alleged anti-doping violation via his biological passport and he was given a sanction of 2 years and ten months as well as disqualified from 1 January 2003 to 18 May 2011. Niklas Axelsson tested positive for EPO in the 2001 UCI Road World Championships in Lisbon and later admitted his guilt. He was suspended for four years by the Swedish Cycling Federation but made an early comeback in 2004. In 2010 it was found that his September 2009 A sample was positive for EPO. On July 7, 2010, the B sample was deemed positive and the Swedish Cycling Federation suspended Axelsson for life, he rode in the team from 2006 to 2008. And there is Franco Pellizotti and his “irregular blood values” and his two year ban and loss of 3rd overall in the Giro d’Italia and the KOM and combativity prize in the 2009 Tour de France. All these riders rode for Savio at one time.

So quite a list of doping dodgyness, plus the rumors of unpaid wages. The Italian National Olympic Committee CONI recommended in 2011 that Savio be given a four year suspension from the sport in relation to anti-doping investigations. CONI has referred the matter to its National Anti-Doping Tribunal (TNA), stating that it is doing so under article 2.8 of the WADA Code. It added that it is basing its decision on documents sent to it by the prosecutor of Massa and also from the findings of investigations carried out.

An English pro cyclist recounted his contract dealings with Savio like this: “Offered me a contract at the end of 2009, spoke to him on the phone in fluent English. Honestly he spoke like the queen. A Couple of days later I called him to enquire where the contract was and I get ‘my English no good, sorry no speak English’ that was the last I heard from him. Probably for the best!”

So how is this guy still running a bike team? It can’t all be down to his sartorial elegance.

Franco Pellizotti and Gianni Savio:
Giro dell'Emilia 2012

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Tour de Wallonie 2015
BMC Racing Team’s Philippe Gilbert had time to freewheel his BMC teammachine SLR01 across the finish line and raise one arm in celebration Monday as he captured Stage 3 of the Tour de Wallonie. Gilbert attacked in the final 800 meters of the uphill climb to the finish at the end of the 207-kilometer race. He soloed in four seconds ahead of Pieter Serry (Etixx – Quick-Step), who won a reduced bunch sprint ahead of Thomas Sprengers (Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise). It was Gilbert’s second win in the past six days. The 2012 world road champion had been sidelined by a knee injury since June 16 when he withdrew from the Tour de Suisse before Stage 3. But last week, in his first race back, Gilbert won a bunch sprint finish at Grand Prix Cerami. With two days of the race to go, Niki Terpstra (Etixx – Quick-Step) still leads, having won a two-up sprint on Stage 1 by more than a minute ahead of the peloton. Vliegen climbed from seventh to fourth in the overall standings by finishing 14th, 10 seconds back of Gilbert. He is 42 seconds behind.
Thanks to Sean Weide at BMC for the race info.

Stage winner, Philippe Gilbert (BMC): “I have done this finish a few times, I think I have won two or three times before here and been second twice and once fifth, when it was a Giro d’Italia stage (in 2006). So I knew the final really well. Now my knee is OK and in my head that is a big win,” he said. “I feel free. It is easier on the bike. And when you have success, you want more. So when you are in a good mood like this, you hope to keep winning. So now I hope I can get a win like this on the WorldTour so we can get some points.”

Marcus Burghart (BMC): “Loïc Vliegen and I had to ride pretty hard to get the last guy back because over the last climb, he still had 20 seconds. Before that, Jempy Drucker and Peter Velits were doing the work and Rick Zabel was leading us out to a tricky downhill. So it was a pretty good team effort.”

Thomas Degand (IAM Cycling): “It was a difficult stage with the weather again making things very complicated. The rain, wind and relatively cool temperatures were problematic, on top of that, you can add a very long day in the saddle. Personally I am a little disappointed because I did not have great legs in the final, probably because of the weather. But I gave it my all, and I hope that I can be better tomorrow. The climb to the citadel is a few minutes effort, and is relatively short, which is not really what I like; I prefer climbs that are a little longer. A finish like this is down to brute strength, and that is probably the reason I didn’t finish with a little better result.”

Tour de Wallonie Stage 3 Result:
1. Philippe Gilbert (Bel) BMC in 5:32:35
2. Pieter Serry (Bel) Etixx – Quick-Step at 0:04
3. Thomas Sprengers (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise
4. Sergey Lagutin (Rus) Katusha
5. Arthur Vichot (Fra) FDJ.fr
6. Jelle Vanendert (Bel) Lotto Soudal
7. Boy Van Poppel (Ned) Trek
7. Danny Van Poppel (Ned) Trek
8. Niki Terpstra (Ned) Etixx – Quick-Step
9. Björn Leukemans (Bel) Wanty-Groupe Gobert
10. Matti Breschel (Den) Tinkoff-Saxo.

Tour de Wallonie Overall After Stage 3:
1. Niki Terpstra (Ned) Etixx – Quick-Step in 14:40:00
2. Victor Campenaerts (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise at 0:16
3. Sergey Lagutin (Rus) Katusha at 0:36
4. Loic Vliegen (Bel) BMC at 0:42
5. Antoine Warnier (Bel) Wallonie-Bruxelles at 0:52
6. Boris Vallee (Bel) Lotto Soudal at 0:59
7. Antoine Demoitie (Bel) Wallonie-Bruxelles at 1:01
8. Sébastien Turgot (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale
9. Philippe Gilbert (Bel) BMC at 1:08
10. Danny Van Poppel (Ned) Trek at 1:10.

Philippe Gilbert:
Grand Prix Pino Ceram 2015

The good weather in the end returned to Belgium. After a day drenched with cold temperatures and heavy rain, the sun shone again, literally and figuratively, after Jonas Van Genechten crossed the finish line as the winner of the Stage 4 of the Tour of Wallonia. The IAM Cycling sprinter was well supported by his teammates, especially Dries Devenyns and Pirmin Lang, and brought the team some much needed success at the Tour de Wallonie.

With his victor’s bouquet of flowers in hand and trophy under his arm, the Belgian sprinter savored his success at the finish line. His first impulse of course was to thank all his teammates and family. Then finally he could take a quiet moment alone so that he could reflect on his accomplishment. “There was a lot of stress throughout the day,” Van Genechten explained. “There was a strong headwind for the sprint, but the team supported me completely from the beginning to end. We had been edged out up till now, but I had the conviction to try and do something special. I had a lot of pressure since the beginning of the season, and now all that has been released. This victory frees me, much more than I would have thought.”

The Swiss team had been hoping, almost expecting a victory ever since the start of the race: “This morning at the briefing with Kjell Carlström, he and I really pushed the point,” directeur sportif Thierry Marichal explained. “We’d been a little lost in recent days, so we decided to play the Jonas Van Genechten card 100% since we were sure this was a stage that suited him. At the first sprint in Bassenge he was missing some small something extra because he was a little nervous. Today we reassured him and found that unified spirit that defines the IAM Cycling Team, and as a result we were very successful. In cycling, when you are alone, you can’t do much. We worked on the cohesion of the group, and we are reaping the harvest.”

Tour de Wallonie Stage 4 Result:
1. Jonas Van Genechten (Bel) IAM Cycling in 4:11:01
2. Michael Morkov (Den) Tinkoff-Saxo
3. Danny Van Poppel (Ned) Trek
4. Michael Van Staeyen (Bel) Cofidis
5. Daniel Mclay (GB) Bretagne-Seche Environnement
6. Jurgen Roelandts (Bel) Lotto Soudal
7. Antoine Demoitie (Bel) Wallonie-Bruxelles
8. Edward Theuns (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise
9. Victor Campenaerts (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise
10. Rick Zabel (Ger) BMC.

Tour de Wallonie Overall After Stage 4:
1. Niki Terpstra (Ned) Etixx – Quick-Step in 18:51:01
2. Victor Campenaerts (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise at 0:16
3. Sergey Lagutin (Rus) Katusha at 0:36
4. Loic Vliegen (Bel) BMC at 0:42
5. Antoine Warnier (Bel) Wallonie-Bruxelles at 0:52
6. Boris Vallee (Bel) Lotto Soudal at 0:59
7. Antoine Demoitie (Bel) Wallonie-Bruxelles at 1:01
8. Sébastien Turgot (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale
9. Danny Van Poppel (Ned) Trek at 1:06
10. Philippe Gilbert (Bel) BMC at 1:08
11. Pieter Serry (Bel) Etixx – Quick-Step at 1:14.

Jonas Van Genechten:
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Danny van Poppel attacked halfway up the steep, cobbled climb that topped out just before the finish of the Final Stage 5 in the Tour de Wallonie Wednesday and soloed to his second victory of the five-day race. With only four riders, Trek Factory Racing used its resources perfectly to lead Danny van Poppel into the tricky s-turn at the bottom of the Mur de Thuin where he made his move early, opting not to wait for the sprint, and opened a gap that no one could close. Danny van Poppel had enough time at the finish to sit up and savor his win. Three seconds later Philippe Gilbert (BMC) sprinted to second place over Matti Breschel (Tinkoff-Saxo), who claimed third. Niki Terpstra (Etixx – Quick-Step) finished in sixth to seal the overall win.

Stage winner and 4th overall, Danny van Poppel (Trek): “I know I am good in uphill finishes so I thought let’s just try and see what happens,” explained Danny van Poppel. “I went full gas up the climb. At the top, I looked back because if Gilbert was there then I knew it was over. When I saw I had a gap I just went as hard as I could, it was still a long way to the finish line and I did not know if I would hold it. This is something new for me, normally I win in the sprint, it was very nervous going into the downhill [before the climb] and a big fight for position. We knew that we could win it there, but it was tough with just three, but Boy did a great job. He was first into the chicane into the climb and I just went from there.”

Trek DS Dirk Demol was elated at the finish as the team exceeded its goals at the Tour de Wallonie with Danny van Poppel claiming two stage wins, fourth overall, and clinched the points competition: “We came here with the ambition to win a stage and finish high in the overall. So to end with two stages and a fourth is nice. With four riders in the race, we had to gamble and we were lucky that the other teams did the work. The climb was nine percent and on cobbles and very narrow and we knew Danny had a chance with a finish like that. Our plan was to wait, wait, wait and Popo [Yaroslav Popovych] and Boy were perfect to bring Danny in good position. When you have the legs you just never know – you just have to believe in yourself and try – and Danny did just that. It was a nice win.”

Overall winner, Niki Terpstra (Etixx – Quick-Step): “I’m very happy about this victory because from the day I first put on the yellow jersey until today it wasn’t easy, there was a final circuit with a cobbled climb in the middle. This made for some hard racing. But I could count on my teammates today, as I could the entire race. They gave me a big hand, really controlling the entire day. My victory is also a result of their job. Of course, my victory the first day was key. I finished with a gap and was able to defend it for four more stages. I am happy and proud about this victory, as it’s only the third stage race that I won in my career, after Tour of Qatar this year, and also last season. I’m proud of this, because I won in a completely different parcours compared to Qatar. Qatar is completely flat and windy. Here we had to struggle on the Ardennes climbs. Really it was a different kind of race. So I am really happy I made it at a parcours that, on paper, doesn’t typically suit a rider like me. This victory gives me the motivation to continue to perform well in 2015, and be ready at the next race, which for me will be the Eneco Tour.”

2nd on the stage and 7th overall, Philippe Gilbert (BMC): “Jempy Drucker and Marcus Burghardt really helped me to be there at the base of the climb. I was in the top five when Van Poppel attacked and got the gap. But then everyone was looking at each other and we couldn’t close it.”

3rd on the stage and 10th overall, Matti Breschel (Tinkoff-Saxo): “I focused on provoking an attack from Gilbert. Michael brought me perfectly into the final climb before the last kilometer. In itself that is a difficult maneuver, as everybody wants to have the front. So I was in a perfect position with a kilometer to go, as we hit the ramp. Straightaway, I took the front on the climb, not to push it all the way to the line, but to see if I could open up the race and provoke a selection. I eased off after 300-400 meters but in retrospect I probably should have reacted to Van Poppel. I was mainly focused on Gilbert and I expected him to follow suit, as Van Poppel continued but he wasn’t there. Two seconds after, Van Poppel had a big gap and we could catch him. Nonetheless, I’m fairly satisfied although the stage win would have been nice to top off Wallonie. It’s a good start after a long period without racing, where I’ve just been training also to bounce back from my injury in June. I think the legs are responding well and my shape is improving ahead of Tour of Denmark. Tour de Wallonie has been an important preparation and I’m looking forward to see what results we can create in Denmark next week.”

Dries Devenyns (IAM Cycling): “The last climb was not very long, but it was a complicated circuit that led up to it with lots of the turns and descents to manage before starting the climb. We tried to stay in a good position most of the time, but the last five kilometers were very tense and it was hard to give Jonas the right support. He won yesterday and we all have great confidence in him. But then again, everyone in the pack wanted to win, and there was a lot of argy-bargy. When speaking about the more general growth of the team, we did not have a great start to this race. Everyone was relatively fit, but we knew that finding a good team spirit would be the key to victory, and that worked. As for my own physical condition, I feel that things are getting better little by little and I am nearing my best level. I am happy to go home with such good feelings.”

Tour de Wallonie Stage 4 Result:
1. Danny Van Poppel (Ned) Trek in 4:09:48
2. Philippe Gilbert (Bel) BMC at 0:03
3. Matti Breschel (Den) Tinkoff-Saxo
4. Pieter Serry (Bel) Etixx – Quick-Step
5. Björn Leukemans (Bel) Wanty-Groupe Gobert
6. Niki Terpstra (Ned) Etixx – Quick-Step
7. Sergey Lagutin (Rus) Katusha
8. Cyril Lemoine (Fra) Cofidis
9. Arthur Vichot (Fra) FDJ.fr
10. Boris Vallee (Bel) Lotto Soudal.

Tour de Wallonie Final Overall Result:
1. Niki Terpstra (Ned) Etixx – Quick-Step in 23:00:52
2. Victor Campenaerts (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise at 0:22
3. Sergey Lagutin (Rus) Katusha at 0:36
4. Danny Van Poppel (Ned) Trek at 0:53
5. Antoine Warnier (Bel) Wallonie-Bruxelles at 0:58
6. Boris Vallee (Bel) Lotto Soudal at 0:59
7. Philippe Gilbert (Bel) BMC at 1:02
8. Loic Vliegen (Bel) BMC
9. Sébastien Turgot (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale at 1:10
10. Matti Breschel (Den) Tinkoff-Saxo at 1:12.

Overall winner Niki Terpstra (Etixx – Quick-Step):
Cycling: Tour Wallonie 2015/ Stage 5

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GP Raf Jonckheere Westrozebeke 2015
Mike Teunissen won the Belgian Westrozebeke race. The young rider of Team LottoNL-Jumbo was the fastest of a leading group of three riders, which fought its way out of a bigger group that featured Rick Flens, Timo Roosen and Maarten Wynants.

“It’s always nice to win, off course,” Teunissen said after his victory. “The pace was high today. Several groups of riders escaped, but were caught afterwards. A group of 20 riders was able to escape eventually. I was there with Rick Flens, Timo Roosen and Maarten Wynants. We kept trying to break away afterwards. A leading group of five arose with Timo and me in it. Maarten was able to bridge to our group afterwards. In the last lap, I attacked another time and had Brian van Goethem (Team Roompot) and Sander Helven (Topsport Vlaanderen – Baloise) with me. From there, I won the sprint.”

“It wasn’t a peace of cake, but Mike finished it strongly,” Sports Director Erik Dekker added. “He is a neo-professional so that makes this win even better. We were well represented in the leading group, but with Aidis Kruopis (An Post), there was a very fast man. When Maarten made it to the breakaway, we were able to put him under pressure. That was the key to this win.

“It was nice to ride these races. Everyone was motivated and we were fighting for the win every time. We won two of the four races in the end, so it was a successful set of races.”

GP Raf Jonckheere – Westrozebeke Result:
1. Mike Teunissen (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo in 3:44:05
2. Sander Helven (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise
3. Aidis Kruopis (Ltu) at 0:03
4. Maarten Wynants (Bel) LottoNL-Jumbo
5. Timo Roosen (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo
6. Brian Van Goethem (Ned) Roompot
7. Amaury Capiot (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise at 0:13
8. Tim Declercq (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise at 0:19
9. Floris De Tier (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise at 0:23
10. Gert-Jan Bosman (Ned) Cyclingteam Jo Piels.

Mike Teunissen:
Amgen Tour of California 2015 - ATOC-7

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Clásica San Sebastián – Donostia Klasikoa 2015
Spain’s only one day WorldTour race is this Saturday. Many Tour riders will be there and also the riders who are planning towards the Vuelta a España and the World championships and the end of season classics. A hard race on hard roads over 219 kilometers, lots of climbs and a fast finish. If he isn’t too tired after the Tour de France, Alejandro Valverde is always a good bet for a win in the Basque race.

There will be a race report as soon as the race finishes right here on PEZ.

Race website: www.klasikoa.net

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Giant-Alpecin for San Sebastián
This Saturday is traditionally the first classic after the Tour de France with Clasica Cyclista San Sebastian. Over the past few years the riders which come strong out of the Tour de France play a major role in the Spanish one day race.

Clasica Ciclista San Sebastian has always been a difficult race for the team, as no top 30 results were achieved over the past two editions. For this year’s race Team Giant-Alpecin heads to Spain with Warren Barguil (FRA) leading the team, following a 14th place in the final GC in his first Tour de France. Barguil will be supported by Chad Haga (USA), Fredrik and Tobias Ludvigsson (SWE) and Zico Waeytens (BEL) who come from the team’s training camp on altitude at La Plagne, France, to prepare for the second half of the season. As well as Koen de Kort (NED), who also completed the Tour de France, Thierry Hupond (FRA) and Lars van der Haar (NED).

Coach Christian Guiberteau (FRA) said: “Clasica Ciclista San Sebastian is a very difficult race. With Warren [Barguil] we have a rider who normally fits the course to aim on a good result, but we have to await how he recovers from his first Tour de France to be ready for another hard race. The rest of the team will support him in that.”

Line-up:
Warren Barguil (FRA), Koen de Kort (NED), Chad Haga (USA), Thierry Hupond (FRA), Fredrik Ludvigsson (SWE)
Tobias Ludvigsson (SWE), Lars van der Haar (NED), Zico Waeytens (BEL).
Coach: Christian Guiberteau (FRA).

Warren Barguil:
Tour de France 2015 - stage 16

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Kruijswijk wants to prove his form in San Sebastian
Steven Kruijswijk aims to show himself in the Clasica San Sebastian on Saturday. The Dutch climber wants to convert his end of Tour de France form into a good result in the Spanish classic.

“I had a couple of good days towards the end of the Tour de France,” Kruijswijk said. “I want to continue that upward trend towards the Clasica San Sebastian. That race suits me. The profile is tough. There are many climbs and there is a steep and narrow one just before the finish. That’s where the race will be won. I have to make sure that I’m in a good position. Until that ascent, it’s about saving energy. If I succeed, I will be able to convert my good form into a beautiful result.”

Motivated
“It’s always a Tour de France rider who wins in San Sebastian,” said former winner Erik Dekker. “When you consider that, we have two guns with Steven Kruijswijk and Wilco Kelderman. If they’re able to keep themselves motivated after the Tour de France, they have a chance. They have to make sure that they’re recovering in an active way during the days in between. To race some post-Tour criteriums is a way to ensure that. To ride a hundred kilometers every night stops your body from becoming idle.

“The Clasica San Sebastian is a relaxed race until the final. The profile is tough, but there isn’t too much stress. That means that you only have to be focussed in a select part of the race. Until that moment, you have to think about something else and ignore the pain. It’s necessary for Steven and Wilco to be motivated enough to do that.”

Line-up:
Brian Bulgac, Jos van Emden, Wilco Kelderman, Steven Kruijswijk, Tom Leezer, Nick van der Lijke, Maarten Tjallingii and Maarten Wynants.
Sports director: Erik Dekker.

Tom Leezer:
Tour de France 2015 - stage 16

Lampre Merida Team f_chiari
Lampre-Merida for San Sebastián
Lampre-Merida has never won the Clasica Ciclista San Sebastian and the team of the manager Brent Copeland would like to paint in blue-fuchsia-green the Basque race.

On Saturday August the 1st, the sport director Mario Scirea will rely on an international selection, made by riders from 6 different Countries (Belarus, Colombia, Italy, Portugal, Slovenia and Spain) and with two national champions (Portugal and Slovenia).

The eight cyclists from Team LAMPRE-MERIDA will be Mario Costa, Rui Costa, Koshevoy, Oliveira, Pibernik, Pozzato, Serpa and Valls.

One of the most important news is the that Rui Costa will be back in races after his withdrawal from the Tour de France: he’ll race the Clasica San Sebastian as a test in order to check his conditions.

Oliveira, Pozzato, Serpa and Valls has just completed the Tour de France and they’ll try to exploit the fit they gained on the French roads, even if it’s important to consider that, because of the heat, in the Grande Boucle the riders faced extreme weather conditions which influenced their physiology.

Koshevoy and Pibernik raced in altitude in the Tour of Qinghai Lake and they’ll be good outsiders, in addition to Mario Costa.

Rafa Valls following Robert Gesink:
Tour de France 2015 - stage 10

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IAM Cycling team for San Sebastián
Less than a week after the finish of the Tour de France, many big names of the peloton will once again be hard at work racing another monument, but this time a one-day classic. The Clasica San Sebastian has its own illustrious list of winners to dream about. Bettini, Indurain, Valverde, Gilbert, as well as Tony Gallopin have all added their names to the roll call. Not surprisingly, IAM Cycling wants to highlight its ambitions to win the Basque race by bringing a strong group of riders, half of which come fresh off the Tour de France. Jarlinson Pantano, 19th in his first Grande Boucle, is among those hoping to shine. Ever the optimist, the 26 year old Colombian is ready to give the best of himself. “For many people, it may seem surprising that we would want to participate in such a difficult race that comes just after the Tour de France. In fact, I hope to be able to surf on my good form. I have never raced at San Sebastian, but the parcours is designed for riders like me. If I can arrive at the finish in the lead with a small group, then I will have a chance for the win. First, though, I will try my best to recover this week and store up a maximum amount of energy for Saturday. We will have a good group there, so we all have a chance.”

Manager sportif, Rik Verbrugghe has already had to cope with the fact that Jérôme Coppel will not be available to race at the Clasica since he is still suffering from the bronchitis and sinusitis that he contracted at the Tour de France. This does not prevent Verbrugghe from being confident before entering San Sebastian with his troops. “After a short week break, the body can be either still in top form, or completely empty. Everything depends on each individual rider. I am not worried about the guys who were at the Tour de France. For the others, they will have to be at the heart of their comrades. This could lead to a pleasant surprise. The course is certainly demanding and selective. It is rare to have a winning move with a large group of riders come to the finish together. So I hope to see one of our guys in the group playing for the win.”

Riders:
Sylvain Chavanel (Fr), Thomas Degand (Bel), Dries Devenyns (Bel), Mathias Frank (S) Jarlinson Pantano (Col), Aleksejs Saramotins (Lat), David Tanner (Aus), Marcel Wyss (S).
Directeur sportif: Kjell Carlström.

One of Sylvain Chavanel’s last races with IAM Cycling:
Ronde van Vlaanderen 2015 men elite worldcup

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BMC Racing Team: Roster Announcement
The BMC Racing Team has revealed its roster for the Clasica San Sebastian. Philippe Gilbert (2011 winer) and Greg Van Avermaet (third in 2011) are past podium placers.

Clasica San Sebastian (Aug. 1)
Riders:
Damiano Caruso (ITA), Philippe Gilbert (BEL), Manuel Quinziato (ITA), Samuel Sánchez (ESP), Greg Van Avermaet (BEL), Danilo Wyss (SUI), Rick Zabel (GER).
Sport Director: Yvon Ledanois (FRA).

Greg Van Avermaet:
Tour de France 2015 - stage 4

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Valverde back for San Sebastián
UCI WorldTour leader to defend 2014 title in Donostia; Igeldo / Bordako Tontorra climb again set to decide Basque classic
Just six days after crowning one of the biggest aspirations in his professional career by stepping onto the podium of the Tour de France in Paris, Alejandro Valverde will lead the Movistar Team at the 35th edition of the Clásica San Sebastián. The route of the third Spanish event in the UCI WorldTour calendar stays practically the same, with 219km including the climbs of Iturburu (Cat-1), Jaizkibel (2x, Cat-1), Arkale (2x, Cat-2) and the decisive Igeldo / Bordako Tontorra (Cat-2), only 7km from the finish in Zurriola’s Boulevard.

Alongside Valverde, leader of the 2015 WorldTour individual standings and winner of the Basque classic twelve months ago, will be an eight-man group directed by José Luis Arrieta, featuring Colomnbian Winner Anacona -also present in the Tour-, Italian Giovanni Visconti, Australian Rory Sutherland and Spaniards Jesús Herrada, Javi Moreno, Rubén Fernández and José Joaquín Rojas.

In-form Alejandro Valverde:
Flèche Wallonne 2015

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Joaquim Rodriguez leads Team Katusha in Clásica San Sebastián
On Saturday, August 1st, Team Katusha starts in the traditional UCI WorldTour one-day race Clásica Ciclista San Sebastián (Spain). Joaquim Rodriguez, who won two stages in last Tour de France, will lead Team Katusha in this race. Last year Rodriguez took the third podium spot in San Sebastián.

The Team’s roster: Pavel Kochetkov, Daniel Moreno, Tiago Machado, Joaquim Rodriguez, Egor Silin, Simon Špilak, Iurii Trofimov and Angel Vicioso.
Sports director is José Azevedo.

Joaquim Rodriguez:
Tour de France 2015 - stage 12

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Etixx – Quick-Step to Clasica Ciclista San Sebastian
Etixx – Quick-Step has announced the selection that will participate in 219km Clasica Ciclista San Sebastian on Saturday, the 1st of August.

The Spanish, UCI WorldTour one-day race is one for the climbers, and the peloton will include some of the top GC contenders of Le Tour de France. The 2015 profile consists of three climbs of 1st Category, three climbs of 2nd Category, and several uncategorized ascents. The big test will be Bordako Tontorra (Category 2), a late race climb of 2.5km of 9% average gradient, with several steep ramps of about 20 percent. There is then 7.1km of descending into a flat finale.

The 2014 edition was won by Alejandro Valverde (Movistar), while Zdenek Stybar finished 10th.

Stybar returns to the race in 2015, along with Julian Alaphilippe, Pieter Serry, Matteo Trentin, Rigoberto Uran, Stijn Vandenbergh, Julien Vermote, and Martin Velits.

“We have a nice team at the start of this race,” Sport Director Tom Steels said. “At the start will be riders like Uran and Stybar, that come from the Tour de France and can be protagonists in a race with this kind of profile. With them we can also count on riders like Pietery Serry, who showed his condition in Tour de Wallonie, and a fresh rider like Julian Alaphilippe who comes back into competition after a few weeks off. We will see how far he can go. The rest of the team is strong and compact, and will be able to play a role. Our goal is to be there in the final with as many riders as we can, and try to go for a good result.”

Riders:
Julian Alaphilippe (FRA), Pieter Serry (BEL), Zdenek Stybar (CZE), Matteo Trentin (ITA), Rigoberto Uran Uran (COL), Stijn Vandenbergh (BEL), Martin Velits (SVK), Julien Vermote (BEL).
Sports Director: Tom Steels (BEL).

Zdenek Stybar has form from the Tour:
Tour de France 2015 - stage 6

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Kreuziger replaces sick Contador as captain in Clásica San Sebastián
Roman Kreuziger will spearhead Tinkoff-Saxo into action at the World Tour Clásica San Sebastián, where the team aims for one of the top spots. Despite an intense race program, Kreuziger will seek to benefit from his Tour shape, while several fresh riders seek to provide backing on the challenging parcours.

Tinkoff-Saxo sends Roman Kreuizger, Matteo Tosatto, Manuele Boaro, Jesus Hernandez, Sergio Paulinho, Pavel Brutt, Oliver Zaugg and Chris Juul-Jensen into action in the biggest one-day race of the Basque Country.

According to team sports director Patxi Vila, the race strategy of the squad has been significantly changed since Alberto Contador, who was originally set to start the race, had to opt out due to illness.

“Obviously, the team’s main objective was for Alberto Contador to win the race and his absence will significantly change the goals and strategy of the team. Alberto still has high fever and is unable to race. He also renounces the criteriums he was scheduled to attend and as a result, his 2015 racing season has come to an end”, comments Patxi Vila, who continues about the motivated squad going into action.

“We have two riders, Kreuziger and Tosatto, who come from the Giro-Tour double. A few come fresh from home and a rider like Boaro comes from the high-altitude training camp in Livigno, while Brutt and Juul-Jensen will join directly from the Tour de Wallonie, where they have delivered a strong performance on a hard parcours. As a result, we have various levels of freshness and abilities on the squad that we will seek to utilize in the best way possible to achieve a top result”.

Clásica San Sebastián challenges the riders with 219km in winding, undulating terrain, which traditionally has favored the aggressive moves in the race finale.

“The race has a altitude gain of 2,613m. It isn’t an extremely hard race but still, it is a long and tough one and can be hectic at times with a nervous bunch. The race course suits Roman the most and he will be our leader for San Sebastián. He comes from a very busy season and although, ideally, we will aim for the overall win, at least we will try to be in the top spots”,

The 219km parcours consists of three distinctive phases. The first, a 100km long section that starts in San Sebastián and passes through most of the Gipuzkoa province before the race enters a circuit of approximately 40km. Here, the race will tackle the iconic first category climbs of Jaizkibel and Arkale that have featured in the Basque race since its inception in 1981.

“The third and final part of the race is most probably the decisive one. It contains the climb of Bordako Tontorra just 7km from the finish, and although it isn’t a long one, only approximately 3 kilometers, it has an average gradient of 9 percent with segments of 22 percent. The race was decided here last year and this could likely be repeated this year as well. We enter this race with a motivated squad, we realize that the competition is tough and that the outcome is not easy to control in a terrain like this but we seek to create a good result for the team”, finishes Patxi Vila.

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Lotto Soudal to race in the Basque Country
In the beginning of August, Lotto Soudal will ride several races. Saturday 1 August, the Clásica Ciclista San Sebastián is scheduled. It’s a one day race that is part of the World Tour and it’s organized in the Basque country.

Selection Clásica San Sebastián: Tiesj Benoot, Stig Broeckx, Sean De Bie, Pim Ligthart, Dennis Vanendert, Jelle Vanendert, Tosh Van der Sande and Tim Wellens.
Sports director: Frederik Willems.

Tim Wellens had a crash ridden Tour:
Tour de France 2015 - stage 14

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New Sponsor for Bretagne-Séché Environnement
The Bretagne-Séché Environnement team, which has been part of the professional peloton since 2013, will become Fortuneo Vital Concept from 1 January 2016. It will bear the name of two new Senior partners: Fortuneo Bank, a leading French on-line banking, which is also located in Belgium under the brand Fortuneo Bank and Vital Concept, leader of distance selling for the agricultural world. Both partners are committed for three years until the end of 2018. They do not wish to disclose the amount of their investment.

A preserved Breton identity and a reserve team supported by the Region. Brittany Region and Séché Environnement allowed the emergence of the team at the professional level. Emmanuel Hubert, general manager, its riders and staff are grateful for the opportunity of this and his two current partners, key players in the progression of training, enhanced by two participations in the Tour de France in 2014 and 2015. Regional identity of the team, praised throughout the Tour de France which ended with thousands of hectares of Gwen, the Breton flag, will not be forgotten. The two new partners securities while claiming a development well beyond Bretagne, have their roots there. Fortuneo Bank is a subsidiary of Crédit Mutuel Arkea whose headquarters is based in Brest (Finistère), and Vital Concept is a company based in Loudéac (Côtes d’Armor). The involvement of the Brittany Region will continue to be more incarnated via the formation of a Fortuneo Vital Concept reserve team which it will finance. Its purpose will be to detect and train promising young talented Breton cyclists.

Emmanuel Hubert, General Manager: “This new stage in the history of our team will build on the work done in recent years with a clear objective: Raising the standard in terms of sporting performance. These will be achieved through the riders who have already proven themselves under our colors, but also by recruiting new talent. Our team is very happy at the idea of ​​sharing this ambition with two new titles partners already accompanied us in recent months, however, keep two essential elements of his DNA. Its Breton identity in the first place, thanks to the team project provided that we will build in the coming months with the region, which I treasure. His entire staff and collaborators then, whose remarkable work, less light than the runners, allowed us to take the first steps of our progress. I also believe, without false modesty, that the arrival of two new titles sponsors for a team of our level is good news for the whole of French cycling.”

The team will use American Classic wheels in 2016.
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No agreement between Bora-Argon 18 and Sébastien Reichenbach for 2016 season
Though the transfer season and freedom to make commitments officially kicks off on August 1st, the period of contract renewals and negotiations has been in full swing for several weeks within the cycling teams. This applies to IAM Cycling as well. The Swiss professional team has already announced its decision not to renew the contracts with Sylvain Chavanel and Jérôme Pineau, while it has also extended the contract of its leader Mathias Frank for 2016. Today, Michel Thétaz, the founder of IAM Cycling and the CEO of IAM Funds, is forced to announce the departure of Sébastien Reichenbach (26) at the end of the 2015 season. “Our aim was to keep Sébastien Reichenbach within the team for 2016 and to give him more opportunities to confirm himself as a leader in stage races. Unfortunately after discussions with him, we have not reached an agreement to continue the collaboration that we started from the inception of the IAM Cycling team in 2013. I would like to wish him the very best for his future career and his desire for a new challenge.”

Sébastien Reichenbach:
Criterium Dauphine Libere 2014  stage -2

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Tejay Van Garderen To Race Vuelta a España
Tejay van Garderen and Samuel Sánchez headline the BMC Racing Team’s roster for the Vuelta a España, President/General Manager Jim Ochowicz announced Wednesday.

Van Garderen will make his first appearance in the Vuelta since 2010. He withdrew from the Tour de France last week due to illness while sitting third overall. Sánchez, runner-up at the Vuelta in 2009 and third in 2007, was the BMC Racing Team’s top finisher at the Tour de France, in 12th place.

“Due to his illness and withdrawal from this year’s Tour de France, we had an opportunity to reconsider what was best for Tejay in the coming months,” Ochowicz said. “The management team supports Tejay’s decision to participate in this year’s Vuelta.”

The three-week race begins August 22 with a 7.4-kilometer team time trial in Porto Banus.

Van Garderen said he was initially hesitant about competing in the Vuelta, because it conflicts with the USA Pro Challenge, the race in Colorado he has won the past two years.

“But after looking at the route and considering what happened at the Tour, all things just seemed to point in the direction that the Vuelta was the path to take,” he said. “The more I have thought about it, the more excited I am about doing it. It is a great new challenge.

“This is 100 percent my decision. It would be nice to go out and try to win the USA Pro Challenge again. But after what happened at the Tour, I need to prove myself on a bigger scale.”

Sánchez finished a BMC Racing Team-best sixth at last year’s Vuelta. He announced last week that he signed a contract extension with the BMC Racing Team for the 2016 season.

“I think Samuel is going to be motivated to do his own GC (general classification) there,” van Garderen said. “I definitely do not have time to prepare for it the same way I did for the Tour de France, doing the reconnaissance, etc. But I am absolutely going to show up motivated. I am not going to give anything away.”

Among those joining Sánchez and van Garderen on the BMC Racing Team’s roster is Peter Velits, runner-up at the Vuelta a España in 2010, and 2014 Tour de France “most aggressive rider” Alessandro De Marchi.

Roster:
Darwin Atapuma (COL), Marcus Burghardt (GER), Alessandro De Marchi (ITA), Jempy Drucker (LUX), Amaël Moinard (FRA), Joey Rosskopf (USA), Samuel Sánchez (ESP), Tejay van Garderen (USA), Peter Velits (SVK).
Sport Directors: Yvon Ledanois (FRA), Max Sciandri (ITA).

Samuel Sanchez and Tejay Van Garderen, part of the BMC Tour and Vuelta team
Tour de France 2015 - Stage 9

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Klas Johansson is Crowned World Bike Packing Champion 2015
From a team who are making waves across the pro-cycling scene this year. MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung mechanic Klas Johansson wins the first ever World Bike Packing Championship.

The Swedish mechanic competed against 8 other mechanics from other pro cycling teams with an incredible time of 3.13 minutes which was a full 14 seconds faster than James Griffin from Cannondale-Garmin who placed 2nd and was closely followed by Sebastian Nittke from the Women’s team Velocio-SRAM. Here’s the full line-up & times:

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For those of you who missed the competition, the objective is very simple: each team mechanic packs the Scicon AeroComfort 2.0 TSA in the fastest time possible. There were a set of simple rules that each mechanic had to follow which you can read here.

The individual videos of each mechanic’s attempt to get the fastest time were released one by one throughout the Tour De France. Watch Klas Johansson’s winning attempt below:

Watch the full series from start to finish here.

To celebrate Klas’ victory and the success of MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung at this year’s Tour De France we’re going to be giving away a Team Edition AeroComfort 2.0 TSA and a jersey & cap signed by the team next week. Click here to get involved.

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July 31st 2015: Are You Ready for the World Record?
Giuliano Calore, 77 years Italian cyclist, is about to enter for the 13th time into the history of cycling, realizing his 13th Guinness World Record. On July 31, 2015, if the weather conditions will be good (if not, the record attempt will be moved to the following day) he will face the 48 hairpin bends of the Stelvio Pass with his bike without brakes, without handlebars, at night. He will have only a small flashlight to illuminate his path. This record attempt will be filmed and will be the climax of documentary movie 48 TORNANTI DI NOTTE (48 Hairpin Bends by Night), a documentary by Fabrizio Lussu and Anna Grendele, directed by Fabrizio Lussu and produced by Stuffilm. The film, with a duration of 60 minutes, will be released in late 2015 and will tell this no-handed descent info our fears, ambitions, passions and dreams.


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