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Pantani EuroTrash Thursday!

Top story asks: Can you change history and give Marco Pantani the 1999 Giro d’Italia? It might happen. The Tour of Hainan has finished and we have the results and video, Canadian cross champs, the Great Ocean Race, Van der Haar in November, team signings and all the latest cycling news in a full EuroTrash.

TOP STORY: Marco Pantani to Win the 1999 Giro d’Italia?
Mercatone Uno supermarket president, Romano Cenni, wants the victory of the 1999 Giro d’Italia posthumously given to Marco Pantani. Cenni is basing his legal action on claimed irregularities in the testing procedures when Pantani recorded a hematocrit level of 52% on the second to last day of the 1999 Giro while in the Pink jersey, forcing him to leave the race when he was a guaranteed winner. At the time there was no test for EPO, but if a rider had a hematocrit of over 50% they were forced to ‘rest’ for two weeks.

Cenni’s lawyer, Marco Baroncini said in a statement: “I can’t say if it was a conspiracy, an error or something else, but what I am certain of is that new elements are emerging which show that the decision taken against Marco Pantani and the Mercatone Uno team should be modified and revised. Mercatone Uno and, in particular, its president Romano Cenni, just want for Pantani to be given what was taken unjustly from him and the team.”

Ivan Gotti went on to win the Giro, his second after 1997. When asked for his opinion by Gazzetta dello Sport, he said that “re-writing history isn’t a problem relative to what happened to poor Marco. If they were to award him that Giro, I wouldn’t feel deprived of something. I’m prepared to give it up.”

The investigation into Pantani’s death in 2004 has been re-opened due to new information as has the inquiry into that hematocrit test in 1999 because of alleged illegal betting on Pantani not winning.

Can you re-write history? I don’t think so, just like you cant bring Marco back.

Marco Pantani in the 1999 Giro d’Italia – Madonna di Campiglio:

header-hainanTour of Hainan 2014
When there is the opportunity of a sprint, Lampre-Merida tends to monopolise the finish of the stages of the Tour of Hainan. At the end of Stage 8 Lampre-Merida took it’s fourth victory in the Chinese race and the third success for Niccolo Bonifazio. the Wuzhishan-Danzhou of 154,1 km. The twenty years old Bonifazio once again performed a perfect sprint, beating Jonathan Cantwell (Drapac) and his team mates Andrea Palini and Roberto Ferrari. Bonifazio also climbed to 2nd place overall at 22 seconds down on the leader Julien Antomarchi and with 3 seconds advantage on Andrey Zeits (Astana) in 3rd with one stage to go.

Stage winner, Niccolo Bonifazio (Lampre-Merida): “Today we were working for two targets: The stage victory and the second place in the overall classification that could be taken thanks to the bonus seconds. The race was very frantic form the beginning, because there was a 1st category climb in the early kilometers and the intermediate sprint was just after the downhill. I kept calm, I was able to recover the head of the race in the downhill and I won the intermediate sprint and the 3 seconds bonus. Then, a breakaway led the race until 10 km to go, when the efforts of Bono, Xu Gang and Pomme Marseille, the team of the leader Antomarchi, completed the chase. Ferrari gave me the perfect support as usual in view of the sprint and I could hit the target once again.”

Second on the stage, Jonathan Cantwell (Drapac): “Today was difficult but Jordan Kerby and Travis Meyer have been doing a great job all race. There was half a wheel in it. Today was hard with the climbs early on but I’m in good shape at the moment. Tomorrow should finish in a sprint again and we’ll be doing everything we can to get the win on what’s the last day of the tour and our season. I’m looking forward to it.”

Alexandr Dyachenko (Astana): “Tomorrow will be difficult to change anything, because two teams are ahead of us and both are willing to work to defend their advantage.”

Tour of Hainan Stage 8 Result:
1. Niccolo Bonifazio (Ita) Lampre-Merida in 3:52:13
2. Jonathan Cantwell (Aus) Drapac
3. Andrea Palini (Ita) Lampre-Merida
4. Roberto Ferrari (Ita) Lampre-Merida
5. Arman Kamyshev (Kaz) Astana
6. Graeme Brown (Aus) Belkin
7. Justin Jules (Fra) Team La Pomme Marseille
8. Nick van der Lijke (Ned) Belkin
9. Andrea Peron (Ita) Novo Nordisk
10. Moreno Hofland (Ned) Belikin.

Tour of Hainan Overall After Stage 8:
1. Julien Antomarchi (Fra) La Pomme Marseille 13 30:52:22
2. Niccolo Bonifazio (Ita) Lampre-Merida at 0:22
3. Andrey Zeits (Kaz) Astana at 0:25
4. Jose Goncalves (Por) La Pomme Marseille at 1:06
5. Julien El Fares (Fra) La Pomme Marseille at 1:10
6. Alexandr Dyachenko (Kaz) Astana at 1:11
7. Manuele Mori (Ita) Lampre-Merida at 1:13
8. Weiyin Wang (Chn) Hengxiang at 1:26
9. Nick van der Lijke (Ned) Belkin at 1:27
10. Moises Duenas Nevado (Spa) Burgos-BH.

Stage 8:

Wouter Wippert has closed out the 2014 season in style for the Drapac team, sprinting to victory from the day-long breakaway in the Final Stage 9 of the Tour of Hainan, China. Wippert out-sprinted fellow escapees Adrian Kurek (CCC Polstat Polkowice) and Taras Voropayev (Vino 4ever) at the end of the 165.7km stage with the peloton right on their tail in what was a nail-biting finish.

For the Drapac sprinter, the result was a satisfying reward having finished on the podium on three occasions throughout the Tour of Hainan. “I went up the road to take points for the green jersey,” Wippert explained. “With 35 km to go we still had two-and-a-half minutes on the peloton and I started to believe I could be in with a chance. The other guys attacked with 400 metres to go so I followed and then started my sprint with 250 metres to go.”

The victory moved Wippert up to second place in the points classification, 24 points behind multiple stage winner Niccolo Bonifazio (Lampre-Merida).

For Drapac Directeur Sportif Henk Vogels, it was a case of mission accomplished with the squad figuring on five of the nine podiums, with Jonathan Cantwell runner-up on Monday, on top of Wippert’s strong result in the points classification. “There’s three WorldTour teams here and we’ve gone toe-to-toe with them most days in the finales,” he said. “I’m really happy with the results, it’s not been easy given we have only had four riders over the last few days. It’s a really nice way to end what’s been a long international season.”

Lampre-Merida DS, Pedrazzini: “We did know well in this race, so for us everything was new. Thanks to the good fit of the riders and to a great team spirit, we realised very good performances and we made this race rich with satisfactions for us. It was not simple, because when you can rely on only 6 riders, you can’t alway control the race.”

Astana DS, Jaan Kirsipuu after stage 9: “Arman’s stage win is the Tour of Hainan highlight – the organisers made a decisive race and every day was a new challenge.”

Tour of Hainan Stage 9 Result:
1. Wouter Wippert (Ned) Drapac in 4:09:38
2. Adrian Kurek (Pol) CCC Polsat Polkowice
3. Taras Voropayev (Kaz) Vino 4Ever
4. Hariff Salleh (Mas) Terengganu
5. Burr Ho (HKg) Hong Kong
6. Roberto Ferrari (Ita) Lampre-Merida
7. Ruslan Tleubayev (Kaz) Astana
8. Jonathan Cantwell (Aus) Drapac
9. Yuriy Metlushenko (Ukr) Ukraine
10. Ondrej Rybin (Cze) ASC Dukla Praha.

Tour of Hainan Final Overall Result:
1. Julien Antomarchi (Fra) La Pomme Marseille in 35:02:00
2. Niccolo Bonifazio (Ita) Lampre-Merida at 0:22
3. Andrey Zeits (Kaz) Astana at 0:25
4. José Gonçalves (Por) La Pomme Marseille at 1:06
5. Julien El Fares (Fra) La Pomme Marseille at 1:10
6. Alexsandr Dyachenko (Kaz) Astana at 1:11
7. Manuele Mori (Ita) Lampre-Merida at 1:13
8. Meiyin Wang (Chn) Hengxiang at 1:26
9. Nick Van Der Lijke (Ned) Belkin at 1:27
10. Moises Duenas Nevado (Spa) Burgos-BH.

The final stage 9:

header-canadaCatharine Pendrel and Mike Garrigan win 2014 elite Canadian cyclocross championships
Winnipeg’s Danick Vandale and Oliver Evans take the men’s U23 and junior titles; Anna Gabrielle Traxler wins the junior women’s championship.

Catharine Pendrel (Luna Pro Team) and Mike Garrigan (Van Dessel-POC) won maple leaf jerseys on a blue sky, cool and windy afternoon in Winnipeg, Manitoba. In both elite races the strongest riders established front groups early. Pendrel gained the lead in lap two and maintained it, holding off teammate Maghalie Rochette and British Columbia’s Sandra Walter (LIV Canada) after Stan’s NoTubes Mical Dyck washed out on a grassy off-camber corner that challenged the men’s elite field as well. The men’s race came down to a nail-biting finish as hard-chasing Geoff Kabush (SCOTT 3Rox) and Winnipeg’s Michael van den Ham (Trek Red Truck p/b Mosaic Homes) nearly caught Garrigan who led from early in the first lap.

Multiple types of surfaces linked together on the 3.2 kilometre course. Predominantly grass and gravel on a hard-packed dirt surface, sections included loose soil, cobblestones, and pavement. Back-to-back 46 metre sand pits, descents to the Red River, a set of double barriers, a long, steep run-up, and off-camber turns were connected by flowing stretches of track.

Pendrel gets second cyclocross title
After Rochette nailed the holeshot, she, mountain bike world champion Pendrel, Dyck, and Walter sped away from an initial lead set of eight women. An inefficient line through the sand pit in lap one ripped Rochette out of the driver’s seat. “All the girls passed me. They came by twice as fast as I was going,” Rochette later said. “They got a five second gap and I just couldn’t bridge the gap. I think that’s where I lost Catharine.”

Dyck and then Pendrel now raced first on course, followed by Walter. Ontario’s Ashley Barson (Coachchris.ca/Tedvelikonja) held on with the fastest four in the first lap, but lost position in a U-turn on the grass. Dyck looked very strong right behind Pendrel in lap two until a mistake on an off-camber turf turn sent her into the pit for a bike change and toward the back of the field.

By the third lap Rochette moved up to second position, but by then Pendrel had accumulated a twenty second advantage. Walter rode steady about ten seconds behind. Natasha Elliott (Cycle-Smart Elite Team) raced in fourth. Next on course was a group of three consisting of Jamie Gilgen (Real Deal Gears p/b WASPcam), Barson, and local Anna Schappert (Dark Red Racing).

In the next to last lap Pendrel’s gap shrunk a bit. But she kept a firm grip at the head of the race and rebuilt her lead in the final lap, winning with a margin of twenty-one seconds over Rochette, the best U23 rider in the race. Walter placed third, forty-seven seconds back. Dyck, the 2012 champion, finished ninth. “I was pretty confident I had good form here but I know the other girls have been really doing well in cyclocross,” Pendrel said after the win, “so I wasn’t sure how it would pan out, but I’m definitely happy with how I rode.” She called the venue spectacular, with a lot of variety in the course and great energy from the crowds.

Rochette’s second place is her best cyclocross nationals showing. “I’m super happy about how I raced. Of course it’s nationals, so everyone is riding for the jersey, but it’s cool,” she said. “I’m super happy for Catharine. She is my teammate and she is the friggin’ world champion. She is strong. I knew she was strong, but today she showed it again. I have a lot to learn still.”

Walter, who is 34, is a multiple time Canada Cup winner and mountain bike worlds competitor. Third place represents her best result to-date at ‘cross nationals. “I was definitely hoping for a medal and was just off the podium last year, so I’m really pleased,” she said.

After claiming her second cyclocross maple leaf jersey, thirty-four year-old Pendrel circled back to the finish arch to greet Rochette, who is 21. Pendrel sounded energized by the one-two performance from the Luna Pro Team. “It was motivating knowing Maghalie was out there and having a great ride. I’m sure she wanted to win because she knows she has the form and she just had a couple of mistakes out there, but she had a phenomenal ride. In ways I was hoping she might catch me and we could come in together, but at the same time I know it’s my job to go out there and do my best.”

Garrigan solos off the front the entire race
Andrew L’Esperance nabbed the holeshot with the men’s elite field right on his wheel. The riders swung onto a grassy knoll packed with turns where Aaron Schooler (Focus CX Team) went down in a corner. The incident held up riders, including Kabush who had to work his way up to the chase group. Kabush, van den Ham, and Evan McNeely (Norco Factory Team) hunted Garrigan together for five laps while the Van Dessel rider’s gap grew to as much as twenty seconds. A second chase group formed that consisted of Schooler, Craig Richey (Trek Red Truck p/b Mosaic Homes), and L’Esperance who would fall off the pace.

In the second half of the eight-lap race McNeely dropped away leaving van den Ham and last year’s champion to pursue Garrigan who steadily gave up bits of his lead with each lap. Van den Ham appeared to push the pace much of the time, with Kabush taking turns ahead of him. Schooler and Richey continued to ride as a pair. Early in the final lap Garrigan’s lead shrank to just five seconds. “I was almost going to give up,” he later said, “and then I was like, ‘I want this too bad.’”

Kabush took up the charge in front of van den Ham. The Trek Red Truck rider, who won last year’s U23 title, lost some time in a turn half way into the lap. “I washed on my back tire and put a foot down,” van den Ham said, “and Geoff [Kabush] got five bike lengths there and that’s what he needed to secure second.”

Kabush stepped on it and shed the young man but couldn’t steal the glory from Garrigan, who won his second elite title with a margin of two seconds. Kabush claimed second and van den Ham got third five seconds later. Schooler bested McNeely for fourth.

The win confirmed Garrigan’s recent decision to re-focus on racing. “This means the world to me. I made a bit more of a sacrifice this summer. My wife and I were quite busy and she let me get out for rides pretty much every day,” Garrigan said. “I was coaching pretty much full time and wanted to take off a year to just race. And so for me to win solidifies that decision. Obviously Geoff [Kabush] isn’t at full speed, but frig, I’ll take it.”

Kabush acknowledged a bit of disappointment after the finish, saying that while he felt solid, he wished he’d arrived with a bit more fitness. “We were keeping the rhythm high, but being in the chase with a couple of guys swapping around,” he said, “it was hard to lay down a good hard rhythm that we needed to bring back Garrigan.”

At 23 years-old and a full-time student, van den Ham hadn’t expected his result. The hometown favorite, he only felt pressure when the crowd’s excitement urged him to go on. “I couldn’t be more happy. To be battling with someone like Geoff who I think has been racing bikes longer than I’ve been alive, I’m thrilled with it.”

Winnipeg doubles up in men’s U23 and junior divisions
In the U23 men’s contest Team Manitoba’s Danick Vandale won his first national cyclocross championship in a two-up sprint to the line after a close battle with William Elliott (Team NCCH p/b DEC Express). Christopher Prendergast, also from Winnipeg and riding on the Team H&R Block squad, finished third.

The junior men’s race was equally close, with a four-way fight including Team Manitoba’s Oliver Evans, last year’s winner Willem Boersma, and teammates Quinton Disera and Liam Mulcahy on the CSAJCC p/b Norco & LG team. In the end Winnipeg’s Evans won by fourteen seconds over Disera. Boersma nipped Mulcahy on the line for third.

Vandale said he and sixteen year-old Evans are close friends and train together. “It’s great to see both of us on the top step and promote the cycling scene in Manitoba,” the U23 winner said. Two riders started the women’s junior competition. Anna Gabrielle Traxler (Team Alberta) outdistanced Natalie Young (Devo Manitoba) early on and finished with a lead of five minutes. The country’s championships are held prior to the sport’s traditional January date due to Canada’s early winter; this year’s winners will own their titles for 2015.

Canadian Men’s Cyclo-cross National Championships Result:
1. Mike Garrigan in 58:37
2. Geoff Kabush (Scott-3Rox Racing) at 0:02
3. Michael Van Den Ham (Trek Red Truck p/b Mosaic Homes) at 0:07
4. Aaron Schooler (Focus CX Team) at 0:58
5. Evan Mcneely (Norco Factory Team) at 1:13
6. Craig Richey (Trek Red Truck p/b Mosaic Homes) at 1:30
7. Mark Mcconnell (Synergy Racing P/B Sri Importing) at 2:25
8. Derrick St John (Silber Pro Cycling Team) at 2:42
9. Peter Glassford (Trek Canada MTB) at 2:50
10. Shawn Bunnin (Deadgoat Racing) at 2:51.

Garrigan wins second national cyclocross title-1

Canadian U23 Men’s Cyclo-cross National Championships Result:
1. Danick Vandale (Can) Team Manitoba in 46:10
2. William Elliott (Can) Team NCCH p/b DEC Express
3. Christopher Prendergast (Can) Team H&R Block at 0:16
4. Sean Germaine (Can) Juventus CC at 0:52
5. Jason Wiebe (Can) Team Manitoba at 1:00
6. Edouard Tougas (Can) Acquisio-ACQ at 1:26
7. Isaac Niles (Can) Bicisport at 2:27
8. Trevor O’donnell (Can) Kallisto at 3:59
9. Ben Ryan (Can) at 9:05
10. Ari Robinson (Can) Bikes And Beyond.

Canadian Women’s Cyclo-cross National Championships Result:
1. Catharine Pendrel (Luna Pro Team) in 41:24
2. Maghalie Rochette (Luna Pro Team) at 0:21
3. Sandra Walter (LIV Canada) at 0:47
4. Natasha Elliott (Cycle-Smart Elite Team) at 1:04
5. Anna Schappert (Dark Red Racing) at 2:06
6. Ashley Barson (Coachchris.Ca/Tedvelikonja/Trudellmed.) at 2:07
7. Jamie Gilgen (Real Deal Gears p/b WASPcam) at 2:09
8. Janna Gillick (Mid Island Velo Assoc.) at 3:04
9. Mical Dyck at 3:15
10. Shantel Koenig (Redbike).

Pendrel Rochette Walter after finish

header-cadelrace14Evans Unveils the Great Ocean Road Race
Ex-World champion and Tour de France winner Cadel Evans was in Melbourne for the unveiling of his last race; the Great Ocean Road Race. The UCI 1.1 race will be held on February the 1st 2015, Evans will start as part of the BMC team and will be joined by the Australian Orica-GreenEDGE team.

Cadel Evans said of the race course: “The course was designed along some of my favourite riding routes, in a region that is very special to me. It is an honour to welcome not only my fellow professional cyclists but also recreational cyclists and spectators to share the breathtaking scenery of one of my favourite roads in the world.”

Ex-Pro rider Scott Sunderland helped in the race design: “We have created a unique course that pays homage to the Great Ocean Road’s breathtaking views, while ensuring riders are challenged by multiple climbs and varying elevation gains.”

The 174 kilometer race will pass Evans’ Australian home in Barwon Heads. Starting and finishing on the magical waterfront of Geelong the races could not be showcased in a more picturesque location, made famous as images of the 2010 UCI World Road Championships were beamed around in globe in October of that year. Once underway the course takes the riders out of Geelong along upper Eastern Beach Road and Hearne Parade continuing along the exposed waterfront.

There will also be a women’s road race on January the 31st over 113 kilometers and a people’s ride with two course options: 107 kilometers or 65 kilometers on the same day.

The Great Ocean Road Race Map:
greatoceanrace15-map

header-Giant-Shimano14Van der Haar Races in November
After a successful start to his cyclo-cross campaign, the racing continues for Lars van der Haar (NED) in November as he looks to defend his World Cup lead.

The month gets underway with the second event in the Bpost series, the well-known Koppenbergcross in Belgium. This is followed the next day by the Superprestige race in Zonhoven.

The Supersprestige action continues the following weekends in Ruddervoorde and then Gavere Asper before the second World Cup series race on 22 November in Koksijde, Belgium. Van der Haar will head into the race wearing the white jersey of World Cup leader, a jersey he won last season. This race is followed by Superprestige Spa-Francorchamps on 23 November.

The final weekend of the month is another double-header with the third World Cup race, in Milton Keynes, England. A quick return to mainland Europe follows for the Bpost race in Hamme, Flandriencross.

October Race Calendar
1/11: Bpost Koppenbergcross.
2/11: Superprestige Zonhoven.
9/11: Superprestige Ruddervoorde.
16/11: Superprestige Gavere Asper.
22/11: World Cup Koksijde.
23/11: Superprestige Spa-Francorchamps.
29/11: World Cup Milton Keynes.
30/11: Bpost Flandriencross Hamme.

Dutch cyclo-cross champion Lars van der Haar:
Cauberg Cyclocross - Worldcup  Valkenburg Elite 2014

header-contadorAlberto Contador wins the Velo d’Or
Alberto Contador has been voted the rider of the year by Vélo Magazine for the fourth time, following receiving the Velo d’Or award in 2007, 2008 and 2009. Previous winners were Chris Froome in 2013 and Bradley Wiggins in 2012.

Second in the Tour de France, Jean-Christopher Péraud, won the Velo d’Or for Best French rider.

Tour of Spain 2014 stage - 21 ITT

header_lampre-meridaTwo More Years for Cimolai at Lampre-Merida
Speed and stamina, talent and determination; these are the signature qualities of Davide Cimolai, who has almost completed his path towards the full maturity and who welcomed the decision by Lampre-Merida to prolong his contract for the next two years.

The twenty-five year old from North Italy signed an agreement to wear the blu-fuchsia-green colors during the 2015 and 2016 seasons, so that he will be granted a two year period during which he’ll have the opportunity to strengthen his skills and to improve the good results he has obtained up to now. Even if he has not yet won, in the past two seasons Cimolai was close to the top results in WorldTour races such the Tour de France (4th in the 2nd stage in 2013 and 9th in the 4th stage in 2014), the Tirreno-Adriatico (6th in the 3rd stage in 2013), the Critérium du Dauphiné (5th in the 3rd stage), the Eneco Tour (3rd in the 1st stage) and in Vattenfall Cyclassics (7th).

“I’m very happy for the prolongation of the contract for the next two seasons, it’s a huge satisfaction seeing the trust by the team management, by the Galbusera family from Lampre and by Merida,” Cimolai explained. “In the past three years I improved my skills a lot, I’m sure the next season will be important for my definitive full maturity.”

Lampre - Merida 2014

header-drapacTim Roe and Sam Spokes sign with Drapac Professional Cycling
Drapac Professional Cycling is pleased to announce that Tim Roe and Sam Spokes will join the squad from 2015.

Roe, 25, spent two years racing at WorldTour level before his burgeoning career was stalled by injury but the South Australian climbing specialist bounced back in 2014 to finish second in the highly competitive Australian National Road Series (NRS). “My goal this year was to have a consistent season and I was happy to finish second in the NRS,” said Roe. “I wanted to be good in all of the races and I felt strong throughout. I’m definitely at a level now where I am ready to return to a higher level. Drapac has got a really good race program – I definitely see it as a step up.”

Roe’s palmarés includes 2nd overall at the Thüringen Rundfahrt U23 (2010), as well as top-10 results at the Australian Individual Time Trial Championships (2013) and the Olympia’s Tour (2010).

Spokes is one of the top up-and-coming Australian talents and although he’s just 22, the rouleur has already spent several seasons racing in Europe and has represented the National Under-23 team at the last two UCI World Championships. “After four years in Europe full-time, I’m looking forward to a change of scenery,” Spokes explained. “I still hope to spend some time in Lucca, Italy, training. It will also be nice to spend more time with family and friends back in Australia. From an outsider looking in, it seems that Drapac has a really good atmosphere as a team and that’s something I really like – where your teammates can also be great friends.”

This year, Spokes repeated his sixth placed performance at the Liege-Bastogne-Liege while his impressive results in stage races continued, taking out the General Classification at Course de la Paix, adding to previous victories at the Vysocina Tour (2013), Tour de l’Eure et Loire (2012) and Liege – La Gleize Juniors (2010).

Roe and Spokes join Dutchman Peter Koning and fellow Australian Brenton Jones as new-comers to the UCI Professional Continental team which has ridden to 16 victories this season.

Drapac General Manager Jonathan Breekveldt said that the latest additions to the team were set to make valuable contributions to the squad in 2015. “Tim and Sam bring a mix of youth and experience to Drapac Professional Cycling for 2015 and both will equally exciting to work with,” he explained.

“Tim achieved his performance goals for 2014 and we can provide the next logical step toward his ambitions of returning to the WorldTour. His strengths and experience make him a key GC rider for the team in our 2015 race schedule. Sam is an exciting young talent who has significant development potential and will thrive in both his new team and racing environment for at least the next two seasons.”

Drapac team owner Michael Drapac talks about his team:

Vattenfall Cyclassics 2010Martijn Maaskant Retires
Martijn Maaskant has decided to hang up his wheels at 31 years of age. The amicable Dutchman will be best remembered for his fourth places in Paris-Roubaix and the Ronde Van Vlaanderen. Martijn turned Pro for Garmin in 2008 and immediately took his 4th in Roubaix, and then 4th in Flanders the next year. In the Grand Tours he was always a strong team rider. In 2011 he crashed heavily in Paris-Nice sustaining seven broken ribs. For the 2014 season he signed for the UnitedHealthCare team, but didn’t race after the spring.

In a statement Maaskant said: “Since my fall in 2011, I have tried to get back to my old level. I have done everything and given my all, but now I must accept that I can no longer get to the level I need to be at the top of the sport. Despite the injuries and the problems of the last few seasons, I am still proud of my professional career. I’ve ridden for big teams and competed at the highest level for the victory, and in the races I dreamed of as a little boy. I’m looking forward to the future and wonder what my second career will bring. My future may lie in cycling, but it may be beyond that, too. I will take some time to discover it.”

One of his few occasions in the UnitedHealthcare kit:
Ronde van Drenthe 2014

header-MTNAn African Bicycle Dream – Episode 6
The 6th episode of An African Bicycle Dream is out. In this episode we take you behind the scenes of Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung’s participation in La Vuelta a España, our first grand tour. It was a historic moment with 6 African and 3 European riders lining up to represent Africa on the world cycling stage.

The Vuelta was a massive success for our African Pro-Continental cycling team with all 9 of our riders making it to the finish, 6 of which were also debutantes to grand tour racing.

We hope you enjoy the episode and the insight it gives to #AfricasTeam. Learn more about the team at www.teammtnqhubeka.com​


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