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World Road Race EuroTrash!

It’s been a great week of road race action from Spain and we have a full EuroTrash with all the results, comments and videos from Ponferrada. Sven Nys has started the cyclo-cross season, plus we have more race and team news and say good-bye to Cadel Evans. Get a big coffee.

TOP STORY: Was it a good Worlds?
Yes, pretty much. The racing was good and difficult to predict, the courses for the time trials and the road races were hard enough to bring the top riders to the fore. The road race laps were a little monotonous and although the parts past the reservoir and the castle looked nice, some of the urban areas and the dual carriageway section were less than picturesque. The weather on occasions was probably the only minus, with heavy rain that did make the roads a little tricky. There were crashes, some very bad; Rabobank were put out of the Women’s team time trial and then in the road race the local hospital was again busy from an enormous pile up. It’s not often you see team cars crash, but the Norwegian car left the road hitting a tree with at least three people going to hospital.

In the end the race action was worth watching, the six hours for the men’s race was worth it for the last couple of hours of too and fro, with a worthy winner. Michal Kwiatkowski must have been watching the other races, especially those final kilometers, he knew if you were away with 3 kilometers to go, you had a chance. In the women’s race, the leading group of Vos, Johansson, Longo Borghini and Armitstead showed what could be done, except they couldn’t collaborate and missed their chance. A solo rider wouldn’t have that problem, much in the way Sven Erik Bystorm won the U23 race, but going earlier.

So yes, it was a good Worlds ’14 and the fine town of Ponferrada got its moneys worth and so did we.

A worthy and clever winner whose team worked perfectly:
World Championships (Men Elite) 2014

header-worlds14World Road Championships 2014

Men’s Elite Road Race
The Polish team played a perfect game in Sunday’s men’s race; they put their men on the front to hold the early break at a handy distance and then to slowly pull them back. Coming into the last 7 kilometers Michal Kwaitkowski (Poland and OPQS) attacked and held off the chasers for a fine solo win. From the chase group, Simon Gerrans (Australia) held off Alejandro Valverde (Spain) for silver and bronze.

The early break of Zydrunas Savickas (Lithuania), Matija Kvasina (Croatia), Carlos Quintero (Colombia) and Oleksandr Polivoda (Ukraine) had a maximum lead of 15 minutes, but they were slowly chased down as the speed lifted in the peloton. Meanwhile Tour de France winner; Vincenzo Nibali crashed, he was able to carry on, but didn’t look comfortable and finished in 40th place 27 seconds down. Eventually the gap was down to around 2 minutes and the Italian team started to ride hard, which caused a group to split off the front and catch the leaders to give a group containing: Giovanni Visconti & Giampaolo (Italy), Peter Kennaugh (GB), Tim Wellens & Sep Vanmarcke (Belgium), Christopher Juul Jensen (Denmark), Michael Albasini (Switzerland), Edvald Boasson Hagen (Norway), Daniel Navarro (Spain), Simon Geschke & Tony Martin (Germany), Rein Taaramae (Estonia) and Quintero from the original break. Tony Martin headed off the front of the break for a 50 second lead, but was pulled back. Spain came to the fore in the peloton to get thing ready for Alejandro Valverde, this brought the leaders to within 20 seconds.

All the top men were ready for a sprint, but Michal Kwiatkowski had other ideas and put in a big attack to catch the leftovers of the break; Cyril Gautier (France), Michael Valgren Andersen (Denmark), Vasil Kiryienka (Belarus) and Alessandro De Marchi (Italy). The Pole didn’t waste much time in making another jump and hammer it down into Ponferrada for the win.

The group behind had Valverde, Gerrans, Philippe Gilbert & Greg Van Avermaet (Belgium), Matti Breschel (Denmark) and Tony Gallopin (France). Gilbert was the engine and took on the chase for Van Avermaet, but as usual Valverde sat on the back waiting for the sprint, but was not fast enough to beat Gerrans.

The new World champion Michal Kwiatkowski (Poland): “Our team did incredible work today,” Kwiatkowski said of his Polish teammates. “We just tried to control the bunch the whole day. I was in the front and I didn’t plan to attack on the second-to-last descent. But I saw the opportunity to be in the group in front, which had five riders at that point before the last climb. I caught them and could relax a bit, and control my effort on the last climb. Even a small advantage on the last climb can be difficult to chase down a rider like me from there. I saw it was possible from the Under-23 race before, that it’s possible to make it. I’m not the best sprinter compared to guys like Simon Gerrans and Alejandro Valverde, but in the end it worked and it is an incredible feeling. I think for Polish cycling this is really important to have a beautiful victory like this. This season has been amazing for Poland with Rafal Majka and his performance at the Tour de France for example. Now I have this rainbow jersey, and it’s an amazing feeling. I told the guys at a meeting yesterday that I felt great and I said it again at the start of the race. I really needed support from them and they did it all the time. I felt relaxed all day. With these weather conditions it was important to stay in front. This made it much easier for me to have such great help from my teammates. It kept me comfortable and gave me big energy at the end. I have to thank them, and I have to also dedicate this to my girlfriend Agata and the Polish nation as they give me such big morale, and I am so proud to give this back to them.”

“I am only 24-years-old, but in the second half of the season I just felt great until now and it showed in the final kilometers,” Kwiatkowski said. “At 1.5 kilometers to go it felt like so much left to go, but what can I say. I saw guys coming, I had a little bit of an advantage, and I knew it was all or nothing. I went full gas and I made it after a really risky attack. In the end, it worked, and I am going to celebrate this victory. I also want to thank Omega Pharma – Quick-Step as they have always had confidence in me and because of this growth as a rider with them, I believed I could win with this kind of attack on the last lap. I should ask Tom Boonen what his life was like after winning the World Championship in 2005. I was 15-years-old when he won in Madrid. I am so proud to be the third OPQS rider to wear the rainbow stripes on the road. It shows the winning tradition of this team.”

2nd Simon Gerrans (Australia): “To be honest with you, I felt like I wanted to cry when I crossed the finish line. To be so close to the world title and to see it slip away in the final few kilometers. I knew I had good legs. If things had unfolded a little bit differently in the final I could have been racing for the victory.”

3rd placed Alejandro Valverde (Spain): “At the end of the race I was seeing things getting harder and harder, because even though the field was shortening and the race eventually was really tough, many sprinters were left into the bunch and we had to drop them back. These Worlds might have lacked steeper slopes, but we can’t complain – it’s the same for everyone. The national team was superb, I can’t thank them enough: we worked well so I could try and jump to contest the victory into a field sprint, but we couldn’t control everything. Kwiatkowski rode excellently – he deserves this win. As far as I’m concerned, I did everything I wanted to do on course, and claiming this bronze medal in Spain, in front of my home crowds, is really great and makes me happy. It’s hard to ever make it onto a Worlds podium: I’ve done it six times, and even though I’d liked this time to be on the top step – honestly, if you look at the competition we had to face, you give massive credit to what we achieved. I want to thank the fans who came here and supported us, they were phenomenal. Also, I dedicate this victory to my family and my wife, who is about to give birth to another baby – this is for you.”

6th Tony Gallopin (France): “I’m not completely satisfied with my sixth place, I’m rather disappointed. Being on the podium was maybe possible. Everyone’s legs certainly were hurting but I just had to wait for the right moment. Everybody knew that the last lap would be decisive. I could follow the bests on the last climb, so I’m content with my performance. But my result should have been better. A medal was possible.”

The rider who rode out front the longest Carlos Quintero (Colombia): “Miguel’s and my job was to start the breakaway in order to keep our leaders sheltered. Miguel tried first, then it was my time. And it worked out well for me,” Quintero said, smiling in spite of fatigue. Actually, 190 km in the break was not a bad way to debut. I feel happy because I managed to do what I was required to, and really what I wanted to. Even after being caught by the bunch, I tried to spend my final energies in support of my teammates: I did my very best to deserve the trust Colombia put in me. The World Championship is a really peculiar race, with lots of tension. It reminds me of the Liege-Bastogne-Liege for the public and the distance, but today’s circuit was by no means as demanding as the Belgian classic. In the finale, we had Uran and Chaves in good condition, but making gaps and breaking the bunch was hard. Kwiatkowski really made a great move.”

Read the full race report here.

Men’s Elite Road Race Result:
1. Michal Kwiatkowski (Poland) in 6:29:07
2. Simon Gerrans (Australia) at 0:01
3. Alejandro Valverde (Spain)
4. Matti Breschel (Denmark)
5. Greg Van Avermaet (Belgium)
6. Tony Gallopin (France)
7. Philippe Gilbert (Belgium) at 0:04
8. Alexander Kristoff (Norway) at 0:07
9. John Degenkolb (Germany)
10. Nacer Bouhanni (France).

Elite road race:

Women’s Road Race
French girl Pauline Ferrand-Prevot outsprinted the individual time trial winner Lisa Brennauer of Germany and Emma Johansson (Sweden) at the end of the 124.7 kilometer women’s road race. Four of the strongest riders in the race broke away on the last lap, Multi-World champion Marianne Vos (Netherlands), Emma Johansson (Sweden), Elisa Longo Borghini (Italy) and Britain’s Lizzie Armitstead. They looked to have the race sown up, but they looked at each other and the group behind caught them within sight of the line and the sprint started. Vos went for a long sprint, but she was the perfect lead-out for Ferrand-Prevot who held off the fast moving Brennauer, had the line been a couple of meters further on, the German would have won.

On the second lap there was a large pile-up of riders that saw a few going to hospital, this slowed the race as the riders called a truce for a short time to let any of the capable riders make their way back to the peloton, which at that point was around 80. As the stronger teams from Holland, Italy and France wanted to keep the race together, there was little action barring the occasional attack that was soon brought under control. With two laps to go the first serious attack came from Alison Powers (USA), she is well known for this sort of move and was brought back at the start of the climb. As soon as she was caught her teammate, Evelyn Stevens jumped, but again she was not allowed any space. Next to go was Australian Rachel Neylan, she was chased down by the Italians and a group of 17 riders formed off the front including all the top riders. At the start of the last lap the race had come together again as the rain started to fall.

The last time up the climb and the race split again under the impetus of Vos. Again there was no drive in the group and that move ended. Emma Johansson made the important move before the top to be joined by Vos, Longo Borghini and Armitstead, the Italian and the Swede both tried to go solo from the group of four, but in the end they were together looking at each other and losing the race. Although Johansson managed bronze.

Women’s World road champion Pauline Ferrand-Prevot (France) spoke to UCI TV after she dried her tears of joy at the finish: “I was not the strongest on the climb but we came back with one kilometre to go and I sprinted. I didn’t know I won at first but now I know and it is fantastic. I had the best team ever and they were ready for the entire race to put me in the front. I didn’t crash today. I want to thank my teammates because it was a great race for us. I didn’t expect to be the first today. I crashed on Sunday and I felt very bad this week. I wanted to follow the front and I had expected a top 10, so I am happy.”

Read the full race report here.

Women’s Road Race Result:
1. Pauline Ferrand-Prevot (France) in 3:29:21
2. Lisa Brennauer (Germany)
3. Emma Johansson (Sweden)
4. Giorgia Bronzini (Italy)
5. Tiffany Cromwell (Australia)
6. Shelley Olds (United States of America)
7. Elizabeth Armitstead (Great Britain)
8. Linda Villumsen (New Zealand)
9. Hanna Solovey (Ukraine)
10. Marianne Vos (Netherlands).

Women’s road race:

Men’s U23 Road Race
Sven Erik Bystorm won the men’s Under 23 Rainbow jersey in a fine piece of tactical riding from the Norway team. Everyone knew that Australian Caleb Ewan would win in a sprint, so Bystorm jumped early and no one could bring him back. As expected Ewan won the bunch sprint from a chase group of around 40 at 7 seconds for the Silver medal and Bystorm’s team mate Kristoffer Skjerping was third.

The break of the day went on the second lap, it included: Sebastian Schonberger (Austria), Adil Barbari (Algeria) and Roman Kustadinchev (Russia) and Australia controlled the peloton. Barbari was eventually dropped and after many counter attacks Ruben Zepuntke (Germany) and Lennard Hofstede (Nedtherlands) joined the leaders. Louis Meintjes (South Africa) rode off the front to catch the break and pass it but with two laps to go it was too early and he was captured by a sixteen-man group, which Australia had to chase down. Frenchman Kevin Ledanois rode away from the break, but he too was caught which set up the splitting of the bunch that catapulted Bystorm into his winning lead.

Winner Sven Erik Bystorm (Norway): “I am very happy, I can’t even explain how much! It was an amazing race and I felt good the entire day. It was a hard race, but maybe not too hard. We have to understand that this is World Championships and the races could not be easy anyway. At the beginning I took it easy to save my legs and energy for the final. There were a lot of attacks, but every time the peloton was able to neutralize the riders who had attacked. I saved my legs for the final lap and attacked, maybe in the last possible moment. On the final climb I gave 100% of everything I have and later on the descent I gave my all to stay in front and win this race. Finally, it worked well. It was a good final of the race and the entire season.”

Next year Bystrom will be riding for Katusha: “I am happy with my contract signing with Team Katusha and with the fact that I will be in the team together with Alexander Kristoff, who is my good friend. I already rode one race as a trainee with the Russian Team at the Arctic Race of Norway and I was really impressed with this experience. Even before that Alex explained to me that this is very good team and that he is feeling really comfortable in Katusha. So I had a chance to feel the same. I’m waiting eagerly to meet the whole team – riders, staff, management.”

Silver medal winner Caleb Ewan (Australia) said after the race: “I have no regrets, if we could repeat the race again, I’d say we should do exactly the same thing. I know it sounds a bit silly because we didn’t win, but with my team on the front, I was protected when we raced through the city. I knew I could take good lines through the corners and we avoided crashes and sudden accelerations. I needed to save my legs for the climb, and I know how hard they rode for me so I could do that. We went into the race almost 100 percent going for the sprint and the team rode so well, I’m very happy to have a team like that who’ll work so much for you. I stayed calm and stayed in position and went at the perfect time.” Ewan added, “the strongest guy won today.” Caleb Ewan will be riding for the WorldTour Orica-Green-EDGE team in 2015.

Read the full race report on PEZ here.

Men’s U23 Road Race Result:
1. Sven Erik Bystrom (Norway) in 4:32:39
2. Caleb Ewan (Australia) at 0:07
3. Kristoffer Skjerping (Norway)
4. Tiesj Benoot (Belgium)
5. Sondre Holst Enger (Norway)
6. Iuri Filosi (Italy)
7. Bohorquez Sanchez (Colombia)
8. Ilya Davidenok (Kazakhstan)
9. Silvio Herklotz (Germany)
10. Mathieu Van Der Poel (Netherlands).

The Men’s U23 road race:

Men’s Junior Road Race
Germany’s Jonas Bokeloh took the Junior World’s title after an exciting race which saw Bokeloh close down a break near the end of the race, but the peloton came back together for the sprint.

Early in the race Adrien Costa (USA) went for a solo ride, but was caught with more than a lap to go. Next a six man group formed, which again failed before more attacks setup the most dangerous break of the day.

Pavel Sivakov (Russia) and Tamirlan Tassymov (Kazakhstan) had broken away and looked dangerous, this prompted Bokeloh to join them on the last but one climb, but the bunch of 50 riders caught the three on the last climb of the Mirador. The Swedish team forced the pace on the climb splitting the peloton further. Gino Maeder (Switzerland) got away on the descent and as he went under the 1K to go he looked to have it in the bag, but first Stepan Kurianov (Russia) caught him them the whole bunch swamped them in the last meters. Bokeloh had the best sprint ahead of Russian Alexandr Kulikov and Peter Lenderink of the Netherlands.

New junior World champion Jonas Bokeloh (Germany): “I thought it would be a sprint from a breakaway, that’s why I followed them. I was a little bit sad when the break was caught by the peloton. On the last climb it was quite hard to follow. I really didn’t think I’d be able to sprint like I did after that. I was more focused on maybe a top ten place, I didn’t expect to be world champion. It’s amazing.”

Men’s Junior Road Race Result:
1. Jonas Bokeloh (Germany) in 3:07:00
2. Alexandr Kulikovskiy (Russia)
3. Peter Lenderink (Netherlands)
4. Edoardo Affini (Italy)
5. Magnus Bak Klaris (Denmark)
6. Izidor Penko (Slovenia)
7. Lucas Eriksson (Sweden)
8. Lorenzo Fortunato (Italy)
9. Leo Danes (France)
10. Sjoerd Bax (Netherlands).

The Men’s junior road race:

Women’s Junior Road Race
Danish 2013 junior World champion Amalie Dideriksen doubled up for the ’14 title on Friday morning. The race was a wearing down process until the last lap when the Italian team raised the speed and sent two riders up the road on the last climb. Dideriksen crossed, but they would not work with the ex champion and the race cam back together. Italy led out the spring for Sofia Bertizzolo, but Dideriksen had the speed to take her second Rainbow jersey.

Amalie Dideriksen (Denmark) said to UCI TV after her win: “I’m very happy, I was not expecting this. I thought a lot of my rivals would keep an eye on me, because of last year and it was a very different race to last year, too. This time round everybody knew me. So it’s amazing to get another gold. Pernille (Mathiesen, Danish team mate) did a great job of working for me in the finale and catching the other riders who got away. It was very close at the end, so I’m happy I managed this.”

Women’s Junior Road Race Result:
1. Amalie Dideriksen (Denmark) in 2:02:59
2. Sofia Bertizzolo (Italy)
3. Agnieszka Skalniak (Poland)
4. Nikola Noskova (Czech Republic)
5. Lisa Klein (Germany)
6. Greta Richioud (France)
7. Jeanne Korevaar (Netherlands)
8. Jelena Eric (Serbia)
9. Saartje Vandenbroucke (Belgium)
10. Mathilde Cartal (France).

The Women’s junior road race:

header-soudal14GP Soudal Neerpelt 2014
On a dry and sandy course in Neerpelt, Sven Nys (Crelan-AA Drink) took his first win of the 2014/15 season and his sixth win in Neerpelt. Young Lars Van Der Haar (Giant-Shimano) got off to a fast start, but Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb-Napoleon) helped by Nys pulled him back with Bart Aernouts (Corendon-KwadrO) and Corné Van Kessel (Telenet Fidea) on their wheel. Once Van Der Haar was caught the speed dropped allowing a few other riders to join up with the front group. One of those was Laurens Sweeck (Corendon-KwadrO) who attacked to eventually be pulled back by Nys, Vantornout and Van Der Haar, but the four eased off allowing Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Napoleon), Meeusen (Telenet Fidea) and Jens Adams (Vastgoedservice-Golden Palace) re-join. On the final lap Vantornout jumped, but Nys was on him and won the sprint.

GP Soudal Neerpelt Result:
1. Sven Nys (Bel) Crelan-AA Drink in 1:00:45
2. Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games
3. Lars Van Der Haar (Ned) Giant-Shimano Development at 0:05
4. Laurens Sweeck (Bel) Corendon-KwadrO
5. Jens Adams (Bel) Vastgoedservice-Golden Palace at 0:12
6. Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games at
7. Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet Fidea at 0:27
8. David Van Der Poel (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus
9. Corné Van Kessel (Ned) Telenet Fidea
10. Diether Sweeck (Ned) Corendon-KwadrO.

GP Neerpelt action:

ASO-headerA Year of Cycling with A.S.O.
The calendar for the 2015 cycling season was officially released yesterday by the International Cycling Union on the occasion of the world championships in Ponferrada. The races organised by Amaury Sport Organisation will account for more than 100 days of cycling in eight different countries. Following an exceptional Grand Start to the Tour de France 2014, the Tour of Yorkshire makes its début between 1st and 3rd May, whilst the riders of the 102nd Tour de France will set off from Utrecht on 4th July…

Ladies first! The start of proceedings for A.S.O.’s 2015 season will be take place on 3rd February in the Middle East involving the competitors on the 7th Ladies Tour of Qatar. Furthermore, women’s cycling will have pride of place throughout the year with the Women’s Flèche Wallonne in spring and the 2nd edition of La Course by the Tour de France on 26th July in the magnificent setting of the Champs-Elysées. After a first edition which met with resounding success (the event was broadcast on television in 157 countries), the stars of the women’s pack will do battle on the world’s most beautiful avenue, as a curtain raiser for the finish of the last stage of Le Tour.

The men will also start their year in the Middle East in February. On the flat and windy roads of Qatar and then on the more undulating terrain of Oman there will be something for everyone: from sprinters to climbers and not forgetting hunters of victories on the classics. The season will change tack at the start of March with Paris-Nice which traditionally marks the arrival of the prestigious stage races. Following the race to the sun, Corsica, the Isle of Beauty, will welcome the Critérium International for the 6th consecutive year in Porto-Vecchio, before leaving centre stage to the classics season. Soon after Paris-Roubaix, the kings of the cobbles will hand the spotlight over to the pugilists who will be focusing on the Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège.

Less than a year after the resounding sporting and popular success that was the Grand Start of the Tour de France 2014, the international elite riders’ pack will come together in Yorkshire for another three day event (1st to 3rd May). Between one Tour and another, the riders will have the opportunity to test themselves on the World Ports Classic on roads exposed to the strong winds of Zeeland, just several weeks before the Grand Start of the 102nd Tour de France in Utrecht. Beforehand, the Critérium du Dauphiné will have provided a full-scale rehearsal for the favourites on Le Tour.

Several weeks later, the riders will be battling for victory at far-off latitudes in the magnificent scenery of northern Norway for the 3rd edition of the Arctic Race of Norway, before heading much further south, to Malaga, to start the 70th edition of the Vuelta a España. Thereafter, the final challenge of Paris-Tours, the classic of the falling leaves, will complete the season.

The 2015 calendar of A.S.O. races and title holders:
03/02 – 06/02: 7th Ladies Tour of Qatar (K. Wild)
08/02 – 13/02: 13th Tour of Qatar (N. Terpstra)
17/02 – 22/02: 6th Tour of Oman (C. Froome)
08/03 – 15/03: 73rd Paris-Nice (C. Betancur)
28/03 – 29/03: 84th Critérium International (J-C. Péraud)
12/04: 113th Paris-Roubaix (N. Terpstra)
22/04: 18th Women’s Flèche Wallonne (P. Ferrand-Prévot)
22/04: 79th Flèche Wallonne (A. Valverde)
26/04: 101st Liege-Bastogne-Liege (S. Gerrans)
01/05 – 03/05: 1st Tour of Yorkshire
23/05 – 24/05: 4th World Ports Classic (T. Bos)
07/06 – 14/06: 67th Critérium du Dauphiné (A. Talansky)
04/07 – 26/07: 102nd Tour de France (V. Nibali)
26/07: 2nd La Course by the Tour de France (M. Vos)
13/08 – 16/08: 3rd Arctic Race of Norway (S. Kruijswijk)
22/08 – 13/09: 70th Vuelta a Espana (A. Contador)
23/08 – 29/08: 52nd Tour de l’Avenir (M.A. López)
11/10: 109th Paris-Tours (J. Degenkolb, winner in 2013)
11/10: 73rd Paris-Tours Espoirs (F. Dassonville, winner in 2013)

All information about A.S.O. cycling races on www.letour.fr

header_BMCEvans’s Future Includes BMC Ambassador Role
Cadel Evans will compete for the BMC Racing Team at the start of the 2015 season before transitioning into a brand ambassador role for the team’s title sponsor, BMC Switzerland. The news was shared Thursday during a press conference at the UCI road world championships in Spain.

Winner of the 2009 world road title and the 2011 Tour de France, Evans said the final race of his career will be the inaugural edition of the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race. The one-day race on Feb. 1 will cap a professional career on the road that formally began in 2001 after racing mountain bikes in the mid to late 90s. His final race of this season will be Il Lombardia on Oct. 5. “I feel it is the right time to end my journey in competitive professional cycling,” Evans said. “It has been the journey of more than a lifetime, something I could never have envisioned when first experiencing the joy of riding a bike on the dirt roads of Bamylli (Barunga) in the Northern Territory. It is amazing how far two wheels can take a person.” Speaking to reporters gathered in the media center in Ponferrada, Evans shared his appreciation and thanks to the countless people who have helped him along the way: family and friends, coaches and mentors, teams and teammates, sponsors, and fans around the world. “A special thank you goes to my current and final team,” Evans said. “And to the many fans and people around the world who just enjoy riding a bike. Thank you – and keep riding.”

Evans said he looks forward to his new role with BMC Switzerland after he pins on his final race number next February. “For me this is not the end, but the beginning of a new chapter of my life in cycling.”

Cadel Evans, World champ:

BMC Racing Team Signs Three
The BMC Racing Team announced three new rider signings: newly-crowned Under 23 world time trial champion Campbell Flakemore of Australia, Joey Rosskopf of the United States and Manuel Senni of Italy.

Each of the three fits the BMC Racing Team’s initiative to identify promising young riders who can develop and eventually play integral roles for the United States-registered squad, said President/General Manager Jim Ochowicz. “This is part of our on-going initiative to bring young riders through our system as an extension of our work with the BMC Development Team,” Ochowicz said. “We are always on the lookout for the best of the best and these three riders will certainly play a part in our future.” Ochowicz said that Flakemore and Senni, both 22 years old, and Rosskopf, 25, will complement the signings for 2015 of Stefan Küng of Switzerland and Dylan Teuns of Belgium, both of whom raced for the BMC Development Team this season. “All of these fine young athletes fit with our strategy of bringing younger riders into the BMC Racing Team and helping them reach their potential.” Specific details of their contracts were not made public in keeping with the team’s policy.

Flakemore A Time Trial Specialist
On Monday, Flakemore became the fourth Australian to win the world Under 23 individual time trial in the past six years, joining Jack Bobridge (2009), Luke Durbridge (2011) and Damian Howson (2013). His less-than-half-a-second margin of victory over Ryan Mullan (Ireland) was the closest finish in the history of the event as he overcame a nearly 20-second deficit in the final 13 kilometers of the 36.1-km race. “I knew it would be close,” Flakemore said. “I would have been satisfied with the podium after being fourth last year, but winning it was pretty cool.” Flakemore arrives from the Avanti Racing Team and said he is looking forward to teaming with riders like fellow Australian Rohan Dennis, as well as Philippe Gilbert, Greg Van Avermaet and Tejay van Garderen. “I think I can learn a lot from those guys,” he said. “My priority for next year is to get experience and learn how it all works in a WorldTour team. I want to learn as much as possible.” Flakemore also won the prologue of the Tour de l’Avenir this year and was the winner of the individual time trial stage at last year’s Olympia Tour and the Under 23 edition of Thüringen-Rundfahrt. “He adds significant value to our team in his specialty, which are time trials,” Ochowicz said.

Rosskopf Ready To Prove Himself
Arriving from the Hincapie Sportswear Development Team, Rosskopf dueled with BMC Racing Team’s Cadel Evans in the final kilometer of the queen stage at the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah in August. His runner-up finish there added to silver medals won in both the road race and the time trial at the Pan-American Championships earlier this year. He also won a stage and the overall at the Redlands Bicycle Classic in April and last year won a stage and the overall of the Paris-Arras Tour, as well as the Stage 4 time trial at the Tour de Beauce. “There will certainly be more pressure to perform next year,” the Decatur, Georgia, native said. “I am excited about the chance to get better and prove myself. I want to take advantage of all the support the BMC Racing Team offers to better myself as a rider. I also want to be there where they need me most. So I hope to play a productive role on the team.” Rosskopf raced the 2012 season for Team Type 1-Sanofi and the past two for the Hincapie Sportswear Development Team. Ochowicz said his climbing and time trial abilities make him a good fit. “He really suits our strategy of allowing new riders to come on board and achieve goals similar to the ones we have,” Ochowicz said.

Help In The Climbing Ranks
Senni won two climbing stages of the Giro Ciclistico della Valle d’Aosta on the way to a third-place finish overall and the points classification. He also won the Medaglia d’Oro Domenico e Anita Colleoni in his home country and was fourth at both the G.P. Pallo del Recioto and Trofeo Piva Banca Popolare di Vicenza. “Manuel has demonstrated some unique climbing abilities and over the next few years, we hope to further develop him in that aspect,” Ochowicz said. Senni said he is thankful of the experience gained while racing for Team Colpack and its president, Giuseppe Colleoni, and looks forward to showing his value to the BMC Racing Team. “It is one of the best teams in the world, so it is a very big opportunity for me,” he said. “I want to thank Jim Ochowicz and the BMC Racing Team managers who believe in me. I hope to repay them with my performance. The first year I will have to adapt to the professional level, of course. But I hope to achieve what the sport directors tell me and I hope I can get some results.”

BMC Racing Team Signings Announced For 2015:
Damiano Caruso (ITA), Alessandro De Marchi (ITA), Jempy Drucker (LUX), Campbell Flakemore (AUS), Stefan Küng (SUI), Joey Rosskopf (USA), Manuel Senni (ITA), Dylan Teuns (BEL).

BMC training in Spain:

lottobelisol_headerTwo More years for Lars Bak
Lars Bak (34) has extended his contract with Lotto Belisol for two more years. In that way he will stay with the Lotto Belisol team, which will be named Lotto Soudal next year, until the end of 2016. The past three seasons Bak already rode for our team.

Injuries interfered his spring season in 2012 and 2013, instead he rode both Giro and Tour. His biggest victory was one in the Giro of 2012. He finished alone after a solo in Sestri Levante. In the Tour he was luxury help for Jurgen Van den Broeck and André Greipel. Last summer he did hundreds of kilometers in support of the leading man.

Lars Bak: “I’m very happy to stay with this team for next years. I had a good feeling in the team for the past seasons. I always try to do my job in favour of the team and there is a good atmosphere in the Lotto Belisol team. As a foreigner it’s a joy to be a part of this team. The Belgian employees have a lot of experience and make sure that the riders can performance in a optimal way. I feel myself at home in this team.”

“I presume I got this contract extension thanks to my way of cycling, because I always try to think at the importance of the team. The team management probably knows after three years how to set me in. I will give it all to play my role in the team as good as possible for the next two years.”

Milan - San Remo 2013: the iced edition

header-MTNSbaragli, Janse van Rensburg & Venter Renew Contracts With MTN-Qhubeka
Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung are happy to announce that 3 of its Vuelta a Espana stars have recently renewed their contracts with the team. Kristian Sbaragli, Jacques Janse van Rensburg and Jaco Venter have all renewed their agreements with Team MTN-Qhubeka.

Sbaragli has been with Team MTN-Qhubeka since 2013 while Janse van Rensburg and Venter both joined the team in 2012 (Venter also rode for the team in 2010). All 3 riders have shown steady improvement over the last 2 years and each proved their quality once again at the recent Vuelta a Espana, forming part of the 9 rider team that managed to finish the grand tour with its full compliment of riders.

Sbaragli has shown he is a real star of the future, notching up no less than 22 top 10 results in sprint finishes this year alone. After recovering from his hernia operation, Janse van Rensburg has become a rejuvenated rider, winning the Mzansi Tour and performing strongly on multiple mountain stages throughout the year. Venter has shown his quality as a strong diesel engine while he has also played an integral part in our sprint leadouts.

Kristian Sbaragli: I am really happy to have extended my contract with Team MTN-Qhubeka for the next 2 seasons because here I have found a team that believe in me and give me the opportunity to show what i am capable of. I am quite happy with how my 2014 season has gone but next season i really went to step up a level and be competitive during the classics period. I also hope to turn some of my good results into victories next year. I am confident the team will be much stronger next year, particularly in the one-day races.

Jacques Janse van Rensburg: I am very happy to continue my career with Team MTN-Qhubeka and for me it would be great if i can stay with the team as long as possible as I am an African in an African team. In 2015 I am really looking to improve on my general classification tour riding results, getting into the top 10 more often will be a goal. I will look to hold back a bit with my aggressive riding style, so less breakaways, using that energy to focus on the GC. I also hope to be able to be a strong support rider for our GC rider in the big tours. I think we have super strong team for the classics and stage wins next year and then obviously a really strong and young African GC line-up too.

Jaco Venter: I am happy to extend with Team MTN-Qhubeka again after a good 2 and a half years with the team. I am already excited for the 2015 season and this season isn’t even finished yet. With the new riders we have next year I think we will have a good season and I am very motivated to work as hard as possible to support the team. As always, if there is an opportunity for me to get a result as well then I will take it.

Learn more about the team at www.teammtnqhubeka.com​.

Road Reel and Team MTN Qhubeka:

header_movistarAnacona, Sutherland Strengthen 2015 Roster
Young Colombian climber and expert Aussie all rounder to join telephone squad on respective two-year contracts. Following the signings of Spanish youngsters Rubén Fernández (Caja Rural) and Marc Soler (Lizarte elite), Movistar Team has completed another two transfers with Winner Anacona (Lampre-Merida) and Rory Sutherland (Tinkoff-Saxo) joining through 2016.

Raised in Italian squads since as an under-23, amateur rider, Colombian Anacona, 26, excels on climbing while still performing well on time trials. Runner-up in the 2011 GiroBio and top-20 finisher in his first-ever Grand Tour, the 2012 Vuelta a España, a serious ankle injury while training left him out of competition for most of the 2013 season. Anacona rediscovered himself in 2014 with a third place overall in the Tour of Utah, only behind Americans Tom Danielson and Chris Horner, and most notably with a stage victory claimed at this year’s Spanish grandtour, atop Valdelinares.

In turn, Sutherland, 32, is a great rouleur and a decent climber who has spent most of his career -six years- within the ranks of the American ProConti squad UnitedHealthCare, where he became the 2012 UCI America Tour winner after claiming five victories throughout the season. Member of the WorldTour peloton for the last two years, his consistent performances during 2014 -coming close to top-ten overall finishes in the Tour Down Under and the Tour of Dubai- granted him a place into the national team’s nine-man squad for yesterday’s Ponferrada Worlds road race.

Winner Anacona Vuelta’14 stage 9 winner:
Tour of Spain 2014 stage - 9

header-boraScott Thwaites extends his contract for two years
Scott Thwaites has extended his contract by two years. The 24-year-old Briton just finished his best season yet, placing second in the Ronde van Drenthe and third in the Commonwealth Games. As further proof of his results, Thwaites was selected by British Cycling as the only second-division rider on their long list for the UK’s World Championships squad.

“Scott has developed tremendously over the last two years and stabilized his performances at a high level. He is the type of rider who really makes the most of his potential on difficult, classic terrains. Scott can select a race and is also a solid sprinter. His return following a summer pause was impressive and showed strong character. Together we would like to deepen his racing experience and tactical knowledge – then nothing would stand in the way of top placements,” said team manager Ralph Denk.

Scott Thwaites on the extension of his contract: “Over the last two years with NetApp-Endura, I have continued to improve my racing and find my feet in the top levels of cycling. With the investment in the team from our new sponsors, I hope that I can continue to progress in the classics and also improve my climbing to support the team in stage races and grand tours.”

Scott Thwaites scored no less then fifteen Top10 results in the last two years, including podium spots in the Commonwealth Games, the Ronde van Drenthe, the Driedaagse van West-Vlaanderen and the Tour of Qinghai Lake.

Training Team NetApp Endura  2014

On Board Cameras: What the UCI Think
It looks like the UCI have accepted that cameras are the way forward and here is the video. Warning: There are crashes involved:


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