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EuroTrash Monday!

The cobbled Classics are just a memory now and we are into the hilly Ardennes for the next campaign. Amstel was full of excitement all the way to the line and gave us a worthy winner, rider quotes, results and videos are in EuroTrash Monday. All the other results and videos from Spain and France, plus a mixed bag of trash to sort through. Get the coffee…

TOP STORY: Winning at Any Cost?
It was announced by the Costa Rica Cycling Federation that four riders were found to have the substance GW-501516 in their system at the Vuelta Ciclista International a Costa Rica from last December. The drug found in the four Costa Rican cyclists is the same one that Rusvelo’s Valery Kaikov was caught with in an out of competition test on March the 17th.

GW-501516 is an unaproved weight loss drug which WADA issued a serious warning that the drug is toxic and it can only be bought on the black market. GW-501516 was withdrawn from further research studies due to laboratory mice showing increased incidences of tumours after being treated with the drug. GlaxoSmithKline investigated the drug for development for the treatment of obesity, diabetes, dyslipidemia and cardiovascular disease, but the drug was discovered to cause cancer in rats. “Ronald M. Evans from the Salk Institute wishes to create the “first-ever performance-enhancing drug that can radically boost physical endurance in humans”. In 2004 he had showed that mice genetically engineered to express PPARδ in muscle cells had greater endurance. He called the mice “marathon mice”. He purchased a sample of GW 501516 and gave mice a much higher dose than had been in research by GSK and found that the compound increased the mice’s endurance. The research culminated in a 2007 paper in Cell that was widely reported in the popular press including The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal.”

Concerns were raised prior to the 2008 Beijing Olympics that GW-501516 could be used by athletes as an ergogenic performance enhancing drug that was not currently controlled by regulations or detected by standard tests. One of the main researchers from the study on enhanced endurance consequently developed a urine test to detect the drug, and made it available to the International Olympic Committee. The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has also begun work on a test for GW-501516 and other related PPARδ modulators, and they have been added to the prohibited list from 2009 onwards. GW-501516 has been promoted on bodybuilding and athletics websites and has been available for some time on the black market. In 2011 it was reported to cost $1000 for 10 g. WADA claim to have already detected its use. In 2012, WADA recategorised GW 501516 from a gene doping compound to a “hormone and metabolic modulator”. In 2013 New Scientist reported that “tests on rats showed that at all doses, the drug rapidly causes cancers in a multitude of organs, including the liver, bladder, stomach, skin, thyroid, tongue, testes, ovaries and womb.” In 2013 WADA took the rare step of warning potential users of the compound of the possible health risks. They stated “clinical approval has not, and will not be given for this substance”.

Now would an athlete want to win so strongly that he would endanger his life and the answer is; yes they probably would. Those riders who have been taking EPO and human growth hormone as far back as the late 80’s could now be in their 50’s and maybe they will soon find out what damage they have done to themselves and if it was worth it.

Amstel Gold Race 2013
This year’s Amstel Gold Race came down to the penultimate climb of the day, the Bemerlerberg, there had been a lot of action before hand with a sold break splitting and forming into what became the winning move. Roman Kreuziger (Saxo-Tinkoff) had crossed to join the riders up front and then made his move on the Bemerlerberg and stay away to the finish. Behind him the others of the break were swallowed up and World champion Philippe Gilbert (BMC) blasted his way up the finishing climb of the Cauberg in similar fashion to his Worlds win. Gilbert was not strong enough to hold of Alejandro Valverde (Movistar), Simon Gerrans (Orica-GreenEdge) and Michal Kwiatkowski (Omega Pharma – Quick-Step) who all came past him on the line. Kreuziger win was a bit of a surprise, but he has a good palmarés behind him and is a worthy winner of this prestigious Classic.

Saxo-Tinkoff’s Roman Kreuziger created the gap and soloed his way towards Cauberg. And even though, Philippe Gilbert (BMC) launched a violent attack from the field, no one was able to catch the Team Saxo-Tinkoff rider who soloed across the finish line as the winner of Amstel Gold Race 2013. “Today, we had two captains, Nicki Sørensen and me and with Karsten Kroon as our GPS, we were in a good position to achieve our goal. The whole team did an excellent job out there and I was fully prepared for the finale and I was feeling strong all the way. On the final climb of Cauberg, I just looked down and pedalled without thinking so much. I’m really happy about this win and it goes to the whole team for a job well done,” said Team Saxo-Tinkoff’s Roman Kreuziger after his magnificent victory. But the victory will not be celebrated with a party: “Maybe we’ll have a glass of champagne tonight but there’s a tough week ahead of us and we have to focus on the job,” Kreuziger concludes.

Team Saxo-Tinkoff DS, Philippe Mauduit was naturally thrilled after the stunning victory: “It’s one of those days where everything just came together perfectly. The rider has each been given an assignment and everyone them does his job. Right before Roman goes in the first break, the riders are told to be attentive as the teams were all losing riders and a chase was hard to establish. Roman does this race perfectly and attacks at a time and a place which everyone around him knows is crucial but no one had the legs to follow him and he’s going solo to the finish line taking one of the most beautiful wins this Spring,” said a very happy Mauduit.

Alejandro Valverde: “The finale was similar to the Worlds one, because Gilbert went away with equal strength and made the difference there. This time I was able to follow him and beat him at the finish. It was sad Kreuziger was still at the front, but he did an impressive work and deserves this victory. I’m really happy with my second place. I’m not disappointed at all, because we could perform well and my feelings were good. I feel like I have more stamina and reach the finale of such long races in better condition than in the past. This obviously gives me confidence for the two classics coming up. More than Flèche, which I will approach in a more cautious way, I’m focused on Liège, the one that suits me the best. We could see I was strong today. Let’s hope we have some luck on Sunday to chase for that big goal.”

OPQS had spent much of the day chasing at the front, with even Peter Velits taking a dig to try and put pressure on the rest of the peloton.

“I felt good actually two weeks after Flanders,” Kwiatkowski said. “I came back home for a few days, rested a few days there and then went to Granada to train with my teammates there. I did good training and still felt fine. I didn’t know before the race how I would feel after 250km, but in the end it was okay. Gianni and I were protected today. I was trying to stay near the front because I knew it was so tricky, this parcour. There can be many crashes, as you saw with many of them in the back. I actually was a few times in the back and that was good enough for me. As for the final, I did a little mistake and was too far behind, and there was a crosswind from the left side. I was just behind Sagan when Gilbert attacked. He lost the wheel of Gilbert and I was trying to follow Gilbert but I couldn’t. I tried to go to the top with the other guys and tried to do the sprint, not worry about catching the first rider. Finally, I had really good legs for the sprint. I could do better on the sprint but am happy about my condition and also the teamwork. I am satisfied with what my teammates did for me, and want to thank them. I will do Fleche and Liege for more experience. I felt really good on the Cauberg but the final of Fleche is much harder, but we will see. I will take it day by day.”

“I crashed with 100km to go, but then came back, OK no problem,” Gianni Meersman said. “Then with 50km to go I had a flat tire, but came back again, and at the Keutenberg I was a block. From there I had to say ‘bye bye.’ It’s a shame, but after three weeks of not racing and missing a little bit of competition I felt pretty good. Now I go home, and then I will do Tour de Romandie. I want to be good there. Last year I was 2nd, and then 4th in stages. So I want to be a protagonist there.”

“We started this morning with the idea to protect Gianni and Michal,” Sport Director Davide Bramati said. “Unfortunately Gianni was involved in a crash and then he had a flat tire in a bad moment, so we decided in the last lap to take the initiatives and try to close the gap in function of Kwiatowski. The team did a great effort. The guys did their job perfectly and they stayed united. Kwiatowski finalized the work of the entire team. Also, he showed he can be a protagonist on the cobblestones as well as on the short and steep climbs of the Ardennes classics.”

Philippe Gilbert finished fifth for the BMC Racing Team Sunday at Amstel Gold Race after furiously chasing solo winner Roman Kreuziger (Saxo Bank-Tinkoff) up the final climb. Gilbert charged out of the peloton at the base of the Cauberg: “It was hard at the end, there was a lot of wind and we were only with three from our team,” Gilbert said. “I tried it at the Cauberg. But it wasn’t enough; they came back and I just missed the podium.”

The Gilbert crash:

Gilbert had a bit of a scare with about 90 km to go when a pile-up split the peloton. Though he was unhurt, Gilbert needed a new BMC and, with the help of several teammates, eventually rejoined the peloton after a chase of more than 15 kilometres. “It took a lot of work,” BMC Racing Team President/General Manager Jim Ochowicz said. “We lost two or three riders in the process. The gap gets quite large when you’re on the ground and need a bike change. It’s not like 30 seconds – it was more like two minutes.”

Lampre-Merida’s Damiano Cunego: “As usual, Amstel Gold Race is a very nervous race and you must be at the top of your shape to be competitive,” Cunego pointed out, revealing that; “I was not at the top, I understood it during the race, so I tried to anticipate my move. The result of this action was not good, so I’m not satisfied.”

13th place Lotto Belisol’s Jelle Vanendert: “This race has confirmed my shape and I am satisfied with the result. I was certain my condition was good, but I couldn’t show it because I was out of competition for a while. By moving along in the group behind Gilbert and Valverde I have shown that the condition is good. The moving of the finish of the Amstel Gold Race isn’t good for me, because that way a group will sprint. I was too far behind when turning up the Cauberg for the last time, so I couldn’t get along when Gilbert attacked.”

“Before I had jumped away in a group of about six riders, I thought it was necessary to go along because all important teams were present, in that escape or in the front group. At that moment BMC wasn’t very present in the race. But we didn’t succeed in setting up a good collaboration, partly because Simon Gerrans had his teammate Weening in front. This race has definitely given me hope for the Flèche Wallonne next Wednesday. You see that the difference is small between the podium and the twentieth place.”

Amstel Gold Race Result:
1. Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Team Saxo-Tinkoff in 6:35:21
2. Alejandro Valverdo Belmonte (Spa) Movistar at 0:22
3. Simon Gerrans (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge
4. Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step
5. Philippe Gilbert (Bel) BMC
6. Sergio Luis Henao Montoya (Col) Sky
7. Björn Leukemans (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM
8. Pieter Weening (Ned) Orica-GreenEdge
9. Enrico Gasparotto (Ita) Astana
10. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Blanco
11. Giampaolo Caruso (Ita) Katusha
12. Fabian Wegmann (Ger) Garmin-Sharp
13. Jelle Vanendert (Bel) Lotto Belisol
14. Nicki Sörensen (Den) Saxo-Tinkoff
15. Lars Petter Nordhaug (Nor) Blanco.

The final kilometres:

Vuelta a Castilla y León 2013
There was big relief for the Euskaltel-Euskadi team as Pablo Urtasun took their first win of the season in Stage 1 from Arevalo to Valladolid. Before the sprint finish; 7 men had built up a lead of 10 minutes, they were: Kevin De Mesmaeker (Team Novo Nordisk), Pavel Kochetkov (RusVelo), César Fonte (Efapel-Glassdrive), Luis Mas (Burgos BH-Castilla y Leon), Dalivier Ospina (Colombia), Igor Merino (Euskadi) and Robert Sweeting (5 Hour Energy p/b Kenda). They were eventually reeled in with 5 kilometres remaining and the Euskaltel-Euskadi team led out Urtasun for the win and the overall lead.

Vuelta a Castilla y León Result:
1. Pablo Urtasun (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi in 4:31:28
2. Francesco Lasca (Ita) Caja Rural
3. Enrique Sanz (Spa) Movistar
4. Jose J. Rojas (Spa) Movistar
5. Carlos Barbero (Spa) Euskadi
6. Juan Jose Lobato (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
7. Jérémie Galland (Fra) Sojasun
8. Wilson A. Marentes (Col) Colombia
9. Javier Moreno (Spa) Movistar
10. Andre Cardoso (Por) Caja Rural.

Vuelta a Castilla y León Overall After Stage 1:
1. Pablo Urtasun (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi in 4:31:18
2. Francesco Lasca (Ita) Caja Rural at 0:04
3. Enrique Sanz (Spa) Movistar at 0:06
4. Jose J. Rojas (Spa) Movistar at 0:10
5. Carlos Barbero (Spa) Euskadi
6. Juan Jose Lobato (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
7. Jérémie Galland (Fra) Sojasun
8. Wilson A. Marentes (Col) Colombia
9. Javier Moreno (Spa) Movistar
10. Andre Cardoso (Por) Caja Rural.

Stage 1 highlights:

Stage 2 was another sprint finish and another stage win for Euskaltel-Euskadi, this time for Juan José Lobato after Pablo Urtasun on Friday. Saturday’s 164 kilometre stage from Ureña to Palencia was very fast with an average speed of 45 kilometres per hour, so there was only one dangerous escape of nine riders which was only allowed a maximum of one minute 30 lead. The break was pulled back by Euskaltel-Euskadi and Movistar on the last climb of the day; the Alto de Autilla with 10 kilometres remaining and it was down to the lead-out trains. Movistar for José Rojas, Caja Rural for Francesco Lasca and Euskaltel-Euskadi for Juan José Lobato. Labato came out on top ahead of Lasca with Ken Hanson of Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies squeezing into third. Thanks to the time bonus Lasca moved into the overall lead with just Sunday’s last stage go.

Team Novo Nordisk riders Andrea Peron (Ita) finished in seventh and Martijn Verschoor (Ned) came in at ninth. “It‘s hard to succeed in this peloton,” the 24 year-old Peron said after the sprint in Palencia, “it‘s my first season with the pros, and I hope the team is happy with this result.” Verschoor was on the back wheel of Peron in the approach to the finish but lost position with 300m to go. “I was pushed out of my position and had to go into the wind“, Verschoor recalls. For Team Novo Nordisk, Saturday’s finish marks the second and third top-ten result after Peron’s eighth place in Route Adélie de Vitré in France in March.

Vuelta a Castilla y León Stage 2 Result:
1. Juan Jose Lobato (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi in 3:33:09
2. Francesco Lasca (Ita) Caja Rural
3. Ken Hanson (USA) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies
4. Jose Jose Rojas (Spa) Movistar
5. Enrique Sanz (Spa) Movistar
6. Carlos Barbero (Spa) Euskadi
7. Andrea Peron (Ita) Team Novo Nordisk
8. Joaquin Sobrino (Spa) SP Tableware
9. Martijn Verschoor (Ned) Team Novo Nordisk
10. Boris Shpilevsky (Rus) Lokosphinx.

Vuelta a Castilla y León Overall After Stage 2:
1. Francesco Lasca (Ita) Caja Rural in 8:04:25
2. Juan Jose Lobato (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi at 0:02
3. Pablo Urtasun (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
4. Enrique Sanz (Spa) Movistar in 0:08
5. Ken Hanson (USA) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies
6. Jose Jose Rojas (Spa) Movistar at 0:12
7. Carlos Barbero (Spa) Euskadi
8. Evgeny Shalunov (Rus) Lokosphinx
9. Andre Cardoso (Por) Caja Rural
10. Roy Sentjens (Bel) Cyclingteam De Rijke-Shanks.

Stage 2:

The last one of 41 riders making it into the Queen Stage 3 within just 12 seconds, few were confident enough to bet on Rubén Plaza’s chances to win the 28th Vuelta a Castilla y León. However, the Spaniard has brought his pure class -double Spanish road champion, top-5 finisher in the Vuelta and the ITT Worlds- back to the spotlight after several years of injuries and claimed a convincing win atop the Parador in Cervera de Pisuerga, the hardest finish in this year’s Castilian stage race.

The three-kilometre climb was preceded by continuous ups and downs where Eloy Teruel always defended Movistar Team’s interests into the day’s break. After a thrilling day, Plaza proved to be the strongest by jumping from the elite group just after the 2km banner to keep a slender advantage that, combined with the bonus seconds, allowed him to claim the stage and the overall win. The rider from Ibi in Alicante extends this way the Blues’ domination in the event -Movistar also claimed the teams’ overall-, with the last three editions being conquered by a rider from the telephone squad -Tondo (2011), Moreno (2012), Plaza (2013)-, twelve in its 28 years of history.

Plaza took two seconds on Francisco Mancebo (5HR), seven on Carlos Barbero (EUK) and eleven over a first pursuit group led by José Joaquín Rojas -really regular all race, with fourth places in all three stages and a sixth in the overall-, and puts an end into a long unsuccessfull streak -his last victory came on stage six in the 2009 Volta a Portugal- lasting for already three years and a half. Now, after getting through a serious injury -a tibia and fibula fractured in 2011- and 1,340 days later, Plaza is back in winning ways.
Thanks to the Movistar team for the race info.

Rubén Plaza: “It’s been almost four years and, after everything I went through, it’s a massive victory for me. I knew my condition was good because I spent ten days at home after the Volta a Cataluyna, training well and taking some rest – all feelings were good, but getting from that to winning a race… it’s a really different thing… The strategy was trying to attack from the foot of the climb with Javi Moreno. He did jump twice, but couldn’t get a gap, and I profited from a quick stop by the field to try a move. I knew I could win the overall during the attack, because I saw Mancebo behind and knew he had scored no bonus seconds. For me, this victory means really a lot. It was almost a matter of honour, and I can’t deny I had lost confidence on winning again at some point – being the one I had got to be again seemed impossible. I’m the only one who knows how hard these two years have been. It’s been a huge pain in the ass, this injury – I almost had to start from zero, because I lost all muscle tone, and even today I think the leg is still recovering. This victory is kind of a light in the tunnel, a massive boost of confidence for me. I want to dedicate this to the surgeon that operated me, Ignacio Ginebreda, and physio Jordi Reig, who controlled my rehab. Without them, it would have been impossible to overcome that injury.”

Vuelta a Castilla y León Stage 3 Result:
1. Ruben Plaza (Spa) Movistar in 4:30:36
2. Francisco Mancebo (Spa) 5 Hour Energy p/b Kenda at 0:02
3. Carlos Barbero (Spa) Euskadi at 0:07
4. Jose Jose Rojas (Spa) Movistar at 0:11
5. Pablo Urtasun (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
6. Julien El Fares (Fra) Sojasun
7. Sergey Firsanov (Rus) Rusvelo
8. Amets Txurruka (Spa) Caja Rural
9. Evgeny Shalunov (Rus) Lokosphinx
10. Robinson Eduard Chalapud (Col) Colombia.

Vuelta a Castilla y León Final Overall Result:
1. Ruben Plaza (Spa) Movistar in 12:35:03
2. Francisco Mancebo (Spa) 5 Hour Energy p/b Kenda at 0:06
3. Francesco Lasca (Ita) Caja Rural at 0:09
4. Pablo Urtasun (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi at 0:11
5. Carlos Barbero (Spa) Euskadi at 0:13
6. Jose Jose Rojas (Spa) Movistar at 0:21
7. Evgeny Shalunov (Rus) Lokosphinx
8. Fabrice Jeandesboz (Fra) Sojasun
9. Amets Txurruka (Spa) Caja Rural
10. Sergey Firsanov (Rus) Rusvelo.

The final stage:

Tro-Bro Léon 2013
French cyclo-cross champion Francis Mourey (FDJ) showed how good he should have been at Paris-Roubaix by winning the French semi-Classic in front of two of his team mates, Johan Le Bon second and Anthony Geslin third. This was Mourey’s third Pro road win, but the two time French cyclo-cross champion is aiming at winning the French National road championships which this year is to be held on some rough road sections. There was an eighteen man break which was caught and launched a seven man counter attack with 30 kilometres to go, including the three FDJ men. At 20 to go Mourey made his move and rode solo to the finish with his team mates blocking for him behind.

Tro-Bro Léon Result:
1. Francis Mourey (Fra) FDJ in 5:12:43
2. Johan Le Bon (Fra) FDJ at 0:58
3. Anthony Geslin (Fra) FDJ at 1:16
4. Gert Joeaar (Est) Cofidis
5. Rémi Cusin (Fra) IAM Cycling
6. Cyril Lemoine (Fra) Sojasun
7. Pierre Luc Perichon (Fra) Bretagne Séché Environnement at 1:20
8. Cédric Pineau (Fra) FDJ at 2:48
9. Florian Vachon (Fra) Bretagne-Seche Environnement
10. Koen Barbe (Bel) Crelan-Euphony at 2:52.

Some Tro-Bro Léon action:

Tour du Finistère 2013
Cyril Gautier (Europcar) outsprinted Frederik Veuchelen (Vacansoleil-DCM) after the two had split an escape group that had broken away with 40 kilometres to go. With Gautier and Veuchelen was Anthony Geslin & Arnold Jeannesson (FDJ), Christophe Le Mével (Cofidis), Tim Declercq (Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise), Rémi Cusin (IAM), Florian Sénéchal (Etixx-Ihned). Earlier in the race Perrig Quéméneur & Armindo Fonseca (Europcar), Florian Guillou (Bretagne – Séché), Romain Hardy & Rudy Molard (Cofidis), Wouter Mol (Vacansoleil-DCM), Javier Aramendia (Caja Rural), Patrick Facchini (Androni Giocattoli), Yves Lampaert (Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise), Sébastien Reichenbach & Patrick Schelling (IAM Cycling), Julian Alaphilippe & Petr Vakoc (Etixx-Inhed) and Ignatas Konovalovas (MTN-Qhubeka) had made a good attempt to stay away, but as the race turned into a headwind they were pulled back for the winning break to go.

Tour du Finistère Result:
1. Cyril Gautier (Fra) Europcar
2. Frederik Veuchelen (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM
3. Anthony Geslin (Fra) FDJ at 0:03
4. Remi Cusin (Fra) IAM Cycling at 0:08
5. Arnold Jeannesson (Fra) FDJ at 0:13
6. Florian Senechal (Fra) ETixx-IHNED at 0:15
7. Tim Declercq (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise at 0:22
8. Christophe Le Mével (Fra) Cofidis at 0:38
9. Cédric Pineau (Fra) FDJ at 2:18
10. Yannick Martinez (Fra) La Pomme Marseille at 2:22.

The wet action from Finistère:

G.P. de Denain Porte du Hainaut 2013
Four escapees dominated the first half of the 199 kilometre long French one-day race, GP de Denain Porte du Hainaut where Peter Sagan (Cannondale) was the biggest favourite to win but the young Slovakian abandoned the race along the way.

With 11 kilometres to go, the remaining escapees were swept up by the chasing peloton and in the hectic bunch sprint; Arnaud Demare (FDJ) was the fastest of all. Unfortunately, Team Saxo-Tinkoff’s Japanese rider, Takashi Miyazawa did a good sprint finishing fifth:

“Actually, the plan was to support Johnny (Cantwell) in the expected bunch sprint decision but unfortunately, he crashed along the way and had to abandon the race pretty bruised up. Luckily, Takashi seized the moment, went to the front and was not afraid to sprint it out among the big sprinters and finishing fifth is a good result considering the circumstances,” said Team Saxo-Tinkoff’s Italian sports director, Fabrizio Guidi.
Thanks to the Saxo-Tinkoff team for the race info.

G.P. de Denain Porte du Hainaut Result:
1. Arnaud Demare (Fra) FDJ in 4:55:35
2. Bryan Coquard (Fra) Europcar
3. Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) FDJ
4. Benoit Drujon (Fra) Bigmat-Auber 93
5. Takashi Miyazawa (Jpn) Saxo-Tinkoff
6. Adrien Petit (Fra) Cofidis
7. Julien Duval (Fra) Roubaix Lille Métropole
8. Danilo Napolitano (Ita) Accent Jobs – Wanty
9. Barry Markus (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM
10. Benjamin Giraud (Fra) VC La Pomme Marseille.

G.P. de Denain Porte du Hainaut:

Pat McQuaid Nominated by Cycling Ireland
In a 6 to 1 vote by the Cycling Ireland board members, current UCI President Pat McQuaid was nominated for a third term in the top post. Previously to the vote the Irish board had been divided on whether or not it should nominate McQuaid, but after a long question and answers session between McQuaid and the board in a hotel near Dublin airport, the vote went his way. He promised the board that he “would raise with the UCI Management Committee certain concerns on governance issues which they would consider for tabling at the 2013 UCI Congress,” as stated in a Cycling Ireland press release. McQuaid has suggested that he would run for the presidency in 2017. Through the UCI McQuaid made this statement after the vote: “I have set an ambitious agenda to continue developing the sport and to ensure that it remains at the forefront of the fight against doping in sport,” he said in today’s statement. “I look forward to presenting myself for election with the support of my national federation and other federations worldwide.” At present no other candidates have been put forward, but as the UCI Presidential vote is not until September (normally at the World road championships) there is still time.

Armstrong Sells House
Last week Lance Armstrong was reported to have sold his estate in Austin, Texas for a reported $3.1 million. A spokesman for the Texan says he will be staying in Austin. This is a cycling web-site, not for real estate news.

David Letterman “Other Lance Armstrong Revelations” Top 10 on The Late Show:

Lotto Belisol: Tour Recon on Corsica
The 100th edition of the Tour de France will start on June 29 on Corsica. This French island will be the scenery of the first three stages. Sports director Herman Frison went to have a look in Corsica together with Jurgen Van den Broeck.

Herman Frison: “We did a reconnaissance of the first three stages of the next Tour. The first will probably end with a bunch sprint, like most people expect. The next two stages are a bit tougher. We did a recon of the final 30 kilometers of the first stage, 100 kilometers of stage 2 and of the third stage we did the whole recon. Jurgen didn’t have any nuisance anymore after his crash in the Vuelta al País Vasco.”

“The wind was coming from all sides on the island and there was much traffic, especially in cities like Ajaccio, Bastia and Calvi. Logistically it will be a huge job to bring all the material onto Corsica, everything has to come by boat: the cars, the truck, the bus. Now Jurgen will have a training camp at the Sierra Nevada and then he’ll ride the Tour de Romandie.”

Video of the 2013 Grand Départ in Corsica:

Now Kaikov Tests Positive
After Alexander Serebryakov was sacked by Eueskaltel-Euskadi last week for his positive out of competition drugs test, which has been confirmed as EPO, this week another Russian has returned a positive out of competition test. Valery Kaikov of Rusvelo was found to have GW1516 in his system. The UCI released this statement: “The decision to provisionally suspend this rider was made in response to a report from the WADA accredited laboratory in Köln indicating an Adverse Analytical Finding of metabolite GW1516 sulfone – Metabolic Modulator in a urine sample collected from him in an out of competition test on 17th March 2013. The provisional suspension of Mr. Valery Kaykov remains in force until a hearing panel convened by the Russian Cycling Federation determines whether he has committed an anti-doping rule violation under Article 21 of the UCI Anti-Doping Rules.” His Rusvelo team said: “Rusvelo team notes regretfully that the out-of-competition drugs test for rider Valery Kaikov gave a positive result. Immediately Kaikov´s contract with the Russian team has been terminated and UCI Administration has been notified about this incident.”

Marco Pinotti Makes Return At Trentino
Press Release: Marco Pinotti will return to action for the first time since a high speed crash knocked him out of the Tour Méditerranéan when the BMC Racing Team begins the Giro del Trentino on Tuesday.

Evans Preparing For Giro d’Italia
Pinotti broke two ribs and his left collarbone during the Stage 2 individual time trial at the Tour Méditerranéan on Feb. 7. The five-time Italian national time trial champion said he has been training for six weeks to rebuild his base condition. “I guess I’m halfway in the recovery process,” he said. “Having been sidelined four-and-a-half weeks, I need about 12-13 weeks to get back to my former level.” Pinotti said his aim for the five-stage, four-day race is two-fold. “The goal is to get a good block of volume and intensity, getting the right amount of fatigue I need to keep building my condition,” he said. “Achieving that, while also helping the team, would be ideal.” Cadel Evans said the race is an important part of his preparation for the Giro d’Italia. “I look forward to racing on long and hard climbs in a good field,” he said. “I just want to be able to ride well with the team and use it to get ready for the Giro d’Italia.” Assistant Director Fabio Baldato said one aim will be the Stage 2 team time trial. “Last year, we won it with Taylor Phinney and Alessandro Ballan and we have strong riders again with Evans, Pinotti and Sebastian Lander,” Baldato said. “We will do a training camp for it on Monday to try to be ready to make our best result.”

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

BMC Racing Team Giro del Trentino roster (April 16-19):
Adam Blythe (GBR), Yannick Eijssen (BEL), Cadel Evans (AUS), Martin Kohler (SUI), Sebastian Lander (DEN), Marco Pinotti (ITA), Ivan Santaromita (ITA), Larry Warbasse (USA).
Sport Directors: Fabio Baldato (ITA) & Jackson Stewart (USA).

Marco Pinotti in the 2012 Giro d’Italia stage 21:

Champion System’s Lewis, Traksel Out With Injuries
Press Release: The Champion System Pro Cycling Team will be without Craig Lewis and Bobbie Traksel for races next week due to injuries suffered recently in and out of competition.

Traksel underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right knee earlier this week after experiencing pain in some early-season races. Despite the discomfort, he still earned “most aggressive rider” honors at the Tour of Oman and finished third on Stage 2 of Driedaagse van West-Vlaanderen. “I had already had a few weeks of problems with my right knee and the most important part of the spring was over,” Traksel said. “It was a choice between surgery now or after the season. But to put it off any longer would have meant more problems and pain.”

Beamon said he hopes the 31-year-old Dutchman is able to return to competition in time for the Four Days of Dunkirk in early May. “It is disappointing because he ends up missing the races that are most important to him,” Beamon said. “This is especially tough because it is the part of the season where the weather really favors a guy like him.”

Lewis will be out for an undetermined amount of time after breaking his right elbow in a crash during Brabantse Pijl on Wednesday. “A crash happened to the left of me – maybe somebody overlapped a wheel or something,” Lewis said. “Gerald Ciolek went over the handlebars into me and I went over him. Everybody else landed on the pavement, but I landed on this one little stretch of cobblestones off the side of the road.”

Lewis had been slated to start the Giro del Trentino next week. Beamon said it is difficult to predict when the 27-year-old American will be able to return to action. Lewis’s right arm is in a 90-degree cast for the next three weeks, making it impossible to train.

“It’s a pretty big bummer because he was an important guy for Trentino and a really important guy for the Amgen Tour of California,” Beamon said.

A two-time Under 23 national champion, Lewis knows well the path back from injury. In 2004, he broke more than 40 bones when he was hit by a car in the Tour de Georgia. In 2011, he crashed and broke his left femur at the Giro d’Italia.

“My whole spring is a wash now,” he said. “At least I can be fresh coming into the summer and fall and hopefully will be able to show myself then.”

Champion System, Asia’s first and only pro continental team, will not replace Traskel for a pair of weekend races in France: Tour du Finistère on Saturday and Tro-Bro Léon on Sunday. Filling out the seven-man roster will be Clinton Avery, Matthias Friedemann, Mart Ojavee, Ryan Roth, Fabian Schnaidt, Wang Yip Tang and Kin San Wu.

Lewis will be replaced on the Giro del Trentino roster by either Ryan Roth or Kin San Wu, Beamon said. The rest of the roster is set:
Chad Beyer, Chris Butler, Gregor Gazvoda, Korean national road champion Chan Jia Jang, Japanese time trial champion Ryota Nishizono, Adiq Othman and Chinese national road champion Gang Xu. The four-day, five-stage race in Italy begins Tuesday.

Bobby Traksel wins Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne:

Bozic Also Side-Lined
Astana’s Slovenian National champion; Borut Bozic crashed during Paris-Roubaix and had to abandon, he was later treated by the race doctor, but realised on the plane home that things were not good with his wrist. After his wife picked him up at the airport she took him to hospital for x-rays where a break was found. On the Wednesday he underwent surgery and had metal pins inserted in a complicated break.

Borut Bozic wins Stage 5 of the Tour de Suisse 2011:

1987 Tour de France winner, Stephen Roche, finishes the Absa Cape Epic
HotChillee’s three teams triumph in the Absa Cape Epic, jointly celebrating ten years of HotChillee on the road and 10 years of the untamed mountain bike race.

Press Release: Stephen Roche and his fellow HotChillee teammates, including HotChillee’s founder Sven Thiele have successfully completed the gruelling eight day untamed mountain bike race, the Absa Cape Epic.

The 1987 World Champ, Tour de France and Giro d’Italia winner, rode as part of the three teams HotChillee sent to compete in the eight-day, untamed African Mountain Bike Race. This was part of a joint celebration of HotChillee’s The London-Paris and the Absa Cape Epic’s ten-year anniversaries.

The three HotChillee teams consisted of Stephen Roche, Sven Thiele, HotChillee’s Ride Captains, Dane Walsh and Craig Edwards and HotChillee guests, Alan Banks and Jan Joubert. They lined up at the start-line with 1,200 other riders from 41 different countries to embark on the challenge of a lifetime. Unfortunately only 496 teams managed to reach the finish, but all HotChillee teams were successful.

Craig Edwards and Dane Walsh on the HotChillee-Infinity team came 50th overall in a time of 37 hours 20 minutes and 55 seconds. Team HotChillee Adrenaline Junkies, with Alan Banks and Jan Joubert came in 411th, and Stephen Roche and Sven Thiele came 31st in their category with an overall finish of 308th in a time of 49 hours 22 minutes and 22.5 seconds.

The 10th edition of the Absa Cape Epic started at Meerendal Wine Estate in Durbanville and finished at Lourensford Wine Estate in Somerset West. Between the two wine estates the scenery was as varied as it was breathtaking. From a mountain bike track, you experience unseen views. One minute riders were on arid tracks, the next weaving through luscious vegetation and vineyards.

Roche says: “Getting to the finish was a real feat of endurance. They don’t call this the untamed mountain bike race for nothing. It saw me reach new highs and lows on a bike, and forced me to dig to the deepest parts both mentally and physically. It’s also left me with a few bruises and an aversion to sand. But most importantly I have an overwhelming sense that, with my teammate Sven Thiele, we have conquered the world’s toughest mountain bike race. The organisation was second to none and the scenery outstanding. It’s one for any cyclist’s to-do list.”

Sven Thiele, founder of HotChillee says: “At this time of year, South Africa becomes a haven for cyclists. There’s a handful of incredible events, including The Cape Argus Pick n Pay Cycle Tour, HotChillee’s Cape Rouleur, the Nashua Grape Escape and not least the Absa Cape Epic. Mountain biking in South Africa is an incredible experience. It was tough, but that’s the point and the organisers have created an event that every cyclist will aspire to.”

The HotChillee Cape Epic MTB teams’ sponsors include: The Bicycle Company for Trek MTB Bikes and Bontrager components, add-ons and Service Corp; PowerBar for nutrition; Hertz for vehicles; Continental for tyres and LeMarq for clothing.

Probably the best bit of Stephen Roche action ever. His amazing comeback against Pedro Delgado at La Plagne in the 1987 Tour de France:

Wiggins-Nibali-Evans leading the field in Trentino; Pozzovivo and Pellizotti Looking to Disrupt their plans
Press Release: A top-quality edition of the Giro del Trentino is starting in Lienz on Tuesday, with an outstanding 143-rider starting list including the two most recent winners of the Tour de France, Cadel Evans and Bradley Wiggins.

UCI 2.HC 37th Giro del Trentino will represent a key juncture of the season particularly for those riders looking for momentum ahead of the Pink challenge for the Giro d’Italia.

The most expected rider at the start in 2013 is Sir Bradley Wiggins: Team Sky’s leader will be backed by Italian national time trial champion Dario Cataldo and talented prospect Joe Dombrowski in his challenge against some of his main rivals for both the fuchsia and the pink jersey: Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) and Cadel Evans (BMC Racing).

2008 Giro del Trentino winner and 2013 Tour de France third placed Nibali will lead a strong team, relying on domestique Paolo Tiralongo for the most demanding stages. Evans looks still in pursuit of the best condition, but can’t be counted out of contention on Trentino roads.

Wiggins, Nibali and Evans are certainly expected to be at the sharp end when the race comes to its core, but a bunch of valuable opponents will look for a major upset on the world stage: take Domenico Pozzovivo (Ag2r La Mondiale), surprise winner in 2012, or another past winner like Ivan Basso, leading Cannondale Pro Cycling line-up, also including sprinter Elia Viviani. In addition, Lampre-Merida captain Michele Scarponi will definitely make a run for Trentino’s title, looking at Polish Przemyslaw Niemec, for a key contribution on mountain routes.

Farnese Vini-Selle Italia’s Stefano Garzelli completes the field of former GT winners: in his final participation to the Giro del Trentino, the Italian veteran will be sided by Matteo Rabottini, Mauro Santambrogio and Oscar Gatto, who showed up consistently in Cobbles classics.

Trentino will recall good memories in Franco Pellizotti’s mind, after Androni Giocattoli-Venezuela’s leader landed the spoils in the Italian national road championship in Valsugana (Trentino) no more than 10 months ago. The Tricolore champion will try to find his stage-race rhythm, seizing the opportunity to compete with some of the strongest riders in the world and Giro rivals after several years.

Combative Team Colombia field will be led by Fabio Duarte, while Polish CCC Polsat-Polkowice will make its comeback to Trentino after a year with evergreen Davide Rebellin at the helm. Europcar’s French climber Pierre Rolland is going to show his quality in Trentino after winning Tour de France’s Alpe d’Huez uphill finish two years ago.

Things get started on Monday, April 15th, when Giro del Trentino’s most expected characters – Wiggins, Nibali and Cadel Evans – will attend the official press conference in Lienz. In the afternoon, team’s preliminary operations will be run at the race permanence.

37th Giro del Trentino programme and Eurosport TV coverage:
Tuesday 16 April Stage1/A Lienz-Lienz, km 128,5 Delayed (17/4) 12:30-13:30 CET.
Stage1/B Cronosquadre Lienz, km 14,1
Wednesday 17 April Stage 2 Sillian-Vetriolo Terme, km 224,8 Live 13:30-15:00 CET.
Thursday 18 April Stage3 Pergine Valsugana- Condino (Valle del Chiese), km 176,1 Live 14:30-16:00 CET.
Friday 19 April Stage4 Arco-Sega di Ala, km 166,8 Live 14:30-16:00 CET.
Teams’ list: Ag2r La Mondiale; Astana Pro Team; BMC Racing Team; Cannondale Pro Cycling; Lampre-Merida; SKY Pro Cycling; Team Europcar; Androni Giocattoli – Venezuela; Bardiani Valvole – CSF Inox; Team Colombia; Vini Fantini – Selle Italia; Caja Rural – Seguros RGA; CCC Polsat Polkowice; Champion System Pro Cycling Team; MTN – Qhubeka; Team Netapp – Endura; Rusvelo; Ceramica Flaminia – Fondriest.

Giro del Trentino 2013 trailer:

Pardilla Motivated For Giro Del Trentino
Press Release: Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung will start the Giro Del Trentino on Tuesday 16 April. Africa’s first Professional Continental team is relishing the opportunity to race against some of the biggest names in the sport as many riders use the hilly Italian race as their last build up towards the Giro d’Italia. The race has attracted a star-studded line up which includes Tour de France Champion, Bradley Wiggins, Cadel Evans and Vincenzo Nibali.

Sergio Pardilla will lead the team at the event. His best performance previously in the race was third on stage four and sixth overall in 2010.

“This is the third time I will ride this race,” Pardilla said. “It’s a race that I really like. It is a hard and attractive tour that suits my conditions. I’ve always done well in this race and I would like the chance to win a stage and do well overall. The rivals are very good, but we’ll go with a great team and aspire to the fullest.”

Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung will be sending a mixture of experience and youth to the race to support Pardilla. “Like many of our races this year in Europe, the main goal of our team is to grow and learn and gain experience,” said directeur sportif, Kevin Campbell. “The best way for our young riders to learn is to rub shoulders with some of the best riders in the peloton, but we will also be doing our best to get a good result for the team. The younger riders will be supporting Sergio and hopefully also have opportunities to perform on individual stages. Our team showed in Malaysia that we have some exciting young climbing talent and Sergio will be well supported. As this is one of the final warm up events before the Giro we know the top riders on all the other teams will be close to top form. We will have our work cut out for us to get any results, but I am confident we will be in the thick of the action everyday.”

The race will also be the first competition Tsgabu Grmay and Louis Meintjes will face in Europe this season. So far both riders have finished in the top ten of every race they’ve participated in, including Grmay winning a stage of the Tour de Taiwan and Meintjes the road and ITT u23 national titles in the South African Championships. Recently they finished second and fourth overall, respectively, in the Tour de Taiwan.

The first day of racing will feature a double stage. A road stage over 129km will be raced in the morning before a team time trial of 14.1km in the afternoon. Following that will be three mountainous days with one stage finishing on a category one climb, and the last day finishing on an out of category climb with an 8% gradient. The race is a total of 713km.

Giro Del Trentino (Italy) – (April 16-19 / 2.HC):
Jacques Janse van Rensburg (RSA), Johann van Zyl (RSA), Meron Russon (ERI), Louis Meintjes (RSA), Sergio Pardilla (SPA), Songezo Jim (RSA), Tsgabu Grmay (ETH), Youcef Reguigui (ALG).

Giro del Trentino presentation 2013:

Team Colombia faces top-class challenge at Giro del Trentino
Press Release: Just three weeks to the Giro d’Italia, Colombia is about to tackle a special race to the team, for different reasons. It was Trentino to welcome Claudio Corti’s guys in their first winter concentration last term, and 2012 Giro del Trentino saluted the Escarabajos’ first win, with Darwin Atapuma raising hands atop the Pass Pordoi.

Team Colombia went back to Garda Trentino, in Arco, in January to get things started in the season, and is now going to Giro del Trentino’s start in Lienz, Austria, looking for important feedbacks over the four days of racing (April 16-19), particularly in a Giro d’Italia perspective.

Trentino will mark Fabio Duarte and Jarlinson Pantano comeback to competitive racing after three weeks of altitude training in their home Country. Team Colombia’s climbers will land in Milan along with Darwin Atapuma on Sunday April 14th, ready to lead the 8-man line-up directed by Valerio Tebaldi and Oliverio Rincon.

At the start in Lienz, they will be joined by Leonardo Duque and Carlos Julian Quintero, came out of Circuit La Sarthe with good momentum, Marco Corti, Jeffry Romero, Michael Rodriguez and Juan Pablo Suarez.

Sports Director Tebaldi hopes more joys are coming for the Team in Trentino, while being aware that the race organized by GS Alto Garda will be attended by some of the strongest man out of the gate at the Giro d’Italia as well: “It’s going to be a crucial juncture: we are adding Duarte and Pantano back to the line-up, and they will face a number of top-notch opponents straight away. I expect a lot from the whole team: I want to see attention and commitment to seize every opportunity as it presents itself.”

Giro del Trentino (April 16-19) Line-up:
Marco Corti, Fabio Duarte, Leonardo Duque, Jarlinson Pantano, Carlos Julian Quintero, Michael Rodriguez, Jeffry Romero, Juan Pablo Suarez.
Sports Directors: Valerio Tebaldi, Oliverio Rincon.

Colombia Training Camp: on the way to Sega di Ala:

6,000 Cyclists Expected to Ride the 3rd Annual Campagnolo Gran Fondo New York
Press Release: 6,000 Cyclists Expected to Ride in Italian-Style Race through New York and New Jersey in the 3rd Annual Campagnolo Gran Fondo New York Challenging 105-mile Course Announced for the Premier International Cycling Event; Third Annual NYC Bike Expo to Take Place that Weekend (New York, NY – April 11, 2013) Today, Campagnolo Gran Fondo New York announced the course for its challenging and scenic 105-mile race in the New York/New Jersey region on May 19th. Riders will begin on the New York City side of the iconic George Washington Bridge and wind through the course in New York State and New Jersey that extends up to Bear Mountain State Park, with a finish line at the Port Imperial Ferry Terminal in Weehawken, New Jersey.

More than 6,000 cyclists from over 70 countries including the United States, Italy, United Kingdom, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Russia, Jamaica, Israel, and Poland, among others, will gear up for the third annual Campagnolo Gran Fondo New York, a competitive cycling event based on the popular Italian racing style and the only one of its kind in the New York/New Jersey region.

“The New York/New Jersey area offers cyclists a challenging, dramatic and scenic racing experience building on the already thriving cycling culture in the metropolitan area,” said organizer Lidia Fluhme. “We are very excited about this year’s race and the overwhelming interest we have had from the international and local cycling community.”

After successful and internationally acclaimed races in 2011 and 2012, Campagnolo Gran Fondo New York 2013 continues to grow bringing positive cultural and economic impact to the region.

“As a member of the Italian-American Caucus of the New York City Council, I commend Campagnolo Gran Fondo New York for its positive promotion of Italian traditions and culture in New York City,” said New York City Councilmember James F. Gennaro. “Also, this elite sporting event embodies the worthy goals of open space, healthy lifestyles and cycling, all important to New York City’s public policy priorities. Additionally, it showcases New York City as the global capital for competitive sports.”

Consul General of Italy in NY Natalia Quintavalle said, “Italy’s Gran Fondos are beloved local institutions that bring excitement and a competitive spirit to the cities where they take place. I know that Gran Fondo New York brings that same Italian world-class sporting excellence to the New York area. Cycling is an integral part of Italian sports and culture and I am particularly glad that it will be emphasized in 2013, both in the US where we are celebrating the year dedicated to Italian Culture and, in Tuscany, Italy, where the cycling world championships will be held.”

The race is a challenging 100-mile timed route from the start on the George Washington Bridge, to Bear Mountain, to Fort Lee. After that, the last five miles to the Weehawken finish point are “neutralized” or non-timed. The course highlight is the scenic and rigorous Bear Mountain or “Montagna del’Orso.” Riders will get a boost from cheering spectators in the new fan zones in downtown Haverstraw (NY), at Provident Bank Park in Pomona (NY) and in downtown Fort Lee (NJ).

“The race is a win-win partnership. While riders are able to enjoy the fantastic scenery and challenging climbs that has long drawn avid cyclists to the Garden State, the local economy benefits from riders staying in New Jersey hotels and frequenting local businesses. I hope this Gran Fondo continues to elevate its status and bring more elite competitive racing to New Jersey in the future,” said Wayne Hasenbalg, President, New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority.

The finish line festivities will take place along the Hudson River at the scenic Port Imperial Ferry Terminal. Campagnolo Gran Fondo New York has partnered with New York Waterway to create an exciting finish experience for riders, their families and friends on the waterfront. Ferries will be available to take riders and spectators back to New York City.

“We recognize that it is a privilege to stage an event of this magnitude in the New York-New Jersey metropolitan area,” said Ulrich Fluhme of Campagnolo Gran Fondo New York. “The extraordinary effort and support of the municipalities along the route, the various government agencies in New York and New Jersey and especially local police forces managing the safety aspect for riders and spectators, truly makes this event a success. We plan the race each year recognizing the costs involved with this exceptional support.”

The event draws a spectrum of cycling enthusiasts including CEOs, persons with visual impairments, amputees, fire fighters, police officers, and even several cycling champions. The top three men and
women will take home prizes, as well as top riders in specific categories including male and female age groups and teams. Prizes include Pinarello race bikes with Campagnolo components, Selle San Marco GFNY saddles, Limar GFNY helmets, Mavic race shoes and more.

In addition to the race, Campagnolo Gran Fondo New York is organizing the Third Annual New York City Bike Expo. The event will take place at the Penn Plaza Pavilion, located across the street from Madison Square Garden, on May 17-18 from 11am-8pm. Campagnolo Gran Fondo New York sponsors, including Campagnolo, Biemme, PowerBar, and ELITE, will be on hand to showcase their latest products. The expo is a stand-alone event that is open to the public and successfully draws additional visitors to New York City.

Campagnolo Gran Fondo New York continues its partnership for the second year with Operation Smile, an international children’s medical charity that provides funding for essential medical procedures that help children born with facial deformities in over 60 countries. Operation Smile will serve as the official charity of the 2013 Gran Fondo New York. Participants are able to raise money for Operation Smile and receive special benefits. To learn more about Operation Smile and Gran Fondo New York’s partnership, please visit: www.operationsmile.org/granfondo.

The race course can be viewed here: www.granfondony.com/course. Gran Fondo New York has also teamed up with PowerBar and Bicycling Magazine to present the 2013 Campagnolo Gran Fondo New York course in a video:

An African Bicycle Dream Mini-Documentary
Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung is proud to launch, An African Bicycle Dream – Episode 1. The mini-documentary captured an African team participating in a WorldTour event for the first time. Wild card entries were awarded to Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung by RCS Sport for Tirreno-Adriatico and Milano-Sanremo. In a fairy tale ending, Africa’s first ever Professional Continental team went on to win the latter, the longest single day classic in world cycling.

In Het Wiel Van Eddy Merckx
I found this great little video the other day “In The Wheel Of Eddy Merckx” no explanation needed:


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