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EuroTrash Monday!

The Eneco Tour was a battle to the last inch and ex-World cross champ Zdenek Stybar took it to the line. We have all the results, comments and video to keep you up to date. TOP STORY: What’s the future for Bradley Wiggins? Also the Tour des Fjords brought a new young guy to the fore and you can read all about it in today’s EuroTrash. Monday morning coffee time!

TOP STORY: No More Tours for Wiggins?
During the Eneco Tour 2012 Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins told Dutch web-site; nusport.nl that he would probably not return to the Tour de France and that Chris Froome would dominate the Tour “for the next five years.” He also said he “would prefer my attention was back towards the track. This all came out after a disappointing 5th place in the 13.2 kilometre stage 5 individual time trial, where he finished 9 seconds slower than French national TT champion Sylvain Chavanel of Omega Pharma – Quick-Step. He did point out that he was disappointed and that “these distances are just too short for me. Besides, I think I could have been at a disadvantage because of my early start time and because of the wind getting calmer later.”

It looks like the short reign of Bradley Wiggins is over. If it was a long term plan it was very clever as last year’s Tour was made for the skills of the Belgian born Brit; long time trials and not too many steep summit finishes. Add to his Tour victory his Olympic time trial gold medal in London and he had a startlingly successful season. One big year becoming a hero in Britain with a knighthood thrown in for good measure.

So what does the future hold for Wiggins? Some short stage races, important time trials and track races, the pursuit/team pursuit, point’s race and the madison on the track could bring him some more Olympic, World, Commonwealth and National medals. Nice work if you can get it.

Vlijmen/Heusden- Netherlands - wielrennen - cycling - radsport -
Is it the end of the road…for both?

Eneco Tour 2013
The 169 kilometre Stage 4 of the Eneco Tour between Essen and Vlijmen was just like the previous stages ended with a hectic bunch sprint. Beforehand, Saxo-Tinkoff’s Matti Breschel launched a fierce attack with 7 kilometres to go as the peloton entered a cobblestone section. However, the Belkin team made sure the peloton remained complete and on the finish line in raging pace, German André Greipel (Lotto Belisol) was the fastest of all and took the stage.

With a third place in today’s stage Lars Boom seized the overall lead. Boom, in his hometown Vlijmen, placed behind sprinters Andre Greipel (Lotto Belisol) and Giacomo Nizzolo (Radioshack-Leopard).

“It’s fantastic to end up on the podium in your hometown,” explained Boom, who was greeted by a huge applause. “We passed my house at fifty meters and rode down the street of my in-laws; that gave me a real boost.” His third place in a bunch sprint was a surprise. Boom added, “It might have something to do with Vlijmen. I was really motivated to win here and take the white jersey.”

“We wanted to attack from the peloton in one of the last turns, but I was behind Jurgen Roelandts and he actually pulled so hard and long that I could just sit in his wheel and sprint normally. That was perfect.”

Stage winner André Greipel: “After yesterday’s stage I was a bit frustrated but now I’m very happy with the victory. We’ve tried three times and now we finally did it. Today we proved with the whole team that we really have a perfect lead out. My team mates prepared the sprint in every detail and it’s thanks to them I won. I felt some pressure to win today because we didn’t succeed in the previous stages. Now that I’ve won a stage in this Eneco Tour I’m of course very happy. At the moment I’m on the second place in the GC, at one second behind Lars Boom, but the GC is not my objective. Tomorrow there’s the time trial and there will be some hard stages this weekend which are not my cup of tea. Because of this victory I can say the Eneco Tour was successful for me.”

Looking ahead to Friday’s 13-kilometre time trial in Sittard-Geleen, Boom believes he is able to keep the white jersey. “It’s a fairly short and explosive stage, so that suits me. Moreover, there are some climbs in the beginning, and I like that. After the Tour I’m very strong uphill.”

Eneco Tour Stage 4 Result:
1. André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Belisol in 3:47:36
2. Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) RadioShack Leopard Trek
3. Lars Boom (Ned) Belkin
4. Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step
5. Alexander Porsev (Rus) Katusha
6. Tyler Farrar (USA) Garmin-Sharp
7. Jens Keukeleire (Bel) Orica-GreenEdge
8. Yauheni Hutarovich (Blr) Ag2r-La Mondiale
9. Elia Viviani (Ita) Cannondale
10. Christopher Sutton (Aus) Sky.

Eneco Tour Overall After Stage 4:
1. Lars Boom (Ned) Belkin in 16:06:15
2. André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Belisol at 0:01
3. Arnaud Demare (Fra) FDJ at 0:03
4. Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step at 0:06
5. Philippe Gilbert (Bel) BMC at 0:07
6. Tyler Farrar (USA) Garmin-Sharp at 0:09
7. Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step at 0:13
8. Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) RadioShack Leopard Trek at 0:15
9. Taylor Phinney (USA) BMC at 0:17
10. Pieter Jacobs (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise.

Stage 3:

Omega Pharma – Quick-Step Cycling Team rider Sylvain Chavanel, in his French TT Champion skinsuit, won the 13.2km Eneco Tour Stage 5 ITT on Friday by 4 seconds. Chavanel also moved himself up to 2nd in the GC, just four seconds behind current leader Lars Boom (Belkin).

Chavanel finished with a time of 16’04”, besting both Tom Dumoulin (Argos-Shimano) and Jesse Sergent (Radioshack-Leopard) by four seconds.

Lars Boom will start the tough final weekend of the 2013 Eneco Tour as GC leader. “I gave everything I had,” said Boom, who acknowledged he made errors. “I’m pleased with the first part of my ride, but in the second section, I lost a lot of time. But that’s how it is, I know couldn’t have gone any faster.”

On Saturday and Sunday the peloton faces two hard stages in Belgium. Boom knows the stakes. “Last year I wasn’t in the lead after the TT and I still managed to win the overall. It’s different now because I have to defend the jersey, but tomorrow is a new day and I’ll do my utmost best,” Boom said. “Nevertheless, it’s always good to have the jersey already.”

During the two toughest days of the Eneco Tour, Boom can count on five team-mates. After Theo Bos abandoned on Thursday with sore buttocks, Mark Renshaw – winner of the first stage – dropped out of the race today. The Australian is suffering from a viral infection in combination with a flu. “Of course I’m going to miss Theo and Mark,” said Boom, who knows the importance of his teammates. “They definitely would’ve done some important work for me.” Boom remains optimistic. He’s been strong all week and knows it’s every man for himself on La Redoute.

“My objective was to try to win,” Chavanel said. “There were a lot of good time trialists here, but honestly I was stressed waiting for Lars Boom at the finish line, but fortunately everything went well. This is my third TT win after Driedaagse van de Panne and the National Championship so I’m really happy, even more because the level of the competitors was really high. For me the parcour was perfect — really technical with a lot of corners. After the recon this morning I understood that I could have won, so I stayed focused on the race and I made it.”

“Now I’m second in the GC,” Chavanel continued. “I said since the beginning that in the first stages it would have been important to not lose any seconds. I managed to stay always in the front, I did a good time trial, and now I’m looking forward to the next two stages. I’m in good condition and I really would like to do well in this race where I was already second twice; 2012 and 2009. But we also have Stybar in good GC position, after his victory in Stage 3 and a good performance in the ITT today. We also have Niki Terpstra, who knows this race really well. We have a good collective and because of that we can also play tactically.”

Team Saxo-Tinkoff’s Daniele Bennati and Manuele Boaro both crossed the finish line in the top of the rankings on today’s 13.2 kilometre long time trial in Eneco Tour starting in Sittard to finish in Geleen in Holland.

Saxo-Tinkoff DS, Tristan Hoffman is now looking forward to a trying weekend in Belgium: “Both Manuele and Daniele put in a good effort and were in a very good position crossing the finish line but later on, there were simply guys who were stronger. It’s going to be a pretty tough weekend as we take on a hilly stage tomorrow in Belgium meeting up with La Redoute. Sunday, the race is concluded with another spring classic profile passing climbs such as Tenbosse and Bosberg where we’ll try to make an impact on the race,” stated Saxo-Tinkoff’s Tristan Hoffman.

Eneco Tour Stage 5 Result:
1. Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Omega Pharma-Quick-Step in 16:04
2. Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Argos-Shimano at 0:04
3. Jesse Sergent (NZl) RadioShack Leopard
4. Sebastian Langeveld (Ned) Orica-GreenEdge at 0:06
5. Bradley Wiggins (GB) Sky at 0:09
6. Taylor Phinney (USA) BMC at 0:11
7. Vladimir Gusev (Rus) Katusha at 0:14
8. Lieuwe Westra (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM at 0:17
9. Andriy Grivko (Ukr) Astana at 0:18
10. Lars Boom (Ned) Belkin at 0:20.

Eneco Tour Overall After Stage 5:
1. Lars Boom (Ned) Belkin in 16:22:39
2. Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step at 0:04
3. Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Argos-Shimano at 0:08
4. Taylor Phinney (USA) BMC
5. Sebastian Langeveld (Ned) Orica-GreenEdge at 0:10
6. Philippe Gilbert (Bel) BMC at 0:18
7. Andriy Grivko (Ukr) Astana at 0:23
8. Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step at 0:24
9. Vladimir Gusev (Rus) Katusha at 0:25
10. Ian Stannard (GB) Sky at 0:26.

Stage 5 TT:

The 150 kilometre penultimate Stage 6 on Saturday was a very hilly stretch from Riemst to Aywaille where an 11 man breakaway worked up a gap of more than 5 minutes before the peloton with the Belkin team at the front reacted by picking up the pace significantly.

The finale circuit offered no less than three climbs of the famous Cote de La Redoute where the peloton exploded to bits. The front group shattered completely but David Lopez (Sky) hung on and after a series of attacks, he was the first to cross the finish line on Redoute ahead of Zdenek Stybar (Omega Pharma – Quick-Step) and Maciej Paterski (Cannondale).

Tom Dumoulin (Argos-Shimano) managed to slip into a counter attack and had enough of a gap to take the overall lead as Lars Boom (Belkin) dropped from 1st to 16th over 2 minutes down.

A crash during Saturday’s stage of the Eneco Tour of Benelux forced BMC Racing Team’s Taylor Phinney to immediately withdraw, while teammate Philippe Gilbert continued on and finished. But the world road champion will be unable to start Sunday’s final stage due to a deep cut on his left knee that required stitches, BMC Racing Team Dr. Giovanni Ruffini said.

Phinney – who had been sitting fourth overall, eight seconds off the lead – said he also landed hard on his left knee in the crash that took down several teammates and at least a dozen riders. The pile-up happened about 60 kilometers from the end of the 150-km race. “The team was all lined up on the right, trying to move up and the crash happened in front of all of us,” Phinney said. “It started with Alessandro Petacchi and Gabriel Rasch and sort of dominoed out into the middle of the road.” Phinney, who was also involved in a crash Wednesday on Stage 3, said he initially tried to continue. “But I couldn’t bend my leg. It was too painful,” he said. Ruffini said an X-ray performed on Phinney’s knee revealed nothing broken, but Gilbert’s injury was more serious. “Like Taylor, there was no problem with Philippe’s tendons or muscle, but he needed some stitches,” Ruffini said. “He will have to stay quiet for four days.”

Assistant Director Yvon Ledanois credited Gilbert’s teammates for helping the 2011 Eneco Tour runner-up regain the peloton and eventually finish 22nd, 1:37 behind stage winner David Lopez (Sky), who survived out of an original 11-man breakaway. “It was a lot of work for the team, basically a 60-kilometer time trial,” Ledanois said. “It was a good job by all of them to group around him after the crash.”

Team Saxo-Tinkoff’s Matti Breschel and Karsten Kroon were seen at the front of the chase group until the final 20 kilometres of the stage: “It was a very demanding course today finishing on Redoute and I think the gaps in today’s classification say it all. We tried to put Matti in a good position for the finale and Karsten was with him for a long before the war really kicked off. We did our best and the guys just didn’t have it in their legs today. Tomorrow, we are going in to the countryside of Vlaandern and we hope for a good result,” said DS, Tristan Hoffman after the stage.

Eneco Tour Stage 6 Result:
1. David Lopez Garcia (Spa) Sky in 3:51:13
2. Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step at 0:02
3. Maciej Paterski (Pol) Cannondale
4. Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Argos-Shimano at 0:03
5. Jan Bakelants (Bel) RadioShack Leopard Trek
6. Angel Madrazo Ruiz (Spa) Movistar
7. Lieuwe Westra (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM
8. Daryl Impey (RSA) Orica-GreenEdge
9. Nick Nuyens (Bel) Garmin-Sharp at 0:12
10. Arnold Jeannesson (Fra) FDJ.

Eneco Tour Overall After Stage 6:
1. Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Argos-Shimano in 20:14:03
2. Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step at 0:09
3. Andriy Grivko (Ukr) Astana at 0:24
4. Jan Bakelants (Bel) RadioShack Leopard Trek at 0:29
5. Daryl Impey (RSA) Orica-GreenEdge
6. Lieuwe Westra (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM at 0:37
7. Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step at 0:50
8. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Belkin at 1:07
9. Pieter Weening (Ned) Orica-GreenEdge at 1:16
10. Maxim Iglinskiy (Kaz) Astana at 1:33.

Stage 6:

Omega Pharma – Quick-Step Cycling’s Zdenek Stybar saw the perfect moment to go for the double victory in the 208kilometre Stage 7 on Sunday. Manuele Boaro (Saxo-Tinkoff) shared the work in the long-lasting breakaway with André Greipel (Lotto Belisol) and Giacomo Nizzolo (Radioshack Leopard) and there was a good chance of their teams not leading the chase as usual. But Orica-GreenEdge wanted to bring the escapees back and as the lead was down to two minutes with 50 kilometres remaining, the odds were clearly against the front group. André Greipel, Ian Stannard (Sky) and Pim Ligthart wanted to prolong their stay in the limelight and they jumped away from the group. However, the Sky rider was the strongest of the trio as he dropped Greipel on the Bosberg to continue on his own trying to deny the minimized field chasing from behind.

With only five kilometres remaining, Zdenek Stybar (Omega Pharma – Quick-Step) bridged the gap to Stannard and dropped him on the uphill finish, Kapelmuur in Geraardsbergen to take the stage win and the overall as well.

“This is one of the best days of my life,” Stybar said. “I am really happy and it is like a dream for me to come there to Eneco Tour to win two stages, almost three, and the GC. Today the stage wasn’t so easy, but when Chava went away with small group on the Kwaremont I said ‘OK perfect, I have to only to stay on wheels and see what’s happened. But when we caught the group, I understood probably I had a chance to win Eneco Tour. I knew the last climb, Denderoordberg, was really hard. To me it was the only way to go for the win. It wasn’t in my head to wait for the final sprint so I decided it was everything or nothing on the climb. I tried my maximum and I did it. When I went, a few kilometres after my attack I found Stannard in front. I really didn’t know he was there. It was really great to find a rider like him. We worked well together — to be honest even he would have deserved the victory. But when I was there I was only focused and concentrated on gaining seconds for the GC, so I really went for it. Until the last meters I went a block for the GC.”

Stybar noted that his success at the Eneco Tour has been a far cry from his first moments recovering after surgery.

“It’s really a big step for me after a very hard period, a lot of time alone in training,” Stybar said. “Now I am happy. I have to thank my family, my girlfriend and the team who was always near me. To me it’s like a surprise, to be the winner of this race. But I was probably fresher than other riders at this moment. I didn’t ride the tour, but I think everything happens for a reason. It’s the motto of my life. I had a little bad luck at the beginning of the season, and probably without this injury I would have rode the Tour. But I didn’t so now I am fresh and the bad luck is away, so I am happy.”

“All that has happened during this week is because of my great team,” Stybar continued. “Everybody in the team gave me a big help and big morale. I have to also thank Alessandro Petacchi, my roommate. He really believed in me and during the week he really motivated me in the room and that’s really important for me. Also tactically we had a great week. We didn’t do any mistakes and are really celebrating this victory.”

Stybar takes the success at the Eneco Tour as good motivation for the next races.

“Now my next race will be the Vuelta,” Stybar said. “I will try to do my best. I go there with ambition to try and win a stage, help the team and enjoy the good shape I have at this moment. This week I will try to stay concentrated. Even the TTT is really important and I will try my best to give my contributions for the team.”

The Belkin Pro Cycling Team set other goals with the overall win out of reach in the Eneco Tour’s final stage today. Reigning champion Lars Boom placed third in Geraardsbergen and thus succeeded in his mission to defeat André Greipel for the red points jersey.

Boom and Greipel started the stage with an equal amount of points. When the German Lotto Belisol rider found his way into a breakaway, things were not looking good for Boom, but the Dutchman showed grinta and muscled away 22 points with third place. Greipel only collected 21.

“This feels like a consolation prize,” said Boom. “All week, I’ve been riding for the overall victory but unfortunately I couldn’t follow yesterday. I wanted to defend my jersey and think I did quite well, but you could say that a bad day cost me the overall.”

Wilco Kelderman concluded the Eneco Tour with seventh place in both the final stage and the GC. Sports Director, Nico Verhoeven thinks Kelderman could have ended up higher with a bit of luck. Verhoeven said, “It’s too bad that when Wilco attacked only Chavanel (Omega Pharma – Quick-Step) and Oss (BMC) bridged.”

Kelderman came away satisfied with his position in the GC. “This is a nice top ten place,” Kelderman explained. “My legs felt good all week, but only yesterday and today it paid off. In the first few days, I lost some time needlessly. That’s a pity, although it’s a good lesson. In the future, I hope to come back here. If I improve myself a bit, I could fight for the win, but that also depends on what races I’ll be riding in years to come.”

As Team Saxo-Tinkoff’s Manuele Boaro demonstrated good form in front of the pack, teammate Daniele Bennati had the misfortune of crashing at the beginning of the stage: “We entered a roundabout in high pace and unfortunately, I slipped and crashed and I wasn’t able to continue because of the deep wound that caused a lot of bleeding. Luckily, I suffered no fractures and my wounds on my right elbow were patched up with a dozen stitches afterwards. But it’s nothing serious and I hope to be back racing very soon,” said Saxo-Tinkoff’s Bennati.

Eneco Tour Stage 7 Result:
1. Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step in 5:00:03
2. Ian Stannard (GB) Sky at 0:04
3. Lars Boom (Ned) Belkin at 0:12
4. Manuel Quinziato (Ita) BMC at 0:14
5. Pieter Weening (Ned) Orica-GreenEdge at 0:17
6. Daryl Impey (RSA) Orica-GreenEdge at 0:25
7. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Belkin
8. Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Argos-Shimano
9. Filippo Pozzato (Ita) Lampre-Merida
10. Laurens De Vreese (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise.

Eneco Tour Final Overall Result:
1. Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step in 25:14:05
2. Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Argos-Shimano at 0:26
3. Andriy Grivko (Ukr) Astana at 0:50
4. Jan Bakelants (Bel) RadioShack Leopard Trek at 0:55
5. Daryl Impey (RSA) Orica-GreenEdge
6. Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step at 1:20
7. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Belkin at 1:32
8. Pieter Weening (Ned) Orica-GreenEdge at 1:34
9. Maxim Iglinskiy (Kaz) Astana at 2:07
10. Maxime Monfort (Bel) RadioShack Leopard Trek at 2:14.

The final stage 7:

Tour des Fjords 2013
Great win for Sergey Chernetckii (Katusha) in Stage 1 of the “Tour des Fjords”, a UCI Europe Tour Norwegian competition, 2.1 category, in its first edition: the young Russian rider defeated the other riders in the breakaway and was able to wear the first leader’s jersey of this race. The stage, a 205 km long one from Valle-Setesdal to Stavanger, had its crucial moment with 25 km to go, a few kilometres after the daily breakaway was neutralized. Four riders counter-attacked: Teunissen (Rabobank), Waetyens (Topsport Vlaanderen), Nordhaug (Belkin) and Chernetckii himself. The group tried to chase the four but with no luck. In the last part, many attacks happened in the group ahead: first Nordhaug tried with 5 km to go, but Chernetckii was able to close his attempt. Then, the Russian rider made an incredible acceleration with 1,5 km to go, the others tried to answer, but the Katusha Team’s rider was able to resist and take a great win. Second place for Teunissen as Waetyens was third.

“I am really happy with today’s victory,” said Chernetckii, “it’s been a long time I’ve waited for it. Today the team’s strategy appointed Alexander Kristoff as the leader, because the stage was expected to be decided by a sprint, but in the end there were many attacks and I decided to enter the breakaway. First I thought I was going to be there to take it under control, but finally I tried for myself. I’m very satisfied with my performance also because it was a hard stage because of the cold and rainy weather, now I’ll do my best in order to keep the jersey.”

Tour des Fjords Stage 1 Result:
1. Sergey Chernetckii (Rus) Katusha in 5:19:35
2. Mike Teunissen (Ned) Rabobank Development Team at 0:17
3. Zico Waeytens (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise
4. Lars Petter Nordhaug (Nor) Belkin
5. Florian Senechal (Fra) Etixx – Ihned at 0:52
6. Jetse Bol (Ned) Belkin
7. Tom Van Asbroeck (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise
8. Stan Godrie (Ned) Rabobank Development Team
9. Rüdiger Selig (Ger) Katusha
10. Sep Vanmarcke (Bel) Belkin.

Tour des Fjords Overall After Stage 1:
1. Sergey Chernetckii (Rus) Katusha in 5:19:25
2. Mike Teunissen (Ned) Rabobank Development Team at 0:21
3. Zico Waeytens (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise at 0:23
4. Lars Petter Nordhaug (Nor) Belkin at 0:27
5. Florian Senechal (Fra) Etixx – Ihned at 1:02
6. Jetse Bol (Ned) Belkin
7. Tom Van Asbroeck (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise
8. Stan Godrie (Ned) Rabobank Development Team
9. Rüdiger Selig (Ger) Katusha
10. Sep Vanmarcke (Bel) Belkin.

Sergey Chernetckii on the podium. Photo: Katusha Team.

Another great victory for the Katusha Team in the Norwegian race after yesterday’s triumph by Sergey Chernetckii, Alexander Kristoff proved to be the fastest in the massive sprint that decided stage 2, 103 km long from Hjelmeland to Forsand.

Kristoff defeated Robert Wagner and Jetse Bol, both from Belkin team, respectively in second and third position.

In the general classification, Chernetckii still holds the leadership going into the third stage, a 24 kilometres long team time trial that will take place in the afternoon.

“Today I felt better than yesterday,” said Kristoff, “even if I’m still not in my top shape. In the last climb I suffered a lot, but after I was able to come back and take part to the final sprint. I’m happy, this victory is very important for me because it came at home, in front of my fans. The stage was very hard, our rivals attacked a lot and tried to change the situation in general classification. I think the team did a great job to help Sergey, and I’m glad that Katusha managed to keep the leader’s jersey too.”

Tour des Fjords Stage 2 Result:
1. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katushain 2:28:26
2. Robert Wagner (Ger) Belkin
3. Jetse Bol (Ned) Belkin
4. Tom Van Asbroeck (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise
5. Thor Hushovd (Nor) Norge-Norway
6. Stan Godrie (Ned) Rabobank Development Team
7. Florian Senechal (Fra) Etixx – Ihned
8. Kristian Sbaragli (Ita) MTN-Qhubeka
9. Matthias Friedemann (Ger) Champion System Pro Cycling Team
10. Daniel Hoelgaard (Nor) Etixx – Ihned.

Tour des Fjords Overall After Stage 2:
1. Sergey Chernetckii (Rus) Katusha in 7:47:51
2. Mike Teunissen (Ned) Rabobank Development Team at 0:21
3. Zico Waeytens (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise at 0:23
4. Lars Petter Nordhaug (Nor) Belkin at 0:27
5. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha at 0:56
6. Jetse Bol (Ned) Belkin at 1:00
7. David Tanner (Aus) Belkin
8. Sep Vanmarcke (Bel) Belkin
9. Robert Wagner (Ger) Belkin
10. Tom Van Asbroeck (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise.

Photo: Katusha Team.

Russian WorldTour Katusha Team took a great victory in the team time trial of 24 kilometre Stage 3 of Tour des Fjords in Stavanger.

Katusha was the last team from the start point with the overall leader Sergei Chernetckii. After 24 km Katusha had put in a strong performance with 28 minutes and 22 seconds, the best result for the stage. Second place took Belkin within 3 seconds of Katusha. The day’s podium was completed by Topsport-Vlaanderen, 20 seconds down.

After 3 stages Sergei Chernetckii is the current leader of the general classification with 30 seconds ahead of Lars Petter Nordhaug of Belkin. Besides, Chernetckii is the leader in the points classification and best young rider classification. Katusha leads in team’s classification as well.

“In first two stages the team worked very hard, so, of course, all are very tired. And today’s time trial was very tough. Anyway, we all are very happy with the victory, this result is very important for everyone. I am happy with the win and with the yellow jersey saved for the moment. Tomorrow we will have a very hard stage, but the team is ready to do all possible to win this race in general classification,” said Sergey Chernetckii.

In the 24-kilometer team time trial between Stavanger and Risavika, Belkin clocked a fast time and seemed on its way to victory, but Katusha, the last team to start, was just three seconds faster.

“This is very disappointing,” said Sports Director Jan Boven, who had hoped to win the race against the clock. “A team time trial is very honest, you ride the same parcours under the same conditions as your competitors. If you end up losing by three seconds that’s a bummer, but that means you’re just not good enough. It’s not a good feeling, especially when you already finished second earlier during the day.”

With one stage to go, Lars Petter Nordhaug still holds a solid position in the GC. Boven continued, “The guys from Katusha are very strong, but today we almost beat them and we’ll try again tomorrow.”

Tour des Fjords Stage 3 Result:
1. Katusha in 28:22
2. Belkin at 0:03
3. Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise at 0:19
4. Team Øster Hus – Ridley at 0:37
5. Rabobank Development Team at 0:49
6. Team CULT Energy at 0:50
7. Team Joker – Merida at 0:51
8. Champion System Pro Cycling Team at 1:11
9. Etixx – Ihned at 1:15
10. Ringeriks-Kraft Look at 1:24.

Tour des Fjords Overall After Stage 3:
1. Sergey Chernetckii (Rus) Katusha in 8:16:13
2. Lars Petter Nordhaug (Nor) Belkin at 0:30
3. Zico Waeytens (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise at 0:42
4. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha at 0:56
5. Marco Haller (Aut) Katusha at 1:02
6. David Tanner (Aus) Belkin at 1:03
7. Sep Vanmarcke (Bel) Belkin at 1:04
8. Robert Wagner (Ger) Belkin
9. Laurens Ten Dam (Ned) Belkin at 1:08
10. Mike Teunissen (Ned) Rabobank Development Team at 1:10.

Photo: Katusha Team.

In Stage 4: Sergey Cernetckii (Katusha), winner of the first stage, easily kept the leader’s jersey and won the final classification. Moreover his team mate Alexander Kristoff, winner of the second stage, was on the podium for final stage. The Norwegian sprinter was third, behind Angelo Tulik (Europcar) that won thanks to a solo attack quite close to the finish line, and Tom Van Asbroeck (Topsport Vlaanderen) was second.

The Katusha Team finished an incredible race, where its riders won the general classification and three out of four stages, including the third stage team time trial.

“Today I’m really happy for this victory,” said Chernetckii, “This is my first season as a pro, so it’s absolutely fantastic to get such a win. I want to thank all the team, all my teammates for the huge work they did everyday here in Norway: their help was crucial for this success. Today we had another hard stage with a lot of attacks from our rivals: but the team once again was perfect, keeping almost everything under control. We went very close to another stage victory with Alexander Kristoff, but it was an incredible weekend anyways. Now I’m going to take part to Coppa Agostoni, Coppa Bernocchi and Tre Valli, the so-called ‘Trittico Lombardo’, where I hope to take advantage of my shape and take another good result”.

Sergei Chernetckii took the white jersey of the best young rider, while Alexander Kritstoff won the green jersey of the best sprinter. Katusha Team won the overall team’s classification.
Lars Peter Nordhaug finished second in the Tour des Fjords today. The Norwegian of the Belkin Pro Cycling Team could not shake leader Sergey Chernetckii of Katusha in the non-selective final stage.

The fourth and final day of Tour des Fjords was again marked by attacks from the men in green. On behalf of the Belkin Pro Cycling Team, Tom Leezer and Sep Vanmarcke shot free but unfortunately their efforts were not enough to stick. The best Team Belkin rider was Vanmarcke, who placed tenth.

“We knew it was going to be difficult,” said Sports Director Jan Boven. “This morning it was raining very hard and the organization decided to annul a steep cobbled climb of 500 meters from the parcours. That did not make it any easier for us. Katusha was therefore able to control the race, which they did.”

Boven accepted Nordhaug’s second place in stride. “The team showed a lot of commitment this week and all of the boys fought hard. Winning is the most important, and we went for it, but second place was the best we could manage in this race.”

Tour des Fjords Stage 4 Result:
1. Angelo Tulik (Fra) Europcar in 4:34:05
2. Tom Van Asbroeck (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise
3. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha
4. Thor Hushovd (Nor) Norge-Norway
5. Tony Hurel (Fra) Europcar
6. Mike Teunissen (Ned) Rabobank Development Team
7. Daniel Hoelgaard (Nor) Etixx – Ihned
8. Gert-Jan Bosman (Ned) Rabobank Development Team
9. Andreas Stauff (Ger) MTN-Qhubeka
10. Sep Vanmarcke (Bel) Belkin.

Tour des Fjords Final Overall Result:
1. Sergey Chernetckii (Rus) Katusha in 12:50:18
2. Lars Petter Nordhaug (Nor) Belkin at 0:30
3. Zico Waeytens (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise at 0:42
4. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha at 0:52
5. Sep Vanmarcke (Bel) Belkin at 1:04
6. Robert Wagner (Ger) Belkin
7. Marco Haller (Aut) Katusha at 1:08
8. Mike Teunissen (Ned) Rabobank Development Team at 1:10
9. Tom Van Asbroeck (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise at 1:15
10. Yves Lampaert (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise at 1:24.

Overall winner Sergey Chernetckii. Photo: Katusha Team.

Cookson/McQuaid: The Battle Continues!
This week it was reported by insdethegames.biz that UCI staff drafted the proposal to change the constitution put forward by the Malaysian Cycling Federation, which would allow Federations to nominate non-members for the presidential position and the rule would be changed retrospectively to cover the up and coming election. The Moroccan and Thai Federation have both nominated Pat McQuaid which would allow McQuaid to stand as the Irish Federation voted against the nomination at a general meeting and the Swiss nomination is under legal review.

In a war of words between the two; McQauid is questioning Cookson’s motives and a letter from the lawyers of the British Cycling Federation in relation to the change in the nomination process. In a press release McQuaid states “I do not fear an open election and I am not at all concerned by my ability to secure the support and votes that I require to be re-elected as UCI President. While it would appear that Brian has lost confidence in his own ability I continue to challenge him to allow the UCI Congress and its voting delegates to decide.” Cookson said: “I want nothing more than an open and properly conducted democratic election and vote for the UCI presidency. To suggest otherwise is nonsense.” So they seem to agree that it should go to a vote, the question is; has McQuaid been nominated in a legal and proper manner?

To even up the battle, the blog mcquaidvscookson suggests that Brian Cookson’s campaign is being funded by British Cycling money, that flights and hotel reservations are paid out of BC funds. The blog concluding one of their posts with the statement: “Members of British Cycling should ask the organization to reveal just how much money they have pumped into Cookson’s campaign. They may not like the answer.”

BMC Racing Team’s Ballan To Undergo Surgery
Past world road champion Alessandro Ballan will need surgery to correct complications that have hindered his comeback from past medical procedures, BMC Racing Team Chief Medical Officer Dr. Max Testa announced Sunday.

Consulting With Specialists
Ballan has raced only 15 times after missing the first six months of the season. “Alessandro hasn’t had a break from bad luck after his injury,” Dr. Testa said. “He’s been having reoccurring issues with his health and we hope this surgery finally brings an end to it.” Most recently, Ballan withdrew from the Tour de Wallonie last month, complaining of abdominal pain. “He spent two days in a hospital in Belgium undergoing observation and we eventually cleared him to return to racing,” Dr. Testa said. “But further investigation has determined he will need surgery to release the adhesions on his abdomen developed after the previous surgeries.” Dr. Testa said the BMC Racing Team’s medical staff is consulting with specialists in Italy and the United States. The surgery will be performed in the next two or three weeks, he said.

Challenging Time
Ballan said the more-than-eight-month ordeal has been as challenging as any bicycle race in his 10-year professional career. “I was happy with my recovery after the crash in Denia, but then sad when I had more problems,” he said. “But I am strong and I know after this last surgery I will be as healthy before. This experience has brought me closer to my family and friends and will make me stronger in life as well.” BMC Racing Team President/General Manager Jim Ochowicz said the team has missed the presence of Ballan, who won two races last year: the final stage of the Eneco Tour of Benelux and the one-day Giro della Toscana. “We certainly missed Alessandro in the spring classics and we were hoping he would be healthy by this time,” Ochowicz said. “We wish him a speedy recovery and know he is in the best of care.” Dr. Testa said there is no timetable for Ballan to return to competition until after the surgery is performed.
Thanks to Sean Weide for the update.

Euskaltel Euskadi team for the Tour of Spain
The Euskaltel Euskadi cycling team announced its nine riders who will start the teams final Vuelta a España. Samuel Sánchez will lead a powerful block composed by Igor Antón, Mikel Nieve, Egoi Martínez, Gorka Verdugo, Jorge Azanza, Juanjo Oroz, Pablo Urtasun and Mikel Landa. An experienced team that guarantees to meet the challenge of the podium in the last three week tour of the 2013 season, beginning on August 24 in Galicia to end in September in Madrid.

Team manager; Igor Gonzalez de Galdeano stressed that “at the Vuelta we have a very complete team. We have a leader who already knows what’s on the podium of the Tour and is accompanied by a group of cyclists who have experience in this type of test. Anton and Nieve are two important victorious climbers. Egoi and Verdugo have many years alongside Samuel. Urtasun and Oroz will work to protect on the flatter and windy stages. And finally Landa, you already know his race from 2012 and this edition should see him take another step in his progression, “he stated.

In terms of objectives, the general manager explained that “the leader and the team have to be ambitious. The goal must be the struggle to win the Tour, then you can win or not. The list of candidates is important with people like Nibali, Valverde or “Purito”, but our challenge has to be to try to be in the fight until the end. Samuel already knows what it is to fight to win a Tour, in 2009 he failed by less than one minute. We have to show our best face and choose the maximum, “he remarked.

“The route of this year’s Vuelta is for hungry cyclists who need to defend well in all areas. There are many finishes including explosive ends, but there is a near 40-kilometre time trial. From the first day the terrain is demanding and in Galicia there will be small differences at the start in the first week and we’ll see the cards of each. I think it will be a very exciting Tour and the action will be fun,” analyzed the man from Alava.

Regarding the future of the Euskaltel-Euskadi cycling team, Gonzalez de Galdeano commented that “we are looking for a new sponsor and are making a great effort in this direction. We face a major challenge with some uncertainty, but we are professionals and, as always, we will give the maximum to achieve the objectives’ that this jersey deserves, “concluded the general manager.

The Euskaltel-Euskadi Vuelta Team:
Samuel Sánchez, Igor Antón, Mikel Nieve, Egoi Martínez, Gorka Verdugo, Jorge Azanza, Juanjo Oroz, Pablo Urtasun and Mikel Landa.

Tinkov to Buy Basque WorldTour License?
The rumours that Russian banker; Oleg Tinkov will buy the Euskaltel-Euskadi UCI WorldTour license have been given some weight by the Spanish newspaper Deia. It has been suggested that he would not be buying the team as is, but changing it completely. The base would move to Italy, most of the riders and staff would go and it would be a new team. It wouldn’t be a life line for the team; it would be a buyout of a WorldTour license.

Vuelta: L’Angliru 2013
The penultimate stage of this year’s Vuelta a España finishes up the murderously hard climb of the L’Angliru, so good excuse to see the 2011 finish action:

Don’t forget to check the “NEWSWIRE” section, you can find it down the right hand side on the home page, just above the EuroTrash section. The bits of news that missed the EuroTrash deadline are in there, plus any news as-it-happens will be added there too.


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