The battle between Joaquim Rodriguez and Alejandro Valverde continued in Italy and there were not tears of acrimony or dirty looks as ‘Purito’ came out on top. We have all the action from Lombardia, plus all the other weekend races. Sad news of Amy Dombroski and I’m sure we are all thinking of her family. Get into the EuroTrash Monday with a big coffee.
TOP STORY: Amy Dombroski Killed While Training
It was with shock and sadness that the cycling World learnt of the death of 26 year old US rider; Amy Dombroski on Thursday afternoon. It appears that the Telenet-Fidea rider was motor pace training in the area of Sint-Katelijne-Waver in the Belgian province of Antwerp, a collision occurred with a truck and the pacer escaped the accident, but Dombroski was not so lucky.
Amy Dombroski is from Jerico in Vermont although lived in Boulder Colorado when not in Belgium. She had just returned to Belgium for her team presentation and to start her European cyclo-cross season. She has been US under 23 cyclo-cross champion and has titles on the road as well as mountain bike.
The riders at the Eurométropole Tour had a one minute silence before the start on Friday and the members of the Telenet-Fidea teams will all wear black arm bands at their races at the weekend.
Amy will be remembered for her positive attitude, tenacity and contagious smile. Everyone at PezCyclingNews sends their deepest condolences to her family and friends.
Giro di Lombardia 2013
Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) went part of the way towards making up for the disappointment of losing the World championships last Sunday by winning the Giro di Lombardia and the WorldTour for the second year in a row. He made his escape on the final climb of the day and soloed to the finish for a 17 second win over Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) and Rafal Majka (Saxo-Tinkoff) at 23 seconds. Garmin-Sharp’s Dan martin had been with Valverde and Majka, but he had a mechanical problem when he and Majka were trying to pull Valverde back after he had slipped away from them during the chase.
Six riders broke away in the early kilometres, they were: Fabio Felline (Androni Giacatolli), Alessandro De Marchi (Cannondale), Michael Albasini (Orica-GreenEdge), Reto Hollenstein (IAM Cycling), Carlos Quintero (Colombia) and Willem Wauters (Vacansoleil-DCM). That group was whittled down and by half-way the race was all together. A crash through a village at this point caused the end of the race for Vincenzo Nibali (Astana). Up the climb of the Sormano Saxo-Tinkoff put the pressure on for Rafal Majka, this caused Alberto Contador to be dropped and the lead group and Valverde and Nairo Quintana (Movistar) broke away and were joined by Enrico Gasparotto (Astana), Giampaolo Caruso (Katusha) and Ivan Santaromita (BMC), the Italian road champion. Getting towards Bellagio; Thomas Voeckler (Europcar) jumped across to the five and then headed off on his own.
The brave Frenchman stuck it out front; crossing the summit of the Madonna del Ghisallo 2:35 up on a chase bunch of around 30 riders being towed by Katusha and Saxo-Tinkoff. On the last climb of the day on the Villa Vergano Voeckler was caught and Thibaut Pinot (Ag2r-La Mondiale) made the first move. His team mate Domenico Pozzovivo jumped after him and this started the main move by Rodriguez with Valverde, Martin and Majka chasing the Catalan in vain down to the finish in Lecco.
Il Lombardia winner Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha): “Honestly I think this was a spectacular victory,” said Purito. “‘Il Lombardia’ is one of the most important competition of the season, a Monument Classic race, so I was very motivated and I wanted to encore the 2012 victory. I felt in a great shape, so I attacked in the same place where I attacked last year: I was the favorite rider, I think everybody knew that was my strategy and waited for my action, but anyways nobody could follow me so this incredible solo victory makes me really proud, also because now I’m 1st in the UCI World Tour Individual Ranking, a special classification I really care about. I think in 2013 I wasn’t as lucky as in 2012: there was always something that prevented me to be in top shape in every event I took part, so I didn’t take as many victories as in the last season. But the leadership of the UCI World Tour Individual Ranking proves I took some great results anyways and once again I was the most regular rider. I want to thank my teammates: they worked all day in order to keep the race under control, the attempt by Thomas Voeckler was particularly dangerous because he had a good gap but they did a huge work leading the chase in order to neutralize it. Obviously it would have been even a more special triumph if I wore the rainbow jersey of the World Champion: but in cycling, and sports in general, you need to ride every loss out and look ahead. This victory helps me to forget the disappointment I felt after Florence and start again in 2014 with great motivations to go on and take more prestigious results”.
“This is a great result for Rafal and for us. He was not the only leader in our line-up but eventually, he was the guy to support and the team did a terrific job protecting him. Rodriguez launched a very strong attack and Rafal did the smart move by waiting a bit to try and bridge with Valverde and Martin. Finishing third after 250 kilometres of hard racing at his age is extremely promising and this is a race, he should be focusing on in the future,” said Saxo-Tinkoff DS, Fabrizio Guidi after the race.
“I am really happy about my performance,” 7th Pieter Serry (Omega Pharma – Quick-Step) said. “I am happy because after the Vuelta I worked hard. I did a lot of training to try and be there at Lombardia and try my best for a good result. The hard work paid off, so I am happy — even because it was my first time at this race. I didn’t really know the parcours. I had great help from Davide Bramati. He knows the parcours really well, so he told me where to stay in the front and what wheels to follow to try to do my best. But in the final when the attacks happened, I really couldn’t follow. They were too strong. I am missing a little bit of power to stay with them, but that is something I will work on in the future. But, anyway, I am happy. This is my second top 10 finish in a WorldTour race after Clasica San Sebastian. I love this kind of one-day race with a lot of climbs. I am really satisfied about this and it gives me great motivation to keep working hard.”
Giro di Lombardia Result:
1. Joaquim Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha in 6:10:18
2. Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar at 0:17
3. Rafal Majka (Pol) Saxo-Tinkoff at 0:23
4. Daniel Martin (Irl) Garmin-Sharp at 0:45
5. Enrico Gasparotto (Ita) Astana
6. Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Katusha at 0:55
7. Pieter Serry (Bel) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step
8. Franco Pellizotti (Ita) Androni Giocattoli
9. Ivan Santaromita (Ita) BMC
10. Robert Gesink (Ned) Belkin.
The last kilometres:
Eurométropole Tour (Circuit Franco-Belge) 2013
Jens Debusschere (Lotto Belisol) won Stage 1 of the Eurométropole Tour on Thursday. About one o’clock the riders started in La Louvière for a ride of 195 km, the longest of four stages. At the end; there were three local laps of 15,7 km in and around finish town Moorslede. After 50 kilometres the break of the day was formed: Amorison, Goddaert, Lindeman, Morkov and Wallays. Mestre was originally also part of that group but soon had to let go of the others.
The peloton, with among other Sander Cordeel of Lotto Belisol at the head, kept the gap under control. In the final Anthony Delaplace jumped to the front group, he stayed away the longest. In the final lap all got back together and it ended with a bunch sprint. Jens Debusschere won in his home town before Nikolas Maes and Kenneth Vanbilsen. It’s his second pro victory after he won the Kampioenschap van Vlaanderen Koolskamp two weeks ago.
Stage winner Jens Debusschere (Lotto Belisol): “It was already very nice that I could win in Koolskamp that late in the season and now I get this second win. I keep being in a good condition. It’s extra fun that I can win in my home town. It couldn’t be better. I’m first in GC, but of course we still have Jürgen Roelandts. We’re with two now for a good GC. It will depend on the race developments how that will end, if the race is decided on a hill or not. But I definitely want to aim for a good result.”
“The beginning of the race was very fast, it took more than an hour before a group could stay ahead. With riders like Marcel Sieberg and Jürgen Roelandts at you’re side you’re always more confident for the sprint. They started pretty early, but none of the teams got next to us. With 200 meters to go I took over from Jürgen. It really was teamwork today. Sander rode at the front of the peloton all day and with the other guys we controlled the final lap. It all went perfectly.”
Saxo-Tinkoff DS. Dan Frost: “It was a really fast start of the stage and everyone wanted to go and we had all our guys in different breaks. When the break finally went away, we had our probably strongest card, Michael Mørkøv up there sprinting his way to crucial bonus seconds and he can now enjoy the view from the podium. This race is traditionally won with only a few seconds so today’s effort was money in the bank and now we have to stay focused to remain the position.”
Eurométropole Tour Stage 1 Result:
1. Jens Debusschere (Bel) Lotto Belisol in 4:22:05
2. Nikolas Maes (Bel) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step
3. Kenneth Van Bilsen (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise
4. Tyler Farrar (USA) Garmin-Sharp
5. Bert De Backer (Bel) Argos-Shimano
6. Roy Curvers (Ned) Argos-Shimano
7. Ramon Sinkledam (Ned) Argos-Shimano
8. Graeme Brown (Nzl) Belkin
9. Mickaël Delage (Fra) FDJ
10. Guillaume Van Keirsbulck (Bel) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step.
Eurométropole Tour Overall After Stage 1:
1. Jens Debusschere (Bel) Lotto Belisol in 4:21:55
2. Michael Morkov (Den) Saxo-Tinkoff at 0:01
3. Nikolas Maes (Bel) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step at 0:04
4. Kristof Goddaert (Bel) IAM Cycling at 0:05
5. Kenneth Van Bilsen (Bel) Topsport-Baloise at 0:06
6. Jelle Wallays (Bel) Topsport-Baloise at 0:07
7. Bert-Jan Lindeman (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM at 0:09
8. Tyler Farrar (USA) Garmin Sharp at 0:10
9. Bert De Backer (Bel) Argos-Shimano
10. Roy Curvers (Ned) Argos-Shimano.
Some behind the scenes:
Four riders, Johnny Hoogerland (Vacansoleil-DCM), Johann van Zyl (MTN-Qhubeka), Robert Vrecer (Euskaltel-Euskadi) and Sebastian Lander (BMC) formed the long-lasting breakaway on the 173 kilometre long Stage 2 of Tour de l’Eurométropole with start and finish line in Poperinge.
But the sprinter teams were in complete control throughout the stage and steadily reeled the escapees back in. However, as the field approached the front group, the pace was so high that the peloton divided into three groups and a new attack with Saxo-Tinkoff’s Marko Kump was launched and the group worked up a small gap before the finale in Poperinge. But the peloton thundered through a crucial bonus sprint where Saxo-Tinkoff’s Michael Mørkøv scored enough seconds to virtually pass the leading rider of the race.
Another breakaway trio managed to sneak away in the finale but on the final kilometer, the pack was back together and in the galloping bunch sprint, John Degenkolb (Argos-Shimano) took the win. Jens Debusschere (Lotto-Belisol) finished third and thereby denied Michael Mørkøv in the GC.
Klaas Lodewyck was the BMC Racing Team’s best finisher, in 18th place. Lander, the past Danish national road champion who was part of a much shorter-lived breakaway on the opening stage, said he is enjoying good end-of-season form. “I still have good motivation and I think my shape is going better and better,” he said. “Today, I was lucky to hit the right breakaway. Unfortunately, there was a lot of wind on the course. But just the feeling to sit out there in front was very good, especially when the legs are also feeling good.” Assistant Director Max Sciandri said he was pleased to see so many riders from the BMC Racing Team make the decisive split on a day when 50 riders lost more than seven minutes. “Unfortunately, Larry Warbasse was having a bit of a stomach problem so he pulled out,” Sciandri said. “But we had everyone else in the front group.”
“The whole team did another fine job reeling in several breakaways before the crucial bonus sprints and Michael fully fulfilled our expectations and was third and second in the two bonus sprints. Still being second is both good and bad. Now, we’re not the ones to take the responsibility of the chasing but naturally, we want to change positions with Debusschere before the race is over so we can leave the race with the leader’s jersey in the suitcase,” said DS, Dan Frost after the stage.
Eurométropole Tour Stage 2 Result:
1. John Degenkolb (Ger) Argos-Shimano in 4:03:37
2. Jean-Pierre Drucker (Lux) Accent Jobs-Wanty
3. Jens Debusschere (Bel) Lotto Belisol
4. Tyler Farrar (USA) Garmin-Sharp
5. Wouter Mol (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM
6. Graeme Brown (Aus) Belkin
7. Adrien Petit (Fra) Cofidis
8. Maarten Wynants (Bel) Belkin
9. Arnaud Demare (Fra) FDJ
10. Alexander Porsev (Rus) Katusha.
Eurométropole Tour Overall After Stage 2:
1. Jens Debusschere (Bel) Lotto Belisol in 8:25:28
2. Michael Morkov (Den) Saxo-Tinkoff at 0:02
3. John Degenkolb (Ger) Argos-Shimano at 0:04
4. Jean-Pierre Drucker (Lux) Accent Jobs-Wanty at 0:08
5. Nikolas Maes (Bel) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step
6. Kenneth Van Bilsen (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise at 0:09
7. Kristof Goddaert (Bel) IAM Cycling
8. Laurens De Vreese (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise at 0:11
9. Niki Terpstra (Ned) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step
10. Maarten Wynants (Bel) Belkin at 0:12.
Several minor breakaways dominated the 169 kilometre long Stage 3 of Tour de l’Eurométropole from Hazebrouck to Niewpoort where Team Saxo-Tinkoff worked intensely to protect the overall second place for Michael Mørkøv. Before today’s stage, the always attacking Dane was two seconds behind the leading rider, Jens Debusschere (Lotto-Belisol).
And today’s finale was pretty similar to the two previous stage finishes where a break was caught close to the finish line where the sprinters stole all attention and Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Sharp) was the fastest of everyone.
Stage winner Tyler Farrer (Garmin-Sharp): “The guys were fantastic today. It was a super hectic finishing circuit, but the guys rode great and kept me out of trouble. It’s been a long wait for a European victory so it’s a big relief to finally get that monkey off my back this season.”
Saxo-Tinkoff’s Michael Mørkøv retained his overall second position before the final stage: “We did another good stage supporting Michael and keeping him out of trouble and once again, we managed to gain a few bonus seconds. Debusschere however, gained more seconds than us and thereby increased his lead. Now, we’re naturally focusing on staying on the podium. That would be a good result for Michael and for the team here en general. When you’ve come this far in the season the mental aspect and motivation plays a huge role in order to succeed as a lot of the riders have become mentally tired. But the boys here are all hungry and we’re ready to take on tomorrow’s final stage,” says DS, Dan Frost.
The Danish national champion is quite happy with the development of the race but knows the final stage will demand his very best: “The foundation for my current position was founded on the initial stage but the team has been doing extremely well since. They have supported me and made sure that I could sprint for seconds in the intermediate sprints and it has assured me the position during the previous two stages. I think I have a good chance of finishing on the podium now, but surely I’m not getting it for free. It’s going to require my very best as powerful sprinters are right behind me in the GC and they’ll be tough to match on the finish line, “says Danish Michael Mørkøv.
Eurométropole Tour Stage 3 Result:
1. Tyler Farrar (USA) Garmin-Sharp in 3:47:16
2. Reinardt Janse Van Rensburg (RSA) Argos-Shimano
3. Arnaud Demare (Fra) FDJ
4. Jean-Pierre Drucker (Lux) Accent Jobs-Wanty
5. Nicolas Vereecken (Bel) An Post-Chainreaction
6. John Degenkolb (Ger) Argos-Shimano
7. Evaldas Siskevicius (Ltu) Sojasun
8. Kenneth Van Bilsen (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise
9. Bert De Backer (Bel) Argos-Shimano
10. Jens Debusschere (Bel) Lotto Belisol.
Eurométropole Tour Overall After Stage 3:
1. Jens Debusschere (Bel) Lotto Belisol in 12:12:41
2. Michael Morkov (Den) Saxo-Tinkoff at 0:03
3. Tyler Farrar (USA) Garmin-Sharp at 0:07
4. John Degenkolb (Ger) Argos-Shimano
5. Jean-Pierre Drucker (Lux) Accent Jobs-Wanty at 0:11
6. Nikolas Maes (Bel) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step
7. Kenneth Van Bilsen (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise at 0:12
8. Kristof Goddaert (Bel) IAM Cycling
9. Arnaud Demare (Fra) FDJ at 0:13
10. Heinrich Haussler (Aus) IAM Cycling.
The Eurométropole Tour ended with a thriller. Jens Debusschere finished in the same time as John Degenkolb, but is the overall winner and so the successor of Jürgen Roelandts. Debusschere had begun the final Stage 4, from Mons to Tournai (153,8 km), with an advantage of three seconds on Michael Mørkøv. A break of five was reeled in on the local circuit at about 55 kilometers from the end. In those seven local laps of 14,7 km the riders had to cover the Croix Jubaru. On the last three ascents there was a rush each time at the top where one could gain three, two or one second. This was important for GC.
John Degenkolb won the first rush and stood then four seconds behind Jens Debusschere in the virtual GC. Debusschere was too far to get any boni seconds. Then four riders got ahead, Mørkøv was one of them. Jürgen Roelandts was in a chase group together with Degenkolb. The bunch could close the gap pretty fast. The next two times it were escapees, not dangerous for GC, who took the seconds at the rushes. For the fourth time in a row the stage ended with a bunch sprint. John Degenkolb won, he was also the best in stage two. Jens Debusschere ended up on the second place.
Degenkolb won ten seconds at the finish and Debusschere six, so the German had the same time. The addition of all places counts for the overall victory then and thanks to the win in the opening stage and the third spot a day later Jens Debusschere became the winner!
Jens Debusschere: “It was close today. I actually had my best day of the week. In the run-up to the first rush I was riding in the wheel of Mørkøv, I thought he would be my biggest opponent on that climb. But about 300 meters from the top he went aside and that way a gap was formed and Degenkolb was away. Then I told my teammates I’d go full for the sprint at the finish because I felt I could win.”
“In the last turn I lost Sieberg and Roelandts and came in the wheel of Degenkolb, that was perfect. That’s why Sibi and Jürgen pulled at the front, so I could stay in that position. The sprint was ridden with some headwind and I waited a bit too long to take off. Because of the addition of al day results I still won the jersey. This is great.
The victory in Koolskamp, the opening stage and overall victory in the Eurométropole Tour feel like my breakthrough.”
“This is a victory for the team. Without a team you can’t win, especially in the bunch sprints you need a train. Everyone of us was motivated to keep the jersey. Already from the youth categories I can keep my motivation till the end of the season. This definitely gives a boost to do even better next year.”
“We were in bad luck today. The top sprinters, Degenkolb, Debusschere and Farrar managed to shove Michael off the podium by finishing 1st 2nd and 3rd. Of course, it’s difficult to compete with these guys in a sprint so during the stage, Michael managed to sneak off in a counter-attack between two intermediate sprints but the sprinter teams were ready and reeled him back in before he gained seconds. Naturally, we’re disappointed but we’ll bring our positive energy and motivation to next week’s races in France where we’ll complete the week with Paris-Tour in Sunday,” said DS, Dan Frost after the race.
Eurométropole Tour Stage 4 Result:
1. John Degenkolb (Ger) Argos-Shimano in 3:26:29
2. Jens Debusschere (Bel) Lotto Belisol
3. Tyler Farrar (USA) Garmin-Sharp
4. Graeme Brown (Aus) Belkin
5. Kenneth Van Bilsen (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise
6. Stefan Van Dijk (Ned) Accent Jobs-Wanty
7. Danilo Napolitano (Ita) Accent Jobs-Wanty
8. Theo Bos (Ned) Belkin
9. Kenny Robert van Hummel (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM
10. Evaldas Siskevicius (Ltu) Sojasun.
Eurométropole Tour Final Overall Result:
1. Jens Debusschere (Bel) Lotto Belisol in 15:39:04
2. John Degenkolb (Ger) Argos-Shimano
3. Tyler Farrar (USA) Garmin-Sharp at 0:09
4. Michael Morkov (Den) Saxo-Tinkoff
5. Jean-Pierre Drucker (Lux) Accent Jobs-Wanty at 0:15
6. Laurens De Vreese (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise
7. Kenneth Van Bilsen (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise at 0:18
8. Kristof Goddaert (Bel) IAM Cycling
9. Arnaud Demare (Fra) FDJ at 0:19
10. Jetse Bol (Ned) Belkin.
Sparassen Münsterland Giro 2013
For the second time in his career, Jos van Emden proved the strongest in the Sparkassen Münsterland Giro. The Belkin Pro Cycling Team Dutchman joined an escape and broke free in the final kilometre. “Winning is always nice,” he said, “but to win a race for the second time is extra nice.
Van Emden decided to take his chances and to go for an all-or-nothing attempt in the final. “During the race I felt that if I saved my forces for one attack I would have a chance. I knew that three guys were faster than me in the first group, so the decision was easy: I had to attack. I accelerated out of fourth position. I saw Iljo Keisse (Omega Pharma – Quick Step) trying to follow my wheel but apparently I was too fast.”
His 2007 victory gave him extra motivation. “When we crossed the finish line for the first time, my win from six years ago crossed my mind. That was a good feeling. During the race Robert Wagner told me that I looked strong and that gave my confidence a boost. That was the moment I really started to believe something was possible. The fact that I actually ended up winning is great. I’m a happy man.”
A real battle took place on the German road today. Groups of riders constantly tried to break free from the bunch. In every move, a Belkin Pro Cycling Team rider was present.
“Tom Leezer was the first who tried. He was upfront for a long time but eventually caught by the peloton. That was the moment that we took over the initiative,” said sports director Erik Dekker. “The riders broke the pack in several echelons. At one point, we had eight riders in a echelon of 11. When it all came back together, Moreno Hofland went on the attack. When he was reeled in, Jos gave it a go and stayed away. The guys were very motivated and really wanted to make the race. I’m very satisfied.”
Sparassen Münsterland Giro Result:
1. Jos Van Emden (Ned) Belkin in 4:21:37
2. Tom Veelers (Ned) Argos-Shimano at 0:06
3. Iljo Keisse (Bel) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step at 0:11
4. Michael Van Staeyen (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise at 0:12
5. Dylan Van Baarle (Ned) Rabobank Development Team
6. Albert Timmer (Ned) Argos-Shimano at 2:10
7. Rick Zabel (Ger) Rabobank Development Team at 2:22
8. Moreno Hofland (Ned) Belkin
9. Jan Dieteren (Ger) Team Stölting
10. Theo Reinhardt (Ger) Rad-Net Rose Team.
A bit of the action:
Tour de Vendée 2013
The finish into La Roche sur Yon after 202.6 kilometres was a crazy fast battle between Europcar, FDJ and Ag2r-La Mondiale with riders jumping for any advantage without a proper lead-out. In the end Nacer Bouhanni came off his FDJ team mate; Laurent Pichon’s wheel for a win by a couple of bike lengths from Samuel Dumoulin (Ag2r-La Mondiale) and Steven Tronet (BigMat-Auber 93).
Tour de Vendée Result:
1. Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) FDJ in 4:37:52
2. Samuel Dumoulin (Fra) Ag2r-La Mondiale
3. Steven Tronet (Fra) BigMat-Auber 93
4. Laurent Pichon (Fra) FDJ
5. Michael Van Staeyen (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise
6. Bryan Coquard (Fra) Team Europcar
7. Yannick Martinez (Fra) La Pomme Marseille
8. Julien Simon (Fra) Sojasun
9. Alessandro Malaguti (Ita) Androni Giocattoli
10. Romain Feillu (Fra) Vacansoleil-DCM.
The last kilometres:
Farrar gets Contract
After his win on stage 3 of the Eurométropole Tour Tyler Farrar has announced that he has signed a 1 year deal with his present team; Garmin-Sharp. Farrar has only had one win this season before the Eurométropole Tour stage win, in the Tour of California, his last win in Europe was in the 2011 Tour de France. He told Nieuwsblad: “I’ll continue next year with Garmin-Sharp, I signed for a season. I hope to do better in Tours, I feel a little stronger every day.”
Dave Zabriskie has announced that the Il Lombardia was his last race as a professional rider at the age of 34. The “different” US rider has always been an entertainer with his facial hair and Captain America suit when he was US National TT champion. He was always amongst the top men against the clock with wins in individual time trial stages the Tour of California, Tour de Langkawi and the Tour de Romandie and wins as part of team time trials in the Giro d’Italia and the Tour de France.
18 Teams Apply for WorldTour
Eighteen teams have applied to the UCI for the eighteen available WorldTour licences in 2014. Twelve teams already have licensed for the top league of cycling, this includes Trek who bought the licence from previous team owner Flavio Becca. Astana, Lampre-Merida, Movistar, Orica-GreenEdge and Sky all need to reapply to renew their licences and Europcar are applying for the first time. There is also sixteen team applying for ProContinental status.
Less Money for Contador?
According to Danish web-site bt.dk, Alberto Contador has taken a pay cut of between 10% and 15% to help the Saxo Bank team next year. His present wage is estimated to be over €3 million a year. The team owner, Bjarne Riis, is said to be in discussions with two possible sponsors for next season, but as yet there is no news of more money coming in to the team to replace the money from last year’s co-sponsor; Tinkoff Bank. After the Tour de France Tinkoff Bank owner; Oleg Tinkov showed his displeasure with Contador when he wrote on Twitter; “he is not riding Vuelta- he is tired), LOL, what the fuck Conta is tired from,one race?He isn’t tired to receive monthly HUGE check, though.” Amongst many comments from Tinkov this one was probably the most direct and to the point. Riis needs to sort his team out before October the 20th with his 23 riders and money guarantees for next year.
Kim Andersen: DS for Trek in 2014
Danish Directeur Sportif; Kim Andersen has signed a contract to stay with the Schleck brothers at the new Trek team next year. He has worked with the brothers from Luxembourg for many years, first at Saxo Bank and since at Leopard Trek and then with RadioShack Leopard Trek. Apart from a short time when Johan Bruyneel was his boss, he has been at the Schleck’s sides through the best of times.
OPQS Signs De Gendt for 2014
Omega Pharma – Quick-Step Cycling Team is happy to announce the signing of Thomas De Gendt for the 2014 season. The Belgian rider has several impressive victories and podium finishes in his career, including a 3rd place GC finish at the Giro d’Italia in 2012, as well as victories at the Giro, Paris-Nice, Tour de Suisse, Volta Ciclista a Catalunya and Tour de Wallonie. His Giro d’Italia victory was on the Stelvio Pass, in the 20th Stage of 2012.
“We’ve been following Thomas with considerable interest for some years now,” OPQS CEO Patrick Lefevere said. “Our paths almost crossed a few times these past couple of years but due to a series of choices and contingent situations, the deal never came through. Now the time has come; we were sort of reciprocally destined to meet again sooner or later. We believe Thomas is talented. We’ve been following his sports history. An athlete who can win a stage at Paris-Nice, one at the Tour de Suisse, the reigning stage in the Giro and even take 3rd place in the race for the Pink jersey definitely cannot have lost all his skills in just a few months. We’re certain that Thomas has everything it takes to make a return and prove himself as part of our group. We’ve offered him a one-year contract with the conviction that for him, it can be a year of redemption.”
“I’m very happy to become a part of this group,” De Gendt said. “I’ve always dreamed of being a part of a something like this, ever since Tom Boonen won the World Cup in Madrid in 2005. OPQS is one of the top teams, very professional in all aspects and with absolutely competent people in every sector. For a rider this is very important, like it’s important to feel the faith of Patrick Lefevere. Right now I don’t want to think about specific goals for the season — there’s plenty of time for that. However, my objective is to get back to the level I was at in 2012. I’m going to work towards reaching this goal and to redeem the trust the team has placed in me.”
Thanks to OPQS.
Ion Izagirre to Join Brother at Movistar
After Gorka joined the squad, the younger of the Basque brothers arrives into the Blue squad, looking to confirm his progression as one of the biggest hopefuls in the world of cycling.
After the confirmation of Gorka Izagirre’s (26) signing with the Movistar Team, the telephone squad is also reinforcing its 2014 roster with the younger of the two brothers, Ion (24), one of the most promising talents in the international scene. The brothers will be riding in the same jersey, just like they did with Euskaltel-Euskadi during the three seasons Ion has competed in the elite ranks, following a short debut with the Orbea continental outfit.
A remarkable amateur, his three years of progression into the WorldTour has built expectations on him. Top-25 finisher in the Tour de Pologne, the Tirreno-Adriatico and the GP Plouay during his debut season, 2012 was a breakthrough year for him as he won the individual time trial in the Vuelta a Asturias and, above all, the Falzes stage of the Giro d’Italia. His progression went on in 2013 with a 2nd place overall in Pologne (where he led until the very last day), 4th in the Tour Down Under and solid performance in the Spanish road championships (2nd RR, 4th ITT.)
Ventoso Stays One More Year
The Movistar Team will have Fran Ventoso on its roster for one more year, fulfilling his fourth season as a rider for Eusebio Unzué’s squad. The Cantabrian (31) wasn’t able to raise his arms in victory this season, such a drought has not happening for him since 2006, but he’s still the most winning rider with the Movistar Team jersey after Rui Costa (13), Quintana (12) and Valverde (11). 25 victories in his palmarès and more than ten top places this year are a guarantee that Ventoso can get back to success in 2014.
Adam and Simon Yates Sign with Orica-GreenEdge
Press Release: ORICA-GreenEDGE is thrilled to announce that Adam and Simon Yates have signed their neo-pro contracts with the Australian outfit. The identical twins have had an outstanding year underscored by their success at the Tour de l’Avenir and Tour of Britain. Unsurprisingly, the British duo fielded a number of offers, ultimately deciding to join the professional ranks with the GreenEDGE family.
“This was our first choice,” said Adam. “When we decided to turn pro next year, we knew GreenEDGE was one of the best teams for us both. It’s a good opportunity in terms of development. From everything we’ve heard and seen, we know the team looks after their young guys very well.”
“We did have quite a few offers,” Simon confirmed. “This seemed like the right place for us. Knowing the way the team has developed the other young Aussies was an important part of our decision. Look at Cam Meyer. He came from the track just like us, and he’s already achieved quite a lot on the road. We’d love to develop the way he has.”
The 21-year-old twins began racing on the track ten years ago when their father brought them to the Manchester Velodrome for local Friday night racing. The young boys quickly fell in love with cycling but it wasn’t until this year that their place in the sport became obvious.
“We both started on the track and very slowly worked our way up the ladder,” said Simon, who won the points race at the World Championships in Minsk, Belarus last February. “We didn’t have an exceptional start. There was absolutely nothing remarkable about our early results. It’s not like anyone who saw me race at the beginning would say I would go on to win a world title.”
“We’ve both switched our focus to the road much more this year,” Adam explained. “We’ve put in a lot of work. The results have just taken off from there, really.”
Adam understates. He came in second overall at the Tour de l’Avenir; second in all of the classements. In a three up sprint on stage five, Adam finished second to his twin. Simon’s stage win in Morzine, just ahead of Adam, was followed by a second stage win the following day. He finished tenth overall at the race billed as the “Mini Tour de France.” Simon backed up the result by winning a stage at the Tour of Britain where he faced far stiffer competition amongst a professional field.
The list of former Tour de l’Avenir winners or runners up read like a who’s who of young professional cycling. Nairo Quintana, Andrew Talansky, Jan Bakelants, Rui Costa, Tejay Van Garderen, Robert Gesink, Bauke Mollema and Tony Martin have all stood on the podium at the Race of the Future. It’s not a huge leap to suggest Simon and Adam’s results in France project far greater things to come when they turn professional.
“Adam and Simon had an outstanding Tour de l’Avenir,” said General Manager Shayne Bannan. “Simon won two mountains stages, and Adam finished second overall. It’s indication of their climbing abilities, and this is an area we really want to develop within the team. It’s clear they’re both big talents. We’re very excited to be a part of their development.”
It’s that commitment to development that is most attractive to Simon and Adam. Both are modest in their ambitions for their neo-pro year, insisting they are eager to learn, support and grow without specific personal objectives.
“I’m not really ready to name my own aspirations,” said Simon. “I see these first years as being all about development. I want to help the team however I can and absorb as much as I can in the process. There will be time later to hone in on my own goals.”
“I’m really focused on development,” said Adam. “That’s the key thing for me next year. In the second year, I hope there might be an opportunity to ride a Grand Tour. I can’t name anything much more specific than that until I see how things go the first year.”
“I expect them to develop fairly quickly,” added Bannan. “They’ve spent a number of years racing in Europe already, so their progression is rather advanced. I’m confident that we’ll see some really good things from them in the future.”
Having raced on separate trade teams on the road during the past two years, Adam and Simon are excited to reunite. While able to excel alone, they believe they’re at their best when they have the opportunity to race together.
“We’ve been apart now for a couple years,” said Adam. “It’s never been a struggle, but it’s always better for us when we’re together. We each got a few offers from other teams that were just for one of us. The best options were the ones from teams that we’re keen on us both.”
“It was pretty important for us to find a team together,” reiterated Simon, when posed the same question. “Obviously, we can be apart, but it’s a lot easier in a lot of regards when we’re together.”
Retro Giro di Lombardia
This is Tom Simpson soloing to victory in the 1965 Giro di Lombardia. He won in the Rainbow jersey, just think if Joaquim Rodriguez had won last week he would have emulated Simpson. Great old bit of retro uploaded by Ukfm’s Christian Miller.
The PEZ NEWSWIRE!
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