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EuroTrash Monday!

Hope you are all wide awake for a packed EuroTrash Monday. Today we have the reactions from the riders and the managers on the Tour ’14 route, Belkin are still dominating the Tour of Hainan and the cyclo-cross season is well under way. As usual we have all the results and video action…coffee anyone?

TOP STORY: Tour ’14 Reactions
In EuroTrash Thursday we gave you our quick preview of the 2014 Tour de France, here is what the riders and managers thing about the French Grand Tour:

2013 Tour winner Chris Froome (Sky): “We saw what the time gaps were like with a time trial of just over 30km in this year’s Tour, in the first flat time trial. You can only imagine what the time gaps are going to be like in the 50km time trial and the pure climbers are going to have to battle with that.”

“The cobblestones are also an area where pure climbers could struggle and there are a lot of stages in between, the lumpy stages in the UK, for example, where fighting for position on the flat and in crosswinds are all going to come into play. So I wouldn’t necessarily say it’s a race for the pure climbers. Personally I prefer longer (mountain stages) but shorter ones are maybe a bit more explosive and exciting, and you can’t give the breakaway as much time. It might promote a little bit more aggressive racing.”

Movistar manager Eusebio Unzué: “Leaving aside the fact that it’s hard to make a different Tour route, I think we’ll be having a distinct one next year – especially in the beginning, with no prologue, no individual time trial, no team time trial, all three usually making some gaps that make the race a bit less nervous. The biggest change and probably the most surprising one is having just one ITT, and in the penultimate day. That will certainly make the beginning of the Tour tremendously open and nervous, with the main favourites not able to test themselves until the 9th day of racing. The nerves will be even higher on the cobblestones – it all will be pretty much a matter of survival into the opening eight days.

“Everyone is pointing out that the Vosges will be important and it’s true that they might become dangerous as they will be the first mountain block in the race. Although the climbs are short, they will also be hard. Yet, I don’t feel like they will be so decisive for the final podium. The Alpine stages don’t seem to be so demanding and the Pyrenees and the Bergerac time trial will be defining for the overall. It’s true that only 54k of TT’s are maybe too few, but being ridden on a sole day, the last competitive one, with no margin to recover, will turn them into the key factor of this race.

“Due to all those conditions, I don’t really know if it will be a Tour suiting us more or less. There’s nothing defined on our plans yet – it is now time to sit down with Nairo and Alejandro, and decide which thing is more convenient for us. Nothing is decided at this point, and it’s even possible that both could be at the start. We will have to reflect on it further, but the first impression on the race parcours is that as well Nairo as Alejandro can be fighting for the overall victory.”

Nairo Quintana (Movistar): “I could witness it firsthand last year, but next year’s Tour can be really nervous in its first week. The cobbles could make the race dangerous and difficult. It will be crucial to have a strong team at your side in the first days. After that, the first two mountain-top finishes should be good for my characteristics. Both Alps and Pyrenees offer attractive stages. The finish in Risoul brings me good memories from the time I won a stage in the Tour de l’Avenir, in 2010. Still, I think the Pyrenean stages will be decisive – also the individual time trial should be a key for success. It’s a TT for pure power riders and gaps will be notable. Now it’s time to talk to Eusebio and see what the best choice is for me as well as Alejandro, to see which Grand Tours we should be riding.”

Alejandro Valverde (Movistar): “I couldn’t examine the route deeply since I’m in Japan -he will ride a criterium there on Saturday-, but it seems like a route that suits me well. Not only because it has just one time trial and it is on the penultimate day. Though it will be flat, the last TT always relies on how much energy is left on your tank at the end of the Tour. Otherwise, it seems like a balanced route. The depart from England is good for me, I guess – good luck will be crucial on the cobbles, with all sorts of punctures and crashes bound to happen. We know almost everything on the Alps and the Pyrenees and there will be little room for surprise, but the Tour is more than that – we know it’s decided day by day, any stage can turn into a decisive one. There’s nothing decided yet on my race schedule – we’ll see if I ride the Giro or the Tour. I like the Tour best, but we have to see what’s more adequate for the team’s needs and make a choice based on that.”

Alberto Contador (Saxo-Tinkoff): “The start could be very nervous so we cannot make any conclusions before we finish these first stages. The course offers only one time trial and it’s very long. Although there is only one, I would have preferred something like this year where one of them was hilly.”

“All in all I think, I think it suits me well but the most important are the legs and to arrive in peak shape because the rest changes very little. I’m not too worried about the cobbles despite the risk of falls and mechanical problems. It’s going to be a spectacular stage for the home viewers although very nervous for us. I just hope to get through it well. In 2010 I lost a few seconds on the cobbles but the key is to be focused,” Alberto concluded.

Saxo-Tinkoff team owner, Bjarne Riis: “It’ a really interesting course. Of course, I miss a prologue but other than that it’s a great set-up up and I’m looking forward to some exciting stages with a beautiful backdrop and already on the second day to Sheffield we’ll enter an undulating terrain,” said the team owner and continues:
“Stage five with the cobblestones is definitely worth watching. As we know from the past, there are risks associated with the treacherous surface but it’s a part of the game that we see as a challenge and Alberto is not bad on the cobbles. In addition, I’m looking forward to entering the Vosges mountains that could easily create havoc in the peloton and as always, the Alps and Pyrenees offer some entertaining key stages,” says Riis and concludes:
“The long time trial is an advantage for the riders who have the most energy left in the tank after a long and tough race. All in all, I’m content with the route as it has a good dynamic. Froome is the main favourite but there are quite a few mountains along the way where climbers get a chance to take time and put him under pressure before the crucial time trial.”

Lotto Belisol Manager Marc Sergeant: “Apart from the stage over the cobblestones it is a traditional Tour, although the start in England is of course also something special. In the stage from Ieper to Arenberg you can’t win the Tour but you can lose it. Each team has got a sprinter or GC rider and will want to be in front. As a Belgian team we have sufficient experience for such a stage, especially with riders like Roelandts, Bak, Greipel and Hansen. The visit to our country is definitely a surplus value for us as a Belgian team.”

“By putting the time trial at the end, the organization wants to keep the tension as long as possible. It has been a while since the last mountain stage took place on Thursday and there was a flat stage and then a time trial on Saturday. It actually is a balanced route. We know most of the climbs from the Tour or other races. The uphill finish in Risoul is new in the Tour, but has been on the route of the Dauphiné. It’s too early to predict the chances of Jurgen Van den Broeck. We want to bring him back on the highest possible level. First there are the stage races in the beginning of the season to get him ready for the Tour.”

Jurgen Van den Broeck (Lotto Belisol): “I’m not sorry about the fact that there’s only one time trial. It’s also on the penultimate day, so often the specialists don’t play a role anymore. On top of that there’s also an uphill part at the end which is bad for them. Eventually the most fresh and better riders will come to the front. Some favourites will also have been put on a far distance by that day. The men in the top of the GC will battle against each other, although it’s possible that all has been decided already. So for me it’s an advantage the time trial takes place at the end of the Tour.”

“In the fifth stage, with cobblestones, it’s all about staying safe. Such a stage gives stress. The mountain stages have nice summit finishes, it are also famous climbs. I know a lot of the cols that are on the route, like Pla d’Adet and Hautacam in the final week.”

Team Colombia General manager Claudio Corti: “Particularly after the outstanding results collected by Colombian athletes on the World stage, we believe ASO looks with interest at our team and the whole movement it represents. The important invitations we were granted by ASO during our first two seasons stand there to show their consideration. In addition, it is always nice to meet Director Prudhomme and his cooperators, a group of people we always worked proficiently within the past, and hopefully we will have the pleasure to do it again in the number of prestigious events they organize.”

2013 Tour winner talks to AFP:

Tour of Hainan 2013
For the fifth time in five days Belkin Pro Cycling Team scored in China’s Tour of Hainan. In Stage 5 between Sanya and Wanning today, Theo Bos bagged his fourth consecutive victory. Moreno Hofland, winner of the first stage, finished second and strengthened his GC lead.

“It isn’t as easy as it seems here, it’s actually quite hard,” said Sports Director Michiel Elijzen. “The boys have to control the race from start to finish. Today, Theo was dropped on a climb 25 kilometres from the line. Thanks to Marc Goos, he rejoined with the peloton in time. Marc really deserves a medal for all the work he’s done here.”

Bos couldn’t agree more with his Sports Director. “Luckily I was able to make it back to the bunch behind my team-mate Marc Goos after I got dropped in the last hill,” Bos explained. “I come from sprinting in track cycling, so it’s never easy for me to climb. It was a big challenge for me to survive a stage like today’s.”

Hofland has a comfortable 39-second lead on Frederic Amorison of Crelan-Euphony in the GC. Thanks to his four wins, Bos has climbed to third overall at 44 seconds down on his teammate in yellow.

Elijzen doesn’t expect Bos to take his fifth win tomorrow. “There’s a climb 15 kilometres out and that’s going to be too difficult for Theo,” Elijzen continued. “Moreno should be able to handle it, though. He’s one of the best climbers here. He’s our best shot at a good GC and we’ll continue to help him. I have a lot of confidence in Moreno.”

Elijzen sees a lot of potential in Asian cycling on Hainan, which many label as China’s version of Hawaii. “The race is organised slightly different than one in Europe, and there’s still a lot that can be improved, but the organisers are really trying to make something out of this. Everything looks neat, the roads are good and the public turns up in large numbers every day. It’s not Europe, but it can definitely go that direction in the future

Tour of Hainan Stage 5 Result:
1. Theo Bos (Ned) Belkin in 4:17:15
2. Moreno Hofland (Ned) Belkin
3. Boris Shpilevsky (Rus) RTS-Santic Racing Team
4. Yuriy Metlushenko (Ukr) Ukraine
5. Yannick Martinez (Fra) La Pomme Marseille
6. Maksym Averin (Ukr) Atlas Personal-Jakroo
7. Bartlomiej Matysiak (Pol) CCC Polsat Polkowice
8. Mykhailo Kononenko (Ukr) Ukraine
9. Justin Jules (Fra) La Pomme Marseille
10. Andris Smirnovs (Lat) Rietumu-Delfin.

Tour of Hainan Overall After Stage 5:
1. Moreno Hofland (Ned) Belkin in 17:57:50
2. Frédéric Amorison (Bel) Crelan-Euphony at 0:43
3. Theo Bos (Ned) Belkin at 0:48
4. Thomas Leezer (Ned) Belkin at 0:52
5. Fabian Schnaidt (Ger) Champion System at 0:55
6. Kevin Peeters (Bel) Crelan-Euphony
7. William Walker (Aus) Drapac Cycling at 0:57
8. Christopher Williams (Aus) Team Novo Nordisk
9. Jos Van Emden (Ned) Belkin
10. José Gonçalves (Por) La Pomme Marseille at 1:00.

Stage 5:

The Belkin Pro Cycling Team continues to dominate the Tour of Hainan. In Stage 6, Moreno Hofland recorded his second stage win in a week and increased his lead in the overall classification. For Michiel Elijzen’s team it was the sixth consecutive victory in China.

The sixth stage was not very long at 115 kilometres but it certainly wasn’t a ride in the park. “Today was an intense stage,” said Elijzen. “All day long, the pace was very high. Due to the length, it was an unpredictable stage. Anything could have happened but the boys did very well. They’ve controlled the entire stage.”

On the last climb of the stage, the group split into pieces. Bos, winner of the last four stages, lost ground. “Dennis van Winden tried to bring him back to pack but they came too late,” said Elijzen. “Fortunately, with Moreno, we also have the second fastest man in the race after Theo.”Belkin appears to also have the third fastest man in the race. At the finish in Wuzhishan, Lars Boom placed third.

Elijzen is confident that Hofland can maintain his lead during the final three days. “His gap in the overall is almost a minute now. I think Moreno is the strongest man in the race. Given the strength of our team, the odds that Moreno will lose his jersey are small but we must remain attentive.”

Tour of Hainan Stage 6 Result:
1. Moreno Hofland (Ned) Belkin in 2:36:43
2. Lars Boom (Ned) Belkin
3. Christoph Schweizer (Ger) Synergy Baku Cycling Project
4. Boris Shpilevsky (Rus) RTS
5. Rico Dene Thomas Rogers (Aus) Synergy Baku Cycling Project
6. Maksym Averin (Ukr) Atlas Personal-Jakroo
7. Bartlomiej Matysiak (Pol) CCC Polsat Polkowice
8. Kevin Peeters (Bel) Crelan-Euphony
9. Aandriy Vasylyuk (Ukr) Ukraine
10. Thomas Palmer (Aus) Drapac Cycling.

Tour of Hainan Overall After Stage 6:
1. Moreno Hofland (Ned) Belkin in 20:34:23
2. Frédéric Amorison (Bel) Crelan-Euphony at 0:53
3. Thomas Leezer (Ned) Belkin at 1:02
4. Fabian Schnaidt (Ger) Champion System at 1:05
5. Kevin Peeters (Bel) Crelan-Euphony
6. José Gonçalves (Por) La Pomme Marseille at 1:06
7. William Walker (Aus) Drapac Cycling at 1:07
8. Christopher Williams (Aus) Team Novo Nordisk
9. Jos Van Emden (Ned) Belkin
10. Mykhailo Kononenko (Ukr) Ukraine at 1:08.

Stage 6:

The Belkin Pro Cycling Team is riding flawlessly in China’s Tour of Hainan. The riders managed a unique performance in Stage 7 to Dongfang: Theo Bos won stage seven, his fifth win this week, and team-mates Lars Boom and Moreno Hofland took the remaining podium spots. Tom Leezer joined the party, finishing fourth.

Hofland, winner of stages one and six, continues to lead the overall.

A breakaway rode at the front for much of the 217-kilometre ride from Wuzhishan. Thanks to efforts of the Belkin Pro Cycling Team, the escape never made it far. “We really had to work to make it a bunch sprint today,” said Sports Director Michiel Elijzen. “The first nine kilometres were uphill and that made it very hard. Just after the top, only Theo and Dennis van Winden weren’t with the first 32. Theo had to chase for around 100 kilometres. When he returned, the team controlled and reeled in a small break that was formed later.”

Elijzen is hoping for more success after having won seven of the nine stages. “It’s a healthy greed,” added Elijzen. “I do not think anyone can really make us suffer, but if we were to get in trouble, we have several riders who are able to pick up the slack – as has been the case all week. “We are seven for seven, we would like to make it nine for nine. Besides that, we want to win the GC. If we manage to do that we’ll have 38 victories for the year. We can say we’ve had a successful season then.”

Tour of Hainan Stage 7 Result:
1. Theo Bos (Ned) Belkin in 5:13:57
2. Lars Boom (Ned) Belkin
3. Moreno Hofland (Ned) Belkin
4. Thomas Leezer (Ned) Belkin
5. Yuriy Metlushenko (Ukr) Ukraine
6. Thomas Palmer (Aus) Drapac Cycling
7. Yannick Martinez (Fra) La Pomme Marseille
8. Andris Smirnovs (Lat) Rietumu-Delfin
9. Rico Dene Thomas Rogers (Aus) Synergy Baku Cycling Project
10. Christophe Premont (Bel) Crelan-Euphony.

Tour of Hainan Overall After Stage 7:
1. Moreno Hofland (Ned) Belkin in 25:48:16
2. Frédéric Amorison (Bel) Crelan-Euphony at 0:57
3.Thomas Leezer (Ned) Belkin at 1:04
4. Fabian Schnaidt (Ger) Champion System at 1:08
5. Jos Van Emden (Ned) Belkin
6. Kevin Peeters (Bel) Crelan-Euphony at 1:09
7. José Gonçalves (Por) La Pomme Marseille at 1:10
8. William Walker (Aus) Drapac Cycling at 1:11
9. Christopher Williams (Aus) Team Novo Nordisk
10. Mykhailo Kononenko (Ukr) Ukraine at 1:12.

Stage 7:

Moreno Hofland is on his way to win the Tour of Hainan. The Belkin Pro Cycling Team rider won Stage 8 and increased his lead on Frederic Amorison (Crelan-Euphony ) to 1:07. It’s Hofland’s third stage victory on the Chinese island. Theo Bos triumphed in the other five stages.

“The scenario was similar to all previous stages,” said Hofland. “There were some attacks and after that we controlled the group. That went on until we had to take on three climbs just before the final. With five riders, we controlled the first group. Eventually, we decided to set up the sprint train and try to take the win. I have to say, the guys did a proper lead-out. Lars Boom made a crucial move in the last 100 metres as we were about to be boxed in.”

They hope to turn the Tour of Hainan into the Tour of Belkin tomorrow by winning the final stage to make a clean sweep. “That would be great,” said Hofland. “We have worked hard for that all week. Tomorrow’s stage is almost completely flat so I expect a bunch sprint. We have won eight out of eight, we want to win the ninth stage, as well. Tomorrow I am also set to take my first overall victory as a pro, that’s pretty special especially because this is my first year as a pro.”

Tour of Hainan Stage 8 Result:
1. Moreno Hofland (Ned) Belkin in 4:18:53
2. Vitaliy Buts (Ukr) Ukraine
3. Lars Boom (Ned) Belkin
4. Mykhailo Kononenko (Ukr) Ukraine
5. Maksym Averin (Ukr) Atlas Personal-Jakroo
6. William Walker (Aus) Drapac Cycling
7. Bartlomiej Matysiak (Pol) CCC Polsat Polkowice
8. Frédéric Amorison (Bel) Crelan-Euphony
9. Justin Jules (Fra) La Pomme Marseille
10. Marek Rutkiewicz (Pol) CCC Polsat Polkowice.

Tour of Hainan Overall After Stage 8:
1. Moreno Hofland (Ned) Belkin in 30:06:59
2. Frédéric Amorison (Bel) Crelan-Euphony at 1:07
3. Thomas Leezer (Ned) Belkin at 1:14
4. Jos Van Emden (Ned) Belkin at 1:17
5. William Walker (Aus) Drapac Cycling at 1:21
6. Mykhailo Kononenko (Ukr) Ukraine at 1:22
7. Darío Hernández (Spa) Burgos BH-Castilla y Leon at 1:24
8. Adrian Honkisz (Pol) CCC Polsat Polkowice
9. Volodymyr Zagorodniy (Ukr) Ukraine at 1:28
10. Darren Lapthorne (Aus) Drapac Cycling.

Stage 8:

UCI World Cup Cyclo-cross, Tabor 2013
Young Radobank development rider Lars van der Haar followed up his win in the first UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup last Sunday by winning the second event in Tabor, Czech Republic on Saturday. Van der Haar had broken away with Philipp Walseben (BKCP-Powerplus) on the second lap of nine and managed to outsprint the German at the finish. As the two built up their lead Van der Haar crashed due to not looking where he was going as his rear derailleur was not working properly. He regained the lead and held off the chaser; Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Napoleon), Francis Mourey (FDJ), Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus), and Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb-Napoleon), a second group was just behind them, including; Martin Bina (Kwadro-Stannah), Bart Aernouts (AA Drink) and Corne Van Kessel (Telenet-Fidea). Kevin Pauwels tried to cross to the two up front, but could do it and finished third and Francis Mourey dropped the others for fourth. World champion Sven Nys (Crelan-Euphony) had bad luck again and crashed, he finished 2:28 down.

With two win out of two Lars van der Haar is the clear leader with 160 points to Walsleben and Pauwels both on 135.

UCI World Cup Cyclo-cross, Tabor Elite Men’s Result:
1. Lars van der Haar (Ned) Rabobank Development in 1:09:06
2. Philipp Walsleben (Ger) BKCP-Powerplus
3. Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games at 0:11
4. Francis Mourey (Fra) FDJ at 0:12
5. Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games at 0:24
6. Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus at 0:27
7. Bart Aernouts (Bel) AA Drink Cycling Team at 0:31
8. Martin Bina (Cze) Kwadro-Stannah Cycling Team at 0:36
9. Corne Van Kessel (Ned) Telenet-Fidea at 0:51
10. Enrico Franzoi (Ita) Selle Italia-Guerciotti at 0:55.

In the woman’s race Katie Compton (Trek) won and took the lead in the series due to the non-riding Marianne Vos. On lap two of five; Compton led a strong group of; Nikki Harris (Telenet-Fidea), Pavla Havlikova (Telenet-Fidea), Christel Ferrier-Bruneau (Faren-Kuota), Sanne Cant (Enertherm-BKCP) and Ellen Van Loy (DNCS-Pro 2012 Cycling Team). The British champion Harris was the strongest of the front runners and gave Compton a run for her money. By the end of the second there was only Compton, Harris and her Telenet-Fidea team mate left in with a shout. By the end of the lap Compton was on her own with Harris and Havlikova chasing. The American added more seconds to her lead every lap although lost a little bit of time with a mechanical on the last lap.

Compton leads overall with 110 points from Harris with 95 and Havliova in third with 75.

UCI World Cup Cyclo-cross, Tabor Elite Women’s Result:
1. Katie Compton (USA) Trek Cyclocross Collective in 43:41
2. Nikki Harris (GB) Young Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team at 0:06
3. Pavla Havlikova (Cze) Young Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team at 0:07
4. Christel Ferrier-Bruneau (Fra) Faren Kuota at 0:37
5. Sanne Cant (Bel) Enertherm-BKCP
6. Meredith Miller (USA) Cal Giant Berry Farms-Specialized at 0:47
7. Ellen Van Loy (Bel) DNCS-Pro 2012 Cycling Team at 0:54
8. Lucie Chainel (Fra) BH-SR Suntour-KMC at 0:56
9. Kaitlin Antonneau (USA) Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com at 1:05
10. Sophie de Boer (Ned) Young Telenet-Fidea at 1:11.

Full re-run of both races:

Superprestige Ruddervoorde 2013
After the surprise of the first races of the cyclo-cross season, it was good to see the Belgians take control again and put seven riders in the top ten. Belgian champion Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb-Napoleon) won with a last lap attack from World champion Sven Nys (Creland-Euphony) and Tom Meeusen (Telenet-Fidea). The World Cup leader Lars van der Haar (Rabobank Development Team) might have been a little tired and came in fourth. Vantornout was the strong man of the day, but Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus) gave it a good go earlier in the race with a solo ride. Vantornout crossed to Albert on lap five and a lap later Meeusen and Nys joined the two up front. Nys put the pressure on and Vantornout went with him leaving Meeusen to yo-yo behind them and Albert to be caught by Van der Haar. In the final Vantornout was too strong for Nys and Meeusen came third. Lars van den Haar had the edge on Albert who had been attacking all day.

Superprestige Ruddervoorde Men’s Result:
1. Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon
2. Sven Nys (Bel) Crelan-Euphony
3. Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet-Fidea
4. Lars van der Haar (Ned) Rabobank Development Team
5. Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus
6. Bart Aernouts (Bel) AA Drink Cycling Team
7. Thijs van Amerongen (Ned) AA Drink Cycling Team
8. Rob Peeters (Bel) Telenet-Fidea
9. Marcel Meisen (Ger) Kwadro-Stannah Cycling Team
10. Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon.

Ruddervoorde action:

Helen Wyman (Kona) took Sundays Superprestige race ahead of Nikki Harris (Telenet-Fidea) to give Britain first and second and also fourth with Gabriella Durrin (Rapha-Focus), Belgian champion Sanne Cant (Enertherm-BKCP) split the GB threesome and took third.

Superprestige Ruddervoorde Women’s Result:
1. Helen Wyman (GB) Kona Factory Racing in :42:36
2. Nikki Harris (GB) Young Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team at 0:27
3. Sanne Cant (Bel) Enertherm-BKCP at 0:48
4. Gabriella Durrin (GB) Rapha-Focus
5. Ellen Van Loy (Bel) DNCS-Pro 2012 Cycling Team at 1:49
6. Reza Hormes-Ravenstijn (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team at 2:16
7. Loes Sels (Bel) at 2:38
8. Yara Kastelijn (Ned) RTC Buitenlust at 2:55
9. Joyce Vanderbeken (Bel) Decock-Woningbouw Vandekerckhove at 3:12
10. Laura Verdonschot (Bel) VZW Lotto-Ladiescycling at 3:24.

Evans Will Start Season At Santos Tour Down Under
BMC Racing Team’s Cadel Evans said a return to the Santos Tour Down Under in his home country of Australia will mark the start of his 2014 season.

The 2011 Tour de France winner last competed in the Tour Down Under in 2010, when he was the reigning world road champion and finished sixth overall. Evans said an aim to get his season off to a strong start factored into his decision to return to the race that begins with the People’s Choice Classic Jan. 19 in Adelaide. “With my focus on the Giro d’Italia, everything comes earlier in the year,” he said. “There is also the team’s desire to get the season off to a good start. I think with a bit harder course this year, it would be realistic to go for the overall.” Evans said he is excited to compete in the six-stage race that marks the start of the WorldTour calendar. “I haven’t been able to race there since 2010 because I’ve always been working toward the Tour de France,” he said. “But with me going for the Giro, it gives me the opportunity to race in Australia and the race which has become the real season start and the meeting point for the world of cycling at the beginning of the year. So it will be something special, especially racing in front of a home crowd.” BMC Racing Team President/General Manager Jim Ochowicz said although a roster around Evans has not been revealed, the line-up will lend strong support to last year’s third-place finisher at the Giro d’Italia. “We are pleased that Cadel has made the choice to help the team in the opening season’s ProTour event,” Ochowicz said. “The team we have chosen to support Cadel is one that he is very familiar with that includes riders who have helped him to past victories.”
Thanks to Sean Weide, BMC Press Officer.

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Dayer Quintana joins Movistar
Nairo’s younger brother, 21, takes the leap towards pro cycling as part of Eusebio Unzué’s squad

Press release: Movistar Team will have two Quintanas in 2014. Joining Nairo, the biggest sensation in pro cycling during the last season, the squad managed by Eusebio Unzué will have Dayer, the younger brother of the Colombian superstar. The 21-year-old from Cómbita, Boyacá, will make his debut in the pro scene after having competed in the ranks of amateur squad Lizarte in 2013. In spite of starting his season in April, Dayer Quintana finished more than twenty times within the best ten in the Spanish calendar and proved his great conditions, especially on climbing.
After a brilliant junior stage, the Colombian rider had to stop riding for a year and a half as he served in the national police, getting back in the summer of 2012, when he battled well against experienced pros despite still in his early 20’s. Dayer’s first contact with his new team-mates will come next week, during a team meeting held by the Blues in the outskirts of Pamplona.

Photo: Movistar Team.

Johnny Hoogerland to Androni Giocattoli
Dutch champion Johnny Hoogerland has signed for the Italian Androni Giocattoli team of Gianni Savio for next year. Hoogerland had not managed to find a WorldTour team after Vacansoleil-DCM announced their ending this year, so the top Italian ProConti team Androni will allow him to start in many big races in 2014 including the Giro d’Italia.

Johnny Hoogerland, Hero:

Saitama Criterium 2013
2013 Tour de France winner Chris Froome won the first Saitama Criterium in Japan in front of an estimated crowd of over 200,000 on Saturday. The bad weather didn’t stop the riders putting on a show on the 2.6 kilometre circuit and much like any post Tour criterium it followed a nice script. The yellow jersey came to the front in the closing kilometres with the green jersey of Peter Sagan (Cannondale) on his wheel and Rui Costa (Movistar) in his rainbow jersey just behind and that’s how they crossed the line.

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