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EuroTrash Monday!

Simon Gerrans has won the Tour Down Under (again) and Nairo Quintana took the Tour de San Luis and we have all the results, quotes and video from south of the equator. In other cycling news: we take a look at ‘old men’ of the peloton, with Jens Voigt still attacking and Chris Horner looking like he will do soon. Fabian Cancellara has been on the track and Belkin set out their stall. EuroTrash Monday time!

TOP STORY: Jens Voigt: The Old Man of the Bunch
Voigt has the race number 42 on his back and the same 42 years on his passport. Jens Voigt is the oldest of the bunch and the most combative. He again escaped and fought until the end in the fifth stage of the Tour Down Under, again he gave a lesson in courage to the young riders. He escaped with Lobato, Ignatiev and Trentin. Caught with 16 kilometres to go, the German tried again. “When we were caught, I attacked again, what else should I do? Disappear?” Asked Voigt. “I do not have to work for a leader or anything and was not going to win the stage against the favourites, so I thought I’d better do it in style, make a show, to entertain people.”

“Actually, it might have worked well, those kids have to smile and say ‘oh, it’s just Jens, he’s an old man with the number 42 on his back, like his age, let him go.’ And then, “with a good lead, they were caught again,” he joked. “There was crosswinds so it was difficult for everyone in the group, I’d bet on me given a chance, I have nothing to lose,” said Voigt. “I was angry because I was caught, so I thought I would stretch my legs a bit to make them work even harder. Well, you have to entertain the audience as well, and who knows how it ends? I’ve won races like that.”
“It’s probably my last race in Australia so I thought I`d escape in style. It’s the last time in my life I’ll do Willunga Hill,” he concluded.

Talking of old men; the old rumour of Lampre-Merida signing Chris Horner has resurfaced. The 42 year old Vuelta a España winner is being linked to the team by DS Brent Copeland and it is being said that decision will be made before the team presentation in February. His race schedule would include the Giro d’Italia and then the defence of his Vuelta title; this would leave the Tour de France for World champion Rui Costa.

It just proves it’s never too late!

Jens Voigt Kills Himself!!!!

Santos Tour Down Under 2014
André Greipel and also Lotto Belisol has taken the first win of the season! The German champion was the fastest in Stage 4 of the Tour Down Under, from Unley to Victor Harbor. Teammate Jürgen Roelandts, who had perfectly pulled the sprint, finished second. Elia Viviani Cannondale) completed the top three.

After a start of the stage with many attacks Axel Domont (Ag2r-La Mondiale) and Cameron Wurf (Cannondale) got a big enough gap for the break of the day. With about 50 km to go Orica-GreenEdge and Lotto Belisol raised the tempo and with the help of the crosswind the peloton was split. All six of the Lotto Belisol riders, Olivier Kaisen had abandoned the race, were present in the first section. A late attack by Jan Bakelants and Serge Pauwels (Omega Pharma – Quick-Step) were caught with only 600 meters to go. Lotto Belisol perfectly set up the sprint and André Greipel finished it off. It’s his fifteenth stage win ever at the Tour Down Under.

Adam Hansen was third on the only climb of the day, after the two escapees, and hangs on to the KOM jersey. In GC he moves up one place. The Aussie is now 12th, still in the same time as the 7th rider.

André Greipel: “For me this was the first real sprinter’s chance at the Tour Down Under. That today we not only take the stage win but also the second place with Jürgen Roelandts shows the strength of our team. This was a very strong collective performance. It was a nervous stage, with a lot of crosswind. At the right moment we raised the pressure which resulted in a split of the peloton. Of course I’m glad I could take my first victory. I knew the last climb and the final well, so I knew what we could expect. This well-deserved victory is great. The team is rewarded for its work. The confidence was there, but because of the victory we are all the more looking forward to the final stage on Sunday.”

Cadel Evans of the BMC Racing Team held onto the overall lead Friday at the Santos Tour Down Under, but saw his advantage over second-placed Simon Gerrans (Orica-GreenEdge) reduced from 12 seconds to seven. Gerrans placed fourth but earned three bonus seconds by winning the first intermediate sprint and two more for finishing second on the other. “It was a nervous day with the wind,” Evans said. “Orica really took control of the race, putting the whole team on (the front) for the intermediate sprints. Obviously, the first one didn’t go favourably for me; the second one went worse. That’s really the element and especially for the first one I had the whole team there all ready to go and very well organized. Compliments to them.”

Saturday’s penultimate stage finishes up Old Willunga Hill, a three-kilometre climb with an average grade of 7.6 percent. In 2010, with Evans racing as the reigning world road champion, he finished third on the same stage, four seconds behind winner Luis Leon Sanchez. “I think everyone’s going to be looking at Willugna,” Evans said. “If I am going to win the race than I am certainly going to have to do something pretty special there. Looking at the numbers, we have four stages favourable to Orica and two for me. So it’s not in my advantage. Willunga will be important. But certainly if Orica can go for intermediate sprints they can eat away at seven seconds pretty quickly.”

Sport Director Fabio Baldato said the BMC Racing Team’s reconnaissance of the stage proved valuable, particularly when a surge in speed and strong crosswinds split the peloton with about 50 km to go. “We knew it was going to be difficult and technical,” Baldato said. “Orica went full gas to try to bring back the breakaway to do the second intermediate sprint. Tomorrow will be a little bit different with a tough finish and two more bonification sprints and then two more on Sunday.”

At least twice during the 148.5-kilometer race, Evans had brushes with danger. TV replays showed him narrowly avoiding hitting riders: first when crosswinds buffeted the peloton and later when he was pulling to the left side of the road to get to the team car … Two years ago, BMC Racing Team’s Martin Kohler also led the race overall heading into the stage finish on Old Willunga Hill. But the then-Swiss national time trial champion finished 17th on the day and conceded the Ochre jersey as Alejandro Valverde took the stage win ahead of Gerrans … The BMC Racing Team has five podium finishes this season between the Santos Tour Down Under and the Tour de San Luis. At this same time last year, competing in the same two races, the team had one (Philippe Gilbert’s third place on Stage 3 at the Tour Down Under).

Santos Tour Down Under Stage 4 Result:
1. André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Belisol in 3:33:07
2. Jurgen Roelandts (Bel) Lotto Belisol
3. Elia Viviani (Ita) Cannondale
4. Simon Gerrans (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge
5. Nathan Haas (Aus) Garmin-Sharp
6. Daryl Impey (RSA) Orica-GreenEdge
7. Maxime Bouet (Fra) Ag2r-La Mondiale
8. Nikolay Trusov (Rus) Tinkoff-Saxo
9. Anthony Roux (Fra) FDJ.fr
10. Francesco Gavazzi (Ita) Astana.

Santos Tour Down Under Overall After Stage 4:
1. Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC at 14:19:46
2. Simon Gerrans (Aus) Orica-Greenedge at 0:07
3. Diego Ulissi (Ita) Lampre-Merida at 0:14
4. Nathan Haas (Aus) Garmin-Sharp at 0:23
5. Robert Gesink (Ned) Belkin at 0:29
6. Geraint Thomas (GB) Sky
7. Daryl Impey (RSA) Orica-GreenEdge at 0:33
8. Brent Bookwalter (USA) BMC
9. Rory Sutherland (Aus) Tinkoff-Saxo
10. Richie Porte (Aus) Sky.

Stage 4:

Cadel Evans fought his way to a sixth-place finish Saturday on Old Willunga Hill, but the BMC Racing Team leader slipped out of the overall lead by one second to Simon Gerrans (Orica-GreenEdge) at the end of Stage 5.

Evans attacked in the final two kilometres of the 151.5-km race. But Richie Porte (Sky) countered the move and soloed away to win the stage. Meanwhile, Diego Ulissi (Lampre-Merida) and Gerrans, both of whom Evans initially distanced, worked together to catch him. But after launching multiple attacks earlier on the climb and again in the final kilometre, Evans lost contact with the pair in the final 100 meters. He rolled across the finish line four seconds after Ulissi out-sprinted Gerrans for second. Coupled with a four-second time bonus earned for placing third, Gerrans regained the Ochre leader’s jersey he had held for the first two days but gave up to Evans after Stage 3.

Evans said he anticipated the lead-in to the second of two ascents of Wallunga Hill would be important. The past Tour de France champion received a strong escort, first from Danilo Wyss and then from Brent Bookwalter. But the pair was the only two other BMC Racing Team riders to make the split when Orica-GreenEdge forced the pace the first time up the climb. “In the end, I have to say Orica rode fantastic and they raced for every second here all week,” Evans said. “When they put pressure on me after the king of the mountain sprint after that first time up Wallunga, it caught some of our team on the back foot. That cost me at the start (of the climb) where I had to make my moves to secure the overall.”

Heading into Sunday’s 20-lap, 85.5-kilometer circuit race in Adelaide, Evans is four seconds ahead of Ulissi and nine seconds ahead of Porte. Time bonuses of three, two and one second are on offer for the final stage in the form of two intermediate sprints, as well as bonuses of 10, six and four seconds at the finish line. “The race isn’t over,” Evans said, “but we are going against a team that is specifically designed for this race. We don’t have a pure sprinter here. The difference between first and second and maybe even third on GC could come down to the intermediate seconds. So if you don’t come here with a lead out team and sprinters, it becomes quite difficult to achieve.”

Second on the stage, Diego Ulissi (Lampre-Merida): “Today stage was demanding, all the most talented cyclists tried to hit the target and to improve their positions in the overall classification,” Ulissi explained. “That’s why I’m satisfied, I was there in the head of the race, fighting again for a top result and I realized a very good performance. I preferred to manage the energies, so I did not reply when Evans attacked in the early part of the climb, the efforts made Cadel less brilliant in the final meters, while I could perform a good sprint. It is important not to lose concentration in the final of the stage, whose profile could seem simple, but that will be raced in an intense way by all the top classification riders.”

Adam Hansen (Lotto Belisol): “Today was an important day for GC. Going into the stage I was 12th overall, now I’m 8th. That’s a good improvement from last year when I ended up as 16th and I’m very happy. It’s also very special to win the mountain jersey here and to stand on the podium tomorrow after the last stage, especially because this is an Australian race. Today I was more focused on GC than on the KOM jersey, but it’s a nice bonus. The team worked very well for me. They’ve always put me in a safe position. It was a big honour to have these guys work for me.”

Santos Tour Down Under Stage 5 Result:
1. Richie Porte (Aus) Sky in 3:42:20
2. Diego Ulissi (Ita) Lampre-Merida at 0:10
3. Simon Gerrans (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge
4. Robert Gesink (Ned) Belkin at 0:14
5. Daryl Impey (RSA) Orica-GreenEdge
6. Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC
7. Nathan Haas (Aus) Garmin-Sharp at 0:17
8. Egor Silin (Rus) Katusha
9. Adam Hansen (Aus) Lotto Belisol
10. Geraint Thomas (GB) Sky at 0:21.

Santos Tour Down Under Overall After Stage 5:
1. Simon Gerrans (Aus) Orica-Greenedge in 18:02:19
2. Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC at 0:01
3. Diego Ulissi (Ita) Lampre-Merida at 0:05
4. Richie Porte (Aus) Sky at 0:10
5. Nathan Haas (Aus) Garmin-Sharp at 0:27
6. Robert Gesink (Ned) Belkin at 0:30
7. Daryl Impey (RSA) Orica-GreenEdge at 0:34
8. Adam Hansen (Aus) Lotto Belisol at 0:37
9. Geraint Thomas (GB) Sky
10. Egor Silin (Rus) Katusha.

Stage 5:

Simon Gerrans (Orica-GreenEdge) became the first three-time winner of the Santos Tour Down Under, in front of a home crowd in Adelaide on Australia day. Gerrans went into the Final Stage 6 with a lead of just one second over Cadel Evans (BMC) and finished with the same narrow margin. Gerrans finished on the same time as stage winner André Greipel (Lotto Belisol) who bested Mark Renshaw and Andrew Fenn (both Omega Pharma – Quick-Step) in the stage six sprint. After a dream start to the 2014 season, in which he also won the Australian National Road Race title, Gerrans is now the number one ranked rider in the world.

“The guys did a fantastic job,” said Gerrans. “They kept me right at the front and out of trouble, so it worked out beautifully. It’s a huge honour to win the Tour Down Under. For it to be on Australia Day and racing for an Australia team, it just doesn’t get much better.”

“I guess today’s win is a combination of relief and excitement,” added Gerrans. “It’s a big thrill to have won for a third time. But it’s also a relief because there was a huge amount of expectation on the team this time. So it’s great to finish off with a win, and to back that up and win all these other classifications is just a massive thrill.”

With 16 possible bonus seconds available over the course of the final stage, Orica-GreenEdge was prepared for a nervous day on the road. But Gerrans’s single second lead over Evans never looked in doubt throughout the 85.5 kilometre street circuit. An early breakaway suited the Australian team’s plans on the 18 lap course, with the three rider move mopping up both of the intermediate sprint bonuses and relieving some pressure ahead of the finish.

“It was a pretty nervous day,” noted Gerrans. “The race was still there to be won for a number of riders. We made sure we stayed up the front and out of trouble and I’m really happy to make it through unscathed.”

“It never really got out of control today,” added Sport Director Matt White. “We just had to pay attention, go for the intermediate sprints if we had to but mainly just make sure there were no splits in the last couple of kilometres. Yesterday was obviously the big pressure day and it took the stress off having that one second advantage because we didn’t have to chase the time bonuses like we’ve had to in the past.”

Today’s win wrapped up a perfect week for the Australian outfit. Gerrans won stage one, the points classification and the overall victory. South African Daryl Impey took seventh place overall, and Orica-GreenEdge handily sealed the team’s classification.

“The team this week was just fantastic,” Gerrans noted. “We’ve actually received a lot of praise from everyone here at the race, and that’s a real credit to the guys. Everyone was fully committed and had the same goal of winning the overall in mind. And from day one until today, it’s just been incredible in the way that they managed to do that.”

“It can’t get much better,” echoed White. “We really wanted to win a stage and the overall and obviously ticking those other boxes is very gratifying. We put a lot of emphasis on this race. It’s our home tour and we brought our A-Team. Everyone committed 100 percent to Simon here. It makes it much easier when you have a leader like Simon who is always on the mark when he targets a race. He delivers time and time again.”

It was at this race in 2012 that Orica-GreenEdge took their first WorldTour victory in their maiden season. Taking their second Santos Tour Down Under win offered a moment to reflect on how far the team has come in its first two seasons.

“It was incredible when we won this race for the first time in 2012,” recalled White. “We’re a little bit more relaxed about it now. It’s one more box to tick, but it’s also a really nice one to take back to Europe. It was a huge team effort here this year and that’s the real difference between this victory and 2012. Simon was incredible that year and didn’t have as much support. But this one was really a win for the whole team; the guys have just done an amazing job.”

“This win was probably harder fought for me compared to my past two here; each one been specific and unique,” said Gerrans. “My first was probably a surprise for a lot of people. Then 2012 was GreenEdge’s first WorldTour event so we were thrilled to get that win. This time there was more expectation. We’ve had our best team ever here this year, so that’s made it really special. This victory is really for the team. It’s a credit to them, I just had fantastic support for the whole race.”

“I’m looking forward to racing back in Victoria at the Herald Sun Tour,” said Gerrans. “We’ll have another strong group of guys there. The goal will be to win the general classification and we’ll be very closely watched there, so the pressure will be on us again. But it will be great to have another opportunity to race on home soil.”

Second overall by 1 second; Cadel Evans (BMC) said the result is encouraging in a season that is building toward bettering his third-place finish of a year ago at the Giro d’Italia. “Of course, we’d prefer to win and that’s what we are hard-wired to do,” he said. “But to be second by one second shows we are at a good starting point to work toward May.” Evans soloed to win Thursday’s Stage 3 and into the overall lead by 12 seconds over Gerrans. But Gerrans whittled away at the margin thanks to time bonuses and time gained on Evans Saturday on Old Willunga Hill to regain the Ochre jersey he originally donned after winning the opening stage. “Like I said a few days ago, in a six-day race, two days were suited to me and four days were suited to Orica-GreenEdge,” Evans said. “So to be second by one second is not such a bad performance.” The runner-up result is Evans’s best finish in eight Tour Down Under participations. His only other top five finish at this race came in 2002 when he finished fourth overall. Evans told reporters not to be so quick to record this as his last appearance in his home country’s WorldTour race. “If Adelaide will have me back, don’t be so sure this will be my last Tour Down Under,” he said.

Third overall Diegi Ulissi (Lampre-Merida): “There’s nothing better than being in a good fit and having the opportunity to rely on such great team mates,” Ulissi explained. “So, I want to thank the team, the staff and the sponsors: we started the season in a very satisfying way.
The race was very interesting, each day the top riders fought intensely: I’m happy for my performance, it’s important for me having begun the season being competitive.”

André Greipel: “It was really good teamwork today. I actually didn’t need to do anything until the last two hundred meters; the guys took care of the rest. It was pretty hard to stay together on the circuit. Adam Hansen had a puncture in the last lap so we had to wait as long as possible to move to the front. Marcel Sieberg took the responsibility then to set up the lead-out train with 1,2 kilometres to go, that was the right decision. We had a lot of horsepower in the final kilometre.”

“I’m really happy with this second victory, it gives confidence. Staying healthy is the main goal, the rest will come. I’m super happy with my team mates, everybody had his part in the victory. This was a successful Tour Down Under for us. We have Hansen in the top ten and he also took the mountain jersey, so it has been a nice week. It’s the strength of this team that we all help each other, that’s what counts.”

Lotto Belisol has even more reason to celebrate. Adam Hansen, who finished fourth in stage three, ends the race in his home country as 9th at 37″ of overall winner Simon Gerrans. In the final Hansen had a puncture, but he was placed in the same time as the first group. The Aussie can go home with the KOM jersey. He put it on after the first stage and didn’t let go of it.

Santos Tour Down Under Stage 6 Result:
1. André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Belisol in 1:55:16
2. Mark Renshaw (Aus) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step
3. Andrew Fenn (GB) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step
4. Koen De Kort (Ned) Giant-Shimano
5. Jonathan Cantwell (Aus) Drapac
6. Matthew Harley Goss (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge
7. Nathan Haas (Aus) Garmin-Sharp
8. Jurgen Roelandts (Bel) Lotto Belisol
9. Michal Kolár (Svk) Tinkoff-Saxo
10. Mathew Hayman (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge.

Santos Tour Down Under Final Overall Result:
1. Simon Gerrans (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge in 19:57:35
2. Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC in 0:01
3. Diego Ulissi (Ita) Lampre-Merida at 0:05
4. Richie Porte (Aus) Sky at 0:10
5. Nathan Haas (Aus) Garmin-Sharp at 0:27
6. Robert Gesink (Ned) Belkin at 0:30
7. Daryl Impey (RSA) Orica-GreenEdge at 0:34
8. Geraint Thomas (GB) Team Sky at 0:37
9. Adam Hansen (Aus) Lotto Belisol
10. Egor Silin (Rus) Katusha at 0:47.

The final stage 6:

Tour de San Luis 2014
Nairo Quintana made his prediction correctly and proved again his impressive climbing abilities to make for a brilliant opening to Movistar Team’s 2014 season. The Colombian rider offered a great exhibition through the ascent of the Cerro El Amago, the highest climb of the 8th Tour de San Luis and second mountain-top finish of the race after a 169km Stage 4 starting at Potrero de los Funes. Always well protected by his team-mates; Ventoso, Lastras and Malori, through the opening flat section, then Amador and Intxausti picked up the pace on the first slopes for his attack right at the foot of the climb. Nairo kept Sergio Godoy (San Luis Somos Todos) on his wheel for a couple of kilometres before riding away solo, without any opposition.

Quintana took 50 seconds out of Godoy, a minute and a half on Atapuma (BMC) and Enzo Moyano (San Luis Somos Todos) and almost three minutes over Tuesday’s winner on the Potrero, his countryman Julián Arredondo (Trek). Quintana will roll down the starting ramp of Friday’s 19 kilometre individual time trial in the streets of the province’s capital, as the penultimate rider, having climbed into 2nd overall at just four seconds from Phil Gaimon (Garmin-Sharp). It’s Nairo’s 16th victory as professional rider and the first in Argentina for Movistar in three years after the late Xavi Tondo, who conquered in 2011 the same ITT to be covered on Friday.

Nairo Quintana: “At Potrero, the race leader climbed really well, plus the ascent was shorter and less steep; the Cerro El Amago was different, because it’s a longer climb, a more demanding one and covered in wrinkled cement. That’s why I could open a bigger gap. I made my move and climbed strong. The team was crucial for my performance, they were always at my side, early with the chasing work and then into the climb, breaking the bunch into pieces. They were sensational. This victory is dedicated to them, to my wife, my parents and my baby, who is about to be born and is the most beautiful thing in my life. He was a motivation for me and made for a special day – I felt really strong. It would have been spectacular to take over the leader’s jersey, but we’ll see what happens tomorrow. I’m doing well, though I didn’t train TT’s specifically yet this year and we will be using the Canyon bike for the first time. Knowing which team he rides for, Gaimon will surely do well tomorrow. He’ll have a strong team for the remainder of the race, too – it will be a matter of waiting for our chance and taking advantage of it.”

BMC Racing Team’s Darwin Atapuma finished third on Thursday’s summit finish, to climb from sixth to fourth overall, while teammate Peter Stetina finished seventh on the day and stands ninth with three stages of the Argentinean race to go.

Atapuma registered his second top 10 result for the BMC Racing Team, crossing the finish line 92 seconds after solo stage winner Nairo Quintana (Movistar) and 42 seconds after runner-up Sergio Godoy (San Luis Somos Todos). “When the climb began, there were a lot of attacks from the San Luis Somos Todos riders, but when we reached 10 kilometres to go Quintana did a very strong attack,” Atapuma said. “I wasn’t able to follow him immediately because I was suffering in the heat. But after some kilometres, I recovered a little bit and was able to not lose a lot of time for the overall.”

Omega Pharma – Quick-Step’s Gianluca Brambilla put everything he had into a top 10 finish. “I’m happy about my race,” Brambilla said. “When we hit the last climb the San Luis team did a terrific rhythm. I kept calm and I held my tempo. The climb was really long and had an incredible percentage. The heat made the race even harder! But today we did the right move. Last night with Davide Bramati we decided to use the 32 gearing. It was really magic, a rabbit from the hat! I could do a good rhythm without destroying my legs. I have to thank all our staff here for the right choice.”
Brambilla is only getting stronger, having finished in the top 35 of the previous climbing stage at Tour de San Luis. “The first uphill stage I wasn’t so good probably because of the heat,” Brambilla said. “Yesterday I worked hard for the team for the sprint of Tom Boonen. But today I didn’t feel the fatigue. I’m happy to be part of this group and work when it is necessary for great champions such as Mark Cavendish and Tom. Then, if I can try my cards, it’s even better.”

Tour de San Luis Stage 4 Result:
1. Nairo Alexander Quintana Rojas (Col) Movistar in 4:15:33
2. Sergio Godoy (Arg) San Luis Somos Todos at 0:50
3. Darwin Atapuma Hurtado (Col) BMC at 1:32
4. Enzo Moyano (Arg) San Luis Somos Todos at 1:39
5. Lucas Euser (USA) Team Unitedhealthcare at 1:45
6. Miguel Angel Rubiano (Col) Team Colombia at 2:09
7. Peter Stetina (USA) BMC at 2:31
8. Julian David Arredondo Moreno (Col) Trek at 2:46
9. Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step at 3:04
10. Adam Yates (GB) Orica-GreenEdge at 3:05.

Tour de San Luis Overall After Stage 4:
1. Phillip Gaimon (USA) Garmin-Sharp in 16:54:41
2. Nairo Alexander Quintana Rojas (Col) Movistar at 0:04
3. Marc De Maar (AHo) Unitedhealthcare at 1:15
4. Darwin Atapuma Hurtado (Col) BMC at 1:36
5. Sergio Godoy (Arg) San Luis Somos Todos at 1:45
6. Enzo Moyano (Arg) San Luis Somos Todos at 1:51
7. Lucas Euser (USA) Unitedhealthcare at 1:57
8. Miguel Angel Rubiano (Col) Team Colombia at 2:18
9. Peter Stetina (USA) BMC at 2:32
10. Julian David Arredondo Moreno (Col) Trek at 2:47.

Stage 4:

It was an unforgettable Friday evening for the Movistar Team on Stage 5 of the Tour de San Luis. After Thursday’s convincing win by Nairo Quintana atop the Cerro El Amago, the telephone squad upped their victory account to two with Adriano Malori, the strongest man on the 19-kilometer individual time trial in and around the province’s capital. Twenty-two minutes and eleven seconds made the Italian unbeatable and set a course record, with only Taylor Phinney (BMC) getting close in 2nd, three seconds back. A two-hour wait for Malori on the hot seat lasted until the GC guys finished. Nairo Quintana had the 16th best time of the day, just over a minute behind Malori and beat race leader Gaimon (Garmin-Sharp) for the orange jersey, with just two days remaining.

Led by Taylor Phinney’s runner-up performance, the BMC Racing Team finished three riders in the top 10. Larry Warbasse was fourth and Manuel Quinziato was sixth, while teammate Peter Stetina is now the BMC Racing Team’s best-placed rider, in sixth overall. Warbasse’s fourth-place finish, 48 seconds off the winning time, was his career-best, while Quniziato’s sixth place result was his best result in an individual time trial since finishing fifth at the Italian national time trial championships in 2010. Atapuma said he still has some fight left in his legs. “Tomorrow I think the stage will be decisive for the general classification,” he said. “It is my opinion that the race is not finished yet. I hope to feel good and try to win the stage.”

Phinney, the past U.S. national time trial champion said he made a tactical error by not asking the team’s mechanics to put a 55 or 56-tooth front chainring on his BMC timemachine TM01. “I rode it this morning and thought it wouldn’t be necessary,” Phinney said. “But I got up to 75, 78 kilometres an hour going down on that tailwind section and just had to stop pedalling a couple times.” Phinney said he did not want to make excuses, adding that he knew Malori, a past Italian national time trial champion, would be strong. “My power was there and my pacing strategy was good, but not having those extra gears on the way down cost me a couple seconds,” he said. “Whether that cost me the win, we will never know.” Jorge Giacinti (San Luis Somos Todos) finished third, 29 seconds back.

Adriano Malori: “To be honest, I wasn’t expecting to win because Phinney was focused on taking the win here and was the number-one favourite. But once I got into the race, I realized I was rolling strong. I knew the parcours from last year’s race, when I claimed 5th, and I knew my time was going to be good because I was feeling well. I did another recon this morning behind the team car and was determined to perform well, because I liked the route. It’s a very important win for me, especially from a psychological point of view. It’s January 24th yet, and this gives me much confidence for the remainder of the season. My next goal will be Dubai, where I hope to shine in the TT, too. It’s true that Phinney seems like the man closest to the likes of Martin, Cancellara and Wiggins, and I beat him, but my main challenge this year is precisely that, and I talked about it with Eusebio Unzué: getting closer to those three references, the best specialists in the world. This victory is dedicated to my girlfriend, Elisa, who will be celebrating her birthday in three days’ time, and to a friend who did a lot for me, Mirko Rossato. The team? I’m feeling here better than I ever imagined. I feel like I’ve spent more than a month with them, because there’s great bond within its members, and that’s the biggest strength of this group. The day was perfect, with my victory and Nairo’s leader jersey. Now it’s time for me to focus on defending it tomorrow and helping Ventoso out on Sunday so he can win the sprint.”

Nairo Quintana: “It was a beautiful day for the whole team and that what makes me most happy. Especially with Malori, who did a remarkable time trial, and myself, as I could take over the leader’s jersey. I was coming into this TT a bit more with focus on not losing time and testing my legs against the clock, but I felt strong during the parcours and the result proves it. Though I was riding for the first time with this TT bike, I felt really well. It’s an amazing bike and the legs responded well, too. This gives me confidence for the days left in the race. I’m tackling that final mountain stage in a different way that I expected. I had to attack to win, but now we’ll be racing in a more defensive way, letting a small break going away and responding to attacks that will certainly happen into the final ascent. Having such a strong team makes me even more confident – not only for tomorrow, but for the whole season and ever since the very first day of racing. Let’s hope we can retain this jersey until Sunday. After that, it’ll be time to head back to Spain for the team presentation and then again back to Colombia, to witness the birth of my baby. I can’t really miss that particular stage – at all!”

Tour de San Luis Stage 5 Result:
1. Adriano Malori (Ita) Movistar in 22:11
2. Taylor Phinney (USA) BMC at 0:03
3. Jorge Giacinti (Arg) San Luis Somos Todos at 0:29
4. Lawrence Warbasse (USA) BMC at 0:48
5. Andrey Amador Bakkazakova (CRc) Movistar at 0:52
6. Manuel Quinziato (Ita) BMC at 0:53
7. Tom Boonen (Bel) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step at 0:57
8. Danilo Hondo (Ger) Trek at 1:02
9. Eloy Teruel (Spa) Jamis-Hagens Berman at 1:03
10. Peter Sagan (Svk) Cannondale at 1:05.

Tour de San Luis Overall After Stage 5:
1. Nairo Alexander Quintana Rojas (Col) Movistar in 17:18:14
2. Phillip Gaimon (USA) Garmin-Sharp at 0:26
3. Sergio Godoy (Arg) San Luis Somos Todos at 2:01
4. Enzo Moyano (Arg) San Luis Somos Todos at 2:17
5. Marc De Maar (AHo) Unitedhealthcare at 2:47
6. Peter Stetina (USA) BMC at 2:57
7. Julian David Arredondo Moreno (Col) Trek at 2:59
8. Eduardo Sepulveda (Arg) Bretagne-Seche Environnement at 3:13
9. Darwin Atapuma Hurtado (Col) BMC at 3:21
10. Miguel Angel Rubiano (Col) Team Colombia at 3:30.

Stage 5 with the commentary by CyclingHub:

Julián Arredondo sprinted to the win on Stage 6 ahead of race leader Nairo Quintana (Movistar) and Sergio Godoy (San Luis Somos Todos) to take his second victory of the seven-day tour, and also moved into fourth place in the overall. It was a perfect climb for the explosive Colombian climber as the last three kilometres of the Mirador del Sol were steep, upwards of 14 percent grade.

He played the finish to his strength and followed Quintana and Godoy up the climb waiting until the end to jump around them, crossing the line with enough time to raise his arms in a victory salute. Godoy finished second and Quintana was third and easily held onto his race lead.

“This is incredible, I’m so happy to be able to win again,” said an elated Julián Arredondo. “Nairo [Quitana] is a phenomenal rider and a reference for all of us Colombian riders. I have a lot of respect for him. We know each other quite well and he was setting a high pace in the last parts of the climb. The plan was that I would climb along with the front group and then try and win the sprint. It was another explosive finish, so something that suits me. I didn’t expect to be so good at this point [of the season] but today was another opportunity for a rider of my type and I’m happy that I could turn it into a win. This Tour is a good ride for Colombian cycling!”

“The team is doing really well here,” contined Arredondo. “The mix of young riders and experienced riders is perfect, it is working! A big ‘thank you’ to my team and especially to my room mate Haimar Zubeldia. He’s a great person with an enormous amount of experience. Haimar and Danilo [Hondo] bring a lot of calm to team and this is really important.”

The peloton faced its longest stage of the race at 184.4km, beginning in Las Chacras to the mountain finish on Mirador del Sol. An early break of seven riders made its move and gained no more than a fistful of minutes as Movistar set tempo on the front. It was groupo compacto leading into the finish climb and Julián played his tactics perfectly with his eye solely on the stage win.

“The plan was the same as Tuesday where we protected Julián all race,” explained sport director Alain Gallopin. “We did not have to do anything; we just had to relax until the climb. The climb was seven kilometres long but the three last were steep. The plan was for Julián to stay with Quintana – no attacking, no pulling – just play the stage win and stay on the wheel of Quintana and make the sprint.”

“The Tour de San Luis is a great race, I congratulate the organizers. It has been really important to start the season here. I think the race is only going to get better. It has good roads and hotels. I have a supportive team and they have done a great job for me.” Said overall leader Movistar’s Nairo Quintana.

Tour de San Luis Stage 6 Result:
1. Julian David Arredondo Moreno (Col) Trek in 4:16:54
2. Sergio Godoy (Arg) San Luis Somos Todos at 0:01
3. Nairo Alexander Quintana Rojas (Col) Movistar at 0:05
4. Cleberson Weber (Bra) Clube Dataro de Ciclismo-Bottecchia at 0:09
5. Jose Rodolfo Serpa Perez (Col) Lampre-Merida 0:00:10
6. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Ag2r-La Mondiale at 0:12
7. Thomas Danielson (USA) Garmin-Sharp at 0:14
8. Phillip Gaimon (USA) Garmin-Sharp
9. Adam Yates (GB) Orica-GreenEdge at 0:30
10. Eduardo Sepulveda (Arg) Bretagne-Seche Environnement.

Tour de San Luis Overall After Stage 6:
1. Nairo Alexander Quintana Rojas (Col) Movistar in 21:35:13
2. Phillip Gaimon (USA) Garmin Sharp at 0:35
3. Sergio Godoy (Arg) San Luis Somos Todos at 1:57
4. Julian David Arredondo Moreno (Col) Trek at 2:54
5. Enzo Moyano (Arg) San Luis Somos Todos at 2:59
6. Eduardo Sepulveda (Arg) Bretagne-Seche Environnement at 3:38
7. Peter Stetina (USA) BMC at 3:46
8. Marc De Maar (AHo) Unitedhealthcare at 3:51
9. Darwin Atapuma Hurtado (Col) BMC at 3:52
10. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Ag2r-La Mondiale at 4:03.

Stage 6:

There couldn’t have been a better result for Movistar Team in the 8th edition of the Tour de San Luis, the most important stage race in South America. Nairo Quintana had no troubles during the Final Stage 7 of the Argentinean event; 148km from the province’s capital to Terrazas del Portezuelo, with a final bunch sprint won by Sacha Modolo (Lampre-Merida) from Peter Sagan (Cannondale). Quintana beat American Phil Gaimon (Garmin-Sharp) by 43 seconds in the overall after he had taken back the four minutes Gaimon had amassed with his solo victory on stage one.

The Movistar Team rider proved to be the strongest on the climbs with his exhibition atop the Cerro El Amago on day four, and kept things under control on Saturday at the Mirador del Sol. His notable performance at Friday’s flat ITT in San Luis, where the Blues conquered their second success with newcomer Adriano Malori, confirmed supremacy in a race where the telephone squad got back into winning ways three years after the late Xavi Tondo notched up Movistar’s first ever win in the 2011 TT and 2nd overall.

Away from misfortune suffered by their team-mates in the Tour Down Under with serious crashes for Visconti and Rojas plus stomach problems from Gutiérrez, the fantastic effort by Quintana, Intxausti, Ventoso, Amador, Malori and Lastras gives the Movistar team a great start to the 2014 season.

Nairo Quintana: “It’s an important win when it comes to motivation for the rest of the year. I didn’t make any specific training for the beginning of the season, though we had expected to start a bit stronger than last year. I had no major problems during my preparations and I felt really well throughout the race. I had a bad day on the opening one with that pain in my stomach, but fortunately, I could get over the day and I recovered from that afterwards. I must thank everyone at the team, because they believed in me from the very first day and protected me all the way to the end of the race. That’s crucial, because though you feel strong, you end up paying your efforts if you have no strong team-mates – they make things much easier. My calendar is still to be decided – it will pretty much depend on if we ride the Giro or the Tour. For the time being, I’m only thinking about getting back to Spain for the season launch with my team-mates, and after that, flying quickly to Colombia to witness the birth of my daughter, Mariana, which is due for the first days of February.”

Stage winner Sacha Modolo (Lampre-Merida): “After the 3rd stage, in which I did not perform a competitive sprint, I said my aim was to get even and I knew that Terrazas de Portezuelo could be a good place for doing it. Thanks to the amazing support by my team mates, today I could hit the target. It’s never simple to beat Sagan in a sprint, and I’m pleased with this first victory of this season, the first one for Lampre-Merida. I really hope 2014 can go on in this way, I’ll do the best to be even more competitive than in Tour de San Luis.”

Tour de San Luis Stage 7 Result:
1. Sacha Modolo (Ita) Lampre-Merida in 3:13:28
2. Peter Sagan (Svk) Cannondale
3. Maximiliano Ariel Richeze (Arg) Lampre-Merida
4. Mauro Abel Richeze (Arg) Argentina
5. Jens Keukeleire (Bel) Orica-GreenEdge
6. Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) Trek
7. Manuel Belletti (Ita) Androni Giocattoli
8. Tosh Van Der Sande (Bel) Lotto Belisol
9. Tom Boonen (Bel) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step
10. Taylor Phinney (USA) BMC.

Tour de San Luis Final Overall Result:
1. Nairo Alexander Quintana Rojas (Col) Movistar in 24:48:48
2. Phillip Gaimon (USA) Garmin-Sharp at 0:43
3. Sergio Godoy (Arg) San Luis Somos Todos at 2:02
4. Julian David Arredondo Moreno (Col) Trek at 2:54
5. Enzo Moyano (Arg) San Luis Somos Todos at 3:04
6. Eduardo Sepulveda (Arg) Bretagne-Seche Environnement at 3:43
7. Marc De Maar (AHo) Unitedhealthcare at 3:44
8. Peter Stetina (USA) BMC at 3:51
9. Darwin Atapuma Hurtado (Col) BMC at 3:57
10. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Ag2r-La Mondiale at 4:03
11. Adam Yates (GB) Orica-GreenEdge at 4:35.

Stage 7:

Saldaño Dies in Road Accident
Argentinean cyclist Emanuel Saldaño died in a traffic accident after the van he was travelling in overturned. The 28 year old 2011 Argentinean road champion was taken to hospital but died over night. A minutes silence was held before stage 6 of the Tour de San Luis.

Good bye Emanuel Saldaño:

Cancellara Makes Tests on Mallorca Track
During the Trek Factory Racing team training camp in Mallorca, Fabian Cancellara tested some equipment on the Palma velodrome according to the Dario de Mallorca. Olympic champion and local rider; Joan Llaneras witnessed the Swiss multi-champion, he commented that “Cancellara really liked the Palma Arena, considered it a velodrome where you can roll very fast and even told me he does not rule out his attempt on the hour record in Mallorca.” He added “After the good feelings of the test, Cancellara has included the Palma Arena among the possible locations for his attempt, next to the velodrome in Aguascalientes, Mexico, and the track in Moscow, which is where the last record was set.” The attempt is said to be in 2014 or 2015.

The current hour record is held by Ondrej Sosenka, where he rode 49.7 kilometres in Moscow on July the 19th, 2005.

The great Eddy Mercx Hour Record in Mexico 1972:

Europcar Team for the GP de La Marseillaise
The Europcar team have released their list of riders for the first French race of the season in Marseille on Sunday the 2nd of February.

Europcar team for the GP de la Marseillaise:
Giovanni Bernaudeau, Bryan Coquard, Cyril Gautier, Romain Guillemois, Tony Hurel, Fabrice Jeandesboz, Yannick Martinez, Brian Nauleau.
Directeur Sportif : Dominique Arnould.

The Future for Team Belkin
The Belkin Pro Cycling Team presented their new team at the Dutch Institute for Sound and Vision, some of the team took time out to speak about being #totallyconnected, and their goals for the season including: Richard Plugge, General Manager on his goals for the team and riders Lars Boom, sixth at Paris-Roubaix 2013, climber Lauren Ten Dam, Bauke Mollema, sixth at the Tour de France, new French rider Jonathan Hivert, National Cyclocross Champion Lars Petter Nordhaug, and multiple World Champion Theo Bos. Here is the video by shiftactivemedia:

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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