What's Cool In Road Cycling

EuroTrash Monday!

Cancellara dominates on Saturday, Boonen gets his own back on Sunday and Contador wins again. The big names of our sport are firing on all cylinders and we’ve got all the latest results, news and videos from around the world for you today. It’s EuroTrash time!

Cancellara The King
Top story today has to be Fabian Cancellara’s amazing ride in the E3-Prijs on Saturday in Belgium where he displayed his true class and amazing power simply annihilating the field for a great solo win. Spartacus overcame 2 punctures, a team car which was ranked a lowly 23rd in the convoy and a bike change like they were nothing. After each problem he came back to the field alone with seeming ease before then powering up to an early breakaway group single handled and breaking right through them to go away solo.

For those of you that missed the race check out the two videos below for a recap of the best bits of what was simply an amazing performance. Fabian is now the clear favourite in everyone’s books for the upcoming Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix as if he could ride anything like he did on Saturday the others could well be racing for 2nd. Garmin Cervйlo’s young Belgian talent Sep Vanmarcke described Cancellara’s performance to Belgian media after the race quite succinctly I think ,

How would I describe his performance in one word? Ridiculous.

E3 – Prijs 2011 Results:
1. Fabian Cancellara (Leopard-Trek)
2. Jurgen Roelandts (Omega Pharma – Lotto) +1’00″
3. Vladimir Gusev (Katusha) s.t.
4. Sep Vanmarcke (Garmin-Cervйlo) s.t.
5. Bram Tankink (Rabobank) s.t.
6. William Bonnet (FDJ) +1’01″
7. Heinrich Haussler (Garmin-Cervйlo) +1’06″
8. Sйbastien Hinault (AG2R La Mondiale) s.t.
9. Stuart O’Grady (Leopard-Trek) s.t.
10. Serguei Ivanov (Katusha) s.t.

Spidertech Performs Well
Cancellara was certainly the king at the GP E3 on Saturday but another good performance was put in by the Canadian SpiderTech powered by C10 team who placed Hugo Houle in one of the early moves and then their team leader Svein Tuft did very well to be in the front group chasing 2nd place behind the flying Swiss to eventually finish 13th.

After the race Tuft gave an interesting rundown of how he saw the day pass and the amazing display of power by Cancellara;

“When Cancellara caught us, he immediately tried to attack us to go to the front because he knew he would need to do the work. We were just hanging on his wheel. When we regrouped with the front, O’Grady rode a bit but when Fabian hit it, he just went like a motorcycle. I have never seen something like that. Since I was alone in the front, perhaps I covered too many attacks which I regretted in the final few kilometres, but overall I am super happy about my race. This is such a tough race — and being right in the battle for the second place battle felt really good.”

An understandably happy Directeur Sportif Steve Bauer had the following to say on his charge’s efforts,

“I am extremely happy with the ride our team did today. The men did a great job for Svein and he came through solid for us. For Svein to be in that select group of 14 riders in E3-Prijs is a testament to his talent. The two races in Waragem and E3 were Sveins’ first time racing both events, and I can say he is built for these Classics. Impressive Mr. Tuft.”

Next race for the team as they continue their fight against the big teams throughout Europe is the UCI 1.1 Route Adelie de Vitre in Franec on April 1st.

Boonen Bounces Back In Gent-Wevelgem
With arch rival Fabian Cancellara winning on Saturday and Quickstep management deciding to rest Tom Boonen specifically for Gent-Wevelgem the pressure was certainly on big Tom for the race on Sunday. Things didn’t look great for the Quickstep team after Sylvain Chavanel got caught in the last kilometer and with the bunch sprinting for the win containing top sprinters like Tyler Farrar, Andre Greipel and Daniele Bennati but Boonen came out of bunch sprinting retirement in fine style coming off a perfect leadout from teammate Gert Steegmans to claim the win.

The win must be a big relief for Tom and the team as before the race Quickstep were the only team not to have any WorldTour points! Speaking on the win after the race Boonen stated,

“It’s a great win that boosts the morale of our whole team. Everyone did a fantastic job today. It was quite an emotion to cross the finish line here. Winning this competition after so many years has a special flavor to it. This doesn’t make much difference for the Ronde Van Vlaanderen (Tour of Flanders), they’re two different things. I need to improve a bit more to be in top form for the Ronde.”

And speaking on his and his team’s chances for the Tour of Flanders next Sunday,

” Everyone still has a good improvement margin before Sunday’s race. We can and must do well. It took some time to find the right mechanisms within the team with all these young and new riders. But we’re very well-synched now and I think today’s race showed it. Next Sunday we’re going to run a good race.”

For those of you that missed the race the video is posted below of the final few kilometres which shows a great last ditch attack by Ian Stannard (Sky) a quick sprint by Boonen and an unfortunate post race crash for Yoann Offredo (FDJ) and Leonardo Duque (Cofidis) who went down after the line (9m08s) after hitting a cameraman.

1.Tom Boonen (Quick Step)
2. Daniele Bennati (Leopard-Trek) s.t.
3.Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Cervйlo) s.t.
4. Andrй Greipel (Omega Pharma – Lotto) s.t.
5. Lloyd Mondory (AG2R La Mondiale) s.t.
6. Mitchell Docker (Skil-Shimano) s.t.
7. Bernhard Eisel (HTC – High Road) s.t.
8. Kristof Goddaert (AG2R La Mondiale) s.t.
9. Lars Boom (Rabobank) s.t.
10. Baden Cooke (Saxo Bank) s.t.

Frank Schleck Climbs To Criterium Win
Frank Schleck scored his first win of the season for his new team on Saturday when he out climbed all comers at the Criterium International in Corsica, France after some good early work by his brother Andy on the lower slopes set him up nicely. The older of the brothers won quite easily in the end on the mountain top finish ahead of Vasil Kiriyienka (Movistar) and Rein Taaramae (Cofidis)who would be Schleck’s only competition for the General Classification after Stage 1 as the peloton including pre race favourite and last year’s winner Pierrick Fedrigo (FDJ) finished over 1 minute down on the stage.

Stage 1 Results:
1. Frank Schleck (Leopard-Trek)
2. Vasil Kiriyienka (Movistar) +0’16″
3. Rein Taaramae (Cofidis) +0’22″
4. David Lopez (Movistar) +0’58″
5. Alexandre Geniez (Skil-Shimano) +1’00″
6. Sergey Lagutin (Vacansoleil) +1’09″
7. Lars Peter Nordhaug (Team Sky) s.t.
8. Pierre Rolland (Europcar) s.t.
9. Pierrick Fйdrigo (FDJ) s.t.
10. Andy Schleck (Leopard-Trek) s.t.

Stage 2 was an early Sunday morning stage of just 75kms which ended in a bunch sprint won by the surprising ex Milram rider, Simon Geschke (Skil-Shimano) who took the long uphill sprint ahead of Garmin’s Murillo Fischer. Franck Schleck finished safely in the bunch and it was now down to the afternoon’s 7km time trial to decide GC honors.

Stage 2 Results:
1. Simon Geschke (Skil-Shimano)
2. Murillo Fischer (Garmin-Cervйlo) s.t.
3. Laurent Mangel (Saur-Sojasun) s.t.
4. Florian Vachon (Bretagne-Schuller) s.t.
5. Arnaud Molmy (Big Mat – Auber 93) s.t.
6. Jonathan Hivert (Saur-Sojasun) s.t.
7. Julien El Farиs (Cofidis) s.t.
8. Tony Gallopin (Cofidis) s.t.
9. Fabian Wegmann (Leopard-Trek) s.t.
10. Jйrфme Cousin (Europcar) s.t.

Stage 3’s time trial was always going to be a crucial part of the GC battle but with Frank Schleck holding a 20s lead over Kiriyienka and 28s over Taaramae with just 7kms to erase those deficits the odds were certainly in Schleck’s favor. Franck put in a solid time trial to finish 12th just 24s behind stage winner Andreas Kloden (RadioShack) and more importantly he lost just 7s to Kiryienka and actually put 2s into Taaramae.

Stage 3 Time Trial Results:
1. Andreas Klцden (Radio Shack)
2. Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky) +0’04″
3. Jakob Fuglsang (Leopard-Trek) +0’10″
4. David Zabriskie (Garmin-Cervйlo) +0’14″
5. Andrew Talansky (Garmin-Cervйlo) +0’15″
6. Jйrфme Coppel (Saur-Sojasun) +0’16″
7. Maxime Monfort (Leopard-Trek) s.t.
8. Vasil Kiryienka (Movistar) +0’17″
9. Tiago Machado (Radio Shack) +0’20″
10.Anthony Roux (FDJ) +0’21″
12. Frank Schleck (Leopard-Trek) +0’24″
16. Rein Taaramae (Cofidis) +0’26″

Final General Classification:
1. Frank Schleck (Leopard-Trek)
2. Vasil Kiriyenka (Movistar) +0’13″
3. Rein Taaramae (Cofidis) +0’30″
4. Alexandre Geniez (Skil-Shimano) +1’14″
5. Tiago Machado (Radio Shack) +1’15″
6. Jean-Christophe Pйraud (AG2R La Mondiale) +1’16″
7. Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Cevйlo) s.t.
8. Pierrick Fйdrigo (FDJ) +1’19″
9. David Lopez (Movistar) +1’23″
10.Sergey Lagutin (Vacansoleil) +1’25″

Endura Wins In Normandy!
Scottish team, Endura Racing took a big win on the weekend when their French rider and Ex Cofidis man, Alexandre Blain took out the 8 stage Tour de Normandie in France. This 2.2 Category race perhaps isn’t the toughest race on the calendar on paper but the competition was high and the Endura boys rode well to take the victory with their two heavy hitters Blain and Jack Bauer always in on the action. Blain took the jersey after winning the second last stage and then held on to the lead in the 135km last stage for a great win for him and the team.

Final General Classification:
1. Alexandre Blain (Endura Racing)
2. Mathieu Simon (CC Nogent-sur-Oise) +0’05″
3. Wesley Kreder (Rabobank Continental) s.t.
4. Tomasz Olejnik (Pavilly Barentin) +0’13″
5. Luke Rowe (Great Britain) s.t.
6. Jean-Marc Bideau (Bretagne-Schuller) +0’15″
7. Matthieu Halleguen (Bretagne-Schuller) +0’16″
8. Tosh van der Sande (Lotto Davo) +0’17″
9. Jack Bauer (Endura Racing) +0’18″
10. Thomas Vedel Kvist (Glud & Marstrand) s.t.

Day Returns In San Dimas
Ben Day (Kenda/5-Hour Energy p/b GearGrinder) returned from the Pegasus debacle in the best possible way over the weekend by winning the San Dimas stage race for his new Kenda team. Day set up the overall victory this year by once again winning the opening time trial and then holding onto the lead in the following two stages won by Annibal Barrajo (Jamis) and Ricardo Escuela (Full Circle Sports).

Final GC:
1. Ben Day (Kenda/5-Hour Energy p/b GearGrinder)
2. Matt Cooke (Team Exergy)
3. Tyler Wren (Jamis/Sutter Home)
4. Francisco Mancebo (RealCyclist.com)
5. Cesar Grajales (RealCyclist.com)

Sella Takes The Overall At Coppi E Bartali
When we left the Coppi E Bartali in EuroTrash Thursday the Androni Giocattoli team was well in control after 3 stages and after 3 more stages nothing changed there – just the leader at Androni Giocattoli who went from Roberto Ferrari to Emanuele Sella after he won in the mountains and never relinquished his lead. This is Sella’s biggest win to date after returning from his infamous doping suspension and his form and motivation are high as he prepares for the very mountainous Giro d’Italia this year.

Final GC:
1. Emanuele Sella (Androni Giocattoli)
2. Diego Ulissi (Lampre) +0’30″
3. Stefano Pirazzi (Colnago-CSF) +0’32″
4. Giovanni Visconti (Farnese Vini) +0’38″
5. Adriano Malori (Lampre) +0’43″
6. Rory Sutherland (UnitedHealthcare) +0’56″
7. Gianni Meersman (FDJ) +0’59″
8. Stefan Schumacher (Miche) +1’05″
9. Angel Vicioso (Androni Giocattoli) +1’08″
10. Domenico Pozzovivo (Colnago-CSF) +1’11″

Contador Wins Again
Alberto Contador wrapped up yet another GC victory at the Volta a Catalunya on the weekend comfortably finishing in the pack on Stage 7 which was won by Samuel Dumoulin (Cofidis) in a sprint. Contador took the GC victory thanks to his solo win on Stage 3 and was then able to easily hold onto his lead in the following stages eventually winning by 23s over Michele Scarponi (Lampre) and 35s from Dan Martin (Garmin – Cervйlo).

The last two stages were simple bunch sprints with Samuel Dumoulin getting his 2nd victory of the week in Stage 7 and Josй Joaquin Rojas (Movistar) finally, finally winning something when he took stage 6. The amount of times that I have watched races this year with the Movistar team chasing down the breaks to set Rojas up for the sprint and with him then failing to win has been too numerous to list here. If we counted top 10 finishes I’d say that Rojas would probably have the most of any rider this year so it must have been a HUGE relief for both he and his team to finally get the victory.

In all honesty though this race didn’t have any of the top sprinters of our sport in attendance so this race was certainly his best chance to get the victory for his team. When Samuel Dumoulin wins two stages in sprints I think that really says something about the sprint competition. No offense to little Sammy as he’s a great bike rider but he is not a top class sprinter – more a puncher .

The level of sprinters at this race was in direct contrast to the level of GC riders though with Contador beating out many of the big GC names in our sport for the victory with just a quick look at the results sheets showing riders like Ivan Basso (7th), Cadel Evans(8th), Levi Leipheimer (2nd before the final stage), Christian Vande Velde (19th) and Nicolas Roche (33rd) all being no match for an inform Contador.

Here’s a quick video now of a rare sight in pro cycling a Josй Joaquin Rojas victory in a bunch sprint!

Stage 6 Results:
1. Josй Joaquin Rojas (Movistar)
2. Manuel Cardoso (Radio Shack) s.t
3. Samuel Dumoulin (Cofidis) s.t
4. Daniel Martin (Garmin-Cervйlo) s.t
5. Diego Milan (Caja Rural) s.t
6. Daniele Pietropolli (Lampre) s.t
7. Rubйn Pйrez (Euskaltel) s.t
8. Kenny de Haes (Omega Pharma – Lotto) s.t
9. Remi Cusin (Cofidis) s.t
10. Michal Golas (Vacansoleil) s.t

Stage 7 Results:
1. Samuel Dumoulin (Cofidis)
2. Rigoberto Uran (Team Sky) s.t.
3. Kenny de Haes (Omega Pharma – Lotto) s.t.
4. Josй Joaquin Rojas (Movistar) s.t.
5. Manuel Cardoso (Radio Shack) s.t.
6. Aitor Galdos (Caja Rural) s.t.
7. Michal Golas (Vacansoleil) s.t.
8. Blel Kadri (AG2R La Mondiale) s.t
9. Ivan Rovny (Radio Shack) s.t.
10. Kevin Seeldraeyers (Quick Step) s.t.

Final General Classification:
1. Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank)
2. Michele Scarponi (Lampre) +0’23″
3. Daniel Martin (Garmin-Cervйlo) +0’35″
4. Christopher Horner (Radio Shack) s.t.
5. Rigoberto Uran (Team Sky) +0’38″
6. Xavier Tondo (Movistar) s.t.
7. Ivan Basso (Liquigas) s.t.
8. Cadel Evans (BMC) +0’50″
9. Kevin Seeldrayers (Quick Step) +1’12″
10. Bauke Mollema (Rabobank) s.t.

Contador States His Case
With the UCI appealing the Spanish Cycling Federation’s clearing of Alberto Contador to the CAS, Contador’s win at the Volta a Catalunya might have felt a bit sour for the Spaniard but he wasn’t letting the UCI’s decision get him down releasing the following press statement on the affair;

Alberto Contador knew after today’s stage the UCI’s decision to appeal to CAS the resolution of innocence issued at the time by the Spanish Cycling Federation. The leader of Saxo Bank-SunGard would not escape to the media awaiting him at the finish line and gave an informal press conference after the podium ceremony of the Volta a Catalunya, where he is the overall leader since his victory yesterday in Andorra. Alberto said he is among those who believe “that things happen because they have to pass. Maybe we should go to TAS to prove that my innocence is even clearer”, he said.

“I knew the decision of the UCI when I reached the finish line. Today was just another day”, he said, “now I don’t like the situation, but I am confident in all the arguments that have given my lawyers. I fully trust them”, he said.

Alberto admitted that this news is not good. “I wish that there were no appeal or that they will act with more logic, but as I said before, if this happens is because it has to pass, and I have full confidence in solving the case at the TAS”.

Alberto said he would continue “with my program as I have done so far”, among other reasons, because he still has the full support of his team, Saxo Bank-Sungard, which today issued a statement in this line. He also said that the UCI “has had time to see all documentation submitted and I am sure they never, never have seen a documentation like that we have submitted, and maybe that’s why they have not decided until the last day, although experts and scientists know clearly that there is not a doping case”.

Finally, Alberto Contador said that cycling “has to consider many things right now”, referring to the fact this sport produces news only because of such events rather than sporting matters.

Unfortunately for Contador fans and fans of cycling alike this case risks dragging on for a while yet and could easily not be solved before the Tour de France. As Contador continues to race and win if he is then subsequently banned by the CAS his victories will then be nullified – just like a certain Tour de France with Floyd Landis and this is something that no one in the sport wants to see again. I think all parties involved are hoping for a quick process and decision from the CAS as are we the fans.

Leipheimer Misses A Victory?
Speaking of results being nullified after the event – finishing second to Contador at the moment could translate to a win down the road so it was a surprise to see second on GC at the Volta a Catalunya going into the last stage, Levi Leipheimer (RadioShack) not starting the final stage. Unfortunately for Levi he had to withdraw from the race after apparently being rushed to hospital on Saturday night suffering severe stomach pain. Subsequently Michele Scarponi (Lampre) moved up into 2nd and young Dan Martin (Garmin-Cervйlo) into 3rd.

Team RadioShack released the following statement on Levi’s illness and his subsequent unfortunate withdrawal from the race;

Levi Leipheimer had to abandon the final stage of the Vuelta a Catalunya due to an abdominal sub-obstruction. This is an issue Leipheimer has dealt with for a long time, dating back to his childhood when he was kicked in the stomach by a horse. At that time the injury caused intestinal damage and Levi had to undergo abdominal surgery. This surgery caused adhesions and scar tissue. These adhesions reduced intestinal motility and at one point caused a life-threatening intestinal obstruction during the time Levi raced for team Rabobank. When intestinal motility is blocked, first a person gets severe abdominal pain. When the obstruction persists, intestinal fluids can get into the abdominal cavity and cause a lethal sepsis. Saturday night Levi had a semi-obstruction. He had a lot of pain and was transferred to the hospital where he stayed overnight for observation. Fortunately the sub-obstruction didn’t turn into an obstruction and he was able to leave the hospital this morning.

Good News And Bad News At BMC
First the good news – George Hincapie has decided to sign for one more year with team BMC after originally thinking that this year would be his last, big George is enjoying his time at the team, is still feeling good on the bike and has now committed to yet another year in his long professional career.

Now for the bad news for BMC – young American talent, Brent Bookwalter crashed heavily in the last stage of the Volta a Catalunya breaking his left collarbone. Just 15kms into the stage, Bookwalter went down on the rain slickened roads explaining that, “Speeds were high, big groups were attacking and there were a lot of tired guys. I’m not sure how long I’ll be out, but it’s never good.”

Terrible Luck For Team Type 1
Team Type 1- sanofi-aventis suffered a devastating loss in Italy at the Coppi E Bartali on Friday night when thieves stole the team’s entire inventory of race bikes, wheels, tools, time trial bikes and equipment whilst the team slept. This unfortunately meant that the team had to withdraw from the race the next day where the team had been performing really well and has obviously been a huge distress to the riders, management and staff alike.

Early estimations for the loss put the stolen equipment at more than 500,000 Euros all gone in an instant in what was obviously a well-planned robbery. Team Type 1 CEO and Founder Phil Southerland released the following statement on the terrible affair which is unfortunately not the first such incident that has occurred in recent years in Italy (Barloworld 2007, Silence-Lotto 2008 and the Australian team in 2004 just to name three others of the same genre).

“Having to withdraw from Coppi-Bartali as a result of the devastating loss of equipment is a tremendous disappointment for the team, especially after riding so well here with Rubens and Lazlo both in the top ten in the time trial on Stage 4 and Andrea 2nd in the sprint in the opening stage. It’s an unfortunate situation but our immediate priority is getting our guys back on bikes. We have extraordinary partners in sanofi-aventis, Colnago, Shimano, Limar, and Park Tools, and are working closely with all of them to ensure our guys can be ready to compete in Vitre on April 1st.”

Here’s hoping that the team gets back on the road in time for their next race in France on April Fool’s day, the UCI 1.1 Route Adelie de Vitre and obviously if you see any of their equipment for sale – alert the authorities!

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