What's Cool In Road Cycling

EuroTrash Monday!

They’re racing in the Vuelta today, USA Pro Cycling Challenge kicks off in Colorado, Vattenfall Cyclassics finished yesterday and other racing continues in Italy, Holland and the US. The pro peloton is spread throughout the world at the moment but don’t worry we have all the news and videos from all corners of the globe in another race-heavy EuroTrash!

Leopard Trek Start Strong In The Vuelta!
2 days into the Vuelta and Leopard Trek have already seen two of their riders wear the red leader’s jersey after Jakob Fulsgang had the honour after the team time trial and now Daniel Bennati after stage 2. With time bonuses on offer at the finishes in the Vuelta this year the chances of other sprinters to take the jersey from Bennati in the first couple of stages are quite high – look out for Peter Sagan (Liquigas) in particular who’s only 4s down at the moment.

For the moment the guys at Leopard Trek are reveling in their red jersey sharing ways and it all came about thanks to their great victory in the stage 1 team time trial where they were led by a storming Fabian Cancellara and a consistently strong as ever Stuart O’Grady. The Luxembourg squad took the win from Liquigas, HTC and Astana before every other team seemed to do their best to lose time over the 13.5km circuit. There were crashes and mechanicals abounding in the short event which saw Team Sky for one lose a huge amount of time – 42s in less than 14kms! Only Geox and Andalucia-Caja Granada managed to go slower finishing 44s and 1m03s down respectively.

Vuelta a Espana Stage 1, Benidorm TTT, 13.5kms

1 Leopard-Trek 16’ 30”
2 Liquigas-Cannondale + 5”
3 HTC-Highroad + 10”
4 Pro Team Astana same time
5 Movistar Team + 15”
6 Quick-Step same time
7 Omega Pharma-Lotto + 18”
8 Skil-Shimano same time
9 Team Garmin-Cervйlo + 25”
10 Katusha + 26”
11 Euskaltel-Euskadi + 28”
12 BMC same time
13 Saxo Bank-Sungard same time
14 RadioShack + 29”
15 Rabobank + 30”
16 Lampre-ISD + 32”
17 Cofidis + 33”
18 Vacansoleil-DCM + 39”
19 Ag2R-La Mondiale + 42”
20 Team Sky same time
21 Geox-TMC + 44”
22 Andalucia-Caja Granada + 1’ 03”

Stage 2 saw the sprinters get their first chance of the race after the early break was reeled back 20km before the finish and it was Aussie, CJ Sutton (SKY) who claimed his first ever GrandTour stage win. Sutton sprinted clear ahead of the surprising Vincent Reynes (Omega Pharma-Lotto) after the two got a good gap in the last few hundred metres finishing ahead of the peloton led by in form German powerhouse Marcel Kittel (Skil-Shimano).

Vuelta a Espana Stage 2, La Nucнa – Playas de Orihuela, 175.5kms

1 Chris Sutton (Aus) Sky Professional Cycling Team 4hrs 11’ 41”
2 Vincente Reynes (Spa) Omega Pharma-Lotto
3 Marcel Kittel (Ger) Skil-Shimano
4 Tyler Farrar (USA) Garmin-Cervelo
5 Matti Breschel (Den) Rabobank
6 Daniele Bennati (Ita) Leopard-Trek
7 Enrico Gasparotto (Ita) Astana
8 Lloyd Mondory (Fra) Ag2r
9 Luca Paolini (Ita) Katusha
10 John Degenkolb (Ger) HTC-HighRoad all same time

Current General Classification:
1. Daniele Bennati (Ita), Leopard-Trek, 4:28:11
2. Jakob Fuglsang (Den), Leopard-Trek, s.t.
3. Maxime Monfort (Bel), Leopard-Trek, s.t.
4. Thomas Rohregger (Aut), Leopard-Trek, s.t.
5. Peter Sagan (Svk), Liquigas-Cannondale, at 0:04
6. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita), Liquigas-Cannondale, at 0:04
7. Eros Capecchi (Ita), Liquigas-Cannondale, at 0:04
8. Valerio Agnoli (Ita), Liquigas-Cannondale, at 0:04
9. Damiano Caruso (Ita), Liquigas-Cannondale, at 0:04
10. John Degenkolb (Ger), HTC-Highroad, at 0:09

Matty Goss Says Adios
Matt Goss (HTC-Highroad) had the questionable honour of being the first retirement from this year’s Vuelta after he pulled out during yesterday’s stage due to a severe stomach bug. Goss’ problems obviously started earlier than yesterday though when he was uncharacteristically dropped early on in the team time trial to eventually finish almost 3 minutes behind his teammates in the 13.5km race.

Sunny Skies For Sky
After a disastrous team time trial at the Vuelta team Sky not only bounced back with Chris Sutton’s win in Spain but they also claimed the other big race of the day, the Vattenfall Cyclassics with Edvald Boasson Hagen. Boasson Hagen was the quickest of the small peloton taking the win ahead of German, Gerald Ciolek (Quickstep) and Borut Bozic (Vacansoleil) in a fine sprint. Race and crowd favourite Andrй Greipel (Omega Pharma Lotto) was part of a large section of the peloton that got left behind in the final stages meaning that the group sprinting for the win was just 40 riders strong.

It was Team Sky who had not only the most numbers in the front peloton but also the best sprinter after big names such as Greipel, Robbie McEwen and Mark Renshaw all missed the split. The win for Boasson Hagen continues the particularly strong 2nd half of the season for the young Norwegian who won 2 stages in the Tour de France and a stage plus the overall at the recent Eneco Tour. Next win? Worlds in Denmark perhaps?

Vattenfall Results:
1. Edvald BOASSON HAGEN Sky Pro Cycling
2. Gerald CIOLEK Quick Step s.t
3. Borut BOZIC Vacansoleil – DCM s.t.
4. Simone PONZI Liquigas – Cannondale s.t.
5. Jose Joaquin ROJAS GIL Movistar Team s.t.
6. Jьrgen ROELANDTS Omega Pharma – Lotto s.t.
7. Simon CLARKE Pro Team Astana s.t.
8. Manuel Antonio CARDOSO LEAL Team RadioShack s.t.
9. Grega BOLE Lampre – ISD s.t.
10. Michel KREDER Team Garmin – Cervelo s.t.

Cyclassics 2011 super_hugo

Vino To Race Again?
Alexandre Vinokourov has hit the headlines again this weekend with news that his recovery from his big crash in the Tour de France is progressing better than expected and he may even make a comeback at the Tour of Lombardy on October 15! The race would be one last hurrah for Vino and an opportunity to bow out from racing the way he wants to and not via lying in a ravine in France, bruised, broken and bleeding.

Is this all just a publicity stunt by Vino or a real possibility? Amongst his numerous injuries after the horrific crash was a broken femur which was the worst of his problems but according to Vino himself his doctors have given him permission to start light riding this week. With this permission it’s obvious that the recovery is progressing well for Vino but is light riding enough to come back in just 7 weeeks time for one of the toughest classics? Only time will tell.

“The doctors told me that if I wish, I could start training in the coming days. So, if everything goes well, I may compete for Tour de Lombardie, which is the last race of the season and could be the last race to end my career.”

Other news about Vino from this weekend indicates that he will actually be ‘registered’ as a rider next year by Astana (even if he doesn’t ride) so the team can use his valuable ranking points to stay in the WorldTour…..as a retired rider brings no points to the team! And then there are conflicting reports again that Vino is actually coming back to Astana because he is unhappy about recent changes at the team and certain Kazakh officials – a story to watch!

Changes At BMC
BMC haven’t contented themselves with stealing the publicity thunder in July this year with Cadel Evan’s great win in France – they are also stealing the publicity in the transfer market at the moment with their two HUGE signings, Philippe Gilbert and Thor Hushovd. Yes the No.1 and No.2 in the world in Evans and Gilbert plus the current World Champion are all to race for the squad in 2012 and beyond.

The seemingly unstoppable winning machine that is Philippe Gilbert will be leading the squad next year in the classics, Hushovd will go for Paris Roubaix and Evans the Tour de France but will there be too many captains and not enough soldiers in the BMC squad next year? To try and answer that question team management have renewed contracts with six of their Tour de France squad with George Hincapie, Brent Bookwalter, Marcus Burghardt, Steve Morabito, Manuel Quinziato and Michael Schдr all signing up for another year or two of solid work for Evans and their new leaders Hushovd and Gilbert.

For the moment the only confirmed departure from the squad is listed as their big sprinting Norwegian, Alexander Kristoff who realised that there was only enough room for one big Norwegian sprinter on the squad and he packed his bags and has headed off to Katusha. The current Norwegian champion has signed a two-year deal with the Russian squad stating the following on his new team,

“I’m very happy to have reached this agreement with Katusha. It was the team I was dreaming of, the one which – on a technical level – offered me the most solid guarantees.”

Rebellin Wins Again!
Davide Rebellin did it again on Friday – he won again. Just days after recording his first win since his doping suspension with the Tre Vallesine on Tuesday Rebellin made it two with a victory in the Trofeo Melinda ahead of Miguel Chavez Rubiano (D’Angelo & Antenucci – Nippo) and Domenico Pozzovivo (Colnago CSF).

It wasn’t just Rebellin’s second post suspension win it was also his second win in the Trofeo Melinda after he recorded his first back in 2004. With the Vuelta Espana being a week earlier this year the race was lacking some of the big teams and riders that normally race the event though including last year’s winner, Vincenzo Nibali who has much bigger things on his mind in Spain.

1. REBELLIN Davide MIE 5h01’00”
3. POZZOVIVO Domenico COG 06″
4. RATTO Daniele GEO 06″
5. VILA ERRANDONEA Patxi Javier DER 06″
6. MURAGLIA Giuseppe DAN 07″
7. BATTAGLIN Enrico COG 07″
8. BAILETTI Paolo DER 08″
9. SANTORO Antonio AND 08″
10. TABORRE Fabio ASA 10″

Young Wins The Nationals
Neo-pro Eric Young (Bissell) took a huge win this past week when he won the USA Pro Criterium Championships in Michigan. The race came down to a sprint and the 22 year old Young proved the fastest to the line just getting the victory ahead of
Brad Huff (Jelly Belly) in second and Jake Keough (UnitedHealthcare) taking third.

This year’s race was a bit different to previous year’s Nationals as that it was open only to American riders which changed the tactics of the race and certainly the field size with just 50 riders on the startline. The all American affair was a tough race though and although Bissell had the 2nd biggest numbers on the startline (8 riders) they were up against some pretty stiff competition with the likes of Kelly Benefit Strategies-OptumHealth sending 13 riders into battle – and battle they did. Not just against the other riders but also the elements as at 25 laps to go, rain started pouring down and with lightning threatening in the distance officials decided to reduce the race distance in order to finish the race asap. This reduction of race distance and the rain pouring down certainly lit some sort of fuse in the peloton as the pace increased, the attacking went crazy and crashes started occurring.

Then if things couldn’t get any more hectic with just 4 laps to go fencing blew onto the course causing the officials to temporarily stop the race and to wait for the worst of the weather to blow over. 45 minutes later the race was restarted and this time 30 laps were put on the lap counter, dropped riders were reinstated and those who had crashed were bandaged up and ready to go into battle again! This new ’30 lap’ race proved once again to be a chaotic affair that was obvious to one and all that it would finish in a bunch sprint but nobody knew who was going to win – until the last few metres that is when Young managed to stick his nose in front at the last minute for a great win.

USA Pro Crit Championships:
Top 10 Results (Complete Results)
1. Eric Young (Bissell Pro Cycling Team)
2. Charles Huff (Jelly Belly Presented By Kenda)
3. Jacob Keough (UnitedHealthcare)
4. Isaac Howe (KENDA Pro Cycling presented by GEARGRINDER)
5. Alexander Candelario (Kelly Benefit Strategies)
6. Frank Travieso (Realcyclist.com)
7. K Frank Pipp (Bissell Pro Cycling Team)
8. Ty Magner (Team Type 1)
9. Yosvany Falcon (Realcyclist.com)
10. Eric Schildge (Jamis/Sutter Home)

Bos Sprints To Another Victory
Ex superstar track sprinter Theo Bos (Rabobank) continued his already excellent progression into a top flight road sprinter on Friday when he took out the 1.1 ranked Dutch Food Valley Classic in the Netherlands on Friday. Bos’ team worked for him brilliantly throughout he race bringing back all breakaway attempts before Graeme Brown then launched Bos at the line at warp speed with Bos winning easily in the end to make it 5 quality wins for 2011 and counting. (stages in Oman, Tour of Denmark and the Tour de Rjike)

Dutch Food Valley Results:
1. Bos,Theo Rabobank Cycling Team 4.28’36”
2. Stroetinga,Wim Nationale Baanselectie Nederland
3. Dijk,Stefan van Varandas Willems – Accent
4. Havik,Yoeri Cycling Team de Rijke
5. Staeyen,Michael Van Topsport Vlaanderen – Mercator
6. Dahaes,Kenny Omega Pharma – Lotto
7. Hegreberg,Roy Sparrebanken Vest-Ridley
8. Brake,Remco te Cycling Team de Rijke
9. Vanlandschoot,James Varandas Willems – Accent
10. Keisse,Iljo Quick Step Cycling Team

Team Type 1 Goes French
Under the impetus of their French sponsor Sanofi, American squad
Team Type 1 – Sanofi will bring two Frenchmen to the team in 2012, Julien El Fares from Cofidis and Julien Antomarchi of the La Pomme Marseille squad. El Fares (26) has been a pro with Cofidis since 2006 and is a consistent attacker who also packs a fast sprint whilst Antomarchi is a year older at 27 and is a very strong rider. Surprisingly 2011 has been his first full professional year after his elite Marseille club turned professional this year but it has been an excellent year of quality performances. I and many others have been impressed by his racing this year and for me he is one of the strongest French riders in the pro ranks. He’ll certainly be one to watch next year as Team Type 1 will be able to take him to bigger races than was possible with his continental team this year.

If you’ve never seen Julien Antomarchi in action before then check out the video below from this year’s Tour du Haut Var where he was the only one able to respond to a storming Thomas Voeckler attack and then swap off turns with him all the way to the finish after a tough day’s racing.

Colorado Starts Today!
If all the racing in EuroTrash today isn’t enough for you, then don’t worry – there’s even more racing starting now with the USA Pro Cycling Challenge kicking off with a prologue in Colorado Springs today. Amazingly for a first year race the field assembled is simply superb with the entire Tour de France podium gathering in Colorado to test themselves at altitude.

Cadel Evans and the Schelcks are all playing down their chances though but if they have kept some of their Tour form then they would have to feature in Colorado. Other riders of note include Levi Leipheimer (RadioShack) Sergio Henao (Gobernacion de Antioquia), Tom Danielson (Garmin-Cervйlo), Ivan Basso (Liquigas), Teejay Van Garderen (HTC) and Robert Gesink (Rabobank) just to name a few. It should be a great race!

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