All of cycling’s attention was aimed at San Remo for the finale of what is always a great race, so that’s the ”Top Story”, but it’s not all Italy we also have action from Taiwan and Belgium, plus we preview the Volta Ciclista a Catalunya in Spain which starts today (Monday). OK, sit back and ease yourself into the week with EuroTrash Monday.
Milan-San Remo didn’t disappoint so it has to be today’s ”Top Story”.
Milan-San Remo 2012
Saturday’s Milan-San Remo came down to an exciting finalй with Fabian Cancellara (RadioShack-Nissan) committed to ride hard with Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas-Cannondale) and eventual winner Simon Gerrans (GreenEdge) on his wheel. Gerrans and Nibali started the winning action on the Poggio, Cancellara saw the danger and crossed to them, the pressure was on the strong Swiss rider as Nibali had team mate Peter Sagan (who won the bunch sprint) and Gerrans had last year’s winner Matt Goss behind. Cancellara could not rid himself of the two, but then a podium place is better than nothing! World champion Mark Cavendish (Sky) couldn’t hold the pace on the climb of La Manie after 100 kilometres and wasn’t seen again. Philippe Gilbert and his BMC team had been riding well and led the action at many times during the race, but Gilbert was caught up in a crash coming into the last 20 kilometres.
After the race winner Simon Gerrans (GreenEdge) admitted: “Fabian was the strongest, I can’t deny him that. He was going like a motorbike.” Gerrans added that “maybe he (Cancellara) underestimated me a bit in the final.” Fabian Cancellara (RadioShack-Nissan) said “In the end I did what I could. I had to launch the sprint too as they were coming up behind us.” As to not having anything left for the finish “If you go from the top of the Poggio to the finish full on, it’s clear that at the end the gas will have run out.” On the whole he was happy with his second place “The second place today has given me a lot of satisfaction and morale and the certainty that I’m going well. So watch out for Fabian at the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix. Nibali knew what he was up against as he pointed out: “I did what I could, at the right time and in the right way, but I had no hope of winning against two riders like Cancellara and Gerrans. Unfortunately, you know, I’m not really competitive in the sprints.” He added, “I feel a sense of satisfaction and disappointment at the same time.”
Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma – Quick-Step) was one of the unlucky fallers, this is what he had to say after the race: “I had really good legs, maybe the best legs ever in Milano-Sanremo,” Boonen added. “It was always under control and the team did a really good job for me. They kept me in the first 10 to 15 positions in all important moments of the race. Then on the Poggio I was 7th or 8th when we took the corner to go downhill. I was really good, the team was with me, and we were in good position ready to fight for victory. Then, in the first part of the downhill a rider crashed, and I was just behind him. I had to break, and lost 100 meters. Because of that it was impossible to come back. Matteo was fortunately on the other side of the road. He had no problems with the crash that affected me. He was in the first group. In any case I am in good shape and I am ready to fight for the next races in the coming weeks.”
Milan-San Remo Result:
1. Simon Gerrans (Aus) Greenedge in 6:59:24
2. Fabian Cancellara (Swi) Radioshack-Nissan
3. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale
4. Peter Sagan (Svk) Liquigas-Cannondale at 0:02
5. John Degenkolb (Ger) Project 1t4i
6. Filippo Pozzato (Ita) Farnese Vini-Selle Italia
7. Oscar Freire Gomez (Spa) Katusha
8. Alessandro Ballan (Ita) BMC
9. Daniel Oss (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale
10. Daniele Bennati (Ita) Radioshack-Nissan.
Here are the final K’s from the Poggio:
Tour of Taiwan 2012
Australia’s Rhys Pollock of Drapac Cycling took the overall at the end of stage 3 in Kanpanzan and kept it to the finish of stage 7 in Kaohsiung City. Of the GB riders Alex Coutts was the highest GC finisher in 14th place and his RTS team mate and PEZ contributor Lee Rodgers won the points jersey.
Stage 1: Anthony Giacoppo (Aus) Genesys Wealth Advisers.
Overall: Anthony Giacoppo (Aus) Genesys Wealth Advisers.
Stage 2: Kam Po Wong (HKg) Hong Kong.
Overall: Takashi Miyazawa (Jpn) Saxo Bank.
Stage 3: Anthony Giacoppo (Aus) Genesys Wealth Advisers.
Overall: Rhys Pollock (Aus) Drapac Cycling.
Stage 4: Jonathan Cantwell (Aus) Saxo Bank.
Overall: Rhys Pollock (Aus) Drapac Cycling
Stage 5: Roberto Ferrari (Ita) Androni Giocattoli.
Overall: Rhys Pollock (Aus) Drapac Cycling.
Stage 6: Victor Nino Corredor (Col) Azad University Cross Team.
Overall: Rhys Pollock (Aus) Drapac Cycling.
Stage 7: Jonathan Cantwell (Aus) Saxo Bank.
1. Rhys Pollock (Aus) Drapac Cycling in 19:09:44
2. Kam Po Wong (HKg) Hong Kong at 0:02
3. Dirk Mьller (Ger) Nutrixxion Abus at 0:06
4. Taiji Nishitani (Jpn) Japan National Team at 0:08
5. Anthony Giacoppo (Aus) Genesys Wealth Advisers at 0:17
6. Roberto Ferrari (Ita) Androni Giocattoli at 0:26
7. Chun Kai Feng (Tpe) Action Cycling Team at 0:27
8. Victor Nino Corredor (Col) Azad University at 0:34
9. Yusuke Hatanaka (Jpn) Japan National Team at 0:38
10. Muhamid Adiq Othman (Mas) Champion System at 0:40
Points: Lee Rodgers (GB) RTS Racing Team.
KOM: Chun Kai Feng (Tpe) Action Cycling Team.
Team: Japan National Team.
Here is an interview with Lee Rodgers thanks to Velonation.com.
Rapha Condor Sharp riders enjoyed a fine run of placings during a highly satisfactory week of racing at the Tour of Taiwan.
Consistent performances by Tasmanian Ben Grenda, who scored two top six placings, as well as a promising debut by Felix English, and a highly visible and aggressive team performance in the newly upgraded UCI 2.1 event were the highlights of the week.
Team manager John Herety appraised the team’s performance after the final stage this Friday
“The race has definitely improved a level or two since we first started coming here, and that added to the poor weather at the start of the week made for a really hard Tour.”
“The boys raced hard, Dean was close to a stage win and was aggressive throughout the week, which is encouraging at this time of year, and the young guys (Luke, Ben and Felix) really excelled in a race which was a huge step up for them.”
The quality of the competition was something that the young Rapha Condor Sharp recruits were highly aware of going into the race, but they soon found their legs against the World Tour competition.
19 year-old Felix English explained “At first I was pretty nervous, you see teams like Saxo Bank on the start list and it is a bit scary. I had a good first day though, and that really put me at ease and allowed me to concentrate on the racing, and not who I was racing against.”
English’s enthusiasm over the first few days was something that he would later pay the price for but that too was an important lesson for the young Irishman.
“I suffered a lot in the first few road stages after Taipei. There was a lot to try to get used to at this level of racing, not only the speed, but the bad weather and different food were all things I had to adapt to. It is ‘life on the road’ I suppose, and I learned quickly what I could and couldn’t do.”
The team’s only upset of the week was losing Luke Mellor to a crash on only the third day of racing, something that Herety saw as a bitter pill for the first year senior.
“Luke was really unlucky. He crashed hard and broke his forks and despite a bike change and a long chase he was pulled out when he fell back more than five minutes behind the race. In a European race, he would have been allowed to finish, but the road closure has to be pretty strict here.”
“I am very disappointed for him. The day before he had finished really well on a tough stage that saw a lot of good guys get dropped. But, then we are teaching these young guys what it is to be a bike rider, and the rough comes with the smooth sometimes. He will bounce back.”
While the five riders from the Taiwan team will now return to the UK to recover from their efforts, the Tour of Normandy team will be readying themselves to head over to France for the teams next objective which will begin on Monday March 19th, with the traditional 3.4km prologue around the town of Mondeville.
Handzame Classic 2012
Francesco Chicchi won his second race of the week on Friday, taking the sprint victory against some heavy hitters at the 194.5km Handzame Classic.
“The magic state I’m in continues,” said Chicchi. “I’m very happy with this victory. We rode strong all day long. Fortunately, Keisse was in the 15-man break that marked the race, and he allowed us to sit on tires and save energy. In the final we all had perfect legs. The team did a fantastic job and I managed to clinch the double just a few days off my victory in Nokere. I want to dedicate this success to all the families of the victims of the disaster at Sierre, a terrible tragedy which we will never forget. All my teammates join me in this dedication.”
Iljo Keisse did his work earlier in the race for the team, getting into a 15 rider breakaway with slightly less than 190km to go, and staying away until 11km remained once the break split into two groups of four. Riders dropped off the break as the race moved along.
Once the break was caught, the teams set up their leadout trains for the sprint. Chicchi and Omega Pharma – Quick-Step Cycling Team was up against some tough sprinters, including Adam Blythe (BMC), Marcel Kittel (Project 1T4I), Kenny Van Hummel (Vacansoleil – DCM), Kenny Dehaes (Lotto-Belisol), Robert Forster (Unitedhealtrhcare), Stefan Van Dijk (Accent Jobs – Vйrandas Willems) and Steve Schets (Jong Vlaanderen). However, Chicchi had quite the support group with him.
“It was good team work today,” Sports Director Tom Steels said. “Iljo spent 180km in the breakaway, and then the sprint train was Guillaume Van Keirsbulck, Andy Fenn and Chicchi. That is a nice team of riders.”
With 1km to go, Michal Kwiatkowski attacked at la flamme rouge, and with 400 meters, when the sprint was inevitable, the train set up Chicchi for his fifth victory of the season. Blythe was 2nd, and Chicchi also beat 2011 sprinter sensation Kittel (3rd).
Handzame Classic Result:
1. Francesco Chicchi (Ita) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step in 4:10:00
2. Marcel Kittel (Ger) Project 1t4i
3. Adam Blythe (GBr) BMC
4. Guillaume Boivin (Can) Spidertech Powered By C10
5. Kenny Robert Van Hummel (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM
6. Graeme Brown (Aus) Rabobank
7. Gediminas Bagdonas (Ltu) An Post-Sean Kelly
8. Boy Van Poppel (Ned) UnitedHealthcare
9. Kenny De Haes (Bel) Lotto Belisol
10. Nikolay Trusov (Rus) RusVelo.
Volta Ciclista a Catalunya (Spain) – UCI WorldTour (March 19-25)
The Volta Ciclista a Catalunya starts on today (Monday) with seven stages, stage 1 from Calella-Calella (138.9 kms), stage 2: Girona-Gerona (161 kms), stage 3: La Vall d’en Bas-Port Ainй (210.9), stage 4: Tremp-Ascу Lavostra energia (199 kms), stage 5: Ascу Lavostra energia-Manresa (207.1 kms), stage 6: Sant Fruitуs de Bages-Badalona Centre Comercial Magic (169.4 kms) and stage 7: Badalona Centre Comercial Magic-Barcelona (119.8 kms).
The Volta is one of the oldest stage races on the UCI WorldTour calendar, it was first held in 1911 and since then has had many top winners over the years including; Miguel Indurain, Laurent Jalabert, Alberto Contador, Sean Kelly, Robert Millar, Jacques Anquetil, Freddy Maertens, Felice Gimondi, Bernard Thevenet and of course the great Eddy Merckx.
The race web-site is in Spanish Catalan, but the maps are very good.
The highest climb comes on Wednesday’s stage 3 up the Port Aine at 1947 meters altitude, here is the link to the 3D Tour from cyclingthealps.com.
RadioShack-Nissan Team for Catalunya
Directors: Josй Azevedo & Lars Michaelsen.
Omega Pharma – Quick-Step Team
Kevin De Weert,
Sports Directors: Brian Holm & Jan Schaffrath.
The Team Garmin-Barracuda
BMC Racing Team Roster
Tejay van Garderen.
Sport Directors: Michael Sayers & Rik Verbrugghe.
Luis Leon Sanchez,
Tom Jelte Slagter,
Laurens Ten Dam,
The other teams are: Ag2r-La Mondiale, Astana, Euskaltel-Euskadi, FdJ-BigMat, Lotto-Belisol, Saxo Bank, Andalucia, VacansolEIl-DCM, Caja Rural, Cofidis, Saur-Sojasun and 1t4i.
Nice Prome Video of Catalunya:
Bad News for Matt Lloyd
In the crash that ended Levi Leipheimer’s chances of winning Paris-Nice on stage 7, Matt Lloyd (Lampre-ISD) had crashed earlier and was behind the police motorbike that Leipheimer ran into. He finished stage 7, but could not ride the last time trial up the Col d’Eze. Lloyd confirmed by Twitter that his collarbone was broken. He has said he will aim to return to racing by April so he has the form to start the Giro d’Italia on May the 5th in Herning, Denmark.
Here is the crash:
Etapa de La Vuelta a Espaсa 2012
The Tour of Spain are to run an “Etapa de la Vuelta” on August the 25th following the route of stage 16 from Gijуn to the Valgrande-Pajares ski station and then to the top of the Cuitu Negru after 180 kilometres. Before the summit finish the riders will cross the climbs of La Cabruсana (3rd Cat), San Lorenzo (1st Cat) and La Cobertoria (1st Cat). More details to follow, check-out the Vuelta web-site.
La Vuelta a Espaсa 2012:
BMC Racing Team Launches New Website
Press Release: An updated look, easier navigation and many more features highlight the new BMC Racing Team website that launched Thursday.
Find A BMC Dealer.
Fans of the team that includes defending Tour de France champion Cadel Evans will see larger photos, be able to watch imbedded videos, browse expanded rider bios and read all the latest news and results at www.bmcracingteam.com. The new BMC Racing Team website also includes an interactive “find a BMC dealer worldwide” feature that uses a computer’s geolocation system to determine the address of your nearest BMC dealer while displaying the location on a map. Partners of the BMC Racing Team are also prominently featured in a section providing links to their own websites and social media channels, as well as photos and videos. Like other parts of the website, it will be updated and revised with new content throughout the season. An expanded online shop is still to come, as well as special sections for the BMC Racing Team’s participation in the Grand Tours.
Cutting-Edge Cycling Free Webinar this Tuesday
In advance of the April publication of Cutting-Edge Cycling, the book on the science of cycling by Toolbox Sport Science Editor Dr. Stephen Cheung and renowned coach Hunter Allen, you’re invited to attend a free webinar about the book on March 20 at 8 pm Eastern Time US. Hunter and Stephen will be providing insight into some of the key ideas in Cutting-Edge Cycling and busting some training myths. “We’re really psyched about the book coming out, as I think it really distills the Toolbox philosophy of making science accessible so that we can make ourselves fitter and cycling more enjoyable,” says Cheung. “In this webinar, we’re going to give folks a taste of the many topics covered in the book, from understanding the multi-faceted nature of overtraining, planning the ideal warmup for your next race, through to the latest research on cycling biomechanics and bike fitting.” Tune in to check out the webinar, and also our preview of Cutting-Edge Cycling here.
Windham to Host International Mountain Bike World Cup for Third Year
Top cyclists from across the globe to compete in Greene County in late June
Press Release: For the third year in a row, the world’s best professional mountain bikers will converge on Windham Mountain as the town hosts the eighth in a series of 10 World Cup events held all over the world. The 2012 edition of the RockyRoads.net UCI Mountain Bike World Cup presented by Shimano makes 10 stops worldwide with the Windham event taking place from June 30 through July 1.
This year, a much more serious story underscores race preparations. Windham (the town and the mountain) suffered devastating losses after Tropical Storm Irene and Hurricane Lee swept through late last summer. The damage was monumental, businesses were ravaged and houses swept downstream. “The people of Windham are tenacious and the community rallied around amazing support from near and far to work to get the mountain and town ready for ski season and, eventually, the World Cup,” said Race Director Nick Bove.
The sidewalks on Main Street have been replaced. Basements that were buried in six feet of mud and debris are clean.
“We are all fighting hard to come back, working to create challenging race courses and looking forward to welcoming back the international racing community this summer,” Bove added.
The good news — with the Summer Olympics a few short weeks after the races at Windham, Windham will be the last, best place in the U.S. to see members of the U.S. Olympic Mountain Bike Team and other international team racers prior to the games.
Windham World Cup organizers are planning many community events again this year, including cross-country and downhill racing for all levels of ability, a block party and a concert, among other activities, to continue previous year’s efforts to involve racers and spectators alike in celebrating the uniqueness of the Windham area.
“So many people – riders and spectators alike – told us that they had a terrific time in Windham last year and we promise that we will live up to their high expectations for 2012,” said Bove.
Windham is the eighth stop on a tour that also visits Pietermaritzburg, South Africa; Houffalize, Belgium; Nove Mesto na Morave, Czech Republic; La Bresse, France; Val di Sole, Italy; Fort William, Great Britain; Mt. Sainte-Anne, Canada; Val d’Isere, France; and Hafjell, Norway.
For more information or to volunteer, visit: www.racewindham.com.
Rapha Grand Tour Shoes
Available April 10th
Press Release: This has been the big story for us for quite some time. It has been nearly impossible for those of us that knew it was coming to keep the wraps on the whole story. Thankfully our partner in this operation – Giro – had put together a Rapha – Condor – Sharp version of their Factor shoe that we could keep deferring to whenever rumors were to pop up. But, folks, this is it, the Rapha Grand Tour is our official foray into the world of footwear and we are very, very pleased with the outcome. Take a look through some of the content and stories that we have put together around this little beauty as well as some links from outside sources that have been diligently testing the Grand Tour Shoe.
Feature – Negroni’s in the Desert
Slate Olson’s take on the night the shoes were conceived plus a drink recipe for those inclined to imbibe.
Blog – Pedals Automatique
Former professional cyclist Andy Hampsten checks in with a short tale from the 1986 Tour de Suisse and clipless pedals.
And a nice Galibier video from Raphafilms:
Another Animation from Xtranormal
In this episode Kennie and Andrew discuss their bike ride, I’m sure you know someone just like these two?
Any comments drop me a line, email address: [email protected] or Twitter. And there is the PezCyclingNews Twitter and Facebook Fan Page.