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EuroTrash Monday!

A very busy time for Pro cycling with stage races and Classics all at the same time. After some lean times Tom Boonen is on fire in Belgium, but will it last? Cadel Evans gets BMC’s first win of the season in Corsica and we catch up with Catalunya and the Coppi e Batali. My ”Top Story” questions Sky/GB thoughts on the Olympics and Tour and we finish with a Wiggo video compilation. Monday EuroTrash coffee and video time is here…

“Top Story”

Tour or Olympics?
It has recently been reported that Sky and GB National team boss; David Brailsford has said (to the BBC) that maybe the Tour de France green jersey and the Olympic road race would be too much for Mark Cavendish and that the Tour overall and the Olympic time trial would be difficult for Bradley Wiggins to handle.

This may be true and also stirs up thoughts of riders in the past riding everything without prioritising one event over the other. I’m reminded of the likes of Eddy Merckx who would win Spring Classics, Giro, Tour, Worlds, Autumn Classics and then ride a “6 Day” season in the winter. OK times have changed and there aren’t any riders like that anymore, but I’ve heard Cancellara and Evans both say that holding your form from the Tour to the Olympics as not impossible.

Anyway, back to first thought and that was what the team sponsor would think? This is where things get a little complicated (or possibly simpler) as the Sky TV company sponsor both the Sky Professional Cycle Team and the GB National squad. The big difference is that in the Tour de France the word Sky will be seen all over the World on the team jerseys as Cavendish wins stages and Wiggins fights for the overall race, in the Olympics; Sky will not be seen on the jersey, bike, shorts or anywhere else.

I guess an Olympic Gold medal means more to the general (non-cycling fan) public than a Tour green jersey and probably the yellow one too, but there is no Olympic jersey to put the word Sky on!

Gent-Wevelgem 2012
After winning the E3 Prijs Vlaanderen-Harelbeke on Friday, Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma – Quick-Step) came back on Sunday to take Gent Wevelgem to give him three victories in the race, equalling Eddy Merckx, Mario Cipollini, Robert Van Eenaeme, and Rik Van Looy.

Gert Steegmans, Gerald Ciolek and Dries Devenyns did tremendous work to ensure Boonen was in the key move of the day. Fabian Cancellara (RadioShack-Nissan) and Sagan went up the road to try and catch the remaining riders of an original nine man breakaway with less than 33kms to go in a 235km race. Two of those riders, Jon Izaguirre (Euskatel-Euskadi) and Anders Lund (Saxo Bank), attacked the group earlier and had less than 2 minutes of a gap when Cancellara and Sagan made their move. Steegmans initially tried to bridge on his own, but then returned to a chase group that included Boonen, Ciolek and Devenyns. Steegmans, Ciolek and Devenyns then led the charge to the Sagan and Cancellara chase, which eventually caught the remnants of the original break with a little more than 27kms to go.

Meanwhile, a group of several sprinters fell off the back of the chase group. Mark Cavendish (Sky) and Andre Greipel (Lotto-Belisol) slowly saw their race contention slip away as the Boonen chase group caught the Cancellara and Sagan group with 26km remaining. That left only Lund and Izaguirre dangling up the road, with a one minute gap. Omega Pharma – Quick-Step Cycling Team worked at the front to chip away at the gap, encouraging other teams to assist in the case. By then time 17kms remained, the Cancellara and Boonen merged group caught the duo and Omega Pharma – Quick-Step Cycling Team dictated the race from there.

“The team once again was super strong,” Boonen said. “Steegmans in particular was a really key rider. The team did their best fight to make the front, they expended all energy they had to try and help. It’s the team spirit we have in this moment on this team. The entire team is showing its power. Other teams are as strong as ours, but we have to say this moment we are not so bad either. We have a team where — I am not a guy who screams at my teammates, but with our team I don’t have to say the same thing 10 times. Everybody knows what they have to do.”

Devenyns, who worked hard to make sure Boonen was in the key move earlier, eventually lost contact with the group after doing his job. That left Steegmans and Ciolek to work at the front for Boonen. Ciolek buried himself to chase down an attacking Team Sky rider with 5km to go, and once that was done it was up to Steegmans to deliver Boonen to the line.

“Steegmans did something really unbelievable today,” Boonen said. “He kept the speed so fast so I could do my sprint.

As the sprint began, there was a crash in the back involving several riders. Boonen was not one of them, and he took off for the win as chaos erupted behind him.

“I will now try to focus on recovery, eating, and sleeping as well as possible and then try to do my best at Ronde van Vlaanderen,” Boonen said. “I am not like Cancellara or other guys who can solo for 50km. I don’t have the engine to do it. I will try to be in control and see what happens. The Ronde van Vlaanderen course is different. It’s harder than in the past. Everybody I think will wait a bit. You never know what can happen with a parcour like that. I’m really happy to win Gent-Wevelgem. These races in Flanders, and Paris-Roubaix — I live for races like these. I like these and these are where I have to try and really perform even if every race I always do my best.”

“This morning at the briefing we decided not to take risks because of Ronde van Vlaanderen. If we survived the last trip up the Kemmelberg, we would try to do the sprint.” Boonen said of the 2100m, 4.9 percent average gradient climb with a max ramp of 21 percent. “It’s the key point of the race, about 35km from the finish. We passed with four or five riders so that was really a good sign. I came from the second row. It was a bit close on the left hand side, but I made the right decision because, with the headwind, I tried to stay covered until the very last moment. Then, when I saw the possibility, I decided it was time to do the sprint. I’m in good shape. I already showed my condition on Friday and I am content.”

Gent-Wevelgem Result:
1. Tom Boonen (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quick-Step in 5:32:44
2. Peter Sagan (Svk) Liquigas-Cannondale
3. Matti Breschel (Den) Rabobank
4. Oscar Freire Gomez (Spa) Katusha
5. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Sky
6. Daniele Bennati (Ita) RadioShack-Nissan
7. Marco Marcato (Ita) Vacansoleil-DCM
8. Steve Chainel (Fra) FdJ-BigMat
9. Filippo Pozzato (Ita) Farnese Vini-Selle Italia
10. Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Movistar.

And the action:

Volta a Catalunya 2012
After the complications of Wednesday’s snow bound stage it was back to work as normal for the 199 kilometres from Tremp to Ascу on Stage 4. Rigoberto Uran Uran (Sky) won the sprint from a six man break that was caught by a large chase group in the last metres of the stage. The big attack of the day came at the base of the Alto de Les Paumeres; Sylvester Szmyd (Liquigas-Cannondale), Levi Leipheimer (Omega Pharma – Quick-Step), Sammy Sanchez (Euskaltel-Euskadi), Rigoberto Uran Uran (Sky), Denis Menchov (Katusha) and David Moncoutie (Cofidis) distanced a chase group including the overall leader Michael Albasini (GreenEdge). The six leaders held a slim lead all the way to just before the line where the remnants of the chasers made contact, but it was too late for them as Uran won from Menchov and Szmyd as the first of the chasers infiltrated the escape. Albasini is still in the overall lead.

Volta a Catalunya Stage 4 Result:
1. Rigoberto Uran Uran (Col) Sky in 5:13:12
2. Denis Menchov (Rus) Katusha
3. Sylvester Szmyd (Pol) Liquigas-Cannondale
4. David Moncoutie (Fra) Cofidis
5. Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Lotto Belisol
6. Samuel Sanchez Gonzalez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
7. Matteo Carrara (Ita) Vacansoleil-DCM
8. Dario Cataldo (Ita) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step
9. Julien Simon (Fra) Saur-Sojasun
10. Robert Kiserlovski (Cro) Astana.

Volta a Catalunya Overall After Stage 4:
1. Michael Albasini (Swi) GreenEdge in 12:25:24
2. Steve Morabito (Swi) BMC at 1:32
3. Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Lotto Belisol
4. Daniel Martin (Irl) Garmin-Barracuda
5. Samuel Sanchez Gonzalez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
6. Rigoberto Uran Uran (Col) Sky
7. Sergio Pardilla Belllуn (Spa) Movistar
8. Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre-ISD
9. Thomas Danielson (USA) Garmin-Barracuda
10. Robert Kiserlovski (Cro) Astana.

The final K’s of stage 4:

The French Saur-Sojasun team have been looking for a big win for a while and Julien Simon gave them it on Stage 5 by winning the bunch sprint. A break of six riders broke away with 117 kilometres left of the stage to Manresa, they were Mathias Frank (BMC), Kristof Vandewalle (Omega Pharma – Quick-Step), Chris Anker Sorensen (Saxo Bank), Tomasz Marczynski (Vacansoleil-DCM), Marcos Garcнa (Caja Rural) and Nicolas Edet (Cofidis) and built up a lead of over 7 minutes, but they were caught after the climb of the Alto de Monserrat (Cat 1). There were attacks from some of the top riders in the lead group, but all were caught. Alberto Albasini (GreenEdge) was safely in the lead group to keep the overall, but Steve Morabito missed the move and lost his 2nd overall to Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Lotto-Belisol).

Volta a Catalunya Stage 5 Result:
1. Julien Simon (Fra) Saur-Sojasun in 4:58:27
2. Rigoberto Uran Uran (Col) Sky
3. Sylvester Szmyd (Pol) Liquigas-Cannondale
4. Samuel Sanchez Gonzalez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
5. Dario Cataldo (Ita) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step
6. Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Lotto Belisol
7. Michael Albasini (Swi) GreenEdge
8. Denis Menchov (Rus) Katusha
9. Daniel Martin (Irl) Garmin-Barracuda
10. Robert Kiserlovski (Cro) Astana.

Volta a Catalunya Overall After Stage 5:
1. Michael Albasini (Swi) GreenEdge in 17:23:51
2. Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Lotto Belisol at 1:32
3. Daniel Martin (Irl) Garmin-Barracuda
4. Samuel Sanchez Gonzalez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
5. Rigoberto Uran Uran (Col) Sky
6. Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre-ISD
7. Thomas Danielson (USA) Garmin-Barracuda
8. Sergio Pardilla Belllуn (Spa) Movistar
9. Robert Kiserlovski (Cro) Astana
10. Dario Cataldo (Ita) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step.

Stage 5:

Samu Sanchez (Euskaltel-Euskadi) slipped off the front of the bunch 2 kilometres before the finish in Badalona Centre Comercial Mаgic to win stage 6 and put himself in second position overall. As the bunch came in to Badalona there was a slight rise and this is where the Olympic champion made his move and managed to keep a 2 second lead on the bunch which had Alan Davis (GreenEdge) on the front. Albasini now has a 1:30 lead on Sanchez and 1:32 on Van Den Broeck.

Volta a Catalunya Stage 6 Result:
1. Samuel Sanchez Gonzalez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi in 4:04:50
2. Allan Davis (Aus) GreenEdge at 0:02
3. Julien Simon (Fra) Saur – Sojasun
4. Juan Josй Haedo (Arg) Saxo Bank
5. Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre-ISD
6. Francesco Gavazzi (Ita) Astana
7. Fabio Sabatini (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale
8. Daniel Martin (Irl) Garmin-Barracuda
9. Davide Appollonio (Ita) Sky
10. Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Lotto Belisol.

Volta a Catalunya Overall After Stage 6:
1. Michael Albasini (Swi) GreenEdge in 21:28:43
2. Samuel Sanchez Gonzalez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi at 1:30
3. Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Lotto Belisol at 1:32
4. Daniel Martin (Irl) Garmin-Barracuda
5. Rigoberto Uran Uran (Col) Sky
6. Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre-ISD
7. Sergio Pardilla Belllуn (Spa) Movistar
8. Robert Kiserlovski (Cro) Astana
9. Dario Cataldo (Ita) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step
10. Matteo Carrara (Ita) Vacansoleil-DCM.

Stage 6:

Michael Albasini has given GreenEdge another win in its first year as he finished in the front group of 40 riders who fought out the finish of the final Stage 7 in to Barcelona. The sprint was won by Julien Simon (Saur-Sojasun) for his second stage win in this year’s Volts a Catalunya. The stage did have quite a hilly profile and there were some break away attempts, but the GreenEdge team were never under much pressure to control things and to make sure Albasini was at the front for last finish line.

What would the result have been without the snow?

Volta a Catalunya Overall Stage 7 Result:
1. Julien Simon (Fra) Saur-Sojasun in 2:47:02
2. Francesco Gavazzi (Ita) Astana
3. Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre-ISD
4. Rigoberto Uran Uran (Col) Sky
5. Robert Kiserlovski (Cro) Astana
6. Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Lotto Belisol
7. Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Rabobank
8. Romain Bardet (Fra) Ag2r-La Mondiale
9. Maciej Paterski (Pol) Liquigas-Cannondale
10. Denis Menchov (Rus) Katusha.

Volta a Catalunya Final Overall:
1. Michael Albasini (Swi) GreenEdge in 24:15:45
2. Samuel Sanchez Gonzalez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi at 1:30
3. Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Lotto Belisol at 1:32
4. Daniel Martin (Irl) Garmin-Barracuda
5. Rigoberto Uran Uran (Col) Sky
6. Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre-ISD
7. Robert Kiserlovski (Cro) Astana
8. Matteo Carrara (Ita) Vacansoleil-DCM
9. Dario Cataldo (Ita) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step
10. Sergio Pardilla Belllуn (Spa) Movistar.

Here is the finish of the snowy stage from PedalierPro filmed by PEZ-friend Laura Meseguer:

Settimana Internazionale Coppi e Bartali-Trofeo UniCredit 2012
Lampre-ISD put their man; Diego Ulissi over the line first in the finish town of Levizzano at the end of Stage 3. After a long break by last year’s winner; Emanuele Sella (Androni Giocattoli) along with Dimitry Fofonov (Astana) and Marco Frapporti (Team Idea) was caught due to the work of the NetApp team of overall leader Cezare Benedetti. The Lampre-ISD controled the run-in and Ulissi didnt let them down. Benedetti keeps the overall.

Settimana Internazionale Coppi e Bartali Stage 3 Result:
1. Diego Ulissi (Ita) Lampre-ISD in 3:43:04
2. Rory Sutherland (Aus) UnitedHealthcare
3. Danilo Di Luca (Ita) Acqua & Sapone
4. Simone Ponzi (Ita) Astana
5. Enrico Battaglin (Ita) Colnago-CSF Inox
6. Moreno Moser (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale
7. Bartosz Huzarski (Pol) Team NetApp
8. Julia David Arredondo Moreno (Col) Team Nippo at 0:02
9. Paul Voss (Ger) Endura
10. Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) Colnago-CSF Inox.

Settimana Internazionale Coppi e Bartali Overall After Stage 3:
1. Cesare Benedetti (Ita) Team NetApp in 9:37:07
2. Bartosz Huzarski (Pol) Team NetApp at 0:04
3. Jan Barta (Cze) Team NetApp at 0:06
4. Iker Camano Ortuzar (Spa) Endura at 0:14
5. Paul Voss (Ger) Endura
6. Danilo Di Luca (Ita) Acqua & Sapone at 0:16
7. Diego Ulissi (Ita) Lampre-ISD at 0:21
8. Fabio Felline (Ita) Androni Giocattoli
9.Jose Rodolfo Serpa Perez (Col) Androni Giocattoli
10. Miguel Angel Rubiano Chavez (Col) Androni Giocattoli.

Stage 3 from RAI Sport.

Diego Ulissi of Lampre-ISD took Stage 4 just the same as the previous day, this time from a 6 man break including Danilo Di Luca (Acqua & Sapone), Bartosz Huzarski (NetApp), Jose Serpa and Jose Rujano (Androni Giocattoli), Domenico Pozzovivo (Colnago-CSF Inox) and Ulissi. Huzarki finished third and took the overall lead from Lampre-ISD team mate Cesare Benedetti. The usual early break included Yevgeny Nepomnyachsi (Astana), Dalivier Ospina (Colombia Coldeportes), Filippo Baggio (Utensilnord Named), Philip Deignan (UnitedHealthcare) and Ruslan Karimov (Team Idea), they were caught 48 kilometres out from Pavullo and the successful six attacked 10 kilometres from the finish on the climb of the Valico di Gaiato.

Settimana Internazionale Coppi e Bartali Stage 4 Result:
1. Diego Ulissi (Ita) Lampre-ISD in 4:06:15
2. Danilo Di Luca (Ita) Acqua & Sapone
3. Bartosz Huzarski (Pol) Team NetApp
4. Jose Rodolfo Serpa Perez (Col) Androni Giocattoli
5. Josй Rujano Guillen (Ven) Androni Giocattoli
6. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Colnago-CSF Inox at 0:01
7. Paul Voss (Ger) Endura at 0:07
8. Damiano Caruso (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale
9. Kristijan Durasek (Cro) Adria Mobil
10. Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) Colnago-CSF Inox.

Settimana Internazionale Coppi e Bartali Overall After Stage 4:
1. Bartosz Huzarski (Pol) Team NetApp in 13:43:22
2. Danilo Di Luca (Ita) Acqua & Sapone at 0:10
3. Diego Ulissi (Ita) Lampre-ISD at 0:11
4. Jan Barta (Cze) Team NetApp at 0:13
5. Paul Voss (Ger) Endura at 0:21
6. Jose Rodolfo Serpa Perez (Col) Androni Giocattoli
7. Josй Rujano Guillen (Ven) Androni Giocattoli
8. Miguel Angel Rubiano Chavez (Col) Androni Giocattoli at 0:28
9. Francesco Reda (Ita) Acqua & Sapone at 0:29
10. Stefano Garzelli (Ita) Acqua & Sapone.

The Individual time trial Stage 5 was won by Jan Barta (NetApp) in a time of 16:46 over the 14.3 kilometres. He beat Adriano Malori (Lampre-ISD) by 5 seconds and Stefano Garzelli (Acqua & Sapone) by 10. More importantly he beat his team mate Bartosz Huzarski, Danilo Di Luca (Acqua & Sapone) and Lampre-ISD’s Diego Ulissi to take the final overall.

Settimana Internazionale Coppi e Bartali Stage 5 Result:
1. Jan Barta (Cze) Team NetApp in 16:46
2. Adriano Malori (Ita) Lampre-ISD at 0:05
3. Stefano Garzelli (Ita) Acqua & Sapone at 0:10
4. Moreno Moser (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale at 0:12
5. Francesco Reda (Ita) Acqua & Sapone at 0:13
6. Alessandro De Marchi (Ita) Androni Giocattoli at 0:21
7. Paul Voss (Ger) Endura at 0:23
8. Tanel Kangert (Est) Astana at 0:23
9. Diego Ulissi (Ita) Lampre-ISD at 0:23
10. Matteo Rabottini (Ita) Farnese Vini-Selle Italia at 0:26.

Settimana Internazionale Coppi e Bartali Final Overall:
1. Jan Barta (Cze) Team NetApp in 14:00:21
2. Bartosz Huzarski (Pol) Team NetApp at 0:13
3. Diego Ulissi (Ita) Lampre-ISD at 0:21
4. Stefano Garzelli (Ita) Acqua & Sapone at 0:26
5. Francesco Reda (Ita) Acqua & Sapone at 0:29
6. Paul Voss (Ger) Endura at 0:30
7. Moreno Moser (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale at 0:34
8. Jose Rodolfo Serpa Perez (Col) Androni Giocattoli at 0:39
9. Josй Rujano Guillen (Ven) Androni Giocattoli at 0:47
10. Danilo Di Luca (Ita) Acqua & Sapone at 0:51.

Stage 5:

E3 Prijs Vlaanderen-Harelbeke 2012
Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma – Quick-Step) won his fifth E3 Prijs from fellow fast-men; Oscar Freire (Katusha) and Bernhard Eisel (Sky) and a bunch of over 40 riders after 203 kilometres of hard Flemish roads. Boonen timed his sprint perfectly, although it looked too early no one could come past him. A group of nine riders; Belgians Gert Dockx (Lotto-Belisol), Nico Sijmens (Cofidis), Sйbastien Delfosse & Luca Ascani (Landbouwkrediet-Euphony), Kevin Hulsmans & Oscar Gatto (Farnese Vini-Selle Italia), Damien Gaudin (Europcar), Gregor Gazvoda (Ag2r-La Mondiale) and Michael Morkov (Saxo Bank) broke away on the cobbles of the Paddestraat after 60 kilometres. They had some good luck as a train crossing stopped the peloton which gave them a lead of 7 minutes. The Omega Pharma – Quick-Step team put the hammer down through the hard climbs, causing splits in the peloton putting all the stars in the front group. On the descent of the Boigneberg a big crash took out some riders, the worst off was Davis Millar (Garmin-Barracuda) with a broken collar bone. The race came together with less than 20 kilometres to go to the sprint where Boonen showed his old form.

“I was trying to make it a nice race,” Boonen said. “It was not only important for a good result, but also important for the head a little bit and the sensations on the climbs. That’s why I was doing a few big attacks. I wasn’t really saving myself for the sprint. But then in the end, everything came together and I think everybody was suffering. It doesn’t matter if they were in the front or the back. I was not very comfortable in the sprint but sure, I was still going to do a good sprint and was trying to win. I could get 2nd or 3rd, it’s always possible, but in the end I won. So I’m happy.”

Boonen showed his strength earlier in the race, attacking on his favourite climb, the Taaienberg. He dragged along a powerhouse group of riders including Fabian Cancellara (Radioshack-Nissan) and Sep Vanmarcke (Garmin-Barracuda) with 55km to go. They were chasing down a break of a handful of riders, including Oscar Gatto (Farnese-Vini). Gatto decided to go solo as the break was reeled in.

“For me it’s like a test,” Boonen said of his aggressiveness. “I attack a lot of times at this race. I really would like to win, but at the same time this race is something like a test for the upcoming races. Yes, I was really focused to try to win the race, but at the same time I want to try to do something to see my condition and the condition of the other competitors.”

As to Boonen chasing team mate Sylvain Chavanel:
“We’re really good friends, me and Chava,” Boonen said. “We really connect, we don’t have any problems riding and helping each other. It was nice today, he was not there all the time but he got back at the right moment. It’s important to have someone like Chava. Also for him, with a little luck he could’ve won today. It’s nice working together with him and the other guys. Right now the strength of this team, everyone is on a good level. We’re really tight, really close together. I think we already won with 9 different riders.”

E3 Prijs Vlaanderen-Harelbeke Result:
1. Tom Boonen (Bel) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step in 4:51:59
2. Oscar Freire Gomez (Spa) Katusha
3. Bernhard Eisel (Aut) Sky
4. Leonardo Fabio Duque (Col) Cofidis
5. Sep Vanmarcke (Bel) Garmin-Barracuda
6. John Degenkolb (Ger) Project 1t4i
7. Matthieu Ladagnous (Fra) FdJ-BigMat
8. Alexandre Pichot (Fra) Europcar
9. Alessandro Ballan (Ita) BMC
10. Sйbastien Turgot (Fra) Europcar.

Boonen again:

Critйrium International 2012
Florian Vachon of the Bretagne-Schuller team took, probably, the biggest win of his career at the finish of Stage 1 in Porto-Vecchio, Corsica. It was only a short stage of 89.5 kilometres which featured many attacks until a large group of around 50 riders, containing the top riders, split the field to finish 35 seconds ahead. Vachon won the bunch sprint and became the first leader.

Critйrium International Stage 1 Result:
1. Florian Vachon (Fra) Bretagne-Schuller in 2:03:48
2. Danilo Wyss (Swi) BMC
3. Clйment Koretzky (Fra) La Pomme-Marseille
4. Simon Geschke (Ger) Project 1t4i
5. Nicolas Bazin (Fra) Auber 93
6. Geoffroy Lequatre (Fra) Bretagne-Schuller
7. Giovanni Bernaudeau (Fra) Europcar
8. Romain Hardy (Fra) Bretagne-Schuller
9. Jens Voigt (Ger) Radioshack-Nissan
10. Linus Gerdemann (Ger) Radioshack-Nissan.

Critйrium International Overall After Stage 1:
1. Florian Vachon (Fra) Bretagne-Schuller in 2:03:42
2. Danilo Wyss (Swi) BMC at 0:02
3. Christophe Riblon (Fra) Ag2r-La Mondiale at 0:03
4. Clйment Koretzky (Fra) La Pomme-Marseille at 0:04
5. Mickaлl Buffaz (Fra) Cofidis
6. Linus Gerdemann (Ger) Radioshack-Nissan at 0:05
7. Simon Geschke (Ger) Project 1t4i at 0:06
8. Nicolas Bazin (Fra) Auber 93
9. Geoffroy Lequatre (Fra) Bretagne-Schuller
10. Giovanni Bernaudeau (Fra) Europcar.

It seemed like a long time coming, but it was quite fitting that the Tour de France winner; Cadel Evans should give BMC its first win of the 2012 season in the Stage 2 individual time trial of 6.5 kilometres. Evans won in the same time (0.03 of a second better) as Michael Rogers (Sky) at 7:21 with Simon Geschke (Project 1t4i) in third at 1 second. Evans took over the overall lead.

The defending Tour de France champion said his victory over three-time world time trial champion Michael Rogers (Sky Pro Cycling) – was “a pleasant surprise” in the 6.5-kilometer race against the clock. “Things have taken awhile to come together this year,” Evans said. “The old engine was taking awhile to warm up. But it’s a good sign of things to come. I wasn’t as far behind as I thought. Now I’m looking forward to tomorrow. Tomorrow is where the race is won or lost.” Evans said he had not become discouraged by his performances in earlier races. Before Saturday, the former world road champion’s best result was eighth on Stage 4 of Tirreno-Adriatico. “I’m always training toward my major objective of the year – the Tour de France,” he said. “You go through ups and downs as you are building up to a big event. Things are coming around a little bit better now.”

Critйrium International Stage 2 Result:
1. Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC in 7:21
2. Michael Rogers (Aus) Sky
3. Simon Geschke (Ger) Project 1t4i at 0:01
4. Anthony Roux (Fra) FDJ-BigMat at 0:02
5. Maxime Monfort (Bel) Radioshack-Nissan
6. Marco Pinotti (Ita) BMC
7. David Zabriskie (USA) Garmin-Barracuda
8. Brent Bookwalter (USA) BMC
9. Christophe Riblon (Fra) Ag2r-La Mondiale at 0:05
10. Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Project 1t4i.

Critйrium International Overall After Stage 2:
1. Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC in 2:11:09
2. Michael Rogers (Aus) Sky
3. Simon Geschke (Ger) Project 1t4i at 0:01
4. Maxime Monfort (Bel) Radioshack-Nissan at 0:02
5. Marco Pinotti (Ita) BMC
6. Christophe Riblon (Fra) Ag2r-La Mondiale
7. Brent Bookwalter (USA) BMC
8. Thomas Lцvkvist (Swe) Sky at 0:06
9. Luke Rowe (GB) Sky at 0:08
10. Benoоt Vaugrenard (Fra) FdJ-BigMat at 0:09.

Stage 1 and 2 highlights:

Stage 3 was 179 kilometres from Porto-Vecchio to the summit finish on the Col de l’Ospedale. The BMC team watched every move and didn’t allow any break to get too much time. On the finishing climb Alexandre Geniez of Project 1t4i went for a long attack and had 30 seconds on the chasers, but Evans and Rogers with Igor Anton (Euskatel-Euskadi) soon caught and passed him with others joining the front including eventual stage winner; Pierrick Fedrigo (FdJ-BigMat). Fredrigo attacked the other seven riders as the climb flattened just before the line for the win.

After the race Evans said: “Yesterday was a good indication and a nice confidence boost. Sometimes things go well and it all comes together. Up until this point, I had trouble bringing things together. But I knew to keep working at it and things would come together. It’s a good indication, but we have big races still to come.” He added “As a team we worked really well today, the young guys started out and I think for them it was an honour for them to ride in a part of France for the yellow jersey.” When the road pitched steeply upward inside the final three kilometres, Evans put in a dig of his own to reduce a group of less than 10 to the final four, which did not include Rogers – who was tied with him on time. “As a race with three short stages, it’s sometimes a little bit difficult to manage with the time bonuses (at the finish) and a mountain top finish,”

Critйrium International Stage 3 Result:
1. Pierrick Fedrigo (Fra) FdJ-BigMat in 4:52:34
2. Jean-Christophe Peraud (Fra) Ag2r-La Mondiale
3. Christopher Froome (GB) Sky
4. Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC
5. Jimmy Engoulvent (Fra) Saur-Sojasun at 0:08
6. Christophe Le Mevel (Fra) Garmin-Barracuda
7. Romain Sicard (Fra) Euskaltel-Euskadi
8. Michael Rogers (Aus) Sky
9. Rinaldo Nocentini (Ita) Ag2r-La Mondiale at 0:20
10. Hubert Dupont (Fra) Ag2r-La Mondiale at 0:21.

Critйrium International Final Overall:
1. Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC in 7:03:43
2. Pierrick Fedrigo (Fra) FdJ-BigMat at 0:08
3. Michael Rogers (Aus) Sky
4. Christopher Froome (GB) Sky at 0:09
5. Jean-Christophe Peraud (Fra) Ag2r-La Mondiale
6. Maxime Monfort (Bel) RadioShack-Nissan at 0:23
7. Romain Sicard (Fra) Euskaltel-Euskadi at 0:38
8. Lars-Peter Nordhaug (Nor) Sky at 0:42
9. Hubert Dupont (Fra) Ag2r-La Mondiale at 0:47
10. Christophe Riblon (Fra) Ag2r-La Mondiale at 1:11.

The last stage:

Endura’s Erick Rowsell nets first professional win at Tour de Normandie
Press Release: Erick Rowsell recorded his first victory as a professional cyclist today with an impressive solo victory at the Tour de Normandie, to take Endura Racing’s tally to two stage wins in two days.

The peloton were straight into racing as they left Elbeuf-sur-Seine with 190km ahead of them. Most of the difficulties were at the back end of the course and the finishing circuit featured a tough uphill finish in Flers. With 7km to go, the 22 year old Rowsell, in his first year with Endura Racing, launched a solo attack and held off the massing peloton to take the stage by eight seconds.

The win moved Rowsell into 8th place on GC, 2m 25s behind leader Jйrфme Cousin of Europcar with three stages of racing in northern France to go.

Erick Rowsell:
It was a hard day from the start, with really aggressive racing for the first 2 hours. It settled down for a bit, but then it all kicked off again for the finish. We had good numbers in the front group, so had lots of options for the finish. I wanted to have a go at getting away in the last lap and spoke with Alex Blaine and he told me just to wait and not go too early, so that’s what I did. I just followed on the climb and then made my move a bit later and it worked. I think I got away with about 7km to go. The team was great with everyone getting involved in the race from the start and having numbers at the finish. It been a good race for us all so far and the whole team is riding well together as the results are showing.

It great for me to get a win, as it’s been a while since I’ve won a race myself. I have been a part of many wins through team work and I love it when a teammate wins, but it’s a great feeling to be the one standing on the top step of the podium!

Ride the 2012 Tour of Long Beach!
Press Release: The 2012 Tour of Long Beach is on May 5, 2012 and will be a great day of cycling whether you ride the 4-mile Family Fun Ride, the 31-mile Tour or 62-mile Metric Century or the new, 100-mile Cruz Gran Fondo! All rides end in Downtown Long Beach at Shoreline and Pine Ave where the 2012 BikeFest will be taking place. This is a full day of music, food, cycling booths, a BMX show and all things cycling!
For course maps and to register, go to www.bikefestlb.com

Other exciting Tour events you may want to check out:

Sunday, April 1, 9am-4pm, Bike Scavenger Hunt
Don’t just “fool around” on April 1, hop on your bike and join us for Long Beach Bike for Art, the First Annual Bike Scavenger Hunt. The Scavenger Hunt begins and ends at the Museum of Latin American Art. After leaving MOLAA with your first “clue” you’ll have a great time cruising through Long Beach on your bike and discovering the public art installations at the Art Stops while you help keep great art alive in Downtown Long Beach.
Click here for more info: Scavenger Hunt

Wednesday, April 4, 10am at Miller Children’s Hospital Long Beach (2801 Atlantic Ave, Long Beach) Tour Kick-off event
Stop by and see U.S. Olympian and pro cyclist Tony Cruz challenge 10 Miller Children’s patients to a trike race around the hospital! This annual event hosted by Long Beach Mayor Bob Foster is fun for all! JAX bicycles will also be onsite giving free bike tune-ups….stop by and join the fun!

The Rise of Wiggo: Tour History of Bradley Wiggins
I received this film of Bradley Wiggins from Vanessa of Viral Verse, in her own words: “Lately I’ve been really impressed with the work, talent and sportsmanship of Bradley Wiggins so I made this video – The Rise of Wiggo: Tour History of Bradley Wiggins.” OK Vanessa here it is:

Any comments drop me a line, email address: [email protected] or Twitter. And there is the PezCyclingNews Twitter and Facebook Fan Page.

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