The Tour of Flanders is never a disappointment and this year’s race had all the usual excitement…not sure about the new finish though! We catch up with the other races and ”Top Story” is the Kolobnev/Katusha affair. Who is riding the Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco and who isn’t (Leipheimer), the new Argos team and loads of other news, plus those videos you like…good morning; EuroTrash Monday.
The Kolobnev/Katusha Affair
As I reported in EuroTrash Thursday; Alexandr Kolobnev will be riding for Katusha again this year after his doping exoneration and his return to racing, but there has been questions as to how the Katusha team can sign another rider when its roster was thought to be full. According to the UCI rules WorldTour teams are limited 28 riders, unless two are neo-pro’s, but Katusha have only one new professional in its roster of 30 which goes against the rules. The UCI have made an exception to the contract due to the fact that Kolobnev was employed by Katusha before his positive test during the Tour de France and his subsequent sacking from the team and has now been reinstated.
As to his failed drug test for hydrochlorothiazide, he is prescribed the drug by his doctor for chronic Varix Dilatation, which is a vascular disease where the blood vessels expand unnaturally and hydrochlorothiazide help the body rid its self of salt to avoid edema. As I take hydrochlorothiazide myself I can tell you it neither helps in weight loss nor makes you go any faster on the bike.
Here is Kolobnev 2nd in the 2007 Worlds:
Ronde van Vlaanderen 2012
Tom Boonen is the King of Belgium again after winning his third Ronde van Vlaanderen out-sprinting the Italian duo of Filippo Pozzato (Farnese Vini-Selle Italia) and Alessandro Ballan (BMC) up the new finishing straight of Oudenaarde. The big battle between Fabian Cancellara and everyone else didn’t happen due to his crash at the 60 kilometre to go feed causing a triple fracture of his right collarbone, but then with the form of Boonen he may not have been able to lose the Belgian before the line, we will never know.
The main break of the day included; Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Barracuda), Pablo Lastras Garcia (Movistar), David Boucher (FdJ-BigMat), Anders Lund (Saxo Bank), Maarten Tjallingii (Rabobank), Gert Dockx (Lotto-Belisol), Manuel Belletti (Ag2r-La Mondiale), Peio Bilbao (Euskaltel-Euskadi), Sven Vandousselaere (Topsport Vlaanderen-Mercator), Baptiste Planckaert (Landbouwkrediet-Euphony), Massimo Graziato (Lampre-ISD), Vladimir Isaichev (Katusha), Tom Veelers (Argos-Shimano) and from NetApp; Daniel Schorn and Andreas Schillinger. They reached a lead maximum of 6 minutes after 80 kilometres, but their lead was coming down all the time. Over the Koppenberg the leaders were down to nine riders and by the start of the second lap before the Oude Kwaremont they were all together. The decisive move was made in the last 20 kilometres by Alessandro Ballan (BMC), he put the pressure on and Boonen and Pilippo Pozzato (Farnese Vini-Selle Italia) crossed to him and the race was then in their hands.
“It’s always difficult in a race like this, especially in a headwind,” Boonen said. “I made a good sprint. I think Pippo was strong. Maybe on the Kwaremont he was stronger than me. But in the sprint he didn’t have as much of a chance. Of course I didn’t sit down and let them go, the one real thing I had to do was jump on a wheel when Ballan went. I had to chase, and waited for Pippo to push it, but he didn’t really push it.”
“For me it’s not so important to show up on climbs and try to drop everyone and maybe lose the race,” Boonen said. “I have to wait for my moment and count on my sprint.”
And what did he think of the new course? “It’s different,” Boonen said. “The last few days everybody was talking about how it’s much harder, I always said it’s not much more difficult. It’s just different. There are more hills in the final kilometres. It’s a different race and I am happy I won it for the first edition of the new course. I think the next few races, some will race harder in the final, but you saw it. Everyone was tired on the Kwaremont. The first time they pushed it but not hard, the second time riders were getting dropped.”
Third placed Ballan said after the finish: “The race was really hard and the first 100 kilometres were very fast,” Ballan said. “I tried to attack several times in the final kilometres, but Boonen was too strong. For me, it was a good performance.”
Looks like Tom Boonen will be favourite for Paris-Roubaix as Cancellara won’t be riding!
Read the full race report on PEZ from Gordan Cameron.
Ronde van Vlaanderen Result:
1. Tom Boonen (Bel) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step in 6:04:33
2. Filippo Pozzato (Ita) Farnese Vini-Selle Italia
3. Alessandro Ballan (Ita) BMC at 0:01
4. Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC at 0:38
5. Peter Sagan (Svk) Liquigas-Cannondale
6. Niki Terpstra (Ned) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step
7. Luca Paolini (Ita) Katusha
8. Thomas Voeckler (Fra) Europcar
9. Matti Breschel (Den) Rabobank
10. Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step
11. Grйgory Rast (Swi) Radioshack-Nissan
12. Oscar Freire Gomez (Spa) Katusha
13. Fabio Sabatini (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale
14. Bjцrn Leukemans (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM
15. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha
16. Matthieu Ladagnous (Fra) FdJ-BigMat
17. Xavier Florencio Cabre (Spa) Katusha
18. Karsten Kroon (Ned) Saxo Bank
19. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Sky
20. Juan Antonio Flecha Giannoni (Spa) Sky.
The last Kilometres:
G.P. Miguel Indurain 2012
Dani Moreno of Katusha won the GP Indurain by attacking his break away companions in the last up-hill meters of the summit finish climb of El Puy. There had been an earlier break which gained over eight minutes at one point, they were caught and then a lead group of twelve riders formed off the front, Moreno had missed to move but managed to cross to them in solo. He rested on the group before his winning attack.
G.P. Miguel Indurain Result:
1. Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Katusha in 4:54:34
2. Mikel Landa Meana (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi at 0:02
3. Angel Madrazo Ruiz (Spa) Movistar at 0:07
4. Rui Alberto Faria Da Costa (Por) Movistar
5. Dominik Nerz (Ger) Liquigas-Cannondale at 0:09
6. Sergio Miguel Moreira Paulinho (Por) Saxo Bank at 0:14
7. Danail Petrov (Bul) Caja Rural at 0:17
8. Damiano Caruso (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale at 0:23
9. David Zabriskie (USA) Garmin-Barracuda
10. Eduard Vorganof (Rus) Katusha.
VDK-Driedaagse De Panne-Koksijde 2012
Overall leader after Stage 2; Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) took the win in Stage 3Є to show his strength. The De Panne stage was only 112 kilometres in length, but there were quite a few non-starters, most notably Peter Sagan who won Stage 1, but said he was there just for the training. The Katusha team were in control all day and pulled back the escape of Preben van Hecke (Topsport Vlaanderen-Mercator), Rob Goris (Accent Jobs-Willems Veranda’s), Clinton Avery (Champion System) Jonathan Breyne (Landbouwkrediet-Euphony) and Andrea Di Corrado (Colnago-CSF Inox) after they had a gap of 2:30. After a few crashes on the run in, Kristoff was led to the line for the win.
VDK-Driedaagse De Panne-Koksijde Stage 3Є Result:
1. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha in 2:22:58
2. Andre Schulze (Ger) Team NetApp
3. Kenny Robert Van Hummel (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM
4. Francesco Chicchi (Ita) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step
5. Daniele Colli (Ita) Team Type 1-Sanofi
6. Davide Cimolai (Ita) Lampre-ISD
7. Jacopo Guarnieri (Ita) Astana
8. Michael Van Staeyen (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Mercator
9. Yauheni Hutarovich (Blr) FdJ-BigMat
10. Said Haddou (Fra) Europcar
VDK-Driedaagse De Panne-Koksijde Overall After Stage 3Є:
1. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha in 11:47:43
2. Jacopo Guarnieri (Ita) Astana at 0:06
3. Maciej Bodnar (Pol) Liquigas-Cannondale at 0:07
4. Steve Chainel (Fra) FdJ-BigMat at 0:10
5. Elia Favilli (Ita) Farnese Vini-Selle Italia at 0:12
6. Yauheni Hutarovich (Blr) FdJ-BigMat
7. Tom Van Asbroeck (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Mercator
8. Sйbastien Turgot (Fra) Europcar
9. Egidijus Juodvalkis (Ltu) Landbouwkrediet-Euphony
10. Valentin Iglinskiy (Kaz) Astana.
The 14.7 kilometre final time trial in De Panne was always going to be the decision maker in the race. Sylvain Chavanel (Omega Pharma – Quick-Step) won the stage and took enough time out of the others to win the final overall. “First of all I am super happy with this victory,” Chavanel said. “This year I did not win until now, and a lot of our riders have already won. It was a little disappointing that I was riding well but unable to win a race. I am also happy because this victory came at a time trial. I worked a lot during the winter in the time trial because, in the past, I was a three-time French champion time trialist. I used to be a good rider for the time trial, but in the last year, because of my back problem, I wasn’t able to perform well. This winter I worked a lot on my position with the team staff and Specialized staff, now we start to see some results. I was 4th in Argentina, 6th in the Stage 1 Paris-Nice time trial, so I am reaching my objectives with my time trial bike.”
Niki Terpstra and Guillaume Van Keirsbulck both had a strong showing as well. Terpstra finished 4th (+18″), and Van Keirsbulck 9th (+38″). Chavanel’s performance was enough to also give him the overall victory at De Panne, besting Westra (+4″) and Maciej Bodnar of Liquigas-Cannondale (+14″).
“It’s a good moment when I win in Flanders,” Chavanel said. “It’s always important to win here. Everybody knows the one in Flanders are the races I love most, one of them being the Tour de Flanders. I am happy with my result, and showed during the week I am in good condition. We are ready to fight on Sunday for Ronde van Vlaanderen.”
The GC and stage victory give Omega Pharma – Quick-Step Cycling Team 28 victories this year in three different disciplines, with 10 different riders winning in the road discipline.
“On Sunday, Tom will be the captain,” Chavanel said. “For sure he is number one, he has already won two times. But I will have an important role with the team as well. It’s important to know that it’s not just Omega Pharma – Quick-Step Cycling Team in the race on Sunday. There are a lot of strong teams able to perform very well. It won’t be easy, but we will try to fight.”
VDK-Driedaagse De Panne-Koksijde Stage 3b Result:
1. Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step in 17:49
2. Lieuwe Westra (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM at 0:04
3. Svein Tuft (Can) GreenEdge at 0:17
4. Niki Terpstra (Ned) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step at 0:18
5. Maciej Bodnar (Pol) Liquigas-Cannondale at 0:19
6. Jesse Sergent (NZl) RadioShack-Nissan at 0:22
7. Tomas Vaitkus (Ltu) GreenEdge at 0:31
8. Luke Durbridge (Aus) GreenEdge at 0:32
9. Guillaume Van Keirsbulck (Bel) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step at 0:38
10. Stijn Devolder (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM at 0:39.
VDK-Driedaagse De Panne-Koksijde Final Result:
1. Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step in 12:05:44
2. Lieuwe Westra (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro at 0:04
3. Maciej Bodnar (Pol) Liquigas-Cannondale at 0:14
4. Svein Tuft (Can) GreenEdge at 0:17
5. Niki Terpstra (Ned) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step at 0:18
6. Jesse Sergent (NZl) RadioShack-Nissan at 0:22
7. Luke Durbridge (Aus) GreenEdge at 0:32
8. Stijn Devolder (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM at 0:39
9. Markel Irizar Arranburu (Spa) RadioShack-Nissan at 0:51
10. Sйbastien Turgot (Fra) Europcar at 0:55.
Argos-Shimano: The New Team on the Block!
At last the Project 1t4i team has announced it “proper” sponsor for 2012 and for the next 3 years. Not many of the team personnel knew who was going to be the sponsor of the ProContinental squad, but there had been a few rumours recently and the one of the impending merger between Argos Oil and the North Sea Group seems to be happening at the same time as the scheduled announcement of the team, so two and two on this occasion did make four. So the team will form now on be called Argos-Shimano; “I am very happy that I can finally mention the name of our new main sponsor,” said managing director Iwan Spekenbrink, adding “This isn’t’ an extension to Skil-Shimano, it’s a new start. The team is more ambitious; it has more staff, better riders, a better programme at the highest level and is active on the highest level in the biggest races.” So there we have it, a new team.
Argos-Shimano press conference:
Omega Pharma – Quick-Step Team to Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco
Press Release: Omega Pharma – Quick-Step Cycling Team will race the 835.6km Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco from April 2 to April 7. One of the big focuses for the team, according to Sports Director Brian Holm, is getting to the Stage 6 18.9km time trial, in Oсati, with someone in general classification contention.
“I think we have quite a solid squad down there,” Holm said. “It should be good for both Tony and Levi. If they can do well in the mountains they will be in good position for the time trial. Both of them are good at the time trial, but the entire team is in good shape right now. Things have been going good for the team in general. We’ve been winning a lot in Belgium the last few weeks, so we hope we can pick up a win in Pais Vasco.”
Michal Golas (POL),
Levi Leipheimer (USA),
Tony Martin (GER),
Jerome Pineau (FRA),
Kristof Vandewalle (BEL),
Martin Velits (SVK),
Peter Velits (SVK),
Julien Vermote (BEL).
Sports Directors: Davide Bramati (ITA), Brian Holm (DEN) & Jan Schaffrath (GER).
Stage 1 Gьeсes – Gьeсes 153.0 km,
Stage 2 Gьeсes – Vitoria-Gasteiz 165.7 km,
Stage 3 Vitoria-Gasteiz – Eibar-Arrate 164.0 km,
Stage 4 Eibar – Bera-Ibardin 151.0 km,
Stage 5 Bera – Oсati 183.0 km,
Stage 6 Oсati – Oсati 18.9 km.
Vuelta al Pais Vasco 2011 Stage 1:
BMC Racing Team’s Cummings Back For Pais Vasco
Steve Cummings makes his return to action from a broken pelvis when he joins the BMC Racing Team for Monday’s start of Pais Vasco.
Recovery Was Painful
Cummings hasn’t raced since Feb. 17, when he was taken down by another rider who had trouble negotiating a turn on Stage 3 of the Volta ao Algarve in Portugal. The 2011 runner-up at the Tour of Britain said he is not fully back to the form he had before the crash. “But I think I’m at a level now where I can survive the race and do work for the team,” Cummings said. “I was off the bike for three weeks and then the first week or so was very painful because the fracture was where I sat on the saddle.” The six-day race includes several mountainous stages, as well as a final-stage time trial.
Last year’s runner-up in the King of the Mountains classification, Amaлl Moinard, and three other riders on the BMC Racing Team race roster (Yannick Eijssen, Marco Pinotti and Tim Roe) helped Cadel Evans win the two-day, three-stage Critйrium International last weekend. “Amaлl is really going well,” BMC Racing Team Assistant Director Michael Sayers said. “This is one of the hardest stage races around because that part of the Basque country is very mountainous.”
Download the official race card (PDF with roster, bios, statistics, etc.). https://www.bmcracingteam.com/fileadmin/files/2012/racesheets/RaceSheet-10-PaisVasco.pdf
Vuelta al Pais Vasco 2011 Stage 2:
Movistar to Vuelta al Paнs Vasco
Telephone squad brings strong block to one of the most important events in their calendar with the Vuelta al Paнs Vasco starting on Monday
Press Release: Movistar Team has defined its eight-man squad to defend the team’s honour in the 2012 edition of the Vuelta al Paнs Vasco, one of the most prestigious races in the World Tour schedule. Josй Luis Arrieta and Josй Luis Jaimerena will directed, from next Monday and until Saturday, April 7, a team formed up by David Lуpez and Vasil Kiryienka (BLR) –both in the overall top-ten at last year’s race-, David Arroyo, Бngel Madrazo, Josй Herrada, Marzio Bruseghin (ITA), Rui Costa (POR) and Spanish road race champion Josй Joaquнn Rojas. Absent at the Basque race will be Beсat Intxausti, 4th overall in 2011, suffering a flu since ten days ago and unable to reach the starting line in his homeland on top form.
Once again, the Vuelta al Paнs Vasco is featuring a six-day course full of climbs (up to 30 of them categorized), with two consecutive mountain-top finishes in Arrate and Ibardin (Wednesday and Thursday) and a decisive, 19-kilometer individual time trial in Oсati to decide the overall podium. A majority from Movistar Team’s block for the race -Kiryienka, Madrazo, Herrada, Lуpez and Rui Costa- have recon’d the finish at Ibardin this morning.
RadioShack Nissan Trek for Vuelta Ciclista al Paнs Vasco
Directors: Kim Andersen & Josй Azevedo.
Vuelta al Pais Vasco 2011 Stage 5:
Leipheimer Injured in Bike Accident
Press Release: Levi Leipheimer was hit from behind by a car while alone on a training ride in Pais Vasco. Levi suffered soreness and swelling to his lower left leg. He was transported to the hospital where an echo was performed. No broken bones were found, and there is hope that the injury is just a muscle contusion to his left calf.
Due to the injury, Leipheimer will not start Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco tomorrow. Other examinations will be done once he arrives in California tomorrow. Levi will return to training depending on how his clinical situation evolves.
“I was kind of in shock, you know,” Leipheimer said. “The bottom line is it was super scary and I am lucky to be alive. I’d also like to add that the team has been really supportive. The doctor here took great care of me, Ro, who handles all our travel did a great job at making sure I get home really early, and I’ve received good messages from the team. I’m really thankful for that.”
The Mantova Investigation Decision Soon
It has been confirmed that a decision on whether not the 32 people named in the Mantova doping investigation will be charged. Alessandro Ballan and Mauro Santambrogio of the BMC are amongst the list, the team have issued this statement:
The BMC Team Statement
Press Release: The BMC Racing Team has not been notified or contacted officially regarding this investigation. We will take no action regarding Alessandro Ballan or Mauro Santambrogio unless we receive an official request to do so from an appropriate authority (i.e., WADA, UCI, CONI or the Italian Cycling Federation). Throughout its entirety, both riders have fully cooperated with investigators. For both riders the presumption of innocence is to be respected also by the team.
Jim Ochowicz, President/General Manager, BMC Racing Team.
Alessandro Ballan wins the 2007 Tour of Flanders:
Rapha Condor Sharp at the Tour of Normandy
The Tour of Normandy was the first stage race for several of the team’s new recruits and the gruelling French event proved to be a true test for the young team. Despite a shaky start for the men in black as the eight-day event wore on team manager John Herety was happy to notice particularly encouraging performances from his young riders.
“As a whole it was a tough event for the team, but the riders came through well in the end. The only rider who didn’t make it through was Oliver Rossi, who we lost through illness. I was impressed though by Mike Cuming, this was his first ever stage race and he came through quite well. He lost a lot of time in the prologue, which didn’t suit him at all, but from then on in, he improved daily.”
“Richard Handley also continues to impressed me, he was active in a lot of breaks, and although he has more experience than some of the other guys he is still young.”
“Another rider who performed well was Christopher Jennings, he actually made his way into a move that would have put him in the top ten overall, but he just blew with 2km to go and lost out. These are the trappings of youth though, and something I expect from guys who are so new to hard events like this.”
Far from being discouraged by what was a hard week for the team, Herety took note of impressive performances by another British team Endura who landed two stage wins, and impressed upon his young riders exactly what will be achievable in future years.
“The gaps are certainly evident at the moment between our guys and the riders who are winning at this level. This is exactly what we thought we would be working towards when we put the team together. It is really good for our guys to look to these other teams like Endura and see where they have to be, and that results are achievable in these races. We are still dealing with the basics with most of our guys, and it is a hard way to learn, but the only way to learn.”
This is the Rapha Cycle Club in London.
Great Manchester Cycle announces Ј10 offer to entrants with the Daily Mirror
Press Release: The organisers of the Daily Mirror Great Manchester Cycle, the new urban mass participation bike ride, are pleased to announce a new pricing offer to celebrate their partnership with the Daily Mirror.
Entrants in each of the 13 mile, 26 mile and 52 mile categories will be able to enter for just Ј10, instead of the usual Ј28. Kids entries are just Ј5, while children between 3-7 can ride for free.
The Ј10 fee celebrates 10 years of the Bupa Great Manchester Run, also organised by Nova International; the Daily Mirror Great Manchester Cycle is the latest in the series of “Great” city challenges, from the UK’s leading mass participation sporting events company.
The multi-distance Great Manchester Cycle event on 4th June 2012 will be the first mass participation urban bike ride taking place on completely closed roads in an otherwise bustling city centre, including a stretch of Manchester’s busiest motorway – the iconic Mancunian way.
The event has three distance options, setting off in waves from 08:00 – giving you the option to Get Out and Pedal over 13 miles, Rule the Roads over 26 miles or Test Yourself over 52 miles.
Starting and finishing at Eastlands, the home of Manchester City FC, the course takes in the districts of Manchester, Trafford and Salford, allowing cyclists the chance to see their city from a new perspective as they ride along roads normally strictly off limits to cyclists.
Olympic Gold Medallist, Rebecca Romero said: “The Great Manchester Cycle is going to be a fantastic day out and a very different experience to anything riders will have experienced before.”
She continued: “Riding on closed roads through the heart of Manchester for just Ј10 will be an incredible thing to do and hopefully families and keen cyclists alike will turn out for a day they won’t forget.”
As always with a “Great” event, you can have an exciting and safe time, whatever your ability, in the knowledge there is a full support service on course, entertainment and chip timing to give you a result for your efforts.
For more information about The Daily Mirror Great Manchester Cycle please visit: https://www.greatcycle.org
New OPQS App Ready for Release
Special Merchandise Also Available
Press Release: Omega Pharma – Quick-Step Cycling Team released a new app on Friday that enhances the way fans stay connected with, and informed about, the team. The mobile app is available in the Apple Store.
Thanks to Tapp — the app creator — the second edition of the 2012 “OPQS”mobile app enables fans to browse the team website with simply the tap of a finger, instead of searching through a typical web browser for information. Users can also gain exclusive access to interactive content, such as a chatroom, by creating a Tapp account with a valid e-mail address. The photobooth app is included, but is new and improved. Fans can now take photos with riders in the background — Levi Leipheimer and Tom Boonen in particular. Furthermore, an interactive Fanpictures feature allows fans to post photos of the team and themselves, but also provide the location of their photo. The location is then placed on a map all users can see, so the global scope of the OPQS fan base is easier to comprehend. Another great feature is the quizzes and polls, which allow fans to give feedback on OPQS, but also compete to win prizes. The OPQS app is focused on making fans feel like they are part of the team.
The team also wants fans to celebrate their connection with the team through uniquely designed T-shirts and wristbands. The OPQS acronym is featured. OPQS is a hashtag code used by the team and fans on Twitter, so they can directly interact and receive team specific updates through social media. The “Like” symbol is also included on the merchandise, which represents the engagement between the fans and team on social networks and beyond. Tom Boonen wore the T-shirt on Friday at the team press conference, and will wear the wrist band when he races Ronde van Vlaanderen on Sunday. Fans can purchase the items on the OPQS Web Shop.
“I like this kind of stuff,” Tom Boonen said about the special merchandise. “Because it’s really a unique way to dress and to feel like part of the team. It’s something completely new and I really appreciate the job the team is doing to promote our team, and the image of our team, with the supporters. We believe the supporters deserve it. They are a great part of our success, and we are racing thanks to them. In this way, we try to reward them.”
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