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EuroTrash Monday!

The Tour’s of Romandie and Turkey are done and the Giro d’Italia is on the horizon, as is the 4 Jours de Dunkerque, we have all the results and videos plus some great retro action. The ”Top Story” has to be the impending sponsor announcement for the GreenEdge team and we finish with “in bed with Alberto”! Feet-up on the desk, coffee in hand…EuroTrash Monday.

“Top Story”

GreenEdge to Announce Title Sponsor
The good news is that the GreenEdge team will have a title sponsor after tomorrow (Tuesday). After the failure of the Pegasus Project to get off the ground, the Leopard team having to team up with RadioShack due to no new sponsors being found and the dissolution of the very successful Highroad team because it also couldn’t find a sponsor for this year.

From the very start of the season the team has won races, even though it has been racing under the name of its managing company and been in the precarious position of not having a main backer, but the team and the riders have pulled together for the sort of start that a multi-million Pound/Dollar/Euro team like Sky wished it had had when it started.

So, good news for a change and it couldn’t have happened to a better bunch of guys.

Tour de Romandie 2012
After the early break of Lars Bak (Lotto-Belisol) and Christian Meier (GreenEdge) gained nearly 4 minutes they were pulled back on the last climb of the day, the Col de Ranjiers. The Sky team had control of all the movements until BMC and Garmin-Barracuda took hold for the sprint. Ryder Hesejdal led out, but it was Jonathan Hivert (Saur-Sojasun) who came round for the win ahead of Rui Costa (Movistar) and Luis Leon Sanchez (Rabobank). Bradley Wiggins (Sky) held the overall.

Tour de Romandie Stage 2 Result:
1. Jonathan Hivert (Fra) Saur-Sojasun in 3:48:11
2. Rui Costa (Por) Movistar Team
3. Luis Leon Sanchez (Spa) Rabobank
4. Gianni Meersman (Bel) Lotto Belisol
5. Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Garmin-Barracuda
6. Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) Radioshack-Nissan
7. Daniele Pietropolli (Ita) Lampre-ISD
8. Eduard Vorganov (Rus) Katusha
9. Allan Davis (Aus) GreenEdge
10. Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Astana.

Tour de Romandie Overall After Stage 2:
1. Bradley Wiggins (GB) Sky in 8:42:02
2. Michael Rogers (Aus) Sky at 0:07
3. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Rabobank at 0:09
4. Stef Clement (Ned) Rabobank
5. Andrew Talansky (USA) Garmin-Barracuda at 0:11
6. Luis Leon Sanchez (Spa) Rabobank
7. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Rabobank
8. David Zabriskie (USA) Garmin-Barracuda at 0:12
9. Simon Spilak (Slo) Katusha
10. Molina Ruben Plaza (Spa) Movistar.

Stage 2 on NBC Sports:

Luis Leon Sanchez (Rabobank) won Stage 3 and put himself one second behind overall leader; Bradley Wiggins (Sky). Wiggins showed his weakness on the up-hill sprint and could not match the others and came in 22nd, he didn’t lose any actual time, but there were 10 seconds on offer for the stage win. The Sky team had worked hard all day to contain many dangerous breaks with help from Garmin-Barracuda and Rabobank. Riders from Astana, Katusha and Vacansoleil were all active towards the end, but the stage came down to the up-hill sprint where Sanchez got the better of Gianni Meersman (Lotto-Belisol) and Paolo Tiralongo (Astana).

Jakob Fuglsang didn’t take the start in the 3rd stage of the Tour de Romandie because of an inflammation of the articular capsule and ligament of the left knee. The team management and medical staff have decided to take the Danish rider off the team’s roster for the Giro d’Italia.

“I am very disappointed,” commented Fuglsang in Basel. “The Giro was my big objective for this year. Yesterday I had so much pain in the last 40K, I was just miserable. At that point I realized that it might be the end of my Giro dream. Moreover I was already running behind my schedule after the scaphoid bone fracture in the Tour of Catalunya.”

The pain in the knee started two weeks ago at an altitude camp in Sierra Nevada, Spain. From there Jakob Fuglsang took it easy and in agreement with the medical staff, he decided to ride the same way at the Tour of Romandie.

“This is an absolute clear diagnosis,” added Team Doctor Andreas Gцsele. “Jakob is a great young rider and we all have a responsibility for him. With a quick and intensive therapy, Jakob would possibly be able to start at the Giro, but with how much risk? A good result would be out of the question and if he would have to drop out after ten stages, what would we have accomplished? From a medical point of view, it is impossible to guarantee that he will be fine.

It’s never good to take an injured rider to the start of a Grand Tour, and neither is it good to take out the leader of a team during such an important race. We don’t want to jeopardize his season and his career. In normal conditions, he would need at least ten days of rest and then a steady build-up, but now we are eight days away from the start in Denmark…”

For RADIOSHACK NISSAN TREK this injury is another setback after the bad luck the Team already encountered in the Spring Classics with Fabian Cancellara’s collar bone fracture.

“This makes me very sad,” said Team Manager Johan Bruyneel, “because Jakob had made the Giro his big season goal. He invested a lot of time and even personal funds for altitude camps to be in his best shape at the start of the race. I’m really sorry for him, but it’s unrealistic to bring him to the start and believe in a miracle. The Giro is a very important race for our team and now we need to study how we can alter our strategy for those three weeks.”

“The Giro was particularly special for me, because it starts in Denmark,” concluded Jakob Fuglsang. “We would even have stayed in a hotel in the city where I grew up. My hand injury was already a setback. Now, with this on top, I can only agree with the doctors and not take any risk. I will look ahead. I am young and there will be other Grand Tours for me in the future.”

Tour de Romandie Stage 3 Result:
1. Luis Leon Sanchez (Spa) Rabobank at 3:58:29
2. Gianni Meersman (Bel) Lotto-Belisol
3. Paolo Tiralongo (Ita) Astana
4. Andrew Talansky (USA) Garmin-Barracuda
5. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Rabobank
6. Rinaldo Nocentini (Ita) Ag2r-La Mondiale
7. Maciej Paterski (Pol) Liquigas-Cannondale
8. Giampaolo Caruso (Ita) Katusha
9. Gorka Verdugo (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
10. Fabrice Jeandesboz (Fra) Saur-Sojasun.

Tour de Romandie Overall After Stage 3:
1. Bradley Wiggins (GB) Sky at 12:40:31
2. Luis Leon Sanchez (Spa) Rabobank at 0:01
3. Michael Rogers (Aus) Sky at 0:07
4. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Rabobank at 0:09
5. Stef Clement (Ned) Rabobank
6. Andrew Talansky (USA) Garmin-Barracuda at 0:11
7. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team
8. David Zabriskie (USA) Garmin-Barracuda at 0:12
9. Simon Spilak (Slo) Katusha
10. Molina Ruben Plaza (Spa) Movistar.

Stage 3:

Luis Leon Sanchez (Rabobank) made it two stages in a row and took the overall lead from Bradley Wiggins (Sky) who was in the leading group, finishing 18th in the same time as Sanchez, but due to the time bonus Wiggins was 9 seconds behind Sanchez on GC at the end of the day. Stage 4 had three 1st Cat climbs, but this was not hard enough to break a 37 man finishing group coming to the line together in Sion. There had been an early break of six riders; Johann Tschopp (BMC), Eduard Vorganov & Petr Ignatenko (Katusha), Jorge Azanza (Euskaltel-Euskadi), Jean-Christophe Perraud (Ag2r-La Mondiale) and Guillaume Levarlet (Saur-Sojasun). They gained nearly 3 minutes at one point, but their effort started to fall apart on the penultimate climb, the Piste de I’Ours as the Sky team chased hard behind. The race splintered and regrouped on the final climb for Sanchez to do his stuff. Sunday’s 16.5 kilometre TT would sort out the final result.

Tree Branch Knocks Van Garderen Out At Romandie
With the final time trial looming at the Tour de Romandie, BMC Racing Team’s Cadel Evans sprinted to eighth place Saturday after teammate Tejay van Garderen was knocked out of the race by a flying tree branch.

Unusual Incident
Van Garderen was struck in the face by the wayward branch as winds gusted to 60 kilometers an hour on the high speed descent off the Col des Mosseas. He required a few stitches to his nose, BMC Racing Team Chief Medical Officer Dr. Max Testa said, but nothing was broken. “He’s doing fine and feeling good,” Testa said. “It’s just a soft tissue injury, but the cut was pretty deep. He’ll have to take it easy for a few days.” Van Garderen had been sitting 15 seconds off the lead when he had to withdraw barely 50 km into the 184 km race.

Morabito 12th Overall
Heading into Sunday’s final time trial, Steve Morabito is the BMC Racing Team’s best-placed rider in 12th overall, 23 seconds behind Stage 4 winner and new race leader Luis Leon Sanchez (Rabobank Cycling Team). Evans moved up eight places to 23rd and is 30 seconds back heading into the 16.2 km race against the clock that includes a Category 1 climb. “It will be a hard time trial,” BMC Racing Team Assistant Director Rik Verbrugghe said. Amael Moinard, who led Evans out for the sprint, said the plan was to make the penultimate stage as difficult as possible. “Johann (Tschopp) was our guy in the breakaway at the start,” Moinard said. “Then Cadel asked me to try something, but the wind was really strong. Then at the end, I tried to lead out the sprint for Cadel so I went as deep as I could until 200 meters to go.”

Tour de Romandie Stage 4 Result:
1. Luis Leon Sanchez (Spa) Rabobank in 4:56:13
2. Rinaldo Nocentini (Ita) Ag2r-La Mondiale
3. Branislau Samoilau (Blr) Movistar
4. Gorka Verdugo (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
5. Paolo Tiralongo (Ita) Astana
6. Pierre Rolland (Fra) Europcar
7. Andreas Klцden (Ger) Radioshack-Nissan
8. Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC
9. Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Astana
10. Fabrice Jeandesboz (Fra) Saur-Sojasun.

Tour de Romandie Overall After Stage 4:
1. Luis Leon Sanchez (Spa) Rabobank in 17:36:35
2. Bradley Wiggins (GB) Sky at 0:09
3. Michael Rogers (Aus) Sky at 0:16
4. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Rabobank at 0:18
5. Stef Clement (Ned) Rabobank
6. Andrew Talansky (USA) Garmin-Barracuda at 0:20
7. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Rabobank
8. Simon Spilak (Slo) Katusha at 0:21
9. Rui Costa (Por) Movistar at 0:22
10. Tiago Machado (Por) Radioshack-Nissan.

The last 50 kilometres of Stage 4 on RAI Sport:

Unsurprisingly Bradley Wiggins (Sky) won the final 16.5 kilometre time trial stage round Crans-Montana to take back the overall for the final win. Wiggins adds the Tour de Romandie to his earlier Paris-Nice win to give him a good season so far. Wiggins beat overall leader; Luis Leon Sanchez (Rabobank) by 1:23, although he only needed more than 9 seconds from the Spaniard. The top result of the day came from Andrew Talansky (Garmin-Barracuda) who was beaten by Wiggins by only 0:00:00.7, that’s pretty close!

Tour de Romandie Stage 5 Result:
1. Bradley Wiggins (GB) Sky in 28:56.60
2. Andrew Talansky (USA) Garmin-Barracuda at 0:00.70
3. Richie Porte (Aus) Sky at 0:16.59
4. Rui Costa (Por) Movistar at 0:22.84
5. Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Pro Team Astana at 0:40.18
6. Sylvester Szmyd (Pol) Liquigas-Cannondale at 0:41.60
7. Michael Rogers (Aus) Sky at 0:42.88
8. Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FdJ-BigMat at 0:52.17
9. Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM at 0:53.59
10. Janez Brajkovic (Slo) Astana at 0:54.63.

Tour de Romandie Final Overall:
1. Bradley Wiggins (GB) Sky in 18:05:40
2. Andrew Talansky (USA) Garmin-Barracuda at 0:12
3. Rui Costa (Por) Movistar at 0:36
4. Richie Porte (Aus) Sky at 0:45
5. Michael Rogers (Aus) Sky at 0:50
6. Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Astana at 0:59
7. Sylvester Szmyd (Pol) Liquigas-Cannondale at 1:03
8. Simon Spilak (Slo) Katusha at 1:13
9. Janez Brajkovic (Slo) Astana at 1:14
10. Luis Leon Sanchez (Spa) Rabobank at 1:15.

Tour of Turkey 2012
It’s nice to see a break succeed now and again and in Stage 5 a group containing; Dimitriy Gruzdev (Astana), Jonas Jorgensen (Saxo Bank), Sebastien Duret (Bretagne-Schuller), Andrea Di Corrado (Colnago), Jerome Cousin (Europcar), and Alfredo Balloni (Farnese) went all the way, with Andrea Di Corrado attacking from the other five with 10 kilometres left to the line winning by 40 seconds. The bunch had been at 15 minutes at one time, but they pulled the break back to 1:27. Ivailo Gabrovski of Konya Torku Seker Spor still held the overall by 1:33 from Alexandr Dyachenko of Astana.

Tour of Turkey Stage 5 Result:
1. Andrea Di Corrado (Ita) Colnago-CSF Inox in 4:50:25
2. Jonas Jorgensen (Den) Saxo Bank at 0:40
3. Jйrфme Cousin (Fra) Europcar
4. Alfredo Balloni (Ita) Farnese Vini-Selle Italia at 0:42
5. Sйbastien Duret (Fra) Bretagne-Schuller
6. Dmitriy Gruzdev (Kaz) Astana
7. Matteo Pelucchi (Ita) Europcar at 1:27
8. Alexey Tsatevitch (Rus) Katusha
9. Rafaв Chtioui (Tun) Europcar
10. Andrea Guardini (Ita) Farnese Vini.Selle Italia.

Tour of Turkey Overall After Stage 5:
1. Ivaпlo Gabrovski (Bul) Konya Torku Seker Spor in 18:48:57
2. Alexandr Dyachenko (Kaz) Astana at 1:33
3. Danail Andonov Petrov (Bul) Caja Rural at 1:38
4. Adrian Palomares Villaplana (Spa) Andalucia at 1:44
5. Romain Bardet (Fra) Ag2r-La Mondiale at 2:01
6. Alexander Efimkin (Rus) Team Type 1-Sanofi at 2:23
7. Florian Guillou (Fra) Bretagne-Schuller at 2:29
8. Enrico Battaglin (Ita) Colnago-CSF Inox at 2:58
9. Michal Golas (Pol) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step at 3:02
10. William Routley (Can) Spidertech Powered By C10 at 3:05.

Stage 5:

Two stages in a row for the Colnago-CSF Inox team, this time from Sacha Modolo as he out sprinted the two Australians; Matt Goss (GreenEdge) and Mark Renshaw (Rabobank) at the end of Stage 6. Earlier in the stage overall leader Ivailo Gabrovski (Konya Torku Seker Spor) was in a big break with twenty others, some of the others of the top ten on GC. The race came back together for the sprint where the Colnago team put Modolo in the action.

Tour of Turkey Stage 6 Result:
1. Sacha Modolo (Ita) Colnago-CSF Inox in 4:34:00
2. Matthew Harley Goss (Aus) Greenedge
3. Mark Renshaw (Aus) Rabobank
4. Lucas Sebastien Haedo (Arg) Saxo Bank
5. Alexey Tsatevitch (Rus) Katusha
6. Rafael Andriato (Bra) Farnese Vini-Selle Italia
7. Daniele Colli (Ita) Team Type 1-Sanofi
8. Davide Vigano (Ita) Lampre-ISD
9. Marco Coledan (Ita) Colnago-CSF Inox
10. Blaz Jarc (Slo) Team Netapp.

Tour of Turkey Overall After Stage 6:
1. Ivaпlo Gabrovski (Bul) Konya Torku Seker Spor in 23:22:57
2. Alexandr Dyachenko (Kaz) Astana at 1:33
3. Danail Andonov Petrov (Bul) Caja Rural at 1:38
4. Adrian Palomares Villaplana (Spa) Andalucia at 1:44
5. Romain Bardet (Fra) Ag2r-La Mondiale at 2:01
6. Alexander Efimkin (Rus) Team Type 1-Sanofi at 2:23
7. Florian Guillou (Fra) Bretagne-Schuller at 2:29
8. Enrico Battaglin (Ita) Colnago-CSF Inox at 2:58
9. Michal Golas (Pol) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step at 3:02
10. William Routley (Can) Spidertech Powered By C10 at 3:14.

Stage 6:

Track star Iljo Keisse (Omega Pharma – Quick-Step) jumped away from a six man breakaway group near the end of Stage 7 to get a good gap before crashing on a sharp bend, he managed to get back on the bike and stay in front of the fast approaching peloton who had already caught the other escapees. Marcel Kittel (Argos-Shimano) out sprinted Alessandro Petacchi (Lampre-ISD) and Andrea Guardini (Farnese Vini-Selle Italia) for second place and Ivailo Gabrovski (Konya Torku Seker Spor) held onto the overall.

“I’m over the moon about this victory” Keisse said. “Here in Turkey my condition is improving day by day. Every day I was a little bit better. Also yesterday I tried to get in the breakaway without luck. Today I chose the right move. The guys in the break were really motivated. In the final I felt strong. I knew that If I kept going on it was possible to arrive until the finish.At 5 to go I went solo. I gave everything. I knew from the road book that the last corner was dangerous. I took it easy but my front wheel slipped away.”

The recovery by Keisse was particularly impressive, demonstrating poise under pressure.

“My first thought was ‘What to do now?’, but I tried to stay calm,” Keisse said. “I looked behind me and I saw the peloton who was arriving. I mantained calm, put on my chain and then I did the ride of my life. As a track rider you know how hard can be to catch somebody in a kilometer. I knew it was possible and I did it! It was a great feeling after the finish! If you look at the podium it seems that I won a bunch sprint with Kittel and Petacchi behind me. It’s funny.”

This is the 31st victory for Omega Pharma – Quick-Step Cycling Team.

“I’m happy for myself and for the team who believed in me always, even in the hard times,” Keisse said. “I didn’t ride too much in the last years on the road but this year I understood immediately that I could do well, that I had a good level of ability. For sure, I have to improve a lot, for example on the climbs, but now I want also to celebrate this victory with my teammates.”

The break attacked just several kilometers into the race, with more than three minutes on the peloton at one point. Keisse increased the tempo within the break in the final 20 kilometers as they clung to slightly more than a one minute gap, and several teams began to chase hard at the front of the field. Keisse continued to keep the pace high, and with just a few kilometers remaining, he decided to try and win solo.

“I want to devote this victory to my girlfriend and my child,” Keisse said. “This morning she called me saying that our child was sick. I said ‘ok I go in the breakaway so you have something to watch during the afternoon at the television.’ It was nice to think about them in the final kilometers. Here the team did a good race. We tried to attack basically everyday and Marco Bandiera won the mountain classification. Tomorrow we will try to honour again this competition.”

Tour of Turkey Stage 7 Result:
1. Iljo Keisse (Bel) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step in 2:52:38
2. Marcel Kittel (Ger) Argos-Shimano
3. Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Lampre-ISD
4. Andrea Guardini (Ita) Farnese Vini-Selle Italia
5. Mark Renshaw (Aus) Rabobank
6. Robert Fцrster (Ger) UnitedHealthcare
7. Jean-Pierre Drucker (Lux) Accent Jobs-Willems Veranda’s
8. Daniele Colli (Ita) Team Type 1-Sanofi
9. Alexey Tsatevitch (Rus) Katusha
10. Juan Jose Haedo (Arg) Saxo Bank.

Tour of Turkey Overall After Stage 7:
1. Ivaпlo Gabrovski (Bul) Konya Torku Seker Spor in 26:15:35
2. Alexandr Dyachenko (Kaz) Astana at 1:33
3. Danail Andonov Petrov (Bul) Caja Rural at 1:38
4. Adrian Palomares Villaplana (Spa) Andalucia at 1:44
5. Romain Bardet (Fra) Ag2r-La Mondiale at 2:01
6. Alexander Efimkin (Rus) Team Type 1-Sanofi at 2:23
7. Florian Guillou (Fra) Bretagne-Schuller at 2:29
8. Enrico Battaglin (Ita) Colnago-CSF Inox at 2:58
9. Michal Golas (Pol) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step at 3:02
10. William Routley (Can) Spidertech Powered By C10 at 3:14.

Stage 7:

Ivailo Gabrovski (Konya Torku Seker Spor) held on to the overall to take the biggest win of his cycling career in the Tour of Turkey 2012. The final Stage 8 was 121 kilometres round Istanbul and came down to a bunch sprint with the complete peloton all together. Theo Bos (Rabobank) out sprinted the young Andy Fenn (Omega Pharma – Quick-Step) and Stefan Van Dijk (Accent.Jobs-Willems Veranda’s). There had been a few failed break away attempts and it all came back together, a crash ruined the sprint of many of the potential winners, like Matt Goss (GreenEdge), Marcel Kittel (Argos-Shimano) and Andre Greipel (Lotto-Belisol).

Tour of Turkey Stage 8 Stage Result:
1. Theo Bos (Ned) Rabobank in 2:32:35
2. Andrew Fenn (GB) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step
3. Stefan Van Dijk (Ned) Accent Jobs-Willems Veranda’s
4. Andrea Guardini (Ita) Farnese Vini-Selle Italia
5. Matteo Pelucchi (Ita) Europcar
6. Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Lampre-ISD
7. Robert Fцrster (Ger) Unitedhealthcare
8. Juan Jose Haedo (Arg) Saxo Bank
9. Daniele Colli (Ita) Team Type 1-Sanofi
10. Jonas Vangenechten (Bel) Lotto Belisol.

Tour of Turkey Final Overall
1. Ivaпlo Gabrovski (Bul) Konya Torku Seker Spor in 28:48:10
2. Alexandr Dyachenko (Kaz) Astana at 1:33
3. Danail Andonov Petrov (Bul) Caja Rural at 1:38
4. Adrian Palomares Villaplana (Spa) Andalucia at 1:44
5. Romain Bardet (Fra) Ag2r-La Mondiale at 2:01
6. Alexander Efimkin (Rus) Team Type 1-Sanofi at 2:23
7. Florian Guillou (Fra) Bretagne-Schuller at 2:29
8. Enrico Battaglin (Ita) Colnago-CSF Inox at 2:58
9. Michal Golas (Pol) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step at 3:02
10. William Routley (Can) Spidertech Powered By C10 at 3:14.

The final stage 8:

BMC Racing Team’s Ballan Wins Giro della Toscana
Press Release: BMC Racing Team’s Alessandro Ballan outsprinted five others Sunday in the streets of Arezzo, Italy, to win the Giro della Toscana.

Good Morale For The Giro
Ballan forced the final selection on the last of two trips up a climb on the 14-kilometer finishing circuit in the 199 km race. “I was feeling good and we had a very strong team here today,” Ballan said after beating Carlos Betancur (Acqua & Sapone) and Liquigas-Cannondale’s Valerio Agnoli in the sprint. “When we went over the major climb of the day (with 55 km to go), I think we had seven guys in the lead group of 40.” The victory was Ballan’s first in a road race since winning Stage 5 of the Tour de Pologne on August 6, 2009. Earlier this month, he was part of the BMC Racing Team’s winning team time trial squad at the Giro del Trentino. The 2008 world road champion also has third-place finishes at Paris-Roubaix and the Tour of Flanders to his credit this season. “I have a lot of motivation with this victory and it’s good for our morale going into the Giro d’Italia,” he said.

Strong Teamwork
Early on, BMC Racing Team’s Adam Blythe and Taylor Phinney combined to help bring back a two-man breakaway that enjoyed a 12-minute lead. After the peloton was whittled down to fewer than four dozen riders over the major climb, Ballan and teammates Mathias Frank, Tim Roe and Ivan Santaromita were part of a group of 12 that gained more than a minute’s lead heading toward the first of two laps of the finishing circuits. “I thought the race was going to go there but Farnese-Vini – even though they had a guy in the group – pulled it back,” BMC Racing Team Assistant Director Max Sciandri said. “Our team did an incredible job today. The plan was to race for Mauro Santambrogio (runner-up here a year ago), keeping Mathias in mind and having Ballan and Marco Pinotti as wild cards. But with 20 kilometers to go, Ballan came to me and said he was feeling good today.”

Here is the Giro di Toscana in 1978:

Intxausti Claims Biggest Success to Date
Press Release: Basque climber profits from another team work exhibition from Movistar Team -overall winning squad- to notch up the GC in the Vuelta a Asturias, 12th success from the Blues in 2012, on the slopes of the Alto del Naranco

Beсat Intxausti left definitely all bad moments from the 2011 season behind as he returned to the place of protagonism he always deserved to be at by winning the overall of the 56th Vuelta a Asturias on Sunday, the Spanish race being decided into the 167-kilometer Subida al Naranco, with up to seven climbs before the final ascent near oviedo. The Basque rider, 2nd at the finish behind Frenchman Rйmi Di Gregorio (COF), was always well protected by an exceptional work from all his seven teammates from Movistar Team at the Asturian race.

Right from the start, the lads directed by Josй Luis Jaimerena kept the gaps with the day’s breakaway small; then, they increased the pace to reel the group back in and make the leader, Spaniard Alejandro Marque (CAR), struggled during the climbs of Muсу-Muncу (Cat. 3) and Robledo (Cat. 3); and finally, a superb labour from the last winner of the race, Javi Moreno, splitted the peloton up in the ascent towards the Violeo (Cat. 3) and left Intxausti and team-mate David Lуpez leading a five-man group of favourites into the last downhill. At the Naranco, and after several attacks from their teammates, Intxausti escaped with Di Gregorio and fellow Cofidis rider David Moncoutiй with less than 2k to do to crown his second pro victory and the telephone squad’s 12th success of the 2012 season, the Blues rounding it up with the teams’ overall.

QUOTES Beсat Intxausti:
“I think I deserved it already, after so many times trying and so many disgraces. I was saying to myself it was high time to win something important, and that day came today. I needed it, for myself, because winning again is important, but also to dedicate it to Xavi, because it’s something I desired to do so hardly for so much time. I came across the line in real emotion, remembering him and, obviously, this victory is a tribute to him. Also to my grandfather, who passed away last year and was my biggest fan. And to the team, too; they were the ones to support me in the worst moments and knew how to take me out of that. Asturias is a talisman race for me: here, I have claimed my two pro victories, and due to its route, dates, climate conditions… it was always a race I liked really much.

“We knew that the key today was El Violeo’s climb, because it had a tough 3k section and that was the place to make the race harder. The withdrawal by Izagirre left Marque as our biggest rival but, when we started the climb, Javi Moreno and David Lуpez went on full steam and we saw the leader dropping. There was just the two Cofidis (Moncoutiй and Di Gregorio), De la Cruz, David and me up-front, plus Txurruka coming back after the descent. At the Naranco, I knew that the only one who could beat me was De la Cruz with the bonus seconds, and that’s why I attacked.”

“I spent 20 days in Navacerrada and, to be honest, I was doubftul about myself doing a good race here, even more focused on improving my condition for the Giro rather than contesting the GC. However, I felt really well at the first day and I just lacked a bit more of risk in the descent at yesterday’s ITT, because I lost there the six seconds I needed to win. We were able to complete a magnificent race for all the team and I’m super happy. This give me a great boost of moral for the Giro, it’s obvious. But I don’t want to get obsessed about the GC, and prefer to go day by day. The start in Denmark doesn’t suit me really much, and I hope to stay clear of problems there to enter Italy in a good position. A stage victory would be incredible, and also placing well in the overall, but now it’s time to enjoy this one.”

The Vuelta a Asturias in 1996:

Omega Pharma – Quick-Step Team to Rund um den Finanzplatz – Eschborn – Frankfurt
Tony Martin Returns to Racing

Press Release: Tony Martin will be in the line-up for the start of the Rund um den Finanzplatz Eschborn in Frankfurt on May 1st.

The Time Trial World Champion is returning to competition after the accident he had on April 11th, while he was training on the streets of his hometown. Tony’s quick return to racing proves he possesses a fantastic capacity to recuperate and an incredible force of will.

“I’m thrilled I can get back to the races,” said Martin. “These last two weeks I’ve been concentrated exclusively on my recovery. In the last few days I’ve even managed to do some more intense training sessions. The pain due to the fractures and the fall are diminishing day by day and I’m feeling better. However, I still have to be careful and try to take as few risks as possible. Overall my return to the races will be useful for me to get my racing groove back and understand how my body will respond in competition. I really wanted my comeback to be in Frankfurt, in my country, and this is what I’ve been working towards. On a mental level it was important to have an objective like this one.”

The staff is also happy with Tony’s fast recovery.

“We’re very happy that Tony can already return to the peloton with us,” said Sports Director Jan Schaffrath. “Tony is a hard nut and he’s proved so yet again. In the race he will be free to move as he sees fit, without taking any risks; he won’t have any special tasks. After the race we’ll see how he’s feeling. Concerning the race, the team can count on fast men like Ciolek, Steegmans and Van Keirsbulck. The sprinting arrival is the most obvious outcome in this race, but if necessary, we will also try to get into the breaks with some of our athletes.”

Tony’s schedule will be worked out in the following days.

Riders:
Gerald Ciolek (GER),
Bert Grabsch (GER),
Tony Martin (GER),
Jerome Pineau (FRA),
Gert Steegmans (BEL),
Guillaume Van Keirsbulck (BEL),
Stijn Vandenbergh (BEL).
Sports Director: Jan Schaffrath (GER).

Some retro action:

Omega Pharma – Quick-Step Team to 4 Jours de Dunkerque
Press Release: Zdenek Stybar will be back after a period of recuperation following the cyclo-cross season.

“After the cross season I really unplugged for a few weeks,” explained Stybar. “ I was on vacation but I always tried to stay active with some sessions at the gym and in the pool. Afterwards I started training. Since the beginning of April I’ve been in Mallorca, where I’ve managed to train with the right consistency and intensity thanks to the favorable weather conditions. Now it’s time to get back to racing. At Dunkerque last year I took home a good third place. This year we’ll see. The race will be important to understand where I stand in terms of preparedness. After Dunkerque I’ll be at the starting line for the Tour of Belgium.”

Riders:
Matthew Brammeier (IRL)
Andrew Fenn (GBR)
Iljo Keisse (BEL)
Jerome Pineau (FRA)
Gert Steegmans (BEL)
Zdenek Stybar (CZE)
Niki Terpstra (NED)
Guillaume Van Keirsbulck (BEL)
Sports Director Jan Schaffrath (GER) & Tom Steels (BEL).

Website: www.4joursdedunkerque.org

Stages:
Stage 1 Dunkerque – Coquelles 169.6 km
Stage 2 Berck sur Mer – Montreuil sur Mer 180.2 km
Stage 3 Poperinge centre – Poperinge Reningelst 178.3 km
Stage 4 Gravelines/Petit-Fort Philippe – Cassel 183.3 km
Stage 5 Bйthune – Dunkerque 176.1 km.

Some Dunkerque action:

Frдnk Schleck will lead RADIOSHACK NISSAN TREK Tour of Italy Team
Press Release: Frдnk Schleck will start next Saturday in the Tour of Italy (May 5-27). The number three finisher in last year’s Tour de France will lead the nine-man squad during the three weeks through Denmark and Italy. Schleck, initially not slated to ride the race, replaces Jakob Fuglsang, suffering from an inflammation of the articular capsule and ligament of the left knee.

“My season was directed at peaking in the Tour”, said Frдnk Schleck. “but when you think about it, this situation creates opportunities. For sure, I will come to the start with a different preparation than the other GC riders, but that is not necessarily a bad thing. My condition is not so bad and it can only grow the coming weeks. The Tour of Italy is one of the big monuments of cycling as well, so it is at least a big challenge for me.”

“I see a lot of opportunities for Frдnk as well as for the team”, commented Team Manager Johan Bruyneel. “Frдnk is a born leader and a team needs a leader. Moreover – though bad luck and circumstances did not provide the right results – he has shown in the last few weeks that his condition has already reached a high level. I am confident he can surprise us in the coming weeks. It all reminds me of the 2008 Tour of Italy when, one week before the start, we got an invitation for the race. In the end we won the Overall.”

Team Sky To Giro d’Italia
World Champion Mark Cavendish will lead the Sky team in the Italian Tour starting next month. Cavendish said of the Giro; “The Giro is one of my favourite races of the season and I’m very happy to be riding it.” Cavendish added in a press release: “We’ve got a good squad to go and win stages. Geraint, Pete and Swifty have just come off the track so they should have that explosive power which will be important in the first week, and the rest of the team have all done well in the Classics. We want to win the team time trial as well and hopefully that will get us the pink jersey. If we could achieve that it would be a massive honour for the team. It should be a really good three weeks because we’re all friends and have a good understanding on the road. The Tour de Romandie has allowed me to get some miles in the legs so come the start in Denmark I’ll be raring to go.”

Riders:
Mark Cavendish,
Bernhard Eisel,
Juan Antonio Flecha,
Ian Stannard,
Ben Swift,
Geraint Thomas,
Sergio Henao,
Rigoberto Urбn,
Peter Kennaugh.

Lampre-ISD for Giro d’Italia
The Italian team are putting all their strength behind two leaders; Damiano Cunego and Michele Scarponi. Scarponi will be the teams’ man for the overall and Cunego for stage wins. Team manager Giuseppe Sarroni said; “Cunego’s presence will be very remarkable because Damiano will be important on the tactical side. This won’t preclude him to be free to act in some appropriate situations. All the other blue-fuchsia cyclists were chosen for the guarantees of quality they’ll assure.”

Riders:
Matteo Bono,
Damiano Cunego,
Adriano Malori,
Przemyslaw Niemiec,
Daniele Pietropolli,
Daniele Righi,
Michele Scarponi,
Alessandro Spezialetti,
Diego Ulissi.

The Giro in Denmark:

Omega Pharma – Quick-Step Team to Giro d’Italia
Press Release: The Omega Pharma – Quick-Step Cycling Team has officially announced the squad that will take part in the next Giro d’Italia.

“It’s a beautiful Giro,” explained Davide Bramati, who will be following the team from the team car with Rik Van Slycke. “During which it will be important to measure our energy in a build up to an extremely challenging final on major mountains. We’ll be at the start with a young, motivated formation that can stand out on any type of terrain. For the sprints we can count on what Chicchi can bring. Francesco has started the season well. A victory in the Giro could give him good confidence for the rest of the season and reward him for the great work he’s been doing up to now. In the stages ideal for breaks, there will be plenty of room for athletes like Bandiera, Golas, Maes and Martin Velits, who will also have to stay close to the two athletes that should give battle in the high mountain stages and in the general classification, Cataldo and Pauwels. Dario and Serge are two outstanding athletes who have already shined in the past on the road s of the Giro. Pauwels was a brilliant player in the race in 2009 and Cataldo stood out in the last editions, even coming close to a stage victory. The squad is completed by two newcomers to the three week races, Kwiatkowski and Vermote. Michal will try to put his skills as a time trial man to good use right away in the brief Prologue that will open the race, while Julien will gain some important experience in support of his teammates and a significant investment for his future. Overall the team has all its cards in order to go for a stage victory and a good placing in the general classification.”

Riders:
Marco Bandiera (ITA),
Dario Cataldo (ITA),
Francesco Chicchi (ITA),
Michal Golas (POL),
Michal Kwiatkowski (POL),
Nikolas Maes (BEL),
Serge Pauwels (BEL),
Martin Velits (SVK),
Julien Vermote (BEL).
Sports Director Davide Bramati (ITA) & Rik van Slycke (BEL).

Liquigas-Cannondale to Giro d’Italia
Ivan Basso will lead the Liquigas-Cannondale team in his home tour. He has been struggling with a knee injury he received during Paris-Nice which was not helped by a crash in the Volta a Catalunya. He is keen to go for the overall, saying; “now I have the confidence to fight for the pink jersey. I’m delighted to say that I’ll be there.”

Riders:
Valerio Agnoli (Ita),
Ivan Basso (Ita),
Maciej Bodnar (Pol),
Eros Capecchi (Ita),
Damiano Caruso (Ita),
Paolo Longo Borghini (Ita),
Fabio Sabatini (Ita),
Cristiano Salerno (Ita),
Sylvester Szmyd (Pol).

1984 Giro d’Italia Stage 1 Team Time Trial:

Tour of America’s Dairyland Entire Series Discount Ends May 1st
Press Release: If you’re planning to race every day of the Tour of America’s Dairyland presented by Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board (ToAD) this summer, you can save some green if you register by Tuesday, May 1. ToAD is offering a 20 percent discount if you register for the entire series…but the final day to get the discount is May 1.

The omnium competition will travel throughout 11 Wisconsin communities, June 21-July 1, and include four dates on the USA Cycling National Criterium Calendar (NCC).

For the complete ToAD schedule and to register, visit: www.TourofAmericasDairyland.com.

Tour of Americas Dairyland 2011 by criteriumcoaching:

Alberto Contador presented a new campaign with FLEX
Alberto Contador and the company FLEX announced today, April 26, at a press conference to present the advertising campaign that will start from today on Spanish television and will reach its climax on 16 May, when Alberto plans to ride again the stage of the Tour de France 2010 which ends on the legendary Tourmalet.

Contador said today that he had decided to collaborate with Flex because it was “a nice idea and a good way to thank people for the support they are giving me”. FLEX, meanwhile, has selected Alberto Contador as “an example of a normal person facing extraordinary challenges”.

In addition to television commercials, the Tourmalet stage may be followed via internet at the website of FLEX.es, where also people can send messages of support to Alberto.

The slogan of the advertising campaign is ‘get up’, referring to the capacity of Alberto Contador to get up every day despite the difficulties presented by both daily life and the practice of professional cycling.

Here is the video:


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