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EuroTrash Monday!

That’s the 2012 Tour on the road and we catch up with the weekend’s action, but it’s not all Tour, we have the usual mixed trash bag of news, but the Tour does dominate today’s EuroTrash Monday. Rider quotes and team press releases, plus the Tour of Austria, so settle back for a big read of Tour trash. Bonjour Le Tour Lundi!

“Top Story”
As you might have noticed there is only one story in July; the Tour de France. The first two days have been fairly predictable with Fabian Cancellara winning the prologue from Bradley Wiggins, the only surprise being the ride of Sylvain Chavanel who matched the specialist Wiggins. Stage 1 showcased the talents of the young Peter Sagan, that boy will go far; you have to be special to outsmart an experienced rider like Cancellara for a Tour stage win. It looks like this Tour de France is going to be good…enjoy!

Tour de France 2012

The Team’s Presentation:
The team’s were presented on Thursday and you can read all about Gordon’s first day at the 2012 Tour here. Watch out for the new jersey designs.

Here is the team presentation from Orica-GreenEdge and their Backstage Pass:

The Prologue looked to be going the way of Bradley Wiggins (Sky), Tony Martin (Omega Pharma – Quick-Step) had punctured and the others were beaten by the fast finishing Tour favourite; Wiggins. Fabian Cancellara (RadioShack-Nissan) had other ideas and hammered the time set by Wiggins (and Chavanel) by 7 seconds. He won here in Liege in 2004 on a slightly shorter course than this year’s 6.4 kilometres.

Of the GC riders; Wiggins is at zero,
Menchov at 6 seconds,
Fromme at 9,
Evans at 10,
Nibali & Hesjedal at 11,
Kloden at 12,
Tony Martin at 16,
Sagan & Dan Martin at 17,
Roche at 18,
Van Den Broeck & Leiphiemer at 21,
Valverde at 28,
Scarponi at 30,
Frank Schleck at 31 and Samuel Sanchez at 33.
Three weeks to go so don’t panic yet!

What the riders had to say: BMC’s 2011 Tour winner Cadel Evans: “not good, but not bad” on his performance. “You never want to lose time to any GC rider and I lost time to one, but I was sort of expecting that,” Evans said, referring to prologue runner-up Bradley Wiggins (Sky Procycling). “But it’s six kilometers out of 3,500 or so, so in that regard it’s a small comparison. I’m happy to get things started and I’m feeling good.”

Philippe Gilbert (BMC): “Thanks to all the fans here in Liиge. It was amazing,” he said. “It was like the classics last year in Flиche Wallonne or Liиge-Bastogne-Liиge.”

George Hincapie (BMC) said the magnitude of starting a record 17th Tour de France didn’t affect him until just before his start. “I got on the podium to start and it really hit me there,” Hincapie said. “I should have been thinking about the effort. But I was excited. I’m really going to try and enjoy this and work my butt off the whole three weeks for Cadel.”

Sky’s Bradley Wiggins: “I’m really happy, the legs felt good and I stayed calm and relaxed. It’s a good start and the main thing was to stay upright, safe and trouble-free – it’s nice to get this first day out of the way. Fair play to Fabian, he’s the best in the world at what he does and I think he proved that again today.”

Sylvain Chavanel (Omega Pharma – Quick-Step) who was 3rd: “I did a great race,” Chavanel said. “I wanted to make a good performance. From the beginning of the season I’m doing good in the time trials. I knew that the specialists could have beat me, but I’m super happy in any case. I have no regrets. I really did my best to honour my brand new French champion jersey. It’s a third place in a prologue of the tour against the best time trialists of the world. The Tour is just getting started. I have time to try to attack and do something good. Today is my birthday and even without a victory, we are going to celebrate!”

World TT champ, Tony Martin (Omega Pharma – Quick-Step) who punctured: “I had a flat tire after the first split time,” Martin said. “I could feel that I was slipping away on the last roundabout and thought ‘OK, maybe it’s just a little bit slippery,’ but then I realized I had a flat in the back and had to change the bike. I think it was a quick change, but it kills the morale and the rhythm. I still have a good time, and I think would have a made a really good time without the flat tire. I wanted to fight for the Yellow. I’m disappointed, but I thought ‘just keep on fighting, the long time trials are coming.’ I can tell I have very good condition and now I have to fight now for the next time trial.”

And the stage winner Fabian Cancellara (RadioShack-Nissan): “I have memories today of winning 8 years ago and that was very special. When you are 23 and win, then 8 years later do it again, it’s a very special thing for me, my family and especially for the team. This is a great opening for our Tour. A lot of pressure went away with this win. But we all want success and success is never easy. The whole team did a big effort.” He added: “I was thinking of my family today, of my daughter and my wife Stefanie who is expecting our second child later this summer. I’m happy to have a lion to take home for the next baby. Home is the basis for everything, more than my training or the team. My family is most important and I’m proud.”

Tour de France Prologue Result:
1. Fabian Cancellara (Swi) RadioShack-Nissan in 7:13
2. Bradley Wiggins (GB) Sky at 0:07
3. Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step
4. Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC at 0:10
5. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Sky at 0:11
6. Brett Lancaster (Aus) Orica GreenEdge
7. Patrick Gretsch (Ger) Argos-Shimano at 0:12
8. Denis Menchov (Rus) Katusha at 0:13
9. Philippe Gilbert (Bel) BMC
10. Andriy Grivko (Ukr) Astana at 0:15.

Tour de France Overall After the Prologue:
1. Fabian Cancellara (Swi) RadioShack-Nissan in 7:13
2. Bradley Wiggins (GB) Sky at 0:07
3. Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step
4. Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC at 0:10
5. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Sky at 0:11
6. Brett Lancaster (Aus) Orica GreenEdge
7. Patrick Gretsch (Ger) Argos-Shimano at 0:12
8. Denis Menchov (Rus) Katusha at 0:13
9. Philippe Gilbert (Bel) BMC
10. Andriy Grivko (Ukr) Astana at 0:15.

The full prologue:

As soon as the flag dropped at the start of Stage 1 a group of six broke away and were not seen until the end of the day, being caught with only 9 kilometres to go to the finish in Seraing. The escapees were; Yohann Gиne (Europcar), Pablo Urtasun (Euskatel-Euskadi), Maxime Bouet (Ag2r-La Mondiale), Nicolas Edet (Cofidis), Anthony Delaplace (Saur-Sojasun) and Michael Mшrkшv (Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank) and from them Mшrkшv took the King of the Mountains jersey over the 4th Cat climbs. The peloton hit the last 5 kilometres with Andrй Griepel (Lotto-Belisol) on the front doing a lead out for either Vanendert or Van Den Broeck, this didn’t work as Stuart O’Grady brought the Orica-GreenEdge train to the fore for Goss. George Hincapie took his BMC boss Cadel Evans up as Sylvain Chavanel (Omega Pharma – Quick-Step) attacked, but the Frenchman’s effort died with 2 kilometres to go. The yellow jersey of Fabian Cancellara (RadioShack-Nissan) went for it with Peter Sagan (Liquigas-Cannondale) on his wheel and Edvald Boasson Hagen (Sky) crossing to them. Behind; Evans was pulling for BMC team mate Philippe Gilbert with Mollema & Gesink (Rabobank), Valverde (Movistar) and the Garmin-Sharp pair of Hesjedal and Dan Martin chasing. Cancellara lead the other two to the line as the wouldn’t/couldn’t help him, Sagan had the strength to win the stage and (what was left of) the peloton closed onto them with Gilbert getting the 4th place.

Rider quotes:
Jelle Vanendert (Lotto-Belisol): “The team did very well today. At8 kilometers before the finish line we got the peloton in one big strip, we were in front of the bunch and therefore were able to avoid the crashes. It was impressive! If you see how much work Andrй Greipel did,you know the team is good. We had explored the final kilometers and knew what we wer up to. The steepest part of the climb was between 2.4 and 1.7 kilometers before the finish line. The finish itself was less steep and so I knew I was unable to beat powerful riders like Sagan and Cancellara. I like the finish to be as hilly as the part leading up to it.”

Sylvain Chavanel (Omega Pharma – Quick-Step): “I tried to attack in the steepest part of the climb, I knew that it was more or less impossible to wait for the end for the sprint. Guys like Boasson Hagen and Sagan are better than me in a finish like that. So I tried to attack a bit early. When Cancellara jumped on my wheel and attacked, I thought maybe someone else could take the wheel of Cancellara. So I stopped a little bit, but when I started again the race as away. Two guys away, Boasson Hagen was chasing at that time. So I decided to stay in the peloton through the end. I arrived near the front, but it was impossible to make the sprint. At the end I am happy because I was 12th. I did my race. I have no regrets about the stage today, it was not my stage. My condition is good and I will try again.”

And team mate Levi Leipheimer: “The final was dangerous and we were riding very fast, maybe at 3km to go, just before the climb. We were a little bit too far from the head of the bunch. Then I passed a lot of riders on the climb, but it was impossible to catch the first part of the group. In any case, the legs are good and my priority in this first part of the Tour is to stay safe and out of trouble.”

Michele Scarponi (Lampre-ISD): “The final kilometres of the stage were demanding and we covered them at a high pace, after that we had pedalled at a low speed for most part of the course. I’m quite happy because my performance allowed me to be in a brilliant way in the main group with all the top riders”.

Alejandro Valverde (Movistar): “After three years without riding the Tour, I barely remembered how dangerous this Race is during the first week, with much more tension than any other. We rode at the front for almost all day, but we suffered a couple of crashes in the finale and we had to put a feet a feet on the ground at the second one. We did a huge effort to come back in and we made it just before the climb. I spent the entire climb overcoming riders and with 500 meters from the finish I saw we were approaching the leading trio, and as I had good legs, I thought of attacking, but I went boxed in between the barrier and Gesink. Chances in the Tour come and go and it’s difficult for them to come back, but I’m happy with my feelings and the good legs I brought to the finish. From tomorrow it will be time for sprinters. There will be much nerves floating around during this first week, but we hope to stay away from crashes”.

Philippe Gilbert (BMC): “At 23 km to go, someone touched my wheel and I thought I was going to crash,” he said. “I stayed up, but lost a lot of places. Then I dug deep to come back in the final two kilometers and took some risks in the last descent. It’s a bit of a pity because I finally won the bunch sprint, but it wasn’t for the win.”

And 2011 Tour winner Cadel Evans: “Marcus took me along on the last flat section there to the bridge, we were doing 74 kilometers an hour just to move up on the flat.” The BMC team thought the wind might have been favorable to split the race near the end. “As it was it was, it was a headwind, which makes it easy for everyone to stay on your wheel,” Evans said. “But the team is working well and functioning well and I’m glad to get one road stage done and the routine going.”

Tour de France Stage 1 Result:
1. Peter Sagan (Svk) Liquigas-Cannondale in 4:58:19
2. Fabian Cancellara (Swi) RadioShack-Nissan
3. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Sky
4. Philippe Gilbert (Bel) BMC
5. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Rabobank
6. Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar
7. Robert Gesink (Ned) Rabobank
8. Daniel Martin (Irl) Garmin-Sharp
9. Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Garmin-Sharp
10. Dries Devenyns (Bel) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step.

Tour de France Overall After Stage 1:
1. Fabian Cancellara (Swi) RadioShack-Nissan in 5:05:32
2. Bradley Wiggins (GB) Sky at 0:07
3. Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step
4. Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC at 0:10
5. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Sky at 0:11
6. Denis Menchov (Rus) Katusha at 0:13
7. Philippe Gilbert (Bel) BMC
8. Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC at 0:17
9. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale at 0:18
10. Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Garmin-Sharp.

Sagan wins stage 1:

Tour News:

American Classic’s TdF Ad Campaign Airs on NBC Sports Network
Press Release: American Classic’s first ever TV advertising campaign launches on the 2012 Tour De France coverage on NBC Sports Network. Bob Roll hosts 19 unique daily spots to announce the American Classic Fan of the Day contest winner. Winners are selected based on the pictures they post on AC’s Facebook page. “This ad concept is a fusion of the best of Facebook, TV and the Tour De France. Television is the most effective way to get our American Classic brand and wheels out there. Viewers want to participate in the action and be entertained at the same time. Bob Roll’s humor makes it all happen,” says Ellen Kast, General Manager of American Classic who adds, “This has been a big year for the AC brand with our sponsorship of the Cofidis Pro Cycling Team. This is our first time in the Tour. We decided the TV ads with Bob Roll would be the speeding bullet we needed to promote our brand.” To enter the contest, go to: https://facebook.com/AmericanClassicWheels or www.amclassic.com.

Some Questions for Samuel Sanchez Before the Tour
Some words from the Olympic champion on the eve of the opening stage of the 2012 Tour de France, with thanks to MEDIOS – Fundacion Ciclista Euskadi.

How are you after the fall in the Dauphine?
Samuel: “Of course it is always best not to suffer any accident or mishap, when you’re preparing for a target. True, I could not do everything I wanted in the Dauphinй, but still managed to finish in a lot of pain, but after workouts all has gone smoothly. Having no bone injury, but a muscle injury, recovery was faster. I was alarmed at first, but fortunately it was less than it could have been.”

How are you for the Tour?
Samuel: “I’m well. The pace of training has been good. I took a little break after finishing the first peak of the year in Liege. I’ve been training in Sierra Nevada both before and after the Dauphinй, so in that sense, I’ve been quiet. I have made a training program and hope you will see on the road. At home I had a good feeling, but now we must show it in competition.”

What are your aspirations for the Tour?
Samuel: “I want to go home satisfied, that is my main thought. The last two years that was the challenge and the results have been very positive. If I can repeat last year it would be very nice. I won the Mountains jersey, and the legendary stage on Luz Ardiden which was important in the race, and risking an attack. On the books I have a third place overall in the 2010 Tour, but I’d rather be on the podium on my own merit. But first I have to be very calm and quiet, with respect to the first objective; to prevent falls early in the 1st week and not do the rest of the Tour from the sofa.”

There are two perennial candidates to the podium missing; Contador and Schleck.
Samuel: “The absence of Alberto and Andy is bad. Two cyclists, who go on the attack, are aggressive and able to break away. Alberto is the best climber in the world and with the punch that can do much harm, I don’t have that explosiveness. He is the best, and his absence will be noticed. With his attacks we got selections (in the race) and that has favored my career. This year will have to see how the race unfolds in this regard.”

Who is your favorite to win?
Samuel: “My favorite Cadel Evans. Your career is your best guarantee and he has won the event and has twice been second. For me, Cadel is the number one candidate, has a number of rivals among which, after his performance in the Dauphinй, is Wiggins. Menchov and Kloden are likely to get on the podium too. There is a group of important men who will fight for the top honors.”

Is it a time trialist’s Tour? Is there a shortness of mountains?
Samuel: “Assuming that the Tour is always very hard and you have to fight every day, without the slightest forgiveness for any fault, it is true that there are many miles against the clock. There are tough mountain stages, but perhaps I will miss some extra climbing. I also think that the Pyrenees are more demanding than the Alps in this edition. As for the individual time trials, I finished last year’s Tour with a good performance, so I am confident in my ability. I will try to do my best; (in the TT) you are fighting against yourself to get the best result.”

There are a few finishes after the top of the climbs, and you are a very skilled descender …
Samuel: “I’ve been asked that question a few times and it is true, but as much as you drop down in search of victory, first you have to be with the front of the race, so you should first cross the summit in front. And then there are people descending very well, having their own strategies. Each finish has its resources and uses, we will have to see how they develop in those days … It will come.”

The Samuel Sanchez wins:

Lotto-Belisol Fan’s Names on the Team Jersey
The Belgian team have come up with a unique plan to strengthen the link between the Belgian cycling fans and the Lotto-Belisol team, the national lottery and Belisol have given 999 people (111 per cyclist) the chance of having their names printed on both sides of the team’s Tour rider’s jerseys. The 999 names will also appear on the back of the team bus. The fans concerned will then have the possibility of buying a jersey displaying their names, and the jerseys actually worn by the riders of the Lotto-Belisol Tour team will then be auctioned for the benefit of the action for young people of Lotto Belisol.

Lotto-Belisol Hurt Train:

Rabobank Riders will Sleep in their Own Beds
Every night of the Tour de France, the riders of the Rabobank Cycling Team will sleep in their own beds. Once again, Innergetic is making sure that every hotel room feels like home. The racers change hotels on almost a daily basis in the Tour de France, and they also change beds on a daily basis, the quality of their sleep varies accordingly. All this while (night time) rest remains essential for recovery and good performance in the Tour de France.

Now, however, the Rabobank riders will be sleeping in the same bed every night. Since 2008, the sponsor Innergetic has been working hand in hand with Skoda to provide familiar beds that are already made in the various hotels. Two French students – one of which, Louis Rognon, is doing this for his fifth time – will bring the mattresses from hotel to hotel and make them too, even the pillows are from Innergetic, while Maxtras is supplying the sheets and covers.

Rabobank cycling:

BMC Racing Team Launches Mobile App
Press Release: Just in time for the Tour de France, the BMC Racing Team has unveiled its 2012 mobile app for Android and Apple iPhones. All the latest news and race results are available at the touch of a button on a mobile device, as well as race action photos, rider bios, information on the BMC Racing Team’s partners, direct links to the team’s online store, Twitter feed, Facebook page and Tour Tracker®. Plus, fans can see what the team’s resident music expert, Manuel Quinziato, is listening to via his “Quinziatunes” playlist.

The BMC Racing Team app can be downloaded for Android: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.netcosports.andbmc and iPhone: https://itunes.apple.com/fr/app/bmc-racing-team/id524969129?mt=8.

Цsterreich Rundfahrt/Tour of Austria 2012
At the end of Stage 1 it all came down to a bunch sprint and Team Type 1-Sanofi rider Alessandro Bazzana took stage and overall.

Цsterreich Rundfahrt/Tour of Austria Stage 1 Result:
1. Alessandro Bazzana (Ita) Team Type 1-Sanofi in 3:54:48
2. Francesco Gavazzi (Ita) Astana
3. Marco Canola (Ita) Colnago-CSF Inox
4. Georg Preidler (Aut) Team Type 1-Sanofi
5. Maxime Vantomme (Bel) Katusha
6. Fabio Taborre (Ita) Acqua & Sapone
7. Danilo Wyss (Swi) BMC
8. Jakob Fuglsang (Den) RadioShack-Nissan
9. Nico Sijmens (Bel) Cofidis
10. Marco Bandiera (Ita) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step.

Цsterreich Rundfahrt/Tour of Austria Overall After Stage 1:
1. Alessandro Bazzana (Ita) Team Type 1-Sanofi in 3:54:38
2. Francesco Gavazzi (Ita) Astana at 0:04
3. Marco Canola (Ita) Colnago-CSF Inox at 0:06
4. Georg Preidler (Aut) Team Type 1-Sanofi in 0:10
5. Maxime Vantomme (Bel) Katusha
6. Fabio Taborre (Ita) Acqua & Sapone
7. Danilo Wyss (Swi) BMC
8. Jakob Fuglsang (Den) RadioShack-Nissan
9. Nico Sijmens (Bel) Cofidis
10. Marco Bandiera (Ita) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step.

BMC team at Цsterreich Rundfahrt
The Tour of Austria runs from the 1st to the 8th of July, The BMC team are relying on the young climbers; Santaromita, Morabito and Bookwalter, along with the skills of Pinotti against the clock. Australian Tim Roe is on the recovery trail after his hip injury and could show well in the mountains.

BMC riders for the Tour of Austria:
Brent Bookwalter (USA),
Yannick Eijssen (Bel),
Steve Morabito (Swi),
Marco Pinotti (Ita),
Tim Roe (Aus),
Ivan Santaromita (Ita),
Johann Tschopp (Swi),
Danilo Wyss (Sui).

The RADIOSHACK NISSAN TREK line-up for the Цsterreich Rundfahrt (Austria) – UCI 2.HC (July 1-8)
George Bennett,
Matthew Busche,
Laurent Didier,
Jakob Fuglsang,
Markel Irizar,
Ben King,
Thomas Rohregger,
Oliver Zaugg.
Director: Josй Azevedo.
So Jakob Fuglsang has been allowed to start in Austria.

Omega Pharma – Quick-Step Team to Tour of Austria
Press Release:Omega Pharma – Quick-Step Cycling Team has announced the selection for the Tour of Austria, which takes place from July 1st to July 8th.

“I see a really open race,” Sports Director Tom Steels said. “There will be a lot of opportunity for our guys because we won’t take the start with a defined leader. Our guys will try to go into the breakaways. On the mountain stages, we can also count on Vermote, Vandewalle and Pauwels. I’m also waiting for good signals from the time trial on Saturday. We have a good team for this discipline, so I’m expecting something good for our guys.”

Marco Bandiera (ITA),
Matthew Brammeier (IRL),
Iljo Keisse (BEL),
Serge Pauwels (BEL)
Frantisek Rabon (CZE),
Guillaume Van Keirsbulck (BEL),
Kristof Vandewalle (BEL),
Julien Vermote (BEL),
Sports Director Tom Steels (BEL).

Ian Stannard wins stage 5 of last year’s Tour of Austria:

Zak Dempster Wins Second Stage at Czech Cycling Tour
Press Release: Australian Zak Dempster won the second stage of the Czech Cycing Tour (UCI 2.2) on Friday, outsprinting his breakaway companions on the uphill finish in Prostмjov to put the disappointment of the team’s second place finish in Thursday’s opening Team Time Trial behind them.

Rene Mandri made the first break of the day, a fifteen strong move that gained over two minutes at one point before being caught by the peloton as the roads turned upwards. Zak Dempster was amongst a group of ten riders who broke clear in the second half of the 147km stage and they worked well together, quickly building up a lead of four minutes. The bunch behind tried to close the move down, halving the lead over the next 20km, but the break prevailed and as they reached the steady climb up to the line, Zak put the power down to emerge from the group as stage winner and moved up to third on GC.

The Czech Cycling Tour continues with a 195km stage between Jesenнk to Љternberk on Saturday before Sunday’s final stage which starts and finishes in Olomouc on Sunday.

Zak Dempster:
“I’m over the moon to get the win today. I’ve been fighting and fighting all year for it and I really feel I’ve been close a few times in UCI races. The whole team did a great job again today and everyone is always a part of it whenever any of us wins. Tomorrow should definitely be interesting.”

Bertagnolli Retires
Lampre-ISD has received from Leonardo Bertagnolli a communication of the notification of the opening of potential anti-doping rule violation in relationship to the biological passport.

In the full spirit of fairness and of clean sport, Lampre-ISD acknowledges the information, pointing out with surprise that, as explained by Bertagnolli after he had analyzed the documentation, the potential violations dated back to the period 2008 and 2009, when he was not in the team.

Doctor Carlo Guardascione, responsible of Lampre-ISD’s medical staff, also confirms that no anomalies were detected in all the blood exams performed within the internal monitoring program that the Team has performed in cooperation with Mapei Sport Center in 2011 and 2012 (when Bertagnolli was a member of Lampre-ISD) and in the biological passport exams that were performed in the same period.

“In agreement with the staff of Lampre, I’ve decided that the Italian championships would be the last race of my career,” Bertagnolli said. “I thank Saronni and the Galbusera family for having welcomed me in my final years as a professional, and naturally all of my previous managers and sponsors, who have always supported me, and shared happy moments with me.”

Leonardo Bertagnolli in the 2007 Clasica de San Sebastian:

Two More Years with Rabobank for Bram Tankink
Press Release: Bram Tankink will stay on for another two years with Rabobank Cycling Team after this season. The 33 year-old racer has extended his contract to the end of 2014 – Tankink is currently in his fifth season with the Rabobank squad. He will be lining up in Liege on Saturday to start his sixth Tour de France. Indeed, this time the “Tank” will function in the capacity of road captain for Team Rabobank.

Technical director Erik Breukink sees both the contract extension and this old hand’s status as road captain as logical developments for Tankink during his time at Rabobank. “When you lock in a 33 year-old racer for another two years, it says something about how appreciated he is. Bringing in Bram has always been a boon for the team. He has grown a lot, and he has definitely earned the job of road captain. We’ve seen that he approaches his work competently and seriously. Bram is a very valuable player on the squad who contributes a lot to the team spirit and then some. Bram continues to grow into his role on the team.”

Tankink says that the feeling is completely mutual. “The team has expressed a whole lot of appreciation for the role I play. I even said a while ago that I wanted to stay on with Rabobank a bit longer.” He feels completely in his element in the capacity of road captain. “I said last year that I felt I was well suited for the job, and Nico Verhoeven and Louis Delahaye plumped hard for me. It’s all going really well for me this season. But it goes much beyond just that to ride for a team like Rabobank. I am prepared to give everything I can over the next two and a half years.”

“de Tank” in 2008:

And Luis Leon Sanchez also Extends Contract with Rabobank
Red-hot Spanish time trial champion Luis Leon Sanchez (28) has extended his contract with the Rabobank Cycling Team. The Spaniard, who has ridden to victory five times already this year, has signed on for another two years.

Luis Leon Sanchez came over to Rabobank in 2011, in which year he won the ninth stage of the Tour de France in St. Flour. He has just re-signed on the threshold of the 2012 edition of that race. “This is really a great team and I feel that they value me and have confidence in me. It suits me very well here. Last year my English still wasn’t very good so I had to rely a lot on my Spanish teammates, Juan Manuel Garate and Carlos Barredo. So I started working on that right away and my English continued to improve throughout the year. Now I’m right in there amongst the group, so it can only get better over the next two years.”

Technical director Erik Breukink is pleased that the Spaniard will stay on board. “Luis Leon has shown he’s one of the top guys in the peloton. It’s not for nothing that he’s on the Spanish Olympic team. He’s now gotten five wins for us, of which three were World Tour victories. We have the utmost confidence that he can maintain his form and even improve on it. He needed an adjustment period in that first year, but he’s now fully integrated in the second year. He’s not just a stage winner, he’s also of tremendous value as a team member in certain situations.”

Luis Leon Sanchez can win a few races:

RBC GranFondo Whistler Opens Two Car-Free Lanes On the Upper Levels Highway
After working for months and months, GranFondo Canada is excited to announce significant enhancements to the 122 km route for the RBC GranFondo Whistler. In its third year, this mass cycling event continues to evolve, enabling riders to travel along the spectacular Sea to Sky Highway from Vancouver to Whistler, now in an even more unencumbered manner. All of this in an effort to further enhance the rider experience.

These important modifications will appeal to new registrants and provide a fresh experience for veteran participants. No other event in North America provides such a unique experience!

If you have not registered yet for the 2012 event, do so today and participate in this thoroughly unique riding experience.
Follow @GranFondoCanada or Like RBC GranFondo Whistler.

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