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EuroTrash Monday!

There is just too many races on at the moment: La Vuelta a Espaсa, GP Ouest-France, Plouay, USA Pro Challenge, Tour de Poitou Charantes and the Tour of Denmark, throw in a couple of Italian semi-Classics and you have a full EuroTrash bag. We catch-up with all the action and then some! Cafй y pastel in a Vuelta style.

“Top Story”
That Spanish Race
Is it just me or is the Vuelta a Espaсa turning out to be the best Grand Tour of the year, from a spectator’s point of view. The course is the equal to the Giro d’Italia for difficulty and spectacle, much better than the fairly predictable Tour de France. That said; probably the reason the Vuelta has been so good is the riders, we have four of the best fighting for every second advantage and for the top positions at the stage finishes and that’s because of the bonus time on offer, something the Tour doesn’t have. Every place counts, without the time bonus, Chris Froome would have won last year’s Vuelta and Joaquim Rodriguez would have won this year’s Giro. But everyone knows the rules before the start and should be thinking of that at the end of every stage. Maybe the Tour is more of a pure competition without the time bonus, or maybe long time trials are a bit dull, whatever the reason is, just give us more of it.

Vuelta a Espaсa 2012
The overall leader Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) won Stage 6. After the last of the break had been caught at the base of the summit finish of the Fuerte del Rapitбn, Alberto Contador’s Saxo/Tinkoff Bank team took to the front to keep the speed high, but the Sky team had much the same idea, except they wanted to launch their man; Chris Froome to the line first. The Sky plan nearly worked, when Froome jumped near the end of the stage Rodriguez was on his wheel and came round Froome in the last metres. Valverde and Contador were distanced a little, but only by seconds.

“I’m happy because I saved the day quite well” Alberto Contador suffered on the last climb, the ascent to the Fuerte del Rapitбn, where some cramps prevented him from responding to the attack of Purito Rodriguez and Chris Froome. The leader of Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank managed to finish fourth in the stage, also behind Alejandro Valderde, and kept the third place overall with just a few seconds lost. “Due to the heat and the high temperature we had, I
suffered some cramps on the last climb and I told myself, hey, Alberto, go as far you can. I think I saved the day quite well”, said after crossing the finish line. “For me it is not the best climb, I knew, but normally I would have been ahead without any problems, even to fight for the stage, but hey, I’m happy because despite having had this accident, the loss has been minimal”, said Alberto Contador to the media. Regarding Froome’s performance, he said that, in effect, has been strong. “I like that too”, said Alberto, “because it is important for the race that they attack and move on. That’s good for the race and it gives me some opportunities”, he said before start the descent to Jaca, on the way to the team’s hotel.

Vuelta a Espaсa Stage 6 Result:
1. Joaquim Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha in 4:35:22
2. Christopher Froome (GB) Sky at 0:05
3. Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar at 0:10
4. Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank at 0:19
5. Eros Capecchi (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale
6. Rigoberto Uran Uran (Col) Sky
7. Rinaldo Nocentini (Ita) Ag2r-La Mondiale at 0:25
8. Mauro Santambrogio (Ita) BMC at 0:28
9. Nicolas Roche (Irl) Ag2r-La Mondiale
10. Robert Gesink (Ned) Rabobank at 0:33.

Vuelta a Espaсa Overall After Stage 6:
1. Joaquim Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha at 22:04:32
2. Christopher Froome (GB) Sky at 0:10
3. Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank at 0:36
4. Rigoberto Uran Uran (Col) Sky at 0:42
5. Robert Gesink (Ned) Rabobank at 0:54
6. Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar
7. Nicolas Roche (Irl) Ag2r-La Mondiale at 1:04
8. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Rabobank at 1:12
9. Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Katusha at 1:17
10. Juan Jose Cobo Acebo (Spa) Movistar at 1:34.

Stage 6 action rtve.

John Degenkolb (Argos-Shimano) won his third Vuelta stage win on Stage 7 from Elia Viviani (Liquigas-Cannondale) and Allan Davis (Orica-GreenEdge). Pablo Lechuga (Andalucia), Frantisek Rabon (Omega Pharma – Quick-Step), Bert-Jan Lindeman (Vacansoleil-DCM) and Javier Aramendia (Caja Rural) made up the early break, but the sprinters team held them at around the 5 minute mark. Before they were reeled in Bert-Jan Lindeman tried his luck on his own, but they were all caught with 15 kilometres to go. Onto the Motorland race track Sky were leading-out Swift and at one point split the field, Argos-Shimano had to pull it all back together for the German to force his way through for the win.

“I’ve have full confidence in my team” The leader of Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank told an interview with TVE (Spanish Television) in which he reviewed the first week of the race, his feelings right now and their future expectations. Alberto is optimistic, starting with tomorrow’s stage, finishing in Andorra, and promises to fight for victory. “It is to be happy in the first week. We did a very good team time trial for us; I had a good feeling in Arrate and also in Valdezcaray, being attentive to the echelons. Yesterday, in the last part, maybe from dehydration, I had some cramping that made me lose those few seconds, but it was a stage like a classic, ideal for Purito Rodriguez. I was not on my place, but you cannot forget I have passed a long time without racing and it is normal, in an explosive finish over 2 kilometres, that cost me a bit in front of people with many days of competition. But I’m happy with how it goes and will go better,” said Alberto.

About his cramps yesterday, Contador said it would have been better “not to have them, but one thing is clear; it is very difficult to win. You have to stay focused and do your tactics: There are times you can win and others not, but I am looking forward and fight for victory”. On his moment of form, Alberto believes he will come well at the end of the Vuelta. “I think we get to the end in good shape at the end of the Vuelta. You feel this fatigue and today we had temperatures of 45 degrees, but I am confident that, like in the other major tours I’ve run, I’m going better at the end and ride well in some hard stages”. Froome, could be the opposite case, “but you never know”, says Alberto. “His performance of the last year and a half is very good, is always protected by his team and is always concentrated. It’s a great rider; he knows what he wants and will be hard to beat him. Sometimes he seems to have a better face and others less, but I have to go day by day and test him.” Alberto is very glad of his team. “I am very happy with the team I have and we haven’t come to our land, where climbers have to start. I have full confidence in them.”

Vualte a Espaсa Stage 7 Result:
1. John Degenkolb (Ger) Argos-Shimano in 3:48:30
2. Elia Viviani (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale
3. Allan Davis (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge
4. Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) FDJ-BigMat
5. Daniele Bennati (Ita) Radioshack-Nissan
6. Gianni Meersman (Bel) Lotto Belisol
7. Dennis Van Winden (Ned) Rabobank
8. Jose Joaquin Rojas Gil (Spa) Movistar
9. Lloyd Mondory (Fra) Ag2r-La Mondiale
10. Ben Swift (GB) Sky.

Vuelta a Espaсa Overall After Stage 7:
1. Joaquim Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha in 25:53:04
2. Christopher Froome (GB) Sky at 0:10
3. Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank at 0:36
4. Robert Gesink (Ned) Rabobank at 0:54
5. Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar
6. Nicolas Roche (Irl) Ag2r-La Mondiale at 1:04
7. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Rabobank at 1:12
8. Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Katusha at 1:17
9. Juan Jose Cobo Acebo (Spa) Movistar at 1:34
10. Sergio Luis Henao Montoya (Col) Sky at 1:39.

Stage 7 action rtve.

Stage 8 was always looked on as being very important for any riders who had GC aspirations. The course climbs all the way from the start in Llieda to Andorra, first up the Alto de la Comella and then finishing on the summit of the Collada de la Callina. Mickael Buffaz (Cofidis), Amael Moinard (BMC), Javier Ramirez (Andalucia), Cameron Meyer (Orica-GreenEdge), Martijn Keizer (Vacansoleil), and Javier Aramendia (Caja Rural) were the early leaders, but today was for the four leaders of this Vuelta; Rodriguez, Froome, Contador and Valverde. Sky hammered up the climb pulling the escape riders back as they split. Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) was the first to jump 3 kilometres out, the other three crossed to him with Rodriguez’s team mate Dani Moreno. Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank) attacked after Chris Froome (Sky) put in a big effort. He soon had a gap that you would think would be enough for the stage win, but Valverde and the red jersey; Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) dropped Froome and caught Contador before the line for Valverde to take the stage and all three to take a few seconds out of Froome on the overall.

Alejandro Valverde: “It was a really hard stage, especially with the speed from the start to make the day’s break. SKY set a very fast pace during the final 40k and the beginning of the last climb was super strong. I had very good sensations and that’s why I launched the first attack, also with the intention of dropping GC rivals coming behind. From that moment on, there weren’t any big gaps because all of us were suffering, until Contador attacked. I knew Purito knew the climb really well and we had clear in mind that we couldn’t climb so fast for long, so I stuck to his wheel when he jumped and went past him when I saw him sitting on the saddle. I knew I had to come through the last corner first and I could keep it until the line. This victory only does make me earn another win and keep making the team happy, I’m not thinking about anything else. It’s obvious that we will be fighting for the GC as much as we can, but the rivals are really strong and I don’t know who long I’ll stay this fit. I was the one from the riders ahead that has made more racing days, taken more efforts and staying for two years without competition. Now I’m into a fitness level I couldn’t have ever imagined and can only be thankful towards the team, always supporting me 100%, and everyone supporting me for things to stay like this.”

Juanjo Cobo: “It’s sad that my bad day in this Vuelta came during an important stage, but you can’t get your head spinning about it. I had had really good sensations during the start of the race: ending up all days with normal fatigue, good recovery, good sleep, taking care of my diet, but things came around this way. My feeling today wasn’t good from the start, with mild stomach pain from the start due to heat and the strong pace from the beginning. With such big time lost, I’ll be leaving out my GC chances and help Alejandro as much as possible. I must not come down as I’ll have a chance for the three mountain stages in the third weekend of racing. Let’s hope that I have good sensations there and the time lost helps me getting more freedom.”

“I have not had a day super, but it was a good punch” Alberto Contador, as he expected, found himself better in today’s stage, and less than a kilometre from the finish line, launched a strong attack that served to distance his closest rivals, Valverde, Purito and Froome, although the first two used their speed to overtake him in the final meters, while the British ceded a handful of seconds, and Contador climbed at just 7 seconds in the overall from Sky’s leader. “Today I have taken a step forward”, said Alberto after crossing the finish line. “We have distanced Froome a bit and I’ve been a little better, that’s what I hope.” Contador hopes to continue the progression shown today. “I have not had a day super, but it was a good punch. Considering that each day I will go up, I am happy.” About the victory that could not get, Alberto said he saw Valverde near, “but I was focused on Froome, I wanted to distance him. It is true that you always want to win and would have loved it, but sometimes you can, and sometimes not. As I have said, the goal is in Madrid.”

Vuelta a Espaсa Stage 8 Result:
1. Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar in 4:06:39
2. Joaquim Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha
3. Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank
4. Christopher Froome (GB) Sky at 0:15
5. Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Katusha at 0:23
6. Benat Intxausti Elorriaga (Spa) Movistar at 0:33
7. Igor Anton (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
8. Winner Anacona Gomez (Col) Lampre-ISD at 0:39
9. Robert Gesink (Ned) Rabobank
10. Przemyslaw Niemiec (Pol) Lampre-ISD at 0:42.

Vuelta a Espaсa Overall After Stage 8:
1. Joaquim Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha in 29:59:35
2. Christopher Froome (GB) Sky at 0:33
3. Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank at 0:40
4. Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar at 0:50
5. Robert Gesink (Ned) Rabobank at 1:41
6. Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Katusha at 1:48
7. Nicolas Roche (Irl) Ag2r-La Mondiale at 2:14
8. Igor Anton (Spa) Euskaltel – Euskadi at 2:47
9. Laurens Ten Dam (Ned) Rabobank at 2:58
10. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Rabobank at 3:07.

Stage 8 action rtve.

Philippe Gilbert (BMC) scored his first win of the season on Stage 9 to Barcelona. The race had been enlivened by a break including; Bert-Jan Lindeman (Vacansoleil-DCM), Martijn Maaskant (Garmin-Sharp), Mickael Buffaz (Cofidis) and Javier Chacon (Andalucнa) who didn’t want to give up and attacked each other even as the peloton were breathing down their necks. The race hit the base of the Montjuic and Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank) attacked, but this came to nothing. Next to go was Alessandro Ballan, but as Gilbert said after the stage, Ballan had gone too early. Rodriguez chased, caught and passed him, behind Gilbert rode with Nicolas Roche (Ag2r-La Mondiale) to chase down Rodriguez. Roche couldn’t keep with Gilbert and had to let him get up to the red clad Katusha man. With a nod of the head from Rodriguez, Gilbert rode hard to the line with Gilbert on his wheel. Joaquim Rodriguez gained a few more seconds on Froome, Contador and Valverde, but will that be enough when it comes to the time trial? Monday rest day and its all go again on Tuesday, keep it PEZ.

“The most important thing now is to have good sensations” Alberto Contador arrived eager to Barcelona, with good legs, and again tried to go forward in the last kilometres, but he didn’t exactly know the Montjuic final and attacked too early, as he acknowledged after his shower. “It is not that it didn’t come out as planned, because I had nothing planned, except pass the stage without losing time”, said the leader of Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank. “I did not know exactly where the steeper slope was, but I moved a bit to take positions and then I saw that the harder was the second section, where Joaquim had started. It was a pity I attacked in the first one.” Alberto said, “because maybe I could have gone ahead in the second.” However, Alberto said that today was “a transition stage and now we have to enjoy the day off. We’ll be back the day after tomorrow.” Contador also said bonuses may play an important role in the race. “Anything to add seconds and be ahead is very important. Joaquin can lose time in the time trial over other specialists and bonuses could compensate that.” Speaking of what remains of the race, Alberto said it will be “very tough and demanding because, oddly enough, the Vuelta has to begin yet.” Regarding the rivals, he declined to highlight one in particular. “They are all that are there, but what is more important now is to have good sensations, the rest we’ll see day by day.”

Vuelta a Espaсa Stage 9 Result:
1. Philippe Gilbert (Bel) BMC at 4:45:28
2. Joaquim Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha
3. Paolo Tiralongo (Ita) Astana at 0:07
4. Tomasz Marczynski (Pol) Vacansoleil-DCM at 0:09
5. Daniele Bennati (Ita) Radioshack-Nissan
6. Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar
7. Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) FDJ-BigMat
8. Gorka Verdugo Marcotegui (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi at 0:12
9. Gianni Meersman (Bel) Lotto Belisol
10. Igor Anton (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi.

Vuelta a Espaсa Overall After Stage 9:
1. Joaquim Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha in 34:44:55
2. Christopher Froome (GB) Sky at 0:53
3. Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank at 1:00
4. Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar at 1:07
5. Robert Gesink (Ned) Rabobank at 2:01
6. Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Katusha at 2:08
7. Nicolas Roche (Irl) Ag2r-La Mondiale at 2:34
8. Igor Anton (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi at 3:07
9. Laurens Ten Dam (Ned) Rabobank at 3:18
10. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Rabobank at 3:27.

Stage 9 action rtve.

GP Ouest-France, Plouay 2012
Edvald Boasson Hagen soloed to a superb victory at the GP Ouest-France in Plouay after launching a powerful late attack on the roads of Brittany.

The Norwegian crossed the line comfortably ahead of Rui Costa (Movistar), while Heinrich Haussler (Garmin-Sharp) won the bunch sprint for third place.
Costa attacked on the final climb of the 27km circuit only to see Boasson Hagen reel him in and then accelerate away to take the win at the UCI WorldTour event.
The Team Sky rider had time to sit up and take the plaudits of the crowd as he rolled across the finish line in style.

Edvald Boasson Hagen: “I’m really happy with that and it was nice to get the win today. The team did a really good job to keep me up there all day and heading into the finish.
“I was riding a lot in the bunch with Thomas and Christian who helped me out a lot. I felt good when I jumped clear and I felt confident that I could take the win.

“The whole team did lots of pulling on the front during the day so it was great to be able to finish it off. It has been quite a while since my last victory so it was nice to see the form is good. Hopefully it can continue.”

Sean Yates, Team Sky Sports Director: “It was a really impressive win from Eddy. He bridged out of the group across to Rui Costa and went straight past him. He was unstoppable!

“We have a bit of a depleted team here starting with seven. Thomas has just come back too but we’ve got some strong guys. Salvatore and Alex did a lot of work and then Christian helped set Eddy up coming into the final.

“It was a hard race in the latter stages and that meant there was no one dominant team. It was every man for himself. I told the guys ‘if you feel good don’t be scared to have a go and don’t let the race slip away.’ No one was capable of controlling moves or bringing them back. Eddy took his chance and reaped the benefits.

“It’s nice to win in a bunch sprint but to win solo in that fashion with that crowd would have been a special feeling. It was quite a nice run-in so when he got under the 500 metre banner with a tailwind that would have given him wings.”

Thanks to the Sky Team for info.

GP Ouest-France, Plouay Result:
1. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Sky in 5:55:28
2. Rui Alberto Faria Da Costa (Por) Movistar at 0:05
3. Heinrich Haussler (Aus) Garmin-Sharp
4. Matthew Harley Goss (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge
5. Jurgen Roelandts (Bel) Lotto Belisol
6. Marco Marcato (Ita) Vacansoleil-DCM
7. Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) Radioshack-Nissan
8. Borut Bozic (Slo) Pro Team Astana
9. Samuel Dumoulin (Fra) Cofidis
10. Luca Paolini (Ita) Katusha.

The GP Ouest-France, Plouay:

USA Pro Challenge 2012
Tejay van Garderen of the BMC Racing Team regained the overall lead on Thursday’s Stage 4 at the USA Pro Challenge on the strength of his third-place finish in the 156.5-kilometer race that finished with a climb to Beaver Creek.

Van Garderen crossed the finish line three places ahead of previous race leader Christian Vande Velde (Garmin-Sharp), who finished in the same time – 2:58 behind solo stage winner Jens Voigt (RadioShack-Nissan). Van Garderen and Vande Velde remain tied in overall time – 17 hours, 34 minutes and 18 seconds – but on tie-breaker criteria the Boulder, Colo., resident pulled on the yellow jersey by virtue of his lower sum of cumulative finishes. “It’s nice to have the jersey, but I attacked more looking for seconds,” van Garderen said. “So it’s too bad I wasn’t able to get time. But the jersey is always nice to have.” Van Garderen said the not-so-steep nature of the final climb kept him from gaining a few precious seconds. “It was tough, but it was gradual, so it was not as hard – and then it would flatten out a bit, so people could recover and come back,” he said.

While Voigt was solo for nearly the entire stage, BMC Racing Team’s Ivan Santaromita and Johann Tschopp were part of a 14-rider chase group that included Vande Velde’s teammate, Peter Stetina, who was less than 20 seconds out of the lead. “I knew Garmin was going to try to send guys up the road on Independence Pass,” van Garderen said. “They got Stetina up there, so they are doing anything they can to not control the race and they’re doing a good job of it. But RusVelo and Liquigas-Cannondale controlled it pretty well to bring Stetina back.” Friday’s mostly downhill, 189.7 km race has the potential to be one the BMC Racing Team will have to control, van Garderen said. “We start out up Hoosier Pass and I’ve done that climb before. It’s not easy,” he said. “So the breakaway is going to be strong. There’s no slipping in there by accident. Only strong guys are going to be in there so it’s going to be hard to catch.”

Jens Voigt: “Once in awhile I can almost see a video clip running in my mind that shows me how things will be. Today I was in the break and I could see it all happening. I saw myself attacking and never being seen again. I told myself ‘Go now!’ With the rain, all the uphill, the downhill, wind, whatever else was happening to make the race sticky and nasty – I knew it was affecting the others more than me. It paid off in the end and I’m more than happy with this win. I was nervous until I saw the 1k to go banner but my director Lars Michaelsen came up to me then and told me I still had five minutes. So I slowed down a little bit, tried to relax and waved to the crowd. I was just soaking up the emotions.”

USA Pro Challenge Stage 4 Result:
1. Jens Voigt (Ger) RadioShack-Nissan in 3:54:00
2. Andreas Klцden (Ger) RadioShack-Nissan at 2:58
3. Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC
4. Levi Leipheimer (USA) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step
5. Oliver Zaugg (Swi) RadioShack-Nissan
6. Christian Vande Velde (USA) Garmin-Sharp
7. Ivan Rovny (Rus) RusVelo
8. Joseph Lloyd Dombrowski (USA) Bontrager Livestrong
9. Janez Brajkovic (Slo) Astana
10. Ramiro Rincon Diaz (Col) EPM-Une at 3:03.

USA Pro Challenge Overall After Stage 4:
1. Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC in 17:34:18
2. Christian Vande Velde (USA) Garmin-Sharp
3. Ivan Rovny (Rus) RusVelo at 0:06
4. Levi Leipheimer (USA) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step at 0:08
5. Janez Brajkovic (Slo) Astana at 0:12
6. Joseph Lloyd Dombrowski (USA) Bontrager Livestrong
7. Ramiro Rincon Diaz (Col) EPM-Une at 0:13
8. Thomas Danielson (USA) Garmin-Sharp at 0:15
9. Damiano Caruso (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale at 0:17
10. Andreas Klцden (Ger) RadioShack-Nissan.

USA Pro Challenge stage 4:

BMC Racing Team’s Taylor Phinney finished second in the sprint finish on Stage 5 while teammate Tejay van Garderen held onto overall lead with two stages remaining in the USA Pro Challenge.

The BMC Racing Team successfully defended van Garderen’s lead over Christian Vande Velde (Garmin-Sharp) by chasing down a breakaway that led for the majority of the 189.7 kilometre race. Van Garderen and Vande Velde both finished in the same time, but van Garderen kept the race leader’s yellow jersey by finishing 14th, while Vande Velde was 29th. The winner of the best young rider classification at this year’s Tour de France said he actually wasn’t concerned about keeping the race lead. “I was focused on staying at the front, staying ahead of the crashes, staying out of trouble, ahead of time gaps,” van Garderen said. “(Finishing ahead of) Christian wasn’t on my mind coming into the finish. It was just staying on the bike and staying in a good position and not losing anything.”

Phinney couldn’t keep Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Sharp) from winning his second stage of the race, but the U.S. Olympian said his runner-up finish exceeded expectations, particularly after he crashed on the race’s opening stage, bruising his left elbow and knee. “I’m happy that my legs are finally feeling better after that crash that kind of put me in a little bit of a hole,” Phinney said. “I was third wheel with 300 meters to go, then Tyler started coming around me with someone else and somebody else coming around him. I thought my sprint was over because I left it too late, but then I found a little gap and managed to weasel my way out. But by then, Tyler had opened his sprint already. I was gaining on him in the last 50 meters or so, but he was letting up and getting ready to celebrate.”

Van Garderen said he spent the majority of the race thinking ahead to Saturday’s finish on Flagstaff Mountain at the Sunrise Amphitheatre outside Boulder, the city where he recently bought a home. “Today was a bit less stressful than the other days,” he said. “It was a bunch sprint, so it was sort of a rest day for the GC (general classification) guys. It got a little bit stressful there on the circuit when the rain started coming down. I tried to stay at the front, tried to stay safe. Every little bit of energy you can save today is more for tomorrow.”

USA Pro Challenge Stage 5 Result:
1. Tyler Farrar (USA) Garmin-Sharp in 3:58:27
2. Taylor Phinney (USA) BMC Racing Team
3. Alessandro Bazzana (Ita) Team Type 1-Sanofi
4. Alexander Candelario (USA) Team Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies
5. Hugo Houle (Can) Spidertech Powered By C10
6. Mathias Frank (Swi) BMC
7. Alex Howes (USA) Garmin-Sharp
8. Andreas Klцden (Ger) RadioShack-Nissan
9. Damiano Caruso (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale
10. Robigzon Leandro Oyola Oyola (Col) EPM-Une.

USA Pro Challenge Overall After Stage 5:
1. Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC in 21:32:45
2. Christian Vande Velde (USA) Garmin-Sharp
3. Ivan Rovny (Rus) RusVelo at 0:06
4. Levi Leipheimer (USA) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step at 0:08
5. Janez Brajkovic (Slo) Astana at 0:12
6. Joseph Lloyd Dombrowski (USA) Bontrager Livestrong
7. Ramiro Rincon Diaz (Col) EPM-Une at 0:13
8. Thomas Danielson (USA) Garmin-Sharp at 0:15
9. Damiano Caruso (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale at 0:17
10. Andreas Klцden (Ger) RadioShack-Nissan.

Satge 5:

BMC Racing Team’s Tejay van Garderen slipped from first to third overall on Stage 6 Saturday at the USA Pro Challenge when he could not follow the attack of Levi Leipheimer (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) on the final climb of Flagstaff Mountain.

By finishing 11th on the stage, Van Garderen conceded 29 seconds to Leipheimer, who was sitting only eight seconds behind the BMC Racing Team rider heading into the 165.5 km stage. When Leipheimer attacked in the final five kilometres, van Garderen said he tried to get on his wheel. “I tried pulling him back immediately. I didn’t want to let him go,” he said. “The guys who were with me were pretty much leaving it up to me to chase. Then a couple people started attacking, so I just started sitting on. I wasn’t getting a lot of help out there. In the last kilometre, it was just survival.” Leipheimer took the race lead with fourth place on the stage, 45 seconds back of solo winner Rory Sutherland (UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team). With only a 15.3 km individual time trial to go Sunday in Denver, van Garderen is 21 seconds off the lead and nine seconds behind Christian Vande Velde (Garmin-Sharp), who held onto second with sixth on the stage.

BMC Racing Team Assistant Director Michael Sayers said the squad did everything right to get van Garderen to the base of the final climb. “The team worked perfectly,” he said. “We had a break we were satisfied with. Not just today, but every day, the team did a perfect job. We just came up a little bit short.” With the current standings identical to those of the final results of last year’s race, van Garderen said “it’s possible” to make up time and take back the yellow jersey he wore after winning Stage 2, losing it the next day and regaining it for Stages 4 and 5. “It’s going to take an incredible ride, but I think I can still win this race,” he said.

The BMC Racing Team, which tirelessly chased a 14-man breakaway for nearly the entirety of the race, was without the services of Cadel Evans for more than half of it. Last year’s Tour de France champion withdrew with pain in his right knee when the race reached the feed zone at kilometre 77. “I’ve had the pain since the first or second day,” Evans said. “Today, being hilly and so, I couldn’t be of any use to the team, especially the responsibility the team had today. I didn’t want to injury myself further without contributing anything to the team.”

“At about six or seven kilometres to go, the breakaway had something like two minutes and 30 seconds on the bottom of the last climb,” Leipheimer said. “There were a few attacks from Nibali and Joe Dombrowski (Bontrager Livestrong Team) that were really effective — really strong attacks. I felt that Tejay was struggling a little bit. So, at three kilometres to go I attacked and gave everything I had. I suffered a lot, especially with the altitude that has been a factor in this race. But I really tried to push, and I got a little bit of a gap between me, Christian and Tejay by the time I finished. I think today was a great stage. There were so many people on the road. I think this was the biggest day for USA cycling. I was amazed by the crowd that supported the riders and this race.”

“Tomorrow, the 15km time trial in Denver, I don’t have a very big advantage going in,” Leipheimer continued. “But I will put everything into this race to try and keep my yellow jersey, and be the overall winner for the second straight year at USA Pro Challenge.”

USA Pro Challenge Stage 6 Result:
1. Rory Sutherland (Aus) UnitedHealthcare in 4:06:12
2. Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana at 0:20
3. Jens Voigt (Ger) RadioShack-Nissan at 0:26
4. Levi Leipheimer (USA) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step at 0:45
5. Timothy Duggan (USA) Liquigas-Cannondale at 0:52
6. Christian Vande Velde (USA) Garmin-Sharp at 1:02
7. Joseph Lloyd Dombrowski (USA) Bontrager Livestrong
8. Andreas Klцden (Ger) RadioShack-Nissan
9. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale
10. Ramiro Rincon Diaz (Col) EPM-Une.

USA Pro Challenge Overall After Stage 6:
1. Levi Leipheimer (USA) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step in 25:39:50
2. Christian Vande Velde (USA) Garmin-Sharp at 0:09
3. Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC at 0:21
4. Joseph Lloyd Dombrowski (USA) Bontrager Livestrong
5. Ramiro Rincon Diaz (Col) EPM-Une at 0:22
6. Andreas Klцden (Ger) RadioShack-Nissan at 0:26
7. Peter Stetina (USA) Garmin-Sharp at 0:38
8. Janez Brajkovic (Slo) Astana at 0:41
9. Ivan Rovny (Rus) RusVelo
10. Damiano Caruso (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale at 0:52.

Stage 6:

Omega Pharma – Quick-Step Cycling Team rider Levi Leipheimer, defending USA Pro Challenge champion, left the start house ready to protect his GC lead in his yellow skinsuit for the final 15.3km ITT in Stage 7 on Sunday.

Leipheimer came into the stage leading Christian Vande Velde (Garmin-Sharp) by 9″, and Tejay van Garderen (BMC Racing Team) by 21″. It would take monster performances from both riders to take the jersey off his back.

Both riders had such performances on Sunday. Vande Velde finished 2nd in the stage, just 10″ back from stage winner Taylor Phinney (BMC Racing Team). Tejay van Garderen finished 19″ back in 3rd.

Leipheimer, who gave it his all, finished 9th (+43″). The performance of Vande Velde was enough to win the overall at USA Pro Challenge, and van Garderen 2nd. Leipheimer maintained a place on the podium, finishing 3rd overall.

“I actually felt good and my legs were good,” Leipheimer said after the race. “I dropped my chain there on the corner and had a moment of panic. I thought it had come off for sure, maybe jammed. But it miraculously came back on. I don’t think I lost much time there. I got down to a really good climbing weight for this race, but when it comes to a 15 kilometers flat race out on city streets, with a lot of corners, I just don’t have it compared to going up Flagstaff. But it is what it is. I gave it my all to stand on the podium. Yesterday I wore my heart on my sleeve those last 3 and a half kilometers. I pushed myself pretty hard, I was actually out of breath for 10 minutes. It was the result of the crowd, the positive energy of people who love this sport. They spent hours on the roadside to watch us come by for one second. It’s hard to describe what it’s like to fly up that climb on Flagstaff with thousands of people there. Every moment you are pedaling, people are just erupting next to you. This race was fantastic. I love this sport. This is why I do it. I can’t get enough of it. I’m happy to be on the podium. It is hard when you have the number one on your jersey. I’m proud of this result.”

USA Pro Challenge Stage 7 Result:
1. Taylor Phinney (USA) BMC in 17:25
2. Christian Vande Velde (USA) Garmin-Sharp at 0:13
3. Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC at 0:19
4. Peter Velits (Svk) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step at 0:21
5. Thomas Danielson (USA) Garmin-Sharp at 0:29
6. Tom Zirbel (USA) Team Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies at 0:31
7. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale at 0:37
8. Tanel Kangert (Est) Astana at 0:40
9. Levi Leipheimer (USA) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step at 0:43
10. David Zabriskie (USA) Garmin-Sharp at 0:45.

USA Pro Challenge Final Overall:
1. Christian Vande Velde (USA) Garmin-Sharp in 25:57:34
2. Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC at 0:21
3. Levi Leipheimer (USA) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step at 0:24
4. Andreas Klцden (Ger) RadioShack-Nissan at 1:08
5. Janez Brajkovic (Slo) Astana at 1:14
6. Jakob Fuglsang (Den) RadioShack-Nissan at 1:24
7. Thomas Danielson (USA) Garmin-Sharp at 1:28
8. Matthew Busche (USA) RadioShack-Nissan at 1:32
9. Peter Stetina (USA) Garmin-Sharp at 1:39
10. Joseph Lloyd Dombrowski (USA) Bontrager Livestrong at 1:40

Tour de Poitou Charantes 2012
Giacomo Nizzolo has won the morning stage at the Tour International du Poitou-Charentes. Aidis Kruopis remains in the white leader’s jersey going into the 22,1 km afternoon time trial.

The young Italian has kept onto his good form from the Tour de Wallonie and the Eneco Tour and outsprinted Denis Flahaut and Maxime Le Montagner to the line, taking his fourth victory of the season. Giacomo: “I’m happy to see that my shape is staying on a high level. Yesterday I was angry with how I rode the sprint. Today, the team was determined to help me win and they did great!” DS Dirk Demol: “Giacomo was really motivated to do something today. We have been sitting back a bit in the first two days, because our big goal is Plouay, on Sunday, but yesterday night Giacomo asked me to set up a train for him. At 20 km to go, the break was still out there and they worked really hard. At one point, the race radio said ‘RadioShack au complet en tкte’: RadioShack complete at the front’. That’s nice to hear.”

Stage 3 (99,4km) of the Tour International du Poitou-Charentes was between Pleumartin and La Roche Posay. A break of four riders went early on, but was caught after 60 km. Straight after, a threesome tried again and they were caught with 6 km to go.

Giacomo: “There was a lot of stress in the final, but Popo and Robert did a great job in keeping me safe and in a good position. In the final, Jesse came in to help and they brought me in a good position for the last 600 meters. There was a crash in the last turn, with two riders from Landbouwkrediet, but I managed to get around and won with a good distance to the second. I will take it easy this afternoon, because the race on Sunday is our goal. This is very good for the confidence and I’m looking forward to Plouay!”

Tour de Poitou Charantes Stage 3 Result:
1. Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) Radioshack-Nissan in 2:14:37
2. Denis Flahaut (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole
3. Maxime Le Montagner (Fra) Veranda Rideau-Super U
4. Fabien Bacquet (Fra) Auber 93
5. Manuel Belletti (Ita) Ag2r-La Mondiale
6. Yauheni Hutarovich (Blr) FDJ-Big Mat
7. Sйbastien Chavanel (Fra) Team Europcar
8. Leigh Howard (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge
9. Alexander Serebryakov (Rus) Team Type 1-Sanofi
10. Robin Stenuit (Bel) Wallonie Bruxelles-Credit Agricole.

Tour de Poitou Charantes Overall After Stage 3:
1. Aidis Kruopis (Ltu) Orica-GreenEdge at 12:05:04
2. Yauheni Hutarovich (Blr) FDJ-BigMat at 0:08
3. Thomas Vaubourzeix (Fra) La Pomme Marseille at 0:11
4. Gaylord Cumont (Fra) Veranda Rideau-Super U at 0:12
5. Adrien Petit (Fra) Cofidis at 0:14
6. Mathieu Delaroziere (Fra) La Pomme Marseille
7. Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) Radioshack-Nissan
8. Lazlo Bodrogi (Fra) Team Type 1-Sanofi at 0:15
9. Denis Flahaut (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole at 0:16
10. Evaldas Siskevicius (Ltu) La Pomme Marseille.

In the afternoon 22 kilometre time trial Stage 4 was won by Orica-GreenEdge’s Luke Durbridge from Jйrйmy Roy (FDJ-BigMat). This moved Durbridge into the overall lead from Roy, with Lazlo Bodrogi of Team Type 1 – Sanofi in 3rd going into the last stage.

Tour de Poitou Charantes Stage 4 Result:
1. Luke Durbridge (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge in 26:30
2. Jйrйmy Roy (Fra) FDJ-BigMat at 0:09
3. Lazlo Bodrogi (Fra) Team Type 1-Sanofi at 0:17
4. Vasil Kiryienka (Blr) Movistar at 0:20
5. Ruben Plaza Molina (Spa) Movistar at 0:21
6. Jean Christophe Peraud (Fra) Ag2r-La Mondiale at 0:22
7. Julien Antomarchi (Fra) Team Type 1-Sanofi at 0:26
8. Marc Goos (Ned) Rabobank at 0:35
9. Christophe Kern (Fra) Europcar
10. Rui Alberto Faria Da Costa (Por) Movistar.

Tour de Poitou Charantes Overall After Stage 4:
1. Luke Durbridge (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge in 12:31:54
2. Jйrйmy Roy (Fra) FDJ-BigMat at 0:09
3. Lazlo Bodrogi (Fra) Team Type 1-Sanofi at 0:12
4. Vasil Kiryienka (Blr) Movistar at 0:20
5. Ruben Plaza Molina (Spa) Movistar at 0:21
6. Jean Christophe Peraud (Fra) Ag2r-La Mondiale at 0:22
7. Julien Antomarchi (Fra) Team Type 1-Sanofi at 0:26
8. Marc Goos (Ned) Rabobank at 0:35
9. Christophe Kern (Fra) Europcar
10. Rui Alberto Faria Da Costa (Por) Movistar.

Stage 5 was 188 kilometres from Melle to Poitiers was won by Fran Ventoso (Movistar) in a sprint from a group of 23, he beat Thomas Voeckler (Europcar) and Marco Haller (Katusha) in third. Overall leader Luke Durbridge (Orica-GreenEdge) was 4th and easily held his lead in the final stage.

Tour de Poitou Charantes Stage 5 Result:
1. Francisco Josй Ventoso Alberti (Spa) Movistar in 4:05:19
2. Thomas Voeckler (Fra) Europcar
3. Marco Haller (Aut) Katusha
4. Luke Durbridge (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge
5. Rui Alberto Faria Da Costa (Por) Movistar
6. Evaldas Siskevicius (Ltu) La Pomme Marseille
7. Yohann Genй (Fra) Europcar
8. Eduard Vorganov (Rus) Katusha Team
9. Dylan Van Baarle (Ned) Rabobank
10. Sйbastien Chavanel (Fra) Europcar.

Tour de Poitou Charantes Final Overall:
1. Luke Durbridge (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge in 16:37:13
2. Jйrйmy Roy (Fra) FDJ-BigMat at 0:06
3. Lazlo Bodrogi (Fra) Team Type 1.Sanofi at 0:11
4. Jean Christophe Peraud (Fra) Ag2r-La Mondiale at 0:22
5. Thomas Voeckler (Fra) Europcar at 0:26
6. Marc Goos (Ned) Rabobank at 0:35
7. Rui Alberto Faria Da Costa (Por) Movistar
8. Rein Taaramae (Est) Cofidis at 0:37
9. Dylan Van Baarle (Ned) Rabobank at 0:39
10. Ben Hermans (Bel) Radioshack-Nissan at 0:44.

The stages:

Tour of Denmark 2012
Team Sky took control of the final kilometres of Stage 2 on the final circuit in Aarhus, but the work to bring the race back together was done by Omega Pharma – Quick-Step chasing a break of three. Lotto-Belisol took Andrй Greipel to the line for another stage win and to stay in the overall lead.

Tour of Denmark Stage 2 Result:
1. Andre Greipel (Ger) Lotto Belisol in 5:12:22
2. Michael Van Staeyen (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Mercator
3. Steele Von Hoff (Aus) Garmin-Sharp
4. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha
5. Luke Rowe (GB) Sky
6. Mark Sehested Pedersen (Den) Blue Water Cycling
7. Tom Rr Boonen (Bel) Omega Pharma – Quickstep
8. Dennis Vanendert (Bel) Lotto Belisol Team
9. Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Colnago – CSF Inox
10. Matteo Pelucchi (Ita) Europcar.

Tour of Denmark Overall After Stage 2:
1. Andre Greipel (Ger) Lotto Belisol in 10:07:08
2. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha at 0:14
3. Michael Van Staeyen (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Mercator
4. Steele Von Hoff (Aus) Garmin-Sharp at 0:16
5. Jelle Wallays (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Mercator at 0:17
6. Nikola Aistrup (Den) Team Concordia Forsikring-Himmerland
7. Jaroslaw Marycz (Pol) Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank at 0:18
8. Bjцrn Thurau (Ger) Europcar at 0:19
9. Luke Rowe (GB) Sky at 0:20
10. Matteo Pelucchi (Ita) Europcar.

Lars-Petter Nordhaug stormed to victory on stage 3 of the Post Danmark Rundt, taking the overall race lead in the process.

The Norwegian proved to be the strongest on the queen stage to Vejle, beating Wilco Keldermann (Rabobank) into second with Ramunas Navardauskas (Garmin-Sharp) in third.

Nordhaug joined an elite group on the steep Kiddesvej climb shortly before the finish and then outsprinted his rivals at the line.

The 28-year-old, who now has two wins for Team Sky this year, propelled himself to the top of the general classification standings with the crucial time trial on Saturday to come. He leads by three seconds from Andre Greipel (Lotto-Belisol).

Lars-Petter Nordhaug, Team Sky Rider: “It was amazing to get a win for the team. It was really motivating to have Mark and the guys who won in the Olympics pulling for you. I really wanted to try and win or help Mick and Luke. I wanted to do a good race either way but I got the victory and I’m super happy.

“I won earlier in the season, I had a super spring and then I trained for the Olympics. It’s been a bit up and down since then and I’ve been a bit sick but I’m training for the Worlds now and it’s nice to get the victory. It’s good to be back in the game.

“I haven’t done a time trial since the nationals. I’ve had an improvement in my time trialling this year and in the national I did a really good performance. I just need to go as fast as I can and see how it goes.

“But I’m happy with this victory as I wasn’t sure I could get a good result here. I’m sure Mick and Luke can be up there tomorrow and we have a good chance of winning the race.”

Servais Knaven, Team Sky Sports Director: “It was a great result and we can be happy with that. It was a really good ride from the whole team today. We controlled the race, rode at the front all day and controlled the guys in the final.

“Luke (Rowe) got up there for ninth and Mick (Rogers) also didn’t lose too much time which was just what we hoped for. We protected them today and they did a really great job at the finish.

“It puts us in a good position heading into tomorrow. There are some other TT specialists here so we will see where we are tomorrow evening. But for now we will enjoy the stage win and then think about defending the jersey. The team are in good form and we have some good morale going into Saturday.”

Tour of Denmark Stage 3 Result:
1. Lars-Petter Nordhaug (Nor) Sky in 4:43:01
2. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Rabobank
3. Ramunas Navardauskas (Ltu) Garmin-Sharp
4. Stefan Schumacher (Ger) Christina Watches-Onfone
5. Jelle Vanendert (Bel) Lotto Belisol
6. Rasmus Guldhammer (Den) Christina Watches-Onfone
7. Nicola Boem (Ita) Colnago-CSF Inox
8. David Veilleux (Can) Team Europcar
9. Luke Rowe (GB) Sky at 0:03
10. Damien Gaudin (Fra) Europcar.

Tour of Denmark Overall After Stage 3:
1. Lars-Petter Nordhaug (Nor) Sky in 14:50:19
2. Andre Greipel (Ger) Lotto Belisol at 0:03
3. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Rabobank at 0:04
4. Ramunas Navardauskas (Ltu) Garmin-Sharp at 0:06
5. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha at 0:07
6. Stefan Schumacher (Ger) Christina Watches-Onfone at 0:10
7. Nicola Boem (Ita) Colnago-CSF Inox
8. Rasmus Guldhammer (Den) Christina Watches-Onfone
9. David Veilleux (Can) Europcar
10. Jelle Vanendert (Bel) Lotto Belisol.

A short Stage 4 of 90 kilometres from Ringle to Ordense saw a group of three head off up the road, but Sky and Rabobank had it all together with 3 kilometres to go. Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) was fastest at the end beating Andrew Fenn (Omega Pharma – Quick-Step) and pushing Mark Cavendish (Sky) down to 4th.

Tour of Denmark Stage 4 Result:
1. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha in 2:02:35
2. Andrew Fenn (GB) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step
3. Theo Bos (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team
4. Mark Cavendish (GB) Sky Procycling
5. Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Colnago-CSF Inox
6, Jonathan Cantwell (Aus) Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank
7. Steele Von Hoff (Aus) Garmin-Sharp
8. Matteo Pelucchi (Ita) Europcar
9. Tom Rr Boonen (Bel) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step
10. Andre Greipel (Ger) Lotto Belisol.

Tour of Denmark Overall After Stage 4:
1. Lars-Petter Nordhaug (Nor) Sky in 16:52:54
2. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha at 0:01
3. Andre Greipel (Ger) Lotto Belisol at 0:03
4. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Rabobank at 0:04
5. Ramunas Navardauskas (Ltu) Garmin-Sharp at 0:06
6. Stefan Schumacher (Ger) Christina Watches-Onfone at 0:10
7. Nicola Boem (Ita) Colnago-CSF Inox
8. Rasmus Guldhammer (Den) Christina Watches-Onfone
9. David Veilleux (Can) Europcar
10. Jelle Wallays (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Mercator.

Lieuwe Westra (Vacansoleil-DCM) was by far the fastest man in the 14.5 kilometre time trial Stage 5, beating Geraint Thomas (Sky) by 18 seconds, moving him into the lead by 10 seconds over Ramunas Navardauskas (Garmin-Sharp) and 14 seconds over Manuele Boaro (Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank) with only one stage to go.

Tour of Denmark Stage 5 Result:
1. Lieuwe Westra (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM in 16:36.63
2. Geraint Thomas (GB) Sky at 0:18.94
3. Manuele Boaro (Ita) Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank at 0:21.94
4. Ramunas Navardauskas (Ltu) Garmin-Sharp at 0:24.92
5. Casper Folsach (Den) Team Concordia Forsikring-Himmerland at 0:27.92
6. Rasmus Quaade (Den) Blue Water Cycling at 0:31.43
7. Rick Flens (Ned) Rabobank at 0:31.81
8. Anton Vorobyev (Rus) Katusha at 0:32.33
9. Damien Gaudin (Fra) Europcar at 0:33.02
10. Sebastian Rosseler (Bel) Garmin-Sharp at 0:34.23.

Mark Cavendish brought the Tour of Denmark to a successful close for Team Sky with victory on the final stage 6.

The world champion received the full backing from the team on the closing test as they set about chasing down the day’s breakaway.

Cavendish repaid that effort with a powerful sprint to take top honours on stage six in Frederiksberg, holding off the attentions of Matteo Pelucchi (Europcar) and Andre Greipel (Lotto-Belisol) at the line.

The result marked a strong return for Cavendish following an extended break after the Olympics and represented his 12th victory of the season. For their efforts over the five days Team Sky also took away the team classification award.

The sprint finish allowed Lieuwe Westra (Vacansoleil-DCM) to safely hold on to his overnight lead, the Dutchman clinching the yellow jersey by 19 seconds over nearest rivals Ramunas Navardauskas (Garmin-Sharp).

Mark Cavendish, Team Sky Rider: “The team controlled the race the whole way.

“The lads had great faith in me and delivered me to the line perfect. I’m really happy to get the win and repay their hard work, especially as I haven’t been in the best form recently.

“I won here in 2007 as well as winning the rainbow jersey in Denmark and it’s great to come back here and win here again.”

Servais Knaven, Team Sky Sports Director: “It was the perfect way to finish off the race,” he said. “The team were incredibly strong and controlled the race the whole day. After 25km we started riding and chased down a small breakaway. We are really happy with the performance here.

“It’s been a good week. The plan was to win a stage with Cav and Lars-Petter winning the queen stage was a real bonus. We’ve also taken two top-10 finishes and the atmosphere here has been really good.

“The guys coming back off the track could work on their legs and everybody came out better and better every day.”

Tour of Denmark Stage 6 Result:
1. Mark Cavendish (GB) Sky in 3:31:56
2. Matteo Pelucchi (Ita) Europcar
3. Andre Greipel (Ger) Lotto Belisol
4. Andrew Fenn (GB) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step
5. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha
6. Jonathan Cantwell (Aus) Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank
7. Sacha Modolo (Ita) Colnago-CSF Inox
8. Pieter Vanspeybrouck (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Mercator
9. Tom Van Asbroeck (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Mercator
10. Marco Coledan (Ita) Colnago-CSF Inox.

Tour of Denmark final Overall:
1. Lieuwe Westra (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM in 20:41:47
2. Ramunas Navardauskas (Ltu) Garmin-Sharp at 0:10
3. Manuele Boaro (Ita) Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank at 0:14
4. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katushaat 0:24
5. Damien Gaudin (Fra) Europcar at 0:25
6. Andre Greipel (Ger) Lotto Belisol at 0:27
7. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Rabobank at 0:31
8. Stefan Schumacher (Ger) Christina Watches-Onfone at 0:35
9. Michael Rogers (Aus) Sky at 0:38
10. Lars-Petter Nordhaug (Nor) Sky at 0:41.

Giro del Veneto-Coppi Placci 2012
The Giro del Veneto-Coppa Placci was inspired from the first meters, under a scorching heat (42 degrees) a group of 23 riders escaped from the peloton, and as it represented all the teams there wasn’t much of a chase. Seven riders escaped from the lead group on the finish circuit of the Imola race track. Oscar Gatto (Farnese Vini-Selle Italia) got the better of Juan Pablo Valencia (Colombia-Coldeportes) on the line.

Giro del Veneto-Coppi Placci Result:
1. Oscar Gatto (Ita) Farnese Vini-Selle Italia 5:22:10
2. Juan Pablo Valencia (Col) Colombia-Coldeportes
3. Emanuele Sella (Ita) Androni Giocattoli
4. Francesco Reda (Ita) Acqua & Sapone
5. Gabriele Bosisio (Ita) Utensilnord Named
6. Simone Stortoni (Ita) Lampre-ISD
7. Peter Kusztor (Hun) Atlas Personal-Jakroo
8. Alexandr Shushemoin (Kaz) Continental Team Astana
9. Luca Dodi (Ita) Team Idea at 0:30
10. Gianluca Maggiore (Ita) Utensilnord Named at 1:33.

GP Industria e Commercio Carnaghese 2012
Ulissi comes up with the goods for Lampre-ISD after a period of abstinence, for Diego the 3rd victory of this season and the 7th victory as a professional.

The GP Carnago was fought until last breath, on the tortuous path of Carnago the riders gave life to the race. Five riders were away for most of the race: Berdos (Utensilnord named), Lang (Atlas Personal), Richeze (Nippo), Shushemoin (Continental Astana) and Favilli (Farnese Selle Italy). No team bothered to chase the attackers, so the Lampre team with Ulissi driven by his character and desire to win took the situation in hand bringing the peleton back up 3 km from the finish. An escape of Serpa Perez stirred the waters in the final km’s but the victory was won in an uphill sprint, a sprint in which Ulysses showed all his class and power.

Diego Ulissi: “I’m really happy to be back to success today. I’m in good form as I have shown in previous races and I was hoping to be able to exploit to the fullest. We were able to hold the reins of the race today due to the large work of my team mates and I thank them very much. Then in the final Serpa has tried to anticipate all, but we have launched a long sprint in which I had a great leg and so I resisted well. I hope that this condition will continue to support me until the end of season because I know that I can still do well in this 2012. ”

The words of the DS Maini: “Today we were really good throughout the race, the guys have worked well when the initial flight took advantage of staying ahead of the pack, and then catch up with perfect timing attackers. Diego raced like a true captain urging the team to insist, conscious of his condition today. ”

GP Industria e Commercio Carnaghese Result:
1. Diego Ulissi (Ita) Lampre-ISD in 4:50:00
2. Andrea Palini (Ita) Team Idea at 0:01
3. Daniel Oss (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale
4. Davide Rebellin (Ita) Meridiana Kamen
5. Jose Rodolfo Serpa Perez (Col) Androni Giocattoli-Venezuela
6. Stefano Locatelli (Ita) Colnago-CSF Inox
7. Enrico Barbin (Ita) Colnago-CSF Inox
8. Luca Mazzanti (Ita) Farnese Vini-Selle Italia
9. Emanuele Sella (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Venezuela
10. Gabriele Bosisio (Ita) Utensilnord Named.

More Bad Luck for Samuel Sanchez
Stage 3 Tour de Poitou Charentes: Samuel Sanchez leaves with sprained right clavicle. The Euskaltel Euskadi team and Samuel Sanchez have had more than their fair share of bad luck in the past two months. After a bright start to the season, with stage victory and second place overall in the Volta a Catalunya and two stages and overall in the Tour of the Basque Country, the falls started to ruin his preparations for the second part of the year for the leader of Euskaltel Euskadi. First a fall in Dauphine Libere complicated things ahead of a Tour de France which he left with individual fractures of the third metacarpal of the right hand and left scapula, now another fall in the third stage of the Tour de Poitou-Charentes has led another withdrawal. In the first kilometer of the stage Olympic champion in Beijing 2008 went down. ‘Samu’ hurt the right clavicle and was taken to hospital, where a first scan has shown a sprain to the acromion-clavicular joint of the right clavicle. A second scan will make a more precise diagnosis of the extent of the injury and rule out a small crack. Samuel will take one week of rest before a reevaluation of the damaged area.

New Arrival at OPQS
Press Release: Omega Pharma – Quick-Step Cycling Team is pleased to announce that the team has reached an agreement with Pieter Serry for the next 2 years.

Born in 1988, Serry is an all-round rider who shined on the road of Brabantse Pijl this year, where he finished 3rd. Serry also took a good 30th place at the 2012 Liege Bastogne Liege.

“For a Belgian guy like me it’s an honour to ride for a team like Omega Pharma – Quick Step,” Serry said. “It’s a dream come true. Next year will be my third year as a professional. I hope it can be an important step in my career. I really would like to compete in some of the big races and help out the team as much as possible. I have a lot to learn at this level, but on this team I’m sure I will find the right environment to grow up professionally. I want to thank my current team Topsport Vlaanderen – Mercator for all the support they gave me in these 2 years of professional cycling, and I wish them all the best for the future.”

“Serry is a rider who has qualities,” Team Manager Patrick Lefevere said. “He already showed his skills during this season, but we think he can improve even more in the future. We are happy that another young and talented rider has joined our team.”

Another Signing for Omega-Quick-Step
Omega Pharma – Quick-Step Cycling Team is pleased to announce a deal has been reached with Gianluca Brambilla. The Italian rider will ride with the team managed by Patrick Lefevere for the next three years (2013-2015).

Brambilla was born in 1987 and has one victory under his belt. He has stood out for his skills as a climber, which helped him shine this year in some important races like the Giro dell’Appennino and particularly the Giro d’Italia 2012, which he finished in 13th place.

“I’m very happy about this opportunity, which allows me to gain some important international experience on one of the most outstanding teams on the international cycling scene,” said Brambilla. “I couldn’t have hoped for anything better. I’d like to thank Colnago-CSF Inox for the 3 years we spent together, they’ve been fundamental in my move to professional riding and they have always supported me. Starting next year another important phase of my career will begin. Racing alongside great riders will help me grow professionally as I give it my all for the team. I’m young and I still have a lot to learn, but I really want to prove my skills.”

“Brambilla’s arrival is part of our process of investing in young talent and of renewal for the future, even with respect to the Grand Tours,” Team Manager Patrick Lefevere said. “Gianluca has shown skills on climbs and in important moments he has been a fantastic team player, an indispensible quality to be a part of our group. He has room to grow and we believe in his technical skills.”

The Southeast Bike Expo
Press Release: The Southeast Bike Expo has released the dates for the 2013 expo. It will be a 3 day event for 2013 with a free dealer only day on Friday February 22nd 2013. February 23rd-24th will be open to the general public. For 2012 we had over 600 bikes for demo. This year with the addition of other major bike brands there could possibly be over a 1000 demo bikes to ride all weekend.

In addition to having bikes to demo there will also be other industry vendors showing off all kinds of products. Companies like Tifosi Optics, Light & Motion, Camelbak, Shimano, Kenda, and Thomson.

Our goal is to put on a fun event in a great location for very low cost to manufacturers, retailers, and consumers. We will be returning to The Georgia International Horse Park in Conyers Georgia for our second year. The GIHP is the site of the 1996 Olympic Mountain Bike cross country course. This gives us the opportunity to use onsite world class MTB trails. We will also have an area for road bike demos. This unique outdoor demo area has space for over 1000 vendors.

This unique event gives us the ability to educate consumers about new products and then give them the chance to actually use it. With cooperation from the retailers we can then direct consumers to the LBS to purchase said products.

Also this gives the manufacturers who might not have a market established in the southeast to increase that market share by meeting with new retailers.

The Southeast Bike Expo will take place February 22nd-24th 2013. To purchase advance tickets go to https://www.bikereg.com/Net/16902 Manufacturers looking to setup at the expo please email us at [email protected] or register at https://www.bikereg.com/Net/16901

Please check us out on facebook www.facebook.com/sebikex

A Help for Woman’s Cycling
A couple of cycling fans have decided to create their own “social media” jersey for a couple of up-coming women’s races. The idea was to give the 50euro prize to the best interaction by a rider with their fans through social media.

They posted a fund raising link where others could contribute and now they have passed 850 dollars.

The blog post is here: https://prowomenscycling.com/2012/08/22/the-unofficial-unsanctioned-social-media-jersey/

The donation page: https://www.rockethub.com/projects/10261-unofficial-unsanctioned-social-media-jersey

and Sarah Connoly @_pigeons_ is one of the most “up to date” on twitter with what is going on in the world or women’s racing.

Horner’s Nissan
There are some advantages to being a Pro cyclist and one that rides for a car sponsor, here Chris Horner talks about his ride courtesy of NISSAN and Andreas Klцden makes a special appearance.

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

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