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EuroTrash Monday!

What a week-end of cycle sport; Spain, Britain, Canada, France and Belgium, its everywhere. Our EuroTrash catch-up centres on la Vuelta a Espaсa, plus the Canadian Classics, Tour of Britain, Paris-Brussels and Van Steenbergen, but there is so much more in that Monday bag of trash. Loads of Video and other news, so get in there and get Trashy!

“Top Story”

Poor “Purito”!
You have to feel sorry for Joaquim “Purito” Rodriguez; last week he was leading the Vuelta a Espaсa and had the points and combination jerseys, plus sitting in second place in KOM competition with the possibility of taking just by winning more summit finish stages. He looked unbeatable, Alberto Contador could attack him seven, eight or nine times on any of the sharp climbs in Asturias and Purito would close him down and then jump him for the stage win. Then he had one bad day, he lost the overall to Contador, he lost second place to Alejandro Valverde, but he still had the combination jersey and the green point’s jersey to go with the one he got the Giro d’Italia. Simon Clarke was not going to give that spotty jersey away and consolidated his position by making sure he got himself in the break on Saturday. Then on the last stage into Madrid, Valverde finished 6th on the stage and took his points jersey and had the same points in the combination competition, but on the count-back Valverde had the white jersey. Still, he’s not had a bad season, eh?

Vuelta a Espaсa 2012
Stage 18 saw a break of five riders go up the road, they were; Luis Angel Mate (Cofidis), Martijn Keizer (Vacansoleil-DCM), Gatis Smukulis (Katusha), Gustavo Cesar (Andalucнa) and Brent Bookwalter (BMC), behind them the peloton was being controlled by the Argos-Shimano team who will be expecting a sprint win for their man John Degenkolb on this fairly flat stage. The escapees were caught 17 kilometres out and then it was down to the sprinters teams.

Coming under the 1km to go banner, Daniele Bennati (RadioShack-Nissan) picked his way through the riders to put himself in position for the sprint. As other riders made their moves, Daniele showed patience and experience in waiting to open up his sprint on the right side of the course, overcoming Ben Swift (Sky) to take the win with a perfectly timed bike throw in a photo finish. Third place went to Allan Davis of Orica-GreenEdge. There was no change on the general classification with Alberto Contador in the lead by 1:52 to Alejandro Valverde (Movistar).

Daniele Bennati: “It was such a fast last kilometre. It was a calculated sprint. I was on the wheel of Swift and at 200m he went full gas and I came around him for the win.” Bennati continued: “I’m happy for my teammates too. They worked all day and we were focused on this stage. The stages have been hot and challenging so far but the team was determined to work for me. I received incredible support from my teammates as well as directors Josй Azevedo and Luca Guercilena. I’ve tried in many previous stages but things didn’t go completely right until today. Each day since the Vuelta started I’ve felt stronger and stronger, and finally today I was strong enough. It’s always this way for me in a grand tour – I am at my best in the final week.” It was Bennati’s sixth career win in la Vuelta.

Bennati added: “I am really tired but very happy. This was hard work but it’s a special day. Four years ago Wouter won on this finish line and for sure today he was with me. He was a good friend and good teammate and today I feel he gave me extra forces to win. I also thought of my grandfather today who passed on during training camp last winter. I dedicate this win to both of them.”

“It was very difficult to reverse the race” Alberto Contador spent his first day as leader of the Vuelta a Espaсa “thinking about what I got and how hard it was to reverse the race, because Joaquin was very strong in the direct duel on steep climbs. It could not go better, it was a stage that anybody would want to get in that way. I am very happy and satisfied with the work I’ve done”, said the leader of Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank.

And he was especially happy with the good relationship that still exists between the biggest rivals of the race. “One important thing is that among all the rivals we’re fighting and leaving the skin on the race, we live the victories of each other with a tremendous sportsmanship and that is something to be proud in this sport in relation to others.”

Alberto said he was “happy and proud to wear this jersey,” and said to be the leader changes a lot the perspective on the race. “This day was good to try to make echelons and cut one rival, but when you are the leader you become more conservative, but every day is difficult now, any puncture or fall can deprive you of victory.”

Vuelta a Espaсa Stage 18 Result:
1. Daniele Bennati (Ita) Radioshack-Nissan in 4:17:17
2. Ben Swift (GB) Sky
3. Allan Davis (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge
4. Lloyd Mondory (Fra) Ag2r-La Mondiale
5. John Degenkolb (Ger) Argos-Shimano
6. Davide Vigano (Ita) Lampre-ISD
7. Matti Breschel (Den) Rabobank
8. Koen De Kort (Ned) Argos-Shimano
9. Mitchell Docker (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge
10. Grйgory Rast (Swi) Radioshack-Nissan.

Vuelta a Espaсa Overall After Stage 18:
1. Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank in 72:25:21
2. Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar at 1:52
3. Joaquim Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha at 2:28
4. Christopher Froome (GB) Sky at 9:40
5. Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Katusha at 11:36
6. Robert Gesink (Ned) Rabobank at 12:02
7. Laurens Ten Dam (Ned) Rabobank at 12:55
8. Andrew Talansky (USA) Garmin-Sharp at 13:06
9. Igor Anton Hernandez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi at 13:49
10. Benat Intxausti Elorriaga (Spa) Movistar at 14:10.

Sprint of Bennati

Stage 19 was won by Philippe Gilbert (BMC) in his usual terrain of the uphill finish. In the last kilometre Nico Roche (Ag2r-La Mondiale) attacked from a small group of Juan Antonio Flecha (Sky), John Degenkolb (Argos-Shimano) and Matti Breschel (Rabobank). Philippe Gilbert (BMC) launched himself after Roche with Ben Swift (Sky) on his wheel and no other riders could respond. Behind the Belgian the GC men were coming up fast with Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) leading the Katusha pair of Dani Moreno and point’s leader Joaquim Rodriguez. Gilbert took his second stage win of this Vuelta and has strengthened his favourite tag for the World championships. Earlier in the stage Aitor Galdos (Caja Rural) and Jose Vicente Toribio (Andalucнa) broke away from the start and built up a lead of 10 minutes, but were back in the fold with 30 kilometres to go to the finish in Segovia. The jersey’s all stayed the same going into Saturdays (possibly) decisive stage to the Bola del Mundo.

BMC Racing Team Assistant Director Max Sciandri said he and Directeur Sportif John Lelangue identified the 178.4 km stage as one Gilbert could win. “Since we already had two stage wins, we didn’t have that pressure to look for the stage win,” Sciandri said. The BMC Racing Team also did not have to contribute to a chase of an early two-man breakaway, instead relying on teams with sprinters. “I wanted to keep all the energy for the final, which was a pretty tricky,” Sciandri said. “We kind of took it easy at first. Then told the guys to move forward. We kind of built up the pressure as the race went on.” In addition to Gilbert’s two stage wins, Steve Cummings’ soloed victory on Stage 13.

Vuelta a Espaсa Stage 19 Result:
1. Philippe Gilbert (Bel) BMC in 4:56:25
2. Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar
3. Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Katusha
4. Joaquim Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha
5. Gianni Meersman (Bel) Lotto Belisol at 0:03
6. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Rabobank
7. Jan Bakelants (Bel) Radioshack-Nissan
8. Ben Swift (GB) Sky
9. Rinaldo Nocentini (Ita) Ag2r-La Mondiale
10. Sergio Luis Henao Montoya (Col) Sky.

Vuelta a Espaсa Overall After Stage 19:
1. Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank in 77:21:49
2. Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar at 1:35
3. Joaquim Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha at 2:21
4. Christopher Froome (GB) Sky at 9:48
5. Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Katusha at 11:29
6. Robert Gesink (Ned) Rabobank at 12:00
7. Laurens Ten Dam (Ned) Rabobank at 12:58
8. Andrew Talansky (USA) Garmin-Sharp at 13:09
9. Igor Anton (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi at 13:52
10. Benat Intxausti Elorriaga (Spa) Movistar at 15:13.

Gilbert shows his form.

The expected show-down on Stage 20 came, but not until the steepest point of the last climb of the 2012 Vuelta a Espaсa: the “Bola del Mundo”. KOM leader Simon Clarke (Orica-GreenEdge) got away in an early break with Juan Josй Cobo (Movistar), Maxime Bouet, Matteo Montaguti (Ag2r-La Mondiale), Fredrik Kessiakoff & Kevin Seeldrayers (Astana), Klaas Lodewyck (BMC), David De La Fuente (Caja Rural), Leonardo Duque (Cofidis), Romain Sicard (Euskaltel-Euskadi), Thomas Peterson (Garmin-Sharp), Mikhail Ignatiev & Denis Menchov (Katusha), Denys Kostyuk (Lampre-ISD), Kevin De Weert & Gert Steegmans (Omega Pharma-QuickStep), Tiago Machado (RadioShack-Nissan), Richie Porte (Sky), Eros Capecchi (Liquigas-Cannondale) and Simon Geschke (Argos-Shimano). Clarke took all the points to put the jersey permanently on his back to Madrid, it didn’t matter what happened on the last climb. On the run up to the Bola the break fell apart leaving Denis Menchov (Katusha), Richie Porte (Sky) and Kevin De Weert (Omega Pharma – Quick-Step) out front. Through the massive crowds of fans De Weert lost hold, and in sight of the finish line Menchov attacked Porte to take the win.

Meanwhile behind; Euskaltel-Euskadi had piled on the pressure to thin the peloton down for Igor Anton, Movistar took over and then when the GC group hit the base of the Bola, Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank took the red jersey of Albert Contador to the front before the narrow and rough ascent. Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) needed to put time into Alejandro Valverde to move up into second place, he attacked and Contador tried to follow with Rodriguez’s team mate Dani Moreno on his wheel. Valverde was in trouble, but he fought his way back to Contador and then left him to limit his losses on Rodriguez. There was a little damage done to the time gaps, but the podium didn’t change. Madrid here we come.

“When two riders attacked at the bottom of the climb, I was on their wheel and followed immediately,” third placed Kevin De Weert said. “Immediately Menchov also arrived, and attacked. I followed him, but the tempo was a little bit too high for me. Still, I stayed on the wheel of Porte and Menchov to try and recover, but it’s not so easy to recover on such difficult percentages of the climb. In the last 2km or 3km I lost contact because they went just a little bit too fast. I tried to keep up my tempo and climb with my pace. You never know, maybe you can return or maybe they will be busy looking at each other and you can return. I knew this climb pretty well, I did it already in 2010. I was hoping they’d lose some time on the climb, as you can lose your tempo on a climb like that in a moment. But they kept going good. I did my best and I am happy about my performance.”

Vuelta a Espaсa Stage 20 Result:
1. Denis Menchov (Rus) Katusha in 4:48:48
2. Richie Porte (Aus) Sky at 0:17
3. Kevin De Weert (Bel) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step at 0:42
4. Fredrik Carl Wilhelm Kessiakoff (Swe) Astana at 1:16
5. Romain Sicard (Fra) Euskaltel-Euskadi at 1:39
6. Eros Capecchi (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale at 2:30
7. Maxime Bouet (Fra) Ag2r-La Mondiale at 2:39
8. Simon Geschke (Ger) Argos-Shimano at 3:14
9. Joaquim Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha at 3:31
10. Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar at 3:56.

Vuelta a Espaсa Overall After Stage 20:
1. Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank in 82:14:52
2. Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar at 1:16
3. Joaquim Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha at 1:37
4. Christopher Froome (GB) Sky at 10:16
5. Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Katusha at 11:29
6. Robert Gesink (Ned) Rabobank at 12:23
7. Andrew Talansky (USA) Garmin-Sharp at 13:28
8. Laurens Ten Dam (Ned) Rabobank at 13:41
9. Igor Anton Hernandez (Spa) Euskaltel.Euskadi at 14:01
10. Benat Intxausti Elorriaga (Spa) Movistar at 16:13.

Bola madness:

As expected Stage 21 came down to a sprint finish in the centre of Madrid and the big German; John Degenkolb finished off some great work by his Argos-Shimano team for his fifth Vuelta stage win. The day started in the small village of Cercedilla, sitting in the valley below the previous days finish on the Bola del Mundo. The bunch took their time riding down towards Madrid and soon to retire David Moncoutie (Cofidis) and Grischa Niermann (Rabobank) were allowed to go ahead to cross the finish line on the first passage. After that there were a couple of hopeful breaks, but the sprint was inevitable. Sky and Argos-Shimano wanted the stage and took control of the peloton in the last laps. Allan Davis (Orica-GreenEdge) and Elia Viviani (Liquigas-Cannondale) were up-front to battle with Degenkolb and Ben Swift (Sky) with Daniel Bennati (RadioShack-Nissan) close by. The German sprinter took to the front with 200 metres to go and held the others off for the win.

Alberto Contador wins the 2012 Vuelta a Espaсa with a great attacking style we have missed recently. This Vuelta has been the most exciting Grand Tour of the year and shows what proper racing should be like.

Second on GC; Alejandro Valverde: “I’m really happy with this second place, though deducting the time lost at the crash I’d be just twenty seconds behind Contador, but we can’t stay thinking about it because my Vuelta overview is fantastic. Maybe, if I had been closer, the strategy would have been different, but all in all, I can’t complain. We weren’t coming with this very objective to the Vuelta and we ended up in second, so I have to stay really satisfied. The squad was perfect for all three weeks, and I have to thank them from the first to the last one. I wouldn’t have obtained this podium without them.

“It was a spectacular Vuelta. The crowds were massive and that’s a pleasure for all of us. The fight between us three was fantastic and the rivals I had to face, with the best rider in the world on Grand Tours and someone who was already about to win the Giro this season, make this second place even more important. It might not seem like that, but I ended this Vuelta with much ambition and I’m excited to go for the Worlds. After such hard stages, I feel willing to do well and I think I can. Winning is so difficult, but I think I have the legs to be there. The next week will be almost committed for full recovery. It’s better to rest well rather than making hurt on myself, and then doing some good training in the week leading to the road race.”

Fourth placed Chris Froome (Sky) had this to say after the final stage: “It’s slightly disappointing not to come away with more – obviously we had high ambitions coming here. But having said that I’m not disappointed with how we rode and how I rode. I know I gave it everything and I know the team did a fantastic job to look after me and support me. In that sense there’s no disappointment at all.

“It’s been a huge learning process. I think there’s so much we can take away from this race. Personally I now know where my limits are in terms of doing two Grand Tours back to back. I know a lot more about the competition that wasn’t at the Tour de France this year and will be at future editions and races next year. For me it’s been the first time leading the team and being in a position where I need to tell the guys around me what I need to get me though the race as best as possible.

“I’m in long need of a rest now! I’ll definitely put the feet up for a few days and, if I can come around in time, go to the World Championships road race. The main emphasis now for the next few days will just be switching off and relaxing.”

Orica-GreenEdge won their first Grand Tour competition, Simon Clarke in his KOM jersey had this to say: “I think this was even more exciting than it might have been because it was unexpected,” said Clarke. “With a team full of strong sprinters we expected to bring home the green jersey at a Grand Tour. I don’t know that anyone had even thought about the polka dot jersey. It’s come as a good surprise for me to be able to contribute this win to our successes this year.”

“I’m happy to be able to do this for the team,” Clarke added. “I’m especially happy to be able to do this for Shayne [Bannan] who has supported my development over a lot of years. This is a great way to repay him for what he has done for me and the entire team.”

Vuelta a Espaсa Stage 21 Results:
1. John Degenkolb (Ger) Argos-Shimano in 2:44:57
2. Elia Viviani (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale
3. Daniele Bennati (Ita) Radioshack-Nissan
4. Allan Davis (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge
5. Koldo Fernandez (Spa) Garmin-Sharp
6. Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar
7. Gert Steegmans (Bel) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step
8. Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step
9. Raymond Kreder (Ned) Garmin-Sharp
10. Gorka Verdugo Marcotegui (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi.

Vuelta a Espaсa Final Overall:
1. Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank in 84:59:49
2. Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar at 1:16
3. Joaquim Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha at 01:37
4. Christopher Froome (GB) Sky at 10:16
5. Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Katusha at 11:29
6. Robert Gesink (Ned) Rabobank at 12:23
7. Andrew Talansky (USA) Garmin-Sharp at 13:28
8. Laurens Ten Dam (Ned) Rabobank at 13:41
9. Igor Anton (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi at 14:01
10. Benat Intxausti Elorriaga (Spa) Movistar at 16:13
11. Gorka Verdugo Marcotegui (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi at 16:22
12. Nicolas Roche (Irl) Ag2r-La Mondiale at 7:50
13. Tomasz Marczynski (Pol) Vacansoleil-DCM at 19:14
14. Sergio Luis Henao Montoya (Col) Sky at 19:59
15. Przemyslaw Niemiec (Pol) Lampre-ISD at 20:48
16. Maxime Monfort (Bel) Radioshack-Nissan at 20:50
17. Bart De Clercq (Bel) Lotto Belisol at 20:56
18. Rinaldo Nocentini (Ita) Ag2r-La Mondiale at 22:30
19. Winner Anacona Gomez (Col) Lampre-ISD at 23:38
20. Maxime Bouet (Fra) Ag2r-La Mondiale at 26:30.

KOM Competition:
Simon Clarke (Orica-GreenEdge)

Points Competition:
Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Movistar)

Combination Competition:
Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Movistar)

Team Classification:

Into Madrid:

GP Cycliste de Quйbec 2012
Simon Gerrans took a convincing win at the GP Quйbec following a late attack on the last lap of the WorldTour race. The Australian National Road Champion joined Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) up the road ahead of the penultimate climb.

“It’s fantastic to win today,” said Gerrans. “This is some of the hardest racing on the calendar. It’s fantastic racing in Quйbec on an exciting circuit with great crowds and great ambience.” Early attacks gave way to an eight-rider break that was caught with two laps left to race. Relentless counter-attacks followed. As teams repeatedly sent riders up the road, Gerrans calmly bided his team in the bunch.

“This circuit is a tough little circuit,” Gerrans noted. “There are a lot of corners. It’s always going up and down. We started out especially fast today and made the race quite difficult. There were a lot of tired guys at the finish.”

“I stayed quiet most of the race,” he added. “I really gambled on it being back together for the last lap.” Just inside the final four kilometres, Van Avermaet made his move. Gerrans jumped to respond. The duo worked together to distance themselves from their chasers. Peter Sagan (Liquigas-Cannondale) posed the biggest threat as he jumped from the bunch and nearly bridged across.

“I attacked with everything I had and got away with Greg,” explained Gerrans. “I saw Peter was really close behind us, and I know how fast he is. I kept the break with Greg moving to make sure that Peter didn’t get back on.”

Inside the final kilometre, Gerrans and Van Avermaet had a small gap on Sagan and the chasing field. Around the final corner, Gerrans lead Van Avermaet towards the line. Van Avermaet opened the sprint. Gerrans came around him with enough time to celebrate his victory in Old Quйbec. “We just managed to hold them off,” said Gerrans. “I’m happy to have pulled off the win. It’s a great feeling to be riding strong at the end of the season.”

BMC Racing Team’s Greg Van Avermaet was runner-up to Simon Gerrans after Van Avermaet broke away with less than five kilometres to go and only the Orica-GreenEdge rider could follow.

Last year’s winner of Paris-Tours and the Tour de Wallonie said he saw an opportunity to make a move late in the 201.6 km race comprising 16 laps of a 12.6-km circuit that ended with a long, uphill drag to the finish. “I was feeling good and just gave it a try,” Van Avermaet said. “Then I was alone at the top (of the climb) and only Gerrans came back to me. I tried to be there in the sprint but it wasn’t easy. I was working the whole time and then I tried to go with 200 meters, but he came over me.”

Van Avermaet, who has a dozen top 10 finishes this year to his credit, came close to earning his first win and giving the BMC Racing Team a second victory on the day – adding to one by Philippe Gilbert earlier at the Vuelta a Espaсa. “It’s a little bit of a disappointment but also I’m happy that I finally have a result,” Van Avermaet said. “In all the classics, I was always in good shape but it didn’t work out. So now I’m happy that I have a result.” Van Avermaet’s result matched his best finish of the year: runner-up on the opening stage of the Volta ao Algarve in February.

BMC Racing Team Assistant Director Michael Sayers said having Danilo Wyss in an eight-man breakaway that wasn’t caught until 30 km to go – and Manuel Quinziato in a five-man group to monitor the chase – set the stage for Van Avermaet’s podium finish. “Everything went exactly as we talked about in the meeting – having someone in the early breakaway to take the pressure off and saving Greg and Mathias (Frank) for the end,” Sayers said. “Greg was obviously very, very good. Second is a valiant result and exactly what the team could have expected out of him.”
Thanks to the BMC & Orica-GreenEdge teams for race info.

GP Cycliste de Quйbec Result:
1. Simon Gerrans (Aus) Orica GreenEdge in 4:53:04
2. Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC
3. Rui Alberto Faria Da Costa (Por) Movistar at 0:04
4. Luca Paolini (Ita) Katusha
5. Tom Jelte Slagter (Ned) Rabobank
6. Diego Ulissi (Ita) Lampre-ISD
7. Thomas Voeckler (Fra) Team Europcar
8. Fabian Wegmann (Ger) Garmin-Sharp
9. Gerald Ciolek (Ger) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step
10. Francois Parisien (Can) Spidertech Powered By C10.

GP Cycliste de Montrйal 2012
Lars-Petter Nordhaug claimed Team Sky’s 100th UCI victory with an absolutely storming display at the GP de Montreal.
The 28-year-old Norwegian split the peloton to shreds when he set a blistering pace up a climb inside the final 10km, and then chipped off the front with 4km remaining.

A three-man group containing Moreno Moser (Liquigas-Cannondale), Alexandr Kolobnev (Katusha) and Bjцrn Leukemans (Vacansoleil-DCM) temporarily pegged him back as the race reached its conclusion, but in the last 150m, Nordhaug kicked again and battled on to seal his victory by several bike lengths.

Moser and Kolobnev took the two remaining spots on the podium, with Edvald Boasson Hagen racing home in fifth to cap a dominant team display.

Lars-Petter Nordhaug, Team Sky rider, said: “That was incredible. I was riding for Edvald originally because we thought it was going to come down to a sprint. I just tried to sit on the front to cover the counter attacks, but felt so strong in those last 4km that I just rolled off alone.

“When I saw those three guys were coming I waited a bit and then joined them. I didn’t think I would take the sprint because the other guys in that group were very fast, but I just had unbelievable legs today, so to win was fantastic.
“I only realised I’d won inside the last 30m. I’m really pleased because I’ve taken some big steps this year and had two victories already. To win this race though is the biggest thing I’ve ever done.

“As a team, we’re having an unbelievable season and it’s good to have been a part of that success. Winning the Tour de France gave us all motivation and everybody’s been riding well all year long.”
Thanks to Team Sky for their race report

GP Cycliste de Montrйal Result:
1. Lars Petter Nordhaug (Nor) Sky in 5:28:29
2. Moreno Moser (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale at 0:02
3. Alexandr Kolobnev (Rus) Katusha
4. Simon Gerrans (Aus) Orica – GreenEdge at 0:04
5. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Sky
6. Bjцrn Leukemans (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM
7. Jurgen Roelandts (Bel) Lotto Belisol
8. Rui Costa (Por) Movistar
9. Luca Paolini (Ita) Katusha
10. Tony Gallopin (Fra) Radioshack-Nissan.

Paris- Brussels 2012
Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma – Quick-Step) added another race to his palmares, winning the field sprint in the 216 kilometre Paris-Brussels on Saturday. This was his first time winning the race in his career, and adds to an outstanding year of victories in 2012. His teammates controlled the front in the final kilometres, dragging back every attacking rider and setting him up perfectly to best the top sprinters in the field.

Boonen beat Mark Renshaw (Rabobank) and Oscar Freire (Katusha) with a bike throw, powering up the middle of the field in the final meters.

His teammates were also active earlier in the race. Marco Bandiera attacked with 19km remaining, and while he was brought back with 12km to go, OPQS made it clear they wanted to set the tone for the last kilometres.

This is the 51st victory for OPQS in three disciplines.

“We decided already yesterday to put everything on the sprint,” Sports Director Tom Steels said. “All the team worked together to put Tom in the best position possible for the final. Bandiera attacked two times in the final and he permitted the rest of the team to stay ‘relaxed’ and prepare the sprint. In the final, everybody was really strong and did their job perfectly. It was a difficult sprint but Tom made it easy with another good performance.”

“I stayed in the safe zone, out of trouble until the last kilometres,” Boonen said. “After a week of hard training I didn’t know what I could expect from this race. But today we decided to try and go for a win. We worked in the final really hard for the sprint. The guys were great, perfect team work. The finish here at Paris-Brussels is not so easy. The team led me perfectly until the last corner. Maes literally killed everybody during the leadout. His job permitted me to pass the train of Rabobank and have a good sprint. I’m satisfied about my performance. This race was missing in my palmares. It’s an important classic and it’s nice to have it on my personal list. In the next days I still have some work to do to improve. I will do a few good training days at the beginning of this week and on Wednesday I will race. Then I will focus on the TTT Worlds and then on the Worlds Road race. I’m really looking forward to the next two weeks.”
Thanks to the Omega Pharma – Quick-Step team for the info.

Paris- Brussels Result:
1. Tom Boonen (Bel) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step in 4:59:04
2. Mark Renshaw (Aus) Rabobank
3. Oscar Freire Gomez (Spa) Katusha
4. Michael Van Staeyen (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Mercator
5. Manuel Belletti (Ita) Ag2r-La Mondiale
6. Jean-Pierre Drucker (Lux) Accent Jobs-Willems Veranda’s
7. Alessandro Bazzana (Ita) Team Type 1-Sanofi
8. Andrй Schulze (Ger) Team NetApp
9. Kenny Robert Van Hummel (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM
10. Rafael Andriato (Bra) Farnese Vini-Selle Italia.

Memorial Rik Van Steenbergen 2012
Rabobank’s Theo Bos brought the form he had at the World Ports Classic to the Memorial Rik Van Steenbergen by outsprinting Kenny Van Hummel of Vacansoleil-DCM, Mark Renshaw (Rabobank) and Andrй Greipel (Lotto Belisol). A break of four formed after 20 kilometres; Kurt Hovelynck (Landbouwkrediet-Euphony), Quentin Bertholet (Wallonie Bruxelles-Credit Agricole), Olivier Pardini (Colba-Superano Ham) and Jeroen Lepla (Bofrost-Steria), they were pulled back with 20 kilometres and the Rabobank took over to bring Bos to the line.

Memorial Rik Van Steenbergen Result:
1. Theo Bos (Ned) Rabobank in 4:19:06
2. Kenny Robert Van Hummel (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM
3. Mark Renshaw (Aus) Rabobank
4. Andrй Greipel (Ger) Lotto Belisol
5. Barry Markus (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM
6. Stefan Van Dijk (Ned) Accent Jobs-Willems Veranda’s
7. Kenneth Vanbilsen (Bel) An Post-Sean Kelly
8. Andrй Schulze (Ger) Team NetApp
9. Roy Jans (Bel) An Post-Sean Kelly
10. Francesco Lasca (Ita) Caja Rural.

Tour of Britain 2012
Sky’s Luke Rowe won Stage 1 from Ipswich to Norfolk ahead of Boy van Poppel (UnitedHealthcare) and Russell Downing (Endura) after a crash that took out World champion; Mark Cavendish 2 kilometres from the finish. The Sky lead-out train was in position and took Rowe to line for the young Welshman’s biggest win in his career.

Tour of Britain Stage 1 Result:
1. Luke Rowe (GB) Sky in 4:51:05
2. Boy Van Poppel (Ned) UnitedHealthcare
3. Russell Downing (GBr) Endura
4. Jйrйmie Galland (Fra) Saur-Sojasun
5. Peter Hawkins (Irl) IG-Sigma Sport
6. Rony Martias (Fra) Saur-Sojasun
7. Barry Markus (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM
8. Paolo Longo Borghini (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale
9. Jonathan Tiernan-Locke (GB) Endura
10. Ben Grenda (Aus) Rapha Condor.

Tour of Britain Overall After Stage 1:
1. Luke Rowe (GBr) Sky in 4:50:55
2. Rony Martias (Fra) Saur-Sojasun at 0:03
3. Boy Van Poppel (Ned) UnitedHealthcare at 0:04
4. Russell Downing (GB) Endura at 0:06
5. Jйrйmie Galland (Fra) Saur-Sojasun at 0:10
6. Peter Hawkins (Irl) IG-Sigma Sport
7. Barry Markus (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM
8. Paolo Longo Borghini (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale
9. Jonathan Tiernan-Locke (GB) Endura
10. Ben Grenda (Aus) Rapha Condor.

Stage 1:

Michael Barry Retires
Canadian Michael Barry will end his 14 year professional cycling career at the Tour of Beijing from the 9th to the 13th of October. In his long career he has ridden for many teams, finishing off with the Sky team. Barry made the announcement on his personal web-site: michaelbarry.ca. He added: Racing is the job I dreamed of doing. I must thank my teammates, coaches, and rivals for making the job satisfying and memorable. The emotions after crossing the finish line, sitting on the bus with teammates and recounting the day will be hard to recreate.”

Tests Reveal Hushovd Suffered From Virus And Muscle Problem
Press Release: Medical tests on Thor Hushovd reveal the former world road champion suffered from a virus and muscle inflammation during a season that saw him race fewer than three dozen times for the BMC Racing Team.

Four Days Of Tests
Hushovd underwent four days of evaluation and testing at the Salt Lake City Health and Fitness Institute under the supervision of BMC Racing Team Chief Medical Officer Dr. Max Testa. “The purpose of the tests was to explain his reduced exercise tolerance that has been limiting his performance throughout the season,” Testa said. “At the end of the four days, we determined Thor suffered a post-viral syndrome with secondary myositis – or muscles inflammation. His medical condition is currently improving, and a full recovery is expected for next season.”

‘Really Big Relief’
Hushovd said the diagnosis puts his mind at ease from a season that saw his best result occur when he finished fifth on Stage 7 of Paris-Nice on March 10. “It’s a really big relief that I’ve been fighting all year with these bad sensations on the bike,” Hushovd said. “After awhile, you lose some confidence. But now that I’ve finally found out why I had this weakness, I’m relieved. Now I know that I can come back strong for next year.” Hushovd’s abbreviated season included withdrawing from the Giro d’Italia after five stages, not racing the Tour de France for the first time since 2000 and having to turn down an opportunity to compete in the Olympic Games. With all of that behind him, Hushovd said he will begin training in earnest Oct. 1 for 2013. “Right now, I’m just keeping the muscles active,” he said. “Yesterday I rode my bike and did some core training. So now I’ll just be trying to stay active until the first of October so I don’t lose too much fitness.”

Dario Cataldo to Sky
Vuelta a Espaсa stage winner, Dario Cataldo, will leave Omega Pharma – Quick-Step to ride for the Sky team next year. According to the Italian web-site www.tuttobiciweb.it, the 27 year-old Italian National time trial champion is “willing to make myself available and do the work that I will be given.”

Cavendish to Leave Sky?
It seems that the promised move from Sky for World champion Mark Cavendish might be too expensive for most teams. The fast Manx man has two years left to run on his contract with Sky and it is rumoured that it would cost 1 million GBP for the contract and 2 million a year wages. The Katusha team had recently said that they had been interested, but had now pulled out of all discussions.

No Contract for Mehdi Sohrabi
Iranian rider, Mehdi Sohrabi will not be riding for the Belgian WorldTour Lotto Belisol team in 2013. The sprinter who brought UCI points to the team could not make the step up to the higher level. Team manager Marc Sergeant announced to sporza about Sohrabi; “He realizes that the WorldTour level was much too ambitious for him.” Whether this will be the end of his career is not known yet.

BMC Racing Team Ready For Busy Week
Press Release: Two races in Belgium and one in France lie ahead this week for the BMC Racing Team. GP de Wallonie on Wednesday is followed by Kampioenschap van Vlaanderen-Koolskamp on Friday and GP d’Isbergues on Sunday.

Advice From A Former Winner
Greg Van Avermaet, runner-up at the recent Grand Prix de Quйbec, is among the BMC Racing Team riders who will be competing in all three. “GP de Wallonie is going to be a hard race,” BMC Racing Team Assistant Director Rik Verbrugghe said. “I think Greg, if he’s recovered from his trip from Canada, can do something there.” Mauro Santambrogio is also looking forward to the 203.1-kilometer race that finishes with the uphill climb to the Citadelle de Namur. “I spoke with (two-time race winner) Philippe Gilbert, who said it’s a good finish for me,” Santambrogio said. “I hope I have the good condition. I’ll use the two days between the Vuelta and the race to get good rest and recovery.” Klaas Lodewyck, a key contributor on the BMC Racing Team squad that won three stages of the Vuelta a Espaсa, said having a nearly identical roster for the three races is an advantage. “These are races where we have a very good team and can expect to do well and win,” he said.

GP de Wallonie (Sept. 12):
Riders: Adam Blythe (GBR),
Yannick Eijssen (BEL),
Klaas Lodewyck (BEL),
Mauro Santambrogio (ITA),
Ivan Santaromita (ITA),
Michael Schдr (SUI),
Johann Tschopp (SUI),
Greg Van Avermaet (BEL),
Larry Warbasse (USA).
Sport Director: Rik Verbrugghe (BEL).

Kampioenschap van Vlaanderen-Koolskamp (Sept. 14):
Riders: Adam Blythe (GBR),
Yannick Eijssen (BEL),
Martin Kohler (SUI),
Klaas Lodewyck (BEL),
Ivan Santaromita (ITA),
Michael Schдr (SUI),
Greg Van Avermaet (BEL),
Danilo Wyss (SUI).
Sport Director: Michael Sayers (USA).

GP d’Isbergues (Sept. 16):
Riders: Adam Blythe (GBR),
Yannick Eijssen (BEL),
Martin Kohler (SUI),
Klaas Lodewyck (BEL),
Ivan Santaromita (ITA),
Michael Schдr (SUI),
Greg Van Avermaet (BEL),
Danilo Wyss (SUI).
Sport Director: Michael Sayers (USA).

Grischa Niermann Stops and Becomes Coach
Press Release: Rabobank Cycling Teams’ German rider, Grischa Niermann (36) will ride his last race at the highest level on Sunday. The end of the Vuelta a Espaсa also marks the end of his career as a professional rider. Niermann will stay with the Rabobank Cycling Teams, and will continue as coach of the continental team.

Grischa Niermann arrived at the Rabobank Cycling Team in 1999, and evolved into a highly reliable force. He managed to be part of the Tour squad as many as nine times.

Altogether he completed seventeen major tours. He enjoyed a great deal of confidence from both the team leadership and the team captains. Grischa dragged the peloton for kilometres, protected team captains from the wind, was always there for them and provided the entire team with bidons.

Niermann: “I’m now 36 years old, and have been active as a professional rider for seventeen years. At a certain point, you automatically start thinking about your future. In addition to that, I was given a nice chance to become a coach for the team now. When I look back at my career, what makes me proudest is my value for the team. Looking forward, first of all I want to conclude my life as a rider properly, and afterwards invest in my new career: coach.”

What’s the greatest achievement of your career?
“It’s hard to say, I’ve won a few tours. Victories are obviously the greatest. I look back at them with satisfaction. I rode the Tour nine times, the Giro four times and five times the Vuelta.”

What event with the team do you remember best?
“That would have to be my first Tour in 2000, the year we won four stages. I myself finished 24th, that was the best I achieved with the team. Of course I experienced other nice things as well; the role I was given, supporting Robert and the other good guys in the team. Looking back, that’s what I enjoyed the most, I felt most useful playing that role. Look, Dennis Menchov, Erik Dekker and Michael Boogerd knew the way themselves, but I was really there for those younger guys, I taught them an awful lot. I’ve got a good bond with Robert, that went well from the beginning, we always shared the room.”

What are you going to miss most, not being a rider anymore?
“Certainly not the hard times. No, being in the bus with the guys, the racing, being successful… So quite a few things, actually. Like recently, having won in San Sebastian, that’s such a nice thing to experience. Or at the beginning of this Vuelta, when we almost won the team time trial. I’m probably not going to experience that in such an intensive, such an emotional way anymore.“

You are going to work with the youngsters. What is the valuable lesson you can teach them right now already?
“That cycling, despite being a difficult and hard sport, is also an incredibly beautiful sport. As a talented rider, you have to realize you have to do everything to reach the top. That you have to live for it one hundred percent, if you want to have a good career. That’s what I hope to pass on. I really love riding, I want to keep doing it. I hope to pass on that love for the sport.”

And the actual team, what are you going to convey to them when saying farewell?
“That they continue following the path they’re following now. That means letting the young men progress, and hopefully at some point being able to put a Dutchman on the podium of a big tour. We’ve got the riders for it, they’re up for it. I think we’re on the right path for that objective. I also have full confidence in it.”

On Sunday, on the way to Madrid, you will be riding your last race. How do you look at the last stage of your career?
“I’ll see on Sunday. Maybe I’ll start crying spontaneously, but I think I’m sober. I haven’t given it much thought. I’m focused on what I have to accomplish now, and I’m being able to do my work properly. There’s a lot of work to do, with Robert and Laurens well placed in the overall classification. Too much to actually realize that Sunday is going to be my last race.”

“I am really optimistic about my life as an ex-rider. Because I am staying connected with the team, it’s not really a farewell. I don’t have the feeling that it’s all finished now. That provides a very natural start for my life after my sport. I had a really beautiful career, I’m satisfied. I’ll miss a lot of things, but I also had such a hard time this Vuelta, that will make my goodbye easier…”

Rabobank Cycling Team’s coach Louis Delahaije: “We are extremely happy we can keep Grischa in the team. He has a great deal of experience as a rider and also with the working methods within our team. We will prepare him internally to be a coach, and we will add him to the coaching staff as of Novembre 1st, when the season is over.”

Erik Breukink leaves Team Rabobank
Press Release: Technical director Erik Breukink will leave the Rabobank Cycling Team at the end of the year. The team is undergoing a structural change, which makes this a necessary step.

Erik Breukink was active in the team as a rider for two years, and has been involved in several functions within the team since 2004. “Much to my regret, there is no place for me in this story. I have had great pleasure in working with the biggest part of the team for ten years. I would have happily continued, but I wish Rabobank all the best.”

Harold Knebel looks back at the cooperation of the past years with pleasure. “We are extremely grateful to Erik for all the successes he managed to achieve with the team. I have cooperated with him in a great way for the past years, just like the rest of the team has. We wish Erik all the best for the future.”

Team NetApp – Endura for 2013
NetApp extends and welcomes Endura as second name sponsor through to the end of 2014

Press Release: The highest ranked German professional cycling team, Team NetApp, will be racing under the name “Team NetApp – Endura” starting the coming season.

The main sponsor NetApp, a leading provider of innovative storage and data management solutions, has extended its commitment through to the end of 2014. The new co-sponsor, Endura, a British technical cycle clothing brand, has also signed up with the Pro Continental team for the coming two years. There have also been changes to the team’s racing bike supplier: “Team NetApp – Endura” will in future be riding on bikes made by Fuji which is owned by the American company Advanced Sports.

The successful core of the team remains unchanged: German license and riders that have ridden for Team NetApp since it was set up or have been mainstays during the current season. They will be united with eight riders from Continental Team Endura Racing to become members of “Team NetApp – Endura”. Together with further new appointments, the squad will then comprise 20 riders. The Team’s management and sport direction will be strengthened, too with support staff from both teams involved in Team NetApp – Endura for 2013.

“We have undergone a sporting development that is virtually unprecedented. In three years we have managed to develop young riders into significant performers at the Giro d’Italia. With ten victories so far, the Team races its best season ever. I am delighted that NetApp continues to support this”, said Ralph Denk, Team Manager of Team NetApp.

“We are excited to extend our commitment to Team NetApp – Endura through 2014 and to expand the visibility of the sponsorship worldwide as we activate our involvement in North America and Asia-Pacific in addition to EMEA”, said Amy Love, vice president of Brand and Communications at NetApp. “The team’s success over the past three years, and the ways our customers and channel partners engaged with the cycling community serve as key reasons for our sponsorship expansion. The Team NetApp – Endura professional cycling team is an outstanding platform to express how NetApp enables our partners and clients businesses to go further, faster.”

“That we have been able to resign NetApp and secure Endura as a key new partner is a milestone in the history of our team. NetApp’s commitment to the team’s success has been fundamental to our achievements and bringing Endura onboard as an ambitious brand that deserves to be presented at the most important races in the world. I am convinced that together we will be even more successful“, Denk continued.

“Our Continental Team, Endura Racing, is now one of the top ranked teams in the European Tour and this progress is the product of continuous commitment and hard work. Team NetApp and Endura Racing share the same ambition of progressing to the highest levels of sporting success and our commitment to Team NetApp – Endura means that we will be present at some of the biggest races on the planet. Perhaps more importantly, we will be giving some of our existing riders the chance to ride at the highest level whilst continuing to work with them, and the whole team, on product development and testing”, said Jim McFarlane, Director of Endura Ltd.

The Stybar Guest House opens in Stribro
A new, fantastic location for two wheel fans…and not only!

Press Release: Now all two wheel enthusiasts will have a new location to visit! We’re talking about the Stybar guest house, the lovely hostel owned by the Stybar family that has become a veritable institution around these parts. The guest house is located in the historical centre of Stribro (silver in Czech), the town where Zdenek was born, a splendid centre surrounded by gorgeous hills that are perfect for some good bike training or simply for a bike ride in the discovery of a territory that’s rich in natural and historical beauty.

This is a right-proper Bike Friendly hotel with just a few well-appointed rooms and a restaurant where you can try some traditional Czech dishes. And of course, there all the facilities a cyclist could want, as for example a large bike garage.

“I’m very happy about this new adventure of mine into the world of hotel accommodation” Stybar says. “I was looking for a house for me and a hotel with a restaurant for my family and I found both. In fact, my apartment is part of the hotel. My sister is taking care of everything for now and I think she’s going to have her hands full for quite a while, at least until I stop racing. For me it’s a matter of pride to have a guest house in the town where I was born and grew up. I’m excited about the idea that lots of cycling fans can discover the areas around Stribro which I love so much and really enjoy visiting on two wheels.”

The Stybar Guest House is also on line!
Starting today there is also a website for the guest house, with all the details on the hotel, the restaurant and the surrounding territory. You can find all the information on line at: https://www.penzionstybar.cz.

Universal Sports’ Cycling Series Adds Multiplatform Coverage of 2012 Tour of Britain from September 9 to 16
Tour de France Winner and Four-Time Olympic Gold Medalist Bradley Wiggins Looks to Continue Great Britain’s Summer Hot Streak

Network To Air Final Two Stages LIVE to U.S. Cycling Fans

Press Release: Universal Sports Network’s Cycling Series continues with exclusive, multiplatform coverage of all eight stages of the 2012 Tour of Britain on Universal Sports and UniversalSports.com. Stages one through six will air daily from September 9 through 14 at 10 p.m. ET, with LIVE coverage of the final two stages on September 15 and 16 at 8:30 a.m. ET and 9:30 a.m. ET, respectively.

Universal Sports has reached an agreement with MP & Silva to air the eight-stage race across Great Britain both on-air and online to authenticated cable and satellite subscribers. Anyone who visits UniversalSports.com can enjoy post-stage recaps, video highlights, photos and breaking news.

No home rider has won the Tour of Britain since it was reconstituted in 2004. Britain’s first ever Tour de France winner and four-time Olympic gold medalist, Bradley Wiggins of Team Sky, highlights the Tour, giving local fans the chance to see him race just one month after riding to Time Trial gold in the London Olympics.

Joining Wiggins in Team Sky’s line-up is Mark Cavendish, a double-stage winner in last year’s Tour of Britain and the current UCI Road Cycling World Champion. Two-time Giro d’Italia winner Ivan Basso (Liquigas – Cannondale) and 2008 Olympic Road Race Champion Samuel Sanchez (Euskaltel Euskadi) have also committed to racing in the Tour.

Part of the UCI Europe Tour, the 2012 Tour of Britain starts in Ipswich and finishes on the historic cobbled High Street in Guildford. The course looks to be promising for sprinters in the early stages and one for the climbers closer to the finish. Stage five features over 7,000 feet of climbing around Staffordshire and Cannock Chase, while stage six in mid-Wales is a brute, with more than 10,000 feet of climbing culminating in two ascents of the Caerphilly mountain climb. The final stage in west Surrey touches briefly on this summer’s Olympic course, but also features other climbs in the area including Leith Hill, Ranmore Common and Staple Hill before reaching the finish.

Universal Sports Network Broadcast Schedule:
2012 Tour of Britain and Remaining Cycling Series

ALL TIMES ET – subject to change

Sept. 9 Tour of Britain Stage 1: Ipswich to Norfolk Showground 10 – 11 PM
Sept. 10 Tour of Britain Stage 2: Nottingham to Knowsley 10 – 11 PM
Sept. 11 Tour of Britain Stage 3: Jedburgh to Dumfries 10 – 11 PM
Sept. 12 Tour of Britain Stage 4: Carlisle to Blackpool 10 – 11 PM
Sept. 13 Tour of Britain Stage 5: The Stoke-on-Trent Stage 10 – 11 PM
Sept. 14 Tour of Britain Stage 6: Welshpool to Caerphilly 10 – 11 PM
Sept. 15 Tour of Britain Stage 7: Barnstaple to Dartmouth 8:30 – 10:30 AM LIVE
Sept. 16 Tour of Britain Stage 8: Reigate to Guildford 9:30 – 11:30 AM LIVE

Sept. 18 UCI Road Cycling World Championships-Time Trials (NL) 8 – 9 PM
Sept. 19 UCI Road Cycling World Championships-Time Trials (NL) 8 – 10 PM
Sept. 22 UCI Road Cycling World Championships-Elite Road Race (NL) 9 – 11 AM LIVE
Sept. 23 UCI Road Cycling World Championships-Elite Road Race (NL) 9 – 11 AM LIVE

Sept. 29 Giro di Lombardia
(IT) 9:30 – 11:30 AM LIVE

Oct. 9 – 13 Tour of Beijing – UCI World Tour (CN) 8 – 9 PM

Universal Sports Network’s Cycling Series includes the Giro d’Italia and Vuelta a Espaсa, giving the network two of the three European Grand Tours each season. With more than 110 hours of cycling programming every year, Universal Sports is firmly established as the leader in cycling coverage on American television. In addition to its two Grand Tours, USN also televises Europe’s spring classics, the UCI Road World Championships, the UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup and World Championships, the UCI Track World Cup and World Championships, and the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup and World Championships. For more information, please visit: https://universalsports.com/cycling/.

Breeze in the Park Comes to Town
Press Release: Parks across the country will be transformed into a bike riding haven on Sunday 23 September as women take to their bikes with friends and family to celebrate the success of women’s cycling.

This summer has been described as the greatest ever time for women and sport, and British Cycling’s Breeze network is playing its part by hosting Breeze in the Park. Breeze is the biggest ever programme to get more women into riding bikes for fun. Women and their families are invited to get involved and celebrate this golden age of women’s sport.
Things have come a long way since the first Games in 1896 when all competitors were men. With over 4,800 female competitors taking part and more medal opportunities for women than ever before, this has been the most decorated Olympics for women by far.

Natalie Justice, British Cycling’s Women’s Network Manager, said: “London 2012 will forever go down as a defining moment for women’s sport and this extraordinary and unprecedented time deserves a celebration. We want every single woman out there who has been inspired this summer to bring their bike, and their friends and families, along to the park to join us for a special Breeze bike ride.”

When: Sunday 23 September
Events will be happening in:
Bradford – Lister Park 10 – 1pm
Bournemouth – Slades Farm in Ensbury Park 10 – 1pm
Hull – Peter Pan Park (Costello) 10 – 1pm
Kent – Cyclopark 10 – 1pm
London – Victoria Park (Tower Hamlets) 10 – 1pm
Manchester – Philips Park and NCC 10 – 1pm
Middlesbrough – Prissick Base 10 – 1pm (as part of Middlesbrough Cycling Sundays)
Preston – Avenham Park 10 – 1pm
Plymouth – Devonport Park 2- 4pm

What to bring: A bike, your pals and the kids but most importantly, a smile.
Cost: It’s FREE.

Leading the way in women only bike rides, Breeze is encouraging women of all ages and abilities to get on their bikes. To be a part of history, just turn up on the day or visit breezebikerides.com to find out how you can get involved in the meantime. You’ll also find lots of ideas, tips and inspiring stories.

Tour of Britain Preview Video
We previews the first three stages last week, so here is stage 4, you can see 5 and 6 on Thursday. All from IGMarketsCycling.

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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