What's Cool In Road Cycling

EuroTrash Monday!

The World championships have started in Holland and the Tour of Britain has finished in Guildford and there were other races at the weekend, so we have the results and as many race video’s as we could lay our hands on. It’s a full EuroTrash bag as usual for a Monday, so settle back and take it all in.

“Top Story”

World TTT Champs
Looks like this event will be part of the UCI World championships next year and probably for many years to come as it was an all-round success. UCI President Pat McQuaid is right behind the event, so there must be money in it. McQuaid pointed out that the “event will grow in importance and strength in coming years.” The UCI wanted to extend the championships into a full week of cycle sport, which it used to be when the track and road events used to be run in the same place and at the same time, when there used to be professionals and amateurs, oh! and there used to be a four man team time trial for amateurs run over 100 kilometres.

So the World team time trial championships for professional teams were a success then? It seems so, it was fairly nail biting and the top three teams were within 47 seconds. Next year should be better, but, just like all the road champs, the TTT is at the end of a long season. The team time trial is very good for the bike sponsors, especially for Specialized on Sunday as they had the men and women on their bikes. Let’s see how serious the riders and teams are next year.

Team MTN Qhubeka’s preparation for Team Time Trial World Championships 2012:

World Road Championships 2012

Elite Men Team Time Trial
The men’s course was 53.2 kilometres of hard roads that don’t lend themselves to an easy team time trial with corners, cobbles and the climbs of the Laange Raarberg (1.3km’s, 4.5% gradient), the Bergseweg (2.7km’s, 3.3% gradient) and the Cauberg (1.2km’s, 5.8% gradient). Omega Pharma – Quick-Step won the first trade team time trial World championships beating BMC by 3 seconds in a close battle. BMC looked good until the last climb and then they went the same way as Rabobank and fell apart. Orica-GreenEdge was smooth as they rode into 3rd place, but they were just not fast enough. Omega Pharma – Quick-Step led at all the time checks and managed to keep all six riders together to the line. The Belgian team of Tom Boonen, Sylvain Chavanel, Tony Martin, Peter Velits, Kristof Vandewalle, and Niki Terpstra were well matched, Tony Martin could have ripped the team to pieces, but all the riders looked after each other on the fast sections as well as on the climbs. Was the first team time trial for Pro teams a success? Yes, it held the excitement to the end and it was good to see most of the top riders doing something a little different.

OPQS finished with all six riders: Peter Velits, Sylvain Chavanel, Tom Boonen, Tony Martin, Niki Terpstra and Kristof Vandewalle. “It’s super to be a part of the group — I’m proud,” Chavanel said. “It’s really a great team effort, even for the staff. After the finish it was an explosion of happiness. it was a great week preparing the TTT. We were together, working together, paying attention to all the little details. I have to thank also our staff. They were great during the entire approach to the race. We were thinking about this race for a long time. I have no world champion jersey but I’m happy as I have this gold medal! I think it’s a great discipline. Fun to do, and great to watch for the public. It’s also a great motivation for Wednesday’s race!”

“I put this victory near my biggest, along with the Classics and the Road World Championship,” Boonen said. “I didn’t expect to win a race like this, first of all because it never existed before and in the past it wasn’t our discipline. We worked a lot and now we are there. It’s a team victory even for the staff. It’s really a change of mentality going on.”

“We fought together as a team,” Martin said. “I’m really happy for all the team. We maintained always a good pace. I really enjoyed today. It was fun and I really like this idea, this TTT World Championship. The team work was once again the key to the success. This victory gives me a lot of morale for Wednesday’s race.”

“I’m happy because we won in front of my public,” Niki Terpstra said about winning in Limburg, as he is Dutch. “This finish and the Cauberg are legendary in cycling. It wasn’t our goal to arrive with six riders, but we made it anyway. Nobody wanted to give up! We really raced like a team today.”

The climb of the Cauberg took its toll on the BMC team. “I knew when I looked back that I was the fourth rider and I was going to have to dig as deep as possible and limit our losses,” Phinney said. “I slowed the team down a little bit over the top but in this situation you have to accept how painful it’s going to be and then push through it and hope the finish line comes quickly.” The minimum four riders (Ballan, Gilbert, Phinney and van Garderen) came to the finish line together to stop the clock at one hour, three minutes and 20 seconds. “This hurts a little bit, especially since it’s a world championship,” BMC Racing Team President/General Manager Jim Ochowicz said. “It was something we prepared well for obviously, with the results you saw. But it’s a good start to the week for the team. So we have a lot more to look forward to.”

Orica-GreenEdge were third; “The boys were happy to earn a medal, but we came here to win,” said Sports Director Matt White. “We weren’t good enough to take the win on the day. We gave it everything and executed our plan well, but two teams went faster.” He added; “We needed to increase our general speed through the middle section,” noted White. “There’s not much else we did wrong. It was little details here and there that add up. Technique wise, I’m happy with how the guys rode.”

Elite Men World Championship Team Time Trial Result:
1. Omega Pharma – Quick-Step in 1:03:17
2. BMC at 0:03
3. Orica-GreenEdge at 0:47
4. Liquigas-Cannondale at 1:05
5. Rabobank at 1:08
6. Movistar at 1:18
7. Katusha at 1:19
8. Radioshack-Nissan at 1:21
9. Sky at 1:32
10. Garmin-Sharp at 1:35.

The TTT action:

Elite Women Team Time Trial
The Specialized-lululemon team took the first team time trial World championships in Valkenburg over a tough 34.2 kilometres. After the first time check at 11 kilometres; Orica-GreenEdge were under 1 second behind Specialized-lululemon, but as the course began to undulate Specialized-lululemon started to pull away, putting time into second placed Orica-GreenEdge and AA Drink-Leontien.nl in third. The new World champions; Evelyn Stevens, Trixi Worrack, Ellen Van Dijk, Amber Neben, Ina-Yoko Teutenberg and Charlotte Becker beat Orica-GreenEdge by 24 seconds and AA Drink-Leontien.nl by 1:59.

Elite Women World Championship Team Time Trial Result:
1. Specialized-lululemon at 46:31
2. Orica-AIS at 0:24
3. AA Drink-Leontien.nl Cycling at 1:59
4. Rabobank Women Cycling Team at 2:20
5. Rusvelo at 2:30
6. Be Pink at 3:15
7. S.C. Michela Fanini Rox at 4:37
8. Hitec Products-Mistral Home Cycling Team at 4:38
9. Dolmans – Boels Cycling Team at 5:00
10. Lotto Belisol Ladies at 5:32.

Tour of Britain 2012
UnitedHealthcare’s Marc De Maar rode away 6 kilometres from the finish in Stoke on Trent to go for a solo Stage 5 win and Leigh Howard (Orica-GreenEdge), who finished 5th, moved back into the overall lead. World champion Mark Cavendish (Sky) was in trouble and finished at 11:45 and dropped from 1st to 35th overall.

Tour of Britain Stage 5 Result:
1. Marc De Maar (AHo) UnitedHealthcare in 3:30:26
2. Sep Vanmarcke (Bel) Garmin-Sharp at 0:15
3. Boy Van Poppel (Ned) UnitedHealthcare
4. Nathan Haas (Aus) Garmin-Sharp
5. Leigh Howard (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge
6. Sam Bennett (Irl) An Post-Sean Kelly
7. Damiano Caruso (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale
8. Leopold Koenig (Cze) Team Netapp
9. Jonathan Tiernan-Locke (GB) Endura
10. Jerome Coppel (Fra) Saur-Sojasun.

Tour of Britain Overall After Stage 5:
1. Leigh Howard (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge in 20:38:35
2. Boy Van Poppel (Ned) UnitedHealthcare at 0:07
3. Sep Vanmarcke (Bel) Garmin-Sharp at 0:17
4. Nathan Haas (Aus) Garmin-Sharp at 0:23
5. Christian Knees (Ger) Sky at 0:24
6. Jonathan Tiernan-Locke (GB) Endura
7. Damiano Caruso (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale
8. Christopher Jones (USA) UnitedHealthcare at 0:34
9. Bartosz Huzarski (Pol) Team Netapp at 2:02
10. David Le Lay (Fra) Saur – Sojasun.

Stage 5 highlights:

Leopold Koenig (Team NetApp) won Stage 6 from Welshpool to Caerphilly and second placed Jonathan Tiernan-Locke (Endura) became the new overall leader, 13 seconds ahead of Leigh Howard (Orica-GreenEdge). A break of six riders had a lead of 7 minutes at one point, but when they hit the 8 kilometre finishing circuit there day was done. On the first climb of Caerphilly Mountain; Tiernan-Locke attacked and was joined by Koenig for them to stay away to the finish.

Jon Tiernan-Locke: “The stage went almost exactly as we’d talked about this morning. As we headed into the last part of the stage, Jonny [McEvoy] and Russ [Downing] rode hard on the front before Paul [VoЯ] took me right start of the climb and I took it from there.”

“The descent off the top was tough as it’s not that fast and you have to pedal it, so I knew the bunch would be able to close the gap. Very happy with how the stage went and it’s going to be awesome to race in front of my home crowd tomorrow, but I’ve got to take some more time from those around me on GC.”

With a 22-point lead in the K.O.M going into the stage, Kristian House (Rapha Condor) had known that he still needed to be in the action in what was the hilliest stage of the race so far.

“I really wanted to be down the road today. Not just to pick up points but to make a good show of being in the jersey on these climbs. I was in the break on this stage last year so I knew it quite well. I attacked a couple of times to get the group away, and I was really happy with the guys that were with me.”

“Once we were away I knew I’d have no trouble taking the points, but it was also the first day that I thought we might actually have a chance to stay away, so today I was racing for the finish.”

Tour of Britain Stage 6 Result:
1. Leopold Koenig (Cze) Team NetApp in 4:38:02
2. Jonathan Tiernan-Locke (GB) Endura at 0:02
3. Nathan Haas (Aus) Garmin-Sharp at 0:19
4. Damiano Caruso (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale
5. Luke Rowe (GB) Sky
6. Paul Voss (Ger) Endura
7. Christopher Jones (USA) UnitedHealthcare
8. Simon Yates (GB) Great Britain
9. Bartosz Huzarski (Pol) Team NetApp
10. Liam Holohan (GB) Raleigh-GAC.

Tour of Britain Overall After Stage 6:
1. Jonathan Tiernan-Locke (GB) Endura in 25:16:57
2. Leigh Howard (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge at 0:13
3. Nathan Haas (Aus) Garmin-Sharp at 0:18
4. Boy Van Poppel (Ned) UnitedHealthcare at 0:20
5. Damiano Caruso (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale at 0:23
6. Christopher Jones (USA) UnitedHealthcare at 0:33
7. Christian Knees (Ger) Sky at 1:34
8. Bartosz Huzarski (Pol) Team NetApp at 2:01
9. David Le Lay (Fra) Saur-Sojasun
10. Jerome Coppel (Fra) Saur-Sojasun at 4:16.

Best of stage 6:

A dangerous break of international stars broke away on Stage 7 between Barnstable and Dartmouth. Ivan Basso (Liquigas-Cannondale), Samuel Sбnchez & Pablo Urtasun (Euskaltel-Euskadi), Marc de Maar (UnitedHealthcare), Jйrфme Coppel (Saur-Sojasun), Jan Barta (NetApp), Bernard Sulzberger (Raleigh-GAC), Jacek Morajko (Vacansoleil-DCM), Marcin Bialoblocki (Node4-Giordana) and Ronan McLaughlin (An Post-Sean Kelly) escaped after around 25 kilometres and built up a lead of over 4 minutes with 80 kilometres to go. The Endura team of overall leader, Jonathan Tiernan-Locke, chased down the leaders to finish 46 seconds behind the winner Pablo Urtasun. Endura kept Tiernan-Locke in yellow/gold now by 18 seconds to Nathan Hass of Garmin-Sharp going into the last stage.

Pablo Urtasun noted that “a win is very elaborate and very beautiful. Today has been a very tough, very hilly, very demanding, and I have had to suffer a lot, but it was worth it. Perhaps in other races I’ve been better and did not expect it, but the victory has come today, cycling is like that sometimes,” highlighted the Navarrese. “Yesterday I was one of the first to say, with an eye on today’s stage, I wanted to enter the break. Over the years you get to know yourself and you know how to save for when there is action. After competing in Hamburg I spent four days without touching the bike; I felt fatigued, without pedalling. Then I took the bike with more energy and although I’m not super, we have achieved a great result and I’m very happy,” he stressed.

Tour of Britain Stage 7 Result:
1. Pablo Urtasun (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi in 4:20:31
2. Marc De Maar (AHo) UnitedHealthcare
3. Ivan Basso (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale
4. Samuel Sanchez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi at 0:02
5. Leopold Koenig (Cze) Team NetApp at 0:38
6. Nathan Haas (Aus) Garmin-Sharp at 0:46
7. Bernard Sulzberger (Aus) Raleigh-GAC
8. Jonathan Tiernan-Locke (GB) Endura
9. Bartosz Huzarski (Pol) Team NetApp
10. Damiano Caruso (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale.

Tour of Britain Overall After Stage 7:
1. Jonathan Tiernan-Locke (GB) Endura in 29:38:14
2. Nathan Haas (Aus) Garmin-Sharp at 0:18
3. Damiano Caruso (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale at 0:23
4. Leigh Howard (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge at 1:02
5. Christopher Jones (USA) UnitedHealthcare at 1:12
6. Bartosz Huzarski (Pol) Team NetApp at 2:01
7. David Le Lay (Fra) Saur-Sojasun
8. Boy Van Poppel (Ned) UnitedHealthcare at 2:23
9. Christian Knees (Ger) Sky at 2:26
10. Jerome Coppel (Fra) Saur – Sojasun at 4:21.

Stage 7 highlight:

World road champion, Mark Cavendish (Sky), showed he was not finished in this Tour of Britain by winning the final Stage 8 into Guildford. The Manxman was led out perfectly once again by his Team Sky team-mates, with Berhnard Eisel, Christian Knees and Jeremy Hunt all taking huge turns on the front before Luke Rowe kicked on in the final kilometre.
When the Welshman pulled over on the cobbled drag to the finish line, Cavendish dug deep and celebrated Team Sky’s fourth victory in eight stages ahead of Boy van Poppel (UnitedHealthcare) and Fabio Sabatini (Liquigas-Cannondale).

Jonathan Tiernan-Locke also raised his arms aloft as he rolled over the line, as the Endura rider’s position in the front group ensured he wrapped up the overall victory with an 18-second advantage over Nathan Haas (Garmin-Sharp), with Damiano Caruso (Liquigas-Cannondale) five seconds further back in third.

Team Sky Sports Director Servais Knaven said: “That was an incredible performance. The team were really up for it with it being Cav’s last race in the world champion’s jersey, and although there were some attacks on that steep Barhatch Lane climb, the guys stayed cool and kept everything together, which was fantastic to see.

“They finished it off perfectly too with Cav taking a fourth stage win for the team, and you can’t ask much more than that. Christian [Knees] managed to get ninth on the general classification as well, but stage wins were the main objective for us, so to have won half the stages on offer is not bad at all.

“The crowds have been unbelievable this week as well. On the climbs and at the finishes it’s been like the Tour de France and that’s really good to see. Cycling in the UK is growing and growing and to be able to show off a British world champion and a British Tour de France winner was really nice thing for us to be able to do.”

Overall winner, Endura’s Jon Tiernan-Locke: “We had a relatively comfortable day of it up until the last KOM when NetApp pulled a full on lead-out into the climb and tried to split the bunch to pieces. I knew that Sky would want to bring things back for Cav, so there was no point in really going for it then as they’d been riding so quickly that nothing could stay away. Paul [VoЯ] looked like he wanted to go for it, but we decided just to wait for it to re-group.

“It’s been a great week and thanks to the whole team for making it happen. It’s not really sunk yet to be honest – guessing that will come over the next few days.”

Kristian House was crowned the 2012 Tour of Britain Skoda King of the Mountains today. The Rapha Condor Sharp rider enjoyed his most impressive Tour of Britain ever, spending almost half the entire race in long-range breakaways, showing tremendous form from the 32 year old.

House started the final stage with a strong but not unassailable lead of 19 points over his nearest rival, stage 7 winner Roberto Urtasun. With his sole goal being to win the competition he knew that he had only one man to mark, but as House well knew, in cycling anything can happen.

“I was really nervous this morning, perhaps the most nervous I can remember being. Winning this title was something that I really wanted to do, for myself and for my team. I refused to let myself think about it early in the race and just took it day by day. After stage 6 though I started to believe, and this morning I knew I was so close, but I just really wanted to get it done.”

Tour of Britain Stage 8 Result:
1. Mark Cavendish (GB) Sky in 3:33:05
2. Boy Van Poppel (Ned) UnitedHealthcare
3. Fabio Sabatini (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale
4. Russell Downing (GB) Endura
5. Cesare Benedetti (Ita) Team NetApp at 0:03
6. Yanto Barker (GB) UK Youth Cycling
7. Pieter Ghyllebert (Bel) An Post-Sean Kelly
8. Bernard Sulzberger (Aus) Raleigh-GAC
9. Niels Wytinck (Bel) An Post-Sean Kelly
10. Richard Lang (Aus) Rapha Condor.

Tour of Britain Final Overall:
1. Jonathan Tiernan-Locke (GB) Endura in 9:11:22
2. Nathan Haas (Aus) Garmin-Sharp at 0:18
3. Damiano Caruso (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale at 0:23
4. Leigh Howard (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge at 1:02
5. Christopher Jones (USA) UnitedHealthcare at 1:12
6. Bartosz Huzarski (Pol) Team NetApp at 2:01
7. David Le Lay (Fra) Saur-Sojasun
8. Boy Van Poppel (Ned) UnitedHealthcare at 2:14
9. Christian Knees (Ger) Sky at 2:35
10. Jerome Coppel (Fra) Saur-Sojasun at 4:30.

Nice bit of hand-held video of the finish by MrNosboj.

And fom the TV:

GP Impanis-Van Petegem 2012
The big German sprinter; Andrй Greipel (Lotto-Belisol) showed he still has his speed by outsprinting over 100 other riders at the end of 190 kilometres in Haacht. Two British riders finished in the top six, Andrew Fenn (Omega Pharma – Quick-Step) and Ian Wilkinson (Endura).

GP Impanis-Van Petegem Result:
1. Andrй Greipel (Ger) Lotto Belisol in 4:39:40
2. Kevyn Ista (Bel) Accent Jobs-Willems Veranda’s
3. Kevin Peeters (Bel) Landbouwkrediet
4. Andrew Fenn (GB) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step
5. Michaлl Van Staeyen (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Mercator
6. Ian Wilkinson (GB) Endura
7. Marcel Kittel (Ger) Argos-Shimano
8. Rafael Andriato (Bra) Farnese Vini-Selle Italia
9. Roy Jans (Bel) An Post-Sean Kelly
10. Jetse Bol (Ned) Rabobank.

GP Impanis-Van Petegem finish by Sporza.

Memorial Marco Pantani 2012
40 kilometres before the finish of the Memorial Pantani, there were three Lampre-ISD riders in the leading group of 13 riders. They were Diego Ulissi, Winner Anacona and Manuele Mori and they had escaped from the bunch with their breakaway mates on the last passage of the Longiano climb. Unluckily for them, the rest of the course was completely flat, so the bunch, that was now less than 30 riders, was able to catch them.

With the breakaway neutralized with 5 km to go, it was time to prepare the final sprint that was won by Fabio Felline (Androni Giocattoli) from Elia Viviani (Liquigas-Cannondale) and Giovanni Visconti (Movistar). The best result for Lampre-ISD was the 11th place obtained by Manuele Mori.

“Our riders have good fitness and the race confirmed it” Lampre-ISD sports director Piovani explained. “Mori and Anacona joined immediately the attack in Longiano, then Ulissi reached them. We worked in order to try to increase the advantage on the group, but there was no chance to reach the finish. In the group there was Cunego and Marzano too, but Mori was the fastest and so he battled against the sprinters. Despite this we didn’t obtain a top result, but I’m happy because Ulissi, who’ll take part in the Valkenburg World Championship, demonstrated he has good fitness.”

Diego Ulissi commented: “We did our best in order to support the breakaway, but we could not reach the finish. This is a pity for Lampre-ISD, anyway we showed we can be very competitive. I’m satisfied with my performance; I had good feelings for my next race appointments.”
Thanks to the Lampre-ISD team for race info.

Memorial Marco Pantani Result:
1. Fabio Felline (Ita) Androni Giocattoli in 4:27:14
2. Elia Viviani (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale
3. Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Movistar Team
4. Andrea Palini (Ita) Team Idea
5. Johan Esteban Chaves Rubio (Col) Colombia-Coldeportes
6. Oscar Gatto (Ita) Farnese Vini-Selle Italia
7. Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) Colnago-CSF Inox
8. Fabio Taborre (Ita) Acqua & Sapone
9. Marzio Bruseghin (Ita) Movistar
10. Miguel Angel Rubiano Chavez (Col) Androni Giocattoli.

Memorial Marco Pantani on RAI Sport.

British Cycling Confirms Team for UCI Road World Championships
Following on from the recent long-list team announcement for the UCI Road World Championships which take place in the Netherlands next week, the short-list of riders has now been confirmed.

Elite Men – Road Race:
Mark Cavendish,
Steve Cummings,
Alex Dowsett,
Chris Froome,
Luke Rowe,
Ian Stannard,
Ben Swift,
Jon Tiernan-Locke,
Bradley Wiggins.
Elite Men – Time Trial: Alex Dowsett & Chris Froome.

GB’s 7 times World champion: Beryl Burton:

Australian World’s Team
As always the Australian’s are sending a strong team to the World championships. Richie Porte, Michael Rogers and KOM at the Vuelta a Espaсa; Simon Clarke will be able to cover the climbing and if it comes to a sprint finish, then Australian national champion Simon Gerrans would be a favourite along with Allan Davis. The others in the team are all winners in their own right and are also good team men.

Road Race:
Simon Clarke (Orica-GreenEdge),
Allan Davis (Orica-GreenEdge),
Simon Gerrans (Orica-GreenEdge),
Adam Hansen (Lotto Belisol),
Heinrich Haussler (Garmin-Sharp),
Michael Matthews (Rabobank),
Richie Porte (Sky),
Michael Rogers (Sky),
David Tanner (Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank).

Time Trial: Luke Durbridge & Cameron Meyer (Orica-GreenEdge).

Valkenburg:

Devolder to RadioShack-Nissan
Stijn Devolder will be riding for the RadioShack-Nissan-Trek team for the next two years. He rode for Johan Bruyneel from 2004 to 2007 in the US Postal and Discovery Channel teams, he then moved to Quick-Step for 3 years, where he had great success including the Belgian National championship and two Tours of Flanders. His last two years have been with Vacansoleil-DCM where he has had no victories. His return to the Bruyneel fold is hoped to kick-start his career.

the best of Stijn Devolder:

Bennati to Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank
Vuelta Stage winner; Daniele Bennati is leaving his present RadioShack-Nissan team to join Alberto Contador at the Danish Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank for the next two seasons. Benatti has always been successful in Grand Tour sprints and has a bag of stage wins, plus the point’s jersey in the Vuelta and Giro.

Daniele Bennati wins Vuelta 2012 stage 18:

Pozzovivo for Ag2r-La Mondiale
The tiny Italian climber; Domenico Pozzovivo has signed a two year contract with the French Ag2r-La Mondiale team. He may look about 14 years old, but the 29 year old has been a Pro since 2005 where he rode for Panaria-Navigare under the directorship of Bruno Reverberi and has stayed with him throughout, until now. Pozzovivo has not raced much outside of Italy, so we will have to see how he handles all the pressures.

Domenico Pozzovivo in Trentino:

Lendbouwkrediet to be Crelan
The Landbouwkrediet-Euphony team will be known as Crelan next year as the Belgian Centea bank is being taken over by Landbouwkrediet and so the team will also be changing its name. Although the team does have a full road season it is mostly known for winning in cyclo-cross with it top riders; Sven Nys and Sven Vanthourenhout.

Sven Nys wins the Belgian cross champs:

More Power for Rabobank Sprint Train
The Rabobank Cycling Team is continuing to build up its sprint train, which is tasked with catapulting Theo Bos and Mark Renshaw into sprint victories. With the acquisition of the German Robert Wagner and Australian David Tanner, the train has been injected with new vigour.

Robert Wagner is half Dutch, he has a Dutch wife, speaks the language, and the mentality accords well with him. Moreover, he has already ridden for a Dutch team, from 2008 through 2010 he was on the Skil-Shimano team before moving over to Leopard/Radioshack-Nissan-Trek. Wagner: “At Skil-Shimano I had Merijn Zeeman for my coach and we clicked. I think that the restructuring they’re doing and that the role that Zeeman is playing is very good. That’s how you have to do things nowadays. So I’m glad to be working with him again.”

The 29 year-old German knows very well what his role will be. “I know what I can do; I am by my nature more of a helper. I mean, I actually pipped Theo once. But that just was on one of the two or three days in a year on which everything clicked. As a sprinter, you always have to be a killer. You have to have way more of those days in a year. Theo has shown that he can regularly win.”

In addition to Wagner, the Australian David Tanner (28) will join the Rabobank Cycling Team. Tanner is transferring from Team SaxoBank-Tinkoff Bank and can be deployed on a variety of terrains. “But my most important role will be supporting the sprinters, Theo Bos and Mark Renshaw”, he himself pointed out. “At SaxoBank I filled in the lead-out role for Cooke, Haedo, and Cantwell. It’ll be nice to take that up to the next level.”

Tanner can be deployed in the Ardennes hilly classics and the classics that were just ridden in Canada and Plouay. “Those races suit me, I always feel good there. I can serve the team well there, but the most important thing is the lead-out train. I’ve spoken to Mark and Theo and I’m excited to get going. All in all, Rabobank is a very good team, I am happy to be here and to take things to the next level.”

Theo Bos, the man who has victoriously ridden over the line seven times this year, is delighted by the arrival of reinforcements. “This is one more good step in our development; the foundation is now stronger. Now we’ll be able to go for more sprints. I know Tanner from racing, and he’s quite a strong fella. He’s always where he needs to be. And Wagner will bring in a lot of experience. He has spent a lot of time in the lead-out. Their arrival is just awesome.”

Gerald Ciolek the Latest Rider to Join Team MTN-Qhubeka
Press Release: Team MTN-Qhubeka is pleased to announce the signing of Gerald Ciolek. The German is the latest rider to join the team after Jay Thomson and Ignatas Konovalovas.

Ciolek though only 25, has already had an accomplished career, which includes being a former under 23 World Road Champion and a stage winner in the Vuelta a Espaсa. He has also been second twice in the Tour de France, once on the Champs-Йlysйes.

He joins the team from World Tour outfit Omega Pharma-Quick Step. “This is our biggest signing for the team and for our European program,” Team Principal Douglas Ryder said.
“To have a previous U23 World Champion, German National Champion, stage winner in the Vuelta and a rider that has twice come 2nd in stages in the Tour de France is fantastic for Team MTN-Qhubeka. Our team is all about raising awareness to the cycling talent in Africa and to mobilising people on bicycles through MTN-Qhubeka and Gerald’s signing will go a long way in helping raise the awareness to our project and in winning races. We are incredibly excited about the future.”

In 2005 Ciolek became the youngest rider to win the German National Road Championships at 18 years old. He will have a twofold role on the team, to gain results like he did this year by winning a stage in Volta ao Algarve and to help nurture the younger riders.

“When I heard about this project I thought it was a really good idea. It’s a smaller team than what I am used to but I will be well protected and have only heard good things about the team and management. I hope to do well in the Spring Classics and look forward to getting back to my best,” commented Ciolek.

Team MTN-Qhubeka is in the process of registering as a UCI Professional Continental team, which will be a first for Africa. Ciolek’s signing is an excellent stepping-stone in the teams dream to be the first African team to ride the Tour de France. “The signing of Gerald Ciolek is a significant step forward for Team MTN Qhubeka and our aspirations of competing successfully as a Pro-Continental team in 2013. The composition of the team is coming along nicely and we look forward welcoming all the newly signed riders to Team MTN Qhubeka as soon as the team is complete” commented MTN GM: Brand and Communications, Ryan Gould.

Team MTN-Qhubeka TV advert:

Rabobank’s structural changes next step in team’s development
Press Release: The Rabobank Cycling Team is undergoing a structural change that will mark the next step in the team’s development. With a completely new guidance model, the team will break up with the traditional methods. The ambition is to bring talent – mainly Dutch talent – to the world tops.

“The cycling world changes, the sports world changes, it’s also time for the team to change”, explains director Harold Knebel the structural change. “The Rabobank Cycling Team’s ambition is to push Dutch talent from every team – pros, continentals, crossers and women – to the top.
The training, coaching and accompaniment of riders and athletes have innovated. The limits of the current guidance model within our team have been reached. We are breaking up with the traditional working methods in cycling. Hence the restructuring towards the standards of the future.”

The biggest change for all teams will be the approach of both rider and team. Harold Knebel: “The rider and the team will take centre stage. Several disciplines will bring them to the next level. We will use coach-the-coach programs. The sports directors will take on roles as coaches and work more intensively with the trainers. Innovation and a scientific approach will weigh in heavily and will be executed without compromise.”

The knowledge will not only come from within the team but the team will also work a lot with external advisors. Knebel: “We are clearly looking for cooperation like with the KNWU regarding talent development. Furthermore we will use the available sports knowhow in the Netherlands from, for example, the Cruyff University, the universities of Maastricht and Amsterdam and the technical universities in Eindhoven and Delft. But we will also reach out and connect with other sport disciplines. This will lead to a whole new and different way of thinking than which we are used to now. Every position within the team will be involved in this and it requires maximum dedication from all involved. This demands a lot from all the people in the team.”

The consequence is that the management of the Rabobank Cycling Teams will be reorganized and that people will get a different way of working. It also leads to saying goodbye to Erik Breukink and Adri van Houwelingen at the end of this year. In the continental team Arthur van Dongen will replace Piet Kuijs sooner than expected. Kuijs will get a scouting role, among others. Grischa Niermann will be added to the that team as trainer/coach. Jeroen Blijlevens will move from the women’s team to the WorldTour team and Michiel Elijzen will be added to the staff of the latter.

Knebel on the further realization: “The technical management which consists of several disciplines will be in charge of the sports management of the team. They are responsible for the results and for the implementation and fulfilment of the new procedures. The technical management consists of Nico Verhoeven for sports and tactical affairs, Louis Delahaije for training, medical management and innovation, Merijn Zeeman for coaching and scouting and Richard Plugge for communication and human resources.”

The announced structural change is the continuation of a process that started in 2008. Director Harold Knebel explains how that process developed: “Primarily, we stopped focusing on foreign top riders. After that, the available Dutch talent had time to mature and grow under the motto Time for Talent. Now it’s time to push our ambition, which was the basis of this project, to the next phase: the talent to the top, the team to the top.”

This development was done in close consultation with the Rabobank and the Board of Commissioners. Knebel: “We looked carefully at how we could make a step forward. How we can bring the cycling plan to a higher level. We are convinced that this will result in the full development of the talents we already have.”

Revamped Etape Cymru is Huge Success
Press Release: On Sunday 9 September, cyclists took to the roads of North Wales to complete the Etape Cymru 2012. This end of season sportive covered 92 miles on closed roads and took in over 3000m of climbing, providing those who took part with a challenging day in the saddle.

One of just three closed-road sportives in the UK, the Etape Cymru’s route attracted over 1,200 entrants, and took in tough climbs such as The Horseshoe Pass, The Garth and Worlds End. Fantastic conditions on the day meant that participants had clear views of the Clwydian Range (an area of Outstanding Natural Beauty) and were joined on the climbs by energetic spectators.

Olympic medallist and Wrexham local, Chris Bartley, rode the event and was the first to cross the finish line with his friend, hand in hand. Bartley became the first Welsh Olympic medallist at London 2012 with silver in the lightweight rowing men’s four and used cycling as a key part of his Olympic preparations.

Speaking after the event, Bartley seemed very impressed with the day. “The Etape Cymru was a brilliant event and the whole day was a great experience. It was lovely to see so many people out on their bikes enjoying the Welsh countryside.”

He continued: “Even with all the training, it was a tough day in the saddle, so it was nice to relax in the event village after the ride and chat to other participants.”

Armed with cameras, flags and cowbells, the crowds cheered riders on, and really helped to create an electric atmosphere on The Horseshoe Pass where there was a timed King of the Mountain stage. Official Charity Partner, Macmillan Cancer Support, had a great presence close to the Britannia Pub on the climb to help challengers knock seconds off their King of the Mountain attempts.

This year the ride was managed by experienced event organisers, Human Race, with support from Wrexham and Denbighshire Councils to allow the road closures. They took comments from the 2011 event and reviewed these to put together a brilliant overall experience, providing support at the start and finish, signing and marshaling on the course, mechanical assistance and well-stocked feed stations.

Hannah White, who took part in the Etape Cymru with a group of friends, had great things to say about how she spent her Sunday: “We arrived at the Bangor-on-Dee racecourse to a real buzz and had a while to mix with others taking part and make final preparations before being set off in our wave right on time.”

She continued: “It was definitely a tough ride and we were really glad to have the roads to ourselves, giving us space to take things at our own speed – and stop for a breather every now and again.”

The four feed stations on the route meant that riders were well fuelled throughout with products from leading sports nutrition supplier and official event partner, Zipvit Sport. The energy bars, gels, recovery drinks and water were continually re-stocked throughout the day, ensuring that participants could easily stay energised and hydrated.

All participants were treated to extensive ride support whilst they tackled the course, enabling them to thoroughly enjoy the beautiful Welsh countryside and the rare opportunity to ride on closed-roads.

The expert network of support staff included a medical crew, motorcycle stewards, marshals and a broom wagon to collect any riders who could not complete the distance.

Human Race, the event’s organiser, gave their thanks to Wrexham County Borough Council and Denbighshire County Council for their help in making the Etape Cymru such a success.

Nick Rusling, CEO, also told of the company’s pride in supporting charity partner Macmillan Cancer Support and local charity partner, Nightingale House: “Both organisations do tremendous work and we are delighted that riders chose to raise funds for such great causes. After putting so much hard work into the event, it’s really rewarding to know that the personal challenge taken on by participants will make such a difference to those the charities reach.”

Ian Lulham, Cycling Event Manager, Macmillan Cancer Support said, “Etape Cymru has been a fantastic success for us this year, we had a large team of riders raising money to help support people living with cancer in the UK.”

With riders now resting their legs after what event ambassador Geraint Thomas called “one of the toughest closed-road events in Britain”, Human Race can be incredibly proud of a well-organised event which will no doubt become an eagerly anticipated fixture on the annual sportive calendar.

Entries for Etape Cymru 2013 are now open. To enter or for more information visit: https://www.etape-cymru.co.uk.

Etape Cymru 2012: The Horseshoe Pass

Future Stars Line Up for Battle of Manchester Velodrome
Press Release: When the British Cycling National Track Championships returns to the Manchester Velodrome from 26 to 30 September there’ll be a new crop of talented riders all looking to emulate their Olympic heroes and make their mark, just as the likes of Mark Cavendish, Bradley Wiggins, Sir Chris Hoy and Victoria Pendleton did at the same competition earlier on in their illustrious careers.

As our London 2012 Olympians take a well deserved break – with the exception of Team Sprint gold medallist Philip Hindes who couldn’t stay away from the track – it’s time for the next generation of champions to demonstrate their potential and give cycling fans a glimpse of who’s likely to be setting the boards alight come Rio 2016.

In the men’s endurance events, the GB Academy team 100% ME will be out in force and the likes of UCI Track World Cup gold medallist Sam Harrison, Owain Doull and George Atkins are likely to be strong contenders for the podium. Also amongst the riders likely to make an impact in the endurance events are 21 year old Jonathan Mould, the defending champion in the Men’s Scratch Race and Omnium and recent Junior World Omnium silver medallist 17-year old Jon Dibben.

The men’s sprint events will feature David Daniell, who last year performed a giant-killing over Jason Kenny, and will be hoping to go one better than the two silver medals he picked up in 2011. He’ll be facing competition from seasoned GB rider Matt Crampton, Olympic Academy Programme rider and 2011 Junior World Sprint champion, John Paul, and Olympic Development Programme rider 18 year-old Matthew Rotherham.

In the women’s sprint events the battle for retired Victoria Pendleton’s ‘queen of the track’ crown is likely to be contested between 2011 double national champion Becky James, Victoria Williamson and Jessica Crampton. In the endurance races all eyes will be on Junior Road World and European Champion, 17 year old Lucy Garner, who is already showing what an outstanding talent she is.

Tickets for the event can be purchased online via Ticketmaster.Ticketmaster. British Cycling members can save a third on tickets for the event by taking advantage of the latest exclusive ticket offer for members.

For more information and the full racing schedule visit the official event website www.nationaltrackchamps.co.uk.www.nationaltrackchamps.co.uk. To keep up with all the latest news follow the official National Track Champs Facebook and Twitter pages.

Behind the Scenes with IG Sigma Sport at The Tour of Britain 2012
An exclusive look behind the scenes with Team IG-Sigma at The Tour of Britain 2012. This includes video diaries, the team that supports the riders and Roger Hammond driving the team car. We hear all sides of the story…

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

Like PEZ? Why not subscribe to our weekly newsletter to receive updates and reminders on what's cool in road cycling?

Comments are closed.