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EuroTrash Thursday!

At last it’s Giro d’Italia time, (probably) the best Grand Tour of the season. We catch up on the team line ups and some great video from Italy. There has been some racing since Monday’s EuroTrash, in France, Germany and Azerbaidjan, results and video here. Lots to keep you going till the big pink jamboree starts in Napoli on Saturday. Cappuccino e una torta a nessuno?

TOP STORY: Fuentes; Guilty as Charged?
Well yes, Dr. Eufemiano Fuentes is guilty as charged, under an out dated law from when the “Operacion Puerto” began way back in May 2006. Fuentes has been found guilty of damaging public health and has been given a one year suspended sentence and banned from working as a sports doctor for four years. Ignacio Labarta has been given a four month suspended sentence as Fuentes sister; Yolanda, Vicente Belda (ex Kelme team manager) and Manolo Saiz (ex ONCE team manager) have been acquitted. The case has nothing to do with doping as at that time it was not illegal to dope in sport at that time under Spanish law, but it was proved that Fuentes and Labarta violated Article 361; crimes against public health. Riders Tyler Hamilton and Jesus Manzano both gave evidence that they were very ill after blood transfusions. Ex rider; Jesus Manzano was also told he would not receive the €180,000 that he claimed because it was believed that he underwent doping voluntarily.

Fuentes and Labarta have been found guilty and been charges under the law as it stood at the time, which is at least something.

The sad outcome is that under Spanish law the 211blood bags from various athletes will probably be destroyed because of laws of privacy, so we may never know (for sure) the identities of those athletes. The Real Federación Española de Ciclismo (RFEC), Asociación Mundial Antidopaje (WADA), Unión Ciclista Internacional (UCI) and the Comitato Olimpico Nazionale Italiano (CONI) all asked for the bags to be used for identification purposes, but Judge Julia Patricia Santamaria ruled that it would not happen.

This might not be the end of those bags as Ana Muñoz, the director of the Spanish Anti-Doping Agency, has announced that the state will appeal the ruling to the Provincial Court of Madrid that the case was not “fully satisfactory” and will ask Judge Julia Patricia Santamaria for the blood bags and documentation to start or resume proceedings against the athletes. She said “for me, Operacion Puerto is not over,” she was also not happy about the acquittal of Yolanda Fuentes. So it’s not the end of the line.

Along with the new web-site design we have a new section; NEWSWIRE, you can find it down the right hand side on the home page, just above the EuroTrash section. Basically you can read those bits of news that maybe didn’t make the deadline for EuroTrash Monday/Thursday or wasn’t big enough for a standalone article, there will also be press releases from teams, races, manufacturers and anything else we think you might want to know. NEWSWIRE won’t be taking anything away from the current sections, but will hopefully add to your PEZ enjoyment. New items will be posted as they come in to us at PEZ HQ, so come back for a regular check up!

4 Jours de Dunkerque 2013
Stage 1 on Wednesday of the 5 day stage race was won by Arnaud Démare (FDJ) in an exciting sprint finish. His FDJ team led him out perfectly, although Ramon Ainkeldam (Argos-Shimano) pushed him close on the line after Kenny van Hummel (Vacansoleil-DCM) had opened the sprint. The break of the day on the 155 kilometre stage from Dunkerque to Courrières came in the form of; Tim Mertens (Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise), Julien Duval (Roubaix-Lille Métropole), Robert Bush (La Pomme Marseille) who escaped in the first kilometers and built up a maximum lead of nearly 6 minutes. It looked like the break would be caught with around 40 kilometres remaining, but it was too soon for the sprinters teams, so they were left out front until just before the start of the finishing laps with 25 kilometres to go. After a few counter attacks FDJ took over control of the peloton with a bit of pushing from Garmin-Sharp, Vacnasoleil-DCM and Argos-Shimano. Vacansoleil brought Van Hummel to the front, but Démare made his jump on the other side of the road or the win leaving Sinkeldam to pass Van Hummel for second place. Démare took the first pink leaders jersey, the race ends on Sunday.

4 Jours de Dunkerque Stage 1 Result:
1. Arnaud Demare (Fra) FDJ in 3:38:55
2. Ramon Sinkeldam (Ned) Argos-Shimano
3. Kenny Van Hummel (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM
4. Benoit Drujon (Fra) Big Mat-Auber 93
5. Yannick Martinez (Fra) La Pomme-Marseille
6. Michael Van Staeyen (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise
7. Adrien Petit (Fra) Cofidis
8. Benjamin Giraud (Fra) La Pomme-Marseille
9. Sébastien Turgot (Fra) Europcar
10. Fabian Schnaidt (Ger) Champion System.

4 Jours de Dunkerque Overall After Stage 1:
1. Arnaud Demare (Fra) FDJ in 3:38:45
2. Ramon Sinkeldam (Ned) Argos-Shimano at 0:04
3. Tim Mertens (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise at 0:05
4. Kenny Van Hummel (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM at 0:06
5. Julien Duval (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole
6. Adrien Petit (Fra) Cofidis at 0:07
7. Mickaël Delage (Fra) FDJ at 0:08
8. Romain Hardy (Fra) Cofidis at 0:09
9. Benoit Drujon (Fra) Big Mat-Auber 93 at 0:10
10. Yannick Martinez (Fra) La Pomme-Marseille.

Stage 1:

Rund Um Den Finanzplatz Eschborn-Frankfurt 2013
Last year’s winner; Moreno Moser (Cannondale) nearly pulled off the double in the German May Day race, but Simon Spilak (Katusha) got the better of him in a two man sprint at the end of the 200 kilometres. Spilak and Moser had escaped on the steep climb of the Mammolshain with Domenico Pozzovivo (Ag2r-La Mondiale) at 35 kilometres from the finish. The sprinters team rode hard to bring them back and Pozzovivo lost contact as the other two fought to stay clear to the line. Marcel Sieberg (Lotto Belisol), Paul Voss (Team NetApp-Endura), Michael Mørkøv (Saxo-Tinkoff), Sébastien Reichenbach (IAM Cycling), Jan-Nicklas Droste (Heizomat), Tim Gebauer (Stölting), Georg Preidler (Argos-Shimano), and Michael Schweizer & Sven Forberger (NSP-Ghost) had escaped soon after the start, but their effort ran out with 40 kilometres remaining after Tony Martin (Omega Pharma – Quick-Step) had made the bridge to them and the peloton chased the dangerous World time trial champion down. André Greipel (Lotto Belisol) beat John Degenkolb (Argos-Shimano) for third just metres behind the other two and Milan-Sanremo winner Gerald Ciolek (MTN-Qhubeka) was fifth.

“With fifth place we brought in a great result for our team,“ said Gerald Ciolek after the finish. “Unfortunately I didn’t have the best legs today and at the end I was missing the strength. The team worked super, and especially Meron [Russom] was unbelievably strong. You can see that our young riders are learning more and more and growing into their assignments.“

Eritrean, Russom was at the head of the main peloton for a long time keeping the breakway in check. His performance was a major contribution to keeping the pace high in pursuit of the escapees.

“Even before the start, the media attention was enormous. Meron Russom impressively showed our colours at the head of the main field before Gerald brought in his top five finish. If we had caught the escapees, we would have had a podium placing,“ said sports director, Jens Zemke, the record-holding participant at the Frankfurt race, with 24 starts from youth to pro years. “We can be proud of our guys. Our team set itself perfectly in the scene here in Frankfurt and impressively represented the Qhubeka Bikes 4 Life project.”

Rund Um Den Finanzplatz Eschborn-Frankfurt Result:
1. Simon Spilak (Slo) Katusha
2. Moreno Moser (Ita) Cannondale
3. André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Belisol)
4. John Degenkolb (Ger) Astana-Shimano
5. Gerald Ciolek (Ger) MTN-Qhubeka
6. Gianni Meersman (Bel) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step
7. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Ag2r-La Mondiale
8. Maurits Lammertink (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM
9. Alexei Tsatevich (Rus) Katusha
10. Ralf Matzka (Ger) Team NetApp-Endura.

The Finalé:

Tour d’Azerbaidjan 2013
Stage 1 of the five day race was a circuit race around the city of Baku; 11 laps of a 14.3 kilometre circuit for a total of 158 kilometres. Ten riders broke away and had a lead of around 6 minutes after 75 kilometres, but the bunch got its self together to catch them in the last K. Christoph Schwiezer (Baku Cycling Project) put some light between himself and the pack for a home win.

Check out our man in Azerbaidjan; Bruce Hildenbrand’s report from the race.

Tour d’Azerbaidjan Stage 1 Result:
1. Christoph Schweiser (BCP) at 3:32:19
2. Maksym Averin (ARH) at 0:02
3. Maarten van Trijp (RBB)
4. Sergiy Grechyn (TRK)
5. Carl Barbero Cuesta (ESP)
6. Florian Scheit (RNR)
7. Cesar Fonte (EFG)
8. Mikita Zharoven (BLR)
9. Emils Liepins (ALB)
10. Sean De Bie (LET).

Tour d’Azerbaidjan 2013
1. Christoph Schweiser (BCP) at 3:32:19
2. Maksym Averin (ARH) at 0:02
3. Maarten van Trijp (RBB)
4. Sergiy Grechyn (TRK)
5. Carl Barbero Cuesta (ESP)
6. Florian Scheit (RNR)
7. Cesar Fonte (EFG)
8. Mikita Zharoven (BLR)
9. Emils Liepins (ALB)
10. Sean De Bie (LET).

Tour d’Azerbaidjan 2013 Eurosport Promo:

Cancellara Still Leads UCI WorldTour Ranking
Fabian Cancellara (RadioShack Leopard) is still leading the WorldTour for individuals with 351 points to the 312 points of Peter Sagan (Cannondale). The cobbled Classics men’s lead has started to slip with riders like Dan Martin (Garmin-Sharp), Joaqium Rodriguez (Katusha) moving up the ranking. By the end of May and the Giro d’Italia it will be a completely different picture. In the team competition Sky lead from Katusha and Movistar.

UCI WorldTour Ranking:
1. Fabian Cancellara (Swi) RadioShack Leopard 351 points
2. Peter Sagan (Svk) Cannondale 312 points
3. Daniel Martin (Irl) Garmin-Sharp 247 points
4. Joaquim Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha 246 points
5. Richie Porte (Aus) Sky 221 points
6. Christopher Froome (GB) Sky 198 points
7. Simon Spilak (Slo) Katusha 189 points
8. Nairo Alexander Quintana Rojas (Col) Movistar 182 points
9. Sergio Luis Henao Montoya (Col) Sky 164 points
10. Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar 161 points.

Fabian Cancellara attacks on the Paterberg during the 2013 Tour of Flanders:

A New Addition to the Vanendert Family
On Thursday morning Lotto Belisol rider Jelle Vanendert became father of Lisse! The baby girl was born about six weeks too early after a Caesarian section, but is doing very well. Also mum and dad are fine. Everyone at PEZ wishes the young family a lot of happiness!

AFLD and UCI/CADF will Work Together
The UCI and the CADF (Cycling Anti-Doping Foundation) will work with AFLD (Agence Fraçaise de Lutte Contre le Dopage) at the 2013 Tour de France and other events. The AFLD ran the drug controls during the 2008 Tour de France where they caught Manuel Beltrán, Riccardo Riccò, Moisés Dueñas, Dmitry Fofonov and then after additional testing Leonardo Piepoli and Stefan Schumacher were also found to have doped. In October of that year AFLD announced that third placed Bernhard Kohl was also positive during the Tour and was stripped of his podium place and his King of the Mountains jersey. AFLD’s future was said to be in doubt in 2010 after the French government had threatened to reduce the grant.

Cycling Ireland to Vote on McQuaid in June
The board of Cycling Ireland voted 5 to 1 to nominate UCI President Pat McQuaid last week, since then they have been forced to put the decision to a vote by the Irish clubs at an Emergency General Meeting on June the 15th in the Red Cow Hotel, Dublin. After voting against the nomination, Anto Moran resigned and pointed out the vote was unconstitutional and the board made the decision to put the nomination to the clubs. McQuaid can be nominated by the Swiss Federation if the Irish vote goes against him.

No Petacchi at Omega Pharma – Quick-Step for the Giro
After retiring last week and leaving the Lampre-Merida team, Alessandro Petacchi was being linked with a move to the Belgian based Omega Pharma – Quick-Step team to become Mark Cavendish’s lead-out man for the Giro d’Italia starting this Saturday. The UCI have said transfers cannot be made outside the official transfer period which opens on the 1st of August. Petacchi is disappointed and told Tuttobici that “I have to accept the decision of the international federation not to allow me to make a comeback in time to ride the Giro d’Italia. The UCI interpreted the rules in a very strict way which has stopped me returning to the peloton with a different role which is more suited to my actual dimension as a rider.” Petacchi sadly added; “at 39 I could have helped younger riders gain experience but now I can’t even do my job. I’m disappointed but I soon hope to have a meeting with the management of the UCI to resolve the bureaucratic obstacles that affected my registration.” Which team might want him then is anyone’s guess.

Alessandro Petacchi wins the 7th stage of the 2010 Tour of Spain:

Giro d’Italia Teams:

Team Garmin-Sharp Announces 2013 Giro d’Italia Roster, Defending Champion Ryder Hesjedal Leads Line-Up
Team Garmin-Sharp, winners of the 2012 Giro d’Italia, today announced its much-anticipated 2013 roster. The squad is headlined by, and built around, defending champion Ryder Hesjedal.

“Winning the Giro d’Italia in 2012 was a dream come true and it will be a true honor to pin on the Number 1 bib on Saturday,” said Hesjedal. “My season has been built around the Giro again this year with the goal of defending my title and the whole team is coming into it very focused and extremely motivated. I want to do my best to honor the race, to honor the Number 1 bib, and take it from there, day by day. I know we have a great team to be able to do that, and we will work hard, every day, with our goal in mind.”

Headlined by Hesjedal, the squad includes Peter Stetina, who finished 22nd overall at the 2012 edition and will again support Hesjedal in the high mountains along with Christian Vande Velde and Tom Danielson, both Tour de France top 10 finishers. Ramunas Navardauskas returns after wearing the Maglia Rosa in 2012 after the squad stormed to victory in the Team Time Trial. He has had a strong start to 2013, recently winning Stage 2 at the Tour of Romandie. Grand Tour veteran David Millar, stage winner at the 2012 Tour de France, will feature in the time trials and will provide support both in the mountains and on the flats. The squad is rounded out by Robbie Hunter, Thomas Dekker, and young Austrialian Nathan Haas who will make his Grand Tour debut at the Giro.

Team Garmin-Sharp 2013 Giro d’Italia Roster:
Christian Vande Velde,
David Millar,
Nathan Haas,
Peter Stetina,
Ramunas Navardauskas,
Robbie Hunter,
Ryder Hesjedal,
Thomas Dekker,
Tom Danielson.

“Our team is built around our leader and defending champion, Ryder, and our goal is to do our best race and defend his title,” said Director Charly Wegelius. “We have put together a strong and well-balanced roster, with a focus on climbers to support Ryder in the mountains. The team is very motivated for what we know will be a grueling but beautiful race and we look forward to Saturday’s start.”

“This is a great mix of riders with a lot of depth and talent,” added Jonathan Vaughters, CEO, Slipstream Sports. “Our focus is on defending Ryder’s title. We know there is a lot of hard racing ahead but the team will take it day by day and do our best race.”
Thanks to the Garmin-Sharp team.

Cannondale Name Team for Giro d’Italia
Old stager; Ivan Basso will be the leader of the Cannondale team for the overall at the Giro, Elia Viviani is their sprinter. Sadly Peter Sagan is riding the Amgen Tour of California, so will miss the Italian Tour.

Cannondale Pro Cycling line-up for the Giro d’Italia:
Ivan Basso, Elia Viviani, Tiziano Dall’Antonia, Paolo Longo Borghini, Alan Marangoni, Fabio Sabatini, Cameron Wurf, Cristiano Salerno and Josè Sarmiento.
Directeur Sportifs: Stefano Zanatta, Dario Mariuzzo and Alberto Volpi.

BMC Racing Team Announces Giro d’Italia Roster
Press Release: Past Giro d’Italia leaders Cadel Evans and Taylor Phinney highlight the BMC Racing Team’s roster for this year’s race.

Race Begins Saturday
Evans returns to the Italian grand tour for the first time since 2010, when he wore the maglia rosa leader’s jersey for one day and won a stage and the points classification during his season as the world road champion. Phinney won the Stage 1 individual time trial last year and held the race lead until the Stage 4 team time trial in his first participation. Joining them on the BMC Racing Team’s nine-man roster are Adam Blythe, Steve Cummings, Klaas Lodewyck, Steve Morabito, Daniel Oss, Ivan Santaromita and Danilo Wyss. Sport directors for the BMC Racing Team will be Fabio Baldato and Max Sciandri. The 21-stage race begins Saturday.

Visit the BMC Racing Team’s special Giro d’Italia web page: https://www.bmcracingteam.com/index.php?id=10.

Download the BMC Racing Team’s official race sheet (PDF with roster, bios, statistics, etc.): https://bit.ly/102FwTP.

BMC Racing Team Giro d’Italia roster (May 4-26):
Adam Blythe (GBR), Steve Cummings (GBR), Cadel Evans (AUS), Klaas Lodewyck (BEL), Steve Morabito (SUI), Daniel Oss (ITA), Taylor Phinney (USA), Ivan Santaromita (ITA), Danilo Wyss (SUI).

President/General Manager: Jim Ochowicz (USA).
Sponsor: Andy Rihs (SUI).
Sport Directors: Fabio Baldato (ITA) & Max Sciandri (ITA).
Doctor: Giovanni Ruffini (ITA).
Performance Manager: Allan Peiper (AUS).

OPQS to Giro d’Italia
Omega Pharma – Quick-Step Cycling Team has announced the selection that will take part in the 3,405km, 21-stage Giro d’Italia from May 4th until May 26th. OPQS goes into the first grand tour of 2013 with sprinter Mark Cavendish, which gives OPQS the objective of a victory in any stage that may feature a bunch sprint finale.

“We start with a very good team built around Mark Cavendish,” Sport Director Davide Bramati said. “The presence of a pure sprinter such as Mark will change our approach to the race if we compare it with our last participations. In any stage where we have a possibility, we have to try to do our best to go for the win. I think an immediate important moment will be the first stage in Napoli. Everyone wants to fight for the first Pink Jersey. The competition is fierce, but we can count on a good group. We believe in our team and we will be there to try to fight and win.”

“Beside Mark, we go into the race with experienced guys such as Golas and Pineau who have experience going for the stage victories at the Giro,” Bramati said. “We also count on young Julien Vermote in his second participation in the Giro. Then we have Steegmans, Keisse, and Trentin ready to show themselves in the sprint train of Mark. Trentin is also Italian and wants to show his skills after an injury to his scaphoid due to bad luck earlier this year. We go into this race with a good group that will do their best for all possibilities in all stages.”

The 2013 Giro d’Italia features a Stage 2 TTT, and two ITTs (Stage 8, 18) — one of which is uphill. There are also five high mountain stages: Stages 10, 14, 15, 19, and 20.

“For the mountains we can count on Serge Pauwels and Gianluca Brambilla,” Bramati continued. “Brambilla is a young guy in his first year with us. He passed through Tour de Romandie in preparation for this race. We will do our best and see how it is with these riders after 10 days. We have a good group of fighters prepared to do their jobs 100 percent. The motivation, commitment, and condition of the guys going into the Giro is good.”
Thanks to OPQS.

OPQS Giro d’Italia Riders:
Gianluca Brambilla (ITA), Mark Cavendish (GBR), Michal Golas (POL), Iljo Keisse (BEL), Serge Pauwels (BEL), Jerome Pineau (FRA), Gert Steegmans (BEL), Matteo Trentin (ITA), Julien Vermote (BEL).
Sports Director:Davide Bramati (ITA), Brian Holm (DEN) & Tom Steels (BEL).

Vacansoleil-DCM Travels to Giro d’Italia with Team of Youngsters
Two riders make debute in Giant Tour, Rujano is not at the start

Press Release: Next Saturday the Giro d’Italia starts from the surroundings of Napels. After a third place in the general classification in 2012 the Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team aims for a stage win with a team of attackers. Sport director Jean-Paul van Poppel starts his third Giro with the Dutch WorldTour formation: “Last year was a big success with a great team supporting De Gendt but also with a very active Martijn Keizer who was in several serious breaks and who won the intermediate sprints classification. Besides the fact that our selected sprinters are injured and not able to start I still see chances for finished like for example Pim Ligthart, Grega Bole and Marco Marcato. Italian Marcato debutes in the Giro and chooses likewise Rafael Valls for this beautiful race to see if there are more chances for a stage win then at the Tour.”

Ex-pink jersey van Poppel thinks the hard race will make riders better: “Lammertink and Wauters debute in a giant tour and it will be a trip in which they can explore their boundaries. Both riders are fit and prepared after the first month of the season. The fact that they are solid in the mountains gives me the confidence that they will be able to finish the race. I expect that we will see them, like the others on the team, in the picture a few times.”

Climber and ment to be leader Rujano stays at home and that was a complicated matter. Van Poppel: “The facts on Rujano in the Italian investigation seem pretty innocent but to get a credible sport we cannot take decisions on the fact that it seems innocent. We have to put to light on orange for him as long as the public prosecutor doesn’t take a decision and this decision will be taken in May according to Italian insiders.”
The Giro-selection has five different nationalities.

The team:
Grega Bole, Martijn Keizer, Maurits Lammertink, Pim Ligthart, Marco Marcato, Rob Ruijgh, Willem Wauters, Rafael Valls and Frederik Veuchelen.

Astana team to the Giro d’Italia
Vincenzo Nibali is Astana’s man for the overall at the Giro, we’ve known that for some time, but now the Kazakh team have announced who will be his support riders it’s obvious they mean business with a very strong turn-out. There is no sprinter and everyone will be for Nibali. The team’s general manager; Alexandr Vinokurov said: “We have one goal at the Giro, victory for Vincenzo in his home race. He has won the Vuelta, come third at the Tour, and now he is ready to fight for the pink jersey. That has been our goal since the beginning of the season, and it’s in his head and the team is right behind him for victory.” Vinokurov added; “the whole team will ride for Vincenzo for General Classification, so a sprinter in our ranks would be excess. We need riders for the mountains, for GC, and we are putting our faith in Vincenzo and the guys for the whole race, from Napoli to Brescia. If the team is going well, and we can get into a breakaway, or push Fabio Aru for the Best Young Rider Jersey, then we will, but those goals are secondary to pink.”

Astana riders for the Giro d’Italia:
Vincenzo Nibali (ITA), Andrey Zeits (KAZ), Paolo Tiralongo (ITA) , Valerio Agnoli (ITA), Dmitri Gruzdev (ITA), Fredrik Kessiakoff (SWE), Fabio Aru (ITA). Tanel Kangert (EST) and Alessandro Vanotti (ITA).

Giro Katusha team
Last year Katusha’s Joaquim Rodriguez nearly won the Giro d’Italia, but he is not returning this year as he prefers the Tour de France. The Russian team has named Yuriy Trofimov as the leader of a very mixed team. It’s hard to say what the team will achieve, but they can’t be discounted with though men like Gusev, Brutt and Caruso, plus Paolini and Vicioso could come through with a stage win.

Yuriy Trofimov, Maxim Belkov, Pavel Brutt, Giampaolo Caruso, Vladimir Gusev, Petr Ignatenko, Dmitriy Kozonchuk, Luca Paolini and Angel Vicioso.

Pellizotti leads Androni Giocattoli Venezuela
Italian National champion; Franco Pellizotti will lead the Italian/Colombian/Venezuelan team in his home race. This is his first Giro since his biological passport ban and he will want to recover his reputation.

Franco Pellizotti, Emanuele Sella, Giairo Ermeti, Fabio Felline, Mattia Gavazzi, Diego Rosa, Tomas Gil and Jackson Rodriguez and Miguel Angel Rubiano.

Blanco & Robert Gesink with confidence to the Giro d’Italia
Press Release: The Blanco Pro Cycling Team travels this week to Naples with sky-high ambitions for the Giro d’Italia which begins Saturday from the Italian coastal city. Whereas Robert Gesink previously was focused on the Tour de France, the man from Varsseveld is now completely geared towards the Giro.

Via an altitude training camp in Tenerife and the Tour of Romandy, Gesink has prepared for the first Grand Tour of the year together his venerable all-rounders Wilco Kelderman, Steven Kruijswijk, Stef Clement, Jack Bobridge and Juanma Garate.

Robert Gesink: Gesink finished the Tour de Romandie last week in 54th but is not concerned about that result. He commented: “I would have liked to have built up a bit more confidence in Romandy, but I know from myself that I will usually have a few dips in the week after hypoxic training – the real benefit hits me about a week after – so I am not at all concerned. As a team, we rode very well in Romandy and dotted the i’s. I am very satisfied with that. In the run-up to the Giro, I’ve done everything possible to perform well and I am confident that the goals we have formulated are attainable.”

Jan Boven: The team goals include a top five place in the in the General Classification and according to Team Director Jan Boven: “Perhaps even a spot up on the podium.” Boven, who will share duties in Italy with Michiel Elijzen, added: “We are headed to Napels with a positive feeling. The guys who did the altitude training have shown they are fit – just look at Stef Clement who rode three top-ten finishes in Romandy and Wilco Kelderman who took the white jersey and fifth in the GC.

Aside from the six men who rode in Romandy, Jan Boven and Michiel Elijzen will have three fresh riders at their disposal in Italy who have appeared in the Classics: Paul Martens, Maarten Wynants and Maarten Tjallingii. Boven: “If it does not run contrary to what we want to accomplish in the classification, we may be able to do something with Paul in some of the more challenging sprint finales. We trained on the finales in Romandy and that went very well. Both Maartens will function as road captains.”

Wilco Kelderman: In Kelderman, Gesink will have a very useful rouleur next to him. The young man from Amersfoort rode an excellent Tour of Romandy and is very much looking forward to his first Grand Tour. Kelderman said: “The training camp in Tenerife did me a lot of good. I lost a bit of weight but picked up some uphill strength. In Romandy, I was fit the entire week and could climb with the best of them. That gives me a lot of confidence headed into the Giro where I intend to work hard for Robert.”

Blanco Team line-up:
Robert Gesink, Steven Kruijswijk, Wilco Kelderman, Stef Clement, Jack Bobridge, Juanma Garate, Paul Martens, Maarten Tjallingii en Maarten Wynants.
Sport Directors: Jan Boven en Michiel Elijzen.

ORICA-GreenEDGE Names Giro d’Italia Squad
ORICA-GreenEDGE has named its nine man squad for the Giro d’Italia. The selected riders will target specific stages of the first Grand Tour of the season. The team has a two-pronged attack in mind during their three weeks in Italy – furthering the development of the team as a whole and working towards the Tour de France. The nine riders are: Brett Lancaster, Christian Meier, Jens Keukeleire, Jens Mouris, Leigh Howard, Luke Durbridge, Matt Goss, Pieter Weening and Svein Tuft.

“At every race we try to cover our bases. Sometimes the team is chosen because of the team time trial or overall goals,” explained Sport Director Neil Stephens. “Sometimes we chose the opportunists who know how to go after a crafty stage win.”

The line-up for this Giro will bring a well-rounded mix of talent to Italy. There is an even spread of riders in the back pocket for each of the team’s goals: riders in development, riders for the sprints and riders who are capable of going the distance in a break.

“Above everything, we’ll work hard on the lead out train for the sprinters,” explained Sport Director Neil Stephens. “Also, of second importance, is allowing the opportunist to go in breaks in the second half of the Giro. We hope the consequence of meeting these goals means marking off stage wins in the record books.”
Thanks to Orica-GreenEdge for the team info.

ORICA-GreenEDGE for Giro d’Italia:
Brett Lancaster, Christian Meier, Jens Keukeleire, Jens Mouris, Leigh Howard , Luke Durbridge, Matt Goss, Pieter Weening, Svein Tuft.

Argos-Shimano team for Giro d’Italia
The Dutch team is backing John Degenkolb in the Italian Tour starting this Saturday. His sprint train of Bert De Backer, Albert Timmer and Koen de Kort will be trying to emulate Degenkolb’s five stage wins at last year’s Vuelta a España, although he will have stronger sprint competition in Italy.

Team Argos-Shimano Giro d’Italia roster:
Bert De Backer (Bel), Thomas Damuseau (Fra), John Degenkolb (Ger), Patrick Gretsch (Ger), Cheng Ji (Chn), Koen de Kort (Ned), Tobias Ludvigsson (Swe), Luka Mezgec (Slo), Albert Timmer (Ned).

Lampre-Merida Giro team video
By means of a striking movie, Team LAMPRE-MERIDA introduce the selection of the 9 cyclists that will wear the blue-fuchsia-green colours in the Giro d’Italia 2013. Speed, power, passion for the riders that will start from Naples with the target of honoring in the best way the Pink Race, in the 20th season for Lampre in pro cycling and in the debut of Merida in Giro d’Italia.
The riders are:
Mattia Cattaneo, 22 years old, rouleur climber, pro since 2013, debut in Giro.
Kristijan Durasek, 25 years old, climber, pro since 2008, debut in Giro.
Roberto Ferrari, 30 years old, sprinter, pro since 2007, 2 participations in Giro and 1 stage victory.
Przemyslaw Niemiec, 33 years old, climber, pro since 2002, 2 participations in Giro.
Daniele Pietropolli, 32 years old, all terrain rider, pro since 2003, 5 participanions in Giro.
Filippo Pozzato, 31 years old, fast rouleur, pro since 2000, 4 participations in Giro and 1 stage victory.
Michele Scarponi, 33 years old, climber, pro since 2002, 8 participations in Giro, 1 overall classification success (2011) and 3 stages victories.
Josè Rodolfo Serpa Perez, 33 years old, climber, pro since 2006, 6 participations in Giro.
Simone Stortoni, 27 years old, climber, pro since 2009, 2 participations in Giro.
Matteo Bono and Adriano Malori will be the substitutes.

The average age of the team is 29.5 years old, a mix of experience (1 overall classification victory, 5 stages successes thanks to Ferrari, Pozzato and Scarponi) and of youth (two debuts). Riders are from four different Countries: Italy (6 athletes), Colombia (1), Croatia (1) and Poland (1).

Team will be directed by Orlando Maini and Fabrizio Bontempi.
In the staff there will be mechanics Carminati, Pengo and Romanò, driver Bozzolo, masseurs Bolzonaro, Capelli, Del Gallo, Della Torre and Leboso, doctors De Grandi and Beltemacchi, press officer Andrea Appiani and Carlo Saronni and mechanic advisor Tiede.

Enjoy the video at: https://www.teamlampremerida.com/en/videos/la-formazione-del-team-lampre-merida-per-il-giro-d-italia-2013/.

The 2013 Giro d’Italia Stages:
04.05.13 Stage 1 Napoli – Napoli 130.0 km
05.05.13 Stage 2 Isola d’Ischia – Isola d’Ischia 17.4 km (TTT)
06.05.13 Stage 3 Sorrento – Marina di Ascea 222.0 km
07.05.13 Stage 4 Policastro Bussentino – Serra San Bruno 246.0 km
08.05.13 Stage 5 Cosenza – Matera 199.0 km
09.05.13 Stage 6 Mola di Bari – Margherita di Savoia 168.0 km
10.05.13 Stage 7 Marina di San Salvo – Pescara 176.0 km
11.05.13 Stage 8 Gabicce Mare – Saltara 54.8 km (ITT)
12.05.13 Stage 9 Sansepolcro – Firenze 170.0 km
13.05.13 Restday
14.05.13 Stage 10 Cordenons – Altopiano del Montasio 167.0 km
15.05.13 Stage 11 Tarvisio (Cave del Predil) – Vajont 182.0 km
16.05.13 Stage 12 Longarone – Treviso 134.0 km
17.05.13 Stage 13 Busseto – Cherasco 254.0 km
18.05.13 Stage 14 Cervere – Bardonecchia 168.0 km
19.05.13 Stage 15 Cesana Torinese – Col du Galibier (Valloire) 149.0 km
20.05.13 Restday
21.05.13 Stage 16 Valloire – Ivrea 238.0 km
22.05.13 Stage 17 Caravaggio – Vicenza 214.0 km
23.05.13 Stage 18 Mori – Polsa 20.6 km (ITT)
24.05.13 Stage 19 Ponte di Legno – Val Martello 139.0 km
25.05.13 Stage 20 Silandro – Tre Cime di Lavaredo (Auronzo) 203.0 km
26.05.13 Stage 21 Riese Pio X – Brescia 197.0 km.

Stay tuned to PEZ for blow by blow action on every stage; down on the roadside, along with the best photos and race reports.

Tre Cime di Lavaredo: the last challenge of Giro 2013
Tre Cime di Lavaredo is in the history of Giro d’Italia.
This climb will be faced in Giro d’Italia 2013 stage 20 (Silandro/Schlanders – Tre Cime di Lavaredo) on Saturday May 25th. Here is the video:


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