The dust and snow has only just settled on the Giro d’Italia and the Tour de France news has started rolling in. In today’s EuroTrash Thursday we catch up with the US road championships, plus a great win for young Andy Fenn in Belgium. We can’t forget the Giro yet though, so we compare this year’s with the early editions and squeeze in as much other stuff as we can find. Coffee up!
TOP STORY: Not Much Changes in Cycling!
During the Giro d’Italia I started reading the book “Magia Rosa” by Herbie Sykes, it’s not only the history of the Giro it’s also a good history of Italy. Anyway, as I was reading the first chapters on the early editions of the Italian Tour, a few things came to mind when watching this year’s race.
Weather: We have had bad weather before; it’s not a new thing! In the Giro of 1913 on the first stage, which ran from Milan to Cuneo a distance of 420 kilometres, all hell was let lose by the weather gods. There was torrential rain for 36 hours and for most of the Giro, the river Dora broke its banks, there were 70 kph winds and the un-asphalted roads turned to mud. The Tour de France winning Frenchman; Lucien “Petit-Breton” Mazan was riding for the Atala team and was favourite to win here, punctured and lost the plot completely, ripped of his tubular and his race jersey that was sodden with ran. When his team car arrived they had no jersey to give as they had run out, so he kicked lumps out of the car and then shot down the road without a jersey. He had raced 300 kilometres of the stage and eventually walked to the check-point and promptly resigned from the race along with the rest of his team. For the other that continued the storm turned to a blizzard on the climb of Sestrière, the riders gave up any chance of cycling and walked to the summit. The stage winner was Angelo Gremo with a winning time of 17 hours 13 minutes and 55 seconds; the last rider to finish took 24 hours and 7 minutes. No stage cancellations in those days.
Mechanical help: In the early 1900’s there was no mechanic to change your wheel when you puncture, that wasn’t permitted. Also there was no “sticky bottle” or “magic spanner” to get the rider back to the peloton, but Sykes explains how they got round these things: How to get round the “No mechanical help” rule for the factory teams was quite easy, when a rider punctured he would disappear off the track and out of sight. Then a passing “beatnik” (a disguised mechanic) would appear, fix the problem in quick time and the rider would reappear and ride on. Not quite the same as holding onto a team car, but for its time quite an effective way round the rules.
Waiting for a fallen leader: Over the last few years there have been cases of the race leader having a problem and the race being neutralised or when not (Contador/Schleck) there has been big arguments. Well in the first Giro d’Italia in 1909 there was no un-written law and on the first stage from Milan to Bologna (397 kilometres), one of the favourites; Giovanni Gerbi was caught in a crash soon after the start. He and some other riders had been brought down due to a little girl wandering into the road. Gerbi had to make his own repairs which took three hours, no one waited and the winner was a young upstart of only 20 years old tore off and won the stage 14 hours later. There was worse to come, on the penultimate stage, the race leader; Luigi Ganna had a 3 points lead over Carlo Galetti. Ganna punctured 75 kilometres from the finish and five riders attacked, including Galetti. If it hadn’t been for a closed railway crossing he would have lost that first Giro. No honour then.
Check out Leslie Reissner’s review of the first edition of “Maglia Rosa” by Herbie Sykes on PEZ, the new up to date 2nd edition is now available.
US Road Race Championships 2013
Freddie Rodriguez (Jelly Belly cycling p/b Kenda) won his fourth US Pro road race championship as he outsprinted twelve others from a final group of riders at the end of 165 kilometres in Chattanooga, Tennessee. After the early breaks had burnt themselves out a group of seventeen were out front, Phil Gaimon (Bissell) went for a long solo, but under the impetus of Matthew Busche (RadioShack Leopard) he was caught before the sprint. Ben Jacques-Maynes (Jamis Hagens Berman) opened the sprint, but Rodriguez came off his wheel to beat Brent Bookwalter (BMC) into second and Kiel Reijnen (Unitedhealthcare) third.
Bookwalter said he got gapped a bit with 500 meters to go when third-place finisher Kiel Reijnen (UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team) dropped his chain near the front of the group of 17 riders that came to the finish together. “So I lost those guys a little bit there,” Bookwalter said. “I was telling myself to go into the sprint in front of Freddie because I knew it would be really hard to come around him. But to hold him off is something else. I got out of the last corner and started my sprint about the same time as him. I was coming up alongside him, but didn’t quite have enough road.” Rodriguez won his fourth national road title while Bookwalter earned his first career podium finish in the national road race. BMC Racing Team Assistant Director Jackson Stewart said it looked like Phillip Gaimon (Bissell Pro Cycling) was going to steal the win with a solo attack inside the last 20 kilometres of the 161.9-km race. “Gaimon had a good gap that was growing and a lot of guys were looking at each other,” Stewart said. “But Matthew Busche made a huge effort and brought it back. Brent knew he had to watch Freddie in the sprint and start his sprint before Freddie. He did everything he possibly could all day. He marked the moves that mattered and in the end he just came up a little bit short.”
US Men’s Road Race Championship Result:
1. Freddie Rodriguez (Jelly Belly Cycling p/b Kenda) in 4:06:56
2. Brent Bookwalter (BMC)
3. Kiel Reijnen (UnitedHealthcare)
4. Benjamin Jacques-Maynes (Jamis Hagens Berman)
5. Gavin Mannion (Bontrager Cycling Team)
6. Caleb Fairly (Garmin-Sharp)
7. Edward King (Cannondale)
8. Alex Howes (Garmin-Sharp)
9. Matthew Busche (RadioShack Leopard)
10. Christopher Baldwin (Bissell Cycling).
2013 USA Cycling Pro Men’s Road Race Winners Press Conference:
In the woman’s race; Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies took first and second with Jade Wilcoxson and Lauren Hall, third was Alison Powers (Now & Novartis for MS) over the 102 kilometres. The race split over the climb of Lookout Mountain and sixteen riders escaped, this shrunk to ten by the summit, but on the descent back to Chattanooga it grew to around twenty-five. Over the climb again and the group fractured and Mara Abbott (Exergy TWENTY16) attacked on the descent and looked good for the win until she punctured and the neutral service broke her bike while trying to change her rear wheel and had to wait for a spare bike. Wilcoxson had passed Abbott at the side of the road and was joined by Kristin McGrath (Exergy TWENTY16), they worked well together, but Wilcoxson dropped McGrath to ride the last half lap on her own for the win. Hall got the better of Powers and a tired McGrath.
US Women’s Road Race Championship Result:
1. Jade Wilcoxson (Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies) in 2:46:39
2. Lauren Hall (Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies) at 0:11
3. Alison Powers (NOW and Novartis for MS)
4. Kristin McGrath (Exergy TWENTY16)
5. Jacquelyn Crowell (Exergy TWENTY16) at 0:17
6. Amanda Miller (Team TIBCO/ To the Top)
7. Carmen Small (Specialized-lululemon)
8. Andrea Dvorak (Exergy TWENTY16)
9. Tayler Wiles (Specialized-lululemon) at 0:47
10. Mara Abbott (Exergy TWENTY16) at 4:19.
2013 USA Cycling Pro Women’s Road Race Winners Press Conference:
Gullegem Koerse 2013
Omega Pharma – Quick-Step Cycling Team rider Andrew Fenn won the 171kilometre Gullegem Koerse alone on Tuesday.
At the start of the race were 213 riders, but within two laps a select group already emerged. Fourteen riders with Guillaume Van Keirsbulck and Fenn got away for the remainder of the race. The group included strong riders such as Greg Van Avermaet and Philippe Gilbert of BMC, as well as Lieuwe Westra (Vacansoleil-DCM). Gilbert went on the attack with two laps remaining. Van Keirsbulck and two other riders bridged to him eventually. Then, Fenn was able to close the gap with two other riders, increasing the elite group to seven going into the final lap. The final lap is when Fenn launched his own attack, and he was able to stay solo until the finish for the victory. Yves Lampaert (Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise) was 2nd, and Benjamin Verraes (Accent Jobs-Wanty) was 3rd.
Van Keirsbulck was in good position for the sprint, but finished 6th after a slow leaking tire.
This is the 32nd win (30th road), in three disciplines, in 2013 for OPQS, and the first for Fenn this season. “I am happy about this victory,” Fenn said. “It’s my first of the year. It’s also a bit different from my usual wins, because I arrived solo and had time to enjoy my victory. In the group of seven we had two OPQS, so I knew there would have been a lot of attacks in the final. I felt good and decided to anticipate the attacks of the others. I think I chose a good moment to go — I only thought about pushing as hard as I could on the pedals, and then I won. I hope this victory can open a new chapter of my season after the first part. Maybe I can have other victories or good performances. It’s a good result especially leading into Nationals.”
Gullegem Koerse Result:
1. Andrew Fenn (GB) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step in 3:48:12
2. Yves Lampaert (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise at 0:21
3. Benjamin Verraes (Bel) Accent Jobs-Wanty
4. Greg van Avermaet (Bel) BMC
5. Tom Devriendt (Bel) EFC Omega Pharma – Quick-Step
6. Guillaume van Keirsbulk (Bel) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step
7. Philippe Gilbert (Bel) BMC at 0:29
8. Frederic Amorison (Bel) Crelan-Euphony at 1:15
9. Benjamin Declercq (Bel) EFC Omega Pharma – Quick-Step at 1:17
10. Alphonse Vermote (Bel) An Post-Chain Reaction.
Trek to Replace RadioShack?
The rumour of the moment is that Trek will step in as main sponsor for the RadioShack Leopard team next year. RadioShack announced they would not renew their contract with the team after the end of 2013. The team’s owner, Flavio Becca, has the UCI WorldTour licence and would have to sell this on if he was no longer to be involved with the team. As to the riders it is expected that the Schleck brothers would stay on and that the team’s general manager Luca Guercilena would be in charge. The teams top performer; Fabian Cancellara would probably also stay as Guercilena is his coach.
Contador Looking Forward to the Tour
In an interview on Spanish Cadena Sur Saxo-Tnkoff’s Alberto Contador has said if “My forms improving and if my legs feel good, I’m not scared of Froome or Wiggins.” As to Bradley Wiggins; he is sure the reigning champion will want to be on the start line: “I think that Wiggins is going to ride the Tour. As last year’s winner, I’d guess he wants to be there,” Contador said. “I’m sure that if he rides, he’ll be 99% at his best, especially after climbing off so early in the Giro.” What does he think about the chances of Chris Froome? “He has a great chance to win a Grand Tour if the team works for him. It means he has a lot of responsibility.” Contador has been training and living near Lugano in Switzerland for much of the year and has training partners locally, his next race will be the Critérium Dauphiné.
Gilbert Will Ride the 2013 Tour de France
The current World road race champion; Philippe Gilbert will be lining up with his BMC team mates in Corsica next month. He told Het Nieuwsblad “I do not understand why the team is waiting to communicate this; I very much want to go. Officially, I don’t say it, but I think everyone understands that I will be there. And I will ride Switzerland in preparation.” Cadel Evans will be leading the BMC team with Tejay van Garderen as a second possibility for the GC.
Hesjedal for the Tour de France
The Canadian 2012 Giro d’Italia winner; Ryder Hesjedal of Garmin-Sharp will be lining up in Corsica for this year’s Tour de France. During the Giro he caught the virus that many riders came down with and in his case it turned into a respiratory infection. His form before the time trial looked to be good, but after he just went downhill. Hesjedal has started training again at his Spanish home in Girona.
Niemiec to ride the Tour de France
After his great 6th place at the Giro d’Italia, Przemyslaw Niemiec will be on the start line for the Tour de France. He is said to be there to support Damiano Cunego, as he did for Michele Scarponi at the Giro, but depending on how the “Little Prince” is riding, then Niemiec could be the Lampre-Merida team’s top man.
Two New Riders for Garmin-Sharp in 2014
Lasse Norman Hansen and Dylan van Baarle will both be riding for the Garmin-Sharp team for the next two years. Hansen won the Gold medal at the London Olympic Games in the omnium events on the track. The 21 year old has been riding successfully for the Blue Water Cycling Continental team this year. Van Baarle has been riding for the Rabobank Development team this season and feels he is now ready to step up to a WorldTour team.
No more Livestrong for Nike
When the contract between Nike and the charity Livestrong ends in 2014, the clothing company will not be continuing the Livestrong line. Nike will continue to support the Livestrong Foundation directly.
A Very Tough 2013 World championships
The organisers of this year’s World championships in Florence have announced the course for all the road events. The course for the men’s race covers 272.5 kilometres over 11 laps with more than 3000 metres of climbing. The women’s race will use the same course covering 130 kilometres.
The finish circuit takes in climb of Fiesole and passes the Florence Duomo and the Men’s race will also pass the cemetery of ex-rider and Italian team manager; Franco Ballerini in the village of Casalguidi. The time trial profile is flat, 25.3 kilometres for the women, in the men’s race against the clock there is the small climb of the Serravalle Pistoiese, 7.3 kilometres after the start for a full distance of 56.8 kilometres. The championships will be held between the 22nd and the 29th of September.
Nibali Italy World’s Team Leader
Italian national coach Paolo Bettini has named Giro d’Italia winner; Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) at the leader for the team at the World championships in Florence. The course for the 2013 World’s (see above) is very hard and will suit a climber more than the usual Classics rider. Bettini commented: “The course is for riders who can climb well. The first part of the route, from Lucca to Florence, will be stressful, San Baronto is a real climb, passing through the centre of Florence will be spectacular but very technical.” So should suit Nibali.
Happy Birthday Campagnolo!
Campagnolo are one of the most historic companies in cycling, and GCN were invited to their exclusive 80th anniversary celebrations, alongside some of the legends of the sport including Eddy Merckx and Miguel Indurain.
GCN interviewed icons of cycling to find out just how much passion there is for Campagnolo. Eddy Merckx spent the best part of his career on their groupsets, Miguel Indurain has never ridden anything but Campy. Both men are passionate about the brand.
They also spoke with legendary Italians, Ernesto Colnago and Fausto Pinarello to find out how deep the friendships and collaborations run in this mystical part of Italian cycling heritage.
Broken Bones Garage
If you’ve not had a look at the Broken Bones Garage then you should!
It’s a daily show featuring tips on training, nutrition and strategy. Josh Horowitz talks about racing and gives his commentary on doping and other hot topics.
He also gives you the inside dirt on the sometimes nightmarish conditions of racing in foreign countries when you’re not on the ProTour. Stuff that you will never see on TV like this one about racing with a shattered collar bone in Cuba:
The PEZ NEWSWIRE!
Don’t forget the new “NEWSWIRE” section, 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 give it a regular check.