What's Cool In Road Cycling

EuroTrash Thursday!

Loads of race action from Poland as the Tour de Pologne gets in to its stage 4, the Tour of Denmark (Post Danmark Rundt) kicked off on Wednesday and in Spain the one day Classic; the Circuito de Getxo gave Euskaltel-Euskadi a much needed win. Lots of other bits of news for a full EuroTrash Thursday. Where is that coffee?

TOP STORY: The McQuaid Malaysian Twist
The Malaysian Federation and the Asian Cycling Confederation have proposed a change in the nomination process for the UCI president’s position. They are proposing that any two national federations would also be able to nominate presidential candidate. This would be moving away the present rule that prospective nomination would come from the federation of the nominee.

Pat McQuaid has not been nominated by the Irish federation (where he is from) and might not be nominated by the Swiss federation (where he lives), due to the decision being contested in court.

Even if this last minute change does not goes through then McQuaid can go forward to the presidential vote as he has been nominated by Thailand and Morocco, he stated that he has had membership in the Moroccan federation since 2009.

UCI rules allow for members to only have membership with one country. A rider I know was banned for having two licences, one from the country he was from and another that his manager had got for him in the country where the team was registered. It was a case of bad communications, but he was banned. Maybe it’s OK for a UCI president to have multiple memberships?

The other UCI presidential candidate; Britain’s Brain Cookson has summed up the proposed rule change as; “a clear sign of desperation from the incumbent President, Pat McQuaid.” He summed up his thoughts with “at worst, this is beginning to look like a concerted attempt to manipulate the election in an undemocratic and unconstitutional way.”

Tour de Pologne 2013
After two stages, a rest day and a transfer to Poland, Stage 3 started in Kraków to finish 226 kilometres later in Rzeszów and BMC’s Norwegian champion Thor Hushovd took the bunch sprint. The undulating stretch to Rzeszow offered a few smaller climbs and heavy rain made the course even more demanding and quite a few riders had a close encounter with the asphalt in the beginning of the stage due to the slippery surface.

A breakaway of four riders, Alexsandr Dyachenko (Astana), Bartek Matysiak (CCC Polsat), Ricardo Mestre (Euskaltel-Euskadi) and Mirko Selvaggi (Vacansoleil-DCM) managed to sail off in the distance and worked up a lead of more than ten minutes before the peloton started reeling them back in. Going in to the final 30 kilometres, it all seemed like a bunch sprint decision and the sprinter teams were working endlessly to get in the right position at the front while Team Saxo-Tinkoff were keeping Rafal Majka out of trouble.

On the six kilometre long circuit in the finish town, the breakaway was swept up with 1.5 kilometres to go and despite several counter-attacks; it all came down to a hectic bunch sprint. Here, the Norwegian national champion, Thor Hushovd (BMC) turned out to the fastest of the bunch.

Stage winner Thor Hushovd (BMC): “The wind was coming from the left, so I knew he (Renshaw) would close the door to the right, so I was already thinking about this and knew I would have to go left. Taylor Phinney did a good job and the whole team did really well. I’m really happy to get this win. I was quite confident today and the team had a lot of confidence in me – so that really helped. I think tomorrow there’s going to be another bunch sprint,” he said. “There are also a couple of harder stages that might be good for me. So there still might be some interesting days to come.”

Taylor Phinney, who was the last teammate to provide escort for the Norwegian road champion, said he had never done a full-fledged lead-out for a sprint before. “But I felt great coming into the last kilometres and even put in a bit of a dig to catch the breakaway,” he said. “Robert Wagner of Belkin pulled off with 800 meters to go and then I gave it everything I had left in order to get Thor to 300 or 200 meters to go and he was perfectly positioned right behind Renshaw.” Phinney said competing with six-man squads in Poland, rather than the traditional eight, has brought the BMC Racing Team closer together. “We’re very happy and motivated and really a close-knit group,” he said. “You see Ivan Santaromita at the end of the race pulling the break back and he’s fighting for a top 10 position overall. So we’re all really working hard for each other and having a great time doing it.”

Mark Renshaw (Belkin) came close to the win, but was third in the end: “At 300 to 400 metres from the line, I was already in second position and had to start my sprint very early,” Renshaw explained. “Normally, I like it that way but with the head wind and Thor Hushovd behind me, I couldn’t hold on.” Renshaw hoped to capture the first win for the team’s new sponsor. “After a good Tour de France, it would have been nice to take the first stage win for Belkin. I’m happy to be on the podium but on the other hand it is disappointing to miss out on a victory.” After his heavy crash in the Tour of Turkey, Renshaw was out of competition for a while. He could have proved to the world his return with a victory. “I’ve had some bad luck this year and with a stage win, I could’ve closed that chapter.”

Team Saxo-Tinkoff’s Rafal Majka managed to retain his overall lead of the race by finishing in the bunch.

Tour de Pologne Stage 3 Result:
1. Thor Hushovd (Nor) BMC in 5:10:02
2. Steele Von Hoff (Aus) Garmin-Sharp
3. Mark Renshaw (Aus) Blanco
4. Grega Bole (Slo) Vacansoleil-DCM
5. Tosh Van Der Sande (Bel) Lotto Belisol
6. Leigh Howard (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge
7. Michal Golas (Pol) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step
8. Yauheni Hutarovich (Blr) Ag2r-La Mondiale
9. Ben Swift (GB) Sky
10. Luka Mezgec (Slo) Argos-Shimano.

Tour de Pologne Overall After Stage 3:
1. Rafal Majka (Pol) Saxo-Tinkoff in 11:04:43
2. Sergio Luis Henao Montoya (Col) Sky at 0:04
3. Christophe Riblon (Fra) Ag2r-La Mondiale at 0:06
4. Pieter Weening (Ned) Orica-GreenEdge at 0:07
5. Jon Izaguirre Insausti (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi at 0:09
6. Chris Anker Sörensen (Den) Saxo-Tinkoff
7. Eros Capecchi (Ita) Movistar at 0:13
8. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Ag2r-La Mondiale
9. Robert Kiserlovski (Cro) RadioShack Leopard at 0:16
10. Thomas Rohregger (Aut) RadioShack Leopard at 0:18.

Stage 3:

Team Saxo-Tinkoff’s Rafal Majka was wearing the leader’s jersey setting forth on today’s 231 kilometre long Stage 4 from Tarnow to Katowice. Eight riders managed to create a gap to the chasing field where BMC took control of the pace in their quest for another bunch sprint win for Thor Hushovd.

With 20 kilometres remaining, Kamil Gradek (Poland) launched an attack from the front group and time trialed his way up the road leaving his seven former companions to the chase. But the stage was eventually decided when Taylor Phinney (BMC) attacked seven kilometres from the finish at the Tour de Pologne Wednesday and held off the charging peloton to impressively win the BMC Racing Team’s second straight stage and score his first road race victory as a professional.

The silver medallist in last year’s world time trial championship never had more than a 15-second advantage and only looked back moments before he sat up and free-wheeled his BMC teammachine SLR01 across the line. “I told Taylor he could try an attack, but it was amazing what he did,” BMC Racing Team Assistant Director Fabio Baldato said. “It was like a prologue – and I was screaming that to him on the radio. I told him to go full gas and don’t look back. He was a machine.” Phinney said the finishing circuit – which was downhill in the last kilometre – made it ideal for an attack. But he wasn’t expecting to go it alone. “With six-man teams here, I thought it would be harder to bring guys back, but nobody came with me,” he said. “So I just put my head down and decided I wasn’t going to look back and slowly commit to it and give it everything I had. It was twisty and turning enough that I could maintain a lot of speed. I had a lot of power, but the last couple of kilometres were excruciatingly painful. I crossed my fingers that it wouldn’t be one of those finishes where the guy gets passed 20 meters before the line.” Steele Von Hoff (Garmin-Sharp) and Yauheni Hutarovich (Ag2r-La Mondiale) finished second and third, respectively, while BMC Racing Team’s Thor Hushovd – winner of Stage 3 on Tuesday – was sixth.

Lotto Belisol’s Dirk Bellemakers was in the break of the day: “We were in a breakaway with a nice group of eight riders. It was a hard day because it was a long stage and we were racing against the wind. Before we had set two goals. First of all we wanted to join the breakaway as we hoped it might last until the end. Unfortunately the bunch only gave us a small advantage of maximum three minutes. Our second goal was to lead out the sprint for Tosh. Yesterday he finished fifth and during the first hard stage in Italy Tosh also was in the breakaway. Then he was caught early because the GC riders wanted to take points at the heavy climbs. But tomorrow and Friday there will be another chance. We are all very motivated and we are in good shape.”

Team Saxo-Tinkoff’s Rafal Majka completed the stage in the bunch and remains the overall leader of the race for another day.

Tour de Pologne Stage 4 Result:
1. Taylor Phinney (USA) BMC in 5:40:17
2. Steele Von Hoff (Aus) Garmin-Sharp
3. Yauheni Hutarovich (Blr) Ag2r-La Mondiale
4. Aidis Kruopis (Ltu) Orica-GreenEdge
5. Reinardt Janse Van Rensburg (RSA) Argos-Shimano
6. Thor Hushovd (Nor) BMC
7. Luka Mezgec (Slo) Argos-Shimano
8. Bartlomiej Matysiak (Pol) CCC Polsat Polkowice
9. Daniele Ratto (Ita) Cannondale
10. Daniel Schorn (Aut) Team NetApp-Endura.

Tour de Pologne Overall After Stage 4:
1. Rafal Majka (Pol) Saxo-Tinkoff in 21:55:02
2. Sergio Luis Henao Montoya (Col) Sky at 0:04
3. Christophe Riblon (Fra) Ag2r-La Mondiale at 0:06
4. Pieter Weening (Ned) Orica-GreenEdge at 0:07
5. Jon Izaguirre Insausti (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi at 0:09
6. Chris Anker Sörensen (Den) Saxo-Tinkoff
7. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Ag2r-La Mondiale at 0:13
8. Eros Capecchi (Ita) Movistar
9. Robert Kiserlovski (Cro) RadioShack Leopard at 0:16
10. Thomas Rohregger (Aut) RadioShack Leopard at 0:18.

Stage 4:

Interviews with the stage winner Taylor Phinney (BMC) and with the yellow Skandia jersey Rafal Majka (Saxo-Tinkoff):

Post Danmark Rundt-Tour of Denmark 2013
Today, the Tour of Denmark was launched with a 180 kilometre long stage from Silkeborg to Varde and looking at the profile of the course, it seemed like a treat for the sprinters. However, five riders including the Danish talent Magnus Cort (Cult) tried denying the sprinters of their feast by initiating the first breakaway of the race.

Along the way, Cort managed to gather enough points to secure the lead of the mountain classification but the breakaway split up towards the entrance to the finale as Lars Bak (Lotto Belisol) eagerly leaped up the road to join the escapees in a furious counter-punch. However, Magnus Cort and Nikolai Aistrup (Concordia) joined him and on the finish line, Cort was the faster rider and the young Dane took an impressive stage win:

Team Saxo-Tinkoff had a rather unfortunate start of the race: “We got a bit more drama today than we bargained for. No less than eight flats in the final part of the race really obscured our focus and we had a hard time establishing a chase of the break. However, we’re here to support Manuele (Boaro) for the overall win,” states Saxo-Tinkoff DS, Lars Michaelsen.

Manuele Boaro says: “I’m feeling strong and I’m motivated going for the overall win here in Denmark. I know the competition is really tough but with a strong team around me, it’s obtainable. In today’s finale I was however obstructed as a rider crashed right in front of me and I just hope that I didn’t lose any time.”

Lotto Belisol’s Dane Lars Bak: “I was very motivated because a lot of friends, family and fans were cheering along the side of the road. The race was dominated by six escapees. In the bunch Omega Pharma – Quick-Step and Saxo-Tinkoff were controlling the situation. In the last 30km, Belkin and Omega Pharma – Quick-Step tried to split up the pack, but they didn’t succeed. At 15km from the finish I took my chance to attack. In the end there were three laps of 3.4km on a local circuit, so I knew a lot of people would see me and support me. When I reached the leaders I tried to leave them behind, but didn’t manage to shake Magnus Cort Nielsen and Nikola Aistrup off. During the last 6km I went full gas but unfortunately they could beat me in the sprint. On the one hand I’m a bit disappointed but on the other hand I think it was an amazing race with a great atmosphere. It’s also really nice that there were three Danes on the podium today.”

Post Danmark Rundt-Tour of Denmark Stage 1 Result:
1. Magnus Cort Nielsen (Den) Team Cult Energi in 4:32:24
2. Nikola Aistrup (Den) Team Concordia Forsikring-Riwal
3. Lars Bak (Den) Lotto Belisol
4. Bryan Coquard (Fra) Europcar at 0:10
5. Sacha Modolo (Ita) Bardiani Valvole-CSF Inox
6. Kenny Dehaes (Bel) Lotto Belisol
7. Tyler Farrar (USA) Garmin-Sharp
8. Barry Markus (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM at 0:11
9. Andrea Peron (Ita) Team Novo Nordisk
10. Robbie Hunter (RSA) Garmin-Sharp.

Post Danmark Rundt-Tour of Denmark Overall After Stage 1:
1. Magnus Cort Nielsen (Den) Team Cult Energi in 4:32:13
2. Nikola Aistrup (Den) Team Concordia Forsikring-Riwal at 0:01
3. Lars Bak (Den) Lotto Belisol at 0:07
4. Bryan Coquard (Fra) Team Europcar at 0:21
5. Sacha Modolo (Ita) Bardiani Valvole-CSF Inox
6. Kenny Dehaes (Bel) Lotto Belisol
7. Tyler Farrar (USA) Garmin-Sharp
8. Barry Markus (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM at 0:22
9. Andrea Peron (Ita) Team Novo Nordisk
10. Robbie Hunter (RSA) Garmin-Sharp.


Circuito de Getxo 2013
Juan José Lobato has given the Euskaltel-Euskadi team its sixth victory of the 2013 season after winning the ’68 º Circuito de Getxo – 13th Memorial Ricardo Otxoa’. The whole orange team completed a great job controlling the race and Juanjo put the finishing touch on the wall of Txomintxu Arkotxa, whose steep ramp was hit before the finish line after 10 laps on a circuit of 17 miles to complete a total of 170 kilometres.
After the typical initial skirmishes, a break formed of 19 riders in which Euskaltel-Euskadi was represented by Pablo Urtasun and Ricardo García, two men with a remarkable burst of speed. However, with Lobato, winner of the 2011 edition, the orange team took the responsibility to lead the peloton in the last three laps to neutralize the break. After excellent work the race was all back together. On the Arkotxa; Lobato was the strongest man as he accelerated to the win.

Just after crossing the finish line, Juan Lobato began thanking the team for its work. “My comrades have done a very good job; they trusted me completely and are drained in the fight to win. The win is for them all. In the uncertain times of which we live, athletically we have not surrendered and hopefully this win will help us to find a solution,” he stated excitedly. “I did not expect this victory, the feelings I had during the race were not the best. I felt a little tired after the Tour, but I am aware that I had the final sprint and we have a very nice win for the team and the fans, “he stressed.

As for the outcome on the Trebujena, he explained that “I already knew this finish and it seems that I’m good. The team did a great job and then it was a matter of legs. I had to make a long finish, but I had time to celebrate and dedicate it to the team,” he added smiling. Now, Lobato will rest before he faces the Eneco Tour, his next competition.

Circuito de Getxo Result:
1. Juan Jose Lobato (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi in 3:51:08
2. Armido Fonseca (Fra) Bretagne-Séché Envir at 0:04
3. Egoitz Garcia (Spa) Cofidis
4. Danail Petrov (Bul) Caja Rural
5. Diego A Ochoa (Col) 4-72 Colombia
6. Fabio Felline (Ita) Androni-Giocattoli at 0:09
7. Ruben Perez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
8. Erwann Corbel (Fra) Bretagne-Séché Envir at 0:14
9. Alessandro Malaguti (Ita) Androni – Giocattoli
10. Eduardo Sepulveda (Arg) Bretagne-Séché Envir.

Photo: Race winner JJ Lobato by Euskaltel-Euskadi team.

Petacchi to ride Eneco Tour
Alessandro Petacchi will start his “new” career with Omega Pharma – Quick-Step with some Belgian kermess races and then at the Eneco Tour on August the 12th. He started the season with Lampre-Merida, but announced his retirement in April. The OPQS team wanted him to ride for them straight away, but the move was blocked by the UCI until the 1st of August. The mature Italian will ride with the team to the end of 2014.

2 More Years for Ten Dam
Laurens ten Dam has confirmed that he will sign with his Belkin team for a further two years. There had been rumours of a move for the Dutchman, but this contract extension takes him to the end of 2015. After his performance in the Tour de France, it was said that Astana and Sky were both after ten Dam, this morning in De Telegraaf it was confirmed he would stay with Belkin.

UnitedHealthcare Woman’s Team
Momentum Sports Group, the management company that runs the men’s UnitedHealthcare ProConti team have announced that there will be a UCI woman’s team for 2014. The team is said to have 10 to 12 riders and will compete mostly in home races with occasional international trips.

The 1998 Tour Fall-out Continues
After the list of 1998 Tour de France positives came out last week there was a fair amount of repercussions on the riders concerned, you can read about it in Monday’s EuroTrash . Since then there has been more:

Jens Heppner was on the positive list and has been working as a DS with the NetApp-Endura team, but on Tuesday the team announced that Heppner and the team had agreed to go their separate ways. Team manager; Ralph Denk said; “In light of the current situation in the sport of cycling, both sides agree that our new generation of riders should be able to focus on the season highlights uninfluenced by other circumstances. I wish Jens Heppner all the best for the future.”

Katusha have announced that Erik Zabel is suspended from his position as sprint coach with the team. In a Press Release the Russian team Katusha announced; “the suspension of the sprinter group coach Erik Zabel after new facts about doping during his cycling career having been revealed in news reports. These revelations refer to Zabel’s career as an active racer from 1996 to 2003 and do not have any connection with team Katusha, whatsoever Katusha Team management has decided to suspend Erik Zabel, who joined the team in 2012. As a member of Mouvement Pour un Cyclisme Crédible (MPCC), Katusha follows a strong anti-doping policy.”

Another member of the Deutsche Telekom/T-Mobile team; Jan Ullrich was also on the positive 1998 EPO Tour de France list, but his problems are going to come from his time with the Coast Team in 2003. He was sued by the team owner Günther Dahms in 2008, Dahms claimed damages from Ullrich on the grounds that he doped when he was with the team, that case went in favour of Ullrich because he swore he did not dope when with the team. Of course we now know he doped in ’98 and that he paid Dr. Eufemaniano Fuentes and visited him in April 2003 for a blood re-infusion. In the case of this being true, Ullrich could be sued for perjury.

No CCC Polsat in Portugal
The Polish CCC Polsat team will not be at the start of the Tour of Portugal on the 7th of August due to (according to the race organisers) the team not supplying the proper paperwork. The organisers are not replacing the team and so the race will start with only seventeen teams.

Milan-Sanremo 2013
RCS Sport today released a highlights video of Milan Sam Remo. The video relives the cold conditions the race took place in and the historic win by Gerald Ciolek and Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung. It also has visuals from the gala dinner held before the race that raised money for the Qhubeka foundation. “La Primavera – Cycling Gran Gala” raised the equivalent of 110 bicycles to be distributed in South Africa. In attendance at the dinner was Italian cycling hero Felice Gimondi as well as several other special guests.

Don’t forget to check the “NEWSWIRE” section, you can find it down the right hand side on the home page, just above the EuroTrash section. The bits of news that missed the EuroTrash deadline are in there, plus any news as-it-happens will be added there too.


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.