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EuroTrash Thursday!

The battle of the USA Pro Challenge has been hand to hand combat with Peter Sagan taking two stages, but Lachlan Morton is in the lead…for the moment. All the results, video and comments from Colorado, Italy and Belgium, plus the teams for la Vuelta a España and the Tour of Alberta. Lots of other bits of news just to get you to the weekend; EuroTrash Thursday coffee time!

TOP STORY: Is Pat McQuaid Finished?
The Swiss Cycling Federation has withdrawn its nomination of Pat McQuaid, in an announcement they stated: “The managing committee of Swiss cycling has returned to its decision of 13 May 2013 regarding the nomination of Pat McQuaid and decided to withdraw the nomination of Pat McQuaid for his re-election to the presidency of the UCI.” Now McQuaid will be hoping that the nominations from Morocco and Thailand and the retrospective rule change is accepted and that threatened court cases on the subject are either dropped or won.

Even his biggest supporter and the man who put him in the presidential seat in the first place; Nein Verbruggen has stepped back from the argument and stated that he has “absolutely no opinion” on the election and that he doesn’t “want to be involved in anything anymore. 38 years was enough, I don’t want to be involved.”

The other UCI presidential candidate; Brian Cookson has pointed out that McQuaid is now in a “very difficult position.”

So what next for Pat McQuaid, stand down gracefully, accept defeat and go back to Ireland. Or fight tooth and nail through the courts and any other way he can to stay in the battle or even to contest whatever the outcome of the vote in Florence in September. That raises two thoughts; how much money would that cost and would McQuaid have any credibility left afterwards?

USA Pro Challenge 2013
The barely 100 kilometre Stage 1 of the American stage race, USA Pro Challenge was dominated by several aggressive attacks on the highly mountainous circuit around Aspen in Colorado bringing the peloton up to above 2500 meters. On the final lap, the field shattered completely and a group of 30 riders made it to the finish line and in the sprint, Peter Sagan (Cannondale) was the fastest, beating Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) and Kiel Reijnen (UnitedHealthcare).

“Maybe I was a favourite for people, but for me I am very surprised, I am very happy. Thank you to all of my teammates, because they were on the front and pulled the group for the whole of the race. And we are very happy when we took the victory for the team,” Peter Sagan (Cannondale) said after the finish. “I felt very good, it was hard, but the climbs were not very long. We did tempo and on the last loop we rode hard on the last climb. The last 10km was good for me.”

Sagan had been part of a late escape group of seven riders: “I attacked because I thought we were a good group, but when I was on the front nobody wanted to work with me. I said it’s better to wait for the group and do a good sprint. And so I tried and I won.”

Stage 2 will be a lot tougher as Sagan will face the climbs of Independence Pass and Hoosier Pass: “Maybe tomorrow will be harder, but I am happy for today, we will see day by day, but there are a lot of climbs.”

Greg Van Avermaet of the BMC Racing Team produced his fifth runner-up finish of the season and said he received a superb lead-out from his teammates, but simply could not hold off Slovakian road champion Peter Sagan, who won the 97.6-kilometer stage. “I came through the last corner in second position and directly started my sprint because I didn’t know where Peter was,” Van Avermaet said. “In the last 150 meters, he came over me. But it was good to try it. I know Peter is a little bit stronger than me in the sprint. Second is a little bit disappointing after all of my second-place finishes in Utah, but it was good to try.” Van Avermaet registered three of his five runner-up finishes at the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah two weeks ago. Monday’s result was his 11th top-three finish in a season that includes five wins. Van Garderen – one of only 17 riders to finish in the same time as Sagan – said he was simply looking to stay out of trouble. “It’s always good to be on the good side of the splits,” the winner of the Amgen Tour of California said. “It is definitely a good start. It’s good for morale. I am actually surprise where some of the GC (general classification) guys are. Some of the big favourites like Andrew Talansky and Chris Froome lost like five minutes. So that’s a bit surprising.”

Assistant Director Jackson Stewart said the BMC Racing Team reacted well when a small group escaped the peloton as it charged into Aspen on the last of three laps of a mountainous circuit. “We were lucky to have Brent Bookwalter in there because it had Sagan and George Bennett and some dangerous guys,” Stewart said. With Sky chasing, five of the seven escapees were reeled in. But Carter Jones (Bissell Pro Cycling) and Bennett (RadioShack Leopard) were still away with four kilometres to go. “We had to have a lot of work from all of our guys – Julien Taramarcaz, Larry Warbasse and Mathias Frank – to pull it back because they had almost 20 seconds at one point and it was getting down to the wire,” Stewart said. Swiss road champion Michael Schär significantly ramped up the speed to set the stage for the sprint. “Everybody did a good pull,” Van Avermaet said. “Michi (Schär) was incredibly strong. He did the last three kilometres on his own, to the last 300 meters almost. It was good to have him.” Only 47 riders remain within 44 seconds of the lead. Five from the BMC Racing Team are in the select group: Van Avermaet, van Garderen, Bookwalter, Schär and Frank.

Champion System Pro Cycling Team’s Craig Lewis earned the FirstBank Most Courageous Rider Jersey on Monday’s opening stage of the USA Pro Challenge.

Champion System General Manager Ed Beamon said the team’s goal was to get a rider into the break and he knew that Lewis, who lives in Boulder, Colo., would be driven. “He has a lot of fans here and he was obviously motivated to do it,” Beamon said. “He took a couple of hard shots to get in there.”

Lewis attacked immediately after the start of the 97.6-kilometer stage and several other riders followed. While the other escapees were quickly reeled in, Lewis remained out front solo. Ian Burnett (Jelly Belly presented by Kenda) and Matt Cooke (Jamis-Hagens Berman) bridged up to Lewis and the trio eventually gained 2:35 on the peloton. With 10 km remaining, Lewis and Burnett sat up and Cooke set off solo. The chasing peloton soon swept him up.

“It is great to start the race with a jersey and to get on the podium the first day,” Lewis said. “It is kind-of my home state now. I love Aspen and I love the crowds in Colorado. I’m super motivated every day. It is going to be interesting,” Lewis said. “Starting up Independence Pass is going to be difficult and hopefully I can make the break again like I did last year.”

Saxo-Tinkoff’s Rory Sutherland finished seventh: “The guys worked very well together on this highly dramatic and intense first stage of the race. We had Michael Rogers and Rory Sutherland in the first group and Bruno Pires and our stagiaire, Jesper Hansen did a good job in the finale and were dropped with just 2 kilometres to go. Tomorrow’s stage takes us up to 3700 meters and we hope that both Rory and Michael will be there in the finale,” said DS, Lars Michaelsen after the stage.

USA Pro Challenge Stage 1 Result:
1. Peter Sagan (Svk) Cannondale in 2:26:00
2. Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC
3. Kiel Reijnen (USA) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team
4. Tony Gallopin (Fra) RadioShack Leopard Trek
5. Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC
6. Damiano Caruso (Ita) Cannondale
7. Rory Sutherland (Aus) Saxo-Tinkoff
8. Lucas Euser (USA) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team
9. Thomas Danielson (USA) Garmin-Sharp
10. Christopher Baldwin (USA) Bissell Pro Cycling.

USA Pro Challenge Overall After Stage 1:
1. Peter Sagan (Svk) Cannondale in 2:26:00
2. Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC
3. Kiel Reijnen (USA) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team
4. Tony Gallopin (Fra) RadioShack Leopard Trek
5. Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC
6. Damiano Caruso (Ita) Cannondale
7. Rory Sutherland (Aus) Saxo-Tinkoff
8. Lucas Euser (USA) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team
9. Thomas Danielson (USA) Garmin-Sharp
10. Christopher Baldwin (USA) Bissell Pro Cycling.

Stage 1:

BMC Racing Team’s Mathias Frank attacked on a short, steep climb on Tuesday’s mountainous Stage 2, then bombed the descent to solo to the stage win and narrowly miss taking the overall lead. Frank said he gave it everything he had to get over Boreas Pass at the end of the 202.9-kilometer race that had earlier crossed the summits of Independence Pass (3,687 meters) and Hoosier Pass (3,518 meters). “I just made it over the top and from then on, I could hardly pedal anymore,” he said. “I didn’t recover until the finish. But luckily, I’m not the only one here with this problem (dealing with the high altitude). I had to go super deep on that last steep pitch.” Frank was one of the remnants of a 13-rider breakaway that formed in the second half of the five-hour race but splintered on the penultimate climb. One of the two riders Frank left behind on Boreas Pass – Lachlan Morton (Garmin-Sharp) – finished three seconds after him and assumed the race lead from Stage 1 winner Peter Sagan (Cannondale), who was third ahead of BMC Racing Team’s Tejay van Garderen. Now two seconds behind Morton and in second overall, Frank said he wasn’t concerned that freewheeling his BMC teammachine SLR01 across the finish line may have cost him a chance to take the yellow jersey. “You can’t have everything,” he said. “I have a stage win here and I’m happy with this. I didn’t really know it was coming down to a few seconds. Tactically, it is maybe not a bad thing.” Frank’s win was his third of the season – all of them solo – adding to back-to-back stage wins at the Tour of Austria in early July.

The BMC Racing Team was in the thick of the action from the start, with Swiss national road champion Michael Schär leading a three-man breakaway over Independence Pass and enjoying a nine-minute lead at one point. But after two others bridged to the escapees, the chasing efforts of Sagan’s Cannondale squad and RadioShack Leopard brought the race back together with less than 80 km to go. But nearly immediately, Frank and teammate Greg Van Avermaet – who was runner-up on Stage 1 – were part of a new escape move that gained as many as four minutes before Saxo-Tinkoff started chasing. Van Garderen said having a teammate in every breakaway was the perfect strategy. “Normally, our tactic is to ride defensively and let the moves happen and then we chase,” he said. “Today, it really took the pressure off, we came through with the win and came through with fresher legs in the final for us to distance the GC (general classification) guys, so it was perfect.” Van Garderen, who arrived with Sagan 14 seconds after Frank, is fourth overall, 11 seconds off the lead, while Van Avermaet (14th, at 41 seconds) and Schär (18th, at 46 seconds) give the BMC Racing Team options, Assistant Director Jackson Stewart said. “We thought today would be another great stage for Greg and we wanted Tejay to make some time on some GC guys like he did,” he said. “But Frank was not a surprise because we were willing to let him go in a move, let him go with the right guys and let him try for the stage. Everything worked out in the end.”

New overall leader; Lachlan Morton (Garmin-Sharp) explained his move: “It’s always better to have someone up there than to be chasing, so we put two in there, that being myself and Rohan Dennis, and then that takes the pressure off the other guys. The break wasn’t working so well, but in the end I got the go ahead to have an attack and go for it and sort of start to think about the stage but not really the jersey. But I’ll take it. It’s so amazing.”

“Rogers was in the first break with around 20 riders but since there were no BMC riders in there, they chased it back after 5 km. Next move, at km 135 was the good one but since we only had Bruno among 15 guys and the other big teams had two guys – after another 5 km we decided to begin to chase it down in the crosswind. We were the only team chasing the next 45 km’s. First with Anders Lund, Chris Juul and Timmy Duggan doing most of the work and then with Jesper Hansen and Rogers. In this section everything went into pieces and 20 km to go the peloton was down to 45-50 riders. The eight km finishing circuit in Breckenridge had two very steep passages and here once again, the group shattered. Rory was in a good position behind the crucial breakaway and he’s looking strong for the coming stages,” said Saxo-Tinkoff DS, Lars Michaelsen.

USA Pro Challenge Stage 2 Result:
1. Mathias Frank (Swi) BMC in 5:05:19
2. Lachlan David Morton (Aus) Garmin-Sharp at 0:03
3. Peter Sagan (Svk) Cannondale at 0:14
4. Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC
5. Lawson Craddock (USA) Bontrager Cycling Team at 0:21
6. Thomas Danielson (USA) Garmin-Sharp at 0:32
7. Darwin Atapuma Hurtado (Col) Colombia at 0:33
8. Damiano Caruso (Ita) Cannondale at 0:44
9. Michael Schär (Swi) BMC
10. George Bennett (NZl) RadioShack Leopard Trek.

USA Pro Challenge Overall After Stage 2:
1. Lachlan David Morton (Aus) Garmin-Sharp in 7:31:22
2. Mathias Frank (Swi) BMC at 0:02
3. Peter Sagan (Svk) Cannondale at 0:11
4. Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC
5. Lawson Craddock (USA) Bontrager Cycling Team at 0:18
6. Thomas Danielson (USA) Garmin-Sharp at 0:29
7. Darwin Atapuma Hurtado (Col) Colombia at 0:35
8. Damiano Caruso (Ita) Cannondale at 0:41
9. Christopher Baldwin (USA) Bissell Pro Cycling
10. Gregory Brenes Obando (CRc) Champion System Pro Cycling Team.

Stage 2:

Five riders, including the German veteran, Jens Voigt (RadioShack Leopard) created a solid gap in Wednesday’s 170 kilometre Stage 3 from Breckenridge to Steamboat Springs. The break consisted of: Voigt, Davide Villella (Cannondale), Tyler Wren (Jamis-Hagen Berman), Serghei Tvetcov (Jelly Belly-Kenda) and Josh Edmondson (Sky).

But the 41-year-old didn’t care much for the lack of corporation in the group and having attacked a few times, he eventually dropped his companions and with 50 kilometres to go, was heading towards the finish line as the chase group and the fast moving peloton tried to bring him back. Voigt stayed out front until only two kilometres from the line and then the sprinters took over and the fastest once again was Peter Sagan (Cannondale) from Luka Mezgec (Argos-Shimano) and Ryan Anderson (Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies). PEZ mate Martijn Verschoor of Novo Nordisk was a credible 7th.

Lachlan Morton (Garmin-Sharp) held on to his 2 second lead on BMC’s Mathias Frank and 11 seconds on Peter Sagan (Cannondale) and Tejay van Garderen (BMC) with four stages remaining before the finish in Denver on Sunday.

Jens Voigt (RadioShack Leopard) said after the finish: “With 5km or 6km to go I saw it was down underneath a minute, I did a quick calculation on how much time I was going to need in the headwind and how fast they were going to go behind me, and I figured this might be a little too short for me today. So I saw it coming a little bit, but I was still disappointed.” As to his age, he added: “Just in a month I’ll be 42, so give me some rest,” he joked with reporters. “I’m an old man here. Tomorrow is going to be a very, very hard day. The GC is probably going to be decided, so I think it is Morton’s day tomorrow. I’ll just try to hang on and finish tomorrow and the TT and then after that it’s all open and we can go however and whenever we want.”

Stage winner Peter Sagan (Cannondale) commented on Jens Voigt’s effort: “I’m sorry for Jens because he did very hard work on the front, but when he dropped all the riders from the breakaway there was only one way for him to win the stage.”

“It was a good day. The boys had the opportunity to sit in and spin the legs and save some energy for the coming stages. There were a few crashes in the finale but none of our boys were involved. Tomorrow, we are facing a short but hard stage. 166 kilometres up and down having a very hard final part the last 65 km where there are three tough climbs. The penultimate climb of about 8 km will most likely make the selection for the overall. After the descent we head directly into the last climb, which is three km up to the finish,” DS, Lars Michaelsen stated after the stage.

USA Pro Challenge Stage 3 Result:
1. Peter Sagan (Svk) Cannondale in 4:04:18
2. Luka Mezgec (Slo) Argos-Shimano
3. Ryan Anderson (Can) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies
4. Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC
5. Alessandro Bazzana (Ita) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team
6. Edwin Alcibiades Avila Vanegas (Col) Colombia
7. Martijn Verschoor (Ned) Team Novo Nordisk
8. Tony Gallopin (Fra) RadioShack Leopard Trek
9. Tanner Putt (USA) Bontrager Cycling Team
10. Damiano Caruso (Ita) Cannondale.

USA Pro Challenge Overall After Stage 3:
1. Lachlan David Morton (Aus) Garmin-Sharp in 11:35:40
2. Mathias Frank (Swi) BMC at 0:02
3. Peter Sagan (Svk) Cannondale at 0:11
4. Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC
5. Lawson Craddock (USA) Bontrager Cycling Team at 0:18
6. Thomas Danielson (USA) Garmin-Sharp at 0:29
7. Darwin Atapuma Hurtado (Col) Colombia at 0:35
8. Damiano Caruso (Ita) Cannondale at 0:41
9. Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC
10. Tony Gallopin (Fra) RadioShack Leopard Trek.

Stage 3:

Coppa Agostoni-Giro delle Brianze 2013
The start of Coppa Agostoni was late due a crash on the road that did not allow teams’ buses to get to the start on time, but Filippo Pozzato (Lampre-merida) did not miss his appointment with victory.

Despite the hitch in the morning, Lampre-Merida’s champion had no problem beating Simone Ponzi (Astana) and Marco Zamparella (Utensilnord Ora24.eu) at the end of a very interesting race. In the demanding final part of the course, there was a group of 8 riders at the front of the race: Fabio Aru (Astana), Davide Rebellin (CCC Polsat-Polkowic), Davide Mucelli & Ivan Rovny (Ceramica Flaminia-Fondriest), Kritjian Durasek (Lampre-Merida), Edoardo Zardini (Bardiani Valvole-CSF Inox), Patrick Facchini (Androni-Giocattoli) and Patrik Sinkewitz (Meridiana). Vini Fantini-Selle Italia, with the support of Elia Favilli for Lampre-Merida, raised the pace in the chase group and the gap to the breakaway began to decrease and they were caught with 500 metres to go.

Pozzato took his second victory of the season the 11th for Lampre-Merida.

“This success is important for the team, because we raced on hometown roads for our sponsor Lampre, and for me. I received good info about my fitness and I know that I must go on in this way in order to perform at a top level for the final part of the season,” Pozzato explained. “I’d want to say thanks to my team mates, they have been outstanding; Durasek was the strongest on the climbs, Favilli gave me a special support in the chase of the breakaway.
Tomorrow I’ll take part in the Coppa Bernocchi, then I’ll fly to Germany to race Vattenfal Cyclassics Hamburg.”

Coppa Agostoni-Giro delle Brianze Result:
1. Filippo Pozzato (Ita) Lampre-Merida 4:58:15
2. Simone Ponzi (Ita) Astana
3. Marco Zamparella (Ita) Utensilnord Ora24.eu
4. Davide Rebellin (Ita) CCC Polsat-Polkowice
5. Ivan Rovny (Rus) Ceramica Flaminia-Fondriest
6. Angelo Pagani (Ita) Bardiani Valvole-CSF Inox
7. Davide Mucelli (Ita) Ceramica Flaminia-Fondriest
8. Franco Pellizotti (Ita) Androni-Giocattoli
9. Alexandr Kolobnev (Rus) Katusha
10. Bjorn Thurau (Ger) Europcar.

Coppa Agostoni-Giro delle Brianze 2013 action:

GP Stad Zottegem 2013
The 25-year-old Slovenian Blaz Jarc (NetApp-Endura) won the 78th edition of the Grand Prix Stad Zottegem (UCI 2.1) on Tuesday. After 184 kilometres he had a small lead over Boris Dron (Wallonie-Bruxelles) and the Dutchman Wouter Mol (Vacansoleil-DCM).

From the start the pace in the peloton was very high with many riders trying to set up a break, but all failed. Then after 63 kilometres a leading group formed of 32 riders. The peloton did not relax and 75 kilometres from the finish they were all together again. This resulted in a leading group of 20 riders with 60 kilometres to go.

Two kilometres from the finish, during the ascent of De Viamme, Blaz Jarc played all or nothing. Behind him the chase was a bit too long in coming and so the Slovenian remained out of the grip of his chasers.

With Jarc’s victory, Team NetApp-Endura has won in Zottegem for the second year in a row and at the same time has secured its ninth win of the season. Roger Kluge has rounded off the good result with a 10th place ranking.

“We rode an aggressive race today. After being part of each attack, we also initiated the decisive group. Roger and Blaz really handled it well and with Ralf we even had an ace in the chase group. Roger worked very hard in the group, so that Blaz had enough strength to attack on the closing two kilometres. Such a solo victory is always something special. I’m very pleased for Blaz that it was finally enough to come first. But the entire team had an equally large part in the victory today”, Christian Pömer, Sport Director of Team NetApp-Endura, commented on the success.

GP Stad Zottegem Result:
1. Blaz Jarc (Slo) Team NetApp-Endura
2. Boris Dron Bel) Wallonie-Bruxelles
3. Wouter Mol (Ned) Vacansoleil – DCM
4. Pieter Vanspeybrouck (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise
5. Marco Marcato (Ita) Vacansoleil-DCM
6. Grischa Janorschke (Ger) Nutrixxion ABUS
7. Frederique Robert (Bel) Lotto Belisol
8. Stefan Van Dijk (Ned) Accent.jobs-Wanty
9. Jonas Schmeiser (Ger) Team NSP-Ghost
10. Roger Kluge (Ger) Team NetApp-Endura.

Blaz Jarc (NetApp-Endura).

Lastras & Plaza Stay with Movistar
Two of the telephone squad’s road captains renew with the squad of Eusebio Unzué for the 2014 season. Rubén Plaza and Pablo Lastras will continue wearing the Movistar Team jersey in 2014 after extending their respective contracts with Eusebio Unzué’s squad. Both are key pieces of the team, shining not only by individual merits but most notably due to their quality work for the team’s leaders.

Plaza will reach his 5th season in the Spanish team, and the 14th since taking the leap towards the pro scene in 2001. He’s notched up 22 wins, the latter two in 2013 with the Queen stage and the GC of the Vuelta a Castilla y León, after a four-year streak without wins marked by his serious crash in the 2011 Vuelta a Murcia.

In turn, Lastras will stay for a 17th consecutive year within the ranks of the Blue team, having become a reference in and out of the races and won in all three Grand Tours.

Photo: Movistar Team.

Chavanel to IAM Cycling?
French time trial champion; Sylvain Chavanel will probably leave Omega Pharma – Quick-Step at the end of this year and according to Het Nieuwsblad he could be on his way to the Swiss registered ProConti IAM Cycling team for the next two years. He would probably take his close friend Jérôme Pineau with him. The team are expected to make an announcement today (Thursday).

Jérôme & Sylvain.

A Clean 2013 Tour de France
There was no positive drug tests at this year’s Tour de France according to the Cycling Anti-Doping Foundation. There were 622 pre-competition and in-competition tests for this year’s French race and all were clean. CADF did say they would be storing the samples for future analysis when there maybe now tests.

Former Tour de France winner Cadel Evans, World’s No. 2-ranked Peter Sagan and Canada’s Ryder Hesjedal Highlight Roster Announced for Tour of Alberta
Press Release: The 2011 Tour de France winner Cadel Evans of BMC Racing Team, the current world’s No. 2-ranked rider Peter Sagan of Cannondale Pro Cycling, and 2012 Tour of Italy winner and Canadian Ryder Hesjedal of Team Garmin-Sharp, headline a star-studded field for the inaugural Tour of Alberta, September 3-8, organizers announced today.
“We’re elated to announce the participation of some of the world’s top cyclists, which confirms our intentions of making this a great field in the inaugural year of the Tour,” said Executive Director Duane Vienneau. “To have a former Tour de France winner Cadel Evans, one of the most prolific winners today in professional cycling in Peter Sagan, and Canadian cycling hero and a Tour of Italy champion Ryder Hesjedal in the same race is amazing, and will make for a spectacular experience for everyone involved.”

The official rosters of the 15 professional cycling teams participating in the Tour are included below. Sanctioned by the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), cycling’s governing body with a 2.1 ranking, the Tour of Alberta is one of the highest level pro cycling events in Canada and North America.

Joining Hesjedal on Team Garmin-Sharp is 2012 USA Pro Challenge winner Christian Vande Velde of the United States, three-time Tour de France stage winner David Millar of Great Britain, seven-time U.S. National Champion in the time trial David Zabriskie, and Lachlan Morton of Australia, who won stage 3 in the 2013 Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah.
Australia’s top team Orica-GreenEDGE will feature Peter Weening of the Netherlands, the recent winner of the Tour of Poland and a stage winner in both Tours of Italy and France; and Cam Meyer, a stage winner at this year’s Tour of Switzerland and Tour de France (team time trial).

Joining Evans on BMC Racing is Brent Bookwalter, who finished second overall in both U.S. Road Race and Time Trial National Championships this year; and Marcus Burghardt, a former Tour de France stage winner and winner of the Ghent-Wevelgem classic in Belgium.

Joining Sagan will be current Danish national time trial champion Brian Vandborg and rising star Damiano Caruso, while Team Argos-Shimano will highlight Patrick Gretsch, a former Stage winner of the USA Pro Challenge and second in this year’s German national time trial championships.

Belkin-Pro Cycling Team, the Netherland’s top professional team, will be led by Dutchman Robert Gesink, the 2012 Tour of California champion and winner of the 2010 Gran Prix Montreal World Cup race, and Jack Bobridge the 2011 Australian road race champion and Olympic silver medalist at the London Olympic Games on the track, and Tom-Jelte Slagter, the 2013 champion of Australia’s top race, Tour Down Under.

“We’ve certainly attracted a top-notch field for the first Tour of Alberta,” said Jim Birrell, Tour of Alberta race director and managing partner at Medalist Sports, the technical partner for the event. “The people of Alberta, and all of Canada, will be able to see Tour de France and Olympic heroes as well as many former and current national champions of their countries.”

Among the other top riders announced are current Canadian National Champion Zach Bell, 2012 Canadian National Champion Ryan Roth, both of Champion System; current U.S. National Champion Fred Rodriguez; former Tour of Utah stage winner Jacob Keough of UnitedHealthcare team; Edmonton native Ryan Anderson and current U.S. time trial champion Tom Zirbel, both of Optum presented by Kelly Benefit Strategies; Will Routley of the Canadian National Team; and Spaniard Francisco Mancebo, a former Tour of Utah winner and top 10 Tour de France finisher, riding for 5 Hour Energy p/b Kenda Racing Team.

The race will feature more than 20 professional cyclists from Canada and athletes from more than 20 countries.
“We are committed to building Canadian cycling through this event,” said Brian Jolly, the Tour of Alberta chairman. “This event is not only great for Alberta but all of Canada. We are introducing a world-class event to Canada with a world-class field. We’re on the right track for success.”

The rosters are as follows:

UCI Pro Teams:
BMC Racing Team (USA):
Cadel Evans, Brent Bookwalter, Marcus Burghardt, Amael Moinard, Steve Morabito, Lawrence Warbasse, Silvan Dillier, Jakub Novak.

Team Garmin-Sharp (USA):
Ryder Hesjedal, Thomas Dekker, Rohan Dennis, David Millar, Lachlan David Morton, Fabian Wegemann, David Zabriskie, Christian Vande Velde.

Orica GreenEDGE (AUS):
Pieter Weening, Cam Meyer, Jens Keukilere, Aidis Kroupis, Fummi Beppu, Tomas Vaitkus, Daniel Teklehaimanot, Jiyong Kang.

Cannondale Pro Cycling (ITA):
Peter Sagan, Damiano Caruso, Edward King, Michel Koch, Nariyuki Masuda, Brian Vandborg.

Team Argos-Shimano (NED):
Patrick Grestsch, Jonas Ahlastrand, Thomas Damuseau, Simon Geschke, Koen De Kort, Tobias Ludvigsson, Luka Mezgec, Michael Olsson.

Belkin-Pro Cycling Team (NED):
Robert Gesink, Jack Bobridge, Jetse Bol, Marc Goos, Moreno Hofland, Steven Kruijswijk, Tom Jelte Slagter, Dennis Van Winden.

UCI Professional Continental Teams:
Champion System Pro Cycling Team (CHN):
Zachary Bell, Ryan Roth, Clinton Avery, Chad Beyer, Chris Butler, Matthias Friedemann, Craig Lewis, Fu Shiu Chueng.

United Pro Health Care Cycling Team (USA):
Benjamin Day, Robert Forster, Davide Frattini, Aldo Ilesic, Christopher Jones, Luke Keough, Jeffrey Louder, John Murphy.

UCI Continental Teams:
Bissell Pro Cycling (USA):
Jason McCartney, Jeremy Vennell, Carter Jones, Frank Kevin Pipp, Andrew Dahleim, Tommy Nankervis, Nicholai Brochner, Kirk Carlsen.

Equipe Garneau-Quebecor (CAN):
Bruno Langlois, Michael Woods, Adam Farabaugh, Pierrick Naud, Simon-Pierre Gauthier, Michael Chauner, Alexander Cataford, Geoffroy Dussault.

Jelly Belly p/b Kenda (USA):
Charles Huff, Benjamin Wolfe, Sean Mazich, Emerson Oronte, Fred Rodriguez, Jeremy Powers, Serghei Tvetcov, Nic Hamilton.

Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies (USA):
Ryan Anderson, Michael Friedman, Chad Haga, Ken Hanson, Thomas Soladay, Eric Young, Tom Zirbel.

Team SmartStop p/b Mountain Khakis (USA):
Eric Marcotte, Kristofer Dahl, Travis McCabe, Benjamin Chaddock, Flavio De Luna, Clay Murfet, Shane Kline, Bobby Lea.

5 Hour Energy p/b Kenda Racing Team (USA):
Francisco Mancebo Perez, Robert Sweeting, Taylor Shelden, David Williams, Max Jenkins, James Stemper, Andres Diaz, Shawn Milne.

Canadian National Team (CAN):
Hugo Houle, Will Routley, Rob Britton, Antoine Duchesne, Stuart Wight, Ryan Aitcheson, Jean-Sebastien Perron, Garrett McLeod.

Canada’s Pro-Cycling Festival is a six-day stage race scheduled to be held September 3 to 8, 2013. The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), cycling’s governing body, awarded the inaugural Tour of Alberta with a 2.1 sanctioning in September 2012, making it one of the highest level pro cycling events in Canada, and one of the highest level events in North America. An annual event beginning in 2013, the event will be broadcast live daily in Canada on Sportsnet, and broadcast internationally on various networks, as it is expected that the event will host riders from over 20 countries around the world.

The End of the Road for Euskaltel-Euskadi
Part of the Press Release: Bilbao, August 20, 2013. Euskaltel Euskadi may not continue next season. The input of a second sponsor, essential to ensure the sustainability of the team, has not been produced, making the project unfeasible for next year, but will comply fully with the sporting calendar for 2013.

Therefore, from now Euskaltel will start an orderly shutdown process and the project, including team members being free for immediate negotiations.

Today is a sad day for Euskaltel, for the team for current sponsors, for the fans and to all who have supported this project. We regret that any company or entity has decided to bet on this team, part of the cycling world’s elite.

During these months we have worked actively to maintain multiple contacts with companies to try to ensure the survival of the team going forward, running to the limit the possibilities of negotiation. Despite the work and efforts made by Euskaltel, in the Basque region and internationally, none of the efforts have borne fruit.

Euskaltel, which annually contributed 3.5 million Euros, for a total budget of 9 million Euros this year has taken an effort to cover the share of other sponsorship for the team to compete in the elite of world cycling, and their contribution will reach 7 million in 2013, double the previous amount.

Euskaltel financial support began the cycling team 17 years ago, in late 1997, in the first year of implementation of the company, at a time when the team was going through delicate economic times. Euskaltel’s commitment to the team is reflected in their contribution of more than 45 million Euros to the team in those 17 years. During all these years, the Basque institutions have supported the elite Euskaltel team, with Euskadi. A natural union that has held together, but this crisis has prevented the continuation of the project.

Euskaltel kept alive their commitment to Basque society in which it operates. Since beginning its life as a company, Euskaltel’s mission was proposed as the needs of telecom customers in the Basque Autonomous Community, contributing to economic and social development and the welfare of their community. And it has, first, generated an overall economic impact in the form of value added and employment generation in excess of 1,500 million Euros in the last ten years. Secondly, conducting annual purchases with nearly 600 different Basque companies, spending nearly 2,250 million Euros. Third, to credit the Basque Farms over 700 million Euros, 103 of them in 2012. Fourth, devoting to R & D more than 100 million Euros. Fifth, making an investment effort has resulted in a total investment of over 1,750 million Euros over its history, and sixth, giving employment directly to 550 people, and generating employment indirectly for another 3,500 people.

Yes, a very sad day.

The Vuelta a España 2013 Start List:
Ag2r-La Mondiale:
Carlos Betancur, Domenico Pozzovivo, Rinaldo Nocentini, Julien Bérard, Steve Chainel, Mikael Cherel, Ben Gastauer, Lloyd Mondory & Matteo Montaguti.

Nikias Arndt, Warren Barguil, Johannes Fröhlinger, Thierry Hupond, Reinardt Janse Van Rensburg, Tom Peterson, Georg Preidler, Ramon Sinkeldam & Tom Stamsnijder.

Vincenzo Nibali, Paolo Tiralongo, Jakob Fuglsang, Janez Brajkovic, Andrei Grivko, Tanel Kangert, Andrey Zeits, Maxim Iglinskiy, & Alessandro Vanotti.

Theo Bos, Graeme Brown, Stef Clement, Laurens ten Dam, Robert Wagner, Juanma Gárate, Bauke Mollema, Luis León Sánchez & David Tanner.

Caja Rural-RGA:
David Arroyo, Amets Txurruka, Iván Velasco, Francesco Lasca, Francisco José Aramendía, Fabricio Ferrari, Marcos García, André Cardoso & Antonio Piedra.

Ivan Basso, Guillaume Boivin, Daniele Ratto, Tiziano Dallantonia, Cameron Wurf, Cayetano Sarmiento, Maciej Paterski, Paolo Longo Borghini & Lucas Sebastián Haedo.

Yoann Bagot, Cyril Bessy, Jérôme Coppel, Nicolas Edet, Luis Ángel Maté, Adrien Petit, Stéphane Poulhies, Nico Sijmens & Romain Zingle.

Samuel Sánchez, Igor Antón, Mikel Nieve, Egoi Martínez, Gorka Verdugo, Jorge Azanza, Juanjo Oroz, Pablo Urtasun & Mikel Landa.

Thibaut Pinot, Arnaud Courteille, Kenny Elissonde, Alexandre Geniez, Laurent Mangel, Cedric Pineau, Anthony Roux, Geoffrey Soupe & Jussi Veikkanen.

Daniel Martin, Caleb Fairly, Tyler Farrar, Koldo Fernández de Larrea, Alex Howes, Michel Kreder, Nick Nuyens, Alex Rasmussen & Johan Vansummeren.

Joaquim Rodróguez, Giampaolo Caruso, Vladimir Gusev, Vladimir Isaychev, Dmitriy Kozonchuk, Alberto Losada, Daniel Moreno, Luca Paolini & Angel Vicioso.

Michele Scarponi, Winner Anacona, Simone Stortoni, Maximiliano Richeze, M. Graziato, Diego Ulissi, Manuele Mori, Matteo Bono & LucaDodi.

Lotto Belisol:
Bart Bart De Clercq, Francis De Greef, Adam Hansen, Greg Henderson, Vicente Reynes, Jurgen Van de Walle, Tosh Van der Sande, Dennis Vanendert & Jelle Vanendert.

Alejandro Valverde, Eros Capecchi, Beñat Intxausti, José Herrada, Javi Moreno, Sylwester Szmyd, Imanol Erviti, Iván Gutiérrez & Pablo Lastras.

Jan Barta, Iker Camaño, David de la Cruz, Zakkari Dempster, Bartosz Huzarski, Leopold Koenig, Jose Mendes, Daniel Schorn & Paul Voss.

Omega Pharma – Quick-Step:
Tony Martin, Gianni Meersman, Zdenek Stybar, Kevin De Weert, Andrew Fenn, Serge Pauwels, Pieter Serry, Guillaume Van Kerisbulck & Kristoff Vandewalle.

Simon Gerrans, Simon Clarke, Michael Matthews, Leigh Howard, Mitch Docker, Baden Cooke, Christian Meier & Sam Bewley.

Radioshack Leopard Trek:
Fabian Cancellara, Haimar Zubeldia, Chris Horner, Robert Kiserlovski, Matthew Busche, Ben Hermans, Markel Irizar, Yaroslav Popovych & Gregory Rast.

Roman Kreuziger, Chris Anker Sorensen, Nicki Sorensen, Michael Morkov, Nicolas Roche, Matteo Tosatto, Rafal Majka, Evgeny Petrov & Oliver Zaugg.

Sergio Luis Henao, Rigoberto Urán, Edvald Boasson Hagen, Dario Cataldo, vasil Kiryienka, Christian Knees, Salvatore Puccio, Luke Rowe & Xabier Zandio.

Barry Markus, Johnny Hoogerland, Wout Poels, Lieuwe Westra, Thomas de Gendt, Grega Bole, Joan Antoni Flecha, Tomasz Marcynski & Rafa Valls.

Yannick Eijssen, Philippe Gilbert, Martin Kohler, Sebastian Lander, Klaas Lodewyck, Dominik Nerz, Marco Pinotti, Ivan Santaromita, Danilo Wyss.

CICLISMO PEZ Fantasy League
After the success of the Tour de France fantasy league we have a Vuelta a España fantasy league, go to Velogames, choose your team and join league No. 21213742. You can also use the new PEZ jersey for your team.

Vuelta a España 2013 Preview from GCN
Daniel Lloyd and Simon Richardson preview the final three-week tour of the 2013 season. Stay tuned to PEZ for all the Vuelta news and watch out for the Google Maps Fly Through stage previews from Global cycling Network.

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.


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