What's Cool In Road Cycling

EuroTrash Thursday!

A very mixed bag of EuroTrash cycling news this Thursday. We lead with Bjarne Riis and his personal problems before moving onto race news, results and video from La Tropicale Amissa Bongo. The TDU and San Luis are on the way, crashes for Voeckler and Cancellara, IAM Cycling, Tinkoff-Saxo and OPQS have their presentations, controversy at the Belgian X champs and we finish with a stiff little problem. Yea, it’s all here!

TOP STORY: Bjarne Riis Suffers from Depression
A Danish TV station has made a documentary on Bjarne Riis and his battle with depression which is claimed to have been brought on by the allegations of Tyler Hamilton and Michael Rasmussen, although he does say his own doping confession and the death of his parents also had an effect on his mental state. If you read his book ‘Riis: Stages of Light and Dark’ you will realise that depression has not been far away for the Dane.

In his early days, Riis was never looked at as a Tour de France winner, in fact it was well known that a railway bridge would cause him problems in Belgium, but that all changed and his nickname of ‘Mr. 60%’ was well known. From his Tour win in 1996 until his admission of guilt in 2007 he proclaimed his innocence, that’s 11 years of hiding the truth and living a lie. It would take a strong character to keep that to yourself and not let it affect your mental stability even if your livelihood depended on it. One thinks of Lance Armstrong, but that’s another story.

Oleg Tinkov has bought Riis Cycling, the controlling company for the Tinkoff-Saxo team, for an alleged €6 million and is paying him a rumoured €1 million a year to be the sporting manager. On one hand you could say he has built his team success on a falsehood, then again he has had to work hard to run his team and make it the success it has been. Money or not, I wouldn’t wish depression on anyone.

Tour de France 1996 Stage 16 on Hautacam:

La Tropicale Amissa Bongo 2014
Luis Leon Sanchez (Caja Rural-RGA) won his first race for his new team in the Cameroun stage race on Stage 1 from Bitam to Ebolowa over 149 kilometres. A large group made an early escape and in the end five riders fought out the sprint. Sanchez won the stage but due to taking more intermediate sprints Egoitz Garcia (Cofidis) took the overall by 1 second.

La Tropicale Amissa Bongo Stage 1 Result:
1. Luis Leon Sanchez (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA in 3:32:35
2. Egoitz Garcia (Spa) Cofidis
3. Natnael Berhane (Eri) Europcar
4. Linus Gerdemann (Ger) MTN-Qhubeka
5. Grégory Habeaux (Bel) Wanty-Groupe Gobert
6. Fabrice Jeandesboz (Fra) Europcar at 0:04
7. Jérôme Baugnies (Bel) Wanty-Groupe Gobert at 0:53
8. Florian Senechal (Fra) Cofidis
9. Frédérique Robert (Bel) Wanty-Groupe Gobert at 2:46
10. Giovanni Bernaudeau (Fra) Europcar.

La Tropicale Amissa Bongo Overall After Stage 1:
1. Egoitz Garcia (Spa) Cofidis in 3:32:24
2. Luis Leon Sanchez (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA at 0:01
3. Natnael Berhane (Eri) Europcar at 0:07
4. Linus Gerdemann (Ger) MTN-Qhubeka at 0:11
5. Grégory Habeaux (Bel) Wanty-Groupe Gobert
6. Fabrice Jeandesboz (Fra) Europcar at 0:15
7. Florian Senechal (Fra) Cofidis at 0:57
8. Jérôme Baugnies (Bel) Wanty-Groupe Gobert at 0:58
9. Frédérique Robert (Bel) Wanty-Groupe Gobert at 2:57
10. Giovanni Bernaudeau (Fra) Europcar.

Stage 1:

Belgian Jerome Baugnies (Wanty-Groupe Gobert) prevented a second stage victory by Luis León Sánchez (Caja Rural-RGA) on Stage 2 of the La Tropicale Amissa Bongo, although the Spanish rider is the new leader thanks to the time bonus. “Yes it is true that we were good, we had worked well in the winter. It’s always hard to win, but I’m happy to wear this yellow jersey and wish it will last many days,” recounted Luis Leon at the end of the stage.

La Tropicale Amissa Bongo Stage 2 Result:
1. Jérôme Baugnies (Bel) Wanty-Groupe Gobert in 2:54:25
2. Luis Leon Sanchez (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
3. Natnael Berhane (Eri) Europcar
4. Roy Jans (Bel) Wanty-Groupe Gobert
5. Meron Amanuel (Eri) Eritrea
6. Giovanni Bernaudeau (Fra) Europcar
7. Salah Eddine Mraouni (Mar) Maroc
8. Metkel Eyob (Eri) Eritrea
9. Florian Senechal (Fra) Cofidis
10. Reda Aadel (Mar) Maroc.

La Tropicale Amissa Bongo Overall After Stage 2:
1. Luis Leon Sanchez (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA in 6:26:44
2. Egoitz Garcia (Spa) Cofidis at 0:05
3. Natnael Berhane (Eri) Europcar at 0:08
4. Linus Gerdemann (Ger) MTN-Qhubeka at 0:16
5. Grégory Habeaux (Bel) Wanty-Groupe Gobert
6. Fabrice Jeandesboz (Fra) Europcar at 0:20
7. Jérôme Baugnies (Bel) Wanty-Groupe Gobert at 0:53
8. Florian Senechal (Fra) Cofidis at 1:02
9. Giovanni Bernaudeau (Fra) Europcar at 3:02
10. Salah Eddine Mraouni (Mar) Maroc.

Stage 2:

Roy Jans (Wanty-Groupe Gobert) took victory in Stage 3 of La Tropicale Amissa Bongo from Ndjolé to Lambaréné over 133 kilometres, taking the second consecutive victory for the Belgian team, with Jans team mate Jérôme Baugnies winning yesterday and second today, Egoitz García (Cofidis) was third. García is still second overall from Luis León Sánchez (Caja Rural-RGA) by 1 second. Debesay (Eritrea), Jim (MTN-Qhubeka) and Nsengiyumva (Rwanda) were involved in the break of the day, but Caja Rural-RGA defended the leadership of Luis Leon.

La Tropicale Amissa Bongo Stage 3 Result:
1. Roy Jans (Bel) Wanty-Groupe Gobert in 3:19:16
2. Jérôme Baugnies (Bel) Wanty Groupe Gobert
3. Egoitz Garcia (Spa) Cofidis
4. Yohann Gene (Fra) Europcar
5. Florian Senechal (Fra) Cofidis
6. Rasamané Ouedraogo (Bur) Burkino Faso
7. Youcef Reguigui (Alg) MTN-Qhubeka
8. Giovanni Bernaudeau (Fra) Europcar
9. Reda Aadel Reda (Mar) Maroc
10. Luis Leon Sanchez (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA.

La Tropicale Amissa Bongo Overall After Stage 3:
1. Luis Leon Sanchez (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA in 9:46:00
2. Egoitz Garcia (Spa) Cofidis at 0:01
3. Natnael Berhane (Eri) Europcar at 0:08
4. Linus Gerdemann (Ger) MTN-Qhubeka at 0:16
5. Grègory Habeaux (Bel) Wanty-Groupe Gobert
6. Fabrice Jeandesboz (Fra) Europcar at 0:20
7. Jérôme Baugnies (Bel) Wanty-Groupe Gobert at 0:47
8. Florian Senechal (Fra) Cofidis at 1:02
9. Giovanni Bernaudau (Fra) Europcar at 3:02
10. Reda Aadel (Mar) Maroc.

Stage 3:

Voeckler Crashes in Australia
Thomas Voeckler has broken his collarbone while training on Wednesday in Adelaide and won’t start in the Tour Down Under. The French Team Europcar rider hopes to return to France on Thursday.

Voeckler collided with a car in his first training ride in Australia with his teammates. “When we went training this morning a pedestrian crossed the road, a car stopped suddenly and I had no time to stop and I ran into the car. Then I realized that my collarbone was broken for the third time,” recounted Voeckler after the accident. “Then thanks to the organizers, I went immediately to the hospital and X-rays showed it was broken, so I have to go back to France and go to the hospital and see how long I have to wait to return back to the bike.”

The Frenchman, 34, broke his right collarbone last year in the Amstel Gold Race (and also in the Paris-Nice 2009) and recently had surgery again to withdraw a plate and eight screws.

The French rider was taken to hospital and has been diagnosed with a broken right collarbone. The Europcar leader laments his luck. “It has been 12 days since I had the other plate removed. It is the first time in my career, 14 years as a professional, I have hit a car in a training … That’s the reality, it’s a shame. During a race you say to yourself in your work there are risks, but when you are stupid like this morning, it is not the fault of the car, it’s a stupid accident, a stupid accident, but that happens sometimes, and this time it was my turn.”

His 2014 schedule should have been: Tour Down Under (19-26 January), Tour of the Mediterranean (13-16 February), Vuelta Andalucía (19-23 February), Sud Ardèche (1 March), Drome Classic (2 March) Paris-Nice (March 9 to 16), Milan-San Remo (23 March), Basque Country (7-12 April), Amstel Gold Race (April 20) and Tour de France (July 5 to 27). He will have to delay his debut. “I was very happy to spend two weeks here, but my form is not 100%. I always attack or try to get away, and that was my goal this time to train for races for the season, but now I have to take time to improve and go step by step,” he confirmed.

Voeckler wins stage 16 of the 2012 Tour de France:

Cancellara in Crash with Car
Fabian Cancellara (Trek Factory Racing) had a run-in with a car while training at home in Bern, Switzerland. According to la Gazzetta dello Sport he escaped with scratches and bruises after a car had pulled in front of him knocking him off. Cancellara started back to training in Mallorca, team manager Luca Guercilena said: “nothing to worry about, we’ve backed off his training a bit to work on his base.” Cancellara will debut in Qatar and then race in Strade Bianche, Tirreno-Adriatico, Milan-San Remo before attacking the Belgian classics; E3 Harelbeke, Ghent-Wevelgem, Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix. The Tour de France will be his goal in the second half of the season.

Van Aert Disqualified from Belgian Championships
Wout Van Aert (Telenet-Fidea) was disqualified from the Belgian Under 23 national championships on Sunday in Waregem. He caused a false start and the rules state that any rider who does this is disqualified, but the race officials asked the other competitors if they minded if Van Aert started at the back of the group. Some riders didn’t agree so it was decided that he could not start, although he chased after the race anyway. At the end of the first lap officials stopped him, by that time he had managed to move up to fourth place. Van Aert explained to Sporza: “There were five lights and all were red for a long time. It seemed endless and I got nervous and took off. I admit I made a false start and should’ve been relegated, but the way it happened was wrong. A lot of mistakes were made.” He added: “The fact that I took a start much later than the rest and rode in fourth position at the end of the first laps says enough. What the other rider did is not what I would do but the officials are to blame the most. Then they told me that I would be suspended if I didn’t leave the race and I didn’t want to risk that. I was in the best position to win the race and then it’s really sad to be taken out.”

Here is the link to the incident on Sporza.

No Tour de San Luis for Young Quintana
The younger brother of Nairo Quintana should have been making his debut for his Movistar team at the Tour de San Luis in Argentina on the 20th of January, but due to not having a visa he will not be able to start. It is now though he will appear for the team in Spain at the Challenge Mallorca on February the 9th.

Team Novo Nordisk: to Tour de San Luis Fighting Diabetes
Team Novo Nordisk is the world’s first all-diabetes professional cycling team. Headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, USA, the Professional Continental team includes riders from 10 countries, all living successfully with type 1 diabetes.

Phil Southerland, co-founder and CEO, Team Novo Nordisk: “We are looking forward to beginning our 2014 season at the Tour de San Luis. Almost two million people are affected by diabetes in Argentina and we hope that Team Novo Nordisk’s participation in the race will inspire people and show the world what may be possible when you have diabetes”.

Vassili Davidenko, Corporate Vice President of Athletic Operations and General Manager, Team Novo Nordisk : “We are very excited to be competing against some of the best cyclists in the world at the Tour de San Luis. This is a very high profile race and the world will be watching us. Following a successful first season as Team Novo Nordisk, we are hoping to achieve even greater results this year and inspire more people with diabetes.”

Team Novo Nordisk for San Luis:
Andrea Peron (ITA), David Lozano (ESP), Kevin de Mesmaeker (BEL), Chris Williams (AUS), Javier Megias (ESP) e Martijn Verschoor (DEN).

Tour de San Luis presentation:

Two Year Ban for Novikov
Nikita Novikov has been banned for two years by the Russian Anti-Doping Agency for hydroxyl-ostarine and o-dephenyl-ostarine, both of which are steroids. He tested positive in an out of competition test in May last year when riding for the Vacansoleil-DCM team. He will be able to race again after the 6th of June 2015.

IAM Cycling 2014 Team Launch
With a ride in the Tour de France and the hope of a start in another Grand Tour in 2014, the IAM Cycling team unveiled its new jersey and this year’s squad in Geneva. The Swiss team has signed French Classic specialist Sylvain Chavanel, Mathias Frank and Giro d’Italia stage winner Jérôme Pineau.

Team manager Serge Beucherie said: “To confirm our results from 2013, which means we need go a step further, it was important to target our new additions carefully. To this end, we recruited Sylvain Chavanel, Roger Kluge and Vincente Reynes for our classics campaign. We believe we can play to win big considering the quality of the staff that we have involved for these one-day Classics. The same goes for our stage race ambitions with the arrivals of Mathias Frank and Jérôme Pineau, the latter of whom brings a rich knowledge of how best to ride Grand Tours.”

As to the teams’ chances in the Tour de France: “We do not claim that we have the winner of the Tour de France in our ranks. But we do have a healthy situation where experienced guys like Elmiger, Hinault and Tschopp will be invaluable support for Matthias Brändle, Sébastien Reichenbach and Marcel Wyss. We also believe in adding complementary strengths in our riders, as the teaming of Sylvain Chavanel and Heinrich Haussler racing the Classics together will display. They are two great champions who respect and appreciate the other. They will raise the IAM Cycling colors high when combining their talents racing the Classics. Since each knows the other’s strengths, there will be no conflict.”

Team owner Michel Thétaz said he wanted the team to grow slowly: “Patience, discipline, judgment and vision have been my watchwords for over twenty years. I vowed to myself that I would take the time to launch this cycling team properly. Today I am very proud to see that my personal values are so well advocated by the riders and all the staff. Twelve victories in our first year provide solid proof. In addition to that, the messages of support and congratulations that we receive only confirms that we are on the right path. And we will never deviate from such a successful road.” As to the coming season: “As we cannot lay claim to being the new kids on the block, our goals will be higher and broader than they were in the first year. We have real ambitions for the spring Classics, but we also will strive to take part in one or even two Grand Tours, of which the Tour de France is the main priority. We have the means to achieve such success. With a staff of 60 people, including 25 riders, we are approaching the level of a World Tour team.”


Tinoff-Saxo 2014 Team Presentation
Yellow resonated loudly at Tinkoff-Saxo 2014 team launch in the stunning Anfi Tauro resort, Gran Canaria. Five-time Grand Tour winner Alberto Contador confirmed his ambitions to win his third yellow jersey at the Tour de France, while Sportful provided a striking new kit for the 20 riders in attendance. A Specialized custom Tinkoff-Saxo paintjob completes the yellow theme. Tinkoff Credit System and Saxo Bank are confirmed to be the main sponsors for 2014.

The Tinkoff-Saxo team looked fit, healthy and resplendent in canary yellow and flashes of blue, as they posed for the world’s press seven days into a pre-season camp, against the mountainous backdrop of one of Europe’s finest training destinations. And the team is set to grow even stronger over the next few seasons thanks to Oleg Tinkov’s recent purchase of the team.

With the Tour Down Under beginning this Sunday, seven riders, including Rory Sutherland, were absent, but that didn’t affect the team’s buoyant mood.

‘The atmosphere in the team is fantastic,’ says Contador. ‘We’re a very close group. Everyone’s clear what the main objectives are and we’re all heading in the same direction.’

Those ‘objectives’ include setting up Contador to challenge for the Tour de France and Vuelta titles. The 31-year-old Spaniard is looking to win his first Grand Tour since the Vuelta in 2012 and, according to sport director Bjarne Riis, ‘He looks very strong – certainly stronger than 12 months ago. We have a powerful team around him and we’re very hopeful of a memorable year.’

Contador’s preparations for attacking July’s Tour de France begin in February at the Tour of Algarve.

‘But it’s not exclusively about the Tour,’ says Riis. ‘We have many ambitions for 2014.’ Those include challenging for the Classics, specifically the Ardennes Classics like the Amstel Gold Race, which Tinkoff-Saxo’s Roman Kreuziger won in 2013.

‘I’m aiming to show strongly again in the Classics,’ says Kreuziger, ‘and then do well at the Tour of Switzerland. I’ll then support Alberto at the Tour and hopefully we can go better than [fourth] last year.’

It’s also a big year for Tinkoff-Saxo’s Nicolas Roche. The 29-year-old is currently recovering from a knee injury sustained in November but has just returned to training. While it’s disrupted his early-season plans, Roche remains confident of a challenging at the Giro d’Italia in May. ‘I’m looking to hit peak form for the Giro,’ says Roche. ‘It’s going to be a great atmosphere in Belfast and Dublin. The number of Irish supporting me at the Tour is incredible and I can’t wait to experience even greater support in Ireland.’

Tinkoff-Saxo features one of the strongest teams on the professional circuit. Other riders to watch out for in 2014 include Rafal Majka, Oliver Zaugg, Daniele Bennati and Matti Breschel.
Thanks to the Tinkoff-Saxo team.

The full roster of Tinkoff-Saxo riders for 2014 is:
Alberto Contador, Roman Kreuziger, Ivan Rovny, Oliver Zaugg, Matteo Tosatto, Bruno Da Silva Pires, Pawel Poljanski, Rafal Majka, Chris Anker Sørensen, Daniele Bennati, Michael Mørkøv, Matti Breschel, Nicolas Roche, Evgeny Petrov, Manuele Boaro, Karsten Kroon, Marko Kump, Jesper Hansen, Sergio Paulinho, Jesus Hernandez, Rory Sutherland, Christopher Juul, Jay McCarthy, Michael Valgren, Michael Kolar, Nicki Sørensen, Nikolay Trusov.

Tinkoff-Saxo presentation by shiftactivemedia:

OPQS Team Presentation a Huge Success
Sold Out Event for Sponsors & Fans

Press Release: Omega Pharma – Quick-Step Cycling Team, for the second year in a row, had a highly successful track-based team presentation at the Eddy Merckx Velodrome in Gent. The event on Tuesday was sold out, with 1,700 attendees able to watch a full evening of fun and interactive events surrounding the presentation of OPQS riders and staff for the 2014 season.

“This was a really great and unique show and I’m super happy to be here,” British Champion and sprint extraordinaire Mark Cavendish said of the team presentation. “It was fun for everyone, even my daughter Delilah had a great time. I couldn’t believe how many fans we had cheering for us and it was fantastic to get on the track with the guys in front of them all.”

Riders were introduced while riding around the velodrome, and they also raced against each other in various track specialities.

“I’m really happy to start my season off with this kind of event following my struggles of last year,” OPQS team leader Tom Boonen said. “I’m in shape as I have been previous years and am doing great. I had a smile on my face the entire time during this presentation for the public. I even won an event, which was a nice touch for me. This does not feel like an obligatory show for the sponsors and fans. I really enjoyed doing this in front of such an impressive crowd. Sometimes team presentations can be boring, but this has been far from it. For us, the fans, the media, the VIPS, and everyone else here it was super fun.”

“The team is looking brilliant across all aspects of cycling,” Cavendish said. “The grand tours, for example the Tour de France we’re going to go and win stages. Rigoberto Uran is here and he will be the guy at the Giro for the hilly stages and maybe even the hilly Classics. Then, of course, Tom’s back and in incredible condition for the northern Classics this year. We’ve also got World Champion Tony Martin in superb form. Then finally we’re the two-time defending World Team Time Trial Champions. It’s an incredible, formidable lineup this year and I’m so excited to be starting as part of this team in my second year.”

After today’s outstanding team presentation, OPQS looks next to the first races of the season: Tour de San Luis and Tour Down Under.

Cycling:  OPQS 2014 Team Presentation

Cyclist with Seven Week Erection!
It has been reported in the Irish Medical Journal that a mountain biker fell from his bike crashing his ‘undercarriage’ onto the top tube. Apparently the pain and bruising subsided but the un-named cyclist was left with a swelling and due to embarrassment he didn’t go to the hospital for five weeks with his unruly member. The hospital found that there was a high blood flow going to his penis and when that was interrupted the erection subside, but when the pressure was released it came back. After two weeks of investigations the hospital inserted catheters and platinum coils which regulated the blood flow and all was back to normal. The thoughts of his partner were not recorded.

Winter Motivation
OK we know it’s not cold in Australia, but for us poor people in the northern hemisphere its winter and its difficult to get some of that motivation, well here is some:

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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