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EuroTrash Thursday!

The first three stages of the Tour Down Under and the Tour de San Luis are under our belts and we have all the action, results and video. In other cycling news; we find out what ‘Purito’s’ plans are for 2014, Nys is still the top Crosser, we look at the schedules for the Tour of America’s Dairyland Race, Tour of Qatar and the Tour of Oman, plus we see what the BMC team have for lunch. EuroTrash Thursday coffee break–time!

TOP STORY: Di Luca Spills the Beans or Throw’s the S**t!
On Wednesday; multi-doper Danilo Di Luca was interviewed on Italian TV station Italia 1 and, unsurprisingly, he has gone for the “level playing field” defence, pointing out that “It’s impossible to finish in the top 10 in the Giro d’Italia and not dope.” The three times positive, Di Luca, was first suspended for three months in 2007 after the ‘oil for drugs’ investigation, then in the same year he gave a very suspicious sample during the Giro d’Italia which showed he had no hormones, which would mean he was either very ill or had been using a masking agent. Then in 2009 he was tested positive for EPO CERA and given a 2 year ban which was reduced by 9 months due to his cooperation with CONI, the Italian Olympic Committee. What that cooperation was, we never found out. To finish his career he was caught again with a positive test for EPO in the 2013 Giro d’Italia and given a lifetime ban.

When Di Luca makes statements like: “The best thing would be to legalize drugs so the entire peloton is on a level playing field.” And “the thing I regret is being caught, I made a mistake with the timing. It’s just a matter of hours. Perhaps five hours before or five hours after, and I wouldn’t have tested positive.” Are these not the words of a man trying to justify his wrong doing? Does he not see that the public will no longer accept doping from their idols in sport? Cycling has turned the page, the young guys don’t want doping in tier lives or their sport, even the old guard of dopers accept that things had to change or cycling was finished.

The Association of Italian Professional Cyclists (ACCPI) are possibly going to take “legal action” against Danilo Di Luca for defamation and for “damaging the image” of cycling as a result of his statements in the television program and his positive for EPO. The Association asserts that they “refuse to be insulted by a former colleague guilty of being relapsed and one of the few in the history of this sport that has been disqualified for life” and “lacking any credibility.” The ACCPI cannot accept the “unscrupulous behaviour and the frantic search for the popularity” of “a harmful element” as Di Luca.

His statements found a quick response at the Tour de San Luis. Vincenzo Nibali regrets the situation: “Di Luca is finished. He doesn’t know what else he can do to earn some small change (money); he is firing his last rounds to earn money. Sorry to say this because he was a great teammate. I can only think evil, that has become a little confusing,” he said at the finish line on the Potrero de los Funes.

Joaquim Rodríguez prefers not to mess around: “How someone like Danilo can now speak this way, we all know how he behaved during his entire career. But I do not want to add more, Di Luca does not deserve to be given the opportunity to get publicity against us.”

Domenico Pozzovivo was even clearer: “Di Luca? I dislike him having made these statements. I believe that today 99 percent of the peloton is clean.”

Let’s hope that Di Luca is the last dinosaur of doping and is extinct forever.

Di Luca when he was a junior and maybe even a doper:

Santos Tour Down Under 2014
Defending champion Simon Gerrans signalled his intentions early at the Santos Tour Down under, taking a dominant sprint win and the ochre leader’s jersey on Stage 1 into Angaston. Gerrans narrowly edged out Andre Greipel (Lotto Belisol) and Steele Von Hoff (Garmin-Sharp), from a 40-man bunch reduced by the challenging Menglers Hill that came with 12 kilometres to go.

“It was a bigger group than I expected to make it to the finish today,” said Sport Director Matt White. “I didn’t think Greipel would get there- he was the only pure sprinter who really made it. Most people wouldn’t bet on Gerro taking out Greipel in a sprint, but it was a hard run in to the line. It was quite deceptive and a real grind of a sprint. Gerro got there fresher than Andre, and he was dropped off very, very well by Impey and Matthews. If the right circumstances come about, Simon is very hard to beat.”

Gerrans continues his dream start to the season, taking his first WorldTour victory of 2014 just one week after he took the Australian National Road Race Championship in Buninyong, and admitted to being surprised to take the sprint win over Greipel.

“I didn’t imagine I’d be able to come past Greipel until the very end,” said Gerrans. “But in the final two kilometres all of the Lotto guys were looking tired and had been working hard and I thought maybe Greipel wouldn’t be able to do his normal sprint. So I took his wheel in the sprint, and it was only in the last 100 metres that I felt confident I would be able to come past him.”

Earlier in the 135 kilometre stage through the Barossa, Gerrans made his overall ambitions clear by targeting time bonuses in the intermediate sprint. He took a one second bonus for third place, with Will Clarke (Drapac) and Neil Van Der Ploeg (UniSA) scooping up the major sprint points from the break.

“It was pretty hard with just myself and Neil Van der Ploeg,” Clarke explained. “Today the plan was always for one of us to be in the breakaway and it ended up being me so I took that responsibility and tried to stay out there as long as I could. I gave it my best but unfortunately they chased pretty hard and brought us back pretty early really. I had a crack anyway.”

Gerrans is a two-time winner of this event. In his first overall victory, he took out the first stage and wore the leader’s jersey from start to finish of the six day-long stage race. Despite the added pressure on the team to defend the jersey, White remains confident in Gerrans’s ability to take out the overall.

Gerrans echoed those sentiments, reiterating that the strong team around him has come prepared to race hard for the overall and will now face a tough week defending the lead.

“Taking the jersey so early on has put a heck of a lot of pressure on the whole team here,” said Gerrans. “Already leading in to the race everyone knew that we were really keen to win here and I’m obviously coming off the back of the Australian championships in good shape, and now I’ve probably just confirmed that for everybody. So we’ve got a big task in front of us to defend the jersey from here on.”

With ORICA-GreenEDGE playing a predicably large part in the way the race unfolded today, Gerrans thanked his teammates for their work in delivering him to the line.

“The guys worked really well for me today,” confirmed Gerrans. “Everybody knew what their roles were throughout the stage and it’s really nice to finish it off when everyone has done their job perfectly. Durbo did a fantastic job riding the front, Matty Hayman looked after me the entire stage and then having Bling [Michael Matthews], Daryl and Clarkey there to take me into the final 200 metres was brilliant, so my win today was just finishing off some fantastic teamwork and I’m really pleased.”

Thanks to the 4th place by Ulissi and the 8th position by Valls, Lampre-Merida leads the teams overall classification. “2013 season ended in a perfect way for me, that’s why I strongly wanted to start the year performing a good race – Ulissi explained – I think today stage gave me and the team interesting feedbacks, it was not simple to fight against very competitive riders such Gerrans and Greipel. This is a first good step also for what concerns the overall classification of the race”.

Tinkoff-Saxo’s DS, Fabrizio Guidi said after the stage: “Rory (Sutherland) shows impressive form and is dedicated to do a good result so he is primary leader in this race but the whole team did a great job working together as a team. We’ll keep trying to go for a good GC result for Rory.”

Santos Tour Down Under Stage 1 Result:
1. Simon Gerrans (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge in 3:20:34
2. Andre Greipel (Ger) Lotto Belisol
3. Steele von Hoff (Aus) Garmin-Sharp
4. Diego Ulissi (Ita) Lampre-Merida
5. Maxime Bouet (Fra) Ag2r-La Mondiale
6. Francesco Gavazzi (Ita) Astana
7. Simon Geschke (Ger) Giant-Shimano
8. Rafael Valls (Esp) Lampre-Merida
9. Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC
10. Robert Gesink (NED) Belkin.

Santos Tour Down Under Overall After Stage 1:
1. Simon Gerrans (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge in 3:20:23
2. Andre Greipel (Ger) Lotto Belisol at 0:05
3. Steele von Hoff (Aus) Garmin-Sharp at 0:07
4. Simon Geschke (Ger) Giant-Shimano at 0:10
5. Diego Ulissi (Ita) Lampre-Merida at 0:11
6. Maxime Bouet (Fra) Ag2r-La Mondiale
7. Francesco Gavazzi (Ita) Astana
8. Rafael Valls (Esp) Lampre-Merida
9. Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC
10. Robert Gesink (NED) Belkin.

Stage 1 final kilometres:

Stage 2 came down to a sprint finish and Lampre-Merida’s Diego Ulissi got the better of the overall leader Simon Gerrans (Orica-GreenEdge) and Cadel Evans (BMC) in third. Any attacks had been held back by a fast pace set by Garmin-Sharp and Tinkoff-Saxo on the climb to Stirling. The first attack came from Ian Stannard (Sky) and then Nathan Haas (Garmin-Sharp), Simon Clarke (Orica-GreenEdge) and Cadel Evans tried their luck, but it all came together for the sprint. Daryl Impey led out Gerrans, but Ulissi appeared from nowhere for the victory. “I’m so happy and I want to share my joy with the team and the sponsors and to dedicate it to my team mate Valls that was involved in a crash,” Lampre-Merida’s stage winner Diego Ulissi commented “The team performed a perfect race, so it was easy for me to approach the final kilometre in the best position in the group. I evaluated that it could have been good to anticipate the sprint: it worked perfectly!”

BMC’s Cadel Evans said he went for an early sprint, only to get swarmed at the finish. “I don’t know where Diego came from, but obviously with his finish yesterday (fourth), he was pretty good and had the legs and the timing to do it today,” Evans said. “It was a bit of a lactate run to the line and I was going early and trying to hold them off.”

In the overall standings, Gerrans leads Ulissi by seven seconds. André Greipel (Lotto Belisol) is third, at 11 seconds, while Evans is 13 seconds back. Bookwalter is a further eight seconds back of his teammate. BMC Racing Team Sport Director Fabio Baldato said it would have been advantageous to have had a harder day and more difficult finish. “There was a lot of road to come back and recover,” Fabio said. “We decided to save energy for tomorrow, which can be the hardest and can change things. We are there, not only with Cadel, but also with Ben and Brent and also Steve Morabito. I hope the numbers can give us a little help.” Thursday’s stage includes the climb of Montacute/Corkscrew Road in the final kilometres, followed by a plunge to the finish. Evans said he doesn’t know if it will prove decisive. “It depends on the group in front, what the wind does and collaboration and combination of the riders in the first and second groups,” he said. “It’s still pretty open, but every time you lose seconds on the general classification, it is less chance you are going to be up there on the GC.”

Drapac’s Will Clarke flew the flag for his team out on the road for the 150km stage, once again trying his luck on the circuit which earned him fame and first WorldTour victory. Clarke escaped at the five kilometre mark, with UniSA’s Campbell Flakemore and Trek’s Boy van Poppel. “It’s three years in a row now that I’ve been in the breakaway at Stirling,” he said. “Unfortunately it just hasn’t happened like the first time in 2012 when I won the stage. It was the plan for one of us – either myself or Travis Meyer to be in the breakaway. Travis nearly got there but it came back and then I went away with the next one.” Meantime, Clarke took maximum points for the King of the Mountains climbs, ending the day on equal points as classification leader, Adam Hansen (Lotto Belisol). Clarke also added another seven points to his Sprint Classification.

Tinoff-Saxo DS, Fabrizio Guidi said after the stage.”As a team, we took the lead of the bunch with 15 kilometres to go in order to keep our leader out of trouble. And it was really nice to see the yellow front line front of the pack and Rory finished the stage with the group on that small uphill finish. It was a demonstration of dedicated team work.”

The beautiful day for Lampre-Merida was wrecked by the crash of Rafael Valls, who suffered a broken humerus. Team physician, Doctor De Grandi, reported that the Spanish cyclists will undergo surgery in Adelaide.

Movistar’s José Joaquín Rojas fell just before the last kilometre on Tuesday, yet was able to complete stage one with no problems; however, pain suffered overnight in his right wrist concealed the worst news possible: a scaphoid fracture sidelined him from a race he’s always shone in during his eight participations. Rojas will fly back to Spain on Thursday.

Santos Tour Down Under Stage 2 Result:
1. Diego Ulissi (Ita) Lampre-Merida in 3:52:14
2. Simon Gerrans (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge
3. Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC
4. Francesco Gavazzi (Ita) Astana
5. Robert Gesink (NED) Belkin
6. Richie Porte (Aus) Sky
7. Ben Hermans (Bel) BMC
8. Fabio Felline (Ita) Trek
9. Javier Moreno (Esp) Movistar
10. Daryl Impey (Rsa) Orica-GreenEdge.

Santos Tour Down Under Overall After Stage 2:
1. Simon Gerrans (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge in 7:12:31
2. Diego Ulissi (Ita) Lampre-Merida at 0:07
3. Andre Greipel (Ger) Lotto Belisol at 0:11
4. Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC at 0:13
5. Steele von Hoff (Aus) Garmin-Sharp
6. Simon Geschke (Ger) Giant-Shimano at 0:16
7. Francesco Gavazzi (Ita) Astana at 0:17
8. Robert Gesink (NED) Belkin
9. Maxime Bouet (Fra) Ag2r-La Mondiale
10. Geraint Thomas (GB) Sky.

Stage 2 by Orica-GreenEdge:

On the strength of a vicious attack on Corkscrew Road and a feverish descent to the finish, BMC Racing Team’s Cadel Evans soloed to victory and into the race lead on Thursday’s Stage 3 at the Santos Tour Down Under.

Evans powered his BMC teammachine SLR01 up the twisting 2.5-kilometer climb, leaving in his wake previous race leader Simon Gerrans (Orica-GreenEDGE) and Richie Porte (Team Sky), who briefly clung to the wheel of the 2011 Tour de France champion. Cresting the top with a 15-second lead, Evans increased that margin to 25 seconds on his plunge to the finish before the chase group pulled back time. Grimacing all the way to the finish, the 2009 world road champion acknowledged the BMC Racing Team’s first win of the season and the cheers of his home country’s crowd with a thumbs up. “I had an idea of what we might have an opportunity to do,” Evans said. “When you have an opportunity, you have to run with it. The team has been training really well and we have a really solid group here. It’s been a pleasure so far, so I hope I can deliver them some more satisfaction.” The victory was Evans’s second stage win in eight participations in the Tour Down Under, with a best overall finish of fourth in 2002.

Nathan Haas (Garmin-Sharp) led a 12-man chase group in 15 seconds after Evans. It included BMC Racing Team’s Brent Bookwalter and Ben Hermans in seventh and eighth, respectively. Coupled with a 10-second time bonus for the stage win, Evans leads Gerrans by 12 seconds and third-place finisher and Stage 2 winner Diego Ulissi (Lampre-Merida) by 15 seconds with three stages remaining. “Today went almost perfectly,” Evans said. “It’s a good start, but now we look toward Sunday. We’ve got our work cut out for us.” A precisely executed plan by the BMC Racing Team laid the groundwork for Evans’s winning attack on the Corkscrew ascent, Sport Director Fabio Baldato said. The team’s other six riders sheltered Evans on the fast run-in to the base of the climb before riders like Brent Bookwalter and Steve Morabito took over the pace-making as the road turned upwards. “It went better than how we planned it,” Baldato said. “I told the guys the climb would be like a sprint. We have been here more than one week and everybody did a reconnaissance of the climb and the downhill so everybody was ready. All the guys and Cadel did an amazing job.”

By donning the leader’s Ochre jersey, Evans leads a stage race for the first time since winning the two-day Critérium International in 2012 … Last season, he won one race – Stage 4 of the Tour of Alberta in Canada – and placed third at the Giro d’Italia for his fifth career podium result at a grand tour … The victory was his first in a WorldTour race since capturing Stage 1 of the Criterium du Dauphiné in 2012 … Evans was asked about the large crowd turnout along the 145-km route. “I’m always in these dramatic moves in these races,” he said, chuckling. “Win or lose, it’s great to hear so many Aussie accents and to see so many Aussie flags that make this race what it is.” Evans last raced the Tour Down Under in 2010.

Tinkoff-Saxo Danish debutant, Michael Valgren states: “We worked really hard together to keep Rory out of trouble and it was really cool to see people be as committed as we were changing our plans midway and people were 100% ready to sacrifice themselves out there. I felt much stronger today and it’s nice to feel progress after a rough start. It’s my first World Tour race and it’s great to run alongside riders like Cadel Evans, Richie Porte, Jens Voigt and others I look up to. But the main thing is that we keep focused and I’m really impressed with the professionalism within the team. ”

Santos Tour Down Under Stage 3 Result:
1. Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC in 3:34:05
2. Nathan Haas (Aus) Garmin-Sharp at 0:15
3. Diego Ulissi (Ita) Lampre-Merida
4. Adam Hansen (Aus) Lotto Belisol
5. Simon Gerrans (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge
6. Rory Sutherland (Aus) Tinkoff-Saxo
7. Brent Bookwalter (USA) BMC
8. Ben Hermans (Bel) BMC
9. Daryl Impey (RSA) Orica-GreenEdge
10. Robert Gesink (Ned) Belkin.

Santos Tour Down Under Overall After Stage 3:
1. Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC in 10:46:39
2. Simon Gerrans (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge at 0:12
3. Diego Ulissi (Ita) Lampre-Merida at 0:15
4. Nathan Haas (Aus) Garmin-Sharp at 0:27
5. Robert Gesink (Ned) Belkin at 0:29
6. Geraint Thomas (GB) Sky
7. Daryl Impey (RSA) Orica-GreenEdge at 0:33
8. Brent Bookwalter (USA) BMC
9. Rory Sutherland (Aus) Tinkoff-Saxo
10. Ben Hermans (Bel) BMC.

Stage 3:

Tour de San Luis 2014
The 166.2 kilometre Stage 1 of the Tour de San Luis on Monday looked to strongly favor the sprinters with its flat profile. However, the early break was able to gain an insurmountable gap that reached more than 10 minutes, and the stage was eventually decided by two riders from the escape group after a long day that included some crashes.

The American Phillip Gaimon of Garmin-Sharp won in the city of Villa Mercedes from the big breakaway in a day where the heat was the main rival the riders had to face. Emiliano Contreras of the Argentine Selection and Marc De Maar of United Healthcare completed the podium after being part of the breakaway. Leandro Messineo of San Luis Somos Todos and Cristian Da Rosa of Dataro-Botteccchia were also part the breakaway but a fall 15 kilometres from the finish line held them back. Gaimon soloed to the line as Contreras finished 12 seconds later while De Maar crossed the finish line 1:17 after the stage winner. The break of Gaimon, Lucas Gaday of Buenos Aires La Provincia, Contreras, De Maar, Messineo and Da Rosa broke away only a few km from the start and with coordinated work gained a 9 minute advantage from the peloton, but finally it was Phillip Gaimon was the stronger of them all and in the last few meters took the stage and the winners jersey, the peloton came in 4:35 after the winner.

“It was a tough stage, the heat was intense. We had the expectations of doing a good stage and we did We worked together during the breakaway and finally I was able to win. Now we expect to keep the lead of the race with my team” Gaimon said.

Tom Boonen was the designated OPQS sprinter for today’s stage, but was unable to contest due to the surprise success of the escape group. “The breakaway was gone after maybe two kilometers, so it was a perfect day for a field sprint,” Boonen said. “We started controlling after about 10 kilometers to keep the distance acceptable. Guillaume was riding almost by himself until about 70 kilometers in the race. We had taken the chase up as our responsibility and were helping him work to bring the breakaway back. Nobody was really coming up to help us so we just said ‘stop’ and it took ages for somebody to start riding again. By then it was way too late. I think with the temperature today on top of that, it may have cost the sprint teams a sprint today. In the final I also had a flat tire in the back and I basically rode the last kilometer on a flat tire.”

Alessandro Petacchi of OPQS was forced to abandon after suffering from a fever and stomach problems the previous night. He tried to start the race but was unable to continue racing. “Losing Alessandro hurts,” Boonen said. “We were already at six guys so it really limits the ability to do something. If you have six strong guys you can do it, but if you lose Alessandro you have five and then you’ll have to sacrifice one or two riders during the day. So, we really don’t have much left and we can’t make any mistakes. It will be difficult to control the race for sure.”

Petacchi said he did everything he could to try and keep racing despite his illness. “There have not been a lot of times in my career that I suffered like today,” Petacchi said. “I tried but I really couldn’t follow the bunch. I feel so sorry for my teammates. I was looking forward to this race and riding with my team. The condition was good, but again with this kind of problem there’s nothing I can do.”

Lampre-Merida’s Sacha Modolo won the bunch sprint: “There are many top fast wheels here in Tour de San Luis and we were all are longing for a good result to begin the season in a winning way: despite this, today the breakaway reached the finish.” Lampre-Merida’s Sacha Modolo commented at the end of his first race with the team. “The action of the five attackers seemed to be the usual breakaway that is doomed to be neutralized in view of the arrival. In the bunch there was hesitation, maybe due to the extreme heat, and so the breakaway had a top advantage of 12 minutes. The chase was not possible. It’s a pity for me, because I had good feelings and I think I could have obtained a good result.”

Tour de San Luis Stage 1 Result:
1. Phillip Gaimon (USA) Garmin-Sharp in 4:06:54
2. Emiliano J. Contreras (Arg) Argentina at 0:12
3. Marc De Maar (AHo) Unitedhealthcare at 1:17
4. Leandro Messineo (Arg) San Luis Somos Todos at 1:26
5. Cristian Da Rosa (Bra) Clube Dataro de Ciclismo-Bottecchia at 3:52
6. Adrian Alvarado (Chi) Chile
7. Christian Meier (Can) Orica-GreenEdge
8. Sacha Modolo (Ita) Lampre-Merida at 4:35
9. Kenny De Haes (Bel) Lotto Belisol
10. Manuel Belletti (Ita) Androni Giocattoli.

Tour de San Luis Overall After Stage 1:
1. Phillip Gaimon (USA) Garmin-Sharp in 4:06:54
2. Emiliano J. Contreras (Arg) Argentina at 0:12
3. Marc De Maar (AHo) Team Unitedhealthcare at 1:17
4. Leandro Messineo (Arg) San Luis Somos Todos at 1:26
5. Cristian Da Rosa (Bra) Clube Dataro de Ciclismo-Bottecchia at 3:52
6. Adrian Alvarado (Chi) Chile
7. Christian Meier (Can) Orica-GreenEdge
8. Sacha Modolo (Ita) Lampre-Merida at 4:35
9. Kenny De Haes (Bel) Lotto Belisol
10. Manuel Belletti (Ita) Androni Giocattoli.

Stage 1 with some unique commentary from CyclingHub:

Colombian Julian Arredondo of Trek Factory Racing won Stage 2: of Tour de San Luis, which was the first mountainous stage. Arredondo just managed to pass the American Peter Stetina (BMC) in the last metres and by only a few seconds ahead of his countrymen Nairo Quintana of Movistar, in another hot day of 170,6 km with the summit finish on the Mirador del Potrero. Phillip Gaimon of Garmin-Sharp kept the leaders jersey and an advantage of 1:47 from Marc De Maar (UnitedHealthcare) in the General Classification. A breakaway made up by the Argentineans Cristian Martinez & Jorge Giacinti of team San Luis Somos Todos, along with Sebastian Trillini of Seleccion Argentina, Sebastian Tolosa of Buenos Aires La Provincia and the Chilean Jonathan Guzman of Seleccion de Chile. At the climb the heat broke the breakaway and the main group caught the leaders with 4 kilometres to go. During the climb; Stetina and Arredondo fought for victory and when the chase group was almost on them, the American accelerated but the Colombian had more stamina and took the stage.

Stetina attacked in the final kilometres: “It was a really bad headwind on the climb, so no one was moving that much,” Stetina said. “I looked at Darwin and he nodded that he was good, so I decided to attack first. I thought it would either break it up or he could come up to me because in the headwind everyone was having such a draft on the climb.” But only Arredondo followed and the pair duelled it out in the final metres, “he (Arredondo) wasn’t interested in working,” Stetina said. “It was a good tactical move on his part. I wanted to keep the pace high if the pace got hard behind.”

Atapuma, who joins Stetina as newcomers to the BMC Racing Team this season, said he was content to watch his teammate go on the attack. “Everything was like the plan we did in the morning with our sport director,” he said. “For sure it was a pity that Peter did not win the stage because we worked at the best together for this goal. But on the other hand, I’m sure that we are on the way to getting good results soon.”
“The team did a fantastic job! They were all dedicated to Julián today, he is new to the team, but it is also a brand new team, and to have everyone come together like that today was special,” said Trek sport director Alain Gallopin.

The team plan laid out by Gallopin was to work for both Haimar Zubeldia and Julián Arredondo, with the focus on a stage victory. “Julián is not very good in the time trial,” explained Gallopin, “So we are not here to play for the overall – our goal is to win a stage. I told Julián we are going to go for the real thing; we are not just going to show off the jersey, we are not here to make a show on the climb by attacking. You wait and follow and make one good sprint at the end for the win.”

“I cannot believe what just happened,” said an emotional Arredondo. “I thank God for this victory. In the last months I trained hard and was very focused on winning for the team, to thank them for their trust in me. I like very hot circumstances a lot. Just as I like short and explosive climbs. I didn’t realize how strong I was. You have no reference in the winter and there are many WorldTour teams here.”

Teammate Haimar Zubeldia finished in sixth place only five seconds behind his teammate. “The stage was quite hard, because of the last climb with five [kilometres] to go. There was some wind and the team did a great job sheltering Julián and myself,” explained Haimar. “Julián is enjoying some great form right now and he made a very good move by following Stetina. We expected that it could come down to a sprint between the strongest climbers, so we decided that would be our plan.”

“Today the heat was less intense, so the group could pedal at a faster speed to the final climb,” Lampre-Merida sport director Maini explained. “For the team, the stage did not end as we aimed. Unluckily, because of two punctures, Serpa and Cunego were forced to chase the group just before approaching Mirador del Potrero climb, so their performance was strongly influenced: a top result was not a possible target, but it would have been interesting to receive feedbacks on this climb.”

Tour de San Luis Stage 2 Result:
1. Julian David Arredondo Moreno (Col) Trek in 4:13:21
2. Peter Stetina (USA) BMC
3. Nairo Alexander Quintana Rojas (Col) Movistar at 0:03
4. Darwin Atapuma Hurtado (Col) BMC
5. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Ag2r-La Mondiale at 0:05
6. Haimar Zubeldia Agirre (Spa) Trek
7. Ivan Santaromita (Ita) Orica-GreenEdge
8. Damiano Caruso (Ita) Cannondale at 0:08
9. Miguel Angel Rubiano (Col) Team Colombia
10. Eduardo Sepulveda (Arg) Bretagne-Seche Environnement.

Tour de San Luis Overall After Stage 2:
1. Phillip Gaimon (USA) Garmin-Sharp in 8:20:34
2. Marc De Maar (AHo) UnitedHealthcare at 1:47
3. Christian Meier (Can) Orica-GreenEdge at 3:56
4. Peter Stetina (USA) BMC at 4:16
5. Julian David Arredondo Moreno (Col) Trek
6. Darwin Atapuma Hurtado (Col) BMC at 4:19
7. Nairo Alexander Quintana Rojas (Col) Movistar
8. Haimar Zubeldia Agirre (Spa) Trek at 4:21
9. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Ag2r-La Mondiale
10. Ivan Santaromita (Ita) Orica-GreenEdge.

Stage 2 and more ‘commentary’ from CyclingHub:

Stage 3 at the Tour de San Luis ended in a mass bunch finish and Trek Factory Racing’s Giacomo Nizzolo sprinted to victory on another searing hot and windy day in Argentina. Francisco Ventoso (Movistar) finished second and Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma – Quick-Step) was third.

“The last three or four kilometres were a little bit uphill so the speed was not so high and it was hard because everyone tried to move up. When it’s bunched up like that it’s a little crazy,” explained Nizzolo about the stage’s finish. “In the last kilometre I was 10th or 15th position with Danilo [Hondo] and Eugenio [Alafaci]. Lampre was leading the sprint and then Cavendish started with Boonen on his wheel and I came from behind and I overtook them with around 100 meters to go.”

The 175-kilometer stage was again a very hot and windy affair, and the Trek Factory Racing team had to help control an early breakaway, while keeping Nizzolo protected as echelons formed in the crosswinds.

“The wind made a lot of stress during the stage but at the end it did not make such a difference because the last three to four kilometres were uphill and we were covered from the wind. It was a side-wind all day and it was really hard; it was a tough stage.” Nizzolo continued.

Trek Factory Racing’s Fabio Silvestre worked early in the tough stage to keep the first break in check. His effort, plus that of the rest of the team, paid off in the end as Trek Factory Racing won its second stage in as many days.

“When you have a sprinter you have to help control the race and Fabio Silvestre worked hard today at the front,” explained Trek Factory Racing’s sport director Alain Gallopin. “We needed the others for the end; for the power of the sprint. All the team was very good today: Haimar [Zubeldia] and Julián [Arredondo] to take bottles and Danilo [Hondo] and Eugenio [Alafaci] to prepare the sprint for Giacomo. It was really, really good.”

A late five-rider break made a bid to escape the peloton with 25 kilometres to go and gained up to 40 seconds lead before the peloton reeled them back into the fold. A mass sprint was looking to be a certainty at this point as the sprinters’ teams began to control the front. Trek Factory Racing played the finish perfectly, waiting until the right moment to unleash Nizzolo. The Italian fast man came around Mark Cavendish and Tom Boonen on the left and won by a bike length.

“During the stage the feeling was not really good because of the heat,” Nizzolo said about the race. “But in the final – especially the last five kilometres – I was feeling very, very good, and in the end it worked out for me and team. I am very happy.”

“Obviously we’re a man down, we’re without Petacchi,” Omega Pharma – Quick-Step’s Mark Cavendish said. “Guillaume is also not really feeling well, so we’re down to four of us. We had to use two guys near the finish to bring back a small group, and Stijn also had a flat at 15km and he struggled to come back, so that left it up to me and Tom. We went for Tom today, I was leading Tom out so I tried to stay with the Lampre train and go at 300 and drop Tom off at 150 meters. But the wind was weird and the road curved to the left, so we had to leave it open. Nizzolo is just fast too though, so we can’t be too bothered. Things went well. It was nice, me and Tom working together. Tom’s form is going really good. It’s possible for him to get a win really and it would be good for his head and he’s really strong right now. You can see it when he’s pulling. It’s fine to do and we’re working quite well.”

“We were planning on the first stage to give it a go and today we wanted to give it a go as well,” Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma – Quick-Step) said. “I’m already in good condition, but these weather circumstances are really hard. It was the hottest day of my career. I was really suffering. Everybody was really suffering. Going into the sprint I think everything went perfectly, but I think I wanted it too much. I think I went a bit too early. Cavendish gave me a good leadout and he still wasn’t finished, but I saw the sign and I thought it was a headwind with a 3 to 4 percent uphill. I had the sensation that we weren’t going fast enough so I just went. So when I came into the wind I felt I was going to lose by the last 30 meters. My legs just blew in the last five seconds. I’m already happy to be there, but if you’re doing all those big efforts you want to do something more than 3rd place. But still it’s a good sign. With four guys it’s very hard for us, even with two fast guys everybody is always waiting for us. But we’re doing our best despite that and think we did well considering the circumstances.”

Tour de San Luis Stage 3 Result:
1. Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) Trek in 4:14:19
2. Francisco José Ventoso Alberdi (Spa) Movistar
3. Tom Boonen (Bel) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step
4. Tyler Farrar (USA) Garmin-Sharp
5. Davide Appollonio (Ita) Ag2r-La Mondiale
6. Damiano Caruso (Ita) Cannondale
7. Taylor Phinney (USA) BMC
8. Juan Esteban Arango (Col) Team Colombia
9. Edwin Alcibiades Avila (Col) Team Colombia
10. Marc De Maar (AHo) Unitedhealthcare.

Tour de San Luis Overall After Stage 3:
1. Phillip Gaimon (USA) Garmin-Sharp in 12:34:53
2. Marc De Maar (AHo) Unitedhealthcare at 1:47
3. Christian Meier (Can) Orica-GreenEdge at 3:56
4. Peter Stetina (USA) BMC at 4:16
5. Julian David Arredondo Moreno (Col) Trek
6. Darwin Atapuma Hurtado (Col) BMC at 4:19
7. Nairo Alexander Quintana Rojas (Col) Movistar
8. Haimar Zubeldia Agirre (Spa) Trek at 4:21
9. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Ag2r-La Mondiale
10. Ivan Santaromita (Ita) Orica-GreenEdge.

Stage 3:

Soudal Classics CycloCross Leuven 2014
On Sunday in Leuven World champion; Sven Nys (Crelan-AA Drink) showed his form is good with the 2014 champs in two weeks. Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Napoleon) was his closest rival at 5 seconds with Tom Meeusen (Telenet-Fidea) third at 24 seconds. Early in the race; 13 riders controlled the race and from that group, Nys kept his eyes on every move. Martin Bina (Kwadro-Stannah) was first to try his luck, but Nys chased him down, mostly by himself. This split the group with German champion Philipp Walsleben (BKCP-Powerplus) at the head of affairs with Pauwels, Nys, Meeusen and Bart Aernouts (AA Drink) close at hand. Wout Van Aert (Telenet-Fidea) was next to make a move, but again Nys pulled him back for Meeusen to attack through the finish at the halfway point. Nys again did the chasing taking Pauwels with him putting those three out front and fighting for the victory. Pauwels was not finished and put in a jump through the muddy section on the back of the course, but with 3 laps to go Pauwels attacked and this time Nys left Meeusen to do the work. Nys sat back, then put his foot on the accelerator pull Pauwels back with 2 laps to go, the nearest to them was a group at 33 seconds and out of it. On the last lap; Meeusen led most of the way round until he punctured just before the mud and was then dropped as Nys attacked to solo to the finish.

Soudal Classics CycloCross Leuven Result:
1. Sven Nys (Bel) Crelan-AA Drink in 1:03:04
2. Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games at 0:05
3. Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet-Fidea at 0:24
4. Philipp Walsleben (Ger) BKCP-Powerplus at 0:27
5. Bart Aernouts (Bel) AA Drink Cycling Team at 0:29
6. Thijs van Amerongen (Ned) AA Drink Cycling Team at 0:48
7. Julien Taramarcaz (Swi) Kwadro-Stannah at 0:53
8. Wout Van Aert (Bel) Telenet-Fidea at 1:00
9. Wietse Bosmans (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus at 1:06
10. Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) Sunweb–Napoleon Games at 1:37.

Soudal Classics CycloCross by VIER TV:

‘Purito’ Sets his Goals for 2014
Joaquim Rodríguez has announced his aims for the 2014 season, with three main objectives, the Ardennes, especially Liege, Giro d’Italia and the Vuelta a España. The Katusha leader has very defined and clear path which also passes through El Teide.

His program is as follows: Tour de San Luis, Dubai Tour, Tour of Oman, then a training camp of more than 30 days in El Teide (Tenerife), Volta a Catalunya, followed by more time on the Canaries volcano mountain, the Ardennes, Amstel Gold Race, Fleche-Wallonne and Liege-Bastogne-Liege, and finalize his preparation at home in Andorra before the Giro d’Italia giving him 27 days of competition. He will not contest two of his favourite races; Tirreno-Adriatico and Tour of the Basque Country.

In the second part of the season, Rodriguez will be a good bet for the Vuelta a España and the World Championships in Ponferrada.

‘Purito’ does his thing:

2014 Tour of Qatar Route
Five sprinters stages are split by an individual time trial of just under 11 kilometres. The race will suit Omega Pharma – Quick-Step as Mark Cavendish will be up for the sprints and World TT champion Tony Martin should seal the overall in the race against the clock. In a recent interview with PezCyclingNews, Martin confirmed his interest in the Qatar overall. Of the 19 teams lining up in Al Wakra on the 9th of February; thirteen are WorldTour, four are ProConti and the local Continental team Skydive Dubai completes the field.

2014 Tour of Qatar Stages:
Stage 1, Sunday, February 9: Al Wakra – Dukhan Beach (135.5 km)
Stage 2, Monday, February 10: Camel Race Track – Al Khor Corniche (160.5 km)
Stage 3, Tuesday, February 11: Lusail Circuit, individual time trial (10.9 km)
Stage 4, Wednesday, February 12: Dukhan – Mesaieed (135 km)
Stage 5, Thursday, February 13: Al Zubara Fort – Madinat ash-Shamal (159 km)
Stage 6, Friday, February 14: Sealine Beach Resort – Doha Corniche (113.5 km).

2014 Tour of Qatar Teams:
Ag2r-La Mondiale, Astana, Belkin, BMC, Cannondale, FDJ, Katusha, Lotto Belisol, Omega Pharma – Quick-Step, Orica-GreenEdge, Sky, Tinkoff-Saxo, Trek, Bardiani-CSF, IAM Cycling, Team NetApp-Endura, Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise, UnitedHealthcare, Skydive Dubai.

Mark Cavendish wins 4 stages in 2013:

2014 Tour of Oman Route
The organizers of the 5th Tour of Oman have announced the route and teams for this years race, starting in As Suwayq Castle on February the 18th. The course is a good mix of climbs and flat, with a summit finish on stage 5 on Green Mountain. There are also two ‘hilly’ stages and then three days for the sprinters. Twelve WorldTour teams will take the start line to battle against five ProConti teams.

2014 Tour of Oman Stages:
Stage 1: Tuesday, February 18: As Suwayq Castle – Naseem Garden, 164.5 km
Stage 2: Wednesday, February 19: Al Bustan – Qurayyat, 139 km
Stage 3: Thursday, February 20: Bank Muscat – Al Bustan, 145 km
Stage 4: Friday, February 21: Wadi Al Abiyad – Ministry of Housing, 173 km
Stage 5: Saturday, February 22: Bidbid – Jebel Akhdar / Green Mountain, 147.5 km
Stage 6: Sunday, February 23: As Sifah – Matrah Corniche, 146.5 km.

2014 Tour of Oman Teams:
Ag2r La Mondiale, Astana, Bardiani-CSF, Belkin, BMC, Cannondale, FDJ, IAM Cycling, Katusha, Lotto Belisol, Omega Pharma – Quick-Step, Orica-GreenEdge, NetApp-Endura, Sky, Tinkoff-Saxo, Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise, Trek and UnitedHealthcare.

Joaquim Rodriguez wins on the Green Mountain in 2013:

New Boss at Spanish Anti-Doping Agency
Spanish sports paper AS reported on Tuesday that Enrique Gómez Bastida will be the new director of the Spanish Anti-Doping Agency (AEPSAD). Gómez is well known for his work with the Guardia Civil in the Operación Puerto case which is still making its way through the courts. He takes over from Manuel Quintanar who is now investigating corruption in Spanish football.

Team NetApp – Endura receives invitations to the Tours of Qatar and Oman
Press Release: Team NetApp – Endura adds further prestigious tours to its ambitious race calendar. The highest ranked German team gets to the Tour of Qatar and Tour of Oman which are both run by the Tour de France organizer ASO. While the six-day Tour of Qatar traditionally tends to favor sprinters, some of the world’s best tour riders will get the opportunity to shine on the six stages of the Tour of Oman.

“Both tours are something rather special. In Qatar almost every stage will be decided at top speed in a mass sprint. The wind is the only hurdle; otherwise it’s a good start to the season under optimum conditions for our sprint and classic specialists,” says Ralph Denk, Team Manager of Team NetApp – Endura.

“Zak Dempster, who took a win in his very first race of the season, will be in the line-up, as will our new arrival Sam Bennett. We are particularly curious about Sam, as the first race in a new team is always something special. Blaz Jarc, Andreas Schillinger, Daniel Schorn, Michael Schwarzmann, Scott Thwaites and Paul Voss are also scheduled to start,” says Denk, describing the line-up.

“Our tour riders will be starting the season in Oman. The stages are considerably more demanding in terms of their profile. When you look at last year’s podium, the quality of the field that this race traditionally enjoys becomes clear. Although we are of course travelling to Oman with high ambitions, the next important thing is to get some initial evidence of our performance under race conditions,” says Ralph Denk, looking forward to the Tour of Oman.

“The team will be led by Leo König. Cesare Benedetti, David de la Cruz, Bartosz Huzarski und Frantisek Padour complete the line-up of climbers. Zak Dempster, Sam Bennett and Andreas Schillinger will be coming from Qatar to Oman to fight for results in the sprint stages,” continues Denk.

The Tour of Qatar will take place from February 9 – 14. The six-day tour covers 715 kilometres and, in addition to a short individual time trial, only includes sprint stages on flat terrain.

The Tour of Oman will be held from February 18 – 23. The slightly hilly stages and the summit finish on Green Mountain will be the decisive factors. There will also be two flat stages, in which a mass sprint finish can be expected.


2014 Tour of America’s Dairyland Race Dates & Venues Released
Press Release: Following up on a record-breaking fifth year in 2013 featuring 6,200 starting cyclists from 13 countries and 43 of the United States competing for more than $150,000 in cash and primes before 150,000 spectators, race promoter Midwest Cycling Series, LLC, has announced the 2014 schedule for the Tour of America’s Dairyland presented by Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board (“ToAD”). The sixth year of the omnium competition will travel to 11 Wisconsin communities in as many days, June 19-29, 2014, and include two dates on the USA Cycling National Criterium Calendar (“NCC”) and bring one new closed course venue into the ToAD fold.


Thursday, June 19
Shorewood Criterium Cycling Classic

Friday, June 20
East Troy Cycling Classic (Criterium)

Saturday, June 21 * NCC Event *
Giro d’ Grafton (Criterium)

Sunday, June 22 * NCC Event *
Waukesha Carl Zach Cycling Classic (Criterium)

Monday, June 23
Milwaukee Mile Speedway Circuit Race

Tuesday, June 24
Schlitz Park Criterium (Downtown Milwaukee)

Wednesday, June 25
Elkhart Lake Race at Road America

Thursday, June 26
To Be Announced

Friday, June 27
Fond du Lac Commonwealth Classic (Criterium)

Saturday, June 28
ISCorp Downer Classic (Milwaukee’s Eastside)

Sunday, June 29
East Tosa Gran Prix (Wauwatosa)


The 2014 line-up includes a new venue for ToAD – a circuit race at Wisconsin State Fair Park’s Milwaukee Mile, the oldest operating motor speedway in the world. The asphalt-paved one-mile oval combined with the twisty infield circuit course will make for a fun, closed race for both athletes and spectators. The final 2014 ToAD venue will be announced in February.


Online registration is expected to open in March. Updates will be posted on the Official Website (www.TourofAmericasDairyland.com), on Facebook (Tour of America’s Dairyland), and on Twitter (@ToADcyclingrace).


# # #

About Tour of America’s Dairyland
Over $150,000 in cash and primes was awarded to racers of multiple categories, including more than $11,000 in cash primes alone at the ISCorp Downer Classic during the 2013 Tour of America’s Dairyland presented by Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board. Nearly 6,200 racers took to the ToAD start line over the course of 11 days with 14,000 carton of low-fat chocolate milk chilling on ice to aid in their recovery at the finish. Taking home the coveted Overall yellow cowprint jersey was Ricardo Escuela (Predator Carbon Repair) with Alexander Ray (ISCorp pb Intelligentsia) and Jeyson Camilo Ulloa (Indeportes Boyaca) rounding out the Pro Men’s podium. On the Pro Women podium, Samantha Schneider stood tall in the Becker Law pink Overall jersey, with Laura Van Gilder (Mellow Mushroom) and Cari Higgins (ExergyTWENTY 16) standing at her sides in second and third, respectively.

About Midwest Cycling Series, LLC
Midwest Cycling Series, LLC, founder and promoter of the Tour of America’s Dairyland, comprises six avid cyclists including Olympic Road Race Trials qualifier Bill Ochowicz, Paul Weaver – successful entrepreneur and decades-long supporter of cycling teams and events, Milwaukee Junior Cycling Team co-Executive Director Bill Koch, National Senior Olympics competitor Jim Michler, Olympic cyclist Tom Schuler, and Jack Hirt, former executive director of the Bike Federation of Wisconsin, who leads day-to-day operations as ToAD Executive Director.

About Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board
Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board has been the presenting sponsor of the Tour of America’s Dairyland since the pro-am cycling event’s launch in 2009. Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board is a nonprofit organization of Wisconsin dairy producers that promotes the consumption of milk, cheese and other dairy products made in America’s Dairyland. www.EatWisconsinCheese.com

About the USA Cycling National Criterium Calendar
Created in 2012 to showcase the country’s top criterium-only events, the National Criterium Calendar (NCC) recognizes the best crit racers on American soil by employing a season-long rankings system that identifies overall men’s and women’s series leaders. Recognized by the United States Olympic Committee and the Union Cycliste Internationale, USA Cycling is the official governing body for all disciplines of competitive cycling in the United States, including road, track, mountain bike, BMX, and cyclo-cross. www.usacycling.org/ncc

Tour of America’s Dairyland 2013 by Helios cyclingphotography:

What’s for Lunch?
The BMC team in the Santos Tour Down Under show us what goes in their feed bags on a stage of the Australian race.

Lunch Time on the BMC: Santos Tour Down Under by BMCProTeam:

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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