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EuroTrash Thursday!

Terpstra wins in Flanders and Purito takes control in Catalunya, results, quotes and video action in today’s EuroTrash. Top Story looks at Yorkshire’s Tour problems, in other cycling news the teams preview Gent-Wevelgem and the E3 Harelbeke, Marcel Kittel will ride the Giro and we have the teams for the Redlands Bicycle Classic. Lots to read and watch!

We’ll get to our Top Story next, but first here’s another cool video from the guys at Devinci Cycles who sponsor the 5 Hour Energy pro cycling team.

Watch for our interview with team DS Frankie Andreu and a Devinci Leo SL review coming soon.

TOP STORY: Yorkshire Short of Tour Cash?
It is being reported by a few different media outlets that the organisers of the 2014 Tour de France ‘Grand Depart’ are short of £2.3 million. The problem is mostly over barriers, communications, first aid and other aspects of this major public event. The original estimate did not understand the full extent of what was needed. A report states that the original estimate; “did not take into account the requirement to transport resources around Yorkshire, Derbyshire and Rochdale, and due to the distances and rural locations involved the rates have increased.”

Amongst other things, the 2014 Tour de France Grand Depart needs: 30 spectator hubs along the route, 93 miles of temporary barriers, 349 miles of public road over three days, 2,000 portable toilets, 3,800 two-way radios, 4,500 beds booked each night of race by organisers, 10,000 Tour Maker volunteers and a £27m total Grand Depart budget.

The total budget of £27 million has to come from the various local authorities in Yorkshire, Transport for London and central government, via the Department for Media, Culture and Sport. Leeds City Council’s contribution is £3.6m. Chairman of the organising committee, Sir Rodney Walker, said “We’re confident we’re going to deliver not only the largest event Yorkshire has ever staged, but we’re going to deliver it on budget. This is a free event that could attract three million people for the two Yorkshire stages alone – I challenge you to find better value for money than that.”

The report suggests almost £1m can be saved in ‘value engineering’ – asking each authority to reassess its needs in terms of barriers, signage, temporary toilets and so on – while a further £120,000 could come from the local authorities in Barnsley, Derbyshire and Rochdale, which so far have not contributed.

The organisers say Yorkshire is well placed to gain the majority of economic benefits from the Grand Depart that should total more than £100m. On the other hand Yorkshire’s local authorities have said it would cost more than £1bn to fix the region’s road network and the backlog of repairs would take 11 years to complete.

This Yorshireman could probably sort it out:

Volta a Catalunya 2014
The 169 kilometre long Stage 1 of the Volta a Catalunya in and around Calella was dominated by a front duo, Boris Vallee (Lotto Belisol) and Romain Lemarchand (Cofidis). In the peloton, big names such as Chris Froome (Sky), Nairo Quintana (Movistar), Joaquin Rodriguez (Katusha), Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Sharp) and Tinkoff-Saxo’s Alberto Contador spent the day eyeing each other.

The front group was caught on the final climb before new attacks were launched diving down the descent but the peloton never let anyone out of sight and the bunch sprint was inevitable. As the peloton galloped towards the finish line, the street was transformed into pure pace mayhem and the first rider to cross the finish line was Luka Mezgec (Giant-Shimano) ahead of Leigh Howard (Orica-GreenEdge) and Julian Alaphilippe (Omega Pharma – Quick-Step).

Stage winner Luka Mezgec (Giant-Shimano): “Winning here has been a target for me since the start of the season and to do it on the opening stage is just perfect. It was a hard day today and I suffered a bit on the climbs but the guys kept me going and supported me well. With 3km to go Warren Barguil brought me into position and then after that Georg Preidler took me right to the front with 1km to race. I lost a few places and had to go from far out to get through. Someone tried to box me in against the barriers but I was still able to get it at the end. Last week’s win was great for the confidence and together with good legs and a great team that makes the difference. We will try to defend the jersey tomorrow but after that the race will become very difficult.”

Third placed Julian Alaphilippe (Omega Pharma – Quick-Step): “I tried to do the sprint today,” Alaphilippe said. “I am super happy for the first podium of my career as a professional. It’s kind of bittersweet as this opportunity to go for a win doesn’t always happen. I was there, but more or less at 400 meters from the finish I had contact with other guys and almost crashed, so I lost my speed. I launched my sprint again, but it was really hard to win at that point and to do better than this. But, I had power in the legs and that is satisfying. It was a stressful day. I have to thank my teammates, especially Pieter Serry and Gianluca Brambilla, who were there with me to lead me out and did a good job protecting me. It was a hectic sprint, a bit risky, but in any case I am happy about my race today. I am an attacker. Not the best on the climbs, or the sprints, but I try to defend myself everywhere. When I was young I won some sprints in small groups and mass sprints, so we will see what can happen. But to me I know this race, as well as this year, will be a learning process. I’m thankful to OPQS for developing me through their youth program, ETIXX, and giving me a chance to ride for them professionally. It’s a joy to ride my bike for OPQS and I will try learn as much as I can from my teammates at the next races.”

Lotto Belisol’s Boris Vallée was in the two-man break: “We kept up a good tempo. But with two riders it isn’t easy to survive and stay ahead of a chasing peloton. It’s a pity we weren’t with some more riders otherwise we might have battled for the win. Before the start we had discussed with the team that there was a chance that big groups would take off in the beginning of the stage, so we had to be very attentive. I’m glad I could test my legs in a breakaway. I’m honoured to wear the leader’s jersey of the classification of intermediate sprints tomorrow. That’s a big windfall and especially a nice bonus for my aggressive ride. In the next days I will mainly perform a helping role to fully assist Jurgen Van den Broeck and Bart De Clercq.”

Tinkoff-Saxo DS, Philippe Mauduit says: “Everything went according to plan. It was obviously a day for the sprinters and our main goal was to protect Alberto and keep him out of trouble and the boys succeeded in doing so. We have a good mix of experienced and young riders and everyone did a perfect job. Tomorrow’s stage is somewhat similar and I don’t any GC riders make any sudden moves,” says the French sports director.

Volta a Catalunya Stage 1 Result:
1. Luka Mezgec (Slo) Giant-Shimano in 4:09:13
2. Leigh Howard (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge
3. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step
4. Paul Martens (Ger) Belkin
5. Tosh Van Der Sande (Bel) Lotto Belisol
6. Daniele Ratto (Ita) Cannondale
7. Marcus Burghardt (Ger) BMC
8. Roberto Ferrari (Ita) Lampre-Merida
9. Samuel Dumoulin (Fra) Ag2r-La Mondiale
10. Kévin Reza (Fra) Europcar.

Volta a Catalunya Overall After Stage 1:
1. Luka Mezgec (Slo) Giant-Shimano in 4:09:03
2. Leigh Howard (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge at 0:04
3. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step at 0:06
4. Boris Vallee (Bel) Lotto Belisol at 0:08
5. Cédric Pineau (Fra) FDJ.fr at 0:09
6. Paul Martens (Ger) Belkin at 0:10
7. Tosh Van Der Sande (Bel) Lotto Belisol
8. Daniele Ratto (Ita) Cannondale
9. Marcus Burghardt (Ger) BMC
10. Roberto Ferrari (Ita) Lampre-Merida.

Stage 1:

Luka Mezgec has taken his second consecutive stage of the Volta Ciclista a Catalunya with an imperious finishing sprint at the end of Stage 2. Already a winner on yesterday’s opening stage, Luka had to come from a long way back in a frantic finish, choosing to sprint on the opposite side of the road to the pack and coming across the line with bike lengths to spare.

With Luka in the leader’s jersey, Team Giant-Shimano were once again in the driving seat during today’s stage. They took up the chase behind the day’s breakaway of six riders [Maxim Belkov (Katusha), Michel Koch (Cannondale), Thomas Voeckler (Europcar), Tomasz Marczynski and Marek Rutkiewicz (CCC Polsat Polkowice) and Jérôme Baugnies (Wanty-Groupe Gobert)] and kept their advantage in check as the weather conditions deteriorated and set up a testing day in the saddle. The race came back together just five kilometers from the finish line and with Luka and the team having navigated the small climbs en-route, they set about positioning themselves for the finish.

They safely made it through the roundabouts in the final few kilometers, putting their Vittoria tyres to good use on the wet Spanish roads, and coming into the final 500m Luka was sitting a bit far back in around 10th position. As the peloton dived down the left hand side of the road, Luka popped out of the line, headed over to the right and powered past everyone, leaving the rest to fight for second place. A superb sprint win that sees him conserve the overall lead as the race heads to the mountains tomorrow.

The sprinting sensation of the race, Luka, said: “My sprint has really come on after working hard over the winter with the team coaches and experts and it’s great to feel the hard work paying off now. I have to thank my teammates for their hard work again today. It is never easy when it is wet and cold but they were great. The hills we fine today, much easier than on paper. We had to push hard to get Voeckler back in the end but after that it wasn’t too hectic as the race was strung out and the guys had put me in position. I was freezing on the bike on the downhill at the end and was a bit unsure of how the legs would react in the sprint. At 500m to go I was not in perfect position but when I jumped my legs were good.”

“Luka made it look easy but from experience the easier it looks, the harder it is,” said coach Addy Engels at the finish in Girona. “The plan today was to honour the jersey and ride for another bunch sprint, and thankfully we got some more help from other teams today. With six riders the break was manageable and the guys rode strong again to keep them in check. We had studied the finish before the stage and knew that you had to be well positioned before the roundabouts. The goal was to get Luka through the last roundabout at the front and then see what support he had but with all the work the guys did before he was a bit isolated. He kept his cool and went from a long way out, but flew past everyone. He knew from yesterday that he could get through the final 500m on his own if needed and he showed his power once again here today.”
Thanks to Giant-Shimano for the race report.

The overall classification is led by Mezgec and Lampre-Merida’s Roberto Ferrari is now 2nd at 14 seconds. “I thought I had started the sprint too early, so I hesitated for a moment, I was not decisive enough. Anyway, I think that the result would have not changed, Mezgec was the strongest,” Ferrari explained. “I’m happy because my legs are good and my condition is improving day by day.”

Matxin, the Lampre-Merida sport director, is satisfied: “The team worked very well in the approaches of the climbs and in supporting Ferrari. As to the team selection, there isn’t a pure rouleur or other sprinters except Roberto, so I asked Durasek and Polanc to give their support. They did it perfectly.”

Sky’s Richie Porte abandoned during the stage due to illness. He also climbed off in Tirreno-Adriatico, both races were important steps towards him leading the team at the Giro d’Italia.

It was a bad day for the Trek team as Danilo Hondo abandoned with acute bronchitis and sinusitis, Haimar Zubeldia has been sick since Monday where he finished three minutes down and he eventually gave up today, Giacomo Nizzolo suffered a spectacular fall coming in 10 minutes down at the finish and Julian David Arredondo lost 36 seconds with stomach problems at the end of the second stage.

Volta a Catalunya Stage 2 Result:
1. Luka Mezgec (Slo) Giant-Shimano in 3:57:49
2. Roberto Ferrari (Ita) Lampre-Merida
3. Daniele Ratto (Ita) Cannondale
4. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step
5. Marcus Burghardt (Ger) BMC
6. Davide Vigano (Ita) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
7. Boris Vallee (Bel) Lotto Belisol
8. Tosh Van Der Sande (Bel) Lotto Belisol
9. Leigh Howard (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge
10. Maciej Paterski (Pol) CCC Polsat Polkowice at 0:03

Volta a Catalunya Overall After Stage 2:
1. Luka Mezgec (Slo) Giant-Shimano in 8:06:42
2. Roberto Ferrari (Ita) Lampre-Merida at 0:14
3. Leigh Howard (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge
4. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step at 0:16
5. Daniele Ratto (Ita) Cannondale
6. Boris Vallee (Bel) Lotto Belisol at 0:18
7. Marcus Burghardt (Ger) BMC at 0:20
8. Tosh Van Der Sande (Bel) Lotto Belisol
9. Davide Vigano (Ita) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
10. Michel Koch (Ger) Cannondale.

Stage 2:

Today’s 162 kilometre long Stage 3 of the Volta a Catalunya was the first big test between the contenders for the overall win. The stage finishing with an uphill finish to La Molina; a perfect scenario for a thrilling battle between the big favourites: Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha), Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo), Chris Froome (Sky) and Nairo Quintana (Movistar).

On the penultimate climb, Tinkoff-Saxo went to the front of the pack setting the pace and started shaving down the time difference between the pack and the six breakaway riders: Andrey Zeits (Astana), Jack Bobridge (Belkin), Michel Koch (Cannondale), Kevin Reza (Europcar), Branislau Samoilau (CCC Polsat Polkowice) and Rudy Molard (Cofidis). On the final climb; Katusha and Movistar took part in the pace setting in the main peloton which was soon stretched out and riders started to be dropped while the front group crumbled.

With six kilometre’s remaining, the last standing escapee was reeled in as Movistar pushed the pace and Alberto Contador was well protected by his team mates. With 2 kilometres’ to go; Jakob Fuglsang (Astana) drifted off the front of the pack, but as he was caught, Chris Froome (Sky) launched a counter-attack. Joaquin Rodriguez (Katusha) continued the fast pace as Froome slowed and Contador followed the Katusha rider, Nairo Quintana (Movistar) and Tejay Van Garderen (BMC) past Froome before the line.

Stage winner Joaquim Rodrigues moves into the overall lead by 5 seconds over Alberto Contador, 9 to Nairo Quintana, 11 to Tejay Van Garderen and 13 to Chris Froome.

“It was not so easy,” explained Joaquim Rodriguez. “In the descent to La Molina I thought I was on the North Pole, it was so cold. Fortunately I could take some clothes at the top and I was well protected. And its good there was no rain.”

Rodriguez looks to stage four: “Tomorrow will be the queen’s stage and harder than today, but also a good day for me and I can ride in defensive mode. I took five seconds today. That is not so much, but when the favorites stay together, I will keep my advantage. Before today I never thought I’d be able to take even one second. I was thinking more of Betancur or Moreno for today, but then I suddenly felt so good…”

Director Konyshev sees promise in the days to come: “Now we can control tomorrow, but it would also be good to take extra time. I think tomorrow’s stage suits Purito even better than today. With some extra seconds we can be a bit more relaxed the last two days when there are bonification seconds at the finish line.” Mountaintop finishes don’t offer time bonuses, relying instead on real time.

“Ten years ago I won the Semana Catalana,” said Rodriguez. “It would be nice to win the Volta this year, but let’s be careful in our thinking. Don’t forget that the level of this race is so high. It’s nice to see all the big names here and when you see that Evans was already top in Down Under, Quintana in Argentina, Contador and Valverde also, I could not stay behind…”

“It has been a day complicated by the cold”, said Alberto Contador after crossing the finish line in second position, behind Purito Rodriguez and second ahead Quintana and Froome. “We’ve all come a bit blocked and the race has been broken more than we thought, because the climb was not hard,” he said. The Saxo-Tinkoff leader was satisfied with his performance on a day like today because; “the important thing now is to recover as best as possible for tomorrow, which is harder. Today was a matter of control the attacks and the truth is that Purito has an incredible spark and I could not hold him in the final sprint.” As to the important stage on Thursday: “I hope to have good legs in Vallter 2000, which is harder, and will see how I go”, said Contador, who recognized the high level of participation in this tour, with the top four of the last Tour de France. “Yes, the level of this year’s Volta is awesome and also the really good news is that all those who have finished in front want to win,” he concluded.

Tinkoff-Saxo DS, Philippe Mauduit: “The boys did a solid job keeping a high pace and protecting Alberto until the final kilometres of the stage where it was all down to the GC riders to fight it out. Rodriguez is a difficult man to beat in an explosive final like this and I’m happy to see Alberto finishing second ahead of both Quintana and Froome. Tomorrow’s stage will be harder with longer climbs and I expect Katusha to be in charge of the pace and we’ll wait and see how the race develops.”

Volta a Catalunya Stage 3 Result:
1. Joaquin Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha in 4:50:54
2. Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Tinkoff-Saxo at 0:05
3. Nairo Alexander Quintana Rojas (Col) Movistar at 0:09
4. Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC at 0:11
5. Christopher Froome (GB) Sky at 0:13
6. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Ag2r-La Mondiale at 0:14
7. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Belkin
8. Andrew Talansky (USA) Garmin-Sharp
9. Romain Bardet (Fra) Ag2r-La Mondiale
10. Przemyslaw Niemiec (Pol) Lampre-Merida at 0:20.

Volta a Catalunya Overall After Stage 3:
1. Joaquin Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha in 12:58:00
2. Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Tinkoff-Saxo at 0:05
3. Nairo Alexander Quintana Rojas (Col) Movistar at 0:09
4. Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC at 0:11
5. Christopher Froome (GB) Sky at 0:13
6. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Belkin at 0:14
7. Andrew Talansky (USA) Garmin-Sharp
8. Romain Bardet (Fra) Ag2r-La Mondiale
9. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Ag2r-La Mondiale
10. Przemyslaw Niemiec (Pol) Lampre-Merida at 0:20.

Stage 3:

Dwars Door Vlaanderen 2014
Omega Pharma – Quick-Step Cycling Team put on yet another show at a Belgian race in 2014. They opened the cobbled Classics with a victory at Dwars door Vlaanderen on Wednesday, after executing perfect race tactics that included Niki Terpstra attacking on the Paterberg to eventually win solo.

Thanks to Gert Steegmans placing himself on the back of a chase group, Tom Boonen covering an attack out of the peloton, and a fighting spirit that accompanied strong legs of former Dutch Champion Niki Terpstra, he was able to reach the final kilometres with about a 30 second advantage. When he first attacked, his gap was about 11 seconds. However, with about 20km to go his advantage had quickly climbed to more than 20 seconds. Despite three more climbs before the finish, Terpstra was able to hold his power and win alone, just as he did in the 2012 edition.

Nikolas Maes was the first protagonist for OPQS, going into the original breakaway that was caught by the time Terpstra had passed them and established himself as a lone breakaway rider. The race was a tactical masterpiece for OPQS, as the team covered every move and was constantly a protagonist.

“I feel really great,” Terpstra said. “I was very motivated for this race, as well as the upcoming races. I trained really well for this, put a lot of effort into this. When it pays off, it’s a great feeling. Of course this race is on the Flemish roads with the small hills, the Pavé, and a lot of wind. This race is suited for a guy like me. The attack on the Paterberg wasn’t planned, but in the final we know we have to be in front when we reach that point. I passed the front group on the Paterberg, I accelerated, and then I was alone. I knew the team was behind me to defend my attack. So, it gave me a lot of morale. I put myself in time trial mode and went to the finish. This was actually a long time trial for me. It was all headwind until the finish. I gave the best I could and in the end I still had a lot of force in my legs. I could go at a good speed and I took the win. In the last kilometre I couldn’t see the gap behind me. But on the last 600 meters I could see they weren’t behind me. It gave me a good feeling, but you never know until you cross the finish line. I’m really happy with it. I was able to finish the job of the whole team and I am happy with my condition. The strategy of all the climbs, we had to be in front and go. That’s the strategy and it always is the strategy of OPQS in the Flemish races. We want to be in front and make the race hard. Now, we’re confident. But we still have to stay focused. There are still big races coming up. Because I won over here I am pretty confident for the next weeks. With the way the team raced today I think we are all confident for the next races of the Classics.”

“It was a very difficult race,” Boonen said. “It was the first race after last week, a very hard week for me and my partner. I think I have to be happy with the result. After the misery of last week I was expecting the worst. It was actually not so bad, so I think for Friday and Sunday it will be better. The condition is not gone, but with the emotions and everything, it was a very smart move to start today. I was not really on my best level yet, but it should be better this weekend. I tested myself on the Taaienberg. It was not a big test; it was just to get a few guys back from the breakaway. We were 30 seconds behind with 23 riders at that point. After that, in closing down the breakaway, we had to race a little bit in control. I’m pretty happy with my overall performance today. As for Friday, we will see. I hope my condition evolves back to the normal level I had last week. Anything is possible, but I still have to improve. In any case, I am happy I was able to contribute to my team today and even cover an attack in support of Niki. Congratulations to him winning solo today, he really deserved it.”

Six placed Jens Debusschere (Lotto Belisol): “I felt good today. I turned up the Eikenberg in the top ten. Also on the Oude Kwaremont I was well in front. That were two points I had marked as crucial. At the foot of the Paterberg I had to brake when someone stood still in front of me. That way I got behind in a second group. That was a difficult moment. But the two groups melted together. When the group of four with Devolder took off to chase Terpstra I hesitated to join them, but I thought the peloton would sprint for the second place.”

“In the last kilometre Pim Ligthart brought me in excellent position to the last turn. I began the sprint early because I didn’t want to take the risk to get closed in, but I missed some panache. In the past I already beat Tyler Farrar a few times, but I wasn’t fresh enough. It’s a pity I’m not on the podium, but I’m not unhappy with the result.”

Tinkoff-Saxo DS, Lars Michaelsen: “I think we can be satisfied with the way we rode the race. First, we had Jay McCarthy in the big initial breakaway with 22 riders and in the finale; both Michael Mørkøv and Nicki Sørensen were waiting for the chance to make a move. Nicki chose the right moment and the right guys to follow and I’m just sorry that they weren’t able to make it to the line before the peloton,” said Michaelsen.

And Tinkoff-Saxo Dane, Michael Mørkøv agrees: “I think we can be content even though we didn’t get a result. Our only chance was to hit the right break and if Nicki, Valverde and Devolder couldn’t make it, I don’t think anyone could,” says Mørkøv.

Dwars Door Vlaanderen Result:
1. Niki Terpstra (Ned) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step in 4:31:43
2. Tyler Farrar (USA) Garmin-Sharp at 0:17
3. Borut Bozic (Slo) Astana
4. Jean-Pierre Drucker (Lux) Wanty-Groupe Gobert
5. Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) IAM Cycling
6. Jens Debusschere (Bel) Lotto Belisol
7. Tom Van Asbroeck (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise
8. Oscar Gatto (Ita) Cannondale
9. Jens Keukeleire (Bel) Orica-GreenEdge
10. Yauheni Hutarovich (Blr) Ag2r-La Mondiale.

How the race was won; the attack by Terpstra:

Flèche de Locminé 2014
Douglas Dewey (Team U Nantes Atlantique) won the 35th edition of the Flèche de Locminé (French National Elite), run over a distance of 153.8 kilometers on Sunday. The British rider beat Ronan Tassel (Côtes d’Armor-Marie Morin) and teammate Mathieu Cloarec. The young Dewey is yet another rider helped by the Dave Rayner Fund succeeding abroad, you can read Ed Hood’s recent interview with Douglas Dewey on PEZ here.

Flèche de Locminé Result :
1. Douglas Dewey (Team U Nantes Atlantique) in 3:40:30
2. Ronan Tassel (Cotes D’armor-Marie Morin) at 0:15
3. Mathieu Cloarec (Team U Nantes Atlantique)
4. Luc Tellier (VC Pays De Loudeac)
5. Normann Latouche (Team U Nantes Atlantique)
6. Kevin Lebreton (Armee De Terre)
7. David Cherbonnet (VC Pays De Loudeac) at 0:19
8. Benoit Poitevin (Sojasun Espoir-Acnc) at 0:22
9. David Menut (Armee De Terre)
10. Maxime Le Montagner (Brest Iroise Cyclisme) 2000.


Next Races for Europcar:
E3 Harelbeke Friday 28th March.
Riders: Jérome Cousin, Antoine Duchesne, Yohann Gene, Vincent Jerome, Morgan Lamoisson, Yannick Martinez, Alexandre Pichot, Bjorn Thurau.
Directeur Sportif: Dominique Arnould.

Criterium International Saturday 29th to Sunday 30th March.
Yukiya Arahsiro, Giovanni Bernaudeau, Cyril Gautier, Romain Guillemois, Tony Hurel, Brian Nauleau, Romain Sicard, Angélo Tulik.
Directeur Sportif’s: Benoit Genauzeau & Lylian Lebreton.

Gent-Wevelgem Sunday 30th March.
Riders: Bryan Coquard, Jérome Cousin, Jimmy Engoulvent, Yohann Gene, Morgan Lamoisson, Alexandre Pichot, Bjorn Thurau. Antoine Duchesne, Yannick Martinez (to be decided after the E3 Harelbeke).
Directeur Sportif: Dominique Arnould.

Vanmarcke believes in strength of Gent-Wevelgem team
Press Release: Sprints decided Gent-Wevelgem in recent years but Sep Vanmarcke has confidence that he can break it up and win the Belgian one-day race on Sunday, March 30. The Belgian, who finished second in 2010 behind Bernhard Eisel, trusts in the Belkin Pro Cycling TEAM’s power to take control.

“In Gent-Wevelgem you need a bit of luck,” said Vanmarcke. “Of course, you need to be in good shape, but it’s not like there are many hills. The wind plays an important role. You have to sit at the front at the right time. I know that we can pull that off as a team. In Omloop we proved that we can force things in a big race.”

Vanmarcke reconnoitred the Gent-Wevelgem parcours with his team-mates last weekend. “It was nice to refresh my memory. I don’t train a lot in that region.” The most important period of the year has started for Vanmarcke. Ahead of Gent-Wevelgem, he races E3-Harelbeke on Friday. “Which is in an important race for me, as well.” After those two races, the Belgian will focus on the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix.

Jan Boven
Sports Director Jan Boven has priorities for Belkin ahead of Gent-Wevelgem. “We ride two very tough races in the days ahead of the race,” he said, referring to Dwars door Vlaanderen and E3-Harelbeke.

“We will take it race by race. Sep is our main man in Gent-Wevelgem but with Moreno Hofland, we have another contender, especially when it comes down to a sprint.”

TEAM line-up:
Lars Boom, Rick Flens, Moreno Hofland, Tom Leezer, Bram Tankink, Maarten Tjallingii, Sep Vanmarcke and Maarten Wynants.
Sports Directors: Jan Boven and Nico Verhoeven.

Gent-Wevelgem 1985:

BMC Racing Team Roster: E3 Prijs Vlaanderen-Harelbeke
A pair of past podium placers – Daniel Oss and Greg Van Avermaet – are part of the BMC Racing Team’s roster for E3 Prijs Vlaanderen-Harelbeke on Friday.

Van Avermaet The Leader
Oss finished third in the 212.2-kilometer race last year, while Van Avermaet was third in 2008. “Greg will be our leader and Oss is coming back well,” BMC Racing Team Sport Director Max Sciandri said. “Manuel Quinziato knows the course well and I know Thor Hushovd will be there for us, so we have a good team here as we start approaching the bigger classics.” Van Avermaet has a runner-up performance at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad to his credit this season while Hushovd’s best finish has been a runner-up result on Stage 3 at Tour Méditerranéen. Oss said while he got a late start to his season, he felt good last week being part of a 17-man breakaway at Nokere Koerse. “My shape is coming up, but it is not excellent yet,” he said. “I am looking forward to this race, but I can’t say it will be like last year. I am motivated, I am feeling fresh and rested and am aiming to do my best.”

E3 Prijs Vlaanderen-Harelbeke Roster (March 28):
Silvan Dillier (SUI), Thor Hushovd (NOR), Daniel Oss (ITA), Manuel Quinziato (ITA), Michael Schär (SUI), Greg Van Avermaet (BEL), Danilo Wyss (SUI), Rick Zabel (GER).
Sporting Manager: Allan Peiper (AUS).
Sport Directors: Valerio Piva (ITA) & Max Sciandri (ITA).
Thanks to Sean at BMC.

Team Katusha in E3 Harelbeke
On Friday March 28th the Russian Katusha Team will take part in the Belgian classics race E3 Harelbeke (57th edition) of the UCI WorldTour calendar. E3 Harelbeke traditionally continues the so called Flemish week, which started on Wednesday with Dwars Door Vlaanderen.

The Katusha Team will be represented by Vladimir Gusev, Rüdiger Selig, Vladimir Isaychev, Aliaksandr Kuchysnki, Viacheslav Kuznetsov, Luca Paolini, Gatis Smukulis and Alexey Tsatevich all directed by Gennady Mikhaylov and Torsten Schmidt.
Thanks to Philippe at Katusha.

Vanmarcke Headlines Team Belkin in E3-Harelbeke
Press Release: Sep Vanmarcke counts the E3-Harelbeke as one of his most important races this year. A strong Belkin Pro Cycling TEAM, including Maarten Wynants, will support the Belgian on March 28th. It comes ahead of other crucial one-day races like the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix.

“Sep is a real contender. I can go a long way too and If I can help him, I will do that,” Wynants said. “This is the most important time of the year for me. This is why I became a cyclist. I really want to show myself. I’m in a very good condition. After the opening weekend last month, I took things easy. Paris-Nice was a good and hard race in nice conditions, and I’m ready. I did everything I could to be at my best.”

Wynants explored the course for Friday’s race and thinks that some strong riders will hold off a larger group. “Hopefully Sep is in the first. I expect to at least be in that second group and to try to upset the chase.”

Sports Director Jan Boven drove alongside as Wynants and the team reconnoitred the route. “After Paris-Nice and Tirreno-Adriatico, the guys needed to get used to the Belgian roads again. Now that the weather in Europe is so good, the change wasn’t very big, but it’s good for them to familiarise themselves with their new equipment again. In Belgium, we ride on the Bianchi Infinito CV instead of the Oltre XR2. We also use different tyres. It’s nice for them to get the feeling of those materials again.”

TEAM line-up:
Jetse Bol, Jos van Emden, Tom Leezer, Bram Tankink, Maarten Tjallingii, Sep Vanmarcke, Robert Wagner and Maarten Wynants.
Sports Directors: Jan Boven and Nico Verhoeven.

E3 Prijs Harelbeke Vlaanderen 2010:

Neri Sottoli-Yellow Fluo Sign S. American
Rafael Andriato, Ramon Carter, Jonathan Monsalve and now Thomás Gil. The Neri Sottoli-Yellow Fluo team has announced the signing of its newest rider. The new American in the Italian ProContinental line-up; Thomás Gil rode for Androni Venezuela in 2012 and 2013. The team looks abroad, “the new and emerging markets, without forgetting or modifying our Italian soul.”

Marcel Kittel to ride Giro d’Italia
Press Release: The first Grand Tour of the season, Giro d’Italia is fast approaching and Team Giant-Shimano can now reveal the long-list of 12 riders from which nine will be selected nearer the time.

One rider Team Giant-Shimano can confirm will definitely be on the start line in May is four-time Tour de France stage winner in 2013, Marcel Kittel (GER).

“Our first goal for the Giro d’Italia is to go for a stage win and there are plenty of early opportunities for this with the flat stages,” said Kittel.

“I’ve had a good start this season and winning in Dubai with all the best sprinters was good for the confidence. I felt strong at the beginning of Tirreno, on Italian ground so I’m now looking forward to getting off to a good start in one of the biggest races on the cycling calendar.”

The eight other riders are yet to be finalised, however those in the frame include three-time podium finisher on stages of the 2013 edition, Luka Mezgec (SLO), as well as Tobias Ludvigsson (SWE) who finished fourth on stage nine last year.

The Giro d’Italia gets underway on 9th May in Belfast, Northern Ireland, with a 21.7km team time trial. This is followed by two more stages on the isle before the race moves back home to Italy.

The race this year differs from the norm, starting on a Friday before featuring three rest days, rather than the usual two but apart from that it is business as usual in the race for the Maglia Rosa – frantic sprints, tough mountains, stunning landscapes and of course a testing mountain time trial.

Nikias Arndt (GER), Bert De Backer (BEL), Johannes Fröhlinger (GER)
Simon Geschke (GER), Marcel Kittel (GER) – Confirmed, Tobias Ludvigsson (SWE), Luka Mezgec (SLO), Tom Peterson (USA), Georg Preidler (AUT), Tom Stamsnijder (NED), Albert Timmer (NED), Tom Veelers (NED).

Marcel Kittel Tour Down Under 2014 The Schnitzel Fight

Men’s and Women’s Teams Selected to Compete in the 30th Redlands Bicycle Classic
Press Release: Today we are excited to announce the teams competing in this year’s 30th Redlands Bicycle Classic presented by San Manuel Band of Mission Indians. The Redlands Bicycle Classic serves as the first race of the 2014 USA Cycling National Racing Calendar.

The Classic has been expanded to Five days of racing to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the event. As the first race of the USA National Racing Calendar this year looks set to be hotly contested, as riders look to get their hands on that first yellow jersey. The Redlands Classic once again serves as the first big test of the NRC race season.

Race Director Eric Reiser said “We are always blessed with a strong field every year of teams trying to make an early impression on the National Racing Calendar”.

The 30th edition men’s field will feature 26 race teams. The teams are made up of UCI Continental and Domestic Elite teams. Since its inaugural race in 1985 the field has included Tour de France stage winners, World Champions and Olympic Medalists. The Men’s field has featured many legendary names such as Chris Horner, Davis Phinney and Cadel Evans.

This year’s yellow jersey is once again up for grabs as Francisco Mancebo has joined a team based in United Arab Emirates. The 5-Hour Energy roster for 2014 still includes riders from 2013 team: Bobby Sweeting, David Williams, and James Stemper and under the direction of Frankie Andreau the 5-Hour squad should contend for stage wins as well as GC placements.

Additionally, fans will be treated to many other stage and GC contenders from last year such as 40 year old Freddie Rodriguez of Jelly Belly, Tom Zirbel of Optum, Juan Jose Haedo of Jamis Berman and many other young and talented riders such as Ty Magner of Hincapie Sportswear.

The women’s field will be led once again by Alison Powers. Powers completed a wire to wire victory last year after her strong time trial at Big Bear. Alison returns to Redlands on the newly formed United Healthcare squad that includes Mara Abbott.

The United Healthcare team looks to be challenged by the talented riders of TWENTY 16, Team Tibco, Specialized-lululemon and Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies. From these teams many stage winners of past classics should emerge.

With an extra day of racing and two strong fields of riders the 2014 Redlands Bicycle Classic should give spectators a race worthy of a 30th edition. We hope you can join us for a day of racing and help us celebrate the 30th year.

Complete List of Teams Competing:

Men Pro:
5 HR Energy Cycling Team
Astellas Cycling Team
Athlete Octane Cycling
Bissell Development Team
BMW Development Team
California Giant / Specialized
Canyon Bicycles – Shimano
Elbowz Racing
Garneau – Quebecor
Hagens Berman U23 Team
Hincapie Sportswear Development Team
Horizon Organic / Einstein Bros.
Incycle-Predator Components
Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis
Jet Fuel Coffee-Norco Bicycles Cycling Team
Landis – Trek
Marc Pro – Strava
Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies
Sea Sucker / Guttenplan Coaching
Team Smartstop p/b Mountain Khakis
SoCalCycling.com / Craig Shelly
Team H & R Block
Jamis Hagens Berman
Team Mike’s Bike p/b Equator Coffees
Team Rio Grande Cycling

Women Pro:
Cloud Racing p/b Ride 2 Recovery
DNA Cycling p/b K4
FCS / Zngine powered by Mr. Restore
Guru Cycles p/b Haute Wheels Racing
JETCycling Women’s Elite Team
Metromint Cycling
Monster Media
Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies
Pinnacle Reactor p/b JL Velo Women’s Racing
Sisterhood of Cycling
SPY Giant Ride p/b MRI
Team Tibco / To the Top
Trek-Red Truck p/b Mosaic Homes
United Healthcare Pro Cycling Team

This year’s event will be held April 2 – 6, 2014 in Redlands, CA and surrounding cities. The race features professional men and women’s races that will include five tough days of racing, beginning with a Circuit Race in the City of Highland on Wednesday, a time trail at Big Bear Lake on Thursday, a grueling road race in the scenic City of Beaumont on Friday, wrapping up in Redlands with a criterium Saturday, and the famous Sunset Road Race on Sunday. For more information, including race times, distances, and volunteer opportunities, visit www.redlandsclassic.com.

Orica-GreenEdge V’s Sky Part 2
Round two of the battle between the Orica-GreenEdge and Sky teams, this time it’s the stare off!


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