What's Cool In Road Cycling

EuroTrash Thursday!

Flanders is the place to be this weekend for the Ronde van Vlaanderen, but if you can’t be there pull up a bottle of Duvel, Kriek or Stella and stay with us at PEZ for the Flemish action. Lots of “Ronde” video’s old and new here on EuroTrash Thursday and news from “De Panne” plus all our usual bits for your information. Have a good Ronde weekend, but stay off the very strong stuff, Piraat Ale (10.5%) comes to mind!

“Top Story”
Today’s “Top Story” is the big race of the year, Sunday’s Ronde van Vlaanderen. The Tour of Flanders is the World Championships of the classics, if you are a Belgian, or more precisely; Flemish then it’s THE race to win. Anyway I love it and so do many others for many different reasons and there is loads of Vlaanderen film out there. Here are a three of my favourites. In the first the triple screen, I think, adds to the excitement:

The second film is Eddy Merckx at his best. The reigning World Champion riding Frans Verbeek off his wheel…Classic!

The third film is a bit of a Specialized advert, but the read-out from Fabian Cancellara’s SRM out-put data is quite an eye opener.

KBC-Driedaagse De Panne-Koksijde
The three days of De Panne comes between Gent-Wevelgem and the Tour of Flanders, but is probably too close to the Ronde for the big stars to shine too much and blunt their speed. It’s a hard fought battle over three days and four stages, the last day being split with a road stage followed by a 14.7 kilometre time trial.
Stage 1: Andrй Greipel (Omega Phama-Lotto) won from a group of four riders who were caught on the line by the fast moving peloton. Lieuwe Westra (Vacansoleil-DMC), Vladimir Gusev (Katusha) and Dimitriy Muravyev (RadioShack) made up the four escapees. The stage win puts Greipel in the overall lead.
Stage 1 result:
1. Andrй Greipel (Omega Pharma-Lotto) in4:22:33
2. Lieuwe Westra (Vacansoleil-DCM)
3. Dmitriy Muravyev (RadioShack)
4. Vladimir Gusev (Katusha)
5. Romain Feillu (Vacansoleil-DCM)
6. Peter Sagan (Liquigas-Cannondale)
7. Danilo Hondo (Lampre-ISD)
8. Allan Davis (Astana)
9. Mark Renshaw (HTC-Highroad)
10. Yauheni Hutarovich (FdJ).

Stage 2: saw Denis Galimzyanov (Katusha) take his first Pro victory with a very strong sprint from John Degenkolb (HTC) and Peter Sagan (Liquigas). Yesterday’s leader; Andre Greipel (Omega Pharma-Lotto) lost 5 minutes and 9 seconds, as did race favourite Bradley Wiggins (Sky), many others came in over 12 minutes back. Lieuwe Westra (Vacansoleil) took over the lead.
Stage 2 result:
1. Denis Galimzyanov (Katusha) in 5:08:18
2. John Degenkolb (HTC-Highroad)
3. Peter Sagan (Liquigas-Cannondale)
4. Tomas Vaitkus (Astana)
5. Romain Feillu (Vacansoleil-DCM)
6. Aidis Kruopis (Landbouwkrediet)
7. Russell Downing (Sky)
8. Yauheni Hutarovich (FdJ)
9. Jimmy Casper (Saur-Sojasun
10. Michal Kwiatkowski (RadioShack).

Overall after stage 2:
1. Lieuwe Westra (Vacansoleil-DCM) in 9:30:43
2. Bert De Backer (Skil-Shimano)
3. John Degenkolb (HTC-Highroad) at 0:02
4. Arnoud Van Groen (Veranda’s Willems-Accent)
5. Peter Sagan (Liquigas-Cannondale) at 0:04
6. Dmitriy Muravyev (RadioShack)
7. Grega Bole (Lampre-ISD) at 0:05
8. Mickaлl Delage (FdJ) at 0:06
9. Romain Feillu (Vacansoleil-DCM) at 0:08
10. Yauheni Hutarovich (FdJ)

Today (Thursday), will decide the final overall with a 111 kilometre road stage and a 14.7 individual time trial.

Quick-Step Cycling Team to Driedaagse van De Panne-Koksijde
Quick-Step Cycling Team has officially announced the team that will take part to Drie Daagse van De Panne.

“The goals for this race are essentially two” Team Trainer Tom Steels says “Try to win a stage and fine tune the condition of some athletes that will be important for Ronde Van Vlaanderen next Sunday.”

Note: The new Quick-Step Cycling Team website will go live on Friday, April 1st. You can get a sneak preview by going to www.quickstepcycling.eu/comingsoon, where the new look will gradually be revealed.

KBC Driedaagse De Panne-Koksijde (BEL) 2HC
Riders:
Sylvain Chavanel,
Francesco Chicchi,
Gerald Ciolek,
Iljo Keisse,
Frйderique Robert,
Gert Steegmans,
Niki Terpstra,
Guillaume Van Keirsbulck.
Sports Directors: Wilfried Peeters & Tom Steels.

Stages:
29.03.11 Stage 1: Middelkerke-Zottegem 194.0 km
30.03.11 Stage 2: Oudenaarde-Koksijde 219.0 km
31.03.11 Stage 3a: De Panne-De Panne 111.0 km
31.03.11 Stage 3b : De Panne-De Panne 14.7 km (ITT)

Website: www.veloclub-depanne.be.

If you have not seen Tom Boonen’s reactions to his Gent-Wevelgem, here they are: https://www.quickstepcycling.eu/webtv/popup2.php?lng=en&id=135

Nizzolo in, Wagner out!
After breaking his leg in the E3 when hit by a commissar’s car, Robert Wagner will be replaced by new professional; Giacomo Nizzolo in Sunday’s Tour of Flanders in the Leopard-Trek team. He was at home in Milan when he received the call-up to help team leader Fabian Cancellara take another Flanders win.

Valverde to Movistar?
Eusebio Unzuй, the manager of the Movistar team has stated in an interview with the Diario de Navarra newspaper that “we will fight for Valverde to return with us.” Alejandro Valverde rode for Unzuй in the Illes Balears and Caisse d’Epargne teams since 2005 after he left his first team; Kelme. Valverde will be eligible to return to the peloton in January and Unzuй said “We will try to help Alejandro not to lose his brilliance in this year and a half of his ban, and then, hopefully, agree to his return.” No surprise there then!

Ricco to appear before CONI
“The Cobra” is one of the more printable nick-names Riccardo Ricco has been called over the years! He had been called to appear in front of the Italian Olympic Committee tomorrow (Friday) to answer to the charge that he gave himself a blood transfusion in early February this year. The meeting has been postponed for two week (13th April) as Ricco has asked for more time to prepare. The previously convicted doper contests that he is not guilty of any wrong doing; the case is based on the information that he told the doctor who treated him for a severe heart and lung infection that he had performed a blood transfusion on himself. Ricco insists “I haven’t seen the police documents but I’ve got my medical records and there’s nothing written on them. It’s all been made up.” He has said that no matter what the verdict is he will never race again. Let’s hope!

No Tour of Japan
Due to the recent disaster in Japan the 2011 Tour of Japan has had to be cancelled. The race would have started on the 15th and finishing on the 22nd of May. The earthquake and its following tsunami and then the damaged nuclear power station in Fukushima have made it impossible to assemble the equipment and staff needed for a bike race. Add to that the lack of food and the damaged roads it just can’t happen. Let’s face it, it’s only a bike race, the disaster to the people of Japan is much more important.

A Tour de Polonge made for Pedalling…
the “Tour de Pologne Amateur Stage” is back
The 2011 Tour de Pologne will be all about pedaling! After last year’s brilliant experience, this year, in cohesion with the professional race, the organisers want to repeat and expand the race reserved for amateurs and cycling tourists. It will be the first real Tour de Pologne – branded major event entirely dedicated to two wheel enthusiasts. The Tour de Pologne Amateurs Stage will take place on Friday, August 5, 2011, covering part of the same route that the pros will be taking on just a few hours afterward, with start and finish lines at Terma Bukowina Tatrzaсska, the Polish tourist and spa town on the hills at the base of Mount Tatra. BGЇ bank, historic partner of the Lang Team and the Tour de Pologne, will be the main sponsor of the event.

It will be an important stage, essential in understanding who will, or at least who won’t win the 68th edition of the Tour de Pologne. The amateur race will be 56.6 km long, open to everyone, on a spectacular and hilly route that winds through the Polish countryside, with three mountain grand prix and an uphill arrival in Terma Bukowina Tatrzaсska.

And it’s not just a race. In keeping with the spirit of any Gran Fondo event, the Tour de Pologne “stage” dedicated to amateurs will be the perfect chance to discover the scenery and natural beauty of this marvellous territory. It’s an event not to be missed, to make the most of, where sport comes together with culture, history and local cuisine.

Leading the group of fans again this year will be the Director of the Tour de Pologne Czeslaw Lang, supported by various friends, including past cycling champions as well as special guests from the world of sports and entertainment.

“This ride is a unique, not-to-be-missed event to give two-wheel fans the chance to experience the atmosphere at the Tour de Pologne,” explains Czeslaw Lang. “In 2010 we enjoyed great success, there were more than 700 participants, and we hope that this year lots of people will accept our invitation, either to follow the pro race or to take a ride with us through these splendid places. It was a great experience, and again this year there will be plenty of special guests there to ride with the group. All fans are invited to take part in this great party.”

For more information log on to the website: https://www.tourdepologneamatorow.pl/

MOTOREX USA Announces 2011 Bicycle Race Teams
MOTOREX Oil of Switzerland is pleased to announce the racing teams using MOTOREX products for 2011:

Road:
Kelly Benefit Strategies Optum Health Pro Cycling
United Healthcare Pro Cycling
Kenda Pro Cycling presented by Gear Grinder
Team BMC Pro Cycling
Texas Roadhouse Cycling

MTB:
Trek World Racing
Yeti World Racing
KHS World Racing
Team BMC Pro Cycling
Team Multivan Merida

The complete MOTOREX line includes a broad range of synthetic lubricants, greases, aerosol sprays, cleaners and care products for mountain and road bicycles.

MOTOREX is used by top factory teams worldwide, by independent pros and by top amateurs who demand the best performance from their race machines. MOTOREX is available at dealerships nationwide. For more information please visit us at www.motorexbicycle.com and www.facebook.com/motorexusa.

Sastre, Menchov and team-mates pedal with fans along Las Ramblas in Barcelona
Geox breathes… and with the GEOX-TMC riders it makes Catalunya breathe!
GEOX-TMC riders set a meeting with cycling fans this afternoon at the Geox Shop in Barcelona. After crossing the finish line of the Volta Ciclista a Catalunya, right in the heart of Barcelona, Carlos Sastre, Denis Menchov and their teammates pedalled up to the Geox Shop, arousing the curiosity of passer-bys and fans that crowded Las Ramblas.

Once at the Geox Shop, Sastre, Menchov as well as the rest of the GEOX-TMC riders took photos with fans and signed autographs. They also answered questions from reporters at the event. Everyone who took part to the event received a nice t-shirt.

“It really was a nice event,” said Sastre. “It was a pleasure to be able to pedal downtown Barcelona together with all these cycling fans. Cycling isn’t just about competing, it’s a very important means of transport that doesn’t pollute, not to mention pedalling is good both for one’s body and for one’s mind. Unfortunately I didn’t do as well as I expected to here at the Volta a Catalunya, it was a difficult week for me. I wasn’t in ideal conditions so I never managed to be a protagonist of the race. Anyway I decided to hang in there and finish the race. I am looking at the next upcoming competitions with renewed confidence.”

“It was also a good way to ease the tension after the racing week,” said Mechov. “I wasn’t 100% fit when the race started because of a flu and in such physical conditions it becomes difficult to reach the front group and keep up with the best, especially in an important race like the Catalunya. I decided to go on and finish the race mostly because it is good training and I managed to find my rhythm again.

Geox, main sponsor of GEOX-TMC for the 2011 season, wanted this event both to allow fans to meet their favourite athletes and to send out a message about sustainable mobility to people. Cycling is all about open air, and it can be considered a symbol of ecologic and environment-friendly approach to transport, as well as a way to respect the environment.

With this event, Geox – the company of “the shoe that breathes”- wanted to meet and say hello to its athletes, but also to give props to the environment-friendly policy that Catalunya started a few years ago, reaching more than 200,000 users for the bike sharing service (A public bicycle service in big towns that envisages “sharing a bike”).

Ronde Rivalry!
OK, so I love “De Ronde” so here is a special story from Flanders. The first film is from 1976 where Freddy Maertens and Roger De Vlaeminck mark each other out of the race, Maertens’s team mate, the late Marc DeMeyer, waves him to come on, but the rivalry between the two Flemish hero’s is just too much.

The second is the year after (1977) and the two are together again, but this time they have caught and dropped the weakening Eddy Merckx, to ride together to contest the finish. The problem for Maertens is that he has been told he will be disqualified for an illegal bike change, he still rides to the finish, but knows he can’t win, well maybe he is the moral winner?


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