What's Cool In Road Cycling

EuroTrash Thursday!

OK, we know Argentina is not in Europe, but there are a lot of top riders in San Luis and Alberto Contador is in the driving seat (at the moment). ”Top Story” takes a look at Cav’s helmet and illegal covering, also Arenberg, Oman, Castilla y Leon, Tirreno-Adriatico and Limburg all get a mention. Plus a special bit of BMC film of the team training, a very naughty Frenchman and remembering Xavi Tondo at San Luis. Lots to see, coffee anyone?

Top Story: Cavendish World’s Helmet Illegal?
If you can think back to the World Road Championships in Copnehagen, Denmark, you will remember that Mark Cavendish wore a Specialized helmet that looked like it had a condom over it! At the last stage of the Tour Down Under the Lotto-Belisol team wanted to wear the new Lazer helmet that has a locking cover which, like the Cavendish helmet, it is supposed to be more aerodynamic. The team were not allowed to wear them due to the ruling over “adding external elements to the helmet” making them illegal. The head of the UCI Jury, Guy Dobbelaere, told Belgian newspaper Gazet van Antwerpen that at; “The start in Copenhagen was pretty chaotic, so we could not control everything, but I don’t think we would take the World title away from Cavendish because of this.” Another UCI oversight or maybe someone has something against Lazer? Does this mean we won’t be seeing any riders with condoms on their helmets?

Tour de San Luis, Argentina 2012
With terrible weather of heavy rain and hail-stones during Stage 1 the peloton let local rider; Emmanuel Guevara (San Luis Somos Todos) go up the road on his own. He was eventually joined by Cesar Berti (Uruguay) and team mate Max Badde, they built up a lead of over 10 minutes, this lasted until the sprinters’ teams chased them down 20 kilometres out. The chase split the bunch into three large groups with all the top riders in the front group. After 189.3 kilometres to Villa Mercedes from San Luis the result came down to the closest of margins on the line. After a strong lead-out from the Omega Pharma – Quick-Step team, with attacks from Tom Boonen, Francesco Chicchi just edged out J.J. Haedo (Saxo Bank). Contador, Leipheimer, Nibali, and Chavanel all finished in the lead group.

Tour de San Luis Stage 1 Result:
1. Francesco Chicchi (Ita) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step in 4:53:18
2. Juan Jose Haedo (Arg) Saxo Bank
3. Mauro Richeze (Arg) Argentina
4. Luis Mansilla (Chi) Chile
5. Jimmy Casper (Fra) Ag2R-La Mondiale
6. Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Colnago-CSF Inox
7. Fco. Jose Ventoso (Spa) Movistar
8. Samuel Caldeira (Por) Carmin-Prio
9. Jacob Keough (USA) Unitedhealtchare
10. Stefan Schumacher (Ger) Christina Watches.

Tour de San Luis Overall After Stage 1:
1. Francesco Chicchi (Ita) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step in 4:53:08
2. Juan Jose Haedo (Arg) Saxo Bank at 0:04
3. Mauro Richeze (Arg) Argentina at 0:06
4. Paolo Locatelli (Ita) Colnago-CSF Inox at 0:09
5. Luis Mansilla (Chi) Chile at 0:10
6. Jimmy Casper (Fra) Ag2R-La Mondiale
7. Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Colnago-CSF Inox
8. Fco. Jose Ventoso (Spa) Movistar
9. Samuel Caldeira (Por) Carmin-Prio
10. Jacob Keough (USA) Unitedhealtchare.

Stage 1 action:

Stage 2 was a repeat win of stage 1 and the win went to Francesco Chicchi of Omega Pharma – Quick-Step with his team mate Tom Boonen in second spot. Earlier in the stage Antonio Cabrera (Chile) headed up the road after 20 kilometres, he was joined by Edwin Avila (Colombia), Mauricio Neisa (Colombia-Comcel) and Emmanuel Guevara (San Luis Somos Todos) and they reached over 5 minutes. Omega Pharma – Quick-Step led the chase to catch the four with 10 kilometres to the finish in Juana Koslay. The Omega lead-out train worked perfectly to put the Chicchi/Boonen tandem on the front at the line.

“It was yet another phenomenal day”, a very happy Chicchi said. “I was supposed to help Boonen’s sprint in the end, as that was what we had decided during the morning meeting. I started the sprint with Casper and Tom right on my wheel. About 300 meters from the finish line I looked behind me and I didn’t see Tom anymore. At that point I launched my sprint and only in the last 50 meters I saw Tom near me. We both raised our hands and I stopped thinking about the sprint. It was only after passing the finish line that I understood I had won. It’s the first time I win two stages in a row during the same race, it’s a great feeling. Winter training and the serene atmosphere in the team are bringing in great results. Let me thank my team once again. The guys raced a team time-trial again today and they took Tom and I by the hand up until the very last kilometer. It’s a pleasure to race alongside athletes that are such great professionals.”

“We controlled the race perfectly once again today,” Boonen said after the end of the stage. “I was trying to get Chicchi’s wheel at the last kilometer in order to enhance my sprint, but another rider hit my front wheel making me wallow for a moment. I lost a few positions but I managed to keep good speed. I made my sprint attempt in the final meters and found myself head to head with Chicchi. We looked at each other and just by instinct we both raised our arms. We didn’t know who of us had won but it didn’t matter. We’re happy to have given the team another great day. I am in good shape and there will be more time for me to win.”

Tour de San Luis Stage 2 Result:
1. Francesco Chicchi (Ita) Omega Pharma-QuickStep in 3:22:40
2. Tom Boonen (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quick-Step
3. Jake Keough (USA) Unitedhealtchare
4. Francisco Josй Ventoso Alberdi (Spa) Movistar
5. Jimmy Casper (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale
6. Lucas Sebastian Haedo (Arg) Team Saxo Bank
7. Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Colnago-CSF Bardiani
8. Maximiliano Richeze (Arg) Argentina
9. Hector Aguilar Figueiras (Uru) Funvic-Pidamonhangab
10. Francesco Lasca (Ita) Caja Rural

Tour de San Luis Overall After Stage 2:
1. Francesco Chicchi (Ita) Omega Pharma-Quick-Step in 8:15:38
2. Juan Josй Haedo (Arg) Saxo Bank at 0:14
3. Jake Keough (USA) Unitedhealtchare at 0:16
4. Mauro Richeze (Arg) Argentina
5. Paolo Locatelli (Ita) Colnago-CSF Bardiani at 0:19
6. Jimmy Casper (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale at 0:20
7. Francisco Josй Ventoso Alberdi (Spa) Movistar
8. Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Colnago-CSF Bardiani
9. Grischa Janorschke (Ger) Team NetApp
10. Stefan Schumacher (Ger) Christina Watches-Ofone.

Stage 2 highlights:

Alberto Contador put his worries and his reported extra weight behind him to take Stage 3 to Mirador del Potrero at the end of 168 kilometres. After an attack from Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas-Cannondale) and Daniel Daiz (San Luis Somos Todos) was pulled back in the last 5 kilometres of the climb, Contador unleashed his climbing power to leave everyone, except Levi Leipheimer (Omega Pharma – Quick-Step), in his wake. Of the two Leipheimer was the stronger, but Contador got the sprint for the stage and took the overall lead going into the 19.5 kilometre time trial in San Luis City. Contador said that all the victories “are important and in this I want to thank especially the work of my team because it has been difficult for me, but I had to reply after the work they had done, it was my responsibility. This victory also comes at a special time, but all wins are special”.

Tour de San Luis Stage 3 Result:
1. Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Saxo Bank in 4:29:27
2. Levi Leipheimer (USA) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step
3. Miguel Angel Rubiano Chavez (Col) Androni Giocattoli at 0:05
4. Stefan Schumacher (Ger) Christina Watches-Ofone at 0:09
5. Daniel Diaz (Arg) San Luis Somos Todos at 0:12
6. Cayetano Josй Sarmiento Tunarrosa (Col) Liquigas-Cannondale at 0:26
7. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale
8. Jose Rodolfo Serpa Perez (Col) Androni Giocattoli
9. Luis Mansilla (Chi) Chile
10. Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Movistar at 0:35.

Tour de San Luis Overall After Stage 3:
1. Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Saxo Bank in 12:45:15
2. Levi Leipheimer (USA) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step at 0:04
3. Stefan Schumacher (Ger) Christina Watches-Ofone at 0:19
4. Daniel Diaz (Arg) San Luis Somos Todos at 0:22
5. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale at 0:36
6. Jose Rodolfo Serpa Perez (Col) Androni Giocattoli
7. Cayetano Josй Sarmiento Tunarrosa (Col) Liquigas-Cannondale
8. Luis Mansilla (Chi) Chile
9. David Arroyo Duran (Spa) Movistar at 0:45
10. Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step.

Stage 3 highlights:

No Arenberg Forest in Paris-Roubaix?
No Muur-Kapelmuur van Geraardsbergen in the Ronde van Vlaanderen and now it looks like the stretch of cobbles through the forest of Arenberg will not be used in this year’s Paris-Roubaix, what is the World coming to? In L’Equipe the story is that the organizers of the “Cobbles Classic” ASO has asked the public authorities to clean the cobbles of moss and other slippery stuff, if this is not done then the race will not pass over this part of road. “If it rains, the risks become excessive,” said Thierry Gouvenou of ASO. What next, La Flйche Wallonne without the Mur de Huy?

Great bit of Retro Paris-Roubaix action from 1985:

Teams for the Tour of Oman
The same teams that will ride the Tour of Qatar will also ride the Tour of Oman from the 14th to the 19th of February. The race starts with stage 1 going from Al Alam Palace to Wadi Al Huwqayn (159 km), stage 2 from Sur to Wadi Dayqah Dam (140,5 km), stage 3; Al Awabi (Al Alya) to Bank Muscat HQ (144,5 km), stage 4; Bidbid (Nafa’a) to Al Wadi al Kabir (142,5 km), stage 5; Royal Opera House to Jabal Al Akhdhar/Green Mountain (158 km) and stage 6 from Al Khawd to Matrah Corniche (130,5 km).

Teams for the Tour of Oman:
FdJ-BigMat (Fra),
Garmin-Barracuda (USA),
GreenEdge Cycling Team (Aus),
Katusha (Rus),
Liquigas-Cannondale (Ita),
Lotto-Belisol (Bel),
Omega Pharma-Quick-Step Cycling Team (Bel),
Rabobank (Ned),
RadioShack-Nissan (USA),
Sky Pro Cycling (GB),
Champion System (Chn),
Farnese Vini-Neri Cycling Team (Ita),
Project 1t4i (Ned),
Bridgestone Anchor Pro Cycling Team (Jpn),
RTS Racing team (Tpe).

Stage 5 of the 2011 Tour of Oman:

Two Speed French Cycling?
French amateur cyclist Alexandre Dougnier (19) has been suspended for three years by the French federation. After a criterium in Aubervilliers in May 2011, there was found in his urine sample not less than twelve banned substances. The rider of AC Boulogne-Billancourt was positively tested on 3’HydroxyStanozolol, 16B-HydroxyStanozolol, 4B HydroxyStanozolol, 4-Meyhylhexaneamine, Prednisone , Prednisolone, Oxandrolone, Epioxandrolone, Tuaminoheptane, triamcinolone acetonide, and 17-6B-HydroxyMethandienone Epimethandienone, says the French cycling federation. Dougnier has been suspended until August 17, 2014.

A Shorter Castilla y Leуn in 2012
The Vuelta a Castilla y Leуn has been cut from five to three days,due to start on April the 11th. The Vuelta a Murcia has also been shortend by two days and the up and coming Mallorca Challenge has been cut by one day. The Vuelta a Castilla y Leуn will probably have a finish in Salamanca and use the mountain around Segovia and Бvila.

Stage 4 of the 2009 Vuelta a Castilla y Leуn, look out for Vuelta a Espaсa winner Juan Josй Cobo:

The Tirreno-Adriatico 2012 Unveiled
The route of the 2012 Tirreno-Adriatico will be officially unveiled on February 1st at 12.00am in San Vincenzo on the Tuscan coast. Present at the event will be Paolo Bettini (the Italian coach), Michele Scarponi of Team Lampre-ISD and Enrico Battaglin of Colnago-CSF Inox.

Full details of the race route will be published on the race web-site at: https://www.gazzetta.it/Speciali/TirrenoAdriatico/it/

Last year’s Promo of Tirreno-Adriatico:

Laurent Jalabert inspects Worlds course
French team-coach Laurent Jalabert inspected the course of the UCI Road World Championships men road race. Jalabert, worlds second in 1992 (Benidorm) and World champion time trial in 1997 (San Sebastian) predicts an exciting race in the Dutch hills of Limburg.

Press Release: During a press conference after the inspection of the track the French coach spoke frankly about the track, chances, dangers and possible title favourites.

According to Jalabert the track is selective and hard enough to become an epic race. During the long approach to the circuit (100 kilometers) the French team has to be aware that any time differences are controllable. “The wind is going to be a determining factor in this”, concludes the former top rider.

It’s a beautiful, difficult, fast and challenging course where time differences have to be kept in check. Jalabert knows from his experience that the Cauberg, in his own view “a unpredictable climb”, is the defining challenge. If you want to win there are two options according to the Frenchman; “one, you go full throttle from the foot of the hill all the way till the finish line, or two you pull away at the top of the Cauberg and don’t look behind till you pass the line.”

The finish line is one kilometer behind the top of the Cauberg. This gives other riders, who are less explosive than f.e. Phillippe Gilbert, the chance to come back. Jalabert predicts that a small group of favourites is going to decide the championship in the last kilometers of the race. On the question who these favourites are, Jalabert gave already a shortlist: Gilbert, Hushovd, Freire, Valverde en Boasson Hagen.

Some Jalabert action in case you had forgotten:

BMC Racing Team Performs Time Trial Simulation
Riders on the BMC Racing Team spent an entire day at training camp this week simulating time trial conditions nearly similar to what they will face in a race situation.

A Real Test
Select riders were divided into two groups, with early and late-in-the-day starters. Each raced a two-kilometer prologue-type on their BMC time machine TM01, followed by a 10-km, point-to-point time trial. BMC Racing Team Director Sportif John Lelangue said the process will help assess an efficient system from wake-up, to breakfast, pre-ride of the course, nutrition, race preparation and post-race recovery. “It was also good to get a real test of the material under race conditions, including things like the Hincapie Sportswear skinsuits and the Bell time trial helmets,” he said. “All the riders did a good job and we were happy to have done it.” Steve Cummings said the test situation was definitely beneficial to him. “Obviously there was no crowd, no number, but it felt like a race,” he said. “I felt good. I was able to put the effort out, so I was happy. Technically, maybe I could have changed things a bit. But that’s why we were doing this.”

More from the BMC training camp soon!

Sport Recon to Make Life Easier!
Press Release from Mike Heindel: For years now, I’ve been frustrated with my online experience when I am looking and registering for endurance events. About a year ago, a friend and teammate and I decided to try and do something about it. Sport Recon is the product of our vision. While it still is and always will be a work in progress, we are confident that our product in its current state is already ahead of the curve as compared to the current industry leaders in the running, cycling and triathlon event registration space.

The first question everyone asks when considering an event is “What’s the course like?” Sport Recon answers that question by giving the participant as much information as can be gleaned via computer. Course Maps, Elevation Profiles, Photographic Course Walkthroughs, and even an animated Helicopter Fly Through. The current industry leaders either give you a typed course description or a link to the event website that has a pdf with a drawn map. (That is, if you can even find the event you are looking for).

For the organizer, we’ve developed a site that is free to post unlimited events, has social media integration, generates registration information, allows for video and photo uploads, post downloadable liability release waivers and results information. Perhaps the biggest differentiator being that the instant someone registers, the event organizer receives the registration money. We don’t hold that money for any period of time. (See what happened with SportsBase Online in October of 2011: https://velonews.competitor.com/2011/10/news/sbo-shut-down-may-leave-race-promotors-empty-handed_194422. Our end goal for the organizer is to eliminate the need to build and maintain an event website altogether.

All of this without annoying 3rd party banner advertising or daily spam emails.

In the meantime, please visit our website at: https://www.sportrecon.com.

Xavi Tondo at the Tour de San Luis
This time last year Xavi Tondo was riding the Tour of San Luis in Argentina, winning the time trial stage 4 and taking the overall lead for two days and looking good for future victories. Sadly it was not to happen due to his untimely death in May in a domestic accident. This video is homage to Xavi from the San Luis race.

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