What's Cool In Road Cycling

EuroTrash Thursday!

The Pro scene has moved on from Qatar to Oman and from the Mйditerranйen to the Algarve and we have the videos and the results to prove it. ”Top Story” is about Andy Schleck winning the 2010 Tour de France and wanting to win the 2012 edition. Herning cancelled, NetApp for Flanders and Roelandts back in hospital. Some other handy news and videos and my homage to Marco Pantani. Sit back, have a coffee at hand and get into EuroTrash Thursday.

“Top Story”
Andy Schleck to Concentrate on the Tour?
On a boat to the start of stage 2 of the Tour of Oman in the coastal town of Sur; RadioShack’s Andy Schleck had a press conference and the 2010 and the 2012 Tours came up a fair bit. He said of his 2010 Tour de France win; “I was second so I would be the winner of the 2010 Tour. It won’t be a victory for me, but I’ll take the title.” This is fair comment from the Luxembourger. As to him winning this year’s Tour; “if I win the Tour this year, that will still be my first victory.” Now to his chances of winning this year’s Tour; “I won’t say it makes it easier for me to win the Tour without him (Contador), I don’t think it makes the Tour easier.”

So Andy wants to win the Tour, but doesn’t think it will be easy. Personally I didn’t think Contador was going to be the younger Schleck brothers’ problem at the Tour, more so the 96 kilometres of time trials. OK there are 25 proper mountains with two summit finishes, but will that be enough for the testing deficient climber? Maybe Andy should ride the Giro d’Italia or I would have said the Vuelta Espaсa would be the race for him this year, except now that Contador will be back for his home Grand Tour, probably not. Well, we will find out in July is Andy’s TT training has worked; the only sure thing is that Contador will not win the 2012 Tour de France!

Here is Andy in 2005:

Tour of Oman 2012
Stage 1 was always going to be a sprint fest with the top four riders from the World championships in Denmark on the start line. Andre Greipel (Lotto-Belisol) came out on top at the end of 159 kilometres from the Al Alam Royal Palace to Wadi Al Hoqay, outsprinting Denis Galimzyanov (Katusha) and Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Barracuda). World champion Mark Cavendish (Sky) wasn’t as lucky as he ran out of road just outside the last kilometre. Farrar was the first to hit the front with over 200 metres to the line. The finishing straight had a slight rise which killed Farrar’s effort allowing Galimzyanov to come past, but the stronger Greipel launched himself past them both for the win.

Tour of Oman Stage 1 Result:
1. Andrй Greipel (Ger) Lotto-Belisol in 3:26:09
2. Denis Galimzyanov (Rus) Katusha Team
3. Tyler Farrar (USA) Garmin-Barracuda
4. Marcel Kittel (Ger) Project 1t4i
5. Peter Sagan (Svk) Liquigas-Cannondale
6. Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) FdJ-BigMat
7. Daniel Oss (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale
8. Andrea Guardini (Ita) Farnese Vini-Selle Italia
9. Tony Gallopin (Fra) RadioShack-Nissan
10. Matthew Harley Goss (Aus) GreenEdge.

Tour of Oman After Stage 1:
1. Andrй Greipel (Ger) Lotto-Belisol in 3:25:59
2. Denis Galimzyanov (Rus) Katusha at 0:04
3. Tyler Farrar (USA) Garmin – Barracuda at 0:06
4. Alexandre Lemair (Fra) Bridgestone Anchor at 0:08
5. Mikhail Ignatyev (Rus) Katusha at 0:09
6. Marcel Kittel (Ger) Project 1t4i at 0:10
7. Peter Sagan (Svk) Liquigas-Cannondale
8. Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) FdJ-BigMat
9. Daniel Oss (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale
10. Andrea Guardini (Ita) Farnese Vini-Selle Italia.

Stage 1:

The start of Stage 2 was delayed as there were high waves slowing the boat that was bringing the teams to the southern coastal port of Sur. Four riders broke away early in the stage and nearly had a lead of four minutes at one point. The bunch started the chase proper with 20 kilometres to go to the finish in Wadi Dayqah Dam and was caught on the final climb with less than 5 K’s to go. The Liquigas-Cannondale team led Peter Sagan to the front for him to take the stage and the overall from Andrй Greipel (Lotto-Belisol) and Baden Cooke (GreenEdge).

Tour of Oman Stage 2 Result:
1. Peter Sagan (Svk) Liquigas-Cannondale in 3:10:44
2. Baden Cooke (Aus) GreenEdge
3. Tom Jelte Slagter (Ned) Rabobank
4. Tony Gallopin (Fra) RadioShack-Nissan
5. Ramunas Navardauskas (Ltu) Garmin-Barracuda
6. Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) FdJ-BigMat
7. Christopher Sutton (Aus) Sky
8. Jakob Fuglsang (Den) RadioShack-Nissan
9. Fabian Cancellara (Swi) RadioShack-Nissan at 0:04
10. Andrй Greipel (Ger) Lotto Belisol.

Tour of Oman Overall After Stage 2:
1. Peter Sagan (Svk) Liquigas-Cannondale in 6:36:43
2. Andrй Greipel (Ger) Lotto Belisol at 0:04
3. Baden Cooke (Aus) GreenEdge at 0:07
4. Tom Jelte Slagter (Ned) Rabobank at 0:09
5. Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) FdJ-BigMat at 0:10
6. Tony Gallopin (Fra) RadioShack-Nissan
7. Christopher Sutton (Aus) Sky
8. Jakob Fuglsang (Den) RadioShack-Nissan at 0:13
9. Ramunas Navardauskas (Ltu) Garmin-Barracuda
10. Fabian Cancellara (Swi) RadioShack-Nissan at 0:17.

Sagan takes stage 2:

Volta ao Algarve 2012
After 150 kilometres from Dunas Douradas, Stage 1 of the Portuguese Tour came down to a bunch sprint in Albufeira. Gianni Meersman (Lotto-Belisol) got the verdict on the slightly uphill finish from Greg Avermaet (BMC) and Matti Breschel in third place. Five riders; Karsten Kroon (Saxo Bank), Ricardo Mestre (Carmin-Prio), Mickaлl Cherel (Ag2R-La Mondiale), Sven Vandousselaere (Topsport Vlaanderen-Mercator) and Sergio Ferreira Sousa (Efapel-Glassdrive) broke away early, but their effort fell apart with 15 kilometres to go. Meersman has the first leader’s jersey with four of the five stages to go.

Steve Cummings and Tejay van Garderen set a torrid pace up the final climb in the final kilometers of the 151 km race to position Van Amermaet for the downhill sprint. But the Paris-Tours winner could not overtake stage winner Gianni Meersman (Lotto-Belisol). “Meersman went with 250 or 200 meters to go, which I thought it was a bit too early, but it was downhill,” Van Avermaet said. “It was good teamwork to get me up front.” BMC Racing Team Assistant Director Rik Verbrugghe agreed. “I’m really happy the team is like this, with Tejay and Steve – two leaders themselves – doing the lead out for Greg,” Verbrugghe said. “That means the spirit of the team is really good.” Van Garderen, second overall at this race last year, said it helped to know the finish. “This is my fifth time doing this race,” he said. “I’m beginning to feel like George Hincapie does when it comes to the Tour de France.”

Volta ao Algarve Stage 1 Result:
1. Gianni Meersman (Bel) Lotto-Belisol in 4:02:17
2. Greg van Avermaet (Bel) BMC
3. Matti Breschel (Den) Rabobank
4. Bjorn Leukemans (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM
5. Nicolas Roche (Irl) Ag2R-La Mondiale
6. Anthony Ravard (Fra) Ag2R-La Mondiale
7. Rui Costa (Por) Movistar
8. Michael van Stayen (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Mercator
9. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Sky
10. Jan Bakelants (Bel) RadioShack-Nissan.

Volta ao Algarve Overall After Stage 1:
1. Gianni Meersman (Bel) Lotto Belisol
2. Greg van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team
3. Matti Breschel (Den) Rabobank
4. Bjorn Leukemans (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM
5. Nicolas Roche (Irl) Ag2R-La Mondiale
6. Anthony Ravard (Fra) Ag2R-La Mondiale
7. Rui Costa (Por) Movistar
8. Michael van Stayen (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Mercator
9. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Sky
10. Jan Bakelants (Bel) RadioShack-Nissan.

Stage 1 of Algarve:

GP Herning Cancelled for 2012
The Danish one day race, the Grand Prix Herning will not be run this year due to the lack of a sponsor. The race was scheduled to run on the 28th of April, how this will affect the next day’s Grand Prix Himmerland is unknown at the moment.

Herning in 2010:

NetApp to Ride Flanders
The German ProConti team; NetApp have received the last “Wild Card” invitation to the Tour of Flanders on the 1st of April. This comes on the heels of their invitation to the Giro d’Italia over teams like Aqua & Sapone and the new Colombia-Coldeportes.

Some Retro action from 1989 Tour of Flanders:

Roelandts Back in Hospital
Jurgen Roelandts has been admitted to hospital again due to dizziness possibly brought on by his fractured neck vertebra from a crash in the Tour Down Under. He was hoping to make a return to racing in Tirreno-Adriatico, this is now unsure. One of the blood vessels in his neck is badly bruised and is completely closed up causing a deficiency of blood to the brain. He will stay in hospital for observation until at least Thursday and it looks like he will miss most if not all the Spring Classics.

Wheely Jurgen Roelandts doing a wheely up the kapelmuur in the Ronde van Vlaanderen 2011:

Chain Reaction Cycles Announced as Official Retail Partner for Festival of Sport 2012
Press Release: Festival of Sport Cornwall are pleased to announce that Chain Reaction Cycles will be lending their expertise to this summer’s multi-sports event, after joining the Festival of Sport as Official Retail Partner. The Festival of Sport will take place on September 14th-16th in Mount’s Bay, West Cornwall.

Ensuring participants get the most out of your bike and body throughout the weekend, Chain Reaction Cycles will provide a world-class level of mechanical support to riders at the festival village, and out on the road during the events. The Chain Reaction Cycles sports therapy massage service will also be a welcome addition for tired riders, runners and swimmers. Those looking for some retail therapy will be delighted to find a wide selection of components and consumables at very special prices.

Triathletes, cyclists, swimmers and runners of all abilities are invited to this spectacular new destination event, which is supporting the Wings for Life Spinal Cord Research Foundation. Competitors can take part in a high-octane combination of triathlon, cyclosportive, open water swimming and beach runs. With distances on offer to cater for all abilities, the schedule of events will also allow competitors to enter various activities over the weekend. Triathletes can warm up for their Olympic distance event with an open water swim the day before and sportive riders can tackle a beach run over the weekend too.

Athletes will also be able enjoy great live music and fun beach sports, plus much more festival fun with events situated over some of the most entrancing coastal landscapes in Britain.

Simon Cordner, Chain Reaction Cycles, PR and Events Manager said: “The Festival of Sport Cornwall is a fantastic addition to our calendar in 2012, with a great mix of triathlon, road cycling, open water swimming and much more. We’ll have some great special offers between now and the event for entrants and we will also be on-site during the event with a range of run, swim and cycle goods.”

The 2012 Festival of Sport Cornwall will be organised by the Participate Sport team, who have previously delivered world class events including; the London Triathlon, Abu Dhabi International Triathlon, Etape Caledonia, Run to the Beat and the Barcelona Triathlon, ensuring that the core sporting activity will be delivered to the highest of standards.

Nick Rusling, CEO of Participate Sport commented: “We’re excited to launch this new event which with a great mix of activities we believe has something for everyone. I’d like to welcome Chain Reaction Cycles onboard as Official Retail Partner for the 2012 Festival of Sport. As the world’s largest bike store and with an unrivalled product offering covering all of our scheduled activities, there really couldn’t be a better partner to support us.”

More details and a full schedule of the event are available at www.festivalofsport.net or you can enter any of the sports by going to https://www.festivalofsport.net/individual-entry.aspx.

Haut Var Special For Philippe Gilbert
Press Release: Despite being a past winner of Haut Var, Philippe Gilbert of the BMC Racing Team said he is taking a relaxed approach to the two-day French race that begins Saturday.

Hushovd A Protected Sprinter
The winner in 2005 when the race was only one day, Gilbert said it would be special to win again. But the Belgian national champion said he is approaching early season races the same as he did last year. “The main goal is just to ride and feel better week after week,” Gilbert said. “But of course if I can win without using power, I’ll do it. This race is also special for me because it is close of my house in Monaco and some of my friends are coming to support me.” BMC Racing Team Directeur Sportif John Lelangue said former world champion Thor Hushovd could also be a factor if the opening stage ends in a bunch sprint. “Thor is coming back from Qatar in good shape,” Lelangue said. “He’ll be a protected sprinter for us. With the arrival this year in Fayence (on Sunday), it will be really difficult because it’s a steep climb. So I think the big day will be the second day. If we can make something on the general classification with Philippe it will be the last good test before going to
the opening of the classics in Belgium.”

BMC Racing Team Haut Var Roster (Feb. 18-19):
Yannick Eijssen (BEL), Mathias Frank (SUI), Philippe Gilbert (BEL), Thor Hushovd (NOR), Manuel Quinziato (ITA), Tim Roe (AUS), Mauro Santambrogio (ITA), Ivan Santaromita (ITA).

Haut Var promo video:

Front Row DMC Named Exclusive Tour and Transport Partner for Gran Fondo New York
High-Profile Operator Will Provide Meet & Greet, Transportation and Tour Packages For Estimated 6,000 International Cyclists And Their Constituents.

Press Release: Twenty-eight-year-old destination management company Front Row DMC has been named the exclusive transportation and tour provider for Gran Fondo New York, an Italian-style cycling race bringing an estimated 6,000 contestants to the New York area May 20, 2012.

Thousands of cyclists from around the world representing 70 countries will take on the challenging 100-mile Gran Fondo and 65-mile non-competitive Medio Fondo from New York City to Bear Mountain and back in an experience fit for a pro and open to anyone who loves to ride their bike.

Front Row DMC has provided services to high-profile companies such as IBM, Verizon Wireless, The Wall Street Journal, and McVeigh & Associates. It also has served the transportation needs of movies such as The Blind Side, TV shows such as Extreme Makeover, and celebrity fundraisers such as the World Leadership Awards with Justin Bieber.
For Gran Fondo New York, Front Row DMC will:

• Track flights from JFK, LaGuardia, Newark and Teterboro airports and provide Meet & Greet services to arriving participants and their families.
• Transport the participants from the airports to the various event hotels in Manhattan and other outskirt venues.
• Be available during the race at Gran Fondo’s Aid Stations, offering transportation to cyclists to various checkpoints and relief areas throughout the course.
• Provide vehicle service to cyclists who can’t complete the race and need assistance.
• Offer a variety of attractive tour packages to contestants’ family members during the week.
• Serve the needs of attendees at the 2012 NYC Bike Expo, a two-day free event May 18-19, 2012, prior to the actual race at Penn Plaza Pavilion in midtown Manhattan.

“Our track record with other signature New York organizations and celebrities and our knowledge of the local market make us the perfect partner,” said Front Row CEO Kevin Jean-Charles. “We are looking forward to providing an incredible experience for the participants of Gran Fondo New York and their friends and families.”
Among the tour packages being offered by Front Row DMC are:

– Sex in the City Limousine Tour: Travel in a high-end vehicle and visit the many places were Sex in the City was filmed.
–New York City Movie Tour: Tour the areas where famous movies were filmed.
–First-Timer Tour: If you are new to New York, this is the tour for you see all of the major world-renown sites.

–Celebrity Introduction and Private Performance Tour: Have your group meet an internationally known movie star and have this celebrity perform for your group.
–Best New York City Private Clubs Tour: Gain access to private clubs and events by reserving tables and beverages for a night your group will never forget.

–Top of the Rock: In the heart of historic Rockefeller Center, Top of the Rock’s Observation Deck on the 70th floor provides one of New York’s most spectacular views.
–The Lion King Musical: More than 60 million people have discovered the thrill, majesty, and one-of-a-kind magnificence of The Lion King. And what better place to experience this landmark entertainment event than in the city where it all began.

–Phantom of the Opera Musical: For more than 20 years, Phantom has been the Broadway musical against which all others are measured. The timeless story, the unforgettable score, an undeniable obsession that could never die.

To book a tour or transportation, or learn more about specific programs and pricing, please visit Front Row DMC’s website at www.frontrowdmc.com or speak directly with one of the company’s professional counselors at 877-91-FLEET.

Front Row DMC also offers a variety of services for corporate meetings and event professionals, including: event logistics, registration management, site inspections, event security, convention and tradeshow services, food and beverage service, dining arrangements, all ground transport scheduling and transfers, shuttle transportation, VIP limo service, speaker booking, event insurance, gifts and giveaways, and more.

For More Information, contact: [email protected] or 877-91-FLEET. Or [email protected] or 212.933.4033.

New Events For 2012 USA CRITS Championship Series
Race for the Orange Jersey Begins March 10th with Delray Beach Twilight

Press Release: Top shelf American criterium racing kicks off for the sixth year in March 2012 with the return of the USA CRITS Championship Series. Encompassing 11 high-speed cycling events in some of the country’s most dynamic communities, the USA CRITS Series features four new events and $50,000 in overall prize money.

This year the series welcomes four new events to its race lineup including the 2012 kickoff – the inaugural Delray Beach Twilight Festival.

“We’re beyond excited!” says race director Chelsea Midlarsky. “Since we’re a first year event, its an honor to kick off the series. We have a great 1-kilometer course that will go through our prime shopping and restaurant district during our high tourist season. It’s going to be a great way to introduce cycling to a lot of people who don’t know the sport.”

From Delray the series continues with another new event – the Athlete Octane Old Pueblo Grand Prix in Tucson, Arizona. The Presbyterian Invitational Criterium in Charlotte, North Carolina is the third stop on the USA CRITS schedule, taking place this year in April instead of July. America’s most beloved criterium follows Charlotte, when professional cycling returns to downtown Athens, Georgia for the 33rd Terrapin Twilight Criterium. The series then heads north to St. Louis for the return of the Tour de Grove, to be followed by another brand new USA CRITS event – The Lake Bluff Twilight Criterium just outside of Chicago. Also returning to the USA CRITS fold this year is the Rockstar Games Harlem Skyscraper Cycling Classic in New York City. Cincinnati, Ohio’s Hyde Park Blast is stop number eight followed a week later by the Iron Hill Twilight Criterium in West Chester, Pennsylvania. The racing then shifts to the western part of the country with the return of the Exergy Twilight Criterium in Boise, Idaho, before wrapping up with the USA CRITS Finals held in glorious Vail, Colorado.

“We’re excited to be a part of the USA CRITS Series this year.” said Race Director Dieter Drake, also organizes the popular Tour of the Battenkill. “We’ve been working for over a year to bring back the magic of the old Coors Classic to Vail. It’s an excellent venue for such a prestigious series final and we hope our weekend-long professional and amateur event will be an attractive destination for racers and spectators.”

While four of this year’s events are also part of USA Cycling’s 2012 National Criterium Calendar, USA CRITS series founder Gene Dixon points out why the USA CRITS Championship Series stands out among other cycling events in the nation:

“Encompassing quality events from the NCC, the USA CRITS Series is focused on city-centered, high-energy bike racing with tremendous spectator appeal with added team and event marketing benefits .”

In addition to separate cash awarded at each event, men and women riders in the USA CRITS Series accrue points towards individual and team classifications. The series’ points leaders will don the Orange Jersey of the overall leader following each event, with the final winners crowned in Vail taking home the overall purse.

And while the USA CRITS Series traverses the nation, cycling fans the world over will be able to enjoy all of the action from stop to stop with live streaming coverage provided by Inside Cycling TV.

“Mere words couldn’t come close to describing the elation that all of us at ICTV are feeling.” said Kevin Smith, ICTV’s Executive Producer. “Our exuberance is matched only by our manic forward thinking.”

Stay tuned to USACRITS.com for all the latest information regarding the 2012 series throughout the season.

2012 USA CRITS Championship Series
Mar 10: Delray Beach Twilight, Delray Beach, FL
Mar 17: Athlete Octane Old Pueblo Grand Prix, Tucson, AZ
Apr 14: Presbyterian Invitational Criterium in Charlotte, NC
Apr 28: Terrapin Twilight Criterium, Athens, GA
May 12: Tour de Grove, St. Louis, MO
Jun 1: Lake Bluff Twilight Criterium, Lake Bluff, IL
Jun 19: Harlem Skyscraper Cycling Classic, New York, NY
Jun 30: Hyde Park Blast, Cincinnati, OH
Jul 7: Iron Hill Twilight Criterium. West Chester, PA
Jul 14: Exergy Twilight Criterium, Boise, ID
Sep 30: Tour of Vail, Vail, CO.

Good Bye Pantani
If you missed Alessandro Federico’s homage to Marco Pantani have a look here. Love him or hate him, approve or disapprove, he was one great cyclist; here is some Marco video action:

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