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EuroTrash Thursday!

The Giro d’Italia is still coming up with the excitement we love, but is it too dangerous? ”Top Story” asks the question. The Giro has been great though and we have the up to date results and video’s. More from the Tour of California, plus last Sundays Lincoln Grand Prix from England, add in some Tom Boonen info and some Gino Bartali retro and we have a full EuroTrash Thursday. Cappuccino e un biscotto Garibaldi?

“Top Story”

Is The Giro d’Italia More Dangerous?
This year’s Giro d’Italia has had its share of crashes, especially in the sprints. Mark Cavendish might have had five stage wins so far this Giro instead of two if it hadn’t been for crashes, Taylor Phinney would have held the pink jersey for a lot longer also if it hadn’t been for that stage 3 crash. You could blame Roberto Ferrari for stage 3 (and many did), and Pippo Pozzato for stage 9 (and he admitted it), but there has been a lot of sharp corners in the last metres of the stages and riders don’t slow down that close to the line, they take it to the edge every time.

We all love to see a hard fought sprint, but it could be worse that losing some ass skin. It’s only been one year since the death of Wouter Weylandt; we don’t want a repeat of that.

One of the worst has to be the famous Djamolidine Abdoujaparov crash in the last stage of the 1991 Tour de France and that was in a straight line.
WARNING-Don’t watch this if you are scared of seeing high-speed crashes!

Giro d’Italia 2012
Stage 9 looked like it was going to be a battle between the big sprinters of the Giro, men like Cavendish and Goss. But then Filippo Pozzato took the last bend all wrong and brought down many a rider. The first group was home safe as were the riders that managed to miss the pile-up. Giacomo Nizzolo (RadioShack-Nissan) was left on the front and had to lead out and looked like he would succeed until Francisco Ventoso (Movistar) came thundering up the outside with Fabio Felline (Androni Giocattoli) on his wheel to take the win. Before this there had been one attack after another, the most notable from Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) who nearly took the pink jersey, but he was caught on the steep ramp before the finish by the GreenEdge and Garmin teams. The overall didn’t change in the end with Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Barracuda) safe home in 7th.

Fran Ventoso: “I knew the small climbs in the finale since I rode the Giro in 2005 and I knew that it was going to be a hard finish. We all suffered really much with the attacks by Purito, and I had to recover many positions in the descent before that final turn. I knew I was too far from the top places, but when I saw there were some riders not taking it properly, I saw a chance coming for me. I came in good position through the turn and knew that had to go on full steam until the finish. Nizzolo was really far, but I started recovering bit by bit and I was only thinking of not being overcome like him and keeping the lead until the line.”

“To tell the truth, I haven’t had many chances in the sprints until today; I saved the bit of energy I could for this second week because I knew sprints like this would be happening, and we could snatch the win at the first attempt. We were really close to winning in the last few stages, and today’s victory was the reward for that constancy and that superb average level by all the team. I think we will be getting new victories thanks to the calmness this win will give us. This race is becoming a talisman one for me. By the kind of finishes, this is the race that suits me the best, and last year my gamble for the Giro went well. I won just 20 kilometres from here; it seems like this region brings me much luck. I was at Sierra Nevada on a 17-day training camp to prepare for this race. Those were three hard weeks, with lots of training, but as it usually happens, work brings its fruit and you don’t remember of those moments now, but the good things that it brought to you.”

Giro d’Italia Stage 9 Result:
1. Francisco Josй Ventoso Alberdi (Spa) Movistar in 3:39:15
2. Fabio Felline (Ita) Androni Giocattoli
3. Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) RadioShack-Nissan
4. Damiano Caruso (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale
5. Daniel Schorn (Aut) Team NetApp
6. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha
7. Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Garmin-Barracuda
8. Matthias Brandle (Aut) Team NetApp
9. Manuel Belletti (Ita) Ag2r-La Mondiale
10. Daryl Impey (RSA) Orica-GreenEdge.

Giro d’Italia Overall After Stage 9:
1. Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Garmin-Barracuda in 36:02:40
2. Joaquim Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha at 0:09
3. Paolo Tiralongo (Ita) Astana at 0:15
4. Benat Intxausti Elorriaga (Spa) Movistar at 0:35
5. Ivan Basso (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale at 0:40
6. Damiano Caruso (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale at 0:45
7. Dario Cataldo (Ita) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step at 0:46
8. Frank Schleck (Lux) RadioShack-Nissan at 0:48
9. Eros Capecchi (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale at 0:52
10. Rigoberto Uran Uran (Col) Sky at 0:53.

Stage 9 crazy action:

There was no surprise when Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) made an enormous jump through the narrow streets of Assisi at the end of Stage 10 for the stage and the overall. The stage started with the usual early break of four with that man Martijn Keizer (Vacansoleil-DCM) again. The break split and it was the only a matter of time before the peloton was “compatto” with 8 kilometres to the tough finishing. Sky and Astana led into the village streets, Paolo Tiralongo for Astana was the first to make a move, and then Tom Slagter (Rabobank) before “Purito” Rodriguez left them all behind with metres to the line. Rodriguez finished 2 seconds ahead of Bartosz Huzarki (NetApp) and Giovanni Visconti (Movistar). Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Barracuda) tried his hardest coming in 6th at 6 seconds, but due to the time bonus he was now at 17 seconds.

After the finish Hesjedal said as he warmed down that: “I expected that Rodriguez would make a move, I wouldn’t have wished my situation on anyone today!” He added: “There is time yet, I’m looking towards the third week, there’s time yet.”

Rodriguez knew the importance of the stage win and its time bonus as he told RAI Sport 2 “journalists told me about the finish here and I realised that it suited me. When you get to a finish like this one you have to use it to your advantage.”

The first news of the day was that Pippo Pozzato, who caused the stage 9 crash, had broken the scaphoid bone in his right hand and would not be starting stage 10.

Giro d’Italia Stage 10:
1. Joaquim Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha in 4:25:05
2. Bartosz Huzarski (Pol) Team NetApp at 0:02
3. Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Movistar
4. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Colnago-CSF Inox at 0:06
5. John Gadret (Fra) Ag2r-La Mondiale
6. Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Garmin-Barracuda
7. Tom Jelte Slagter (Ned) Rabobank
8. Dario Cataldo (Ita) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step
9. Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Astana
10. Rigoberto Uran Uran (Col) Sky.

Giro d’Italia Overall After Stage 10
1. Joaquim Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha in 40:27:34
2. Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Garmin-Barracuda at 0:17
3. Paolo Tiralongo (Ita) Astana at 0:32
4. Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Astana at 0:52
5. Benat Intxausti Elorriaga (Spa) Movistar
6. Ivan Basso (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale at 0:57
7. Damiano Caruso (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale at 1:02
8. Dario Cataldo (Ita) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step at 1:03
9. Eros Capecchi (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale at 1:09
10. Rigoberto Uran Uran (Col) Sky at 1:10.

Purito in stage 10:

After a predictable stage 11, where a long break away was left out to dry until just before what could have been the decisive climb of the day, just before the finish. Anyway, Giovanni Visconti (Movistar) tried to rip the race apart on the climb and took a handful of riders with him, but it wasn’t to be and the race was all together for the sprint, apart from Matt Goss (Orica-GreenEdge) and some others who had bad luck on the climb/descent. Sky had the race by the throat, but the inevitable crash came on the last corner for Roberto Ferrari (Androni Giocattoli) to sweep past Thomas Vaitkus (Orica-GreenEdge) for the win. Mark Cavendish (Sky) admitted he was in the wrong gear at the last bend and finished 4th, but took the red points jersey.

Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) held the pink.

Omega Pharma – Quick-Step’s second placed Francesco Chicchi had this to say after the finish: “Today I was really strong,” Chicchi said. “I really would to win in my home region. I don’t live far from the finish line. I want to do something good. But, in the last corner, 300 meters from the finish Modolo crashed as he entered the corner too quickly. The first part of the group broke into pieces. Ferrari was in front, and I was stuck behind the crash. When I realized Ferrari was leaving alone I tried to do my sprint, but it was a little bit too late even though I did a great sprint. The problem was, when Modolo crashed it created a fracture between Ferrari and me. That’s why he was so far in front today.”

“I want to thank the team for the big effort today,” Chicchi said. “Especially Bandiera — in the final I lost contact in the last climb, 200 meters from the top of it, but Bandiera led me in the final in the downhill and we were able to catch up with the group again. It was a really long stage, but the team was around me. I did my best, the condition is there, and I am growing up day by day. There are two more possibilities for the sprinters. I will try to grab one victory in one of the next days.”

Giro d’Italia Stage 11 Result:
1. Roberto Ferrari (Ita) Androni Giocattoli in 6:49:05
2. Francesco Chicchi (Ita) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step
3. Tomas Vaitkus (Ltu) Orica-GreenEdge
4. Mark Cavendish (GB) Sky
5. Manuel Belletti (Ita) Ag2r-La Mondiale
6. Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) RadioShack-Nissan
7. Daniel Schorn (Aut) Team NetApp
8. Arnaud Demare (Fra) FDJ-BigMat
9. Danilo Wyss (Swi) BMC
10. Geoffrey Soupe (Fra) FDJ-BigMat.

Giro d’Italia Overall After Stage 11:
1. Joaquim Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha in 47:16:39
2. Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Garmin-Barracuda at 0:17
3. Paolo Tiralongo (Ita) Astana at 0:32
4. Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Astana at 0:52
5. Benat Intxausti Elorriaga (Spa) Movistar
6. Ivan Basso (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale at 0:57
7. Damiano Caruso (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale at 1:02
8. Dario Cataldo (Ita) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step at 1:03
9. Eros Capecchi (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale at 1:09
10. Rigoberto Uran Uran (Col) Sky at 1:10.

Stage 11:

Tour of California 2012
Peter Sagan of Liquigas-Cannondale won stage 1 and then duly won Stage 2 from San Francisco to Santa Cruz County after 188 kilometres and extended his lead in the overall competition. The first attack was not long coming after the start; Alexandre Geniez (Argos-Shimano) and Tom Zirbel (Optum Pro Cycling-Kelly Benefit Strategies) tried their hand, but gave up soon after. Again it was Alexandre Geniez of Argos-Shimano joined by Brad White (UnitedHealthcare), Jeremy Vennell (Bissell), Mike Creed (Optum Pro Cycling-Kelly Benefit Strategies), Lloyd Mondory (Ag2r-La Mondiale) and Juan Pablo Suarez (Columbia-Coldeportes) who made up the doomed break which had no cohesion when they started the climb of Bonny Doon. They had built up a lead of 9 minutes, but Geniez was keen to go it alone and was not caught by the bunch until near the top of the Bear Creek climb. Garmin-Barracuda put the pressure on, but Liquigas-Cannondale had it all in hand and brought Sagan to the line for another win in front of Heinrich Haussler (Garmin-Barracuda) and Leigh Howard (Orica-GreenEdge).

Injuries Knock Cummings, Morabito Out Of California Race
The BMC Racing Team lost Steve Cummings and Steve Morabito to injuries Tuesday at the Amgen Tour of California after the pair was caught up in a crash in the final five kilometres of Monday’s stage.

Three stitches were needed to close a deep cut in Cummings’s right knee and he also re-injured his left wrist, the same one broken in a crash six weeks ago. Morabito has severe road rash on his left side, making it impossible to extend his body forward enough to grip the handlebars on his BMC, he said. BMC Racing Team Dr. Eric Heiden said both riders will undergo X-rays later Tuesday to determine if the two have any broken bones. The crash that brought them and several other riders down happened near the end of Stage 2 as all eight riders on the BMC Racing Team were lined up on the right side of the field. “It happened so fast I didn’t even have time to brake,” Morabito said. “It was a huge road and there were only 60 guys so it was a case of being in the right place at the wrong time.”

Cummings has already missed the better part of two months of the season. He broke his pelvis in a crash Feb. 17 at the Volta ao Algarve in Portugal. He returned the following month, but fractured his wrist in a rainy stage of the Vuelta al Pais Vasco in Spain April 6. “I’ve got experience at this now,” Cummings said, smiling. “So if my wrist is broken again, I’ll just go on the trainer and it won’t take me long to come back.” Morabito said it’s a big disappointment to withdraw from the race where he finished ninth overall last year and had hopes of helping Tejay van Garderen on the more difficult, climbing stages later this week. “California is always a good race for me,” Morabito said. “I really focused a lot on this race and was working hard to be in shape and ready for the last four days.”

Tour of California Stage 2 Result:
1. Peter Sagan (Svk) Liquigas-Cannondale in 5:02:00
2. Heinrich Haussler (Aus) Garmin-Barracuda
3. Leigh Howard (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge
4. Koen De Kort (Ned) Argos-Shimano
5. Fred Rodriguez (USA) Team Exergy
6. Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC
7. Lawson Craddock (USA) Bontrager-Livestrong
8. Marc De Maar (AHo) UnitedHealthcare
9. Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Argos-Shimano
10. Peter Velits (Svk) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step.

Tour of California Overall After Stage 2:
1. Peter Sagan (Svk) Liquigas-Cannondale in 9:44:15
2. Heinrich Haussler (Aus) Garmin-Barracuda at 0:08
3. Leigh Howard (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge at 0:13
4. Jeffry Louder (USA) UnitedHealthcare at 0:14
5. Fred Rodriguez (USA) Team Exergy at 0:16
6. Ben Jacques-Maynes (USA) Bissell Cycling
7. Marc De Maar (AHo) UnitedHealthcare at 0:17
8. Markel Irizar Aranburu (Spa) RadioShack-Nissan at 0:19
9. Josh Atkins (NZl) Bontrager-Livestrong
10. Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC at 0:20.

Stage 2:

Omega Pharma – Quick-Step Cycling Team did as much as it could to chase down breaks and go for a stage victory. It was a matter of position, not strength that dictated the finish.

“It was a hard stage today,” Tom Boonen, who finished third, said. “It was very good test. I tried to be there at the front in the last kilometres, but it was hard with the headwind. So I worked very hard to try and be in position for the last corner.”

“I waited for the last moment and took the outside corner 10 meters before the corner came, but they came from the inside a little bit faster so I lost a few spots. I was in 7th or 8th position, but I almost got them. I am satisfied with my sprint, but prefer to finish for the victory. Sagan is in a winning mood right now and he also found a finish that suits him here. It’s really something he likes and he’s good at, but I think everyone is beatable and we will try again tomorrow to try and win the stage.”

“I would also like to thank the team for the big effort they did today,” Boonen said. “Everybody stayed in the crosswind and tried to help and give me an edge, and put me in the right position. I really appreciate it.”

Tour of California Stage 3 Result:
1. Peter Sagan (Svk) Liquigas-Cannondale in 4:50:49
2. Heinrich Haussler (Aus) Garmin-Barracuda
3. Tom Boonen (Bel) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step
4. Alexander Candelario (USA) Team Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies
5. Lloyd Mondory (Fra) Ag2r-La Mondiale
6. Fred Rodriguez (USA) Team Exergy
7. Hugo Houle (Can) Spidertech Powered By C10
8. Koen De Kort (Ned) Argos-Shimano
9. Michael Matthews (Aus) Rabobank
10. Wesley Sulzberger (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge.

Tour of California Overall After Stage 3:
1. Peter Sagan (Svk) Liquigas-Cannondale in 14:34:54
2. Heinrich Haussler (Aus) Garmin-Barracuda at 0:12
3. Jeffry Louder (USA) UnitedHealthcare at 0:24
4. Fred Rodriguez (USA) Team Exergy at 0:26
5. Ben Jacques-Maynes (USA) Bissell
6. Marc De Maar (AHo) UnitedHealthcare at 0:27
7. Markel Irizar Aranburu (Spa) RadioShack-Nissan at 0:29
8. Josh Atkins (NZl) Bontrager-Livestrong
9. Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC at 0:30
10. Lawson Craddock (USA) Bontrager-Livestrong.

Stage 3 highlights:

Boonen to Focus on the Olympics
Tom Boonen announced on Tuesday that he will not participate in the Tour de France, in hopes of optimizing his preparation for the upcoming Summer Olympics in London.

“It’s not so much that I don’t want to do it,” Boonen said of the Tour de France. “I still want to do the Tour in the future. The Tour has given me a lot in the past, but this year, I’m really focused on the Olympics and my race and training program revolves around it. I missed the last two Olympic chances, so I am really looking forward to try this new experience and try and get the best from it. Instead of the Tour, I will participate in the Tour of Pologne to try to do well and tune up the condition for the Olympics.

Tom get’s his Venge.

Forgetful Frenchman?
It’s looking like Sebastien Turgot of the Europcar team will be facing a possible two year ban due to him missing three missed doping controls in the last 18 months. It has to do with the “whereabouts” system, in that the rider has to tell WADA where he will be at certain times for out of competition tests. His team manager: Jean-Rene Bernaudeau said of Turgot “he is an idiot. He’s indefensible. He has been incredibly careless.”

Turgot at Paris-Roubaix:

The Lincoln Grand Prix, GB

Rapha Condor Sharp at Lincoln
PressRelease: Perhaps the biggest one-day race on the UK calendar, the Lincoln Grand Prix, was a day of mixed fortunes for the Rapha Condor Sharp team. While team captain Kristian House put in one of the team’s best performance of the year so far with an excellent third place, two of his young teammates ended the race in hospital.

House, a former winner of the event, was in customarily aggressive form on the slopes of the cobbled climb of Michealgate from the very start of the race. After being present in several moves throughout the early laps, he eventually forced the final five-man winning move clear from the fragmented field with four ten-mile laps to go.

House said afterwards, “I am always motivated for this one. This race suits me, you have to race it from the front and be constantly aggressive. This year they returned to the full race distance (106 miles-Ed) for the first time since I won I think, so I was really motivated by that. The harder race suited me better.

Once the race had come down to the final selection of House, Downing, Richardson, Bialoblocki and Russell Hampton the action was intense and on the final lap, three-time winner Downing made his bid for victory with ten miles to go.

“When it came to it, Russell was the strongest, when he went I just couldn’t quite follow. Marcin had been sat on a lot in the move and still had the legs to go clear after him which was frustrating as I felt I was stronger on the day.”

House efforts were rewarded however, when he easily outstripped his companions in the remnants of the move to take the final podium place, as well as his second King of the Hill title, a reflection of his aggression in the race.

While House had been in the action all day, his young teammates were dogged by the chaos in the remainder of the peloton.

Worst off was Mike Cuming, a rider who had recently shown great form at the Tour of Korea, who crashed hard and suffered a broken elbow. Also in the wars was Luke Mellor, who spent the night in Lincoln hospital after his severe cuts following a fall needed to be cleaned in theatre. Felix English was another faller, coming down hard while chasing back from a puncture, but fortunately avoided a hospital visit.

Cuming will now be forced to miss the An Post RAS that starts next week, his first major target for the season, while Mellor is also doubtful to be on the start line in Ireland.

Despite the brace of injuries the team will be in action on two fronts next week as the Halfords Tour Series gets underway in Scotland this Tuesday and the 60th An Post RAS begins on the 20th of May in Dunboyn.

And Endura at Lincoln
Russell Downing wins Lincoln Grand Prix for 4th time.

Press Release: Russ Downing won his 4th Lincoln Grand Prix today in front of a huge crowd in the heart of the historic cathedral city. Russ rode up Michaelgate alone to equal Paul Curran’s record of four wins in this classic UK event. He was at the front of the race throughout the event and admitted afterwards he was always in control of it and was getting stronger as the laps passed by.

Downing attacked with a lap to go and after racing through the finish area alone, he waited for a lone chaser in Marcin Bialoblocki (Node4 – Giordana), the perfect partner to hold off the chase group of Kristian House (Rapha Condor Sharp), Simon Richardson (Team IG – Sigma Sport) and Russell Hampton (Raleigh GAC).

The pair opened up the gap to over a minute before Downing said goodbye to Bialoblocki and raced up the steep and cobbled slopes of Michaelgate, followed by a roar of cheering people as he did so, to emerge in front of Lincoln Castle as the winner.

Russ Downing:
There’s one race to win in the UK, that’s the Lincoln Grand Prix. It’s like racing past my front door here because all I could hear was “go on Russ”. It’s great to win. I was in control all race. Kristian was going really well for the King of the Hills so I just rode off him really and we found ourselves always riding away.

I think it was with four to go that I split the group and that was perfect and then I went with two to go and then with one to go was away on my own. I saw Marcin coming across and he must have ridden hard to get me as I was riding full gas. Fair ride by him.

Then Malc (Malcolm Elliott) gave my confidence a boost before the feed. He just looked at Marcin and looked at me and said “you’re an animal!” I was like “Cheers Malc!” because it’s a good compliment coming from a rider like him.

Coming into the race, I trained until Wednesday and then rested up. Normally I’ll train really hard the day before and the day before that but I did a 200km ride on Tuesday that took me six hours. Then Wednesday, I was in the hills and did some good hard efforts before I eased off.

I’ve had some hard weeks and my form is good. I go to the Tour of Norway next week which is a UCI 2.1 event and hopefully get a stage win there.

Scott Thwaites (First Under 23 & 2011 winner):
I did alright. Still got a top 10 and first under 23 so I am very happy with that. Russ winning was perfect for the team in continuing our good run of form. It was a good race, a bit harder than last year with the extra two laps and the strong wind – it was actually quite tough.

The team were not sure if only having two in the first split (Downing & Ian Wilkinson) was enough so Dean and myself got across and then when Russ got away with the group of five that got clear, we were pretty confident he could win.

Julian Winn (Sporting Director)
It’s all about numbers up front and when Scott and Dean (Windsor) chased down the split with Russ and Ian in it, I was a lot happier as we had good strength in there. After that it was about winning on their own, whittling it down. Russell had already shown good form in the Tour of Reservoir where I just don’t think that race was hard enough to expose everybody.

I did think Russ would be the rider who would dictate things today but what he needed were teammates around him and he had that in Dean, Ian and Scott. It was perfect in the end. Russ knew what to do because once he gets the bit between his teeth, he knows where he needs to be and following him, you could see he was pedalling well and in control of it.

The race was the second win in two outings on the team’s new Smart ENVE System 6.7 wheelsets, provided through a newly announced partnership with Saddleback and ENVE.

Here is the race by BCpremiercalendar:

New Closed Road Etape Cymru 2012 Route Announced
Press Release: Human Race, organisers of the revamped Etape Cymru, have today released details of the planned route for the 2012 edition of the event, taking place on Sunday 9th September.

The Etape Cymru, which has received some major modifications from the 2011 edition, will start from Bangor-on-Dee racecourse, situated a few miles southeast of Wrexham. Set amongst beautiful countryside, the start point is overlooked by the hills that participants will later be climbing, providing a perfect opportunity to assess the challenge ahead and soak up the pre-event atmosphere.

The change in the route will ensure that cyclists are more spread out from the start of the ride, reducing any concerns of bunching and crowded roads. There are also several perfectly positioned spectator points on the route, where friends and relatives can relax whilst watching the event take place.

The challenging 92-mile route will pass by the villages of Llangollen, Carrog, and Minera, and takes in climbs of many of the tough hills in the Clwydian range, including Panorama and The Shelf. The exposed climb up World’s End towards the end of the course will provide cyclists with fantastic views of the Welsh scenery whilst they tackle the stretch home. Much of the Etape Cymru is held in the Clwydian & Dee Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

The famous Horseshoe Pass also makes a return to the route, with riders once again having the chance to measure their climbing ability against the best in the sport by taking part in the Horseshoe Challenge.

The event and its road closures are supported by Wrexham and Denbighshire councils.

Mohammed Mehmet, Denbighshire County Council’s Chief Executive, said: “It’s great news that this national cycling event is returning to our county, which provides such a stunning and challenging course for participants.”

He continued: “Denbighshire in the North Wales Borderlands is already a popular destination for many thousands of outdoor activity enthusiasts, easy to reach and varied in its offer. We look forward to welcoming even more participants and spectators to the area on 9th September 2012.”

Amanda Davies of Wrexham County Borough Council, said: “Wrexham County Borough Council are happy to work with Human Race to create this national event for North Wales. Cycling has become so popular within the area and the Etape Cymru is a great way to showcase the area and wonderful scenery we are so proud to have. The Etape Cymru 2012 promises to be a great success.”

More information on the Etape Cymru route can be found on: https://www.etape-cymru.co.uk. The event will cost Ј55 and entries are now open.

An interactive map of the route is available at: https://www.etape-cymru.co.uk/the-route/.

OPQS organizes fan day on June 2nd
Press Release: The Omega Pharma – Quick-Step Cycling Team wants to keep engaging with its fans. That`s why the Belgian team will organize a fan day on June 2nd. On that day the fans can meet up with the riders and staff. The fan day kicks off with a breakfast. After a ride on the bike a famous Belgian BBQ will end the day.

Sport and pleasure combined
During the 2012 season the Omega Pharma – Quick-Step Cycling Team keeps it fans up to date on the website and social media feeds. The teams also wants to engage the fans offline by organizing several events. In March the fan team presentation took place. On June 2nd it`s time for the official fan day of the team. The team combined sport and pleasure on the fan day.

At 8:30 a.m. the day starts with a breakfast, where the fans can eat a sandwich and drink coffee or tea with their idols or staff. After the breakfast is done a cycle tour over 25 or 80 kilometres is waiting for the fans. Off course the Omega Pharma – Quick-Step riders will accompany the fans during their ride. When the bike ride has finished, a tasteful BBQ is waiting for the fans, riders. and staff.

Besides all activities, the team fleet is also there on June 2nd. So the fans can take a look at the team car or team bus. There are also some other attractions and animations on site.

Registration at website
Fans who want to attend the fan day on June 2nd can register on a special page on the Omega Pharma – Quick-Step Cycling Team website: https://omegapharma-quickstep.com/nl/fanday.

Gino Bartali – Il Grande Campione
Wednesday’s stage 11 of the Giro d’Italia was dedicated to the great champion of the 30’s, 40’s and 50’s; Gino Bartali. If you don’t know anything about him, you should find out. Yes, he was a great champion on the bike; winning the Giro d’Italia three times, the Tour de France twice, once before the war (1938) and the other after (1948). Italian national champion four times, Milan-San Remo four times and Lombardia twice, I could go on with the victory list and it would have been bigger if he hadn’t been up against Fausto Coppi who was winning at the same time. But what he did during the war is by far more interesting, he saved the lives of Jews by hiding a family in his cellar, transported messages to the Italian resistance and guided refugees over the Alps to safety, all under the noses of the German Nazi’s and the Italian Fascist police. And nobody knew about it, as he said after the war “one does these things and then that’s that.”

Here is a short bit of film of Gino Bartali:

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