What's Cool In Road Cycling

EuroTrash Thursday!

We might be in that dead air of no-man’s land of aprиs-Giro and pre-Tour, but there is still loads going on. Andy Schleck wins the 2010 Tour de France? That’s today’s ”Top Story”. We also have the US Pro champs and the Gullegem Koerse in Belgium, plus some bits of news we might have missed during the best Giro d’Italia ever. OK, get the coffee’s in.

“Top Story”
Andy Schleck 2010 Tour Champ?
At a special ceremony in the Luxembourg town of Mondorf, Andy Schleck was presented with the yellow jersey as winner of the 2010 Tour de France. As you all know Alberto Contador won the Tour that year, but was stripped of his title nearly two years later by the Court of Arbitration for a positive test for a minute amount of Clenbuterol, much less than an amount found in Mexican footballers in the US, who were not sanctioned, but that’s all old news.

At the presentation Andy commented that “It’s nice to accept this jersey, but for me it doesn’t change anything, it’s not like a win.” And looking at the present form of the younger (or older) Schleck one wonders if he will ever win the “Big One” in his own right.

The record books will state that Andy Schleck is the winner of the 2010 Tour de France, but is he? Maybe leaving the result for first blank might have been better, the same goes for 2006.

Andy V’s Alberto 2010:

US Professional Road Race Championships 2012
Timothy Duggan won the US Pro champs on Monday in Greenville after 185 kilometres of a 35 kilometre circuit with the climb of Paris Mountain four times and then a 6 kilometre circuit in downtown Greenville three times. His win is all the more impressive when you hear that he and his Liquigas-Cannondale team mate, Ted King, had no back-up at the race and were up against some big teams. The race split with a group of 28 riders going out front on the big circuit with the climb of Paris Mountain finishing the dreams of many a rider.

On the fourth and last time up Paris Mountain; Tom Danielson (Garmin-Barracuda) attacked taking Matt Busche (RadioShack-Nissan), Ben Jacques-Maynes (Bissell Pro Cycling Team), Tejay Van Garderen (BMC), and Timmy Duggan (Liquigas-Cannondale) with him. When they hit the town circuit the leaders were not all working and in a moment of disorganisation, Duggan rode away from them. Duggan put more time between himself and the others and eventually they were caught by the chasing peloton, but it was too late to catch the flying Duggan who took his first Pro National road race championship.

Frank Pipp (Bissell Pro Cycling Team) took the sprint for second just in front of Kiel Reijnen (Team Type 1-Sanofi), 26 seconds behind Duggan, with the bunch right on their tail.

Not an easy race to watch on TV as the coverage was quite dreadful and at the podium presentation the camera angle was from behind and to the right and also obscured by a pole with a limited view.

US Professional Road Race Championships Result :
1. Timothy Duggan (Liquigas-Cannondale) in 4:17:40
2. K Frank Pipp (Bissell Pro Cycling Team) at 0:26
3. Kiel Reijnen (Team Type 1 – Sanofi)
4. Kenneth Hanson (Team Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies) at 0:27
5. James Stemper (Kenda 5-Hour Energy Cycling Team) at 0:28
6. Tyler Wren (Jamis-Sutter Home)
7. Chad Beyer (Competitive Cyclist Racing Team) at 0:29
8. Benjamin Jacques-Maynes (Bissell Pro Cycling Team)
9. Bradley White (UnitedHealthcare) at 0:30
10. Matthew Busche (RadioShack-Nissan) at 0:31.

This is the promo video, not the dreadful live race; I wouldn’t force that on you:

Gullegem Koerse 2012
Omega Pharma – Quick-Step Cycling Team came into Gullegem Koerse with a strong selection, and they made sure they were well represented in the final kilometres, putting four riders in a nine rider break.

Two of those riders were Matteo Trentin and Guillaume Van Keirsbulck. The two riders decided to take a risk, attacking on the final lap. As a result of their perfectly timed tactic, Trentin won, with Van Keirsbulck taking second.

This is Trentin’s first professional victory and the 35th for Omega Pharma – Quick-Step Cycling Team this season in three disciplines. Fourteen riders have won for the team on the road in 2012.

“It was a fast race, with a lot of attacks immediately from the beginning,” Trentin said. “Immediately after the start there was a break with Iljo Keisse. Then, there were attacks, counter attacks, and another break formed with Van Keirsbulck. I entered in this break with Tom Boonen and the others. There were about 15 or 17 riders and we worked well together. Lap after lap, we lost some riders. With two laps to go, we had nine riders left. At 7km from the finish, I attacked. I went alone, and behind me Van Keirsbulck attacked. He caught me 3km from the finish. Guillaume arrived on my wheel and then at the sprint, I won.”

“For me, it’s a great satisfaction,” Trentin said. “I won a race here in Belgium near our headquarters — the headquarters of the team near our sponsors. So, it was something nice because at each race in Belgium, there is a big public that cheers and supports our team. It was fantastic, and even though the first part of the season I think I did a good job, I know this victory is something special. It is something I will never forget. Your first professional victory is something you can’t forget.”

“Now, I will go home and recover a bit,” Trentin said. “The next step will be the Tour de Suisse, and then after there will be the national championships, which take place on the road of my hometown. I really would like to do something good over there.”

Gullegem Koerse Result:
1. Matteo Trentin (ITA) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step
2. Guillaume Van Keirsbulck (BEL) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step
3. Kenny Dehaes (BEL) Lotto-Belisol
4. Klaas Lodewyck (BEL) BMC
5. Iljo Keisse (BEL) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step
6. Tom Boonen (BEL) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step
7. Tosh Van Der Sande (Bel) Lotto-Belisol
8. James Vanlandschoot (Bel) Accent.jobs-Willems Verandas
9. Stijn Devolder (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM
10. Andy Cappelle (Bel) Accent.jobs-Willems Verandas.

Sorry no film from this year’s race, but here is a bit of Belgian style race life:

Rodriguez Back Home
Joaquim Rodriguez returned to his home town of Parets de Valles to a hero’s welcome on Tuesday and a reception in the town hall. The Katusha rider was originally to have ridden the Critйrium du Dauphinй starting on June the 3rd in Grenoble with a 6 kilometre time trial, he has decided to give it a miss and concentrate on the Vuelta a Espaсa in August/September. He wrote in his web-site that “after the physical stress and the pressure which I have been subjected to in the Giro, it is best I recover well enough to cope with the second half of the season with renewed vigour, with the Vuelta a Espaсa as the main objective, now I need to rest and enjoy some time with my family.” As to the Vuelta; Rodriguez said “Alberto (Contador) will be the clear favourite and it will be very difficult to beat him because he is very complete. There are a lot of riders for the GC and Alberto will have a lot of responsibility.” The Catalan rider also confirmed that he will not ride the Olympic Games in London as the flat course would not suit him, so it would be better that the Spanish team has riders more suited to the race.

Joaquim with a certain Canadian Ryder in La Fleche-Wallonne 2012:

Tour of Britain 2012 Route
The Tour of Britain organisers have announced the route for this year’s race starting on the 9th of September in Ipswich with a 199.6 kilometres stage to the Norfolk Showground, stage 2 is from Nottingham to Knowsley (177.8 kms), stage 3 starts from the Scottish borders town of Jedburgh, making its way to Dumfries for three laps of a 13 kilometre finishing circuit with a full stage distance of 161.4 kilometres. Stage 4 from Carlisle to Blackpool is 156 kms, stage 5 is a 146.9 kilometre loop around Stoke-on-Trent. The race goes to Wales for stage 6 from Welshpool to Caerphilly a distance of 189.8 kilometres and then Barnstable to Dartmouth (170.7 kms) for stage 7 before finishing near London with stage 8 from Reigate to Guildford with a distance of 147.7 kilometres.

If you want details of the Tour of Britain mass-participation ride for 2012 check-out the web-site: www.tourride.co.uk.

Tour of Britain 2012 promo:

Rene Mandri Wins SEB Tartu Grand Prix
Press Release: Estonian Rene Mandri won Saturday’s SEB Tartu Grand Prix in his home country, capping a fine team performance in the 187km race, ranked 1.1 in the UCI Europe Tour calendar.

The race started at a very fast pace, despite Friday’s 180km Tallinn – Tartu Grand Prix being fresh in the legs. Alexander Wetterhall, 9th in Friday’s race was first to make a move, taking the first King of the Mountains prize. An 11 strong break then formed which included Wetterhall along with Rene Mandri, Alexandre Blain and Zak Dempster. They were soon joined by Paul VoЯ and two others to take the group up to 14.

The time gaps steadily increased before VoЯ went on the attack and reduced the lead group behind him down to six riders including Mandri, Wetterhall and Dempster. Mandri made the next move and built a small gap on the run in to the finish, crossing the line two seconds ahead of Blaz Furdi (Tirol Cycling Team) with VoЯ in 3rd place, Zak Dempster in 4th and Alexandre Blain 7th.

Rene Mandri:
It was great to win front of the home crowd. It was a hard race which started in the rain which made the streets of Tartu very slippy. Halfway through the sun came out and there was an amazing crowd next to the road cheering me and Endura Racing.

We had five riders in the breakaway of 14 riders and we controlled it from the beginning and the bunch tried to chase us down with Champion Systems, Christina Watches and Europcar driving it. After 100km of racing they cracked completely as we kept the pace high.

Alexandre Blain and Alexander Wetterhall cleaned up the intermediate sprints, then Paul VoЯ attacked with 33 km to go. When he got caught, we countered with Wetterhall. We kept attacking the group front and 20km to go I escaped with another rider. In the last kilometres I could sit down and wait for the finish line to make the final acceleration. It feels great and huge thanks to the team who helped me to get it. It was a perfect teamwork.

Rapha Condor Sharp at the An Post RAS
Press Release: Richard Handley took the best result of the year for the young development riders in the Rapha Condor Sharp team, when he took home the white jersey of best young rider from the An-Post RAS yesterday.

With the teams more experienced contingent having their hands full at the second week of the Tour Series, the 8-day Irish race was the first definitive target for the development riders as a group this year.

Team manager John Herety was delighted with his squad’s performance over the testing week-long Irish race, “This is a very busy time of year with all the races that are happening now, but we came here with a young team with a specific target of winning the white jersey. Bringing a team comprised just of young riders, with no experienced mentor among them, was an important step, and the Ras was the perfect opportunity to do that.

“What I wanted to see was a team performance over a long stage race, and after showing well at races like Korea, we saw the young guys step up a level here and take charge of themselves on the road as a team.”

Handley had already shown great form throughout the season with two wins and a Premier Calendar podium to his name already, and after he instinctively spotted danger and jumped across to the race defining move on the second day, he put himself in a position to win the jersey.

“We didn’t start the race with any one given leader, but after Rich took the jersey he showed the boys on the following stages that he was strong enough to defend it to the finish. The team rallied around him then and rode really well after that.

“The Ras is a race that is hard to control, and it is tough on riders mentally as well as physically. The attacks are unrelenting and the short tough climbs come all-day everyday. In that sense, this race was ideal for our guys to learn how to race as a team.”

In fact the men in black were represented in all the important moves of the race and, with the full team’s support, Handley rode consistently well to always finish among the select groups that made it to the line each day.

Handley finally finished the race in a fine 5th place overall, with the Rapha Condor Sharp team taking third in the teams classification. This result made the team, as well as Handley, the best British finishers.

The team’s focus now switches entirely to the Halfords Tour Series that continues this Tuesday in Peterborough. While the young riders from the Ras squad will mostly be recovering, team manager John Herety will look at the possibility of changing squads into the third week of the series.

A bit of RAS action:

Omega Pharma – Quick-Step investing in young talent
Press Release: As of May 28, through Wednesday, May 30, the Omega Pharma – Quick-Step Cycling Team is hosting a “Talent Training Camp” specifically dedicated to the U23 and junior riders. After an initial positive experience in 2011, this year the team’s staff has decided to host another camp. We invited 10 athletes from the U23 category and 6 junior riders from 7 different countries; Belgium, The Netherlands, Norway, Denmark, Italy, Algeria and Australia. This riders will get the chance to get a hands-on, internal experience with Omega Pharma – Quick-Step Cycling Team.

The athletes were selected based on their results, but also on the advice from the team’s sports coaches and Sport Directors. However, due to various competitive commitments, not all of the invited athletes will be able to attend the camp. Those athletes who do attend will pedal side by side with some of the team’s professional athletes during daily training regimens before joining individual and group meetings to determine the team’s working methods.

“We believe that investing in young talent is a cornerstone for the team’s medium and long term strategies,” explains Sports Director Tom Steels, who heads this project. “Last year we had positive comments and feedback from participating athletes, so we considered it important to repeat the experience. The main goal is to give these young athletes a glimpse into the atmosphere on our team, to understand our organization and get close to the team’s staff. These types of activities are important for the athletes, to gain understanding as to how a professional team is managed, but they are even more important to our staff. In fact, we can learn a lot from the younger generations, especially when it comes to managing an individual versus the group. These guys are part of a new generation of athletes who in just a few years will be taking the torch from today’s generation. It is essential to understand their needs and requirements and perhaps to get some feedback from them to develop our own approach to the youth group.”

Behind the scenes with OPQS at De Ronde:

5,000 cyclists in NYC for Gran Fondo New York 2012
Press Release: Five thousand cyclists from 70 countries took part at the second annual Gran Fondo New York International (“GFNY”) on May 20, 2012. The event was preceded by the NYC Bike Expo, a two day exposition of all things road cycling in the heart of Manhattan with an attendance of 15,000 people.

The 110 mile/177km course starts on the world’s most travelled bridge, the George Washington Bridge. Riders were anxious to get their shot for glory: blue skies and 75F/24C made for ideal riding conditions, like in GFNY 2011. The King and Queen of the Mountains were determined over four timed climbs, including the featured climb “Montagna dell’ Orso”, known to locals as Bear Mountain, situated in Harriman National Park. The total elevation gain the cyclists had to conquer is a challenging 8,500ft/2,800m.

Wladimiro D’Ascenzo of Italy did not hesitate long to show who’s the boss: his attack half way up the second timed climb proved insurmountable for the rest of the pack. Local cyclist Anthony Fatuzzo of New Jersey was the first one to attack on climb one and at the end took silver from New Yorker Igor Volshteyn. Susan Jones of Canada dominated the women’s competition and is now the 2012 Queen of the Mountains. Both winners rode away on brand new Pinarello racing bikes while hundreds others enjoyed competition and raffle prizes offered by other event sponsors that totaled a staggering $100,000. To keep their race clean, organizers conducted out of competition and post race doping controls.

But GFNY is more than just the racers vying for the win. Thousands fulfilled their dream of finishing a tough but beautiful 100+ mile bike ride. The backdrop of the Manhattan skyline from Weehawken, New Jersey was the perfect setting to finish a long day. The al dente Delverde pasta helped to refuel the depleted bodies. “Seeing all the smiling faces crossing the finish line really made our day”, says GFNY co-founder Lidia Fluhme. “It makes the hard work we had to put in for the past year so worth it. We’re so humbled by the amazing performances of so many people from all over the world. Having riders travel all the way from Australia to NYC is a tribute to the world’s greatest city and to Gran Fondo.”

GFNY raised money for Operation Smile, a charity that provides children with facial deformities a normal life through surgery. Both GFNY and Operation Smile partner with Gran Fondo Roma, an inaugural event that will be held on October 14, 2012. GFNY and GF Roma will crown the champion of the two worlds to the male and female rider who finish best in both events.

GFNY 2013 will be on May 19. Registration is already open and spots are filling fast.

The NY Grand Fondo on Sky Italia.

The Daily Mirror Great Manchester Cycle Reaches 7,000 Entry Limit
Press Release: The Daily Mirror Great Manchester Cycle, held on Bank Holiday Monday June 4th, has reached its entry limit with 7,000 cyclists now signed up to take part in the inaugural closed road event.

The event will be the UK’s largest street party and England’s first closed road cyclosportive. Amongst the participants will be reigning Olympic Champion Rebecca Romero and Lizzie Armitstead, who is a big hope for Gold at this summer’s Olympic Road Race.

With over 200 events already planned over the Jubilee weekend in the area, the Great Manchester Cycle will certainly be the most spectacular. It will showcase 13 miles of closed roads, including a stretch of Manchester’s busiest motorway – the iconic Mancunian way.

The event will feature three different distances based around the 13 mile closed road loop designed to cater for all abilities, from club cyclists, to families who wish to take in the sights of the city on a ride together. There’s Get Out and Pedal over 13 miles, Rule the Roads over 26 miles or Test Yourself over 52 miles.

Starting and finishing at Eastlands, the home of Manchester City FC, the course takes in the districts of Manchester, Trafford and Salford, allowing cyclists the chance to see their city from a new perspective as they ride along roads normally strictly off limits to cyclists. The event will feature feed station support and chip timing.

A host of celebrities will also be joining in the fun, with Emmerdale stars Tom Lister (Carl King), Tony Audenshaw (Bob Hope) and Rik Makarem (Nikhil Sharma) taking on their Coronation Street rivals including Ryan Thomas (Jason Grimshaw), Chris Fountain (Tommy Duckworth) and Michael Le Vell (Kevin Webster).

Set up by Nova International in partnership with Manchester City Council to be part of a ‘Great’ festival of sport in Manchester this summer, the Great Manchester Cycle will join a full programme that includes the nation’s leading 10k, the Bupa Great Manchester Run and the British Gas Great Manchester Swim.

Chairman of Nova, Brendan Foster said: “We are thrilled but not surprised that the Great Manchester Cycle has proved such a popular addition to the Manchester sporting calendar. The city is dubbed the UK’s capital of sport for good reason.”

For event information, go to: https://www.greatcycle.org.

Roads to Glory
If you are planning on riding the 2012 L’Etape du Tour or just want to see what it’s all about then check-out the Cyclefilm reconnaissance DVD or digital download, as the guy’s say; “know the road before you ride!” You can either buy the Ltd Edition Collectors DVD which includes a 12 page collectors booklet written and designed by L’Etape expert; Mike Cotty, or buy the Digital Download, this is a no frills alternative to the DVD, 75 minute recon film in mpeg format that can be played on PC & MAC. Get more info from: Cyclefilm.

This is the 2011 L’Etape du Tour promo:

Any comments drop me a line, email address: [email protected] or Twitter. And there is the PezCyclingNews Twitter and Facebook Fan Page.

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