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EuroTrash Thursday!

The Vuelta a Espaсa has been a bit crazy, so we take a look at that in ”Top Story”, there are other races on at the moment; USA Pro Challenge, Tour du Poitou Charentes and the Tour of Denmark, so we catch up with them. Lots of transfers and re-signings and track news from Britain. A very full EuroTrash bag for a Thursday morning. Coffee anyone?

“Top Story”
To Race or Not to Race? That is the Question
On Wednesday’s stage 4, the overall leader; Alejandro Valverde of Movistar crashed as the Sky team put the pressure on at the front. It has been said by quite a few riders in the race that the movement that Sky made; moving across the road to make an echelon, caused the crash and that Sky should have held back because the race leader was on the road. If you think back, on many occasions where one of the top GC riders has had a problem the race has slowed until things were back on an even keel once more. Evans in this year’s Tour when he punctured three times on a road strewn with tacks and when Armstrong caught his handlebars in a spectator’s bag. But there have been many of the opposite reaction; Evans again in the Vuelta when he punctured and received a bad wheel change for the neutral service and of course when Andy Schleck’s chain came off and Contador continued his attack, and there are many more on both sides.

So, “an un-written rule” some have said, but that’s the problem with un-written rules, nobody has ever written them down so no one knows what to do. There is also no obvious pattern to follow either, it seems to depend on who you are, who you ride for, which country you are from, where you are on GC and just about any other reason people can think of.

My favourite Spanish sports paper AS asked around some ex-professionals after the stage, what they thought. Of the eight retired riders only Oscar Pereiro said that Sky should have stopped their action, remember Pereiro rode for the team with a different sponsor when he won the Tour. All the other seven agreed that Sky did, maybe not the right thing, but nothing wrong. Ex-Euskadi rider David Etxebarria said “the echelon had formed before the crash.” Another Basque rider; Roberto Laiseka remarked “why should they stop? It wasn’t unsporting.” Climbing Ace, Julio Jimenez said “if you fall you have to accept it, bad luck.”

There you have it then, tough luck Alejandro Valverde, maybe your team shouldn’t have done some questionable things in previous races, maybe some riders don’t like you, whatever the reason you are only 36 seconds down on gc and it’s a long way to Madrid!

The Schleck/Contador case:

Wait for Armstrong:

La Vuelta a Espaсa 2012
Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank) set the Vuelta on fire climbing to the summit of the Alto de Arrate at the end of Stage 3. An early break of 8 riders was never going to be allowed too much space today, especially as Philippe Gilbert (BMC) was with them. The race came together in time for the fireworks in the last 5 kilometres. Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) was the first to attack after Rafa Majka had softened the opposition for his Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank team leader; Alberto Contador. From then on it was Contador who made all the running with at least 6 attacks on the steep climb. All this action brought the lead group down to 4 riders; Contador, Valverde, Chris Froome (Sky) and Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha). As the course dropped to the line with 500 metres to go, Rodriguez made his move with Valverde on his wheel, both lunged for the line and Valverde got the close decision with Froome and Contador breathing down their necks. Valverde took over the overall lead from team mate Jon Castroviejo and the GC had a good shake-up.

Stage winner and new overall leader Alejandro Valverde had this to say after the stage: “It’s always a mystery how the first mountain stage will be, especially with this heat that could pay off for us. I started the climb a bit behind into the group, but as soon as I could overcome the bunch and reach the front, I attacked. I knew the Arrate climb, but it had been three years since I had climbed it; Purito remembered it better since he was this year at the Vuelta al Paнs Vasco, and that made him take the first place. I was a bit scared, but I knew that I could get past him, he went a bit overconfident, stopped pedalling and I could squeeze my force and push my bike to the line. Purito deserved to win as much as I did. I want to thank the team, which spent two long days pulling out hard and none like us deserved it after making such a considerable effort. Also, I want to dedicate it to my three children, Natalia, my family and all the fans supporting me through all this time. I didn’t have the Vuelta into my season schedule and for me, this is accomplishing my expectations, but now that we’re in the lead, we’ll try to defend it as long as we can. It will be hard, since the rivals are really strong, and everything coming up will be an extra. We have now two victories from three for the squad and you can’t ask for anything else.”

“I had good sensations”, said Alberto Contador. “In the end it is true that the differences were minimal, but you have to think that there was no other climb before and that makes people fresher”. Contador said he had finished “happy with my sensations, despite not having climbed in the last weeks. I am satisfied with the test, although it was a pity not to get the stage win, but the objective is Madrid.” About his attacks he said that he needed “more training, but I’m with spark and that’s a sign that I’m fresh. We have to be optimistic for next stages.” From what he saw of his rivals he drew little conclusions, because “it is still only the third stage and there are people who find it harder to react and they have not had a good day. I’m sure that Euskaltel riders will be fighting for victory. I’m happy with the result, the legs were going well and that’s the most important thing.”

Once across the finish line, Igor Antуn stated that “Arrate is a mythical goal in Basque cycling and everyone would like to win here, but the rise is not best suited to my characteristics. Through the Eibar streets was also complicated to be placed well to enter the climb, which was highly explosive. La Vuelta has only just begun and everyone is very strong. Imagine that as the days go by you will be noticeably worn down. I’ve lost six seconds but I am calm and satisfied. This has only just begun and tomorrow Tuesday we have a new test in Valdezcaray.”

Vuelta a Espaсa Stage 3 Result:
1. Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar in 3:49:37
2. Joaquim Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha
3. Christopher Froome (GB) Sky
4. Alberto Contador (Esp) Team Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank
5. Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Katusha at 0:06
6. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Rabobank
7. Eros Capecchi (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale
8. Benat Intxausti Elorriaga (Spa) Movistar
9. Andrew Talansky (USA) Garmin-Sharp
10. Robert Gesink (Ned) Rabobank.

Vuelta a Espaсa Overall After Stage 3:
1. Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar in 8:46:56
2. Benat Intxausti Elorriaga (Spa) Movistar at 0:18
3. Joaquim Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha at 0:19
4. Christopher Froome (GBr) Sky at 0:20
5. Alberto Contador (Esp) Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank at 0:24
6. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Rabobank at 0:28
7. Robert Gesink (Ned) Rabobank
8. Rigoberto Uran Uran (Col) Sky at 0:30
9. Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Katusha at 0:33
10. Igor Anton Hernandez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi at 0:46.

The link to the last climb by rtve.

Stage 4 was a strange affair as the overall leader; Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) crashed as the Sky team put the pressure on at the front. There will be arguments from all sides on this one, from Valverde’s point of view he had this to say about the Sky team: “They caused the crash and then don’t have the balls to stop.” The break of Simon Clarke (Orica-GreenEdge), Tony Martin (Omega Pharma – Quick-Step), Jesus Rosendo Prado (Andulicia), Luis Angel Mate (Cofidis) and Assan Bazeyev (Astana) were up the road at this point, but started to fall apart on the finishing climb to the Estaciуn de Valdezcaray. Behind; Sky and the crosswind caused echelons with Valverde still picking himself off the ground and trying to get back to the front. The race split due to Daniel Navarro (Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank) riding hard for Alberto Contador, Chris Froome (Sky) and Nico Roche (Ag2r-La Mondiale) came with them. Roche carried on as Contador and Froome eased up because Katusha were chasing hard for Joaquim Rodriguez. Clarke and Martin had dropped the others, Clarke out kicked the World TT champion for his first Pro win and Roche took 5th behind Marcos Garcia of Caja Rural who was convinced he had won the stage. Rodriguez moved into the overall lead with Froome at 1 second and Contador at 5, Valverde lost 55 seconds on the other top riders. There will be talk of this day for quite some time.

Second on the stage; Tony Martin said: “I was motivated to go into the breakaway,” Martin said. “All the team was in the front in the first kilometres. I took the first attack and we went immediately. The pace in the breakaway was really good, we collaborated very well. In the last climb I hadn’t the energy to make the difference, especially because of the heat. It was another incredibly hot day. I tried to leave him to take the lead but he stayed with me. I launched the sprint but I knew he was faster than me. I’m happy about my race. Today was really hot and wasn’t so easy to stay in the front with only five guys. My condition is improving. I trained well before coming here and I’m really looking forward to the time trial next week and — why not — to try to grab a stage victory in one of the next stages.”

“I had tremendous luck, I managed to pass,” Alberto Contador finished the fourth stage of the Vuelta a Espaсa and moved up to third place overall, just five seconds behind the new leader, Joaquim Rodriguez. “I had tremendous luck, my teammates have fell on the left, but I made a pass through, even though I’ve touch the bike and the wheel burned me” said Alberto.

Contador told how had been the fall that caused the great battle among the leaders. “I was right behind the riders of Movistar and Sky sprinted on the right side. The Movistar boys screaming to go forward and that is when everything happened”. Amid the confusion, Alberto was clear what to do. “I got out and I just concentrated on going in front, nothing more”, he said in reference to any possible controversy. “I was focused on being there and I just wanted to go ahead, worried about my teammates. Each one makes his tactics and mine was to concentrate on the race.” About the result of the stage, Alberto said he is “very happy with my sensations. I felt very, very well, and on a climb not suitable (for me) and very windy. It was too much effort to only get a few seconds,” he said about Rodriguez missing the move “I saw that when Dani (Navarro) accelerated, he (Rodriguez) lost contact, but the advantage was too low for a great effort. We were not interested in a follow up, it was best to stay covered.”

Euskaltel-Euskadi team leader Igor Anton lost 30 seconds, “I have not had the best feelings. The first part of the stage went well, but the voltage that enlivened the second half and I think the heat has affected me. Yet, I have not had much time to think of the future on a day that has proved difficult. Txurruka and Verdugo have done a great job on Valdezcaray and the rest of the team throughout the stage. I have not lost much time, so you have to continue with optimism,” stated Anton, now 16th overall.

Vuelta a Espaсa Stage 4 Result:
1. Simon Clarke (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge in 4:30:26
2. Tony Martin (Ger) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step at 0:02
3. Assan Bazayev (Kaz) Astana at 0:22
4. Marcos Garcia (Spa) Caja Rural at 0:55
5. Nicolas Roche (Irl) Ag2r-La Mondiale
6. Linus Gerdemann (Ger) Radioshack-Nissan at 0:57
7. Laurens Ten Dam (Ned) Rabobank
8. Andrey Zeits (Kaz) Astana at 1:01
9. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Rabobank at 1:04
10. Jan Bakelants (Bel) Radioshack-Nissan.

Vuelta a Espaсa Overall After Stage 4:
1. Joaquim Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha in 13:18:45
2. Christopher Froome (GB) Sky at 0:01
3. Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank at 0:05
4. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Rabobank at 0:09
5. Robert Gesink (Ned) Rabobank
6. Rigoberto Uran Uran (Col) Sky at 0:11
7. Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Katusha at 0:14
8. Nicolas Roche (Irl) Ag2r-La Mondiale at 0:24
9. Laurens Ten Dam (Ned) Rabobank at 0:46
10. Juan Jose Cobo Acebo (Spa) Movistar at 0:47.

Stage 4 highlights:

Stage 5 was not the most exciting bike race that ever took place, but that happens from time to time in a three week stage race. Javier Chacon (Andalucнa) was out on his own for 138.5 kilometres before he was swept up by the peloton who had been taking it easy after the last two days of attacking action. In the end the stage came down to a bunch sprint; Argos-Shimano led out their man John Degenkolb, Daniele Bennati (RadioShack-Nissan) nearly upset the apple cart, but Degenkolb came smoothly through for the win. Rodriguez kept the overall and Degenkolb took the points jersey.

Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank) said of his stage: “I had a flat near to the finish line on the penultimate lap, about 3 kilometres to go. It was a dangerous moment, because roundabouts were very slippery and so I changed my bike, but I could not feel comfortable (Bruno Pires gave him his bike) and changed again.” As usual with a final sprint, there was tension in the bunch. “In the end there was much danger”, said Alberto, “because everybody wanted to go ahead and you could see that the group could get cut or have a fall, but we saved the day with no problems and I’m happy”. The heat was again a factor: “The temperature keeps hurting, but it has dropped a couple of degrees and it shows”. Finally, Alberto described the finish in Jaca, again uphill. “Now I see it as very far away”, he said “I just want to rest a little bit and that’s all”, but then added: “Jaca is a short and explosive climb, the differences will be minimal.”

Astana’s Paolo Tiralongo remains under close observation, as he fights the after-effects of the crash in last Saturday’s first stage. “I am gritting my teeth and hanging in there,” said Tiralongo. “I trained hard in July so that I would be ready for this race, but the crash has knocked my plans off course. I have now been riding for four days with painkillers and I am treating it with ice, but it is painful and hard work. I can’t wait for the rest day [Monday 27th] so that I can recover fully and start again from there in search of a win.”

Vuelta a Espaсa Stage 5 Result:
1. John Degenkolb (Ger) Argos-Shimano in 4:10:37
2. Daniele Bennati (Ita) RadioShack-Nissan
3. Gianni Meersman (Bel) Lotto-Belisol
4. Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat
5. Elia Viviani (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale
6. Raymond Kreder (Ned) Garmin – Sharp
7. Allan Davis (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge
8. Lloyd Mondory (Fra) Ag2r-La Mondiale
9. Leonardo Fabio Duque (Col) Cofidis
10. Pim Ligthart (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM.

Vuelta a Espaсa Overall After Stage 5:
1. Joaquim Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha in 17:29:22
2. Christopher Froome (GB) Sky at 0:01
3. Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank at 0:05
4. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Rabobank at 0:09
5. Robert Gesink (Ned) Rabobank
6. Rigoberto Uran Uran (Col) Sky at 0:11
7. Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Katusha at 0:14
8. Nicolas Roche (Irl) Ag2r-La Mondiale at 0:24
9. Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar at 0:36
10. Laurens Ten Dam (Ned) Rabobank at 0:46.

Backstage with Orica-GreenEdge on stage 5:

Vuelta a Espaсa 2015
The organisers of the Tour of Spain have signed a contract for the start and five stages in the Netherlands in 2015. After the success of the start in 2009, it has been reported in The Telegraph that the start in 2015 will again be given to Drenthe, where there will be a 31-kilometre team time trial for stage 1. The second stage will start in Frisian Sneek and then through Elfsteden and Afsluitdijk to finish in Leeuwarden. The next day, stage three starts in Dokkum (Friesland), and ride through Drenthe to finish in Zwolle. Then the Vuelta would head to the south of the country, where the last the two stages would be completed where Breda is already sure of a finish, however, there are several applications from North Brabant and Zeeland. The race would fly back to Spain from Eindhoven.

USA Pro Cycling Challenge 2012
After 202 kilometres from Durango to Telluride on Stage 1 Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Sharp) came out on top in a bunch sprint of around 60 riders. The Garmin team had riders in the early breaks and when the race came together they covered all the other breaks and led-out Farrar for the stage and overall.

USA Pro Cycling Challenge Stage 1 Result:
1. Tyler Farrar (USA) Garmin-Sharp in 4:42:48
2. Alessandro Bazzana (Ita) Team Type 1-Sanofi
3. Damiano Caruso (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale
4. Fred Rodriguez (USA) Team Exergy
5. Rory Sutherland (Aus) UnitedHealthcare
6. Gavin Mannion (USA) Bontrager Livestrong
7. Kiel Reijnen (USA) Team Type 1-Sanofi
8. Alexander Candelario (USA) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies
9. Christopher Horner (USA) RadioShack-Nissan
10. Jorge Camilo Castiblanco Cubides (Col) EPM-Une.

USA Pro Challenge Overall After Stage 1:
1. Tyler Farrar (USA) Garmin-Sharp in 4:42:48
2. Alessandro Bazzana (Ita) Team Type 1-Sanofi
3. Damiano Caruso (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale
4. Fred Rodriguez (USA) Team Exergy
5. Rory Sutherland (Aus) UnitedHealthcare
6. Gavin Mannion (USA) Bontrager Livestrong
7. Kiel Reijnen (USA) Team Type 1-Sanofi
8. Alexander Candelario (USA) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies
9. Christopher Horner (USA) RadioShack-Nissan
10. Jorge Camilo Castiblanco Cubides (Col) EPM-Une.

The start and finish in Durango by boyerscoffeecompany.

BMC’s Tejay van Garderen won an uphill sprint to the finish of Stage 2 against Christian Vande Velde (Garmin-Sharp) to score his first victory of the season and take the lead of the USA Pro Challenge.

Van Garderen said he initially wasn’t aiming to win the 159.6-kilometer race. “But then toward the end, our guys started working and started bringing the gap to the breakaway down,” he said. “So I couldn’t let them down. I also knew this day, the race from Aspen to Beaver Creek (Stage 4) and Stage 6 to Boulder would be the decisive ones. So I thought I’d hit out early and give it a shot.” Van Garderen’s victory was his first since winning the Stage 3 individual time trial at the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah last year on his birthday (Aug. 12). His highlights this season include finishing fifth at the Tour de France – while winning the best young rider classification – and a runner-up finish at the U.S. national time trial championships.

The nine-rider breakaway that the BMC Racing Team worked hard to chase down actually included van Garderen’s teammate, Mathias Frank, who appeared to be on his own way to winning the race with two kilometres to go. Frank passed Camilo Castiblanco (EPM-Une), who was first to attack with three kilometres left. But the final kilometre was a flurry of action, with Castiblanco’s teammate, Ramiro Rincon, and RusVelo’s Ivan Rovny taking the lead, only to be passed back by Frank and Garmin-Sharp’s Alex Howes, who was also in the breakaway. But all of them saw their chances dashed when van Garderen – with Vande Velde in tow – roared by inside the final 500 meters. Frank finished 29th, 33 seconds back, while teammate Johann Tschopp, recent winner of the Tour of Utah, placed 10th and stands 12th overall, 12 seconds behind van Garderen.

BMC Racing Team Assistant Director Michael Sayers said it won’t be an easy task for van Garderen to hold the lead all the way to Sunday’s finish in Denver. “It’s going to take a little bit of luck and the team staying together, and riding as the best unit as we can,” he said. “I think the most experienced guys like Cadel Evans and George Hincapie will be big. It’s going to come down to them helping Tejay.” Van Garderen also led the USA Pro Challenge last year after the Stage 2 finish (in Aspen), but surrendered it the next day. This year, the Boulder, Colo., resident said he has a strong team to help him defend. “Christian is still on the same time as me, so it’s a super close race,” he said. “We need to make sure that Garmin is not too aggressive in the breaks. But we have a strong team and I’m confident.”

USA Pro Challenge Stage 2 Result:
1. Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC in 3:52:24
2. Christian Vande Velde (USA) Garmin-Sharp
3. Ivan Rovny (Rus) RusVelo at 0:06
4. Levi Leipheimer (USA) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step at 0:08
5. Ramiro Rincon Diaz (Col) EPM-Une
6. Thomas Danielson (USA) Garmin-Sharp at 0:12
7. Joseph Lloyd Dombrowski (USA) Bontrager Livestrong
8. Lucas Euser (USA) Spidertech Powered By C10
9. Damiano Caruso (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale
10. Johann Tschopp (Swi) BMC.

USA Pro Challenge Overall After Stage 2:
1. Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC in 8:35:12
2. Christian Vande Velde (USA) Garmin-Sharp
3. Ivan Rovny (Rus) RusVelo at 0:06
4. Levi Leipheimer (USA) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step at 0:08
5. Ramiro Rincon Diaz (Col) EPM-Une
6. Damiano Caruso (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale at 0:12
7. Alessandro Bazzana (Ita) Team Type 1-Sanofi
8. Christopher Horner (USA) RadioShack-Nissan
9. Janez Brajkovic (Slo) Astana
10. Lucas Euser (USA) Spidertech Powered By C10.

Stage 2 highlights by USA Pro Challenge.

On one of the most mountainous stages of the USA Pro Challenge, BMC Racing Team’s Tejay van Garderen chased hard going up, while teammate Mathias Frank helped with the pursuit going down. But ultimately, it was not enough to prevent van Garderen from losing the overall lead on Stage 3 (Wednesday).

Van Garderen conceded the race leader’s yellow jersey to Christian Vande Velde (Garmin-Sharp) on tie-breaker criteria. The two came into the day tied on overall time and both finished in a group of 26 who arrived two seconds after solo winner Tom Danielson (Garmin-Sharp). But the relevant criteria to determine the race leader – first to the sum of the stage placings (both totalled 30) and then to placings on the last stage ridden – favoured Vande Velde. He finished ninth in the 210.1 kilometre race, three places ahead of van Garderen. “Yes, I am disappointed,” van Garderen said. “But this gives me a little extra motivation for the upcoming days. I don’t see anything really changing in the dynamics of the race. It’s still going to come down to the time trial on Sunday in Denver.”

BMC Racing Team Assistant Director Michael Sayers said he filed a protest regarding the results of Tuesday’s race after officials judged that Vande Velde crossed the finish line in the same time as van Garderen, who won the stage. Sayers said officials told him they would review the result and issue a ruling Thursday. Regardless of that outcome, Sayers said he was proud of the way the BMC Racing Team defended the lead on a stage that included ascents of two major mountain passes. “We worked very hard as a team to bring Danielson’s group back,” he said. “It was on pins and needles the whole day. The team rode way better than you could have ever believed and we were a really strong unit today.”

Danielson was the last of more than a dozen riders who had been part of a breakaway the BMC Racing Team had kept in check for three-quarters of the race. Over the summit, he led by 1:45 over van Garderen’s small chase group. But Mathias – after catching back on the descent – worked hard to shrink the gap over the final 20 kilometres as the chase grew. “Garmin put a lot of pressure on us on the first climb,” Frank said. “But we did everything we could to defend the jersey.” Thursday’s 156.5 km stage will climb two mountains before finishing with a four-kilometre climb. “Really, for the team, it’s not so bad to lose the lead,” Frank said. “Garmin will have to defend. And for Tejay, it’s good because he is still tied on time.” Thanks to the BMC Team for info.

USA Pro Challenge Stage 3 Result:
1. Thomas Danielson (USA) Garmin-Sharp in 5:02:06
2. Damiano Caruso (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale at 0:02
3. Jakob Fuglsang (Den) RadioShack-Nissan
4. Gavin Mannion (USA) Bontrager Livestrong
5. Janez Brajkovic (Slo) Astana
6. Andreas Klцden (Ger) RadioShack-Nissan
7. Javier Eduardo Gomez Pineda (Col) EPM-Une
8. Ivan Rovny (Rus) RusVelo
9. Christian Vande Velde (USA) Garmin-Sharp
10. Christopher Baldwin (USA) Bissell Cycling.

USA Pro Challenge Overall After Stage 3:
1. Christian Vande Velde (USA) Garmin-Sharp in 13:37:20
2. Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC
3. Ivan Rovny (Rus) RusVelo at 0:06
4. Levi Leipheimer (USA) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step at 0:08
5. Ramiro Rincon Diaz (Col) EPM-Une
6. Thomas Danielson (USA) Garmin-Sharp at 0:10
7. Damiano Caruso (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale at 0:12
8. Janez Brajkovic (Slo) Astana Pro Team
9. Christopher Horner (USA) RadioShack-Nissan
10. Lucas Euser (USA) Spidertech Powered By C10.

Stage 3 from NBC Sports:

Breaking sports news video. MLB, NFL, NBA, NHL highlights and more.

Tour du Poitou Charentes 2012
Tuesday was a great day for the Orica-GreenEdge team, as Simon Clarke was winning in Spain, his Lithuanian team mate; Aidia Krupis was being led out for the win in first stage of the Tour du Poitou Charentes. The Orica-GreenEdge team took to the front of the peloton in the last kilometre to put Kruopis in the perfect position for the win. The race finishes on Saturday in Poitiers and there is a decisive 22 kilometre individual time trial on Friday.

Tour du Poitou Stage 1 Result:
1. Aidis Kruopis (Ltu) Orica-GreenEdge in 4:41:54
2. Yauheni Hutarovich (Blr) FDJ-Big Mat
3. Evaldas Siskevicius (Ltu) La Pomme Marseille
4. Alexander Serebryakov (Rus) Team Type 1-Sanofi
5. Takashi Miyazawa (Jpn) Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank
6. Joeri Stallaert (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Euphony
7.Fabien Bacquet (Fra) Auber 93
8. Justin Van Hoecke (Bel) Wallonie Bruxelles-Credit Agricole
9. Sйbastien Chavanel (Fra) Europcar
10. Adrien Petit (Fra) Cofidis.

Tour du Poitou Charentes Overall After Stage 1:
1. Aidis Kruopis (Ltu) Orica-GreenEdge in 4:41:44
2. Thomas Vaubourzeix (Fra) La Pomme Marseille at 0:01
3. Yauheni Hutarovich (Blr) FDJ-BigMat at 0:04
4. Gaylord Cumont (Fra) Veranda Rideau-Super U
5. Evaldas Siskevicius (Ltu) La Pomme Marseille at 0:06
6. Loic Desriac (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole at 0:07
7. Alexander Serebryakov (Rus) Team Type 1-Sanofi at 0:10
8. Takashi Miyazawa (Jpn) Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank
9. Joeri Stallaert (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Euphony
10. Fabien Bacquet (Fra) Auber 93.

The Dйpart:

Aidis Kruopis of Orica-GreenEdge won Stage 2 from Royan to Melle after 200 kilometres to give him back-to-back stage wins and of course he holds onto the overall now by 8 seconds.

Tour du Poitou Charentes Stage 2 Result:
1. Aidis Kruopis (Ltu) Orica-GreenEdge in 5:08:53
2. Adrien Petit (Fra) Cofidis
3. Yauheni Hutarovich (Blr) FDJ-BigMat
4. Marco Haller (Aut) Katusha
5. Yohann Genй (Fra) Europcar
6. Robin Stenuit (Bel) Wallonie Bruxelles-Credit Agricole
7. Joeri Stallaert (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Euphony
8. Kevin Peeters (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Euphony
9. Benjamin Giraud (Fra) La Pomme Marseille
10. Rony Martias (Fra) Saur-Sojasun.

Tour du Poitou Charentes Overall After Stage 2:
1. Aidis Kruopis (Ltu) Orica-GreenEdge in 9:50:27
2. Yauheni Hutarovich (Blr) FDJ-BigMat at 0:08
3. Thomas Vaubourzeix (Fra) La Pomme Marseille at 0:11
4. Adrien Petit (Fra) Cofidis at 0:14
5. Mathieu Delaroziere (Fra) La Pomme Marseille
6. Gaylord Cumont (Fra) Veranda Rideau-Super U
7. Lazlo Bodrogi (Fra) Team Type 1-Sanofi at 0:15
8. Evaldas Siskevicius (Ltu) La Pomme Marseille at 0:16
9. Johan Le Bon (Fra) Bretagne-Schuller at 0:17
10. Loic Desriac (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole.

Tour of Denmark 2012
Stage 1 of six in the Tour of Denmark was won by Andrй Greipel (Lotto-Belisol) into Randers from a big bunch that had been split by a crash near the finish. Four men had been up the road; Michael Mшrkшv (Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank), Paolo Locatelli (Colnago-CSF Inox), Morten Hшrberg (Concordia) and Jacob Nielsen (Blue Water Cycling), but they were caught and everyone was getting into position when there was a crash 3 kilometres from the finish. World champion; Mark Cavendish (Sky) was held up by the crash and so missed out on the gallop.

Stage winner Andrй Greipel: “Francis De Greef was pulling the peloton all day to catch the breakaway. It was pretty tough with the wind. The last 700 meters was uphill today. We had a really nice lead-out train and we could finish it off. The team brought me up to 200 meters to go, and then I started my sprint. We’ll see what happens the next few stages. We wanted to get a win, and we succeeded. Now we’re going to try to bring Lars Bak in a good position for the GC. That’s what we’ll do in the upcoming stages.”

Tour of Denmark Stage 1 Result:
1. Andre Greipel (Ger) Lotto-Belisol in 4:55:06
2. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha
3. Theo Bos (Ned) Rabobank
4. Luke Rowe (GB) Sky Procycling
5. Stefan Schumacher (Ger) Christina Watches-Onfone
6. Matteo Pelucchi (Ita) Europcar
7. Tom Van Asbroeck (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Mercator
8. Jonas Aaen Jшrgensen (Den) Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank
9. Nikolay Trusov (Rus) RusVelo
10. Ramunas Navardauskas (Ltu) Garmin-Sharp.

Tour of Denmark Overall After Stage 1:
1. Andre Greipel (Ger) Lotto-Belisol in 4:54:56
2. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha at 0:04
3. Jesper Mшrkшv (Den) Denmark
4. Theo Bos (Ned) Rabobank at 0:06
5. Luke Rowe (GB) Sky at 0:10
6. Stefan Schumacher (Ger) Christina Watches-Onfone
7. Matteo Pelucchi (Ita) Europcar
8. Tom Van Asbroeck (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Mercator
9. Jonas Aaen Jшrgensen (Den) Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank
10. Nikolay Trusov (Rus) RusVelo.

Omega Pharma – Quick-Step Team to Tour of Denmark
Press Release: Omega Pharma – Quick-Step Cycling Team has announced the selection for Tour of Denmark, a 854.5km race from August 22nd through the 26th.

“We have a pretty good team for this race,” Sports Director Brian Holm said. “Normally in this race we have a lot of crosswind and more or less flat stages — the same conditions we can find sometimes in Belgium or in Holland. The key point of the race will be the hilly stage on Friday in Vejle and the Time Trial of 14.5km on Saturday afternoon. Our goal is to win a stage and stay in the high part of the GC.”

The Tour of Denmark will represent also the first race of Florian Senechal among the professional riders. The 19-year-old young French talent will ride with Omega Pharma – Quick-Step Cycling Team as a stagiaire.

Marco Bandiera (ITA),
Tom Boonen (BEL),
Andrew Fenn (GBR),
Michal Golas (POL),
Bert Grabsch (GER),
Iljo Keisse (BEL),
Florian Senechal (FRA),
Stijn Vandenbergh (BEL).
Sports Director: Brian Holm (DEN).

Next Races for Lampre-ISD
Lampre-ISD will race in Lombardy again. After Trittico Lombardo on Thursday 23 August blue-fuchsia team will be at the start of GP Carnago. Sport director Maini will lead Bole, Buts, Lloyd, Malori, Pietropolli, Righi, Ulissi and stagiere Wackermann.

On 25 August, the team of president Galbusera will take part in Giro del Veneto-Coppa Placci, 233 km from Abano Terme to Imola. On the start line there will be Buts, Graziato, Dmytro Krivtsov, Malori, Sheydyk, Spezialetti, Stortoni and stagiere’s Wackermann and Viola.

“For GP Carnago, we’ll rely on riders such Ulissi and Pietropolli, who could both be very competitive on this kind of course” sport director Maini explained “The race won’t be so demanding, also Bole could show that his fitness is getting better. In the Giro del Veneto-Coppa Placci, Malori will be our leader”.

1 More Year for Jens Voigt
Press Release: Jens Voigt has renewed his contract with RADIOSHACK NISSAN TREK through the end of 2013. The 40 year-old German veteran announced his decision moments before the start of the USA Pro Challenge in Durango, Colorado.

“I’m very happy to confirm that I will stay with the team for another year. I have been a loyal rider throughout my career and I’m proud that I will be able to continue to share my experience with the boys and help them win,” notes Voigt. “I had good offers from two other teams, but I’m pleased to stay where I am. I really wanted to ride for one more year and I’m convinced this is the right decision for me. When I told the boys, they were laughing that I said ‘one more year’ a year ago as well, but we’ll see what the future brings. I’m almost 41 now, but I feel I can still be an asset to the team, so that’s why I continue.”
“I hope we can finish this season on a nice note and I’m already looking forward to next year,” says Voigt. “I’m convinced that we didn’t get the most of this season, for a variety of reasons. We will learn from this season, as we always do at the end of a season and we will work even harder to be stronger.”

Johan Bruyneel: “This is very good news for our team. Jens is of great importance for us and I’m glad and proud that he wants to stay with us. He’s the perfect road captain. He proved that in the Tour de France this year, possibly his strongest Tour ever. Also the fact that several other teams were ready to sign him proves his value. Jens is really a school book example of a professional rider.”

Jens Voigt: “This decision takes a lot of weight of my shoulders. I can concentrate on the racing now, because the USA Pro Challenge is a very important race for us. My head is clear now; the focus is on.”

Jens at work:

Wiggins back for the Tour of Britain
Bradley Wiggins was due to ride the Tour of Denmark but instead will make his return to racing at the Tour of Britain starting on September the 9th. Since he won the Olympic Gold medal in London he has been celebrating that and his Tour de France win, at the weekend he hosted his “Ride with Brad” event in Lancashire, Northern England and there he announced that he would start Britain’s biggest stage race.

Pozzovivo to Ag2r-La Mondiale
Diminutive Italian climber; Domenico Pozzovivo is moving from the safety of the Italian Colnago-CSF Inox team and manager Bruno Reverberi who he has ridden for since he turned Pro in 2005. The French Ag2r-La Mondiale team has replaced Nico Roche with a raft of other riders; Carlos Alberto Betancur (Acqua & Sapone), Davide Appollonio (Sky), Samuel Dumoulin (Cofidis) and Steve Chainel & Yauheni Hutarovich both from FDJ-BigMat. Pozzovivo has not ridden much out-side of Italy apart from a stage in the Tour of Slovenia, his successes have all been at home including a stage in the Giro d’Italia and the overall in the Giro del Trentino. Pozzovivo maybe be 29 years old but looks like he might need his mum to come with him to the races.

Fischer to FDJ-BigMat
Ex-Brazilian National champion; Murilo Fischer is leaving Garmin-Sharp at the end of the year to move to FDJ-BigMat on a two year contract. Fischer turned professional in 2004 for Domina Vacanze and is a top lead-out man.

Omega Pharma – Quick-Step Cycling Team has Re-signed Several of its Riders for 2013 and beyond
Press Release: Gert Steegmans, Julien Vermote, Niki Terpstra, and Nikolas Maes all renewed their contracts for the next two years (2013-2014).

Matteo Trentin, Stijn Vandenbergh and Andy Fenn, whose prior contract agreements all ended in 2013, have extended their respective contracts until the end of 2014.

“We are very happy to announce that such a talented group will return to the team for several more years,” CEO Patrick Lefevere said. “All of these riders have played crucial roles in our 43 road wins this year, and we want to build on the success of 2012 by keeping such a strong team intact. They have worked well together all season, and we want to see all of them further their development, while wearing our team colours.”

Morkov stays with Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank
The 27 year old Dane; Michael Morkov will be with his present team Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank until the end of 2016. He has had a successful 2012 season as he wore the KOM jersey in the Tour de France. Morkov showed his pleasure to the team’s web-site by stating: “I simply can’t imagine a better team than Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank for me to be part of.”

Duggan to SpiderTech-C10
US National champion; Timmy Duggan will leave his present Liquigas-Cannondale team at the end of the season to join the Canadian ProConti SpiderTech-C10 team next year. The team are planning on becoming a WorldTour team by 2014 and wants to break into the big time of races like the Tour de France.

Kiserlovski to RadioShack-Nissan
Press Release: RADIOSHACK NISSAN TREK is pleased to announce that it has reached an agreement with Robert Kiserlovski. The 26-year old Croatian has signed to ride with the team for 2 years.

“I’m very proud to be joining this team. I really like the international look and feel of it and it will be good to race with so many people from different nationalities,” says Robert Kiserlovski. “This is a good opportunity for me – really the next step in my career.”

General Manager Johan Bruyneel: “Robert is a rider with an attacking mind. We’ve been following him for some time now. He rode a nice Ardennes week, even though he was a novice in that kind of work. He was also very strong in the Tour, until he unfortunately crashed out of the race with a broken collarbone.”

Kiserlovski, born and raised in Rijeka, Croatia, has a big love for the Ardennes Classics, but his true passion is the Giro d’Italia. “I hope I will be able to race the Giro. Most riders prefer the Tour, but the Giro is my dream race.”
The young and talented Kiserlovski has been showing good results on challenging roads. In 2012 he finished fifth in the Flиche Wallonne, he had top-ten placings overall in Paris-Nice and the Volta Ciclista a Catalunya and he finished 13th in the Tour of the Basque Country.

“Robert is a strong addition to our roster and he will have a free role in certain races. He’s a rider that is capable of a lot on a good day, even though he didn’t get full recognition of that yet. His results and development are promising and he has the right attitude. I’m confident that he will be able to improve even more in our outfit. He has the quality needed, we’ll work on consistency now,” concludes Bruyneel.

UCI asks Carlos Barredo Questions
Press Release: Carlos Barredo received questions by the UCI at the beginning of this summer regarding his blood passport and blood values for the period 2007-2011.

He got the opportunity to provide answers and to defend himself. He was required to send the answers in before the 24th of July. Barredo formulated the answers in close cooperation with Rabobank Cycling Team and sent them in before the required date.

Those questions were informative, there is no procedure.

Carlos Barredo denies in a statement to Rabobank Cycling Team that he is involved in any doping-related cases or the use of banned substances. Rabobank gave him all the support and knowledge needed in providing the answers.

Rabobank Cycling Team rallies behind the blood passport and a clean sport. We will follow all the necessary steps as we have done so far. This means that Barredo (who had some trouble from his broken ribs in the past period) will not ride any races until we have the UCI’s reaction.

Rabobank Cycling Team co-initiated the blood passport and cooperates in improving it.

Rabobank Cycling Team looks forward to UCI’s reaction to Barredo’s answers with confidence.

This Monday the Rabobank Cycling Team was informed by Carlos Barredo that UCI’s statement will take some time to arrive and is not expected to come before the second half of September.

British Cycling delighted with response to Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome international debut
From 11am today it took just 25 minutes for tickets for all key sessions at the UCI Track World Cup Glasgow to sell out today, a response hailed by British Cycling as the strongest ever for an event it has delivered in the UK.

November’s UCI Track World Cup in Glasgow will be the inaugural international cycling event at the new Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome that will play host to the cycling events at the Commonwealth Games in 2014. The sell out of tickets to the general public follows an equally swift response to the pre-sale of an allocation of tickets to British Cycling Members last week that also took less than 24 hours to sell out all sessions of the event from Friday night though to the conclusion of the event on Sunday.

Cycling fans can secure their chance to see more top flight track racing action on home soil when tickets for September’s British Cycling Senior National Track Championships go on sale this Friday.

The championships return to the Manchester Velodrome at the National Cycling Centre from 26th-30th September and promise spectators five days of gripping competition to mark the start of another thrilling winter season of exciting track racing.

Cycling fans can secure their chance to see more top flight track racing action on home soil when tickets for September’s British Cycling Senior National Track Championships go on sale this Friday.

The championships return to the Manchester Velodrome at the National Cycling Centre from 26th-30th September and promise spectators five days of gripping competition to mark the start of another thrilling winter season of exciting track racing.

Cycling fans new and old will have the opportunity to see competitive track racing at its best as some of Britain’s leading riders go head-to-head for the coveted national titles. There will also be the chance to watch the next generation of cycling talent launch their careers, just as the likes of Sir Chris Hoy, Victoria Pendleton, Jason Kenny and Laura Trott have done before them.

After a successful summer of cycling, British Cycling are expecting high demand for tickets and are encouraging spectators to book their tickets early to avoid disappointment. British Cycling members can save 1/3 on tickets for the event by taking advantage of the latest exclusive ticket offer for members.

Tickets can be purchased via www.ticketmaster.co.uk from Friday 24th August at 1pm.

Sir Chris Hoy Olympic Keirin Final:

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