Vuelta 4 and more

Exciting stage today! It seems that will be La Vuelta of regrets to me: yesterday Martinez, today Uran. I like him and a finish on a short hard climb like that suited him too well. No way, the front group was pulling to death - Gilbert, Nibali, Frank Schleck in it.
Andy helped his Big Bro sho
wing a quite good shape but a mechanic forced him to stop and changing his bike just before the big descent and the final kms: maybe Frank would have tryed something more if Little Bro was still there.
He made a very good race anyway, ended 12th in a really fast finish and is 8th in GC. Anton victory was super, I like Euskaltel so am happy for him. Nibali would probably regret his second place but in my opinion he can be happy too: he's 4th in GC and La Vuelta is still long.

My few lines about Fignon's death provoked an interesting discussion in the comments area: have a look and take part, your opinion is important!

Pic 1 by Sirotti
Pic 2 by AFP: Laurent Fignon and Greg LeMond on the final podium in Paris at the 1989 Tour de France.
Stage 4
1 Igor Anton (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 5:00:29
2 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas-Doimo 0:00:01
3 Peter Velits (Svk) Team HTC-Columbia

4 Joaquin Rodriguez (Spa) Team Katusha

5 Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto 0:00:05
6 Tejay Van Garderen (USA) Team HTC-Columbia 0:00:08
7 Ezequiel Mosquera (Spa) Xacobeo Galicia 0:00:12
8 Nicolas Roche (Irl) Ag2R-La Mondiale

9 Ruben Plaza (Spa) Caisse d’Epargne

10 Rigoberto Uran (Col) Caisse d’Epargne 0:00:19
11 David Arroyo (Spa) Caisse d’Epargne

12 Frank Schleck (Lux) Team Saxo Bank
1 Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto 13:56:30
2 Igor Anton (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 0:00:10
3 Joaquin Rodriguez (Spa) Team Katusha

4 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas-Doimo 0:00:12
5 Peter Velits (Svk) Team HTC-Columbia 0:00:16
6 Tejay Van Garderen (USA) Team HTC-Columbia 0:00:29
7 Xavier Tondo (Spa) Cervélo Test Team 0:00:49
8 Frank Schleck (Lux) Team Saxo Bank 0:00:50
9 Ruben Plaza (Spa) Caisse d’Epargne 0:00:54
10 Ezequiel Mosquera (Spa) Xacobeo Galicia 0:00:55
11 Nicolas Roche (Irl) Ag2R-La Mondiale 0:00:58
12 David Arroyo (Spa) Caisse d’Epargne 0:01:01
13 Marzio Bruseghin (Ita) Caisse d’Epargne

14 Denis Menchov (Rus) Rabobank 0:01:11
15 Rigoberto Uran (Col) Caisse d’Epargne 0:01:19

Vuelta 3 and more

Yesterday stage was a good one. I'm sorry the brave Martinez of team Galizia didn't manage to cross the line alone after that long 4 men breack and that solo fly on the last climb. Probably the peloton wasn't in a hurry and waited on purpose the last km to catch him. Gilbert won and let me say that stage was perfect for a finisseur like him. Nibali 4th is a great thing: the last descent helped him, who is a specialist, and he probably had good legs on the climbs. Nice to see him there anyway, he's 5th in GC now. Van Garderen is keeping promises and is already 4th. Frank is 9th.
Andy lost 14' - not 14'' like he twitted: 14 minutes. It's an eternity. In my opinion - but I am not the only one to think so - he went out GC on purpose, to be free to help Frank and to try to win a stage.
That's quite normal. Of course it doesn't mean Andy lied twitting "14"that s the time I lost today!no excuse officially I m not on top ,guess I got not the shape from TDF.Now I m there to help @schleckfrank " Simply yesterday he didn't pull hard. So don't worry girls: we'll see something. And today stage suits Frankie: allez!!
Cool interview with Andy here
(thx Anna) http://www.cyclingtribe.com/article/post/show/id/82-Andy-Schleck-Interview-The-Tour-Beyond
L.Fignon died http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/laurent-fignon-passes-away Sorry, I'm not sad. I'm not glad. But I didn't like him so much and almost couldn't stand him after last TdF. RIP anyway, he was a man and and a champion.
Pic by Sirotti
Stage 3
1 Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto 4:06:12
2 Joaquin Rodriguez (Spa) Team Katusha 0:00:03
3 Igor Anton (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 0:00:13
4 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas-Doimo 0:00:15
5 Grega Bole (Slo) Lampre-Farnese Vini

6 Nicolas Roche (Irl) Ag2R-La Mondiale

7 Denis Menchov (Rus) Rabobank 0:00:18
8 Ezequiel Mosquera (Spa) Xacobeo Galicia 0:00:19
9 David Arroyo (Spa) Caisse d’Epargne

10 Arthur Vichot (Fra) FDJ

11 Filippo Pozzato (Ita) Team Katusha

12 Xavier Tondo (Spa) Cervélo Test Team

13 Frank Schleck (Lux) Team Saxo Bank

14 Ruben Plaza (Spa) Caisse d’Epargne

15 Marzio Bruseghin (Ita) Caisse d’Epargne

1 Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto 8:55:56
2 Joaquin Rodriguez (Spa) Team Katusha 0:00:14
3 Kanstantin Sivtsov (Blr) Team HTC-Columbia 0:00:22
4 Tejay Van Garderen (USA) Team HTC-Columbia 0:00:26
5 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas-Doimo 0:00:28
6 Peter Velits (Svk) Team HTC-Columbia

7 Igor Anton (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 0:00:35
8 Xavier Tondo (Spa) Cervélo Test Team

9 Frank Schleck (Lux) Team Saxo Bank 0:00:36


La Vuelta!

As Barbara said: it's Vuelta time! I'm happy and impatient to see Andy and Frank racing again, Frank specially, because that's an ambitious coming back after such a recent bad crash.
Unfortunately I missed the
prologue: Sevilla is a splendid city, I have been there a few years ago and a night TTT there, amongh la Giralda, the cathedral and the Alcazar must be amazing.
You probably know the result: a super Columbia and super
Cav, a strong Linquigas and Saxo Bank in 3th position. Yesterday, sprinters stage: Hutarovich.
La Vuelta is one of my favourite races, I like it more then Giro and am always annoyed becuase the Italian tv doesn't show it. Thanks god we have the internet and can watch all in streaming.
La Vuelta is a really strong tour, with really hard mountain stages and usualy shows the best emerging climbers. Last year we remarked Gesink and Fuglsang, this year I'm looking to Van Garderen. Frank Scleck and Vincenzo Nibali are my favourites for the GC. Nibali is the one leader that time so I'm curious to see what he's going to do. And Frankie... is Frankie!! Allez Schleck!!

BDW Thanks Caro' for your insider infos about The Wedding, and for your beautiful pics! :D
Pic by Sirotti
Current GC
1 Mark Cavendish (GBR) Team HTC-Columbia 4:49:35
2 Kanstantin Sivtsov (Blr) Team HTC-Columbia 0:00:12
3 Peter Velits (Svk) Team HTC-Columbia

4 Tejay Van Garderen (USA) Team HTC-Columbia

5 Matthew Goss (GBR) Team HTC-Columbia

6 Lars-Ytting Bak (Den) Team HTC-Columbia

7 Hayden Roulston (NZL) Team HTC-Columbia

8 Tyler Farrar (USA) Garmin-Transitions 0:00:21
9 Daniele Bennati (Ita) Liquigas-Doimo 0:00:22
10 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas-Doimo
29 Frank Schleck (Lux) Team Saxo Bank

30 Dominik Klemme (Ger) Team Saxo Bank

31 Andy Schleck (Lux) Team Saxo Bank


Fränk Schleck targets overall success in the Vuelta

By:Stephen Farrand

Andy plays down his chances but promises support

Fränk Schleck has raced just once since breaking his collarbone at the Tour de France but believes he still has a chance of victory in the Vuelta a Espana.

Schleck fractured his collarbone in three places as the peloton raced over the cobbles in northern France. He underwent surgery and rode the Vattenfall Cyclassics in Hamburg on August 15 but then got married instead of riding the Tour du Limousin. That irritated Saxo Bank boss Bjarne Riis but Fränk believes having fresh legs will give him an edge in the third week of the Vuelta, when the race hits the mountains.

“The crash could become an advantage because I only did four Tour stages and I’ll be fresher physically than the rest of the riders who did all three weeks,” he told the Marca newspaper.

“It would have been good to ride the Tour du Limousin but that was hardly compatible with my wedding on August 21. There are more important things in life than bike races and that day was wonderful.” The couple was married in a civil ceremony December 31, and this month had the religious ceremony.

“I honestly do want to go for GC. My head is 100% focused on that goal. I’m motivated. I have fully recovered from my crash although my collarbone was broken in three pieces, I’ve done a lot of training behind the scooter. After four or five days of racing, I’ll be ready. If I’ve got the same legs as at the Tour de Suisse, I can win the Vuelta.”

“Climbs in Spain are shorter than at the Tour de France. We haven’t gone and reconnoitred the route of the Vuelta before the race but I know that it’s always up and down.”

Fränk has identified his adversaries, including a possible secret partnership between two overall contenders who will be teammates in 2011.

“Caisse d’Epargne always has a strong team”, he said. “Nibali is a favourite as well as Sastre and Menchov who will ride together with Geox next year,” Schleck said. “The Spanish, too, will be difficult to beat. Spain is a country with a great cycling tradition and great riders. They won’t make it easy for us.”

Fränk will have special support from his younger brother Andy. He finished second in the Tour de France and has made it clear he is riding the Vuelta to help his brother. Even if he joked about a possible place on the podium.

“I’m not sure how good I am because I had a week’s holiday after the Tour de France,” Andy said.

“If I can be up there in the mountains with the top riders, that’s great. If I’m going well, I’ll stay with Fränk for the third week. But you can only have the kind of form I had in the Tour once a year. Miracles don’t happen.”

“Schleck, Nibali, Menchov will finish in that order. But I’m not giving the first name of the Schleck…” Andy joked.


Good and bad news plus an interview by CN

I'm just back from Forte dei marmi and very glad to find out that Andy will race in Italy at the end of the season. It seems normal to me: he had a 'short' season because of the knee problem, made a wonderful Tour, won two stages but no races yet. Worlds don't suit him this year, Australia is far and Lombardia is a perfect goal. Tipp topp! I'm waiting for you!
Bad news from the roads instea: my friend Christian Poos (team Differdange) crashed training: get well soon guy! and use your helmet next time!
A team mate of my son was more unlucky: a car killed him while he was training with the team. He was only 13, dudes. He was wearing the same jersey of my son. Awful http://www.ciclonews.it/news_scheda.php?id=2506


WM Melbourne

Andy Schleck vient d’informer la FSCL qu’il renonce à une participation cette année aux mondiaux et qu’il vise de clotûrer sa saison après la Vuelta avec une bonne performance au Tour de Lombardie.



Schleck says Contador signing was no surprise

Luxembourg rider voices doubts on Contador-Riis union

Andy Schleck (Saxo Bank) has claimed that he was neither surprised nor disappointed when Bjarne Riis signed Alberto Contador as his replacement for 2011. Speaking to Luxembourg newspaper Le Quotidien, Schleck also voiced his doubts that Riis and Contador would be capable of working well together.

“No, I wasn’t really surprised [when I heard that Contador had signed] because when Fränk and I met Bjarne to tell him that we were leaving he told us that he wanted to stay at the highest level,” said Schleck. “This might seem pretentious, but I didn’t see any other option than to attract Contador.”

“Everybody wanted Contador as soon as he was free. If Bjarne signed him, it’s because he had the money to pay him, which is good for him…”

However, Schleck is not convinced that Contador will be a natural fit for Riis’ team. “I don’t know if they’re going to work well together in 2011. They’re two very different characters,” he said. “At the same, Contador is Contador, a very strong rider.”

Schleck finished in second place behind Contador at July’s Tour de France, 39 seconds behind. He refused to blame his slipped chain on the Port de Bales for the deficit, simply stating that the incident had “made the Tour even more interesting and more open.”

Andy and Fränk Schleck are set to ride for a newly-formed team based in Luxembourg next season, but the younger Schleck revealed that he would have left Saxo Bank this winter even without the lure of a riding for a home sponsor.

“I wanted to leave and even if the Luxembourg team hadn’t been set up, I would have left anyway,” Schleck explained. “At a certain moment in life, you have to make choices.”

In spite of saying that it was “no great surprise” that he and Fränk were leaving Saxo Bank, Schleck was nonetheless insistent that the move was not precipitated by a falling out with Riis. “I wasn’t always happy with what I had and I wanted other things sometimes but I don’t want to speak badly of Bjarne and I never will,” he said. “I have too much respect for him and I really appreciate him. Our relations will continue to be good. It’s just that I’m convinced that you have to know when to change direction.”

Schleck is currently in Seville ahead of the Vuelta a España, where he will ride in support of his brother Fränk’s assault on the general classification. “I’m here at this Vuelta with no other ambition than to ride for Fränk, that’s clear,” he said. “I’ve already done a lot this season but I’m very pleased to be there to help Fränk, I’ve found my motivation.”

After taking some time out after the Tour de France, Schleck will use the first week of the Vuelta to ease back into action. “It might be a little hard for me in the first week, but afterwards I’ll get back in form,” he explained. “I’m relaxed in this position because I’m not the one aiming for the overall but Fränk. Frankly, in this Vuelta, I’m riding into the unknown.”

In spite of the fact that he will switch teams at the end of the season, Schleck is determined to honour the Saxo Bank colours in his final weeks with the squad and he cites the example of one rider in particular as having made an impression on him. “When our former teammate Christian Vande Velde was leaving for Garmin, I admired his professional attitude,” Schleck said. “I don’t want anybody to say ‘Andy’s going away so he’s not riding at 100%.’ If that were the case, I’d already be on holidays now.”

The title sponsor and finer details of the new Luxembourg team have yet to be revealed, but Schleck is enthusiastic about the project and working with Kim Anderson and Brian Nygaard. “We wouldn’t have switched just to ride for a second division Luxembourg team,” he said. “This is going to be a really good team.”


Yes we like... Manuel Belletti - exclusive interview by Allez Andy

If you watched the last Giro you probably remember Manuel Belletti: he won a stage and that was the second Italian victory, after almost 2 weeks of race. He just won the Coppa Bernocchi beating at the sprint guys like Hondo and Cavendish. He's young and for sure we'll hear talcking a lot about him. So please Manuel introduce yourself.
[Se avete guardato l'ultimo Giro probabilmente vi ricordate di manuel Belletti: ha vinto una tappa ed è stata la seconda vittoria italiana dopo quasi due settimane di corsa. Ha appena vinto la Coppa Bernocchi battendo allo sprint gente come Hondo e Cavendish. E' giovane e sicuramente sentiremo parlare molto di lui. Dunque Manuel presentati.]
When were you born? Quando sei nato?
Manuel: Sono nato a Cesena il 14/10/1985
Your height and weight? altezza e peso
Sono alto 1,75 e peso 64 kg
When did you start cycling?Quando hai cominciato a correre in bici?
Ho cominciato da esordiente. [I started as an 'esordiente' = 12/13 yo]
For wich teams did you race till now? Per quali squadre hai corso fin'ora?
Ho corso nella Fausto Coppi (stessa societa dove corse Marco Pantani), poi da allievo nella Fiumicinese, da junior nella Rinascita Ravenna, da dilettante i primi 2 anni nell'Ozzanese Eternedile mentre gli ultimi 2 anni da dilettante nella Trevigiani. [F.Coppi, the same team of M.Pantani, then for Fiumicinese, as a junior for Rinascita Ravenna, as U23 2 yars for Ozzanese Eternedile and the last 2 for Trevigiani. ]
And wich is your actual team? Qual'è la tua squadra attuale?
Corro tuttora nella Colnago csf inox
Which were your best results and the most important races you took part in? Quali sono stati i tuoi risultati migliori e le corse più importanti cui hai partecipato?
Quest'anno ho vinto la 13 tappa del Giro a Cesenatico in casa mia, e la Coppa Bernocchi... piu tanti altri piazzamenti e podi nell'arco della stagione.. [This year I won the 13th stage of Giro and the Coppa Bernocchi, plus a lot of placings during all the season.]
Ok, now we can start our interview! [Ok adesso possiamo iniziare l'intervista!]
You are a sprinter, and a good one. Tell us what exactly a sprinter is: what's your job? What is cool in that and what is annoying? [Tu sei un velocista, e uno di quelli buoni. Dicci esattamente in che consiste il tuo lavoro. Qual è il suo lato bello e quale no?]
Il mio lavoro consiste nel dare il meglio di me e portare risultati alla squadra... Il ciclismo penso sia lo sport piu bello che ci sia. [My job is about to give the best and to get results for my team... I think that cycling is the best sport.]
Your team, Colnago (ex CSF) has a long history in Italian Cycling, but this year decided a kind of new start signing many young promising riders: the oldest is Pozzovivo – confirmed - (1982), the youngest are Modolo, Pirazzi, Brambilla (1987). How is the mood in such a young team? [La tua squadra ha una lunga storia nel cicilismo italiano ma quest'anno ha deciso x una specie di nuovo inizio ingaggiando molti giovani corridori promettenti. Com'è l'atmosfera in una squadra così giovane?]
La Colnago è la squadra piu giovane al mondo, con tutti corridori italiani, ci conosciamo tutti sin dalle categorie minori, è l'ambiente ideale per crescere. [Colnago is the youngest team in the world, and its riders are all Italian, we know each others since the previous categories, it's the best milieu to grow up. ]
As I said, you impressed us in the Giro by an amazing stage victory: tell us something about that experience. Was it your first Giro? What did you feel that day and how that result changed your life/carrer? [Come ho detto ci hai colpito al Giro con quella splendida vittoria: raccontaci qualcosa di quella esperienza. Era il tuo primo Giro? Come ti sei sentito quel giorno e come ti ha cambiato la vita o la carriera quel risultato? ]
La tappa di Cesenatico è stata una liberazione di emozioni, vincere in casa non è affatto facile, soprattutto in un Giro d'Italia... è stata una giornata perfetta che non dimenticherò mai, non è cambiato molto in me, ho capito solo che posso fare il ciclista e con buoni risultati, mi ha dato fiducia nei miei mezzi. [Cesenatico stage has been an emotional release, to win at home isn't easy at all, in a Giro d'Italia specially... That was a perfect day that I'll never forget, it didn't change me so much, I simply understood that I can be a cyclist and get good results, it made me confident in my abilities. ]
The second victory arrived at the Coppa Bernocchi. You beated some of the best sprinters in the world. How do you feel? And how did you do that? [La seconda vittoria è arrivata alla Coppa Bernocchi. Hai battuto alcuni dei migliori velocisti del mondo. Come ti senti? e come hai fatto?]
Altra grande soddisfazione perché cerano tutti i migliori velocisti... Volata lunga di 350 m nella quale sono riuscito a tenere bene fino al traguardo. [Another great satisfation because all the best sprinters were there... A 350 m long sprint where I managed to keep on well till the finish line.]
The season isn't ended yet but maybe you can try to balance the books: are you happy with your results? Which was your best day and which the worst and why? [La stagione non è ancora finita ma forse puoi tentare un bilancio: sei contento dei tuoi risultati? qual è stato il tuo giorno migliore? e il peggiore? hai imparato qualcosa quest'anno?]
Il bilancio finora è ottimo direi... Il giorno migliore, la tappa di Cesenatico. Il peggiore, la caduta nella tappa dell'Aquila, ho rischiato di ritirarmi. [It's very good I'll say... My best day, Cesenatico stage. The worst one, L'Aquila stage, when I crashed and risked to retire.]
The season isn't ended and there are the World Championships in Australia. Would you like to go there? Do you think the itinerary suits you or is it too hard? What do you think about the new coach Paolo Bettini? [La stagione non è finita e ci sono i Mondiali in Australia. Ti piacerebbe andarci? pensi che il percorso sia adatto a te o è troppo duro? Cosa pensi del nuovo ds Paolo Bettini?]
Se dovesse arrivare la convocazione sarebbe la coronazione di una stagione d'oro... Il percorso penso sia adatto alle mie caratteristiche.. Per quanto riguarda Bettini, penso sia l'unico che può raccogliere l'eredità di Ballerini. [If I'll get the call, it would be the crowning achievement of a gold season... I think the itinerary suits my qualities... About Bettini, I think he's the only one able to get the heredity of Ballerini. ]
Worlds a part, which are your next aims in the end of that season? [A parte i Mondiali, quali sono i tuoi prossimi obiettivi in questa fine di stagione?]
Giro del Veneto sabato, Giro di Romagna il 5 Settembre poi Giro d'Inghilterra dall'11 al 18 Settembre.
Back to you: how did you start racing? In Italy cycling is less popular then football among young people and often there is somebody or some special event to lead a little boy to it...
[Tornando a te: come hai cominciato a correre? in Italia il ciclismo è meno popolare del calcio fra i giovani e spesso è una persona o un fatto speciale che porta un ragazzino a fare questa scelta...]
Ho iniziato a correre grazie a mio babbo che mi ha indirizzato al ciclismo. [My dad addressed me to cycling.]
If you will be not a pro racer what would you like to be? [Se tu non fossi un corridore che cosa vorresti essere?]
Non saprei cosa avrei fatto se non fossi stato un ciclista. [I really don't know what I should have been if I wasn't a cyclist.]
Which is the cyclist you like more in the history of cycling? And now? And which one is more like you? Which is your best quality? And the worse?
[Qual è il ciclista che ti piace di più nella storia del ciclismo? e adesso? e quale ti assomiglia di più? Qual è la tua qualità migliore? e la peggiore?]
Il ciclista che piu mi ha emozionato è stato Pantani, ora mi vedo con le dovute proporzioni come un Freire o un Bettini (con le dovute proporzioni ripeto), qualità, sono onesto e generoso, difetto sono testardo. [The racer who moved me the most is Pantani, now I see myself relatively like a Freire or a Bettini (relatively, I repeat) ]
Which is your dream race? [Qual'è la corsa dei tuoi sogni?]
La Milano-Sanremo è la corsa dei miei sogni.
Family and friends are important for you? what do you like to do in your spare time? Favourite music? Movie? Book? Country (Italy excluded)? Food? [La famiglia e gli amici sono importanti x te? cosa fai nel tempo libero? Qual'è la tua musica preferita? il film preferito? il libro preferito? Il paese preferito (Italia esclusa)? il cibo preferito?]
Sì, la famiglia e gli amici sono fondamentali. Nel tempo libero pesco e passo il tempo con gli amici. Musica, ascolto di tutto. Film, L'attimo fuggente. Cibo preferito, i cappelletti in brodo. Il paese preferito non saprei. [Family and friends are basic. In my spare time I use to fish and to stay with my friends. About music, I listen to everything. Movie, "Dead Poets Society". Favourite food, cappelletti in brodo. Favourite country I don't know. ]
And finally, you know this blog is the most about Andy Schleck. What do you think about him? Did you ever meet? [Infine, questo blog x lo più è su Andy Schleck. Cosa pensi di lui? l'hai mai incontrato?]
Penso che Andy sia un grande campione, il futuro per le gare a tappe... Ho corso con lui in qualche gara.. [I think that Andy is a geat champion, the future for stage races... I raced with him in some races...]
Thank you Manuel and good luck for your next races! [Grazie Manuel e buona fortuna x le prossime corse!]

More pics: Andy (Frank) and Leea...

What a calm baby! and what a cute uncle! Andy looks very good in holding her and maybe his big hands help... But stop with that, tomorrow we come back to cycling with a new interview. I hope you'll like him...ehm, it! ;)


Saxo Boys are doing well in Tour du Limousin... and more

Frank was supposed to be there, but finally opted for Hamburg classic - airplanes troubles SB wrote: to go to Limousin he must pass by London... That makes no sense to me, but no mater: a one day race suited better his coming back after the crash in TdF.
Moreover, he's going to marry tomorrow: "Après le mariage civil qui a eu lieu en date du 31 décembre 2009 à Mondorf-les-Bains, Martine et Frank vont dire OUI à l'église paroissiale à Mamer le 21 août 2010 à 14:15 heures." you can read here http://www.schleckfans.com/ - and also write your wishes. That's an important day for them and I'm there with my soul even if can't be in real. Many friends will be, so I hope to see some pics. I also hope that Frank will force Andy to wear something decent. I don't mean something elegant, simply...ehm... something of a good taste :P
Back to the race, Tour du Limousine ends today and Larsson leads the GC. Morkov is 4th, 2nd in BYC. A very good job! Saxo Bank - and CSC - was my dream team. I'm sad it will be completely different next year. That's something natural, nothing can last forever without loosing his vitality. But I think that team will remain in cycling history, like Bianchi, Mapei and other legendary squads. With a difference maybe: it wasn't builded around a one leader and the designed leader in each race were surrounded not by helpers but by very strong riders able to be leader as well, to pull hard but also to read the race. Surviving camps were the emblem of a team builded as a unit, on respect and friendship. Riis made it and money was concerned of course but it wasn't all about that. He had an idea, a project, also involving the developement of cycling in north Europe. In my opinion that is finished. Next year Saxo Bank-Sungard will be a team like the others. To get old means to have some memories and some nostalgia too, so be patient with me.
Pic by Isabelle Duchesne
GC after stage 3
1 Gustav Larsson (Swe) Team Saxo Bank 10:14:29
2 Sebastian Langeveld (Ned) Rabobank 0:00:20
3 Nicolas Vogondy (Fra) Bbox Bouygues Telecom 0:00:43
4 Michael Morkov (Den) Team Saxo Bank 0:01:30
5 Christophe Moreau (Fra) Caisse d'Epargne 0:01:31
6 Thomas Lövkvist (Swe) Sky Professional Cycling Team 0:01:44
7 Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Quick Step 0:01:45
8 Dario David Cioni (Ita) Sky Professional Cycling Team 0:01:50
9 Jose Joaquin Rojas Gil (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne 0:01:51
10 Dmitriy Fofonov (Kaz) Astana 0:02:18
1 Sebastian Langeveld (Ned) Rabobank 10:14:49
2 Michael Morkov (Den) Team Saxo Bank 0:01:10
3 Jose Joaquin Rojas Gil (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne 0:01:31


Yes we like... Bob Jungels: exclusive interview by Allez Andy

Who is Bob Jungels? In Luxembourg everybody know, cycling fans specially, but now I guess that he's geting famous because he just won the gold medal and rainbow jersey in TT Juniores World Championship. But Bob is used to win and his carrer is already impressive. On his fb you can read that motto: "...fight to be the best, or die as nobody..." We are friends on fb and met at Asport party last spring, I asked him for an interview and he accepted.
Ilaria: So please Bob introduce yourself to 'Allez Andy!' readers. When were you born? Your height and weight?
Bob: I'm born on the 22
th of September 1992 in Luxembourg town, my height is 188cm and my weight 69kg.
Ilaria: When did you start cycling? For wich teams did you race till now? And wich is your actual team?
Bob: I started cycling when i was 7 years old. I has ever been riding for U.C. Dippach until now.

Ilaria: You are young but as I said you already won a lot. Last Worlds excluded, which were your best results and the most important races you took part in?

Bob: My best results were a first place in the GC of the Frankfurt-Rundfahrt, 2nd place at Trofeo Karlsberg and 1st place in the Vuelta al Besaya.
Ilaria: Ok, now we can start our interview! So Bob, how are you? How do you feel after that amazing victory? You are the first Luxebourger world champion after Elsy Jakob and the first man. A national hero!

Bob: I'm feeling pretty good after a week of vacation in Italy with my family and I'm proud about the victory for my county.
Ilaria: I talcked with Ed Buchette that night, he was super happy but not surprised. And you? Did you espect that result? How did you prepare that race?

Bob: No i didn't expecte that result, I dreamed about the podium but I've never thought about a win. I have been preparing it very intensive for about 2 month in front of the world's, with doing a lot of kms on my tt bike.
Ilaria: You won the TT but the first thing I noticed about you is that you are very strong in every specialities: TT, road and also cyclocross! But which is your favourite one? And why?
Bob: My favourite one is of course the Time Trial and the Road, because these are my specialities. I am able to win international races on the road but that's not the same in cyclo-cross ;)
Ilaria: Usualy I ask riders if they are happy with their results but in your case the answer is a little too easy. The season 2010 isn't ended yet, the most is gone however: which was your best day and which the worse and why? Did you learn something this year?

Bob: Yes the season 2010 is not finished, there are some more nice races to do. My best moment was of course when I got the information that I am world champion and to be honest, I had no bad moment during this season until now. Of course I learned a lot this year. I think that everyone can learn something in every race. I've learned a lot on the mental level.
Ilaria: And what's your project for the future? Somebody says you should already look for a pro team. BDW, what do you think about the new luxembourgish team of Nygaard and Andersen?That sounds strange to me, but... if you will be not a pro racer what would you like to be?

Bob: Of course my big goal is to be a professional cyclist, but for me it's important that I've finished my school before I start a professional career. I am happy when the luxembourgish team will be founded because that's just perfect for our county. A professional team here in Luxembourg gives a lot of motivation to riders like me.

Ilaria: Which is the cyclist you like more in the history of cycling? And now? And which one is more like you?
Bob: I really liked Lance Armstrong when I was young and now of course all the luxembourgish riders and Fabian Cancellara.
Ilaria: Which is your dream race? Which is your best quality? And the worse?

Bob: My dream race is of course the tour de france. My best qualities are the Time Trial and the mountains. My worst is the sprint.

Ilaria: How do you train? How is your typical day?

Bob: I think I'm just training like every other cyclist, on my bike :)

Ilaria: Family and friends are important for you? what do you like to do in your spare time? Favourite music? Mouvie? Book? Country (Luxembourg excluded)? Food?

Bob: Yes my family and my friends are very important for me, I just like it to pass my time with them. My favorite music is House and electro, favorite movie is Hangover and I like the U.S.A.

Ilaria: And finally, you know this blog is the most about Andy Schleck. Tell us something special about him.

Bob: I have never spoken with andy so I don't know him at all :)

Ilaria: REALLY?!
Thank you Bob and good luck!


Vattenfall Cyclassics race in Hamburg and more

So back to races... Frankie and me. I have been a little lazy, a little pissed off also as you know... and wrote nothing about criteria results. They are 'simply fun' as Richie Porte said me after that one in Oslo. Because we chat often, Richie and me... maybe I'd better to ask me questions in chat, to be sure to get some answers... I'm joking. They are busy guys.
BDW I saw
that short post about my geting angry made you curious but I'm sorry, can't say more. That was for Andy, if he read it. Forget about.
Hamburg classic was nice, yeah. Farrar won in a spectacular sprint. Not my kind of race anyway. EBH seems finally in a good shape - in 2010 he won less then last year since now but maybe is going to make a super end of season, like Gilbert in 2009. He also won in Oslo, didn't he? Bennati is still alive. Rumors - also here - say he's going to sign for the new lux team. Aesthetically nothing to blame. Marcato confirms a very good season: it's a pity that a team like Vacansoleil wasn't invited to Giro, Tour and others big races. In my opinion pro-tour system is a bit a mafia. Results should be more important then money. And I'm not a moralist at all. Simply want to see Brice Feillu racing in the Tour, Marcato or Simeoni (last year) racing in the Giro, Hoogerland racing in classics. Why not? they are strong racers, they deserve it more then - for exemple - Cunego, who lately didin't show nothing worth to be seen.
attacked but in vain (I think he was aware to hape no hope). Earlier Sagan, Pozzato and Elmiger, maybe too early. And I am very happy to see Martin Kohler there: he has been so unlucky in both Giro and Tour!! He ended behind but still..
The first Saxo-boy,
JJ Haedo, was only 16th. Frankie worked for the team and to train a little, then retired. I found some nice pics of him: enjoy.
A friend told me that Andy is on the radio, RTL, on Sunday afternoon. Not sure I can listen it in streaming but if you are in Luxembourg... well, you are lucky, as usual!!
Happy Birthday to Jonny Bellis!
he's fine and has a conctract with Saxo Bank for next year. That is a very good news.

1 Tyler Farrar (USA) Garmin - Transitions 5:02:36
2 Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Sky Professional Cycling Team

3 André Greipel (Ger) Team HTC - Columbia

4 Alexander Kristoff (Nor) BMC Racing Team

5 Allan Davis (Aus) Astana

6 Daniele Bennati (Ita) Liquigas-Doimo

7 Thomas Leezer (Ned) Rabobank

8 Enrique Mata (Spa) Footon-Servetto

9 Sébastien Hinault (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale

10 Marco Marcato (Ita) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team

11 Yoann Offredo (Fra) Française Des Jeux

12 Jurgen Roelandts (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto

13 Frédéric Guesdon (Fra) Française Des Jeux

14 Peter Wrolich (Aut) Team Milram

15 Kevin Hulsmans (Bel) Quick Step

16 Juan José Haedo (Arg) Team Saxo Bank

17 Christopher Sutton (Aus) Sky Professional Cycling Team

18 Mathew Hayman (Aus) Sky Professional Cycling Team

19 Matthieu Ladagnous (Fra) Française Des Jeux

20 Roy Curvers (Ned) Skil - Shimano

21 Daryl Impey (RSA) Team Radioshack

22 Sergey Lagutin (Uzb) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team

23 Serguei Ivanov (Rus) Team Katusha

24 Bram Tankink (Ned) Rabobank

25 Pablo Lastras Garcia (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne

26 Manuel Antonio Leal Cardoso (Por) Footon-Servetto

27 Mirko Selvaggi (Ita) Astana

28 Grégory Rast (Swi) Team Radioshack

29 Alberto Ongarato (Ita) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team

30 Gerben Mijnheer Löwik (Ned) Omega Pharma-Lotto

31 Danilo Hondo (Ger) Lampre-Farnese Vini

32 Alessandro Ballan (Ita) BMC Racing Team

33 Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto

34 Lloyd Mondory (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale

35 Fabian Wegmann (Ger) Team Milram

36 Lucas Sebastian Haedo (Arg) Team Saxo Bank

37 Andrey Amador Bakkazakova (CRc) Caisse d'Epargne

38 Paul Voss (Ger) Team Milram

39 Gert Steegmans (Bel) Team Radioshack

40 Marcel Sieberg (Ger) Team HTC - Columbia

41 Inaki Isasi Flores (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi

42 Lars Boom (Ned) Rabobank 0:00:07
43 Alberto Losada Alguacil (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne 0:00:08
44 Kristijan Koren (Slo) Liquigas-Doimo

45 Svein Tuft (Can) Garmin - Transitions

46 Gianni Meersman (Bel) Française Des Jeux

47 Maarten Tjallingii (Ned) Rabobank

48 Matthew Busche (USA) Team Radioshack 0:00:12
49 Jens Voigt (Ger) Team Saxo Bank

50 Mitchell Docker (Aus) Skil - Shimano

51 Tomas Vaitkus (Ltu) Team Radioshack

52 Xabier Zandio Echaide (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne

53 Mickael Delage (Fra) Omega Pharma-Lotto

54 Pavel Brutt (Rus) Team Katusha

55 Grischa Niermann (Ger) Rabobank

56 Enrico Gasparotto (Ita) Astana

57 Martin Kohler (Swi) BMC Racing Team

58 Ben Swift (GBr) Sky Professional Cycling Team

59 Murilo Antonio Fischer (Bra) Garmin - Transitions

60 Marcus Burghardt (Ger) BMC Racing Team

61 Florian Stalder (Swi) BMC Racing Team

62 Nick Nuyens (Bel) Rabobank

63 Dominic Klemme (Ger) Team Saxo Bank

64 Filippo Pozzato (Ita) Team Katusha

65 Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Lampre-Farnese Vini

66 Matteo Tosatto (Ita) Quick Step

67 Greg Henderson (NZl) Sky Professional Cycling Team

68 Maarten Wynants (Bel) Quick Step

69 Vasili Kiryienka (Blr) Caisse d'Epargne

70 Sam Bewley (NZl) Team Radioshack

71 Christian Knees (Ger) Team Milram

72 Wesley Sulzberger (Aus) Française Des Jeux

73 Joost Posthuma (Ned) Rabobank

74 Angel Madrazo Ruiz (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne

75 Igor Anton Hernandez (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi

76 Michal Golas (Pol) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team

77 Martin Pedersen (Den) Footon-Servetto

78 Elia Viviani (Ita) Liquigas-Doimo 0:00:23
79 Peter Sagan (Svk) Liquigas-Doimo 0:00:27
80 Jacopo Guarnieri (Ita) Liquigas-Doimo

81 Mikel Nieve Ituralde (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi

82 Björn Leukemans (Bel) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team

83 Frederik Veuchelen (Bel) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team

84 Lars Ytting Bak (Den) Team HTC - Columbia

85 Gatis Smukulis (Lat) AG2R La Mondiale

86 Martin Elmiger (Swi) AG2R La Mondiale

87 Matthew Lloyd (Aus) Omega Pharma-Lotto

88 Nikolay Trusov (Rus) Team Katusha 0:01:21
89 Mikael Cherel (Fra) Française Des Jeux 0:01:27
90 Koen De Kort (Ned) Skil - Shimano

91 Simon Zahner (Swi) BMC Racing Team 0:02:18
92 Michel Kreder (Ned) Garmin - Transitions

93 Samuel Sanchez Gonzalez (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi 0:02:25
94 Juan Anto Flecha Giannoni (Spa) Sky Professional Cycling Team 0:02:33
95 Francis De Greef (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto

96 Mario Aerts (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto

97 Fabian Cancellara (Swi) Team Saxo Bank

98 Anthony Geslin (Fra) Française Des Jeux

99 Mauro Santambrogio (Ita) BMC Racing Team 0:03:37
100 Ian Stannard (GBr) Sky Professional Cycling Team 0:03:54
101 Michael Albasini (Swi) Team HTC - Columbia 0:04:50
102 Ruben Perez Moreno (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi 0:05:20
103 Koldo Fernandez (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi

104 Jose Joaquin Rojas Gil (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne

105 Tom Veelers (Ned) Skil - Shimano

106 Vidal Celis Zabala (Spa) Footon-Servetto

107 Markus Eibegger (Aut) Footon-Servetto

108 Danilo Wyss (Swi) BMC Racing Team

109 Mauro Da Dalto (Ita) Lampre-Farnese Vini

110 Danilo Napolitano (Ita) Team Katusha

111 David Deroo (Fra) Skil - Shimano

112 Scott Davis (Aus) Astana 0:05:28
113 Andreas Stauff (Ger) Quick Step 0:05:40
114 Kevin Van Impe (Bel) Quick Step 0:05:58
115 Wouter Weylandt (Bel) Quick Step 0:06:06
116 Alan Perez Lezaun (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi 0:06:15
117 Vitaliy Buts (Ukr) Lampre-Farnese Vini

118 Mirco Lorenzetto (Ita) Lampre-Farnese Vini 0:09:33
119 Robbie McEwen (Aus) Team Katusha

120 Matteo Bono (Ita) Lampre-Farnese Vini

121 Fabio Felline (Ita) Footon-Servetto 0:09:39
122 Sergey Renev (Kaz) Astana 0:11:24
123 Peter Velits (Svk) Team HTC - Columbia

124 Simon Geschke (Ger) Skil - Shimano

125 Sebastian Lang (Ger) Omega Pharma-Lotto 0:11:32
126 Daniel Oss (Ita) Liquigas-Doimo

127 Martijn Maaskant (Ned) Garmin - Transitions

128 Francesco Chicchi (Ita) Liquigas-Doimo

129 Michele Merlo (Ita) Footon-Servetto

130 Martin Velits (Svk) Team HTC - Columbia

131 Maxim Gourov (Kaz) Astana 0:13:00
132 Yuriy Krivtsov (Ukr) AG2R La Mondiale

133 Robin Chaigneau (Ned) Skil - Shimano 0:16:17
DNF Jack Bobridge (Aus) Garmin - Transitions

DNF Julian Dean (NZl) Garmin - Transitions

DNF Matthew Wilson (Aus) Garmin - Transitions

DNF Matti Breschel (Den) Team Saxo Bank

DNF Frank Schleck (Lux) Team Saxo Bank

DNF Stuart O'Grady (Aus) Team Saxo Bank

DNF Gerald Ciolek (Ger) Team Milram

DNF Markus Fothen (Ger) Team Milram

DNF Linus Gerdemann (Ger) Team Milram

DNF Luke Roberts (Aus) Team Milram

DNF Valeriy Dmitriyev (Kaz) Astana

DNF Valentin Iglinskiy (Kaz) Astana

DNF Denis Galimzyanov (Rus) Team Katusha

DNF Stijn Vandenbergh (Bel) Team Katusha

DNF Frederik Willems (Bel) Liquigas-Doimo

DNF Graeme Brown (Aus) Rabobank

DNF Gert Dockx (Bel) Team HTC - Columbia

DNF Matthew Harley Goss (Aus) Team HTC - Columbia

DNF Jason McCartney (USA) Team Radioshack

DNF Bjorn Selander (USA) Team Radioshack

DNF Juan Mau Soler Hernandez (Col) Caisse d'Epargne

DNF Angelo Furlan (Ita) Lampre-Farnese Vini

DNF David Loosli (Swi) Lampre-Farnese Vini

DNF Aitor Hernandez Gutierrez (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi

DNF Davide Malacarne (Ita) Quick Step

DNF Marco Velo (Ita) Quick Step

DNF Kurt-Asle Arvesen (Nor) Sky Professional Cycling Team

DNF Kristof Goddaert (Bel) AG2R La Mondiale

DNF Rene Mandri (Est) AG2R La Mondiale

DNF Alexander Efimkin (Rus) AG2R La Mondiale

DNF Jérémy Roy (Fra) Française Des Jeux

DNF David Vitoria (Swi) Footon-Servetto

DNF Borut Bozic (Slo) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team

DNF Jens Mouris (Ned) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team

DNF Floris Goesinnen (Ned) Skil - Shimano