5.31.2012

Dauphiné start list

Pic by RSNT Andy with Baptiste (and his friend) 9 fighting leukemia
I'm relieved to see Andy Schleck's name in a start list even if with a 127. But they gave the race number according to the aplphabetic order so it means nothing. Is that the Tour de France squad? no because Fabian Cancellara is supposed to be there - but still recovering - and Frank Schleck... is racing Tour of Luxembourg. He said: "We have got responsabilities toward Luxembourgers" where 'we' could be 'I', this team (soooo Lux, isn't it?) or 'the Schleck(s)'. In fact there was a bad mood about the possibility that no Schleck would start. Frank isn't completely over his crash but decided to try. The next race for him will be Tour de Suisse. Jakob Fuglsang is also racing Tour de Luxembourg: is he in the Tour de France team or not? after he was forced to not start in the Giro he said he was going to help Andy in July so I presume he is.
I'm relieve because I know that Andy was training very hard but racing is an important part of a good preparation and he raced few this year. I am not talking about results, just about the feeling of being in a competition and of moving in a peloton. You must exercitate it. Moreover, the main contender for next Tour de France are amost all here: Evans, Wiggins and Nibali in first. They already won important races this year: Criterium International, Paris-Nice and Romandia, Tirreno-Adriatico. In add they all did specific works for the Tour. I 'm eager to see them in a direct contest. 
I never really watched Dauphiné because I always covered Tour de Suisse that used to be Schleck(s) Tour preparation. It looks an hard race. Ah well... I think Andy will be happy to be at home on his birth day for a change :)
Source http://www.cyclingnews.com/races/criterium-du-dauphine-2012/start-list
hh

5.30.2012

Tour of Luxembourg: Prologue full results

Not exactly a stars parade this year... Anyway Frank Schleck scored a respectable 25th place. RSNT gets a 2nd and a 5th too, so no bad at all.
Source http://www.aotdl.com/skoda-tour-de-luxembourg-2012/r%C3%A9sultats-2012/
1 31 FRA19791207 ENGOULVENT, Jimmy SAU SAUR - SOJA 0:03:43.38 00.00.00
2 7 SUI19800117 RAST, Grégory RNT RADIOSHACK- 0:03:46.35 00.02.97
3 32 FRA19850323 HIVERT, Jonathan SAU SAUR - SOJA 0:03:46.82 00.03.44
4 73 AUS19780420 HAYMAN, Mathew SKY SKY PROCYCL 0:03:48.28 00.04.90
5 3 DEN19850322 FUGLSANG, Jakob RNT RADIOSHACK- 0:03:50.05 00.06.67
6 96 GER19820430 SIEBERG, Marcel LTB LOTTO BELIS 0:03:50.07 00.06.69
7 17 NED19901111 *DUMOULIN, Tom ARG TEAM ARGOS- 0:03:50.35 00.06.97
8 81 FRA19780528 CASPER, Jimmy ALM AG2R LA MON 0:03:50.38 00.07.00
9 103 FRA19860820 GAUDIN, Damien EUC TEAM EUROPC 0:03:50.84 00.07.46
10 27 LAT19820408 SARAMOTINS, Aleksejs COF COFIDIS,LE 0:03:51.28 00.07.90
11 23 FRA19800820 DUMOULIN, Samuel COF COFIDIS,LE 0:03:51.48 00.08.10
12 41 LUX19860903 DRUCKER, Jean-Pierre ACC ACCENT JOBS 0:03:51.69 00.08.31
13 117 BEL19861005 VAN VOOREN, Steven TSV TOPSPORT VL 0:03:52.38 00.09.00
14 68 NED19871001 *POELS, Wout VCD VACANSOLEIL 0:03:52.82 00.09.44
15 66 DEN19841105 MORTENSEN, Martin VCD VACANSOLEIL 0:03:53.19 00.09.81
16 18 SWE19910222 *LUDVIGSSON, Tobias ARG TEAM ARGOS- 0:03:53.38 00.10.00
17 74 GBR19881003 *DOWSETT, Alex SKY SKY PROCYCL 0:03:54.01 00.10.63
18 121 BEL19821129 DELFOSSE, Sébastien LAN LANDBOUWKRE 0:03:54.06 00.10.68
19 135 ESP19800129 CESAR VELOSO, Gustav ACG ANDALUCIA 0:03:54.19 00.10.81
20 26 FRA19900926 *PETIT, Adrien COF COFIDIS,LE 0:03:54.82 00.11.44
21 93 GER19820716 GREIPEL, André LTB LOTTO BELIS 0:03:54.96 00.11.58
22 6 BEL19830114 MONFORT, Maxime RNT RADIOSHACK- 0:03:55.29 00.11.91
23 51 LUX19920922 *JUNGELS, Bob LUX TEAM LETZEB 0:03:55.56 00.12.18
24 34 FRA19860805 LABORIE, Christophe SAU SAUR - SOJA 0:03:55.82 00.12.44
25 4 LUX19800415 SCHLECK, Frank RNT RADIOSHACK- 0:03:55.83 00.12.45
26 62 FRA19840416 FEILLU, Romain VCD VACANSOLEIL 0:03:55.89 00.12.51
27 78 GBR19871105 *SWIFT, Ben SKY SKY PROCYCL 0:03:56.22 00.12.84
28 11 NED19820908 DE KORT, Koen ARG TEAM ARGOS- 0:03:56.51 00.13.13
29 106 FRA19830106 PICHOT, Alexandre EUC TEAM EUROPC 0:03:56.97 00.13.59
30 156 GER19880223 *WEBER, Sascha CCD TEAM DIFFER 0:03:57.28 00.13.90
31 125 NED19840119 BELLEMAKERS, Dirk LAN LANDBOUWKRE 0:03:57.51 00.14.13
32 75 GBR19900310 *ROWE, Luke SKY SKY PROCYCL 0:03:57.62 00.14.24
33 147 CAN19830523 ROUTLEY, William SPI SPIDERTECH 0:03:57.82 00.14.44
34 35 FRA19800804 MARTIAS, Rony SAU SAUR - SOJA 0:03:57.94 00.14.56
35 43 BEL19841122 ISTA, Kevyn ACC ACCENT JOBS 0:03:58.15 00.14.77
36 61 BEL19870213 *BOECKMANS, Kris VCD VACANSOLEIL 0:03:58.45 00.15.07
37 82 SUI19780923 ELMIGER, Martin ALM AG2R LA MON 0:03:58.50 00.15.12
38 22 FRA19840725 DEMARET, Jean-Eudes COF COFIDIS,LE 0:03:59.54 00.16.16
39 134 ESP19881229 *LOBATO D. VALLE, Jua ACG ANDALUCIA 0:03:59.54 00.16.16
40 112 BEL19880929 *DE VREESE, Laurens TSV TOPSPORT VL 0:03:59.67 00.16.29
41 91 BEL19850702 ROELANDTS, Jurgen LTB LOTTO BELIS 0:04:00.05 00.16.67
42 155 SWE19790115 LJUNGBLAD, Jonas CCD TEAM DIFFER 0:04:00.43 00.17.05
43 157 NZL19870226 *MEENHORST, Alex CCD TEAM DIFFER 0:04:00.66 00.17.28
44 25 FRA19761103 LABBE, Arnaud COF COFIDIS,LE 0:04:00.70 00.17.32
45 8 GER19710917 VOIGT, Jens RNT RADIOSHACK- 0:04:00.72 00.17.34
46 5 GER19750622 KLÖDEN, Andreas RNT RADIOSHACK- 0:04:00.99 00.17.61
47 28 BEL19780401 SIJMENS, Nico COF COFIDIS,LE 0:04:01.13 00.17.75
48 36 FRA19791230 LELAY, David SAU SAUR - SOJA 0:04:01.38 00.18.00
49 151 RSA19870213 *VENTER, Jaco CCD TEAM DIFFER 0:04:01.40 00.18.02
50 16 NED19850613 TIMMER, Albert ARG TEAM ARGOS- 0:04:01.83 00.18.45
51 102 FRA19890605 *COUSIN, Jerome EUC TEAM EUROPC 0:04:02.23 00.18.85
52 76 ITA19890831 *PUCCIO, Salvatore SKY SKY PROCYCL 0:04:02.81 00.19.43
53 71 ITA19890602 *APPOLLONIO, Davide SKY SKY PROCYCL 0:04:03.20 00.19.82
54 92 BEL19890828 *DEBUSSCHERE, Jens LTB LOTTO BELIS 0:04:03.22 00.19.84
55 84 BEL19861121 GODDAERT, Kristof ALM AG2R LA MON 0:04:03.31 00.19.93
56 115 BEL19880813 *VAN STAEYEN, Michael TSV TOPSPORT VL 0:04:03.45 00.20.07
57 141 CAN19870722 *ANDERSON, Ryan SPI SPIDERTECH 0:04:03.55 00.20.17
58 1 GER19820916 GERDEMANN, Linus RNT RADIOSHACK- 0:04:03.60 00.20.22
59 72 CAN19751218 BARRY, Michael SKY SKY PROCYCL 0:04:03.99 00.20.61
60 54 ÖIX19810517 HELMIG, Christian LUX TEAM LETZEB 0:04:04.16 00.20.78
61 2 LUX19840719 DIDIER, Laurent RNT RADIOSHACK- 0:04:04.40 00.21.02
62 98 BEL19860916 VAN GENECHTEN, Jonas LTB LOTTO BELIS 0:04:04.50 00.21.12
63 33 FRA19830408 GALLAND, Jérémie SAU SAUR - SOJA 0:04:04.60 00.21.22
64 13 NED19850515 STAMSNIJDER, Tom ARG TEAM ARGOS- 0:04:04.78 00.21.40
65 86 FRA19870726 *LEMARCHAND, Romain ALM AG2R LA MON 0:04:05.06 00.21.68
66 56 LUX19930622 *KIRSCH, Alex LUX TEAM LETZEB 0:04:05.29 00.21.91
67 77 AUS19840910 SUTTON, Christopher SKY SKY PROCYCL 0:04:05.51 00.22.13
68 124 BEL19850212 DEVILLERS, Gilles LAN LANDBOUWKRE 0:04:05.60 00.22.22
69 47 BEL19801128 VAN GOOLEN, Jurgen ACC ACCENT JOBS 0:04:05.88 00.22.50
70 46 NED19831211 VAN GROEN, Arnoud ACC ACCENT JOBS 0:04:05.97 00.22.59
71 128 FIN19750814 HELMINEN, Matti LAN LANDBOUWKRE 0:04:06.09 00.22.71
72 107 FRA19821123 HADDOU, Saîd EUC TEAM EUROPC 0:04:06.11 00.22.73
73 94 ESP19810730 REYNES, Vicente LTB LOTTO BELIS 0:04:06.17 00.22.79
74 45 BEL19870401 *VAN MELSEN, Kevin ACC ACCENT JOBS 0:04:06.27 00.22.89
75 145 SUI19840901 KONZLI, Raymond SPI SPIDERTECH 0:04:06.53 00.23.15
76 116 BEL19900815 *LIETAER, Eliot TSV TOPSPORT VL 0:04:06.71 00.23.33
77 37 FRA19830815 MARINO, Jean Marc SAU SAUR - SOJA 0:04:06.92 00.23.54
78 113 BEL19850605 DE KETELE, Kenny TSV TOPSPORT VL 0:04:06.95 00.23.57
79 148 DEN19811204 VANDBORG, Brian SPI SPIDERTECH 0:04:07.10 00.23.72
80 105 FRA19841126 JEROME, Vincent EUC TEAM EUROPC 0:04:07.43 00.24.05
81 158 LUX19900331 *THILL, Tom CCD TEAM DIFFER 0:04:07.71 00.24.33
82 63 NED19830513 HOOGERLAND, Johnny VCD VACANSOLEIL 0:04:07.91 00.24.53
83 143 USA19870219 *FAIRLY, Caleb SPI SPIDERTECH 0:04:08.34 00.24.96
84 118 BEL19820709 VAN HECKE, Preben TSV TOPSPORT VL 0:04:08.41 00.25.03
85 152 BEL19790204 COENEN, Johan CCD TEAM DIFFER 0:04:08.42 00.25.04
86 122 BEL19800514 COMMEYNE, Davy LAN LANDBOUWKRE 0:04:08.52 00.25.14
87 52 LUX19901026 *SCHLECHTER, Pit LUX TEAM LETZEB 0:04:08.68 00.25.30
88 38 FRA19810706 TALABARDON, Yannick SAU SAUR - SOJA 0:04:09.05 00.25.67
89 136 ESP19760218 PALOMARES VILLAPLANA ACG ANDALUCIA 0:04:09.12 00.25.74
90 101 JPN19840922 ARASHIRO, Yukiya EUC TEAM EUROPC 0:04:09.45 00.26.07
91 15 NED19791227 CURVERS, Roy ARG TEAM ARGOS- 0:04:09.91 00.26.53
92 137 ESP19820316 ROSENDO PRADA, Jesus ACG ANDALUCIA 0:04:10.37 00.26.99
93 64 BEL19770701 LEUKEMANS, Björn VCD VACANSOLEIL 0:04:10.43 00.27.05
94 83 LUX19871114 *GASTAUER, Ben ALM AG2R LA MON 0:04:10.46 00.27.08
95 88 IRI19800731 ZARGARI, Amir ALM AG2R LA MON 0:04:11.14 00.27.76
96 144 CAN19831205 EUSER, Lucas SPI SPIDERTECH 0:04:11.16 00.27.78
97 14 FRA19840502 HUGUET, Yann ARG TEAM ARGOS- 0:04:11.31 00.27.93
98 21 FRA19860117 BARLE, Florent COF COFIDIS,LE 0:04:11.47 00.28.09
99 65 ESP19870625 *VALLS FERRY, Rafael VCD VACANSOLEIL 0:04:11.72 00.28.34
100 153 LTU19880907 *KAUPAS, Gediminas CCD TEAM DIFFER 0:04:11.94 00.28.56
101 57 LUX19930225 *MORABITO, Massimo LUX TEAM LETZEB 0:04:12.56 00.29.18
102 97 IRI19811012 SOHRABI, Mehdi LTB LOTTO BELIS 0:04:12.65 00.29.27
103 48 BEL19790312 SCHEIRLINCKX, Staf ACC ACCENT JOBS 0:04:12.69 00.29.31
104 87 RUS19820820 SHPILEVSKY, Boris ALM AG2R LA MON 0:04:12.72 00.29.34
105 67 RUS19891110 *NOVIKOV, Nikita VCD VACANSOLEIL 0:04:12.77 00.29.39
106 111 BEL19870210 *VANSPEYBROUCK, Piete TSV TOPSPORT VL 0:04:12.90 00.29.52
107 24 FRA19820223 VALENTIN, Tristan COF COFIDIS,LE 0:04:13.63 00.30.25
108 12 FRA19890318 *DAMUSEAU, Thomas ARG TEAM ARGOS- 0:04:14.02 00.30.64
109 133 ESP19900105 *CABELLO BAENA, Anton ACG ANDALUCIA 0:04:14.42 00.31.04
110 44 BEL19810509 CAETHOVEN, Steven ACC ACCENT JOBS 0:04:14.60 00.31.22
111 131 ESP19851222 TORIBIO ALCOLEA, Jos ACG ANDALUCIA 0:04:15.06 00.31.68
112 53 LUX19881011 *ZANGERLE, Joel LUX TEAM LETZEB 0:04:15.22 00.31.84
113 42 BEL19821020 HABEAUX, Gregory ACC ACCENT JOBS 0:04:15.78 00.32.40
114 138 ESP19890107 *RUIZ PINTO, Eloy ACG ANDALUCIA 0:04:16.06 00.32.68
115 154 POR19850327 SARAIVA, Bruno CCD TEAM DIFFER 0:04:16.63 00.33.25
116 132 ESP19900816 *LECHUGA RODRIGUEZ, P ACG ANDALUCIA 0:04:17.78 00.34.40
117 58 LUX19920521 *REICHLING, Lex LUX TEAM LETZEB 0:04:19.97 00.36.59
118 142 CAN19890525 *BOIVIN, Guilaume SPI SPIDERTECH 0:04:21.17 00.37.79
119 55 LUX19920412 *FEIEREISEN, Kevin LUX TEAM LETZEB 0:04:22.92 00.39.54
120 126 BEL19890618 *BAESTAENS, Vincent LAN LANDBOUWKRE 0:04:23.19 00.39.81
121 127 NED19821204 COHNEN, Stefan LAN LANDBOUWKRE 0:04:23.26 00.39.88
122 95 BEL19890125 *ROBERT, Frédérique LTB LOTTO BELIS 0:04:23.44 00.40.06
123 108 CAN19871126 *VEILLEUX, David EUC TEAM EUROPC 0:04:24.97 00.41.59
124 123 NED19831028 HONIG, Reinier LAN LANDBOUWKRE 0:04:26.19 00.42.81
125 104 FRA19810625 GENE, Yohann EUC TEAM EUROPC 0:04:27.50 00.44.12
126 114 BEL19890511 *WALLAYS, Jelle TSV TOPSPORT VL 0:04:35.73 00.52.35

Giro reportage: Montecatini gallery 2

Check the link:
http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.172710632858757.34717.100003594655211&type=3&l=da41f26e3a
Much more to come!

5.29.2012

Giro reportage: Milano


You have to wait sometimes. Small pink paper pieces softly land down like Milano memories in my mind. You have to wait to collect them in a complete image. To realize. Just now I have got the feeling of something beautiful but too short, when I was there it looked so long instead and I almost missed my train back beacuse I was lost in that longlasting time like in a dream.
Piazza Castello: the sky is gray and heavy with rain and heat. In Italian we call it 'afa'. I can't imagine to ride a TT in that weather: you feel tired and empy even standing at the barriers. I go to the team buses just to say Hi to Danny (RSNT team driver) and take some pictures of the few riders who are already warming up. Amongh them, Taylor Phinney. He is no more the same I saw in Arezzo but a bigger star in cycling. A larger world discovered him in this Giro and you see the crowd all around him. I wonder if it changed him, hope no. Liquigas bus is deserted: some fans, no riders. Maciej Bodnar is going to start quite soon but is inside probably like everybodyelse. I guess the mood isn't that cheerful. Happy people instead by Vacansoleil bus: smiling riders, excited fans, proud staff. Thomas De Gendt conquered an epic stage and moreover everybody's hearts. Garmin bus is quiet and still: a rider is sitting outside, his jersey open, talking with a girl. He looks so young! In the lovely shadow of the park trees is very nice to stay and you can breath.
Danny is busy as usual. Before a TT you get the impression everybody are lazyly waiting but it isn't the case. Staff have got many important things to do: all must be ready. They are used to work like that: in a hurry but without hurrying. Jesse Sergent is going to try hard today. After Daniele Bennati and Frank Schleck retired all the team showed his best, as if they wanted to save a Giro quite disappointing. Zaugg crested first on Mortirolo. Rohregger was in the right breack. "No Frank" I say "It's a pity", "It's a shame" Danny is. "My son named his fish after you", "Thank you". "Give my the magazine please". There is a short article inside where Andy Schleck talks about his Giro (2007). Few to add. I feel I am not motivated. I stand at the barriers in front of the start and my son goes around collecting bananas by Fratelli Orsero. I'm tired. Then it starts and it's just cycling.
There is a Canadian photographer sitting on the ground just over my barrier. He has got a very good and big camera. We talk about it. "That's strong. That's my friend" he said "That's Svein Tuft". Names of friends. Friends carrying their bike to the start. Some of them struggled for three weeks in order to bring it here and disputate this TT. Some of them don't care at all, just have to finish. They are all exhausted. But some of them are expecially so because they have on their shoulder all the work of their team. I think of Liquigas, of Caruso's White Jersey, of Maciej Bodnar's hope to get a result today, of Agnoli's chance to win a stage. Not the way you manage a big Tour. What did they get? Nothing. Maciej 8th demonstrated he could do even better if this TT had been a goal.
Taking pictures at a TT start induces you in a sort of trance. I watch it in my camera screan the most. I look for faces. Some of them are contracted, some absent, some fierce. Who try to make a tempo dash away so fast I fail to shot them. Damn these pictures look all the same! I must try to make a tempo me too a change this bloody framing. "I am not a photographer" I repeat myself. But taking pictures helps you to focus and find something interesting to write. You are all in your eyes.
Ears have also their part: what are those peopple saying? What a weird language is that? Ah sure, they are Basques! I love them! "Amets Txurruka Fun Club": great! They arrive, occupy the barriers, scream, support and run away to Piazza del Duomo. They are here for Amets, no others. Many are here for Basso. In Italy he still has many many fans. A woman comes and asks: "I'm sorry, is when does the Giro d'Italia start?" I stare at her: "It's about to finish", "Ah... ok...I see. When do the riders pass?", "They are passing now, one by one. It's a TT." and point at the start ramp. She finds her place at the barriers at looks in amazement. She discovered cycling and I guess she likes. There are many way to fall in love.
The last men are coming, the crowd is great. Tension is rising. Some names are welcomed by a special roar. We watch them start and run to the underground to be at the finish in time. In Milano you can. The sky is blue now, ready for the party. Ready for the important pictures as if they payed it. The square is so crowded you can't fit in it. The white Duomo, the pink scenography. The big screan. And as I come out from the subway I hear the voice of Anthony McCrossan commentating the last meters of the last riders in the true last day of this wonderful Giro. You could be everywhere: we come from the world. We all wait in a mix of thrilling silence and roaring.
I MUST see something! I MUST take a picture at least of the winner! My son has found a good but risky place on a streetlamp and am going to imitate him. What a miracle! We can see all! I can't believe but it's true. I see the square from above, 50.000 heads, 50.000 hands for two and flags, pink papers, hats... Riders passing through a human barrier, I see just their helmet and hear their name. Now we are about to know but we will ignore till the last one will cross the line. A man come with a gigantic flag: "Purito Funclub". He climbs the streetlamp to the top and many worry because he risk to fall down over us. Somebody protest too and he replies: "Purito es mi hermano. Purito è mio fratello". "Really? Purito is your brother?!" I ask face up. "Yes" he answers serious and proud. I think he is. We stand all hanged at the streetlamp under two big Puritos's flags next too a British family loudly supporting Hesjedal and we are all brigade. Only an old woman siting on the basement looks disapproving but she stands up to try and see when the winner wins and the square explodes.
It takes so few. Incredible. We are all on the wheel. The empty podium is suddenly a 50.000 eyes focus and the Giro heros appear one by one to wear the jersey they won. Pinotti first: he won the stage. BMC wanted it and got it. The first TT by Phinney the last one by Pinotti. And the Pink Jersey for many days. Not easy to win a TT after Pian de Resinelli, Pampeago and Stelvio. I'm sorry there is no stage podium because Jesse Sergent deserved today to stay light spot: 3th and so young. A great ride. Two podiums for RSNT, and a 15th place in GC that Frank Schleck could have kept if he didn't crash... What a pity, what a shame...
What a Giro for Thomas De Gendt instead! He's 3th in CG and I'm happy. He did something great yesterday and today. He could have said "It's enought" after his Stelvio splendid victory but he din't and fought again to be amongh the bests. All my respect. BDW somebody says it's the first time a Belgian finishes on the podium in a big tour since Bruyneel in 1985...in a few everybody are telling Bruyneel was on the podium in Giro 1985 and finally that he even won it.
Purito didn't win but he looks happy on the podium with his son and daughter. His brother over our heads sounds angry. No no man, he did a splendid race, gave all and it's glad to stay where he is. The best results of his beautiful career.
The winner is clam and smiling as he has always been in these weeks. He wears the Pink Jersey, kisses the Trofeo Senza Fine, hold an hokey stick and show the Canadian flag, goes down on his knees for photographers and lets them bring him in the middle of the square to get a better background. I must admit those pictures with the Duomo are really beautiful and the crowd gets nuts to have him there. But it looks a bit unrespectful toward Purito who is on the podium now wearing the Red Jersey. Not Ryder's fault of course. He's just happy. And tired. He looks tired at least. And happy. He looks like a man at the end of a day of hard good work: satisfied and exhausted. Few words, facts talked. We loved him, didn't we?
The Blue Jersey is Rabottini, Pian de' Resinelly outsider, one of the braver guy in the peloton. The White jersey is my favourite rider in the bunch: Rigoberto Uran. Cavendish is awarded anyway even if he lost the Red. At each award a rain of colored paper pieces explodes and softlt comes down while the awarded rider opens the big champagne bottle.
"MOM! WE MISS THE TRAIN!" "Son we have to run!" I started on Sunday and am still runing. But memories softly land in the silence of days without the Giro. I'll remember it. The most beautiful Giro I have ever seen.

I TOOK MANY PICS. BE PATIENT AND I'LL POST THEM SOON :)




Andy Gets His Yellow


Read more here: 
http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/andy-schleck-presented-with-2010-tour-de-france-yellow-jersey?ns_campaign=news&ns_mchannel=rss&ns_source=cyclingnews&ns_linkname=0&ns_fee=0
In short:
1. Andy: Not a win  “It’s nice to accept this jersey, but for me it doesn’t change anything – it’s not like a win. It’s not the same sensation as climbing on the podium,”
2. Prudhomme: Ce n'est qu'un debut “I can only hope that this jersey will lead to others. And I think there will be others,”
3. Next Tour is hard (fortunately!): Prudhomme: “Everybody claims that the 2012 Tour isn’t suited to Andy, but I’m convinced to the contrary. In its history, it’s been common to have Tours with 100km of time trials. It’s only in the past few years that it hasn’t been the case. If Andy is aggressive, he’ll have his chance, I’m sure.”
Andy:  “I’ve just come from reconnoitering the stages in the Vosges, Jura and Alps, and I have to say that it will be a lot harder than I had imagined when I saw the map of the course"

Bob Jungels won U23 Paris-Roubaix LT press release

I know I'm late but I want it here :)  Then finally I'll write about my last day in Giro: the most beautiful I have ever seen.
"Bob Jungels has won the U23 version of Paris-Roubaix. The 19-year old Luxembourgish rider finished solo in the velodrome of Roubaix, almost three minutes ahead of Belgian Constantijn Lampaert and Australian Thomas Scully. "Rushing to the finish was pain, pain and more pain, but I feel just amazing now."
The LEOPARD TREK rider was the strongest in the 46th edition of 'Paris-Roubaix Espoirs' (UCI 1.2U), a 180,7 km race between Péronne and the velodrome in Roubaix. After an attack from an elite group on the pave de Cysoing, 26 kilometers from the finish, Jungels soloed to victory on the legendary velodrome of Roubaix.


Jungels: "I'm super happy with this victory. It's just insane. Paris-Roubaix is the biggest, most appealing race in cycling and for us U23 riders it's equally a very  big deal. I wasn't too sure about how I would go on the cobbles, because I'm lighter this year than before because of my focus on climbing, but it went very well. My time trial skills have certainly helped me when I was alone at the front."


Adriano Baffi: "This is a great day for our team. Everyone was riding perfectly today. We wanted to save our energy in the first part of the race, to be able to ride the finale as fresh as possible. It's a guess, because you never know how the race will develop, but it was the right one."


30 kilometers in the race, a break of 14 riders broke away from the peloton. Baffi: "We didn't have a rider in that break, but that was ok, because Oliver Hofstetter joined a chase group that formed later in the race. He would be an excellent help when Bob's time to rumble was there."


When the race entered the decisive cobblestone section, Bob Jungles bridged across to Hofstetter's group with a handful of other riders. There, Oliver Hofstetter awaited his leader. Soon after that, Hofstetter attacked the break with Jungels in his wheel. With six other riders, they made a gap to the chasing group. Baffi: "Oliver was very strong today and after he had brought Bob to the front of the race, his job was done. Bravo!"


On the pave de Cysoing, Jungels, for the occasion on the brand new Trek Domane that Trek specially developed for the cobbles of Roubaix, attacked his fellow breakaway companions and stormed solo to Roubaix. Jungels: "I attacked on the same spot as where I was dropped when I was riding this race as a junior - just for the fun of it. Rushing to the finish alone was pain, pain and more pain, but I feel just amazing now. I has goosebumps on my arms when riding to Roubaix. Head down, I didn't even see the signs that would tell me how much there was left. The motorbike gave me some split times: 30 seconds, 50 seconds, one minute, one-and-a-half minute, two minutes. So I knew I was going well, even though the pain was incredible. A special thanks to TREK, who made the best bike for this kind of work. The Domane rocks!"
Pit Schlechter was LEOPARD TREK's second best finisher, in 12th place.


Jungels looks back with great satisfaction at the first part of his season. "After winning 'Trytique', then the time trial and the overall in Flèche du Sud and now this beautiful win today, I'm very happy with how the season has been going. Our team is flying and the morale is very high. Adriano is doing a great job with our team and we are all very proud to wear the LEOPARD TREK jersey. I will ride the Tour of Luxembourg with the national team next, but without any specific goal. After that, I'll take a break and start preparing for the Worlds."


Paris-Roubaix Espoirs has in the past been won by champions as Stephen Roche, Thor Hushovd, Yaroslav Popovich and in recent years Taylor Phinney.

5.26.2012

Giro 20: De Gendt day

Climbs and clibers are often linked by a day. We remember them. We will remember today, Stelvio and De Gendt. I would like I had seen his face at the start. I saw Andy Schleck's face before the Galibier stage in last Tour de France and I was sure he was going to win. To try at least. To try all. De Gendt at the start. De Gendt climbing. At the finish and after. I saw nothing. This stage for me has been a name on the small screan of my phone. Thanks god for twitter and for Cyclingnews live update. 
My day was a long mom day at my son's race. It was hot. He trained few because of the bad weather so was nervous and it was important to make him feel I was supporting him, no matter what. No matter if there was a tv in the small bar at the corner where I could watch the stage. "I watch your race". He did well and only got dropped when the sprint was on. 
His bottle in a hand and my phone in the other I followed two races at once. Zaugg in the break! I was glad: in my opinion he should have been RSNT leader since the begining. Finally he couldn't stay away till the end but bravely showed his jersey and that's enought. I see Ben Hermans finished 13th and that is great.
Rodriguez attacked! amazing! what a man he is! he really is worthy of the jersey he wears. Today he moved first and solo to respond to De Gendt dangerous exploit and then dashed over Scarponi few meters to go. Bravo! I didn't understand Lampre racing instead: Cunego lost the stage, Scarponi lost the Giro because tomorrow he will lose not gain seconds in the TT. The first one should have waited for the team leader in my opinion. Anyway Scarponi attacked even if too late. Basso and Liquigas completely  cracked. Maybe critiques were right: no more legs, no more mates, Basso today lost amost 5 minutes. A little better Hejesdal: he started late too his final chase - great Christian Vandevelde! - but managed to limitate the damage. Team Sky started late too - great Stetina! - but both Uran and Henao lost some places in GC. Uran still have the White Jersey thought and I think he will bring it home. Bravo! it's a pity Caruso couldn't defend himself. Nieve, Gadret and Brambilla are in the GC top 15: a big result for them, the last one especially. The 15th is Roman Kreuziger: not what he wanted but still a decent place. He can timetrial... will he keep it tomorrow?
I never saw such an open Giro. I go to Milano and have no idea about the final winner. Hejesdal is the favourite but you never know with Purito Rodriguez and the podium is a complete mystery. I don't see Scarponi or Basso on it. It could be Hejesdal, Rodriguez, De Gendt. Uran could be 4th. All that is very exciting. The White Jersey and the Blue one are almost certain (Uran and Rabottini). Cavendish lost the Red one today for just one point: Rodriguez got it. Guardini lost all: sent home by the Jury. Tomorrow TT will be not a promenade and  I'm happy it starts and finish in Milano.
Stage
1 Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team 6:54:41  
2 Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre - ISD 0:00:56  
3 Mikel Nieve Ituralde (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi 0:02:50  
4 Joaquim Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha Team 0:03:22  
5 Michele Scarponi (Ita) Lampre - ISD 0:03:34  
6 Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Garmin - Barracuda 0:03:36  
7 John Gadret (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:04:29  
8 Rigoberto Uran Uran (Col) Sky Procycling 0:04:53  
9 Sergio Luis Henao Montoya (Col) Sky Procycling 0:04:55  
10 Ivan Basso (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale    
11 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Colnago - CSF Inox 0:05:39  
12 Hubert Dupont (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:05:53  
13 Ben Hermans (Bel) RadioShack-Nissan 0:07:58  
14 Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) Colnago - CSF Inox 0:08:32  
15 Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Astana Pro Team 0:09:10  
GC
1 Joaquim Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha Team 91:04:16  
2 Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Garmin - Barracuda 0:00:31  
3 Michele Scarponi (Ita) Lampre - ISD 0:01:51  
4 Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team 0:02:18  
5 Ivan Basso (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale 0:03:18  
6 Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre - ISD 0:03:43  
7 Rigoberto Uran Uran (Col) Sky Procycling 0:04:52  
8 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Colnago - CSF Inox 0:05:47  
9 Mikel Nieve Ituralde (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi 0:05:56  
10 John Gadret (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:06:43  
11 Sergio Luis Henao Montoya (Col) Sky Procycling 0:07:20  
12 Dario Cataldo (Ita) Omega Pharma-Quickstep 0:12:14  
13 Johann Tschopp (Swi) BMC Racing Team 0:12:34  
14 Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) Colnago - CSF Inox 0:13:28  
15 Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Astana Pro Team 0:18:09  
 .................
30 Tom Jelte Slagter (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team 0:56:53  
31 Thomas Rohregger (Aut) RadioShack-Nissan 1:04:06  
Jerseys:
Mountain:
1 Matteo Rabottini (Ita) Farnese Vini - Selle Italia 84  pts
Points:
1 Joaquim Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha Team 139  pts
2 Mark Cavendish (GBr) Sky Procycling 138  
Youth: 
1 Rigoberto Uran Uran (Col) Sky Procycling 91:09:08  
2 Sergio Luis Henao Montoya (Col) Sky Procycling 0:02:28  
3 Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) Colnago - CSF Inox 0:08:36  
4 Diego Ulissi (Ita) Lampre - ISD 0:31:07  
5 Damiano Caruso (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale 0:43:08  
6 Tanel Kangert (Est) Astana Pro Team 0:45:24  
7 Peter Stetina (USA) Garmin - Barracuda 0:47:09  
8 Tom Jelte Slagter (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team 0:52:01  
9 Stefano Pirazzi (Ita) Colnago - CSF Inox 1:34:48  
10 Jon Izagirre Insausti (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi 1:42:29  

5.25.2012

Giro reportage: Montecatini Gallery 1

Check the link for more pics! http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.172710632858757.34717.100003594655211&type=3&l=da41f26e3a
MUCH MORE TO COME! STAY TUNED!

Giro 18 and 19: a big joke

Sprinters had their last sprint, climbers had some of the last climbs, we had some of the last Giro emotions and I...had got too many work to do at school! Yesterday I watched at night Guardini's victory. An impressive progression. I agree that Cavendish's train was weaker than usual but Guardini was as strong as ever. He definitely is one of the best sprinters in the peloton when it comes to short flat races. And he survived till the 3th week. How...? like all sprinters more or less! 
I watched today stage instead. Great on paper, not so in real. The daily break award is for Pirazzi who risked to win, Kreuziger won and by a big exploit, Hejesdal surprised sattacking when was supposed to be attacked. But Pirazzi didn't win finally, Kreuziger has been left away because out of GC and Hejesdal didn't get the jersey that probably was is aim.  
The big climbs didn't make a big show. No GC contender attacked early. A man attacked, who could even wait till Milano because on paper his the best one in TT. He looked  amused crossing the line, as a man who made somebody a big joke. The quiet Canadian guy was probably laughing at all the talking about a Basso-Scarponi-Rodriguez alliance to drop him on the montains. "Long steep hard climbs suit me well and I love them" he had said yesterday. We saw that, we saw that def! We saw also that team Liquigas maybe spent too much in the previous days and weeks: today Basso was left alone too early and few riders had to do all the dirty work. Helpers can be amazing but it isn't a very good sign when they must kill themselves.  
Today I was glad to see Rohregger in the break: he manged to stay away till almost the end and raced wisely. Unfortunately he was alone: nobody came from behinde to help him or to give a sense to his work.
I am very happy for Roman Kreuziger even if that isn't the results we all expected by him. I'm sure he also expected more by himself and will work on it to understand what happened. 
It has been emotional to see Emanuele Sella in front, leading the race. He won here in 2008 and is one of my very very favourite riders. He lost two years stupidly and the great days are over, but he is a man who lives for cycling so it's beautiful he can still race like that. Last one I want to name is Dario Cataldo: he went away with Kreuziger, couldn't stay with him but what a ride by him! bravo! 
That's all. I'm deadly tired. Sua Maestà Lo Stelvio tomorrow and then Milano. I will be there for the last TT. I think Hejesdal wins. Basso and Scarponi alsready lost. But Purito still keeps a chance: I wouldn't dislike if he takes that one for Xavi...
Stage
1 Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Astana Pro Team 6:18:02
2 Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Garmin - Barracuda 0:00:19
3 Joaquim Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha Team 0:00:32
4 Michele Scarponi (Ita) Lampre - ISD 0:00:35
5 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Colnago - CSF Inox 0:00:43
6 Ivan Basso (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale 0:00:55
7 Rigoberto Uran Uran (Col) Sky Procycling 0:00:57
8 Mikel Nieve Ituralde (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi 0:01:18
9 Stefano Pirazzi (Ita) Colnago - CSF Inox 0:01:22
10 John Gadret (Fra) Ag2R La Mondiale
GC
1 Joaquim Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha Team 84:06:12
2 Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Garmin - Barracuda 0:00:17
3 Michele Scarponi (Ita) Lampre - ISD 0:01:39
4 Ivan Basso (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale 0:01:45
5 Rigoberto Uran Uran (Col) Sky Procycling 0:03:21
6 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Colnago - CSF Inox 0:03:30
7 John Gadret (Fra) Ag2R La Mondiale 0:05:36
8 Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team 0:05:40
9 Sergio Luis Henao Montoya (Col) Sky Procycling 0:05:47
10 Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre - ISD 0:06:09

5.23.2012

Meanwhile Bradley Wiggins...

Read it all here: 
 http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/othersports/cycling/9283386/Bradley-Wiggins-reveals-Team-Skys-explosive-secret-that-has-put-him-in-contention-for-Tour-de-France.html
In short:
1. ...is training on Pico del Teide in Tenerife "an extraordinarily intense working environment, tailored specifically for producing a Tour de France winner."  "Wiggins and Sky set up camp in a remote hotel in the crater that, at 2,165m
2. ...is very focused on TdF: “Nothing else matters”
3. ...fimly replies to critiques: “It’s so much easier for critics to start casting doubt rather than to appreciate what we are doing here and how everybody at Sky is working like dogs in a very focused way, especially up here on Teide. They don’t see how the modern sport is developing. They don’t want to.
4. ...is isolated and happy: "I’m a cycling recluse really and love it.” 
Do you wander what is he doing there?
5. Numbers: “I did 32,000 metres of climbing around Teide during a two-week camp last month and, by the time we finish this latest fortnight, I will have done another 32,000 metres,” he says.“From April 1 this year to the day I line up for the Tour de France prologue on June 30, I will have done 100,000 metres of high-quality climbing."
7. Routine: “There is no other environment that can beat Mount Teide. We ride our bikes, get a massage, eat and then sleep. The we get up and do it again. And again.
8. No distractions. "There is nowhere I fancy walking to – and cyclists don’t walk anyway. There is no internet. Well, about an hour every night if you are lucky."
9. Quality: "It’s not just the altitude and the heat – although that’s a big part of it – it’s the volume and quality of work.
10. Climbing:  "Just about every daily ride we do here ends with a 2,000-metre ascent up the mountain back to our hotel. Going uphill is just part of my life now. And a lot of those climbs are divided into efforts, 12 minutes flat out at threshold as if racing or staying with a break, and five minutes 'easy’ going at the pace you would normally ascend.”
11. Scenarios. Wiggins coach "is trying to replicate every possible Tour scenario"
12. Confidence: “I’m not nervous about the Tour anymore, just excited." "I know what I am capable of. Given a normal slice of good luck, I can get the reward I deserve.” 
...................
RSNT gave us a nice vid, here you have some words on paper. It seems Tour de France main contenders are preparing in the same way: altitude and specific training. Mental focusing is also an important part of the work. What about Cadel Evans? I'll find out soon :)

Giro stage 17: a brutal clash

Serious stuff, serious contenders. On those mountains you can't mess around. You can't hid. Weakness, strenght, generosity and fear: you are nacked. On those mountains - waited, desired - Ivan Basso attacked finally and put his name as a sign after all the hard daily work his team mates did in the last two weeks. He pulled in the climb, descended at his best, even sprinted. Chapeau. Roman Kreuziger disapeared, so Henao, so Cunego, Gadret, Nieve... Not so Pozzovivo, Hejesdal, Rodriguez, Uran: steadily there. Not so Scarponi: what a ride he rode! strong in the climb, cramped in the descent, got dropped, looked cooked... and came back! amazing!
They went away and nobody could follow. They are the selected group in this Giro and Rodriguez won at the sprint. He was wearing a black ribbon for Xavi and kissed it crossing the line.   Sweet. Touching. Movistar rider Intxausti managed to win the peloton sprint for the 7th place.
Fair play award for Rigoberto Uran who gave Pozzovivo his bottle. My favourite for the final victory was 4th today, is 5th in GC and White Jersey. I'm proud. 
Splendid stage. Splendid places. An open face clash slow and brutal like climbing on those roads. 
A word for no-climbers: today too Cavendish arrived in time. He already won his Giro because tomorrow he will sprint. Probably he will also win the jersey he's well deserved wearing.
Stage
1 Joaquim Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha Team 5:24:41
2 Ivan Basso (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale
3 Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Garmin - Barracuda
4 Rigoberto Uran Uran (Col) Sky Procycling
5 Michele Scarponi (Ita) Lampre - ISD
6 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Colnago - CSF Inox 0:00:02
7 Benat Intxausti Elorriaga (Spa) Movistar Team 0:01:22
8 Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Katusha Team
9 Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team
10 Johann Tschopp (Swi) BMC Racing Team
GC
1 Joaquim Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha Team 74:46:46
2 Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Garmin - Barracuda 0:00:30
3 Ivan Basso (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale 0:01:22
4 Michele Scarponi (Ita) Lampre - ISD 0:01:36
5 Rigoberto Uran Uran (Col) Sky Procycling 0:02:56
6 Benat Intxausti Elorriaga (Spa) Movistar Team 0:03:04
7 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Colnago - CSF Inox 0:03:19
8 Paolo Tiralongo (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:04:13


Go for Xavi

I was looking for this picture so searched my blog and found all my posts with his name in. Start lists, races results, that final one, astonished more than sad. Sad of course, desperate. How could it be true? cycling is a risky job but to get killed in that way, at home, for a badluck... or not... because I still can't believe it was... well that's too hard. 
Too hard when a guy dies and he was healty, cheerful, strong, honest and good. I never heard before and after about a rider offered doping who went to tell all the police. That should be normal but is not. He should be simply consider a normal citizen but we think of him like about an hero.
But before and after that, Xavier Tondo Volpini was and is for me this picture, this smile. We were friends on FaceBook but I can't tell I knew him. I saw him in races, added him because I wanted to interview him for a YesWe Like. I got impressed by him in his last Giro d'Italia: by his results and by his smile. The second most beautiful smile in the peloton. I liked him, really.
Today there is a very hard stage in Giro and it will be hard for Movistar to win it. GC riders MUST try something today. However it would be good. It would be beautiful to see a Xavi's mate take the stage for him. So, allez guys! try your best! We will never forget.

5.22.2012

It's coming

Stelvio today
Today stage was the most boring in a long while, a sort of extra rest day with people chattering and joking in the main peloton while a daily break whitout ambitions went and staied confortablely away. Only Flecha sprinted on poor Pirazzi, I wonder why, for the 11th place. 
The 1st place was already gone. Lars Bak (via Mikkel Condé): "Respect to the guy who won, I don't know who the hell he is, but he deserved it"  Sure he did but I know him instead, maybe because I have team Euskatel Euskadi calendar in my kitchen :D He was the right man to get that stage: strong in the climb but also a very good cronoman in fact his first victory this year was a TT.
Now the rest is really over. Very serious stuff is coming. On Saturday, Stelvio. On Sunday I will be in Milano and it's a complete mystery yet who will be or get in pink there. My favourite was Uran but he's quite behinde now and his team mate Henao got the White Jersey... Lets see...

Giro: Frank Schleck said...

http://www.radioshacknissantrek.com/news/schleck-recovery-first-then-build-again
Back home in Luxembourg, Fränk Schleck had his right shoulder properly checked, following his withdrawal from the Giro d'Italia. "The first examinations revealed a hematoma in both my neck and the shoulder that I dislocated."
Fränk, how's your shoulder doing?
"Well, I had my shoulder examined in a hospital, which is hard when you're riding a Grand Tour. The first examinations revealed a hematoma in both my neck and the articulation that I dislocated. These are putting pressure on the nerve system and are the cause of the pain. Besides this, I still have the inflammation in the left leg, from overcompensating the painful shoulder with a cramped position on the bike. Tomorrow I'm heading back to the hospital to have some more examinations. Then the doctors will be to give a complete diagnosis and recovery plan."
What's your general mood?
"Well, I was really starting to like the Giro, so I'm sad to be home again. I was called there very last minute, but I let it sink down and I grew into the race. My third place on one of the first hard stages gave me confidence. If you check my results of the last years, you will see that I have rarely abandoned a race. It's not in my nature to give up. When I go to a race, I want to do well, and why not win? The team was very committed to working for me and I felt very well surrounded. I fought hard on the days after my crash, until I couldn't do it anymore. I can tell you: abandoning is not easy. Moreover, my wife and daughter were at the finish on the day I withdrew. They didn't get the news, so they were waiting there for me. They are actually not even back from Italy, so I'm alone in Luxembourg at this moment."
What do say about the rumors that you had planned to abandon after two weeks of racing to prepare for the Tour?
"I can firmly tell you that this is not true. I gave it everything I could. Why would I drop out of a race that was almost finished, to change my program and do the Tour of Luxembourg and the Tour de Suisse instead? It makes no sense. Those are very hard races, so they are not ideal in a Tour preparation. You know, I was supposed to have a month of specific training - so no racing - after the Giro. It's just not logical to drop out just before the end and do two hard races instead."
What about the Tour de France?
"I believe some people have misunderstood what Johan Bruyneel has said in the press. He said that the results of the team are disappointing and that none of our leaders can automatically claim a post in the Tour. Johan has not said that I'm not going to do the Tour."
How's your relationship with Johan now?
"We have had a long and good talk after I withdrew. The next morning, on the rest day, we had another very good talk. He was disappointed, just like me. We decided to prioritize my recovery and then start building up again. He was very respectful and we talked about a lot of things. I left Italy with a really good feeling."

RADIOSHACK NISSAN TREK SIERRA NEVADA

5.21.2012

Giro: Bruyneel said...

 http://www.radioshacknissantrek.com/news/meanwhile-rsnt-giro-ditalia-camp
After the RADIOSHACK NISSAN TREK team saw their leader Fränk Schleck withdraw from the Giro d'Italia, General Manager Johan Bruyneel is hopeful for the six stages that are left on the menu.
Johan, how do you assess the state of things in the Giro?
"We came with certain ambitions for the overall, of course. It was already an unforeseen scenario when Jakob Fuglsang had to stow away his Giro dreams. We absolutely wanted to send a team with a strong overall rider to the second most important stage race on the calendar, so Fränk was selected for the race, despite the program he was following since the winter. He didn't prepare properly for this race, but we had high hopes that he could get into the rhythm and be competitive in the overall. And I believe this was the case until his crash on stage 11."
That changed after that incident?
"Yes, it did. Yesterday was a sad day for us. Fränk abandoned and we were all very disappointed, of course. We didn't expect it, but now we need to move forward and try to win a stage. There's one week to go and there are still some opportunities, I believe. I see that we still have some riders that are still quite fresh and hungry for good results."
What can the remainder of the Giro bring for our team?
"After a well deserved rest day, we look ahead to what is to come. The team that we have here has been working hard for Fränk, so their perspective changes now. If we look at what we have left on the menu, I see some opportunities: there are two stages where a breakaway is very likely to make it to the finish: tomorrow's stage Pfalzen and wednesday's stage to Cortina d'Ampezzo. We will try to have somebody like Jan Bakelants, who is showing some really good shape, in the breakaway and try to make the best of it. The boys really want to do well and they have the morale to perform. We will certainly go for it. We have Nelson Oliveira and Ben Hermans as well, but I think Jan Bakelants is our best card to play, even though his body is quite damaged from his crash. But he's a fighter. He likes the Giro very much and has shown to be a natural breakaway rider, so let's hope luck is on his side!"
Can fast man Giacomo Nizzolo prove his talent in the stage to Vedelago?
"Yes, why not? He has come third already in this Giro and he's recuperating very well in his first even Grand Tour. No pressure on him, though, he's still young. But fast!"
What about the mountain stages and the time trial?
"We'll need to see how our climbers, Oliver Zaugg and Thomas Rohregger, go on those very hard stages. And for the time trial we have Nelson Oliveira and Jesse Sergent, who can do a good performance. They have proven to be very good time trialists and if they can make it without too much fatigue to Milan, I believe they can do well."
Unfortunately, the team has fallen short of great performances so far this season and  the withdrawal of Fränk has caused a bit of tension in the team. How do you handle such a situation at best?
"We were all disappointed - Fränk and myself not the least. We had a long discussion yesterday and another one this morning, where we talked about everything. It wasn't easy to speak our minds, but in the end we are all professionals and we are here to win bike races. The facts are there: Fränk dropped out of the Giro and we need to reschedule his program. On the bright side, I hope he comes out of this Giro with a good condition, which he can use to build up his shape towards his next goals, starting with the Tour of Luxembourg and the Tour de Suisse. His build-up will of course start with a proper check-up of his shoulder, which is almost impossible during a big stage race, so that's the first thing on his program."

A few points about the 'Schleckgate' I want to write down

Frank Schleck in Sulmona
1. Riders are not puppets and team management must respect them: you can think a rider is wrong about his way to ride, you have the right and the duty to persuade him but can't force him. The opposite always leads to distructive dynamics.
2. To write rubbish you collected around isn't journalism. A serious journalist quotes his sources and talk about facts not about gossip. Opinions are welcomed but insinuations shouldn't be allowed on a decent newspaper. To tell it clearly I find outrageous what Ghislaberti wrote on the Gazzetta about Frank Schleck: he let understand Frank never crashed and never got hurted. If I was Frank I sued him for that.
3. In my opinion Frank - who crashed and got hurted in Montecatini: we are not in kindergarden so I adsume he did - has been absolutely right to stop because Sunday stage was very dangerous and he already was far from the podium. To risk a more serious crash to get a top ten in the Giro would have made no sense. More than a top ten wasn't a realistic goal because Frank was more than 2 minutes down, not in shape and the last stage is a TT. Moreover because Frank's main goal ISN'T the Giro but the Tour de France.
4. I already wrote many times that Schleck(s)'s chances to win the next Tour are few. In spite of that I think they have the right to set their goals, Andy especially, beacuse he won it once (2010) and was 2nd twice. He decided to gamble all his season on it. You can disagree but that is his choice and we must all respect it. If you don't agree you are free to not work for/with him because you know he is like that and he doesn't seem to want to change so far.
5. Frank and Andy Schleck want to race together. They can race like few others when they are at their top and motivated. Like over: everybody know that, if you don't agree you shouldn't work with them because they will not race separed or they will not race well. I'm sure Frank crashed and got hurted but I am as well sure he had never retired if motivated. He wasn't motivated because Giro wasn't in his schedule and because Andy wasn't there. Should he had risked in a rainy descent for what? for you? PLEASE.
6. What about the rest of the team? poor Nizzolo did very well but was always alone and I never saw a serious try to get a stage. You go for the final victory but you should be realistic and set also different goals.
7. Obviously in team RSNT there is a big problem. I wrote it many times. Many are now writing bad stuff against Johan  Bryneel and of course he isn't happy with Frank Schleck'd decision. Neverthless I think the big problem that team has got is Mr.Becca, who gives money but also too many unrequired suggestions about the team management. We know that by Brian Nygaard and others who worked for LT last year. 
That team has got some of the best riders and SD in the peloton: why doesn't it work? Radio Shack worked better in 2011, a lot better. This year it's almost invisible.
8. Invisible is the right word not only becacuse of the (no)results but also because of the (no)comunication strategy. LT was a disaster, RSNT is worse. I don't think at all that is somebody's fault. I mean: I don't think the team press officers don't work well. I think that is a (no)strategy, a silence stragey, a secret strategy that really doesn't pay. Every teams spend money and talent to be visible on social networks and massmedia and we get only few sporadic press releases. When things happen gossip arrives always before the official info. There are many toys for fans but very few facts for observers. One for all: Andy Schleck spent some days in Sierra Nevada training with few mates. We knew almost nothing. That isn't serious and gives a bad impression of the team. Especially if Andy will not impresse in next races - and maybe even if he will!
9. I read around that Frank Schleck is supposed to start in Tour of Luxembourg. It is in few days. What about his shoulder? I believe he got hurted but once more the team comunication is very bad.
10. Finally and honestly I hope Andy and Frank Schleck will find a better team next year. I think they still have two years of contract with Becca but it would be a crime to waste two years of career - and life - in such a project. They need a team that respect their way to race and gives them - Andy especially - the strong but persuasive lead they need. I don't say a top rider can do what he wants but he can't be forced. It would be very sad if their talent would be made ridicolous because of circumstances that are not their faults. They are  not saints, they are just bike riders.