In short: Guercilena about Andy Schleck

There is an article here:
...in English here:
In short:
1. Matter of pleasure: “He needs to take pleasure in the bike again. This year, for different reasons, that wasn’t the case and that’s normal, I think. Fränk and Andy always had the feeling of losing something with the merger. [Team backer] Flavio Becca and Johan Bruyneel’s idea was to improve the team but psychologically, those who had been there for the creation of the team had the sense of losing something.”
2. Matter of will: “It will be up to him to make the big effort, so as to find the inner-strength to make use of his great talent and find his level again."
3. Schedule: "Tour Down Under, Tour Mediterranéen, Tour de Haut-Var, Tirreno-Adriatico and Tour of the Basque Country as preparation for the Classics, although his pre-Tour de France build-up is yet to be established."
4. Andy AND Frank: “The idea of having a different programme isn’t bad in itself for certain races and that might even benefit Fränk in some circumstances because he’s also a rider capable of winning big races. But for the big objective of a season like the Tour de France, you can’t lose a guy like Fränk from Andy’s side. I don’t consider them as brothers but as two guys with great strengths in the mountains.”
5. Frank: “I think we’re talking about a contamination, I’m convinced of that. I’m certain that he is right and respects the rules. I hope that he won’t be suspended or at least that it won’t be a big suspension.”
6. Bruyneel: “I can’t hide that I had a good experience with Johan Bruyneel. I worked for 10 months with him and I recognised his qualities as a manager. He had his problems, we know what they are. He couldn’t stay in the job in those conditions. Mr. Becca decided to change and to put in place some new ideas. We can’t change the history of a team but we can improve it by adopting another vision. That’s Mr. Becca’s idea.”
7. DS stay: "sporting directors from 2012 all remain on board": Kim Anderson, Dirk Demol, Alain Gallopin and José Azevedo. In add: Josu Larrazabal from Euskaltel-Euskadi as coach. 
8... and also the bus driver: DANNY!! YAY!! :D


Team camps time

Lotto Belisol
SaxoTinkoff is already back fron Canarie. ORICA-GreenEdge gathered in Australia. OPQS went to Slovakija, LottoBelisol I don't know but they had to climb! and what about Ex-Rabobank? they have been thrown in the dark and cold of a skihall in Holland at night. As far as RSNT, they are in Luxembourg: http://www.radioshacknissantrek.com/gallery/team-building-day-1 ... and it looks like orientering...
The aim is still the same: to build the group, to make riders and staff collaborate and know each others in order to face difficulties as an unit. Usually they have a lot of fun :)

RSNT: next stop Javea

According to http://www.cyclingnews.com that quotes Tageblatt.lu "the team is meeting from Monday evening through Thursday in Clerf, Luxembourg, for the riders to get to know one another and to grow together as a team, according to. Americans Matthew Busche and Ben King, and New Zealanders George Bennett, Hayden Roulston and Jesse Sergeant, are not attending. They will, however, attend the team's training camp in Javea, Spain, next month." Few has been told so few to tell :)


In short:Tosh Van der Sande's Gent Six Days

There is an interview here:
In short:
1. A thrilling finish:  Iljo Keisse and Glenn O'Shea won. Kenny De Ketele and Gijs Van Hoecke finished in the same lap, but fell twelve points short of the victory. 
2. 9th on 13th:  that's the result for Tosh Van der Sande and his partner Leif Lampater who won a few events included two derny races and one eliminationrace.
3 A low start...: "The first few days I wasn't quite good. I think that was because I had no competition in my legs and the other guys were well prepared by riding races. In those first days we already lost a good place in the classification. But the last three days were really much better. On Saturday and Sunday I didn't lose any round, I was very good then."
4. ...but shining in side events: "Once we knew we weren't riding for a good classification anymore, we fully went for some side events. The first time we did we ended up in the top three, afterwards we won a few. It's nice we succeeded in it. The last madison we were always in the top three, so we finished very well. My teammate and I weren't in top shape in the beginning, but as the Six Days were getting on we came through. We could show ourselves and that is the most important I think."
5. Hard competition: "From day two it was obvious that Keisse - O'Shea and De Ketele - Van Hoecke were the best. There was little to do against them. The following days they have controlled the race and on the final day they totally went for it. It was a beautiful duel, it's a pity Gijs crashed, otherwise it would have been a nice sprint, but I think Iljo and his teammate were a bit stronger."
6. Lot of fun: "Of course I have enjoyed the atmosphere in "Het Kuipke", I always do. It is extremely fun to be there. Even after that difficult start I still had the audience supporting me and that gives you courage to keep on believing to ride well the following days. There were a lot of my fans who travelled to Ghent."
Well... I'm becoming a Tosh's fan me too :) Stay tuned!

Andy Schleck's schedule updated

According to French regional newspaper Var Matin and to http://www.wort.lu on the 6th of February Andy Schleck will start in the Tour Méditerranéen 2013. Eleven Pro Tour teams will take part in Mediterranean race that will start from Limoux (Aude). As confirmed, Andy's racing schedule will start earlier and he's told to be looking for some early good results. Good luck!


Gent Six Days final results

Tosh Van der Sande by sport.be
1 Glenn O'Shea / Iljo Keisse (Aus/Bel) Omega Pharma 484 pts
2 Gijs Van Hoecke / Kenny De Ketele (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator 472
3 Silvan Dillier / Robert Bartko (Swi/Ger) Mega Doe-Het-Zelf - John Saey 335
4 Marc Hester / Lasse Hansen (Den) VDK 245   -4laps
5 Wim Stroetinga / Peter Schep (Ned) ADMB 138   -9laps
6 Tim Mertens / Jasper De Buyst (Bel) Caruur 239   -10laps
7 Tristan Marguet / Franco Marvulli (Swi) Eurotyre Bandencentrales 282   -11laps
8 Vivien Brisse / Morgan Kneisky (Fra) Callant - Decoranda 202   -13laps
9 Leif Lampater / Tosh Van der Sande (Ger/Bel) Lotto 160   -14laps
10 Nolan Hoffman / Christian Grasmann (RSA/Ger) Oudendijk 95   -37laps
11 Moreno De Pauw / Nicky Cocquyt (Bel) Provincie Oost-Vlaanderen 113   -41laps
12 Andres Muller / Max Stahr (Ger) Geka Kaas 60   -43laps
13 Steve Schets / Jonathan Breyne (Bel) AVS 135   -46laps

A pic from Gent

Pic by OPQS
Iljo Keisse and Glenn O'sheal just won the Gent Six Days :)
Full results later.

Gieten: Van der Haar said...

"Suffering today in SP Gieten. No good day for me. But did my race. But just lost the connection for top 10 and then I lost some. 13th"
I didn't see him infact: cameras were just following the head of the race. You can't be at your top everyday! 
Lovely pic here: 

Gieten: Klaas, what a class!

Pic by Dorsal 51@Dorsal51
Boring race, thrilling finish. There was a tender sun in Gieten and when riders passed near the boxes it was at their back, creating a cloud of light and rain. Emerging the front group was small and definite: Klaas Vantonout, Sven Nys and Kevin Pauwels. For all the rest the race was already over when I started watching. "Nys is going to lose for too much selfconfidence" my ex affirmed. We beted but nobody won: he put his money on Pauwels, I on Nys. But Vantornout was in front all the race and Nys let him go probably worried only about Pauwels. At the sprint he couldn't pass him and Klass took a classy win. "That changes nothing" he said - if I got right the interview - about his role in the team. "That's good" Pauwels said. It's a team success: two men on the podium. In a tender sunny afternoon....
1 Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Revor
2 Sven Nys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-KDL
3 Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Sunweb-Revor
4 Rob Peeters (Bel) Telenet - Fidea
5 Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus


RSNT: first team camp in Luxembourg

According to Fabian Cancellara's twitter it will start on Monday and last probably a week. "Last night,nice dinner in maspalomas with my family" he wrote "had nice sunny days here.monday the season start first teamcamp in LUX. #lookingfoward". On the official site there is nothing and I got no press release yet. The team has been very silent since the removal of Johan Bruyneel and it seems they don't want to spend too much in exotic destinations: very good. Best luck for 2013: I'm looking forward me too. 

Nys wins in Koksijde: gray green and gold

It's raining in Koksijde. The sky is compact gray and a gray mist surrounds the start where riders stay shoulder to shoulder in their warmer clothes. They look nervous. A gray moisture steams up the camera that remains a little far to show the whole row, the UCI officials in raincoats and photographers standing up in their colored jackets.
There we go: the race starts. It's a fast start - again - for Lars Van der Haar but he can't resist the coming back of the peloton: he's 6th in a speedy line and will keep his position for almost all the race. Nys is behinde, Pauwels in front. But they are all together for those first laps, till when Vantornout breaks away - again -  2nd is Shimuneck then Pauwels. It's a fluid situation and in afew Aernouts leads followed by Vantornout and Pauwels. But the group is close.  
The concret is silver gray at each passage on the wet line. The camera zooms on muddy faces and chains. But the grass is green, humid and slippery. Few golden leaves on black trees or mud: painful beauty... Children run on the rain from barrier to barrier to see the riders ride. Men and women drink to keep warm under colored umbrelas and scream and ring cow bells. In front of them the big drama goes on. I wonder: what do you feel starting in a race when the weather is like that? throwing yourself in that mud, in that cold, in that merciless rain? Or you feel nothing, just the will to win, the shame to lose? 
Mechanic for Arnouts who has to stop and change his bike so now Vantornout and Pauwels are in front together: wet dirty white and red suits almost confused with the moisture on the screan.
Slippery mud means crashes and  sand seems glue in Koksijde today. Nys is still behinde, a little dropped: doesn't look in shape  or has he got a mechnic? Commentators talk about a 'technical problem'. The French Mourey leads: he was since the start in the front group and persists. In a twinkle: Niels Albert! he came from nowhere and is in front! what a control of his bike on that tricky terrain! what a class! watching him is a pure pleasure. They climb and descend the sandy hill, they fly on the muddy dirty road finding their way on the grassy edge, keeping the balance with a leg. 
The gap increases. It's Albert, Aenouts, Mourey and Pauwels. Vantornout a little dropped bust still there after an outstanding work for Pauwels. I'm breathing: it's a good race finally for him, he has got the chance to get a podium place...  And then... he falls! 
He falls on the slippery mud, has to fix his bike... ah! still bad luck! ...and - unbelivable! - also Vantornout falls, in the descent!  Niels, Mouray, Arnouts: the head of the race is far away. Nys 4th furiously chasing and in twinkle the chase is over: Nys joined! Nys 3rd! Nys passed Mourey! unstoppable! Mouray gets dropped on the muddy climb but manage to hang on.  
Last lap: Albert, Nys, Mourey, Aernouts. The camera is only for them now but behinde Lars Van der Haar is still 6th, Vantornout and Pauwels fighting to stay in group. It's the classic duel: Albert against Nys. They are equal: strong and skilled. Nys is looking the moment, the way, the gap to pass his rival. Perfection against perfection they will go together to the sprint. But no! Niels Albert makes a mistake on the mud, where Puwels crashed, and Nys passes.  Game over? it looks so! Nys is flying to the line solo. Nys won.
Nys doesn't fall and doesn't make mistakes. Today his face is a little dirty: he's human in the end and happy rising his arms again. The replay of Pauwels' crash shows him limping on his right knee: injuried? I hope no! Nys won the race but didn't win the overal yet: Albert still leads, Pauwels 4th. Interviewed Nys says it will hard. "C'est pas inattedu" says Mourey about his podium: He was feeling good and "Oui, c'est possible de battre les Belges! t's possible to beat the Belgians, I went close today". Happy on the podium, the less happy is Albert of course. Beside there is Pat McQuaid... I guess riders like podium girls more.

1. Sven Nys in 59'34"
2. Niels Albert op 15"
3. Francis Mourey (Fra) 20"

4. Bart Aernouts 33"
5. Klaas Vantornout 1'21"
6. Rob Peeters 1'28"
7. Dieter Vanthourenhout 1'33"
8. Tijs van Amerongen (Ned) 1'38"
9. Lars van der Haar (Ned) 1'45"
10. Philipp Walsleben (Dui) 1'56"
12 Kevin Pauwels
19 Franzoi


Yes we like... Egor Silin

Very talented stage races rider, Silin impressed in the previous cathegories and became a pro with Katusha in 2010. He races for Astana since last year but 2012 wasn't a good year for him. Lets know him better!
Hi Egor, introduce yourself: when were your born and where?
I was born in Russia, in a small town in Siberia, called Ishim on the 25th of June 1988
Your height and weight?
178 m 63 or 64 kg
When did you start racing?
I started racing when I was
8 with my dad as my cycling coach
For wich teams did you race till now? and wich is your actual team?
Till 16 i raced in Russia then and went to Italy with the national team, I spent there 2 years as a junior and 3 as an Under 23, then I signed with Katusha for two years and then I passed to Astana.
Wich are your best results and the most important races you took part in?
In cathegory 'allievi' (15-16)) I was RR Russian national chapion. As a junior at my first year I won Brescia Montemagno and a stage at Giro della Basilicata. At my second year I won only a TTT but collected many good placements: 2nd in Trofeo città di Ivrea and Giro della Basilicata GC, best foreign rider in Giro della Lunigiana. As an Under 23 at my first year I was 2nd in Montappone. At my second year I won Trofeo città di Felino, Rovescala and another regional race I don't remember. Then I finished 7th in the World Championship in Varese. At my 3rd year I won Coppa della pace, a stage in Giro bio in Carpegna and a stage in Giro della Valle d'Aosta, where I finished 3rd in GC , then I was 3rd in the World Championship in Mendrisio.
In my first year in Katusha I was three times 3rd: one stage in Dauphiné and two stages in Tour of Austria. I did the World Championship in Geelong with the pros. In my second year in Katusha I did the Tour de France and went twice in a break away in the hardest stages. Then at the end of the season I managed to win a stage in the Sun Tour in Australia. In my first year in Astana I couldn't achieve any good results...
I was a little surprised indead but there is a reason...
Yes. This year my season finished earlier because I was sick. So I'm resting since a while at my home in Russia. But I do some sport like gym and swimming.
How do you feel by Astana?
In Astrana I feel good, I feel DS and team mates trust on me. For example when I broke my hand and once came to Italy for the surgery, Giuseppe Martinelli and his daughter Francesca were everyday in hospital with me. I'm very happy to have been able to race with the great champion Alexander Vinokurov.
Back to 2012, how has been your last season?
That season has been unlucky for me, I worked well during the winter but then I broke my hand in the 3th stage of Basque. I spent one month off the bike, then I started training and did immediately well in Dauphiné but then I got some problems at my sciatic nerve so retired in Tour of Slovenia and didn't start in the National Championship. I did the Tour of Poland and started training for the Vuelta a Espana. At the begining f it I got a virus called epidemica paratiditos, because of that I did very bad and couldn't understand why. I was supposed to do also the Worlds in Holland but at home I had some tests done, called my doctor, my DS in Astana and the Russian coach Dmitriy Konichev telling I couldn't start in the Worlds. And already on the 15th of September I left to Russia.
It has been hard for you I guess! And which are your goals for the next one?
Next year goals: I want to do my best and then we will see.
What's your dream race?
The three big tours: those are my dream races.
Which is the racer you like more in the history of cycling? And now?
I like racers who make the show like Pantani and now Vinokurov.
How did you start racing?
I started racing at 8 with my dad as a cycling coach.
Family and friends are important for you?
For me like for everybody family and friends are very important.
Which studies did you do or are doing?
I finished the school and University for Sport
What is your favourite song or singer?
I like rock : Guns n Roses and Bon Jovi.
Favourite film?

Corridore da corse a tappe pieno di talento, Silin ha colpito i commentatori nelle categorie giovanili ed è passato professionista con la Katusha nel 2010. Corre per l'Astana dall'anno scorso ma il 2012 non è stata una buona stagione per lui. Conosciamolo meglio!
Ciao Egor, presentati: quando sei nato? E dove?
Sono nato in Russia,una piccola cita in siberia che si chiama Ishim. 25.06.1988
Altezza e peso
Altezza 178 e peso 63 o 64
Quando hai cominciato a correre in bici?
Ho cominciato correre in bici quando avevo 8 anni con mio padre allenatore
Per quali squadre hai corso fin'ora e qual'è la tua squadra attuale?
Quali sono i tuoi risultati migliori e le corse più importanti cui hai partecipato?
Fino a 16 anni ho corso in Russia e poi sono partito per l'Italia con la squadra nazionale, ho fatto lì due anni juniores e tre under 23, poi ho firmato con Katusha per due anni e poi sono passato all'Astana.
Nella categoria allievi ero campione russo su strada. Da junior al primo anno ho vinto Brescia Montemagno e una tappa al Giro della Basilicata. Al secondo anno ho vinto solo una cronosquadra però avevo tanti piazzamenti, per esempio secondo posto al Trofeo città di Ivrea e Giro della Basilicata in classifica generale. Miglior straniero al Giro della Lunigiana. Come Under 23 al primo anno sono arrivato secondo a Montappone. Al secondo anno ho vinto il Trofeo città di Felino, Rovescala e un altra corsa regionale che non mi riccordo come si chiama, poi sono arrivato settimo al mondiale di Varese. Al terzo anno ho vinto la Coppa della pace, una tappal Giro bio a Carpegna e una tappa al Giro della Valle d'Aosta, in cui sono finito terzo, poi sono stato terzo al al mondiale di Mendrisio.
Nell primo anno in Katusha sono stato tre volte terzo: una tappa al Delfinato e due volte al Tour dell'Austria. Ho fatto il mondiale in Geelong tra i professionisti. Nel secondo anno in Katusha ho fatto il Tour de France dove nelle tappe più dure sono andato due volte in fuga. Poi a fine stagione sono riuscito a vincere una tappa al Sun Tour in Australia. Nel primo anno in Astana non sono riucsito a fare un buon risultato.
Ero un po'  sorpresa infatti ma c'è una ragione...
Sì. Quest'anno la stagione per me è finita prima perché avevo una malattia, perciò sto riposando già da tanto tempo in Russia a casa mia. Però faccio un po' di attività sportiva come palestra e piscina.
Come ti trovi all'Astana?
In Astrana mi trovo bene, sento fiducia da parte dei direttori sportivi e degli altri ciclisti. Per esempio quando mi sono rotta la mano e sono venuto una volta in Italia per l'operazione,Giuseppe Martinelli e sua figlia Francesca erano tutti giorni con me in ospedale. Sono molto felice di essere riuscito a correre con il grande campione Alexander Vinokurov.
Che stagione è stata?
Questo stagione è stata sfortunata per me, ho lavorato bene in inverno ma poi mi sono rotta la mano al Giro dei paesi Baschi nella terza tappa. Ho fattto un mese senza bici, poi ho cominciato ad allenarsi e sono subito andato bene al Delfinato ma dopo avevo problemi con il nervo sciatico perciò mi sono ritirato dal Giro di Slovenia e non sono partito nel campionato nazionale. Ho fatto il Giro di Polonia e ho cominciato ad allenarmi per la Vuelta a Espana dove all'inizio ho preso un virus che si chiama epidemica paratiditos, per questo sono andato molto male e non riuscivo a capire perché. Dovevo fare anche il Mondiale in Olanda però a casa ho fatto delle analisi, ho chiamato il dottore e il direttore sportivo dell'Astana e l'allenatore russo Dmitriy Konichev dicendo che non ero in grado di correre al Mondiale. E già il 15 di settembre sono partito per la Russia.
Obiettivi per la prossima?
Obiettivi per l'anno prossimo: voglio fare il massimo e dopo vediamo.
Qual'è la corsa dei tuoi sogni?
I tre grandi giri: queste sono le corse dei miei sogni.
Qual è il corridore che ti piace di più nella storia del ciclismo? E adesso?
Mi piacciono corridori che fanno spettacolo come era Pantani e adesso Vinokurov.
Come hai cominciato a correre?
Ho cominciato a correre in bici quando avevo 8 anni, con mio padre allenatore di ciclismo.
La famiglia e gli amici sono importanti per te?
Per me come per tutti sono molto importanti la famiglia e amici.
Che studi hai fatto o stai facendo?
Ho finito scuola e università sportiva.
Qual'è la tua canzone o cantante preferita/o?
Mi piace il rock come Guns n Roses e Bon Jovi.
Film preferito?
'Bodyguard' con Kevin Costner.
Libro preferito?
Non ho un libro preferito però sto leggendo abbastanza tanto.
Cibo preferito?
Mi piace la cucina italiana, è tutto semplice e buono.
Grazie Egor, buona fortuna e ci vediamo alle corse!


Cyclocross: Klass Vantornout challenges Nys in Gavere

Old school guys do it better. Let me tell I was somehow glad to see two riders almost my age destroying the field in Gavere: Klass Vantornout made the race today, not as a domestique but as a great champion. I apreciated his aggressiveness and determination. 
The big names in cyclocross wasn't looking good and some of them didn't have a good day for sure: Niels Albert, far behinde, Kevin Pauwels, only 6th, Lars Van de Haar who sprinted ahead at the start but finished at the true back. 
It was a muddy, heavy, hard race. It was a race for Sven Nys. This year the Belgian champ is showing a terrific shape, winning always and everywhere but here it was objectively the favourite. Wellens' team looked dangerous, they put many riders in front in the first laps and in fact they had two of them in front at the end: Wellens 3th and Peeters 4th. Aernouts was the first one to emerge from the chasing group trying to join Vantornout who had excaped soon.
At a certain moment Lars Van der Haar and Sven Nys were fighting wheel to wheel to excape but Nys succeeded while the young Dutch failed. Nys went away with Pauwels on his wheel, easily passed Aernouts, joined Vantornout and after that the fight was only between those two. Pauwels could follow but looked suffering, not able to keep the pace and in the end dropped.
You know I don't like Nys but I can't avoid to admire his technic and his character. Today in some passages he was amazing. His duel with Klass Vantornout was one of the most thrilling moment ever in my - short - cyclocross memory. The end was probably written given that Nys... is Nys. But I beloved to see Vantornout making it hard for him, attacking till till the line. 
The last lap was breathtaking. Vantonout tried many times to pass Nys or to prevent him to pass, even pushed him by a hand while running beside him and while they were both changing their bike Nys got almost impeded by a mechanic of his opponent's team. Not on purpose, I'm not telling that. Pressure, excitement, stress were overwhelming. Nys wanted to drop Vantornout, he wanted for sure to put a gap between but couldn't. He won at the sprint and Vantornout bent his head scornfully on the handlebar, hidind his face upset by pain and rage. 
All faces were very dirty on mud today. All faces Nys' one excluded. How can he keep it so - relatively - clean? Pauwels' face instead was a mask of mud. His blue eyes were looking lost while he was interviewed, after the race, before a podium cerimony he didn't have a place in. Niels Albert confirmed it had been a bad day. I like him because he always finds the way to smile.
A beautiful rosy light was shining on the golden trees in Gavere: the magic of the Autumn, the magic of the cyclocross.
1 Sven Nys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-KDL    
2 Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Revor    
3 Bart Wellens (Bel) Telenet - Fidea    
4 Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Sunweb-Revor    
5 Rob Peeters (Bel) Telenet - Fidea    
6 Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus    
7 Jim Aernouts (Bel) Sunweb-Revor    
8 Thijs Van Amerongen (Ned) AA Drink    
9 Julien Taramarcaz (Swi) BMC Mountainbike Racing Team    
10 Lars van der Haar (Ned)


In short: more about Pauwels' crash

Read it all here:
or here:
In short:

1. How it happened: "Nys hopped the trunks much faster than Pauwels and overtook Pauwels. The latter appeared scared, locked up, and went over the handlebars on the second trunk. A lifted hand from Nys indicated his apologies"
2. Nys said: “I had a lot more speed. One of us went out of balance. I hesitated. I think I touched him with my elbows. I thought about waiting. It was a crash that could be avoided. It wasn’t in purpose.” 
3. Pauwels agreed. “It wasn’t in purpose. If I would’ve hopped there alone I wouldn’t have crashed though”
4. Albert admited: “I think I was the worst of the three but because Pauwels crashed I could finish second. I didn’t have a great day. The classification will be made in Baal. I’m riding for every second. I lost a lot of those today and tried to control the damages.”
5. Congrats to Albert anyway because according to his facebook he got engagged :)

Cyclocross: Pauwels' bad luck keeps on

Pic by Gerrit Schuermans@PHLCongress
Fast route today in  Hasselt. Sven Nys immediately looked from another planet, especially in the heavy sand. This time however also Kevin Pauwels seemed in a better shape: he went away with Albert and the duo dropped Nys for some laps. He easily came back and while jumping some obstacles Pauwels fell: his race was over. He managed to make it to the podium but dropped and 3rd. Not a good show. I'm sorry for him and hope it will be better soon!
1. Sven Nys in 54"49
2. Niels Albert op 14"
3. Kevin Pauwels 30"

4. Klaas Vantornout 36"
5. Dieter Vanthourenhout 38"
6. Bart Wellens 40"
7. Bart Aernouts 49"
8. Rob Peeters 52"
9. Radomir Simunek (Tsj) 1'14"
10. Jim Aernouts 1'21"


Giglio d'oro to Vincenzo Nibali and more

Special guests Bettini and Martini, on the 26th of November the traditional cycling award will beassigned to Vincenzo Nibali.
In add, some 'special prizes':
Giro d'Italia to Rydet Hejedal
Italian Champion to Franco Pellizzotti
Best young rider 2012 Moreno Moser
International prize 'Ballerini' to Joaquim Rodriguez
Memorial Tommaso Cavorso to Pietro Sarti
Best Italian Junior Umberto Orsini
Premio Santella Riccardo Magrini
I can't avoid to remember that Tommaso Cavorso was a team mate of my son, a young cyclinst for Team Aquila, the first team of Gino Bartali. He has been killed while training by a car on the road near Florence. We will never forget. We will make roads safer also for him, because his death can't be useless.

Guercilena's interview about Andy Schleck, TdF and more

There is a video interview - in French and Lux - here:
Nothing new but I find interesting that Guercilena confirms Andy Schleck's schedule (TDU, Ardennes stop and than TdF), aiming to restore a 'psycological' confidence by small but good results in order to achieve the main goal that is the victory in the Tour de France. I agree. 
He also notes that last year RSNT won the team classification in the Tour: a team at the same level would be already the right support for a great leader. A bit of good luck would be also welcomed after a 2012 absolutely bad, with three riders seriously injuried and a lot of crashes. 
There is also something about Andy and the Tour Down Under here:
In Italy and willing to meet Guercilena in person? you can: tomorrow in Villongo, near Bergamo: "To be a champion", with Bettini, Tiralongo and Celestino.


In short (and translated): Kevin Pauwels' manager's reply

 There is an article here:
In short (and translated):
1. Secret injury:  "Kevin has not talked about himself because he was scared to death to excuses" said Herremans. "But his knee is definitely a factor. In Zonhoven he bumped his knee against his handlbar and it got inflamed. He had a whole week without quality training. Saturday, the day before Hamme-Zogge, he was still suffering for it . Everyone took his no starting in the Annual Market Cross in Niel on Saturday as the reason for its poor performance in Hamme-Zogge, but that's bullshit. His knee was playing a role, not Niel."
2. Stronger opponents:
"His spin frequency and beats are almost identical. The difference is more than one percent, but I heard by Nys' coach Paul Van Den Bosch that Nys is faster than last season. This is my first statement: Nys and Albert are just a lot stronger. Moreover, races are harder than last season, they suit Kevin less. You see the badluck Kevin had in every cross and you immediately say he's much worse than last season. That the mountain summer Pauwels would play a role, it's nonsense. It depends mainly on external factors. Of course, that in the long term affects the cup games."
eam training in the Ardennes this week. 
4. Think to Gilbert: Pauwels' distant cousin, friend and mechanic Bart Risbourg said: "He might be a little quieter than usual, but for the rest I notice no difference. After the cross we talk often about something else, but we maintain our ritual: relax in my infrared sauna and socialize. He knows that he's doing well in training and it can quickly turn. I got him the example of Philippe Gilbert, who had a bad year, but in the end was world champion. "
Good luck to Kevin then and get well soon!

Andy Schleck starts from Australia

According to L'Equipe Andy Schleck will start his season at the Tour Down Under (22-27of  January). He said he's going to start early and race a lot because he needs to "begining to zero" and be fit for next Tour de France. He also stated he will be back to his traditional schedule - so probably we will see him in Italy for Eroica and Tirreno - and try to be in shape also for the Ardennes Clssics. Time to win there again!

In short (and traslated): Nys hard on Pauwels and Vantornout

There is an article here:
In short (and traslated):
1. Nys' lesson: in Hamme-Zoggehe he wanted to give Kevin Pauwels and Klaas Vantornout a lesson because they didn't start in Niel in order to save energies for Saturday's cross at their manager's home town but failed to get a result in spite they were fresher then Nys, Albert and Aernouts.
2. Honouring smaller races: "That they didn't start in Niel, I find a bad thing for the cross. Nobody forces them, but smaller cross races are fighting to survive and then it seems only natural to take part in all the top appointments. Especially if you want to belong to the top three. So yes, I was motivated in Hamme-Zogge. I wanted to show them that I did not feel that I had raced the day before. The first half of the cross I have against those two fresher men,  Pauwels and Vantornout joined their forces."
3. Mettepenningen - Pauwels' manager - not happy: "The victory was not there, but  I'm disappointed for that fifth place. Especially because this fast race was tailored for Kevin Pauwels and Klaas, not slow. Maybe there was too much pressure on the shoulders of Kevin."
4. Kevin Pauwels embarrassed: "I had already decided before the begining of the season that I would have not started in Niel and when I saw the pictures  I do not regret it [there was a lot of mud, which is not in favour of Pauwels]. Did I feel the pressure? I felt no more pressure than usual. There was maybe more if my chain didn't go down. I started with the top two riders but Lars van der Haar didn't take over." Now Nys is way ahead in GC and "closing the gap it's going to be hard"

5. Lars van der Haar tactical: "I was thinking let the two guys who didn't race on Saturday do the work. In  that moment I was playing the game. Kevin and Klaas got Nys against them [because they did not raced the day before] and if you are against yourself, you are not going to be happy."


In short: Rigorberto Uran's best season (sofar!)

He's one of my favourite riders, White Jersey in the last Giro d'Italia, 2nd in the Olypics, he well deserved an interview by his team. Read it all here:
Pic by (c)IlariaPranzini
In short: 
1. Happy! “I’m very very happy with how the season has gone. It’s been good from start to finish with some consistent results.The Giro was a highlight for me and a great moment – to be able to compete over three weeks and emerge with a top 10 and the white jersey was special.” 
2. Healty: “[2013] It’s definitely satisfying. The allergy problem got a lot better this year and you could see that on the bike. I was able to get some big results because of it.
3. Hopeful: “What races I do obviously depends on the calendar the team sets for me. I'm looking forward to a good rest and ready for some renewed success with Team Sky. Hopefully I'll have a very similar programme to this year though.
4.'High' “During the off-season I have returned home to Colombia. The village I live in is situated 2000 metres above sea level, so even when you are not training hard it is great to stay fit.”


In short: Van der Haar said...

It's here:
Pic by Rabosport
In short:
1. Albert's favourite for Louisville: "If the course is dry then Lars van der Haar is the big favourite," Albert stated. "If the weather turns foul then it's different."
2. Van der Haar's surprise: "Oh jee..., oh jee. It would be great if I could do it. But sure you've got to take into account Nys and Pauwels as well. Albert too of course. Even on a dry course. He's got so much power. He points at me because of my sprint."
3. Home guy :) "I travelled there three times and never suffered from the jet lag. I want to leave as late as possible, like on Thursday. It all depends on the national coach of course and if he wants to leave early then I'll follow. I just don't see what you can do there that you can't do at home. I'm the kind of guy who likes the time home. You know the food, the people, the area... I don't have to be there to focus on the race or to ride the course every day. At a World Cup you check out the course only once too"

Paint it, orange!

Lars Van der Haar gained today his first pro podium spot in Hamme-Zogge Superprestige cyclocross. That made my day. I didn't think I was back to write here. I was feeling too bad. I still feel bad and don't see how it really could change. Today - and since a while - I was dragging myself around in a miserable state with no hope at all and a lot of pain, with a lot of memories and no more future, alive just because I have no choice and so in need of something good I whould accept it by anybody. I was waiting for the cyclocross race like for morphine: ah, let me dream a little! and not a dream I must pay with tears when I wake up... A good cycling race, thrilling, classy, breathtaking. Two hours away.
That was. That has been. And I must thank Lars Van der Haar who made it amazing again. I could write it less personal, I know. But why should I? It has been a great race FOR ME. I forgot my darkness till when it lasted and it was all painted orange for that time. Allez!
Van der Haar repeated his aggresive start, showed once again he's able to spin faster than all the rest of the bunch. He spins faster, using a shorter gear, dancing on his pedals and putting the weight in front. He's good in taking corners, better than many others, he's strong on carring his bike atop climbs and stairs, he has got no fear in descending and all the guts you need to go away with Pauwels or Albert or Nys and to keep attaking them till the end. He has got a huge talent and also a lucky star: today he was in the front group again when Albert first and then Pauwels got a mechanic trouble. Albert was able to come back and fight, Pauwels couldn't. Sven Nys left the party and took another solid solo win. Van der Haar never got dropped, even when atop a climb he almost fell and had to stop. In the last laps he was glued to Albert's wheel, they chased Nys together improving the gap to Aernouts and Pauwels. It was amazing to see the young Dutch in the wake of the World Champion: focused, intent and strong. At the last lap though Albert opened the gas and left him behinde. When he turned back crossing the line he looked stunned to see Van der Haar sprinting not so far from him. That's class.
Without Pauwels's mechanica podium place would have been harder for Van der Haar but it has been not a gift: he well deserved it. And even without it his race would have been great. I got impressed by his coolness: before the start he looked so younger amongh the others, on the podium and after, interviwed, he didn't seem particularly moved. He's a World Champion, that's true, but still he's born in the 1991: Sven Nys in 1976, Niels Albert in 1986, Bart Aernouts in 1982, Kevin Pauwels in 1984, just to give you an idea.
He's on twitter if you want to follow him. He's profile picture is really cool, because you don't see everyday two World Champions at once! Lars Van der Haar girlfriend in fact is Lucy Garner :)
1 Sven Nys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-KDL 1:01:36
2 Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus 0:00:18
3 Lars van der Haar (Ned) Rabobank-Giant Off-Road Team 0:00:19
4 Bart Aernouts (Bel) AA Drink Cyclocross Team 0:00:35
5 Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Sunweb-Revor
6 Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Revor 0:01:02
7 Marcel Meisen (Ger) BKCP - Powerplus
8 Radomir Simunek (Cze) BKCP - Powerplus
9 Rob Peeters (Bel) Telenet - Fidea
10 Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus 0:01:09


Paint it, black

I see a red door and I want it painted black
No colors anymore I want them to turn black
I see the girls walk by dressed in their summer clothes
I have to turn my head until my darkness goes

I see a line of cars and they're all painted black

With flowers and my love, both never to come back
I see people turn their heads and quickly look away
Like a newborn baby it just happens ev'ryday

I look inside myself and see my heart is black

I see my red door and it has been painted black
Maybe then I'll fade away and not have to face the facts
It's not easy facing up when your whole world is black

No more will my green sea go turn a deeper blue
I could not forsee this thing happening to you
If I look hard enough into the setting sun
My love will laugh with me before the morning comes

I see a red door and I want it painted black

No colors anymore I want them to turn black
I see the girls walk by dressed in their summer clothes
I have to turn my head until my darkness goes

Hmm, hmm, hmm...

I wanna see it painted black, painted black

Black as night, black as coal
I wanna see the sun, blotted out from the sky
I wanna see it painted, painted, painted, painted black

Hmm, hmm, hmm...

                        The Rolling Stones 

Lyrics from: http://www.lyricsfreak.com/r/rolling+stones/paint+it+black_20117875.html 



I know what you are thinking now. I guess I know. But I found it and couldn't resist :) It's from here:
http://www.bikeoman.com/rides/too20120218.html so Tour of Oman 2012. Enjoy! (I did).