Leopard's press release about Frank Schleck

The Management of Leopard S.A. has taken note of the verdict of the CDD (Conseil de Discipline contre le Dopage) in the case of Fränk Schleck's positive test for xipamide during the 2012 Tour de France. 
Leopard S.A. is content that the anti-doping authorities have now reached a verdict, but will not make any further declarations about the case until it has studied the argumentation of the CDD more closely.

ALAD: 1 year bann to Frank Schleck

The ALAD's president just read the sentence and RTL showed it live. 1 year since the 14th of July. It's a lot. It means no Tour de France 2013 for Frank. In  my opinion it's to much and he can a revision to the CAS but I'm not sure he will. 
Not a good news. However sentences must be respected.
Frank and his legal talked to the press too. Frank - only in Luxembourgish - repeated he's clean and thanked his family and fans for the support they showed in this long painful waiting. His legal said that according to its document the ALAD accepted the contamination thesis and so the sentenced seems very strict. They will read it all and decide what to do. Frank looked of course very sad. 
ALAD's sentence is here:

RadioShack Leopard Trek's bikes for 2013 including new Dura-Ace Di2


Tour Méditérranéen 2013 route and more

Kuala Lampur----->Amsterdam---->home(s) According to Jens Voigt that has been the way back from Australia. Riders are probably sleepy now and it will take a little to get over the jet lag but Andy Schleck's busy schedule has Tour Med signed as the next race: only a week to recover and get fit again. A week to make the point mentally: to understand what doesn't work yet and how to deal with it. Not alone of course.
A rider's problem is his team's problem and they have the right professionalities there to detect and fix it. A professional rider has to listen to his team's staff but the opposite is also true. Problems can be hard to fix when you don't consider them in the large context of an athlete's life. Then he must work. That's on him. And 'to work' involves not only to train but also to rest, to diet, to focus, to trust, to be flexible to changement and hard in enduring the effort. 
I don't write that just about Andy. That's how it works in general. In evrybody's life. Top athletes have got the luck their well-working is worth of money and so a professional staff is payed to look after them. Normal people must look after themself. I think it's harder but in a way it's easier: you have nothing to explain anybody. You can also decide to give up and nobody notice. They must respond to lots of people: their team, their mates, their fans, the press. I'm always scared by 'fans' cruelty and superficiality. They talk as if athletes were characters in a film not human beings with feelings. Often press and fans show unrealistic expectations and judge athletes' performances according to that. That's why top athletes should have a good PR....
Anyway, Tour Med isn't a hard race but some stages are hard and level improved costantly in the last years. Can Andy's shape improve in six days? can he be better than in Australia next week? I don't think so. He can improve during the race, racing obstinately and focusing on his improving, adequately supported by his team not in order to get a result but in order to get THAT result: a decent shape to afford his next races. Tirreno-Adriatico IS a hard race and it's close. 
I am not worried - or scared. To be worried is useless. Andy and his team fixed a schedule, they are working together to respect it and I hope it will not change. But they must be serious about it. Both of them. In this moment Andy's shape isn't enough for an elite rider. No panic but they must consider, misure the time it will take to bring him back to a basic elite level. It makes no sense to send people to races they can't afford. It isn't useless: it's negative.
Finally, tomorrow the ALAD is going to decide about Frank Schleck and I'm sure that sentence will affect Andy's season. Just the fact to have a sentence will help him to focus on his riding, no doubt. I think it will be a short bann and they will be able to think together of their way back to the Tour de France. Meanwhile it's better to keep a respectful silence.
Tour of Med is since the 6th of February till the 10th, 667km from Limoux to Grasse (South France).
You can find the start list here:
As far as RSLT is concerned, that's the roster so far:
Maps' source:
 Stage 1 Limoux › Gruissan, 141km

Stage 2 Cap d\'Agde › Sete (Mont Saint Claire), 24km (ITT)

Stage 3 Marseille l\'Estaque › Saint Remy de Provence, 158.5km

Stage 4 Rousset › Toulon (Mont Faron), 151km

Stage 5  Bandol › Grasse, 167km

Routing: BuddyMulligan


Tirreno-Adriatico 2013 route

Embedded image permalink Source http://www.procyclingstats.com/race.php?id=116765&c=2&sc=3
1 San Vincenzo-Donoratico (TTT)
2 San Vincenzo- Indicatore (AR)
3 Indicatore - Narni Scalo
4 Narni-Prati di Tivo
5 Ortona - Chieti
6 Port San'Elpidio - Porto Sant'Elpidio
7 San Beneddetto del Tronto - San Benedetto del Tronto (ITT)

Since 3/7 to 3/12

In short: Jens Voigt about TDU and Andy Schleck

There is an article here:
In short:

1.Uneasy: "I think he just felt uneasy about it and he probably doesn't want to answer questions that I answer now. It is understandable, but then again he should just face it and say 'I'm still working on it, I don't have it yet'."
2. On the right track: "It's been good here, we've had some good talks. He needed a little pep talk and one time I also gave him a little 'kick' talk. I have seen him getting better day-by-day."
3. Learning: "He's a very good rider and normally when he suffers, it's for a really good result. Here, he just suffers for survival, so that's new for him. But maybe that's a lesson he learns for life. Afterwards he thinks, 'I know what it's like to be down there and I never want to go back there, so I'd better spice up my game and make sure I stay up there'. It's the same amount of pain he's having now to stay in the peloton that he probably has in July, trying to win something big."

I'm glad there is Jens Voigt down there.

TSL: final results (and exults)

Androni's rider Mattia Gavazzi exults: a beautiful victory after a long bann. I push back any nasty comments: lets move on. Savio's team is the living proof a second chance is possible and fair. Moreover because Gavazzi had tested positive for cocaine not epo. 
"In the first few days I was feeling well but I didn't have the sensations you need in the finale and I wasn't sure where to position myself for wins" said Gavazzi. "There was so much emotion at the finish though, and seeing Savio crying was very emotional. I knew I could come back to this level, though, and I hope this is the start of things to come. The level of the opposition is so high here. When I crossed the line I called my father and this is for him, my family and especially my nephew. Before I came to the race he asked me to come here and win."
Diaz exults: he won. His team has been unbelivable. I spent a relatively long time searching a picture of the best young rider of this race: Alejandro Sivori. But I couldn't... :P
1 Mattia Gavazzi (Ita) Androni Giocattoli 3:25:48
2 Peter Sagan (Svk) Cannondale Pro Cycling
3 Francisco Jose Ventoso (Spa) Movistar Team
4 Maximiliano Richeze (Arg) Lampre-Merida
5 Bartiomiej Matysiak (Pol) CCC Polsat Polkowice
6 Juan Jose Haedo (Arg) Jamis-Hagens Berman
7 Sacha Modolo (Ita) Bardiani Valvole-CSF Inox
8 Manuel Belletti (Ita) Ag2R La Mondiale
9 Sebastian Tolosa (Arg) Buenos Aires Provincia
10 Jens Debusschere (Bel) Lotto Belisol
1 Daniel Diaz (Arg) San Luis Somos Todos 24:03:16
2 Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team 0:00:33
3 Alex Diniz (Bra) Funvic Brasilinvest 0:00:39
4 Alberto Contador (Spa) Team Saxo-Tinkoff 0:01:02
5 Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Lotto Belisol 0:01:47
6 Mauro Santambrogio (Ita) Vini Fantini-Selle Italia 0:02:29
7 Miguel Angel Rubiano (Col) Androni Giocattoli 0:02:34
8 Javier Acevedo (Col) Jamis-Hagens Berman 0:03:00
9 Bart De Clercq (Bel) Lotto Belisol 0:03:14
10 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:03:17
11 Arnold Alcolea (Cub) Cuba 0:03:25
12 Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Omega Pharma-Quick Step 0:03:32
13 Matteo Montaguti (Ita) Ag2R La Mondiale 0:04:08
14 Diego Ulissi (Ita) Lampre-Merida 0:04:12
15 Andre Cardoso (Por) Caja Rural 0:04:20
16 Philip Deignan (Irl) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team 0:04:30
17 Cayetano Jose Sarmiento (Col) Cannondale Pro Cycling 0:04:36
18 Joao Mendes (Por) Team NetApp-Endura 0:04:56
19 Jesus Herrada (Spa) Movistar Team 0:05:16
20 Mathias Frank (Swi) BMC Racing Team 0:06:17
1 Emmanuel Guevara (Arg) San Luis Somos Todos
1 Leandro Messineo (Arg) San Luis Somos Todos
1 Alejandro Sivori (Arg) Argentina
1 BMC Racing Team


TDU: Andy updated

"After a tough injury last year, the Santos Tour Down Under marked a return to racing for Andy Schleck.  On Saturday night he was a guest at the Legend’s Dinner.  Asked if he enjoyed himself, Andy said, “I was fun to do something different.  I’ve been here for two weeks, so it was good to do something other than be in the hotel every night.  It was a great night that I will remember.  I hope to come back again next year.  I have great memories of the Tour Down Under and I hope to be here again next time.”Azevedo kept a close eye on Schleck’s performance all week:  “Andy made progress this week too,” said Azevedo.  “His condition improved and I think he’s doing fine.  He had bad luck with a mechanical problem today and he couldn’t come back to the group, but he’s on the right track and his will be on track to meet his goals.” "
To be exact Andy got a badtimed flat tyre and how you can see didn't take part to Radioshack's winning team presentation. He abandoned the stage and rode back to the hotel. I can understand but it doesn't seem so good.... Good luck and don't give up. I know he isn't going to give up.  
Look here:

TDU: scrape and scratch

Embedded image permalink
The only 'climb' of the day..
Playing with names. Playing seriously because The Secret of the Name is the name of a book by  Derrida I specially love. Well knowing names and plays are different in different languages and culture. 
In Italian GREIPEL sounds very HARSH, it sounds exactly like a scratch on a vinyl disk. I wonder - because I don't know - if André Greipel is as good as on the road on a scratch track...  
Fascinating chain of links. I wonder about Greipel's chain in those wonderful sprints. I'm not an expert about gears but here we call 'padellone' the bigger one, long, heavy, scaring, meters-devouring. How many meters in how many seconds did he devour this time? For sure he devoured already 100 wins. Bon apetit! but given that 'petit' means also 'small'... for Greipel you should say it's a BIG GOOD meal after such a binge! and very very few is left for all the rest of the bunch of sprinters.
Flashing back: a break had broken. It included Laurent Didier (LUX) - RLT, Frantisek Rabon (CZE) - OPQ, Juraj Sagan (SVK) - CAN and Calvin Watson (AUS) - UNA. Andy Schleck instead had a broken bike... and to change it, sure.  40 km to go the bunch was complete and completely devoted to the sprint. 18 km to go Kohler, Kerby and Kadri went away showing the jersey in the crowed screaming circuit while all LottoBelisol were pulling in front, the Big Gorilla waiting and sweating on his superfast train. Then there was a crash and also Cantwell went down. Up to the finish: Greipel won. Slagter won too: the overall.   
"Very proud" Greipel said "to have the guys supporting me to get the 100th win. Thanks guys for making me looking good! appreciated". With that harsh smile on his face. You can see when André Greipel apreciates! Great race!
RESULTS: Only basic so far! still waiting for more :)
1 André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Belisol 1:52:59  
2 Mark Renshaw (Aus) Blanco Pro Cycling Team    
3 Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Sky Procycling    
4 Matthew Harley Goss (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge    
5 Tyler Farrar (USA) Garmin-Sharp    
6 Geraint Thomas (GBr) Sky Procycling    
7 Klaas Lodewyck (Bel) BMC Racing Team    
8 Barry Markus (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team    
9 Yauheni Hutarovich (Blr) AG2R La Mondiale    
10 Kenny Robert van Hummel (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team    
11 Jose Joaquin Rojas Gil (Spa) Movistar Team    
12 Andrew Fenn (GBr) Omega Pharma-Quick Step    
13 Christopher Sutton (Aus) Sky Procycling    
14 Tom Jelte Slagter (Ned) Blanco Pro Cycling Team    
15 Roberto Ferrari (Ita) Lampre-Merida


DNF Andy Schleck (Lux) RadioShack Leopard
1 Tom Jelte Slagter (Ned) Blanco Pro Cycling Team 18:28:32  
2 Javier Moreno Bazan (Spa) Movistar Team 0:00:17  
3 Geraint Thomas (GBr) Sky Procycling 0:00:25  
4 Jon Izaguirre Insausti (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 0:00:32  
5 Ben Hermans (Bel) RadioShack Leopard 0:00:34  
6 Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Blanco Pro Cycling Team    
7 Gorka Izaguirre Insausti (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 0:00:36  
8 Daniele Pietropolli (Ita) Lampre-Merida    
9 Tiago Machado (Por) RadioShack Leopard 0:00:38  
10 Jussi Veikkanen (Fin) FDJ 0:00:41  

 1 Javier Moreno Bazan (Spa) Movistar Team
1 Geraint Thomas (GBr) Sky Procycling
1 Tom Jelte Slagter (Ned) Blanco Pro Cycling Team 18:28:32  
2 Jon Izaguirre Insausti (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 0:00:32  
3 Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Blanco Pro Cycling Team 0:00:34  
4 Kenny Elissonde (Fra) FDJ 0:00:54  
5 George Bennett (NZl) RadioShack Leopard 0:01:02  

TSL: And a BANG! on the Ear

That's a song by The Waterboys and one of my favourites ever: I want to dedicate it to Alberto Contador who BANGED in San Luis according to his pistolero's nickname. Great win! and finally because the previous stages left me a little 'MHM?!' 
"Today's race was like a Tour de France stage!" Marc Cavendish said "So so fast! It was so hot, we took a bath in a fountain at the finish. No photos. I'm too fat." Everybody's fat down there but everybody's flying it seems. Anyway in Tour de France's stage is fair to see Alberto Contador attacking. 
Earlier there was a break including De Maar, Finetto, Malori, Weening and Rosa - a little dropped - then the race reached the final climb of the day, the Mirador del sol (7 km, 8,75% average) and there, 3 km to go, a big BANG! Contador solo! Diaz bridged! A thrilling duel at the last km. A thrilling sprint uphill. BANG BANG! Stage to Contador, jersey to Diaz. Well done both of them.
Contador said: “I'm especially happy on behalf of the team who has worked very hard for me – not only today but for several stages. To have these guys by my side is pure luxury. Actually, I wanted to win because every day at dinner, my teammates were joking and saying that they have been working for nothing and I've been telling them to just wait and see and today, I gave something back to them.” 
van Garderen didn't improve but worsened his position: now he's 33'' down... I think I lost my bet :P
1 Alberto Contador (Spa) Team Saxo-Tinkoff 3:47:34  
2 Daniel Diaz (Arg) San Luis Somos Todos 0:00:02  
3 Alex Diniz (Bra) Funvic Brasilinvest    
4 Arnold Alcolea (Cub) Cuba 0:00:14  
5 Mauro Santambrogio (Ita) Vini Fantini-Selle Italia    
6 Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team 0:00:18  
7 Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:00:25  
8 Matteo Montaguti (Ita) Ag2R La Mondiale 0:00:30  
9 Joao Mendes (Por) Team NetApp-Endura 0:00:34  
10 Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Lotto Belisol 0:00:42  
11 Javier Acevedo (Col) Jamis-Hagens Berman    
12 Bart De Clercq (Bel) Lotto Belisol    
13 Daniel Moreno (Spa) Katusha Team 0:00:49  
14 Miguel Angel Rubiano (Col) Androni Giocattoli    
15 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:01:05  

1 Daniel Diaz (Arg) San Luis Somos Todos 20:37:28  
2 Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team 0:00:33  
3 Alex Diniz (Bra) Funvic Brasilinvest 0:00:39  
4 Alberto Contador (Spa) Team Saxo-Tinkoff 0:01:02  
5 Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Lotto Belisol 0:01:47  
6 Mauro Santambrogio (Ita) Vini Fantini-Selle Italia 0:02:29  
7 Miguel Angel Rubiano (Col) Androni Giocattoli 0:02:34  
8 Javier Acevedo (Col) Jamis-Hagens Berman 0:03:00  
9 Bart De Clercq (Bel) Lotto Belisol 0:03:14  
10 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:03:17  
11 Arnold Alcolea (Cub) Cuba 0:03:25  
12 Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Omega Pharma-Quick Step 0:03:32  
13 Matteo Montaguti (Ita) Ag2R La Mondiale 0:04:08  
14 Diego Ulissi (Ita) Lampre-Merida 0:04:12  
15 Andre Cardoso (Por) Caja Rural 0:04:20  
 1 Leandro Messineo (Arg) San Luis Somos Todos
1 Emmanuel Guevara (Arg) San Luis Somos Todos
 1 Alejandro Sivori (Arg) Argentina
1 BMC Racing Team


SanLuis Sandwich

Embedded image permalinkMhm... "I thought that if we stayed in the group we'd work and catch Diaz but that gamble didn't quite pay off because he stayed away." van Garderen said "I'm surprised because we were rolling through with a group of five, but they're the local team so they're motivated." Mhm... "I've been working with a psychologist," Guevara said "That's been the most important part of my progress. I've had 15 days of racing so far this year, too." I'm suprised too...even perplexed. Only with a psychologist did he worked? or maybe we are simply racist and can't believe a latino won clean his homeland race? Brasilian Diniz and Argentinian Guevara put my bet in a latin sandwich while Kwiatkowski is now 9th overall... Mhm...! "We went full gas at the start of the climb," Contador said "I went with Danny Diaz but I quickly said, hey Alberto, you don't feel good, you need to go slower. I waited for van Garderen and we worked together." Mhm...!
Sometimes the break stays away, sometimes the group fails to misure the chase's pace. This time however it all looks a little weird. On today Gazzetta there was a very hard article... Too hard maybe. You should be sure before you go so hard. Lets see next days - moths? years? - doping results...  
So far my bet is 17'' down: allez Tejay! you can still do it! ...or sony? Mhm...!

1 Emmanuel Guevara (Arg) San Luis Somos Todos 4:17:48  
2 Daniel Diaz (Arg) San Luis Somos Todos 0:00:15  
3 Miguel Angel Rubiano (Col) Androni Giocattoli 0:01:17  
4 Arnold Alcolea (Cub) Cuba    
5 Javier Acevedo (Col) Jamis-Hagens Berman 0:01:21  
6 Alberto Contador (Spa) Team Saxo-Tinkoff    
7 Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team    
8 Alex Diniz (Bra) Funvic Brasilinvest    
9 Mauro Santambrogio (Ita) Vini Fantini-Selle Italia 0:01:41  
10 Matteo Montaguti (Ita) Ag2R La Mondiale 0:01:42  
11 Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Lotto Belisol    
12 Andre Cardoso (Por) Caja Rural    
13 Philip Deignan (Irl) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team 0:01:48  
14 Cayetano Jose Sarmiento (Col) Cannondale Pro Cycling 0:01:59  
15 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Pro Team    
1 Daniel Diaz (Arg) San Luis Somos Todos 16:49:52  
2 Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team 0:00:17  
3 Alex Diniz (Bra) Funvic Brasilinvest 0:00:39  
4 Alberto Contador (Spa) Team Saxo-Tinkoff 0:01:04  
5 Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Lotto Belisol 0:01:07  
6 Miguel Angel Rubiano (Col) Androni Giocattoli 0:01:47  
7 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:02:14  
8 Mauro Santambrogio (Ita) Vini Fantini-Selle Italia 0:02:17  
9 Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Omega Pharma-Quick Step 0:02:19  
10 Javier Acevedo (Col) Jamis-Hagens Berman 0:02:20  

TDU: Old Wilunga has never been so young! ...and more

...because SLAGTER did it again, a even bigger SLAM: it's the BIG door this time. Gerrans won the hardest stage on the most famous climb of Australia but Slagter grabbed the most important jersey and it seems he's going to keep it. I hope so.
It didn't work instead for RSLT but you can't say it went too bad. Ben Hermans said: “I am happy to be on the podium but would have preferred to take fifth or sixth and instead see Tiago or George win the GC.  I think the main problem for us was the headwind on the climb and perhaps we went a little too early.  But once Tiago was caught I just had to follow and keep my position.  Attacking was not an option for me. But  I am feeling very good this year and I’m hoping to do more of the same in the next few months.  Then I’ll be a happy person.” They are going to win again the Best Team Classification. I hope so.
Etappe 5: McLaren Vale - Old Willunga Hill
Pic http://www.wielerupdate.nl
Hard day again for Andy Schleck but he's still in the race and that's great. He's going to end his first race since.... ehm... I forgot when. But he knows for sure. He's going to end it :) I hope so!
Hopefully I'm going to many beautiful days like this one: we woke up late, it was a splendid cold sunny morning here. I expected it to be because last night it was serene and Cassiopea was shining in the perfect dark of the sky.  
We went to the swimmingpool: training for Liv and 'hydrobike' course for me. We ate a salad at the club's cafeteria, then went to the headquarter of Team Aquila, full of cups, awards and champions' pictures - "Daniel Oss' Day" a big banner says. Finally we drove to San Donato in collina - where my country house is - and bought some frittelle di riso
There was the snow on the mountain in front of us, a splendid landscape and I'd have liked to go there, walking in Secchieta or on the Pratomagno. Unfortunately we had to go home instead: Liv has to do his homework... But it's true that the sun makes everythings happier :)

1 Simon Gerrans (Aus) Orica GreenEdge 3:36:25
2 Tom Jelte Slagter (Ned) Blanco
3 Javier Moreno Bazan (Spa) Movistar 0:00:10
4 Ion Izagirre (Spa) Euskaltel Euskadi 0:00:12
5 Tiago Machado (Por) Radioshack Leopard 0:00:13
6 Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Blanco 0:00:16
7 Gorka Izagirre (Spa) Euskaltel Euskadi
8 Rafael Valls Ferri (Spa) Vacansoleil-DCM
9 Daniele Pietropolli (Ita) Lampre-Merida
10 Ben Hermans (Bel) Radioshack Leopard
 03 Andy Schleck (Lux) Radioshack Leopard   0:12:49 
1 Tom Jelte Slagter (Ned) Blanco 16:35:33
2 Javier Moreno Bazan (Spa) Movistar 0:00:13
3 Ben Hermans (Bel) Radioshack Leopard 0:00:25
4 Ion Izagirre (Spa) Euskaltel Euskadi 0:00:28
5 Geraint Thomas (GBr) Sky Procycling 0:00:29
6 Tiago Machado (Por) Radioshack Leopard
7 Gorka Izagirre (Spa) Euskaltel Euskadi 0:00:32
8 Daniele Pietropolli (Ita) Lampre-Merida
9 Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Blanco
10 Jussi Veikkanen (Fin) FDJ 0:00:37
11 Jack Bauer (NZl) Garmin Sharp 0:00:41
12 Kenny Elissonde (Fra) FDJ 0:00:45
13 George Bennett (NZl) Radioshack Leopard 0:00:48
14 Rafael Valls Ferri (Spa) Vacansoleil-DCM 0:00:49
15 Adam Hansen (Aus) Lotto Belisol 0:00:54
116 Martin Kohler (Swi) BMC 0:32:01
127 Andy Schleck (Lux) Radioshack Leopard 0:39:29
 1 Tom Jelte Slagter (Ned) Blanco
 1 Javier Moreno Bazan (Spa) Movistar
1 Tom Jelte Slagter (Ned) Blanco 16:35:33
2 Ion Izagirre (Spa) Euskaltel Euskadi 0:00:28
3 Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Blanco 0:00:32
4 Kenny Elissonde (Fra) FDJ 0:00:45
5 George Bennett (NZl) Radioshack Leopard 0:00:48
1 Radioshack Leopard

Pics from the other side(s) of the word

Tom Slagter celebrates in Tour Down Under. Diego Ulissi crashes in Tour de San Luis. More later!

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In short: TDU, Andy said...

There is an interview here:
In short:
1. To the front: "Why should it always be Jens [Voigt] that is riding [on the front]?" Schleck had told his RadioShack Leopard teammates during the pre-stage meeting. "I can ride as well. Riding in the front in the wind, suffering; that is what makes my shape better and stronger so that's the main goal. I won't hesitate the next day to do the same. I like it. I ride in the front and of course it hurts. Sometimes when I am really hurting, I hope that the guys behind are hurting also. I like to do it and I'm really, really happy to be back in the bunch again in the peloton. It's something different when you can do something like I did today."
2. Terrible Beijin:  "Beijing was hard because I knew that I'd go back there and I probably had better shape when I was a junior than when I went to Beijing. It was terrible but I went there because I want to race. It was not a good idea I found out after three days but still I finished the stage and I was happy. The positive thing about it was that it was the kick off for my new season again. To come here, mentally it was easy, really easy. I was counting the days to come here. Beijing was really different..."
3. Not overtrained: "I think I have pretty wide shoulders on that kind of [thing]. I am not afraid of that. People ask me, 'You might be over trained?' I don't know one guy who is over trained. For me it's a myth so.."
4. Happy: "I am definitely going to improve. The best age of a cyclist is between 28 and 32. That is what they say. I hope I am not an exception, or I'm not different. But it's also kind of ... cycling is mentally a really hard sport. My last year, 2012, made me mentally a lot stronger because I realised it is really, really what I want to do - it is winning bike races. Mentally I have no doubt ... it was not good last year. I'm still recovering to come back and be good and be in front in the final of a race. That will come. But I am happy to be here and have a bike number on my jersey and compete."
5.Realistic:  "For me now I can tell you 100 names I have to beat first! Wait I was 89th today [Wednesday] so 98 now! I go with of course big ambitions into the season but I know it's going to be a bumpy road until I am where I want to be because it's not easy, you cannot build up shape in three months, it's simply not possible. Maybe some say so but no, if you ask me, not."
6. Geting used again: "I am a little, I won't say scared, but I think it's also normal because you have to get used to riding in the peloton again. I rode in Beijing but that was more like behind the peloton than in the peloton so ... it worries me a little bit, honestly but it just takes time."

TDU: carnage

Embedded image permalinkThat's the word everybody use. 
Greg Henderson said: 
"Beautiful. Again it looks easy but there is so much carnage to get all 5 together @ 2k to go. 100% team effort. ."  
Greipel took another victory but before there was another break (Howson and Gilbert caught, 7k to go) and moreover another awful crash. 'Crashes' better, more than one. Impey got injuried, not sure if he's going on. 
RSLT decided to stay safe: “It was another dangerous final today” said Jens Voigt. “At 10km we had crosswinds and a fast tail wind so it was super fast.  Everyone felt fresh and felt like a world champion today so everyone was trying for the sprint.  Some were changing from the left and then the right and it was sketchy.  It’s been a long time since I felt terrified to be in a sprint, but today was very dangerous and fast.”
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Impey's bike after the crash
Tomorrow though is another story:  “Tomorrow is the big stage, the one that will decide the race." DS Acevedo said "We have three riders that are in good position and I’m confident we have a very good chance to win this race.  We started with ambitions for this race and it’s no secret that we will try to win.  We have several cards to play so with going two times up Willunga Hill we will try something.  The last time will be important and will decide the race.  I trust in our riders and their abilities to win the race.”  
Tomorrow is Old Willunga's day... 

1 André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Belisol 3:02:52  
2 Roberto Ferrari (Ita) Lampre-Merida    
3 Jonathan Cantwell (Aus) Saxo-Tinkoff    
4 Andrew Fenn (GBr) Omega Pharma-Quick-Step    
5 Barry Markus (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM    
6 Marcel Kittel (Ger) Argos-Shimano    
7 Mark Renshaw (Aus) Blanco    
8 Kenny Van Hummel (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM    
9 Arnaud Demare (Fra) FDJ    
10 Klaas Lodewyck (Bel) BMC    
11 Mikael Cherel (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale    
12 Andrea Guardini (Ita) Astana
108 Andy Schleck (Lux) Radioshack Leopard  0.02.03
1 Geraint Thomas (GBr) Sky Procycling 12:59:09  
2 Tom Jelte Slagter (Ned) Blanco 0:00:05  
3 Javier Moreno Bazan (Spa) Movistar 0:00:06  
4 Ben Hermans (Bel) Radioshack Leopard 0:00:08  
5 Gorka Izagirre (Spa) Euskaltel Euskadi 0:00:15  
6 Ion Izagirre (Spa) Euskaltel Euskadi    
7 Jack Bauer (NZl) Garmin Sharp    
8 Tiago Machado (Por) Radioshack Leopard    
9 Adam Hansen (Aus) Lotto Belisol    
10 George Bennett (NZl) Radioshack Leopard
126 Andy Schleck (Lux) Radioshack Leopard 0:26:39  
1 André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Belisol 30  pts
2 Geraint Thomas (GBr) Sky Procycling 29  
3 Philippe Gilbert (Bel) BMC

1 Jack Bobridge (Aus) Blanco 20  pts
2 Geraint Thomas (GBr) Sky Procycling 16  
3 Javier Moreno Bazan (Spa) Movistar
1Tom Jelte Slagter (Ned) Blanco

1 Radioshack Leopard 38:58:09  
2 Movistar 0:01:22  
3 Lotto Belisol 0:01:52

TT-Tuft: San Luis' locomotive

Tuft-Tuft! tuft-tuft! it sounds like a chouf-choufing chuffed train: Tour of San Luis' Locomotive. "I forget every year how hard it is. I think that’s what allows me to keep doing it.” Svein Tuft said. He just won the ITT and it hurts, in joy and pain. He's the winner. The loser is Alberto Contador: "La cronos en enero tenian que estar prohibidas:-):):)Vaya calenton!;-) ": only 13th. Ok, he had told us how fat he is. Few years ago ITT in January weren't a problem anyway... and they are not for Vincenzo Nibali: 4th. I expected something more by Tejay van Garderen (only 7th) and something worse by Jurgen Van Den Broeck(10th). I'm delighted with Malori 5th and Silin 24th (he keeps his 11th place in GC). Diniz trashed nobody but is still 4th overall. The leader is Michal Kwiatkowski, 3th in the ITT: that's a surprise
And Tuft sounds surprised too, listen how he did it: “This time of year, I’m not always sure what I’m going to get. I’ve had good feelings, but I was a little surprised at how hard it felt when I was out there. I forget every year how hard it is. I think that’s what allows me to keep doing it. I did a lot of strength and endurance in the off season. Working with Quod has been really good. It’s probably been one of the better winters for me. I’ve focused on things that I don’t normally work. We kept the training really simple and I think that helped. Another fortunate thing is that I came down early to Argentina. I was able to adjust to the heat and riding in the local climate. That’s definitely been to my benefit. The non-technical course suited me. It was a wide open highway-type course. It included two roundabouts and a couple corners. That’s it. It was really simple in that sense. The wind was a bit difficult going out, and the downhill sections were super fast. It’s definitely a course made for me. The sections with the gradient were tough. I had to really put myself out there without going too far into the red too early. It was definitely important not to lose any time on the way out. I pushed hard and recovered where I could with the momentum I had already built. I think that really paid off for me. There are strong guys here, and I had to give it everything I had. I look to take advantage of every opportunity to time trial. There’s never any guarantee of good form, so when I have it, I’m ready to make the most of it. Tour de San Luis is a really great race to start out the year. It’s not super high stress, but it is super high quality. Everyone is here to race their bikes. For January, it’s a really good race. I’m glad the team decided to race here this year.”
My bet - van Garderen - is only 23'' down: I still believe he will bring home that jersey.
1 Svein Tuft (Can) Orica GreenEdge 0:22:14  
2 Leandro Messineo (Arg) San Luis Somos Todos 0:00:07  
3 Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Omega Pharma-Quick Step 0:00:11  
4 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:00:14  
5 Adriano Malori (Ita) Lampre-Merida 0:00:19  
6 Jorge Giacinti (Arg) San Luis Somos Todos 0:00:26  
7 Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team 0:00:33  
8 Eloy Teruel (Spa) Movistar Team 0:00:34  
9 Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Omega Pharma-Quick Step 0:00:47  
10 Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Lotto Belisol 0:00:52  
11 Jonathan Castroviejo (Spa) Movistar Team 0:00:54  
12 Alexander Wetternail (Swe) Team NetApp-Endura 0:00:55  
13 Alberto Contador (Spa) Team Saxo-Tinkoff 0:00:57  
14 Jean-Christophe Peraud (Fra) Ag2R La Mondiale 0:00:59  
15 Bart De Clercq (Bel) Lotto Belisol 0:01:04  
19 Diego Ulissi (Ita) Lampre-Merida 0:01:13  
24 Egor Silin (Rus) Astana Pro Team 0:01:24  
1 Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Omega Pharma-Quick Step 12:30:37  
2 Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team 0:00:23  
3 Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Lotto Belisol 0:00:42  
4 Alex Diniz (Bra) Funvic Brasilinvest 0:00:45  
5 Bart De Clercq (Bel) Lotto Belisol 0:00:54  
6 Alberto Contador (Spa) Team Saxo-Tinkoff 0:01:10  
7 Daniel Diaz (Arg) San Luis Somos Todos 0:01:12  
8 Diego Ulissi (Ita) Lampre-Merida    
9 Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Omega Pharma-Quick Step 0:01:24  
10 Jesus Herrada (Spa) Movistar Team    
11 Egor Silin (Rus) Astana Pro Team 0:01:37  
12 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:01:42  


Two pics from Australia and more

Pic by Margherita@MargaretB_47

Not a good day for Andy who lost again a lot of time. It's normal and he mustn't give up. Coming-backs are never easy, that is his first race and it's a hard one. For many riders TDU is an important goal so they came fit and the speed is high in the peloton, especially when there is an open finish like in the last stage. 
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Pic by norbs@norbsMot
Andy's goals here is to finish, to improve and to manage to stay in front. He finished, for sure is improving but can't stay in front yet. There is still many work to do. There is still the time to do it. I don't think he's worried but I am annoyed by some comments I already read around: be realistic dudes. And be human. Some comments make no sense and don't help at all.
In April we will have an idea of his real possibilities in 2013, not earlier. I believe they will be good but if they will be not ok, he's a man not a toy you throw away. Do you remember Gilbert last year? look the jersey he's wearing now.

Andy Schleck's bike 2013

Do you wonder what is he riding in TDU? have a look.
Pics are from here: http://www.cyclingtips.com.au/2013/01/bikes-of-the-peloton-2013-proteam-rides/ where you can find also other pros' bikes.
Radioshack-Leopard's Trek Madone equipped with Shimano Di2 and Bontrager wheels and components. This is Andy Schleck's 2012 bike, but the 2013 bikes won't be changing much except for running Dura Ace 11-speed.
Pic by http://www.cyclingtips.com
On RSLT site you can read: "The all-new Trek Madone 7 series is hand built in Waterloo Wi, USA utilizing exclusive OCLV 700 defense-grade HexSL carbon. The new super aero frame and tip-to-tail integration, including the integrated Shimano brakes, make the Madone an aerodynamic game changer. The team edition bike comes equipped with Shimano's new 9070 11-Speed Di2 electronic drivetrain.
Madone 7 Series is the road racing bike champions have dreamed of. The lightest. The fastest. Incredibly aero. Built by hand to win it all. Because fast is everything." As usal Andy is using a smaller frame - compared to his size - and a loger very low 'pipa' (the part that link the handlbar to the frame).
Find more about Madone here:
..included a nice pic of Frank Schleck.