Cyclocross World Championships Start List

February 1- 2 in Hoogerheide (NED)

Elite Men
1 Sven Nys (Belgium)    
2 Niels Albert (Belgium)    
3 Klaas Vantornout (Belgium)    
4 Kevin Pauwels (Belgium)    
5 Tom Meeusen (Belgium)    
6 Rob Peeters (Belgium)    
7X Bart Wellens (Belgium)    
8X Bart Aernouts (Belgium)    
9 Wietse Bosmans (Belgium)    
10 Julien Taramarcaz (Switzerland)    
11 Simon Zahner (Switzerland)    
12 Marcel Wildhaber (Switzerland)    
13 Arnaud Grand (Switzerland)    
14 Jeremy Powers (United States of America)    
15 Timothy Johnson (United States of America)    
16 Ryan Trebon (United States of America)    
17 Jonathan Page (United States of America)    
18 Zach McDonald (United States of America)    
19 Allen Krughoff (United States of America)    
20 Francis Mourey (France)    
21 Fabien Canal (France)    
22 Guillaume Perrot (France)    
23 Nicolas Bazin (France)    
24 Steve Chainel (France)    
25 Mike Garrigan (Canada)    
26 Aaron Schooler (Canada)    
27 Lars van der Haar (Netherlands)    
28 Thijs van Amerongen (Netherlands)    
29 Corne van Kessel (Netherlands)    
30 Thijs Al (Netherlands)    
31 Niels Wubben (Netherlands)    
32 Twan van den Brand (Netherlands)    
33 Eddy van Ijzendoorn (Netherlands)    
34X Patrick van Leeuwen (Netherlands)    
35X Micki van Empel (Netherlands)    
36 Martin Bina (Czech Republic)    
37 Radomir Simunek (Czech Republic)    
38 Ondrej Bambula (Czech Republic)    
39 Lubomir Petrus (Czech Republic)    
40 Zdenek Stybar (Czech Republic)    
41 Vladimir Kyzivat (Czech Republic)    
42 Philipp Walsleben (Germany)    
43 Marcel Meisen (Germany)    
44 Sascha Weber (Germany)    
45 Michael Schweizer (Germany)    
46 Enrico Franzoi (Italy)    
47 Elia Silvestri (Italy)    
48 Bryan Falaschi (Italy)    
49 Luca Braidot (Italy)    
50 Cristian Cominelli (Italy)    
51X Mirko Tabacchi (Italy)    
52X Thomas Paccagnella (Italy)    
53X Daniele Braidot (Italy)    
54 Javier Ruiz De Larrinaga Ibanez (Spain)    
55 Aitor Hernandez Gutierrez (Spain)    
56 Yu Takenouchi (Japan)    
57 Hikaru Kosaka (Japan)    
58 Ian Field (Great Britain)    
59 David Fletcher (Great Britain)    
60 Christian Helmig (Luxembourg)    
61 Martin Haring (Slovakia)    
62 Robert Gavenda (Slovakia)    
63 Vaclav Metlicka (Slovakia)    
64 Alexander Revell (New Zealand)    
65 Angus Edmond (New Zealand)    
66 Nick Both (Australia)    
67 David Quist (Norway)    
68 Morten Vaeng (Norway)    
69 Mariusz Gil (Poland)    
70 Kenneth Hansen (Denmark)    
71 Calle Friberg (Sweden)    
72 Magnus Darvell (Sweden)    
73 Martin Loo (Estonia)

Elite Women
1 Marianne Vos (Netherlands)    
2 Sabrina Stultiens (Netherlands)    
3 Sophie de Boer (Netherlands)    
4 Annefleur Kalvenhaar (Netherlands)    
5 Yara Kastelijn (Netherlands)    
6 Thalita de Jong (Netherlands)    
7X Reza Hormes (Netherlands)    
8 Katherine Compton (United States of America)    
9 Kaitlin Antonneau (United States of America)    
10 Elle Anderson (United States of America)    
11 Meredith Miller (United States of America)    
12 Crystal Anthony (United States of America)    
13 Arley Kemmerer (United States of America)    
14 Eva Lechner (Italy)    
15 Alice Maria Arzuffi (Italy)    
16 Francesca Cauz (Italy)    
17 Elena Valentini (Italy)    
18 Chiara Teocchi (Italy)    
19 Helen Wyman (Great Britain)    
20 Nikki Harris (Great Britain)    
21 Gabriella Durrin (Great Britain)    
22 Hannah Payton (Great Britain)    
23 Pavla Havlikova (Czech Republic)    
24 Martina Mikulaskova (Czech Republic)    
25 Martina Kukulova (Czech Republic)    
26 Lucie Chainel-Lefevre (France)    
27 Pauline Ferrand Prevot (France)    
28 Marlène Morel Petitgirard (France)    
29 Caroline Mani (France)    
30 Emeline Gaultier (France)    
31 Sanne Cant (Belgium)    
32 Ellen Van Loy (Belgium)    
33 Githa Michiels (Belgium)    
34 Loes Sels (Belgium)    
35 Ayako Toyooka (Japan)    
36 Hanka Kupfernagel (Germany)    
37 Jessica Lambracht (Germany)    
38 Elisabeth Brandau (Germany)    
39 Lisa Heckmann (Germany)    
40 Christine Majerus (Luxembourg)    
41 Margriet Helena Kloppenburg (Denmark)    
42 Asa Maria Erlandsson (Sweden)    
43 Aida Nuno Palacio (Spain)    
44 Rocio Martin Rodriguez (Spain)    
45 Lisa Jacobs (Australia)    
46 Melissa Anset (Australia)

Five Questions to... Manuel Belletti - Exclusive interview

A long time has passed since when I interviewed him for one of my first Yes We like - read it here:
http://allezandy.blogspot.it/2010/08/yes-we-like-manuel-belletti-exclusive.html  -
and Manuel Belletti isn't anymore a new entry in the peloton. He had turned pro with Androni in 2008 but his best years have been 2010 and 2011 with Colnago-CSF, when he won a stage in the Giro, the Coppa Bernocchi and a few other good races. 
In spite of the positive results, he had decided to change, aiming to join a World Tour team. Reverberi's team at that time looked too small for two talented sprinters like Belletti and Sacha Modolo. The last one went to Lampre this year while Belletti spent two years with the French team Ag2r, collecting a series of frustrating results, no victories and the feeling to be in the wrong place. This season he's back to Androni.
1. Manuel, you come from a difficult period and it's a bit a new start with Androni. How do you feel in the new team? and how did you end there?
Manuel: Yes, after two years not exactly happy with Ag2r I'm back where all had begun. It's a very good mileu and my choice has been immediate as well as their decision, because we trust each other.
2. Your goals for 2014? Giro?
Manuel: I don't have specific goals really... The only one is to be back rising my arms and I think that's the right milieu to get it. 
3. Tour de San Luis: did you enjoy it? how is racing in South America?
Manuel: That was the 3rd years I was racing in San Luis... That Tour has improved a lot and the contenders' level has nothing to envy to more important races... It's nice to race far from home in places  like Argentina where you find a lot of cycling fans and moreover hot temperatures in January - even too hot sometimes!
4. Sprinters' hierarchies are reshuffling, who are the top three ones in your opinion? and Manuel Belletti?
Manuel: I think Cavendish, Greipel and Kittel are still the best ones... I'm not at their level, that's sure, but it doesn't mean that I can't beat them sometimes.
5. But if you weren't a cyclist what would you like to be? 
Manuel: I have no idea... but for sure I'd like to stay in my dear Romagna running maybe an activity on my own.
Thank you Manuel and good luck for the rest of the season!

1. Vieni da un periodo un po' difficile e in Androni è un po' un nuovo inizio. Cosa non andava? Come ti trovi nella nuova squadra? e come l'hai scelta (o loro hanno scelto te)?
Manuel: Si dopo 2 anni non felicissimi alla Ag2r sono ritornato dove tutto era iniziato. L'ambiente è ottimo e la scelta è stata istantanea da parte di entrambe le parti grazie alla fiducia.
2. Obiettivi per il 2014? Giro?
Manuel: Obbiettivi veri e propri non ne ho... L'unico è quello di tornare ad alzare le braccia al cielo, e penso che questo sia l'ambiente giusto per farlo.
3. Tour de San Luis: ti è piaciuto? com'è correre in Sud America?
Manuel: Era gia il terzo anno che correvo a san luis... il giro è cresciuto davvero tanto e il livello di partecipanti non invidiava corse molto più importanti... è bello correre lontano da casa in posti come l'argentina dove trovi tanto tifo e soprattutto temperature calde (a volte troppo) a gennaio.
4.Le gerarchie degli sprinter si stanno rimescolando, secondo te in questo momento chi sono i migliori 3? e Manuel Belletti come si piazza?
Manuel: Penso che i tre migliori restino senza dubbio Cavendish, Greipel e Kittel.... Io non sono al loro livello sicuramente, ma questo non significa che ogni tanto non si possano battere.
5. Ma se tu non fossi un corridore, cosa ti piacerebbe essere?
Manuel: Non saprei... ma sicuramente resterei legato alla mia amata Romagna, magari gestendo una mia attività.


Tour de France wildcards

...go to Bretagne – Séché Environnement (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Crédits (Fra) IAM Cycling (Sui) and Team NetApp – Endura. Interesting choice! French teams of course, then IAM (with S. Chavanel) and Endura (maybe because it's the option closest to an English continental team...).
No Qhubeka. La Vuelta maybe?

'We are #Greenteam': a vid (Italian)

Dubai Tour lists big names

Ad the start...but with Lampre
There is a new race, you know. Since  2/5th to 2/8th. I'm usually sceptical about 'the globalization of cycling' but I must admit that Qatar and Oman did a good job in the last years (money help a lot) and their short tour have already conquered a place in the top riders' schedule. Sprinters go for victories, climbers especially to refine their preparation (in Oman), lets see what kind of race Dubai will be. Names in the list assure the show:

- LAMPRE – MERIDA: Rui Alberto Faria Da Costa (POR), Filippo Pozzato (ITA)
- ASTANA PRO TEAM: Vincenzo Nibali (ITA), Janez Brajkovic (SLO)
- BANCO BIC – CARMIM: Manuel Antunes Amaro (POR), Henrique Casimiro (POR)
- BMC RACING TEAM: Thor Hushovd (NOR), Taylor Phinney (USA)
- CANNONDALE: Peter Sagan (SVK), Damiano Caruso (ITA)
- GARMIN SHARP: Ryder Hesjedal (CAN), Tyler Farrar (USA)
- MOVISTAR TEAM: Alex Dowsett (GBR), Adriano Malori (ITA)
- OMEGA PHARMA – QUICK-STEP: Mark Cavendish (GBR), Tony Martin (GER)
- RTS – SANTIC RACING TEAM: Simon Buttner (FRA), Alex Coutts (GBR)
- SKYDIVE DUBAI PRO CYCLING TEAM: Lucas Sebastian Haedo (ARG), Mohammed Al Murawwi (UAE)
- TEAM GIANT – SHIMANO: Marcel Kittel (GER), Cheng Ji (CHN)
- TEAM KATUSHA: Joaquin Oliver Rodriguez (SPA), Luca Paolini (ITA)
- TINKOFF SAXO: Oliver Zaugg (SUI), Matteo Tosatto (ITA)
- TREK FACTORY RACING: Fabian Cancellara (SUI), Fumiyuki Beppu (JPN)
- UAE NATIONAL TEAM: Majid Albalooshi (UAE), Mohammed Almansuory (UAE)
- VINI FANTINI – NIPPO – DE ROSA: Pier Paolo De Negri (ITA), Takashi Miyazawa (JPN)

NOTE: source of this list is the Dubai Tour press office and it's easy to see they want to stress the fact it's a world race. 

In short: Carlos Alberto Betancur said...

In last Giro (Ischia TTT)
There is an interview here:
In English here:

In short:
1. Getting gradually in shape: “I normally suffer in excessive heat, and I did even more so here because I’m carrying a few too many kilos [6 it seems]. It’s been a bit difficult for me but the important thing was to clock up the kilometres The last few days, I felt better. I’m going home with some race sharpness now, and training will be easier. I found it tough, especially on the climbs, but my condition will improve gradually.
2. A relaxed winter but now back to training: “When I’m off the bike, I like to enjoy life, and in Colombia we eat very well and I picked up a bit of weight. But when I get to Europe, I’m very attentive and I focus 100 percent on the bike to do things well. I will start to train with my coach, Michele Bartoli, and do some very demanding training so I’m ready for the classics and also for Romandie.”

3. Betancur's diet: “I go out training quite late, at half ten or eleven, after a breakfast of cereal and skimmed milk. When I get back at four or five in the afternoon, I have a fruit salad with yoghurt. Then in the evening, I have meat and a salad. That’s what I’m used to and it helps me lower the weight easily.”
4. Ardennes Classics and Tour: “After last year, I have great motivation to prepare better and do them well. I was the rider who went on the attack at Flèche and Liège, and I want to be in good condition to do that [again]. I’ll be back in Europe a month before the Tour, and I’ll take the chance to look at some of the climbs from the Tour and race either Switzerland or the Dauphiné."

Betancur - like and more than Nibali - didn't shine in Argentina but - as I said about the Italian - that's normal for a rider aiming to peak in July. 


Cycling season start: Sum Up

Done and dusted. Nice way to say, cruel and obvious: today's glory tomorrow is dust, very few remains and nothing is more symbolic than a cycling race finish, assemblated and disassemblated in few frenetical hours, now the holy focus, after a hole of rubbish. 
I was eager to watch those two races, the first ones after the winter break, but now they are over and it seems already routine: posting a start list, watching the streaming, checking results, looking for pictures and quotes... 
What riders said is the most interesting part for me at the moment: very often they are banal in a press release - "Thanks my team, I'm very happy, I worked hard..." - but sometimes something more spontaneous, or at the opposite more meditated, comes though and gifts an insight. Photography catches more than words, give all the meaning in just one look - joy, pain or exhaustion, anger or 'grinta', solidarity, pride... That remains. Or personal memories, kept like tresures: a wide glimpse by champion that fills the imagination of a child at the start of a race, or a warm smile.
Done and dusted, precious pieces safely saved, emotions fed and feelings felt, what can we say from Tour Down Under and Tour de San Luis? It's early but it's normal to try and look for ints about the actual condition and probable shape of the Giro main contenders . Tour's contenders are not operative yet, they will - or should - show something in April so Nibali is right to say he's where he was supposed to be (not in holyday, not yet in shape). Nairo Quintana, Cadel Evans, Richie Porte are fine. Stetina looks good and Domenico Pozzovivo too. I adsume those riders are aiming to pick in May. Should I add Diego Ulissi? lets add him but I'm not sure about his schedule. Arredondo is more than ready, we'll see for what.
Sprinters go in a different balance: they sprint all the season long. Quantity is a goal for them: the amount of victories counts. Then there is quality, some races count more than others of course and to win San Remo or a Giro stage is different than to win many small races. The best sprinters then have got special aims, like to win the point jersey in a grand tour (in short tours the gc winner usually wins also that). By this point of view, Andre Greipel already left his mark, as well as Sacha Modolo, Marcel Kittel and Giacomo Nizzolo. Tom Boonen and Manuel Belletti are back (but didn't deliver) while Peter Sagan failed to score. In Argentina Cavendish was working for Boonen, he said San Remo isn't a goal anymore and will probably get in shape a little later (winter is always a delicate period for him, who tends to put on weigh). Some sprinters had a very bad luck and crashed, like Apollonio and Farrar (in Argentina) and Sutton (in Australia). 
A special cathegory includes the TT riders. No TT in Tour Down Under, a first race against the clock in Tour de San Luis, a first result: so far Adriano Malori and Taylor Phinney are the best ones in the discipline. But Quinziato, Boonen, Hondo and Sagan all made a very good time. In GC perspective: Nibali did a also an excellent TT. A splendid result came by Larry Warbasse, unespected 4th. He did a splendid Tour de San Luis and it will be interesting to follow him during the season. Talking about new entries, also Arredondo did a quite good TT and that's important for a probable future grand tour contender.
Finally, the youths: Adam Yates was expected and he mantained his promises. Jack Haig is completely new for me but I think we'll learn to know him in the next years, not earlier sadly because his team - UniSa - is  unlikely racing in other World Tour races. The others, we know: Carlos Verona, Kenny Elissonde, Julian Alaphilippe... But also Danny van Poppel and Calvin Watson: both a bit under the expectations here but TFR is right to not put pressure on them.  The young Italian Luca Wackermann is a surprise for me, and a sweet one. 
As about teams... it's complicated. Trek Factory Racing dominated in Argentina but - Jens Voigt a part - was disappointing in Australia (Laurent Didier 23 in GC is the best placed riders, Frank Schleck 31 at more than 6'), as well as Movistar. The Tour Down Under was one of the main goal of the season for the Australian Orica-GE and they did very well, BMC and Sky looked strong but missing something (sprinters probably, given the importance of the intermediate sprints for extra seconds). Lotto-Belisol did great (in sprint but also in GC). Lampre... is a odd fish! Very down in the teams classification, a stage victory by a single rider, Diego Ulissi, who managed to keep a prestigious 3rd place in the final GC. Lampre is a team that I don't like, linked in the past with doping stories (Caso Mantova) and managed in a way you can hardly call 'transparent'. But Diego Ulissi I like, I even interviewed him long time ago. This year the team seems renewed, kept Cunego, Ulissi and Malori but added Rui Costa and Modolo... Lets hope!
Did I forget anything? many things for sure. It's just the begining. Cadel Evans comeback to the top and Arredondo exploit seem to me the most interesting facts so far.

Tour de San Luis: Quintana (and Modolo)

It's time to celebrate. Tomorrow we'll analyse. It's time to pack again and go home for riders and staff, time to get a short break before they leave again to Dubai, Qatar and Oman. 
An exciting but hard week is over, dotted by thrilling uphill sprints and complicated sprinters' finishes, stomach bugs, atrocious heat, rude collegues and enthusiastic fans.  
The last victory went to Sacha Modolo in his new Lampre kit: the guy from Conegliano beated Sagan, Boonen, Phinney, Nizzolo, Belletti... It wasn't a simple sprint. And he's a classy sprinter. 
The final victory went to Nairo Quintana: he looked more mature in this race than in the last Tour de France. Of course it's impossible to compare but here he was racing to win. Maybe because serious contenders were few...  Anyway he's already a national hero and almost the symbol of a continent: America Latina is coming, be prepared!
Sacha Modolo (Lampre-Merida) wins in San Luis over Peter Sagan (Cannondale)What Sacha Modolo said:
"Our strategy was the best because they (Cannondale) went very long in the final sprint and we waited near the front. I knew if I could start my sprint on the last little climb I could win. It's different than last year [when he won as well] Last year it (final kilometres) was slower, this year it was very fast. Last year I had to come from behind, this year I started sprinting from the front and it was completely different."
What Danilo Hondo said:
 “It was good work by the entire team today. Fabio [Silvestre] again pulled with Movistar and Lampre to bring back the breakaway. In the final I brought Giacomo [Nizzolo] in the perfect position, but when he started the sprint there was a big wave and he had to brake full to not crash. To restart in the last 120 meters is impossible. It’s too bad, but then it's part of the game in a sprint.” 

Best Youth Podium
What Nairo Quintana said:
"It's an important win when it comes to motivation for the rest of the year. I didn't make any specific training for the beginning of the season, though we had expected to start a bit stronger than last year. I had no major problems during my preparations and I felt really well throughout the race."
Quintana suffered from stomach problems along with a large portion of the rest of the peloton in the race's opening stages, "I must thank everyone at the team, because they believed in me from the very first day and protected me all the way to the end of the race. That's crucial, because though you feel strong, you end up paying your efforts if you have no strong teammates - they make things much easier."
1 Sacha Modolo (Ita) Lampre-Merida 3:13:28
2 Peter Sagan (Svk) Cannondale
3 Maximiliano Ariel Richeze (Arg) Lampre-Merida
4 Mauro Abel Richeze (Arg) Argentina
5 Jens Keukeleire (Bel) Orica Greenedge
6 Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) Trek Factory Racing
7 Manuel Belletti (Ita) Androni Giocattoli
8 Tosh Van Der Sande (Bel) Lotto Belisol
9 Tom Boonen (Bel) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team
10 Taylor Phinney (USA) BMC Racing Team
1 Nairo Alexander Quintana Rojas (Col) Movistar Team 24:48:48
2 Phillip Gaimon (USA) Garmin Sharp 0:00:43
3 Sergio Godoy (Arg) San Luis Somos Todos 0:02:02
4 Julian David Arredondo Moreno (Col) Trek Factory Racing 0:02:54
5 Enzo Moyano (Arg) San Luis Somos Todos 0:03:04
6 Eduardo Sepulveda (Arg) Bretagne - Seche Environnement 0:03:43
7 Marc De Maar (AHo) Team Unitedhealthcare 0:03:44
8 Peter Stetina (USA) BMC Racing Team 0:03:51
9 Darwin Atapuma Hurtado (Col) BMC Racing Team 0:03:57
10 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale 0:04:03
11 Adam Yates (GBr) Orica Greenedge 0:04:35
12 Miguel Angel Rubiano (Col) Team Colombia 0:05:08
13 Lucas Euser (USA) Team Unitedhealthcare 0:06:09
14 Isaac Bolivar (Col) Team Unitedhealthcare 0:06:10
15 Winner Anacona Gomez (Col) Lampre-Merida 0:06:25
16 Christian Meier (Can) Orica Greenedge 0:08:11
17 Haimar Zubeldia Agirre (Spa) Trek Factory Racing 0:08:15
18 Robert Squire (USA) Jamis-Hagens Berman 0:08:27
19 Gianfranco Zilioli (Ita) Androni Giocattoli
20 Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre-Merida 0:08:31
21 Cleberson Weber (Bra) Clube Dataro de Ciclismo-Bottecchia 0:09:25
22 Thomas Danielson (USA) Garmin Sharp 0:09:50
23 Michele Scarponi (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:09:56
24 Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Lotto Belisol 0:10:12
25 Florian Guillou (Fra) Bretagne - Seche Environnement 0:11:29
26 Jose Rodolfo Serpa Perez (Col) Lampre-Merida 0:12:48
27 Edwin Alcibiades Avila (Col) Team Colombia 0:12:50
28 Emanuele Sella (Ita) Androni Giocattoli 0:13:15
29 Alfredo Lucero (Arg) San Luis Somos Todos 0:13:25
30 Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team 0:14:13
1 Julian Gaday (Arg) Buenos Aires Provincia
1 Nairo Alexander Quintana Rojas (Col) Movistar Team
 1 Adam Yates (GBr) Orica Greenedge

1 San Luis Somos Todos