The Shortest Lasting Record Ever? Brändle's vid and the Jensie's reaction

Nobody has been interested in the Hour Record for years but now that the Jensie beated it many want to try it too. So, after only few weeks, we have a new record, by Matthias Brändle.
Jens Voigt's first reaction sounded like a joke: "Congrats Matthias Brändle on a new hour record! Maybe one of my kids can try it again one day!  I am still leading the oldie ranking! Ha!"
I missed it because I was at school but watched it later here:
and so can you.


In Short: AG2R TM Lavenu about Carlos Betancur

Betancur in yellow in the last PN
Carlos Betancur is one of my favourite riders and it has been great to see him so strong in the last Paris-Nice, where he won with a wonderful attack uphill, grabbing the leader jersey from a very unlucky Geraint Thomas. After that he disapeared and rumors said he was going to end his contract with AG2R. It wasn't true but the French team's Team Manager explains here his concern about the Colombian rider, very talented but not exactly committed.

Read it all here:

In Short: 
1. A good talk: "I learned via the press during the Tour de France that he was going to leave the team so I called his agent and he asked if there was a possibility of that happening. I said I was ready to discuss things but I've never had those discussions with him. Betancur is under contract with us until 2016. I had a good talk with Carlos during the Vuelta and it seems as though he has taken on board what we said. It seems that he has good intentions and I hope that he'll follow through on those good intentions over the winter because we want to have the best Carlos Betancur again. We know the boy has such incredible talent, it's crazy."
2. Not the behaviour of a top-level athlete: "It was very hard to get him to come back to France, and when he did come back he was a long, long way off his best shape. There was a period from April to June or July where effectively he didn't have the behaviour of a top-level athlete. He was ill but we never really found out what kind of illness he had. That spell of four months wasn't a positive one. We've spoken about all of that and we're starting over – him and us – with new intentions. He has enormous potential and we want to make the most of it – for him most of all, and for us as a team too. He needs to organise his life and behave like a champion athlete. He does have bit of a recurring weight problem that he needs to take care of, and we're there to help him and advise him with that. But then again, it's ultimately up to him to decide on the direction he wants to give his career."
3. Homesick? Betancur is going to become a dad: "We've noticed that when Colombian riders come to Europe it can be difficult for them, especially when they come to Europe for long periods of time.It's not like with the Australians. When the Australians come, they come for eight months at a time in Europe and they're ready to go to war. We've suggested to Carlos that he brings his family to Europe and organises his life here, because world cycling at the highest level is primarily in Europe. He came to Europe very young, at 19 years of age, and he went to Italy, where he found a welcoming entourage, which we can understand. Does he have to keep living in Italy? Why not live in France instead? In any case, we're here to help him organise himself in Europe."

My opinion
Well, a pro cyclist life is a hard life, for him and for his/her family. Carlos Betancur, like others, have to decide his priority. In my opinion that's a good thing, if you don't feel the contrast, the painful awarness of the relative incompatibility of a full family life with a serious top athlete life... well, you are only half a man/woman. Then you mast decide but it's good to know that there is a decision here.


Yes We Like... Anton Vos: cycling photographer and Marianne's bro

I met him in Florence, at the finish of Worlds, and he remembered it well when I asked him on fb: "Sorry I was in your way when you took a photo". Yep, that's true :)
Anton Vos, just like his sister Marianne, is a very nice person and extremely kind. 
I asked him an interview and he accepted. See what he says:

Ilaria: You are one of the most famous cycling photographers: is there a race or a place you especially like to take pictures of? Why?
Anton: I like a lot of places but the traveling around the world is one of the nicest thing of my job, also world championships are always special.
Ilaria: Normally how many shots do you take in a race day and how many 'good' pictures you get at the end? Once I talked about that with Tim the Waele after a Roubaix and the difference really impressed me. 
Anton: I take between 500 and 1000 pics, 50 till 80 are sorted out. 
Ilaria: A big selection!
Anton: ...but first most important pics are between 5 till 10 pics.
Ilaria: Does the editing work take you a long time? And how do you like it?
Anton: I try to keep it as natural as it comes out the camera. I do just little adjustments in photoshop and some pics are cropped.
Ilaria: How do you see your photography? It's more a facts reporting, a kind of art, a way to catch feelings or...?
Anton: I see it as reporting, but I like to see work from other photographers because you learn every day! and I like also capturing moments in a special way...
Ilaria: How did you become a photographer? Was that your goal or did it simply happen?
Anton: I became photographer cause my sister was photographed by Cor Vos. Then I did a course with him and so my photography career started.
Ilaria: Indead, you are also Marianne Vos' brother and she's probably the best rider in the history of cycling. How do you feel about that? 
Anton: I'm very proud of what she has already achieved and what she is doing for women's cycling in general, she is a dedicated and very inspiring person to all people I think.
Ilaria: Yes! Marianne and you look very close: has it always been like  that? How was she as a child?
Foto Nico Vereecken - Photonews
Anton: We used to train together and she didn't want to loose. That's the difference between me and Marianne, I'm easily satisfied, and Marianne is not, it's changed a little in the years, we are now both aiming for the highest in the things we do.
Ilaria: I know that you ride but did you ever race?
Anton: I raced from youth 10 yo till amateur, I think till 2006.
Ilaria: Who is your favourite male rider? And female (Marianne excluded?)
Anton: Not an easy question! I may I mention two: Elia Viviani, because he is a real pro and I met him cause his girlfriend is racing too, and he is a very nice person. And I like Alberto Contador, because he is really interested in Marianne's racing and is following her career.
Ilaria: Interesting, that I didn't know. And what about women?
Anton: A female rider... it's not easy, but I choose Anna van der Breggen. She is very talented and she has been Marianne's big helper in the last two road championships Marianne won. I think she's developing very well and I think she will be one of the riders to watch. It was also nice to see the how the team Rabo Liv was very dominant... they took each other to an higher level.
Ilaria: Cycling a part, what do you like to photograph?
Anton: I like to photograph nice sunsets, or nature, wildlife like in SA, but I still prefer cycling.
Ilaria: How many kg of equipment do you bring around normally?
Anton: Two bodies, 70-200 300 and a 24 105 as lenses, laptop and chargers. It's a lot of stuff!
Ilaria. Yep! If you could change something in cycling, what was that?
Anton: I wish the female cycling got more attention on tv, cause they deserve that. Its growing but still needs more and women cycling is awesome to watch, not only the worlds, like this year there where 9 world cups with all different winners.
Ilaria: What's your best memory as a cycling photographer, the best moment you remember?
Anton: I always like the worlds because its such a big podium but overall i loooooooove the traveling: it's the best about this job.
Ilaria: You rode the Eroica this year: did you like it? 
Anton: I only photographed the Eroica. Next time I want to compete. It was a wonderful day and an awesome event.
Thank you very much!


When in Florence: The Kiosk by the River (Feverish)

The kiosk
It's true that Fall has got the most beautiful colours. This red, this gold, this brown, this purple, this feeble green, their infinite nuance and shade. It's true that the most amazing beauty is often to be found in simple, plain things: the sunlight seeping through the sparse foliage, patches of pure blue, the abstract intense glitter of the river's surface and the opaque murky green of its invisible dephts.
I can stay here all day, siting by the river and siping the bitter coffee from the kiosk, or just reading on a bench like I'm doing now, still slightly feverish for a recent cold but refusing to spent all day at home.
Florence for the Florentins is shared in 'di qua dall'Arno' e 'Oltrarno', meaning 'by this side of the river' (where the center is, with Piazza del Duomo and Piazza della Signoria) and 'beyond the river' (Piazza del Carmine, Piazza Santo Spirito, Piazza Pitti, Porta Romana, Piazza Tasso). The whole city is then enclosed by the hills, Fiesole and Settignano 'di qua dall'Arno' Piazzale Michelangelo,  San Miniato al Monte, Arcetri, Forte Belvedere, Bellosguardo 'oltrarno'. The Center is held by a boulvard called 'i viali', built on place of the ancient walls and still dotted of ancient gates. I live just ouside the gate of Piazza Beccaria, south of Florence, 'di qua dall'Arno', in an area also called 'Bellariva' (Beautiful Bank) because it's close to the river and rich of parks. 
I used to come here to play when I was a child and my son first rode his bike here, in a part of the park designed for that, with an intricate net of small roads and even a small bridge. The busy guy and I met here in June, the last time I have actually seen him, in one of the hottest day of the year...
It changed lately, it became unkempt, quite dirty and dangerous at night. It's a pity.
But the park itself is still beauty, the view on the river and toward Piazzale Michelangelo is stunning and since a few years there is the kiosk with its basic tables and effective service. The owner is a friendly woman in her thirties. Food and price are honest. Here you can drink a coffee, a beeer, a glass of unpretentious wine while eating an average croissant. For lunch they have salads, toast or precooked pasta. All tasty if not special.
In add you can stay as long as you want and the sparrows' show is for free. They are entertaining, those little birds! they have no fear and come eating directly from your plate, tweeting and jiging about in a cheerful mess.
I love this place. It's also a convenient meeting point to go cycling: a bike lane passes just by the kiosk and from here you can ride toward the Valdarno (by the river) or to the Chianti (up to Piazzale Michelangelo, down to Galluzzo...) or to the Center (but by bike it isn't fun, let me say, unless you are a true... Roubaix rider!).


Cyclocross: Wout Van Aert Won Polderscross in Kruibeke

1. Wout Van Aert
2. Sven Nys
3. Klaas Vantornout
4. Jim Aernouts
5. Sven Vanthourenhout
6. Bart Wellens

Tour de France: What About Geraint Thomas as Team Sky leader?

Geraint Thomas:
"What do we think of the 2015 Tour de France route then? #cobblestones!"
GT: "That was one hell of an epic stage. Professional sport can be truly brutal. Gutted for Froomey but I'm determined to fight even harder now....all the way to Paris."
It's about time, isn't it? I read a lot of comments last year suggesting it and yes, I think it's true. I think that could be one of the explainations behind Chris Froome's probable option for Giro and Vuelta, with Bradley Wiggins focused on the trak. Paris-Roubaix is going to be important, not only as a goal but also as a test. Wiggins said he aims to win it and last year he did pretty well (9), Geraint Thomas (7) has always did well on the cobbles so if they are a bit a drag for Chris Froome - as suggested by Sean Kelly - Thomas is looking forward.
By the way, no: I don't think that avoiding cobbles is the main reason. Froome isn't a Roubaix rider but has never looked particularly afraid of paved roads. In the last Tour de France he was supposed to defend his position not to improve it in the pavé stage, and he had got a very good escort, including also Geraint Thomas. He crashed in a previous stage and started it injuried, absolutely not the best in such a demanding day. Then another rider brought him down before the race hit the first sector of pavé. It was raining. A combination of bad luck and adverse factors where the cobbles don't seem decisive. Not really.
That day Gerain Thomas finished 21 and may said he could have achieved a definitely better result racing for himself since the start. In GC he was 14 at this point. In general he's a good climber and able to sprint. In Paris-Nice he took and kept for two days the leader jersey, lost it to the final winner Betancur and crashed out from 2nd in stage 6. He finished the Tour in 22 place, working hard for Froome, then for for Porte, finally fighting for a team stage victory. In my opinion he has got a good chance.
I named Richie Porte: he said last year that to be leader in the Tour he should change team. That's probably true. It could have been last year but he fell sick. Now I suspect that Porte is going to play a support role - in Italy or in France - also in the next season. 
Sum up my impression is that Team Sky will play its cards on many tables: a double big tour win by Froome (Giro and Vuelta), Paris-Roubaix by Wiggins (or Thomas), a top 5 result in the Tour de France by a young British talent (Thomas) and maybe some nice stage victories by Ben Swift. About the Classics... that's Team Sky weak point since ever, but now they signed Stephen Roche, he can do it.
It doesn't seem so bad. But maybe I'm wrong...

A Perfect Move: Elia Viviani to Team Sky

A track background, professionalism, good English: the fast wheel from Verona looks perfect for Team Sky. And vice versa. Viviani is a riders I like a lot, especially for his quality of aiming to the best and never happy with less. He's a mature guy, older than his age - 25 - able to interpretate a situation and to express the feeling of the peloton. His girlfriend, Elena Cecchini, is also a class rider. He well represents the new generation of procycling.
See what he said: 

Elia Viviani:
"This is the perfect move for me and the timing’s right to make this big step in my career. I know exactly how Team Sky works and the professionalism, rider development and work ethic is exactly what I'm looking for. I hope that with my new team mates and staff I’ll be able to reach all the goals I have and this will be the perfect environment for me to do that. As an Italian rider my dream is to win a stage at the Giro d'Italia, and that’s a big target for me next season. Joining Team Sky is a great opportunity for me and I’m determined to bring them success."

Dave Brailsford
"I've followed Elia’s career for a long time, initially on the track and also as his career has progressed on the road. He has a fantastic temperament and is a fast finisher. We’re looking to have a greater focus on sprinting next year and Elia will help us pursue that goal. We’re very happy to welcome him to Team Sky and to support his ongoing development."


When in Florence: L'Arte del Sogno (and Cycling So Far)

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All is special
There is a solo table in the café: a large confortable armchair close to the window. I usually sit outside, at the small table made by a recycled metallic net mixed to a creeper branch. I love the idea that the plant is having a second life. And I love siting on the narrow busy road, crowded of people walking or riding, distractly watching the ancient gate in Piazza Beccaria, where Borgo La Croce starts, that small stretch of sky.
Outside and inside
I can barely stay inside since when I came back from the country. But today it's cold. Finally, I'd say! We had no proper Summer and a very warm humid September. Now it's sunny, chilly and dry. 
L'Arte del Sogno is a small café and also a fornitures' shop with an artistic quirck - and I'm using the word in a positive way, meaning unique characteristic. It's pretty unique indead. There are other places in Florence where you can have coffee and cake while doing something else. But L'Arte del Sogno is different, cosy and a little messy. It's small and full of stuff in a creative disorder that makes you feel at home. Here I am this morning, still sleepy and not very happy.
Don't ask me why. Still again always the same. I feel very lonely now and then because I'm single at the moment and have a bad relationship with my family - or no relationship at all... My friends lives mostly abroad and I miss them in a day like this, when I'd need a good talk over a good coffee.
Team Sky on board
At least here I know that the coffee is good, and the cake too.
So what about procycling?  The next Tour de France  has been presented and yep: it suits Andy Schleck very well. Don't think of that, don't think of that... I spent the last two years suggesting that Andy was better to stop racing so now I can't complain he did. 
I also spent many years suggesting that he should have better tried to win the Giro or the Vuelta when the Tour's route didn't suit him... so now I'm really surprised reading those harsh reactions to Chris Froome. He said that next Giro suits him better than the Tour and lets him the time to get back in top shape for the Vuelta, so aiming to win both. Froome is one of the best climbers in the peloton but he's also a terrific cronoman when in shape (not in the last Vuelta): the Tour suits him but the Giro is even better because there is climbing and also TT. Where is the scandal? He starts to win so starts where he has got more chances. In add he targets two big tours and honestly Giro and Vuelta is more realistic than Contador Giro and Tour.
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Nacer Bouhanni crashed

Anyway he wasn't at the Tour presentation because Team Sky was sailing on the British sea for its first team gathering. 
The ex-Team Belkin became a yellow and black new Team LottoNL-Jumbo. I like the kit and I'm happy they found a new title sponsor. Taylor Phinney went to try the next Worlds' route in Richmond and that's great considering the awful crash  he had while reading the RR US . Nacer Bouhanni crashed now instead, at the  Six Days of Grenoble, and probably broke his collarbone. Lance Armstrong is fine it seems but will NOT ride in the Hincapie Granfondo. The news is that he was supposed to.... 
New Team new kit
As far as doping, Team Astana could lose its world tour licence as a consequence of his three positive riders and Roman Kreuziger will probably face an appeal about his case. Not so Impey who is back racing and winning after he could explain his positive by a contamination. 
Vincenzo Nibali is in Japan. and doesn't look concerned about the future of his team.
Vincenzo Nibali takes a photo of the photographer Yuzuru Sunada 
When in Florence is a new column of this blog, about places I like in the city and you should try. More or less cycling related, and COFFEE has got a very close link with cycling: many friends can confirm. Jens Voigt is famous for his many MANY coffee in a day and I once had an heartfelt conversation about' macchiato' and 'cortado' with the crosser Angus Edmond. ENJOY!

MORE ABOUT L'Arte del Sogno here: https://www.facebook.com/larte.delsogno?fref=ts

Phinney and Compton in Richmond

Nicki Sørensen: new role, same Team

Bjarne Riis: 
“I’m very happy to welcome Nicki in his new role. It’s an exciting opportunity and challenge for both the team and for him. It’s our clear ambition to step up in 2015 and deliver results. We will prepare ourselves to the fullest at home, but when we’re racing, we must perform. That requires a strong setup, and Nicki has the experience as road captain and the technical knowledge to guide the riders and help lead the team," 

Nicki Sørensen:
“I’m very happy and grateful. For me, it’s undoubtedly the best-case scenario and an obvious next step in my career. I’ve been on the team since 2001 and have created close friendships with my teammates and the staff. I now have a lot of experience after nearly two decades of racing on top level that I can pass on to the current riders, whom I know very well.
I will focus on coaching my riders on race tactics, training, how to manage life as a pro and teamwork. Besides these skills that you simply need as a top rider, I’ll also monitor training and progress as well as working with my colleagues to continuously improve the team’s approach. 
During the first period, I will also learn from the more experienced sport directors. I’m used to analyzing the race from my bike, but it’s different from the team car. I can’t wait to get started and I notice that the team is really motivated and ready to reach our goals."


Karsten Kroon Retires

Karsten Kroon: 
“I feel fortunate. I have had a great career with many defining memories. I have made many close friends in cycling, and that is something valuable for me. But I can honestly say that I’m ready to retire from racing. I’m tired after 18 seasons and I look forward to spending time with my family and kids.
I want to thank Bjarne Riis for believing in me during the years and giving me the opportunity to spend the best seasons of my career on this team. My two seasons on BMC in ’10 and ’11 were plagued by two potentially career-ending crashes, but the team gave me another chance to come back and to finish my career the way I had wished for.
My stage win in the Tour is what I’m most proud of. It is something every rider dreams about. It was my first Tour de France and I remember how surreal it seemed, when I rode across the line.
It might sound a bit strange, but the 2009 World Championship in Mendrisio is perhaps the greatest experience of my career. I was dropped in the final part of the race and finished 20th, but I have never had better legs than I had that day in Switzerland. It was almost mythical for me. I remember that I felt as if I could keep going on my limit for hours and hours.
I think I’ll relax with my family and wait a while before I decide, what the next chapter in my life will be”.


Tour de France: Alberto Contador said...

Alberto Contador:
“The first stages are a bit different from the last few years. You have to be in good shape from the very first stage. It begins with a short time trial, but there will be time difference.
We must to be strong in the two uphill finishes, because, although they’re short, sometimes there are bigger time differences here than on the long climbs. It will be very important to have a strong team to stay protected. This is also important on stage 4 with cobblestones, which we will have to see before determining how difficult they are.
This first part of the Tour ends with a team time trial in which it will be important not to have lost riders in crashes or from illness, because a stage like this will be different if you have lost two riders in contrast to having a full team ready, The key to this first part will be to avoid losing time, as it will be in the mountains, where this particularly mountainous and demanding Tour will be decided.
The uphill finishes in the Pyrenees will be very important, just as is the finish in Mende, a finish that I know well. Despite being short, there will be differences on this climb. In the 2015 edition, the recovery from all that effort will be very important, especially if you look at the last week in the Alps. It will be very complicated in case you have to defend the lead, although the last week gives many tactical possibilities in case you have to attack. In general, it’s a Tour where you have to arrive in good shape and stay fresh and well recovered until the very end.
I like this Tour, it’s harder than what the last years have been and requires me to recover well from the Giro d'Italia. But I will prepare myself thoroughly."

Bjarne Riis:
“I like this parcours and I think it is going to be a spectacular race. I hope we will perform well in the team time-trials. The first week will be very demanding and stressful in order to get a good position in the peloton before for the first climbs. I also like to have cobblestones, because this year they resulted in a very interesting stage, although I hope it does not rain that day.
I like this course. It requires us to have a strong team and the absence of a long time trial is also good for us. I don't think the Tour has to always stay the same. In the same way that not every year there are cobblestones or a time trial. The Pyrenees and the Alps will be very hard and that will make a spectacular race: we need to have a spectacular race and I think that's a good change”.

Tour de France: Chris Froome about his (no) partecipation, aiming Giro and Vuelta

Froome in Florence, 2013
"There's no two ways about it, next year's Tour is going to be about the mountains. There's very little emphasis on time trialling which means the race will be decided up in the high mountains. With 6 mountaintop finishes it is going to be an aggressive and massively demanding race.
The team and I will have to give it some careful consideration before we make any commitments to which of the grand tours I will compete in.  I see myself as quite a balanced GC rider and the Giro with it's inclusion of a long TT of 60km and tough uphill finishes will make it a well balanced race which suits me well.  If I did the Giro I may also be able to get myself back to top shape for the Vuelta and go there with a realistic chance of aiming for the win.
In the past I've only targeted one grand tour each season but it could be a good opportunity for me to focus seriously on two.  It's still early days though and we'll have to sit down and put our heads together as a team to work out what 2015 is going to look like for us.
I actually quite enjoy the challenge of riding on the cobbles. It's a difficult and stressful obstacle for us to overcome when it's part of a race like the Tour de France, but we're all in the same boat and there's no reason why I'd be any worse off than any of the other GC contenders. The cobbles were not the cause of my departure from the Tour this year, it was the crash on the previous stage which could have happened to anybody.  I was in the wrong place at the wrong time. 
We'll have to see who's going to be there but I think Alberto Contador will be the man to beat.  You can never discount the likes of Nairo Quintana, Vincenzo Nibali and other GC contenders like Purito (Rodriguez) and Valverde.  Alberto is the guy who stands out though.  He came back after his injury in an amazing way to win the Vuelta España title this year and I expect him to be just as strong next season".

Tour de France 2015 Presentation (and a bitter taste)

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Ready to listen
The new jersey
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Route confirmed

First of all, I cried like a cow: images of the last Tour de France on the screan, so many emotions and the bitter taste of the end of a dream. Not one image and not one word for the crash that  ended Andy Schleck's career, that hurts. But also that has been the last Tour de France.
Even worse considering that Cadel Evans was there and  called on stage. He's going to retire, just one more race in Australia, named after him. The memory of the Tour he won in the last day ITT on Andy Schleck. It was 2011, the  Tour of his victory on the Galibier - and I was there. 
Fortunately they don't show images of it. The victory in that Tour changed Evans' life, as well as Andy's. In a very different way.
Not there instead Alberto Contador, nor Chris Froome. Weirdly Team Sky placed its team camp today.
Looking forward, not to the past, the next Tour offers climbers good opportunities: a tricky start with a taste of Classics, pavé and a lot of wind in the North, then Pyrennes, some average mountain in the center of the country and the Alps. Very few time trial.
The start is in Utrecht, the finish of course in Paris: there are 9 flat stages, 3 hilly stages, 7 mountain stages, 5 summit finishes, 1 ITT and 1 TTT.
First reactions sound enthusiastic. I like it too. Various, it's going to be open.
Finally, a bit of fashion report: almost all riders were wearing dark boring formal suit. The only exception: Blel Kadri, in shirt. Not bad also J.C. Peraud wearing jeans and a destructurated short jacket.

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Some pavé
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Some Classics' climbing
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A new summit finish in the Pyrennes
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On stage
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All stages
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Official poster
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Tony Gallopin


Keep this smile! :D

More pics here:


Cyclocross: WC Valkenburg - Elite Women Full Results

1 COMPTON Katherine USA19781203 0:43:50
2 WYMAN Helen GBR19810304 KONA FACTORY TEAM +00:13
4 VAN LOY Ellen BEL19800916 +00:38
5 ANDERSON Elle USA19880329 +00:42
6 HARRIS Nikki GBR19861230 +00:57
7 CANT Sanne BEL19901008 +01:03
8 HAVLIKOVA Pavla CZE19830420 +01:09
10 VERSCHUEREN Jolien BEL19900507 +01:32
11 KEMMERER Arley USA19840223 +02:10
12 CHAINEL-LEFEVRE Lucie FRA19830702 +02:29
13 MICHIELS Githa BEL19830328 TREK-KMC TRADE TEAM +02:40
14 NUNO Aida ESP19831124 LOINTEK +03:03
15 PETIT Marlene FRA19910401 +03:51
16 PERRY Laura FRA19960220 +04:02
17 NOSKOVA Nikola CZE19970701 +04:02
18 MIKULASKOVA Martina CZE19930813 +04:13
19 VERHESTRAETEN Karen BEL19910423 +04:16
20 VAXILLAIRE Stephanie FRA19790615 +04:29
21 LABOUS Juliette FRA19981104 +04:34
22 ERLANDSSON Asa Maria SWE19740130 +04:36
23 VERDONSCHOT Laura BEL19961204 +04:39
24 HEIGL Nadja AUT19960215 +04:49
26 WITLOX Lizzy NED19950211 +05:21
27 HENZELIN Lise-Marie SUI19911108 +05:26
29 HORMES Reza NED19670206 +05:44
30 PAYTON Hannah GBR19940323 +05:52
31 THIJS Katrien BEL19850203 +06:07
32 HOTTINGER Olivia SUI19980111 +06:10
33 HECKMANN Lisa GER19880514 +06:10
34 BAJGEROVA Adela CZE19970131 +08:20
35 GODART Suzie LUX19620720 +08:25
36 FIEDLER Yvonne GER19861115 -2LAP
37 BACHMANN Liv-Susanne GER19790420 -2LAP

Cyclocross WC Valkenburg: A Cool Victory for Lars van der Haar

Embedded image permalinkYes: coolness, focus, control. Today Lars van der Haar didn't make any mistakes. Clean lines, a regular pace too high too folow for almost everybody. Few laps and already he was leading with Kevin Pauwels and Tom Meeusen. Walsleben trying to bridge. In a sunny, crowded Cauberg. 
It isn't easy to confirm after one year when you took such a smashing victory, it isn't easy when you are racing in your homeland, in front of your people. He did.
Cool, focused, always in control. Moreover determined.
Tom Meeusen was fighting as a lion and his style is classy and pure, but he couldn't keep the rythm and got finally dropped. It was Lars van der Haar and Kevin Pauwels, two fast wheels in a very fast race. Unfortunately Pauwels fell, his back wheel sliding on died leaves on a descent. Van der Haar flew away and nobody could catch.

Embedded image permalinkBehind a three riders chasing group had formed: Meeusen, Pauwels, Walsleben and Vantornout. They were giving it all but van der Haar was too fast. 
Embedded image permalinkBina had already abandoned, Sven Nys' chain dropped and he was also forced to abandon. Four laps to go van der Haar crossed solo the line and since there his gap grew till 1'08''. At the last lap it was still 1'. 
Behind they werent's chasing anymore but fighting more tactically for the 2nd place. Van Amerongen and Van Kessel had joined the front group. 
At the last lap Kevin Pauwel attacked and gained a gap. Meanwhile Lars van der Haar was already smiling and rising one arm to celebrate a cool victory. Bravo! 2. Pauwels, 3rd Van Kessel.

Lars van der Haar:
“From the first lap it went perfect today. I came in front with Pauwels but then became alone, and I didn’t expect that. I pushed him too far and he made a mistake.
I didn’t take a drink as I knew I could manage the heat – I don’t think you need to do it for an hour. It turned out to be a good decision. 
I am happy with my demonstration today, it was a good race and this was my first peak of the season. I’m pleased to be the World Cup leader again and I hope to go on like this.”
"Of course I know that Sven Nys doesn't like the heat, so I decided for a fast start. Meeusen and Pauwels were not far away. It did not make sense to just keeping pushing. Moreover, I could save energy staying on their wheels.
But after a while I saw the others coming back and I didn't want. So I went in front and rose the pace again.
Then I just rode steadly. I felt really good on the bike today. I really could 'play' with my bike, took the curves perfectly, had the right line. It felt good, much better than last week in Ronse where I struggled with the bike. It's really something beautiful when you can go ahead with 1:10, in the last two laps then I really enjoied the bike and I'm proud of this victory. It's fine to start the season well but the season is still long and I would like to show beautiful things in the bpost Bank trophy and Hansgrohe Superprestige."

Kevin Pauwels:
"I had abdominal cramps. I've already had them in Erpe-Mere. Perhaps it's because of the heat. You have to drink a lot, perhaps that explains those abdominal problems. I had to go deep to follow Lars and made mistakes." 
Lars was clearly the strongest of us all. This fall was my own fault. 

I'm growing gradually into my best shape and looking forward to races like the Koppenberg."

3 VAN KESSEL Corne NED19910807 TELENET - FIDEA +00:34
5 MEEUSEN Tom BEL19881107 TELENET - FIDEA +00:38
6 VAN AMERONGEN Thijs NED19860718 TELENET - FIDEA +00:41
7 WALSLEBEN Philipp GER19871119 BKCP - POWERPLUS +00:48
9 POWERS Jeremy USA19830629 +01:10
12 WELLENS Bart BEL19780810 TELENET - FIDEA +01:38
13 BOROS Michael CZE19920809 +01:58
15 WUBBEN Niels NED19880220 TELENET - FIDEA +02:18
16 MOUREY Francis FRA19801208 FDJ.fr +02:23
17 GRAND Arnaud SUI19900828 +02:25
18 CANAL Fabien FRA19890404 LOOK - BEAUMES DE VENISE +02:30
19 VAN DEN BRAND Twan NED19890122 +02:35
20 FRANZOI Enrico ITA19820808 MARCHIOL EMISFERO +02:48
22 AERNOUTS Bart BEL19820623 CORENDON - KWADRO +03:04
23 TARAMARCAZ Julien SUI19871112 CORENDON - KWADRO +03:08
25 MOSER Andreas SUI19840122 +03:25
27 MEISEN Marcel GER19890108 CORENDON - KWADRO +04:02
28 WEBER Sascha GER19880223 VERANCLASSIC - DOLTCINI +04:11
29 ZAHNER Simon SUI19830306 +04:12
30 FIELD Ian GBR19860618 +04:42
31 RUIZ DE LARRINAGA IBANEZ Javier ESP19791102 +04:51
32 RULLIERE Melvin FRA19891222 +04:58
33 WINTERBERG Lukas SUI19880504 +05:24
34 BIANCO Marco ITA19821211 -1LAP
35 LHOTELLERIE Clement FRA19860309 -1LAP
36 GIL Mariusz POL19830506 CORENDON - KWADRO -1LAP
37 VAN IJZENDOORN Eddy NED19850321 -2LAP
38 HANSEN Kenneth DEN19911007 -2LAP
39 SAEGESSER Severin SUI19920711 -2LAP
40 BERDEN Ben BEL19750929 -2LAP
41 PAGE Jonathan USA19760916 -2LAP
42 BETALU Josep ESP19771021 -3LAP
45 PARBO Joachim DEN19741118 -4LAP
46 SILVESTRI Elia ITA19900329 -4LAP
47 EDMOND Angus NZL19760203 NZL19760203 -5LAP