6.30.2015

In Short: Bauke Mollema About Safety At Races

In his last blog for Cyclingnews TFR rider offers his view on the vexata quaestio of safety at races and it isn't banal. TFR has always supported the idea that radios are good for safety, now Mollema thinks it's just the opposite. He's quite harsh about UCI, organisers, Teams and also rider: they are doing nothing to make races less dangerous. And his suggestions are both simple and realistic. Have a look.

1. Not enough. "The UCI, race organisations, teams and riders are not really doing anything (or enough) to reduce the number of crashes. It’s like we say to ourselves, ‘oh yeah, there was another crash,’ and then we just continue on until the next big crash happens."

2.Dangerous routes: "Sometimes crashes happen because the parcours is too dangerous. [...] In that case, I think organisations should really look carefully at the parcours, especially the last 25km."

3. Stress: "I think the reason for many of these bigger crashes is because there’s more and more stress in the peloton. Riders are fighting more for a top-10 position than they were in the past." [...] The mentality is not like it should be. A lot of riders think that it’s almost the end of the world if they lose their teammate’s wheel. [...] Sometimes it’s the riders who are making mistakes."

4. A too big peloton: "In my opinion, the peloton is too big. I think it would be better to race with smaller teams and less teams, especially at the Grand Tours, but also the other big races. [...]  It would be a lot better because it would force teams to be more careful with their riders [...] As for the racing itself, having smaller teams would make races more interesting to watch, tactically."

5. No radios: "Also, I think riding without the radios would help with rider safety. [...]  I’ve spoken with other riders about this… team directors can create a lot of undue stress for the riders just by telling them through the radios to stay close together, to be at the front during certain moments in the race, whether it’s for the start of a climb or if a cobbled section is coming up. [...] I think it’s better to give more responsibility to the riders. Let the riders make their own choices as to where they need to be in the peloton. Let them review the parcours before the races so that they know when the climbs are coming, instead of the team directors feeding them all of this information through a radio during the races."

6. Time Neutralisation: "And why not take the times for GC at three kilometres to go? Or change the three-kilometre rule, as it is now, to five or 10 kilometres?"

Meanwhile Andy Schleck...

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Tour de France: Teams' Rosters Out

Le Tour de FranceIt isn't the start list yet because there are no numbers but here you have the riders who will be in the race. And I'm happy to see Alex Dowsett. No Frank Schleck, you know: knee's problems.

 Tinkoff - Saxo
  CONTADOR Alberto
  SAGAN Peter
  ROGERS Michael
  MAJKA Rafał
  BENNATI Daniele
  BASSO Ivan
  KREUZIGER Roman
  VALGREN Michael
  TOSATTO Matteo

Movistar Team
  QUINTANA Nairo
  VALVERDE Alejandro
  HERRADA José
  MALORI Adriano
  IZAGIRRE Gorka
  ANACONA Winner
  CASTROVIEJO Jonathan
  ERVITI Imanol
  DOWSETT Alex

Etixx - Quick Step
  CAVENDISH Mark
  KWIATKOWSKI Michal
  MARTIN Tony
  URAN Rigoberto
  ŠTYBAR Zdeněk
  RENSHAW Mark
  VERMOTE Julien
  TRENTIN Matteo
  GOLAS Michal

Team LottoNL-Jumbo
  KELDERMAN Wilco
  TEN DAM Laurens
  GESINK Robert
  MARTENS Paul
  KRUIJSWIJK Steven
  LEEZER Tom
  VANMARCKE Sep
  TANKINK Bram
  VAN EMDEN Jos

Team Giant - Alpecin
  BARGUIL Warren
  CURVERS Roy
  DEGENKOLB John
  DUMOULIN Tom
  GESCHKE Simon
  DE KORT Koen
  PREIDLER Georg
  SINKELDAM Ramon
  TIMMER Albert

BMC Racing Team
  CARUSO Damiano
  DENNIS Rohan
  OSS Daniel
  QUINZIATO Manuel
  SáNCHEZ Samuel
  SCHAR Michael
  VAN AVERMAET Greg
  VAN GARDEREN Tejay
  WYSS Danilo

Trek Factory Racing 
  ARREDONDO Julián David
  CANCELLARA Fabian
  DEVOLDER Stijn
  DIDIER Laurent
  IRIZAR Markel
  JUNGELS Bob
  MOLLEMA Bauke
  RAST Gregory
  ZUBELDIA Haimar

Lotto Soudal
  BAK Lars Ytting
  DE GENDT Thomas
  DEBUSSCHERE Jens
  GALLOPIN Tony
  GREIPEL André
  HANSEN Adam
  HENDERSON Gregory
  SIEBERG Marcel
  WELLENS Tim

Astana Pro Team
  NIBALI Vincenzo
  FUGLSANG Jakob
  BOOM Lars
  GRIVKO Andriy
  SCARPONI Michele
  WESTRA Lieuwe
  GRUZDEV Dmitriy
  TAARAMäE Rein
  KANGERT Tanel

FDJ
  CHAVANEL Sébastien
  DéMARE Arnaud
  GENIEZ Alexandre
  BONNET William
  LADAGNOUS Matthieu
  MORABITO Steve
  PINOT Thibaut
  ROY Jérémy
  VAUGRENARD Benoit

Team Sky
  FROOME Christopher
  PORTE Richie
  THOMAS Geraint
  KENNAUGH Peter
  STANNARD Ian
  ROWE Luke
  ROCHE Nicolas
  KöNIG Leopold
  POELS Wout

Team Katusha 
  KOZONTCHUK Dmitry
  GUARNIERI Jacopo
  HALLER Marco
  PAOLINI Luca
  KRISTOFF Alexander
  RODRíGUEZ Joaquim
  MACHADO Tiago
  CARUSO Giampaolo
  LOSADA Alberto

Orica GreenEDGE
  ALBASINI Michael
  DURBRIDGE Luke
  GERRANS Simon
  IMPEY Daryl
  MATTHEWS Michael
  TUFT Svein
  WEENING Pieter
  YATES Adam
  YATES Simon

Cofidis, Solutions Crédits
  NAVARRO Daniel
  BOUHANNI Nacer
  LAPORTE Christophe
  SENECHAL Florian
  SOUPE Geoffrey
  SIMON Julien
  MATé Luis Ángel
  EDET Nicolas
  VANBILSEN Kenneth

AG2R La Mondiale
  PERAUD Jean-Christophe
  BARDET Romain
  CHEREL Mikael
  GASTAUER Ben
  GAUDIN Damien
  VANSUMMEREN Johan
  VUILLERMOZ Alexis
  BAKELANTS Jan
  RIBLON Christophe

IAM Cycling
  BRäNDLE Matthias
  CHAVANEL Sylvain
  CLEMENT Stef
  COPPEL Jérome
  ELMIGER Martin
  FRANK Mathias
  HOLLENSTEIN Reto
  PANTANO Jarlinson
  WYSS Marcel

Team Europcar
  COQUARD Bryan
  GAUTIER Cyril
  GENE Yohann
  NAULEAU Bryan
  QUEMENEUR Perrig
  ROLLAND Pierre
  SICARD Romain
  TULIK Angelo
  VOECKLER Thomas

Lampre - Merida
  BONO Matteo
  CIMOLAI Davide
  COSTA Rui
  DURASEK Kristijan
  OLIVEIRA Nelson
  PLAZA Rubén
  POZZATO Filippo
  SERPA Jose Rodolfo
  VALLS Rafael

Team Cannondale - Garmin 
  TALANSKY Andrew
  MARTIN Daniel
  HESJEDAL Ryder
  BAUER Jack
  KOREN Kristijan
  LANGEVELD Sebastian
  NAVARDAUSKAS Ramunas
  VAN BAARLE Dylan
  HAAS Nathan

Bretagne - Séché Environnement
  FEDRIGO Pierrick
  FEILLU Brice
  SEPúLVEDA Eduardo
  DELAPLACE Anthony
  FONSECA Armindo
  GERARD Arnaud
  VACHON Florian
  PERICHON Pierre-Luc
  BRUN Frederic

MTN - Qhubeka
  BOASSON HAGEN Edvald
  CUMMINGS Stephen
  FARRAR Tyler
  JANSE VAN RENSBURG Jacques
  JANSE VAN RENSBURG Reinardt
  KUDUS Merhawi
  MEINTJES Louis
  PAUWELS Serge
  TEKLEHAIMANOT Daniel

Bora-Argon 18
  BáRTA Jan
  BENNETT Sam
  BUCHMANN Emanuel
  DEMPSTER Zakkari
  HUZARSKI Bartosz
  MENDES José
  NERZ Dominik
  SCHILLINGER Andreas
  VOSS Paul

6.29.2015

Cyclocross: World Cup Calendar (without Canada)


...BUT NO MONTREAL. 
Organisers say logistic and financial problems forced them canceal it. 
I'm going to save some dates...

6.28.2015

National Championships Sum Up

Embedded image permalinkYou can find much more HERE (including the women results). 
I focused on the men world tour peloton because those are the riders I'm going to see in the most of the race I personally watch. It isn't a value discrimination, I firmly believe that women cycling is as interesting as men cycling (I can't say the same for some continental races...). The point is I don't have the time to cover it all, so... lets see who is wearing that dfferent kits in the next men world tour races.
Embedded image permalinkMany confirmations and a few nice surprises!

Australia RR Heinrich Haussler TT Richie Porte
Austria  RR Marco Haller TT Georg Priedler
Belarus  RR Andrei Krasilnikau Vasil Kiryienka
Belgium  RR Preben Van Hecke TT Jurgen Van Den Broeck
Colombia RR Robinson Chalapud TT Rigoberto Uran
Czech Republic RR Petr Vakoc TT Jan Bárta
Denmark RR Chris Anker Sorenson TT Christopher Juul Jensen
Eritrea TT Natnael Berhane RR Daniel Teklehaimanot
France RR Steven Tronet  TT Jerome Coppel
Germany RR Emanuel Buchmann TT Tony Martin
Great Britain RR Peter Kennaugh TT Alex Dowsett
Embedded image permalinkGreece RR Polychronis Tzortzakis TT  Ioannis Tamouridis
Ireland RR  Damien Shaw TT Ryan Mullen
Italy RR Vincenzo Nibali TT Adriano Malori
Kazakhstan RR Oleg Zemlyakov TT Alexey Lutsenko
Latvia RR Aleksejs Saramotins TT Gatis Smukulis
Lithuania RR Aidis Kruopis TT Ramunas Navardauskas Luxembourg RR Bob Jungels TT Bob Jungels
Netherlands RR Nikki Terpstra TT Wilco Kelderman
Norway RR Edvald Boasson Hagen TT Edvald Boasson Hagen
Poland RR Tomasz Marczynski TT Marcin Bialoblocki
Embedded image permalinkPortugal  RR Rui Costa  TT Nelson Oliveira
Russia RR Yuri Trofimov TT  Artem Ovechkin
Slovakia  RR Peter Sagan TT Peter Sagan
South Africa RR Jacques Janse van Rensburg TT Daryl Impey
Spain  RR Alejandro Valverde TT Jonathan Castroviejo
Sweden RR Alexander Gingsjö  TT Gustav Erik Larsson
Embedded image permalinkSwitzerland RR Danilo Wyss TT Silvan Dillier
USA RR Matthew Busche TT Andrew Talansky

Bob Jungels:
Embedded image permalink“This feels really good! It’s always nice to race at home and then to take both jerseys is always special. And now to take them to the Tour [de France] is overwhelming. It’s always nice to have it and then to show it in the Tour is really big. We knew we had to make a hard race so it did not come to a sprint. So Ben Gastauer (Ag2R-La Mondiale) attacked from the start line, so straight away we went full gas up a small climb and at the top we were only four guys left and we did the whole race with the four of us. After that is was an elimination race, which suited me. We lost one guy with 60kms to go, and then another we could see was struggling on the climbs each lap and so in the end it came down to Gaustauer and me.
In 2013, it was my first year professional so that was really special for me, but I think this year I was the favorite, a lot of people expected it, and that is not always easy because you have a lot of riders against you. And now this year I get to wear the jersey in the Tour, and that is really, really special.”

Niki Terpstra:
Embedded image permalink"I am happy because this is the third national title on the road in my career, but probably the most difficult of the three. The race was really crazy. There was a breakway group with about eight riders that took more than 16 minutes of an advantage. No one wanted to work to close the gap. In the last laps we worked hard to bring these guys back. In the last lap I thought maybe I could be there and do the final. We caught the breakaway at about 6 or 7 kilometers to go and I knew in the last two or three kilometers there were a lot of corners where I could try to do something. It was also slippery due to the rain. So, I went at a certain moment and fortunately I took advantage of our tyres that are super good in wet conditions. Then I came into the final sprint with the other guys, but when I looked around me it was only sprinters. So, I was thinking I will end up with another 2nd place, but I gave everything and in the end I passed Sinkeldam and I won. After a few podium places during the Classics winning is important. This is also a special, as any time you can be a champion in your country, it is beautiful. I am really waiting for my Vermarc box to arrive with my Dutch outfit, so I can have a look and enjoy the moment when I will wear the jersey for the first time." 

Petr Vakoc:
"It’s amazing. It’s the first time I became national champion on the road in all my life, so it's a really great feeling. I knew I had a chance to win today, but it was a really hard race until the last meters. The race really started at 40 kilometers to go more or less, with the big guys like Peter Sagan, Jan Barta, Roman Kreuziger, and Konig starting to accelerate. There were a lot of attacks. At 20km to go I took my own chance to attack. I went and was joined by Sagan, and also Konig arrived. In the last cimb Sagan attacked, and I followed, and we dropped Konig. I was pushing to keep him away to try and win this title. In the finale we came together again, all 3 of us. Sagan went and he won the Slovak title. Konig and I started playing a bit for the Czech title. I attacked at 500 meters to go just before the top of the climb. I gave everything and took a small gap. When I looked behind me I saw that I was alone and I could finally celebrate my victory. But it wasn’t easy. It was raining the entire day and the competition was really hard in the final. But I am happy, I showed in Baku I had good condition, and this win is basically icing on the cake. I really can’t wait to ride with this jersey. I was often 2nd and 3rd in these championships in the past, but a national championship is another level. I want to celebrate this big achievement now with my family." 

Edvald Boasson Hagen:
"It was obviously a very good day and a close finish but yeah I was so happy to win. It was a tough race though, lots of attacking all day over a very tough course. It came down to us chasing that small group at the finish and I was just going full gas for what seemed like a long time. I was feeling good though so yeah I must say i'm quite pleased with how things went today, eventually catching the group and getting the win by a small margin."

Peter Kennaugh
“From 3km in when we split it in the crosswinds, we were constantly on the pedals. On the climb we were doing two-minute efforts at full gas and it eventually caught up with us. My legs were starting to cramp on the last lap and fill with lactate, but I had to give it everything at the line.
I didn’t think I’d won it until the last right-hand bend when I saw Cav wasn’t on my wheel. Up until then he’d been incredibly strong and hats off to him, I’m sure he’ll get this jersey again another year.
Winning the race last year meant everything to me and it’s been a great 12 months. I couldn’t believe how quickly it came around again and I’m over the moon to be staying in the white jersey, with my white bike and white accessories. All that means a lot to me, and having the added pressure of wearing it in the pro peloton gives me that extra motivation to perform.”

Alex Dowsett: 
"It's lovely to get it back. It's really significant being national champion. Now every time I do a time-trial I get to wear this, it stands me out as either the British or Dutch national champion! (jokes). I couldn't have lost it to a more talented guy last year in Brad but it's nice to have it back.
That was tough. I didn't have a radio so I had no idea where I was in relation to anyone else. The course itself - in training I thought it would be easier in the race but it was actually harder, so I had no idea how well I was going out there. But when I saw Matt (Bottrill) I knew that either he was on a horrendous day or I was on a good one. I had a bit of a moment on the second to last corner around here. I've got quite a few friends who race British Superbike and I'm not going to hear the end of it from missing that apex!
I thought I'd overcooked it a little bit early on. Being as hilly as it is it's difficult - you don't want to give away too much early on but you don't want to go too hard. It wasn't easy getting it right. On lap one I got stung by a wasp just inside my thigh, which kind of added insult to injury. Something always happens at nationals for me. I think I've had a crash, a bike change, being sick as a dog and this year a wasp sting so - yeah - a thrill a minute!"

Emanuel Buchmann:
"My Tour nomination was the icing on the cake, but now going there even in the champion jersey that's simply incredible."

Chris Anker Sorensen:
“It’s amazing, I’m very, very happy. I didn’t believe that this would ever happen so I’m very touched by the fact that it did. This national championship comes after one and a half year, where things have been difficult for me with a couple of costly crashes. It has been an uphill battle and I nearly lost hope that things would turn around. But I guess that today stands testimony to the fact that you should never give up and keep working hard.
We were only four guys from Tinkoff-Saxo and we rode together to ensure that one of us could win. It was very difficult and it was a hard-fought win but I have to thank my teammates that rode fantastically well and I also have to thank our sports director Lars Michaelsen, who was just behind me in the team car, when I broke loose with Martin Mortensen on the final five kilometers. Without him I would probably have spent much of my energy pulling at the front, but he advised me to sit on Mortensen’s wheel and keep cool as Valgren was in the group behind.
I arrived at the final uphill sprint in Rønde with Mortensen, I’ve known him for many years and I know that he’s quick but somehow I had it in me to beat him on the very last meters. It’s a big confidence booster to take this championship and I am very excited about the prospect of racing and riding in the Danish champions jersey for the next year”.

6.26.2015

Tour de France: Coming Soon

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STAGES
Stage 1 July 04, 2015 Utrecht (ITT) 13.8 km
Stage 2 July 05, 2015 Utrecht - Zelande 166 km
Stage 3 July 06, 2015 Anvers - Huy 159.5 km
Stage 4 July 07, 2015 Seraing - Cambrai 223.5 km
Stage 5 July 08, 2015 Arras - Amiens Metropole 189.5 km
Stage 6 July 09, 2015 Abbeville - Le Harve 191.5 km
Stage 7 July 10, 2015 Livarot - Fougeres 190.5 km
Stage 8 July 11, 2015 Rennes - Mur de Bretagne 181.5 km
Stage 9 July 12, 2015 Vannes - Plumelec (TTT) 28 km
Rest Day 1 July 13, 2015 Pau - Pau
Stage 10 July 14, 2015 Tarbes - La Pierre-Saint-Martin 167 km
Stage 11 July 15, 2015 Pau - Cauterets Vallee de Saint-Savin 188 km
Stage 12 July 16, 2015 Lannemezan - Plateau de Beille 195 km
Stage 13 July 17, 2015 Muret - Rodez 198.5 km
Stage 14 July 18, 2015 Rodez - Mende 178.5 km
Stage 15 July 19, 2015 Mende - Valence 183 km
Stage 16 July 20, 2015 Bourg-de-Peage - Gap 201 km
Rest Day 2 July 21, 2015
Stage 17 July 22, 2015 Digne-les-Bains - Pra-Loup 161 km
Stage 18 July 23, 2015 Gap - Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne 186.5 km
Stage 19 July 24, 2015 Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne - La Toussuire - Les Sybelles 138 km
Stage 20 July 25, 2015 Modane Valfrejus - Alpe d'Huez 110.5 km
Stage 21 July 26, 2015 Sevres - Grand Paris Seine Ouest - Paris Champs-Elysees 109.5 km

The Tour is almost here. It looks a good one, for climbers - as it should always be in my opinion - but dotted of nasty tricks: some pavé here, some time trial there, some short bloody ramps. No Galibier in the Alpe d'Huez stage but it's still going to be a crack, the last chance to win or lose the Yellow. 
If it was the same in 2011 Andy Schlck had won the Tour twice... but let it go. No Andy here but a handful of braves: Vincenzo Nibali doesn't seem so fit now, still you can think he's going to peak in the last week. Alberto Contador seems fit instead, still you can think he'll be exhausted in the last week. Chris Froome is fit and honestly I don't think he's going to peak or to break: he's got in the Tour de France zone and he's going to stay there as long as he need to. Unless he crashes or gets sick. Ok. That's true for him as well as for anybody. 
Nairo Quintana? Bo? he raced so few that in my opinion he shouldn't be allowed to start. Really, I think a minimum of competition days should be compulsory for top riders. Anyway to win the Tour Quintana must change his way of racing: waiting will be not enough, he must attack.
Van Garderen isn't shy nor modest about his ambitions. He seems fit and motivated, BMC looks strong so a podium place is possible on paper. Still I don't see it. In my opinion van Garderen is and remains a second row rider. When the game really becomes hard he's seldom there. Rui Costa, Valverde and Rodriguez could target the Polka Dot Jersey or stages, they and their teams could also play and important role in support - or at least neutrality - toward some GC guys, and here Contator is the big favourite because if his behaviour in the last Giro when, unlike Astana, he and Team Tinkoff only focused on the overall victory. 
By the way, I'd like to see Vanmarcke winning that fucking pavé stage. C'mon Sep! you can do it! but he knows, he's just very unlucky and that fucking stage is crucial also for the GC riders. For the ITT, Alex Dowsett of course! 
Outsiders for the top five are Pinot, Bardet, Kelderman and Mollema. The French riders are in a big shape and I'm looking forward to watch them dueling again. Bardet is my favourite: I can hardly see him on the podium this year, but you never know! The Dutches didn't do anything special in this season so far but they are both serious and committed. Their teams aren't as strong as they should in supporting them on the mountains and their TT skill is good but not great. 
I'm sure that a basic component in the final GC result will be the good or bad luck. It isn't true that the strongest wins: he must have a strong team, a smart DS, a quick mechanic and A LOT of good luck. Good luck a part, my favourite for the overall is Chris Froome.
For the White there are some nice novelties: Louis Meintjes and Simon Yates in primis. No doubt it would be cool if the young Qhubeka's talent would wear it, even for one day.
As far as Green, I think that Mark Cavendish wants it back. Alexander Kristoff is going to be his main contender. No Kittel but Degenkolb, still those sprints suit better others. I'd like to see some young sprinters emerge. 
I'm going to watch it on tv and maybe I'll go to Gap. I miss the Tour mood! 

6.23.2015

Cycling So Far: Route du Sud and Stern ZLM Toer

Embedded image permalinkROUTE DU SUD
RESULTS
18.06 Stage 1 - Lourdes › Auch TRONET Steven TRONET Steven 204
19.06 Stage 2 - Auch › Saint-Gaudens COQUARD Bryan TRONET Steven 141
20.06 Stage 3 - Izaourt › Bagnères-de-Luchon CONTADOR Alberto CONTADOR Alberto 181
21.06 Stage 4 - Revel › Gaillac COQUARD Bryan 166
21.06 General Classification CONTADOR Alberto 0
Points Classification COQUARD Bryan 0
Mountains Classification MARTINEZ Daniel Felipe 0
Youth Classification LATOUR Pierre-Roger 0
Teams Classification Rádio Popular ONDA Boavista 0
FINAL GC
1 Alberto Contador Velasco (Esp) Tinkoff-Saxo 16:53:22
2 Nairo Alexander Quintana Rojas (Col) Movistar 0:00:17
3 Pierre-Roger Latour (Fra) Ag2r La Mondiale 0:00:41
4 Stéphane Rossetto (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Crédits 0:01:06
5 Eduardo Sepulveda (Arg) Bretagne-Séché Environnement
6 Miguel Angel Rubiano Chavez (Col) Colombia 0:01:31
7 Alberto Gallego (Esp) Radio Popular-Boavista 0:02:08
8 Ricardo Vilela (Por) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA 0:03:05
9 Federico Figueiredo (Por) Radio Popular-Boavista 0:03:06
10 Julien Loubet (Fra) Team Marseille 13 KTM 0:03:14


STER ZLM TOER
RESULTS
17.06 Prologue - Goes › Goes KLUGE Roger KLUGE Roger 6.4
18.06 Stage 1 - Den Bosch › Rosmalen GREIPEL André GREIPEL André 183.4
19.06 Stage 2 - Buchten › Buchten GREIPEL André GREIPEL André 190.5
20.06 Stage 3 - Verviers › La Gileppe HOFLAND Moreno GREIPEL André 186.7
21.06 Stage 4 - Eindhoven › Boxtel BRAMMEIER Matthew 183.1
21.06 General Classification GREIPEL André 0
Points Classification GREIPEL André 0
Mountains Classification PEETERS Rob 0
Teams Classification Lotto Soudal 0
FINAL GC
1 André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Soudal 17:39:05
2 Yves Lampaert (Bel) Etixx - Quick-Step 0:00:16
3 Moreno Hofland (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo
4 Victor Campenaerts (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise 0:00:18
5 Edward Theuns (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise 0:00:26
6 Zico Waeytens (Bel) Team Giant-Alpecin 0:00:31
7 Jens Debusschere (Bel) Lotto Soudal
8 Jelle Wallays (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise 0:00:36
9 Kenneth Van Bilsen (Bel) Cofidis, Solutions Credits 0:00:40
10 Gijs Van Hoecke (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise 0:00:41

RIP Granny Fientje!


Kevin Pauwels' granny is dead today. She was 82 years old.
We'll miss her on the cyclocross field! 
A big hug to Kevin and his family.

6.22.2015

A Better Business (Life After ProCycling)

Lanters of Ramadan
It's a busy month: my son has got his final exam and I help him with his papers, my students too and even if I'm not in the exam commision I keep on touch with them and try to be supportive. It's a busy month: we moved to the country again and here we have a lot to do and no connection. That's fine, a life I like, closer to nature and far from the city mess. When at the end of the day we sit in the dark looking at the fireflies, remotely shining, slowly moving in silence, we feel so good!
It's a busy holy day: it's Ramadan and given that I can't fast because of my anemy - definitely better but not completely over - I'm reading all the Quran again. Finally it's about that, not about diet. I read four pages after each salat and publish some of it here. I'm enjoying it way more than in the past, when I simply felt out of place. I'm a very unorthodox shi'a muslim, more into Rumi than into scholars. Anyway spirituality is a part of me I decided to live in my own way
Wondering why I write it here just now? No special reason. I just show you a part of me you maybe didn't get so far, in spite you should if you read my twitter. I think I'm as unothodox as a muslim as I am as a communist and firmly persuaded each one has got his way. That's why respect is important.
Sunrise in the country
Ramadan is called 'the month of light' and yes, that's a hint to the inner light of Quaran... but muslims use to light lanterns to cheer the long nights of worship and large family meals so their cities and villages are really shining of light! Down here, I light my sole lanterne and it cheers me up in reading, studying and trying to be better.
Because sharing it's a part of Ramadan: sharing your knowledge, your awarness, your love and also 'your' wealth.  A nice adith (saying) says: "God gave the rich also the part of the the poor, to test the generosity of the rich and the patience of the poor". We are what we are because of a series of chances, fortunate or unfortunate. Very few of it comes from our personal merit, so lets share and don't be arrogant. And there is no need to be religious to understand this.
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World Refugee Day
On Saturday 20 of June my son and I took part in a big live concert for the World Refugee Day. It has been great, we danced under the stage for hours in the beautiful Ippodromo delle Mulina of Florence, in the Parco delle Cascine. BUT it's a SHAME that only 3.000 persons - probably less - were prsent. The whole tikets' revenue went for charity and with just 10 € you could assure one month of clean water to one refugee. It was since 3 pm to 12 am, and good music. People, you really disappointed me!
Tour de Suisse has been also a disappointment. I'll publish soon a Pre Tour de France Sum Up about Suisse and Dauphiné. A better business keeps my busy at the moment, be tollerant!

6.21.2015

Tour de Suisse 8 and 9: Sorry I got distracted (zzzzzzzzzzz)

Embedded image permalinkWell... ehm... sorry I didn't watch the last stage but honestly I had no interest at all. Anyway there you have the results.

RESULTS
Stage 8 - Bern › Bern LUTSENKO Alexey PINOT Thibaut 152.5
Stage 9 (ITT) - Bern › Bern DUMOULIN Tom 38.4
General Classification ŠPILAK Simon 0
Points Classification SAGAN Peter 0
Mountains Classification  DENIFL Stefan 0
Teams Classification Team Sky 0
FINAL GC
1 Simon Spilak (Slo) Team Katusha 30:15:09
2 Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team Sky 0:00:05
3 Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Giant-Alpecin 0:00:19
4 Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ.fr 0:00:45
5 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale 0:02:21
6 Bob Jungels (Lux) Trek Factory Racing 0:02:58
7 Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana Pro Team 0:03:06
8 Steve Morabito (Swi) FDJ.fr 0:03:17
9 Robert Gesink (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo 0:03:19
10 Rafal Majka (Pol) Tinkoff-Saxo 0:03:20
11 Sergio Luis Henao (Col) Team Sky 0:03:42
12 Warren Barguil (Fra) Team Giant-Alpecin 0:04:24
13 Sébastien Reichenbach (Swi) IAM Cycling 0:04:27
14 Esteban Chaves (Col) Orica GreenEdge 0:04:40
15 Kristijan Durasek (Cro) Lampre-Merida 0:05:35
16 Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Team Katusha 0:05:59
17 Ben Hermans (Bel) BMC Racing Team 0:06:19
18 Jan Bakelants (Bel) AG2R La Mondiale 0:06:52
19 Winner Anacona (Col) Movistar Team 0:07:09
20 Laurens Ten Dam (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo 0:07:16
21 Kanstantsin Siutsou (Blr) Team Sky 0:07:49
22 Francis De Greef (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert 0:09:56
23 Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) Etixx - Quick-Step 0:11:09
24 Joseph Lloyd Dombrowski (USA) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team 0:14:27
25 Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana Pro Team 0:15:05
26 Davide Rebellin (Ita) CCC Sprandi Polkowice 0:16:52
27 Larry Warbasse (USA) IAM Cycling 0:19:23
28 Marco Minnaard (Ned) Wanty - Groupe Gobert 0:19:57
29 Darwin Atapuma Hurtado (Col) BMC Racing Team 0:22:35
30 Peter Sagan (Svk) Tinkoff-Saxo 0:24:29
31 Jan Hirt (Cze) CCC Sprandi Polkowice 0:24:49
32 Jerome Coppel (Fra) IAM Cycling 0:25:40
33 Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team 0:25:54
34 Julian Arredondo (Col) Trek Factory Racing 0:26:16
35 Jose Joaquin Rojas (Spa) Movistar Team 0:26:22
36 Andre Cardoso (Por) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team 0:26:39
37 Michael Albasini (Swi) Orica GreenEdge 0:28:44
38 Jonathan Fumeaux (Swi) IAM Cycling 0:30:03
39 Christian Knees (Ger) Team Sky 0:30:26
40 Luka Pibernik (Slo) Lampre-Merida 0:30:43
41 Daryl Impey (RSA) Orica GreenEdge 0:33:33
42 Danilo Wyss (Swi) BMC Racing Team 0:34:29
43 Thomas Danielson (USA) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team 0:34:34
44 Martin Elmiger (Swi) IAM Cycling 0:36:06
45 Silvan Dillier (Swi) BMC Racing Team 0:36:21
46 Michal Golas (Pol) Etixx - Quick-Step 0:41:48
47 Jérémy Roy (Fra) FDJ.fr 0:44:00
48 Benjamin King (USA) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team 0:44:11
49 Paul Martens (Ger) Team LottoNL-Jumbo 0:45:10
50 Stefan Denifl (Aut) IAM Cycling 0:45:29

6.19.2015

Tour de Suisse 7: Zzzzzzzzzz...

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70 km to go. Break-away: Silvan Dillier, Michal Kwiatowski Daryl Impey, Axel Domont. Peloton at 2'00.
The gap is 1’08” 32.1km to go. 10 km to go, 29" . Katusha leads the chase. 
All caught at the finish. Sprint. Kristoff.
Mah... what a boring race again. Swiss commentators said it had been designed for Fabian Cancellara but this Tour de Suisse is a missed chance.

Alxander Kristoff:
“It was a hard day, I haven’t felt super in this Tour de Suisse but I did a good sprint today. I got ahead of Sagan and I was able to go again at the end to hold off his run. I felt I had him but it was hard with the uphill run to the line. The team did an awesome job and I’m happy with how I finished it off in the end.”

RESULTS
STAGE

1 Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Team Katusha
2 Peter Sagan (Svk) Tinkoff-Saxo
3 Davide Cimolai (Ita) Lampre-Merida
4 Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team
5 Arnaud Demare (Fra) FDJ.fr
6 Jurgen Roelandts (Bel) Lotto Soudal
7 Sep Vanmarcke (Bel) Team LottoNL-Jumbo
8 Michael Albasini (Swi) Orica GreenEdge
9 Marco Marcato (Ita) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
10 Jose Joaquin Rojas (Spa) Movistar Team
GC
1 Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ.fr 1:55:03
2 Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team Sky 0:00:37
3 Simon Spilak (Slo) Team Katusha 0:00:50
4 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale 0:00:50
5 Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana Pro Team 0:01:07
6 Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Pro Team 0:01:22
7 Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Giant-Alpecin 0:01:27
8 Steve Morabito (Swi) FDJ.fr 0:02:29
9 Sébastien Reichenbach (Swi) IAM Cycling 0:02:43
10 Sergio Luis Henao (Col) Team Sky 0:02:46

6.18.2015

Tour de Suisse 6: Sagan again


Embedded image permalinkThere was a break-away - Axel Domont, Marek Rutkiewicz, Mateh Mohoric, Jérome Baugnies - but it end up to a sprint. And Sagan won.

Peter Sagan:
“It was very crazy in the finale. We did a good lead-out train the last two-three kilometers, as in the headwind everybody wanted to be at the front. I took the penultimate turn to the left a little bit back but I gained more speed and I was in second position before the last turn thanks to great help from Bennati. I could start the last part of my sprint after the corner and I won the stage. 
I am very happy and today my team once again supported me and thanks to them I could take my second stage win this year. It was a very technical finish but I don’t think that it was too dangerous. In fact, if everybody can be at the front it’s more difficult than if the front is stretched out.
I'm very happy with the result and I'd like to thank the entire team because they have executed the lead-out train at the finish. Ferdi Kübler and Hugo Koblet are the record-holders in the Tour de Suisse with 11 stage wins each and now I’m alongside them. Tomorrow, we will try to beat that record!". 

RESULTS
STAGE

1 Peter Sagan (Svk) Tinkoff-Saxo 4:34:43  
2 Jurgen Roelandts (Bel) Lotto Soudal  
3 Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Team Katusha 4 Jean-Pierre Drucker (Lux) BMC Racing Team 
5 Daniele Bennati (Ita) Tinkoff-Saxo  
6 Mark Cavendish (GBr) Etixx - Quick-Step 0:00:02  
7 Tom Van Asbroeck (Bel) Team LottoNL-Jumbo  
8 Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana Pro Team  
9 Borut Bozic (Slo) Astana Pro Team  
Embedded image permalink10 Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Pro Team  
11 Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team Sky  
12 Jacopo Guarnieri (Ita) Team Katusha 0:00:07  
13 Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek Factory Racing  
14 Jose Joaquin Rojas (Spa) Movistar Team  
15 Simon Spilak (Slo) Team Katusha  
16 Arnaud Demare (Fra) FDJ.fr  
17 Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Giant-Alpecin  
18 Steve Morabito (Swi) FDJ.fr  
19 Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Team Katusha  
20 Winner Anacona (Col) Movistar Team
GC
1 Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ.fr 22:16:51  
2 Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team Sky 0:00:42  
3 Simon Spilak (Slo) Team Katusha 0:00:50  
4 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale 0:00:55  
5 Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana Pro Team 0:01:07  
6 Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Pro Team 0:01:22  
7 Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Giant-Alpecin 0:01:32  
8 Steve Morabito (Swi) FDJ.fr 0:02:29  
9 Sébastien Reichenbach (Swi) IAM Cycling 0:02:43  
10 Sergio Luis Henao (Col) Team Sky 0:02:46


Meanwhile Andy Schleck...

Embedded image permalink...got a special birthday gift.
Definitely blue is a colour that suits you.

6.17.2015

Tour de Suisse 5: ...pour grimpeurs


Embedded image permalinkRettenbachgletscher climb. Hard. 
Finally!.
More than 6' for the break-away after the first 50 km, but it's a long stage, more than 200 km. They are DeGendt, Thomas, Niemiec, Denifl, Brandle, King, Selvaggi, Rast and Schumacher.

But 10 km to go Denifl is solo with a  4’27” gap.
Behind Spilak, Pozzovivo, Pinot, Thomas, Lopez and Hirt are chasing at 1'13''. The Yellow Jersey's group follows at 2'22'
2.2 km to go Spilak attacs, Pinot on his wheel and quickly ahead. Hirt is dropped, Spillak is caught. Pinot joins and drops Denifl. Solo in the magnificent scenario, high mountains covered on snow. 

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Thibaut Pinot:
“I’m very happy. It’s an important win for me and for the team. We wanted to win this stage and I had good legs today to do it. It’s good for my confidence and that’s important in view of the Tour de France. Winning will help me stay relaxed and it’s true, racing in Switzerland seems to suit me.
The goal is to win the Tour de Suisse but the rouleurs like Thomas and Dumoulin aren’t far back. It’ll be a long and difficult time trial. We’ll see what happens on the day.”

Thomas DeGendt:
"I wanted to go for the stage victory or eventually take the polka dot jersey."

Geraint Thomas:
“It was encouraging. I didn’t really know what to expect obviously with how hard the climb was and then the altitude as well on top of that. It was certainly going into the unknown. I’d never raced up a climb like that before. I’d always done a job and sat up. I’m pretty happy.
I just got caught with 2km to go. I just tried to ride my own pace but maybe I should have tried to go with Pinot. I just lacked a bit of confidence really as I didn’t want to blow up. So I rode my pace but that meant that the other guys sat on me. There was a bit of a headwind and then they all jumped me at the end. But I think it’s positive and I’m still in the GC hunt now. If it all stays the same going into Sunday then it will be super close and all to race for.
There’s Dumoulin at only 45 seconds behind me. I’m only 47 behind Pinot and me and Spilak are on pretty much the same time. He’s a handy time trialer so it will certainly be an exciting finale. But there are still a few big road stages to come so it could all change. But we’ll just keep going day by day I guess.
You’re lungs are burning with the breathing. After being in Tenerife for two weeks I think that certainly helps but it is definitely different to going full gas at lower altitude. Riding at altitude is something I’ve managed to cope with fairly well in the past so it wasn’t too bad. But as soon as I crossed the line you’ve properly got an oxygen debt and really hurting then. You need a few minutes to get your composure again.”


RESULTS
STAGE
1 Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ.fr 6:22:47
2 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale 0:00:34
3 Simon Spilak (Slo) Team Katusha 0:00:37
4 Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana Pro Team 0:00:43
5 Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team Sky
6 Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Pro Team 0:01:15
7 Jan Hirt (Cze) CCC Sprandi Polkowice 0:01:18
8 Sergio Luis Henao (Col) Team Sky 0:01:29
9 Stefan Denifl (Aut) IAM Cycling 0:01:31
10 Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Giant-Alpecin 0:01:37
11 Rafal Majka (Pol) Tinkoff-Saxo 0:01:40
12 Sébastien Reichenbach (Swi) IAM Cycling 0:02:16
13 Steve Morabito (Swi) FDJ.fr
14 Laurens Ten Dam (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo
15 Warren Barguil (Fra) Team Giant-Alpecin
16 Robert Gesink (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo 0:02:27
17 Esteban Chaves (Col) Orica GreenEdge 0:02:35
18 Joseph Lloyd Dombrowski (USA) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team 0:03:03
19 Bob Jungels (Lux) Trek Factory Racing 0:03:05
20 Kristijan Durasek (Cro) Lampre-Merida
21 Ben Hermans (Bel) BMC Racing Team 0:03:57
22 Kanstantsin Siutsou (Blr) Team Sky 0:04:28
23 Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Team Katusha 0:04:30
24 Jan Bakelants (Bel) AG2R La Mondiale 0:05:03
25 Frank Schleck (Lux) Trek Factory Racing 0:05:08
GC
1 Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ.fr 17:42:01
2 Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team Sky 0:00:47
3 Simon Spilak (Slo) Team Katusha 0:00:50
4 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale 0:00:55
5 Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana Pro Team 0:01:07
6 Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Pro Team 0:01:27
7 Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Giant-Alpecin 0:01:32
8 Steve Morabito (Swi) FDJ.fr 0:02:29
9 Sébastien Reichenbach (Swi) IAM Cycling 0:02:43
10 Sergio Luis Henao (Col) Team Sky 0:02:46
11 Robert Gesink (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo 0:02:57
12 Rafal Majka (Pol) Tinkoff-Saxo 0:02:59
13 Esteban Chaves (Col) Orica GreenEdge 0:03:12
14 Kristijan Durasek (Cro) Lampre-Merida 0:03:21
15 Bob Jungels (Lux) Trek Factory Racing 0:03:22
16 Laurens Ten Dam (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo 0:03:49
17 Ben Hermans (Bel) BMC Racing Team 0:04:27
18 Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Team Katusha 0:04:33
19 Warren Barguil (Fra) Team Giant-Alpecin 0:04:52
20 Kanstantsin Siutsou (Blr) Team Sky 0:05:35
21 Jan Bakelants (Bel) AG2R La Mondiale 0:06:15
22 Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) Etixx - Quick-Step 0:07:00
23 Winner Anacona (Col) Movistar Team 0:07:42
24 Frank Schleck (Lux) Trek Factory Racing 0:07:49