2.29.2016

Malaga I'm coming!

Risultati immagini per malaga spiagge"Mom! you should take a true holyday!" son said while I was flicking through spartan trekking sites' and adventurous destinations "not your usual backpacking or crosscountry skiing or bike trip! something relaxing, something like all day resting on the beach! do you know? something like doing absolutely nothing but in the sun!". Ok. He's probably right. I have just a few free days in March, including Easter day and my birthday, I'm not sure about the next Summer, I could be awfully busy or completely penniless and anyway I couldn't find anything for my date on my favourite travel sites
Indead I like 'active' holydays and normally Jonas or Avventure nel Mondo or Le vie dei canti have the right thing for me. I travel a lot on my own so for my holydays I prefer group travels. My ex husband is a wannabe alpinist, the only holyday he contemplates is in the mountain and he refuses to travel by plane, that's why we have seldom shared holydays, or never, given that I used to spend some weeks with him in the Alps and then to travel on my own. I was a young student with lots of time and some money. Now that I'm a worker with few free time and few money I have no options: a travel must fit my date, suit my budget and be nice of course and my favourite sites have nice cheap travels in Easter holydays but not in my date. That's why I'll go to Malaga on my own.
The destination came easily looking for a warm sunny place in a relatively safe country. Tourists in a country where there is a war or a civil war or a dictature or also a huge social inequality or a natural disaster are tasteless. Yes, you can travel to such a country, well protected behind your money that means an exclusive hotel with a private security. You can. But I don't want. I have been in Turkey when there was a military regime not as a tourist but as a political militant and I have been expelled after violent demonstrations where we were shoulder to shoulder with the local activists and I have been in Central America with a group who aimed to meet the local population and especially the zapatist communities in the highlands of Chapas. Not exactly a holyday, not really relaxing.
The weather is gloomy in Florence, so humid and costantly changing: I need the sun! I have visited Spain a few times already: Barcellona and Andalusia in my honeymoon, Valencia, Mallorca, Calpe, Albir and Alicante for cycling. I have never been in Malaga and I'm looking forward to see its bothanic garden and its beautiful beach. In the Easter period there is a traditional feast and art jeeks like me can enjoy the Museo Picasso and the Centro de Arte Contemporaneo.
This morning I booked my flight from Bologna to Malaga and a beautiful hotel in the city center, then I bought some flowers, bright yellow and smelling Spring, finally I had a delicious lunch with my son by La Cocotte in via Gioberti, one of the coolest commercial streets in Florence, just round the corner for me. I'm a lucky one. 
Coming home I phoned my complicated love to tell him I love him anyway. On Sunday we went, it was pourring rain and I wanted to vist a photography exibition by a café but he was feeling unconfortable, as always indoor... I got angry and we went walking by the river, taking pictures in the dusky light. Breathing the free humid air of the evening he was fine, and me too. 

Hour Record: Evelyn Stevens Sets The New One


Evelyn Stevens:
"In the beginning I really wanted to stay calm. More than anything it was an opportunity to be great. As I said earlier, it's not common to get a chance to set a world record. I can't believe this many people came to watch me. Knowing that made me go a little bit harder. The amount of support was really flattering.
It couldn't have been a more perfect day. I was able to really hit my split times. I wanted to bring it down faster at the end but you don't know your limit until you're out there."

2.28.2016

Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne: Stuyven Hero!


It was expected rain today in Florence, rain agan all day, pourring rain without a break. And no training session as a consequence.
Instead at 8 am it wasn't raining and son's ds called to say we must be at 9.15 at the meeting point. We had a very quickly break-fast and hurried up to load the bike on the car and when I was about to start I saw my improbable love walking by the other side of the road. He was supposed to come today but he didn't phone yesterday so I had not calculated him in my plann. Then there wasn't a plann anymore. We loaded him too and speeded up toward Pontassieve.
The river was swollen and dirty, high on the banks and the road was wet but it didn't rain until noon. Son trained with the team and rode home with his mates, my love and I had a coffee and cake by La bottega a Rosano  and then we all went to my father's b-day lunch.
Meanwhile in Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne a break away had taken off after just 18 km, including Van Melsen, Turgot, Trosino, Boy van Poppel, De Vries, Van Ginneken, Barker, Boucher, Druyts, De Man and Cardis
Now I'm back home and ready to follow the race. Let me check the situation: 87.5 km to go the break's advantage is 4'42"... Earlier in the race Giacomo Nizzolo stopped due to stomachache..
Oude Kwaremont: Peter Sagan attacks and splits the peloton but all is back together 48 km to go. Gap is about 2'. 
Lotto-Saudal sets the pace and the peloton splits again. 60 km to go  gap is just 40'' to the first chasing group. Riders are bridging, the break is basicly over.
Nokereberg: Vermote attacks and brings away a selected group with also Jurgen Roelandts, Jasper Stuyven and Peter Sagan. And Sagan attacks but Vermotte closes the gap.
44 km to go the peloton is compact. Trosino attacks and goes solo but he's caught 41 km to go.
Gatto, Lagutin, Roelandts and Turgot get a slight advantage. Fluid situation, many attacks, including Boy van Poppel. SPEECHLESS!  Stig Broeckx is hit by a motorbike and crashes! 35 km to go 16 riders - including both Stuyven and van Poppel - have 35". 
Katusha and Orica are leading the chase. 18 km to go the gap is about 30".
17 km to go Stuyven attacks and goes solo. Trek play stopper in the peloton. 12.5km to go Stuyven is leading solo. The first chassing group is at 23", the peloton at 38". But the gap is increasing: 9 km to go Stuyven has got almost 40''. ALLEZ JASPER!!!
6 km to go gap is down to 23''. 5 km to gap is up again at 25 and Styven throws away his bottle.
1 km to go he knows it can be done. 200 m to go he looks back: the peloton is coming but the finish line is closer. A HUGE VICTORY for the young Stuyven and one of the most thrilling race I have ever seen!

UPDATE about Stig Broeckx: according with his Team he has a displaced fracture on the right collar bone, a rib fracture and a bruised hand. 

Jasper Stuyven:
"It means more than my stage win at the Vuelta."
"I was thinking about 2010 when I was riding here when I was World Champion (Junior), and I wanted to win that day because that year my Grand Father died who was living here. But I had bad luck when someone crashed into my bike. I think today I made up for that.
I still can't believe it. I felt really good, not all day like yesterday, but in the finale, especially when we were going into the Kwaremont. I was easily following the moves, I was always there and never on the defensive. In the end Boy [Van Poppel] did a perfect job, he was incredible to keep our group going. He was so strong! But the peloton was coming back, so Dirk [Demol, director] said to try something, so I went, and I was alone. I just powered through.  
Normally, I am not the man for solo rides; I surprised myself. But in the first lap I really paid attention to the wind, so when I went I knew what to expect, and I just gave my all. I thought that maybe Tom [Boonen] would join me because he was very active, and I also knew that he would keep the group turning behind, so I knew I was in for a hard one.
All my muscles hurt. I wanted to keep some gas for the headwind section, but it was not like I had a lot of margin. I was constantly keeping an eye on my SRM, looking at my watts and keeping the legs spinning and trying to be as aero as possible.
I was targeting this weekend, and peaked for these races. I knew with Fabian [Cancellara] not here, that this was my chance. This victory is more important for me than my stage win in the Vuelta. Today was wonderful but so hard.
I had bad luck in the spring last year and couldn't prove my value. Now I have had a good winter. I am ambitious, but I can cope with the pressure, and I hope to be in the finale for the next Classics with Fabian. I am ready; the team is ready."

Alexander Kristoff:
"Last year I was also second but I was sprinting for first that time, so this is very different. Stuvyen was very strong out there alone. I thought he would come back but he wanted something else. We did a great chase with other teams, but unfortunately for me we did not catch him". 

Nacer Bouhanni:
“It was difficult. I only had two teammates in the finale, Sénéchal and Lemoine. There was a lot of wind and the guys were coming at me from behind. I followed Kristoff and nearly got him on the line. It wasn’t a sprint for the victory, so that’s different. It’s not the same to sprint for second place. I’m not 100 per cent just yet, as planned. The real goals are still coming up with Paris-Nice and Milano-San Remo. That’s where I want to leave my mark.”

Greg Van Avermaet:
“It was a hard day with a lot of wind but I think we did a pretty good race. I tried to do everything to go for another win and we were in a good group. We were six guys trying to chase Stuyven but in the end we couldn’t catch him. It is like it is and I’m pretty happy.”

Dylan Groenewegen:
“I was too far behind after the Oude Kwaremont, but I was covered by a great team, fortunately. I made it through the finish and I gave everything I had in the sprint, but more than this fourth place wasn’t possible for me. I’m satisfied. I’ll build further off this result.”

Tom Boonen:
"Today it was a tough day, which was made tougher by the strong cold wind. I felt good and that's why I attacked a couple of times. When Stuyven went in the final, we thought it was too soon for such an action, but he managed to keep a high pace and take a well-deserved victory. Compared to Sunday, I felt good and I could really feel a diference, which comes as proof that I'm on the right track."

Jens Debusschere:
“The first part of the race went fluently. A group got away and several teams placed a rider at the front of the peloton. Everyone knew that they had to be attentive after the Oude Kwaremont, especially with the strong wind. We did it very well at first, at the Varentstraat there was another split. But when a new strong group was formed, Pim Ligthart was part of it, Jürgen Roelandts and myself had to be part of it as well. In the sprint for the second place I was badly positioned after the final turn. Therefore I couldn’t sprint as expected and I’m disappointed of course. My goal was to obtain a nice result and that didn’t happen.”

Peter Sagan:
“I enjoyed this weekend in Belgium and it was another good ride for me today, a good experience and I tried. My condition is still not optimal and I hope it will continue to improve. I tried a lot of times to attack today hoping to force a breakaway, but it seems to be my destiny that people find it hard to work together with me."

Stig Broeckx:
"Back home after surgery. Verdict: Broken collarbone, bruised hand &ribfracture. More painful: No classics. Thanks for all the messages! #KBK"


MORE TO COME

RESULTS
1 Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek-Segafredo 4:53:50
2 Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Team Katusha 0:00:17
3 Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
4 Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo
5 Lukasz Wisniowski (Pol) Etixx - Quick-Step
6 Niccolo Bonifazio (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
7 Peter Sagan (Svk) Tinkoff Team
8 Edward Theuns (Bel) Trek-Segafredo
9 Jonas Vangenechten (Bel) IAM Cycling
10 Scott Thwaites (GBr) Bora-Argon 18
11 Arnaud Demare (Fra) FDJ
12 Maxime Daniel (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
13 Adrien Petit (Fra) Direct Energie
14 Raymond Kreder (Ned) Roompot - Oranje Peloton
15 Caleb Ewan (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge
16 Nikolas Maes (Bel) Etixx - Quick-Step
17 Daniel Oss (Ita) BMC Racing Team
18 Bert Van Lerberghe (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise
19 Tom Van Asbroeck (Bel) Team LottoNl-Jumbo
20 Jens Debusschere (Bel) Lotto Soudal
21 Pier Paolo De Negri (Ita) Nippo - Vini Fantini
22 Gerry Druyts (Bel) Crelan-Vastgoedservice Continental Team
23 Andrew Fenn (GBr) Team Sky
24 Stijn Vandenbergh (Bel) Etixx - Quick-Step 0:00:21
25 Eugert Zhupa (Alb) Southeast - Venezuela
26 Markel Irizar Aranburu (Spa) Trek-Segafredo
27 Laurent Evrard (Bel) Team 3M
28 Pierre-Luc Perichon (Fra) Fortuneo - Vital Concept
29 Gediminas Bagdonas (Ltu) AG2R La Mondiale
30 Simone Antonini (Ita) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
31 Florian Senechal (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
32 Yoann Offredo (Fra) FDJ
33 Roy Curvers (Ned) Team Giant-Alpecin
34 Pieter Jacobs (Bel) Crelan-Vastgoedservice Continental Team
35 Kevin Van Melsen (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
36 Matteo Busato (Ita) Southeast - Venezuela
37 Xandro Meurisse (Bel) Crelan-Vastgoedservice Continental Team
38 Gijs Van Hoecke (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise
39 Jurgen Roelandts (Bel) Lotto Soudal
40 Grégory Rast (Swi) Trek-Segafredo
41 Piotr Havik (Ned) Team 3M
42 Ralf Matzka (Ger) Bora-Argon 18
43 Zico Waeytens (Bel) Team Giant-Alpecin
44 Koen De Kort (Ned) Team Giant-Alpecin
45 Ryan Anderson (Can) Direct Energie
46 Boy Van Poppel (Ned) Trek-Segafredo
47 Yanto Barker (GBr) ONE Pro Cycling
48 Sébastien Turgot (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
49 Michal Golas (Pol) Team Sky 0:00:30
50 Salvatore Puccio (Ita) Team Sky
51 Jaap De Man (Ned) Team 3M
52 Gianni Moscon (Ita) Team Sky
53 Martin Velits (Svk) Etixx - Quick-Step
54 Bert De Backer (Bel) Team Giant-Alpecin
55 Maarten Wynants (Bel) Team LottoNl-Jumbo
56 Niki Terpstra (Ned) Etixx - Quick-Step 0:00:33
57 Michael Schär (Swi) BMC Racing Team
58 Antoine Duchesne (Can) Direct Energie 0:00:35
59 Tom Stamsnijder (Ned) Team Giant-Alpecin
60 Hugo Houle (Can) AG2R La Mondiale
61 Jens Keukeleire (Bel) Orica-GreenEdge 0:00:37
62 Berden De Vries (Ned) Roompot - Oranje Peloton
63 Floris De Tier (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise 0:00:39
64 Alexandre Pichot (Fra) Direct Energie
65 Romain Cardis (Fra) Direct Energie
66 Michel Kreder (Ned) Roompot - Oranje Peloton 0:00:42
67 Leigh Howard (Aus) IAM Cycling
68 Cyril Lemoine (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
69 Tom Boonen (Bel) Etixx - Quick-Step 0:00:44
70 Manuel Quinziato (Ita) BMC Racing Team 0:00:47
71 Pim Ligthart (Ned) Lotto Soudal
72 Tom Bohli (Swi) BMC Racing Team
73 Jean-Pierre Drucker (Lux) BMC Racing Team
74 Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team
75 Mirko Trosino (Ita) Southeast - Venezuela
76 Dries Devenyns (Bel) IAM Cycling
77 Oliver Naesen (Bel) IAM Cycling
78 Maarten Tjallingii (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo
79 Thomas Leezer (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo
80 Heinrich Haussler (Aus) IAM Cycling 0:00:58
81 Gert Dockx (Bel) Lotto Soudal 0:01:00
82 Julien Vermote (Bel) Etixx - Quick-Step 0:01:08
83 Nils Politt (Ger) Team Katusha 0:01:40
84 Luke Rowe (GBr) Team Sky 0:01:58
85 Twan Castelijns (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo
86 Damien Gaudin (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
87 Marco Haller (Aut) Team Katusha 0:02:54
88 Jelle Wallays (Bel) Lotto Soudal 0:03:15
89 Luke Durbridge (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge 0:03:55
90 Mitchell Docker (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge
91 Frederik Frison (Bel) Lotto Soudal
92 Sergey Lagutin (Rus) Team Katusha
93 Aleksei Tcatevich (Rus) Team Katusha
94 Sjoerd Van Ginneken (Ned) Roompot - Oranje Peloton 0:06:47
95 Sam Bewley (NZl) Orica-GreenEdge 0:07:30
96 Magnus Cort Nielsen (Den) Orica-GreenEdge
97 Alexander Edmonson (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge
DNF Daniele Bennati (Ita) Tinkoff Team
DNF Manuele Boaro (Ita) Tinkoff Team
DNF Maciej Bodnar (Pol) Tinkoff Team
DNF Adam Blythe (GBr) Tinkoff Team
DNF Nikolay Trusov (Rus) Tinkoff Team
DNF Jay Mccarthy (Aus) Tinkoff Team
DNF Oscar Gatto (Ita) Tinkoff Team
DNF Elia Viviani (Ita) Team Sky
DNF Alex Peters (GBr) Team Sky
DNF Greg Henderson (NZl) Lotto Soudal
DNF Stig Broeckx (Bel) Lotto Soudal
DNF Vladimir Isaychev (Rus) Team Katusha
DNF Michael Morkov (Den) Team Katusha
DNF Sven Erik Bystrøm (Nor) Team Katusha
DNF Guillaume Van Keirsbulck (Bel) Etixx - Quick-Step
DNF Sondre Holst Enger (Nor) IAM Cycling
DNF Roger Kluge (Ger) IAM Cycling
DNF Matteo Pelucchi (Ita) IAM Cycling
DNF Mickael Delage (Fra) FDJ
DNF Marc Sarreau (Fra) FDJ
DNF Matthieu Ladagnous (Fra) FDJ
DNF Daniel Hoelgaard (Nor) FDJ
DNF Johan Le Bon (Fra) FDJ
DNF Ignatas Konovalovas (Ltu) FDJ
DNF Christopher Juul Jensen (Den) Orica-GreenEdge
DNF Floris Gerfs (Ned) BMC Racing Team
DNF Nico Denz (Ger) AG2R La Mondiale
DNF Alexis Gougeard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
DNF Jesse Sergent (NZl) AG2R La Mondiale
DNF Bram Tankink (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo
DNF Robert Wagner (Ger) Team LottoNl-Jumbo
DNF Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
DNF Marco Coledan (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
DNF Søren Kragh Andersen (Den) Team Giant-Alpecin
DNF Nikias Arndt (Ger) Team Giant-Alpecin
DNF Albert Timmer (Ned) Team Giant-Alpecin
DNF Filippo Pozzato (Ita) Southeast - Venezuela
DNF Manuel Belletti (Ita) Southeast - Venezuela
DNF Andrea Fedi (Ita) Southeast - Venezuela
DNF Mirko Tedeschi (Ita) Southeast - Venezuela
DNF Enrique Sanz (Spa) Southeast - Venezuela
DNF Shane Archbold (NZl) Bora-Argon 18
DNF Sam Bennett (Irl) Bora-Argon 18
DNF Zakkari Dempster (Aus) Bora-Argon 18
DNF Lukas Pöstlberger (Aut) Bora-Argon 18
DNF Michael Schwarzmann (Ger) Bora-Argon 18
DNF Rudiger Selig (Ger) Bora-Argon 18
DNF Roy Jans (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
DNF Kenny De Haes (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
DNF Tom Devriendt (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
DNF Mark Mcnally (GBr) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
DNF Robin Stenuit (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
DNF Frederik Veuchelen (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
DNF Yauheni Hutarovich (Blr) Fortuneo - Vital Concept
DNF Franck Bonnamour (Fra) Fortuneo - Vital Concept
DNF Daniel Mclay (GBr) Fortuneo - Vital Concept
DNF Boris Vallee (Bel) Fortuneo - Vital Concept
DNF Steven Tronet (Fra) Fortuneo - Vital Concept
DNF Benoit Jarrier (Fra) Fortuneo - Vital Concept
DNF Vegard Breen (Nor) Fortuneo - Vital Concept
DNF Preben Van Hecke (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise
DNF Amaury Capiot (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise
DNF Maxime Farazijn (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise
DNF Kenneth Van Bilsen (Bel) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
DNF Borut Bozic (Slo) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
DNF Jerome Cousin (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
DNF Gert Joeaar (Est) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
DNF Jonas Ahlstrand (Swe) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
DNF Yohann Gene (Fra) Direct Energie
DNF Tony Hurel (Fra) Direct Energie
DNF Julien Morice (Fra) Direct Energie
DNF Iuri Filosi (Ita) Nippo - Vini Fantini
DNF Eduard Michael Grosu (Rom) Nippo - Vini Fantini
DNF Yuma Koishi (Jpn) Nippo - Vini Fantini
DNF Nicolas Marini (Ita) Nippo - Vini Fantini
DNF Riccardo Stacchiotti (Ita) Nippo - Vini Fantini
DNF Antonio Viola (Ita) Nippo - Vini Fantini
DNF Jesper Asselman (Ned) Roompot - Oranje Peloton
DNF Wesley Kreder (Ned) Roompot - Oranje Peloton
DNF André Looij (Ned) Roompot - Oranje Peloton
DNF Brian Van Goethem (Ned) Roompot - Oranje Peloton
DNF Marcin Bialoblocki (Pol) ONE Pro Cycling
DNF Sebastian Lander (Den) ONE Pro Cycling
DNF Hayden Mccormick (NZl) ONE Pro Cycling
DNF Martin Mortensen (Den) ONE Pro Cycling
DNF Chris Opie (GBr) ONE Pro Cycling
DNF Samuel Williams (GBr) ONE Pro Cycling
DNF Steele Von Hoff (Aus) ONE Pro Cycling
DNF David Boucher (Fra) Crelan-Vastgoedservice Continental Team
DNF Yannick Eijssen (Bel) Crelan-Vastgoedservice Continental Team
DNF Rob Ruijgh (Ned) Crelan-Vastgoedservice Continental Team
DNF Frederique Robert (Bel) Crelan-Vastgoedservice Continental Team
DNF Alexander Geuens (Bel) Crelan-Vastgoedservice Continental Team
DNF Edwig Cammaerts (Bel) Team 3M
DNF Michael Vingerling (Ned) Team 3M
DNF Yoeri Havik (Ned) Team 3M
DNF Christophe Sleurs (Bel) Team 3M
DNF Jimmy Janssens (Bel) Team 3M
DNS Christian Knees (Ger) Team Sky
DNS Rick Zabel (Ger) BMC Racing Team
DNS Kenneth Van Rooy (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise
DNS Tim Declercq (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise

2.27.2016

Omloop Het Nieuwsblad: She Brings The Rainbow! and he's Greg Van Avermaet


Stunning stunning stunning victory by the World Champion Armistead. But nobody could see it live. Too often women's races keep being discrinated, it's a shame. People don't follow female cycling because it isn't put on value and as a consequence it can't find good sponsors. The UCI must do more to change this: it shouldn't allow in its calendar races without a femal race and without a tv coverage for it. It isn't that hard or expensive anymore to show a race on streaming or at least some highlights.
The men race is on. 47 km to go there are two riders in front  - Reus and Gougeard - and four riders chasing - Benoot, Van Avermaet, Sagan and Rowe. Gap is just 16''.
41 km to go the two groups merge. A crash involves Philippe Gilbert, Floris Gerts and Jean-Pierre Drucker. The front group has about 30'' on the first chasers including also Chavanel, Moscon, Naesen, Thwaites and Van Zummeren.
35 km to go  Morice and Dhaene bridgeTheuns and Van der Sande attack from the peloton. Kai Reus gets a flat and is dropped from the front group. Theuns is caught but Stuyven counters and is chasing solo. 25 km to go he's 35" from the head of the race. Unfortunately he makes a mistake, almost crash and gets caught by the peloton. 
On the last cobbled section now: 20km to go. Gap is abount 1'. 15 km to go only 5 riders are left in front:  Benoot, Van Avermaet, Rowe, Sagan and Gougeard.
4 km to go gap is down to 30''. But the break sticks and the race has won at the sprint in this selected group. Greg van Avermaet wins on Peter Sagan. 3rd on the podium is an outstanding Tiesj Benoot.

Greg Van Avermaet:
“I’m never really winning that much and it’s the first race in Belgium so far, so I’m pretty happy with this victory. If I could choose one, I would have picked directly this one”. 
"It was really important for me to win the first Classics race of the season. I'm happy that I could finally win a Classic like this because I was close a few times here and I know how hard it is to win a Classic in the springtime."
"You never know how many victories you're going to have so I'm of course going to enjoy this one and hopefully I'll have more to come. Beating Sagan in a sprint like this only gives me more confidence. My main goal is still the Tour of Flanders and to already have this win in my pocket is the best way to start the season. I've always believed in my ability to outsprint the fast guys especially after a long, hard race. When I was second and third I was always saying to myself that I could beat them when things go perfectly. And today's victory confirmed this I think. You have to keep believing in yourself and one day it will come true."


Peter Sagan:

“For this time of the season I felt pretty good. It’s one month now since my last race, and I’ve just been preparing and training in Sierra Nevada. It was a hard race today and in the finale I felt like in one or two weeks I’ll be better. But for now, it’s already a good sign. The break went a bit early. We worked well together but in the finale I saw the gap was coming down so I made two or three accelerations on the cobbles and this took it out of me. I started to feel the cramps in the final kilometres and Greg is in better shape than me with a few more race days. But there are more important races to come. Also, it was great to race here in the rainbow jersey – it’s a great race with a special atmosphere.”


Tiesj Benoot:
“I can hardly be disappointed with a third place in my first Omloop Het Nieuwsblad where I started as a protected rider. The race exploded at the expected moment, at the Taaienberg. If men like Van Avermaet and Sagan attack, you simply have to follow them. It was still far from the finish, but all top teams were represented in the front of the race, except for Etixx – Quick-Step.
I could rely on a fantastic team that reacted to every attempt in the peloton. That says a lot about the atmosphere and the shape of the whole team. Also the riders that were in the front group did a great job. Everyone did his very best to defend our lead. Even Alexis Gougeard, who was at the front of the race all day long. I knew that it wouldn’t be easy to sprint against these riders. I thought for a while that I could try to ride away, but at the end of the Lange Munte it was still about twenty kilometres towards the finish with a strong headwind. So it would be very difficult. Eventually I rode a decent sprint, but Greg was the best and he’s the deserved winner.
My third place of today proves that I had a good winter. In Mallorca and Algarve I received the confirmation of that great form, but the Omloop is the first real test. It’s a very good feeling to stand on the podium. It was really nice to be at the start here in my hometown, the atmosphere was simply fantastic.
The Omloop was the first race of the spring. Tomorrow I won’t start at Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne, that was planned beforehand. Next weekend I ride the Strade Bianche, a very nice race that has a lot of potential and has already become an important race. Then I participate in Tirreno-Adriatico, were we’ll try to do the final preparations for the rest of the spring. I feel really good and after this third place I’m looking forward to the other spring classics.”


Jasper Stuyven:
"We were there; perfect all day. I felt really, really good. I was looking at my SRM near the end, and feeling like we had only done 50kms. On the Taaienberg, I was well positioned. I saw Rowe and Van Avermaet attack, and I figured the group wouldn't let them go. I was not really worried, but before I realized, they had a gap. I was there with really good legs and tried to stay calm and to wait for a good moment to try. After I made an effort, I was communicating with Dirk [Demol, director] and discussing whether to wait or not and before I knew it I was down in a corner. I feel my back, I took a hit, but nothing we can’t fix. The Taaienberg hesitation cost me, I should have jumped out of the gutter and followed Benoot… I am maybe missing some experience. I got a tactical lesson today. Today was a good opportunity for Edward and myself because Fabian [Cancellara] isn't here, and both of us in the top ten shows we're ready. Top ten is great, but it could have been more."


RESULTS
WOMEN
1 Armitstead
2 Blaak +29
3 Cromwell +29
4 Kirchmann +29
5 Olds +29
6 Brand +29
7 Hosking +29
8 Zorzi +29
9 Small +29
10 Johansson +29
MEN
1 Van Avermaet
2 Sagan
3 Benoot
4 Rowe
5 Gougeard +6
6 Debusschere +9
7 Petit +9
8 Theuns +9
9 Stuyven +9
10 Ladagnous +10



2.26.2016

A Glimpse To Procycling and Baroque Clouds

Sun at noon
Starting tomorrow, serious races are coming and the road season is getting into the hot zone. For the first time in ages I'm not very interested, just mildly curious to see who win and frankly far from my usual focus on the emerging young talents. Some new guys are good but I'm not eager to know them better. I let it go.
Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Kurne-Brussel-Kurne are usually a nice starter. Here it's going to rain, there it will be probably dry. That means I'll watch them on streaming, at least the first one, because on Sunday I could take the chance to have a short trip with my love. 
Traveling in the rain isn't ideal, I know, but Italy is full of beautiful art exibitions and museums easy to reach by train where you can nicely spend a day and stay dry. I'll make my mind up!
Morning on the train
The early morning is one of my favourite moments, especially when the sun shines, and this morning it was looking so good! The clouds were white and baroque, painting with their shadows on different greens the woods, the fields and the curvy far hills, while the higher lands in the distance were misty and blue. 
At noon the sun was glorious. At 2 pm it was dark and stormy. Even cold. I had just the time to get home and it started raining. At 4 pm the sun is out again! It's like a theater where one actor is playing all roles. I watch amused and keep my smile.
..........
"Nuvole Barocche" is also a song by Fabrizio De Andrè.
Sporza has got a nice recap

2.25.2016

Pourring Rain and Much More

The sky over the rail station
"It's raining again, still it's warm, even warmer than yesterday when I thought it was the Springtime already. A tender green on the nacked trees, a random hole of bright blue in the dull grey sky, then something - indefinable, restless - in my blood making hard to sleep at night and a bird distintly singing out the window during my lesson: Springtime. 
Me in my class
It has been a mild winter and my gypsies managed it well: wrapped in coloured blakets, covers, sleepinbags, and packed together on the grass of the park, a cardboard to protect them from the moisture of the ground. I use to see them in the early morning, when I ride by going to school. I have slept a few times me too under the stars, without a tent, often in Summer but once in April so it wasn't exaly hot. It's great
I don't need anymore a long winter coat - the red one I was wearing in Belgium is going to be cleaned and put away - nor a beret under my helmet. Even the bomber jacket I'm using now is too much: yesterday I was soacked in sweat when I got off my bike: it's definitely time to switch to a 'modular' clothing starting with a t-shirt and finishing with a windcheater. I can't change my clothes at school and that's also why I don't ride my bike when it's pourring rain: getting wet is not a problem but staying wet is. 
Correcting papers 
Unless I have to go to school, I love being in the rain and you'll seldom see me with an umbrella. It's funny how people fear the rain: two drops and they run under a shelter. But look the other animals and how they enjoy a little rain, especially in the Springtime! Today after work I was the only one waiting for the train in the beautiful rain while all the rest were comically squashed under the short platform roof. A man stared at me, came out and tried the rain with his hand, incredulous, then made a bolt back. 
Reading at home in a rainy day
It has been a lazy day in school because my student with special needs got a five days suspension: he collaborated in hanging a class mate on a rack... Everybody was laughing, the hung included, but that doesn't make it less serious. Yesterday instead I was teaching Human Science in my other school and my students had a test about Piaget. I spent my afternoon correting it, unpaid because the time we work for school isn't fixed unless it's lesson's time, it can be one hour or five depending on the need. I went correcting papers to my favourite cafè, L'Arte del Sogno and it's a satisfation because the most of my students did a good job.
The pourring rain means that often my son can't train but last Sunday it was dry and I followed the training session in the team car. My son is in his second year as an 'esordiente', 14 yo: they are already pretty fast and train on a distance of 50/70 kms. On Sunday it's 'fondo', that's riding molstly on flat keeping an high pace on a small gear. My son prefer the training session they have during the week when they ride to the Chianti hills on a more various route. He's a good climber and a strong roulleur. I like following in the car chattering with the sport director about procycling and my kid. We know each other since almost ten year!
Yellow shoes
Sometimes while the team train I just seat reading in my parked car. I only have a little time for personal reading: on the train and in bed at night, unless I deliberately take one hour to go reading in the sun, usually in the park next home. I have to read a lot for my job! At the moment my private books are "Glas" by Jaques Derrida and "Bright Earth: Art and the Invention of Color". The last one it's very interesting! the first one is part of my preliminary study for an essays about Hegel and Derrida, two of my favourites philosophers. I also love reading novels, especially classics or contemporary British authors, but I ran out of it: the book shop will see me soon! do you have any suggestions?
Last but not least I had some sweat moments with my loved one. It's complicated but let's take the good: perfectionism is a big enemy of happiness."