martedì 15 aprile 2014

(After) Roubaix Faces - ...and results

Hello, I'm back! in spite of a terrorist on board allarm at Paris-Orly Airport and a very long delay... I'm in Florence again, with a few good photos to edit and big emotions to write. 
On 'my' pavé - Marc Madiot's sector, Beuvry-la-Forêt - I got impressed when the race came and rushed just in front of me. It wasn't my first race, I'm used to be close to the action but Roubaix is different. I got amazed, overwhelmed, almost scared. 
I has been great and I'll tell you more in the next days.
Compared to other Roubaix I watched on tv, this one has been more open. In such a hard, brutal race the strongest usually won. Rarely the race is decided at the sprint in a large front group like the one we have seen this year. Niki Terpstra attacked very close to the finish.
In my opinion - but I'll give you later my take - the race has been so open not because there were many strong contenders but because the main contenders weren't as strong as usual. Niki Terpstra is in a spendid shape and it's no news, however he didn't win because of his power but because of a smart move. A splendid victory, a spendid winner. 
Then it came all to a sprint and of course a sprinter won it. A sprinter like John Degenkolb able to survive till the finish in Roubaix.
Fabian Cancellara step once again on the podium and Sep Vanmarcke got defeated again in the same place by the same rider. Vanmarcke was stronger than Cancellara this time but he couldn't make a difference. Peter Sagan confirmed he still has to learn to be a Roubaix Rider. Team Sky confirmed they are very good students: Thomas and Wiggins both in the top 10 is something more than a good result: it's a won challenge.


1 Niki Terpstra (Ned) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team 6:09:01  
2 John Degenkolb (Ger) Team Giant-Shimano 0:00:20  
3 Fabian Cancellara (Swi) Trek Factory Racing    
4 Sep Vanmarcke (Bel) Belkin-Pro Cycling Team    
5 Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team    
6 Peter Sagan (Svk) Cannondale    
7 Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team Sky    
8 Sebastian Langeveld (Ned) Garmin Sharp    
9 Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Team Sky    
10 Tom Boonen (Bel) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team    
11 Bert De Backer (Bel) Team Giant-Shimano 0:00:26  
12 Arnaud Demare (Fra) 0:00:47  
13 Bernhard Eisel (Aut) Team Sky    
14 Sébastien Turgot (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale    
15 Björn Leukemans (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert    
16 Stijn Vandenbergh (Bel) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team    
17 Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team    
18 Jos van Emden (Ned) Belkin-Pro Cycling Team    
19 Thor Hushovd (Nor) BMC Racing Team 0:01:05  
20 Jean-Pierre Drucker (Lux) Wanty - Groupe Gobert    
21 Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Team Sky    
22 Marcus Burghardt (Ger) BMC Racing Team    
23 Sébastien Minard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale    
24 Yannick Martinez (Fra) Team Europcar    
25 Jens Keukeleire (Bel) Orica GreenEdge    
26 Bram Tankink (Ned) Belkin-Pro Cycling Team    
27 Steve Chainel (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale    
28 Adrien Petit (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits 0:02:55  
29 Mitchell Docker (Aus) Orica GreenEdge    
30 Taylor Phinney (USA) BMC Racing Team    
31 Luke Rowe (GBr) Team Sky    
32 Matthieu Ladagnous (Fra)    
33 Laurens De Vreese (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert    
34 Michael Schär (Swi) BMC Racing Team    
35 Nikolay Trusov (Rus) Tinkoff-Saxo    
36 Kristijan Koren (Slo) Cannondale    
37 Lars Boom (Ned) Belkin-Pro Cycling Team 0:02:59  
38 Johan Vansummeren (Bel) Garmin Sharp    
39 Maarten Wynants (Bel) Belkin-Pro Cycling Team    
40 Borut Bozic (Slo) Astana Pro Team    
41 Mathew Hayman (Aus) Orica GreenEdge 0:04:14  
42 Maciej Bodnar (Pol) Cannondale 0:05:48  
43 Alexandre Pichot (Fra) Team Europcar 0:06:42  
44 Roger Kluge (Ger) IAM Cycling    
45 Benoit Jarrier (Fra) Bretagne - Seche Environnement    
46 Yauheni Hutarovich (Blr) AG2R La Mondiale    
47 Gediminas Bagdonas (Ltu) AG2R La Mondiale    
48 Brice Feillu (Fra) Bretagne - Seche Environnement 0:06:44  
49 Florian Senechal (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits    
50 Filippo Pozzato (Ita) Lampre-Merida    
51 Maarten Tjallingii (Ned) Belkin-Pro Cycling Team    
52 Michael Morkov (Den) Tinkoff-Saxo 0:07:06  
53 Boy van Poppel (Ned) Trek Factory Racing    
54 Francisco José Ventoso Alberdi (Spa) Movistar Team    
55 Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek Factory Racing    
56 Zakkari Dempster (Aus) Team NetApp - Endura    
57 Viacheslav Kuznetsov (Rus) Team Katusha    
58 Stig Broeckx (Bel) Lotto Belisol    
59 Yoann Offredo (Fra)    
60 Julien Fouchard (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits    
61 Imanol Erviti Ollo (Spa) Movistar Team    
62 Aleksejs Saramotins (Lat) IAM Cycling    
63 Blaz Jarc (Slo) Team NetApp - Endura    
64 Dylan van Baarle (Ned) Garmin Sharp    
65 Christian Knees (Ger) Team Sky    
66 Andreas Schillinger (Ger) Team NetApp - Endura    
67 Tyler Farrar (USA) Garmin Sharp    
68 Stijn Steels (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise    
69 Reinardt Janse Van Rensburg (RSA) Team Giant-Shimano    
70 Jelle Wallays (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise    
71 Dmitriy Gruzdev (Kaz) Astana Pro Team    
72 Paolo Longo Borghini (Ita) Cannondale    
73 Christopher Juul Jensen (Den) Tinkoff-Saxo    
74 Luca Paolini (Ita) Team Katusha    
75 Jens Debusschere (Bel) Lotto Belisol 0:07:22  
76 Danilo Wyss (Swi) BMC Racing Team 0:07:51  
77 Robert Wagner (Ger) Belkin-Pro Cycling Team 0:09:55  
78 Jarl Salomein (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise    
79 James Vanlandschoot (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert    
80 Andrea Francesco Palini (Ita) Lampre-Merida    
81 Martijn Maaskant (Ned) UnitedHealthcare Professional Cycling Team    
82 Egoitz Garcia Echeguibel (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions Credits    
83 Koen De Kort (Ned) Team Giant-Shimano    
84 Guillaume Van Keirsbulck (Bel) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team    
85 Thomas Leezer (Ned) Belkin-Pro Cycling Team    
86 Gatis Smukulis (Lat) Team Katusha    
87 Matthias Krizek (Aut) Cannondale    
88 William Bonnet (Fra)    
89 Nicki Sörensen (Den) Tinkoff-Saxo    
90 Luke Durbridge (Aus) Orica GreenEdge    
91 Heinrich Haussler (Aus) IAM Cycling    
92 Vladimir Gusev (Rus) Team Katusha    
93 Jonathan McEvoy (GBr) Team NetApp-Endura    
94 Markel Irizar Aranburu (Spa) Trek Factory Racing    
95 Matteo Trentin (Ita) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team    
96 Manuel Quinziato (Ita) BMC Racing Team    
97 Tim De Troyer (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert    
98 Marko Kump (Slo) Tinkoff-Saxo    
99 Grégory Rast (Swi) Trek Factory Racing 0:10:08  
100 Nikias Arndt (Ger) Team Giant-Shimano 0:13:16  
101 Alan Marangoni (Ita) Cannondale 0:13:42  
102 Clément Koretzky (Fra) Bretagne - Seche Environnement    
103 Christophe Laporte (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits    
104 Wesley Kreder (Ned) Wanty - Groupe Gobert    
105 Jack Bauer (NZl) Garmin Sharp    
106 Ruslan Tleubayev (Kaz) Astana Pro Team    
107 Edward Theuns (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise    
108 Yves Lampaert (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise    
109 Lars Ytting Bak (Den) Lotto Belisol    
110 Damien Gaudin (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:16:14  
111 Murilo Antonio Fischer (Bra) 0:16:22  
112 Salvatore Puccio (Ita) Team Sky    
113 David Millar (GBr) Garmin Sharp 0:16:40  
114 Yaroslav Popovych (Ukr) Trek Factory Racing 0:18:37  
115 Sébastien Hinault (Fra) IAM Cycling 0:18:39  
116 Ramon Sinkeldam (Ned) Team Giant-Shimano    
117 Gabriel Rasch (Nor) Team Sky    
118 Jens Mouris (Ned) Orica GreenEdge    
119 Dominic Klemme (Ger) IAM Cycling    
120 Jesse Sergent (NZl) Trek Factory Racing    
121 John Murphy (USA) UnitedHealthcare Professional Cycling Team 0:18:54  
122 Christopher Jones (USA) UnitedHealthcare Professional Cycling Team    
123 Preben Van Hecke (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise    
124 Jasha Sütterlin (Ger) Movistar Team    
125 Raymond Kreder (Ned) Garmin Sharp    
126 Vladimir Isaychev (Rus) Team Katusha    
127 Alessandro Bazzana (Ita) UnitedHealthcare Professional Cycling Team 0:22:04  
128 Pierre-Luc Perichon (Fra) Bretagne - Seche Environnement    
129 Vegard Breen (Nor) Lotto Belisol    
130 Kenny Dehaes (Bel) Lotto Belisol 0:22:08  
131 Jan Barta (Cze) Team NetApp - Endura 0:27:42  
132 Daniel Summerhill (USA) UnitedHealthcare Professional Cycling Team 0:27:46  
133 Michael Hepburn (Aus) Orica GreenEdge    
134 Sam Bennett (Irl) Team NetApp - Endura    
135 Daniil Fominykh (Kaz) Astana Pro Team    
136 Rudiger Selig (Ger) Team Katusha    
137 Valentin Iglinskiy (Kaz) Astana Pro Team    
138 Robert Förster (Ger) UnitedHealthcare Professional Cycling Team    
139 Mirko Selvaggi (Ita) Wanty - Groupe Gobert    
140 Davide Frattini (Ita) UnitedHealthcare Professional Cycling Team    
141 Michal Kolár (Svk) Tinkoff-Saxo    
142 Hugo Houle (Can) AG2R La Mondiale    
143 Ralf Matzka (Ger) Team NetApp - Endura    
144 Bradley White (USA) UnitedHealthcare Professional Cycling Team    
DNF Bjorn Thurau (Ger) Team Europcar    
DNF Dayer Uberney Quintana Rojas (Col) Movistar Team    
DNF Juan Jose Lobato Del Valle (Spa) Movistar Team    
DNF Jesus Herrada Lopez (Spa) Movistar Team    
DNF José Ivan Gutierrez Palacios (Spa) Movistar Team    
DNF Alex Dowsett (GBr) Movistar Team    
DNF Jérôme Pineau (Fra) IAM Cycling    
DNF Evan Huffman (USA) Astana Pro Team    
DNF Marcel Aregger (Swi) IAM Cycling    
DNF Vegard Stake Laengen (Nor) Bretagne - Seche Environnement    
DNF Yohann Gene (Fra) Team Europcar    
DNF Jimmy Engoulvent (Fra) Team Europcar    
DNF Matteo Pelucchi (Ita) IAM Cycling    
DNF Arman Kamyshev (Kaz) Astana Pro Team    
DNF Manuele Boaro (Ita) Tinkoff-Saxo    
DNF Jesper Hansen (Den) Tinkoff-Saxo    
DNF Christophe Laborie (Fra) Bretagne - Seche Environnement    
DNF Benjamin Le Montagner (Fra) Bretagne - Seche Environnement    
DNF Kenneth Vanbilsen (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise    
DNF Frederik Veuchelen (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert    
DNF Sam Bewley (NZl) Orica GreenEdge    
DNF Gert Joeaar (Est) Cofidis, Solutions Credits    
DNF Cyril Lemoine (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits    
DNF Louis Verhelst (Bel) Cofidis, Solutions Credits    
DNF Tim Declercq (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise    
DNF Antoine Duchesne (Can) Team Europcar    
DNF Erwann Corbel (Fra) Bretagne - Seche Environnement    
DNF Fabio Sabatini (Ita) Cannondale    
DNF Michael Schwarzmann (Ger) Team NetApp - Endura    
DNF Hayden Roulston (NZl) Trek Factory Racing    
DNF Iljo Keisse (Bel) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team    
DNF Nikolas Maes (Bel) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team    
DNF Silvan Dillier (Swi) BMC Racing Team    
DNF Aidis Kruopis (Ltu) Orica GreenEdge    
DNF Aliaksandr Kuchynski (Blr) Team Katusha    
DNF Lloyd Mondory (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale    
DNF Lasse Norman Hansen (Den) Garmin Sharp    
DNF David Boucher (Fra)    
DNF Mickael Delage (Fra)    
DNF Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Team Katusha    
DNF Edward King (USA) Cannondale    
DNF Jerome Cousin (Fra) Team Europcar    
DNF Niccolo Bonifazio (Ita) Lampre-Merida    
DNF Davide Cimolai (Ita) Lampre-Merida

venerdì 11 aprile 2014

What it takes to be a Roubaix Rider (Start List, favourites and more)

What does make of you a Roubaix Rider? it isn't enough to be a One Day Race riders nor to be a Classics riders. Climbing or sprinting skills are both usefull but Roubaix isn't a sprinters' race as well as it isn't - more obviously maybe - a climbers' race. Roubaix is a part, 'sui generis', peculiar. You don't start here 'just to train' and it's quite difficult to train for it... elsewhere than here. You must to be a Roubaix rider SO MUCH that you need a Roubaix bike. No-Roubaix bikes and riders seriously risk to have got something broken at the end of the day and even Roubaix specialists can't tell if that will be the case.
There is an interesting article by Barry Ryan here:
It's about Bradley Wiggins' chances in the next Paris-Roubaix but it also lists some of the required qualities of a Roubaix Rider. Wiggins' decision to ride it raised a large debate and one the first remark was that the last Tour de France winner to do so has been Greg LeMond in 1992. But Ryan is right to underline how "Paris-Roubaix turned into a race for specialists sooner than any other" given that "Bernard Hinault’s famous 1981 victory is the last time a Tour winner has also gone on to land Paris-Roubaix, and in the past half a century only three other men have worn yellow in Paris and triumphed on the Roubaix velodrome – Felice Gimondi, Jan Janssen and Eddy Merckx. Indeed, Sean Kelly – who won in 1984 and 1986, and later took the Vuelta a España in 1988 – is the last man to inscribe both a major stage race and the Queen of the Classics on his palmarès." So it seems that Roubaix has never really beena race as the others, at least since in 'modern cycling', when the most of the 'normal' races runs on tarmac. Earlier, in the 'heroic times' of cycling, there wasn't probably all that difference and it's easy to see how riders themselves were a different human type
A Roubaix rider, physically, is a bit an old style rider: strong builded. In the same article Fabian Cancellara says:  “With Tour de France weight you’re not going to go anywhere”. Big tours contenders are often skinny climbers and in spite their body is obviously 'strong' in terms of capacity of generating power their scarce weight doesn't allow stability and aderence on that horrible pavé. Once Cancellara said you must fly on it: only a constant high speed combinated with a quite big weight makes the miracle. So weight is a factor.
But it isn't enough. A constant high speed means a constant effort so a Roubaix rider must be also a good cronomen (like Cancellara) or a rider used to race on the trak in the individual pursuir, like Taylor Phinney who says: “Individual pursuit is all about power and holding it for a certain period of time and that’s what riding over the cobbles is." Endurance is a second factor.
That's what you need to start a Roubaix but to win it the right attitude is also crucial: 200 strong and resistent riders start, few finish and only one wins. In between it's an all against all fight for positions. You need a strong team and strong mates who keep you in front in every races but here you are required to stay in front by yourself, especially in the second part of the race, when the most of your mates... already retired or crashed or are exhausted. It's a fact and Filippo Pozzato, second in here in 2009, points it out: "If you’re always at the back when you get to the pavé, you have to make twice the effort just to get up to the front again. [...] If you don’t hit the Arenberg Forest in the first 40 riders, then your race is over there." In Italian we have a word for this skill: 'limare'. Some riders are better than others to stay in front and that's a 3rd very important factor.
A Roubaix rider with ambitions must be strong, resistent and able to stay in front. Is that all? No. Mat Hayman adds an important 4th factor: “That’s what I think it comes down to in the classics. You have to want to be there and you have to put yourself on the line." You must be motivated, focused and willing to race, like in every races of course but here especially. As I said, you don't do Roubaix just to train: first of all because it's a dangerous race, then because is very demanding. You crash here and your season could be over. Simply finishing is a goal especially for young riders and Roubaix beginners. And usually you must earn your spot in a Roubaix squad.
For the first time in my life I go to Roubaix and I'm very excited. My son and I are going to partecipate to the Trek Factory Racing's Fan Club meeting near Orchies - more here -
We'll stay in Lille so let me know if you are around.
Fabian Cancellara is the number one favourite: look at him and you'll be forced to admit that he has got all what you need to be a Roubaix Rider. The second favourite is in my opinion Sep Vanmarcke. Van Avermaet, Vansummeren, Boasson Hagen, Stybar, Terpstra and Sagan are also on the list. Tom Boonen hardly but you never know.
I don't think a sprinter like Degenkolb, Kristoff, Démare or Rojas can win it, in spite they showed a good shape in the Ronde. Hushovd and Farrar weren't in shape and I don't think they will be on Sunday. What about Wiggings? In the Ronde he was riding well, doing a lot of work for the team. I don't exclude a very good performace, but I don't see him winning. What about Taylor Phinney? is he going to work for Van Avermaet again? he's definitely grown up since his last partecipation in this race that he especially loves. Don't underate him.
But it's hard to bet because this race can develops itself in many different ways. It depends on the weather - it's going to dìbe dry - on the good or bad luck, on crashes - sadly - on unpredictable events. I'll be there to report. Just be patient because I'll write when I come back.


Vuelta al Pais Vasco: A Two Hands Punch for Ben Swift

Exciting day in Itzulia! Tricky final: a fast sprint after a ramping climb. A large break-away, then a three riders on the road, Bob Jungels solo 27 km to go as he dropped Mollema and Wellens in the descent. Amazing. 
All caught, all still open, Weenings attacking twice, Valverde attacking all the way Contador on his wheel, and a still solid Wout Poels
But Ben Swift won. Amazing. What a shape has got this guy! Climbing with the best climbers, beating all at the sprint. A two hands punch on the line and a big roar. It's done. Bravo.
What Ben Swift said: 
“Looking around it was pretty weird to be in that company," he admitted. "I felt pretty good and I’m really happy I could take the win.Movistar really ripped it on the second cat-three climb. That’s what got rid of most people and the pace was actually to my limit on the final two climbs. But then Valverde stuck it in the big ring and went and I thought here we go! But it turned out okay. Only three guys went and I think everybody was a bit on the limit at that point BMC had three riders there just to pull it back. It was a nice downhill finish actually. Looking at the profiles I saw three opportunities for wins in the race depending on how they were raced. Today was a bit of a ‘maybe’ but it worked out great.”
“Looking around it was pretty weird to be in that company," he admitted. "I felt pretty good and I’m really happy I could take the win.
“Movistar really ripped it on the second cat-three climb. That’s what got rid of most people and the pace was actually to my limit on the final two climbs. But then Valverde stuck it in the big ring and went and I thought here we go!
“But it turned out okay. Only three guys went and I think everybody was a bit on the limit at that point BMC had three riders there just to pull it back. It was a nice downhill finish actually.
“Looking at the profiles I saw three opportunities for wins in the race depending on how they were raced. Today was a bit of a ‘maybe’ but it worked out great.”

Read more at,27290,30456_9260627,00.html#mTE3TK14WBtSsYyw.99

What Bob Jungels said: 
“In the beginning of the week I was in the breakaway, I did well, but I could tell there was a little bit missing. In the next days after that I was in trouble. And today I got the confidence back, I gave it my all, it was one climb too much at the end, but I am happy,” explained a relieved Jungels after the race had finished. “It was important to see that I am still okay. Today I felt really good, I am back, and that is good news for the Ardennes Classics.
All the years that I have been racing up to now I have never had a period where I was not good, I don’t want to say that this was a period, as it was just a few days, but you ask yourself questions. You want to prove to yourself that it’s wrong, so in this way it was a very good day for me.
On the first categorized climb Andy [Schleck] attacked and I think it was a little too early when he went, so I waited until the last 500m and countered. I did the downhill à bloc and then I was alone. On the flat I kept going and hoped someone would come up to me. Then Romain Sicard came after a few kilometers, and 5k later a big group joined us. We started slowly as I think behind they were still pulling. It was a really hard day.
When Sicard crashed, [Philippe] Gilbert jumped, and I think the break finally could go; they stopped pulling from behind. In the end I attacked in the last 2k of the first category climb and got away with [Bauke] Mollema and [Tim] Wellens. I made my own downhill and had 10 seconds by the bottom, but I kept a reserve in case they came back, and they did. In the final climb we gave it everything we had, but it was not that much anymore.
Tomorrow I don’t know, I had a tough day today  – if I recover well I can do a pretty good TT, but I can only say that tomorrow morning. Everybody has been suffering until now and the last two days I took it a little bit easy, so maybe I can do well, but for me the important thing was to see that I am good. If I don’t do well tomorrow, I know the reason."

What Bauke Mollema said:
“I felt strong and really wanted to fight for the stage win today. There was a big fight to get in the [16-man] break and unfortunately, the peloton didn’t allow us to build up a big gap.”
What Tim Wellens said:
"The team had asked that someone would join the breakaway. I was in front and didn't doubt any second to jump. I wasn't the strongest today, but felt I was one of the better riders. Because of a stomach bug I suffered much in the first stages. But I got better every day. Today I felt much better. Tomorrow there's a time trial to finish. With the improving condition I will do everything I can to set a good time. I always go full in a time trial. With my improving condition I have to be able to perform well in the classics that are ahead of us. The Amstel Gold Race, Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège will be important for me. After the Ardennes classics the Giro is on the menu."

ORICA-GE about today race including Weening's attacks:

1 Ben Swift (GBr) Team Sky 3:56:56  
2 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar Team    
3 Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team    
4 Tom Jelte Slagter (Ned) Garmin Sharp    
5 Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre-Merida    
6 Cyril Gautier (Fra) Team Europcar    
7 Jonathan Hivert (Fra) Belkin-Pro Cycling Team    
8 Jean-Christophe Peraud (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale    
9 Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Tinkoff-Saxo    
10 Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing Team    
11 Arnold Jeannesson (Fra)    
12 Thibaut Pinot (Fra)    
13 Maxime Monfort (Bel) Lotto Belisol    
14 Iurii Trofimov (Rus) Team Katusha    
15 Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team    
16 Simon Yates (GBr) Orica GreenEdge    
17 Wout Poels (Ned) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team    
18 Simon Spilak (Slo) Team Katusha    
19 Samuel Sanchez Gonzalez (Spa) BMC Racing Team    
20 Robert Kiserlovski (Cro) Trek Factory Racing
1 Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Tinkoff-Saxo 20:30:31  
2 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar Team 0:00:12  
3 Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre-Merida 0:00:36  
4 Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing Team    
5 Jean-Christophe Peraud (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale    
6 Iurii Trofimov (Rus) Team Katusha    
7 Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team 0:00:41  
8 Mikel Landa Meana (Spa) Astana Pro Team 0:00:54  
9 Wout Poels (Ned) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team 0:00:55  
10 Samuel Sanchez Gonzalez (Spa) BMC Racing Team 0:00:56  
11 Tom Jelte Slagter (Ned) Garmin Sharp    
12 Thibaut Pinot (Fra)    
13 Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team 0:00:58  
14 Simon Spilak (Slo) Team Katusha    
15 Simon Yates (GBr) Orica GreenEdge 0:01:37  
16 Robert Kiserlovski (Cro) Trek Factory Racing 0:01:46  
17 Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Tinkoff-Saxo 0:04:13  
18 Arnold Jeannesson (Fra) 0:05:59  
19 Warren Barguil (Fra) Team Giant-Shimano 0:06:38  
20 Cyril Gautier (Fra) Team Europcar 0:06:42  

giovedì 10 aprile 2014

Vuelta al Pais Vasco: Wonderful Win for Wout Poels in Queen Stage

The colour is green: Euskal Herria for a change in the sun, soft round hills, big buildings in the industrial area of Eibar and highways to be left behind riding fast toward the last climb. 
Break-away caught 10 to go, many attacks and a very selected group in front. Wout Poels goes solo: 3 km of pain and joy to cross the finish line rising high his skinny arms, a big smile on his skinny face. Moved, happy, incredulous. 
Patrick Lefevere immediately tweets: "Proud on my fantastic team again and happy that i was having trust in what a great comeback" Indead! he crashed bad some times ago and he's back riding, fighting, winning.
Alberto Contador attacked twice but on the line is 10th. Enough to keep a jersey he secured on the first day of race.
Young Simon Yates had a good go
The colour is green but how can I write you the sound of the victory on the Basque roads? Screaming and pushing and waving a flag. A roaring crowd. 
What Wouter Poels said:
"It was a long, difficult stage. From kilometer zero until the finish the pace was really fast. But, the team worked really well and they controlled the race. The goal today was to try and move up a bit in the GC and, why not, see if there was a possibility to win the stage. In the final we were there playing with Kwiatkowski also there. Contador attacked and his efforts were really strong. But at a certain moment Contador, Valverde, and a few others started to look at each other. So I tried to take advantage of this situation and I went. I knew the final from last year as I raced here a year ago. I knew it was possible to pass the final climb and go to the finish. So, I went for it. When you have a good condition you are also able to take the right decision in a short time. So, that's exactly what happened today. I am super happy about it. This is absolutely the most important victory of my career. I am super happy about it because after the big crashes I had at the Tour a few years ago I was able to come back. Now I am here, with this great team, and I won. So, I am over the moon. I've had a good feeling since the beginning of the season. I tried to be useful for the team when it's necessary and when I have a chance like today I try to grab it with both hands. Tomorrow we will see. It's another difficult stage. We'll see how we recover from today's stage. The goal is to try to defend my position and work together with Kwiatkowski, and then we will see. But, it won't be easy. We'll do our best."

1 Wouter Poels (Ned) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team 3:39:29
2 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar Team 0:00:01
3 Samuel Sanchez (Spa) BMC Racing Team
4 Tom Jelte Slagter (Ned) Garmin Sharp 0:00:03
5 Bauke Mollema (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling Team
6 Yury Trofimov (Rus) Team Katusha
7 Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing Team
8 Mikel Landa Meana (Spa) Astana Pro Team
9 Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre-Merida
10 Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Tinkoff-Saxo
11 Jean-Christophe Peraud (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
12 Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team
1 Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Tinkoff-Saxo 16:33:35
2 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar Team 0:00:12
3 Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre-Merida 0:00:36
4 Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing Team
5 Jean-Christophe Peraud (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
6 Yury Trofimov (Rus) Team Katusha
7 Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team 0:00:41
8 Mikel Landa Meana (Spa) Astana Pro Team 0:00:54
9 Wouter Poels (Ned) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team 0:00:55
10 Samuel Sanchez (Spa) BMC Racing Team 0:00:56
11 Tom Jelte Slagter (Ned) Garmin Sharp
12 Thibaut Pinot (Fra)