Road – VeloNews.com http://www.velonews.com Competitive Cycling News, Race Results and Bike Reviews Wed, 29 Mar 2017 14:58:33 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://www.velonews.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/cropped-Velonews_favicon-2-32x32.png Road – VeloNews.com http://www.velonews.com 32 32 De Panne: Kristoff wins stage 2 sprint, Gilbert pads lead http://www.velonews.com/2017/03/race-report/de-panne-kristoff-wins-stage-2-sprint-gilbert-pads-lead_434073 http://www.velonews.com/2017/03/race-report/de-panne-kristoff-wins-stage-2-sprint-gilbert-pads-lead_434073#respond Wed, 29 Mar 2017 14:58:33 +0000 http://www.velonews.com/?p=434073 Alexander Kristoff breaks his year-long drought in the northern classics, winning stage 2 of Driedaagse De Panne ahead of Edward Theuns.

The post De Panne: Kristoff wins stage 2 sprint, Gilbert pads lead appeared first on VeloNews.com.

]]>
Breaking a year-long drought in the northern classics, Alexander Kristoff sprinted to victory in stage 2 of Driedaagse De Panne-Koksijde Tuesday in Koksijde, Belgium. Katusha’s Norwegian leader won out of a small group ahead of Trek-Segafredo’s Edward Theuns and Marcel Kittel, second and third, respectively. Kittel’s Quick-Step teammate Philippe Gilbert padded his lead in the race overall, riding in the front group and scooping up bonus seconds throughout the 192.9km race to the seaside town.

“It was a lot of headwind in the final. I was maybe a little too far back in the last corners so I started seated to speed up and move up,” said Kristoff, who won stage 1 in last year’s edition of the race. “I kind of led-out myself, speeding slightly up and started my sprint. I knew from the radio I should stay on the wheel, but I didn’t want to get boxed out.”

Stage 2, top 10

  • 1. Alexander KRISTOFF, TEAM KATUSHA ALPECIN, in 4:37:29
  • 2. Edward THEUNS, TREK – SEGAFREDO, at :00
  • 3. Marcel KITTEL, QUICK – STEP FLOORS, at :00
  • 4. Pascal ACKERMANN, BORA – HANSGROHE, at :00
  • 5. Andrea GUARDINI, UAE ABU DHABI, at :00
  • 6. Maxime VANTOMME, WB VERANCLASSIC AQUALITY PROTECT, at :00
  • 7. Adrien PETIT, DIRECT ENERGIE, at :00
  • 8. Coen VERMELTFOORT, ROOMPOT – NEDERLANDSE LOTERIJ, at :00
  • 9. PIERRE LUC PERICHON, FORTUNEO – VITAL CONCEPT, at :00
  • 10. Conor DUNNE, AQUA BLUE SPORT, at :00

Top-10 overall

  • 1. Philippe GILBERT, QUICK – STEP FLOORS, in 9:13:28
  • 2. Matthias BRÄNDLE, TREK – SEGAFREDO, at :50
  • 3. Alexander KRISTOFF, TEAM KATUSHA ALPECIN, at 1:07
  • 4. Edward THEUNS, TREK – SEGAFREDO, at 1:11
  • 5. Pim LIGTHART, ROOMPOT – NEDERLANDSE LOTERIJ, at 1:15
  • 6. Sylvain CHAVANEL, DIRECT ENERGIE, at 1:15
  • 7. Maxime VANTOMME, WB VERANCLASSIC AQUALITY PROTECT, at 1:17
  • 8. PIERRE LUC PERICHON, FORTUNEO – VITAL CONCEPT, at 1:17
  • 9. Boy VAN POPPEL, TREK – SEGAFREDO, at 1:22
  • 10. Jasper DE BUYST, LOTTO SOUDAL, at 2:25

Fittingly, the 21-rider breakaway was initiated by Kristoff and Theuns, who started the echelons when the race reached a crosswind after the route’s five hills, with about 40 kilometers to go. Since most of the top teams were represented in the attack, the peloton was not motivated to chase.

Facing a stiff headwind on the finish straight, Kristoff jumped early, about 200 meters from the line, sprinting up the left barriers. Kittel responded with his own acceleration down the middle, and though Theuns closed fast on Kristoff’s left side, up against the fencing, he couldn’t come past and wound up second.

“It is strange always when you have a smaller group,” Kristoff said of the sprint. “Everybody’s a bit tired from racing hard. Also the lead-out trains are not there anymore. I’m actually quite good in these kinds of sprints.”

The three-day race wraps up Thursday with two short stages. In the morning, stage 3a will be a 118.5km race with only one climb, the Ruidenberg, around the race’s halfway point, finishing with two local laps around De Panne. The final test will be a 14.2km individual time trial in stage 3b.

The post De Panne: Kristoff wins stage 2 sprint, Gilbert pads lead appeared first on VeloNews.com.

]]>
http://www.velonews.com/2017/03/race-report/de-panne-kristoff-wins-stage-2-sprint-gilbert-pads-lead_434073/feed 0
Joe Martin Stage Race ready for 40th edition, eyes expansion http://www.velonews.com/2017/03/news/joe-martin-stage-race-ready-for-40th-edition-eyes-expansion_434018 http://www.velonews.com/2017/03/news/joe-martin-stage-race-ready-for-40th-edition-eyes-expansion_434018#respond Wed, 29 Mar 2017 13:44:46 +0000 http://www.velonews.com/?p=434018 Top U.S. domestic teams are ready to kick off their 2017 seasons at the Joe Martin Stage Race in Arkansas.

The post Joe Martin Stage Race ready for 40th edition, eyes expansion appeared first on VeloNews.com.

]]>
When the late Joe Martin launched the Fayetteville Spring Classic bicycle race in 1978, he couldn’t have predicted that the event would become one of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious, or that 40 years later it would bear his name. The Joe Martin Stage Race (JMSR) — renamed in the original race director’s honor after his death from cancer in 1988 — will return to the roads of Arkansas March 30-April 2.

The men’s field will feature 2016 USA Cycling PRT champion Ty Magner of Holowesko-Citadel, Rally Pro Cycling’s Sepp Kuss and Matteo Dal-Cin, and WorldTour veteran Greg Henderson, who is riding this year for UnitedHealthcare. Tayler Wiles (UnitedHealthcare), Erica Allar (Rally), and Ivy Audrain of the Hagens Berman-Supermint team headline an equally impressive pro women’s field.

“We have an amazing field of athletes who will absolutely be looking to place themselves in the early PRT standings,” said race director Bruce Dunn.

Beyond this year’s race, Dunn said his team hopes to build on the race’s popularity to begin a statewide Tour of Arkansas, which would be internationally televised within the next three to five years.

“The best is yet to come for the Joe Martin Stage Race,” Dunn added. “We hope to bring the sport’s biggest international stars on the roads of Arkansas within the next few years.”

Said Magner: “Joe Martin is always an exciting race. For the most part, the road stages are destined to be sprints, though the weather could mix things up this time of year. [Holowesko-Citadel is] headed there with a group capable of winning stages as well as the overall.”

The race begins Thursday with an uphill time trial featuring three miles of switchbacks at an average grade of 5 percent. Friday and Saturday will both see the riders take to the roads around Fayetteville, where the men will race approximately 110 miles daily to include roughly 6,200 feet of elevation gain, and the women 64 miles/3,500 feet daily. The event concludes Sunday with a criterium on a technical, 1.2-mile course in Fayetteville.

“We’re going in with a kind of two-pronged approach. We’ve got a couple of real rock spiders who can nail the uphill TT. If we can win [the TT] with Janier Acevedo or Alex Cataford, then we’ll protect them,” said Henderson, also noting he’s prepared to help JJ Haedo and Tanner Putt in the sprints.

Said Allar: “I quite like the Joe Martin course, despite the uphill time trial. I enjoy this race because it’s not just a climber’s course or a GC rider’s race. Riders who are strong, well-rounded, and can race a hard, technical crit have the chance to do really well.”

To celebrate JMSR’s 40th birthday, we went into the VeloNews archives for this report from the race’s first edition in 1978.

The post Joe Martin Stage Race ready for 40th edition, eyes expansion appeared first on VeloNews.com.

]]>
http://www.velonews.com/2017/03/news/joe-martin-stage-race-ready-for-40th-edition-eyes-expansion_434018/feed 0
Studying Flanders 1998: Lion of Flanders roars for the last time http://www.velonews.com/2017/03/analysis/studying-flanders-1998-lion-of-flanders-roars-for-the-last-time_434004 http://www.velonews.com/2017/03/analysis/studying-flanders-1998-lion-of-flanders-roars-for-the-last-time_434004#respond Wed, 29 Mar 2017 13:20:12 +0000 http://www.velonews.com/?p=434004 Johan Museeuw won his final Flanders title with a display of dominance by his Mapei team, which ruled the classics in the 1990s.

The post Studying Flanders 1998: Lion of Flanders roars for the last time appeared first on VeloNews.com.

]]>
With Ronde van Vlaanderen only days away, we are taking a look back at some of the most memorable editions of the Tour of Flanders. The race usually favors the strongest riders, but tactics are critical at the end of an epic day of cobbled Belgian climbs. What can we learn from the history of this beloved monument classic?

In the 1990s, the Ronde van Vlaanderen saw the emergence of classics powerhouse Johan Museeuw. Though his legacy was later tainted with doping allegations, no one was bigger or more commanding than the “Lion of Flanders” during his heyday.

During his run, he reached the Flanders podium eight times. Three of those finishes were victories, making him one of six riders to have a trio of Flanders wins.

His most emphatic victory was his last, in 1998, when he and his Mapei team pummeled the field into submission. Museeuw put down a searing attack on the Tenbosse and no one could answer.

What happened: By 1998, Mapei riders were the undisputed kings of the cobblestones. Though there were efforts by rivals Andrei Tchmil and Peter Van Petegem, no one could match Mapei’s firepower in the spring classics. Not only did they rule Flanders, their dominance at Paris-Roubaix was even more pronounced. During a run from 1995-2000, Mapei won five of six Roubaix races. A week after Museeuw roared to victory at Flanders, Mapei swept the 1998 Roubaix podium (but without Museeuw, whose crash in the Arenberg Forest nearly ended his career).

Coming into the 1998 Ronde, all eyes were on Museeuw to join the three-win club. And he didn’t disappoint. After jumping clear, Van Petegem tried in vain to chase, but Museeuw was racing like he had a swarm of wasps on his tail. The “Lion of Flanders” cemented his legend and surged away over the Muur and Bosberg (on the old-school course), while his Mapei cohorts controlled the action from the rear. After Museeuw took the solo win, some 43 seconds ahead of the chasing pack, Mapei packed three others into the top 10, with Stefano Zanini taking second, Tchmil finishing third, Franco Ballerini in eighth, and current Quick-Step Floors sport director Wilfried Peeters in 10th.

What did we learn: Numbers count, and it’s a tactic that Patrick Lefevere — who at the time managed Mapei and now manages the Quick-Step squad — still lives by. Few teams have the depth (or budget) to stack their classics teams with so many potential winners. While Museeuw was the top dog in those days, riders like Zanini, Ballerini, Andrea Tafi, Gianluca Bortolami, and Peeters all won big races. Having several cards to play is critical in the classics, where a puncture or a crash can wipe out ambitions in an instant.

Could it happen again? Lefevere is still in the game, and still with a team deep enough to flood the race-breaking moves with Quick-Step jerseys. It’s a tactical ploy we will see again this weekend, as Tom Boonen, Philippe Gilbert, Niki Terpstra, and Zdenek Stybar all have their cards to play at Flanders. It’s been a few years since Quick-Step got the big win in the classics, but today, the peloton is more competitive than in the 1990s. While the Boonen-Fabian Cancellara rivalry dominated the post-Museeuw era, today’s field is packed with riders like Peter Sagan, Greg Van Avermaet, John Degenkolb, Sep Vanmarcke, and Alexander Kristoff, making it hard for one team to completely dominate a race.

Read about it in the April 27, 1998 issue of VeloNews:

The post Studying Flanders 1998: Lion of Flanders roars for the last time appeared first on VeloNews.com.

]]>
http://www.velonews.com/2017/03/analysis/studying-flanders-1998-lion-of-flanders-roars-for-the-last-time_434004/feed 0
Van Avermaet on a Flanders victory: ‘I feel like it’s my turn’ http://www.velonews.com/2017/03/news/van-avermaet-flanders-victory-feel-like-turn_434056 http://www.velonews.com/2017/03/news/van-avermaet-flanders-victory-feel-like-turn_434056#respond Wed, 29 Mar 2017 12:55:01 +0000 http://www.velonews.com/?p=434056 The Belgian enters the Tour of Flanders as the rider to beat after years of coming up short in the cobbled monument.

The post Van Avermaet on a Flanders victory: ‘I feel like it’s my turn’ appeared first on VeloNews.com.

]]>
Greg Van Avermaet always knew good things would come. Ever since he turned pro in 2007, expectations were piled high for the versatile rider from the heart of Flanders country. He could climb, the could sprint, and he had the pedigree to shine in the classics.

Yet for as many wins as he racked up, that “big win” still eluded him. Van Avermaet kept banging his head against the wall, and after years of animating the northern classics (including double podiums at the 2015 Flanders and Roubaix), salvation came in the most unlikely of places: the Rio de Janeiro Olympics. He started as an outsider and struck gold. That win didn’t change everything, but rather served as confirmation of what he knew he had inside him.

“The Olympics was my biggest win, but I always knew I could win big races like that,” the BMC Racing rider said. “I always knew it in my heart. The differences between winning and losing are very small, and for racers like us, we only get four or five chances a year to win.”

Flash forward to this spring, and Van Avermaet is on an undeniable tear, winning three major races so far — Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, E3 Harelbeke, and Gent-Wevelgem — and will start Sunday’s Tour of Flanders as the man to beat. For Van Avermaet, Flanders is the race he’s been dreaming of winning since he was a kid. He’s a product of the Flanderen cycling culture, both his father and grandfather were professional racers, and on Sunday, it could finally come together.

“I’m finally where I want to be,” Van Avermaet said at a team camp. “I kept fighting all those years, always coming close. I’m 31, and now I am at the top of the classics. I am ready to win these big races I’ve always dreamed of.”

BMC Racing, with a team as deep as any in the peloton, will be riding in full support of Van Avermaet. With the departure of Philippe Gilbert to rival Quick-Step Floors, there is no more questioning who will be the team leader for the big dates in Belgium. And the way Van Avermaet has been racing this spring, everyone will be marking his every move. Along with Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe), Van Avermaet is the man to beat at the Ronde.

“We know that every team will be looking at us on Sunday, but when you have a leader as strong as Greg, that doesn’t matter,” BMC sport director Fabio Baldato said. “Greg knows how to race, when to make a move, and as we have seen … he can sprint against anyone at the end of a long, hard race.”

At 31, Van Avermaet has finally come into his own. After riding in the shadow of Gilbert at BMC, he is the team’s singular bet for the northern classics. And with the rivalry that marked their generation between Fabian Cancellara and Tom Boonen over, Van Avermaet stands poised to step up and emerge as the peloton’s northern classics dominator for the next few years.

“We know Greg can win a race like Flanders, it’s just a matter of time,” BMC manager Jim Ochowicz said during a team camp. “There are a handful of guys who can win these big races, and Greg is right there at the top. The classics are a different kind of racing. They’re hard, longer, and weather can be a challenge. Greg just loves racing in those conditions.”

In fact, with Boonen retiring following his final appearance in Paris-Roubaix next month, and Gilbert also starting to look toward the final years of his career, Van Avermaet is now Belgian’s biggest cycling star. His victory in Rio not only served as a kind of “just rewards” for a rider who’s consistently been knocking on the door of a major victory, but it also catapulted him into a higher media profile. Unlike Boonen, who’s lived and raced under the media glare his entire career, all the attention is something new for Van Avermaet. And yet he seems to be taking it in stride, and he’s used the victory in Rio as a reason to work harder, not wallow in the glory of the Olympic medal.

“Lining up on Sunday will be a really special feeling,” Van Avermaet said. “I know I’m the strongest I’ve ever been in spring and this year the race passes my house. I say it every year; I know the roads so well, I train every day on the parcours, and this year I feel like it’s my turn. I’m going to race aggressively and I have seven riders completely dedicated to helping me win. There’s nothing more I can do to prepare. I’m ready.”

There’s no bigger prize for a Belgian rider than to win the Tour of Flanders. Van Avermaet is already a superstar, but a victory Sunday at the Ronde would assure him a place as one of Belgium’s greatest. After waiting and working for nearly a decade, Van Avermaet’s time has come. All he has to do is win.

The post Van Avermaet on a Flanders victory: ‘I feel like it’s my turn’ appeared first on VeloNews.com.

]]>
http://www.velonews.com/2017/03/news/van-avermaet-flanders-victory-feel-like-turn_434056/feed 0
Studying Flanders 1992: Breakaway stuns the favorites http://www.velonews.com/2017/03/analysis/studying-flanders-1992-breakaway-stuns-the-favorites_434030 http://www.velonews.com/2017/03/analysis/studying-flanders-1992-breakaway-stuns-the-favorites_434030#respond Wed, 29 Mar 2017 12:21:21 +0000 http://www.velonews.com/?p=434030 Take a look back at the 1992 edition of the Tour of Flanders, which featured a 212km breakaway.

The post Studying Flanders 1992: Breakaway stuns the favorites appeared first on VeloNews.com.

]]>
With Ronde van Vlaanderen only days away, we are taking a look back at some of the most memorable editions of the Tour of Flanders. The race usually favors the strongest riders, but tactics are critical at the end of an epic day of cobbled Belgian climbs. What can we learn from the history of this beloved monument classic?

If you watched pro cycling in the 1990s and early 2000s, it was easy to catch a glimpse of Jacky Durand, often wearing a pirate-style bandana, always off the front in a suicidal attack. French magazine Vélo even tracked his kilometers in the break with a “Jackymètre.”

He rarely won out of those breaks, especially not on one of the biggest days of the season, a monument race, up against former winners such as Edwig van Hooydonck or Moreno Argentin and champions in waiting like Johan Museeuw. But at Tour of Flanders 1992, an important appointment for those cycling superstars — among others — Durand’s Gallic pluck shown through and he rode the breakaway of his life to the first French victory since 1956 in De Ronde.

What happened: Durand’s early breakaway went after around 45 kilometers of racing on the 257km day, and he was joined by three others: Hervé Meyvisch, Patrick Roelandt, and experienced breakaway artist Thomas Wegmüller. By the time the escape reached the first climb, the Tiegemberg (after 122km), their lead was 24 minutes. They’d caught the peloton sleeping, and the chase proved inadequate. Roelandt was dropped and then Meyvisch popped, leaving only Durand and Wegmüller. The Frenchman attacked on the final climb, the Bosberg, and held his narrow lead to the finish. The peloton wasn’t even close, with van Hooydonck sprinting to third behind Wegmüller, 1:44 behind.

What did we learn: If you give a motivated breakaway enough leash, it can hold off even the strongest peloton in the most important and difficult race of the calendar. Durand and Wegmüller benefitted from a bit of disorganization in the chase, as is often the case when the peloton’s biggest dogs fight over a prized bone. Regardless, a 24-minute lead at the race’s halfway point is quite a generous head-start.

Could it happen again? It is nearly impossible in modern racing for the peloton to get it completely wrong. Intrepid breakaways aren’t impossible, but they usually succeed in lower-tier events, not monuments, not Tour of Flanders. Any riders who have the chops to drive a 212km breakaway over the toughest cobbled climbs in Belgium are likely marked men in the peloton, unlike Durand, who was a relative unknown in 1992, his third professional season with Castorama.

The post Studying Flanders 1992: Breakaway stuns the favorites appeared first on VeloNews.com.

]]>
http://www.velonews.com/2017/03/analysis/studying-flanders-1992-breakaway-stuns-the-favorites_434030/feed 0
Belgian Bracket: The Final Four http://www.velonews.com/2017/03/feature/belgian-bracket-final-four_434046 http://www.velonews.com/2017/03/feature/belgian-bracket-final-four_434046#respond Wed, 29 Mar 2017 01:40:39 +0000 http://www.velonews.com/?p=434046 The Belgian Bracket Final Four features match-ups between the Lion of Flanders Flag and Cyclocross, and Cobblestones and Tom Boonen.

The post Belgian Bracket: The Final Four appeared first on VeloNews.com.

]]>
Now that the Tour of Flanders is just days away, it’s again time to revel in those rough cobbled roads, rave about delicious regional fare (Beer? Waffles? Frites? All three at once?), and cheer on brawny riders who battle in Europe’s toughest one-day races. It’s time for us to celebrate Belgium in all its rainy glory. By now you may know that this Belgian Bracket is our (not so) finely tuned instrument to pick the most Belgian thing/person ever. Well we are down to the Final Four, and it’s time for you to vote.

Perhaps in keeping with this spring’s mild European weather, the iconic Lion of Flanders Flag defeated Windy, Rainy Weather to win the 1970s Hard-Man region. In the Western Championship it will face Cyclocross, which avoided metaphysical calamity by beating cyclocross’s GOAT, Sven Nys. The Eastern Region has an even more inspired match-up between Cobblestones and the man who plies his trade on them, Tom Boonen. Both Tommeke and the stones skated through their divisional championships, setting up a climactic Final Four round made even more meaningful by the fact that Boonen will retire from pro racing in a matter of weeks.

Who will have a shot at playing for the title? That’s up to VeloNews readers like you! Vote now. Help us pick the most Belgian thing/person ever for the Eddy Merckx trophy. (No, Eddy is not in the bracket — he’d just destroy everyone, like he always did.) Your votes decide which Belgian items advance to the final. Scroll down, vote, and share with your friends!

Final Four voting ends at 9 p.m. Eastern Wednesday, March 29. The championship match-up will be unveiled Thursday morning!

The post Belgian Bracket: The Final Four appeared first on VeloNews.com.

]]>
http://www.velonews.com/2017/03/feature/belgian-bracket-final-four_434046/feed 0
Tour of the Gila announces 2017 pro teams http://www.velonews.com/2017/03/news/road/tour-gila-announces-2017-pro-teams_434014 http://www.velonews.com/2017/03/news/road/tour-gila-announces-2017-pro-teams_434014#respond Tue, 28 Mar 2017 20:22:20 +0000 http://www.velonews.com/?p=434014 The Tour of the Gila announces its teams for the 2017 edition of the tough stage race in New Mexico.

The post Tour of the Gila announces 2017 pro teams appeared first on VeloNews.com.

]]>
Tour of the Gila organizers named the teams that will compete in the men’s and women’s pro races, April 19-23, in Silver City, New Mexico. For the 31st edition of the stage race, 12 men’s teams from the Continental and Pro Continental ranks will compete, while seven UCI pro women’s teams will toe the line.

UnitedHealthcare stands out as a team to watch in the men’s race with two Colombian climbers likely to factor into the GC battle: Janier Acevedo and Daniel Jaramillo, who won the Gila Monster stage in 2016. A centerpiece of the climber-friendly stage race, the Gila Monster features 2,700 meters of climbing.

Lauren Hall and Katie Hall also could rack up results for the UnitedHealthcare team in the wide-open women’s race. Six-time race winner Mara Abbott will not compete after retiring at the end of 2016. Colavita-Bianchi’s Abby Mickey and Amber Pierce may also be threats in the overall. “It’s going to be a fight all the way through,” said Pierce. “This race is never a foregone conclusion, and I love having that finish on the Gila Monster stage! So much can happen on that day that it’s not like a lot of stage races, where the GC is set two days in and then everybody else is going for stage wins the rest of the time.”

Men’s Pro Continental and Continental teams

Aevolo (US)
Axeon Hagens Berman (US)
Canel’s Specialized (Mex)
Canyon Bicycles (US)
Cylance (US)
Elevate KHS (US)
H & R Block (Can)
Holowesko-Citadel (US)
Jelly Belly-Maxxis (US)
Mobius Future Racing (Aus)
Movistar Team Ecuador (Ecu)
Rally Cycling (US)
Silber Pro Cycling (Can)
UnitedHealthcare (US)

Men’s domestic elite teams

303 Project
Foundation Cycling New York City
Gateway Harley Davidson/Trek U25
Landis/Trek
Pacific Premier Bank
Storck-CCN Development Team
Support Clean Sport/SeaSucker/Guttenplan Coaching

Women’s UCI teams

Colavita-Bianchi (US)
Cylance (US)
Hagens Berman Supermint (US)
Rally (US)
Team TIBCO – Silicon Valley Bank (US)
UnitedHealthcare (US)
Visit Dallas DNA (US)

Women’s elite teams

Amy D Foundation
Conade-Visit Mexico-Specialized
Landis/Trek
Rise Racing
Sho-Air-Twenty20

The post Tour of the Gila announces 2017 pro teams appeared first on VeloNews.com.

]]>
http://www.velonews.com/2017/03/news/road/tour-gila-announces-2017-pro-teams_434014/feed 0
VN podcast, ep. 22: Dispatch from Belgium; sacrilegious Flanders route http://www.velonews.com/2017/03/podcast/vn-podcast-ep-22-dispatch-belgium-sacrilegious-flanders-route_433999 http://www.velonews.com/2017/03/podcast/vn-podcast-ep-22-dispatch-belgium-sacrilegious-flanders-route_433999#respond Tue, 28 Mar 2017 17:51:07 +0000 http://www.velonews.com/?p=433999 Our Gent-Wevelgem debrief considers Sagan, dirt roads, and Van Avermaet's hot hand. Plus, a look at the evolving Tour of Flanders route.

The post VN podcast, ep. 22: Dispatch from Belgium; sacrilegious Flanders route appeared first on VeloNews.com.

]]>

Welcome to the VeloNews cycling podcast, where we discuss the latest trends, news, and controversies in the world of cycling.

Holy week is upon us! Fred Dreier, Kristen Legan, and Gregor Brown are in Gent, Belgium for the cobbled classics, where they sit down to dissect the odd tactics and dirt roads of Gent-Wevelgem and discus the upcoming Tour of Flanders. Can Greg Van Avermaet keep the streak going? Is Peter Sagan tired of everyone riding against him?

Then, Caley Fretz is joined by VeloNews contributor Ryan Newill to discuss the evolving Flanders route, and why keeping things traditional isn’t always great for business.

If you like what you hear, subscribe to the VeloNews podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, and Google Play. Also, check out the VeloNews Fast Talk training podcast with Trevor Connor and Fretz.

The post VN podcast, ep. 22: Dispatch from Belgium; sacrilegious Flanders route appeared first on VeloNews.com.

]]>
http://www.velonews.com/2017/03/podcast/vn-podcast-ep-22-dispatch-belgium-sacrilegious-flanders-route_433999/feed 0
Ronde renovation: The Muur is back http://www.velonews.com/2017/03/from-the-mag/ronde-renovation-muur-back_433994 http://www.velonews.com/2017/03/from-the-mag/ronde-renovation-muur-back_433994#respond Tue, 28 Mar 2017 17:27:42 +0000 http://www.velonews.com/?p=433994 Flanders Classics refreshes the Tour of Flanders and, with it, the entirety of the spring classics season.

The post Ronde renovation: The Muur is back appeared first on VeloNews.com.

]]>
The Muur van Geraardsbergen (affectionately known as Kapelmuur, or simply the Muur) is back in the Ronde van Vlaanderen, ending the hand-wringing that became a rite of spring ever since the climb was cut from the course in 2012.

The Muur is, of course, unchanged from its last appearance, when Fabian Cancellara and Sylvain Chavanel tried and failed to hold off the chase on the lower slopes, opening the door for Nick Nuyens’s unlikely win. It is still a kilometer of cobblestones with 19 percent pitches, topped by a church and a stone wall that will be packed with fans on April 2. The Muur is intransigent. The Ronde, though, has evolved, as its owner, Flanders Classics, seeks to modernize and strengthen the monument and the races that surround it.

From 1988 until 2011 the Muur was the Ronde’s penultimate climb, and often its decisive obstacle. This year, the peloton will hit the Muur 95 kilometers from the finish. If Flanders Classics CEO Wouter Vandenhaute’s vision comes to pass, the repositioned Muur will deliver the first real selection, not the last.

“We have focused everything on the final with the new series of hills, the new rhythm,’” says race director Wim Van Herreweghe, explaining the Muur’s new placement. “We didn’t want to have it as the first hill after 60 or 80 kilometers, but wanted it to have sporting value.”

While it may come early in the men’s race, the Muur is now the centerpiece for the other races being held that day. Flanders Classics believes this will make the Muur a spectator destination, as well as a cash cow.

The junior Ronde van Vlaanderen passes through Geraardsbergen four times before climbing the Muur and finishing back in town just after noon. The elite women arrive an hour later, hitting the Muur 94 kilometers into a 153-kilometer route that starts and ends in Oudenaarde. There’s an hour to grab another beer or two before the elite men arrive around 2:30 p.m., and once they’re gone, the crowd can watch the finish via jumbotron. VIP packages for the Muur were sold out by January.

When Flanders Classics took over the Ronde, it concentrated the action on prime locations such as the Paterberg and Koppenberg in an effort to generate revenue. Those changes weren’t immediately welcome. Traditionalists recoiled in 2012 when Flanders Classics moved the finish to Oudenaarde from Meerbeke-Ninove, where it had been since 1973. The new finish features a series of three loops through the hill zone. Fans recoiled further when ownership erected huge VIP tents and corporate hospitality atop the Oude Kwaremont.

Under the new model, management sold tickets to these spectating zones, ranging from €200 for club access at the finish to €4,000 for a day in a VIP car. Champagne lunches for the well-heeled or well-connected are nothing new in Belgian cycling, but this was a new era in a sport that has long prided itself on free admission.

The outcry subsided when the new format delivered dramatic racing. In 2012, the finale came down to a game of cat-and-mouse between Tom Boonen, Alessandro Ballan, and Filippo Pozzato, with Boonen taking the win. Exciting races followed in subsequent years. Last year, Peter Sagan attacked on the final ascent of the Paterberg and soloed to victory despite the combined chase of Cancellara and Sep Vanmarcke.

The return of the Muur isn’t the only change for 2017; organizers moved the start from Bruges to Antwerp. Initially, money also appeared to be the reason for the switch. Antwerp paid €400,000 for the privilege, double what Bruges was paying. Vandenhaute and Bruges mayor Renaat Landuyt agree that Bruges would have matched the price given the opportunity. Antwerp’s longstanding interest and the desire for a fresh route tipped the balance.

“I think Wouter Vandenhaute just decided for himself that it would be Antwerp,” a dejected Landuyt told Het Nieuwsblad. “He sat for some time with a different course in his head. It is true that he did not let it come to a bid.”

Van Herreweghe confirms what Landuyt believes: This is the director’s choice.

“Sometimes you change the departure,” says Van Herreweghe. “It was 20 years in Bruges, it was 20 years in Sint-Niklaas, it was a lot of years in Gent in the beginning of the Tour of Flanders. It will still [generate] the same passion in the headlines of the papers about the Tour of Flanders.”

The Ronde is not the only of Flanders Classics’s races to be renovated. Omloop Het Nieuwsblad’s finish was moved from the bland outskirts of Gent to its café-lined student district. This year, organizers added dirt farm roads to Gent-Wevelgem, a decision organizers insist is not a nod to the growing popularity of races like Schaal Sels and Tro-Bro Léon.

Flanders Classics has also helped drag the Flemish classics into the 21st century, adding elite women’s events to Dwars door Vlaanderen and Gent-Wevelgem and strengthening the existing women’s Ronde and Omloop. It has also created a centralized, trilingual website for all the races, launched a mobile app, embraced social media, and created modern, coordinated branding.

Most importantly, though, Flanders Classics has retooled the calendar, moving its once-independent races to create a more logical progression through the cobbled classics. In 2010, it moved Gent-Wevelgem from its mid-week slot to the Sunday before the Ronde, giving it the weekend prestige many fans felt it deserved. The lower-tier Scheldeprijs moved into Gent-Wevelgem’s old spot, offering the cobbled specialists a chance to keep their legs sharp between the Ronde and Paris-Roubaix on a less challenging course.

Flanders Classics then moved Brabantse Pijl from the spot now occupied by Gent-Wevelgem into the Scheldeprijs’s old spot between Roubaix and the Amstel Gold Race, where it forms a perfect symbolic bridge between the Flemish classics and the Ardennes. Starting in Leuven in the Flemish Brabant east of Brussels, Brabantse Pijl jumps back and forth across the Flanders-Walloon border six times in its 203 kilometers, stitching together the two disparate halves of the northern classics season.

The final move in Flanders Classics’s calendar maneuverings won’t come until 2018, when Dwars Door Vlaanderen moves from the Wednesday before Gent-Wevelgem to the Wednesday after it. With that final piece in place, Flanders Classics will own the Flemish season opener, its finale and, most importantly, a compelling, unbroken block of racing stretching from Gent-Wevelgem through Scheldeprijs — the beating heart of the classics season.

Beyond the borders, Flanders Classics’s consolidation of the northern classics scene is securing valuable leverage for Belgian cycling at a time when the UCI and race organizers are struggling for control of the sport. There is speculation that the UCI granted WorldTour status to the independent E3 Harelbeke to help counteract the Flanders Classic hegemony in Belgium, though it is worth noting that the UCI elevated Dwars to the WorldTour this season.

Most tellingly, though, in the November press release announcing that organizers had declared new team size limits for top races, Flanders Classics was listed alongside organizational behemoths ASO and RCS. In trying to secure the future of Belgian racing, a seat at that table might be the most important achievement of all.

Listen to our discussion of Flanders Classics and the Tour of Flanders on the VeloNews podcast:

The post Ronde renovation: The Muur is back appeared first on VeloNews.com.

]]>
http://www.velonews.com/2017/03/from-the-mag/ronde-renovation-muur-back_433994/feed 0
De Panne: Gilbert attacks on the Muur to win stage 1 http://www.velonews.com/2017/03/race-report/de-panne-gilbert-attacks-muur-win-stage-1_433979 http://www.velonews.com/2017/03/race-report/de-panne-gilbert-attacks-muur-win-stage-1_433979#respond Tue, 28 Mar 2017 15:18:52 +0000 http://www.velonews.com/?p=433979 Beligan champion Philippe Gilbert wins stage 1 of Driedaagse De Panne-Koksijde after attacking on the Muur.

The post De Panne: Gilbert attacks on the Muur to win stage 1 appeared first on VeloNews.com.

]]>
Belgian champion Philippe Gilbert put on a show for the home crowd at Driedaagse De Panne-Koksijde Tuesday, winning stage 1 to Zottegem, Belgium with a solo breakaway. Orica-Scott’s Luke Durbridge finished second behind the Quick-Step Floors rider, and Simone Consonni (UAE Team Emirates) was third. Gilbert took a 22-second lead in the overall classification for the three-day race.

“To finally get a victory in this beautiful jersey, and for Quick-Step Floors, makes me very happy,” said Gilbert. “I want to thank to my team, and especially to Dries [Devenyns], whose hard work at the front was essential.”

Stage 1, top 10

  • 1. Philippe GILBERT, QUICK – STEP FLOORS, in 4:36:18
  • 2. Luke DURBRIDGE, ORICA – SCOTT, at :17
  • 3. Simone CONSONNI, UAE ABU DHABI, at :34
  • 4. Jasper DE BUYST, LOTTO SOUDAL, at :34
  • 5. Matthias BRÄNDLE, TREK – SEGAFREDO, at :34
  • 6. Frederik BACKAERT, WANTY – GROUPE GOBERT, at :53
  • 7. Alexander KRISTOFF, TEAM KATUSHA ALPECIN, at :58
  • 8. Edward THEUNS, TREK – SEGAFREDO, at :58
  • 9. Marco CANOLA, NIPPO – VINI FANTINI, at :58
  • 10. Sacha MODOLO, UAE ABU DHABI, at :58

Top-10 overall

  • 1. Philippe GILBERT, QUICK – STEP FLOORS, in 4:36:05
  • 2. Luke DURBRIDGE, ORICA – SCOTT, at :22
  • 3. Simone CONSONNI, UAE ABU DHABI, at :43
  • 4. Matthias BRÄNDLE, TREK – SEGAFREDO, at :46
  • 5. Jasper DE BUYST, LOTTO SOUDAL, at :47
  • 6. Frederik BACKAERT, WANTY – GROUPE GOBERT, at 1:06
  • 7. Kristoffer HALVORSEN, JOKER ICOPAL, at 1:11
  • 8. Edward THEUNS, TREK – SEGAFREDO, at 1:11
  • 9. Marco CANOLA, NIPPO – VINI FANTINI, at 1:11
  • 10. Sacha MODOLO, UAE ABU DHABI, at 1:11

Quick-Step sent Dries Devenyns up the road with 80 kilometers to go, and the Belgian was a critical workhorse in the final breakaway to help fend off the peloton. Gilbert bridged up to Devenyns with a small group after the first trip up the Muur.

It was then up to Devenyns to drive the tempo and prevent the bunch, led by Katusha, from chasing back to the front.

Gilbert, 34, attacked out of the final selection on last trip up the famous Muur van Geraardsbergen climb, about 16 kilometers from the finish. Durbridge kept Gilbert in sight after the steep, cobbled climb, and was nearly able to bridge to the leader. However, Gilbert was relentless, fending off the Australian all the way to the finish after 205.5km of racing to claim his first win of the season.

Although his display of force tips Gilbert as a top favorite for Sunday’s Ronde van Vlaanderen, Gilbert was quick to deflect questions about his status as Quick-Step’s outright leader. “We have a strong collective. I’m really good, but we have to say that the whole group is really strong. It’s not just me in front. We give the chance to everyone and in the end we have to play the good card and go for the win,” he said.

On Wednesday, stage 2 rides from Zottegem to Koksijde over 192.9km. Although the route features the tough Kemmelberg climb, the final 50 kilometers are mostly flat, which should favor a bunch sprint.

Stage 1 results

  • 1. Philippe GILBERT, QUICK – STEP FLOORS, in 4:36:18
  • 2. Luke DURBRIDGE, ORICA – SCOTT, at :17
  • 3. Simone CONSONNI, UAE ABU DHABI, at :34
  • 4. Jasper DE BUYST, LOTTO SOUDAL, at :34
  • 5. Matthias BRÄNDLE, TREK – SEGAFREDO, at :34
  • 6. Frederik BACKAERT, WANTY – GROUPE GOBERT, at :53
  • 7. Alexander KRISTOFF, TEAM KATUSHA ALPECIN, at :58
  • 8. Edward THEUNS, TREK – SEGAFREDO, at :58
  • 9. Marco CANOLA, NIPPO – VINI FANTINI, at :58
  • 10. Sacha MODOLO, UAE ABU DHABI, at :58
  • 11. Guillaume VAN KEIRSBULCK, WANTY – GROUPE GOBERT, at :58
  • 12. Maxime VANTOMME, WB VERANCLASSIC AQUALITY PROTECT, at :58
  • 13. Ole FORFANG, JOKER ICOPAL, at :58
  • 14. Boy VAN POPPEL, TREK – SEGAFREDO, at :58
  • 15. Jens KEUKELEIRE, ORICA – SCOTT, at :58
  • 16. PIERRE LUC PERICHON, FORTUNEO – VITAL CONCEPT, at :58
  • 17. Filippo POZZATO, WILIER TRIESTINA, at :58
  • 18. Pim LIGTHART, ROOMPOT – NEDERLANDSE LOTERIJ, at :58
  • 19. Rob RUIJGH, TARTELETTO – ISOREX, at :58
  • 20. Sylvain CHAVANEL, DIRECT ENERGIE, at :58
  • 21. Marco HALLER, TEAM KATUSHA ALPECIN, at 1:02
  • 22. Alexandre PICHOT, DIRECT ENERGIE, at 1:02
  • 23. Marco MARCATO, UAE ABU DHABI, at 1:02
  • 24. Iuri FILOSI, NIPPO – VINI FANTINI, at 1:50
  • 25. Christoph PFINGSTEN, BORA – HANSGROHE, at 2:52
  • 26. Rüdiger SELIG, BORA – HANSGROHE, at 3:24
  • 27. Adam BLYTHE, AQUA BLUE SPORT, at 3:24
  • 28. Reto HOLLENSTEIN, TEAM KATUSHA ALPECIN, at 3:24
  • 29. Nils POLITT, TEAM KATUSHA ALPECIN, at 3:24
  • 30. Sam BENNETT, BORA – HANSGROHE, at 3:45
  • 31. Joeri STALLAERT, CIBEL – CEBON, at 3:45
  • 32. Gaetan BILLE, VERANDA’S WILLEMS – CRELAN, at 3:45
  • 33. Krists NEILANDS, ISRAEL CYCLING ACADEMY, at 3:45
  • 34. Mathias DE WITTE, CIBEL – CEBON, at 3:45
  • 35. Jens DEBUSSCHERE, LOTTO SOUDAL, at 3:45
  • 36. Alexander EDMONSON, ORICA – SCOTT, at 3:45
  • 37. Andrea PASQUALON, WANTY – GROUPE GOBERT, at 3:45
  • 38. Enrico BARBIN, BRD, at 7:42
  • 39. Marko KUMP, UAE ABU DHABI, at 7:42
  • 40. Marcel KITTEL, QUICK – STEP FLOORS, at 7:42
  • 41. Dries DEVENYNS, QUICK – STEP FLOORS, at 8:13
  • 42. Alexander PORSEV, GAZPROM – RUSVELO, at 9:31
  • 43. Aleksei TCATEVICH, GAZPROM – RUSVELO, at 9:31
  • 44. Stijn DEVOLDER, VERANDA’S WILLEMS – CRELAN, at 9:31
  • 45. Elmar REINDERS, ROOMPOT – NEDERLANDSE LOTERIJ, at 9:31
  • 46. David BOUCHER, PAUWELS SAUZEN – VASTGOEDSERVICE CONTINENTAL TEAM, at 9:31
  • 47. Arjen LIVYNS, PAUWELS SAUZEN – VASTGOEDSERVICE CONTINENTAL TEAM, at 9:31
  • 48. Lawrence NAESEN, WB VERANCLASSIC AQUALITY PROTECT, at 9:31
  • 49. Brecht DHAENE, PAUWELS SAUZEN – VASTGOEDSERVICE CONTINENTAL TEAM, at 9:31
  • 50. Nikolay TRUSOV, GAZPROM – RUSVELO, at 9:31
  • 51. Gianni MARCHAND, CIBEL – CEBON, at 9:31
  • 52. Jelle MANNAERTS, TARTELETTO – ISOREX, at 9:31
  • 53. Vincenzo ALBANESE, BRD, at 9:31
  • 54. Wim REYNAERTS, CIBEL – CEBON, at 9:31
  • 55. Matteo DRAPERI, WILIER TRIESTINA, at 9:31
  • 56. Brian VAN GOETHEM, ROOMPOT – NEDERLANDSE LOTERIJ, at 9:31
  • 57. Timothy STEVENS, PAUWELS SAUZEN – VASTGOEDSERVICE CONTINENTAL TEAM, at 9:31
  • 58. Ivan SAVITSKIY, GAZPROM – RUSVELO, at 9:31
  • 59. Seppe VERSCHUERE, CIBEL – CEBON, at 9:31
  • 60. Robby COBBAERT, CIBEL – CEBON, at 9:31
  • 61. Kiel REIJNEN, TREK – SEGAFREDO, at 9:31
  • 62. Pavel BRUTT, GAZPROM – RUSVELO, at 9:31
  • 63. Dennis VAN WINDEN, ISRAEL CYCLING ACADEMY, at 9:31
  • 64. Anders SKAARSETH, JOKER ICOPAL, at 9:31
  • 65. Benjamin PERRY, ISRAEL CYCLING ACADEMY, at 9:31
  • 66. Kevin DELTOMBE, SPORT VLAANDEREN – BALOISE, at 9:31
  • 67. Andrea GUARDINI, UAE ABU DHABI, at 9:31
  • 68. Mads PEDERSEN, TREK – SEGAFREDO, at 9:31
  • 69. Fumiyuki BEPPU, TREK – SEGAFREDO, at 9:31
  • 70. Guy SAGIV, ISRAEL CYCLING ACADEMY, at 9:31
  • 71. Adriaan Aas STIEN, JOKER ICOPAL, at 9:31
  • 72. Riccardo STACCHIOTTI, NIPPO – VINI FANTINI, at 9:31
  • 73. Roy JANS, WB VERANCLASSIC AQUALITY PROTECT, at 9:31
  • 74. Benjamin DECLERCQ, SPORT VLAANDEREN – BALOISE, at 9:31
  • 75. Peter KONING, AQUA BLUE SPORT, at 9:31
  • 76. Bjorn Tore HOEM, JOKER ICOPAL, at 9:31
  • 77. Marcel SIEBERG, LOTTO SOUDAL, at 9:31
  • 78. Eugert ZHUPA, WILIER TRIESTINA, at 9:31
  • 79. Aaron GATE, AQUA BLUE SPORT, at 9:31
  • 80. Moreno HOFLAND, LOTTO SOUDAL, at 9:31
  • 81. Jonas RICKAERT, SPORT VLAANDEREN – BALOISE, at 9:31
  • 82. Igor BOEV, GAZPROM – RUSVELO, at 9:31
  • 83. GREGORY DANIEL, TREK – SEGAFREDO, at 9:31
  • 84. Andrew FENN, AQUA BLUE SPORT, at 9:31
  • 85. Eduard Michael GROSU, NIPPO – VINI FANTINI, at 9:31
  • 86. Brice FEILLU, FORTUNEO – VITAL CONCEPT, at 9:31
  • 87. Franck BONNAMOUR, FORTUNEO – VITAL CONCEPT, at 9:31
  • 88. Julien MORICE, DIRECT ENERGIE, at 9:31
  • 89. Mirco MAESTRI, BRD, at 9:31
  • 90. Frederik FRISON, LOTTO SOUDAL, at 9:31
  • 91. Ryan ANDERSON, DIRECT ENERGIE, at 9:31
  • 92. Rafael ANDRIATO, WILIER TRIESTINA, at 9:31
  • 93. Nicola BAGIOLI, NIPPO – VINI FANTINI, at 9:31
  • 94. Pier Paolo DE NEGRI, NIPPO – VINI FANTINI, at 9:31
  • 95. Erik BASKA, BORA – HANSGROHE, at 9:31
  • 96. Davide MARTINELLI, QUICK – STEP FLOORS, at 9:31
  • 97. Raymond KREDER, ROOMPOT – NEDERLANDSE LOTERIJ, at 9:31
  • 98. Arnaud GERARD, FORTUNEO – VITAL CONCEPT, at 9:31
  • 99. Pascal ACKERMANN, BORA – HANSGROHE, at 9:31
  • 100. Romain CARDIS, DIRECT ENERGIE, at 9:31
  • 101. Erwann CORBEL, FORTUNEO – VITAL CONCEPT, at 9:31
  • 102. Lars Ytting BAK, LOTTO SOUDAL, at 9:31
  • 103. Alex TURRIN, WILIER TRIESTINA, at 9:31
  • 104. Rick ZABEL, TEAM KATUSHA ALPECIN, at 9:31
  • 105. Andreas SCHILLINGER, BORA – HANSGROHE, at 9:31
  • 106. Mads Würtz SCHMIDT, TEAM KATUSHA ALPECIN, at 9:31
  • 107. Adrien PETIT, DIRECT ENERGIE, at 9:31
  • 108. Julien STASSEN, WB VERANCLASSIC AQUALITY PROTECT, at 9:31
  • 109. Laurent DIDIER, TREK – SEGAFREDO, at 9:31
  • 110. Fabio SABATINI, QUICK – STEP FLOORS, at 9:31
  • 111. Alessandro TONELLI, BRD, at 9:31
  • 112. Olivier PARDINI, WB VERANCLASSIC AQUALITY PROTECT, at 9:31
  • 113. Tim DECLERCQ, QUICK – STEP FLOORS, at 9:31
  • 114. Liam BERTAZZO, WILIER TRIESTINA, at 9:31
  • 115. Jacopo MOSCA, WILIER TRIESTINA, at 9:31
  • 116. Zakkari DEMPSTER, ISRAEL CYCLING ACADEMY, at 9:31
  • 117. Remy MERTZ, LOTTO SOUDAL, at 9:31
  • 118. Berden DE VRIES, ROOMPOT – NEDERLANDSE LOTERIJ, at 9:31
  • 119. Lukas PÖSTLBERGER, BORA – HANSGROHE, at 9:31
  • 120. Luka MEZGEC, ORICA – SCOTT, at 9:31
  • 121. Jakub MARECZKO, WILIER TRIESTINA, at 9:31
  • 122. Kenny DEHAES, WANTY – GROUPE GOBERT, at 9:31
  • 123. Piet ALLEGAERT, SPORT VLAANDEREN – BALOISE, at 9:31
  • 124. Alex KIRSCH, WB VERANCLASSIC AQUALITY PROTECT, at 9:31
  • 125. Stef VAN ZUMMEREN, VERANDA’S WILLEMS – CRELAN, at 9:31
  • 126. Federico ZURLO, UAE ABU DHABI, at 9:31
  • 127. Elias VAN BREUSSEGEM, VERANDA’S WILLEMS – CRELAN, at 9:31
  • 128. Gerry DRUYTS, PAUWELS SAUZEN – VASTGOEDSERVICE CONTINENTAL TEAM, at 9:31
  • 129. Kenny DE KETELE, SPORT VLAANDEREN – BALOISE, at 9:31
  • 130. Mark CHRISTIAN, AQUA BLUE SPORT, at 9:31
  • 131. Vegard Stake LAENGEN, UAE ABU DHABI, at 9:31
  • 132. Mark MCNALLY, WANTY – GROUPE GOBERT, at 9:31
  • 133. Maximiliano Ariel RICHEZE, QUICK – STEP FLOORS, at 9:31
  • 134. Michael GOOLAERTS, VERANDA’S WILLEMS – CRELAN, at 9:31
  • 135. Markus HOELGAARD, JOKER ICOPAL, at 9:31
  • 136. Aidis KRUOPIS, VERANDA’S WILLEMS – CRELAN, at 9:31
  • 137. Yuma KOISHI, NIPPO – VINI FANTINI, at 9:31
  • 138. Oliviero TROIA, UAE ABU DHABI, at 9:31
  • 139. Andrei SOLOMENNIKOV, GAZPROM – RUSVELO, at 9:31
  • 140. Evgeny SHALUNOV, GAZPROM – RUSVELO, at 9:31
  • 141. Lasse Norman HANSEN, AQUA BLUE SPORT, at 9:31
  • 142. Sjoerd VAN GINNEKEN, ROOMPOT – NEDERLANDSE LOTERIJ, at 9:31
  • 143. Yohann GENE, DIRECT ENERGIE, at 9:31
  • 144. Rob LEEMANS, PAUWELS SAUZEN – VASTGOEDSERVICE CONTINENTAL TEAM, at 9:31
  • 145. Jack BAUER, QUICK – STEP FLOORS, at 9:31
  • 146. Daniel MCLAY, FORTUNEO – VITAL CONCEPT, at 9:31
  • 147. Matthew BRAMMEIER, AQUA BLUE SPORT, at 9:31
  • 148. Baptiste PLANCKAERT, TEAM KATUSHA ALPECIN, at 9:31
  • 149. Dieter BOUVRY, PAUWELS SAUZEN – VASTGOEDSERVICE CONTINENTAL TEAM, at 9:31
  • 150. Kevin ISTA, WB VERANCLASSIC AQUALITY PROTECT, at 9:31
  • 151. Jimmy DUQUENNOY, WB VERANCLASSIC AQUALITY PROTECT, at 9:31
  • 152. Jérôme BAUGNIES, WANTY – GROUPE GOBERT, at 9:31
  • 153. Nicolas MARINI, NIPPO – VINI FANTINI, at 9:31
  • 154. Tony HUREL, DIRECT ENERGIE, at 9:31
  • 155. Christophe Noppe, SPORT VLAANDEREN – BALOISE, at 9:31
  • 156. Danilo NAPOLITANO, WANTY – GROUPE GOBERT, at 9:31
  • 157. Roger KLUGE, ORICA – SCOTT, at 9:31
  • 158. Robin STENUIT, WANTY – GROUPE GOBERT, at 10:58
  • 159. Coen VERMELTFOORT, ROOMPOT – NEDERLANDSE LOTERIJ, at 11:12
  • 160. Tony GALLOPIN, LOTTO SOUDAL, at 11:47
  • 161. Alexander COOLS, CIBEL – CEBON, at 13:05
  • 162. Boris VALLEE, FORTUNEO – VITAL CONCEPT, at 17:38
  • 163. Alexander MAES, CIBEL – CEBON, at 17:38
  • 164. Michael COOLS, TARTELETTO – ISOREX, at 17:38
  • 165. Niels DE ROOZE, TARTELETTO – ISOREX, at 17:38
  • 166. Conor DUNNE, AQUA BLUE SPORT, at 17:38
  • 167. Vegard BREEN, JOKER ICOPAL, at 17:38
  • 168. Kristoffer SKJERPING, JOKER ICOPAL, at 23:50
  • 169. Kevin VERWAEST, TARTELETTO – ISOREX, at 23:50
  • 170. Marco MARONESE, BRD, at 23:50
  • 171. Matteo PELUCCHI, BORA – HANSGROHE, at 23:50
  • 172. Lorenzo BLOMME, TARTELETTO – ISOREX, at 23:50
  • 173. Barry MARKUS, PAUWELS SAUZEN – VASTGOEDSERVICE CONTINENTAL TEAM, at 23:50
  • 174. Andre LOOIJ, ROOMPOT – NEDERLANDSE LOTERIJ, at 23:50
  • 175. Daniel TUREK, ISRAEL CYCLING ACADEMY, at 23:50
  • 176. Jonathan BREYNE, TARTELETTO – ISOREX, at 23:50
  • 177. Hamish SCHREURS, ISRAEL CYCLING ACADEMY, at 23:50
  • 178. Paolo SIMION, BRD, at 23:50
  • 179. Aviv YECHZKEL, ISRAEL CYCLING ACADEMY, at 23:50
  • 180. Ruben POLS, SPORT VLAANDEREN – BALOISE, at 23:50
  • 181. Aime DE GENDT, SPORT VLAANDEREN – BALOISE, at 23:50
  • DNF Matthias VANDEWALLE, TARTELETTO – ISOREX
  • DNF Sander CORDEEL, VERANDA’S WILLEMS – CRELAN
  • DNF Christopher JUUL JENSEN, ORICA – SCOTT
  • DNF Viacheslav KUZNETSOV, TEAM KATUSHA ALPECIN
  • DNF Kristoffer HALVORSEN, JOKER ICOPAL
  • DNF Maxime DANIEL, FORTUNEO – VITAL CONCEPT

General classification

  • 1. Philippe GILBERT, QUICK – STEP FLOORS, in 4:36:05
  • 2. Luke DURBRIDGE, ORICA – SCOTT, at :22
  • 3. Simone CONSONNI, UAE ABU DHABI, at :43
  • 4. Matthias BRÄNDLE, TREK – SEGAFREDO, at :46
  • 5. Jasper DE BUYST, LOTTO SOUDAL, at :47
  • 6. Frederik BACKAERT, WANTY – GROUPE GOBERT, at 1:06
  • 7. Alexander KRISTOFF, TEAM KATUSHA ALPECIN, at 1:11
  • 8. Edward THEUNS, TREK – SEGAFREDO, at 1:11
  • 9. Marco CANOLA, NIPPO – VINI FANTINI, at 1:11
  • 10. Sacha MODOLO, UAE ABU DHABI, at 1:11
  • 11. Guillaume VAN KEIRSBULCK, WANTY – GROUPE GOBERT, at 1:11
  • 12. Maxime VANTOMME, WB VERANCLASSIC AQUALITY PROTECT, at 1:11
  • 13. Ole FORFANG, JOKER ICOPAL, at 1:11
  • 14. Boy VAN POPPEL, TREK – SEGAFREDO, at 1:11
  • 15. Jens KEUKELEIRE, ORICA – SCOTT, at 1:11
  • 16. PIERRE LUC PERICHON, FORTUNEO – VITAL CONCEPT, at 1:11
  • 17. Filippo POZZATO, WILIER TRIESTINA, at 1:11
  • 18. Pim LIGTHART, ROOMPOT – NEDERLANDSE LOTERIJ, at 1:11
  • 19. Rob RUIJGH, TARTELETTO – ISOREX, at 1:11
  • 20. Sylvain CHAVANEL, DIRECT ENERGIE, at 1:11
  • 21. Marco HALLER, TEAM KATUSHA ALPECIN, at 1:15
  • 22. Alexandre PICHOT, DIRECT ENERGIE, at 1:15
  • 23. Marco MARCATO, UAE ABU DHABI, at 1:15
  • 24. Iuri FILOSI, NIPPO – VINI FANTINI, at 2:03
  • 25. Christoph PFINGSTEN, BORA – HANSGROHE, at 3:05
  • 26. Rüdiger SELIG, BORA – HANSGROHE, at 3:37
  • 27. Adam BLYTHE, AQUA BLUE SPORT, at 3:37
  • 28. Reto HOLLENSTEIN, TEAM KATUSHA ALPECIN, at 3:37
  • 29. Nils POLITT, TEAM KATUSHA ALPECIN, at 3:37
  • 30. Sam BENNETT, BORA – HANSGROHE, at 3:58
  • 31. Joeri STALLAERT, CIBEL – CEBON, at 3:58
  • 32. Gaetan BILLE, VERANDA’S WILLEMS – CRELAN, at 3:58
  • 33. Krists NEILANDS, ISRAEL CYCLING ACADEMY, at 3:58
  • 34. Mathias DE WITTE, CIBEL – CEBON, at 3:58
  • 35. Jens DEBUSSCHERE, LOTTO SOUDAL, at 3:58
  • 36. Alexander EDMONSON, ORICA – SCOTT, at 3:58
  • 37. Andrea PASQUALON, WANTY – GROUPE GOBERT, at 3:58
  • 38. Enrico BARBIN, BRD, at 7:55
  • 39. Marko KUMP, UAE ABU DHABI, at 7:55
  • 40. Marcel KITTEL, QUICK – STEP FLOORS, at 7:55
  • 41. Dries DEVENYNS, QUICK – STEP FLOORS, at 8:26
  • 42. Kenny DE KETELE, SPORT VLAANDEREN – BALOISE, at 9:42
  • 43. Brice FEILLU, FORTUNEO – VITAL CONCEPT, at 9:43
  • 44. Alexander PORSEV, GAZPROM – RUSVELO, at 9:44
  • 45. Aleksei TCATEVICH, GAZPROM – RUSVELO, at 9:44
  • 46. Stijn DEVOLDER, VERANDA’S WILLEMS – CRELAN, at 9:44
  • 47. Elmar REINDERS, ROOMPOT – NEDERLANDSE LOTERIJ, at 9:44
  • 48. David BOUCHER, PAUWELS SAUZEN – VASTGOEDSERVICE CONTINENTAL TEAM, at 9:44
  • 49. Arjen LIVYNS, PAUWELS SAUZEN – VASTGOEDSERVICE CONTINENTAL TEAM, at 9:44
  • 50. Lawrence NAESEN, WB VERANCLASSIC AQUALITY PROTECT, at 9:44
  • 51. Brecht DHAENE, PAUWELS SAUZEN – VASTGOEDSERVICE CONTINENTAL TEAM, at 9:44
  • 52. Nikolay TRUSOV, GAZPROM – RUSVELO, at 9:44
  • 53. Gianni MARCHAND, CIBEL – CEBON, at 9:44
  • 54. Jelle MANNAERTS, TARTELETTO – ISOREX, at 9:44
  • 55. Vincenzo ALBANESE, BRD, at 9:44
  • 56. Wim REYNAERTS, CIBEL – CEBON, at 9:44
  • 57. Matteo DRAPERI, WILIER TRIESTINA, at 9:44
  • 58. Brian VAN GOETHEM, ROOMPOT – NEDERLANDSE LOTERIJ, at 9:44
  • 59. Timothy STEVENS, PAUWELS SAUZEN – VASTGOEDSERVICE CONTINENTAL TEAM, at 9:44
  • 60. Ivan SAVITSKIY, GAZPROM – RUSVELO, at 9:44
  • 61. Seppe VERSCHUERE, CIBEL – CEBON, at 9:44
  • 62. Robby COBBAERT, CIBEL – CEBON, at 9:44
  • 63. Kiel REIJNEN, TREK – SEGAFREDO, at 9:44
  • 64. Pavel BRUTT, GAZPROM – RUSVELO, at 9:44
  • 65. Dennis VAN WINDEN, ISRAEL CYCLING ACADEMY, at 9:44
  • 66. Anders SKAARSETH, JOKER ICOPAL, at 9:44
  • 67. Benjamin PERRY, ISRAEL CYCLING ACADEMY, at 9:44
  • 68. Kevin DELTOMBE, SPORT VLAANDEREN – BALOISE, at 9:44
  • 69. Andrea GUARDINI, UAE ABU DHABI, at 9:44
  • 70. Mads PEDERSEN, TREK – SEGAFREDO, at 9:44
  • 71. Fumiyuki BEPPU, TREK – SEGAFREDO, at 9:44
  • 72. Guy SAGIV, ISRAEL CYCLING ACADEMY, at 9:44
  • 73. Adriaan Aas STIEN, JOKER ICOPAL, at 9:44
  • 74. Riccardo STACCHIOTTI, NIPPO – VINI FANTINI, at 9:44
  • 75. Roy JANS, WB VERANCLASSIC AQUALITY PROTECT, at 9:44
  • 76. Benjamin DECLERCQ, SPORT VLAANDEREN – BALOISE, at 9:44
  • 77. Peter KONING, AQUA BLUE SPORT, at 9:44
  • 78. Bjorn Tore HOEM, JOKER ICOPAL, at 9:44
  • 79. Marcel SIEBERG, LOTTO SOUDAL, at 9:44
  • 80. Eugert ZHUPA, WILIER TRIESTINA, at 9:44
  • 81. Aaron GATE, AQUA BLUE SPORT, at 9:44
  • 82. Moreno HOFLAND, LOTTO SOUDAL, at 9:44
  • 83. Jonas RICKAERT, SPORT VLAANDEREN – BALOISE, at 9:44
  • 84. Igor BOEV, GAZPROM – RUSVELO, at 9:44
  • 85. GREGORY DANIEL, TREK – SEGAFREDO, at 9:44
  • 86. Andrew FENN, AQUA BLUE SPORT, at 9:44
  • 87. Eduard Michael GROSU, NIPPO – VINI FANTINI, at 9:44
  • 88. Franck BONNAMOUR, FORTUNEO – VITAL CONCEPT, at 9:44
  • 89. Julien MORICE, DIRECT ENERGIE, at 9:44
  • 90. Mirco MAESTRI, BRD, at 9:44
  • 91. Frederik FRISON, LOTTO SOUDAL, at 9:44
  • 92. Ryan ANDERSON, DIRECT ENERGIE, at 9:44
  • 93. Rafael ANDRIATO, WILIER TRIESTINA, at 9:44
  • 94. Nicola BAGIOLI, NIPPO – VINI FANTINI, at 9:44
  • 95. Pier Paolo DE NEGRI, NIPPO – VINI FANTINI, at 9:44
  • 96. Erik BASKA, BORA – HANSGROHE, at 9:44
  • 97. Davide MARTINELLI, QUICK – STEP FLOORS, at 9:44
  • 98. Raymond KREDER, ROOMPOT – NEDERLANDSE LOTERIJ, at 9:44
  • 99. Arnaud GERARD, FORTUNEO – VITAL CONCEPT, at 9:44
  • 100. Pascal ACKERMANN, BORA – HANSGROHE, at 9:44
  • 101. Romain CARDIS, DIRECT ENERGIE, at 9:44
  • 102. Erwann CORBEL, FORTUNEO – VITAL CONCEPT, at 9:44
  • 103. Lars Ytting BAK, LOTTO SOUDAL, at 9:44
  • 104. Alex TURRIN, WILIER TRIESTINA, at 9:44
  • 105. Rick ZABEL, TEAM KATUSHA ALPECIN, at 9:44
  • 106. Andreas SCHILLINGER, BORA – HANSGROHE, at 9:44
  • 107. Mads Würtz SCHMIDT, TEAM KATUSHA ALPECIN, at 9:44
  • 108. Adrien PETIT, DIRECT ENERGIE, at 9:44
  • 109. Julien STASSEN, WB VERANCLASSIC AQUALITY PROTECT, at 9:44
  • 110. Laurent DIDIER, TREK – SEGAFREDO, at 9:44
  • 111. Fabio SABATINI, QUICK – STEP FLOORS, at 9:44
  • 112. Alessandro TONELLI, BRD, at 9:44
  • 113. Olivier PARDINI, WB VERANCLASSIC AQUALITY PROTECT, at 9:44
  • 114. Tim DECLERCQ, QUICK – STEP FLOORS, at 9:44
  • 115. Liam BERTAZZO, WILIER TRIESTINA, at 9:44
  • 116. Jacopo MOSCA, WILIER TRIESTINA, at 9:44
  • 117. Zakkari DEMPSTER, ISRAEL CYCLING ACADEMY, at 9:44
  • 118. Remy MERTZ, LOTTO SOUDAL, at 9:44
  • 119. Berden DE VRIES, ROOMPOT – NEDERLANDSE LOTERIJ, at 9:44
  • 120. Lukas PÖSTLBERGER, BORA – HANSGROHE, at 9:44
  • 121. Luka MEZGEC, ORICA – SCOTT, at 9:44
  • 122. Jakub MARECZKO, WILIER TRIESTINA, at 9:44
  • 123. Kenny DEHAES, WANTY – GROUPE GOBERT, at 9:44
  • 124. Piet ALLEGAERT, SPORT VLAANDEREN – BALOISE, at 9:44
  • 125. Alex KIRSCH, WB VERANCLASSIC AQUALITY PROTECT, at 9:44
  • 126. Stef VAN ZUMMEREN, VERANDA’S WILLEMS – CRELAN, at 9:44
  • 127. Federico ZURLO, UAE ABU DHABI, at 9:44
  • 128. Elias VAN BREUSSEGEM, VERANDA’S WILLEMS – CRELAN, at 9:44
  • 129. Gerry DRUYTS, PAUWELS SAUZEN – VASTGOEDSERVICE CONTINENTAL TEAM, at 9:44
  • 130. Mark CHRISTIAN, AQUA BLUE SPORT, at 9:44
  • 131. Vegard Stake LAENGEN, UAE ABU DHABI, at 9:44
  • 132. Mark MCNALLY, WANTY – GROUPE GOBERT, at 9:44
  • 133. Maximiliano Ariel RICHEZE, QUICK – STEP FLOORS, at 9:44
  • 134. Michael GOOLAERTS, VERANDA’S WILLEMS – CRELAN, at 9:44
  • 135. Markus HOELGAARD, JOKER ICOPAL, at 9:44
  • 136. Aidis KRUOPIS, VERANDA’S WILLEMS – CRELAN, at 9:44
  • 137. Yuma KOISHI, NIPPO – VINI FANTINI, at 9:44
  • 138. Oliviero TROIA, UAE ABU DHABI, at 9:44
  • 139. Andrei SOLOMENNIKOV, GAZPROM – RUSVELO, at 9:44
  • 140. Evgeny SHALUNOV, GAZPROM – RUSVELO, at 9:44
  • 141. Lasse Norman HANSEN, AQUA BLUE SPORT, at 9:44
  • 142. Sjoerd VAN GINNEKEN, ROOMPOT – NEDERLANDSE LOTERIJ, at 9:44
  • 143. Yohann GENE, DIRECT ENERGIE, at 9:44
  • 144. Rob LEEMANS, PAUWELS SAUZEN – VASTGOEDSERVICE CONTINENTAL TEAM, at 9:44
  • 145. Jack BAUER, QUICK – STEP FLOORS, at 9:44
  • 146. Daniel MCLAY, FORTUNEO – VITAL CONCEPT, at 9:44
  • 147. Matthew BRAMMEIER, AQUA BLUE SPORT, at 9:44
  • 148. Baptiste PLANCKAERT, TEAM KATUSHA ALPECIN, at 9:44
  • 149. Dieter BOUVRY, PAUWELS SAUZEN – VASTGOEDSERVICE CONTINENTAL TEAM, at 9:44
  • 150. Kevin ISTA, WB VERANCLASSIC AQUALITY PROTECT, at 9:44
  • 151. Jimmy DUQUENNOY, WB VERANCLASSIC AQUALITY PROTECT, at 9:44
  • 152. Jérôme BAUGNIES, WANTY – GROUPE GOBERT, at 9:44
  • 153. Nicolas MARINI, NIPPO – VINI FANTINI, at 9:44
  • 154. Tony HUREL, DIRECT ENERGIE, at 9:44
  • 155. Christophe Noppe, SPORT VLAANDEREN – BALOISE, at 9:44
  • 156. Danilo NAPOLITANO, WANTY – GROUPE GOBERT, at 9:44
  • 157. Roger KLUGE, ORICA – SCOTT, at 9:44
  • 158. Robin STENUIT, WANTY – GROUPE GOBERT, at 11:11
  • 159. Coen VERMELTFOORT, ROOMPOT – NEDERLANDSE LOTERIJ, at 11:25
  • 160. Tony GALLOPIN, LOTTO SOUDAL, at 12:00
  • 161. Alexander COOLS, CIBEL – CEBON, at 13:18
  • 162. Boris VALLEE, FORTUNEO – VITAL CONCEPT, at 17:51
  • 163. Alexander MAES, CIBEL – CEBON, at 17:51
  • 164. Michael COOLS, TARTELETTO – ISOREX, at 17:51
  • 165. Niels DE ROOZE, TARTELETTO – ISOREX, at 17:51
  • 166. Conor DUNNE, AQUA BLUE SPORT, at 17:51
  • 167. Vegard BREEN, JOKER ICOPAL, at 17:51
  • 168. Kristoffer SKJERPING, JOKER ICOPAL, at 24:00
  • 169. Kevin VERWAEST, TARTELETTO – ISOREX, at 24:03
  • 170. Marco MARONESE, BRD, at 24:03
  • 171. Matteo PELUCCHI, BORA – HANSGROHE, at 24:03
  • 172. Lorenzo BLOMME, TARTELETTO – ISOREX, at 24:03
  • 173. Barry MARKUS, PAUWELS SAUZEN – VASTGOEDSERVICE CONTINENTAL TEAM, at 24:03
  • 174. Andre LOOIJ, ROOMPOT – NEDERLANDSE LOTERIJ, at 24:03
  • 175. Daniel TUREK, ISRAEL CYCLING ACADEMY, at 24:03
  • 176. Jonathan BREYNE, TARTELETTO – ISOREX, at 24:03
  • 177. Hamish SCHREURS, ISRAEL CYCLING ACADEMY, at 24:03
  • 178. Paolo SIMION, BRD, at 24:03
  • 179. Aviv YECHZKEL, ISRAEL CYCLING ACADEMY, at 24:03
  • 180. Ruben POLS, SPORT VLAANDEREN – BALOISE, at 24:03
  • 181. Aime DE GENDT, SPORT VLAANDEREN – BALOISE, at 24:03

The post De Panne: Gilbert attacks on the Muur to win stage 1 appeared first on VeloNews.com.

]]>
http://www.velonews.com/2017/03/race-report/de-panne-gilbert-attacks-muur-win-stage-1_433979/feed 0
Photo Essay: E3/Gent-Wevelgem double-header in Belgium http://www.velonews.com/2017/03/gallery/photo-essay/photo-essay-e3gent-wevelgem-double-header-belgium_433926 http://www.velonews.com/2017/03/gallery/photo-essay/photo-essay-e3gent-wevelgem-double-header-belgium_433926#respond Tue, 28 Mar 2017 14:56:54 +0000 http://www.velonews.com/?p=433926 Belgium's biggest cobblestone races kick off with a weekend double-header of E3 Harelbeke and Gent-Wevelgem.

The post Photo Essay: E3/Gent-Wevelgem double-header in Belgium appeared first on VeloNews.com.

]]>

The post Photo Essay: E3/Gent-Wevelgem double-header in Belgium appeared first on VeloNews.com.

]]>
http://www.velonews.com/2017/03/gallery/photo-essay/photo-essay-e3gent-wevelgem-double-header-belgium_433926/feed 0
Jarlinson Pantano, Contador’s new best friend http://www.velonews.com/2017/03/news/jarlinson-pantano-contadors-new-best-friend_433920 http://www.velonews.com/2017/03/news/jarlinson-pantano-contadors-new-best-friend_433920#respond Tue, 28 Mar 2017 14:29:21 +0000 http://www.velonews.com/?p=433920 The 28-year-old Colombian is riding in support of Alberto Contador at Trek-Segafredo this season.

The post Jarlinson Pantano, Contador’s new best friend appeared first on VeloNews.com.

]]>
Trek-Segafredo’s Alberto Contador has a new best friend and an even better ally. His name is Jarlinson Pantano. The 28-year-old Colombian climber has emerged as a valuable new weapon for the veteran Spaniard as he dares to take on Chris Froome and the Team Sky machine in this year’s Tour de France.

In both Paris-Nice and Volta a Catalunya, Pantano played an integral role in setting up Contador for the decisive mountain climbs. It’s that kind of help that has Contador optimistic about the looming battle awaiting in July.

“All I can say is thanks, thanks, thanks,” Contador gushed at Paris-Nice after Pantano helped blow up the race. “He’s an incredible guy, and we’re really good friends. He will be crucial for me, especially in July.”

Though Contador came up just two seconds short of victory at Paris-Nice and finished second at Catalunya last week, things are looking up for Contador as he pedals toward the Tour.

Why? At Trek, Contador is finding the kind of support he never saw the past few seasons at Tinkoff. As the team backed by the outspoken Russian magnate started to disintegrate, it was every man for himself, with Peter Sagan chasing stage wins and the points jersey, and Rafal Majka chasing mountain jerseys and stage wins. Contador was often left isolated and with little help deep in the mountains. Out-gunned by a team of climbers surrounding Chris Froome at Team Sky, there was little Contador could do during the past few Tours.

That looks to be changing at Trek, where Contador will get support in the mountains he hasn’t seen in years. In addition to Pantano, Contador will be able to count on help from Bauke Mollema, Pete Stetina, and Haimar Zubeldia. Even with the team bringing John Degenkolb to hunt stages during the Tour de France, the squad likely won’t split along the fracture lines seen at Tinkoff.

For Pantano, the chance to ride for Contador is something he is relishing.

“I am very excited to be on the team,” Pantano said at a team camp. “It’s an incredible opportunity to be able to learn from a rider like Contador. I am looking forward to working for him and learning from him.”

For Pantano, the move to Trek comes at a decisive moment in his promising career. After his breakout 2016 season that included stage victories at the Tour de Suisse and Tour de France (and two more second places), many teams came calling. He chose Trek to be at Contador’s side.

“My role changes at Trek, and now I will be working for Contador,” he said. “But that is something that really motivates me. It’s a big honor to be able to work for a rider like Contador.”

Trek is going all-in with Contador for the Tour. Last year’s GC man Bauke Mollema has humbly stepped aside (at least for 2017), and decided to take on the Giro d’Italia, and will ride the Tour to help Contador. Pantano is doubling down as well, sacrificing his chances to be a leader on another team while taking notes as he watches Contador take on Froome.

“We’ll have a very strong team, and I think we’ll have realistic options to reach our main objective, which is to win the Tour de France,” Pantano said. “And Contador is a rider that I want to learn from for the good of my own future. He has so much more experience than me, and he is truly a team leader. He’s one of the best leaders ever for grand tours, so that’s clearly going to help me for the future.”

Who is Pantano? He’s yet another superb climber coming out of Colombia. This latest wave of climbing talent is surpassing even the legends of the 1980s. Led by Nairo Quintana, Rigoberto Urán, and Esteban Chaves, Pantano is making his presence known. A few years older than Chaves and Quintana, it’s taken Pantano a little longer to find his place in Europe.

“Cycling has really grown in Colombia, and people really follow the sport,” he said. “I don’t know what’s going to happen when a Colombian finally wins the Tour, but the Colombians will go crazy!”

A son of an amateur cyclist from Cali, Pantano raced with Colombia es Pasión from 2007 to 2011 and turned pro with Colombia-Coldeportes, riding with the team from 2012-2014 — an experience that left him frustrated and out of the spotlight. Pantano criticized the former management of the team, which eventually closed without fulfilling its goal of promoting Colombian cycling to the top level in Europe. Like many of his compatriots, he had to find a new home on a European team. His break came with IAM Cycling, which finally gave him freedom to ride for his own results in 2015 and 2016. Last year, he earned the breakout rider award at the Tour de France.

“It was the best year of my career, but that only motivates me to keep working,” he said. “Here at Trek, I will get some chances. The idea is to get better step by step, and hopefully one day be able to challenge for a grand tour.”

This year, he might get his chances at a race like the Tour de Suisse (with Contador likely racing the Critérium du Dauphiné) and again at the Vuelta a España. It all depends on how Contador goes in the Tour. Even at Catalunya, he nearly won the final stage, finishing second to winner Alejandro Valverde of Movistar.

And why not? Pantano said he believes he could one day challenge for the yellow jersey. Despite only racing two Tours — he was 19th in both 2015 and 2016 — he believes his best years are ahead of him.

“I believe the right questions isn’t if a Colombian is going to win the Tour, but when,” he said. “Nairo has already shown he can do it. Chaves is very strong. I won’t dare say when it will happen, because Froome is very strong. He only prepares for the Tour, and he’s shown he can win it year after year. Right now, it’s complicated, but one day it will happen.

“Could it be me to be the first Colombian to win the Tour? Well, it’s something I dream of!” he continued. “First, I dream of being in contention for the podium. I’ve demonstrated I can be in the top 10 of a big race [4th at the Tour de Suisse], but I have to keep working and keep learning. I know it’s difficult, but maybe someday.

“That’s why this is team is perfect for me right now. I can learn from Alberto and continue my progression.”

Contador and Pantano are now bosom buddies. Pantano is hoping some of Contador’s winning ways will rub off.

The post Jarlinson Pantano, Contador’s new best friend appeared first on VeloNews.com.

]]>
http://www.velonews.com/2017/03/news/jarlinson-pantano-contadors-new-best-friend_433920/feed 0
Doctor insists he gave Wiggins legal drug in 2011 http://www.velonews.com/2017/03/news/doctor-insists-gave-wiggins-legal-drug-2011_433905 http://www.velonews.com/2017/03/news/doctor-insists-gave-wiggins-legal-drug-2011_433905#respond Tue, 28 Mar 2017 12:55:44 +0000 http://www.velonews.com/?p=433905 Dr. Richard Freeman told British lawmakers the mystery package Bradley Wiggins received at the 2011 Dauphiné contained a decongestant.

The post Doctor insists he gave Wiggins legal drug in 2011 appeared first on VeloNews.com.

]]>
LONDON (AFP) — The doctor at the center of a doping rules row involving British cycling great Bradley Wiggins has insisted he gave the multiple Olympic champion a legal decongestant.

UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) is currently investigating just exactly what was in the contents of a now infamous “jiffy bag” sent to Dr. Richard Freeman at the end of the 2011 Critérium du Dauphiné in France amid suggestions it could have contained a banned substance.

Freeman, then the Team Sky doctor, has said the package contained the legal decongestant Fluimucil.

Freeman had been due to appear before a committee of British lawmakers on March 1 but he was too ill to attend.

In that hearing, UKAD chief Nicole Sapstead said it was impossible for her to be certain about the contents of the package because Freeman told her the relevant medical records had disappeared when his laptop was stolen while on holiday in Greece in 2014.

It has been alleged that the package contained the banned corticosteroid triamcinolone.

The House of Commons Culture, Media and Sport Committee has now published a letter it received from Freeman in which he said the package contained “only Fluimucil.”

Freeman said the Fluimucil was for use in a nebulizer and that many doctors believe it to be “helpful in managing stage riders, who … are prone to chestiness and excess respiratory mucus production” because of the demands of elite-level cycling.

Freeman added he had gone to the trouble of sending the medicine via a British Cycling employee because he wished to avoid a repeat of the 2002 incident that cost British skier Alain Baxter an Olympic medal when he bought an over-the-counter nasal spray in the United States that contained a banned substance not used in the UK version.

Team Sky, Wiggins, and Freeman have all repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.

Freeman said it would have been “desirable” if he kept a copy of his medical notes. “I regret not doing this,” he wrote.

Last week, five-time Olympic gold medalist Wiggins promised to “shock a few people” when he comments on the case after the UKAD inquiry is complete.

Wiggins retired in November last year, some two months after his medical records were revealed by the Russia-based Fancy Bears computer hacking group.

British Cycling, which has presided over one of the country’s most successful Olympic sports of recent Games, has also come under fire for how it dealt with sexism allegations involving former coach Shane Sutton.

Tuesday saw Britain’s Press Association publish a letter from Liz Nicholl, the chairman of UK Sport, the national funding agency, to British Cycling in which she revealed her “serious concerns” about the way it was dealing with those allegations.

Sutton resigned in April last year after rider Jess Varnish alleged he had told her to “go and have a baby” following her failure to qualify for the Rio Olympics.

Later, an independent review of British Cycling’s performance program was set up.

According to a leaked copy of the review published this month by The Daily Mail, British Cycling looked to change the conclusions of its own original inquiry into Sutton in a bid to retain the highly regarded Australian.

The post Doctor insists he gave Wiggins legal drug in 2011 appeared first on VeloNews.com.

]]>
http://www.velonews.com/2017/03/news/doctor-insists-gave-wiggins-legal-drug-2011_433905/feed 0
Studying Flanders 2005: Tommeke’s first step toward legend http://www.velonews.com/2017/03/analysis/studying-flanders-2005-tommekes-first-step-toward-legend_433463 http://www.velonews.com/2017/03/analysis/studying-flanders-2005-tommekes-first-step-toward-legend_433463#respond Tue, 28 Mar 2017 12:32:03 +0000 http://www.velonews.com/?p=433463 Tom Boonen won his first Tour of Flanders in 2005, arguably one of the biggest seasons of his storied career.

The post Studying Flanders 2005: Tommeke’s first step toward legend appeared first on VeloNews.com.

]]>
With Ronde van Vlaanderen only days away, we are taking a look back at some of the most memorable editions of the Tour of Flanders. The race usually favors the strongest riders, but tactics are critical at the end of an epic day of cobbled Belgian climbs. What can we learn from the history of this beloved monument classic?

Tom Boonen finished third in his Paris-Roubaix debut in 2002. He won two stages of the Tour de France in 2004. Then, in 2005, the kid known as “Tommeke” took proper steps down the path to becoming a legend. He won the Tour of Flanders for the first time, and completed the double the following week by winning Paris-Roubaix. He later went on to win stages and the green jersey at the Tour, and then became world champion in Madrid. What a year. It all started in Flanders.

How it happened: With 17 kilometers to go on the feared Kapelmuur, a handful of riders remained in the front group, including favorites Boonen and Peter Van Petegem, T-Mobile teammates Erik Zabel and Andreas Klier, Roberto Petito, and Alessandro Ballan. A substantial group was chasing a minute behind. Boonen and Van Petegem were clearly the strongest on the Muur, gapping the others. But over the top, it all came back together.

With 12km left, Klier set a vicious tempo on the lowers slopes of the Bosberg to keep the group together, hoping to set up Zabel for a group sprint. Boonen was the first to have none of it. He put in a solid dig. Again, Van Petegem was the strongest and held his wheel. The others trailed behind. Soon after, Van Petegem had a dig. Given “Tommeke’s” reputation as a sprinter at that time, he surprised his adversaries by launching a solo attack to counter Van Petegem. At first his lead was no more than two or three seconds as Van Petegem desperately chased. Finally, the rubber band snapped and Boonen was unleashed. Despite being chased by the two T-Mobile riders, he managed to extend his lead to 35 seconds and took a solo win in Meerbeke over Klier, fists flailing in delight as he crossed the line.

What we learned from the race: The sprint-savvy Boonen put in a well-timed attack to distance his rivals — including the venerable Zabel, a master sprinter. But getting away and staying away were two big asks in a race of that length. Boonen, who was no slouch in the time trial, gritted his teeth and kept the power full-gas to the line to make certain no one was catching him. Once again, timing and power made the difference.

Could it play out this way again? Did you notice that Peter Sagan launched his attack at this year’s Milano-Sanremo on the Poggio instead of waiting for the final sprint? Did you see last year’s Tour of Flanders when Sagan motored away on the Paterberg and then got aero for the final kilometers as a spirited duo of Fabian Cancellara and Sep Vanmarcke chased? Sagan could launch again from a distance in this weekend’s race, to be sure he doesn’t have to rely on his sprint. Did you see that MSR finale where he was pipped by Michal Kwiatkowski at the line?

The post Studying Flanders 2005: Tommeke’s first step toward legend appeared first on VeloNews.com.

]]>
http://www.velonews.com/2017/03/analysis/studying-flanders-2005-tommekes-first-step-toward-legend_433463/feed 0
Vuelta invites Colombian and Irish teams, plus two other wildcards http://www.velonews.com/2017/03/vuelta-a-espana/vuelta-invites-colombian-irish-teams-plus-two-wildcards_433879 http://www.velonews.com/2017/03/vuelta-a-espana/vuelta-invites-colombian-irish-teams-plus-two-wildcards_433879#respond Mon, 27 Mar 2017 20:40:02 +0000 http://www.velonews.com/?p=433879 Vuelta a España organizers invite four Pro Continental teams: Cofidis, Caja Rural, Aqua Blue Sport, and Manzana Postobon.

The post Vuelta invites Colombian and Irish teams, plus two other wildcards appeared first on VeloNews.com.

]]>
Vuelta a España organizers announced four wildcard teams for the 2017 grand tour, August 19-September 10. The three-week race will expand its geographical diversity with the inclusion of Colombian team Manzana Postobon and Irish team Aqua Blue Sport.

Team Colombia raced the 2015 Vuelta, and though its riders didn’t win a stage, Rodolfo Torres finished second on stage 16 to Frank Schleck, and he was seventh overall in the mountains classification. Manzana Postobon is home to Spaniard Antonio Piedra, who won stage 15 of the 2012 Vuelta.

Aqua Blue Sport has several top riders on its Pro Continental outfit, such as British National champion Adam Blythe and Norwegian Lars Petter Nordhaug, who won the 2012 GP Cycliste de Montreal and the 2015 Tour de Yorkshire when he was on Team Sky.

Along with those two squads, Vuelta organizers named French team Cofidis, home to sprinter Nacer Bouhanni who won two stages in the 2014 Vuelta. The fourth and final invited Pro Continental team is Spain’s Caja Rural, which is usually part of the race. Spanish journeyman David Arroyo is one of Caja Rural’s captains and winner of stage 18 of the 2008 Vuelta.

As the third and final grand tour of the season and part of the UCI’s WorldTour, the Vuelta will also include the 18 WorldTour teams.

2017 Vuelta a España wildcard teams

Cofidis (F)
Caja Rural (Sp)
Aqua Blue Sport (Irl)
Manzana Postobon (Col)

The post Vuelta invites Colombian and Irish teams, plus two other wildcards appeared first on VeloNews.com.

]]>
http://www.velonews.com/2017/03/vuelta-a-espana/vuelta-invites-colombian-irish-teams-plus-two-wildcards_433879/feed 0
Breaking down the Gent-Wevelgem breakdown http://www.velonews.com/2017/03/news/breaking-gent-wevelgem-breakdown_433845 http://www.velonews.com/2017/03/news/breaking-gent-wevelgem-breakdown_433845#respond Mon, 27 Mar 2017 19:50:50 +0000 http://www.velonews.com/?p=433845 After Gent-Wevelgem, accusations fly between Sagan and the Quick-Step camp as negative racing leaves both without the win.

The post Breaking down the Gent-Wevelgem breakdown appeared first on VeloNews.com.

]]>
It’s one thing to get beaten straight up, it’s quite something else to screw the pooch.

Gent-Wevelgem’s post-race cool-down quickly turned into a blame game, and there was plenty of finger-pointing at the end of Sunday’s dramatic finale.

Quick-Step was caught out, and called out, for being too clever by a clearly frustrated Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe), who was also left with a sour taste in his mouth. And a hard-charging group of sprinters also came away with crumbs as a late rally failed to catch the attackers in what was another reminder that, during the classics, there is no margin for error or for tactical games.

Greg Van Avermaet (BMC Racing) was the only one smiling after initiating a surge at a decisive breaking point with 15km to go. With the peloton fractured into pieces, Van Avermaet and compatriot Jens Keukeleire (Orica-Scott) took matters into their own hands. Quick-Step’s Niki Terpstra and Sagan (with Danish sensation Soren Kragh Andersen in tow) exchanged glances and then words, but neither chased, and in an instant, it was game-over. A half-hearted chase came up short, and a blame game ensued moments after Sagan dipped across the line in third.

“This is a very cheap game,” Sagan stewed to Sporza inside the press tent. “What could I do? I am not [Terpstra’s] teammate. Am I going to work so he can beat me in the sprint? I could decide today who could win.”

In Sagan’s world, that meant anyone but Terpstra. The world champion accused the former Paris-Roubaix winner of sitting on, but Terpstra explained that he had team orders to do just that. With Tom Boonen (later second in the bunch sprint) and Fernando Gaviria chasing less than a minute behind, what more could Sagan expect?

Boonen later broke it down for reporters outside the Quick-Step bus. For the Belgian superstar, with only three races left on his calendar before retiring at Paris-Roubaix in two weeks’ time, the fault lies firmly with Sagan.

“When you’re the strongest and the world champion, you have to react,” Boonen told Het Nieuwsblad. “If you’re Sagan, and you’re in that situation, you have to react … Niki [Terpstra] didn’t lose, Sagan is the one [who lost].”

By now, Sagan is used to racing with a target on his back. It happens nearly every race he starts. He’s the strongest and he’s the man to beat, so few dare take it straight to him, because most know that their only real option to win is to mark his wheel, hopefully hang on, and then try to pip him in a sprint. Sagan is clearly fed up, and risked losing Sunday to make a point. In fact, he did lose, but so did Quick-Step.

“It wasn’t for me to close the gap, and then they were gone,” Terpstra told Cycling Weekly. “Sagan is frustrated, and we both let the gap open.”

Terpstra seemed to shrug off the ensuing polemics, and insisted the team is looking strong for what really counts at the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix. On paper, Quick-Step once again has the strongest squad in the peloton. That strength in numbers can pay off handsomely, just as it did last week at Dwars door Vlaanderen, or with Terpstra attacking out of a group to win Roubaix that included two other Quick-Step teammates. But sometimes it can backfire, just as it did Sunday.

And the chasing group seemed to dawdle. It was hard to get a read on exactly what happened or why it seemed to take so long to organize a chase. The longer, monument-size distance of Gent-Wevelgem since it changed from its mid-week date (usually around 200km) to its Sunday spot certainly changes the dynamic of the race. It’s that final hour of racing that makes the monuments stand apart. A strong headwind and a lack of cooperation in the bunch foiled a chance for the sprinters.

Sagan doesn’t have the luxury of having sprinters coming up behind — teammate Sam Bennett is still a touch off the highest level in the hardest races — and instead must count on his brute strength to break open the race. Or, ideally, simply ride everyone off his wheel, like he did last year at Flanders.

With “only” Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne to add to his trophy case (with second at Milano-Sanremo and third at Gent-Wevelgem) so far this spring, Sagan is spoiling for a fight. Another Flanders win would do much to salve his growing annoyance.

“If you are winning always, maybe you lose motivation,” Sagan said. “Now I am motivated to take some victories.”

It was Van Avermaet who had the last laugh. The versatile Olympic champion looks to be on the form of his life following another dominant performance. With Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, E3 Harelbeke, and Gent-Wevelgem already in his belt (and second at Strade Bianche), Flanders awaits. It’s the race that Van Avermaet has been chasing his entire career. This could be his moment.

What’s sure is that come Sunday, no one will be playing games or holding back fire. The Ronde is too big a prize to sacrifice for a teammate, or to make a point.

The post Breaking down the Gent-Wevelgem breakdown appeared first on VeloNews.com.

]]>
http://www.velonews.com/2017/03/news/breaking-gent-wevelgem-breakdown_433845/feed 0
Studying Flanders 2012: New route, same winner http://www.velonews.com/2017/03/analysis/studying-flanders-2012-new-route-winner_433405 http://www.velonews.com/2017/03/analysis/studying-flanders-2012-new-route-winner_433405#respond Mon, 27 Mar 2017 16:17:40 +0000 http://www.velonews.com/?p=433405 Cycling fans were up in arms in 2012, when a new Tour of Flanders route was introduced, but a familiar Belgian won the day.

The post Studying Flanders 2012: New route, same winner appeared first on VeloNews.com.

]]>
With Ronde van Vlaanderen only days away, we are taking a look back at some of the most memorable editions of the Tour of Flanders. The race usually favors the strongest riders, but tactics are critical at the end of an epic day of cobbled Belgian climbs. What can we learn from the history of this beloved monument classic?

Let’s step into our time machines and zip back five years. We find the peaceful Flemish region of Belgium overcome by chaos. Pitchfork-toting cycling fans surround the Ronde van Vlaanderen museum in Oudenaarde, demanding that the race’s new owners, Flanders Classics, return the decisive Kapelmuur and Bosberg climbs to the course (OK, I made that up). Goofballs stage a mock funeral for the departed climbs (that actually happened). Pundits question whether this new Flanders route — which includes three trips up the Paterberg and Oude Kwaremont — is blasphemous. Former champions chide the new course, saying Flanders has lost its luster. Everyone wonders whether the Tour of Flanders has jumped the shark.

What nobody knows is that the new Flanders route will be rad.

What happened: Yes, removing the Kapelmuur and Bosberg eliminated Flanders’s two traditional launchpads for victory and disrupted what had become a somewhat predictable race. The new 256.9km course, with its three laps of the Oude Kwaremont and Paterberg, effectively tripled the number of attacking points during the race’s critical kilometers. This led to more attacks, more action, and plenty of drama.

Nobody burned down the Flanders cycling museum. Instead, Flemish cycling fans put away their pitchforks and embraced the new route. Belgium returned to relative normalcy.

The much-hyped battle between Tom Boonen and Fabian Cancellara bit the dust when Cancellara crashed and abandoned with a broken collarbone with 60km to go. The first big move came with 35km to go when Juan Antonio Flecha jumped clear at the base of the Paterberg, drawing out a small group containing Omega teammates Boonen, Nicki Terpstra, and Sylvain Chavanel. The three took turns attacking the group, until a big effort by Team Sky brought the group together.

Former winner Alessandro Ballan then put in a dig on the final climb of the Oude Kwaremont, drawing out Boonen and pre-Instagram Filippo Pozzato. The three worked together well and opened a sizable gap on the field at the base of the Paterberg, where Pozzato put in an effort that nearly shed Boonen. The Belgian hung with the two Italians and helped shut down attacks by Ballan on the trip back to Oudenaarde, where he dusted his breakaway companions with relative ease.

What did we learn from the race: Fears of a lesser Flanders route were silenced the moment big Tommeke thumped his way across the line to win his third Ronde. Yep, new route, same winner.

The first lesson fans learned in 2012 was that the new Flanders route was fit for a tactical battle that rewarded teamwork, guts, and brawn. The painful final circuit reduced the field to the strongest riders. The rapid succession of climbs enticed strongmen to attack, forcing the other teams to bring back the moves on the flat connecting roads. While the circuit felt somewhat repetitive, the changing dynamic of the race made each ascent of the Kwaremont and Paterberg feel new.

We also learned that the final climb of the Paterberg was the last opportunity to create a gap. If a group survived that climb intact, it was bound to roll into Oudenaarde together.

Tommeke thinks the new Flanders course is A-OK. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

Could it play out this way again? Yes. Since the new course was introduced in 2012, Flanders has followed two scripts: A small group gets away on the circuit, survives the final ascent of the Paterberg, and dukes it out in the sprint. Or, a powerful rider (Cancellara, Peter Sagan) drops everyone on the Paterberg and solos in. In 2014 Cancellara out-sprinted Greg Van Avermaet, Stijn Vanderbergh, and Sep Vanmarcke. The following year, Alexander Kristoff easily ditched Terpstra to win.

While the Bosberg and Kapelmuur are gone from the Flanders finale, the excitement remains, and for 2017, the Kapelmuur will be part of the course earlier in the race.

The post Studying Flanders 2012: New route, same winner appeared first on VeloNews.com.

]]>
http://www.velonews.com/2017/03/analysis/studying-flanders-2012-new-route-winner_433405/feed 0
Women’s Gent-Wevelgem video highlights and analysis http://www.velonews.com/2017/03/news/womens-gent-wevelgem-video-highlights_433779 http://www.velonews.com/2017/03/news/womens-gent-wevelgem-video-highlights_433779#respond Mon, 27 Mar 2017 15:21:45 +0000 http://www.velonews.com/?p=433779 The best sprinters in the women's peloton have their chance at Gent-Wevelgem, and Lotta Lepisto wins her first career WorldTour race.

The post Women’s Gent-Wevelgem video highlights and analysis appeared first on VeloNews.com.

]]>
Just millimeters separated first and second place at the Women’s WorldTour Gent-Wevelgem this weekend. After 150 kilometers of fast and aggressive racing, Lotta Lepistö of Cervélo-Bigla edged out Belgian favorite Jolien D’hoore of Wiggle-High5 in a photo finish. Lepistö’s win marks the fourth team to snag a WWT win in as many races this season, pointing to the growing depth and quality of women’s racing.

UCI race highlights

Race action

Patience paid off for Cervélo-Bigla’s Lepistö as she tucked in behind last year’s winner Chantal Blaak (Boels-Dolmans) on the sprint to the finish. The Finnish national champion targeted this race as her shot to win a WWT round, and she had a strong team working for her all day. Five Cervélo-Bigla riders made it over the race’s five climbs in the front group and helped chase down late attacks to ensure a group sprint. With the win at Gent-Wevelgem and with last week’s sprint victory at Dwars Door Vlaanderen, Lepistö has quickly established herself as the fastest woman in the peloton this spring.

Team Sunweb presented the only real lead-out train into the sprint finish with Ellen van Dijk and Lucinda Brand pulling for American sprinter Coryn Rivera. The team was also extremely active in the final 30 kilometers of racing with relentless attacks coming from the three riders as well as teammate Floortje Mackaij. Unable to get a break to stick, Sunweb lined itself up for the sprint finish but just missed the win. Did the team use up too many matches on those late-race attacks?

Sensing Brand’s tired legs, Rivera jumped around her teammate with 200 meters to go. This proved a bit too early for the small sprinter, especially when facing a strong headwind. She couldn’t hold off the charging D’hoore who came around Rivera in the final meters or Lepistö who used Blaak as her lead-out. “A win is always sweeter but I still couldn’t have accomplished the podium without the help of the girls,” Rivera said after the race.

Coming around Rivera in the final meters, D’hoore hesitated slightly as she neared the barriers, costing the Belgian a win in her home country. “The last 3km I was behind Sunweb — they had a full lead out — and I was just boxed in on the left side,” she said. “I was flirting with the barriers and the road furniture on the left side, it was really hectic!”

Boels-Dolmans also missed out as its fastest sprinter and current world champion, Amalie Dideriksen struggled on the early climbs and lost contact with the front group. Despite Dideriksen’s absence, Boels kept the pace high throughout the race, looking to last year’s Gent-Wevelgem winner Blaak. Without a lead-out from her team, Blaak opened up the sprint early but was quickly overtaken by the faster sprinters. “I went early because I had to go early,” Blaak said. “I wanted to give the girls, who worked really hard, better than this, but it is what is, and I’ll take the positive things out of the day.”

Upcoming WWT

The pinnacle of WWT cobbles season hits next week at the Ronde van Vlaanderen voor Vrouwen — better known as the Tour of Flanders for Women. We’re expecting the same aggressive and unpredictable racing that we saw at Gent-Wevelgem, but this time, you can actually watch the action with a live race broadcast.

UCI points updates

Elisa Longo Borghini held onto the leader’s jersey while Elena Cecchini closed the gap in second place. Only five points separate the two Italians with Cecchini’s ninth place this weekend. Rivera jumped to third after two podium weekends, moving van Vleuten and Brand each down one spot.

1 – (1*) Elisa Longo Borghini (Wiggle-High5) – 220 points
2 – (2) Elena Cecchini (Canyon-SRAM) – 215 points
3 – (6) Coryn Rivera (Team Sunweb) – 205 points
4 – (3) Annemiek van Vleuten (Orica-Scott) – 170 points
5 – (4) Lucinda Brand (Team Sunweb) – 155 points

Wiggle-High5 bumped Boels-Dolmans out of the lead with D’hoore’s strong finish this weekend. Sunweb got bumped down to third but only six points separate the top-three teams. Canyon-SRAM and Orica-Scott are also in a close race for fourth with another six points separating the teams.

1 – (3*) Wiggle-High5 – 390 points
2 – (1) Boels Dolmans – 386 points
3 – (2) Team Sunweb – 384 points
4 – (5) Canyon-SRAM – 305 points
5 – (4) Orica-Scott – 299 points

*: Ranking after the last race

The post Women’s Gent-Wevelgem video highlights and analysis appeared first on VeloNews.com.

]]>
http://www.velonews.com/2017/03/news/womens-gent-wevelgem-video-highlights_433779/feed 0
Gent-Wevelgem roundtable: Sagan/Quick-Step stare-down and dirt drama http://www.velonews.com/2017/03/commentary/gent-wevelgem-roundtable-saganquick-step-stare-dirt-drama_433809 http://www.velonews.com/2017/03/commentary/gent-wevelgem-roundtable-saganquick-step-stare-dirt-drama_433809#respond Mon, 27 Mar 2017 15:10:29 +0000 http://www.velonews.com/?p=433809 We unpack all the action from a tactical thriller at Gent-Wevelgem. Why does Sagan hate Quick-Step? Is dirt good for the Belgian classic?

The post Gent-Wevelgem roundtable: Sagan/Quick-Step stare-down and dirt drama appeared first on VeloNews.com.

]]>
Sunday’s Gent-Wevelgem classic was a tactical thriller, as Olympic champion Greg Van Avermaet (BMC Racing) initiated the break on the Kemmelberg, was joined by a cast of all-stars, including world champ Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe), and then managed to sneak off with Jens Keukeleire. Sagan was forced to chase with Quick-Step’s Niki Terpstra and Sunweb’s Soren Kragh Andersen. Drama ensued. Recriminations flew. The peloton almost caught everyone. And to top it all off, they rode some dirt roads! Time to roundtable.

Why did Niki Terpstra and Peter Sagan sit up out of that breakaway?

Chris Case @chrisjustincase: Terpstra sat up for one of two reasons: His DS is lame or he is lame. What a pathetic way to race a bike. Sagan sat up because he isn’t the killer everyone thinks he is. And he’s getting whiny.

Fred Dreier @freddreier: If Quick-Step is actively trying to rattle Peter Sagan, it seems to be working. Sagan was taking monster pulls and Terpstra was a passenger. You can see that Sagan went back to say something to Terpstra, and Terpstra was just like “You want me to pull? Well, pull back this gap!” and let the gap open.

Andrew Hood @Eurohoody: Pure team dynamics that completely backfired. Terpstra had Tom Boonen and Fernando Gaviria in the bunch behind, but he blew it by not covering Van Avemmaet’s surge. Sagan called his bluff, but he missed out on a chance for the win, proving again that having the strongest team and/or the strongest legs doesn’t guarantee anything in the classics.

Spencer Powlison @spino_powerlegsI actually liked Terpstra’s decision to sit up, because Quick-Step has a much better chance of chasing back the break and winning the sprint with Gaviria. In fact, nearly every option is better than trying to pit Terpstra against Sagan and Van Avermaet in a sprint. Sagan’s tactic almost worked, but he didn’t quite have the gas to go across the gap to the two leaders. Can’t win ’em all …

Should Keukeleire have worked less in the break, knowing that he was up against GVA in the sprint?

Chris: No. If he had stopped working or slowed up, GVA would have attacked him and dropped him well before the line anyway. Then he would have risked getting caught. Better to work until the end and give yourself a chance in the sprint.

Fred: Nah. When you’re an up-and-coming Belgian rider and you find yourself in a breakaway at Gent-Wevelgem with Greg Van Avermaet, then you’re already guaranteed free beer for life so long as you don’t allow yourself to be caught. Pull, Jens, pull!

Andrew: No, he was right to fully commit driving it to the line. Against GVA, he had a 50-50 chance to win, and second still earned him his best classics result of his promising career. You won’t win a big race without committing 100 percent to a promising, late-race move like that.

Spencer: My only critique for Keukeleire (#AskACat3) is that he shouldn’t have pulled through in the final kilometer. Yes, make that breakaway stick, but why not roll the dice a little in the finale and show the world that you’ve got a head on your shoulders?

The peloton was close to catching everyone in the end, but not close enough — why? Not enough firepower?

Chris: There’s always a bit of disorganization in a big chasing group at first. By the time they got rolling, it was too late.

Fred: Gent-Wevelgem is 250km of wind and bergs and attacks. Those guys were hosed.

Andrew: It was hard to read the dynamics in the chase group. Despite being a large group, it appeared that only Trek-Segafredo had real horsepower in the bunch to chase. A headwind stymied everyone, and that extra 30-40km that’s been tacked onto Gent-Wevelgem since it moved to Sunday also means everyone is that much more on the rivet. It’s always a tug-of-war between a sprint and the attackers.

Spencer: Certainly there were few sprinters’ teams to aid in the chase. Honestly, I think Quick-Step should have brought Terpstra back to the bunch and truly committed to a sprint. They were darn close.

Gent-Wevelgem organizers added dirt “plugstreets” to the course this year, despite some grumblings from teams. Should they add more dirt? Keep it as-is? Or go back to a traditional route?

Chris: It was a creative addition in some ways, but the organizers will need the cooperation of the weather gods to have the dirt sections play a significant role in the outcome of the race.

Fred: I can see both sides of the argument (see my column). I say keep the existing sections but don’t add any more. Gent-Wevelgem doesn’t need to drive the dirt bandwagon.

Andrew: In this year’s dry conditions, they didn’t seem to make that much of a difference. In the wet, they could have been treacherous. How much does it add to the dynamics of the race? Not much, and only seems to add to the carnival aspect of the course. Hoody is old-school. I say keep it that way. Crosswinds and the Kemmelberg are the signature elements of Gent-Wevelgem.

Spencer: What a great opportunity! Gent-Wevelgem could be the marquee dirt WorldTour race where bike companies roll out their new GROAD bikes for the coming season. Worried about wet weather? Well most of these capable new gravel bikes offer integrated fenders. And don’t worry about feed zones either, because everyone can easily set up little lunch boxes on their handlebars.

Tour of Flanders is less than one week away. After Gent-Wevelgem, what rider is off the front, and what rider is off the back in your picks for de Ronde?

Chris: King Greg is clearly the frontrunner. He isn’t being given the same attention as Sagan for some reason, and he is benefitting greatly from that. Perhaps that changes now. Sagan needs to stop dicking around and just bludgeon people on the Paterberg and all will be redeemed. Quick-Step is once again showing that despite its strength in numbers, they’re a bunch of dumdums who can’t get out of their own way.

Fred: I mean, Greg Van Avermaet looks capable of winning Flanders, Roubaix, and the Belgian Prime Ministership at this point. And Tommeke? I think there will be some sympathy claps for him on Sunday.

Andrew: Clearly, Van Avermaet and Sagan are a step above everyone else. BMC has the advantage over Bora-Hansgrohe with a deeper squad, and I expect these two to go swinging for the fences Sunday. Quick-Step has the strongest team for the classics, but it cannot get the numbers to add up when it really counts. Boonen won’t be holding back, nor will an on-form Gilbert. Off the back? It’s been hard to get a read on riders like Alexander Kristoff, strong at Sanremo, but invisible so far in the northern classics. Ian Stannard, Sep Vanmarcke, and Boom need to step up their game the next two weekends.

Spencer: Van Avermaet is off the front, but did he attack too early? You can’t be on peak form all spring — or can you? Vanmarcke is way off the back. He and his new Cannondale-Drapac team made a lot of noise coming into the classics, but where are the results? One last thought: Boonen sprinted to second out of the bunch at Gent-Wevelgem. Is the old dog coming on strong right when it matters?

The post Gent-Wevelgem roundtable: Sagan/Quick-Step stare-down and dirt drama appeared first on VeloNews.com.

]]>
http://www.velonews.com/2017/03/commentary/gent-wevelgem-roundtable-saganquick-step-stare-dirt-drama_433809/feed 0
Photos: Lepistö’s stock continues rise at women’s Gent-Wevelgem http://www.velonews.com/2017/03/news/road/photos-lepistos-stock-continues-rise-at-womens-gent-wevelgem_433740 http://www.velonews.com/2017/03/news/road/photos-lepistos-stock-continues-rise-at-womens-gent-wevelgem_433740#respond Mon, 27 Mar 2017 14:09:34 +0000 http://www.velonews.com/?p=433740 Lotta Lepisto wins Gent-Wevelgem to give her Cervélo-Bigla team its first UCI Women's WorldTour victory and fourth win this season.

The post Photos: Lepistö’s stock continues rise at women’s Gent-Wevelgem appeared first on VeloNews.com.

]]>

The post Photos: Lepistö’s stock continues rise at women’s Gent-Wevelgem appeared first on VeloNews.com.

]]>
http://www.velonews.com/2017/03/news/road/photos-lepistos-stock-continues-rise-at-womens-gent-wevelgem_433740/feed 0