VeloNews.com http://www.velonews.com Competitive Cycling News, Race Results and Bike Reviews Wed, 26 Apr 2017 21:28:53 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://www.velonews.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/cropped-Velonews_favicon-2-32x32.png VeloNews.com http://www.velonews.com 32 32 Opinion: Six reasons we should trust Valverde http://www.velonews.com/2017/04/commentary/opinion-six-reasons-we-should-trust-valverde_436574 http://www.velonews.com/2017/04/commentary/opinion-six-reasons-we-should-trust-valverde_436574#respond Wed, 26 Apr 2017 21:11:55 +0000 http://www.velonews.com/?p=436574 Should we be skeptical of Alejandro Valverde's unbelievable run in the spring of 2017?

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Hot off his third-career Ardennes double, Alejandro Valverde is like a fine Spanish wine that just keeps getting better with age. In 26 race days so far this year, he’s only finished out of the top-20 once, and won a WorldTour-leading 11 stages and races along the way. That’s downright Merckxian by any measure.

While Valverde’s domination is celebrated in Spain — the Spanish daily MARCA gave Valverde a full-page spread Tuesday to celebrate his 37th birthday — more than a few might be rolling their eyes. You could almost hear the collective groan on social media when Valverde powered to victory Sunday at Liège-Bastogne-Liège. To some, Valverde’s run seems too good to be true.

There’s an expression in Spain that seems to fit the moment — “No se puede poner la mano en el fuego por nadie” — that roughly translates to, “Don’t put your hand in the fire for anyone.”

Yet rather than blindly thrusting our collective hands into the fire, perhaps it’s better to step back at arm’s length, and look at things contextually. Just how “amazing” was Valverde’s spring? Here are some talking points:

1. Age advantage

The first thing to cause skepticism is Valverde’s age. He turned 37 this week, an age when cyclists often retire. So how is Valverde better than ever at his age? A few things to consider: Valverde has never suffered a serious crash or major injury throughout his career, and his two-year stop for the Puerto ban actually gave his body a break from the day-in, day-out rigors of racing. When he returned in 2012, he said he felt like he had a second chance on life. Remember, Joop Zoetemelk won the world title at 38. And while younger riders are succeeding in today’s peloton, 2017 seems to be season of the 30-something winners. Three of the four monuments this spring were won by riders in their 30s (except Michal Kwiatkowski, 26, at Milano-Sanremo), with Greg Van Avermaet at 31 and Philippe Gilbert at 34. Sure, Valverde is old, but veteran riders will also tell you they know how to train, how to recover, and how to get the most out of their bodies.

2. Focus on strengths

With that age comes the wisdom of knowing his strengths. Valverde’s schedule is packed with races he knows he can win. In fact, he tries to win nearly ever race he starts (another reason why he’s always hovering in the top 10). The three stage races he won this spring — Ruta del Sol, Volta a Catalunya, and Vuelta al Pais Vasco — were packed with stages that suit his style of racing. The short, punchy climbs, the undulating time trials, and mid-range mountaintop finales of the week-long Spanish tours are where Valverde thrives. And the Ardennes are simply an extension of Valverde’s favored terrain. Valverde isn’t blowing the wheels off everyone at Ronde van Vlaanderen; he sticks to what he knows.

3. Spring peak

If Valverde was winning everywhere, all the time, then it might be time to hack into his UCI medical files — but he’s not. Valverde targeted an early season peak in March and April, and prepared for the Ardennes classics just like the cobble-bashers do for the northern classics. And now he’s taking a break before returning to the Tour de France as a helper for Nairo Quintana in July, with an eye on possibly targeting the overall in the Vuelta a España. You don’t see Valverde trying to win over the bumpy cobbles at Paris-Roubaix, and he’s given up on the Tour de France, because he knows the longer climbs and time trials are too much for him. This spring was to Valverde what July is to Chris Froome.

4. Team support

Another major factor in Valverde’s amazing spring run is how well Movistar is riding to support him in both stage races and one-day classics. Movistar is among the few teams deep enough with talent and budget to rival Team Sky across the calendar. Other teams might have an equally stacked squad or even a bigger star, but unless those two elements line up on the day — team support coupled with an on-form captain — it’s very hard to win solely on pure talent. Look at Peter Sagan, clearly the most gifted rider in the peloton: This spring he came away with only one major victory, in part because he didn’t have the team support like Van Avermaet and Valverde enjoyed. Movistar has the horsepower to control the race on the flats, and then the climbers to keep Valverde enveloped inside a protective cocoon. You didn’t even see Valverde at Flèche Wallonne until the final 150 meters of the Mur de Huy because he was being towed at the front of the peloton. And it was same story at Liège, where he finally was forced to move with 500m to go when Dan Martin (Quick-Step) attacked. If Valverde wasn’t on Movistar, he wouldn’t be winning nearly as much.

5. Calculation beats panache

People often remark about how much they like Valverde’s aggressive racing style, which baffles me. As Valverde’s gained more experience, he’s become more surgical and less of a risk-taker. Earlier in his career, he would make aggressive, crowd-pleasing attacks, often to the dismay of his sport directors and teammates. As he’s grown wiser, he knows where and when to attack to win, and in today’s peloton, that usually means playing a waiting game. And when he finally reached an elusive Tour de France podium in 2015, Valverde didn’t attack once. All he did was follow wheels all the way to Paris to finish third overall. Valverde wins a lot because he has the experience to know when to move in just about every race he starts.

6. Winning big — but not that big

And finally, all of Valverde’s victories this spring seem to pass the “sniff test.” There hasn’t been one victory that seems so outrageous to challenge our sense of propriety. It’s not as if he attacked solo from La Redoute to win Liège or won the Vuelta al País Vasco by five minutes. In fact, he won Ruta del Sol by one second, and the Basque Country tour by 17 seconds, each time ahead of Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo), another successful 30-something. The Catalunya victory was at a more comfortable 1:03 (also ahead of Contador) despite Movistar being penalized in the team time trial. And in the Ardennes, Valverde’s wins came with lethal, perfectly timed finishing attacks.

So how does it all add up?

To get our heads around Valverde, two things must be considered: First, it must be acknowledged that Valverde served a two-year ban, and while we might not know the when and the where (Valverde never made a tell-all confession), the DNA-linked bag that was part of the Operation Puerto booty helps us guess the how. And since he returned to the peloton, he’s also been subject to the same battery of doping controls that the entire peloton faces, and even more so, because he wins so frequently. If we don’t accept the effectiveness and deterrence of the anti-doping apparatus, then the peloton still has a very serious problem.

There’s another factor that’s just as important. Valverde is one of those rare outliers of cycling talent — the one percent of the one-percenters. Valverde is like Messi slamming home the winning goal, or like LeBron James dribbling his way out of a fix. Valverde seems born to race a bike, and this spring he’s hit the absolute peak of his powers. He’s not coming out of the blue. These are all races he’s won and challenged for victory, year-in and year-out, with a big target on his back and pressure that comes with being a favorite.

Would he risk doping? Who knows, but the fallout would be incalculable. Not only would he banned for life and see his reputation in tatters, but it would likely sink his entire team (we don’t know the details of Movistar’s sponsorship deal, but most contracts have an escape clause for doping cases). And it would be a massive blow for the credibility that cycling has slowing clawed back over the past decade. While there are still doping cases, and there’s no question that some teams and riders push the ethical line — look no further than the TUE scandal brewing in the UK right now — there hasn’t been a major, full-blown doping scandal involving a big star or major team in nearly a decade.

There are plenty of tests to prove a rider is doping, but until there is a test to prove that they are not, well, the only fair thing to do is accept and cheer the victories equally across the peloton. I’m not sticking my hands in the fire for anyone, but I’m not going to throw anyone into a bonfire, either.

Want another take on Alejandro Valverde? Listen to this week’s VeloNews podcast:

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VN Show: Boels-Dolmans dominates; the Valverde rules http://www.velonews.com/2017/04/video/vn-show-boels-dolmans-dominates-new-rules-for-valverde_436565 http://www.velonews.com/2017/04/video/vn-show-boels-dolmans-dominates-new-rules-for-valverde_436565#respond Wed, 26 Apr 2017 19:44:01 +0000 http://www.velonews.com/?p=436565 Editor’s note: This video includes images from TDW Sport, ASO/Tour de France, VeloNews.com, Flickr Creative Commons  This

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Editor’s note: This video includes images from TDW Sport, ASO/Tour de France, VeloNews.com, Flickr Creative Commons 

This week’s episode of the VeloNews Show is sponsored by Rotor, which invites everyone to check out its new 2IN Power (Twin Power) dual-sided power meter. The 2IN Power has eight sensors and measures up to 200 data points per second. Rotor also designed a handy smartphone app that measures your watts and shows you dead spots in your pedal stroke. For more info check out Rotorbikes.com.

The word of the week for today’s VeloNews Show is “domination.” Alejandro Valverde dominated La Flèche-Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège. The Boels-Dolmans squad dominated the entire Ardennes week, going 1-2 at all three events. Rally Pro Cycling dominated the Tour of the Gila, winning four of five stages and the overall. Who was most dominant? We hash it out.

Valverde has dominated the Ardennes for so long now that we think the races should enact some Valverde-centric new rules. What rules, do you ask? Maybe we require Valverde to race on the old vintage bikes from his first year as a pro (2002). Aluminum frame, Dura-Ace 8-speed and all.

All that and more on this week’s VeloNews Show!

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Gallery: Albasini wins yet another Romandie stage http://www.velonews.com/2017/04/gallery/gallery-albasini-wins-yet-another-romandie-stage_436536 http://www.velonews.com/2017/04/gallery/gallery-albasini-wins-yet-another-romandie-stage_436536#respond Wed, 26 Apr 2017 17:46:47 +0000 http://www.velonews.com/?p=436536 Facing rain, fog, and five categorized climbs, Michael Albasini sprints to his seventh career stage win at Tour de Romandie in stage 1.

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Gilbert to make return this weekend http://www.velonews.com/2017/04/news/gilbert-make-return-weekend_436532 http://www.velonews.com/2017/04/news/gilbert-make-return-weekend_436532#respond Wed, 26 Apr 2017 16:37:16 +0000 http://www.velonews.com/?p=436532 Belgian champion Philippe Gilbert has made a quicker than expected recovery from a kidney tear and will return to racing this weekend.

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BRUSSELS (AFP) — Belgian champion Philippe Gilbert has made a quicker than expected recovery from a kidney tear and will return to racing this weekend, his Quick-Step team said on Wednesday.

Just over a week ago, the 34-year-old was ruled out next month’s Giro d’Italia after doctors ordered him to take two weeks of total rest before returning to training.

But Quick-Step said he’d “received good news from the doctors, who gave him the green light to start training again.”

He is due to race in a couple of low-key Belgian events on Saturday and Sunday. The first is his teammate Tom Boonen’s farewell race in Zilvermeer, and Sunday is the Philippe Gilbert Classic in Aywaille.

Quick-Step gave no indication as to whether this meant he would still miss the Giro but said his new “racing schedule” would be published in a few days.

Gilbert spent a couple of nights in hospital due to the kidney problem after winning the Amstel Gold one-day classic on April 16.

He had been in great form this year, winning the prestigious monument one-day classic Tour of Flanders two weeks before that.

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Romandie: Albasini sprints to stage 1 win http://www.velonews.com/2017/04/race-report/romandie-albasini-sprints-stage-1-win_436525 http://www.velonews.com/2017/04/race-report/romandie-albasini-sprints-stage-1-win_436525#respond Wed, 26 Apr 2017 16:00:12 +0000 http://www.velonews.com/?p=436525 Michael Albasini sprints to victory in Champéry, Switzerland at the end of a cold, rainy stage 1 in Tour de Romandie Wednesday.

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Emerging from the fog in the final 200 meters, Michael Albasini sprinted to victory in Champéry, Switzerland at the end of a cold, rainy stage 1 in Tour de Romandie Wednesday. Diego Ulissi (UAE Team Emirates) sprinted to second behind Orica-Scott’s Swiss rider. Jesus Herrada (Movistar) was third in the rainy finish after 173.3km. Fabio Felline (Trek-Segafredo) finished safely in the bunch and kept his overall lead.

“It is a great victory today,” Albasini, 36, said. “It was not easy to win today coming straight from the classics as that was a big goal and it takes a lot of mental energy.

“I really needed to focus coming to this race to suffer and to fight.”

Stage 1, top 10

  • 1. Michael ALBASINI, ORICA – SCOTT, in 4:33:10
  • 2. Diego ULISSI, UAE ABU DHABI, at :00
  • 3. Jesus HERRADA LOPEZ, MOVISTAR TEAM, at :00
  • 4. Natnael BERHANE, TEAM DIMENSION DATA, at :00
  • 5. Chris FROOME, TEAM SKY, at :00
  • 6. Pello BILBAO LOPEZ DE ARMENTIA, ASTANA PRO TEAM, at :00
  • 7. Wilco KELDERMAN, TEAM SUNWEB, at :00
  • 8. David DE LA CRUZ MELGAREJO, QUICK – STEP FLOORS, at :00
  • 9. Richard Antonio CARAPAZ MONTENEGRO, MOVISTAR TEAM, at :00
  • 10. Pierre Roger LATOUR, AG2R LA MONDIALE, at :00

Top-10 overall

  • 1. Fabio FELLINE, TREK – SEGAFREDO, in 4:39:07
  • 2. Maximilian SCHACHMANN, QUICK – STEP FLOORS, at :08
  • 3. Jesus HERRADA LOPEZ, MOVISTAR TEAM, at :08
  • 4. Primož ROGLIC, TEAM LOTTO NL – JUMBO, at :09
  • 5. Jon IZAGUIRRE INSAUSTI, BAHRAIN – MERIDA, at :12
  • 6. Bob JUNGELS, QUICK – STEP FLOORS, at :12
  • 7. José GONÇALVES, TEAM KATUSHA ALPECIN, at :13
  • 8. Ruben FERNANDEZ ANDUJAR, MOVISTAR TEAM, at :13
  • 9. Michael ALBASINI, ORICA – SCOTT, at :14
  • 10. Jonathan CASTROVIEJO, MOVISTAR TEAM, at :14

Albasini’s seventh career Tour de Romandie stage win came at the top of a category 1 climb to Champéry, following four other categorized climbs on the day.

The peloton caught Lotto-Soudal’s Sander Armée, the last rider from the early breakaway, at the base of the final climb. Armée had been hunting king of the mountains points throughout the day with three other escapees: Marcus Burghardt (Bora-Hansgrohe), Matvey Mamykin (Katusha-Alpecin), Oliviero Troia (UAE Team Emirates), and Mekseb Debesay (Dimension Data).

The Swiss was aided in the run to the line by teammate Simon Yates who set a hard tempo, as Roman Kreuziger who launched a late attack. Albasini was able to sit back and wait for the sprint to unfold. A large group came into the finish, and though Ulissi looked well-positioned, he might have gone out a bit too early, as Albasini timed his jump perfectly to sprint to victory.

German Maximilian Schachmann jumped two places to second overall at 8 seconds with Herrada now third on the same time. Albasini’s victory continued his string of solid spring results after he finished third at the Amstel Gold Race 10 days ago.

“I wasn’t so confident for today’s stage, but I told myself if I can be there at the end in Liege-Bastogne-Liege after 4,000 meters of climbing then why can’t I be able to be here over the climbs today,” Albasini added.

Felline, winner of Tuesday’s prologue, could be able to keep the yellow jersey for another day as Thursday’s stage 2 does not venture into the high mountains. The 160.7km race from Champéry to Bulle has three categorized climbs — two Cat. 3 and one Cat 2. — and a slight uphill kick to the finish.

Stage 1 results

  • 1. Michael ALBASINI, ORICA – SCOTT, in 4:33:10
  • 2. Diego ULISSI, UAE ABU DHABI, at :00
  • 3. Jesus HERRADA LOPEZ, MOVISTAR TEAM, at :00
  • 4. Natnael BERHANE, TEAM DIMENSION DATA, at :00
  • 5. Chris FROOME, TEAM SKY, at :00
  • 6. Pello BILBAO LOPEZ DE ARMENTIA, ASTANA PRO TEAM, at :00
  • 7. Wilco KELDERMAN, TEAM SUNWEB, at :00
  • 8. David DE LA CRUZ MELGAREJO, QUICK – STEP FLOORS, at :00
  • 9. Richard Antonio CARAPAZ MONTENEGRO, MOVISTAR TEAM, at :00
  • 10. Pierre Roger LATOUR, AG2R LA MONDIALE, at :00
  • 11. Mathias FRANK, AG2R LA MONDIALE, at :00
  • 12. David GAUDU, FDJ, at :00
  • 13. Fabio FELLINE, TREK – SEGAFREDO, at :00
  • 14. Maximilian SCHACHMANN, QUICK – STEP FLOORS, at :00
  • 15. Anass AIT EL ABDIA, UAE ABU DHABI, at :00
  • 16. Jon IZAGUIRRE INSAUSTI, BAHRAIN – MERIDA, at :00
  • 17. Tosh VAN DER SANDE, LOTTO SOUDAL, at :00
  • 18. Tanel KANGERT, ASTANA PRO TEAM, at :00
  • 19. Jack HAIG, ORICA – SCOTT, at :00
  • 20. Roman KREUZIGER, ORICA – SCOTT, at :00
  • 21. Lennard KÄMNA, TEAM SUNWEB, at :00
  • 22. Rigoberto URAN URAN, CANNONDALE DRAPAC PROFESSIONAL CYCLING TEAM, at :00
  • 23. Ruben FERNANDEZ ANDUJAR, MOVISTAR TEAM, at :00
  • 24. Richie PORTE, BMC RACING TEAM, at :00
  • 25. Gianni MOSCON, TEAM SKY, at :00
  • 26. Bob JUNGELS, QUICK – STEP FLOORS, at :00
  • 27. Primož ROGLIC, TEAM LOTTO NL – JUMBO, at :00
  • 28. Simon YATES, ORICA – SCOTT, at :00
  • 29. Emanuel BUCHMANN, BORA – HANSGROHE, at :00
  • 30. Robert GESINK, TEAM LOTTO NL – JUMBO, at :00
  • 31. Louis MEINTJES, UAE ABU DHABI, at :00
  • 32. Merhawi KUDUS GHEBREMEDHIN, TEAM DIMENSION DATA, at :00
  • 33. Tejay VAN GARDEREN, BMC RACING TEAM, at :00
  • 34. Jarlinson PANTANO GOMEZ, TREK – SEGAFREDO, at :00
  • 35. Damien HOWSON, ORICA – SCOTT, at :00
  • 36. Jonathan CASTROVIEJO, MOVISTAR TEAM, at :00
  • 37. Sergei CHERNETSKI, ASTANA PRO TEAM, at :00
  • 38. Warren BARGUIL, TEAM SUNWEB, at :00
  • 39. Thomas DEGAND, WANTY – GROUPE GOBERT, at :00
  • 40. Brendan CANTY, CANNONDALE DRAPAC PROFESSIONAL CYCLING TEAM, at :00
  • 41. Antwan TOLHOEK, TEAM LOTTO NL – JUMBO, at :00
  • 42. Laurens TEN DAM, TEAM SUNWEB, at :00
  • 43. Simon ŠPILAK, TEAM KATUSHA ALPECIN, at :00
  • 44. Sébastien REICHENBACH, FDJ, at :00
  • 45. Ilnur ZAKARIN, TEAM KATUSHA ALPECIN, at :00
  • 46. Nathan BROWN, CANNONDALE DRAPAC PROFESSIONAL CYCLING TEAM, at :00
  • 47. Tsgabu Gebremaryam GRMAY, BAHRAIN – MERIDA, at :00
  • 48. WINNER ANDREW ANACONA GOMEZ, MOVISTAR TEAM, at :00
  • 49. Alexis VUILLERMOZ, AG2R LA MONDIALE, at :00
  • 50. Maxime MONFORT, LOTTO SOUDAL, at :00
  • 51. Carlos Alberto BETANCUR GOMEZ, MOVISTAR TEAM, at :00
  • 52. Bakhtiyar KOZHATAYEV, ASTANA PRO TEAM, at :00
  • 53. Guillaume MARTIN, WANTY – GROUPE GOBERT, at :00
  • 54. José GONÇALVES, TEAM KATUSHA ALPECIN, at :00
  • 55. David LOPEZ GARCIA, TEAM SKY, at :00
  • 56. Peter STETINA, TREK – SEGAFREDO, at :00
  • 57. Peter KENNAUGH, TEAM SKY, at :00
  • 58. Chad HAGA, TEAM SUNWEB, at :00
  • 59. Ondrej CINK, BAHRAIN – MERIDA, at :13
  • 60. NICHOLAS ROCHE, BMC RACING TEAM, at :20
  • 61. Mikael CHEREL, AG2R LA MONDIALE, at :29
  • 62. Pawel POLJANSKI, BORA – HANSGROHE, at :32
  • 63. Alberto LOSADA ALGUACIL, TEAM KATUSHA ALPECIN, at :32
  • 64. Andrey AMADOR BIKKAZAKOVA, MOVISTAR TEAM, at :44
  • 65. Jurgen VAN DEN BROECK, TEAM LOTTO NL – JUMBO, at 1:00
  • 66. Georg PREIDLER, TEAM SUNWEB, at 1:06
  • 67. James SHAW, LOTTO SOUDAL, at 1:15
  • 68. Sander ARMEE, LOTTO SOUDAL, at 1:31
  • 69. Odd Christian EIKING, FDJ, at 1:31
  • 70. Rémi Cavagna, QUICK – STEP FLOORS, at 1:31
  • 71. Xandro MEURISSE, WANTY – GROUPE GOBERT, at 1:31
  • 72. Manuele MORI, UAE ABU DHABI, at 1:31
  • 73. Pavel KOCHETKOV, TEAM KATUSHA ALPECIN, at 1:31
  • 74. André CARDOSO, TREK – SEGAFREDO, at 1:31
  • 75. Christoph PFINGSTEN, BORA – HANSGROHE, at 1:31
  • 76. Youcef REGUIGUI, TEAM DIMENSION DATA, at 1:31
  • 77. Antonio NIBALI, BAHRAIN – MERIDA, at 1:31
  • 78. Janez BRAJKOVIC, BAHRAIN – MERIDA, at 1:31
  • 79. Rob POWER, ORICA – SCOTT, at 1:34
  • 80. Rein TAARAMÄE, TEAM KATUSHA ALPECIN, at 1:39
  • 81. Vasil KIRYIENKA, TEAM SKY, at 2:47
  • 82. Nikita STALNOV, ASTANA PRO TEAM, at 3:15
  • 83. Daniel TEKLEHAIMANOT, TEAM DIMENSION DATA, at 3:15
  • 84. Kristijan KOREN, CANNONDALE DRAPAC PROFESSIONAL CYCLING TEAM, at 3:15
  • 85. Danilo WYSS, BMC RACING TEAM, at 3:15
  • 86. Hugo HOULE, AG2R LA MONDIALE, at 3:15
  • 87. Arnaud COURTEILLE, FDJ, at 3:57
  • 88. Marco MINNAARD, WANTY – GROUPE GOBERT, at 4:39
  • 89. Mekseb DEBESAY, TEAM DIMENSION DATA, at 4:57
  • 90. Matvey MAMYKIN, TEAM KATUSHA ALPECIN, at 4:57
  • 91. Alex DOWSETT, MOVISTAR TEAM, at 4:57
  • 92. Andrea PASQUALON, WANTY – GROUPE GOBERT, at 5:35
  • 93. Silvio HERKLOTZ, BORA – HANSGROHE, at 6:13
  • 94. Stefan KÜNG, BMC RACING TEAM, at 8:06
  • 95. Michael SCHÄR, BMC RACING TEAM, at 8:06
  • 96. Sonny COLBRELLI, BAHRAIN – MERIDA, at 8:44
  • 97. Fabien DOUBEY, WANTY – GROUPE GOBERT, at 8:44
  • 98. Matteo BONO, UAE ABU DHABI, at 8:44
  • 99. KEVIN REZA, FDJ, at 8:46
  • 100. Jay Robert THOMSON, TEAM DIMENSION DATA, at 9:00
  • 101. Thomas DE GENDT, LOTTO SOUDAL, at 9:00
  • 102. Moreno HOFLAND, LOTTO SOUDAL, at 9:00
  • 103. Laurens DE VREESE, ASTANA PRO TEAM, at 9:00
  • 104. Viacheslav KUZNETSOV, TEAM KATUSHA ALPECIN, at 9:00
  • 105. Nans PETERS, AG2R LA MONDIALE, at 9:00
  • 106. Ben SWIFT, UAE ABU DHABI, at 9:00
  • 107. Johan LE BON, FDJ, at 9:00
  • 108. Johannes FRÖHLINGER, TEAM SUNWEB, at 9:00
  • 109. Jaco VENTER, TEAM DIMENSION DATA, at 9:00
  • 110. Simon CLARKE, CANNONDALE DRAPAC PROFESSIONAL CYCLING TEAM, at 9:00
  • 111. Dion SMITH, WANTY – GROUPE GOBERT, at 9:00
  • 112. Tom STAMSNIJDER, TEAM SUNWEB, at 9:00
  • 113. Toms SKUJINS, CANNONDALE DRAPAC PROFESSIONAL CYCLING TEAM, at 9:00
  • 114. Yukiya ARASHIRO, BAHRAIN – MERIDA, at 9:00
  • 115. Frederik VEUCHELEN, WANTY – GROUPE GOBERT, at 9:00
  • 116. Meiyin WANG, BAHRAIN – MERIDA, at 9:00
  • 117. Michael GOGL, TREK – SEGAFREDO, at 9:00
  • 118. Lukas PÖSTLBERGER, BORA – HANSGROHE, at 9:00
  • 119. Jesus HERNANDEZ BLAZQUEZ, TREK – SEGAFREDO, at 9:00
  • 120. Léo VINCENT, FDJ, at 9:00
  • 121. Christophe RIBLON, AG2R LA MONDIALE, at 11:37
  • 122. ANDREY GRIVKO, ASTANA PRO TEAM, at 12:36
  • 123. Owain DOULL, TEAM SKY, at 12:36
  • 124. Tom BOHLI, BMC RACING TEAM, at 12:36
  • 125. Juraj SAGAN, BORA – HANSGROHE, at 12:36
  • 126. Michael SCHWARZMANN, BORA – HANSGROHE, at 12:36
  • 127. Alexander EDMONSON, ORICA – SCOTT, at 12:36
  • 128. Sam BEWLEY, ORICA – SCOTT, at 12:36
  • 129. Davide MARTINELLI, QUICK – STEP FLOORS, at 12:36
  • 130. Simone CONSONNI, UAE ABU DHABI, at 12:36
  • 131. Remy MERTZ, LOTTO SOUDAL, at 12:36
  • 132. Samuel DUMOULIN, AG2R LA MONDIALE, at 12:36
  • 133. Lorrenzo MANZIN, FDJ, at 12:36
  • 134. Juan Jose LOBATO DEL VALLE, TEAM LOTTO NL – JUMBO, at 12:36
  • 135. Adrien NIYONSHUTI, TEAM DIMENSION DATA, at 12:36
  • 136. Victor CAMPENAERTS, TEAM LOTTO NL – JUMBO, at 12:36
  • 137. Kris BOECKMANS, LOTTO SOUDAL, at 12:36
  • 138. Oscar GATTO, ASTANA PRO TEAM, at 13:27
  • 139. Maximiliano Ariel RICHEZE, QUICK – STEP FLOORS, at 13:27
  • 140. Marcus BURGHARDT, BORA – HANSGROHE, at 13:27
  • 141. Daniel OSS, BMC RACING TEAM, at 13:27
  • 142. Ian BOSWELL, TEAM SKY, at 13:44
  • 143. Elia VIVIANI, TEAM SKY, at 16:43
  • 144. Tim DECLERCQ, QUICK – STEP FLOORS, at 16:43
  • 145. Fumiyuki BEPPU, TREK – SEGAFREDO, at 16:43
  • 146. GREGORY DANIEL, TREK – SEGAFREDO, at 16:43
  • 147. Alexey VERMEULEN, TEAM LOTTO NL – JUMBO, at 16:43
  • 148. Oliviero TROIA, UAE ABU DHABI, at 16:43
  • 149. Koen BOUWMAN, TEAM LOTTO NL – JUMBO, at 16:43
  • 150. Martin VELITS, QUICK – STEP FLOORS, at 16:43
  • 151. Wouter WIPPERT, CANNONDALE DRAPAC PROFESSIONAL CYCLING TEAM, at 17:03
  • 152. William CLARKE, CANNONDALE DRAPAC PROFESSIONAL CYCLING TEAM, at 17:05

General classification

  • 1. Fabio FELLINE, TREK – SEGAFREDO, in 4:39:07
  • 2. Maximilian SCHACHMANN, QUICK – STEP FLOORS, at :08
  • 3. Jesus HERRADA LOPEZ, MOVISTAR TEAM, at :08
  • 4. Primož ROGLIC, TEAM LOTTO NL – JUMBO, at :09
  • 5. Jon IZAGUIRRE INSAUSTI, BAHRAIN – MERIDA, at :12
  • 6. Bob JUNGELS, QUICK – STEP FLOORS, at :12
  • 7. José GONÇALVES, TEAM KATUSHA ALPECIN, at :13
  • 8. Ruben FERNANDEZ ANDUJAR, MOVISTAR TEAM, at :13
  • 9. Michael ALBASINI, ORICA – SCOTT, at :14
  • 10. Jonathan CASTROVIEJO, MOVISTAR TEAM, at :14
  • 11. Diego ULISSI, UAE ABU DHABI, at :14
  • 12. Jarlinson PANTANO GOMEZ, TREK – SEGAFREDO, at :15
  • 13. Damien HOWSON, ORICA – SCOTT, at :15
  • 14. Wilco KELDERMAN, TEAM SUNWEB, at :16
  • 15. Gianni MOSCON, TEAM SKY, at :16
  • 16. Simon YATES, ORICA – SCOTT, at :18
  • 17. Jack HAIG, ORICA – SCOTT, at :19
  • 18. Emanuel BUCHMANN, BORA – HANSGROHE, at :20
  • 19. Pello BILBAO LOPEZ DE ARMENTIA, ASTANA PRO TEAM, at :20
  • 20. Mathias FRANK, AG2R LA MONDIALE, at :20
  • 21. Lennard KÄMNA, TEAM SUNWEB, at :20
  • 22. David DE LA CRUZ MELGAREJO, QUICK – STEP FLOORS, at :20
  • 23. Robert GESINK, TEAM LOTTO NL – JUMBO, at :20
  • 24. Antwan TOLHOEK, TEAM LOTTO NL – JUMBO, at :21
  • 25. Chad HAGA, TEAM SUNWEB, at :21
  • 26. Simon ŠPILAK, TEAM KATUSHA ALPECIN, at :23
  • 27. WINNER ANDREW ANACONA GOMEZ, MOVISTAR TEAM, at :23
  • 28. David LOPEZ GARCIA, TEAM SKY, at :24
  • 29. Louis MEINTJES, UAE ABU DHABI, at :24
  • 30. Maxime MONFORT, LOTTO SOUDAL, at :24
  • 31. Peter STETINA, TREK – SEGAFREDO, at :25
  • 32. Warren BARGUIL, TEAM SUNWEB, at :25
  • 33. Roman KREUZIGER, ORICA – SCOTT, at :26
  • 34. Alexis VUILLERMOZ, AG2R LA MONDIALE, at :27
  • 35. Tsgabu Gebremaryam GRMAY, BAHRAIN – MERIDA, at :28
  • 36. Merhawi KUDUS GHEBREMEDHIN, TEAM DIMENSION DATA, at :28
  • 37. Sébastien REICHENBACH, FDJ, at :28
  • 38. Pierre Roger LATOUR, AG2R LA MONDIALE, at :28
  • 39. Chris FROOME, TEAM SKY, at :29
  • 40. Carlos Alberto BETANCUR GOMEZ, MOVISTAR TEAM, at :29
  • 41. David GAUDU, FDJ, at :29
  • 42. Tanel KANGERT, ASTANA PRO TEAM, at :29
  • 43. Rigoberto URAN URAN, CANNONDALE DRAPAC PROFESSIONAL CYCLING TEAM, at :30
  • 44. Richard Antonio CARAPAZ MONTENEGRO, MOVISTAR TEAM, at :30
  • 45. Guillaume MARTIN, WANTY – GROUPE GOBERT, at :30
  • 46. Thomas DEGAND, WANTY – GROUPE GOBERT, at :31
  • 47. Natnael BERHANE, TEAM DIMENSION DATA, at :31
  • 48. Nathan BROWN, CANNONDALE DRAPAC PROFESSIONAL CYCLING TEAM, at :33
  • 49. Richie PORTE, BMC RACING TEAM, at :33
  • 50. Sergei CHERNETSKI, ASTANA PRO TEAM, at :34
  • 51. Brendan CANTY, CANNONDALE DRAPAC PROFESSIONAL CYCLING TEAM, at :34
  • 52. Tejay VAN GARDEREN, BMC RACING TEAM, at :34
  • 53. Laurens TEN DAM, TEAM SUNWEB, at :36
  • 54. Ondrej CINK, BAHRAIN – MERIDA, at :37
  • 55. Tosh VAN DER SANDE, LOTTO SOUDAL, at :37
  • 56. NICHOLAS ROCHE, BMC RACING TEAM, at :37
  • 57. Ilnur ZAKARIN, TEAM KATUSHA ALPECIN, at :42
  • 58. Anass AIT EL ABDIA, UAE ABU DHABI, at :44
  • 59. Peter KENNAUGH, TEAM SKY, at :53
  • 60. Bakhtiyar KOZHATAYEV, ASTANA PRO TEAM, at :54
  • 61. Mikael CHEREL, AG2R LA MONDIALE, at :58
  • 62. Andrey AMADOR BIKKAZAKOVA, MOVISTAR TEAM, at 1:02
  • 63. Pawel POLJANSKI, BORA – HANSGROHE, at 1:04
  • 64. Alberto LOSADA ALGUACIL, TEAM KATUSHA ALPECIN, at 1:09
  • 65. Jurgen VAN DEN BROECK, TEAM LOTTO NL – JUMBO, at 1:25
  • 66. Georg PREIDLER, TEAM SUNWEB, at 1:37
  • 67. James SHAW, LOTTO SOUDAL, at 1:41
  • 68. Christoph PFINGSTEN, BORA – HANSGROHE, at 1:42
  • 69. Rémi Cavagna, QUICK – STEP FLOORS, at 1:53
  • 70. Sander ARMEE, LOTTO SOUDAL, at 2:00
  • 71. Xandro MEURISSE, WANTY – GROUPE GOBERT, at 2:00
  • 72. Janez BRAJKOVIC, BAHRAIN – MERIDA, at 2:03
  • 73. Rob POWER, ORICA – SCOTT, at 2:03
  • 74. Pavel KOCHETKOV, TEAM KATUSHA ALPECIN, at 2:03
  • 75. Odd Christian EIKING, FDJ, at 2:04
  • 76. Manuele MORI, UAE ABU DHABI, at 2:07
  • 77. Youcef REGUIGUI, TEAM DIMENSION DATA, at 2:12
  • 78. Rein TAARAMÄE, TEAM KATUSHA ALPECIN, at 2:14
  • 79. Antonio NIBALI, BAHRAIN – MERIDA, at 2:19
  • 80. André CARDOSO, TREK – SEGAFREDO, at 2:21
  • 81. Vasil KIRYIENKA, TEAM SKY, at 2:57
  • 82. Hugo HOULE, AG2R LA MONDIALE, at 3:35
  • 83. Danilo WYSS, BMC RACING TEAM, at 3:36
  • 84. Daniel TEKLEHAIMANOT, TEAM DIMENSION DATA, at 3:38
  • 85. Kristijan KOREN, CANNONDALE DRAPAC PROFESSIONAL CYCLING TEAM, at 3:39
  • 86. Nikita STALNOV, ASTANA PRO TEAM, at 4:05
  • 87. Arnaud COURTEILLE, FDJ, at 4:34
  • 88. Alex DOWSETT, MOVISTAR TEAM, at 4:59
  • 89. Mekseb DEBESAY, TEAM DIMENSION DATA, at 5:19
  • 90. Marco MINNAARD, WANTY – GROUPE GOBERT, at 5:24
  • 91. Matvey MAMYKIN, TEAM KATUSHA ALPECIN, at 6:04
  • 92. Andrea PASQUALON, WANTY – GROUPE GOBERT, at 6:09
  • 93. Silvio HERKLOTZ, BORA – HANSGROHE, at 6:46
  • 94. Stefan KÜNG, BMC RACING TEAM, at 8:26
  • 95. Michael SCHÄR, BMC RACING TEAM, at 8:34
  • 96. Sonny COLBRELLI, BAHRAIN – MERIDA, at 9:09
  • 97. Johan LE BON, FDJ, at 9:11
  • 98. Lukas PÖSTLBERGER, BORA – HANSGROHE, at 9:13
  • 99. Fabien DOUBEY, WANTY – GROUPE GOBERT, at 9:17
  • 100. Michael GOGL, TREK – SEGAFREDO, at 9:19
  • 101. KEVIN REZA, FDJ, at 9:23
  • 102. Léo VINCENT, FDJ, at 9:25
  • 103. Jaco VENTER, TEAM DIMENSION DATA, at 9:26
  • 104. Dion SMITH, WANTY – GROUPE GOBERT, at 9:28
  • 105. Nans PETERS, AG2R LA MONDIALE, at 9:29
  • 106. Moreno HOFLAND, LOTTO SOUDAL, at 9:29
  • 107. Toms SKUJINS, CANNONDALE DRAPAC PROFESSIONAL CYCLING TEAM, at 9:31
  • 108. Jay Robert THOMSON, TEAM DIMENSION DATA, at 9:32
  • 109. Matteo BONO, UAE ABU DHABI, at 9:33
  • 110. Yukiya ARASHIRO, BAHRAIN – MERIDA, at 9:33
  • 111. Simon CLARKE, CANNONDALE DRAPAC PROFESSIONAL CYCLING TEAM, at 9:33
  • 112. Ben SWIFT, UAE ABU DHABI, at 9:34
  • 113. Tom STAMSNIJDER, TEAM SUNWEB, at 9:35
  • 114. Viacheslav KUZNETSOV, TEAM KATUSHA ALPECIN, at 9:35
  • 115. Thomas DE GENDT, LOTTO SOUDAL, at 9:36
  • 116. Johannes FRÖHLINGER, TEAM SUNWEB, at 9:38
  • 117. Frederik VEUCHELEN, WANTY – GROUPE GOBERT, at 9:38
  • 118. Laurens DE VREESE, ASTANA PRO TEAM, at 9:44
  • 119. Meiyin WANG, BAHRAIN – MERIDA, at 9:54
  • 120. Jesus HERNANDEZ BLAZQUEZ, TREK – SEGAFREDO, at 9:56
  • 121. Christophe RIBLON, AG2R LA MONDIALE, at 11:59
  • 122. Alexander EDMONSON, ORICA – SCOTT, at 12:43
  • 123. Victor CAMPENAERTS, TEAM LOTTO NL – JUMBO, at 12:44
  • 124. Tom BOHLI, BMC RACING TEAM, at 12:46
  • 125. Davide MARTINELLI, QUICK – STEP FLOORS, at 12:52
  • 126. Sam BEWLEY, ORICA – SCOTT, at 12:57
  • 127. Juan Jose LOBATO DEL VALLE, TEAM LOTTO NL – JUMBO, at 12:58
  • 128. Owain DOULL, TEAM SKY, at 13:01
  • 129. Simone CONSONNI, UAE ABU DHABI, at 13:03
  • 130. Kris BOECKMANS, LOTTO SOUDAL, at 13:04
  • 131. Samuel DUMOULIN, AG2R LA MONDIALE, at 13:04
  • 132. ANDREY GRIVKO, ASTANA PRO TEAM, at 13:11
  • 133. Juraj SAGAN, BORA – HANSGROHE, at 13:13
  • 134. Remy MERTZ, LOTTO SOUDAL, at 13:14
  • 135. Lorrenzo MANZIN, FDJ, at 13:15
  • 136. Adrien NIYONSHUTI, TEAM DIMENSION DATA, at 13:23
  • 137. Michael SCHWARZMANN, BORA – HANSGROHE, at 13:38
  • 138. Maximiliano Ariel RICHEZE, QUICK – STEP FLOORS, at 13:49
  • 139. Daniel OSS, BMC RACING TEAM, at 14:02
  • 140. Oscar GATTO, ASTANA PRO TEAM, at 14:10
  • 141. Marcus BURGHARDT, BORA – HANSGROHE, at 14:24
  • 142. Ian BOSWELL, TEAM SKY, at 14:59
  • 143. Koen BOUWMAN, TEAM LOTTO NL – JUMBO, at 16:54
  • 144. Elia VIVIANI, TEAM SKY, at 17:07
  • 145. Alexey VERMEULEN, TEAM LOTTO NL – JUMBO, at 17:08
  • 146. GREGORY DANIEL, TREK – SEGAFREDO, at 17:12
  • 147. Tim DECLERCQ, QUICK – STEP FLOORS, at 17:13
  • 148. Oliviero TROIA, UAE ABU DHABI, at 17:15
  • 149. Fumiyuki BEPPU, TREK – SEGAFREDO, at 17:23
  • 150. William CLARKE, CANNONDALE DRAPAC PROFESSIONAL CYCLING TEAM, at 17:30
  • 151. Martin VELITS, QUICK – STEP FLOORS, at 17:46
  • 152. Wouter WIPPERT, CANNONDALE DRAPAC PROFESSIONAL CYCLING TEAM, at 17:48

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VN podcast, ep. 26: Who won the classics? Hampsten talks Giro http://www.velonews.com/2017/04/podcast/vn-podcast-ep-26-won-classics-hampsten-talks-giro_436522 http://www.velonews.com/2017/04/podcast/vn-podcast-ep-26-won-classics-hampsten-talks-giro_436522#respond Wed, 26 Apr 2017 15:23:42 +0000 http://www.velonews.com/?p=436522 We look back at the 2017 classics, pick an overall winner for the spring, and talk about Valverde. Plus: Hampsten explains his 1988 Giro

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

The classics are over. Sad trombone. But Fred Dreier, Caley Fretz, and Spencer Powlison still have plenty to say about the Ardennes courses, Alejandro Valverde, Boels-Dolmans, and much more.

Plus, a look at a late stage of the 1988 Giro d’Italia that might have been even more crucial to Andy Hampsten’s victory than the fabled Gavia stage, which includes a chat with Hampsten himself.

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.

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The forgotten story of Andy Hampsten’s 1988 Giro win http://www.velonews.com/2017/04/feature/forgotten-story-andy-hampstens-1988-giro-win_436491 http://www.velonews.com/2017/04/feature/forgotten-story-andy-hampstens-1988-giro-win_436491#respond Wed, 26 Apr 2017 12:34:50 +0000 http://www.velonews.com/?p=436491 The full story of the 1988 Giro is about so much more than the freezing climb of the Passo di Gavia. Hampsten had to be willing to lose.

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The full story of the 1988 Giro d’Italia is about so much more than the freezing climb of the Passo di Gavia. Over three weeks, Andy Hampsten withstood repeated attacks by a Eurocentric peloton. And a late-race, unorthodox tactical decision nearly cost him the victory.

This is the complete story, one best told by the men who were there.

The 3,300 feet up Italy’s Passo Duran is harder than Andy Hampsten thought it would be, and that is the first mistake. Perhaps he should have known; perhaps it is the construction and bad pavement that tips the balance in his rivals’ favor.

The climb comes early in the 1988 Giro d’Italia’s 19th stage. Hampsten wears pink, gained five days earlier when the race crossed the snow-covered Passo di Gavia, a day that will go down in cycling history. Only two days sit between this pink jersey and the final time trial in Vittorio Veneto. A win would bring Hampsten and his Team 7-Eleven a historic victory. No American has ever won the Italian tour, and Team 7-Eleven has come to this race as plucky underdogs. Dutchman Erik Breukink of Panasonic is second overall, two minutes down. The Swiss Urs Zimmerman is in third overall, just over five minutes down. He is not content to stay there, and he attacks.

Zimmerman’s smooth pedal stroke ekes out 45 seconds as the top of the Duran approaches. Hampsten could have followed, he tells a VeloNews reporter later, but it felt too early — much too early. There are nearly 140 kilometers to go and he still has those five minutes over Zimmerman in hand. The pink jersey feels safe. He can see his Swiss rival one switchback ahead. Surely there is no cause for concern. And then suddenly there is. Italian climber Stefano Giuliani attacks and quickly joins Zimmerman. Almost immediately, the two begin to pull away from Hampsten’s group.

The story of Andy Hampsten’s Giro victory goes beyond his exploits on the Gavia and its spectacular snow. It is also about the moments when the race was almost lost, and thus truly won. This story is best told through the memories of the men who were there.

We begin with stage 19, 233 kilometers through the Dolomites to Arta Terme that began with the Duran. For a few tense hours that day, Hampsten was willing to lose the 1988 Giro d’Italia. He had to be, if he wanted to win.

 

Andy Hampsten and Flavio Guipponi round a corner in the 1988 Giro d’Italia. Photo: Cor Vos

ANDY HAMPSTEN: I make the decision not to follow Zimmerman so early on this long stage. And then Giuliani jumps across. Now, I’m not so sure about my tactics. The group is decimated and we have a few hours of mountains and hills to go. I have Jeff Pierce and Breukink and a few other guys. We’re on this climb, so it’s to my advantage, but the break is minutes up the road and Breukink is making me chase. I’m afraid he’ll play the obvious card and attack me on the flats, and I’ll never get him back. I go back to the team car and talk to [team director] Mike Neel. I’m like ‘This is really bad.’ He tells me I need to be willing to lose the race in order to win the Giro.

JEFF PIERCE (7-Eleven teammate): We’re pulling time back on the climb and then losing it on the descent. It was like three minutes but growing.

Breukink panicked and came up to us and I thought he was going to cry he was so upset. He didn’t understand why we weren’t catching these guys. Mike [Neel] comes up in the car to tell us there’s a group of guys about two minutes back. If we keep killing ourselves maybe we make the time back to the break, but it’s going to be close.

JIM OCHOWICZ (7-Eleven team founder/manager): We did have some allies in that Breukink was in the same boat, and Panasonic was a strong team. It was a tense stage. I remember Jeff and Andy coming back to the car and there was some fright on their faces when they really realized the situation.

The pink jersey is floating away across the Dolomites. Alarm bells are ringing. The only source of calm is Hampsten’s considerable buffer, built through the first and second weeks of the race and confirmed on that frightful stage over the Gavia. To understand this Giro, and how its outcome came down to a stage that few recall, we must first look to the time Hampsten previously gained.

We head back to the opening week of the race. It is clear that 7-Eleven is no normal team. They are innovative and hopeful underdogs. They are ambitious but cognizant of the hurdles that stand in their way. Italians dominate the Giro, and foreign teams and riders often find themselves battling an entire peloton of adversaries. Americans were still the new kids on the block, but a lack of old-school tradition can be a benefit, too.

OCHOWICZ: Our biggest challenge was to keep everybody healthy. We were really focused on that part of the mission. I was always nervous about food contamination, and I was a bit worried that somebody would spike our drinks or something. We were in hotels with some of the other teams that were our rivals. I’d sit there early in the morning until late at night making sure the food wasn’t played with on the table. I was really paranoid in that Giro!

“I go back to the team car and talk to Mike Neel. I’m like, ‘This is really bad.’ He tells me I need to be willing to lose the race in order to win the Giro.”
– Andy Hampsten

PIERCE: We didn’t trust anything that came out of the kitchen. We brought our own drinks and food because we were in that paranoia stage where we are not going to have anybody poison our food. Mike [Neel] would check out the kitchen before a meal. There were so many stories of guys getting poisoned.

ROY KNICKMAN (7-Eleven teammate): I got sick and was throwing up during the first week. I have a few memories of hot days where I could barely pedal and just got dropped. I was back home in Denver by the time they got to the mountains.

In my perception we weren’t always taken seriously. Even before I was on the team, 7-Eleven was the novelty American team. ‘They’re not a real team,’ is what the Europeans thought.

HAMPSTEN: Before the prologue, we’re on this TV show. All of the teams are lined up and the guys are interviewed, and everybody is saying that someone else is going to win. ‘Oh, [Gianni] Bugno will win.’ ‘Oh, [Franco] Chioccioli will win.’ Nobody says ‘Yeah, I’m going to win.’

We’re bored out of our minds just standing there in our sweat suits. Then [teammate Raúl] Alcalá is at the front of our row and they ask him, ‘Raúl, what do you think?’ He says, ‘Oh, Andy is going to win.’ We jumped up with our arms out and were like, ‘Yeah!’

Who will win the Giro? “We will.” It is a brashness that the Italian fans, the tifosi, appreciate through the first week, as Hampsten shows his form with a second place in stage six, on the race’s first mountaintop finish in Campitello Matese. His teammate, Roy Knickman, falls ill and must abandon, but the team is otherwise healthy and optimistic.

Stage 12 is the first opportunity for Hampsten to take serious time out of his rivals. Novara to Selvino, 205 mountainous kilometers culminating with a mountaintop finish. The games commence with 10 kilometers remaining, drawing out the leaders. Chioccioli is there. Marc Madiot is there. Zimmerman is there. Breukink is there.

Hampsten attacks late. Only Breukink can follow. But that’s all he can do: follow. Then he can’t even follow anymore. “Hampsten asked me to come through,” Breukink tells reporters after the stage. “But I couldn’t. Hampsten is the strongest climber here.”

OCHOWICZ: We’d have our team meetings in a café every morning. We’d drive to the race start, and then about five kilometers from the start, we’d stop and unload the bikes. We’d go into a café and buy some coffees, sit around and the riders would put on their clothes, put the leg cream on and their race numbers. We’d go over the medical report from Max Testa, and Mike would talk about racing strategy for the day. Then we’d pay the café, maybe take some photos, and then ride from the café to the start. It was easy.

HAMPSTEN: On the penultimate climb [of stage 12] the pace is fast but steady, and I’m out of water. Half the guys are local, and I see a guy I raced with as an amateur get a bottle from a fan. He has two great bottles. I never take a drink from anyone else. I love this kid though, and he is on Carerra, which is definitely an opposing team. I’m like, ‘Do you mind, can I have a drink?’ I think he’s going to tell his captain that I’m out of water, but he just gives me the entire bottle, no problem. I’ve never forgotten that.

“I attack and nobody comes. I thought they must be playing a joke on me. I’m pedaling up this false falt and I’m flying. It’s the best day.”
– Hampsten

So the final climb is this beautiful climb with lots of switchbacks. All of the Italian guys want to win it. I just played it by the book: I attacked once from five kilometers out and broke things up. I had [Raúl] Alcalá there. I remember thinking, ‘This is terrible, we’re going really slow.’ It’s nerve-wracking, because now we have three kilometers to go. I’m used to accelerating in these mountains, and I have a few more in me. So I attack and nobody comes. I thought they must be playing a joke on me. ‘They’re so funny!’ I’m pedaling up this false flat and I’m flying. It’s the best day. Everything hurts but I’m flying up this mountain. I have the Oakley Pilots on my head, and I know that I get a $1,000 bonus if I get my photo in them. I want to buy a house, and $1,000 is a lot of money!

Hampsten wins stage 12, a mountainous 205-kilometer stage from Novara to Selvino. Photo: Cor Vos

The Gavia. Ask many of the riders in the ’88 Giro about that race and it’s the only stage they can recall with clarity. One of the hardest stages in the history of pro cycling has a way of hanging in one’s memory.

This is supposed to be Hampsten’s day. Stage 14 is perfect for him. The team has intel that the Gavia is a harder climb than many are expecting, and the dirt section appeals to a man who spends his offseason riding unpaved roads in the mountains of Boulder, Colorado.

The peloton wakes on June 5th to pissing rain and temperatures just above freezing. That’s in the valley. Surely it’s snowing at the top. There’s some confusion: Will the stage be canceled? Shortened?

No. Race on.

OCHOWICZ: I remember the Gavia meeting. The weather conditions for the day prior were pretty bad, and they got worse overnight. I went to the local ski shop and bought winter gloves for everybody the night before. I bought as many gloves as I could. We gave them to the riders that morning when they started. We had the team meeting and Hans Hess was there from our clothing sponsor, Descente. He was just listening, having a coffee, as we talked about the strategy. My plan was to drive up ahead of the race to the top of the Gavia and then hand out bottles of hot tea and hats and jackets. We took off early, and it took forever to get up there because there were several avalanches on the way up. We drove up and at halfway the road turned to dirt, and it was like ‘Whoa, how are these guys going to get up this?’

HAMPSTEN: It’s the team meeting and [Mike] Neel talks us into putting lanolin on our entire bodies, not just our legs. It’s like we were preparing to swim in the English Channel. Nobody has seen [the Gavia] or scouted it. We hear it’s this one-lane steep dirt road, and I love dirt.

So the break goes up the road with [Johan] van der Velde and eight others, but we don’t worry about it. By the time we go down the [Passo] Tonale, I’m frozen. It’s just bucketing sleet at the top. It’s as bad as it can be. We’re going along the valley and I’m just thinking ‘Poor me, poor me!’ Then I look around. I see Chioccioli and he has the leader’s jersey and just a rain jacket. He looks like he’s seen a ghost. I mean he’s just dead!

So we are riding up to [the Gavia] and there is this beautiful hairpin. Max Testa had told me the road turned to dirt here and became just one lane through a stand of larch trees. The hairpin is at 14 kilometers from the top. The guys lead me out, and I just feel like a sitting duck because everyone knows I’m going to attack.

“The guys lead me out, and I just feel like a sitting duck because everyone knows I’m going to attack.”
– Hampsten

DAG OTTO LAURITZEN (7-Eleven teammate): The Gavia was the coldest day of my life. Normally I like tough weather. I always have been quite strong in extreme weather because a lot of riders are beaten before the start. I also remember that I had never been so cold! We were working very hard at the bottom of the [Gavia]. It’s raining and getting slushy and we are keeping a good pace. Then the road turns to dirt or gravel. And after a while Andy had to leave us.

HAMPSTEN: I do the first of three hard attacks once it turns to dirt, and I was gone. The switchbacks were really tight, and you can look down and see everyone, and nobody is close. It doesn’t matter if somebody has a really good team. I go past the soigneur where there is hot tea, and the chalkboard says Breukink is at 47 seconds. I’m opening up and trying to be cool because I know I’m not racing for the top — I’m racing for the descent, so I don’t want to go too hard. It’s the 1980s and I have this “Flock of Seagulls” hairstyle. I call the team car up and put on this neck gaiter, and I put it over my nose and get a wool cap. When I put [the hat] on — because I had wonderful hair — this snowball rolls down my back off my hair. I’m not even melting snow on my head I’m that cold!

RAÚL ALCALÁ (7-Eleven teammate): I tried to stay in the first group but I can’t, I’m freezing. I’m riding in a small group. When we start climbing the hill, 15 kilometers from the top, it is raining. Then at 10 kilometers everything is closed, and eight kilometers from the top you can no longer see the road. There is mist all over. The only mark to follow on the road is the tire tracks from the cars. It was a terrible stage.

OCHOWICZ: The only riders I recall coming over the summit are Andy and Bob Roll. Andy wasn’t the first rider, he was third, and he had his race face on and he actually looked pretty good. He was pedaling and didn’t look fatigued. I handed him a musette, and there was a hat, jacket, and hot tea in there. He took it out and put on the jacket and hat. One by one the guys came up. The last guy was Bob, and he looked like he wasn’t in good shape. I don’t think he could even grab the musette.

LAURITZEN: At the top it does not go directly down, but you have to stay riding up there for a while. I remember thinking that if somebody was alone and they crashed, they could be buried in the snow there until spring. The conditions were very dangerous, life-threatening. I didn’t know if I was braking. I had to look at the brakes to make sure my fingers were working because I had no feeling in them anymore.

HAMPSTEN: Breukink catches me and I think it’s great because I can follow him on the descent. I got rid of all of them except for one, so I don’t need to win. This is the whole thing we’ve been going for the entire week. The road is covered in snow; it’s blowing snow, probably in the mid-20s. I’m trying to draft on him and I’m not going very fast, and he wants me to go first. I remember the dirt road under the slush actually had pretty good traction. I’m trying to be intelligent, because if I don’t have enough glycogen in my brain then I might start to make bad decisions.

From here I can see there is no lead car, no helicopter, no follow car, no police car, no escort whatsoever. They’re all just waiting in Santa Caterina, about 12 kilometers down the mountain.

LAURITZEN: It was everyone for themselves on the way down. We were just surviving. I was on my bike crying on the descent. I don’t ever feel sorry for myself, but it was one of the moments when — apart from being a commando and doing extremely hard things — I have never suffered so hard in my life.

ALCALÁ: I was maybe 25 kilometers from the finish going downhill. I have nothing on my body and I am freezing. I have the hardest time braking. I didn’t have a rain jacket or gloves. So I stop and I am asking people on the side of the road watching the race and am asking them for a jacket. Some guy gives me a jacket. That was gorgeous, a marvelous jacket. I keep the jacket and start descending again. Otherwise I would have quit the Giro right there.

HAMPSTEN: I tell myself not to look at my bare legs. They are bright red with lanolin and there is a sheet of ice on the shin. I keep descending but I’m not going fast, maybe 70 percent as fast as a tourist on a dry road. I’m moving alright but I don’t want to overcook it. The snow changes to rain at the outskirts of Santa Caterina, and the dirt becomes pavement. I pedal, tuck, not knowing whether to take off the jacket. There’s no chalkboard, no time checks. We’re not racing tactically anymore. I want to protect what I have.

Psychologically it was the most stress I’ve ever been under. I’m thinking this is an artificial circumstance that’s causing the pain, and I know I can stop at any time. ‘If you want, just stop and get warm, have a hot bath! You have hypothermia! We’re probably staying at a two-star hotel tonight and it probably won’t have hot water.’

Breukink passes me at seven kilometers to go. Now there’s TV, and it looks like I’m asleep. I should jump on his wheel but I can’t do a single thing, so I just keep him at seven seconds. My mind is a mess.

Going up to the finish line, you’re in downtown Bormio, and nobody cares! I go to the team car really quickly, and the team got my clothes off and I had a Patagonia sweater — it’s the warmest sweater. Mike leaves the car running and I’m just shaking and crying, ‘What do I do?’ Emotionally I was able to push myself further physically, so I don’t’ know if it’s shock. I’m crying, drinking tea. Mike comes to talk to me, and I talk back and nothing comes out that’s intelligible.

Then I realize I have the pink jersey and it’s like, ‘Oh God, I have the pink jersey!’ That was our whole motivation.

ALCALÁ: I didn’t give the guy his jacket back. When I finished I take the longest possible time warming up. At the hotel my roommate Bobby Roll was hypothermic. He was blue! Bobby was blue in the shower.

The Gavia turns Bob Roll blue and Hampsten pink, but he doesn’t have the lead by much. Hampsten’s next chance to extend his lead is the stage 18 uphill time trial, an 18-kilometer effort to Valico del Vetriolo. He doesn’t waste the opportunity. He takes 48 seconds from Zimmerman and 1:04 from Breukink, and comes into stage 19 with 2:06 over Breukink and 5:10 over Zimmerman.

He will need almost all of it. If the Gavia stage was the most memorable of the ’88 Giro, stage 19 is the most tactically crucial. It will be the only time Hampsten loses pink, if only virtually.

So, we return to stage 19.

Call Jeff Pierce a super domestique if you want. Pierce has already won a stage of the Tour de France — the flat day on the 1987 Champs-Élysées — yet he is best when the road goes uphill. He certainly is super on the Passo Duran and in the harrowing kilometers that follow. The American sticks with his leader over the Duran and pulls the small chase group, just six riders by the bottom of the descent, to keep Zimmerman close. But the gap begins to swell. Only Pierce and Hampsten chase. Breukink, second overall, sits on, not yet worried by Zimmerman’s assault on his podium spot. By the time the race reaches Pieve, halfway to the next climb, the gap has ballooned to 4’10”.

By the lower slopes of the Passo della Mauria, with 73 kilometers to go, Zimmerman has a gap of 5:30 and has the virtual pink jersey.

The chase splinters; Breukink panics. Hampsten has only one teammate with him, but three more are riding two minutes further behind. He has a decision to make. Wait or go? To win the Giro, Hampsten might have to risk losing it.

OCHOWICZ: We didn’t scare the team with any scenarios that could happen during the race that would be fatal to our attempt to win. It was more about being a little more relaxed and not being too stressed, and keeping our focus that way. But we were really nervous about that final time trial. It was flat. Andy is a great time trialist when it goes uphill, but on the flatter course, we knew he could lose some time. We were looking at that stage early in the race. So when [stage 19] came around, we didn’t think it was too dangerous.

Outside a cafe in his hometown of Boulder, Hampsten reenacts his stage 12 win. Photo: Brad Kaminski | VeloNews.com

HAMPSTEN: We’re going easy at the beginning. That was back when the Giro went slow. In the 1980s we went so frickin’ slow that anybody could ride it. We would go 22 kilometers in an hour. Your hands would hurt from braking. And then we’d go so incredibly fast!

So my buddy Helmut Wechselberger comes over and looks at my gear and tells me it’s not big enough. He says the race [book] purposely doesn’t show how hard the Duran Pass is, but all of the Italians know it. It’s 10 percent and on dirt. So on our team car we have three wheels with a 27-tooth cog, which is what I need. We pull over and swap wheels. I get one; Pierce gets one. Wechselberger also tells me that the Italians are gunning for me.

So going up the Duran it’s Zimmermann who does this really good hard attack, and I’m at the front. I have Bob Roll and Pierce and they are riding out of their skin tempo. I could have gone with Zimmerman but my teammates were in good shape. So I make the decision not to go. I played the team card.

Zimmerman is joined by Giuliani. The duo build a four-minute lead on the group, and the gap continues to expand. Roll is dropped, and suddenly Hampsten is alone with Pierce and Breukink.

PIERCE: We still had 50 to 60 kilometers of rolling terrain. There wasn’t a whole lot of need to talk about the situation with Andy. We’d raced together through a number of tours and knew exactly what was going on. I noticed Andy was not in the mood to take a lot of risks on the descents, so we lost time on them. It was Andy’s call on the pace. He seemed really calm. I didn’t sense that he was worried.

HAMPSTEN: I regretted the decision to not go with [Zimmerman]. I was worried. If I chase for another three hours then [Breukink] is going to annihilate me on the flats. I’m going to have to gamble. On our radios we knew there was another group of guys about two minutes back. It’s good guys, with some of my teammates and Panasonic guys. So I did it. I said, ‘Okay, I’m not going to pull.’ Let’s let it come back together. All of a sudden Zimmermann is now seven minutes up the road. I lost the jersey on the road.

ERIK BREUKINK (Panasonic): It was a strange situation. It was far from the finish when Zimmermann attacked. I waited to see what Hampsten would do. He was only focusing on me. Hampsten waited for his teammates, so the gap was growing quickly. Only in the moment when teammates were coming back did we decide also to chase. There were no big climbs anymore so we had to defend the situation with still a long time trial to come.

PIERCE: Who in their right mind waits another two minutes when you’re already in danger of losing the jersey? We trusted Mike’s call on that. He was talking to Andy. The other guys are like, ‘Holy crap.’ Breukink is ready to lose it. After an eternity we look back and see the other group coming on the horizon. It’s like 40 guys. Thank God.

As soon as they caught us, Bob, Dag Otto, Raúl, Ron [Kiefel], and myself went to the front and started the chase. I remember going back to Breukink and saying, ‘You gotta put some guys on the front, too.’ He looked at me like, ‘No, your team has the jersey, you do the work.’ Sure enough, a little later a few of his teammates start chasing.

ALCALÁ: I was with Kiefel, Bob, and other guys. We catch the group with [Hampsten] and I was tired but I think, ‘This is the moment. He has lost the Giro [lead].’ This is the moment to keep the jersey and win the Giro. When I see Andy in the moment he is very nervous. I say, ‘Hey man, take it easy, we will catch him.’

HAMPSTEN: We’re pulling our brains out. I said, ‘Breukink, you gonna throw your boys at it?’ He finally says, ‘Okay, I’ll help.’ We have 10 guys pulling in the last hour, and there’s still five minutes of a gap. It’s starting to come down.

ALCALÁ: That was a crazy moment. We know we have to make the chase very hard. I was tired, but we opened full gas. This is the time to do work. Then in the last 20 kilometers we know that it’s no longer a big risk to lose the jersey.

PIERCE: We never backed off. We bring the gap down, two and a half minutes, then two minutes. We were so tired. In the last kilometer, Ron came off. Then I came off. I couldn’t even finish with the group. We gave it absolutely everything. To have confidence in the team to give up a couple of minutes on the razor’s edge really said something.

BREUKINK: Finally it was [my team] Panasonic who chased and brought the gap down.

HAMPSTEN: Looking back, I think we played it right. It would have taken me an hour to catch Zimmerman, and there was enough road left that the cavalry wouldn’t have come up. I think Breukink would have gotten me.

PIERCE: Our sponsor [Ermino] Dell’Oglio [of sponsor Hoonved] had never won a Giro. He called us and said he couldn’t watch the race on TV anymore because he thought he would have a heart attack. He said that no matter what happened, he was proud of us. He said it was the best time of his life.

Andy was my roommate that night. He’s quiet. He doesn’t say a lot usually. That night he came over and said thanks. It’s like, ‘You’re welcome. We gave it everything.’ And that’s all we needed to say.

There is still one final hurdle standing in the way of Hampsten and Team 7-Eleven: the stage 20 individual time trial. Hampsten already won the uphill TT on stage 12, padding his lead. But he’s notoriously weaker on flatter roads, and his chief rival, Breukink, is an ace in flat time trials. As Hampsten leaves the start gate, the skies above Vittorio Veneto open up and a heavy rain begins to fall.

“Who in their right mind waits another two minutes when you’re already in danger of losing the jersey? We trusted Mike’s call on that. He was talking to Andy. The other guys were like, ‘Holy crap.’ Breukink is ready to lose it. After an eternity we look back and see the other group coming on the horizon. It’s like 40 guys. Thank God.”
– Jeff Pierce

HAMPSTEN: I’m nervous but the TT is not terribly long, and I already have 2:06 on Breukink. Of course, I’ve lost that much time in prologues to him! I want to be conservative. I hate flat TTs but to conquer my nervousness, I think back to when I was a junior and [U.S. national team coach] Eddie [Borysewicz] doesn’t even know my name, and I need to get him to notice me. In those TTs, I would focus on pedaling, then tucking, then pedaling and relaxing.

OCHOWICZ: I was so nervous that day. You think, ‘We’re gonna win the Giro, man!’ It was incredible. I was petrified. And I didn’t really have that much responsibility. I only had to check my watch and give the time split. We only cared about the split to Breukink.

HAMPSTEN: This thunderstorm rolls in, and I’m out there climbing a hill. Mike Neel comes over the crest next to me — it’s illegal for him to drive next to me on a TT — but he says, ‘Listen: Andy, use up some of your time on the downhills.’ Basically telling me to take it easy. I’m like, ‘I’m going to go for it!’ The rain is coming down and it’s nasty, and I do a right turn, then a left turn, then there is this right-hand curve that is nasty. I decide to use the entire road and be as conservative as I can. And sure enough, right in front of me there is this muddy streak going off the road. Zimmerman had crashed and he was three minutes up from me. Now I’m like, ‘Oh my God!’

OCHOWICZ: Breukink came by so we were then worried about the split to Andy. We didn’t have two-way radios with the riders then so I held a coaching chalkboard with the time.

When Andy came by we knew he’d done enough. He was behind but he had more than enough of a window to play with. He was just halfway through the TT. I was hoping he’d keep it up.

HAMPSTEN: If I didn’t listen to Mike Neel I’d probably have ended up in that field. I’m like ‘Crawl, sprint, crawl’ for the rest of it. I didn’t lose that much time. I didn’t beat him, but I only lost by 20 seconds to [Breukink].

PIERCE: It wasn’t a conventional way to ride a race back then. That’s what was so exciting. Cycling wasn’t nearly as formulaic as it is now. It was a thrill to be in those races because you didn’t know what was going to happen from one day to the next.

HAMPSTEN: It was moments like [stage 19] that you remember. We didn’t defend the jersey, but it’s like, ‘Here is our tactic. This is desperate.’ Looking back, almost 30 years later, you can remember how much fun it was.

Andy Hampsten and his team needed a perfect first week. They had one. He needed to take time when he could — on stage 12, first, and then again when Mother Nature struck on the Gavia. He did, with gusto. 7-Eleven was forced to beat back cunning attacks in the following days, and had to remain calm in the one moment when the Giro was almost lost, as the pink jersey flew up the road to Arta Terme. They did.

Everyone remembers the Gavia. That photo of Hampsten riding in the snow — yes, the same one that we’ve put on the cover of this very issue — is one of the most iconic in all of cycling. But grand tours are three weeks long. One day never tells the whole story. The only Giro won by an American took more than guts on the Gavia. To win, Hampsten had to be willing to lose.

Hampsten holds a framed pink jersey and map that hang in Vecchio’s Bicicletteria in Boulder. Photo: Brad Kaminski | VeloNews.com

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Little 500 special podcast: Cinder tracks and singlespeeds http://www.velonews.com/2017/04/podcast/little-500-special-podcast-cinder-tracks-singlespeeds_436500 http://www.velonews.com/2017/04/podcast/little-500-special-podcast-cinder-tracks-singlespeeds_436500#respond Tue, 25 Apr 2017 21:22:19 +0000 http://www.velonews.com/?p=436500 This special episode comes straight from the Little 500 race of "Breaking Away" box office fame.

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

This special episode comes straight from the Little 500 race of “Breaking Away” box office fame. Caley Fretz heads to Bloomington, Indiana for the annual event, which captivates a 40,000 student campus and an entire state, to embed himself inside the winning Black Key Bulls team for the weekend. His goal: find out what makes this collegiate singlespeed race, held on a pan-flat cinder track, such an incredibly popular event.

Read more about his experience at the Little 500 >>

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.

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Tour de Romandie Gallery: Felline wins prologue http://www.velonews.com/2017/04/gallery/tour-de-romandie-gallery-felline-wins-prologue_436468 http://www.velonews.com/2017/04/gallery/tour-de-romandie-gallery-felline-wins-prologue_436468#respond Tue, 25 Apr 2017 19:27:39 +0000 http://www.velonews.com/?p=436468 Trek-Segafredo's Fabio Felline wins the Tour de Romandie opener on a rainy day in Switzerland.

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Technical FAQ: Swapping cages and rim width follow-ups http://www.velonews.com/2017/04/bikes-and-tech/technical-faq-swapping-cages-rim-width-follow-ups_436445 http://www.velonews.com/2017/04/bikes-and-tech/technical-faq-swapping-cages-rim-width-follow-ups_436445#respond Tue, 25 Apr 2017 16:39:53 +0000 http://www.velonews.com/?p=436445 Lennard Zinn address questions about swapping derailleur cages, grinding freehub feet, and follow-ups on rim width.

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Swapping derailleur cages

Dear Lennard,
I’d like to know if it is possible to take the long cage from an Ultegra 6800 rear derailleur and use it to replace the shorter Dura-Ace 9000 cage? 

I’d like to have the ability to run a cassette up to 32 teeth but don’t want to lose the aesthetic by running an Ultegra on an all Dura-Ace drivetrain.
— Jean

Dear Jean,
Yes, you can do that. I have instructions for interchanging Shimano jockey-wheel cages in “Zinn and the Art of Road Bike Maintenance, 5th Edition.”
― Lennard

Grinding freehub feet

Dear Lennard,
Just read your column about 11-speed cassette installation to 10-speed freehub. It’s quite a clear idea, but how did you grind these “little feet” on the freehub? By which tool?

I’m solving same problem — I bought a 105 groupset and am pushing it to work with “Sora-ready” wheels. I regret that I didn’t buy a 10-speed group; I’m now having big difficulties with it.
— Alexander

Dear Alexander,
I just filed them with a hand file. I used a big file and used the side of it to file the feet back.
― Lennard

Feedback on tire pressure and tire diameter

Dear Lennard,
Your last article is very clear, and I’m 100 percent in agreement with your analysis. I’ve had this discussion with friends for years … usually related to FatBike wheels.

If you use the “exaggerated” FatBike tires as a tool to illustrate the magnitude of force involved, I think people visualize it better. A lot of guys over-inflate their FatBike tires to get them seated. Many believe that more pressure always yields lower rolling resistance, so they keep adding air. I have to strongly emphasize to all of my customers to NEVER exceed 20 psi on any fat rim but in reality, they should probably never have more than 12 psi in the tires for any length of time. The tires stretch because the amount of force is so massive. Poor rims will eventually fail after the tires stretch enough. You can lift a truck with these wheels just like an airbag.

When a FatBike tire “lets go,” it is way more dangerous than any skinny tires I’ve experienced. It’s pretty obvious when you think about the number of pumps you put into that tire vs any skinny tire. It is pure stored energy. The sealant will penetrate the skin like a tattoo — ears will ring for hours, your eyes will not have time to blink before the sealant hits the cornea. More than a dozen customers have written me to tell me their experience and embarrassment for not following instructions. On top of that, effective rolling resistance doesn’t change measurably above 12psi for a 170-pound rider.
— Jim Simons
President, FattyStripper.com

Dear Lennard,
I think some readers are confusing pressure and force. Same psi and more square inches equals more pounds of force.

 It’s why you can easily hold 100 psi with your finger if the tube is the size of a valve stem, but that rapidly becomes impossible as the tube ID — and cross-sectional area — becomes larger.
— Peter

Dear Lennard,
I just switched to wider 25mm carbon road rims from the 23mm width carbon rims I had before and installed the same 700 x 28mm tire I had been using on the standard width rims. My 2015 Ridley Fenix used to just allow the 28mm tire to fit, with some scraping on the seat tube when I would get gravel on the tire. With my new wider rims, they have much better clearance using the same tire. I love the ride of 28mm tires, but the scraping was irritating and it took some paint of the back of my seat tube. Wider rims may solve clearance problems for some frames and allow you to use 28mm tires for a softer ride.
— Doug

Still confused about rim width and tire stress? Refer to this PDF >>

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Romandie: Fabio Felline wins prologue http://www.velonews.com/2017/04/race-report/romandie-fabio-felline-wins-prologue_436453 http://www.velonews.com/2017/04/race-report/romandie-fabio-felline-wins-prologue_436453#respond Tue, 25 Apr 2017 16:28:11 +0000 http://www.velonews.com/?p=436453 Trek-Segafredo's Fabio Felline claimed Tour de Romandie's 4.8km prologue time trial, beating Movistar's Alex Dowsett by two seconds.

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Trek-Segafredo’s Fabio Felline claimed his first win in two months in Tour de Romandie’s 4.8km prologue time trial, beating Movistar’s Alex Dowsett by two seconds. Alexander Edmondson (Orica-Scott) was third in the opening stage around Aigle, Switzerland.

“This victory is for Scarponi,” said Felline, referring to fellow pro rider Michele Scarponi who died in a tragic training crash Saturday. “I also want to dedicate this to another family close to me who one week before Scarponi also went through the same situation. For me, the last 10 days have not been easy.”

The route included a one-kilometer climb as well as a technical descent. To make matters worse, the weather turned rainy sooner than expected, but that didn’t stop Trek’s Italian from clocking the fastest time, averaging 48.4kph. As is sometimes the case in Romandie’s traditional opening stage, some riders opted to ride standard road bikes for more reliable handling. Felline, 27, rode his time trial bike.

Three-time Tour de France champion Chris Froome — a two-time winner of the Swiss race — opted to start among the early riders to avoid the rain but his tactics backfired on a slippery surface. The Sky rider lost 29 seconds to the winner, with BMC’s Tejay van Garderen conceding 34 seconds.

“The road was really slippery, and on the third corner, Tejay van Garderen unfortunately crashed,” said BMC director Fabio Baldato. “Everyone was at their limit, and it was a difficult point on the course. After that, though he recovered well and he was pulling back time quickly.” The American rider did not suffer any serious injuries in the crash.

“I never expected this victory,” Felline added. “This is the biggest victory of this season for me, and I needed this win for a lot of reasons. It has been two months that I have always been in the front [of races], always with the good riders, but always I missed the results. This victory is for sure a good present for me, and for the team.”

Felline will carry the leader’s jersey into Wednesday’s fearsome stage 1, a 173.3km race with five categorized climbs, including a Cat. 1 uphill finish in Champéry.

Prologue results

  • 1. Fabio FELLINE, TREK – SEGAFREDO, in 5:57
  • 2. Alex DOWSETT, MOVISTAR TEAM, at :02
  • 3. Alexander EDMONSON, ORICA – SCOTT, at :07
  • 4. Maximilian SCHACHMANN, QUICK – STEP FLOORS, at :08
  • 5. Victor CAMPENAERTS, TEAM LOTTO NL – JUMBO, at :08
  • 6. Primož ROGLIC, TEAM LOTTO NL – JUMBO, at :09
  • 7. Vasil KIRYIENKA, TEAM SKY, at :10
  • 8. Tom BOHLI, BMC RACING TEAM, at :10
  • 9. Johan LE BON, FDJ, at :11
  • 10. Christoph PFINGSTEN, BORA – HANSGROHE, at :11
  • 11. Koen BOUWMAN, TEAM LOTTO NL – JUMBO, at :11
  • 12. Jon IZAGUIRRE INSAUSTI, BAHRAIN – MERIDA, at :12
  • 13. Bob JUNGELS, QUICK – STEP FLOORS, at :12
  • 14. Jesus HERRADA LOPEZ, MOVISTAR TEAM, at :12
  • 15. Lukas PÖSTLBERGER, BORA – HANSGROHE, at :13
  • 16. José GONÇALVES, TEAM KATUSHA ALPECIN, at :13
  • 17. Ruben FERNANDEZ ANDUJAR, MOVISTAR TEAM, at :13
  • 18. Jonathan CASTROVIEJO, MOVISTAR TEAM, at :14
  • 19. Jarlinson PANTANO GOMEZ, TREK – SEGAFREDO, at :15
  • 20. Damien HOWSON, ORICA – SCOTT, at :15
  • 21. Davide MARTINELLI, QUICK – STEP FLOORS, at :16
  • 22. Wilco KELDERMAN, TEAM SUNWEB, at :16
  • 23. Gianni MOSCON, TEAM SKY, at :16
  • 24. NICHOLAS ROCHE, BMC RACING TEAM, at :17
  • 25. Simon YATES, ORICA – SCOTT, at :18
  • 26. Andrey AMADOR BIKKAZAKOVA, MOVISTAR TEAM, at :18
  • 27. Jack HAIG, ORICA – SCOTT, at :19
  • 28. Michael GOGL, TREK – SEGAFREDO, at :19
  • 29. Hugo HOULE, AG2R LA MONDIALE, at :20
  • 30. Emanuel BUCHMANN, BORA – HANSGROHE, at :20
  • 31. Pello BILBAO LOPEZ DE ARMENTIA, ASTANA PRO TEAM, at :20
  • 32. Mathias FRANK, AG2R LA MONDIALE, at :20
  • 33. Lennard KÄMNA, TEAM SUNWEB, at :20
  • 34. Stefan KÜNG, BMC RACING TEAM, at :20
  • 35. David DE LA CRUZ MELGAREJO, QUICK – STEP FLOORS, at :20
  • 36. Robert GESINK, TEAM LOTTO NL – JUMBO, at :20
  • 37. Diego ULISSI, UAE ABU DHABI, at :20
  • 38. Antwan TOLHOEK, TEAM LOTTO NL – JUMBO, at :21
  • 39. Chad HAGA, TEAM SUNWEB, at :21
  • 40. Sam BEWLEY, ORICA – SCOTT, at :21
  • 41. Danilo WYSS, BMC RACING TEAM, at :21
  • 42. Christophe RIBLON, AG2R LA MONDIALE, at :22
  • 43. Mekseb DEBESAY, TEAM DIMENSION DATA, at :22
  • 44. Maximiliano Ariel RICHEZE, QUICK – STEP FLOORS, at :22
  • 45. Rémi Cavagna, QUICK – STEP FLOORS, at :22
  • 46. Juan Jose LOBATO DEL VALLE, TEAM LOTTO NL – JUMBO, at :22
  • 47. Simon ŠPILAK, TEAM KATUSHA ALPECIN, at :23
  • 48. Daniel TEKLEHAIMANOT, TEAM DIMENSION DATA, at :23
  • 49. WINNER ANDREW ANACONA GOMEZ, MOVISTAR TEAM, at :23
  • 50. Ondrej CINK, BAHRAIN – MERIDA, at :24
  • 51. Elia VIVIANI, TEAM SKY, at :24
  • 52. David LOPEZ GARCIA, TEAM SKY, at :24
  • 53. Louis MEINTJES, UAE ABU DHABI, at :24
  • 54. Maxime MONFORT, LOTTO SOUDAL, at :24
  • 55. Michael ALBASINI, ORICA – SCOTT, at :24
  • 56. Kristijan KOREN, CANNONDALE DRAPAC PROFESSIONAL CYCLING TEAM, at :24
  • 57. William CLARKE, CANNONDALE DRAPAC PROFESSIONAL CYCLING TEAM, at :25
  • 58. Léo VINCENT, FDJ, at :25
  • 59. Peter STETINA, TREK – SEGAFREDO, at :25
  • 60. Jurgen VAN DEN BROECK, TEAM LOTTO NL – JUMBO, at :25
  • 61. Alexey VERMEULEN, TEAM LOTTO NL – JUMBO, at :25
  • 62. Warren BARGUIL, TEAM SUNWEB, at :25
  • 63. Owain DOULL, TEAM SKY, at :25
  • 64. Sonny COLBRELLI, BAHRAIN – MERIDA, at :25
  • 65. Jaco VENTER, TEAM DIMENSION DATA, at :26
  • 66. James SHAW, LOTTO SOUDAL, at :26
  • 67. Roman KREUZIGER, ORICA – SCOTT, at :26
  • 68. Alexis VUILLERMOZ, AG2R LA MONDIALE, at :27
  • 69. Simone CONSONNI, UAE ABU DHABI, at :27
  • 70. Tsgabu Gebremaryam GRMAY, BAHRAIN – MERIDA, at :28
  • 71. Merhawi KUDUS GHEBREMEDHIN, TEAM DIMENSION DATA, at :28
  • 72. Sébastien REICHENBACH, FDJ, at :28
  • 73. Michael SCHÄR, BMC RACING TEAM, at :28
  • 74. Kris BOECKMANS, LOTTO SOUDAL, at :28
  • 75. Pierre Roger LATOUR, AG2R LA MONDIALE, at :28
  • 76. Samuel DUMOULIN, AG2R LA MONDIALE, at :28
  • 77. Dion SMITH, WANTY – GROUPE GOBERT, at :28
  • 78. Chris FROOME, TEAM SKY, at :29
  • 79. GREGORY DANIEL, TREK – SEGAFREDO, at :29
  • 80. Carlos Alberto BETANCUR GOMEZ, MOVISTAR TEAM, at :29
  • 81. Nans PETERS, AG2R LA MONDIALE, at :29
  • 82. Sander ARMEE, LOTTO SOUDAL, at :29
  • 83. Xandro MEURISSE, WANTY – GROUPE GOBERT, at :29
  • 84. David GAUDU, FDJ, at :29
  • 85. Tanel KANGERT, ASTANA PRO TEAM, at :29
  • 86. Rob POWER, ORICA – SCOTT, at :29
  • 87. Mikael CHEREL, AG2R LA MONDIALE, at :29
  • 88. Moreno HOFLAND, LOTTO SOUDAL, at :29
  • 89. Rigoberto URAN URAN, CANNONDALE DRAPAC PROFESSIONAL CYCLING TEAM, at :30
  • 90. Tim DECLERCQ, QUICK – STEP FLOORS, at :30
  • 91. Richard Antonio CARAPAZ MONTENEGRO, MOVISTAR TEAM, at :30
  • 92. Guillaume MARTIN, WANTY – GROUPE GOBERT, at :30
  • 93. Thomas DEGAND, WANTY – GROUPE GOBERT, at :31
  • 94. Toms SKUJINS, CANNONDALE DRAPAC PROFESSIONAL CYCLING TEAM, at :31
  • 95. Natnael BERHANE, TEAM DIMENSION DATA, at :31
  • 96. Georg PREIDLER, TEAM SUNWEB, at :31
  • 97. Pawel POLJANSKI, BORA – HANSGROHE, at :32
  • 98. Jay Robert THOMSON, TEAM DIMENSION DATA, at :32
  • 99. Janez BRAJKOVIC, BAHRAIN – MERIDA, at :32
  • 100. Pavel KOCHETKOV, TEAM KATUSHA ALPECIN, at :32
  • 101. Oliviero TROIA, UAE ABU DHABI, at :32
  • 102. Fabien DOUBEY, WANTY – GROUPE GOBERT, at :33
  • 103. Yukiya ARASHIRO, BAHRAIN – MERIDA, at :33
  • 104. Simon CLARKE, CANNONDALE DRAPAC PROFESSIONAL CYCLING TEAM, at :33
  • 105. Nathan BROWN, CANNONDALE DRAPAC PROFESSIONAL CYCLING TEAM, at :33
  • 106. Odd Christian EIKING, FDJ, at :33
  • 107. Silvio HERKLOTZ, BORA – HANSGROHE, at :33
  • 108. Richie PORTE, BMC RACING TEAM, at :33
  • 109. Andrea PASQUALON, WANTY – GROUPE GOBERT, at :34
  • 110. Sergei CHERNETSKI, ASTANA PRO TEAM, at :34
  • 111. Ben SWIFT, UAE ABU DHABI, at :34
  • 112. Brendan CANTY, CANNONDALE DRAPAC PROFESSIONAL CYCLING TEAM, at :34
  • 113. Tejay VAN GARDEREN, BMC RACING TEAM, at :34
  • 114. Daniel OSS, BMC RACING TEAM, at :35
  • 115. ANDREY GRIVKO, ASTANA PRO TEAM, at :35
  • 116. Rein TAARAMÄE, TEAM KATUSHA ALPECIN, at :35
  • 117. Tom STAMSNIJDER, TEAM SUNWEB, at :35
  • 118. Viacheslav KUZNETSOV, TEAM KATUSHA ALPECIN, at :35
  • 119. Thomas DE GENDT, LOTTO SOUDAL, at :36
  • 120. Laurens TEN DAM, TEAM SUNWEB, at :36
  • 121. Manuele MORI, UAE ABU DHABI, at :36
  • 122. KEVIN REZA, FDJ, at :37
  • 123. Arnaud COURTEILLE, FDJ, at :37
  • 124. Juraj SAGAN, BORA – HANSGROHE, at :37
  • 125. Alberto LOSADA ALGUACIL, TEAM KATUSHA ALPECIN, at :37
  • 126. Tosh VAN DER SANDE, LOTTO SOUDAL, at :37
  • 127. Johannes FRÖHLINGER, TEAM SUNWEB, at :38
  • 128. Remy MERTZ, LOTTO SOUDAL, at :38
  • 129. Frederik VEUCHELEN, WANTY – GROUPE GOBERT, at :38
  • 130. Lorrenzo MANZIN, FDJ, at :39
  • 131. Fumiyuki BEPPU, TREK – SEGAFREDO, at :40
  • 132. Youcef REGUIGUI, TEAM DIMENSION DATA, at :41
  • 133. Ilnur ZAKARIN, TEAM KATUSHA ALPECIN, at :42
  • 134. Oscar GATTO, ASTANA PRO TEAM, at :43
  • 135. Laurens DE VREESE, ASTANA PRO TEAM, at :44
  • 136. Anass AIT EL ABDIA, UAE ABU DHABI, at :44
  • 137. Marco MINNAARD, WANTY – GROUPE GOBERT, at :45
  • 138. Wouter WIPPERT, CANNONDALE DRAPAC PROFESSIONAL CYCLING TEAM, at :45
  • 139. Adrien NIYONSHUTI, TEAM DIMENSION DATA, at :47
  • 140. Antonio NIBALI, BAHRAIN – MERIDA, at :48
  • 141. Matteo BONO, UAE ABU DHABI, at :49
  • 142. André CARDOSO, TREK – SEGAFREDO, at :50
  • 143. Nikita STALNOV, ASTANA PRO TEAM, at :50
  • 144. Peter KENNAUGH, TEAM SKY, at :53
  • 145. Meiyin WANG, BAHRAIN – MERIDA, at :54
  • 146. Bakhtiyar KOZHATAYEV, ASTANA PRO TEAM, at :54
  • 147. Jesus HERNANDEZ BLAZQUEZ, TREK – SEGAFREDO, at :56
  • 148. Marcus BURGHARDT, BORA – HANSGROHE, at :57
  • 149. Michael SCHWARZMANN, BORA – HANSGROHE, at 1:02
  • 150. Martin VELITS, QUICK – STEP FLOORS, at 1:03
  • 151. Matvey MAMYKIN, TEAM KATUSHA ALPECIN, at 1:07
  • 152. Ian BOSWELL, TEAM SKY, at 1:15

General classification

  • 1. Fabio FELLINE, TREK – SEGAFREDO, in 5:57
  • 2. Alex DOWSETT, MOVISTAR TEAM, at :02
  • 3. Alexander EDMONSON, ORICA – SCOTT, at :07
  • 4. Maximilian SCHACHMANN, QUICK – STEP FLOORS, at :08
  • 5. Victor CAMPENAERTS, TEAM LOTTO NL – JUMBO, at :08
  • 6. Primož ROGLIC, TEAM LOTTO NL – JUMBO, at :09
  • 7. Vasil KIRYIENKA, TEAM SKY, at :10
  • 8. Tom BOHLI, BMC RACING TEAM, at :10
  • 9. Johan LE BON, FDJ, at :11
  • 10. Christoph PFINGSTEN, BORA – HANSGROHE, at :11
  • 11. Koen BOUWMAN, TEAM LOTTO NL – JUMBO, at :11
  • 12. Jon IZAGUIRRE INSAUSTI, BAHRAIN – MERIDA, at :12
  • 13. Bob JUNGELS, QUICK – STEP FLOORS, at :12
  • 14. Jesus HERRADA LOPEZ, MOVISTAR TEAM, at :12
  • 15. Lukas PÖSTLBERGER, BORA – HANSGROHE, at :13
  • 16. José GONÇALVES, TEAM KATUSHA ALPECIN, at :13
  • 17. Ruben FERNANDEZ ANDUJAR, MOVISTAR TEAM, at :13
  • 18. Jonathan CASTROVIEJO, MOVISTAR TEAM, at :14
  • 19. Jarlinson PANTANO GOMEZ, TREK – SEGAFREDO, at :15
  • 20. Damien HOWSON, ORICA – SCOTT, at :15
  • 21. Davide MARTINELLI, QUICK – STEP FLOORS, at :16
  • 22. Wilco KELDERMAN, TEAM SUNWEB, at :16
  • 23. Gianni MOSCON, TEAM SKY, at :16
  • 24. NICHOLAS ROCHE, BMC RACING TEAM, at :17
  • 25. Simon YATES, ORICA – SCOTT, at :18
  • 26. Andrey AMADOR BIKKAZAKOVA, MOVISTAR TEAM, at :18
  • 27. Jack HAIG, ORICA – SCOTT, at :19
  • 28. Michael GOGL, TREK – SEGAFREDO, at :19
  • 29. Hugo HOULE, AG2R LA MONDIALE, at :20
  • 30. Emanuel BUCHMANN, BORA – HANSGROHE, at :20
  • 31. Pello BILBAO LOPEZ DE ARMENTIA, ASTANA PRO TEAM, at :20
  • 32. Mathias FRANK, AG2R LA MONDIALE, at :20
  • 33. Lennard KÄMNA, TEAM SUNWEB, at :20
  • 34. Stefan KÜNG, BMC RACING TEAM, at :20
  • 35. David DE LA CRUZ MELGAREJO, QUICK – STEP FLOORS, at :20
  • 36. Robert GESINK, TEAM LOTTO NL – JUMBO, at :20
  • 37. Diego ULISSI, UAE ABU DHABI, at :20
  • 38. Antwan TOLHOEK, TEAM LOTTO NL – JUMBO, at :21
  • 39. Chad HAGA, TEAM SUNWEB, at :21
  • 40. Sam BEWLEY, ORICA – SCOTT, at :21
  • 41. Danilo WYSS, BMC RACING TEAM, at :21
  • 42. Christophe RIBLON, AG2R LA MONDIALE, at :22
  • 43. Mekseb DEBESAY, TEAM DIMENSION DATA, at :22
  • 44. Maximiliano Ariel RICHEZE, QUICK – STEP FLOORS, at :22
  • 45. Rémi Cavagna, QUICK – STEP FLOORS, at :22
  • 46. Juan Jose LOBATO DEL VALLE, TEAM LOTTO NL – JUMBO, at :22
  • 47. Simon ŠPILAK, TEAM KATUSHA ALPECIN, at :23
  • 48. Daniel TEKLEHAIMANOT, TEAM DIMENSION DATA, at :23
  • 49. WINNER ANDREW ANACONA GOMEZ, MOVISTAR TEAM, at :23
  • 50. Ondrej CINK, BAHRAIN – MERIDA, at :24
  • 51. Elia VIVIANI, TEAM SKY, at :24
  • 51. David LOPEZ GARCIA, TEAM SKY, at :24
  • 53. Louis MEINTJES, UAE ABU DHABI, at :24
  • 54. Maxime MONFORT, LOTTO SOUDAL, at :24
  • 55. Michael ALBASINI, ORICA – SCOTT, at :24
  • 56. Kristijan KOREN, CANNONDALE DRAPAC PROFESSIONAL CYCLING TEAM, at :24
  • 57. William CLARKE, CANNONDALE DRAPAC PROFESSIONAL CYCLING TEAM, at :25
  • 58. Léo VINCENT, FDJ, at :25
  • 59. Peter STETINA, TREK – SEGAFREDO, at :25
  • 60. Jurgen VAN DEN BROECK, TEAM LOTTO NL – JUMBO, at :25
  • 61. Alexey VERMEULEN, TEAM LOTTO NL – JUMBO, at :25
  • 62. Warren BARGUIL, TEAM SUNWEB, at :25
  • 63. Owain DOULL, TEAM SKY, at :25
  • 64. Sonny COLBRELLI, BAHRAIN – MERIDA, at :25
  • 65. Jaco VENTER, TEAM DIMENSION DATA, at :26
  • 66. James SHAW, LOTTO SOUDAL, at :26
  • 67. Roman KREUZIGER, ORICA – SCOTT, at :26
  • 68. Alexis VUILLERMOZ, AG2R LA MONDIALE, at :27
  • 69. Simone CONSONNI, UAE ABU DHABI, at :27
  • 70. Tsgabu Gebremaryam GRMAY, BAHRAIN – MERIDA, at :28
  • 71. Merhawi KUDUS GHEBREMEDHIN, TEAM DIMENSION DATA, at :28
  • 72. Sébastien REICHENBACH, FDJ, at :28
  • 73. Michael SCHÄR, BMC RACING TEAM, at :28
  • 74. Kris BOECKMANS, LOTTO SOUDAL, at :28
  • 75. Pierre Roger LATOUR, AG2R LA MONDIALE, at :28
  • 76. Samuel DUMOULIN, AG2R LA MONDIALE, at :28
  • 77. Dion SMITH, WANTY – GROUPE GOBERT, at :28
  • 78. Chris FROOME, TEAM SKY, at :29
  • 79. GREGORY DANIEL, TREK – SEGAFREDO, at :29
  • 80. Carlos Alberto BETANCUR GOMEZ, MOVISTAR TEAM, at :29
  • 81. Nans PETERS, AG2R LA MONDIALE, at :29
  • 82. Sander ARMEE, LOTTO SOUDAL, at :29
  • 83. Xandro MEURISSE, WANTY – GROUPE GOBERT, at :29
  • 84. David GAUDU, FDJ, at :29
  • 85. Tanel KANGERT, ASTANA PRO TEAM, at :29
  • 86. Rob POWER, ORICA – SCOTT, at :29
  • 87. Mikael CHEREL, AG2R LA MONDIALE, at :29
  • 88. Moreno HOFLAND, LOTTO SOUDAL, at :29
  • 89. Rigoberto URAN URAN, CANNONDALE DRAPAC PROFESSIONAL CYCLING TEAM, at :30
  • 90. Tim DECLERCQ, QUICK – STEP FLOORS, at :30
  • 91. Richard Antonio CARAPAZ MONTENEGRO, MOVISTAR TEAM, at :30
  • 92. Guillaume MARTIN, WANTY – GROUPE GOBERT, at :30
  • 93. Thomas DEGAND, WANTY – GROUPE GOBERT, at :31
  • 94. Toms SKUJINS, CANNONDALE DRAPAC PROFESSIONAL CYCLING TEAM, at :31
  • 95. Natnael BERHANE, TEAM DIMENSION DATA, at :31
  • 96. Georg PREIDLER, TEAM SUNWEB, at :31
  • 97. Pawel POLJANSKI, BORA – HANSGROHE, at :32
  • 98. Jay Robert THOMSON, TEAM DIMENSION DATA, at :32
  • 99. Janez BRAJKOVIC, BAHRAIN – MERIDA, at :32
  • 100. Pavel KOCHETKOV, TEAM KATUSHA ALPECIN, at :32
  • 101. Oliviero TROIA, UAE ABU DHABI, at :32
  • 102. Fabien DOUBEY, WANTY – GROUPE GOBERT, at :33
  • 103. Yukiya ARASHIRO, BAHRAIN – MERIDA, at :33
  • 104. Simon CLARKE, CANNONDALE DRAPAC PROFESSIONAL CYCLING TEAM, at :33
  • 105. Nathan BROWN, CANNONDALE DRAPAC PROFESSIONAL CYCLING TEAM, at :33
  • 106. Odd Christian EIKING, FDJ, at :33
  • 107. Silvio HERKLOTZ, BORA – HANSGROHE, at :33
  • 108. Richie PORTE, BMC RACING TEAM, at :33
  • 109. Andrea PASQUALON, WANTY – GROUPE GOBERT, at :34
  • 110. Sergei CHERNETSKI, ASTANA PRO TEAM, at :34
  • 111. Ben SWIFT, UAE ABU DHABI, at :34
  • 112. Brendan CANTY, CANNONDALE DRAPAC PROFESSIONAL CYCLING TEAM, at :34
  • 113. Tejay VAN GARDEREN, BMC RACING TEAM, at :34
  • 114. Daniel OSS, BMC RACING TEAM, at :35
  • 115. ANDREY GRIVKO, ASTANA PRO TEAM, at :35
  • 116. Rein TAARAMÄE, TEAM KATUSHA ALPECIN, at :35
  • 117. Tom STAMSNIJDER, TEAM SUNWEB, at :35
  • 118. Viacheslav KUZNETSOV, TEAM KATUSHA ALPECIN, at :35
  • 119. Thomas DE GENDT, LOTTO SOUDAL, at :36
  • 120. Laurens TEN DAM, TEAM SUNWEB, at :36
  • 121. Manuele MORI, UAE ABU DHABI, at :36
  • 122. KEVIN REZA, FDJ, at :37
  • 123. Arnaud COURTEILLE, FDJ, at :37
  • 124. Juraj SAGAN, BORA – HANSGROHE, at :37
  • 125. Alberto LOSADA ALGUACIL, TEAM KATUSHA ALPECIN, at :37
  • 126. Tosh VAN DER SANDE, LOTTO SOUDAL, at :37
  • 127. Johannes FRÖHLINGER, TEAM SUNWEB, at :38
  • 128. Remy MERTZ, LOTTO SOUDAL, at :38
  • 129. Frederik VEUCHELEN, WANTY – GROUPE GOBERT, at :38
  • 130. Lorrenzo MANZIN, FDJ, at :39
  • 131. Fumiyuki BEPPU, TREK – SEGAFREDO, at :40
  • 132. Youcef REGUIGUI, TEAM DIMENSION DATA, at :41
  • 133. Ilnur ZAKARIN, TEAM KATUSHA ALPECIN, at :42
  • 134. Oscar GATTO, ASTANA PRO TEAM, at :43
  • 135. Laurens DE VREESE, ASTANA PRO TEAM, at :44
  • 136. Anass AIT EL ABDIA, UAE ABU DHABI, at :44
  • 137. Marco MINNAARD, WANTY – GROUPE GOBERT, at :45
  • 138. Wouter WIPPERT, CANNONDALE DRAPAC PROFESSIONAL CYCLING TEAM, at :45
  • 139. Adrien NIYONSHUTI, TEAM DIMENSION DATA, at :47
  • 140. Antonio NIBALI, BAHRAIN – MERIDA, at :48
  • 141. Matteo BONO, UAE ABU DHABI, at :49
  • 142. André CARDOSO, TREK – SEGAFREDO, at :50
  • 143. Nikita STALNOV, ASTANA PRO TEAM, at :50
  • 144. Peter KENNAUGH, TEAM SKY, at :53
  • 145. Meiyin WANG, BAHRAIN – MERIDA, at :54
  • 146. Bakhtiyar KOZHATAYEV, ASTANA PRO TEAM, at :54
  • 147. Jesus HERNANDEZ BLAZQUEZ, TREK – SEGAFREDO, at :56
  • 148. Marcus BURGHARDT, BORA – HANSGROHE, at :57
  • 149. Michael SCHWARZMANN, BORA – HANSGROHE, at 1:02
  • 150. Martin VELITS, QUICK – STEP FLOORS, at 1:03
  • 151. Matvey MAMYKIN, TEAM KATUSHA ALPECIN, at 1:07
  • 152. Ian BOSWELL, TEAM SKY, at 1:15

The post Romandie: Fabio Felline wins prologue appeared first on VeloNews.com.

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Cinder chess at the Little 500 http://www.velonews.com/2017/04/feature/cinder-chess-little-500_436242 http://www.velonews.com/2017/04/feature/cinder-chess-little-500_436242#respond Tue, 25 Apr 2017 12:59:27 +0000 http://www.velonews.com/?p=436242 Caley Fretz experiences firsthand the 200-lap spectacle of a bike race that happens in Bloomington, Indiana every year.

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I thought maybe the puking would wait until later. Nope. Noah’s stomach is over it, 190 laps into this 200-lap spectacle. Enough of the three-minute pulls, maximum effort, trying to keep that back wheel in line on a cinder track that’s loosening into kitty litter by the minute, trying to keep 32 other teams behind the Black Key Bulls for just a little bit longer.

Noah, last name Voyles, is doubled over in between two warmup bikes. Everyone near him has put a hand on his back in a collective “It’ll be OK, son.” He does not look OK. One of the hands is from the team’s coach, a skinny young bike racer named Ryan Knapp. “The best damn Little Five coach in Bloomington,” a random man in a yellow and black cap tells me, pointing with a thick finger. “You find me a better one,” is his challenge. I doubt I could. With 10 laps to go, it looks increasingly certain that Knapp will go two-for-two, win the women’s and men’s Little 500 races, a feat everyone’s pretty sure has never been done. I like him. He has a way of saying very mean but very true things in a way that’s quite funny.

Noah looks up at him, his stomach emptied. “Do I need to go on again?” he asks, pitifully, like a bad puppy that’s just yacked on the carpet. Knapp stares at him for a moment, doing some math in his head. He has three other riders he can use: senior Charlie Hammon, junior Kevin Mangel, and the sophomore, a 4-minute-mile ace they’ve been saving, Xavier Martinez. They have a lead, but not a comfortable one. A lead’s never comfortable in this race.

“Maybe,” Knapp says to the kid with puke on his shoes.

2:20pm, Saturday, April 22. A man just jumped out of an airplane 1,000 feet over our heads. We’re two-thirds of the way through a Little 500 start sequence that will take at least half an hour. Wind’s from the east, gusting. The predicted rain hasn’t come. The stands are full and getting rowdy. Some 25,000 will show up over the course of the weekend, the race director Andrea Balzano tells me. 25k! Holy hell. This might just be the biggest one-day race in America. College kids on singlespeeds, the biggest in the USA.

Someone pokes me in the shoulder and points up as a stars-and-stripes parachute unfurls and the crowd and its phones all look up at once. The jumper is dangling another American flag below him. Two flags are better than one, someone says. I think it was Smoot who said it.

The jumper’s landing is timed with the end of an a cappella group’s rendition of Indiana’s unofficial state song, “Back Home Again in Indiana:” When I dream about the moonlight on the Wabash, they sing and the crowd sings, Then I loooong for my Indiana hooooome. Smoot, are those tears? “It’s always played at the start,” he says. “That’s why I love it, even though I’m from Illinois.”

Charlie was a hot mess this morning. Pacing around, double and triple checking everything. It’s how the Black Key Bulls captain copes, says my Little 5 fixer, Nick Hartman. He just worries about everything. But it works. The senior has an important job today: He’ll bear the brunt of the early work, taking long, 20-lap pulls to keep BKB (Black Key Bulls is a mouthful) out of trouble and up front. He’s also the team’s first rider. Early laps are treacherous, full of riffraff that haven’t yet dropped to lapped purgatory. There are 33 teams and maybe 15 are good. In terms of relative experience on the cinders, Little 500 is sort of like a Cat. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 race. The last-place team is going to get lapped 98 times in a 200-lap race. Riders at the back remount after an exchange like giraffes jumping on an escalator, all flailing legs and squished unmentionables. “Jesus, man, there’s always a lot of shit out there,” says Maddison, another BKB alum. And Charlie will have to dodge it.

The peloton rides two laps behind the pace car before it accelerates and swings out of the track. It’s a rolling start; Charlie is near the front. The group stands as one on their tiny gears and accelerates to an adrenaline-induced race pace. They make it exactly one and three-quarter laps before someone falls down.

“Oh, for f—k’s sake,” Maddison says, mostly to himself.


Charlie Hammon


Xavier Martinez



Noah Voyles


Kevin Mangel

Four riders, two bikes, 200 laps. Those are the underlying constants with which Knapp and the rest of the coaches play their game of cinder chess. “Timing is more important than strength,” Knapp says. “But it’s best to have both.” The tiny gear is the great equalizer. In the end, it mostly comes down to the exchanges. How they’re timed, and how few a team can get away with.

Frankly, the exchanges are terrifying. By lap 100 there’s an awful lot of blood about, and most of it is from exchanging. Think of it as a high-speed, coaster-brake version of a Madison handoff, except both riders are on foot at some point. The rider in the race usually tries to accelerate off the front — it’s called a burn — and then skids like a damn maniac into the pit at 25 mph, hops off the right side of the bike and hands it to his teammate, who is already running and hops on. If the burn is good, the fresh rider has enough of a gap to settle back into the peloton with relative ease. If the burn is bad, or the exchange is botched, then there’s no ease at all.

I do not totally understand the tactical nuance of Little 500, but I understand this: Exchanges take time, so the only way to stay out front alone is to get a gap that is longer than the time it takes to exchange. That’s a couple seconds, maybe 50-80 meters or so. Otherwise, the exchange sends a team back to the peloton. Getting a gap that size on a pan-flat track with a gear that has teams spinning over 130rpm just to sit in is like trying to cut a bad steak with a butter knife.

BKB’s exchanges look good to my inexperienced eye. So do those of Sigma Chi, right next door, and the Cutters, which is not the team of townies as it is in “Breaking Away,” but simply a team with no Greek or residence hall affiliation, just like BKB.

The first 100 laps are well-controlled. Charlie does his big turns on the track, helped by Kevin and Noah. One botched exchange sends Kevin’s knee into the ground, but he’s fine. “I’ll have to scrape the cinders out later,” he says. Xavier sits on his road bike and spins slowly. He hasn’t entered the race yet. His particular talents will be needed later.

Slowly, but quite surely, the racing stints begin to take their toll. You can see it in the winces as they exchange. “It’s the worst feeling,” Nick says. “A burn is a sprint, so you’re pegged, then you have to slam on the brake, which cramps up your calf. Then you end up just standing there with no bike. No spin-down, nothing. Just standing there with a cramped calf and a heart rate of 190, trying not to fall over.”

Noah botches an exchange. That’s odd because he has the best handling skills of the four. A former BMXer, racing in Vans today. But he’s tired, almost takes out another rider. Tensions are high now. The Lambdas in the stands behind him begin a chant, “Asssshoole, assshoooole,” that the BKB don’t particularly like. Nick turns to one of them: “Shut the f—k up, man.” Maddison walks in as backup. Two against maybe 20? Nick, you may be my guide this weekend but I am not with you on this. But have I mentioned Spencer? Spencer is here, another BKB alum. He was runner-sized a year ago. He’s not anymore. He’s bald and bearded and 210 pounds. He turns around. The Lambdas shut up.

The other teams should have seen it coming, really. Knapp used the same tactic with his Theta ladies on Friday, and they won by half a lap. So maybe they did see it coming, they just couldn’t do anything about it.

Forty laps to go, nearly two hours in. Knapp reminds his riders of the plan: Watch for a move, follow it, attack it. Just like Theta did. It’s called a burn-plus-one. You follow a rider trying to gap for an exchange and when he jumps off the bike you keep your head down and pin it. Xavier has still hardly touched the race track. He takes an exchange from Noah after a burn that was covered by rivals, leaving him at the back of the field.

Thirty laps to go. The track has churned soft. It’s particularly bad in turns three and four. Cadence is high, has to be smooth. You can see the rear wheels skitter out and then get wrestled back.

More blood. A botched exchange sends a rider off balance. He reenters the peloton sideways. A bowling ball against tired pins. They slide on cinders on their backs and will scream in the shower later. Maddison has his hands on his head, squeezing his temples, mouthing expletives without speaking them. He and Nick can’t take it. They’re taking turns pacing. One watches the race until he can’t anymore while the other paces back and forth behind the pit, not watching. They fill each other in during their own exchanges. Xavier swings out and around the cinder-grated riders and sprints to the front of the group before the yellow flag is flown, requiring all riders to maintain their distance to the leader. Yellow is out for two laps. 171 to go.

Green flag. Race is on. Twenty-eight laps to go. Xavier goes. Goes. Goes. Goes.

Gone.

Noah’s done puking. His last stint extended the team’s lead to more than a straightaway. He’s back on the trainer, spinning slowly, looking down. “Do I have to go on again?” he asks. Knapp looks at him. “Maybe.” The honest answer at the time. But it’s really a no. He won’t have to go back in. Seven to go now. Xavier takes a final pull, extends the lead again. The chasers are cracked. Dead. Pedaling squares. Gray Goat and the Cutters will not return. Kevin gets in. Four laps to go. Three. Two.

The celebration begins now and will extend well into tomorrow. It’s Kevin across the line. Sweet Kevin, they call him. Mild-mannered, polite. Blood runs down from his knee. He almost exchanges with Xavier with two to go, but why risk it? Maddison has his hands in the air and might be crying. Nick jumps over the fence. Spencer jumps over the fence. Knapp just stands there with his hands on his head. Noah runs up and down, just past the finish line, his Vans kicking up cinders. You can see him in the finish photos later: Kevin crossing the line, Noah running next to him. The chant from the stands behind is simple and growing louder: “B-K-B, B-K-B,” until it envelops everything and is everywhere. Security is letting anyone with a BKB T-shirt into the infield. Someone hoists Kevin above the crowd. He waves the new Black Key Bulls hat that Gomez gave him last night high in the air and screams.

The People’s Champions, the student paper calls them.

It’s 1:14 a.m. Kevin’s face will be on the front of the school paper tomorrow. “We gave him that because he’s the only single one,” Charlie jokes. The cover boy is sitting on a stool in the back of a bar called Nick’s, the bar you go to before you go to Kilroy’s. We haven’t gone to Kilroy’s yet. We will go to Kilroy’s. That much is pretty certain. Everyone is here: Charlie, Xavier, Noah. The four champions. And Maddison, Nick, Spencer, Smoot, Gomez, Mis, Jordan, Neff, Val, Rex, the four Thetas, Grace and Sydney and Rachel and Evelyn, who won yesterday. Knapp. Kevin’s mom. Andrea, the race director. Me, swept up in it all. Kevin has a drink in each hand. “Don’t know where these came from,” he says. He puts one glass down to pick another cinder out of his knee. “I still can’t believe it. I wonder when I’ll believe it,” he says. Random frat bros offer high-fives and to buy another round. The whole city knows what happened today. The whole city will know what Sweet Kevin looks like tomorrow. This, all of this, in Bloomington, Indiana, where for one weekend every year this little bike race seems to be everything to almost everyone.

Want more Little 500 stories? Listen to this episode of the VeloNews podcast:

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Video: Highlights from women’s Liège-Bastogne-Liège http://www.velonews.com/2017/04/news/video-highlights-womens-liege-bastogne-liege_436379 http://www.velonews.com/2017/04/news/video-highlights-womens-liege-bastogne-liege_436379#respond Mon, 24 Apr 2017 22:39:47 +0000 http://www.velonews.com/?p=436379 Catch up on the action from the final race of Ardennes week, the first-ever Women's Liege-Bastogne-Liege.

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Photo Essay: Remembering Michele Scarponi http://www.velonews.com/2017/04/gallery/photo-essay/photo-essay-remembering-michele-scarponi_436339 http://www.velonews.com/2017/04/gallery/photo-essay/photo-essay-remembering-michele-scarponi_436339#respond Mon, 24 Apr 2017 20:43:36 +0000 http://www.velonews.com/?p=436339 Photographer Brad Kaminski takes a look back at the 2011 Tirreno-Adriatico when the race passed through Scarponi's Italian hometown.

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In 2011, I photographed Tirreno-Adriatico in Italy. On stage 6, the race went through Filottrano, Michele Scarponi’s hometown. As I was passing thorough Filottrano on the way to the finish in Macerata, I couldn’t help but notice how popular Scarponi was. I stopped to check out the town and take some photographs. There were signs and banners for him all over town, but there were very few people out and about. As it turns out, they were all at the finish 25 kilometers away in Macerata awaiting the arrival of their hometown hero. The circuit through Macerata took the riders up and down 20 percent grades — it’s no wonder Scarponi was such a great climber. He finished third that day, but you would have thought he was the winner by the amount of avid support that was present at the podium presentation.

After Scarponi’s tragic death Saturday, I went back into my photo archives to remember him.

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Gallery: Boels makes it three-for-three at Liège http://www.velonews.com/2017/04/gallery/gallery-boels-makes-three-three-liege_436338 http://www.velonews.com/2017/04/gallery/gallery-boels-makes-three-three-liege_436338#respond Mon, 24 Apr 2017 20:03:52 +0000 http://www.velonews.com/?p=436338 Anna van der Breggen made it a perfect three-for-three in the hilly Ardennes, winning ahead of Boels teammate Lizzie Deignan.

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French rider Offredo left bloodied by baseball bat attack http://www.velonews.com/2017/04/news/road/french-rider-offredo-left-bloodied-baseball-bat-attack_436335 http://www.velonews.com/2017/04/news/road/french-rider-offredo-left-bloodied-baseball-bat-attack_436335#respond Mon, 24 Apr 2017 19:29:21 +0000 http://www.velonews.com/?p=436335 French cyclist Yoann Offredo claimed on Monday he was assaulted by box cutter- and baseball bat-wielding attackers while on a training ride.

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PARIS (AFP) — Bloodied and bruised French cyclist Yoann Offredo claimed on Monday he was assaulted by box cutter- and baseball bat-wielding attackers while on a training ride.

“Today, victim of an assault, with a box cutter and a baseball bat while training with two friends,” wrote the 30-year-old on his Facebook account, alongside photos of himself with a bloodied face and huge welt on his forearm.

“Result: a broken nose, a rib in a sorry state and bruises all over the body, but on top of the physical injuries, I’m above all shocked.”

Offredo, who rides for Belgian outfit Wanty-Groupe Gobert, did not specify where the attack took place but said it was “in the country of human rights.”

He also gave no other details about the attackers.

“I’m not angry, I’m just sad to say that I hope my children don’t take up this great sport that I love.

“You leave in the morning to go training but never know if you’ll be coming back.”

Offredo recently finished 14th at Paris-Roubaix and 14th at Tour of Flanders as well.

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Liège Roundtable: How to beat Valverde http://www.velonews.com/2017/04/commentary/liege-roundtable-beat-valverde_436291 http://www.velonews.com/2017/04/commentary/liege-roundtable-beat-valverde_436291#respond Mon, 24 Apr 2017 18:21:42 +0000 http://www.velonews.com/?p=436291 Liège was a bit of a snoozer this year. So we have ideas: How the peloton can beat Valverde, and how to make the route better.

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The 2017 spring classics season went out like a lamb on Sunday with Alejandro Valverde sprinting to his fourth victory at Liège-Bastogne-Liège. The predictable finish (after a month of exciting racing) begs a few questions. Does the race known as “La Doyenne” need a facelift to promote more excitement? Should Tim Wellens quit those suicidal attacks? How can anybody beat Valverde at these Ardennes races?

Let’s roundtable!

What is your opinion of Liège-Bastogne-Liège and its spot within pro cycling?

Spencer Powlison @spino_powerlegsIt certainly is exciting for core cycling fans, but if I sat down to watch this year’s edition with a casual rider, someone who only sees a few big races each season, I doubt it would enthrall them. Should every race have broad appeal? It would be nice, but sort of like the hour record, I think Liège is more exciting to talk about than it is to actually watch all the way through.

Fred Dreier @freddreier: I have always loved Liège, but the race has become a snore. A diminished peloton of really tired guys always comes into Côte de Bombed-Out-Warehouse [more commonly known as Côte de Saint Nicolas -Ed.] and then a flurry of attacks occurs just before Valverde out sprints everyone after that left-hand turn. This year Michael Matthews and Greg Van Avermaet were in the final group, and both guys were too gassed to do anything. For such an iconic race to feature just 15km of action means something needs to change.

Andrew Hood @EurohoodyIt is the hardest race of the year that looks easy. The climbing and the speed make for a brutal day, one of the hardest of the entire season depending on the race conditions. Add in some rain and cold, and LBL would look very different. No one said every monument has to be a masterpiece.

How could organizers change the dynamic of the race?

Spencer: I like my one-day races to play out like ‘90s rom-coms (will they? won’t they?) So the finale this year left me uninspired. I think it’s important for at least one of the spring classics to be a pure endurance test that favors climbers. Given the tradition and heritage surrounding Liège, I’m not sure if organizers should monkey with the formula. New riders will come up the ranks and give us an animated finale, and sooner or later they will cryogenically freeze Valverde.

Fred: Shorten the distance, remove a few of the early climbs, and then place La Redoute a bit closer to the finish, to give riders real incentive to attack up the flanks. Keep the St. Nicolas but remove Roche-Aux-Faucons. La Redoute is a big, hard climb, and I’d like it to become a springboard for that will-they/won’t-they finale that Spencer loves so much.

Andy: Perhaps the idea of having it play out in the flats after one of the major climbs could be interesting to create a more tug-of-war dynamic between attackers and finisseurs.

Tim Wellens again went for the suicidal move inside 15km. What’s your advice for him?

Spencer: Get a teammate who can close the deal to sit back in the chase group. I really like how do-or-die Wellens is in these big races. I don’t want him to stop attacking, but if Lotto-Soudal brought on a bit of support, maybe from a fast finisher like Michael Matthews or Simon Gerrans (who aren’t on his team, by the way), his breakaways would have a chance.

Fred: Keep at it, Tim! One of these days the peloton will finally blink, and those precarious 12-second gaps you love to nurse will balloon out to 45 seconds. Wellens doesn’t have the power to win a sprint or attack in the final, so it seems like the suicide move is his best card.

Andy: Keep trying — sooner or later one of those attacks will work, it’s the only card he can play so he has to keep playing it. And maybe someday someone will go with him who has legs to win.

What’s the scenario that brings Cannondale-Drapac the win?

Spencer: Given Michael Woods’s experience, I think his top-10 result is quite good. As for a win? That would have to come out of a small group where the tactics play out to perfection. I don’t think anyone on that team has the finishing kick to go up against the favorites in the final selection.

Fred: Cannondale had the numbers but lacked the legs. If the peloton snoozed for another kilometer, then Formolo may have had the real estate to stay away. Conversely, if Woods or Uran had the legs, they could have mounted a counter attack when Formolo was caught.

Andy:  I think it’s the right tactic to get into the late-race breakaways and to try to surprise the favorites. No one on the team has the right profile to go up against one of the five-star favorites however.

How do you beat Valverde at Liège if he’s on form?

Spencer: You know that scene in “Breaking Away,” when the Italians give Dave the ol’ frame pump in the spokes? … In all seriousness, Valverde won this year’s edition more with brawn than guile. Dan Martin’s attack really forced his hand. Michal Kwiatkowski was slightly out of position, otherwise, Valverde might have dragged him right to the front. If Julian Alaphilippe had been in this final group — not sidelined with a knee injury — he would have been the perfect card for Quick-Step to play. Have the young Frenchman mark Valverde while Martin attacks and then pip him at the line.

Fred: Death ray? Make him race on a Brompton? Attach this thing to his bike? I think the key is you can’t go into the final kilometer with him by your side, so that means you need to have the numbers to send a guy up the road on the Côte de Saint Nicolas. Team strength seems like a natural answer. Perhaps the best thing to do is just pray.

Andy: Someone who has the team to drag him to the line as far as Valverde gets with a Movistar and then come past in the sprint — Valverde’s on true dig comes with 500m to go.

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Valverde dedicates prize money to Scarponi’s widow http://www.velonews.com/2017/04/news/valverde-dedicates-prize-money-scarponis-widow_436322 http://www.velonews.com/2017/04/news/valverde-dedicates-prize-money-scarponis-widow_436322#respond Mon, 24 Apr 2017 18:08:37 +0000 http://www.velonews.com/?p=436322 The cycling world mourns Michele Scarponi's death. Alejandro Valverde and Vincenzo Nibali dedicate recent wins to the Italian.

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A tearful Alejandro Valverde dedicated his Liège-Bastogne-Liège victory and prize money Sunday to the widow of Michele Scarponi, who was killed Saturday in a crash in Italy.

“This victory is dedicated to [Scarponi] and his family. He was a great friend of mine,” Valverde said as tears welled in his eyes at the finish line, adding he would donate the 20,000-euro prize to Scarponi’s family. “When I heard the news of his death, I was left cold. I felt terrible, not just me, but everyone in the cycling community.”

Sunday’s Liège started under a cloud of sadness as Astana lined up at the front of the peloton that paid tribute to Scarponi with a minute of silence. Scarponi’s death touched everyone in the peloton, but the riders agreed, including his Astana teammates, that the best way to honor Scarponi would be to race Sunday. Enrico Gasparotto, a former Astana teammate who also lost Antoine Demoitié last year in a fatal racing crash, was especially moved.

More details of the Saturday morning crash emerged in Italy. Scarponi had wrapped up racing the Tour of the Alps on Friday, where he won a stage and finished fourth overall, and after showering, he drove directly home with an Astana team helper, arriving home late Friday night to post a photo of himself playing with his twin sons on social media.

A routine early morning training ride quickly turned fatal. According to media reports, a Fiat Iveco, a type of industrial van, pulled directly in front of the oncoming Scarponi as a 57-year-old man turned into a Y-intersection at a crossroads. Scarponi, who had the right-of-way on the slightly downhill road, was mortally injured from what witnesses described as a brutal impact, striking the front right bumper and smashing the windshield. Medics quickly arrived on the scene, but efforts to revive him failed as a helicopter evacuated him to a local hospital. Police are considering pressing charges against the driver, who said he did not see the oncoming Scarponi, according to media reports.

Scarponi’s tragic death has also revived calls for new legislation in Italy to improve bicycle safety and driver awareness on Italy’s busy secondary highways.

In Italy, family and friends will gather Tuesday to say farewell to Scarponi in a sports pavilion in a public homage in his hometown of Filottrano. Fans and fellow cyclists will gather to remember the career and life of Scarponi.

Former teammate Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) won the Tour of Croatia on Sunday, and also dedicated the victory to Scarponi, telling La Gazzetta dello Sport, “He was like a brother to me. I was racing with a heavy heart, but I wanted to win for Michele. I cannot stop thinking of his smile.”

In a final moving photograph posted on social media, the red-and-blue macaw named Frankje that was often featured in online videos with Scarponi was seen sitting on a signpost at the crossroads where Scarponi died. Flowers and memorials marked the spot, with Frankje stoically waiting in vigil for his friend who will never come back.

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Liège gallery: Valverde wins fourth title on somber day http://www.velonews.com/2017/04/gallery/liege-gallery-valverde-wins-fourth-title-somber-day_436300 http://www.velonews.com/2017/04/gallery/liege-gallery-valverde-wins-fourth-title-somber-day_436300#respond Mon, 24 Apr 2017 17:40:58 +0000 http://www.velonews.com/?p=436300 Alejandro Valverde wins his fourth Liège-Bastogne-Liège title one day after fellow racer Michele Scarponi was killed while training.

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Froome tests Tour form in Switzerland http://www.velonews.com/2017/04/news/froome-tests-tour-form-switzerland_436290 http://www.velonews.com/2017/04/news/froome-tests-tour-form-switzerland_436290#respond Mon, 24 Apr 2017 15:23:18 +0000 http://www.velonews.com/?p=436290 Chris Froome returns to Romandie to tune up his form for the Tour de France. The hilly Swiss race starts Monday.

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LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AFP) — Two-time defending Tour de France champion Chris Froome will test his form ahead of his bid for a fourth title in July at this week’s Tour de Romandie.

The Swiss race is designed to prepare riders for the Tour de France starting with Tuesday’s 4.8km prologue at Aigle, and including two mountain finishes before culminating with a tough 17.8km time trial Sunday in Lausanne.

Faithful to his winning pre-Tour de France formula, the 31-year-old Briton will be backed up by French teammate Kenny Elissonde, whose help will be particularly precious in the mountains.

Froome won the Swiss race in 2013 and 2014 going on to win the Tour de France in 2013, 2015, and 2016.

This year’s race brings together the 18 WorldTour teams plus one invitation for Belgian outfit Wanty-Groupe Gobert.

Several big names are absent including last year’s top two finishers: Nairo Quintana of Colombia and France’s Thibaut Pinot, who will compete in the Giro d’Italia starting May 5.

Swiss rider Michael Albasini has already won six stages and will bid to close in on the overall record of 12 held by Italian Mario Cipollini.

Tour de Romandie 2017 stages

Stage 1, April 25: Aigle prologue (4.8km)
Stage 2, April 26: Aigle to Champéry (173.3km)
Stage 3, April 27: Champéry to Bulle (160.7km)
Stage 4, April 28: Payerne to Payerne (187km)
Stage 5, April 29: Domdidier to Leysin (163.5km)
Stage 6, April 30: Lausanne individual time trial (17.88km)

Teams and lead riders

Ag2r La Mondiale (Matthias Frank, Alexis Vuillermoz)
Astana
Bahrain-Merida
BMC (Tejay van Garderen)
Bora-Hansgrohe
Cannondale-Drapac (Rigoberto Uran)
Quick-Step Floors (Bob Jungels)
FDJ (David Gaudu, Steve Morabito)
Lotto-Soudal (Thomas De Gendt)
Movistar (Winner Anacona)
Orica-Scott (Michael Albasini)
Dimension Data
Katusha-Alpecin (Simon Spilak, Ilnur Zakarin)
LottoNL-Jumbo (Jurgen Van Den Broek)
Sky (Chris Froome)
Sunweb (Warren Barguil)
Trek-Segafredo (Jarlinson Pantano)
UAE Abu Dhabi (Diego Ulissi)
Wanty-Groupe Gobert

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