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Cycling News and Opinions
Unfair and Unbalanced
March, 2012

Back to news and opinion index page for links to archived stories

March 26: Here are the new UCI World Tour rankings after the Tour of Catalonia and Gent-Wevelgem:

Individuals:

  1. Simon Gerrans (GreenEdge): 210 points
  2. Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas): 182
  3. Alejandro Valverde (Movistar): 167
  4. Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma-Quick Step): 166
  5. Oscar Freire (KAtusha): 140
  6. Peter Sagan (Liquigas): 129
  7. Michael Albasini (GreenEdge): 112
  8. Bradley Wiggins (Sky): 112
  9. Lieuwe Westra (Vacansoleil): 92
  10. Samuel Sanchez (Euskaltel): 88
  11. Fabian Cancellara (Radio Shack-Nissan): 86
  12. Christopher horner (Radio Shack-Nissan): 84
  13. Roman Kreuziger (Astana): 78
  14. Tiago Machado (Radio Shack-Nissan): 72
  15. Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Lotto-Belisol): 70
  16. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Sky): 70
  17. Rigoberto Uran (Sky): 63
  18. Simon Spilak (Katusha): 62
  19. Rinaldo Nocentini (Ag2r): 61
  20. Michael Rogers (Sky): 61
  21. Daniel Martin (Garmin-Barracuda): 60
  22. Tejay Van Garderen (BMC): 51
  23. Johnny Hoogerland (Vacansoleil): 51
  24. Matti Breschel (Rabobank): 50
  25. Bernhard Eisel (Sky): 50
  26. Joaquin Rodriguez (Katusha): 46
  27. Damiano Cunego (Lampre): 44
  28. Robert Kiserlovski (Astana): 41
  29. Arnold Jeannesson (FDJ-Big Mat): 40
  30. Jan Bakelants (Radio Shack-Nissan): 40
  31. Daniele Bennati (Radio Shack-Nissan): 33
  32. Sep Vanmarcke (Garmin-Barracuda): 31
  33. Michele Scarponi (Lampre): 31
  34. Maxime Monfort (Radio Shack-Nissan) 30
  35. Alessandro Ballan (BMC): 26
  36. André Greipel (Lotto-Belisol): 22
  37. Matteo Carrara (Vacansoleil): 21
  38. Javier Moreno (Movistar): 20
  39. Sylvain Chavanel (Omega Pharma-Quick Step): 20
  40. Wouter Poels (Vacansoleil): 20
  41. Dario Cataldo (Omega Pharma-Quick Step): 15
  42. Michael Matthews (Rabobank): 15
  43. Marco Marcato (Vacansoleil): 14
  44. Matthieu Ladagnous (FDJ-Big Mat): 14
  45. Steve Chainel (FDJ-Big Mat): 10
  46. Daniel Oss (Liquigas): 10
  47. Christophe Riblon (Ag2r): 10
  48. Gianni Meersman (Lotto-Belisol): 8
  49. Yauheni Hutarovich (FDJ-Big Mat): 7
  50. Luis Leon Sanchez (Rabobank): 7

Nations:

  1. Spain: 461 points
  2. Italy: 351
  3. Belgium: 337
  4. Australia: 297
  5. Switzerland: 198
  6. Netherlands: 164
  7. United States: 141
  8. Slovakia: 129
  9. Great Britain: 118
  10. France: 94
  11. Czech Republic: 78
  12. Slovenia: 73
  13. Portugal: 72
  14. Norway: 71
  15. Colombia: 63
  16. Ireland: 60
  17. Austria: 51
  18. Denmark: 50
  19. Croatia: 41
  20. Germany: 30
  21. Russia: 8
  22. Poland: 8
  23. Belarus: 7
  24. Sweden: 6
  25. Canada: 2
  26. New Sealand: 1
  27. Luxembourg: 1
  28. Argentina: 1

Teams:

  1. Sky: 356 points
  2. GreenEdge: 333
  3. Liquigas: 326
  4. Radio Shack-Nissan: 315
  5. Katusha: 256
  6. Omega Pharma-Quick Step): 209
  7. Movistar: 198
  8. Vacansoleil: 198
  9. Astana: 130
  10. Lotto-Belisol: 101
  11. Garmin-Barracuda: 97
  12. Euskaltel: 88
  13. Lampre: 86
  14. BMC: 78
  15. Rabobank: 77
  16. Ag2r: 76
  17. FDJ-Big Mat: 71
  18. Saxo: 2

March 22: Terrible winds, rain, snow and ice forced the organizers of the Tour of Catalonia to shorten Stage 3 (March 21), what was expected to be the year's queen stage. Nearly 40 riders abandoned, some badly injured after trying to fight the abominable conditions. Now this morning there are reports that this morning five of the teams (Katusha, Omega Pharma, Ag2r, FDJ and Saxo) are stuck in their hotel, block by a meter of snow. Later on: It looks like they were able escape their snowy jail and Michael Albasini went on to win the Tour of Catalonia.

March 12: The UCI released its new World Tour rankings after the end of Paris-Nice:

Riders:

  1. Alejandro Valverde (Movistar): 167 points
  2. Bradley Wiggins (Sky): 112
  3. Simon Gerrans (GreenEdge): 110
  4. Lieuwe Westra (Vacansoleil): 92
  5. Tiago Machado (Radio Shack-Nissan): 72
  6. Simon Spilak (Katusha): 62
  7. Michael Rogers (Sky): 61
  8. Tejay Van Garderen (BMC): 51
  9. Arnold Jeannesson (FDJ-Big Mat): 40
  10. Jan Bakelants (Radio-Shack-Nissan): 40
  11. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Sky): 34
  12. Maxime Monfort (Radio Shack-Nissan): 30
  13. Sylvain Chavanel (Omega Pharma-Quick Step): 20
  14. Javier Moreno (Movistar): 20
  15. André Greipel (Lotto-Belisol): 18
  16. Michael Matthews (Rabobank): 15
  17. Robert Kiserlovski (Astana): 10
  18. Gianni Meersman (Lotto-Belisol): 8
  19. Luis-Leon Sanchez (Rabobank): 7
  20. Thomas De Gendt (Vacansoleil): 7
  21. Yauheni Hutarovich (FDJ-Big Mat): 7
  22. Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma-Quick Step): 6
  23. Gustav Larsson (Vacansoleil): 6
  24. Oscar Freire (Katusha): 6
  25. Alessandro Petacchi (Lampre): 6
  26. José Joaquin Rojas (Movistar): 5
  27. Grega Bole (Lampre): 5
  28. Mark Renshaw (Rabobank): 5
  29. Angel Vicioso (Katusha): 4
  30. Eduard Vorganov (Katusha): 4

Teams:

  1. Sky: 207 points
  2. Movistar: 192
  3. Radio Shack-Nissan:: 149
  4. GreenEdge: 111
  5. Vacansoleil: 105
  6. Katusha: 78
  7. BMC: 78
  8. FDJ-Big Mat: 47
  9. Omega Pharma-Quick Step: 33
  10. Lotto-Belisol: 27
  11. Rabobank: 27
  12. Astana: 11
  13. Lampre: 11
  14. Garmin-Barracuda: 3
  15. Ag2r: 2
  16. Liquigas: 2

Nations:

  1. Spain: 205 points
  2. Australia: 193
  3. Great Britain: 112
  4. Netherlands: 92
  5. Belgium: 91
  6. Portugal: 72
  7. Slovenia: 67
  8. France: 62
  9. United States: 54
  10. Norway: 35
  11. Germany: 26
  12. Italy: 12
  13. Croatia: 10
  14. Belarus: 7
  15. Sweden: 6
  16. Russia: 4
  17. New Zealand: 1

March 6: Sorry for the silence. Carol and I have been working like crazy getting the second volume of The Story of the Giro d'Italia ready for publication. We're close. The book text is laid out, the index has been started, photos placed within the text.

I have all the goodies posted from my trip to the Gent 6-Day bicycle race, including videos, and interviews with Jan Janssen, Freddy Maertens and Jac van Meer. I highly recommend the van Meer interview. He was a fine journeyman rider who shed a lot of light on the nuts and bolts of being a pro rider.

I'm late to the party, but I've started embedding videos where appropriate, such as in this page with results from the 1952 Giro d'Italia. It's at the bottom of the page. There's a link at the top of the page.

Also, now that I've posted results with running GC for every stage of every Tour de France, I'm going back and posting complete final GC's with rider's teams. Working from 1903 I'm up to 1972. Also, I'm posting results for every stage of every Giro d' Italia, again including all stages with running GC. I just finished 1956. After I'm done with the Giro, I'll move on to Paris-Roubaix and Tour of Flanders.

Books coming up after The Story of the Giro d'Italia...Les Woodland's The Great Sticky Bun Hunt, the delightful story of his cycling trip across the U.S. has been sitting in my in box for a year. We'll publish it this spring. And this summer we'll publish his Inside Story of Paris-Roubaix.

I got a neat press release from Team Lampre-ISD regarding the equipment they used at the Strade Bianche race this weekend:

Some interesting info about the technical choices performed by Lam pre-ISD's mechanics in Strade Bianche.
Considering the tough hills, the dirty roads sectors and the wet and sunny weather (22°), the Blue-Fuchsia [Lampre team colors] cyclists used:
- Wheels Fulcrum R Zero for riders Buts, Cimolai and Mori; Fulcrum Racing Light for Niemiec; wheels at 32 spokes for Malori, Graziato, Dmytro Krivtsov and Viganò.
- Tubulars Vittoria Pavè 24 section on all the wheels. In the tubulars the product Pit Stop Vittoria was inserted in order to avoid punctures (only two punctures during the race occurred).
- Tubular pressure at the start: 7.5 atmospheres front, 7.8 atmospheres rear.
- Tubular pressure at the arrival: 6.3 atmospheres front, 6.5 atmospheres rear.
- gears: 53-39 and 12-27.