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Cycling Racing News and Opinion
August 3, 2014

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Men's Commonwealth Games Road Race

168.2 km, Glasglow. 12 classified finishers.

Winner's average speed: 39.876 km/hr

  1. Geraint Thomas (Wales) 4hr 13min 5sec
  2. Jack Bauer (New Zealand) @ 1min 21sec
  3. Scott Thwaites (England) s.t.
  4. Russell Downing (England) @ 4min 29sec
  5. Mark Renshaw (Australia) s.t.
  6. Luke Rowe (Wales) @ 4min 32sec
  7. Greg Hendereson (New Zealand) @ 5min 15sec
  8. Peter Kennaugh (Isle of Man) s.t.
  9. Dan Craven (Namibia) @ 9min 3sec
  10. Scott Davies (Wales)@ 10min 10sec
  11. David Millar (Scotland) @ 10min 21sec
  12. Caleb Ewen (Australia) @ 11min 22sec

Women's Commonwealth Games Road Race

98.1 km, Glasgow. winner's average speed: 37.085 km/hr

  1. Lizzie Armistead (England) 2hr 38min 43sec
  2. Emma Pooley (England) 2hr 39min 8sec
  3. Ashleigh Pasio (South Africa) 2hr 39min 54sec
  4. Tiffany Cromwell (Australia) s.t.
  5. Linda Villumsen (New Zealand) 2hr 39min 57sec
  6. Gracie Elvin (Australia) 2hr 41min 2sec
  7. Katie Archibald (Scotland) s.t.
  8. Leah Kirchmann (Canada) 2hr 44min 12sec
  9. Joanne Kiesanowski (New Zealand) s.t.
  10. Melissa Hoskins (Australia) s.t.

Tinkoff-Saxo Extends contract with Majka

It looks like Rafal has secure employment for the next three years. When I woke up this press release from the Pro Tour team was waiting for me:

"Tinkoff-Saxo is proud to announce that the team has signed a new 3-year contract with Rafal Majka. The 24-year old rider is one of the major talents in cycling and has shown his potential as a top GC-rider for the seasons to come. Team manager Bjarne Riis brought Majka to the team in 2011 and is very pleased with how he has grown.
" 'I’m very happy to announce that we’ve extended Rafal’s contract. He still had one year left of his contract but he deserved to get an extension after his efforts this year and during the Tour. He has developed solidly and quickly during the last seasons. I know how hard Rafal has worked during the season and he definitely deserves a spot on the team', says Bjarne Riis.

"Rafal Majka has proved his ability as a climber and GC-rider by finishing 7th and 6th in the last two editions of Giro d’Italia and by winning the mountains classification and two stages in this year’s Tour de France. Bjarne Riis is certain that we haven’t seen Majka’s full potential yet.
" 'The way Rafal performed during the Tour coming out of a hard Giro shows that it’s realistic to aim for the podiums in the Grand Tours. He is still young and he can still improve and become even better but he’ll be a key rider for us', explains Bjarne Riis.
"Team owner Oleg Tinkov is pleased with the new deal, as he has seen how the winner of the polka dot jersey has improved under the supervision of the team’s sporting staff.
" 'Rafal is one of the youngest and most talented riders in the peloton. He obviously has a great future ahead of him. It’s a pleasure for the team to have such a skilled rider like Rafa for the next three years. He’s capable of winning Grand Tours some day and I’m absolutely sure that our team is the best place for him to develop and to get experience', concludes Oleg Tinkov."

Rafal Majka

Rafal Majka on his way to winning stage 14 of this year's Tour de France. Photo ©Sirotti

The Polish rider had a terrific Tour de France, winning two stages and the polka-dot jersey. He is now leading his team's efforts at the Tour of Poland.

Lotto-Belisol on the Tour of Poland

While I'm printing team press releases, here's Lotto-Belisol's info on the Tour of Poland which start today (Sunday, August 3):

"Tomorrow the 71st Tour de Pologne starts in Gdansk, in the north of the country. After seven stages this WordTour race will come to an end in Kraków. The first four days the stages are mainly flat. It's only on Thursday the hard work begins. During the fifth stage the Tour de Pologne goes to Slovakia. That day there are five climbs on the course. The first category climb in finish place Strbskie Pleso will be covered three times. The penultimate stage consists of four laps with two climbs of first category, followed by a climb where no points can be earned for the KOM classification and where the finish line is drawn. An individual time trial of 25 kilometers closes the Tour de Pologne.

"The overall winner of 2013, Pieter Weening, will start tomorrow just like Rafal Majka, winner of the mountain classification of the Tour. Fast guys are among other Theo Bos, Oscar Gatto and Tyler Farrar. Sports director Jean-Pierre Heynderickx gives a preview from the Lotto Belisol point of view.

Jean-Pierre Heynderickx: 'Definitely the first three stages are cut out for sprinters. Kenny Dehaes, Boris Vallée and Jonas Van Genechten are our fast guys. The form of the day will decide about who will be our man. The fourth stage can also end with a sprint, but it's more hilly. This stage is also perfect for a break with Pim ligthart for example. The fifth and sixth stage are hard and then it's up to the climbers. For Bart De Clercq we'll have to see how it goes after the injury he incurred in the Tour. Maxime Monfort is building up to the Vuelta. Armée, De Clercq and Monfort are our GC riders. The time trial on the last day is an advantage for Maxime.'
"Selection Lotto Belisol: Sander Armée, Vegard Breen, Bart De Clercq, Kenny Dehaes, Pim Ligthart, Maxime Monfort, Boris Vallée and Jonas Van Genechten.

"Sports directors: Jean-Pierre Heynderickx and Bart Leysen."

Cannondale on Tour of Poland

Here's the news from Cannondale on the Tour of Poland:

"On Sunday, August 3, Cannondale Pro Cycling will race the first stage of the Tour de Pologne, a UCI World Tour stage race. In addition to the Tour de Pologne's opening event, the race includes another six stages. This will be an important opportunity for the eight selected Green Machine athletes to take stage wins and earn general classification points.

"The Tour de Pologne line-up includes: Damiano Caruso, who took third in GC at July's Tour of Austria; the rising star Davide Formolo; and the Tour de Pologne 2012 winner Moreno Moser as main leaders for the overall ranking. Oscar Gatto, a two-stage winner at the Tour of Austria, will seek to  follow up his great performance by hunting hilly stages, while Guillaume Boivin will be the key rider for massive sprints. Davide Villella will be another Italian to watch, while Matthias Krizek will be a reliable support in flat stages and José Sarmiento on the mountains.

" 'We assembled a really well-equipped team, and we're ready to play a leading role every day,' said team director Dario Mariuzzo, the team's technical guide who will be on site with directeur sportif Biagio Conte. 'We have few and different chances for any type of routes. I'm confident we can take important satisfactions. As happened at Tour of Austria, the team spirit could be the key to achieve our goal.' "

Oscar Gatto

Oscar Gatto wins stage 8 of the 2011 Giro d'Italia. Photo ©Sirotti

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