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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion
Saturday, August 30, 2014

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Robert Kiserlovski Joins Tinkoff-Saxo

Trek Factory Racing rider Robert Kiserlovski is moving over to Tinkoff-Saxo. Here's the Tinkoff-Saxo press release on the signing:

Tinkoff-Saxo is pleased to announce that Robert Kiserlovski will join the team in 2015. The Croatian rider will make the move and ride for Tinkoff-Saxo after signing a two-year deal. Ambitious team owner Oleg Tinkov sees Kiserlovski as a strong addition to the roster.

“Robert is a very proven rider and a strong climber. We need a rider like him in our squad and I’m pleased to welcome him on the best cycling team in the world”, says Oleg Tinkov.

As a solid climber, Kiserlovski finished 10th overall at the 2010 Giro d’Italia, while riding in support of winner Ivan Basso, who’ll also make the move to Tinkoff-Saxo in 2015. According to team manager Bjarne Riis, 28-year old Kiserlovski will be an important rider when the road gets steep.

“I look forward to having Robert on the team. He’ll be important in the Grand Tours and throughout the season to bolster our team in hilly and mountainous terrain. When he’ at his best, he’s a rider that can offer crucial help to our captains in decisive situations and perform on his own. I’m confident that Robert will be able to improve even more on our team”, tells Bjarne Riis.

The protagonist himself is excited about the move to Tinkoff-Saxo.

“I'm really happy to join a team that has so many prominent athletes. I like the teamwork and I'm looking forward to the next two seasons. I’ll be ready every time a great champion like Alberto Contador needs my help”, concludes former Croatian champion and coming rider of Tinkoff-Saxo Robert Kiserlovski.

Robert kiserlovski

Robert Kiserlovski riding stage 20 of the 2014 Giro d'Italia. Photo ©Sirotti

Alessandro De Marchi on his Vuelta Stage Seven Win

"I have been waiting for this moment for much time this year. From Criterium Dauphiné through the Tour de France I always tried to take a win like this. It was just destiny to wait until my first ride at the Vuelta to take it. I dedicate this success to my team, a great group that unfortunately is going to end, and to the memory of Alfredo Martini, a part of Italian cycling.

"Since the meeting on the bus in the morning I thought the stage was suited for a breakaway. I had good feeling and I decided to try and try. When the gap was enough, I understood that I had to push more. Only in the finale I had doubt because the peloton was reducing the gap, but anyway I was confident. I'm really sorry for Hesjedal because we did most of the work in the breakaway. I waited for one km after he crashed, he deserved to play his chances as much as me. But at 12 km to go, before the last climb, I knew it was the right moment for me to attack and I could not lose that chance.

"The podium in Paris, one month ago, was a great satisfaction. Today I was not on the Champs Elysees but I had the chance to win alone in a grand tour - these two moments have the same importance for me. I'm really happy for what I did today, but I know my role in a team is to help the leaders. Of course, when I'm free to do my race, I'm ready - I hope for other chances in the future".

Alessandro De Marchi

Alessandro De Marchi wins 2014 Vuelta stage seven. Photo ©Sirotti

Team Belkin on Vuelta Stage Seven

The Dutch Team Belkin found stage seven tough. Here's their take on it:

Team Belkin survives hellish Vuelta stage
The Belkin Pro Cycling Team managed to stay out of trouble in the seventh stage of the Vuelta a España. The stage, which was won by solo attacker Alessandro De Marchi (Cannondale) in Alcaudete, got off to a tumultuous start.

“The course was tough and the riders made ​​it extra hard,” said Sports Director Erik Dekker. “The start was fast and not long after, all hell broke loose. In the first hour, about hundred riders were dropped. If that happens in a pro peloton, the pace must be really, really high.”

Belkin Pro Cycling Team’s overall riders were not surprised. “Our guys were in front, so that was good. That also was the case when Chris Froome crashed. I’m glad that we haven’t suffered any damage.”

Robert Gesink finished 11th and was the best placed rider of the team. In the overall, he still sits seventh behind Alejandro Valverde. Gesink said, “In the sprint, I wanted to follow Dan Martin, but unfortunately I couldn’t.”

Despite the lower temperatures today, Gesink still had a tough day. “It went up and down all day, and I think that many guys suffered. The profile appeared to be flat, but I’ve learnt that you can never trust the Spanish profiles. I have miscalculated before and seriously suffered. As a GC rider you need to stay focused every day.”

Robert Gesink

Robert Gesink at the Vuelta's start. Photo ©Sirotti

BMC on Vuelta Stage Seven

While we're at it, here's BMC on how Vuelta stage seven went:

BMC Racing Team's Philippe Gilbert finished fifth Friday at the Vuelta a España while teammate Samuel Sánchez avoided a crash near the finish line

Alessandro De Marchi (Cannondale Pro Cycling) soloed out of a breakaway to win the 169-kilometer race, 94 seconds ahead of breakaway companions Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Sharp), Hubert Dupont (Ag2r La Mondiale) and Johann Tschopp (IAM Cycling). As Gilbert was surging past Daniel Martin (Garmin-Sharp) to take fifth, Sánchez was forced to stop as Warren Barguil (Team Giant-Shimano) tumbled to the pavement on the final curve of the uphill finish. Sánchez was awarded the same finish time as the bunch in which he was riding and held onto his 12th place overall, 1:11 behind race leader Alejandro Valverde (Movistar Team). "The crash was luckily avoidable," Sánchez said. "Today's stage was made harder by the wind and crashes and I think everybody can't wait for the rest day. After seven stages, the GC (general classification) is decided a bit. But the hard part is still to come and everything is possible."

Sport Director Fabio Baldato said the BMC Racing Team tried hard to put a rider in the day's breakaway, knowing the right combination could go all the way to the finish. "The team was fighting from the first attack," Baldato said. "Manuel Quinziato was going on the flat part and then Steve Morabito and Dominik Nerz tried to go. Finally, the break went on a difficult moment after 40 or 45 kilometers and Steve was really close to making it." Gilbert said his second top 10 finish of the race marks a turning point. "I had been suffering in the warm weather conditions like a lot of riders," the past world road champion said. "Now the heat is a little less and I am feeling better. Even if it is only fifth place, it gives me confidence for next week."

Philippe Gilbert

Philippe Gilbert finishes stage seven. Photo ©Sirotti

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