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Cycling Racing News and Opinion
Saturday, September 6, 2014

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Vuelta Stage 13 Rider and Team Comments

BMC's take on stage 13:

Samuel Sánchez finished in a group that included the race leader Friday at the Vuelta a España to hold onto his sixth place overall as the race heads back into the mountains.

Daniel Navarro (Cofidis Solutions Crédits) soloed to take the stage win two seconds ahead of Daniel Moreno (Katusha Team) and Wilco Kelderman (Belkin Pro Cycling) while Sánchez placed 14th in the 188.7-kilometer stage. He remains 1:52 behind race leader Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) with the next three stages featuring significant climbing. BMC Racing Team Sport Director Valerio Piva said the team's primary goal was to protect Sánchez's place in the overall standings. "Philippe Gilbert was hoping to do a result here, but I think it was too hard for him," Piva said of the climb in the last three kilometers of the finish in the Parque de Cabárceno. "Samuel had good help from the team to save his position. He was in a good place."

BMC Racing Team's Daniel Wyss was part of an 11-strong group that spent the majority of the race about three minutes ahead of an ORICA-GreenEDGE-led peloton. "The first objective of the team was to go for Philippe, so I was there really to protect him," Wyss said. When the escapees reached the final categorized climb, only Wyss and four others remained in front over the top. But a concerted chase by FDJ.fr brought an end to their freedom inside the final eight kilometers. "At one point, I thought maybe I could go for the stage and we could go to the end," Wyss said. "But FDJ.fr pulled us back. I had good legs. I was happy to be in the front and I think it was good to protect the team this way."

Danilo Wyss

Danilo Wyss. Photo © Sirotti

Tinkoff-Saxo had this to say about Vuelta Stage 13:

Today’s 188.7 kilometer long 13th stage of the Vuelta a Espana from Belorado to Obregón at Parque de Carbárceno contained three minor categorized climbs. All placed in the final part of the stage, the short slopes split up the breakaway, which finally lead to its demise. Tinkoff-Saxo once again defended the overall lead in a thrilling high-pace finale.

A group consisting of Alexey Lutsenko (Astana), Jay Thomson (MTN-Qhubeka), Peter Sagan (Cannondale), Paolo Longo Borghini (Cannondale), Jasper Stuyven (Trek Factory Racing), Damiano Cunego (Lampre-Merida), Stef Clement (Belkin), Luis Leon Sanchez (Caja Rural), Danilo Wyss (BMC), Damien Gaudin (Ag2r-La Mondiale) and Vegard Breen (Lotto-Belisol) created a gap at the stage.

However, the group split up on the final slopes of the stage. In the peloton, the Tinkoff-Saxo riders were constantly focusing on guiding Alberto Contador safely through the hectic finale without worrying too much about the escapees, as they posed no threat in the overall standings.

The sprinter teams ultimately caught the front group and entering the final ten kilometers, Tinkoff-Saxo’s Matteo Tosatto leaped forward with his teammates on his tail.  On the final steep incline to the finish line, Dani Navarro (Cofidis) managed to create a crucial gap to the GC favorites and he took the stage win while Tinkoff-Saxo’s Alberto Contador finished 7th - 5 seconds behind Navarro with the other GC contenders.

Contador still leads overall by 20 seconds ahead of Valverde.

DS, Steven De Jongh comments:

"After a fast start of the stage, things cooled down for while when the break was established. But it surely became fast and furious towards the end of the day. Our main focus was to bring Alberto safely through the day without accidents and time gaps to his rivals and I think the boys rode very well again today. Tomorrow's going to be hard for the peloton and we'll probably see much bigger time gaps in the field. We'll be protecting Alberto and hopefully the overall lead."

Alberto Contador

Alberto Contador remains in red. Photo ©Sirotti

And this word from Team Belkin on Vuelta Stage 13:

Belkin Pro Cycling team was in the thick of the action in Friday's action-packed 13th stage at the Vuelta a España. Stef Clement rode into the day's main breakaway, and Wilco Kelderman dashed to third in the 188.7km stage from Belorado to Obregón.

Kelderman said he wasn't feeling great during the stage featuring moderate climbs, but he managed to kick to his best result so far in the 69th Vuelta with third behind stage winner Dani Navarro (Cofidis).

"I picked a right moment to attack, I attacked full from the back of the group. It was OK," said Kelderman, who moved up to 13th overall. "The guys did a good job today. I did not have a really good day. I didn't feel so good on the climbs. In the end, I motivated myself, and my teammates helped me. I tried to stay with Robert, and then I could attack in the end. So it turned out good."

Belkin's Clement rode into a 13-rider breakaway that was eventually reeled in as the main pack roared toward the finish in the mountains near the Cantabrian Coast along northern Spain.

"Before the race, Wilco was asking if he could attack in the final. And Wilco went third," said Belkin Sport Director Erik Dekker. "It was a team effort today. We expected the big battle in the first hour of the race. It was the first attack at kilometre zero that went, but the first attack was the right one. Stef was there. OK, the break didn't manage to make it to the finish, but Stef did get to the top of the last big climb, so he could support our two big leaders."

Robert Gesink crossed the line eighth, safely with the main GC rivals to remain ninth overall at 2:55 behind race leader Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo).

"It was a pretty hard stage today. We thought it would be a stage for a breakaway, but some teams wanted a sprint, so that made it hectic in the final. I went full-gas in the final," Gesink said. "The next few days will be full-gas racing. I am trying to look day by day. If you start skipping days in your head, they will always be more difficult than you want. Tomorrow will be really hard."

Belkin's Paul Martens said the team is ready to support Gesink and Kelderman in Saturday's 14th stage from Santander to Sabero, ending with a steep summit finale. "The next days will be very hard, and they will be decisive in GC," Martens said. "It's now up to Robert and Wilco, and we will support them. Maybe Laurens ten Dam will have a chance in a breakaway. We will see."    

Wilco Kelderman

Wilco Kelderman. Photo ©Sirotti

Cannondale's Weekend Plans

I got this release from Cannondale regarding this weekend's two big single-day races:

Cannondale Pro Cycling will ride across Belgium and France over the next two day. The Green Machine will compete in the Brussels Cycling Classic and the Grand-Prix de Fourmies. The 202 km Brussels Cycling Classic begins tomorrow, September 6. It will start and finish in the Belgian capitol. Then, on Sunday, September 7, the team will head north to France for the 205 km Grand Prix de Fourmies.

Cannondale Pro Cycling can count on eight riders, led by team director Gilles Pauchard. Italian sprinter, and recent stage winner at Colorado's USA Pro Challenge, Elia Viviani will be the team's fastest man during both races, and all eyes will be on him during massive sprint arrivals. Moreno Moser and Kristijan Koren will also be alternative sprinters to watch each day. Jean-Marc Marino, Alan Marangoni, Michel Koch and Daniele Ratto, who returns to racing after a broken collarbone at the Tour de Suisse, will be the riders in charge to lead out the leaders in the key moments of each race and in their finales. 

"We have what we need to achieve top results in both races," said team director Pauchard. "We want to leave a mark and we can target this goal only racing as a united team. Viviani is our first option, but the entire roster is strong. We're ready to play all our chances."

Elia Viviani wins stage 2 of the 2013 Dauphiné. Photo ©Sirotti

And this from BMC on the weekend's races:

Brussels Cycling Classic
The Brussels Cycling Classic is 201.7 kilometers long. The course has changed. There are some extra loops, now the riders have to cover nineteen hills. The last one lies at just under fifty kilometers from the finish. It are particularly three hills that come back a few times: Smeysberg (5x), Langestraat (6x) and Vossemberg (6x). The finish line is drawn on the same avenue as last year, close to the Atomium. At the end there’s a lap of 15.2 kilometers. That way the riders can explore the finish. Last year André Greipel was the best. The German champion will stand at the start this Saturday. Other fast guys are Bryan Coquard, Arnaud Démare, Sacha Modolo, Giacomo Nizzolo and Tom Van Asbroeck.”

GP de Fourmies
Lars Bak, Tony Gallopin, André Greipel and Marcel Sieberg will ride both races. At the Grand Prix de Fourmies they will have to cover 205 kilometers. The Côte de Boquet and Côte du Sacré Coeur have to be climbed three times. Then there are five local laps with the Côte de l’Ancienne Gendarmerie. Démare, Modolo, Nizzolo and Van Asbroeck will also take the start in France.

Kurt Van de Wouwer, sports director: “The Brussels Cycling Classic reminds me of the ‘Druivenkoers’ in Overijse, it’s in the same area. The course is definitely not easy, but still it’s a race where a bunch sprint is a possibility. André Greipel is our man for that. We also have Tony Gallopin in the team. He’s in good condition and is definitely capable of performing well in that race, if the race development is suited for that. We’ll try to get a man in an early breakaway as well.”

“In Fourmies an early breakaway has more chance of surviving than in the Brussels Cycling Classic. Lars Bak, the winner in 2012, will definitely be motivated. Also Gallopin and our trainee Tiesj Benoot can attack. And for the bunch sprint we can rely on Greipel again. Jonas Van Genechten, who’s doing well and proved that by winning in Overijse, can show his fast legs if he’s part of a front group.”

Selection Lotto Belisol - Brussels Cycling Classic: Lars Bak, Kris Boeckmans, Sean De Bie, Tony Gallopin, André Greipel, Oliver Naesen, Marcel Sieberg and Dennis Vanendert.

Selection Lotto Belisol - GP de Fourmies: Lars Bak, Tiesj Benoot, Kenny Dehaes, Tony Gallopin, André Greipel, Marcel Sieberg, Boris Vallée and Jonas Van Genechten.

Sports director: Kurt Van de Wouwer

Tony Gallopin

Tony Gallopin at the 2014 Tour de France. Photo ©Sirotti

And here are Ag2r-La Mondial's plans:

Brussels Cycling Classic + G.P. de Fourmies

La Brussels Cycling Classic se disputera samedi 6 Septembre suivie, dimanche, du Grand Prix de Fourmies.

La composition de l’équipe AG2R LA MONDIALE pour ces deux épreuves :

Coureurs

BRUSSELS CYCLING CLASSIC

GRAND PRIX DE FOURMIES

Directeur sportif: Arturas KASPUTIS


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