Bicycle Racing News and Opinion
Saturday, April 18, 2015
Saturday, April 18, 2015
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UCI Rider, Team and Nation Rankings
I'm a bit late in posting this, but I thought they should be seen with the Ardennes Classics coming up. These, the latest rankings, were released April 12.
|1||1||PORTE Richie||TEAM SKY (SKY)||303|
|2||2||KRISTOFF Alexander||TEAM KATUSHA (KAT)||237|
|3||9||DEGENKOLB John||TEAM GIANT - ALPECIN (TGA)||232|
|4||3||THOMAS Geraint||TEAM SKY (SKY)||184|
|5||4||QUINTANA Nairo Alexander||MOVISTAR TEAM (MOV)||168|
|6||24||STYBAR Zdenek||ETIXX - QUICK STEP (EQS)||152|
|7||21||VAN AVERMAET Greg||BMC RACING TEAM (BMC)||148|
|8||5||TERPSTRA Niki||ETIXX - QUICK STEP (EQS)||140|
|9||6||POZZOVIVO Domenico||AG2R LA MONDIALE (ALM)||136|
|10||7||SAGAN Peter||TINKOFF - SAXO (TCS)||136|
|11||8||URAN Rigoberto||ETIXX - QUICK STEP (EQS)||133|
|12||10||RODRIGUEZ Joaquin||TEAM KATUSHA (KAT)||120|
|13||11||KWIATKOWSKI Michal||ETIXX - QUICK STEP (EQS)||115|
|14||12||DENNIS Rohan||BMC RACING TEAM (BMC)||114|
|15||13||CONTADOR Alberto||TINKOFF - SAXO (TCS)||114|
|16||36||BOOM Lars||ASTANA PRO TEAM (AST)||101|
|17||14||VALVERDE Alejandro||MOVISTAR TEAM (MOV)||98|
|18||15||FARIA DA Rui Alberto||LAMPRE - MERIDA (LAM)||94|
|19||16||MATTHEWS Michael||ORICA GREENEDGE (OGE)||89|
|20||17||MOLLEMA Bauke||TREK FACTORY RACING (TFR)||88|
|21||18||HENAO Sergio Luis||TEAM SKY (SKY)||86|
|22||19||PAOLINI Luca||TEAM KATUSHA (KAT)||80|
|23||20||SPILAK Simon||TEAM KATUSHA (KAT)||78|
|24||22||EVANS Cadel||BMC RACING TEAM (BMC)||76|
|25||23||IZAGUIRRE Jon||MOVISTAR TEAM (MOV)||73|
|26||25||DUMOULIN Tom||TEAM GIANT - ALPECIN (TGA)||70|
|27||26||PINOT Thibaut||FDJ (FDJ)||64|
|28||27||GALLOPIN Tony||LOTTO SOUDAL (LTS)||60|
|29||62||ELMIGER Martin||IAM CYCLING (IAM)||56|
|30||28||VANMARCKE Sep||TEAM LOTTO NL - JUMBO (TLJ)||52|
|31||29||YATES Simon||ORICA GREENEDGE (OGE)||52|
|32||30||FERNANDEZ Ruben||MOVISTAR TEAM (MOV)||52|
|33||31||BONIFAZIO Niccolo||LAMPRE - MERIDA (LAM)||51|
|34||32||TRENTIN Matteo||ETIXX - QUICK STEP (EQS)||50|
|35||33||BENOOT Tiesj||LOTTO SOUDAL (LTS)||50|
|36||42||DEBUSSCHERE Jens||LOTTO SOUDAL (LTS)||48|
|37||34||ROELANDTS Jurgen||LOTTO SOUDAL (LTS)||48|
|38||61||KEUKELEIRE Jens||ORICA GREENEDGE (OGE)||46|
|39||35||ARU Fabio||ASTANA PRO TEAM (AST)||42|
|40||37||CANCELLARA Fabian||TREK FACTORY RACING (TFR)||41|
|41||38||VALLS FERRI Rafael||LAMPRE - MERIDA (LAM)||41|
|42||39||VANDENBERGH Stijn||ETIXX - QUICK STEP (EQS)||40|
|43||40||SCARPONI Michele||ASTANA PRO TEAM (AST)||40|
|44||41||IMPEY Daryl||ORICA GREENEDGE (OGE)||39|
|45||43||POELS Wouter||TEAM SKY (SKY)||36|
|46||44||FUGLSANG Jakob||ASTANA PRO TEAM (AST)||32|
|47||45||IZAGUIRRE Gorka||MOVISTAR TEAM (MOV)||32|
|48||-||LAMPAERT Yves||ETIXX - QUICK STEP (EQS)||30|
|49||46||ATAPUMA Darwin||BMC RACING TEAM (BMC)||30|
|50||47||CIMOLAI Davide||LAMPRE - MERIDA (LAM)||30|
|51||48||BRESCHEL Matti||TINKOFF - SAXO (TCS)||22|
|52||-||ROWE Luke||TEAM SKY (SKY)||20|
|53||49||OSS Daniel||BMC RACING TEAM (BMC)||12|
|54||50||ZAKARIN Ilnur||TEAM KATUSHA (KAT)||12|
|55||51||KELDERMAN Wilco||TEAM LOTTO NL - JUMBO (TLJ)||12|
|56||52||PANTANO Jarlinson||IAM CYCLING (IAM)||11|
|57||53||BAUER Jack||CANNONDALE - GARMIN (TCG)||10|
|58||54||YATES Adam||ORICA GREENEDGE (OGE)||10|
|59||55||MALORI Adriano||MOVISTAR TEAM (MOV)||10|
|60||56||WELLENS Tim||LOTTO SOUDAL (LTS)||8|
|61||57||CHERNETSKI Sergei||TEAM KATUSHA (KAT)||8|
|62||58||MARTIN Daniel||CANNONDALE - GARMIN (TCG)||7|
|63||60||ROJAS Jose Joaquin||MOVISTAR TEAM (MOV)||7|
|64||59||VAN GARDEREN Tejay||BMC RACING TEAM (BMC)||7|
|65||65||GREIPEL André||LOTTO SOUDAL (LTS)||6|
|66||66||HAUSSLER Heinrich||IAM CYCLING (IAM)||6|
|67||63||LANDA MEANA Mikel||ASTANA PRO TEAM (AST)||6|
|68||64||FELLINE Fabio||TREK FACTORY RACING (TFR)||6|
|69||67||LOBATO Juan Jose||MOVISTAR TEAM (MOV)||6|
|70||68||ALAPHILIPPE Julian||ETIXX - QUICK STEP (EQS)||5|
|71||69||BENNETT George||TEAM LOTTO NL - JUMBO (TLJ)||4|
|72||70||KREUZIGER Roman||TINKOFF - SAXO (TCS)||4|
|73||72||DEMARE Arnaud||FDJ (FDJ)||4|
|74||71||WESTRA Lieuwe||ASTANA PRO TEAM (AST)||4|
|75||73||MARTIN Tony||ETIXX - QUICK STEP (EQS)||3|
|76||74||NIZZOLO Giacomo||TREK FACTORY RACING (TFR)||3|
|77||79||BODNAR Maciej||TINKOFF - SAXO (TCS)||2|
|78||78||DURBRIDGE Luke||ORICA GREENEDGE (OGE)||2|
|79||77||DANIELSON Thomas||CANNONDALE - GARMIN (TCG)||2|
|80||75||DE CLERCQ Bart||LOTTO SOUDAL (LTS)||2|
|81||76||KIRYIENKA Vasil||TEAM SKY (SKY)||2|
|82||80||TIRALONGO Paolo||ASTANA PRO TEAM (AST)||2|
|83||81||VALLEE Boris||LOTTO SOUDAL (LTS)||2|
|84||93||POZZATO Filippo||LAMPRE - MERIDA (LAM)||1|
|85||94||PORSEV Alexander||TEAM KATUSHA (KAT)||1|
|86||96||BRUTT Pavel||TINKOFF - SAXO (TCS)||1|
|87||95||NIELSEN Magnus Cort||ORICA GREENEDGE (OGE)||1|
|88||97||BRANDLE Matthias||IAM CYCLING (IAM)||1|
|89||98||RICHEZE Maximiliano Ariel||LAMPRE - MERIDA (LAM)||1|
|90||88||VUILLERMOZ Alexis||AG2R LA MONDIALE (ALM)||1|
|91||83||MAJKA Rafal||TINKOFF - SAXO (TCS)||1|
|92||90||SANCHEZ GIL Luis Leon||ASTANA PRO TEAM (AST)||1|
|93||87||GILBERT Philippe||BMC RACING TEAM (BMC)||1|
|94||91||INTXAUSTI Benat||MOVISTAR TEAM (MOV)||1|
|95||89||TAARAMAE Rein||ASTANA PRO TEAM (AST)||1|
|96||86||NOCENTINI Rinaldo||AG2R LA MONDIALE (ALM)||1|
|97||92||BELKOV Maxim||TEAM KATUSHA (KAT)||1|
|98||82||REZA Kévin||FDJ (FDJ)||1|
|99||84||VAN DER SANDE Tosh||LOTTO SOUDAL (LTS)||1|
|100||85||CASTROVIEJO Jonathan||MOVISTAR TEAM (MOV)||1|
|101||99||BOUET Maxime||ETIXX - QUICK STEP (EQS)||1|
|102||100||ROGERS Michael||TINKOFF - SAXO (TCS)||1|
|103||101||SOLER Marc||MOVISTAR TEAM (MOV)||1|
|104||102||DUMOULIN Samuel||AG2R LA MONDIALE (ALM)||1|
|1||1||TEAM SKY (SKY)||629|
|2||3||ETIXX - QUICK STEP (EQS)||590|
|3||2||TEAM KATUSHA (KAT)||527|
|4||4||MOVISTAR TEAM (MOV)||423|
|5||5||BMC RACING TEAM (BMC)||380|
|6||9||TEAM GIANT - ALPECIN (TGA)||302|
|7||6||TINKOFF - SAXO (TCS)||278|
|8||10||ORICA GREENEDGE (OGE)||236|
|9||11||ASTANA PRO TEAM (AST)||221|
|10||7||LAMPRE - MERIDA (LAM)||217|
|11||8||LOTTO SOUDAL (LTS)||214|
|12||12||AG2R LA MONDIALE (ALM)||139|
|13||13||TREK FACTORY RACING (TFR)||138|
|14||16||IAM CYCLING (IAM)||74|
|16||15||TEAM LOTTO NL - JUMBO (TLJ)||68|
|17||17||CANNONDALE - GARMIN (TCG)||19|
Time for the Ardennes Classics
The classics season has a sort of rhythm. With last Sunday's Paris-Roubaix, ithe great cobblestone races have been raced. Now we have a week of hilly races n the Ardennes starting with Sunday's (April 19th) Amstel Gold Race.
The UCI put out this release about Amstel Gold:
Following the end of the cobbled Classics season when the riders wheeled to a halt in Roubaix velodrome last Sunday, the UCI WorldTour now moves into a very different arena this weekend, with the Amstel Gold Race ushering in the first of three hilly Ardennes Classics.
A little over 251 kilometres long, this year’s 50th edition of the Amstel Gold Race features 33 short but often punishingly steep ascents, totalling 4000 metres of vertical climbing - as much as a medium difficulty Alpine stage of the Tour de France. Historically speaking, Cauberg, immediately preceding a short flatter section leading to the finish in Valkenburg, looks likely to be the key ascent. Just 800 metres long and with an average gradient of 12 percent, the Cauberg’s two sharp lower curves are where winning attacks have been launched on numerous previous occasions.
Philippe Gilbert (BMC Racing Team) is the standout favourite, having taken the Amstel Gold Race both on the ‘old’ route in 2010 and 2011 and again in 2014, the second year that the new finish, a little further along the hilly ridge following the Cauberg, was used. In between, of course, Gilbert was crowned World Champion on an identical course route in September 2012.
Philippe Gilbert wins the 2014 Amstel Gold Race
If the Netherlands’ only UCI WorldTour Classic therefore holds no secrets for the BMC Racing Team leader, there are plenty of other key contenders who know the Amstel Gold Race almost equally well. Jelle Vanendert (Lotto-Soudal) has twice finished second there, in 2012 and 2014, Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) has two podium finishes as well and veteran Frank Schleck (Trek Factory Racing) is a former winner of Amstel Gold Race, back in 2006. Others likely to shine on such a difficult course include reigning World Champion Michal Kwiatkowski (Etixx-Quick Step), Orica-GreenEdge’s versatile all-rounder Michael Matthews and Joaquim Rodriguez (Team Katusha), a former winner of the Fleche Wallonne, another Ardennes Classic, and recently victorious in the very hilly Vuelta Ciclista al País Vasco.
UCI WorldTour individual classification leader Richie Porte (Team Sky), currently with a total of 303 points, is not taking part, choosing to focus on other races in the build-up to his next goal, the Giro d’Italia. The Amstel Gold Race therefore becomes a key opportunity for riders like Greg Van Avermaet (BMC Racing Team), provisionally down to take part and currently seventh overall with 148 points, to regain ground. Rodriguez in twelfth place in the UCI WorldTour, Kwiatkowski in thirteenth, Valverde in seventeenth, former World Champion Rui Costa (Lampre-Merida) in eighteenth, Matthews in nineteenth and Bauke Mollema (Trek Factory Racing) in twentieth also could well be in the battle for victory on the Cauberg.
In the UCI WorldTour nations rankings, a similar scenario is likely to unfold. Australia’s lead remains unassailable in the short term, given their total of 588 points which puts them more than 130 clear of closest pursuers Spain, with 457 points, and the Netherlands with 435 points. But the Amstel Gold Race could see gaps closing between the frontrunners, and Australia, having led the classification since January, could then become vulnerable in the mid-term.
The upper rankings of the UCI WorldTour teams classification are already a much more closely contested event. Team Sky’s total of 629 points only puts the British squad 39 points clear of Etixx-Quick Step in second, whilst third placed Team Katusha, with 527 points, are not much further behind. Each Ardennes Classics race, then, could see some big changes. Watch this space.
Team Sky for Amstel Gold
Team Sky has confirmed its rider line-up for Amstel Gold Race: Philip Deignan, Nathan Earle, Sergio Henao, Peter Kennaugh, Vasil Kiryienka, Lars-Petter Nordhaug, Wout Poels and Xabier Zandio.
Lotto-Soudal's Amstel Gold News
This came in from the Belgian team:
On Sunday 19th April it’s time for the Amstel Gold Race, the first of three Ardennes classics. Tony Gallopin, Tim Wellens and Jelle Vanendert, who already was second twice, are part of the Lotto Soudal selection.
Herman Frison, sports director: “We go to the Ardennes classics with another type of riders than to the Flemish spring races. With Jelle Vanendert, Tony Gallopin and Tim Wellens we have three riders who can set a top result. Jelle has proven in the past that he can conquer a place on the podium. Tony and Tim have proven it in other races. The previous editions have taught us that the race is often decided on the ultimate ascent of the Cauberg. I think Jelle, Tim and Tony each have their specific qualities to play a role, depending on the weather conditions. I hope all three of them are in front in the final.”
“We know our opponents. BMC with Gilbert, Katusha with Rodriguez, Movistar with Valverde, Etixx – Quick-Step with Kwiatkowski and Orica – GreenEdge with Gerrans and Matthews. They will take control of the race. Everyone is convinced they know where the race will be decided, everyone knows where Gilbert likes to attack, everyone knows who’s fast at the finish. The mental aspect is important as well. It’s all about being attentive and strong enough to choose a good position and to take off on the right moment after more than 250 kilometres with lots of turns and a route that goes up and down all the time.”
Jelle Vanendert: “I had a normal preparation, almost identical to last year. I’ve always done it this way. In February and March I have to get race rhythm, but this is my time of the year. When I was fit, I always set good results here. When you have finished second two times you can win here as well. Of course it’s not so simple to do it. There’s no doubt that I’m good. I hope I perform optimally, that the circumstances are right and that I make the right tactical decisions.”
“Of course Tony and Tim want to set a good result as well. Other teams have different options as well, that can definitely be an advantage. It all depends on how they feel and how I feel; for each of us there are circumstances in which we can win. But we are respectful and professional enough to handle that in the right way. People often ask me which of the three races suits me best, but it are the same riders that come to the front. In the Amstel I finished second two times, while I think Liège-Bastogne-Liège might suit me best, although I never finished in the top five. On the other hand I already was fourth once and two times sixth in the Flèche Wallonne.”
Tim Wellens: “This is only my second Amstel Gold Race, the course is almost the same as last year, but the way I stand at the start is different. Last year I had to open the race, now I feel a lot stronger, thanks to the preparation with training camp on Tenerife and the Vuelta al País Vasco. The circumstances on training camp were perfect, beautiful weather, good roads, many uphill kilometres. Last year I was limited to follow in the Basque Country, now I could make the race.”
“This year I am one of the guys who have a protected status. It’s an advantage for the three of us, the pressure is divided. That’s a big difference compared to being the only leader. The important points on the course are obvious. From the Kruisberg and Eyserbosweg on the route goes over very narrow roads, where it is difficult to return from the background. Then we reach the Cauberg really quickly, the place to be. Last year I was part of a group that took off just before the climb, and although we stayed pretty long in front, the favourites still caught us.”
Tim Wellens at the 2014 Eneco Tour
Tony Gallopin: “I decided to sacrifice my participation in the Flemish classics for the Ardennes classics. I watched television with a special feeling the past few weeks, because I really love those races. Next Sunday we’ll know if this turns out well, but this choice gives me confidence. The preparation went smoothly. The Amstel Gold Race and Liège-Bastogne-Liège are two different races. The Amstel is a really nervous race, where you have to be very concentrated, with a specific finish. Liège-Bastogne-Liège is more historical, the roads are smoother and it’s just a bit higher in the hierarchy for us riders.”
“I hope to set a result as high as possible on Sunday. If I’m one of the last ten riders on the Cauberg, I will be able to play a role in the absolute final phase and I will be very satisfied. My sprint in a small group is an advantage I think. Guys like Gilbert and Rodriguez will choose to attack and I hope to follow them. Also Tim and Jelle have that ambition. They can read the race very well, they have the feeling for the right moment and have a very good condition. With the three of us we have to put Lotto Soudal in the picture.”
Team Selection for Lotto Soudal: Stig Broeckx, Tony Gallopin, Pim Ligthart, Jürgen Roelandts, Tosh Van der Sande, Dennis Vanendert, Jelle Vanendert and Tim Wellens.
Sports directors: Herman Frison and Frederik Willems.
This Amstel Gold Race release came from Giant-Alpecin:
This Sunday is the only UCI World Tour one-day race on Dutch ground of this season, the Amstel Gold Race.
Team Giant-Alpecin will line up with a team that is ready for the hilly race that celebrates its 50th anniversary as it aims for a good result with Tom Dumoulin (NED) who is in excellent shape, having won last week’s final stage in the Vuelta al Pais Vasco.
The race will start in Dumoulin’s hometown Maastricht before riding through his training area. To support Dumoulin in the final, the team will look to its climbers Warren Barguil (FRA) and Georg Preidler (AUT), who recently performed well in the Vuelta Ciclista Catalunya stage race in Spain.
The line up is completed by: Roy Curvers (NED), Thierry Hupond (FRA), Koen de Kort (NED), Albert Timmer (NED), and Zico Waeytens (BEL).
Tom Dumoulin: “In the past months I have worked hard in training and I have used the Vuelta al Pais Vasco as a finishing touch. The time trial win on the last day in Spain gave me a lot of confidence. Now I hope it worked out well for the upcoming period.
"After finishing Pais Vasco my main aim is to be as fit and ready as possible for Amstel Gold Race. I am really looking forward to this special race for me with the start in my back yard and riding in my training area.
“In the beginning of this week I did my last long training, mainly along this Sunday's route. The rest of the week consisted of short trainings to give my body rest and be ready for the race, so I hope the hard work will pay off."
Tom Dumoulin finishes stage 3 of this year's Tour Down Under
Warren Barguil:"I am ready for the race and I am really excited to start my campaign in the Ardennes Classics. It is an important moment for me because it is a period in my season which I have worked towards.
"Normally this race isn’t decided until shortly before the finale, and I expect the race scenario for Sunday to be the same. I hope I am able to support Tom [Dumoulin].
“It will be my first participation in Amstel Gold Race so I will learn a lot from it. The Ardennes Classics are difficult races where experience and knowledge of the route are crucial.”
Aike Visbeek: "The focus of the past week has been on recovering from Paris-Roubaix and Pais Vasco. The training to prepare for Sunday has been done. We have used this week to slowly build up the focus and talk to the riders about tactics.
"These last days we will go over the last details and discuss different race scenarios. Tom Dumoulin (NED) will be our man for the final as he will be joined by a talented team with the experienced Roy Curvers (NED) as team captain.
“The weather forecast is looking good so I expect a traditional Amstel Gold Race that will be decided on the Cauberg. I will be satisfied if we finish in the top ten on Sunday.”
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