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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion
Friday, February 13, 2015

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

Upcoming Races

The Tour of Qater ends today. We would be covering the Tour Méditerranéen, but the promoter's financial difficulties have forced him to cancel this year's edition.

From here we move on to races in Spain. On Saturday, the 14th there is the single-day Vuelta Ciclista a Murcia (1.1) and on Sunday the 15th the Clasica de Almeria (1.1) is run. Fotoreporter Sirotti will be sending us pictures from these two races.

Then we return to the Middle East for the Tour of Oman (HC). It starts the 17th of February and runs through the 22nd.

And on the 18th, we've got two important Iberian stage races starting: the Portuguese Volta ao Algarve (2.1) and the Vuelta a Andalucia Ruta Ciclista del Sol (2.1) in Spain.

And it's only February....

Nairo Quintana Out of Vuelta a Andalucia

2014 Giro d'Italia winner Nairo Quintana had planned to start his European racing season at the Vuelta a Andalucia later this month, but a bad crash at the Colombian Road Championships on Sunday has ultimately left him too beat up to race this week. He'll start his season at Italy's Tirreno-Adriatico in early March.

Nairo Quintana

Nairo Quintana enjoys his 2014 Giro victory

Lampre-Merida on the Tour of Qatar Fifth Stage

Lampre-Merida sent their summary of the Tour of Qatar's fifth stage:

"Wind and speed: two permanent traits of Tour of Qatar that characterized once again the Arab race, also in the 5th stage.

Tour of Qatar fifth stage finish

Tour of Qatar fifth stage finish

"For Lampre-Merida, Sacha Modolo could pass the wind traps and the echelons and so he could fight against the best sprinters in the world. The blue-fuchsia-green cyclist tried to achieve the goal of the first seasonal victory on the arrival of Madinat ash Shamal, 153 from the start in Al Zubara Fort, but he could not enter in the top 10: he was 11th.

"33 riders took part in the final sprint, that was won by Kristoff: the Norwegian athlete tried to exploit a change of the wind direction at 5 km to go to escape with a restricted group of riders, forcing the other cyclists (Modolo too) to an intense chase that was completed at -2500 meters, just before the sprint that Kristoff won (photo Watson/Bettini).

"Day after day our group spirit is improving and our performances are more and more satisfying: today we've been able to support Modolo, the athlete in our group with the best condition, until the last change of wind - sport director Mauduit explained - Sacha was realizing a good performance, it's a pity he had to spent the remaining energies to chase the head of the race in the last 2 km.
I'm happy to have seen the improvements Richeze made: in the first stages he was struggling against breathing troubles, now he's going better and today he gave a very good support to Modolo".

Lotto-Soudal Rosters for Upcoming Iberan Races

Lotto-Soudal just sent me their list of riders they are sending to the weekend Iberian races:

Tony Gallopin

Lotto-Soudal rider Tony Gallopin at this year's Etoile de Besseges will be at the Volta au Algarve

"From Wednesday 18th February until Sunday 22nd February Lotto-Soudal has a double programme. In Spain the Vuelta Ciclista a Andalucía, or Ruta del Sol, will be contested for the 61st time while in Portugal the 41st edition of the Volta ao Algarve will take place. These are the Lotto-Soudal team rosters for the two Europe Tour races.

Volta ao Algarve: Tiesj Benoot, Stig Broeckx, Sean De Bie, Jens Debusschere, Tony Gallopin, André Greipel, Jürgen Roelandts and Marcel Sieberg.

Sports directors: Herman Frison and Kurt Van de Wouwer.

Ruta del Sol: Bart De Clercq, Pim Ligthart, Maxime Monfort, Jurgen Van den Broeck,  Jelle Vanendert, Louis Vervaeke and Tim Wellens.

Sports directors: Bart Leysen and Marc Wauters.

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