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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion:
Thursday, September 24, 2015

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

Racing schedule:

This is World Road Championships week. Yesterday we had the Elite Men's (professional) time trial championship. The pros rode 53 kilometers (32.9 miles).

Today there are no championships scheduled. The time trials are finished and now come the road races. Riders are being allowed to train on the road circuit today.

Friday the 25th will be the Junior Women and Men Under 23 Road Championships. Saturday the 26th the Junior Men and Elite Women will race and the Elite Men's World Championships will be Sunday, the 27th.

Team Sky rider wins World Championship

Here's the Sky posting:

Vasil Kiryienka - representing Belarus - was the third-to-last rider down the start ramp and didn't put a pedal-stroke wrong as he maintained an average speed of 51.4km/h over the 53.5km course.

Kiryienka powered around the route in a time of 1 hour 2 minutes and 29 seconds and wrapped up his victory with a nine-second advantage over Italy's Adriano Malori.

The duo had been toe-to-toe for much of the race, but Kiryienka dug deepest on the final climb of Governor Street and then emptied the tank on the long drag to the finish line. Frenchman Jerome Coppel rounded out the podium a further 18 seconds adrift on what proved to be a day of surprises.

Vasil Kiryienka

Vasil Kiryienka riding to his gold medal

Tony Martin had been the pre-race favourite but the German could only manage seventh place in the standings. Australian Rohan Dennis finished one place ahead of Martin despite suffering a puncture, while Tom Dumoulin took fifth position behind Jonathan Castroviejo (Spain).

Team Sky's only other representative - Kanstantsin Siutsou - ended the day in 27th as his team-mate and Belarusian compatriot stole the show.

After the race, Kiryienka was full of praise for Team Sky's performance staff and support staff, and felt the triumph was just reward for the dedication everyone had put in in the lead up to the race. He said: "Today was no surprise for me. I planned this with the help of my team, and it's great that I've beaten so many talented riders. I want to thank Team Sky - they have done an amazing job for me and I couldn't have done this without their support. I dedicate this win to them.

"I can't say how many days I've waited for this, and how many hours I've put in on the bike. There's so many things to consider in time trialling, so much work to do with the bike and the aerodynamics. Today it was a matter of finding my balance and setting a tempo, and I am happy I could get this win."

The result caps a stellar year for Kiryienka, who won the sole individual time trial at the Giro d'Italia earlier in the season before being crowned the first-ever European Games champion in Azerbaijan.

Kiryienka is the second successive Team Sky rider to claim the time trial rainbow jersey, following in the footsteps of Sir Bradley Wiggins last season.
The 34 year old will now take a few days to rest and recover before competing again in the road race on Sunday.

Movistar was happy with the pro time trial

Here's Movistar's Adriano Malori posting:

The Movistar Team featured again on the podium of the 2015 UCI World Championships, yet with a sourer taste than after its bronze medal in last Sunday's team time trial. Adriano Malori took silver in an extremely long (53.5km), demanding Worlds ITT, as Jonathan Castroviejo (4th) offered yet another proof of the individual talent behind superb collective quality from Eusebio Unzué's squad on their Canyon tri-bars.

Malori fought until the very final slope next to the finish to make up his initial margin, 27” after 16km in, to Vasil Kiryienka (BLR), a gap the Traversetolo-based rider reduced to 24” through the second intermediate (26.5km) and only 11” at the third (42.6km). Eventually, only nine seconds avoided the U23 rainbow jersey in 2008 repeating such a fear within the pros, a truly regular progression from his 10th place in 2012 (Valkenburg) to today's silver following Firenze's 8th (2013) and Ponferrada's 6th twelve months ago.

Adriano Malori

Adriano Malori riding to his silver medal

Before the Italian and after Alex Dowsett -17th today, 2’06” behidn the winner- crossed the line Jonathan Castroviejo to complete his best Worlds ever. The Basque rouleur's performance was consistent all the way, close to the podium places through all checks -5” off third place after 26km, 14” away at 42km in- and finishing just 2.74 seconds behind the bronze medal, a result which doesn't blur another magnificent year's work by the twice Spanish ITT champion.

REACTIONS:

Adriano Malori (via TuttoBici): "I really got on my top speed well from very early into the race, and was able to increase it bit by bit through the route until the end. I gave really everything I got, but it wasn't enough to beat Kiryienka. Probably the final slope was more suited to the Belarusian than me, since he was even trailing on the GPS reference into the flat section before. Still, it has no use to complain after this - I remain really happy with this second place, which gives me a lot of confidence for big races coming in the next years. It's even more important to end a drought like this for italy, 21 years without a rider on the ITT Worlds podium.”

Jonathan Castroviejo (via Spanish Fed): “It was a surprise, to be honest - I could hardly imagine I'd be up for the podium fight. It was a really demanding TT. I felt myself pretty well, and the tailwinds on the opening 8km made it even better; it was the perfect terrain for me, and I tried to keep that speed, yet saving some energy for the steep finale. Ending up two, three seconds off the podium is awful of course, as it was quite a good opportunity, but it gives me much confidence for the near future."

Alex Dowsett (via British Cycling): "It was alright all things considered. I did what I could, made a good job of it but I wasn't seeing the numbers I'd like to. I guess I'm not overly surprised. I've taken on a lot this season and I think it's just caught up with me a bit."

Albasini re-signs with Orica-GreenEdge

This note came from the team:

Five-time Tour de Romandie stage winner Michael Albasini will ride with ORICA-GreenEDGE for a further two-years in an important re-signing for the team.

The Suisse rider, who is poised to line up in his tenth UCI Road Cycling World Championship road race this Sunday, is considered a crucial part of the Australian outfit delivering both personal results but also playing a key role in many of the team’s other major achievements.

Like ORICA-GreenEDGE, Albasini also acknowledges the successful partnership that spans the past four years, since the team’s inception. “It was very easy for me to decide on staying at ORICA-GreenEDGE because I feel 100% at home on this team,” the 34-year-old said. “I feel the different roles that I have here fit perfectly with the type of rider I am.”

“I’m proud that I’m able to pass something on to the younger riders and the perspective of moving towards being a general classfication team is something I’m really exited about for us. The team has such deep line-up for the big races and I’m looking forward to doing my best for our aspirations here with guys like (Esteban) Chaves and the Yates brothers.

“At the same time, I’m proud to be able to get my own chance in the races that suit me if the legs are OK. There are certainly some races where I want to give it a real go. The combination of those two aspects and the feeling of being part of a family on the team makes this the perfect scenario for my next seasons."

Michael Albasini

Michael Albasini winning 2015 Tour de Romandie stage 3

Albasini’s results in 2015 included two stages of the Tour de Romandie and a third place at Fleche Wallonne before his season was interrupted as one of three major injuries suffered by the team at the Tour de France.

In addition, Albasini has also been involved in the team’s 2014 Liege-Bastogne-Liege, GP Quebec and GP Montreal victories and 2013 Tour de France stage wins and four days in the Maillot Jaune.

“It’s great news that Michael is extending with the team and we hope that in the future he will eventually finish his career with us,” sport director Matt White said. “He has been a key member of our team since we started. He is such a versatile guy who has helped in getting us our biggest wins and who has also won some very solid races on his own.

“In the next two years we can expect more of the same. Some of the biggest targets we have, Alba is part of, but he is also a guy that delivers us regular WorldTour level wins every year too.”

Michael Albasini
Date of birth: 20th December 1984 (34)
Nationality: Suisse
Turned pro: 2005

Palmares:
- 5-time Tour de Romandie stage winner (2014 & 2015)
- 3rd 2015 Fleche Wallonne
- 1st 2013 Tour de France – Stage 4 (TTT)
- 1st 2012 Volta Ciclista a Catalunya – General Classification
- 1st 2011 Vuelta a Espana – Stage 12

BMC extends Bookwalter's contract

Santa Rosa, California - The BMC Racing Team announced Wednesday it has extended the contract of Brent Bookwalter through the end of the 2016 season.

Bookwalter won a stage of the USA Pro Challenge last month and led the race for two days before finishing runner-up overall to teammate Rohan Dennis. The 31-year-old American was also twice runner-up on stages at the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah last month on the way to third place overall and the sprints classification title.

"Brent has brought years of high performance and unselfish sacrifices to his fellow teammates, yet he continues to find many individual successes himself," BMC Racing Team President/General Manager Jim Ochowicz said. "His presence on the starting line always gives the team a feeling of confidence."

Bookwalter said he is excited to be returning for a team-leading ninth season. "This is where I feel like I am home and where I have been able to grow and develop and find personal success while helping the team achieve many of its goals as well," he said. "I feel like it is a great relationship and partnership and it is really exciting to be able to continue it for another year."

Brent Bookwalter

Brent Bookwalter

After joining the team in 2008, Bookwalter finished runner-up in the Stage 1 individual time trial of the 2010 Giro d'Italia. In 2011, he helped Cadel Evans win the Tour de France. In 2013, he won the opening stage of the Tour of Qatar on the way to a runner-up finish overall. He was also runner-up at the inaugural Tour of Alberta. The same year, he earned silver medals in both the road race and the time trial at the national championships.

"The success I have been able to find is a testament to a lot of hard work and commitment from myself, the people who are close to me and from the BMC Racing Team," Bookwalter said. "I have been fortunate to have close advisors, family and friends who have helped me develop and continue to progress. It has been fulfilling to step into a leadership role when the opportunity arises and I am looking forward to more of these opportunities in 2016. Whether it is working for others as a teammate, or continuing my path as a more veteran rider of the team, I feel like I am still improving and have yet to reach my best level."

Bookwalter will compete for the final time this season Sunday at the UCI world road championships. before organizing the second running of his "Bookwalter Binge Gran Fondo" next month in Black Mountain, N.C.

Cult Energy signs Lennard Kämna

The coming Cult Energy-Stölting Group has just signed a two year contract with the German U23 German national time trial champion, Lennard Kämna. The only 19 year old German time trial specialist took bronze in the U23 time trial World Championships a few days ago where he concluded the 30 kilometer long course in 37.51 minutes.

Kämna is currently representing Team Stölting and will stay in familiar surroundings in the 2016 season: “I’m really excited and obviously looking forward to taking the step up as a fulltime professional. Especially, I enjoy the fact that several other teammates will join me from Team Stölting but I’m also embracing the opportunity of getting to gain knowledge from more experienced riders. I have already been out training with Linus (Gerdemann), which was quite an experience and I know there’s still a lot to learn,” says Lennard Kämna who won the u19 time trial World Championships in 2014.

Lennard Kamna

Lennard Kämna riding to his bronze medal at the world's

Cult Energy-Stölting Group CEO, Christan Große Kreul comments: “Signing Lennard Kämna was the natural choice for us. We have witnessed him grow as a rider and we’re looking forward to continuing our partnership with him. Besides his obvious time trial skills, he’s a solid climber and a loyal teammate and he’s undoubtedly going to be a big asset for our 2016 roster. Taking bronze in his first U23 World Championships only underlines his huge talent and I reckon he’ll be able to continue developing at Cult Energy-Stölting Group in the coming two seasons,” concludes Christian Große Kreul.

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