VeloNews.com http://velonews.competitor.com Competitive Cycling News, Race Results and Bike Reviews Sun, 01 Mar 2015 19:17:11 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0.1 Gallery: 2015 Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/03/news/gallery-2015-kuurne-brussels-kuurne_361938 http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/03/news/gallery-2015-kuurne-brussels-kuurne_361938#comments Sun, 01 Mar 2015 18:31:15 +0000 http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=361938

The sprint unfolds. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

Tim De Waele captures the action at the 2015 edition of the semi-classic Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne

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The sprint unfolds. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

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Results: 2015 Drome Classic http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/03/news/results-2015-drome-classic_361951 http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/03/news/results-2015-drome-classic_361951#comments Sun, 01 Mar 2015 18:05:14 +0000 http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=361951 Results from the 2015 Drome Classic

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  • 1. Samuel DUMOULIN, AG2R LA MONDIALE, in 5:10:41
  • 2. Fabio FELLINE, TREK FACTORY RACING, at :04
  • 3. Sébastien DELFOSSE, WALLONIE-BRUXELLES, at :07
  • 4. Cyril GAUTIER, TEAM EUROPCAR, at :09
  • 5. Peter STETINA, BMC RACING TEAM, at :09
  • 6. Rudy MOLARD, COFIDIS, SOLUTIONS CREDITS, at :09
  • 7. Yann GUYOT, EQUIPE CYCLISTE DE L’ARMEE DE TERRE, at :09
  • 8. Bauke MOLLEMA, TREK FACTORY RACING, at :13
  • 9. Jonathan HIVERT, BRETAGNE-SECHE ENVIRONNEMENT, at :19
  • 10. Gianluca BRAMBILLA, ETIXX-QUICK STEP, at :19
  • 11. Yohan BAGOT, COFIDIS, SOLUTIONS CREDITS, at :25
  • 12. Ivan SANTAROMITA, ORICA GreenEDGE, at :28
  • 13. Romain BARDET, AG2R LA MONDIALE, at :39
  • 14. Mikael CHEREL, AG2R LA MONDIALE, at 1:49
  • 15. Alo JAKIN, AUBER 93, at 1:49
  • 16. Brent BOOKWALTER, BMC RACING TEAM, at 1:49
  • 17. Yannick EIJSSEN, WANTY-GROUPE GOBERT, at 1:49
  • 18. Daryl IMPEY, ORICA GreenEDGE, at 1:49
  • 19. Laurent PICHON, FDJ, at 1:49
  • 20. Steven TRONET, AUBER 93, at 1:49
  • 21. Jasper STUYVEN, TREK FACTORY RACING, at 1:49
  • 22. Maxime RENAULT, AUBER 93, at 1:49
  • 23. Antonio MOLINA, CAJA RURAL-SEGUROS RGA, at 1:49
  • 24. Tanner PUTT, UNITEDHEALTHCARE PROFESSIONAL CYCLING TEAM, at 1:49
  • 25. Maxime BOUET, ETIXX-QUICK STEP, at 1:49
  • 26. Romain SICARD, TEAM EUROPCAR, at 1:53
  • 27. David ARROYO DURAN, CAJA RURAL-SEGUROS RGA, at 1:53
  • 28. Serghei TVETCOV, ANDRONI GIOCATTOLI, at 1:55
  • 29. Romain COMBAUD, EQUIPE CYCLISTE DE L’ARMEE DE TERRE, at 1:55
  • 30. Pierrick FEDRIGO, BRETAGNE-SECHE ENVIRONNEMENT, at 1:55
  • 31. Yoann BARBAS, EQUIPE CYCLISTE DE L’ARMEE DE TERRE, at 1:55
  • 32. Anthony DELAPLACE, BRETAGNE-SECHE ENVIRONNEMENT, at 1:55
  • 33. Pierre-Henri LECUISINIER, FDJ, at 1:59
  • 34. Pierre ROLLAND, TEAM EUROPCAR, at 1:59
  • 35. Benoît VAUGRENARD, FDJ, at 1:59
  • 36. Romain HARDY, COFIDIS, SOLUTIONS CREDITS, at 1:59
  • 37. Rémy DI GREGORIO, TEAM MARSEILLE 13 KTM, at 2:03
  • 38. Marco CANOLA, UNITEDHEALTHCARE PROFESSIONAL CYCLING TEAM, at 2:07
  • 39. Riccardo ZOIDL, TREK FACTORY RACING, at 2:10
  • 40. Ignatas KONOVALOVAS, TEAM MARSEILLE 13 KTM, at 2:10
  • 41. George BENNETT, TEAM LOTTO NL-JUMBO, at 3:18
  • 42. Boris DRON, WANTY-GROUPE GOBERT, at 5:20
  • 43. Nick VAN DER LIJKE, TEAM LOTTO NL-JUMBO, at 5:30
  • 44. Calvin WATSON, TREK FACTORY RACING, at 5:37
  • 45. Guillaume BONNAFOND, AG2R LA MONDIALE, at 5:37
  • 46. Arnaud GERARD, BRETAGNE-SECHE ENVIRONNEMENT, at 5:58
  • 47. Nicolas EDET, COFIDIS, SOLUTIONS CREDITS, at 5:58
  • 48. Federico ZURLO, UNITEDHEALTHCARE PROFESSIONAL CYCLING TEAM, at 6:00
  • 49. Adam YATES, ORICA GreenEDGE, at 6:28
  • 50. Martijn KEIZER, TEAM LOTTO NL-JUMBO, at 7:50
  • 51. Quentin PACHER, EQUIPE CYCLISTE DE L’ARMEE DE TERRE, at 7:50
  • 52. Julien GUAY, AUBER 93, at 7:50
  • 53. Ben GASTAUER, AG2R LA MONDIALE, at 7:50
  • 54. David DE LA CRUZ MELGAREJO, ETIXX-QUICK STEP, at 7:50
  • 55. Rigoberto URAN URAN, ETIXX-QUICK STEP, at 7:50
  • 56. Yoann PAILLOT, TEAM MARSEILLE 13 KTM, at 7:50
  • 57. Eliot LIETAER, TOPSPORT VLAANDEREN-BALOISE, at 10:29
  • 58. Edwin Alcibiades AVILA VANEGAS, COLOMBIA, at 10:29
  • 59. Jean-Marc BIDEAU, BRETAGNE-SECHE ENVIRONNEMENT, at 10:45
  • 60. Anthony MALDONADO, AUBER 93, at 11:01
  • 61. Simon YATES, ORICA GreenEDGE, at 11:15
  • 62. Michael ALBASINI, ORICA GreenEDGE, at 13:29
  • 63. Gianfranco ZILIOLI, ANDRONI GIOCATTOLI, at 15:53
  • 64. Alexandre BLAIN, TEAM MARSEILLE 13 KTM, at 19:39
  • 65. Chetout LOIC, COFIDIS, SOLUTIONS CREDITS, at 19:39
  • 66. Christian MEIER, ORICA GreenEDGE, at 21:50
  • 67. Heiner Rodrigo PARRA BUSTAMENTE, CAJA RURAL-SEGUROS RGA, at 21:50
  • 68. Juan Pablo VALENCIA, COLOMBIA, at 21:50
  • 69. Timo ROOSEN, TEAM LOTTO NL-JUMBO, at 21:50
  • 70. Marinus Cornelis MINNAARD, WANTY-GROUPE GOBERT, at 21:50
  • 71. Alberto NARDIN, ANDRONI GIOCATTOLI, at 21:50
  • 72. Walter Fernando PEDRAZA MORALES, COLOMBIA, at 21:50
  • 73. Axel DOMONT, AG2R LA MONDIALE, at 21:50
  • 74. Arthur VAN OVERBERGHE, TOPSPORT VLAANDEREN-BALOISE, at 21:50
  • 75. Jorge Camilo CASTIBLANCO CUBIDES, COLOMBIA, at 21:50
  • 76. Jhoan Esteban CHAVES RUBIO, ORICA GreenEDGE, at 21:50
  • 77. Pierre GOUAULT, AUBER 93, at 21:50
  • 78. Amaël MOINARD, BMC RACING TEAM, at 21:50
  • 79. Joseph ROSSKOPF, BMC RACING TEAM, at 21:50
  • 80. Alessandro BAZZANA, UNITEDHEALTHCARE PROFESSIONAL CYCLING TEAM, at 21:50
  • 81. Bertjan LINDEMAN, TEAM LOTTO NL-JUMBO, at 21:50
  • 82. Bryan NAULLEAU, TEAM EUROPCAR, at 21:50
  • 83. Yukiya ARASHIRO, TEAM EUROPCAR, at 21:50
  • 84. Thomas VOECKLER, TEAM EUROPCAR, at 21:50
  • 85. Floris DE TIER, TOPSPORT VLAANDEREN-BALOISE, at 22:21
  • 86. César BIHEL, AUBER 93, at 23:57
  • 87. Eduard PRADES REVERTE, CAJA RURAL-SEGUROS RGA, at 23:57
  • 88. Fumiyuki BEPPU, TREK FACTORY RACING, at 23:57
  • 89. Brian BULGAC, TEAM LOTTO NL-JUMBO, at 23:57
  • . Carlos Mario RAMIREZ BOTERO, COLOMBIA, at 26:31
  • DNF Pierre-Roger LATOUR, AG2R LA MONDIALE
  • DNF Jean-Christophe PERAUD, AG2R LA MONDIALE
  • DNF Damiano CARUSO, BMC RACING TEAM
  • DNF Darwin ATAPUMA HURTADO, BMC RACING TEAM
  • DNF Manuel SENNI, BMC RACING TEAM
  • DNF Rohan DENNIS, BMC RACING TEAM
  • DNF Gianni MEERSMAN, ETIXX-QUICK STEP
  • DNF Pieter SERRY, ETIXX-QUICK STEP
  • DNF Julian ALAPHILIPPE, ETIXX-QUICK STEP
  • DNF Carlos VERONA QUINTANILLA, ETIXX-QUICK STEP
  • DNF Kenny ELISSONDE, FDJ
  • DNF Alexandre GENIEZ, FDJ
  • DNF Kévin REZA, FDJ
  • DNF Anthony ROUX, FDJ
  • DNF Arthur VICHOT, FDJ
  • DNF Barry MARKUS, TEAM LOTTO NL-JUMBO
  • DNF Paul MARTENS, TEAM LOTTO NL-JUMBO
  • DNF Eugenio ALAFACI, TREK FACTORY RACING
  • DNF Julian David ARREDONDO MORENO, TREK FACTORY RACING
  • DNF Magnus Cort NIELSEN, ORICA GreenEDGE
  • DNF Kevin LEDANOIS, BRETAGNE-SECHE ENVIRONNEMENT
  • DNF Armindo FONSECA, BRETAGNE-SECHE ENVIRONNEMENT
  • DNF Eduardo SEPULVEDA, BRETAGNE-SECHE ENVIRONNEMENT
  • DNF Frantisek PADOUR, ANDRONI GIOCATTOLI
  • DNF Alessio TALIANI, ANDRONI GIOCATTOLI
  • DNF Marco BENFATTO, ANDRONI GIOCATTOLI
  • DNF Andrea ZORDAN, ANDRONI GIOCATTOLI
  • DNF Sergio PARDILLA BELLON, CAJA RURAL-SEGUROS RGA
  • DNF Ricardo VILELA, CAJA RURAL-SEGUROS RGA
  • DNF Hugh CARTHY, CAJA RURAL-SEGUROS RGA
  • DNF Julien SIMON, COFIDIS, SOLUTIONS CREDITS
  • DNF Leonardo Fabio DUQUE, COLOMBIA
  • DNF Jonathan PAREDES, COLOMBIA
  • DNF Ramirez chacon BRAYAN STIVEN, COLOMBIA
  • DNF Otto VERGAERDE, TOPSPORT VLAANDEREN-BALOISE
  • DNF Pieter JACOBS, TOPSPORT VLAANDEREN-BALOISE
  • DNF Stijn STEELS, TOPSPORT VLAANDEREN-BALOISE
  • DNF Victor CAMPENAERTS, TOPSPORT VLAANDEREN-BALOISE
  • DNF Jonas RICKAERT, TOPSPORT VLAANDEREN-BALOISE
  • DNF Jerome COUSIN, TEAM EUROPCAR
  • DNF Fabrice JEANDESBOZ, TEAM EUROPCAR
  • DNF Francis DE GREEF, WANTY-GROUPE GOBERT
  • DNF Jan GHYSELINCK, WANTY-GROUPE GOBERT
  • DNF Tom DEVRIENDT, WANTY-GROUPE GOBERT
  • DNF Enrico GASPAROTTO, WANTY-GROUPE GOBERT
  • DNF Lander SEYNAEVE, WANTY-GROUPE GOBERT
  • DNF Lucas EUSER, UNITEDHEALTHCARE PROFESSIONAL CYCLING TEAM
  • DNF Davide FRATTINI, UNITEDHEALTHCARE PROFESSIONAL CYCLING TEAM
  • DNF Daniel SUMMERHILL, UNITEDHEALTHCARE PROFESSIONAL CYCLING TEAM
  • DNF Daniele RATTO, UNITEDHEALTHCARE PROFESSIONAL CYCLING TEAM
  • DNF Romain LE ROUX, EQUIPE CYCLISTE DE L’ARMEE DE TERRE
  • DNF David CHERBONNET, EQUIPE CYCLISTE DE L’ARMEE DE TERRE
  • DNF Jerome MAINARD, EQUIPE CYCLISTE DE L’ARMEE DE TERRE
  • DNF Jimmy RAIBAUD, EQUIPE CYCLISTE DE L’ARMEE DE TERRE
  • DNF Théo VIMPERE, AUBER 93
  • DNF Julien LOUBET, TEAM MARSEILLE 13 KTM
  • DNF Clément PENVEN, TEAM MARSEILLE 13 KTM
  • DNF Grégoire TARRIDE, TEAM MARSEILLE 13 KTM
  • DNF Benjamin GIRAUD, TEAM MARSEILLE 13 KTM
  • DNF Gregory HABEAUX, WALLONIE-BRUXELLES
  • DNF Antoine WARNIER, WALLONIE-BRUXELLES
  • DNF Thomas WERTZ, WALLONIE-BRUXELLES
  • DNF Maxime ANCIAUX, WALLONIE-BRUXELLES
  • DNF Jonathan DUFRASNE, WALLONIE-BRUXELLES

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Samuel Dumoulin wins 2015 Drome Classic http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/03/news/samuel-dumoulin-wins-2015-drome-classic_361933 http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/03/news/samuel-dumoulin-wins-2015-drome-classic_361933#comments Sun, 01 Mar 2015 17:54:13 +0000 http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=361933

Samuel Dumoulin wins his first race in nearly two years. Photo courtesy Yves Perret | AG2R La Mondiale

Samuel Dumoulin wins for the first time since May 2013 with a last-ditch attack at the Drome Classic

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Samuel Dumoulin wins his first race in nearly two years. Photo courtesy Yves Perret | AG2R La Mondiale

Samuel Dumoulin (AG2R La Mondiale) used a last-ditch attack to seize the victory on Sunday in the Drome Classic.

Dumoulin took his first win in nearly two years  by just four seconds over Fabio Felline (Trek Factory Racing), with Sébastien Delfosse (Wallonia-Brussels) third at seven seconds.

The 200km race around Livron was marked by a four-man break that included Danny Summerhill (UnitedHealthcare), Grégoire Tarride (Team Marseille 13 KTM), Axel Domont (AG2R) and Bert-Jan Lindeman (Lotto NL-Jumbo).

The escapees took some four minutes on the peloton, led by FDJ.

Once they had been retrieved, 2014 winner Romain Bardet (AG2R) and Trek teammates Bauke Mollema and Riccardo Zoidl had a go some 15km from the finish.

Bardet had another dig on the descent before being joined by Peter Stetina (BMC Racing Team) and Mollema. Cyril Gautier (Europcar) and Yann Guyot (Equipe Cycliste de l’Armee de Terre) joined up as well.

It seemed that the quintet would battle for glory at the end. Then the 34-year-old Dumoulin — who had not won a race since taking the GP de Plumelec-Morhiban in May 2013 — made his move on the final climb, seizing the victory in the final few hundred meters.

“This morning, Jean-Christophe Péraud told me I was the best chance for the team. Honestly, I didn’t believe him,” said Dumoulin. “The team did a great job. In the last climb, Romain did everything to help me.

“I love this kind of situation, to be under pressure to finish the job. I haven’t won in two years and sometimes, it was difficult. … I worked hard this winter. Last week, I wasn’t at the top in Tour du Haut Var but I didn’t lose confidence.”

Stetina crossed fifth on the day, nine seconds down. He said via Twitter afterward that his finish was “done the hard way.”

“Jump from attack to attack in last 20k. Happy kuz day’s goal was to get fresh gloves in freezing rain earlier.”

 

 

 

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Results: 2015 Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/03/news/results-2015-kuurne-brussels-kuurne_361928 http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/03/news/results-2015-kuurne-brussels-kuurne_361928#comments Sun, 01 Mar 2015 16:30:27 +0000 http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=361928 Results from the 2015 Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne

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  • 1. Mark CAVENDISH, ETIXX-QUICK STEP, in 4:29:00
  • 2. Alexander KRISTOFF, TEAM KATUSHA, at :00
  • 3. Elia VIVIANI, TEAM SKY, at :00
  • 4. Tom VAN ASBROECK, TEAM LOTTO NL-JUMBO, at :00
  • 5. Daniele COLLI, NIPPO-VINI FANTINI, at :00
  • 6. Jean-Pierre DRUCKER, BMC RACING TEAM, at :00
  • 7. Jens DEBUSSCHERE, LOTTO SOUDAL, at :00
  • 8. Kristian SBARAGLI, MTN-QHUBEKA, at :00
  • 9. Raymond KREDER, TEAM ROOMPOT, at :00
  • 10. Matteo PELUCCHI, IAM CYCLING, at :00
  • 11. Jarl SALOMEIN, TOPSPORT VLAANDEREN-BALOISE, at :00
  • 12. Antoine DEMOITIE, WALLONIE-BRUXELLES, at :00
  • 13. Edvald BOASSON HAGEN, MTN-QHUBEKA, at :00
  • 14. Edward THEUNS, TOPSPORT VLAANDEREN-BALOISE, at :00
  • 15. Kevin ISTA, WALLONIE-BRUXELLES, at :00
  • 16. Jonas VANGENECHTEN, IAM CYCLING, at :00
  • 17. Nicolas VEREECKEN, TEAM 3M, at :00
  • 18. Nacer BOUHANNI, COFIDIS, SOLUTIONS CREDITS, at :00
  • 19. Sam BENNETT, BORA-ARGON 18, at :00
  • 20. Roy JANS, WANTY-GROUPE GOBERT, at :00
  • 21. Pier Paolo DE NEGRI, NIPPO-VINI FANTINI, at :00
  • 22. Bryan COQUARD, TEAM EUROPCAR, at :04
  • 23. Greg HENDERSON, LOTTO SOUDAL, at :04
  • 24. Marcus BURGHARDT, BMC RACING TEAM, at :04
  • 25. Oliver NAESEN, TOPSPORT VLAANDEREN-BALOISE, at :04
  • 26. Pieter VANSPEYBROUCK, TOPSPORT VLAANDEREN-BALOISE, at :04
  • 27. Hugo HOULE, AG2R LA MONDIALE, at :04
  • 28. Pierre-Luc PERICHON, BRETAGNE-SECHE ENVIRONNEMENT, at :04
  • 29. Tom BOONEN, ETIXX-QUICK STEP, at :04
  • 30. Sean DOWNEY, AN POST-CHAINREACTION, at :04
  • 31. Johan LE BON, FDJ, at :04
  • 32. Jacopo GUARNIERI, TEAM KATUSHA, at :04
  • 33. Gijs VAN HOECKE, TOPSPORT VLAANDEREN-BALOISE, at :04
  • 34. Aleksei TCATEVICH, TEAM KATUSHA, at :04
  • 35. Zdenek STYBAR, ETIXX-QUICK STEP, at :04
  • 36. Adrian KUREK, CCC SPRANDI POLKOWICE, at :04
  • 37. Michael VINGERLING, TEAM 3M, at :04
  • 38. Mauro FINETTO, YELLOW FLUO, at :04
  • 39. Martin ELMIGER, IAM CYCLING, at :04
  • 40. Viacheslav KUZNETSOV, TEAM KATUSHA, at :04
  • 41. Marco MARCATO, WANTY-GROUPE GOBERT, at :04
  • 42. Dimitri PEYSKENS, TEAM 3M, at :04
  • 43. Daniel SCHORN, BORA-ARGON 18, at :04
  • 44. Lars Ytting BAK, LOTTO SOUDAL, at :04
  • 45. Sébastien CHAVANEL, FDJ, at :04
  • 46. Olivier CHEVALIER, WALLONIE-BRUXELLES, at :04
  • 47. Sjoerd VAN GINNEKEN, TEAM ROOMPOT, at :04
  • 48. Preben VAN HECKE, TOPSPORT VLAANDEREN-BALOISE, at :04
  • 49. Philippe GILBERT, BMC RACING TEAM, at :04
  • 50. Roger KLUGE, IAM CYCLING, at :04
  • 51. Luke ROWE, TEAM SKY, at :04
  • 52. Johan VAN SUMMEREN, AG2R LA MONDIALE, at :04
  • 53. Scott THWAITES, BORA-ARGON 18, at :04
  • 54. Gert DOCKX, LOTTO SOUDAL, at :04
  • 55. James VANLANDSCHOOT, WANTY-GROUPE GOBERT, at :04
  • 56. Matthieu LADAGNOUS, FDJ, at :04
  • 57. Marcel SIEBERG, LOTTO SOUDAL, at :04
  • 58. Rick ZABEL, BMC RACING TEAM, at :04
  • 59. Michel KREDER, TEAM ROOMPOT, at :04
  • 60. Danilo WYSS, BMC RACING TEAM, at :04
  • 61. Dominique ROLLIN, COFIDIS, SOLUTIONS CREDITS, at :04
  • 62. Dylan TEUNS, BMC RACING TEAM, at :04
  • 63. Alessandro MALAGUTI, NIPPO-VINI FANTINI, at :04
  • 64. Damien GAUDIN, AG2R LA MONDIALE, at :04
  • 65. Reinardt JANSE VAN RENSBURG, MTN-QHUBEKA, at :04
  • 66. Tyler FARRAR, MTN-QHUBEKA, at :04
  • 67. Ian STANNARD, TEAM SKY, at :04
  • 68. Gerald CIOLEK, MTN-QHUBEKA, at :04
  • 69. Greg VAN AVERMAET, BMC RACING TEAM, at :04
  • 70. Youcef REGUIGUI, MTN-QHUBEKA, at :04
  • 71. Julien STASSEN, WALLONIE-BRUXELLES, at :04
  • 72. Yves LAMPAERT, ETIXX-QUICK STEP, at :04
  • 73. Sébastien MINARD, AG2R LA MONDIALE, at :04
  • 74. Simone ANTONINI, WANTY-GROUPE GOBERT, at :04
  • 75. Yohann GENE, TEAM EUROPCAR, at :25
  • 76. Tom GOOVAERTS, CCT p/b CHAMPION SYSTEM, at :25
  • 77. Nikolas MAES, ETIXX-QUICK STEP, at :30
  • 78. Lukasz WISNIOWSKI, ETIXX-QUICK STEP, at :30
  • 79. Mirko SELVAGGI, WANTY-GROUPE GOBERT, at :30
  • 80. Maarten WYNANTS, TEAM LOTTO NL-JUMBO, at :30
  • 81. Sep VANMARCKE, TEAM LOTTO NL-JUMBO, at :30
  • 82. Robert WAGNER, TEAM LOTTO NL-JUMBO, at :30
  • 83. Bernhard EISEL, TEAM SKY, at :42
  • 84. Salvatore PUCCIO, TEAM SKY, at :44
  • 85. Pim LIGTHART, LOTTO SOUDAL, at :47
  • 86. Adrien PETIT, COFIDIS, SOLUTIONS CREDITS, at :51
  • 87. Thomas VAUBOURZEIX, VERANCLASSIC-EKOI, at :51
  • 88. Etienne VAN EMPEL, TEAM ROOMPOT, at :51
  • 89. Stig BROECKX, LOTTO SOUDAL, at :51
  • 90. Lloyd MONDORY, AG2R LA MONDIALE, at :51
  • 91. Dmitrii KOZONCHUK, TEAM KATUSHA, at :51
  • 92. Christian KNEES, TEAM SKY, at :51
  • 93. Marco HALLER, TEAM KATUSHA, at :51
  • 94. Vincent JEROME, TEAM EUROPCAR, at 1:28
  • 95. Frederik VEUCHELEN, WANTY-GROUPE GOBERT, at 1:28
  • 96. Frederik BACKAERT, WANTY-GROUPE GOBERT, at 1:28
  • 97. Sven erik BYSTRØM, TEAM KATUSHA, at 1:50
  • 98. Xandro MEURISSE, AN POST-CHAINREACTION, at 1:55
  • 99. Iljo KEISSE, ETIXX-QUICK STEP, at 1:55
  • 100. Reinier HONIG, TEAM ROOMPOT, at 1:55
  • 101. Jos VAN EMDEN, TEAM LOTTO NL-JUMBO, at 1:55
  • 102. Maarten TJALLINGII, TEAM LOTTO NL-JUMBO, at 1:55
  • 103. Cyril LEMOINE, COFIDIS, SOLUTIONS CREDITS, at 2:35
  • 104. Lars Petter NORDHAUG, TEAM SKY, at 2:43
  • 105. Kris BOECKMANS, LOTTO SOUDAL, at 2:59
  • 106. Dries DEVENYNS, IAM CYCLING, at 6:07
  • 107. Matteo TRENTIN, ETIXX-QUICK STEP, at 6:07
  • DNF Christopher SUTTON, TEAM SKY
  • DNF Gatis SMUKULIS, TEAM KATUSHA
  • DNF Rick FLENS, TEAM LOTTO NL-JUMBO
  • DNF Mike TEUNISSEN, TEAM LOTTO NL-JUMBO
  • DNF Marcel AREGGER, IAM CYCLING
  • DNF Simon PELLAUD, IAM CYCLING
  • DNF Vicente REYNES MIMO, IAM CYCLING
  • DNF David BOUCHER, FDJ
  • DNF Anthony GESLIN, FDJ
  • DNF Olivier LE GAC, FDJ
  • DNF Yoann OFFREDO, FDJ
  • DNF Christophe LAPORTE, COFIDIS, SOLUTIONS CREDITS
  • DNF Geoffrey SOUPE, COFIDIS, SOLUTIONS CREDITS
  • DNF Jonas AHLSTRAND, COFIDIS, SOLUTIONS CREDITS
  • DNF Florian SENECHAL, COFIDIS, SOLUTIONS CREDITS
  • DNF Michael SCHÄR, BMC RACING TEAM
  • DNF Alexis GOUGEARD, AG2R LA MONDIALE
  • DNF Gediminas BAGDONAS, AG2R LA MONDIALE
  • DNF Maxime DANIEL, AG2R LA MONDIALE
  • DNF Dylan GROENEWEGEN, TEAM ROOMPOT
  • DNF André LOOIJ, TEAM ROOMPOT
  • DNF Ivar SLIK, TEAM ROOMPOT
  • DNF Matt BRAMMEIER, MTN-QHUBEKA
  • DNF Theo BOS, MTN-QHUBEKA
  • DNF Andreas SCHILLINGER, BORA-ARGON 18
  • DNF Shane ARCHBOLD, BORA-ARGON 18
  • DNF Ralf MATZKA, BORA-ARGON 18
  • DNF Michael SCHWARZMANN, BORA-ARGON 18
  • DNF Christoph PFINGSTEN, BORA-ARGON 18
  • DNF Danilo NAPOLITANO, WANTY-GROUPE GOBERT
  • DNF Tomasz KIENDYS, CCC SPRANDI POLKOWICE
  • DNF Nikolay MIHAYLOV, CCC SPRANDI POLKOWICE
  • DNF Grzegorz STEPNIAK, CCC SPRANDI POLKOWICE
  • DNF Mateusz TACIAK, CCC SPRANDI POLKOWICE
  • DNF Jaroslaw MARYCZ, CCC SPRANDI POLKOWICE
  • DNF Marek RUTKIEWICZ, CCC SPRANDI POLKOWICE
  • DNF Eduard Michael GROSU, NIPPO-VINI FANTINI
  • DNF Mattia POZZO, NIPPO-VINI FANTINI
  • DNF Antonio VIOLA, NIPPO-VINI FANTINI
  • DNF Nicolas MARINI, NIPPO-VINI FANTINI
  • DNF Riccardo STACCHIOTTI, NIPPO-VINI FANTINI
  • DNF Yauheni HUTAROVICH, BRETAGNE-SECHE ENVIRONNEMENT
  • DNF Matthieu BOULO, BRETAGNE-SECHE ENVIRONNEMENT
  • DNF Frédéric BRUN, BRETAGNE-SECHE ENVIRONNEMENT
  • DNF Maxime CAM, BRETAGNE-SECHE ENVIRONNEMENT
  • DNF Christophe LABORIE, BRETAGNE-SECHE ENVIRONNEMENT
  • DNF Romain FEILLU, BRETAGNE-SECHE ENVIRONNEMENT
  • DNF Daniel MCLAY, BRETAGNE-SECHE ENVIRONNEMENT
  • DNF Jelle WALLAYS, TOPSPORT VLAANDEREN-BALOISE
  • DNF Jef VAN MEIRHAEGHE, TOPSPORT VLAANDEREN-BALOISE
  • DNF Tom DERNIES, WALLONIE-BRUXELLES
  • DNF Gaëtan PONS, WALLONIE-BRUXELLES
  • DNF Ludwig DE WINTER, WALLONIE-BRUXELLES
  • DNF Loic PESTIAUX, WALLONIE-BRUXELLES
  • DNF Giovanni BERNAUDEAU, TEAM EUROPCAR
  • DNF Angelo TULIK, TEAM EUROPCAR
  • DNF Jimmy ENGOULVENT, TEAM EUROPCAR
  • DNF Morgan LAMOISSON, TEAM EUROPCAR
  • DNF Yannick MARTINEZ, TEAM EUROPCAR
  • DNF Manuel BELLETTI, YELLOW FLUO
  • DNF Giorgio CECCHINEL, YELLOW FLUO
  • DNF Andrea DAL COL, YELLOW FLUO
  • DNF Rafael ANDRIATO, YELLOW FLUO
  • DNF Jakub MARECZKO, YELLOW FLUO
  • DNF Eugert ZHUPA, YELLOW FLUO
  • DNF Darijus DZERVUS, CCT p/b CHAMPION SYSTEM
  • DNF Joshoa HAGGERTY, CCT p/b CHAMPION SYSTEM
  • DNF Suguru TOKUDA, CCT p/b CHAMPION SYSTEM
  • DNF Morten GADGAARD, CCT p/b CHAMPION SYSTEM
  • DNF Yuma KOISHI, CCT p/b CHAMPION SYSTEM
  • DNF Tanzou TOKUDA, CCT p/b CHAMPION SYSTEM
  • DNF Mathew ZENOVICH, CCT p/b CHAMPION SYSTEM
  • DNF Francesco VAN COPPERNOLLE, VERANCLASSIC-EKOI
  • DNF Gorik GARDEYN, VERANCLASSIC-EKOI
  • DNF Edwig CAMMAERTS, VERANCLASSIC-EKOI
  • DNF Justin JULES, VERANCLASSIC-EKOI
  • DNF David DESMECHT, VERANCLASSIC-EKOI
  • DNF Niels DE ROOZE, VERANCLASSIC-EKOI
  • DNF Serge DE WORTELAER, VERANCLASSIC-EKOI
  • DNF Jordan STANNUS, AN POST-CHAINREACTION
  • DNF Conor DUNNE, AN POST-CHAINREACTION
  • DNF Alistair SLATER, AN POST-CHAINREACTION
  • DNF Jens VANDENBOGAERDE, AN POST-CHAINREACTION
  • DNF Alexander MAES, AN POST-CHAINREACTION
  • DNF Paulius SISKEVICIUS, AN POST-CHAINREACTION
  • DNF Gertjan DE VOS, TEAM 3M
  • DNF Connor MCCONVEY, TEAM 3M
  • DNF Tim VAN SPEYBROECK, TEAM 3M
  • DNF Jake TANNER, TEAM 3M
  • DNF Jimmy JANSSENS, TEAM 3M

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Mark Cavendish wins 2015 Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/03/news/mark-cavendish-wins-2015-kuurne-brussels-kuurne_361921 http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/03/news/mark-cavendish-wins-2015-kuurne-brussels-kuurne_361921#comments Sun, 01 Mar 2015 16:02:59 +0000 http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=361921

Mark Cavendish prevailed in a chaotic finale at Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne on Sunday. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

Philippe Gilbert nearly steals the show, but it's Mark Cavendish who finally takes center stage at the finish of Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne

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Mark Cavendish prevailed in a chaotic finale at Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne on Sunday. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

His leadout train derailed, Mark Cavendish (Etixx-Quick-Step) free-lanced out of a madly dashing bunch on Sunday to win Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne.

Philippe Gilbert (BMC Racing) tried to spoil the sprinters’ party in the final kilometers of the 196.3km semi-classic, scampering off the front in the final 4km and staying gone through the red kite.

But Gilbert had gone about a kilometer too soon, and the bunch swept him up in the final left-hand corner. With all the sprinters’ leadouts undone, it was every man for himself on the final straightaway, and the man of the day was Cavendish, who took the victory ahead of Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) and Elia Viviani (Sky).

“The team were incredible the whole day, really,” he said, while acknowledging that come the sprint he was more or less on his own.

“We used up guys too early [because of the head winds]. Tom [Boonen] went to go, but I had already left him to go onto Kristoff’s wheel. I know him, and he’s been going good this year. I’m super proud to get this victory for Etixx-Quick-Step.”

Kristoff was disappointed, but said Cavendish was simply the better man on the day.

“I felt really tired all day. In the final, the team did a good job — perfect, actually — but Mark was just faster at the end,” he said.

With 75km remaining in the race there was a good-sized group off the front with 90 seconds on the bunch, fronted by Etixx-Quick-Step, Sky, LottoNL-Jumbo and FDJ.

Among the leaders were Jimmy Engoulvent (Europcar); Eugert Zhupa (Southeast); Mattia Pozzo (Nippo-Vini Fantini); Sjoerd van Ginneken (Team Roompot); Fredrik Backaert and Dimitri Peyskens (Team 3M); Xandro Meurisse (An Post-Chainreaction); and Thomas Vauborzeix (Veranclassic-Ekoï).

With 70km to go the gap was down to less than a minute and falling as Boonen and others tried to force a selection.

Boonen and Sep Vanmarcke (Lotto) were pushing the pace up the cobbled climb of Oude Kwaremont, making a shambles of the peloton. Zdenek Stybar and Cavendish (Etixx), Jean-Pierre Drucker and Gilbert (BMC), Kristoff, and Omloop Het Nieuwsblad champion Ian Stannard with Sky teammate Viviani were there, too, as the chase, down to a couple dozen riders, rolled over the Schelde toward the cobbles of the Varent.

Ahead, the break was down to four riders with just 20 seconds’ advantage. And that slim margin was quickly erased, with the catch coming 60km from the finish.

The break negated, Etixx and Lotto took charge at the front as behind, MTN-Qhubeka led its own chase, having missed the split entirely.

With 50km to race the now-19-rider lead group held a minute’s advantage over the MTN-Qhubeka pursuit.

On the Nokereberg, the final climb of the day, first Stannard, then Boonen took turns pushing the pace. Over the top, the pace-making duties reverted to the Etixx riders, with an assist from BMC’s Drucker.

With 40km to go the gap was down to 47 seconds and Etixx was calling for reinforcements as Cofidis, Wanty-Groupe Gobert and IAM Cycling lent a hand to the chase, which was lined out and gaining ground.

With 35km remaining the chasers were breathing down the lead group’s collective neck. A kilometer later, as the catch came, Kris Boeckmans (Lotto) rolled off the front, but nobody was buying, and he soon drifted back.

There was something of a cease-fire then, as the bunch prepared to begin the first of two 16km finishing circuits. Katusha took the wheel early on, with Etixx just behind, and with 20km remaining that remained the state of play.

A few kilometers further along other teams began insinuating themselves into the pecking order — FDJ, Europcar, MTN — but as the peloton swung round the left-hand corner and into one lap to go it was status quo.

The other teams were happy to let Katusha make the pace, and with 10km remaining they were still parked on the front.

Then, with 7km to go, Sky and Lotto pushed forward, with Sky getting its way and planting five men on the front with 5km remaining.

Then Gilbert attacked up the right side of the road, quickly opening a large gap as the sprinters’ teams watched each other.

With 4km to go the chase was on. Gilbert had six seconds as Sky and Etixx tried to marshal the pursuit.

Two kilometers out Gilbert was pulling faces as he stretched his advantage to 10 seconds. Etixx and Lotto were chasing, but making no headway.

Come the red kite, Gilbert was still away. But he was finally running out of steam. A quick look over his shoulder told him the bad news: The bunch was coming.

They caught him in the final corner and Lotto tried to take charge of the sprint in a cross wind. Nothing doing. It was every man for himself, and out of the chaos came Cavendish.

The Manxman said it was good to follow disappointment at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad with a victory at Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne, a race he has now won twice.

“Especially, after the unfortunate incidents yesterday, it was nice for Etixx to get a win on the opening weekend,” he said. The lads were super good, they all committed 100 percent the whole day to me.

“I’m happy to beat Kristoff. He’s one of the best riders in the world right now.”

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Ian Stannard climbs out of that ditch and onto the podium http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/02/news/ian-stannard-climbs-ditch-onto-podium_361910 http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/02/news/ian-stannard-climbs-ditch-onto-podium_361910#comments Sat, 28 Feb 2015 21:18:48 +0000 http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=361910

Ian Stannard was overjoyed to be winning again after a star-crossed 2014 season. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

It's been a hard slog for Ian Stannard, who fought back from a broken back and wrist to top the podium once again at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad

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Ian Stannard was overjoyed to be winning again after a star-crossed 2014 season. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

GENT, Belgium (VN) — A year ago Ian Stannard was the hardest of the hardmen, roaring to an impressive sprint victory over BMC’s perennial local hero Greg Van Avermaet after a miserable, sodden Omloop Het Nieuwsblad.

It was Team Sky’s first big breakthrough in true classics conditions, a total team effort over 198 kilometers of cold, rainy, windswept Flemish hills and cobbles, delivering Stannard to the decisive move — and, eventually, to victory — in a race that the favorite, Tom Boonen, later described as the coldest of his life.

And it looked like Stannard had finally delivered on his promise as a classics rider, capable of carrying the hopes of a Sky squad that had invested heavily to improve its chances in the big early season one-day races.

Four weeks later, at Gent-Wevelgem, the first major Belgian classic, the 26-year-old Briton disappeared into a ditch with 60km to go. He emerged, with considerable assistance, several minutes later.

His hopes for a breakthrough season stayed in the ditch.

Recalling the accident on Saturday, Stannard said, “Someone came across my front wheel, I saw the deep ditch and thought, ‘Don’t end up in there,’ but ended up in there upside down. I broke my back and then I had three months completely off my bike.

“You know, as a cyclist, you think, ‘I’ve done this, I’ll keep going,’ but it was one of them ones where you have to listen to the doctor, unfortunately. So I had three months completely off, just sat on the sofa. So it was a long time. I put on a lot of weight, got really unfit, and, you know, riding the bike was a bit of a struggle again.”

It didn’t get better. In the first stage of what was supposed to be his big comeback race, the Tour of Britain, Stannard crashed and fractured his wrist, stamping an ugly exclamation point on an already star-crossed season.

But on Saturday, under sunny early spring skies, Stannard was finally, truly back, cleverly parrying attacks by a formidable trio of Etixx-Quick-Step riders to take his second consecutive Omloop win.

He had ridden well already this season, finishing fourth overall in the Tour of Qatar, but Saturday’s race was his first real test. On the roads where he most aspires to win, outnumbered and, arguably, outgunned by Niki Terpstra, Tom Boonen, and Stijn Vandenbergh, Stannard played his cards perfectly.

“I just really wanted to do well in this race and kind of show I was back at the level I was last year,” he said afterward. “It’s been a hard couple of months since breaking my back, then getting fit, then breaking my wrist. The winter’s been a bit of a struggle, I put on a lot of weight because I couldn’t really ride so much. You know, I started my winter early. There were guys still racing in Beijing and I had started my winter. So I’m pretty happy to perform today.”

Stannard was one of two men who managed to cover Etixx’s three-pronged attack on the Haaghoek cobbles, but the other, Sep Vanmarcke (Lotto NL-Jumbo), quickly punctured, leaving him alone in the lead group.

Behind, Vanmarcke chased with Van Avermaet and a fourth Etixx teammate, Zdenek Stybar, some 25 seconds down. Etixx, it appear, had set up a perfect tactical scenario. Stannard, isolated, would never be able to counter the series of attacks that would surely unfold as the race reached its climax in the final kilometers.

But Stannard, who described himself as “certainly not the smartest” rider, nonetheless proved a savvy competitor. With Vanmarcke chasing hard behind, the burden was on Etixx to do the work in the lead group.

“At first, I was comfortable, I didn’t have to ride, they were going hard, I was like, ‘This is good,’” he said. “But then you start thinking the different scenarios and they were going to attack me at the end, weren’t they? There’s not much you can do.

“You know, thankfully the guys behind were still really close. Sep Vanmarcke was still riding really hard, and it was always 18 to 20 seconds. So the Etixx guys had to ride hard and it killed them really, at the end. It played into my hands. Doesn’t get any better, does it?”

If Stannard’s victory was proof of his return to top form, it was also a vindication for a Sky squad that, in his absence, once again failed to produce a major classics win in 2014.

“I think in general the team was really good today,” said Sky sport director Servais Knaven. “I think the team deserves the win as well. We raced today for it as a team. I think it’s a win for everyone on the bus.”

Saturday, everyone on the bus included riders with their own impressive credentials, mostly notably Tour de France champion Bradley Wiggins, who spent much of the early part of the race riding tempo to keep Sky’s declared leader, Stannard, safe at the front.

Stannard told reporters he felt he had grown into his role as a team leader in spite of his year off, but added that he was pleased not to let down the team that had done so much for him.

“When the Tour de France champion is riding for you, it makes you a bit stressed,” he said. “But you know, the guys did a great job helping me into all the climbs and getting me to the right places. I didn’t have to try too hard, just ended up on the back of Quick-Step, I waited for them and off we went.”

Knaven, meanwhile, acknowledged Stannard’s shrewd racing and impressive form, ahead of bigger races just weeks from now.

“Ian knows what he has to do,” said Knaven. “If Quick-Step starts attacking and you want to win the race, you follow every move they make. And, you know, when you close on someone, the other one will go. And then it’s all in the legs.”

On Saturday, Stannard’s legs delivered. Will they do it again in four weeks’ time when the true Flemish classics kick off with the same Gent-Wevelgem race that effectively ended his 2014 season?

“[Today] certainly put me back on track for it,” he said. “So I’m just putting my head down and working hard and hopefully it will come.”

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Gallery: 2015 Omloop Het Nieuwsblad http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/02/news/gallery-2015-omloop-het-nieuwsblad_361891 http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/02/news/gallery-2015-omloop-het-nieuwsblad_361891#comments Sat, 28 Feb 2015 20:17:05 +0000 http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=361891

Ian Stannard attacks in the finale of the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

Tim De Waele was on hand as Ian Stannard outfoxed Etixx-Quick-Step to win his second consecutive Omloop Het Nieuwsblad

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Ian Stannard attacks in the finale of the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

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Results: 2015 Omloop Het Nieuwsblad http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/02/news/results-2015-omloop-het-nieuwsblad_361874 http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/02/news/results-2015-omloop-het-nieuwsblad_361874#comments Sat, 28 Feb 2015 16:30:02 +0000 http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=361874 Results from the 2015 Omloop Het Nieuwsblad

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  • 1. Ian STANNARD, TEAM SKY, in 4:58:41
  • 2. Niki TERPSTRA, ETIXX-QUICK STEP, at :00
  • 3. Tom BOONEN, ETIXX-QUICK STEP, at :08
  • 4. Stijn VANDENBERGH, ETIXX-QUICK STEP, at :15
  • 5. Sep VANMARCKE, TEAM LOTTO NL-JUMBO, at 1:24
  • 6. Greg VAN AVERMAET, BMC RACING TEAM, at 1:24
  • 7. Zdenek STYBAR, ETIXX-QUICK STEP, at 1:29
  • 8. Philippe GILBERT, BMC RACING TEAM, at 4:36
  • 9. Luke ROWE, TEAM SKY, at 4:55
  • 10. Arnaud DEMARE, FDJ, at 4:55
  • 11. Alexander KRISTOFF, TEAM KATUSHA, at 4:55
  • 12. Jens DEBUSSCHERE, LOTTO SOUDAL, at 4:55
  • 13. Wesley KREDER, TEAM ROOMPOT, at 4:55
  • 14. Edward THEUNS, TOPSPORT VLAANDEREN-BALOISE, at 4:55
  • 15. Marco MARCATO, WANTY-GROUPE GOBERT, at 4:55
  • 16. Jesper ASSELMAN, TEAM ROOMPOT, at 4:55
  • 17. Angelo TULIK, TEAM EUROPCAR, at 4:55
  • 18. Marcus BURGHARDT, BMC RACING TEAM, at 4:55
  • 19. Nikolas MAES, ETIXX-QUICK STEP, at 4:55
  • 20. Pier Paolo DE NEGRI, NIPPO-VINI FANTINI, at 4:55
  • 21. Hugo HOULE, AG2R LA MONDIALE, at 4:55
  • 22. Michael SCHÄR, BMC RACING TEAM, at 4:55
  • 23. Aleksei TCATEVICH, TEAM KATUSHA, at 4:55
  • 24. Florian SENECHAL, COFIDIS, SOLUTIONS CREDITS, at 4:55
  • 25. Jérôme PINEAU, IAM CYCLING, at 4:55
  • 26. Yoann OFFREDO, FDJ, at 4:55
  • 27. Edvald BOASSON HAGEN, MTN-QHUBEKA, at 4:55
  • 28. Sylvain CHAVANEL, IAM CYCLING, at 4:55
  • 29. Mirko SELVAGGI, WANTY-GROUPE GOBERT, at 4:55
  • 30. Pim LIGTHART, LOTTO SOUDAL, at 4:55
  • 31. Oliver NAESEN, TOPSPORT VLAANDEREN-BALOISE, at 4:55
  • 32. Björn LEUKEMANS, WANTY-GROUPE GOBERT, at 4:55
  • 33. Heinrich HAUSSLER, IAM CYCLING, at 4:55
  • 34. Johnny HOOGERLAND, TEAM ROOMPOT, at 4:55
  • 35. Florian VACHON, BRETAGNE-SECHE ENVIRONNEMENT, at 4:55
  • 36. Tiesj BENOOT, LOTTO SOUDAL, at 4:55
  • 37. Sébastien MINARD, AG2R LA MONDIALE, at 4:55
  • 38. Dylan TEUNS, BMC RACING TEAM, at 4:55
  • 39. Steve CHAINEL, COFIDIS, SOLUTIONS CREDITS, at 4:55
  • 40. Oscar GATTO, ANDRONI GIOCATTOLI, at 4:55
  • 41. Marcel SIEBERG, LOTTO SOUDAL, at 4:55
  • 42. Salvatore PUCCIO, TEAM SKY, at 4:55
  • 43. Marco HALLER, TEAM KATUSHA, at 5:06
  • 44. Bradley WIGGINS, TEAM SKY, at 5:09
  • 45. Johan VAN SUMMEREN, AG2R LA MONDIALE, at 5:18
  • 46. Damien GAUDIN, AG2R LA MONDIALE, at 5:18
  • 47. Matteo TRENTIN, ETIXX-QUICK STEP, at 5:45
  • 48. Stig BROECKX, LOTTO SOUDAL, at 7:23
  • 49. Jean-Pierre DRUCKER, BMC RACING TEAM, at 7:23
  • 50. Reinardt JANSE VAN RENSBURG, MTN-QHUBEKA, at 7:23
  • 51. Tyler FARRAR, MTN-QHUBEKA, at 9:50
  • 52. Zico WAEYTENS, TEAM GIANT-ALPECIN, at 10:19
  • 53. Koen DE KORT, TEAM GIANT-ALPECIN, at 10:19
  • 54. Roy CURVERS, TEAM GIANT-ALPECIN, at 10:19
  • 55. Ramon SINKELDAM, TEAM GIANT-ALPECIN, at 10:19
  • 56. Iljo KEISSE, ETIXX-QUICK STEP, at 10:19
  • 57. Russell DOWNING, CULT ENERGY PRO CYCLING, at 10:19
  • 58. Bert VAN LERBERGHE, TOPSPORT VLAANDEREN-BALOISE, at 10:19
  • 59. Huub DUYN, TEAM ROOMPOT, at 10:19
  • 60. Tim KERKHOF, TEAM ROOMPOT, at 10:19
  • 61. Rick ZABEL, BMC RACING TEAM, at 10:19
  • 62. Mike TERPSTRA, TEAM ROOMPOT, at 10:19
  • 63. Mauro FINETTO, YELLOW FLUO, at 10:19
  • 64. Sander HELVEN, TOPSPORT VLAANDEREN-BALOISE, at 10:19
  • 65. Christian KNEES, TEAM SKY, at 10:19
  • 66. Vicente REYNES MIMO, IAM CYCLING, at 10:19
  • 67. Adrian KUREK, CCC SPRANDI POLKOWICE, at 10:19
  • 68. Matthias BRANDLE, IAM CYCLING, at 10:19
  • 69. Alex KIRSCH, CULT ENERGY PRO CYCLING, at 10:19
  • 70. Frédéric BRUN, BRETAGNE-SECHE ENVIRONNEMENT, at 10:19
  • 71. Bernhard EISEL, TEAM SKY, at 10:19
  • 72. Tim DECLERCQ, TOPSPORT VLAANDEREN-BALOISE, at 10:19
  • 73. Rudiger SELIG, TEAM KATUSHA, at 10:19
  • 74. Antoine DUCHESNE, TEAM EUROPCAR, at 10:19
  • 75. Yannick MARTINEZ, TEAM EUROPCAR, at 10:19
  • 76. Gatis SMUKULIS, TEAM KATUSHA, at 10:19
  • 77. Sven erik BYSTRØM, TEAM KATUSHA, at 10:19
  • 78. Giovanni BERNAUDEAU, TEAM EUROPCAR, at 10:19
  • 79. Berden DE VRIES, TEAM ROOMPOT, at 10:19
  • 80. Louis VERHELST, COFIDIS, SOLUTIONS CREDITS, at 10:19
  • 81. Brian VAN GOETHEM, TEAM ROOMPOT, at 10:19
  • 82. Adrien PETIT, COFIDIS, SOLUTIONS CREDITS, at 10:19
  • 83. Daniele COLLI, NIPPO-VINI FANTINI, at 10:19
  • 84. Maarten WYNANTS, TEAM LOTTO NL-JUMBO, at 10:19
  • 85. Matt BRAMMEIER, MTN-QHUBEKA, at 10:19
  • 86. Jaco VENTER, MTN-QHUBEKA, at 10:19
  • 87. Mickael DELAGE, FDJ, at 10:19
  • 88. Danilo WYSS, BMC RACING TEAM, at 10:19
  • 89. Anthony GESLIN, FDJ, at 10:19
  • 90. William BONNET, FDJ, at 10:19
  • 91. Gijs VAN HOECKE, TOPSPORT VLAANDEREN-BALOISE, at 10:19
  • 92. Jelle WALLAYS, TOPSPORT VLAANDEREN-BALOISE, at 10:19
  • 93. Pieter VANSPEYBROUCK, TOPSPORT VLAANDEREN-BALOISE, at 10:19
  • 94. Paul VOSS, BORA-ARGON 18, at 10:19
  • 95. Scott THWAITES, BORA-ARGON 18, at 10:19
  • 96. Robert WAGNER, TEAM LOTTO NL-JUMBO, at 10:19
  • 97. Christoph PFINGSTEN, BORA-ARGON 18, at 10:19
  • 98. Jos VAN EMDEN, TEAM LOTTO NL-JUMBO, at 10:19
  • 99. Bram TANKINK, TEAM LOTTO NL-JUMBO, at 10:19
  • 100. Gert JOEAAR, COFIDIS, SOLUTIONS CREDITS, at 10:19
  • 101. Manuel BELLETTI, YELLOW FLUO, at 10:19
  • 102. Andreas SCHILLINGER, BORA-ARGON 18, at 10:19
  • 103. Gerald CIOLEK, MTN-QHUBEKA, at 10:19
  • 104. Marco BANDIERA, ANDRONI GIOCATTOLI, at 10:19
  • 105. Dries DEVENYNS, IAM CYCLING, at 10:19
  • DNS Sébastien TURGOT, AG2R LA MONDIALE
  • DNF Elia VIVIANI, TEAM SKY
  • DNF Christopher SUTTON, TEAM SKY
  • DNF Gediminas BAGDONAS, AG2R LA MONDIALE
  • DNF Alexis GOUGEARD, AG2R LA MONDIALE
  • DNF Lloyd MONDORY, AG2R LA MONDIALE
  • DNF Guillaume VAN KEIRSBULCK, ETIXX-QUICK STEP
  • DNF David BOUCHER, FDJ
  • DNF Matthieu LADAGNOUS, FDJ
  • DNF Johan LE BON, FDJ
  • DNF Marcel AREGGER, IAM CYCLING
  • DNF Martin ELMIGER, IAM CYCLING
  • DNF Gert DOCKX, LOTTO SOUDAL
  • DNF Sean DE BIE, LOTTO SOUDAL
  • DNF Kenny DE HAES, LOTTO SOUDAL
  • DNF Nikias ARNDT, TEAM GIANT-ALPECIN
  • DNF Bert DE BACKER, TEAM GIANT-ALPECIN
  • DNF Tom STAMSNIJDER, TEAM GIANT-ALPECIN
  • DNF Albert TIMMER, TEAM GIANT-ALPECIN
  • DNF Vladimir ISAYCHEV, TEAM KATUSHA
  • DNF Viacheslav KUZNETSOV, TEAM KATUSHA
  • DNF Thomas LEEZER, TEAM LOTTO NL-JUMBO
  • DNF Maarten TJALLINGII, TEAM LOTTO NL-JUMBO
  • DNF Tom VAN ASBROECK, TEAM LOTTO NL-JUMBO
  • DNF Tiziano DALL’ANTONIA, ANDRONI GIOCATTOLI
  • DNF Marco FRAPPORTI, ANDRONI GIOCATTOLI
  • DNF Francesco CHICCHI, ANDRONI GIOCATTOLI
  • DNF Shane ARCHBOLD, BORA-ARGON 18
  • DNF Zakkari DEMPSTER, BORA-ARGON 18
  • DNF Michael SCHWARZMANN, BORA-ARGON 18
  • DNF Daniel SCHORN, BORA-ARGON 18
  • DNF Benoit JARRIER, BRETAGNE-SECHE ENVIRONNEMENT
  • DNF Maxime CAM, BRETAGNE-SECHE ENVIRONNEMENT
  • DNF Romain FEILLU, BRETAGNE-SECHE ENVIRONNEMENT
  • DNF Christophe LABORIE, BRETAGNE-SECHE ENVIRONNEMENT
  • DNF Daniel MCLAY, BRETAGNE-SECHE ENVIRONNEMENT
  • DNF Pierre-Luc PERICHON, BRETAGNE-SECHE ENVIRONNEMENT
  • DNF Tomasz KIENDYS, CCC SPRANDI POLKOWICE
  • DNF Jaroslaw MARYCZ, CCC SPRANDI POLKOWICE
  • DNF Nikolay MIHAYLOV, CCC SPRANDI POLKOWICE
  • DNF Marek RUTKIEWICZ, CCC SPRANDI POLKOWICE
  • DNF Grzegorz STEPNIAK, CCC SPRANDI POLKOWICE
  • DNF Mateusz TACIAK, CCC SPRANDI POLKOWICE
  • DNF Christophe LAPORTE, COFIDIS, SOLUTIONS CREDITS
  • DNF Cyril LEMOINE, COFIDIS, SOLUTIONS CREDITS
  • DNF Anthony TURGIS, COFIDIS, SOLUTIONS CREDITS
  • DNF Martin MORTENSEN, CULT ENERGY PRO CYCLING
  • DNF Mads PEDERSEN, CULT ENERGY PRO CYCLING
  • DNF Michael REIHS, CULT ENERGY PRO CYCLING
  • DNF Michael Carbel SVENDGAARD, CULT ENERGY PRO CYCLING
  • DNF Troels Ronning VINTHER, CULT ENERGY PRO CYCLING
  • DNF Joel ZANGERLE, CULT ENERGY PRO CYCLING
  • DNF Theo BOS, MTN-QHUBEKA
  • DNF Jay Robert THOMSON, MTN-QHUBEKA
  • DNF Eduard Michael GROSU, NIPPO-VINI FANTINI
  • DNF Alessandro MALAGUTI, NIPPO-VINI FANTINI
  • DNF Nicolas MARINI, NIPPO-VINI FANTINI
  • DNF Mattia POZZO, NIPPO-VINI FANTINI
  • DNF Riccardo STACCHIOTTI, NIPPO-VINI FANTINI
  • DNF Antonio VIOLA, NIPPO-VINI FANTINI
  • DNF Giorgio CECCHINEL, YELLOW FLUO
  • DNF Andrea DAL COL, YELLOW FLUO
  • DNF Rafael ANDRIATO, YELLOW FLUO
  • DNF Jakub MARECZKO, YELLOW FLUO
  • DNF Eugert ZHUPA, YELLOW FLUO
  • DNF Yohann GENE, TEAM EUROPCAR
  • DNF Vincent JEROME, TEAM EUROPCAR
  • DNF Julien MORICE, TEAM EUROPCAR
  • DNF Jimmy ENGOULVENT, TEAM EUROPCAR
  • DNF Frederik BACKAERT, WANTY-GROUPE GOBERT
  • DNF Jérôme BAUGNIES, WANTY-GROUPE GOBERT
  • DNF Kevin VAN MELSEN, WANTY-GROUPE GOBERT
  • DNF Tim DE TROYER, WANTY-GROUPE GOBERT
  • DNF Frederik VEUCHELEN, WANTY-GROUPE GOBERT

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Ian Stannard wins 2015 Omloop Het Nieuwsblad http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/02/news/ian-stannard-wins-2015-omloop-het-nieuwsblad_361866 http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/02/news/ian-stannard-wins-2015-omloop-het-nieuwsblad_361866#comments Sat, 28 Feb 2015 16:00:46 +0000 http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=361866

Ian Stannard does it again at the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad. Photo: AFP

Ian Stannard comes to the finish with three Etixx-Quick-Step riders and dispatches them one by one for a second consecutive victory

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Ian Stannard does it again at the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad. Photo: AFP

Ian Stannard (Sky) outwitted an Etixx-Quick-Step juggernaut on Saturday to win his second Omloop Het Nieuwsblad.

The Briton came to the finish of the 200km classic with three Etixx riders — Tom Boonen, Niki Terpstra and Stijn Vandenbergh — and something to prove. He dealt with all of them in the final kilometers to take his second consecutive victory in Ghent.

Terpstra hung on for second with Boonen third.

“I was a bit worried with three Quick-Step guys,” Stannard said. “It was hard at the end. I was aware they were going to attack me. I was expecting it. I was waiting for it, yeah.

“Last year was a bit of a breakthrough, winning it, and the rest of the season didn’t go so well, breaking my back and stuff. So I really wanted to win this, or be up there, racing hard, and try and win it. You know the team put me in the best possible position and had faith in me again, so it’s nice to have come back and won. Especially after all my troubles last year.”

Stannard’s victory seemed an unlikely conclusion to what amounted to a 40km Etixx team time trial.

With 50km remaining a lead trio — Matt Brammeier (MTN-Qhubeka), Albert Timmer (Giant-Alpecin) and Alexis Gougeard (AG2R La Mondiale) — had just a couple dozen seconds on the peloton.

Luke Rowe (Sky) bridged to the front-runners as Gougeard lost the wheel. And a few kilometers further along the race was on for real as Greg Van Avermaet (BMC Racing), Sep Vanmarcke (Lotto NL-Jumbo), Marco Marcato (Wanty-Group Gobert) and others fought to assemble a new escape.

The third and final trip up the Haaghoek saw Boonen push forward and a selection was made, heavy on Etixx riders, including Boonen, Terpstra and Vandenbergh.

Vanmarcke punctured and dropped out of the group, leaving a foursome out front — the three Etixx riders and defending champion Stannard. With less than 40km to race they had 19 seconds on the peloton, led by Lotto.

The gap quickly went out to more than a half minute as the Etixx riders drove the break onto the Molenberg.

“You know, I knew they were going to ride hard, coming into the finish as well too,” said Stannard. “They haven’t won this race in a long time, and they’re pretty motivated, and it’s also missing off of Tom’s palmares as well, so I knew they were going to commit when they had three of them, to getting into the finish for sure.”

Behind, Vanmarcke pried Van Avermaet and Zdenek Stybar (Etixx) off the front of the chase. Philippe Gilbert (BMC), Marcato and Sylvain Chavanel (IAM Cycling) were next to launch.

On the Paddestraat, 30km from the finish, the lead quartet still had a half-minute over the first chase and 48 seconds over the second, and Boonen upped the pace a bit, forcing Stannard to close the gap.

Behind, Gilbert was slowly riding away from his companions.

Vanmarcke drove the first chase mercilessly, with little help from Van Avermaet and none from Stybar, closing to within 15 seconds of the leaders with 25km to go. Gilbert was riding alone at 45 seconds, but lacking assistance he soon began losing ground.

Twenty kilometers out, bound for the final stretch of cobbles, the Lange Munte, the leaders had stretched their advantage back out to 22 seconds. Gilbert had dropped to more than a minute behind, with the peloton at 1:08.

Again the chasing trio cut into the gap, and again it went back out. With 14km to race the leaders clung to 22 seconds over the first pursuit.

Stannard proved impossible to dislodge — he stayed locked to the rear of the Etixx train with 10km remaining. And three kilometers further along, with their gap out to 30 seconds, it seemed certain that the winner would come from the lead quartet.

“At first, I was comfortable, didn’t have to ride, they were going hard, I was like, ‘This is good,’ ” said Stannard. “But then you start thinking the different scenarios and they were going to attack me at the end, weren’t they? There’s not much you can do.”

Boonen dropped to the back of the group, behind Stannard, as Vandenbergh took the point.

Five kilometers out it was still status quo — and then Terpstra accelerated, forcing Stannard to chase. And as Stannard took the front, Boonen attacked and went it alone.

Boonen was on his own with 4km to go. Stannard immediately took up the chase, but he had two Etixx riders for company. Nonetheless, he dragged them up to Boonen — and Terpstra went again.

Then Stannard tried his own attack, with 2.7km to go. And he took a gap.

“I was a little bit worried about it, I thought they were going to attack me pretty hard at the end,” he said. “But, you know, the group behind was only 20 seconds behind, so they couldn’t try too much. So I could just play poker on the back. You know, Tom tried to attack me and I rode back up to him. When you ride back up to a guy like that, you know your legs are pretty good.”

Vandenbergh finally popped, and Terpstra and Boonen went after Stannard. Terpstra made the connection, but Boonen couldn’t close the gap.

At the red kite it was Stannard leading Terpstra, with Boonen trying frantically to get back on terms.

Terpstra hit the front for the two-up sprint and led it out — but it was Stannard who came round him on the right and took the victory. Terpstra hung on for second with Boonen third.

“I went over the top of them and then Niki came to me,” said Stannard. “I was aware Tom was just behind, and then Niki went a little bit early in the sprint and just shielded me from the wind a little bit really. I just had to grit my teeth and go for it.”

Terpstra believed he had the victory in hand, until he ran out of gas short of the line.

“I thought I had him until 50 meters in front of the finish line. I had nothing left in my legs at that point,” he said. “Looking back, maybe it would have been better to wait for the sprint with Tom and not attacking, but it’s a question of moment and circumstances. Stannard was really strong in the end against our attacks, and deserved the win.”

Boonen agreed that Etixx could have played the game differently, and perhaps more successfully.

After Stannard neutralized his attack, Boonen said, “the best thing to do at that point would have been to stay calm and wait for the sprint. But we had been full gas for the last hour, so really it was about instinct at that point. So, Niki attacked again, then Stannard, and then the final sprint was between those two guys.

“There is a thin line between a great race and a costly mistake, and unfortunately we took the risk of not waiting for the sprint, and it didn’t work out. It would have been great to win the race, but that’s cycling. Congrats to Stannard. He rode a smart tactical race and his reactions to our attacks were impressive.”

Asked if Etixx had erred tactically, Stannard replied diplomatically: “It’s a hard situation. There’s guys behind chasing them. They want to be in the front to try and win. So they had to ride hard. Maybe if the gap was a minute they could have played it more, but I don’t know what else they could have done, really.

“You know, thankfully the guys behind were still really close. Sep Vanmarcke was still riding really hard, and it was always 18 to 20 seconds. So the Etixx guys had to ride hard and it killed them really, at the end. It played into my hands. Doesn’t get any better, does it?”

Editor’s note: Dan Seaton contributed to this report from Ghent.

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Sarah Storey misses women’s world hour record http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/02/news/sarah-storey-misses-womens-world-hour-record_361916 http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/02/news/sarah-storey-misses-womens-world-hour-record_361916#comments Sat, 28 Feb 2015 15:46:16 +0000 http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=361916

Britain's Sarah Storey attempted the hour record on February 28. She needed to beat Leontien Zijlaard-van Moorsel, who rode 46.065km in Mexico City in 2003. Photo: Glyn Kirk | AFP

Sarah Storey comes up short in her shot at the women's hour record, but does beat the British mark

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Britain's Sarah Storey attempted the hour record on February 28. She needed to beat Leontien Zijlaard-van Moorsel, who rode 46.065km in Mexico City in 2003. Photo: Glyn Kirk | AFP

Sarah Storey fell short of breaking the world hour record on Saturday at the Olympic Velodrome in London.

The 11-time Paralympic champion was after the mark of 46.065km set in 2003 by Leontien Zijlaard-van Moorsel. She began strongly, but slipped off the pace by the halfway mark.

The 37-year-old did break the British record, however, by covering 45.502km.

Storey told The Guardian afterward that she suffered from cramps, calling the attempt “the hardest hour of my life.”

“In the first half hour you are thinking, ‘Oh, my goodness, I haven’t done 30 minutes yet.’ It was really tough,” she said.

“To break the British record is fantastic. I was hoping to go further than anyone else. Leontien was an incredible athlete and there’s no shame in missing out to her.”

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Anna van der Breggen wins women’s Omloop http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/02/news/anna-van-der-breggen-wins-womens-omloop_361879 http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/02/news/anna-van-der-breggen-wins-womens-omloop_361879#comments Sat, 28 Feb 2015 15:30:29 +0000 http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=361879

Anna van der Breggen wins the women's Omloop. Photo: AFP

Anna van der Breggen and Ellen van Dijk battled for the victory in the women's Omloop Het Nieuwsblad

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Anna van der Breggen wins the women's Omloop. Photo: AFP

Anna van der Breggen (Rabo-Liv) won the women’s Omloop Het Nieuwsblad on Saturday.

Van der Breggen out-kicked Ellen van Dijk (Boels Dolmans) to win the 120km race, while van Dijk’s teammate Lizzie Armitstead rounded out the podium in third.

Van Dijk attacked on the Molenberg with 35km to go, and van der Breggen went with her. Behind them, a select chase formed, containing 2014 winner Amy Pieters (Liv-Plantur) and Armitstead, among others.

After that, said van der Breggen, it was just a matter of waiting.

“I didn’t have any idea that behind us the group was coming back to within 30 seconds. So we weren’t nervous,” she said.

“I was the one for team Rabobank to be in the front and I was in the front. [Director] Koos Moerenhout was counting on me for the sprint.”

On the Lange Munte, the last cobbled stretch of ​​the day, the pair had more than a minute over the chase group. And in the sprint, it was van der Breggen who had the edge.

“On paper I’m faster, but I was surprised here before, three years ago, by Loes Gunnewijk,” said van Dijk. “But I told myself ‘I can win the sprint, it’s okay, it’s with Anna, I can have this. But remember 2012, don’t underestimate the finish.’”

But when the Rabo rider went, van Dijk said she didn’t have the legs to follow.

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Greg Van Avermaet under scrutiny in Mertens inquiry http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/02/news/greg-van-avermaet-scrutiny-mertens-inquiry_361861 http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/02/news/greg-van-avermaet-scrutiny-mertens-inquiry_361861#comments Sat, 28 Feb 2015 13:35:31 +0000 http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=361861

Greg Van Avermaet, second at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad in 2014, will face the Belgian doping committee in the investigation of Dr. Chris Mertens. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com (file)

BMC Racing confirms that Greg Van Avermaet will face the Belgian federation's doping committee next month

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Greg Van Avermaet, second at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad in 2014, will face the Belgian doping committee in the investigation of Dr. Chris Mertens. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com (file)

Greg Van Avermaet (BMC Racing Team) will face the doping committee of the Belgian cycling federation next month as part of the investigation of Dr. Chris Mertens, according to press reports.

Van Avermaet’s team said it was conducting an internal inquiry and that it had yet to unearth any rule violations.

In a press release, management wrote: “The team is aware that Van Avermaet was treated by Dr. Mertens, but is unaware of any treatments that would be in violation of any rules. Based on the information available to the team at the present time, no decision has been made to remove Van Avermaet from active status.”

Speaking before the start of Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, Van Avermaet — who finished second here last year and is hoping for big things on the cobbles this year — denied wrongdoing.

“It’s about being ready to race for me. This was not pleasant news, but I am innocent. I just want to focus on the race. Today is my first mission and I am glad the team let me start. The race will help me process all this,” he said.

Asked if the inquiry was a distraction, he replied: “No. I’m going to try to win this race.”

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Chad Haga, Giant-Alpecin’s resident pianist http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/02/news/chad-haga-giant-alpecins-resident-pianist_361836 http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/02/news/chad-haga-giant-alpecins-resident-pianist_361836#comments Fri, 27 Feb 2015 22:17:55 +0000 http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=361836

Chad Haga (Giant-Alpecin) is taking on his second season at the WorldTour level in 2015.
Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

Haga is not a typical bike racer, but the learned young Texan won't shy away from the challenge of top-flight WorldTour competition

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Chad Haga (Giant-Alpecin) is taking on his second season at the WorldTour level in 2015. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

Chad Haga plays piano in the evening, between stages at the Dubai Tour, tinkling away in the lobby until the staff asks him to stop. The piano is not actually for playing, they say.

He has a degree in mechanical engineering from Texas A&M. He’s a vocal proponent of the Oxford comma. He’s shy, as so many grammar aficionados are, preferring to train alone with his thoughts or a podcast. Freakonomics and the TED Radio Hour are just the ticket, he says, for a long spin through foothills of the Pyrenees.

Haga is not a typical professional bike racer.

The Giant-Alpecin rider — a tall man at six-foot-three, a good time trialist and a rising star — is one of three Texans who have made the leap to the WorldTour with Giant-Alpecin. VeloNews caught up with the quirky 26-year-old in Dubai, just as his second WorldTour season was gearing up.

When making the transition from the national level to racing at the WorldTour level, one must make many adjustments — not only physically, but also mentally. When asked what he liked best about racing at the top level, Haga was matter-of-fact. “Just knowing that you’re racing against the very best all the time,” is motivation, he said. “It’s just like, ‘Oh, well there’s Nibali; there’s Cavendish, and Tony Martin is on the front. Here’s the stage. Time to perform.” His goal: Beat them, even occasionally, as proof they don’t exist on some unattainable higher plane.

With three pro Texans — Haga, Lawson Craddock, and Caleb Fairly — all wearing the same jersey, we were curious where Haga felt he fit in, and what the team had in mind for him this season.

He spoke to his interest in doing another grand tour this year. He raced and finished the Vuelta a España in 2014, highlighted by a sixth in the opening team time trial.

“I definitely want to go somewhere and do another three-week race, because that was incredible. I had really good legs at the end of it, and the way I came out of it was mind-boggling, so I’m excited to experience that again.”

For a rider so new to the game, protected status can be an intimidating prospect. “It forces you to really focus and perform as well as you can because I know they’re giving their effort, so it’s time for me to contribute my result.”

“I think at Romandie might be a possibility for a GC shot,” he said. “There’s a time trial there, I’m not so familiar with the race because I’ve never done it. We’ll just see what happens when I show up.”

However, with his hunger for learning, it’s likely that Haga would do his homework to be completely prepared, if he got the call to go to Switzerland. The soft-spoken rider usually prefers to train alone and let his brain be the DJ.

“Most of the time these days I’m listening to podcasts, just learning the whole time. I’ve heard all my music, so I don’t need to hear that for the 7,000th time. Just stuff you should know, Freakonomics, TED Radio Hour,” he said.

Not only does Haga like to learn new things while out training, but he also likes to experience new things in terms of racing. He’s done well at the Tour of California, finishing 10th overall in 2013, but the Giro may be on the horizon this year. Fellow American Fairly is on Giant’s roster for the Italian race.

“I loved California. I’ve done that race twice now, and enjoyed it a lot both times. I’d love to go back, but if they wanted to send me to the Giro, there’s no way I’d turn that down. There are still so many races I haven’t done yet that I want to do,” he said. “Let’s go somewhere new. So, fingers crossed.”

Caley Fretz contributed reporting to this story.

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Video: What’s in a pro cyclist’s suitcase? http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/02/video/video-whats-pro-cyclists-suitcase_361840 http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/02/video/video-whats-pro-cyclists-suitcase_361840#comments Fri, 27 Feb 2015 21:07:59 +0000 http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=361840

Global Cycling Network looks at the mountains of kit that Matti Breschel has at his disposal.

Global Cycling Network takes a look at the mountains of new kit that Tinkoff-Saxo's Matti Breschel has at his disposal

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Global Cycling Network looks at the mountains of kit that Matti Breschel has at his disposal.

Editor’s Note: This video is courtesy of Global Cycling Network. The opinions expressed in this video do not necessarily represent the opinions of VeloNews.com, Velo magazine or the editors and staff of Competitor Group, Inc.

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Grand Prix of Portland pushed to 2016 http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/02/news/grand-prix-portland-pushed-2016_361826 http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/02/news/grand-prix-portland-pushed-2016_361826#comments Fri, 27 Feb 2015 20:33:24 +0000 http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=361826

After failing to lock in a sponsor to support the proposed UCI one-day race, organizers say the Grand Prix of Portland is on hold

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Due to a lack of funding, the GP Portland, which had been planned for August 29, 2015, has been postponed.

Jack Toland, the event’s co-founder and operations manager told VeloNews via email, “Our timing was out of alignment with most companies’ budget cycles and fiscal planning for 2015.”

The race was proposed to be a one-day 112-mile UCI 1.2 race through the city of Portland, one of America’s most cycling-friendly cities. The trio of co-founders felt that Oregon was a place that deserved a world-class race due to its thriving race community and bicycle culture.

The partners looked as far as New York City for a title sponsor, but found it to be much harder than they had expected to secure funds. Their anticipated budget for the race is between $1 and $2 million.

But don’t count Portland out yet. It is clear that Toland remains positive about the race’s future.

“Nonetheless, our team continues to market the event and remains enthusiastic that Portland could still possibly make budget for 2016,” he said.

Neal Rogers contributed to this report.

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Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne: Choose your own adventure http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/02/news/kuurne-brussels-kuurne-choose-adventure_361811 http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/02/news/kuurne-brussels-kuurne-choose-adventure_361811#comments Fri, 27 Feb 2015 20:04:53 +0000 http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=361811

Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) sprinted to victory in Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne 2014. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

Much like Milano-Sanremo a month later, Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne is very much dependent on factors outside an individual racer's control

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Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) sprinted to victory in Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne 2014. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

If the sprinters can survive, they win Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne. Seems a bit boring, on its face. But that tension, watching the fast men hang on for dear life as the classics stars smash them over Belgium’s cobbled spine, is part of the race’s allure.

The final outcome of Kuurne is as much dependent on the motivation of the field, its desire and ability to shed the fast men, as it is on the talent, form, and tactics of any one rider. This separates it from the more difficult classics, where raw strength, in sufficient quantities, can triumph. Much like Milano-Sanremo a month later, Kuurne’s character is binary. Big bunch sprint, or tiny group sprint. Rarely is it anything in between.

Kuurne features nine hellingen, those steep, cobbled climbs that mark the best Belgian races, across 197 kilometers. It is the second half of the classics’ opening weekend, featuring much of the same terrain as Saturday’s Omloop Het Nieuwsblad. But there is a crucial difference: At Kuurne, the cobbled climbs end over an hour’s ride from the finish line.

That gives sprinters, and their teams, a chance to regroup, regain contact with the front of the race if the hellingen have sent them off the back, and set up for victory. So it was in 2012, when Mark Cavendish (Etixx-Quick-Step) sprinted to victory out of a group of 110 riders.

The race is nothing like a flat grand tour stage, though. It’s not a mere parade until the sprint trains ramp up. A motivated team or bad weather can fracture the race beyond repair, as Tom Boonen (Etixx-Quick-Step) and company did last year.

Omega Pharma-Quick Step (now Etixx-Quick-Step) and Belkin (now LottoNL-Jumbo) hit the gas over 70 kilometers from the finish line in 2014, splintering the peloton and sending many of the fastest finishers off the back, never to return. Boonen was first across the line, sprinting out of a group of 10 that included only two riders not from either Omega or Belkin. The main peloton, 39 riders strong, was led across the line by Alexander Kristoff (Katusha).

The weather can play an equally important role. A cold peloton is often a complacent one. Bobbie Traksel, now retired, used this to his advantage in 2010, slipping off the front with Ian Stannard (Team Sky) amid bitterly cold conditions to take a surprise victory. The forecast for this weekend doesn’t look good — temperatures in the mid 40s with rain sometime Saturday night and into Sunday. There’s a good chance that either Omloop or Kuurne, or both, are affected by the showers.

A few riders and teams to keep an eye on this Sunday:

Going for the double: Alexander Kristoff
Kristoff is the favorite for Saturday’s Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and has a real shot at picking up the Omloop/Kuurne double this weekend. He’s a danger regardless of the race’s character, perfectly capable of winning out of a large bunch and likely strong enough to keep up with the rouleurs if they try to split the field across the back of the Kwaremont.

If history is any guide: Tom Boonen
Boonen has a hat-trick in Kuurne, from wins in 2007, 2009, and 2014. Like Kristoff, he can win out of a bunch or off the front. He has Mark Cavendish at his side this year, providing Etixx with two potent and tactically dissimilar options. If it blows up, Boonen can be there. If it stays together, there’s always Cav, waiting in the wings. That takes pressure off both riders; one plus one can equal more than two in tactical calculus.

Saving it for another day: André Greipel (Lotto-Soudal)
Greipel came down sick this week, citing a throat infection. He could certainly have contested the win if the race stayed relatively compact, though his absence opens the door for a teammate like Marcel Sieberg to give it a go — the German was second in 2007.

Team with options: Team Sky
Etixx always has the numbers up front, but Sky’s lineup of Bradley Wiggins, Ian Stannard, Elia Viviani, and former Kuurne winner Chris Sutton gives the team myriad options across a variety of race scenarios. Stannard has proven his ability to shrug off bad weather, Wiggins can never be underestimated, Viviani has been sprinting well since the Tour of Dubai, and Sutton has done it before.

Something to prove: MTN-Qhubeka
The team now has three solid classics riders in Gerald Ciolek, Edvald Boassen Hagen, and Tyler Farrar. The latter two are new to the squad and coming off lackluster 2014 seasons. They will want to prove their value, and prove that last year was a fluke, as quickly as possible. Farrar is well-suited to the parcours and should have a bit of form from the Vuelta a Andalucia. Boassen Hagen can be there if the field detonates. Ciolek is likely focused a bit later in the season, but don’t discount his finishing kick.

VeloNews’ darkhorse pick: Yauheni Hutarovich (Bretange-Seché Environment)
Second behind Cavendish in 2012, Hutarovich can be there if the race stays largely intact. He’s already won three times this year, albeit at the smaller La Tropicale Amissa Bongo race, but the confidence gained from any win should not be underestimated, nor should the desire to put it to the WorldTour juggernauts with his Pro Continental squad.

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In the News: Vaminolact infusions discovered in Meeusen’s camper http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/02/news/news-vaminolact-infusions-discovered-meeusens-camper_361807 http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/02/news/news-vaminolact-infusions-discovered-meeusens-camper_361807#comments Fri, 27 Feb 2015 18:47:30 +0000 http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=361807

In addition to his suspicious links to Dr. Chris Mertens, Tom Meeusen is now accused of taking infusions of infant medication. Photo: Dan Seaton | VeloNews.com (File).

Cyclocross pro Tom Meeusen is suspected of taking infusions of infant medication, which could land him a two-year ban if confirmed

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In addition to his suspicious links to Dr. Chris Mertens, Tom Meeusen is now accused of taking infusions of infant medication. Photo: Dan Seaton | VeloNews.com (File).

Het Nieuwsblad reports that Belgian cyclocross star Tom Meeusen is suspected of taking injections of Vaminolact, an infant medication. According to reports, doping investigators found the infusion materiel in his camper.

Like fellow countryman Laurens Sweeck, Meeusen would face a two-year ban if the allegations are confirmed. Although Vaminolact is not a banned substance, injections are. On Thursday, Meeusen’s lawyer, Stijn Debaene, denied that his client had taken infusions. Meeusen is also linked to Dr. Chris Mertens, who is being investigated in Belgium for allegedly providing ozone therapy to top athletes.

Read more >>

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UCI adjusts Richmond worlds courses, announces schedule http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/02/news/uci-adjusts-richmond-worlds-courses-announces-schedule_361800 http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/02/news/uci-adjusts-richmond-worlds-courses-announces-schedule_361800#comments Fri, 27 Feb 2015 18:09:42 +0000 http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=361800

Adrien Costa and Alexey Vermeulen tested their legs on the 23rd Street climb while previewing the Richmond worlds courses in fall 2014. Nick Davis Photography

The 2015 world road championships courses are coming into focus, with the tough 23rd Street climb now included in all road race events

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Adrien Costa and Alexey Vermeulen tested their legs on the 23rd Street climb while previewing the Richmond worlds courses in fall 2014. Nick Davis Photography

The UCI announced Friday that several modifications have been made to the 2015 world road championship courses. The under-23 and junior races will now face the 23rd Street climb, which will also be a selective feature in the men’s and women’s elite races.

Additionally, a slight modification has been made to the road race course in downtown Richmond. Racers will now turn left at Main and Belvidere streets to head to Broad Street before returning to Main Street at 2nd Street.

The start venue has been changed for the team time trial, from Rocketts Landing in Henrico County, near Richmond’s downtown, to Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden in Henrico County, just north of Richmond. The shift showcases one of Richmond’s iconic landmarks, along with the Richmond National Battlefield Park, already featured in the original course.

“We’ve been able to incorporate many of the things we learned from the official test event, the USA Cycling collegiate road national championships, which was held last spring, in order to provide the best experience for racers, fans and Central Virginians alike,” said Richmond 2015 CEO Tim Miller. “We spent the past few months working with the UCI on finalizing the schedule and tweaking the courses. We can’t wait to showcase Richmond to the world and for the world to experience everything Richmond has to offer.”

The UCI and Richmond 2015 organizing committee also announced the week’s full schedule:

September 19, 9 a.m. – team time trial training
September 19, 1 p.m. – time trial circuit training
September 20, 11:30 a.m. – team time trial (women), 38.8km
September 20, 1:30 p.m. – team time trial (men), 38.8km
September 21, 10:00 a.m. – individual time trial (women juniors), 15km
September 21, 11:30 a.m. – individual time trial (men under-23), 30km
September 22, 9:30 a.m. – individual time trial (men juniors), 30km
September 22, 1:30 p.m. – individual time trial (women elite), 30km
September 23, 1:00 p.m. – individual time trial (men elite), 53km
September 24, 10:00 a.m. – road race training
September 25, 10:00 a.m. – road race (women juniors), 64.8km
September 25, 12:45 p.m. – road race (men under-23), 162km
September 26, 9:00 a.m. – road race (men juniors), 129.6km
September 26, 1:00 p.m. – road race (women elite), 129.6km
September 27, 9:00 a.m. – road race (men elite), 259.2km

All times listed are Eastern time zone.

“The announcement of the race schedule and the adjustment of the courses represent a new milestone on the way to the 2015 UCI road world championships,” said UCI president Brian Cookson commented. “I would like to thank the organizer for working in an extremely constructive manner to accommodate the concerns of the riders, the fans, and the residents alike. With only seven months to go, we can feel that Richmond is buzzing with anticipation for an event that we all believe will be unforgettable.”

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Kessiakoff says Astana mistreatment cut career short http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/02/news/kessiakoff-says-astana-mistreatment-cut-career-short_361792 http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/02/news/kessiakoff-says-astana-mistreatment-cut-career-short_361792#comments Fri, 27 Feb 2015 16:51:19 +0000 http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=361792

Fredrik Kessiakoff's tenure at Astana was marked by great success in 2012 and discord in his final season as a professional, 2014. Photo: BrakeThrough Media | VeloNews.com (File).

Fredrik Kessiakoff says a win-at-all-costs attitude on the Astana team left him burnt-out, unhealthy, and without a job as a pro cyclist

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Fredrik Kessiakoff's tenure at Astana was marked by great success in 2012 and discord in his final season as a professional, 2014. Photo: BrakeThrough Media | VeloNews.com (File).

The weather in Stockholm is terrible for a bike ride. Wet, heavy snow is melting on the ground and the air is cold and humid. But that is of no concern to Fredrik Kessiakoff. He lives in Monaco, but he’s here for job meetings, and to visit his parents. He doesn’t own a road bike and hasn’t touched one since last October, when he quit professional cycling.

When he was at his peak, the 34-year-old Swede could compete with the very best. Kessiakoff won a time trial in the Vuelta ahead of Alberto Contador and Chris Froome, dueled with Thomas Voeckler over the polka dot jersey in the Tour de France, and beat Fabian Cancellara in a Tour de Suisse time trial. That was in 2012. The two years since have been all struggle and no results.

It is not until now, when he is no longer under contract with the Astana team, that he reveals exactly how hard it has been.

After he quit Tour of Austria last summer, he received his second and final letter of warning from Astana. The letters arrived by priority mail, and were written on behalf of general manager Alexander Vinokourov.

“I just thought that ‘this can not be true, this is just not happening,’” he says. “I was already feeling pretty bad because I couldn’t ride my bike fast, and that was all I wanted in life, to go fast; that was the key to success. Then I had this situation with the team as well. I felt so bad, and my girlfriend did too, so we thought that it’s better that we call them now and tell them we are breaking the contract. We let the money go, because it’s not worth feeling like this; no money in the world is worth feeling this bad.”

After the 2012 Tour, Kessiakoff extended his contract with Astana, and became one of its better-paid riders. The demands from the team changed, he says.

The worst part started when he crashed at Strade Bianche last March. The Astana riders were already under pressure. Everybody had gotten an email from the team that explained the management’s disappointment with the riders’ performances.

Kessiakoff slid down a gravel road in Tuscany and got deep flesh wounds on his leg, hip, and arm. Three days before his next race, Volta a Catalunya, the team doctor told him he had to stay home. But the team did not accept it. He was going.

“It felt like they didn’t trust what I said, that I really had an infected wound. But I didn’t want to show that my morale was low. I wanted to be loyal to the team, so I went.”

He raced with open wounds, got sick on the last day of the race, and was sent home again. Still, he felt he had done good. He had shown the team that he was committed.

“Then, two days go by, and there is a letter in the mail with a personal warning for me. It says that I let down my teammates and the staff at the race. They are wondering if I have trained properly and some other things. Going from thinking that the first email was not very nice, now I didn’t know what to do with myself.”

Kessiakoff collected quite a few race days in the spring. After Catalunya he raced in the Vuelta al País Vasco, Giro del Trentino, Tour de Romandie. His string of results is odd. Almost every stage he finished among the last riders.

“The worst thing was that I couldn’t quit. I can’t quit the race, because then I get another letter,” he says. “It was extremely hard mentally. You just had to go there, with fear, and knowing that whatever you do, just finish, because then they can’t say anything. But, sure, I was completely worthless. I was probably run down. Many of my symptoms were hard to explain, when I look back at it. The only thing is that I was extremely worn out, so it was my body’s way of saying that, ‘You have to rest now.’ The smallest thing gave me infections, rashes, fever.”

Astana’s team manager Giuseppe Martinelli now regrets sending Kessiakoff to all those races but says the team’s intentions were good. “I know Fredrik’s personality very well, and I thought and believed that it was a psychological thing,” he says over the phone. “Even though he didn’t have great form, we tried to boost his morale by taking him to the races. Probably that was the misunderstanding with the team. We didn’t take him there to make a fool out of him, or because we thought he was lazy,” he says.

But the letters sent to the Swede had a different message. Martinelli says that the two letters “certainly” did not come from him, but won’t say much more. “You will have to ask someone above me, Alexander Vinokourov or someone, about that,” he says.

“I am defending the team, and on the other hand I also want to defend Fredrik,” says Martinelli. “It’s happened to a lot of other riders, and unfortunately the world works a bit like this. Two parties cannot always go together. There are also difficulties. In this case I think there were.”

Even when Kessiakoff had a break from racing in May and went to train with the Tour team, he didn’t recover. He couldn’t ride as fast as he had, or as fast as he needed.

“I was scared and sad. [The letter] came like a threat. If I don’t get better, they will take action. That to me is like a threat. My fear was that they would not pay my wages. And I felt powerless, I couldn’t do anything. Maybe that’s why I choose to talk about it now as well. I don’t want to be a victim, but I want to help, make sure that maybe it’s done differently in the future.”

He raced Tour de Suisse in June, despite having strange rashes on his body. One of the team’s doctors said that he didn’t have the authority to send him home.

When he arrived at Tour of Austria in July, he kept his hand inside his sleeve when he greeted everyone, because flakes of skin were falling off his hands and feet. After two stages, the doctor and sports director agreed he had to go home. Then, the second letter came.

“It says that they are very disappointed in my performances and the fact that I quit the race, and if this continues they will have to take action in accordance with my contract,” Kessiakoff says.

He thought about giving up, but writing an answer made him feel better. He pointed out that he was required to send in all his training data, so the team had all the information they needed about his work. No one replied.

In the summer, his teammates, brothers Maxim and Valentin Iglinskiy, both tested positive for EPO. It made Kessiakoff think, he says.

“Maybe that would have been an easy way to make my problems disappear. Dope and start racing fast, and the team would have been happy. I can see how that situation could appear if you treat a rider this way,” he says. “I’m not defending them, saying that they did the right thing, on the contrary. It’s extremely dangerous, to say that there are no excuses. That’s what the first email said, that there are no excuses not to ride faster and take podium places.”

Martinelli rejects this thought completely. “[The Iglinskiy brothers] are Kazakhs. I don’t think they have any pressure from Vinokourov or the team because they have their future secured. They would always have had a second job with Astana after their career. They are two persons without any pressure. These two brothers have nothing to do with any problems of Astana. These are completely their own personal problems,” he says.

Because of what happened last year during his time with Astana, Kessiakoff says his professional career ended earlier than he had planned.

“They didn’t succeed in getting the best out of me,” Kessiakoff says. “Instead it only got worse.”

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Van Avermaet targets classics for ‘big win’ http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/02/news/van-avermaet-targets-classics-for-big-win_361785 http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/02/news/van-avermaet-targets-classics-for-big-win_361785#comments Fri, 27 Feb 2015 14:30:15 +0000 http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=361785

Greg Van Avermaet hopes to land on the top step of the podium this season. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

The Belgian had several close calls last season, and is now focused on crossing the line first for 2015

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Greg Van Avermaet hopes to land on the top step of the podium this season. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

Greg Van Avermaet (BMC Racing) is hoping to hit the replay button on the 2014 season, but change those oh-so-close podium places for outright victories.

Last year was a breakthrough season for the 29-year-old Belgian on many levels. For the first time in his career, BMC gave him outright leadership duties in the northern classics, and he delivered some incredible rides. Second places at Ronde van Vlaanderen (Tour of Flanders) and the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad don’t quite haunt him; instead they are evidence that he’s on the right track, and he’s intent on stepping up even higher on the podium this spring.

Saturday’s Omloop will see Van Avermaet return to form in the race where he announced his arrival with aggressive racing, only to be out-dueled by Ian Stannard (Sky) in the finale.

For Van Avermaet, those close calls only serve to boost his motivation and confidence coming into the meat of the 2015 classics season.

“I was already very close last year, and I keep making small progressions, and it’s getting closer and closer,” Van Avermaet said. “I am hoping I can win a big classic. I know I can beat those guys. I am already close.”

For 2015, Van Avermaet is hoping to shed the “close by not quite” tag that’s haunted him a bit over the past few seasons. He’s won stages at the Vuelta a España and such races as Paris-Tours en route to 17 professional wins, but he was oh-so-close to huge wins in 2014, with second at Flanders to Fabian Cancellara (Trek Factory Racing) and second to Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) in stage 2 of the 2014 Tour de France. He also missed out on a worlds medal, with fifth in a bunch sprint behind Michal Kwiatkowski (Etixx-Quick-Step).


Rather than fall into frustration, Van Avermaet insists he finds only reasons to be optimistic coming into 2015.

“The big dream is to win Flanders. I was close last year, and had Quick Step raced a bit differently, I might have already had won Flanders,” he said, referring to Quick Step’s call to have Stijn Vandenbergh sit on his wheel. “It was frustrating that they wouldn’t let him ride with me. Every team has their tactic.”

Last year, Van Avermaet grabbed the chance to become BMC’s outright leader for the cobbles. With Thor Hushovd and Alessandro Ballan both out of the frame, Van Avermaet got the chance he was always hoping for.

For BMC, Van Avermaet’s designation as team captain is confirmation that the team believes he can win such races as Flanders or perhaps even Paris-Roubaix.

“I see Greg making one more step. He was already a different rider than he was in 2013. His confidence has grown by leaps and bounds,” BMC sporting manager Alan Peiper said. “You can see it in the way he intermingles with the team. There is a certain swagger to his walk, an air of confidence that he never had before.”

Van Avermaet has raced in the shadow of his more-famous, more-prolific compatriots, teammate Philippe Gilbert and Tom Boonen (Etixx). He’s still a very big star in bike-crazy Belgium, but he knows he needs to win a race like Flanders to confirm his status.

Already in 2014, BMC was giving Van Avermaet more room to move. With Gilbert focusing on the Ardennes, their two agendas rarely crossed. And when they did, at such races as Milano-Sanremo or the Amstel Gold Race, there was strength in numbers.

“If those two can find a rapport, they can be a dynamic duo,” Peiper said of Gilbert and Van Avermaet.

At last year’s worlds, Gilbert unselfishly took huge pulls for Van Avermaet to try to reel in Kwiatkowski and set him up for a medal.

Van Avermaet insists he has the goods to deliver a “big win.”

“I want that big win. I’ve had a good career, and I was a winner a lot at U23, and I had some early wins when I turned pro. I think I still have that killer instinct,” he said. “Last year gave me a lot of confidence. I made the decision to attack in the races, and that’s the way I like to race. That gives me confidence for 2015 that I can take that big win.”

It all starts Saturday at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad. Van Avermaet is hoping to hit the repeat button, but only changing the finish-line photo, with him coming across the line first.

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