Volta a Catalunya 2013 Preview – Stage 7

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After 1.050 kilometers and numerous categorized climbs inland Catalunya, the riders are once again in the Mediterranean coast for  the final stage of Volta 2013. This pretty short stage will end in Barcelona with 8 laps on a finishing circuit with the legendary Montjuic climb.

Last time we saw Montjuic was Vuelta Espana 2012 Stage 9, 3 kilometers before the finish line. The stage was won by Philippe Gilbert, carrying Katusha’s Joaquim Rodriguez in his backwheel, helping him extend his lead in GC.

Before the final stage of Volta a Catalunya, Dan Martin leads the race with 17 seconds but wait for Rodriguez to attack very strong in Montjuic in front of his own crowd in his hometown.

GC Before Stage 7

1. Daniel Martin (Irl) Garmin-Sharp 26:16:22
2. Joaquim Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha 17″
3. Nairo Alexander Quintana Rojas (Col) Movistar Team 45″
4. Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Sky Procycling 54″
5. Michele Scarponi (Ita) Lampre-Merida 55″
6. Robert Gesink (Ned) Blanco Pro Cycling Team 1′ 07″
7. Przemyslaw Niemiec (Pol) Lampre-Merida 1′ 18″
8. Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ 1′ 26″
9. Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Lotto Belisol 1′ 28″
10. Peter Stetina (USA) Garmin-Sharp 1′ 30″

Profile of Montjuic Climb

Montjuic

Gerrans Wins Hectic Sprint as Dan Martin Gained Time

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Orica Greenedge’s Australian rider Simon Gerrans won the sprint and collect his second win of the season after Tour Down Under’s Willunga Hill victory. Omega Pharma Quick-Step’s Gianni Meersman, winner of the first and second stages so far in Volta a Catalunya came second and AG2R’s Samuel Dumoulin came third.

“I was far back, but I knew the guys in front of me were still lead out riders, so I had time to come around them,” told Gerrans, describing his win. “I kicked quite hard out of the corner. This gave me the opportunity to move up and use my momentum to pop out in the last couple hundred meters. I had the legs to come from behind today. It’s fantastic to get another WorldTour stage win for the team.”

Simon Gerrans is the only rider that finished the snow-affected Milan-SanRemo race and also competing in Volta a Catalunya, which started the following day.

Race leader Dan Martin, snatching a three second mid-stage time bonus, extended his lead to 17 seconds on his closest follower Joaquim Rodriguez before Sunday’s final Stage 7.

Final Kilometers

GC After Stage 6

1. Daniel Martin (Irl) Garmin-Sharp 26:16:22
2. Joaquim Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha 17″
3. Nairo Alexander Quintana Rojas (Col) Movistar Team 45″
4. Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Sky Procycling 54″
5. Michele Scarponi (Ita) Lampre-Merida 55″
6. Robert Gesink (Ned) Blanco Pro Cycling Team 1′ 07″
7. Przemyslaw Niemiec (Pol) Lampre-Merida 1′ 18″
8. Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ 1′ 26″
9. Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Lotto Belisol 1′ 28″
10. Peter Stetina (USA) Garmin-Sharp 1′ 30″

Stage 6 Results

1. Simon Gerrans (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge 3:55:46
2. Gianni Meersman (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quick Step
3. Samuel Dumoulin (Fra) Ag2R La Mondiale
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Fabian Cancellara won E3 Harelbeke in Timetrial Mode

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E3 Harelbeke winner in 2010 and 2011, Fabian Cancellara attacked on the cobbled sector of Oude Kwaremont climb, 35 kilometres from the end, dropping Peter Sagan off his wheel. Cancellara, then easily managed to build 1 minute lead to the rest of the escapees; Daniel Oss, Geraint Thomas, Sebastian Langeveld, Sylvain Chavanel and Peter Sagan. At one point the gap reduced to 40 seconds but Cancellara was all too strong and didn’t drop his pace at any point during his solo run.

Peter Sagan won the sprint amongst the chase group, Daniel Oss getting the last podium spot. 5 time E3 Harelbeke winner Tom Boonen couldn’t get into the escape groups that formed before Cancellara’s break came, but managed to win the sprint amongst the remaining riders in the peloton, putting him into 7th place, but still 2:15 away from Cancellara.

“You have to take it when you can as you never know what tomorrow brings,” said Cancellara. “After my crash in Flanders last year this was my first race on this special ground. I saw that there were many Omega Pharma-QuickSteps in the front, so I decided to try something. It was a so hard but such a unique experience. Many things crossed my mind. This is a great win for me and for the team. Anything that will come now is a bonus.”

E3 Harelbeke 2013 Final Kilometers

E3 Harelbeke 2013 Results

1. Fabian Cancellara (Swi) RadioShack Leopard 5:08:28
2. Peter Sagan (Svk) Cannondale Pro Cycling 1′ 04″
3. Daniel Oss (Ita) BMC Racing Team
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E3 Harelbeke – TV Guide and Live Streaming Options

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E3 Harelbeke starts on 22 March, Friday 12:00 CET and is expected to finish around 17:00. It is the first of the 2.5 weeks long Cobbled Classics.

Eurosport 2 in most of Europe where available, Sporza and RTBF in BelgiumNOS in Netherlands, and RAI Sport 2 in Italy will start the live broadcast around 14:30.

For live streaming options, check out the below links though some may be geo-location restricted;

SporzaRTBFRai Sport 2Eurosport (unofficial), Sporza (unofficial)

Also check race preview.

E3 Harelbeke 2013 – Preview

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The cobbled hills on the route are what makes cycling in Belgium that interesting. And in 56th edition of E3 Harelbeke, riders will pass over 15 hills in total; Leberg, Oude Steenweg, La Houppe, Berg Stene, Boigneberg, Eikenberg, Stationsberg, Taaienberg, Berg Ten Houte, Kanarieberg, Kapelberg, Paterberg, Kwaremont, Knokteberg and Tiegemberg in order.

The Paterberg is a cobbled 500m climb that averages 12.5% whereas Kapelberg is 1.25 km with 14% average. The Tiegemberg is 1km long with 6.5% and is positioned 15 km from the finish.

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E3 Harelbeke 2013 – Riders’ List

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6 teams are invited with wildcards besides the 19 pro tour teams: Accent.Jobs – Wanty,  Crelan-Euphony and Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise from Belgium, Cofidis and Europcar from France, and IAM Cycling from Switzerland.

Peter SaganPhilippe GilbertLars Boom, Filippo PozzatoEdvald Boasson Hagen, and of course Tom Boonen are this year’s favorites. Check out Race Preview for more detail about the route.

The startlist of the 56th edition of E3 Harelbeke
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E3 Harelbeke – A Brief History

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E3 Harelbeke is the first world tour race of the 2.5 week long cobbled classics season. With its first edition dating back to 1958, E3 Harelbeke is a 210 kilometers long course that starts and finishes in Harelbeke, located in the Belgian province of West Flanders. The race, originally named Harelbeke-Anvers-Harelbeke, takes it name from the E3 motorway that was built in mid sixties.

Belgian cyclist Tom Boonen holds the record for most wins with 5 victories followed by Rik Van Looy (4) and Jan Raas (3). More recently Fabian Cancellara won the race back to back in 2010 and 2011 and Filippo Pozzato was victorious in 2009.

Dan Martin Seizes the Overall Lead with Solo Attack

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Garmin-Sharp’s Irish rider Dan Martin, days after his 6-month ban has expired,  clinched a monumental stage victory with a long solo attack and moved on top of the general classification. 2010 Volta winner Joaquim Rodriguez and Movistar’s rising Colombian Nairu Quintana finished the stage in 2nd and 3rd places.

Martin was the sole survivor of a 25-rider escape group formed early in the race and kept his pace all the way through the ski resort of Port Aine. With this victory, Dan Martin now leads the general classification by 10 seconds ahead of Rodriguez.

After overnight race leader Alejandro Valverde crashed and quit the race along with team-mate Eros Capecchi, Quintana became the new race leader for Movistar and stands 32 seconds away from Martin.

“It’s one of my best victories,” told Martin. “To have Ryder Hesjedal working for me in the breakaway like that all day was just incredible. I didn’t do much in the breakaway. I felt kind of bad, but it’s an incredible victory for me today. I know how difficult it is to win out a breakaway. To finally get a victory here in the mountains of my home race is very important for me.”

Final 3 Kilometers

GC After Stage 4

1. Daniel Martin (Irl) Garmin-Sharp 18:48:38
2. Joaquim Rodriguez (Spa) Katusha 10″
3. Nairo Alexander Quintana Rojas (Col) Movistar Team 32″
4. Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Sky Procycling 36″
5. Michele Scarponi (Ita) Lampre-Merida 39″
6. Robert Gesink (Ned) Blanco Pro Cycling Team 51″
7. Przemyslaw Niemiec (Pol) Lampre-Merida 1′ 00″
8. Peter Stetina (USA) Garmin-Sharp 1′ 07″
9. Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ 1′ 13″
10. Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Lotto Belisol 1′ 15″

Stage 4 Results

1. Daniel Martin (Irl) Garmin-Sharp 6:02:40
2. Joaquim Rodriguez (Spa) Katusha 36″
3. Nairo Alexander Quintana Rojas (Col) Movistar Team
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Oscar Gatto Wins 2013 Dwars door Vlaanderen

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Vini Fantini’s Oscar Gatto won the semi-classic Dwars door Vlaanderen outsprinting Astana’s Borut Bozic and Mathew Hayman of SKY. Thomas Voeckler attacked from the winning group of 10 riders with more than 6 kilometers to go but got caught in the final meters, eventually finishing in fourth place. Gatto became the first Italian to win the Dwars door Vlaanderen in its 68 year history.

“This is a great emotion, winning in Belgium, where the best races are ridden,” said Gatto. “As a small team, we do not have many chances, so I had a lot of motivation at the start to show that we are perhaps deserving of more opportunities. To be the first Italian winner is something extra special and feels great.”

Dwars door Vlaanderen – “Across Flanders” – is the opener of the cobbled classics season and the final warmup race for E3 Harelbeke on Friday and Gent-Wevelgem on Sunday.

Final Kilometers

Dwars door Vlaanderen 2013 Results

1. Oscar Gatto (Ita) Vini Fantini-Selle Italia 4:43:40 
2. Borut Bozic (Slo) Astana Pro Team
3. Mathew Hayman (Aus) Sky Procycling
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Volta a Catalunya 2013 Preview – Stage 4

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Bradley Wiggins‘ attack just under the final kilometer banner  in Stage 3 was not a real shakeout for the overall classification, but before the second and final mountain-top finish, made things quite interesting.

Two back-to-back Hors-Category climbs just before the stage finish means there will be lots of opportunities for all the GC contenders to make a move. Movistar will set the pace for Alejandro Valverde on the climbs today but expect SKY to take charge again in the mid stages of Port-Anne climb. It will be very hard to bounce back considering none of the remaining stages of Volta 2013 will allow much time differences, so all riders will be utterly cautious till the very end.

GC Before Stage 4

1. Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar Team 12:45:28
2. Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Sky Procycling 4″
3. Joaquim Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha
4. Michele Scarponi (Ita) Lampre-Merida 7″
5. Przemyslaw Niemiec (Pol) Lampre-Merida
6. Nairo Alexander Quintana Rojas (Col) Movistar Team 26″
7. Robert Gesink (Ned) Blanco Pro Cycling Team 30″
8. David Lopez Garcia (Spa) Sky Procycling
9. Daniel Martin (Irl) Garmin-Sharp
10. Peter Stetina (USA) Garmin-Sharp 35″