Cancellara won Paris-Roubaix with Sprint Victory on the Velodrome

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RadioShack Leopard’s Fabian Cancellara won the breathtaking sprint ahead of Sep Vanmarcke of Blanco and got his third Paris-Roubaix title of his career. Cancellara showed impressive performance so far in the spring classics, winning Ronde van Vlaanderen and E3 Harelbeke.

There was a 13-rider breakaway early in the day but got caught by the surging peloton pretty early which led to a new break to form, likewise got caught after an hour of attacking. But this escape and chase efforts thinned the peloton to 40-odd riders quite early in the race and finally a leading group shaped in the front with 13 riders and 25 kilometers to go.

Sep Vanmarcke and Stijn Vandenbergh attacked within the group and extended their lead to 40 seconds but Cancellara increased the pace with Zdenak Stybar on his backwheel and regrouped with the front duo. But on the cobbled sectors, Vanderbergh and Stybar crashed one after the other, Cancellara and Vanmarcke taking the lead under the 10 km banner.

They entered the Roubaix velodrome together, Vanmarcke led out the sprint but Cancellara was more calm and strong in the final meters and won his third Roubaix title and his second Flanders / Roubaix double.

Omega Pharma QuickStep’s Niki Terpstra sealed the final place on the podium by winning the sprint amongst the chasing group.

Final 4 kilometers:

Paris-Roubaix 2013 Results:

1. Fabian Cancellara (Swi) RadioShack-Leopard 5:45:33
2. Sep Vanmarcke (Bel) Team Blanco
3. Niki Terpstra (Ned) Omega Pharma – Quick Step 31″
4. Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC
5. Damien Gaudin (Fra) Team Europcar
6. Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Omega Pharma Quick Step 39″
7. Sebastian Langeveld (Ned) Orica-GreenEdge
8. Juan Antonio Flecha Giannoni (Spa) Vacansoleil-DCM
9. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Team Katusha 50″
10. Sébastien Turgot (Fra) Team Europcar

Paris-Roubaix 2013 – Live Dashboard

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Almost flat but full of cobbled sectors, Paris-Roubaix favors only the strongest riders. Last year’s winner Tom Boonen withdrew after his crash in Ronde van Vlandaaren and Fabian Cancellara‘s health is a bit of a mystery after crashing twice past week.

The real start was given at 10:30 CET this morning and the live television coverage starts around 13:00 and will be broadcasted in most countries in Europe, US, Canada and Australia.

in Europe, besides Eurosport, France 3 in France, Sporza and RTBF in Belgium, RTVE in Spain, Rai Sport 2 in Italy, NoS in Holland, RTL in Luxemburg and SF Zwei in Switzerland will broadcast the race live. Other broadcasters include RDS in Canada, NBC Sports in United States and SBS in Australia.

Live Streaming: Sporza,  RTBF, Rai Sport 2, SBS

Also check out 2013 riders’ list and Paris-Roubaix History.

Live Dashboard

17:17 – Fabian Cancellara won the sprint on the Roubaix Velodrome ahead of Sep VanmarckeNiki Tersptra came third one lap behind.

17:05 - After Vanderbergh and Stybar crashed one after the other, Fabian Cancellara and Sep Vanmarcke just passed under the 10km banner with 35 seconds lead.

15:50 - Cancellara attacked with Zdenek Stybar (OPQ) and regrouped with the leading duo as they entered Champin-en-Pevele.

15:40 - With 25 kilometers to go, Sep Vanmarcke (Blanco) and Stijn Vandenbergh (OPQ) are on the lead with a 40 seconds gap ahead of the now 10-riders chasing group including Fabian Cancellara (RLT), Damien Gaudin (EUC) and Niki Terpstra (OPQ).

15:15 - The breakaway group has been caught by the chasing bunch, who were down to 40 riders as they approached Mons-en-Pevele sector. Omega Pharma Quick Step team-mates Sylvain Chavanel, Niki Terpstra and Stijn Vandenbergh took charge of the bunch and raised the tempo. We now have a 13-rider leading group now.

15:00 – Michael Schar (BMC) joined the escapees, forming a group of 3. Damien Gaudin (EUC) and Stuart O’Grady (OGE) are chasing the trio which are only 50 seconds ahead of the peloton.

14:30 - The breakaway split into two: Gert Steegmans (OPQ) and Matt Hayman (SKY) are now leading 27 seconds ahead of a chasing group of three riders. The peloton is though closing the gap and is around 1 minute behind the leaders.

14:00 - As Arenberg is passed, the four-men breakaway is now 1:20 ahead of the peloton.

13:15 - New four-men breakaway leads the peloton by 18 seconds: Gert Steegmans (OPQ), Matt Henman (SKY), Stuart O Grady (OGE) and Clement Koretzky (BSE). FDJ’s Yoann Offredo crashed heavily after hitting road furniture.

12:30 - Peloton regroups after the early brekaway failed.

11:00 - 13 riders formed a break and are ahead by 35 seconds: Gert Steegmans (OPQ), Bjorn Thurau (EUC), Bob Jungels (RLT), Gatis Smukulis (KAT), Jacob Rathe (GRS), Jens Debuschere (LTB), Frederik Veuchelen (VCD), Michael Morkov (TST), Evaldas Siskevicius (SOJ), Guillaume Boivin (CAN), Eloy Teruel (MOV), Clement Kortesky (BSE) and Benjamin Lemontagner (BSE).

10:30 - The real start was given to 198 riders from 25 teams.

Paris-Roubaix – A Brief History

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First raced in 1896, the third monument of the cycling season, Paris-Roubaix is famous for its rough terrain, specifically cobblestones. “l’Enfer du Nord” – Hell of the North passes through northern France’s former coal-mining region covered with cobbled roads and rutted tracks before the riders finish in the famous outdoor velodrome in Roubaix.

Both Tom Boonen and Roger de Vlaeminck hold the record with 4 wins each and more recently it was only Johan Vansummeren and Fabian Cancellara being victorious other than Boonen.

Fabian Cancellara Wins 2013 Ronde van Vlaanderen

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RadioShack Leopard’s Swiss rider Fabian Cancellara won the 100th-anniversary Ronde van Vlaanderen, soloing to victory repeating his 2010 performance.

Cancellara was on the break with Cannondale’s Peter Sagan and Lotto Bellisol’s Jurgen Roelandts but the Swiss rider dispatched both on the final ascent of the Paterberg with 14 km to go. Cancellara, free of Sagan on his wheel, went into time-trial with the descend of Paterberg and raced away, building a lead of upto 1:30 in the final kilometers.

Peter Sagan outsprinted Roelandts and took the second place, while the Belgian rider contented himself with the third podium spot. Last year’s Ronde van Vlaanderen champion and big-time favourite Tom Boonen crashed out of the race at the very beginning and will not start Paris-Roubaix next sunday according to team doctors.

“The goal was to win and things sometime you can’t predict how they’re coming,” Cancellara told. “It’s just amazing. One year ago I was on the ground. Now I’m back. I did what i had to do — bring this Ronde van Vlaanderen home.”

“Well, Cancellara was a little better. The critical point of the game? I was with Fabian and Jürgen Roelandts. On the Kwaremont I could follow him, but the Paterberg was over,” Peter Sagan said. “I quickly turned the knob on Jürgen waited and together we drove to the podium. This was necessary, because the rest were still at our heels.”

Cancellara’s Attack on Paterberg

Final 3 Kilometers

Ronde van Vlaanderen 2013 Results

1. Fabian Cancellara (Swi) RadioShack Leopard 6:05:58
2. Peter Sagan (Svk) Cannondale Pro Cycling 1′ 26″
3. Jurgen Roelandts (Bel) Lotto Belisol 1′ 28″
4. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha 1′ 38″
5. Matthieu Ladagnous (Fra) FDJ
6. Heinrich Haussler (Aus) IAM Cycling
7. Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team
8. Sébastien Turgot (Fra) Team Europcar
9. John Degenkolb (Ger) Team Argos-Shimano
10. Sebastian Langeveld (Ned) Orica-GreenEdge

Sensational Sagan Solos out of Breakaway to Win Gent-Wevelgem

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Cannondale’s Slovakian sensation Peter Sagan, after finishing Milan-SanRemo in second place, didn’t wait for a group sprint this time and attacked with 3.5 kilometers to the line.

As the peloton tackled Baneberg, Kemmelberg and Monteberg for the last time, a group of riders including Peter Sagan formed a chase group, which eventually merged with the breakaway, forming a very strong 13-rider break and building a lead of 1′ 30″ very rapidly.

Stijn Vandenbergh made a move with 4 km to go as the peloton reduced the gap to 30 seconds, which opened the series of escape attempts but only Sagan was strong and determined enough to build a margin and keep his distance from the rest of the escapees.

Astana’s Borut Bozic came second, winning the sprint amongst the remaining riders in the breakaway while Greg Van Avermaet from BMC came third.

Tom Boonen‘s chances of becoming the only four-time winner of the race ended with a crash while Fabian Cancellara, winner of Friday’s E3 Harelbeke, also abandoned.

Sagan celebrated his win this time by popping a wheelie as he crossed the line.

Last 10 Kilometes

Gent-Wevelgem 2013 Results

1 Peter Sagan (Svk) Cannondale Pro Cycling 4′ 29′ 10″
2 Borut Bozic (Slo) Astana Pro Team 23″
3 Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team
(more…)

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
(more…)

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.

Gerald Ciolek Made History in Milan-San Remo

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German sprinter Gerald Ciolek from South Africa’s MTN-Qubeka won the sprint from a breakaway group involving Peter Sagan, Sylvain Chavanel, Fabian Cancellara, Luca Paolini and Ian Stannard. Taloy Phinney of BMC catched the break in the last meters but was a bit late as he cross the line last.

After the snow, neutralization of a pretty long part of the route and a second start around 15:00, Milan-San Remo’s 104th edition became an instant classic. The day’s break was 7′ 10″ ahead of the peloton when the race got neutralized due to show in Passo del Turchino so in the “second start of the race”, they kept this advantage, it was like handicapped racing all of a sudden…

“We have to be ready. It was so cold. With the snow + zero degrees it was hard on the legs but mainly the hands. It was hard to brake because you couldn’t feel your hands,” told Lars Yiting Bak from the breakaway group. “We got a hot shower on the bus. Normally MSR is like 2 races because of the distance. Today it really is two races.”

After Matteo Montaguti, Diego Rosa, Filippo Fortin, Maxim Belkov, Lars Yitting Bak and Pablo Lastras got caught on the Cipressa, it was world champion Philip Gilbert‘s turn to make a break. Sylvain Chavanel later joined Gilbert along with Ian Stannard and Eduard Vorganov. On the Poggio, Chavanel attacked within the break, dragging Ian Stannard with him to the top of the hill.

Peter Sagan had to react, so he did when the slope on the Poggio hit 9%, and managed to catch Chavanel and Stannard within the final 3 kilometers. But he was not the only rider with sprinting abilities left in the front.

Gerald Ciolek outsprinted the “almost invincible” Peter Sagan and made history in Milan-San Remo today, his biggest win so far and for his new team MTN – Qhubeka; first pro-continental team from Africa.

“I think my decision says enough.This is partly a precaution, but also a statement to the organization. They knew long enough that there was so much snow on the road. What happens now is the fault of the organization’s own fault. Have you ever wanted to bicycle through the snow ridden? There are nicer things than this. I’m completely frozen,” reportedly told Tony Boonen after quitting the race.

Milan-San Remo 2013 Results

1. Gerald Ciolek (Ger) MTN-Qhubeka”5′ 37′ 20″
2. Peter Sagan (Svk) Cannondale Pro Cycling
3. Fabian Cancellara (Swi) RadioShack Leopard
4. Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Omega Pharma-Quick Step
5. Luca Paolini (Ita) Katusha
6. Ian Stannard (GBr) Sky Procycling
7. Taylor Phinney (USA) BMC Racing Team
8. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha 14″
9. Mark Cavendish (GBr) Omega Pharma-Quick Step
10. Bernhard Eisel (Aut) Sky Procycling
(more…)

Tirreno-Adriatico 2013 Preview – Stage 7

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It is the last day of Tirreno-Adriatico and in the penultimate stage will be an individual time-trial, in one of the most important touristic centers of Adriatic Coast, San Benedetto del Tronto on 12 March, Tuesday. The stage is flat and relatively short, 9.2 km in length. And it won’t be enough for Chris Froome or Alberto Contador to close the gap.

Both Froome and Contador are excellent time-trialists but Vincenzo Nibali in maglia azzurra will not lose his 34 seconds margin unless he slips in a corner. We may have rain showers in the afternoon but they’ll all start back to back and suffer equally and to be honest, I don’t think Nibali will risk it much.

There are no time bonuses, and most recently Nibali finished the Tour de San Luis 19 km time-trial stage in fourth place, Michal Kwiatkowski was third, 3 seconds faster than Nibali and Contador was 43 seconds behind.

It’ll be Froome’s first time-trial this season. Last year in TdF, he came second after Bradley Wiggins where Nibali was in the Top 20 of both time-trial stages. And within the 90 km combined, Froome managed to make a difference of 3:52. If you do the math, with last year’s performance repeating itself, Froome will still only ride 23.5 seconds faster than Nibali; that won’t be enough…

The stage suits Tony Martin very well and he should be written down as the strongest candidate to win the time-trial, Fabian Cancellara and Lars Boom are also close to winning.

And finally, podium prediction:
1. Vincenzo Nibali
2. Chris Froome
3. Michal Kwiatkowski

GC before Stage 7

1. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astan a Pro Team 27:57:26
2. Christopher Froome (GBr) Sky Procycling 34″
3. Joaquim Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha 37″
4. Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Team Saxo-Tinkoff 48″
5. Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Omega Pharma-Quick Step 58″
6. Christopher Horner (USA) RadioShack Leopard 1′ 05″
7. Mauro Santambrogio (Ita) Vini Fantini-Selle Italia 1′ 20″
8. Pryzemyslaw Niemiec (Pol) Lampre-Merida 2′ 54″
9. Andrey Amador Bakkazakova (CRc) Movistar Team 2′ 58″
10. Wout Poels (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM 3′ 08″

Milan-San Remo 2013 Preview

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— UPDATE: Due to heavy snow on the Milano-Sanremo route, the riders will be transported by bus from kilometer 117 to kilometer 207 (Finale Ligure). The race will be re-started at 3.00. —

During Tirreno-Adriatico, we’ve seen even Mark Cavendish and Andre Greipel are not invincible, Peter Sagan is in top notch form, same also true for Sylvain Chavanel, considering his GC run and stage win in Paris-Nice.

Edvald Boasson Hagen was ok in Tour of Qatar and Tour Down Under but we haven’t seen him race since then. Fabian Cancellara was not impressive at all so far, but still someone you shouldn’t ever ignore for a second. Last year’s winner Simon Gerrans, despite winning a stage in Tour Down Under, failed to finish Paris-Nice, did no start stage 5 due to breathing problems.

Alongside Cavendish and Greipel; Marcel Kittel and Matthew Goss looked strong, each winning a stage past week. If Milan-San Remo ends with a bunch sprint, expect lead out trains checking each other in the front and a frenzy gallop between these riders.

If it comes to a breakaway within the last 30 kilometers, Peter Sagan will definitely follow and can be unstoppable in the final meters. Neither Philippe Gilbert nor Tom Boonen looked strong enough to win with a solo escape. And even if Cancellara or Chavanel tries that, just remember Sagan in this year’s Tour of Oman 2nd stage; closing the 200 meter gap alone before the final kilometers against a 3-rider breakaway and then passing them for his first win of the season.

But the most possible scenario is a select group of maybe 30, 40 riders making it to the final 20 kms. And from that point, we’ll see everyone playing their cards open and a clash of tactics in the field where only both physically and mentally tough riders can react.

Milan-San Remo final 30 kms

Expect to see some attacks on the Cipressa and the front group getting thinner and thinner as early breakaways get swept. But the race is %95 of the time won or lost in Poggio. With his recent form, it is Peter Sagan‘s race to lose but we’ve witnessed SKY cracking him on the drag of Pietragrossa in Tirreno-Adriatico very recently. But  also saw him take his “revenge” by attacking with Nibali on the Muro di Sant’Elpidio just the day after.

It is the longest and one of the fastest single stage races and positioning is key more than ever.

Also check out pre-race interviews and TV Guide / live streaming options.

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