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

Peter Sagan Wins the Opening Stage of Driedaagse De Panne

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The Slovakian champion Peter Sagan once again demonstrated his incredible Spring form with a sprint victory in the opening stage of Driedaagse De Panne (Three Days of De Panne). Arnaud Demare of FDJ was second and Katusha’s Alexander Kristoff came third.

Peter Sagan attacked the peloton as the riders were heading into the race’s final climb, the Eikenmolen, joined by 9 more other riders including Sylvain Chavanel and Niki Terpstra from Omega Pharma-Quick Step, Vini Fantini’s Oscar Gatto and Jerome Cousin from Europcar. And with 2km to go, the escapees held a 12-second gap over the bunch.

Alexander Kristoff launched the downhill sprint with 500 meters to go. Sagan jumped on his wheel as Demare closed on the Slovak, but Sagan took the win by a tire width in photo finish.

Final Kilometers

Driedaagse De Panne 2013 Stage 1 Results

1. Peter Sagan (Svk) Cannondale Pro Cycling 5:00:27
2. Arnaud Demare (Fra) FDJ
3. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha
4. Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Omega Pharma-Quick Step
5. Oscar Gatto (Ita) Vini Fantini-Selle Italia
6. Niki Terpstra (Ned) Omega Pharma-Quick Step
7. Maxime Vantomme (Bel) Crelan-Euphony
8. Jerome Cousin (Fra) Team Europcar
9. Davide Cimolai (Ita) Lampre-Merida
10. Johan Le Bon (Fra) FDJ

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
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Gent-Wevelgem 2013 – Preview and TV Guide

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Covering only 10 cobbled hills, last of them 35 kilometers from the finish line, Gent-Wevelgem is a true sprinters’ classic. Similar to Milan-SanRemo, the race very occasionally ends with a successful breakaway.

The hills, positioned too far away from the finish line, may not allow a breakaway to succeed but play a very important role deciding which of the sprinters can keep up with the pace. Peter Sagan, coming second to Tom Boonen last year, and finishing both Milan-SanRemo and E3 Harelbeke in second places this year, will definitely want to win the race.

3-times winner Tom Boonen, failed to stick with the front group in E3 Harelbeke 2 days ago, will be ready for a bunch sprint; not that sure for his new team-mate Mark Cavendish though, who failed to finish past 2 editions of Gent-Wevelgem. Also watch out for Orica Greenedge’s Matthew Goss and John Degenkolb from Argos; both showed good form recently. SKY, with their elite classics crew can have a rider on the podium, Edvald Boasson Hagen, Ian Stannard or maybe Bernard Eisel.

Sporza and RTBF in BelgiumNOS in Netherlands, and RAI Sport in Italy will broadcast the race live on TV.

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

SporzaRTBFRai Sport

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 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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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
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Milan-San Remo 2013 – Pre-Race Interviews

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Winner of five stages so far, all in sensational fashion, Milan-San Remo is Cannondale’s Peter Sagan‘s to lose, and all the teams will put some tactics on the field to overcome the Slovakian.

“I feel like I have two chances to win: either a sprint from a group or by following an attack on the Poggio,” says Sagan. “It’s my third attempt here and I have learned that the Cipressa and Poggio are key to understand if you can win or not. I’ll see for myself and not think too much about what the others can do, and I’ll count on my teammates. They can help make the difference.”

Whereas Manx-Missile Mark Cavendish played the underdogs, just like the year he won the race: “I was obviously asked if I want to target this and I honestly don’t want to target this. So, the pressure just on myself has been a lot less.”

Tom Boonen was a bit more confident, “Milan-San Remo is the next step in the evolution to my target races. It’s not the biggest objective of the Spring Classics, but I think maybe I will be ready to do a good race on Sunday. I’ve started to feel like my normal self and it is about time.”

And Vini Fantini’s Mauro Santambrogio, after his great run in Tirreno-Adriatico spoke even more boldly: “I will have to do well, this is the Carpe Diem moment for me and I don’t want to miss it. I know that the weather could seriously impact on the race, but I am ready for anything and in Tirreno the possibility of competing in the water was certainly not missed.”

“So many strong riders have a plan for this race: Cancellara, Sagan, Hushovd – in any normal circumstance they can all win,” said Astana’s general manager Giuseppe Martinelli. “But our strategy for the race is 100 percent behind Vincenzo Nibali, and if the weather is bad, then for us this is optimal, because everybody knows he rides better in the rain and cold.

Tirreno-Adriatico 2013 – Race Report

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Tirreno-Adriatico attracted many big names for its 2013 edition, but eventually it was last year’s winner Vincenzo Nibali victorious once again, in Astana colors this time. Team Sky’s Tour De France GC hope Chris Froome finished the podium in second place whereas Team Saxo-Tinkoff’s Alberto Contador finished third.

In the initial team time trial stage, it was Omega Pharma Quick-Step to cross the finish line fastest, putting Mark Cavendish into the overall lead. Australian sprinter Matthew Goss from Orica GreenEdge won the first sprint stage of the tour, and it was Cannodale’s Peter Sagan outsprinting Mark Cavendish and Andre Greipel in the third stage.

In the queen stage of the race, the pelaton arrived to the mountains for a mountaintop finish in Prati di Tivo, which was goodbye to Maglia Azzura for Cavendish. Froome won the stage and shaked the general standings dramatically and thanks to the TTT performance of OMQ in the first stage, Polish rider Michal Kwiatkowski stepped into the overall lead. Despite having only an overnight lead and losing time afterwards, Kwiatkowski still managed to finish the race in fourth place and on top of the young riders’ classification; pretty impressive for the 22-year-old Polish.

The fifth stage had Peter Sagan’s name written all over it, but he cracked on the drag of Pietragrossa with 6 kilometers to go before the finish line and Joaquim Rodriguez was then unrivaled in Chieti. it was Froome’s turn to wear the leader’s jersey this time.

The sixth stage, a transition stage in paper, proved once again how spectacular pro cycling can be. Peter Sagan won his second stage of the tour and Vincenzo Nibali advanced to the overall lead. Nibali now had 34 seconds lead over Chris Froome before the penultimate individual time trial, which he easily defended and won the Tirreno-Adriatico for the second year in a row.

Alberto Contador led the points classification, thanks to mostly his attacks for seconds modifications in the sprint gates; and some were positioned very elegantly indeed. Damiano Cunego of Lampre-Merida won the mountains classification with his breakaway performances in the fifth and sixth stages. Finally, congratulations to Movistar, they finished on top of the teams classification with four riders in the top 40.

Andy Schleck, meanwhile again failed to finish the tour. After Tour Down Under, Tour Mediterraneen and Strade Bianchi, his retirement in Stage 6 was his fourth quit this season. So far, he only managed to finish G.P. Camaiore, 5:30 behind winner Peter Sagan; not promising at all for the grand tours ahead.

General Classification

1. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Pro Team 28:08:17
2. Christopher Froome (GBr) Sky Procycling 23″
3. Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Team Saxo-Tinkoff 52″
4. Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Omega Pharma-Quick Step 53″
5. Joaquim Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha 54″
6. Christopher Horner (USA) RadioShack Leopard 1′ 21″
7. Mauro Santambrogio (Ita) Vini Fantini-Selle Italia 2′ 03″
8. Andrey Amador Bakkazakova (CRc) Movistar Team 2′ 42″
9. Przemyslaw Niemiec (Pol) Lampre-Merida 3′ 19″
10. Wouter Poels (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team 3′ 35″

Points Classification

1. Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Team Saxo-Tinkoff 27 pts
2. Peter Sagan (Svk) Cannondale Pro Cycling 26 pts
3. Christopher Froome (GBr) Sky Procycling 25 pts

Mountains Classification

1. Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre-Merida 20 pts
2. Cesare Benedetti (Ita) Team NetApp-Endura 13 pts
3. Garikoitz Bravo Oiarbide (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 10 pts

Young Rider Classification

1. Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Omega Pharma-Quick Step 28:09:10
2. Tom Jelte Slagter (Ned) Blanco Pro Cycling Team 16′ 34″
3. Arthur Vichot (Fra) FDJ 16′ 47″

Teams Classification

1. Movistar Team 83:57:42
2. Sky Procycling 2′ 30″
3. Katusha 15′ 40″

Sagan wins Stage, Nibali in Maglia Azzurra!

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Despite the quite strong 16-rider early breakaway today, SKY and Cannondale worked in the front all day long and as the riders approached Muro di Sant’Elpidio for the last time, whatever was left from the break finally got erased. Last year’s winner Vincenzo Nibali attacked on the technical descent followed by Peter Sagan, and later joined by Stage 5 winner Joaquim Rodriguez and formed a very strong late break.

Alberto Contador as well attacked on the descent but got stuck in the chasing group. Race leader Chris Froome, losing all his SKY lieutenants, found sanctuary by catching Cadel Evans‘ group. SKY now owes Thor Hushovd a big “thank you” for his efforts in the final kilometers.

The leading trio entered the final kilometers with more than 30 seconds ahead of Contador’s group and it came to a sprint finish between them to decide the winner. Sagan easily blasted home to grab his second win in this year’s Tirreno-Adriatico.

“In the breakaway were too many riders. Sky was on the front all of the race. When I felt good to make a good stage, I told my riders t to bring back Cunego and the other riders in the breakaway,” told Sagan. “Anyway, I am very happy. Vincenzo did a very good attack on the climb and afterwards on the descent, then we did the last climb also with Joaquim who came on the front. From there it was only ten kilometres to the finish – I am very happy.”

Vincenzo Nibali took the race leader’s jersey from overnight leader Chris Froome and will wear the blue jersey – Maglia Azzurra in the penultimate time-trial.

GC after Stage 6

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″

Stage 6 Results

1. Peter Sagan (Svk) Cannondale Pro Cycling 5:45:17
2. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Pro Team 2″
3. Joaquim Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha
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