Chavanel Wins Overall in Driedaagse De Panne


Omega Pharma QuickStep’s French time-trial champion Sylvain Chavanel won the penultimate time-trial and took the overall victory in Driedaagse de Panne, identical to last year’s race. Chavanel completed the 14.75km windy and quite technical course in 18:02, 19 seconds faster than longtime stage-leader Anton Vorobyev of Katusha. Vacansoleil’s Lieuwe Westra was third, another two seconds back.

Chavanel was in 4th position after Stage 3a, Alexander Kristoff leading by 10 seconds thanks to the time bonuses he collected in Stage 1 and today’s Stage 3a victory. Kristoff couldn’t defend his lead but moved only one step on the podium, finishing second in the overall standings. Niki Terpstra, 5th in the time-trial stage was the second OPQS rider on the podium. Kristoff also led the points classification ahead of Arnaud Demare and Elia Viviani.

Stage 3a Final Kilometers

Stage 3b Final Riders

Final General Classification

1. Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Omega Pharma-Quick Step 12:34:28
2. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha 22″
3. Niki Terpstra (Ned) Omega Pharma-Quick Step 31″
4. Johan Le Bon (Fra) FDJ 32″
5. Lieuwe Westra (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team 38″
6. Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Argos-Shimano 51″
7. Luke Durbridge (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge 52″
8. David Boucher (Fra) FDJ 57″
9. Guillaume Van Keirsbulck (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quick Step 58″
10. Mark Cavendish (GBr) Omega Pharma-Quick Step 1′ 06″

Points Classification

1. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha 43 pts
2. Arnaud Demare (Fra) FDJ 32 pts
3. Elia Viviani (Ita) Cannondale Pro Cycling 26 pts

Paris-Nice 2013 – Race Report


Despite losing the top dogs to Tirreno-Adriatico, this year’s Paris-Nice was once again full of drama. We saw the maillot jaune crash and quit, SKY’s dominance on the climbs and a classicist in top form early in March.

The race started with a very short prolog, won by Europcar’s Damien Gaudin – a big surprise for everyone, even within the pelaton. Next day, in French road champion colors Nacer Bouhani won the opening sprint stage, but unfortunately later crashed and had to quit the race, this time wearing the yellow jersey. Argos’ German sprinter Marcel Kittel later won sprint frenzy in Stage 2.

As the climbs starting to appear one after the other, the general classification started to shape up. In Stage 3, Garmin’s American rider Andrew Talanksy stepped in to the maillot jaune after winning from a successful breakaway that formed on the ascent of Cote de Mauvagnat. Michael Albasini won Stage 4 while Talansky managed to keep his jersey the day after.

As we approached the queen stage of the race, Talanksy was leading the GC only by 3 seconds, and a record number of 6 riders were following him all under 10 seconds behind. It was Richie Porte attacking to the yellow jersey, thanks to SKY’s climbing lieutenants. Porte kept his lead in the 6th stage, which was won by Sylvain Chavanel in sensational fashion.

As we approach the decisive time trial on the ascent of Col d’Eze, Porte was leading with 32 seconds which proved to be more than enough as he won the stage 17 seconds ahead of runner up Andrew Talansky. Jean-Christophe Peraud moved to the last spot of the podium with his last day performance, moving on top of Chavanel and last year’s runner-up Lieuwe Westra.

Sylvain Chavanel won the points classification, Johann Tschopp of IAM Cycling won the mountains classification whereas runner-up Talanksy finished on top of young riders’ classification and won the white jersey. It was Katusha, leading the teams classification with 4 riders in the top 30.

General Classification

1. Richie Porte (Aus) Sky Procycling 29:59:47
2. Andrew Talansky (USA) Garmin-Sharp 55″
3. Jean-Christophe Peraud (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 1′ 21″
4. Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team 1′ 44″
5. Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Omega Pharma-Quick Step 1′ 47″
6. Simon Spilak (Slo) Katusha 1′ 48″
7. Diego Ulissi (Ita) Lampre-Merida 1′ 54″
8. Lieuwe Westra (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team 2′ 17″
9. Andreas Klöden (Ger) RadioShack Leopard 2′ 22″
10. Peter Velits (Svk) Omega Pharma-Quick Step 2′ 28″

Points Classification

1. Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Omega Pharma-Quick Step 88 pts
2. Andrew Talansky (USA) Garmin-Sharp 83 pts
3. Richie Porte (Aus) Sky Procycling 68 pts

Mountains Classification

1. Johann Tschopp (Swi) IAM Cycling 64 pts
2. Richie Porte (Aus) Sky Procycling 27 pts
3. Thierry Hupond (Fra) Team Argos-Shimano 24 pts

Young Rider Classification

1. Andrew Talansky (USA) Garmin-Sharp 30:00:42
2. Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team 49″
3. Diego Ulissi (Ita) Lampre-Merida 59″

Teams Classification

1. Katusha 90:06:49
2. Ag2R La Mondiale 1′ 23″
3. RadioShack Leopard 3′ 38″

Paris-Nice 2013 Preview – Stage 7


With Richie Porte just 32 seconds clear of Andrew Talansky and a bunch of other riders, Sunday’s conclusive stage on 10th March will be simply breathtaking. Last year, it was Bradley Wiggins defending his 2 seconds lead over Lieuwe Westra, extending it to 6 at the end of the day and starting a sensational season which brought TdF and Olympic gold and eventually made him the athlete of the year in Britain.

Now, an another rider from SKY, Tasmanian Richie Porte will be riding on the uphill Col d’Eze time-trial where many riders will again opt in to use regular road bikes with clip-on bars installed instead of TT bikes. Richie Porte was also riding in 2012’s Paris-Nice, as a domestic to Bradley Wiggins, and finished the last stage in 20′ 56″. Which was 1′ 42″ slower than last year’s runner-up Liuewe Westra, who now stands in 4th place, 42 seconds behind Porte in GC. Jean-Christophe Peraud, who is now fifth in GC standing 49 seconds behind, finished 3rd last year, which was 1′ 11″ faster than Porte. Sylvain Chavanel finished last year’s stage in 17th place, still 18 seconds ahead of Porte, and he is in top form.

GC before Stage 8

1. Richie Porte (Aus) Sky Procycling 29:40:31
2. Andrew Talansky (USA) Garmin-Sharp 32″
3. Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Omega Pharma-Quick Step 42″
4. Lieuwe Westra (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team
5. Jean-Christophe Peraud (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 49″
6. Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team 52″
7. Peter Velits (Svk) Omega Pharma-Quick Step 53″
8. Simon Spilak (Slo) Katusha
9. Diego Ulissi (Ita) Lampre-Merida 54″
10. Andriy Grivko (Ukr) Astana Pro Team 1′ 08″

Chavanel wins in Nice, Porte holds on to Yellow


Sylvain Chavanel of Omega Pharma-Quicktep outsprinted Philippe Gilbert, Jose Joaquin Rojas and Samuel Dumoulin to win his first race of the season. It was Team SKY setting the pace all day long for their leader Richie Porte; they erased an 11-man early break and a late escape attempt by Chavanel and Astana’s Andriy Grivko. Porte kept his yellow jersey and is now 32 seconds clear of his rivals, still Col d”Eze will be a real test for him.

Johann Tschopp of IAM Cycling was on the break once again, collecting 33 more mountain points and won the mountains classification of Paris-Nice with a huge lead, one stage early on. With this win, Sylvain Chavanel is now leading in the points classification and will wear the green jersey on the final stage of Paris-Nice and will most probably keep it at the end of the day. Chavanel also moved above Lieuwe Westra in GC and now sits at thirs position. Andrew Talansky, lost his green jersey but is still leading the young riders’ classification and will wear the white jersey tomorrow, though Teejay Van Garderen is 20 seconds behind and he is better time-trialist compared to Talansky.

Check out Paris-Nice Stage 7 Preview for more detail.

General Classification

1. Richie Porte (Aus) Sky Procycling 29:40:31
2. Andrew Talansky (USA) Garmin-Sharp 32″
3. Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Omega Pharma-Quick Step 42″
4. Lieuwe Westra (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team
5. Jean-Christophe Peraud (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 49″
6. Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team 52″
7. Peter Velits (Svk) Omega Pharma-Quick Step 53″
8. Simon Spilak (Slo) Katusha
9. Diego Ulissi (Ita) Lampre-Merida 54″
10. Andriy Grivko (Ukr) Astana Pro Team 1′ 08″

Stage Results

1. Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Omega Pharma-Quick Step 5:14:23
2. Philippe Gilbert (Bel) BMC Racing Team
3. Jose Joaquin Rojas Gil (Spa) Movistar Team

Richie Porte Attacks into Yellow in Stage 5


Team Sky lead the peloton on top La Montagne de Lure, getting it thinner and thinner every second. They were down to 40 riders when Jens Voigt from the break got caught, and down to 15 with 2 kilometers to go. Yellow jersey holder Andrew Talansky made a couple of unsuccessful attempts but it was Sky’s long-time domestic Richie Porte‘s break that shaped the podium. With 1.3 kilometers to go, Porte surged ahead of Talansky, caught Denis Menchov of Katusha who finished the stage second later on, and rode solo the rest of the way.

Porte finished the stage 26 seconds ahead of Menchov and an another 7 seconds clear from the rest of the contenders including Talansky and last year’s runner-up Lieuwe Westra, and now leads the GC with 32 seconds. “I’ve done an apprenticeship if you like under Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome and also before that Alberto Contador,” told Porte after his first win over a year. “You don’t always get the opportunity to ride for yourself in a team like this so when it comes you have to grab it with both hands. It’s just nice to get a big victory and I’ll take the rest as it comes.”

Andrew Talansky is now in green jersey, leading points classification and young riders’ general classification. An another American rider Teejay Van Garderen of BMC will be wearing the white jersey. Thierry Hupond was on the breakaway group and collected 24 mountain points but came short of Johann Tschopp of IAM Cycling who still leads the Mountains jersey with 31 points.

GC after Stage 5

1. Richie Porte (Aus) Sky Procycling 24:26:08
2. Andrew Talansky (USA) Garmin Sharp 32″
3. Lieuwe Westra (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team 42″
4. Jean-Christophe Peraud (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 49″
5. Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team 52″
6. Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Omega Pharma-Quick-Step Cycling Team 53″
7. Simon Spilak (Slo) Team Katusha
8. Diego Ulissi (Ita) Lampre-Merida 54″
9. Michele Scarponi (Ita) Lampre-Merida
10. Peter Velits (Svk) Omega Pharma-Quick-Step Cycling Team 56″

Stage 5 Results

1. Richie Porte (Aus) Sky Procycling 4′ 50′ 54″
2. Denis Menchov (Rus) Team Katusha 26″
3. Andrew Talansky (USA) Garmin Sharp 33″

Damien Gaudin Surprised Everyone in Paris-Nice Prologue


The ex-track cyclist from Europcar surprised everyone on Sunday with his win over the 2.9 km very technical prologue in Paris-Nice. As a road cyclicts, Gaudin’s most important success was coming second in 2011 Tour of Luxemburg prologue. Damien Gaudin finished the circuit in 3′ 37″, Sylvain Chavanel of Omega Pharma-Quick Step finished in second place and last year’s runner-up Lieuwe Westra of Vacansoleil-DCM came third and showed that he is in form for this year’s GC race.


1. Damien Gaudin (Fra) Team Europcar 0:03:37
2. Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Omega Pharma-Quick-Step Cycling Team 01″
3. Lieuwe Westra (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team