Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Weekend Roundup: Consonni takes 2; Subida a Gorla

Outside of the Tour de Normandie and the Volta ao Alentejo, the weekend had results all over the place including Italy, France, Spain, the Americas and more.

Simone Consonni takes two

Team Colpack's Simone Consonni became the first Italian rider to take 2 wins in the season and he did it over the span of 2 days. Winner of the GP Citta di Perignano in a bunch sprint over Marco Maronese (Zalf-Euromobil) and Marco Corra (Mastromarco), Consonni and his Colpack team came into the weekend already looking like the team to beat.

On Saturday, the team went to Milano-Busseto, which is a traditional sprint fest that draws out all of the big teams. Previous winners include Francesco Moser, Giovanni Lombardi, Fran Ginanni, Ian Stannard and neo-pro Nicolas Marini, among many others. The race more or less stayed together over the 140 kilometer course and Consonni proceeded to jump first and beat everyone by a considerable margin as he still had 2 bike lengths by the time he was celebrating across the line.

The next day saw the Piccola Sanremo, which takes place in Sovizzo, which is nowhere near Sanremo. Really, it is on the other side of the country. Sovizzo, in Veneto, has a course that is mainly flat in the beginning before the final circuits around the town, which has one major climb, the Vigo. The race itself saw a break of 5 be out on the attack for the majority of the race but once the race hit the local circuits, their advantage dropped significantly. The only other challenge came from Davide Gabburo (General Store), Trofeo Franco Balestra winner Alfio Locatelli (Viris Maserati) and Nicola Baggioli (Zalf-Euromobil). The trio got away on the final lap and over the Vigo climb but Colpack was having none of it. In the final kilometers, they led out Consonni and he blew the doors off the sprint and had a couple bike lengths back to 2nd place Nicolo Rocchi (Zalf-Euromobil) and Locatelli, who hung on for 3rd. A full write-up of the race can be found here.

Consonni certainly looks like the rider to beat on the Italian sprint scene so far this year with the important month of April coming up.

Speaking of Italy, there was another race that needs some attention

Edmondson avenges Ewan at Trofeo Rancilio

Last year, Caleb Ewan was flying high and any race he entered most people would put money on him. In Trofeo Rancilio, Ewan and his Australia mates kept the race together and Ewan did his trademark sprint; getting hunched over the bars and wrenching the bike back and forth like his life depended on it. It looked to be working but he launched his sprint about 50 meters too soon. and Jakub Mareczko came by to take the upset win. Ewan's season was quiet until the Tour de l'Avenir.

This year, Australia was back and was looking to avenge Ewan's loss last season. The race was very quick with an average speed of 46 kilometers/hour and a breakaway of three dominated most of the race and it wasn't until two laps to go before the peloton really began to split. With one lap to go, it was 32 riders in front that would come down to decide the race.

In the sprint, Francesco Lamon (Colpack) had a brilliant lead-out going for Riccardo Minali and with 100 meters to go, Minali had a bike length on everyone by track star Alex Edmondson came around him and by the time he crossed the line, he had a bike length on Minali. Results here.

 Edmondson, who was born in Borneo and lived in Holland and Oman before returning to Australia, is a multi-time World Champion in the pursuit and team pursuit. Edmondson sees his strength in the sprints on the road and has already inked a deal with Orica-GreenEdge that is for 2016-17 but will be focusing on getting a gold medal in the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Subida a Gorla: Lastra completes switch from 'cross to road

Nestled in the hills of the Basque Country, Bergara plays host to a little known but important race for Spanish U23 and amateurs. The Subida a Gorla has been running since 1975 and its list of winners is incredible. One five year stretch saw Carlos Sastre, Juan Manuel Garate (x2), Joaquim Rodriguez and Alberto Contador take wins. Other winners include Andrey Amador, Inigo Cuesta, Benat Intxausti, Mikel Landa and Omar Fraile.

This year's edition saw a breakaway of 13 be whittled down to one rider, Jonathan Lastra (Caja Rural), by the foot for the Gorla climb and had 40 seconds ahead of the peloton. Lastra benefited from a large contingent of teammates behind and was able to extend his gap as none were able to break the Caja Rural stranglehold loose. Lastra was able to take victory on the Gorla climb by 1'18" ahead of Jaime Roson (Caja Rural) and Julen Amezqueta (Baque Campos).

Lastra was a star cyclocross rider who was the best Spanish U23 by a mile and was even top 20 in the U23 World Championships in his last year riding in 2014. He basically hung up the knobbly tired last season and didn't make any appearances abroad and instead is focusing on the road with Caja Rural. While he is capable, this win is certainly a big surprise for the Basque rider.

Caja Rural itself is overflowing with talent with riders like Roson, Victor Extebarria, Miguel Indurain Jr. as well as foreign talent such as young Ivan Venter (South Africa). Roson is quite a climber and can go up against some of the best in the U23 world when he is on form. His 2nd place is showing he is on good form and will be one to watch for the spring.


-The San Dimas Stage Race might have sucked in terms of live updates and very slow on getting results out but there actually was racing that took place. In terms of GC results, the race was largely decided in the opening TT, which was won by Emerson Oronte (AltoVelo). Junior Adrien Costa (Cal Giant) continued a strong spring with 3rd place while Canadian U23s Adam De Vos (7th) and Alex Cataford (9th) had good top 10 rides.

The road race only saw 46 out of 155 riders make the front group while only 78 finished the race. Espoirs Central favorite Robin Carpenter (Hincapie Racing) won the sprint ahead of U23s Fabrizio Von Nacher (KHS/Maxxis) and Cory Williams (InCycle-Predator).

On the final criterium stage, Williams took out the sprint for InCycle while fellow U23 Ansel Dickey (Cal Giant) finished 4th on the stage. Dickey's teammate Costa was looking good for a GC podium but had to bow out of the race due to knee problems. On the GC side of things, Oronte took the win while De Vos and Cataford finished 4th and 6th overall.
-The past weekend saw two rounds of the Division 1 Coupe de France with two major winners. In Saturday's GP Gilbert-Bosquet (Finistere), Fabrice Seigneur (Sojasun Espoirs) was out in front but on the false flat finish, he was struggling big time and trying his damn best to stay out front. Frank Bonnamour (BIC 2000) had attacked from the group behind a few laps before and was chasing and within sight of the red flag, he made the junction. Bonnamour started his "sprint" early at 400 meters to go but was easily able to drop Seigneur to take the biggest win of his career so far and his 3rd of the season. Full results can be found on Directvelo.

Bonnamour was the European junior champion in 2013 and after an 8th overall in the Tour de Bretagne last year, he got a stagiaire role with his home team, Bretagne-Séché Environment. He is set to ride Triptyque Monts et Chateaux with the national team and should be a prominent player in the upcoming Nations Cups.

The 2nd Coupe de France race of the weekend was the Boucles Guegonnaises in Morbihan, Bretagne.
After getting called out by his coach and team leader following his DNF in the GP Gilbert-Bosquet, Marc Fournier was coming in with a chip on his shoulder and told his team that the day was going to be theirs. After being told that he wasn't performing in the big races, Fournier made the junction to solo rider Anthony Perez (AVC Aix-en-Provence) with Romain Cardis (Vendée U) inside the final 3 laps and the trio was off. Perez admitted Fournier was the strongest of the trio and with 5 kilometers to go, Fournier began to attack and was able to dislodge from his breakaway companions.

Fournier took the win solo while Perez came around an exhausted Cardis for 2nd place. Cardis' Vendée U teammate Lilian Calmejane, who is the French U23 rider of the spring so far, came across solo for 4th place and solidified Vendée U's lead in the DN1 Coupe de France race by 18 points on Sojasun Espoirs.

Fournier will be in the French teams for the Nations Cups and has an eye on Paris-Roubaix.

-In other French racing news, Guillaume Martin took a victory for the first time in nearly 2 years after winning the 80th Annemasse-Bellegarde and back out of a small group including first year U23 Aurelien Paret-Peintre (Chambery CF), Leo Vincent (CC Etupes) and Brazilian Caio Godoy (UCI Cycling Centre). Martin is a rider that can climb very well but struggles on big mountain days. He was 4th in the Tour Alsace last year and 2nd on the stage to Markstein, which goes over Grand Ballon, the highest point in Alsace and the apex of the Vosges Mountains. Martin will be peaking for the U23 Peace Race with the French National Team, which should suit his style of riding.

-1st year U23 Patrick Müller, who was a junior sensation the last two seasons, took his first win of his Espoirs career by winning the GP de la Courtine in Switzerland in a four man sprint including track riders Tristan Marguet and Claudio Imhof. Müller, who rides with BMC Development, should be getting some international races on his schedule soon enough.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Tour de Normandie: Shake your Caen Caen

Heading into the final stage, Alex Peters (SEG Racing) and Dimitri Claeys (Verandas Willems) were tied for the GC lead with Peters taking the nod due to stage count back. It came down to the shortest stage of the race of 155 kilometers through some usual Norman weather for March - rain and winds that gusted to 40 mph. It was like Gent-Wevelgem except no one was blown off their bikes and the race was decided on the line, not 50 kilometers out.

The race began slowly but soon a solo attack by Gaeten Bille (Verandas Willems) went out to soak up time bonuses for Dimitri Claeys. Bille put in a hard ride with tough winds, which would usually be something that would be forgotten into the footnotes. Alexis Bodiot (Armee de Terre) and Tim Vanspeybroeck (3M) attacked in tandem to get up to the lone rider but were never able to make the junction. The wind wiped against the peloton with such ferocity that after 100 kilometers, the majority of which were near the sea front at Omaha Beach, only 30 riders were left in the peloton.

After the big right hand turn and heading towards Caen, Bille was returned to the peloton with 35 kilometers left. The race was in tatters but it wasn't until Floris Gerts (BMC Development) launched an attack on the outskirts of Caen that the race really got on edge. Gerts, the winner of the Dorpenomloop Rucphen, was 29 seconds down on GC and quickly got a gap that was up to 35 seconds at one point.

Gerts was riding like a man possessed on the front with the chase in the peloton behind disorganized. Three local laps around the hippodrome totaled just 10 kilometers but heading into the final lap, Gerts still had a 25 second lead. With some luck, that could have been enough to get him the win. The peloton surged to life and Gerts' lead was slipping dramatically but it was too little too late and the Dutchman was able to cross the line solo for his 2nd win of the year.

Don't cry. You won!
Behind, the GC race was coming down to the bonus seconds on the line. Peters is a climber and his sprint is well...just alright. Claeys on the other hand is a kermesse king and has been a handy sprinter for years on all levels.

Claeys wins the GC thanks to the 6 bonus seconds for 2nd place.
Claeys took the sprint for 2nd and Peters finished mid-pack and the bonus seconds was how the race was decided. Claeys, the first Belgian winner, added his name to the winner's list of the Tour de Normandie that includes British legend Paul Curran, Ekimov, Hushovd, Sammy Dumoulin, Kai Reus (x2), Thomas Dekker and current BMC professionals Silvan Dillier and Stefan Küng.

While SEG racing was denied their first UCI win of the season, they were able to finally get a UCI podium thanks to Alex Peters stage placings and 2nd overall. Hackney-born Peters won the best young rider overall while fellow teammate and U23 Koen Bouwman won the KOM classification.

Other storylines...

-BMC Development wasn't able to make it 3-in-a-row in the Tour de Normandie but they did leave the race with bookend stage wins. Tom Bohli finished off a consistent week with 6th overall.

-Rabobank Development was decimated by illness and injury as 5 out of their 6 riders left the race before the 5th stage. The team's lone finisher was first year U23 Peter Lenderink, who finished a respectable 28th overall.

-U23s had a very respectable week with 5 riders in the top 10 with Peters (2nd), Daniel Hoelgaard (4th), Tom Bohli (6th), Gerts (9th) and Owain Doull (10th). Along with 4 stages wins, it was a good weeks for the young bucks.

-Teams that underperformed? Itera-Katusha, Lotto-Belisol U23 and Armée de Terre.

-The last stage saw 37 DNF/DNS riders. Only 66 finishers with Estonian Oskar Nisu (VC Rouen 76) last on GC at 52'13" back on Claeys.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Volta ao Alentejo Stage 2: The Old Hand Hits Back

Back in 2009, Manuel Cardoso was just 26 years old and had taken 7 wins in UCI races including the Portuguese RR Championship and a stage in the Volta a Portugal. His career was looking up and he signed a contract with a Footon-Servetto and in early 2010, Cardoso hit the pinnacle of his career when he launched a ferocious sprint and beat Cadel Evans and a young Peter Sagan to win a stage of the Tour Down Under. He took another World Tour win in the Volta a Catalunya with RadioShack but his career outside Portugal began to tumble after 2012 with Caja Rural.

Last year, Cardoso was relegated to the Banco BIC team and life on the continental circuit. He took 6 wins but four of them came at the Tour du Maroc along with 2 in Portugal including one in the Volta a Portugal and another that was 363 days ago in the Volta ao Alentejo.

The stage from Castelo de Vide to Mora was more or less downhill and the main breakaway featured three riders including Pawel Franczak (ActiveJet), Benat Txoperena (Murias Taldea) and Albert Torres (Ecuador). The trio had the longest time out front with nearly 35 kilometers out front but the peloton was hungry for a sprint and was not letting anything go. Breakaways went and came back but nothing was getting out of the grips of the peloton.

Cardoso taking the tight, dangerous sprint into Mora
The finale was a bit nuts with the twists and turns but coming into the finale was the ex-World Tour rider Cardoso ahead of evergreen Portuguese rider Sammy Caldeira and Canadian Ryan Anderson of Optum. Lost in the shuffle was overall leader James Oram (Axeon), who was able to finish with the peloton but thanks to time bonuses he finished on the same time as Cardoso. Thanks to a stage countback, Cardoso took the jersey over with Oram on the same time in 2nd and in the youth jersey.

The stage tomorrow goes to Mertola and again is a more or less flat affair but has a slightly uphill finish. Guess who the winner on the stage to Mertola was last year? Manuel Cardoso.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Tour de Normandie: Joker strikes

Stage 3 of the Tour of Normandie will probably be the most straight forward of the stage race. The course was a mainly flat affair that saw high winds on the way to Argentan featured.

Breakaways tried to go throughout the day with varying success.

Nathan Van Hooydonck got away for about 20 kilometers early on before being brought back
Another group tried following the only real difficulty on the course but it wasn't until 110 kilometers gone that a breakaway was able to make an impact.

Tom Scully (Madison-Genesis) got into a move to try and get some time on his rivals
The group included Lennard Hofstede and Mitchell Cornelisse (Rabobank Development), Fabien Canal (Armee de Terre), Alex Peters (SEG Racing), Jeremy Cornu (Vendée U), Scully, Paulius Siskevicius (AnPost-Chain Reaction), Vegard Stake Laengen (Joker), Joachim Van Reyten (Lotto-Belisol U23), Jetse Bol and Ronan Van Zandbeek (both Join's-De Rijke).

The group was able to shake things up a bit but heading into the final city circuits the breakaway was hunted down and only made it through one circuit out of three before a reduced peloton caught up to them. The team that really made it well through the wind and splits was Joker, who had 5 riders in the front group, took to the front to keep the pace up and neutralize any attacks.

A tight sprint taken out by Hoelgaard (r) ahead of Vermeltfoort and Kruopis (c)
Joker put in a great leadout and redeemed themselves after their near win on Wednesday and launched their U23 sprinter Daniel Hoelgaard into a great position. Hoelgaard had a hard charging Coen Vermeltfoort (Join's-De Rijke) and ex-World Tour rider Aidis Kruopis (AnPost-Chain Reaction) on his heels but the Norwegian was able to take out his first UCI win of the year.

Dimitri Claeys held onto the overall lead while Hoelgaard vaulted to 2nd overall just 6 seconds down while former leader Tom Bohli, Tom Scully and Nathan Van Hooydonck fill out the rest of the top 5 and are all within 15 seconds.

The race continues into Bagnoles-de-l'Orne with a course that has a very undulating profile and could be very rewarding for a well-timed attacker.

Volta ao Alentejo stage 1: Axeon hot streak continues

After years of having some good but jot fantastic early season results, Axeon Cycling (formerly Bontrager) has been off to a lightning start in 2015. After homeboy Ruben Guerreiro took a stage win and the overall win in the GP Liberty Seguros - Trofeu Costa Vicentina and teammate James Oram finished in 4th overall, the team came to the Volta ao Alentejo riding high.

Alentejo is a southern region of Portugal that is the home to the famous cork oaks that make some of the finest cork in the world. One tree alone, when properly harvested, can give enough bark to produce as many as 4,000 wine corks. The cork industry of Alentejo employs 60,000 people annually and still uses fairly rudimentary tools, axes, to harvest the crop since there has not been a mechanical solution that has turned out to be more efficient.

Stage 1 went from Portalegre to Castelo De Vide, a quaint little town butted up against Spain that sits up on a hill with more nooks and crannies than a bag of Thomas English Muffins as well as some nice cobbled streets. The town itself sits under a very large castle that dates to the 14th century and features 32 chapels within the town, which only has a population of 3,400. The town also has an interesting Jewish neighborhood that has the oldest synagogue in Portugal.

A breakaway got away early that included Oscar Landa (Coop-Oster Hus), Sjoerd Kouwenhoven (Metec) and Jose Ragonessi (Ecuador). The trio got a maximum of 4 minutes but once the peloton got a concerted effort going, their advantage was clipped. The group was brought back with 84 kilometers gone and the peloton was active and wasn't letting much go. Byron Guama (Ecuador), who won the KOM sprint last year, won the two KOMs on offer.
With 15 kilometers to go, Tao Geoghegan Hart (Axeon) got into a breakaway with Alberto Gallego (Radio Popular-Onda), Frederik Galta (Coop-Oster Hus), Pawel Bernas (Active Jet) and Mikel Bizkarra (Murias Taldea) and they looked liked they were going well for a while but it would be all for naught when with 500 meters, the breakaway was swept up and the uphill sprint was on.

Oram taking an impressive win with Guerreiro celebrating like he won the damn thing (photo:
James Oram has had one hell of a start to his season. The Kiwi has seemingly gotten better and better as the years have gone on but he was seemingly not living up to his junior results where he won the Tour de l'Abitibi and was 2nd in the World Championship TT. Oram has won the U23 NZ TT, the queen stage in the New Zealand Cycle Classic, 2nd in the REV Classic and 4th overall in the GP Liberty Seguros.

Guerreiro has shown to be a good signing so far for Axeon. When it was announced, I asked why they signed the 2nd best Portuguese rider instead of Joaquim Silva, who had finished 8th in the Tour de l'Avenir. It is early but the egg is being aimed for my face right now if things continue this way for Guerreiro.

The next U23 rider who came across with the lead group, which numbered 44, was USA Cycling's Colin Joyce, who finished 3rd overall in the GP Liberty Seguros. Joyce had been riding quite well this year and has been holding the USA National teams head afloat so far into this European trip.

The race continues with a 153 kilometer stage to Mora, which should be a bunch sprint.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Tour de Normadie Stages 1 and 2: Sprint & Breakaway

The Tour de Normandie rolls along Northern France in usual fashion along some small roads with rain and wind.

The breakaway slogging through Northern France (

Stage 1 was the longest stage of the race and featured some wonderful "French flat", the undulous terrain that seemingly never has any flat road and is just up and down all day. The breakaway included Max Schachmann (AWT-Greenway), Tom Stewart (Madison-Genesis), Laurent Van den Bak (Leopard Development), Mads Christensen (Riwal) and Conor McConvey (3M) got a maximum gap of 4'25". With 45km to go, Christensen attacked the breakaway and went solo; keeping a gap between 30 seconds to a minute ahead of a BMC Development peloton.

Christensen hit out and was soon joined and passed by Dylan Kowalski (VC Rouen), who had a gap that was just 20 seconds but was soon brought back together. Coming into the finale, Bohli was safe in the peloton but with 2 kilometer to go, a crash swept through the peloton.

Bohli was separated from the peloton but he should have been protected by the 3 kilometer rule.

Coming into the sprint, it was Lucas Destang (Vendée U) who took the sprint ahead of Pascal Ackermann (Germany) and kermesse king Joeri Calleeuw (Verandas Willems). Instead of implementing the 3 kilometer rule, Bohli was originally scored at 13 seconds down and lost his overall lead to Kiwi Tom Scully (Madison-Genesis).
No worry, Mr. Williams, Bohli's lead was re-instated the following day and he took the yellow jersey to the road on Wednesday.
It took 50 kilometers but a breakaway of 4 got away including Stef Van Zummeren (Verandas Willems), Koen Bouwman (SEG Racing), Mike Northey (Madison-Genesis) and Jake Tanner (3M). The breakaway got a gap of 3 minutes but as the above tweet shows, BMC was the impetus in the chase that brought them back. They made it to the finishing circuits in Elbeuf-sur-Seine but made it no more than a few kilometers before Armee de Terre brought everything back together.

A counter attack went 20 kilometers from the finish including Dimitri Claeys (Verandas Willems), Alex Peters (SEG Racing) and ex-SKY rider Josh Edmondson (AnPost-Chain Reaction). The trio got a nice gap against a Joker-led peloton and following a lull by the peloton, Claeys and Peters accelerated on the final climb of the day, leaving Edmondson out in the cold.

Claeys beating out Peters for the win (
Claeys and Peters motored along and even while they were in the sights of the peloton, they were not able to be brought back. Claeys, who has been bouncing around amateur and continental teams for years now, was able to easily beat out Peters from the sprint. Behind, it was Joker's Daniel Hoelgaard taking 3rd ahead of Lukas Jaun (Roth-Skoda) and ex-WT rider Aidis Kruopis (AnPost-Chain Reaction).

BMC Development wasn't able to hold onto their leader's jersey but put in a great ride. Claeys took the overall leader's jersey just 14 seconds ahead of Bohli and 16 seconds ahead of Scully, Destang, Pardini and Hoelgaard. Koen Bouwman leads the KOM jersey while Claeys and Destang are tied at 25 points for the points jersey.

Tomorrow's stage goes into Argentan and looks to be destined for a sprint finish.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Tour de Normandie Prologue: Bohli takes out a Scud Missle to win

The prologue of the Tour de Normandie is always a good test and seems to bring out the best U23 riders in the back as well as some of the older amateur riders still in the pack. The rolling Saint-Lô course has been a feature for the last four events and sets a tone for the race as many that have GC intentions for the week tend to show themselves here.

The course wraps itself around the small town of Saint-Lô, which was totally decimated in World War II, featuring a kick-up on the Rue Robert Kennedy of nearly 10% gradient before descending down the Rue Martin Luther King. The race has a small hill in the Avenue de Verdun before finishing back at the Place du General de Gaulle just meters aware from the start.

Last year, BMC Development rider Stefan Küng took the prologue win ahead of Itera's Sergey Nikolaev, who has been on fire this early season, and his teammate and U23 Tom Bohli. Küng has gone onto BMC's pro team while Bohli was back once again to line up against some of Europe's best. Standing in his way was Kiwi rider Tom Scully (Madison-Genesis), who won the prologue in 2013,  as well as teammates Thery Schir and Nathan Van Hooydonck.

Tom "Scud Missle" Scully but in a strong ride for Madison-Genesis and looked to be a winner but Tom Bohli improved upon his 3rd from last year to take the win and gave BMC Development their 2nd prologue win in a row and a good start to take their 3rd win overall here in a row.

Continental evergreen Olivier Pardini finished 3rd while U23 riders Jan Dieteren (Leopard-Trek) and BMC Devo rider Nathan Van Hooydonck finished 4th and 5th. 82 riders are within 20 seconds so the race itself is very much on still.

The GC is the same way that they finished on the stage so the only other interest from the stage was the KOM on the Rue Robert Kennedy. David Riviere of Vendee U was the quickest up the hill to take the KOM jersey followed by Peter Lenderink (Rabobank Continental) and Koen Bouwman (SEG Racing).

The action continues Tuesday with a 207 kilometer romp from Colombelles to the spa town of Forges-les-Eaux. The hilly final circuits will make it tough to see a sprint finish and will suit a solo breakaway or a small group sprint.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

The Algerian Grand Tour

The Algerian Grand Tour is currently halfway through yet not many have any idea that there is a series of races happening that rack up 22 days of racing within a month just a few hours south of Europe. In the month of March, Algeria plays host to 22 days of racing spread out over 10 races and 25 days from March 6th's Circuit International d'Alger to March 30th's Criterium International de Blida. The Tour of Morocco happens just a few days after the conclusion of the Algerian Grand Tour and offer another 10 days of racing. That is 32 racing days in a bit over 5 weeks time. Yet the turn out for these races is...poor.

The majority of the starters come from Algeria, which has a pretty good scene as the French did their best to impress their mores while Algeria was a colony, but Rwanda, Morocco and Eritrea send national teams while some French, British and other randoms show up.

Currently, the only rider that I have seen finish every race so far through through the Thursday's last stage of the Tour International de Setif is Eritrean Mekseb Debesay. Debesay won the Tour de Blida along with a stage, took the Criterium de Setif and a stage of the Tour de Setif. Debesay, who is riding with the Eritrean National Team, rides of the German Bike Aid team and was 18th in the Amissa Bongo Bongo Bongo in February in Gabon. The lowest finish he has had so far in the Algerian Grand Tour is 15th on one stage of the Tour Internationale d'Oranie.

Circuit d'Alger - Hichem Chabane (Algeria) wins solo
Tour d'Oranie - Chabane wins 2 stages but Azzadine Lagab (Algeria) takes the overall due to a long breakaway getting time up the road.
GP d'Oran - Janiver Hadi (Rwanda) wins a big bunch sprint
Tour de Blida - Debesay wins the first stage and proceeds to take the overall. Chabane wins another stage and U23 Adebl Barbari wins a stage and takes 2nd overall.
Criterium de Setif - Debesay wins a bunch sprint
Tour de Setif - Nabil Baz wins the opening stage in a big solo effort and proceeds to hold on through an Eritrean onslaught that included a different Eritrean winning the final three stage including Debesay. The final stage saw the Eritreans go 1-2-3-4-5 (as seen below) but Baz held on for the overall.

So if you have a continental team that is looking to get a ton of racing days and looking to bond in a foreign country, then why don't raise some funds and get your team over to the Maghreb. You might even be able to get into the Tour du Maroc and get a month's worth of racing in before going back home and destroying all-comers.

We will catch up with the conclusion of the Tour later this month.

Italian Amateur Update: A Changing of the Guard?

While we are nearly a month into the Italian amateur season but there is a much different tone to this season than there has been the past couple of seasons. Zalf-Euromobil is simply not as dominant as they have been in years' past. In 2013, the team had Andrea Zordan and Paolo Simion, who combined for 18 wins on the season and the team finished with a record 59 wins. In 2014, the team had Nicolas Marini and Daniele Cavasin, who combined for 17 wins while the team came up with 57 wins on the season.

Times change though and riders come and go. Currently, Zalf-Euromobil still leads the rankings with 4 wins, which have come from four different winners, but they have fell flat in big races. Colpack sits at 3 wins this year but have really shown themselves to be the team of the year so far, at least in my book. They did royally mess up the Trofeo Franco Balestra (check it out in case you missed it) but they have a strong sprint team in Davide Martinelli, Francesco Lamon and Riccardo Minali while Giulio Ciccone and Edward Ravasi will be coming into form soon for climbing races such as the upcoming GP San Giuseppe and Piccola Sanremo.

Another newer concept in the Italian amateur scene is the presence of Continental teams in many amateur races. This happened last year as the Italian federation loosened some restrictions for their home teams after their was just one continental team in 2013. Now 5 continental teams, many of them fill their scheduled with Italian amateur races while waiting for invites to bigger races throughout the continent. Unieuro Wilier Trevigiani, which sprouted from the Trevigiani amateur team a couple years ago, has won 2 races this year including Rino Gasparrini's big time sprint win in the 100th La Popolarissima ahead of Marco Maronese (Zalf) and Xhuliano Kamberaj (Cipollini Ale').

Gasparrini taking the big wins from the U23s (Foto: ItaliaCiclismo)
The emergence of continental teams in the Italian amateur circuit does add some professional touches to the scene but it isn't like they are getting paid anything other than a few quid here or there. So basically, the teams are paying for the right to ride a few bigger races and their presence does cut down on some of those riders that would make a career off the amateur races (looking at you Luca Benedetti) and pushing off a pro career.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Weekend Roundup: Up & Down


The Cat Race around Ieper saw a group of 20 riders off the front near the end after the 2nd trip over the Kemmelberg. It wasn't until somewhere around 5 kilometer to go until a group of 3 split off the front in Baptiste Planckaert (Roubaix Lille Metropole), kermesse king Joeri Calleeuw and U23 Nils Pollitt (Stölting). The trio had a 30 second gap at one point but the gap began to climb down slightly but the chasers had no chance of brining them home.

Planckaert ended up taking out the sprint to take his first win in a UCI race since the 3rd stage of the 2009 Triptyque Monts et Chateaux after collecting a ton of top 10 placings over the years. Pollitt was the best U23 on the day in 3rd while Christophe Noppe (EFC-Etixx) was able to finish 3rd in the bunch sprint to take 7th on the day. Noppe has been getting close to a big win as he was 2nd in Bruxelles-Zepperen and 3rd in Gent-Staden.

La Suisse Vendéenne
Lilian Calmejane led the Vendée U boys to a 1-2-3-4-5 sweep on home roads at the La Suisse Vendéenne. Calmejane and Fabian Grellier broke away together for the solo 1-2 win with Florian Maitre, Taruia Kranier and Romain Cardis all came to the line together. Bravo boys.

Other races

-Dwars door Drenthe saw one of the youngest professionals, Michael Carbel, take CULT Energy to their first UCI podium of the season after he got 3rd place in the bunch sprint behind Manuel Belletti and Barry Markus.

-Russia has kicked of their season in Sochi with 2 races in the Sochi Cup and the GP of Sochi Mayor. A no-name Belorussian U23 in Vladimir Harakhavik won a 4-man sprint in the flat Sochi Cup in a group that included fellow Belorussian Aleksandr Kuchynski. On Wednesday's GP of Sochi Mayor, RusVelo dominated the steep finish that included an uphill finish with the last 3 km averaging 10% gradient. Sergey Firsanov won the day while the best U23 was Matvey Mamykin (Itera-Katusha) was in 5th place just 41 seconds down.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Istrian Spring Trophy: Eibegger wins; no one cares

Does anyone care that a 30-year old Austrian won a small stage race in Croatia? Markus Eibegger did his job and got Synergy Baku their first two wins on the season after winning stage 2 of the Istrian Spring Trophy to Motovun and finishing strong on the final day to take the overall for the 2nd time in his career. Hooray! This race is a good spring training race and yes it gives points to the UCI Europe Tour but really, there is no money in it and unless it was involved in some other cup that would offer more riders more incentive, it is just a testing ground for many riders and allows riders like Marko Kump to pad their stats when it comes to contract times.

The stage itself was a fairly straightforward affair with a sprint finish being destined from the beginning. While the podium was essentially decided after stage 2, the lower placings were still being hammered out and Sam Oomen (Rabobank) and Lukas Pöstlberger (Tirol) took advantage of time bonuses on offer and took 4 and 3 seconds respectively.

The final sprint saw Marko Kump, winner of two races already this year, take his third victory on the year ahead of the Italian duo from Team Idea of Matteo Malucelli and ex-World Tour Davide Vigano while points jersey winner Martin Otonicar in 4th place ahead of GM Cycling's Filippo Fortin.

The GC podium stayed the same as it was with Eibegger taking the win ahead of Sergey Nikolaev and U23 Silvio Herklotz, who improved on his 4th place here from 2 years ago. After taking advantage of time bonuses, Oomen moved up to 4th place and leapfrogging Primoz Roglic (Adria Mobil), Jordi Simon (Ecuador) and Michael Gogl (Felbermayr). Disgraced doper Fran Reda finished 8th ahead of U23 Felix Großschartner (Felbermayr) while Pöstlberger moved up some spots to 10th.

 An interesting tidbit about the race is that Herklotz' Stölting team only finished with 2 riders with the other being Thomas Koep. They had 4 entering the final stage but Arne Enger was a DNS and Sven Reutter was a DNF. They didn't have enough riders to be in the team's classification.

Look for a Weekend Roundup in the coming days as well as previews for the Volta a Costa Vicentina, the Volta ao Alentejo and Tour de Normandie.

Istrian Spring Trophy: Eibegger gets redemption

Motovun (Photo: Wiki)
In 2009, Markus Eibegger was riding with the Pro Continental team Elk Haus and was beginning a nice little career for himself but had eyes to ride on a larger stage. Five years ago to the day, Eibegger won the stage to Motovun in the Istrian Spring Trophy ahead of riders in the top 10 including Robert Vrecer (doper), Michel Kreder, Radoslav Rogina, Tejay van Garderen and Lars Petter Nordhaug.

Since a one year stint with Footon-Servetto in the World Tour, Eibegger has bounced around the continental circuit in what is now the 5th year in a row. He won the Tour de Taiwan in 2011 with Tabriz Petrochemical, the Motovun stage and the Istrian Spring Trophy overall in 2012 with Gourmetfein along with stages in the Sibiu Tour (Romania), the An Post Ras, the Oberösterreich Rundfahrt and the Tour de Bretagne. At 30 years old, that is a fairly good career but obviously it seems like he could have done so much more. It isn't every cyclist's dream to toil around the continental circuit for a decade and a half before calling it quits. There is still time though.

Motovun city gate
The hilltown of Motovun dates back to the medieval period with graves dating back to the Roman era. Motovun began to be built up during the Renaissance period including the famed city gate, which the stage finish always goes through.

Fun fact about the town of Motovun is that it is the town of Veli Joze, the gentle giant of Istria. Veli Joze, or Big Joe, is a folk story written by Croatian nationalist Vladimir Nazor in response to the predominant German and Italian political community. Another fact about the town is that it is the birthplace to racing brothers Mario and Aldo Andretti. At the time of their birth, Istria was a part of Italy and Motovun was known as Montona d'Istria. The Andretti's left in 1948 during the Istrian exodus for a refugee camp in Lucca, Italy before leaving to the USA in 1955. Thanks to Wikipedia for that paragraph.

The race itself saw João Gaspar (Ecuador) go out front with  a breakaway to take the KOM jersey but that is besides the point. The race itself came down to the uphil finish at Motovun, which features a 3 kilometer climb that reaches grades of 11% just before the town gate. To go along with his wins in 2009 and 2012, Eibegger pulled away from Silvio Herklotz and Sergey Nikolaev to take a solo win and get a grip on the overall lead. It looks like Eibegger is going to win the Istrian Spring Trophy for the 2nd time and outside of this small realm of people that care about this race, it doesn't mean shit.

On the U23 side of things, Herklotz looks to be coming into some prime form for spring and will most likely finish 3rd overall. Michael Gogl (Felbermayr) and Sam Oomen (Rabobank) are finishing off strong weeks to stay in the top 10 overall while Martijn Tusveld (Rabobank) rocketed from 26th to 11th overall.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Istrian Spring Trophy: Nikolaev takes uphill win into Labin

On the first of two stages with uphill finishes, the Istrian Spring Trophy took on a Russian look after Sergey Nikolaev (Itera-Katusha) won the uphill sprint into the old Croatian hill town of Labin ahead of Austrrian Markus Eibegger.

The stage itself was fairly hilly with multiple climbs during the day but the main event was a 5 kilometer climb with the final kilometer being cobblestones and a 10% average over the last 500 meters into Labin. Labin, just miles from the Kvarner Gulf, in itself is pretty interesting in that in 1921 they held an anti-fascist protest and for a little over a month, they created the Labin Republic.

A sickness went through the peloton that took out half of the Tirol team including David Wöhrer, Mario Schoibl and Patrick Bosman along with the Stölting duo of Lennard Kamna and Manuel Porzner.

The final was more or less together with Nikolaev and Eibegger separating themselves on the steep section to take 1st and 2nd. 7 seconds back, it was U23 Michael Gogl (Felbermayr-Simplon) leading home Silvio Herklotz (Stölting) and Marko Kump (Adria Mobil) ahead of a larger group of 10 that were 16 seconds in arrears.

This stage was more of a primer than anything as the 2nd stage to Motovun will really separate the wheat from the chaff. On the GC, Nikolaev and Eibegger are just 6 seconds apart with Gogl only 13 second back. Herklotz, who has 2 year experience with this race already, is just 20 seconds back while dangerous riders like Felix Großschartner and Gregor Mühlberger (Felbermayr-Simplon), Jordi Simon (Ecuador) and Sam Oomen are all within 30 seconds.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Istrian Spring Trophy: Austria sweeps the prologue

On Thursday, it seemed as if the Austro-Hungary empire was trying to make a comeback with 4 Austrians in the top 6 and 6 German speakers in the top 6 of the short but sweet Istrian Spring Trophy prologue in the scenic town of Umag, Croatia.

Kicking off one of the annual spring cornerstones on the European continental calendar is an always short but insanely fast stretch of road that goes along the Umag harbor. The course is only 1.9 kilometers and features very little in the way of obstacles with only 2 proper turns on the course.
My pre-race favorite was Gregor Mühlberger, who had been coming into good form after his breakaway win in the GP Izola and won the prologue here last year. I was close as the Austrian came in 6th place just 2 seconds down. AWT-Greenway teammates Max Schachmann and Jan Brockhoff finished a very respectable 4th and 5th place and gives the Czech team some confidence heading into the week.

Austrian Felix Großschartner (Felbermayr-Simplon), who has been posting some good rides so far this short season, was a strong 3rd with only 1 of 2 riders to come within 2 seconds of the winner. The other was the unheralded Michael  Taferner. Taferner, who is a 4th year U23 who has ridden for the WSA team the last 4 years, was within a second of our winner. Taferner was a strong junior and even had a high placing in the junior Tour du Pays de Vaud TT but has been anonymous up until this point. A 2 km prologue is only 2 kilometers but careers have been born with lesser results.

To end the mystery, the winner of the miniature prologue was 1992 product Lukas Pöstlberger of Tirol. Pöstlberger has struggler with consistency issues through his career and even this year, has made breakaways and promptly disappeared and dropped out of races, but when he is on form he can be a damn fine rider. In the 2012 Tour de l'Avenir, he beat World Tour riders Vegard Breen (now Lotto-Soudal) and Bob Jungels (Trek Factory) out of a 3-man breakaway to take a stage win.

Pöstlberger loves a good breakaway and isn't afraid of making himself hurt. Massive breakaways are just some of what he does but he also showed he can lay down serious power for short periods that could potentially make him dangerous in an individual pursuit.

Other riders that are going to be potential GC threats didn't lose heaps of time. Sam Oomen (Rabobank Development) and Silvio Herklotz (Stölting) both finished within 5 seconds of Pöstlberger while others around there include Jordi Simon (Ecuador), Andi Bajc (Amplatz-BMC), Matej Mugerli among some others.

Really the only riders that lost were the new first year U23 trio for Stölting in World Junior TT champ Lennard Kamna, Manuel Porzner and TT stud Sven Reutter. I haven't been able to find out why they all finished in stone dead last but I'm going to assume they either missed their start time, crashed or decided to ride around as easy as possible so that they can ride hard for Herklotz in the coming days.

Full Results

Friday, March 6, 2015

Weekend Preview: Tons of Fun

Were are starting to get to the point in the season where there are an insane amount of races happening everywhere and I, who has a full time paying job, might need to pick and choose what races get covered here because I'd like to do more than spew out races reports and focus more on riders themselves and the history behind races, teams, etc.

But I digress...

Trofej Porec (Croatia)

After the weekday Trofej Umag, the racing in Croatia continues with the Trofej Porec, which will most likely end up in either a) a sprint finish or b) a small group followed very closely by a big bunch sprint. After missing out over the weekend in the GP Laguna after letting a breakaway get too much time, the sprinters in the peloton will be ravenous to get a chance in Porec, which has seen riders like Grega Bole, Marko Kump, Aldo Ino Ilesic, Alexander Kristoff and others place on the podium.

Speaking of Marko Kump, he has been on fire so far this year and will be looking to follow up his Trofej Umag win with another Porec crown to go with his 2007 win. Kump was 4th in both the GP Laguna and GP Izola, where he won both the bunch sprints behind the breakaways. After being dropped from Tinkoff-Saxo and having to once again go back to his home team Adria Mobil, Kump is trying his damnest to get back to the professional level for good.

Porec is a town that sits on the Istrian peninsula and has become a yearly stop for teams during the now 2 week period that is filled with races in Croatia and neighboring Slovenia. Fairly short racing with parcours that aren't too demanding are a popular choice for many and teams from all over are drawn.

Prediction: Kump

GP do Guadiana (Portugal)

Another country that has been becoming a popular choice for early season racing is Portugal. Obviously the Volta ao Algarve is a popular race for the professionals but with the Classica de Loule, the GP do Guadiana, the Volta a Costa Vicentina and, my favorite, the Volta ao Alentejo, there are 10 racing days for continental teams now on the Iberian peninsula in the month of March alone.

The first stage from Restaurente Alpendre to Vila Nova de Cacela is, according to some Portuguese website, one for the sprinters while the 2nd day, which features a circuit in the city of Alcoutim, is supposed to be a classic "splintered" Algarve day and one for a more selective bunch.

Day 1: Guillaume Boivin (Optum)
Day 2: Marcos Garcia (Louletano)
GC: Phil Gaimon (Optum)

Dorpenomloop Rucphen (Netherlands)

Basically everything you expect in a Northern Dutch race. Pan flat with winds that will whip you off your bike and some road furniture thrown in there. It is a race with a few loops around the city of Rucphen that usually ends up in a mass sprint unless of course you have a huge motor and can solo off the front in the final 5 km like Dylan van Baarle did in 2013.

It will be a full field and there are some motors in there for sure but I think it will be a mass gallop in the end. Here is a link for the full startlist.

Prediction: Jesse Kerrison over Johim Ariensen and Jan Dieteren

Trofeo Franco Balestra (Italy)

One of the classics of Brescia, the Trofeo Franco Balestra takes place this weekend and will be probably come down to a smaller bunch sprint of about 30 riders, at least according to hometown boy Davide Martinelli. There is a new climb on the course this year after the traditional Gandosso climb was removed because of landslides for a climb that will feature a steeper pitch near the crest but will probably not do much with the final result.

This race is one of the three Brescia classics including Coppa San Geo and Citta di Brescia. The field is stacked full with 201 riders toeing the line. Martinelli is a big favorite and will look to redeem himself here after he crashed in the final straightaway last year and finished 13th. Others to watch could be Xhuliano Kamberaj, Gianni Moscon, Mirko Trosino, Lorenzo Rota, Nicola Gaffurini and about 10 others.  The season needs to play out in Italy a bit more before I can pick the podium

Full startlist and story with Davide Martinelli that includes a profile

Prediction: Colpack goes 1-3-4 and Martinelli wins just like in La Torre.

Other races that I'll be following include Bruxelles-Zepperen and some French races like Circuit des 4 Cantons and the Vienne Classic that you'll see me talk about on Sunday/Monday.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Weekend Roundup

It has been quite a busy weekend with many u23 riders opening their seasons with smaller races across the world. While you should have already read my recaps of Ster van Zwolle and the GP Izola (hint hint), we need to review the rest of the weekend that was. Let's spin the wheel and start in...California.

Chico Stage Race

The city of Chico lies north of Sacramento and west of Tahoe pretty close to the middle of fucking nowhere. This year, the Chico stage race drew a good crowd with Optum p/b KBS bringing a strong squad against the likes of Cal Giant, KHS-Maxxis, AltoVelo and other California teams.
After Brad Huff took the brutal stage 2 win, the next morning's stage 3 time trial saw many young riders shine. Connecticut product Ben Wolfe (Cal Giant) rode to 3rd in the Elite Men's TT while U23 Fabrizio Von Nacher (KHS-Maxxis), junior Adrien Costa (Cal Giant) and U23 Adam De Vos (H&R Block) were 7th-9th.

Following the criterium, which was also won by Brad Huff, it ended up with Scott Zwizanski winning the overall by 10 seconds over Huff while junior Adrien Costa was at 11 seconds back in 3rd place. A junior nearly taking the overall against a full blown pro team is always impressive. Justin Mauch (Airgas-Safeway) finished 5th overall while Fabrizio Von Nacher was 10th.

Classica de Loule

To Portugal now for the new one day race, the Classica Internacional Loule Capital Europeia do Desporto, which has a name that is entirely too long and will be henceforth known as the Classica de Loule. Not a whole lot of detail here but once again just highlighting how Optum p/b KBS is having a pretty great early season most notably because of the Canuck Mike Woods.

Woods, a very stringent anti-doper who lashed out last year after Qinghai Lakes winner Ilya Davidenok tested positive, was 5th in the uphill stage finish to Malhão behind Richie Porte in the Volta ao Algarve and finishing the race 12th overall.

In the Classica de Loule, Woods broke off the front of a small group and won with a 10 second gap back to 2nd place Cesar Fonte and teammate Jesse Anthony. Optum put 3 in the top 5 with Guillaume Boivin in 5th. The best U23 on the day was James Knox of Zappi's Cycling who finished 9th on the day in the first chasing group of 11 seconds that Anthony has led home.

Pretty much all of these same teams here will be at the 2-day Troféu Alpendre Internacional do Guadiana starting this weekend. 


-The Vuelta Independencia Nacional Republica Dominica finished up on Sunday with EPM-UNE, the team of General Shithead Oscar Sevilla, finished 1-2 in the overall with Smartstop's Chris Butler in 3rd overall. The U23s in this race were slim to none but the winner of the youth category was Anderson Paredes, a 19 year-old who also finished 12th in the Vuelta al Tachira along with 22nd in the Vuelta Independencia. Perhaps someone to follow if he can catch on?

-In Belgium, the amateur season really kicked off with Brussels-Opwijk. New BMC Development rider Nathan Van Hooydonck blew the race open on the last time up the Putberg and only EFC-Etixx rider Maxime Farazijn was able to follow. Van Hooydonck's teammate Loïc Vliegen bridged on the local circuits and the duo tried to attack Farazijn but he was having none of it. Vliegen hit out hard with 2 kilometers to go but Farazijn was able to follow and he easily took his 2nd win of the season. Van Hooydonck led home Stef Van Zummeren (Verandas Willems) and Frederik Frison (Lotto-Soudal U23) for 3rd.

Full Results

-One of Namibia's brightest talents, Raul Costa Seibeb, won the Nedbank Cycle Challange for the 4th consecutive year. Seibeb, who spent time with the UCI Cycling Center in Aigle last year, will be going to South Africa to chase UCI points to try and help Namibia qualify for the 2016 Rio Games.
-U23 New Zealand RR Champion Hamish Schreurs took a solo flyer at the Route Bretonne to win by nearly 20 seconds over teammate Fabrice Seigneur and nearly a minute and a half over the peloton that was led in by Nicolas David (Hennebont Cycling)

-There were no real big races in Italy this past weekend but the overarching theme from the weekend was sprint wins and teammates being there to raise their hands in the photos.

The tweet is of Daniele Trentin, the younger brother of Etixx-OPQS rider Matteo Trentin, winning the GP Ceda

Minali being followed by teammates Fran Lamon, Davide Martinielli & Simone Consonni
Photo: ItaliaCiclismo
Gianmarco Begnoni wins with Nicola Toffali and Nicola Rossi
Photo: ItaliaCiclismo

More from Croatia tomorrow as the Trofeo Umag begins a 8 days with a lot of racing down on the Istrian peninsula.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

GP Izola: Mühlberger gets off to another fast start

Last year, Gregor Mühlberger was one of the revelations of the early season after winning the prologue of the Istrian Spring Trophy and winning a 5-up sprint to take the Trofeo Piva Banca. In all, he took 6 wins from March through June and got himself a stagiaire ride with NetApp-Endura, where he snagged an 11th place in Tre Valli Varesine. While he didn't get a pro contract for this season, he switched from Tirol to Felbermayr-Simplon (formerly Gourtmetfein) and it has already garnered results

GP Izola

Beautiful Izola
In its 2nd edition, the GP Izola takes place in and around the Mediterranean port city that lies just 30 kilometers south of Trieste on the bit of Slovenia that juts out and creates a barrier between Italy and Slovenia. The course features multiple hills and with just 30 kilometers to go, Mühlberger took off with Primoz Roglic (Adria Mobil), Paolo Ciavatta (d'Amico-Bottecchia), Lukas Pöstlberger (Tirol) and Igor Frolov (Itera-Katusha) and the quintet got a maximum lead of 7 minutes.

With the major teams represented, the impetus was gone for the peloton to chase and once it was pretty much impossible for the peloton to comeback, Roglic attacked the group and the quintet was shredded. Pöstlberger and Frolov were dropped with the Austrian dropping out and the Russian finished in the back group nearly 4 minutes down. Roglic had a ten second gap and it was Mühlberger who was able to cross it while Ciavatta would spend the rest of the race chasing in no man's land.
Coming to the line, Mühlberger was the fresher of the two and the Austrian powered to his first win of the season. Ciavatta came in for 3rd just ahead of a speeding peloton that was led home by ex-World Tour rider Marko Kump (Adria Mobil) ahead of Maksym Averin (Synergy Baku) and Fabio Chinello (Unieuro Wilier Trevigiani).

1. Gregor Mühlberger (Felbermayr - Simplon) 3:54:51
2. Primoz Roglic (Adria Mobil) s.t.
3. Paolo Ciavatta (d'Amico Bottechia) + 1'10"
4. Marko Kump (Adria Mobil) +1'14"
5. Maksym Averin (Synergy Baku) all s.t.
6. Fabio Chinello (Unieuro Wilier Trevigiani)
7. Daniel Biedermann (Felbermayr - Simplon)
8. Gasper Katrasnik (Sava)
9. Sergey Nikolaev (Itera-Katusha)
10. Felix Großschartner (Felbermayr - Simplon)

Keep an eye on Mühlberger going forward this season as he is a strong time trialist and tends to produce in breakaway situations such as these. He is just a 1994 product and will be on the eye of many teams this year for a stagiaire role and a contract for 2016. Bora-Argon 18 will probably be the front runner as he has stagiaire'd there before but Trek Factory Racing and IAM Cycling could possibly be other destinations as other Austrian riders have ended up there.