BROKEN RIBS END CHRIS HORNER’S SEASON

 

BROKEN RIBS END CHRIS HORNER’S SEASON

 

 

 

Vuelta a España champion Chris Horner is effectively ending his season after breaking ribs in a high speed crash at the World Championships last Sunday.

 

Horner, who was one of many riders involved in a huge pile-up in the first lap of the road race, broke ribs on the back side of his body and will not be able to participate in the races he was scheduled to ride, most notably Il Lombardia and the Tour of Beijing.

 

Horner: “Everything went well in the last couple of months, except for the World Championships. Broken ribs are really painful and I’ll be off the bike for at least two or three weeks. It’s sad that I can’t finish my season on a good note in Lombardy or China.”

Video-JAN BAKELANTS INTO YELLOW JERSEY

JAN BAKELANTS INTO YELLOW JERSEY

JAN BAKELANTS INTO YELLOW JERSEY

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1BAKELANTS Jan03:43:

112SAGAN Peter+13

KWIATKOWSKI Michal+14

CIMOLAI Davide+15

BOASSON HAGEN Edvald+1

 
With 1800 meters to go Jan Bakelants seized the moment to attack his breakaway group and challenge for the win in the 100th Tour de France. Known as a rider who always attacks and willingly takes his chances, Bakelants, 27, took the win by one second and in doing so, earned the honor of wearing the yellow jersey in his first pro victory.

 

Bakelants: “I see in the final that it’s going to happen and I knew I would probably also take this yellow jersey. Maybe it will be the first and the last time in my career, but today I wear it. I saw in the last 500 meters that I still had a gap and I told myself, ‘Come on, hold this. It’s going to be the nicest day of your life!’ And then I did it,” he said, chalking up his first win after five years as a professional.

 

After a knee problem this year, Bakelants is participating in his first Tour de France: “It is so incredible for me to take this jersey and to give something back to the team after all the misery that I’ve had this year. When I crossed the finish line I was overwhelmed with joy.”

 

At 6.4km/4mi Bakelants broke away with five other riders who quickly established a small gap of six seconds. Initially working well together to try to gain more, Bakelants continued to contribute to the effort and the gap widened. At 1.8km/1mi to go, Bakelants rose out of his saddle and put in a dig that immediately gapped off the others and the Belgian rider held his advantage all the way to the line, taking one second over Peter Sagan (Cannondale) and Michal Kwiatkowski (Omega Pharma-QuickStep). He leads the Tour de France by one second to David Millar (Garmin-Sharp) and Julien Simon of Sojasun.

 

Bakelants: “Coming in the last 10km we were quite a big group and I cannot win in a sprint. I had to gamble and go. When we were six in the finale I knew if everybody gave 100 percent that it was possible to go to the finish. It felt so easy in the break and every time I went to the front, I felt like I rode faster than the other guys. I don’t know, maybe I was just stronger than the others. In the end I was thinking, ‘Come on! Are we going to ride and be the first six riders or are we just going to wait for the bunch to come back and see another win of Sagan?’ I kept the gap and in the radio they were shouting for me to go. I was pushing my 11 and it didn’t look good but I went fast. I just kept pushing the pedals. And when I looked back and saw I had it, I said, ‘I’m going to win! I’m going to win a stage in the Tour de France!’ I’ve had to wait five years but what a victory. It’s hard to believe but it’s the second day of the Tour so now our nerves are settled. It’s incredible.” In addition RADIOSHACK LEOPARD TREK fittingly leads in the Teams classification.

 

In 2008 Jan Bakelants was voted Best Young Rider of the Year, after winning results in the Tour de l’Avenir, U23 Liège-Bastogne-Liège, Tour de Liège, Circuit des Ardennes, Flèche Ardennaise and Tryptique Ardennais. His results led to his first pro contract in 2009. He has participated in the Giro d’Italia and Vuelta a España, two times each, coming close to victory in those grand tours, but this was his first participation in the Tour de France. Known as a tenacious rider who is always willing to put in the hard work, Bakelants took the bronze medal in the recent Belgium national championships behind teammate and gold medal winner Stijn Devolder. On the personal side, Bakelants holds a Bachelor degree in Bioscience Engineering and trained for cycling at the Vlaamse Wielerschool (Flemish Cycling School) where he immediately showed his quality all-around cycling skills.

 

“I’m incredibly happy,” Bakelants concluded. “I think it’s going to be a short night tonight; I don’t think I’ll sleep much.” Asked if he has GC aspirations, the Belgian rider replied, “We have to be realistic. I don’t have the separation like Chris Froome and I don’t climb like him or Contador. My goal was to win a stage but I didn’t think it would happen so fast. After the Belgian championships I could dream and could see in my data that I was in great shape. But then to go against the best riders in the world here and win, that’s another thing. I did it. I will never forget this.”

 

 

 

ANDY SCHLECK TO LEAD RADIOSHACK LEOPARD TREK AT 2013 TOUR DE FRANCE

 

2013 TOUR DE FRANCE ©Brandon Hale

2013 TOUR DE FRANCE

 

ANDY SCHLECK TO LEAD RADIOSHACK LEOPARD TREK AT 2013 TOUR DE FRANCE

 

 

 

RADIOSHACK LEOPARD TREK has finalized its team for the 100th Tour de France starting on June 29 in Corsica. Andy Schleck, 2010 champion, will lead the squad. Schleck will be supported by eight devoted and experienced riders.

[Read more...]

JUNGELS CLAIMS SECOND WIN OF SEASON

 

JUNGELS CLAIMS SECOND WIN OF SEASON

JUNGELS CLAIMS SECOND WIN OF SEASON

JUNGELS CLAIMS SECOND WIN OF SEASON

 

 

 

The fourth team win in as many days didn’t come without controversy. RADIOSHACK LEOPARD TREK rider Bob Jungels took the stage four victory in the Skoda Tour de Luxembourg on Sunday, initially winning the white jersey for best young rider, too. But a complaint filed by team Blanco made a few changes to the final results.

 

Jungels: “In the second to last lap Hondo pulled for me to make an attack and I was close to his left side. When he dropped off, he took his right hand to motion for me to go and I took off but I didn’t take his hand.”

 

The initial complaint of Jungels receiving a track-style hand sling from teammate Danilo Hondo was awarded a 10-second time penalty as well as 200 euro fine, but he was allowed to keep the stage win. The time penalty took Jungels out of the white jersey as best young rider and off the final podium.

 

Jungels: “We saw yesterday that Jan and I were the strongest on the climbs. Today I had Danilo at my side. On the second to last lap I told Jan to do the beginning of the climb fast and then there was a part where it was more flat and I was with Hondo. I attacked and passed the others, going full gas on the last lap alone. That last lap was really hard. I put the big chain ring on and went as hard as I could before the climb. At 50m to go I saw Martens on my wheel. I tried to accelerate away but I couldn’t. I missed the overall by three seconds. We tried everything but Blanco was really strong. I think we showed great team effort here in Luxembourg and we can be really happy with winning three stages in five days.” Second place went to Paul Martens (Blanco) with RSLT teammate Jan Bakelants taking third on the stage and Martens winning the classification for the race, ahead of Jonathan Hivert (Sojasun) at 4 seconds and Jan Bakelants (at 6 seconds).

 

Stage 4 in the Skoda Tour de Luxembourg was from Mersch to Luxembourg at 143.6 km and consisted of 5 local laps with steep climb to the finish. Teammate Jan Bakelants explained the team strategy: “The plan was to send Bob on the second to last lap. There was some hesitation in the peloton so he got a gap. On the last climb I was up to do the sprint in case Bob was brought back. In the end I finished in the wheel of Martens, but at least he couldn’t pass Bob and we won the stage.”

 

All week the team has been under the direction of José Azevedo: “I am a very happy team director. It would have been better to win the GC of course. That was our main goal. But the team worked so well together this week. There was good team spirit and we’ve won three out of five stages. I’m happy and proud.” After two stage wins on Friday and Saturday, Giacomo Nizzolo won the blue jersey of the points leader.

 

Jungels, 20, has been hailed the past few years as an emerging young talent in cycling. Earlier this year in his neo-pro year he won the GP Nobili by a wide 53-second margin from a successful breakaway. Seriously taking up the sport at age 17, Jungels took the silver medal at the 2009 Juniors European Time Trial Championships, and then won the Juniors World Time Trial Championship the following year. Prior to turning professional, he won the 2012 Paris-Roubaix U23, overall in Flèche du Sud, the Luxembourg national U23 time trial championships and a stage in the Giro della Valle d’Aosta Mont Blanc.

 

 

 

NIZZOLO CHARGES TO SECOND VICTORY

NIZZOLO CHARGES TO SECOND VICTORY

NIZZOLO CHARGES TO SECOND VICTORY

 

NIZZOLO CHARGES TO SECOND VICTORY

 

 

 

In an unprecedented three-in-a-row string of victories for RADIOSHACK LEOPARD TREK, Giacomo Nizzolo outkicked the others to take a second sprint victory in as many days.

 

Saturday’s queen stage of climbing was not meant for the sprinters, but Giacomo Nizzolo survived the final split in the peloton along with 29 other riders. Nizzolo: “The goal today was to suffer as much as possible. We also had the ambitions to protect with Bob and Jan on GC so I was instructed to hold the wheels as much as I could. We ended up catching them at 3 or 4 k to go and I prepared for the sprint. At the last corner I was third and I started my sprint at 100 meters. It was a little bit uphill and it was hard.” Nizzolo finished ahead of Alexey Tsatevitch of Katusha. Teammate Bob Jungels is fifth on GC at six seconds behind race leader Jonathan Hivert (Sojasun).

Nizzolo’s win marks the third win in three days for the RADIOSHACK LEOPARD TREK. In the Tour de Suisse on Thursday, Gregory Rast earned his first stage victory in his home tour, sending team morale up the confidence scale. Then on Friday Nizzolo scored a sprint win in the Skoda Tour de Luxembourg, and notched up one more victory in Saturday’s 178.8km stage from Eschweiler to Diekirch to cap off the run of wins. [Read more...]

GIACOMO NIZZOLO SPRINTS TO VICTORY

 

GIACOMO NIZZOLO SPRINTS TO VICTORY

GIACOMO NIZZOLO SPRINTS TO VICTORY

GIACOMO NIZZOLO SPRINTS TO VICTORY

 

 

 

Making it two wins in as many days, RADIOSHACK LEOPARD TREK rider Giacomo Nizzolo took stage 2 in the Skoda Tour de Luxembourg on Friday, taking a straight-up sprint victory on the 173.1km course from Shifflange to Walferdange.

 

Giacomo Nizzolo: “Today was not easy. Especially because the guys in the breakaway went so fast and the peloton didn’t give them much space so we all went fast the entire day. Then in the final we had the hard climb with many, many attacks. At the bottom for the last time, I asked the guys to help me, especially Bob Jungels. I have to say a big, big thank you to him. This is his home race and he gave 100% to me. The sprint, with just 25 riders left, was not in one line as we approached the finish. The Saxo-Tinkoff rider Kump went first and I went on his wheel until I started my sprint at 100 meters to go. It’s funny because he is the guy who hit my wheel yesterday and broke my derailleur so I didn’t win, but today I won and he was second.” Nizzolo’s win comes one day after teammate Gregory Rast took victory in stage 6 of the Tour de Suisse, making it back-to-back highly successful days of racing for RSLT.

 

Nizzolo, 24, comes from a track background but upon switching to road the Italian sprinter saw immediate success with 11 victories in 2009 and another twelve in 2010 prior to turning professional. His palmares include the overall win in the 2012 Tour de Wallonie. Giacomo carries the build of a true sprinter and puts out amazing watts near the end of a race. Combined with the ability to tackle the medium mountains with reserves still in the tank, Nizzolo is always a threat on the finish line.

 

Giacomo Nizzolo took part in his home tour, the 2013 Giro d’Italia, last May, taking second place once and fourth place two times. After the Giro many riders take a break but Nizzolo has held his form, bringing it with him to Luxembourg: “I can tell you that to keep my form for two weeks after the Giro is hard but I’ve been very focused on the Tour of Luxembourg and I came here in very good shape. I wanted to use this condition in this race. Yesterday I had bad luck but today it was good.”

 

Racing continues through Sunday in Luxembourg and Nizzolo vows to stay competitive: “This is a very important race for us. We are a Luxembourgish team so we have focused on this race and we are showing that we are motivated.”

 

 

 

RAST TASTES VICTORY IN TOUR DE SUISSE

 

Gregory Rast wins stage six of the 2013 Tour de Suisse

RAST TASTES VICTORY IN TOUR DE SUISSE

 

RAST TASTES VICTORY IN TOUR DE SUISSE

 

 

 

Playing it patiently and smart with 1km to go, Gregory Rast attacked his three breakaway companions and sprinted to a memorable victory in his home tour.

 

Rast: “It was hard out there today. There was no real sprinter in our group, just strong guys with motivation to win. Team Director Luc Meersman gave me good advice and it worked out well. I’ve been in the Tour de Suisse so many times but this is such a big win for me. This stage is close to my home and I know these roads very well. I was prepared for this. I’ve tried 10 years to win a stage here and today I finally made it. I’m really, really happy.”

 

Swiss-born Gregory Rast made good on his promise to be familiar with today’s route which is the closest to his home in nearby Cham. He checked the route, he rode the course and knew it meter by meter. All that was left was to get in the day’s break on the 186km/115mi route from Leuggern to Meilen. Joining him were Mathew Mathew Hayman (Sky), Alexandr Kolobnev (Katusha) and Bert Grabsch of OmegaPharma-QuickStep). The four rode extremely well together and established an advantage of more than 14 minutes. Coming under the red kite, Rast gave it everything he had and powered away from the others to take the win by 25-seconds to Hayman and Kolobnev. [Read more...]