Let's go back to mid-week and May Day, the day where sensible Europeans give their workers the day off to celebrate their hard work...
Rund um den Finanzplatz Eschborn-Frankfurt: Lasse Norman Hansen (Blue Water Cycling) beat out Michael Valgren Andersen (CULT Energy) and Max Werda (Stölting) in a 4-up sprint to take his 2nd victory of the season on the road and his 2nd win in just 2 weeks. After 140 undulating kilometers around Frankfurt, a breakaway of four including Hansen, Andersen, Werda and his Stölting teammate Silvio Herklotz were out in front after breaking away from seven other riders before the finale. As they had numbers, Herklotz was dialing up the pace to lead out Werda but a miscommunication saw Werda attack as Herklotz wasn't able to keep the speed up any longer after spending the whole day out front. Andersen brought Hansen back up to Werda and Hansen launched with 200 meters to go and took the sprint.
Behind, it was Magnus Cort Nielsen (CULT Energy) who won the bunch sprint for 12th. After spending nearly the whole race out front, Herklotz picked up the mountain and sprint jerseys for his troubles.
Grote Prijs 1 Mei: De Rijke-Shanks continued their impressive season as the Dutch team swept the podium in Hoboken with former Rabobank rider Coen Vermeltfoort taking the honors over Mats Boeve and Yoeri Havik. It was the team's 5th UCI win of the season and the 2nd for Vermeltfoort, who has bounced back nicely after suffering from bad luck and injuries while with Rabobank.
|Fernando Grijalba gets the magic Txapela for his Copa de España win|
LXXX Clasica Santa Cruz Legazpi: Fernando Grijalba (Caja Rural Amateur) was able to steal the Copa de España overall from Airan Fernandez (Coleur) and former Andalucia pro Pablo
In the end it was Ramirez who won the 5-man sprint for the win while Grijalba finished in 5th place. With Airan Fernandez losing the sprint for 6th to Chetout, he lost his overall lead to Grijalba by a mere three seconds with Pablo Lechuga a further two points behind.
Grijalba is only the 4th rider to win the Copa de España as a U23 along with a guy named Alejandro Valverde. Grijalba also won the junior Copa de España, which makes him the only rider to win both the junior and elite/U23 classification. Watch for the rider from the Valladolid province of Castilla y Leon to move up to the Caja Rural pro team for next year.
Ronde van Overijssel: Tom Vermeer (Jo Piels) outsprinted his breakaway companions Martin Mortensen (Concordia-Riwal) and Christoph Pfingsten (De Rijke-Shanks) as the trio just barely outlasted the chasing peloton, who was lead home by Jeff Vermeulen (Metec CT).
Other results include...
- Paolo Simion (Zalf-Euromobil) took his 3rd win of the year at the Circuito del Porto in a bunch sprint over Liam Bertazzo (Trevigiani) and Davide Martinelli (Food Italia). Zalf continues to roll as in two other smaller races on Sunday, they had Andrea Toniatti and Pierre Paolo Penasa take wins. Best Italian team of the first half of the season by far.
- Frederik Strand Galta (Øster Hus-Ridley) won the Hadeland GP Saturday out of a breakaway of four over Stian Remme (Joker-Merida), Jesper Hansen (CULT Energy) and Frederik Ludvigsson (People4You-Unaas). The group sprint for 5th was won by Asbjørn Kragh Andersen. Sunday saw 20 year old Sondre Holst Enger (Plussbank) go 3rd in the Ringerike GP in a group sprint behind winner Reidar Borgersen (Joker-Merida) and Michael Olsson (People4you-Unaas)
That is all I have for one day races. I know it was a bit brief but don't worry...tomorrow (or later today, depending on location) you will read about the stage races that have been on going. Trust me it is going to be filled with acid. Let's just say that while I support a lot of U23 racing, you need to fucking schedule it a lot better than some races should. Until then :)