It is a boring Sunday at work so let's do a nice roundup, shall we? We are taking a tour around the world so please fasten your lap belts, put your chairs in the upright position and put your trays back. Onwards, dear friends.
Okolo Jiznich Cech
Czech is a language I have been trying to wrap my mind around but as a English speaker, it just looks like random letters thrown together. In any case, races in Central Europe seem to fascinate me for some reason and this one is no different. The Okolo Jiznich Cech goes through Southern Bohemia, which looks absolutely fantastic in pictures.
I briefly touched on the race earlier this week when Daniel Hoelgaard (Etixx) took the first stage for one of the home teams and on Sunday, he was able to take his 2nd stage win of the week in a mass gallop ahead of Top Competitie winner Kenneth Van Rooy and Michael Kolar, who is riding with the Slovak National Team.
Also in U23 news, Emanuel Buchmann (Rad-Net Rose) won the queen stage on stage 3 to continue a fine late season push, which the tall rider from Baden Wurtemberg is hoping to turn into a pro contract.
On the GC, Norwegian TT Champion Reidar Borgersen won the overall after winning the TT and then conserving his lead while Buchmann finished in 3rd overall. Fellow U23 Alexis Guerin finished in 5th overall to cap off a successful week for the Etixx team.
Tour of East Java
Tabriz Petrochemical strikes again. The notorious Iranian team that I love to poke fun at once again dominated an Asian stage race by going 1-2 with Ghader Mizbani and Amir Kolahdozhagh on the queen stage in East Java. Mizbani took the overall on the two-stage event while Kolahdozhagh finished in 3rd behind Danish John Ebsen (CCN). They only reason I'm mentioning this at all is that Kolahdozhagh is a U23 that doesn't get many chances to ride against big U23 talents because of the big troubles with Iranian riders getting visas to European countries so he is having to make due by riding the Asian scene with Tabriz. If Iran is able to get a team to Spain for the U23 World Championships, Kolahdozhagh should be on the roster but that is a big if.
Tour of Gippsland
It was quite a cracker of a stage on the final day of the Oil Lakes Tour of Gippsland, the 7th stop on the Australian NRS circuit. On the final stage, Raphael Freienstein (Charter Mason) started in the leader's jersey but he was closely stalked by Joe Cooper (Avanti), Cameron Bayly (Search2Retain) and Tim Roe (Budget Forklifts), who were all within 10 seconds.
A breakaway got away early including Bayly, his teammate Paddy Bevin, Alexander Edmondson and a few others a got a gap that was hovering around 15 seconds, enough to but Bayly in the provisional lead. Former Bissell rider Bevin was burying himself for Bayly while behind, it was Charter Mason trying to control the gap for Freienstein. About halfway through the race, Tim Roe hit out as hard as he could on the climb and while Freienstein tried to chase, the former BMC rider was able to bridge across to the breakaway. Roe had a 5 second gap on Bayly heading into the stage so after bridging, he only needed to worry about Bayly winning the stage for him to be able to usurp him on the GC.
Back in the pack, Charter Mason was running out of men and Freienstein was isolated in his attempt to bring the breakaway back. It wasn't until 2 laps to go in the races that Avanti, who had Joe Cooper, moved to the front because they also had Mitchell Lovelock-Fay up in the breakaway.
In the sprint, it was Australian pursuit champion (and U23) Alexander Edmondson who took the win ahead of Paddy Bevin and Lovelock-Fay. Edmondson has had a quieter year on the road and this was a nice win for him as he won the same stage last year. Bayly and Roe finished on the same time, which ended up being 11 seconds ahead of the peloton. Roe secured the overall win ahead Bayly by 5 seconds while Freienstein hung on for 3rd overall.
Roe was able to redeem himself here as he lost the 2008 edition on the final stage to Bernard Sulzberger but this is also a return to form for Roe, who spent an injury plagued 2 years with BMC before spending a year on their amateur team last year. Roe has been consistently strong on the NRS circuit and could be a threat in some autumn Asian races.
Just out of the U23s Brenton Jones still holds the NRS overall by 4 points ahead of Joe Cooper and 7 points ahead of Roe and Jesse Kerrison with 4 rounds left to race.
-Dan McLay finished 7th on the opening sprint stage of the Tour of Britain behind Marcel Kittel.
-Phil Bauhaus (Stolting) took his 5th win of the season in the Kernen Omloop in a bunch gallop. Bauhaus was being courted by a few teams but seems to be set on staying with Stolting for 2015 as the team is planning to step up to the Pro Continental level.
-Ilya Koshevoy took his 6th win of the season on Sunday in the Coppa 29 Martiri di Figline. Belorussian Koshevoy has been going quite well this year and Lampre will be very pleased to have him in 2015 for hillier races.The Coppa Figline is actually a fairly good race historically for Belarus as Kanstantin Siutsou won in in 2004 and Vasili Kiriyienka was 2nd in 2005. It actually has a very strong winners list, which you can view here courtesy of the race winner himself.
-In transfer news, Mads Wurtz will not be returning to CULT Energy for 2015, when the team plans to move up to the Pro Continental level. Wurtz, a very strong junior, has had an up and down beginning as a U23 and was hoping to move on with the team but the Skelde family, who runs the team, say they will be keeping in close contact with Wurtz to possibly bring him back in the future.