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.

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