Monday, June 6, 2016

Weekend Roundup: Philly, Italy and more

The Zavod Miru U23 Nations Cup was obviously the big race of the weekend but one should look elsewhere as talent lies in every nook and cranny. Speaking of the U23 Nations Cup, France is now leading ahead of Norway at 85 and 82 points, respectively, with Great Britain vaulting up from 5th to 65 points.

I went to Trexlertown this past Friday for opening night of the annual UCI races and while seeing some of the best sprinters in the Western Hemisphere (plus a few others). One of the takeaways was from a feisty U23 in Luke Mudgway from New Zealand. In the 15 kilometer Scratch Race, he judged his moves to perfection by taking a lap halfway through and once Bobby Lea nearly ripped the cranks off his bike to get on terms, Mudgway then went solo to take a brilliant win. He is a former Junior World Champion in the Madison so he isn't a total unknown but definitely a name to remember.

Anytime I see a big time endurance talent on the track, I do become quite enraged how track cycling has been neutered in the Olympics and has basically given next to no incentive for many countries to invest in the beautiful sport.


While I didn't make it down for Philly, it looked quite good from my computer. Besides Chris Horner throwing a little temper tantrum on Lemon Hill, a shoutout is in order for the best U23 of the day, Canadian Ben Perry from Silber, who finished 7th up the Manayunk Wall.


While it is now well publicized, let's all wish Keagan Girdlestone a speedy recovery from his horrific crash that saw him airlifted from the Coppa della Pace after smashing through the back windscreen of a team car.

Cyrille Thiery took a lovely solo win at the Milano Tortona, where he went away and kept going, going and going. Thiery finished with over a minute gap but the sprint behind offers a few hints. 2nd place from last year's U23 World Championships, Colpack's Simone Consonni has been fairly quiet this season but he was able to put the flame out off on-fire Damiano Cima (Viris Maserati) by beating him for 2nd place by half a bike length.

Elsewhere, Zalf-Euromobil dominated a race in Veneto because...well it's Veneto. They are not to lose on home soil.

Everywhere else and more...

-Enzo Wouters nearly stole the Memorial Van Coningsloo from the top Belgian sprinter of the year, Timothy Dupont of Verandas Willems, but came up less than a bike length short.

-Speaking of the track, Ivo Oliveira was quite active in Portugal at the Anadia meet by winning the Kilo TT with a time of 1:03 and followed it up with 2nd in the Individual Pursuit, behind fellow U23 Benjamin Thomas.

-For the past few weeks, there has been a Tour of Ukraine happening that along with the Tour of Ukraine, has included about 2 weeks of racing in the country thats fate is still up in the air. On the U23 front, Azeri rider Samir Jabrayilov has been consistent with 5 top five finishes in sprints as well as breakaways. The competition level was strictly Eastern European so nothing to get Team SKY calling but it is certainly something.

Anything else that should be mentioned? Let me know...

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