Monday, March 18, 2013

Weekend Roundup: Istrian Spring Trophy, Giuseppe and Nogent-sur-Oise + more

After attempting to watch GP San Giuseppe and seeing the end to an epic Milano-Sanremo, this weekend is getting me more amped to see big time spring racing across the continent. We have lots to get to know, so pay attention class...

Istrian Spring Trophy 

I was updating my post daily about the goings on in Istria. In short, Luke Roberts (Stölting) blitzed the prologue. Matej Mugerli (Adria Mobil) stormed to a stage 1 win and the overall lead. Stage 2 saw Patrik Sinkewitz (Meridiana-Kamen) take the win ahead of Tadej Valjavec (Sava) and young Silvio Herklotz (Stölting).
Silvio Herklotz

The final stage led the peloton back to the coast city of Umag, taking an up and down course. A breakaway of five escaped the peloton, which included former U23 phenom Jan Tratnik (Tirol). By the finish, only three survived with Matej Marin (Gourmetfein-Simplon) taking the win over Sergey Renev (Astana Continental) and Tratnik. The bunch sprint was led by 18-year old Martin Otonicar (Radenska)  ahead of another U23 rider, Aljaz Hocevar (Adria Mobil). 

The G.C. was unchanged with Matej Mugerli (Adria Mobil) winning by seven seconds over teammate Radoslav Rogina and Patrik Sinkewitz (Meridiana-Kamen). Silvio Herklotz exploded onto the map with his 4th place overall, at 11 seconds. His consistent riding (lowest placing was 11th) will be key if he is to succeed on the next level. I am very excited to see how he continues this year. Leopard-Trek's duo of Jesus Ezquerra and Kristian Jensen showed big promise with their 6th and 7th overall places, respectively. Jan Polanc (Radenska), who was 4th place on stages one and two, is continuing where he left off last season and is looking like an early contender for the World Championships in Florence later this year. 

GP San Guiseppe

A breakaway ruled the day in Montecassiano as Luca Chirico (Trevigiani Dynamon Bottoli) won in an 8-man sprint on the final uphill run up into the village. With 50 kilometers to go, the main peloton had been whittled down to just 20. WIth just 25 kilometers to go, Chirico and David Orrico (Colpack) attacked the peloton and bridged to a breakaway of seven riders, who had been out front for a pretty long while at this point. In a post-race interview, Chirico admitted that he knew his chance of winning was increased when he looked at the exhausted faces of his breakaway mates. Launching near the final corner right before the finishing straight, Chirico lead the sprint from the front and powered his way over the line ahead of Paolo Colonna (Colpack) and Luca Benedetti (Bedogni).

  1. Luca Chirico (Trevigiani Dynamon Bottoli)
  2. Paolo Colonna (Colpack)
  3. Luca Benedetti (Bedogni)
  4. Alessandro Tonelli (Zalf Euromobil)
  5. Davide Orrico (Colpack)
  6. Jarno Meijling (AVC Aix-en-Provence)
  7. Evgeny Shalunov (Lokospinkx)
  8. Marlen Zmorka (Palazzago)
  9. Lukas Pöstlberger (Gourmetfein-Simplon) +30"
  10. Andrea Zordan (Zalf Euromobil) +50"
This is a big breakout result for Chirico, as he had good results last season but nothing like this and it could be the sign of big things to come of the young man from Varese. Tonelli is another young guy at 20 who should be pleased with this result. Shalunov and Zmorka are not the best uphill sprinters but this results must speak to some good form. What should also be noted here is Andrea Zordan winning the field sprint for 10th place. The Vicenza native has won two races so far this season and his sprinting capabilities should bring him bigger success this season. 

GP Nogent-sur-Oise

Since no one seems to like covering this race, all we get are results. From what I see on twitter, the race had a hail storm inside the final hour, which made for a crazy finale and weird results. There were a HUGE amount of abandons...122 to be specific. Riders had to deal with frozen temperatures and one,  Felix Pouilly, was dropped with 10km to go as he was "frozen". Alexander Kamp and Alexis Bodoit successfully escaped the clutches of the peloton to go head to head in a two up sprint, with Kamp coming out ahead. 
  1. Alexander Kamp (CULT Energy)
  2. Alexis Bodoit (Armée de Terre) +1"
  3. Jérôme Baugnies (ToWin-Josan) +7"
  4. Daan Meijers (De Rijke) +9"
  5. Sebastian Foucher s.t.
  6. Tom Dernies (Wallonie-Bruxelles) s.t.
  7. Marc Sarreau +11"
  8. Florian Bissinger (Vorarlberg) +18"
  9. Benoit Sinner (Armée de Terre) +1'05"
  10. Bert Van Lerberghe (Ventilair-Steria) +1'22"
While it was a great result for the young Kamp, the crazy weather and huge number of abandons put an asterisk on this one. Jérôme Baugnies put in another solid performance after his Kattekoers win. Tom Dernies has also put together a solid season with his 6th here after a 3rd in the Kattekoers and 4th in Beverbeek.

Miscellaneous results...

  • Florent Mottet (Colorcode-Biowanze) won the Zuidkempense Pijl in Mol, Belgium with a big sprint over Paco Ghistelinck (EFC-OPQS), teammate Boris Vallee, Stig Broeckx (Lotto U23) and Edward Theuns (VL Technics).
    Here is a link to video highlights of the race
  • GP San Giuseppe wasn't the only race in Italy today...Niccola Ruffoni (Colpack) won La Popolarissima in Treviso over Federico Zurlo (Zalf Euromobil) and Stefano Perego (Trevigiani Dynamon Bottoli). This was Ruffoni's second victory of the season. Sky stagiaire Davide Martinelli (Tuscansport) was 6th.

Niccola 'The Flying V' Ruffoni takes the V
  • Alphonse Vermote (AnPost-ChainReaction) has been making waves with his performances. After riding very strong at the Kattekoers for 2nd, Vermote was apart of a 3-man move with Bert Grabsch (OPQS) and Wesley Kreder (Vacansoleil) that escaped at the end of the Handzame Classic and were only caught with 300 meters left, nearly upsetting the sprinters at their own game. If he keeps this up, Vermote will have a big contract for next year.
Stay tuned this week for daily updates of the Tour de Normandie, a preview and updates from the Volta a Alentejo and more!


  1. Just to say that I enjoy very much reading about the small races. Thank you for doing this and keep up the good work!

    1. Thanks! They really do deserve more attention so I'm doing what I can!