Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Long Weekend Roundup

Quaade wins Chrono Champenois

In some of the most unsurprising news of the week, Rasmus Quaade won a time trial. Not just any time trial but a very important time trial in front of the World Championships, the Chrono Champenois. Situated in Betheny, which is just north of Reims in the Marne department in the north of France, the Chrono Champenois usually shows who is ready for the U23 World TT Championship. While this is a good U23 predictor, this race isn't strictly U23 thus why Rasmus Quaade was there to show everyone a tutorial on suffering.

For those not familiar with the race, the last three winners have been Campbell Flakemore, Rohan Dennis and Luke Durbridge. Other previous winners include Quaade in 2010 (before he crashed out of Worlds on a medal winning run), Vuelta TT winner Adriano Malori won it twice, Lazlo Bodrogi and Tomas Vaitkus. Lots of U23 World TT winners have ridden here as well as some of the best continental TT riders including the like of Quaade right now.

While Quaade beat everyone by a healthy measure on Sunday, this race proved that the U23 World TT is probably going to be a two horse race between Stefan Küng and Campbell Flakemore. The two stellar time trialists were the last two men to set off in the event and by the end of the 33.4 kilometer course, the two finished just 4 seconds off one another with Flakemore taking the "win" over Küng. They were over a minute faster than the next fastest U23 in TJ Eisenhart, who put in a great ride for 5th overall. While gold and silver might be looking to have two front runners in Ponferrada, Eisenhart is leading a troupe of others just behind these two including Viktor Manakov, Davide Martinelli and Frederik Frison. Another major contender is Irishman Ryan Mullen, who wasn't present but finished 7th in the Tour of Britain TT. We will get to that TT soon enough though...

Bouvry wins stage in Tour de Moselle; misses WC selection

After riding through multiple injuries this year, Dieter Bouvry pulled out a win in the 3rd stage of the Tour de Moselle after attacking his breakaway mates in the final kilometer. While Bouvry was able to take the win in Moselle, he wasn't able to get a selection for the U23 World Championships in Ponferrada. While the first 5 riders were announced, the 6th rider was a mystery until Monday. The selection was given to Kenneth Van Rooy, the Lotto-Belisol U23 rider that won the Top Competitie this year.  Bouvry, who is in his final year as a U23, is suited for the Ponferrada course but will have to be content with first alternate. He dropped out of the final stage of the Tour de Moselle.

U23 Nico Denz (Chambery CF) finished 2nd overall in the Tour de Moselle after a strong breakaway ride and a TT.

Teuns finishes 10th overall in Tour of Britain

Dylan Teuns (BMC) continues to impress as a stagiaire with BMC after finishing 10th overall in the Tour of Britain after taking three top 10 stage finishes on some of the hardest terrain the race had to offer. If it wasn't for a so-so time trial, Teuns would have finished higher up the GC but make no mistake, this kid is for real.

Tao Geoghegan Hart finished the race in 15th overall even after flipping over the bars on the 7th stage in the final corner into Brighton.

Pöstlberger wins Tour Bohemia; Kozhatayev 2nd

In the lead-up to the World Championships, Lukas Pöstlberger took a flyer from 60 kilometers and spent the rest of the race out front to take an impressive win. Coming home nearly 53 seconds later was Kazakh Bakhtiyar Kozhatayev (Astana CT), who rode much better than his Tour de l'Avenir results.

Ledanois wins Tour du Jura

One of the other best stagiaires of the season has been Kevin Ledanois of Bretagne Seche Environment. After a great Arctic Tour and a selection for the French National U23 team, Ledanois made the break in the Tour du Jura and in the hilly finale, he won the sprint ahead of David Belda, fellow U23 Pierre-Roger Latour and Nicolas Baldo. A good dark horse for Ponferrada.

Everything else...

-Jef Van Meirhaeghe and Bert Van Lerberghe signs with Topsport Vlaanderen

Topsport Vlaanderen continues their yearly signing of the best Belgian talent by signing Van Meirhaeghe (Lotto-Belisol U23) and Van Lerberghe (EFC-OPQS). Van Meirhaeghe is the current Belgian U23 RR Champion and is strong on classics style courses and shorter stage races. Van Lerberghe is a a similar style (finished 2nd in the U23 RR behind JVM) but is a bit stronger in the TT and is seemingly able to always be there in the finale; a good trait to have.

-Alex Kirsch signs with CULT Energy

A good move by the Luxembourg rider, I think. Kirsch has been riding with the Leopard-Trek Development for the last three years and even got a stagiaire role with Trek Factory Racing this year, where he rode the Tour of Utah. Kirsch originally started as a stage race rider but he has molded himself into a strong classics style rider that has a kick at the end to mix it up in the sprints.

-Gebrüder Weiss is ge-stopped.

Austria team is setting to stop after Gebrüder Weiss is pulling out and so-so results. Currently, the team has U23s in Michael Gogl and Maximillian Kuen.

-Stölting take final Bundesliga round; Buchmann wins overall

In the final round of the German Bundesliga (think USA NRC or Australian NRS), team Stölting ran amuck. On a doubleheader weekend, the Gelschenkirchen-based squad won the first race in an impressive 1-2-3 display with Phil Bauhaus, Jan Dieteren and Max Werda. Not to be outdone, Nils Politt (also Stölting) won the next day time trial.

Emanuel Buchmann (Rad-Net Rose) won the final overall standings ahead of Christopher Hatz (MLP Bergstraße). Buchmann deserves a hats off after the strong season he has had and he should keep it going in Ponferrada with Politt, Dieteren and their friends Silvio Herklotz and Ruben Zepuntke.

-Iliac artery surgery in the news again

It was announced the other day that SKY's Joe Dombrowski would be transferring to the "new" Cannnodale team run by Jonathan Vaughters after a rough 2 years with the British team. In an article with Cyclingnews, it was announced that Dombrowski had iliac artery surgery after suffering from numbness in his left leg for over a year before finally being diagnosed after the Tour de Suisse.

While my thoughts are anecdotal, it seems that iliac artery injuries are becoming more common. Just for example, Frederik Ludvigsson is facing an off-season surgery for his iliac artery after experience numbness and reduced power output, both of which are common signs of the injury. Any time I see someone tweet about numbness in their leg or reduced power, the iliac artery is my first thought. It is a scary thing because the surgery itself isn't a harmless procedure (South African Ryan Cox died from complications of the surgery). I'd love to due some more research on this because it seems to be a growing problem with rider's development.


  1. In terms of the betting for the U23 TT, PaddyPower bookmakers have Ryan Mullen 5/4 favourite, ahead of Blakemore 9/4, & Kung 7/2. Does this seem to you to reflect the reality or is there a kind of nationalistic bias towards Mullen? Martinelli's next, considered at an unlikely 22/1.

    1. I'm thinking nationalistic bias. Mullen is a major medals contender but I think Flakemore and Küng should be on pretty close to even odds. Mullen is my 3rd place at the moment. These three could shift around though.

    2. Thanks Chris. I've a 'free' bet offer & might just stick it on the longer odds man of Kung & hope for the best!

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