Thursday, February 11, 2016

Mid-Week Update

It is literally days away from the season kicking off in Spain and France for the amateurs. Espoirs Central is brimming with...something.

BMC Development Team Camp
Down in Calpe, BMC Development is getting ready for another season that will probably start up in the Netherlands and then make their way down to Italy for some early season races.

Klein Constantia Team Camp
Guess who is also in Calpe? The Etixx and BMC teams can't seem to get enough enough of one another so they have their team camps scheduled for the same time on the Spanish coast.

Dobla Bragado

I am pretty positive that 99.9% of the people reading this have no idea about the Dobla Bragado. That is a very small number seeing how many people don't read this website. I was one of these numbers until the past week when I noticed some familiar names on the result sheets that some Americans might recognize. Namely Alejandro Borrajo, who rode for Rite Aid and Jamis for half a decade, and Juan Pablo Dotti, who tested positive in 2011 and then violated the terms of his suspension, which saw him "benched" until 2015. When I say benched, I mean that he was freely racing in Argentina. I remember Dotti distinctively because when he was in the US with Team Aerocat, he won some of my hometown races in Cincinnati (looking at you, Hyde Park Blast).

Anyways, this is a race that has been going on without much pause since 1922 as this year is the 81st edition, which is pretty astounding for the Western Hemisphere. In any case, it is one of the most important races on the Argentinian domestic scene and many of the big names turn out. Over 11 stages, it was Laureano Rosas that won the race in impressive fashion by winning 6 stages to take his 3rd overall win in the race. It wasn't Rosas most impressive haul in this race as he won 8 stages in 2014. Borrajo and Dotti both won stages in the race.

Namibian Nationals

Deep in the heart of...southwestern Africa. While Namibia is really in its infancy in terms of cycling, they have taken advantage of the UCI Africa Tour and have gotten enough points to qualify for London 2012 and now, Rio 2016.

In the time trial, Christina Jewelry rider Till Drobisch walloped the time trial by 44 seconds on Dan Craven. Drobisch is the next big Namibian rider and he should get plenty of opportunities on the Christina Jewelry team this year.

In the road race, it was Drobisch, Craven and Raul Costa Seibeb that were going after the title. The trio stayed together over the 126 kilometer course and destroyed the rest of the field, who would finish over 10 minutes down. In the end, it was Craven that won a very tight sprint ahead of Drobisch with Seibeb close behind in 3rd. Craven sealed the Olympic spot while the reserve spot should go to Drobisch though Seibeb is still in the running for that.

On the big island of Illes Balears, the Trofeo Manacor took place over the past weekend and an invading Brit, George Pym, attacked solo ahead of a small group of 5 Mallorcan riders to win by 7 seconds. This was the first of three races that make up the Un Invierno en Mallorca, a Winter in Mallorca.

Costa degli Etruschi

It would be stupid to overlook the opening Italian race as there were a couple good performances. Giulio Ciccone was in his debut race with Bardiani-CSF and like he was a seasoned pro, he made the lead group and ended up 5th in the sprint, which was won by Grega Bole. Not far behind, 2nd place in the U23 Worlds RR Simone Consonni won the bunch sprint for 13th, which was the best U23 on the day.

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