Monday, February 15, 2016

Weekend Update: Ganna goes off; Vendée U dominates

The season is here for U23s and amateurs in the Northern Hemisphere. It went off this weekend and let's have a spot of tea and recap.

Ganna fools Adria Mobil; wins GP Laguna

In these early season races, the attention level can vary a bit. Some are very keen to show their form and perhaps snag a result while others are just getting some kilometers in the legs at some race pace. If the breakaway has the correct makeup, then you can say goodbye to the peloton. This was the case at the GP Laguna in Porec, Croatia.

A group of 14 snuck off the front after 30 kilometers of the 163 on offer under rainy and overall gloomy weather. Early on, it was 4 riders including last year's 2nd place Seid Lizde (Colpack) leading with fellow U23 Markus Kopfauf (WSA) along with Andi Bajc (Amplatz-BMC) and Josef Benetseder (Hrinkow Advarics). After getting an advantage of 4 minutes, they were brought back about halfway through the race into the breakaway group.

With 40 kilometers to go, Filippo Ganna (Colpack) attached on the climb on the course and dragged away the Adria Mobil duo of David Per and Domen Novak. The trio of U23s made their way along on the course with Per and Novak trading attacks but Ganna, who is a budding TT star, was able to weather the storm and hold the group together. In the finale, Ganna was able to out-sprint the duo to take Colpack's opening win of the season. Behind, Daniel Auer came in 4th for a 1st-4th for the U23s. Nearly 10 minutes behind, Simone Consonni won the bunch sprint for 11th ahead of Jan Tratnik and Siarhei Papok.

Let the record show that Colpack has more wins that Zalf-Euromobil so far this year.

Circuit des Plages Vendéennes - Notre Dame De Monts

Plages Vendéennes, or Vendée beaches, is a bit like the Mallorca Challenge with 6 stages that are single races but they do have an overall classification too. The first stage was cancelled due to high winds so the first stage took off from Notre Dame De Monts. I think a simple picture can describe the outcome.
First year Thomas Denis, just 18 years right now, was gifted the win though it was certainly a team effort.

South African Nationals

This is about the breakout ride by Stefan De Bod. While Keagan Girdlestone is a prime talent, De Bod rode out of his skin over the past few days that he was contending for the Elite Men's title. De Bod, who was a junior champion a couple of years ago, finished just 12 seconds behind Daryl Impey in the 48 kilometer TT. De Bod finished a minute over Ryan Gibbons and 2 minutes on Girdlestone.
In the RR, De Bod beat out Reinardt Janse van Rensburg for 2nd place behind Jaco Venter to take the U23 title with Gibbons again in 2nd and Morne Van Niekirk in 3rd.

De Bod seems to have a truckload of horsepower that could power a small jeep so it will be interesting to see how he pans out with the Dimension Data development team.


-Egan Bernal, the Colombian for Androni who just turned 19 in January, finished 10th on the queen stage of the La Mediteranéenee. Bernal has ridden only a handful of road races before signing with Androni and in his first pro race, he did damn well to hang with seasoned professionals. He lost chunks of time earlier in the week on flatter stages so that will most likely be an issue this season but he is certainly a talent for the climbs.

-Davide Ballerini (Hoopla-Petroli Firenze) launched the first attack in Trofeo Laigueglia but was later a DNF. Oliveira Troia finished but was back in 54th. Giulio Ciccone continued his strong early season with a strong 12th just ahead of the peloton.

-Brandon McNulty (LUX/Stradling) finished 2nd overall in the Valley of the Sun Stage Race in the Pro/1 Category. He would have trounced all comers in the junior ranks so he decided to take on some competition. On junior gears (max of a 52x14), McNulty only finished 20 seconds down on Silber's Ryan Roth.

-On the Biscay coast down past Bayonne, the l'Essor Basque kicked off with two one day events out of the five that make up the event. On Saturday, Cyrille Patoux took the Boucle de l'Essor in a small group sprint ahead of U23 Thibault Ferasse (Armée de Terre) while on Sunday, Yoann Paillot (Oceane Top 16) took the win int he Circuit de l'Essor in a fine solo move. Elsewhere in France, Martin Otonicar won the bunch sprint at the Tour du Centre Var, Chambery CF took two stages in a row at Tour de l'Ardeche Meridional with Nans Peters and Aurelien Paret-Peintre while Odrian Champossin (AVC Aix-en-Provence) blasted the sprint by 3 bike lengths at the GP Carces ahead of Corentin Ermanault.

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