Archive for April, 2010

Philippe Gilbert tops world ranking

Wednesday, April 28th, 2010

Autor OnlineredaktionAt the Ardennes Classics Philippe Gilbert was not only the fastest rider. His win in the Amstel Gold Race and top placings at Flèche Wallonne and Liege-Bastogne-Liege also put him at the top of the current world ranking.
With the exception of Paris-Roubaix Philippe took part in all one -day races on the World Calendar and was also able to achieve a place in the top 10 in every start.

Philippe’s finishes in 2010

9. Milan-Sanremo (10 Points)
Mailand-Sanremo

3. Gent-Wevelgem (50)
Gent-Wevelgem

3. Tour of Flanders (70)
Flandern

1. Amstel Gold Race (80)
Amstel_Gold_Race

6. Flèche Wallonne (22)
Fleche_Wallonne

4. Liège-Bastogne-Liège (60)
Luettich_Bastogne_Luettich

This amounts to a points total of 292. His closest rival is Alejandro Valverde, who is 11 points behind the Walloon on 281 points.

Gilbert fourth in “La Doyenne”

Monday, April 26th, 2010

Autor OnlineredaktionLiege-Bastogne-Liege or “La Doyenne” as it is often called, the oldest classic race on the racing calendar, took place at the weekend. This monument of bike racing was run over 258 hilly kilometres from Liege to Ans. There were 12 testing climbs en route.

The first climb, the Côte de la Roche-en-Ardenne, came after 69 kilometres. However, 9 climbs didn’t have to be tackled until the second half of the race. Among these were the Côte de la Roche aux Faucons and the Côte de Saint-Nicolas in the closing stages.

The race took place in sunny spring weather after the long cold winter. The breakaway group of the day led for approximately 200 kilometres, but the last remaining rider was swept up at the foot of La Redoute.

But even on this steep climb the riders didn’t dare to start any attacks and therefore the entire peloton was together as it began the climb up the Roche aux Faucons where the winner of last year’s race Andy Schleck and last Sunday’s winner Philippe Gilbert attempted an attack. However the duo was soon swallowed up again by a 30-strong group. Soon after Kolobnev und Vinokourov were finally able to detach themselves from that group with Philippe Gilbert and Cadel Evans hot on their heels.

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The Omega Pharma-Lotto captain tried to shake off his rival at Saint-Nicolas, but he was unable to close the gap to the leading pair. Vinokourov on the other hand left Kolobnev for dead two kilometres from the finish to scoop his second victory in „La Doyenne“ . Valverde was able to drop Gilbert and Evans shortly before the finish and came in third ahead of Philippe, who was able to outsprint Evans.

Liege-Bastogne-Liege: Final Classification

1. Alexandre Vinokourov (Kaz) | Astana
2. Alexandr Kolobnev (Rus) | Katusha 0:00:06
3. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) | Caisse d’Epargne 0:01:04
4. Philippe Gilbert (Bel) | Omega Pharma-Lotto

19. Jurgen Van Den Broeck 0:01:18
25. Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) | 0:01:25
78. Christophe Brandt 0:09:34

Gilbert wins Amstel Gold Race

Sunday, April 18th, 2010

Autor OnlineredaktionCongratulations Philippe! The Belgian wins the 45th edition of the Amstel Gold Race – at beaming sunshine he had nerves of steel, never got provoked by several attacks and was wide-awake at the decisive moment.

The race started well for Omega Pharma-Lotto. The Belgian professional team was able to place Staf Scheirlinckx in the first break away group of the day, which was able to sprint away to a maximum of more than six minutes. When the uphill sections of Eyserbosweg, Fromberg and Keutenberg were reached, the tactical games started. Philippe countered every attack confidently and when Jurgen van den Broeck attempted to break away together with last year’s winner Ivanov before the Keutenberg, Gilbert was able to catch up to the leader. Later other riders joined the group, and its members rose to 25 riders.

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In the final stage Alexandr Kolobnev attempted to break away from the other favourites and tried to reach the finish single-handedly. But 10 seconds of advantage were not sufficient and he was caught in the final uphill section. This uphill section to the Cauberg brought the decision. Initially, Sylvain Chavanel tried his luck, but Philippe countered vigorously, put even more coal on the fire and was able to create a gap, which was sufficient to reach the finish line first. Thus Philippe Gilbert perfected the first win of the season for the Belgian team and finished the in every way sun-drenched day.

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The Queen of Classics – Hoste in the Top-10

Monday, April 12th, 2010

Autor OnlineredaktionLast weekend it was not only the Canyon GranFondo which took place. Just one day after the 25-year company anniversary it was the turn of the Queen of Classics, the Hell of the North or quite simply Paris -Roubaix. On the 259 kilometre event from Compiègne to the Velodrome in Roubaix the peloton had to endure 27 cobbled sections of 53 kilometres in total. And if all that wasn’t enough, for the majority of the race the riders had to contend with occasional strong gusts of wind.

The first breakaway group of the day consisted of 19 riders, among them Omega Pharma-Lotto rider Sebastian Lang.

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Punctures and crashes decimated the main field relatively early on which meant that a group of just 60 riders was still in with a realistic chance of victory when they reached the infamous Ahrenberg Forest. The remaining breakaway riders were overtaken by a 20-strong group of riders 60 kilometres from the finish. The 20-strong group included Omega Pharma-Lotto riders Leif Hoste, Greg van Avermaet and Jürgen Roelandts. This week Greg was victim of the same fate that struck Jürgen just seven days ago at the Tour of Flanders. After riding a super race a puncture virtually put paid to any hope he may have had of achieving a good finishing position. Jürgen on the other hand, had managed to pluck up courage and attacked the peloton. After Jürgen had been swept up, Leif Hoste followed suit and took off with Leukemans and Hinault. The trio were later joined by Fabian Cancellara. The quartet however only worked together for a short time and the winner of the Tour of Flanders Cancellara pulled away on the cobbled section Mons-en-Pévèle and his breakaway companions didn’t see him again until after the finish line.
The lead of the Swiss rider grew consistently up to three minutes and he did a solo ride in the last 50 kilometres to the Velodrome in Roubaix. This was his second win in a “Monument” of cycling within a week. The Norwegian Thor Hushovd and the Spaniard Juan Antonio Flecha completed the podium places. Leif Hoste got himself into the top 10, finishing a very creditable 8th.

Paris-Roubaix: Final standings

1. Fabian Cancellara (Swi) | Team Saxo Bank
2. Thor Hushovd (Nor) | Cervelo Test Team 0:00:02

8. Leif Hoste (Bel) | Omega Pharma-Lotto 0:05:16
27. Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) | Omega Pharma-Lotto 0:07:05
39. Jürgen Roelandts (Bel) | Omega Pharma-Lotto 0:09:33

Tour of Flanders: Philippe scoops place on podium

Tuesday, April 6th, 2010

Autor OnlineredaktionLong awaited by millions of cycling fans – On Sunday the Tour of Flanders took place. The race started at 9.45 sharp from the “Grand Place” in Bruges and was run over a total distance of 262 kilometres. At about half distance the main field was all together when it reached “Den Ast”, which was the first of 14 traditional Flemish hills. Further highlights included the trio Oude Kwaremont, Paterberg and Koppenberg. The final climbs were the “Wall”, commonly known as the Muur at Geraardsbergen and the Bosberg. There were also six cobblestone sections which served to provide that little extra touch of flair.

Shortly after the neutralised section an 8-man breakaway succeeded in opening up a 13-minute gap on the main field. However, in the hills the favourites made short work of the breakaway and the lead dwindled progressively.

However, it wasn’t only the breakaway riders who displayed weaknesses in the hills. The peloton also dwindled in size and one rider after another was no longer able to maintain the pace. On the Eikenberg the last rider in the original breakaway was finally swallowed up. A 60-strong group now took over the lead. This group included Leif Hoste, Philippe Gilbert, Greg Van Avermaet, Staf Scheirlinckx and Jürgen Roelandts. The master of disaster this year was Jürgen Roelandts, who after puncturing took up the chase and while trying to make contact with the leaders was hit by a supply vehicle.

One of the most important changes in comparison to last year’s race was the repositioning of the Molenberg climb, which this year came much later on in the race. Tom Boonen attacked on this climb and only a 12-man group including Leif Hoste and Philippe was able to follow.

Philippe saw Boonen and Cancellara progressively pulling away. He countered twice and at the Berendries, he attacked with David Millar and Bjorn Leukemans. However, on this day there was little he could do against the two leaders. At the “Muur”, the Swiss Cancellara jumped Boonen on the 19.8 % drag and made Boonen look like he was standing still. Cancellara’s lead grew to around 1 minute at the Bosberg. The time-trial specialist then left nothing more to chance and sealed his first victory in the Tour of Flanders ahead of Tom Boonen.

Philippe snatched third place in the sprint thereby scooping a place on the podium in the race, which for Belgians, is the most important of the year.

Tour of Flanders: The final standings

1. Fabian Cancellara (Swi) | Team Saxo Bank
2. Tom Boonen (Bel) | Quick Step 1’15”
3. Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto 2’11”

29. Leif Hoste
39. Greg Van Avermaet 5’13”
41. Staf Scheirlinckx
87. Jurgen Roelandts 13’20”