Olympia’s Tour 2013 / 13 May / Prologue Katwijk
The Olympia’s Tour is a Dutch cycling stage race and was founded in 1909 by cycling club A.S.C. Olympia from Amsterdam. Since 1955 it has been an annual event and nowadays it is part of the UCI Europe Tour. Many previous winners of the race have become succesful professional riders. Among them are Servais Knaven, Lars Boom and Taylor Phinney. This year’s 61st edition of the race started with a prologue in Katwijk, a place in the west of The Netherlands.
Seventeen teams came to Katwijk to ride the famous Royal Smilde Olympia’s Tour. Besides ten Dutch teams, the organisation invited the national teams from Australia and New Zealand for riders under 23 to race in Holland. These teams consist of the most talented young riders of the two most famous countries from Oceania. The other five teams in the race are Team 3M from Belgium, J. Jensen – Ramirent and Concordia Forsikring – Riwal from Denmark, Ked – Stevens Rad-Team Berlin from Germany and the Oneco Cycling Team from Norway. In the photo above, Damien Howson (AUS) and Jasper Bovenhuis (RB3) are preparing themselves for the start of the prologue.
The course of the prologue was 3,2 kilometres long and took place on the boulevard in Katwijk, which is next to the North Sea. There was a lot of wind and it was pretty cold, but luckily there was no rain. However, in the middle of the race, the prologue had to be put on hold for half an hour because the course was not safe enough. This meant that the remaining riders had to wait half an hour longer before they could start. In the photo above, the jury is occupied with checking all the bikes of the riders before they are allowed to start.
The winner of the prologue was Coen Vermeltfoort from Cycling Team De Rijke – Shanks, who finished in 3.56 minutes. Damien Howson and Mitchell Mulhern (AUS) became second and third. In fact, seven talented Australians ended up in the top ten at the end of the day. Vermeltfoort (RIJ) got to wear the white leader’s jersey and the green jersey and Howson (AUS) the blue jersey.
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Ronde van Overijssel 2013 / 4 May / Rijssen
This year it was the 61st edition of the Ronde van Overijssel (UCI 1.2). Unlike last year, when the race celebrated its 60th anniversary by adding a prologue to its program, the race only consisted of the classic course of 202,5 kilometres in the east of The Netherlands. However, the organisation has pointed out that they might organize a women’s edition of the race too in the near future. In the photo above, riders are waiting for the start that took place at 12 o’clock.
Bas Stamsnijder (RIJ) was interviewed after the finish by RTV Oost, the local television channel that broadcasted the race live this year. He rides for De Rijke – Shanks, the Continental team that was very active in the finale of the race and wishes to become a ProContinental Team next year.
The podium of this year’s edition included the winner Tom Vermeer (CJP), the number two Martin Mortensen (VPC) and the number three Christoph Pfingsten (RIJ). On the left of them, Kasper Klostergaard (VPC), who won the prize for most combative rider, and Dries Hollanders (MET), who won the sprint prize.
The winner of the Ronde van Overijssel 2013, Tom Vermeer (CJP), dedicated his victory to his grandmother, who was watching the race at home on the tv.
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7 April 2013
This morning, somewhere around Compiègne, 198 men woke up.
They got out of bed, looked out of the window and saw that it was a sunny day.
A few probably stared at the sky for a couple of minutes.
Thinking about the upcoming race.
The cobblestones, wind, dust in your eyes, flat tires, crashes,
big crowds along the roads and not to forget: The Forest.
It might surprise you, but some riders smile when they think of all that.
Paris – Roubaix is one of the hardest races of all the races in the Spring.
To be honest: there should be hanging an enormous banner
with big, black letters at the start, telling you: “Welcome to Hell.”
Yesterday Luke Durbridge already said on Twitter that
he had “an epic meal” and that he was “very excited” for the race.
Taylor Phinney said on Twitter: ”one man’s childhood dream comes true”.
This morning many more riders shared their feelings about today on Twitter.
Tom Stamsnijder compared it to “riding your first race again”,
Jesse Sergent called it an “epic day”,
Stuart O’Grady, former winner and oldest rider in the race,
even stated that it was “Man vs. Cobbles” and
maybe the best quote of this morning was made by Iljo Keisse:
“Today we go through Hell to Heaven”.
Today 198 new stories were made.
We only saw a few of them.
We will remember the sprint-a-deux of Cancellara and Vanmarcke.
We will remember that Fabian Cancellara was the first rider who finished
and we will definitely remember the tears from Sep Vanmarcke.
But we probably won’t hear much about the tragic fall
of Stijn Vandenbergh and Zdenek Stybar’s bad luck in the future.
We will most likely forget about the flat tire of Clement Koretzky,
Taylor Phinney’s attack in the Forest and the jump of Michael Schär.
Furthermore, we won’t remember that it was Luke Durbridge’s
first Roubaix and that some riders had to fight against the time limit.
Luke Rowe and Jetse Bol mentioned on Twitter that they were just in time.
Tom Stamsnijder finished 43 minutes after Cancellara, but unfortunately
this was too late and therefore he got a ‘DNF’ behind his name.
However, everyone who finishes, in time or not, is still a hero to the fans.
On top of this, there was also the story of Bob Jungels.
He was the youngest in the race today – only 20 years old.
It was his first Paris – Roubaix among the professionals.
Last year he won the edition for riders under 23.
He finished today, fourteen minutes after Cancellara.
Paris-Roubaix, it’s hell.
Riders can feel pain in their wrists, legs and bones for days.
But still, ten seconds after the finish they will all say that they love this race.
Or they share a tweet, which Bob Jungels did too:
Posted in Column
Tagged Bol, Cancellara, Cobblestones, Durbridge, Jungels, O'Grady, Paris-Roubaix, Phinney, Rowe, Sergent, Stamsnijder, Stybar, Vandenbergh, Vanmarcke
17 March 2013
Many cycling races had to deal with some bad weather conditions this year.
As a result of this, Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne was cancelled, which had
only happened two times before, in 1986 and 1993 to be precise.
Dwars Door Drenthe and Nokere-Koerse did not take place
either because there was too much snow on the roads.
Today it was time for the classic Milano-Sanremo.
Many people always look forward to this Italian race,
because it marks the start of ‘La Primavera’.
However, Spring still seems to be far away this year.
The riders started Milano-Sanremo (or should we say Milano – Snow Remo
this time?), but soon they discovered that the roads were not snow free yet.
Everyone got back inside the team buses when the organization had
finally decided to shorten the race in order to secure the riders’ safety.
In case people were wondering what the riders were doing during
their wait for the new start, twitter turned out to be very helpful.
David Millar tweeted that Robbie Hunter had provided him with
the quote of the day: “When my eyeball froze, that’s when I lost my shit.”
Simon Geschke confessed that he “never got so cold in a race before”.
Mark Cavendish did not need that many words: “Fucking. Freezing.”
Belgian commentator and journalist Renaat Schotte made a video to show
how tough it was for the riders in the first few hours of the race.
Niki Terpstra also shared his feelings by stating: “I am frozen!!!!”
Taylor Phinney also tweeted in the bus after neutralization: “So. Cold.”
Despite the cold, he did manage to become 7th at the end of the day.
David Millar was the most active tweeter and shared photos of all
his cold teammates and called the race ”Milan Narnia San Remo”.
“We are animals in the zoo…” tweeted Adam Hansen.
The Lotto-Belisol rider encouraged his fans to put on the tv
and “laugh at us all” because “haahahahahaha….. we are the joke”.
Koen de Kort tweeted that “this could be biathlon” because it
was snowing so much. He then wondered: “If so, can I be shot first?”
Movistar sprinter José Joaquin Rojas shared a photo of
one of his feet and tweeted: “I have feet like Shrek!”
Peter Sagan enjoyed his so-called coffee break and clearly
was still eagerly looking forward to the second part of the race.
It was no surprise that he was the second rider who crossed the finish line.
Only Gerald Ciolek from Team MTN-Qhubeka was better than the
young rider from Cannondale and became the 2013 winner of the race.
He tweeted a photo with the text “halftime at SanRemo”, showing that he approached the bad weather with a relaxed attitude and a bright jersey.
This special edition had a German winner from a South-African team.
The contrast between warm and sunny South-Africa and the cold and rainy weather in Italy today could not have been bigger.
The Katusha team called this “a day to remember” on Twitter.
Joaquim Rodríguez said the following about all the survivors of
Milano-Sanremo: “They’re true heroes from the first to the last!!”
Now let’s hope for the riders that Spring is just around the corner.
© Photos Milano-Sanremo 2013: Gerald Ciolek’s legs, Adam Hansen’s bus drive, Peter Sagan, Team Argos-Shimano, Tyler Farrar, José Joaquin Rojas’ foot, Taylor Phinney, David Millar, Jack Bauer & Alex Howes.
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Oman | www.omegapharma-quickstep.com | Tour of Oman 2013
19 January 2013
Finally, it’s January.
When Christmas is over and all the new year celebrations are done,
riders start to prepare themselves again for the upcoming season.
They start to leave their families and friends again
and head out to sunny places in Spain, Argentina or Australia.
Luckily they are sharing photos with us on Twitter,
so that we can follow exactly what they are doing.
We expect to see photos like these four below.
They were posted by the riders Robinson Chalapud (COL), Johnny
Hoogerland (VCD), Mark Cavendish (OPQ) and Marco Pinotti (BMC).
Riders riding on the road, taking a break or stretching on the ground.
These are some of the normal activities for professional riders.
Some of the team training camps already took place in December.
Lotto-Belisol, for example, had one about a month ago.
When you look at the photos Adam Hansen posted on Twitter,
you would think that these training camps are very, very tough.
On the 9th day, Adam Hansen posted this photo on Twitter:
It shows that training camps are not just hard work,
but also a good time to get to know your teammates,
have a laugh and make funny photos like this one.
And of course: after a hard day of training
there’s always time for some relaxation.
I would love to drink a coffee with the boys
of Team Saxo-Tinkoff or with Francis the Greef (LTB).
But most of all, I would like to stand next to the guys
of Lampre-Merida and enjoy the beautiful view.
I can’t wait for the season to begin!
World Championships 2012 / 23 September / Elite Men
The World Championships took place in Limburg in The Netherlands this year and the road race for elite men started on the 23rd of September in Maastricht. They had to ride 267 kilometres to the finish in Vilt and came by Sittard, Geleen, Heerlen and Margraten until they would enter the circuit in Valkenburg and they had to face the famous Cauberg a couple of times.
207 riders were present in the race, but only 123 managed to finish this year. There was a head bunch for a great part of the race, but they did not manage to stay away forever. At the end, countries worked hard to get them back.
Philippe Gilbert (BEL) was one of the favorites for the victory, so it was not a big surprise that he turned out to be the one who left everyone behind him on the final climb, the Cauberg, including riders like Edvald Boasson Hagen (NOR) and Alejandro Valverde (ESP), who became second and third in Limburg.
Philippe Gilbert is the new World Champion and got to wear the rainbow jersey at the end of the day and bring it home to his native country: Belgium.
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