Thursday, 25 June 2015

All the results and some photos from the week of National Championships in junior men category.

Netherlands

Road Race (Emmen, 117,9km)

1. Maarten Kooistra
2. Pascal Eenkhoorn
3. Lars Van den Berg

Full results

Time Trial (Emmen, 26,5km)

1. Maarten Kooistra
2. Pascal Eenkhoorn
3. Daan Zebel

Full Results



Norway

Road Race (Lillehammer)

1. Tobias Foss
2. Ivar Knotten
3. Torjus Sleen

Full results

Time Trial

1. Tobias Foss
2. Torjus Sleen
3. Hans Rudland

Full results



Poland



Road Race

1. Szymon Krawczyk
2. Karol Cygan
3. Damian Sławek

Full results

Time Trial

1. Szymon Sajnok
2. Adrian Kaiser
3. Daniel Staniszewski

Full results

Switzerland 




Road Race

1. Marc Hirchi
2. Stefan Bissigger
3. Reto Muller

Full results

Time Trial

1. Gino Mader
2. Jonas Doring
3. Marc Hirschi

Full results

USA

Road Race

1. Jonathan Brown
2. Gage Hecht
3. Willem Kaiser

Full results



Time Trial

1. Brandon McNulty
2. Adrien Costa
3. Gage Hecht

Full results


Sweden

Road Race

1. Gabriel Hallgren
2. David Jacobsson
3. Oscar Recina

Full results


Time Trial

1. Gustav Andersson
2. Felix Nisell
3. Erik Sandersson

Full results

Italy




Road Race

1. Cristian Scaroni
2. Simone Bevilacqua
3. Francesco Faresin

Full results

Denmark
Road Race

1. Rasmus Lund Pedersen
2. Anthon Charmig
3. Julius Johansen

Full results

Time Trial (Rønde, 26,4km)

1. Anthon Charmig
2. Mathias Norsgaard
3. Niklas Larsen

Full results

Czech Republic

Road Race

1. Michal Brazda
2. Jakub Otruba
3. Matěj Štibingr

Time Trial (Žilina, 34km)

1. Jakub Otruba
2. Jiri Sorm
3. Lukas Slavik

Full results


Slovakia

Road Race

1. Juraj Michalička
2. Adrián Foltán
3. Tomáš Person

Time Trial (Žilina, 34km)

1. Samuel Oros
2. Matej Ulik
3. Ladislav Knieha

Full results

Luxembourg

Road Race

1. Colin Heiderscheid
2. Noah Fries
3. Pit Leyder

Full results

Time Trial (Eschweiler, 24,6km)

1. Kevin Geniets
2. Michel Ries
3. Pit Leyder

Full results


Russia

Road Race
1. Aleksander Borysov
2. Denis Nekrasov
3. Dimitry Markov

Full results

Time Trial (Seransk, 28km)

1. Pavel Sivakov
2. Sergey Rostovtcev
3. Aynur Galeev

Full results

Monday, 8 June 2015

German rider Patrick Haller won 28th edition of Trofeo Karlsberg. Thomas Vereecken from Belgium and Clement Betouigt-Suire from France completed the podium. Frenchman also won the young rider classification while Chris Blevins from USA team won the mountains jersey.

Trofeo Karlsberg 2015 podium: Vereecken, Haller, Suire (photo: eventfotos.net)
The race contained three road stages with difficult but short steep climbs in each of them and a short time trial on Saturday morning.

The opening stage around Bliesdalheim which was 89km long won Jack Maddux from US team ahead of his teammate Chris Blevins and Filippo Mori from Italy. All of them were a part of the breakaway that went away from the big group and finished over a minute ahead. Jack Maddux attacked three kilometers from the finish and managed to gain almost 30 seconds gap over the six chasers. Peleton arrived 1:49 behind the winner.

Jack Maddux celebrates solo win (photo: rad-net.de)


Results


The morning time trial on second day was a battle between the big names for a stage win but also the battle for the GC between fourteen riders that arrived in front of the peleton on the first stage. The stage win went to Niklas Larsen from Denmark who managed to beat Adrien Costa by four seconds and Mattia Sobrero from Italy by eight seconds.

Thomas Vereecken took the leaders jersey after time trial (photo: eventfotos.net)

The GC battle was exciting as both Americans didn't ride that well to keep their top places. Surprisingly Thomas Vereecken took the leaders jersey after finishing sixth on the stage. Mathias Norsgaard was just 4 seconds slower and jumped to second place in gc while Patrck Haller from Germany moved to third place overall.

Results


On the same day riders faced 79 kilometers stage with three loops around Homburg with two short climbs on every lap. The early breakaway with Alan Banaszek, Hakon Aalrust, Martin Salmon and Louis Louvet stayed in front for the first two laps before the battle for the race win started.

After the only categorized climb of the day the break formed with Pavel Sivakov, Andreas Nielsen, Michael O'Loughlin, Hans Rudland and Martin Salmon, who was the part of early breakaway. The five leaders managed to gain a 40 seconds gap but on the final hill of the day counter attack of thirteen riders went away, including big names like Costa, Larsen and Eenkhoorn. Patrick Haller, the third rider in GC, also managed to get away while Vereecken was left in the group behind. The strong group quickly managed to join the leaders. On the final kilometers the group splitted again and Andreas Stokbro Nielsen won the stage ahead of Martin Salmon and Pavel Sivakov. Thomas Vereecken arrived 34 seconds behind and lost the leaders jersey. Patrick Haller was the new leader.

Andreas Stokbro Nielsen wins the sprint (photo: eventfotos.net)

Results


The final stage around Gersheim was 99km long and contained four big laps around the city. As the previous two road stages, there were two climbs on the each lap. Despite numerous attacks and amazing ride by Pavel Sivakov who managed to join the early breakaway and then went solo over the final climb, the reduced peleton arrived together in Gersheim. The Russian was caught with 600 meters to go and Frenchman Clement Betouigt-Suire won the sprint ahead of Jasper Philipsen and Matteo Sobrero.

Pavel Sivakov riding solo (photo: eventfotos.net)
Patrick Haller finished safely in the bunch and celebrated his first win in stage race at this level.

Clement Betouigt-Suire wins the sprint with a solid gap (photo: eventfotos.net)



Results



Final GC


Patrick Haller rode pretty well in all three Nations Cup events he entered this year but his results were nothing close to the big win the scored this weekend. Being the part of crucial moves on the first and third stage and very good performance time trial was enough but the effort young German put to defend his lead and stays in the decisive attacks was for sure a big one.

Clement Betouigt-Suire won his second stage in Nations Cup event this year and he has beaten Jasper Philipsen again. Two youth riders also fought for the victory in Ster van Zuid Limburg sprint stage earlier this year and guess what, Suire also won. The exciting sprint battle between those two youngsters should keep on going for the rest of the season and another one as both of them were born in 1998. Two future sprint stars in making ? Quite possible.

Niklas Larsen wasn't as good as I expected in Course de la Paix but his time trial win against Costa on second stage shows that young Dane is back to his best and we can expect much more from him in the upcoming races. He was one of the most consistent riders last year being top10 in each of three Nations Cup races last season.

Pavel Sivakov might not score any big results this weekend but he's clearly getting better after injury that kept him out of contention for a while. His impressive attacks on last two stages are sparks of great form that is clearly coming. One of the biggest prospects in junior category for now will clearly win a big race sooner or later this year.

Sunday, 31 May 2015

Stefan Bissegger from Switzerland won the final stage of 47th Tour du Pays de Vaud after a sprint from selected group. Dutch rider Nils Eckhoff was second and Allessandro Covi from Italy finished third.

Race podium: Gino Mader 2nd, Adrien Costa 1st, Anthon Charmig 3rd (photo: swisscycling)

Results





Stefan Bissegger sprints to victory on stage 3 (photo: swisscycling)

Adrien Costa finished safely in the front group and sealed the overall win. Both Gino Mader and Anthon Charmig also finished in the front group and kept their places on podium. Charmig also won the white jersey for the best young rider while Frenchman Mathieu Burgaudeau won the polka dot jersey for the best climber

Winner of mountains competition, Mathie Burgeudau (photo: accv.ch)

Final GC



It wasn't a big surprise that Costa defended his title from last year. As the strongest climber in junior category the route was perfect for him. American team was very strong as always in Swiss race and managed to control the race from the first stage till the end. Adrien was safely brought to the feet of crucial climbs on the first and third stage and managed to finish it of perfectly. As one of the best time trialists in junior peleton, the time trial win in Champery was just a confirmation of his potential. I'm starting to believe we have a new cycling star in making, not only in youth categories but in general.

Adrien Costa in yellow jersey (photo: Usa cycling juniors)

Tour du Pays de Vaud was clearly one of the big goals for Gino Mader and he can be more then happy about his performances. Two stage wins and podium in GC just behind Costa is a great result.

Gino Mader wins the first stage in yellow jersey (photo: accv.ch)

After Course de la Paix I thought that Charmig is not strong enough (yet) to compete on the highest level in juniors. I was so wrong. His amazing results in both Trophée Centre Morbihan and Tour du Pays de Vaud proves he's pure talent. Also, he looks like, let's say, not so matured physically, like some of his teammates, which sometimes is a good sign at his age. I strongly believe he's one of the brightest prospects from Denmark (which of course has tons of them and some really struggle to find their path in u23 and elite). 

I was cheering for "Ricky" Verza before the race and I can be happy that he confirmed his level. Usually he can only compete against other Italians in local races, which is not the perfect way to develop, so I was afraid that he won't fit the the level of top juniors but he was more then good. As a pure climber this was a great race for him and while he wasn't able to beat Costa on climbs or reach top3 in GC because of weaker time trial, he can be proud after his first serious race in Nations Cup.

Saturday, 30 May 2015

Adrien Costa from US national team won both Saturday's stages in Tour du Pays de Vaud 2015 and extended his lead in overall classification.

Queen stage podium: Charmig, Costa, Belvins (photo: Team Kel-Berg Roskilde)


The morning stage was a queen one with over 15 kilometers climb to Champery in final kilometers. American team managed to keep the race together before they hit the final climb. Costa and his team mate, Chris Blevins where one of the first to attack right from the bottom. Costa was climbing impressive, just like he did last year on similar stage, and won with over a minute gap on Anthon Charmig and Chris Blevins. Gino Mader finished seventh, with the same time as Blevins but lost the jersey.

Results




In the afternoon riders faced crucial time trial in Champery which was 10,3km long with over 1300 meters of climbing in total. Adrien Costa proved to be the strongest rider in the race, winning the stage again with decent gap over Swiss Gino Mader and Anthon Charmig.

Time trial podium: Mader, Costa, Charmig (photo: Swisscycling)


Results

GC after stage 2B:

Tommorow the final stage from Pompaples to St.Prex (112km) awaits with two big climbs in the middle part. Either the US team will try to split the group again or we can see a breakaway going for the stage win. Either way, Adrien Costa will win the race.

Friday, 29 May 2015

Swiss rider Gino Mäder won the opening short prologue in Lucens (2.6k) and took the first leaders jersey in Tour du Pays de Vaud. Second place went to his team mate, Reto Muller who also took the young rider jersey and third to Moroccan Mehdi El Chokri.

Reto Muller and Gino Mader after the first stage (photo: swisscycling)
Results


Today juniors faced first road stage from Onnens to Tartegnin which was 110 kilometers long with three categorized climbs. Despite many attacks US team managed to bring the race together to the feet of the final climb, Côte du Bugnaux. Riccardo Verza was the first one who attacked but he was later joined by Costa and race leader Mäder. The trio gained pretty big gap over the climb and managed to keep it untill the end of the stage. Gino Mäder was the fastest and took his second stage win in the race.


Gino Mäder crossing the line in yellow jersey (photo: swisscycling)
Podium: Verza, Mader, Costa (photo: swisscycling)



Results


Tomorrow will be the crucial day with two difficult stages in Champéry: morning time trial and road stage with mountaintop finish later on. The leading trio of today's stage seems to be the strongest riders of the race but still everything is possible. Mader can challange Costa in time trial while Verza might be able to fight with the American on climbs. Exciting day ahead of us!

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

May is quite a busy month for a juniors. After exciting stage races in the Netherlands and France last week riders will now head to Switzerland for Tour du Pays de Vaud, the most mountainous uci rated stage race in under 19 category.

Adrien Costa in yellow jersey (photo: accv.ch)

Swiss race has become the part of Uci Nations Cup for the first time this year so we gonna have nations teams from most of the top cycling countries at the start in Lucens. Total number of 21 teams has been invited.

The previous winners list includes names like Cancellara, Elmiger, Stannard and Moreno Moser. Last three editions were dominated by US riders. Taylor Eisenhart, Geoffrey Curran and Adrien Costa won last three editions. Especially 2014 edition was great for US team as they have put four riders in top five and won three stages.

Costa winning the queen stage (photo: accv.ch)

Four day event will start with short, technical prologue in Lucens on Thursday evening which is 2,6km long.

On the second day riders will face first road stage from Onnens to Tartegnin which is 110,4 km long and contains three categorized climbs. The hardest one is 4,3km long with avg. gradient above 7%. The top of the climb, near Châtel, is just 18km from the finish line and will be the crucial point of the first stage.


Saturday will be decisive for the whole race with two important stages: morning road stage with mountaintop finish in Champéry and difficult time trial later on.

The morning stage to  Champéry is not very long, just 77 kilometers but riders will face a 16km climb at the end of the stage. The average is less then 4% but with false flat and downhill sections it's a monster climb if you consider that we are talking about junior racing here. Last year, similar climb to Les Diablerets caused some big gaps with Adrien Costa putting amazing performance to win solo with over 1:30 gap.



The time trial in Champéry is 10,2 km long and it's up and down almost all the time with a short flat part after the first decent. The whole time trial will be ridden on high altitude. Expect some big gaps here.


Final stage perfectly shows that the race gets much harder this year if we compare it with previous editions. Last year, we had pretty hard stage with short but steep climbs in the middle part and flat kilometers at the end which caused reduced bunch sprint won by Patrick Muller.

This time riders will face two difficult, long climbs in the middle part of the stage from Pompaples to Saint Prex. The first one is over 13 km long and second one is 7km long. From the top it's pretty much downhill and flat all the way but amount of climbing in the first part of the stage may cause a big gaps and small groups should arrive together in Saint Prex.



Favorites

The obvious favorite is again Adrien Costa. American rider has won last year edition with big gap over Kevin Geniets and William Barta. With hard climbs and long difficult time trial it will be very hard to beat Costa on this route. Especially with strong team behind the young rider from USA.

Kevin Geniets from Luxembourg, last year runner-up, is back and looks to improve his postion in GC. Despite the course which didn't really suit him, Kevin finished Trophée Centre Morbihan last week 17th overall and should be in good shape in Switzerland.

Gino Mader is a local favorite. He was nineth last year and I'm pretty sure he will be able to improve his position. Last week he finished 15th in Axel and was second in time trial, just behind Brandon McNulty.

Danish team always has to be considered as a favorites in junior races. Both Anthon Charmig and Mikkel Honore showed great shape last week in Trophée Centre Morbihan finishing first and third in GC but I guess the course might be a little bit too hard for them. My personal pick from Danish team is Rasmus Lund Pedersen, stage winner of Course de la Paix earlier this month.

Tobias Foss is a very solid rider who usually performs well in every type of terrain. He was fourth in Course de la Paix and sixth in Trophée Centre Morbihan. More then enough to consider him as one of the top favorites for podium.

Lastly, my personal favorite is Riccardo Verza. Small Italian climber had a very good results in local scene and won Piccola San Remo this year, one of the two uci rated races he rode. The second one was the longest named race in cycling, Tf GD Dorigo MO Biemmereti MO Cristiano Floriani MO Ferramenta Mazzero, where he finished third from a small group sprint. The route should suit him very well and I'm very curious how far he can go against some of the big names in junior category.

Other names to watch: Reto Muller, Tanguy Turgis, Mathieu Burgaudeau, Vadim Pronskiy, Jakub Otruba, Ziga Jerman.

Race website
Roadbook
Startlist


Tuesday, 26 May 2015

German rider Max Kanter won 34th edition of Internationale Junioren Driedaagse. Swiss rider Mario Spengler finished second and Matthew Bostock from Great Britian was third.

Final podium: Gino Mader, Max Kanter, Matthew Bostock (photo: juniorendriedaagse.nl) 

Three day event contained four stages including short time trial and three road stages with cobbles and bergs waiting for the riders. The first stage around Sluiskil was very nervous right from the start with many crashes and breakaway attempts. Alex Braybrooke and Ruben Bisschop was one of the first attackers but were brought back after the first cobbled section. Brandon McNulty tried to get away on the second one but was also reeled back by the bunch.

Max Kanter leads the peleton over the cobbles (photo: juniorendriedaagse.nl)

After McNulty was cought we had another try by four riders: Matthew Bostock, Ide Schelling, Erik Relanto and Jarri Stravers. They kept small gap over the reduced peleton and shared bonus seconds. Once the peleton reached the finish line before taking three short laps around Sluiskil the leaders had 20 seconds gap. Gino Mader tried to ches the leaders alone but failed. Another group attacked soon after and managed to join the leading four: Thomas Vereecken, Max Kanter, Alex Baybrooke, Marten Kooista, Karl Patrick Lauk, Julius Domnick, Ramon van Bokhoven and Bastian Flicke.

Eleven leaders working well at the front (photo: juniorendriedaagse.nl)

The leaders worked well together and increased the gap to 30 seconds at the second time when they crossed the line. Behind, Brandon McNulty decided to chase alone. After amazing effort McNulty joined the leaders just before the 10km mark. The gap over the chasers that includes Michael Storer, Mario Spengler and few others was 40 second. Reduced peleton was over a minute behind. Karl Patrick Lauk won the sprint from the leading group ahead of Max Kanter and Brandon McNulty. Estonian become the first race leader.

Karl Patrick Lauk celebrates stage win (photo: juniorendriedaagse.nl)

Results



The second stage was a short time trial (7 km) around Axel. Brandon McNulty managed to win his second time trial of the season and took the leaders jersey. Gino Mader was second and Michael Storer third. Karl Patrick Lauk lost over a minute and dropped to 16th place in GC.

Results

Video from the second stage

On the same day riders faced 99.6km long stage around Axel that consisted four laps around the town with some more cobbles waiting for the riders. Despite many attacks like Bob Kerkhofs one, the bunch stayed pretty much together for the first two laps but the cobbles made a selecton from behind and peleton was reduced. Karl Patrick Lauk attacked and was joined by Alex Braybroooke, Stijn Demolder and Florian Stork. The four leaders kept small gap over the bunch for quite a time. Once they were caught the crucial move happened. At the cobbles Max Kanter attacked with few others and formed 11 men leading group with Bostock, Welten, Braybrooke and few others. McNulty was left behind. Despite his effort to bring back the leaders gap went over a minute with twenty kilometers to go.

Bram Welten wins the sprint (photo: juniorendriedaagse.nl)

The leaders was never brought back and Bram Welten, the best sprinter in the leading group, won the stage with solid gap over his breakway companions. Braond McNulty finished in the bunch, 51 second behind the leaders.

Max Kanter took the leaders jersey  (photo: juniorendriedaagse.nl)

Results

Video from the third stage


The final queen stage Velzeke was the only one with short, sometimes steep hills that riders had to face including some well known like Leberg and Langedries. Four riders kept small gap over the bunch: Bjorg Lambrecht, Jarno Mobach, Bob Olieslagers and Nathan Draper. Behind, the German team managed to keep the main bunch together and didn't let any dangerous riders to gain a time despite numerous attacks by McNulty and others. The leading four decided stage win between themselves and Bjorg Lambrecht was the fastest in the uphill sprint.

Bjorg Lambrecht wins the uphill sprint (photo: juniorendriedaagse.nl)

Results

Video from the fourth stage

Max Kanter won second stage race this season after winning La Coupe du Président de la Ville de Grudziadz in May. Both times he was the part of crucial move and rode a great time trial and then put a huge effort to defend his jersey. In Poland, the field was good but nothing close to the one he faced in Axel. Being able to keep the victory despite big attacks from guys like Bostock, Spengler and especially McNulty shows how strong Kanter is this season. Not only on cobbles and time trial but he is also able to climb. Top favorite for upcoming Trofeo Karlsberg.

Brandon McNulty is beatable! After Course de la Paix I wasn't sure anyone can beat him this year but in such an open race like Axel anything can happen. He missed the move on first stage but managed to bridge but on the third stage it didn't work and he lost the GC. Still, he was the strongest in time trial and possibly the strongest on the hills so it's only a matter of time when he wins again.

Bram Welten took Enzo Wouters' spot from last year and can be considered as the best sprinter in junior category. I am waiting to see him against Suire, Philipsen and Rostovtcev in pure sprint.

 Danish rider Anthon Charmig won 22nd edition of Le Trophée Centre Morbihan. Michael O'Loughlin from Ireland finished second and Charmig's teammate Mikkel Honore was third. Charmig also won a jersey for a young rider.

Final podium (Photo: Trophée Centre Morbihan facebook)

The two day event started on Saturday with the longest stage of the race (118.8km) from Brandivy to Elven. Riders faced three short climbs in the first part of the stage before heading to Elven to tackle pretty flat circuit around the city. Nicolas Dalla Valle won the first GPM and soon after we had first successful brakaway. German Leo Appelt, one of the riders to watch in 2015, attacked solo and managed to gain a small gap. His gap at highest point reached over a minute and young German managed to win sprint and second GPM but after around fifty kilometers of racing he was caught.

On the ascent of Côte de Cadoudal Anthon Charmig attacked solo and gained small gap over numerous counter attackers behind. He reached the top of the climb solo and his gap was close to thirty seconds. Behind, group of around 15 riders formed and they managed to join Charmig before the race reached circuits in Elven but soon after we had a big bunch at the front again. Sprint coming ?

Charmig and Honore celebrates 1-2 on first stage (photo: Le Telegramme)


Despite many attacks on the circuit no one managed to get away until 5km mark. It was the moment when race was won. Mikkel Honore and Anthon Charmig jumped from the bunch and managed to keep a small gap right until the end. Honore won the stage and took the leaders jersey. Behind, Sergey Rostovtcev lead the bunch for third place.

Results



The final day of racing started with a short seven kilometers long time trial from Réguiny to Naizin. Irish rider Michael O'Loughlin was the fastest. Russain Nikolai Iliichev was second and Louis Louvet from France was third. Anthon Charmig finished sixth and took the leaders jersey.

Charmig riding for yellow (Photo: Trophée Centre Morbihan facebook)
Results




Before the final stage Charmig had six seconds gap over O'Loughlin and seven over Honore and Iliichev. Riders were facing similiar profile to the opening stage. Route from Noyal-Pontivy to Locminé (102.2km) included few short climbs and some dirt road sections before flat circuit around Locminé in the last kilometers.

The final stage started with an attack from three riders: David Klatik (Slovakia), Igor Koval (Kazakhstan) Iver Skaarseth (Norway). Danish team was happy to let these three riders go as the highest placed rider from those three, Skaarseth, was still almost three minutes behind the leader in GC.The breakaway shared sprint and GPM points in the first fifty kilometers of racing.

Anthon Charmig on dirt section (Photo: Trophée Centre Morbihan facebook)


Once the early breakaway were caught, fourteen riders attacked, including vice leader O'Loughlin but the Danish team managed to bring them back quickly. Charmig was very active on front, trying to keep the peleton togther. Despite many attacks from Hecht, Detant, Eenkhoorn, Foss and many others peleton stayed together and the stage was decided in sprint.


Clément Bétouigt-Suire celebrates win (photo: Marion Denis)


Clément Bétouigt-Suire won a stage ahead of Jasper Philipsen and Sergey Rostovtcev. Charmig finished safely in the bunch and sealed overall victory.


Results



Final GC





Anthon Charmig scored the biggest win of his career just a few days after winning Tour of Himmelfart in Denmark. He's clearly in shape and I'm sure it's not his last win in this season. Danish team showed their strength again keeping the bunch together on the final stage.

Michael O'Loughlin proved to be one of the top contenders for rainbow jersey in time trial in Richmond. Amazing time trial gave him second place in GC.

In sprints Russians were great on stage two but the final one was a duel between first year juniors: Bétouigt-Suire and Philipsen. Both amazing in sprints but it was Suire  who won and scores his first win in uci rated race this year (previously he won a sprint stage in Ster van Zuid-Limburg. Philipsen, despite loosing the sprint in final stage rode a very good race finishing fifth in GC and top 10 in all three stages.

Thursday, 14 May 2015

Adrien Costa recently finished second in Course de la Paix, helping his teammate Brandon McNulty to win the overall. Young American answered few of my questions about his recent performances, pressure, season goals and why he loves the Giro.

First of all, congrats for your recent stage win and second place in GC during the Peace Race. As a team you rode pretty much a perfect race. 

Thank you! I don't think we could have imagined this race going nearly as well as it did- not only first American to ever win, but 1-2 overall, sprint and mountain jerseys, and team GC. Is there anything else we missed? 

Can you tell us more how the race unfold ? Especially the queen stage to Zinnwald. Seems like you and Brandon McNulty caused some big gaps! 

 We had the race very much under control from start to finish. On stage 1, we stayed in front and out of trouble and finished safely with 3 in the top 15. In the TT, Brandon had an amazing ride and we were able to secure 1st and 2nd overall. The evening 2b stage was again pretty controlled as a lot of teams were riding for the sprint. Zinnwald was the big day that we were looking forward to. Coming into the first climb, it was very fast and lots of fighting for wheels, so I came into it in the first couple spots. I had my teammate Ethan set a hard pace through the town, then I took over and held a solid pace to the top of the climb, accelerating over the last km to bring the group down to 5. Brandon and I forced the others to rotate, but we were caught by a group right before the 2nd time up the climb. Again, I went to the front at a sustained pace and by the last km of the ascent, only the Russian rider was left with Brandon and I. I was still feeling good and wanted to drop the Russian, so I forged on ahead. I crested the climb with 10 seconds or so, and saw that Brandon had been able dropped the Russian. I waited and then we smashed it all the way to the finish and the rest is history. 

It was your first big race with Brandon as a teammate. How did you both cooperate being the strongest riders in the race ? 

The cooperation was never a problem because as his teammate, I respected his yellow jersey and did everything I could to protect it, and as a second priority protect my spot and give us some more time buffer. So in that sense there was no problem at all. Having the two of us up there made the race that much easier, because there was always a back up in case one of us missed a move, had some bad luck, or faltered... thankfully none of which happened! 

For your second year as a junior you have joined California Giant Cycling Team. Can you tell us more about the team and why did you choose this one ? 

I joined Cal Giant because it is a very well reputed American development/ amateur team that has proven over the years to be an amazing stepping stone into the pro ranks. They are also local for me in California so having teammates and staff nearby makes things a lot easier and more pleasant as well. Cal Giant also works very closely with Specialized, and this is not only advantageous to us riders equipment wise, but also with all the knowledge that such a cutting edge company possesses. 

Riding for both California Giant Cycling Team and US national team for juniors give you unique chance to compete in both US national series races and biggest junior races. How would you compare them ? 

Yes, it is definitely a great combination between racing some good US races in the early season then complementing that with a couple months in Europe. Thankfully I have been able to have quite a bit of "euro" experience in the last few years thanks to USA Cycling on top of what I can do in the States, which helps tremendously in progressing towards the pro ranks. The style of racing is very different and hard to compare, so while it may be physiologically much harder to win a race like Redlands or Gila, winning something like the Peace Race requires immense ability to stay in front, out of trouble, make the right tactical calls, etc on top of the physical demands. 

What are your next goals for this season ? Are you going to defend your title in Tour de Pays de Vaud ? 

 Pays de Vaud is for sure the next goal of the season. I was super happy to see it upgraded to Nations' Cup this year and it truly deserves it- fun and innovative courses, professionally run, and really great organizers made it a race to remember last year and I hope to be able to defend the title. After that, I hope the team and I can be good at Trofeo Karlsberg, then it's back to the new continent for Nationals and l'Abitibi. 

Many fans, journalists or even riders believes that you are one of the greatest cycling prospects in recent years. Do you feel the pressure during the races, especially in juniors ?

 If anything, hearing that people think that of me humbles me and motivates me further to reach my goals and aspirations. The only pressure I feel to perform comes from within, and while I can obviously be disappointed when a race does not go like I wished it did, there is never the feeling of deceiving anyone or not living up to expectations. I have been blessed with a really positive support system and feel like I can thrive and reach my maximum potential. 

This year we have World Champs in you country, in Richmond. As a silver medalist in time trial from Ponferrada, the TT is an obvious goal but what do you think about the road race ? Do you see yourself as a contender for this type of course ? 

The TT for me is the big goal of the season, so I haven't given the road race very much thought yet. I've seen the course and although it is not particularly suited to my strengths, I am sure there will be an incredibly strong USA team lining up, and we will have the support of thousands of American fans behind us, so I think there is the possibility for a really good result there. 

 How would you describe yourself as a rider ? Tell us more about your characteristic.

I would definitely classify myself as a climber that can time trial pretty well. I really like long steady efforts, which can be pretty rare in junior races, but I don't ever let a course limit what I can do for myself or for the team, and always try to use what there is to my advantage. 

 As a strong climber and time trialist your dream race should be Tour de France but maybe you have some other races that you hope to win one day ? 

Honestly the racing at the a race like the Giro d'Italia, where every day is a battle, really inspires me. The passion of the fans, the love for the sport, the incredible places the route takes the riders, the attrition of the race, all of that creates this magical atmosphere to which I am super attracted. That being said, I don't think anyone would mind winning the Tour! 

 The season is still long way from the end but I'm sure you're looking forward for next year already which will be the first one in u23 category. What are your expectations ? Would you like to ride the biggest races like Tour de l'Avenir already in 2016 ? 

Next year I just hope to continue to be able to race in Europe with the national team and do well in races that aren't suited to my characteristics. I think really learning how to be a great racer, not just physically but tactically, being in the right place at the right time, saving energy, and everything else is super important as a young cyclist trying to make it to the pros. That being said, if the opportunity presents itself to ride a big race like Avenir or one of the Northern American tours that might suit me more, then I won't back down from that challenge either.  

You are riding in junior category for a second year doing a lot of events in different countries. If you have to drop one name of a rider you rode against that have bright future in cycling who would that be ? 

That's a really tough question in the juniors because a rider that is amazing one year might be getting dropped the next, and vice versa. The Danes have always been very strong, and last year in the Worlds time trial Lennard Kamna was incredible, but one rider that has really impressed me is my USA teammate McNulty. At the Peace Race he showed that he is at an extremely high level, and I'm excited to race with him more this year and expect big things from him not only the rest of this season but in the years to come as well.

Monday, 11 May 2015

Brandon McNulty won 44th edition of Course de la Paix. His teammate, Adrien Costa finished second and Russian rider Nikolai Ilichev finished third. Race winner also won points classification while Costa won the climbers jersey. French rider Alan Riou won green jersey for the intermediate sprints.

Final podium: Costa, McNulty, Ilichev (photo: Patress.cz)

Americans sealed their victory on the Saturdays queen stage to German town Zinwald. Riders had to tackle difficult climb to Komáří Vížka twice and it was a crucial stage in terms of the GC. Strong American team already splitted the bunch on the first ascent and group of around twenty riders managed to pass the climb together in front. During the second climb no one was able to climb as fast as Costa and McNulty and the duo reached Zinnwald with over 1:30 gap over the next rider, which was Nikolai Ilichev. Adrien Costa won the stage and McNulty sealed his overal victory.

Americans celebrates amazing win in Zinnwald (photo: Patress.cz)


The final stage around Terezin ended with a successfull breakaway. Danish rider Rasmus Lund Pedersen won ahead of Kazakh Vadim Pronskiy. Leo Appelt from Germany brought the peleton 15 seconds behind the winner. McNulty finished safely in the bunch.


Rasmus Lund Pedersen wins solo in Terezin (photo: Patress.cz)

Results

 


I have to say I'm surprised by Brandon McNulty's win. While I'm familiar with his impressive results on US domestic scene and a few wins he scored last year in Belgium as a cadet I wasn't expecting him to be that good in the biggest junior race in the calendar especially that is was the first race in uci race in his career! Both his time trial and climbing level was impressive. Especially in time trial where he managed to beat his teammate Costa was outstanding. And above all, McNulty is first year junior so he has 1,5 years more to score more of these impressive results in his current age category and I'm sure he will.

Adrien Costa finished second and it's hard to say he has lost anything in Czech's race as he was beaten only by his teammate. Young climber proved to be one of the strongest riders in junior category both in time trial and climbs especially with his outstanding run in Zinwald stage where he managed (together with McNulty) to put over a minute gap to the rest of the peleton and caused splits and gaps that we have never seen on this stage before. He done the same last year in Tour du Pays de Vaud queen stage and he will probably do the same this year.

Russian team had a great race in general despite missing their main GC contender Pavel Sivakov.  Ilichev finished third in GC while both Rostovtcev and Kulikovskiy managed to grab a stage win proving to be one of the strongest juniors in pure sprints (Rostovtcev) and also the more difficult ones (Kulikovskiy). It's a strong indication that Russian team is, as always, very well prepared to the season and in the next Nations Cup races they will be in front as well.

Also worth a notice is Tobias Foss who was one of the pre race favorite and proved that he's the no.1 in Norway team for GC in difficult races like Course de la Paix. Last year he was seventh, this time he was just off the podium.