Monday, 30 March 2015

Italian rider, Michel Piccot (GB Team Castanese) scored his first win of the season by winning 43rd edition of  Trofeo Citta' di Loano after attacking on the final climb and winning solo in Loano. Two other Italians completed the podium: Daniel Savini (Romagnano Guerciotti) and Matteo Sobrero (Bustese Olonia Verbania).

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Michel Piccot celebrates his biggest win of career (photo: Scanferla)

Nine riders broke away in the first part of the race: Rivarossa (Vigor), Maarouf (Casano), Angonnet (Bourgogne), Biasion and Zanotto (Pressix), Andrejas (Radenska), Rosati (Secom Oven Poplars), Piffaretti (Biassono) and Bagnoli (Unicash). After 70 kilometers, they were joined by five other riders: Oldani (Castanese), Hjort (Pytonpro), Baccio (Secom Oven Poplars), Nesi ( Romagnano Guerciotti) and Mori (Romagnano Guerciotti). The break didn't get much space,the highest gap was less then three minutes.

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Trofeo Citta' di Loano podium (photo: Scanferla)


At the bottom of crucial climb, Bivio Magliolo, the leaders had only one minute gap. Stefano Oldani (Castanese) was the first one who jumped from the peleton but was quickly caught. Alessandro Monaco and Michel Piccot attacked soon after. Piccot dropped Monaco just before the top of the climb. Monaco was caught at the descent and managed to finish seventh. Piccot kept small lead right until the end and scored the biggest win of his career.

Short video of the final climb: Video

Results:

It was first win of the season for Piccot and also just a second in junior category as last year he managed to win Giro della Castellania. His attack at the climb was pretty strong as he managed to keep a small gap on big favorities like Conci and Savini. Might be a guy to watch in upcoming junior races, especially in Italy. Next stop for juniors is famous Paris Roubaix but a week before we will have another edition of Ster van Zuid-Limburg which is not a uci event but actually it's a pretty important event in junior category.

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Dutch rider Bram Welten (TWC Pijnenburg) won 10th edition of Guido Reybrouck Classic on Sunday after attack with five kilometers to go. Podium was completed by two Belgians: Merten De Wever (Avia WCup Cycling Team) and young Jasper Philipsen (Kon.Balen B.C VZW).

Final podium: Merten De Wever, Bram Welten & Jasper Philipsen (photo: directvelo)

There were many attacks right from the start including Stijn Goolaerts ((Davo Cycling Team-Tongeren), Arno De Wilde (Zannata-Lotto CT Menen VZW) and Belgian super talent, Jasper Philipsen (Kon.Balen B.C VZW) but after 40 kilometers we had a pretty big peleton at the front.   Arno De Wilde actually was the most aggressive rider of the day as he tried twice later on but after almost eighty kilometers there was no serious breakaway despite numerous attack from the big bunch. Meanwhile riders were dropping at the back and bunch was splitted into several smaller groups.

Bram Welten winning Guido Reybrouck Classic (photo: cyclism'actu)

With 31 km to go crucial attack was made. Three riders: Jasper Philipsen (Kon.Balen B.C VZW), Bram Welten (TWC Pijnenburg) and Merten De Wever (Avia WCup Cycling Team) attacked and right after that two other tried to join: Tibo Nevens (Wielerclub 'Onder Ons' - Parike VZW) & David Dekker (Willebrord Wil Vooruit) but they were caught by a big group. Three leaders managed to extend their gap up to 37 seconds with just 18 km to go. As they represented three strongest teams it was pretty hard for a big group to catch them. With just one lap to go (6km) they extended their gap up to 47 seconds. Bram Welten attacked with 5km to go and two Belgians wasn't able to respond. He quickly gained 20 seconds and managed to keep a small gap right to the end. De Wever was second and Philipsen third while Maxim Bolle was fourth and first from the bigger group behind.

Here's short video review of the race: Video

Results:


Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Dutch rider, Pascal Eenkhoorn (Avia Wcup CT) won 22nd edition of La Bernaudeau Junior after solo attack two kilometers from the finish. French riders, Enzo Bernard (Pays des Olonnes Cycliste Côte de Lumière) and Kevin Perret (Pôle Espoirs Pays De La Loire ) completed the podium.

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Final podium (Bernard, Eenkhoorn, Perret, photo: bernaudeaujunior.free.fr)

We had numerous attacks right from the start of the race as hilly terrain was very suited to the breakaways. First serious breakway formed after around 15 kilometres. Aaron Verwilst (Tielse Renners Club), Jack Escritt (HMT Academy JLT Condor) and Antonio Barbero (Flex Fundacion Alberto Contador) managed to gain 48 seconds  once they reached the village of St Mars Prés.




After the first climb of the day, the leading trio was joined by two attackers from the peleton: Guillaume Millessau (Argenteuil Val Seine 95) and Tanguy Turgis (US Metro Transports). Escritt was dropped. The four leaders managed to stay in front of the peleton with small gap. Just before the second climb of the day it was only Verwilst who was still in front from the first break of the day. Millessa, Turgis and Belgian rider was joined by Fabien Rondeau (Team Juniors Nantes Atlantique). After the third climb of the day they had 40" on the bunch with 70 kilometers to go. Verwilst sealed win in KOM classification and the break was finally caught before the peleton reached the final circuit. With three laps to go Turgis tried to attack once again and was joined by 2014 winner, Theo Nicolas (Argenteuil Val Seine 95), Kevin Perret (Pôle Espoirs Pays De La Loire) and Maxime Le Tiec (Guidon Chalettois) but they were quickly caught and with 19 km to go we had a pretty big group at the front of La Bernaudeau Junior.

Cycling junior
Pascal Eenkhoorn celebrates his second big win of the season (photo: directvelo.com)

The final kilometers were pretty hectic as numerous attacks were coming from the peleton. FInally, with less then five kilometers to go we had a group of 23 riders at the front with small gap over the big peleton. Pascal Eenkhoorn attacked from the leading group with two kilometers to go and managed to keep the small gap right until the end to win his second uci race in juniors in a row.

Results:


Friday, 20 March 2015

Season for junior is starting to rush as we will have two uci races this weekend: In France riders will fight in La Bernaudeau Junior and in Belgium there will be first edition of Guido Reybrouck Classic. Last year when the race was held as an amateur event, British rider Gabriel Cullaigh (Sauth East CT) won ahead of two Belgians: Bryan Boussaer and Jordi Van Dingen.

Cycling junior
2014 podium (photo: grclassic.be)
The route is basically flat with a total of 82 kilometers around Damme. Riders will face six cobble sectors, each of them run twice. The short one is 300m and the longest one is 1800m. Also the finish in Damme is pretty hard and run on the cobbles. Here you can watch the video of last year's edition: Guidoybrouck 2014.

Race website: http://www.grclassic.be/

Startlist: http://www.directvelo.com/actualite/40770-guido-reybrouck-classic-les-engages.html#.VQ6ZMvyG88o

After two exciting one day races in Belgium, junior peleton now heads to Vendée region in France for another one day race from uci calendar, 22nd La Bernaudeau Junior 2015.

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The route is slightly different then last year. Race will start in La Châtaigneraie and finish in Le Poiré sur Vie, city that hosted the start of previous edition. The race is now 130km long and will offer similar difficulties to the last year with numerous short but usually steep climbs plus up and down circuit in the last 30 k's. Last year, the first fifty kilometers were pretty flat but it has changed for 2015 edition. After 26km we will have the first mountain already: Côte du Fuiteau (500m long, avg 13%). For the next 35 kilometers, up untill Côte du Moulin des Bois, route never gets flat. Later we will have around 30 kilometers of easier terrain before the 7.2km circuit repeated six times. The circuit is also extremely hard as there are basically no flat parts. It's up and down right from the start with only flat part in the last kilometer of every lap.

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Race map and profile (http://bernaudeaujunior.free.fr)


Cycling junior
Final circuit (photo: bernaudeaujunior.free.fr)

Last year, Theo Nicolas won two men sprint against Cyril Bordes. Martin Palm from Belgium came third. Peleton was shattered on the final circuit. There were small groups coming to the finish or just single riders. We can expect similar scenario for this year.

Cycling junior
Theo Nicolas winning 2014 edition (photo: creps-idf.fr)

Favorities


As the main contender we should consider last year's winner. Theo Nicolas is coming back to Vendée to defend his title. He showed great form last week by winning Le Trophée Louison-Bobet. His team, Argenteuil Val Seine 95 brings another strong contender, Guillaume Millasseau who was eighth last year and recently finished fourth in Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne. Avia W Cup Team will try to score another big win. They are bringing GP André Noyelle winner, Pascal Eenkhoorn together with other strong contenders like Bjorg Lambrecht or Thomas Vereecken. Other strong favorite could be Mathieu Burgardeau, fourth in Le Trophée Louison-Bobet last week, who will ride as a part of Sélection de Vendée. Also, two riders who finished first and second in Trophée de la Ville de Châtellerault last Sunday will take part: Jasper de Plus from Tielse Renners Club and Maxence Bonjean from Pôle Cyclisme Saint Etienne Rhône Alpes. Once again we can expect strong ride from Zannata-Lotto CT Menen riders. I would bet again on one of these two: Jonas Castrique or Pierre Goebeert. Also it worth a notice that Alberto Contador team, Flex Fundacion Alberto Contador will ride in French race. with Sergio Hernández who may be a strong contender. Other notable riders: Maxence Moncassin, Pavel Sivakov, Axel Audebrand, Mathieu Rigollot, Stuart Balfour and Maxime Gressier.  




Sunday, 15 March 2015

Dutch rider Pascal Eenkhoorn (Avia Wcup CT) won 20th edition of GP André Noyelle 2015 after riding away from his breakaway companions in the final kilometers. Another Dutch rider Alex Mengoulas (Monkeytown CT) took second and Belgian Stan Dewulf (Zanatta Lotto CT) was third.


Cycling junior
Final podium (photo:Kenny Desaever) 

Just a few kilometers after the start in Ypres, Dutch rider Marco Mook (Young CT) tried his luck attacked from the bunch but he was quickly caught. ANext attackers were Belgian aron Verwilst (Tieltse Rennerclub), winner of Tour of Flandres 2014 and Marvin Tasset (Verandas Willems-Crabbé Dakwerken-CC Chevigny) but they also didn't manage to get a big gap. Once the peleton reached the hardest middle part of the race the group started to split. We had three big groups on the road.

The first one of around 40 riders included a few from Monkeytown CT which had Kuurne Bruxelles Kuurne winner Yannick Detant. Other strong and well represented team was Pijnenburg with their leader, Bram Welten. Once the race was getting closer to final circuits, eight riders attacked: Aaron Verwilst (Tieltse Rennersclub), Sylvain Leonard (CC Chevigny), Jonas Castrique (Ct Menen), Maxime Gressier (Dunkerque), Alex Braybrooke (HTM Academy), Yannick Detant (Monkeytown), Stef De Louwere (Pijnenburg). Shortly after Bram Welten managed to join the leaders but the gap was pretty small. Behind the peleton was high tempo and riders were dropped at the back.

 Finally, at the local circuits we had a group of seventeen riders.  On the final lap Bram Welten tried again with Pascal Eenkhoorn (Avia Wcup CT) and Ide Schelling (Restore) but they were quickly caught. With less then six kilometers from the finish, Brit Stuart Balfour from HTM Academy JLT Condor tried but also get caught. Right after, crucial attack was made. Pascal Eenkhoorn tried again with Alex and the managed to stay away. Dutch rider, one of the riders to watch in 2015, was simply stronger and run away from Mangoulas. Stan Dewulf jumped from the chasing group and took third place.

Cycling junior
Pascal Eenkhoorn winning GP André Noyelle (photo:Kenny Desaever) 


Here's what Pascal said after his win:

"The race was hard from the start which was my advantage though I only had one teammate in the lead group. After 30 km it was already broken. There was not a lot of wind, but it's enough to just blow. In the last part, I was able to win by playing tactics. I attacked on the last lap. In the last kilometer there were two of us in the lead. In the 500 meters, I was sure we would not be caught. It was hard to take Alex's wheel (Mengoulas) but 200 meters from the line he broke down and I could finish it off.  Next week, I'll be Bernaudeau. It is a long and difficult race, so I hope it will be okay. "
Alex Mengoulas:

"I tried to attack but I started too early because I feared we would be caught ... So finally i was empty to finish. On the one hand, I am disappointed because I didn't win, but the other hand it's the first time I'm on the podium of a great classic in Belgium. We were with a strong team constantly on the attack but still resumed. Finally, when I tried in the last all, it worked. Next week Moerkerke Damme and the Star of South Limburg and some shopping in the Netherlands.  "

Full results here: Results

Highlights

Friday, 13 March 2015

Two weeks after Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne, juniors are back to racing in Belgium for another uci rated one day classic, GP André Noyelle 2015.

Cycling junior
Last year's podium (photo: bloggen.be)

History of the race started in 1983 when Reginald Vandamme won the first edition. In 1996 race was named after André Noyelle, the only Belgian Olympic gold medalist in cycling who was born in Ypres, city host of this event . On the list of previous winners you may find some big names like Meersman, Stannard and Devolder. Last two editions of GP André Noyelle won Dutch riders. Two years ago, Andre Looij who is currently riding for Team Roompot Oranje, won ahead of two Belgians: Jenthe Biermans and Edward Planckaert. Last year edition, which was also the first one rated as 1.1 MJ event, won Mitchell Cornelisse, currently riding for Rabobank Development Team.

The route  is exactly the same as last year. 16th edition of Belgian one day race will start and finish in Yepres. 95,7 kilometers race features similar route to the Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne with eight heiligen during the course through the Region Heuvelland with famous Kemmelberg in the middle of the race. Last year, the decisive break was made after the hills but the damage that was done to the peleton on hills helped them to stay away.

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Race profile
Like in every junior race it's pretty hard to predict the winner. Two weeks ago I didn't even list Yannick Detant as a rider to watch and yet he won. This time he's for sure one of the notable names even tough it's hard to expect him to win again. Other Dutch rider to watch is Bram Welten from TWC Pijnenburg who won Belgian opener in Rijkevorsel two weeks ago and can rely on support from Bob Olieslagers who was seventeenth last year. Other strong Dutch contender should be Pascal Eenkhoorn from Avia Wcup who was twelveth in Kuurne. Balen BC brings strong team again with Cedirc Buellens and Ward Jaspers. In Kuurne they've missed the crucial move and they will be looking for a first win in this season. Davo Cycling Team brings two riders who already won a race this year: Stijn Goolaerts and Julian Mertens while Tieltse Rennersclub arrives with three strong contenders: Aaron Verwilst, Shayne Pruvoost and Daan Farazijn. Another strong Belgian team is Zannata-Lotto CT who brings winner of Memorial Frank Meeuw, Pierre Goebbert and two guys who finished top ten last year: Jonas Castrique and Cyril Dendievel. Other notable starters: Robbe Ghys, Thibaut Panis, Maxime Gressier, Jelle Nieuwport.

Full startlist

Sunday, 1 March 2015

Dutch rider Yannick Detant (Monkeytown Cycling Team) won 15th edition of Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne juniors after a sprint from eight man group ahead of two French riders: Mathieu Rigollot (Auber 93) and Alain Riou (Club Bretagne Juniors).

Cycling junior
Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne 2015 podium (photo: directvelo.com)

Results:
Full results: Kuurne Bruxelles Kuurne juniors 2015.

The race started with numerous crashes and for almost 30 kilometers there was no successful breakaway.
The peleton was driving very fast with tailwind from the start. The first attack made Danish rider Nikilaj Jeppe (Team Bravida Georgberg) but he was caught at the first hill of the day Edelare Top and immediately three more riders tried to get away: Bjorg Lambrecht (Avia WCup Cycling Team), Ronann Vivier (Team Nantes Atlantique) and Harm Vanhoucke (Young Cycling Team VZW). The leaders kept small gap on the peleton while Lambrecht was dropped so we had two guys in front. The leaders were joined by Danish rider Maximilian Hoffman (Pythonpro.com Team Champion System) and had 48" advantage on the big group. Before Kruisberg, the leading trio were joined by two strong riders: Frenchman Alan Riou (Brittany Club Juniors) and Ward Jaspers (Kon Balen BC).

With 53km to go the leaders were brought back. It was also the moment when crucial attack happened.
Eight riders: Mathieu Rigollot (Auber 93), Alan Riou (Club Bretagne Juniors), Rasmus Byriel Iversen (Team Bravida Georgberg), Yannick Detant (Monkeytown Cycling Team), Enzo Bernard (Pole Espoirs Pays de la Loire), Bjorg Lambrecht (Avia WCup Cycling Team), Loic Guillaume & Guillaume Millasseau (Argenteuil Van De Seine) jumped away just after the hardest climb of the day: Kruisberg. The leaders quickly gained over a minute gap and managed to keep it until the end. Behind them, many riders tried to attack from peleton including some big names like Danish duo from Pythonpro.com: Andreas Stokbro Nielsen and Maximilian Hoffman, Pavel Sivakov, Pascal Eenkhoorn and my pre race favorite Cedric Buellens but they only managed to stay in front of the peleton but never caught the leaders.

Cycling junior
Detant beating Rigollot on the line (photo: Nieuwsblad.be)
In the final kilometers eight leaders attacked each other but the race was decided in a sprint which won Yannick Detant. Here's what the winners says after the race to Directvelo:

"It was a tough race. We managed to finish in a small group. In the end, I saw that everyone was tired. In the last five kilometers, I reacted to various attempts of attack. J 'have retained strength for the sprint. It worked. I'm happy to have won this prestigious race is naturally great when you see that Moreno Hofland won the race in 2009, but now I have to sit feet on the ground. "

Cycling junior
Yannick Detant (photo: directvelo.com)

Runner up, Mathieu Rigollot was little bit disappointed:

"When you finish second, you certainly have mixed feelings. On the one hand, I am of course happy to finish second on the first real race of the year, in addition to such a race, but on the other hand, This obviously leaves a taste of too little when you see that I launch my sprint a bit far. I could maybe win with 20 meters more. That's racing. I had staked everything on sprint and it was almost the right choice. "