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:
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:


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:

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.


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:


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:
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:


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.

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