Tour of Turkey stage 3 – Taaramäe takes the lead

Taaramäe forgets health woes with queen stage victory

Only a month after a larynx operation, Estonian champion Rein Taaramae (Cofidus) struck back to win the queen stage of the 50th Tour of Turkey in Elmali and take the Turquoise jersey off Mark Cavendish.

Rein Taaramäe wins the queen stage of the Presidential Tour of Turkey

Rein Taaramäe wins the queen stage of the Presidential Tour of Turkey

One of the most gifted riders of his generation, but often hampered by injuries and sickness, the man who finished 11th in the 2011 Tour de France surged in the last 300 metres to drop Adam Yates (OGE), with whom he had launched the decisive move three kilometres from the line. All the other favourites at the start of the 185-km ride from Finike were unable to react and had to settle for the minor placings. Eritrea’s Merhawi Kudus (MTN) finished fourth ahead of Italian veteran Davide Rebellin (CCC) in fifth place.

Taaramäe’s last big victory was on stage 13 at the 2011 Vuelta a Espana. He said after his stage win in Turkey today, “It’s just beautiful to be riding in such condition. I thought I would never find it back again. In the past, I was a very good rider but these last two years, I thought my engine had blown. I was climbing with the sprinters and sometimes they even dropped me. Nobody knew what was wrong. I was actually suffering from a laringal obstruction and I had asthma. I had too much skin on the larynx and the air did not get through. I couldn’t breathe. I received surgery in Estonia on March 12 and it changed everything. I didn’t expect to be back to my best that quickly.”

Stage 3: Finike > Elmali - Stage Result

Tuesday 29th April 2014

1. ee
TAARAMäE Rein
Cofidis, Solutions Crédits
05:40:31
2. gb
YATES Adam
Orica GreenEDGE
0:06
3. fr
HARDY Romain
Cofidis, Solutions Crédits
0:38

Text adapted from Tour of Turkey official website. Read more here.

Kwiatkowski wins Tour de Romandie prologue

Michal Kwiatkowski (Omega Pharma-Quickstep) won the 5.57 kilometre long Tour de Romandie Prologue on Tuesday, carrying over his form from the Ardennes Classics to win his first career UCI WorldTour race just two days after Liège-Bastogne-Liège.

Kwiatkowski won with a time of 6’22”, while Rohan Dennis (Garmin-Sharp) finished 2nd, 4″ down, and Marcel Kittel (Giant-Shimano) placed 3rd (same time). Three-time UCI World TT Champion Tony Martin, finished 5″ down in 5th place.

“This is a surprise, actually,” Kwiatkowski said in a press release. “I was in good shape after the Ardennes but I wasn’t sure how I would feel today. I’m really happy with what I did. That was the first time I was sitting in the hot seat for so long. I think a few seconds advantage with such good competition here at Tour de Romandie is something special. I knew the course really well and think I did it perfectly, every moment of the race. I didn’t go too fast on the first part. I was trying to save myself for the end. I was on the limit on the finish line. I think I did everything as I was supposed to and it was also think it was good to start earlier, because I knew the weather forecast was going to change. It is hard to say what I will do from here in the yellow jersey. I will look day-to-day in how I can defend my GC lead. Today was a short prologue and I don’t know how recovered I will truly feel from the Ardennes Classics in the next days. This will be my last race before a period of rest after the first part of the season. But as for the team and our GC chances, Omega Pharma – Quick-Step Cycling Team came here with good riders. Tony Martin, Thomas De Gendt, and Rigoberto Uran for example. So, we can see what cards we can play and we are looking forward to the next stages.”

BMC Racing’s Tejay van Garderen crashed on the first corner immediately after the start and his GC ambitions have now vanished with being 3:21 behind in last place.

Kwiatkowski will wear the yellow jersey with a 4″ advantage going into stage two (200.9km) on Wednesday. The stage includes a Category 1 climb in the middle of the course, and a Category 2 ascent with a summit at the 180 kilometer mark.

Prologue: Ascona > Ascona - Stage Result

Tuesday 29th April 2014

1. pl
KWIATKOWSKI Michał
Omega Pharma - Quick-Step
00:06:22
2. au
DENNIS Rohan
Garmin Sharp
0:04
3. de
KITTEL Marcel
Team Giant-Shimano
-

Nino Schurter makes Orica-GreenEDGE debut

Cross-country mountain bike champion Nino Schurter made is debut on the road with Orica-GreenEDGE at the Tour of Romandie on Tuesday’s prologue. Schurter came in 88th position just 26 seconds behind Kwiatkowski.

Schurter joins the Australia’s only WorldTour team for the Tour of Romandie and the Tour de Suisse. The 27-year-old, a three time world champion and world cup winner, needed to receive the greenlight from both the UCI and Swiss Cycling in order to race as his mountain bike team and GreenEDGE are both sponsored by Scott bicycles.

Nino Schurter at the 2008 World Mountain Bike championships where he won the U23 title.

Nino Schurter at the 2008 World Mountain Bike championships where he won the U23 title.

“My heart remains in mountain biking, but my dream has always been to race at least once in my life at the Tour of Switzerland. And this could be the right year. First, though, I had to test myself in a race less demanding. So that explains my participation in the Romandie.”

Read more at la Gazzetta.it.

Brian Cookson’s son working for SKY

La Gazzetta reports that the UCI President, Brian Cookson’s son Oliver Cookson has signed a four year contract with Team SKY as “Performance Co-ordinator”. Cookson has previously worked in Spain and speaks Spanish, and he says that his role is to “bridge between the technical staff and the Hispanic riders.” Details are scarce but if you can read Italian you can find out more at gazzetta.it.

Amateur Cyclists doping on the rise in Belgium

Belgian website DMorgen.be is reporting that “Sunday riders” are the new group of customers who are now doping. The website quotes the drug unit of the federal police as saying, “It worries us that some people in their fifties are taking drugs in order to compete with cyclists half their age.” This comes from the unit’s annual report from 2013.

“Use is often measured by the number of positive controls from professional athletes, but drugs are not only used in competition,” says Jan Van den Boeynants, head of the hormones unit. “It’s quite exceptional that not it’s not only elite athletes, but mostly for fitness people and recently more and more recreational Sunday riders.”

Because studies are still ongoing, there are no figures in the annual report about how many cyclists have been caught. Police investigation shows that the riders realise that what they are doing is wrong. “Why do they use different mailboxes or let them deliver their package to their neighbour of 78 [years old]?” Asks Van den Boeynants. Usually the riders buy commodity drugs such as testosterone on Chinese websites and will buy other products from illegal labs in the EU.

“They costs 300 euros per injection and are therefore more expensive than oral drug products, but also pose greater risks to human health by the stronger concentrations and the lack of medical knowledge.” A new trend seen by the drug unit is in so-called “research chemicals”. These are drugs that are not marketed because they are not good enough, but still be sold for their performance enhancing side effects.

Read more on DMorgan.be (Flemish)

Google’s self-driving cars detect cyclists

In Google’s video about their self-driving car tests, they outline how the computers treat cyclists as a special category, recognising arm signals and detecting cyclists coming up at traffic lights. Google says, “A self-driving vehicle can pay attention to all of these things in a way that a human physically can’t—and it never gets tired or distracted.” Have a look:

Athens Twilight Criterium Crash(s)

We never enjoy seeing crashes but it appears that everyone made it out of this one okay. We do wish the rider taken away in the stretcher a quick recovery.

#LBLGoProGuy Memes

#GWPhotoGuy received international acclaim on Twitter with his death defying photography stunt, but now a new figure has emerged from Liège-Bastogne-Liège: #LBLGoProGuy:

Various memes going around on twitter with #LBLGoProGuy

Various memes going around on twitter with #LBLGoProGuy

The original image was taken by Kristof Ramon (below) with a fan getting far too close to IAM rider Pirmin Lang while riding solo up La Redoute at Liège-Bastogne-Liège. Lang didn’t seem to take it too seriously however, saying on twitter:


In the tradition of Damien Vandamme (aka #GWPhotoGuy) who was laying down on the road in front of a moving peloton at Gent-Wavelgem these various memes have popped up.

Original image of fan getting too close to Pirmin Lang of IAM while climbing La Redoute at Liege-Bastogn-Liege.

Original image of fan getting too close to Pirmin Lang of IAM while climbing La Redoute at Liege-Bastogn-Liege.

Cav’s biggest fan

Every lucky father has a cheering squad at the races and it seems that Mark Cavendish is no different. Except of course that he wins more races than the rest of us. Here’s his daughter Delilah Grace cheering him on at the Tour of Turkey:

And finally this morning, here are a few things you might have missed at CyclingTips:


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