Andrea Guardini wins Eneco Tour opener

Fresh off his two stage victories at the Tour of Denmark, Andrea Guardini (Astana) has started the Eneco Tour in style, winning a messy bunch sprint on the crash-marred opening stage. Guardini passed Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Shimano) in the closing metres, before holding off Yohann Gene (Europcar) and Davide Cimolai (Lampre-Merida) for the win.

ENECO Tour 2014 stage - 1

The first stage of the seven-stage race featured strong winds and rain and despite some attempts to split the field, it was a mostly intact peloton that approached the finish. A small breakaway gained as much as eight minutes over the peloton but with the bunch working hard behind, and with the pace on to try and split the field in the crosswinds, the break’s days were numbered.

Lotto-Belisol and Giant-Shimano were among the teams trying to control the race in the closing stages, but a move from Tom Dumoulin seemed to change Giant-Shimano’s plans. The Dutchman moved clear of the field in the closing kilometre and looked to have secured the win. But Dumoulin was caught with roughly 100m to go as Guardini powered past to take his third victory for the year and his first WorldTour victory in Astana colours.

Today’s second stage of the Eneco Tour takes the riders 177km from Waalwijk to Vlijmen.

Stage 1: Terneuzen > Terneuzen - Stage Result

Monday 11th August 2014

1. it
GUARDINI Andrea
Astana Pro Team
04:14:33
2. fr
GENE Yohann
Team Europcar
-
3. it
CIMOLAI Davide
Lampre-Merida
-

Click here to read more at Cycling Quotes.

Barbara Guarischi wins stage 2 of La Route de France

Barbara Guarischi (Ale Cipollini) has won stage 2 of La Route de France, winning the bunch sprint into Ligné ahead of Kirsten Wild (Giant-Shimano) and Jolien d’Hoore (Lotto-Belisol).

F1_1407780574

The fast pace during the 124km second stage ensured that no breakaway group was allowed to get clear, with the teams of the sprinters taking no chances when it came to the finish. Against her more fancied rivals like Wild and six-time stage winner at last year’s race, Giorgia Bronzini (Wiggle-Honda), Guarischi proved strongest, taking her first win of the season. It’s been a season of almost-victories for Guarischi, who had three second-place finishes coming into yesterday’s race.

The seven-stage Route de France continues today with a 117km stage from Chateau du Loir to Vendome. Claudia Lichtenberg (Giant-Shimano) still leads the general classification after her stage 1 solo victory.

Stage 2: Mouilleron en Pareds > Ligné - Stage Result

Monday 11th August 2014

1. it
GUARISCHI Barbara
Alé Cipollini
03:18:21
2. nl
WILD Kirsten
Team Giant-Shimano
-
3. be
D'HOORE Jolien
Lotto Belisol Ladies
-

Click here to read more at the Ale Cipollini website.

Joey Rosskopf impresses with Tour of Utah performance

Hincapie Sportswear rider Joey Rosskopf was one of the most impressive riders at this year’s Tour of Utah, getting himself into several breakaways and finishing second on stage 6 to Cadel Evans (BMC). On stage 6 Rosskopf was in the stage-winning breakaway with Evans and was the one to attack Evans just before the finish. He was caught and passed by Evans in the final few hundred metres, but the Redlands Classic winner was still more than happy with his performance.

The Larry H.Miller Tour of Utah 2014 (2.1) stage-2

“It was great,” Rosskopf said. “I have never climbed that well in my life, so it’s just a cool experience. I was really doubting myself; I was so scared of Guardsman[‘s Pass]. We stayed in Park City this year and last year before the race started, and I avoided going up Guardsman at all cost because it was too steep.”

“Last year I could have come to that climb with a group of 20 and me sitting on all day and I would have gotten dropped on the climb,” he said. “So this is a huge step for me.”

The 24-year-old American made the final selection of the day on stage 2 as well, getting into a two-man breakaway with stage winner Michael Schar (BMC). Rosskopf’s efforts haven’t gone unnoticed.

“He’s certainly got a lot of potential,” Evans said of Rosskopf later in the week. “What I admired about him, when we caught him with 10km to go on stage 2, was that he going absolutely flat out to the last metre. Even though the group was 100 meters off him, he was still riding flat out. So he seems to have a lot of ambition. I think with ambition and talent, when it’s combined, a rider can go a long way with that.”

Rosskopf went on to win the KOM classification for the 2014 of Utah. His contract with Hincapie Sportswear comes to a close at the end of the season, and while Rosskopf wasn’t heard from any WorldTour teams yet, he’s still got a few races to attract further interest.

Click here to read more at Cyclingnews.

Pozzovivo’s season over after crashing in training

The season of Ag2r-La Mondiale climber Domenico Pozzovivo is over after the Italian crashed while descending the Stelvio in training, suffering a compound fracture of his leg. The crash was reportedly caused by a cat running across the road in front of the cyclist.

Giro D'Italia 2013 stage-20

“I was descending towards Malles, on a long, steep straight, at 70kph,” Pozzovivo told Gazzetta dello Sport. “I saw a cat coming from the left-hand side of the road, out of the grass. Let’s say that we looked one another in the eyes. I tried to avoid him but he bumped my front wheel.

“The bike went flying and he ran off. I slid for twenty metres on the left side of my body and I finished up against the guard rail. I could see where I was going and I change direction. I curled up but I hit the guardrail with my right leg, just under the knee.”

The Italian reportedly stayed conscious throughout and after being unable to get the attention of nearby locals, he fashioned a support of his leg and called his father.

“I took my helmet off and I managed to put it under my leg to support it,” said Pozzovivo. “I called my father on my mobile phone and he came within ten minutes with the ambulance and they brought me to Silandro.”

X-rays showed that Pozzovivo had suffered season-ending breaks to his tibia and fibula. He went into surgery on Monday to have a plate and 11 screws installed to fix the fractures.

Pozzovivo was fifth overall in the Giro d’Italia this year and was in training for the Vuelta a Espana when he crashed.

“In Spain I wouldn’t have been content just with a top five place. I was aiming for the podium,” he said.

Click here to read more at the Gazzetta dello Sport.

Nairo Quintana returns to racing at the Vuelta a Burgos

The last race Nairo Quintana (Movistar) competed in was the Giro d’Italia back in May, a race that he won by nearly three minutes ahead of his compatriot Rigoberto Uran (Omega Pharma-QuickStep). Now the Colombian is about to get back to racing, lining up at the Vuelta a Burgos on Wednesday.

tdf_2013_stage_20_o-nev_20130720-B91P4334

Quintana won the five-stage Spanish race last year and will be hoping to defend that title en route to the Vuelta a Espana which starts on August 23. He will share the Movistar leadership with Alejandro Valverde.

Quintana has reportedly been in Colombia since winning the Giro and recently completed an altitude training camp in the Boyacá mountains.

The Vuelta a Burgos features two uphill finishes and an individual time trial.

Click here to read more and here to see Quintana’s form so far this season.

Dealing with disappointment

Here’s a great blog post from Chloe Hosking (Hitec Products) in which the Aussie sprinter talks about her disappointment at her Commonwealth Games result. But it’s more than a look at a single bike race — it’s an interesting perspective about what it’s like to be a professional athlete and how riders deal with self-expectation and disappointment.

Here’s an excerpt:

Talking about disappointment and underperformance is such a taboo subject in this sport of ours, which is odd because there are inherently more downs than ups in professional sport and cycling more specifically.

More often than not a voice recorder is shoved under our mouths and we’re meant to recount how enjoyable our experience was and why it was so fantastic. But what happens when you would rather forget it?

… when you become consumed with the idea of one event – one race – and everything you do is in preparation for that it is easy to lose track of the bigger picture. What is particularly difficult is when that event is over and you underperformed. The feeling of ‘now what?’ can be overwhelming.

Click here to read the full post at Chloe’s blog.

Great photos from the Tour of Utah

Yesterday we published a gallery of images from the Tour of Utah but we thought it was also worth pointing you towards the shots photographer Andy Bokanev took at the race. Andy was embedded with Drapac during the Tour and took some cracking shots, a selection of which you can see at his website. Check out his full galleries from each stage at the Drapac Facebook page.

Cyclist vs boomgate

You probably know who’s going to win this one even before you’ve seen it (and the preview image makes it pretty clear).

Thereabouts – the doco

A few months ago we published the photo feature “Thereabouts” by brothers Gus and Lachlan Morton. It told the story of their 2500km journey from Port Macquarie to Uluru in just twelve days and how they attempted to reconnect with the simple pleasure of riding their bikes.

After many months of production the brothers have released a documentary about their journey. This film gives an refreshing insight about how Lachlan Morton feels about his career as a professional cyclist and why Gus quit the sport altogether.

It’s worth setting aside 45 minutes to watch the full film which you can find here.

The Rocacorba Recap

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

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Today’s feature image was shot by Jered Gruber in the Dolomites.