Martin Powers to German National TT Championship Grabsch Strong in 2nd
Tony Martin is now both the World Time Trial Champion and the German National Champion, setting a blazing average speed of 51.54km/h on a 40.68km/h course on Friday and finishing at 47'21".
Bert Grabsch, who was the defending German Champion, was also super strong. He finished with a time of 48'47", more than enough to put him in 2nd behind teammate Martin. Lars Teutenberg took 3rd, with a time of 49'15".
"I'm really happy about my race," Martin said after his victory. "Today I was looking for a good result, and a good performance, and I got both. It's important even for the confidence prior to the Tour de France. It was a good test in function for an important event such as the Olympics. It was nice to win in front of my friends and my family, It was great. Even Bert did a great race. Tomorrow I'll go home, I will recover, and I will focus on the last training sessions before the Tour."
This is the 3rd National Time Trial Championship for Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team in 2012. Martin's victory is also the 38th for the team, in three disciplines.
Photo: Mario Steihl
Franco Pellizotti Takes Italian Championships
The 2012 Italian National Championship, held in Valsugana-Trentino, turned out to be one of the most spectacular in the recent memory, and Bianchi rider Franco Pellizotti was its clear and well-deserved winner, soloing on the finishing line in Borgo Valsugana at the end of an extremely tough race. Danilo Di Luca took second place by out sprinting Moreno Moser, who provided another brilliant show of his outstanding talent.
The day’s top 10 was packed with some of the top names in today’s cycling: Giampaolo Caruso was fourth, ahead of Vincenzo Nibali and Michele Scarponi. Pellizotti broke clear on the final passage (out of 15) on dreadful Telve climb, messing up Liquigas-Cannondale pair plans: Nibali was a protagonist, but still has to reach the top condition he wishes to find at the Tour de France, while neo-pro Moser provided one more classy performance, even though he had to stick with third on the day. Even brighter days will come soon.
Everybody knew the Valsugana’s route was very severe, but pouring rain throughout the whole morning time made it even tougher for the rider – as showed by the fact that only 16 riders could make it to the finish. But a man was about to blow everyone’s plans in this Italian Championship, his name being Michele Scarponi: Lampre-ISD rider surprisingly worked his way into an early break, and forcing his rivals to chase. “Michele was a moral victor, as he made a great show. On the other hand, Franco is the deserving and legitimate new Italian champion,” Italian National Team Coach Paolo Bettini stated. Whilst his team mate Damiano Cunego ended up his race in advance, Scarponi led the race until fellow favorites got back on him and eventually dropped him.
After having a huge protagonist of the first half of the race in Daniel Oss, Liquigas looked like having perfect grip on the race, having two men out of six at the front (Caruso, Pellizotti, Di Luca and Scarponi were the others), but Nibali clearly wasn’t at his best.
Franco Pellizotti was, instead, and in a few seconds he managed to leave behind years of bitterness and – possibly – unfairness. Watching him so emotional on the podium was touching, in such a great day for the new “Tricolore” champion. “Since my comeback, today’s race was my main focus. Honestly, I considered myself a favorite for this race, as I was feeling really good. In the penultimate lap, I realized I was the strongest in the uphill sections, and so it was time to dig deep.” The final classification tells the rest of the story itself.
JAKOB FUGLSANG IS THE DANISH TT CHAMPION AGAIN
After winning the Tour of Luxembourg, Fuglsang has shown he still has good form. In Hammel, Fuglsang won the Danish TT Championships ahead of André Steensen (Glud & Marstrand) and Michael Mørkøv (Saxo Bank). For Fuglsang it is his second national TT title.
“For a Danish course, it was a pretty hilly course,” explained Fuglsang. “It was really nice, but hard. It was constantly up and down with one good climb in the end. Kim Andersen was behind me, my father was on the course and also our mechanic Frank Christensen. They all kept me informed. I knew perfectly where I was compared with my competitors.”
On Sunday Jakob Fuglsang will participate in the Road Championships as well, as the only representative of RADIOSHACK NISSAN TREK. “In theory that is not an advantage at all,” continued the new TT champion, “but it is not that bad. It is a 200K race with some 3000 altitude meters. It’s going to be hard. I still believe in my chances. Anyway, I will go for it. Since I am not selected for the Tour the France, I want to take advantage of my good legs. After the road championship, I will focus on the Tour of Poland.”
Peter Velits Wins Slovak National TT Championship
Peter Velits Won the first national time trial championship of his career on Thursday, besting brother Martin Velits in the Slovak National Time Trial Championship.
"I am happy, but it is better because it is my first national time trial title," Velits said. "I am also happy because we are riding really in our region — our area — me and my brother. So, all of the public was for us and it was amazing to win here. We are happy and we will try our best, even on Sunday, to honor this race as best we can. It will even be a special thing to take the start of the Tour Prologue with this jersey. It is a symbol of our country, and with the TV coverage and everything I think all of the Slovak public can be happy to see our flag on my shoulders."
Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team also performed well in other national time trial championships on Thursday. Michal Kwiatkowski was 2nd in the Polish National Time Trial Championship, as was Zdenek Stybar in the Czech National Time Trial Championship. Frantisek Rabon was also 3rd in the Czech National Time Trial Championship.
Svein Tuft: The Eight-Time Champ
Svein Tuft (Orica Greenedge) is the undisputed king of the individual time trials in Canada. He gave a cycling lesson to the other participants in the race by posting a time of 47:26 on the 39 km course, earning his fifth consecutive Canadian title and eighth overall.
Earlier in the day, Hughes also showed dominance with her great first place after travelling the 30 kilometers course. She has also been confirmed today on the Canadian Olympic team, along with Joelle Numainville and Denise Ramsden In men, Ryder Hesjedal who participate in the Tour de France will be the Canadian representative in London.
Christian Meier (Orica Greenedge) took second place in the elite men at 2:08 behind the winning time, while Hugo Houle (SpiderTech) finished third and also ranked as the top U23 rider.
“I have been putting a lot of emphasis in the time trials,” said Svein Tuft. “I recovered well from the Giro d’Italia, and today it is the dedication of all the efforts that the technical team has made. It was perfect today. I'm really happy. I just did 12 minutes of warming up in the heat. I was super hydrated in the last two days. Also, I understand the decision of Cycling Canada for choosing Ryder (Hesjedal). The problem is just that Canada has a single spot in the Olympics.”
The time posted by Hugo Houle in the Time Trial was also excellent. “It was very difficult because of the heat. When Svein caught me, it gave me a big blow to morale. I knew I was going very well. That is why in the last lap, I put my head down and I gave everything I could. It has been 30 minutes since the race is over, and I'm still tired.”
Clara Hughes will be making her sixth appearance at the Olympics, three of them being Summer Games. “I am very pleased to have been chosen. I am really motivated and we will have a great team in London. Today it was important for me to win here. I love wearing the Canadian champion jersey.”
Joëlle Numainville, her first Olympic team makes her really happy. “I am so happy to be riding with Clara, she is such a good athlete. It will help a lot with her experience. I will be at the service of the team, and the important thing is that someone from team step on the podium, nothing less.”
Sylvain Chavanel Wins 4th French TT Championship
Sylvain Chavanel earned his 4th French National Time Trial Championship, with the fastest checkpoint times, and a finishing time of 57'34".
Chavanel's effort never wavered as he was the fastest time at the 9km and 33km checkpoints by 1" over the same rider: Jeremy Roy (FDJ-BigMat). Roy finished before Chavanel, and rain began to pour at the finish line. However, Chavanel only got stronger, besting Roy by 13" at the finish. Yoann Paillot was 3rd, with a time of 58'35".
"The parcour was completely flat," Chavanel said. "It wasn't easy to interpret. For the entire time trial my headset didn't work, so I had no point of reference. In the last part I went full gas, even if in the last three kilometers I had to fight against the rain. Roy did a great race. He was strong even in Suisse. I knew he would be a competitor."
Eddy Seigneur was the only other French rider in history to win four national time trial championships, winning in 1996, 2002, 2003, and 2004. Chavanel won his three other titles in 2005, 2006, and 2008.
"I'm also happy that I reached the record of Seigneur," Chavanel said. "But for me, the most important thing is that next week I will start at the Tour prologue with this brand new jersey. It will give me a great motivation, and I can't wait to show it off at the Tour!"
Photo: Tim DeWaele
Sanchez Wins Spanish TT Crown
Rabobank rider Luis Leon Sanchez won his fourth Spanish national time-trial title on Friday. Sanchez covered the 42.3km in 54min 55sec with Movistar's Jonathan Castroviejo having to settle for silver for the second straight year at 1min 23sec, and Alejandro Marque of Carmin-Prio third at 1:40. Sanchez - also winner in 2011, 2010 and 2008 - equals the record of four titles held by Ivan Gutierrez.
As For The New Canadian Road Champ
Ryan Roth (Team SpiderTech) will proudly bear the maple leaf jersey for the next year following his victory in the road race at the 2012 Canadian Road Championships, which were held in Lac-Megantic.
Antoine Duchesne (Garneau-Quebecor) claims for his part the Canadian champion’s jersey in the U23 category.
Riders with Team Spidertech, with a full contingent, were seen as favorites before the start of the race. They also placed four riders in a breakaway that held on for a hundred of the 180 kilometers that the race lasted. The break even took a lead of six minutes before the peloton decided to close the gap.
The work of Michael Barry (Team Sky), Dominique Rollin (FDJ-Big Mat), Svein Tuft (Orica-GreenEDGE) and Christian Meier (Orica-GreenEDGE), all world class riders, managed to close the gap. David Veilleux (Europcar) has also done extensive work in the bunch, but a flat tire made him lose precious time.
After the seven climbs of the Mount Morne, riders headed back to the municipality of Lac-Megantic with a breakaway of four riders led by Michael Barry. The latter has been very active throughout the race and it was finally at the finish line that the race was decided, with Roth taking the win with a one second lead (4:35:21) on Barry, while Marsh Cooper (Optum-Kelly Benefit) crossed the line in third with the same time for third place.
“It was so tight at the finish line,” said the new Canadian champion. “I did not even raise my arms for fear of being passed. It's always hard to do a sprint finish, and I wanted the victory. When the peloton decided to react to catch the breakaway, the tempo became very high with the work of Tuft, Barry, Rollin, and Veilleux. When Michael decided to take the lead, I followed him. He worked very hard. With four of our guys in the break, there was Michael and I could try something in the mountain.”
In the U23 race, Antoine Duchesne, also fourth in the Elite race, savored his victory that completed an all-Quebec podium in the category, with David Boily (SpiderTech) in second place and Hugo Houle (Spidertech) in third.
“It's been four years since I had not won, so this win is very satisfying. I was a little apprehensive at first because I was not feeling well, I had stomach pain. But as the race progressed, I felt better and when we returned to town, I felt fine. When I had the opportunity to breakaway, I did it with François Parisien and Nic Hamilton. At six or seven kilometers from the finish, I went alone on a hill and I keep this position to the end. Fourth place among the Elite and a Canadian title in the U23, I could not ask for a better day.”
Team TIBCO Report From The Crit Nats
Team TIBCO sprinter Lauren Hall took second place in today’s Elite National Criterium Championship. The Team displayed seamless teamwork and cohesion as they helped deliver Hall to a podium finish at the Downtown Augusta Criterium. Samantha Schneider unleashed an impressive acceleration to the line, earning her the U23 National Criterium Champion title. She took fifth overall in the Elite race.
“Lauren had a great race today,” said the Team’s European directeur sportif Angela van Smoorenburg. “The Team worked perfectly together to support Lauren and deliver her in good position.”
The final sprint was won by Theresa Cliff-Ryan, who came in a mere 10 centimeters ahead of Hall. In addition to Hall’s 2nd place finish, Schneider came in 5th place, Kendall Ryan took 8th, and Jennifer Purcell came in 15th.
The six-rider squad today included Hall, Schneider, Ryan, Purcell, Kendall Ryan, Alexis Ryan and Meredith Miller.
Younger Sisters of Team TIBCO Pros Take National Titles
Alexis Ryan and Skylar Schneider have earned themselves two National Championship titles in their respective junior categories so far this week. Alexis, younger sister of Team TIBCO sprinter Kendall Ryan, secured a Criterium National Championship win today in the Junior 17-18 category. She took 4th in yesterday’s Junior 17-18 time trial. Alexis will support the Team and garner valuable race experience during the Elite Road Race this Sunday with the rest of the Team TIBCO professionals.
Meanwhile, Skylar Schneider, sibling of Team TIBCO’s Samantha Schneider, won the Road Race National Championship in the Junior 13-14 age group.