Sunday, August 15, 2010

Cycling Update

Well there have been three pro tour races since the Tour de France came to an end, let's catch up.

The first race was the Clasica Ciclista San Sebastian on July 31st.  This race has become especially popular for the Spanish riders who have good form following the Tour de France.  And it was won this year by a Spaniard who fits that description perfectly.  Luis Leon Sanchez outsprinted Carlos Sastre and Alexander Vinokourov to take the win.  Sanchez had a very solid Tour de France, and this was a very good win for him, especially with his team ending their sponsorship next season and him looking for a new team.   

1 Luis León Sánchez (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne 5:47:13
2 Alexander Vinokourov (Kaz) Astana
3 Carlos Sastre (Spa) Cervelo Test Team
4 Haimar Zubeldia (Spa) Team Radioshack 0:00:34
5 Joaquin Rodriguez (Spa) Team Katusha 0:00:37
6 Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Garmin - Transitions
7 Robert Gesink (Ned) Rabobank
8 Nicholas Roche (Irl) AG2R La Mondiale
9 Samuel Sánchez (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi
10 Richie Porte (Aus) Team Saxo Bank
38 Levi Leipheimer (USA) Team Radioshack  0:03:43

Next on the Pro Tour calendar was a seven stage race the Tour of Poland.  Daniel Martin for team Garmin-Transitions won the key stage and took the overall victory in Poland.  There is a lot of talk that Martin has a real future in cycling, so it was good to see him get such a  big win, especially since he's with my favorite team.

1 Daniel Martin (Irl) Garmin - Transitions 30:38:48
2 Grega Bole (Slo) Lampre-Farnese Vini 0:00:08
3 Bauke Mollema (Ned) Rabobank 0:00:10
4 Michael Albasini (Swi) Team HTC - Columbia 0:00:20
5 Alessandro Ballan (Ita) BMC Racing Team 0:00:21
6 Sylvester Szmyd (Pol) Liquigas-Doimo 0:00:26
7 Marek Rutkiewicz (Pol) Poland BGZ 0:00:30
8 Diego Ulissi (Ita) Lampre-Farnese Vini
9 Thomas Danielson (USA) Garmin - Transitions 0:00:33
10 Tiago Machado (Por) Team Radioshack 0:00:41

The final Pro Tour race that comes between the Tour de France and the Vuelta a Espana is the Vattenfall Cyclassics and it was another win for Garmin-Transitions, in fact Tyler Farrar won the event for the second year in a row.  It's only a 15 year old race, but Farrar is the first repeat winner they've had.  This race is becoming a summer sprint classic and Farrar had to beat some good names to take the win.

1 Tyler Farrar (USA) Garmin - Transitions 5:02:36
2 Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Sky Professional Cycling Team
3 André Greipel (Ger) Team HTC - Columbia
4 Alexander Kristoff (Nor) BMC Racing Team
5 Allan Davis (Aus) Astana
6 Daniele Bennati (Ita) Liquigas-Doimo
7 Thomas Leezer (Ned) Rabobank
8 Enrique Mata (Spa) Footon-Servetto
9 Sébastien Hinault (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
10 Marco Marcato (Ita) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team

Now all eyes are turning to the final Grand Tour of the season, the Tour of Spain.  I'll write up a preview soon, so keep an eye out.  After the Vuelta will come the final Pro Tour races of the year and of course the World Championship.  Apparently the World Championship course looks to favor a sprinter this year.  All eyes will be on Mark Cavendish, but with Tyler Farrar and George Hincapie, the US may have a real shot at taking the Rainbow Jersey.

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