Monday, October 13, 2014

Cycling Update: 2014 In Review Part 3

The wonderful thing about the end of the cycling season is that it is a time for riders to get back what they lost during the season. Take last year for instance. Chris Horner came out of nowhere to win the Vuelta a Espana after a disappointing season. Perhaps the Vuelta and the Worlds would be a place for the US to shine in 2014. After all going into the Vuelta we had the defending champ.

Vuelta a Espana
Well at least the US was supposed to have the defending champ in the race. Poor Horner got sick in the summer and had to take a cortisone shot. By the time the Vuelta rolled around the shot was still messing with his blood levels enough that he could not be cleared for the start of the Vuelta and so as quickly as that Horner's attempt at defending the Vuelta were dashed. Still this looked to be the best race of the year. Both Alberto Contador and Chris Froome were looking for a positive end to their disappointing seasons and you had other big named riders in the mix as well. It didn't disappoint and neither did Contador. For my money he's the best cyclist I've seen. Now like everyone else from his generation he's been busted for doping, but it doesn't matter to me. Just like Lance won those 7 straight Tours, Contador has been an amazingly competitive rider no matter what the race. He always tries to win and that's what I've always liked about him.

1Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Tinkoff-Saxo81:25:05
2Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky0:01:10
3Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar Team0:01:50
4Joaquin Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Team Katusha0:03:25
5Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana Pro Team0:04:48
6Samuel Sanchez (Spa) BMC Racing Team0:09:30
7Daniel Martin (Irl) Garmin Sharp0:10:38
8Warren Barguil (Fra) Team Giant-Shimano0:11:50
9Damiano Caruso (Ita) Cannondale0:12:50
10Daniel Navarro Garcia (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:13:02
51Andrew Talansky (USA) Garmin Sharp2:13:46

Now Andrew Talansky is considered to be an up and comer. He crashed out of the Tour and I'm not sure what the expectations were for him in the Vuelta, but we'll have to wait until next year to see if he can do better.

1John Degenkolb (Ger) Team Giant-Shimano169 pts
2Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar Team146
3Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Tinkoff-Saxo145
4Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky139
5Joaquin Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Team Katusha117

1Luis Leon Sanchez Gil (Spa) Caja Rural - Seguros RGA58 pts
2Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Tinkoff-Saxo45
3Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar Team40
4Przemyslaw Niemiec (Pol) Lampre-Merida33
5Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky33

Road World Championships
So it would all come down to the world championships. The US elite men never do that well here, except in the time trial, and they didn't do any better this year. As usual the women were in the mix and fighting for medals.

Women's Junior Individual Time Trial
1Macey Stewart (Australia)0:20:08.39
2Pernille Mathiesen (Denmark)0:00:10.79
3Anna-Leeza Hull (Australia)0:00:13.31

Men's Junior Individual Time Trial
1Lennard Kamna (Germany)0:36:13.49
2Adrien Costa (United States Of America)0:00:44.66
3Michael Storer (Australia)0:00:58.11

Men's U23 Individual Time Trial
1Campbell Flakemore (Australia)0:43:49.94
2Ryan Mullen (Ireland)0:00:00.48
3Stefan Kueng (Switzerland)0:00:09.22

Women's Elite Individual Time Trial
1Lisa Brennauer (Germany)0:38:48.16
2Anna Solovey (Ukraine)0:00:18.68
3Evelyn Stevens (United States Of America)0:00:21.25

Men's Elite Individual Time Trial
1Bradley Wiggins (Great Britain)0:56:25.52
2Tony Martin (Germany)0:00:26.23
3Tom Dumoulin (Netherlands)0:00:40.64

Women's Junior Road Race
1Amalie Dideriksen (Denmark)2:02:59
2Sofia Bertizzolo (Italy)
3Agnieszka Skalniak (Poland)

Men's Junior Road Race
1Jonas Bokeloh (Germany)3:07:00
2Alexandr Kulikovskiy (Russian Federation)
3Peter Lenderink (Netherlands)

Men's U23 Road Race
1Sven Erik Bystrom (Norway)4:32:39
2Caleb Ewan (Australia)0:00:07
3Kristoffer Skjerping (Norway)

Women's Elite Road Race
1Pauline Ferrand-Prevot (France)3:29:21
2Lisa Brennauer (Germany)
3Emma Johansson (Sweden)

Men's Elite Road Race
1Michal Kwiatkowski (Poland)6:29:07
2Simon Gerrans (Australia)0:00:01
3Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spain)

All in all it was a very disappointing year for US cycling. Hopefully 2015 will be better.

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