The Bike Lane Tour Update – Team Radioshack Leopard: Rest Day #2

Despite a few setbacks, Team Radioshack Leopard Trek is still in the mix for the prestigious Best Team Award, in fifth place and only 15 minutes, six seconds behind first place Saxo-Tinkoff.

The Bastille Day attack on the famed Mont Ventoux – “The Giant of Provence” – saw the entire Trek team launch a bold move on the lower slopes of Ventoux.  The nine riders were powered by Markel Irizar, who rode incredibly hard to set up an attack by Jan Bakelants.

“This was my first time on Ventoux,” Irizar said.  “I was in the break for most of the day and I felt like I had good legs.  That’s why I went with Riblon in the beginning of the climb.  The plan was to stay in front as long as possible in case Andy [Schleck] was to come up.  That also kept our car in the front for as long as possible.

“Andy didn’t have his best day, but then Bakie was coming so I waited to pull him a little bit.  I next waited for Max to come and gave him by bidon and then my day was over.”

On the lower slopes Bakelants attacked with Mikel Nieve, showing good early energy but finally having to drop back once Nairo Quintana joined the effort.

“I can never win on this climb against the big engines but am happy with my performance” Bakelants said.  “The last 5k were hell as my sugar reserves were depleted.  I should have eaten earlier.  I’m happy I showed myself.  In the end there was just a small group left with me so my speed must not have been too slow.  This was my first time on Ventoux.  I had no idea what to expect.  The crowds were impressive.”

The best-placed team rider was Maxime Monfort in 20th, 13 minutes, 47 seconds off the yellow jersey.  Andy Schleck had a very disappointing day and was 39th.  In the overall rider standings, Schleck was 18th, 19 minutes, 14 seconds behind Froome.

“I don’t know what went wrong; I just wasn’t good enough to go with the best today,” Schleck said.  “I thought I would be a lot better and actually it’s a stage that suits me well.  I took care all day to conserve energy but in the end clearly I was not on a good day.  When one door closes another opens, so perhaps I will be good on Alpe d’Huez.  I am far enough down now that I should be let go in a breakaway.  Now it is like this.  I am disappointed but I won’t hang my head.  I will keep my head up and fight for victory in another stage.”

Monday’s rest day passed quickly and the riders had to prepare for an even tougher challenge in the Alps with two trips up Alpe d’Huez and an individual time trial before the nighttime ride into Paris next Sunday.  After such a grueling Tour, the Overall Team championship would be a tribute to the RadioShack Leopard team’s ability to work together despite the many changes coming up in 2014.

The Bike Lane Trek Tour de France Update

Team RadioShack-Leopard 2013

After the ninth stage of the 100th edition of Le Tour de France, it is a good time to see how Trek — the world’s best bicycle brand — is fairing at the world’s most-important cycling race.

The RadioShack-Leopard-Trek squad got into the mix early in the Tour with Jan Bakelants winning stage two by just one second and also  capturing the overall leader’s yellow jersey.  The team also took over the lead in the team classification. It was also the 27-year-old Belgian’s first time in the Tour and the first win in his five years as a pro racer.

“I see in the final that it’s going to happen and I knew I would probably also take this yellow jersey,” he said after the podium ceremony.  “I told myself, ‘Come on, hold this. It’s going to be the nicest day of your life!’ ”

Bakelants got the win riding a Trek Madone 7.9 with Bontrager components and Aelous wheels.
Trek Madone Project One Team Radio Shack

“It is so incredible for me to take this jersey and to give something back to the team after all the misery I’ve had this year,” he said. “When I crossed the finish line I was overwhelmed with joy.”

RadioShack-Leopard-Trek’s best placed rider going into the first rest day is Andy Schleck, 15th place overall, four minutes behind race leader Chris Froome of TeamSky.  He is riding a Trek Domane 6.9. The team is in fifth place in the Team Classification, 14:07 behind leader Movistar Team of Spain.

Andy’s brother Frank is sitting out a one-year ban from the World Anti-Doping Agency for using a banned diuretic in last year’s Tour.  Frank Schleck has not been asked to rejoin the team when his ban ends July 14.

Spartacus returns to the arena: 

Winning the Paris-Robaix

Spartacus celebrating his win at Paris-Robaix

Former world time trial champion Fabian Cancellara has announced that he has signed with Team Trek for the 2014 season.  The RadioShack-Leopard team ownership has sold its racing license to Trek Bicycle Co., effective January 1, 2014.  The Swiss time-trial and classics specialist extended his contract with the team for three years and expressed an interest in staying with the brand following his retirement from racing.  In the spring, he rode a Trek Domane 6.9 to victory in the two biggest cobblestone classics: the Ronde van Vlaanderen (Tour of Flanders) and Paris-Roubaix.

Luca Guercilena, who will remain as team manger, confirmed the news. “Fabian signed a contract for three years, to 2016,” he told website sporza.be. “With Trek we want to score especially in the classics. Fabian plays a crucial role, he is the heart of the team. Now that Fabian has chosen for Trek, we can start to talk and negotiate with the other riders. We hope to make a nice and great team with Trek.”
Fabian Cancellera

VeloNews | Armstrong crashes out of Castilla y León | The Journal of Competitive Cycling.

Armstrong crashes out of Castilla y León

By Andrew Hood

Posted Mar. 23, 2009

Article Extras

Race Index

2009 Castilla y Leon, stage 1: Armstrong said a Giro attempt would be “complicated.”

Photo: Agence France Presse

Lance Armstrong crashed hard in Monday’s opening stage of the Vuelta a Castilla y León and was transported by ambulance to a hospital in nearby Palencia, Spain.

Race organizers and the Astana team doctor confirmed that the seven-time Tour de France champion had broken his right collarbone after Armstrong underwent an X-ray at a hospital in the city of Valladolid.

“Lance suffered a fracture of the middle third of the right collarbone as well as some bruises on his right hip and arm,” said team doctor Pedro Celaya, who was with Armstrong at the hospital.

Armstrong left the hospital Monday evening and said he was “miserable.”

“It has never happened before, I feel very disappointed,” he told reporters as he left the hospital. “I feel miserable right now so I have to relax a few days.”

2009 Castilla y Leon, stage 1: The crash scene.

Photo: Graham WatsonHe nodded when asked if he would return to the United States, telling reporters his participation in the Giro d’Italia in May “will be very complicated.”

Armstrong

via VeloNews | Armstrong crashes out of Castilla y León | The Journal of Competitive Cycling..

Armstrong Joins Astana Cycling Team

Armstrong Joins Astana Cycling Team
09/24/2008- Trek Bicycle Corporation

Seven-Time Tour de France Champion Lance Armstrong Joins Astana Cycling Team

Astana Cycling Team General Manager Johan Bruyneel has confirmed Lance Armstrong’s announcement to make his professional cycling comeback with Team Astana. Armstrong, who retired in 2005 after recording history with his seventh Tour de France title (all with Bruyneel), has devoted the last three years to the fight against cancer, an illness which temporarily halted his cycling career in 1996. Armstrong now rejoins Bruyneel and Team Astana in an effort to once again return as a champion cyclist and more importantly raise the awareness of the global cancer burden.

Bruyneel was excited to learn of Armstrong’s return to the sport. “In 1998, Lance asked me to direct his US Postal Service Team and now, ten years later, Lance has asked to make his comeback with Team Astana. I am truly honored and very much looking forward to closely working with him again. What we saw from 1999 to 2005 was arguably the most exciting time in professional cycling and I know Lance will bring the same level of charisma, passion and influence to the team, sport and global cancer community.” Bruyneel went on to continue, “Our Kazakh sponsors are extremely pleased with Lance’s decision. A major goal of this sponsorship is to develop the best generation of Kazakh cyclists and I can’t think of a better rider to learn from than Lance. We know he has all the tools and characteristics of a true champion.”

Alberto Contador, who recently captured all three Grand Tour titles (Tour de France – 2007, Giro d’Italia and Vuelta a España – 2008), is optimistic that Armstrong’s presence on the Team will be positive. “When you look at professional sports, it’s very common to have two or even three champions on one team. Right now people are looking to make up controversy, but honestly I have no ill-will towards Lance. I identify with his passion for the sport. He has certainly been a role model for me and others throughout the world and I imagine having him on Team Astana will only motivate me further. Of course, my objectives for the 2009 season are clear. With Lance and the Team direction we will soon have to talk about it.”

Levi Leipheimer, preparing in Varese for tomorrow’s World Championships Time Trial, believes riding with Armstrong for two seasons at the US Postal Service Team was instrumental in his development. “I give a lot of credit to Lance and Johan for my success. Early in my career, I had a great opportunity to directly learn from Lance and I’m excited to see him return to the team; not only personally, but also for the sport and cancer community.” Leipheimer continued that he doesn’t see many internal problems with Lance’s arrival. “There are already great leaders on this Team and we have seen success, both individually and as a team. Alberto and I have finished on Grand Tour podiums together and I’m confident that Lance will only continue to push us to be better riders and teammates.”

Bruyneel and Armstrong will meet in the next few weeks to discuss the 2009 schedule. As of today, Armstrong plans to ride in the Tour Down Under and the Tour de France.

To date, the members of the 2009 squad:
Lance Armstong, Assan Bazayev, Jani Brajkovic, Alberto Contador, Chris Horner, Maxim Iglinskiy, Roman Kireyev, Andreas Klöden, Berik Kupeshov, Levi Leipheimer, Steve Morabito, Dmitriy Muravyev, Daniel Navarro, Benjamín Noval, Sérgio Paulinho, Gregory Rast, José Luis Rubiera, Michael Shär, Tomas Vaitkus, Andrey Zeits, Haimar Zubeldia.

Let Levi Ride!

On February 13, the Amaury Sports Organization (ASO) barred Team Astana from competing in any race or event organized by the ASO in 2008, which includes Paris-Nice, Paris-Roubaix, Paris-Tours and the Tour de France. The ASO cited the doping scandals of last year’s Tour de France as justification.

Yet, there’s no comparison between the 2007 Astana team and the new Astana. The entire organizational structure has been rebuilt under the direction of the new general manager, Johan Bruyneel, who has thoroughly cleaned house. What’s more, Astana has adopted the rigorous doping controls developed by anti-doping expert Dr. Rasmus Damsgaard, and Astana now spends more money on anti-doping controls than any other pro team.

“That the happenings of last year… prompted the Tour organizers to leave Astana out of the season’s most important races sounds understandable,” notes Bruyneel. “However, the 2008 Astana has nothing to do with the team of last year. We’ve done everything to change the dynamics of the team, new management, new riders, new philosophy, only the name of the sponsor remains.”

But, the ASO has turned a blind eye to Johan’s efforts. By barring the entire team outstanding athletes like Levi Leipheimer, who was not a member of last year’s Astana team and who has never been implicated in any doping affair, are forced to sit on the sidelines while their life’s work passes them by.

“When I saw the Tour de France on TV when I was young,” laments Leipheimer, “I knew that someday I wanted to do that race. I sacrificed my life to participate. After finishing on the podium last year I want to do even better. Now I’m a victim of an illogical decision and have been excluded from the race.”

Show your support for Levi and Team Astana and join the Campaign to Let Levi Ride! go here http://letleviride.com/