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PCM.daily » Pro Cycling Manager 2006-2012 » Pro Cycling Manager 2009
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Fant. Neutral Story [Ronde 2018]
pcm2009fan
A very convincing by David and he has earned a fan in me. This bodes well for his Grand Tour campaign. Bit of a shame to see Ponzi to lose out on the points/top 10 placing at the end even if I was complaining about him before haha.
 
mpardo
lh5.googleusercontent.com/-N5MMuEcKL48/TmN56SiUUOI/AAAAAAAAAIY/hU9xEAzhTd4/s144/logo%252520world%252520tour.JPG


UCI World Tour rankings riders (after Vuelta al Pais Vasco)

1www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/es.pngDavid LopezEuskaltel258.67
2www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/it.pngSimone PonziKatusha201.11
3www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/fr.pngLloyd MondoryQuickstep176.6
4www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/no.pngAlexander KristoffEuskaltel152.4
5www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/fr.pngHubert DupontEuskaltel132.88
6www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/pt.pngRui CostaAg2r127.34
7www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/be.pngJelle VanendertLotto123.62
8www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/it.pngEmanuele SellaBMC116.03
9www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/de.pngAndre GreipelLotto102.5
10www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/be.pngBjörn LeukemansLotto101.17
11www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/es.pngMikel NieveDiscovery100
12www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/be.pngJohan VansummerenHTC95.48
13www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/nl.pngLaurens Ten DamCannondale75
14www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/au.pngMark RenshawDiscovery74.55
15www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/gb.pngBen SwiftVacansoleil74.3


UCI World Tour rankings teams (after Vuelta al Pais Vasco)

1www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/es.pngEuskaltel - Euskadi590.45
2www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/be.pngLotto - Soudal393.25
3www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/us.pngBMC Racing Team272.3
4www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/be.pngEtixx - Quickstep243.45
5www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/ru.pngTeam Katusha234.5
6www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/us.pngDiscovery Channel184.4
7www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/us.pngHTC - Highroad138.4
8www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/fr.pngAg2r - La Mondiale136.6
9www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/kz.pngAstana Pro Team124
10www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/us.pngTrek Factory Racing120.8
11www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/nl.pngTeam LottoNL - Jumbo116
12www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/us.pngTeam Cannondale - Garmin111.75
13www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/nl.pngVacansoleil - DMC99.3
14www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/es.pngMovistar Team97.5
15www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/gb.pngTeam Sky97.05
16www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/ch.pngIAM Cycling84.7
17www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/ru.pngTinkoff - Saxo52.95
18www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/de.pngTeam Giant - Alpecin42.5


UCI Pro Continental rankings riders (after Vuelta al Pais Vasco)

1www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/es.pngXavier TondoLampre80
2www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/fr.pngChristophe RiblonCofidis6
3www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/ch.pngMartin ElmigerOrica3.3


UCI Pro Continental rankings teams (after Vuelta al Pais Vasco)

1www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/it.pngLampre - Merida80
2www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/fr.pngCofidis, Solutions Credits6
3www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/au.pngOrica - Greenedge3.3
4www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/fr.pngFDJ0

 
mpardo
www.footiegame.net/images/pcm/Paris-Roubaix_logo.png


www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/fr.png Paris - Roubaix


The time of the queen race of the cobbles has arrived again. The Paris - Roubaix will have a new route for 2016 but will keep the essentials untouched: the Trouee de l'Arenberg, Mons-en-Pevele and the Carrefour de l'Arbre. The total amount of cobblestones will be a bit down from last year to almost 47 kilometers. Nevertheless, the race will be very tough and only the best cobbles riders will have a chance in the Roubaix Velodrome. The interest in the race was very high from all teams and 22 of them will be in the starting line.

Bjorn Leukemans has been the clear dominator of the French race lately and has won the race the last 2 editions. Considering that he has to be considered the top favorite for the win again. The Belgians have almost locked out the podium in the last 2 editions, only Alessandro Ballan managed to get the 3rd place last year in one of the sporadic but dramatic appearances of the Italian. Obviously, all the best cobblers will be at the starting line.

Favorites:

- Bjorn Leukemans (Lotto - Soudal): Leukemans has been the winner in the Roubaix velodrome twice and looks determined to extend his legend in the French race. The Belgian did not manage to get the win in the Ronde van Vlaanderen and has only collected 1 stage in the Paris - Nice. However, this is the part of the season he aims to normally: the Paris - Roubaix and the Ardennes. Leukemans won in a small group sprint last year but he will definitely need to leave Mondory and Boonen behind to have a chance to win.
- Lloyd Mondory (Etixx - Quickstep): Lloyd Mondory has already won the E3 Harelbeke and the Tour Down Under this year. However, he has not been able to win a monument in his career so far. The French has raced a lot in the early season but he does not seem to be paying the effort and the Paris - Roubaix should be his last target race for a while. Given his performance this season it seems likely that he gets a chance to take his first Paris - Roubaix.
- Johan Vansummeren (HTC - Highroad): With a win in the Ronde van Vlaanderen it can already be said that Vansummeren has met his targets for 2016. Nevertheless, with 2 podiums already in the bag in the Paris - Roubaix in previous editions he cannot be discarded for the win. Not by chance is the Belgian the second rider with the most wins in monuments behind Leukemans. Managing to win 2 monuments in the same season is something that can only be achieved by a few riders and he aims to do precisely that.
- Tom Boonen (Team Sky): Tom Boonen was once considered almost on par with Leukemans and Vansummeren but he seems to be a step behind them lately. He took the 5th position in the E3 and a 4th in the Ronde van Vlaanderen but both times he looked to be missing something to fight for the win. However, Roubaix should suit better to his characteristics, given that he is probably the cobbler that has more troubles with the hills.

Other riders with a chance are Fabian Cancellara (Team Cannondale - Garmin), Bernhard Eisel (Team LottoNL - Jumbo), Greg van Avermaet (Euskaltel - Euskadi), Gregory Rast (Orica - Greenedge), Alessandro Ballan (BMC Racing Team) and Jurgen Roelandts (Team Sky).

Previous winners

FirstSecondThird
2009Borut BozicJakob FuglsangSimon Gerrans
2011Lieuwe WestraJosé Joaquin RojasMiguel Angel Rubiano
2013Björn LeukemansTom BoonenJohan Vansummeren
2015Björn LeukemansJohan VansummerenAlessandro Ballan


Startlist
www.footiegame.net/images/pcm/PR16 - Startlist.jpg

 
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pcm2009fan
Personally, I'm going to be sitting in the front row at the Vélodrome with the french flag ready for Mondory's victory lap. Although probably dozens of other fans have the same idea (and a more legitimate national interest Pfft)
 
sutty68
Lopez and Euskaltel are just awesome Smile

Bjorn Leukemans is my bet for Roubaix too Wink
 
Tamijo
Then I think I will support the Belgique pcmdaily.com/images/smiley/lol.gif
 
mpardo
It should really be one of Leukemans and Mondory. We have 2 votes for the Belgian and 1 for the French.
 
mpardo
www.footiegame.net/images/pcm/Paris-Roubaix_logo.png


www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/fr.png Paris - Roubaix

Compiegne - Roubaix

www.footiegame.net/images/pcm/PR16 - Profile.jpg


The weather will be quite nice this year in the Paris - Roubaix. That always makes the race a bit easier on the riders. The route does not have a lot of variation from one year to another, although the first key point of the race, the Trouee d'Arenberg, has been a bit distanced from the finish line over the years. This year's edition has a bit less cobbles than in the past but it should not prevent a great show from happening on the way to Roubaix.

www.footiegame.net/images/pcm/PR16 - Break.jpg


Many teams wanted to put riders in the break of the Paris - Roubaix. Therefore, there was a bit of a battle to take the break, which was formed in the end by 9 riders, including Borut Bozic (Lampre), Damiano Caruso (Cannondale), Christopher Juul (Giant), Guillaume van Keirsbulck (Sky) and Silvan Dillier (BMC). They reached the first section of cobblestones with a gap of 6' 45'' over the main bunch. However, they still had 156 kilometers to go and the gap would start to come down pretty quickly.

www.footiegame.net/images/pcm/PR16 - Peloton.jpg


Lotto and Quickstep had taken the responsibility to set the pace in the main bunch and at the Trouee d'Arenberg it was Andre Greipel who took the lead of the bunch. Greipel is a quite strong rider in the break and it caused the first breaks in the peloton to appear. Lots of riders were starting to lose contact as the top riders headed towards the front of the pack to avoid crashes. Sylvain Chavanel, Oscar Freire, Matti Breschel and Bjorn Leukemans were all close to the front. The gap of the break had been redued to 4' 15'' by that time.

www.footiegame.net/images/pcm/PR16 - Leukemans.jpg


The peloton started to progressively lose riders up until the point when the early break was reeled back in, 55 kilometers from the finish line in Roubaix. That was the moment when Bjorn Leukemans decided to attack and go for the epic win. The Belgian had already won the race twice so he would be going for a third one in style. The chasing group only had 32 riders and Quickstep was leading the chase with Lloyd Mondory and Filippo Pozzato. The race had been quite hard due to the pace set in most of the cobbled sections.

www.footiegame.net/images/pcm/PR16 - Mondory.jpg


Lloyd Mondory saw Bjorn Leukemans pulling away and pushed away from the chasing group in one of the subsequent cobbled sections. The French was slowly cutting back on the lead held by the World Champion, which was 35 seconds with 35 kilometers to go. The group of favorites was 1' 35'' behind Leukemans. There were 15 riders in it and they seemed to have a good understanding but they were unable to cut back on the lead built by Leukemans. The last riders to lose contact with that group were Oscar Freire, Matti Breschel and Filippo Pozzato.

www.footiegame.net/images/pcm/PR16 - Favorites.jpg


Alessandro Ballan, Johan Vansummeren and Fabian Cancellara were working at the front of the group of chasers as Tom Boonen, one of the favorites, had surprisingly been dropped from that group even though his Sky teammates Ian Stannard and Jurgen Roelandts were still hanging on. There were 12 riders remaining in the group 1' 20'' behind Bjorn Leukemans. Meanwhile, Lloyd Mondory was only 30 seconds behind but he was struggling to cut back the gap. Leukemans was doing a great exhibition at the front.

www.footiegame.net/images/pcm/PR16 - Carrefour.jpg


Bjorn Leukemans pushed hard through the Carrefour de l'Arbre and opened the gap to Lloyd Mondory again to around 40 seconds. The French had even managed to cut back the difference to barely more than 20 seconds and it must have been disheartening for him to know that the gap was growing again. On the chasing group the understanding had completely disappeared and Alessandro Ballan was the lonely chaser, 1' 15'' behind Leukemans. He was chasing fast and might have a chance to make it to Lloyd Mondory. Gregory Rast and Fabian Cancellara are chasing the Italian closely.

www.footiegame.net/images/pcm/PR16 - Vansummeren.jpg


Johan Vansummeren's chances were effectively over as the riders entered the outskirts of Roubaix. With 7 kilometers to go his only hope was making it back to the group of Fabian Cancellara and Gregory Rast. It is surprising how good the Belgian is in the Ronde and how disappointing the Paris - Roubaix races have been for him. Meanwhile, Bjorn Leukemans had almost 1 minute on Lloyd Mondory and was already celebrating his 3rd win in a row in Roubaix. Cancellara and Rast were also getting closer to Alessandro Ballan.

www.footiegame.net/images/pcm/PR16 - Cancellara.jpg


Fabian Cancellara entered the velodrome as the first group. The two Swiss riders would have to fight for the 4th place, given that the podium seemed already settled for Bjorn Leukemans, Lloyd Mondory and Alessandro Ballan. The biggest disappointment of the race was Tom Boonen, who had basically given up at this point and was riding home in one of the chasing groups. It was going to be quite a disappointment for Sky as they have a very strong team for the cobbles.

www.footiegame.net/images/pcm/PR16 - Sprint.jpg


The French in the Velodrome had been hoping for the first French winner at the Paris - Roubaix for a long time but it was not meant to be in 2016. Nevertheless, Lloyd Mondory got a big ovation as he entered the velodrome behind Bjorn Leukemans. The French had no podiums in monuments before 2016 and he will finish the year with 2. If his progression in the cobbles continues as it has been in the last couple of years he will be an even more serious contender next year. However, he is not getting any younger and ay 31 he might not have many more years to do it.

www.footiegame.net/images/pcm/PR16 - Finish.jpg


Bjorn Leukemans wins in Roubaix! The Belgian takes the third Paris - Roubaix in a row. A massive achievement, which equals the 3 Rondes that Johan Vansummeren accumulates. Leukemans won the race in style. He attacked more than 50 kilometers from the finish line and rode solo from then onwards. Lloyd Mondory tried to follow his pace but will have to settle with the 2nd place in the podium. The French will be delighted with the performance of the local rider and will be hoping for him to come back stronger next year.

The third place of the podium went again for Alessandro Ballan. It seems like the Italian is only finding the performances he needs at the French race lately. Gregory Rast beat Fabian Cancellara for the 4th place in the velodrome. The positive surprise in Sky was the performance of Ian Stannard. The British took advantage of the weakness of his leader to take the 7th position. He is only 22 years old and might be the heir of the current top cobbles riders when those retire.

Today's Winner

www.footiegame.net/images/pcm/bleukemans2016.jpg


Stage Results

1www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/be.pngBjörn LeukemansLotto - Soudal6h46'02
2www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/fr.pngLloyd MondoryEtixx - Quick·Step+ 52
3www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/it.pngAlessandro BallanBMC Racing Team+ 2'07
4www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/ch.pngGrégory RastOrica - GreenEdges.t.
5www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/ch.pngFabian CancellaraTeam Cannondale - Garmins.t.
6www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/be.pngJohan VansummerenHTC - Highroads.t.
7www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/gb.pngIan StannardTeam Sky+ 3'41
8www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/us.pngTyler FarrarTinkoff - Saxos.t.
9www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/at.pngBernhard EiselTeam LottoNL - Jumbos.t.
10www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/fr.pngYoann OffredoAstana Pro Teams.t.

 
sutty68
Great prediction :lol:
 
pcm2009fan
Not too disappointed, since I can't argue against witnessing the rainbow bands cross the line at Roubaix, to complete a historic hat-trick of victories.
 
Tamijo
Nice !
 
mpardo
lh5.googleusercontent.com/-N5MMuEcKL48/TmN56SiUUOI/AAAAAAAAAIY/hU9xEAzhTd4/s144/logo%252520world%252520tour.JPG


UCI World Tour rankings riders (after Paris - Roubaix)

1www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/es.pngDavid LopezEuskaltel258.67
2www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/fr.pngLloyd MondoryQuickstep236.6
3www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/it.pngSimone PonziKatusha201.11
4www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/be.pngBjörn LeukemansLotto181.17
5www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/no.pngAlexander KristoffEuskaltel152.4
6www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/fr.pngHubert DupontEuskaltel132.88
7www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/pt.pngRui CostaAg2r127.34
8www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/be.pngJelle VanendertLotto123.62
9www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/it.pngEmanuele SellaBMC116.03
10www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/be.pngJohan VansummerenHTC115.48
11www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/de.pngAndre GreipelLotto102.5
12www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/es.pngMikel NieveDiscovery100
13www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/nl.pngLaurens Ten DamCannondale75
14www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/au.pngMark RenshawDiscovery74.55
15www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/gb.pngBen SwiftVacansoleil74.3


UCI World Tour rankings teams (after Paris - Roubaix)

1www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/es.pngEuskaltel - Euskadi590.45
2www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/be.pngLotto - Soudal473.25
3www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/us.pngBMC Racing Team322.3
4www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/be.pngEtixx - Quickstep303.45
5www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/ru.pngTeam Katusha234.5
6www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/us.pngDiscovery Channel184.4
7www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/us.pngHTC - Highroad158.4
8www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/us.pngTeam Cannondale - Garmin141.75
9www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/fr.pngAg2r - La Mondiale136.6
10www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/kz.pngAstana Pro Team126
11www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/nl.pngTeam LottoNL - Jumbo121
12www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/us.pngTrek Factory Racing120.8
13www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/gb.pngTeam Sky112.05
14www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/nl.pngVacansoleil - DMC99.3
15www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/es.pngMovistar Team97.5
16www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/ch.pngIAM Cycling84.7
17www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/ru.pngTinkoff - Saxo62.95
18www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/de.pngTeam Giant - Alpecin42.5


UCI Pro Continental rankings riders (after Paris - Roubaix)

1www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/es.pngXavier TondoLampre80
2www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/ch.pngGregory RastOrica40
3www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/fr.pngChristophe RiblonCofidis6
4www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/ch.pngMartin ElmigerOrica3.3


UCI Pro Continental rankings teams (after Paris - Roubaix)

1www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/it.pngLampre - Merida80
2www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/au.pngOrica - Greenedge43.3
3www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/fr.pngCofidis, Solutions Credits6
4www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/fr.pngFDJ0

 
mpardo
www.footiegame.net/images/pcm/AmstelGold.jpg


www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/nl.png Amstel Gold Race


The cobbles season is over and it is the turn of the hills riders and puncheurs. The week of the Ardennes starts as usual with the Amstel Gold Race, which takes place in the surroundings of Maastricht. The route will be the same that was raced 2 years ago, a succession of small hills, quite short but also quite steep that will lead the riders to the Cauberg, which top is a bit more than 1 kilometer away from the finish line. The usual outcome of the race takes place in the Cauberg, where a rather big group normally breaks into pieces.

The defending champion of the race is Simon Gerrans, who took both the Amstel and the Liege - Bastogne - Liege in 2014. The Australian will also be among the favorites today although his performances last season are not positive about another win for him. The races in the Ardennes are much more open to surprises. David Lopez and Rob Ruijgh were also in the podium in 2014 when they are better stage racers than classics riders. A lot of top classics riders have not been in the podium of the Dutch race so far so we should be seeing new faces in the podium at the end of the day.

Favorites:

- Bjorn Leukemans (Lotto - Soudal): Bjorn Leukemans is a great rider in the cobbles but also in the hills. The Belgian comes from winning his 3rd Paris - Roubaix in a row but has never been in the podium of the Amstel Gold Race. The competition in the Ardennes is typically much bigger than in the cobbles and the results more unpredictable. Also, the fact that the finish line is not at the top of the Cauberg anymore is a negative to the chances of Leukemans.
- Philippe Gilbert (Trek Factory Racing): Gilbert has taken over the lead of the hills classics from Simon Gerrans at the Trek team. Therefore, he must have prepared very carefully for this week of racing. Like Leukemans, Gilbert has never been in the podium at Valkenburg so he will be very keen to do well in the Dutch race. If a big group reaches the bottom of the Cauberg his acceleration could prove crucial to open a gap at the top of the climb.
- Jelle Vanendert (Lotto - Soudal): The squad that Lotto brought to the Amstel Gold Race is so good that they have two riders among the top favorites and Michael Matthews as a backup plan in the case that a big group goes through the Cauberg. However, Vanendert's has stated that his main focus will be in the Liege - Bastogne - Liege and that his form will be picking up through the week. It will be interesting to see how he coordinates with Leukemans to control the race.
- Joost van Leijen (Team Giant - Alpecin): Giant does not have riders among the favorites for a race too often but Joost van Leijen will play a role for sure in this Ardennes week. The first peak of form for Van Leijen will finish in the Liege - Bastogne - Liege and he will only race the Tour de Romandie afterwards before a deserved rest. The Dutch has not been as good as he expected to be in the first part of the season, so he should start to deliver some results soon if Giant is to have any chances of avoiding the relegation to the Pro Continental division.

Other riders with a chance to win the race are Simon Gerrans (Trek Factory Racing), Davide Rebellin (Astana Pro Team), Tom-Jelte Slagter (Team Cannondale - Garmin), Simone Ponzi (Team Katusha), Michael Matthews (Lotto - Soudal) and Rui Costa (Ag2r - La Mondiale).

Previous winners

FirstSecondThird
2009Alberto ContadorGoerge HincapieSamuel Sanchez
2012Janez BrajkovicDries DevenynsSimon Gerrans
2014Simon GerransDavid LopezRob Ruijgh


Startlist
www.footiegame.net/images/pcm/AGR16 - Startlist.jpg

 
Tamijo
My vote goes to Trek factory, they got more than one possibility.
 
sutty68
Surely it has to be an Euskaltel rider Wink
 
mpardo
Sutty, you have to let other kids win sometimes Grin
 
sutty68
mpardo wrote:
Sutty, you have to let other kids win sometimes Grin

Yeah i suppose Rolling Eyes
 
mpardo
www.footiegame.net/images/pcm/AmstelGold.jpg


www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/nl.png Amstel Gold Race

Maastricht - Valkenburg

www.footiegame.net/images/pcm/AGR16 - Profile.jpg


It is a nice day for riding in the southern part of the Netherlands. The riders are quite lucky as it will be a much less demanding race this way. The Amstel Gold Race is 252 kilometers long and a total of 32 climbs will be scattered, predominantly towards the second part of the race. The Cuberg will be the judge of the race once again as it seems very unlikely that any attack will make it ahead of the group of favorites to the bottom of the climb in Valkenburg.

www.footiegame.net/images/pcm/AGR16 - Break.jpg


The break of the day was formed by only 6 riders, including Thomas Voeckler (Ag2r), Ivan Santaromita (Astana), Linus Gerdemann (Giant), Mauro Finetto (Katusha) and Kenny Dehaes (Discovery). They had already gone past the first climb to the Cauberg at the 150 kilometers mark. They had built a gap of 5' 45'' over the main bunch, where Quickstep, Lotto and Trek were setting the pace. It was rare to see Quickstep chasing as they had a very strong team but no real favorite for the race.

www.footiegame.net/images/pcm/AGR16 - Peloton.jpg


At the second passage through the Cauberg the peloton was starting to pick up the pace a little. The gap to the break had come down to 4' 30'' but they still had 78 kilometers to go in the race. Lotto and Quickstep, the 2 Belgian teams were leading the way with Maarten Tjallingii, George Hincapie and Filippo Pozzato. The race did not seem to be too hard so far as everyone was still holding on in the main bunch. However, the pace was progressively increasing.

www.footiegame.net/images/pcm/AGR16 - Quickstep.jpg


Quickstep were determined to make the race a bit harder and even Lloyd Mondory was helping set the pace at the front of the pack with Maarten Tjallingii. It seemed a better idea for them to try to attack several times with the many strong riders they brought. On the other side, Lotto was clearly playing for Jelle Vanendert given that Michael Matthews and Bjorn Leukemans were also sporadically helping the chase. The break was already virtually caught with 41 kilometers to go. The rider that was already discarded was Andy Schleck after a big crash.

www.footiegame.net/images/pcm/AGR16 - Froome.jpg


Chris Froome was the first of the outsiders to make a move. However, the British was not successful with his two moves, first alone and then joined by Michele Scarponi. Bjorn Leukemans did the job to bring them back and with 25 kilometers to go there was no rider ahead of the group of favorites. There were still as many as 90 riders in the front group but that number was going to be cut back soon. Quickstep had 6 riders among the front 10 riders of the pack but as many others they seemed to be waiting for a later stage.

www.footiegame.net/images/pcm/AGR16 - Frank.jpg


Frank Schleck attacked shortly before the 20 kilometers mark, at the Fromberg, and Jelle Vanendert swiftly joined the Luxembourgish. Schleck needs to make the front group smaller to have a chance when they get to the Cauberg as he is not that fast when it comes to the final sprint. They went through the top of the climb with a gap of 20 seconds over their chasers, led by Chris Anker Sorensen, Simone Ponzi, Mikel Nieve and Chris Froome. It is unlikely that they make it to the Cauberg on their own given the flat kilometers in between the last climbs but this will greatly reduce the size of the group.

www.footiegame.net/images/pcm/AGR16 - Gilbert.jpg


Frank Schleck and Jelle Vanendert did not go far and they were reeled back in by the group of the favorites before the Keutenberg. Davide Rebellin attacked in the climb but could not open a gap. However, Philippe Gilbert countered and reached the top of the climb with a small gap. Joost van Leijen, Jelle Vanendert and Wout Poels were close behind but others like Frank Schleck were having a hard time reacting. There were also a few dangerous riders like Laurens Ten Dam, Mikel Nieve and Rob Ruijgh who were waiting for the group to catch them and attack in the Cauberg.

www.footiegame.net/images/pcm/AGR16 - Favorites.jpg


Philippe Gilbert was joined by Jelle Vanendert and Joost van Leijen but they were eventually caught by a group of around 25 riders. With 6 kilometers to go anyone that was not in that group already had basically no options of getting the win. Among those missing the most surprising riders were Simon Gerrans (the winner in 2014), Rui Costa and Miguel Angel Rubiano. Michele Scarponi, Gilbert and Van Leijen were leading the group, where 6 Quickstep riders survived.

www.footiegame.net/images/pcm/AGR16 - Cauberg.jpg


The leading group reached the Cauberg and they seemed to be looking at each other for the first part of the climb before Philippe Gilbert attacked with 2 kilometers to go. However, the Belgian was not strong enough and dragged Jelle Vanendert, Simone Ponzi, Rob Ruijgh and Joost van Leijen behind. Ponzi has to be the favorite if he makes it to the top with the leaders but Michael Matthews is not discarded yet. The stronger riders in the hills have clearly not made the race hard enough.

www.footiegame.net/images/pcm/AGR16 - Sprint.jpg


The final sprint started at the 1 kilometer mark and it was clear straight away that Simone Ponzi had burnt himself out in the climb to the Cauberg. Joost van Leijen was leading the sprint ahead of Frank Schleck and Bjorn Leukemans. The Dutch is quite fast in the sprint and might clinch the win. It would be a massive win for Giant. Philippe Gilbert and Tom Slagter were still in the mix for the win as well. In the end Jelle Vanendert was not strong enough and Bjorn Leukemans took the lead of the Lotto team again.

www.footiegame.net/images/pcm/AGR16 - Finish.jpg


Joost van Leijen wins in Valkenburg! The Dutch takes a massive win in home soil and is the first local rider to win the Amstel Gold Race. Van Leijen was clearly the fastest when it came down to the final sprint, clearly showing that he is quite a fast finisher. This is Giant's 2nd win since it was formed and taking this classic is massive for them. Van Leijen will be joined in the podium by Frank Schleck, who capitalised on Quickstep's effort today and Bjorn Leukemans.

The top 5 in the race was completed by Tom Slagter and Jelle Vanendert. The Belgian was Lotto's first choice but it was not meant to be for him today. The race was quite easy for the favorites until the last 30 kilometers, when the pace really picked up. It was enough for the hills riders to put enough strain in the legs of the riders like Simone Ponzi and Michael Matthews for them to be impossible to fight in the final sprint.

Today's Winner

www.footiegame.net/images/pcm/jvanleijen2016.jpg


Stage Results

1www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/nl.pngJoost Van LeijenTeam Giant - Alpecin6h34'56
2www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/lu.pngFränk SchleckEtixx - Quick·Steps.t.
3www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/be.pngBjörn LeukemansLotto - Soudals.t.
4www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/nl.pngTom SlagterTeam Cannondale - Garmins.t.
5www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/be.pngJelle VanendertLotto - Soudals.t.
6www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/be.pngPhilippe GilbertTrek Factory Racings.t.
7www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/nl.pngRob RuijghTeam LottoNL - Jumbos.t.
8www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/au.pngMichael MatthewsLotto - Soudals.t.
9www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/it.pngSimone PonziTeam Katushas.t.
10www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/nl.pngLaurens Ten DamTeam Cannondale - Garmins.t.

 
mpardo
lh5.googleusercontent.com/-N5MMuEcKL48/TmN56SiUUOI/AAAAAAAAAIY/hU9xEAzhTd4/s144/logo%252520world%252520tour.JPG


UCI World Tour rankings riders (after Amstel Gold Race)

1www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/es.pngDavid LopezEuskaltel258.67
2www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/fr.pngLloyd MondoryQuickstep236.6
3www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/be.pngBjörn LeukemansLotto208.67
4www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/it.pngSimone PonziKatusha203.86
5www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/no.pngAlexander KristoffEuskaltel152.4
6www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/be.pngJelle VanendertLotto140.12
7www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/fr.pngHubert DupontEuskaltel132.88
8www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/pt.pngRui CostaAg2r127.34
9www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/it.pngEmanuele SellaBMC116.03
10www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/be.pngJohan VansummerenHTC115.48
11www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/de.pngAndre GreipelLotto102.5
12www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/es.pngMikel NieveDiscovery100
13www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/nl.pngLaurens Ten DamCannondale76.1
14www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/au.pngMark RenshawDiscovery74.55
15www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/gb.pngBen SwiftVacansoleil74.3


UCI World Tour rankings teams (after Amstel Gold Race)

1www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/es.pngEuskaltel - Euskadi590.45
2www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/be.pngLotto - Soudal522.75
3www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/be.pngEtixx - Quickstep336.45
4www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/us.pngBMC Racing Team322.3
5www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/ru.pngTeam Katusha237.25
6www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/us.pngDiscovery Channel184.4
7www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/us.pngTeam Cannondale - Garmin164.85
8www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/us.pngHTC - Highroad158.4
9www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/fr.pngAg2r - La Mondiale136.6
10www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/us.pngTrek Factory Racing131.8
11www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/nl.pngTeam LottoNL - Jumbo129.25
12www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/kz.pngAstana Pro Team126
13www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/gb.pngTeam Sky112.05
14www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/nl.pngVacansoleil - DMC99.3
15www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/es.pngMovistar Team97.5
16www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/de.pngTeam Giant - Alpecin86.5
17www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/ch.pngIAM Cycling84.7
18www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/ru.pngTinkoff - Saxo62.95


UCI Pro Continental rankings riders (after Amstel Gold Race)

1www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/es.pngXavier TondoLampre80
2www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/ch.pngGregory RastOrica40
3www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/fr.pngChristophe RiblonCofidis6
4www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/ch.pngMartin ElmigerOrica3.3


UCI Pro Continental rankings teams (after Amstel Gold Race)

1www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/it.pngLampre - Merida80
2www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/au.pngOrica - Greenedge43.3
3www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/fr.pngCofidis, Solutions Credits6
4www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/fr.pngFDJ0

 
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Featured Rider: Cameron Meyer


www.footiegame.net/images/pcm/07TA16 - Meyer.jpg


Cameron Meyer is the current ITT World Champion but he has not always been such an important rider in the cycling World. Unlike some of the riders in the current generation it took Meyer a few years to shine in his career. He spent quite a few years after becoming a World Tour rider going from one team to another: Garmin, Quickstep and HTC in only 3 years. The breakthrough for Meyer was the 2012 Tour de Romandie. The Australian had no results whatsoever but completely dominated a raced that was quite biased to favor the time trialists. He finished the week with 2 stage wins and the win in the General Classification, a major achievement that he was not able to improve on until last year.

The win in Romandie opened back the doors of Quickstep for Meyer. By 2013 the Belgian team was the best in the World Tour, so even if he would enjoy his share of freedom, he would also have to work for Dries Devenyns and Pieter Weening sporadically. The experience was not bad at all for him and he finished the year with 3 stage wins, including one stage in the Vuelta. That was his first in a Grand Tour. 2014 was even better, given that he had a very good Tour de France which led him to getting 3 stage wins. It also marked his first good result in a classic: the podium in the GPC Montreal.

The good and consistent results that Meyer had achieved meant that Quickstep, not such a dominant team anymore, gave him a leading role for the season. The first edition of the ITT World Championships was also a good incentive for him. The spectators would witness the emergence of one of the rivalries that might become classic in cycling: Tejay van Garderen against Cameron Meyer. Their battles were mainly in the second part of the season. Tejay hit first, taking the ITT in the National Championships ahead of Meyer and the two time trials in the Tour de France. Meanwhile, Meyer won the time trial and the GC in the Eneco Tour and, most importantly, the ITT World Championship. This is the biggest win for the Australian so far.

Meyer has decided to change teams this season to Trek but has not been able to win so far in the early season. However, a top 10 in the Vuelta al Pais Vasco might mean that he is willing to expand his horizons and look for good results in stage races more often. He should be deciding fast how he wants to focus his career as he is 31 already and the following years will define whether he will be a rider to be remembered.

Best results:

Tour de France3 stages (2014)
Vuelta a Espa√Īa1 stage (2013)
Road World Championship5th (2013)
ITT World Championship1st (2015)
Tour de Suisse1 stage (2013)
Tour de Romandie1st (2012), Points (2012), 3 stages (2012, 13)
Vuelta al Pais Vasco10th (2016)
Tour Down Under3rd (2015)
Eneco Tour1st (2015), 3rd (2014), 1 stage (2015)
GP Cycliste de Montreal3rd (2014)
ITT National Championship2nd (2015)


UCI World Tour Rankings:

- 2009 Team Garmin - Cervelo: 75th (13.89 pts)
- 2010 Quickstep: 91st (5.56 pts)
- 2011 HTC - Highroad: 95th (8.11 pts)
- 2012 HTC - Highroad: 33rd (151.01 pts)
- 2013 Omega Pharma - Quickstep: 35th (118.69 pts)
- 2014 Omega Pharma - Quickstep: 28th (169.13 pts)
- 2015 Omega Pharma - Quickstep: 17th (233.75 pts)
 
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