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PCM.daily » Pro Cycling Manager 2006-2012 » Pro Cycling Manager 2009
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Fant. Neutral Story [Ronde 2018]
sutty68 wrote:
Good win for Mondory at Harelbeke Wink

He's had a great season so far. Let's see if he can also take the Ronde.
www.footiegame.net/images/pcm/Ronde van Vlaanderen.jpg

www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/be.png Ronde van Vlaanderen

Brugge - Oudenaarde

www.footiegame.net/images/pcm/RVV16 - Profile.jpg

The route is slightly changed this year compared to 2014, although the judges of the race will be the Oude Kwaremont and the Paterberg once again. However, the last loop around the two climbs will be much more interesting this year with a few climbs in between including the Koppenberg, the Taaienberg and the Kruijsberg. The rest of the route is as hard as usual, with more than 10 kilometers of cobbled roads and a lot of climbs. The winner must have a lot of endurance but should also be agile in the asphalt hills.

www.footiegame.net/images/pcm/RVV16 - Break.jpg

There was a much bigger fight to get the break of the day today compared to the E3 last week. A few riders wanted to control the pace but way too many riders wanted at least the exposure of being in a break in a monument. In the end a group of 7 riders managed to break from the peloton, including Luca Mezgec (HTC), Maxime Morkov (Tinkoff), Esteban Chaves (Ag2r), Niccolo Bonifazio (Trek) and Mauro Finetto (Katusha). They got to the first climb to the Oude Kwaremont with a gap of 9 minutes over the main bunch. Enough to be a while at the front.

www.footiegame.net/images/pcm/RVV16 - Break2.jpg

A few riders surprisingly attacked shortly after the first climb to the Oude Kwaremont and they managed to join the break: Oscar Freire, Sylvain Chavanel and Robbie McEwen. However, the gap for the break was slowly decreasing and had come down to 4 minutes as they tackled the Kanarieberg (70 kilometers to go). The group of the favorites was already very reduced and barely more than 60 riders were in it as riders like Ian Stannard, Andre Greipel and Jens Debusschere were setting the pace. It was clear that the early break was going to have it impossible today.

www.footiegame.net/images/pcm/RVV16 - Boonen.jpg

The second climb to the Oude Kwaremont was 54 kilometers from the finish line but Tom Boonen decided that it was a good place to attack. Filippo Pozzato was heading the climb to the climb in the outskirts of Ronse with Jurgen Roelandts, Boonen's teammate in Sky, right behind. The Belgian took advantage of the Quickstep rider's work and the team reacted by putting Maarten Tjallingii to chase as well. The final selection of the stronger riders was going to happen rather soon this year. Meanwhile, Oscar Freire and Sylvain Chavanel had left the rest of the riders in the break behind.

www.footiegame.net/images/pcm/RVV16 - Koppenberg.jpg

Maarten Tjallingii and Filippo Pozzato led the chase during the whole descent towards the Koppenberg. The Belgian managed to joined the early break a couple of kilometers before the controversial cobbled climb. However, the work from the Quickstep riders was very hard and they managed to catch them back at the Koppenberg. With 44 kilometers to go the group of the favorites was already leading the race and with a few cobbled climbs to go the race was going to be very interesting. Among those left behind the most important riders were Lars Boom and Matti Breschel.

www.footiegame.net/images/pcm/RVV16 - Hotond.jpg

There was a small truce in the group of favorites through the Taaienberg but Bjorn Leukemans could not wait any longer and attacked at the Kruisberg. However, he was swiftly followed by a few riders and did not push. However, Tom Boonen was in a very attacking mode today and got to the top of the Hotond with a 10 seconds gap over a group of 8 including 3 Quickstep riders. Another group including Fabian Cancellara and Nick Nuyens was 20 seconds behind Boonen, while Gregory Rast and Philippe Gilbert seemed to be discarded for the win as they were trailing 1' 35'' behind already.

www.footiegame.net/images/pcm/RVV16 - Kwaremont.jpg

Tom Boonen was chased back again by the Quickstep riders and there was a moment of relaxation on the descent towards the last climb to the Oude Kwaremont which allowed Fabian Cancellara's group to rejoin. He has already lost track twice and recovered. At the Kwaremont it was again Tom Boonen that attacked. This time he dragged Johan Vansummeren and Lloyd Mondory behind. Bjorn Leukemans was also on the chase but took a bit longer to react. The World Champion does not look as his usual self. Geraint Thomas was also trying to catch that move but struggling. They only had 17 kilometers left and the Paterberg to climb.

www.footiegame.net/images/pcm/RVV16 - Paterberg.jpg

Geraint Thomas made it to the front group on the descent towards the Paterberg and he managed to stay with them over the last hill of the day. It looked as if the race would be decided among the group at the front on the flat towards Oudenaarde or in a sprint. Greg van Avermaet was riding on his own but losing 25 seconds at the top of the climb, while a bigger group of 9 riders, including Fabian Cancellara, Bernhard Eisel and Nick Nuyens was trailing 40 seconds behind the head of the race. The race is completely broken ahead of the flat towards Oudenaarde.

www.footiegame.net/images/pcm/RVV16 - Favorites.jpg

The group that will fight for the win lost Geraint Thomas shortly after the Paterberg. The British had probably used too much energy in trying to get to the front group but did not hang on to the pace set by Bjorn Leukemans at the start of the flat section. He was losing 25 seconds at the 7 kilometers mark. The World Champion was setting the pace at the front group but no one else seemed willing to relay. They were either too tired or faking it but Leukemans might have been making a mistake by pulling alone. Lloyd Mondory was the clear favorite in the final sprint. Meanwhile, Fabian Cancellara's group was chasing but 1 minute down the road.

www.footiegame.net/images/pcm/RVV16 - Thomas.jpg

Geraint Thomas was a very positive surprise today as he was almost able to hold on with the best riders in the cobbles. The British lost it in the last 10 kilometers but looked set to take the 5th place in the race. Fabian Cancellara was doing most of the work in the group behind him but looked rather tired while others were sitting in his wheel waiting for the sprint. Greg van Avermaet had also been swallowed by that group and that was a clear sign that he was still missing a bit to be considered among the best cobblers.

www.footiegame.net/images/pcm/RVV16 - Sprint.jpg

Johan Vansummeren attacked within the last 2 kilometers and nobody reacted in the front group. The Belgian seemed set to take the win in the second monument of the year when he had a bit less than 1 kilometer to go. Lloyd Mondory seemed completely wasted, while Tom Boonen started the final sprint below the 1 kilometer mark. The gap with 800 meters to go was 10 seconds, more than enough to comfortably celebrate. Meanwhile, Geraint Thomas was surprisingly caught by Fabian Cancellara's group so their sprint will be for the 5th.

www.footiegame.net/images/pcm/RVV16 - Finish.jpg

Johan Vansummeren wins in Oudenaarde! The Belgian takes the third Ronde van Vlaanderen in a row only months into his contract with HTC - Highroad. It is not by chance that a rider takes three wins in the Ronde and Vansummeren goes to 3 wins in monuments, only 1 behind the 4 that Bjorn Leukemans accumulates. In the sprint for the 2nd place Lloyd Mondory narrowly beat Bjorn Leukemans. It is the first podium in a monument for Mondory, who breaks the Belgian domination of the race.

Tom Boonen took the 4th place, while the sprint for the 5th was taken by Tyler Farrar ahead of Jurgen Roelandts and Maarten Tjallingii. The chasing group never was within reach of the front group and finished 59 seconds behind the winner. It was a very good race and the new route of the Ronde was good to separate the best from the rest but without generating huge differences. The quality of the racing was definitely better than in the Milano - Sanremo.

Today's Winner


Stage Results

1www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/be.pngJohan VansummerenHTC - Highroad6h50'09
2www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/fr.pngLloyd MondoryEtixx - Quick·Steps.t.
3www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/be.pngBjörn LeukemansLotto - Soudals.t.
4www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/be.pngTom BoonenTeam Skys.t.
5www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/us.pngTyler FarrarTinkoff - Saxo+ 59
6www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/be.pngJ√ľrgen RoelandtsTeam Skys.t.
7www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/nl.pngMaarten TjallingiiEtixx - Quick·Steps.t.
8www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/be.pngNick NuyensBMC Racing Teams.t.
9www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/be.pngGreg Van AvermaetEuskaltel - Euskadis.t.
10www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/it.pngFilippo PozzatoEtixx - Quick·Steps.t.

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Mondory so close to recording back to back wins :

UCI World Tour rankings riders (after Ronde van Vlaanderen)

1www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/fr.pngLloyd MondoryQuickstep176.6
2www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/it.pngSimone PonziKatusha168.4
3www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/no.pngAlexander KristoffEuskaltel152.4
4www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/it.pngEmanuele SellaBMC116.03
5www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/es.pngDavid LopezEuskaltel107.25
6www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/de.pngAndre GreipelLotto102.5
7www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/be.pngBjörn LeukemansLotto96.17
8www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/be.pngJohan VansummerenHTC95.48
9www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/pt.pngRui CostaAg2r88.34
10www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/nl.pngLaurens Ten DamCannondale75
11www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/au.pngMark RenshawDiscovery74.55
12www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/gb.pngBen SwiftVacansoleil74.3
13www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/be.pngJelle VanendertLotto73.62
14www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/fr.pngHubert DupontEuskaltel69.45
15www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/de.pngMarcel KittelAstana65

UCI World Tour rankings teams (after Ronde van Vlaanderen)

1www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/es.pngEuskaltel - Euskadi357.45
2www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/be.pngLotto - Soudal324.25
3www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/us.pngBMC Racing Team256.3
4www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/be.pngEtixx - Quickstep243.45
5www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/ru.pngTeam Katusha169.5
6www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/us.pngHTC - Highroad121.4
7www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/nl.pngTeam LottoNL - Jumbo116
8www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/kz.pngAstana Pro Team114
9www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/us.pngTeam Cannondale - Garmin111.75
10www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/nl.pngVacansoleil - DMC99.3
11www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/us.pngTrek Factory Racing98.8
12www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/fr.pngAg2r - La Mondiale97.6
13www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/gb.pngTeam Sky90.05
14www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/us.pngDiscovery Channel78.4
15www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/ru.pngTinkoff - Saxo50.95
16www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/es.pngMovistar Team44.5
17www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/ch.pngIAM Cycling42.7
18www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/de.pngTeam Giant - Alpecin41.5

UCI Pro Continental rankings riders (after Ronde van Vlaanderen)

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

UCI Pro Continental rankings teams (after Ronde van Vlaanderen)

1www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/fr.pngCofidis, Solutions Credits6
2www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/au.pngOrica - Greenedge3.3
3www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/it.pngLampre - Merida0

mpardo wrote:
@Tamijo: Yes, 20 pages sounds right to get the quality readings. That should cover most of 2015 + the start of 2016.

I think I will find some time to go on this journey properly too. Meanwhile Mondory seems very animated right now in the races - he's versatile so I'm sure that he'll be popping up throughout the season.

By the way, why are all the riders displayed as 33 years old on their pages haha Shock And that reminds me, what has been happening when cyclists get too old ie retirements/resets?

Also... I had this little idea that the fans could see a simple excel with the cyclist attributes, age, & team copied from dyn_cyclist at the start of each season? Maybe it's just a selfish idea because I feel out of touch haha.
Very good race, nice story
Featured Rider: Bjorn Leukemans

www.footiegame.net/images/pcm/06PN16 - Finish.jpg

We already talked about Bjorn Leukemans in here

It would be hard to say who the best rider is in the story so far but one name that always comes to mind is Bjorn Leukemans. The Belgian has won the Road World Championship 3 times, while he has 4 monuments: 2 Paris - Roubaix and 2 Liege - Bastogne - Liege. His record sheet is so extensive that this will be the only recap that we will do. One thing is clear: the World Tour rankings do not tell the complete tale when it comes to judging a rider career. Leukemans has only been 2 seasons inside the top 10 when he has deserved much more. Take for example the 2015 season, when he won Roubaix, Liege and the Worlds and he finished 14th.

Even if Leukemans cannot do too much to improve on his results, there is one race that seems to fit his attributes perfectly but where he consistently underperforms: the Ronde van Vlaanderen. The race this year was the perfect example of how eager he was to take the win when he decided to lead his group in the flat towards Oudenaarde burying his chances for the win and gifting the third win in a row to Johan Vansummeren. It will be interesting to see whether he changes tactics in the future cobbles races, like the upcoming Paris - Roubaix.

If we take a look back to Leukemans' younger years, we can clearly see that his breakthrough season was 2011. He came back to Lotto - Belisol after a brief period in Liquigas - Cannondale but it took him a while to become the reference point of the Belgian team. It was not until he took the wins in Liege and the Worlds in Limburg that he was an undisputed leader. Lotto has always been among the top teams in the World Tour with the reference riders always being Jelle Vanendert and Bjorn Leukemans. However, they only won the World Tour rankings for the first time last year and they have become a super team.

The result of Lotto becoming such a powerhouse is that the leadership of Vanendert and Leukemans is now under threat from the younger Robert Kiserlovski, who is improving slowly but steadily, and the sprinters Michael Matthews and Andre Greipel. It will be hard to maintain such a good level in the team next year, especially as Leukemans, Kiserlovski and Matthews finish their contracts at the end of the season. We might even see Leukemans wearing a different jersey next season after 6 season in Lotto.

Best results:

Vuelta a Espa√Īa1 stage (2014)
Road World Championship1st (2012, 14, 15)
Paris - Roubaix1st (2013, 15)
Ronde van Vlaanderen3rd (2014, 16), 5th (2012)
Liege - Bastogne - Liege1st (2012, 15), 2nd (2014)
Giro di Lombardia10th (2013)
Criterium du Dauphine1 stage (2014)
Paris - Nice7th (2016), 2 stage (2009, 16)
Tour Down UnderMountain (2010, 13)
Eneco Tour4th (2010), 1 stage (2014)
Tour de Pologne6th (2014)
Amstel Gold Race6th (2014), 7th (2012)
Gent - Wevelgem2nd (2011, 13), 3rd (2014), 7th (2015)
E3 Harelbeke1st (2013), 4th (2011), 9th (2015)
La Fleche Wallonne2nd (2011, 12)
Clasica San Sebastian4th (2012), 6th (2014), 10th (2011)
GP Ouest France - Plouay3rd (2012), 6th (2014)
Vattenfall Cyclassics7th (2010), 10th (2012)
GP Cycliste de Montreal1st (2014), 2nd (2012)
GP Cycliste de Quebec4th (2013), 10th (2011)
Road National Championship2nd (2015)

UCI World Tour Rankings:

- 2009 Omega Pharma - Lotto: 63rd (27.22 pts)
- 2010 Liquigas - Cannondale: 32nd (100.78 pts)
- 2011 Lotto - Belisol: 21st (176.78 pts)
- 2012 Lotto - Belisol: 3rd (418.25 pts)
- 2013 Lotto - Belisol: 13th (232.57 pts)
- 2014 Lotto - Belisol: 6th (423.17 pts)
- 2015 Lotto - Belisol: 14th (286 pts)
Leukemans palmares looks pretty decent Wink
pcm2009fan wrote:
mpardo wrote:
@Tamijo: Yes, 20 pages sounds right to get the quality readings. That should cover most of 2015 + the start of 2016.

I think I will find some time to go on this journey properly too. Meanwhile Mondory seems very animated right now in the races - he's versatile so I'm sure that he'll be popping up throughout the season.

By the way, why are all the riders displayed as 33 years old on their pages haha Shock And that reminds me, what has been happening when cyclists get too old ie retirements/resets?

Also... I had this little idea that the fans could see a simple excel with the cyclist attributes, age, & team copied from dyn_cyclist at the start of each season? Maybe it's just a selfish idea because I feel out of touch haha.

Oh,yes. I forgot I had promised an Excel file with the attributes. I will attach it to this post. In it you can check, apart from the attributes, the contracts of the riders, season target, fitness levels and the "real" age they have. The displayed age in the screenshots is only used for the game to do the young jersey (as I keep it for younger riders than in real life).

Edit: https://www.footie...ample.xlsx
Wow - very interesting to see the inner-workings of the game in such detail for the first time! Thanks.

I actually re-formatted a sheet for personal use for sorting/filtering. I hope it doesn't seem rude if I share this in return? https://www.filedr...om/fns2016
Nice, will be downing those files tonight.
In this particular story it helps to have the full picture.
(pt. done page 80-85) Glad the Giro started in Herning, makes a Dane proud.

www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/es.png Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco

The classics season will take a break for a different kind of riders to also have a chance to shine during the month of April. The Basque race is the home of the Euskaltel - Euskadi team. They have had a fantastic start of the season and will be looking to increase his tally of wins in home soil. The route has been changed for the 2016 race, although the characteristics of the race will stay. If anything there will be even more small climbs with impossible gradients, like the climb to La Antigua and the climb to Aia, which will be climbed both in the 5th stage and the final time trial.

The participation is considerably weaker than in previous years, with the podium of last year all missing: Mathias Frank, Peter Stetina and Laurens Ten Dam. Nevertheless, the riders that will be in the start line are more than enough to provide a very good show, starting with the recent winner of the Paris - Nice, David Lopez. Previous winners of the race include Davide Rebellin, Pieter Weening and Janez Brajkovic, although all of them seem past their peak performances they will be at the start to try to add a second win to their record.


- David Lopez (Euskaltel - Euskadi): The Vuelta al Pais Vasco is the local race for the Euskaltel team and they need to give it all to take the win. Additionally, no Spaniard has ever won the race so that must be a big incentive for David Lopez to do well. Lopez only race the Paris - Nice, which he won, before coming to the race but it should be enough to see the best from him. This will also be the only other race he does before the Giro, so he will be very light in racing this spring.
- Cadel Evans (Movistar Team): The race is also very important for the other Spaniard team, Movistar, and their leader has also methodically prepared the race. However, unlike Lopez, his previous test in the Tirreno - Adriatico was not really successful and he finished in a discreet 17th place. Nevertheless, the mixture of hills and mountains and the time trial is a route that favors the Australian and his performance should be much better.
- Jelle Vanendert (Lotto - Soudal): Jelle Vanendert also started the season in the Paris - Nice but he could not repeat his win from 2015 and had to settle for the third place in the podium. His next targets will be the Ardennes classics and the Pais Vasco fits nicely in his calendar. Although he stated that he is a bit short on form at this point, a route plagued with hills is good news for him. He will not like that much the time trial but it will be difficult to lose much time at that stage given that it has impossible gradients in the two climbs.
- Bauke Mollema (Vacansoleil - DMC): Bauke Mollema is following a very similar start of the season to David Lopez. He only raced the Tirreno - Adriatico before the Pais Vasco and does not want to force his fitness too much before the start of the Giro d'Italia. Nevertheless, with many important names missing from the startlist even if he is not on top of his form he will be surely be a factor for the important positions in the GC.

Other riders with a chance are Mikel Nieve (Discovery Channel), Juan Jose Cobo and Andrew Talansky (HTC - Highroad), Xavi Tondo (Lampre - Merida), Frank Schleck (Etixx - Quickstep) and Chris Froome (Team Sky).

This is not a race for the sprinters, but the best that came to Spain are Lloyd Mondory (Etixx - Quickstep), Simone Ponzi (Team Katusha), Michael Matthews (Lotto - Belisol), Ben Swift (Vacansoleil - DMC), Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek Factory Racing) and Tony Gallopin (BMC Racing Team).

Previous winners

2011Janez BrajkovicXavi TondoSteven Kruijswijk
2012Pieter WeeningMikel NieveBauke Mollema
2013Davide RebellinDavid LopezRob Ruijgh
2015Mathias FrankPeter StetinaLaurens Ten Dam

www.footiegame.net/images/pcm/PV16 - Startlist.jpg

Lopez for me....
pcm2009fan wrote:
Wow - very interesting to see the inner-workings of the game in such detail for the first time! Thanks.

I actually re-formatted a sheet for personal use for sorting/filtering. I hope it doesn't seem rude if I share this in return? https://www.filedr...om/fns2016

That is a very nice sheet and I recommend everyone following the story to have a look. I should have released this info sooner, given that it is difficult to follow who is doing what otherwise.

Tamijo wrote:
Nice, will be downing those files tonight.
In this particular story it helps to have the full picture.
(pt. done page 80-85) Glad the Giro started in Herning, makes a Dane proud.

Nice, hope you like it. This season the Giro will start from Ireland so no Denmark for a while...

sutty68 wrote:
Lopez for me....

I would have said Lopez as well, but to say something different I'll go for Vanendert this time.

www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/es.png Vuelta al Pais Vasco

Stage 1: Bilbao - Bilbao

www.footiegame.net/images/pcm/01PV16 - Profile.jpg

The Vuelta al Pais Vasco starts with a stage starting and finishing in Bilbao, the capital of Vizcaya, one of the provinces that form the Basque Country. As with all of the stages of the race the route is a continuous up and down the hills, this time towards the north east of the city. The highlight of the day is the climb to the Alto del Vivero, which will be tackled twice but from different sides of the mountain. The top of the climb is only 12 kilometers from the finish line the second time it is raced.

www.footiegame.net/images/pcm/01PV16 - Break.jpg

The fight to catch the break was very tough today and only the first hill consolidated a group of three riders at the front of the race: Arthur Vichot (Ag2r), Carlos Betancur (Katusha) and Julien Simon (FDJ). The breaks will probably be very much fought in the race as there could be a couple of them that make it to the end given the profiles. Halfway through the stage they had a gap of around 5 minutes over a bunch that was led by Euskaltel and Giant. They never allowed a big gap to open as many riders had an interest on the stage win.

www.footiegame.net/images/pcm/01PV16 - Peloton.jpg

Euskaltel decided to pick up the tempo considerably at the first climb to the Alto del Vivero. The climb is not very long but has gradients above 10% in both of the sides that will be climbed today, so it can potentially break the pack. The riders chasing for Euskaltel were Hubert Dupont, Joaquim Rodriguez and Greg van Avermaet, riders that can cause damage in the rest of the bunch. It was Julien Simon that took the KoM points at the front of the race and the gap was 3 minutes over the bunch. Quite a few riders were already losing contact before the top of the climb.

www.footiegame.net/images/pcm/01PV16 - IntSprint.jpg

The loop around Bilbao before the second climb to the Vivero was quite interesting. There were several attempts of forming a group, starting with Davide Rebellin, who attacked in the descent. Other riders like Bjorn Leukemans and Tom Slagter tried to join in the hills from Bilbao to the first intermediate sprint, in Galdakao. However, Euskaltel and Giant were not willing to let anyone start the climb with an advantage and brought them back. At the actual sprint Lloyd Mondory was the quickest in the group ahead of Tony Gallopin and Luca Paolini. The break had 55 seconds at the bottom o the climb.

www.footiegame.net/images/pcm/01PV16 - Leukemans.jpg

Bjorn Leukemans attacked hard halfway through the climb to El Vivero but he was followed by David Lopez and Wout Poels. A big group then caught up with them and with 2 kilometers to the top of the climb there were as many as 70 riders still holding on with the best. Julien Simon and Carlos Betancur were still ahead with a 35 seconds gap on the chasers. There was a weird moment at the start of the climb as Lopez responded to an attack and had a small gap with a couple of other riders but Greg van Avermaet was the rider closing the gap. It seems like Euskaltel is not well coordinated.

www.footiegame.net/images/pcm/01PV16 - Vivero.jpg

Philippe Gilbert was the next rider to try to open a gap but it was another attack from Bjorn Leukemans that managed to break the group of the favorites. The Belgian was initially followed by Frank Schleck but the Quickstep rider had to let him go because the attack was really hard. Leukemans crossed the KoM sprint around 35 seconds ahead of the main group. Denis Menchov was setting the pace at the front closely followed by Simone Ponzi. Katusha felt like they could take the stage given that Ponzi had easily gone through the climb. However, it seems like Leukemans is not seen as very dangerous among the GC contenders.

www.footiegame.net/images/pcm/01PV16 - Mondory.jpg

The second intermediate sprint was strangely placed 4 kilometers before the finish line, in Santutxu. Lloyd Mondory attacked from the peloton to grab the available points but he was still 30 seconds behind Bjorn Leukemans. It seems that the Belgian has the stage in the bag as the peloton was 40 seconds behind. There were around 70 riders in the group of the favorites, led by Mikel Nieve and Simone Ponzi. It is surprising that such a big group was unable to chase down Leukemans, given that there were several teams with more than 3 riders.

www.footiegame.net/images/pcm/01PV16 - Sprint.jpg

Bjorn Leukemans reached the last kilometer of the stage ahead but the peloton were chasing like mad and Simone Ponzi had attacked in the last small hill of the route. He had joined Lloyd Mondory and the two of them were only 8 seconds behind the Belgian. The stage might not be as decided as we thought it was a few kilometers back. In the group of the favorites David Lopez was the first to start the sprint and was followed by Mikel Nieve and Michael Matthews. If the logic applies the Australian should be much quicker in the sprint.

www.footiegame.net/images/pcm/01PV16 - Finish.jpg

Simone Ponzi wins in Bilbao! Another demonstration of power gives the Italian his third win of the year. Ponzi is by far the fastest man when it comes to the last kilometers of the hilly stages. He overtook Bjorn Leukemans with around 500 meters to go and the Belgian did not have a response for the speed of the Katusha rider. It must be hard to swallow when Leukemans seemed to have the win in the bag with 4 kilometers to go. He actually did not even make the 2nd place in the stage, which went to Michael Matthews.

The top 5 in the stage was completed by David Lopez and Rui Costa. All of the favorites finished the stage on the same time and the most important rider that was left behind was Jurgen van den Broeck. It seems like Cannondale has given the lead of the team to either Francesco Gavazzi or Tom Slagter. The 2nd stage will be quite similar to today's, so another option for Ponzi or Matthews to take a win.

Today's Winner


Stage Results

1www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/it.pngSimone PonziTeam Katusha4h09'36
2www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/au.pngMichael MatthewsLotto - Soudals.t.
3www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/be.pngBjörn LeukemansLotto - Soudals.t.
4www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/es.pngDavid LópezEuskaltel - Euskadis.t.
5www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/pt.pngRui CostaAG2R La Mondiales.t.
6www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/be.pngJelle VanendertLotto - Soudals.t.
7www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/fr.pngLloyd MondoryEtixx - Quick·Steps.t.
8www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/au.pngCameron MeyerTrek Factory Racings.t.
9www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/fr.pngHubert DupontEuskaltel - Euskadis.t.
10www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/it.pngDanilo Di LucaEuskaltel - Euskadis.t.

General Classification

1www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/it.pngSimone PonziTeam Katusha4h09'31
2www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/au.pngMichael MatthewsLotto - Soudal+ 2
3www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/be.pngBjörn LeukemansLotto - Soudals.t.
4www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/co.pngCarlos BetancurTeam Katusha+ 3
5www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/fr.pngLloyd MondoryEtixx - Quick·Step+ 4
6www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/fr.pngJulien SimonFDJs.t.
7www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/es.pngDavid LópezEuskaltel - Euskadi+ 5
8www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/pt.pngRui CostaAG2R La Mondiales.t.
9www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/be.pngJelle VanendertLotto - Soudals.t.
10www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/au.pngCameron MeyerTrek Factory Racings.t.


1www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/it.pngSimone PonziTeam Katusha47
2www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/be.pngBjörn LeukemansLotto - Soudal42
3www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/au.pngMichael MatthewsLotto - Soudal35
4www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/fr.pngLloyd MondoryEtixx - Quick·Step34
5www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/es.pngDavid LópezEuskaltel - Euskadi26


1www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/fr.pngJulien SimonFDJ16
2www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/be.pngBjörn LeukemansLotto - Soudal10
3www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/co.pngCarlos BetancurTeam Katusha9
4www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/fr.pngArthur VichotAG2R La Mondiale9
5www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/ru.pngDenis MenchovTeam Katusha7


1www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/sk.pngPeter VelitsDiscovery Channel4h11'12
2www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/fr.pngArthur VichotAG2R La Mondiales.t.
3www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/it.pngAlessandro De MarchiTeam LottoNL - Jumbo+ 2'14
4www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/ru.pngYuri TrofimovAstana Pro Team+ 3'11
5www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/dk.pngMichael ValgrenTeam Skys.t.


1www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/be.pngLotto - Soudal12h28'48
2www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/es.pngEuskaltel - Euskadis.t.
3www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/us.pngTrek Factory Racings.t.
4www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/be.pngEtixx - Quick·Steps.t.
5www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/ru.pngTeam Katushas.t.

Strong start for Lopez. Nice to see Betancur stretching his legs. I'm personally rooting for Talansky if he can get going.
Great start for Katusha, with only semi good climbers on the team. A start like this takes the pressure of their shoulders. Simone Ponz’si combo of sprint and hill abilities is great for a stage like this one.
pcm2009fan wrote:
Strong start for Lopez. Nice to see Betancur stretching his legs. I'm personally rooting for Talansky if he can get going.

If I was HTC I would let Cobo take the lead in Spain. He has been quite a good domestique in other races for Talansky and he should be rewarded sometimes.

Tamijo wrote:
Great start for Katusha, with only semi good climbers on the team. A start like this takes the pressure of their shoulders. Simone Ponz’si combo of sprint and hill abilities is great for a stage like this one.

Ponzi is a beast in this kind of stages. I bet he could win all the stages in the race except the time trial if he is inspired.

By the way, I should say that I have an objective method of setting the attributes of the riders. Those don't depend on my mood when the season is over Grin When I want to influence the game because I see imbalances I change the procedure but I will never favor my favorite riders.
Good first stage for Lopez Smile

www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/es.png Vuelta al Pais Vasco

Stage 2: Bilbao - Vitoria

www.footiegame.net/images/pcm/02PV16 - Profile.jpg

The second stage of the Vuelta al Pais Vasco is the one with the gentler climbs, which sometimes leads to a more or less mass sprint. Nevertheless, the riders still will have a final circuit with 3 climbs on the last 50 kilometers that will put a test on the riders' legs. Earlier on in the day they will also have to tackle the Alto de Ordu√Īa, a very tough 1st category climb that might help to shape up the break of the day. The early break could also have a chance today.

www.footiegame.net/images/pcm/02PV16 - Break.jpg

The peloton was not very keen on a big break today either. Only 4 riders managed to take the break and led the race through the Alto de Ordu√Īa. The climb was quite serious, with almost 8 kilometers averaging 7.6% gradient. The group of 4 included Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek), Bart de Clercq (Sky), Steven Kruijswijk (LottoNL) and Marco Marcato (BMC). They had built a gap of 5 minutes at the top, with still 126 kilometers remaining. The other factor that was going to make the stage really difficult was the weather. There was loads of rain falling from the very start.

www.footiegame.net/images/pcm/02PV16 - IntSprint.jpg

The first intermediate sprint was in the town of Trevi√Īo, to the south of Vitoria. Davide Rebellin and Chris Anker Sorensen had attacked at last few kilometers of the Alto de Ordu√Īa but did not manage to bridge the gap to the break and had been a lot of kilometers chasing. With 54 kilometers to go they were 2' 05'' behind the break, while the peloton was 3' 55'' behind. The most remarkable events of the day were the crashes of Cadel Evans, who came back to the bunch, and Tom Slagter, who seemed to be slightly injured and had said goodbye to his GC ambitions.

www.footiegame.net/images/pcm/02PV16 - Peloton.jpg

At the first passage through the Alto de Zaldiaran, which would also be the last climb of the day Euskaltel started to pick up the pace considerably. Riders like Hubert Dupont and Greg van Avermaet were setting a demanding pace. Giant and IAM also had a few riders close to the front but Euskaltel had almost the whole team leading the chase. There were less than 90 riders on the group at the top, even though the climb was not very tough. The gap to the break had decreased to 3' 55''.

www.footiegame.net/images/pcm/02PV16 - Break2.jpg

Giacomo Nizzolo was first through the penultimate climb of the day, the Alto de Vitoria, ahead of Steven Kruijswijk. With 30 kilometers to go the front group still had a gap of 2' 35'' over the main bunch. Euskaltel was cutting down the lead but at a slower pace than expected. The break might still have a chance, although if the favorites attack that gap will come down fast. Meanwhile, Davide Rebellin and Chris Anker Sorensen were about to be reeled back in the group of the favorites. Bart de Clercq would be leading the KoM classification after the stage.

www.footiegame.net/images/pcm/02PV16 - DeClercq.jpg

The attacks from the favorites were started by Jelle Vanendert halfway through the climb to the Alto de Vitoria. However, even as other important riders, like Juanjo Cobo, were involved the bunch did not allow them to go too far. That cut considerably the gap for the break and at the bottom of the Alto de Zaldiaran Bart de Clercq was alone at the front of the race. Igor Anton had jumped from the peloton and was chasing 10 seconds behind, while the gap to the main group was 40 seconds. Hubert Dupont, Greg van Avermaet and Danilo di Luca were working at the group as Philippe Gilbert attacked again but the climb might not be hard enough to open any gaps.

www.footiegame.net/images/pcm/02PV16 - Favorites.jpg

Euskaltel was making the race harder for David Lopez to attack and he did it 2 kilometers before the top of the Alto de Zaldiaran. Only Jelle Vanendert and, with more trouble, Joost van Leijen were able to follow the Spaniard, who crossed the KoM sprint first. They only had 9 kilometers of favourable terrain towards Vitoria and a gap of 20 seconds over the rest of the favorites. Bjorn Leukemans had done most of the climb at the front but could not hold on when Lopez went past him. Meanwhile, Simone Ponzi is waiting in the bunch for a potential sprint.

www.footiegame.net/images/pcm/02PV16 - Anton.jpg

Jelle Vanendert did not seem willing to collaborate with David Lopez on the descent and the group was eventually reeled back in with the help of Dries Devenyns and Xavi Tondo. There was then a moment of chaos at the front of the group and Igor Anton took advantage of it to attack and open a nice gap of around 20 seconds. He had 4 flat kilometers remaining to take what would be the first win in the life of the Cofidis team. It seemed like no one wanted to do the job for Simone Ponzi to take the stage. Michael Matthews was also there.

www.footiegame.net/images/pcm/02PV16 - Sprint.jpg

Igor Anton struggled in the flat and was swallowed by the sprinting bunch under the flame rouge. The Cofidis rider came quite close to getting the first win for the team. In the final sprint Simone Ponzi led the way ahead of David Lopez. The Spaniard was struggling to get past the Katusha rider, he would need a much more difficult stage to beat Ponzi in the sprint. Cameron Meyer was third on the road on the left-hand side but the one that was making progress was Michael Matthews. The Australian could be the threat to Ponzi. Philippe Gilbert was right behind but he would be an unlikely winner in such a big group.

www.footiegame.net/images/pcm/02PV16 - Finish.jpg

Simone Ponzi wins in Vitoria! The Italian does it again and easily beats the competition in the sprint of a hilly stage. He is now the rider with the most wins in the season: 4. David Lopez struggled to get past and in the end dropped considerably behind narrowly keeping the second place in the stage ahead of the fast finishers Michael Matthews and Tony Gallopin. Lopez collected a few bonus seconds that could potentially be crucial later in the race as all the stage races this year have been won by less than 5 seconds. The top 5 was rounded up with Jonathan Hivert.

All in all it was an entertaining stage with the most likely outcome possible. Ponzi is clearly the best rider when it comes to settling a sprint in a hilly stage and might even add to his tally this week. It will be interesting to see what he can do in a race like the Amstel Gold Race. On this race, only 54 riders still remain within 1 minute of the leader, which gives an idea of how complicated the stages have been so far. Tomorrow's final hill is much tougher and gaps will probably open among the favorites.

Today's Winner


Stage Results

1www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/it.pngSimone PonziTeam Katusha4h31'29
2www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/es.pngDavid LópezEuskaltel - Euskadis.t.
3www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/au.pngMichael MatthewsLotto - Soudals.t.
4www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/fr.pngTony GallopinBMC Racing Teams.t.
5www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/fr.pngJonathan HivertTeam Skys.t.
6www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/nl.pngJoost Van LeijenTeam Giant - Alpecins.t.
7www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/it.pngDanilo Di LucaEuskaltel - Euskadis.t.
8www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/fr.pngLloyd MondoryEtixx - Quick·Steps.t.
9www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/it.pngFrancesco GavazziTeam Cannondale - Garmins.t.
10www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/au.pngCameron MeyerTrek Factory Racings.t.

General Classification

1www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/it.pngSimone PonziTeam Katusha8h40'55
2www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/au.pngMichael MatthewsLotto - Soudal+ 6
3www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/es.pngDavid LópezEuskaltel - Euskadi+ 7
4www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/be.pngBjörn LeukemansLotto - Soudals.t.
5www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/co.pngCarlos BetancurTeam Katusha+ 8
6www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/fr.pngLloyd MondoryEtixx - Quick·Step+ 9
7www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/fr.pngJulien SimonFDJs.t.
8www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/be.pngJelle VanendertLotto - Soudal+ 10
9www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/it.pngDanilo Di LucaEuskaltel - Euskadis.t.
10www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/au.pngCameron MeyerTrek Factory Racings.t.


1www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/it.pngSimone PonziTeam Katusha94
2www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/au.pngMichael MatthewsLotto - Soudal65
3www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/es.pngDavid LópezEuskaltel - Euskadi61
4www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/fr.pngLloyd MondoryEtixx - Quick·Step53
5www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/be.pngBjörn LeukemansLotto - Soudal44


1www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/be.pngBart De ClercqTeam Sky28
2www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/it.pngGiacomo NizzoloTrek Factory Racing27
3www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/it.pngMarco MarcatoBMC Racing Team25
4www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/nl.pngSteven KruijswijkTeam LottoNL - Jumbo18
5www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/fr.pngJulien SimonFDJ16


1www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/fr.pngArthur VichotAG2R La Mondiale8h46'06
2www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/sk.pngPeter VelitsDiscovery Channel+ 1'19
3www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/be.pngJens DebusschereEtixx - Quick·Step+ 3'05
4www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/fr.pngJulian AlaphilippeAG2R La Mondiale+ 3'28
5www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/it.pngMauro FinettoTeam Katushas.t.


1www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/es.pngMovistar Team26h03'15
2www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/it.pngLampre - Meridas.t.
3www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/us.pngDiscovery Channels.t.
4www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/us.pngTrek Factory Racings.t.
5www.footiegame.net/images/Banderas/24/es.pngEuskaltel - Euskadis.t.

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