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GP Yekaterinburg Discussion
GP Yekaterinburg


2019Johan Esteban ChavesAzteca - NBCSN
2018Cyril GautierValio - DeLaval
2017Johan Esteban ChavesAzteca-NBCSN
2016Enrico BarbinFerrero - Samruk
2015Jose MendesSeverstal-Mercator
2014Gracjan LejmanFCB - Polska
2013Eduard VorganovTeam Privatbank
2011Frank SchleckVesuvio-Accumalux

The wait is over, the Continental Tour is back underway! Usually the season opens with Clasico San Cristobal in Cuba, but this year the honor goes to the GP Yekaterinburg in Russia. The last edition in September 2019 was won by Johan Esteban Chaves, the first two-time winner in its long history. The first edition in 2011 was held at ProTour level, but every edition since returning from hiatus in 2013 has been in the lowest division, where it is one of the most important races for puncheurs. As it is categorized C2HC, it is mandatory for Continental teams for attend and no teams from a higher category are allowed to participate. It will be the first race for Bralirwa - Stevens Bikes, Guave's Sunlight Cycling, Los Pollos Hermanos, Nordica - Enel, Sotto il sole di riccione and Trans Cycling Team, the rebirth of legendary teams Project: Africa and Strava, the return to the Continental division for Carlsberg, Carrefour, Europcar, Philips and Sauber, the first race for Gjensidige as main sponsor (replacing Equinor) and Ritter Sport as co-sponsor (at Tryg), and the start of a new promotion hope for BNZ, Centovalli, Eddie Stobart, Glanbia and McCormick. That should be all teams covered.



The race is 213 kilometer long, eight laps around the city of Yekaterinburg. The finish line lies atop a hill on the outskirts of the city, with the lap also containing a smaller hill inside the city. The puncheurs are favorites on this course, as shown in previous editions, with the climb a little to easy for pure climbers to leave their mark. The weather conditions are probably more difficult than the profile, with the average maximum temperature in Yekaterinburg in January being -9.1°C. Even if the roads are clear of snow, the riders should probably pack multiple jackets and ice-goggles to survive the race. What on earth where the organizers thinking planning the race on this date?



pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/phi.png Kelderman827172pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/eur.png Paulus777471
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/ssr.png Zaini806670pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/gsc.png Zordan777374
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/cen.png Moscon797373pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/gsc.png Le Gac776969
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/bnz.png Edmondson796976pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/trg.png Smirnovs776878
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/cdb.png Juul-Jensen787079pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/car.png Caruso776876
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/car.png Quevedo787175pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/spr.png Costa776867
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/nel.png Palini787074pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/bsb.png Ben Nasser776774
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/gct.png Eiking786976pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/sva.png Felline776678
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/gct.png Flügel786969pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/spr.png Pellaud776570
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/tst.png Barbin786876pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/sva.png Roux776474
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/gct.png Mehr-Wenige786667pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/car.png Tsatevich776275
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/phi.png Watson786572pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/lph.png Bru776072
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/spr.png Anuar Aziz786566pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/eur.png Henao767670
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/cen.png Pernsteiner777572pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/gsc.png Eyob767666
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/trg.png Hoelgaard777474pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/afr.png Seibeb767573

The favorite for this race, and every hilly race in this division for that matter, will be pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/phi.png Kelderman. He stuck with his team Philips despite their relegation, and will likely be their ticket back up as well. He should not get complacent though, the opposition might not be of the class he is used to, which means everyone else will be looking at him at every time. pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/phi.png Watson is his main support.

Last year pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/cen.png Moscon rode for Lierse SK, but due to budgetary problems he was sold to Centovalli. Together with another acquisition, pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/cen.png Pernsteiner from Isostar, they are a strong duo which might challenge Philips.

Coming back from loan spells at Minions and Aegon, pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/gct.png Eiking is finally ready to assume leadership at Gjensidige. They also have the German duo of pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/gct.png Flügel and pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/gct.png Mehr-Wenige as back-up, another strong outfit.

Carlsberg relegated and just like Philips they kept their main puncheur: pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/cdb.png Juul-Jensen. Unlike Kelderman, the Dane underperformed in the Pro Continental Tour, but maybe he can find his rhythm back at a lower level.

The last PCT race before the winter break, Züri Metzgete, was won by pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/bnz.png Edmondson. While the profiles seem similar, that race had a flat finish. This race finishes uphill, but the Brit has shown to be able to handle this in the past.

At Strava we find the highest returning finisher from last year: pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/sva.png Roux. I'll be surprised if he repeats his podium, but anything can happen. pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/sva.png Felline is their other egg in the basket.

Project: Africa is back with, indeed, a fully African squad. Their leader is pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/afr.png Seibeb, all the way at the bottom of the outsiders list. That doesn't mean he is the outsider amongst the outsiders, it is just where the sorting algorithm placed him. He is not expected to win but everything in the top 25 is worth ranking points, hence that should be his aim at least.

Sotto il sole di riccione wants to debut with a bang, bringing in pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/ssr.png Zaini. He could only muster eighth in his previous attempt at this race in 2018 though, but that was with another employer. Maybe the Riccione sun brings him luck.

pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/nel.png Palini was second violin to Kelderman at Philips last season, now he is second violin to Ginanni for his new team Nordica - Enel. The latter is still settling in, so this will be the chance for the former to show he is a leader in his own right.

The only rider on the startlist who can say he has won this race is pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/tst.png Barbin, which he did in 2016 when his team Ferrero not only won the race but also the division. Trans Cycling Team will hope for a repeat of this scenario.

Carrefour brings a very strong trio which could all assume leadership. pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/car.png Quevedo was on the team in their relegation year, but is joined by the experienced pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/car.png Caruso and the only home rider on the startlist: pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/car.png Tsatevich. Who will work for who?

Glanbia has no rider on the favorites or outsiders list. pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/gla.png Haas fell just off the list and is desperate to prove he should have been included in the first part.

A recurring theme is a team having multiple riders capable of scoring a good result, as is the case with Tryg. They have pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/trg.png Hoelgaard who should be familiar with the team, and finished sixth last year. Furthermore, they have pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/trg.png Smirnovs who left Evonik behind to get more chances for himself here.

Sauber went for experience, with pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/spr.png Anuar Aziz and pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/spr.png Costa. The latter finished fifth last year, but he has gone down in strength while the overall quality in the division has gone up.

Team Europcar probably has the best overall quality in the team as all eight selected riders are good, but just not spectacular enough to stand out. While their designated no. 1 bib is pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/eur.png Lavery, perhaps more should be expected of pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/eur.png Paulus, who is also one of the better climbers amongst the puncheurs. Unfortunately for them there is no teams classification.

A few good riders at Guave's Sunlight Cycling but no standout capable of challenging for the podium. pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/gsc.png Zordan and pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/gsc.png Le Gac should be happy if they have a shot at a top ten.

The most notable absentee on the startlist is Meyer. I would rather be under the Australian sun than here as well, but you don't earn ranking points on the beach. The management of Eddie Stobart nominates pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/esc.png Agostini as pro forma leader by alphabetical order.

pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/bsb.png Ben Nasser is the leader for Bralirwa. He is experienced but not as fast as he used to be. This season might be his last opportunity for meaningful results.

pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/lph.png Bru scored exactly zero points at Minions last year, yet Los Pollos Hermanos made him their lead puncheur. Sure, he likes a hill, but detests everything which is not a hill. He can prove his former manager wrong though by brining LPH their first ever points.

The final team on the list is McCormick, whose only viable route to airtime is a breakaway appearance. However, there is always a chance the breakaway takes the win! It will be half-a-million pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/mck.png McNulty's debut.

And that's it! All you need to know about GP Yekaterinburg! Best of luck to all the teams and may the best rider win!
Manager of Minions
Good luck to all CT teams venturing over to Russia in early January, might be a little colder than Cuba!

Great preview for the season opener Marco!
We're definitely here to challenge for the win, although it will be hard to beat Kelderman - all season long. I hope our climbers will support the stronger puncheurs as long as they can, and then Moscon and Pernsteiner will hopefully deliver in their first race for us!
With such a strong duo, I doubt we'll go for a breakaway win; if we did, that could be Lienhard's chance. We definitely expect him to attack now or then - but probably rather when Moscon isn't there... Looking forward to this one anyway! Grin
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Posted on 21-01-2021 17:56
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Thank you for the awesome preview Marco! Especially thank you for covering every team to open the season! Should be a cold, but exciting race.

This will be the start of the year for Juul-Jensen, and will set for the stage for a campaign where he will either redeem himself, or basically end his career as a leader. I'm not looking for a win with Kelderman around, but I want to be up there and score.

Also of note here is that we are the only team to send less than the max 8 riders. That's gonna be a common theme for us this season, so hopefully it doesn't hurt us too badly!
RIP Exxon Duke, David Veilleux, Double Feature, and Monster Energy

With Fulgencio Bru as our lead puncheur, we don't expect anything from those kind of races. I love the preview though, as you really took your time to give a correct analysis of every team's top rider and hopes for the race. So thank you for that, and I'll just hope Bru overperforms or the team gets some screen time in the break Smile
First race in team history, I'm excited! Though not for the result, I would be happy if we got even a single mention in the report, to be honest Pfft Ben Nasser and Khederi could be good for a Top 20 in theory, maybe Ndayisenga could do something if the mountain stat has significant influence, but given how low we are on the list of favorites, I expect the entire team to spend the majority of the race in the second half of the peloton and get caught behind a split or something. Breakaway would be cool, but with five level 1 riders, not sure how many options we have here Grin
Rooting for Moscon here, I made some promises to Centovalli Grin
Changed my sig, this was getting absurd.
baseballlover312 wrote:
Also of note here is that we are the only team to send less than the max 8 riders. That's gonna be a common theme for us this season, so hopefully it doesn't hurt us too badly!

I can see two more Pfft

Even though we aren't among them this time, it's going to be a very common theme for us, too. Just not enough talents with lots of RDs this year...

Ollfardh wrote:
Rooting for Moscon here, I made some promises to Centovalli Grin

He'd better do well, indeed Grin
Fabianski wrote:
baseballlover312 wrote:
Also of note here is that we are the only team to send less than the max 8 riders. That's gonna be a common theme for us this season, so hopefully it doesn't hurt us too badly!

I can see two more Pfft

Even though we aren't among them this time, it's going to be a very common theme for us, too. Just not enough talents with lots of RDs this year...

Ollfardh wrote:
Rooting for Moscon here, I made some promises to Centovalli Grin

He'd better do well, indeed Grin

Haha, you're right. Clearly I'm both going blind and insane. Bigger sample size to gauge its impact then.
RIP Exxon Duke, David Veilleux, Double Feature, and Monster Energy

Thanks for the preview Marco!

Very excited to see how our first race ever turns out. Top 10 would indeed make us very very very happy, but it won't be easy.
Kelderman is the obvious top favourite and I'll probably be cheering for him throughout most of the season but for the season opener, I hope that all the new and returning teams will have a great showing.

There are so many cool riders on the list that i cant spread around my support enough: Strava's back, lots of former Evonik riders on the startlist and as possible attacker candidates with Paprstka, Lienhard, De Vreese, Oelerich, Smirnovs, Joeaar, Weiss and Lindau and then there is also Carlsberg with two Latvians. This could get interesting Grin
A Big Thank You To All MG Reporters!
And To All Who Organize Something On Daily As Well!

DAMN, that is one deep startlist, what are they feeding CT riders nowadays Pfft Especially look forward to seeing how future Generali legend Moscon will do, but I'm sure he'll be a top 3 puncheur in the division throughout the season regardless. Lovely preview, Marco.
Manager of pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/gen.png Generali pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/gen.png
Ulrich Ulriksen
Thanks for the great preview, impressed you even found something to say about McCormick.

McNulty starts the long road to justifying that price tab.
Man Game: McCormick Pro Cycling
After waiting virtually his whole career to sign him hopefully Anuar Aziz can have a good start to his time here with us. Unfortunately the level of competition in CT has grown each year and this year it looks like he will only be fighting for top 10's if today's field is anything to go by.
I can see we already have the target on our backs on the hills! Not surprised Pfft

Kelderman being top favourite, with Watson, Bardet et al in support should really be winning this. It is a Win goal race for us too to start things off. Had to set the course for the season from the get-go. Great chance for us to put ourselves on a good footing for the rest of the season. It won't be easy as there are enough riders to make a decisive move and claim the win in a race like this.

A few former riders leading other teams is interesting as well - Palini, Le Gac and Rui Costa. Let's see how they go.

Thanks for the amazing preview Marco! Can't wait for the season to get going Grin
A fantastic preview to start off the CT season Shock

I'll be mainly rooting for Kelderman from Philips, for some of our Slovenian friends at Trans Cycling Team (go Pibernik!! Pfft) and I will always keep an eye on Costa Seibeb Smile

Good luck, it should be a fun race Smile
Edited by redordead on 03-11-2020 06:28


"I am a cyclist, I may not be the best, but that is what I strive to be. I may never get there, but I will never quit trying." - Tadej Pogačar
Excellent preview! Here's hoping Hoelgaard's climbing comes in handy over the multiple ascents.
matt17br wrote:
Especially look forward to seeing how future Generali legend Moscon will do

Yeah, just go on, make that price tag explode Pfft
Great preview! Thanks Marco Grin

Interestingly, the game has listed Ssabagwanya as #61 and not Seibeb (not sure if that counts for anything). I quite like the outside chances of Seibeb with his higher mountain stat and Ssabagwanya with his ridiculous backup stats. Would be happy with a showing in the breakaway and any result in the top 20 would be satisfactory - a top 10 would be amazing!
Thanks, fingers crossed our dual leadership strategy works well and we can snatch one or two Top 10. Looking forward to the report.
Unleash the Landa!

"It’s a little bit scary when Contador attacks." - Tommy V
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