Francesco Chicchi (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) started his season well with two stage victories at the Tour de San Luis in Argentina in February and the opening road Driedaagse van West-Vlaanderen last week, and he continued his great form with a superb sprint victory in Nokere - Koerse 2012 today
From the point that his Sky Procycling teammates took up station on the front of the peloton with 60km to go in Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne, Mark Cavendish never looked like losing today, and so it proved as he swept to an easy bunch sprint win over FDJ-Big Mat's Yauheni Hutarovich with Vacansoleil-DCM's Kenny Van Hummel in third.
Sep Vanmarcke instigated the main splits of the day in the Het Nieuwsblad 2012, survived the many crashes on the slippy roads, rode strongly in the breaks and the final winning move, foxed and feigned heavy legs beautifully in the last couple of kilometres and finished the day with a fine accelerating power-sprint win over Tom Boonen and Juan Antonio Flecha.
If it's the first weekend of the month and the snow drops have burst through - it must Scottish Super Six time. VeloVeritas caught up with the first Super Six winner of the year, 19 year-old Dumbarton man Robert Hassan (Endura/Pedal Power Development Team) the day after he'd triumphed over 65 miles of beautiful East Lothian countryside in the Edinburgh Road Club promotion at Gifford.
Sky Procycling just missed the win yesterday with Flecha finishing second in Het Nieuwsblad, but the team stepped it up a notch today, setting up Chris Sutton perfectly for a superb win in the bunch sprint at Kuurne - Brussels - Kuurne.
On a cold and rainy Saturday afternoon in Gent, Rabobank's Sebastian Langeveld took the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad 2011 victory by inches from breakaway partner Juan Antonio Flecha (Sky Procycling and the winner last year), with another Sky rider Matt Hayman third.
Stuart Moran (Perth United) made it a successful trip to East Lothian for the Humbie Mountain Time Trial 2010 today, taking the win over a hard two-lap circuit by 20 seconds.
James Cusick (Glasgow Couriers) showed the rest of the field how to ride a hilly, chilly 20 mile time trial, this one around the picturesque Tour of the Meldons 2010 in the Scottish Borders.
"I didn't have good legs," said Tyler Farrar after his surprise victory in the Scheldeprijs today,"but my team did such a great job that I felt I had to give something back in the sprint."
Alan Thomson (Glasgow Couriers) was run pretty close by his teammate Barry McGurk for the win in the Gordon Arms Mountain Time Trial, a hilly time trial run by the Gala CC near Melrose in the Scottish borders. With Euan Pope backing them up in fourth place, the team prize was never going anywhere else.
Kazakh rider Maxim Iglinskiy (Astana) could barely raise an arm in victory at the Montepaschi Strade Bianche, after a crash earlier in the day, and five hours of hard racing over the Tuscan dirt roads. Thomas Löfkvist (Team Sky) attacked the remains of the front group of 11 men as they got to within 6km of Siena, knowing that a good placing in the final few corners were vital if he was going to repeat his win of last year.
Revolution: In a full programme of racing, Sir Chris Hoy showed he's ready for the forthcoming World Championships and happy with his form by posting the fastest 200m time, and then beating Jason Kenny in the final of the sprint, but, as he told us, he "had to pull his ring out" to do so. The pair nearly took each other out with several no-nonsense switches.
Robbie Mcewen, Oscar Freire, Linus Gedermann, Rui Costa, and Andre Greipel took the five one-day races that make up the Challenge Ciclista a Mallorca, which suffered from the weather like other events around the Med. Great to see Jens Voigt back in action and winning a competition too.
It was Samuel Dumoulin (Cofidis), who 24-hours earlier was relegated for missing out a part of the route, who claimed the GC win. Race leader Arnaud Molmy (Roubaix Lille Metropole) and many others failed to start the last day after a stomach virus spread through the bunch overnight.
Gavin Shirley (Nevis Cycles RT) made the trip to the Scottish Borders today, and went away with the win in the Edinburgh Road Club promotion, the Lothian Flyer Road Race, narrowly edging out two fast Vets, Chris Brown (Stirling BC) and Steve Nutley (Fife Cycling 2000).
Iain Sim (Glasgow Couriers) took a good win today ahead of some very fast riders who are building form for the forthcoming National 25 Champs. A relatively small field this evening at the Bishopton Community Hall, with quite a few riders deciding not to start - most likely due to the unsavoury weather conditions and a major delay on the M8 westbound.
Ali Watt (Granite City RT) broke his own Course Record on the 2 lap 19.5ml Deeside Thistle Hilly 10.5 Mile Time Trial on Thurs 24th May, only to be thwarted by a flying Ray Wilson (Dunfermline CC) who was over a half minute faster. A cool, dull evening with intermittent showers meant that Course Records weren't really on most folks' cards beforehand.
This 16 Mile Time Trial at Garlogie saw a cold, breezy, but dry night. Ray Wilson did a good ride for the night. Colin Duncan of organising club Tri Changing Gear was an excellent second, pushing Ali Watt of Granite City RT into 3rd place by 4 seconds. Colin always rides well on hard/hilly TT courses.
A dull and not very warm (6 to 7C) day, with little breeze for the Bikelife 25 today. But there was some really outstanding stuff, especially from winner Jon Copp, and more especially from 70yr old Derek "Dastardly Dick" Stewart who had an all-time Personal Best, first time under the hour!, with a fine 59.52 (+22.38 up on his age std).
A cold wind tonight for the Tri Changing Gear 10 mile TT wasn't conducive to fast times and in the circumstances all the guys under 24 mins deserved a wee accollade. Ray Wilson took the win in an excellent 22.40 ahead of Norman Skene and Ali Watt. Freddie Toms (Elgin CC), on a short holiday in Montrose easily won the Vets (on Std) award.
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