Vuelta a Castilla y Leon review

Movistar’s Javier Moreno claimed victory in the 27th edition of the Vuelta a Castilla y Leon after finishing second on the third and final stage around Segovia. This allowed the team to pay homage to last year’s winner, the late Xavier Tondo, who died in a tragic domestic accident 11 months ago.

The race started on Friday 13th in Salamanca. After months of speculation as to whether or not sufficient funding would be found, it finally went ahead – albeit reduced from five to three stages. This meant foregoing the classic time-trial which inevitably changed the nature of the course, generally viewed as an attractive tune-up option for the Giro d’Italia. Continue reading

Amstel Gold Race review

There was a rather surprising winner in today’s Amstel Gold Race in the form of Astana’s Enrico Gasparotto. He finished third at this very race in 2010, and in going two places better secured the biggest win of his career. The former Italian national champion resisted late charges from Oscar FreirePeter Sagan and Jelle Vanendert to take victory. Meanwhile, Philippe Gilbert appears to be back in decent form. He was unable to win his third consecutive beer race but finished sixth.

Image courtesy of

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Cycling Families: Vanendert brothers

Jelle (left) and Dennis Vanendert (image courtesy of Lotto-Belisol)

There’s a pair of brothers riding in today’s Amstel Gold Race – the Vanenderts, Jelle and Dennis – who are both with Belgian team Lotto-Belisol. Jelle transferred from last year’s Omega Pharma-Lotto and co-captains the new team, whose intention is to focus largely on Belgian talent. This vision differs substantially from that of Omega Pharma, hence the split. Omega Pharma are now very happily and successfully co-habiting with Quick Step.

One of those young Belgian talents, getting a chance to fulfil their dream with the team, is Dennis, Jelle’s 23-year old younger brother, who puts his good fortune down to his brother putting in a word for him. I think it’s a bit more than that. Dennis spent 2011 in Farnese Vini’s under-23 squad where he was fourth in Pistoia-Fioranao and third in Giro del Medio Brenta. He has also posted some very promising results in the junior and espoir ranks both on the road and in cyclo-cross, including winning the Belgian junior cyclo-cross championships in 2006.

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