In addition to picking three riders each to watch in 2013, each of the VeloVoices has also selected one of the 19 WorldTour teams to follow. We’ll look at Kitty, Sheree and Ant’s choices tomorrow but today it’s the turn of Panache, Jack and Tim to run the rule over their chosen squads.
- Australian National Championships: Rohan Dennis 2nd in individual time trial. Steele Von Hoff 3rd in road race.
- Vuelta a Andalucia: Tyler Farrar 2nd in one stage and 3rd in one stage.
- Paris-Nice: Andrew Talansky 2nd overall, won one stage, 2nd in one stage, 3rd in one stage and best young rider.
- Criterium International: Andrew Talansky 6th overall.
- Volta a Catalunya: Dan Martin 1st overall and won one stage.
- GP Miguel Indurain: Peter Stetina 3rd.
- Scheldeprijs: Tyler Farrar 6th.
The Argyle team led by manager Jonathan Vaughters has had some ups and downs in early 2013. They started the season with three of their most experienced riders (Christian Vande Velde, Dave Zabriskie and Tom Danielson) serving USADA doping suspensions until March. To make things even more challenging the team had 16 Di2-equipped Cervelo R5s stolen in February at the Tour of the Mediterranean.
However, fortune smiled on the team with Andrew Talansky‘s fantastic performance at Paris-Nice in which the young ‘pit-bull’ secured second overall on GC and the best young rider’s jersey.
Spring also saw the return of the ‘Garmin Three’ at the Volta a Catalunya, where 26-year old Dan Martin won the queen stage with a solo ride on the Port Ainé-Rialp summit finish which propelled the Irishman into the overall race lead which he would not relinquish. It’s the biggest victory so far this season for the team and the most prestigious of Martin’s career to date.
The team is now preparing for May, when they will attempt to defend Ryder Hesjedal‘s Giro d’Italia title.
WorldTour ranking: 4th, 380 pts.
- Tour Down Under: Javi Moreno 2nd overall, 2nd on one stage and 3rd on one stage.
- Trofeo Serra de Tramuntana: Alejandro Valverde 1st.
- Volta ao Algarve: Rui Costa 2nd on one stage.
- Vuelta a Andalucía: Alejandro Valverde 1st overall, 1st on two stages and 2nd on one stage.
- Vuelta a Murcia: Alejandro Valverde 3rd overall.
- Paris-Nice: Nairo Quintana 3rd on one stage. Jose Joaquin Rojas 3rd on one stage.
- Tirreno-Adriatico: 2nd in team time trial. Andrey Amador 8th overall and 3rd on one stage.
- Volta a Catalunya: Nairo Quintana 1st on one stage, 3rd on one stage. Alejandro Valverde 2nd on one stage, 3rd on one stage.
- Gent-Wevelgem: Andrey Amador 10th.
- Vuelta al Pais Vasco: Nairo Quintana 1st overall, 1st on one stage and 2nd on one stage. Benat Intxausti 3rd on one stage.
- Klasika Primavera: Rui Costa 1st.
- Amstel Gold: Alejandro Valverde 2nd.
Movistar can’t complain about their season opening, with both their veterans and young talents delivering some excellent results. 32-year-old team leader Alejandro Valverde has delighted the Spanish fans by mopping up a couple of wins in the early season Spanish races, including the general classification at the Vuelta a Andalucía. Second place in yesterday’s Amstel Gold Race bodes well for the rest of Ardennes Week.
Even more exciting than Valverde, though, is how young climbers Nairo Quintana and Rui Costa have performed. The former has already been tipped as a future Tour de France winner, and has reaffirmed his credentials with podiums in Paris-Nice and overall wins at the Volta a Catalunya and Vuelta al País Vasco. Costa has tasted success at the Klasika Primavera and is now looking towards the Tour de France, which he’ll ride alongside Quintana in support of Valverde.
Elsewhere, VeloVoices’ favourite Costa Rican Andrey Amador has impressed at some of the more prestigious races this season. He achieved a podium at Tirreno-Adriatico on his way to eighth in the general classification, and followed that up with a top ten finish at the Belgian classic Gent-Wevelgem.
WorldTour ranking: 16th, 106 pts.
- Etoile de Besseges: Lieuwe Westra 8th overall.
- Tour of Qatar: Barry Markus 2nd in two stages, 3rd in one stage.
- Volta ao Algarve: Lieuwe Westra 3rd overall.
- Paris-Nice: Lieuwe Westra 8th overall and 3rd in one stage.
- Tirreno-Adriatico: Wout Poels 10th overall.
- Volta a Catalunya: Thomas de Gendt won one stage.
- Gent-Wevelgem: Juan Antonio Flecha 5th.
- Three Days of De Panne: Lieuwe Westra 5th overall.
- Scheldeprijs: Barry Markus 3rd.
- Paris-Roubaix: Juan Antonio Flecha 8th.
- Amstel Gold: Bjorn Leukemans 7th.
It has been a tough start to the season for Vacansoleil-DCM, with nearly half the team’s WorldTour points total coming from new recruit Juan Antonio Flecha‘s fifth place at Gent-Wevelgem and eighth at Paris-Roubaix, his eighth top-ten finish there in the last nine years. Lieuwe Westra has been the team’s most consistent rider, finishing eighth overall at Paris-Nice. He was third in the prologue, one of four third-placed finishes for him so far. He also finished on the bottom step of the podium at the Volta ao Algarve and was fifth at Three Days of De Panne.
The team has recorded just one win so far this season – Thomas de Gendt‘s victory in Barcelona on the concluding stage of the Volta a Catalunya, although Wout Poels did finish a creditable tenth overall in a stellar field at Tirreno-Adriatico. The other shining star has been 21-year-old sprinter Barry Markus, who recorded two seconds and a third at the Tour of Qatar, and powered his way to a strong third place behind Marcel Kittel and Mark Cavendish at the recent Scheldeprijs. And Bjorn Leukemans‘ seventh place at Amstel Gold yesterday provided some small cause for celebration, leapfrogging them from 18th to 16th in the latest team rankings. The team will be hoping for more decent results in the two remaining Ardennes races this week, Fleche Wallonne and Liege-Bastogne-Liege, ahead of next month’s Giro d’Italia.