Another Kicker Finale ... Stage 3 sees 197 km that begins like a classic “first week sprinters’ stage” of Tours gone by, and finishes like a One Day Classic, with five categorised climbs in the final 33km. It is still not going to be difficult enough to separate the big hitters by anything more than a second or two, but it will be too hard for pure sprinters to be a chance of figuring in the finale.
What have Geraint Thomas, Adam Blythe and new sprint star – he was only narrowly beaten by Boonen at Kuurne – Moreno Hofland all got in common? There’s a clue above in the place name: they’ve all won the junior Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne. And adding to that illustrious list is another Englishman; 17 year-old James Shaw from Heanor in Derbyshire, he rides for HARIBO Beacon Cycling Team in the UK and took the honours with a perfectly timed move in the finale of one of the world’s premier junior races.
There were some great rides in the World Elite time trial championships; the trouble was that Fabian's towering performance over shadowed everything. Take the man in 11th spot - Dave McCann of Ireland, no sponsor, no state of the art bike but a solid performance that saw him in the 'hot seat' area for a large part of that sunny afternoon in Mendrisio..
The recent UCi 2.1 Tour of Taiwan was a good one for ex-Raleigh riders; Bernie Sulzberger backed by his strong Australian DRAPAC team took the overall win. Whilst former team mate, Englishman Liam Holohan now with the Madison Genesis team took ninth on GC, a slim 15 seconds from the overall podium.
On his return to UK, Liam took time to tell VeloVeritas about Asian racing, the return of steel frames and the UK race scene.