Rocacorba Daily: Friday, March 29

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It’s Good Friday and I sincerely hope you’re out riding instead of surfing the internet, but just in case you’re trapped inside sick, injured, working or otherwise, here are Rocacorba’s daily treasures to keep you occupied. Have a wonderful long weekend and ride safe.

Chavanel wins overall in Three Days de Panne

Sylvain Chavanel (OPQ) won the overall classification thanks to a superb time trial ride after Alexander Kristoff (KAT) won the morning sprint stage.

The third and final stage of 2013 Driedaagse De Panne – Koksijde began with 110 km long 3a stage which was won by Alexander Kristoff in a chaotic bunch sprint. The Italian fast duo of Sacha Modolo (Bardiani Valvole) and Elia Viviani (CAN) tried to overhaul the Norwegian who eventually proved too strong for them.

Sylvain Chavanel came into the time-trial stage 10 seconds down in the overall, and demolished the 14.7km course, winning the 3b stage and the overall for a second straight year. He won with a time of 18:02, which was fastest by 19 seconds. Teammate Niki Terpstra (OPQ) also finished 3rd in the GC.

See full results here.

Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) wins the sprint on the third stage of the Driedaagse (Three Days) van De Panne

Sagan abandons De Panne for Ronde

Peter Sagan (Cannondale) joined Tom Boonen in abandoning the Driedaagse van De Panne overnight. Instead of racing the final day on Thursday, Sagan and team-mated trained specifically for the Ronde van Vlaanderen on Sunday.

“I think I’m going well,” Sagan said on Tuesday. “I think I’m in good condition for Sunday. I’ll just need luck.”

Cannondale’s Maciej Bodnar and Kristjan Koren, André Greipel (Lotto-Belisol) and Luca Paolini (Katusha) also quit De Panne.

Sagan trained for an hour yesterday morning. Today, he trains on the climbs, covering the Koppenberg, Kwaremont and Paterberg.

Experience counts, says Cannondale DS Zanatta

Sagan needed the experience in De Panne’s first two days, according to Cannondale DS Stefano Zanatta.

“Experience is everything,” Zanatta told VeloNews.

“He needs only to keep gaining experience managing the race and the different moments, like when you need to give 100 percent or when it wouldn’t change anything to give only 90 percent. So, he still needs to gain experience in managing races over 200 kilometres. Many times he does well, however I think that he still needs experience. This comes only with racing.”

Sagan raced the classics as an amateur, but this is only his third season taking part in the pro editions. The 23-year-old rode at the sharp end of E3 Harelbeke when Fabian Cancellara (RadioShack-Leopard) attacked to win on the Kwaremont. He won Gent-Wevelgem and on Tuesday, the first stage of De Panne.

Read more on velonews.

Rugby leads the way, in dopers

Rugby produces the most positive doping tests in France, according to numbers collected by the French anti-doping agency (AFLD).

The agency does not test in cycling’s big races, but in all other competition. In 2012, it carried out 1812 tests in cycling and 588 in rugby. It did not reveal what percentages of positives came from the two groups, but said Rugby led the way.


Gilbert breaks kit rules

World Champion Philippe Gilbert (BMC Racing) was pictured in non-team-issue kit at home in Monaco. Instead of Pearl IZumi, he wore Assos shorts.

Team owner, Andy Rihs will not be happy because as blogger Inner Ring wrote, “The sport has been underpinned by the concept of manufacturers hiring riders to promote their goods.”

Baby Giro d’Italia in trouble

In addition to several races in Spain, the long-running amateur Giro d’Italia, the GiroBio is suffering financially.

“The situation is dramatic,” organiser Gian Carlo Brocci told Italy’s Tutto Bici website. “We lack funds to be able to put on a good race.”

Brocci is reaching out to the teams to help fund the race, this year scheduled for June 7 to 16.

Last year, Joe Dombrowski became the first American to win. He joined team Sky over the winter.


Algeria’s first professional, Youcef Reguigui

Youcef Reguigui (MTN-Qhubeka) is making waves in Europe racing as Algeria’s first professional.

“My father raced in Europe when he was young, but he didn’t have a chance to race professional without a team like MTN-Qhubeka. I’ve got to thank them to be here in Oudenaarde, to have a chance to support Gerald Ciolek.”

Reguigui made his way through to the pro ranks thanks to the UCI’s cycling centres in South African and in Switzerland. MTN-Qhubeka is an official parent team of the African centre.

He considers himself a one-day racer, wanting to race in Ronde van Vlaanderen or Paris-Roubaix, and of course, the Tour de France. This year, MTN does not have invitations for those races, but Reguigui does not mind. He said that he hopes to just gain experience racing in Driedaagse van De Panne.

Read more on velonews.

Sky drops RadioShack in Corsica training

Ronde van Vlaanderen – We are ready!

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