The winner of the first stage of the 2nd Les 3 Jours de Vaucluse was not a newbie. He has been professional since 1997. He is French and he races for Agritubel, a Professional Continental squad. His name is Nicolas Vogondy and according to some paper, don't remember which, he is also one of the most romantic cyclists in the peloton. Or at least he was. I don't know now.
From "my" amateur squad, AVC Aix, Nicolas Fritsch did a great race and finished fifth.
This smile is so fake, so I wish Mirco Lorenzetto smiled more when he won the stage today.
Finally Mirco Lorenzetto (Lampre) won a stage at Vuelta a la Comunidad Valenciana (Gran Premio Bancaja) and therefore scored his first win for his new Lampre team. He has been close the whole week but has not been able to win. Until today his only pro victory was the 6th stage in the Tour Méditerranéen 2007, but now he has finally been taking another one.
The rider became professional in 2004 with De Nardi and I remember that I thought he would win many races during his career. But I know now that it is not simple winning. The very next year he went to the newly created ProTour-squad Domina Vacanze and he raced with Mirko Celestino, Serhiy Honchar and the neo-pro Maxim Iglinskiy. When the squad stopped he continued to Team Milram and there raced with Alessandro Petacchi and Erik Zabel and since January he has been racing for Lampre and races in the same squad as Alessandro Ballan, Damiano Cunego and Danilo Napolitano.
Today Lorenzetto won over Spaniard Xavier Florencio (Bouygues Télécom) and Lorenzetto's compatriot Filippo Pozzato (Liquigas).
Rubén Plaza (Benfica) kept the race lead as he stayed with the front group when the peloton was split up, just like the winner did. Plaza, who celebrates his 28th birthday today, wasn't sure that he could take the overall classification on Saturday's final stage. "Nothing is decided," he said. "Tomorrow's stage will be hard due to the wind. We will have to be very attentive.".
It will be fun to follow the results of the race tomorrow when the stage will start and end in Valencia.
Tomorrow the 63rd Omloop Het Volk will begin. So soon the Classics will begin. Fun! But tomorrow Omloop Het Volk will be the race to watch and extra fun is that you can check it out at http://www.cycling.tv/ . Sadly it costs £29.99 for a whole year. Or if you want to go quarterly (3 month) you can pay £16.99. But I cannot afford that much, especially not as I will not be home a lot in the next three months. Instead I will watch the race carefully at the live coverage at http://www.cyclingnews.com/road/2008/mar08/hetvolk08/?id=live. It will be fun. Plus Sergey Lagutin and Sergey Kolesnikov will do the race, so it will be fun to follow Team Collstrop's Russian riders. Sergey Rudaskov and Kolesnikov will race in Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne, and Lagutin will have a short break then. Nice. I just love the fact that Cycle Collstrop's three Russian (Uzbek) riders have the same name. It's just hilarious.