My name is Elin - A pro cycling lover's reflections

Evans won Fleche Wallone, is now looking forward to Liege

Category: Cycling

Liège-Bastogne-Liège is one of the most famous one day races around and if you want to see a fantastic race, then check it out tomorrow. Many of the most famous cyclists will be there. Andy and Frank Schleck, Cadel Evans, Christian Vande Velde, Alejandro Valverde, Philippe Gilbert, Damiano Cunego and Ryder Hesjedal, for example will be there.

Cadel Evans of BMC is a favourite to the victory and he hopes that this week's events (Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège) will create a good basis for a potential victory in the Giro d'Italia.

World champion Cadel Evans claimed Flèche Wallonne on Wednesday, ahead of Alberto Contador (Astana). BMC has been an embarrassment this year, the results have been lacking, and Evans' victory was the squad's first. In the future, they might take more victories, but there is reasons to wonder if this team should've been invited to big races, like the Giro d'Italia and the Tour de France. They have, after all, had fewer victories than many other Pro-Continental team. Now Cadel Evans, Alessandro Ballan (suspended), Karsten Kroon (injured) and George Hincapie belong to the team, but apparently it hasn't helped them so far.

The expectation that the team's cyclists (ie Cadel Evans) can make good results in the two races is the only reason they are invited. It is not a bad reason, but sad that the team isn't better than that. On paper it looked really good this year, but so far the squad has mostly had problems with doping rumours and doped riders.

“We know Cadel can do well in this type of race,” said Lelangue. “He showed in Amstel Gold Race that he was in good shape and then he won Flèche Wallonne."

"[After Flèche Wallonne] other teams will be looking at us more closely," continued Lelangue. "We're confident we can work well to bring Cadel to the finish in the best condition.”

BMC Racing Team roster for Liège-Bastogne-Liège: Brent Bookwalter, Cadel Evans, Mathias Frank, Jeff Louder, Steve Morabito, Jackson Stewart, Danilo Wyss and Simon Zahner. Wow, that was a pretty weak team.

Uzbekistan needs a stronger cycling squad

Category: Cycling

One day left before my trip to New York. I’ll be there for three weeks and that means I will really have the chance to check out the city. Surely I will do so much more than just the touristic things, indeed I don’t plan to see all the touristic stuffs but just hang around with the New Yorkers. It would of course be a big dream to actually get a job in the US, and live there for a year or two, but it’s really difficult to get a green card. It’s so much easier if you’re an athlete or have a nice education, which no one else has. Unfortunately I don’t belong to that group, nor am I married to an American. But nothing is ever impossible.

Tour de Korea started yesterday and Sergey Lagutin was obviously not there. Vadim Shaekhov started the race fairly well. He finished in 19th place, with the chasing group. Ying Hon Yeung (HKg) won the stage by a solo attack. It's really a shame that Vadim doesn't have a stronger team around him. He is a good cyclist, but would need more help. More experience.

I fancy Uzbekistan and the country's cyclists. When I visited Uzekistan I saw many of them when I walked around in Tashkent. I confess that I have special feelings to them and want them all the best.

It is difficult for the Uzbek cyclists to race for an amateur team in Europe. It's not impossible though and Vadim Shaekhov has raced in Europe, but they don't come further. Sergey Lagutin won everything that he could possile win as a U23-cyclist, but Vadim was almost too old when he traveled to Europe. Lagutin got contract offers as an amateur rider, (he won the U23-world championships in 2003), so surely teams were interested.

Several Uzbek cyclists got a chance to compete in Europe during the early years, but now it has slowed down. I don't believe Shaekhov will have a chance to race as a professional. Still it would be a dream to see him race in Europe or why not North America for a year.

I have to go and do a few things, but I'll write more later. Love/ Elin

Liquigas-Doimo hires Sagan's bro

Category: Cycling

Liquigas-Doimo has decided to hire Peter Sagan's older brother Juraj Sagan.

Juraj Sagan has earlier raced for Continental Dukla Trencin-Merida team. This year he has raced with French DN2 Team Albert Bigot 79, but will now ride for the ProTour squad until 2012, when his younger brother's contract will also be up for renewal.

The young Peter Sagan has really been given power by his team and it was imporant for him to race with his brother. Many brothers in the sport of cycling is racing together. They share room during races and they like to spend time together. In addition, they know each other 100% and know exactly when one of the brother is stronger than the other.

I think it was who wrote an article as an April joke, that a cycling team would start, who would only hire brothers. According to the article Andy and Fränk Schleck, Romain and Brice Feillu, Vladimir and Alexandr Efimkin etc. should be hired. Well, it was a very funny thought. But really, I am glad that Juraj and Peter Sagan will stay in Liquigas-Doimo. The squad needs them.