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

Moncoutié takes stage victory for fourth time in row

Category: Cycling

David MoncoutiéI knew that if Sergey Lagutin had a good feeling in a Grand Tour, he could finish well. Still I didn't dare to imagine that he would, after stage 11, be 26th overall. About six minutes behind race leader Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky). I am extremely happy he is.

Wiggins took the leader's jersey today on Estación de Montaña Manzaneda, but he wasn't the winner of the stage.

David Moncoutié (Cofidis) may not win a lot. He has often seemed more like a recreational cyclist rather than a pro cyclist. But when he enjoys riding his bike as a pro, he can win anything and that's what he did today. The climb fitted him well and he took his fourth Vuelta stage in four years after having been part of the key breakaway of the day. On the last climb, he solo attacked and won ahead of Beñat Intxausti (Movistar) and Luis Leon Sanchez (Rabobank). His victory meant that the Frenchman took the blue polka-dot climber’s jersey.

“I had studied the course well, and planned where to attack on the last climb,” he said. “I was thinking about this stage for a while, and after falling short at Sierra Nevada, another finish that I like, I’ve managed to do it.”

E3 Harelbeke gets WorldTour status

Category: Cycling

The International Cycling Union (UCI) has announced that E3 Prijs Vlaanderen-Harelbeke race will have a WorldTour status for 2012. The race will be held on the Friday before Gent-Wevelgem.

The WorldTour race Gent-Wevelgem is raced the Sunday before the Tour of Flanders and often attracts better riders than the E3 Prijs Vlaanderen-Harelbeke¨, which has been raced the day before. Now, things will change.

This year, Fabian Cancellara (Leopard Trek) won the race with a solo attack.

“The granting of this licence recognises the importance of this race in a region that has a strong cycling tradition. The Flanders region has a remarkable heritage and remains a landmark for cyclists around the world,” UCI President Pat McQuaid said in a press release.

Phinney happy with Vuelta so far, expects himself to race the Worlds

Category: Cycling

Taylor PhinneyTaylor Phinney (BMC) is racing his first ever Grand Tour, and at today's rest day he said that he aims to complete the Vuelta a España and to be in great form at the Worlds in September.

The neo-pro had a difficult start to his year but he can't complain about the second half of the season. Yesterday, he finished fifth place in the individual time trial.

“I’m really happy with how the time trial went. I wasn’t really sure on what to expect because this is the longest race I’ve done. I did eight days at the Tour of Austria and now I’m passed that. So to be up there and competitive after ten days of racing and in my first grand tour, I’m really happy. And I’m also really happy for Chris Froome for his ride. He’s a friend of mine and a great guy who I’ve been lucky enough to get to know this year,” Phinney told Cyclingnews.

There won't be anymore time trials in the Spanish Grand Tour now, and he is now focusing on finish the race.

Next month, he wishes to race in the US team for the time trial at the world championships in Copenhagen, Denmark. American national time trial champion David Zabriskie is expected to race, as well.

“For me this experience has been a good adventure and something positive for the future. I think that the ride in the time trial should help me qualify for the Worlds time time trial in Copenhagen and as everyone knows, representing my country is a huge honor for me. I think I’ve put in a deserving ride to get a spot now. There are two spots so I would imagine that Dave Zabriskie would take one and I would take the other.”

“For now though, if I can finish the Vuelta I’d be really happy so that’s the main goal. I’m thinking about getting into a break later in the race but I’m also looking forward to resting up today.”