Nationals Roundup: Terpstra and Wegmann repeat as national champions
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Sunday, June 24, 2012

Nationals Roundup: Terpstra and Wegmann repeat as national champions

by Kyle Moore at 7:16 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, National Championships
 
Hear from winners in Switzerland, Spain, Great Britain, Russia, and more

Niki TerpstraThe Sunday before the Tour de France sees many national championships contested across the European nations.  As the action wraps up and the new national coloured jerseys are being sewn, VeloNation provides news and reaction from many of the big winners around Europe.

The Netherlands:
Niki Terpstra (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) repeated his success in the Dutch national road race from 2010, when he took the win in Beek during his final season with Team Milram.  Sunday’s win was Terpstra’s second big victory of the season, after he was victorious in Dwars door Vlaanderen in March.  The Dutchman soloed to his second national title, going clear with 40km to race, and grabbing a two-minute margin over runner-up Lars Boom (Rabobank) in a weather-ravaged race.  Bertjan Lindeman (Vacansoleil-DCM) was third.

“I'm happy about my performance,” Terpstra stated.  “I have to say that I surprised myself.  We were in a little group and I tried to accelerate to split the group and make it smaller but I remained alone.  At that point I took the risk and I did a time trial.  I like these kinds of races with bad weather conditions.  It's my second title, and the first win was great, but this one, with a solo ride, is even better!”

Germany:
Fabian Wegmann (Garmin-Barracuda), two times a previous winner of the German road race title, in 2007 and 2008, got his first win with his new team, taking his third national jersey ahead of Linus Gerdemann (Radioshack-Nissan) and Julian Kern (Leopard-Trek CT).  Paul Martens (Rabobank) was fourth, more than a minute back.

The win is Wegmann’s first since the Eschborn-Frankfurt road race in 2010.

“I didn’t win a race last year, so this is huge,” a relieved Wegmann said, according to RadsportNews.com.  “I have already seen that I am on track, but as an individual competitor, of course it’s difficult.  I played a game of poker and then put everything on the sprint.  I knew, because I was the fastest.”

Andre Greipel (Lotto-Belisol) and Danilo Hondo (Lampre-ISD) both lost over four minutes, and could not contest the sprint.

Martin KohlerSwitzerland:
In a very tight race between two in-form Swiss riders, Martin Kohler (BMC Racing) edged out Michael Albasini (Orica-GreenEdge) by mere inches.  A group of 21 got away very early in the race, five of which were BMC riders.  With the pace hot throughout the 22-lap race, riders were continually dropped, until only eight remained.  Fabian Cancellara (Radioshack-Nissan) was third, and BMC Racing team-mates Michael Schär, Mathias Frank, and Steve Morabito all finished with the lead group, in sixth, seventh, and eighth respectively.

“In the team’s strategy [session], we had planned that if there was a sprint, we would ride for me, and my teammates have been fantastic,” Kohler said.  “They launched many attacks and even if we didn’t get to drop Cancellara and Albasini, I could save energy for the finish thanks to their help.  It’s fantastic to have this title and I will show this jersey all season on the roads and I hope to have nice victories with it.  It’s also important for the team, because we really went there for the win and our sponsor, BMC, deserves this victory in its home country.”

Denmark:
Danish team Glud & Marstrand-LRO seriously upset the applecart for home favourite Saxo Bank, with 23-year-old Sebastian Lander finishing off the victory in a sprint ahead of two-time defending champion Nicki Sorensen (Saxo Bank).  Sorensen was less than pleased after the race.

“I was isolated [in the finale], and it was a shame because we had some riders just behind.  But that is not why I did not win – I just wasn’t strong enough today,” Sorensen stated, according to Feltet.dk.  “They rode a great race,” Sorensen said of the Glud & Marstrand-LRO team, who had riders finish first, third, and fourth.

“There was every opportunity to race up the hill at the end, but I did not have the legs to do it.  I tried, but it was a pathetic attempt,” grumbled Sorensen.

Spain:
Team Movistar surpassed its win total for the entire 2011 season with Francisco Ventoso’s Spanish national road race title on Sunday in Salamanca.  The Spanish team controlled the race throughout, weathering constant attacks, before bringing it together for the finish.  Jose Joaquin Rojas had the title last year, and the jersey will stay with the team for another year after Ventoso’s win.

“I am very, very happy with this title,” Ventoso lauded.  “From my first year as an amateur, [Salamanca] has always been good, both in the Vuelta a Castilla y Leon, where I won twice, and in two National appearances here.  I can say that the Giro d’Italia helped me get here.  I took six days without thinking about the bike, and when I started training seriously, the feelings were good.  This race has become very hard in the heat, which always takes its toll.  My next goal is to start the Tour of Poland, to debut this jersey there makes me really happy.”

Ian StannardGreat Britain:
In Ampleforth, East Yorkshire, Ian Stannard (Sky Procycling) went solo for the British national road racing championship, finishing more than a minute ahead of team-mate Alex Dowsett.  Team Sky also took places four and five, with Ben Swift and Jeremy Hunt respectively.  Russell Hampton (Raleigh-GAC) rounded out the podium in third.

 
“It was a really tough course.  I didn’t expect it to be so hard but it suited me better.  I’m really happy to win today,” Stannard said on the Sky Procycling website.  “It’s a weird race, the nationals.  You kind of have to race it from the front.  The plan was always to be at the front of the race and take it on from there.  So it worked out well.
 
“I felt comfy all day.  It was a quite demanding course but I just soaked it up well.  I’m really happy with the way it went.  It just worked itself out.  I just had a little dig on the climb and went away.  It’s really nice to keep [the jersey] in the team.  There’s been so many great riders wear it over the years.  It will be really cool to ride the Classics and just race in it.  That will be really special.”
 
Russia:
Katusha rode the Russian road championship in dominating fashion, taking the top six spots, with Eduard Vorganov earning the right to wear the national colours for the next year.  The race around Voronezh – Vorganov’s hometown – got underway in earnest with 60 of the 194 kilometers to race.  Vladimir Gusev (Katusha) sprung a move of about 12 riders, including trade team-mates Vorganov, Pavel Brutt, Yuriy Trofimov, and Alexander Kolobnev.
 
With 30km to go, Trofimov attacked and only Kolobnev and Brutt could follow.  Kolobnev was second to the line, and Brutt was third.  Gusev, Trofimov, and Vladimir Isaichev followed in fourth, fifth, and sixth.
 
“We knew our success could only be created through attacking and controlling the race,” Vorganov said afterward.  “I am very happy with the victory.  It was a dream for me.  I am very happy to win in front of my family and my friends in my hometown.  Thanks to all my teammates and the whole team for this victory.  I dedicate this victory to my family.  I am very proud to wear the Russian champion’s jersey next Saturday at the start of the Tour de France.”
 
Michal GolasPoland:
After a string of solid finishes, including a ninth place in the Tour of Turkey, Omega Pharma-Quick Step support rider Michal Golas took his home jersey in the Polish road race.
 
“It's my first national title,” the 28-year-old said.  “It's a great joy!  I have to thank Kwiatkowski.  Michal was in the breakaway, and I could stay relaxed in the group, saving energy for the final.  In the last kilometers I decided to do the sprint.  I won in a sprint group, so this makes my victory even more special.  I dedicate this victory to my wife and my little daughter [born earlier in the week].  Now I really can't wait to put on this jersey at the Tour of Poland!”
 
Golas was the King of the Mountains in his home tour last year, riding for Vacansoleil-DCM.
 
Italy:
After Franco Pellizotti (Androni-Giocattoli) won the road race on Saturday, Dario Cataldo (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) provided a bit of an upset in the time trial on Sunday, besting defending champion Adriano Malori (Lampre-ISD) and Italian TT legend Marco Pinotti (BMC Racing).  Tiziano Dall’Antonia (Liquigas-Cannondale) was fourth.
 
“I was looking forward to this race for a long time,” Cataldo was quoted on the team website. “In 2010, I was second in the national time trial championship in Treviso, but today it was amazing.  The course was perfect for my skills.  It was quite a hilly route.  In the first lap, I had a good tempo without spending too much energy.  Then I gave everything in the last few kilometers that were in slightly uphill.
 
“I prepared for the race with my director Davide Bramati, and I knew that in the last five kilometers I could have made the difference.  Wearing the tricolor jersey creates a great emotion.  I'm sure it will give me more awareness of my skills.  I don't find this to be a surprise.  I always had good results in the time trial.  What was missing was the great result.”
 
Elsewhere:
Norway’s Edvald Boasson Hagen (Sky Procycling) took his first national title on the road, in a victory ahead of team-mate Lars Petter Nordhaug.  Ryan Roth (Spidertech-C10) won Canada’s road race title.  Peter Sagan (Liquigas-Cannondale) repeated as champion on the road in Slovakia.  Laurent Didier (Radioshack-Nissan) is the new champion of Luxembourg, ahead of Ben Gastaurer (AG2R-La Mondiale) and Frank Schleck (Radioshack-Nissan).

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