Campagnolo’s teased with an electronic shifting group since before Shimano’s Di2 was a twinkle in our dream bike builds, but they’ve continued to test everyone’s patience by putting the group on only a select few riders’ bikes over the years.
This year, they seem to be saying (without actually saying anything) they’re close to bringing the group to production by outfitting entire teams with the group and showing off a rather polished collection of parts. Shown here on the Movistar team bikes for ye old Ronde van Vlaanderen in pics from iRide UK’s Tom Marchment, the full electronic group looks amazing.
To read the full article and see more detailed pics, go to bikerumor by clicking (more…)
The third stage of this year’s Tour de France will take the riders 207 kilometers from Wanze, Belgium to Arenberg Porte du Hainaut, and will include seven cobbled sectors along the way totalling 13.2 kilometers. Some overall contenders will use the Tour of Flanders to gain valuable experience riding on the pavé.
Seven Pro Continental teams have been given wild cards including Bbox Bouygues Telecom, BMC Racing, Cervélo TestTeam, Landbouwkrediet, Skil-Shimano, Topsport Vlaanderen – Mercator and the Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team. Missing on the list is the French Cofidis team who, along with Bbox Bouygues Telecom, lost their ProTour status in the off-season.
BMC Racing, Cervélo TestTeam and Vacansoleil are expected to help shape the race, with the former and latter riding to impress Tour de France organizers into giving them a wild card invite. Cervélo TestTeam will hope to have last year’s second place finisher Heinrich Haussler, who was riding strong until a knee injury disrupted his build up. Haussler will miss Milan-Sanremo this weekend, but has time to get back on track if he can get the problem under control.
Former Tour of Flanders winner Alessandro Ballan and teammate George Hincapie are also expected perform well after their switch to BMC Racing. They have eight top ten finishes between the two of them, and will also have strong support by last year’s seventh place finisher Marcus Burghardt. Vacansoleil’s Johnny Hoogerland has had a good start to the season, and has Flanders marked out as one of his major season goals. The Skil-Shimano team will also look to ride aggressively to help secure a Tour de France invite with the race’s Grand Depart taking place in The Netherlands this year.
Belgian Stijn Devolder (Quick Step) will have to contend with the removal of the Eikenmolen, the springboard for his victories in the last two years, as part of major changes to the 2010 route. The Paddestraat, one of the worst sections of cobbles, is also gone, wheras the Molenberg has been moved.
The rest of the Belgian contingent will also be looking to add a Flanders win to their Palmares, with Philippe Gilbert (Omega Pharma-Lotto), Nick Nuyens (Rabobank) and Devolder’s teammate Tom Boonen all showing good form so far this season. Others that have had a good start to the season include Filippo Pozzato (Katusha), Juan Antonio Flecha (Team Sky) and the Saxo Bank duo of Matti Breschel and Fabian Cancellara.
Tour of Flanders climbs for 2010:
1 Den Ast km124 (450m – avg 5.7%)
2 Kluisberg km157 (1800m – avg 6.3% – max 14%)
3 Knokteberg km165 (1100m – avg 8% – max 13%)
4 Oude-Kwaremont km172 (2200m – avg 4% – max 11,6% – 1500m cobbles )
5 Paterberg km175 ( 360m – avg 12,9% – max 20,3% – 360m cobbles)
6 Koppenberg km182 (600m – avg 11,6 % – max 22 % – 600m cobbles)
7 Steenbeekdries km187 (700m – avg 5,3% – max 6,7% – 700m cobbles)
8 Taaienberg km190 (530m – avg 6,6% – max 15.8% – 520m cobbles)
9 Eikenberg km195 (1100m – avg 6,2% – max 10% – 1000m cobbles)
10 Molenberg km210 (463m – avg 7% – max 14,2% – 300m cobbles)
11 Leberg km217 (950m – avg 4,2% – max 13,8% )
12 Berendries km222 (940m – avg 7% – max 12,3%)
13 Tenbosse km229 (450m – avg 6,9% – max 8,7%)
14 Muur – Kapelmuur km239 (475m – avg 9,3% – max 19.8% – 475m cobbles)
15 Bosberg km243 (980m – avg 5,8% – max 11% – 400m cobbles)
Tour of Flanders teams for 2010:
Quick Step (BEL)
Omega Pharma-Lotto (BEL)
Caisse d’Epargne (ESP)
AG2R-La Mondiale (FRA);Française des
Lampre-Farnese Vini (ITA)
Team Sky (GBR)
Saxo Bank (DAN)
Pro Continental Teams:
BBox Bouygues Telecom (FRA)
BMC Racing Team (USA)
Cervélo TestTeam (SUI)
Topsport Vlaanderen – Mercator (BEL)
Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team (NED)