Saturday, June 30, 2012

Tour Preview - Stage 1

If you thought this was a stage for the sprinters you better modify your fantasy team. Looking at the official profile from LeTour the last 2,5 km have a part of 1,4 km with 5,8% average. But again, don’t be fooled. The average percentages of the 1400 meters may be 5,8% but 700 meters of those are around 15% up to Côte du Bois Hézalles!

On the top of the hill the riders turn left on a cobblestone section which for sure will get many riders to explode after being in red for the past 700 meters uphill. After turning right on Avenue de Centenaire it’s straight out home to the finishing line. Average of 2% - give or take.

This last hard part means that you won’t see sprinters like Andre Greipel and Marcel Kittel in the final, but more the sort of fast guys like Peter Sagan, Phillipe Gilbert, Edvald Boasson Hagen and maybe even Matthew Goss. Sagan will be extra motivated after he lost his chances for yellow on the prologue while Phillipe Gilbert did a great prologue and now is in a good position to take the yellow jersey on home soil in Belgium.

The steep part on Côte du Bois Hézalles
Click for larger view!
At Team Sky the man for the stage is ‘Eddie the Boss’, but it will be very interesting to see how Mark Cavendish tackles the steep part after losing four kilos before the season. Cavendish had to lose weight in order to get up over the hills with the best in the Olympic Road Race and even though these 15% may be too much for him, I’m sure the World Champion won’t just sit up and take it easy.

Another guy who’s riding on home soil is the young Vacansoleil-DCM climber Wout Poels and he showed last year, in the Vuelta España, that he can be very dangerous in a final like this one. Look out for him!

My pick: Peter Sagan to win Stage 1.

With only 10% chance of rain we should be in for another sunny day with the riders enjoying a bit of tail wind on the last 80 km back towards Liège. Let’s hope we won’t see any crashes like last year. It would be great if all the favorites made it to the mountains this time…

Photo © Laura Meseguer

Friday, June 29, 2012

Tour Preview - Prologue

This year’s Tour de France starts out with 6,4 km prologue in Liege, Belgium. Apparently the city of Liege has paid ASO over 4 million Euros to host the start of the Tour, so let’s hope we are in for a great show from the very start.

Looking at the course it’s difficult not to pick Fabian Cancellara as the big favorite. The technical route suits the Suisse time trial machine perfectly and he should be able to take good advantage of his outstanding bike handling skills. It’s a course that favors the ITT-specialists able to accelerate many times and therefore not exactly Tony Martin’s cup of tea.

In Tour de Suisse Peter Sagan showed he is capable of beating Fabian Cancellara on a technical course but this time there is no uphill section where Sagan can gain a little time on Cancellara. Bradley Wiggins is another good pick for the Top3 and I would be surprised if these riders won’t fight it out for the first yellow jersey of the Tour. If you are looking for an outsider go with Sylvain Chavanel. He is going strong right now and he aims big on this prologue.

My pick: Fabian Cancellara to win the prologue.

As of Friday evening it should stay dry around 14:00 CET when Tom Veelers rolls down the start ramp in Liege so let’s hope it won’t change. Wind direction could change a little from SSW to SW giving the late starters a bit more tail wind on the ‘long’ stretch alongside the canal, but it shouldn’t really matter much.

You can find the starting order for the prologue right here.

Tour de France 2012 - The Favorites

The 99th edition of the Tour de France starts out Saturday in Liege with a 6,4 km prologue. A perfect start for the overall favorite, Bradley Wiggins. No one can argue that Wiggins is among the top favorites for the yellow jersey in Paris, probably even the biggest favorite of them all. With just over 100 km of time trialing it’s set to be a fight between the best against the clock and so far this year Bradley Wiggins has shown to be the best.

The question to ask is:
Can Wiggins minimize the time loss to the other favorites in the few mountain stages and win it back in the time trials?” - My answer is Yes.

After he crashed on stage 7 and withdrew last year, everything has been put on to win the Tour this time. Team Sky know they will be strongest team and thereby have everybody else looking at them to control the race. To cope with the big task they have been preparing the riders and trying to control and race for yellow in every stage race so far this year. In Algarve they won with Richie Porte after a tremendous work from the whole team (including Bradley Wiggins working hard in front to set up Porte’s attack - now he can count on Porte to do the same for him in the Tour), in Paris-Nice they controlled the race from the very first day and won with Bradley Wiggins. Same thing happened in Tour de Romandie and latest in Criterium du Dauphine where Team Sky murdered all competition with four riders in Top10 – three of these in the Top4!

So despite never been defending the yellow jersey in the Tour before, Team Sky sure have experience in controlling a stage race and winning the overall classification. Another important thing to remember is that in all of the stages races Bradley Wiggins has taking part this year he has shown to be one of the strongest riders in the uphill section too. It’s true that he build his wins on the time trials, but it’s not like they can just drop him like that when the road goes uphill. In this Tour de France there are only three stages with a mountain top finish and with guys like Rogers, Porte and Froome (all capable of doing Top10 themselves) to set the pace, the pure climbers really have to come up with a something special in order to ruin Bradley Wiggins’ yellow dreams.

The way I see it only a few riders will be able to threaten Bradley Wiggins in the overall classification. Cadel Evans and Denis Menchov. Evans finally won his first Tour last year thanks to his strong time trial skills (he was actually only seven seconds from beating Tony Martin in the final time trial!) and with a course like this year’s, Cadel Evans will never get a better chance of taking another overall victory. Last year he won Tirreno-Adriatico and Tour de Romandie before he ended second in Criterium du Dauphine (see the similarities to Wiggins’ winning pattern this season?) but this year Evans has been struggling to find the right pace. In Tirreno he ended 32th overall and in Romandie 29th. It wasn’t until Dauphine we saw what Cadel Evans is capable of this year when he took 3rd place after the Sky duo Wiggins and Rogers. Evans says that he feels ready but looking results I have my doubts. Hopefully he will be able to put in a good fight but he really needs to bring his A-game to the time trials to keep up with Wiggins.

Same goes for Denis Menchov. The Tour de France is the sole purpose of Menchov’s 2012-season and therefore everything has been set up around the Tour. Menchov signed with Katusha before this season only to focus on winning the Tour (the last of the three GTs he hasn’t won yet) and while his results - or lack of - haven’t been anywhere nearly as good as his main competitors’ you must not count out the Silent Russian Assassin. Denis Menchov knows how to build up towards the Grand Tours and he rarely shows himself before it really counts. Also being representing his home country in the colors of Katusha sure will boost Menchov’s morale quite a bit:

The Tour is my first big stage race with the team of my country, so I´ll give my best in order to win. It´s a great responsibility that gives me high motivations. It's the only Grand Tour I haven't won and it's no secret that this year it has been my main goal”.

Another thing to favor Denis Menchov is his strong time trial skills. As shown numerous times before Menchov is capable of clocking in a great time in the long time trials in the big stage races. Just take a look at these recent results.

Giro d’Italia 2009 - Menchov wins overall and wins the 60,6 km time trial.
Tour de France 2010 - Menchov ends 3rd overall and take 11th place on the final 52 km time trial after the wind changed. He beat the rest of the GC-favorites (including Contador) with more than 2 minutes that day.
Vuelta España 2010 - Menchov takes second place on the final 46 km time trial. Beating Cancellara and Gustav Erik Larsson with 20 and 40 seconds.
Vuelta España 2011 – Menchov ends 5th overall and ends 11th on the 47 km time trial, despite a crash a the earlier stages. He lost around 1 min to Bradley Wiggins that day.

If Denis Menchov arrive to the Tour in his top condition and he stays out of trouble the first week he could very  well end up winning the whole thing as I see him a bit stronger in the mountains than Bradley Wiggins.

Wiggins, Evans & Menchov. These riders are the only ones I have put down as actual “winner candidates” for the Tour. For what concerns the “podium candidates” my paper shows the following names:

Jurgen Van den Broeck
Due to the many kilometers against the clock this year, Jurgen Van den Broeck has been training hard to improve his time trial skills and so far it looks like it has been working. He has never been really bad at it, but when the distance got over 40 km the time gap to the best was around 2½ minutes. Too much if you want to win the Tour. This year the gap to his main competitors has been minimized though- significantly!

In Volta ao Algarve he only lost 28 seconds to Bradley Wiggins on a 25,8 km course and in Criterium du Dauphine the gap was just around 2 mins on the long 53 km time trial. Beating specialists like Edvald Boasson Hagen, Lieuwe Westra and Richie Porte. Actually Jurgen Van den Broeck was only 29 seconds slower than Cadel Evans on that course. Last year Van den Broeck was one of the best riders in the mountains, never afraid of attacking. This year he has been focusing 100% on the Tour but still he showed in Vuelta al Pais Vasco and latest in Dauphine that he has no problems following the best uphill. I see him as a solid Top5 rider with a chance of ending on the podium if it goes his way.

Vincenzo Nibali
Nibali has already won the Vuelta España and ended on the podium in the Giro d’Italia twice (3rd helping team mate Ivan Basso to win it and 2nd last year after Contador’s suspension) – of course he is a contender for the Tour de France podium as well. So far this year his best result (in a stage race) is winning Tirreno-Adriatico where he attack on the hard mountain stage to Prati di Tivo and won solo. He decided to skip the Giro d’Italia (even with a good chance of winning the race) to put all his focus on the Tour de France and because of that, he is a guy to take serious. Not many Italians give away the chance of winning the Giro in order to reach for podium in the Tour.  Still, to pull it off he needs to clock in a better time against Wiggins, Evans and Menchov than he normally does in the time trials and then keep on attacking when the terrains allow it. A couple of the mountain stages end with a downhill section to the finish line and this is where Vincenzo Nibali needs to set in his attack to gain time.

Samuel Sanchez
Same goes for Samuel Sanchez. His time trial skills are without a doubt much better than Nibali’s (and Van den Broeck for that matter) and if one of the big favorites shows not to be ready, Samuel Sanchez has a good chance of making a big result for himself in this Tour. Last year he ended 5th in the general classification and won the polka dot jersey. This year the only jersey he is concerned about is the yellow one and he will do everything he can to get on the final podium in Paris. In 2010 he ended 3rd overall but only a year after when Contador got suspended. This time he wants to be take the step up to the podium as well. The reason for why I haven’t put Samuel Sanchez down as an overall winner candidate is because of his crash in Criterium du Dauphine. Sanchez crashed hard on the first stage and even just a few days before the Tour he still feels the pain.

Robert Gesink
Last one on my paper with a solid chance of fighting for the podium is Robert Gesink. Being the only “pure climber” among the favorites so far, you may think Gesink will blow away on the 100 km against the clock. But that’s not the reality. Gesink is actually pretty good in the time trials. Last year he showed it mostly on the short courses, but this year he has taken his skills to the next level. In Tour of California he got 5th on the 30 km time trial and despite starting out not so good in Tour de Suisse he once again clocked in 5th best time on the 34,3 km time trial. Beating guys like Andreas Klöden and Levi Leipheimer. Robert Gesink still needs to show he can stay within 2 minutes of the best in the 50+ km time trials but if he manages to do so in the Tour he can be a dangerous outsider for the jersey.

As I said Gesink is pure climber. He may not look like one with his 190 centimeters but don’t get fooled by that. As 22 years old he took 6th place on Alto de Angliru (one of the steepest and most difficult climbs in the world) and ended 7th overall in the Vuelta España. The next year he crashed in the first week of the Tour and had to abandon. He took revenge in the Vuelta being in the top5 on all the mountain stages and once again ending 6th overall. In 2010 he finally got to show his skill in the Tour, where a third place on the stage to Morzine-Avoriaz and 6th place on the Tourmalet among other good results in the mountains secured him a Top5 place overall. Last year Robert Gesink once again got in troubles in the first week but still managed to finish the Tour. This year he is ready to take his revenge and show the world that he can compete with the best when it counts.

The next row on my paper is called “Top5-10” and it includes riders like: Alejandro Valverde, Janez Brajkovic, Bauke Mollema, Levi Leipheimer, Chris Horner and Andreas Klöden while my “Top10 aspirants” shows the names of; Peter Velits, Rein Taaramae, Jerome Coppel, Lieuwe Westra, Tom Danielson among others.

To end this preview of the favorites I will take my chances and name the winners of the different jerseys for the Tour de France as well as how the Top10 will look like in Paris.

1. Bradley Wiggins
2. Cadel Evans
3. Denis Menchov
4. Jurgen Van den Broeck
5. Robert Gesink
6. Samuel Sanchez
7. Vincenzo Nibali
8. Janez Brajkovic
9. Alejandro Valverde
10. Levi Leipheimer

Yellow: Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky)
Green: Peter Sagan (Liquigas)
Polka Dot: Johnny Hoogerland (Vacansoleil-DCM)
White: Rein Taaramae (Cofidis)

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Exclusive Interview - Fredrik Kessiakoff (Astana)

Fredrik Kessiakoff hopes to get his own
chances during the Tour de France.
Fredrik Kessiakoff took the cycling world by surprise when he won the long time trial in Tour de Suisse in front of home favorite Fabian Cancellara. Afterwards the Swede said he didn't think it would be enough to get a spot on Astana's Tour de France team, but luckily for Kessiakoff he turned out to be wrong about that.

Fredrik, first of all congratulations on getting picked for the Tour-team. You didn't believe in it yourself, what happened?
Thank you. The team thought my condition looked similar to last year and I guess they took a little chance picking me for the Tour. Last year it was kind of the same situation. They left me out of the Tour and I won Tour of Austria. The results in Tour de Suisse shows that I can do well in the time trials and in the mountains.

After Tour de Suisse you told me that your climbing-legs weren't so great already. Are they ready for the Tour now?
Well I'm not peaking just yet. My shape is still too "uneven". After the bad start of season with asthma and allergies I have been working on peaking in the second part of the season. 

So what are your personal ambitions in this Tour?
I have two goals. The first one is to be at my best in the last week and the second one is to go for a good personal result on a stage.

What will your role be like on this strong Astana team for the Tour?
You can say I have a free role. On some stages I will have to be in the breakaway to help the team but in others I hope to try my own luck. Of course I will also be helping my team mates by carrying water bottles now and then.

What do you think your team leader, Brajkovic, can do. Podium?
Jani is very talented rider, but I think that a spot on the podium will be very difficult. Top10, on the other hand? For sure! 

Who is your own personal favorite for the overall win? 
Evans and Wiggins are my two big favorites. I think Wiggins will win, most of all because he has a stronger team than Evans. I also think that guys like Menchov and Sanchez will be able to fight for the podium.

Looking ahead. Last year you did a great Vuelta until your off-day on Angliru. Are you still aiming at doing well in the overall classification in the Grand Tours in the future?
Yes. I hope to get more chances, but it all depends on my results. I hope to be the team leader for the Vuelta after the Tour, but I won't take the role if I don't feel my shape good enough. The Vuelta will also be very tough this year with both Contador and Andy Schleck being there.

What about the Olympics and the World Champion. Does your great time trial in Tour de Suisse give you extra hope?
Well, unfortunately Sweden has only got one rider for the Olympic time trial and there are no doubts that Gustav [Erik Larsson] will get that one. I really believe he can take a medal in London. I would love to represent Sweden for the World Champions but for now my focus is on the Tour and the Vuelta.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Oleg Tinkov backs Bjarne Riis

Bjarne Riis and Oleg Tinkov.
The new partner for Bjarne Riis' cycling team was announced Monday on a press conference and despite rumors of it being a Spanish bank, it's now confirmed that it's in fact is the Russian bank, Tinkoff Bank, who will be the new co-sponsor together with Saxo Bank. The new name is Team Saxo Bank - Tinkoff Bank.

"We are proud to return to cycling and to be sponsoring this team and Bjarne Riis who is without a doubt the best manager in the cycling world", Oleg Tinkov told the press.

Oleg Tinkov has been out of the cycling game for a while but is now back starting already from the Tour de France and until 2013 with the proclamed goal of being "the best team in the cycling world already from next year".

New jersey for Tour de France.
The new deal also means that Bjarne Riis finally will be able to increase his budget and thereby strengthen the roster as well. "The team will - for sure - be stronger next year. I won't name any names right now, but I'm working on it", Riis explains.

Last year Saxo Bank opened a representative office in Moscow, but since Bjarne Riis didn't managed to sign Denis Menchov it seemed like the Russian connection was dead. That being untill today. Not only will Tinkoff Bank partner up with Saxo Bank in matters of the cycling team they will also start a project together in Russia  later this year.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Is Santander finally stepping into cycling?

Is Santander Bjarne Riis' new sponsor?
For many years there have been rumors of the Spanish bank Santander wanting to try out cycling as main sponsor of a cycling team with a Spanish star on their roster.

On Friday the 22nd of June, CEO of Saxo Bank – current main sponsor of Bjarne Riis’ cycling team with Alberto Contador – Lars Seier Christensen confirmed they will have a press conference on Monday the 25th together with the cycling team.

According to the Danish financial newspaper Børsen, Saxo Bank will give up half of their sponsorship to a foreign bank (meaning not Danish) and step down as main sponsor for the cycling team. Only a few weeks ago Alberto Contador signed a new contract with Bjarne Riis running to the end of 2015 and knowing that Santander has been trying to find the right time to invest in cycling, Alberto Contador sure is one of the best way to do so.

Santander CEO, Alfredo Saenz, was the man behind Miguel Indurain and the Banesto team back in the 90’s when he single-handedly turned Banesto from bankruptcy to success with Miguel Indurain winning five consecutive Tour de France wins.

Asked if Bjarne Riis will reveal Santander as the new sponsor for the his cycling team, press officer Anders Damgaard simply told me “no comments”

UPDATE @ 17:00 - Riis Cycling confirm press conference on Monday at 13:00 CET stating that "Bjarne Riis has important news about the future of the cycling team".

Friday, June 15, 2012

Exclusive: Kessiakoff doubts open Tour spot despite TT win in Tour de Suisse

Kessiakoff once again hopes to be strong during the
Vuelta España but doubt he will be at the Tour this year.
Fredrik Kessiakoff took the cycling world by surprise when he clocked in best time on the individual time trial in Tour de Suisse, two seconds faster than Fabian Cancellara. Kessiakoff’s super time soon proved to be unbeatable and thereby the Swede got his victory of the season.

The 32 years old climber won Tour of Austria last year and was for a long time a solid GC contender in Vuelta España before his off day on Alto de L’Angliru. So far this year Fredrik Kessiakoff has been struggling to find the right rhythm on the bike but now it seems like he is ready to rumble once again. Or is he? According to the Swede himself he still lacks a bit of shape when it comes to the mountains and therefore he doubts that this win will open up a spot for him on Astana’s Tour de France team.

I don’t think my mountain-legs are quite there yet I must admit so I don’t know if I’ll be there [in the Tour], but I doubt it. We will see”, Fredrik Kessiakoff tells me.

With Janez Brajkovic and Alexander Vinokoruov set out gunning for the Tour, Kessiakoff may have better chances to show off in the Vuelta once again and is also his goal for the second part of the season.

 “I hope I will be riding very well both before and during the Vuelta” he assures.

Update 19/06: Fredrik Kessiakoff just confirmed that he in fact will be riding the Tour de France for Astana this year. Congrats Fredrik!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Interview - Christa Rigozzi (Tour de Suisse promoter & former Miss Switzerland)

Christa Rigozzi. Former Miss Switzerland
and now Tour de Suisse promoter
Saturday the 9th of June Italian journalist (and a good friend of mine) Alberto Celani met up with Swiss beauty Christa Rigozzi to have a talk about cycling, marketing, being a national icon and of course the ongoing Tour de Suisse which Christa Rigozzi is promoting. Here is the introduction to the interview by Alberto Celani.

Today I've met Christa Rigozzi, Miss Switzerland 2006, together with Davide Calabresi (young photographer and industrial designer)  and I must say that any woman in the world of cycling should be proud of her. Christa Rigozzi represents women, her nation and cycling in the best way possible. I very much respect her for  the way she’s handling being a former Miss Swiss, the  love she has for her country, her open mind and her great way of promotion Swiss culture, tourism, sponsors and herself. I would like to thank Mikkel Condé for the opportunity he gave me and Davide to meet this great cycling personality.

Christa, first of all, how did a former Miss Swiss get into cycling?
I got into it when I was crowned Miss Swiss where I got a contract with Wurth and that partnership has been going on ever since. I like it a lot and I like the relationships we have enforced here.

Let’s start with a quick introduction. Who is Christa Rigozzi?
She's a spontaneous girl with a strong desire of discovering new things. She likes travelling and she has a great motivation.

You are a now a Swiss symbol. What does it mean to be Miss Switzerland nowadays?
Well, I was crowned Miss Switzerland in 2006 [Christa Rigozzi is still the most known Miss Switzerland] and I've understood the value of being a Miss in my country. Being Miss Switzerland makes you even more popular than politicians here! It also helped me to get the job I love and it gave me several opportunities in different fields like fashion, TV, radio, marketing and being representative of Wurth here at Tour de Suisse. Of course it helps being open minded and speaking all the Swiss languages (German, Italian & French).  When I became Miss Switzerland I had to drop out of university, but in 2008 I graduated in Law and Criminology studying at night while I was working and travelling by day.

Cycling and Marketing are entities very much connected these days, how can a model like you help sponsors to find a good leverage in the modern market?
I'm representing many companies and here at Tour de Swisse is like I'm representing all the Swiss people. I think we have to study hard marketing drivers in a scientific way in order to choose the right strategy. It's not just a "sponsorship" but a true partnership and I believe that all the firms I’m working with are making some pretty good campaigns. Probably it’s because we work together all year long and in many cases also for many years (Wurth contracted her back in 2006).

Let’s talk a little about territorial marketing. Switzerland is doing a great job in promoting tourism abroad and as national symbol yourself, what  do you think about the MySwitzerland campaign?
First of all I must say that Switzerland is not expensive! There are many special offers for families too and here we really have everything; lakes, wonderful mountains, historic places, nice cities etc etc. In the winter we have our ski areas and in the summer you can enjoy amazing tracks and roads for cycling and mountain biking. MySwitzerland ( does a great job to help hikers, riders and tourists plan their holidays here. I myself represent Canton Valais and you should really try Leukerbad. It’s an amazing place and appreciated by many people from all over Europe for its thermal facilities and landscapes. Tour de Suisse is also an opportunity to show to the world what we have here and to give a reason to come and visit us.

As you say, Tour de Suisse is a great opportunity to promote all this. But also a great opportunity to get more people to start riding their bike.
Exactly. Tour de Suisse has to be an occasion for families and young people to discover the pleasure of riding their bikes. Not only to dream about being like Fabian Cancellara but also because ‘riding your bike is wonderful’. We must promote this type of mobility and Tour de Suisse is a great opportunity to do so.

Christa Rigozzi. Here interviewed by Alberto Celani.
Let’s talk about Tour de Suisse now. For a rider’s point of view why should he decide to ride this bike race?
Because of our mountains, they are hard but also amazing. Because the people here here love cycling. Because the race is well organized and because the calendar puts the race in a great moment to prepare the second part of the season. It is a short race with all the difficulties you need to gain fitness for Tour de France. I saw a great Damino Cunego in mountain stages last year and maybe Tour de Suisse is the best race to fine tune your condition.

What is your best memory from the race?
I would say the ambient. It’s awesome driving your car on these amazing roads getting to the finish after being at the start to greet and introduce the riders at the sign in. I also love the fans and the special stamina you and the riders get from their support. It's really important having so many people supporting the race.

Do you think Tour de Suisse will ever be more than 'just' a warm-up race for the Tour?
I think it already is for many others than the big Tour-favorites. It’s a very hard race and I think it will be a very interesting race to watch again this year.

Who is your personal favorite for the overall win?
I would like to say Cancellara, but the race is very hard  and the mountains are not really in his favor. The rain will make them [the mountains] ever more difficult!

Talking about Cancellara. Being Swiss yourself, knowing how it is to be the pride of the nation, it must have hurt seeing Cancellara miss all the big spring classics due to his crash. Do you think it gave him extra motivation for his comeback?
Yes! I know him well and I think he'll be back better than before. He is tough his body has responded well to the recovery. The whole country love and support him. Let’s see what this race has got for him. 

Interview by Alberto Celani & Mikkel Condé
Photo by: Davide Calabresi

You can follow Christa Rigozzi on Twitter at @christarigozzi.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Giro revenge in Dauphine

Dani Moreno made it look easy when he outsprinted
Gallopin & Simon to win stage 2 of Criterium Dauphine.
Dani Moreno took a splendid stage win in Criterium Dauphine on stage 2 to Saint-Félicien and did thereby what his friend and team mate Joaquim ‘Purito’ Rodriguez accomplished last year; to use his good legs from the Giro to finally grab a victory.

Last year Purito started out sick in the Giro d’Italia and without being able to fight with the bests until the very last stages he decided to take advantages of his good shape in Dauphine. That decision gave him to stage wins in the mountains plus the sprint and the mountain jersey as well.

Dani Moreno did a pretty good Giro this year (20th overall) but with Purito fighting for the overall win, Dani wasn’t left many chances to try his own luck. This time Purito has decided to skip the Dauphine in order to get ready for the Vuelta and given the chance Dani Moreno showed his class right away. Don’t be surprised if he takes yet another win during the week.

Update: As predicted Dani Moreno ended up with more than just one victory in Dauphine when he won the last stage of the race as well.