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PCM.daily » PCM Stories & Story Games » PCM 15: Stories
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One in a Billion | Rise to the Summit
A Lot of Reassurances Later

Is it worth it? To put my body through so much pain? To pursue what I love so far away from loved ones? Was it worth it to put them through so much worry every time an injury happened? Personally, it was worth it, most of it. I wish I could stop them worrying, but they got worried when I returned home half an hour later!

It was easy enough convincing myself to go on. It was easy enough to push myself to get back on the bike and out on the road after this latest injury. It wasn't easy to convince the folks. I guess I couldn't blame them. However, I needed them to understand. Come back home, they said. You've had your moment, they said. It's not too late to change careers, they said. There was no way, I said to myself!

After a lot (and I mean a LOT) of convincing, through most of my recovery in August, I finally got my folks on to my side. There was no way I was giving up this easily. Yes, this was hard. Yes, this was unlike any pain I'd ever felt before. But I couldn't think of doing anything else with my life anymore. I had to make one just one promise - to go back home for the holidays after the season ended. I agreed. I could use some home made food. I do miss that sometimes...
It's all part of the hero's journey. What doesn't kill you, and so on.
Nice twist to bring the worrying family into the story.
@Ripley: Absolutely! Time to rise from the ruins, again!
@Tamijo: Well, can't ignore them. But they've come around. Although not entirely convinced.
It's All in the Mind

When I had the injury last year, it was a question of conditioning the injured leg to get back into shape for cycling. It involved a lot of exercise to get the form back.

With this latest injury, the recovery was completely different. An injury to the head does not physically affect the ability to ride a bike. It does however make your mind play a lot of tricks on you! Getting back on the bike was easy. Convincing myself to go downhill at 80 km/hr was not!

A lot of mental conditioning and self motivation later, I was finally back to riding and training full time in the second half of September. If there's something I've realised over the two injuries, it's that out on the road, on the bike, one is pretty much on his own. No matter how much 'support' your team provides you, in terms of pacing you or protecting you from the wind, you are the one who is finally in charge. No one can protect you at the climax.

Like Ripley said in his last correspondence, two injuries have made me realise that I'm stronger mentally that I myself used to think...

Guess who's back!!

Back where I belong. I was itching to get back in action before the end of the season. The doctors gave the all clear for the final race on my schedule, the Chrono des Nations.

Chrono des Nations

You know sometimes you get so excited you bang into the starting enclosure when putting your bike up there. Ah well, it happens! I'm still young. Pardon me Wink

The race went very well. I even ended up going past the Team Sky rider who started 2 minutes ahead of me! As I crossed the line, the clock showed 10th place. I ended up 17th, a bit over 2 minutes behind winner Taylor Phinney. A very satisfying return indeed.

1Taylor PhinneyBMC Racing Team1h05'32
2Alex DowsettMovistar Team+ 24
3Yoann PaillotTeam Marseille 13 KTM+ 1'00
4Bob JungelsTeam Sky+ 1'15
5Michael HepburnTeam Sky+ 1'17
6Salvatore PuccioTeam Sky+ 1'28
7Arnaud GérardBretagne - Séché Environnement+ 1'36
8Rick FlensIAM Cycling+ 1'47
9Jonathan CastroviejoMovistar Team+ 1'48
10Joey RosskopfBMC Racing Team+ 1'57

11Javier MorenoMovistar Team+ 1'58
12Stefan KüngBMC Racing Team+ 2'05
13Ignatas KonovalovasTeam Marseille 13 KTM+ 2'17
14Michael SchärTrek Factory Racing+ 2'29
15Jérémy RoyBMC Racing Teams.t.
16Sjors RoosenTeam Roompot-Oranje Peloton+ 2'30
17Abhishek SinhaTeam Roompot-Oranje Peloton+ 2'35
18Stephen CummingsMovistar Team+ 2'36
19Jasha SütterlinMovistar Teams.t.
20Johan Le BonTrek Factory Racing+ 2'37
21Matthias BrändleIAM Cycling+ 2'42
22Anthony DelaplaceBretagne - Séché Environnement+ 2'44
23Alex RasmussenLeopard Development Team+ 2'45
24Damien GaudinAg2r La Mondiale+ 2'51
25Omar BertazzoIAM Cycling+ 3'13
26Thomas VoecklerAg2r La Mondiale+ 3'24
27Tom StamsnijderTeam LottoNL - Jumbos.t.
28Laurent DidierTrek Factory Racing+ 3'30
29Romain MatheouBretagne - Séché Environnement+ 3'33
30Pierre-Henri LecuisinierEquipe Cycliste de l'Armée de Terre+ 3'35
31Gert JoeaarCofidis, Solutions Crédits+ 3'37
32Hugo HouleAg2r La Mondiale+ 3'38
33Jonathan DufrasneWallonie - Bruxelles+ 3'41
34Fabien CanalEquipe Cycliste de l'Armée de Terre+ 3'45
35Florian SenechalCofidis, Solutions Crédits+ 3'46
36Rick ZabelIAM Cycling+ 3'47
37Marc De MaarTeam Roompot-Oranje Peloton+ 3'53
38Peter KennaughTeam Sky+ 3'54
39Marcus BurghardtBora - Argon 18+ 3'55
40Jimmy EngoulventCofidis, Solutions Crédits+ 3'57
41Julien Van Den BrandeVeranclassic - Ekoi+ 4'00
42Michel KrederTeam LottoNL - Jumbo+ 4'03
43Benjamin GiraudTeam Marseille 13 KTM+ 4'06
44Marc SolerMovistar Team+ 4'10
45Arnaud CourteilleBMC Racing Team+ 4'11
46Nans PetersEquipe Cycliste de l'Armée de Terre+ 4'12
47Shane ArchboldBora - Argon 18s.t.
48Frederik FrisonVeranclassic - Ekoi+ 4'13
49Julien El FaresTeam Marseille 13 KTM+ 4'15
50Gaël MalacarneTeam Europcar+ 4'19
51Alexandre PichotTeam Europcars.t.
52Kevin RezaFDJ+ 4'21
53Riccardo DonatoLeopard Development Team+ 4'22
54Patrick OlesenLeopard Development Team+ 4'24
55Alessandro BallanTeam Sky+ 4'26
56Stéphane PoulhièsCofidis, Solutions Crédits+ 4'28
57Guillaume ThevenotTeam Europcar+ 4'30
58Olivier Le GacFDJs.t.
59Christophe LaborieBretagne - Séché Environnement+ 4'32
60Romain GuyotTeam Europcar+ 4'33
61Julius van den BergTeam Roompot-Oranje Pelotons.t.
62Marcel SiebergIAM Cycling+ 4'35
63Brian Van GoethemTeam Roompot-Oranje Peloton+ 4'38
64Kevin FeiereisenLeopard Development Team+ 4'39
65Adrien PetitCofidis, Solutions Crédits+ 4'41
66Tom DerniesWallonie - Bruxelles+ 4'42
67Lorenzo ManzinFDJs.t.
68Alex KirschLeopard Development Team+ 4'45
69Tony HurelTeam Europcars.t.
70Alessio LanzanoLeopard Development Team+ 4'46
71Robbe CasierVeranclassic - Ekois.t.
72Kevyn IstaBMC Racing Team+ 4'47
73Wesley KrederTeam Roompot-Oranje Peloton+ 4'48
74Mathieu PergetAuber 93+ 4'49
75Michael SchwarzmannBora - Argon 18+ 4'50
76Ben SwiftTeam Sky+ 4'51
77Sébastien MinardAg2r La Mondiale+ 4'52
78Marc SarreauFDJ+ 4'53
79Daniel McLayRoubaix Lille Métropole+ 4'54
80Robert WagnerTeam LottoNL - Jumbo+ 4'55
81Heinrich HausslerTrek Factory Racing+ 4'56
82Arman KamyshevVeranclassic - Ekoi+ 4'58
83Nicklas Bøje PedersenLeopard Development Team+ 5'01
84Rüdiger SeligBora - Argon 18+ 5'02
85Jasper StuyvenTrek Factory Racings.t.
86Dennis VanendertBMC Racing Teams.t.
87Rudy BarbierRoubaix Lille Métropoles.t.
88Thomas VaubourzeixVeranclassic - Ekoi+ 5'03
89Jordan LevasseurEquipe Cycliste de l'Armée de Terres.t.
90Boris ValléeTrek Factory Racing+ 5'04
91David MenutAuber 93s.t.
92Tom Van AsbroeckTeam LottoNL - Jumbos.t.
93Evaldas SiskeviciusTeam Marseille 13 KTM+ 5'05
94Zakkari DempsterBora - Argon 18s.t.
95Egoitz GarcíaMovistar Team+ 5'06
96Anthony MaldonadoAuber 93+ 5'07
97Laurent PichonBretagne - Séché Environnement+ 5'09
98Bert-Jan LindemanTeam LottoNL - Jumbo+ 5'11
99Yannick MartinezIAM Cycling+ 5'14
100Antoine DemoitieWallonie - Bruxelless.t.
101Edwig CammaertsVeranclassic - Ekois.t.
102James ShawBretagne - Séché Environnement+ 5'16
103Samuel DumoulinAg2r La Mondiale+ 5'18
104Boy Van PoppelTeam LottoNL - Jumbo+ 5'20
105Johannes FröhlingerBora - Argon 18s.t.
106Rudy KowalskiRoubaix Lille Métropole+ 5'22
107Jean-Albert CarnevaliWallonie - Bruxelles+ 5'23
108Pierre-Luc PérichonBretagne - Séché Environnement+ 5'24
109Charlie ArimontWallonie - Bruxelless.t.
110Maarten WynantsTeam LottoNL - Jumbo+ 5'25
111Angelo TulikFDJs.t.
112Aurélien PasseronAuber 93+ 5'26
113Antoine WarnierWallonie - Bruxelles+ 5'28
114Bryan AlaphilippeEquipe Cycliste de l'Armée de Terre+ 5'29
115Luis Ángel MatéTeam Skys.t.
116Théo VimpereAuber 93+ 5'30
117Sébastien HarbonnierEquipe Cycliste de l'Armée de Terre+ 5'31
118Alexander KriegerLeopard Development Team+ 5'32
119Jesse KerrisonBMC Racing Teams.t.
120Romain CombaudTeam Europcars.t.
121Grégory HabeauxWallonie - Bruxelles+ 5'35
122Daniel SchornBora - Argon 18+ 5'37
123Siarhei PapokWallonie - Bruxelles+ 5'39
124Martial RomanVeranclassic - Ekois.t.
125Melvin RulliereVeranclassic - Ekoi+ 5'45
126Quentin JaureguiAg2r La Mondiales.t.
127Michaël BaerIAM Cycling+ 5'50
128Francesco LascaBora - Argon 18+ 5'51
129Anthony TurgisCofidis, Solutions Crédits+ 5'57
130Andrew FennTeam Skys.t.
131Vincent JérômeIAM Cycling+ 6'01
132Andreas SchillingerTeam LottoNL - Jumbo+ 6'02
133Morgan LamoissonTeam Europcar+ 6'04
134Luke KeoughTrek Factory Racing+ 6'09
135Mattia VielAg2r La Mondiale+ 6'11
136Victor TournierouxTeam Marseille 13 KTM+ 6'16
137Lloyd MondoryAg2r La Mondiale+ 6'19
138Yohann GèneFDJs.t.
139Antonio DuboisAuber 93s.t.
140Jackson RodríguezRoubaix Lille Métropole+ 6'23
141Maxime CamBretagne - Séché Environnements.t.
142Steven TronetAuber 93+ 6'25
143Kenneth HansenRoubaix Lille Métropoles.t.
144Jimmy RaibaudEquipe Cycliste de l'Armée de Terre+ 6'26
145Mauro Abel RichezeCofidis, Solutions Crédits+ 6'28
146Sjoerd Van GinnekenTeam Roompot-Oranje Pelotons.t.
147Grégory RastTrek Factory Racing+ 6'46
148Justin JulesFDJ+ 6'49
149Benoit DrujonCofidis, Solutions Crédits+ 6'50
150Flavien DassonvilleTeam Europcar+ 7'06
151Reinier HonigTeam Roompot-Oranje Peloton+ 7'10
152Carl JermailAuber 93+ 7'17
153Vicente ReynèsMovistar Team+ 7'38
154Alexis BodiotRoubaix Lille Métropole+ 7'57
155Guillaume BlotEquipe Cycliste de l'Armée de Terres.t.
156Sébastien ChavanelFDJ+ 8'14


Me going past Team Sky's Alessandro Ballan on the road
Fine result against all those world tour riders.
Thanks Grin. It's good to be back!
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2016 Season Recap

Making the step up to the PCT this year was a challenge, but one I enjoyed facing. The racing became more competitive, as well as more tactical. The difference in the way Roompot operates to how Leopard does was clear in the very first days itself.

There were more firsts this year, with a first podium in the U25s, also one in the KOM standings and finally winning the U25 classification and getting on the podium in Sibiu. That race is one I will always hold very dear to me. The injury happened at a time when I was in top form. It hampered the latter part of my season almost entirely, but unlike last year I was able to get back on the road before the racing this year. I am particularly proud of my performance in Chrono des Nations. All in all, a satisfying year in terms of progress. I did convince myself that I do belong here.

And now, I'm going home...


Continental Rankings CQ Rankings
Me 198th - 46 points 361st - 139 points
Roompot Oranje 13th - 688 points 29th - 968 points

Say Hello to the family !
2017 is Here

A new year is here. I was lucky enough to get to spend it with family and friends this time. It was a long stay at home for me, but the cycling continued as I strove to keep myself fit through the holiday cheer. Along with the joys of home-coming, staying in shape was equally important.

I set off back to Amsterdam on the second day of the new year. On the same day, Roompot held their press conference presenting their new look team to the world. Our sponsors have definitely become more open to the idea of non-Dutch nationality riders in the team!

The family say "Hi" to you too Tamijo Smile

Roompot Oranje Team Presentation


Team Leaders

Barry Markus Sprinter
Lilian Calmejane Puncher
Abhishek Sinha Stage Races
Maurits Lammertink Puncher
Alexander Krieger Sprinter

Rider Presentation


Edited by AbhishekLFC on 27-05-2017 06:38
Good luck in the comming season.
Rumblings...Inside and Out

Luck! Was it luck that I needed? Or was it something else...

The team management were kind enough to allow me to go home for more than 2 months at the end of last year. I returned back in good spirits, feeling refreshed and ready to get back together with my teammates, old and new, for the pre-season training camps. The first couple of days were fine. I was enjoying the camaraderie and the jovial atmosphere in the camp. However, as more time passed, I felt a little coldness among my teammates. It started with a couple and seemed to spread to a dozen quite soon!

All through the winter, I had been fighting my own internal demons. Two serious injuries in two years were starting to have a psychological effect. I have been a professional for two whole years now, but without a win to show for it. Although the trip home was meant to be refreshing, I was plagued by thoughts of whether I truly belonged at this level. I did get on the podium in Romania last year, but it was more an effort in consistency than outstanding brilliance. And things would just get tougher the more I stayed in pro cycling.

Having convinced myself that my thoughts was just me being paranoid, it was difficult getting such vibes from the same teammates that I rode with the past season. It was not as if they were being rude. It was just that the bond seemed to have vanished. There was one big silver lining among the new faces though. I knew Alex Krieger well from my Leopard days, and was glad to be able to ride and chat with him. Being ever the observer and the good listener, I picked up the fact that other riders were of the opinion that the team management were giving me too long a leash in terms of training and holidays, just because I had been injured. I knew this was not true but I didn't want to keep explaining myself to everyone. I let it slide for the time being. Making my riding speak for me would be the best answer...

I think I'll take that luck you wished Tamijo. This could be a make or beak season for me!

This is a work of my imagination. No offence meant to any real cyclist.


Just one race in January, that too right at the end of the month. I was off to sunny Spain once again to start my season at Mallorca.

Vuelta a Mallorca

Lilian Calmejane was assigned as the leader of the team. I was given a free role. I particularly enjoyed having free reins to do as I pleased at the start of the season.

Stage 1 was purely for the sprinters. I sat in the pack all day and rode home comfortably. Fernando Gaviria won a hotly contested sprint ahead of Michael Matthews.

Stage 2 was more of the same as the sprinters battled to reign supreme once again. Michael Matthews went one better this time, claiming the stage win and the Points jersey on this stage.

Stage 3 went wrong for me even before the halfway stage. I was dropped from the peloton and spent the entire day trying to get back time. I ended up losing 12 minutes to stage winner Tony Gallopin. Calmejane grabbed a top 20 spot for us.

I joined the 11 man break on Stage 4. This stage had a lot of climbs and many KOM points on offer. The break went down to 9 riders after the second climb. I myself got dropped after the fifth climb and was caught by the peloton with 40 km to go. Tired and not quite up to speed yet in terms of race fitness, I was duly dropped by the peloton too. I lost more time while the stage was decided in a sprint among a very select group of leaders. Valerio Conti triumphed going uphill, preventing Gaviria from claiming another stage win.

General Classification

1Tony GallopinLotto Soudal13h38'46
2Daniel MartinTinkoff-Saxo+ 49
3Sebastian HenaoIAM Cycling+ 51
4Maciej PaterskiMTN-Qhubeka+ 1'16
5Tom SlagterTeam LottoNL - Jumbo+ 1'18
6Fabio AruAstana Pro Teams.t.
7Beñat IntxaustiTinkoff-Saxos.t.
8Thomas De GendtLotto Soudals.t.
9Edoardo ZardiniTeam Cannondale - Garmins.t.
10François BidardBurgos - BHs.t.

11Davide VillellaMovistar Teams.t.
12Michael MatthewsLotto Soudal+ 2'49
13Vincenzo NibaliAstana Pro Team+ 3'07
14Jonathan CastroviejoTeam Katusha+ 3'11
15Rafael VallsMovistar Team+ 4'24
16Valerio ContiTeam Katusha+ 4'55
17Fabio FellineLotto Soudal+ 5'00
18Gorka IzagirreTinkoff-Saxos.t.
19Peter KennaughTeam Skys.t.
20Lilian CalmejaneTeam Roompot-Oranje Pelotons.t.
21Tiago MachadoTEAM Pirelli+ 7'28
22Benjamin BrkicTEAM Pirellis.t.
23Lorenzo RotaAstana Pro Team+ 7'49
24Bart De ClercqTeam Katusha+ 8'29
25Cameron MeyerTeam Sky+ 8'40
26Rudy MolardCofidis, Solutions Crédits+ 9'17
27Paweł PoljańskiTEAM Pirelli+ 9'42
28Marcos GarcíaMovistar Team+ 10'26
29Sam OomenTinkoff-Saxo+ 10'31
30Fernando GaviriaTinkoff-Saxo+ 12'35
31Lars BoomTeam Cannondale - Garmin+ 12'48
32Ramunas NavardauskasAndroni Giocattoli - Sidermec+ 13'22
33Giacomo NizzoloMovistar Team+ 13'41
34Arthur VichotTeam Europcar+ 14'00
35Sérgio PardillaAstana Pro Team+ 14'08
36Luis Ángel MatéTeam Sky+ 14'37
37Matteo TrentinTeam Cannondale - Garmin+ 14'43
38Daniel MorenoTeam Skys.t.
39José Joaquín RojasTeam Katushas.t.
40Nelson OliveiraTinkoff-Saxos.t.
41Beñat TxoperenaTeam Katusha+ 15'04
42Jürgen RoelandtsLotto Soudal+ 15'08
43Matej MohoricAstana Pro Team+ 15'13
44Anthony RouxIAM Cycling+ 15'35
45Alberto GallegoCaja Rural - Seguros RGA+ 16'15
46Alex HowesTeam Cannondale - Garmin+ 16'31
47Garikoitz BravoKaiku+ 17'10
48Francisco José VentosoTeam Katusha+ 17'11
49Rubén FernándezTinkoff-Saxos.t.
50Abhishek SinhaTeam Roompot-Oranje Peloton+ 17'35
51Michael SchärIAM Cycling+ 18'00
52Chad HagaTeam Cannondale - Garmin+ 18'02
53Lawson CraddockTeam Sky+ 18'03
54Jordi SimónMovistar Teams.t.
55Ricardo GarcíaMovistar Teams.t.
56Eduard PradesCaja Rural - Seguros RGA+ 18'10
57Marc SolerActiveJet Team+ 18'11
58Michele ScarponiAndroni Giocattoli - Sidermec+ 18'12
59Daniel NavarroAstana Pro Team+ 18'25
60Fredrik GaltaCaja Rural - Seguros RGA+ 18'48
61Vitaliy ButsTeam Europcar+ 19'05
62Reinardt Janse Van RensburgMTN-Qhubeka+ 19'22
63Salvatore PuccioAstana Pro Team+ 19'25
64Nick Van Der LijkeTeam LottoNL - Jumbos.t.
65Michael MørkøvMTN-Qhubekas.t.
66Andrea VaccherAndroni Giocattoli - Sidermecs.t.
67Alessandro TonelliTEAM Pirelli+ 20'17
68Sven Erik BystrømIAM Cyclings.t.
69Yonas TekesteMTN-Qhubekas.t.
70Filippo PozzatoAstana Pro Team+ 20'52
71Anton VorobyevTeam Katushas.t.
72Peter VelitsTeam Cannondale - Garmin+ 20'58
73Romain GuyotTeam Europcar+ 21'12
74Gregor MühlbergerBora - Argon 18+ 21'19
75Gijs Van HoeckeLotto Soudal+ 21'53
76Daniele RattoTEAM Pirelli+ 22'01
77Julien SimonCofidis, Solutions Crédits+ 22'12
78Gregory BrenesTEAM Pirelli+ 22'38
79Diego OchoaColombias.t.
80Pierre-Luc PérichonCofidis, Solutions Créditss.t.
81Cristiano SalernoAndroni Giocattoli - Sidermecs.t.
82Víctor de la ParteMovistar Team+ 22'58
83Enrique SanzTeam Katusha+ 23'02
84Laurent BeuretIAM Cycling+ 23'06
85Markus FreibergerCaja Rural - Seguros RGAs.t.
86Anthony TurgisIAM Cycling+ 23'08
87Fredrik LudvigssonActiveJet Team+ 24'20
88Hugo PigeonCofidis, Solutions Créditss.t.
89Hugh CarthyTeam Skys.t.
90Thierry HupondKaikus.t.
91Jesús Del PinoTeam Roompot-Oranje Pelotons.t.
92Andrea PaliniAndroni Giocattoli - Sidermec+ 25'12
93Andreas SchillingerBora - Argon 18+ 26'01
94Matthew GossIAM Cycling+ 26'02
95Timo RoosenTeam Roompot-Oranje Pelotons.t.
96Floris GertsTeam Roompot-Oranje Pelotons.t.
97Andrew FennTeam Sky+ 26'19
98Julien DuvalTeam Europcars.t.
99Jon LarrinagaBurgos - BH+ 28'27
100Michael SchwarzmannBora - Argon 18+ 28'28
101Jay ThomsonMTN-Qhubekas.t.
102Eduardo EstradaColombia+ 28'51
103Nicolas BaldoCofidis, Solutions Créditss.t.
104Lasse Norman HansenMTN-Qhubekas.t.
105Tim KerkhofTeam LottoNL - Jumbo+ 29'05
106Marc SarreauTeam Europcar+ 29'08
107Francesco LascaBora - Argon 18+ 29'14
108Daniel JaramilloColombia+ 29'36
109Marcel MeisenBora - Argon 18+ 29'44
110Argiro OspinaEfapel+ 30'09
111Robert WagnerBora - Argon 18+ 30'56
112Michael GoglBora - Argon 18s.t.
113Brent BookwalterTeam Cannondale - Garmin+ 31'01
114Andriy GrivkoCaja Rural - Seguros RGAs.t.
115Yoeri HavikTeam LottoNL - Jumbo+ 31'19
116Boy Van PoppelTeam LottoNL - Jumbos.t.
117Sébastien TurgotTeam LottoNL - Jumbos.t.
118Pedro BrasEfapel+ 31'41
119Jonas AhlstrandAndroni Giocattoli - Sidermec+ 31'46
120Johannes FröhlingerBora - Argon 18s.t.
121Marco HallerTeam LottoNL - Jumbo+ 31'53
122Rick ZabelIAM Cycling+ 33'02
123Pieter JacobsLotto Soudal+ 33'08
124Davide PlebaniTEAM Pirelli+ 33'23
125Christophe LaborieCofidis, Solutions Créditss.t.
126Jean-Lou PaianiTeam Europcars.t.
127Flavien DassonvilleTeam Europcar+ 33'42
128Eryk LatońActiveJet Team+ 33'50
129Florian VachonCofidis, Solutions Créditss.t.
130Tom StamsnijderTeam LottoNL - Jumbo+ 34'07
131José Vicente ToribioCaja Rural - Seguros RGA+ 34'34
132David RodriguesEfapel+ 35'20
133Sebastian MascaroMovistar Team+ 35'36
134Youcef ReguiguiTeam Roompot-Oranje Peloton+ 35'54
135Arnau SoleBurgos - BH+ 36'42
136Rino GasparriniColombia+ 36'45
137Johann Van ZylMTN-Qhubeka+ 37'04
138Alexander WachterActiveJet Teams.t.
139Aser EstévezCaja Rural - Seguros RGAs.t.
140Jon AberasturiKaiku+ 37'20
141Bruno SanchoEfapels.t.
142Manuel BellettiColombia+ 38'16
143Martin VelitsTeam Cannondale - Garmin+ 39'02
144Bruno ArmirailColombia+ 39'12
145Michael Van StaeyenMTN-Qhubekas.t.
146Jasper BovenhuisTeam Roompot-Oranje Peloton+ 39'52
147Arkadiusz OwsianActiveJet Teams.t.
148Ricardo MestreEfapel+ 39'56
149Clément VenturiniTeam Europcar+ 41'13
150Imanol ErvitiTinkoff-Saxo+ 42'27
151Theo BosTeam Roompot-Oranje Peloton+ 42'33
152Constantino CampuzanoCaja Rural - Seguros RGA+ 43'46
153Juan José CoboEfapels.t.
154Bryan AlaphilippeColombia+ 44'51
155Erwann CorbelColombias.t.
156Daniel MestreEfapels.t.
157Illart ZuazubiskarBurgos - BH+ 44'54
158Klaas LodewyckLotto Soudal+ 44'58
159Pierre MoncorgeCofidis, Solutions Crédits+ 45'48
160Allessio BotturaTEAM Pirelli+ 46'37
161Rasmus QuaadeAndroni Giocattoli - Sidermec+ 46'39
162Mikel BizkarraKaiku+ 48'41
163Jesús HerreroKaiku+ 52'07
164Francisco Manuel AntónBurgos - BH+ 57'20
165Tomasz MickiewiczActiveJet Team+ 1h02'01
166Jon PardoBurgos - BH+ 1h07'05
167Aner EchegarayActiveJet Team+ 1h07'16
168Łukasz BodnarActiveJet Team+ 1h07'41
169Pablo LechugaKaiku+ 1h08'11
170Anxo GibanelKaiku+ 1h18'06
171Jesús EzquerraBurgos - BH+ 1h20'08
172Robert BushKaiku+ 1h22'28
173Max StahrEfapel+ 1h33'06

Points Classification

1Michael MatthewsLotto Soudal65
2Fernando GaviriaTinkoff-Saxo51
3Giacomo NizzoloMovistar Team42
4Tony GallopinLotto Soudal34
5Reinardt Janse Van RensburgMTN-Qhubeka28

Mountain Classification

1Lars BoomTeam Cannondale - Garmin56
2Julien SimonCofidis, Solutions Crédits38
3Vitaliy ButsTeam Europcar36
4Cameron MeyerTeam Sky34
5Anthony TurgisIAM Cycling32

Young Rider Classification

1Sebastian HenaoIAM Cycling13h39'37
2François BidardBurgos - BH+ 27
3Valerio ContiTeam Katusha+ 4'04
4Lilian CalmejaneTeam Roompot-Oranje Peloton+ 4'09
5Benjamin BrkicTEAM Pirelli+ 6'37

Team Classification

1Lotto Soudal41h00'57
2Tinkoff-Saxo+ 45
3Astana Pro Team+ 5'21
4Movistar Team+ 7'12
5Team Katusha+ 8'37

An underwhelming start to the season for me and the team. The only bright spot here was Calmejane's GC top 20 and the 4th place in the U25s. I got 10th place in the latter classification too.
Better luck next race
Thanks Tamijo Smile

I continued my early season in Spain with two more races. The first was the one day race in Murcia followed by traditional early spring race in Andalucia.

Vuelta Ciclista a Murcia

I was assigned with the role of protecting Calmejane again, something which I wasn't too pleased with. Despite the Frenchman's good outing in Malorca, I felt I was in good enough form to ride for myself. However, I buckled down and got on with my role. The race was a uneventful one for the most part. The breakaway was caught well before the line, but the fast pace prevented further attacks and most of the pack weer together at the finish. Alexander Geniez took the win for the newly formed Burger King team, the successor to erstwhile BMC. Our best was Martinez in 29th, with me coming in at 42nd place.

1Alexandre GeniezBurger King4h32'10
2David De la CruzTinkoff-Saxos.t.
3Rafael VallsMovistar Teams.t.
4Dayer QuintanaTinkoff-Saxos.t.
5Beñat IntxaustiTinkoff-Saxos.t.
6Joaquím RodríguezTeam Katushas.t.
7Jan BartaBurger Kings.t.
8Fabio DuarteColombias.t.
9Eddie DunbarTeam Katushas.t.
10Joseph DombrowskiBurger Kings.t.

11Gorka IzagirreTinkoff-Saxos.t.
12Mikel NieveMovistar Teams.t.
13Thomas De GendtLotto Soudals.t.
14Ivan RovnyTinkoff-Saxos.t.
15Beñat TxoperenaTeam Katushas.t.
16Samuel SánchezTeam Katushas.t.
17Miguel Angel LopezTeam LottoNL - Jumbos.t.
18Diego RosaMovistar Teams.t.
19Rein TaaramäeTeam Katushas.t.
20Sérgio PardillaAstana Pro Teams.t.
21Adriano MaloriBurger Kings.t.
22Sébastien ReichenbachTeam LottoNL - Jumbos.t.
23Emanuel BuchmannTeam LottoNL - Jumbos.t.
24Robert PowerTeam Skys.t.
25David LópezMovistar Teams.t.
26Chris Anker SørensenTinkoff-Saxos.t.
27Bart De ClercqTeam Katushas.t.
28Sergey FirsanovTeam Katushas.t.
29Daniel Felipe MartinezTeam Roompot-Oranje Pelotons.t.
30Marcos GarcíaMovistar Teams.t.
31Joey RosskopfBurger Kings.t.
32Tim WellensLotto Soudals.t.
33Daniel NavarroAstana Pro Teams.t.
34Arvid MelchiotTeam LottoNL - Jumbos.t.
35Tao Geoghegan HartTeam Skys.t.
36Dylan TeunsBurger Kings.t.
37Luis Ángel MatéTeam Skys.t.
38André CardosoCaja Rural - Seguros RGAs.t.
39Francisco José VentosoTeam Katushas.t.
40Albert TimmerTeam LottoNL - Jumbos.t.
41Daniel TeklehaimanotRoubaix Lille Métropoles.t.
42Abhishek SinhaTeam Roompot-Oranje Pelotons.t.
43Matteo RabottiniAstana Pro Teams.t.
44Jan HirtBora - Argon 18s.t.
45Serghei TvetcovCaja Rural - Seguros RGAs.t.
46Maciej PaterskiMTN-Qhubekas.t.
47Rodolfo TorresMTN-Qhubekas.t.
48Óscar GonzálezMovistar Teams.t.
49Mischa Van der HeijdenTeam Roompot-Oranje Pelotons.t.
50Jesús Del PinoTeam Roompot-Oranje Pelotons.t.
51David BeldaMovistar Teams.t.
52Lilian CalmejaneTeam Roompot-Oranje Pelotons.t.
53Sindre LunkeBora - Argon 18s.t.
54José HerradaTeam Skys.t.
55Romain SicardCofidis, Solutions Créditss.t.
56Kristijan DurasekRoubaix Lille Métropoles.t.
57Jacques MevelCofidis, Solutions Créditss.t.
58Alexey LutsenkoAstana Pro Teams.t.
59Andrey ZeitsAstana Pro Teams.t.
60Paul VossTeam Giant-Alpecins.t.
61Igor AntónCaja Rural - Seguros RGAs.t.
62Alfredo BalloniTeam Cannondale - Garmins.t.
63Simon GeschkeTeam Giant-Alpecins.t.
64Arnold JeannessonCofidis, Solutions Créditss.t.
65Erwann CorbelColombias.t.
66Giacomo BerlatoAstana Pro Teams.t.
67Marko DíazMovistar Teams.t.
68Daniel MorenoTeam Skys.t.
69Fernando GaviriaTinkoff-Saxos.t.
70Hugh CarthyTeam Skys.t.
71Marc De MaarTeam Roompot-Oranje Pelotons.t.
72Bakhtiyar KozhatayevAstana Pro Teams.t.
73Silvio HerklotzTeam Giant-Alpecins.t.
74Riccardo ZoidlBora - Argon 18s.t.
75Miguel RubianoColombias.t.
76Chad HagaTeam Cannondale - Garmins.t.
77Rudy MolardCofidis, Solutions Créditss.t.
78Stephen CummingsTeam Skys.t.
79Laurens Ten DamTeam Giant-Alpecins.t.
80Alex HowesTeam Cannondale - Garmins.t.
81François BidardBurgos - BHs.t.
82Salvador MorenoColombias.t.
83Gregor MühlbergerBora - Argon 18s.t.
84Romain HardyCofidis, Solutions Créditss.t.
85Jurgen Van den BroeckLotto Soudals.t.
86Michael RogersMTN-Qhubekas.t.
87José RamellaTeam Cannondale - Garmins.t.
88Koen BouwmanTeam Giant-Alpecins.t.
89Andrea ManfrediAstana Pro Teams.t.
90Fredrik GaltaCaja Rural - Seguros RGAs.t.
91Eros CapecchiTeam Cannondale - Garmins.t.
92Karel HníkMTN-Qhubekas.t.
93Daniel JaramilloColombias.t.
94Ángel MadrazoCaja Rural - Seguros RGAs.t.
95Eugenio Moreno RosilloBurgos - BHs.t.
96Dries Van GestelLotto Soudals.t.
97Loïc VliegenLotto Soudals.t.
98Guillaume BonnafondCofidis, Solutions Créditss.t.
99Chris HornerTeam Cannondale - Garmins.t.
100Hugo PigeonCofidis, Solutions Créditss.t.
101Marc SolerActiveJet Teams.t.
102Floris De TierCaja Rural - Seguros RGAs.t.
103Jhonatan RestrepoColombias.t.
104Tom LeezerTeam LottoNL - Jumbos.t.
105Haritz OrbeKaikus.t.
106George PreidlerTeam Giant-Alpecins.t.
107Daryl ImpeyMTN-Qhubekas.t.
108Pierre-Luc PérichonCofidis, Solutions Créditss.t.
109Delio FernándezCaja Rural - Seguros RGAs.t.
110Diego OchoaColombias.t.
111Huub DuynTeam Giant-Alpecins.t.
112Ulf HausweilerBora - Argon 18s.t.
113Sérgio MantecónBurgos - BHs.t.
114Garikoitz BravoKaikus.t.
115Sebastian TrilliniActiveJet Teams.t.
116Yuriy AgarkovBurgos - BHs.t.
117Constantino CampuzanoCaja Rural - Seguros RGAs.t.
118Håvard BlikraKaikus.t.
119Igor MerinoKaikus.t.
120Andreas SchillingerBora - Argon 18s.t.
121Marco HallerTeam LottoNL - Jumbos.t.
122Josip RumacMTN-Qhubekas.t.
123Bob SchoonbroodtTeam Roompot-Oranje Pelotons.t.
124Vicente García de MateosActiveJet Teams.t.
125Tom BohliBurger Kings.t.
126Jesper HansenRoubaix Lille Métropoles.t.
127Unai LevaKaikus.t.
128Gijs Van HoeckeLotto Soudals.t.
129Jérôme CousinRoubaix Lille Métropoles.t.
130Andrea FediBurger Kings.t.
131William GuzmanBurgos - BHs.t.
132Rüdiger SeligBora - Argon 18s.t.
133Jimmy DuquennoyLotto Soudals.t.
134William BartaTeam Cannondale - Garmin+ 3'52
135Jay ThomsonMTN-Qhubekas.t.
136Alexander KriegerTeam Roompot-Oranje Pelotons.t.
137Mario GonzálezKaikus.t.
138Jesús HerreroKaikus.t.
139Alessandro BallanTeam Skys.t.
140Tim KerkhofTeam LottoNL - Jumbo+ 4'42
141Jon PardoBurgos - BH+ 5'33
142Martin VelitsTeam Cannondale - Garmins.t.
143Pablo LechugaKaiku+ 9'09
144Aner EchegarayActiveJet Team+ 11'10
145Igor RomeroActiveJet Teams.t.
146Christian KneesBora - Argon 18s.t.
147Justin OienMTN-Qhubekas.t.
148Bernhard EiselRoubaix Lille Métropoles.t.
149Nathan Van HooydonckLotto Soudals.t.
150Hayato YoshidaColombias.t.
151Steven TronetRoubaix Lille Métropole+ 13'56
152Óscar PujolBurgos - BHs.t.
153Imanol ErvitiTinkoff-Saxos.t.
154Jan MaasTeam Giant-Alpecin+ 16'27
155Stanislaw DianzenzaActiveJet Teams.t.
156Felix EnglishActiveJet Teams.t.
157Marcin BiałobłockiActiveJet Teams.t.
158Peter CoulonBurgos - BHs.t.

I did my role as best as I could, but the team leaders failed to bring a good result.

Vuelta a Andalucia

A stunning starting line-up saw me line up alongside against multiple WT big guns. Froome, Nairo Quintana, Pinot, Joaquim Rodriguez, Betancur, Zakarin, Gallopin, Kreuziger and Contador were some of the names starting this race! I was all starry eyed as I rolled in to the starting area.

Stage 1 was the short ITT where not much time gaps were expected. The time clock showed 1st place when I crossed the lne. I was on the hot seat for a while. Eventually I ended up in 8th place, just 14 seconds off the pace. I actually beat both Contador and Froome by 12 seconds, both having clocked in identical times. This was huge!

Stage 2 saw me assigned as team leader. This stage was more about not losing touch with the leaders, more than anything else. I managed to do that till about 12 km to go before the attacks started. I rode on till the end, trying to limit my losses. Thibaut Pinot won from a group of 4, while Contador took over the leader's jersey. I fell to 21st in the GC after losing more than 90 seconds on the stage.

Stage 3 was similar to stage 2. The break did not survive and the leaders started their attacks as we reached the closing stage. I finished in the fourth group on the road, moving up to 15th in the GC and 1st in the U25s. Betancur took over the lead in the GC, having finished in the same group as stage winner Gesink while Contador lost time.

Stage 4 was mostly for the sprinters, with a slight uphill finish sure to shake things up a bit. I rode in the pack without incident. The end saw Tony Gallopin prove strongest as the uphill sprinter. Roompot had two riders in the top 10.

Stage 5 fell on my birthday and I led the team again on this day. I stayed in the pack till the breakaway was caught. I launched an attack soon after, with 10 km to go. I was soon caught by a group of 8 high placed GC riders. I went away again inside the last 5 kms and this time there was no swift response. I took my first stage win, a remarkable day for me. I was overjoyed and could hardly control myself as we celebrated!


Me taking my first stage victory, wearing the White Jersey too!


And I made the headlines!

1Abhishek SinhaTeam Roompot-Oranje Peloton4h00'09
2Fernando GaviriaTinkoff-Saxos.t.
3Sonny ColbrelliTeam Katushas.t.
4Sondre Holst EngerTeam Jokers.t.
5Robert GesinkMTN-Qhubekas.t.
6Maurits LammertinkTeam Roompot-Oranje Pelotons.t.
7Carlos BetancurTinkoff-Saxos.t.
8Alberto ContadorTeam Katushas.t.
9Joaquím RodríguezTeam Katushas.t.
10Jonathan HivertAg2r La Mondiales.t.

Stage 6 was all about protecting my White jersey and making this race even more special. After the break was caught, I tried another sneaky attack with 5 km to go. This time I wasn't successful this time though as the sprint trains swept me up in the final couple of kilometres. Krieger got Roompot a 9th place. Betancur won overall.

General Classification

1Carlos BetancurTinkoff-Saxo19h44'44
2Joaquím RodríguezTeam Katusha+ 21
3Alberto ContadorTeam Katusha+ 36
4Robert GesinkMTN-Qhubeka+ 50
5Chris FroomeTeam Sky+ 55
6Nairo QuintanaMovistar Team+ 1'00
7Edoardo ZardiniTeam Cannondale - Garmin+ 1'07
8Jesús HerradaMovistar Team+ 1'28
9Tony GallopinLotto Soudal+ 2'49
10Mikel LandaTeam Katusha+ 3'57

11Ilnur ZakarinTinkoff-Saxo+ 4'00
12Abhishek SinhaTeam Roompot-Oranje Peloton+ 4'05
13Gorka IzagirreTinkoff-Saxo+ 4'19
14Thibaut PinotAg2r La Mondiale+ 4'54
15Daniel MorenoTeam Sky+ 5'11
16Chad HagaTeam Cannondale - Garmin+ 5'26
17Stef ClementTeam LottoNL - Jumbo+ 5'51
18Igor AntónCaja Rural - Seguros RGA+ 5'59
19Thomas De GendtLotto Soudal+ 6'05
20Roman KreuzigerLotto Soudal+ 8'20
21Emanuel BuchmannTeam LottoNL - Jumbos.t.
22José HerradaTeam Sky+ 8'23
23Víctor de la ParteMovistar Team+ 9'15
24Peter VelitsTeam Cannondale - Garmin+ 9'18
25Daryl ImpeyMTN-Qhubeka+ 9'25
26Jordi SimónMovistar Team+ 9'48
27Alex HowesTeam Cannondale - Garmin+ 10'15
28Ian BoswellTeam Cannondale - Garmin+ 10'43
29Marc GoosTeam LottoNL - Jumbo+ 11'17
30Cameron MeyerTeam Sky+ 11'46
31Sonny ColbrelliTeam Katusha+ 12'26
32Alberto GallegoCaja Rural - Seguros RGA+ 12'37
33Janier AcevedoColombia+ 12'42
34Stéphane RossettoAg2r La Mondiale+ 12'53
35Karel HníkMTN-Qhubeka+ 13'00
36Jonathan HivertAg2r La Mondiale+ 13'03
37Daniel JaramilloColombia+ 13'25
38Tim WellensLotto Soudal+ 13'40
39Lilian CalmejaneTeam Roompot-Oranje Peloton+ 14'19
40Albert TimmerTeam LottoNL - Jumbo+ 14'24
41Christophe RiblonAg2r La Mondiale+ 15'17
42Ever RiveraColombia+ 16'13
43Yuriy AgarkovBurgos - BH+ 17'18
44Ben SwiftTeam Sky+ 17'23
45Willie SmitTeam Joker+ 18'48
46Adam YatesTeam Sky+ 19'32
47Sébastien TurgotTeam LottoNL - Jumbo+ 19'36
48Sondre Holst EngerTeam Joker+ 19'39
49Fernando GaviriaTinkoff-Saxo+ 19'41
50Ivan RovnyTinkoff-Saxo+ 20'16
51Rodolfo TorresMTN-Qhubeka+ 20'29
52Matthieu LadagnousAg2r La Mondiale+ 20'41
53Marc De MaarTeam Roompot-Oranje Peloton+ 20'43
54Pieter JacobsLotto Soudal+ 20'54
55Haritz OrbeKaiku+ 21'40
56Serghei TvetcovCaja Rural - Seguros RGA+ 21'47
57José Vicente ToribioCaja Rural - Seguros RGA+ 21'53
58Alexey TsatevitchTinkoff-Saxo+ 22'03
59Riccardo ZoidlBora - Argon 18+ 22'14
60Bjørn Tore Nielsen HoemTeam Joker+ 23'26
61Jesús Del PinoTeam Roompot-Oranje Peloton+ 24'00
62Hugo HouleAg2r La Mondiale+ 25'40
63Lasse Norman HansenMTN-Qhubeka+ 25'49
64Mikel BizkarraKaiku+ 26'03
65Vyacheslav KuznetsovTinkoff-Saxo+ 26'16
66Wesley KrederTeam LottoNL - Jumbo+ 26'43
67Maurits LammertinkTeam Roompot-Oranje Peloton+ 27'51
68Óscar GonzálezMovistar Team+ 27'54
69Alex PetersTeam Jokers.t.
70William GuzmanBurgos - BH+ 28'39
71Yonas TekesteMTN-Qhubeka+ 29'00
72Barry MarkusTeam Roompot-Oranje Peloton+ 29'19
73Eddie DunbarTeam Katusha+ 29'27
74Jan GhyselinckLotto Soudal+ 29'35
75Sérgio MantecónBurgos - BH+ 29'43
76Eryk LatońActiveJet Team+ 30'40
77Håvard BlikraKaiku+ 31'02
78Álex Cano ArdilaColombia+ 31'03
79Egoitz GarcíaTeam Katusha+ 31'18
80Fabien GrellierAg2r La Mondiale+ 31'23
81Constantino CampuzanoCaja Rural - Seguros RGA+ 31'32
82Aner EchegarayActiveJet Team+ 32'28
83Philip LindauCaja Rural - Seguros RGA+ 33'32
84Jon PardoBurgos - BH+ 33'48
85Alex DowsettMovistar Team+ 34'18
86Johannes FröhlingerBora - Argon 18+ 34'26
87Luis Ángel MatéTeam Sky+ 35'23
88Eduardo EstradaColombia+ 35'33
89Mitchell DockerTeam Cannondale - Garmin+ 37'07
90Hector SaezCaja Rural - Seguros RGA+ 37'20
91William BartaTeam Cannondale - Garmin+ 37'45
92Michael SchwarzmannBora - Argon 18+ 38'28
93Unai LevaKaiku+ 39'22
94Tom LeezerTeam LottoNL - Jumbo+ 40'01
95Óscar PujolBurgos - BH+ 40'44
96Fredrik LudvigssonActiveJet Team+ 43'40
97Manuel BellettiColombia+ 44'02
98Igor RomeroActiveJet Team+ 44'36
99Jan BrockhoffBora - Argon 18+ 46'51
100Mario GonzálezKaiku+ 47'07
101Jon AberasturiKaiku+ 49'31
102Jay ThomsonMTN-Qhubeka+ 51'37
103Gijs Van HoeckeLotto Soudal+ 52'40
104Vicente García de MateosActiveJet Team+ 53'25
105Marco ZanottiBora - Argon 18+ 53'42
106Alexander KriegerTeam Roompot-Oranje Peloton+ 55'40
107Sebastian MascaroMovistar Teams.t.
108Luka GrubicActiveJet Team+ 1h01'18
109Mateusz NowaczekBurgos - BH+ 1h04'23
110Vadim GaleyevKaiku+ 1h11'19
111Manuel PorznerBora - Argon 18+ 1h11'30
112Arkadiusz OwsianActiveJet Team+ 1h12'13
113Erwann CorbelColombia+ 1h17'14
114David BoilyTeam Joker+ 1h24'24
115Petter SchmidtTeam Joker+ 1h31'15
116Peter CoulonBurgos - BH+ 1h43'32

Points Classification

1Tony GallopinLotto Soudal55
2Carlos BetancurTinkoff-Saxo53
3Robert GesinkMTN-Qhubeka52
4Fernando GaviriaTinkoff-Saxo52
5Joaquím RodríguezTeam Katusha44

Mountain Classification

1Yuriy AgarkovBurgos - BH31
2Peter VelitsTeam Cannondale - Garmin15
3Jesús Del PinoTeam Roompot-Oranje Peloton13
4Robert GesinkMTN-Qhubeka10
5Víctor de la ParteMovistar Team10

Young Riders Classification

1Abhishek SinhaTeam Roompot-Oranje Peloton19h48'49
2Emanuel BuchmannTeam LottoNL - Jumbo+ 4'15
3Lilian CalmejaneTeam Roompot-Oranje Peloton+ 10'14
4Ever RiveraColombia+ 12'08
5Willie SmitTeam Joker+ 14'43


Team Classification

1Team Katusha59h18'36
2Team Cannondale - Garmin+ 2'15
3Tinkoff-Saxo+ 3'55
4Lotto Soudal+ 6'29
5Movistar Team+ 6'55

12th place in this field! Just look at the riders I finished ahead of. 1st in the U25s! To top it all off, THAT brilliant stage win after a dual attack on stage 5. This has been the best race of my professional life so far. Spain really is my lucky charm. And I proved to the team that I can lead in tough races. Quite a good race for the team too. Just perfect!
What a wonderful stage and on your birthday too Wink
Overall a great race.
Sure was. It's been a long time coming!! Smile
It's been a hectic week! Well I'm back now.


I rode into March full of confidence after having claimed my first stage win in Andalucia. Two stage races and a lone one-day classic was scheduled for me. My reward from the team for having won my first stage, a chance to ride in my first ever World Tour race in Catalunya at the end of this month! It was fitting that this milestone was reached in Spain too, given my love affair with the country when it came to riding well. First up though, I was off to Taiwan...

Tour de Taiwan

It was odd flying over my native land but not touching down there, But the racing couldn't wait and I was the team leader in Taiwan. I wanted to keep my good run going, having enjoyed the limelight over the past couple of weeks.

Stage 1 was for the sprinters and I stayed safely in the pack. Marc Sarreau took an unlikely victory here.

Stage 2 was a mountain top finish with an easy easy approach. The GC favourites stayed together till the base of the climb. Riders started dropping from the already reduced bunch. I was a part of the lead group of 3 riders with 4 km to go. Benat Intxausti attacked soon after. I too followed suit but the Spaniard was already too far ahead by then. He took the stage win comfortably. I managed to distance Geniez and claimed a brilliant 2nd place.

1Beñat IntxaustiTinkoff-Saxo2h26'20
2Abhishek SinhaTeam Roompot-Oranje Peloton+ 1'09
3Alexandre GeniezBurger King+ 2'27
4David De la CruzTinkoff-Saxos.t.
5Sindre LunkeBora - Argon 18+ 2'42
6Diego RosaMovistar Teams.t.
7Jan HirtBora - Argon 18+ 2'54
8Patrick KonradA1 Telekoms.t.
9Rafael VallsMovistar Team+ 3'08
10Yoann BagotTeam Europcars.t.

Stage 3 was ridden at a leisurly pace by the peloton which allowed the break of the day to claim victory, just hanging on ahead of the sprinters in the pack.

Stage 4 saw me categorised as one the favourites! I managed to keep myself with the other GC favourites till about 12 km to go. I got dropped taking on water from the team car, something which still does sit too well with me, to be honest. This was one of the main reasons I lost more than 5 minutes on this stage, dropping down to 8th in the GC.

Stage 5 was another flat stage, which meant there was no further scope to make up time in the GC. A late attack spoilt the day for the sprinters once again as Sergey Nikolaev took home the win.

General Classification

1Beñat IntxaustiTinkoff-Saxo13h15'34
2Alexandre GeniezBurger King+ 1'55
3Diego RosaMovistar Team+ 2'10
4Sindre LunkeBora - Argon 18+ 4'37
5Jan HirtBora - Argon 18+ 4'49
6Rafael VallsMovistar Team+ 5'03
7David De la CruzTinkoff-Saxo+ 6'01
8Abhishek SinhaTeam Roompot-Oranje Peloton+ 6'05
9Javier MorenoMovistar Team+ 7'03
10Ever RiveraColombias.t.

11Patrick KonradA1 Telekom+ 7'06
12Yoann BagotTeam Europcar+ 7'20
13Daniele Dall'OsteColombia+ 8'14
14Serghei TvetcovCaja Rural - Seguros RGA+ 8'22
15Óscar GonzálezMovistar Teams.t.
16Jan BartaBurger King+ 9'25
17Nikita NovikovRusVelo+ 9'29
18Alexis GuerinTeam Europcars.t.
19Víctor de la ParteMovistar Team+ 9'50
20Unai IntziarteSkydive Dubai Pro Cycling Team - Al Ahli Clubs.t.
21José GonçalvesNIPPO - Vini Fantini+ 9'59
22Bernardo SuazaSoutheast+ 10'26
23Carlos GálvizJefferson Capital International+ 10'57
24Paweł PoljańskiTEAM Pirelli+ 11'58
25Patrick GretschMovistar Team+ 12'25
26Hossein AlizadehRusVelo+ 13'32
27Alexey VermeulenBurger King+ 13'53
28Ennex SebrightOptum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies+ 14'00
29Jóni BrandãoJefferson Capital International+ 14'02
30Sergey NikolaevUnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team+ 14'25
31Alessandro BisoltiSoutheast+ 14'34
32Antonino ParrinelloTEAM Pirelli+ 14'38
33Artem OvechkinVérandas Willems+ 15'13
34Michael HümbertA1 Telekom+ 15'22
35Alexey TsatevitchTinkoff-Saxo+ 15'24
36Nelson OliveiraTinkoff-Saxos.t.
37Floris De TierCaja Rural - Seguros RGAs.t.
38Dante CarpenterRusVelo+ 16'00
39Simone PonziTinkoff-Saxo+ 16'27
40Vyacheslav KuznetsovTinkoff-Saxo+ 16'31
41Aleksejs SaramotinsMovistar Team+ 17'01
42Valery KaykovRusVelo+ 17'41
43Matej VysnaSkydive Dubai Pro Cycling Team - Al Ahli Club+ 17'43
44Maxim BelkovTinkoff-Saxo+ 17'45
45Willy WillwohlTinkoff-Saxo+ 17'47
46Maarten WynantsBurger Kings.t.
47Alex DowsettMovistar Teams.t.
48Daniel EatonJefferson Capital Internationals.t.
49Eduardo EstradaColombia+ 18'33
50Ulf HausweilerBora - Argon 18+ 18'48
51Andrey LukoninSoutheast+ 18'52
52Andriy GrivkoCaja Rural - Seguros RGA+ 18'56
53Christian KneesBora - Argon 18+ 19'32
54Jasper LindenberghTeam Roompot-Oranje Pelotons.t.
55Jérémy RoyTeam Europcars.t.
56Chris BartonOptum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategiess.t.
57Mirko TedeschiNIPPO - Vini Fantinis.t.
58Jonas GregaardTeam Europcars.t.
59Paweł FranczakSoutheast+ 19'41
60Tosh Van der SandeCaja Rural - Seguros RGA+ 19'52
61Marcel MeisenBora - Argon 18s.t.
62Michael GoglBora - Argon 18s.t.
63Martin KohlerUnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team+ 20'23
64Aser EstévezCaja Rural - Seguros RGAs.t.
65Daniel DíazJefferson Capital International+ 20'28
66Marc SarreauTeam Europcar+ 20'39
67Matthijs EversdijkRabobank Development Team+ 20'53
68Lukas SpenglerBurger King+ 21'03
69Diego MilánSkydive Dubai Pro Cycling Team - Al Ahli Club+ 21'22
70Michael SchwarzmannBora - Argon 18+ 21'27
71Nico DenzA1 Telekom+ 21'30
72Cesare BenedettiNIPPO - Vini Fantini+ 21'32
73Grégory RastBurger King+ 21'33
74Omar LombardiNIPPO - Vini Fantinis.t.
75Stefan SchumacherA1 Telekom+ 21'34
76Jeffrey RomeroUnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team+ 21'39
77Yousif BanihammadVérandas Willemss.t.
78Dennis VanendertBurger King+ 23'21
79Erik BaskaCaja Rural - Seguros RGA+ 23'24
80Bartłomiej MatysiakOptum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategiess.t.
81Pierre-Henri LecuisinierTeam Europcars.t.
82Davide GabburoNIPPO - Vini Fantinis.t.
83Manuel BellettiColombias.t.
84Simone AndreettaRusVelo+ 23'47
85Rafal PalikSkydive Dubai Pro Cycling Team - Al Ahli Club+ 23'58
86Rafael InfantinoColombia+ 24'00
87Muhamad OthmanUnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team+ 24'03
88Bruno ArmirailColombias.t.
89Rubén ZepuntkeAvanti Racing Team+ 24'10
90Thomas WronaJefferson Capital International+ 24'25
91Daniel McConnellAvanti Racing Team+ 24'39
92Logan OwenBurger King+ 24'55
93Dylan Van ZijlTeam Roompot-Oranje Pelotons.t.
94Kristian SobotaVérandas Willems+ 25'23
95Christian KochBora - Argon 18+ 25'26
96Daniele AldegheriNIPPO - Vini Fantinis.t.
97Hayato YoshidaColombias.t.
98Blaise SonneryTeam Europcars.t.
99Alessandro TonelliTEAM Pirelli+ 26'10
100Sean DowneyAvanti Racing Team+ 26'39
101Gamba RainsfordVérandas Willems+ 27'39
102Rino GasparriniColombia+ 28'17
103Filippo FortinCaja Rural - Seguros RGAs.t.
104Olivier PardiniVérandas Willemss.t.
105Bob SchoonbroodtTeam Roompot-Oranje Peloton+ 28'43
106Michele ScartezziniNIPPO - Vini Fantini+ 29'09
107Philip MooneyJefferson Capital Internationals.t.
108Raffaele RadiceSoutheast+ 29'29
109Adrien CostaOptum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies+ 29'37
110Sieben WoutersTeam Roompot-Oranje Peloton+ 29'38
111Alo JakinJefferson Capital International+ 29'55
112Dex GroenA1 Telekoms.t.
113Joel ZangerleSkydive Dubai Pro Cycling Team - Al Ahli Clubs.t.
114Cole HouseJefferson Capital International+ 30'59
115Florian SenechalTeam Europcar+ 31'08
116Gert-Jan BosmanTeam Roompot-Oranje Peloton+ 31'25
117Paul van der PloegUnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team+ 31'30
118Shem RodgerAvanti Racing Team+ 31'33
119Onur BalkanCaja Rural - Seguros RGA+ 31'40
120Liam BertazzoSoutheasts.t.
121Mamyr StashRusVelos.t.
122Sven ReutterOptum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategiess.t.
123Ibai SalasOptum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategiess.t.
124Antonio ViolaNIPPO - Vini Fantinis.t.
125Matteo CollodelSoutheast+ 33'02
126Feritcam SamliOptum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies+ 33'42
127Louis ConvensVérandas Willemss.t.
128Danilo NapolitanoTEAM Pirellis.t.
129Andreas VangstadVérandas Willemss.t.
130Maximilian WerdaOptum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategiess.t.
131Dennis Van WindenUnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Teams.t.
132Ludwig BengtssonSkydive Dubai Pro Cycling Team - Al Ahli Clubs.t.
133Tiziano Dall'AntoniaTEAM Pirellis.t.
134Tim AriesenRabobank Development Teams.t.
135Alexander RayAvanti Racing Teams.t.
136James JuddAvanti Racing Team+ 35'32
137Kirill YatsevichRusVelo+ 35'55
138Alexandr KominRusVelos.t.
139Malcom RudolphUnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team+ 36'20
140Maarten Van TrijpRabobank Development Team+ 36'33
141Lionel TaminiauxVérandas Willemss.t.
142Luke DavisonAvanti Racing Teams.t.
143Nawaf AlbalooshiSkydive Dubai Pro Cycling Team - Al Ahli Club+ 37'52
144Timo RoosenTeam Roompot-Oranje Peloton+ 39'43
145Ronan Van ZandbeekTeam Roompot-Oranje Peloton+ 40'37
146Filipe CardosoAvanti Racing Teams.t.
147Ron AalbersRabobank Development Team+ 41'17
148Martin HebikSkydive Dubai Pro Cycling Team - Al Ahli Club+ 41'48
149Ferdinand WaschkeA1 Telekom+ 43'58
150Stef KrulRabobank Development Team+ 44'36
151Enrico FranzoiSoutheast+ 45'22
152Wim StroetingaUnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team+ 45'36
153Ike GroenRabobank Development Team+ 46'34

Points Classification

1Marc SarreauTeam Europcar47
2Beñat IntxaustiTinkoff-Saxo46
3Michael SchwarzmannBora - Argon 1842
4Alexandre GeniezBurger King36
5Diego RosaMovistar Team35

Mountain Classification

1Beñat IntxaustiTinkoff-Saxo28
2Alexandre GeniezBurger King24
3Diego RosaMovistar Team24
4Sindre LunkeBora - Argon 1812
5Rafael VallsMovistar Team12

Young Riders Classification

1Sindre LunkeBora - Argon 1813h20'11
2Abhishek SinhaTeam Roompot-Oranje Peloton+ 1'28
3Ever RiveraColombia+ 2'26
4Óscar GonzálezMovistar Team+ 3'45
5Alexis GuerinTeam Europcar+ 4'52

Team Classification

1Movistar Team40h01'08
2Tinkoff-Saxo+ 7'13
3Bora - Argon 18+ 10'24
4Burger King+ 10'57
5Colombia+ 17'24

Second place in the U25s is all I come away with in the classifications from Taiwan. It could so easily have been 2nd place in the GC! An amateur mistake which became very costly. I know I'm still in good form though, which is a good thing.

Nokere Koerse

I was picked as a helper for Lammertink. With 12 km to go, Sander Helven rode away from the pack with no one chasing. I was riding at the front and looked back to see if Lammertink was feeling up for an attack. He shook his head and gave me license to ride my own race going ahead. I decided to chase the solo break and no one chased me either! I kept closing the gap, but ran out of road in the end. I settled for 2nd place, my best placing in a one day race yet!


That's me in the background coming home in 2nd place!

1Sander HelvenColruyt4h27'10
2Abhishek SinhaTeam Roompot-Oranje Peloton+ 29
3Boris ValléeTrek Factory Racing+ 3'00
4Edward TheunsLotto Soudals.t.
5Fabio FellineLotto Soudals.t.
6Andrea ZordanLeopard Development Teams.t.
7Marco HallerTeam LottoNL - Jumbos.t.
8André LooijTeam Giant-Alpecins.t.
9Florent DelfosseVeranclassic - Ekois.t.
10Zico WaeytensEtixx - Quick-steps.t.

11Dylan van BaarleTeam Giant-Alpecins.t.
12Pascal AckermannLotto Soudals.t.
13Christophe LaporteEtixx - Quick-steps.t.
14Gianni MeersmanTopsport Vlaanderen - Baloises.t.
15Wesley KrederTeam LottoNL - Jumbos.t.
16Jurgen van DiemenTeam LottoNL - Jumbos.t.
17Kenneth VanbilsenEtixx - Quick-steps.t.
18Matthew BrammeierAn Post - Chainreactions.t.
19Jan MaasTeam Giant-Alpecins.t.
20Eliot LietaerTopsport Vlaanderen - Baloises.t.
21Tom LeezerTeam LottoNL - Jumbos.t.
22Youcef ReguiguiTeam Roompot-Oranje Pelotons.t.
23Gijs Van HoeckeLotto Soudals.t.
24Maurits LammertinkTeam Roompot-Oranje Pelotons.t.
25Brian Van GoethemTeam Giant-Alpecins.t.
26Heinrich HausslerTrek Factory Racings.t.
27Simon GeschkeTeam Giant-Alpecins.t.
28Sven JodtsAn Post - Chainreactions.t.
29Dries De BondtTopsport Vlaanderen - Baloises.t.
30Bert De BackerTeam Giant-Alpecins.t.
31Marc De MaarTeam Roompot-Oranje Pelotons.t.
32Jonathan DufrasneVentilairs.t.
33Silvan DillierTrek Factory Racings.t.
34Nicola BoemVentilairs.t.
35Lluis Guillermo Mas BonetCibels.t.
36Eugert ZhupaAn Post - Chainreactions.t.
37Tim DeclercqTrek Factory Racings.t.
38Pieter SerryEtixx - Quick-steps.t.
39Loïc VliegenLotto Soudals.t.
40Nikias ArndtTeam Giant-Alpecins.t.
41Tom DevriendtTopsport Vlaanderen - Baloises.t.
42Tim KerkhofTeam LottoNL - Jumbos.t.
43Dieter BouvryCibels.t.
44Petr VakočEtixx - Quick-steps.t.
45Klaas LodewyckLotto Soudals.t.
46Martijn DegreveVentilairs.t.
47Jenthe BiermansTopsport Vlaanderen - Baloises.t.
48Jonas Van GenechtenTeam LottoNL - Jumbos.t.
49Mike TeunissenTeam LottoNL - Jumbos.t.
50Preben Van HeckeTopsport Vlaanderen - Baloises.t.
51Luke KeoughTrek Factory Racings.t.
52Andris SmirnovsCibels.t.
53George TansleyVérandas Willemss.t.
54Javier Francisco AramendiaSEG Racings.t.
55Niels van DorsselaerVentilairs.t.
56Jordi van DingenenEtixx - Quick-steps.t.
57Jimmi SørensenLeopard Development Teams.t.
58Lander SeynaeveVentilairs.t.
59Iuri FilosiVentilairs.t.
60Maarten CraeghsColruyts.t.
61Roman MaikinSEG Racings.t.
62Alessandro MalagutiLeopard Development Teams.t.
63Jelle DondersColruyts.t.
64Dennis CoenenVastgoedservice - Golden Palaces.t.
65Federico CanutiLeopard Development Teams.t.
66Walt de WinterColruyts.t.
67Julien StassenWallonie - Bruxelless.t.
68Benjamin VerraesCibels.t.
69Michael GoolaertsVastgoedservice - Golden Palaces.t.
70Kristof VandewalleEtixx - Quick-steps.t.
71Fernando GrijalbaParkhotel Valkenburg Continental Teams.t.
72Olivier NaesenTrek Factory Racings.t.
73Marco MinnaardParkhotel Valkenburg Continental Teams.t.
74Sander CordeelVastgoedservice - Golden Palaces.t.
75Dimitri PeyskensCibels.t.
76Nino HonighSEG Racings.t.
77Connor McConveyAn Post - Chainreactions.t.
78Fabio SilvestreTeam Roompot-Oranje Pelotons.t.
79Maxat AyazbayevVeranclassic - Ekois.t.
80Ricky TimmerRabobank Development Teams.t.
81Jens WallaysTeam 3Ms.t.
82Bert-Jan LindemanTeam LottoNL - Jumbos.t.
83Alistair MurdockAn Post - Chainreactions.t.
84Rémy MertzWallonie - Bruxelless.t.
85Ying Hon YeungWallonie - Bruxelless.t.
86Gaetan BilleVérandas Willemss.t.
87Jan KellerVeranclassic - Ekois.t.
88Kenneth Van RooyTeam 3Ms.t.
89Emil VinjeboVastgoedservice - Golden Palaces.t.
90Christophe PremontCibels.t.
91Milan MentenTopsport Vlaanderen - Baloises.t.
92Eoin McCarthyAn Post - Chainreactions.t.
93Benjamin HillParkhotel Valkenburg Continental Teams.t.
94Patrick ClausenParkhotel Valkenburg Continental Teams.t.
95Kevin van StaeyenColruyts.t.
96Jordi TalenRabobank Development Teams.t.
97Arman KamyshevVeranclassic - Ekois.t.
98Vincent BaestaensCibels.t.
99Nicolas MertzVeranclassic - Ekois.t.
100Gaëtan PonsVentilairs.t.
101Nikolas MaesLotto Soudals.t.
102Bas TietemaTeam Roompot-Oranje Pelotons.t.
103Sjoerd Van GinnekenSEG Racings.t.
104Rubén PolsTopsport Vlaanderen - Baloises.t.
105Jens AdamsTeam 3Ms.t.
106Louis VerhelstTrek Factory Racings.t.
107Johan HemroulleWallonie - Bruxelless.t.
108Kristian SobotaVérandas Willemss.t.
109Joeri CalleeuwTeam 3Ms.t.
110Stig BroeckxLotto Soudals.t.
111Joeri AdamsCibels.t.
112Behnam Khalili KhosroshahiVérandas Willemss.t.
113Wout van AertTrek Factory Racings.t.
114Marcello PavarinLeopard Development Teams.t.
115Andrei VoicuVastgoedservice - Golden Palaces.t.
116Ruslan KarimovVastgoedservice - Golden Palaces.t.
117Joris DertinVentilairs.t.
118Vitali KondrutVérandas Willemss.t.
119Gert-Jan BosmanTeam Roompot-Oranje Pelotons.t.
120Tom VeelersTeam Giant-Alpecins.t.
121Mark DzamastagicParkhotel Valkenburg Continental Teams.t.
122Kevin ThomeVeranclassic - Ekois.t.
123Louis ConvensVérandas Willemss.t.
124Tim AriesenRabobank Development Teams.t.
125Niels VandyckVastgoedservice - Golden Palaces.t.
126Olivier PardiniVérandas Willemss.t.
127Franz SchiewerWallonie - Bruxelless.t.
128Johannes Christofel NelVérandas Willemss.t.
129Dominique CornuVeranclassic - Ekois.t.
130Klemen StimulakColruyts.t.
131Riccardo DonatoLeopard Development Teams.t.
132Tobias LudvigssonEtixx - Quick-steps.t.
133Sandy PrinsierTeam 3Ms.t.
134Stefan SchäferParkhotel Valkenburg Continental Teams.t.
135Alois KankovskyVeranclassic - Ekois.t.
136Maarten NeyensTeam 3Ms.t.
137Ronan Van ZandbeekTeam Roompot-Oranje Pelotons.t.
138Marcus ChristieAn Post - Chainreaction+ 7'15
139Vinnie BraetTeam 3M+ 7'52
140Luca WackermannLeopard Development Team+ 8'40
141Fabio JakobsenRabobank Development Teams.t.
142Sam BassettiVastgoedservice - Golden Palaces.t.
143Kobus HereijgersParkhotel Valkenburg Continental Teams.t.
144Ron AalbersRabobank Development Teams.t.
145Jori van SteenberghenColruyts.t.
146Dennis BakkerWallonie - Bruxelless.t.
147Jarno GmelichSEG Racings.t.
148Kevin CallebautColruyts.t.
149René HooghiemsterSEG Racings.t.
150Alex KirschLeopard Development Teams.t.
151Jean-Albert CarnevaliWallonie - Bruxelless.t.
152Tom VermeerSEG Racing+ 11'35
153Brennan TownshendAn Post - Chainreaction+ 12'20
154Gertjan De VosTeam 3Ms.t.
155Rick OttemaRabobank Development Team+ 12'59
156Rico ReekersSEG Racing+ 13'34
157Jelle WolsinkParkhotel Valkenburg Continental Team+ 14'47
158Alberto LosadaWallonie - Bruxelles+ 18'57

March has started off with two great results. Catalunya is still to come. Let's see what I can pull off there.

To be continued...
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