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One in a Billion | Rise to the Summit
Starting Out as Pro - Road to Recovery and a Helping Hand

I have been quite lucky with injuries in my amateur racing days. Sure, there have been falls, but I had never suffered anything worse than a sprained wrist, a twisted ankle or a deep gash. This was the first time I ended up off the bike for a lengthy spell.

After a successful surgery, I was shifted to the Leopard Dev HQ to speed up my recovery process under the watchful eyes of team physios and doctors. It's been three weeks now since the crash and I'm back on my feet, walking with a stick. Although I can get on the training bikes, I don't have any strength to push the pedals with my left leg yet. I've been told that it'll be two more weeks before I start getting the strength back. In the mean time, most of the day goes into strength and conditioning training as I try to put more and more weight on to the injured leg. I can just about fold it half-way now.

In the mean-time, I realized in all this free time away from the riding that my contract with Leopard was going to be up at the end of the season. I also realized that I did not have them necessary evil - an Agent - either! I had received a few calls with agents promising me rides with 'top' teams but I ignored most of them. Even the ones who sounded more realistic, I was thoroughly confused as to how to decide whom to trust. Incidentally, a couple of my teammates, Alex and Tom, were paying me a visit the next time a call came in from another agent. They overheard most of the conversation and were a bit shocked that I'd not signed an agent yet! They shared an agent at that time, and assured me that he was a stand-up guy. I took their advice and got in touch. I soon realized that this fellow had already got in touch with me a couple of days before. At that time, I'd said that i'd get back to him after making up my mind. This recommendation made it easy for me.

So here I am, in the middle of August, waiting patiently to get back to the racing, hoping against hope what Ripley predicted about this being the end of the season for me does not turn out to be true. Also, I have an agent now, who's trying to conjure up the best deal for me, or so I hope. Let's see what the next few weeks have in store...
Edited by AbhishekLFC on 16-09-2016 03:48
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Good luck with the recovery. Unlucky but maybe I good break from the action, getting organized.
Yeah so much I'd ignored so far. This injury has given me a lot of free time. The pain and the sleepless nights are a downer though...

I want to get back on the bike ASAP Cool
Starting Out as Pro - Hoping against Hope

It's been a month now since I last wrote. I've been quite busy with a few things so I haven't got around to writing much.

I've moved back to Amsterdam to continue my recovery from here. I've been walking freely, without support for the past couple of weeks now. I've also got back on the bike, but riding is still not painless. The doctors have told me that the earlier return date of late September is out of the question. My only shot at racing again this season is in the Giro dell Emilia, for which I'm still registered. That will be possible only if I'm fit by the end of September. My recovery is targeted to that particular goal only right now.

On the other hand, my agent has been busy getting in touch with teams for a possible contract for next season. The first few teams were a bust. There were either no free seats there or they were unwilling to take on a one-year rookie. As September rolled in, Leopard Dev came in with an offer to retain me. They were offering me a co-leader role but this would mean staying in the Continental Tour for another season. I was keen on keeping my options open. Finally, just last week, another offer came in. Roompot Orange, who are in the PCT, had a spot open in their team for a minimum budget rider, focused towards climbing, and less than 23 years old. My agent did the necessary wine and dine and set me up. All that was left was to discuss details.

A couple of days later, I got a call from my agent. He sounded more excited than I'd ever heard him before. He mentioned that an offer had come in from an American team, asking me to join them. They were going PCT the following season. The money would be the same but this would mean shifting base once again. My agent asked to think it through. This was a day before the scheduled signing with Roompot. I had a decision to make and very little time to weigh my options...
Edited by AbhishekLFC on 16-09-2016 03:48
Hard choice, but a win win, Pro Continental either way.
Agreed, staying in Leopard or changing to Roompot or this American team sound hard, but I may have a feeling where he will go...

The "logical" decision should be signing with Roompot, so you don't have to move on, but if you sign for a PCT American team, you can ride races which suits you more than Northern-Europe races
Starting Out as Pro - New Home

It's lovely to get correspondence. Thank you all for writing in. I have to agree with Tamijo. Although the decision is a tough one, unless I extend with Leopard, which was unlikely, I get Pro-Continental either way. However, what Aquarius said also played a big role in my choice. Do I stay in Europe, to sign for Roompot, or head over to America to ride in races which perhaps suit me better. At the end of the day, my final decision came down to something I'd written in one of my first entries...

I thought long and hard all day after the offer from the Americans came in. I slept on it. The next morning, my decision was made. It was as if the last day had enforced what I'd always dreamed. That of being a part of the tour in cycling's heartland - Europe. I made the call to my agent and explained that I would not be shifting out of Europe yet. He asked if I was sure, sounding a bit down, I felt. It did not strike me at the time but now I get the feeling that my choice took away a hefty pay-day for him. Oh well!

Roompot–Oranje Peloton is a Dutch UCI Professional Continental men's cycling team. The team's principal sponsor is Roompot Vakanties, a Dutch holiday company. The team's first season was the 2015 cycling season. The team has only hired Dutch cyclists so far, a trend I was about to change!

I made the journey to Nijkerk in central Netherlands for the contract signing. It was a short journey from home and the day went without hassle. I signed a contract for 2 years at 2500 Euros per month. I was just glad I had found a respectable team to ride for.

So DiCyc, did my decision match your gut-feeling? Wink


At the end of October, the Leopard team physios told me there was no way I would be ready to ride in dell Emilia. My season came to an end at the physios table.
Edited by AbhishekLFC on 16-09-2016 03:49
Satrting Out as Pro - Making the Transition

In the last week of October, I said goodbye to my Leopard teammates and staff, and headed to Nijkerk to join up with the Roompot Team. The riders were off on vacation already, the season having officially ended a couple of days before.

The first people I was introduced to were the trainers and the physios. They took stock of my recovery from the injury. They asked extra questions about why my return was delayed, having originally been scheduled to return in the first week of October. I told them the reasons. It was hard to read from their expressions as to what they made of the explanations. A full fledged medical followed, after which I was told to get comfortable. I wouldn't be going away on holiday just yet. They wanted me hang around for a couple of weeks to assess how best to make me ready for the upcoming season.

My training regime was changed from one focusing on Barouder skills to one where I focused on explosive climbing skills in short bursts (basically to help me start fighting for stage wins). They told me it this would be the first step towards building muscle strength and stamina for the long arduous climbs in tougher races. I started following their instructions to the T. Finally, as fall set in and the air turned distinctively chilly, I went back home in Amsterdam for six weeks of rest and relaxation. I wasn't going back to India. My family would be visiting me here. I can't wait Grin
Edited by AbhishekLFC on 16-09-2016 03:49
Great signing (yes, it was actually what I thought Pfft)!

I hope that he will recover and next season will be even better (without injuries!)

Thanks DiCyc Smile

Here's hoping what you said turns out to be true and next season is better with no injuries.
2015 Season Recap

Well, what do I say...

I've been living a dream over the past year. From the Asian Junior Championships Silver medal to signing for Leopard Development to finishing 10th in my first race to finishing in career high 5th place in Ronde l'Isard to gritting through seven months of hard racing to the agony of injury to signing for a PCT team for the coming season to completing my first season as a professional, albeit injured. Phew!

Statistically, I scored no points this season. I did not win any race. I did not win any stage. I did not even climb onto the podium even once. But this past year has been absolutely brilliant. I'm already looking forward to the next season. I'll be based a lot closer home for the next couple of years, and that's how I prefer it for now. Roompot Oranje have their focus on the right things and I think I couldn't have asked for a better team to sign for. The team presentation will be held in the first week of January once all the riders return. Should be exciting!

Now if you'll excuse me. I have a flight to catch; I'm off for my vacation. Cheers Grin
Edited by AbhishekLFC on 11-10-2016 04:55
Roompot Oranje Team Presentation

Date: 2nd January, 2016
Ocassion: Roompot Oranje Press Conference
Venue: Roompot Oranje HQ Media Center

"... and with that we come to the team presentation. Roompot Oranje has made an exception to its Dutch riders only rule for the first time. We have brought in two talented young riders, one from France and the other from India. The core set up remains the same, but we felt that the chance to sign these two unique talents was too good to pass up. So here they are, the team that will be wearing the Roompot colours for the year 2015."


Team Leaders

Theo Bos Sprinter
Barry Markus Sprinter
Raymond Kreder Sprinter
Maurits Lammertink Puncher

Rider Presentation


Good luck in 2016
Thanks Tamijo Smile

Vuelta a Mallorca

The first race for Roompot comes around. We were off to Spain. My first experience in the second tier of the cycling tour was about to begin.

Stage 1 saw me being given a free role. The stage was tailor made for sprinters so I took it easy and got used to being around my new teammates in a race situation. Kreder and Markus, both among favourites for the stage, finished at the fag end of the top 10. We led the team classification after this stage.

Stage 2 was a quiet one for me as I stayed in the pack and helped out the sprinters. Wesley Kreder finished 4th while Barry Markus finished 7th. A good stage for us.

Stage 3 and again I was in a free role. I stayed with the pack for half distance before trying my hand at an attack with 80 km. I caught up to the break quite soon. However, we were caught as early as 60 km to go. I stayed with the lead group, which was down to about 30 riders till 25 km to go. I couldn't hang on to the front of the race and finished in E5, climbing up to 4th in the U25s classification.

Stage 4 saw the lead group whittled down on each climb. I dropped down to the fourth group on the road after all the climbs were crossed, running on empty as I crossed the line, 4 minutes down on stage winner Alaphilippe. I still managed a top 5 in the U25 classification.

General Classification

1Julian AlaphilippeEtixx - Quick-step13h32'32
2Andrew TalanskyTeam Cannondale - Garmin+ 14
3Beñat IntxaustiTeam Katusha+ 2'12
4Alberto ContadorTinkoff-Saxo+ 2'38
5Robert GesinkTeam LottoNL - Jumbos.t.
6Carlos BetancurAg2r La Mondiale+ 4'38
7Michał KwiatkowskiTeam Cannondale - Garmin+ 4'44
8Jan BakelantsAg2r La Mondiales.t.
9Edoardo ZardiniTeam Cannondale - Garmins.t.
10Roman KreuzigerLotto Soudals.t.

11Valerio AgnoliTinkoff-Saxo+ 6'36
12Cyril GautierAg2r La Mondiale+ 6'37
13Rafał MajkaTinkoff-Saxos.t.
14Dominik NerzBora - Argon 18s.t.
15Ryder HesjedalTinkoff-Saxos.t.
16Jay McCarthyOrica-GreenEDGEs.t.
17Janier AcevedoColombias.t.
18John Darwin AtapumaAndroni Giocattoli - Sidermec+ 7'42
19Valerio ContiBora - Argon 18+ 8'30
20Thomas VoecklerAg2r La Mondiale+ 8'38
21Alexandre GeniezFDJ+ 8'58
22Ben SwiftTeam Sky+ 9'16
23David De la CruzEtixx - Quick-step+ 9'35
24Pello BilbaoCaja Rural - Seguros RGAs.t.
25Daniel MorenoTeam Skys.t.
26Nick Van Der LijkeTeam LottoNL - Jumbos.t.
27Arnold JeannessonFDJs.t.
28Egor SilinTeam Katushas.t.
29Miguel RubianoColombias.t.
30Thomas De GendtLotto Soudal+ 9'45
31Luis Ángel MatéTeam Sky+ 11'32
32Abhishek SinhaTeam Roompot-Oranje Peloton+ 12'00
33Matteo MontagutiAndroni Giocattoli - Sidermec+ 12'08
34Philippe GilbertBMC Racing Teams.t.
35Magnus Cort NielsenOrica-GreenEDGE+ 12'41
36Matthew BuscheTeam Sky+ 12'43
37Michael AlbasiniBora - Argon 18+ 12'50
38Sérgio PardillaTeam Skys.t.
39Ángel MadrazoMovistar Team+ 14'00
40Samuel SánchezBMC Racing Team+ 14'01
41Salvatore PuccioTeam Skys.t.
42Anastasio AniaEtixx - Quick-steps.t.
43Rohan DennisTeam Sky+ 14'46
44Christophe LaporteEtixx - Quick-step+ 15'44
45José Joaquín RojasMovistar Team+ 15'54
46Jonathan FumeauxIAM Cycling+ 16'08
47Sérgio SousaLA Aluminios - Antarte+ 16'10
48Pieter JacobsLotto Soudal+ 16'26
49Jesús HerradaMovistar Teams.t.
50Stephen CummingsMovistar Teams.t.
51Jordi SimónCaja Rural - Seguros RGAs.t.
52Dries DevenynsIAM Cycling+ 17'09
53Arnaud CourteilleBMC Racing Teams.t.
54Carlos VeronaEtixx - Quick-steps.t.
55Matthias BrändleIAM Cycling+ 18'00
56François BidardBurgos - BH+ 18'02
57Heiner ParraCaja Rural - Seguros RGAs.t.
58Chris HornerTeam Cannondale - Garmins.t.
59Fabio SabatiniEtixx - Quick-step+ 18'04
60Nathan BrownTeam Cannondale - Garmin+ 18'13
61Manuele BoaroOrica-GreenEDGEs.t.
62Sérgio PaulinhoTinkoff-Saxo+ 19'11
63Damiano CarusoBMC Racing Team+ 19'13
64Cristiano SalernoBora - Argon 18s.t.
65Brent BookwalterTeam Cannondale - Garmins.t.
66David ArroyoCaja Rural - Seguros RGAs.t.
67Alexandr KolobnevTinkoff-Saxos.t.
68Paweł FranczakActiveJet Team+ 19'27
69Andreas SchillingerTeam LottoNL - Jumbo+ 20'12
70Alex HowesTeam Cannondale - Garmin+ 20'17
71Lars Ytting BakLotto Soudal+ 20'28
72Lilian CalmejaneTeam Roompot-Oranje Peloton+ 20'38
73Christian KneesBora - Argon 18s.t.
74Ángel ViciosoTeam Katusha+ 22'16
75Alberto LosadaTeam Katusha+ 22'22
76Edward DiazColombia+ 22'48
77Maciej BodnarTinkoff-Saxo+ 22'49
78Juan Pablo ValenciaColombia+ 22'50
79Francisco José VentosoTeam Katusha+ 23'16
80Jos Van EmdenTeam LottoNL - Jumbos.t.
81Aleksejs SaramotinsOrica-GreenEDGEs.t.
82Frederico FigueiredoLA Aluminios - Antartes.t.
83Manuel Antunes AmaroLA Aluminios - Antartes.t.
84Klemen StimulakActiveJet Teams.t.
85Maurits LammertinkTeam Roompot-Oranje Peloton+ 23'36
86Yannick MartinezIAM Cycling+ 24'01
87Oscar GattoAndroni Giocattoli - Sidermec+ 24'13
88Romain CardisAg2r La Mondiale+ 24'41
89Raymond KrederTeam Roompot-Oranje Peloton+ 24'50
90Jens DebusschereLotto Soudal+ 25'57
91Davide AppollonioAndroni Giocattoli - Sidermec+ 26'50
92Edwin ÁvilaColombia+ 26'53
93Luke RoweIAM Cycling+ 26'54
94Imanol ErvitiTinkoff-Saxos.t.
95Marco FrapportiAndroni Giocattoli - Sidermecs.t.
96Alessio TalianiAndroni Giocattoli - Sidermecs.t.
97Jesús EzquerraActiveJet Teams.t.
98Miguel Angel BenitoCaja Rural - Seguros RGAs.t.
99Lloyd MondoryAg2r La Mondiale+ 28'25
100Jempy DruckerBMC Racing Team+ 29'05
101Davide ViganòTeam Cannondale - Garmin+ 29'25
102Tom BoonenTeam Skys.t.
103Loïc VliegenBMC Racing Team+ 29'44
104Jhonatan RestrepoColombia+ 30'00
105Sondre Holst EngerIAM Cycling+ 30'09
106Maarten WynantsTeam LottoNL - Jumbos.t.
107Robert WagnerTeam LottoNL - Jumbo+ 30'31
108Marcus BurghardtBora - Argon 18s.t.
109Brayan RamírezColombias.t.
110Campbell FlakemoreOrica-GreenEDGEs.t.
111Carlos Mario RamírezColombias.t.
112Jacopo GuarnieriTeam Katusha+ 31'09
113Maxime DanielAg2r La Mondiales.t.
114Louis VerhelstLotto Soudals.t.
115Egoitz GarcíaMovistar Teams.t.
116Johnny HoogerlandTeam Roompot-Oranje Pelotons.t.
117Jean-Lou PaianiOrica-GreenEDGEs.t.
118Frederik BackaertLotto Soudals.t.
119Justin JulesFDJs.t.
120Timo RoosenTeam LottoNL - Jumbos.t.
121Hugo HouleAg2r La Mondiale+ 31'13
122Sjoerd Van GinnekenTeam Roompot-Oranje Peloton+ 31'27
123Tosh Van der SandeCaja Rural - Seguros RGA+ 32'34
124Johannes FröhlingerBora - Argon 18s.t.
125Filippo FortinCaja Rural - Seguros RGAs.t.
126Shane ArchboldBora - Argon 18+ 32'39
127Alex DowsettMovistar Teams.t.
128Mikhail IgnatievTeam Katusha+ 33'02
129Michaël BaerIAM Cycling+ 34'46
130Bernardo ColexActiveJet Teams.t.
131Adrian GonzalezMurias Taldeas.t.
132Mathew HaymanOrica-GreenEDGE+ 35'24
133Preben Van HeckeBMC Racing Team+ 36'08
134Tim KerkhofTeam Roompot-Oranje Peloton+ 36'16
135Cyril LemoineFDJs.t.
136Robert BushMurias Taldeas.t.
137Yamato ShirotaFDJ+ 37'18
138Łukasz BodnarActiveJet Teams.t.
139Miguel MínguezMurias Taldea+ 37'20
140Juan José CoboCaja Rural - Seguros RGA+ 38'11
141Sébastien ChavanelFDJ+ 38'14
142Eryk LatońActiveJet Team+ 38'20
143Yohann GèneFDJs.t.
144Jan GhyselinckLotto Soudals.t.
145Daniel FreitasLA Aluminios - Antartes.t.
146Stijn VandenberghEtixx - Quick-step+ 38'45
147Vicente ReynèsMovistar Team+ 38'48
148Jon AberasturiMurias Taldea+ 40'47
149Barry MarkusTeam Roompot-Oranje Peloton+ 40'52
150Olivier Le GacFDJ+ 40'54
151Marco BandieraAndroni Giocattoli - Sidermec+ 40'57
152Abel KenyeresAndroni Giocattoli - Sidermec+ 41'45
153Boy Van PoppelTeam LottoNL - Jumbo+ 41'53
154Aidis KruopisIAM Cycling+ 42'59
155Mario CostaLA Aluminios - Antartes.t.
156Ibai SalasBurgos - BHs.t.
157Leonel CoutinhoLA Aluminios - Antartes.t.
158Marcin BiałobłockiActiveJet Team+ 43'05
159Konrad DabkowskiActiveJet Team+ 44'00
160José Luis RoldánBurgos - BH+ 44'21
161Unai IntziarteMurias Taldeas.t.
162Jesse KerrisonBMC Racing Team+ 45'19
163Juan Carlos RiutortBurgos - BH+ 48'06
164Óscar PujolBurgos - BH+ 48'20
165Jingbiao ZhaoOrica-GreenEDGE+ 50'22
166Víctor MartínBurgos - BH+ 53'04
167Igor MerinoBurgos - BH+ 53'47
168Aritz BagüesMurias Taldea+ 54'27
169Iljo KeisseEtixx - Quick-step+ 1h03'08
170Peter CoulonBurgos - BH+ 1h05'57

Points Classification

1Julian AlaphilippeEtixx - Quick-step70
2Ben SwiftTeam Sky51
3Yannick MartinezIAM Cycling38
4Magnus Cort NielsenOrica-GreenEDGE32
5Valerio ContiBora - Argon 1830

Mountain Classification

1Sérgio SousaLA Aluminios - Antarte70
2Ángel MadrazoMovistar Team60
3Valerio ContiBora - Argon 1830
4Thomas VoecklerAg2r La Mondiale28
5Loïc VliegenBMC Racing Team28

Young Rider Classification

1Julian AlaphilippeEtixx - Quick-step13h32'32
2Jay McCarthyOrica-GreenEDGE+ 6'37
3Valerio ContiBora - Argon 18+ 8'30
4Nick Van Der LijkeTeam LottoNL - Jumbo+ 9'35
5Abhishek SinhaTeam Roompot-Oranje Peloton+ 12'00

Team Classification

1Team Cannondale - Garmin40h47'24
2Ag2r La Mondiale+ 4'24
3Tinkoff-Saxo+ 6'04
4Etixx - Quick-step+ 12'15
5Team LottoNL - Jumbo+ 16'26

A fairly good start for me at Roompot, Top 5 in the U25s in a stronger field is nothing to be too unhappy about. A couple more races in Spain in February will be another opportunity to impress. Looking forward to it.
Best in your team, quite a brave effort from a new rider in the first race for the team.
Tamijo wrote:
Best in your team, quite a brave effort from a new rider in the first race for the team.

Both Calmejane and Lammertink lost considerable time on one stage or the other, and ended up way down in the GC. I can't complain though. Better than expected start to my Roompot adventure.

February. Birthday month. And more Spanish races for me. I was still finding my place in the new team and was looking to impress at every opportunity. The combination of a one day race and the stage race in Andalucia should be a good combination to show my overall abilities.

Vuelta Ciclista a Murcia


Murcia, and I was in a free role again. I was starting to enjoy this freedom being given to me. At such an early stage of any cyclist's career, it is a luxury to be able to concentrate only on your own riding, rather than protecting your leaders.

I joined the seven man breakaway which included the likes of Maartens, Ventoso and Ligthart. I was well and truly mixing it up with the top brass now! We pulled away to a 5 minute lead. I attacked on top of the only climb of note. I got away to a 90 second lead over my fellow breakaway riders. I was caught by the peloton with 20 km to go. Although I missed the decisive attack, I managed to get away from the peloton again. Fabio Aru took the win, while I finished in 18th, a minute down on him.

1Fabio AruAstana Pro Team4h11'28
2Dominik NerzBora - Argon 18s.t.
3Beñat IntxaustiTeam Katushas.t.
4Daniel MartinTinkoff-Saxos.t.
5Joaquím RodríguezTeam Katushas.t.
6Alexis VuillermozTeam Europcars.t.
7Ian BoswellTeam Cannondale - Garmin+ 46
8Samuel SánchezBMC Racing Teams.t.
9Miguel Angel LopezAstana Pro Teams.t.
10Dario CataldoAstana Pro Teams.t.

11David De la CruzEtixx - Quick-steps.t.
12Daniel NavarroAstana Pro Teams.t.
13Chris HornerTeam Cannondale - Garmins.t.
14Joseph DombrowskiTeam Cannondale - Garmins.t.
15Paul MartensTeam LottoNL - Jumbo+ 1'08
16Fabio DuarteColombias.t.
17Fabio FellineLotto Soudal+ 1'22
18Abhishek SinhaTeam Roompot-Oranje Pelotons.t.
19Carlos VeronaEtixx - Quick-step+ 1'43
20Francisco José VentosoTeam Katusha+ 1'53
21Robert KiserlovskiTinkoff-Saxo+ 2'25
22Adam YatesOrica-GreenEDGEs.t.
23George BennettTeam LottoNL - Jumbo+ 3'11
24Edoardo ZardiniTeam Cannondale - Garmins.t.
25Sérgio PaulinhoTinkoff-Saxo+ 3'27
26José MendesBora - Argon 18s.t.
27Michael RogersTinkoff-Saxos.t.
28Serge PauwelsLotto Soudal+ 3'59
29Jay McCarthyOrica-GreenEDGEs.t.
30Alex HowesTeam Cannondale - Garmins.t.
31Jesús HerradaMovistar Teams.t.
32Emanuel BuchmannBora - Argon 18s.t.
33Esteban ChavesOrica-GreenEDGEs.t.
34Ben HermansBMC Racing Teams.t.
35Marc De MaarTeam Roompot-Oranje Pelotons.t.
36André CardosoTeam Cannondale - Garmins.t.
37Arnaud CourteilleBMC Racing Teams.t.
38Rafael VallsMovistar Teams.t.
39Serghei TvetcovTeam LottoNL - Jumbos.t.
40Winner AnaconaMovistar Teams.t.
41Egor SilinTeam Katushas.t.
42Sergey ChernetskiyTeam Katushas.t.
43Anastasio AniaEtixx - Quick-steps.t.
44Mikel NieveMovistar Teams.t.
45Daryl ImpeyOrica-GreenEDGEs.t.
46Maxime MonfortEtixx - Quick-steps.t.
47Tim WellensLotto Soudals.t.
48Mikel BizkarraMurias Taldeas.t.
49Daniel JaramilloColombias.t.
50Diego RosaAstana Pro Teams.t.
51Hector SaezCaja Rural - Seguros RGAs.t.
52Louis VervaekeLotto Soudals.t.
53Andrey ZeitsAstana Pro Teams.t.
54Delio FernándezCaja Rural - Seguros RGAs.t.
55Daniele Dall'OsteColombias.t.
56Davide VillellaMovistar Teams.t.
57Janier AcevedoColombias.t.
58Daniel Felipe MartinezColombias.t.
59Víctor de la ParteMovistar Teams.t.
60Pim LigthartLotto Soudal+ 5'09
61Paweł FranczakActiveJet Teams.t.
62Maciej PaterskiCCC Sprandi Polkowices.t.
63Kristof VandewalleEtixx - Quick-step+ 6'10
64Tomasz MarczyńskiCCC Sprandi Polkowices.t.
65Brice FeilluTeam Europcars.t.
66Marc GoosTeam LottoNL - Jumbos.t.
67Ivan BassoTinkoff-Saxos.t.
68Valerio ContiBora - Argon 18s.t.
69Marcos GarcíaMovistar Teams.t.
70Damiano CarusoBMC Racing Teams.t.
71Paolo TiralongoTinkoff-Saxos.t.
72Lucas EuserBMC Racing Teams.t.
73Cristiano SalernoBora - Argon 18s.t.
74Pieter WeeningOrica-GreenEDGEs.t.
75Tiago MachadoTeam Katusha+ 7'08
76Pello BilbaoCaja Rural - Seguros RGAs.t.
77Ander ArranzBurgos - BHs.t.
78Lilian CalmejaneTeam Roompot-Oranje Peloton+ 7'30
79Dan CravenTeam Europcar+ 7'50
80Ricardo MestreTeam Taviras.t.
81Eduard PradesCaja Rural - Seguros RGA+ 8'16
82Alejandro MarqueBurgos - BHs.t.
83Johnny HoogerlandTeam Roompot-Oranje Pelotons.t.
84Oliver ZauggBMC Racing Teams.t.
85David BeldaMovistar Teams.t.
86Chad HagaTeam Cannondale - Garmins.t.
87Lieuwe WestraAstana Pro Teams.t.
88Unai ArranzBurgos - BHs.t.
89Garikoitz BravoMurias Taldeas.t.
90Maxime BouetEtixx - Quick-steps.t.
91Haritz OrbeMurias Taldeas.t.
92Manuele BoaroOrica-GreenEDGEs.t.
93Barry MarkusTeam Roompot-Oranje Pelotons.t.
94Edgar PintoTeam Taviras.t.
95Sergey LagutinTeam Katushas.t.
96Paweł CieślikCCC Sprandi Polkowices.t.
97Dylan TeunsBMC Racing Teams.t.
98Jesús Del PinoBurgos - BH+ 9'02
99Lachlan NorrisCaja Rural - Seguros RGAs.t.
100Anatoliy BudyakTeam Europcars.t.
101Alexsandr DyachenkoAstana Pro Teams.t.
102Damien HowsonOrica-GreenEDGEs.t.
103Dimitry KozontchukTinkoff-Saxos.t.
104Antonio MolinaCaja Rural - Seguros RGAs.t.
105José Vicente ToribioCaja Rural - Seguros RGAs.t.
106Óscar PujolBurgos - BHs.t.
107Unai IntziarteMurias Taldeas.t.
108Giampaolo CarusoTeam Katushas.t.
109Floris GertsTeam Roompot-Oranje Pelotons.t.
110Romain GuillemoisTeam Europcars.t.
111Ken HansonBMC Racing Teams.t.
112Ryan MullenEtixx - Quick-steps.t.
113Michel KrederTeam LottoNL - Jumbos.t.
114Simon ClarkeOrica-GreenEDGEs.t.
115Marcus BurghardtBora - Argon 18s.t.
116Guillaume ThevenotTeam Europcars.t.
117Imanol ErvitiTinkoff-Saxos.t.
118Darwin PantojaColombia+ 9'43
119Christian KneesBora - Argon 18s.t.
120Dries Van GestelLotto Soudals.t.
121Brent BookwalterTeam Cannondale - Garmins.t.
122Jhonatan RestrepoColombias.t.
123Nikolas MaesLotto Soudal+ 11'47
124Jesús EzquerraActiveJet Teams.t.
125Kamil MałeckiCCC Sprandi Polkowices.t.
126Piotr BrożynaCCC Sprandi Polkowices.t.
127Joao PereiraTeam Taviras.t.
128Ricardo VilelaTeam Taviras.t.
129Jon Ander InsaustiMurias Taldeas.t.
130Bram TankinkTeam LottoNL - Jumbos.t.
131Miguel Angel BenitoCaja Rural - Seguros RGAs.t.
132Bernardo ColexActiveJet Teams.t.
133Srecko SuljicTeam Taviras.t.
134Stanislau BazhkouCCC Sprandi Polkowices.t.
135Branislau SamoilauCCC Sprandi Polkowices.t.
136Tom Van AsbroeckTeam LottoNL - Jumbos.t.
137Phil BauhausBora - Argon 18s.t.
138Roman KubikCCC Sprandi Polkowices.t.
139Tomasz MickiewiczActiveJet Teams.t.
140Raymond KrederTeam Roompot-Oranje Pelotons.t.
141Diego León CuervoBurgos - BHs.t.
142Sebastian MascaroBurgos - BH+ 12'43
143Adrian GonzalezMurias Taldeas.t.
144Reinier HonigTeam Roompot-Oranje Peloton+ 12'57
145Dimitri Le BoulchTeam Europcar+ 15'15
146Stanislaw DianzenzaActiveJet Teams.t.
147Giovanni BernaudeauTeam Europcars.t.
148Tom LeezerTeam LottoNL - Jumbo+ 17'54
149Manuel CardosoTeam Taviras.t.
150Guillaume Van KeirsbulckEtixx - Quick-steps.t.
151Mats BoeveTeam Taviras.t.
152Carlos Mario RamírezColombias.t.
153Frederik BackaertLotto Soudal+ 19'01
154Álvaro RobredoBurgos - BHs.t.
155Marcin BiałobłockiActiveJet Teams.t.
156Paweł BrylowskiActiveJet Teams.t.
157Arkadiusz OwsianActiveJet Team+ 21'03
158Daniel BorrásTeam Taviras.t.
This race gave me the belief that I had it in me to be competitive. The field was a strong one and I manged to finish ahead of very strong riders. Good signs.

Vuelta a Andalucia

I was feeling very good going into Andalucia. Two good outings in the past month had instilled a new-found confidence in me. To top that off, I was chosen to lead the team in race, which was a big surprise to me. Perhaps another birthday present from the team Wink

Stage 1 was a short time-trial. I didn't lose a lot of time, but finished mid-pack in the classifications. 52nd place, losing 25 seconds.

Stage 2's climbs had the effect of rapidly narrowing down the pack to the cream of the crop. The group was down to about 40 riders after the second climb. I crossed the line almost 3 minutes down on stage winner Purito Rodriguez, shoulder to shoulder with Benat Intxausti, one of my heroes in the sport of cycling in the past couple of years. Another fanboy moment for me!

Stage 3 didn't go very well, as I lost contact to the leading group on the only climb of the day. I laboured to the finish line, five and a half minutes behind stage winner Nairo Quintana.

Stage 4 was one for the sprinters. I stayed well protected in the pack, out of trouble.

Stage 5 fell on my birthday and I was determined to try something. I stayed with the pack till 25 km to go before launching an attack. It was unsuccessful though, and I got caught with 15 km to go. The effort had drained me and I was dropped before the finish by the leaders.

Stage 6 was mostly uneventful, barring the last 10 km. I fell at that point, and did not make it back to the peloton. The breakaway stayed away to claim victory while I lost two and a half minutes on the peloton. I was surprised to find after the stage that I had still secured 3rd place in the U25 classification in this race, my best ever result in that classification in any race so far!

General Classification

1Andrew TalanskyTeam Cannondale - Garmin19h56'16
2Nicolas RocheTeam Sky+ 23
3Mikel LandaTeam Katusha+ 56
4Michał KwiatkowskiTeam Cannondale - Garmin+ 58
5Dries DevenynsIAM Cycling+ 1'06
6Tim WellensLotto Soudal+ 1'10
7Fabio AruAstana Pro Team+ 1'31
8Daniel MartinTinkoff-Saxo+ 2'17
9Pello BilbaoCaja Rural - Seguros RGA+ 2'20
10Jan BartaBora - Argon 18+ 2'27

11Alexis VuillermozTeam Europcar+ 2'30
12Alberto ContadorTinkoff-Saxo+ 2'39
13Nairo QuintanaMovistar Teams.t.
14Daniel MorenoTeam Sky+ 2'45
15Joaquím RodríguezTeam Katusha+ 3'19
16Dominik NerzBora - Argon 18+ 3'29
17Jarlinson PantanoIAM Cycling+ 3'35
18Beñat IntxaustiTeam Katusha+ 4'06
19Luis Ángel MatéTeam Sky+ 4'31
20Mikel NieveMovistar Team+ 5'00
21Ryder HesjedalTinkoff-Saxo+ 5'24
22Jonathan CastroviejoMovistar Team+ 5'36
23David LópezTeam Sky+ 5'42
24Maxim IglinskiyAstana Pro Team+ 6'56
25Sérgio PardillaTeam Sky+ 7'03
26Jesús HerradaMovistar Team+ 7'50
27Álex Cano ArdilaColombia+ 7'51
28Jelle VanendertLotto Soudal+ 8'16
29Alex HowesTeam Cannondale - Garmin+ 8'23
30José HerradaTeam Sky+ 8'24
31Diego RosaAstana Pro Team+ 9'06
32Eduard PradesCaja Rural - Seguros RGA+ 9'47
33Cristiano SalernoBora - Argon 18+ 10'28
34Ramunas NavardauskasTeam Cannondale - Garmin+ 10'51
35Garikoitz BravoMurias Taldea+ 11'26
36Haritz OrbeMurias Taldea+ 12'14
37Daniel NavarroAstana Pro Team+ 12'17
38Pieter JacobsLotto Soudal+ 12'25
39Abhishek SinhaTeam Roompot-Oranje Peloton+ 12'41
40Michael SchärTrek Factory Racing+ 13'07
41Alexey TsatevitchTinkoff-Saxo+ 13'22
42Daniel JaramilloColombia+ 13'54
43Ricardo GarcíaIAM Cycling+ 14'51
44Francisco José VentosoTeam Katusha+ 14'59
45Miguel Angel BenitoCaja Rural - Seguros RGA+ 15'01
46Luka MezgecTrek Factory Racing+ 15'06
47Yukiya ArashiroTeam Europcar+ 15'12
48Edoardo ZardiniTeam Cannondale - Garmin+ 15'31
49Mikel BizkarraMurias Taldea+ 15'58
50Kilian FrankinyIAM Cycling+ 16'47
51Alberto LosadaTeam Katusha+ 17'38
52Louis VervaekeLotto Soudal+ 18'05
53Marcus BurghardtBora - Argon 18+ 18'06
54Salvatore PuccioTeam Sky+ 18'11
55Anatoliy BudyakTeam Europcar+ 18'18
56Dimitri Le BoulchTeam Europcar+ 18'33
57Stefan SchumacherCCC Sprandi Polkowice+ 18'35
58Tosh Van der SandeCaja Rural - Seguros RGA+ 18'53
59Daniel Felipe MartinezColombia+ 19'28
60Juan Pablo ValenciaColombia+ 19'34
61Joris BoillatIAM Cycling+ 19'41
62Jesús Del PinoBurgos - BH+ 19'51
63Scott ThwaitesBora - Argon 18+ 20'45
64Matteo RabottiniAstana Pro Team+ 21'01
65Jesse SergentAstana Pro Team+ 21'43
66Michael ValgrenTinkoff-Saxo+ 22'00
67Arnau SoleBurgos - BH+ 22'13
68Andrey ZeitsAstana Pro Team+ 22'25
69Vyacheslav KuznetsovTeam Katusha+ 22'28
70Javier Francisco AramendiaCaja Rural - Seguros RGA+ 22'37
71Matthieu LadagnousTeam Cannondale - Garmin+ 23'11
72Stanislau BazhkouCCC Sprandi Polkowice+ 23'27
73Damiano CunegoTeam Cannondale - Garmin+ 23'28
74Paolo TiralongoTinkoff-Saxo+ 23'39
75Leszek PlucińskiCCC Sprandi Polkowice+ 24'05
76Marc De MaarTeam Roompot-Oranje Peloton+ 24'09
77Eduard VorganovTeam Katusha+ 24'11
78Jérôme FrancoisIAM Cycling+ 24'22
79Perrig QuemeneurTeam Europcar+ 24'26
80Maxim BelkovTinkoff-Saxo+ 25'10
81Dan CravenTeam Europcar+ 25'16
82Jordi SimónCaja Rural - Seguros RGA+ 25'20
83Víctor de la ParteMovistar Team+ 26'09
84Lars Ytting BakLotto Soudal+ 26'29
85Johnny HoogerlandTeam Roompot-Oranje Peloton+ 27'05
86Michael SchwarzmannBora - Argon 18+ 28'08
87Johannes FröhlingerBora - Argon 18+ 28'42
88Adrian KurekCCC Sprandi Polkowice+ 29'47
89Laurent BeuretIAM Cycling+ 29'56
90Edwin ÁvilaColombia+ 30'30
91Heinrich HausslerTrek Factory Racing+ 32'15
92Ibai SalasBurgos - BH+ 34'11
93Ander ArranzBurgos - BH+ 34'45
94Ruslan TleubayevCCC Sprandi Polkowice+ 35'48
95Darwin PantojaColombia+ 36'27
96Onur BalkanCaja Rural - Seguros RGA+ 39'16
97Stig BroeckxLotto Soudal+ 39'38
98Jasha SütterlinMovistar Team+ 39'55
99Jon AberasturiMurias Taldea+ 40'41
100Luke KeoughTrek Factory Racing+ 42'08
101André LooijTeam Roompot-Oranje Peloton+ 42'09
102Asbjørn Kragh AndersenCCC Sprandi Polkowice+ 44'20
103Juan Sebastian MolanoColombia+ 45'16
104Eneko LizarraldeMurias Taldea+ 46'45
105Diego León CuervoBurgos - BH+ 49'41
106Jon Ander InsaustiMurias Taldea+ 49'56
107Michał PalutaCCC Sprandi Polkowice+ 51'20
108Thomas BoudatTeam Europcar+ 52'35
109Sebastian MascaroBurgos - BH+ 52'53
110Tim KerkhofTeam Roompot-Oranje Peloton+ 53'05
111Brian Van GoethemTeam Roompot-Oranje Peloton+ 59'00
112Pascal AckermannLotto Soudal+ 1h05'45
113Juan Carlos RiutortBurgos - BH+ 1h05'50
114Marco ColedanTrek Factory Racing+ 1h16'34
115Sjoerd Van GinnekenTeam Roompot-Oranje Peloton+ 1h17'07
116Markel IrizarTrek Factory Racing+ 1h18'15

Points Classification

1Michał KwiatkowskiTeam Cannondale - Garmin52
2Alexey TsatevitchTinkoff-Saxo50
3Nairo QuintanaMovistar Team43
4Alberto ContadorTinkoff-Saxo42
5Ramunas NavardauskasTeam Cannondale - Garmin38

Mountain Classification

1Eduard PradesCaja Rural - Seguros RGA30
2Sérgio PardillaTeam Sky26
3Arnau SoleBurgos - BH22
4Cristiano SalernoBora - Argon 1811
5Nairo QuintanaMovistar Team10

Young Rider Classification

1Tim WellensLotto Soudal19h57'26
2Haritz OrbeMurias Taldea+ 11'04
3Abhishek SinhaTeam Roompot-Oranje Peloton+ 11'31 (3)
4Daniel JaramilloColombia+ 12'44
5Miguel Angel BenitoCaja Rural - Seguros RGA+ 13'51

Team Classification

1Team Katusha59h52'36
2Team Sky+ 30
3Team Cannondale - Garmin+ 2'13
4Tinkoff-Saxo+ 3'31
5Bora - Argon 18+ 4'54

Two very good results and one good race in February. Andalucia wasn't a particularly good race for me as it exposed my weaknesses a fair bit. It was a bad race for the team in general. Murcia is definitely a race I can build on. March sees three more races coming up and it should be an interesting month. Those races don't suit me particularly well though.
Fine result in Murcia, a top 20 is perfect in a race with that kind of competition.
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