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Rapha Condor - The Best of British: April 2009
i know, i might sim more often:lol: It's not a very realistic result though, all the teams come in 2's
Settimana Lombardia

Stage 2


171k's of nothing today. A flat stage will almost certainly end in a mass sprint. We will try to get Downing up the front today, though his form in the early season has been a bit worrying with our first major goal of the season less then a month away.
I don't really think it's worth putting anyone in the break today so i let it go. However it has a very British feel as both Plowman craven and Pinarello are represented in the 3 man break.
As expected the break is caught and the teams prepare for the sprint. With about 5k to go Downing is looking well placed near the front.
However, on the far right a train suddenly accelerates up the road. They put in a huge gap on the rest of the peleton and they will contest the overall win today.
The win is taken by Rob Woestenborghs in a nice 1-2-4 for Club Bougas. Downing finishes a credible 9th with Craven in 12th. A nice result for the team.
We've had a very encouraging start to this race. Another flat stage tomorrow will again see Downing going for a top 10 placing.
Settimana Lombardia

Stage 3


Another flat stage will see us try to build on Downing's encouraging performance yesterday. As Richardson lost over 6 minutes in yesterdays stage i send him into the break. At first he looks comfortable.
However at the sprint point he gets dropped. He chases back for a while but i decide he is wasting too much energy. He sits up and waits for the peleton. Only problem is they aren't chasing so he ends up riding on his own all day. Ultimately he gets exhausted and timed out so now we only have 7 riders.
In the sprint Downing just doesn't have the legs after the long stage to get to the front. Even worse for us is the fact that Lapthorne gets dropped all together and looses over 3 minutes. Cronshaw will now be our leader in the hills. In the sprint Frapporti takes the win for CSF.

A very dissapointing day for us. However Cronshaw is only 30 seconds down on GC so if we protect him well he could suprise a few people in the hills and get a top 10. It'll be hard work for the team but everyone will now be riding for the same cause as Downing doesn't have any more sprints to go for.
Settimana Lombardia

Stage 4


We start to head into the hilly stuff today. It might be a very long shot but i'm gonna send someone into the break today to see if we might be able to sneak the KOM jersey. After he lost over 3 mins yesterday the task falls to Lapthorne. He gets into a nice looking group of 7 riders and the peleton let them go.
However, on the long climb up to the first KOM sprint he just can't live with the pace being set by Marzoli et al. The lead group shrinks to 4 before Marzoli sets off on his own.
Marzoli is the last member of the break to be caught as the peleton headed over the last little climb of the day. Visconti, Di Luca and Rebellin bridged the gap to Marzoli and formed a dangerous looking group.
Behind Cronshaw had jumped on the wheels of Danielson and Noe.
They made it across to the lead group which now consisted of Visconti, Rebellin, Danielson, Di Luca, Marzoli, Giunti and Cronshaw. The young Brit was in very selective company.
Visconti set a very high pace at the front but Cronshaw was just about able to hang on.
As the sprint started Visconti, Di Luca and Rebellin had a clear gap and would contest the win.
And Rebellin takes the win ahead of Di Luca.
Meanwhile, Cronshaw holds on for an excellent 6th place and a couple of continental points.
Behind him the peleton is well behind and is slowed even more when Richeze fals at the last corner. Somehow no-one else was taken out.
What a result for the team, we waited for the official results to see how far Cronshaw had moved up the GC. BUT NO!!! No time gaps were given at all!!! Rebellin was give the same time as everyone in the peleton! We had been cheated.
So after all his effort he has lost 5 seconds on the overall leader who is now Visconti. We aren't the only team appaled by the result but we'll have to accept it.
Cronshaw is now 27th overall at 35 seconds. I just hope he hasn't used up too much energy in todays stage.
Unlucky with the time gaps there! Sad
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i know, if you look at the last picture there's a guy in red between Cronshaw and the peleton. i reckon if he wasn't there i would have got the gap. The only problem is that the next 2 stages are very tough and with riders like Di Luca and Rebellin fighting out for the win i don't think Cronshaw will be able to keep up.
Settimana Lombardia

Stage 5


Kind of the opposite to the stage before as it starts off flat and gets hilly towards the end. I decide not to send anyone into the break today. 5 riders get away.
As the race gets to the foot of the final climb the break is still out in front. The big names decide thay can't wait any longer and so attempt to bridge the gap. The Yellow jersey of Visconti is the first to make a move.
Di Luca decides he can't let Visconti get too far ahead and so he attacks too.
Cronshaw attempts to get accross to the front group but he just doesn't have the legs. He will have to settle for a place in the peleton today.
At the front Visconti and Di Luca have joined up and have pulled away from the others in the leading group. They have their eyes set on the only remaining member of the original break.
10k to go. Visconti and Di Luca are looking strong out in front. Behind them Bellotti has tried to get accross but is now stranded in no mans land. The group behind him are the riders in the original break and a few of the big names that got accross, including Rebellin, Danielson and Rujano.
The two leaders make it to the line and sprint out for the win. The glory goes to Di Luca today.
All my riders (except Lapthorne who crashed) finish in the peleton. Another good performance from the team.
Visconti cements his place at the top of the GC. You'll notice that Di Luca isn't there because his team only sent 2 riders and he lost 6 mins in the opening TTT. Cronshawm, Downing and Craven are all in the top 30.

Before the last stage of the SL I will have a report from the Hel van het Margelland where those not present in Italy will be representing the team.

After that i will do my review of March with an updated mini-League
Edited by ringo182 on 17-02-2009 16:45
I like your reporting, well done.
Macquet wrote:

"We all know that wasn't the real footage of the Worlds anyway. That was just the staged footage to perpetuate the coverup that it was actually Vinokourov that won the race."
what a splendid tale
Hel van het Margelland


A tough little 1 day race for the members of my squad not at the Settimana Lombardia. Not really expecting too much from them but i'll try to get the team some coverage by getting into the break.

Squad: House, Newton, Richardson, Rudling, Southam

Almost as soon as the race starts a small group of riders attack. Richardson is in pretty good shape after his few days in Italy so i send him after them. They join up and work well together up the road.
They get a gap and the peleton don't seem to be too interested in chasing. Richardson begins to look forward to a nice day out in front with his group. However, behind him several more riders have attacked and bridge the gap.
The new group is too big for the peleton's liking and they begin to chase them down. Richardson is reeled back in with the others, however, he stays at the front and without even trying gets a gap. I tell him to keep doing what he is doing and the peleton let him ride away alone. Before long he has a gap of 5 mins.
Richardson is out for a long time on his own. Behind him Grivko, Lhotellerie and Eltink have got away from the group and are slowly bridging the gap to Richardson.
The 4 join up and Richardson finally has some company.
Unfortunatly, his day out in front had taken it's toll and Richardson didn't have the legs to stay with the 3 stronger riders on the steep hills. He slowly gets reeled back into pack, his race is over. At the front Grivko, Lhotellerie and Eltink maintain there lead but the peleton is closing. When it got down to about a minute Aerts bridges the gap.
However, the big names have woken up now and the big names all bridge the gap. The lead group is joined by Leukemans, Reus, Weening, Brandt, Kvist, Axelsson and Barredo.
The leaders keep the pace high and they are all strung out. Barredo, Leukemans, Reus and Weening are at the front of everything.
Meanwhile, back in the peleton the pace is high. I send Rudling to the front to help chase back the leaders and to my supprise the peleton splits. Rudling, Newton and House have all made it into this new group of about 20 riders.
At the front Weening has made his move.
Behind him the lead group has reformed and they are working together to chase him down.
He is finally caught with under 5k to go...
...and the lead group prepare for the sprint.
As they head under the 1k to go banner Axelsson is in the lead, but Barredo is coming up fast.
And Barredo takes the win for Quickstep.
Back in the next group House is at the front keeping the pace high. They have stayed away from the peleton. What a performance from the 3 Rapha riders.
Newton even has energy left to contest the sprint and sneaks into the top 20.
Overall i'm delighted with todays performance. House is really proving to be a gutsy rider and Newton seems to be finding his sprinting legs that he will need to achieve our season goals.

Up next the final stage of the Settimana Lombardia.
Edited by ringo182 on 18-02-2009 16:11
Settimana Lombardia

Stage 6


Today is the toughest stage of the tour. In reality Visconti can't really be caught unless he has a really bad day. Cronshaw will be looking to finish of an excellent week by trying to get into the top 25 on GC. There is a mountain sprint a couple of k's into the stage and a number of riders attack straight away. The peleton chase this down before a huge group of 17 riders goes away. Obviously again this is too big and is chased down by Visconti's team. Greenwood goes with the next attack and it sticks. It's still a huge group.
However, they don't stay together for long. As they enter the hills the stronger riders ride away in search of KOM points. Greenwood settles into a group with a couple of other riders. The break is left out all day. At the top of the biggest hill on the stage Rebellin makes his move. Visconti decides to go with him.
They are joined by Rujano and join up with a group of breakaway riders.
However the breakaway riders have been out all day and can't hold the pace. Rebellin, Visconti and Rujano are now out alone with a few more escapees up the road.
At the foot of the final climb Di Luca decides now is the time to bridge the gap. He attacks with some of the other favourites.
Di Luca is very strong and moves right to the front.
It's now Di Luca, Rebellin and Visconti out at the front. Behind them Bellotti, Pidgornyy, Bertolini, Zaugg and Danielson are closing the gap.
They join up and head into the final few k's together. Zaugg is replaced by Fleeman. The peleton is closing fast with Cronshaw right at the front.
The break is still just in the lead when the sprint starts and Visconti gets a great start.
Di Luca moves up fast and is soon level with Visconti.
Di Luca takes the win.
Cronshaw has another strong day finishing near the front of the bunch after doing alot of work to chase down the break in the last few k. No-one else stayed in the peleton today.
So Visconti wins the overall race. The TTT on the first day put him in a strong position and he had enough to see off the challengers. Cronshaw finishes 24th overall. An excellent performance from the youngstar. He could have a great future ahead of him.

So now we only have a couple of races left before we go to the East Midlands International Cycle Classic on the 26th April. The Albert Achterhes Profrande van Drenthe on the 13th and the Giro d'Oro on the 19th. Hopefully my team will be able to maintain their fitness throughout the month.
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cant wait for EMC
Visconti really in a good form, aswell as Di Luca
wackojackohighcliffe wrote:
cant wait for EMC

Same here. It's a great race, actually.
surprisingly it is, especially when the dirt splits it up
Very nice update. But I think your screens would be a lot better, if you remove the rings and rider names - but still a nice story, and it's not a "must" Smile
I like the rings and names, it tells me who they are and where they are.
thats why i keep them on. Otherwise it's just a picture of the peleton. it could be anyone in there.

i'll try not to let you all down at the EMC. Hopefully Downing is up to the job.
March Review:

It's been a difficult month for the team. The level of performance has been excellent but the standard of the cyclist's we've found ourselves up against has meant that we have been unable to pick up many continental points at all. Performances of note have been Cronshaw's excellent week at the Settimana Lombardia and the teams performance at the Hel van het Margelland.


As a result of this month we have dropped even further behind the leaders of our mini-league.

As you can see, we've only picked up 2 points this month while Pinarello and Halfords have picked up alot. Hopefully we'll get the win and the EMC to get our season truely off the ground.
Albert Achterhes Profrande van Drenthe


A tough looking course that sees the riders go up and down the same hill several times. Cronshaw will lead the team but i doubt much will happen till the last climb of the day.

Squad: Cronshaw, Craven, Downing, Greenwood, Lapthorne, Lloyd, Holoham, Richardson

I don't really see any point in putting ant of my riders into the break today. I let it go and 5 riders get away.
As expected not alot happens for the next 150k. The break build up a nice lead before they are slowly closed down and caught. At the foot of the last climb up the main hill i send Lapthorne up the road. Unfortunatly the peleton is moving at quite a speed so he doesn't get too far. Nearer to the top a couple of riders attack. Cronshaw is looking good and counters.
Cronshaw shows some amazing acceleration and moves right to the front of the race.
On the final descent Cronshaw and 3 others form a nice looking group. Can it go all the way?
Heading into the last 5k Scheirlinckx decides to go it alone. Cronshaw doesn't have the legs to counter.
On the last little bump before the finish Cronshaw's group is joined by about 10 others.
At the front Kruijswijk has launched his own attack and passes Scheirlinckx.
Cronshaw is in the chasing group of 11 riders. He tries to pick a wheel for the final uphill sprint.
At the front Scheirlinckx catches Kruijswijk and just pips him to the line.
In the chasing group Cronshaw just doesn't have the legs for the sprint and has to settle for a dissapointing 13th. Again no continental points Sad
Overall it was another good ride from the team. At the moment they just aren't strong enough to challenge the big names when it counts.

Up next the Giro d'Oro on the 19th before the EMC.
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