Route Tour de France 2011

The rout of the 2011 Tour de France was announced in Paris. From the Passage du Gois the peloton heads to the Central Massif. After the riders warmed up in the hilly stages the real climbing starts in the Pyrenees and the Alps. More than 3 weeks hard labour in France, we`ve put all stage in a row.

Stages Tour de France 2011
02/07, stage 01: Passage du Gois-Mont des Alouettes (191km)
03/07, stage 02: Les Essarts-Les Essarts (23km, TTT)
04/07, stage 03: Olonne-sur-Mer-Redon (198 km)
05/07, stage 04: Lorient-Mûr-de-Bretagne (172 km)
06/07, stage 05: Carhaix-Cap Fréhel (158 km)
07/07, stage 06: Dinan-Lisieux (226 km)
08/07, stage 07: Le Mans-Châteauroux (215 km)
09/07, stage 08: Aigurande-Super Besse Sancy (190 km)
10/07, stage 09: Issoire-St-Flour (208 km)
11/07, rest day at Le Lioran/Cantal
12/07, stage 10: Aurillac-Carmaux (161km)
13/07, stage 11: Blaye-les-Mines-Lavaur (168 km)
14/07, stage 12: Cugnaux-Luz Ardiden  (209 km)
15/07, stage 13: Pau-Lourdes (156 km)
16/07, stage 14: Saint-Gaudens-Plateau de Beille (168 km)
17/07, stage 15: Limous-Montpellier (187 km)
18/07, rest day at province of Drôme
19/07, stage 16: Saint-Paul-Trois-Châteaux-Gap (163 km)
20/07, stage 17: Gap-Pinerolo (179 km)
21/07, stage 18: Pinerolo-Galibier/Serre-Chevalier (189 km)
22/07, stage 19: Modane-Alpe d’Huez (109 km)
23/07, stage 20: Grenoble-Grenoble (41 km, ITT)
24/07, stage 21: Créteil-Paris/Champs-Elysées (160 km)

Marco Velo

The cyclist which has the perfect family name for a cyclist, closed his career in the Giro di Lombardia. Who are we talking about? Marco Velo of course! Velo started his career in 1996 with the Italian team Brescialat. One year later he took his first pro victory in the fourth stage of the Giro del Trentino te winnen. In 1998 Velo demonstrated his time trial qualities winning his first of three Italian time trial titles. He also won races as the GP Tell, GP Llodio and Firenze-Pistoia.

In 2002 Velo moved to Fassa Bortolo and became one of the lead out man of Alessandro Petacchi. Velo didn`t gain personal success, but he was an important link Petacchi`s lead out. When the Italian sprinter moved to Milram in 2006, Velo made the move also. After three years in the shirt of Team Milram, Petacchi and Velo were seperated. In 2009 Velo came to Team Quick Step and proved his importance as perfect team player.

“Marco only spent two seasons with us on the team, but from the start he turned out to be an excellent team player, ideal for the group”, explains Team Manager Patrick Lefevere. Unfortunately, due to some physical problems this year he wasn’t able to express his full potential. We wish Marco all the best of luck for his future, which we are sure he’ll approach with the same strength and determination that he demonstrated on a bike.”

Grazie Marco!

Vuelta a Espana 2010

The Vuelta a España starts this Saturday in Seville. The Tour of Spain is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year, but the race will take place for the 65th edition. The 21 stages will bring the riders from Seville to Madrid, covering a total amount of 3.400 kilometres.

The Vuelta starts with a team time trial over 13 kilometres, which will be held at night. The next stage is the first opportunity for the fast guys of the peloton. During the third stage to Malaga the first mountains show up. The peloton will climb to a summit of almost 1.000 metres, but this summit is at 40 kilometres from the line. The stage afterwards contains several steep hills, tough the sprinters can survive. The following three days will be work for the sprinters too, but in the second weekend the peloton heads into the mountains again.

After a well deserved rest day and a hilly stage the peloton heads to Andorra. The eleventh stage finishes in Vallnord (1900 metres). From there the riders will have two easy days before the peloton heads into the mountains once again. There will be some steep climbs on schedule during three hard days at the offics. After these three mountain stages the riders can enjoy a rest day. The day afterwards contains an individual time trial (46 km.), an important day for several major contenders. The real decision in the overall classification will be made during the penultimate stage. The uphill finish will be at Bola del Mundo then, at a height of 2.247 metres. The Vuelta finishes with a short criterium in Madrid.

Team Quick Step brings a balanced formation to the starting line in Seville. Carlos Barredo and Kevin de Weert are the riders for the GC, while Wouter Weylandt is the sprinter of the team. He gets support from Matteo Tosatto, Andreas Stauff and Nikolas Maes. Davide Malacarne, Dario Cataldo and Branislau Samoilau complete the line-up. Malacarne won a stage in Catalunya this year, the other two riders did well in the Giro d`Italia.

Tour: Patrick Lefevere`s opinion

The 97th Tour de France has finished in Paris. The three weeks trough The Netherlands, Belgium and France were very successful for Team Quick Step. Sylvain Chavanel won two stages and wore the yellow jersey for two days. Jerome Pineau owned the polka dot jersey for a while and the team was involved in several breakaways. Team Quick Step finished 7th in the team classification and Chavanel was rewarded with the price for most combative rider. What does Patrick Lefevere think about this Tour?

Exceeded own expectations
“Sylvain’s award is a prize for an excellent Tour” – Team Manager Patrick Lefevere said – “In the first days of the race Chavanel and Pineau gave performances that made them authentic leaders of the entire group. The team was also able to shine at the highest levels thanks to an atmosphere inside the squad that got better with each passing day. Our Tour has exceeded our own expectations. 7th place in the final team standings is testament to a job well done.”

Feel sorry for Pineau
Pineau lost his polka dot jersey to his compratiot Charteau, after he crashed at an decisive moment. “I’m really sorry about Pineau’s polka dot jersey. Jerome deserved the chance to defend the jersey to the end, without having to give it up because of a fall.”

Very happy with De Weert
Kevin de Weert ended in a very nice 18th place in the final overall rankings. “We are also very happy with Kevin De Weert’s progress. We knew he was a good racer and he’s finally showing his worth. He’s made a lot of sacrifices to make it to this level, working a lot on his weight and on climbs. His results are his reward”, Lefevere said about De Weert.

“The rest of the crew stepped up to the situation too. Some breaks, like Barredo’s in Pau, could have been luckier. We are really satisfied of our team and we look forward for other good performances”, Lefevere concluded.