National Championships across Europe took place today, just in time for the new Champions to enjoy their jerseys at the upcoming Tour de France.
Cancellara Out-Maneuvers Morabito to win the Swiss Road Championships
Fabian Cancellara took his second Swiss national road title today besting Steve Morabito (BMC) in a two-up sprint. Martin Kohler (BMC) rounded out the podium.
It fills me with pride to wear the Swiss jersey, said Cancellara. This is the second time I have won it, and I must say that I got attached to it the first time around.
Cancellara animated the race in Kirchdorf, 15 kilometers from his hometown, on the courses only climb, causing a split in the field. The front group was brought down to 12 riders and eventually to five.
On the second to last time up the climb, I launched again and only Steve Morabito could follow, recalled Cancellara. We rode into the final lap together, and because I wasnt too sure about how strong Morabito felt, I preferred to let him set the pace on the last climb. I knew that I was faster, so I could rely on my sprint.
Frnk Schleck Secures Luxembourg National Road Championship
The Luxembourg National Road Championship came down to a anticipated finish as Andy and Frnk Schleck came to the line together alone, with Frnk emerging victorious and prolonging his title.
The race consisted of five big laps of 23 kilometers each and four smaller laps of 11 kilometers each. The first three-quarters of the race saw several attacks but none were successful.
In the first small lap, Andy put pressure on the field and his pace left four riders together at the front: Frnk and Andy, Laurent Didier [Saxo Bank SunGard] and Bob Jungels, who would win in the category U23 race.
Andy then broke away with 15 kilometers to go, said Team Manager Kim Andersen, who was in the car behind the race. This meant Laurent Didier had to pull with Frnk on his wheel. On a climb, Frnk jumped and bridged across to Andy which put the brothers together at the front.
Frnk crossed the line ahead of Andy to earn his fourth national title.
Robert Wagner Wins Mass Sprint to Take First German National Road Title
LEOPARD TREK took to the start of the German National Road Championship in Neuwied with Dominic Klemme, Jens Voigt, Robert Wagner and Fabian Wegmann. The four riders shared a mission of securing the national title for the team.
In the beginning, I didnt have very good legs, said Wagner. We decided we would make the race as hard as possibility and aim for a breakaway with either Jens, Dominic or Fabian. Still, it all came back together every time.
As the race unfolded, Wagner began to feel better and a group of forty or fifty riders came together to the finish. In the last turn, with almost 300 meters to go, I was in third position behind [Danilo] Hondo (Lampre – ISD) and [Gerald] Ciolek (Quick Step), Wagner explained. At 250 meters to go, I went full gas. This made for a very, very long sprint.
Wagner expressed elation and surprise at his victory. It is incredible to win the German Meistertitel. Im looking forward to wearing the jersey year-long, said Wagner. It is doubly good given the fact that I crashed in E3-Harelbeke, then in Bayern Rundfahrt and then once more during training. I have been suffering tremendously to get back to the level of training I needed to be on form today, and in the end, its all worthwhile.
The German National Champion will debut his new jersey at the Tour of Austria from June 3-10.
Chavanel is the New French National Champion!
Sylvain Chavanel clinched his first title as French National Champion in road racing. The strong rider from Quick-Step Cycling Team stood out in a race marked by eliminations on a difficult, selective route at Boulogne-Sur-Mer. Chavanel and Pineau united against everyone, literally blowing up the race.
Chavanel made his first attack at the 60 km mark, catching up to the break-away group. After accelerating even more, the neo French champion went on a solo ride, resisting a return by Anthony Roux and Thomas Voeckler, who finished second and third, respectively.
There couldnt have been a better way to win, Chavanel says. Arriving solo you get the chance to savour the victory. I attacked from far away because there were many riders ahead and if I had waited any longer I would have risked getting shut out of the final. Jeje did a great job for me. The two of us made a fantastic team, jokes Chavanel. Im really happy, it will be a huge honour for me to wear this jersey on the roads in the Tour. Ill try to honour it as best I can, showing my fans a good time by attacking my way.
Rojas Beats Contador to Win Spanish Road Race Title
Jose Joaquin Rojas of Movistar beat three-time Tour de France champion Alberto Contador of Saxo Bank by one second on Sunday to take the Spanish national road race title.
Contador made a late attack but Rojas was able to catch up with him in a final sprint to complete the 196.7km race staged in the northern province of Castellon in 5hr 1min 25sec.
Koldo Fernandez de Larrea of Euskaltel-Euskadi finished third.
Contador, who finished third in Friday’s time-trial, said he was “very happy” with his performance at the Spanish nationals, his final competition before next month’s Tour de France.
“Races of just one day are not my specialty and the route was not very suited to my characteristics,” he added.
Contador is aiming for a rare double after winning the Giro d’Italia last month.