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"We are preparing for the Vuelta and are here to win so it is possible to repeat last year’s victory. Scarponi is the team leader."

Photo: Sirotti


03.08.2016 @ 21:44 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

With just seven riders at the start, Astana were not expected to defend their win in the Vuelta a Burgos team time trial but the Kazakhs defied expectations as they made it two in a row on the technical, hilly course in Burgos. Stopping the clock in 13.10, they beat Movistar by two seconds and Etixx-QuickStep by three seconds and this was enough to put Dmitriy Gruzdev into the leader’s jersey.


We have gathered several reactions.


Overall leader Dmitriy Gruzdev: Scarponi is our captain in Burgos

Astana Pro Team won the team time trial with an average speed of 48.851km/h.  Thanks to its success, the first four places are occupied by Dmitriy Gruzdev, Dario Cataldo, Eros Capecchi and Michele Scarponi who was also awarded the prize for daily combativity.


"The team was perfect,” said Dmitri Gruzdev, the new leader of the Vuelta a Burgos. “We did the race without making any mistakes.


"I'm happy to wear the jersey. This pays me back for the three weeks of hard training in the mountains.


"We are preparing for the Vuelta and are here to win so it is possible to repeat last year’s victory. Scarponi is the team leader.


"I am surprised to have the jersey as it is not normal for me to be in this position.”


"Everything went well,” commented sports director Alexander Shefer. “It was a time trial where you could lose by a few seconds. The boys, however, managed their effort in the best way and this is proved by the fact that they also got the best intermediate time ".


Near-miss for Movistar in Burgos team time trial

Under temperatures peaking up to 32ºC and on a demanding, 10.7km course in the province's capital, including the climb of the famous Castillo de Burgos, the Movistar Team made on an important test before the Vuelta a España starts with a TTT in Ourense later in the month. The Blues will keep a good feeling before that, as they finished only 3" down on Astana for second place. The squad directed by José Luis Jaimerena took on a progressive effort, well behind the leaders through the intermediate after 5.5km before massive turns by their eight-man squad in the second part brought them into the provisional lead, 11" ahead of Alberto Contador's Tinkoff team.


Astana soon bested the Spanish squad's time at the finish to claim a narrow win on stage two, with Dimitry Gruzdev as new purple leader's jersey. The Movistar Team remains at the fore as José Joaquín Rojas (6th) and Gorka Izagirre (9th) sit within the best ten before stage three, another reasonably flat route (192km) towards Villarcayo with two climbs of the Alto de la Retuerta (Cat-3) in the finale.


Etixx-QuickStep with four riders in the top 10 in Burgos

Maxime Bouet, Gianluca Brambilla, David De La Cruz, Yves Lampaert, Gianni Meersman, Pieter Serry, Guillaume Van Keirsbulck and Martin Velits were the eight Etixx – Quick-Step riders to leave the start house on Wednesday, in the 10.7-km long team time trial scheduled by this year's Vuelta a Burgos. The first part of the course was the most challenging, with several technical corners and the Alto del Castillo climb, before the teams headed to the flat second part, which took them to Plaza Rey San Fernando.


The 16th team (out of 21) to roll down the ramp, Etixx – Quick-Step posted a very good time at the finish, coming home in 13:13, which meant our squad took third at the end of the day, just three seconds off the time of Astana, who won stage 2 ahead of Movistar. Following the race against the clock, they now have four riders in the top 10 of the general classification: Meersman (5th), Brambilla (7th), De La Cruz (8th) and Lampaert (10th).


Sky impressed by Peter Kennaugh in Burgos team time trial

Team Sky produced a strong team time trial effort to finish fourth on stage two at the Vuelta a Burgos, just six seconds behind winners Astana.


With stage one winner Danny van Poppel resplendent in the race leader's purple jersey, Team Sky were the last outfit to tackle the 10.9km course and set off knowing they had to better Astana's time of 13 minutes and 10 seconds, set at an average speed of 48.8km/h around the streets of central Burgos.


Finishing with five riders, Pete Kennaugh led the team across the line alongside Salvatore Puccio, with David Lopez, Ian Boswell and Van Poppel coming home fractions later.


A very tight left-hand turn just 50 metres before the finish made for a dramatic finale and the team couldn't quite match the winning time, finishing fourth, with Movistar and Etixx - Quick-Step filling out the podium placings.


Dmitri Gruzdev (Astana) becomes the new race leader, taking over the purple jersey from Van Poppel, but the Dutchman retains the sprinter's green jersey ahead of a hilly stage three in northern Spain.


Speaking to after the stage Sport Director Brett Lancaster was pleased with how the team performed.


He said: "The guys did a very good ride, particularly considering we've got no time trial specialists here at all, and Pete Kennaugh was on a really strong day today. It was a really technical course, with really narrow roads, and it had a bit of everything really. There was a hard cobbled section, a technical descent, and a long out and back where the powerful riders came to the fore. In general we're really happy.


"At the halfway mark we were really in the ball game, right on top of it, but we dropped away a little bit at the end. We wouldn't have really asked for anymore. There was a couple of little mistakes at the end, but that's very normal on a technical course. There won't be many teams finishing saying 'oh we nailed that'."


Reflecting on Van Poppel's win on day one, Lancaster revealed the Dutchman has been working hard on his sprint in recent weeks, and believes he'll be in the mix again on day three.


He added: "Danny was really happy yesterday. He's been doing a lot of sprint work lately and that showed so it was good for him to come out and do that. Fair play to him - he'd taken a bit of skin off earlier on in the stage and he got stuck in there.


"Tomorrow should be ok - in fact the next two days will be ok, but the last two days will decide the GC. We'll see how the guys are feeling on the last day. The boys will back Danny tomorrow."

Warm-up crash destroys Burgos team time trial for world champions BMC

Stage 2 of the Vuelta a Burgos saw the peloton tackle a 10.7km Team Time Trial, where BMC Racing Team crossed the line with the fifth-fastest time.


As the second-to-last team to hit the course, BMC Racing Team was chasing the provisional best time set by Astana Pro Team, and eventually came home in 13’19”, 9 seconds behind Astana Pro Team’s 13’10” which was enough to take the win.


Earlier in the day, Floris Gerts crashed during the recon of the Team Time Trial course which forced him out of the race with a fractured collarbone, meaning BMC Racing Team were down to seven riders for the time trial.


Sports director Max Sciandri said:


“The guys did their best out there today. We knew it wasn’t going to be an easy course with some really fast and technical sections. I think there were some moments where we probably could have attacked with a bit more speed, but we were also a bit cautious following Floris Gerts’ crash this morning. Gerts’ crash could have been a lot worse and luckily he was the only rider to go down as it could have wiped the whole team out. So I think we were more cautious on the corners and lost a bit of speed there. It wasn’t ideal having one rider less but the guys got on with the race and tried their hardest. We have three more stages to go and we’re definitely looking for good results, so we’ll take it stage by stage and see what we can do.”


Floris Gerts breaks collarbone in warm-up for Burgos team time trial

Following his crash during the Team Time Trial warm up Floris Gerts was taken to hospital in Burgos for observation. BMC Racing Team Doctor, Dr. Giovanni Ruffini provided the following update.


“Floris suffered a dislocated fracture of his left collarbone which will require surgery to secure the fracture. He will travel to Belgium tomorrow where he will undergo surgery as soon as possible. Providing all goes well he should be able to train on the rollers after one week, and be back at a racing level in three weeks’ time. We will have a clearer idea after his surgery, following which we can make any necessary adjustments to his recovery plan,” Dr. Ruffini said.


Orica-BikeExchange couldn’t have asked for more in Burgos TTT

ORICA-BikeExchange produced a strong ride to finish in sixth place in the team time trial on stage two of the Vuelta a Burgos today.


The Australian outfit posted a time of 13minutes 19seconds for the ten kilometre course, finishing only nine seconds down on stage winners Astana.


Sport director Dave McPartland was pleased with the team’s performance. Especially with new signing Carlos Verona and stagiaire Nick Schultz both competing in their first race with the squad.


“I’m very happy with our performance today,” said McPartland. “Considering that Carlos (Verona) and Nick (Schultz) had only ridden their TT bikes for the first time yesterday they both contributed very well I couldn’t ask for more from the guys today.


“We lost a couple of seconds on the more technical part of the course, but the objective was to stick together and produce the best possible ride that we could and we achieved our aim nicely.


“Tomorrow will be a long and hot day in the saddle, there are few climbs to contend with but the finish is pretty flat after the last descent so it will probably be a very fast finale.”


Smart team time trial by Katusha in Burgos

The fan-favorite team time trial took place on Wednesday for stage 2 of the 38th Vuelta a Burgos. Team KATUSHA riders put up a good effort on the 10,72km course in Burgos, taking seventh on the stage and keeping the general classification hopefuls still in good position.


”I am happy about our team performance. We just lost 11 seconds to winner Astana and are just two seconds from 5th place. I think the team did a smart TTT. After one km a 1km climb started, the Alto de Castillo. Both uphill and downhill were very technical. We did a regular uphill and did the downhill without taking any risks. It was important that our leaders, Machado and Mamykin, would survive well. After the downhill we went full gas. When I look at the intermediate times, I see we finished very strong. We may not complain,” said sports director Xavier Florencio.


The top time went to Astana at 13:10 (48.851km/h) with Movistar just two-seconds behind and Etixx-Quickstep at three-seconds. KATUSHA was seventh at 11-seconds.


The protected leaders of Tiago Machado and Matvey Mamykin of Team KATUSHA are both 11-seconds behind in the GC with three stages still to come.


Tinkoff: Contador was very strong in Burgos TTT

After a short, sharp 10.72km team time trial effort on the second day of the racing at the Vuelta a Burgos, Tinkoff came over the line with a time of 13’23”, which would place them in eighth spot once all the remaining teams were in. With an average speed over the course of over 48km/h, Tinkoff finished just 13” off the top spot, as the overall GC times remain quite tight.


The team time trial will serve as a good test for those riders in the Tinkoff line-up that will also race the Vuelta a España later this month, including GC leader Alberto Contador, with the opening stage of the Grand Tour featuring a TTT. It was also a first chance for Contador to test himself in his TT position, in a race situation, after his crashes at the Tour de France.

The team looked strong throughout, without taking any big risks on the parcours, as Sport Director Ivan Basso explained:


“We did our best today, and we have first of all to say thanks to all the riders for their commitment, as we had Sergio Paulinho who has quite some pain after his crash yesterday, but he wanted to support the team and he did his best in the start of the stage. Now he’s having further scans to check over his situation.


“Alberto was fantastic, looking strong today, and all the other boys did their best. Most of the riders here are coming from injury, a crash, or a period out of racing, so I’m proud of what they gave today. We lost only a small amount of time – not too much by the end of the day. We tried hard to help each other, to do the best possible.


“We still take it day-by-day, working hard with the right motivation and the right attitude and in that way I’m sure that by the end of the week we will be happy with our performance here. I must also say thanks to the staff for their hard work behind the team for the TTT today as it’s full gas, and they did a great job.”


Mechanical takes Hugh Carthy out of contention in Burgos

The Caja Rural - Seguros RGA riders did very well in today’s 10.7 km team time trial in Vuelta a Burgos. In the time of 13:24 minutes, the team finished in ninth place, just 14 seconds off the winners from Astana. Unfortunately, Caja Rural - Seguros RGA’s British climber, Hugh Carthy had a mechanical problem, which caused him to lose over four minutes.

Overall, Ángel Madrazo is the team’s best-placed rider. Tomorrow, Vuelta a Burgos continues with an undulating stage to Villarcayo, where a late category 3 climb may shake up things before the finish.
Sports director Eugenio Goikoetxea said: 


“I think we did a good time trial today. Not only to finish ninth but also compared to the many World Tour teams in this race. We can be very satisfied with this performance”.
Hugh Carthy aded: 


“I hope the time loss today means that I will get a bit of freedom in the last stage. Yesterday, I had a crash but luckily, without any major injuries, only a deep cut on my leg. Hopefully, the team won’t suffer any more crashes in this race”.


Dimension Data had expected better result in Burgos TTT

Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka were focused on riding smoothly and an emphasis was placed on technique. Th African Team completed the course with an average speed of 46.7km/h which left them 35 seconds off the pace of Astana, in 17th position. While they had still hoped for a better result, in the overall scheme of the race the time gaps are small enough to ensure there is still all to ride for over the next 3 stages.

Sports director Alex Sans Vega said:


“It was a technical course as far as team time trials go and we expected a better result from today. We made a couple of mistakes which cost us a better result at the end. It was still a good practice towards the Vuelta a Espana and we know where we can improve. ”


Giant-Alpecin use Burgos team time trial as training

Giant-Alpecin completed the 10.7km course around Burgos (ESP) in 14’00″, sufficient for a 20th place in the stage ranking.


Coach Morten Bennekou said: “With an inexperienced team of team trialists we decided today to focus on the process both before and in the race instead of the final result. Therefore we didn’t drop any riders but we focused on the technique. Looking back on the performance we could have gone faster on the climb and after the turning point but I think that everybody learned something today which is the most important.”



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