Feature – 2015 Road Season Review (Feb)


VeloUK continues its look back at the road season month by month to see who the big winners were in Britain and in the European pro peloton – this month, its February

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Feature – 2015 Road Season Review (Feb)

Read about the month of January here

The first of Feb saw Gianni Meersman (Etixx-Quick-Step) outsprint Simon Clarke (Orica-GreenEdge) and Nathan Haas (Cannondale-Garmin) to win the first edition of the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race Down Under.

Back in Mallorca on February 1st, Matteo Pelucchi (IAM Cycling) won his second race of the year beating Greipel and Ben Swift to the line with Sam Bennett in fourth. There were lots of familiar names in the top 10 including Fabian Cancellera in 7th and Britain’s Russell Downing in 8th. Matt Gibson again shined for the young GB team with 24th.

Over in France, still on February 1st as the season really started to get going, Pim Ligthart (Lotto Soudal) won GP La Marseillaise ahead of last year’s winner Kennerth Vanbilsen (Cofidis) and Antoine Demoitié (Wallonie-Bruxelles).

The racing was now all over the place and whilst in France, Etoile de Bessèges kicked off on February 4 with a win for Bob Jungels (Trek Factory Racing), so did the Dubai Tour where Mark Cavendish had a field day as he won the overall ahead of Elia Viviani as well as two stages. Viviani also won a stage as did Degenkolb. Ben Swift was 4th overall.

Over in Australia, the Sun Tour also started on February 4 with Cameron Meyer winning overall with GB’s Scott Davies in 10th place on GC. Scott was also 8th on the final stage whilst other riders from British teams did well.

Grant Ferguson of mountain biking fame was 12th on the final stage and 13th overall. Others racing included Steele von Hoff who was 11th in the prologue and second on stage 2 with Graham Briggs (JLT Condor) 8th. Stage 3 saw Steele Von Hoff third and Felix English (JLT Condor) 7th.

Over in Italy there was a brilliant 4th place for Russell Downing in GP Costa degli Etruschi whilst in the Tour of Qatar, Niki Terpstra won the HC category stage race from Bodnar and Alexander Kristoff with Ian Stannard 4th. Behind the Brit were a host of big names in the top 10 with Greg Avermaet 5th, Peter Sagan 6th, Luke Rowe 7th and Tom Boonen 9th. Stage winners included three by Kristoff and another by Sam Bennett.

The season was by now really busy with lots of races taking place in Europe. Mark Cavendish (Etixx-QuickStep) continued his run of early season success by winning the Clasica de Almeria one-day race in Spain.

In the Volta Algarve, stages were won by Meersman, Tony Martin, Richie Porte, Andre Geipel and Geraint Thomas who solo’d to victory on stage 3. The icing on the cake was Thomas won the overall too ahead of the man in the rainbow stripes, Michal Kwiatkowski.

The big guns came out to play in the Ruta Ciclista Del Sol where Contador and Froome both had their day in the spotlight. Pim Ligthart won the opening stage, whilst Javier Moreno won stage 2, Juan Jose Lobato stage 3 (one of two stages for him) and on stage 4, there was a battle of the Grand Tour contenders won by Alberto Contador over Chris Froome.

Froome though hit back on stage 4, beating Contador by 30 seconds and holding on to win overall ahead of Contador. Peter Kennaugh was 6th overall.

Over in Belgium in Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, there was much for British fans to celebrate as Ian Stannard again got his hands in the air in this Belgium classic to beat Nikki Terpstra and Tom Boonen with Luke Rowe in 9th.

Here in Britain, the classic British opener, the Perfs Pedal was won by Yanto Barker of One Pro Cycling from teammate Chris Opie. One Pro Cycling continued to dominate the top placings with Marcin Bialoblocki in 3rd and George Harper in 4th with the first non ‘One Pro’ rider being Rory Townsend in 5th.


A few weeks later at another classic British race, the Clayton Velo in Lancashire, One Pro Cycling continued to dominate the domestic results with a 1-2-3 headed up by Peter Williams from Sam Williams and Joshua Hunt. First non ‘One Pro’ rider was again from Pedal Heaven with David McGowan 4th.

Further south in a race that replaced another classic in the Spring Time Pursuits, the Primavera Road Race, Marcin Bialoblocki (One Pro Cycling) won easily from Alexander Murison (Easton Ritte) and Calum Croft (Primera-Sports.com).

In the next part, the riders come out to play in the big classics and racing in Britain hots up.



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