Sunday, 21 April 2013

2013 Giro d'Italia Preview Stage 10-15

Altimetria generale

Stage 10
Cordenons - Altopiano del Montasio 167km

Altimetria generaleAfter the rest day the riders are treated to a 167km slog on the hardest stage so far from Cordenons to Montasio. With two Cat 1 climbs in the last 40km, the higher of them being the Cason di Lanza at 1552m and the summit finish at 1450m. My pick for the day will be for Italian Vincenzo Nibali.

Stage 11
Cave dil Predil - Erto e Casso 184km

A Medium Mountain stage this time with the Sella Ciampicottto the highest of the two climbs at almost 1800m above sea level. The other being a lower altitude climb at the finsh only with an altitude of 790m. The former of those is a perfect springboard for an attack so my tip is Luis Leon Sanchez for the stage win.

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Stage 12
Altimetria generaleLangarone - Treviso 127km

The riders who make it through the first couple of hard stages are treated with a very short flat stage from Longarone to Treviso. With only two 4th Category climbs on route it should be no bother for the sprinter teams. My pick is for a break to go and to be reeled in by the peloton  so the smart money is on Mark Cavendish to win.

Stage 13
Buesseto - Cherasco 242km

Stage 13 is the quite similar to the prevoius days' stage except Stage 13 is double the distance of Stage 12. With the days' one climb at 40km from the finish is a Cat 3 climb. My pick of the day is for the Cannondale cannonball of Peter Sagan.

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Stage 14
Cervere - Bardonecchia 168km

Two high climbs on Stage 14 can determine the contenders of the magila rosa. With a second category climb at Sestrire only 37km before the finish and the Summit finish on the Cat. 1 climb up to Bardonecchia this stage will be perfect for the KoM contenders as well. My tip for the stage win is Lampre rider Michelle Scarponi.

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Stage 15
Cesana Torinese - Col du Galibier

The first time that this years' race exits Italy. The real climbing of the day starts happening when the race enters France; with the Category 1 Col du Mont Cens before two climb in the last 22km the 2nd Category Col du Telegraph before the 2642m tall Col du Galibier. The best stage of this years race in my opinion. My pick is for Chris Anker Sorensen to win stage 15.

Saturday, 6 April 2013

2013 Giro d'Italia - Stage 1 to Stage 9 Preview

The 96th Giro d'Italia will start in Naples on May 4th and finish in Brescia on the 26th. This year there are 23 teams competing and so the Giro will have a 207 rider peloton. All 18 UCI WorldTour teams are competing plus Katusha who won an appeal and 4 invitees. This years' teams are:  (Giro Contenders are in Brackets)
  • AG2R-La Mondiale (Domencio Pozzovivo)
  • Androni Giocattoli-Venezuela* (Franco Pellizotti)
  • Argos-Shimano
  • Astana (Vincenzo Nibali) 
  • Bardiani Valvole-CSF Inox*
  • Blanco (Robert Gesink)
  • BMC (Cadel Evans)
  • Cannondale
  • Columbia*
  • Euskaltel-Euskadi (Sammy Sanchez)
  • FDJ
  • Garmin-Sharp (Ryder Hesjedal)
  • Lampre-Merida(Michele Scarponi)
  • Lotto-Belisol
  • Movistar Team
  • Omega Pharma-Quick Step
  • Orica-GreenEDGE
  • RadioShack-Leopard Trek
  • Team Katusha
  • Team Saxo-Tinkoff
  • Team Sky (Bradley Wiggins)
  • Vacansoleil-DCM
  • Vini Fantini-Selle Italia*
* Pro Contential teams invited by race organisers

Altimetria generale
Stage 1
Naples - Naples 156km

No Prologue to start this years' Giro. Instead we have a short circuit stage, for stage 1. Perfect for the sprinters and a breakaway on this stage will most likely fail unless the get a lap up on the peloton. My tip for the stage is Mark Cavendish  to take the Magila rosa as this is a perfect stage for the sprinters.

Altimetria generaleStage 2 (Team Time Trial)
Ischia - Forio 17.4km

Stage 2 is a short team time trial as like 2012 the time time trial has been chosen over Prologue as the time trial in the first week.. The Tour of Qatar is the only TTT that has had all the major teams this year so from that my pick would have to be Omega Pharma-Quick Step.

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Stage 3
Sorrento - Marina di Ascea 212km

The first medium mountain stage of the Giro d'Italia.With two categorised climbs near the end of the stage. My pick for a stage win would be Pablo Urtasan.

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Stage 4
Policastro Bussentino - Serra San Bruno 244km

Stage 4 has for the second day running two climbs right at the end of the route. The final climb is Crocce Ferrata, a 12.75km 5% climb, a perfect springboard for an attack from the likes of Sandy Casar and Giovanni Visconti. My tip for stage 4 is world champion Giovanni Visconti.

Stage 5
Altimetria generale
Cosenza - Matera 199km

Stage 5 is a very flat stage from Cosenza to Matera. It has two minor climbs but nothing to stop the sprinters' teams. My pick of the day is Matthew Goss.

Stage 6
Altimetria generale
Mola di Bari - Margherita di Savoia 154km

Another flat stage with slight undulations but nothing to serious a good day for the sprinters. My pick of the day is Mark Cavendish.

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Stage 7
San Salvo - Pescara 162km

Stage 7 is a medium mountain stage with 4 categorised climbs in the latter kilometre's of the day perfect for the likes of Visconti and Casar. However my pick is for Cannondale rider Roberto Ferrari.

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Stage 8 (Induvidual Time Trial)

Gabicce Mare - Saltara 55.5km

The First of two ITT's in this year's Giro is a very long 55.5km ride from Gabicce Mare to Saltara. It is a very flat course and is a challenging Time Trial. My tip of the day is for Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins.

Altimetria generaleStage 9
Sansepolcro - Florence 181km

Stage 9 a medium mountain stage the first stage which will really separate the men from the boys. With 4 categorised climbs at 79km, 103km, 144km and 111km this stage is the first real test for the magila rosa contenders.This stage will be relevent for those who will be wanting to win the World Champs in September. My pick is for a breakaway win in the form of  Sergio Henao.

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

BTCC 2013 Week 1 Brands Hatch Indy

My Review of Week 1 of this years' British Touring Car Championship.


Saturday's Qualifying was disrupted by snow and crashes and it was only just after the Pit Lane opened that there was 2013's first red flag. Colin Turkington lost control of his eBay motors car and was left stranded on the racing line, several cars avoided the Northern-Irishman's car until an unsighted Jack Goff charged into the stationary car. Andrew Jordon set an unbeatable 48.387 as the conditions were becoming almost unraceable. Pole was secured for last season's Independent champion as the snow came on with 14 minutes remaining. Reigning champion Gordon Shedden could only manage a 48.483.
Qualifying results:

  1.  Andrew Jordan (Pirtek Honda) 48.387
  2.  Gordon Shedden (Honda Yuasa Racing) +0.096
  3.  Jason Plato (MG KX Momentum Racing) +0.184
  4.  Matt Neal (Honda Yuasa Racing) +0.227
  5.  Sam Tordoff (MG KX Momentum Racing) +0.339
  6.  Dave Newsham (Speedworks Motorsport) +0.440
  7.  Rob Austin (WIX Racing) +0.457
  8.  Jeff Smith (Pirtek Honda) +0.527
  9.  Nick Foster (eBay Motors) +0.814
  10.  Adam Morgan (Ciceley Racing) +0.816 

Race 1

An exciting start to a nerve-racking finish in Round 1 of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship on the Indy Circuit at Brands Hatch. The opening lap was bad luck for reigning champion Gordon Shedden, as his Honda went for a spin; however he was able to keep it on track whilst Rob Austin took the race lead ahead of Jason Plato dropping pole sitter Andrew Jordan to third. Debutant James Cole beached his car and unlike Shedden was not able to get back on track. This incident brought out the safety car for 4 laps and the race distance had to be adjusted from 24 to 27 laps. Whilst Turkington was making places from the back of the grid. Dave Newsham had to retire during the Safety Car period. Racing resumed on Lap 7. On Lap 11, Matt Neal forced team mate Shedden onto the grass. Shedden overtook Neal but both cars had to pit at the same time to fix damage sustained earlier in the race. They both rejoined a lap down on the rest of the field. Warren Scott had a spin, whilst at the front,  Rob Austin was overtaken by a much faster Andrew Jordan on Lap 19 who was setting his sight on the lead. The pole sitter was catching Plato as he had reduced a 1.3 second lead to only 0.2 secs at the end of Lap 26. More drama was to unfold as on the final corner Jordan attempted to overtake Plato but this ended badly resulting in Jordan hitting Plato and them both going into the gravel trap and releasing Shedden to unlap himself but the both were able to get back on track for Plato to win and Jordan second.
Race 1 Results: (English unless stated)
  1. Jason Plato (MG KX Momentum Racing) 27 Laps
  2. Andrew Jordan (Pirtek Racing) + 2.2 secs
  3. Rob Austin (WIX Racing) +6.1
  4. Sam Tordoff (MG KX Momentum Racing) +7.8
  5. Jeff Smith (Pirtek Racing) +8.2
  6. Frank Wrathall (DynoJet) +13.6
  7. Adam Morgan (Circley Racing) +16.9
  8. Colin Turkington (NIR) (eBay Motors) +18.9
  9. Aron Smith (ROI) (Airwaves Racing) +20.2
  10. Ollie Jackson (Speedworks Motorsport) +22.1
  11. Daniel Welch (Welch Motorsport) +23.1
  12. Will Bratt (WIX Racing) +23.5
  13. Jack Goff (RCIB Insurance Racing) +27.3
  14. Tom Onslow-Cole (Kraftwerk Racing) +27.999
  15. James Kaye ( +29.8
  16. Lea Wood (Houseman Racing) +31.3
  17. Liam Griffin (Addison Lee Motorbase) +37.1
  18. David Nye (Welch Motorsport) +44.9
  19. Gordon Shedden (SCO) (Honda Yuasa Racing)  +45

Race 2

The grid for Race 2 was the result of Race 1 and was the first race of the season were Ballast is applied. Another daemon start for Rob Austin saw him move from 3rd to 2nd.  This time the first few were without incident, as Gordon Shedden was making places up the order. Circley Racing driver Adam Morgan went off track and found himself dropping places left, right and centre. Start of Lap 2, Frank Wrathall and Colin Turkington made contact sending the Northern-Irishman into the gravel trap. He was able to get back on track but was right at the back. Ollie Jackson lost control of his car, a lap later, and tried to save it but ended up hitting the wall and going into the pits to retire. Rob Collard of eBay Motors retired with technical problems. Gordon Shedden made a charge through the field and by Lap 10 he was up from 19th to 3rd. A tangle on Lap 10 between Rob Austin and Frank Wrathall resulted in Austin having to retire from the race. On Lap 20, David Nye made contact with a Seat went into the Gravel Trap. This accident brought out the safety car and wiped out Jason Plato's 4.5 second lead. Like Race 1 the race was extended to 27 Laps. The race was restarted on lap 26 with the order Plato, Jordan, Shedden, Smith and Wrathall. The last of those drivers went off at Druids putting out a yellow flag for the Final Lap. The race finished with Plato winning but a bad Sunday for Shedden got worst as his car failed a ride height test and was Disqualified from the race Results.
Race 2 Results:
  1. Jason Plato (MG KX Momentum Racing) 27 Laps
  2. Andrew Jordan (Pirtek Racing) +0.989secs
  3. Jeff Smith (Pirtek Racing) +4.958
  4. Matt Neal (Honda Yuasa Racing) +5.073
  5. Sam Tordoff (MG KX Momentum Racing) +5.454
  6. Adam Morgan (Circley Racing) +5.874
  7. Mat Jackson (Airwaves Racing) +6.64
  8. Colin Turkington (NIR) (eBay Racing) +7.086
  9. Dave Newsham (SCO) (Speedworks Motorsport) +7.295
  10. Nick Foster (eBay Racing) +7.635
  11. Liam Griffin (Addison Lee Motorbase) +10.36
  12. James Kaye ( +11.461
  13. James Cole (RCIB Insurance Racing) +12.776
  14. Daniel Welch (Welch Motorsport) +13.765
  15. Warren Scott (Team BMR Restart) +1 LAP

Race 3 Grid

The reverse Grid for Race 3 was drawn by Chris Evans, it left the top 10 looking like this: S for Soft Tyre

    1. Mat Jackson (Airwaves Racing) S
                                                                              2. Adam Morgan (Circley Racing)
    3. Sam Tordoff (MG KX Momentum Racing)
                                                                              4. Matt Neal (Honda Yuasa Racing) S
    5. Jeff Smith (Pirtek Racing) S
                                                                              6. Andrew Jordan (Pirtek Racing) S
    7. Jason Plato (MG KX Momentum Racing) S
                                                                              8. Colin Turkington (NIR) (eBay Racing)
    9. Dave Newsham (SCO) (Speedworks Motorsport) S
                                                                              10. Nick Foster (eBay Racing) S

Race 3

The Sun came out for Race 3 as there was good weather for the first time all weekend. However, the good weather did not change Colin Turkington's fortunes at the start as he was force wide and onto the gravel trap and he rejoined last. The Airwaves racing car of Aron Smith went off-track and went tumbling down the order. Lap 2 and Dave Newsham lost control and collected Rob Austin who went flying into the tyre barrier and for the 3rd race running the safety car was deployed. Lap 7 and Mat Jackson had a serious problem when the car slowed and he lost about 4 places. Matt Neal took the lead. Gordon Shedden had made up places from 25th to 9th. Another few fantastic manovers took him to 4th. On Lap 24 he made the save of the day, as in front Tordoff was right behind Adam Morgan for second place.  Later on the lap Tordoff attempted a pass on Morgan they touched but stayed on track and Shedden got the better of both of them and went into 2nd. Shedden was chasing leader and team mate Matt Neal right until the checkered flag as it was only 83 thousandths of a second that seperated them.
Race 3 Results:

  1. Matt Neal (Honda Yuasa Racing) 27 Laps
  2. Gordon Shedden (SCO) (Honda Yuasa Racing) +0.083secs
  3. Sam Tordoff (MG KX Momentum Racing) +1.216
  4. Adam Morgan (Circley Racing) +2.171
  5.  Jason Plato (MG KX Momentum Racing) +3.651
  6. Andrew Jordan (Pirtek Racing) +4.727
  7. Jeff Smith (Pirtek Racing) +6.026
  8. Frank Wrathall (DynoJet) +6.43
  9. Colin Turkington (NIR) (eBay Racing) +9.508
  10. Mat Jackson (Airwaves Racing) +10.133
  11. Aron Smith (ROI) (Airwaves Racing) +10.611
  12. Daniel Welch (Welch Motorsport) +10.994
  13. Nick Foster (eBay Racing) +19.15
  14. Will Bratt (WIX Racing) +25.176
  15. Lea Wood (Houseman Racing) +27.179
  16. Liam Griffin (Addison Lee Motorbase) +28.485
  17. Tom Onslow-Cole (Kraftwerk Racing) +29.483
  18. David Nye (Welch Motorsport) +30.192
  19. Joe Girling (M247 Racing) +46.37