Meijers brothers sprint to the victory in Dohnany

Jeroen Meijers (WV De Jonge Renner) won the first and the longest stage of the Carpathian Couriers Race, breaking clear in the final kilometers with his brother Daan Meijers (Jo Piels). The duo worked together for the last kilometers and took first two places just ahead of the chasing group. Jef van Meirhaeghe (Lotto-Belisol) was third on the finish line, completing the podium after a grueling and rainy stage in Dohnany, Slovakia.

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–> 1st stage results

The winner of yesterday’s prologue Boris Vallee (Color Code Biowanze) was dropped on the last climb of a day and lost the leader’s jersey. 20-year-old stage winner took the orange jersey and is now leading the general classification ahead of his brother, Daan.

„The stage was really hard, especially with the climbs and the rain. I had good legs at the begining of the day, on the last climb it was only going better, so I was hanging on in the group. Then the riders started attacking, three kilometers before the line I went away with my brother and then gave it everything I had left” – Meijers explained.

From the drop of the flag, the pace was high, as the riders looked for an opportunity to slip into a breakaway and try their luck on the longest stage of the race. The first attack came on the slopes of an opening climb, where Bram de Kort (Team Jo Piels) and Jan Chalupcik (Epic Dohnany) accelerated, opening a 30-second gap. The peleton was scheduled to pass 1st category ascent of Lednica twice. There have been a lot of attacks, as riders tried to bridge to the break. Some of them succeeded – Sebastian Wotschke (KED Stevens Team Berlin) won the first mountain sprint, beating Chalupcik and De Kort.

On the second climb of Lednica, an acceleration from another group of riders stretched things out a little more. Patryk Stosz (TC Chrobry Lasocki Głogów) took 3 points, outsprinting Sebastian Wotschke (KED Stevens Team Berlin) and Wojciech Migdał (Poland National Team). Peleton was controlling the situation – uppered the pace but was unable to close the gap before the first intermediate sprint, where Erik Baska (Dukla Trencin Trek) beat race leader Boris Vallee (Color Code Biowanze) and his teammate Michael Kolar (Dukla Trencin Trek).

On the way to the next climbs nine riders attacked and established 30 second gap. The men in front were Stefan Poutsma (Jo Piels), Wojciech Migdał (Polish National Team), Michael Kukrle (Czech Republic National Team), Artur Shaymuratov (Russian National Team), Oleksandr Golovash (Kiev Regional Team), Carl Soballa (LKT Brandenburg), Otto Vergaerde (Ovyta-Eijssen-Acrog), Patrick Nagler (KED – Stevens Team Berlin) and Maikel Bos (WV De Jonge Renner). It started to rain heavily as the breakaway reached the bottom of Lacnov (3,5 km at 5%). The gap dropped to 20 seconds and Shaymuratov took 3 points on the summit, outclimbing Nagler and Migdał. Peleton was not far behind and seven riders managed to bridge to the front. The next goal was the second intermediate sprint, where Golovash proved to be the fastest from the breakaway riders.

Peleton enterd feed zone 1:20 after the 18-men breakaway. With the last climb of the day – Kohutka (4 km at 12%, max 12%) approaching fast, the bunch was chasing attackers hard, despite a number of punctures. The rain and cold made the racing conditions very demanding and forced some of the riders to withdraw. The peleton streached out on the climb – the leading group started to lose ground. Serge De Wortelaer replaced Vallee in the team’s leader position and pushed hard on the ascent, passing other attacking riders and claiming points at the last mountain climb of the day.

In the final part of the course the long and difficult descent caused a lot of problems – riders punctured, some of them crashed on a wet road leading back to the Dohnany. A group of 22 riders managed to ride away and estabilish a slight advantage. Soon, it became clear that the winner of the stage the is among them. Three kilometres before the finish line Meijers brothers managed to take the initiative, launching a successful two-man attack. The riders from the group worked well together and tried to chase them down but weren’t able to do it. The Belgians crossed the line just before them – taking two podium spots and the overall lead.

Boris Vallee wins the prologue opener of Carpathian Race

Boris Vallee (Color Code Biowanze) won the opening 2 kilometre prologue at the Carpathian Couriers Race. 19-year-old edged the long-time leader Timo Roosen (WV De Jonge Renner) out with the winning time of 2:33. Roosen was only a second slower and Polish rider Andrzej Bartkiewicz (Wibatech Brzeg) took the third place, losing just two more seconds.

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–> Prologue results

„With 2 km long course it was kind of a long sprint. I think it was quite simmilar to the prologue in Denmark where I won two months ago. I’m really satisfied with the win, it’s a great day for Color Code Biowanze” – Valle said after the prologue.

It was a very warm and long day. 152 riders struggled against 2km route situated on the banks of a mountain stream – not particularly demanding technically but with two long switchbacks and two bridges to cross on the way to the finish line. The temperature was high and so a good warm-up before the start turned out to be a key point in achiving a good result.

Tomorrow the path of Carpathian Couriers Race leads through a tough 154 km circuit around Dohnany, with three climbs – Lednica, Lačnov (3,5 km at 5%), Kohutka (4 km at 12%) and 23 km descent to the finish line. Riders have to stay concentrated and watch their positions – the longest stage of the race is going to be full of attacks and fighting. The brand-new leader stays optimistic, however:

„I’m feeling good, tommorow is a difficult day but I’d like to be up at the front on the last climb of the day. I have a sprint, I know how to finish from the group, so I’d like to stay in the lead and win the general classification.”

30 teams selected to compete in Carpathian Couriers Race 2013

stage 3

There is just few days to go to the begining of the 5th edition of Carpathian Couriers Race – the biggest U-23 stage race in Central Europe, a real breeding ground of talents.

The event is set to begin on May 1, in Dohnany, Slovakia. The route consists of an opening time trial and four hilly stages – nearly 550 kilometers of demanding racing. At the begining, each member of the starting peloton will compete against the clock on the course of a short prologue. Next four days offer a possibility to fight in a hilly terrain, as the route includes some short but difficult and steep ascents, visiting the roads of three countries – Slovakia, Czech Republic and Poland. Final stage leads to Tarnów, giving the competitors last chance of putting rivals under preassure and changing the general classification on the hills of Lesser Poland.

The interest in the race has been growing significantly in recent years, with the record number of riders registered for 2013 edition. Each of the 30 teams comprises six riders apiece, bringing the total number of competitors to 180. The fight for orange jersey shows a lot of promise, mainly due to the presence of eight continental teams and nine national representations. The startlist includes also nine cycling clubs and four regional teams.

Nine out of thirty teams are registered in Poland. Three continental squads: BDC MarcPol Team, TC Chrobry Lasocki Głogów, Team Wibatech Brzeg all confirmed their participation. Regional team of Lesser Poland and Kartuzy along with KS Pogoń Mostostal Puławy, TKK Pacific Toruń and Błękitni Mexller Koziegłowy will also be present, coming to Slovakia with big hopes and ambitions.

Apart from Polish teams, there are also riders from Belgium and the Netherlands who already showed their potential and determination that drives them to achive success and helps them claim the victory, just like Mauritius Lammertink did last year. 22-year-old Dutch rider won’t participate this time – having won the 4th edition, he moved to the higest level of professional cycling, signing first professional contract with World Tour team Vacansoleil-DCM. He is not the only one – in 2010 Rafał Majka won the time trial and as a result, a year later, signed a contract with Team Saxo-Tinkoff. Their example clearly shows that riders who perform well during Carpahian Couriers Race will not go unnoticed and have an opportunity to present both their potential and capabilities to the professional teams.

There are also two teams from Czech Republic and three from Slovakia. Local riders take pride in being perfectly familliar with the difficulties of the course – racing on the home ground will defenitely boost their morale and that is the factor that cannot be underestimated. Close attention should also be payed to the team that joined the event as the very last one. Russian national team selected some very strong riders who are particularly focusing on the prologue.

They will all have the possibility to compete against riders from other countries: Germany, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Serbia or even Algeria and Egypt.

This is theory. Tough route and the opponents will verify everything – the state of preparation, physical and mental resistance of young riders and the tactics they adopt.