The 2014 Pro Tour cycling season is underway and we have already seen some impressive results in many races.
|Simon Gerrans taking stage one at the 2014 Tour Down Under|
22-year old Michael Hepburn of Orica Green Edge won the Australian National time trial Championship ahead of Luke Durbridge, who had been going for his third straight title. Hepburn has since won the Tour of Qatar time trial stage as well.
Simon Gerrans bested the likes of Cadel Evans and Richie Porte in an illustrious three-way sprint, to take the Australian Road Race Championship.
American Taylor Phinney won the opening time trial of the inaugural Dubai Tour, and went on to win the overall as well.
Orica's Simon Clarke won a stage and the overall at the Jayco Herald Sun Tour.
Team Giant Shimano's young Tobias Ludvigsson won the time trial and took the overall at the Etoile de Besseges stage race.
|Niki Terpstra at the 2014 Tour of Qatar|
I will single out the OmegaPharma-Quickstep Team as early impressers in 2014. After a stage-one win from a late break, and a good TT result, Omega's Niki Terpstra is currently holding off all challengers at the Tour of Qatar. He is showing very good form. Veteran sprinter and Classics specialist Tom Boonen looks to be back in good form this year, after taking two stage wins already at Qatar.
Strongmen Boonen, Terpstra (3rd at 2013 Paris Roubaix), Michal Kwiatkowski (an all-around talent who has just won the one-day Trofeo Serra de Tramuntana race), and newly crowned 2014 Czech Cyclocross champ Zdenek Stybar (who will focus on road racing from here on out) will be among Team Omega's formidable threats at the Classic this year, and beyond.
|Gianni Meersman taking the 2014 Trofeo Muro|
Gianni Meersman won the 1.1 Trofeo Platje de Muro, and impressive performances from 23-year-olds Andrew Fenn and Guillaume Van Keirsbulck complement the fact that OmegaPharma has come into this season firing on all cylinders.
Other one-day race winners so far in 2014 include: Kenneth Vanbilsen (TSV), Simone Ponzi (YEL), and Sacha Modolo (LAM- with two 1.1 wins so far).
Next up this February are the Tours of the Mediterranean and Oman, followed by the Andalucia and Algarve Tours.
I regret that I have been too busy to blog during the early part of this 2014 season. I hope to be able to post before and during the Spring Classics and the Grand Tours--at least.
Please keep coming back!