Shorts: CV, BessŠges, Langkawi

Comunitat Valenciana hoping for TDF place, Kirsipuu puts young guns in their place at Besseges, Arge

Comunitat Valenciana hoping for TDF place, Kirsipuu puts young guns in their place at Besseges, Arge


Comunitat Valenciana team manager Vicente Belda is hopeful that his team can win an invite to this year's Tour de France after missing the last two editions. Speaking at his team's presentation in Benidorm, southern Spain, Belda told Marca he had also asked the Giro for an invite. "Although I know it will difficult to start both races, analysing the situation I think I will be easier for us to get into the Tour than the Giro, because there are several continental teams in Italy, whereas in France there is only one - Agritubel." Belda hopes that this means that Comunitat Valenciana and Agritubel will both be invited to the Tour.

With the Tour in mind, Belda is planning to give some of his key riders an easy run-in to the season, including Spanish time trial champion Ruben Plaza, who finished fourth in the time trial at the Worlds. Belda also unveiled a new sub-sponsor in the shape of construction company Grupo Dico.

- Estonian champion showed there is still plenty of zip in his 36-year-old legs when he won Thursday's second stage of the Etoile de Bessges, which ended in a bunch sprint. It was Kirsipuu's 12th stage win in the race going back to 1998. Stage one winner Frederik Willems retained the overall lead.

Stage 2, Nimes-St Ambroix

1 Jaan Kirsipuu (Est) Crdit Agricole 149.2km in 3.51.03 (38.74kph)
2 Stphane Bonsergent (Fra) Bretagne-Jean Floc'h
3 Alexandr Usov (Blr) Ag2r
4 Olaf Pollack (Ger) T-Mobile)
5 Mattia Gavazzi (Ita) LPR
6 Alejandro Borrajo (Arg) Miche
7 Eric Baumann (Ger) T-Mobile
8 Andr Greipel (Ger) T-Mobile
9 Baden Cooke (Aus)
10 Mauro Gerosa (Ita) Miche


1 Frederik Willems (Bel) Chocolade Jacques-Topsport 7.11.25
2 Preben van Hecke (Bel) Davitamon-Lotto 0.26
3 Thomas Voeckler (Fra) Bouygues Telecom
4 Michael Blaudzun (Den) CSC 0.32
5 Ludovic Turpin (Fra) Ag2r 0.36
6 Mads Kaggestad (Nor) Crdit Agricole
7 Glenn d'Hollander (Bel) Chocolade Jacques 0.40
8 Brian Vandborg (Den) CSC 0.43
9 Sylvain Calzati (Fra) Ag2r 1.55
10 Kilian Patour (Fra) Crdit Agricole 2.15

- Friday's opening stage of the Tour de Langkawi in Malaysia also ended in a bunch sprint, with victory going to Argentinian Maximiliano Richeze (Panaria) after a short run of just 81 kilometres from Kuala Lumpur to Rawang.

Stage 1, Kuala Lumpur-Rawang

1 Maximiliano Richeze (Arg) Panaria-Navigare 81.1km in 1.43.53 (46.84kph)
2 Erki Ptsep (Est) Ag2r
3 Takashi Miyazawa (Jpn) Japon
4 Steffen Radochla (Ger) Wiesenhof
5 Angel Vallejo (Spa) Relax
6 Elio Aggiano (Ita) LPR
7 Gabriele Missaglia (Ita) Selle Italia
8 Francesco Bellotti (Ita) Crdit Agricole
9 Jean-Claude Lebeau (Bel) Landbouwkrediet
10 Cesar Grajales (Col) Navigators


1 Maximiliano Richeze (Arg) Panaria-Navigare 1.43.43
2 Ptsep
3 Radochla 0.04
4 Miyazawa 0.06
5 Mark Walters (Can) Navigators 0.09
6 Benot Poilvet (Fra) Crdit Agricole
7 Serhiy Matveyev (Ukr) Panaria
8 Vallejo 0.10
9 Aggiano
10 Missaglia

- Fast food chain McDonald's, a company not usually linked with high-performance food supplements, has joined the papal-backed Amore e Vita team as a co-sponsor, possibly creating one of the more unlikely unions ever seen in professional cycling. The Italian riders Ivan Fanelli, Graziano Gasparre, Di Batte and Guidi, the Lithuanians Kairelis and Stundzia, the Finn Kimmo Kananen, the Swede Michael Stevenson, the Zimbabwean Tim Jones and the Pole Artur Krzeszowiec will be the Amore e Vita riders fuelled by Chicken McNuggets and strawberry shakes this season.

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