Charles Wegelius

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Charles Wegelius
Wegeliusgiro2010.jpg
Wegelius at the 2010 Giro d'Italia
Personal information
Full name Charles Wegelius
Nickname Charly
Born (1978-04-26) April 26, 1978 (age 36)
Espoo, Finland
Height 1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)
Weight 62 kg (137 lb)
Team information
Current team Retired
Discipline Road
Role Rider
Rider type Climber/Mountain Domestique
Amateur team(s)
1996–1998 Vendée U
1999 Linda McCartney Racing Team (stagiaire)
Professional team(s)
2000–2002 Mapei-Quick Step
2003–2004 De Nardi
2005–2008 Liquigas-Bianchi
2009–2010 Silence-Lotto
2011 UnitedHealthcare
Managerial team(s)
2012– Garmin-Barracuda
Major wins
1 stage TTT Giro d'Italia (2007)
Infobox last updated on
15 May 2013

Charles "Charly" Wegelius (born 26 April 1978 in Espoo, Finland) is a British former professional road racing cyclist.

Never a winner of an individual race, Wegelius nevertheless made a career out of being a reliable and strong domestique, most notably in the mountains.

Career[edit]

Early career[edit]

Wegelius started his career in France, riding for the Vendée U team managed by Jean-René Bernaudeau, thanks to the influence of former pro Graham Jones.[1] His team-mates included Walter Bénéteau, Christian Guiberteau, Roger Hammond, Samuel Plouhinec, and Janek Tombak.[2] He won a number of races in his first season, including beating Sandy Casar, who was the brightest prospect in the local area. His biggest result was winning the Under-23 section of the Grand Prix des Nations, after which Le Télégramme reported that Wegelius was one of the most promising riders of his generation.[1]

Wegelius' cycling aspirations suffered an early setback, after being injured in an accident involving an all-terrain vehicle, which resulted in his spleen being removed and the news that he would never cycle again.[3] He recovered, however, and had his first professional break in 1999, when he rode as a stagiaire for the ill-fated Linda McCartney Racing Team.[4]

Wegelius participated in the cycling at the 2002 Commonwealth Games, where he finished 5th in the individual time trial and 28th in the road race.[5] He also started the road race at the 2004 Summer Olympics, but failed to finish.

Italian years[edit]

Wegelius raced in Italy for a succession of teams between 2000 and 2009. At Mapei he was part of a generation of young cyclists that included Fabian Cancellara, Luca Paolini, Dario Cioni, Rinaldo Nocentini, Filippo Pozzato, Leif Hoste, Bernhard Eisel, Allan Davis, and Michael Rogers. Wegelius took part in his first Grand Tour, Mapei's last, at the 2002 Vuelta a España. After the team's sponsor pulled out at the end of 2002, Wegelius moved to the smaller De Nardi team, which raced on the Italian domestic scene. They were invited to the Giro d'Italia in 2003 and 2004. In 2004, Wegelius notably helped Serhiy Honchar to an unexpected second place, often driving the leading group up the difficult mountain stages.[6]

World Championship controversy[edit]

Wegelius was involved in controversy in 2005 when he and teammate Tom Southam chose not to ride to protect Roger Hammond, their team leader, in the World Championship road race, and instead looked after the riders in their trade teams.[7] Wegelius later repaid the costs associated with his participation in the event, and was never selected to represent his national team again.[8] He later said that he regretted the incident.[9]

Giro d'Italia[edit]

Having been on the Liquigas-Bianchi team since they reached the top level of cycling, Wegelius was a key domestique in the Giro d'Italia supporting Dario Cioni, Danilo Di Luca, and Stefano Garzelli.[10] Wegelius competed in every Giro d'Italia between 2003 and 2010, and successfully supported Di Luca to victory in 2007, which was ironically the only Giro Wegelius failed to finish.

Participation in the Tour de France[edit]

Having previously ridden in the Giro d'Italia and the Vuelta a España, Wegelius made his Tour de France début in the 2007 edition. By finishing 45th, he was the best placed British rider in the general classification at 1 hour, 41 minutes and 5 seconds behind yellow jersey winner Alberto Contador. He received a call-up to participate in the 2009 Tour de France as a replacement for Thomas Dekker, who was ruled out following a positive drug test.[11] He finished 60th in the general classification, 1 hour, 14 minutes and 25 seconds behind the winning Contador. Wegelius also began the 2010 Tour de France. However, much to his disappointment, he had to pull out after suffering from a sickness.[12] It was his last participation in the Tour de France, as he retired after the 2011 Giro di Padania.[9]

Following his retirement, he joined the then Garmin-Cervélo team as Directeur sportif[13]

Personal life[edit]

Wegelius is the son of Christopher Wegelius, a former Finnish banker and the most successful show jumper to have ever represented Finland.[3]

Wegelius was educated at Bootham School in York from 1989 to 1994.[14]

Wegelius has a wife, Camilla and two sons. They live in Finland.[4]

Palmarès[edit]

1996
1st U23 Grand Prix des Nations
1999
2nd Overall Tour of Slovakia
1st Stage 4 U23 Le Transalsace International
2nd U23 European ITT Championship
3rd U23 Liege-Bastogne-Liege
2002
1st TTT Settimana Ciclista Bergamasca
3rd Stage 4 Tour de Suisse
5th Commonwealth Games Time Trial
8th Stage 1 Tour de Langkawi
2005
3rd Overall Vuelta a Aragón
2nd Stage 4 & 10th Stage 5
10th Stage 1 Giro del Trentino
2006
5th Stage 18 Giro d'Italia
5th Overall Tour des Apennins
6th Stage 5 Tour of the Basque Country
2007
1st Stage 1 TTT Giro d'Italia
2008
1st Stage 1b (TTT) Settimana internazionale di Coppi e Bartali
8th Stage 7 Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré
2011
3rd Stage 6 Vuelta a Asturias
10th Coppa Papà Carlo

Grand Tour General Classification results timeline[edit]

Grand Tour 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010
Giro - 51 48 46 58 WD 69 105 29
Tour - - - - - 45 - 60 WD
Vuelta 109 - - 60 WD - - WD

WD = withdrew

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b https://lejournaldesentreprises.com/ar/viewarticle1024.php?aaaammjj=19960926&article=19960926-1171918&type=ar
  2. ^ "Vendée U 1997". memoire-du-cyclisme.eu. 
  3. ^ a b Cyclingnews talks with Charly Wegelius Cyclingnews.com Accessed 26 September 2011
  4. ^ a b Wegelius calls time on cycling career Cyclingnews.com Accessed 26 September 2011
  5. ^ Commonwealth Sports – Sports Programme Commonwealth Games Federation Accessed 26 September 2011
  6. ^ "www.cyclingnews.com presents the 87th Giro d'Italia, 2004". cyclingnews.com. 
  7. ^ Herety resigns over team tactics The Daily Telegraph Accessed 26 September 2011
  8. ^ Charly Wegelius: Rider Profile Cycling Weekly Accessed 1 September 2009
  9. ^ a b Charly Wegelius retires from cycling Cycling Weekly Accessed 26 September 2011
  10. ^ "www.cyclingnews.com presents the 88th Giro d'Italia". cyclingnews.com. 
  11. ^ Briton Wegelius gains Tour slot BBC Sport Accessed 26 September 2011
  12. ^ I felt like a water bucket with dozens of bullet holes Canyon HEROES Blog Accessed 26 September 2011
  13. ^ Daniel Benson. "Wegelius to Garmin-Cervelo as Director Sportif". Cyclingnews.com. 
  14. ^ “Lost” Old Scholars Bootham School Accessed 26 September 2011

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]