Cycling News


Junior TT champ McNulty returns to racing after broken hip - News Shorts
May 04, 2017 (20:00) [ Indexed from ]
Reigning junior time trial wold champion Brandon McNulty (Rally Cycling) returned to racing Wednesday after an eight-week recovery from a fractured hip he suffered at the Volta ao Alentejo in February. McNulty finished fifth in the opening time trial at the Redlands Bicycle Classic in Southern California on Wednesday, covering the 11.3km course in 14:44, just four seconds off the winning time of Romanian champion Serghei Tvetcov (Jelly Belly-Maxxis). UnitedHealthcare's Gavin Mannion and Alex Cataford, along with Silber's Nigel Ellsay, finished ahead of McNulty. Wednesday result was a solid performance for the rider who has been out of competition since February 25 when he hit the deck hard during stage 3 of the race in Portugal. McNulty finished the stage but was in too much pain to start the following day. An initial X-ray taken in Portugal revealed a fractured pelvis, and the 18-year-old American flew home to Phoenix, Arizona, to see a specialist, who confirmed the injury.ADVERTISEMENT McNulty won the rainbow jersey at the UCI Road World Championships in Qatar last October with a time that would have earned a bronze medal in the U23 race. In two years with the USA Cycling junior national team, McNulty built an impressive international palmars that includes third place at the 2015 junior time trial world championship in Richmond. Rim takes Cycling Academy's first win of 2017 Mat training in Sierra Nevadas ahead of California Racism flares up at Romandie, Froome's form, and Giro picks - podcast You can read more at More...
Domenico Pozzovivo motivated for 100th Giro d'Italia
May 04, 2017 (20:00) [ Indexed from ]
The veteran of ten prior Giro d'Italia's, Domenico Pozzovivo is looking to make his mark on the 100th running of the Corsa Rosa. While Pozzovivo missed the 2009 Giro, marking 100 year's since the Italian Grand Tour was first held, he is motivated for the Giro 100 as AG2R-La Mondiale's general classification leader. The 34-year-old may still be searching for his first win of the season, third place overall at the Tour of the Alps along with tenth place at Tirreno-Adriatico and ninth at Abu Dhabi Tour has Pozzovivo in a confident mood. "We will be starting not only a very important race for cycling, but a very important event for all of Italy," said the 2012 stage 8 winner. "There is a bit of a holiday atmosphere here in Sardinia, and it's a good chance to take advantage of the tranquillity of the island before the beginning of the race. This will be a wonderful start to the Giro."ADVERTISEMENT After three top-ten overall results between 2012 and 2014, Pozzovivo started the 2015 Giro aiming for a high overall result. However, after losing time in the first few stages, Pozzovivo crashed out the race. He recovered from the predominately head injuries, to finish in 11th place overall at the Vuelta a Espaa. 20th last year at the Giro suggests Pozzovivo can again be an animator of the race but he believes the first week will be crucial in setting up the general classification. "The first week will be crucial for the overall standings," he said of the Giro start which takes in Sardinia and Sicilybefore hitting the mainland. "The Sardinian roads can be tricky and we will climb Mount Etna as soon as we arrive in Sicily on the 4th day (Cefal - Etna). I believe that the 9th stage (Montenero di Bisaccia " Blockhaus) will give us a good overview of which riders are in with a shot." Pozzovivo adds that once through the first week, the mountain packed third week will be the real challenge but he is confident in his form and the team AG2R-La Mondiale have selected in support of his aims. You can read more at More...
Dumoulin: I'd sign now for a podium finish in the Giro d'Italia
May 04, 2017 (20:00) [ Indexed from ]
A year after his triumphant start to the 2016 Giro d'Italia in front of home crowds in the Netherlands, Tom Dumoulin's start to this May's edition of the Grand Tour may be more low-key - but his overall goals are far more ambitious. As the 26-year-old from Maastricht told Cyclingnews earlier this year, after his breakthrough overall result and performance in the 2015 Vuelta a Espaa, taking sixth, last season Dumoulin pressed pause on his Grand Tour GC ambitions. That didn't stop him taking a narrow but hugely popular win in Apeldoorn a year last May when the Giro d'Italia kicked off on home soil, and remaining in the lead, barring one day, for the whole of the first week. Then there was a memorable win in the atrocious weather conditions in Andorra in the Tour de France of course, and again in the mid-race time trial, prior to a forced abandon after a crash in the Alps. This time round, the Netherlands-born rider is hoping the last week of the Giro d'Italia will be a different story to the final third of his previous two Grand Tours, although Dumoulin is careful to set the bar only so high. Although not ruling out the pink jersey - who would? - the Team Sunweb leader confirmed Wednesday that if he could sign on the dotted line a guarantee he'd be riding into Milano's finish line, anywhere on the final podium of the Giro, he'd be reaching for a pen right now.ADVERTISEMENT "Normally, winning here for me would be really difficult, I'd need my best shape ever and a little bit of luck," Dumoulin said. "My favourite is [Nairo] Quintana (Movistar Team). In the last few months he's been showing that even when he's on 95 percent of his top form, he's still always playing for the win." "A guy like me or Steven Kruijswijk (LottoNL-Jumbo), if we're on 95 percent then we don't compete for the win anymore." Nor does he view himself as likely to be turning the tables at the last minute and blowing the race apart like a certain Italian did last year in the Giro: "A guy like [Vincenzo] Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) is always dangerous. Last year, I didn't think he'd win the Giro d'Italia, but he still did. You never know with him." But on the plus side, Dumoulin is where he wants to be as the Giro approaches and that, given the novelty of building specifically for GC in a Grand Tour, is no small success in itself. His overall condition, he says, is "pretty good. The preparation went well, I'm in a good place mentally and physically. I just want to experience the Giro and fight for GC in three weeks." You can read more at More...
Haga enters uncharted waters with unprecedented Giro d'Italia build-up
May 04, 2017 (20:00) [ Indexed from ]
Chad Haga (Team Sunweb) is a familiar face at the Giro d'Italia " 2017 will be his third in as many years " but the 28-year-old Texan says hes heading into uncharted waters in this year's race. But not so much by what's coming up, as to what preceded it. Riding two three-week races for the first time in his career in 2016 was already a new landmark in Haga's four-and-a-bit year professional career. But his build-up to this year's Giro d'Italia is, Haga tells Cyclingnews on Wednesday, "different from any Grand Tour I've done before." "It was not as much racing and I've never done altitude training right before the Giro d'Italia, either. Before, they [altitude training sessions] have been late in the season or just by being in Colorado. So I've had a very focused program to be very good here in the Giro.ADVERTISEMENT "I've not had so much racing either, that was planned from the start. My first focus was Tirreno-Adriatico to support Tom there, but not much racing beforehand. I had to be with Tom [Dumoulin] at altitude" " ten days in the Sierra Nevada and ten days on the Teide in the Canary Islands " "and come here hopefully ready to rumble." The Mount Etna uphill finish coming so early, he says, means that hitting the ground running in this year's Giro was never going to be a bad idea. "I'm not a pure climber but I'll support the mountain riders and Tom's GC bid in that area as far as I can and leave them to the final kilometres." There will be some voyages in the dark in the mountains, too, for Haga, given the only climb he knows beforehand in this year's Giro is the Mortirolo, which the race tackled in 2015. However, whilst he will be as curious as anyone to see how his different Giro approach works out on the climbs, his predilection for time trialing is no secret. The depth of his effort in the Giro's mid-race time trial may well depend on how well Dumoulin's GC bid is going and if he needs to save his legs. But he is definitely looking forward to emptying the tank in the final race against the clock in Milan, when Dumoulin will not be needing his support the day after. You can read more at More...
Third Eschborn-Frankfurt victory for Kristoff
May 02, 2017 (20:00) [ Indexed from ]
Following an underwhelming classics campaign, Alexander Kristoff bounced back in Germany with his third career Eschborn-Frankfurt victory. The Norwegian was assisted by German teammate Rick Zabel in the finale with the duo recording a one-two finish for Katusha-Alpecin in the wet and cold conditions. "This was the coldest one I can remember. It was quite cold with the rain all day. I took off my jacket and rode the last three laps without it, but I was regretting it the whole way. It was very cold today, but the same guys as usual were still there fighting for victory," said Kristoff who previously won the race in 2014 and 2016. Although the win was Kristoff's first at WorldTour level since the 2015 edition of GP Ouest France-Plouay, it was his seventh of the season. While Kristoff had an edge over his sprint rivals at the race knowing how to win, he explained that he though his race could be overADVERTISEMENT "I was a little bit dropped on the last climb but I had a strong team around me to pull me back. Without them I would have had no chance. We came back just before the laps and Rick was guiding me through the corners at the end and he did a perfect lead out for me and ended up second himself," he explained. "Luckily he was my teammate in those last few k's because otherwise I think he would have won the race! Earlier Tony Martin and Angel Vicioso and also team Bora Hansgrohe were working with us. Then at the end Nils Politt and Zabel took over. It was a big team effort to get back on the front that enabled me to sprint for the victory. We are really happy and it was a great performance." For Zabel, it was his best result yet since making the move across from BMC to Katusha. You can read more at More...
Tour of the Battenkill cancelled
May 02, 2017 (20:00) [ Indexed from ]
After what may have been the shortest-ever appearance on the UCI calendar, the Tour of the Battenkill has been cancelled, according to an email race promoter Dieter Drake sent to teams on Monday. In a copy of the email sent to Cyclingnews by one of the team directors, Drake wrote simply "Cancelled. Good luck." Drake confirmed in a separate email to Cyclingnews that the race has been cancelled, but he declined to comment. The one-day race in upstate New York last took place for professional riders in 2012, but organisers dropped the UCI event and focused on a gran fondo in the ensuing years. Drake announced on April 1 that the race would return this year, however, taking the date vacated by the cancelled Philadelphia International Cycling Classic.ADVERTISEMENT "I spoke to the folks at Philadelphia, the race director Robin Mortin, and she gave us her blessing," Drake told Cyclingnews when he announced the UCI race. "We'll have a men's and women's race and they'll both be 1.2 on the UCI calendar. "We saw a lot of cancellations, Philadelphia being the biggest, and we decided to come back because we put something together on short notice," Drake said at the time. "Also our budget doesn't even compare to a race like Philadelphia. We have the capabilities, the infrastructure and the people to do it." The race's return to the UCI schedule was welcome news, especially after the Philadelphia cancellation as well as the inaugural Commonwealth Classic scheduled for Virginia in August. Some teams appeared to have balked, however, at Drake's attempt to get them to pony up $5,000 sponsorship "inscription" for the men's teams and $4,000 for the women. " Nicola Cranmer (@nicolacranmer) April 11, 2017 You can read more at More...
Quintana shows pre-Giro d'Italia form with Vuelta Asturias stage win
May 01, 2017 (20:00) [ Indexed from ]
Nairo Quintana's successful 2017 season continued at the Vuelta Asturias with the Movistar rider winning the queen stageto confirm his form and condition ahead of the 100th Giro d'Italia. The 2014 Giro winner won the snowy stage to Alto del Acebo ahead of Raul Alacron (W52/FC Porto) and sits second overall with one stage to come. The UCI 2.1 Spanish stage race is Quintana's first race on European soil since a training block at home in Colombia and final preparation event for the Giro, starting Saturday in Sardinia. Quintana is aiming for a Giro/Tour de France double and already in 2017 has enjoyed general classification wins at the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana and Tirreno-Adriatico. The 27-year-old explained that his sensations from the stage win have boosted his confidence and will aim to claim the overall Monday. "I'm really satisfied with how things went, with my preparations and this victory, too. I felt my legs responding well to all that we did before coming back to Europe - we're on the right path to tackle that big challenge in front of us successfully," Quintana explained. "For me, coming to Asturias has already been satisfactory. Let's hope we can finish things off tomorrow in one piece. It was a really cold day, also a dangerous one since we had to go through all those wet descents. We all really suffered, it was tough - yet we're sort of getting used to these days. It's been quite a few times now where we had to finish on top of a mountain covered in snow, after getting through foul conditions."ADVERTISEMENT Read more on this article Quintana turns focus to Giro d'Italia after Tirreno-Adriatico win Tour de France favourites: form ranking Quintana: Nibali is my biggest rival for the Giro d'Italia Quintana: We couldn't have asked for more in build-up to Giro-Tour double Dreaming the impossible dream: Quintana's bid for Giro-Tour glory Giro d'Italia 2017 provisional start list Quintana, who has built a reputation as a rider for the cold and snow, added that his brother Dayer played an important role on the slopes of the climb. "I just followed the wheels into the first part of the climb, well supported by my team, and when the real selection got formed, I sent Dayer forward to try and tear things apart a little bit more," he added. "Once the group was all the strung out I wanted, I went on my own pace, took Alarcn on my wheel and sought for the stage win. You can read more at More...
inCycle: The legend of the Muur
March 30, 2017 (20:00) [ Indexed from ]
This episode of inCycle takes viewers to the famous slopes of the Muur ahead of Sunday's Tour of Flanders, anticipating the race-making moves that will inevitably take place there during the 101st running of the cycling Monument. The inCycle crew also takes a look at the future of cycling with Alberto Contador's U23 team Polartec, but first they chat with Chantal Blaak (Boels Dolmans) about her preparations before Gent-Wevelgem.ADVERTISEMENT You can read more at More...
Cookson sought meeting with panel investigating British Cycling
March 30, 2017 (20:00) [ Indexed from ]
After an independent panel looking into allegations of sexism and bullying at British Cycling drafted a critical report, UCI President and former head of the British federation Brian Cookson sought an interview with the panels members, according to a recent report in The Guardian. British Cycling and UK Sport set up the five-member panel last year to look into the allegations first raised by former Olympic track sprinter Jess Varnish. A copy of the initial draft report that was finished late last year and was leaked to the British media earlier this month was extremely critical of British Cyclings culture of winning at all cost. The Guardian reported that Cookson was apparently disappointed that he was not given a chance to defend the federation to the panel. Correspondence obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request by the Press Association revealed that panel chairwoman Annamarie Phelps amended her initial report to include a subsequent interview with Cookson and a number of new submissions.ADVERTISEMENT The Guardian reported that the new submissions were related to several contributions the panel received after its original cut-off of 30 November from people with a more positive take on life within the Great Britain cycling team, as a lack of balance in the draft had been flagged up by British Cyclings board. Meanwhile, the official release of the final report has been delayed several times because of legal wrangling among the stakeholders about how much would be public. Concerns over the privacy of those who were interviewed were raised, while Phelps wanted to ensure the report faithfully reflects the panels findings. Timeline: The British Cycling sexism and discrimination crisis Phelps also warned UK Sport chief executive Liz Nicholl and British Cycling board member Marian Lauderany that any further direction from the boards would potentially undermine the independence of the report, according to The Guardian. You can read more at More...
Chaves overcomes knee injury but skips Pais Vasco
March 30, 2017 (20:00) [ Indexed from ]
Orica-Scott has confirmed that Esteban Chaves will miss next weeks Vuelta Ciclista al Pas Vasco, having recently returned to training after a knee injury. The Colombian climber, 27, is hoping to challenge Chris Froome (Team Sky) and Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo) at the Tour de France later this summer. Chaves has not raced since the Herald Sun Tour in February and he was looking to line up for Pas Vasco next week. However, a bout of tendonitis has scuppered his early season programme. The Volta a Catalunya was scratched for the climbers schedule earlier in March and the Tour of Romandie in late April may also be out of the picture after a lay-off that has lasted several weeks. Chaves kick started his season at the Tour Down Under, where he finished second overall. The Sun Tour, and ninth overall, followed but he was absent from the Colombian nationals after the knee injury flared up for the first time.ADVERTISEMENT "I am really disappointed to miss the national championships tomorrow, he said at the time. I was looking forward to making my elite debut in my home town. But it is a long season and we needed to take the decision to fix any little problems now so we can continue with the plan this year without trouble." With Orica not racing a full programme of stage races in " other than the Giro dItalia " Chaves could return to racing in June, at the Critrium du Dauphin, and although he is no stranger to blocks of non-competitive cycling during the season the team are hoping to ease him back into racing. The plan is for him to remain in Colombia for the next few weeks as he builds his stamina and finds form. Cyclingnews understands that the team and medical staff have taken a cautious approach with the Tour de France still the main target. You can read more at More...
Recon Ride: Tour of Flanders - Podcast
March 29, 2017 (20:00) [ Indexed from ]
The hype has been building through tune-up race after tune-up race, but the Tour of Flanders is finally here this Sunday. The biggest event on the Flemish cycling calendar, it might as well be a national holiday " and from an exciting racing standpoint, it rarely disappoints. Defending champion Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) and a seemingly unstoppable Greg Van Avermaet (BMC Racing) are the red-hot favourites for a high-calibre showdown on some of cycling's most famous Classics climbs, including the Muur van Geraardsbergen, back for the 2017 edition of the race.ADVERTISEMENT The Recon Ride takes a closer look at the route and the start list " with some pro insight from rising star Oliver Naesenof AG2R La Mondiale "ahead of De Ronde. You can read more at More...
Gaviria shifts gears to focus on Giro d'Italia debut
March 28, 2017 (20:00) [ Indexed from ]
Quick-Step Floors' Fernando Gaviria has put the Classics in the rearview mirror and will now return home to Colombia to begin the build-up to his Giro d'Italia debut, according to an update posted on the team's website Tuesday. Gaviria, 22, finished fifth at Milan-San Remo and ninth at Gent-Wevelgem, in addition to being a part of Quick-Step's race-winning lineup at Dwars door Vlaanderen. With those one-day appearances in the bag, he is turning the page from his short Classics campaign and looking ahead to his first ever Grand Tour start in Italy this May. "Fernando made another step in his apprenticeship in the one-day races, and now the time has come for him to recover and focus on the Giro d'Italia," said Quick-Step CEO Patrick Lefevere via a team release. "We consider his first part of the season a successful one: He racked up four wins and was in the top 10 at both Classics he's done.ADVERTISEMENT "By going home now, he will have plenty of time to take benefit of the altitude in native Colombia and build a nice training schedule for the Giro, which will mark another step in his development." Sprinter-friendly days in stage races have been a productive environment for Gaviria in his young career. His four victories thus far in 2017 have all come in one-week events, including a WorldTour level triumph at Tirreno-Adriatico earlier this month. Although his Classics appearances did not yield any personal victories, the Colombian and his team are content with the progress he showed surviving long days on the bike to deliver respectable sprint results. "It's been a nice experience to be again part of Quick-Step Floors' Classics team," Gaviria said. "Finishing San Remo in the top five and coming ninth at Gent-Wevelgem was really special. I got to learn better the roads of Belgium and to understand how things work in these races. I wish my teammates all the best for Flanders and Roubaix, and I hope Tom [Boonen] will get his fifth Roubaix. You can read more at More...
Giro d'Italia legends welcome Hinault to Hall of Fame - Gallery
March 28, 2017 (20:00) [ Indexed from ]
Bernard Hinault was officially inducted into the Giro d'Italia Hall of Fame Tuesday in a ceremony at Milan's Teatro Gerolamo. Hinault claimed the pink jersey three times in his career, winning the Giro overall titles in 1980, 1982 and 1985. In 1982 and 1985 he also won the Tour de France, putting him among the exclusive company of riders who have won both Grand Tours in the same year "and the even more exclusive company of riders to do it twice. Eddy Merckx, Miguel Indurain and Fausto Coppi are history's only other riders to achieve the Giro-Tour double on more than one occasion.ADVERTISEMENT "It is an honor to receive my induction into the Giro d'Italia Hall of Fame. The Giro is one of the races I have loved the most in my career and I continue to love this race, its passion and its fans," Hinault said. "All the foreign riders who have come to Italy for the Giro always respected the race and give everything to win it. The Giro d'Italia was, and always will be, a very high level international race that everyone wants to win. "The Maglia Rosa is symbolic, a history in itself. It has a value and it is fantastic to try to earn it on every race day. For me the Maglia Rosa has the same value as the other important jerseys that I have worn, such as the Rainbow Jersey or the Yellow Jersey of the Tour de France." With his induction, the Frenchman became one of just six riders on the Giro's honour roll, joining the company of Merckx, Ercole Baldini, Felice Gimondi, Stephen Roche and Francesco Moser. He had a pair of riders in mind when asked who he thought deserved the honour next. You can read more at More...
Naesen focused on Tour of Flanders after E3 podium
March 27, 2017 (20:00) [ Indexed from ]
Following his surprising podium finish in E3 Harelbeke last week, Belgian Oliver Naesen (AG2R La Mondiale) is focused on Sunday's Tour of Flanders as his next chance to put a Classics win under his belt. The 26-year-old, who raced for IAM Cycling last year, found himself in an envious-yet-difficult spot in E3 Harelbeke when he made the final three-rider selection with an on-form Greg van Avermaet (BMC Racing)and a resurgent Philippe Gilbert (Quick-Step Floors). The winning trio formed out of a six-man group that bridged to the early breakaway, distancing themselves from the rest on the Oude Kwaremont and then cooperating until the finish line was in sight. Gilbert, stuck on the front, kept looking back waiting for one of his rivals to open up the sprint. Naesen finally lost patience and jumped, but it was too soon and Van Avermaet surged past to take the win. Gilbert was second, with Naesen in third.ADVERTISEMENT Naesen was obviously disappointed after coming so close to the victory, but the podium result was part of a steady progression after he was sixth at Dwars Door Vlaanderen, eighth at Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne and seventh at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad. Naesen most recently finished 22nd at Gent-Wevelgem, a result he says does not reflect his current form. "I had great legs at Gent-Wevelgem, but the result did not show it in the end," he said. "I am still satisfied with what I have accomplished in the past couple of races, especially at the Record Bank E3 Harelbeke where I managed to get a place on the podium." Naesen, who has two professional wins atBretagne Classic-Ouest-France last year and atLa Poly Normande in 2015, has taken a big confidence boost from his run of top 10 finishes in this year's Classics, and he expects the trajectory to continue. You can read more at More...
John Degenkolb's custom Trek Domane SLR - Gallery
March 27, 2017 (20:00) [ Indexed from ]
John Degenkolb (Trek-Segafredo) joins the list of top riders who will compete on custom-painted bikes throughout the remaining Classics, with bike sponsor Trek creating a "Caf Racer" commemorative paint scheme for the German's Trek Domane SLR. The winner of Milan-San Remo and Paris-Roubaix in 2015 has one win so far this season at the Dubai Tour, but he has been knocking on the door with multiple podium finishes in stages at multi-day races as well as recently finishing seventh at Milan-San Remo and fifth at Gent-Wevelgem. He'll face his next test at the Tour of Flanders on the custom Domane that features aunique paint scheme inspired by Degenkolbs personal style and off-the-bike passion, classic caf racer motorcycles.Conceptualized by Trek graphic designer Micah Moran, the design takes cues directly from the Degenkolb's custom motorcycle that he often rides in and around his hometown of Frankfurt, Germany.ADVERTISEMENT Hand-scuffed liquid metal provides a base layer that is complimented with a "dark smoke" tint and splashes of red trim, while details like Degnkolb's lucky number "7" and a badge for his nickname "Dege" complete the custom look. "Obviously I loved the bike right from the start because its inspired by who I am, on and off the bike," Degenkolb said in a statement released by his team. "Some people call me 'a gentleman of speed,' a title I would like to honor as much as I can, and you will find that also on my stem. The bike has my lucky number 7 on the seat tube as well. "Of course, everybody knows that cobbles are my favorite terrain, but I am not sure if people are aware that my passion off the bike is motorcycles," he said. "So riding a bike whose design takes cues directly from my personal caf racer moto, that's just awesome." You can read more at More...
Lessons aplenty but no podium for Matthews and Andersen at Gent-Wevelgem
March 26, 2017 (20:00) [ Indexed from ]
The Classics tend to hand down lessons more readily than they hand out bouquets. Sunweb's Michael Matthews and Sren Kragh Andersen must have felt they had done the hard part when they made the decisive split after the Kemmelberg in the finale of Gent-Wevelgem, but nothing is ever straightforward in this corner of the world and at this time of the year. Matthews was caught on the wrong side when the 14-strong leading group split in two with 20 kilometres to go, but Andersen remained in front as part of an elite quintet with Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe), Greg Van Avermaet (BMC), Jens Keukeleire (Orica-Scott) and Niki Terpstra (Quick-Step). Barely five kilometres later, however, Andersen found himself on the back foot when Terpstra and Sagan's impromptu game of bluff and counter-bluff allowed the eventual winner Van Avermaet and Keukeleire to forge clear. The young Dane performed impressively even as all cohesion dissipated from the group, but he received no reward for his efforts, and was swept up by the chasing peloton, eventually finishing 16th.ADVERTISEMENT "With Terpstra and Sagan, the work in the group was not going 100 per cent. I did some pulls but I also saved myself a bit, because I had Matthews behind and I said that to the guys," Andersen told Cyclingnews. "In the end, Terpstra didn't want to ride at all, and Sagan was like, Okay, I'll also stop.' They let Van Avermaet and Keukeleire go, and they are not stupid: They put the gas down and from then on, all three of us screwed ourselves. "I was a little bit caught in a sandwich there. I'm a young guy and I didn't know exactly what to do. It's a hard experience you know. In the team we hoped for more. We had the chance to get a better result, but that's how it is." Matthews barely put a pedal stroke askew all afternoon, riding confidently through the narrow section of gravel roads, the so-called Plugstreets, and then forging his way towards the front on the Kemmelberg. As the leading group of fourteen hurtled over the other side, only Sagan and John Degenkolb (Trek-Segafredo) stood out as rivals in the potential group sprint, only for the race to turn in a split second on a section of headwind outside of Ieper. Amstel on the horizon for Matthews You can read more at More...
Dan Martin looks forward to rest, then Ardennes after strong start to season
March 26, 2017 (12:15) [ Indexed from ]
Come Monday, after he has finished the Volta a Catalunya, Dan Martin (Quick-Step Floors) has his next objective in his sights already: "Put my feet up and sit on the sofa for a couple of weeks." The reason for this short spell of rest and recuperation is two-fold: first, Martin hit the ground running this season and up to the Volta a Catalunya, the Irishman has been racing consistently hard. He has earned top 10 placings in nearly half of his 24 race days so far this year. And that's without counting Martin's third place overall in Paris-Nice, sixth on GC in the Volta ao Algarve and fifth in the Vuelta a Valencia. The second reason is that Martin's next big objective, a strong ride in the Ardennes Classics, is fast looming on the horizon. So his short-term aim, as he tells Cyclingnews during the Volta a Catalunya, where he's currently sitting sixth overall, is to be as fresh for that as possibleADVERTISEMENT "It was a hard few weeks with Paris-Nice and I'm feeling it a bit, I've raced a lot this year. But that was always the plan for the Classics, to do the 'double' [Paris-Nice and Catalunya] because I did Tirreno then Catalunya when I won Lige-Bastogne-Lige [in 2013]." "The plan is to freshen up, put my feet up and sit on the sofa ... We'll let these last couple of weeks soak in and then it'll be good." Of the three Ardennes Classics, he will race Amstel, won three times by team-mate Philippe Gilbert, "to get my legs going again and obviously we've got a super strong team for it. Amstel doesn't really suit me as a race, but I can do a good job for the boys there, then see what I can do in Fleche and Lige, where I've done well." You can read more at More...
Skujins scores Cannondale-Drapac's first win of 2017 at Coppi e Bartali
March 24, 2017 (21:00) [ Indexed from ]
Toms Skujins scored Cannondale-Drapac's first win of 2017 Friday at Coppi e Bartali after bridging to a late move and then dropping his companions on the final cobbled climb to the finish in Sogliano sul Rubicone. Skujins' win propelled the 25-year-old Latvian into the overall race lead with two stages remaining. The result also marks the first pro win in Europe for Skujins, who took up the team banner after designated leader Tom-Jelte Slagter crashed early in the 130km second stage. "I hope Im opening the flood gates here," Skujins said of his ice-breaking win. "This was a really cool way to get the first part of the year going. I'm super stoked that I could share it with these guys that are here. TJ crashed right in front of me luckily for both of us I managed to avoid running over his arm. The team put their confidence in me and let me have this one after that."ADVERTISEMENT The day started with a seven-rider move that slipped away in the opening kilometres but was never allowed more than 3:30 advantage. The peloton pulled the gap down to just two minutes heading into the final hour of racing on the deceptively difficult course. "Today was a hard day," Skujis said. "There were not a lot of flat bits. I think it was something like 2,800 meters in 130 kilometers. In the profile, it looks like the last little bit is all downhill. It is definitely not. The climbs were mostly punchy. Some were super steep." After the peloton caught the original break, another group of five escaped on the final climb, and Skujins joined a group of four that lingered about 15 seconds behind in hot pursuit until they made contact with just one kilometre remaining. You can read more at More...
Kristoff follows tried-and-trusted road to Tour of Flanders
March 23, 2017 (21:00) [ Indexed from ]
At this stage in the game, Alexander Kristoff knows his way around the Flemish Ardennes. While some of his Katusha-Alpecin teammates went to reconnoitre the Kwaremont and Paterberg ahead of E3 Harelbeke, the Norwegian opted for a shorter ride following his arrival at the teams Classics base, the Park Hotel in Kortrijk, on Thursday morning. As well as the roads, Kristoff knows his own best route the day of days, the Tour of Flanders. While most of his rivals will rest in the week that follows Gent-Wevelgem, Kristoff will, yet again, prepare for the Ronde amid the cut and thrust of the Three Days of De Panne. The approach has served him well in years past, and he sees no reason to change. My body needs a little bit of beating up to get ready. Its not like I can relax and get ready, Im not built that way, Kristoff told Cyclingnews. Some people can have an easier approach and arrive in good shape, but I need to be really pushed hard and get really tired, and then after two days of rest, Im there.ADVERTISEMENT Winner of the Tour of Flanders in 2015, Kristoff has never quite replicated that form in the dress rehearsals of E3 Harelbeke and Gent-Wevelgem. Usually at these two races this weekend, I was never so good, but maybe I can change that this year, he said. I am here and the shape is quite good, but usually I need a bit more of these types of races to really come in the rhythm. Every year I use these two races and De Panne to be good in Flanders, but hopefully I manage to show myself a little bit tomorrow also. Kristoff arrives in Belgium following a series of performances largely in line with his early-season form over the preceding three years, as he clocked up a hat-trick of stage wins at the Tour of Oman. For the third time in five years, Kristoff proceeded to win the bunch sprint at the end of Milan-San Remo, though as in 2013, he was competing for a minor placing rather than the victory. Even so, he came away from La Classicissima with few regrets. Well, it was the first time I won the sprint on Via Roma, because I won on the harbour [the previous finish at the Lungomare Italo Calvino " ed.] before, Kristoff pointed out. I wont say Im disappointed because I did everything I could. I wasnt dropped on the Poggio, whereas in other years I was sometimes distanced a little bit. This year we went really fast and I managed to hold the group. Sagan You can read more at More...
Vanmarcke suffers off day at Dwars door Vlaanderen
March 22, 2017 (21:00) [ Indexed from ]
This morning Cyclingnews asked readers on social media to caption a photo we took of Sep Vanmarcke (Cannondale-Drapac) clambering over a barrier towards a cafe at the start of Dwars door Vlaanderen.A few hours later, after Vanmarcke had crossed the finish line anonymously in the main peloton, some of those caption efforts proved awkwardly accurate, with the Belgian revealing that bowel problems held him back in the first of an all-important run of cobbled classics. "By 10 o'clock Id already been on the toilet four times," he told Cyclingnews and several Belgian reporters outside the Cannondale-Drapac bus. "Straight from the start I felt weird. I was running on empty, and maybe thats why I didnt feel good today." Vanmarcke, a perennial animator of the spring classics, missed the boat when Philippe Gilbert (Quick-Step Floors) attacked on the Berendries, forming the first key selection of the race with just over 75 kilometres remaining. Despite committing teammates to the chase, alongside Arnaud Demares FDJ, hed never see the front of the race again.ADVERTISEMENT "During the race I told the guys that I wasn't feeling great, but I told them to keep racing to see where we would end up. When others were passing me they saw I wasn't going well. I felt it throughout the race, so I wasn't surprised during the finale," he said. "It's no fun this way, even though I was still in the first main group and racing along. Normally I should be capable of taking the initiative or following the moves, but that wasn't the case today." Vanmarcke revealed last week that he was suffering with lingering rib pain caused by a crash at Strade Bianche earlier this month. Short of breath when making big efforts, he opted to struggle through Tirreno-Adriatico so as not to lose form ahead of the Classics, and hoped that a visit to the physio last Wednesday would put him back on track. You can read more at More...
Recon Ride: E3 Harelbeke and Gent-Wevelgem - Podcast
March 21, 2017 (21:00) [ Indexed from ]
With Milan-San Remo in the books, Classics season is truly in full swing. The one-day specialists have a full slate of racing ahead on bumpy Belgian terrain. After a midweek appetizer on the cobblestones of Dwars door Vlaanderen, riders will contest the Record Bank E3 Harelbeke on Friday and Gent-Wevelgem on Sunday. Featuring many of the same iconic cobbled climbs as the Tour of Flanders, E3 is a perfect tune-up race, but it's earned its place as a coveted Classics prize in its own right. The list of recent champions more than lives up to the race's WorldTour billing. Former winner Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) will be among the top favorites again this year, as will Greg Van Avermaet (BMC Racing), Sep Vanmarcke (Cannondale) and at least half of the Quick-Step line-up. Gent-Wevelgem is the older of the two races and has long been a favored battleground for the fast finishers, but impressive attacks in recent editions have denied the sprinters their chance to battle for the win. Time will tell if the likes of Alexander Kristoff (Katusha-Alpecin), John Degenkolb (Trek-Segafredo), Fernando Gaviria (Quick-Step Floors), and Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data) will have the final say Sunday.ADVERTISEMENT To subscribe to the Cyclingnews Podcast, click here. You can read more at More...
Contador still in GC hunt but 'a long way off' top rivals after Catalunya TTT
March 21, 2017 (21:00) [ Indexed from ]
Alberto Contador has his work cut out for him at the Volta a Catalunya this week after Tuesday's unusually long stage 2 team time trial. Trek-Segafredo finished fourth on the day, 1:15 down on the stage-winning Movistar squad. It was a solid ride, but that's a hefty deficit to make up on the likes of Alejandro Valverde in a one-week race. "I am happy, we have given everything, we have been quite well-organised and we did a good TTT, but we are a long way off our most important rivals," Contador said. "Valverde is 1:15 ahead, which is a lot. Now we have to look at the upcoming stages, starting with La Molina, which is not very hard as an ascent and where there may well be no big differences. Perhaps the time bonuses will be the most important time gaps."ADVERTISEMENT Valverde isn't the only rider standing in Contador's way, as stage 2 runner-up BMC Racing and third-placed Team Sky both have contenders for the overall victory. "The race has got more complicated because van Garderen and Sky with Froome and Thomas are all ahead," Contador said. "So we'll have to see what we can do." Nevertheless, Contador is not throwing in the towel just yet, and he sees openings in the days to come, particularly given the way recent editions of the race have played out. The Spaniard was second to Movistar's Nairo Quintana last year by just seven seconds. You can read more at More...
ASO partnership with Volta a Catalunya confirmed - News Shorts
March 20, 2017 (21:00) [ Indexed from ]
The rumoured partnership between the Tour de France owners Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO) and the Volta Ciclista a Catalunya was confirmed by the ASO on Monday. The oldest Spanish stage race, which is currently taking place, has survived on support from the Catalan government, but recently signed a major sponsor in Carrefour, which also backs several of ASO's races. Rubn Peris, the chairman of the race's organising club, explained, "We will benefit straight away from ASO's expertise in areas such as image production and distribution of TV rights, which will help us bring our broadcasts up to the highest standards."ADVERTISEMENT ASO, which also organises Paris-Roubaix, Lige-Bastogne-Lige, Flche Wallonne, Paris-Tours, Paris-Nice, the Critrium du Dauphin and the Vuelta a Espana, has similar stakes in the Tour of Oman, Tour de Yorkshire, Arctic Race of Norway, and the Tour of California. Yann Le Moenner, the ASO's general director, emphasised his company's part in the race's future. "This partnership ensures we'll be there for the 100th edition of the Volta a Catalunya in 2020 and tackle future challenges together," he said. Drucker steps up to lead BMC at Dwars Door Vlaanderen Terpstra looks for third Dwars Door Vlaanderen victory Egyptian racer's death shortens African track championships You can read more at More...
Paris-Nice stage 3 highlights - Video
March 07, 2017 (20:00) [ Indexed from ]
Stage 3 at Paris-Nice provided another chance for the sprinters, and Bora-Hansgrohe's Sam Bennett made the most of his opportunity on Wednesday, out-kicking a world-class field to win the stage inChalon-sur-Sane ahead ofAlexander Kristoff (Katusha-Alpecin), John Degenkolb (Trek-Segafredo) and Marcel Kittel (Quick-Step Floors). The day got underway with a three-rider break that included Pierre Latour (AG2R La Mondiale), Ben King (Dimension Data) and Romain Combaud (Delko-Marseille) sneaking away within the first couple of kilometres. The trio cooperated well and stretched their advantage to seven minutes before the FDJ team of race leader Arnaud Demare came to the fore and started taking back large chunks of time.ADVERTISEMENT The lead trio's gap was down to just 1:30 with 30km remaining, and King was jettisoned from the group on thecategory 2 climb of Cte de Charrecey. Latour and Combaud combined their strengths to put up a fierce battle for survival in the lead, but their efforts succumbed to the chase as they passed under the flamme rouge. From there, it was a mad dash to the line, with Kittel jumping first and Bennett coming around the big German before the line. You can read more at More...
Porte's Paris-Nice dreams over after a second day of time losses
March 06, 2017 (20:00) [ Indexed from ]
If one was hoping for a deep analysis of BMC Racing's disappointing performance on stage 2 of Paris-Nice then talking to the riders wasn't the best place to start. Dripping wet and shivering in the cold conditions, only Nicolas Roche offered up any dialogue as he clambered onto the bus. 'I feel dead' the Irishman said after a brutal day of racing that saw Richie Porte's chances of winning the race implode after the Australian lost over 14 minutes. During the morning briefing, BMC and Porte team knew that the weather would play its part, with driving rain and wind once again on the menu. The loss of Michael Schr, who crashed out on stage 1, was a blow but the team truly felt the effects once Porte and his teammates were scattered in the blustery conditions on the road to Amilly.ADVERTISEMENT "It was a really hard day for us. Of course we lost Schr yesterday and he was an important guy for this sort of race," Valerio Piva told Cyclingnews. "Without this guy we couldn't keep Richie in the front. Richie was there but in one moment he was in a bad position and no one was there for us. He was dropped and of course with this weather, and temperature it's not the best for him." Piva was in the team's second car during the stage but was aware of the team's situation when race radio crackled into life and confirmed Porte's predicament. You can read more at More...
Paris-Nice stage 2 highlights - Video
March 06, 2017 (20:00) [ Indexed from ]
It was another brutal day in Paris-Nice, with the peloton being splintered by crosswinds and pelted by near-freezing rain.Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain-Merida) headed up the column of winners on the day, starting the sprint into Amilly and holding off the charge of JohnDegenkolb (Trek-Segafredo) and race leader Arnaud Demare (FDJ).ADVERTISEMENT The others who profited from the splits included Julian Alaphilippe and Dan Martin (Quick-Step Floors), TonyGallopin(Lotto Soudal), and SergioHenao(Team Sky) - all of whom made the front group for the second day in a row. Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo) and Warren Barguil(Team Sunweb) and Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha) were more attentive on this stage, but there were a number of riders washed out of contention. Richie Porte (BMC) is now 15 minutes down, while Pierre Rolland (Cannondale-Drapac) is over 40 minutes down. You can read more at More...
Porte: It was a disaster but not too much of a disaster
March 05, 2017 (20:00) [ Indexed from ]
As he stood on the start line, Richie Porte (BMC Racing)casually waxed lyrical about training, form and the desire to see a no-frills, and predictable sprint at end of the stage 1 of Paris-Nice. No silly business, was his exact wish, but in the end the stage around Bois dArcy was anything but silly, and Portes ambitions of winning the overall for the third time in his career were hanging by a thread when he was caught out in a crosswind split. He wasnt the only overall contender to miss the move as Lotto Soudal and Quick-Step destroyed the field with echelon skills straight from the Belgian textbook. For almost two hours, Porte and his BMC Racing teammates toiled in the wind and rain as the gap to the lead group sat at more than a minute. The Australian found assistance in Trek-Segafredo and Orica-Scott as both teams missed the split for their respective leaders in Alberto Contador and Simon Yates, but up ahead Sergio Henao (Team Sky), Julian Alaphilippe (Quick-Step Floors), Dan Martin (Quick-Step Floors)and Tony Gallopin (Lotto Soudal) threatened to run away with the race. In the end, Porte rescued a slight victory from what he admitted could have been a complete disaster, as he dropped Contador and clawed back a few precious seconds on Alaphilippe and the rest. Arnaud Demare won the stage, with Porte conceding 47 seconds to the FDJ sprinter and Alaphilippe. Dan Martin and Gallopin created a 38 second buffer over the Tour Down Under winner, while Contador lost 14 seconds to his former Saxo teammate. It was bad, but it could have been much, much worse. It was a disaster but not too much of a disaster, Porte said after the finish line. We lost some time, but in the end we took a bit more time back on some of the other favourites. The race isnt over. Today wasnt ideal, but my team were fantastic and they really controlled that. Tomorrow is another day.ADVERTISEMENT With more mountainous stages to come and the individual time trial suited to his characteristics, Porte will not panic after Sundays performance. However, the news of teammate Michael Schar leaving the race with a suspected broken collarbone will do little to improve the mood at the BMC dinner table this evening. Scanning down the results, Porte will see that Contador and Yates have been distanced by 17 seconds and that Romain Bardet is out of the race altogether after the French GC hope was disqualified. The Quick-Step duo of Alaphilippe and Martin are now major contenders for the overall and have to be spoken about in the same breath as Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha-Alpecin) and Sergio Henao - the latter sits just nine seconds off the lead. Once it splits like that and its such a big group its hard but its not over, Porte said.There are some strong guys in front but theres still a lot of racing to go. Like Porte, BMC general manager Jim Ochowicz chose to see the positive side from a disappointing day, and he pointed to the fact that at one point BMCs overall challenge looked over after less than 100 kilometres of racing. It was a difficult day for everyone. Richie took 17 seconds out of Contador, which was a plus and when you miss a break then you have to chase and we chased as hard as we could, all day, Ochowicz told Cyclingnews. At one moment it could have gone to two minutes but they held their ground and the front guys started to hit their max. You could see that at the end. Everyone in the race went as hard as they possible could. You can read more at More...
Bardet disqualified from Paris-Nice
March 05, 2017 (20:00) [ Indexed from ]
Romain Bardet (AG2R La Mondiale) has been excluded from Paris-Nice after the race jury ruled that he received illegal assistance from his team car as he chased back on after crashing in the finale of Sundays opening stage. Bardet sustained cuts to his knee and thigh when he crashed with 22 kilometres remaining while part of the second group on the road in a stage that saw the peloton splintered into echelons by crosswinds. The Frenchman remounted quickly and succeeded in latching back up to the chasing group as the race entered the final 10 kilometres. Host broadcaster France Tlvisions showed only fleeting images of Bardets pursuit through the race convoy, though on at least two occasions, the helicopter shot showed a mechanic leaning from the AG2R La Mondiale car window to perform adjustments to his bike as he rode.ADVERTISEMENT Bardet succeeded in catching the small chasing group, which was being led by Tony Martin (Katusha-Alpecin), with a little over 10 kilometres remaining. He was to the fore when that group fragmented on the final approach to the line, coming home alongside Richie Porte (BMC), 47 seconds down on stage winner Arnaud Dmare (FDJ). Within minutes of the finish, however, the race jury announced that Bardet had been excluded from the race for receiving illegal assistance from his team car, a punishment in line with that handed down to Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) for a similar offence on the opening stage of the 2015 Vuelta a Espaa. In a communique issued after the stage, the commissaires said that they had excluded Bardet for the specific infraction of holding onto his team car, and handed him a fine of 200 Swiss Francs. Directeur sportif Julien Jurdie has also been excluded for the remainder of Paris-Nice and AG2R La Mondiale will have just one team car in the race for the week. You can read more at More...
Marcel Kittel back on disc brakes at Paris-Nice
March 05, 2017 (20:00) [ Indexed from ]
After the controversy and the debate, Marcel Kittel (Quick-Step) returned to using disc brakes on stage 1 of Paris-Nice. The German has been of the leading supporters of the braking technology, and one of the first riders to use them during their 2017 trial at WorldTour level. Kittel briefly opted to return to the more traditional caliper brake-equipped Specialized Venge ViAS bike after claims that the disc rotors on his bike had sliced through one of Owain Doulls shoes in a crash on stage 1 at the Abu Dhabi Tour. He told the press then that he would put a hold on using discs out of respect for my colleagues because I understand the safety issues. On the start line of stage 1 of Paris-Nice, the discs were back.ADVERTISEMENT Oh yes, disc brakes. I think its a good choice for this weather condition. Ive said before that I still believe in the disc brakes and Im convinced by it, Kittel told Cyclingnews. While it still remains unclear as to how the incision in Doulls shoe was made " there were also claims that the Sky riders attire could have been spliced open by a rusty guard rail during the crash " the debate around the technology has rumbled on. In the aftermath of the crash, a body representing the bicycle industry issued a statement rejecting claims that disc brakes are dangerous and should not, in their current form, be permitted for use in professional cycling. The UCI and the (Cyclistes Professionels Associs) CPA are at loggerheads, with the latters rider representative recently telling Cyclingnews, "The sad thing is someone might have to take a bullet for change to happen. You can read more at More...
Contador recovers from illness to race Paris-Nice
March 05, 2017 (20:00) [ Indexed from ]
Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo) has recovered from recent illness to line up at Paris-Nice where he will look to avenge a narrow loss from last year. The Spaniard finished a close second in the Race to the Sun in 2016, finishing four seconds adrift of Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) after losing time in a late split. Contador has already impressed this season with a number of attacking displays and second overall in Ruta del Sol. He is still looking for his first win in Trek colours and will look at Paris-Nice " a race he won for the first time a decade ago " as the ideal opportunity. A cold at the end of February led to a short course of antibiotics but the former Tour de France winner has been given the all-clear to race.ADVERTISEMENT It was just a cold but its under control now and I feel better. I was a little sick on the last stage of the Abu Dhabi Tour. In Andalucia I took antibiotics but I finished them last week and now I feel better and have confidence for the hard part of the race, he told Cyclingnews as he lined up for stage 1 of Paris-Nice in Bois-dArcy. While Contador is in clement health the same could not be said of the weather conditions on stage 1. The rain fell overnight and continued during the sign-on with winds expected during the relatively short but technical stage. Given that Contador lost Paris-Nice last year due to a late split in the bunch, he knows better than most that riders with GC aspirations need to be attentive throughout the race. Every stage is a difficult for GC, he said. We know that in Paris-Nice you can lose everything in one day and today the differences can be bigger than in the mountain stages or the time trial. You need to pay attention and make sure that youre in a good position the whole time. Then you just need to cross your fingers. One rider tasked with keeping Contador is Gregory Rast. The experienced Swiss rider worked for Contador back in their Astana days and also rode as a domestique for Fabian Cancellara. The 37-year-old has the difficult task of supporting Contador and riding for John Degenkolb in the sprints. You can read more at More...
Kwiatkowski proves he is back to his best with Strade Bianche win
March 04, 2017 (20:00) [ Indexed from ]
Michal Kwiatkowski punched the air several times as he arrived alone and victorious in Sienas Piazza del Campo, celebrating a well-deserved win at Strade Bianche but also enjoying his return to success after a difficult first season with Team Sky. The 26-year-old Polish rider had not won a race since last years E3 Harelbeke. He started the 2016 season very skinny, but failed to finish a long series of stage races. He seemed a shadow of the rider who soloed to victory at the 2014 World Championships and won the 2015 Amstel Gold Race. Kwiatkowski cuts a diminutive figure compared to the bulk of the Cobbled classic contenders. He is also softly spoken and clearly emotive yet was not afraid to reveal he had endured a difficult 2016.ADVERTISEMENT "Im very happy to win, but it wasnt all or nothing," Kwiatkowski said during the winners press conference with the written media at Strade Bianche. "Im very happy with how it went. I had a lot of difficulties last season, but now Im happy with the current situation. "I was maybe pushing myself to the limit too much to impress everyone last year. Im not a machine, and sooner or later you pay the bill. I wasnt happy but had great support from the team with my health problems and not finishing races, they always believed in me. I didnt lose my talent, I just had to wait and work hard to get back on the level. "Before I started training [for 2017] I tried to stay calm. My main goal was to be back at my level. Im just happy to be having fun on my bike again." You can read more at More...
Van Avermaet rues missed opportunity at Strade Bianche but enjoys the hard racing
March 04, 2017 (20:00) [ Indexed from ]
Greg van Avermaet (BMC Racing)was disappointed to finish second at Strade Bianche and regretted letting Michal Kwiatkowski (Team Sky) go clear alone with 15km to race, yet he managed to raise a smile after the finish in Sienas Piazza del Campo, knowing he had been in a great race. "It was really old school today. From the fifth or sixth section of dirt roads [with close to 100km left to race], it was full gas to the finish. There was never a moment when you cold recover a little bit," he said. "This was the hardest edition of the race Ive done. It opened up so early and thats why every guy was one against one. Thats what made it so hard. Everybody had to ride on their own. Ive never gone that slow on the climbs... "I think this is a real Classic. Its a fight to the strade, then when you are on the strade its risky and technical. Then with the wind and the rain, you can make the race hard wherever you want. Its such a nice race because all that makes it hard and special. In every sector you have to be there. I love it." Van Avermaet was gracious in defeat but suggested Kwiatkowski was lucky to get away when he did. "I ride to win, but before we got together [in the finale], there was lots of jumping and stopping, jumping and stopping; that kills you even more. He went full gas and went really strong, otherwise he wouldnt have kept the gap. "Its too bad its second, but I think you had to be a little bit lucky. Kwiatkowski was strong, but me, Styby and Wellens were strong too. But you have to have a little bit of luck on who can go and who you make [close] the gap. We were just jumping around like idiots, but thats racing too. More to come in April Van Avermaet is in impressive form for early March. He beat Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) to win Omloop Het Nieuwsblad for a second consecutive time last weekend and showed his form with a series of powerful and aggressive attacks during Strade Bianche.ADVERTISEMENT His winter training was delayed after suffering a non-displaced fibula fracture during a mountain bike ride in November. He underwent surgery but seems to have quickly found his form. He believes there is more to come before he returns to Belgium for the cobbled classics. "I think so," he said optimistically. "I feel good and in shape. I felt fresh today. I took a week of recovery last week because I want a good build-up to the Classics. This was a first goal, and you can see Im up there. I think Tirreno can make me a little bit stronger like always, then it happens: We have three or four chances [in the Classics]. I hope I can catch one." You can read more at More...
Sagan abandons Strade Bianche due to illness
March 04, 2017 (20:00) [ Indexed from ]
Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) was not a contender at Strade Bianche after the world champion was hampered by illness. Sagan started the race in Siena on Saturday morning and said he was riding to win. However, he suffered on the early climbs and sectors of dirt road, eventually quitting the race with 70km to go. He climbed into a Bora-hansgrohe team car after the seventh sector of dirt road. "I havent been feeling well for the past three days, and when I woke up this morning I was feeling weak and had a sore throat," Sagan said in a statement released by the team after the race. "However, the Strade Bianche is a prestigious race and I started today out of respect for the thousands of Italian fans who came to watch.ADVERTISEMENT "I started and tried to do my best and race as much as I could," Sagan said. "Around 75km after the start, I got tangled in a big pile-up and suffered a deep cut in my finger that will probably require a couple of stitches, as well as a hit to my left knee. I went on, but at 95km I decided to retire." Sagan finished fourth last year and has twice been second at Strade Bianche. He was expected to clash with Greg van Avermaet (BMC) and the other big-name riders after impressing in Belgium last week with his second place at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and then victory at Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne. The Bora-Hansgrohe team said via social media that Sagan has been feeling unwell before the start of the race but wanted to ride as much of it as possible despite being under the weather. " BORA " hansgrohe (@BORAhansgrohe) March 4, 2017 You can read more at More...
Bike industry body disputes disc brake involvement in Doull crash
February 28, 2017 (20:00) [ Indexed from ]
A body representing the bicycle industry has issued a statement rejecting claims that disc brakes are dangerous and should not, in their current form, be permitted for use in professional cycling. The WFSGI " World Federation of the Sporting Goods Industry " has waded into the debate following Owain Doulls claim that Marcel Kittels disc brake sliced into his shoe during a crash at last weeks Abu Dhabi Tour. "My shoe was cut to pieces. That's definitely a disc brake that has done that," Doull told Cyclingnews after the incident. Doull's account has been disputed by the WFSGI, which issued its statement in its capacity as a representative of bicycle and component manufacturers.ADVERTISEMENT "The investigation into the accident of Owain Doull is still ongoing and the available material is being studied carefully," the statement read. "After the first material and image investigations, we can say that a disk brake accident can, most likely, be excluded." The statement does not specify which materials were studied to reach this preliminary conclusion on the Doull incident. The body also said that it had commissioned Swiss forensic analyst Ulrich Zollinger to study the injury sustained by Francisco Ventoso during last years Paris-Roubaix, and linked to his report in its statement. Zollinger stated that the Ventosos injury "could not be reasonably explained" and concluded that "every sharp part of a bicycle poses a certain risk of injury." The WFSGI statement voiced support for the UCI's working group on disc brakes, which includes representatives from bike manufacturers, riders' association the CPA and teams' association the AIGCP. Trial of disc brakes set to continue despite CPA threat of legal action You can read more at More...
Ferrand-Prevot set for Canyon-SRAM debut at Strade Bianche
February 28, 2017 (20:00) [ Indexed from ]
Pauline Ferrand-Prevot will make her long-awaited Canyon-SRAM debut at this weekends Strade Bianche. Ferrand-Prevot hasnt raced since the Olympic Games last August after injury meant she only competed on the road for nine days during the whole of last season. Following the disappointment of only managing 26th at the Olympics, Ferrand-Prevot called cycling her biggest nightmare. The change in team over the winter has given her a new sense of purpose as she looks to put the past 12 months or so behind her, and she is excited to get her season finally underway. I think Im in good shape, but you dont really know until youre in the race. Im looking forward to joining my teammates again since our December training camp in Mallorca. I want to be good enough that I can help my team on Saturday. Already I am excited and a little nervous, she said.ADVERTISEMENT I like the gravel roads there, and the profiles of climbs are short and steep, which suit me when Im in good shape. The downhill sections are technical, and I really like these. Ferrand-Prevot rode Strade Bianche for the first time last season with the Rabo-Liv team, finishing 11th, 1:23 behind the winner Lizzie Deignan. The rest of the Canyon-SRAM line-up were all in action at last weekends Omloop Het Nieuwsblad. Alena Amialiusik, Tiffany Cromwell, Alexis Ryan, Trixi Worrack and Italian champion Elena Cecchini will all head to Italy this weekend, with Lisa Brennauer the only member of the Omloop squad to skip the race. It will be Cecchinis first time at Strade Bianche since finishing 10th on the debut edition in 2015. You can read more at More...
Bradley Wiggins doctor pulls out of anti-doping select hearing due to illness
February 28, 2017 (20:00) [ Indexed from ]
The latest and potentially conclusive meeting of the Department of Culture Media and Sport (DCMS) anti-doping select committee takes place on Wednesday afternoon at the Palace of Westminster when the details of the UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) investigation into Team Sky are expected to be revealed. Appearing at the meeting will be Nicole Sapstead, Chief Executive of UKAD, and former British Cycling women's road manager Simon Cope, who delivered the now infamous Jiffy bag to Dr Richard Freeman and Bradley Wiggins at the 2011 Critrium du Dauphin. The hearing, which is not under oath, was moved to March 1 to accommodate Cope who has been at a Team Wiggins training camp. Freeman had been scheduled to appear in front of the committee but the Press Association have reported that the doctor emailed thecommittee's chairman Damian Collins MP on Tuesday stating that he was too ill to attend. Freeman was set to face questions over the delivery and need for the package during the 2011 Dauphine, as well as the administration ofFluimucil given to Bradley Wiggins at the end of the race. According to the Guardian a spokesperson for the committee said that Freeman may have the options of supplying written testimony or face the committee at a later date. Freeman no longer works for Team Sky but has remained in his position at British Cycling.ADVERTISEMENT Julian Knight MP, part of the committee took to Twitter once news of Freeman's decision not to attend was made public. "News to me. I trust if true Dr Freeman recovers very soon and is then able to appear before us to answer important questions." The Jiffy-gate affair, as some have dubbed it, has now been running since last autumn, and, allied to questions over Team Sky's use of TUEs during Wiggins' Grand Tour schedules, prompted a UKAD investigation into both Sky and British Cycling. During the last DCMS hearing in December, Team Sky principal Dave Brailsford informed the committee that team doctor Freeman had told him that the Jiffy bag delivered to Wiggins contained a decongestant. "It was Fluimucil," Brailsford said. Following that hearing, the committee, chaired by MP Damian Collins, requested that evidence was provided of this medication being administered to Wiggins. You can read more at More...
Tour de France 2018 to start on Passage du Gois
February 28, 2017 (20:00) [ Indexed from ]
The 2018 Tour de France Grand Depart will include two road stages in the Vende region, an official start at the often submerged Passage du Gois road from the island of Noirmoutier-en-l'le, followed by a 35km team time trial around Cholet on stage 3. It is the sixth time the Vendee region has hosted the Grand Dpart and comes seven years after the 2011 Grand Dpart in the area. The first edition of the Tour de France back in 1903 passed through the area during the key stage between Bordeaux and Nantes. The Puy du Fou theme park hosted the Grand Dpart in 1993, when Miguel Indurain won the 6.8km prologue time trial and went on to win the race in Paris.ADVERTISEMENT In 1999 the Tour de France covered the Passage du Gois during stage two, with crashes and echelons splitting the peloton. Alex Zulle (Banesto), Ivan Gotti (Polti) and Michael Boogerd (Rabobank) lost more than six minutes. The race last set out from the Vende six years ago, when Thomas Voeckler from local outfit Europcar went on to have an inspired Tour de France, wearing the race leader's yellow jersey for ten days and finishing fourth overall in Paris. The 37-year-old Frenchman plans to retire after this year's Tour de France. Stage 1 covers 195km between Noirmoutier-En-L'le and Fontenay-Le-Comte, with much of the stage following the twisting Vende coastline after the riders cross the Passage du Gois. Crosswinds and echelons could be an immediate problem for the overall contenders. The finish is close to the home to Jean-Ren Bernaudeau and the headquarters of his Direct Energie team. " Le Tour de France (@LeTour) February 28, 2017 " Le Tour de France (@LeTour) February 28, 2017 You can read more at More...
Sagan, Van Avermaet and Vanmarcke could face fine for sidewalk riding at Omloop
February 28, 2017 (20:00) [ Indexed from ]
Peter Sagan, Greg Van Avermaet and Sep Vanmarcke could all face a fine for riding on the pavement during Saturdays Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, according to Sporza. The riders escaped any punishment immediately following the race, despite several riders stating that theyd been informed they would be disqualified if they used bike paths or pavements during cobbled sectors. "The regulations say that riders can be fined if they ride on a separate bike path. A report has certainly been prepared, which has been sent to the UCI, who now decides whether it will or will not go to the disciplinary committee. That could still get a fine. The names of the riders are not important, it's the principle," UCI commissaire Guy Dobbelaere told Sporza. The use of pavements and bike paths during races, particularly the cobbled variety, has been a thorn in the side of race officials for many years. They have repeatedly tried to stop riders taking shortcuts and seeking smoother surfaces but have struggled the UCI rules.ADVERTISEMENT Ahead of Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, commissaires told riders that they risked being thrown from the race if they either pavements or bike paths. However, TV images clearly showed that the leading group rode on the pavement during the Karel Martelstraat section of cobbled. As the chasing group went through, a commissaire was stationed on the pavement, forcing the riders to complete the entire sector on the cobbles. While some such as Luke Rowe were a bit more pragmatic about the incident, saying that there would have been no chance to catch the group whether they had used the cobbles or the pavement, many were angered by it. Trek-Segafredo, whose Fabio Felline finished fourth, went to the commissaires immediately after the race to file a complaint. Despite the protestations, Dobbelaere said that to disqualify the group of riders would have been too harsh. He added that the rule was open to interpretation but he sympathises with those that feel they have been hard done by. You can read more at More...
Jolien D'hoore puts Wiggle on the map with win - Women's Shorts
February 27, 2017 (20:00) [ Indexed from ]
It is not even March (yet) but that hasnt stopped the pressure forming on teams that havent secured a win this season. Wiggle High5 can breathe a sigh of relief, however, after Belgian sprinter Jolien Dhoore secured their first victory of the seaon at the Omloop van het Hageland on Sunday. Dhoore beat former Wiggle teammate Chloe Hosking to the line, with Sarah Roy (Orica-Scott Women) rounding out the podium. I felt really good today, and the team was really strong, Dhoore said after the race.ADVERTISEMENT Wiggle had come up short in the previous days edition of the Womens Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, with Dhoore finishing seventh and her teammate, Elisa Longo Borghini, claiming fifth. The Italian was in the thick of the action on Sunday and attacked several times. Her final assault came in the final kilometres and despite holding an advantage over the peloton she was caught inside the final 500 meters. Wiggle were not to be denied, however, and Dhoore edged out the competition to take a deserved victory. I was a little bit surprised by it, because of the race yesterday, but we went into the race with a plan. Elisa was on the attack, and I was in a breakaway once, and the other girls helped us amazingly, and in the end it all worked out. Elisa was going for the win, Dhoore added. The plan was that she attacked on the last climb of the last lap. She would go for the win, definitely, and I had to be there just in case we caught her back before the finish. Brand makes winning debut at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad Blaak survives crash to take second in Omloop Het Nieuwsblad Lepisto finds form in Belgium You can read more at More...
Greipel shrugs off Abu Dhabi Tour defeat ahead of Paris-Nice
February 27, 2017 (20:00) [ Indexed from ]
Andre Greipel (Lotto Soudal) shrugged off any disappointment at the Abu Dhabi Tour despite missing out on a stage win. The German sprinter came into the race in hot form after winning at the Challenge Mallorca, backing that up with a stage and the Green jersey at the Volta ao Algarve.However in the hotly contested sprints in Abu Dhabi the 34-year-old came up short with a second, third and ninth place finishes. Greipel was not the only sprinter to miss out on a stage but Mark Cavendish, Marcel Kittel and the ever-improving Caleb Ewan all tasted success. Heavy rain affected Sundays final night-time stage on the Yas Marina F1 circuit, and despite a late charge, Greipel could not overhaul Ewan or Cavendish.ADVERTISEMENT I think it was a nice week. Normally we are there for the sprints and the guys really went all in to support me. Today we even got some seconds with Rafa [Rafael Valls] in the front and we just can be happy that we didnt crash today and the week was quite successful. Okay, we didnt win a stage but we made the best out of it I think, Greipel said. The main priority for the riders competing on the Yas Marina Formula One circuit was to remain upright and the peloton rode tempo for much of the race. The sprint teams chased down an early break before increasing the pace in the final few laps. First of all I think it looked maybe worse than it was, Greipel explained. You can read more at More...
Adam Yates: Fourth in the Tour means little at the Giro d'Italia
February 27, 2017 (20:00) [ Indexed from ]
He claims that there is only pressure from himself when it comes to racing the Giro dItalia but Adam Yates is determined to produce back-to-back performances at Grand Tours when he competes in the first three-week race of the season in May. Yates, who finished fourth in the Tour de France last year and won the best young classification, heads to the Corsa Rosa alongside his twin brother Simon, and together they will spearhead Orica-Scotts GC bid. Success at such a prestigious and difficult race is a formidable challenge, especially with a string of more experienced rivals set to line up at the 100th edition of the event. As long as Im in the top ten thats fine, Adam toldCyclingnews when asked about his ambitions.ADVERTISEMENT Ive only ridden GC once in a Grand Tour. Its not like Ive come fourth in the Tour and now Im going to challenge for the win at the Giro. Id love to be up there and challenging for the win but its way too early to be making these big calls and say I want to do this, and I want to do that. If Im top ten, thats an achievement. Back-to-back performances would certainly strengthen Yates' position in the team and show progression for a rider who is still within the age parameters for the best young rider classifications. In the Tour de France last year he took a measured approach in the mountains but was consistent throughout the race. That mindset will serve him well in May but he is well aware that the Giro d'Italia is a far different beast to tame than the Tour de France. On television the Giro looks more demanding. I wouldnt say that the Tour is less predictable but everyone there works for one goal, whereas at the Giro you have more second tier guys who arent afraid to have a go and create carnage. Ive not raced there before, or in Italy that much, apart from Tirreno-Adriatico, but well go there and see what happens. The goal is long-term development You can read more at More...
Van Garderen: Lack of motivation is never the issue
February 26, 2017 (20:00) [ Indexed from ]
Following a quiet start to the season at the Abu Dhabi Tour " and a winter of public speculation over his apparent Grand Tour rut " Tejay van Garderen (BMC Racing) won't put a number on what will constitute a successful Giro d'Italia campaign. The Abu Dhabi Tour, with its newly-minted WorldTour status, attracted some of the world's best climbers despite there being only a single 15-km hilltop finish at Jebel Hafeet for them to test their legs in an otherwise flat race. It was on that ascent that Van Garderen was left disappointed with his season debut, as he went out too quickly and then lost contact with the main group, which comprised Nairo Quintana (Movistar) and other likely Giro contenders in May.ADVERTISEMENT "I was confident, I was ready to race, I had the team put me in a good position," said Van Garderen, who revealed he was suffering from a cold. "They did a perfect job, they really ramped it up at the start of the climb and kind of put me in the red. Normally I can go into the red and then, once it settles down, recover and regain the rhythm. But this time I went into the red and just kind of blew up. "You can chalk that down to either the bug, or maybe just it being my first race. I don't want to make excuses. I'm not happy with my performance but at the same time I'm also not panicking because I know I put in a good winter. I'm confident in the work that I did up until this point." Van Garderen was heralded as a successor to Tour de France champion Cadel Evans when he joined BMC but has been unable to reprise the form he produced to take two fifth overall places finishes, in 2012 and 2014. This year he has left the Tour to teammate Richie Porte. You can read more at More...
Zakarin can make the podium at the Giro d'Italia, says Konyshev
February 26, 2017 (20:00) [ Indexed from ]
Ilnur Zakarin is confident he can finish on the podium of the Giro d'Italia this year, with his Katusha-Alpecin sports director Dimitri Konyshev convinced the Russian will win a Grand Tour before his career is out. And after an inconspicuous start at the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana, considerable weight was added to those hopes on the queen stage of the Abu Dhabi Tour on Saturday, where Zakarin rode away from what was pretty much the entire cast of this year's Giro favourites, though he was just pipped for the stage win by Rui Costa. "I felt very good today and I'm happy with this results as I have recently trained hard at Mount Teide," said Zakarin, who distanced Nairo Quintana, Vincenzo Nibali, Fabio Aru, Bauke Mollema, Tom Dumoulin, and Steven Kruijswijk " who will all feature in Italy in May. "This is the fruit of that hard work and I'm happy."ADVERTISEMENT The Russian, who was banned for two years in 2009 for using anabolic steroids, was in a strong position at last year's Giro until two crashes on the Chianti time trial dented his push for the podium. Still lying fifth overall, his race ended when he crashed dramatically on the descent of the Colle dell'Agnello two days from Milan. "At the Giro he had a very bad experience last year," Konyshev told Cyclingnews in Al Ain on the morning of the Abu Dhabi queen stage. "Talking about the podium is always difficult and in the last five days everything can change, but I think [without the crash] top five we could have done easily. "The only thing he missed last year was experience. Now we have some. I cannot say he has a lot of experience but he has some. So this year we are thinking about the first three places, I think he's able to do that. He's much more experienced than last year. It was really the first three-week race as a leader. So he gained a lot of experience. Also with how to program the race. We made a couple of mistakes last year in terms of preparation for the Giro. He was too good at the beginning, and worse towards the end. We've changed his calendar and training a bit to try to organize it better." You can read more at More...
Boonen ruled out of Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne by stomach problems
February 26, 2017 (20:00) [ Indexed from ]
Tom Boonen will not start Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne due to illness. His Quick-Step Floors team announced the news via Twitter shortly before the start of Sundays race. The Belgian is due to return to action at Tirreno-Adriatico, which gets underway on March 8. Unfortunately, @tomboonen1 won't start #KBK due to stomach problems. Have a fast recovery, Tom, and see you in #Tirreno! read the Quick-Step Floors teams tweet. Boonen abandoned Saturdays Omloop Het Nieuwsblad after crashing twice, with the second incident occurring just before the race ignited on the Taaienberg. Although Boonen remounted and gave chase, he abandoned shortly afterwards with an eye to Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne, only for stomach problems to rule him out of the second instalment of Belgiums Opening Weekend.ADVERTISEMENT Boonen is in the final weeks in the professional peloton, and he will retire after Paris-Roubaix on April 9. His abandon on Saturday means that he will retire without inscribing Omloop Het Nieuwsblad to his palmars, while his withdrawal from Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne means that he forgoes the chance of adding to his record tally of three victories. More to follow... You can read more at More...
Kristoff takes aim at Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne after Omloop crash
February 26, 2017 (20:00) [ Indexed from ]
Alexander Kristoff was a forlorn sight at the bottom of a pile-up in the lead-in to the Taaienberg during Saturdays Omloop Het Nieuwsblad. Despite the incident, his Katusha-Alpecin team is confident that he can still lead them at Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne, where he has finished second in each of the past two seasons. The Norwegian had to be picked off the ground by his directeur sportif Torsten Schmidt following the huge crash. Kristoff would get back on his bike but he abandoned around 10 kilometres later and headed straight for the team hotel. The decision was made with an eye to Sundays Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne, as Kristoff was well and truly out of contention in Omloop by that point. Tom Boonen (Quick-Step Floors) was caught up in the same crash and also abandoned soon afterwards. He quit the race because he was so far away there was no sense to continue, said Schmidt. We had to completely change his bike. He lost some skin but hes ok and he will start the race tomorrow. Kristoff suffered some minor abrasions to his neck and Schmidt expects him to be a bit sore at the start of the day, but he said Katusha-Alpecin will set out with optimism on Sunday.ADVERTISEMENT For sure, he will have some pain in the muscles in the neck but the team has good people to look after him, Schmidt explained. We have some tough guys in the team. Already in the race we were talking about tomorrow and they will start with a good attitude and theyll be in the mood to win. In the sprint, it would be difficult to win with another guy. We have to see how it is its 200k and many things can happen before the finish line. Asked by a Norwegian journalist to estimate how long it had been since Kristoff had endured his last serious crash in a race, Schmidt mimed knocking on wood and estimated two years. The journalist responded that it had in fact been some 962 days since Kristoff had taken a similar tumble. You can read more at More...
Fizik investigating if disc brakes can slice through its shoes
February 25, 2017 (20:00) [ Indexed from ]
Cycling manufacturer Fizik may consider impact testing in its investigation to determine if disc brakes can legitimately slice through its shoe products following a hotly-debated crash at the Abu Dhabi Tour. Owain Doull sustained superficial wounds to his foot after his left R1B model shoe was cleanly sliced through in a stage one crash that involved Marcel Kittel, who was using disc brakes in the race. Doull and his Sky teammates attributed the straight slit to the toe of the shoe to Kittels disc brakes. There has since been speculation, however, that the damage could have been caused by a race barrier.ADVERTISEMENT Fizik global sport marketing manager Nicolo Ildos has no first-hand evidence, but said it was possible disc brakes could have inflicted the damage. Id like to see the outcome of the official investigation before providing final statements, but Ive never seen such a cut on a Fizik shoe, and we do have more than 50 pro riders wearing our shoes, so unfortunately we have collected a lot of crashes over the years, Ildos told Cyclingnews. This cut is different. Its over clean, straight and deep so the most plausible cause is for sure a sharp edge, like a chain " but I havent seen any grease " the edge of the barriers, or maybe the disc. You can read more at More...
Roche: Team Sky and BMC only have minor differences
February 25, 2017 (20:00) [ Indexed from ]
Nicolas Roche has found a happy medium and wont have to reinvent himself at new team BMC Racing this season. The Irish national road champion has forged a career as a dynamic rider, with BMC his sixth professional team since turning professional in 2004. Ive been through every single phase, from leading out sprints with Thor Hushovd, to riding in the mountains on my own account, to helping out some of the best riders in the world, to doing a bit of both, Roche told Cyclingnews. Its quite nice to be able to have different phases through my career, to have different roles and Im always excited every year anyway. Save for the jersey, Roche noted little difference between BMC and its rival Team Sky. He arrives at BMC after a two-year-stint with the Grand Tour-winning powerhouse.ADVERTISEMENT Every team has its own little habits more than anything else. At the end of the day, its a bunch of guys riding a bicycle and at this stage, its going from one of the best teams to another one of the best teams, so the differences are very minor, he said. The two outfits are due to clash at the Tour de France this year, with Roche set to support challenger Richie Porte in what will be the Australians second title bid and his first as sole leasing, having shared responsibility with Tejay van Garderen in 2016. Ive known Tejay now a good few years but Richie even more. We train together quite a lot in Monaco, we were together already at Sky and Im quite looking forward to being with him, Roche said. You can read more at More...
Dougall is Dimension Data's Tour de Langkawi lucky charm
February 25, 2017 (20:00) [ Indexed from ]
Although Dimension Data's 2015 and 2016 Tour de Langkawi winners in Youcef Reguigui and Reinardt Janse Van Rensburg, respectively, declined to defend their titles, Nick Dougall is back in Malaysia eyeing off a third consecutive team victory. The British-born South African is one of the key men for current race leader Ryan Gibbons in the sprints but will also be crucial for Mekseb Debesay and Ben O'Connor on the queen stage to Cameron Highlands. "There is always pressure when you come to races and expectation, most of all, you put on yourself," Dougall told Cyclingnews. "We come here wanting to repeat what we've done the last two years and try and win. We have a lot of cards to play. We brought a strong team with a lot of depth.ADVERTISEMENT "We have a good mix of younger guys and guys with experience. Jacques has been at the race six times, I have done it three times. Ryan's obviously new, but he raced in Europe last year, and Adrien [Niyonshuti] has been with the team for almost nine years now. It is a good team, and I am really enjoying working with the team this year." While the 24-year-old is focused on the job at hand, Dougall is also eyeing the race as a preparation for the cobbled classics, his first major aim for the season. "It would be good to get in a break at some point if the opportunity presents itself and really use the race as a workout before the classics," he said. "I really want to go well there, and I think it is really good build up. I am looking forward to making the race as hard as I can for myself." You can read more at More...
Loh Sea Keong is king of the Tour de Langkawi breakaways
February 25, 2017 (20:00) [ Indexed from ]
Having taken a break from cycling in 2016, Malaysian Loh Sea Keong (Thailand Continental Cycling Team) is back with a vengeance at the Tour de Langkawi. Three stages into the race and the 30-year-old has been active in the breakaways driven by the ambition of winning a stage. In 21 previous editions of the 2.HC race, just one Malaysian has won a stage, Anaur Manan in 2010, a statistic that Keong is determined to change in 2017. "I try to get away and maybe one day we get a big gap get a stage win," he told Cyclingnews after the stage 3 finish in Pantai Remis and another day in the break. "It depends on who is in the break, but unfortunately today ended up with only three guys with smaller capabilities of going into the final.ADVERTISEMENT "If we have a few guys with bigger engines, then maybe we can make it. It also depends if the peloton hesitates or they really want a bunch sprint. They really wanted a bunch sprint today and we got nowhere." Keong and his breakaway companion, Stepan Astafyev (Vino Astana Motors), were caught inside four kilometers to race, with Jakub Mareczko (Wilier Triestina) winning the bunch sprint. With Saturday the Queen stage of the race up Cameron Highlands, Keong will rest his legs and let the GC men battle it out for the victory. From stage 5 onwards, he will again commit to his goal of victory on appearance number 11 in Langkawi. You can read more at More...
Doull claims Kittel's 'lethal' disc brake bike almost caused serious injury
February 23, 2017 (20:00) [ Indexed from ]
Owain Doull has called for disc brakes to be banned unless protective casings are introduced after suffering a crash on the opening day of the Abu Dhabi Tour in which one of Marcel Kittels rotors slashed through his shoe. The Team Sky riderhit the deck with a kilometre remaining and showed Cyclingnews and other reporters his left shoe, which had a straight cut in two parts running almost the entire length of the forefoot. Standing receiving treatment for road rash on his backside, Doull pointed to his foot, where a cut " fortunately not too deep " was showing through a tear in his sock.ADVERTISEMENT "My shoe was cut to pieces. Thats definitely a disc brake that has done that, said Doull. "Its gone straight through the shoe into my foot. Its lucky thats not my leg to be honest. If anything Ive come off lucky there, if thatd been my leg it would have cut straight through it, for sure. Youve seen my shoe " its gone straight through that." "Nothing else could cut like that, its like a knife, it cut straight through it. You can see that thin line, its exactly in line, cut there and cut there on my shoe and both straight through in an arrow-straight line." Disc brakes: UCI calls on CPA to 'respect the democratic process' Kittel disc brake success sparks debate in the Dubai Tour peloton Dubai Tour: Kittel savours his first win on disc brakes Marcel Kittel's custom Specialized S-Works Venge ViAS disc " Gallery You can read more at More...

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