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Giro d'Italia stage 7 highlights - Video
May 13, 2016 (18:15) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
ADVERTISEMENT German sprinter Andre Greipel (Lotto Soudal)took his second stage victory at this years Giro dItalia on stage 7 and gave Lotto Soudal a third consecutive victory with another well-timed sprint victory. Greipel was forced to come from behind but powered through to take the win. Tom Dumoulin (Giant Alpecin) retained his lead and wears the pink jersey into stage 8. You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Giro d'Italia stage 7: Finish line quotes
May 13, 2016 (18:15) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
Andre Greipel (Lotto Soudal) "It was a hard day, a really hard day. There was a strong break upfront but my team did an amazing job again. They killed themselves to bring the race back together. We hit the front early and but I was happy to find a gap, get through and win. "We knew it was going to be a tricky finish with the corners and the crosswinds. The guys did an amazing job in the last 6km to ride all the time at the front. I had two guys going a bit too early maybe, but they were over the moon with their performances. I was looking for a wheel to follow, I thought it was going to be too late but luckily I found a way through. I still had good power left so I was looking for a gap and Modolo stayed on his line so I found the gap and launched my sprint. Before this we were already happy with the Giro so far and now we have three of the seven stages so it has been amazing." Tom Dumoulin(Giant Alpecin)ADVERTISEMENT "Nippo did a strange move again to get Cunego in the break. I think next time Ill just push him into the break because its really annoying. "On the climb they went really fast and there were a lot of attacks and the bunch split but I had Tobias Ludvigsson with me and eventually a good break went, and everything came back and it was fairly controlled. "I did Strade Bianche two times and I really liked it. Im looking forward to tomorrow." You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Konig slated to return at Dauphine or Tour de Suisse
May 13, 2016 (18:15) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
Final overall victory at the Giro dItalia may usually fall to the best-equipped individual, but the scare Alberto Contador endured at the hands of Astanas collective might last year was a stark illustration of the importance of the team. Running the rule over the support available to the favourites for this years crown on Thursday morning, Gazzetta dello Sport trumpeted Vincenzo Nibalis Astana team as the pick of the race, but questioned the Sky squad at the disposal of Mikel Landa. Astana has the strongest team. Landa, whos helping you? read the headline. While Sky has a solid team at this Giro " Nicolas Roche, Philip Deignan and Mikel Nieve have all finished in the top ten of Grand Tours, after all " it is true that the line-up supporting Landa is not as star-studded as was originally planned when he arrived at the British squad last winter.ADVERTISEMENT For one reason or another, no fewer than three of the men originally slated to play key roles in Landas Giro bid were unable to make it to the start in Apeldoorn, with Leopold Knig, Beat Intxausti and Sergio Henao were all ruled out in the weeks leading up to the race. Knig began his season as normal with consistent showings at the Challenge Mallorca and the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana but has not raced since finishing in 10th place overall in Valencia on February 7. 6th overall in last years Giro " and 7th in the previous years Tour de France " Knigs absence from the Sky roster during the spring was the source of some puzzlement in the Czech press, due to an initial lack of information on the matter. You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Dumoulin undaunted by Giro dItalias first summit finish at Roccaraso
May 11, 2016 (20:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
The 17-kilometre haul out of Castel di Sangro to Roccaraso has been conquered by the likes of Fausto Coppi (1953), Bernard Hinault (1980) and Moreno Argentin (1987) at the Giro dItalia, but the current holder of the maglia rosa, Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin), seems unperturbed by the Abruzzese climb on the eve of the first summit finish of this years race. Dumoulin fulfilled expectations by landing the opening time trial in Apeldoorn and moving into the pink jersey of race leader in his native Netherlands. Now that the race is back on Italian roads, the question is whether he can proceed to exceed expectations as he did at last years Vuelta a Espaa. Dumoulin surprised by leading that race into the penultimate stage to Cercedilla, before eventually cracking and sliding to sixth place overall in Madrid, but despite that flowering of his abilities over three weeks, he arrived at this Giro insisting that he is not harbouring realistic ambitions of a high overall finish.ADVERTISEMENT Im actually repeating myself every day, Dumoulin smiled during his press conference in Benevento on Wednesday. I prepared the Vuelta differently, with an eye to be good in the high mountains and I havent done that for the Giro, with an eye to the time trials this year [namely the Rio 2016 Olympics - ed.] Even so, Dumoulin holds a 16-second lead over Bob Jungels (Etixx-QuickStep) ahead of the Giros first mountaintop finish, while Vincenzo Nibali (Astana), a further ten seconds down, is the best of the overall favourites. With Sundays Chianti time trial seemingly tailored to Dumoulins specifications, Nibali, Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) et al would dearly like to discommode the pink jersey before then. But while Dumoulin remains sceptical of his long-term chances, at least in public, he is upbeat about his prospects in the coming days. You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Nibali: Roccaraso could tell us something and it could tell us nothing
May 11, 2016 (20:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
To coincide with the Giro dItalia, an Italian telecommunications company has organised a competition asking fans to vote for the most aggressive rider on each stage. They perhaps should have foreseen the obvious catch in their strategy: for Italians, there can only be one winner of this Giro. Four stages in, Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) had been voted as Ciclista del Cuore (favourite rider, or literally: rider of the heart) four times out of a possible four. And so before the start each morning, the Sicilian sheepishly accepts his prize " a new smartphone " on the signing-on podium, to tumultuous cheers from the gathered tifosi. There have been fewer gifts on offer out on the road, mind, as Nibali found when he lost four seconds at Benevento on stage 5 after the peloton broke up on the finishing circuit, where only 12 riders " including Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) and dark horse Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha) " were awarded the same time as winner Andr Greipel (Lotto-Soudal).ADVERTISEMENT It was quite nervous in the finale but nothing special, Nibali said as he sat on the steps of the Astana bus afterwards. I was together with [Mikel] Landa. I didnt see where the gap was formed and I didnt see how it opened up, because four seconds are really a lot. The peloton was lined out but from what I could make out, I didnt see gaps. At that point, barely half an hour after the stage, the official results had not yet been published and " with the afternoon schedules polemica quotient doubtless in mind " one television reporter wondered if Nibali had grounds to appeal the lost time and restore the small buffer he built up over Valverde in Fridays opening time trial. If its confirmed, then so be it, said Nibali, who had little desire for a melodrama at this early juncture. But there was a crash in the finale too and normally when theres a crash they neutralise the times. We didnt sit up [after the crash], we continued right to the finish as normal, and it was only right to do that. But if the rules are respected, theyd give us all the same time. If not, then 4 seconds arent a lot and thats ok too. Roccaraso You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Greipel seizes the day in Giro d'Italia
May 11, 2016 (20:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
A long, steady, uphill dash for the line at Benevento on Wednesday netted Andr Greipel (Lotto-Soudal) the fourth Giro d'Italia victory of his career, continuing Greipel's unwritten personal tradition of taking least one stage win in every Grand Tour he has started since 2008. After his first ever Grand Tour, the Vuelta a Espaa in 2007 - where, although not winning, he still managed two fourth places behind Alessandro Petacchi on stage 11 and Daniele Bennati on stage 17 - Greipel then went on to win in Locarno on stage 17 of the 2008 Giro d'Italia. Since then, the stage victories have kept on coming. At 33, his total Grand Tour tally of wins now stands at 18 and within that total Greipel's versatility is such that he has won everything from uphill sprints like Benevento - "I won one like that in Saint-Quentin in the [2012] Tour," Greipel recalled - to the much flatter challenges like the Champs Elyses last year in the Tour, and just about everything else in between.ADVERTISEMENT The first of the fast men to start his stage five Giro sprint after a very tricky and technical few corners in the closing kilometres, Greipel said later how he had performed when he raced around the 6.5 kilometre finishing circuit had considerably boosted his self-confidence for going for the win. "The whole stage was quite hard, actually, there were 3,000 vertical metres of climbing. But we had planned before the stage that we really had to be the whole time in the top ten to stay out of trouble. We knew it was going to be hard, and the team did a really amazing job to keep me up there." "Then when I crossed the finishing line for the first time, I thought ok, this is not what I expected' and I still had some power in my legs. So I really believed in myself today." More on this story: Giro d'Italia: Greipel wins stage 5 Giro dItalia stage 5: Finish line quotes Giro dItalia stage 5 highlights " Video You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Giro d'Italia stage 5 highlights - Video
May 11, 2016 (20:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
Andre Greipel (Lotto-Soudal) continued his run of Giro dItalia victories in each of his appearances when he claimed victory on stage 5 into Benevento. The German went early but had more than enough strength to hold off the challengers and won by a significant margin. Arnaud Demare (FDJ) was the only rider that could get close to him and finished second, while Sonny Colbrelli (Bardiani CSF) finished third. Points classification leader Marcel Kittel (Etixx-QuickStep) was dropped in the lumpy finale and finished well back on his compatriot.ADVERTISEMENT The day started with a 35km ascent to the top of the first climb with Damiano Cunego (Nippo-Vini Fantini) taking the point at the top to extend his lead in the mountains classification. It wasnt until then that the breakaway slipped away. For men made up the move, Daniel Oss (BMC), Alexander Foliforov (Gazprom), Amets Txurukka (Orica-GreenEdge), Pavel Brutt (Tinkoff). They had a maximum of seven minutes before they were caught inside the final 10 kilometres. Watch the video above and click here to subscribe to the Cyclingnews video channel. You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Aggressive strategy pays off for Giant-Alpecin - Giro d'Italia Shorts
May 10, 2016 (20:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
Giant-Alpecin's director Marc Reef said that his team's plan going into stage 4 of the Giro d'Italia was primarily an offensive one, which in the end, proved to be a fruitful strategy given that it put Tom Dumoulin back in the maglia rosa, whileGeorg Preidler is in fifth overall. Dumoulin finished second on the stage, five seconds behind solo stage winner Diego Ulissi (Lampre-Merida), and it was enough to move him back in to the overall lead.Preidler finished an additional one second behind, in the select group that made it over the final climb of the day. "It was a very fast start to the race today with some dangerous riders for the GC in the early break. Therefore, the bunch was always in control and the gap never exceeded the 3',"Reef said.ADVERTISEMENT "The plan before the stage was to race offensively and we decided to open up on the first climb of the day. We needed to do something because we had four guys in the top 10 and there was a big possibility to go for a stage victory or to regain the leader's jersey. "On the final climb of the day, Georg was able to follow the first group as Tom remained in the GC group. He followed his instinct and sprinted to the second place and managed to retake the pink jersey. The team rode a very impressive race and they executed the plan very well." You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Rally Cycling, Holowesko-Citadel announce Tour of California rosters
May 10, 2016 (20:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
US Continental teams Rally Cycling and Holowesko-Citadel today announced their respective rosters for the Tour of California, which starts Sunday in San Diego. Rally Cyclling will feature a multi-pronged approach, with Rob Britton and Danny Pate riding for the General Classification, with opportunists like Evan Huffman, Adam de Vos and Will Routley shooting for stage wins. Britton, who was 10th last year in California while riding for SmartStop, recently finished third overall at the Tour of the Gila in New Mexico. During the Tour of the Gila I was climbing very well, said Britton That was made possible by the work the team did before the climbs. A lot of the same guys from Gila are going to the Tour of California so that bodes very well for us. Last year I was 10th overall and I would like to improve on that. The team has had some great preparation and I'm really looking forward to the race getting underway.ADVERTISEMENT Recent Tour of the Gila time trial winner Tom Zirbel didnt make the list for Rally, but Routley won a stage at the 2014 Tour of California and took the mountains jersey. Jesse Anthony, Pierrick Naud and Emerson Oronte round out the eight-rider roster. Holowesko will feature Travis McCabe, a Tour of the Gila stage winner and current runner-up in the USA Cycling Pro Road Tour individual standings, for the fast finishes and harder sprint stages. Robin Carpenter will doubtlessly end up in several breakaways, while the team'sgenerally aggressive racing style will see everyone have a chance. Look forJon Hornbeck and Rob Squire to fly the teams colours on the climbs. In 2015 Holowesko-Citadel, racing as Hincapie Sportswear, took a stage win and the race lead for three days with Toms Skujins, who has since moved on to Cannondale.Oscar Clark, Adnzs Flaksis, Andrei Krasilnikau and Joe Lewis round out the Holowesko roster. You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Hesjedal concedes early ground at Giro dItalia
May 10, 2016 (20:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
Ryder Hesjedal sat upright with his hands on his hips as he freewheeled through the finish area and towards his Trek-Segafredo team bus after conceding 43 seconds in the finale of stage 4 of the Giro dItalia to Praia a Mare. For the equable Canadian, the stance effectively amounted to a statement of the deepest frustration, though by the time he reports for duty again on stage 5, Hesjedal will probably have reconciled himself to the fact that it could have been a whole lot worse. Indeed, on a strikingly similar stage further up the Tyrrhenian coast a year ago, it was precisely that, when Hesjedal conceded five minutes and all hopes of a podium finish on the road to La Spezia.ADVERTISEMENT On that occasion, Hesjedal was caught out when Astana upped the ante more than two hours from the finish, and he was doubtless alert to a similar danger on Mondays stage, which saw the peloton spend 200 kilometres weaving among the headlands and outcrops of the Calabrian coast beneath sunshine that was more persistent than pleasant. "It was fast all day, and definitely in the last 80k or so it was full-on with shorter, complicated climbs," Hesjedal said in a statement later released by his Trek-Segafredo team. When the peloton fragmented more definitively on the final, uncategorised climb of the Fortino, which featured gradients that touched 18% persistent, Hesjedal was caught on the wrong side of the split. You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Zakarin disagrees with relegation in Tour de Romandie stage 2 finish
April 28, 2016 (20:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha) pumped his firsts in the air over his assumed victory at the finish of stage 2 at the Tour of Romandie, and even completed all the post-race pleasantries, before officials told him that he was relegated to second place, behind Nairo Quintana (Movistar), for irregular sprinting. Of course I am sad and disappointed with this decision, Zakarin said in a team press release. I think the decision was wrong. But all I can do now is just be better tomorrow. This situation makes me mad and gives me motivation for tomorrows stage " I think I can do a good ITT. I hope tomorrow I can answer what has happened today with the bike. Quintana was the first to attack the pack of favourites on the final climb with around 6.5 kilometres to the finish in Morgins. Zakarin was the only rider who could bridge up to the Colombian, and the pair raced to the top together.ADVERTISEMENT Quintana started his sprint with 300 metres to go but Zakarin came back at the Colombian in the last 50 metres. Through the final bend, Zakarin drifted significantly to the right, which forced Quintana to sit up while Zakarin celebrated his victory. A protest was quickly filed in regards to the movement from Zakarin and a jury decision modified the stage results, giving Quintana the stage win. He was also given the first-place time bonuses and now wears the yellow jersey, 18 seconds ahead of Zakarin. I completely disagree with the decision of the jury, said director Dmitry Konyshev. Ilnur did a small deviation which was nothing, maybe 10 cm. If he had done this movement slowly there would be no discussion, but he did it quickly and now there is talk. You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Shane Sutton resigns amid sexism and discrimination claims
April 27, 2016 (20:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
Shane Sutton has resigned from his post as the technical director of British Cycling after several allegations of sexism and discrimination were made against him. The Australian had been suspended pending an enquiry Tuesday but has now stepped down from his role ahead of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. The allegations first surfaced last week when Jessica Varnish claimed that Sutton had made a comment regarding her figure and that she was told that she was "too old" and to move on and go and have a baby after she was dropped from the British Olympic track programme.ADVERTISEMENT According to Varnish, she was also told by Sutton that with an ass like mine I couldn't change position within the team sprint. British Cycling held their ground over the matter, rebutting Varnishs claims and stating that she was dropped for performance reasons. Sutton has strenuously denied making the comments. Varnish was later joined by Victoria Pendleton and Nicole Cooke who both reaffirmed the track riders stance that sexism is rife within British Cycling. On the back of Pendletons and Cookes claims, and then a further statement from Varnish, British Cycling announced on Tuesday that they would hold an independent review into the allegations, and offered to talk to Varnish, who admitted that she still held out hope of returning to professional cycling. British Cycling announces independent review following sexism allegations Pendleton and Cooke claim British Cycling is rife with sexism Varnish: I no longer trust British Cycling Jess Varnish makes sexism allegations against Shane Sutton You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Sergio Henao's independent blood profile review remains unpublished
April 27, 2016 (20:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
Details relating to the possible publication of the independent review into Sergio Henaos (Team Sky) controversial blood profile are still unclear, with the leading doctor who carried out the tests unwilling to disclose details to how or when the resulting data may be published. Team Sky requested that an independent review be set up in relation to Henaos passport data in 2014 after the team internally raised concerns over readings taken from out-of-competition tests. Henao was pulled from racing as a result but was reinstated in May of that year after the independent review committee had given the rider the all-clear to race. At the time of Henaos return, Team Sky and the medical team at Sheffield University, who carried out the tests, indicated that the results from their review would be published.ADVERTISEMENT However Henaos passport data once again made the headlines last week after the UCI and their anti-doping arm, the CADF, sent the Colombian a letter relating to what Team Sky called a "potential anti-doping rule violation". Henao has less than two weeks to respond to the CADFs request for more information, and Team Sky have once more pulled the rider from racing until further notice. Two years have passed since Henaos blood data first prompted action from his own team and the results and findings from the initial report appear no closer to being made public. Its understood that they could be used in a possible defence should the situation result in a passport violation. Last week Cyclingnews contacted Team Sky in order to seek clarity over the situation. The team have stated since 2014 that the responsibility to publish the report on Henao always lay with the medical team involved in conducting the tests, and not the team. They repeated that stance, telling Cyclingnews, It is they who will be responsible for the timelines of publication. You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Giant-Alpecin targeting stage wins at Giro dItalia
April 27, 2016 (20:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
Giant-Alpecin has announced the team that will support Tom Dumoulin in the Giro dItalia. The German squad will not have GC ambitions but look to the time trials, sprints and breakaways. Dumoulins first participation in the race was announced last week.I am really looking forward to the Giro dItalia this year, he said in a team press release. It will be my first Giro and with the start in The Netherlands, it is going to be extra special. I think it is going to be a fantastic race to participate in. I will be focusing primarily on the time trials, as they provide a greater opportunity for success.ADVERTISEMENT Niklas Arndt will be the teams man for the sprints, while Chad Haga, Tobias Ludvigsson and Georg Preidler will go for stage wins in breakaway groups. The squad will be rounded out by Bert de Backer, Cheng Ji, Tom Stamsnijder and Albert Timmer. Our target is to go for a stage victory. Well have different opportunities in the time trials and the sprint stages, said coach Marc Reef. On top of that, we will apply an offensive strategy to aim for stage results from possible breakaways that survive until the finish. Giant-Alpecin for the 2016 Giro dItalia: Niklas Arndt, Bert de Backer, Tom Dumoulin, Chad Haga, Cheng Ji, Tobias Ludvigsson, Georg Preidler, Tom Stamsnijder and Albert Timmer You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Heavy snowfall forces Liege-Bastogne-Liege to be re-routed
April 24, 2016 (20:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
As was forecast, there was snowfall in the Ardennes on Sunday, and Lige-Bastogne-Lige had to be re-routed as a result. As team cars made their way along the route out towards the feed zones, they encountered roads covered in a blanket of snow, with the snow continuing to fall amid the poor visibility. At around 11:30am local time, an hour or so into the race, organisers took the decision to alter the route to avoid the worst of the snow. At kilometre 45, the riders were taken off the planned route and they joined it again at kilometre 75, just before the first climb of the day, the Cte de La Roche-en-Ardenne. The race headed south in a more direct manner, and the change took five kilometres off the total distance, meaning that the 2016 Lige-Bastogne-Lige was 248km long.ADVERTISEMENT The change didn't have a significant impact on the complexion of the race, given that the riders were back on the planned course ahead of the first climb. The snowfall at Lige has echoes of similar situations at Paris-Nice and Tirreno Adriatico last month, both of which had stages altered or cancelled. The new Extreme Weather Protocol was brought in this season to help decisions to be made in the best interests of riders when adverse conditions threaten. Under the Protocol's guidelines, the threat of extreme weather calls for a meeting between a rider representative and race officials to discuss possible courses of action. However, no such meeting took place atLige-Bastogne-Lige due to the fact that the the CPA (riders' association) representative for the race, Kristof Vandewalle, was ill and forced to stay at home.Vandewalle told Cyclingnews he received numerous calls from teams this morning saying they were confused about the situation, with snow having been predicted and the temperature at the start in the Place Saint Lambert just above freezing. You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
On the start line at Liege-Bastogne-Liege
April 24, 2016 (20:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
With snow already falling 80 kilometres south in the Ardennes, the riders of the Lige-Bastogne-Lige peloton were understandably reluctant to leave the sanctuary of their team buses to go and sign on ahead of the race on Sunday morning. Half an hour before the start, the general mood of foreboding darkened still further when leaden drops of rain began to fall over the Place Saint-Lambert, with only the rare brave soul such as Ion Izagirre (Movistar) venturing out early to sign the start sheet and speak with the television crews beneath the dais. As one of Alejandro Valverdes key lieutenants on Sunday, Izagirre will be called on to support his leader deep into the race. Alejandro is going very well but Julian Alaphilippe could be dangerous, Izagirre said. 2014 winner Simon Gerrans (Orica-GreenEdge) was well wrapped against the elements, and with the rain beginning to fall more determinedly, he was understandably reluctant to be detained for too long at the signing-on ceremony. Ive already won here and Im still dreaming of a second win. Ive never ridden a Lige with weather like this and weve never done the new climb in Lige either. Its going to be a completely different final, Gerrans said. The new climb is very difficult, especially because of the pav and if its wet, that will make it even more difficult. The last 20 minutes before the start finally saw the rest of the peloton make their way warily out of the team buses, some barely recognisable beneath jackets, snoods and extra layers, and a lengthy queue formed at the signing on podium. Some, like Bauke Mollema (Trek Factory Racing) and Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal) could smile and make light of the conditions when speaking with reporters beneath the rostrum. I feel good, the course is a nice one and I quite like this weather, Wellens said cheerfully. Others wore haunted faces, as though already picturing the sleet and snow that await later in the day, with photographs already circulating on social media of the frigid conditions out on the course. Wisely, the Etixx-QuickStep team of Dan Martin and Alaphilippe had signed on more than an hour before the start, and they avoided the traffic jam near the podium in the final minutes before the start, with more than one riders unattended bike clattering to the ground in the commotion. Having missed Saturdays pre-race presentation, late arrival Chris Froome (Sky) was a man in demand at the start on Sunday. Weve got [Michal] Kwiatkowski, who is going really well and Wout Poels came fourth in Fleche Wallonne on Wednesday, so weve got two guys who can definitely be up there, Froome said. Myself, Ill going to see how, obviously, the legs are going and hopefully be in the final to give them a hand. Among the last to arrive was Alejandro Valverde, who took a wrong turning as he looked for the steps to mount the podium. It was the first step he has put out of place at the Ardennes Classics for some time, and he lines out as the heavy favourite for a fourth Lige-Bastogne-Lige victory. I have no stress, Valverde insisted. I have already won Flche Wallonne and Ive got the Giro coming up.ADVERTISEMENT You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Bardet braced for waiting game at Liege-Bastogne-Liege
April 24, 2016 (20:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
Thirty six years have passed since a French rider last won Lige-Bastogne-Lige and the bleak forecast for the Ardennes on Sunday has inevitability dredged up memories of Bernard Hinaults snowbound 1980 victory. After finishing second to Alejandro Valverde a year ago, Julian Alaphilippe is viewed as the man most likely to succeed Hinault on the roll of honour, but Romain Bardet (AG2R La Mondiale) sets out from Place Saint-Lambert with no less ambition. It will make the race harder, Bardet told reporters in Lige on Saturday afternoon when asked about the frigid temperatures expected during the race. The worse the weather is, the more spectacular the race. Second at the under-23 Lige-Bastogne-Lige in 2011, beaten by Tosh Van der Sande in the sprint on the Alleur velodrome, Bardet has raced the professional version in the past three seasons, placing 13th in 2013 and 10th in 2014, before taking 6th in the sprint behind Valverde in 2015. Like last year, Bardet prepared for La Doyenne by competing at the Giro del Trentino during the week, placing 6th overall after performing consistently throughout the four-day event. His teammate Domenico Pozzovivo and Astanas Vincenzo Nibali and Jakob Fuglsang also followed the same build-up. My form is good, Bardet said. I did a big block of work in Trentino and put in some good efforts. I was a bit tired afterwards but Im hopeful 48 hours will be enough to recover. It was enough last year, for me and a few of the other protagonists, so Im confident. I think Ive started to get to know this race well now. Its my fourth participation and Im not setting off into the unknown. Im very motivated. Bardets abilities as a climber and puncheur may lend themselves naturally to Lige-Bastogne-Lige, but in the modern era, the race has increasingly rewarded those who hold their fire until the closing kilometres. Over the years, Bardet has learnt the value of curbing his natural aggression, at least for the final Sunday in April. I think experience counts and Ive improved year by year, bit by bit, he said. Ive stopped making useless efforts so Ive got more force for the final and the battle on the Cte de Ans. Its a race that requires patience, and Ive adapted to that and Ill wait for the finale. The addition of the Cte de la Rue Naniot to the finale has divided opinion among observers, and Bardet wondered whether it might have the opposite effect to the one intended by the organisers. Rather than ensuring a smaller group at the front on the final haul up to Ans, it could well lead to a more conservative approach from the main contenders. Theres little chance to regroup after the Cte de Saint-Nicolas, theres no dead time. Therell only be very strong riders left for the final sprint in Ans, because the last climb is so hard that it will require a lot of energy and you cant hide there, Bardet said. But Im worried that the more difficult finale might actually delay the attacking and just postpone the decisive section of the race to the very end. Saint-Nicolas is decisive every year and I hope thats the case again this year. The new climb will make the finale a lot harder if we go up Saint-Nicolas very fast like in other years, but if people hesitate there, we could just end up with even more riders on the Cte de Ans. However the cards are dealt on Sunday afternoon, one senses that the road to victory at Lige-Bastogne-Lige will ultimately run through Alejandro Valverde, who is seeking his fourth win at La Doyenne after racking up his fourth triumph at Flche Wallonne in midweek. Hes clearly the rider with the best punch on the Cte de Ans. When it flattens out after the left hand turn at the top, its very hard for anyone to beat him there, and hell be strong tomorrow of course, Bardet said. Though the addition of the new climb might make it more difficult to control the race, provided people decide to attack earlier.ADVERTISEMENT You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Sanchez leads the line for for BMC at Liege-Bastogne-Liege in Gilbert's absence
April 24, 2016 (20:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
Sixth in the Mur de Huy on Wednesday, following the enforced absence of BMC Racing teammate Philippe Gilbert due to a fractured finger, Spains Samuel Snchez has a rare opportunity to fight his own corner 100 per cent at Lige-Bastogne-Lige today - which he starts as the co-leader of his team, along with Richie Porte. The winner of a stage of the Vuelta al Pas Vasco in heavy rainstorms and cold, Snchez clearly has no problem with the inclement conditions forecast for Sunday afternoon. And the Spanish veteran told Cyclingnews that hes expecting a race like those of yesteryear because of the weather and that difficult new climb [of La Rue Naniot after the Cte de San Nicolas]. Seventh in Lige in 2012, 10th in 2011 and in 2009, a career-best fourth in a now distant 2004, and sixth in his debut way back in 2003, Snchez has always been there or thereabouts in Lige. And as he predicts, Assuming the weather forecast for cold and rain is correct, I think its going to be a battle for survival.ADVERTISEMENT "Then youve got the new climb at less than three kilometres from the finish.Combine the two factors, and it could be a whole different race. That new climb will decide who can go for victory and whos left behind. Snchez believes that the reason why the new climb has been included is that the organisers dont want the kind of Lige weve had recently, which have been decided in a [small group] sprint. They want the kinds of Lige from the old days, from seven, eight or ten years ago, where youd get a solo winner, and where the strategy was completely different. Theres a lot of equality in racing these days and with a tougher finale, this will be an edition of the race where other kinds of strength come into play, rather than what you can do in a small group sprint. You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Greipel back to Tour of Turkey despite safety concerns
April 24, 2016 (20:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
Andr Greipel (Lotto Soudal) is back in Istanbul for his seventh straight participation to the Presidential Tour of Turkey. He has won ten stages so far, making him the record holder of successes in the modern history of the event that was born in 1963 but opened to top professionals in 2008. I like to come back to Turkey," Greipel told Cyclingnews in Istanbul on the eve of the 52nd edition (April 24-May 1st). I was in doubt this year like everybody [after suicide bombs hit Istanbul and Ankara in the past few months]. Security for teams and riders was our concern but nowhere is safety guaranteed at a cycling race so we just hope well be safe. The organization has always been good here. We get the opportunity to race in a friendly atmosphere. Its a good preparation for the upcoming races, starting with the Giro dItalia, and for sure Im going to try and win a stage or more. Several Pro Teams have opted for different programs but Lampre-Merida and Southeast-Venezuela are expected to set up bunch sprints for Sacha Modolo and Jakub Mareczko respectively along with Lotto-Soudal.ADVERTISEMENT There arent too many sprinters this year," Greipel noted, but the start list includes new names and new teams so I expect young sprinters to show what theyre capable of. Theres TV coverage and international media exposure for ambitious riders to make a career out of the Tour of Turkey. Following an injury-marred early season with a fractured rib in stage 4 of the Volta o Algarve in February, the German sprinter rode the Flemish classics at the service of his best friend Marcel Sieberg, who is usually one of his lead-out men. Sieberg rode an excellent Paris-Roubaix and finished seventh. Im super happy for him," Greipel commented. I always knew this race suited him but he had to wait for riding as a captain. He took his chance after the crash at km 140 and stayed at the front. For me, the classics are a way to give something back to my teammates but I was injured so I got dropped in the crosswinds at Gent-Wevelgem and again in the first day of the Three Days of De Panne after 100km. You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Slipstream Sports and Drapac partner to form UCI Continental team in 2017
April 24, 2016 (20:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
Slipstream Sports, the company that manages Cannondale Pro Cycling, will partner with Drapac Capital Partners, managers of Drapac Pro Cycling, to create a UCI Continental development team in 2017 that emphasizes racing and higher education, according to a press release from Slipstream Sports. The team will register in Australia and compete across Europe. One of the mandatory requirements in joining the team will be for riders to enroll in university courses or apprenticeship programs during the off-season, and the team will schedule racing that is conducive to studies. Ive seen too many great people dedicate their lives to cycling and theyve totally ignored everything else. And then something happens, a crash or they arent able to move up in the ranks, something. And they have enormous difficulty recovering as human beings. We seek to prevent that. We seek to prevent athletes being used as disposable assets, said Michael Drapac, who founded the Drapac team, in the statement.ADVERTISEMENT Slipstream Sports is headed by Jonathan Vaughters, a management company that has backed development teams like 5280-Subaru and TIAA-Cref. Michael and I have been friends for over five years. We share a lot of the same philosophies and visions, and weve worked together on other projects. Ive been helping him scout potential investments for his real estate company in the Western U.S., for example, said Vaughters in the press release. I look forward to working with him and creating a unique development team for riders who want to divide their time between studies and moving their way up to the WorldTour. Do I think that you can successfully identify talent that can succeed in the WorldTour when riders are dividing their time between studies and racing and training? Yes, I do, he said. In fact Ive seen many examples where highly intelligent riders perform better when they have one physical and one intellectual focus. It balances them out. It can lead to better performance. A great example of an up-and-comer in the United States who I think is doing this pretty well is Sepp Kuss " he won the mountain-top finish at Redlands and hes a university student." You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Froome to support Kwiatkowski at Liege-Bastogne-Liege
April 24, 2016 (20:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
After his below-expectations performance in the Amstel Gold Race where he abandoned close to the finish, Michal Kwiatkowski will start Lige-Bastogne-Lige as Team Skys leader once again, but this time with the backing of multiple Tour de France winner and teammate Chris Froome. The defending champion in Amstel Gold last Sunday, Kwiatkowski blamed his abandon on the difficult weather conditions, and expressed deep concern about the cold and possible snow forecast for Sunday in Liege. He was not so worried, he said, about the additional climb, the Cote de Rue de Naniot, in the closing kilometres. If my condition is there, then I will like it more, he told a small group of reporters. Its definitely harder as a finale than in previous years so thats going to suit the riders with the strongest legs. And without the Cote de Stockeu - a tough mid-race climb with a very difficult, dangerous descent - itll be a less nervous race, for sure.ADVERTISEMENT Having spent the week training in Valencia, Kwiatkowski said that his form was good but felt that how his body responded in poor weather would be key to his performance in Liege. That was, he said, the reason why he had to quit Amstel the previous week. I felt good before Amstel Gold, too, but when that freezing rain started during the race there was nothing I could do, Kwiatkowski pointed out. The one big plus about having the forecast for snow in Liege-Bastogne-Liege, he said, was that unlike in Amstel, they had no idea such rough weather was about to begin. We thought it was going to rain after the finish so we got caught out. In Liege, everybody, including me, will be mentally and physically ready for such conditions. I dont feel great in such weather but I will start out looking forward to the race, even with the possibility of such bad conditions. You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Liege-Bastogne-Liege: Kreuziger leads Tinkoff into battle
April 23, 2016 (20:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
Roman Kreuziger will lead Tinkoff in Sundays Liege-Bastogne-Liege. The Czech rider has finished inside the top ten in the last two editions of the race and cracked the top 15 in each of the two Ardennes races thus far in 2016, Amstel Gold Race and La Fleche Wallonne. Kreuziger was fifth in last years Liege-Bastogne-Liege and attacked in Amstel last weekend with a late move before the final ascent of the Cauberg. Ahead of Sundays Liege-Bastogne-Liege, Alejandro Valverde has been installed as the bookies the favourite. The Spaniard won last year and defended his La Fleche Wallonne crown earlier in the week. "Liege-Bastogne-Liege is a tough and demanding race but one of which I'm very fond. The line-up this year is strong and, in particular, Alejandro Valverde has shown he is in very good form. Nevertheless, I feel very confident about my own shape which has been building in the last weeks. I look forward to giving my best to obtain a good result and I'm sure we will field a strong squad on Sunday," Kreuziger said.ADVERTISEMENT Team director Bruno Cenghialta, who finished in the top ten in Liege-Bastogne-Liege during his own career and helped carry Russian Evengi Berzin to victory in the race in 1994, stressed that the brutal Liege-Bastogne-Liege finale would see the best riders compete for the win. The Italian pointed to the climb of Ans as the most critical point in the race. Read also Liege-Bastogne-Liege start list Liege-Bastogne-Liege race preview Teams recon Liege-Bastogne-Liege route - Gallery Liege-Bastogne-Liege is a challenging race that requires good condition to be able to compete with the best riders in the world in a very demanding finale. In recent years, the crucial point of this race has always been the final climb of Ans and this is where we will focus our efforts. The aim is to bring our captains there, well-positioned to fight for a good result. You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Swift looking to lose weight in search of victories
April 23, 2016 (20:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
Ben Swift is hoping that losing weight and becoming a more efficient climber will help him turn a string of near misses into a more impressive victory haul. I've had five second places this year, all from reduced groups, and that's quite frustrating, said the British rider, telling the Team Sky website about his desire to be fresher for the more selective finales. Swift might not be on a par with the fastest sprinters in the world, but he has demonstrated with two podiums at Milan-San Remo that he can be up there at the end of an exacting days racing.ADVERTISEMENT After San Remo, Swift rode the hilly Volta a Catalunya, where his climbing caught the eye of teammate Ian Boswell, who tweeted: How about that @swiftybswift kid? 2nd in San Remo, and now climbing like a goat! I've always been able to climb fairly well, and I've had flashes of good results in the mountains, but at Paris-Nice and Catalunya I was climbing consistently well, which is something I've worked on, said Swift. I've lost some weight and tried to fit into that role with an eye on races later in the season. I've got targets coming up where I need to improve and be better in the mountains." You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Jess Varnish makes sexism allegations against Shane Sutton
April 23, 2016 (20:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
Jess Varnish has spoken out against British Cycling after being dropped from the Olympic programme, claiming she was told by technical director Shane Sutton that she was too old and that she should move on and go and have a baby. In an interview with the Daily Mail, the 25-year-old sprinter described the fall-out surrounding her contract not being renewed, and also criticised the culture at British Cycling, saying she has a list as long as my arm about comments Ive had about my figure. British Cycling issued a statement in response in which they insisted that Varnishs exclusion from the programme was solely performance related, while Sutton denied acting with anything other than complete professionalism.ADVERTISEMENT Varnish ruffled feathers in the British camp when she publicly criticised the coaching set-up at the Track World Championships in London last month. She and Katy Marchant could only mange fifth in the team sprint, meaning they didnt qualify for the Olympic Games, and Varnish attributed a portion of the blame to some of the past selection decisions. [Head coach] Iain Dyer heard my interview and he shouted, This is bullshit, Jess, Varnish told the Daily Mail, revealing that she was dropped from an upcoming training camp at late notice and then summoned for a meeting.I asked what the meeting was about and within two minutes over the phone he [Dyer] told me I was no longer part of the programme because my performance wasnt good enough. Varnish, who claims she was never made aware she wasnt hitting her targets, says she asked to see her performance data, only for her relationship with the coaching staff to deteriorate. You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Costa and Lampre-Merida warm up on Liege-Bastogne-Liege course - News Shorts
April 23, 2016 (20:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
Lampre-Merida train on Liege-Bastogne-Liege course Rui Costa, fourth at Liege-bastogne-Liege last year, will lead Lampre-Merida on Sunday as the Italian team tries to strike gold in the Belgian monument. Costa will be joined for La Doyenne by Matteo Bono, Valerio Conti, Mario Costa, Louis Meintjes, Manuele Mori, Jan Polanc and Diego Ulissi.ADVERTISEMENT In 2015 Costa was fourth in a sprint from a 10-rider group, crossing the line behind winner Alejandro Valverde (Movistar), runner-up Julain Alaphilippe (Etixx-QuickStep) and Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha). Meintjes finished 11th, leading Team Sky's Lars Petter Nordhaug home 10 seconds after the leaders. The eight Lampre riders who will participate on Sunday started their recon of Sunday's 253km course from the Cote de la Haute-Leve, covering the Col du Rosier, the Col du Maquisard, the Cote de la Redoute, the Cote de la Roche aux Faucons, the Col de Saint Nicolas and the 2016 route's new climb, the Cote de la Rue Naniot. The new hill, which is 600 meters of cobblestones with gradient of 10.5 percent, summits just 2.5km from the finish line. Valverde sprinting to his 2015 Lige win ahead of Alaphilippe, Rodriguez and Costa. You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Gerrans driven to add a second Liege-Bastogne-Liege title to his name
April 23, 2016 (20:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
For Simon Gerrans the lure of winning Lige-Bastogne-Lige again is no less because he already has a win in Europe's oldest classic and the fourth of five monuments to his name. If anything, the Australian's desire to add another victory in the 261km race through the hilly and forested Belgian Ardennes to his triumph in it from 2014 is greater than before. "It is probably even more so now," Gerrans (Orica-GreenEdge), 35, told Cyclingnews. "I always thought Lige was a race a little bit beyond my reach until I actually won it. When you win a race it definitely gives you plenty of confidence going back [to race it] in future editions.ADVERTISEMENT "Now I know I am capable of winning a race of that calibre and that difficulty. If anything it probably makes it more important because you have lots more confidence going into [the race]." Gerrans' last win was in the Tour Down Under in January where he took out two stages and the overall classification. But he is buoyed for Sunday's La Doyenne' by his form during his second build up for the year that began at the Volta Ciclista a Catalunya, where he was sixth on stage 5 and fourth on stage 6. Then at the Vuelta al Pais Vasco he had a third place finish on stage 1 and second on stage 3. At last Sunday's Amstel Gold Race he was 11th. Gerrans did not want to dwell on the whys and what ifs' of the Amstel Gold Race, where Australian teammate Michael Mathews placed fifth which led some to question if the pair should have ridden for each other. All he would say, when asked, was that their team rode to its plan that catered for two potential winners and that first placed Italian Enrico Gasparotto (Wanty-Gobert) was the strongest rider on the day. You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Dan Martin: Lige-Bastogne-Lige is a long game of poker
April 23, 2016 (20:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
Dan Martin knows how to win Lige-Bastogne-Lige and he knows how to lose it. The Irishman could only smile when that formula was put to him by a reporter at Etixx-QuickSteps hotel in Maasmechelen on Friday afternoon, and he also knows that a man should never face into La Doyenne with too many fixed ideas about how the race might unfold. At Flche Wallonne on Wednesday, Martin and his stable-mate Julian Alaphilippe set out with a precise plan of attack for trying to outmanoeuvre Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) on the Mur de Huy, but found the Spaniard was simply too strong in the final reckoning. They will set on Sunday with a playbook that leaves more scope for improvisation. At Lige-Bastogne-Lige, there are so many things that can happen during the day, so you need to be flexible, Martin said. You could maybe miss opportunities. You might say youre going to wait until a specific moment to attack but maybe the perfect moment comes a kilometre before and you miss it because youre thinking too much of what youd planned before the race.ADVERTISEMENT Both in 2013, when he won, and in 2014, when a late crash denied him a repeat victory, Martin waited until the final haul up the Cte de Ans before playing his hand at Lige-Bastogne-Lige, and he seems likely to follow a similar template this time around. The addition of the new cobbled climb of the Cte de la Rue Naniot after the Cte de Saint-Nicolas alters the finale, but the overarching tenet of recent editions of the race ought to remain unchanged. Its a waiting game. Its such a long, hard race, and you pay for any mistakes all the bits of energy you can save in the day it helps for the finish, for the explosiveness in the finish, it helps, Martin said. And it also helps to be strong in your head because even now with the new climb they added and the Cte de Ans, if you look up too far, you dont even see the top. Or you see the top and it seems so far away. After 250 kilometres, its easy to think youll never get to the top, your legs are finished. Its a long game of poker. Martin and his Etixx-QuickStep teammates sampled the Rue Naniot when they reconnoitred the route on Friday morning. Rather than opening up the race, the inclusion of the 600-metre-long climb, whose summit comes just 2.5 kilometres from the finish, could ultimately make for an even more conservatively raced edition of Lige-Bastogne-Lige than normal. I dont think theres a cobbled climb after 250 kilometres even in the Tour of Flanders, so its going to be interesting, but I just hope it doesnt make for a more negative race, Martin said. Weve seen that with other races when you make the final more difficult. After they added Roche-aux-Faucons [in 2008 " ed.], nobody attacked on La Redoute. Now theyve added the new climb, maybe nobody will attack on Saint-Nicolas because theyre thinking of that.Headwind Though it was been a decidedly mild week in and around Lige, the weather forecast suggests that temperatures will plummet at the weekend, with the possibility of snow in the Ardennes on Sunday afternoon. While the prospect of a repeat of 1980, Bernard Hinault and all that might dominate the headlines in race previews, the prevailing wind is a detail that hasnt escaped Martins notice. With the wind this year, I dont know how aggressive race it will be. There was a strong headwind today on the climbs and that could make for a really negative race " but Im quite happy if it comes down to the last two climbs, Martin said. Valverde, of course, will not be unhappy at the prospect of staking everything on the Rue Naniot and Cte de Ans " nor, indeed, will Martins teammate Alaphilippe, but the Irishman is confident that they will not tread on one anothers toes in the finale. We both intelligent tactically and we can ride well together. I think the headwind will negate the race and that might be in our favour, if were both together in the last 10 kilometres, Martin said. I think the new course actually favours the more explosive guys like me and Julian rather than the climbers, because we have the three short climbs in the last 8 kilometres. The longer climbs are further from the finish now so maybe it will be tougher for the GC climbers to win now. Martins third place at Flche Wallonne was not his best finish at the race, but it was his best-executed ascent of the Mur de Huy, as he avoided the congestion at the foot of the climb and attacked with 250 metres to go before being overhauled by Valverde. Despite the myriad differences between the two legs of the old Ardennes Weekend, the performance, if not the result, was an affirmation of the work Martin has done to date. I was really happy with how I rode. Maybe that shows how good my legs are, that I was lucid and able to make those decisions and be aggressive. I wasnt just hanging on and concentrating on my own race " I was racing guys, Martin said. Other years Ive been concentrating on getting to the top as fast as I can. This time I was actually racing. Thats down to confidence and also because Id made the decision that Id wanted to try to win. And if that meant I got 10th, it didnt matter. You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Rachel Athertons Trek Session 9.9 - Gallery
April 21, 2016 (20:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
This article originally appeared on BikeRadar The biggest name in womens downhill racing, Rachel Atherton, absolutely dominated the 2015 season, winning all but one World Cup round and taking her third World Championship title too. For 2016, Rachel and the whole Atherton clan made an unexpected move from GT Bicycles to Trek. So far the new bike seems to be working just right, with Rachel kicking off her season on the top step of Lourdes a fortnight ago. Among the heavy rains and sweltering humidity of Cairns, Australia (this is a rain forest after all), we quickly grabbed a look at Rachels 2016 Trek Session.ADVERTISEMENT Old frame, new paint Special paint covers an otherwise stock frame Where the queen of downhill raced the 2015 season on a custom-sized GT Fury, 2016 sees Rachel on a standard large Session 9.9 carbon frame, albeit with a special team-issue RSL (Race Shop Limited) baby blue paint. This is the same 27.5in-wheeled frame as used in 2015 by the previous Trek Factory Racing team. You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Niewiadoma at home on Rabo Liv, aims for the top 3 at Giro Rosa - Women's News Shorts
April 21, 2016 (20:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
Niewiadoma proves her place on Rabo Liv, aims for the top 3 at Giro Rosa Rabo Livs Katarzyna Niewiadoma, 21, is one of the most promising riders in the womens peloton. She is the current leader of the under-23 Womens WorldTour, the under-23 European champion, was fifth at the Giro Rosa, and is a regular in the top 10 of world-class bike races. In a recent inCycle video, she spoke about how she became involved in the sport of cycling and her place on Rabo Liv. One day my dad said to me that there was a competition for fathers and daughters, so he took me there, Niewiadoma said. "I didnt want to go but he already gave me a bike and everything was prepared, so we went. I won that race. Over time I got more and more involved.ADVERTISEMENT At the beginning I made a lot of mistakes but I have improved a lot. "I was top 5 at the Giro Rosa and for sure I want to be in the top 3." Focused on her schooling, and enjoying spending time with her friends, Niewiadoma said she found occasional opportunities where she could do well in bike races and stay in the sport, and to see where the potential would lead in the future. You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Durasek to defend in Tour of Turkey
April 21, 2016 (20:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
The Presidential Tour of Turkey is set to go ahead on Sunday with only 16 teams on the start line inIstanbul, down from 21 last year. Only two WorldTour teams, LottoSoudal and the Lampre-Meridateam of defending champion Kristijan Durasekare on the roster, down from nine in previous years. There are eight Pro Continental and six Continental teams starting, but the American team UnitedHealthcare, which was originally on the list of teams competing, is no longer in the race. The USState Department issued a warning to Americans travelling to Turkey last month over "increased threats from terrorist groups throughout Turkey", in particular southeastern Turkey on the Syrian border. The Tour ofTurkey begins inIstanbul and then transfers toCappadocia for one stage before making its way to the southwestern border of Turkey, along the Mediterranean coast.ADVERTISEMENT Durasek will be joined by Chun Kai Feng, Roberto Ferrari, Ilia Koshevoy, Sacha Modolo, Przemyslaw Niemiec, Simone Petilli and Xu Gang in defense of his title, but team directeur Bruno Vicino says Durasek is suffering from the effects of a crash in the Giro dell'Appennino. "It will be difficult to repeat last year's success, however Kristijan is tenacious and he'll give the best to be competitive,"Vicino said. "We will also rely on good climbers such as Niemiec, Koshevoy and Petilli, who will all try to demonstrate their value in view of a possible participation in the Giro d'Italia." Vicino also said that Modolo will be using the race to hone his sprint with Ferrari. "Last year, he obtained one victory which was prelude to the two successes he got in the Giro d'Italia." You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Di Luca reveals details of his doping in hard-hitting autobiography
April 21, 2016 (20:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
Disgraced Italian rider Danilo Di Luca has written a book about his career and doping, revealing details of the drugs he took and why he took them. Di Luca was one of the most successful riders of his generation, racing between 1998 and 2013. He won the 2007 Giro d'Italia, beating Andy Schleck and Eddy Mazzoleni, and also won many of the hilly classics, including Liege-Bastogne-Liege in 2007. He was banned for doping twice during his career " first for his involvement in the Oil for Drugs investigation into his local doctor, and then again for EPO in 2009. Yet his popularity in Italy and his links to the Vini Fantini owners helped him secure a place back in the peloton. Vini Fantini covered his wages and insisted he was given a place in the Vini Fantini-Selle Italia team for the 2013 Giro d'Italia. Despite being 37, he impressed immediately when his ban ended and rode aggressively during the Giro d'Italia, alongside teammate Mauro Santambrogio.Both would test positive for EPO before or during the Giro d'Italia. Di Luca was given a lifetime ban in December 2013.ADVERTISEMENT In an extract from his book " called Bestie di Vittoria' " Beasts made for victory', written with Alessandra Carati, Di Luca talks openly about the moment he was caught, the wide range of doping products that he used during his career and why he did it. The book is published in Italian and due for release on April 26. "If I hadn't doped, I would never have won," Di Luca claims in a chapter excerpt released by the book publisher. "Doping improves your performance between 5 and 7 per cent, and maybe 10 to 12 per cent when you are in a peak shape. "Doping isn't addictive but it's an instrument of power: whoever wins attracts the money; for themselves, the team and the sponsors." You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Rally Cycling heading back to Europe for Tour de Bretagne
April 21, 2016 (20:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
Riding a wave of momentum created with last weekends sweep of the mens and womens USA Cycling Team Time Trial Championships and Brad Huffs win in the criterium title race, Rally Cycling will take a six-rider roster into the Tour de Bretagne next week in France. Huff will join Jesse Anthony, Pierrick Naud, Tom Soladay, Eric Young and Curtis White in the seven-day UCI 2.2 race that starts in Quiberon on April 25 and finishes in Dinan on May 1. The race features several tough, rolling stages through the Brittany region of Northern France, and since becoming professional 2005 it has become a showcase for up-and-coming riders as well as sprinters and rouleurs looking to fine-tune their form before the Grand Tours.ADVERTISEMENT We are thrilled to return to Tour de Bretagne Cycliste this year, said Rally Performance Manager Jonas Carney. It is an amazing race in one of the most beautiful parts of Europe. The guys are on great form and these seven days of tough racing will be the final push before the Amgen Tour of California and the US pro road championships. We are fielding a very strong group of sprinters and leadout guys with a focus on stage wins. Huff and Young will handle the teams sprinting duties, led out in the bunch finishes by Soladay and Naud. Huff spent an extended period of time training in Europe before winning the national title in Greenville, South Carolina, and hes hoping another block of European racing will further sharpen his form for the US road championships. "Returning to the Tour of Bretagne Cycliste is amazing, Huff said. In 2006 I won the most aggressive riders jersey and I'm hoping to help the team win stages and possibly the overall. We have a lot of momentum after TTT and criterium nationals and hopefully we are able to build on it and get some more results." You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Five missing in Rio Olympic cycle path collapse
April 21, 2016 (20:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
Five people are missing and two reported dead in the collapse of Rio de Janeiro's new elevated cycle path, the ciclovio Tim Maia, which paralells the Avenida Niemeyer which is part of the 2016 Olympic Games road race course. The 3.9km path was opened in January this year, and cost 44.7 million Real (11.8 million Euro). It connected the Lilblon and So Conrado communities, and provided an important transport link between the South Zone venues and the main Olympic Park in Barra de Tijuca. According to O Globo, 36-year-old Ademir Guedes was riding on the path and was about to come upon the collapsed section when he was warned of the danger by another rider.ADVERTISEMENT "He warned me, but I thought he was joking. I never imagined a newly built bike path could collapse. I went slowly to the edge of the cliff. Then the drivers started shouting at me, warning of the risk." Witnesses described a rogue wave smashing into the shore before the collapse, but whether the failure was due to an engineering flaw or poor construction is being investigated. The collapse is another blow for the host of the Olympic Games after the track cycling test event had to be canceled because the velodome has yet to be completed. You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
La Fleche Wallonne Feminine highlights - Video
April 21, 2016 (20:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
Anna Van der Breggen (Rabo-Liv) won her second consecutive title at La Flche Wallonne Feminine on Wednesday. This time around she broke away near the base of the bottom of the Mur de Huy with Evelyn Stevens (Boels Dolmans) in tow, but out-paced the American on the steep 26% slope to take the victory. Steven's teammate Megan Guarnier place third.ADVERTISEMENT "The first win here was nice, but the second one might be better," said Van der Breggen. "It was exciting to sprint to the line with Evelyn. The Mur de Huy is a beast, but I felt strong." You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Follow the 2016 Giro d'Italia with the Cyclingnews Tour Tracker app
April 21, 2016 (20:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
The Cyclingnews Tour Tracker app is back and available to download. Providing you with the most detailed online and mobile coverage available for the Giro dItalia, Tour de Franceand Vuelta a Espana - and with bonus coverage of the 2016 Tour of Britain - the Cyclingnews Tour Tracker is the most comprehensive race coverage app on the planet. Like last year, there are two versions of the App. The free version, and the annual Pro upgrade($1.99 USD or 1.49) which includes full coverage from our premium races. This includes live race commentary from the Cyclingnews editorial team, real-time GPS tracking, live time trial results, daily stage results and standings, stage recaps, photography and more. The app can be downloaded from iTunes or Google Play, Current users should get the latest version to get 2016 coverage.ADVERTISEMENT All versions of the app include basic race information: - Details of every stage including interactive course maps and profiles - Details of every team and rider participating in the race - Daily results and standings for every jersey category - Full access to pro content for past races - Cycling news feed provided by Cyclingnews.com You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Porte will race Lige-Bastogne-Lige for third time
April 20, 2016 (20:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
Richie Porte will start Liege-Bastogne-Liege for just the third time in his career, BMC Racing announced on Wednesday. Porte competed in the final race of the Ardennes Classics previously with Team Sky in 2014 and 2013, failing to finish the race in each attempt. He'll join BMC's team from Flche Wallonne for Sunday's monument. "I'm coming in off the back of altitude camp and my last block of stage races, so Lige-Bastogne-Lige will be a good chance to test the legs on these climbs," he said. "I've only lined up twice before so I'm not going in with any real expectations."ADVERTISEMENT Samuel Sanchez, sixth during Wednesday's Flche Wallonne, will also start Liege, as will 2011 winner Philippe Gilbert, although he has been suffering from the ill-effects of a broken finger and finished 91st on Wednesday. Team director Valerio Piva said the team is going in with multiple options. "With riders like Richie Porte and Samuel Snchez, who finished in sixth place at La Flche Wallonne today, we are going in with strong climbers, as well as some of our younger guys who have showed their form at the earlier Ardennes races," he said. While acknowledging the current good form that led to his Flche Wallonne finish, Sanchez said matching that result at Liege will be a taller order. You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Gilbert battles on in La Fleche Wallonne despite broken finger
April 20, 2016 (20:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
Philippe Gilbert (BMC Racing Team) put a brave face on what was clearly a very tough Flche Wallonne for the Belgian rider, who finished 91st after sliding out of the running in the final 25 kilometres of the race. Ever since his triumphant 2011 spring campaign when he won all three Ardennes Classics, as well as Brabantse Pijl, Gilbert has had mixed fortunes at Flche Wallonne. Third in 2012, 15th in 2013 and then 10th in 2014, Gilberts previous low point in the mid-week hilly Classic came last April. In one of the races multiple pile-ups, Gilbert crashed out more than an hour from the finish, with a mass of road-rash, scrapes and bruises down his right side.ADVERTISEMENT This time round, with his broken finger, like in Amstel, severely hampering his all-round performance, Gilbert at least managed to make it to the finish. But it had clearly been a difficult race and his morale was by no means good when he spoke to reporters. I was doing ok during the first part of the course, but then in the last part I started getting tired, due to all the little problems I had with my finger and the change of position on the bike I have had as a result, he said. It was all very difficult. Rather than a specific injury, Gilbert emphasised that his difficulties were a whole, its all come together. When you get these sorts of physical problems, particularly in a race as tough as this, you always pay a very high price. You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
UnitedHealthcare, Tibco return to Joe Martin to defend 2015 success
April 20, 2016 (20:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
The USA Cycling Pro Road Tour continues this week at the Joe Martin Stage Race, a UCI 2.2 event in Fayetteville, Arkansas that runs April 21-24. This year marks the14th season for the pros at Joe Martin and the second year the race has been on the UCI calendar as a 2.2 event. The four-day race is the fourth event on USA Cycling's new Pro Road Tour after the Sunny King Criterium and Fort McClellan Road Race in Anniston, Alabama and the Redlands Bicycle Classic in Southern California. As a UCI race, Joe Martin is open to Pro Continental teams like UnitedHealthcare, and the blue-and-white squad will return to the scene where it had great success in the men's race last year, winning two stages and the overall with John Murphy.ADVERTISEMENT Orgullo Antioqueo, the Colombian team that animated much of the racing last year, will not return in 2016, however, and with Rally Cycling choosing to race in France instead and Jelly Belly-Maxxis not on the start list, it will be up to the remaining Continental teams to take the fight to UHC. Team Jamis. which won two stages in 2015, will be among the teams on the start line, along with Holowesko-Citadel, Axeon Hagens Berman, Lupus, Astellas and Team Elevate. Canadian Continental teams Silber Pro Cycling, Garneau-Quebecor and H&R Block are also on the provisional start list. Stephens returns to defend her title You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Broken collarbone for Frank Schleck after Fleche Wallonne crash
April 20, 2016 (20:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
Frank Schleck will miss Lige-Bastogne-Lige on Sunday after suffering a broken collarbone in a crash at La Flche Wallonne. The Trek-Segafredo rider confirmed on Twitter he would have to undergo surgery on Thursday. The Luxemburger was a victim of a crash that occurred in the middle of the bunch around45 kilometres from the finish. He was one of two Trek-Segafredo riders to go down, but while Haimar Zubeldia was able to get back on his bike, Schleck immediately reached for his right shoulder, often a telling indication of a broken collarbone. Schleck immediately abandoned the race, and the Trek-Segafredo team told Cyclingnews that he was taken to hospital in "a lot of pain" and that the team doctor accompanying him in the car was almost certain the collarbone was broken. The 36-year-old is currently undergoing tests at the hospital to ascertain the severity of the injury.ADVERTISEMENT While it is unclear at this stage how long Schleck will be out of action for, what is certain is that he will miss Lige-Bastogne-Lige on Sunday. It comes as a fresh blow for Trek-Segafredo, who lost Fabio Felline to a neutral zone crash at the Amstel Gold Race on Sunday, with the rider suffering a fractured skull and facing two to three months out. "For us it's a shame because we've already lost Felline at Amstel, and now Frank," team general manager Luca Guercilena told Luxemburger Wort after the race. "It's complicated for us for Lige now." Schleck suffered a severe collarbone injury nearly six years ago when he crashed early on in the 2010 Tour de France. It was the other collarbone - his left one - that was affected that day, broken in three places, and he required surgery that involved inserting a plate and six screws for a period of nearly six months. " frnk schleck (@schleckfrank) April 20, 2016 You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Poels makes his case for Olympic selection with fourth place at Flche Wallonne
April 20, 2016 (20:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
With Sergio Henao withdrawn from racing by Team Sky after the UCIs Cycling Anti-Doping Foundation sought further information about his biological passport blood profile, Wout Poels found himself elevated to the role of leader at La Flche Wallonne. Poels would eventually place fourth on the Mur de Huy behind winner Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) and the Etixx-QuickStep duo of Julian Alaphilippe and Dan Martin to score his best-ever result in a one-day Classic. Making the Netherlands selection for the road race at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games is one of Poels primary ambitions for the season, and on the start line in Marche-en-Famenne on Wednesday, he told Dutch television that he was targeting a place in the top five in a bid to make his case for a seat on the flight to Brazil.ADVERTISEMENT Im really happy with it. I wanted to focus on the Classics a bit this year because Im trying to get in the selection for the Olympics for the Netherlands and I think I did pretty well, Poels told Cyclingnews after accepting the compliments of a group of Dutch fans at the roadside past the finish line on the Mur de Huy. At the bottom I was on Valverdes wheel. Hes won already a few times so I knew he was going to be really, really strong here. I think I was in a perfect position. I did everything I could. In the end I came fourth " not too bad. Poels was well-positioned in the final 300 metres of the climb, but he was unable to hold the wheels when first Martin, and then Valverde and Alaphilippe pulled away in the finale. He came home in fourth place, four seconds down on Valverde, but ahead of Amstel Gold Race winner Enrico Gasparotto (Wanty-Groupe Gobert) and former Olympic champion Samuel Sanchez (BMC). You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Valverde moves into class of his own with fourth La Flche Wallonne victory
April 20, 2016 (20:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
Ultimately, a devastatingly powerful single uphill acceleration less than 100 metres from the finish line and just a few seconds long on Wednesday proved enough to secure Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) his record-breaking fourth victory in the Flche Wallonne. But, longer-term, Valverdes record itself has been 10 years in the making and places the Movistar rider ahead of figures as important as Eddy Merckx in cyclings history books. Along with the Spaniard, Moreno Argentin, Merckx, Marcel Kint and Davide Rebellin all had previously taken hat-tricks of Flche Wallonne victories. Kint, too, also captured three straight wins in the race in 1943, 1944 and 1945, just like Valverde in 2014, 2015 and now 2016. But with a fourth victory in 2006 also in his palmares, Valverde now stands alone as the record-holder in the 81-year-old history of the Fleche Wallonne. At the finish lines, there were congratulatory hugs for Valverde both from Samuel Snchez (BMC Racing), sixth on the day, and retired rider Erik Zabel before the Spaniard climbed onto the winners podium to celebrate both his personal record and Spains fifth consecutive win in the mid-week Classic.ADVERTISEMENT The truth is that its incredible, to be in the history books of Fleche Wallonne is a real honour. I knew that I felt good beforehand, but in a race circumstances can change very fast, so Im very pleased, Valverde said later. But both on an individual and a team level, Valverde and Movistar might have had the pressure of being the favourites, but they were more than up to the task of handling it. After Movistar did the lions share of the work to chase down the day-long break of 10, Valverdes team-mate Rory Sutherland notably powered up the pace on the third last climb to try to keep the race under control, then Giovanni Visconti and then Ion Izaguirre covered the late attacks before Movistar made one last collective drive for the foot of the Mur. Valverde was in perfect position right from the start of the climb, riding at the front of the fast-disintegrating bunch, next to Michael Albasini (Orica-GreenEdge) in the centre of the route. His biggest fear he said afterwards, that he might be closed in. Valverde then raised the pressure slightly by moving a little ahead onto the right side of the road at the steepest S bend section, something he said later was crucial to his final success. You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Alaphilippe: My first feeling was one of disappointment
April 20, 2016 (20:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
What a difference a year makes. Twelve months ago, a stunned Julian Alaphilippe (Etixx-QuickStep) told reporters that he could only be pleased with second place behind Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) on his La Flche Wallonne debut. This time around, Alaphilippe missed out to Valverde in almost identical circumstances, and the most notable difference was his reaction. Just like 2015, Alaphilippe diligently stalked Valverde on the upper slopes of the Mur de Huy, but was again unable to come around the Spaniard as the road flattened out, and he slammed on his handlebars in frustration as he crossed the line. As Alaphilippe stood on the podium alongside Valverde shortly afterwards, he was able to exchange a rueful, resigned smile with his teammate Dan Martin, who placed third, and by the time he sat down in the press room some 40 minutes after the finish, he was already willing to draw the positives from his near miss.ADVERTISEMENT Yes, I was disappointed at the finish and its not easy to control your emotions at that point, Alaphilippe admitted. Just after the line, my first feeling was one of disappointment at being so close at Flche Wallonne. Afterwards, I started to say to myself that was my second participation and my second podium finish, and Ive realised that this is a race I can win in the future. Alaphilippes initial frustration will also surely have been mitigated by thoughts of the road he travelled to this years Classics. When the 23-year-old was diagnosed with mononucleosis at the end of last season, it seemed improbable that he would be able to return to form quickly enough to repeat his breakout performances of last April, when he placed second at both Flche and Lige-Bastogne-Lige. I try not to think about it now, Ive put it behind me. I started feeling very tired at the end of last season, I wasnt recovering from efforts. After the Worlds, I went and did some tests and I found that I had mononucleosis. It was a blessing in disguise, as I was able to recover over the winter, though I was inactive for three months and that was hard psychologically, Alaphilippe said. You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Mechanical doping: Bettini calls on UCI to use thermal cameras at Giro d'Italia
April 19, 2016 (20:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
Former world champion Paolo Bettini has called on the UCI to use thermal camera in races, starting with the Giro dItalia, to identify possible use of mechanical doping in races. Bettini, who is now the head of the Italian Pro Leagues technical committee, spoke to Gazzetta dello Sport following the investigation into mechanical doping by French television programme Stade 2 and Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera. The newspaper claimed that seven cases of suspected mechanical doping were spotted by using a thermal camera from the roadside at the Strade Bianche race and from a motorbike in the Coppi e Bartali stage race. Stade 2 also interviewed Hungarian engineer Istvan Varjas, the alleged creator of the hidden motors and suspected supplier to a number of professional riders. He confirmed that smaller motors now exist and are hard to find inside bicycles. He also confirmed that the most advanced form of mechanical doping is now hidden in carbon fibre rims and uses battery powered neodymium magnets to produce up to 60 watts of power. The wheels can be activated and modulated via a bluetooth device " even an expensive watch that has Bluetooth. These can only be detected via a powerful magnetic field detector.ADVERTISEMENT The UCI currently uses a tablet device for magnetic resonance testing using software created in partnership with a company of specialist developers. They claim they can test a bike and wheels in less than a minute but have so far refused to confirm the validity of their technique. The UCI claims their device is by far the most cost effective, reliable and accurate method. Bettini is not convinced. I understand the technology of thermal cameras pretty well and I know they can detect the heat of possible hidden motors, even from a distance. I know how theyre used in Formula 1, motorbike racing and car rallying. Its a real way to evaluate and control and its certified. You can identify everything from 20 metres away, Bettini said. I believe in thermal cameras much more than the UCIs tablet to analize bikes. I havent seen any official study for these kind of apps, or about who has made them and what they can see. You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Cavendish in driving seat for Olympic Games selection
April 19, 2016 (20:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
Mark Cavendishis in the driving seat to take the Omnium spot in the Great Britain track squad for the Olympic Games in Rio this summer. The squad will finalised in June but Cavendish is set to be handed the chance to win a first Olympic medal after spending time training on the track at thenational cycling centre in Manchester last week. After a block of racing on the road, which followed the Track World Championships in early March, the Manxman's return to the boards is a clear indication that he is still at the forefront of the British Cycling selectors' minds. Another factor may be that Jon Dibben, who became world champion in the points race - the most important event in the Omnium - last month, broke his elbow last week in a crash at the ZLM Roompot Toer. The 22-year-old is set to undergo surgery on it today [Tuesday], though British Cycling have told Cyclingnews that he could be back on his bike next week and that his "Rio ambitions remain unaffected".ADVERTISEMENT Cavendish has made no secret of his desire to earn a place on the plane to Rio, and returned to the track last summer to kick off the process. Having based himself at the British national cycling centre in Manchester over the winter, heracked up the requisite qualification points in international competition and rode the Omnium at the Track Worlds in London at the start of March. His performance there was meant to have a big impact on his possible selection, which also hinged on the fact that whoever got the Omnium spot would also have to act as the fifth member of the team pursuit squad. While Dibben contributed to the pursuit team's silver medal and won gold in the points race, Cavendish only managed sixth in the Omnium, though he did taste Madison gold alongside Bradley Wiggins. The headache for the British Cycling selectors was compounded by the return of Ed Clancy after a serious back injury, with the former Omnium world champion putting in a strong ride as part of the pursuit quartet for the final ride. "I have total confidence that Mark can do the job in TP [team pursuit]. I've always believed that. I don't think that comes into the question for me,"said British Cycling technical director Shane Sutton after the Track Worlds. You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Mechanical doping: UCI commissaire highlights legal grey areas
April 19, 2016 (20:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
A UCI international commissaire has highlighted what he believes are potential legal grey areas in the quest to deal with suspected instances of mechanical doping and explained why X-ray testing for motors in wheels and frames entails cost, health and safety, and legal issues which render it very difficult on a practical level. Speaking strictly from a personal point of view, longstanding UCI commissaire and Belgian Cycling Federation management member Philippe Marin told Cyclingnews that he believed the question of confiscating a bike on a public highway could be complicated from a legal point of view. Citing a hypothetical scenario, Marin said: Im wondering, if the UCI had wanted me to check bikes like at the Amstel Gold Race on Sunday morning, and lets say I discovered a bike there that was, lets call it, imbalanced, and I would like to take it with me. Do I have the power, as a UCI commissaire, to confiscate the bike? I dont think so. Honestly, I dont think so.ADVERTISEMENT Marin called for a precise protocol for confiscating a bike to be established. I think there should be a procedure with a form signed by the rider, by the team manager, by the UCI, in which all three agree the bike will go with the UCI for further investigation. I know they [the UCI] are working very hard on it to get a proper legal basis to do that. The issue that renders this so complicated, he argued, was that cycling takes place in a public domain. A comparison is, if you go to a football stadium, they close the doors and nobody, sort of, gets out. But on big roads, if you want to hide and run, theres no problem, you can run. Nobody will be there to stop you. See also: Mechanical doping: A brief history Mechanical doping used in Strade Bianche and Coppi e Bartali, claims investigation Bugno calls on UCI to use heat cameras to detect mechanical doping UCI reacts to criticism in French and Italian media's mechanical doping investigation You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Wellens ready to anticipate Mur de Huy at La Fleche Wallonne
April 19, 2016 (20:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
The winning move at La Flche Wallonne hasnt gone clear before the final haul up the Mur de Huy since Igor Astarloas victory in 2003, but the lessons of history seem unlikely to deter Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal) from trying to pre-empt the finale on Wednesday. Wellens attacked alone over the penultimate climb of the Cte de Cherave at last years edition of Flche, only to be swept up at the base of the Mur de Huy, and he attempted a similar move at Amstel Gold Race on Sunday, punching clear on the Bemelerberg before being pegged back on the final ascent of the Cauberg. Its a shame, I had good legs, Wellens said after eventually cross the line in 10th place on Sunday, in the group that came in four seconds down on winner Enrico Gasparotto (Wanty-Groupe Gobert). The headwind played against me. It was simply too strong to take it on alone. It would have been better if somebody had come with me.ADVERTISEMENT Then when the two [Gasparotto and Michael Valgren " ed.] attacked on the Cauberg, my legs were heavy and I couldnt go with them. Though a native of Flanders, Wellens hometown of Sint-Truiden is just over 30 kilometres from the Mur de Huy, and he has been a mainstay of Lotto Soudals Ardennes Classics line-up since he turned professional in 2013. Victory at the GP Montral last September was a boon to Wellens confidence but for all his aggression in April, Sundays 10th place at Amstel marked his best result in a Classic. I believe Im capable of winning one of these Classics if I have a bit of luck, if the stars align and if everything comes together, the 24-year-old told La Dernire Heure, hinting that he would again seek to anticipate the favourites at Flche Wallonne by attacking ahead of the Mur de Huy. You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Landa with modest expectations for Giro del Trentino
April 19, 2016 (20:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
Mikel Landa got his first stage win with Team Sky out of the way at the Vuelta a Pais Vasco and the Spaniard now lines up at the Giro del Trentino capable of winning his first stage race with the British WorldTour squad but is downplaying his chances ahead of the 2.HC Race. Landa was twice second on stages at last year's race, eventually finishing second overall behind Richie Porte, 12-months on from winning a stage at the Northern Italian race. Landa winning his home stage at Pais Vasco and wearing the leader's jersey is enough for former teammate Vincenzo Nibali to label the 26-year-old as the favourite for Trentino victory but the Sky rider suggested otherwise in his pre-race comments. "Trentino has been a special race for me over the last few years. I'm still not in my very peak condition, but I'm close to that, so I'll try and finish as high on the standings as I can and keep building my relations with my team-mates," Landa said of his ambitions for the race on the Team Sky website.ADVERTISEMENT Following an interrupted start to the season that saw Landa skip Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana to work on his time trialling skills, he then fell ill and missed Ruta del Sol and Tirreno-Adriatico as a result. Landa made his long awaited debut in Sky colours at the Coppi e Bartalistage race, finishing 11th before heading to the Basque Country. "Doing so in a place I know so well was extra special," Landa said of his win. "I'd prepared for that stage a lot in the weeks leading up to it and it was a big goal of mine. I was happy with the way I rode that day and am pleased to have achieved one of my early-season goals.Getting into the leader's jersey was a nice bonus as well. I always knew it was going to be difficult to hold onto it until the end of the race, so I savoured the time I had in it. "I finished with a lot of confidence, not just because of my own performance, but because of the whole team's." You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Sea Otter gallery, pt 2: Bells, big wheels and bacon
April 18, 2016 (20:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
This article originally appeared on BikeRadar At the Sea Otter Classic, hundreds of brands exhibit outdoors in the infield of the Laguna Seca racetrack outside Monterey, California. Today we bring you part two of our massive tech gallery, with more of the latest, greatest and strangest from Sea Otter expo.ADVERTISEMENT We've got some incredible custom-painted Santa Cruz mountain bikes, a look at new power meters from Stages, new enduro shoes from Northwave and some odds (emphasis on odd) and ends that caught our eye. Scroll through the gallery for a closer look and click here for part one of the Sea Otter Classic gallery. Sea Otter Gallery " Part I You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Can Valverde make history in La Fleche Wallonne?
April 18, 2016 (20:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
Alejandro Valverde is one of just five riders who have won La Flche Wallonne three times, but has the chance to make history on Wednesday and top even the great Eddy Merckx and Moreno Argentin to become the first to have four titles in the mid-week Classic. The 35-year-old is being chased by a host of challengers, including recent Amstel Gold Race winner Enrico Gasparotto (Wanty-Groupe Gobert), Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha), and Jelle Vanendert (Lotto Soudal), but there's an entire generation coming behind who have shown the potential to win. Last year's runner-up Julian Alaphilippe (Etixx-Quickstep) has shown strong form after suffering mononucleosis over the winter, and has two solid contenders at his side should he falter - Dan Martin and Brabantse Pijl winner Petr Vakoc.ADVERTISEMENT Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal) put in a gutsy attack in the Amstel Gold Race and will line up with fellow contenders Vanendert and Tony Gallopin. Orica-GreenEdge's Michael Matthews is still looking for his first Classic win after a pair of stage victories in Paris-Nice, and has Adam Yates and Michael Albasini to back him up. Other riders who have shown strong form coming into the final Spring Classics in the Ardennes are Warren Barguil (Giant-Alpecin), Wilco Kelderman (LottoNl-Jumbo) and Jan Bakelants (AG2R La Mondiale). After his commanding victory in the Vuelta a Castilla y Leon this weekend, it looks like the race could be Valverde's to lose, but when asked if he would go for the win in Belgium, Valverde said, "Well, we will see. The field of contenders is completely different to what I had to face this weekend. Those are races Ive really enjoyed for years, but my main goal at the moment is staying safe and keeping my form going up before the biggest goal of the early season for me, which is the Giro. You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
USA Cycling announces new Safety and Anti-Doping advisory committees
April 18, 2016 (20:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
USA Cycling announced on Monday two new advisory committees for Safety and Anti-Doping that will support the organization in its efforts to increase safety and ensure clean competition in American bike racing, according to a press release from the sport governing body. Both committees include volunteers with expert knowledge and related backgrounds in the two fields. The members were chosen from a combined pool of more than 200 applicants Their role will be both to advise USA Cycling on actions to take and to evaluate the impact of those actions, read the USA Cycling statement. The Safety Committee includes 11 experts from the fields of medicine, data analysis, cycling event promotion and officiating, and competitive cycling.ADVERTISEMENT They will gather and evaluate existing data on bike racing accidents and to establish a set of recommendations for USA Cycling based on any risk factors identified." The Anti-Doping Committee will include eight anti-doping experts, including several world leaders in the field. The group will help USA Cycling to determine how it can best reduce banned doping practices within amateur and professional cycling in America. The committees focus will be to determine the optimal level of testing to cost effectively create a credible deterrent, recommend what other actions USA Cycling can take to reduce doping (e.g., education) and evaluate the effectiveness of USA Cyclings anti-doping efforts over time. The following individuals make up the Safety Committee: You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...

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