Cycling News


Peiper hands Burghardt and Drucker leadership roles for Dwars Door Vlaanderen
March 26, 2015 (02:30) [ Indexed from ]
With Philippe Gilbert and Greg Van Avermaet resting, BMC Racing will provide Marcus Burghardt and Jempy Drucker with leadership roles in Dwars Door Vlaanderen. Both Gilbert and Van Avermaet competed in Milan-San Remo, where they both went on the attack, and with a congested Spring campaignAllan Peiper has opted to promote from within and give two of the teams domestiques the chance to shine. Im hoping that Marcus and Jempy ride well tomorrow. They have an opportunity where there are no other leaders and when youve got an opportunity like that youve got to take it. Marcus has won Gent-Wevelgem before and been on the podium in Harelbeke so he has the ability to do a good ride, Peiper told Cyclingnews after the teams meeting in Roselere on Tuesday afternoon. ADVERTISEMENT Etixx-QuickStep head into the race with three favourites in Mark Cavendish, defending champion Niki Terpstra and world champion Micha‚ Kwiatkowski making a rare appearance on the cobbles. Even without the injured Tom Boonen the Belgian team pose arguably the strongest roster. As long as you can follow Terpstra youll be pretty good. Its going to be a hard race and its really like a mini-Tour of Flanders with one climb after the other. The finish is close to the final climb so none of it is easy. You have to be at the head of the race. Anything can happen in cycling these days so I dont know if its going to be a bunch sprint or not. Its a hard course so I expect it to break up. It could all come back together though. You can read more at More...
Pieper hands Burghardt and Drucker leadership roles for Dwars Door Vlaanderen
March 25, 2015 (02:30) [ Indexed from ]
With Philippe Gilbert and Greg Van Avermaet resting, BMC Racing will provide Marcus Burghardt and Jempy Drucker with leadership roles in Dwars Door Vlaanderen. Both Gilbert and Van Avermaet competed in Milan-San Remo, where they both went on the attack, and with a congested Spring campaignAllan Peiper has opted to promote from within and give two of the teams domestiques the chance to shine. Im hoping that Marcus and Jempy ride well tomorrow. They have an opportunity where there are no other leaders and when youve got an opportunity like that youve got to take it. Marcus has won Gent-Wevelgem before and been on the podium in Harelbeke so he has the ability to do a good ride, Peiper told Cyclingnews after the teams meeting in Roselere on Tuesday afternoon. ADVERTISEMENT Etixx-QuickStep head into the race with three favourites in Mark Cavendish, defending champion Niki Terpstra and world champion Micha‚ Kwiatkowski making a rare appearance on the cobbles. Even without the injured Tom Boonen the Belgian team pose arguably the strongest roster. As long as you can follow Terpstra youll be pretty good. Its going to be a hard race and its really like a mini-Tour of Flanders with one climb after the other. The finish is close to the final climb so none of it is easy. You have to be at the head of the race. Anything can happen in cycling these days so I dont know if its going to be a bunch sprint or not. Its a hard course so I expect it to break up. It could all come back together though. You can read more at More...
Cavendish, Kwiatowski and Terpstra give Etixx-QuickStep options at Dwars door Vlaanderen
March 25, 2015 (02:30) [ Indexed from ]
E3 Harelbekes elevation to WorldTour status and its shift to a Friday slot in 2012 has had an undoubted impact on the depth of the field at Dwars door Vlaanderen in recent years, but the presence of so many of Etixx-QuickSteps galacticos guarantees a certain quotient of star quality on the start line in Roeselares Grot Markt on Wednesday morning. Tom Boonen, of course, has been ruled out of the entire classics campaign due to injury, though he was never likely to take part on Wednesday in any case " the Belgian has not lined up at Dwars door Vlaanderen since 2011, expressly to spare himself for WorldTour duty at the weekend. His absence will be keenly felt come the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix, but on the 200-kilometre trek to Waregem on Wednesday, Etixx-QuickStep have a surfeit of potential winners. Leading the line are world champion Michal Kwiatkowski, Paris-Roubaix winner Niki Terpstra and Mark Cavendish, who is fine-tuning ahead of Gent-Wevelgem at the weekend.ADVERTISEMENT Dwars door Vlaanderen will be Kwiatkowskis sole outing on the cobbles this spring " it would have been unthinkable for a QuickStep-sponsored rider not to race at least once in the rainbow jersey in Flanders " but while the Ardennes Classics are his primary target, the Poles is unlikely to be a mere token appearance. Kwiatkowski already highlighted his condition by finishing second overall at Paris-Nice, though it remains to be seen what impact his crash in the finale of Milan-San Remo has on his performance here. He needed a couple of days to get over it but tomorrow is his next race so well wait and see, eh, Etixx-QuickStep directeur sportif Wilfried Peeters told Cyclingnews in Roeselare on Tuesday. Cavendish, too, suffered misfortune at La Classicissima, when he dropped his chain near the top of the Cipressa, just as he had done in the bunch sprint at Cascina during Tirreno-Adriatico. Although he managed to catch up on the descent, he paid for the effort on the Poggio and was jettisoned out the back. You can read more at More...
Cavendish: CIRC report is nothing new
March 25, 2015 (02:30) [ Indexed from ]
Mark Cavendish (Etixx-QuickStep) has said that he doesnt think the recent report from the Cycling Independent Reform Commission (CIRC) has brought anything new to the table. The CIRC spent a year looking into the murky history of the sport and spoke to a number of people from the past and present world of cycling but Cavendish believes much of it was already public knowledge. To be brutally honest, I dont think that there is anything particularly new in there. I think that it is all the shit thats been out there in the last few years just compiled into one document that gives people something else to talk about the past of cycling like its the present, Cavendish said during a conference call following the announcement he would compete at this years Prudential RideLondon. Its a little bit frustrating, that would be an understatement to say its a bit frustrating. I think modern cycling is cleaning up and Im racing in a better playing field in the sport that I love and Ill continue to be happy with that.ADVERTISEMENT A total of 174 people spoke to the commission throughout the year-long investigation but few of those were current professionals and no new admissions of doping came from it. Following the release of the findings on March 9, several riders and anti-doping advocates said that they had heard nothing from the CIRC. Cavendish told reporters that he hadnt been approached by the investigation and feels that it doesnt represent the modern peloton. I wasnt asked at all and I think theres quotes in there that I know 95 percent of the peloton know that there is one rider that will have said certain comments and the other five percent wont know that rider and couldnt comment on it. Theres certain comments from one reliable source dont mean anything, said Cavendish. To be honest, I dont spend not even a small amount of time looking at the cycling press and maybe thats where it was. I dont know. Unfinished business in London You can read more at More...
Cavendish to headline Prudential RideLondon
March 25, 2015 (02:30) [ Indexed from ]
Mark Cavendish and his Etixx-QuickStep team will lead the line-up at this years Prudential RideLondon. The Manxman has confirmed that he will make Cavendishs first appearance at the race. Cavendish won the pre-cursor to the event, the London-Surrey Classics in 2011, and was set to ride last season before he crashed out of the Tour de France " dislocating his AC joint. I cant wait to ride this year. After only two years, this race is already an event every rider wants to win and you cant beat racing in front of British crowds. After missing out in 2014 I was determined to ride in 2015, Cavendish said. The race takes place the Sunday after the Tour de France and will return as a 1.HC classified event, following its promotion to that category last season. Adam Blythe won the 2014 edition after getting into the early break. He beat Team Skys Ben Swift in the reduced sprint, a win that saw him move back to the WorldTour with Orica-GreenEdge this season.ADVERTISEMENT A total of 25 teams will take part in the race, which announced that it will offer the biggest prize pot for a one-day classic with 100,000 euros for the race winner. The 200-kilometre race will start and finish on the Mall, beginning at Horse Guards Parade before heading out through Kingston upon Thames and onto the Surrey hills. The riders will complete the southern loop once, taking in Leith Hill, before tackling the northern loop and Ranmore Common three times " once more than last year. Box Hill still lies ahead of the peloton, ready to make the final selection. From Box Hill, the race winds its way back towards Kingston upon Thames and through central London into Trafalgar Square, before the iconic finish on the Mall. Were delighted to have Mark Cavendish in this years field. Hes not just a great sprinter but hes also a very good climber on this type of terrain and this route should suit him very well, said race director Mick Bennett. You can read more at More...
Cavendish says Olympic ambitions would harm career (Reuters)
March 24, 2015 (18:15) [ Indexed from Yahoo! Sports ]
By Martyn Herman LONDON (Reuters) - Briton Mark Cavendish has ruled out trying to add an Olympic medal to his long list of honors, saying it would be "detrimental" to his career. Winner of 25 Tour de France stages and the world road title in 2011, the Isle of Man rider has begun the road season in fine style, winning the Tour of Dubai for his Etixx-Quick Step team. His focus is now on this year's Tour de France and trying to move past French great Bernard Hinault into second place on the all-time list of stage victories. The Olympics, he says, is a nice idea but not on his list of priorities, especially as the hilly road course in Rio de Janeiro would not suit him and a switch to one of the track disciplines would not be practical. More...
Cavendish to ride in London one-day classic (Reuters)
March 24, 2015 (14:00) [ Indexed from Yahoo! Sports ]
Multiple Tour de France stage winner Mark Cavendish will head the lineup at the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic in August, organizers of the 200km one-day race said on Tuesday. Briton Cavendish, who has 25 Tour stage victories to his name, will join his Etixx-Quick-Step team for a race that offers more prize money than any other UCI (International Cycling Union) one-day classic. Sprint king Cavendish, 29, missed the race last year because he was still recovering from the injuries he sustained in a first-day crash at the Tour de France in Harrogate. More...
Poggio crash knocks Stybar and Kwiatkowski from contention
March 23, 2015 (17:30) [ Indexed from ]
With Mark Cavendish lagging behind on the Poggio after dropping his chain on the Cipressa and having to chase back on, Etixx-QuickStep's hopes for a Milan-San Remo victory fell on the shoulders of Zdenek Stybar and World Champion Michal Kwiatkowski. But those hopes, too, were dashed when a crash on the decsent off the Poggio took both riders out of contention. Let's hope tomorrow morning when I wake up from bed I won't feel anything, Kwiatkowski said after the nearly seven-hour race. But as of now I am feeling OK and I have to be happy about that. Bad luck today, especially that both of us were on the ground. The race looks different than what it could have been if that didn't happen.ADVERTISEMENT In the end, it was Giant-Alpecin sprinter John Degenkolb who took the win ahead of defending champion Alexander Kristoff (Team Katusha) and Australian Michael Matthews (Orica-Greenedge). Cavendish was the top finisher for Etixx-Quickstep, crossing the line in 46th place, 23 seconds behind the winner. It was a disappointing result for a team that seemed to have multiple options going into the finish on Via Roma. We did it perfectly today, my teammates did a great job putting us into good position, Kwiatkowski said. For the first time at Milan-San Remo I was there on the Poggio. We felt really comfortable. It was still a big group. You can read more at More...
Cavendish left disappointed after dropping his chain in Milan-San Remo
March 23, 2015 (17:30) [ Indexed from ]
Mark Cavendish was consoled by his daughter at the finish of Milan-San Remo but even her hugs and kisses could not erase his disappointment. Milan-San Remo is always a lottery but the Etixx-QuickStep team came away empty-handed. Michal Kwiatkowski and Zdenek Stybar crashed on the descent of the Poggio and Cavendish was dropped on the Poggio, finishing 46th in a chase group at 23 seconds behind the winner John Degenkolb. Cavendish revealed he dropped his chain on the climb of the Cipressa just as he did in the sprint in Cascina during Tirreno-Adriatico, and was forced to spend precious energy to hold the gap and then fight on in the hope of the race coming back together.ADVERTISEMENT I didn't feel good at all, but the team put me in good position through all the climbs, I just fought and fought, just to have a chance but then with a kilometre and a half to go on the Cipressa, the same thing as at Tirreno happened: my chain came off, he said. It was on the flat bit of the Cipressa, you shouldn't ever be dropped on the Cipressa but my chain came off on the outside like in Tirreno, like it happened to Tom (Boonen) and a few guys this year. Despite not being at his best due to he stomach virus he picked up during a sponsor trip to South Africa, Cavendish fought to hold and close the gap on the Cipressa. But his effort cost him dearly, especially on the Poggio, where he was eventually left behind. You can read more at More...
Cavendish not 100 per cent for San Remo after stomach virus
March 22, 2015 (02:15) [ Indexed from ]
Mark Cavendish (Etixx-QuickStep) has played down his chances of victory ahead of Milan-San Remo. The 2009 race winner developed a stomach virus, as did his lead-out man Mark Renshaw, during a recent trip to South Africa. Days later, he battled through a snow and rain battered Tirreno-Adriatico, which he abandoned ahead of the final time trial to avoid putting any unnecessary strain on his body. While the illness is well behind him he says that the disruption to his preparation means that hes not found the form hed have liked ahead of the Italian classic. I was really ill. I spent four days in bed, a subdued Cavendish said. I dont feel 100 per cent. I feel better from my illness but Im not 100 per cent. Cavendish is QuickSteps number one option if the race ends in a bunch sprint, with Michal Kwiatkowski and Zdenek Stybar providing other options as joint leaders alongside the Manxman. As a former victor and one of the most prolific winners of recent years, even a below-par Cavendish is a threat and will be heavily watched by his rivals. However, when asked if he saw himself as a race favourite the answer was short and sweet, no.ADVERTISEMENT With two other potential victors within the eight-man line-up there is less pressure on Cavendish. The 29-year-old believes that his teammates can deliver Etixx-QuickStep to triumph on the Via Roma if hes not able to. Etixx-QuickStep have got a strong team, weve got a lot of bases covered and a lot of options. So we go into tomorrow and well see how the race goes and hopefully well come out with success, he explained. As long as we dont compromise then it is good. I think this particular group of riders complements each other, our style of riding, and there are chances of success at San Remo. You can read more at More...
Stybar and Kwiatkowski provide Etixx-QuickStep with options at Milan-San Remo
March 22, 2015 (02:15) [ Indexed from ]
Etixx-QuickStep have an enviable list of options for the first Monument of the year. Despite losing the talismanic Tom Boonen, they still head into Sundays Milan-San Remo with former winner Mark Cavendish, world champion Michal Kwiatkowskiand recent Strade Bianche winner Zdenek Stybar. Few other teams can match them in terms of options aside from perhaps BMC with Philippe Gilbert and Greg Van Avermaet to choose between. With a string of top talent on their roster its rare that Etixx-QuickStep enter a race without a plan B but it doesnt always work out. At last years Tour of Flanders they went in with three leaders but failed to make the podium, however, a week later they reversed their fortunes as Niki Terpstra stormed away to win Paris-Roubaix.ADVERTISEMENT So what it is this year? Is it a case of too many cook spoil the broth or can they use it to their advantage? We are with three and I think that we can deal with that, Stybar told Cyclingnews on the eve of Milan-San Remo. None of us are such an individual that he doesnt want to win himself. Everyone wants to win themselves, but we have such a good relationship that I will be just as happy if Mark or Kwiatko wins. I think that we can deal with that. For both Stybar and Kwiatkowski it will be their third appearance at the Italian race, with the former scoring his best result of seventh at last years edition. Kwiatkowski, however, has yet to finish La Primavera, blaming the abandons on a hectic early season schedule in 2013 and 2014. Theyve made some changes to his programme this season, giving the world champion a much more gradual build-up to the spring. After a strong performance at Paris-Nice, which saw him take second in the overall classification behind Richie Porte, he travelled to Italy to reconnoitre the final kilometres over the Cipressa, the Poggio and into San Remo. It was a much less stressful approach to the race and allowed him to see the stretches of road hed never reached during his previous two attempts at the race - and now he can plan what he might do on Sunday. I didnt feel tired after Paris-Nice. We did the recon on the Monday and I really enjoyed that time, said Kwiatkowski. The most important moment is on the top of the Poggio to be in the front, because if you have one rider who hasnt got the best skills in the descent then you can lose the race there. Ive just watched Milan-San Remo on the television. I couldnt feel it on my skin before how the race looks like because I just raced 140km in the peloton and then I stopped in the first or second feed zone Because I saw the Capi, the Cipressa and the Poggio I can dream and think about the finale more now than when Id never seen the Poggio or the Cipressa. That was really useful for me. Milan-San Remo will be Kwiatkowskis first major classic since winning the rainbow jersey six months ago. His attack just before the final climb of the World Championship road race caught the peloton on the hop, allowing him to establish a crucial advantage over the group. A similar attack ahead of the Poggio could see him make a repeat performance but with the rainbow stripes on his back is it possible to get the jump on the peloton in the same way? Its possible on the descent of the Poggio to surprise but not really a chance to chase someone back. Its just your skills that matter and your position before the descent that matters. I think there is no difference whether you have rainbow stripes or not, said Kwiatkowski. I think nobody could follow my attack in Ponferrada. I never try to move in the race when it is a surprising moment, I try to move when it is the moment to attack. Stybar is also more than capable of riding off the front in a breakaway and, if it was to come to a small bunch sprint, then his turn of speed makes him a likely candidate for victory. The Czech road champion played his tactical cards close to his chest but said that hes ready for whatever comes his way. I think I have a lot of options. There is the final that everyone knows and I think if a group goes on whatever climb I can follow, explained Stybar. Honestly I feel pretty good. I think the shape is fine, since the opening weekend in Belgium even since the first races I have felt good and now I am improving and I hope that the shape will stay. For tomorrow, I just look forward to the race because its a monument and its a really nice race. I just hope that it wont be the same weather as it was last year and two years ago. You can read more at More...
inCycle: Cavendish on Milan-San Remo, the Tour de France and his appetite for success
March 21, 2015 (02:15) [ Indexed from ]
This weekend marks the sixth year anniversary Mark Cavendish stormed across the line to win Milan-San Remo in dramatic circumstances. That sprint, the desperate lunges for the line from him and second placed Heinrich Haussler created one of the most iconic images in cyclings recent history and saw Cavendish claim his maiden and only Monument win. Since then, the British rider has struck out in La Clasica Primavera with course changes, atrocious weather and admittedly better performances on the day, all denying him of his second title. Yet Milan-San Remo remains a race close to Cavendishs heart and his desire to keep on winning was evident when InCycle sat down with the man earlier in the season.ADVERTISEMENT The race is one that Cavendish watched as a child and is one that he fell in love with his heroes charging up the Cipressa and the Poggio before descending to onto the Via Roma for a crescendo finish. In this video Cavendish talks emotively about the San Remo, his desire to keep on wining and of course, the Tour de France, another race where he has forged success. Click here to watch more videos from the Cyclingnews channel. You can read more at More...
Aldag: With Cavendish, Stybar and Kwiatkowski we have options for Milan-San Remo
March 21, 2015 (02:15) [ Indexed from ]
Etixx-QuickStep Sport and Development Manager Rolf Aldag believes that one of his teams strengths for the upcoming Milan-San Remo is that the Belgian squad has various options for a race which is often unpredictable in the extreme. Aldag himself knows Milan-San Remo well as a rider, taking part in it over ten times in support of Erik Zabel, the four times winner. Given La Primavera is a race where in the critical last third the scenarios are altering constantly, as a director and rider in turn Aldag believes that means you have to be continuously thinking about the changes that demands. Its not like Fleche Wallonne, say, where if youve got the best uphill sprinter and if you deliver him to the foot of the Mur and hes in a good position, thats basically it, he will win that race. Milan-San Remo is just not that simple.ADVERTISEMENT Although Tom Boonens absence through injury will obviously be a setback for Etixx-Quick Step - amongst other reasons, the Belgian finished third behind Oscar Freire and Allan Davis on the Via Roma finish back in 2007 - Zdenek Stybar, Mark Cavendish and Michal Kwiatkowski will all figure in different ways in the Belgian squads end-of-race plans for Sunday. Although Kwiatkowski has yet to finish Milan-San Remo in two participations, Kwia is always important because hes one of the best bike riders in the world, so its always good to have him. He wants to see how far he can get and what he can he do, because in bad weather in the past hes suffered badly on the Turchino already, so its going to be a new experience for him. If he gets there like he should do, then purely from the shape he has - with a second place in Paris-Nice his most recent success - then he can do everything. He can go with the best on the climbs, he can go with the best on the downhills, he can lead out and he can sprint. Thats why also hes World Champion. You can read more at More...
Cavendish, Stybar lead Etixx-Quick Step in Milan-San Remo
March 19, 2015 (02:00) [ Indexed from ]
Etixx-Quick Step will line up for Milan-San Remo on Sunday behind sprinter Mark Cavendish in a bid to add a second Monument to his palmares as the race returns to the Via Roma for the first time since 2007. Cavendish will be supported by Strade Bianche winner Zdenek Stybar and world champion Michal Kwiatkowski in the 293km race, and although manager Rolf Aldag admits his team are not the favorites for the win, they have the depth to respond to several different scenarios. As every year Milano-Sanremo is the first great one day race of the season," said Aldag. "Its a race with a great history, one of the five Monuments in cycling. A team who values tradition like we do, its always motivating for a race like this even if this time we are not the biggest favorite." Cavendish dropped out of the penultimate stage of Tirreno-Adriatico after being unable to hold the pace of rival Tinkoff-Saxo on the only climb of the stage.The team said he had been suffering from a stomach bug but should be recovered by this weekend.ADVERTISEMENT "Our strength is that we have so many riders at a high level. We cannot hide that we have talent on our team and that we can be protagonists in each race situation, from 'I Capi' until the finish in Via Roma. We have guys like Stybar that can fire up the race, Kwiatkowski, who showed all his talent at Paris Nice, and Mark Cavendish, that from our group is the only one who has already won 'La Primavera'. But Milano-Sanremo is an unpredictable race. Thats what makes it special. At the start at least 100 riders dream about a victory in Via Roma." Like most of the teams, Etixx-Quick Step are keeping an eye on the weather, which forecasters predict will be rainy but without the snow that plagued riders in 2013. Any amount of precipitation will make the descent from the Poggio, which comes in the final 6km of the race, unpredictable. "The weather conditions can drastically change the race," Aldag said. "The objective in these days before the race is to recover as much as we can from the hard race we had in Paris-Nice and from a few days of bad weather at Tirreno-Adriatico. Especially Mark Cavendish, who was not 100 percent going into Tirreno because of a stomach virus. He will benefit from these days for a good recovery. The team is ready, and we look forward to next Sunday. You can read more at More...
2015 Tour of Britain hoping to attract star line-up with toughest route yet
March 19, 2015 (02:00) [ Indexed from ]
Tour of Britain race director Mick Bennett hopes that the challenging 2015 parcours will attract the biggest names in cycling, as they build up to the World Championships in Richmond. On Tuesday, Bennett announced what is probably the toughest route, and is definitely the longest, in the races history, with the Hartside Fell in the Pennines set to test the riders on stage five. There are some really brutal days out there and deliberately so, Bennett told the races website, Firstly we want our national British tour to reflect the tough terrain which is part and parcel of our cycling scene and secondly we have talked informally with the teams in recent years " and increasingly with the big World Tour teams " and they are adamant that they would welcome a couple of really testing long days ahead of the Worlds. We are very happy to oblige and it fits in perfectly with our remit of expanding the race. Competing with the Vuelta a Espaa and the Canadian WorldTour races of Montreal and Quebec, the race is fighting to make itself an ideal proving ground for World Championship hopefuls. Michal Kwiatkowski (Etixx-QuickStep) and Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky) used it to perfection last year, while Mark Cavendish (Etixx-QuickStep) also rode the race on the way to his world title in 2011.ADVERTISEMENT Anyone hoping for longer and more challenging terrain will be delighted, with three stages of the eight-day race breaching the 200-kilometre mark and the overall route totalling 1,471 " almost 100 kilometres longer than last years race. The 2015 course breaks another record for the race with the riders taking on the Hartside Fell, which at 1,904 feet is the highest point the race has ever passed. Hartside will be the show-piece finish to stage five and Bennett expects a big battle. You would fancy the peloton to arrive at the foot of the climb pretty much intact unless the wind blows en-route, in which case it could be split asunder by the time the main challenge presents itself. And wind is not unknown in those parts, he explained. "It's (Hartside) a proper 8km climb and although the average gradient is a comparatively modest 5% up at the top there are some nasty 10% sections and a hairpin that could reward the more aggressive riders. This stage has a real sting in the tail. There will be no time trialling at this years race, with construction work preventing the organisers from using the traditional London route on the final day. It has been replaced by a corner-packed criterium through the heart of London, which Bennett says will be no easy ride. You can read more at More...
Cavendish's thoughts turn to Milan-San Remo
March 18, 2015 (01:45) [ Indexed from ]
Mark Cavendish (Etixx-QuickStep) headed out for a recovery ride on Tuesday morning instead of taking part in the final time trial at Tirreno-Adriatico, his thoughts already turning to Milan-San Remo, the first big one-day Classic of 2015 and the first big goal of his season. Cavendish preferred to pull out of Tirreno-Adriatico during Mondays sixth stage after Tinkoff-Saxo split the peloton on a climb 80km from the finish. He and four teammates climbed off with 30km to go to avoid suffering any longer in the heavy rain. If I was I was in contention, I wouldn't have pulled out. There's no point in doing kilometres in the rain, it's better to go training today, Cavendish told journalists at Tirreno-Adriatico in the teams hotel in Casabianca di Fermo before his ride.ADVERTISEMENT Cavendish admitted that the stomach virus that hit him hard during a sponsor trip to South Africa before Tirreno-Adriatico had left him unsure of his form and how well he will recover for Milan-San Remo. I really don't know, he said. In Tirreno, we were under the weather. This year wasn't a race you could ride into, it got harder and harder. It's harder to tell if I'm more tired from the race. Stopping yesterday gives me an extra day, which is still enough time to see where I'm at before the race. Is he nervous because of this? You can read more at More...
Etixx-Quickstep pulls Cavendish from cold, rainy Tirreno-Adriatico
March 17, 2015 (01:15) [ Indexed from ]
With Mark Cavendish looking unlikely to win another stage in Tirreno-Adriatico, directeur sportif Brian Holm took the decision to simply throw in the towel and pull Cavendish and his entire lead-out train from the race. Cavendish was part of a large group of riders dropped by the furious pace of the Tinkoff-Saxo team, who eventually won the stage with PeterSagan, on the climb of the Montelparo, 72km from the finish. Etixx-Quickstep waited for him, but the team decided to cut its losses ahead of Milan-SanRemo this weekend. "I saw straight from the start that Mark wasn't good today," Holm said. "He didn't feel well and he lost contact quite early when the bunch wasn't really going fast. We asked Sabatini, Terpstra, Renshaw, and Stybar to wait for him to eventually try to close the gap if he should get better during the stage, but it didn't happen. At that point it was a wise decision to stop racing instead of doing 2 laps in the final local circuit under the rain."ADVERTISEMENT Riders in the gruppetto on Sunday's mountain finish had to make their way through a heavy snowfall to get to the finish line, and the weather did not improve for today's 210 trek from Rieti to Porto Sant'Elpidio. With a driving rain and temperatures barely above freezing, Cavendish was one of 20 riders who either failed to start or did not finish the stage. "Milano-Sanremo is in a few days, so we didn't want to take the risk to have any sick riders before a big appointment, which is this upcoming Sunday." Rigoberto Uran remains in third place overall behind Nairo Quintana (Movistar) and Bauke Mollema (Trek), but now only has two riders: Julien Vermote and Gianluca Brambilla in the race with him for the final stage, a 10km time trial in San Benedetto del Tronto. You can read more at More...
Video: Tirreno-Adriatico Stage 2 highlights
March 13, 2015 (00:30) [ Indexed from ]
Multiple crashes during the run-in to the finish of Thursday's second stage at Tirreno-Adriatico were a prelude to the bunch sprint, where a crash just behind the leaders in the finishing straight took out a handful of riders, including Sky's Elia Viviani. Belgian championJens Debusschere (Lotto-Soudal) won the stage by staying ahead of the carnage and overtaking early leader Tyler Farrar, whose MTN-Qhubeka team continues to dial in its talented sprint train. A mechanical took Etixx-QuickStep's Mark Cavendish out of the final action. Click here to subscribe to the Cyclingnews video channel.ADVERTISEMENT You can read more at More...
Etixx-QuickStep to investigate Cavendish's dropped chain in Tirreno-Adriatico
March 12, 2015 (20:45) [ Indexed from ]
Mark Cavendishs Etixx-QuickStep team has said it will move quickly to investigate what caused the Manxman's chain to drop and so spark a crash at the end of stage 2 of Tirreno-Adriaticoin Cascina. It seems that Tom Boonen suffered a similar problem in a sprint at the Tour of Qatar. Cavendish was perfectly placed and about to launch his sprint with 250 metres to go when his chain jumped outwards and off his big chain ring. Cavendish managed to stay upright despite the sudden loss of power but moved slightly. Elia Viviani (Team Sky) was unable to avoid Cavendish and was the first to crash. Sacha Modolo (Lampre-Merida) and several other riders also went down hard. Both Viviani and Modolo got up and finished the stage but suffered multiple injuries Cavendish stood just after the finish line waiting for a new wheel but initially refused to talk about the crash. He later confirmed that his chain came off his front chainring.ADVERTISEMENT "Everything was perfect," Cavendish said. "I was in good position to launch my sprint. But when I tried to go, my chain dropped off from the big chainring to the right, and the momentum from the sudden loss of torque caused me to move right. There's nothing I could have done to avoid it, and it's a miracle I didn't crash. I watched the sprint after the stage in the team bus. I feel sorry for Elia Viviani who went down behind me, and the other guys involved. Hopefully it's nothing serious." The teams sport and development manager Rolf Aldag gave more information to the media at the Etixx-QuickStep team bus, including Cyclingnews. Etixx-QuickStep switched from SRAM to a mix of FSA chainsets with integrated SRM power metres and Shimano gears for 2015. Aldag confirmed that the team also uses Shimano chains. The Belgian team is apparently waiting for FSA to complete its full groupset of electronic components. You can read more at More...
Cavendish to fight on at Tirreno-Adriatico despite stomach virus
March 11, 2015 (20:00) [ Indexed from ]
Mark Cavendish confirmed on Twitter he had been suffering with a nasty stomach virus for several days but gritted his teeth to start Tirreno-Adriatico and used the opening time trial to test how he was feeling. He finished 30th, 12 seconds behind winner Adriano Maori (Movistar) but wanted to test his legs by going as hard as he could. Im feeling better but Im not 100 per cent. Ive been bad for four days, he told Cyclingnews as he warmed down from his ride. Im quite happy with my time considering but I felt weak and I didnt have that usual power through the muscles. I wanted to see where Im at and actually I think Im okay. Im recovering for sure. Im getting over it.ADVERTISEMENT Cavendish and his teammate and leadout man Mark Renshaw came down with the virus during a trip to South Africa last week to attend a team sponsor event. They also competed in the Cape Town Cycle Tour mass participation ride and race on Sunday despite being ill. Before travelling to South Africa, Cavendish showed he was on form by winning the Dubai Tour and Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne, beating his big Milan-San Remo rival Alexander Kirstoff (Katusha). The Manxman admitted that he now has some doubts about his form but knows that riding Tirreno-Adriatico will be vital if he is to recover his form and sprinting speed for Milan-San Remo. Ive been ahead of where I wanted to be all season. I havent been nervous about anything and I knew Id done the work to win when going into the races. Now after the trip to South Africa and getting sick, Im a little bit nervous for the first time this year, he said. You can read more at More...

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