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First Edition Cycling News, Friday, April 19, 2013

Date published:
April 19, 2013, 1:00 BST
  • Chris Hoy retires from cycling

    Chris Hoy shows off his gold medal
    Article published:
    April 18, 2013, 12:50 BST
    Cycling News

    Britain's most successful Olympian calls time on career

    Chris Hoy has confirmed that his retirement from cycling at a press conference in Edinburgh. The Scot won six Olympic gold medals during his careers and leaves the sport as Britain’s most successful Olympian.

    Hoy’s final competitive outing came at the London 2012 Olympics, where he won gold in the keirin and team sprint.

    “It is not a decision I took easily or lightly but I know it is the right decision. Being objective, I got every last drop out in London," Hoy said at the press conference, according to the BBC.

    The 37-year-old Hoy had been tempted by the idea of prolonging his career until the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, where the track events will take place in the velodrome that bears his name. When he returned to training after the London Games, however, he realised that it was time to bow out.

    "Nothing would give me more pleasure than going to Glasgow but I don't want to be there for the numbers,” Hoy said. "To go on for another year would be one year too far. I don't want to turn up to wave to fans and get a tracksuit.

    “I wanted to get a medal for Scotland and because I didn't think I could do that, I wanted someone else to take my place.

    “Now it's time for younger riders to experience what it is like to compete in front of a home crowd. I will be there to open it and soak up the experience."

    Hoy's first Olympic success was a silver medal in the team sprint in Sydney in 2000 and he followed that up with gold in the kilometre time trial in Athens in 2004. Hoy was knighted after he won three gold medals (sprint, team sprint and keirin) in Beijing four years later and he completed his Olympic haul with a brace of gold medals in London.

    Hoy also claimed 11 rainbow jerseys during his career, and two gold medals at the Commonwealth Games.


  • Prudhomme: choosing wildcards is a heartbreaker not a brainteaser

    Christophe Prudhomme shows the 2013 Tour de France route
    Article published:
    April 18, 2013, 14:19 BST
    Alasdair Fotheringham

    2013 Tour wildcards yet to be unveiled

    Tour de France director Christian Prudhomme has described selecting the wildcards for the 2013 Tour de France as a “heart-breaking process, rather than a brainteaser,” with numerous squads he would like to select and see racing all pushing for a spot in cycling’s blue riband event.

    While the 19 teams from the WorldTour all gain automatic selection to the Tour de France this year, Prudhomme told Cyclingnews on Wednesday that a decision on the remaining 2013 squads is expected shortly.

    “We could have never been closer to an announcement,” Prudhomme said, without being willing to say when exactly it would be, “and that would be a lot easier with four wildcard teams to choose, without a doubt. It’s a heartbreaker, rather than a brainteaser.”

    The Tour has one berth less to assign this year because of the automatic inclusion of 19, rather than the usual 18, WorldTour squads, following the last-minute addition of Katusha in the WorldTour. “If Katusha had been amongst the original 18, it would have been easier,” Prudhomme said.

    “The choice will be at the organiser’s discretion, just the same as it would be in any sport-tennis for example,” Prudhomme added, although he said the usual ethical and sporting criteria will apply to the selection.

    While the Giro d’Italia’s selection of wildcards was made weeks ago, cycling’s third Grand Tour, the Vuelta a España, also has yet to reveal which teams it will choose for 2013.

  • Santaromita savours his day of glory in Trentino

    Ivan Santaromita (BMC) wins stage 3
    Article published:
    April 18, 2013, 16:52 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    BMC rider wins his first race as professional

    Ivan Santaromita (BMC Racing Team) has been a professional since 2006 but finally got to savour the emotions of winning a race by taking the third stage of the Giro del Trentino in Condino.

    The 28 year-old Italian won the general classification at the 2010 Coppi & Bartali stage race but had never felt the emotions of winning a professional race with his arms in the air. It was the family's second win at the Giro del Trentino after his brother Mauro-Antonio won the race overall in 1989.

    Ivan Santaromita beat fellow Italians Paolo Tiralongo (Astana) and Michele Scarponi (Lampre-Merida) after being in the break of the day during the tough hilly stage around Trento.

    "I'd forgotten what it was like to win. It's been a long time. But this moment pays me back for the sacrifices I've made in all these years," Santaromita said with a huge smile on his face in the winner's press conference.

    "I knew it was today or never. This morning Cadel (Evans) and Baldato told me that I was free to go in the break and try and win the stage. I tried my hardest to take my chance. When you've got riders like Cadel and Gilbert as teammates, it’s natural that you work for them, they're the greats of the sport. But when you get a chance, you've got to take it and fortunately I did today.

    "In the sprint we were all watching each other but I noticed that Scarponi had cramps and so marked Tiralongo. I got on his wheel and waited. He was the one to beat and so I jumped him in sight of the line."

    Riding the Giro d'Italia for Cadel

    Santaromita has raced or Quick Step (2005-2007), Liquigas (2008-2010). He joined BMC in 2011 and has been one of the key domestiques for Cadel Evans, helping the Australian win the Tour de...

  • Kerrison: Wiggins has never been this good on the climbs

    Bradley Wiggins (Sky)
    Article published:
    April 18, 2013, 18:27 BST
    Cycling News

    Team Sky coach denies using SRM data in races

    Team Sky's head of Performance Tim Kerrison is at the Giro del Trentino, carefully monitoring Bradley Wiggins' form during his final race before the Giro d'Italia and that of the riders who will be expected to help him become the first ever British winner of the Corsa Rosa.

    Kerrison has masterminded the revolution in Team Sky's training methods in the last 18 months, replacing blocks of racing with intense training camps, often at altitude, and almost always gauged by SRM power metres.

    Wiggins looks in fine form and revealed that he had never felt as good as he did during Wednesday's mountain stage to Vetriolo Terme. A saddle sore caused him some problems last week and forced him to take antibiotics to eliminate the infection in his body, but he seems to have made a rapid recovery.

    With just over two weeks to the start of the Giro d'Italia, Wiggins appears on track to take on Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) and all the other contenders for overall victory.

    "His training has been going well and his been building his form and his confidence," Kerrison told Cyclingnews in Italy.

    "He came into Trentino a little unsure of his form. Not for the training he'd been doing, but because he was a little unwell before hand. He's 100 per cent now and said he never felt that good on a climb."

    "It (the saddle sore) affected his training last week but more on his time trial bike than his road bike. He did a good week of training last week, but had to move a few sessions around. He felt pretty bad due to the antibiotics and the infection coming out, but could still perform."


  • Bouet ready to fight for overall victory at the Giro del Trentino

    Maxime Bouet (AG2R - La Mondiale) on the podium
    Article published:
    April 18, 2013, 20:50 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    Frenchman faces showdown on the last climb to Sega di Ala

    Maxime Bouet (Ag2r-La Mondiale) kept the race leader's fuchsia jersey for another day at the Giro del Trentino and now faces one last challenge: limiting his losses to Kanstantin Siutsou, Bradley Wiggins and Vincenzo Nibali on the final climb to Sega.

    The friendly Frenchman finished safely in the peloton and took advantage of Vini Fantini-Selle Italia and Team Sky leading the chase of the break. He leads Siutsou by 3:19.Wiggins is at 3:48 and Nibali is at 3:57.

    Friday's last stage is 168km long with a nine kilometre climb after 120km and then the much tougher 16.6km climb up to Sega di Ala, near Lake Garda. It has an average gradient of 8%, with sections at 12% and 14% before easing slightly in the finale.

    It is difficult to predict what will happen on the climb. Nibali might want to save himself for Sunday's Liège-Bastogne-Liège. It'll be curious to see if Wiggins shows his hand. He might try to distance Nibali and land a psychological blow before the Giro d'Italia. If Nibali and Wiggins don't face off, Siutsou could take a deserved win after working hard to recover from his fractured tibia in last year's Tour de France.

    "It was a good day for me. I just hope it will be even better tomorrow," Bouet said.

    "The final climb is very steep. I think Siutsou will struggle more than the lighter climbers like Wiggins and the Astana guys: Nibali, Aru and Dyachenko.

    "I've still got three minutes. It's possible if I've got the form I had three weeks ago. I feel good and I hope to be better tomorrow than I was today."

    Bouet lost team leader Domenico Pozzovivo after the Italian climber crashed...

  • Pozzovivo out of Liège-Bastogne-Liège

    Domenico Pozzovivo (AG2R - La Mondiale)
    Article published:
    April 18, 2013, 22:25 BST
    Cycling News

    Italian suffers fractured ribs in Giro del Trentino

    AG2R's Italian climber Domenico Pozzovivo will not take part in Sunday's Liège-Bastogne-Liège after suffering broken ribs as a result of a crash in today's stage of the Giro del Trentino.

    Pozzovivo also injured his right elbow in the crash, which happened just after the start of the 176km stage 3 from Pergine Valsugana to Condino and required stitches.

    The 30-year-old was sitting 13th overall in the Giro del Trentino after stage 2, having finished the previous stage's major uphill finish just nine seconds off the pace of Bradley Wiggins and Vincenzo Nibali.

    According to the AG2R La Mondiale team, the injuries will not affect Pozzovivo's participation in the upcoming Giro d'Italia.

    The team has not yet decided who will replace him in Sunday's La Doyenne.

  • Schleck: Liège is not easy when you’re not 100 per cent

    Andy Schleck (RadioShack) climbs the Mur de Huy
    Article published:
    April 18, 2013, 23:05 BST
    Jane Aubrey

    Denies any hint of personal crisis

    Andy Schleck admits that the circumstances he is facing this week at the Ardennes is far removed from what is usual, as the RadioShack Leopard rider continues his comeback from a fractured pelvis.

    "It's a strange week for me but I'm really, really happy to be here," he told journalists gathered in conversation at the team's hotel in Lanaken. "First of all because I'm back in the peloton and I'm feeling better and better."

    The 27-year-old showed he is back on the way up, taking a dig off the front at Flèche Wallonne en route to finishing just his third race of the year from eight starts on Wednesday.

    "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger," Schleck stated. "I believe in that. I'm still sitting here facing Liège-Bastogne-Liège on Sunday and it's not an easy race and I'm not 100 per cent. But going in there and not being the leader and hoping for something good - that's hard," the 2009 winner admitted.

    Schleck was not about to hide from that fact that he had hoped to be in better form come the Ardennes this week, but by the same token, there was a satisfaction on the steps he had made.

    "My comeback, I'm still working on it," he said. "I believe there's a strong headwind, but I also believe that it's going to turn."

    Had Schleck made the progression he had hoped, he explained that more of a break following Liège would be on the cards, but instead will restrict himself to two or three days off the bike before getting back to work in order to be in the best form possible for the Tour de France. What level that will be Schleck was not ready to share.

    "I'll do the best possible at the Tour and then maybe I can tell you where I stand,"...

  • Matthews set to make Giro d'Italia debut

    Michael Matthews (Orica Greenedge)
    Article published:
    April 19, 2013, 10:07 BST
    Jane Aubrey

    Former U23 world champion toughs it out at Orica GreenEdge

    Michael Matthews (Orica GreenEdge) is on the verge of making his grand tour debut at the Giro d'Italia, but the road to get there won't be easy.

    "I had to convince him to come up and ride the Ardennes races but that's all part of his development: to make him believe," sports director Neil Stephens told Cyclingnews. "I'm sure he knows that now that he's going to come out of this week as a better bike rider.

    "He's going to go to Romandie, he's going to do part of the Tour of Romandie and he's going to come out of there a better bike rider. He's going to go the Giro and he's going to work in with Gossy and the rest of the boys and he's going to come out of the Giro as a better bike rider. It's a plan over several years."

    The 22-year-old signed for Orica GreenEdge and the end of last season following two years at Rabobank, where he'd taken his first steps in the professional peloton having won the under-23 world title in 2010. It was an unsurprising move on the surface, given Matthews' ties with Orica GreenEdge's general manager Shayne Bannan, who had guided him through development within the national program. Yet at the same time, Matthews had very much found a home within the Dutch team. He admits that it was a difficult decision to leave.

    "They [Rabobank] did everything for me and there was no real reason to leave," Matthews told Cyclingnews. "But when you get this opportunity from GreenEdge to come and join an Australian team with all the riders that you've been growing up watching on TV with Gerrans, Goss, O'Grady... and then getting to ride on the same team as them and with Shayne Bannan, Neil Stephens and Matthew White and everyone being the directors, it was too good of an opportunity to pass up."

    Rabobank can be a tough gig for non-Dutch riders but Matthews made the most of the opportunities that he was given even if he admits that he was thrown in the deep...