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First Edition Cycling News, Friday, August 23, 2013

Date published:
August 23, 2013, 1:00 BST
  • Tom Boonen ends 2013 season due to injury

    Belgian Champion Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma - QuickStep)
    Article published:
    August 22, 2013, 18:54 BST
    Cycling News

    Belgian calls time and looks to 2014

    Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma QuickStep) has been forced to end his 2013 season due to a longstanding injury, his team confirmed Thursday.

    The Belgian has been suffering from a the perineum cyst in recent weeks, and despite some recent improvements the injury has not cleared up as quickly as the rider and his team would have liked.

    “It’s terrible news but unfortunately I was expecting it," explained Boonen. "There isn’t much you can do for this type of problem but take the proper time to heal. For a rider it is definitely one of the most delicate injuries. I’m very disappointed; physically I feel fine and after the stage victory at Tour de Wallonie I was looking forward to a good end to the season. However, last week I got on my bike and after one hour the wound opened up again. It’s useless to go on like this. The team staff and I have agreed to give the injury time to heal and then in October I will immediately start preparing for 2014.

    “Also in 2011 due to the same problem I anticipated the winter preparation for 2012, which turned out to be one of my best seasons. The objective is to be ready right away in 2014. This period of forced stoppage will inspire me even more. I’m motivated and I really want to make an important mark next season for me and for my OPQS Team.”

    Boonen enjoyed a stellar 2012, wining Paris-Roubaix, Ronde Van Vlaanderen, Gent-Wevelgem and E3 Harelbeke. However 2013 has been a complete contrast with injuries, crashes, and even problems with the Belgian tax man dominating his calendar. In July he was hit by flu, and he then skipped the Eneco Tour but his Classics season was written off when he crashed out of the Tour of Flanders.

    “It’s clear that in these conditions training just isn’t...

  • Follow the 2013 Vuelta a España with Cyclingnews

    The Cyclingnews Tour Tracker app
    Article published:
    August 22, 2013, 19:48 BST
    Cycling News

    Tour Tracker app is back

    Post Tour de France blues? Get your next road racing fix from the 2013 Vuelta a España and keep up with all the news, as it happens, with the FREE Cyclingnews Tour Tracker app.

    If you have already downloaded the app to track the Tour de France, all you have to do is pop back into it and the Vuelta coverage will be there at your fingertips! If not, this free, 5-start rated app for all cycling fans is available on iPhone and Android and includes: 

    · Live GPS tracking including data from the riders – groups and splits

    · Live mapping and climb profile data

    · Live, commentary from the Cyclingnews team

    · In-depth stage previews, reviews and standings

    · Amazing HD photography from each stage, as it happens

    · The latest standings for all the jersey competitions

    · Customised social media commentary from the biggest names in the world of cycling

    · Tour Tracker Time Machine

    · Rider Biometrics analysis

    · Breakaway Explorer 

    You can download the app from Itunes or from Google Play

    Of course Cyclingnews will be providing its usual live coverage from the race, right here on the website too. Coverage kicks off on Saturday with the team time trial



  • Cavendish returning to the track, with an eye to the 2016 Rio Olympics?

    An ecstatic Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) after winning stage 13 of the Tour de France
    Article published:
    August 22, 2013, 21:10 BST
    Cycling News

    Omega Pharma-QuickStep sprinter registered for The Belgian Open

    Mark Cavendish has taken the first step towards a possible return to the track again, with an eye on the 2016 Rio Olympics. Unlike former teammate Bradley Wiggins, though, he is not expected to stop with road racing.

    The Omega Pharma-QuickStep rider has registered to ride The Belgian Open on September 6-7 in Gent. That is a new event, which will allow him to earn the necessary points to participate in the world cup races and ultimately the Olympics.

    Cavendish apparently did not inform his team, as team manager Patrick Lefevere told Het Nieuwsblad that he did not know of the Briton's participation in the track event.

    The Belgian Open and other track events would apparently fit in with Cavendish' road racing schedule. His last race was the Tour of Denmark earlier this month, where he won the final stage, and his next scheduled race is the Tour of Britain, September 15 -22. He will not ride the road World Championships this year.

    Cavendish started his career on the track, winning the word title in Madison in 2005 and 2008. In Gent, he would ride the scratch and pursuit races, the same ones he rode when he last appeared in the track world championships in 2009.

  • Sánchez predicts no stand-out favourite in Vuelta a España

    Samuel Sanchez seems even more pleased than Urtasun
    Article published:
    August 22, 2013, 23:19 BST
    Alasdair Fotheringham

    Euskaltel-Euskadi leader wants to complete palmares with overall victory

    Samuel Sánchez (Euskaltel-Euskadi) believes that the Vuelta a España will be “the most interesting of all three Grand Tours this year because there is no stand-out favourite” - and although the veteran Spaniard has not named himself as a main contender, the former Olympic road-race champion is widely tipped to be in that category.

    After an uneven Giro in which he came within a whisker of winning the uphill time trial in the third week, and a timely victory in the toughest stage of the Criterium du Dauphine, Sánchez will take part in his sixth Vuelta a España this year - a race in which, as he told Spanish sports daily Marca on Thursday, he has come consistently close to hitting the bulls eye.

    “Only the overall victory is missing from my palmares, I’ve been third, second and won five stages,” Sánchez, who has never finished worse than 15th overall in Madrid [in 2004, since when he has steadily improved on his placings, finally reaching his runner’s-up spot in 2009], said. And after “almost the whole of July in Sierra Nevada [at altitude in southern Spain]” his form for his first Vuelta in five years should be good.

    “I’m going to go for it day by day,” he told Marca, “because all the stages have something about them that’s a challenge and you can’t ever let your guard down. We start off with a team time trial and then the day after we’ve got the first mountain-top finish.”

    “It’s going to be a fun race for fans to follow, but really tough on the riders.”

    “The two toughest stages will be [stage 15] to Peyragudes, which is the hardest in terms of length and...

  • Australia announce long team for UCI Road World Championships

    Neil Stephens and Simon Gerrans (Orica - GreenEdge) groove on
    Article published:
    August 23, 2013, 0:20 BST
    Cycling News

    Evans, Porte, Gerrans, Rogers all named

    Cycling Australia has announced its long teams set to contest the 2013 Road World Championships in Florence, Italy, late next month.

    The men's squad of 17 riders will be cut down to nine men for the road race and two for the time trial. New Australian sports director for the Championships, Bradley McGee has already declared the current crop of Australian talent as a 'selector's dream' with Simon Gerrans (Orica GreenEdge), Richie Porte (Sky), Michael Rogers (Saxo-Tinkoff) and Cadel Evans (BMC) all possible leaders.

    The elite women's squad of 16 will be reduced to seven riders in the road race, plus two in the time trial as well as the Oceania Champion in each event it selected. Shara Gillow (Orica-AIS), Tiffany Cromwell (Orica-AIS) and Ruth Corset (Bizkaia-Durango) all present strong chances on the hilly circuit in Florence.

    The U23 men's squad of 11 will be cut down to five in the road race and two in the time trial as well as the Oceania Champion in each event if selected. Caleb Ewan (Jayco-AIS) has been the go-to man for the Australian National Team whilst racing in Europe, the question remains, however, as to his climbing ability on such a tough course. Adam Phelan (Jayco-AIS/Drapac) presents a good climbing chance, as well as Bradley Linfield (JAyco-AIS) and Samuel Spokes (Etixx –Ihned)

    Elite Men

    Simon Clarke (Orica-GreenEDGE)
    Rohan Dennis (Garmin-Sharp)
    Luke Durbridge...

  • Acevedo bound for the WorldTour?

    Janier Acevedo (Jamis-Hagens Berman) launches an attack.
    Article published:
    August 23, 2013, 1:43 BST
    Pat Malach

    Colombian rider proving that California was 'not just luck'

    Jamis-Hagens Berman's Janier Acevedo doesn't need luck to win races. The 27-year-old Colombian climbs with the best in the world and descends like a demon, and he put those skills to use Thursday at the USA Pro Challenge in Colorado to claim his second stage win in two of the big three US races.

    Acevedo crossed the summit of the penultimate climb on the stage 4 route from Steamboat Springs to Beaver Creek Village with WorldTour riders Tejay van Garderen (BMC) and Tom Danielson (Garmin-Sharp), then shot down the descent to take the stage win in front of the BMC rider.

    Acevedo also won a stage at the Amgen Tour of California in May and finished third overall at that race. Earlier this month he finished third overall at the Tour of Utah by sticking close to final-stage winner Francisco Mancebo (5-hour Energy/Kenda) and overall winner Danielson on the difficult climb up Empire Pass before catching them on the harrowing downhill run into Park City.

    "I'm showing now that California wasn't luck," the Spanish-speaking rider said through a translator during the post-stage press conference. "I feel very proud of myself and very happy for the season I am having. It was amazing for me to win in California and here with all the big names. I can't ask for more. I am very happy with all of my teammates – how they work for me and help me in all the races. So for me it is a dream."

    If Acevedo dreams of moving from the UCI Continental ranks to a division-one team, he's keeping it a secret. Asked Thursday if he has been in contact with any WorldTour squads, Acevedo simply replied that he is very happy where he is and would be...

  • Ullrich's doping suspension over, now free to race

    Article published:
    August 23, 2013, 2:55 BST
    Cycling News

    German continues to face legal challenges

    Jan Ullrich can race again. The German's two-year doping ban expired yesterday, but he does not plan to return to the professional sport in any capacity.

    In February of this year, the Court of Arbitration for Sport issued a back-dated two-year suspension, and also annulled all his results from May 2005 until his retirement in February 2007 are annulled, including his third-place overall finish in the 2005 Tour de France.

    Ullrich's confession of his doping past has come out only in bits and pieces. After his suspension was announced, he apologized only for his “contact with Fuentes”. Earlier this summer he admitted for the first time that this contact with Fuentes involved blood doping. He refused to address the issue of every having used other doping methods of products.

    The French Senate report issued the end of July named him as having tested positive for EPO at the 1998 Tour de France. Unlike his former teammate Erik Zabel, Ullrich has declined to comment on that or to co-operate with the German National Anti-Doping Agency. “As it now stands, he has declined to speak with us,” NADA spokeswoman Eva Bunthoff told the SID news agency, despite earlier media reports that meetings were planned.

    He also faces further legal problems. A possible perjury suit has already been announced, concerning his 2008 sworn statement that he did not dope or use any illegal methods the first three months of 2003 whilst under contract to Team Coast.

    German broadcaster ARD...

  • Q&A: Henderson on being a freelance sprinter at the Vuelta

    Greg Henderson (Lotto-Belisol) delivered Greipel to the line perfectly
    Article published:
    August 23, 2013, 4:35 BST
    Jono Lovelock

    "No major pressure" on Kiwi fast man

    Greg Henderson has spent the better part of the 2013 season as the final piece in the Lotto-Belisol lead-out train dedicated to delivering Andre Greipel to the line. Having enjoyed much success, the Kiwi and the German have been likened to the one-two punch of Mark Renshaw and Mark Cavendish in their HTC-Highroad days.

    On the lead in to the 2013 Vuelta a España, however, 'Hendo' finds himself with the rare opportunity to sprint for himself. There will be no Andre Greipel, no Mark Cavendish and no Marcel Kittel. Thus with the sprints very much an open contest, Henderson is a likely candidate to be throwing hooks, head-butts and hopefully his hands in the air.

    The question is, does he have the speed? Is he recovered from the Tour de France? And how on earth does he plan to survive the Spanish saw-tooth profiles?

    Cyclingnews: Coming into the Vuelta without Andre Greipel in the team gives you the chance to chase stage wins for yourself, is that the aim?

    Greg Henderson: I wouldn't put a plural on it, just one would be nice! Absolutely I'd like to win a stage. There's obviously not too many chances for the sprinters so I'll give it a red hot one. The team objective is obviously a GC result for Jelle Vanendert and then of course we've got a lot of opportunists that can get in breakaways and win stages also.

    CN: Backtracking to the Tour de France, Jürgen Roelandts told Cyclingnews that the Lotto-Belisol lead up to the Tour was focused on flatter races such as the ZLM tour and the Tour of Belgium. Looking back, do you think avoiding the traditional hillier lead in races was successful?

    GH: Absolutely. For the sprinters, we don't go into the Tour...