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First Edition Cycling News, Friday, January 31, 2014

Date published:
January 31, 2014, 0:00 GMT
  • Sánchez thinks there is still a chance to race in 2014

    Samuel Sanchez (Euskaltel - Euskadi)
    Article published:
    January 30, 2014, 17:58 GMT
    Alasdair Fotheringham

    2008 Olympic champion still gunning for a team

    Former Olympic road race champion and Tour de France King of the Mountains Samuel Sánchez says that the next few weeks will be crucial in his search for a team in 2014 but that he is hopeful that he will be able to sign for a squad in the next few weeks.

    "There is some hope, these days are crucial because there is a possibility [of a team]," Sánchez told Cyclingnews on Thursday. "But we're getting to the point where it's really 'now or never'. This is the last window of opportunity."

    Left high and dry when the Euskaltel-Euskadi squad folded and the Basque team's negotiations with the new Fernando Alonso-backed squad failed to work out, Sánchez is working closely with his new manager, former pro Joona Lauka - the first Finnish rider to finish the Tour back in the 1990s - to try and seal the last minute deal .

    He is also training hard despite the current rough weather in his native Asturias, often with the only fellow pro in the region, Dani Navarro (Cofidis), for the upcoming season.

    "Joona is doing a great job, and things are moving. There is some hope, but if it's not'll be really complicated. I hope we can sign a contract. There may yet be a possibility."

  • Video: Danielson on 2014 goals and remaining career objectives

    Tom Danielson works for Garmin-Sharp teammate Phil Gaimon
    Article published:
    January 30, 2014, 20:55 GMT
    Peter Hymas

    American seeks overall victories in California, Colorado

    While Garmin-Sharp expected their co-leaders Tom Danielson and Janier Acevedo to vie for victory in Argentina's Tour de San Luis, Phil Gaimon's stage 1 victory from a race-long break vaulted the WorldTour team rookie into the leader's jersey and ultimately a hard-fought runner-up position to Nairo Quintana (Movistar) on the final podium.

    Danielson played a key super-domestique role for Gaimon on each of the three mountain finishes and couldn't be happier or prouder of Gaimon's performance versus many of the WorldTour's stage race stars.

    Prior to the final stage, Danielson spoke to Cyclingnews about his 2014 schedule and his goals for the season. After winning the 2013 Tour of Utah, the 35-year-old American hopes to add GC wins at the Tour of California and Colorado's USA Pro Challenge to his palmares. Regarding objectives for the remainder of his career, Danielson speaks of his yet to be fulfilled WorldTour race ambitions.

    To subscribe to the Cyclingnews video channel, click here.

  • Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling announce 2014 team roster

    The Wiggle girls are on a high after a recent run of success
    Article published:
    January 30, 2014, 21:30 GMT
    Cycling News

    Women's British team looking to continue their winning ways

    Returning for a sophomore season the UCI Elite Women's peloton, Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling have made a only a few changes to their 2013 winning formula. Team owner and rider Rochelle Gilmore told Cyclingnews last year that a successful season would have been a handful of wins but the team well and truly exceeded expectations in thanks to two-time world champion Giorgia Bronzini.

    The black and orange team will once again be led by Italian Bronzini, who had 17 victories last year, and retains the core of roster from last year. "We have 13 out of 14 riders from last year staying on in 2014, which is almost unheard of in women's cycling," said Rochelle Gilmore. "Only Lauren Kitchen has left the team, and she's been replaced by three really strong and exciting riders."

    Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling added three new faces to the 2014 line-up increasing the numbers of the squad to 16. Australian Peta Mullens has already proven her strength and talent in the Australian criterium season, taking a silver medal in her National Championships, while the team becomes even more international with the addition of Swedish champion Emilia Fahlin and reigning Spanish time trial champion Anna Sanchis.

    As a British team, Wiggle Honda will continue to be built around the prodigious talents of Great Britain's World and Olympic Track champions Dani King, Joanna Rowsell and Laura Trott, along with World Track champion Elinor Barker and Amy Roberts.

    Along with the five Britons, Wiggle Honda will retains two...

  • Calvin Watson to defend Herald Sun Tour title after Caleb Ewan withdrawal

    Calvin Watson (Trek Factory Racing)
    Article published:
    January 30, 2014, 22:45 GMT
    Cycling News

    Matthew Lloyd also set to race after National team re-shuffle

    Reigning Jayco Herald Sun Tour champion Calvin Watson (Trek) and 2010 Giro d'Italia mountain classification winner Matthew Lloyd (Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis) have been announced as late inclusions for the 2014 Jayco Herald Sun Tour which starts on Wednesday.

    Recent World Tour debutants Caleb Ewan (NSW) and Bradley Linfield (WA) have withdrawn themselves from the Jayco Australia under-23 National Team ahead of next week's Herald Sun Tour.

    Ewan (fatigue) and Linfield (illness) represented Australia in the UniSA team last week at the Santos Tour Down Under before nominating not to ride the up-coming Sun Tour.

    Watson and Lloyd will line up for KordaMentha Real Estate – Team Australia while Thomas Hamilton and Robert Jon McCarthy have been transferred to the younger squad, paving the way for the inclusion of Watson and Lloyd.

    Watson created history last year, becoming the youngest ever winner of the Sun Tour, taking out the 60th edition of the event on his 20th birthday with an impressive display on the final stage at Arthurs Seat.

    The performance put the now 21-year-old on the map, and was a key catalyst in his signing with WorldTour outfit Trek Factory Racing where he will ride alongside the likes of Fabian Cancellara and the Schleck brothers in 2014.

    Initially not fitting in the team's racing schedule for their new recruit, Watson is thrilled with the late opportunity to defend...

  • 18 teams invited to Strade Bianche

    Moreno Moser (Cannondale) wins the 2013 Strade Bianche in style
    Article published:
    January 30, 2014, 23:36 GMT
    Stephen Farrand

    MTN-Qhubeka given a chance to shine on dirt roads and Roma Maxima

    RCS Sport, the organisers of the Strade Bianche and Roma Maxima races have named the teams that will compete in the Italian one-day races on the weekend of March 8 and 9, with a mix of Italian and international WorldTour and Professional Continental teams securing places, including MTN-Qhubeka, who was overlooked for a wild card invitation to the Giro d'Italia.

    18 teams of eight riders will contest the Strade Bianche race on the iconic dirt roads of the Chianti hills near Siena in Tuscany.

    2013 winner Moreno Moser is expected to lead the Cannondale team in the race. Also invited are Astana, BMC, Lampre-Merida, Movistar, Omega Pharma - Quick-Step, Giant-Shimano, Katusha, Team Sky, Trek Factory Racing, Androni Giocattoli, Bardiani-CSF, Colombia, IAM Cycling, MTN-Qhubeka, Unitedhealthare and Yellow Fluo.

    17 teams of eight riders will head to the Eternal City for Roma Maxima on Sunday March 9, with the same teams in action apart from Omega Pharma-Quick Step and Tinkoff-Saxo. Ag2r-La Mondiale secures a place after Blel Kadri won Roma Maxima last year.

    There is no place for Net App–Endura. However the German team will ride Tirreno-Adriatico and Milan-San Remo.

    Most teams will field their Classics squad in both races, before heading to the Tuscan coast for the start of Tirreno-Adriatico on Wednesday March 12.

    It appears that Orica-GreenEdge has again opted to miss the weekend of racing to focus on the opening team time trial stage of Tirreno-Adriatico.

    Fabian Cancellara (Trek Factory Racing), Filippo Pozzato (Lampre-Merida) and Peter Sagan (Cannondale) are all expected to challenge for victory at Strade Bianche....

  • Mathew Hayman not just riding out career at Orica-GreenEdge

    Matthew Hayman with Simon Gerrans on Stage 6 of the Tour Down Under
    Article published:
    January 31, 2014, 4:50 GMT
    Aaron S. Lee

    Australian veteran on ambitions for Tour de France and team success in 2014

    With the departures Baden Cooke and self-confessed drug cheat Stuart O'Grady, 35-year-old Mathew Hayman's move from Team Sky to Orica-GreenEdge could play vital leadership role in a team that won 34 races last season from 16 different team riders.

    After spending four years at Team Sky, the 2006 Commonwealth Games road race gold medalist "came home" in August by signing with Australia's first – and only – WorldTour team, but insists this is not his Swan song.

    "I am not backing off, as I am so focused on my cycling at the moment," the New South Wales-native told Cyclingnews. "This is not just two years at GreenEdge to ride it out. I am still trying to improve myself and I am still training hard as ever."

    Known primarily for his supporting role at Sky and Rabobank, in which he served as a selfless domestique for nine years, Hayman has already served GreenEdge well in the past month while contributing the team and – primarily – Simon Gerrans capture his second Australian men's national road race championship and his third victory at the UCI WorldTour season opener – the Santos Tour Down Under – a new race record.

    "It's been good so far," he said. "There was a lot of pressure racing the national championships and the Tour Down Under, but we came up trumps in both races and Gerrans is on fire."

    Hayman says he is excited about his new team and the seamless integration into the GreenEdge program.

    "It has been surprisingly easy to slip into the team," he said. "Being selected for the...

  • Lampre-Merida and Horner "a good partnership"

    Chris Horner (RadioShack) has time to laugh
    Article published:
    January 31, 2014, 7:42 GMT
    Laura Weislo

    Copeland says American passed medical staff scrutiny

    After months of negotiating and uncertainty, Vuelta a España winner Chris Horner has finally secured a 2014 contract with the Lampre - Merida team. The one-year deal was negotiated through Horner's new manager, Baden Cooke.

    "Chris is one of the most hard working men in cycling, it would have been terrible had we not found him a top level team," Cooke told Cyclingnews. "Lampre - Merida have been brilliant to work with and have added a very strong man to an already very strong team."

    Lampre-Merida team manager Brent Copeland called the signing "a good partnership", telling Cyclingnews that Horner will begin the season with the team in the Challenge Mallorca [provided the UCI approves the contract], and then move on to the Volta ao Algarve, the Volta a Catalunya, Pais Vasco and finally the Giro d'Italia.

    "This will be the first part of the season, the second part is still to be discussed with the Vuelta included," Copeland said.

    Horner's job hunt was complicated by several factors: he spent the majority of the season out of commission from a knee injury, only coming back for the Tour of Utah where he placed second overall, and then heading directly to the Vuelta a España, where he emerged as the surprise winner.

    His relatively advanced age, 42-years-old, a history of injuries, suspicion surrounding his potentially being one of the redacted riders from the USADA doping case against Lance Armstrong, and his demands for a salary befitting a Grand Tour champion, all weighed in against him in the job market.

    Copeland, however, seemed convinced that the team had done its homework and will get a good...

  • French Federation reveals plans for Team Sky "á la française"

    Michael Bauge wins the men's sprint ahead of his compatriot Francois Pervis during an exhibition race at the inauguration ceremony of the Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines Velodrome
    Article published:
    January 31, 2014, 8:10 GMT
    Barry Ryan

    New WorldTour team seeks sponsor

    The French Cycling Federation has revealed its plans to create a WorldTour team at a briefing at the newly-inaugurated Vélodrome National on the outskirts of Paris on Friday.

    The idea was first floated publicly in February of last year by FFC president David Lappartient, who expressed his desire to create a “Team Sky à la française.” The Vélodrome National, inaugurated on Thursday, was itself a response to Britain’s recent dominance on the track, and like British Cycling, the FFC plans to use its new headquarters as a springboard towards creating an elite professional road team.

    Speaking in Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines on Friday, FFC managing director Olivier Quéguiner outlined plans for the ambitious, multi-disciplinary project, comprising of men’s and women’s teams in road, track, BMX, mountain bike and cyclo-cross.

    “The main objective is to participate in the Tour de France and to win the Tour with French riders, but there is also the aim of the Olympic Games, which is maybe a difference to other projects,” Quéguiner said. “We are focusing on athletes in all disciplines.”

    The team, which is in the process of looking for a title sponsor, could enter the peloton as early as 2015, although at this point, a start date of 2016 – or later – would appear more likely.

    Cyclingnews has been informed that that while the team “will have a French DNA”, the FFC is actively seeking international sponsors, accepting that a single French company may not be able to meet the budget demanded by the project. The planned team would have an annual budget of €25 million, with the intention that €20 million of it would be provided by...