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First Edition Cycling News, Friday, June 13, 2014

Date published:
June 13, 2014, 1:00 BST
  • Alison Powers makes history with hat trick

    Allison Powers (Unitedhealthcare Professional Cycling Team) first woman in history to hold three National Titles at the same time. She currently holds Crit, TT, and Road. A M A Z I N G
    Article published:
    June 12, 2014, 18:05 BST
    By:
    Pat Malach

    American continues winning ways

    North Star Grand Prix stage 1 winner and overall leader Alison Powers (UnitedHealthcare) made her life a little simpler this year after winning the US professional championship time trial and road race last month while already owning the criterium title from last year.

    "I was packing to come here to Tulsa, and then we go straight to the NorthStar Grand Prix, which has road races, crits and a time trial, so I just packed the same kit for everything, I mean not one kit, but they were all the same," Powers told Cyclingnews last week at the Tulsa Tough National Criterium Calendar omnium. "When I looked inside my bag, I thought, 'That is really cool.'"

    Powers' history making accomplishment as the first US rider to simultaneously hold stars-and-stripes jerseys in all three disciplines seemed like a long shot just a couple of years previously, when she considered retiring in 2011 after sustaining a serious injury in a bad crash at the Redlands Bicycle Classic criterium.

    At that time, Powers sole US title was in the 2008 time trial, and she figured that might be the only national title she'd ever win. But NOW and Novartis for MS director Kurt Stockton convinced Powers to come race with his newly forming team, and the change proved to be a good move for the 34-year-old rider from Pinecliff, Colorado. Powers rode for NOW through the 2012 and 2013 seasons, piling up a handful of wins and finishing last season by winning the national criterium title. But when NOW folded in the off-season Powers moved to the new UnitedHealthcare women's team.

    "When I couldn't get the time trial jersey anymore, I thought, 'Whatever, I'm done. Just go for something else,'" she said. "So it took some pressure off me this year, and the team is so well supported, it just makes it easy to ride fast with this good of a team."

    Powers rode fast enough at the US pro championships in Chattanooga, Tennessee, to first win the time trial and then follow it...

  • Rodriguez confirms he will ride the Tour de France

    Joaquim Rodríguez warming up
    Article published:
    June 12, 2014, 20:27 BST
    By:
    Stephen Farrand

    Katusha leader to target mountain stages

    Joaquim Rodriguez has confirmed that he will ride the Tour de France after crashes and injuries wreaked his hopes for success in the Ardennes Classics and the Giro d'Italia.

    The Spaniard finished third overall in the 2013 Tour de France behind Chris Froome (Team Sky) and Nairo Quintana (Movistar) but had opted to target the Giro d'Italia and the Vuelta a Espana this season.

    His Giro d'Italia hopes ended after being involved in the pile-up on the stage to Montecassino, when he fractured a rib and hurt his finger. He is recovering well and intends to ride the Tour de France to ensure he is at his best for the Vuelta a Espana. He is expected to target stage victories rather than a good result in the general classification of the Tour de France.

    “I really wanted to perform well in the first part of the season. I had big ambitions but my crashes in the Amstel Gold Race and the Giro ruined my chances for the classics as well as for the first Grand Tour of the season," he explained on the Katusha team website.

    "The other goal I put in place at the beginning of the season, the Tour of Spain, is still there. The course suits me and I want to win that race. This does not mean that I go to the Tour de France as preparation for the Vuelta. I have Tour ambitions too, though not for the GC. The third week looks nice and I want to win one or more stages. I have that goal and in the mean time I will enjoy my bike. Otherwise it would be hard to watch TV without being there. It hurt during the Giro and it would hurt in the Tour, too. Those races are ‘my’ races."

    Katusha has yet to name its Tour de France line-up but it is expected to include sprinter Alexander Kristoff and Criterium di Dauphine winners Yuri Trofimov and

  • Gallery: Race tech at the Critérium du Dauphiné

    Elegantand neat: Team Belkin go the stainless steel route
    Article published:
    June 12, 2014, 20:50 BST
    By:
    Sam Dansie

    A round-up of set ups and novel ways to fix a race number from the WorldTour race

    There are numerous ways to stick a race number to a bike. From the sophisticated integrated approach from Trek to the rather less so at Team Cannondale, where cable ties and electrical tape suffice. It’s not pretty, but it is effective.

    Stalking the team areas of the Critérium du Dauphiné stage starts, we kept an eye out for novel dossard holders. Check them out in this gallery of race tech from the past couple of stages.

    Elsewhere, we spied Campagnolo’s new prototype groupset that first saw the light of day at the Giro being ridden by Romain Sicard (Europcar) and the Super Record RS gruppo, on Thomas Voeckler’s Colnago C59.

    There were also a significant big number of custom paint jobs - we were particularly taken with Sylvain Chavanel’s (IAM Cycling) lurid Scott Addict and Daniel Moreno’s (Katusha) custom Canyon Aeroad CF.

  • Impromptu attack by Contador puts GC rivals on notice

    Alberto Contador during his attack
    Article published:
    June 13, 2014, 1:10 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Sky under pressure from Tinkoff-Saxo's aggressive riding

    On paper, stage five of the Critérium du Dauphiné looked to be a relatively easy day for the overall contenders but with less than 30km until the finish in La Mure and with a breakaway looking to succeed, Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) attacked race leader Chris Froome (Team Sky) on the final part of the late climb and then pushed out his lead on the descent.

    Along with teammate Sergio Paulinho, Contador quickly gained up to a minute on the Team Sky-led field but the British team put up a fierce pace and gradually roped the Spaniard back in but the attacks on Froome by his GC rivals continued to the line.

    At the end of the stage, Froome's lead over Contador remained at 12 seconds although Wilco Kelderman's (Belkin) late attack saw him draw equal with the Spaniard's time in third place.

    Asked if his attack was initiated from seeing a weakness in Sky and Froome on the climb, Contador responded; "No, I didn't see anything. I only saw that it was a tough day for everyone, also for Sky that controlled the race, so I decided to try and see. When there is some movement among the favorites, everything is also more interesting.

    "We are here to train, so we want the other teams to use energy, especially Sky," Contador said after the stage finish. "Today I could afford to attack because I have no pressure to get the win."

    Contador explained that it would have been difficult to see his impromptu attack succeed but...

  • Tom Skujins gets early birthday present at Tour de Beauce

    Race leader Tom Skujins (Hincapie Sportswear Development Cycling Team)
    Article published:
    June 13, 2014, 3:00 BST
    By:
    Pat Malach

    Latvian turns 23 on Sunday

    Hincapie Sportswear's Tom Skujins, who won the Tour de Beauce Queen Stage that finished at the Top of Mont Meganitc on Thursday, celebrated his upcoming birthday a little earlier than expected. The 22-year-old Latvian will turn 23 on Sunday, when he was hoping to win the UCI 2.2 race's final stage.

    "I was thinking about that one," he said of Sunday's circuit race around Saint George. "But it's always nice to get two presents maybe."

    But another stage win on Sunday would technically be three presents, because Skujins also rode into the race lead Thursday when he won the stage ahead of Amore & Vita's Michael Woods and Optum Pro Cycling's Carter Jones.

    Skujins made the day's main breakaway of eight riders, which got away about 30km into the 167.4km stage, and bridged to two leaders when the breakaway began to splinter. Then he rode away from Team SmartStop's Joshua Berry and Jure Kocjan at the bottom of the final climb to take the day's win and the yellow jersey. He currently leads Woods in the general classification by 53 seconds and Jones by 1:51.

    This season is Skujins' first with the Hincapie Development Team. He rode for la Pomme-Marseille, a French Continental team, in 2011 and 2012 and then the Latvian Continental team Rietmu-Delfin last year. But after finishing fifth in the U23 world championship road race at the end of the season, Skujins was eager to accept an offer from the Hincapie team run by Thomas Craven.

    "With this team we do bigger races, and the calendar is a lot better than a Latvian Continental team would have," he said of his decision to make the switch. "I had never been to America, and so it was kind of taking a step over the ocean — a big step. So I was coming here to see what the racing was like, and of course I had heard a lot of good stuff about Hincapie and the development team."

    Skujins...

  • NRS Shorts: A round up of Australian domestic racing

    Jacob Restall and Ben Perry celebrate first and third at the Mardis Lachine
    Article published:
    June 13, 2014, 4:00 BST
    By:
    Zeb Woodpower

    Dizzie Lizzie, Canadian adventures, a new Victorian team and a happy birthday

    This week's NRS shorts is light on in terms of racing but we still have the latest for you on the 2014 recipient of the 2014 Amy Gillett Scholarship, news of a new Victorian team and a special birthday treat by a Sydney NRS team. Also this week is an account of Jacob Renstall's Canadian adventures.

    Overseas wrap: Avanti and Budget
    Avanti Racing team have continued its Asian racing program at the Tour de Korea with promising results but as of stage 5, they are yet to claim a stage win. Meanwhile, BudgetForklift are participating in another North American race at the Tour de Beauce. On the queen stage to Mont Meganitc, Tim Roe was eighth which propelled him into the top-ten overall as he continues his good run of results since returning to racing.

    Lizzie 'Dizzie' after being awarded the 2014 Amy Gillett Scholarship
    Specialized-Securitor's Lizzie Williams has been awarded the 2014 Amy Gillett Scholarship which continues her dream return to professional racing after a 10-year hiatus. Williams won the final stage of the Mersey Valley Tour, her return to NRS racing, and added two more wins to her palmares at the Battle on the Border which resulted in Vanderkitten offering her a guest contract with the US-based team.

    There were 16 applicants for the scholarship, which is in honour of Amy Gillett, and is unique in offering the opportunity to assist Australia's talented up-and-coming women road cyclists by providing competition and training opportunities on both the national and international stage.

    "The simple fact is, I love riding my bike. Being an ambassador for the Amy Gillett Foundation, I now have an international platform to spread their good work," Williams said.

    This year the Amy Gillett Road Cycling Scholarship recipient will be starting some of best Elite Women's races on the world calendar, the first of which is the Thüringen Rundfahrt in Germany [home of Amy's...

  • Omega Pharma-Quick Step targeting sprint success at Tour de Suisse

    Mark Cavendish in a new version of the national road title kit
    Article published:
    June 13, 2014, 5:45 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Riders fighting for Tour de France spots

    Omega Pharma-Quick Step line up at the Tour de Suisse with the aim of a final tune up of Mark Cavendish's sprint train before the Tour de France begins in 22 days time. While the race won't be the final deciding factor for which nine-riders will line up in Leeds in July 5, it will provide opportunities for riders to make their case for selection.

    "We are here with a strong team for the sprint," sport director Wilfried Peeters said. "We will go for the sprints in the two occasions that favor the group arrival. Mark is here with almost his complete leadout train. So it will be an important moment in the approach of the Tour de France."

    Along with the sprint stages, with two races against the clock, the race will also be a test for time trial world champion Tony Martin and recently resigned Niki Terpstra as Peeters explained.

    "The other goal of the team will be the two time trials — the short prologue and the 25km individual time trial," Peeters said. "For Tony it will be a good goal personally, but also Niki Terpstra can do well in this kind of effort. We don't have a guy for the GC, but we have a strong team for specific situations of the race."

    Due to a fibrotic cyst in the area of the perineum, Stijn Vandenbergh won't participate in the race but is hoping for a return at the Ster ZLM Toer. The super domestique is hopeful that his injury won't keep him out of the Tour and is looking for good performances at at the Ster...

  • Aggressive Kelderman showing no sign of Giro fatigue

    Wilco Kelderman (Belkin) went on the attack to gain a few seconds
    Article published:
    June 13, 2014, 7:30 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Dutchman continuing rich vein of form in France

    Wilco Kelderman (Belkin) entered the Critérium du Dauphiné with little expectation of a high overall performance having just placed eight at the Giro d'Italia. However the 23-year-old, who has been "amazed with his form" after the corsa rosa, hasn't been shy to continually to attack and animate the race.

    In the closing kilometres of stage 5, Kelderman and Orica-GreenEdge neo-pro Adam Yates attacked from the yellow jersey group and the duo managed to keep their noses in front, but were unable to catch Simon Spiliak who made it consecutive wins for Katusha.

    Kelderman finished the stage in second place, picking up bonus seconds on the line which saw him jump into third place overall, 12 seconds down on Chris Froome (Team Sky) and equal with Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo).

    "Why should I always follow? That way I'll never win," said Kelderman before collecting another white jersey as the best young rider in the race.

    "If the peloton would have hesitated, Yates and I could've easily taken ten extra seconds."

    Belkin's sports director, Merijn Zeeman, explained that Kelderman's "wonderful style" is something to relish. "This is his style and it's one to enjoy, just wonderful," said Zeeman. "He saw a chance and went for it. That's exactly how we want to race as a team. Normally, it's great if you can follow the best riders in the world, but Wilco is in the shape of his life and...