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First Edition Cycling News, Friday, June 6, 2014

Date published:
June 06, 2014, 1:00 BST
  • Riders ask public for respect, safety at Tour de France

    Marcel Kittel (Giant-Shimano)
    Article published:
    June 05, 2014, 20:51 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    ASO produces videos reminding fans to stay clear of race

    The Tour de France is a month away, and after the mayhem seen on the Zoncolan in the Giro d'Italia, it is only fitting that the Tour organisers, ASO, release a series of videos where riders plead with the public to respect them and protect themselves during the race.

    The Giro's penultimate stage nearly saw race winner Nairo Quintana (Movistar) pushed down by an over-enthusiastic Colombian fan, and breakaway rider Francesco Bongiorno (Bardiani-CSF) pushed off balance by a spectator - the missed effort on the steepest part of the climb caused him to lose contact with eventual stage winner Michael Rogers.

    In the Tour de France, there have been three spectator fatalities since 2000 - two boys were hit by vehicles during the publicity caravan, one in 2000 and another in 2002, and in 2009 a woman was struck by a police motorcycle while trying to cross the road between the breakaway and field.

    However, numerous crashes and injuries have been inflicted upon the peloton by spectators standing or running too close to the riders over the years. In this video, last year's quadruple stage winner Marcel Kittel (Giant-Shimano) gives his appeal to the public. Other riders who have filmed similar videos include Tom Boonen, Chris Froome, John Degenkolb, Andy and Fränk Schleck, Joaquim Rodriguez, and Thomas Voeckler.

    Last year, riders took to Twitter to wage a similar plea to the public.

  • Video: Tour de France Yorkshire stages impress Froome, Porte

    Defending Tour de France winner Chris Froome (Team Sky)
    Article published:
    June 05, 2014, 21:25 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Team Sky riders preview opening stages

    While the Giro d'Italia was finishing up, Team Sky's Tour de France captain Christopher Froome and Richie Porte were busy previewing the opening stages of Le Tour in Yorkshire, and came away impressed with what they saw.

    In this video, courtesy of TeamSky.com, Froome predicts that the second stage in particular could catch some riders by surprise.

    "I think we're in for some tough racing," he said. "If people haven't seen it it might catch a few people off guard. [They are] pretty tricky roads, a lot of narrow, quite windy, undulating roads - especially for the first two stages where everyone is nervous, and everyone has a chance to be in yellow."

    "Everyone is going to come in on the first few days in great shape, and it's going to be exciting to watch, but for us in the peloton it's going to be stressful," Porte said.

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  • IAM Cycling preparing for debut Tour de France

    Mathias Frank (IAM Cycling) wears the leader's jersey after stage 2
    Article published:
    June 06, 2014, 5:00 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Swiss team looking to impress at Critérium du Dauphiné and Tour de Suisse

    IAM Cycling will make its Tour de France debut in a month having been awarded a wildcard entry by organisers ASO with its final nine-man team will be decided after several key races in June. The Critérium du Dauphiné, the Tour de Suisse, the Route du Sud and the Swiss championships have been targeted by the Pro-Continental team as key races in preparation for the primary aim of the season — the Tour.

    "The Critérium du Dauphiné and the Tour of Switzerland are among the most prestigious stage races of the season," sports manager Serge Beucherie said. "Naturally they are very important. We are going there not only aiming for a good result, but also with a view towards our preparation for La Grande Boucle.

    "This is not necessarily to say, however, that any riders absent from one or the other event could not possibly still be on the start line in Yorkshire on July 5."

    The team is looking for immediate success at the Dauphiné with five-time French national time trial champion Sylvain Chavanel who recently won stage 3 of the Four Days of Dunkirk.

    "For the Dauphiné, we are relying on Sylvain Chavanel in the initial stage which is a time trial in Lyon," Beucherie said. "But once the race heads into the mountains, we have the advantage of having riders like Stefan Denifl and Sébastien Reichenbach.

    While the Dauphiné is a traditional warm-up race for the Tour but  the Tour de Suisse is of higher importance to the team as...

  • Drapac continues American and Asian adventures

    Drapac at the Tour de Kumano
    Article published:
    June 06, 2014, 8:30 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Australian team lining up for US criteriums and Tour of Korea

    Australian Pro-Continental team Drapac continues its American adventure with two USA Cycling's National Criterium Calendar events, the Air Force Association Cycling Classic's Clarendon Cup and Crystal Cup in Arlington, Virginia this weekend. Drapac made its American racing debut at the Philadelphia Cycling Classic on June 1.

    The team will also continue its Asian block of racing at the UCI2.2 Tour de Korea from June 8-15.

    Former Australian criterium national champion Jonathan Cantwell will lead the team for Saturday and Sunday's racing and is well acquainted with American criterium circuit.

    "The main thing to remember is to be ready from the get go," Cantwell said. "Ride as a team and stick to the plan."

    Saturday's Clarendon Cup takes place on a highly technical one kilometre circuit in the heart of the Clarendon business district while the next day, the two kilometre Crystal Cup is a less technical course.

    Bernard Sulzberger was the best-placed Drapac rider at the Philadelphia Cycling Classic in 17th place and Cantwell is hoping the team can improve at the two upcoming races.

    "We went in with a game plan and we did okay," Cantwell said. "But it wasn't perfect so we will take away our errors. It was the team's first time here and we have two more races this weekend in which we will make amends."

    The Air Force Association Cycling Classic will be streamed live on Cyclingnews.

    Tour de Korea

    While the team is occupied in America, Drapac are also fielding a team for the Tour de Korea which marks its third Asian race in a month. Drapac's haul from the...

  • Wiggins left out of Team Sky's Tour de France team

    Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky)
    Article published:
    June 06, 2014, 9:12 BST
    By:
    Barry Ryan

    "I will probably have to leave Team Sky" to ride the Tour again

    Bradley Wiggins has confirmed that he will not be part of the Sky team for the Tour de France unless an injury befalls Chris Froome between now and the start of the race in Leeds on July 5.

    “As it stands, I won’t be there, probably,” Wiggins said in a live interview on BBC television on Friday morning. “The team is focused around Chris Froome, the defending champion who’s got a great chance of winning his second Tour and it’s decided that they’ll base the team around him, so unfortunately I won’t be there.”

    Wiggins has not raced with Froome all season and has not been selected for the Critérium du Dauphiné, where Sky will field a team that contains most of the riders expected to line up in the Tour next month. Wiggins won the Tour of California in May, but did not partake in the same altitude training camps and race reconnaissance as Froome and the core of the Tour team.

    “As defending champion he has a say who’s around him and he’s had guys who go to all his build-up races and training camps throughout the year, his group of riders, and obviously I’ve been following a different path,” said Wiggins.

    “We’ve been on different paths, and as it gets closer to the Tour, Dave Brailsford, the manager, decides who’s best-fitted to do that job. Myself and Chris haven’t race together all year.”

    Wiggins will ride the Tour de Suisse instead of the Dauphiné, but regardless of how he performs there, he explained that he will not be at the Tour de France so long as Froome is fit and present.

    “If he crashes there, there’d still be a chance I could come into the team,” Wiggins said. As it stands, all being well, Chris staying fit and healthy that’s...

  • Retro tech gallery: 1996 Lotus Sport 110

    Even nearly 20 years later, the Lotus Sport 110 still looks sleek, modern, and undeniably fast
    Article published:
    June 06, 2014, 13:31 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Nearly two decades old but still blazing fast

    This article originally appeared on BikeRadar

    Cycling's governing body enacted the Lugano Charter in 2000 – a wide-reaching document with far-limiting technical guidelines that forever changed the course of road bike development. Those rules were first drafted in 1996, though, and one could easily argue that one of the inspirations for those restrictions was Lotus Sport's iconic 108 and 110. Even two decades later, it's still one of the fastest shapes around.

  • Nibali reprimanded by Vinokourov over early-season results?

    Alexandre Vinokourov and key Astana recruit, Vincenzo Nibali
    Article published:
    June 06, 2014, 15:54 BST
    By:
    Barry Ryan

    Martinelli confident Sicilian is on course for Tour de France

    The confirmation that Bradley Wiggins will not line up alongside Chris Froome on Sky’s Tour de France squad may be the news of the day, but when Astana manager Giuseppe Martinelli opened the pages of Gazzetta dello Sport at his home near Brescia on Friday morning, his eye was drawn to a report detailing internal divisions within his own team.

    According to the Italian newspaper, Vincenzo Nibali was issued with an official rebuke from general manager Alexandre Vinokourov following his low-key performances in the early part of the season.

    Nibali is reported to have received the letter, signed by Vinokourov, between Liège-Bastogne-Liège and the Tour de Romandie, and he was apparently informed that his results thus far in 2014 were not commensurate with his earnings. 

    The 2013 Giro d’Italia winner is targeting the Tour de France this season, but is without a victory to date. Nibali’s best performance of the year came shortly after receiving Vinokourov’s missive, when he finished 5th at Romandie, a race won by Chris Froome.

    “I don’t know anything about it. It was news to me when I read it too. I don’t know what to tell you,” Martinelli told Cyclingnews when contacted by telephone.

    Speaking to Velobike.it later on Friday, Nibali's agent Alex Carera said that all of Astana's riders - and not just Nibali - had received the same letter following the team's low-key start to the year. "It was normal to send out a communication asking for 100 percent from the riders," he said.

    The Gazzetta article paints the letter as being indicative of a deeper malaise at Astana, however,...

  • Wiggins's Tour de France absence opens door further for Orica-GreenEdge

    Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky) receiving podium kisses
    Article published:
    June 06, 2014, 16:25 BST
    By:
    Daniel Benson

    Matt White busy building for 2015

    No slot in Team Sky’s Tour de France squad and as yet no contract extension from the British team either: it’s almost a certainly – and one that he’s voiced - that Bradley Wiggins will have to leave the team in order to ride the Tour de France again.

    The initial speculation is that Orica GreenEdge is the team most interested in signing the former Tour de France winner. During the Giro d’Italia team boss Matt White sang Wiggins’ praises, harking back to their relationship at Garmin-Slipstream which saw Wiggins announce himself on the Grand Tour stage in 2009 Tour.

    On Friday morning Wiggins confirmed that he had spoken to White recently, adding further fuel to the fire. White also confirmed to Cyclingnews that a conversation between the two had taken place but that it was far from a full-on negotiation.

    Behind the scenes White is busily trying to improve Orica-GreenEdge’s squad and it’s no secret that he is looking to bring in a grand tour contender. There aren’t many on the market though. Wiggins is in a small group that includes Cadel Evans and at a push Michael Rogers and Rui Costa.

    “We are looking for a GC guy and that’s the truth. Brad is a guy who would fit into our team, I’ve said that but I can’t elaborate further on who we are interested in.” White told Cyclingnews on the eve of the announcement that Wiggins would miss this year’s Tour de France.

    Avoiding a short but potentially obvious game of Guess Who with the only vital questions being, does he have sideburns or does he own a small dog, White added, “There’s no need to cause problems for riders who are still under contract but...