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First Edition Cycling News, Friday, May 31, 2013

Date published:
May 31, 2013, 1:00 BST
  • Floyd Landis-backed Gran Fondo set for this weekend

    Floyd Landis took part in this year's Etape
    Article published:
    May 30, 2013, 9:52 BST
    Cycling News

    Entries still open for New York-based rides

    The Gran Fondo Catskills takes place this weekend in New York with Floyd Landis riding both the Saturday 'Café Ride' and the Gran Fondo the following day.

    The inaugural running of the event takes place over two days, with Saturday’s 20–mile Café Ride free to enter.

    Sunday's Gran Fondo Catskills features a recently-revised course with three timed sections and nearly 8,000 feet of total climbing in Greene County.

    “I’ve ridden all the roads and I know them well and it’s beautiful riding out there and really close to New York,” Landis told Cyclingnews.

    “Some of the riding around here is the best around and I’m looking forward to sharing that with a great group of people. It’s just about having a good day.”

    Landis – central to a whistleblower case involving Lance Armstrong and the former US Postal team – lifted the lid on sustained and systematic doping in 2010. He was stripped of his Tour de France title after a positive test for testosterone in 2006 and retired from the sport in 2010.

    Nowadays he rides simply for pleasure.

    “I enjoy riding my bicycle and I enjoy meeting people through cycling. I’ve no desire to be involved in professional cycling anymore but this is a good way to see the positive side of cycling without the politics that go with it. Nowadays I’m riding around four or five times a week and I’m just enjoying it. This isn’t going to be something where I’m trying to race or set a record. It’s just a bike ride. If there are some competitive people here, that’s fine, but I’m just looking to take things easy and enjoy the day.”

    To register for the Gran Fondo, click here.


  • Quintana will not race again before Tour de France

    Nairo Alexander Quintana Rojas (Team Movistar) sets the pace
    Article published:
    May 30, 2013, 10:50 BST
    Cycling News

    Two-month training block in Colombia for Movistar rider

    Nairo Quintana (Movistar) will not race again before the Tour de France, meaning that the Colombian will have spent over two months away from competitive action ahead of his debut in La Grande Boucle.

    Quintana’s last race was Liège-Bastogne-Liège on April 21 and he has not been selected for Movistar’s teams for either the Critérium du Dauphiné or the Tour de Suisse. According to Biciciclismo, Quintana has been training at altitude in La Concepción, Colombia since late April and will remain there until the week before the Tour, which gets underway on June 29.

    The 23-year-old Quintana enjoyed a fine spring campaign, winning the Tour of the Basque Country and a stage of the Volta a Catalunya. He will ride the Tour primarily in support of Alejandro Valverde, with whom he reconnoitred stages 8 and 9 in March after the Volta a Catalunya.

    Movistar have also announced their teams for the Critérium du Dauphiné and Tour de Suisse. Alejandro Valverde will lead the line in France next week, flanked by Jonathan Castroviejo and Sylwester Szmyd. Meanwhile, 2012 Tour de Suisse winner Rui Costa returns to defend his crown and his teammates include Vladimir Karpets and double Giro d’Italia stage winner Giovanni Visconti.

    Movistar team for Critérium du Dauphiné (June 2-9): Alejandro Valverde, Jonathan Castroviejo, Eros Capecchi, Imanol Erviti, José Herrada, Ángel Madrazo, Eloy Teruel and Sylwester Szmyd.

    Movistar team for Tour de Suisse (June 8-16): Rui Costa, Vladimir Karpets, Giovanni Visconti, Andrey Amador, José Joaquín Rojas, Iván Gutiérrez, Jesús Herrada and Enrique...

  • Sanchez looks to make amends at Critérium du Dauphiné

    Samuel Sanchez (Euskaltel - Euskadi)
    Article published:
    May 30, 2013, 11:18 BST
    Cycling News

    Euskaltel-Euskadi rider back in action after low-key Giro d'Italia

    After falling short of his aims at the Giro d’Italia, Samuel Sanchez (Euskaltel-Euskadi) is aiming to bounce back at the Critérium du Dauphiné, which gets underway on Sunday.

    Sanchez finished 12th overall at the Giro thanks to a strong showing in the race’s final week, but he was already out of the running for a podium place after the first mountain stage to Altopiano del Montasio at the beginning of week two.

    It was the first time since the 2005 Giro that Sanchez completed a Grand Tour outside of the top ten overall. He was forced to abandon last year’s Tour de France after crashing on stage 8.

    “I think in six years it’s the first time I’ve failed at a Grand Tour or finished outside the top ten,” Sanchez told AS. “But all of the great champions in cycling history have failed at some of their aims.”

    Sanchez came close to salvaging a stage win from his Giro in the Polsa mountain time trial on stage 18, when he spent much of the afternoon in the hot seat before maglia rosa Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) ultimately beat him by 58 seconds.

    “We thought that it would be enough for Nibali just to maintain his lead over second place on the classification,” Sanchez said. “His time trial was a real surprise.”

    Sanchez also performed strongly on stage 14 to Bardonecchia, where he finished 4th, but was left frustrated by his attempts to slip up the road in search of stage victory in the final week, particularly on the road to Ivrea on stage 16.

    “Above all, I was marked by people who were aiming at other classifications and that made it difficult for me to fight for a stage...

  • Cunego chases stage win at Critérium du Dauphiné

    Damiano Cunego (Lampre)
    Article published:
    May 30, 2013, 13:12 BST
    Cycling News

    Italian builds towards Tour de France

    Damiano Cunego (Lampre-Merida) arrives at the Critérium du Dauphiné with the twin target of fine-tuning his Tour de France preparations and scoring his first WorldTour success of the season.

    Although Cunego claimed stage victory at Piane di Mocogno during the Settimana Coppi & Bartali in March, he fell some way short in his main spring objectives at the Tour of the Basque Country and the Ardennes Classics in April.

    After almost a month away from racing, Cunego returned to competitive action at the Bayern Rundfahrt last week, where his teammate Adriano Malori claimed final overall victory.

    “In the last few weeks away from racing, I’ve trained hard and at the work I did at Bayern Rundfahrt for Malori has helped to find some sharpness,” Cunego said. “I’ll approach the Dauphiné with a double aim – I want to keep an eye on the GC and try to win a stage, so I can get some WorldTour points, and at the same time, I’ll work to improve my form as much as possible.”

    Cunego opted to forgo the Giro d’Italia this season in order to focus his attentions on the Tour de France. The Italian enjoyed arguably his best Grand Tour performance of recent years at La Grande Boucle in 2011, when he finished 6th overall.

    That Tour display came on the back of a second place finish at the Tour de Suisse and Cunego acknowledged that he could do with a similar showing at the Dauphiné, which gets underway on Sunday.

    “Winning always gives you a greater motivation to hang tough and work hard. A stage at the Dauphiné would give me a lot of conviction heading into the Italian championships and the Tour de France,” Cunego said. “There are some interesting stages at the Dauphiné, so along with the management, I’ll weigh up how best to chase the objectives.”

    Lampre-Merida team for Critérium du...

  • BMC to focus on stage wins at Critérium du Dauphiné

    Thor Hushovd (BMC) powered up the hill
    Article published:
    May 30, 2013, 18:14 BST
    Cycling News

    Hushovd a four-time stage winner and former leader at Swiss race

    While the BMC Racing Team will be contesting the Critérium du Dauphiné without a true general classification contender, the WorldTour squad's roster has plenty of talent to focus on other opportunities, particularly stage victories.

    "It's a bit different because we don't have a leader for the GC," said Assistant Director Yvon Ledanois. "But I think we have many quality riders who can contend for stages."

    Fresh off of helping teammate Tejay van Garderen win the Amgen Tour of California, Thor Hushovd is well-suited to garner success at the Dauphiné, beginning Sunday, June 2, in Champéry. The 35-year-old Norwegian rode to four top-10 finishes in California, including a third place result on stage 5, and looks forward to the eight-day WorldTour race in Switzerland.

    "I got a better feeling in California and my body was reacting over the race so I was pleased with my improving form day-by-day," Hushovd said. "I will have to look into the details of how the finishes are, but I think there are some nice opportunities for me. They all look like hard finishes, with some heavy climbs, but I think I'm climbing better, so there are some possibilities."

    The former road race world champion has had success before at the Dauphiné, with four stage wins plus a stint in the leader's jersey during the 2008 edition in his palmares.

    Other riders on form include Brent Bookwalter, who returns to Europe after earning a pair of silver medals at the US professional road championships in the time trial and road race as well as helping van Garderen win...

  • Froome understands interest in Sky leadership question

    Chris Froome (Sky) wins the Tour de Romandie.
    Article published:
    May 30, 2013, 19:30 BST
    Cycling News

    Contador is biggest rival for Tour, says Briton

    The question of who will lead Team Sky at the Tour de France has dominated column inches in the opening months of the season, and while Chris Froome does not enjoy the speculation, he has admitted that he can understand he and Bradley Wiggins’ internal battle has so captured the public imagination.

    “I don’t enjoy the specific talk, the he says, he says stuff. But given the territory and what we’re doing it’s understandable and it’s great to see so much interest,” Froome told The Evening Standard.

    Sky manager Dave Brailsford has confirmed that Froome, and not reigning champion Wiggins, will lead Sky at the Tour, which gets underway on June 29 in Corsica. Wiggins had previously spoken of his own desire to win the Giro d’Italia and the Tour in the same year, but his maglia rosa ambitions unravelled due to illness in the second week and it remains to be seen in what shape he enters the Tour.

    “Who knows on Brad,” Froome said. “It depends on how he pulls out of it. It comes down to a management decision and what job they see him doing. We’re definitely going to have a pretty strong team regardless.”

    Froome has enjoyed a fine start to the 2013 season, winning the Tour of Oman, Critérium International and Tour de Romandie, and he lines up as the favourite for overall honours at the Critérium du Dauphiné on Sunday.

    “I don’t feel like I’ve hit my best form yet. It’s been good but not like I’ve been absolutely flying yet,” Froome said. “I feel on the rise but I’ve still got a few weeks to the Tour,...

  • Holloway debuts with Amore & Vita in Philadelphia

    Daniel Holloway will race with Mike's Bikes, but hopes to go back to the pro level
    Article published:
    May 30, 2013, 20:27 BST
    Laura Weislo

    American returns to pro ranks mid-season

    American sprinter Daniel Holloway will make his return to the professional ranks when he joins his new Amore & Vita team at this weekend's Philly Cycling Classic. The 26-year-old had dropped back to the amateur level, racing for Mike's Bikes/Incase after not renewing with the British Raleigh squad, but strong results earlier this season caught the attention of Amore & Vita's directeur sportif, Phil Cortes.

    "I talked to Phil last year, and he was interested," Holloway said, but nothing came of the conversation until earlier this year "when their schedule grew, and they needed a few more riders for the second half of the season."

    Holloway said the call-up was unexpected, but that the Mike's Bikes team supported the move. "I can't thank Mike's Bikes enough - it was a great experience, and the family atmosphere on the team really helped me enjoy riding my bike again. I hadn't put out any feelers yet, I was in a happy place with the team and was looking forward to the Tour of America's Dairyland and criterium nationals.

    "But the team's whole goal is to move the guys who want to be professionals into the pro ranks, and my goal was to get the kind of results and exposure on the team to get a contract in 2014, it just happened a little sooner."

    After netting his first win in the Madera County Stage Race criterium in early March, Holloway raced in the San Dimas and Redlands stage races before heading back to Northern California for Sea Otter, where he claimed the victory on the final stage on the Laguna Seca circuit.

    Since then, he's added the Wente Classic and...

  • Van Garderen eyes overall victory at Tour de Suisse

    Tejay van Garderen (BMC) takes home the overall prize.
    Article published:
    May 31, 2013, 0:03 BST
    Cycling News

    Tour de France starts up for grabs at BMC

    Fresh off his victory in the Tour of California, Tejay van Garderen will headline the BMC line-up for the Tour de Suisse starting Saturday week in Quinto.

    The nine days of racing, bookended with individual time trials also features a mountain-top finish to Crans-Montana, at an altitude of 1500 metres on Stage 2. Other peaks are included on Stage 3 from Montreux to Meiringen, Stage 4 from Meiringen / Brienz to Buochs, Stage 7 from Miles to La Punt and on the penultimate stage from Zernez to Bad Ragaz – all of which provide van Garderen with the perfect lead in to the Tour de France.

    "It will be a good final preparation for the Tour de France," van Garderen said. "Coming off the good legs I had in California, it's another good chance for a result."

    The team confirmed following the Giro d'Italia that van Garderen will ride in a support of Cadel Evans at the Tour de France, who finished third overall at the Italian Grand Tour. Evans will not race again prior to the Tour.

    The American will have support from four riders who rode in California with him - Mathias Frank, Amaël Moinard, Michael Schär and Philippe Gilbert who left the stage race early for the birth of his new child. Earlier this week, Gilbert said that he would be riding in Switzerland in the build-up to the Grande Boucle while Greg Van Avermaet, following a consistent spring, will be hoping to do enough to earn a spot on the team for the Tour.

    Swiss champion Martin Kohler is also on the roster, having previously been selected to ride the...