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First Edition Cycling News, Friday, September 13, 2013

Date published:
September 13, 2013, 1:00 BST
  • Christina Watches planning merger, move up to ProConti level for 2014

    A Christina Watches - Onfone rider in action during the time trial.
    Article published:
    September 12, 2013, 17:45 BST
    Cycling News

    Team to leave its Danish roots, but include up to seven Danish riders

    Team Christina Watches is planning to merge with another team and become Professional Continental in the coming year, with the hope of riding the Giro d'Italia in 2014. The team with which it will work has not been named, but is a non-Danish Continental team, according to the Danish media. The new team is expected to continue with the Christina Watches name, but no longer with a Danish licence.

    “I can confirm that we have been in negotiations with another team that is financially sound . We have given a legally binding commitment and lack only a confirmation from their attorney,” said team CEO Claus Hembo .

    The new team would include seven Danish riders. “We have always had hot dreams of being promoted up a class and creating a big cycling team with Danish riders in the squad . This gives us the opportunity to do so. Danish cycling has long sighed for a team at the Pro Continental level, and if we get through with this, participating in the Giro d' Italia may be an option,” Hembo told

    The team currently has only one Danish rider under contract for next year, Jimmi  Sørensen, but it has its eye on the other Danish team. “If the plan works, we will contribute with Stefan Schumacher and seven Danish riders to the squad , which according to the rules must be at least 16 in total.

    “Currently we only contract with Jimmi Sørensen, so we have to go out and get some new Danish riders- It could easily be one or more names that do not extend their contracts with Bjarne Riis and Team Saxo - Tinkoff for next year,” Hembo said.

    One of those Danish riders is Mads Christensen, whose contract with Saxo-Tinkoff expires the end of this year. “It is the first time I hear about it from you right now. So it's hard to say whether I might be interested since I do not know the circumstances,” he told “But conversely, I have not heard...

  • LeMond revives bike business with Time

    Greg LeMond will reveal three new models of bikes produced by Time at Interbike
    Article published:
    September 12, 2013, 18:28 BST
    Ben Delaney

    Limited-edition line to be introduced at Interbike

    This article first appeared on BikeRadar.

    At Interbike next week, three-time Tour de France winner Greg LeMond will be getting back into the bike business by introducing a limited-edition line of carbon road bikes produced by Time.

    The LeMond line will consist of three bikes, with color schemes based on his Tour wins in 1986, 1989 and 1090.

    "My interest in the bicycle as a machine, with its design, details and innovative possibilities, never went away after I retired from racing in late 1994," LeMond said in a press release. "For a time I lost my creative outlet, but like form coming back to a rider who was weakened, I have rediscovered my creativity and passion for the bike. I’ve traveled the world, observing carbon fabrication in more detail than ever before, and I’ve refined my ideas."

    For the bikes, LeMond is again working with Jean Marc Gueugneaud of Time Sport International. The pair go back to 1985, when Gueugneaud – then at Look – built carbon bikes for LeMond and his La Vie Claire teammate Bernard Hinault. Gueugneaud left Look to launch TVT, a custom carbon manufacturer, which built bikes for likes of LeMond, Pedro Delgado and Miguel Indurain, and in fact LeMond won his three Tours on TVT frames.

    LeMond said that while he is found of his history with Gueugneaud, he was impressed with the technology Time uses today.

    Valentino Campagnolo will join LeMond at Interbike for the launch, as his company is providing its 80th Anniversary Record groups for the new bikes.

    LeMond had his own name-brand bikes for several years. He began LeMond Cycles in the early 1990s, then licensed the brand to Trek in 1995. In 2008, Trek announced it would stop making LeMond bikes and a two-year legal battle ensued....

  • Horner closes gap to Nibali in Vuelta a España overall

    Chris Horner (RadioShack) is a man on a mission
    Article published:
    September 12, 2013, 19:30 BST
    Alasdair Fotheringham

    American comes to within three seconds of overall lead

    America’s Chris Horner (RadioShack Leopard) came within just three seconds of taking the overall lead in the Vuelta a España on Thursday on stage 18's final climb to Peña Cabarga. Once again the 41-year-old has shown himself to be the strongest climber of the Vuelta, and with Nibali suffering a second straight defeat in the mountains, this time losing 25 seconds, the tables look to be on the point of being turned in favour of Horner.

    “You’ve got to be pleased with any time you gain and we still have another real big mountain stage on Saturday, so it should be possible to get the jersey,” Horner told Cyclingnews.

    “I knew from the second climb on of the day that my legs were extremely good, so I told the team to make the race hard and hope for the best. You never know thought, because you’re racing against the best riders in the world, so you need them to feel bad.

    “You’re talking about minimal differences between us, a third or a fourth of a percent, you need someone to feel bad or not have taken on enough calories. But clearly today the legs were good.”

    Even with Fabian Cancellara having pulled out, Horner’s teammates, in particular Robert Kiserlovski powered up the ascent, with Movistar also contributing before Katusha’s mass attack with Joaquim Rodriguez saw the front group shredded to a bare four or five riders. Nibali and Rodriguez stayed with Horner briefly but then the American piled on the power to go away alone.

    Although he said he preferred to have the lead at this point, there are advantages in being able to stay in Nibali’s and Astana’s shadow at...

  • Lance Armstrong's Olympic medal in hands of USOC

    2000 Sydney Olympic time trial podium: Jan Ulrich, Viatcheslav Ekimov and Lance Armstrong
    Article published:
    September 12, 2013, 20:31 BST
    Cycling News

    American confirms his Sydney bronze is on its way to IOC

    Lance Armstrong announced on Twitter today that he has returned his 2000 Olympic bronze medal to the United States Olympic Committee. The American was banned and stripped of his results from 1998 onward after the United States Anti-Doping Agency determined that he had used performance enhancing drugs throughout his career.

    The International Olympic Committee stripped Armstrong of his medal in January, but it was revealed on Monday that they had yet to receive the medal.

    Armstrong stated, "The 2000 Bronze is back in possession of @usolympics and will be in Switzerland asap to @olympics," and included a link to a photo of the medal

    Patrick Sandusky, Chief Communications and Public Affairs Officer for the USOC, confirmed via twitter that the medal had been received; "I can confirm that The United States Olympic Committee has received the bronze medal awarded to Lance Armstrong at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney. The International Olympic Committee and the USOC had previously requested that the medal be returned. The USOC has made arrangements to return the medal to the IOC."

    Armstrong placed third in the Sydney elite men's time trial to Viachislav Ekimov and Jan Ullrich, but the IOC stated earlier this year that it would not award the medal to fourth-placed Abraham Olano of Spain.

  • Gallery: The Vuelta tackles the Angliru

    Jose Maria Jimenez was the first man to win atop the Angliru, after a gripping pursuit of Pavel Tonkov through mist and rain in 1999.
    Article published:
    September 12, 2013, 21:35 BST
    Cycling News

    Memories from the race's signature climb

    The Angliru – the very name strikes fear into the hearts of most pro cyclists. Only the very best of the climbers can hope to win on this dreaded ascent with its gradient up to an astonishing 24%. On Saturday this climb will be featured in the Vuelta a España for the sixth time, with this penultimate stage set to decide this year's overall winner.

    The 12.5 kilometre climb has an average of 10.13% gradient, with a short descent about halfway up. The last half of the climb is the brutal part, with an average of 13.1%. The Buena les Cabres, only 3k m from the finish, has a 23.6% gradient, and two later ramps are 18-20%. It is not uncommon for riders to walk their way up the steepest sections.

    The climb in northern Spain first appeared in the Vuelta in 1999, being won by Jose Maria Jimenez, who died of a heart attack only four years later. Gilberto Simoni took the win in 2000.

    Rain hit the peloton on the climb in 2002, and chaos ensued. David Millar, then riding for Cofidis, crashed three times on the climb and protested the stage by stopping a metre before the finish line and handing over this start number, effectively abandoning the race.

    The climb then was taken out of the race for six years, reappearing in 2008, when Alberto Contador won on his way to the overall victory. Juan Jose Cobo was the most recent winner in 2011, when red jersey Bradley Wiggins cracked in the final three kilometres. Cobo, too, went on to win the race.

    The general feeling within the peloton can probably be summed up by the remarks of Vicente Belda, after the 2002 stage: “What do they want, blood?”

  • Nibali's Vuelta a Espana lead disintegrates

    Vincenzo Nibali (Astana)
    Article published:
    September 12, 2013, 23:42 BST
    Alasdair Fotheringham

    Horner rides to within three seconds as Angliru looms

    Three years ago when the Vuelta a España first tackled the Peña Cabarga climb, Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) claimed the red jersey of leader by a mere four second margin. Today, as he reached the summit of the same climb, he was left with only a three second advantage over Chris Horner (RadioShack), and looking increasingly unlikely to be enough to keep the red jersey on the Angliru.

    “Horner has got an extra gear compared with the rest of his rivals,” Nibali said. “He put in a really steady pace on the climb and dropped everybody, [Alejandro] Valverde (Movistar) and [Joaquim] Rodriguez (Katusha), not just me.”

    “Tomorrow is a very difficult stage and then there’s the Angliru, we’ll see what happens, but he’s riding with real strength.“

    Recounting how the final climb had played out and asked if he still liked it - as he told Spanish television he did yesterday - the 28-year-old Sicilian replied with a grin. “Sure I still like it, the public were amazing.”

    “But Movistar were driving so hard, Rodriguez tried to get away and I let him go, I was just wanting to follow Horner as closely as possible. But he was impossible to follow.”

    Was this a replay of the same situation as in 2010 when Nibali took the Vuelta lead by the bare minimum at Peña Cabarga? “Not really, because on that occasion there were still a lot of stages to go and opportunities to win. Here we’re right at the end of the race.”

    Asked how he felt about Horner being able to race so well when into his fifth decade, Nibali responded with another grin, “I do know that maybe I won’t be riding at 42!

    “He has shown he’s got a...

  • Coquard's track acumen earns Challenge Sprint Pro victory

    Bryan Coquard (Europcar)
    Article published:
    September 13, 2013, 0:52 BST
    Peter Hymas

    Europcar Frenchman prevails in pre-GP Québec street sprints

    For the third year running a spectator-friendly street sprint competition took place on the eve of the Grand Prix Cycliste de Québec WorldTour race, and for the third straight year a rider with a strong track racing background prevailed in the four-round elimination event.

    Bryan Coquard, the 21-year-old first year pro with Europcar, won the silver medal at the 2012 London Olympics in the omnium and followed in the footsteps of such endurance track luminaries as Michael Morkov (2011 champion) and Zach Bell (2012 champion) to claim a narrow victory Thursday evening in the Challenge Sprint Pro. He's been no slouch on the road this year as well having taken six victories in 2013 and showing form of late with a podium finish in the GP de Fourmies last Sunday.

    The event took place on the finishing straight of Friday's Grand Prix Cycliste de Québec, the Grande Allée, with riders heading backwards on the race route for 600 metres, negotiating a 180-degree turn, then returning 400 metres to the finish line for a one-kilometre long parcours. Twenty-four riders took the start, one from each of the 19 WorldTour squads and one Pro Continental squad plus four Canadians in national team colours, and competed in four-rider heats with the top two finishers advancing each round until the field is reduced to a four-rider final.

    Coquard faced off against Giacomo Nizzolo (RadioShack Leopard), Moreno Hofland (Belkin) and Alexey Lutshenko (Astana) in the championship round with the young Frenchman coming around Nizzolo in the closing metres to claim victory. Nizzolo finished second, followed by Hofland in third then Lutshenko.

    "Obviously my track experience helped with knowing how to position yourself better as well as...

  • Kiryienka puts Sky back in the frame in Vuelta a Espana

    Vasil Kiryienka (Sky)
    Article published:
    September 13, 2013, 3:19 BST
    Alasdair Fotheringham

    British team takes stage wins in all three Grand Tours

    Team Sky's bid for overall glory in the Vuelta a España may have not worked out as they wanted, but Belarus rider Vasil Kiryienka nonetheless netted the British squad an impressive stage 18 win on Thursday.

    Best known as a strong team worker, Kiryienka's painfully slow but ultimately triumphant lone climb to the top of the six-kilometre Peña Cabarga means - amongst other things - that Sky have taken stages in all three Grand Tours in 2013.

    At a team level, although Sergio Henao's failure to impact on the overall was a disappointment, Sky showed themselves to be in contention for stage wins. And for the Belarus rider, who left the Tour de France after he rode himself into exhaustion on the second stage in the Pyrenees and finished outside the time cut, it was an impressive return to the limelight.

    Blowing a kiss and pointing at the sky as he crossed the line, the 32-year-old Belarus rider's victory came after breaking away on the Caracol climb, some 40 kilometres previously, then soloing all the way to the finish. It was his third Grand Tour stage win after taking two in the Giro, and his first victory since he won the overall of the Route du Sud back in 2011.

    "I had a lot of time in the last climb to get to the top, and that was a good thing," he said with a smile. "I had to keep a rhythm like I was in a time trial, it was all about trying to stay steady all the way." He revealed, too, that his weight at the start of the stage was 74.9 kilograms and his power output for the climb was around 400 watts.

    "Five years ago, I was in a Vuelta stage and I got close to winning, but I was beaten at the end," Kiriyienka said - referring to the stage into Segovia when he was beaten by Movistar's David Arroyo from a two-up break....