TechPowered By

More tech

First Edition Cycling News, Monday, December 2, 2013

Date published:
December 02, 2013, 0:00 GMT
  • Bouet to lead AG2R in Santos Tour Down Under

    Race leader Maxime Bouet (AG2R - La Mondiale)
    Article published:
    December 01, 2013, 20:55 GMT
    Cycling News

    Frenchman starts season in Australia

    AG2R La Mondiale has announced its line-up for next month's Tour Down Under. The Australian WorldTour event takes place January 21-26 and the French team will once again be looking to kick-start its season with Maxime Bouet leading the line this time around.

    AG2R La Mondiale, which has competed in every edition of the Tour Down Under, will be managed by sports director Laurent Biondi during the race.

    "The pro cycling team AG2R La Mondiale will be led by Maxime Bouet, who will aim to finish in the top ten overall," Biondi said. "We will also focus on stage wins. Maxime Daniel and Sebastien Turgot will be our trump cards in sprint finishes."

    "We should also have good opportunities in more hilly stages where the overall classification will be played out."

    Bouet has never raced the Tour Down Under and typically starts his season in Europe, but race organiser Mike Turter believes the Frenchman can play a part in Australia's single WorldTour event.

    "Maxime Bouet is an all-rounder and he’s particularly good on rolling terrain with short, sharp climbs. His 2013 season included a third place overall in the Giro del Trentino, tenth in the Tour of Oman and seventh in the Critérium International."

    "The varied terrain across the 2014 Santos Tour Down Under route will appeal to Bouet and the Ag2r lineup and I'm sure we'll see dynamic performances from this experienced group of riders."

    Ag2r La Mondiale for 2014 Santos Tour Down Under: Julien Berard (FRA), Guillaume Bonnafond (FRA), Maxime Bouet (FRA), Maxime Daniel (FRA), Axel Domont (FRA), Damien Gaudin (FRA) and Sébastien Turgot (FRA.


  • 2013 Report Card: BMC Racing Team

    BMC celebrates the team classification
    Article published:
    December 02, 2013, 3:30 GMT
    Cycling News

    For any other team but BMC it would have been a great year

    BMC Racing Team 2013
    WorldTour Ranking: 10th/19
    Win Count: 30
    Top riders: Greg Van Avermaet (18th), Cadel Evans (50th), Tejay van Garderen (52nd), Philippe Gilbert (54th).
    Grade: B

    For the second year in a row, the BMC Racing Team has underperformed relative to its roster of talent and its budget, although many lower-budget teams would have killed for their results. Cadel Evans' third place in the Giro d'Italia was overshadowed by the team's abysmal Tour de France, and despite their best efforts, the team walked away with just one Grand Tour stage - that by Philippe Gilbert in the Vuelta a España.

    While the team racked up 30 total wins spread across a dozen different riders, only five of those were WorldTour wins. The season started out with promise, thanks to Brent Bookwalter's cagey win from a three-man breakaway in the opening stage of the Tour of Qatar, followed by the squad's TTT victory the next day. The team stacked the top 10 of the final GC behind overall winner Mark Cavendish, with Bookwalter and Taylor Phinney rounding out the podium.

    In Tour of Oman, Evans rode himself into a podium place overall with a strong performance in the Green Mountain stage, but the result, while impressive, also demonstrated that overall winner Chris Froome would be difficult to match over the course of the season.

    Back in Europe, Thor Hushovd scored a stage win in the Tour du Haut Var, but a two-month long drought followed, and it would be half a year before the team earned even one WorldTour victory, although Evans' string of...

  • Cobo considers step back to continental level

    Juan Jose Cobo (Movistar)
    Article published:
    December 02, 2013, 9:17 GMT
    José Been

    Former Vuelta champion still without a team

    Juan José Cobo is one of several Spanish riders left without a contract for the 2014 season. After two years with Movistar, team manager Eusebio Unzué didn't offer the 2011 Vuelta winner a new contract.

    "I have to be realistic. It was my own fault. I didn't live up to the expectations and therefore understand the decision Movistar made," Cobo told El Diario Montañes.

    Cobo has been in the same situation before. Only weeks after his victory in the Vuelta a España where he beat the Team Sky duo Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome, Geox-TMC closed its doors. Cobo had just signed a new and improved deal with the team when Geox announced it would not honour its verbal agreement to continue sponsoring the team. 

    Movistar signed the Cantabrian rider for two years. His only podium finishes in 2012 and 2013 were in the team time trials with Movistar. Cobo's best individual performance was a tenth place in the national time trial championships in 2012 and eleventh place on stage 11 of this year's Giro d'Italia.

    "Last year I did the Tour in service of Valverde and didn't do a good Vuelta [Cobo finished 67th]. This year the Giro d'Italia was my goal. I prepared really well for that but a crash in the first stage ended that ambition. Next to the crisis in cycling and teams disappearing, in my case the lack of results was decisive.  I understand why Movistar decided not to renew my contract. I have not been able to pay back the trust they put in me and therefore lost two valuable years of my career." 

    Cobo is not ready to retire yet. He hopes to find a place for 2014, even with a much smaller team.

    "I still feel fine physically. I train about 4 or 5 times a week and...

  • Movistar to ride Canyon in 2014

    The Movistar Ultimate CF SLX 9.0 bike
    Article published:
    December 02, 2013, 12:18 GMT
    Cycling News

    First look at team's new bikes

    The Movistar team will ride Canyon Bicycles in 2014. Information emerged over the weekend confirming that Canyon will replace Pinarello as the Spanish team's bike sponsor. 

    Movistar confirmed to Cyclingnews in September that they would not be working with Pinarello in 2014.

    The 2014 Movistar Canyon team bikes will be fitted with Campagnolo wheels and Super Record EPS groupsets. Canyon will provide Movistar with a green and blue Ultimate CF SLX 9.0 frame for road racing plus time trial bikes.

    Alejandro Valverde, Nairo Quintana will again lead the Movistar team in 2014, with new signings including French climber John Gadret and Italian time trialist Adriano Malori. 

    Movistar will be the second WorldTour team on Canyon. Russian team Katusha has been sponsored by the German online company since 2012.


  • Boasson Hagen to race more before 2014 Classics

    Stage 3 winner Edvald Boasson Hagen (Sky)
    Article published:
    December 02, 2013, 13:01 GMT
    Pete Cossins

    Team Sky’s Norwegian talent hoping to be more competitive in the spring

    After a relatively disappointing 2013 season when he had just one WorldTour victory and failed to make any notable impact in the spring Classics, Edvald Boasson Hagen is set to shake-up his race programme in 2014 with the aim of raising his form for Paris-Roubaix and the other cobbled Classics.

    Boasson Hagen has often shown flashes of his huge talent but then has been hit by illness and injury or failed to live up to expectations. He pulled out of this year's Tour de France after fracturing his right scapula but recovered to ride the Vuelta and the world championships in Tuscany. He was part of the Team Sky squad that won a bronze medal in the team time trial race and finished 20th in the road race. It was the last race of his 2013 season.   

    In a change to the programme he has followed for the past two seasons, the talented 26-year-old Norwegian will not head to Australia for the Tour Down Under in January. He may also miss Team Sky's training camp at altitude in Tenerife in late February/early March in order to keep his form up by racing more frequently than he did in the early weeks of last season.

    "I am going to try something new; I'm not going to start in Australia at the Tour Down Under, but in February. And I'm going to ride more races before the Classics," Boasson Hagen told

    Boasson Hagen, who is about to begin his fifth season in Team Sky colours, explained: "The journey to Australia is too long and there are too few days of competition. I've tried it twice and now we will try something different, although my objectives will still be the same as they were: Paris-Roubaix and the cobbled Classics."

    Team Sky’s Norwegian directeur sportif Kurt-Asle Arvesen...

  • Tinkov buys Saxo-Tinkoff team from Riis

    Tinkoff team owner Oleg Tinkov at the race.
    Article published:
    December 02, 2013, 15:09 GMT
    Stephen Farrand

    Riis will continue as manager

    Oleg Tinkov has bought the Saxo-Tinkoff team from Bjarne Riis and will be the main sponsor for the squad for the next three years. The team will be known as Tinkoff-Saxo in 2014 with the Danish Saxo Bank accepting the role of second sponsor. 

    The widely expected take over announcement was made during a live video streaming from Google’s London headquarters organised by the Global Cycling Network YouTube channel. Riis also attended the announcement along with Saxo Bank CEO Lars Seier Christensen, team leader Alberto Contador and Nicolas Roche.

    It has been reported that Tinkov has paid Riis close to six million Euro to buy the team, with the former Danish rider set to earn a million Euro a season for the next three years in the role of team manager.

    "I believe this is a great day for my team. It’s a day been dreaming for a long time, for many years. I’ve looked forward to today because it shows I’ve done some good, right things for this sport. I’m very happy to announce that Oleg Tinkov will be the new owner of the team. We’ve made agreement of him buying Riis Cycling from immediate effect,” Riis said.

    “Riis Cycling will be renamed Tinkov Sport. He owns 100% of the team and he will be sole owner. It also means I’ll continue in a position as general for at least three years. Tinkoff Credit Systems will become the main sponsor and Saxo Bank has agreed to become second name sponsor for 2014. For 2014 the team will be called Tinkoff-Saxo.”

    Tinkov, via his Tinkoff Credit Systems online bank, has been a co-sponsor for the Saxo Bank team since July 2012, but announced this summer that he would leave the team after Contador struggled to be competitive against Chris Froome. Tinkov openly criticised Contador and Riis via Twitter straining their relationship and began talks with other teams....

  • Trentin mixes 'cross racing with road training

    Matteo Trentin (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) enjoys some winter cyclo-cross racing
    Article published:
    December 02, 2013, 17:10 GMT
    Stephen Farrand

    Omega Pharma-Quick Step rider in action in Italy

    While some of his Omega Pharma-Quick Step teammates enjoyed a day riding cyclo-cross for charity at the Boonen & Friends event in Belgium, Italy’s Matteo Trentin was taking cyclo-cross much more seriously in Italy, mixing Elite level cyclo-cross racing with track riding and his usual winter road training to boost his fitness, bike skills and enjoyment on the bike.

    Trentin finished 12th in the fourth race of the Giro d’Italia cyclo-cross series in Silvelle di Trebaseleghe but the bike skills and workout were far more important than the result. Trentin was the only Italian professional road racer happy to go off road even if Davide Malacarne, Fabio Aru and even Filippo Pozzato all raced 'cross earlier in their careers.

    “I mix two cyclo-cross rides with two days on the track in Montichiari with some Omega Pharma-Quick Step teammates. A 'cross race is like doing a time trial effort and a points race at the same time. One hour in the dirt is like doing three on the road, you’ve got to use your head and listen to your body,” Trentin told Gazzetta dello Sport.

    “I’ve started 'cross riding after not doing it last year. I realised I was missing something. 'Cross helps you accelerate, brake and start again. I’m not going to win the races but it will help improve.”

    24-year-old Trentin was one of Mark Cavendish’s lead-out men in 2013, helping him win five stages at the Giro d’Italia and two at the Tour de France. He got a chance to ride for himself on stage 14 of the Tour de France and won after being part of the break of the day.

    Trentin revealed he will ride four races in the Giro d’Italia...

  • Coquard to make Tour de France debut in 2014

    Bryan Coquard (Europcar)
    Article published:
    December 02, 2013, 18:45 GMT
    José Been

    Europcar sprinter nets six victories as neo-pro

    Bryan Coquard (Europcar) enjoyed a solid first season in the professional ranks as the 21-year-old Frenchman netted six victories and eight second place finishes in 2013. "But no need to be ashamed of those second places because I was beaten by really good riders like Cavendish, Démare and Bouhanni. It does mean, however, that I will work harder to get that edge in the future," he told DirectVelo.

    After a silver medal at the 2012 Olympic Games in the omnium, Coquard signed a three-year contract with Team Europcar. "I had a good first year. There were some deceptions but all in all it was a good year because I didn't think I would already be at this level as a neo-pro. I finished on the podium 16 times which shows that I can be consistent all season long. That gives me great confidence for the future."

    Coquard kickstarted his season with two victories at the Etoile de Bessèges in February. "Those wins are a great memory. Another great moment was beating Marcel Kittel in the Tour de Picardie. If you see what he did in the Tour de France afterwards, and that I was able to beat him, it is the best moment of the season."

    For a team built around climbers like Pierre Rolland and puncheurs like Thomas Voeckler, having a sprinter on the team means things had to change.

    "Having a sprinter like me is new for the team and we all learned throughout the season to get a sprint train running. Next year things will change again if we possibly move up to the WorldTour. I will have to be mentally strong because I might win less in 2014. The idea is to learn, learn,...