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First Edition Cycling News, Monday, December 30, 2013

Date published:
December 30, 2013, 0:00 GMT
  • Back to basics for Goss in 2014

    Matthew Goss (Orica - GreenEdge)
    Article published:
    December 29, 2013, 13:13 GMT
    Cycling News

    Change in race program for Australian sprinter

    Even by his own admission, Matt Goss has failed to deliver his best since signing for Orica GreenEDGE at the start of 2012. Two individual wins – one at the Giro and the other at Tirreno Adriatico - were scant consolation for a rider who in the first six months of 2011 won 10 races, including Milan-San Remo.

    Now, as he enters the final year of his current deal with the Australian team, he admits that he overcomplicated certain aspects of his profession and that 2014 will see a return to program that proved so successful almost three years ago.

    “2013 wasn’t what I wanted and that’s for sure. There’s no beating around the bush with that, I guess,” he recently told Cyclingnews.

    “2014 I’m going to try and go back to how I did things in 2011 and 2010 even. The way I’ve trained before and in what I have confidence in. It’s going back to basics a little bit.”

    “It’s the same with the race programme a little bit. I’ve done Tirreno in the last two years but next year I’m going to go back to doing Paris-Nice and just trying to go back to how did things in 2010 and 2011 when I was more consistent.”

    When Goss signed for Orica at the end of 2011 he was expected to lead the Australian outfit in the sprints of major races. Along with Simon Gerrans – the other linchpin of the squad – there were high expectations that the former HTC rider could deliver results on a consistent basis. However he found himself swamped in sprints with the emergence of riders such as Marcel Kittel and an improving Peter Sagan.

    Team manager Matt White has already stated that Goss will take on races in a similar way as the...

  • 2013 Reader Poll Gallery: Horner's Vuelta win voted biggest moment of 2013

    Chris Horner drops Vincenzo Nibali on the Alto de l'Angliru
    Article published:
    December 29, 2013, 14:30 GMT
    Cycling News

    American tops poll ahead of Froome and Armstrong

    Cyclingnews readers have voted Chris Horner’s Vuelta a Espana victory as the biggest moment of the 2013 season. The American, who became the oldest Grand Tour victor in history when he crossed the finish line in Madrid about a month shy of his 42nd birthday, beat Chris Froome’s ride to Mont Ventoux at the Tour and Lance Armstrong's interview with Oprah Winfrey into second and third place, respectfully.

    Horner, who is still without a contract for 2014, went into the Vuelta as an outsider for the win. Having had injury problems in the first half the season he was forced to skip the Tour de France. However, he began to find form with a stage and second overall at the Tour of Utah.

    Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) was expected to lead the Vuelta peloton home but despite leading the race he was unable to shake Horner and in the final mountain stage the 41-year-old American, who had never made the top five of a Grand Tour previously, distanced the Giro winner on the slopes of the Alto de l'Anglirú on the penultimate stage.

    His Vuelta win was enough to provide Horner with 5,161 votes. Froome’s stage win at Mont Ventoux came in a distant second with 3,079 votes. The British rider was already in the maillot jaune at this point in the race but his demolition of Albert Contador and all his other rivals on the hallowed slopes of one of cycling’s iconic climbs helped to cement his position all the way to Paris.

    Lance Armstrong’s interview on Oprah was certainly one of the most talked about events in the early half of the year and picked up 2,951 votes. It was the first full length interview...

  • Q&A: Jakob Fuglsang on Bruyneel, Riis, Nibali and the Tour de France plan

    Jakob Fuglsang in the 2014 Astana kit
    Article published:
    December 29, 2013, 16:05 GMT
    Daniel Benson

    Astana all-rounder ready to support team in July

    This year was always going to be a crucial season for Danish rider Jakob Fuglsang. Having broken free from the clutches of RadioShack he was handed the chance to prove his mettle at the Tour de France. He duly delivered with a solid seventh overall in Paris. Next year, with teammate Vincenzo Nibali leading the line in the race of the maillot jaune, Fuglsang has thrown his support in behind his captain.

    The new season will bring a host of new challenges as the Dane hopes to help Astana win their first Tour title since 2009 and in this exclusive interview with Cyclingnews Fuglsang talks not just about the Tour de France but his thoughts on doping and the predicaments two of his former managers, Johan Bruyneel and Bjarne Riis, find themselves in.

    Cyclingnews:  How would you assess your 2013 season?

    Jakob Fuglsang: It was a good year for me. Personally I would say that it was my best so far. I didn’t win as much as in other years, in the end I only won a TTT with the team in the Vuelta, but it was definitely a good year.

    CN: How would you assess the Tour ride in the context of your career, because a lot of people thought that this was your chance to prove yourself after not having a fair shot at your previous team.

    JF: My goal was top ten going into the Tour. I believed that it was possible. It might be that I have to be in a breakaway that rides away with ten minutes but in the end that wasn’t the case. I was strong enough to stay with the top ten guys and my position was pretty much a sign of where I was in terms of the Tour. So I was happy with the results and happy that I proved to myself, because it gave...

  • Daniel Moreno escapes serious injury after collision with car

    Daniel Moreno posted this photo montage on Twitter regarding his run-in with a car while on a training ride.
    Article published:
    December 29, 2013, 19:40 GMT
    Cycling News

    Spaniard hit while out training, now recovering

    Spanish cyclist Daniel Moreno was hit by a car on Saturday while out training in Argentina. The Katusha climber has reportedly not sustained any fractures but was taken to hospital as a precaution.

    "Yesterday, 28th December in Argentina, Katusha rider Daniel Moreno was hit by a car while performing a training [ride] on his TT bike," read a statement from Moreno's team. "Immediately after the accident, Moreno went to the hospital for a full medical check up which did not reveal any fractures or major traumas. At the same time, the rider’s bike was completely destroyed.

    "On medical recommendation, Daniel will take a two-day rest without any training."

    Moreno is due to open his 2014 season at Argentina's Tour de San Luis next month.

  • Wiggle Honda send competitive team to Bay Cycling Classic

    Article published:
    December 29, 2013, 21:15 GMT
    Cycling News

    Bronzini leads with strong support

    Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling Team will send a highly competitive team to Australia's Mitchelton Bay Cycling Classic which starts next week. The women’s team will be led by Giorgia Bronzini and completed by Linda Villumsen, Peta Mullens, Charlotte Becker and Emilia Fahlin.

    The four-day criterium series, which starts on January 2, will also include defending champions Orica-AIS and an Australian national team.

    "This will be the first Bay Cycling Classic for all of our athletes except Peta Mullens,” said Wiggle Honda team manager and three-time series winner, Rochelle Gilmore.

    “We've tried to prepare them for the intensity and speed of these criteriums but it's something they will not be able to comprehend until they actually experience the first day.

    "They will never have experienced this type of pain in January. It's impossible to mentally prepare them for what will happen on day one of the Bay Crits!"

    Peta Mullens, the only Australian on the team, is the national cross country mountain bike champion but has a strong road pedigree too, having won the U23 national road race in 2009. She finished second in the Criteriums in 2013 while riding without a team and hope she, or one of her teammates, can go one better.

    "We've come in with a strong team - a combination of world and national champions - because that's the sort of firepower you need to win the Bay Crits," Mullens said.”

    "The series is held in great locations, on great courses, in summer sunshine, with an awesome atmosphere and with this year's international presence, the calibre of the field hits an all-time high."

  • 2013 Reader Poll: Hydraulic road disc brakes voted best tech innovation

    The rollout of hydraulic disc brakes for road bikes isn't going to be seamless. As we've already found out, there are going to be some hiccups along the way but there's no killing the momentum now
    Article published:
    December 30, 2013, 9:00 GMT
    James Huang

    Wide-profile rims, 1x11 MTB drivetrains round out top three

    Cyclingnews readers have spoken loud and clear: by a nearly two-to-one margin, hydraulic road disc brakes once again top the list for 'best tech innovation' of 2013.

    SRAM's recent recall may have tempered the excitement for some but road riders are still excited nonetheless about the idea of brakes that offer more power, more control, and more consistency over a wider range of conditions than merely squeezing a couple of blocks of rubber against a rim.

    Provided manufacturers can work the bugs out, hydraulic road disc brakes also bring them additional benefits, such as fewer heat-related clincher and tubular tire failures, the possibility of lighter-weight rims, and longer service intervals.

    For sure there are still some bugs to work out but there's no question that hydraulic disc brakes are coming to road bikes – and probably sooner rather than later.

    Wide-profile rims such as from HED and American Classic have clearly caught readers' attention as they landed in second place. There's good reason for it, too, as the broader foundations allow for better traction, improved ride quality, and a more stable cornering particularly when pushed hard. Most major manufacturers are moving in this direction already so it's likely just a matter of time before we see rims as wide as 19 or 20mm becoming the default standard.

    Landing in a solid third place are 1x mountain bike drivetrains – a strong signal that MTBers are growing...

  • Bettini hints about possible role in Alonso team management

    Coach Paolo Bettini and Filippo Pozzato
    Article published:
    December 30, 2013, 10:52 GMT
    Sadhbh O'Shea

    Italian holds back on details until official announcement

    Paolo Bettini has officially refused to confirm he will join Fernando Alonso's team after resigning as the Italian national coach but has hinted he will be involved in a major new project in 2014, saying he will "stay in cycling as part of a "very important, ambitious high profile project, that has an initial duration, with me, of five years and that includes a major investment."

    Bettini replaced the late Franco Ballerini as the Italian head coach in June 2010 but decided to quit when the offer of the new role was confirmed.

    "What had just been a contact and a meeting suddenly turned into a concrete offer and so I found myself at a crossroads," Bettini revealed to Gazzetta dello Sport. 

    "It was a long and difficult decision. I took a week to reflect on things, considering every aspect with my heart and to study the details. Then I called Di Rocco and told him of my decision."

    Some kind of announcement concerning Bettini's possible role in the Alonso team is possible on Tuesday January 7 but until then he refused to give any details. If he joins Alonso's team, Bettini is likely to have a senior role, perhaps managing the technical and sporting aspects of the team, rather simply being a directeur sportif.  

    "Out of respect for my new partners, I can't say anything, except that I'll stay in the world of cycling," Bettini said.

    As a rider the 39-year-old Tuscan won two world titles in 2006 and 2007, and an Olympic Gold in 2004, but he was unable to replicate that as a coach. Two fourth places was the closest he came to success as Italian national coach. Bettini is set to be replaced by David Cassani in the role.

    If he does join Alonso's team, Bettini will have to adhere to some kind of...

  • Nibali to follow French build-up to 2014 Tour de France

    Vincenzo Nibali training in Calpe
    Article published:
    December 30, 2013, 11:50 GMT
    Cycling News

    Paris-Nice, Critérium International and Dauphiné on Sicilian's programme

    Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) will prepare for the 2014 Tour de France by racing regularly on French roads and competing more often against his principle rivals for the yellow jersey in the opening half of the season.

    “In 2014 I’ll have a very specific programme that I’ve never done before,” Nibali told Gazzetta dello Sport. “It’s centred on the Tour de France, with a lot of new races for me, with one objective – to race as many days as possible on French roads, to get to know my rivals better and to understand France more.”

    Nibali will kick off the new campaign at the Tour de San Luis in Argentina in January, before tackling the Tour of Oman in February, where he is likely to encounter reigning Tour champion Chris Froome (Sky) for the first time in 2014.

    “Then I’ll do Paris-Nice, Milan-San Remo, Critérium International, the Ardennes classics, the Tour de Romandie and then the Dauphiné in June, the final tune-up before the Tour,” Nibali said.

    For now, Milan-San Remo (March 23) is the only Italian race pencilled in on Nibali’s schedule, and the addition of the Pompeiana in the finale means that it joins the Ardennes classics among the Sicilian’s primary early-season objectives.

    “San Remo has changed a lot with the Pompeiana,” Nibali said. “It will eliminate fast riders. A very different race than usual will emerge and it will favour guys like me. The tactics will change too.”

    Nibali is likely to face Froome on a number of occasions before the Tour de France, including at Critérium International and the Critérium du Dauphiné, but he...