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First Edition Cycling News, Monday, January 6, 2014

Date published:
January 06, 2014, 0:00 GMT
  • Gallery: Astana 2014 roster in pictures

    Vincenzo Nibali
    Article published:
    January 06, 2014, 2:08 GMT
    Cycling News

    Kazakhstan team show off new signings

    Astana have released images of the 2014 team in a largely unchanged kit including photos of new signings Michele Scarponi and Lieuwe Westra on and off the bike.

    The major change in the kit from last year is the addition of Air Astana on the front of the jersey as a new sponsor. The photos were taken during the recent Astana team camp. 

    Vincenzo Nibali, who has stated that winning the Tour de France is his primary goal this season, was pictured in the team kit. Also featuring in the gallery are several riders who will be instrumental in Nibali's campaign to win the French grand tour. Nibali has previously won the Giro and Vuelta de España.

    The 2011 Giro d'Italia winner Scarponi joined the team after several seasons at Lampre on a one-year deal and the Italian is hoping to add another grand tour win to his name as he leads the team at the Giro.

    Having had four national road champions in 2013, Astana has just one this year with Alexsandr Dyachenko to wear the national colours of Kazakhstan in the first half of the year. Tanel Kangert is the other national champion on the books in 2014 having won the Estonian national time trial last year.

    Click here for the full gallery

  • Australian road nationals to contain highly competitive field

    A happy Cadel Evans (BMC) in Tours for the start of stage 13
    Article published:
    January 06, 2014, 5:10 GMT
    Cycling News

    Entrants finalised for five-day event

    Among the nearly 600 entries received for the Cycling Australia Road National Championships, which begin on Wednesday, are some of the nation's most exciting road cyclists. The three national championship events, time trial, criterium and road race, are to be held over five days with expectations that thousands of spectators will be attracted to the races in Ballarat, Burrumbeet and Buninyong.

    The signature events of the championships are the weekend road races which will feature potentially the best line-ups seen in its history. Headlining the entries for Sunday's men's road race is 2011 Tour de France champion Cadel Evans who will partake in the race for the first time since 2005. Evans will face a tough task to win the green and gold jersey as he will be the only BMC rider on the start line.

    Also lining up for a shot at victory are 2013 yellow jersey holder and 2012 national champion Simon Gerrans, 2013 Paris to Nice winner Richie Porte, 2012 Vuelta de España mountain classification winner Simon Clarke, plus reigning champion Luke Durbridge.

    Orica-GreenEdge are fielding a strong team and will be favourites to provide a third consecutive victor in the men’s race. They will however face stiff competition from Drapac who are targeting the race in what is their biggest season so far to date. The Australian outfit is competing at Pro-Continental level for the first time in 2014 and have secured a wildcard invitation to the Tour Down Under.

    Garmin-Sharp's Steele von Hoff, who podium in the criterium and road race in 2013, is hoping go one better this year and his campaign will be helped with several teammates to call...

  • Voeckler has collarbone plate removed

    Thomas Voeckler's green collarbone plate
    Article published:
    January 06, 2014, 10:54 GMT
    Stephen Farrand

    Europcar rider shares a photo of his 'hardware'

    Thomas Voeckler has revealed he underwent an operation to remove a metal plate from his collarbone, publishing a photo of what he describes as the 'hardware' on his Facebook page. The plate was a green colour, the same as Voeckler's Europcar team.

    The French rider revealed the news of the minor operation during the weekend. He confirmed he would soon be back in training before heading to Australia on January 12 for the Santos Tour Down Under.

    "Last Thursday I had the collar bone plate removed that as fitted after my crash in the Amstel Gold Race," he wrote.

    "It was a simple operation but under general anesthetic. I'd like to share the photo of the 'hardware' that was removed!"

    "After a short rest this weekend, I expect to get in a good week of training before leaving for Australia on January 12. I hope to find better training conditions out there because lately, because of the rain and wind, it hasn't been easy to ride!"

    Voeckler will lead the seven-rider Europcar team at the Santos Down Under. Also in the line-up are Perrig Quemeneur, Kévin Reza, Jérome Cousin, Angélo Tulik, Yukiya Arashiro and Bjorn Thurau.

    It is the first time that Europcar competes in the Santos Tour Down Under after securing a WorldTour licence for the 2014 season. Voeckler rode in Australia early in his career but will begin his season early in the Australian summer before targeting Paris-Nice, Milan-San Remo and the Amstel Gold Race in the first part of the 2014 season.

  • Pamplona to host stage of 2014 Vuelta a España

    The final Vuelta podium for 2013
    Article published:
    January 06, 2014, 14:31 GMT
    Sadhbh O'Shea

    Three mountain finishes expected in the second week

    More details of the 2014 Vuelta a España have emerged, just a few days ahead of the official announcement on Saturday, in Cadiz.

    According to a report in Spanish newspaper Diario di Nevarra, the Vuelta will make its return to Pamplona. The city is set to play host to a stage start, with the riders initially heading south before making an about turn and heading towards the small town of Lizarraga, north west of the region’s capital.

    The day will finish on the climb to San Miguel de Aralar. The 11 kilometre ascent averages 8%, but hits gradients of 16-17% in the final kilometre. It is surfaced but will need some repair work as it is in bad condition.

    2014 marks only the second time in 20 years that the Vuelta a España has visited the Navarra region of Spain, with the 2012 race beginning in Pamplona. According to the report the stage is set to be midway through the race, after a time trial in Zaragoza.

    Other details of the 2014 Vuelta a España route have already emerged, with the race expected to begin in Jerez, in the south west region of Cadiz.

    After a leg sapping 13 summit finishes in 2013, the race is expected to be easier. However, the riders will reportedly have to contend with three consecutive mountaintop finishes in the middle week. The first tackles the La Camperona, which appears in the race for the first time. The following days will finish on the picturesque Lagos de Covadonga and Farrapona, in the Austurias region.

    During the final week, the race moves to the Galicia region, where the...

  • Kennaugh: Froome and Wiggins can work together

    Peter Kennaugh (Sky)
    Article published:
    January 06, 2014, 16:20 GMT
    Sadhbh O'Shea

    Manxman hoping to hit the ground running in 2014

    Team Sky's Peter Kennaugh believes that Chris Froome and Bradley Wiggins can work together to gain the team's third consecutive Tour de France victory.

    "As long as Brad wants to do it and I think that he does. I think if you set your objectives clearly, going into the race, then I don’t see why not," Kennaugh told Cyclingnews.

    There has been an internal rivalry between Froome and Wiggins, since the former appeared to attack Wiggins on La Toussuire during the 2012 Tour. David Walsh later revealed that Wiggins withheld Froome's winnings, for his part in the victory, until just before the World Championships last year.

    "Everything seemed fine in the last camp," Kennaugh said of the relationship between the team's two leaders. The Manxman was part of the eight riders to assist Froome to victory last year and he is looking to make the cut again.

    While he's got it on his calendar, the 24-year-old is taking nothing for granted. "You've got to do everything you can to make sure that you get into the team," he told Cyclingnews. "You can pencil it in, but anything can happen before then. You've got to prove yourself throughout the season. There's nine places and there's probably about 14 guys who've got it pencilled in."

    This year's Tour de France will tackle nine of the cobbled sectors that make up the Paris-Roubaix route. As Fränk Schleck found out in 2010, the cobbles can be the breaking of your Tour de France campaign, but Kennaugh doesn't seem fazed by the challenge.

    "I think I'm alright, I'll just get stuck in and do the best I can," he said in his...

  • 2014 Tour of California leader's jersey revealed

    The 2014 Tour of California leader's jersey
    Article published:
    January 06, 2014, 18:25 GMT
    Cycling News

    Changes to yellow jersey for Amgen race

    Organisers of the Amgen Tour of California released the design for the 2014 leader's jersey on Monday. The jersey remains yellow with a blue Amgen logo and silhouette of the state's official animal, the grizzly bear, but this year's look includes an asymmetrical swoop of blue with a yellow stripe down the center, signifying the road ahead.

    In September, Amgen renewed its sponsorship for the event, allowing the ninth edition of the race to go forward.

    In 2013, Tejay van Garderen took home the overall victory in the jersey, which then had a vertical blue stripe and an outline of the grizzly. Van Garderen has chosen to skip this year's event, opting to focus his preparation for the Tour de France, where he will lead the BMC team, in Europe.

    The 2014 Tour of California will kick off on May 11 from Sacramento, and places the individual time trial early, on stage 2 in nearby Folsom. The first mountain stage comes when the race revisits Mt. Diablo for the stage 3 finish, and then is expected to head down the Pacific Coast Highway from Monterey to Cambria before tackling four stages in Southern California. It finishes near Amgen's headquarters in Thousand Oaks on May 18.

  • Matthew Lloyd returns with Jelly Belly

    Australian National Champion Matthew Lloyd (Silence-Lotto)
    Article published:
    January 06, 2014, 19:58 GMT
    Laura Weislo

    Former Australian champion to line up at national championships

    Australian Matthew Lloyd will return to the professional peloton in 2014 with the Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis team, the squad confirmed today. He will make his debut at the Cycling Australia National Road Championships this week. Lloyd was the 2008 national road race champion.

    Lloyd will be an important addition to the team, team manager Danny Van Haute said. "He brings power to the team, giving us a general classification contender rather than just stage winners. If we can put a guy in the top 10 of a major stage race here, that's big for us and our sponsors," he told Cyclingnews.

    After starting his second season with Lampre-Merida last year, Lloyd spent most of the 2013 season away from racing, trying to rehabilitate lingering back issues which stemmed from being hit by a car in 2010.

    Before his accident, Lloyd's career was on an upward trajectory: he won a stage of the Giro d'Italia in 2010 and took home the overall mountains classification. But the 2010 crash, and a second injury in 2011 brought his time with the Omega Pharma-Lotto team to a close.

    Lloyd bounced back with Lampre-ISD in 2012, but suffered another injury, this time a broken collarbone.

    The 30-year-old told Cyclingnews in October that he was healthy and ready to return to the peloton, but said he was looking for the right situation. "I'm more concerned as to whether the situation would be beneficial not only for me but for them in the long run."

    Van Haute said that Lloyd is wanting to get back into the WorldTour, as is former Garmin-Sharp rider Jacob Rathe, and he is happy to have both riders come and assist in the development of the younger...

  • Drapac targeting top time trial performance at Australian road nationals

    Drapac Pro Cycling neo pro Jordan Kerby tests out his new SwiftCarbon Neurogen rig at last week’s team training camp in Bright
    Article published:
    January 06, 2014, 22:15 GMT
    Cycling News

    Three riders for Elite men's race

    Drapac Pro Cycling's appearance at the 2014 Cycling Australia Road National Championships will be kicked off by twenty-one year-old Jordan Kerby who will be the penultimate rider out of the start house in the Under-23 Men’s Time Trial and admits there is some pressure attached to his ride.

    "I'm also the youngest rider in the team so it would be nice to show management a good reason why they signed me up," Kerby said. "I put a lot of emphasis on the nationals because there's a jersey up for grabs."

    Kerby placed fourth in the 2013 event and is hoping that he can improve by snaring a podium position in Wednesday's 28km event. Kerby has tasted success at the nationals before as he won the Under-23 Men's road race in 2013.

    Kerby spent the 2013 season with Christina Watches-Onfone and his debut with Drapac will be in the time trial.

    “I'm definitely would love to be on the podium, I don’t think it’s out of my reach. Last year I started right near the front and I didn't have anyone to chase and there was three guys who didn't start in front of me – that was a bit disappointing," said Kerby.

    "Now that I know I'm starting near the back and with a lot of good competition there it will be good to gauge myself against some of the other riders."

    Drapac Pro Cycling Directeur Sportif Henk Vogels said that Kerby's pre-race form has been impressive during the team's recent training camp.

    "I would be surprised if we didn't get a medal in the Under-23," Vogels said. "Jordan's been recording some great numbers here in Bright and I've been very impressed with how he’s been training."

    On Wednesday afternoon the elite men will take to the course with three Drapac riders contesting the 45km race against the clock. Former runner-up Jack Anderson, Lachie Norris and Will Clarke...