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First Edition Cycling News, Monday, May 10, 2010

Date published:
May 10, 2010, 1:00 BST
  • Cofidis time trials on Microshift

    The 'adjustment' label is slightly deceiving - according to microSHIFT's installation instructions, you can customize the lever friction simply by altering the tightening torque on the mounting bolt.
    Article published:
    May 09, 2010, 14:20 BST
    James Huang

    French squad uses little-known Taiwanese component company for TT drivetrains

    Pro Continental team Cofidis switched from Campagnolo to a Shimano-and-FSA component set-up this year and has swapped in yet another company for its time trial gear. While it's still using Shimano Dura-Ace transmissions on the road, the team's Look 596 aero bikes were instead equipped with shift levers and rear derailleurs from Taiwanese up-and-comer microSHIFT – who also produces transmission variants under the Sampson Sports, Dia-Compe, and Sturmey-Archer labels.

    Aesthetically speaking, the microSHIFT bar-end shift levers bear a strong resemblance to SRAM's 900 TT with its carbon fiber blades and red anodized aluminum caps, but the cable pull ratio is a Shimano-compatible 2:1 instead of SRAM's 1:1 Exact Actuation set-up and the levers are wrapped, not molded. Out back is microSHIFT's ARSiS rear derailleur, complete with a similarly carbon fiber wrapped outer link and cage, plus machined alloy pulleys rotating on sealed cartridge bearings.

    Cofidis sticks with its FSA front derailleur instead of the microSHIFT unit, and also retains the Shimano chains and cassettes from its road bikes. Road bikes on site were also still fitted with Shimano transmissions and considering how difficult it is to shift from the drops with microSHIFT's integrated brake/shift lever design, we don't expect the team to swap over on the road any time soon.

  • Thor Hushovd breaks collarbone in training crash

    Thor Hushovd (Cervelo)
    Article published:
    May 09, 2010, 14:22 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    Norwegian to undergo operation on Monday

    Cervélo TestTeam rider Thor Hushovd has broken his collarbone during a training ride in Italy on Sunday, his team has revealed.

    The 32-year-old Norwegian fell during a training ride on Sunday morning and is already on his way to Switzerland for an operation on Monday.

    "I was out for training with some riders and accidentally ran into a little girl who was crossing the road," Hushovd said in a statement issued by the team.

    "First I tried to help her, but I soon realized that I was not able to and there was something wrong. Unfortunately, I broke my collarbone. The little girl is fine."

    Andreas Goesele, Medical Officer of Cervélo TestTeam, gave further details.

    "Thor suffered a break in the middle of his left collarbone," Goesele said. "He underwent an X-ray at a hospital in the city of San Remo [Italy] and is now on his way to the CrossKlinik in Basel [Switzerland] for an operation tomorrow."

    The broken collarbone is another setback for the Norwegian after his spring was disrupted by illness. He now faces a race against time to get fit for the Tour de France.

  • BMC pull out all the stops for Evans' time trial bike

    The short stem and aero bars are all one integrated carbon fiber structure on Evans' BMC TT01.
    Article published:
    May 09, 2010, 14:28 BST
    James Huang

    Swiss engineers design a custom front end for Australian

    Current International Cycling Union road World Champion Cadel Evans' famously extreme time trial position hasn't always been the easiest to accommodate – not only is his base bar placed below the top tube, but the straight extensions and even the armrests are as well. In fact, it's so low that there's barely enough room to squeeze in the sidepull TRP T925 front brake caliper.

    Last year, his Silence-Lotto bike sponsor, Canyon Bicycles, had to create a special version of its frame where the stem jutted out of the middle of the head tube and now his new team has had to recreate the feat. Evans' BMC TT01 goes about it in an entirely different way, however, and it likely costs much, much more.

    BMC's unique TT01 fork already integrated an adjustable stem into its carbon structure but for Evans, the company produced a one-off version with an especially low stem included in the mold and also the complete aero bar assembly, too, making for what is presumably a very light and very rigid one-piece structure.

    Adjustments look to be virtually nil but given that Evans' position is pretty well solidified, BMC engineers should have been fairly confident that they could build-to-suit without having to move things around much afterwards.

    Other changes include an updated seatpost, which swaps out last year's alloy rail for a new carbon version.

    Rounding out Evans' build were a complete Campagnolo Record group – in 10-speed, since the company still doesn't offer 11-speed bar-end shifters – an Easton EC90 TT front wheel and Zipp rear disc, Continental Podium tubulars, a Selle Italia Optima saddle with built-in bottle holder, a single Elite bottle cage and AceCo's K-Edge chain watcher.

  • Mavic and PRO get rolling at the Giro

    Team Sky apparently obtains bare HED Stinger rims and builds them around Shimano Dura-Ace hubs.
    Article published:
    May 09, 2010, 14:44 BST
    James Huang

    New wheels at the Giro d'Italia start

    Garmin-Transitions captain Christian Vande Velde departed from the start house of stage one at the Giro d'Italia with an all-new Mavic Comete rear disc, complete with a carbon fiber tubular rim instead of the current version's alloy hoop. According to team mechanic Kris Withington, the rim shape is derived from the company's well-proven Cosmic Carbon Carbone, which is then sandwiched between two sheets of carbon fiber (flat on the driveside, lenticular on the non-driveside).

    The carbon rim and lack of a foam core shaves a lot of weight and Withington says the new disc is in fact about 200g lighter than the current version, putting it right around 950g. More importantly, much of that reduction falls out at the rim - where it counts most.

    The prologue in Amsterdam also marked another appearance of Mavic's upcoming aggressive 'CC80' carbon tubular –the blacked-out 'Cosmic 80' decal on the side further indicates that this wheel is close to being put into production. The wheels used by Garmin-Transitions also displayed bladed stainless steel spokes and familiar-looking alloy hubs with adjustable bearing preload. Though we don't expect it to be especially light, its aggressive profile likely made it a good choice for today's flat, fast, and relatively calm conditions.

    Mavic continues to be tight-lipped on both wheels, however, and declined to provide any further technical details or information. Mavic US marketing director Sean Sullivan would only say that, "the 80mm wheel is one that Garmin-Transitions has been racing and testing in the wind tunnel all spring." Stay tuned.

    Prologue winner Team Sky also showed off some new wheels from team sponsor PRO – well, sort of. Scattered throughout the team's pit area were three carbon wheel models – a 90mm-deep tubular, a three-spoke time trial front wheel, and a rear disc – all clearly labeled "PROtotype". Upon closer inspection, it turns out that they were all...

  • Farrar gets back up to win his first Giro stage

    Lucky boy: Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Transitions)
    Article published:
    May 09, 2010, 18:59 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    Garmin-Transitions show their sprinting power

    Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Transitions) celebrated his stage victory with his arms in the air long after he crossed the line, his emotions and intense satisfaction confirming the importance of his success.

    He crashed hard with 50km to go but got back up, suffered, chased hard and was rewarded with his first ever stage victory in the Giro d'Italia.

    The narrow, dangerous roads turned the 210km stage into a battle of survival but Garmin-Transitions handled the dangerous roads better than most and Farrar took advantage of an excellent lead out from Murilo Fischer, David Millar, and Julian Dean.

    Other teams' hopes for victory were wrecked by crashes but Farrar's first victory indicates that Garmin-Transitions could be the team to beat in this year's sprints at the Giro.

    "It’s fantastic to have won. It's certainly one of the special ones. Last year was a breakthrough year winning what I did. To win the first sprint is nice. It takes some pressure off for the rest of the race,” Farrar said in the stage winner's press conference.

    “The team were fantastic. I couldn't have asked for a better delivery to the line. We've said since the beginning of the season that we're putting a lot of effort into beefing up our lead-out and you saw today it has paid off. Sutton (Team Sky) tried to jump us into the last turn but Jules (Dean) did a fantastic job closing the gap and gave me a clean tow to the line.”

    Farrar has confirmed yet again that he is one of the best sprinters in the world. He was beaten by Mark Cavendish numerous times in last year's Giro d'Italia and Tour de France but has clearly improved this season.

    "I think my season so far is a continuation of the progression I made over the course of last season. I had a good winter with no problems,” he said.

    “I put a lot of focus on the spring Classics and that was a fairly successful campaign for me. I'm really happy with...

  • Evans back in pink eight years later

    You little beauty: Cadel Evans (BMC Racing Team) will swap the rainbows for pink tomorrow
    Article published:
    May 09, 2010, 19:25 BST
    Jean-François Quénet

    World champion won't take risks to defend Giro leader's jersey

    Eight years after taking the pink jersey in the Dolomites, Cadel Evans is again at the top of the general classification in the Giro d'Italia, but it's a totally different story this time. The 33-year-old Australian took the lead in an unexpected way in the Netherlands after race leader Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky) and his BMC teammate Brent Bookwalter, who both preceded Evans in the opening time trial, were involved in a crash prior to reaching the stage two finish in Utrecht.

    "Today was one of the most ridiculously dangerous stages I've seen in my career," said Evans after the finish. "It's not because of the course. I don't know why everybody is so nervous this year. Here in Holland you take a Grand Tour group of riders and you put them on these roads that are more for Classics riders.

    "I've seen many riders very nervous today, too nervous. When it's dangerous like this, experience counts but also luck."

    Evans was exposed to the similar roads in September last year when the Vuelta a España started in the Dutch town of Assen. He's prepared for similar racing conditions when the Tour de France will start in Rotterdam on July 3 this year.

    When Evans earned the maglia rosa in 2002, in a Giro d'Italia which also started in the Netherlands at Groningen, the Australian was beginning his career on the road and worked as a domestique for Stefano Garzelli, who would eventually be excluded for doping. Evans made the mistake of not eating enough for the battle in the Dolomites during his day in the maglia rosa and suffered a hunger knock on the Passo Coe in stage 17. He reached the finish in Folgaria like a zombie, 17 minutes after stage winner Pavel Tonkov. As he crossed the line, he didn't even see his soigneur from Mapei and kept pedalling in a daze.

    "Since 2002, I've kept the same coach, Aldo Sassi, and the same people I work closely with," Evans said. "After I changed teams this year, everything is well balanced...

  • Wiggins' stint in pink ends after crashes

    Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky)
    Article published:
    May 09, 2010, 20:07 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    Team Sky rider philosophical after losing Giro lead

    Two crashes meant Bradley Wiggins' special day in the maglia rosa ended in disappointment. The joy of victory in Saturday's time trial was replaced by pain and frustration for the Team Sky rider after being brought down on the narrow roads near Utrecht.

    Wiggins lost 32 seconds and slipped to 37th overall. He was forced to watch Cadel Evans (BMC Racing Team) pull on the pink jersey as he licked his wounds on the Team Sky bus. He was not seriously hurt, with just a few cuts and bruises, and a swollen knee. He managed to take losing the pink jersey on the chin, knowing that crashes are one of the uncontrollable aspects of road racing.

    "That's the way it is in Grand Tours. You have a massive high one day and then you're at the bottom of the pack the next. It's just bike racing," he said from the steps of his team bus.

    "I was never further back than the top-20 but I just got caught in the crash. It was a shame but quite a few of us got caught in that one. We came back but never really got the rhythm back after that and we were being drag-raced by the other teams."

    "The guys did an amazing job, but then I crashed again with seven kilometres-to-go and it was pretty much over then. It's disappointing to lose the pink jersey, especially the way we lost it, but I enjoyed the day in pink. That's bike racing."

    Wiggins agreed that the narrow roads used for the stage were dangerous, but blamed the riders not the race organisers. "It was [dangerous] but we knew it was going to be like that and the Tour de France will be the same. It was always going to happen. It's just the way it is," he said.

    "I'm okay. I've got a swollen knee but I'm okay. I was lucky. I think there are guys worse off. It's the riders that make it dangerous. That's bike racing. One person's loss is another person's gain and if you're on the other end of it, it's great."

    Fortunately, there were some pleasant moments during the stage for Wiggins...

  • Goss delighted with second at Giro

    Last year's third place getter Matthew Goss will carry HTC-Columbia's hopes of back-to-back wins
    Article published:
    May 10, 2010, 2:25 BST
    Jean-François Quénet

    Lead-out man looking for Greipel win

    Matt Goss proved to be a top sprinter in the making once again with his second placing on the Giro d’Italia’s second stage in Utrecht, The Netherlands, even though that wasn’t the HTC-Columbia rider’s plan. Sprint favourite Andre Greipel lost the wheel of his Australian lead-out man in the chaotic finale, leaving Goss runner-up to America’s Tyler Farrar.

    “That wasn’t the plan,” Goss admitted. “I was there to help Andre win, but a couple of guys shut him off my wheel as we came around the last corner. It’s a good result for me but we’re aiming for the win.”

    HTC-Columbia’s famed train didn’t occupy the head of the bunch in the last 10 kilometres of the stage this time. A sharp corner 300 metres before the finishing line didn’t favour the powerful style of HTC-Columbia.

    “We were together with 15 kilometres to go,” Goss said. “But there were a lot of crashes and we had to turn left-right and so on. It was tricky. Three of us were there until 400 metres to go.”

    While only 23-years-old, Goss is likely to become one of the world’s best sprinters, showed by his Paris-Brussels victory at the end of 2009. As he transferred from Saxo Bank to HTC-Columbia, Goss was given a chance to do well at the classics, where he finished 16th in Gent-Wevelgem and earned an assignment as a lead out man. While compatriot Mark Renshaw will look after British rider Mark Cavendish in California next week, Goss is in charge of delivering Germany’s Greipel to the line at the Giro.

    “We started working together in that sense at the Santos Tour Down Under and it went well,” said the Monaco-based Goss. He led the German to four stage wins and the overall classification of the opening ProTour race in January.

    “We have another chance tomorrow,” Goss concluded.

    While the stage didn’t unfold...