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First Edition Cycling News, Monday, November 18, 2013

Date published:
November 18, 2013, 0:00 GMT
  • CN Reader Poll: Vote for best tech innovation and win!

    The SRAM Red hydraulic disc brake calipers are paired to a 160mm rotor up front and a smaller 140mm one out back.
    Article published:
    November 17, 2013, 18:32 GMT
    James Huang

    Enter for a chance to win Dan Martin's Cervelo

    Will you remember 2013 as a year that completely changed bicycle technology? Maybe – or maybe not – but either way, each of the following innovations certainly is trying to shuffle up the deck. Pick one, enter your vote along with the other categories in our 2013 Cyclingnews Reader Poll and be entered to win Dan Martin's Cervelo.

    Just a few years after 2x drivetrains took hold, an increasing number of mountain bikers are now embracing even simpler 1x transmissions – spearheaded by SRAM's groundbreaking XX1 group. Though not quite equal in terms of total gear ratio range relative to 2x options, well executed 1x setups still manage to provide a useful spread without having to worry about chain security, allowing for more aggressive riding, less weight, and less maintenance.

    2013 may well go down as the beginning of the end for traditional 26" mountain bike wheels as virtually every major company has made the jump to slightly bigger 27.5" ones. Touted as faster rolling than 26" but more maneuverable and lighter than 29ers, 27.5" has fast taken over as the default standard for the trail, all-mountain, and enduro markets. Even downhill won't be far behind.

    Engineers' aero scalpels finally took on road helmets en masse with nearly a dozen options hitting the market this year. Though it'll likely take a little while before aero road helmets' often unusual appearance gains mainstream acceptance, many riders have already been willing to make a sacrifice in style if it means saving a few seconds on the stopwatch.

    Vibration has long been the bane of every bike designer's existence when it comes to boosting ride comfort. Bianchi's new Countervail technology embeds vibration-squelching layers of viscoelastic materials in between standard carbon fiber plies in strategic...

  • Lancaster renews with Orica-GreenEdge for two years

    Brett Lancaster (Orica-GreenEdge)
    Article published:
    November 17, 2013, 22:09 GMT
    Cycling News

    Australian hopes for team time trial world title before he retires

    Brett Lancaster has re-signed with Orica-GreenEdge for two years, the Australian WorldTour squad announced today. A gold medal winner in the team pursuit at both the Commonwealth and Olympic Games, Lancaster plays a critical role in the team time trial and the sprints. The 34-year-old Australian also actively mentors his younger, less experienced teammates.

    "The choice was simple," said Lancaster. "I wanted to stay on the team. I wasn't really thinking about going anywhere else. The last two years have been very memorable. I've achieved some incredible things. I'm looking forward to another two years with GreenEdge."

    "We're very pleased to renew Brett's contract," said Orica-GreenEdge directeur sportif Matt White. "He played a part in some of our biggest rides and secured some nice results for himself. This past year, he won a stage in Slovenia, rode consistently throughout the entire Giro with our normal sprint group, won the team time trial at the Tour de France and was one of the strongest performers in our silver medal ride in the team time trial at the world championships."

    Lancaster names the team's success at the 2013 Tour de France as the highlight of his two years with the team. During the first week of the Tour, Simon Gerrans secured the team's first Tour stage victory the day before the nine-man squad won the team time trial. The back-to-back stage wins put Gerrans in yellow.

    "The Tour this year was pretty awesome," said Lancaster....

  • Lance Armstrong claims Verbruggen aided in doping cover up

    UCI president Hein Verbruggen with Lance Armstrong in 2002
    Article published:
    November 18, 2013, 0:52 GMT
    Cycling News

    Former UCI President alleged to be complicit

    Lance Armstrong has alleged that the former UCI President Hein Verbruggen not only knew about the former rider’s doping practices but encouraged him to cover it up.

    These latest allegations follow a four part interview Armstrong gave to Cyclingnews and provide further details on how Armstrong managed to avoid positive doping tests and how the sport's governing body failed to combat cheating.

    The interview with the Daily Mail included former US Postal soigner Emma O’Reilly, who met with Armstrong for the first time in 13 years. Before being fired and publicly discredited by the team for speaking out about doping, O'Reilly had witnessed US Postal provide the UCI with a backdated prescription for a saddle sore following a positive test for cortisone in the 1999 Tour de France. This backdated prescription was the specific event that Armstrong alleges Verbruggen aided in covering up.

    "It's funny, these stories are so prevalent in my life. What I remember was there being a problem. I'm not sure if it was a positive but there were traces found. I don't know if it technically crossed the line. But anyway, it didn't matter. I can't remember exactly who was in the room. But Emma has a better memory than I do," Armstrong told O'Reilly and the Daily Mail.

    "But the real problem was, the sport was on life support. And Hein just said, "This is a real problem for me, this is the knockout punch for our sport, the year after Festina, so we've got to come up with something." So we backdated the prescription."

    "To think I am protecting any of these guys after the way they treated me, that is ludicrous," Armstrong added.

    "I'm not going to lie to protect these guys. I hate them. They threw me under the bus. I'm done with...

  • Svein Tuft commits to ORICA-GreenEDGE

    Svein Tuft pulls on the leader's jersey after stage 6 of the 2012 Eneco Tour
    Article published:
    November 18, 2013, 3:33 GMT
    Cycling News

    Multiple Canadian national champion inks two year deal

    Canadian Svein Tuft has signed a two year extension with ORICA-GreenEDGE and is the latest of several riders to renew their contract with the team.

    As one of the first riders scouted for the squad, Tuft has repaid the faith placed in him by Sports Director Matt White. "Svein was one of the first riders I brought across to GreenEDGE" said White. "He works very hard in every situation. We always know what we're getting with Svein."

    Tuft had several successes on the road in 2013 including the individual time trials at both the Tour de San Luis and Tour de Slovénie. He combined forces with Luke Durbridge in a record-breaking ride at Duo Normand and was part of the Tour de France team time trial squad whose win in Nice put Simon Gerrans in the yellow jersey.

    "It was a pretty easy decision for me to stay" said Tuft. "This team is home for me and the riders and staff are family. I knew after the first season that this was the place where I wanted to ride out my career."

    Beside his prowess against the clock, Tuft has been the team’s workhorse toiling on the front of the bunch for hours. His proclivity for setting the tempo, controlling the field and chasing down breaks has proved invaluable.

    "He is one of the most reliable guys we've got. He's a super teammate who is also very accomplished in his own right. It's great news that Sveino wants to retire with us. He's a big benefit to all the younger guys on the team – to everyone, for that matter" said White.

    Looking ahead, Tuft anticipates racing a similar program in 2014 as to the past two years. "My goals remain similar from year to year" said Tuft.

    The Tour of Oman is likely to be Tuft's first race of the season as he...

  • Emily Collins Wins New Zealand National Criterium Championship

    Emily Collins wins the women's criterium
    Article published:
    November 18, 2013, 4:45 GMT
    Cycling News

    Wiggle-Honda rider takes second win in 2013

    Emily Collins (Wiggle-Honda) has won the New Zealand National Criterium Championships, in her home city of Auckland. Collins was heavily marked throughout the 30-minute race around a 1.1km circuit in downtown Takapuna. The 23-year-old won the sprint ahead of Sophie Williamson from Alexandra with Karen Fulton of Nelson third.

    This is the first national title for Collins who has two top ten finishes in the national road race to her name. "I went in with a pretty relaxed attitude after coming off a nice off-season break" said Collins.

    "I'm over the moon to win the New Zealand Criterium Nationals tonight."

    Collins took Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling's first ever road victory, the Omloop van het Hageland in Belgium, back in early March and is finishing the year with the form in which she started.

    The short circuit created a fast and ferocious pace. "I was keen to be aggressive and make things tough from the go" said Collins.

    "I was pretty heavily marked, so it proved a bit difficult to create a gap."

    Collins saw that her best oppotunity for victory would be from a sprint finish. "I ended up deciding that my best chance would be to hold off for a sprint kick, so I tucked in for the final laps" she said. Collins chased down a solo rider who had gone in the final lap but had enough left in her legs to take out the win.

    "I'm very pleased to win this on home soil," she said. "I'm an Auckland girl so it was great to have some supporters out edging me on. I'm thrilled to get another national title for Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling."

  • CN Reader Poll: Vote for best new product and win!

    Enter the 2013 Cyclingnews reader poll for a chance to win Dan Martin's Cervélo R5 race bike
    Article published:
    November 18, 2013, 9:52 GMT
    James Huang

    Enter for a chance to win Dan Martin's Cervelo

    2013 saw a number of new products hit the shelves, from RockShox to Fox, from Garmin to Shimano, a number of brands launched new devices and products. Pick one, enter your vote along with the other categories in our 2013 Cyclingnews Reader Poll and be entered to win Dan Martin's Cervelo.

    2013 brought with it a number of groundbreaking new products, many of which incorporate some level of electronics into what is increasingly becoming a battery-operated sport. Which one was your favorite?

    RockShox, Fox, and Magura now all offer some sort of electronic suspension components with varying degrees of integration. RockShox' a fully automatic terrain sensing design, Fox's iCD is more of a fast-acting manual lockout, and Magura'seLECT packs a clever automatic lockout into an otherwise standard fork. Pretty soon you're not only going to have to make sure your tires are inflated before your next ride but that your battery is charged, too.

    Few product rollouts have been so famously delayed as the Garmin Vector power meter pedals but the company did finally release them this year. Effectively two power meters in one, each Vector pedal packs a multi-directional sensor array to measure not only how much power you're putting out but also the direction in which it's applied.

    Pioneer was another big electronics brand to launch a power meter this year, this time integrated into the crank and bottom bracket. Like the Vector, Pioneer's setup offers advanced data like left-right balance but also offers the option of its own computer head, which features a brilliantly intuitive touchscreen GUI.

    Recon Instruments expanded outside the snowsports world with the debut of its new Jet sunglasses, which pack a heads-up display, GPS, WiFi, Bluetooth, and other sensors into what's essentially a wearable computer. Software possibilities are virtually endless, from real-time...

  • Nibali refuses to rule out riding Giro d'Italia in 2014

    Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) was crowned the 2013 Giro d'Italia winner
    Article published:
    November 18, 2013, 10:18 GMT
    Cycling News

    Tour de France will be main objective of campaign

    While the Tour de France is Vincenzo Nibali’s primary objective for 2014, he has refused to rule out the prospect of again lining up at the Giro d’Italia, which he won for the first time this season. The Sicilian will finalise his race programme in the coming weeks after his Astana team’s first training camps at Montecatini Terme and Calpe.

    “The programme hasn’t been decided yet,” Nibali told Gazzetta dello Sport. “The Giro is certainly quite tempting. It’s a nice Giro, well-designed, and maybe you could think about being there. But in any case, the centrepiece remains the Tour. Now we’ll start to talk about it at Astana with the calendar in front of us and we’ll put together the programme.”

    Nibali has not attempted the Giro-Tour double since 2008, when the then 23-year-old followed his 11th place finish at the Giro with 20th overall in his debut Tour. That was the last time that Nibali finished outside the top seven places in a three-week stage race, and he has finished on the podium in six of his last eight Grand Tours.

    Such consistency places Nibali among the prime challengers to Chris Froome (Sky) at next year’s Tour de France. Nibali got the better of Froome at Tirreno-Adriatico in 2013 but he would not be drawn on how he would fare in the anticipated head-to-head next July.

    “We’ll see how he is in the new season,” Nibali said. “It’s not a given that next season will be a mirror of the one that went before. Sometimes repeating is even more difficult.”

    The strength in depth of Sky’s stage racing unit has added to Froome’s armoury, but Astana’s activity in the transfer market means that Nibali...

  • Huffman critical of Astana's handling of Pellizotti signing

    Evan Huffman (Astana)
    Article published:
    November 18, 2013, 11:57 GMT
    Daniel Benson

    American looking to improve in 2014

    Team Astana neo-pro Evan Huffman has criticised how his team handled the signing of Franco Pellizotti. The American, racing in his first season for the Kazakhstan squad, told Cyclingnews that the team deserved ‘some flak’ for the way in which they signed Pellizotti.

    Pellizotti, a former former king of the mountains winner at the Tour de France, was suspended for two years in 2010 following a UCI Biological Passport infraction. The doping-related suspension means that – owing to MPCC rules - he can not ride for a WorldTour until two-year period has elapsed from the time his ban ends.

    However Astana announced the signing earlier this year leading to questions being raised over both the credibility of the MPCC and Astana’s interpretation of the rules. It was later clarified that Pellizotti would not start racing with the team until May 2, 2014.

    “I didn’t hear about that until it was public news,” Huffman told Cyclingnews.

    “It was almost as if they didn’t know he wasn’t going to be eligible to race. So it was a bit of ‘if you guys don’t know part of the MPCC and want to make an effort, you have to know what you’re getting into beforehand.’ That lost some points for me but I don’t know. They got a lot of flak for it but it’s not like he’s going to training camps and he’s still banned so it could be worse. It’s not great. I’m not super happy with it.

    “I’m not saying he’s a bad guy or shouldn’t be on the team but I think that the way they did it wasn’t right. They got some flak from the media for it but they should have. I’m not going...