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First Edition Cycling News, Monday, October 7, 2013

Date published:
October 07, 2013, 1:00 BST
  • Tony Martin optimistic for cycling's future

    Your 2013 elite men's time trial world champion: Tony Martin (Germany)
    Article published:
    October 06, 2013, 1:58 BST
    Cycling News

    World time trial champion sees German cycling on the up

    Tony Martin thinks that pro cycling is on the right path for the future. Interviewed by, Martin (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) said that since the Lance Armstrong affair came to light, “we are on a very good way to making cycling transparent and also to show the television public that very many good successes can be brought in by clean cycling.”

    The world time trial champion said that he is involved in the anti-doping fight, which he admitted “takes up a lot of time in addition to racing and training.”

    “That is a lot of extra stress in addition to the actual sport. But we accept that, because cycling is simply worth it to us and because we think it is worthwhile to fight for the sport.”

    As for the UCI, “it can only get better,” he said. Brian Cookson "has all the positive conditions" going into the positions, although there are still "many areas in which he can do things better (than they were done in the past).. Although I believe that it is really not so hard.”

    Martin also sees a welcome upswing in German cycling, which has suffered the last few years. With the exception of GC rankings in big races, the nation is “represented at the top” within the sort. He just won his third consecutive world time trial title, while Marcel Kittel, Andre Greipel and Gerald Ciolek are outstanding sprinters. He also expects to see John Degenkolb shine in the Classics.

    The future of German cycling is promising, with two young Germans debuting in WorldTour teams in 2014. Jasha Sütterlin will join Movistar, and Rick Zabel goes to BMC Racing. Martin it wasn't easy for the young Zabel, “with his...

  • Katusha sends young riders to Tour of Beijing

    Alexei Tsatevich (Katusha) topped the podium with Kris Boeckmans and Adrien Petit
    Article published:
    October 06, 2013, 10:00 BST
    Cycling News

    Tsatevich for the sprints, Ignatenko for the climbs

    Katusha will give its young riders a chance in the Tour of Beijing. Alexey Tsatevich will lead a trio of  young sprinters, while Petr Ignatenko will look to do well in the mountains. The race runs October 11-15 and covers 836 kilometres in five stages.

    Tsatevich rode the WorldTour race in 2012, his first WorldTour year, and finished 13th on the fist stage. He will look to take a stage win this year.

    “I will be the leader of the sprints together with Marco Haller and Rudiger Selig," Tsatevich said in a team's press release.

    "Every stage we will decide with the sport directors which is more suitable to Marco and me, and depending also on our shape and the development of each stage we will decide who's going to fight for the victory.”

    Haller won the fourth stage of the Tour of Beijing last year.

    The trio will be joined by first-year pro Anton Vorobev, who was U-23 world time trial champion in 2012.

    "We will have a good roster in order to take a good result in this prestigious race," Konyshev said sport director Dmitriy Konyshev. "It's a WorldTour competition; we would like to take the last points in order to get the best possible position in the UCI WorldTour team ranking. I think the roster is very balanced.”

    The Tour of Beijing also offers climbing, with the queen stage being the fourth stage. The peloton will have to face two category 1 climbs, including the mountaintop finish on Mentougou Miaofeng Mountain. Ignatenko will take his chances there, supported by veterans Vladimir Gusev and Dmitriy Kozonchuk.”

    Gusev is the “old hand” on the squad, having been part of the top ranks of cycling since 2004. He, Kozonchuk and Timofey Kritiskiy round out the team for the race in China.

  • Zabriskie: "The time for me to stop has come"

    David Zabriskie (Garmin Sharp) was back to racing at Catalunya
    Article published:
    October 06, 2013, 12:34 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    American speaks about his retirement, confessing to USADA and plans for the future

    Dave Zabriskie has confirmed to Cyclingnews that Il Lombardia is the last race of his 13-year professional career.

    Speaking just a few minutes before setting off from the start in Bergamo, the Garmin-Sharp rider confirmed the rumours circulating on Twitter that he has decided to retire. He had tried to avoid any extra attention, preferring a quiet exit but was clearly emotional as he looked back at his career and doping confession to USADA.

    "The time for me to stop has come. I'm at peace with that," he told Cyclingnews.

    "I unfortunately had a bad season with the injuries and hardly raced at all. That gave me a lot of time away from the sport this year and that helped me reach my decision to not pursue it anymore."

    "My body feels it's the right moment too. My left leg is all crappy. I still feel the effects of the car hitting me in 2003."

    A 13-year professional career

    Zabriskie turned professional in 1999 with the 7-UP/Colorado Cyclist team in the USA. He joined the US Postal Service team in 2001 and won a stage of the 2004 Vuelta a Espana. He moved to Team CSC in 2005 and won the prologue at the Tour de France, beating Lance Armstrong by two seconds. However that result and others between May 13, 2003, and July 31, 2006, were cancelled from his palmares after he confessed to doping as part of the USADA investigation into doping at the US Postal Service team. He was also banned for six months as part of his agreement with USADA, returning to racing in March this year.

    In his affidavit to USADA, Zabriskie detailed how team manager Johan Bruyneel and team doctor Luis del Moral pressured him to take EPO in...

  • Martin a frustrated fourth in rainy Lombardia

    Daniel Martin (Garmin-Sharp) leads Rafa Majka (Saxo-Tinkoff) in Il Lombardia
    Article published:
    October 06, 2013, 18:15 BST
    Laura Weislo

    Garmin-Sharp rider crashes in final turn, loses podium chance

    As Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) was on his way to a solo victory in Il Lombardia, there were three riders fighting for two podium places behind, but Garmin-Sharp's Dan Martin lost his chance when he crashed in the final turn and conceded the third place battle to Saxo-Tinkoff's Rafal Majka.

    His shorts torn and his bar tape spiraling off, Martin worked his way through the dense crowds of fans after the finish, and explained to Cyclingnews what happened off-camera in the final bend.

    "Majka drifted his back wheel and I pedaled and my back wheel came around. We both slid, and he held it up but I didn't," Martin said.

    The Irishman was in the leading group when Rodriguez launched his race-winning move on the steepest part of the Villa Vergano with 10km to go, but no rider was able to respond to the attack. Martin chased together with Majka and Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) on the descent, but the trio came apart on the run-in, leaving Valverde to ride away solo for second place.

    "[Rodriguez] was so strong on the climb," Martin said of the attack. "I was riding with Valverde on the downhill and Majka was sitting on us. I tried to make Majka go through and we lost the wheel of Valverde."

    The pair came into the final meters together, but Martin's tumble in the last turn allowed Majka to ride away for third. Martin had to work to remount his chain and then re-accelerate to narrowly hold off Enrico Gasparotto (Astana) for fourth.

    Still, the 2011 runner-up was pleased to finish so high up, considering he crashed out of the Vuelta and didn't have the same kind of build-up as the riders who finished around him.

    "I'm super happy with what I did today," Martin said. "I haven't raced 240 kilometers since

  • Valverde accepts defeat at Lombardia

    Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) and Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) on the podium once more
    Article published:
    October 06, 2013, 19:27 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    Spaniard plays down the polemics with Rodriguez

    Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) finished on the podium in a major one-day race for a fifth time this season at Il Lombardia but could only accept defeat after being unable to go with Spanish rival Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) when he attacked and powered alone to the finish.

    Valverde finished 17 seconds behind Rodriguez for second place and stood next to him on the podium as the Spanish national anthem rang out across Lake Como. The two shook hands, easing the tension between them after the tactical disaster at last week's world road race championships where their mistakes allowed Portugal's Rui Costa to win the world title.

    "Purito deserved to win. First and second: I think he's happy. I'm happy too," Valverde conceded.

    "I didn’t have a bad moment. There was someone who was stronger than me today. I'm happy with how I raced today and with my season. Purito won it last year and knows the route really well. He knew when to make his move. Thanks to this win he's won the WorldTour so and doesn't need to go to China…"

    "There was a lot of polemics on the outside, by the public, but inside between us, we both know we're riders and that things happen in an instant in a race and that after 270km, racing is very hard. If I'd chased down Costa, perhaps we'd have won the world title but my legs weren’t good. Things happen quickly in races. Purito knows that too."

    Five major podium places

    Il Lombardia marked the end of Valverde's season. He competed for 81 days, starting at the Trofeo Mallorca in early February, before targeting the Ardennes Classics the Tour de France, the...

  • Majka makes up for Contador's bad day in Giro di Lombardia

    Rafal Majka (Saxo Bank) finished third
    Article published:
    October 06, 2013, 20:30 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    Saxo-Tinkoff rider ends season on a high

    Rafal Majka yet again stepped up to secure a result for Saxo-Tinkoff after team leader Alberto Contador suffered with cramp and surprisingly failed to finish Il Lombardia.

    Nicolas Roche, Michael Rogers, Matti Breschel and Chris Anker Sorensen all worked to set up Contador during the race but he struggled on the Muro di Sormano and then fell out of the back of the peloton with 20km and the final climb of Villa Vergano still to race.

    Fortunately Majka was having a far better day. He was unable to go with Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) and Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) on the final steep climb but got the better of Dan Martin (Garmin-Sharp) in the final corners on the shore of Lake Como to take the final spot on the podium.

    "I'm really happy to finish in third place in such a hard race like Lombardia," he told Cyclingnews after climbing onto the podium.

    "I was suffering a bit in the rain but I was motivated in the finale because the team was working for me. I don't have as much experience as Alberto but when your form is good at the end of the season, you can always do well. I came out of the Vuelta feeling good and showed it by finishing second at Milano-Torino on Thursday."

    A breakthrough season

    Majka was one of the revelations of the year, having a breakthrough season in his third year as a professional.

    He finished seventh overall in the Giro d'Italia after leading the best young rider competition for much of the race. He was also fourth overall in his home national tour, the Tour of Poland, and 19th in the Vuelta a Espana.

    Despite hints via Twitter by Oleg Tinkov that Majka will be part of his new team, away from Bjarne Riis', he insisted he would stay loyal to Riis, despite the...

  • Lombardia victory eases Worlds disappointment for Rodriguez

    Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) makes up, slightly, for missing out on the Worlds
    Article published:
    October 06, 2013, 21:35 BST
    Cycling News

    Win puts Purito to top of WorldTour standings

    It was a case of deja vu for Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) on Sunday in Lecco, Italy as the 34-year-old Spaniard won his second Il Lombardia in as many years thanks to a solo attack on the Villa Vergano climb. It was a carbon copy of his 2012 win, also in the rain, and brought some solace to Rodriguez for last Sunday's heartbreaking second place result in the elite men's road race world championship.

    In addition to adding a second Monument to his palmares, Rodriguez also took over the lead in the WorldTour standings from Chris Froome (Sky) with only one race, the Tour of Beijing, left to contest.

    As was the case in the world championships Rodriguez found himself alone in the lead in the closing kilometres with a small chase group hot on his heels, but this time the Spaniard was able to hold off their pursuit to claim a hard-fought victory.

    "It was a good win for me, in a beautiful race" said Rodriguez. "I'm just enjoying the moment. I always try to look forward.

    "This week hasn't been easy because the world championships are the world championships. But I have family and friends who helped me focus on this race, and I've come out of it the winner. It was important to prove to myself that I could recover well after the world championships and focus on the next race. This win helps me move towards 2014 knowing that this is my level."

    Rodriguez's tactics worked to perfection in the 242km Italian Monument, as his team helped neutralise a dangerous attack by Thomas Voeckler (Europcar) and set up their captain for a race-winning move.

    "I thought he'd make it, it was a good attack," Rodriguez said of Voeckler. "But my team was exceptional. We set the pace at the front of...

  • BMC had numbers but not strength in Lombardia

    Italian champion Ivan Santaromita would be BMC's best finisher at Il Lombardia in 9th place
    Article published:
    October 07, 2013, 0:30 BST
    Laura Weislo

    Santaromita's ninth place best of three in main group

    The BMC team put in a strong showing in the final Monument of 2013, Il Lombardia, but two-time winner Philippe Gilbert, Italian champion Ivan Santaromita and sprinter Greg Van Avermaet weren't able to put their numbers to a tactical advantage when winner Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) blew the race apart on the final climb with 10km to race.

    Gilbert told Het Nieuwsblad that he had a hunger knock before the climb of the Madonna del Ghisallo, and although he was able to get some sugar into his system and stay with the group, he wasn't the same afterward. Santaromita's ninth place was the team's best result, but he suffered in the harsh conditions.

    "I was hoping for good weather because I suffer a lot in the rain," he told Tuttobiciweb. "I couldn't do more than this today."

    Van Avermaet was arguably the best sprinter of the group of 30 or so riders who caught solo escapee Thomas Voeckler (Europcar) at the last climb, but the 3km ascent of the Villa Vergano was better suited to the climbers like Rodriguez, Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) and Rafal Majka (Saxo-Tinkoff), who made up the race's final podium.

    "It was a bit too hard for us, and we saw already on the other climbs that we weren't with the best guys in the race," Van Avermaet told Cyclingnews. "We just tried to be there in the front and do something, but it was hard to have a good result, because the legs weren't there to do it better.

    "We did a nice race, but it's the same as last week. I think this race is also more for climbers than Classics guys. It was a bit too hard for me on the climbs."