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First Edition Cycling News, Saturday, April 27, 2013

Date published:
April 27, 2013, 1:00 BST
  • Giro d'Italia 2013: A gallery of historic pink jerseys

    The late Fiorenzo Magni's pink jersey from 1951
    Article published:
    April 27, 2013, 4:25 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    Images of the maglia rosa collected by the Ghisallo cycling museum

    The pink jersey or maglia rosa as it known in Italian, is the race leader's jersey at the Giro d'Italia.

    Since its introduction in 1931 it has become iconic, symbolizing the emotions, passion and style of Italian cycling.

    This year's pink jersey has been designed by British fashion designer Paul Smith and is made from lightweight lycra by Santini. In the past the jersey was from wool or acrylic fibre with a collar and even front facing pockets.

    Federico Meda and his father Sergio – the former press officer of the Giro d'Italia, have worked with the Ghisallo Cycling museum to carefully build a collection of authentic pink jerseys worn by riders in the race. Their goal is to gather at least one pink jersey from each edition of the race, from 1931 to today. They already have over 50 jerseys, with many on display at the Ghisallo cycling museum, overlooking Lake Como, north of Milan.

    Giro d'Italia race organiser RCS Sport has helped the Ghisallo project, promising to donate 500 Euro for every pink jersey that is added to the collection and formally identified.

    This photo gallery includes images of the riders and family members with their pink jerseys and stunning images of many of the riders in action while wearing the same pink jersey they have donated to the Ghisallo collection.

    It is a fitting tribute to the maglia rosa as the days count down to the start of this year's Giro d'Italia, where yet another maglia rosa will be worn during each stage of the race.


  • Majka leads Saxo-Tinkoff at Giro d'Italia

    Rafal Majka not having a good time at the Volta
    Article published:
    April 27, 2013, 10:11 BST
    Cycling News

    Bennati, Breschel and Sutherland ride in support

    Saxo-Tinkoff has named its team for the Giro d’Italia, with young Polish rider Rafal Majka the leader for the general classification and Matti Breschel heading the charge for stage victories.

    Now in his third season as a professional, Majka’s best results to date came at the tail end of last season, when he was 7th overall in the Tour of Beijing and 3rd at the Japan Cup. Directeur sportif Lars Michaelsen believes that the 23-year-old’s performance at last year’s Vuelta a España – where he finished 32nd overall after riding in the service of Alberto Contador – augurs well for his Giro debut.

    “Even though he is still very young, we believe he is capable of finishing amongst the 10-15 best riders in the GC, if he has hit his peak form, and he could also be a contender for the young rider's jersey,” Michaelsen said. “Rafal is very much looking forward to the last tough week of the race, and I really hope he will show his great potential in the mountains, like we saw it in last year's Vuelta.”

    Rory Sutherland and Bruno Pires will support Majka in the mountains, while three-time Giro d’Italia stage winner Daniele Bennati will be designated to protect him on the flat. The Tuscan has had a subdued start to life at Saxo-Tinkoff and Michaelsen said that he would use the corsa rosa to hone his condition for later in the campaign. “At his best Daniele is a proven winner in Grand Tour stages, but his primary goals this year are later in the season, so the most important thing for him is to keep building his form and help support Rafal on the windy and flat stages.”

    Instead, the burden of chasing stage victory is likely to fall to Matti Breschel and Manuele Boaro, who has shown sustained flashes of his form at the Tour de Romandie this week, while there is also a berth on the team for the experienced Karsten...

  • Tour de France wildcards awarded to Cofidis, Sojasun and Europcar

    Thomas Voeckler (Europcar)
    Article published:
    April 27, 2013, 10:42 BST
    Cycling News

    No invitation for IAM Cycling

    The three wildcard invitations to the 2013 Tour de France have been awarded to French teams Cofidis, Sojasun and Team Europcar, ASO announced on Saturday morning.

    With 19 teams in the WorldTour this season following the re-admission of Katusha by the Court of Arbitration for Sport after they had initially been excluded from cycling’s top flight, ASO had just three wildcards to assign, rather than the usual four.

    The Europcar squad of Thomas Voeckler and Pierre Rolland was all but guaranteed a berth, as was Cofidis, which has never missed the race since it was founded in 1997. After losing Jerome Coppel to Cofidis during the off-season, Sojasun faced stiff competition from new Swiss squad IAM Cycling, but the French team eventually got the nod.

    IAM Cycling began the season strongly with Thomas Lofkvist’s victory at the Tour Mediterranéen but they fell short in the classics and their only win since came in a stage of the Circuit de la Sarthe.

    For their part, Sojasun have taken only three victories this season – all through Jonathan Hivert and all in February – and the team has downscaled slightly this year. Its commitment to nurturing French talent remains, however, and with ASO keen to preserve a certain French presence in the Tour peloton, its selection is not a surprise.

    Cofidis, too, have only claimed three wins to date in 2013, but their Tour roster is likely to include riders of the calibre of Rein Taaramae, Christophe Le Mevel, Daniel Navarro and Jerome Coppel.

    Europcar, meanwhile, have already clocked up 13 wins in 2013 and the presence of Voeckler and Rolland, who have each finished in the top ten and won stages in the past two seasons, meant that Jean-René Bernaudeau’s squad’s participation was never in doubt.

    2013 therefore marks the third year in succession that ASO has awarded all of its...

  • Snow forces changes to Tour de Romandie queen stage

    Chris Froome (Sky) remains in the Tour de Romandie leader's jersey after stage 3
    Article published:
    April 27, 2013, 13:12 BST
    Cycling News

    Second ascent of Col de la Croix removed from parcours

    The route of Saturday’s queen stage of the Tour de Romandie has been altered due to snowfall on the Col de la Croix. The climb was due to be climbed twice, from two different sides, but the race organisers have been forced to remove the second ascension from the stage.

    Stage 4 is tackling its three initial climbs as per the road book – Les Mosses, the Col de la Croix and the Pas de Morgins. At that point, however, instead of climbing the Col de Croix again from the Villar side, the peloton will head straight along the valley via Aigle and Le Sepey before taking in a shallow climb towards the original finish line at Les Diablerets.

    The alteration to the route means that the total distance is reduced from 188km to 185km and it also sees the finale altered significantly. While the finish line remains at Les Diablerets, the riders will now climb towards the finish rather than hurtle down towards it from the summit of the Col de la Croix.

    Chris Froome (Sky) leads the Tour de Romandie by 6 seconds from Andrew Talansky (Garmin-Sharp) after three stages. The race concludes in Geneva on Sunday with an 18.7km time trial.


  • Cyclingnews has gone mobile

    Cyclingnews mobile site
    Article published:
    April 27, 2013, 17:08 BST
    Cycling News

    iPhone app decommissioned

    Cyclingnews has completed the transition to a fully mobile web site, moving away from the iPhone app, and is now portable on any device and operating system.

    iPhone users, don't fear: you may have noticed that the app is no longer in the Apple store, and older versions are no longer supported. To make Cyclingnews part of your home screen again, simply navigate to on your mobile browser, then use the "share" button to add an icon to your home screen.

    For our live coverage, the link is the same as always! on your mobile device will provide the same rich coverage of all the major races right at the tip of your fingers.

    Our next live event is just a week away! Before you miss a single moment of Giro d'Italia action, put Cyclingnews on your home screen!

  • Giro d'Italia 2013: Euskaltel Eusakadi lead with Sanchez

    Samuel Sanchez (Euskaltel - Euskadi)
    Article published:
    April 27, 2013, 18:27 BST
    Cycling News

    Spanish team name strong support for Giro

    Euskaltel Eusakadi has announced its 2013 Giro d’Italia line up with Samuel Sanchez set to lead the team. The Giro starts in Naples in just over a week and the Spanish team has provided Sanchez with a robust squad to support his overall ambitions.

    The former Olympic road race champion will be supported by Egoi Martinez, Jorge Azanza, Pablo Urtasun, Gorka Verdugo, Miguel Minguez, Ricardo Mestre, Ioannis Tamouridis and Robert Vrecer.

    Sanchez last rode the Giro in 2005 and finished 17th overall but has focused on the Tour de France and Vuelta in recent years. The 35-year-old has finished on the podium twice in his home grand tour and made the Tour de France top ten on numerous occasions.

    However he abandoned last year’s Tour before finishing the season strongly with second place in the Giro di Lomdardia.

    Euskaltel have won three stages in the last two editions of the Giro d’Italia.

  • Tour de France wildcard disappointment for IAM Cycling

    The IAM Cycling team
    Article published:
    April 27, 2013, 19:55 BST
    Cycling News

    ASO invites three French squads to Grande Boucle

    New Swiss squad IAM Cycling suffered disappointment on Saturday when it was passed over for a wildcard invitation for the Tour de France, with the three available berths going to French outfits Europcar, Cofidis and Sojasun.

    “We are disappointed not to be selected for the Tour de France, mainly because we have the talent and resources,” general manager Serge Beucherie said. “Even though we have not won a great deal, we are on a sporting level to compete at the Tour.”

    With Heinrich Haussler leading the line in one-day races, IAM Cycling secured wildcard invitations to the Classics, and also received places up at Paris-Nice, the Tour de Romandie and the Tour de Suisse.

    While those invitations and some aggressive performances this spring gave grounds for optimism vis à vis a Tour place, IAM Cycling has won just two stage races this season – the Tour Méditerranéen through Thomas Lofkvist and stage 1 of the Circuit de la Sarthe with Matteo Pelucchi.

    In the end, ASO decided to continue with its recently policy of assigning its wildcards to French squads and IAM Cycling missed out. All eleven Tour de France wildcards handed out in the last three years have gone to home-based teams.

    “We of course understand the dilemma the organizers face. They receive endless requests but have only a limited number of spaces,” IAM founder Michel Thétaz said. “We respect their decision and will redouble our efforts to be included in the line-up in the coming seasons."

    IAM Cycling will have to be active in the transfer market if it is to move up to WorldTour status in 2014 and guarantee automatic entry into the Tour de France. Earlier in the week, Thétaz told

  • Thurau comes of age in Turkey

    Björn Thurau (Europcar)
    Article published:
    April 27, 2013, 21:49 BST
    Jean-François Quénet

    Son of German cycling legend a horse power for Europcar

    Whoever has watched the Presidential Tour of Turkey on TV can't have missed the lanky powerful rider from Europcar who has spent hours at the front escorting the revelation of the week Natnael Berhane. The Eritrean has seduced the observers even though he eventually surrendered the race lead to unexpected Turkish rider Mustafa Sayar, but he owes a lot to Björn Thurau and mentioned it in every interview.

    On stage 5, Thurau was the only Europcar rider in the 70-man front group with Berhane while all the French were at the back. "I like my job as a domestique, but to do it alone for a whole stage was pretty difficult," the German told Cyclingnews. "I have the legs for doing it but it's been a difficult situation."

    People wondered why he even continued pulling instead of giving way to the sprinters' teammates while approaching the last ten kilometers when he had already closed the gap to the lone leader Maxim Belkov of Katusha. "In the absence of ear pieces, the latest time gap I got was 3.20 and I knew this rider was two minutes down on GC. At some stage, I gave way to the sprinters but the rhythm slowed down so I got scared and I preferred to pull again."

    In his second year with Europcar, the 24-year-old seems to have improved a lot. "I've done all the Spring classics," he said. "It has definitely made me stronger to race at this level. The beginning of my pro career [with Atlas-Römer's at the age of 18] was also good but I just had no chance to ride big races. Every year, step by step, I reach another level. I'm pleased with my progress."

    Thurau retains three performances that made him appreciate his current status at Europcar. "I enjoyed my ride in the second group behind Thomas [Voeckler] at Dwars...