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First Edition Cycling News, Saturday, August 17, 2013

Date published:
August 17, 2013, 1:00 BST
  • Return to Tour de France unlikely for Wiggins

    Bradley Wiggins (Sky)
    Article published:
    August 16, 2013, 21:16 BST
    Cycling News

    British star misses the track

    After finishing up the stage 5 individual time trial at the Eneco Tour on Friday, Bradley Wiggins (Sky) answered the usual battery of questions about the Tour de France and his form ahead of the upcoming road world championships in September.

    Wiggins was fifth in the Eneco Tour time trial, which was a mere 13.2km, short compared to the world championship time trial. He was nine seconds off the pace of stage winner Sylvain Chavanel.

    "I'm pretty disappointed," he said to, "though I knew since checking out the course that it was good for specialists like Taylor Phinney and Jesse Sergent. The first part was technical."

    "In addition, these distances just too short for me. Besides, I think I could have been at a disadvantage because of my early start time and because of the wind getting calmer later in the afternoon."

    Last year's Tour de France winner, who missed this year's edition, also did not see a future for himself back at the Tour. He cited the "supremacy of Chris Froome for the next five years" as a reason he wouldn't have to chase another Tour victory. Froome is Wiggins' teammate on Sky.

    "I would prefer my attention back toward the track," said Wiggins.

  • Garmin-Sharp signs Nathan Brown

    Team Garmin-Sharp time trials
    Article published:
    August 17, 2013, 0:25 BST
    Cycling News

    U23 American TT champ to bolster Vaughters’ TTT stocks

    Team Garmin-Sharp recently announced their signing of 21-year-old rider, Nathan Brown. The two time American U23 time trial champion said the decision to join Garmin was an easy one.

    "It was a easy decision for me to join Team Garmin-Sharp," said Brown. "The moment I talked to Jonathan Vaughters I knew this was the team I wanted to be on. Ever since I was a junior I watched his team in the Tour de France, and I knew one day that I wanted to ride for them. It's a dream come true and I'm so excited to race for Team Garmin-Sharp next season."

    In line with the team goals of developing future talents, Garmin-Sharp CEO Jonathan Vaughters believes Brown is a perfect fit for the team.

    "One of our founding goals is [to] develop the next generation of cycling champions and that makes Nate a perfect fit for our team," explained Vaughters. "He is a talented rider on the road and in time trials, and we look forward to working with him next year. He'll be another great, young addition to our squad."

    The rider who also finished second in the American U23 National Road Race Championships this year has signalled his intentions to keep 2014 as a year focused on learning, and possibly showing off his new WorldTour livery back home in the United States.

    "My goal for next season is to learn as much as I can. There are so many great riders on the team and I am looking forward to any advice they can give me," said Brown. "I would love to come back and possibly do some of the USA races; being a young American that would be an amazing opportunity, but my focus is on learning everything I can...

  • Orica-AIS podium in Sweden

    Loes Gunnewijk was part of the strong Orica-AIS line-up
    Article published:
    August 17, 2013, 2:23 BST
    Cycling News

    Team remains on track for World Championships

    The Orica-AIS team have finished on the podium for the second year in a row in Vårgårda, Sweden. Round six of the World Cup series saw the Australian team finish third in the team time trial behind Specialized-lululemon and Rabobank-Liv/Giant.

    The reigning team time trial world champions, Specialized-lululemon, completed the 42.5 kilometre course in 53 minutes and 59 seconds with the Orica-AIS team a further one minute and 26 seconds behind in third. It was a good performance for the team who lost the experience of Loes Gunnewijk with 10 kilometres still to race after she punctured. Amanda Spratt, Emma Johansson, Shara Gillow and Mel Hoskins were the final four to finish for Orica on the windy and technical course

    Orica-AIS director, Dave McPartland, believed the team was a strong podium chance heading into the event. At the conclusion, he said the team was upset not to get closer to the win, but remained optimistic heading into the World Championships next month

    "We had the benefit of being one of the last teams to race, so we were able to learn a little bit from the early times and tweak our approach accordingly," explained McPartland. "There were a lot of teams completely smashing in the first half but coming to second checkpoint with only four riders. I think the wind was doing some serious damage … I told the girls to be cautious in the first half and that we might want to think about a negative split."

    "Everyone is feeling pretty down at the moment, but I see this as an opportunity. It's our first top level time trial in preparation for the Worlds in September," continued McPartland. "Yes, we see that we have things to work on, but I don't see any reason to be overly negative. We have a bit over a month to work on the areas that require our attention and chip away until we see improvements."

  • Vacansoleil announce Vuelta line up

    The full 29-man Vacansoleil-DCM roster for 2013 was presented in Amsterdam at a film theater and museum
    Article published:
    August 17, 2013, 5:02 BST
    Cycling News

    Aggression to be expected from Hoogerland and Flecha

    Vacansoleil-DCM have opted for a team focused on stage wins at the upcoming Vuelta a España. Juan Antonia Flecha and Johnny Hoogerland come into the team as bone fide stage hunters and given their propensity for aggression it will be no surprise to see these two up the road chasing stage victories.

    Barry Markus makes his grand tour debut for the team after missing his scheduled debut at the Giro due to injury. Earlier in the year the emerging sprinter finished the Tour of Qatar with three podium finishes and was second overall in the points classification. Having recently claimed two podium finishes at the Arctic Race of Norway the 22-year-old will be one to watch during the sprint stages.

    Grega Bole won a reduced bunch sprint during stage 2 of the Tour de l'Ain last week and comes into the Vuelta as another on form rider. Wout Poels added to his teammate's success in France by winning the fourth stage and further serves to bolster the Vacansoleil line up.

    Given the demanding parcours that riders will face, Vacansoleil is not expected to challenge for the overall victory. Lieuwe Westra is a consistent general classification (GC) rider over one week races such as the Volta ao Algarve where he finished on the podium in February. But at 74 kilograms, he is not suited to climbing-heavy three week grand tours.

    Similarly, Thomas De Gendt is Vacansoleil's best GC option on paper given his third place finish at the Giro d'Italia last year. The 26-year-old did not perform well at the Tour de France and comes into the Vuelta as an unknown prospect....

  • Phinney disappointed not to win Eneco Tour TT

    Taylor Phinney (BMC)
    Article published:
    August 17, 2013, 6:12 BST
    Cycling News

    Aiming for stage victory on Sunday

    Taylor Phinney (BMC) has shown that his crash during Wednesday's third stage of the Eneco Tour has not taken too much out of him after a strong performance during the stage five time trial on Friday.

    Although the 23-year-old was originally touted as a possible stage winner, he remained upbeat given the less than ideal run in to the stage.

    "Maybe I could have started out a bit faster," said Phinney. "I was a bit surprised I ended up losing so much time in the end because I felt good. And I think considering that I had a big crash a couple of days ago, not to make excuses, but, I think it went pretty well considering."

    "For sure I'm a bit disappointed," continued Phinney. "I was aiming to win this time trial. So to be sixth or seventh or whatever it was, isn't so satisfying. But that's sport."

    Phinney remained optimistic saying that there are still "two pretty hard stages coming up" and that BMC were looking to "close out this Eneco Tour in style."

    Phinney now sits in fourth on the overall classification just eight seconds behind Lars Boom (Belkin) going into Saturday's 150 kilometre sixth stage from Riemst to La Redoute. Having not raced Liège - Bastogne – Liège and thus being unfamiliar and unsuited to the terrain, Phinney stated that his team will "work for Phil [Gilbert]" for a stage victory instead of focusing solely on the American's general classification prospects.

    Phinney is aiming to be back in the limelight on Sunday when riders tackle a bevy of Flemish cobbles over 208 kilometres from Tienen to...

  • UCI staff drafted language for UCI constitution amendment proposal

    UCI President Pat McQuaid at the UCI headquarters in Aigle
    Article published:
    August 17, 2013, 10:32 BST
    Cycling News

    Malaysian and Asian federations adopted the UCI legal staff's proposal

    UCI staff drafted the Malaysian Cycling Federation's proposal to change the UCI constitution's provisions for electing its President. The proposal would allow national federations to nominate non-members for the post, and would also be effective retrospectively.

    Pat McQuaid is running for a third term as UCI President. The Irish federation withdrew its nomination of him. The Swiss federation then nominated him, but that is under judicial review. It was also recently disclosed that he has been a member of that federation only since the Irish federation withdrew its support.

    The Thai and Moroccan federations then nominated McQuaid, raising further questions as to the legality of federations nominating non-members, and doing so past the deadline nomination. The Malaysian federation thereupon proposed amending the UCI constitution to allow such nominations.

    However, reported that UCI staff were heavily involved in the proposal, naming UCI general director Christophe Hubschmid and head of legal service Amina Lanaya.

    "I note from section 4 of the rationale for the proposal that it is the Malaysian National Cycling Federation's intention that the proposed amendment, if accepted, applies to the elections that will take place at the 2013 Congress," they wrote in on June 27 to Hee Wook Cho, President of the Asian Cycling Confederation and Datuk Haji Abu Samah Wahab, head of the Malaysian federation.

    "Therefore, I would ask you to consider adding a transitional clause to your amendment, so as to enable National Federations to nominate candidates under the proposed amendment in case it should be accepted...

  • Ambitious Roche aims for Vuelta top five

    Nicolas Roche (Saxo-Tinkoff) on the attack
    Article published:
    August 17, 2013, 11:36 BST
    Daniel Benson

    Drops extra kilos ahead of Spanish Grand Tour

    Nicolas Roche (Saxo-Tinkoff) has told Cyclingnews that he will aim for a top five finish at this year’s Vuelta a Espana. The race starts in a week and Roche, who has cracked the top ten before, believes he can challenge for a high overall position.

    “I’d like to aim for the top five. It’s maybe ambitious but I’ve worked really hard and I’ve had the Vuelta in my mind all year. I was close to top five a couple of years ago and hopefully I can beat that. I know that it’s going to be very difficult but you have to give yourself a high aim,” he told Cyclingnews.

    “The Vuelta is a race that I like and I’ve gone well there almost every year. I hope that this year I can go that bit better and get a good set of results.”

    Saxo-Tinkoff unveiled their nine-man roster earlier this week with the team pointing to four potential GC cards in the form of Rafal Majka, Chris Anker Sørensen, Roman Kreuziger and Roche.

    “There should be myself, Roman and Rafal and the protected riders, at least at the start of the race,” Roche told Cyclingnews before the team was announced.

    Roche has had a solid but not spectacular debut season with Saxo-Tinkoff. He finished fifth in San Sebastian at the end of July but believes that his form is improving due to recent weight loss.

    “I’ve lost some weight but I’m just at my normal weight,” he said.

    “At the Tour I was just heavier than I’ve been in the last couple of years. I can’t really explain why, I’ve done everything the same but one year your...

  • Brajkovic goes contract hunting at Vuelta

    Janez Brajkovic (Astana)
    Article published:
    August 17, 2013, 13:30 BST
    Daniel Benson

    Astana rider looking for ride in 2014

    After a disappointing year, Janez Brajkovic (Astana) is hoping to resurrect his season with the realisation that he is out of contract at the end of 2013.

    Brajkovic’s year has been plagued by illness, bad luck and crashes, with the Slovenian having crashed out of the Tour de France in July. However with the Vuelta a Espana on his race schedule, Brajkovic has the chance to rescue both his year and improve his chances of finding a contract for next season.

    "This year there’s always been something, either injury, sickness or bad luck. Even before Burgos I was motivated and in good shape but then the day before I was supposed to leave for the race I was sick, I had a fever and couldn’t move. I honestly didn’t want to tell the team because they would have taken me out so I took some antibiotics and even though the race wasn’t that good for me I got through it and I’m feeling really good now. Hopefully I’ll stay healthy and I’ll be okay,” he told Cyclingnews.

    The Vuelta, a race in which Brajkovic has shown glimpses of his talent before, represents a major target for the rider.

    “I would like to show myself and show everyone that I’m still a good rider, maybe with a stage win and possibly even a GC position. We’ll see in the first few stages where I am but I’m very optimistic.”

    Astana will line up at the Vuelta with Giro champion and 2010 Vuelta winner Vincenzo Nibali as their prime leader.

    “He’s such a good rider so even if he’s not in top condition he’ll do a top five,” Brajkovic told Cyclingnews.

    “I don’t think he wants that pressure but still I think he might not be the best in the...