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First Edition Cycling News, Saturday, December 14, 2013

Date published:
December 14, 2013, 0:00 GMT
  • Gallery: 2013 through the lens of Jered Gruber

    Mark Cavendish and Julien Vermote ascend through near white out conditions.
    Article published:
    December 13, 2013, 18:50 GMT
    Cycling News

    Stunning images from Europe's Classics and Grand Tours

    After retrospective galleries of international cyclo-cross and mountain bike racing plus the North American road peloton, Cyclingnews turns its attention to Europe (plus a season-ending sojourn to Beijing, China) via the stunning work of husband-and-wife team Jered and Ashley Gruber.

    This massive retrospective gallery is dominated by both Classics and national Tours on the roads of Italy, Belgium, France and Great Britain and feature the stars of the European peloton such as Vincenzo Nibali, Fabian Cancellara, Peter Sagan, Mark Cavendish and Joaquim Rodriguez to name a few.

    Mother Nature frequently provided weather conditions to challenge the fortitude of even the toughest of the European peloton's hard men and the Grubers, too, endured wintry weather to document unforgettable days of racing at Milano-Sanremo as well as the Giro d'Italia.

    Click here to enjoy their season's work from Strade Bianche through to the final WorldTour event of 2013 at the Tour of Beijing.

    Also, the Grubers have produced this 2014 calendar which is available to purchase online.

  • 2014 UCI Road World Championships courses revealed

    Road Race women Ponferrada 2014
    Article published:
    December 13, 2013, 20:30 GMT
    José Been

    Ponferrada course details released

    The organization of the UCI Road World Championships in 2014 in Ponferrada, Spain has launched its new website and revealed the routes of all twelve events. The championships in the northwestern region of Castilia and Léon starts on the 21st of September with the team time trial for both men and women.

    The 36.15 kilometre long TTT course for the elite women features only one climb with a maximum gradient of 10%. The men's elite race is 57,10 kilometre long and includes two short climbs. The majority of the course is flat.

    The same goes for the individual time trials for junior women, junior men, U23 men, elite women and elite men. The initial idea to have an uphill time trial was discarded. It would have required two finish sections which would not be possible from a logistical point of view.

    For the reigning elite women's time trial champion, Ellen van Dijk, that news came as a relief. The new course which is 29.5 kilometres in length and has a short climb with a maximum gradient of 7% in the final five kilometers. 

    "It's a very tough course," Van Dijk said to Cyclingnews. "It is not especially suited for me next year but it's much better than the original idea to do an uphill time trial. I will see how far I can get on this course to defend my title, but riders like Evelyn Stevens, Linda Villumsen, Marianne Vos, Emma Pooley and Trixi Worrack will be strong too." 

    Tony Martin will defend his time trial crown on the 24th of September in a 47.1 kilometre long stretch with 458m of elevation gain over two climbs in the second half of the race.

    The women's road race is made up of seven laps of 18.2 kilometres. The race is 127.4 kilometres long with a total of over 2,100m of climbing. The men's race is exactly twice as long with 14 laps of 18.2...

  • Cancellara wants to repeat 2013 results

    Fabian Cancellara (RadioShack Leopard) on his way to victory in the time trial
    Article published:
    December 13, 2013, 21:30 GMT
    Cycling News

    Swiss rider focuses on Roubaix and Flanders again

    Fabian Cancellara said today that his goals for next season will be identical to his successful 2013 campaign, and will again include the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix as his main objectives.

    "Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix will be my main objective again next year. I want to win those races again and hope for a good battle. That is good publicity for our sport, both in Flanders as in Switzerland," the Trek Factory rider said on the Belgian StuBru radio station.

    While Cancellara proved dominant in the Tour of Flanders this year, a change to the finishing circuits could change that dynamic.

    "The new Tour of Flanders route will be a big challenge. I hope to see a strong Tom Boonen there. Peter Sagan, Jürgen Roelandts and other riders from other teams will be big rivals also," he looks ahead.

    Cancellara had a stellar Spring campaign in 2013 with victories in the Tour of Flanders, E3-Prijs and Paris Roubaix and a podium place in Milan-San Remo. Winning Paris-Roubaix in 2014 would mean he joins a select group with four victories in the hell of the north: Roger de Vlaeminck and Tom Boonen.

    "I want to win those races again next year, especially on the new Flanders course. I also hope to see many Swiss flags on the Paterberg again," Cancellara laughed. "Those classics are the first goals of the season. We are on training camp now preparing for that goal. After those races I will do a break and work towards the second half of the season." 

    The World Championships in Ponferrada, Spain are a big objective for Cancellara who holds four time trial world titles. "The second half of the season is still far away. First we have our team launch on the Tour of...

  • SRAM recalls road hydraulic disc brakes

    Jeremy Powers is now running SRAM Red hydraulic disc brakes full-time. He uses organic-compound pads in all conditions but switches rotors, preferring the Avid G2 ones pictured here for mud and the newer HS1 variant for dry courses
    Article published:
    December 13, 2013, 22:10 GMT
    Josh Patterson/Future Publishing

    Company says stop use immediately

    This article first appeared on

    On November 4 SRAM identified and announced a technical issue with respect to a narrow production range of its RED 22 and S-700 Hydraulic Road Brakes. At that time, it was described as a performance and safety concern with no reported failures in the field.

    Several failures were reported following a weekend of cyclo-cross racing in the US in sub-freezing temperatures. According to SRAM: “In these conditions the master cylinder seals failed to hold pressure resulting in abrupt loss of brake power, and an inability to stop the bike. These failures are related to product that is outside the originally stated date code range and unrelated to the original failure mode. No injuries have been reported to date.”

    SRAM is requesting that customers who have bicycles equipped with SRAM hydraulic road disc or hydraulic road rim brakes stop using the bike immediately. This recall applies to all products shipped to date, and currently in the market or in inventory.

    SRAM has reported this issue to the US CPSC and will be cooperating with the agency to announce a Safety Recall. SRAM states that it will also be contacting and working closely with appropriate like agencies in Europe and globally.

    Additional information related to timing and replacement of product will be forthcoming.

    For more information please contact SRAM at (800) 346-2928 or visit

  • 2013 Report Card: Omega Pharma-QuickStep

    Mark Cavendish and Julien Vermote ascend through near white out conditions.
    Article published:
    December 14, 2013, 9:58 GMT
    Peter Hymas

    No other team came close to their season win tally

    Omega Pharma-QuickStep 2013
    WorldTour Ranking: 7th/19
    Win Count: 57
    Top riders: Michal Kwiatkowski (23rd), Sylvain Chavanel (24th), Zdenek Stybar (26th), Mark Cavendish (29th).
    Grade: A-

    The tone for Omega Pharma-QuickStep's 2013 season was set by Mark Cavendish when he made his debut for the Belgian squad at Argentina's Tour de San Luis in late January. The Manx Missile claimed the first stage plus the leader's jersey in his first competitive outing of the year and then the victories just kept coming for the team - 57 in all for 2013, the most of any WorldTour squad by a long shot - all the way through to the final event in Europe, the Chrono des Nations time trial on October 20, won by the year's time trial superstar Tony Martin.

    All in all the squad racked up two world championships (a repeat of Tony Martin's time trial title as well as the squad's team time trial title), 24 victories at the WorldTour level (including stage wins in all three Grand Tours), and five national championships with 11 different riders earning wins during the season. More than half the team's victories, however, were courtesy of two riders: Mark Cavendish and Tony Martin.

    Cavendish would win 19 races during his first year in Omega Pharma kit, from January in Argentina at the Tour de San Luis through late September in his home Tour of Britain. The Manxman hit the ground running in 2013 with four stage wins plus the overall victory at the Tour of Oman in early February, a stint in the leader's jersey at Tirreno-Adriatico, and a stage win at Three Days of De Panne.

    Cavendish had a masterful Giro d'Italia where he won five stages and the points...

  • Vanmarcke targets new-look Flanders

    Paris-Roubaix runner up Sep Vanmarcke (Blanco)
    Article published:
    December 14, 2013, 10:58 GMT
    Daniel Benson

    Belkin one-day star also looks to cobbles at the Tour

    Sep Vanmarcke (Belkin) has joined the chorus of approval in welcoming the new parcours for the 2014 Tour of Flanders. The Classics specialist has ridden the new route several times since it was unveiled in November and will once again base his season around the spring before riding the Tour de France in July.

    The Flanders route has been altered for the second time in three years with the Oude Kwaremont and Paterberg remaining the final climbs of the race, however the controversial finishing circuit introduced in 2012 has been dispensed with and some of the longer flat sections in the finale have been removed.

    "I've ridden it three times already but that's normal as I live so close by. I like the new parcours though, it's more like the old Flanders. It should be a more open race and while it will not be exactly the same it will have more cobbled climbs in the final and it should be a better race," Vanmarcke told Cyclingnews during the team's training camp in Spain.

    Vanmarcke will lead the line for Belkin in next season's spring classics and will once again be targeting the cluster of races that fall within a critical period of the season.

    "Omloop is important but Gent-Wevelgem, Flanders and Roubaix are again the top races," he said.

    This season Vanmarcke came into the classics on the back of a heavy fall and a resulting torn bursa in Tirreno - Adriatico. Bandaged up for the first few races, the injury seemed to justifiably hold him back in the first few races after his crash. However, second place behind Fabian Cancellara in Paris-Roubaix turned his campaign around and...

  • Gallery: Synergy Baku train in Calpe

    Synergy Baku's riders prepare for another day in the saddle.
    Article published:
    December 14, 2013, 13:43 GMT
    Cycling News

    Azerbaijan team get in the miles in Spain

    Synergy Baku is among the teams flocking to Spain’s Costa Blanca this month as preparations begin in earnest for the 2014 season. The Azerbaijan-backed team is based in Calpe, in the shadow of the Rock of Ifach, for its first training camp ahead of the new campaign.

    The Continental squad recently acquired the services of Irish champion Matt Brammeier, while Luke Davison – winner of two gold medals at the recent Track World Cup in Mexico – was the last rider to arrive for the two-week training camp, and was greeted with applause by his teammates.

    "It's great to have everyone here together in one place and the bonding is actually more important than the riding at this moment. But there will also be lots of training," sports director Jeremy Hunt said.

    The team began their fortnight in the sun with a four-hour training ride on Monday, and have been continuing work in the hinterland of Calpe ever since. Click here for a picture gallery of Synergy Baku’s training camp on the Costa Blanca.

  • Quintana to Giro d'Italia instead of Tour de France?

    Nairo Quintana (Movistar)
    Article published:
    December 14, 2013, 15:05 GMT
    Cycling News

    Movistar team undecided on which Grand Tour for Colombian climber

    Nairo Quintana has returned to Colombia and is not expected to return to Europe until after the Tour de San Luis. The Movistar rider's early season racing schedule has been released, but much of it depends on whether he will ride the Tour de France or the Giro d'Italia, with team manager Eusebio Unzue leaning toward the latter race.

    Quintana, 23, finished second at this year's Tour, but Unzue said that he may send the climber to the Giro in 2014. "I think the Giro d'Italia is a necessary step in the career of a rider,” he has told Diario de Navarra. That would also allow Alejandro Valverde to concentrate on the Tour, with Igor Anton as a second possibility.

    Quintana has said that he would like to ride the Giro, and in fact would have preferred to ride it this year. “The Giro has always attracted me and I’ve always preferred it to the Tour because there are more mountains, which makes the race more suited to me.”

    The Colombian has gone to his homeland after the team's training camp, and will most likely not return to the team presentation next month. He will open his 2014 campaign in South America at the Tour of San Luis (January 20-26). The next major event on his schedule is the birth of his daughter, expected for late January or early February.

    After that happy arrival, Quintana will finally fly to Europe. His planned races include the Mallorca Challenge (February 9-12), Paris-Nice (March 9-16) and the Volta a Catalunya (March 24-30). He rode the latter two races last year as well, finishing 15th overall in Paris-Nice and fourth in Catalunya.

    From there, his schedule will depend on which of the two grand tours he will ride. His options include the Tour of...