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First Edition Cycling News, Saturday, December 3, 2011

Date published:
December 3, 2011, 19:00
  • 2011 Reader Poll: Ultegra Di2 voted best new product

    Shimano broke new ground with its Dura-Ace Di2 group but looks to make a big jump in sales with the new Ultegra version.
    Article published:
    December 2, 2011, 22:20
    By:
    James Huang

    Electronics, electronics, electronics rules the roost

    Electronics once again dominate this year's Cyclingnews Reader Poll in the Best New Product category with Shimano's new Ultegra Di2 group taking home nearly 40 percent of the vote – nearly double that of second place. Once considered a marketing fad, electronic shifting is here to stay and you've stated loud and clear that it's high on your list of interests.

    Ultegra Di2 admittedly won't offer any groundbreaking new features that aren't already present with Dura-Ace Di2 but it does promise nearly identical performance with a little more weight and at a much, much lower price roughly inline with the current mechanical Dura-Ace group. As a result, adopters should get the same incredible precision and smoothness, the same robotically consistent movement, and the same TT/sprint expandability potential of Shimano's flagship without having to take out a second mortgage.

    Top-flight performance at a much more reasonable cost? Now that's something we can get excited about, too.

    Despite the fact that prices haven't dropped in years, power meters still rank highly among Cyclingnews readers with the new Garmin Vector pedal-based system falling into second place. Garmin's offering don't promise increased accuracy relative to existing systems – at least not in standard consumer trim – but building the measuring equipment into the pedals will make it easier for owners to easily move the system to other bikes as needed.

    Users will get information on left/right power output balance, too, and full-blown scientific systems will provide researchers with heaps of directional and scalar power info (hence the product's name) for more insight on biomechanics. Assuming no further setbacks, Garmin tells units will start shipping in the spring – we're expecting our own test set in February.

    Only a handful of people have been fortunate enough to sample Campagnolo's new electronic road groups (check out our First Ride review here) but the years of anticipation surrounding its development have nevertheless earned it the last spot on our Reader Poll podium.

    Campagnolo launched not just one but two complete groups: the Record EPS package to go head-to-head with Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 and an even more upscale Super Record EPS. Lighter weight relative to Shimano's options is one touted advantage but the biggest difference is the ergonomics. Campagnolo's system sticks to its separate two-lever Ergopower configuration, slightly longer lever throws, and stronger springs and clicks for more tactile feedback relative to the Shimano.

    Our initial impression is that the overall performance is very similar but consumers are bound to prefer one actuation method versus the other. Campagnolo has a lot riding on this regardless and time will tell how this will all shake out, of course, but at least now we can get started.

    2011 Best New Product:
    1. Shimano Ultegra Di2 8,280 (38.3%)
    2. Garmin Vector power meter 4,148 (19.2%)
    3. Campagnolo electronic group 3,672 (17.0%)
    4. Specialized S-Works Tarmac SL4 road bike 2,563 (11.8%)
    5. Cannondale Scalpel 29er 871 (4.0%)
    6. Wilier Triestina Zero.7 646 (3.0%)
    7. Santa Cruz Blur TRc trail bike 426 (2.0%)
    8. Speedplay Szyr mountain bike pedal 392 (1.8%)
    9. Scott Spark RC 377 (1.7%)
    10. Cane Creek Angleset 259 (1.2%)
    Total: 21,634

  • UCI appeals Kolobnev case to CAS

    Alexsandr Kolobnev (Katusha) could be an outsider for victory
    Article published:
    December 3, 2011, 10:08
    By:
    Cycling News

    Russian was not suspended for Tour de France positive doping control

    The International Cycling Union has appealed Alexandr Kolobnev's punishment for doping to the Court of Arbitration for Sport. The Russian anti-doping agency did not suspend the rider after his positive doping control.

    “Yes, we appealed before the CAS,” UCI president Pat McQuaid told Reuters.

    Kolobnev tested positive on the fifth stage of the year's Tour de France for the diuretic hydrochlorothiazide, which can be used as a masking agent. He withdrew from the Tour and voluntarily suspended himself. He denied having used any doping, but the B-sample also came back positive.

    The Russian anti-doping agency decided not to suspend him, but gave him a warning and fined him 1500 Swiss franc. It is not clear what Kolobnev's status with Katusha is, or whether he will ride for them in the coming year.

  • Fuglsang too fat to win the Giro d'Italia, Andersen says

    Jakob Fuglsang at the 2012 Giro d'Italia presentation
    Article published:
    December 3, 2011, 10:30
    By:
    Cycling News

    Weight loss and good form could give the Dane the win

    Jakob Fuglsang is overweight, and if he doesn't lose weight, he won't win the Giro d'Italia next year. That is the opinion of his RadioShack-Nissan-Trek sporting director Kim Andersen, who also guided the Dane this year at Leopard Trek.

    "He must lose two per cent of body fat. Otherwise he can not make it all the way up the steep mountains," Andersen told sporten.tv2.dk.

    Fuglsang is listed on the team's website at only 69 kg, with a height of 182 cm.

    Andersen sees the case as a simple one.  "If he loses the weight he can compete. If he loses the weight and is in good form, then he can be right up there.”

    Fuglsang has already been named the team's captain for the Giro. “We will build a team around him,” said Andersen. 

    However, the Giro captaincy will probably mean he will have only a helper role at the Tour de France, where the team goal is to bring Andy and Fränk Schleck on to the podium again. That is, if he even rides the Tour.

    "It will be in an auxiliary role. I think we can count on that. But it is not certain that it will be so,” Andersen noted. “It is impossible to say, for it may well be that he is completely finished after Giro.”

  • SpiderTech adds Fairly and Selander for 2012

    Steve Bauer introduces the 2012 squad
    Article published:
    December 3, 2011, 12:07
    By:
    Cycling News

    Canadian team building on a solid 2011 season

    After a week’s training camp in Toronto, Canada, SpiderTech launched their 2012 line up. After their debut season in the Pro Continental ranks, the Canadian outfit is hoping to build on their success, with a number of new faces joining the team.

    The 16-rider squad features 13 returning cyclists from 2011 and three new recruits with strong international riding experience. Like this year, the team will focus on a race schedule split between North America and Europe.

    “The experience gained racing in Europe and across North America against the best pro teams in 2011 is invaluable to our riders as we prepare for 2012. The success we had as a team in 2011 proved to ourselves and to any sceptics that a Canadian team can race and compete with the best teams and individual riders in the world,” said team founder Steve Bauer.

    Among the returning riders expected to lead the team in 2012 are Will Routley, the 2010 Canadian Road Champion and silver medalist at the 2011 Canadian Championships; Guillaume Boivin, the bronze medalist at the 2010 UCI Road World Championship road race (U23); David Boily, best climber at the Giro di Sardegna and five stages in the yellow jersey and second overall at the Tour de l’Avenir, as well as Hugo Houle, two-time U23 Canadian Champion in 2011.

    Spidertech has also dipped into the transfer market, picking up riders from WorldTour teams who had been struggling for rides at that level. Caleb Fairly joins from HTC-Highroad and will be looking to rediscover the form that saw him take the 2010 Tour of the Battenkill.

    Bjorn Selander – formerly of RadioShack – also joins the team and brings with him the experience gained from riding last year’s Giro d’Italia.

     

     

  • Wiggins likely to skip London Olympic track events

    Bradley Wiggins on the front in the men's road race
    Article published:
    December 3, 2011, 13:20
    By:
    Cycling News

    Sky rider to concentrate of Tour de France, Olympic road race and time trial

    Bradley Wiggins will concentrate on the road races at the London Olympics, and will most likely skip the track events. The Team Sky rider will turn his attention to the Tour de France and the Olympic road race and time trial next summer.

    At the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Wiggins won gold in both the individual and team pursuits, but he will probably not defend them. "The chances of him doing the team pursuit are really slim now," Team Sky race coach Rod Ellingworth told The Guardian. "I don't think he will be doing it. He wants to do the Tour then the road race and time trial at the Olympics."

    Wiggins will not ride the team pursuit at either the London World Cup meet in February nor the World Championships in Melbourne in April. In addition, the pursuit team has been doing intensive training the last few weeks, but without Wiggins.

    "He doesn't have the track in his programme at the moment," said the team pursuit coach, Dan Hunt. "It's certainly not his priority."

    Just about the only chance of him taking part in the Olympic track events would be as a last-minute replacement, if for example, one of the riders became ill.

    "His priority is the time trial and road race, but he does have the proven ability to step in with a few days' preparation as he did before the Manchester World Cup last season,” Hunt said.

  • Gallery: Liquigas-Cannondale camp

    Nibali and Basso plot a route to the nearest coffee stop
    Article published:
    December 3, 2011, 15:15
    By:
    Cycling News

    Basso and Nibali lead team bonding in Passo San Pellegrino

    The European road season may have only closed a few weeks ago but that hasn’t stopped Liquigas-Cannondale from holding their first team camp ahead of the 2012 campaign.

    The Italian squad gathered at Passo San Pellegrino, Italy for a week-long camp. Although there was little in the way of training, the riders were still put through their paces with typical ‘off-season activities’ such as orienteering, games, and general team bonding.

    Ivan Basso and Vincenzo Nibali, both of who weren’t able to match their grand tour performances of 2010 – Basso won the Giro while Nibali the Vuelta - will go into the 2012 season with points to prove.
     

  • Saxo Bank opens cycling school in Israel

    The Saxo Bank team kitted out in blue
    Article published:
    December 3, 2011, 17:02
    By:
    Cycling News

    Team hopes to bring Jewish and Muslim children together

    After working round the clock, Team Saxo Bank has finished building a cycling school in Acre, Israel, and the school opened on Friday. Muslim and Jewish children from the area gathered to learn from the pros.

    “It's been a lot of fun and giving, working with the kids today. I enjoy seeing how easily they smile and have a good time in spite of their differences and in spite the lack of cycling experience as many never rode a bike before coming here today,” said Alberto Contador.

    Bjarne Riis was pleased with both his project and his team. “It's been a long journey through the night but we came through and the school was ready when the kids arrived. I saw them really having a good time and they were drawn to the bike and the new challenge and I hope they'll continue using the place and continue leading an active life.

    “It's been a huge goal for me and the team to get this project done and the whole team made it happen by hard and effective team work.”

    The team did not construct the building from scratch, but renovated an existing building and built an off-road trail. Nick Nuyens was one of those who worked on the latter. "I was mainly concerned with transforming a wilderness into an off-road trail. They know almost nothing of cycling here, but the importance of this initiative is primarily the social aspect: people from different backgrounds becoming familiar with each other."

    The 2011 Tour of Flanders winner was impressed by the action. “We are not here for show,” he told sportwereld.be. “We really had to work. Thursday we started at eight a.m. and by four p.m., everything had to be ready. Friday our efforts were rewarded and the children were introduced to cycling. They were very enthusiastic. It's nice to see that Jewish and Muslim children are taught together. That is still quite rare in Israel.”

    The team will remain in Israel through December 11 to prepare for the upcoming season.

  • Brice Feillu breaks collarbone in training

    France's Brice Feillu (Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team) took the mountains classification.
    Article published:
    December 3, 2011, 18:31
    By:
    Cycling News

    Two to three weeks off the bike for Frenchman

    Brice Feillu had a minor setback to his 2012 preparations when he broke his collarbone in a training ride on Friday. Luckily, the break is not severe and should require a short recovery, reported the Frenchman who will ride for Saur-Sojasun in 2011.

    “Two to three weeks immobilization will be enough,” he said on his personal website.  “I can do some physical activity during this period and soon can be on the home trainer.”

    Feillu, 26, turned pro with Agritubel in 2008.  He rode for Vacansoleil in 2009 and Leopard Trek in 2011. His biggest win was stage seven in the 2009 Tour de France, winning the mountaintop finish in Arcalis, Andorra.