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First Edition Cycling News, Saturday, June 15, 2013

Date published:
June 15, 2013, 1:00 BST
  • Cavendish satisfied with third place finish in Ster ZLM Toer

    Third place finisher Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) heads to his team bus
    Article published:
    June 14, 2013, 9:34 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    QuickStep rider praises winner Bos

    Mark Cavendish likes nothing better than to win, and has been known to be unhappy when he doesn't. But he was gracious in defeat after the second stage of the Ster ZLM Toer, where the Omega Pharma-Quick Step rider finished third behind winner Theo Bos (Blanco) and Andre Greipel (Lotto Belisol). Cavendish conceded that Bos “was just simply faster” at the finish in Breda.

    The stage was marked, not unexpectedly, by heavy winds and echelons, which split the peloton, although the top sprinters remained in the lead group. “We had a strong team and we helped split it in the crosswinds” Cavendish said on the team's website.

    “The guys rode strong all day and with the guys riding like that I really wanted to win today. I was motivated. I got good position in the final, 1 kilometer with the wind slightly behind on Greipel's wheel I thought 'oh this is good, I got good position.'

    “Slight downhill finish, Theo Bos jumped early and it was absolutely spot on. He didn't fight for Greipel's wheel. He stayed right behind me and I think he planned to jump early. It was incredible, he rode an intelligent sprint, he did it alone and he was just simply faster. So, there's no win today.”

    Cavendish said he was sorry for not rewarding his team, but was pleased with the team's strong performance as the Tour de France approaches.

    “It shows we're in good condition and we can be in the final with the majority of our teammates," he said.

  • Tuft celebrates perfect time trial in Slovenia

    Svein Tuft (Orica GreenEdge)
    Article published:
    June 14, 2013, 11:58 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Canadian secures Orica-GreenEdge's 20th win of the season

    Svein Tuft won his second time trial of the season and gave the Orica-GreenEdge team its 20th win of the year with a perfect ride in the 8.8km opening time trial at the Tour de Slovénie on Thursday evening.

    The Canadian beat teammate Brett Lancaster by six seconds, stopping the clock in a time of 9:55 for an average of 53.2km/h. Artem Ovechkin (Rusvelo) was third at eight seconds, with Sebastian Langeveld giving Orica-GreenEdge three in the top four by finishing 13 seconds slower.

    “Everything went right. I had good sensations from the start. I knew I was on a good ride,” Tuft said on the Orica-GreenEdge website.

    “I went as hard as I could and hoped to hang on all the way to the finish- It was about not leaving anything in the tank.”

    “The capital city of Ljubljana is beautiful. This was a nice course for going flat out. There wasn’t anything tricky about it. The roads were in good conditions and it was nice not to race in the rain.”

    Tuft wears the leader's jersey during stage but he and the team has realistic overall ambitions for the four-day stage race.

    “We don’t have a chance here for the overall. We didn’t bring any guys who can contend with the big mountains. We don’t expect to have the jersey on the last day, but we’re happy to have it tomorrow (Friday),” directeur sportif Matt Wilson said.

     

  • UCI consider major WorldTour changes for 2015

    UCI President Pat McQuaid at the UCI headquarters in Aigle
    Article published:
    June 14, 2013, 16:55 BST
    By:
    Stephen Farrand

    Management Committee proposes governance task forces

    The UCI has made a further announcement about the future structure and governance of cycling after day two of its Management Committee meeting in Bergen, Norway, revealing that two internal task forces have been suggested to review and formalize UCI strategy and structure, while major reforms to professional cycling look set to be implemented in 2015.

    On Thursday, the UCI Management Committee accepted recommendations made during the Stakeholders Consultation process. On Friday, the UCI issued another long press release, giving some information but little detail, on how it intends to act in the face of severe and continuous criticism of president Pat McQuaid and the governance of the sport following the long series of doping scandals.

    The press release revealed that consultancy firm KPMG had carried out "pre-analysis study on governance' in parallel to the Stakeholders" consultation.

    According to the UCI press release, "The report proposed the creation of two ‘task forces’ comprising members of the Management Committee, supported by UCI executives, an initiative supported by the Management Committee."

    "The first task force will review and formalize the UCI’s vision and strategy; the second make proposals for the UCI’s governance structure, as well as rules to put in place to implement and control the strategy."

    The Management Committee also instructed the UCI administration to "deepen its transparency" and provide a “dashboard” for the committee going forward.

    Professional cycling to change significantly in 2015

    In what appears to be a move to weaken the threats from the teams and race organisers involved in the World Series Cycling "breakaway" project, the UCI Management Committee also acknowledged the proposals for the strategic direction...

  • Costa crowns brilliant performance at Tour de Suisse

    Rui Costa (Movistar)
    Article published:
    June 14, 2013, 22:11 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Portuguese rider jumps to second overall

    Portugal's Rui Costa (Movistar) celebrated a stage 7 victory in the Tour de Suisse on Friday. As a result of his performance in this queen stage, he jumped into second in the overall, with Sunday's mountain time trial still likely to decide the final outcome.

    At the end of the longest stage of this year's race, covering 205km from Meilen to La Punt, with four categorized climbs including the Albulapass (HC) at more than 2,300 meters above sea level, Costa outsprinted Bauke Mollema (Blanco) and Tejay van Garderen (BMC).

    "Our goal today was to take some seconds on the riders ahead of us in the overall," said Costa. "We also won the stage, and I'm super happy."

    "I wasn't really thinking of the stage win, but at the end of the descent, there were 500 meters of flat and a couple of turns that allowed me breathing a bit before the sprint."

    The action started with 4km from the top of the climb with an attack from Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) breaking the ice and receiving a fast response from the Team Movistar leader. The four-man leading group, which Costa tried to keep alive with several moves before the crest, went for the fast descent until the finish line with 30 seconds of advantage over a second bunch of favorites including Mathias Frank (BMC) and Roman Kreuziger (Saxo-Tinkoff), who are first and second, respectively, in the overall standings.

    Costa kept pushing into the downhill and initially dropped Pinot before doing the same with Mollema, the Dutchman ultimately bridging for the final meters.

    In a scary moment, an inflatable banner collapsed over the road with 2km remaining and made Costa lose precious time, but did not lessen the ambitions by the 2012 Tour de Suisse winner, who launched the sprint in the lead and was strong enough to hold off his two rivals.

    "It...

  • Nizzolo uses his Giro d'Italia form to win in Luxembourg

    Giacomo Nizzolo (RadioShack Leopard)
    Article published:
    June 15, 2013, 10:27 BST
    By:
    Stephen Farrand

    Radioshack-Leopard sprinter shows his class

    Young Italian sprinter Giacomo Nizzolo celebrated his first win of 2013 at the Tour of Luxembourg on Friday with a well executed sprint in Walferdange after an aggressive stage left just 25 riders in the front group.

    The 24 year-old Radioshack-Leopard rider from Milan finished the Giro d'Italia in May and his first Grand Tour has gicen him the form to win.

    Nizzolo developed on the track as an amateur but is able to combine a fast finish with the ability to survive on the climbs. In 2012 he won the Tour de Wallonie and was also third in the Vattenfall Cyclassics WorldTour one-day race. He is considered one of the new generation of young Italian riders.

    He showed his ability at the Giro d'Italia by finishing second to Mark Cavendish in Cherasco and with two fourth places in other sprints. With Trek set to take over sponsorahip of the team in 2014, Nizzolo is expected to develop into the team's protected sprinter and target the Classics alongside Fabian Cancellara.

    A clash with Marko Kump (Saxo-Tinkoff) on stage one at the Tour of Luxembourg left him with a broken derailleur but he got the better of the German this time to win his first race of 2013.

    “To keep my form for two weeks after the Giro is hard but I’ve been very focused on the Tour of Luxembourg and I came here in very good shape. I wanted to use this condition in this race. Yesterday I had bad luck but today it was good,” he said on the team's website.

    “It was not easy. Especially because the guys in the breakaway went so fast and the peloton didn’t give them much space so we all went fast the entire day. Then in the final we had the hard climb with many, many attacks."

    "The sprint, with just 25 riders left, was not in one...

  • Report: Wiggins marginalised as Froome goes from strength to strength

    Tour de France 2012: Wiggins triumphs in the final time trial to become the first British winner of the Tour de France
    Article published:
    June 15, 2013, 12:07 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    The Times questions the Tour winner's future at Team Sky

    As Chris Froome and his Team Sky teammates continue their final preparation for the Tour de France at training camp in the Alps, doubts about Bradley Wiggins's future at the team have emerged, with reports that he is refusing to ride the Vuelta Espana and a suggestion that he may never again lead Team Sky in a Grand Tour.

    Writing in Times and the Australian newspapers, chief sports reporter Owen Slot suggested that Wiggins' career has 'fallen off a cliff' after the heady heights of his 2012 Tour de France victory and his gold medal in the time trial at the London Olympics.

    The papers claim that Froome has been offered a contract extension beyond 2014, with Team Sky logically keen to build the next phase of the British team around the Tour de France favourite.

    Wiggins also has a contract for 2014 but will be 34 next April and is unlikely to continue racing much longer. He has not been selected for Team Sky's Tour de France squad due to a knee injury that forced him to miss the Tour de Suisse.

    Slot highlights the difference in character and performance between Wiggins and Froome, writing: "Froome is a very manageable athlete, whereas Wiggins has been deciding this year which training camps he will or will not attend. Froome is also more consistent; Wiggins has up years and down years. And Froome's performances are flat lining at a very high level."

    No Vuelta Espana

    The British newspaper reports that Wiggins is currently training in Mallorca after intense treatment on his knee but that he has made it clear to Team Sky that he does not want to ride the very mountainous Vuelta Espana. Instead he could ride the Tour of Poland and the Eneco Tour as preparation for the world championships in Florence.

    Speculating long term, with Richie...

  • Irish cycling clubs vote against backing McQuaid for UCI Presidency

    UCI President Pat McQuaid tried to defend the UCI's record on doping
    Article published:
    June 15, 2013, 13:54 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    91-74 vote leaves McQuaid dependant on Swiss nomination

    Members of Cycling Ireland, the Irish Cycling Federation, have voted 91 to 74 against nominating Pat McQuaid as their candidate for a third term as president of the UCI, forcing him to seek nomination from Switzerland and casting serious doubts about his chances of success of continuing in the role as UCI president.

    McQuaid is hoping to secure a third term as president despite the long series of doping scandals that have rocked the sport and especially the UCI's suspected compliancy and poor management of the Lance Armstrong affair.

    The vote came at the end of extraordinary general meeting held in McQuaid's home city of Dublin and attended by representatives of Cycling Ireland members. An hour-long debate saw a strong defence of McQuaid's track record by those members closest to him, with letters of support apparently coming from the Danish and Caribbean federations. However the vote went against him.

    The Cycling Ireland board initially voted 5-1 to back McQuaid in April but the extraordinary meeting was called after it emerged that irregularities had occurred during the initial meeting.

    Pressure from Cycling Ireland members and the creation of a dossier on McQuaid's work raised questions about his suitability as a presidential candidate, with even support from Sean Kelly and Stephen Roche unable to stop Cycling Ireland members refusing to back McQuaid.

    Swiss nomination

    McQuaid will now try to secure the nomination he received from the Swiss Cycling Federation. He is a resident in Switzerland for his work as current UCI President and so was able to apply via that channel as a member of a Swiss cycling club. However three influential members of Swiss cycling have made an official complaint against unanimous support of McQuaid in Switzerland, with the case set to go to arbitration.

    There is also a matter of validity of the Swiss Federation overruling a democratic vote of Cycling Ireland....

  • Van Bon contests Nature Valley Grand Prix for US elite amateur squad

    Leon van Bon (Marco Polo)
    Article published:
    June 15, 2013, 18:05 BST
    By:
    Pat Malach

    Veteran Dutchman lines up with Mt. Borah-Minerva in Minnesota

    It's not often that an amateur US domestic elite team will bring the most accomplished rider to a race, but that's exactly what happened this week at the Nature Valley Grand Prix when Mt. Borah-Minerva lined up for the start with Leon van Bon on their five-rider roster.

    The 41-year-old from the Netherlands has won three Grand Tour stages and claimed wins and podium spots in some of the biggest races in the world. But after traveling to Minneapolis, Minnesota, to compete in the Fixed-Gear Classic, a multi-day track event that takes place the week before the stage race, van Bon found himself in a Mt. Borah jersey riding with a group of Cat. 1 racers from the Midwest.

    "I really wanted to do one more race in America and maybe combine it with some other races to make it worth going," van Bon told Cyclingnews Friday night after the Uptown Minneapolis criterium. "I heard about this race, and I thought it would be nice to ride here. So I tried to get in, and the Mt. Borah team were so kind to let me into their team."

    Mt. Borah had only four riders out of a possible six-rider roster, so when the promoters contacted the team's Midwest-based sponsors about taking on van Bon, they were more than happy to bring him on board.

    "We were very intimidated to have someone who is quite frankly a star, someone who is famous that we've seen on TV," said Mt. Borah team director Kyle Wolfe. "He's been polite, helpful, understanding and patient with a small team that has a small budget. It's been very, very nice."

    Van Bon started his professional career in 1993 with Word Perfect-Colnago. He moved to Rabobank in 1996 and rode there through 2000. Van Bon moved to the US-based Mercury-Viatel team for the 2001...