Hoffman believes Belgian can win again during Spring Classics
Saxo Bank SunGard directeur sportif, Tristan Hoffman, believes that Nick Nuyens has all the qualities needed to win another big race during the Spring Classics this season.
Nuyens came out of the wilderness on Wednesday, winning Dwars door Vlaanderen in a thrilling sprint ahead of Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) and Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Cervelo). It was Nuyens's first significant win since Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne in 2006. The 30-year-old Belgian will race E3 Prijs Vlaanderen tomorrow and Hoffman feels that the race comes at the perfect time for him.
"Yesterday he took things really easy and today we did two hours with a few short intervals. He'll be fine for tomorrow. He's doing both E3 and Gent-Wevelgem the next day but we'll put everything into tomorrow's race and we'll see for Sunday but tomorrow could be his day again," Hoffman told Cyclingnews.
"This will be his third start but he showed in Dwars that he's good on the climbs so I'll be crossing my fingers for him again."
Nuyens turned professional in 2002 with Domo - which later became Quick Step - and was widely regarded as one of the most talented Classics riders. He moved from Quick Step to Cofidis in 2007 and then to Rabobank in 2009 but both transfers proved unfruitful.
Heading into 2011 he was an outsider for the Classics but his display in Dwars door Vlaanderen, and that of his Saxo Bank teammates, suggests he could be close rival to perennial favourites Tom Boonen (Quick Step) and Fabian Cancellara (Leopard Trek).
Saxo Bank lost the spine of their team at the tail-end of 2010 with the formation of Leopard Trek, but according to Hoffman the signing of Nuyens sparked a number of riders to prove that the team still...
World Champ Bronzini joins her team Stateside in June
Colavita Forno D'Asolo will make its debut with a nine-woman squad at the San Dimas Stage Race held from March 25-27 in California. The team met for a ten-day training camp last week to get to know one another, meet the sponsors and log in some extended hours on the bike, just prior to the season opener.
"Everyone got along really well," said directeur sportif Rachel Heal."There are no stresses, no dramas and the new riders have blended and fit straight into the team. We have a lot of different characters but they all get along really well and it shows on and off the bike."
Last year, the team Colavita-Baci won the National Racing Calendar (NRC) series team classification along with the best rider competition with New Zealander Cath Cheatley. This year, it merged with Italian women's team ASC Chirio Forno D'Asolo and was newly named Colavita-Forno D'Asolo Pro Cycling, retaining its Italy-registered license with the International Cycling Union (UCI).
The international roster is a total of 19 riders including current UCI Elite Road World Champion Georgia Bronzini from Italy. The domestic-side of the team includes Cheatley, Kelly Benjamin, Theresa Cliff-Ryan, Andrea Dvorak, Lauren Hall, Janel Holcomb, Leah Kirchmann, Heather Logan-Sprenger and Kristin Sanders.
The nine riders met for an opening training camp held at the Club Circle Resort in Borrego Springs, California and will be competing this weekend at the San Dimas Stage Race followed by the NRC kick off Redlands Bicycle Classic held the following weekend.
"The first reason was to try and get all the riders together to get to know each other because we have four new riders," Heal said. "We also wanted to get some good training in together. I decided to make the camp longer than it has been the previous years which allowed the camp to be more relaxed and we didn't have to cram everything into a couple of days. We had time to meet the sponsors, do some good training and...
Races are won and lost by millimetres and split second reactions but to say that the action starts the minute the bunch cross the line tells but only part of the story.
On the eve of E3-prijs Vlaanderen the Skil-Shimano team gathered in room 3 of the Nazareth hotel, outside Harelbeke to talk over the team’s tactics for the race.
The Dutch outfit lack a Tom Boonen or Fabian Cancellara but counter that by racing aggressively – launching riders off the front and into breaks, while saving their endurance athletes for the latter sections of the race.
In this exclusive video for Cyclingnews, we go behind the scenes in the team meeting as they talk tactics.
Bert De Backer will be one of Skil-Shimano’s protected riders at the E3-prijs Vlaanderen on Saturday. The team will follow two strategies, with half the team aiming to jump into early breaks while, De Backer, Koen de Kort and Tom Veelers will save their legs and try and be there for the finale.
In this exclusive video interview with Cyclingnews, De Backer lays out the team’s tactics, including how the team will play off the strength of some of the bigger teams.
UCI President hopes for verdict before the Tour de France
Pat McQuaid has justified the UCI’s late decision to appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) against the dismissal of doping charges against Alberto Contador, claiming that the UCI legal team was stretched to even make the final deadline of March 24.
Contador was cleared of doping by the Spanish Cycling Federation (RFEC) on February 15. The UCI received the official case dossier a few days later and had 30 days to decide on an appeal.
“It’s very simple: the UCI is an international federation that has somewhat limited internal resources in the legal and anti-doping departments. We recieved the dossier on February 24. At that time our main lawyers were heavily involved in the Pellizotti and Cauchioli cases. As soon as that was out of the way, which was in the first couple days of the 30 day period, we started into the file.” McQuaid told Cyclingnews at the track world championships in Apeldoorn.
“Some of it came in Spanish and had to be translated. I can tell you our chief lawyer worked solidly including evenings and two weekends to reach the 24th of March, and he was at his limit to do so. It's a difficult, complex case and it took us time to do it. We were stretched to reach the deadline.”
Contador has confirmed he will ride the Giro d’Italia in May and may also ride the Tour de France in July. After being found not guilty by the Spanish Cycling Federation he is free to race until any final verdict. However, he could lose any results he achieves if he is found guilty of doping by CAS.
Tour de France general director Christian Prudhomme has called for a final verdict from CAS before the start of the Tour de France on July 2....
While a smattering of riders and teams have opted to forgo the E3-Prijs to focus their energies on Sunday’s Gent-Wevelgem, there was still no shortage of big names on show in Harelbeke.
World champion Thor Hushovd has high hopes for the cobbled classics this season, and he was looking to lay down a significant marker at the E3-Prijs. With Heinrich Haussler alongside him, Garmin-Cervélo should have a significant say in matters here.
Stijn Devolder (Vacansoleil-DCM), Nuyens, Thomas Voeckler (Europcar), Leif Hoste (Katusha), Yoann Offredo (FDJ) and Lars Boom (Rabobank) will also be up there and in contention. Quick Step has opted to rest Tom Boonen ahead of Gent-Wevelgem but the Belgian team has Niki Terpstra and Gerald Ciolek in their squad.
The man to beat will be last year’s winner Fabian Cancellara (Leopard Trek). In what will be his final outing before the Tour of Flanders, we can expect fireworks from the Swiss star as he tests his form. It’s not by chance that all of the start line bookies have him quoted as odds on favourite, as the peloton set out in mild and still conditions.
The team’s staff discovered the theft on Saturday morning as they went to the team’s truck to prepare the race bikes. Thieves smashed the window of the team car that had been used to block the back door of the mechanics truck, rolled it back and then broke into the truck. The panel van was forced open as was a luggage door on the team bus, and the team estimated a loss of equipment worth 500,000 euros.
The team is helping Italian police with their investigations and scrambling to replace its equipment for its next race. The European-based part of the team is set to ride the Circuit Cycliste Sarthe in France that starts on April 5.
"This is a sad and terrible situation. We are devastated by the loss of so much equipment and the invaluable sizing and measurement information for our time trial and race bikes. It's only a matter of time before these bikes resurface for sale somewhere, and we simply ask our friends and supporters to help us find the bikes and help the police catch the thieves," directeur sportif Vassili Davidenko said in a statement issued by the team.
Gangs of thieves have often targeted professional teams at races and training camps.
The Barloworld team had most of their road and time trial bikes stolen at a training camp in 2007 while the Silence-Lotto team was forced to pull out of the 2008 Giro della Provinicia di Grosseto when their bikes were stolen over night.
Teams try to deter theives by sleeping in trucks, storing bikes indoors and blocking the doors of vehicles with team cars. However none of these tactics seem to completely deter...
Cancellara attacked fiercely on the Oude Kwaremont with 32km to go, catching and passing two breakaway groups, before soloing to a resounding victory. However, a bike change on the Stationsberg and the subsequent frantic chase to get back on meant that at one point he was worried that he had expended too much energy to reel in the breakaway groups.
“I lost a bit of confidence when I came back, because chasing takes up a lot of energy, but I just went on instinct on the Kwaremont,” Cancellara said in his post-race press conference. “I was surprised at the end here in Harelbeke by how I won, it impressed me more than last year...