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First Edition Cycling News, Saturday, October 26, 2013

Date published:
October 26, 2013, 1:00 BST
  • Movistar signs Quintana's brother for 2014

    Dayer Quintana
    Article published:
    October 25, 2013, 18:55 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    Dayer Quintana joins Nairo at the Spanish team

    The Movistar team has confirmed it has signed Dayer Quintana, the younger brother of Tour de France revelation Nairo Quintana for 2014.

    The 21-year-old has been racing in Spain this season with the Lizarte team, racking up a series of placings in national and regional races, including twenty top ten places. Like his older brother, he is consider a climber. Nairo won the polka-dot jersey at the Tour de France and finished second overall.

    Dayer excelled as a Junior rider but then missed 18 months of racing due to served in the Colombian national police.

    Quintana will join up with his new teammates in Pamplona, Spain next week at a Movistar team get together to plan for the 2014 season.

    The Quintana's are latest brothers to team up in the team ranks. Andy and Frank Schleck will race together at the Trek team and be joined by Boy and Danny van Poppel in 2014. Juraj and Peter Sagan ride for Cannondale, while in Britain, Russell and Dean Downing will ride together in the planned Continental NFTO team based in Britain.

    Adam and Sean Yates of Britain will turn professional with the Orica-GreenEdge team in 2014 after impressing in the Great Britain Under 23 team. 

  • Kittel happy to concentrate on sprinting in 2014

    Marcel Kittel watches the route presentation
    Article published:
    October 25, 2013, 20:15 BST
    Barry Ryan

    German on the Classics and new Milan-San Remo route

    In the not too distant past, even the very quickest of young sprinters were expected to metamorphose gradually into a very different kind of rider. It was as if sprint victories were snobbishly deemed to be the pop singles of cycling – commercially viable but somehow lacking the artistic credibility of the Classics.

    So it was that Sean Kelly and Johan Museeuw, among others, successfully evolved from fast men to Classics men, but changing genre has become an increasingly difficult proposition in the contemporary era, as testified by Alessandro Petacchi’s attempts to make an impact on the cobbles during his time at Milram.

    Given his background as a rouleur – he was a bronze medallist in the under 23 Worlds time trial in 2010 – Marcel Kittel (Argos-Shimano) would appear a prime candidate to transfer his skills to the longer form, but after a season that saw him claim four stages at the Tour de France, the German understandably has no intention of changing direction in 2014.

    “My programme for next year is not decided yet, but I really don’t think it’s going to be that different to this season. I will concentrate on sprinting. That’s what I want. My goal is to do as many races as possible that suit me, and to win them. I’m not a Classics rider,” Kittel told Cyclingnews.

    It is an attitude shared by Mark Cavendish, who has described sprinting as a calling for riders who are “addicted to winning”. Indeed, such is the lofty standard of contemporary sprinting – exemplified by Kittel and Cavendish’s extended duel at this year’s Tour – that a fast man can ill afford to be distracted by experimenting with a side project.

    Yet in spite of...

  • Vote and win in Cyclingnews' 2013 Reader Poll

    Enter the 2013 Cyclingnews reader poll for a chance to win Dan Martin's Cervélo R5 race bike
    Article published:
    October 25, 2013, 21:10 BST
    Cycling News

    Who was the best male road rider of 2013?

    2013 was a big year for a number of riders, and picking a winner of the best male road rider category in the Cyclingnews 2013 Reader Poll will be more difficult than ever.

    Who can deny that Fabian Cancellara (RadioShack) was the best of the Classics? The Tour of Flanders-Paris-Roubaix double was a highlight of the early season. Peter Sagan (Cannondale), too, was dominant in the one-day races in addition to taking his second green jersey in a row in the Tour de France and 22 wins this season.

    Then consider our Grand Tour winners: Giro d'Italia champion Vincenzo Nibali (Astana), who withstood the harsh weather to emerge victorious, and then go on to take second in the Vuelta a España and fourth in the world championships. This, in addition to wins in Tirreno-Adriatico and the Giro del Trentino.

    Of course, we must consider the outstanding consistency of Chris Froome (Sky), who sailed through the Tour de France with just one minor off-day in the Pyrenees. That success was preceded by victories in the Critérium du Dauphiné, Tour de Romandie, Critérium International and Tour of Oman and a second to Nibali in Tirreno.

    Chris Horner (RadioShack) started his season a bit late due to a knee injury, but his Vuelta a España victory earned him a nod for this category.

    World champion Rui Costa (Movistar) was another stand-out this season, and with two stage wins in the Tour de France added to his second consecutive Tour de Suisse overall win, he is a worthy nominee.

    Marcel Kittel (Argos-Shimano) earned his nod with an amazing four stage wins in the Tour de France, which came in addition to his other 12 wins, which included the Scheldeprijs and a stage of Paris-Nice.

    Il Lombardia winner Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) was another consistent performer, while Dan Martin's wins in Liège - Bastogne -...

  • Report: The 2014 Vuelta could finish in Galicia with an evening time trial

    The final Vuelta podium for 2013
    Article published:
    October 25, 2013, 22:02 BST
    Alasdair Fotheringham

    First finish outside Madrid since 1993 on the cards

    The Vuelta a España could finish outside Madrid for the first time since 1993 next year according to reports in the Spanish media, with the western Galicia region keen to host the final stage of cycling's third Grand Tour in 2014.

    Galician daily La Voz de Galicia reported on Friday that a night-time time trial in the region’s capital city of Santiago de Compostela is likely to bring down the curtain on the race next year. The Galicia region hosted the start of this year's race with an opening team time trial stage.

    The Galician daily newspaper claims that a year after hosting the start of Spain’s biggest three-week race, the northwesterly region of Spain will probably feature the Vuelta’s four concluding stages. That would include a summit finish at Ancares, last tackled in 2012 and one of the most difficult climbs in the area, prior to the time trial showdown on Sunday September 14th.

    For years the Vuelta finished in the Basque Country, but since 1979, when current organiser Unipublic took over, it has only finished outside Madrid four times. The last time was in 1993, in Santiago de Compostela, and the last time it finished with a race against the clock was in 2004.

    Although the Galician finish has yet to be officially confirmed, what is certain is that the Vuelta is due to start on August 23rd in southwest Spain - most probably in in the town of Jerez de la Frontera, almost certainly with a time trial.

    A definitive route will not be revealed until December or early January. The USA's Chris Horner (Radioshack-Leopard) won this year's Vuelta a Espana after defeating Italy's Vincenzo Nibali in the thrilling final mountain stage.

  • Froome expects big gaps in final time trial of 2014 Tour de France

    Chris Froome (Sky) signs the start list
    Article published:
    October 26, 2013, 3:00 BST
    Barry Ryan

    Sky rider in Japan for Saitama Criterium

    Organisers ASO may have billed the Saitama Criterium as the “22nd stage of the Tour de France” but every day will soon start to feel like the eve of next year’s Tour for reigning champion Chris Froome (Sky).

    Indeed, two days and almost 10,000 kilometres on from the 2014 Tour presentation in Paris, Froome was again quizzed on the parcours, and he gave short thrift to the notion that something of an “anti-Froome” route has been devised.

    In 2013, Froome was able to use the Mont-Saint-Michel time trial in week two to hammer home the gains he had already made in the Pyrenees. Next year, the Tour’s lone time trial appears on the penultimate stage, from Bergerac to Périgueux, and the race has its lowest total of kilometres against the clock since 1934, but Froome is adamant that the eventual winner will still have to be an adept time triallist.

    “We saw what the time gaps were like with a time trial of just over 30km in this year’s Tour, in the first flat time trial. You can only imagine what the time gaps are going to be like in the 50km time trial and the pure climbers are going to have to battle with that,” Froome told reporters in Saitama on Friday evening.

    Last week, Froome spoke to Cyclingnews of his apprehension at riding on the cobbles at the Tour, but he is aware too that the men who stood alongside him on the podium in Paris last July – Nairo Quintana and Joaquim Rodriguez – will hardly relish the cut and thrust of the pavé.

    “The cobblestones are also an area where pure climbers could struggle and there are a lot of stages in between – the lumpy stages in the UK, for example – where fighting for position on the flat and in crosswinds are all going...

  • Cadel Evans to race Tour Down Under in 2014

    Cadel Evans (BMC Racing Team) wins what turned out to be an epic Giro stage
    Article published:
    October 26, 2013, 4:00 BST
    Cycling News

    "It will be something special"

    Cadel Evans (BMC) has announced he will begin his 2014 season at the Santos Tour Down Under next year. The 36-year-old former Tour de France champion announced recently that he had set his sights on a successful Giro d'Italia and would forgo the French Grand Tour. Now he has signalled his intentions to start his Giro campaign with a possible tilt at overall victory at the Australian WorldTour race.

    "With my focus on the Giro d'Italia, everything comes earlier in the year," explained Evans. "There is also the team's desire to get the season off to a good start. I think with a bit harder course this year, it would be realistic to go for the overall."

    Evans last raced the Santos Tour Down under in 2010 where he donned his World Champion's rainbow jersey. He went on to finish third on the third stage into Stirling and sealed sixth overall on the general classification, Evans is now looking to excite home-town crowds in a similar fashion next year.

    "I haven't been able to race there since 2010 because I've always been working toward the Tour de France," continued Evans. "But with me going for the Giro, it gives me the opportunity to race in Australia at the race which has become the real season start and the meeting point for the world of cycling at the beginning of the year.

    "So it will be something special, especially racing in front of a home crowd."

    BMC General Manager Jim Ochowicz said that Evans would go into the race as team leader.

    "The team we have chosen to support Cadel is one that he is very familiar with that includes riders who have helped him to past victories,” he said.

    South Australian Tourism Minister, Leon Bignell, was enthralled with the announcement and...

  • Le Coq Sportif's 2014 Tour de France yellow jersey

    The Tour de France 2014 Yellow Jersey: a lot like 2013's
    Article published:
    October 26, 2013, 9:17 BST
    Cycling News

    Yorkshire rose on new jersey

    Last week's Tour de France route announcement might be out of the way, but before attention fades away completely for now, take a look at Le Coq's Sportif's 2014 yellow jersey. Should the race pan out the way patriotic British fans and journalists hope it might, sprinter Mark Cavendish could be pulling on one of these in Harrogate at the end of stage one.

    So, what's new about the jersey compared to last year's? Not much, actually. It seems Le Coq Sportif were content to simply update the 2013 jersey with a white Yorkshire rose in the front.


  • Arashiro helps bring a taste of Tour de France closer to home

    Yukiya Arashiro is the local favourite at the Saitama Criterium.
    Article published:
    October 26, 2013, 10:38 BST
    Barry Ryan

    Japanese champion on life at Europcar

    The yellow jersey of Chris Froome may have been the primary attraction at Saturday’s Saitama Criterium but Tour de France organiser ASO’s foray into the Japanese market is thanks in no small part to the exploits of Europcar’s Yukiya Arashiro.

    In 2009, Arashiro and fellow countryman Fumiyuku Beppu achieved the historic feat of becoming the first Japanese riders to complete the Tour de France – previous starters Kisso Kawamuro (1926 and 1927) and Polti’s Daisuke Imanaka (1996) had both failed to reach Paris – and their accomplishment triggered an upsurge in coverage of the race in Japan.

    Arashiro has returned on three further occasions, his presence highlighted by the television crew and steady stream of travelling Japanese support camped outside the Europcar bus after each stage. On Saturday, the pilgrimage was reversed, as luminaries from the Tour peloton descended on Saitama for a season-ending exhibition race.

    “Of course, this is just a criterium rather than the Tour itself, but the peloton is something very distant for the Japanese public, so it’s a dream to have the big riders come here,” the Japanese champion Arashiro told Cyclingnews in Saitama. “Since 2009, I’ve definitely seen that cycling has become more and more popular here. Everybody knows the name ‘Tour de France’ in Japan, but they don’t necessarily know how it works and what the race really consists of.”

    That is not to say, of course, that Japan does not have a proud cycling heritage of its own. Like Colombia and Eritrea, Japan is a country with an indigenous cycling culture that has developed and prospered independently of the sport’s traditional European base, and until the...