- Article published:
- September 20, 17:30
- Cycling News
Lotto Belisol and Lampre-Merida squads also announced
Orica-GreenEdge is sending its big guns to the team time trial at the UCI Road World Championships this weekend in Florence, with three riders from the squad which won the team time trial at the Tour de France this summer. All seven riders, which includes the reserve rider, live in Girona, Spain, and thus have been training together for about two weeks.
Lotto Belisol and Lampre-Merida also announced their squads.
Daryl Impey, Svein Tuft and Brett Lancaster were all members of the Tour team which won the team time trial in Nice by only three-quarters of a second ahead of Omega Pharma-QuickStep. hey will be joined by Luke Durbridge, Jens Mouris and Michael Hepburn. Sam Bewley is the reserve rider. Last year the team won the bronze medal at the Worlds team time trial.
Both Impey (South Africa) and Durbridge (Australia) are current national time trial champions, and Tuft is a former-eight time Canadian champion.
“We’ve had the team training together for nearly two weeks,” sport director Matt White said. “That’s the beauty of their set-up. All of the guys live in Girona, and they’ve been able to train together daily without going somewhere specifically for camp. They’ve built-up to this the Worlds together.”
Lotto-Belisol and Lampre-Merida squads
All six riders for Lotto-Belisol were also in the Tour de France, and the team is aiming for a top ten finish. Lars Bak, Bart De Clercq, André Greipel, Adam Hansen, Greg Henderson and Jürgen Roelandts will cover the 57.2 km for the Belgian team.
"We aim for a place in top ten, the higher the better. Last year our result was disappointing, we only became 17th,” said sports director Herman Frison. “As a WorldTour team you can't be satisfied with that and we should aim higher. That should definitely be possible. In the Tour we have proven we can.
“Such a team time trial is suffering, go à bloc for more than an hour, go into the red. The guys understand one another well. The morale is good, the performance in the Tour has given them a boost. Tomorrow there is a training and Saturday we'll do a recon of the course. We will look at the positioning for Sunday and work on the automatisms."
Lampre-Merida had tow days of training on the Monza auto-race track to set up its optimal team for the discipline. Matteo Bono, David Comolai, Luca Dodi, Roberto Ferrari, Adriano Malori and Maximiliano Richeze will represent the Italian team.
Lampre's highest team trial finish at a Grand Tour this year was sixth in the Giro. At last year's Worlds it was 28th out of 32.
- Article published:
- September 20, 18:18
- Laura Weislo
American gave up individual time trial spot
Despite winning two time trials this year, both en route to his overall victories in the Tour of California and USA Pro Challenge, Tejay van Garderen gave up an opportunity to contest the individual test at the UCI Road World Championships in Florence in order to focus on the team time trial with BMC and the road race with the USA National Team.
Speaking to Cyclingnews in Montecatini Terme, van Garderen said, "I've worked hard for the road race – that was part of the reason I gave up my time trial spot. When you do the time trial, sometimes you get to the end and mentally unwind and it's hard to refocus for the road race. You can't put that same energy into the road race. I'm trying to do it differently.
"Realistically, I don't think I have the same chance of getting a medal the way Taylor [Phinney] does for a one-day time trial. I thought, OK, I'll put everything into the road race and the team time trial."
Van Garderen faced some stiff competition to earn selection for the BMC team time trial squad, with even Italian time trial champion Marco Pinotti left out, but he is confident he has the form and a plan to help overcome the devastating two-second loss to Omega Pharma-Quickstep in last year's event.
"It still burns," van Garderen said of the loss. Part of the time loss was due to a mistake van Garderen made by pushing too hard on the Cauberg and opening a gap to the rest of the team. "It's about staying calm on the whole course. You have to stay calm on the climb and you have to stay calm in the corners. When you get too nervous, that's when you and mess things up. That's basically what I did last year, I missed it up because I got too nervous."
This year, the team has employed Bobby Julich as an advisor for the team, and they have been working with performance director Dan Healy to come to Sunday's race in top form and as a cohesive unit.
"The big thing is going to be Bobby Julich on the radio, keeping us calm and keeping us together organised, so that we're one unit, one team and so that nobody does anything stupid. I think everyone on the team is on a level playing field. We're all hitting it."
Van Garderen joined the team after racing in the Canadian World Tour events in Montreal and Quebec, and said he hadn't shut down at all since winning the USA Pro Challenge.
"He jumped in and right away his 20min effort was top notch," Taylor Phinney added. Together with Michael Schär, Daniel Oss, Steve Cummings and Manuel Quinziato, the team has been training hard on the course’s lone obstacle, the Serravalle Pistoiese, which comes 7.3km into a 57.2km race.
"We did the climb five times yesterday," Phinney said. "It's early enough that no matter how fast we go we're not going to blow everybody up. Everything we've done this year has been very calculated. That comes from the performance side of things with Julich and Healy. We have a good plan for the first part of the race, and then the second part is about being smart and communicating."
When asked about his chances for the road race, van Garderen said that the USA team is "one of the strongest they've ever assembled".
Like BMC's TTT squad, cohesiveness is one of the aspects to the USA men's road race squad which may help it overcome somewhat inferior numbers.
"We have seven guys, we're two down on some other countries, but we have good climbers, good roulers like Taylor," and Vuelta a España winner Chris Horner, he added. Whether the team will work for Horner or someone else will be decided upon later in the week.
"We have a strong team, hopefully we can work together. Mike Sayers will be directing again. I feel good about my form and the work I've put in, so we should have a good shot. We're not the hot favorites, but we'll have a good shot."
Van Garderen left behind his hometown of Boulder which has been subjected to devastating floods, but luckily he and his wife and child have moved to Aspen, and his town home in downtown Boulder, which he is trying to sell, came through unscathed.
- Article published:
- September 20, 19:30
- Cycling News
Cavendish, Dowsett and Armitstead all feature
Chris Froome will lead a strong men’s road race team for Great Britain at the UCI Road World Championships which take place from September 22-29 in Toscana, Italy.
Froome, winner of the Tour de France in July, will line up in the men’s road race alongside Bradley Wiggins and 2010 road race champion Mark Cavendish. Team Sky provide further strength in depth for the team with Josh Edmondson, Ian Stannard, Geraint Thomas and Jon Tiernan-Locke also selected. BMC’s Steve Cummings rounds out the 8-man team.
Wiggins, who is currently leading the Tour of Britain, will lead the line in the individual time trial which takes place on September 25. The 2012 Tour winner will be joined by Movistar’s Alex Dowsett, who won a time trial stage at the Giro d’Italia earlier this year.
In the women’s road race, Olympic silver medallist Lizzi Armitstead will be joined by two-time junior world champion Lucy Garner, Katie Colclough and Nikki Harris. Former Olympic and worlds medallist Emma Pooley declined her place on the squad to focus on her PhD studies
“We’ve now been able to make our final selections for both the elite men’s and women’s road races, and I’m pleased with the teams we’ve entered. Both Bradley and Alex have shown great time trial form this season and I know both of the guys are up for this competition,” said Dave Brailsford.
“Looking at the men’s road race team, we have real strength and depth in the team, and it’s a real boost for us to have two Tour de France winners in there along with high-calibre support from the likes of Cav, Geraint, Steve and Ian. I’m looking forward to seeing what Lizzie can do out on the Worlds course given her great form at the minute, and I’m confident that Lucy, Katie and Nikki can give her the support she needs.
"We’ve also confirmed the Junior team for the World Championships, and they should do well on the back of their successful season, particularly Tao Geoghegan Hart who has impressed with his results in the Nations Cup. We will be able to confirm the U23 men’s team after the Tour of Britain has finished, but I know the squad are keen to round off a fantastic season for the Yates brothers. Overall, the whole team is really looking forward to getting stuck in to the racing out in Italy, and we’ve got some great opportunities across the board.”
The men’s U23 team has not been named, with British Cycling confirming that the line up will be announced after the Tour of Britain, which concludes on Sunday, in London
Men’s Elite Road Race: Mark Cavendish, Steve Cummings, Josh Edmondson, Chris Froome,Ian Stannard, Geraint Thomas, Jon Tiernan-Locke, Bradley Wiggins
Men’s Elite Time Trial: Alex Dowsett, Bradley Wiggins
Women’s Elite Road Race: Lizzie Armitstead, Katie Colclough, Nikki Harris, Lucy Garner
- Article published:
- September 20, 20:50
- Peter Cossins
NetApp-Endura sprinter inspired by first season in big leagues
Young British riders have been making headlines all week at the Tour of Britain, and as the race heads into its final two days NetApp-Endura sprinter Scott Thwaites is aiming to join them. The 23-year-old Yorkshireman will go into the final two stages of his national tour with his sights set on adding a couple more high finishes to an already impressive tally during what is his first season at the top level.
The former British under-23 and national criterium champion was one of the Endura riders who formed what has been a highly successful union with NetApp at the start of this season. Over the year he has raced in Argentina, China and the USA, as well as all across Europe. Although a big win has so far eluded him, second place on a stage at the Tour of Qinghai Lake and top 10s at the GP Samyn, British road championship and Philly Cycling Classic suggest Thwaites will flourish after a season when his whole outlook on racing has changed.
"The key difference has been the increase in workload," Thwaites told Cyclingnews when reflecting on his year so far. "You've got to step up your training and obviously there's a lot more travel, rather than just travelling around Britain. I've been flying all over the place and that takes its toll. Also, most of the races are up near 200k a day as opposed to the British ones, which are 150 or 160. Everything has stepped up, but if you put the work in you should be able to find your feet pretty quickly."
Thwaites admits he started the year with no aspirations of getting any results. "I think I've got about eight top 10s, which has been a good start," he said, before confessing he isn't exactly sure what kind of rider he is yet.
"Obviously you can be a great sprinter in Britain, as I showed last year when I won quite a lot of races, but when you step up into Europe you're sprinting against Cav and Greipel and Kittel, and you're in a completely different league. I've got to find out what my speciality is and I think I've got to work towards losing a little bit more weight so I can get over more climbs and so that the shorter uphill finishes probably become my speciality," he said.
"I enjoy the Belgian style of racing and the poor weather conditions so I'd look towards becoming a rider who can do well in something like the Tour of Flanders with the short climbs."
The NetApp-Endura rider picks out his ride at the Amstel Gold Race in April as his season's highlight. "Obviously the WorldTour is the level that I want to ride at and getting a taste of it showed me where I am at right now and where I need to be. The crowds were huge and riding next to the world's best was really inspirational," Thwaites said.
Well up among the stage contenders on the first two days of the Tour of Britain into Drumlanrig Castle and Kendal, the Yorkshireman said it's been a hard week, primarily because of the dismal weather. "British roads are also a lot tougher than European roads – they're a lot more grippy, which saps your energy as you're riding along. Sometimes it's hard to adapt back to riding in Britain. But the crowds we've had have made it brilliant to be racing back at home."
His immediate goal is to be as prominent on the race's final two days. "The first two stages really suited me and the lads worked really well for me and gave me a good chance," he said. "I might be able to have a go again on the stage into Guildford, as the slightly uphill finish is more my speciality. We'll probably get behind [Jarc] Blaz on the final day because that is going to be a bit of a quicker sprint."
- Article published:
- September 20, 22:05
- Cycling News
Suffering from knee pain in second half of season
USA Cycling announced today that Shelly Olds, a member of the Team TIBCO trade team, has withdrawn from the UCI Road World Championships to be held in Toscana, Italy due to a knee injury. Olds was slated to take part in the women's road race as part of a seven-woman US squad on Saturday, September 28 and will be replaced by Andrea Dvorak (Exergy TWENTY16).
"This is very disappointing for me, but I have decided not to race Worlds," Olds said. "I have been having serious knee pain for the second half of the season. I continued to race hoping that it would be better, but without having the specific training for Worlds, I would not be able to deliver the effort the race demands.
"I was feeling much better last week, but after Toscana finished it flared up again and I have not been able to train. I am certain that I will not be able to do the proper training to be ready for the road race in less than two weeks, and that is why I have decided not to race. I believe someone else will be able to support the team better than me and I would like to give up my spot."
Dvorak performed an integral role in Mara Abbott's (Exergy TWENTY16) victory at the 2013 Giro Rosa in July and Evelyn Stevens' (Specialized-lululemon) third-place finish at La Route de France in August. Dvorak will make her second appearance in the world championships after competing in the road race at the 2012 Worlds in the Netherlands.
"It is an honor to represent the U.S. in what is one of the most challenging road courses in recent history," Dvorak said. "In particular, I look forward to riding with this talented team that has proven that it is capable of winning the biggest races in the world. I will bring to the team whatever is asked of me to achieve what I hope will be a memorable result."
USA women's world championship team
Road race: Mara Abbott, Andrea Dvorak, Megan Gaurnier, Kristin McGrath, Carmen Small, Evelyn Stevens, Jade Wilcoxson
Time trial: Carmen Small, Evelyn Stevens
- Article published:
- September 21, 01:06
- Cycling News
Spanish squad retains key domestiques
The Spanish Movistar squad had already renewed the contracts of Pablo Lastras, Jose Joaquin Rojas, Beñat Intxausti, Ruben Plaza and the Herrada brothers prior to the start of the Vuelta a España, and today the WorldTour team announced the contract extensions of a pair of domestiques: Imanol Erviti and Iván Gutiérrez.
Both were crucial for team leader Alejandro Valverde's third place general classification result at the Vuelta a España and were part of the squad's roster for the last three editions of the Tour de France.
Erviti, 29, signed for two years with Movistar and 2014 will mark his 10th season in the professional peloton. He's a veteran of 14 Grand Tours and has two Vuelta stage wins (2008, 2010) in his palmares.
Gutiérrez, 34, signed a one-year contract with Movistar and will return in 2014 for his 15th professional season. Gutiérrez is a three-time Spanish time trial champion (2004, 2005, 2007) and has one Spanish road championship (2010) in his palmares. The Spaniard has twice won the general classification of the Eneco Tour (2007-2008) and in 1999 Gutiérrez won the U23 time trial world championship.
- Article published:
- September 21, 02:20
- Cycling News
First pro win for Lotto-Belisol rider
Jens Debusschere (Lotto-Belisol) has won the Kampioenschap van Vlaanderen in a bunch sprint ahead of Baptiste Plackaert (Crelan-Euphony), Michael Van Staeyen (Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise) and Jonathan Cantwell (Saxo-Tinkoff) in Koolscamp, Belgium. After covering nearly 50km in the first hour a break of four riders escaped the Argos-Shimano and Lotto-Belisol lead peloton but never proved to be a real threat. As the inevitable fast finish wound up at the end of 16 laps it was Debusschere who emerged a surprise winner of one of the most sought after pro-kermesse titles on the Belgian calendar.
In chalking up his first ever professional victory, Debusschere joins a prestigious honour roll including cycling royalty such as Marcel Kittel, André Greipel, Johan Museeuw, Patrick Sercu and Eddy Merckx.
"I'm very happy with my first victory as a pro. I had been close a few times, now I finally succeeded,” said Debusschere. “It's very pleasant to win again, it has been a while. The fact that I won a bunch sprint, makes it even more special. I couldn't be happier.
"It was a pretty simple race to control. Argos-Shimano and we [Lotto-Belisol] took the lead of the bunch and kept the leaders within a reasonable distance. On a certain part of the route there was crosswind and then there's always a danger for echelons, so you had to keep in front all the time."
Kenny Dehaes was forced to pass on his mantle as the protected sprinter on the day owing to fatigue following a heavy season that has seen Debusschere's teammate win three races. Nonetheless, it proved to be a successful tactic as Lotto-Belisol took a popular win.
“But for the rest it was pretty easy in the run-up to the sprint. Kenny Dehaes and Jorne Carolus led me to the sprint and as you saw Jonas Van Genechten was my last man," concluded Debusschere.
Argos-Shimano took control coming into three kilometres to go, but with riders reaching the front easily due to the strong headwind a crash followed that held up a number of riders.
"The sprint here needed to be very well organized," third-place-getter Van Staeyen told nieuwsblad.be. "Whoever came too early in the lead, was blown back by the headwind. What was formed in front was a sort of 'scoop' so the chances of a crash just got bigger. This was shown afterwards. I heard the cracking way behind me and then you already know enough."
Four years in the making
Debusschere began his professional career with Omega Pharma-Quick-Step as a stagiaire in 2010 as a 21-year-old and soon signed on as a neo-pro for the following season. In 2012 he joined Lotto-Belisol where he will remain until 2015. Previously, a second place in the Vlaamse Pijl one-day race in 2010 had been Debusschere’s best result, thus the 24-year-old Belgian was understandably happy to take the win.
“When I was standing on the podium I realized what I had achieved. After the finish people shout to you, but then the interviews follow quickly,” explained Debusschere.
“On the podium you have a moment to yourself. It's also nice that this is the Championship of Flanders and you get a jersey at the end. It's a fun extra."
Debusschere badly injured his arm during the Tour de Suisse and it has taken him until almost the end of the season to regain his form. Debusschere now heads to Paris-Tours to close out his season.
- Article published:
- September 21, 03:33
- Cycling News
Irishman heartened by IOC support
Incumbent UCI president Pat McQuaid has continued his campaigning heading into the upcoming UCI presidential elections stating that he can help reunify cycling if re-elected. One of the main points raised by McQuaid's detractors is that of alleged poor handling of doping cases, including but not limited to, the fallout after the Armstrong affair and the follow on from his predecessor in Hein Verbruggen.
Conversely, McQuaid believes the lessons he has learnt from such sagas are exactly what qualify him to help instigate change over the following four years should he be re-elected.
"If I get re-elected I know I can reunify cycling fairly easily," McQuaid told The Telegraph. "Brian says change means change from the past, in other words from McQuaid and Verbruggen and change from all the baggage that McQuaid and Verbruggen have.
"I have learned from that and from any mistakes I've made in relation to that. But I do feel that I need another four years to complete the cultural change of doping."
McQuaid also claimed to have received a boost of support from colleagues at the recent International Olympic Committee (IOC) congress in Buenos Aires, asserting that they knew "what was going on" in the quest to oust him.
"I found it quite heartening; I got a lot of support from my IOC colleagues. A large number of them came up to me and knew what was going on,” explained McQuaid. "Because they're experienced in sports politics they could see what was happening in the background and they could read between the lines in what they read.
"They could see what was going on and they told me that and they wished me the best of luck and told me to keep fighting and to stay with it.
"Every one of them told me that they hoped I would endure and be re-elected."