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First Edition Cycling News, Saturday, September 7, 2013

Date published:
September 07, 2013, 1:00 BST
  • Roche wants Vuelta podium finish in Madrid

    Nicolas Roche (Saxo-Tinkoff) showed strong form in the opening 10 stages.
    Article published:
    September 06, 2013, 15:50 BST
    Alasdair Fotheringham

    Irishman lying second overall as Vuelta hits Pyrenees

    As the Pyrenees approach, Nicolas Roche (Saxo-Tinkoff) is lying second overall in the Vuelta a España, after a superb first 13 stages in which he has led the race, won a stage and is currently in a pole position to attack race leader Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) in the upcoming mountain stages.

    "I think any one of them or the three overall could be decisive," Roche told Cyclingnews at the start of stage 14. "The weather, which could be decisive, is another important factor. So it's about taking things day by day, and fingers crossed it all works out."

    "I do know the climbs that are coming up, not very well, but I know them because we've been training and racing up there before."

    He refuses to overestimate his chances, saying "I'm staying pretty focussed, because if you remember two or three years ago I was lying fourth overall [2010] in the Vuelta and then dropped to sixth in the last four days."

    "Then in last year in the Tour, I was eighth 'til late and then dropped down to 12th and then in the Vuelta [2012] I was seventh 'til a few days to go and dropped down to 12th later on."

    "If you look at the GCs I've always been sixth or seventh and then dropped back down a bit, so I've just got to stay focussed."

    Roche, though, admits that the Vuelta has been "amazing". He calculated that he's won 18 different jerseys (for leading different classifications) in the first fortnight of the race, but he wants to keep his feet on the ground.

    "It's more than I could ever think of getting, I've had my first Grand Tour stage win and led the race too. But for sure when I get home they'll be saying 'hey Nico you did this and Nico that.' But for the moment, I'm so nervous and focussed the pleasure isn't there yet."

  • Abbott, Tamayo and Powers to headline new UnitedHealthcare women's team

    Back on the road for track cyclist and U.S. Olympian Lauren Tamayo placing 8th.
    Article published:
    September 06, 2013, 17:05 BST
    Laura Weislo

    First seven riders announced are mix of youth and experience

    The Momentum Sports Group announced today the first seven riders who will be part of its new UnitedHealthcare women's squad for 2014, and heading up the list is Giro Rosa champion Mara Abbott, Olympic team pursuit silver medalist Lauren Tamayo, and US criterium champion Alison Powers.

    The trio will be joined by former New Zealand national champion Rushlee Buchanan and young riders Ruth Winder, Alexis Ryan and Coryn Rivera.

    General manager Mike Tamayo is pleased with the mix of experience and young talent he's assembled so far, and emphasized that one of the goals is to put together a team to help Abbott defend her title in the women's Giro.

    "Mara has won the Giro twice, and we're planning on taking her back to defend that. We'll build a team around her to win the Giro. Mara is one of the best climbers in the world, and we will do our best to put her into a position to show that again."

    Although Abbott is one of the most talented cyclists in the world, she has struggled at times to maintain her motivation in the sport, briefly retiring after her first Giro title before returning to the sport last year, but Tamayo is confident he can give her a program in which she can thrive.

    "Mara is a free spirit, she's a lot like Kiel Reijnen, they're both very similar. They both need to have a different mentality, We know how to work with that already - we'll allow her to hold onto her personality, and let her decide how she wants to train, what she wants to focus on, and put her into a position where she can capitalize on her climbing ability. We're not going to force her to go to a one-day classic she doesn't want to do, or do some...

  • Barguil takes breakthrough win in Vuelta a España

    Warren Barguil (Argos-Shimano)
    Article published:
    September 06, 2013, 18:45 BST
    Alasdair Fotheringham

    Victory completes clean sweep of Grand Tour stage victories for Argos-Shimano

    Warren Barguil (Argos-Shimano) celebrated a breakthrough victory in the Vuelta a España on Friday, sheering away from the main pack with two kilometres to go - a victory that means the former Tour de L’Avenir winner has now hit the limelight on the professional stage, and gives French cycling fans every reason to hope for even greater success in the future.

    Aged just 21, what Barguil achieved cannot be underestimated. In a breakaway packed with seasoned, doughty pros of the calibre of Michele Scarponi (Lampre) and Rinaldo Nocentini (Ag2R), Barguil managed to outwit them all. On top of that, rather than curl up and quit after a big crash last Monday en route to Sierra Nevada, Barguil bounced back to take a Grand Tour victory in his first season as a pro.

    “My sports director kept on telling me, ‘the Vuelta’s not over, it’s not over’ and he was right,” Barguil recognised with a smile in his winner’s press conference, held in - of all places - the upper rooms of a castle near the finish.

    The son of a very successful Breton amateur, Barguil dedicated the win to his grandfather, who died recently, pointing towards the sky as he crossed the line seven seconds ahead of Nocentini, who pounded the handlebars in frustration at losing to the rookie pro.

    “I’m very happy because after the big crash [in the neutralised section on stage nine] I felt very disappointed. But we haven’t got a GC leader here and our objective was always to get into breaks,” Barguil said.

    “I was lucky, in a sense, because there was only one rider from each team in the break. That meant they all wore each other out and I only had to wait until they were tired. But I didn’t want to take...

  • Lack of wind limits opportunities for Weening

    Pieter Weening (Orica - GreenEDGE)
    Article published:
    September 06, 2013, 19:28 BST
    Pat Malach

    Dutchman builds for WorldTour races at Tour of Alberta

    With the much-anticipated crosswinds failing to materialize so far at the Tour of Alberta, Orica-GreenEdge's Peter Weening has had to look elsewhere for success at the six-day UCI 2.1 Canadian race.

    The Dutch winner of this year's Tour of Poland said before the stage race started that he was hoping the winds that blow across the southern Alberta plains would split the peloton and give the other general classification riders a chance to unseat race leader Peter Sagan (Cannondale).

    “If there are winds, OK, then there are winds,” Weening told Cyclingnews before the start of stage 2 in Devon. “But if it stays like this, you know, we have a sprinter on the team so we can also go for bunch sprints.”

    Despite the lack of strong cross winds on Thursday, Silvan Dillier (BMC) and Serghei Tvetcov (Jelly Belly) sneaked off the front after the second intermediate sprint and stayed away to the finish in Red Deer, where Dillier took the two-up sprint. Weening's Lithuanian teammate, Aidis Kroupis, finished second to Sagan in the bunch sprint to take fourth.

    Weening also tried to gain a little ground on Sagan during the stage. With the group still together heading into the second intermediate sprint of the day, Weening hit out for it and cut two seconds off his time by finishing second. It played out pretty much how he said it would before the stage started.

    “If the opportunity is there, yes,” Weening said when asked if he would try for the bonus sprints. “But you know if you go for intermediate time bonuses it means that you have to be in the early breakaways, and I don't think they let guys go from the GC. That's going to be pretty hard, so I don't think I will spend much...

  • UCI declines requests for CAS arbitration on McQuaid nomination

    UCI President Pat McQuaid was on hand to see the riders off
    Article published:
    September 06, 2013, 19:30 BST
    Cycling News

    UCI congress to decide on election rule language

    The UCI announced today that its Executive Board has unanimously decided to decline a request by USA Cycling and five other federations to allow the Court of Arbitration for Sport to rule on which federation must submit the nomination of an individual for its presidential election.

    "The UCI Executive Board, having considered and recognised the UCI Constitution and the Presidential nominations properly submitted under it, has ruled unanimously that it was for the Congress, as the highest authority of the UCI – rather than CAS – to consider all aspects related to the elections," the press release stated.

    The nomination of current UCI president Pat McQuaid by Morocco and Thailand came as a result of honorary memberships in those federations, and it has come under question as to whether those nods are legal under the specific language of Article 51.1 of the UCI Constitution, which specifies only that the nomination must come from "the federation of the candidate".

    Earlier this week, USA Cycling, the Russian Cycling Federation, the Finnish Cycling Union, and the federations of Algeria, Canada and later Luxembourg supported the CAS appeal.

    USA Cycling CEO Steve Johnson, who is also one of nine voting delegates from the Americas in the presidential election, said the language of article 51.1 has been consistently interpreted to refer to the home federation of the candidate, which in McQuaid's case could be Ireland, his native country, or Switzerland, the country in which he resides, but that an impartial ruling on the matter was necessary to ensure a "fair, open and legitimate...

  • Stage 13 unlucky for Valverde in Vuelta a España

    Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) in the white combination classification jersey.
    Article published:
    September 06, 2013, 20:15 BST
    Alasdair Fotheringham

    Movistar leader struck by spectator, loses valuable teammate

    Alejandro Valverde had a memorable day on stage 13 of the Vuelta a España, but for the wrong reasons after the Movistar leader had a mechanical incident and then a fan’s arm caught him in the face. In the end, he retained his third place overall, but he will have to defend it without the services of veteran Pablo Lastras.

    Lastras, a former Vuelta leader and stage winner in all three Grand Tours, crashed out with a broken collarbone.

    "It was all going fine for us until Pablo fell off, then my bike struck something and my back wheel broke," Valverde said. "I had to ride for 30 kilometres on a teammate’s bike" - Jose Iván Guttierez - "and that was really tough going because his saddle position is very different to mine."

    To add to his woes, "a spectator thwacked me in the face on the climb up the Rat Penat. I was OK, but this wasn’t a great day."

    Looking ahead at the stages in the Pyrenees, Valverde gave them all equal importance in terms of hte race’s overall outcome.

    "Wherever I can be up there, I will," he promised - although with victories in the Collado de la Gallina in the Vuelta last year and at Peyragudes in the Tour in 2012, there is no doubt he will be one of the favourites.

    Valverde was not the only rider to have problems, as points leader Dani Moreno (Katusha) and teammate Angel Vicioso both went down when the road narrowed suddenly. "I hurt my thigh a bit, but I’m ok," Moreno, tenth overall, told Spanish television. "At least I could get back on and didn’t lose any more time."

  • Eurobike 2013: New Rapha Cyclo-cross clothing

    Rapha Cross Scarf
    Article published:
    September 06, 2013, 20:40 BST
    Cycling News

    Pro team style trickles down into on- and off-bike clothing

    This article first appeared on Bikeradar.

    The pink, red, baby blue, white and black design of the Rapha-Focus pro cyclo-cross team has made its way into a number of new pieces from Rapha for the 2013-14 cyclo-cross season. New for this fall are a few on-the-bike ’cross items — jerseys, bib shorts and socks — plus a deeper collection of off-the-bike wear, such as jackets, winter hats, scarves, umbrellas, belts and more.

    The Transfer Jacket popped up last season in Rapha's City line, and now it's available in the ’cross colors as well. Using Primaloft for the main body with thermal Roubaix sides, the Transfer Jacket comes in XS-XXL for $295/£190.

    For riding, there is a long sleeve Sportwool jersey in plain colors and the team style for $210/£140. It comes with a kit bag. Items like the Pro Team jersey and bib shorts carry over from last year.

    Quite literally weaving the Rapha-Focus colors into casual clothing, Rapha has a new woven belt and a scarf. Other ’cross items includes a winter hat, a drawstring hat, a T-shirt, socks, and a riding cap.

  • Season over for Gerrans due to hip fracture

    Simon Gerrans (Orica-GreenEdge) took over yellow after stage 4
    Article published:
    September 07, 2013, 0:05 BST
    Cycling News

    Crash occurred on third stage of Vuelta

    Australia's hopes for the UCI Road World Championships later this month have been dealt a blow with Simon Gerrans (Orica GreenEdge) diagnosed with a hip fracture caused by a crash on Stage 3 of the Vuelta a Espana.

    Increasingly uncomfortable and in pain, Gerrans was formally diagnosed with his injury following stage 13.

    "I've been in a quite a bit of pain since my crash on stage three but was hoping it wasn't too serious so that I could stay in the Vuelta and prepare for the World Championships," Gerrans explained. "The pain just got worse and worse, and today we decided to have it scanned. That's when we learned about the fracture."

    Gerrans had been named as part of the long list for the worlds with the Vuelta forming part of his final preparations for the event in Florence.

    "I've had a feeling something wasn't right over the last few days," Gerrans continued. "This obviously means that my season is over because an injury like this needs time to heal. I was really aiming to finish the year off with some good results, but with this happening, I need to pack it in for 2013."

    Gerrans has once again proved to be one of Orica GreenEdge's best performers in 2013, with the 33-year-old claiming the team's first-ever stage victory at the Tour de France, along with other stage wins at the Tour Down Under, Volta a Catalunya and Vuelta al Pais Vasco. He also made it to the podium in Amstel Gold Race for the second time in his career.

    "I'm obviously really disappointed, but I have a lot of good memories from one my best seasons to date," Gerrans added. "I'm sort of lucky that I can still recover fully in time to come back strong next year. This season has been great for me and the team. I look...