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First Edition Cycling News, Sunday, May 19, 2013

Date published:
May 19, 2013, 1:00 BST
  • Nibali fends off cold to tighten hold on Giro d’Italia

    Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) in pink and on the attack
    Article published:
    May 18, 2013, 19:27 BST
    By:
    Barry Ryan

    Sicilian extends lead over Evans and Uran

    A stiff acceleration in the steep final two kilometres of the Jafferau saw Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) shed Cadel Evans (BMC) and Rigoberto Uran (Sky) on stage 14 of the Giro d’Italia and extend his lead at the head of the general classification to 1:26.

    Following on from the abandons of Bradley Wiggins and Ryder Hesjedal on Friday morning, Nibali’s grip on the maglia rosa has tightened to such an extent that – even with a week of racing still to go – the Italian press is already wondering whether the Sicilian’s greatest obstacle might prove to be the weather conditions rather than his immediate rivals.

    Snow at Sestrieres meant that stage 14’s penultimate climb was removed from the parcours but the peloton still had to race most of the day in torrential rain and then faced plummeting temperatures on the final haul from Bardonecchia up the Jafferau.

    “We were missing the climb of Sestriere but it was still really hard because when it’s that cold, your legs suffer just as much and there were still big gaps in the end,” Nibali said. “If there’s something I’m worried about in the days to come, it’s the weather, because if it stays this cold, it’s just going to get harder and harder.”

    In similarly miserable conditions during the interrupted Milan-San Remo in March, a shivering Nibali was forced to abandon the race shortly after the re-start and he admitted that he had kept his Primavera experience in mind on Saturday afternoon.

    “The difference at San Remo was that we actually raced in the snow during the first part of the race, which made it more difficult. It was a crazy day,” Nibali said. “Luckily it wasn’t as bad as that today but I was still careful to protect myself on the clothing side of things...

  • Santambrogio a man rediscovered at Bardonecchia

    Mauro Santambrogio on the podium
    Article published:
    May 18, 2013, 20:39 BST
    By:
    Barry Ryan

    Italian emerges to win stage and move up to fourth at Giro d'Italia

    As Mauro Santambrogio emerged from the gloom atop the Jafferau to win stage 14 of the Giro d'Italia, his fluorescent yellow Vini Fantini-Selle Italia kit jarred with his surrounds just as his string of results through the opening months of the season has jarred with the tenor of his career to date.

    A valued gregario during his time at Lampre and BMC, Santambrogio has been a man transfigured since he joined Vini Fantini-Selle Italia during the off-season, claiming victory at the GP Larciano and competing on a new level on the climbs at Tirreno-Adriatico and the Giro del Trentino.

    On the steep road out of Bardonecchia on Saturday afternoon, the 28-year-old showed his new confidence by having teammate Danilo Di Luca set the tempo at the front of the group of favourites and then by matching maglia rosa Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) when he accelerated with two kilometres to go.

    Once it became apparent that Santambrogio had Nibali's measure, it was inevitable how the spoils would be divided - stage honours for the former and a tightened grip on the pink jersey for the latter.

    After a lengthy delay descending from the summit after the podium ceremony and doping control, Santambrogio explained his transformation to reporters in his post-race press conference. A domestique at BMC, Santambrogio said that he has simply risen to the challenge of leadership at Vini Fantini.

    "I'm really happy to have found a Mauro who had practically disappeared in the last few years and this is thanks to Luca Scinto and Angelo Citracca, who showed such belief in me by signing me as leader," Santambrogio said. "I don't know what the next aims for Mauro will be. I've found myself again and now we'll see from here.

    "It was my choice to pick a...

  • Jafferau climb reveals the madness and bravery of the Giro d'Italia

    Cadel Evans (BMC) suffers in the rain
    Article published:
    May 18, 2013, 21:15 BST
    By:
    Stephen Farrand

    Riders suffer but finish stage despite the cold and snow

    It is often difficult to understand the suffering riders go through during a Grand Tour but their pain-afflicted faces as they crossed the finish line at the end of the Giro d'Italia stage 14 on the Jafferau climb revealed the madness and bravery of professional cycling in the same instant.

    For Mauro Santambrogio (Vini Fantini-Selle Italia) and Vincenzo Nibali (Astana), the joy of victory and the satisfaction of having gained time on their rivals no doubt eased the pain of the day. For everyone else, the pain and suffering seemed to increase as soon as they crossed the line.

    With snow falling and temperatures close to zero at the 1908m high finish, soigneurs and team helpers waited just past the line, with warm clothes, warm drinks, encouragement and congratulation. The media also waited, in the hope of capturing riders' thoughts on the stage, but most were simply too cold and tired to talk.

    Santambrogio and Nibali were quickly taken into a tent reserved for the riders who go onto the podium. Everyone else had to wrap up quickly and then head further up the mountain to a hotel where each team had a room reserved for the riders to shower.

    Cadel Evans (BMC) came to a stop just after the finish line after giving his all to limit his losses to Nibali to 33 seconds. His orange sunglass lenses were steamed up and he had gone so deep that he didn't seem to know where he was. His soigneur quickly wrapped a towel around his neck, freed him from the media scrum and sent him to the hotel.

    Michele Scarponi (Lampre-Merida) lost 1:24 and slipped to fifth overall at 3:53. He was so cold that he could not talk or even pull on a jacket and gloves without help. His hands were frozen and he tried to warm them by stretching them wide open, grimacing in pain. A soigneur poured arm water on them and even put on his own...

  • Perfect attendance for McCartney at Tour of California

    Jason McCartney (Bissell) was the last one left out of the break.
    Article published:
    May 18, 2013, 22:11 BST
    By:
    Pat Malach

    Bissell rider competing in his eighth edition of the race

    When Bissell Pro Cycling's Jason McCartney took the start line in Escondido for stage 1 of the Amgen Tour of California on May 12, he joined a very exclusive list of riders who have competed in all eight editions of the US stage race. But 2013 will be the first year McCartney is riding California for a Continental-ranked team.

    McCartney, 37, started his pro career on US domestic teams, riding for Nutra Fig and Jelly Belly through 2002. He signed with HealthNet-Maxxis in 2003, and his stage win at the 2004 Tour de Georgia netted an offer from the ProTour Discovery Channel team in 2005. He rode with Discovery for three years and then signed with Bjarne Riis' Danish CSC team for another three years. He moved over to RadioShack for the 2010 and 2011 seasons and then UnitedHealthcare in 2012. He signed with Bissell in the offseason.

    "I'm just happy Bissell gave me the opportunity to keep racing," McCartney said before the race rolled out of Escondido last Sunday. "I had a little bit of a rough spot last year. I had some tooth problems, and so my form wasn't great until the end of the year when I won a stage in Portugal. But it's great to be on this team and be here and be around this kind of excitement, this new blood that is all excited about wanting to go to the ProTour and the Tour and all this stuff."

    McCartney, who has ridden five Grand Tours during his career, finished third overall here in 2007 while riding with the Discovery Channel team, his best overall placing in California. He followed that result with a stage win at the Vuelta a Espana later that same year.

    McCartney got off to a rough start during stage 1 of this year's California race, finishing nearly 20 minutes down in a laughing group that also included former World Champion Thor Hushovd (BMC), 2011 Paris-Roubaix...

  • Video: Savio on Androni, Nibali and Evans

    Team Androni Giocattoli at the start
    Article published:
    May 19, 2013, 0:25 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Italian proud of his team's breakaways in Giro d'Italia

    Gianni Savio is proud of his small Androni Giacattoli-Venezuela team, noting that it has “about 1000 kilometers of breakaways” so far in this year's Giro d'Italia. The veteran Italian team manger  sees Vincenzo Nibali holding on to win the race.

    In an exclusive video interview with Cyclingnews, Savio said that he loves the Giro, and “our team Androni Venezuela is always present in all breakaways so we attack, and I think this is our philosophy.”  The team's further goals at the race are “to win one stage and to have our leader Franco Pellizotti in the top ten.”

    Nibali will win “because he's a strong rider and was on the podium of other big races,” he said. But he had special praise for second ranked Cadel Evans (BMC). “He is a champion but he has the character similar to the character that I ask of my riders.” Savio said the Australian is “very good, a very good rider.”

  • Van Garderen: I finally showed I have the full package

    Tejay van Garderen (BMC) pulled on the yellow jersey after his attentive ride in the final 50km of Stage 5
    Article published:
    May 19, 2013, 1:14 BST
    By:
    Laura Weislo

    BMC rider on the cusp of Tour of California win

    Tejay van Garderen (BMC) has been so close to winning so many stage races, from the USA Pro Cycling Challenge, the Critérium du Dauphiné and the Critérium International, but since moving into the WorldTour the 24-year-old hasn't stood on the top step of a final podium in a multi-day event. That all stands to change when the 2013 Tour of California finishes in Santa Rosa, barring incident.

    "I'm thrilled. I'm still soaking it in," van Garderen said on the eve of the final stage.

    After taking out the win in the stage 6 time trial, and defending his 1:47 lead on Saxo-Tinkoff's Michael Rogers on Mt. Diablo, he was quick to thank his team for showing its strength on the day.

    "They went above and beyond expectations today," he said, adding that trusting in his team and showing patience was key to his success.

    "Tomorrow, barring incident, will be really proud to pull on the final yellow jersey. I think I've finally showed I have the full package. To win you need strength, patience and maturity," he said.

    "In the past had a habit of blowing myself up. Now, I have more patience. There was also no reason to panic when I have a solid gap and a strong team. There wasn't any reason to attack, I just had to keep my cool.

    Patience came into play when Francisco Mancebo (5 Hour Energy) launched a vicious attack with just over 5km to go on the climb. In previous years, that might have sparked a panicked reaction, but with five teammates leading him up the climb, van Garderen knew he was safe.

    "We were more worried about him going in an early breakaway. Sometimes he can go for a long bomb and pull it off. I wasn't too worried when he went on the climb, because we had a lot of manpower...

  • Evans hopes worst is behind him after tough stage to Bardonecchia

    Cadel Evans (BMC) suffers in the rain
    Article published:
    May 19, 2013, 2:29 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Nibali gains 45 seconds, Uran three

    Cadel Evans (BMC) remained upbeat despite conceding 45 seconds to overall leader Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) at the Giro d'Italia on Saturday.

    The Australian went into the Giro's 14th stage 41 seconds in arrears of Nibali but the tough conditions of the last few days along with a late surge from the maglia rosa contributed in Evans losing more time than he would have hoped on his rival.

    Nibali attacked with two kilometres remaining on the Jafferau, with the stage's planned previous climb to Sestriere removed by race organisers due to the appalling weather conditions. The stage winner Mauro Santambrogio (Vini Fantini-Selle Italia), a former teammate of Evans, was the only one who could go with Nibali who allowed himself to be paced up to the welcome finish knowing a handy 12-second time bonus was in the offing for his second place. Evans crossed the finish line in 6th place

    "It was not my best day," Evans said on the team website. "Conceding time to the other GC contenders is certainly not what I wanted. I just couldn't react when the attack from Nibali came. I think that has something to do with the last couple of days. I hope this is my worst day in the mountains; otherwise to fight for the win will be difficult."

    Third place overall, Rigoberto Uran (Sky) also gained three seconds on Evans courtesy of this fifth placing on the stage.

    The first major climb of the day, the Sestriere may have been removed but difficulties remained for the peloton with low visability and cold, wet conditions throughout the stage.

    "For everyone, it was a really hard day," Evans said. "But everybody on the team, from mechanics and staff to the riders – put in everything. You can't ask anything more than that."

    Evans heads into Sunday's Stage 15 second overall, 1:26 down on Nibali, with Uran 1:20...

  • Video: Hansen on the slog and triumph of the Giro d'Italia

    Adam Hansen holds up the Australian flag
    Article published:
    May 19, 2013, 3:53 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Stage winner riding his fifth Grand Tour in a row

    Adam Hansen (Lotto Belisol) is riding his twelfth Grand Tour and fifth in a row at the Giro d'Italia. The 32-year-old capped off the opening week of racing with his first-ever stage win in a three-week epic and in this exclusive video talks to Cyclingnews about his triumph.

    "I like racing every day," he says. "It seems a lot of people get tired and I sort of perform better in the second and third week so it's well-suited for me."

    The Giro was the first Grand Tour that Hansen tackled back in 2007 with T-Mobile and so, it's a race that holds special significance to the Australian.

    Find out more by clicking on the video below.