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First Edition Cycling News, Sunday, May 5, 2013

Date published:
May 05, 2013, 1:00 BST
  • Giro d'Italia 2013: Gavazzi and Millar go down in late crash

    Mattia Gavazzi (Androni Giocattoli)
    Article published:
    May 04, 2013, 18:19 BST
    Cycling News

    Italian misses out a chance to sprint for the pink jersey

    A spate of crashes during the early part of the stage one of the Giro d'Italia on the slick Naples roads hinted to a bigger crash in the hectic, high-speed finale. And it came in the final two kilometres in the final corners of the stage as riders fought for position at over 60km/h, costing Italy's Mattia Gavazzi (Androni Giocattoli) any chance of victory and taking the pink jersey.

    Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) and fellow sprinters Matt Goss (Orica-GreenEdge), Nacer Bouhanni (FDJ), Elia Viviani (Cannondale), Adam Blythe (BMC) and Danilo Hondo and Giacomo Nizzolo (Radioshack-Leopard) were all ahead of the carnage but numerous other riders went into the barriers and the peloton split.

    Upfront Cavendish showed his sprinting skills with a perfectly timed acceleration into the headwind and won the sprint and took what is his third pink jersey.

    Behind the crash, rivals sprinters Gavazzi, Francesco Chicchi (Vini Fantini-Selle Italia), Manuel Belletti (Ag2r-La Mondiale) all crashed or were delayed by the spill. Other riders were affected, with most of the peloton delayed but lucky not to be hurt.

    David Millar (Garmin-Sharp) also went down and crossed the line several minutes after Cavendish. However because the crash happened inside the final three kilometres, everyone affected by the crash was given the same time as Cavendish. Official results showed that all 207 riders finished the stage.

    Millar tweeted quickly after his crash: "I love crashing the first day of a Grand Tour: glut & shoulder bruised to hell, bike broken :( Congrats @MarkCavendish, delivers as usual."

    Gavazzi close to tears

    Gavazzi was gutted not to have contested the sprint...

  • Cavendish claims 37th Grand Tour stage win with late blast in Naples

    Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma QuickStep) in the maglia rosa
    Article published:
    May 04, 2013, 19:11 BST
    Alasdair Fotheringham

    Third spell in Giro d'Italia lead and 11th Giro stage

    A late but perfectly calculated acceleration netted Mark Cavendish everything he could ask for from Naples: an 11th Giro d'Italia stage win, his 37th Grand Tour stage victory and a third spell - after 2009 and 2011 - in the Giro lead.

    Signed by Omega Pharma-Quick Step in 2013 to deliver stage victories in Grand Tours, the Briton had delivered at the earliest possible date, and at the same time is proving that there could be a lot more to come. It was also particularly important for the Belgian squad to succeed with Cavendish after their Classics champion Tom Boonen had crashed out in the Tour of Flanders and could not defend either of his two big Monument wins - Flanders and Roubaix - as a result.

    Achieving all this in one fell swoop at Naples was far harder than it sounds. With a leader's jersey and a stage win on offer at the end of a flat, fast, short opening leg, this was the ideal opportunity for every sprinter in the race to ease the pressure on himself and his team from the word go. And although Omega Pharma-Quick Step, with some limited assistance from Argos-Shimano, had kept the pace high and the breaks under control, a late crash splintered the peloton and left the victory, if reduced to Cavendish and a handful of other riders, potentially looking a lot more open. Open, that is, until Cavendish made a late, perfectly timed acceleration that took him swooping out to the right past his rivals and then a good wheel ahead of closest contender Elia Viviani (Cannondale)

    "The guys [Omega Pharma-Quick Step teammates] did a great job, they dropped me off perfectly in the final kilometre, and I could take it from there," Cavendish said afterwards. "It might look easy, but when there's guys surging all the time and you're sprinting for...

  • Garmin-Sharp adopts plan to leave no "Ryder" behind in Giro d'Italia TTT

    Ryder Hesjedal and Garmin-Sharp presented in Naples for the 2013 Giro d'Italia
    Article published:
    May 04, 2013, 20:15 BST
    Alasdair Fotheringham

    Team hopes for winning result in Sunday's team time trial

    Winners of both the Giro d'Italia and the Tour de France team time trials in the past, Garmin-Sharp has high hopes for the stage 2 Giro d'Italia on Sunday. The squad last won the Giro TTT in 2008 and 2012. Director Sportif Charly Wegelius said that victories in Grand Tour team time trials forms part of the squad's heritage and are part of his own past as a pro, too.

    Wegelius was a winner of the Giro TTT with Liquigas back in 2007, a year before the American squad claimed a breakthrough victory in the same race and put Christian VandeVelde, who forms part of this year's line-up, in the lead.

    The 2013 Giro team time trial is just 17.4 kilometres long. "In terms of the economy of the whole Giro, its value could be overestimated, because if there are time gaps, they'll be relatively small and the mountains will decide the overall classification. But having said that, winning team time trials here is part of the heritage of the squad, the you can see the guys are getting fired up for it days before, it's automatic here," said Wegelius to Cyclingnews,

    "The length and the technicality of it do make a difference, but we've prepared for it, we've looked over it as best we can and we can go into it with some sort of serenity."

    Wegelius agreed that his team has some heavy artillery when it comes to the TTT, but "as my illustrious career shows [not to mention that win in the Giro TTT in 2007], it's not all about brute strength there. The more technical it gets, the ability to use the right gears and technical ability matters as well."

    Sunday's Giro TTT will take place on a fairly low island in the middle of the bay, wind is almost certain to be a big factor. "It's another element, there could well be sand on the road blown in off the beach,...

  • Giro d'Italia tech: Cadel Evans on unnamed BMC road frame

    Cadel Evans's unamed BMC road bike
    Article published:
    May 04, 2013, 21:15 BST
    Sam Dansie

    Cadel Evans riding unnamed road frame

    This article was originally published on Bikeradar

    Swiss bike maker BMC appear to be trialling a new bike at the Giro d'Italia under Cadel Evans which could be unveiled before the Tour de France.

    A blacked out and as yet unnamed frame was on show at the first stage of the Giro d’Italia in Naples today.

    A second bike will also be on in competition use at the Tour of California, starting later this month under Tejay van Garderen, BikeRadar learned.

    A BMC Racing directeur sportif told BikeRadar the frame was extremely light.

    On the trial model, the seat tube joins the BB in a broad, flat rectangular profile, which is a sharp departure from the profile on the current range topping Impec.

    The frame has internal routing for electronic transmission and the rear gear cable, and the seat clamp has been reversed so that the bolt fastens over the top tube.

  • Giro d'Italia: Wurf tries to beat the odds in Naples

    Cameron Wurf spent some time solo off the front
    Article published:
    May 04, 2013, 22:40 BST
    Barry Ryan

    Australian goes on the attack on stage 1

    In a race bereft of possible sprint finishes and on a broiling afternoon on a flat city centre circuit, going on the offensive on stage 1 of the Giro d'Italia was an exercise in tilting at windmills, but Cameron Wurf (Cannondale) gladly took up that quixotic challenge in Naples on Saturday.

    The Australian went on the offensive early in the stage, first as part of a seven-man group and then striking clear alone with over 70 kilometres still to race. With Omega Pharma-QuickStep and Argos-Shimano marshalling affairs behind, Wurf was never allowed to stretch his lead out much beyond the two-minute mark. Even with the odds stacked so heavily against him, Wurf opted to take an optimistic outlook on his chances as he rode through Neapolitan streets eerily bereft of traffic.

    "To be honest, I always give myself a chance of staying clear when I'm in a breakaway because I know how strong the guys are that work and I'm pretty good at calculating my effort," Wurf told Cyclingnews afterwards, his face caked in grime. "At the moment I've got a bit of bronchitis and I'm a little bit sick from Romandie, so I couldn't push as hard as I would have liked and I had to take it steady."

    In spite of his admirable defiance, however, Wurf's dreams of the first maglia rosa of the Giro were always destined to remain just that, and he was swept up by the peloton with a shade under two laps of the finishing circuit still to go and stage honours went to Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma-QuickStep).

    After Cannondale lost its leader Ivan Basso to a perineal abscess two days before the start, morale was low in the camp on the eve of the race but Wurf was determined to put a different slant on the team's...

  • Round one for Wiggins and Nibali in Ischia

     Bradley Wiggins was looked after by his Sky teammates
    Article published:
    May 04, 2013, 23:45 BST
    Barry Ryan

    Astana and Sky go head-to-head in team time trial

    Bradley Wiggins versus Vincenzo Nibali, round one. After 130 kilometres of phoney war through the streets of Naples on Saturday afternoon, the Giro d'Italia caravan heads for Ischia for stage two and the first reference point of the battle for the maglia rosa - a 17.4 kilometre team time trial along winding coastal roads.

    The message from both the Sky and Astana camps on the eve of battle is similarly understated. The Giro is a marathon and not a sprint, and the seconds gained and lost in Ischia ought to count for relatively little by the time the race reaches Brescia in three weeks' time.

    Even so, neither Wiggins nor Nibali will want to concede any quarter at this early juncture. Indeed, even before a pedal was turned in anger at the Giro, the two squads were matching one another in preparing for the event, sending advance parties to the island to film the course.

    "We've haven't been able to see it in person but we've managed to have a look at it on the video, so we've had a chance to study it," Sky's Dario Cataldo told Cyclingnews in Naples. "It's a technical and very hard, so we'll definitely need to take a good look at it the morning of the time trial."

    While Sky press officer Dario Cioni's advance mission to Ischia with a video camera was widely publicised two weeks ago, Astana were also inspecting the course, as manager Beppe Martinelli explained. "We sent a directeur sportif to film it, and we've looked at it quite a bit," said Martinelli, whose impressions were similar to those of Cataldo: "It's certainly a very technical course."

    Both Cataldo and Martinelli were in agreement that the time won and lost on the Ischia course will be minimal - not so much because of the brevity of the stage, but because of scant...

  • Phinney the key to BMC's team time trial effort

    The BMC team presented in Naples
    Article published:
    May 05, 2013, 6:04 BST
    Barry Ryan

    Playing to tune of weakest link crucial, says Peiper

    A team time trial formation is only as strong as its weakest man, so the adage goes, and Taylor Phinney will have to take that maxim to heart as he takes the reins for BMC in the 17.4km test on stage 2 of the Giro d'Italia in Ischia on Sunday.

    Cadel Evans is BMC's team leader and has designs on the final podium in Brescia, but when it comes to Sunday's team time trial, his young American teammate Phinney shoulders the burden of responsibility for dictating the tempo for BMC's effort on the sinuous island course.

    Given the technical nature of the undulating circuit, the gulf between the weakest and strongest links on the team could yawn as wide as the Bay of Naples, but BMC performance director Allan Peiper is confident that Phinney will pitch his effort accordingly.

    "Taylor is a time triallist, he's been a pursuiter so he knows about tempo. So he is actually the key because he could make us or break us, and he is very aware of that," Peiper told Cyclingnews. "Playing to the tune of the weakest links is something that he's going to take into consideration and something that he's very aware of in that sort of captaincy role that he has in team time trials."

    In spite of his tender years, Phinney demonstrated his ability to orchestrate a collective effort in the Tour of Qatar in February, as he helped power BMC to team time trial victory. That was on a pan-flat parcours, on wide desert roads - the narrow coastal road on Ischia will pose a different challenge, and communication on the hoof will be crucial.

    "In a flatter TT you can build in some tactics beforehand - you can say we'll use this guy then, and he'll ride this much - but with this parcours, it's more...

  • Omega Pharma-Quick Step last off in Giro d'Italia team time trial

    Team Sky power to victory in the Giro del Trentino team time trial.
    Article published:
    May 05, 2013, 10:32 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    Colombia first off at 3:40pm local time

    The Giro d'Italia has transferred to the tiny island of Ischia by ferry for the stage two team time trial, with team training on the 17.4km course in the morning before the racing begins in the afternoon.

    It will mean a long day for a short, intense, nervous effort but team time trials are spectacular to watch and teams love to win them.

    Team Sky is the favourite to win but the twisting, up and down course on the narrow roads of Ischia will make bike handling skills and team unity more important than raw power.

    Radioshack-Leopard, Garmin-Sharp, Orica-GreenEdge and even Astana could challenge Team Sky for victory. The time gaps between the overall contenders will also be important. Nibali and Astana might lose just a handful of seconds but Michele Scarponi (Lampre-Merida), Robert Gesink (Blanco) and Samuel Sanchez (Euskaltel-Euskadi) could start the rest of the Giro with a 30-second handicap.

    Colombia first off

    The Colombia team is first off from the port of Ischia at 15:40 local time, with the remaining 22 teams leaving at three-minute intervals. The 17.4km course heads inland briefly and then follows the coast to Forio before a final loop and climb.

    Team Sky starts at 16:01, Vincenzo Nibali's Astana squad start at 16:28, with Radioshack-Leopard at 16:34. Team Sky includes Wiggins, Italian national time trial champion Dario Cataldo, Kanstantsin Siutsou and the USA's Danny Pate –who was Under 23 world time trial champion in 2001.

    According to Italian sports newspaper Tuttosport, Cataldo could lead home Team Sky and so pull on the pink jersey if the British teams manages to gain enough time on Mark Cavendish's Omega Pharma-Quick Step squad and their other...