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First Edition Cycling News, Sunday, November 17, 2013

Date published:
November 17, 2013, 0:00 GMT
  • CN Reader Poll: Vote for Best Team Bike and win!

    Peter Sagan's Cannondale SuperSix with Hulk graphics
    Article published:
    November 15, 2013, 21:38 GMT
    James Huang/BikeRadar

    Pick 2013's best pro team bike and win a Cervelo

    Pro riders may spend all season suffering like mad but they also get to ride some of the finest bikes in the world. Which of the following is your favorite? Pick one, enter your vote along with the other categories in our 2013 Cyclingnews Reader Poll and be entered to win Dan Martin's Cervelo.

    Powerhouse sprinter Marcel Kittel (Argos-Shimano) took home the glory four times during this year's Tour de France on a new Felt F1 FRD FRD flagship, built with a special advanced carbon composite material from Swedish outfit oXeon. Dressed up in a Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 group and deep-section carbon wheels – plus a fetching neon green-accented paint scheme – Kittel's Felt is ready to fly.

    Belkin riders were often seen this past season on the new Giant Propel Advanced SL aero road bike, complete with a sleek wind tunnel-tested shape and cleverly hidden rim brakes to help cut through the wind. Giant was slow to the aero road bike game but has benefited from the wait, even using a motorized mannequin during the development process to help produce real-world data.

    Cadel Evans debuted a new BMC SLR01 Team Machine this season, which cleaved more than 100g from his previous version while also boasting improved pedaling efficiency and comfort. What hasn't changed, however, is the frame's distinct profile and uniquely kinked fork and seat stays. Even without the big logo on the down tube, this machine's low-slung look is hard to miss.

    Few riders made a bigger...

  • Two more neo-pros for Team Saxo Bank

    The new Saxo Bank Tinkoff team kit
    Article published:
    November 16, 2013, 8:11 GMT
    Cycling News

    Poljanski, Kolar sign with Riis

    Team Saxo Bank today announced the signing of two neo-pros for its 2014 roster: Pawel Poljanski of Poland and Slovak Michael Kolar join fellow newcomer Jesper Hansen on the Danish squad.

    Poljanski, 23, the 2012 U23 national champion, rode as a trainee with the team this year, while Kolar, 20, comes from the Ducla Trencin-Trek team after scoring four victories this season.

    "We believe both Pawel and Michael have the potential to become great bike riders, and by adding them we now have a solid and interesting group of talents, both when it comes to one day races and stage races and skills in all terrains," team owner Bjarne Riis said.

    "As a stagiaire Pawel has shown he is a versatile rider who can climb. He has done some great races for the team and on top of that he had some fantastic results in the testing we did with him. So we feel he deserved a contract for the years to come."

    "Michael has not yet made a name for himself in cycling, but he certainly has the potential to do so, if he can continue his development. He is still very young, but he is extremely fast and possesses the skills to become a great sprinter."

    The Danish-based team will be known as Saxo Bank in 2014 after Tinkoff Credit Systems opted to end its sponsorship. However negotiations are apparently ongoing with Russian businessman Oleg Tinkov for the sale of the team, meaning the Tinkoff could return as a sponsor.    

  • Cancellara’s Hour Record attempt on track for 2014

    Fabian Cancellara (RadioShack Leopard) on his way to victory in the time trial
    Article published:
    November 16, 2013, 10:20 GMT
    Stephen Farrand

    Trek team and Guercilena working on the details

    Fabian Cancellara could attempt to break the hour record in 2014; reviving interest in one of cycling’s most prestigious but most difficult record.

    The four-time world time trial champion hinted he would attempt the hour record during the summer and according to Gazzetta dello Sport, Cancellara will sit down with team manager and personal coach Luca Guercilena next week at the first Trek team get together in Belgium to study the details of the attempt.

    Ondrej Sosenka currently holds the official hour record after covering a distance of 49.700km in Moscow in 2005. Sosenka’s career ended when he tested positive for methamphetamine at the Czech time trial championships three years later.

    Cancellara attempt would bring back considerable prestige to cycling’s most prestigious record.

    It has lost much of its lustre since the UCI opted to ban tri-bars and re-set the record to Eddy Merckx’s 49.431km set in 1972. That decision saw Chris Boardman’s 56.375km on the since outlawed “Superman” position from Manchester in 1996 downgraded to the status of “Best Human Effort,” and the previous bests set by Francesco Moser (1984), Graeme Obree (1993 and 1994), Miguel Indurain (1994) and Tony Rominger (1994) were also expunged from the record books.

    Boardman brought the curtain down on his professional career in October 2000 by bettering Merckx’s record on a traditional bike in Manchester, clocking 49.441km. Since then the best time trialists and track riders have all opted to forgo the hour record due to fear of failing and lack of sponsorship.

    “First of all we’ll study the equipment with the engineers from Trek, then we’ll decide the right moment to go for it. The ideal...

  • Vegni hints at New York start for the Giro d’Italia

    Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) is crowned the 2013 Giro d'Italia winner
    Article published:
    November 16, 2013, 18:20 GMT
    Stephen Farrand

    RCS Sport's cycling director keen to internationalise the Corsa Rosa

    The Giro d’Italia could start in Sweden, Austria or even New York in years to come as the Italian Grand Tour continues to develop and become more international.

    Mauro Vegni, the technical director of cycling at RCS Sport, has revealed he is already working on the route of the 2017 edition of the Giro d’Italia –the 100th edition of the race, with 100 cities already keen to secure stage starts and finishes.

    With Michele Acquarone still suspended from his role of Managing Director of RCS Sport due to the ongoing internal investigation into misappropriation of several million Euro, Vegni has stepped up to become more of a figurehead for the Giro d’Italia.

    During a cycling convention organised by Tuttobici, Gruppo Euromobil and Gazzetta dello Sport in the north-east of Italy, Vegni hinted about a possible New York start for the Giro d’Italia. Permission to include a third rest day during the 2014 Giro d'Italia could be replicated in the future for a transfer from North America to Italy. The organiser of the Tour of Dubai has told Cyclingnews that they are also in talks to host the start of the Giro d'Italia in the Middle East.

    “It’s wrong (for us in Italy) to think of the Giro d’Italia as a local event, it’s an international event that is liked and admired around the world,” Vegni said, according to Tuttobici.

    “Each edition of the Giro is born two years before the date of the race. I’m fascinated by the option of [starting in] New York even if it’s difficult to make it happen.”

    “The interest in the Giro outside of Italy...

  • Caja Rural-RGA completes 2014 team roster with 18 riders

    The Caja Rural team is presented to the crowd.
    Article published:
    November 16, 2013, 19:50 GMT
    Alasdair Fotheringham

    Spain’s second biggest team hoping for Giro d’Italia invitation

    Spanish Professional Continental squad Caja Rural-RGA has completed its 18-rider team roster for 2014, the website reported Saturday, meaning there is no place for any of the Euskaltel-Euskadi riders currently looking for a team or for ex-Belkin rider Luís León Sánchez.

    According to biciciclismo Caja Rural-RGA’s budget for 2014 did not permit any more signings, even if Sánchez's track record made him a very attractive proposition to the Spanish squad and at one point a deal seemed close.

    Others riders rumoured to be possible signings include Chris Horner (RadioShack) and Samuel Sánchez (Euskaltel-Euskadi). Both remain without contracts for 2014.

    Instead, the team will once more have breakaway specialist Amets Txurruka, former Giro podium finisher David Arroyo and mountain climbers like 2012 Vuelta stage winner Antonio Piedra, all of whom remain with the squad, as their highest-profile names.

    New signings include three riders from WorldTour team and several young rider. These are Angel Madrazo (Movistar), Davide Vigano (Lampre-Merida), Peilo Bilbao (Euskaltel-Euskadi) Heiner Parra (4-72 Colombia), Lluis Mas (Burgos-BH ) and amateur riders Fernando Grijalva and Antonio Molina.

    Despite not signing a high-profile rider for 2014, Caja Rural-RGA hopes to raise the bar in other ways in 2014 by targeting a wild card invitation to the Giro d’Italia as well as riding the Vuelta a España on home roads.

    Arroyo’s presence in the team could help Caja Rural gain entry to the Giro d’Italia. He finished a surprise second overall in the 2010 Giro d’Italia.

    The team’s first race of the 2014 season will...

  • Atapuma looks forward to WorldTour debut at BMC next season

    Darwin Atapuma (Colombia) got away on the final climb and held off Riblon to win stage 6
    Article published:
    November 16, 2013, 22:00 GMT
    Cycling News

    Credits Team Colombia for jump to sport's highest level

    After spending five seasons on Colombian squads, Darwin Atapuma is poised to make his WorldTour debut in 2014 with BMC. The 25-year-old Colombian made great progress in the 2012 and 2013 seasons with the Pro Continental Team Colombia outfit, highlighted by a stage victory in the Giro del Trentino last year and a stage win at the WorldTour-level Tour of Poland this year, and Atapuma is looking forward to new challenges.

    "It will be a very different experience," said Atapuma. "I'll be part of one of the biggest teams in cycling, and I am looking forward to face such a challenge. On the other hand, I am really sorry to leave a context I have blended in perfectly, with friends and a number of people who have been huge for me in this couple of years. Without them, I would not have made it to the WorldTour.

    "I will always be grateful to Claudio Corti for believing in me, and getting me the opportunity to compete on the world stage. Claudio and the whole technical team always made me feel important, giving their best to support us in any aspects, not only in the sport practice: getting used to a different place and lifestyle was not easy, but sports directors, masseurs, mechanics never let us down or made us feel alone."

    With the Colombia team making an Italian base in 2012, Atapuma moved to Italy that January and in April notched the team's first success of the season at the Giro del Trentino's fourth stage, atop the Passo Pordoi. "It was the biggest day in my career," said Atapuma. Barely a month later in the Tour of California's queen stage to Mt. Baldy, Atapuma nearly struck again, but was edged out by Robert Gesink for the...

  • Rebellin extends with CCC Polsat Polkowice for 2014

    Davide Rebellin (CCC Polsat).
    Article published:
    November 17, 2013, 11:25 GMT
    Stephen Farrand

    Former doper set to become the oldest rider in the peloton

    The CCC Polsat Polkowice team has confirmed Davide Rebellin will stay with the team in 2014 after the Polish team secured a Professional Continental licence for the 2014 season.

    The 42 year-old Italian, who tested positive for CERA at the 2008 Olympic road race after winning a silver medal, has signed a one-year contract. Rebellin is set to become the oldest rider in the professional peloton.

    Rebellin remains unrepentant about his doping, his comeback and accusations of doping earlier in his career. He struggled to win races in 2013, taking just a stage at the Szlakiem Grodów Piastowskich race and the overall classification of the Cycling Tour of Sibiu in Romania. However he finished third in the Italian national road race championships and took a string of other placings in Italian and Spanish races, meaning he finished third in the rider rankings of the UCI Europe Tour.

    “I am very pleased that Davide Rebellin will one of riders for yet another season,” directeur sportif Peter Wadecki said on the team’s website.

    I must admit that I was very keen that Davide stayed with us. Last season showed how much he was needed in the team. Despite his age, he is still a classy rider. His great cycling experience, knowledge and commitment in preparing for races proved to be very helpful for all the team.”

    In a recent interview with Cycling Pro magazine, Rebellin spoke of desire to try and win one of the Ardennes classics next season. He was the first rider to complete the hat-trick of Amstel Gold Race, Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège in 2004, but his teams have not been invited to the races since his return from suspension two years ago.

    In spite of his positive test for CERA, Rebellin has never...

  • Wanty-Groupe Gobert confirm Seeldraeyers for 2014

    Kevin Seeldraeyers (Astana) wins stage 1 of the Tour of Austria
    Article published:
    November 17, 2013, 16:10 GMT
    Stephen Farrand

    Belgian Pro Continental team hoping to ride a Grand Tour

    Kevin Seeldraeyers has signed a one-year contract with the Wanty-Gobert Group, with the Belgian Professional Continental squad hoping he will play a leadership role in the team and help secure a wild card invitation to a Grand Tour in 2014. The UCI confirmed the team has been given a Professional Continental licence in early November.

    Seeldraeyers rode for Astana in 2013 and 2012 after four years at Omega Pharma. He won two stages at the Tour of Austria but was not selected for any of the three Grand Tours and subsequently struggled to find a place in a WorldTour team. In 2009 he was the best young rider at the Giro d’Italia.

    "We will build a core around Kevin Seeldraeyers," said team manager Jean–François Bourlart.

    "Laurens De Vreese can be useful in this sense. He is a perfect reinforcement for the finale of the Ardennes Classics. With Kevin Seeldraeyers we’ll have more of a Belgian feel to the team. Nico Sijmens, Björn Leukemans, Veuchelen Frederick and Jan Ghyselinck have already signed up for next season. We have 19 riders under contract so far.”

    The Wanty-Gobert Group team has risen from the ashes of the Accent Jobs-Wanty team, with Vacansoleil-DCM sports director Hilaire Vanderschueren bringing sponsors to the team and Groupe Gobert joining as new co-sponsor.

    The team will hold its first get together next week as they work on plans for the 2014 season.