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First Edition Cycling News, Thursday, April 25, 2013

Date published:
April 25, 2013, 1:00 BST
  • Gilbert, Boonen and Belgians meet to discuss Florence Worlds

    Belgium's Tom Boonen and Philippe Gilbert.
    Article published:
    April 24, 2013, 13:12 BST
    Cycling News

    Team briefing held on the day after Liège-Bastogne-Liège

    After Belgium’s least successful spring campaign since 1945, the great and the good of the Belgian peloton gathered in a conference room in a Novotel near Brussels on Monday – not for a debriefing, but to look forward and discuss their plan of attack for the world championships in Florence in September, where defending champion Philippe Gilbert is expected to lead the team on a demanding circuit.

    Last season, national coach Carlo Bomans struck the right balance on the mixed course at Valkenburg as the Belgian team united behind Gilbert’s successful bid to claim the rainbow jersey. He is looking to replicate that cohesion in Tuscany and he called a meeting with Gilbert, Tom Boonen and eight other possible members of the Belgian squad on the day after Liège-Bastogne-Liège.

    “It was fun – there was a lot of laughter as those guys are all peers,” Bomans told Het Nieuwsblad. “Nobody was obliged to come. There was nothing secret about it. We did the same thing last year – I was just showing them what to expect.”

    Joining Boonen and Gilbert to study a video of the Florence parcours were Sep Vanmarcke, Nick Nuyens, Johan Vansummeren (Garmin-Sharp), Greg Van Avermaet (BMC), Dries Devenyns, Kevin De Weert (Omega Pharma-QuickStep), Maxime Monfort (RadioShack Leopard) and Björn Leukemans (Vacansoleil-DCM).

    On Wednesday, Bomans was due to travel to view the Florence course himself first hand, but no riders will be with him. Boonen had originally been slated to come on the reconnaissance but the Omega Pharma-QuickStep man ruled himself out as he continues to...

  • Giro d’Italia 2013: 10 Day Countdown starts here

    A historic day for Canada as Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Sharp) has won the 2012 Giro d'Italia.
    Article published:
    April 24, 2013, 15:44 BST
    Cycling News

    Follow all the action from Italy on

    There are just 10 days until the start of the first Grand Tour of the season, the 2013 Giro d’Italia. It’s a race at the very heart of cycling’s rich history and has provided many of the sport’s most electrify and dramatic events.

    Over the next 10 days Cyclingnews will countdown to the 2013 Giro d’Italia with up to the minute news, race and stage previews, exclusive interviews, pre-race analysis and press conference coverage.

    This year, Tour de France champion Bradley Wiggins has centred his season on capturing the maglia rosa but he won’t have it all his own way. Italy expects and Vincenzo Nibali will lead a powerful Astana team to the start line in Naples on May 4. It’s certainly not a two man race. Defending champion Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Sharp) returns and with Robert Gesink (Blanco), Samuel Sanchez (Euskaltel), Cadel Evans (Team BMC) and Michele Scarponi (Lampre Merida) all vying for glory, the 2013 edition promises to be one of the most enthralling yet.

    During the race Cyclingnews will provide live coverage of every stage as well as expert opinion from Robert Millar, rider blogs from inside the peloton and race director Michele Acquarone's own personal perspective.

    There will be complete coverage with race reports, stunning photography, video interviews and news from our European editors Stephen Farrand, Barry Ryan and Alasdair Fotheringham, who will be at every stage.

    To kick off our countdown here’s a race preview looking at the race route and the riders competing this year.


  • Giro d'Italia 2013: Team Sky announce their line-up

    Team Sky power to victory in the Giro del Trentino team time trial.
    Article published:
    April 24, 2013, 16:52 BST
    Cycling News

    Wiggins gets strong support from Uran, Siutsou and Pate

    Team Sky has announced their 2013 Giro d’Italia team with Bradley Wiggins set to be supported by a strong contingent of climbers and experienced domestiques.

    Wiggins, who won the Tour de France last season, has opted to target the Giro d’Italia this year, altering his race schedule accordingly. Although he has missed out on a win so far this season, he will line-up for the three-week race as one of the big favourites.

    The multiple Olympic champion will be supported by Sergio Henao, Rigoberto Urán, and Dario Cataldo in the mountains. The latter is a new signing from Omega Pharma-Quick Step but the Italian has quickly settled into life with his new team. Henao finished ninth in last year’s Giro d'Italia, with Uran claiming seventh and the best young riders jersey.

    Confirming the line up, Dave Brailsford said: “We’ve had a good run into the Giro, have a strong squad and the preparation has gone well. The final touches have been put in place after the Giro del Trentino and we’re all set to go.”

    Christian Knees, Kanstantsin Siutsou, Xabier Zandio and Danny Pate bring their collective experience to the team, while Salvatore Puccio, who raced a number of classics this season, makes his Grand Tour debut. There is no slot for a sprinter on the team with the focus entirely on Wiggins’ bid for overall victory.

    “Alongside the Tour de France and Paris-Roubaix, the Giro d’Italia is one of the biggest bike races in the world and one I’d love to win. I’ve watched the Giro since I was a kid and have seen my idols win it, which makes it even more special.  It has always been a race that I’ve wanted to ride well in and...

  • Rodriguez works on his aerodynamics in the wind tunnel

    Article published:
    April 24, 2013, 18:19 BST
    Cycling News

    Katusha leader makes his first visit to Britain

    Joaquim Rodriguez has spent time in the wind tunnel working on his time trial position with the Katusha sports scientist and head coach Sebastian Weber this week.

    The Spaniard spent an intense morning in the same wind tunnel in Silverstone, in the south of England, used by the Mercedes Amg Petronas Formula one team. He tested various handlebar, helmet and wheel combinations as he looked to improve his aerodynamics.

    Rodriguez lost the 2012 Giro d'Italia in the final time trial stage to Ryder Hesjedal. He will focus on the Tour de France this year and knows that the two individual time trials and the team time trial will play a major role in deciding who wins the 100th edition of Le Tour.

    "We worked mostly on positioning a new handlebar setup and some tests with different setup of front wheel, helmet configuration and so on," Weber said.

    "I found quite a lot of stuff I should improve. Some minor improvements will come shortly, while the major changes in position will take some time. For this reason we will adapt his TT training bike with the new position - on and off bike training. Also Canyon will adapt the handlebar for him."

    It was Rodriguez's first ever visit to Britain. He seemed to enjoy it, tweeting: "The first time ever in my life I'm in England!! Unbelievable that everybody I speak with looks like as if they had came out of Top Gear!!"

  • Sánchez aiming for Giro podium and stage win

    Samuel Sanchez (Euskaltel - Euskadi)
    Article published:
    April 24, 2013, 19:39 BST
    Sadhbh O'Shea

    Spaniard returning to Giro for first time since 2005

    Ahead of the Giro d'Italia, in May, the talk has been about Vincenzo Nibali, Bradley Wiggins and Ryder Hesjedal. For most, they are the main contenders for the Giro podium. Euskaltel-Euskadi leader Samuel Sánchez is hoping to infiltrate that group and make it onto the podium.

    "I have stage victories and podiums in the Vuelta and the Tour," Sánchez says to Cycling News HD. "So I would like to enter into the club that has had victories in all three grand tours. It would be a great dream come reality." Sánchez has three grand tour podiums to his name. He took third and second at the Vuelta a España in 2007 and 2009. He also inherited third at the 2010 Tour de France after his good friend Alberto Contador was disqualified.

    It has been eight years since Sánchez took on the Corsa Rosa. The Spaniard finished 17 on that occasion, so why return after so long? "I fell in love with the Giro in 2005," he says. "I thought the race had an impressive atmosphere, the towns were decorated in pink, the side of the road was full of fans and the hills were covered in bicycles.

    "The tifosi are the legacy of the purest cycling. As the years have past I have taken longer to get back (to the race) than I would have liked."

    So far this season the Euskaltel rider has failed to replicate his performances from 2012, where he won the Vuelta a País Vasco. He still remains confident about his form ahead of the first grand tour of the year. "At Tirreno-Adriatico I was very competitive and made fifth on the hardest day," says Sánchez. "In the Vuelta al País Vasco I was a place off the win on the Queen stage. I have been a professional for 14 years and I have my baggage and my experience when preparing for...

  • Wild out with broken shoulder

    Kirsten Wild (Argos-Shimano) wins the sprint from Giorgia Bronzini (Wiggle Honda Team) and Chloe Hosking (Hitec Products)
    Article published:
    April 24, 2013, 22:21 BST
    Cycling News

    Dutch sprinter to miss Chongming World Cup

    Argos-Shimano sprinter Kirsten Wild will miss the next round of the UCI Women's World Cup after suffering a broken shoulder in a crash at the Omloop van Borsele this weekend. She finished the race in 20th place with the injury.

    Wild has had a successful start to the season, winning three stages and the overall at the Ladies Tour of Qatar, Gent-Wevelgem, four stages of the Energiewacht Tour and most recently the Ronde van Gelderland. Having come second place in the Chongming Island World Cup in 2010, the race was the next main goal for the powerful Dutch sprinter, but she will not be able to take part.

    "I was racked with pain in Borsele," Wild said to "They took [x-ray] images then, but they saw nothing. Today the result was very clear on the MRI. I can not lift my arm or move it sideways, so it's just pretty worthless."

    Wild revealed on Twitter that the shoulder is broken, and there is damage to the tendons. She will be out of commission for several weeks.

  • British road championship course details revealed

    Map of the 2013 British Time Trial Championship course
    Article published:
    April 25, 2013, 8:35 BST
    Cycling News

    Road race to take place in Glasgow city centre

    British Cycling today announced the details of its national time trial and road race championships, set to take place from June 20 to June 23. The road race will test the proposed route for the 2014 Commonwealth Games and will consist of a 14km urban loop through the centre of Glasgow, while the time trial will take place in nearby East Ayrshire.

    It will be the first time that a championship has taken place in an urban circuit, and the first time the time trial will take place in June. The race has historically taken place in September.

    Both the men's and women's races will take place on June 23 starting at Glasgow Green. The course will run through the city centre, before heading to the west end of town and through Kelvingrove Park. The course will then circuit the west end before heading back towards the city centre and the finish at Glasgow Green.

    The event is part of Glasgow's ramp up to hosting the Commonwealth Games. The city has already opened the new Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome, and will host the UCI junior world championships there in August.

    British Cycling board member Alasdair Maclennan, said: "Glasgow was the strongest of a number of exciting bids for to host the 2013 National Road Race championship, further cementing its reputation as a major cycling city after last years Track World Cup and with the Junior Track World champs in August. We're certain that Glasgow will do a great job of delivering this, the latest major sporting event to be hosted in the city this year."

    Scottish Cycling's chief executive, Craig Burn added, "I have no doubt that world class events taking place in Scotland will aid the development of cycling in this country by providing inspiration to our current riders, and encourage spectators all over Scotland to try their hand at this fantastic sport."


  • Gaumont in a coma after a major heart attack

    Philippe Gaumont in 2004
    Article published:
    April 25, 2013, 9:08 BST
    Cycling News

    Former French rider confessed to doping while at Cofidis

    Former French rider Philippe Gaumont is reportedly in a coma after suffering a major heart attack on Tuesday night.

    According to French newspaper La Voix du Nord, the 40 year-old former track rider and winner of Gent-Wevelgem suffered a heart attack at his home in Lens, in the north of France.

    Last week Gaumont gave evidence to the French Senate commission investigating doping in sport. Gaumont was arrested by French police in 2004 as part of a detailed investigation in to doping at the Cofidis team, that lead to the arrest of his then teammate David Millar and his eventual confession of doping.

    Gaumont confessed to using EPO, growth hormone and the drug cocktail pot belge (that includes cocaine, heroin, caffeine, amphetamines), to help him train for long hours. He wrote a book about his career and his use of doping called Prisonnier du dopage (Prisoner of doping). After retirement he opened a brasserie and has rarely been seen at races.

    He raced as a professional between 1994 and 2004 and also won a bronze medal in the team time trial event at the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games.