Tools and tricks of the pro mechanics
A close-up look at the Australian's purpose-built ride
Australian's 2015 Tinkoff-Saxo team bike
Winner of the 2015 Tour Down Under
Italian ready to help Pozzato in debut Tour of Flanders
Victory at the end of a taxing afternoon of racing on stage 2 of the Three Days of De Panne augurs well for Sacha Modolo’s hopes of one day transforming from a sprinter into a cobbled classics contender, but the Lampre-Merida man warned that such a metamorphosis is by no means a given.
Fourth place in his debut Milan-San Remo as a raw neo-professional in 2010 was testament to Modolo’s powers of endurance, but after spending the first four seasons of his career on a primarily Italian programme with Bardiani, he acknowledged that he is short on experience when it comes to the pavé.
"In Italy they say that I should be suited to these races but it’s not as straightforward as it seems," Modolo said after landing victory in a group sprint in De Panne ahead of Arnaud Démare (FDJ.fr). "It would be my dream to be good in these races but cycling isn’t mathematical. You need a lot of experience and this is the first year I’ve done these races. We’ll see in the future what I manage to do."
Prior to this season, Modolo’s time on the cobbles was limited to a brace of outings in De Panne in 2010 and 2012, but his elevation to WorldTour level this season with Lampre meant that he lined out at E3 Harelbeke and Gent-Wevelgem last weekend. The learning curve, he admitted, has been a steep one.
"I don’t know the roads and the muri. I don’t know the key points where you’re supposed to be in front, so that makes it a bit hard," Modolo said. "I fell a few times at Ghent-Wevelgem, too, and I only got back on with 20 kilometres to go. The thing is, when you waste a bit more energy than the others here, then you’re already screwed....
"You have to be able to handle the altitude"
Eddy Merckx has encouraged Fabian Cancellara to attempt to break the hour tecord but has warned that traveling to altitude produces as many problems as it does advantages.
Merckx set a new hour record at the height of his career in 1972, covering a distance of 49.431km in Mexico City with only Chris Boardman (49.441km in 2000) and Ondřej Sosenka (49.700km in 2005) doing better in using a traditional track bike as per the UCI rules for the hour record. All other record attempts are now officially categorised as 'best human effort' including success performances on aero bikes by Francesco Moser and Graeme Obree.
Cancellara has confirmed he is considering an attempt at the hour record but his Trek Factory Racing team has denied setting a date in early August for the attempt. The UCI is currently considering the rules for the hour tecord and the use of some kind of aero bike could considerably help Cancellara's chances. The Swiss rider is currently focused on the cobbled Classics and is one of the favourites to win Sunday's Tour of Flanders.
The new Aguascalientes velodrome in Mexico sits at an altitude of 1880m and seems the ideal location for an hour record attempt but Merckx warned that even a rider of Cancellara's power and experience will need to prepare for the rarified air.
"If Boardman and Sosenka were able to do then I think Cancellara can do it for sure," Merckx recently told Cyclingnews.
"He's strong but we'll have to see where he wants to do it. I think he wants to try in Mexico. It's better to do at altitude but you've got to prepare for it."
"The altitude is an advantage because it allows you to push a bigger gear. But you have to be able to handle the...
Frenchman denied by Modolo at Three Days of De Panne
Another second place in a Flemish race for Arnaud Démare, but unlike his satisfaction with his performance at Gent-Wevelgem on Sunday, the FDJ.fr man admitted that he was disappointed to have lost out to Sacha Modolo (Lampre-Merida) at the end of stage 2 of the Three Days of De Panne.
"I'm getting a lot of second places right now. At the start, I was satisfied enough but now it's beginning to weigh a little bit," Démare told Cyclingnews in Koksijde. "I'd like to take more of an advantage of the legs I have at the moment."
The 22-year-old Frenchman has been hugely consistent since the beginning of the season, but has recorded just one win to date - on the final stage of the Tour of Qatar - and had already endured near misses at the Volta ao Algarve and Tirreno-Adriatico before arriving in Belgium.
Démare was locked onto Modolo's wheel in the finishing straight but found himself slightly blocked just as the Italian launched his sprint. That instant of hesitation proved fatal to Démare's chances and he was unable to get back on terms, although he did succeed in holding off Milan-San Remo winner Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) for third, while a disappointed Marcel Kittel (Giant-Shimano) had to settle for eighth.
"It was a very fast sprint and very hard fought too, you had to fight for position," Démare said. "My teammates Matthieu Ladagnous and Mickaël Delage sacrificed themselves in front for me so I'm a bit disappointed that I wasn't able to finish off their work with a win."
The second stage of the Three Days of De Panne, which traditionally brings the race back the North Sea...
Dutch rider on form at the Three Days of de Panne
Omega Pharma-QuickStep won’t have things all their own way at this weekend’s Tour of Flanders, as Niki Terpstra has predicted. The Belgian team will once again be favourite to win due to their strength in numbers but Terpstra says they can’t let that go to their heads.
“We have a good team, but there are also some other good riders,” he told Cyclingnews. “We’ve seen Sagan winning easily, Cancellara is in good shape and there are even more riders who can win, so it’s going to be a big battle.”
QuickStep has several cards to play with Terpstra, three-time winner Tom Boonen and Zdenek Stybar. Boonen has not had the ideal build-up to the race. He missed Milan-San Remo and then injured his thumb at E3 Harelbeke last Friday. He hasn’t looked at his best.
With Terpstra in good form this spring, he is a firm candidate to pick up the baton of team leader for Omega Pharma-Quick Step. The Dutchman doesn’t want to single himself out and hopes the team can put more than one rider in the top placings.
“I hope that we’re in the final together actually and then we can play the game. It’s pretty simple; we have to be on the front the last time up the Paterberg and Kwaremont. Hopefully we’re in the front group.”
Terpstra is currently riding the Three Days of De Panne and is perfectly placed to target overall victory. He is fourth overall, five seconds behind teammate Gert Steegmans but is by far the better time trialist. However, he expects to have a fight on his hands, especially from Orica-GreenEdge, who have a number of specialists in their ranks, with Luke Durbridge eighth overall,...
Team hopes half of the squad will be from Africa
The MTN-Qhubeka team has celebrated becoming the first African-registered team to secure an invitation to the Vuelta a Espana, by setting the goal of having at least 50% of its riders for its Grand Tour debut from Africa.
MTN-Qhubeka was overlooked for a place at the Giro d'Italia and Tour de France but secured a place for cycling's third Grand Tour. Also lining up alongside the 18 WorldTour teams in Spain will be IAM Cycling, Cofidis and Caja Rural.
The Barloworld team was sponsored by a South African company and included South African riders but was registered in Italy and then Britain. The MTN-Qhubeka has far closer links to South Africa and prides itself on developing and supporting African athletes. It also supports Qhubeka, a non-profit organisation that provides children with bikes so they can ride to school.
“It was always our dream and ambition to take an African registered team to the highest level in World Cycling, be that the biggest one day races, the Monuments, and the Grand Tours. To be accepted into the Vuelta is the beginning of the realisation of that dream," team manager Doug Ryder said in a statement after the Vuelta a Espana confirmed the four wild card invitations.
"Our dream goes way beyond riding and performing well in these races, which is the enabler to bring thousands of people in communities in South Africa onto Qhubeka Buffalo bicycles to further...
An extra cog, hydraulic disc compatibility and clearance for larger tyres
This article originally published on BikeRadar
Shimano has released details of its all new 105 groupset. Revamped for 2014/15, the drivetrain is now 11-speed, with all components gaining trickle down technology from the company's existing Ultegra and Dura-Ace groups.
Importantly, the new 105 can also be combined with Shimano's recently announced, second generation hydraulic disc brake for road bikes – in a system that debuts mechanical shifting with hydraulic braking for the company.
There are several chainset options for the new 105 including the FC-5800, a new four-arm Hollowtech II design similar to that of current Ultegra and Dura-Ace. it's stiffer and lighter than the five-arm design it replaces, and Shimano has reinforced construction around the chainring area to further improve the stiffness to weight ratio. The chainset uses the same bolt circle diameter for compact and traditional double chainsets, which means one crankarm fits all chainring sizes.
Gearing options are as follows: 50-34t, 52-36t or 53-39t, and both black and silver colour options will be available. The crankset can be used with Shimano's SM-BBR60 bottom bracket or, should your frame require it, the SM-BB72-41B press-fit bottom bracket.
Shimano will also continue to produce five-arm Hollowtech II chainsets in all popular gear combinations for the 105 group. Crank length options will be 165mm, 170mm, 172.5mm and 175mm.
ST-5800 dual control shift levers
105 now gains the light yet positive shift action found in Dura-Ace and...
Race leader withdraws from race for third year running
After "accidentally" winning yesterday's stage at VDK-Driedaagse De Panne-Koksijde, when he didn't brake hard enough to allow his teammate Oscar Gatto to take victory, Peter Sagan began the day in the leader's jersey but decided to call it quits at De Panne for one of his season targets; victory at the Tour of Flanders. In 2012 and 2013, Sagan also withdrew from the race and went on to place fifth and second respectively at De Ronde.
Sagan had sat up and dropped back when the peloton rode over the Kemmelberg. He rolled across the finish line at the end of the first lap in De Panne more than nine minutes back and climbed off his bike recording a DNF as Sacha Modolo (Lampre-Merida) won the stage and Stijn Vanderberg (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) took over the race lead.
Sign of commitment to develop and grow women's racing worldwide
Following the Alfredo Binda World Cup and the Women's Tour of Flanders on Sunday, the UCI has announced that The Sufferfest, producers of indoor cycling training videos, will become the first major sponsor of the UCI Women Road World Cup.
With the World Cup races to be broadcast on channels such as the BBC [United Kingdom], RAI Sports [Italy], NOS [Netherlands] and Canal + [France], the partnership is a sign of the UCI's commitment to grow women's racing and ensure wide exposure of the sport.
An aspect of the partnership is that Sufferfest messages are to be included in promotional clips for the UCI Women Road World Cup on TV and online. As well, Sufferfest and the UCI will work together to promote women in cycling including the development of concepts such as a UCI Women Road World Cup day which will then be advertised throughout the network of gyms the Sufferfest engage with.
Speaking of the new the partnership, Brian Cookson, UCI President, said: "The Sufferfest is well known for their effective training videos and the UCI Women Road World Cup is one of the most challenging series in any sport, so there is a natural synergy between our respective organisations. Bringing them together makes perfect sense.
"Following the recent announcement relating to enhanced broadcast coverage, this is another significant development for women’s cycling and we will continue to build on the momentum we have established"
For David McQuillen, founder of The Sufferfest, the partnership is a further sign of the company's commitment to women's cycling.
"Our short history shows the commitment we have to women’s cycling and this new partnership with the UCI is a natural progression for us. Three years ago we created a cycling training video...