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First Edition Cycling News, Thursday, August 15, 2013

Date published:
August 15, 2013, 1:00 BST
  • Richeze goes close in Eneco Tour sprint

    Maximiliano Richeze (Lampre - Merida)
    Article published:
    August 14, 2013, 19:10 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    Lampre-Merida sprinter regrets going early

    Maximiliano Richeze went close to giving the Lampre-Merida a much needed WorldTour victory on stage three of the Eneco Tour, losing to Zdenek Stybar (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) after starting his sprint early.

    The Italian team has had a poor season and has won just a handful of minor races so far but Richeze has shown some form after taking eight top ten finishes at the Tour of Qinghai Lake in China in July. He was also fourth on the opening stage of the Eneco Tour.

    Teammate Danilo Viganò' dragged Richeze up to the front in the high-speed finale. He then went in a late attack with Stybar, Jurgen Roelandts (Lotto Belisol) and Lars Boom (Belkin) with a kilometre to go but was beaten by Stybar with a perfect sprint.

    "It was a very good day for me, my legs were super and my team was outstanding in supporting me. Unluckily, I couldn't finish things off," he said.

    "(Danilo) Viganò did an incredible job leading up to the front of the bunch just before the bend where Stybar escaped from the group. I took advantage and got on his wheel."

    Richeze regretting starting his sprint a little early.

    "Boom started early in the sprint and got a gap and perhaps I made a mistake by reacting instinctively and chasing him down," he explained.

    "I lost some power in the last hundred metres and so couldn't do anything to stop Stybar coming back at me. I've got to look on the bright side of things: I went to close to winning against some of the best sprinters in the world. That's a huge satisfaction."

    Richeze won the Pan American road race Championships and five stages at the Vuelta a Venezuela while riding for the D'Angelo & Antenucci-Nippo team in 2012.

    He will have one final chance of victory on Thursday 169km fourth stage from...

  • Stybar surprises with sprint win in Eneco Tour

    Zdenek Stybar (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) wins stage 3 of the Eneco Tour
    Article published:
    August 14, 2013, 20:25 BST
    Cycling News

    Czech rider back to full strength after knee surgery

    Omega Pharma-Quick Step rider Zdenek Stybar scored his first victory of an embattled 2013 season in stage 3 of the Eneco Tour, taking out a small breakaway sprint victory over Maximiliano Richeze (Lampre-Merida) and Lars Boom (Belkin) with the peloton just seconds behind.

    The win was a sign that the former cyclo-cross world champion is back on his best form after months out of competition due to a knee injury that necessitated surgery. It was his first win of the year, although his sixth place in Paris-Roubaix belied his potential: he was on track for a podium finish until a collision with a spectator brought him to a stop in one of the final cobbled sectors.

    His knee injury hit soon after the Classics, and he underwent surgery in early May after he was unable to solve the problem. He had three weeks off the bike, but was not able to get back to normal training right away.

    "I am really happy because it's the first victory since the Tour de Pologne last year," Stybar said. "After the surgery I had on my knee, I couldn't train as I normally would. I really hated the period after the surgery because I couldn't really follow a specific schedule.

    "It wasn't easy, but in the last weeks, I was able to train really well in the Czech Republic, and after that good period at altitude camp. I felt I was improving quickly at that point."

    Although Stybar's finishing speed earned him many victories during his cyclo-cross career, on the road he has relied mainly on his power over the cobbles, as in the Tour of Poland, or on breakaways to get results. Out-sprinting his late breakaway companions was something novel for the 27-year-old.

    "I have never sprinted in my life. Even in training I didn't practice....

  • Peter Stetina signs with BMC

    Peter Stetina (Garmin Sharp) proved his climbing ability once again at the end of the day
    Article published:
    August 14, 2013, 21:30 BST
    Cycling News

    American leaves Garmin-Sharp

    American Peter Stetina will leave the Garmin-Sharp/Slipstream organization, with which he has spent his entire professional career, for the BMC Racing Team in 2014. The 26-year-old joined Garmin's WorldTour team in 2010 after coming up through the program started by Jonathan Vaughters from his junior days, but it was rumored earlier this summer that Stetina might sign with Belkin, which was eager to add Americans to please its Bay Area technology sponsor.

    Stetina said he chose BMC for several reasons, including the fact that the team is headquartered near his residence in Santa Rosa, California.

    "BMC is notorious for having the top equipment and the team for its top support, plus it was a chance to reunite with my good friends, Taylor Phinney and Tejay van Garderen," Stetina said in a press release. "I also worked a lot with (BMC Racing Team Performance Manager) Allan Peiper last year and I really respect him. He was a big draw in coming. All the stars aligned, really."

    Stetina has raced the Giro d'Italia three times with Garmin, but has yet to compete in the Tour de France. However, he said one motivation was to get more opportunities for himself in shorter races in addition to a chance at the sport's biggest race. "I would really like to take my own chance in some smaller, one-week stage races," he said. "So I would champion my own cause in those races and be a top mountain domestique in the biggest ones, especially the Tour de France. I would really like to ride the Tour next year for the first time."

    The team's general manager Jim Ochowicz did not reveal the length of Stetina's contract, instead focussed on the qualities...

  • Boom closes in on Eneco lead

    Defending Eneco Tour champion Lars Boom in action
    Article published:
    August 15, 2013, 2:14 BST
    Cycling News

    Defending champ one second behind Demare

    Belkin's overall hope at the Eneco Tour, Lars Boom, edged that little bit closer to his objective on Wednesday finishing third on 187km Stage 3 to Schouwen-Duiveland and gaining six seconds in the process.

    Boom is now just one second off the overall lead at the race, with Arnaud Demare (FDJ) after the Frenchman finishing in the bunch, two seconds off the pace of the lead three riders across the finish line, with Zdenek Stybar (Omega Pharma-Quick-Step) taking the win.

    Stybar, Boom and Maximiliano Ariel Richeze (Lampre-Merida) escaped off the front in the final kilometre but the Dutchman was out-gunned when it mattered.

    "I attacked too early," said Boom about his sprint. "I needed to sit in during the last metres, which was when they passed me. Anyway, if I had waited longer, they would have stayed in my wheel and it would have been difficult to win, as well."

    Boom had extra motivation to take the win on Wednesday and the race lead, with Stage 4 reaching its conclusion in his hometown of Vlijmen.

    "It's a pity I didn't win because I would've been able to enter Vlijmen in the leader's jersey," he said. "Nevertheless, it will be a special day, as a pro I have never ridden through Vlijmen."

    Thursday's fourth stage should be another opportunity for a bunch sprint and then after Friday's time trial, the Eneco Tour is set to reach its crescendo with two stages in classics territory. The bonus seconds that the 27-year-old collected with his third place keep Boom in the hunt but he knows that he'll have to produce something special if he wants to claim the overall for the second year running.

    "I gathered some seconds again; that's really motivating when I think of Saturday and Sunday," Boom said. "Although those stages have a totally different character. I may come up with another set of legs for...

  • Cavendish, Nibali, Sagan, Quintana confirmed for 2014 Tour de San Luis

    Tour de San Luis leader Daniel Diaz (San Luis Somos Todos)
    Article published:
    August 15, 2013, 5:59 BST
    Cycling News

    Garmin Sharp to compete for the first time

    Details are coming to light for the eighth edition of the Tour de San Luis for 2014 with Vincenzo Nibali (Astana), Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma-Quick-Step), Peter Sagan (Cannondale) and Nairo Quintana (Movistar) confirmed to attend according to race organisers.

    The UCI 2.1 event, this season won by Daniel Diaz (San Luis Somos Todos) ahead of Tejay van Garderen (BMC), has also confirmed that BMC, Lampre-Merida, Orica GreenEdge will be on the start line while Garmin Sharp will be competing at the seven-stage tour for the first time.

    The 2014 Tour de San Luis will run January 19-26, the exact dates of the Santos Tour Down Under, the first WorldTour event of the season. Given the clash in the calendar and the names already confirmed for the Argentinean event, question marks will again be asked regarding the importance of the Australian event to the UCI. Diaz, for one, believes that the balanced parcours is more attractive to European riders.

    "There are some small differences, but I think it will be a better show," he said at the race launch. "That's why the tour is progressing year to year."

    Diaz, will be once again hoping to feature on the podium at the conclusion of the event, having finished runner-up in 2012 (he was originally third but his position was upgraded following the suspension of Alberto Contador).

    "Personally, I will prepare even...

  • Team Sky close to new bike sponsor deal

    Who else’s but Chris Froome’s (Sky) Pinarello Bolide
    Article published:
    August 15, 2013, 7:39 BST
    Sam Dansie

    Pinarello's return not yet confirmed

    This article first appeared on BikeRadar.

    Team Sky are close to concluding an agreement with a bike sponsor for the 2014 season – but it’s unknown whether they will continue with their current partners, Pinarello.

    Team press officer Dario Cioni told BikeRadar, “At the present moment no agreement has been reached for 2014 as far as bike sponsorship. They are still working on details but they’re all quite close to conclusion. There should be an announcement quite soon.”

    Asked if negotiations were with Pinarello – who also sponsor Spanish squad Movistar squad – Cioni added: “It’s a good chance it’s Pinarello. At the moment it cannot be confirmed.”

    The British squad have ridden Pinarello bikes since the team were formed in 2010, and have won two Tours and an abundance of stage races on the frames. Chris Froome piloted the Dogma 65.1 road bike and new Bolide TT frame to victory in the 2013 Tour de France.

    In June 2012, just prior to the conclusion of a 2013 deal with Pinarello, US brand Specialized were closely linked to the British team. Specialized declined to comment on any current sponsorship negotiations.

  • Ten Dam to stay with Belkin until 2015

    Laurens ten Dam sporting Belkin's new kit
    Article published:
    August 15, 2013, 10:07 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    Dutchman assured leadership role after good Tour de France

    The Belkin team has announced that Laurens ten Dam will stay with the Netherlands based team for another two years. The lanky Dutchman finished thirteenth overall in the Tour de France, 21:39 behind Chris Froome (Team Sky) but impressed in the first part of the race, helping Bauke Mollema finish eighth overall. He finished eighth overall in last year's Vuelta a Espana and will target the Spanish Grand Tour this year alongside Mollema.

    "In the last couple of years Laurens has proven he's a strong Grand Tour rider," directeur sportif Nico Verhoeven said in the team announcement.

    "In the Tour, we allowed Laurens to ride for himself. He did very well despite the pressure. In the future, Laurens will have a free role more often in Grand Tours. In the Vuelta this year, he will lead Belkin together with Bauke Mollema. We have great confidence in Laurens."

    Ten Dam was linked to a possible move to Team Sky just after the Tour de France but 32 year-old opted to stay with Belkin.

    "I'm very happy to be part of this team, working with superb teammates and sports directors. I have really improved here as rider. I'm happy with the opportunities I have and continue to receive.

    "Honestly, I couldn't find any reason to leave. With this contract, I can ride at the highest level for two more years. Grand Tours are what I do best, and I'll keep focusing myself on those races."

    Ten Dam is Belkin's first major signing for 2014 as it continues to rebuild after securing sponsorship from the US cable and accessories company. Mark Renshaw has already confirmed he will ride with Mark Cavendish at Omega Pharma QuickStep in 2014, while Tom-Jelte Slagter has signed with Garmin-Sharp.

  • Tour of Beijing set to be hardest ever

    The peloton on stage 3 of the Tour of Beijing
    Article published:
    August 15, 2013, 11:02 BST
    Cycling News

    Mountaintop finish on fourth stage

    The 2013 Tour of Beijing will have “the most challenging course in its short history, featuring a mountaintop finish on the fourth stage before the traditional finale from Tienanmen Square to the Bird's Nest Olympic Plaza in central Bejing.

    This year's race, from October 11-15, is the last UCI WorldTour race on the calendar. It covers 826 kilometers in five stages. Tony Martin (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) won the 2012 Tour of Beijing but the lack of a time trial stage will limit his chances this year.

    "We continue to work hard on the course that provides scenic and exciting stages that both showcase the best of Beijing and provide a challenging race for riders," said Global Cycling Director Alain Rumpf.”

    The first stage is 190.5km from Shunyi to Huairou Studio City, and will be one for the sprinters. Stage two, from Huairou Studio City to Yanqing, is the longest at 201.5km. It has four classified climbs, but the last one is 50km from the finish line.

    Stage three, from Yanqing to Qiandiajian (176km) is “a considerably bumpy road”with seven ranked climbs, two of which are category two.

    The fourth stage is set to be “the toughest stage in Tour of Beijing history”, covering 150.5km from Yanqing to a finish atop the Mentougou Miaofeng Mountain. The race press release says that “The final climb is preluded by an initial category one and short and sharp category 2 climb, making it a tough day at the office.”

    The race then ends the next day with the traditional stage in the city of Beijing, starting at the historic Tiananmen Square to an expected mass sprint finish at the Bird's Nest Stadium.

    2012 Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky) has hinted that he will ride the Tour of Beijing after missing much of the middle part of the season. All 19 WorldTour teams will take part, with several wild card teams completing the field.