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First Edition Cycling News, Thursday, January 9, 2014

Date published:
January 09, 2014, 0:00 GMT
  • Dennis will ride National Road Race despite crash

    Rohan Dennis (Garmin-Sharp) would finish second in the Dauphiné time trial stage and take over the yellow jersey.
    Article published:
    January 08, 2014, 23:42 GMT
    Cycling News

    Garmin rider injured after 'whirlwind' blows him off his bike

    Rohan Dennis [Garmin-Sharp] will start this weekend's Australian National Road Race, according to team manager Jonathan Vaughers, despite being blown off his bike during the time trial event on Wednesday.

    "He's ok, he's not happy and he's lost some skin, but no broken bones or concussion," Vaughters told Cyclingnews. "Our assumption is that he will ride the road race, unless something worsens. You never know, but right now we are planning on him riding in the road race."

    The former under-23 national champion was travelling at around 65kph, 14km into the course, when the wind swept across the road and threw him from his bike. South Australian Sports Institute cycling manager Brett Aitken was travelling behind Dennis in the support van at the time. "The whirlwind came from the side and took his wheel like a sail from underneath him," he told the Ballarat Courier.

    "It took his bike from being vertical to horizontal in a split second, so you're talking about a metre off the ground." Despite the acrobatics, Dennis climbed back on his bike and rode a further kilometre, before the injuries became too much.

    This isn’t the first time that such a thing has happened. Gert Steegmans broke his collarbone during the prologue of the 2010 Paris-Nice. Andy Schleck broke his pelvis when a gust of wind took him out during the 2012 Critérium du Dauphiné and had to miss the Tour de France.

    Aitken reported that Dennis had lost quite a bit of skin and...

  • Courtney Lowe looking for back-to-back NZ road titles

    Courteney Lowe celebrates victory in the 2013 elite road national championships
    Article published:
    January 09, 2014, 0:44 GMT
    Cycling News

    Sophie Williamson looking for an upset win in Women's race

    With New Zealand's national road titles taking place over the coming weekend, Courtney Lowe has reiterated that she is chasing another year in the black and white fern jersey but will enter the race in less than ideal condition. The 22-year-old from Tauranga has been plagued by a foot injury over the last three months which she sustained tramping in the mountains near her Oregon base.

    "I'm training hard and some days are good and on other days the foot plays up. We've not managed to get to the bottom of the problem yet," Lowe said.

    Injury or no injury, Lowe knows she won't be able to catch this year's field unawares on the 120km Cashmere circuit on Saturday as she did last year. Lowe entered the race having undergone surgery on her hip prior to the nationals. "I hadn't ridden much before last year's race and just had a great day. After the surgery on the hip, no-one really thought I would be a factor," Lowe said.

    "There's going to be more pressure this year going in as the defending champion."

    Lowe's main goal for the year to earn a place in the New Zealand Commonwealth Games squad and a win on Saturday would get her one step closer to achieving her aim.

    Tour de Vineyards winner Reta Trotman and experienced Olympian Jo Kiesanowski are the favourites for the honours on Saturday, with Emily Collins, Linda Villumsen, Kate Chilcott and Sophie Williamson also likely to be factors.

    Williamson has won multiple national junior club road titles and has tasted victory in the Benchmark series, but will be riding her first senior elite national championships.

    "I'm not really sure what my form is going to be like. I've been doing quite a lot of criteriums and track racing. I'll definitely try and make sure I'm there for the sprint at the end," Williamson said.

    She was a spectator when her brother James won...

  • Androni-Venezuela release 2014 jersey

    2014 Androni-Venezuela jersey
    Article published:
    January 09, 2014, 1:29 GMT
    Cycling News

    Team presentation to take place in Arona

    On the eve of their 2014 team presentation, Androni-Venezuela have released the new team kit. The ealry part of the season for the Italian team, who have secured a wild-card berth at the Giro d'Italia, begins at the Tour de San Luis and continues in Malaysia at the Tour de Langkawai. The season will be built around the Giro campaign which will feature new signing, Dutch road race champion Johnny Hoogerland.

    The team for 2014 contains several new faces including Kenny Van Hummel although Matti Gavazzi has mutually rescinded his contract with the team. Manuel Belletti joined the team after two tears with Ag2R while Marco Bandiera, having spent 2013 with IAM Cycling and with several years of WorldTour experience, will be a benefit to the young riders on the team.

    The 2014 roster includes Franco Pellizotti, Marco Bandiera (IAM), Manuel Belletti (Ag2r), Omar Bertazzo, Matteo Di Serafino, Patrick Facchini, Marco Frapporti, Antonino Parrinello, Diego Rosa, Emanuele Sella, Nicola Testi (Amateur) Gianfranco Zilioli (stagiare), Andrea Zordan (stagiare), Johnny Hoogerland and Kenny van Hummel (both Vacansoleil-DCM), Carlos Ochoa, Jackson Rodriguez and Tomas Gil Godoy Yonder. 

  • Maxim Belkov headlines Katusha's Tour Down Under team

    Maxim Belkov (Katusha)
    Article published:
    January 09, 2014, 2:57 GMT
    Cycling News

    Six Russians in seven man team

    2013 Giro D’Italia stage winner Maxim Belkov returns to the Santos Tour Down Under with Katusha and will be joined by former Russian Road Race Champion Eduard Vorganov.

    After competing at the Tour Down Under since 2009, Katusha failed to gain UCI Pro Team status until February 2013 and as a result missed the race. Race Director Mike Turtur said Katusha would be looking for a good result following their absence from the 2013 edition.

    "Katusha always come to the Santos Tour Down Under with a strong team and after a year away from the race they will want a good start to the 2014 season," Turtur said.

    "Belkov showed his strength when he attacked on the descent of stage nine of the 2013 Giro D'Italia and held on to take the stage.

    "Katusha are also bringing Aleksandr Porsev who won the first stage of the 2013 Tour of Luxembourg, so we can expect a strong performance from the Russian team."

    Of seven-man roster, six are Russian with Austrian Marco Haller the odd one out.

    The 2014 Santos Tour Down Under team will be led by manager Dmitry Konyshev with the following riders taking place: Maxim Belkov, Marco Haller, Mikhail Ignatyev, Pavel Kochetkov, Egor Silin), Aleksandr Porsev) and Eduard Vorganov.

  • Vuelta a España route leaked ahead of presentation

    Nibali, Horner and Valverde on the Vuelta podium
    Article published:
    January 09, 2014, 9:29 GMT
    Alasdair Fotheringham

    Eight summit finishes and slightly more time trialling

    The Vuelta 2014 is due to have its official launch on Saturday in Cadiz, but the Spanish newspaper ‘AS’ has unveiled what will very probably be the route, two days early.

    The route apparently is set to contain one medium length and one short individual time trial (36 kilometres and 10 kilometres) - just eight kilometres more individual racing against the clock than in 2013 - as well as eight summit finishes and between one and three short, steep uphill finishes.

    For the climbers, this sounds like a big drop from the Vuelta’s 12 summit finishes in 2013. But it should be remembered that some of those finishes were very short, like Valdepeñas de Jaén, making the reduction in difficulty fairly minimal. Either way, even if there are more sprint opportunities compared to 2013 like into Albacete - notwithstanding the infamous cross-winds of that flat, empty region of Spain - and Logroño, the tough third week, as in 2013 and in 2012, seems set to decide the race.

    After a fourth start in its history for the Vuelta from the south-western city of Jerez de la Frontera, with (as has been the case since 2010) a team time trial, the Vuelta’s first summit finish will - according to AS - be in Cumbres Verdes on stage six. This is a five-kilometre climb with a steep middle section, near the town of La Zubia, where Cadel Evans has won in the past in the Vuelta a Andalusia.

    Another difficult ascent, as the race leaves Andalusia, comes on stage nine to the ski station of Valdelinares in Teruel. Then after a rest day and short transfer north the most decisive part of the race begins.

    Assuming AS is correct, the race’s main time trial will be a 36 kilometre race against the clock near Zaragoza on stage 10. Then 24 hours later comes its first major ascent, to the climb...

  • Gallery: BMC in training in Spain

    Philippe Gilbert and the rest of the team take a break
    Article published:
    January 09, 2014, 10:47 GMT
    Cycling News

    Gilbert, Van Avermaet and Velits on the road in Dénia

    BMC Racing Team is at its traditional winter base in Dénia, Spain for its first training camp of 2014, where Philippe Gilbert is among the riders steadily building towards their first races of the new year.

    The former world champion Gilbert seems happy to prepare quietly for the new campaign. Over the past two seasons, Gilbert has been out in Australia for the Tour Down Under at this time of year, but a big change to his calendar means a later start for the Belgian, whose first race will be the Tour of Qatar.

    Peter Velits made his first appearance on the bike in BMC colours. Velits switched to the American team this winter, arriving from Omega Pharma-QuickStep. New lead Directeur Sportif Valerio Piva was also on hand. The Italian was brought in from Katusha to replace John Lelangue, who left the team shortly after last year's Tour de France.

    A number of riders are already in Australia for the first WorldTour race of the season, including Cadel Evans, who hasn't raced there since 2010. New signing Darwin Atapuma is in Argentina with Taylor Phinney and Thor Hushovd for the Tour de San Luis, which gets under way on January 20.

    For a picture gallery from BMC's training camp, click here.

  • Klöden: I understand why the doubts remain

    Andreas Klöden in his German road race champion's kit during the 2004 Tour de France
    Article published:
    January 09, 2014, 11:46 GMT
    José Been

    German looks back on career with satisfaction

    The recently-retired Andreas Klöden has said that he can look back on his sixteen years as a professional with satisfaction. In a lengthy interview with, the German again denied that he had blood doped at the Freiburg clinic during the 2006 Tour de France, but acknowledged that he could understand why doubts lingered over the case.

    Klöden turned pro with Team Telekom in 1998. "The time at Telekom was probably when I felt best. Speaking your own native language helps. Riders from that time like Danilo Hondo, Jan Ullrich and André Korff were guys I got along well with, but it's hard to have real friends in pro cycling." After nine years with Telekom and T-Mobile, Klöden moved on to Astana for three years and Radioshack for four years.

    In 2008 Patrick Sinkewitz pointed his finger at Andreas Klöden, claiming that they had visited a clinic in Freiburg with Matthias Kessler for a blood doping procedure just before the 2006 Tour de France. "I can only repeat that I have nothing to do with this case. Why can't these things be treated like with normal people? When something was wrong, they could have suspended me. But they didn't because there was no proof and nothing was happening there."

    Klöden never tested positive for doping but he later reached an agreement with German prosecutors and paid an unspecified amount to a children's charity to bring an end the investigation. "I did pay to make sure that this case wouldn't obstruct my career any longer. It was a tough mental burden. I understand why the doubts remain when you know the history of the sport but I can't change that so won't bother with it."


  • Doping scandals sent Riis into a depression

    Bjarne Riis has attracted a new sponsor to his squad.
    Article published:
    January 09, 2014, 12:41 GMT
    Cycling News

    Former team owner speaks in Danish documentary

    Tinkoff-Saxo manager and former team owner Bjarne Riis has revealed that he suffered from depression last year as a result of the doping allegations that surround him.

    “There have been some tough months. Very tough. But I have prioritized myself. It has been necessary,” Riis said in a documentary, due to be broadcast on Danish channel DR1 on Thursday. “It was a period when I could not make any decisions. It's uncomfortable because you cannot give anything. You cannot be there for anyone else, you cannot be there for yourself.”

    Since admitting to doping in 2007, Riis has found himself dogged by more allegations and investigations. Both Tyler Hamilton and Michael Rasmussen have alleged that he was aware of the doping practices of his riders. He is also under investigation by the Danish Anti-Doping Authority. Riis says that this and the media attention all became too much for him.

    “At some point, you are struck, and then it just becomes too much,” Riis said, according to “I have a lot of baggage from my childhood that has never been processed. There have been many things that have come in recent years. When I came clean in 2007 - the process I went through. When my father died. My mother died recently, which no one knows. And then there was Tyler's past with the pressure that has been from the press.”

    The documentary called "Riis – Forfra" [Riis - Back to the Beginning] followed the Saxo-Tinkoff manager from spring 2012 to watch as the Dane attempted to ‘resurrect’ his team. Things changed, however, when Tyler Hamilton’s book The Secret Race was released at the end of 2012, where the American said his former...