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First Edition Cycling News, Thursday, June 26, 2014

Date published:
June 26, 2014, 1:00 BST
  • Kwiatkowski shows form with Polish time trial title

    Michal Kwiatkowski (Omega Pharma-QuickStep)
    Article published:
    June 26, 2014, 0:50 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Omega Pharma-Quick Step rider aiming for double

    After having a question mark over his form following a relatively poor performance in the Critérium du Dauphiné, Omega Pharma-Quick Step rider Michał Kwiatkowski seems to be regaining his speed, and won the Polish national championship time trial today with a 49.4kph average speed for the 40km course in Zawonia.

    "It's the first time I won the Polish National TT Championship. So, it's a really nice addition to my palmarès," Kwiatkowski said. "It's special to do well representing your country. It also gives me a good boost of motivation prior to the Tour de France.

    "From Tour de Romandie until this ITT I didn't have the best perception of how my preparation was going for the Tour de France. But now I know I am going in the right direction."

    Kwiatkowski reversed his fortunes from last year, topping defending champion Maciej Bodnar (Cannondale), who beat him by five seconds last year, by 27 seconds, with Mateusz Taciak (CCC Polsat) in third.

    "I'm really happy about this victory," Kwiatkowski said. "The parcours was quite simple. It wasn't really technical, it was just about pushing the really big gear, so I used a 58x11.

    "The parcours was really fast, but I have to say also I was feeling good since the beginning. The weather was a factor. It was not ideal, as it was raining and the temperature was around 15 degrees (Celsius). But OK, I found my tempo immediately. I was able to balance my effort perfectly along the parcours."

    Kwiatkowski will now defend his road title on Sunday. "Of course, it won't be easy. The parcours is the same as last year. Michal Golas and I are prepared to try our best to defend my jersey and do well on a parcours...

  • Maiden Dutch time trial title for Dumoulin

    Tom Dumoulin (Giant)
    Article published:
    June 26, 2014, 1:40 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Giant-Shimano rider to debut national jersey at Tour de France

    Tom Dumoulin claimed his second career win and first ever national title as he claimed the Dutch national time trial title by 52 seconds ahead of Garmin-Sharp's Sebastian Langeveld.

    Dumoulin had shown he was on form when racing against the clock, twice finishing runner-up to Tony Martin at the Tour de Suisse's time trials.

    "I am so happy with this result," Dumoulin said after claiming the first Dutch national title for Giant-Shimano. "Red, white and blue for the coming year it is. I had my eye on this race for a little while and following the Tour de Suisse and with two second places there, I knew that I was in good form."

    Making his win all the more impressive on the 47.8km course around Zaltbommel was that Dumoulin crashed on the first lap but explained the calming influence of Marc Reef in the car behind  him was decisive as he composed himself and rode away to victory.

    "I had Marc Reef coaching me behind to stay calm and that helped me a lot. The team have been great in supporting me and with the Giant Trinity TT bike I have a superb machine which helps too."

    "Tom did a great job today to stay calm after he crashed and make sure he still paced himself. He was really focused and super smooth out on the course," Marc Reef said at the conclusion of the race.

    In 2013 Dumoulin was second in the national road race behind Johnny Hoogerland (Androni Giocattoli) and third in the time trial and as Reef explained, the team is happy with how the 23-year-old is developing ahead of his second consecutive appearance at the

  • Arredondo hopeful of Vuelta a España appearance

    Julian Arredondo gave Colombia another trophy to celebrate
    Article published:
    June 26, 2014, 3:40 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Colombian focused on upcoming North American races

    After a successful grand debut at the Giro d'Italia which saw Julián Arredondo (Trek Factory Racing) claim a stage win and the climbers blue jersey, the 25-year-old announced his ambition to line up in Jerez for the start of the Vuelta a España on August 23.

    In an interview on Vanguardia.com the Colombian also outlined his upcoming racing schedule which all be North American events. Arredondo, who had his contract extended after his Giro display, is set to line up at the Tour of Utah [4-10 August], Tour of Colorado [18-24 August] and the Tour of Alberta [2-7 September].

    For Arredondo, the Giro was a special occasion as he explained;  "There were many incredible moments, the love of the people, of the Colombians, and the triumph with that stage that I won," he said. "I fought and fought for many days and those sacrifices were rewarded, because the day that I won the stage, it was unforgettable."

    Along with the rest of the peloton, Arredondo also suffered in the snow and cold of stage 16 over the Gavia and Stelvio which he explained as the hardest day of the Giro.

    "On the stage of the Stelvio, I suffered a lot with the cold. I warned of inclement weather and that if there was snow, we had to change clothes. I changed when going over to the Stelvio and going down the descent I was one of the last riders.

    "When I got off the bike, I could not speak, I could not close my hands. I was...

  • Inaugural Tour of Utah women's race confirms attendence of 14 teams

    Alison Powers (UnitedHealthcare) hits the Lemon Hill climb
    Article published:
    June 26, 2014, 5:50 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Seven composite teams to be added in July

    The organizers of the Tour of Utah have confirmed the first 14 teams who will compete in the inaugural Tour of Utah Women's circuit race with seven composite teams to be announced next month. Seven of the top-12 American ranked women's teams will be attendance at the race which begins on August 6. 

    It is the first time in the 10-year history of the Tour of Utah, a women's race will be part of the week of racing with the race to be contested prior to the finish of Stage 3. The race takes in 15 laps of the Miller Motorsports Park’s 2.2-mile course.

    Alison Powers, who is currently the American champion in three disciplines, will lead the UnitedHealthcare team and will the race as a favourite for the win. Powers is the first American cyclist to hold the road, time trial and criterium titles in the one year.

    Challenging Powers for the win will be Tina Pic (DNA Cycling presented by K4) who has won six national criterium titles in her career which started in 1996. In 2014 Pic has already won eight races.

    Following the women's race from noon to 2pm, the Chase Pinkham Memorial Criterium for amateur men, women and juniors will take place the same day from 5 to 8:30pm at the motorsports park.

    Confirmed women’s teams
    Team Audi
    Canyon Bicycles – Shimano
    Cloud Racing p/b Ride 2 Recovery
    Colavita / Fine Cooking
    DNA Cycling p/b K4
    Guru Cycles p/b Haute Wheels Racing
    JET Cycling
    LiVe Well p/b Bountiful Bicycle
    Monster Media Racing Team
    Pepper Palace Pro Cycling
    SKINourishment p/b Paceline Projects
    TWENTY16 Pro Cycling Team
    ...

  • Dan Martin to miss the Tour de France

    Dan Martin (Garmin Sharp)
    Article published:
    June 26, 2014, 6:50 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Irishman turns his attention to Vuelta a España and world championships

    Dan Martin (Garmin-Sharp) has announced that he will miss the Tour de France which starts on 5 July in Yorkshire as he is not fully recovered from the broken collarbone he sustained on the Giro d'Italia's opening team time trial in Belfast on May 9. Last year Martin won the Tour's ninth stage into Bagnères-de-Bigorre.

    "For me, I prefer to be 100 percent ready for the next Grand Tour I do. I wasn't ready in time to do the Tour de Suisse, so I wouldn't have had a big race before the Tour," Martin told the Irish Times.

    Martin will race the Irish national championships this coming weekend and will line up at the Tour de Pologne from August 3-9 as he prepares for his fourth Vuelta a España appearance.

    In 2011, Martin won stage 9 of the Spanish Grand Tour as he went on to finish 13th, which remains his best overall result at a three-week race.

    "I think I am quite fit now but I am not anywhere near good enough to be contesting stages or whatever at the Tour. It is better just to refocus and rather than rush into something, really give myself time to prepare properly for the Vuelta," Martin said of his new race schedule.

    So far, Martin has completed just 19 days of racing having started his season later than normal at the Tirreno-Adriatico but is hoping that racing the Vuelta will be good preparation for the World Championship Ponferrada, Spain which has a parcours that suits his characteristics. 

  • Tour de France: Katusha to target stage victories

    Joaquim Rodriguez in obvious pain after crashing during the Amstel Gold Race
    Article published:
    June 26, 2014, 11:36 BST
    By:
    Stephen Farrand

    Rodriguez, Paolini, Kristoff and Trofimov named in Russian team

    The Russian Katusha team has named its nine riders for the Tour de France, confirming it will target stage victories with Joaquim Rodriguez and Alexander Kristoff. The team also hopes recent Criterium du Dauphine stage winner Yury Trofimov can finish in the top ten overall.

    Also in the final nine-rider roster are: Egor Silin, Simon Špilak, Aleksandr Porsev, Luca Paolini, Gatis Smukulis and Vladimir Isaychev.

    Rodriguez finished third overall in the 2013 Tour de France but the Catalan rider will target stage victories in the Alps and Pyrenees after an injury-hit spring, having crashed out of the Giro d'Italia. He also plans to target the Vuelta a Espana in the final part of the season.

    Milan-San Remo winner Alexander Kristoff will take on Mark Cavendish, Marcel Kittel and the other sprinters on the flat stages.

    "Team Katusha brings to the Tour de France a balanced roster, where a part of the team will be aiming for mountain stages and another part will aim for the sprinters’ stages," team manager Viacheslav Ekimov said when announcing the team's sixth participation in the Tour de France.

    "This line-up reflects two main objectives for the team in the race. On the one hand Yury Trofimov will fight for the Top-10 of the general classification. From the other side Alexander Kristoff will fight with the world’s best sprinters in the flat stages. In addition, this year Joaquim Rodriguez, one of the undoubted leaders of Team Katusha, goes to the Tour de France in the unusual role of a freelancer. We hope 'Purito' will be able to find good form, which will allow him to fight for a stage win."

    "I think Katusha is ready for a new three-week adventure and the only thing...

  • Tour de France: NetApp-Endura focuses on Koenig's GC ambitions

    Leo König (NetApp-Endura)
    Article published:
    June 26, 2014, 14:32 BST
    By:
    Stephen Farrand

    No place for sprinter Sam Bennett

    The NetApp-Endura team has named its nine riders for its debut at the Tour de France, building its squad around Leo König and his hopes of doing well in the general classification. As a consequence sprinter Sam Bennett has not been selected, with team manager Ralph Denk preferring to give the young Irishman a break in July so he can be fresh for the second half of the season.

    König will have the support of four climbers, with Jan Barta, David de la Cruz, Australia's Zak Dempster, Bartosz Huzarski, Tiago Machado, Jose Mendes, Andreas Schillinger and Paul Voss joining in the blue and white NetApp-Endura colours. Yorkshiremen Scott Thwaites is named as a reserve and so is unlikely to get to race on his home roads during the Grand Depart stages.

    König finished ninth overall in the 2013 Vuelta a Espana and won a stage. He struggled due to a knee injury early this season but finished overall at the Bayern-Rundfahrt and eleventh at the Critérium du Dauphiné.

    All the riders in the NetApp-Endura line-up will be racing at the Tour de France for the very first time, although they have competed in either the Giro d’Italia or the Vuelta a Espana.

    "We'll be riding with the required level of respect, but also with self-confidence, at the Tour. We've just completed the most successful first half of the season in our team history, and of course the guys are extremely motivated," Denk said announcing the team.

    "The first goal we've set for ourselves is for Leo König to finish in the Top15 of the GC. We're assigning four climbers – De la Cruz, Huzarski, Machado and Mendes – to offer him support. In addition, we also intend to join in the battle for a stage win. With Barta...

  • Gesink returns to racing after heart surgery

    Robert Gesink (Team Belkin)
    Article published:
    June 26, 2014, 16:25 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Belkin rider will line up for Dutch national championships

    Robert Gesink will return to racing on Sunday for the first time since his successful heart surgery, when he lines up for the Dutch Road Championships in Ootmarsum on Sunday.

    The Belkin rider dropped out of competition after suffering from a cardiac arrhythmia that caused him to lose power during races over the past few years.

    He returned to training a month later with an altitude camp in the Sierra Nevadas, and was due to start in the Ster ZLM Toer, but skipped the race to recover from a crash that occurred during that camp. He also ruled out racing the Tour de France.

    Belkin directeur sportif Merijn Zeeman is hoping his team can make a statement in the race. "People can expect that we are going to make it a real race," Zeeman said. "We will ride offensively. We want to show who we are, and make it an attractive race for the fans."

    Belkin announced that it would not renew its sponsorship of the team after this year, and the team is currently seeking a replacement in addition to crowd-sourcing funding from fans.

    The team will line up at the championships with 15 riders, including Lars Boom who won the title on the same course in 2008.

    “I'm glad I’ve been able to win in the past. It would be nice to do it again this year. The red, white and blue jersey is very special to wear in the Tour de France," Boom said. "Last year, the parcours in Limburg was extremely hard, but in Ootmarsum, our majority can work in our favour.”

    The team will be missing sprinter Moreno Hofland and Bauke Mollema, who will rest up for the Tour de France. But Maarten Tjallingii said the team will...