Australian's 2015 Tinkoff-Saxo team bike
Winner of the 2015 Tour Down Under
New and old kicks and lids seen at WorldTour race
Wiggle Honda team bike of two-time World Champion
Spaniard talks about the Tour and next week's Critérium Dauphiné
Alberto Contador (Saxo-Tinkoff) will test his form for the rapidly approaching Tour de France at next week's Critérium Dauphiné and is confident he can take on Chris Froome and Bradley Wiggins in July.
The Spaniard will return to the Critérium Dauphiné and the Tour de France for the first time since completing his ban for doping in 2012. He beat Froome to win the Vuelta Espana last September, but was beaten by Froome at the Tour of Oman and at Tirreno-Adriatico this year.
Contador has not raced since Liege-Bastogne-Liege and did not seem at his best in the spring. However, after a month of training, much of it at his new base in Lugano in Switzerland, he is confident for the Tour de France, the big goal of his 2013 season.
"My forms improving and if my legs feel good, I'm not scared of Froome or Wiggins," Contador told the Cadena Sur radio station.
"Froome has been performing amazingly well in the last two years. He has a great chance to win a Grand Tour if the team works for him. It means he has a lot of responsibility, but he's having a good year and the results are going his way."
Contador is convinced that Wiggins will ride the Tour de France, despite the British rider's troubles at the Giro d'Italia.
"I think that Wiggins is going to ride the Tour. As last year's winner, I'd guess he wants to be there," Contador said. "I'm sure that if he rides, he'll be 99% at his best, especially after climbing off so early in the Giro."
Ready for the Critérium Dauphiné
The Critérium Dauphiné will see Contador up against Froome,...
Sport remains in second category
The International Olympic Committee today confirmed cycling as a "high category sport" for the 2016 Olympic Games. The status puts cycling in with basketball, football (soccer), tennis and volleball in category B, which "guarantees it more prestige and a larger share of Olympic revenue than most other sports", according to a UCI press release.
The revenue from the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London for cycling amounted to $22 million out of the total $520m in revenue for all sports. Athletics, previously the only Category A sport, collected more than twice that from London.
The Association of Summer Olympic International Federations directed the IOC to revise the groupings for Olympic sports, and the most major change came at Category A. Athletics will now share its revenue with gymnastics and swimming.
The sports were categorised according to several criteria, including television audience (40%), internet page views (20%), general popularity (15%), spectator ticket requests (10%), press coverage (10%) and the number of national federations involved (5%).
“This is a real boost to our sport worldwide,” said UCI President Pat McQuaid, who is also an IOC member. “Cycling is one of the few sports to have been present at every edition of the summer Olympic Games, and this is further proof that it is now more popular than ever.”
The revenue from the London Games was up 79% when compared with the 2008 Games in Beijing, IOC president Jacques Rogge told the Associated Press.
Three sports will vie for inclusion in the 2020 Games, it was announced today: wrestling has applied to be reinstated, and will compete with baseball and squash for addition to the programme.
Australian crit champ thinking beyond mastering circuit racing
Kimberley Wells waited a long time to be able to race overseas and so now, with a contract with US-based Fearless Femme p/b Pure Energy Cycling-Vie13, there's no holding back.
1 Physics the quantity of motion of a moving body, measured as a product of its mass and velocity.
2 the impetus gained by a moving object.
3 the impetus and driving force gained by the development of a process or course of events.
Wells, 27, earned her second victory of the US season on Monday winning the Tour of Somerville criterium. The result followed a month teeming with podiums, including another win at the Midtown Grand Prix but her victory on the Memorial Day holiday was particularly special, first across the line having sprinted away from a rare breakaway that stuck to the finish.
"The Tour of Somerville course is wide and open - it's not a breakaway course at all," Wells described to Cyclingnews. "As a team, we just kept attacking and attacking. You know, we thought we'd give it a go to see if a break could get away. There was actually a good break up the road with three riders in it, one of whom was my teammate, Erin Silliman, and she's not much of a sprinter but she's a good breakaway rider so we decided that one of us needed to go up there and help out as well.
"I bridged the gap and another girl came a bit later and we had a break of five riders. Even on the last lap I didn't know if the break would survive. It was really hard and trying to keep everyone motivated and working together was pretty tricky but we ended up averaging nearly 42k's an hour so we weren't slacking."
The back story
Wells win on January 1 this...
American replies to McQuaid's criticism
Lance Armstrong has responded to UCI president Pat McQuaid's assertions that he has not apologized for his doping infractions, and that he should come forward and pitch in to clean up the sport, by reiterating his desire to see a 'truth and reconciliation' commission formed.
"As I have said repeatedly, I am fully committed to participating in a comprehensive and global effort to help close this chapter of our sport," Armstrong told Cyclingnews. "For this to happen the sport desperately needs a Truth and Reconciliation Commission to be convened to address multiple generations and not just a single team.
"There has been too much posturing and politicizing of this already. It is time to get down to work. Let me be clear, I plan on being the first man in the door. Tell me when and where."
The World Anti-Doping Agency and the US Anti-Doping Agency have both supported the idea of such a commission, while the UCI rejected the idea on grounds it should not be limited to cycling, and then because it could not fund both the TRC and its independent commission. The IC was disbanded in January before it was able to complete its investigation of the UCI's anti-doping policies.
World Champion not officially selected by BMC squad
A disappointing start to the year and a spring campaign without a single victory has not deterred the current road world champion Philippe Gilbert from announcing his intentions to ride the Tour de France, even when faced with the possibility of limited opportunities to secure his own results during the three-week race.
Gilbert's BMC Racing Team has two dedicated leaders for the French grand tour in the form of Cadel Evans, who comes from finishing third-overall at the Giro d'Italia and will attempt to topple the record held by Firmin Lambot as the oldest Tour winner. Waiting in the wings if Evans should falter is his teammate van Garderen who won his first stage race at the Tour of California just a couple of weeks ago.
BMC'c nine-man roster is yet to be finalised and will likely come after the Tour de Suisse at the Critérium du Dauphiné but it's assumed the World Champion will be included in the line-up.
"I do not understand why the team is waiting to communicate the news but I very much want to go," Gilbert told nieuwsblad.be. "Officially, I cannot say but I think everyone understands that I will be in there and I will ride Switzerland [Suisse] in preparation."
The 30-year-old Walloon will captain the squad for the WorldTour race while supporting van Garderen for the overall classification. Greg van Avermaet will also be in attendance for the nine-stage race and faces a similar situation to his rainbow-band wearing teammate, expressing his desire to be at the start on 29 June in Porto-Vecchio on the island of Corsica. Van Avermaet has not ridden the Tour since...
Clement, Garate back up after Giro d'Italia
The eight-stage race looms as a key test, not just for the 32-year-old but also for the rest of the squad with spots in the Tour de France line-up up for grabs.
The Dauphiné represents a shift for ten Dam who in previous seasons has raced the Tour de Suisse in the lead up to the Tour.
"During the winter, we made a plan with him wherein the Dauphiné formed a primarily goal," explained sports director Merijn Zeeman. "Laurens will enjoy a protected status and have a free hand. As a team, we'll support him in the best possible way."
Stef Clement meanwhile will be coming off a Giro d'Italia where he finished in the top-10 in each of the two individual time trials with the discipline again his priority on Stage 4 of the Dauphiné, a 32.5km race against the clock. Juanma Garate is the other rider with the short break following the Giro.
"As for Tom-Jelte Slagter, we're aiming for a few of the trickier arrivals and by that I mean the arrivals falling just within the category of high mountain," continued Zeeman.
"Finally, we want the entire team to ride aggressively", he added. "Additionally, it is going to be a chance for some of our riders to improve their form ahead of the Tour."
The Blanco squad for the Critérium du Dauphiné: Laurens ten Dam, Tom-Jelte Slagter, Juanma Garate, Robert Wagner, David Tanner, Bram Tankink, Marc Goos and Stef Clement
Kermesses and Tour de Korea part of track development program
It's been a little over three weeks since he arrived in a drizzly Gent, Belgium but the weather has done little to dampen the winning streak of Luke Davison who is relishing his racing the kermesse circuit with members from the Australia National Track Team.
Davison has 'enjoyed' just a few rain-free days since landing earlier this month and has already accumulated a handy tally of wins in the kind of circuit races that helped forge his National Road Series title in 2012. Admittedly, the kermesses Davison and his teammates have been riding are more than twice the distance of the usual one-hour criteriums that heavily feature in the NRS calendar.
"We are here to get some k's in the legs," Davison told Cyclingnews. "The NRS is great but once you come to Europe there's such a depth and quality in the racing. Instead of a 60k crit, it's 120k's."
However, there were some tough kilometres to endure before the start of Davison's already promising European trip with the first stop at the Tour de Azerbaijan, where he experienced a tough five days of racing.
"It was a bit of an eye-opener. Most of us are used to racing the NRS or just one-day races. The first day was a flat stage that didn't really test the legs too much - a lot of teams were holding back but on the second day every man and his dog wanted to be in the EB [early break] and we were racing like a pack of 16-year-olds. The next day had three or four Category 2 climbs and we all got spat. It was pretty tough, from there it was hard to recover."
Racing 770km in five days came as a bit of a shock for Davison but the experience is exactly what track coach Tim Decker wanted to achieve.
"After the second day we were all knackered. It's about learning to understand your body and then adapt to to...
Tour de France KoM winner knocked back by Tour of Belgium crash
Team Europcar will send their two French captains to the Critérium du Dauphiné as part of their final preparation before the Tour de France. Thomas Voeckler is coming from a difficult week at the Tour of Belgium, where he was lantern rouge while Pierre Rolland has been steadily building his condition at the Bayern-Rundfahrt where he finished 17th-overall.
Voeckler and Rolland find themselves in very different stages of their build-up ahead of their season's biggest goal at the Tour de France which comes in less than a month's time; Voeckler is searching for race condition while his younger compatriot will be testing where he stands against a number of his key Tour rivals Chris Froome (Sky), Alberto Contador (Saxo-Tinkoff), Alejandro Valverde (Movistar), Joaquím Rodríguez (Katusha) and Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Lotto Belisol).
Last year's King of the Mountains winner Voeckler is still on the comeback trail after breaking his collarbone at Amstel Gold and received another knock when he crashed on Stage 1 of the recent Tour of Belgium. Voeckler spent the remaining 55km of the 194km stage on his own and spent the rest of the five-day race nursing his injuries while finishing the race as the last rider on the general classification.
"It will be difficult to get a result by the end of the race because I still feel the lack of competition over the recent weeks," wrote Voeckler...