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First Edition Cycling News, Thursday, October 17, 2013

Date published:
October 17, 2013, 1:00 BST
  • Gallery: Tour of Beijing in review

    Dan Martin would see a lot of his panda friend over the course of the race.
    Article published:
    October 16, 2013, 17:00 BST
    Cycling News

    Intxausti, Martin, Rui Costa and a panda costume

    The third edition of the Tour of Beijing brought the curtain down on the WorldTour calendar for 2013, with Benat Intxausti (Movistar) emerging victorious ahead of Dan Martin (Garmin-Sharp) and David Lopez (Sky).

    In 2011 and 2012, the final destination of the red jersey was decided early on as Tony Martin (Omega Pharma Quick Step) powered to early stage victories, but this time around, the summit finish at Mentougou Miaofeng Mountain on the penultimate day added a greater degree of suspense to proceedings. This was where Intxausti laid the foundation for his overall victory, slipping off the front of the leading group two kilometres from the summit to claim stage honours and the red jersey.

    The excitement was not limited to the lone summit finish, however. Stage 1 saw Thor Hushovd (BMC) claim a victory that he hopes will augur well for 2014 after two mixed campaigns, Nacer Bouhanni (FDJ) emphatically underlined his class with two smart sprint wins in Yanqing and Qiandiajian, while Luka Mezgec (Argos-Shimano) got his just reward after a string of near misses when he won the final stage outside the striking Bird’s Nest Stadium.

    The race also saw newly-crowned world champion Rui Costa enjoy his final outing as a Movistar rider, and his performance helped capture the teams classification in the final WorldTour rankings.

    Like last year, Dan Martin was an aggressive presence in the race, but this time around, he had a familiar ursine friend on hand to offer support – the Tour of Beijing panda was a recurring presence on the roadside.

    Check out Cyclingnews’ Tour of Beijing picture

  • Philly Cycling Classic earns classification upgrade for 2014

    The men roll to the start line on the top of the Manayunk Wall for the 2013 Philly Cycling Classic
    Article published:
    October 16, 2013, 18:00 BST
    Cycling News

    UCI 1.1 status for both men's and women's races

    The Parx Casino Philly Cycling Classic announced today that both the men's and women's races have received an upgraded classification by the UCI for the event's second edition in 2014. Scheduled for Sunday, June 1, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the men's and women's races are now both rated UCI 1.1 after being run as UCI 1.2 races this past June in the event's debut edition. The women's race is also on the 2014 USA Cycling National Racing Calendar (NRC).

    The 2014 edition of the race will once again focus equally on the men's and women's teams with separate races and starting times as well as equal prize money.

    "When we came forward with a new event to continue pro cycling in Philadelphia we also committed to renew the city's great tradition of world-class racing," said Richard Adler of Liberty Sports Development, the event producer. "The feedback following our inaugural event has been overwhelmingly positive, especially with regard to the course changes, which offered a whole new challenge to the teams who have raced here before.

    "So we are very pleased that the Parx Casino Philly Cycling Classic received this upgrade to a 1.1 by the UCI for 2014, making Philadelphia the highest rated one-day race in the USA. This new designation allows us to invite UCI ProTour teams and make other improvements to expand and enhance the status and prestige of this race for teams and sponsors."

    The inaugural running of this year's Parx Casino Philly Cycling Classic emerged out of the ashes of the venerable Philadelphia International Championship, the USA's premier one-day race which had a 28-year run from 1985 through 2012. From its inception in 1985, won by Eric Heiden, through 2005 the men's event did double duty as the US professional road race championship, last won on the streets of Philadelphia by Chris Wherry. While the US men's road championship moved to Greenville,...

  • Pozzato looks back at his troubled 2013 season

    Filippo Pozzato (Lampre - Merida) at the finish
    Article published:
    October 16, 2013, 20:30 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    Italian to target the Classics in 2014 but critical of Milan-San Remo route changes

    Filippo Pozzato (Lampre-Merida) is convinced he can still be a contender in the cobbled Classics in 2014 despite a terrible spring campaign and further questions about his desire and dedication to training in the Italian media.

    The Monaco-based Italian won the Trofeo Laigueglia in mid-February but was well down the result sheet in March and April and only turned his season around in late summer, when he won the GP Ouest France in Plouay and so secured a place in the Italian team for he world championships.

    The hilly Fiesole Worlds finishing circuit proved too tough for all the Classics riders, with Pozzato finishing 17th, 1:05 behind his future Lampre-Merida teammate Rui Costa. Peter Sagan, Fabian Cancellara and Philippe Gilbert did a little better finishing 34 seconds back but Pozzato proved he deserved his place in the Italian "Squadra".

    Pozzato was once considered a future star of Italian cycling after turning professional at just 18. He often showed signs of his ability and class, winning Milan-San Remo in 2006 but has struggled to secure further major victories. He is now 32 and has served a three-month ban for working with Dr. Michele Ferrari. His palmares are packed with placings but also regret and excuses.

    His 2013 spring campaign was disastrous but he claims there is a reason.

    "I can't be satisfied with my season if I look at the first part but I'm happy with the second part of the year because I won some important races," he told Cyclingnews.

    "There was a reason I didn’t do well in the Classics: I had a virus. I only realised what the problem was after the Classics. I didn't go out of my way to tell people because I know they'd say it was just an excuse. I was flying when Laigueglia but felt tired in the Classics and only found out why afterwards."

    Back on form


  • Fredericks to step down as CEO of Cycling Australia

    Cycling Australia CEO Graham Fredericks speaks to the audience.
    Article published:
    October 17, 2013, 0:50 BST
    Cycling News

    Australian Federation facing leadership change

    Cycling Australia has announced that long serving CEO Graham Fredericks will step down after 18 years in the role.

    Fredericks has led the Australian Cycling Federation during years of growth and development but also a series of scandals, most recently Stuart O'Grady's confession to doping after the Tour de France.

    Cycling Australia is in a moment of significant change. It is searching for a new president to replace Klaus Mueller, who stood down in August and is involved in the process of integrating BMX and mountain biking into one federation. It is also under pressure to improve the results of its Olympic program before a funding review in March by the Australian Sports Commission.

    Fredericks will end his role after the Cycling Australia Annual General Meeting on 9 November.

    "It has been a very real privilege to be at the centre of cycling's growth and development in Australia over the past two decades. However, all good things must come to an end and I believe the time is right to step aside and allow for a fresh approach," Fredericks said in a statement.

    "I am very proud of the role I have played in the sport's growth in popularity and profile as well as the expansion of Cycling Australia as an organisation. Cycling in Australia is on the verge of another significant step forward as an integrated industry. While I have been very active player in this process, it is important that I recognise when it is time to allow new energy and enthusiasm to drive this strategy."

    Cycling Australia confirmed that the process of selecting a new president and subsequently a new CEO is underway.

    "The process for securing new leadership at Cycling Australia is now well under way. A nominations committee has been working together to develop a shortlist of candidates for the vacant Cycling Australia presidency. Once appointed, the new president...

  • Michel Kreder leaves Garmin Sharp for Team Wanty-Groupe Gobert

    Stage winner Michel Kreder (Garmin - Cervelo) on the podium
    Article published:
    October 17, 2013, 2:49 BST
    Cycling News

    Belgian Pro-Continental team taking shape

    Michel Kreder announced recently in a statement on his website that he is making the transition from Garmin Sharp to Belgian Professional Continental team Wanty-Groupe Gobert. After speaking with Garmin and a number of other teams, Kreder chose to join the Belgian team on a one-year contract due better financial conditions and the "free role" he will be afforded.

    "I have had a lot of fun riding with Garmin Sharp," explained Kreder. "The past four years I have started my career with the team and have achieved good results.

    "I deliberately choose a team with a pro-continental status where I will get a free role and perhaps be a team-leader […] Scoring points in the Europe Tour and surprising in the World Tour. They are my goals for 2014."

    Kreder's decision comes as a contrast to Ben Hermans (RadioShack) who reportedly had a verbal agreement with Wanty-Groupe Gobert but instead chose to join BMC.

    "If you have to choose between a WorldTour team and a Pro Continental team, it's quite easy," said Hermans.

    The departure from Garmin will see Michel Kreder leaving his brother Raymond who also rides for Jonathan Vaughters' team, to be joined instead by his cousin Wesley at Wanty-Groupe Gobert.

    "I'm very happy with the arrival of my cousin Wesley Kreder to Wanty-Groupe Gobert. Attracting Wesley and the whole structure of this new project, made the choice even easier," explained Michel Kreder. "I see the future with confidence."

    Wanty-Groupe Gobert came about after the departure of Accent Jobs as a co-sponsor of the Accent Jobs-Wanty team, with Groupe Gobert being courted to fill the team's financial void by current...

  • Orica-AIS release 2014 roster

    2013 World Cup podium: Marianne Vos (Rabo Women), first, and Emma Johansson (Orica - AIS), second. Third placed Ellen van Dijk (Specialized - lululemon) did not compete in Plouay
    Article published:
    October 17, 2013, 3:50 BST
    Cycling News

    Three new signings for Australian team

    Orica-AIS have released their 2014 roster with Emma Johansson returning as team leader aside three new signings for the Australian team. Joining the team for the first time are Valentina Scandolara (MCipollini-Giordana), Carlee Taylor (Lotto Belisol) and Grace Sulzberger (Jayco-AIS). Interestingly, Tiffany Cromwell will not return to Orica-AIS and her destination for next season is currently unknown.

    Taylor joins her Australian teammates from Lotto Belisol following her second full season of racing in Europe, with one of the highlights being a strong team performance at the World Championships in Florence.

    "Carlee is a product of the AIS program," said Orica-AIS Director Martin Barras. "As such, we have kept a keen eye on her and her maturation this year. Her continued development coupled with our desire to get more climbing support made Carlee a great choice for us."

    Sulzberger will follow the steps of her brothers Bernie and Wesley to the top echelons of world cycling in joining the Orica-AIS squad. The youngest of the three siblings, Grace Sulzberger makes the step up after spending the last two seasons developing with the Jayco-AIS women's team.

    "We are pleased to welcome Grace Sulzberger into our fold," said Barras. "Although her season was cut short with a nasty injury when she fractured her femur shortly before Worlds, she demonstrated the know how and consistency we crave in a developing rider. I foresee a very fruitful future for her in the sport."

    Scandolara joins Orica-AIS from MCipollini-Giordana after a consistent season that included a stage win at the Thüringen Rundfahrt for the 23-year-old.

    "In a departure from our established policy to recruit only experienced non-Australians who can guide our younger riders, we are happy to welcome Valentina Scandolara to our team," said Barras. "Her exuberant racing style is a natural fit for our...

  • Stephen Roche lobbying for Tour of Ireland return

    Stephen Roche on Alpe d'Huez in the 1987 Tour.
    Article published:
    October 17, 2013, 5:23 BST
    Cycling News

    Believes Giro visit could spark resurgence

    Ireland will host the opening three stages of the 2014 Giro d'Italia and Irish cycling legend Stephen Roche is hoping the country can use the momentum it will gain to bring life back into the defunct Tour of Ireland. Roche conceded that the visit by the Tour de France to Ireland for the Grand Départ in 1998 did little to spark long term growth for Irish Cycling, he remained adamant nonetheless, that with a different set of circumstances the country is now better prepared to profit from a Grand Tour visit.

    "When the Tour de France came here, nobody from the Federation was ready to use it as a springboard. It came and went," Roche told The Irish Mirror. "And then the Pantani affair shot everything dead. Now there's a lot of water under the bridge, we're in a different era altogether."

    The Irish race was held 32 times between 1953 and 1992 with past winners including Phil Anderson, Sean Kelly and Pat McQuaid. The Tour was revived in 2007 but lasted only three iterations to be cancelled again in 2010 after a lack of sponsorship forced the hand of race organisers.

    Roche sighted the success of his son Nicholas Roche (Saxo-Tinkoff), his nephew Dan Martin (Garmin Sharp) and new Sky signee Philip Deignan (UnitedHealthcare) as helping pave the way for the next generation of Irish cyclists. He stressed, however, that re-instating the Tour of Ireland is essential if the country is to continue progressing.

    "We have some young riders like Nicolas, Dan and Philip Deignan, and they have shown we definitely have a really good breeding ground," said the 1987 World Champion. "But the unfortunate thing is the structures on the bottom rungs are poor.

    "It would be great to see infrastructure...

  • Quintana confident in ability to win Tour de France

    Nairo Quintana (Movistar)
    Article published:
    October 17, 2013, 5:42 BST
    Cycling News

    Colombian on leadership of Movistar team

    Nairo Quintana (Movistar) is confident in his ability to win the Tour de France in the coming years but says that he feels under no additional pressure since he finished second behind Chris Froome (Sky) in this year’s race.

    The Colombian made a sparkling Tour debut in July, reaching Paris as the king of the mountains and best young rider, and dropping Froome to win on the final summit finish at Semnoz. Still only 23 years of age, Quintana is expected to offer an even more robust challenge to Froome in 2014.

    “Yes, I see myself winning the Tour de France some day, I don’t see it far away. I don’t know if it will be in one year, in two or in three, but I have the capacity to do it,” Quintana told reporters in Madrid on Tuesday, according to the EFE news agency.

    “I don’t think it affects me to be a contender for the Tour. I’m taking it calmly: it’s not something that stresses me. I have to work hard and try to meet the expectations, nothing more than that.”

    Quintana was speaking at a press conference to announce that Movistar had extended its sponsorship of his team through to the end of the 2016 season, which was also attended by his teammate Alejandro Valverde and team manager Eusebio Unzue.

    While Quintana told reporters, “I feel like the team leader,” he was careful to point out that he had no problem in helping the other captain, Valverde.

    Valverde confirmed that he will again ride two Grand Tours in 2014. Although he will wait for the presentation of the Tour de France and Vuelta a España routes before finalising his programme, he admitted that...