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First Edition Cycling News, Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Date published:
August 20, 2013, 1:00 BST
  • Nibali looks to take it all at the Vuelta a Espana

    Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) was in a good mood after his Giro d'Italia win
    Article published:
    August 19, 2013, 13:56 BST
    Cycling News

    Giro d'Italia winner aiming for second Grand Tour title this year

    Giro d'Italia winner Vincenzo Nibali will look to win the Vuelta a Espana, and will be supported by “a strong team of climbing specialists” according to Team Astana.

    The Vuelta kicks off on Saturday with a team time trial. This year's race features 13 mountain stages, including 11 mountain top finishes. Amongst those is the Angliru on the penultimate stage, a fearsome climb with a gradient up to 23 percent.

    "The Vuelta is a very difficult race this year. There are some really important stages, like l'Angliru, that will be decisive for the final classification, and a lot of riders up for the challenge," Nibali said in the team's press release that confirmed the nine riders that will line-up in Galicia on Saturday.

    Nibali dominated the Giro d'Italia in March but has struggled to find his form after taking a long break from racing. He did not ride the Tour de France.

    "One attack by Contador changed the results of the entire Vuelta last year. Stages like that are a little bit extraordinary, but they are extraordinarily difficult as well. They happen when everybody is looking for an advantage, and when a team is strong enough to go to the front and do something exceptional. I think we have a really strong team, and I think we are going to race extremely well at the Vuelta," Nibali said.

    He will be supported by Paolo Tiralongo, Jakob Fuglsang, Janez Brajkovic, Andrei Grivko, Tanel Kangert, Andrey Zeits, Maxim Iglinskiy and Alessandro Vanotti.

  • Report: Klöden, Monfort dropped by Trek team for 2014

    Andreas Kloden (RadioShack-Leopard) stocks up.
    Article published:
    August 19, 2013, 15:05 BST
    Cycling News

    Vandewalle and Ligthart also said to be on the move

    There is no room for Andreas Klöden and Maxime Monfort on the new Trek team under construction from the ashes of the Radioshack-Leopard team for 2014, according to the Gazet van Antwerpen.

    The two veterans are looking for new teams for the 2014 season. The Belgian newspaper also said that Kristoff Vandewalle will sign with Trek, and that Lotto Belisol is pursuing Pim Ligthart.

    Monfort finished 14th in the Tour de France this year, the best of the RadioShack-Leopard team. However, with Trek taking over the team licence in 2014, the emphasis is said to be moving towards supporting Fabian Cancellara in the Classics. He is said to be talking to Lotto Belisol.

    Klöden, 38, is also reported to be without a contract, and is in contact with the Swiss team IAM. Klöden's last wins came for RadioShack in 2011 when he won the overall title in the Tour of the Basque Country and stages at the Giro del Trentino, Criterium International and Paris-Nice, where he finished second overall. In 2012 he was 11th overall in the Tour de France. He had finished second overall at the Tour de France in 2004 and 2006.

    Joining the Trek team would be Kristoff Vandewalle, Gazet van Antwerpen said. The Belgian, now with Omega Pharma-Quick Step team, has won his national time trial championship the last two years, and this year also took home the title at the Three Days of West Flanders.

    Lotto Belisol is talking not only to Monfort but also to Ligthart. The former Dutch champion currently rides for Vacansoleil-DCM, which will apparently stop at the end of the season. Ligthart was extremely aggressive in the recent Eneco Tour but failed to win a stage.

  • Pate extends with Team Sky

    Danny Pate
    Article published:
    August 19, 2013, 16:04 BST
    Cycling News

    American stays with British team

    Danny Pate has extended his contract with Team Sky. The British team made the announcement on the eve of his home race, the USA Pro Challenge in Colorado.

     “I enjoy riding for Team Sky, and I feel like I have a place that I’m really comfortable in, yet at the same time there is still a challenging platform to ride well,” he said.

    “We’re the number one team in the world right now. The guys don’t just rest on that. The team is always moving forward and trying to find the next improvement.

    “I like my position on the team. It’s not the team leader spot - that’s just not what I am. I enjoy what I do and I’m happy that the team values the work I do for them.”

    The 34-year-old joined the team in 2012. He turned pro in 2000 with Saeco, and has ridden with a number of teams since then.

    He has had no individual wins whilst with Sky, but “has been a model of consistency since joining the team at the start of the 2012 season and his selfless brand of powerful riding has helped secure numerous race wins,” the team said in its press release.

    “We’re delighted to have got a new deal in place for Danny. Everyone in the team knows just how hard he works and it’s no coincidence that he’s been part of some our best stage race performances,” said team principal Dave Brailsford.

    “He is a great personality to have in the squad and as we continue to target success he is undoubtedly going to be a key asset.”

  • Q&A: Talansky on top-10 Tour debut, USA Pro Challenge

    Andrew Talansky (Garmin-Sharp) slipped down in the white jersey competition
    Article published:
    August 19, 2013, 16:45 BST
    Peter Hymas

    American excited about opportunity to race Stateside

    Andrew Talansky's current season, his third year within the Garmin organisation, has certainly been stellar for the 24-year-old American. Earlier this year, the Garmin-Sharp American had a stage win plus a stint in the leader's jersey at Paris-Nice where he eventually finished second overall to Richie Porte (Sky). He followed that with a sixth place result at Criterium International, won by Porte's teammate Chris Froome, and then finished 16th at Tour de Romandie and 28th at Criterium du Dauphine.

    Talansky already had two Grand Tour finishes in his palmares - both at the Vuelta a Espana, highlighted by a seventh place general classification in his most recent 2012 participation - but 2013 would be the year he made his Tour de France debut. Having built to the Grand Boucle all season, Talansky delivered a stunning result, finishing 10th overall and finishing strong in the final week to crack the top-10.

    Talansky has since recovered from his Tour de France outing and Cyclingnews spoke to him Sunday on the eve of the USA Pro Challenge in Colorado. Talansky reflected on his Tour de France experience plus provided insight regarding his first participation at the USA Pro Challenge, kicking off today with a circuit race in Aspen, where he will be one of several strong options on the Garmin-Sharp roster for both stage wins and overall victory. Talansky also discussed his schedule for the remainder of the season and voiced his support of Tour de France champion Froome, who also will be competing in Colorado along with lieutenant Porte.

    Cyclingnews: Four Sundays ago, you finished your debut Tour de France in 10th place overall, the highest placed American at the 100th edition and your second consecutive top-10 in Grand Tours....

  • Rodriguez to lead Katusha in Vuelta a Espana

    Joaquim 'purito' Rodriguez lights a cigar during the roll-out from Versailles
    Article published:
    August 19, 2013, 19:10 BST
    Cycling News

    Spaniard chasing victory after three Grand Tour podiums

    Joaquim Rodriguez will be the team leader at Katusha at the upcoming Vuelta a Espana. The Spaniard has been on the podium of his last three Grand Tours, but is still looking for his first overall title.

    Rodriguez finished second in last year's Giro d'Italia and third in both the 2012 Vuelta and 2013 Tour de France.The Vuelta opens on Saturday with a team time trial. It also has 13 mountain stages and a mountainous individual time trial.

    Rodriguez will be supported in Spain by Giampaolo Caruso, Vladimir Gusev, Vladimir Isaychev, Dmitriy Kozonchuk, Alberto Losada, Daniel Moreno, Luca Paolini and Angel Vicioso. The team includes a mix of talent and experience that is suited to the hilly parcours.

    The Spaniard, who last year topped uhe UCI WorldTour rider rankings thanks to his consistency, has only two wins to his name this season: at the Tour of Oman and Tirreno-Adriatico. However, he has secured top three finishes at the Tour de France, Liege-Bastogne-Liege and the Volta a Catalunya.

  • Gerdemann signs with MTN-Qhubeka

    Linus Gerdemann will hope to find some form after a difficult couple of years
    Article published:
    August 19, 2013, 20:33 BST
    Cycling News

    German commits to two-year deal with African team

    Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung has signed Linus Gerdemann for the 2014-2015 seasons. The German rose to fame in 2007 when he won a stage of the Tour de France and earned himself the yellow and white jerseys. Since then, he has gone on to enjoy more successful years at the highest level of the sport, winning races like Bayern Rundfahrt and Tour of Luxembourg. He will now use that experience to grow the momentum within Africa's first Professional Continental team.

    "I am really happy to join the team," the 30-year old-said. "We have a huge opportunity to make the sport big on the African continent, and you don't have this opportunity everyday. I see huge potential for African cycling and it's an honour for me to join the team."

    Team MTN-Qhubeka races with the goal of mobilizing more people on bicycles in Africa through the Qhubeka foundation. Gerdemann's signing is part of a strategic move by the management team. His experience will be used to fast track the development of the African athletes on the team.

    "I see that as part of my job here, to make African cycling bigger. The racing in Europe at the moment is tougher and bigger, so it's important to have the experience to share. From what I've seen though, the guys are motivated and with my experience I think I definitely want to help for African cycling to grow."

    Left without a contract for 2013, Gerdemann was left to look for motivation and keep fit with no set goals. He says Gerald Ciolek's victory in Milan San Remo was a major motivator.

    "I've trained for a long time with him. For me, he is like a young cycling brother as we...

  • Valverde aims for overall victory at Vuelta a Espana

    Alejandro Valverde (Movistar)
    Article published:
    August 19, 2013, 22:03 BST
    Cycling News

    Movistar captain looks to repeat 2009 success

    Alejandro Valverde is looking for his second victory at the Vuelta a Espana, after finishing second in the third Grand Tour of the year in 2012. He won the Spanish race in 2009, and can look back to seven individual stage wins, and four special jerseys at his home tour during his career.

    In addition, Movistar will work to continue its streak of Grand Tour stage wins. It has won at least one stage in every race since the Giro d'Italia 2011, for a total of 16 stages in three years.

    Valverde will be supported by Eros Capecchi, Beñat Intxausti, José Herrada, Javi Moreno, Sylwester Szmyd, Imanol Erviti, Iván Gutiérrez and Pablo Lastras.

    Valverde finished eighth overall in this year's Tour de France, and the Movistar team feels he has fully recovered from that race.

    “We're looking for him to get a bit fresher for the start of the Vuelta, we already ruled him out of some early-season races, so he could stay strong in both the Tour and the Vuelta - that's why we're confident he'll keep up,” said team general manager Eusebio Unzue. “He will be our only GC leader, and will have a strong and balanced team by his side.”

    Unzue played down the dangers of the Vuelta's 13 mountain stages and 11 mountaintop finishes. Although he said “Granada and the Angliru should play a significant role in the race - the other mountain-top finishes might not create such big gaps within the GC contenders,” he said.

    “Just like in previous editions, the field of race favourites is big and strong. Nibali might be the most solid rider coming into the start, with his great palmarès in all three Grand Tours recently. Still, I think Alejandro and Purito will be close...

  • Team NetApp-Endura ready for maiden Vuelta a Espana

    Jan Barta (NetApp-Endura) finished third overall at Bayern-Rundfahrt
    Article published:
    August 20, 2013, 1:01 BST
    Cycling News

    German team seeking first Grand Tour stage win

    Team NetApp-Endura is looking to take its first Grand Tour stage win during its debut in the Vuelta a Espana. The German Professional Continental team received a wildcard invitation to the race.

    The team is heavy on climbers, as befits a squad for a race with 13 mountain stages and 11 mountaintop finishes. NetApp-Endura will not have a designated leader but will as all the riders to be active along the way. 

    Climbers Leo König, Iker Camano, David de la Cruz, and Jose Mendes will be the team's men for mountains. All rounders are Jan Barta, Bartosz Huzarski, Daniel Schorn and Paul Voss, while Australian Zak Dempster will look for results in sprints.

    The team's climbers recently reconned the mountain stages with Vuelta technical director Inigo Cuesta.

    “The Vuelta is the clear highlight of our season. In line with this, our team comprises a selection of strong and experienced riders. It will only be our second Grand Tour and we are absolute outsiders – but for this very reason the boys are going into it highly motivated,” said team manager Ralph Denk.

    “After having made it to the podium at the Giro twice, our aim now is to win a stage. I think we are well suited for the mountainous parts of the race and people ought to be watching out for us making a break on the hillier stages. We will keep a visible presence and participate actively.”

    The team has had eight victories in 2013, only its third season at the Professional Continental level. Four of them came from Barta, who won the individual time trial and overall title at...