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First Edition Cycling News, Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Date published:
January 14, 2014, 0:00 GMT
  • Dáyer Quintana's Movistar debut delayed

    Fans of Nairo Quintana by the Movistar bus
    Article published:
    January 13, 2014, 20:58 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Visa problems force Colombian out of Tour de San Luis

    Dáyer Quintana’s debut for Movistar has been delayed because the Colombian does not have the necessary papers to travel to Argentina for the Tour de San Luis, which gets underway on January 20.

    “I wasn’t able to get the documents in time and so I’m not travelling,” Quintana told Colombian newspaper El Tiempo.

    The Movistar team will be led in Argentina by Quintana’s older brother, Nairo, who finished second at the Tour de France last year, as well as winning the Tour of the Basque Country and Vuelta a Burgos.

    Andrey Amador, Beñat Intxausti, Fran Ventoso and new arrival Adriano Malori complete the Movistar line-up for the Tour de San Luis.

    The 21-year-old Dáyer Quintana’s Movistar debut is instead likely to take place at the Challenge Mallorca, which starts on February 9. “Once I have the documentation, I’ll travel to Spain to start the season, beginning in Mallorca,” Quintana said.

    The younger of the Quintana brothers made his European debut last year, racing for Pamplona-based amateur outfit Equipo Lizarte, before making the step up to WorldTour level with Movistar for 2014.

  • Lotto-Belisol looking for stage wins in Tour Down Under

    Greipel pulled on the People's Choice Classic winner's jersey for the second consecutive year
    Article published:
    January 14, 2014, 1:57 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    No pressure to claim overall victory for Belgian team

    Although Lotto-Belisol will head to the Tour Down Under for next week's start to the WorldTour calendar with two-time winner André Greipel, the Belgian team is not under pressure to fight for the overall victory. Directeur sportif Herman Frison is, however, hoping the team can get its first victory of 2014 as soon as possible.

    One place Greipel may be able to fulfill that goal is at the People's Choice Classic criterium in Adelaide, which precedes the Tour Down Under. Greipel has won the race three times, including the past two editions, and will have his faithful lead-out men to help him battle the likes of Matt Goss, Marcel Kittel and Mark Renshaw, and guide him to a third straight victory.

    The same crew will pilot the train in the Tour Down Under, but when it comes to the general classification, the team can freelance a bit more than in previous years.

    "The Tour Down Under is very important to us," Frison said. "It's the first race of the WorldTour and the faster you can win on that level, the better for the team and the riders. That takes off the pressure. That's why we want to win a stage as soon as possible.

    "After that we will aim for a second one and it would be totally amazing if we could also win a third stage like was the case last year. The race has become tougher than the past years, in theory I see three opportunities for a bunch sprint. It's always nice to win the criterium in the run-up to the Tour Down Under, after all it's the first confrontation between the sprinters, but that race isn't a goal in itself."

    Greipel can count on his final lead-out men, Jens Debusschere and Jürgen Roelandts, while Adam Hansen, Marcel Sieberg, Olivier Kaisen, and neo-pro Stig Broeckx do the lion's share of the work before the sprint. Frison says the riders other than Greipel can take their...

  • No additional pressure at IAM Cycling for Chavanel

    Sylvain Chavanel lines up for IAM Cycling in 2014.
    Article published:
    January 14, 2014, 10:10 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Frenchman targets classics in 2014

    After five years in the service of Tom Boonen in the spring classics, Sylvain Chavanel is ready to take over the reins of leadership at new squad IAM Cycling, but the Frenchman said that he does not feel any additional pressure at the prospect.

    “Pressure is something that you put on yourself,” Chavanel told La Côte at IAM Cycling’s presentation in Geneva on Monday. “In any case, it’s not the same as when I was on Tom Boonen’s team, for example, when we ‘had’ to win the classics.”

    While Chavanel made a substantial contribution to QuickStep’s classics haul over the years, he recouped relatively little personal reward for his efforts, with two victories at the Three Days of De Panne and a narrow second place finish at the 2011 Tour of Flanders his best spring results during his time at the team.

    At 34 years of age, however, Chavanel believes that time is still on his side as he bids to land victory in a major classic. Indeed, it was only after his Dwars door Vlaanderen victory at Cofidis in 2008 that Chavanel began to focus on the cobbled classics in earnest.

    “I’m approaching 2014 in top form, I reached my sporting maturity later than other riders,” he said. “The main thing is that I’m still enjoying it. I have two years with IAM ahead of me, and my priority remains this first part of the year.

    “I’m a man for the start of the season, and March is the period that I prefer, even if it’s not the only one I like. The team wants to participate in the Tour de France too, and we have good riders for the stage races, like Mathias Frank.”

    ...
  • Gallery: Tinkoff-Saxo unveils 2014 team kit

    Alberto Contador (Tinkoff - Saxo)
    Article published:
    January 14, 2014, 10:51 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Contador praises team atmosphere

    The Tinkoff-Saxo team unveiled its new jersey for 2014 during the team's training camp in Gran Canaria on Tuesday morning. The bright Tinkoff yellow is now the dominant colour on the new jersey, designed by Sportful, after Russian businessman Oleg Tinkov bought the team from Bjarne Riis during the winter.

    Alberto Contador lead the team out for the first training ride in the new colours, with a four-hour workout planned for the day. Contador looked relaxed before the ride, joking with his teammates about the new colours.

    "The atmosphere in the team is fantastic. We’re a very close group. Everyone’s clear what the main objectives are and we’re all heading in the same direction," Contador said in an official press release from the team.

    Contador's major goal for 2014 is the Tour de France. He will also ride the Vuelta a Espana. Contador will begin his 2014 season at the Volta ao Algarve in Portugal in early February.

    "He looks very strong – certainly stronger than 12 months ago. We have a powerful team around him and we’re very hopeful of a memorable year," team manager Bjarne Riis said. "But it’s not exclusively about the Tour. We have many ambitions for 2014."

    Roman Kreuziger, Nicolas Roche, Rafal Majka, Oliver Zaugg, Daniele Bennati and Matti Breschel will lead the team in other races in 2014. Roche is recovering from a knee injury but is set to lead the new-look Tinkoff-Saxo team at the Giro d'Italia when it starts in Ireland in May.

    For a full gallery of official team photos of the new Tinkoff-Saxo jersey, click here.

  • Novikov given two-year ban by RUSADA

    Nikita Novikov
    Article published:
    January 14, 2014, 12:35 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Russian cyclist disqualified for steroid use

    Former Vacansoleil rider Nikita Novikov has been handed a two-year ban by the Russian Anti-Doping Agency, for the use of banned substances.

    “Based on the findings of the Disciplinary Committee of the Anti-Doping decided to disqualify the athlete Nikita Novikov for 2 years,” stated the short statement on the RUSADA website.

    The Russian tested positive, after an out of competition test, for the steroids hydroxy-ostarine and o-dephenyl-ostarine, in May of last year. Both drugs help to promote muscle mass and muscle strength.

    Novikov turned professional with the, now defunct, Vacansoleil team in 2012, after four years on the Itera-Katusha development squad. He showed good promise at the Russian continental team, but failed to replicate that in the WorldTour. His only notable result was 14th at the Quatre Jours de Dunkerque. Novikov only competed in 10 races before his suspension last June.

    The ban will be backdated to the date of his suspension, and will end on June 6, 2015. Russian cycling has been under the microscope at the Russian anti-doping agency, with three other riders being handed sanctions in the last month.
     

  • Unzué: Quintana is spectacular

    Nairo Quintana (Movistar) throws his arms in the air after winning stage 20
    Article published:
    January 14, 2014, 13:49 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Says Colombian's performances are more than he'd hoped for

    Movistar team manager, Eusebio Unzué believes that Colombian sensation Nairo Quintana is racing ahead of any predictions made earlier in his career.

    “With him, everything is accelerated,” Unzué told Spanish newspaper Diario Vasco. “He won the Tour de l’Avenir, the amateur Colombian time trial championships, then a stage of the Dauphiné, with the whole Sky team behind.”

    Quintana has been one of Movistar’s big success stories. The 23-year-old Colombian joined Movistar in 2012 and almost immediately went on to win the Vuelta a Murcia. He now has three more general classification victories to his name and second place, and stage victory, the white jersey, and the king of the mountains jersey at the Tour de France.

    “He is premature doing these things. At 23 he is doing spectacular things. Clearly he is of high quality. Nairo is privileged physically and he has a head equally as privileged.”

    This season sees the Colombian switch his focus to the Giro d’Italia. The abundance of climbing and a mountain time trial will play into his hands. It will be his first appearance in the Italian grand tour but Quintana will be one of the favourites when the race begins in Belfast. Quintana begins his season at the Tour de San Luis next Monday, where he test his form against Joaquim Rodríguez and Vincenzo Nibali.

    A repeat success

    Quintana’s performances in 2013 helped to secure the Spanish team the

  • Phinney targets Tour de France debut in 2014

    Taylor Phinney (BMC) at the wind tunnel testing facility in Brackley
    Article published:
    January 14, 2014, 14:45 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    BMC rider begins season at Tour de San Luis

    Taylor Phinney is aiming to make his Tour de France debut in 2014, his fourth season as a professional. The American will again target the Spring Classics in the early part of the year, but is keen to line up at La Grande Boucle in July, where his fellow countryman Tejay van Garderen will lead BMC’s challenge.

    “The biggest goal for me would be to make the Tour de France team, other than having solid performances in the Classics, where Milan-San Remo and Paris-Roubaix are very important to me as they’re two of my favourite races,” Phinney said. “Those are big goals, and then making the Tour de France team and being able to help Tejay [van Garderen], I’m quite excited about that, but I have to make that team first.”

    Phinney was speaking at BMC’s pre-season training camp in Solvang, California before flying to Argentina for his first race of the 2014 campaign, the Tour de San Luis. The 23-year-old spent the month of December training in Southern California and declared himself pleased with his winter preparation in general, citing his decision to hire a full-time soigneur in Reed McCalvin as a major contributing factor in the first injury-free off-season of his professional career.

    “I’ve always struggled with injuries in the off-season, mainly due to cold weather and changes in bike position, and not having the available therapy or not making use of available therapy because you don’t race for a while,” he said. “This off-season is the first off-season where I’ve not had any issues and I’ve been able to knock out every single training day basically to perfection, and I owe that a lot to having hired my own personal soigneur and being a couple of years older...

  • Cancellara unfazed by crash with car

    Fabian Cancellara (Trek Factory Racing)
    Article published:
    January 14, 2014, 18:53 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Trek rider escaped with minor injuries over weekend

    Classics star Fabian Cancellara escaped a run-in with a car while training on his home roads in Bern, Switzerland with only minor scrapes and bruises this weekend, La Gazzetta dello Sport reported today.

    Cancellara's attendance at this week's Trek Factory Team camp in Mallorca was not affected by the incident, which happened when a car cut him off and sent him to the tarmac.

    "[It is] nothing to worry about," his team manager Luca Guercilena told La Gazzetta dello Sport. "We've backed off his training a bit to work on his base."

    The 32-year-old took part in the team's media day and presentation last week, and was asked about the fact that he and rival Tom Boonen have taken turns being unable to be competitive in the cobbled Classics because of crashes in the past two years.

    "That's what makes racing special: nothing is predictable," Cancellara said on Friday. "I respect [Boonen] a lot. Of course I didn’t want to see him on the ground but I was on the ground the year before. Sport is not predictable."