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First Edition Cycling News, Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Date published:
March 11, 2014, 0:00 GMT
  • Meersman penalised for drafting at Paris-Nice

    After fighting for the race lead in Paris-Nice, Gianni Meersman found himself on the ground in the last 10km
    Article published:
    March 10, 2014, 17:55 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Omega Pharma-QuickStep rider docked 1:10

    Gianni Meersman (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) has been docked 1:10 by commissaires at Paris-Nice as punishment for prolonged drafting by a team car as he attempted to regain the peloton following a crash in the finale of stage 2.

    After picking up two bonus seconds on the day’s intermediate sprints, Meersman was in the virtual overall lead when he was among the fallers in a crash a little over 10 kilometres from the finish in Saint-Georges-sur-Baulche.

    Meersman was forced to wait for a bike change and had no teammates with him once he got going again, but television pictures showed that he spent prolonged periods of time tucked in the slipstream of the Omega Pharma-QuickStep team car in a bid to rejoin the bunch.

    The Belgian failed to make it back up to the front of the race, and ultimately rolled home in 101st place, in a sizable group that finished 18 seconds down on stage winner Moreno Hofland (Belkin).

    That result would have left Meersman in 45th place overall, 21 seconds off the yellow jersey of Nacer Bouhanni (FDJ.fr), but shortly after the finish of the stage, the commissaires decided to penalise him for drafting behind his team car. Meersman was thus docked 1:10 and his overall position has been corrected to 102nd, 1:31 down on Bouhanni.


     

  • Gallery: Bissell Development Team rebuilding in 2014

    Merckx enjoys heading out on the training rides with the team, but not necessarily for the whole 6 hour ride.
    Article published:
    March 10, 2014, 19:03 GMT
    By:
    Pat Malach

    Merckx leading next generation of stars

    New sponsorship and team kits may be the most notable changes for Axel Merckx's Bissell Development Team this year, but the squad is also bringing in nine new riders to the 14-man Continental team roster that will compete in North America and Europe during the upcoming season.

    After directing the team since 2009, Merckx took over ownership in the off-season, and along with the new sponsor, he brought former Bissell Pro Cycling manager Glen Mitchell and director Omer Kem on board. Of the nine new riders lining up with the team this year, five are in their first year out of the junior ranks.

    "I think we have probably the most talented group that has moved up from the junior ranks," Merckx told Cyclingnews during team camp last week in Santa Rosa.

    "Tao Geoghegan Hart, Nate Van Hooydonk, Geoffrey Curran and Logan Owen - we do have the best in the world," he said. "At least top of the world in the junior rankings, and we are hoping from here on that their development will continue to move. It doesn't have to move fast, but just keep going."

    Mountain biker Keegan Swirbul is the fifth rider Merckx signed this year from the junior ranks, and he's hoping the climber who beat Lance Armstrong in a mountain bike race when he was just 17 will be able to transfer his considerable talent to the road.

    Despite what is obviously a rebuilding year for the team, Merckx is hoping several key returning riders will provide the team leadership and results that have been hallmarks of his program. Twenty-one-year-old Kiwi James Oram is one of the riders who appears ready to step into that role this year.

    "I've seen him...

  • Hofland claims biggest win of young career

    Moreno Hofland (Belkin) stage winner in Paris-Nice
    Article published:
    March 10, 2014, 23:30 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Lars Boom out of Paris-Nice with fractured elbow

    Stage 2 of Paris-Nice was a day of mixed fortune for Belkin as Lars Boom crashed out of the race with 10km left but there was salvation in victory which came courtesy of Moreno Hofland who bested John Degenkolb (Giant-Shimano) and race leader Nacer Bouhanni (FDJ). Despite losing Boom in the finale of the 205km stage from Rambouillet to Saint-Georges-sur-Baulche, the Dutch team's lead out was inch perfect in delivering the 22-year-old first across the line.

    "It's a great victory. The team rode great today. The stage was hectic again, because there were some crosswinds. We all tried to be in the front at the dangerous points," Hofland said after the podium ceremony.

    "I wanted to surprise the bunch, so I made a long sprint. I jumped with 250 metres to go, and no one came around me. I am so happy, because this is a big race. This is Paris-Nice."

    Swirling crosswinds helped Belkin to set up Hofland for a chance at the win on a day that saw a two-man breakaway of Anthony Delaplace (Bretagne-Séché Environnement) and Aleksejs Saramotins (IAM Cycling) spend almost 200km alone out in front having attacked the bunch inside the opening two...

  • Matthew Lloyd ready to spring back with Jelly Belly-Maxxis

    Matthew Lloyd (Lampre-Merida) at the 2013 Tour Down Under.
    Article published:
    March 11, 2014, 1:00 GMT
    By:
    Pat Malach

    Australian putting health issues behind him

    Former WorldTour rider Matthew Lloyd raised a few eyebrows earlier this year when he signed with Jelly Belly-Maxxis for the 2014 season, but the 2010 Giro d'Italia mountains classification and stage winner said he was looking for a fresh start with the US Continental team.

    "With this bunch, I've noticed that there's a constant eagerness to get involved with new ways of looking at the clothing and the bike technology and everything else," he told Cyclingnews last week during the team's training camp in Southern California.

    "So it is a fresh feeling. And that's a pretty different vibe to Europe where you get the historical aspect of things, which sometimes crowds out the progress forward," he said. "And that's probably the really big difference with the US - probably Canada and Australia are similar, too. You get a real feel for people pushing to really get the most out of things. And with that in mind you get the sponsors on board to accompany that push. So that's been impressive."

    The 30-year-old former Australian national road champion has had a rough go of it over the past several seasons, and he sat out most of last year. Lloyd was hit by a car while training in Melbourne following the 2010 season, injuring his back and shoulder. He returned for 2011, but another injury brought his time with Omega Pharma-Lotto to an abrupt end.

    Lloyd bounced back with Lampre-ISD in 2012, but he broke his collarbone and elbow during the Tour de France, eventually dropping out of the French Grand Tour and failing to finish all but two of the following eight races that ended his season.

    "If you'd have...

  • BMC head to Tirreno with Evans as leader

    Cadel Evans (BMC) placed 7th at Strade Bianche
    Article published:
    March 11, 2014, 2:30 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    2011 winner of the 'race of the two seas' continuing his Giro build up

    In 2011 Cadel Evans (BMC) won his first Tour de France in a season which also saw the Australian win the overall at the Tour de Romandie and Tirreno-Adriatico where he also won Stage 6. Evans is once again heading to the race which is held between the Tyrrhenian and Adriatic coasts of Italy which has been won by Italian Vincenzo Nibali for the past two season. Nibali won't be there to defend his title and Evans enters the race with a strong team and therefore, as a favourite for the win.

    The seven-day race starts with a 16.9km team time trial, contains a pair of mountain stages on Saturday and Sunday and finishes with a 9.2km individual time trial. The race will be a chance for Evans to test himself against riders such as Richie Porte (Sky) who will line up in Belfast for the start of the Giro as his main rivals for the maglia rosa in May while other GC rivals will be Alberto Contador, Robert Gesink, Rigoberto Uran and Nairo Quintana.

    Having taken out seventh place at Strade Bianche, Evans said that the one-day race was a sign of where his form currently sits.

    "Strade Bianche was a little bit of an indicator for Tirreno and a good workout with some of the riders I hadn't raced with before who will be at Tirreno," Evans said.

    Valerio Piva, BMC Racing Team Sport Director for Tirreno, said Evans will be helped by a number of veteran riders, including Steve Morabito, Manuel Quinziato, Michael Schär and Danilo Wyss. Morabito, Quinziato and Schär were on hand to help Evans navigate through the gravel sectors of Strade Bianche.

    "All three of them are strong and experienced guys who will keep Cadel in good position to the base of the climbs," Piva...

  • Three key objectives for Orica-GreenEdge at Tirreno-Adriatico

    Ivan Santaromita shows off his new Orica-GreenEdge Italian national champion's jersey
    Article published:
    March 11, 2014, 4:30 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Team time trial first goal

    For Orica-GreenEdge a job well done at Tirreno-Adriatico would be a "strong performance" in its ‘pet event,' the team time trial, support for Ivan Santaromita on the general classification all while honing form for the Spring Classics. The team for the Italian WorldTour event contains several strong time trialists and will be out to emulate their 2012 effort when the Australians won the nine-man race against the clock.

    Sport Director Matt White told the GreenEdge website about the ambitions the squad has for the opening stage of 'The Race of the Two Seas.'

    "Stage one will be the most important stage for us. It is the team time trial, and this is where we hope to shine. There won't be many team time trial opportunities before the World Championships – the Giro d'Italia and maybe Eneco Tour – so this will be a good early season test for us," White said.

    With the start of Milan-San Remo just days after the conclusion of the eight day tour, Tirreno will reveal who is on form for the first major classic of the season as White revealed that he is yet to make up his mind over who will take part of La Primavera.

    While the team won't be targeting any of the sprint stages, White stated that Stage 1 wouldn't offer "much for us" and only if GreenEdge holds the blue Classifica generale jersey would they work to hold it. With the slight increase to the finish line the next day, White suggested that if either of Daryl Impey or Simon Clarke...

  • Wanty and Bardiani awarded last wildcards for Amstel Gold Race

    Roman Kreuziger (Saxo-Tinkoff) saved his team's spring by winning Amstel Gold Race
    Article published:
    March 11, 2014, 9:20 GMT
    By:
    Cyclingnews

    24 teams set to ride Dutch Classic

    The Amstel Gold Race has awarded the last two of the six wildcards for its event. Belgian team Wanty-Groupe Gobert and Italian team Bardiani-CSF will line up for the Dutch WorldTour race on the 20th of April. 

    Wanty-Groupe Gobert will bring Björn Leukemans to the start in Maastricht. The Belgian Classics specialist was seventh in last year's edition. He obtained the same result in 2011 when he was riding for Vacansoleil-DCM and in 2005 for Davitamon-Lotto.

    The Italian Pro-continental team Bardiani-CSF adds a fifth wildcard for a WorldTour race to its race schedule. After tickets for the Tirreno-Adriatico, Milan-San Remo, Giro d'Italia and Il Lombardia, the Amstel Gold Race is its first WorldTour race outside of Italy. 

    Last year's Amstel Gold Race took place with 25 teams, 19 WorldTour teams and six wildcards. This year's event offers room to only 24 teams. The other four wildcards were awarded in February to Androni-Giocatolli, the team of Dutch champion Johnny Hoogerland, Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise, IAM Cycling with Sylvain Chavanel and CCC Polsat with former winner Davide Rebellin. 

  • Cyclingnews online production editor required - North America

    Cyclingnews' own Laura Weislo puts in an effort as Contador watches on.
    Article published:
    March 17, 2014, 13:30 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Join the Cyclingnews team

    Cyclingnews, the world's leading cycling web site, is looking for a full or part-time online production editor based in North America.

    The position requires applicants to have a keen interest and thorough knowledge of competitive cycling, as well as editorial or writing experience with excellent English skills. Familiarity with news writing style and Associated Press Stylebook is required.

    The position will involve producing reports, results, photos and features from the world of cycling, so fluency in a second language is also an advantage, as is a familiarity with online production techniques, experience in journalism and copy editing. Familiarity with writing for search engine optimization is preferred. Fluency with Microsoft Excel macros and text editors (TextPad) is desired.

    The applicants will need to be self-starters as the position involves working from home, with regular communication between production editors in all Cyclingnews offices. As Cyclingnews is a 24/7 daily news operation, the position will require regular weekend work. Travel may be required, up to 10%.

    Please send your CV with a cover letter via e-mail to laura@cyclingnews.com with "Cyclingnews online editing position" in the subject line, and specify if you desire full- or part-time work. Deadline for applications is March 17, 2014 with an expected start date of April 1, 2014.

    Job Responsibilities:

    Generate, develop, and write bylined feature articles and news content.
    Manage daily posting of news content.
    Edit, copy-edit, and proof all content posted on the website, rewriting content in the site’s voice and style when necessary.
    Write and edit all headlines for maximum click potential.
    Work with the Managing Editor and Deputy Editor in the exploration of new ideas and methods to grow website traffic.
    Contribute to Cyclingnews social media outlets, such as FaceBook and Twitter

    ...