- Article published:
- November 25, 2013, 20:30
- Cycling News
Vino4Ever added to Pro peloton
Professional cycling in Kazakhstan is set to grow in 2014 with the addition of the Vino4ever team to the UCI ranks as a Continental team. The team joins the Continental Astana squad and the Astana WorldTour team.
According to Biciciclismo.com, the team, which is named after the country's star rider Alexandre Vinokourov, will bring in a number of riders who raced on the national team, and will be led by Vinokourov's former coach, Sergey Kruchina.
Riders will include Taras Voropayev (21), Kirill Prolubnikov (19), Vitaly Marukhin (19), Sergei Vlassenko (20) and Oleg Zemlyakov (20).
- Article published:
- November 25, 2013, 21:38
- Cycling News
One lucky reader will win Dan Martin's Cervelo R5
Now that the 2013 season is over, it's time to look back and decide what was the year's biggest moment. Cyclingnews has provided 10 nominees in the category as part of the 2013 Reader Poll for you to choose from.
Moment 1: 2013 kicked off with the blockbuster television interview of Lance Armstrong by Oprah Winfrey. While Armstrong had already been stripped of his seven Tour de France titles and permanently banned from any sport adhering to the WADA code, there was still the question of whether the Texan would ever confess to the doping activities USASA detailed in their Reasoned Decision. That speculation came to a conclusion in mid-January as Armstrong admitted to doping during all of his Tour de France victories straight off in the two-night interview with Winfrey.
Moment 2: Mother Nature bombarded the European road peloton with an extended bout of wintry weather in the opening months of the 2013 season and one of the most spectacular instances of inclement weather occurred during Milano-Sanremo. Snow forced the organizers to suspend the race after 120km and remove the first two climbs - the Turchino and La Manie - with the nearly-frozen riders re-starting the race in Cogoleto, after almost a two-hour break. Germany's Gerald Ciolek would ultimately prevail in the biggest victory of his career.
Moment 3: The 2013 Paris-Roubaix was decided in a thrilling endgame, with Fabian Cancellara and Sep Vanmarcke sprinting head-to-head in the Roubaix velodrome for the coveted cobblestone trophy. Cancellara would dig very deep to add a third Paris-Roubaix title to his palmares as he completed the Tour of Flanders/Paris-Roubaix double for the second time in his career.
Moment 4: Dan Martin and pandas will be forever linked as the Irishman won the first Monument of his career at Liège-Bastogne-Liège in a hard-fought duel with Spain's Joaquim Rodriguez in the closing kilometres.
Moment 5: On paper the Tour de France's 13th stage from Tours to Saint-Amand-Montrond looked to be a typical transfer stage, but crosswinds and aggressive racing from Alberto Contador's Saxo-Tinkoff squad detonated the peloton and enabled the Spaniard, as well as Dutchman Bauke Mollema (Belkin), to pull back more than a minute on yellow jersey-clad Chris Froome (Sky).
Moment 6: In an incredible display of strength and climbing prowess, Chris Froome (Sky) won the Tour de France's 15th stage atop the legendary Mont Ventoux climb. It looked to be the day for Colombian climbing ace Nairo Quintana (Movistar), who attacked on the lower slopes and rode into the lead, but Froome, resplendent in the race leader's yellow jersey, dropped all of his surrounding rivals, bridged up to Quintana, and then dispatched the Colombian just outside the flamme rouge en route to an emphatic stage win.
Moment 7: While there's no doubting Tony Martin's considerable time trial talents, the German chrono star's solo escape during stage 6 of the Vuelta a Espana became the stuff of legend as his solo effort for nearly the entire 175km stage was brought back mere meters from the finish line. Martin built up a lead of more than seven minutes after he attacked moments after the start and with 20km remaining his lead fell under one minute, but he refused to concede and nearly pulled off the unimaginable.
Moment 8: Speaking of the unimaginable, who would have thought that Chris Horner (RadioShack Leopard), at age 41, would become the oldest Grand Tour winner at the Vuelta a Espana? Horner waged a magnificent duel with this year's Giro winner Vincenzo Nibali at the Vuelta and it all came down to the penultimate day's ascent of the feared Angliru climb to ultimately seal the overall victory in Horner's favor.
Moment 9: There was intrigue up to the final moments in the election for the UCI presidency as questions were still being regarding the validity of incumbent Pat McQuaid's nomination, but Brian Cookson ultimately prevailed versus the Irishman at the UCI's Congress in Florence, Italy, concluding a bitterly contested campaign replete with more than its fair share of electoral shenanigans.
Moment 10: While road race world championships are contested by nation rather than trade team, sometimes the underlying effects of trade team loyalties may seem to muddy the waters when the chips are down and a rainbow jersey is at stake. Spain played a strong hand in the end of the elite men's road race world championship with both Alejandro Valverde and Joaquim Rodriguez in for the kill, but when Portugal's Rui Costa jumped away from Valverde, both teammates on Movistar, and chased down Joaquim Rodriguez, whose trade team is Katusha, was it merely a case of exhaustion for Valverde's inability to respond? Valverde said yes afterwards, but a bitterly disappointed Rodriguez, who lost the championship in a two-man sprint against Costa, didn't seem so sure...
Enter the 2013 Cyclingnews Reader Poll today! The poll comes to a conclusion later this week at midnight on Friday, November 29.
- Article published:
- November 26, 2013, 01:33
- Cycling News
Focus on Australian summer of racing begins with NSW Grand Prix
Chloe Hosking will lead the new Sydney based team made up of both domestic and international riders for upcoming criteriums series in Australia. Joining Hosking will be British Olympian Lucy Martin and Australian talents Sarah Roy, Brittany Lindores and Gina Ricardo.
The Hitec Products rider is looking forward to racing with her new teammates. "I really love racing when back home, it is exciting to get the chance to compete against some of the best female cyclists in the world," Hosking said.
"The last few years in Australia there have been new teams starting up and really increasing the quality of racing that we're seeing. Wiggle Honda and Orica-AIS are obvious examples and they really help to make the racing a great spectacle but there is also Specialized Securitor and Suzuki Bontrager."
The Roxsolt Sydney Uni Velo team has been built over the last few months with the aim of providing domestic riders the opportunity to race alongside those with international experience while also challenging for wins.
"It was really important to me that the team was competitive and I know this will be the case with girls like Lucy (Martin), Sarah (Roy) and later in the summer Lauren Kitchen coming on board," Hosking said.
"But it was also important that we had a few domestic riders on the roster to give them the opportunity to race in a professional environment with riders who have international experience."
2013 NSW Criterium Champion Roy is racing off the back of a highly successful criterium and road race season in the Netherlands and Belgium that has resulted in being signed to the UCI Pro Women's team Vienne Futuroscope for 2014.
"I'm looking forward to the opportunity to race with Chloe," said Roy. "I gained a lot from my stint in Europe and am excited to see how my experiences transfers to a strong Aussie field."
Lucy Martin joins with the expectation that a summer racing down under will be a good platform for 2014. "This is my first time racing the NSW Grand Prix and I am really excited to spend the summer down under," said Martin.
"The Aussie women always have a strong start to the season in Europe so it will be good to get some racing and training over the European winter."
National Road Series cyclist Brittany Lindores is set to benefit from joining the new team. "It's a great opportunity to be able to race in a team environment and be able to learn from the more experienced girls. Chloe would have to be one of the fastest women in the world, I'm fortunate to be racing with, rather than against her," said Lindores.
Sydney Uni Velo President Andrew Best said the purpose of the team is to help nurture women's cycling across all ages and abilities in Sydney, and Australia. "Through the ongoing assistance of Sydney Uni we are fortunate to have the chance to bring together such a strong team and we are very grateful for the riders' time and enthusiasm in how they help support and grow women's cycling," said Best.
The team launches their summer racing assault this weekend at the NSW Gran Prix, a two stage criterium series, with no assumptions of victory.
"Races like the NSW GP are just as tough as some of the races in Europe and are a great opportunity to showcase the strength and depth of women's cycling in Australia," said Hosking.
- Article published:
- November 26, 2013, 02:32
- Daniel Benson
Australian looks forward to working with Chavanel
Heinrich Haussler has welcomed fellow Classics specialist Sylvain Chavanel to the IAM Cycling squad, telling Cyclingnews that the pair can work together at capturing success for the team next Spring.
Chavanel signed for the team from Omega Pharma QuickStep, where, despite wining stages in the Tour de France and enjoying a spell in the yellow jersey at the Tour de France, he failed to win a Monument. The closest he came to winning one of cycling's most prestigious one-day races came during the Tour of Flanders in 2011. Having broken free with what looked like an unbeatable Fabian Cancellara, the Frenchman dug deep to claim second behind Nick Nuyens and ahead of Cancellara.
Now 34 years of age, Chavanel has signed for the Swiss team on a two-year deal, and Haussler, who beat the Frenchman to win a stage of the 2009 Tour de France, believes that the two riders can compliment each other's racing styles.
"He's a machine. For me he's one of the best riders in the peloton. He can do anything," Haussler told Cyclingnews from his winter base in Europe.
"Him coming over is just going to make the team stronger. A lot of the guys in the team are strong but it's also about having a map in your head and knowing what's coming up. We all spent some time in Belgium riding together and that's going to really help us next year. This year there were a few times when I was by myself but the thing with the Classics is that you need a strong team so we're doing a lot of work on that, a lot of testing of equipment, it's a great situation."
Haussler enjoyed a strong start to the 2013 season, picking up three top tens at the Tour of Qatar before starting his Classics campaign. Despite two relatively disappointing seasons at Garmin in 2011 and 2012, this season showed that the 29-year-old could still be competitive with fourth in Gent-Wevelgem, sixth in Flanders and 11th in Paris-Roubaix. It was his best haul of spring results since 2009 and after recovering from another injury set back in the middle of this season, Haussler is confident that he and Chavanel can compete against the new Trek team, Omega Pharma and Cannondale next spring.
"It's not just me and Chavanel. First of all we have to be in top shape but if we're 100 per cent fit then we're going to have a strong team. I like the new course at Flanders, it suits me better than the old one," he told Cyclingnews.
"Chavanel has had his best races in the Classics when he's gone from a long way. He's got that massive engine and can do that. I'm more explosive, will try and hang on and will hope that there's a sprint from a small group. We compliment each other."
"When I heard that he was coming to the team I was really happy. The Classics mean so much to me but you want to have the best possible team around you. If I don't win then I want it to be someone from the team I'm in."
Chavanel aside, Haussler will be hoping to build on the strong end of season he enjoyed in 2013. A crash in the Tour de Suisse in June left the Australian with a broken pelvis but he returned within a matter of months to finish fourth in Paris-Bourges and sixth in Paris-Tours.
"In my first few races I struggled and I was scared being in the peloton. It was cramped and hectic in the bunch and I was just always on the breaks. So I just used those early races as training and then worked towards the last few races," he told Cyclingnews.
"There were signs that I could get back to a decent level pretty quickly. That I wasn't going to struggle in the same way I did with injury back in 2010."
He will remain in relative isolation in Switzerland, mixing training on the road with cross-country skiing, before meeting up with his teammates in early January. Opting for a relatively slow build up, the former podium placer in Milan San Remo and the Tour of Flanders will start his season at the Tour of Qatar.
"You have these training camps in November and December and you just end up smashing yourself. Then you build up your form pretty quick but it's still four months until the Classics and it's impossible to hold that form until then. Some other guys might be able to hold form for that long but I certainly can't."
"With IAM they let me know what I have to do and just let me build up slowly. I start with a small training camp in January, then I'll go to altitude and then do Qatar and Oman."
- Article published:
- November 26, 2013, 04:03
- Cycling News
Garmin announced as first WorldTour team
The 61st Jayco Herald Sun Tour returns to the Australian cycling calendar in 2014 opening with a twilight prologue on Melbourne's Southbank Promenade. The 2.5km individual time trial begins the five day race which has been reinstated to a 2.1 UCI international level event. Racing will take place between the fifth and ninth of February with the new time slot after Tour Down Under ensuring a bumper month of premier road cycling in Australia.
American WorldTour team Garmin-Sharp are the first international team revealed for the 2014 event, with their outfit boasting an Australian flavour including 2011 Jayco Herald Sun Tour champion Nathan Haas and sprinter Steele Van Hoff.
Haas, who was victorious overall in the last year the race was a UCI sanctioned level event, is excited to return to the event that played a major role in his progression to riding at a WorldTour level.
"The Sun Tour is Victoria's biggest cycling event and Australia's longest running tour so in my mind it should always be and have always stayed a UCI level race and I am glad it is back where it should be," Haas said.
"I'm really excited to see a really tight competitive race all the way to Arthurs Seat. The prologue will create a leader on the road for the first stage but there will be so many strong teams now that it is back to UCI status that I doubt we will see a lucky breakaway on stage one."
The 24-year-old will be joined by fellow Australian Von Hoff, who was pivotal in his 2011 victory, at the 2014 Tour. The remaining four riders on the Garmin team will be announced in coming weeks as will other WorldTour teams and riders.
"The stage that goes from Geelong to Ballarat, I know those roads and the direction they are taking us and I reckon the course profile is a little bit deceiving," Von Hoff said. "It is going to be a very hard stage so it could possibly be a GC (general classification) decider because I think the break will stick and it will hurt some legs that day.
"Arthurs Seat is definitely going to be the ultimate decider because only those with strong legs will finish that off. It's a nasty little climb. I live at the bottom of that climb so I know it very well. No matter how many times I practice it, it doesn't make me any faster up that hill."
A post-work crowd pleaser, the twilight prologue will start at Birramung Marr and finish along the Southbank Promenade at Queensbridge Square on Wednesday 5th February with the first rider off the start ramp at 6:30pm.
The Tour then moves into regional Victoria with stage one journeying from Geelong to Ballarat, stage two is Ballarat to Bendigo and stage three is a lap around the Mitchelton Winery and Nagambie region.
The final and decisive day of racing will return to the popular Arthurs Seat on the Mornington Peninsula for a spectator friendly three-lap circuit of the challenging climb including a mountain top finish.
In a first for the event, the 2014 edition of the race will welcome one of Australia's most iconic mass participation rides – Amy's Ride Victoria – on the final day in the Mornington Peninsula.
Run by the Amy Gillett Foundation, Amy's Ride Victoria allows riders to test themselves on a 102km, 60km or 20km course in a safe and encouraging environment including the Arthur's Seat climb before the final stage of the tour.
Past winners of the Herald Sun Tour include the likes of 2012 Tour de France champion Bradley Wiggins, Tour de France sprint champion Baden Cooke, Tour stage winners Neil Stephens and Simon Gerrans as well as both Shane and Gary Sutton.
- Article published:
- November 26, 2013, 09:22
- José Been
Vos takes eighth consecutive award
Bauke Mollema, Marianne Vos and Mathieu van der Poel were voted riders of the year in the Netherlands on Monday. Vos won the Keetie van Oosten-Hage trophy for the eighth time in a row. Mathieu van der Poel was voted talent of the year.
Mollema was nominated with Tour of Poland winner Pieter Weening, Joost Wichman, Lars van der Haar and track sprinter Mathijs Büchli. Mollema finished sixth in this year's Tour de France. The Belkin rider also won the 17th stage in the Vuelta a España and the second stage in the Tour de Suisse.
"The Tour de France will be another major goal again," Mollema said. "It's been a good season and it makes you want more. have already picked up my training again and will be working on doing better than this year."
It was Vos' eighth title as rider of the year. She beat Ellen van Dijk, Kirsten Wild, Anna van der Breggen and BMX rider Laura Smulders. "This year it was more tense than ever before." Vos told De Telegraaf. "The competition was very strong. I knew it would be between me and Ellen but it is always tough to compare two riders."
Both Vos and Van Dijk won two world titles this season. Van Dijk won the team time trial world title with Specialized-Lululemon this year and repeated that performance in the individual time trial. Vos took her sixth cycle cross world title in Louisville and her third road race world title in Florence. She also won five of the eight World Cup races this season.
Mathieu van der Poel was voted talent of the year. Just like Vos and Van Dijk, the youngest son of Adrie van der Poel and Raymond Poulidor's grandson took two world titles. He successfully defended his cyclo cross junior world title in Louisville and was the best junior in the Florence road race. U23 world cyclo cross champion Mike Teunissen, Belkin rider Wilco Kelderman, double U23 national champion Dylan van Baarle and European track sprint champion Elis Ligtlee were the other nominees.
- Article published:
- November 26, 2013, 10:55
- Cycling News
Cofidis rider released from custody on Monday
Cofidis rider Guillaume Levarlet has been charged with involuntary manslaughter following the car accident in which former professional Arnaud Coyot was killed in the early hours of Sunday morning.
Levarlet was driving the Citroën Xsara that veered off the road near Beauvais, France at 6.30am on Sunday morning. Coyot was taken to hospital in Amiens, where he died from his injuries on Sunday afternoon. Levarlet and the car’s other passenger, Sebastien Minard of Ag2r-La Mondiale, were not seriously injured in the accident.
According to Le Parisien, Levarlet appeared before an investigating magistrate in Beauvais on Monday, where he was charged. Levarlet had been taken into custody by police at the scene of the accident, but was released on Monday afternoon. If found guilty, Levarlet risks seven years in prison and a fine of €100,000.
Levarlet, Coyot and Minard are understood to have been returning from the Bugatti nightclub in Beauvais at the time of the incident. An investigation is underway to determine to precise circumstances of the accident.
Both Le Parisien and L’Équipe cite a source close to the investigation who said that a blood sample taken from Levarlet showed an alcohol level “very slightly above the legal limit.” No traces of narcotics were found in the analysis.
Arnaud Coyot’s funeral will take place in Ons-en-Bray on Friday afternoon. The Frenchman, who retired at the end of the 2012 season, was a professional for ten seasons and rode for Cofidis, Unibet.com, Caisse d’Epargne and Saur-Sojasun.
- Article published:
- November 26, 2013, 12:02
- Daniel Benson
Change of race schedule on the cards
After a frustrating year of crashes and injuries, Ben Swift (Team Sky) is looking to reignite his career on the road in 2014. The British rider missed most of the second part of this season after undergoing surgery on one of his shoulders and despite a lengthy lay-off has already set himself the lofty goal of making Sky’s Tour de France team next season. The race starts in Yorkshire, with stage 2 finishing in the rider’s home town of Sheffield, but Swift is aware that his chances of making Dave Brailsford’s final nine will depend on how he performs in the first part of the year.
“It’s so hard to make the Tour de France team at Sky with being the kind of rider that I am but with stage 2 finishing in my home town I have to do everything I can to make that team,” Swift told Cyclingnews from his current training base in South Africa.
“Targeting the programme I want and trying to win as much as possible, that’s going to put me in the best possible position.”
Swift has yet to finalise his racing schedule up until July. Final details will be discussed and inked during the team’s first training camp next week in Europe but the former Tour de Pologne and Tour Down Under stage winner is hoping to move away from Sky’s Classics core and target the weeklong stage races that pepper the opening months of the race calendar.
“I’m thinking about stepping away from the Classics team just because I don’t think they’re races that have suited me. I’d like to do a few more of the lumpy stage races, like Catalunya and Pais Vasco, where I think I can get better results.
“Doing the Classics programme took me away from those races. I’ve been okay in the Classics but it’s never been my strong point. I’ve always been better at the lumpier stage races and it just feels a bit more logical to push for that. We still have to confirm the race programme but that’s ideally where I’d like to be heading.
“This year has been really bad with the crash at the start of the season. From there I was just playing catch up all season so I can’t really take this year into account and compare it to the others. I just need to get back to what I was doing before. In 2011 I had my best year and I was performing and I need to get back to that level.”
Swift's Tour de France aspirations will depend on how quickly he can find his feet after such a long lay-off but Brailsford selected the Englishman for the race after a strong opening to the 2011 season. However, Swift's last race came at the Eneco Tour, where he abandoned on the first stage due to his ongoing shoulder issues. The injury stemmed from surgery he had in 2012 but worsened after a crash at the start of this season.
“The shoulder is a lot better and I’m really happy with it. I had to take a long time out to get it sorted but I’m actually really happy with how I’ve come back. Because I had such a long break I didn’t have to worry about cramming everything in. I could spread my recovery out and so when it came to riding my bike again I wasn’t in too bad shape. There was about an eight or nine week period in which I didn’t ride but then another two weeks where I just rode easy.
“I had a shoulder operation at the end of last year. I did the first training camp this year in Mallorca and started the season really well. Then I had a really big crash in Mallorca and really hurt my knee. When I started riding again my shoulder was giving me intense pain and it was only three months after that first surgery that I crashed. We then found out that I’d really damaged the cartilage at the back of my shoulder, just where they had repaired it and I’d ripped out the anchors they’d used to first repair my shoulder with. It was affecting my position and my sprinting but hopefully I’ve got it all sorted now.”