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First Edition Cycling News, Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Date published:
September 24, 2013, 1:00 BST
  • Crash impacts Craddock's time trial at Worlds

    Lawson Craddock (Bontrager-Livestrong) happy after his win.
    Article published:
    September 23, 2013, 17:50 BST
    Laura Weislo

    American still hoping for rainbow jersey in road race

    In his last world championships as an under 23 rider, American Lawson Craddock saw one chance to finally don the rainbow jersey slip away after a long spell in the hot seat as fastest rider in the UCI road world championship U23 individual time trial.

    Craddock has been second and third in the discipline at the world championships as a junior, but even with those palmares he was not expecting to finish as high as the eventual fifth place he took. Australia's Damien Howson won the day over Yoann Paillot (France) and Lasse Norman Hansen (Denmark).

    "It was a brutal time trial," he said. "I don't think it was one that suited my strengths, so I'm ecstatic with fifth.

    "I haven't put as much focus as I have into the road race [this year]. I've had a lot of good time trial results in the past, but I feel like I've become more of a road racer. I'm really focused on Friday [road race] and I think I have a lot more to give."

    Although Craddock will still be eligible for the U23 ranks in 2014, he has signed with the WorldTour team Argos-Shimano after taking the best young rider's spot in the Tour of California and seventh overall in the USA Pro Challenge. However, he still hasn't given up hope of winning a rainbow jersey, and hopes that the U23 road race on Friday will be his chance.

    "I've stood on every step of the podium of the world championships except the top step. Ever since I signed with Argos-Shimano, this is what I've been focusing on. I'm going to go out there and give it my all and leave everything on the road, and hopefully that's not any more skin."

    Craddock ended his time trial today with less skin that he started with, and blood running down his left leg after his race was briefly interrupted...

  • De Gendt still in search of a team for 2014

    Thomas De Gendt (Vacansoleil-DCM)
    Article published:
    September 23, 2013, 19:00 BST
    Cycling News

    Various WorldTour possibilities for Belgian rider

    Thomas De Gendt still doesn't know where he might ride next season, and says that his lack of a new contract is punishment for his “loyalty to Vacansoleil-DCM.” The Dutch team is folding at the end of this season as both sponsors are leaving.

    One option is that he could go to the new Professional Continental team that Vacansoleil sport director Hilaire Van der Scheuren is said to be setting up, but the Belgian rider wants to remain at the WorldTour level.

    "I would like to go to Omega Pharma-QuickStep, but my gut feeling says that Bakelants, in good form, now has a better chance,” he told Het Nieuwsblad. “Meanwhile, Lampre-Merida and the team of Fernando Alonso (the successor of Euskaltel-Euskadi, ed.) asked to see the data from my biological passport.

    “I am punished for my loyalty to Vacansoleil-DCM,” he concluded.

    At the moment he is concentrating on the world championships. He did not finish with his Vacansoleil-DCM teammates in Sunday's team time trial, having to drop back after 41km. He will ride the individual time trial for Belgium on Wednesday, but will not ride the road race.

    De Gendt has had a difficult year in 2013 with only one victory in his palmares, a stage win at the Volta a Catalunya. His other result of note was his third place finish in the stage 11 individual time trial at the Tour de France.

    De Gendt finished third overall in the Giro d'Italia in 2012 but opted not to contest this year's edition. The 26-year-old Belgian instead rode the Tour de France where he finished 96th overall and was disqualified from the Vuelta a Espana on the tenth stage.

  • Three new Russian riders for Katusha

    Egor Silin (Astana Pro Team)
    Article published:
    September 23, 2013, 19:55 BST
    Cycling News

    Astana's Silin and two riders from RusVelo join Russian team

    Three more Russian riders will ride for Katusha Team in the coming season. Egor Silin comes over from Team Astana, while Alexander Rybakov and Pavel Kochetkov come from the RusVelo Professional Continental team.

    Silin, 25, returns to Katusha after two years with Astana. He started his pro career with the Russian team in 2010. This year he has finished 12th overall at the Vuelta a Murcia and 14th overall at the Volta a Catalunya.

    Rybakov, 25, rode for the Continental-ranked Itera-Katusha team in 2010 and 2012, before moving up to RusVelo this year. In 2013 he won the Memorial Oleg Dyachenko, and placed ninth in the Russian national championship road race.

    The 27-year-old Kochetkov also spent two years with Itera-Katusha and then joined RusVelo in 2013. He was fourth in this year's Russian national championship road race and sixth on the first stage of the Giro del Trentino.

    Like all WorldTour teams, Katusha “can't be a mono-national structure, however, the Russian part of the project has to improve continuously,” said general manager Viacheslav Ekimov. “All three newcomers have a great potential and can reach some good results. I am sure they will strengthen our team.”

  • Worlds: Tuft withdraws from elite men's time trial

    Svein Tuft heads up the Orica-GreenEdge assault on the Tour's team time trial
    Article published:
    September 23, 2013, 21:25 BST
    Cycling News

    Monfort replaces Meersman for Belgium's elite men's road race roster

    Canada's Svein Tuft announced today that he has withdrawn from Wednesday's elite men's time trial world championship, citing the physical and mental exhaustion of his heavy workload this season. The 36-year-old Canadian helped his Orica-GreenEdge trade team earn the silver medal in the team time trial on Sunday and there was already doubt following that event that he'd contest Wednesday's 56.8km individual time trial.

    "I've decided to pull myself from the individual time trial scheduled for September 25," said Tuft in a statement from his national federation. "Ever since the Tour de France, I've found myself running on fumes and after Sunday's effort for the team time trial, I've spent everything out on the road. The specific training required for the TTT is of a very different nature and in being realistic with myself, I feel I'm not at the level that the physical and mental energy of an individual effort over an hour requires.

    "I will head back home in Andorra and rest up for my final race of the year, Duo Normand, with my team mate Luke Durbridge. I wish all the Canadians racing this next week all the best."

    It's been a long season for Tuft, who kicked off his racing schedule in January in Argentina at the Tour de San Luis and later completed two Grand Tours - the Giro d'Italia and Tour de France.

    Tuft was slated to be Canada's only participant in Wednesday's elite men's individual time trial and there will be no substitution in his place.

    Meermsan out, Monfort in for Belgium's elite men's road race team

    Defending elite men's road race world champion Philippe...

  • Loes Gunnewijk re-signs with Orica-AIS

    Orica - AIS were aggressive, Loes Gunnewijk leads the front group
    Article published:
    September 23, 2013, 22:54 BST
    Cycling News

    Two more years for experienced Dutch rider

    Loes Gunnewijk has elected to remain with the Orica-AIS team for an additional two seasons. In her first two seasons with the Australian squad, Gunnewijk has put her experience to good use in acting as a mentor for younger riders on the team and this is something both parties are planning to keep in place.

    "I'm really happy with the team, so it was an easy decision to make," said Gunnewijk.

    When the first Orica-AIS roster was put together two years ago, Gunnewijk was the first non-Australian rider that director, Dave McPartland, attempted to sign.

    "It was a special moment when we signed Loes a couple years ago," said McPartland. "She was the first foreigner we approached. We've been super happy with her contributions over the last two years. To have her choose to stay with us again makes me really happy. It's good to see she considers us as good of a match as we consider her.

    "Loes has been with us right from the start […] she knows the team. She knows what we stand for and the way we ride. She brings our clear vision to her leadership role.

    "That's the most obvious thing we get out of Loes that we can't get from our other riders. She carries a fair bit of responsibility in terms of teaching, communicating and decision-making."

    Despite the value that Gunnewijk and her decision making abilities bring to the team, McPartland is now leaning towards expanding her role and allowing her to seek more personal success.

    "I would like to give Loes more freedom over the next two years," added McPartland. "Some of the girls she's been mentoring can assume more responsibilities during a race. I imagine this would allow Loes more space. It would be a weight off her shoulders and maybe could translate into a few personal opportunities for her as well."

    And this increase in freedom could very much translate to more victories like her win at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad in 2012. For Gunnewijk, however, her role as...

  • Van Dijk favourite for elite women's time trial Worlds

    Ellen van Dijk powers to the Dutch title
    Article published:
    September 24, 2013, 1:49 BST
    Laura Weislo

    Hot seat should change quickly amongst final 10 starters

    The favourites for the elite women's individual time trial championship can be pulled directly from the top four teams of Sunday's team time trial, even though the 22.05km distance is less than half what the women raced with their trade teams.

    The pan-flat circuit in Florence takes in a loop along the Arno river before heading back toward the technical section that sits in the shadow of the famous Duomo di Santa Maria del Fiore, and the less-tricky run in to the finish in Campo di Marti.

    While there are notable riders early in the start list, including Spanish champion Ana Sanchis, Audrey Cordon (France), Sweden's Emilia Fahlin, and Canadian champion Joelle Numainville, expect the hot seat residents to change quickly in the last 10 riders.

    Trixi Worrack (Germany), Carmen Small, Evelyn Stevens (USA) and Ellen van Dijk (Netherlands) are some of those late starters, and were part of the dominant Specialized-lululemon TTT squad.

    While none of the Rabo-LivGiant riders are taking part in the individual time trial, Orica-AIS riders Loes Gunnewijk (Netherlands), Shara Gillow (Australia) and Emma Johansson (Sweden) could challenge for the podium, but the powerful Dutch woman van Dijk is the top favourite after going nearly undefeated in time trials this year.

    Last year's hilly course in her home country didn't necessarily favor her, but van Dijk is well suited to the course in Florence.

    "I can't deny I won quite a few time trials this year. I'm really focused on it and I hope to do well," van Dijk told Cyclingnews.

    "The last two years Judith Arndt was the world champion, so this year there will be a new one, so we'll see who it will be," she said. When asked about her top competition, van...

  • Alonso issues statement on collapse of Euskaltel negotiations

    The Euskaltel-Euskadi team vehicle
    Article published:
    September 24, 2013, 3:22 BST
    Cycling News

    Sets sights on pro team for 2015

    Fernando Alonso has issued a statement via his twitter account addressing the breakdown in communication between himself and Basque telecommunications company Euskaltel over the future of the Euskaltel Euskadi cycling team.

    As reported on Cyclingnews yesterday, and confirmed via an Euskaltel press release, negotiations between the two parties have drawn to a close and the team will disband at the end of the season. Alonso's statement does not shed any light as yet on how and why an agreement could not be reached, but it does re-affirm his desire to create a pro-cycling team. A desire he is hoping to acting upon for the 2015 season. For the 30 riders currently riding for the Basque team, however, 2015 may prove to be too late.

    Alonso's statement:

    "We've tried it until the end but it's just been impossible to have a cycling team in 2014. My passion for this sport, my will to cooperate and to do my bit remains intact, so this is only the beginning of the future.

    "From tomorrow morning we are going to work on building, if needs be from scratch, a team we can be proud of. The best cycling team we can form, respecting this sport with humility. As you may have observed I'm quite tenacious, and above all, I love and value this sport a lot.

    "It possesses and transmits, as I said many times, values that I share: a set of values that I would like to help promote. Cycling and it's fans deserve the best and now we have time on our side, time in which we'll be very attentive to any circumstance that we can learn from and, above all, that can make us better for next year.

    "It wasn't to be, but it will be! This adventure has only just begun. Let's look for to 2015!"

  • Meersman, Devenyns out of Belgian team for World Championship

    New race leader Maxime Monfort (RadioShack Leopard)
    Article published:
    September 24, 2013, 6:15 BST
    Cycling News

    Pauwels, Monfort to ride instead

    Belgian National Coach, Carlo Bomans, has confirmed that Gianni Meersman and Dries Devenyns (Omega Pharma-Quick-Step) will not start the World Championship Road Race on Sunday with Serge Pauwels (Omega Pharma-Quick-Step) and Maxim Monfort (RadioShack Leopard) to ride as substitutes.

    Pauwels was announced as the replacement for Devenyns on Sunday which prompted discussion over the non-selection of Monfort with Monfort himself taking to twitter to voice his displeasure:

    "Not even consulted to be a possible replacement for @3sdevenyns [Dries Devenyns], Check. #doubledeception #incomprehension."

    Soon after, Meersman contacted Bomans to inform him that he that he was not feeling well.

    "During the GP Impanis on Saturday Gianni Meersman was already not feeling well," Bomans told Sporza. "Sunday he suffered from gastroenteritis. And that's only gotten worse."

    "I immediately contacted Maxime Monfort," explained Bomans. "I asked him if he was still motivated. Maxime let me know that he really wanted to race. He was initially disappointed [at not being selected], it's the World Championships, I can understand. [But] I can only select seven riders."

    With news of his selection to replace Meersman, Monfort was understandably happy.

    "I no longer expected to make the World Championships squad," Monfort told Sporza. "I was very disappointed when I was not there [initially], but now I'm riding the World Championships. That's the main thing.

    "I'm definitely excited. The past few days I have trained hard. I have a good...