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First Edition Cycling News, Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Date published:
April 02, 2014, 1:00 BST
  • Terpstra takes vital seconds in GC battle at De Panne

    Niki Terpstra (Omega Pharma-Quickstep)
    Article published:
    April 01, 2014, 19:10 BST
    By:
    Sadhbh O'Shea

    Dutchman's form looks good ahead of Tour of Flanders

    Niki Terpstra’s good form continued on stage one of the Three Days of De Panne. The Omega Pharma-QuickStep rider made it into the winning breakaway and put himself into the driving seat for the general classification.

    Directeur sportif Wilfried Peeters was happy with how the race went for the Belgian team. "The collaboration was good in the break and it was a good move for us in terms of the general classification. The time trial on the last day is important and it’s good to have Niki up there on GC already," said Peeters.

    It could have been an even better day, with Gert Steegmans also making it into the lead group, however he got stuck behind Terpstra on the last corner and could only manage fourth. "It was a pity that Gert was a little behind on the last corner because he could have won the stage, but it’s not so bad because there was no super time trial specialist in the first group. I think we can look for the classification."

    Terpstra went off the front with 11 other riders, with just 10 kilometres to go. Luke Durbridge and Arnaud Démare lost out in the initial split, but soon set off in chase. The pair could see the leaders up the road, but it proved too much and they eventually rolled over the line some 11 seconds back.

    With the final time trial often proving to be the deciding factor, the lack of specialists in the group is a big boost to the Dutchman’s chances. "They didn’t know that Durbridge was trying to get back on, but it worked out perfectly for us. We didn’t want Durbridge and Démare, two of the favourites, coming back to the front group."

    Terpstra has been on flying form already this spring with a solo victory at

  • Quintana prepares for Giro d'Italia in Colombia

    Nairo Quintana (Movistar) won the race overall
    Article published:
    April 01, 2014, 20:00 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Movistar rider aims for podium in Italy

    Nairo Quintana has returned to his native Tunja, Colombia to train at altitude and prepare for his big goal of the year, the Giro d'Italia. "Of course I think about winning it," he told Biciciclismoweb, "but I have to be careful. My opponents will also come well prepared and with the same ambition." 

    In a season where most of the Grand Tour favorites have already shown what they are capable of, Quintana already proved successful in the Tour de San Luis in January. The Colombian climber came in second in the Tirreno-Adriatico and was fifth in the Volta a Catalunya behind Joaquim Rodríguez and Alberto Contador.

    "Of course it bothers me to be beaten. But you must understand that the other riders are strong as well. Sometimes I beat them and now they have beaten me. From this moment I have to train well at home, climb a little higher. But I am close to my level and then I need to maintain it to the Giro." 

    Quintana trains at altitude with his Movistar teammate Jonathan Castroviejo. "We get along well. It's his first time at altitude here at Tunja. The weather is good. In Catalunya it was cold but you have to do that type of racing too. If it is cold in the Giro, you have to deal with that." 

    When Quintana was in Italy he already did a reconnaissance for the important stages in the Giro. "I rode up the Zoncolan and did the uphill time trial to Monte Grappa. Zoncolan is very hard and very steep. And it's the penultimate day of the Giro. The time trial [stage 19] to Monte Grappa is quite long. You have to have the legs but also have to stay focussed. It's a stage that can define the overall classification a bit." 

    ...
  • Vanmarcke to lead Belkin at Tour of Flanders

    Sep Vanmarcke (Belkin)
    Article published:
    April 01, 2014, 21:31 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Boom recovering from elbow injury, will target Paris-Roubaix

    Belkin's Sep Vanmarcke has been showing increasing form in the Classics season's crescendo to the Tour of Flanders, and will be the team's protected rider for Sunday's event.

    After finishing fourth in the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and on the podium in Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne, Vanmarcke overcame a number of misfortunes and mechanicals in the E3 Harelbeke to win the sprint behind the four-man breakaway. The young Belgian even displayed some bunch sprint prowess to take fourth in Gent-Wevelgem.

    With these results, and fellow classics specialist Lars Boom's continuing recovery from an elbow injury sustained in Paris-Nice, it is no surprise that Vanmarcke will be Belkin's undisputed team leader for De Ronde.

    "There can only be one winner, but of course I hope to be the one," Vanmarcke said. "We'll go for it as a team. The team has supported me very well the last few weeks and that is very important as otherwise you'll lose a lot of energy during a race."

    Although Vanmarcke has had better single race results, finishing second in Gent-Wevelgem in 2010 and in Paris-Roubaix last season, this spring has been his most consistent to date and the results bring confidence.

    "Every year, I got better and at this moment I feel stronger than ever," he said. "My good shape gives me a lot of confidence, even though I know that riders will look at me. That causes some pressure, but I thinks that's better than when it's the other way around. I just try to not get distracted by...

  • Renshaw back on the bike at Three Days of de Panne

    Mark Renshaw and Mark Cavendish at Tirreno-Adriatico
    Article published:
    April 01, 2014, 22:50 BST
    By:
    Sadhbh O'Shea

    Omega Pharma-QuickStep rider says sprint train is on track

    Mark Renshaw (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) made a tentative return to racing at the Three Days of De Panne this Tuesday. The Australian has been out of action for over a week, suffering with an illness that forced his teammate Mark Cavendish to quit before the race even began.

    The harsh conditions at Milan-San Remo took their toll on many riders, with several opting to miss the first races back in Belgium. Renshaw did just that and was meant to be racing at E3 Harelbeke last Friday, but dropped out the day before. With Cavendish gone, Renshaw was the obvious choice as lead sprinter, but he isn't too sure about his chances as he has barely touched his bike since finishing San Remo over a week ago.

    "Basically I've just done two days of training, but I still don't know if I'm back to 100 per cent," he told Cyclingnews before the start of De Panne. "I'm not expecting to do anything. I had the same illness [Cavendish] has after San Remo, so I spent two and a half days back in bed. Today I'll just see what happens."

    The Australian's return didn't go to plan as he was caught up in a crash on the opening stage and was forced to change his shoe, after losing his cleat. However, he managed to make it back and finished within the main bunch, 19 seconds down on the leaders. His teammates fared better, with Niki Terpstra and Gert Steegmans making it into the front group. Steegmans finished better, but the in-form Terpstra is likely to be their best bet for the general classification. The Dutchman finished third overall in the 2013 edition.

    Renshaw joined Omega Pharma-QuickStep this winter to...

  • Double collarbone fracture for Frederik Willems

    Frederik Willems had a spotter on hand just in case
    Article published:
    April 02, 2014, 0:30 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Another injury for Lotto Belisol

    Having lost Andre Griepel for the rest of the cobbled classics after a sustaining a collarbone fracture at Gent-Wevelgem, Lotto Belisol are now without the services of Frederik Willems.

    The 34-year-old Belgian suffered a double fracture to his collarbone during the first stage of the Three Days of De Panne. After examination, he has been booked in to undergo surgery. Willems was one of four riders who did not finish the stage while sickness prevented Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) from starting the race.

    Willems started his season at the Tour de San Luis in Argentina and had recently ridden Tirreno-Adriatico and the Belgian double of Dwars door Vlaanderen and Gent-Wevelgem.

  • Tim Roe ready for Adelaide Tour showdown

    Tom Roe (Budget Forklifts) wins stage 2 of the Tour de Perth into Kalamunda
    Article published:
    April 02, 2014, 2:00 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    BudgetForklifts rider with home town advantage

    Tim Roe (BudgetFoklifts) is out to build on a successful start to the Subaru National Road Series (NRS) at the Jarvis Subaru Adelaide Tour which begins on Thursday. Roe, who spent several season with BMC, made a triumphant return to the NRS at the opening race of 2014, the Tour de Perth, by soloing to victory on stage two and finishing second overall behind Joe Cooper (Avanti).

    "I was really happy to start the NRS off with a win," said Roe. "It was really satisfying and my team's reaction was incredible, they all worked really hard."

    The 24-year-old has had no time to celebrate his good performance with only a four-day break between the Perth and Adelaide races.

    The Adelaide Tour opens with a 85km road race from Angaston to Campbelltown which features an ascent of the infamous 'corkscrew' climb before a rapid descent to the finish line. The climb featured in the Tour Down Under this year and it was Cadel Evans (BMC) who blew the race apart then showed his descending abilities to claim the stage win.

    "It's going to be cool to be able to compete in my home race. It's not really a pure climbers tour or a pure sprinters tour, it's just an all-round course, but I think the first stage will be the decisive one with the climb up corkscrew.

    "Local knowledge is always a good thing, but it's a matter of who has the legs on the climb. Corkscrew is one of Adelaide’s well renowned climbs, I spend so much time training on it so it will be really nice to race up there."

    Roe is looking to get back to racing and pinning and number on his back without placing any expectations on his results: "I did ride at the top level of cycling for a couple of years but...

  • 2014 NRS team feature: SASI

    Harry Carpenter (Euride Racing) used his SA Institute skin suit to rocket to second-place
    Article published:
    April 02, 2014, 3:00 BST
    By:
    Zeb Woodpower

    South Australian team focused on development

    In anticipation of the second National Road Series (NRS) race of 2014 starting tomorrow, the Adelaide TourCyclingnews spoke to SASI (South Australian Institute of Sport) team manager Tim Decker about the upcoming season and what he expects from the domestic racing scene this year.

    This is the second article in the NRS weekly team features by Cyclingnews. You can read about Satalyst Giant by clicking here.

    Cyclingnews: How has your preparation been for the start of 2014 NRS series?
    It's probably a bit different to other years given that this year we've gone back to, especially for the first half of the year, more of a development group because most of the elite SASI riders are over in Europe. So we're dealing with juniors and some good U19's who'll go to the track worlds. We're dealing with Tom Kaesler who went to the road worlds last year. The preparation has been good but it's not all built around the NRS. We use the NRS for a variety of events which may be Australian championships, Oceania road championships.

    CN: How do you decide on your team rosters? What processes do you go through in recruiting riders?
    I decide the team roster on the riders that need that style of racing for the bigger events they have coming up, i.e. junior track worlds, junior road worlds, European preparation. Our squad is probably different from your typical NRS squad as the NRS is the pinnacle for what they’re chasing. Yes, we're chasing results in the NRS but we're looking at the big picture which is getting our riders prepared for the bigger races such as European racing.

    CN: What is different about the team this year, compared to last?
    Last year Euride were keen to set the world on fire and wanted to...

  • Voltao ao Alentejo victory yet to sink in for Carlos Barbero

    Local rider Carlos Barbero (Euskadi) signs autographs
    Article published:
    April 02, 2014, 5:00 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Young Spaniard propelled to the win by Euskadi

    The 22-year-old Euskadi rider Carlos Barbero won his first overall race by taking out the UCI 2.2  Volta ao Alentejo in Portugal after a tussle with Eduard Prades (OFM) who finished just 10 seconds behind the Spaniard. Barbero didn't win a stage in the five-day race but was second on the 159km Stage 4 from Odemira to Santiago do Cacém and the extra seconds on the finishline ensured his win. He was also second on the 205km Stage 3 to from Sousel to Montemor-o-Novo

    "I can't believe already that I could win this race, I think it will take me few days to realize what I did," Barbeo said.

    Barbero extended his thanks for all the efforts that his team put in for the week to deliver him to the top step of the podium. The next placed Euskadi rider was 25-year-old Miguel Minguez, who spent four years racing with Euskadi-Eskatel at WorldTour level, down in 28th place just over 2:00 minutes behind Barbero.

    "Sometimes the only thing that people see is the highest part of the iceberg, but there were a strong team keeping this iceberg solid and stable during the whole race," Barbero said.