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First Edition Cycling News, Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Date published:
August 14, 2013, 1:00 BST
  • Kristoff back in training after pneumonia

    Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) celebrates victory
    Article published:
    August 13, 2013, 17:17 BST
    Cycling News

    Norwegian hopeful of being ready for Tour des Fjords on Friday

    Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) is eyeing a return to racing this Friday at the Tour des Fjords. The sprinter was forced to withdraw from the Arctic Tour of Norway earlier this month with bacterial pneumonia in the right lung.

    Kristoff is currently not on the team's start list for the UCI 2.1 race however there is a space available and he's hoping to prove that he's fit enough to take on the three-day, for stage event.

    "I feel decent now, and there is still a long time until Friday," the 26-year-old told Eve magazine.

    According to his stepfather, coach and medical practitioner Dr Stein Eagles, Kristoff was coughing blood throughout the ordeal and admits that with just two days of training under his belt having got back on the bike on Sunday, the sprinter may have to forget about his former goal of winning the Tour des Fjords.

    "It went fine," Kristoff said of his training rides through Rogaland. "I cough a little more, but my legs feel alright. Blood samples also okay."

    Eagles was slightly more pessimistic saying that Kristoff needed to ease himself back into racing.

    "Although he would very much like to get started again, we must take this quietly," he said.

    Kristoff has claimed five victories so far in 2013, at the Driedaagse De Panne-Koksijde, three stages at the Tour of Norway and at the Tour de Suisse.

  • Cannondale and Lotto Belisol sign talented young riders

    The podium: Caleb Ewan (Australia), Matej Mohoric (Slovenia) and Josip Rumac (Croatia)
    Article published:
    August 13, 2013, 18:07 BST
    Cycling News

    Breen heads to Belgium, Mohoric, Formolo, Bettiol and Villella to wear Cannondale green

    The Cannondale and Lotto Belisol teams continue to plan for the future, signing some of the most talented young riders in the peloton.

    Cannondale announced the signing of Slovenia's Matej Mohoric and Italians Davide Villella, Davide Formolo and Alberto Bettiol. Lotto Belisol signed Norway's Vegerd Breen. All the riders have signed two-year contracts.

    Mohoric is the current junior world champion and also won a silver medal in the junior world time trial championships in 2012. He will ride the Tour de l’Avenir before targeting the Under 23 world championships in Florence.

    Villella won the mountainous Giro della Valle d'Aosta this year and has racked up 16 wins with Team Colpack. He finished second in the Italian Under 23 national championships.

    Bettiol is from Tuscany and rides for Vincenzo Nibali's former Under 23 team GS Mastromarco. He was third in the Italian Under 23 championships and in the prestigious GP Liberazione race in Rome. In 2011 he was the European schoolboy time trial champion.

    Formolo finished second overall in the Giro della Valle d'Aosta and won the Pesche Nettarine race in both 2012 and 2013.

    Mohoric, Bettiol and Formolo will make their professional debut in 2014 but Villella has been selected as a trainee by Cannondale and will make his professional debut at the USA Pro Challenge next week.

    Breen with Lotto Belisol

    Lotto Belisol has announced that it has signed Norwegian rider Vegerd Breen for two years. The 23-year-old, who currently rides for the Continental team Joker-Merida, is a former junior national and European time trial champion, although he says that is not his specialty. In 2012 he won the overall title in the U23 race La Cote Picarde and this year took the Ronde de l'Oise.

  • Froome ready to ride with Wiggins in 2014

    Thumbs up. Chris Froome (Sky) en route to Paris
    Article published:
    August 13, 2013, 18:45 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    Tour de France winner heads to Colorado to prepare for the world championships

    Chris Froome (Team Sky) has said there is no reason why he and Bradley Wiggins cannot ride together in same races and perhaps even at the 2014 Tour de France, describing suggestions that the two Britons don’t get on as "an outside look at things".

    Froome was speaking briefly on Sky Sports in London before flying to Colorado for the USA Pro Challenge that begins on August 19. It will be his first serious race since winning the Tour de France in July 21 and marks the start of his build-up for the world road race championships in Tuscany.

    Froome studied the road race circuit in Florence last week, apparently telling local guide and former professional Roberto Poggiali that he likes the hilly circuit but revealing that he will not ride the individual time trial event for Great Britain. Wiggins will target the time trial but it is unclear if he is willing to be Froome's domestique for the road race.

    The two British riders clashed near the end of Wiggins' dominant ride in the 2012 Tour de France and have ridden different race programmes since the Tour of Oman in February. Wiggins admitted that Froome has earned the right to lead Team Sky at the 2014 Tour de France after winning this year but suggested that he may be in the team along side Froome.

    "I don’t see any reason why not," Froome said diplomatically. "We're both professionals and we've both won the Tour de France now. There are a lot of races on our calendar but I don’t see why not."

    Froome denied there's competition between the...

  • Savio building Androni Giocattoli for 2014

    A happy Androni Giocattoli manager Gianni Savio with stage 1a winner Fabio Felline
    Article published:
    August 13, 2013, 19:45 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    Androni manager says his approach is very different to Team Sky

    Gianni Savio may have lost Franco Pellizotti and Fabio Felline to major WorldTour teams for 2014, but the hugely experienced Italian team manager is quietly rebuilding his Androni Giocattoli-Venezuela team for next season and beyond.

    Androni Giocattoli, Bianchi and several other sponsors have already confirmed their backing for 2014, and Savio's team currently leads the Coppa Italia classification and so is set to again secure an automatic invitation to the 2014 Giro d'Italia.

    The suave Italian has managed a team for over 20 years but has never been part of the UCI WorldTour. He claims he prefers long-term security instead of the high-risk strategy of chasing major sponsors.

    "My philosophy is completely opposite to that of many people in the sport. For many these days it's all about business and money but I'm perhaps one of the last great romantics of professional cycling," Savio told Cyclingnews.

    "I'm a free man, I don’t have to bow down to sponsors. I have my pool of sponsors but I decide the strategy of the team, with my staff and riders. My sponsors know I'll never take too many risk or promise results that I can never deliver, and my riders know they will get a fair wage, be well treated and always be paid."

    "We're a serious, organised team but our budget of 2.5 million Euro is five, six, seven or even ten times less than some of the biggest WorldTour teams. I'm gentleman and so I won't name names but some of them are terrible at managing their resources and getting results. I think we offer excellent value for money."

    Savio has lost Franco Pellizotti to Astana and Fabio Felline to Trek for 2014, but he has been carefully planning his recruitment...

  • Dowsett out of Eneco Tour with dislocated thumbs

    Alex Dowsett (Movistar)
    Article published:
    August 13, 2013, 21:45 BST
    Cycling News

    No fractures, but painful injury for Movistar rider

    Movistar's Alex Dowsett crashed out of the Eneco Tour today on the 177km second stage from Ardooie to Vorst. The Briton went down just 44km into the stage, and was unable to complete the race.

    The Movistar team said a preliminary examination showed no fractures, but that Dowsett suffered dislocated thumbs on both hands.

    The three-time British time trial champion and stage winner in the Giro d'Italia was hoping to prove himself in the 13km stage 5 time trial, but instead finds himself out of the race.

    "Not entirely sure what happened, hit the old head as well, pretty gutted to be out," Dowsett said via Twitter.

    He is likely to return for the Tour of Britain in mid-September.

  • Walker primed for success at South Coast

    Stage winner Will Walker (Drapac) spent considerable time off the front alone
    Article published:
    August 13, 2013, 23:27 BST
    Jono Lovelock

    Believes Drapac is bringing their "strongest team" yet

    Having been absent for the Tour of Gippsland, Drapac Professional Cycling is keen to return to Australian racing with a win after a stint in Asia. Round seven of the Subaru National Road Series (NRS),the 2013 Campolina-Fulton Hogan Tour of the Great South Coast, presents the squad with a great chance to get their opening run on the domestic board.

    Will Walker was frank about Drapac's lack of local success so far this year, but he was optimistic that they could turn things around this week.

    "We've had a pretty ordinary NRS campaign so far. It's been dominated by Huon-Genesys," Walker admitted to Cyclingnews. "We've got probably the strongest team for this race and I think we'd be happy to come away with the win and really try and have some dominance in this race I'd say."

    With the Huon-Genesys team split between South Coast and the Tour of Borneo, Walker confided that Drapac weren't complaining about the absence of current NRS leader and recently-announced Team Sky trainee, Nathan Earle.

    "Well Nathan Earle's not there so I think we're all secretly happy!"

    Worrying about opposing teams, however, is not something Walker takes too seriously. When pressed about the rivalry that exists between the Huon-Genesys and Drapac teams, Walker just laughs and sees it simply as something "funny actually."

    Drapac is now all but assured of a Tour Down Under start next year as they finalise their application for their Professional Continental licence. As such, current riders have bigger things on their minds.

    "I think everybody in the team probably wants to be a part of the team...

  • Moolman to join Hitec Products UCK in 2014

    Ashleigh Moolman (Lotto Belisol Ladies) leads the break, followed by Jessie Daams (Boels Dolmans)
    Article published:
    August 14, 2013, 1:10 BST
    Cycling News

    History-making South African to leave Lotto Belisol

    Norwegian-based outfit Hitec Products UCK has announced the signing of Ashleigh Moolman from Lotto Belisol for the 2014 season.

    Moolman made history earlier this year, becoming the first South African woman to podium in a World Cup race as well as her best result at the top level when she finished third at the La Flèche Wallonne Féminine.

    "I must say it's quite overwhelming," the 27-year-old told Cyclingnews at the finish line. "I'm standing here today as a very proud South African and very proud African ambassador."

    Other top results for Moolman this season include: the South African road and time trial championship titles; podiums at the GP Elsy Jacobs, Tour Languedoc Roussillon and La Route de France as well as at the Giro Rosa where she went on to finish eighth overall, improving on her 10th place in 2012.

    The 27-year-old is currently ranked 14th in the UCI standings and has been with the Lotto squad since 2010 which was her first season in Europe.

    Hitec team manager Karl Lima said, "We are proud to have Ashleigh in our team for next year, and to become one of the few UCI teams with riders from three continents.

    "She is also the first continental champion in our team."

    Earlier this month, Moolman was voted Africa’s Most Influential Woman in Sport.

  • Kroon and Leezer staying put, van Poppels on the move

    Mountains leader Karsten Kroon (Saxo Bank)
    Article published:
    August 14, 2013, 3:48 BST
    Cycling News

    Round-up of Dutch signings and transfers

    Karsten Kroon is staying with Saxo-Tinkoff and Tom Leezer with Team Belkin, while brothers Boy and Danny van Poppel are said to be heading to the newly named Team Trek, according to a round-up of Dutch signing news.

    According to De Telegraaf, Kroon has extended his contract with Saxo-Tinkoff for one year.  The 37-year-old decided not to hang up his bike yet, and remain active for a further year. He turned pro in 1997 with Rabobank and rode for CSC (2006-2009) and BMC (2010-2011) before joining Saxo Bank last year. He won a stage at the Tour de France in 2002.

    Leezer has reached an oral agreement to stay with Belkin for another two years, the newspaper said.  The 27-year-old joined the Rabobank Continental Team in 2005 and rode for Rabobank, the forerunner of Belkin, since 2008. This season he won a stage at the Tour de Langkawi.

    The van Poppel brothers have long been rumoured to join the Trek team for the coming season, as their current team Vacansoleil-DCM is losing both its title sponsors, and a new sponsor appears unlikely. Danny van Poppel, who turned 20 the end of July, is the youngest rider in the WorldTour and was the youngest rider to start the Tour de France since World War II. He rode for the Rabobank Continental Team in 2012 before turning pro this year.

    Boy van Poppel also started out with the Rabobank Continental Team and rode for UnitedHealthcare in 2011 and 2012 before joining Vacansoleil this year. Last year he won the points jersey at the Tour of Britain.