Olympic road champion Marianne Vos will lead the Dutch women at their homeland World Championships next month in Valkenburg. Vos, the dominant rider of the 2012 season, will be supported by a strong team including three of her Rabobank Women teammates.
The Netherlands will have eight women at the start of the elite women's road race (which also includes the U23 women). They qualified seven starters and Vos' Olympic gold medal gives them an additional place.
Vos, 25, has 16 wins this year. Her most recent win was the World Cup race GP de Plouay-Bretagne.
The Dutch will also have three women at the start of the both the elite women's and junior's time trials, thanks to gold medals won at the U23 and junior time trials at the European U23 Championships earlier this month. Vos, Ellen van Dijk and U23 European champion Anna van der Breggen will start in the elite race.
Elite women's time trial: Marianne Vos, Ellen van Dijk and Anna van der Breggen
Eilte women's road race: Marianne Vos, Kirsten Wild, Iris Slappendel, Annemiek van Vleuten, Loes Gunnewijk, Adrie Visser, Anna van der Breggen and Ellen van Dijk
Junior women's time trial: Nicky Zijlaard, Demi de Jong and Corine van der Zijden
Junior women's road race: Demi de Jong, Corine van der Zijden, Kirsten Coppens, and Janine van der Meer
German racks up fourth out of four bunch sprint wIns
John Degenkolb’s tenth victory of 2012 and fourth Vuelta a España bunch sprint victory out of four had a special quality to it, and it wasn’t of his own making. According to the 23-year-old Argos-Shimano rider, Daniele Bennati (RadioShack-Nissan) slowed to make the German accelerate earlier than he’d have liked on stage 10. But despite making an immensely long sprint as a result, Degenkolb still won - and Bennati placed third.
“He saw I was behind him and he went slower as a result, so I had no choice, I had to attack [make his final acceleration] further out than I wanted to," Degenkolb recounted. “But then the sprint suited me, it was uphill for the last 300 to 400 metres.
“That was best for a power rider like me, and I could get up that last rise really well. I was the strongest on the day..”
Other than that, Tuesday’s stage win had shades of Groundhog Day for Degenkolb: just like the stages to Viana, Logroño and Alcañiz, his three previous wins, a small group got away and the team was able to control it well. Then he got placed in the right position by his teammates, “and I wasn’t looking around at my rivals, I simply trusted the other guys [from Argos-Shimano] to put me in the right place.”
So where does he go from here? Short-term, the stage to Ferrol on Friday looks made for him, but he’s still refusing to say how many stages he thinks he can win between now and Madrid. That said, Degenkolb’s seemingly unstoppable run of success now has him thinking more and more about trying for the green points jersey, which he now leads by 18 points over race leader Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha).
Inferno Racing's manager Chad Thompson today revealed plans to merge his Kenda/5-Hour Energy team with fellow UCI Continental squad Competitive Cyclist, managed by Josh Saint and Jason Kriel of On the Rivet management, for the 2013 season.
It is hoped that the new team will continue to be directed by Frankie Andreu, who led Kenda for the past two years, and Gord Fraser, director of Competitive Cyclist. Those contracts are yet to be finalised. The team's goal will be to compete in the three major US races: Tour of California, Tour of Utah and the USA Pro Cycling Challenge, neither of which extended invitations to Kenda. Competitive Cyclist was only invited to the Tour of Utah.
"When approached with the merger concept, I was instantly intrigued and excited to make it happen" said Thompson. "I could not think of a better team or partner than On The Rivet. Josh, Jason and myself follow the same family-based principals in managing and we are all very hungry to continue proving ourselves within the industry and sport, and more importantly, to our sponsors. We are so excited to work with On The Rivet Management creating great synergy between all of our sponsors, and obviously for the team itself. 2013 and beyond should be very exciting."
Thompson's management company will close and the team will be part of On the Rivet Management, with Thompson joining as a partner.
The team's final roster and sponsorship line-up will be announced in the coming weeks.
The federation has announced the elite men’s selection pool from which they can draw a team of four for the road race and two for the individual time trial.
In the elite women's category, Canada can race a team of six in the road race and two in the individual time trial.
Hesjedal made history earlier this year, becoming the first Canadian to win a grand tour. 2012 Canadian Road Race Champion Ryan Roth and 2012 Canadian Time Trial Champion Svein Tuft have also been selected.
Elite men - road race long list: Michael Barry (Team Sky Pro Cycling) Guillaume Boivin (Team SpiderTech p/b C10) Marsh Cooper (Optum-Kelly Benefits) Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Sharp) Bruno Langlois (Garneau-Québécor) Christian Meier (Origa-GreenEdge) Francois Parisien (Team SpiderTech p/b C10) Dominique Rollin (Française-Des-Jeux) Ryan Roth (Team SpiderTech p/b C10) Sebastien Salas (Optum-Kelly Benefits) Svein Tuft (Origa-GreenEdge) David Veilleux (Team EuropCar)
Elite men - individual time trial long list: Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Sharp) Christian Meier (Origa-GreenEdge) Svein Tuft (Origa-GreenEdge)
Fatigue may see Valverde concede time in coming weeks
Movistar’s director Eusebio Unzue says that while the team’s leader, Alejandro Valverde is in great shape for this year’s Vuelta A España, his rivals Chris Froome (Sky) and Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank - Tinkoff Bank) are in better condition. Valverde has won two stages in addition to the team’s victory in the opening team time trial but Unzue says he will still lose time during the 39.4km individual test on stage 11.
"Both Froome and Alberto are a little higher, especially for the time trial, however the question is which of the two will be better? But Contador gets better," said Unzue to Deia.
While lacking race days this year, Contador remains Unzue’s favourite for the overall title when the race finishes up in Madrid in just under two weeks time.
"To me, [Contador] has more going for him than the rest and is still the favourite," he said.
"The mountains come next weekend, and along with the time trial on Wednesday, it's time to really evaluate the differences among the best."
Valverde has already completed a heavy schedule of racing this year in his first season back since serving a doping suspension and this may see him fall off the pace as the race continues. Valverde’s season began in Australia at the Tour Down Under, where he took his first win on
Hoste has enjoyed a decorated career of 15 years and has been a regular performer in the cobbled classics. Between 2004 and 2007 he finished runner-up in the Tour of Flanders three times, and has also finished in the top 10 of Paris-Roubaix twice. He's considered to be among the best riders of his generation never to have won a classic.
His 2011 season Katusha was scuttled after a career-threatening crash in the Three Days of De Panne, where he was eventually diagnosed with a tear in the membrane surrounding his brain but having recovered he joined Accent Jobs - Willems Veranda's.
Hoste has not ridden since the Ster ZLM Toer GP Jan van Heeswijk when the pain "of a worn-out intervertebral disc," caused the Belgian to step off the bike.
"I'm in therapy and if that does not work, we go to a specialist in Leuven," Hoste explained. "Currently I have no idea when I can have clarity and that makes it so difficult."
Hoste's contract with Katusha should have seen him through until the end of this season but he was released and joined Accent Jobs - Willems Veranda's. The veteran said that his plans for next year are very much in the balance.
"I realize that the teams no longer queue up, but there is interest, including a very nice team. But I do not want to talk until my back problems are solved."
Froome, Contador and Valverde looking to take time on race leader
Joost Van Leijen (Lotto Belisol) will be the first rider to leave the start house for the stage 11 time trial from Cambados to Pontevedra at this year's Vuelta a España. The 39.4km TT is the first individual test in the race but the route suggests that riders like current leader Joaquim Rodríguez (Katusha) won’t lose as much time to the specialists as would be expected.
The riders must tackle the Cat 3 climb before negotiating the technical descent. The climb to Alto Monte Castrove begins after just 13.5km and ascends approximately 450m over the 10km. It’s then a twisty and difficult descent, one small rise and a relatively flat run to the finish line in Pontevedra.
“For me, it will be hard chrono", said Rodríguez "But the course is not bad and has little flat. If I lost one minute, that would be great because it would mean that I could almost keep my leader’s jersey. I think I will just off keeping it, but the goal is to lose as little time as possible,” Rodríguez told Dhnet.be.
Admits to having provided five doses of EPO to Telekom/T-Mobile riders
Dr. Andreas Schmid has agreed to pay a fine equal to three months salary in settlement of charges that he violated prescription drug laws. The case stems from the German investigation of the involvement of the Freiburg University Clinic in relation to doping with Team Telekom/T-Mobile.
Schmid “admitted to letting pro cyclists from the former team have five packages of EPO,” his attorney, Ferdinand Gillmeister, told the dpanews agency. The names of the rider or riders involved with the EPO were not made public.
The settlement is not an admission of guilt and Schmid will not have a criminal record.
The investigations of Dr. Lothar Heinrich, team officials Rudy Pevenage, Mario Kummer and Olaf Ludwig were also closed with no action being taken.
The investigations were closed due to the statute of limitations and because, according to the prosecutors, no damage was done as the riders agreed to the doping. But chief Freiburg public prosecutor Wolfgang Mier made clear, “Without question, doping took place.”