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First Edition Cycling News, Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Date published:
November 27, 2013, 0:00 GMT
  • Giro d'Italia's Barolo time trial to follow hillier course

    The map of the time trial stage of the 2014 Giro d'Italia
    Article published:
    November 26, 2013, 12:59 GMT
    Cycling News

    Route of stage 12 altered to bring race into Langhe hills

    The route of the 2014 Giro d’Italia’s time trial through Barolo wine country has been altered and will now take place on a hillier course than initially unveiled by organisers RCS Sport.

    The distance of the stage 12 time trial from Barbaresco to Barolo has been reduced from its original 46km, and rather than following a parcours along the valley floor, riders will instead tackle a significantly more undulating 43km course.

    The original course featured the climb of Vergine with 7 kilometres to go and another short rise to the finish at Barolo, but was otherwise predominantly flat. The new route sees the insertion of an early climb to Manera, a detour through Alba and the addition of a climb to Castiglion Falletto before the finish.

    The changes came about following a request from regional government officials in Piedmont, who wanted the course to showcase the famous wine-producing region by having the Giro wind its way through the picturesque Langhe hills.

    “We couldn’t have the route become a time trial through barns and warehouses rather than a time trial through the vineyards themselves,” the Piedmont’s head of sport and tourism Alberto Cirio told “While taking into consideration the requirements of the time trial, which couldn’t have excessive climbing, we’ve managed to bring the race through some of the most suggestive areas of our splendid hills.”

    Cirio announced that the region also hopes to host a stage of the Giro in Piedmont wine country in 2015, albeit in the Roero...

  • UnitedHealthcare names Wilier Triestina bike sponsor for 2014

    The UnitedHealthcare team will use Wilier Triestina's Cento1SR frameset for road races in 2014
    Article published:
    November 26, 2013, 14:16 GMT
    Cycling News

    US-based Pro Conti squad partners with Italian manufacturer

    The UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team has announced that Italian-based bike manufacturer Wilier Triestina has been named the bicycle sponsor for the upcoming 2014 season. The US Pro Continental squad will race on Wilier's Cento1SR (road) and TwinBlade (TT) models as it heads into next year's campaign.

    "Wilier is a perfect fit for this team as we continue to grow," said Mike Tamayo, UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team's general manager and team director. "When we met with Wilier at their headquarters in Italy, we expected to discuss specifics on the bike frame. Not only did we discuss specifics, Wilier showed us a beautifully crafted model that was even in the correct team paint scheme that they had already produced for us. That spoke volumes. We are excited and looking forward to a great partnership with Wilier."

    "The UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team has been one of the most well run teams in the sport for more than a decade now and we are pleased to partner with the team as it enters its 12th season," said Angelo Cilli, president of Wilier Triestina USA. "Over the past few years, we have watched UnitedHealthcare build an incredibly strong name for itself and provide significant value for its sponsors. The results it has produced on the bike are impressive. But equally important is the manner in which the team presents itself on and off the bike, and being associated with a growing team and brand like this is important to us."

  • 2013 Reader Poll: Vote for Legend and win

    A beaming Nicole Cooke and her Olympic Games gold medal
    Article published:
    November 26, 2013, 15:45 GMT
    Cycling News

    Pick this year's Legend of Cycling

    In 2013 the sport of cycling has said good-bye to a number of popular riders, some were lucky enough to retire, others unfortunately left us for good. In our minds, they're all legends of cycling, but only one rider can win. Be sure to vote for your favorite rider in our 2013 Reader Poll, and you will be entered to win our Grand Prize: Dan Martin's actual Garmin-Sharp Cervelo R5.

    Sandy Casar (retired):

    Sandy Casar rode for the Française des Jeux team for the entirety of his 13-year professional career, and during that time he amassed three stage wins in the Tour de France (1 each in 2007, 2009 - awarded later after Mikel Astarloza's disqualification for doping - and 2010) and a second overall and best young rider jersey in Paris-Nice (2002).

    Like many of the French riders, Casar rode as an opportunist, never afraid to go into a long breakaway, and with a punchy sprint he could often challenge for the stage victories. His most memorable moment came in the 2007 Tour de France when he won the 18th stage from a breakaway after being involved in a mid-stage crash due to a dog in the road. Despite his ripped shorts and bloodied buttocks, Casar still found enough to out-sprint his breakaway companion Axel Merckx.

    In the 2010 Tour de France, he entered into a 10-man breakaway on stage 9 that stayed clear over the Alpine climbs of the Col de la Colombière, Col de Aravis, Col des Saisies and the Col de la Madeleine. Casar, ever calculating and patient, out-sprinted Luis León Sánchez and Damiano Cunego to win the stage as the general classification contenders Andy Schleck and Alberto Contador hurtled to the finish line just behind.

    Sandy Casar wins the 18th stage of the 2007 Tour de France ahead of...
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    Brammeier signs with Synergy Baku for 2014

    Matt Brammeier (Champion System)
    Article published:
    November 26, 2013, 18:24 GMT
    Barry Ryan

    Irish champion finds team after collapse of Champion System

    He may have ended up a step further away from where he wanted to be at the start of the year, but the glass is half full rather than half empty for Matt Brammeier as he faces into 2014. "The main thing is that I'm still a bike rider next season," the Irish champion told Cyclingnews, confirming that he has signed a contract with the Synergy Baku squad, the Azerbaijan-backed Continental team.

    Brammeier began 2013 with the stated aim of working his way back up to WorldTour level, having joined Pro Continental squad Champion System after learning of his departure from Omega Pharma-QuickStep by happening upon an article in a Belgian newspaper at the end of the previous campaign. Such is life in the school of hard knocks.


    In spite of aggressive showings at Dwars door Vlaanderen and the Tour of California, as well as a fourth Irish title in 2013, however, Brammeier was again left without a team at the end of the season when the Champion System squad disbanded. Undeterred, Brammeier continued to search for a place on a top-level team right up until mid-November, his positioned strengthened by the safety net provided by Synergy Baku's interest.


    "I was in pretty advanced talks with a WorldTour team until last week but that fell through in the end, which was a bit disappointing," Brammeier said. "But I was lucky that I had this option too, so that gave me some security and meant that I could keep looking for a place on a WorldTour team for an extra few weeks."

    This year's transfer market has been a particularly fraught one in the professional peloton. Five major teams – Euskatel-Euskadi, Vansoleil-DCM, Saur-Sojasun, Champion System and Crelan-Euphony...

  • Van Garderen to skip California in Tour de France build up

    Tejay van Garderen (BMC) enjoying his podium time
    Article published:
    November 26, 2013, 20:10 GMT
    Daniel Benson

    Phinney told to start strongly as he aims for Tour spot

    BMC has confirmed that Tejay van Garderen will follow what they describe as a ‘classic’ race programme as he builds towards the Tour de France in July. It means that the American, who finished fifth in the race in 2012 and picked up the white jersey as the best young rider, will not defend his title in the Tour of California in May.

    Instead, van Garderen will lock horns with the likes of Chris Froome (Team Sky) and Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank) at Paris-Nice, the Tour of Romandie and the Criterium du Dauphine.

    "It's all Tour de France oriented but he won’t be going to the Tour of California," Allan Peiper, performance manager of BMC Racing confirmed to Cyclingnews.

    "Instead he’ll be doing the classic build up to the Tour de France with Dauphine, Romandie and Paris-Nice. He has the weight on his shoulders for 2014 and he realises that. With a good programme in place and a good structure he should be firing on all pistons for the big event."

    Van Garderen won his first stage race this May in California, claiming the individual time trial on stage 6 and holding off the challenge of former winner Michael Rogers (Saxo Bank). However, van Garderen faltered at the Tour de France and despite a brave second placed on an epic stage to Alpe d’Heuz, he finished 45th in the general classification.

    He rallied in the second half of the year to win a stage and the overall title at the USA Pro Challenge but the Tour was a disappointment for the 25 year old.

    Peiper has helped structure a number of riders' race schedules and agreed that it was...

  • No support for breakaway league from Cookson

    Zdenek Bakala at the Omega Pharma-Quick Step Cycling Team press conference
    Article published:
    November 26, 2013, 21:30 GMT
    Cycling News

    UCI president emphasises cycling's heritage

    New UCI president Brian Cookson ran for his post on a 'manifesto' that included a plan to grow cycling globally, overhaul road cycling and strengthen the sport's influence in the Olympic movement, but he does not see fostering a "breakaway league" as the answer for cycling.

    Cookson told Bloomberg News that the "World Series Cycling" project, which would have added 10 new races and aimed to share profits with participating teams, "isn't the right way forward".

    Executives of the British broadcaster BSkyB met with teams in February about possible support of the series, which was proposed by businessmen Jonathan Price and Thomas Kurth, with backing and support from Omega Pharma-Quick Step team owner Zdenek Bakala.

    The World Series Cycling project has been in the works for well over a year, but it has yet to reconcile with the already well-established calendar of races which sponsor-driven teams are loathe to miss.

    "The heritage of cycling is very important," Cookson told Bloomberg. "You could have, say, a race from Paris to Lyon but it wouldn't be as exciting as Paris-Roubaix."

    However, increasingly cash-strapped teams are struggling to survive in the current model, which sees major race organisers own and control lucrative television rights while riders and teams are awarded mere fractions of the revenue in prize money.

    The economic downturn in Europe has made matters worse. Trickle down effects from the recession have led five professional teams to pull the plug: Euskaltel-Euskadi, Vacansoleil-DCM, Sojasun, Crelan-Euphony and Champion System have all folded leaving dozens of riders scrambling for...

  • Peiper: Cadel Evans can win the Giro d’Italia

    2011 Tour de France champion Cadel Evans (BMC) lost more than four minutes to stage 8 winner Chris Froome
    Article published:
    November 26, 2013, 23:22 GMT
    Daniel Benson

    Age not a problem, says performance manager

    Allan Peiper, the performance manager of BMC Racing, believes that Cadel Evans can win the Giro d’Italia in 2014.

    Evans finished third in this year's edition of the race, behind eventual winner Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) and Rigoberto Uran (Team Sky). Despite a disappointing showing in the Tour de France in July in which he finished in 39th place, Peiper believes that the former Tour winner can return in 2014 and win the second grand tour of his career.

    "Cadel believes in himself. Even now at 36. I know the way he rode in the Giro, with less than perfect preparation, and how he raced at the end of the season. He still has a lot of energy in the tank and I firmly believe that he can go to the Giro and win it," Peiper told Cyclingnews.

    "The way he rides a bike race, the way he can prepare and live for it, I think the Giro is definitely an obtainable goal for Cadel Evans in 2014."

    Evans will be 37 by the time the Giro d'Italia starts in Belfast next May, but Peiper added that the experienced Australian rider can still compete at the top of the sport. With BMC sending Tejay van Garderen to the Tour de France, Evans will be the sole leader for the team in Italy.

    "Let's not even talk about age because he's already beaten that issue already and he’s done that consistently over the last five years. Whether it's his last year or not you can be sure that when the Giro comes around he's going to be on fire. I believe that 100 per cent."

    Evans was present at the route presentation for the 2014 Giro d'Italia in October and praised the route.

    "The race route is slightly more balanced [than in the past]. I don't know if it's more humane because if they put in less mountain stages, we just ride faster and go flat out. It doesn't get any easier. It suits a rider who is consistent but that's...

  • Baden Cooke announces retirement

    Baden Cooke (Orica-GreenEdge) at the start
    Article published:
    November 27, 2013, 3:40 GMT
    Cycling News

    2003 Tour de France green jersey winner bades farewell to the peloton

    Australian Baden Cooke has announced his retirement after 14 years in the professional peloton having won over 50 races in his career during stints with FDJ, Saxo Bank and Orica-GreenEdge. Cooke spent the last two seasons with the Australian WorldTour team. Cooke's announcement follows speculation he would retire at the end of season with his contract expiring this year.

    Cooke is in the process of setting up a sports management company from his base in Monaco and is excited about the opportunities that lie ahead given the abundance of Australian talent in the professional peloton.

    "After 14 years racing at the highest level, I am moving on. Having the honour of finishing my career with Australia’s first own World Tour team has been a dream. Racing surrounded by my best mates has been a phenomenal experience. I am very proud of my career and am ready for my next adventure," said Cooke.

    "I feel blessed having had the life and career that I always dreamed of having since I was a little boy starting out at Benalla Cycling club with a BMX and a stack hat."

    Cooke was a bronze medallist at the 2002 Commonwealth Games road race and competed at the 2004 Olympics. Cooke also won four stages of the Tour Down Under and finished ninth in the 2002 world road championships.

    The 2002 Jayco Herald Sun Tour winner stated his green jersey and stage win at the 2003 Tour de France as two of his career highlights, along with his wins at GP Fourmies and Dwars Door Vlaanderen.

    "All I ever wanted in life was to race bikes professionally. I never thought I would have so much success and win the races that I did. I am retiring from racing at a professional level but I will continue to train and don’t be surprised to see me pop up at...