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First Edition Cycling News, Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Date published:
October 16, 2013, 1:00 BST
  • Basso ready to end his injury-filled season at the Japan Cup

    Ivan Basso (Cannondale).
    Article published:
    October 15, 2013, 20:10 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    Cannondale captain eyes the Giro d'Italia as his goal of 2014

    Ivan Basso (Cannondale) will finally put an end to what has been a testing and injury-filled season at the Japan Cup this coming weekend. Yet despite missing the Giro d'Italia due to a golf-ball size saddle sore that required surgery and then quitting the Vuelta a Espana due to the cold and rain in the Pyrenees, the 35-year-old Italian still sees himself as a Grand Tour contender and team leader in 2014.

    He has been linked to both Astana and Saxo Bank in recent months but has told Cyclingnews he will stay with Cannondale, preferring a role of team captain alongside Peter Sagan rather than a role as super domestique and leader for the Giro d'Italia in a rival team such as Astana or Saxo Bank. 

    Basso has raced for the Italian since making his comeback from a ban for working with Dr. Eufemiano Fuentes in 2008 and his involvement in the Operacion Puerto blood doping investigation. He finished ninth overall in the Tour of Beijing this week, despite his troubled season.

    "It's been a disaster… It was hard from every point of view," he admitted to Cyclingnews.

    "I started my training for scratch three times during 2013: first to get ready for the Giro d'Italia, then for the Vuelta and again for Il Lombardia and the end of the season. I only raced two small races after pulling out of the Vuelta but I kept fit. That shows that I've been professional."

    After the highs and lows of his career, Basso knows that comebacks are part of a rider's life. He refutes the idea that he is getting old.

    You get old when you start to think about being old," he said.

    "Despite my problems, my approach to the 2014 season won’t be an different to the past, but I also know that I'll be going up against the best riders...

  • Pinot unsure of 2014 Tour de France preparation

    Thibaut Pinot (FDJ)
    Article published:
    October 15, 2013, 20:10 BST
    Cycling News

    Frenchman considering Giro-Vuelta double

    Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) has hinted that he may forgo the Tour de France next season in order to ride the Giro d’Italia and Vuelta a España, but he will await the presentation of the 2014 route in Paris next week before reaching a decision.

    “I’m waiting to see the profile of the Tour before I decide on what to do, and see if I perhaps go to the Giro and Vuelta instead. My programme isn’t defined yet,” Pinot told Eurosport in an interview televised in France on Monday.

    Pinot finished 7th overall in his Vuelta debut last month, bouncing back from a disappointing Tour where he had abandoned through illness at the beginning of the third week.

    The 23-year-old Frenchman has yet to ride the Giro, but he has made no secret of his affection for Italian racing, and the plethora of summit finishes in the final week of next year’s corsa rosa seem well suited to his talents. In 2011, Pinot claimed the general classification at the Settimana Lombarda and came close to victory at the Tre Valli Varesine, while he was aggressive in the finale of this year’s Tour of Lombardy.

    Pinot ruled out the prospect of riding both the Giro and the Tour next year, pointing out that the Giro and Vuelta was a more feasible combination. “Perhaps there won’t be the Tour de France, maybe it will be a combination of the Giro and Vuelta, but I haven’t made any decision yet,” Pinot said. “I’ll have to talk about it with the team in the coming week.”

    La Planche des Belles Filles on the route in 2014?

    Pinot may yet be convinced to ride the Tour by what he sees when the lights go down at the...

  • Peter Sagan limited edition Cannondale SuperSix Evo unveiled

    Peter Sagan's original team bike
    Article published:
    October 16, 2013, 3:40 BST
    Sam Dansie

    Better specced than Slovak rocket's version?

    This article was originally published on BikeRadar

    Want to get your hands the bike Peter Sagan rode to victory in the Tour de France green jersey competition? Well, now you can, sort of. Cannondale have issued 100 SuperSix Evo frames in Limited Green Edition colours – and the bike appears marginally better specced than the model the Slovakian started with at the Grand Depart in Corsica.

    Currently, details of the special edition bike are as limited as the frame itself. Apart from the classy, muted paint job, which is somewhat at odds with Sagan's flamboyance and penchant for the outrageous – remember the Incredible Hulk paint job and the dyed green beard? – buyers appear to be in line for a full SRAM Red 11-speed groupset. That was something even the rider wasn't privileged to have at the Tour – he had to make do with 10-speed!

    Otherwise the only other deviation from the Cannondale star's Tour bike is the wheels. In July, BikeRadar viewed a bike with Vision Metron 55 tubulars; the special comes with the clincher version.

    The bike also comes with a Cannondale Scicon Aerocomfort 2.0 TSA carry case. A price for the package is still to be confirmed.

  • Trek confirms Busche, Zubeldia, Kiserlovski and Didier to 2014 line-up

    Matthew Busche (Radioshack) set the tempo for the yellow jersey up the last climb.
    Article published:
    October 16, 2013, 9:51 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    No confirmation on Chris Horner's future

    The Trek team continues to confirm riders for its 2014 line-up, announcing that climbers and stage race riders Laurent Didier, Matt Busche, Haimar Zubeldia and Robert Kiserlovski will all be part of the new-look team that replaces Radioshack-Leopard in the peloton.

    The team has 27 riders on its 2014 roster but there is still no confirmation that Vuelta a España winner Chris Horner will also remain with the team managed by Luca Guercilena.

    Fabian Cancellara and Andy Schleck will be the team's leaders. Already announced new signings include Fumiyuki Beppu, Boy and Danny Van Poppel, Kristof Vande Walle and Fabio Felline.

    Tony Gallopin has left for Lotto Belisol, Tour de France stage winner Jan Bakelants has joined Omega Pharma-Quick Step and Ben Hermans will ride for BMC in 2014.

    Former US national champion Matt Busche is from Wauwatosa, just 60 miles from Trek's global headquarters in Waterloo, Wisconsin. He was a key part of the team that helped Horner win the 2013 Vuelta a Espana. He finished fifth in the Tour of Utah.

    "I'm very happy to be staying with Trek. I've been riding Trek since turning pro in 2010 and the decision to stay was pretty easy," Busche said.

    "They have helped me improve a lot as a cyclist in four years and I'm confident that this is a good team for me to progress to the next level. I'm excited to see what the future holds!"

    Robert Kiserlovski finished 15th in the Giro d'Italia and 17th at the Vuelta a España.

    "The team had a lot of confidence in me from the beginning and this past season showed me that I made the right choice to further with this group of riders," said Kiserlovski.

    Zubeldia is considered a...

  • Kroon to continue with Saxo Bank in 2014

    Karsten Kroon (Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank)
    Article published:
    October 16, 2013, 10:56 BST
    Cycling News

    De Jongh will remain as directeur sportif

    Karsten Kroon is set to continue for another season with Saxo Bank. The Dutchman will turn 38 early next year, but he is set to sign a new contract with the team for 2014 later this week.

    Saxo delayed in extending the contracts of a number of its riders as manager Bjarne Riis sought to find a replacement sub-sponsor for Tinkoff Bank after a parting of the ways with Russian magnate Oleg Tinkov. Last week, it was announced that Saxo Bank would make up the shortfall in Riis’ budget until a second sponsor is secured.

    “I really wanted to do it and when I sat down with Bjarne, we got there quickly,” Kroon told AD Sportwereld, confirming that the deal will be made official later this week.

    The Dutch newspaper also reports that directeur sportif Steven de Jongh will remain with the team next year. De Jongh left his position at Team Sky last year after confessing to doping as a rider, but he joined Saxo-Tinkoff in January of this year.

    Kroon is in his second spell with Riis’ team, having first joined CSC ahead of the 2006 season. After a two-year hiatus with BMC in 2010 and 2011, he rejoined the Danish squad at the beginning of last season.

    One of the team’s classics leaders in his CSC days – he finished on the podium of both Flèche Wallonne and Amstel Gold Race, and 4th at the Tour of Flanders – Kroon’s second coming at the squad has seen him ride largely in a supporting role.

    “I am one of the pillars of the team. At this stage in my career, I have no...

  • Sky: Porte ready to lead at a Grand Tour

    Richie Porte kept close track of Froome, who was suffering a hunger knock
    Article published:
    October 16, 2013, 12:01 BST
    Daniel Benson

    Australian heads towards Giro d'Italia

    Team Sky has yet to announce their full set of goals for 2014 but Richie Porte received his biggest endorsement as a grand tour leader yet after one of the team’s directors claimed that the Australian had all the credentials to win a three-week race.

    Porte has made no secret of his desire to lead the British team in a grand tour with the Giro d’Italia expected to be the focal point of the rider’s season. The 2014 race route was presented last week in Milan and with Sky’s Dan Hunt present.

    “Like it’s been said many times, it’s quite a balanced route with around eight flat stages, five mountain stages and five medium mountain stages, a flat time trial, an up hill time trial and a team time trial. It’s got a bit of everything,” he told Cyclingnews.

    Balanced route aside Sky’s determination to compete in both the Giro and the Tour de France was evident this year with Bradley Wiggins leading in Italy and Chris Froome challenging in July. With Wiggins found wanting and later abandoning the Giro and his grand tour future uncertain, Porte is the team’s best card to play at the Giro, assuming that Froome attempts to defend his Tour title.

    “He’s ready to lead at a grand tour,” Hunt said of Porte, before adding, “I think he has the possibility of wining the Giro. I think he has all the right credentials to lead and win a grand tour but in three weeks of road racing almost anything is possible. It’s probably the hardest race on the calendar.

    “I think he’s experienced, he’s developed both physically and mentally as a rider. He’s got that level of maturity that’s needed in order to lead in a grand tour. The next few weeks are about a...

  • Movistar confirms renewal of sponsorship until 2016

    Alejandro Valverde (Movistar).
    Article published:
    October 16, 2013, 12:50 BST
    Alasdair Fotheringham

    Spain’s lone WorldTour team to continue for another three seasons

    In the week when one historic Spanish team, Euskaltel-Euskadi, rode its last race ever in the Tour of Beijing, there was some good news for cycling in Spain, too. Movistar has confirmed that it will continue sponsorship of its WorldTour team for the next three years.

    The news, although widely expected, had not been made official until a launch took place this Wednesday in Madrid, with Nairo Quintana, Alejandro Valverde and team director Eusebio Unzue all attending.

    Movistar – one of cycling's longest standing squads together with Lotto-Belisol – has had a spectacularly successful 2013, crowned this week by an overall victory in the Tour of Beijing and the clinching of top spot in the UCI World Tour teams rankings, when the team moved ahead of Sky thanks to Benat Intxausti’s victory in the Chinese race.

    The Spanish squad has taken 32 wins this season, three more than in 2012, and 11 more than in 2011, when it won 21 – a tally, which was itself four more than the total number of wins for previous sponsor Caisse D’Epargne in 2010. Looking back over the last three years since they became the main sponsor in 2011 of a formation which stretches right the way back to Reynolds in the 1980s, Movistar’s failure to take a Grand Tour is perhaps the one blot in their copybook to date.

    This year has been one of success on almost all fronts barring the Classics. Quintana finished on the podium in the Tour de France and secured the King of the Mountains title as well as the Best Young Rider’s jersey along with second overall and a stage win, Alejandro Valverde claimed third in the Vuelta a España, second in Il Lombardia and third in Liege, Rui Costa – also the winner of the World...

  • Martin and Chavanel to clash in Chrono des Nations

    2013 time trial world champion Tony Martin (Germany)
    Article published:
    October 16, 2013, 15:00 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    Pinotti bows out in the final race of the European season

    The Chrono des Nations will bring down the curtain on the European road racing season on Sunday with time trial world champion Tony Martin (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) as the favourite to take a third consecutive victory.

    The German will face competition from teammate and French time trial national champion Sylvain Chavanel, in his last race for Omega Pharma-Quick Step before he joins IAM Cycling in 2014.

    Italian time trial champion Marco Pinotti will bow out from professional cycling at the event, fittingly ending his career in a time trial and wearing his red, white and green Italian national champion's jersey.

    World champion Ellen Van Dijk is the favourite for the women's race, with her Specialized–lululemon teammate Carmen Small of the United States expected to ride. Full start lists will be revealed on Thursday.

    Other riders for the elite men's race include the following: Cameron Wurf (Cannondale), Lieuwe Westra (Vacansoleil-DCM), Gustav Larsson (IAM Cycling), Jérémy Roy (FDJ), Johan Le Bon (FDJ), Bryan Coquard (Europcar), Bryan Nauleau (Europcar), Angelo Tulik (Europcar), Olivier Kaisen (Lotto-Belisol), Edvaldas Siskevicius (Sojasun) and Romain Lemarchand (Cofidis).

    This year is the 32nd edition of the time trial and the organisers have designed a new course that includes the Le Mont des Alouettes climb that hosted the finish of the opening stage of the 2011 Tour de France won by Philippe Gilbert.

    The 57km elite men's course also passes the Le Puy-du-Fou theme park, with a total of 200 riders competing in the junior, women and under 23 categories. Eddy Merckx will be a special guest at the event and the dinner held before the race on Saturday.