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First Edition Cycling News, Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Date published:
October 23, 2013, 1:00 BST
  • Five mountain finishes for 2014 Tour de France?

    Chris Froome (Sky) wins stage 7 of the Tour de France on La Planche des Belles Filles
    Article published:
    October 22, 2013, 18:58 BST
    Cycling News

    More details of route leaked

    The route of the 2014 Tour de France will be officially unveiled in Paris on Wednesday morning, but leaks in two European newspapers and on the Internet have already revealed many of the stages and key climbs of the race.

    The 101st edition of the Tour de France will start in Yorkshire and will follow a clock-wise route with the Alps coming in the second week, with the Pyrenees offering the decisive mountain stages.

    The centenary edition was one long celebration of legendary Tour de France climbs and cities. It seems the 2014 route will be more experimental and original, with the mountains standing out for their severity rather than just their former winners. There is also no trace of a team time trial.

    According to both La Depeche newspaper in southern western France and Tuttosport in Italy, the Tour de France route will include five mountain finishes at La Planche des Belles Filles in the eastern Vosges, at Chamrousse and Risoul in the Alps, then at Pla d’Adet and Hautacam in the Pyrenees.

    The British stages in Yorkshire are already well known, with the third stage running from Cambridge to central London before the transfer via the Channel Tunnel to France.

    Stages in northern France are expected to remember the 100th anniversary of the start of the first world war, while also remembering Tour de France riders Octave Lapize, Francois Faber and Lucien Petit Breton, who all died in the conflict.

    Up to six sectors of pave could be included in the stage according to Tuttosport, possibly including the terrible long section of the Forest of Arenberg.

    The sprinters and breakaways will have their chances on the trip south with stage finishes expected in Reims, Nancy and Mulhouse.

    The mountains beginning on...

  • Van der Haar signs with Argos-Shimano development team for 2014

    Lars van der Haar celebrates victory in the Valkenburg World Cup
    Article published:
    October 22, 2013, 19:59 BST
    José Been

    Continental squad announces 10-rider roster

    Team Argos-Shimano announced today the roster of its new development team, with young cyclo-cross star Lars van der Haar headlining the 10-man Continental squad for the 2014 season. Van der Haar, winner of the opening UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup round in Valkenburg last weekend, will combine his cyclo-cross career with a road programme in the summer and will join the squad next March.

    "I see myself developing in this team with the right people and environment around me," Van der Haar said about his new team. "In the conversations we had I felt really good, and I am looking forward to benefiting from the set-up they want to build around me."

    Van der Haar, 22, is the current Dutch elite cyclo-cross champion and finished third at the elite men's world championship earlier this year. He will stay with his current Rabobank Development Team until the first of March.

    "I will ride the cyclo-cross world championships in Hoogerheide (the Netherlands) for Rabobank. After that it's time to move on in my career. It's a step I am really looking forward to."

    The Argos-Shimano development team is led by former Thüringer Energie coach Jens Lang. Lang led the team where sprint aces Marcel Kittel and John Degenkolb originally came from.

    "Argos-Shimano will support Lars with our programme and coaching staff in order to help him improve in cyclo-cross," Lang said. "In the summer we'll offer him a programme on the road with this team in order to prepare for the cyclo-cross season."

    The new Continental team features an international roster of 10 riders including three Swedes from Team People4You: Christian Bertilsson, Robert Pölder and Fredrik Ludvigsson,...

  • Cannondale ends talks with Tinkoff

    Peter Sagan (Cannondale) smiling at the start line
    Article published:
    October 22, 2013, 22:04 BST
    Cycling News

    Bike company becomes majority owner, Sagan to stay

    American bicycle manufacturer Cannondale announced today that it has acquired the majority ownership of the Cannondale Pro Cycling team and Brixia Sports, and that negotiations with Tinkoff Credit Systems have been ended.

    Oleg Tinkov was reportedly attempting to gain a 55% share of the team to the tune of six million euros.

    The CEO of Dorel, Cannondale's parent company, Martin Schwartz lent his support to the team's future. "This further investment underlines our respect and the value for the accomplishments of the Cannondale team and recognizes the many benefits this association has brought to the Cannondale brand," Schwartz said. "Additionally, it comes on the heels of our acquisition of the Caloi brand in Brazil and our intention to market Cannondale throughout Latin America."

    According to the Cannondale press release, Peter Sagan, twice the Tour de France green jersey winner, will remain with the team along with other stand-out riders Moreno Moser, Elia Viviani and U23 world champion Matej Mohoric.

    "2013 has been an amazing year for Cannondale Pro Cycling athletes and for the awareness of the Cannondale brand," Bob Baird, CEO, the Cannondale Sports Unlimited said. "We're looking forward to this next step with the team. We're passionate about pro cycling and furthering the sport with integrity and have a vision of building the most admired pro cycling team in the peloton. We have seen an increase in our market share of Cannondale since beginning this association and expect this to continue."

  • OCBC and search2retain/health to continue partnership

    Neil Van Der Ploeg (search2retain p/b celebrates his victory in Stage 5 of the FKG Tour of Toowoomba
    Article published:
    October 22, 2013, 23:30 BST
    Jono Lovelock

    Revolutionary deal continues to benefit Australian and Asian cyclists

    The collaboration between the Singaporean OCBC Continental Cycling Team and the Australian search2retain p/b National Road Series (NRS) Team is set to continue until the end of 2015. The arrangement is one that search2retain/health director, Peter Shandon, told Cyclingnews is "the most elegant solution ever" to keep costs at a minimum but at the same time deliver opportunities to young Australian and Asian riders. For the Australian team, they are afforded the chance to give their riders starts at UCI races in Asia, initially as stagiaires, with continental contracts on the table for those that impress. For the Singaporean team, it's the chance for their riders to tackle the hard and fast racing of the NRS that they see to their advantage.

    "What they're looking for from us are Aussie riders from each year to stagiaire with them and if it all works out, to sign on with them," Shandon told Cyclingnews. "Over the next few years they'd like to secure some strong Aussies to come race for their team.

    "They're going to send a couple of their guys in the first half and another two in the second half of the season to come and race in the NRS," he continued. "Which obviously gives those guys a level of racing they can't get in Singapore or even Malaysia […] and they really rate the NRS, so that's a tick I suppose for what John Craven has developed over a long time and what Cycling Australia is continuing with."

    Two riders from the 2013 search2retain/health NRS squad, Cam Bayly and Eric Sheppard will go on to join the 2014 OCBC Continental squad. This year Sheppard took the stagiaire pathway with OCBC to ride the Tours of Japan, Kumano and Korea, taking two podiums in Korea and finishing third in the young rider...

  • Watch the 2014 Tour de France presentation on Cyclingnews

    Time for a celebratory drink. Chris Froome (Sky) has a traditional glass of champage en route to Paris
    Article published:
    October 23, 2013, 2:11 BST
    Cycling News

    Live video streaming from Paris

    The route of the 2014 Tour de France will be unveiled in Paris this morning and you can watch the whole event live on Cyclingnews.

    The presentation will begin at 11:30 Central European time in the video panel below.

    2013 Tour de France winner Chris Froome will be at the presentation, as will sprinters Mark Cavendish, Marcel Kittel and many other riders who will ride the 2014 Tour de France.

    The presentation will begin with speeches by Jean-Etienne Amaury, the President of organiser Amaury Sport Organisation, Christian Prudhomme, the Director of the Tour de France and a representative from the Yorkshire Grand Depart.

    There will be a presentation video of the Yorkshire stages, the presentation of the full route and then stage by stage details will be revealed, including the key mountains and the decisive points in the race. Details of new rules will also be revealed.

    Cyclingnews will have detailed analysis, reaction from riders and video interviews after the presentation finishes.

  • Robinson proud observer for Yorkshire as curtain lifts on Tour de France 2014

    The peloton at the 1959 Tour de France, where Brian Robinson powered to victory in stage 20
    Article published:
    October 23, 2013, 8:19 BST
    Alasdair Fotheringham

    Yorkshire pioneer first Briton to win a stage of the Tour de France - in 1958

    When the route of the 2014 Tour de France is finally unveiled in full detail this morning, for one person watching from the audience in Paris’ Palais des Congres it will be a very special moment indeed: Yorkshire’s Brian Robinson, Britain’s first ever Tour de France stage winner back in 1958.

    To describe Robinson as a pioneer is an understatement of major proportions. He was a member of the first British team to ride the Tour in 1955 and one of the country’s first two finishers, taking 29th, with GB teammate Tony Hoar 69th.

    Just two riders from Great Britain had taken part in the race before, in 1937, and after the GB team rode in 1955, for many years you could still count the number of GB Tour de France participants on the fingers of one hand - and sometimes you only needed one finger. But from 1955 to 1961, Robinson was always amongst those Tour racers for Great Britain, winning two stages, one in 1958, the other in 1959.

    Living in Mirfield, Yorkshire, Robinson, now in his eighties, tells Cyclingnews just hours before the presentation takes place, that to be able to see two stages of the Tour in his native county is “wonderful, all the enthusiasm there is for this there. It’s sometimes difficult at my age to get enthusiastic about things but this is different - it’s really great.”

    As for the Tour coming to Yorkshire after all these years, Robinson says that as a young racer in France “it would have been the last thing you could have imagined back then. You were too busy surviving!”

    Racing was a very different kettle of fish back in his day, with conditions much harsher  - in terms of the terrain, equipment, build-up, you name...

  • 2014 Tour de France route unveiled

    The 2014 Tour de France route
    Article published:
    October 23, 2013, 11:23 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    Five mountain finishes, one time trial and a day on the cobbles

    The route of the 2014 Tour de France has been officially unveiled in Paris, with the 101st edition of Le Tour including five mountain finishes, just one 54km individual time trial stage and nine sections of cobbles in a stage in northern France.

    The racing begins in Yorkshire on Saturday, July 5, and ends three weeks later on Sunday, July 27, in Paris.

    Following the three opening stages in Yorkshire and to London, the Tour de France follows a clock-wise route via northern France and the Vosges mountains before tackling the Alps, the south of France and then the Pyrenees before ending in Paris. Surprisingly the 2014 route does not visit the west coast of France and so snubs the cycling heartlands of Vendee and Brittany.

    Christian Prudhomme, the Director of the Tour de France, unveiled the route in Paris.

    The confirmation that riders will have tackle 15.4km of cobbles surprised everyone at the presentation, especially the overall contenders who will have to fight for survival on the cobbles of northern France. 2013 winner Chris Froome and Alberto Contador sat side by side and neither seemed happy to see the return of the cobbles.

    The 156km fifth stage between Ypres and Arenberg Porte du Hainaut will also remember the 100th anniversary of the start of World War I, as will stage seven to Nancy that passes near Verdun.

    The route continues south via the champagne vineyards of Reims and Epernay and heads into the Vosges mountains, the new 'third range' of mountains in the Tour, starting the tough stage to above Gerardmer at La Mauselaine. Before the finish there is the Col de Grosse-Pierre, which the locals call the 'impossible climb'. It is narrow and 12% and will cause havoc. 

    Stage 10 includes...

  • 2014 Tour de France mountains to begin at La Mauselaine

    Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha), Nairo Quintana (Movistar) and Chris Froome (Sky) made the final selection
    Article published:
    October 23, 2013, 12:01 BST
    Jean-François Quénet

    The “impossible climb” scheduled for stage 8 to Gérardmer

    Everyone remembers where they were on September 11, 2001. Orica-GreenEdge’s Baden Cooke remembers the day very well because he won stage 6 of the Tour de l’Avenir. The Mercury team he rode for at the time were folding and he was desperately looking for a contract, a situation that pushed him to challenge the climbers and he eventually beat Denis Menchov and Eladio Jimenez to earn a spot at Française des Jeux. It happened atop La Mauselaine, a ski resort above the charming town of Gérardmer in the Vosges mountains.

    The same uphill finish - with a short section towards the end to make it tougher - will give the climbers their first opportunity to show their form at the end of stage eight of the 2014 Tour de France. La Mauselaine is 1.8km long with an average gradient of 10.3% and a maximum of 15%.

    When he went to study the venue on October 3rd with a handful of media, including Cyclingnews, Tour de France director Christian Prudhomme looked over the ski slopes with the idea of asphalting one of them in the coming years as has been done at the Planches des belles Filles with an evident success for the local economy.

    “La Mauselaine is a wonderful place for the Tour de France," Prudhomme said. “The view on the lake of Gérardmer will deliver beautiful TV shots as well as a very exciting race.”

    That will be the case, thanks to Thierry Gouvenou, who is the new director of the sport department at ASO.

    The stage eight finish will be preceded by the Col de Grosse-Pierre, which is nothing new to the Tour de France, from Lucien Petit-Breton leading the race at that point in 1913 to Chris Anker Sorensen crossing the third category climb as first in 2012. It is not a particularly difficult climb, with 5.7km of climbing at an average of 5.4%, but short cut will make a huge difference. Called the “traverse de La...