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First Edition Cycling News, Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Date published:
September 18, 2013, 1:00 BST
  • Video: Dowsett looks ahead to Tour of Britain time trial

    Alex Dowsett (Movistar)
    Article published:
    September 17, 2013, 10:45 BST
    Cycling News

    Briton on Wiggins and his Worlds hopes

    The Tour of Britain’s stage 3 time trial at Knowsley will have a familiar feel to it for Alex Doswett (Movistar), given that his very first competitive pedal strokes came in ten-mile time trials.

    “The time trial here is ten miles long, which is my bread and butter. It’s what I grew up doing,” Dowsett told Cyclingnews in a video interview. “The first time I ever competed was in a ten-mile time trial, so I’m quietly excited about that.”

    The 16-kilometre Knowsley test is also the perfect distance for another British time triallist, however. Bradley Wiggins (Sky) has a similar grounding to Dowsett and the 2012 Tour de France winner lines up as the favourite for stage victory.

    “I’m under no illusions that Brad is the man to beat here. He’s shown some terrific form lately,” said Dowsett, who beat Wiggins to win the Giro d'Italia time trial to Saltara in May. “But if he has a bad day – if something goes wrong or if he falters in any way – then I can be snapping at his heels.”

    Wiggins and Dowsett are Great Britain’s representatives in the time trial at the world championships in Florence next week. While Dowsett is hopeful that he can better his 8th place from last year’s event, he acknowledged that Wiggins, Fabian Cancellara, Tony Martin and Taylor Phinney are the favourites for the podium places. “It could be good for me but they’re the guys to beat,” he said.

  • Evans admits another Tour de France win is unlikely

    Cadel Evans (BMC) on the way to his win.
    Article published:
    September 17, 2013, 11:32 BST
    Cycling News

    Australian on the demands of Grand Tours in current era

    Although Cadel Evans has admitted that he is unlikely to win the Tour de France again, the BMC rider is determined to try and return to his former levels next season, where he is expected to line up at the Giro d’Italia rather than at the Tour.

    In an interview with L’Équipe, Evans acknowledged that at 36 years of age, he will be hard-pressed to repeat his Tour de France victory of 2011. “I won’t say that it’s impossible [to win the Tour again] but it’s very, very difficult and, for me, unlikely,” Evans said. “Does that surprise you?”

    Evans finished 3rd in this year’s Giro but went on to struggle at the Tour and has ruled out the possibility of lining up at both races next season. “I won’t do the Giro-Tour double two years running. It cost me too much,” he told L’Équipe.

    The Australian pointed out that the demands of preparing for a Grand Tour in the current era is such that it is becoming ever more difficult to be competitive at both the Giro and Tour.

    “Today, the difference in stage races is made during the preparatory training camps,” Evans said. “You have to train hard, in a specific way and recover well. You have to target you event carefully and prepare specifically, which means spending a lot of time away from home. Doing six weeks at altitude is an advantage over those who have only done two or three weeks.”

    Evans acknowledged that Bradley Wiggins and Sky brought a new level of rigour to Tour de France preparation in 2012, although he wondered whether such focus is sustainable over an extended period of time. “That year, Wiggins made a lot of sacrifices every day,” he said. “From the...

  • Alonso squad “waiting for Euskaltel” to clinch deal

    Formula 1 star Fernando Alonso arrives at the summit via motorcycle.
    Article published:
    September 17, 2013, 12:25 BST
    Alasdair Fotheringham

    New management denies reports that negotiations have reached a standstill

    The man tipped to be the new manager of the Euskaltel-Euskadi squad in 2014, Kiko García, has denied reports in the Spanish media on Tuesday that Formula 1 driver Fernando Alonso – set to be the owner – is looking elsewhere because negotiations with the Basque team have reached a standstill

    It was reported in Spain on Tuesday that the deal between Fernando Alonso and the Euskaltel telephone company that would save the Euskaltel-Euskadi squad was under threat.

    Although Alonso had promised to keep on all 14 riders currently under contract for 2014, it was said that the problems have arisen because of the lack of agreement over current management contracts and it was even claimed that Alonso’s management were contemplating creating a whole new squad outside the WorldTour.

    On Sunday, the man tipped to be the team’s future general manager, Kiko García, warned Cyclingnews that the negotiations were going “a bit slower than I would like, particularly with the September 30th deadline.” 2014 WorldTour teams must hand over the first batch of paperwork confirming they have a sponsor for next season on the last day of this month.

    But on Tuesday, García told Cyclingnews that the negotiations with Euskaltel have not stopped, and that “in the meantime we are working flat out, hammering out all sorts of deals with sponsors for next year.”

    What is missing, though, is the final set of signatures on the papers that will see the owner change formally set and sealed and put the new squad on the road.

    “We’re waiting for Euskaltel to give us the definitive thumbs up,” García said. “It’s a pity because we are working flat out. We are hoping...

  • Leg fracture ends Thomas Dekker's season

    Team Garmin rider Thomas Dekker
    Article published:
    September 17, 2013, 15:25 BST
    José Been

    Injury sustained in Tour of Alberta prologue

    Thomas Dekker broke his leg at the Tour of Alberta prologue on September 3, an MRI scan revealed on Tuesday. “I crashed in the recon of the prologue which was two weeks ago but the pain just kept on bothering me,” Dekker told Cyclingnews. “Today we found the reason for that. I have a fracture just below my right knee.”

    The injury means that Dekker’s season is over. “I have to take six weeks of rest. Of course I am very disappointed at this news.’

    Dekker finished the Tour of Alberta in 106th place with a spot on the Garmin-Sharp team for the world championships team time trial on his mind. In 2012 he finished 10th in the race with Johan Vansummeren, Ramunas Navardauskas, Jack Bauer, Andrew Talansky and Martijn Maaskant.

    “I just kept on trying in Canada because I finally felt better in Colorado the week before that. And because I really wanted to ride with the team in Firenze. We have a strong team and the team time trial is an important goal for Garmin-Sharp.

    Dekker rode a solid USA Pro Cycling Challenge. He found himself in the breakaway on the penultimate stage and did a lot of work for teammates Lachlon Morton and Thomas Danielson who finished 5th and 3rd in the overall respectively.

    After the Tour of Alberta, Dekker travelled to Canada for the WorldTour races in Québec and Montréal. The race on Friday in Québec ended after 30 kilometres for him.

    “Two cars in the caravan hit me during the race. I had no chance and crashed on my knee. This time it was my left knee, so the other knee to the one I hurt in Alberta. It really was Friday the 13th for me. The pain was horrible and I just couldn’t go on.”

    Dekker abandoned the race and cancelled his participation in Montréal.

  • Barguil, Pinot and Voeckler feature in French Worlds team

    Warren Barguil (Argos-Shimano) won his second stage in a photo finish over Uran
    Article published:
    September 17, 2013, 17:15 BST
    Cycling News

    No room for Gallopin while Chavanel focuses on time trial

    After impressing at the Vuelta a España, both Warren Barguil and Thibaut Pinot have been named in new coach Bernard Bourreau’s French team for the world championships road race in Florence, but there is no place in the line-up for Clasica San Sebastian winner Tony Gallopin, while Sylvain Chavanel will forgo the road race and focus exclusively on the time trial.

    The neo-professional Barguil (Argos-Shimano) claimed two fine stage wins at the Vuelta, while Pinot (FDJ) recovered from his Tour de France disappointment to finish a very consistent seventh overall in Madrid, and the two youngsters join Thomas Voeckler (Europcar) at the head of the nine-man team.

    Arthur Vichot earns a berth after impressing at last week’s GP de Quebec, while his FDJ teammate Anthony Roux, Ag2r-La Mondiale pair Romain Bardet and Chistophe Riblon, Amaël Moinard (BMC) and Cyril Gautier (Europcar) complete the line-up.

    Originally on the long list for the road, Sylvain Chavanel (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) will now participate only in the individual time trial, where Jérémy Roy (FDJ) is the other French representative.

    Bourreau has named Vuelta stage winner Alexandre Geniez (FDJ) as a reserve for the road race. The Florence Worlds are Bourreau's first in charge of the French national team after he took over the role of manager from Laurent Jalabert in July. Bourreau was previously coach of the French under 23 team, and he guided Romain Sicard and Arnaud Demare to world titles in the category in 2009 and 2011, respectively.

    The six-strong women’s team will be led by Paulin Ferrand-Prevot and also features Christel Ferrier Bruneau.

    The men’s under 23 team includes two former...

  • Dan Lloyd debuts as directeur sportif for IG-Sigma Sport

    A happy Daniel Lloyd (DFL - Cyclingnews - Litespeed)
    Article published:
    September 17, 2013, 20:21 BST
    Sam Dansie

    Former rider moves behind the car

    Ex-pro Daniel Lloyd made his debut as a directeur sportif on Sunday during the first stage of a storm-lashed Tour of Britain.

    The 33-year-old who rode the last six editions of the British tour before retiring in November 2012 is directing domestic Continental squad IG-Sigma Sport.

    He said small six-man teams would made the race hard to control but suggested Team Sky, who have stated their intention of chasing victory with Bradley Wiggins could have the firepower to dictate the race.

    At the start in Peebles, Lloyd said: “Over the last few years you just look at Team Sky who can control it despite never having won it."

    “Everyone looks to them first to see what they’re doing and this year they’re probably more motivated and want to do something with Brad by the looks of it.”

    He said the GC race would probably be determined by a small group going up the road during one stage.

    “It is a difficult one to predict. Six-man teams make it much harder to control, there are a couple of long stages and obviously the weather’s pretty shit as well. I don’t think it’ll happen today but one day you might get a group of 15 go down the road like you normally do and that’ll be the GC done.

    Lloyd said mass media race coverage made it a crucial event for the local UK teams such as IG Sigma Sport, Madison-Genesis and Team Raleigh who are competing with WorldTour heavyweights such as Omega Pharma-QuickStep and Cannondale.

    This race is global with Wiggins, Nairo Quintana (Movistar) and Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) riding it – and it’s live on TV... It’s a great opportunity for every rider on a small team to impress in front of the right people...

  • Omega Pharma renews sponsorship with WorldTour team

    An Omega Pharma Quick Step rider swings off
    Article published:
    September 17, 2013, 21:40 BST
    Cycling News

    Co-title sponsor commits to two more years

    Co-title sponsor Omega Pharma renewed its contract with the Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling team on Tuesday.

    Team owner Zdenek Bakala, Executive Chairman of the Board Bessel Kok, CEO Patrick Lefevere, and Marc Coucke, CEO of Omega Pharma met in Amsterdam to forge the agreement for the next two years.

    During its first two years, in 2012 and 2013, the team celebrated more than 100 victories.

    "I am happy because the stability of the team is guaranteed," Lefevere said. "I woud like to thank Marc Coucke and Omega Pharma for the trust they put in us. We will do our best to repay their confidence with great results in the next seasons. The next step is to renew contracts with our other sponsors until the end of 2015, and at the same time start thinking about our future beyond that."

    "We are really happy about our relations with the team not just for the results, but the culture of the team and what the team represents in the world of cycling image wise," Coucke said

    "When we started with the team two years ago we had as an objective to be among the top 10 of the UCI Classification. Now we go for two more years to be even better and find a stable place in the top five of the UCI WorldTour."

  • Froome continues to lead WorldTour rankings

    2013 Tour de france champion Chris Froome (Sky) takes a strong pull at the head of the peloton
    Article published:
    September 18, 2013, 5:25 BST
    Cycling News

    Sky leads team standings, Spain remains top nation

    While this past weekend marked the finish of the season's final Grand Tour, the Vuelta a Espana, plus a pair of one-day races in Canada, the GP de Québec and Montréal, the overall leaders in the WorldTour rankings remained the same.

    Tour de France champion Chris Froome (Sky), who competed in Canada but didn't add any points to his tally, continues to lead the individual standings with 587 points. Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha), who finished the Vuelta in fourth overall and won one stage, moved from second to third with 507 points while Slovakian champion Peter Sagan (Cannondale), winner on Sunday at the GP de Montreal and 10th on Friday's GP de Quebec, dropped from second to third with 491 points.

    The biggest mover in the top-10 was Vincenzo Nibali (Astana), winner of the Giro d'Italia in May and now a second-place finisher in the Vuelta a Espana, who jumped from eighth to fourth with 474 points.

    Chris Horner (RadioShack Leopard), who became the first American to win the Vuelta a Espana on Sunday as well as the oldest Grand Tour winner in history, made the biggest jump on the standings as he rose from 81st to 12th with a new points total of 257.

    The top three teams in the WorldTour rankings remain unchanged as Team Sky continues to dominate with 1421 points. Movistar holds at second with 1293 points followed by Katusha in third with 1200. Thanks to their performance at the Vuelta a Espana, RadioShack Leopard moves from seventh to fourth with 906 points while Astana moves up sixth to fifth with 887 points.

    Spain continues to lead the nations...