A close-up look at the Australian's purpose-built ride
Australian's 2015 Tinkoff-Saxo team bike
Winner of the 2015 Tour Down Under
New and old kicks and lids seen at WorldTour race
TDU named Best Sporting and Best Tourism Event
The Santos Tour Down Under, which kicks off the WorldTour season in January, has been awarded some of the top prizes at the recent Australian Event Awards night in Sydney. The week-long cycling festival was awarded Best Sporting Event for the first time in the races near 15-year history.
The race also picked up another Best Tourism Event prize, for the fourth time, after attracting over 760,000 spectators and 36,000 cycling fans in 2012, according to Events South Australia.
"Securing the coveted title of Best Sporting Event reflects the Santos Tour Down Under’s national significance," said Events SA General Manager Hitaf Rasheed.
After announcing the return of the popular hill-top finish at Wilunga Hill - which was the defining moment in the week-long race - and the addition of a stage starting at Mt Barker, the 2013 edition is set to once again draw the crowds to the city of Adelaide.
"From January 20 to 27 next year we will be celebrating 15 years of the Tour in South Australia and I’m sure it will be an occasion to remember.
The 2013 race will once again kick off with an afternoon criterium on Sunday 20 January before the Tour begins on Tuesday with a 135km route from Prospect to Lobethal. Despite a number of new additions to the race, including a grass start on stage 4, fans will be please to know the Elder Park city circuit in Adelaide will once again play host for the final stage.
"I encourage South Australians to get out and enjoy the award-winning Santos Tour Down Under as it makes its way through Adelaide and some of our state’s most spectacular regions," said Rasheed.
“Our announcement in January to extend our naming rights sponsorship until 2016 proves our dedication to the event that brings...
Separating the RadioShack-Nissan brothers didn’t work
After a season that Andy and Fränk would rather forget, RadioShack-Nissan Sports Director Kim Andersen has said it was wrong to try and separate the Schlecks’ racing schedule. Anderson was left out off the management roster for the Tour de France after Johan Bruyneel sought to shake up the brothers racing tactics and dynamic.
Andy hasn’t raced since his crash in the time trial at the Critérium du Dauphiné and meanwhile Fränk is waiting for his next appearance on 8 October in front of the Luxembourg Anti-Doping Commission after his positive test for Xipamide at the Tour de France.
Andy endured a troubled lead-up to this year’s Tour de France, struggling to find his form in the Ardennes classics and citing a knee injury for his lack of results but most were convinced he would be ready for the Grand Départ. His Dauphiné fall derailed all hopes of starting the Tour and so Fränk was immediately looked upon as next in line for leadership. Fränk quickly stated he wouldn’t be in the best form for the Tour after a solid ride at Tour de Suisse.
"Andy achieved no results and couldn’t attend the Tour because of a broken sacral bone....
Spaniard uphappy with team’s contract negotiations
In a season that includes nine ‘big’ wins, including Flèche Wallonne, two Giro d’Italia and three Vuelta a España stage wins, it would be appropriate for ‘Purito’ Joaquin Rodriguez to seek a better conditions at his current Katusha team. The 33-year-old has spent the past three seasons with the Russian squad and has a contract through till 2013. He is however, considering terminating his contract - unless his new demands are met.
"Rodriguez has a contract with Katusha until 2013 and aims to renew with conditions that meet the sporting achievements made during this season," the rider’s manager Angel Edo told Deia.
The explosive climber has come agonisingly close to capturing his first Grand Tour overall victory but has fallen short this season, finishing second and third at the Giro and Vuelta respectively. He is currently ranked 3rd on the IG Pro Cycling Index, just shy of Omega Pharma – Quickstep’s Tom Boonen and Sky’s Bradley Wiggins in first place.
Rodríguez has a number of multiple-year offers from other teams says Edo and if the revised demands of the Spaniard are not met, he may consider attempting to break free of his current deal. His points carry significant weight, with his results helping...
Italian climber joins French team for two years
WorldTour team AG2R La Mondiale has confirmed the rumours regarding Italian climber Domenico Pozzovivo joining the French squad, and announced the signing of a two-year contract with the rider. Coming from the Colnago-CSF Inox outfit, the 29-year-old has had a breakthrough season at the top level this year, finishing eighth at the Giro d'Italia, where he also won a stage. Pozzovivo also added the GC at the Giro del Trentino to his palmarès.
"The Italian rider turned pro in 2005 and since then he has regularly been at the forefront as soon as the road rises. Domenico has already proved the climbing qualities that he will bring to the AG2R team starting from 2013," the squad stated in a press release.
Pozzovivo himself is also happy with the transfer. "After the Giro d'Italia I started to look at the offers that came in, and I decided to ride for AG2R next season," the Italian told Radio Mana Mana Sport in recent days.
The Italian climber has spent eight years being directed by team director Bruno Reverberi, having started his career in 2005 with the Panaria-Navigare squad. Coming to France and starting this new chapter of his career will therefore be a challenge on a personal as well as a sporting level.
But Pozzovivo was confident that the transition would be smooth. "It's a very homogenic team with a stimulating atmosphere. Moreover, there's an important Italian group with Belletti, Nocentini and Montaguti. It will be a bit easier to adapt," he added.
Italian sprinter leaves RadioShack-Nissan
Daniele Bennati has signed a contract with Danish team Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank for the next two years. After a difficult season at RadioShack-Nissan during which Bennati nevertheless won Vuelta a España stage 18, Bjarne Riis has added the Italian sprinter to his outfit for a number of reasons.
"I see Daniele as a great asset for our team," Riis commented. "He is experienced and strong and can prevail in both tougher one-day races and stage races. He showed in this year's Vuelta he is capable of sprinting with the best and still get results on his own. But he can also be a great help for his teammates, when it comes to the battle of positioning in the peloton and in team time trials. I'm looking forward to welcoming Daniele to the team."
Bennati's palmarès since the start of his career in 2002 includes 11 stage victories across all three Grand Tours, as well as the overall points classifications of the 2007 Vuelta a España and the 2008 Giro d'Italia. The 31-year-old sprinter who has previously ridden for Lampre and Liquigas is also looking forward to the new challenge.
"When Bjarne contacted me, I immediately had an excellent feeling, and it's a dream come true for me to be able to ride for at team like Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank," said Bennati, whose contract with RadioShack-Nissan runs out at the end of this season.
"2013 will be a very important year. I would say it's the start of my 'new' career after a tough season, where I couldn't deliver as usual due to some health issues. I'm an experienced rider, and I'm convinced I still have a lot to give to a team like Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank, to myself and to...
Stomach bug takes Tour de France winner out of home race
Bradley Wiggins (Sky) has abandoned the Tour of Britain, failing to attend the start of stage six in Welshpool on Friday morning. The 2012 Tour de France winner came down with a stomach bug during the night prior to the stage and was unable to continue the race, his team announced.
"I'm sorry to have to pull out of the Tour," Wiggins said on the team's home page. "'ve loved the last six days, meeting so many people around the country and enjoying those crowds along the roads. It's been a great experience, but this bug sadly means I'll now miss the climax this weekend."
Wiggins was placed 41st on general classification. The abandon comes as another blow to Team Sky after world champion Mark Cavendish lost over 11 minutes and the race leader's jersey on Thursday' stage five. Cavendish has, however, taken two stage wins so far for his team on home soil.
Olympic time trial champion Wiggins will now prepare for the World Championships road race on September 23, having decided not to contest the race against the clock.
Steels says team time trial will be won before Cauberg
With only two days left to perfect their technique, Omega Pharma-Quickstep left nothing to chance in its reconnaissance of the team time trial course for the UCI Road World Championships in Limburg, The Netherlands.
Having already previewed the parcours extensively through video, the team's six riders went to work today, dialing in every twist and turn.
Director Tom Steels was on hand with advice on when to focus on smooth technique and when to go all out. "We already know [the course] by heart — the tricky parts of the course. Now the riders have to say 'OK, we take those decisions. We do this on the left turn, that on the right turn. There you go full gas, and there on the course you can't go full gas.' Then it's up to us in the car on Sunday to lead them out. But I think they know most of it already," Steels said on the team's web site.
"We still have to give feedback on course. There are some speed bumps, and when riders are tired, they may not know those are coming up. So we have to tell them."
Steels broke the course into two parts, stating that in the first "8 or 9 kilometers, they have to be careful, maintain their line and make the corners smooth", but that the remaining part of the point-to-point 53.2km course will depend more on strength. "They have to take good turns and the stronger ones have to maybe ride at the front a little longer. The other ones just have to keep up. But that's for sure where the difference will be made — in the power based section with several climbs. I think the difference might be made before we even get to the Cauberg in the final."
The team will be led by defending individual time trial world champion Tony Martin,...
Two-time Tour of Flanders champion reunited with Dirk Demol
While Stijn Devolder had been strongly linked to RadioShack-Nissan earlier in the summer, the team confirmed today that the 32-year-old Belgian would join the Luxembourg-based ProTeam in 2013, as reported in sporza.be.
Devolder signed a two-year contract with RadioShack-Nissan in a homecoming of sorts as he'll once again be under the tutelage of Dirk Demol and Johan Bruyneel, his mentors for four years at US Postal and Discovery Channel from 2004 to 2007.
Devolder left Discovery Channel for Quick Step in 2008 and during his three years on the Belgian team he won the Tour of Flanders twice, in 2008 and 2009. Devolder signed for Vacansoleil-DCM in 2011 and has failed to win a race for the Dutch ProTeam, leading the squad to not renew his contract for the 2013 season.
"Let me be clear: the transfer has not come because of me," Dirk Demol told Sporza. "It was manager Johan Bruyneel himself that caused Devolder to ride for us next year."
It will be Demol, however, who will be tasked with returning Devolder to a level of fitness which delivered wins at the Ronde as well as two Belgian road championships, two Belgian time trial championships plus two wins in his national Tour of Belgium.
"Naturally it is my job to get Stijn back to that level," said Demol. "I know him better than anyone, I followed him right from childhood. His sickly season hurt my heart.
"I would like to give him more confidence now. That's a challenge I'm sure and I hope I succeed in my goal to get him back to his old level."