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Second Edition Cycling News, Friday, September 6, 2013

Date published:
September 06, 2013, 1:00 BST
  • Jungels in the Luxembourg men's team for Worlds

    Bob Jungels (RadioShack) comes through one of the twisty sections
    Article published:
    September 06, 2013, 3:11 BST
    Cycling News

    One-man team for Florence

    Luxembourg has announced its men's team for the upcoming UCI World Championships: Bob Jungels. The tiny nation has only one start place in the road race and time trial, as it is ranked 32nd out of 35 nations on the UCI's rankings.

    Jungels is only 20 and in his first pro year, with RadioShack-Leopard. He won both national championships this year – admittedly against a small field -- as well as the Gran Premio Nobil Rubinette and a stage at his homeland Tour of Luxembourg,where he finished fifth overall.

    If he is unable to ride, his place will be taken by Ben Gastauer, of AG2R.

    Christine Majerus of the Sengers Ladies Cycling Team will ride both women's races. For the Juniors, Tom Wirtgen and Luc Turchi will ride both road and time trial, with Leonard Haas also riding the road race. The reserve rider is Larry Valvasori.

  • Lotto Belisol’s Dirk Bellemakers announces retirement

    Dirk Bellemakers (Landbouwkrediet) won the sprint prize.
    Article published:
    September 06, 2013, 4:25 BST
    Cycling News

    Cites a new career as catalyst for change

    Lotto Belisol's Dirk Bellemakers announced on his website on Thursday that he was making his formal retirement from professional cycling.

    Bellemakers started professional cycling with the Belgian UCI Continental Van Vliet - EBH Advocaten team in 2004. In 2008 he made the step up to UCI Pro Continental ranks when he transferred to Landbouwkrediet – Tönissteiner ,the team now known as Crelan – Euphony, a team he remained with until the end of 2012.

    Bellemakers, who turns 30 next January, signed a one-year contract with Lotto-Belisol last year to make the step up to the WorldTour level. Bellemakers stated that he is now ending his career with his head held high.

    "I enjoyed the past seven years in the professional cycling scene with commitment, character and full dedication," he said. "The sport of cycling has given me a suitcase full of memories and a lot of experiences. I wouldn't have missed this period for the world. I end my cycling career with my head held high.

    "I am not excluding the possibility that I will return to cycling," the Dutchman continued. "My involvement with and passion for the sport is too big. My degree in commercial economics will help me further. Where I will work and what I will do, is too early to tell."

    The biggest win in Bellemakers' career was the GP Stad Geraardsbergen in 2008, the Belgian pro kermesse that races repeated laps on the lower slopes of the Muur van Geraardsbergen. The majority of his work whilst racing this year with Lotto was done in the role of a domestique. Bellemakers will round out his career with the Grand Prix Cycliste de Québec, the Grand Prix Cycliste de Montréal, the Tour of Lombardy (Il Lombardia) and finally Paris-Tours.

  • Provisional French team for UCI Road World Championships announced

    French time trial champion Sylvain Chavanel (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) en route to an 18th place result in the Dauphiné TT stage
    Article published:
    September 06, 2013, 5:45 BST
    Cycling News

    Voeckler, Chavanel, Pinot all named

    The French Cycling Federation (FFC) has released its pre-selection for the 2013 UCI Road World Championships in Florence, Italy. The men's team to contest the championships will be cut down to their allotment of nine riders, the maximum possible, with the final selection being announced on September 15.

    Sylvain Chavanel (Omega Pharma-Quickstep), who won the French Time Trial Championships this June and finished second in the road race, headlines the squad and will be hoping to maintain the form that carried him to a stage win at the recent Eneco Tour.

    The tough circuit will make the final selection interesting with riders such as Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) and Thomas Voeckler (Europcar) likely starters. National coach Bernard Bourreau also added the 2013 Clasica Ciclista San Sebastian champion, Tony Gallopin (Radioshack), to the squad after he was left off the initial listing.

    French teams for UCI Road World Championships:

    Elite Men 

    Sylvain Chavanel (Omega Pharma - Quick Step) – time trial & road race
    Jérémy Roy ( – time trial
    Romain Bardet (AG2R - La Mondiale) – road race
    Warren Barguil (Argos - Shimano) – road race
    Jérôme Coppel (Cofidis) – road race
    Tony Gallopin (Radioshack) – road race
    Cyril Gautier (Europcar) – road race
    Blel Kadri (AG2R - La Mondiale) – road race
    Amaël Moinard (BMC) – road race
    Thibaut Pinot ( – road race
    Christophe Riblon (AG2R - La Mondiale) – road race
    Anthony Roux ( – road race
    Arthur Vichot...

  • Sandy Casar retires

    Sandy Casar (FdJ) rode to a solid fifth place
    Article published:
    September 06, 2013, 6:42 BST
    Cycling News

    15 years straight with FDJ for Frenchman

    Sandy Casar (FDJ) has announced his retirement from professional cycling. After fifteen consecutive years with the Francaise des Jeux team, the 34-year-old Frenchman has decided it's time to call it a day.

    "It's been a while since I personally thought about it," he told Le Parisien. "I really feel that my body says stop. I prefer to stop now rather than continue for another year in the same boat."

    Ongoing injuries and allergy problems were the final straw for Casar who lamented not being able find the same sensations he enjoyed at the peak of his career.

    "Since the beginning of the season I have had allergy problems, and even worse, a recurring back problem that prevents me from being at my best. I am always looking for old feelings, but I cannot find them," explained Casar.

    Casar withdrew from this years Giro d'Italia after breaking his wrist and the following recovery period did not leave him enough time to reach a condition suitable for racing the Tour de France or the Vuelta a España.

    Casar has had a decorated career, highlighted by three Tour de France stage wins and a string of consistent GC placings with sixth in the 2006 Giro and 11th in the 2009 Tour de France.


  • Cavendish, Quintana and Ciolek join Wiggins for Tour of Britain

    Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma Quick Step) wins the final stage in Denmark.
    Article published:
    September 06, 2013, 10:31 BST
    Cycling News

    Provisional start list released

    Coming on the back of the announcement that 2012 Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins will lead Team Sky at the Tour of Britain, the race organisers have announced their provisional start list.

    Joining Wiggins on the start line on stage one in Scotland will be former teammate Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma QuickStep), Tour de France runner-up Nairo Quintana (Movistar) and Milan San Remo winner Gerald Ciolek (MTN-Qhubeka).

    "Every year the rider list for The Tour of Britain has grown more and more impressive, with this year being no exception to that," race director Mick Bennett announced on the race’s website.

    "We have world-class sprinters like Mark Cavendish and Gerald Ciolek, the very best time trialists in Sir Bradley Wiggins and Alex Dowsett, and exceptional climbing talents in Nairo Quintana and Dan Martin, plus many others who I could mention.

    "I, like all cycling fans in Britain, look forward to seeing how this year's race develops over the eight stages and who can succeed Jonathan Tiernan Locke in the IG Gold Jersey."

    Tiernan Locke has not been selected to ride this year. However Giro d’Italia stage winner Alex Dowsett is set to start. Daniel Martin (Garmin-Sharp) also makes the provisional start list. The Irish climber crashed out of the Vuelta a Espana and will be hoping to use the Tour of Britain as preparation for the World Championships which take place later this month in Florence, Italy.

    Fresh from their success in the Tour de l'Avenir, brothers Simon and Adam Yates will compete for a strong...

  • Deignan signs for Team Sky

    Phil Deignan (UnitedHealthcare) on the way up Wild Horse Mesa.
    Article published:
    September 06, 2013, 11:18 BST
    Cycling News

    Irish climber returns to WorldTour after fine 2013 season

    Philip Deignan has signed for Team Sky for the 2014 season. The Irishman returns to WorldTour level after a successful campaign at UnitedHealthcare and adds to the arsenal of climbing talent in the Sky roster.

    “I’m really excited to get the opportunity to race for the biggest team in the world and to be able to ride for some of the best riders in the world. It’s going to be a big challenge but I’m really looking forward to it,” Deignan said.

    A professional since 2005, Deignan’s greatest success came in 2009 in the colours of Cervélo TestTeam, when he finished 9th overall at the Vuelta a España and claimed a fine stage victory in Avila, becoming the first Irishman in seventeen years to win a stage in a grand tour.

    After illness blighted his 2010 campaign, Deignan moved on to RadioShack in 2011 following the disbandment of Cervélo, and then to UnitedHealthcare the following year. The 29-year-old recovered his best form this season, winning the Tour of the Gila and recording an impressive string of results on the America Tour, including 9th at the Tour of California, 6th at the Tour of Utah and 10th at the USA Pro Cycling Challenge.

    “I spent a few years in the WorldTour before moving over to America for two great seasons racing with UnitedHealthcare, who I really must thank for such great support both on and off the bike over the past two seasons,” Deignan said. “I now feel like I’m at the level where I can race in the WorldTour in Europe so when I got the opportunity to head back there with Team Sky it was hard to resist.”

    The Donegal native will line up at the Tour of Britain next week for UnitedHealthcare and should also...

  • Alonso says major signings unlikely before 2015

    Alberto Contador (Saxo-Tinkoff)
    Article published:
    September 06, 2013, 12:48 BST
    Cycling News

    F1 driver refuses to be drawn on Contador rumours

    Formula 1 driver Fernando Alonso refused to be drawn on the prospect of signing Alberto Contador to the former Euskaltel-Euskadi squad when he discussed his new venture in Monza ahead of this weekend’s Italian Grand Prix.

    When it was revealed on Monday that Alonso had stepped in to save Euskaltel-Euskadi from extinction at the end of the season, speculation immediately mounted that Contador might be a target for the team, even though he is contracted to Saxo-Tinkoff until the end of 2015.

    “I have many friends in the cycling world and I have a good relationship with a lot of riders, like Alberto and others, too,” Alonso said when asked about Contador, according to Marca.

    L’Équipe reports that Contador’s entourage has sought details on the revamped team from Alonso’s agent Luis Garcia Abad, while Gazzetta dello Sport notes that Saxo-Tinkoff manager Bjarne Riis travelled to Pinto to meet with Contador on Thursday.

    Alonso admitted that it will be difficult to make many signings at this late point in the year and suggested the team would be unlikely to make significant reinforcements ahead of next season.

    “Hopefully we can create a solid project, although not so much in 2014 because I don’t there are many riders who can be signed now. But in 2015, we would like to do something big,” Alonso said, according to Marca.

    Former ONCE rider Kiko...

  • Eric Young chasing green jersey in Alberta

    Optum's Eric Young in the green jersey
    Article published:
    September 06, 2013, 14:53 BST
    Pat Malach

    Optum rider eyeing WorldTour berth

    Optum-Kelly Benefit Strategies' Eric Young, the 2011 and 2013 US pro criterium champion, looks good in the green jersey of the best sprinter at the Tour of Alberta. But the jersey is only on loan from Cannondale's Peter Sagan, who is also in yellow and can't wear both at the same time.

    So Young, who finished second to Sagan during the stage 1 finale in Camrose, will keep plugging away at the intermediate sprints and finishes in hopes that he can take the jersey home for real by the end of the week. It's a tall order for the 24-year-old who got into cycling at Indiana University, where he won three editions of the iconic Little 500 bicycle race that was immortalized in the 1979 Academy Award-winning movie Breaking Away.

    Young trails Sagan, who has two wins and a third place so far this week, by four points in the sprint competition and tried to make up some ground by taking the second intermediate sprint during Thursday's stage 2.

    "I found myself up there for that second one, so there's no reason not to go for it," he said. "It's good to shake out the legs a little bit. But Sagan is on the podium again today, so he's going to get a little more of an advantage on that. But we'll see how the week goes. I'll definitely be looking out for it, but I don't think it's going to be a focus for the team or anything."

    After graduating from the university and saying good-bye to his "Cutters" teammates, Young signed with Bissell Pro Cycling for the 2011 and 2012 seasons. He moved to Optum at the start of this year and has had a good run.

    Besides notching his second criterium title in just three years as a Continental pro, he took two stages earlier this year at the Tour of Korea, finished fourth during stage 1 at the Tour of Utah and grabbed another fourth-place...