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Second Edition Cycling News, Monday, August 11, 2014

Date published:
August 11, 2014, 1:00 BST
  • Swift misses out at RideLondon

    Ben Swift (Team Sky) was close to the win
    Article published:
    August 11, 2014, 11:56 BST
    Cycling News

    Sky rider caught out by Blythe's early sprint

    There was a sense of déjà vu for Ben Swift (Team Sky), as he was beaten in a sprint on home soil for the second race running. Swift was outgunned on The Mall by Adam Blythe (NFTO) at this weekend’s RideLondon, his first race in Britain since finishing runner-up at the National Championships in June.

    Swift came into the race in good form, despite suffering a number of crashes at the Tour de Pologne earlier in the week. He was the favourite to take the honours as the five escapees dipped under Admiralty Arch, but Blythe got the jump and left Swift to race for second place. Despite missing out yet again, Swift was full of praise for his fellow Yorkshireman.

    "I'm super happy for Adam. I've been racing with him since we were five or six-years-old and it's nice to share the podium with him," said Swift at the finish. "I was wary of Adam in the finish. I knew that he was perhaps the quickest rider. We got ourselves into the perfect position. I knew that he was following me and as soon as I looked forwards that's when he went. We just held the gap to the line."

    Swift was part of an 11-man group that made it away in the last 50 kilometres of the race. Their numbers were slowly whittled down, with Philippe Gilbert (BMC) being particularly aggressive. The former world champion launched a number of attacks that saw several of the sprinters distanced. At one point, it looked like the Belgian would make it away with Julian Alaphilippe (Omega Pharma-QuickStep), but Swift and the two other remaining escapees dug deep to bring him back.

    "It was tough trying to follow Gilbert on the little steep climbs. We knew it was coming so we knew what we had in store. It was a war of attrition out there today."

    The arrival of...

  • Wiggins to miss Vuelta a España

    Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky)
    Article published:
    August 11, 2014, 12:10 BST
    Cycling News

    Briton set to defend Tour of Britain title

    Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky) will not ride the Vuelta a España. Team Manager Dave Brailsford told the BBC at RideLondon this weekend that Wiggins will instead defend his Tour of Britain title in September.

    Missing the Vuelta means that Wiggins will not ride a Grand Tour this season. It is the first time since 2005, when Wiggins made his Giro d’Italia debut, that he hasn’t ridden a single three-week race during a season.

    "He'll ride in a couple of one-day races, then he'll ride the Tour of Britain," Brailsford said, according to "We hope that will give him the right training preparations to go to the World Championships, and try to deliver in the individual time trial again, which he did so brilliantly last year. We hope he'll do the same again this year."

    Chris Froome will lead Team Sky at the Vuelta a España, which begins on August 23, where he will face the likes of Nairo Quintana (Movistar) and defending champion Chris Horner (Lampre-Merida). Froome’s appearance at the Vuelta may be one reason for Wiggins’ decision to head home for the Tour of Britain. The pair has not raced together for Sky since the Tour of Oman at the beginning of 2013. Their last appearance in the same race came at the world championships road race in Florence last September.

    Sunday’s RideLondon was Wiggins’ first outing in Team Sky colours since he won his third national time trial title at the end of June. Wiggins played a supporting role at the weekend, helping Ben Swift take second place. According to Brailsford, he will attend a training camp at altitude before his next race.

    The 34-year-old...

  • Difficult but successful Tour of Utah defence by Danielson

    Tom Danielson (Garmin) wins another Tour of Utah
    Article published:
    August 11, 2014, 13:11 BST
    Pat Malach

    Garmin-Sharp rider praises team for securing the overall win

    Tom Danielson found himself in the familiar position of overall winner again this year at the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah. But the Garmin-Sharp team leader said on Sunday that this year's win was nothing like his triumph in the same race in 2013.

    "Last year we had Lachlan [Morton] in the race leaders' jersey," Danielson said. "I was coming off the Tour de France, so I was a bit of an unknown. I just ended up being pretty strong on the Snowbird day, and then it was like, 'Hey, maybe you can win the race if you go bananas on the Empire climb. If it works, it works and if it doesn't, it doesn't.'"

    Danielson seized the race lead from Chris Horner last year on the final climb of the final day, finishing third on the stage but taking the overall win by 1:29 over runner-up Horner, who was riding for Radioshack at the time. This year Danielson took the yellow jersey on the fourth day of the seven-day UCI 2.1 stage race, and his team had to defend over the next three days.

    "This year coming in I knew I was in good form," Danielson said. "I put my hand up and said, 'I want to win this race.' So there was a lot more pressure, and it was a lot harder on the team. You could say we had a much younger, less experienced team, too, with a lot of kinks along the way — illness and crashes and stuff like that. But everybody performed above and beyond this week. So it was the least I could do — perform well on my end."

    Danielson's team defended him on stage 5 from Evanston, Wyoming, to Kamas, where Continental rider Eric Young (Optum Pro Cycling) took the stage win in a bunch sprint after a crosswind-filled day...

  • Pozzovivo's season-ending training crash caused by a cat

    Domenico Pozzovivo (AG2R-La Mondiale)
    Article published:
    August 11, 2014, 14:07 BST
    Cycling News

    Italian suffers fractured tibia and fibula near Stelvio

    Domenico Pozzovivo has explained that the crash that saw him suffer a fractured tibia and fibula was caused by a cat running across his path as he descended the Stelvio during a training ride on Sunday.

    The Ag2r-La Mondiale climber has been on the Stelvio for the past week training for the Vuelta a España, and he was set to continue his build-up to the race by competing at the Vuelta a Burgos this week. Instead, Pozzovivo's season is over as a result of the compound fracture he sustained in the crash.

    "I was descending towards Malles, on a long, steep straight, at 70kph," Pozzovivo told Gazzetta dello Sport. "I saw a cat coming from the left-hand side of the road, out of the grass. Let's say that we looked one another in the eyes. I tried to avoid him but he bumped my front wheel.

    "The bike went flying and he ran off. I slid for twenty metres on the left side of my body and I finished up against the guard rail. I could see where I was going and I change direction. I curled up but I hit the guardrail with my right leg, just under the knee."

    Pozzovivo remained conscious throughout his ordeal, and after shouting in a failed bid to attract the attention of mushroom pickers in a nearby wood, he devised an ad hoc support for his leg and called his father, who had been due to motor-pace him for the final hour of his ride.

    "I took my helmet off and I managed to put it under my leg to support it," said Pozzovivo. "I called my father on my mobile phone and he came within ten minutes with the ambulance and they brought me to Silandro."

    X-rays confirmed that Pozzovivo had sustained season-ending fractures to his...

  • Quintana returns to racing at Vuelta a Burgos

    Nairo Quintana demonstrated his talents in 2012
    Article published:
    August 11, 2014, 17:18 BST
    Cycling News

    Movistar rider looking to defend title

    Nairo Quintana (Movistar) will race for the first time since winning the Giro d'Italia in May, as he looks to defend his Vuelta a Burgos title. The Colombian will lead Movistar at the race, which begins on Wednesday.

    The Vuelta a Burgos is only five stages long, with one major summit finish to Lagunas de Neila on stage three and a 12.4 kilometre team time trial on the final day. Quintana won at Lagunas de Neila in 2013 to seal his overall victory. The team time trial is a new edition to the race, and will make the time gained in the summit finish all the more important.

    The Spanish race will form part of Quintana’s build-up to the Vuelta a España, where he will share the leadership role with Alejandro Valverde. Quintana has been in Colombia since he took his first Grand Tour title at the Giro more than two months ago and recently completed an altitude training camp in the Boyacá mountains.

    Joining Quintana will be Igor Antón, who rode alongside the Colombian at the Giro and recently rode at the Clásica San Sebastián. He will also have the support of Imanol Erviti, José Herrada, Juanjo Lobato, Javi Moreno, Rubén Plaza and Sylwester Szmyd.

    Stage one of the Vuelta a Burgos begins in Burgos with a finish on the category 3 Alto del Castillo.

  • Rosskopf impresses at Tour of Utah

    Tom Danielson (Garmin) congratulates Joey Rosskopf (Hincapie) on taking the KOM jersey this week
    Article published:
    August 11, 2014, 18:31 BST
    Pat Malach

    American trades blows with WorldTour riders

    Hincapie Sportswear's Joey Rosskopf took a major step in his cycling career this week at the Tour of Utah, surviving as one of the last protagonists on stage 2 and finishing second to 2011 Tour de France winner Cadel Evans (BMC) during the queen stage that finished at Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort.

    The 24-year-old Redlands Bicycle Classic winner first showed his form in Utah during the stage 2 run from Panguitch to Torrey. The stage included four classified climbs before a long descent to the finish. After several shake-ups and reshuffling, a group of five escapees formed that included BMC's Michael Schär, Trek Factory Racing's Jens Voigt, UnitedHealthcare's Ben Day, Drapac's Darren Lapthorne, Funvic-Brasilinvest's Ramiro Rincon Diaz and Rosskopf.

    The Hincapie rider made the final lead selection of the day when he and Schär escaped again on the second-to-last climb of the day. Schär, the powerful Swiss rider who was just coming off the Tour de France, dropped Rosskopf on the final climb over Boulder Mountain, but Rosskopf continued to chase into the final kilometers. The peloton eventually swept up Rosskpf near the finish before Schär took the stage win just meters in front of the field, but the Rosskopf had made his mark on the stage and earned some fans in high places.

    “He's certainly got a lot of potential,” Evans said of Rosskopf later in the week. “What I admired about him, when we caught him with 10km to go on stage 2, was that he going absolutely flat out to the last meter. Even though the group was 100 meters off him, he was still riding flat out. So he seems to have a lot of ambition. I think with ambition and talent, when it's combined, a rider can go a long way with...

  • inCycle Video: Zdenek Stybar rider profile

    Zdenek Stybar (Omega Pharma) returns from the cars
    Article published:
    August 11, 2014, 21:39 BST
    Cycling News

    Czech cyclo-cross star turned road cyclist with Omega Pharma-Quick Step

    Czech national champion Zdenek Stybar recently tied the knot with long-term girlfriend Ena but it wasn't long before the 28-year-old was back to racing at the Tour de Wallonie which he said with a laugh, that he "couldn't imagine a better honeymoon."

    A three-time cyclo-cross world champion, Stybar has started to hit his straps on the road in recent seasons, earning admiration for his bike handling skills and aptitude on different terrains.

    "Cyclo-cross is really very intensive for one-hour, going everything you have," the Omega Pharma-Quick Step rider told inCycle. "But also you have to control yourself. It’s not just going full-gas and seeing how far you get. It’s about technique, you also have to be very good in your coordination of the bike and the movements…you have to combine a lot of things together."

    "Unexpected, completely unexpected," Stybar said of his most recent cyclo-cross world title. "I won there without any expectations, I was very relaxed.

    "I felt that day very good so I became world champion for the third time so that’s the nice thing about it but it was very unexpected."

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  • Guardini hails "best moment of career" after Eneco Tour stage victory

    Andrea Guardini (Astana) wins the Eneco Tour stage 1
    Article published:
    August 12, 2014, 6:44 BST
    Cycling News

    Third win in a week for Italian sprinter

    Andrea Guardini said that he is enjoying the best period of his career after he landing his third victory in under a week on the opening stage of the Eneco Tour.

    A double stage winner at the Tour of Denmark last week, the Astana man continued his purple patch with a perfectly executed sprint in Terneuzen on Monday. It was by far the most prestigious of Guardini’s six victories since joining Astana last year, following three wins at the Tour de Langkawi and his recent Danish brace.

    "It’s a powerful win and a powerful moment," Guardini told Sporza afterwards. "It’s the best moment of my career right now because I’ve had three wins in a few days – two in Denmark and now here. It’s my first victory with Astana in a WorldTour race and it’s so perfect for me."

    Guardini, of course, has the tendency to amass his victories in fits and starts. He heralded his arrival in the professional ranks by gobbling up five stages in the Tour de Langkawi early in 2011 and went on to win six legs of the same race the following year.

    His travails in converting that pure speed into more victories in Europe saw Guardini earn the reputation as something of a flat track bully, although he responded defiantly with a devastating sprint victory ahead of Mark Cavendish in Vedelago during his debut Giro d’Italia in 2012.

    Since joining Astana at the start of 2013, however, Guardini has not been back to a Grand Tour, and has found his opportunities limited during his time with the team to date. While his speed is unquestioned, the 25-year-old’s ability to cope...