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Second Edition Cycling News, Monday, August 19, 2013

Date published:
August 19, 2013, 1:00 BST
  • Euskaltel and Tinkov in negotiations

    Team Euskaltel wating for the start.
    Article published:
    August 19, 2013, 3:37 BST
    Cycling News

    Russian billionaire to create a "completely different team"

    Rumours have been circulating recently about Oleg Tinkov providing a last minute reprieve for Euskaltel Euskadi, the financially struggling Spanish team. As reported by Spanish newspaper Deia, these rumours may have an element of truth to them as both parties have recently held talks over the future of the team. It has been stated rather succinctly by the Spanish paper that Tinkov presents the team's "only chance of survival".

    Euskaltel is a struggling Basque telecommunications company that is blaming the financial crisis within the company for failing to provide the requisite money for the team's continuation. The company has provided the two to three million Euros required of them for this season, but the agreed seven to nine million for the coming three years is now out of the question.

    Tinkov's lawyer, Stefano Feltrin, remarked on Sunday that Tinkov is currently assessing several different business options, one of which is a possible bankrolling of the Euskaltel team. Tinkov is reserving judgment as to his possible involvement until he visits the team during the first week of the upcoming Vuelta a España.

    If Tinkov goes ahead with purchasing the team's license he will undergo a complete gutting of the team's roster and its infrastructure. It's been reported that his intentions are to create a "completely different team" that has "nothing to do with the current one".

    He would go about this by uprooting the team from its Basque base and moving all operations to Tuscany, Italy. He then plans to retain some of the current staff and only a few of the current "interesting" riders. Thus it appears that riders who have recently been told that they need to

  • Garmin Sharp chasing repeat success at USA Pro Challenge

    Christian Vande Velde (Garmin Sharp) back to racing after his Tour de France crashes.
    Article published:
    August 19, 2013, 4:50 BST
    Pat Malach

    Defending champion Vande Velde doubts he is as strong as in 2012

    The 2012 edition of the USA Pro Challenge in Colorado witnessed a virtual blitzkrieg from Garmin Sharp, which sent riders up the road from kilometre zero of the opening stage and never really let up until Christian Vande Velde took the final yellow jersey on the last day in Denver.

    It was an impressive display of aggressive riding that led to the overall win, but neither Vande Velde nor recent Tour of Utah winner Tom Danielson would tip their hats Sunday as to what would be the team's strategy this year.

    Vande Velde crashed hard during the Tour de France in July and admitted Sunday that he is not in the same form in Colorado as he was last year. But Danielson, who took a stage win in Aspen in 2012, is obviously flying, and Andrew Talansky, the 24-year-old rising star who finished 10th overall at the Tour de France less than a month ago, will also be in the Garmin mix.

    "I'm definitely behind," Vande Velde said of his current fitness. "There's no doubt about that compared with last year. I had to leave early from the Tour de France, but I've kind of put the pieces together in the last couple of weeks before Utah… But I hold this event near and dear to my heart, and I'm going to give it my all. It really doesn't matter how I am, though, just as long as one of us from Garmin is on the top step. That's all that really matters."

    Team director Charly Wegelius was credited for last year's audacious attacking strategy, and the retired former WorldTour domestique is back behind the wheel of the team car again this year. But Danielson said on Sunday that Wegelius' presence doesn't guarantee the team will come out firing again when the race starts Monday.


  • Brown re-signs with Belkin

    Graeme Brown (Belkin)
    Article published:
    August 19, 2013, 6:01 BST
    Cycling News

    A thirteenth pro season for lead-out specialist

    Graeme Brown has re-signed with Belkin for another season, the Australian an essential element of the success of sprinter Theo Bos.

    Now 34, Brown originally signed on with the Rabobank outfit in 2006 making him the longest-serving member of the current line-up and in all that time has been bound by just one two-year deal.

    "I've been in this team for quite a while now, and I feel at home here," Brown said. "The relationship with Theo has evolved in a good way in these last years. I see that my experience is important to him. He trusts me, and that's our key to success. We hope to do some nice sprints in the Vuelta again."

    Since joining the Dutch squad, Brown has evolved from sprinter to lead-out man and earlier this season, told Cyclingnews that the switch in role was a "no-brainer."

    "He's quicker than me so it's about making sure he wins the race," he explained. "It's not rocket science. There's no use him leading me out - I'm not quicker than him."

    According to sports director Nico Verhoeven, Brown plays a major role in getting Bos, who has won six times this season, to the line in the right position.

    "The last couple of years Graeme has been a crucial element for Theo Bos. They've done almost every race together and Graeme was key in Theo's wins," said Verhoeven. "He knows what's expected in the final of a race and you really need someone like that in your team. Graeme is a pillar for Theo, so it's only logical we wanted to extend his contract."

    Brown lines up for his ninth grand tour at the Vuelta a España later this month.

  • Sutherland makes return to US racing at USA Pro Challenge

    Rory Sutherland (Saxo-Tinkoff) in action at the 2013 Giro d'Italia
    Article published:
    August 19, 2013, 6:57 BST
    Peter Hymas

    Hopes stint at altitude augers well for remainder of season

    Rory Sutherland soloed to the biggest victory of his career at the 2012 USA Pro Challenge (USAPC), with a stage win atop Flagstaff Mountain in Boulder, Colorado, where the 31-year-old Australian has called home since 2007. Sutherland has had solid results at each of his two previous USAPC starts, with a 10th place overall finish in the inaugural 2011 edition followed by his memorable stage victory last year, each achieved while competing for the US-based Pro Continental UnitedHealthcare squad.

    Sutherland returns to this year's third USAPC edition, however, as a key member of the WorldTour Team Saxo-Tinkoff squad, and when he rolls off the start line in Aspen, Colorado for the opening stage on Monday it will be his first, and only, race in the US this season. Speaking to the assembled media in today's pre-event press conference, Sutherland touched on his stage victory last year and was cautiously optimistic about his build-up for this year's USAPC edition.

    "I don't think we can ever re-do, or want to re-do, what happened last year," said Sutherland. "Obviously it was a fantastic day and I think the whole peloton and all the fans appreciated it. Everybody saw how big racing and cycling is in Colorado.

    "This year is a new team, new opportunities, different teammates, a different kind of preparation coming into it than kind of doing the local US thing."

    Sutherland moved to his European base in Girona, Spain in November of 2012 and has resided in Europe and ridden a full European program for the first half of the season as part of Team Saxo-Tinkoff. The Australian has contested four WorldTour events thus far this season - Paris-Nice, Giro d'Italia, Amstel Gold and Fleche Wallonne - and has had solid results at...

  • Argos satisfied with second for Dumoulin at Eneco Tour

    Tom Dumoulin (Argos-Shimano) was put under immense pressure
    Article published:
    August 19, 2013, 9:26 BST
    Cycling News

    Kemna: "Stybar was just better."

    Tom Dumoulin (Argos-Shimano) started the final stage of the Eneco Tour with a slim nine second lead to defend over eventual winner Zdenek Stybar (Omega Pharma–QuickStep). Although Dumoulin was unable to rein in Stybar in the hectic finale, he still put in a respectable ride to finish in second on the general classification.

    "Even if I am happy with second place, of course I feel some disappointment," said Dumoulin after he caught his breath. "Yesterday we fought hard for the lead and then to give it away on the last stage is quite hard. When Chavanel came back everything looked pretty good, we did what we had to do and everything was going to plan. But I could really feel my legs so an attack was difficult to cover, and when it came I just couldn’t follow."

    "I am really happy about with my progression though, to be at this level now is the result of hard work and of course the work of the team," continued Dumoulin. "I hope to grow into a rider for these kind of races and I will certainly be back to battle again for the victory."

    Argos-Shimano coach Rudi Kemna was proud of Dumoulin’s efforts and had no qualms in admitting defeat to a stronger Omega Pharma-QuickStep team on the day.

    "We are proud of Tom today, Stybar was just better we can say," explained Kemna. "It was a good break for us from the beginning, so we controlled where necessary and knew Tom had to stay close to Stybar. When Stybar attacked in the final kilometers he just could not follow and that is racing."

    "We are proud of this second place, we proved that we have the ability, and also when it comes to the general classification in WorldTour races, especially in these kind...

  • Vuelta and Worlds not in doubt for Gilbert

    Philippe Gilbert missing a bit of fabric after his crash
    Article published:
    August 19, 2013, 10:31 BST
    Cycling News

    BMC rider to be in Spain next weekend despite knee stitches

    Philippe Gilbert's crash at the Eneco Tour put an end to his hopes of winning not only Saturday's stage near his home in the Ardennes hills but also the race. However, his injuries are not serous enough to keep him off the bike for long, and the BMC Racing Team has confirmed that the World Champion will be at the start of the team time trial which opens the Vuelta a Espana in Vilanova de Arousa on Saturday.

    Gilbert, along with teammate Taylor Phinney, crashed with about 60km to go on Saturday's Eneco stage. The Belgian finished the stage after some help by several teammates, crossing the finish line in 22nd place before heading to the hospital. Examinations showed no serious injuries, but the injury required eight stitches.

    He has returned to his home in Monaco, and the doctors have ordered him several days of rest.

    "I'm not the least worried that Phil will be at the start of the Vuelta," said team manager Yvon Ledanois. "It was impossible that he would start in the last stage of the Eneco Tour, but there's nothing broken or fundamentally injured. Phil will have three or four days rest, but with the form he is in, I do not expect a decline."

    “He will be there fully for the Vuelta. We have two, three stages picked out, but he especially wants to lay the foundation for the World Championships.”

  • Voigt confirmed for Trek in 2014

    Jens Voigt (RadioShack) couldn't leave the Tour de France without getting one red dossard, and attacked solo
    Article published:
    August 19, 2013, 11:34 BST
    Cycling News

    German veteran looks to help youngsters but also to ride for himself in final year

    The new Team Trek has confirmed that Jens Voigt will ride for the team in 2014. It will be his eighteenth season in the peloton.

    Voigt, who turns 42 in less than a month, had announced on Twitter earlier that he would ride again in 2014, and now the team has confirmed his signing.

    “I'm glad Trek and I got to an agreement for 2014. It's been three crazy years for me on Trek, with a lot of highlights, and I'm happy that we can go on for another year," said Voigt.

    "Looking at the young kids: I see the future. They are ready to spread their wings. But maybe I can close one more gap for them, or teach them something from my years of experience. I feel I still have some gas left in the tank, so I can't wait for what's coming!"

    Trek Vice President Joe Vadeboncoeur was thrilled with the signing, praising Voigt.

    "There has seldom been a foot soldier like Jens Voigt, he is the  ultimate hardman. He attacks, he works like a dog, he crashes – and he gets up and does it all again the next day. Trek is honored to have Jens finish his  career here."

    Voigt has been in the peloton since 1997, when he turned pro with ZVVZ-Gian-AIS, and has ridden for Credit Agricole, CSC/Saxo Bank, and Leopard-Trek/RadioShack over the years. He has taken part in the Tour de France 16 times, every year since 1998, and has won two stages, in 2001 and 2006.

    But, as the Trek press release pointed out, “the affable German has showed little signs of slowing  down, as witnessed in stage 5 of the Tour of California and stage 20 of this year's Tour de France.”

    Voigt won the stage in California in a solo effort, jumping from a small group with five kilometres to go. As he...

  • Wiggins to quit major road racing in 2014

    Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky) continues his search for form
    Article published:
    August 19, 2013, 12:49 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    Briton plans to target the track at the 2016 Rio Olympics

    Bradley Wiggins has confirmed that he will ride with Team Sky for one more year before focusing on the track and the 2016 Rio Olympic Games with Great Britain. He has conceded that he will never again target overall success at the Tour de France and knows he will have to play a 'super domestique' role in support of Chris Froome if he rides the Tour de France for a final time in 2014.

    Wiggins finished 91st at the Eneco Tour, opting to finish in the peloton on most days. He targeted the 13.2km time trial stage but finished fifth on the twisting technical course. He has already put on several kilogrammes as he beefs up for the world championship time trial in Tuscany and admits he will never return to being the skinny stage race rider of recent years.

    "I'm going to continue to the next Olympics and try for a fifth gold on the track. That's the plan," Wiggins told The Times newspaper in a major interview published in Monday.

    "Having lost weight and muscle the last few years, I wouldn't be able to walk back into that team pursuit squad, so I'm not taking it for granted, but I am working towards that. It would be nice to finish the career with another Olympic gold."

    Wiggins was not selected to ride this year's Tour de France due to the knee injury that forced him out of the Giro d'Italia. He admits it was not easy to miss riding the 100th edition of the Tour as defending champion but accepts that Chris Froome has now proven he is a Tour de France winner, who could dominate the race for the next few years.

    "I don't mind admitting that Chris is probably a better Grand Tour rider than me. He is a much better climber, he can time-trial well. He has age on his side, he has no kids. That's...