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Second Edition Cycling News, Monday, February 3, 2014

Date published:
February 03, 2014, 0:00 GMT
  • Nathan Haas to lead Garmin-Sharp at Herald Sun Tour

    Nathan Haas (Garmin-Sharp)
    Article published:
    February 03, 2014, 3:35 GMT
    Cycling News

    2011 winner returns to Victorian race with strong team

    Having just placed fifth overall at the Santos Tour Down Under where he claimed his first ever WorldTour points, Nathan Haas returns to the Jayco Herald Sun Tour, a race which launched his career, with condition to threaten for the win. The 2011 overall champion will lead the Garmin Sharp team which enters the race with a strong Australian contingent.

    Recently crowded Australian national criterium champion Steele von Hoff will make his return to the race once. The duo were part of the team Genesys Wealth Advisers team, who are now known as Avanti, when Haas won the race in 2011.

    Also on the team is 2010 New Zealand road race champion Jack Bauer, two time Dutch time trial champion Thomas Dekker, 2013 Tour of Alberta winner and Olympic Silver medallist Rohan Dennis and the Best young rider at the 2013 Tour of Utah and USA Pro Cycling Challenge, Lachlan Morton.

    The best overall result Haas has had since moving to Garmin was second overall at the 2012 Tour of Britain and he will be keen to add another overall title to his palmarès. Haas will be one of three past winners to line up on Wednesday night alongside 2005 and 2006 champion Simon Gerrans (Orica-GreenEdge) and the 2013 champion Calvin Watson (Trek Factory Racing) who will be racing in the colours of the KordaMentha Real Estate – Team Australia. 

    More teams announce rosters for Herald Sun
    With the

  • Chloe Hosking looking for revenge at Ladies Tour of Qatar

    Chloe Hosking (Hitec Products UCK) celebrates as she crosses the finish line on Stage 5 of the Holland Ladies Tour
    Article published:
    February 03, 2014, 5:14 GMT
    Cycling News

    Australian sprinter backed by strong Hitec Products team

    Having already shown some early season form in Australia at the Mitchelton Bay Cycling Classic in January and the St Kilda Super Crit in December which she won, Chloe Hosking (Hitec Products) is targeting the sixth edition of the Ladies Tour of Qatar (4-7 February). The Australian sprinter lost the race lead in the season opening event last year after puncturing in the final kilometre of the third stage and had to settle for second overall behind Dutch star Kirsten Wild (Liv Shimano).

    "Qatar has been a huge focus for me ever since I lost the jersey last year," Hosking said who continues with Hitec Products in 2014.

    "I've had a really good summer in Australia and have been able to use races like the Mitchelton Bay Cycling Classic as preparation. The team has just finished up a ten day camp in Benidorm, Spain where we got some really good specific prep in so I'm hoping to try and improve on my result from last year," she said.

    "I'm really confident in the team and most of all I'm excited to get the international season of racing underway with one of my favourite races," she said.

    Hitec Products team manager Karl Lima said Hosking is one year stronger and is confident that she has the right team and setup to finish one better in the general classification.

    "Chloe is one year stronger and returns with Thea Thorsen and Tone Hatteland Lima who raced with the team in Qatar last year, they have experience and race knowledge," Lima said.

    "We've added Emilie Moberg to the team line-up this year after she missed the race last year due to illness, she is strong in this style of racing. New riders Lauren Kitchen and Audrey Cordon also really strengthen the squad.

    "This is our 'sprint squad'," he said.

  • Samuel Sánchez: I want to be a key rider at BMC

    Sammy Sanchez (Euskaltel-Euskadi) climbs to the finish of Vuelta stage 15
    Article published:
    February 03, 2014, 7:19 GMT
    Alasdair Fotheringham

    Spaniard signs one-year deal with Evans's squad

    Last-minute signing Samuel Sánchez has said that his contract with BMC is for a single year and that he will be deciding his race program later this month.

    In an interview wtih BiciCiclismo, Sánchez said negotations had started four or five days ago, and after receiving the green light from Jim Ochowicz, Cadel Evans and sports director Yvon Ledanois for him to join the team as soon as possible, a deal for 2014 had been quickly reached.

    “Initially it’s a year-long contract, but the important thing is that I’m doing what I like,” he told BiciCiclismo. “I’m racing to enjoy myself and now I will be able to do it with a team that is amazingly well-organised.”

    He denied that he was surprised, however, that BMC had agreed to sign him. “It’s a first class team. I have a good palmares and status in the peloton. My destiny was never going to be anything other than a top team.”

    “It’s been a very hard few months, though, the fact that it took such a long time to sort out the Euskaltel team” - with a lack of clarity over its possible continuity with a new sponsor making matters much more difficult - “but I’m here because I haven’t thrown in the towel even if it was getting difficult, the season had already started.”

    Sánchez has no idea yet what his race calendar will be. “I will be in Italy on Thursday and then I head to Belgium to get measured up for the bike and kit, medical tests and so on. To get used to how the team works and see how it is structured, so I can adapt the quickest possible.” Amongst his objectives this year are “a third Classic win, or at least a podium finish in the Ardennes. And to win the World’s, it’s difficult, but I’ve already won an Olympic Games road-race in Beijing.”

    Asked about Fernando Alonso’s team in 2015,...

  • Bettini cools rumours of Sagan joining Alonso's team

    Peter Sagan (Cannondale)
    Article published:
    February 03, 2014, 10:53 GMT
    Cycling News

    For that amount we could get three riders, says Italian

    Paolo Bettini denied that the new World Team team Fernando Alonso aspires to start has signed Peter Sagan or a title sponsor. "For now we haven't got anything. As far as we know we don't even have a sponsor but maybe we'll know something from Dubai," he told Gazzetta dello Sport.

    Though various riders like Peter Sagan and Samuel Sanchez have been linked to the new team, Bettini is clear about the current status of the project. "Our team only consists of three people: me, Alonso and his manager Abad. Everyone is interested to get involved with us but I haven't even signed a contract yet. I can assure you that nobody signed, no sports directors, no riders and no staff."

    Sagan was rumoured to be joining the Alonso project for a salary of 3,3 million euro per season. "I think his manager [Giovanni Lombardi] has gone over the top with his financial requests. If he's got someone to offer him that much I can't understand why he's not signed already. But I spoke with Alonso and he was clear. For that amount we could get three riders; one to stay on his [Sagan's] wheel and two to win the race," Bettini said at the GP Etruschi on Sunday.

    Samuel Sanchez, who signed with BMC Racing Team, was also mentioned in connection with the new team. The former Olympic champion and Alonso trained together last week. "I’m just thinking in the short-term. For now, I know I’m going to race this year, which was my main concern," he told Biciciclismo.

    Big names like Alberto Contador and Joaquim Rodríguez have contracts for 2015 but Bettini sees potential in the current peloton. "It's not true that there are no big-name riders available. About 80 to 90 riders are out of contract and half of those are interesting to us. About 12 to 15 riders are a...

  • BMC Racing Team with clear goals for Dubai Tour

     Taylor Phinney (BMC)
    Article published:
    February 03, 2014, 12:32 GMT
    Cycling News

    Individual TT first target for Phinney

    The four-stage Dubai Tour which begins Wednesday with a 10-kilometer individual time trial is Taylor Phinney's next goal of the season.

    "Nobody really knows what to expect but we go there with high objectives," Max Sciandri said of BMC's objectives. "We want to target the time trial with Taylor Phinney, without forgetting we also have Steve Cummings, Thor Hushovd and Peter Velits. We also have Thor for the sprints and Taylor has been trying himself in those, too, I saw at the Tour de San Luis."

    Hushovd, the reigning Norwegian national road champion, said he is coming off a solid block of training at the team's camp in Spain. "I want to see how my form starts," he said. "If I can win a nice race at the beginning of the year, it's good and takes a bit of the pressure off."

    Velits – the reigning Slovakian national time trial champion – said he is anxious to test himself in his first race for the BMC Racing Team.

    "The stages seem to be flat, so the time trial will be very important for the GC (general classification) contenders," he said. "I can't really say how I will do because the first races in my case are always very unsure.

    "I will try my best and be helpful for the team. I feel very good in the team and there's always a good mood, which is important."

  • No glory for Americans in cyclo-cross Worlds

    Ryan Trebon (United States Of America)
    Article published:
    February 03, 2014, 13:47 GMT
    Brecht Decaluwé

    Trebon, Johnson injured in Hoogerheide mishaps

    The outcome of the 2014 UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships wasn't exactly what the United States delegation hoped for. On Saturday, the biggest hope for a rainbow jersey or medal fell apart when Katie Compton was unable to ride at the best of her abilities due to an early crash and breathing problems. She still was the top US finisher of the weekend in ninth place. On Sunday, the 30,000 to 35.000 cyclo-cross fans saw that neither the under 23 nor the elite American men were able to mix in with the best.

    While Logan Owen rode to 14th as the top US finisher in the U23 race, Jonathan Page was the top US finisher on Sunday afternoon in 18th.

    "I had an unlucky start, but a good race," Page said at the finish line.

    The runner-up of the 2007 world championships was held up by an early crash and then got into a traffic jam caused by Kevin Pauwels, who hit one of the ramps. "I stopped and got hit from behind a couple of times and got tangled up in someone's frame," Page said.

    From outside the top 30, Page got into a good rhythm on the technical course and moved into the top 20. "Honestly, the place that I got today was bad for how good I was feeling. That's just the way it played out for me ... This was the most fun world championships ever, besides of course when I got second," Page said.

    US national champion Jeremy Powers finished six spots down the rankings 24th, while Ryan Trebon reached the finish line in a disappointing 31st place. His result soon turned out to be a near a miracle. A collision during the opening lap cut...

  • Pooley calls La Course by Le Tour de France a great platform for women's cycling

    The Champs Elysees stage usually turns in front of the Arc de Triomphe and heads back, but in 2013 will go all the way around the traffic circle.
    Article published:
    February 03, 2014, 15:35 GMT
    Daniel Benson

    Race to take place in Paris

    Emma Pooley has welcomed the news that Amaury Sports Organisation (ASO) will organise a women’s one day race that will coincide with the final day of this year’s Tour de France in Paris. The internationally televised event, La Course by Le Tour de France, came as a result of the work carried out by Pooley and her colleagues at Le Tour Entier, who set up a petition to strengthen women’s professional road cycling.

    The petition attracted over 97,000 signatures in the second half of 2013 and in December ASO began discussions with Le Tour Entier.

    “They had come to us because of the petition but this is an incredibly quick turn around,” Pooley told Cyclingnews from her training base in Perth, Australia.

    The one-day race will take in the finishing circuit used by the men’s Tour de France, with a finish line sprint on the Champs-Elysées. It is hoped that the iconic backdrop will bolster women’s sport.

    “I think it’s absolutely fantastic because it will be such a great platform for people to see women’s cycling,” Pooley said.

    “I hope that it’s the start of bigger things but it’s going to be a great race in its own right because women’s races are often interesting to watch and this will be great in that people will get the chance to watch us race.”

    “I think that there are people out that want to see women’s road racing but it’s just hard to find at the moment. The main thing about the petition is that it showed that people wanted to watch it.”

    ASO currently organise the women’s Tour of Qatar and Fleche Wallone, events in their own rights, but Pooley, who said...

  • Gallery: UnitedHealthcare kicks off 2014 season with new energy

    The "blue train" gets lined up during a training ride
    Article published:
    February 03, 2014, 17:00 GMT
    Cycling News

    Women's team fosters friendly competition with men

    The UnitedHealthcare team has always been a tight-knit unit, and with 20 of last year's men continuing on and only three new riders for 2014 the team is relying on the new women's squad to bring in new energy and a fresh take on racing.

    The team was presented to sponsors and other VIPs in Scottsdale, Arizona this week, with the theme of the night's activities centered around the debut of its promotional video, Path to the Podium.

    Team manager Mike Tamayo enjoyed the red carpet roll-out, decked out in a suit that exactly matched the team's blue kit.

    "It was a great night with a lot of new energy. We have a bunch of new sponsors - Wilier, Shimano, Vermarc, and the addition of our women's team added a fresh perspective."

    The riders were marched out in their cycling kit and interviewed in front of the crowd. The women already claimed their first victories of the season with Rushlee Buchannan winning the New Zealand road title, and in the Tour Femenino de San Luis, where Hannah Barnes and Alison Powers each won a stage, and Powers took home the overall victory. With these successes behind them, they engaged in a little friendly competition, challenging the men to keep up.

    "The women came into the season with a lot of pressure to live up to the standard set by the men in previous years," Tamayo said. "We go to every race to win. It was a little bit like, 'anything you can do, we can do better'. It's a fun competition between the teams."

    The men had a good result in the Tour de San Luis, where Marc de Maar made the winning breakaway on the opening stage and was in third overall for several days before ultimately ending up seventh overall.

    "It was our best Tour de San Luis ever," Tamayo said. "To have Lucas Euser fifth on a mountain stage, and two in the...