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Second Edition Cycling News, Monday, March 3, 2014

Date published:
March 03, 2014, 0:00 GMT
  • Exclusive first look: Xpedo Thrust E power meter pedals

    Whereas the Garmin Vector requires separate 'pods' to house the batteries and transmitters, Xpedo manages to squeeze everything into the Thrust E power meters' aluminum pedal bodies
    Article published:
    March 03, 2014, 9:01 GMT
    By:
    James Huang

    Compact power meter pedal could offer a low-cost option

    This article originally appeared on BikeRadar

    The power meter market is heating up yet again, this time with a brand-new pedal-based entry from Xpedo. Set for an official release at this week's Taipei Cycle Show, the new Thrust E power meter pedals promise a very user-friendly design, a reasonably low weight, and a price point that won't require a second mortgage.

    Much like the recently introduced Garmin Vector, the Xpedo Thrust E will measure power more or less directly where it's applied: at the pedal body. Whereas the Vector uses a multi-directional strain gauge array on the spindle, however, the Thrust E will pack the sensor into the contact surface underneath the cleat.

    In this way, the Thrust E won't be able to discern the magnitude of the force applied and its direction like the admittedly feature-packed Vector. The Thrust E will, however, measure and display independent left and right power outputs, which is likely more than enough for many riders anyway.

    Another key difference is the packaging. Whereas the Vector houses its wireless transmitters and batteries in separate 'pods', Xpedo has managed to squeeze everything – including cadence sensors – right into the pedal body itself for a much cleaner look. The all-in-one design should make for a more straightforward (and less error-prone) installation process, plus we expect the Thrust E will be easier to transfer between different bikes. The ubiquitous ANT+ wireless protocol will offer head unit compatibility with popular options like Garmin and Wahoo Fitness, too.

    Garmin does beat the Thrust E in terms of weight but only barely. Xpedo says its new power meter pedals will weigh 385g per pair, including batteries but...

  • Criterium du Dauphine route revealed

    The route of the 2014 Criterium du Dauphine
    Article published:
    March 03, 2014, 12:52 GMT
    By:
    José Been

    Mountainous route for Tour de France preparation race

    Race organiser ASO has revealed the route for the 66th edition of the Criterium du Dauphiné. In what will be the final stage race for many riders before the Tour de France kicks off in Yorkshire, the eight-day stage race in the south-east of France follows a largely mountainous route. Team Sky's Chris Froome is set to defend his 2013 title as are fellow Tour de France contenders Albert Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) and Vincenzo Nibali (Astana).

    The 2014 Criterium du Dauphiné course was revealed at the regional Rhone departmental government in Lyon on Monday in the presence of race director Christian Prudhomme. Lyon also features as scenic backdrop for the first stage, a 10-kilometre time trial which passes through a 1.8-kilometre underground bike tunnel in the city center of Lyon called Le Tube.

    From Lyon the peloton heads west towards the Massif Central where the first uphill finish of the eight-day stage race awaits the riders. The Col du Béal featured in the 2010 Tour de l'Avenir where BMC's Yannick Eijssen won ahead of the likes of Darwin Atapuma, Andrew Talansky, Tom-Jelte Slagter, Mikel Landa and Nairo Quintana. 

    After some stages for the fast men in the south, the second part of the race offers uphill finishes which should see the Tour de France overall contenders battle each other one month before Le Grand Départ. The final weekend features uphill finishes in Switzerland with the Col de la Forclaz (12.6km at 8.2% average) before the final climb to Finhaut-Émosson, a new but demanding climb in the race which is 10-kilometres long and averages eight per cent.

    The final stage to Courchevel is short at only 130.5-kilometres but offers the peloton three climbs of the first category and one second category climb. The uphill finish comes after a 5.9-kilometre climb with a 6.2% average gradient.

    All 18 WorldTour teams are automatically invited to the Criterium du Dauphiné....

  • Chaves hopes to repay Orica-GreenEdge's faith

    Esteban Chaves is racing for Orica GreenEdge
    Article published:
    March 03, 2014, 14:03 GMT
    By:
    Sadhbh O'Shea

    Colombian climber impresses on his comeback after injury

    Esteban Chaves' (Orica-GreenEdge) performance on stage four of the Tour de Langkawi was nothing less than impressive when you consider what the young Colombian has been through in the last 12 months. Chaves crossed the line 10 seconds behind stage winner Mirsamad Pourseyedi Golakhour to finish in fourth place, in his first race since a horrific accident at the Trofeo Laigueglia in February 2013.

    His success was a culmination of a year's dogged determination to make it back to a professional level and the unwavering support of his new Orica-GreenEdge team. The relief and gratitude was evident when he spoke to Cyclingnews at the finish.

    "I am really happy. It's incredible this result, after one year with no races and no good training. I want to say thank you to the guys, Shane, Alvaro, Neil for the opportunity in this team. This is one to say thank you," he said emotionally.

    The Tour de Langkawi is the first race for the Colombian while racing with a WorldTour team. For many securing a contract with a top-flight team is an important step in their career ladder but to Chaves it was much more than just that; it was a lifeline for a career that he though was all but over.

    "In April, May and June they were really hard and I thought that my career was finished and that there would be no more bike," he told Cyclingnews. "These moments were very difficult, but I had my family and my girlfriend were with me."

    As a result of his accident at the Trofeo Laigueglia, he was left with list of injuries that wouldn't be out of place in a multiple rider pile-up. The Colombian suffered with a compound fracture to his right collarbone, fractures in his left petrous bone, right cheekbone, maxillary sinuses and sphenoid bone, pulmonary compressions and abrasions.

    Chaves had to undergo multiple surgeries and extensive therapy to regain his mobility. Amidst that, he received an offer from Orica, a testament to their...

  • Brammeier aims for Tour de Langkawi mountain's jersey

    Matt Brammeier in the KOM jersey
    Article published:
    March 03, 2014, 16:32 GMT
    By:
    Sadhbh O'Shea

    Irishman still hopeful he can return to the WorldTour

    Matthew Brammeier (Synergy Baku) is looking to kick start his season with victory in the mountain’s classification at the Tour de Langkawi.

    Brammeier has been very active during the opening five days of race, going on the attack twice. The Baku rider says he hasn’t got a hard and fast plan as to how he is going to keep the red jersey though. "It’s always hard in races in Asia to go in with a tactic. You have to really read the race and play it by ear on the road on the day," he told Cyclingnews.

    Although it may prove tricky if the cramps that spoiled things for him on day one continue to the end of the race. Brammeier says he often suffers from cramps early on in a race, but that he had woken up ahead of the queen stage already in cramp.

    "I don’t know what the problem is," he explained. "I cramp a lot on the first day of a race, but it’s keeping going every day. So it’s not a fatigue or a muscle weakness problem. We’re trying to work it out."

    Brammeier currently tops the competition by a single point over UnitedHealthcare’s Isaac Bolivar. The Irish national champion is also joined leader of the points competition, but he doesn’t believe that it is possible to still be there at the end of the week.

    His aggression at the race will be a calling card to bigger teams, as he looks to return to the professional ranks. The Tour de Langkawi is Brammeier’s first race with Synergy Baku. The Azerbaijani team offered him a ride after his Champion System team folded at the end of last year. The deal was announced late last year, after he had exhausted all other options....

  • Exclusive: Cavendish to ride Milan-San Remo

    An ecstatic Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) after winning stage 13 of the Tour de France
    Article published:
    March 03, 2014, 17:20 GMT
    By:
    Daniel Benson

    Omega Pharma-Quick Step squad to include British sprinter after the loss of the Pompeiana climb

    Omega Pharma-QuickStep manager Patrick Lefevere has confirmed to Cyclingnews that Mark Cavendish will ride Milan-San Remo later this month.

    The British rider, who won the event in 2009, had said he would not start the race after organisers thwarted the sprinters’ chances of success by including the five-kilometre long Pompeiana climb in the finale of the Italian one day Classic.

    However the Pompeiana was removed from the route last week due to concerns over safety and land slides. And with mid-race Le Manie climb already shelved, the race route returns to a flatter, more traditional profile, with only the Poggio and Cipressa featuring in the critical final section before San Remo. It wasn’t clear if Cavendish would compete in the race having struggled to match his 2009 result. However Lefevere has told Cyclingnews that the former world champion will be part of the Omega Pharma-QuickStep squad that lines up in Milan on Sunday March 23.

    “He’ll ride as our sprinter but we’ll decide the tactics the day before the race, and not two weeks away,” Lefevere told Cyclingnews.

    With Tom Boonen in flying form after winning Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne at the weekend, Cavendish's presence in the team could mean Lefevere could have at least two cards to play. Cavendish recently opened his account with a stage win at the Tour of Algarve and is set to prepare for Milan-San Remo by riding Tirreno-Adriatico.

    “Tom is in excellent shape and we’re really happy with Mark winning too. We hope he’ll do well at Tirreno and we’ll take Mark to the race and he certainly won’t be there as a domestique for the others.”

    Asked if he thought Cavendish could win Milan-San...

  • Third time a charm for White in Tour de Langkawi

    Bradley White on the podium
    Article published:
    March 03, 2014, 19:10 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    UnitedHealthcare racks up first win of 2014

    The UnitedHealthcare men's team scored its first victory of the 2014 season on stage five of the Tour de Langkawi, when 32-year-old Brad White powered to the win over breakaway companion Thomas Rabou (OCBC Singapore) and Louis Meintjes (MTN-Qhubeka) on a steamy 140km stage to Rembau.

    The result came after three consecutive days on the attack by White, when he finally came across the winning formula.

    "They say the third time is the charm - this was the third day in a row in the break and I am happy to be able to come away with the win," White said.

    He was part of a large but unsuccessful breakaway on stage four, but came heart breakingly close to contesting for the win on stage three, when he and Jacque Janse van Rensburg (MTN-Qhubeka) were caught inside the final kilometre. In addition, teammate Jonny Clarke was part of the winning move on stage one, finishing third on the day, and the team's new Colombian climber Isaac Bolivar moved into third overall on stage four's mountain top finish.

    "After coming so close to a win on stage three, I was hungry for a win once I found myself in the break again," White said. "Isaac had a great ride yesterday and team moral is high. It's not often that a break stays away in a big race like this. When it happens you can't let it slip away. I can't express how happy I am for the win and all the support I have from teammates, staff, sponsors, family, and friends. I could not do it without all these people."

    Directeur sportif Henrick Redant chalked White's first UCI victory to "talent, conviction, and perseverance".

    "He is very talented and strong; believes in what he does,...

  • Giro d'Italia time trial route given extra climb

    Vincenzo Nibali attacks in the snow at the Giro d'Italia
    Article published:
    March 03, 2014, 21:15 GMT
    By:
    Stephen Farrand

    Key stage in the Langhe vineyards now 41.9km long

    The organisers of the 2014 Giro d'Italia have announced that the stage 12 individual time trial through the vineyards from Barbaresco to Barolo has been shortened but also made harder due to the inclusion of a climb early in the route.

    The time trial is now 41.9km long, 4.5km less than RCS Sport previously announced at the full route presentation in October, and sees the addition of the Boscasso climb with the first intermediate time check taken at the summit.

    The stage route winds through the vineyards of the spectacular Langhe region. The route is technical and testing, with a gradual climb to the first time check atop the Boscasso beginning at the very start of the 41.9km route. A technical descent follows before the straighter rolling roads via Ricca and Alba, where the second time check is positioned, after 26.2km.

    The final section of the time trial includes the short and steep climb to Castiglione Falletto followed by a quick descent and then a climb up to the finish in the centre of Barolo.

    The 2014 Giro d'Italia starts in Northern Ireland on May 9 with a 21.7km time trial and ends in Trieste on June 1.

    Favourites for overall victory include Cadel Evans (BMC), Nairo Quintana (Movistar) and Richie Porte (Team Sky).
     

  • Maiden Women's Tour to feature 16 teams

    Marianne Vos (Netherlands) won the Olympic road race in the rain
    Article published:
    March 03, 2014, 22:00 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    First British UCI level stage race to take place in May

    With Marianne Vos and her Rabo-Liv team having already confirmed their entry for the first ever Women's Tour which starts in Oundle, Great Britain on Wednesday 7th May, the race organisers have announced a high quality field will take place in the event comprising of the top women's teams in the world.

    Orica - AIS, Boels Dolmans, Specialized Lululemon and the Wiggle Honda team of British Olympians Laura Trott, Joanna Rowsell and Dani King are all set to take their place on the start line alongside the national side of the world's number one ranked nation, the Netherlands, plus a Great Britain national team led by Leicestershire's Lucy Garner.

    Earning an invite for the first ever UCI level stage race for women to take place in the UK, organised by SweetSpot Group, will be British domestic team Matrix Fitness – Vulpine. UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling's participation will mean Hannah Barnes will be given the opportunity to race in her home county of Northamptonshire on the opening day of The Women's Tour.

    The Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies team will also travel from the USA to race while the final two teams for the 16-team, 96-rider field will be announced in coming months.

    "We are thrilled to be able to bring such a world-class field of teams to ride in the first ever Women's Tour", said Guy Elliott from organisers SweetSpot Group.

    "The race has attracted a wonderful field of elite riders from all over the...