Tools and tricks of the pro mechanics
A close-up look at the Australian's purpose-built ride
Australian's 2015 Tinkoff-Saxo team bike
Winner of the 2015 Tour Down Under
Tejay was just stronger, says Australian
Rogers completed the eight-stage tour, 1:47 back on van Garderen in an impressive performance capped by four top-10 finishes.
"Surely, I'm very happy about this result. I'm satisfied with my condition and the team performance here," Rogers said in Santa Rosa.
The 33-year-old paid tribute to van Garderen who collected his first overall victory in his career, joining Rogers as the sixth rider on the Tour of California honour roll. A 42 second gap had separated the pair heading into the Stage 6 individual time trial before van Garderen put in a crushing performance to not only win the stage but extend his lead over Rogers who finished fourth on the day.
"Tejay was just stronger which he demonstrated on the time trial," Rogers explained.
Rogers' results in California have been by far his best of the 2013 season, his first under the Saxo - Tinkoff banner after leaving Team Sky. Admitting to Cyclingnews before the race that he was starting to feel as if he was heading towards full-health after a less-than-optimal recovery from a tonsillectomy last October in a bid to solve his well-documented health problems of the past few years, Rogers appears to be headed in the right direction.
"I didn't have the best start of the season but this result confirms that I'm on the right track to where I want to be. Hopefully, I can take my condition up a notch before the next big goal of the season," he concluded with the Tour de France the...
No offers forthcoming after six-month ban
Levi Leipheimer has confirmed to reporters in California that he is indeed retired after his six month ban for doping violations was completed on March 1.
His contract with Omega Pharma-Quickstep was terminated in the fallout of the US Anti-Doping Agency's release of its full dossier of evidence in the case against Lance Armstrong.
In his affidavit Leipheimer testified to a number of doping-related offenses, but also implicated himself, admitting to having used blood transfusions as recently as the 2007 Tour de France.
He lost his third place overall in that race as well as his prior results obtained from June 1, 1999 through to July 30, 2006 and from July 7 through to July 29, 2007.
Late last year he indicated he was looking for a team to race with for the 2013 season and that included riding the Tour of California, but that dream appears to have fizzled.
"I'm retired," he told The Press Democrat in Santa Rosa having been invited to speak to the crowd at the finish of the Tour of California, a race he won three times. "It's just been an unceremoniously retired."
Leipheimer insisted following his sacking that he quit doping after the 2007 season and that his subsequent results, including his three California titles from 2007 through 2009 were obtained clean.
The 39-year-old explained that he is now "transitioning into the rest of my life" and focussing on running his eponymous GranFondo.
"I sort of miss racing," he said. "I still love riding my...
Signs a no doping declaration to guide next generation
Cycling Australia has announced that that three-time grand tour stage winner and Olympic gold medallist Brad McGee will take on the role of directeur sportif for the elite men's road program. McGee will have current selector, Austrian-based Brian Stephens alongside him in the role of European co-ordinator. Both roles are effective immediately encompassing the UCI Road World Championships in Florence this September, together with the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and 2016 Rio Olympic Games.
"Brad's decorated career as an athlete and more recently his coaching pedigree stamped him as the ideal choice to head up the program" said Cycling Australia CEO Graham Fredericks. "He will be ably assisted by Brian who has worked closely with numerous Australian athletes over the last 20 years and will play an important mentoring role from his European base."
The position has been open since Cycling Australia dismissed Matt White in the wake of the United States Anti-Doping Agency's Reasoned Decision.
White took up the role with Cycling Australia in January 2011, replacing Neil Stephens who had been in the role for the previous 12 years and had resigned to concentrate on developing the GreenEdge project. White's appointment almost immediately came under review after he was dismissed by Garmin-Cervélo at the Tour Down Under for breaches of the team's medical referral policy having sent Trent Lowe to the former US Postal team physician Dr. Luis Garcia del Moral at the Sports Institute of Valencia in April 2009. Cycling Australia reconfirmed White's appointment saying that...
Team Sky riders still smiling despite the cold conditions of the Alps
Rigoberto Uran jumped into the warmth of a Team Sky Jaguar after crossing the finish line and riding five hundred metres further up the Col du Galibier after stage 15 of the Giro d'Italia. The Colombian finished 10th, 54 seconds behind Giovanni Visconti (Movistar) but was done in the same time as race leader Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) and Cadel Evans (BMC), his two big rivals for overall victory.
After getting changed in the car and taking a natural break while enjoying the view across the valley, Uran spoke to Cyclingnews and Sky Italia television.
Despite the cold and fatigue of two days in the Alps, he quickly rediscovered his sense of humour. "My freezer in Colombia isn't as cold as it is up here," he joked. "Fortunately I've got used the cold after racing in Europe for several years but what 'frio'; we've had two tough days."
"I think we were lucky today, it was only cold at the end. Today was a hard stage again but it was a great day of racing. We made the right decision to ride steady on the first climb and then it became really hard on the climb to the finish."
On the podium behind Nibali and Evans
Uran is 2:46 behind Nibali but only one minute down on Evans. With Bradley Wiggins out of the race, he is the team leader at Team Sky and is targeting at least a place on the final podium in Brescia in a week's time.
"I expected these two stages to go like they did," he said.
"Nibali, Evans and Santambrogio are riding well and are on form. Today it was difficult to gain time because were all about as strong as each other. Now it's important to rest...
Glava title perfectly timed ahead of Tour de France
It may have taken a little longer than usual but Edvald Boasson Hagen can take solace in the fact that his first victory of 2013 at the Glava Tour of Norway has arrived just six weeks away from the Tour de France, where many expect the current Norwegian champion to join his Sky Procycling teammates come the final day of June.
Boasson Hagen, 'The Boss' took his time to move into the overall lead in his local tour but did it in style when he rode into his home town of Lillehammer on the penultimate and queen stage of the five-day race to take the stage win and pull on the race leader's jersey.
The final day of racing was another perfect display of control by the GB outfit who duly took to the front and kept the day's escape on a tight leash heading into the more difficult finale. Saxo-Tinkoff tried to shake things up in an attempt to move second-overall Sergio Paulinho onto the top step on of the podium but Sky kept a cool head before ensuring the peloton arrived at the finish for the expected bunch kick.
Boasson Hagen was unable to capture the final stage while wearing yellow and had to be content with another second-place to Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) who took his third stage win of the race.
"It's really nice to take the win," said Boasson Hagen on the team site. "The team did an amazing job to control things the whole day and keep everything under control. It's really nice to have such a...
Italian recovers after struggling in the cold
On crossing the finish line in the snow on the Col du Galibier at the end of stage 15 of the Giro d’Italia, Michele Scarponi (Lampre-Merida) wheeled to an unsteady halt and leant over his handlebars, coughing incessantly.
A small group of reporters swarmed around him hesitantly, but although Scarponi was conscious of their wayward and flickering existence, he was in no state to offer his immediate thoughts on the day’s action, and his soigneur guided him away to warm himself in a tent near the podium area.
After struggling dramatically in the cold of the Jafferau on Saturday, Scarponi had managed to break even with Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) on the Galibier and finished 6th on the stage, but once again, his efforts had taken their toll.
Some twenty minutes later, after changing and wrapping up against the elements, Scarponi emerged and spoke to reporters about his afternoon. As the Giro enters its second rest day and its third week, he lies 5th overall, 3:53 behind Nibali and a little over a minute off a podium place
“It went quite well and I don’t think there’s a huge difference between the best riders here. I defended myself well and I rode very well so I’m still confident about my Giro and the week to come,” said Scarponi, who served a three-month suspension during the off-season after he confessed to being trained by Dr. Michele Ferrari.
Scarponi was previously banned in 2007 and 2008 for blood doping under the supervision of Dr. Eufemiano Fuentes.
Through the Giro’s opening week in southern Italy, a number of contenders warned that Scarponi was climbing better than anyone else but he conceded time at both Altopiano del Montasio on stage 10 and the Jafferau on stage 14.
On the Galibier on Sunday, however, Scarponi showed signs of recovery,...
Says Betancur is Giro’s strongest climber
Colombian cycling legend Fabio Parra has called on his compatriots to join forces in an “alliance of all the Colombians” at the Giro d’Italia in order to increase their chances of winning a stage, a jersey and even the overall classification. In a series of messages posted on Twitter, Parra said that such an alliance could even result in Sky’s Rigoberto Urán taking the maglia rosa off the shoulders of race leader Vincenzo Nibali.
The 53-year-old Parra, who in 1988 became the only Colombian to finish on the podium of the Tour de France, addressed a series of messages to Sky’s Urán and Sergio Henao, Ag2r’s Carlos Betancur, Lampre’s José Serpa (@Jrserpa01), and Team Colombia’s Fabio Duarte, Jarlinson Pantano and Darwin Atapuma. He told them that by working together they could aspire to stage wins in the mountain stages to Val Martello and Tre Cime de Lavaredo, as well as in the Mori-Polsa mountain time trial.
“With three days in the mountains, good weather, sun and a Colombian alliance there is even the possibility of Rigoberto Urán winning Giro d’Italia,” said Parra of the race’s three penultimate stages. “Wednesday, Thursday and Friday (sic) are days for a Colombian victory. You have to take advantage of the mountains.” Parra later added: “A stage win, overall win or jersey success requires an alliance of all of the Colombians in the Giro.”
Parra described Betancur as “the best climber in the Giro d’Italia. He showed that today on the mythical Galibier. We will see him in contention for this race in the future.”
Betancur admitted in the wake of Urán’s stage win at the Altopiano del Montasio that he had not chased after his compatriot because the Colombians have an...
Young Pole confident as Giro enters third week
Rafal Majka showed his growing confidence at the Giro d’Italia by setting his Saxo-Tinkoff teammate Evgeni Petrov to work at the foot of the Col du Galibier in the finale of stage 15.
Although the young Pole ultimately lost his white jersey to Carlos Betancur (Ag2r-La Mondiale), he was in the thick of the action all the way to the finish, as the pair attacked off the front of the pink jersey group in the final kilometre in the company of Przemyslaw Niemic (Lampre-Merida).
Betancur won the sprint for second place behind stage winner Giovanni Visconti (Movistar), while Majka had to settle for 4th. Afterwards, he complained that Betancur had been racing for the time bonuses rather than attempting to distance the principal favourites behind.
“We were thinking about attacking but I was waiting for the hardest part of the climb and when we got there, I couldn’t work with Betancur because he was staying on my wheel,” Majka told Cyclingnews as he soft-pedalled past the Marco Pantani monument towards the Saxo-Tinkoff team car. “It would have been better if he had worked with me. I was expecting better.”
As the Giro enters its second rest day, Majka lies in 8th place overall, 5:20 down on Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) and he said that he has little interest in being drawn into a duel with Betancur for the best young rider classification.
“I wasn’t thinking about the white jersey,” he said. “Betancur might have been thinking about that and working towards that, but if he takes it, he takes it. But that doesn’t matter to me. I’m here to finish high up in general classification and win a stage.”
Majka had surprised many with his strong showing on the first summit finish at Altopiano del Montasio, where he matched Nibali, but he admitted that he had struggled to cope with the cold conditions on...