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Second Edition Cycling News, Saturday, September 21, 2013

Date published:
September 21, 2013, 1:00 BST
  • Malaysian team of two ready to roll in Florence

    The stage 4 podium (L-R): Fito Bakdo Prilanji (CCN Cycling Team), Sea Keong Loh (OCBC Singapore Continental Cycling Team) and Patria Rastra (Indonesia National Team)
    Article published:
    September 21, 2013, 5:15 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Riders to relish "opportunity of a lifetime"

    Malaysia will go into its UCI Road World Championship tilt next week as one of the underdogs after qualifying just two riders. Adiq Husainie Othman (Champion System) will be the country's sole starter for the U23 road race, and Loh Sea Keong (OCBC) will be flying the Malaysian flag during the elite road race. Although unkown names to casual cycling fans, both riders bring a respectable level of experience to their World Title bids with the pair boasting extensive European experience.

    "I've had good preparation for this task as I've had 10 to 15 one-day races in Italy, the Netherlands and Belgium, mostly races on flat routes," Adiq told The New Straits Times from Belgium. "I heard that the World Championships course is hilly, so I have to see how the legs go on the day.

    "I'm almost out of gas as I've done more than 100 races this year, but going to the World Championships gives me extra motivation to carry on. It will be my last race of the season."

    Having begun his career in earnest with Australian team Drapac Cycling in 2010, Adiq made his way to the pro continental ranks after signing with Champion System in 2012. The U23 road race on Friday Semtember 27 will be Adiq's second attempt at the espoirs title. In Copenhagen in 2011, the 22-year-old finished just under two minutes behind eventual winner Arnaud Demare in 111th.

    Sea Keong on top of the world

    Having won an adoring following from home fans for regularly being one of the most aggressive riders during his home town race, the Tour de Langkawi, Sea Keong believes he may...

  • Vacansoleil to continue as Pro Continental team?

    The full 29-man Vacansoleil-DCM roster for 2013 was presented in Amsterdam at a film theater and museum
    Article published:
    September 21, 2013, 6:38 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Further one million euros needed to secure future of Leukmans, De Gendt, Marcato

    Vacansoleil-DCM Directeur Sportif, Hilaire Van der Schueren, needs a further one million euros in order to create a Pro Continental team out of the remnants of the current WorldTour outfit. The team's hopes of retaining a spot in the WorldTour have looked bleak since the middle of the year, thus an alternate plan of running a Pro Continental from a reduced budget of 2-3 million euros has looked the likely exit plan for Van de Schueren and some of his current squad.

    Having managed to raise two million euros thus far, Van der Schueren now wants another million to ensure the team is viable. Unfortunately for all parties involved, he is running out of time to raise these finances and submit the requisite paperwork to the UCI by the 1st of October.

    "If I can get a contract, the money will go directly to sign Björn Leukemans, Thomas De Gendt and Marco Marcato,” Van der Schueren told the Gazet Van Antwerpen. "With them, it's guaranteed that you can participate in important races.

    "But I have very little time. If I want to have my own team, I have to send the information to the UCI before October 1."

    If Van der Schueren fails to register his own team he has hinted that he may take his current budget of 2 million euros and join forces with an already established Belgian Pro-Continental team such as Accent Jobs-Wanty.

  • Sciandri confident in BMC's Worlds TTT challenge

    BMC directeur sportif Max Sciandri and Taylor Phinney at the pre-Giro press conference in Naples
    Article published:
    September 21, 2013, 9:28 BST
    By:
    Stephen Farrand

    "Everyone is motivated and focused"

    Sports director Max Sciandri is managing BMC's world championships team time trial project and is confident his six riders have the form and speed to produce a winning performance on Sunday.

    BMC finished three seconds slower than winner's Omega Pharma-Quick Step after splintering on the Cauberg climb in sight of the finish. This year's course between Montecatini Team and Florence is almost totally flat and far more about speed and power than technique and BMC has worked all season to field the best team for the event.

    "The guys are up for it. It's one thing one rider winning but it's a different feeling when you win as a team, they can feel that," Sciandri told Cyclingnews at the team's hotel in Montecatini Terme as the BMC mechanics put the final touches to the team's bikes.

    "We've been working a lot for this. We've had three training camps and worked on everything. We've got everything we need and we're ready."

    "I think it's great the brought the TTT back as a discipline and as a world title. Team time trials are very prestigious and very important. You win Grand Tours now thanks to team and individual time trials. They're fundamental."

    "It's going to be a spectacular race too. The shot of teams riding past the Florence Duomo in the centre of the city will be amazing."

    The Tuscany world championships and especially the time trials are also on Sciandri's home roads. He raced for Great Britain in the final part of his career because he was born in Derby but both his parents are Italian and he has lived in Quarrata, midway along the time trial route, for most of his life.

    "I want to enjoy every single second of these world championships. The second time split is in Quarrata, my home town. It's a special moment," he said.

    "I also want to win. Last year as a sports director I won quite a lot of races, this year not so much, so I feel as if I...

  • Van Den Broeck aims to return to racing early in 2014

    Jurgen van den Broeck (Lotto Belisol) a little worse for wear after his crash on stage 5
    Article published:
    September 21, 2013, 11:38 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Lotto-Belisol rider remains “hungry” to return to top level

    Jurgen Van den Broeck (Lotto-Belisol) has been given the all clear to start riding again following a season ending knee injury after crashing during the fifth stage of this year's Tour de France. The twice fourth place finisher at the Tour underwent surgery following the crash and since then has been on the long road to recovery.

    "I have a turbulent period behind me now. I feel pretty good, although I would of course prefer to be racing. Much prefer," Van den Broeck told sporza.be. "You cannot believe how happy I was when I was told that I could ride.

    "When I rode to the bakery the owner looked surprised when he saw me in my bike shorts in his shop. Normally I always do that trip by car. That was a fun moment. I have at times not been the most pleasant guy in the house. But it is getting better," said Van den Broeck.

    On whether the recent crash would change the course of his career for the worse, Van den Broeck was confident he would be back on the top tier of world cycling soon, hoping to return to racing early next year.

    "I never worried about the course of my career. I know I will achieve excellence again," said the 30-year-old. "The rehabilitation is going perfectly, I'm even slightly ahead of the proposed schedule. The last few sessions have shown that. Now I may gradually increase the exercise intensity, but should not overdo it. Within six weeks I will be able to train properly.

    "My program for next year, that I do not know. Perhaps I will race my first kilometers at Paris-Nice or Tirreno-Adriatico."
     

  • Rapha Condor on the attack in Tour of Britain

    Kristian House (Rapha Condor)
    Article published:
    September 21, 2013, 12:16 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    House lays foundations for break on stage 6

    Kristian House (Rapha Condor) went on the attack on stage 6 of the Tour of Britain, infiltrating the day’s main break on the stage to Haytor. House joined up with Angel Madrazo (Movistar), Martin Velits (Omega Pharma-QuickStep), Liam Holohan (Madison Genesis), and Ian Wilkinson (UK Youth).

    The group established a lead of over three minutes but with the Team Sky controlling the race, and with only one stage left to the non-sprinters in the race, the break were never afforded too much room.

    House, who had been in a break on stage 2 of the race, was dropped from the lead group on the penultimate climb.

    “The race has been pretty controlled, and no breaks have made it yet. But you’ve got to keep trying, and at the end of the day if I’m in the front it is taking the pressure off Rich and the boys in the bunch. Besides, you never know when it will stick, and we need to be there for that when and if it does, he said.

    Rapha’s GC hopes rested with Richard Handley. The British rider was well placed in the main field as they tackled the final ascent, a 6km climb to Haytor. Handley was dropped however as the likes of Daniel Martin and Nairo Quintana launched attacks off the front.

    The stage was eventually won by Simon Yates, while Handley sits in 16th place overall, 3:09 down on race leader Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky).

    The race continues tomorrow with a stage around Surrey before heading to London on Sunday for the final stage.

  • No regrets from Cromwell after Toscana dispute

    Tiffany Cromwell (AIS Australia Women’s Cycling)
    Article published:
    September 21, 2013, 13:27 BST
    By:
    Daniel Benson

    Stands by decision to protest

    Tiffany Cromwell (AIS) has reiterated the stance held by the majority of the women’s teams competing in last week’s Giro della Toscana internazionale Femminile. The race saw only 49 finishers complete the last stage after 63, including Cromwell’s Orica-AIS team pulled out due to security and safety concerns.

    Race leader Marianne Vos, and Italians Elisa Longo-Borghini and Giorgia Bronzini led the protest, saying that the “necessary conditions of security” were lacking. Only the leading group had police accompaniment, with the peloton forced to find its own way through the traffic.

    “It’s the third year I’ve done the race but this year has been the worst. I was in the front group most days but the second you weren’t in the front group there was open traffic everywhere. There was traffic when warming up for the time trial and then on the first stage there were cars on the side of the roads that they’d just moved over,” Cromwell told Cyclingnews.

    “The worst was on the next stage when we were coming around corners and there was a bus that we had to avoid just as we were coming around a corner. Nobody wanted to not start the race, but it was the only way to make a stand to say you can’t run the race like this.”

    After the riders had made their protest, race patron Brunello Fanini issued a statement saying, “the race was fine. The protest is disgraceful and self-serving. The jury has spoken of a valid stage with no problems. The losers today are the so-called big names in cycling and women's racing in general.”

    However Cromwell, who will compete in this week’s World Championships in Italy, stood by the majority’s decision not to race, and pointed towards a growing, more vocal stand taken by the women’s field.

    ...
  • Garmin-Sharp banking on experience for success at the world TTT championship

    Team Garmin-Sharp time trials
    Article published:
    September 21, 2013, 14:36 BST
    By:
    Stephen Farrand

    Millar: It's going to hurt like hell

    Garmin-Sharp has selected a mix of talented youth and experienced veterans for the team time trial world championships in Tuscany, with David Millar, Tyler Farrar, Dave Zabriskie and Christian Vande Velde providing the experience and power, while Rohan Dennis and Andrew Talansky add the youthful enthusiasm and huge talent to the six-rider squad.

    The American squad has prepared less than the likes of BMC and 2012 winners Omega Pharma-Quick Step but has years of experience and success in team time trials and won the Tour de France team time trial in 2011. 

    David Millar predicted the 57km world championship TTT will be 60 minutes of pain due to the sheer speed and power that the riders will need to produce to have a chance of taking the world title or even to finish on the podium.

    "It's going to hurt like hell because there's nowhere to hide out there," the Briton told Cyclingnews after riding the course with his teammates during the closed-road practice session on Saturday.

    "It's a very straight forward course, it's not technical, which is a good thing. The roads are pretty fast too, making it fast. It's pretty simplistic: it's a power course. There's no pace changing or no real technical sections, apart fro the final three kilometres in the centre of Florence."

    Team time trial specialists

    Garmin-Sharp has selected their line-up from riders who competed at the USA Procycling Challenge in Colorado and at the Tour of Alberta in Canada.

    Dennis won the general classification on Canada, while Talansky was second in the time trial stage in Colorado. Zabriskie has raced little this year and fractured his collarbone while warming up for the time...

  • Specialized-lululemon primed for world title defense

    Specialized-lululemon in the TTT
    Article published:
    September 21, 2013, 15:55 BST
    By:
    Laura Weislo

    Stevens, Van Dijk lead powerhouse squad in team time trial

    The Specialized-lululemon women will toe the line in Sunday's team time trial world championship as the outright favorites for a repeat victory, but even as the team undefeated in the discipline this season, the riders are leaving nothing to chance. The team has been together in Tuscany for more than a week, and had their first official preview of the course, along with the rest of the men's and women's TTT fields on a closed course Saturday morning.

    American Evelyn Stevens is part of the returning core group which took home the title in Valkenburg last year, together with Ellen van Dijk and Trixi Worrack, and they are joined by Lisa Brennauer, Katie Colclough and Carmen Small. The sextet have an advantage of having raced the past three team time trials together in the Open de Suède Vargarda TTT, the Holland Ladies Tour and the Lotto-Belisol tour, emerging victorious each time.

    Although the team has looked at the course previously, Stevens said it was nice to see it with the roads closed during the pre-arranged team practice.

    "We went a nice speed and did a few efforts, and then tried to take some of the corners at speed, but nothing too crazy," Stevens said, adding that most of the preparation came before their arrival. "We made sure to do every team time trial that there was. Racing is the best way to prepare for this event. You can train it, but it's important to go full gas, and it's hard to do that unless the roads are closed in a race."

    With just one event for UCI trade teams at the world championships, the team time trial is the most important race of the year for the women, and their sole opportunity to get important television time for their sponsors. For that reason, Stevens expects that the competition will be more fierce than any other race.

    ...