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Second Edition Cycling News, Thursday, February 13, 2014

Date published:
February 13, 2014, 0:00 GMT
  • Cannondale have €100,000 worth of equipment stolen

    Ivan Basso lead team two
    Article published:
    February 13, 2014, 10:39 GMT
    Cycling News

    Sagan and Basso's frames among the thefts

    Cannondale Pro Cycling have had bikes worth €100,000 stolen from their base in Sesto al Reghena, Italy.

    According to a report in the Italian newspaper Messaggero Veneto thieves got away with several frames and other bike components. Among them were frames belonging to the team’s leaders Peter Sagan and Ivan Basso.

    Sagan is due to race at the Tour of Oman, which begins on Tuesday 18 February. Cannondale also have a team out at the Tour of Qatar, this week.

    The staff is currently completing an inventory to assess the extent of losses. There is an ongoing investigation into the theft.

    Cyclingnews contacted the team, but received no response.

  • Video: Bradley Wiggins on his Paris-Roubaix and Olympic track dreams

    Bradley Wiggins sets tempo in the peloton for Team Sky
    Article published:
    February 13, 2014, 11:18 GMT
    Cycling News

    Exclusive video with the 2012 Tour de France winner

    It’s all change for Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky) this season as he embarks on a new racing programme that will include Paris-Roubaix. The 2012 Tour de France winner, who has made no secret of his love for arguably cycling’s most prestigious one-day race, told Cyclingnews that he would centre is early season efforts on the race.

    Speaking exclusively to Cyclingnews at the Mallorca Challenge, Wiggins confirmed that he would ride a handful of cobbled one-day races this spring, all with the intention of making a mark on Roubaix in April. It’s a race he’s ridden several times as a professional and, despite never featuring in the finale, he believes that he can possibly contend with the likes of Fabian Cancellara and Tom Boonen.

    “I’ve got a different race plan from what I’m used to in the past,” Wiggins told Cyclingnews.

    “Working back from Roubaix I’ll do a few Classics before that, E3, Wevelgem, and I’m going to do Tirreno for the first time as well.”

    Roubaix is a race that has been dominated by the one day stars in the last 30 years, often with Grand Tour contenders tending to shun the race due to the risks involved and the need to peak early in the season and one has to go back to 1981 and Bernard Hinault to find a Tour winner who has added Roubaix to his palmarès.

    The one-day race isn’t the only event Wiggins has his eye on this season. He also returns to the Tour of California in May, and will be hoping to fine tune his form and make Sky’s cut for the Tour de France in July.

    While Wiggins looks to enrich his already extensive palmarès with more of cycling’s riches, he is also looking ahead, with the Rio Olympics in 2016 a possible venue for his final outing as a...

  • Démare to lead FDJ challenge in Classics

    Arnaud Demare (FDJ) won stage 2 of the Eneco Tour
    Article published:
    February 13, 2014, 12:58 GMT
    Cycling News

    FDJ sprinter insists his best years are well in the future

    While Tom Boonen has been reasserting himself in the sprints at the Tour of Qatar, French galloper Arnaud Démare has been easing his way into what is his first race of a season in which much is expected of him. Winner of 10 races last year, including a stage at the Tour of Switzerland and the inaugural RideLondon Classic. The 22-year-old rider has had a couple of top 10 finishes, but has his sights set on the start of the Classics campaign at the end of this month.

    Démare is set to be one part of FDJ’s three-pronged Classics attack alongside Yoann Offredo and Matthieu Ladagnous – who was set back in Qatar when he suffered a dislocated collarbone. While that pair have more freedom to roam, Démare’s brief will be to watch and wait for sprint opportunities.

    “When I started training again over the winter I was already thinking about the Classics,” Démare tells L’Equipe. I want to be 100% operational for the period between Gent-Wevelgem and Paris-Roubaix. For me, that’s what pro cycling is all about, that’s real cycling. I really want to ride again the top guys in world cycling at Tirreno, Sanremo, the Tour of Flanders, Roubaix…”

    Last year’s 12th place finish at Wevelgem and 24th in Flanders were impressive for a 21-year-old in just his second full season. Looking back, though, Démare believes he could have finished much higher in Flanders. Happy to be in among the group chasing lone leader Fabian Cancellara, he was poorly placed on the final climb and missed the acceleration at the front.

    “I tried to get across but ended up between the two front groups. Even though I was on my own I managed to stay away over the seven...

  • Talansky looks for consistency as leadership role grows

    Andrew Talansky (Garmin-Sharp) in the leader's yellow jersey at Paris-Nice.
    Article published:
    February 13, 2014, 14:40 GMT
    Daniel Benson

    American rider heads to Tirreno and Romandie ahead of Tour de France

    Consistency is the key for Andrew Talansky as he embarks on the start of his 2014 campaign for Garmin-Sharp. The 25-year-old, who finished 10th in his debut Tour de France last year is one of his American team’s leading GC riders and at the Challenge Mallorca this week, spelled out his aim for this season was to consistency contend in stage races.

    “I have another three or four years until we can really see what I can do and each year is a stepping stone to get there. On the way it’s about learning how to be a leader on and off the bike,” he told Cyclingnews.

    Garmin has no lack of experience or leadership. In David Millar they have one of the most experienced riders in the peloton and despite the loss of David Zabriskie and Christian Vande Velde to retirement, the team’s relative young guns in Talansky and Dan Martin have ridden multiple Grand Tours between then.

    The role of leader is one that Talansky believes he can mature into but there’s no rush it seems.

    “They’re designing the team’s hopes around the GC, with myself, Dan Martin and Ryder Hesjedal and they’ve brought in people to do that. It’s fun for me to have Ben King on the team and I think it’s a little younger. We miss guys like Vande Velde and Zabriskie but it’s a good group this year,” he told Cyclingnews.

    “I still speak to Christian. He’s such an experienced person and that’s what we’ll miss. He’s been in pretty much every race and every situation. He’s was a great person to have out on the road.”

    “With leadership you can look at someone like Bradley Wiggins. He doesn’t relish being in the public spotlight or all the...

  • Greipel takes a resounding victory in Tour of Qatar stage

    André Greipel triumphs in the Tour of Qatar stage 5
    Article published:
    February 13, 2014, 16:53 GMT
    Barry Ryan

    German puts anger to good use in his sprint

    As he often reminds reporters, André Greipel prefers to let his legs do the talking, and they certainly provided a forceful statement in Madinat Al Shamal as the Lotto-Belisol man sprinted to a resounding victory on stage 5 of the Tour of Qatar.

    The previous day, Greipel had endured the narrowest of defeats to Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma-QuickStep), losing out by the width of a rim in the sprint, and on hearing the result of the photo finish, the German's first instinct was to murmur a shy apology to his teammates.

    On Thursday, Greipel provided a fuller and more eloquent response to that disappointment by landing a comfortable sprint victory over Aidis Kruopis (Orica-GreenEdge). It was a victory, Greipel admitted, that was born partly out of anger.

    "Maybe I put a little bit of anger into my sprint today, but I think it was a good sprint," Greipel told reporters, his voice scarcely rising above a whisper.

    Indeed, such is Greipel's aversion to making declarations with his mouth rather than his legs that he had very nearly succeeded in slipping away from the podium without speaking to any journalists at all. A six foot frame and a German champion's skinsuit do not make for the most effective camouflage in the desert, however, and a delegation of reporters arrested Greipel as he wheeled his bike towards doping control. With a smile of resignation, he quietly described the day's events, as requested.

    "I think QuickStep wanted to let the breakaway go today so we took the responsibility and tried to set up the sprint. I think the team did a really good job during the whole stage to chase the breakaway down and to keep me out of trouble," he said.

  • Froome will not defend his Critérium International title

    Chris Froome (Sky) took home the final maillot jaune in Criterium International
    Article published:
    February 13, 2014, 18:40 GMT
    Cycling News

    ASO announce 15 teams to take part in two-day race

    Chris Froome will not be defending his Critérium International title, after Sky were not named as one of the teams taking part this year.

    The British team finished first and second in the 2013 edition, with Froome and Richie Porte. Sky rode last year’s race to prepare for the Tour de France, which started in Corsica. However, they chose not to apply for a place in 2014, opting to send Froome to the Volta a Catalunya as he works towards his Tour de France defence.

    Last year’s third place finisher Tejay van Garderen won’t be there either, as BMC also decided not to return to the race. There will still be a strong line-up, with eight WorldTour teams among the 15 invitees (one less than lest year).

    Vincenzo Nibali is expected to headline the race with his Astana team. It will be the Italian’s first appearance at the two-day race. Andy Schleck has also announced his intention to take part, as he continues to try and return to his best form. He will be joined by his brother Frank, riding for the Trek Factory racing team.

    Returning to the race are Tinkoff-Saxo, Giant-Shimano, AG2R-La Mondiale,, Europcar and Garmin-Sharp.

    Pro Continental team NetApp-Endura will make their debut in March. The German outfit is taking part in a number of ASO races this season was awarded a wildcard entry into the Tour de France. They are joined by three other Pro Continental teams: Colombia, IAM Cycling and Cofidis.

    Places have also been awarded to three French Continental teams; Bretagne-Séché Environment, BigMat-Auber 93 and La Pomme Marseille 13.

    The Critérium International takes place between Sunday, March 29 and Monday, March 30. The first day will consist of an 89km road stage in the morning and a 7km time trial in...

  • Cassani: Sagan is favourite at the World Championships

    Davide Cassani at the 1986 Tirreno-Adriatico.
    Article published:
    February 13, 2014, 19:36 GMT
    Cycling News

    Italian national coach rides Ponferrada course

    Newly appointed Italian selector Davide Cassani named the Slovakian Peter Sagan as his favourite for the World Championships.

    Cassani has only been in the job since January, after Paolo Bettini stepped down at the end of last year. While he is keen to get his career as the national coach off to a good start, he admits that there is one very strong contender in the way of that illusive rainbow jersey.

    “For me, Sagan,” Cassani responded instantly, when asked by the website Esciclismo who was the most likely to take the honours in Ponferrada. Although, the former rider said it wouldn’t be easy for Sagan.

    “He has the handicap of not having a strong enough team to control the race in the past, and the adversaries will not be five, but 25. For us, without doubt, that will be an advantage because, between them, I hope there will be several Italians."

    Aside from Sagan, Cassani pipped Spain’s Alejandro Valverde and Belgium’s Philippe Gilbert as potential condenders.

    Despite having some of the world’s best cyclists, Italy have failed to take a medal in the mens road race since 2008, when Alessandro Ballan and Damiano Cunego took the top two positions.

    Last September, Italy only claimed one medal, in all events, at their home world championships in Florence. That came through the efforts of the 19-year-old Rosella Ratto in the women’s road race, when she finished third.

    “I hope that we can do better in September,” says Cassani. “Italy have always had an optimal squad, but since...

  • Video: Gaimon on the transition from the US domestic scene to racing at Garmin

    Phil Gaimon remained in the lead after today's stage
    Article published:
    February 13, 2014, 20:35 GMT
    Daniel Benson

    American makes European debut in Mallorca Challenge

    After a dream start to his career at Garmin Sharp with a stage win and second overall at the Tour de San Luis last month, Philip Gaimon travelled to Europe for his European debut at the Challenge Mallorca.

    The 28-year-old had been one of the highest profile riders on the US domestic season, but until last year, it looked as though his chances of signing for a major WorldTour team were behind him. However, long term admirer, Jonathan Vaughters, signed the Ohio-born rider for the 2014 season.

    It’s a move that instantly paid off with Gaimon winning the opening stage of the Tour de San Luis and picking up the leader’s jersey to boot. Although he relinquished to the jersey to Tour de France star Nairo Quintana, and had to settle for second place overall, it was an impressive result for the American.

    A few weeks on and Gaimon has swamped the warmth of Argentina for the more frigid temperatures on offer at Mallorca.

    The four-day event allows riders to pick and chose their races and with their one and only Garmin training camp hot on the heels of the race, Gaimon was using the race to gain as much experience as possible.

    In this exclusive video interview for Cyclingnews, Gaimon talks about his season debut, the plans for Mallorca and the transition he’s currently experience as he swaps life on the domestic stage in the US for the WorldTour arena in Europe.

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