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Second Edition Cycling News, Thursday, February 20, 2014

Date published:
February 20, 2014, 0:00 GMT
  • Four more weeks for Cycling Australia's interim CEO Adrian Anderson

    Cycling Australia president Gerry Ryan
    Article published:
    February 20, 2014, 0:40 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Gerry Ryan confirms non-permanent role

    Having taken up the role in November, the interim CEO of Cycling Australia (CA), Adrian Anderson was due to step down last Friday but will now stay in the role for another four weeks. CA president Gerry Ryan confirmed that Anderson's role was not permanent.

    "He has other things that's on the agenda for himself," Ryan said. "So we will be advertising for a CEO - mind you, there have been plenty of applicants already."

    Anderson was appointed CEO by Ryan when he became the CA president replacing Klaus Muller. CA will hold their first board meeting on Friday, which will be the first since the duo joined the national cycling body.

    CA has struggled with financial and governance issues and the appointment of Anderson was seen to improve the situation of the cycling organisation.

    "He's certainly been able to get in there and sort out a lot of issues out, putting us on more solid ground," Ryan said of Anderson.

    "There's still some unfinished business, tidying things up, so he's decided to stay on for an extra month to help us out."

  • Video: Michael Matthews building for Milan-San Remo

    Michael Matthews (Orica-GreenEdge) claimed the final stage of the 2013 Vuelta a Espana
    Article published:
    February 20, 2014, 0:59 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Aiming for debut Tour de France start in Yorkshire

    Michael Matthews started his season racing in Australia helping Simon Gerrans claim a record breaking third overall Tour Down Under victory and sat down with Cyclingnews in Majorca to talk about his upcoming season.

    Matthews's goal for the early part of the season is Milan-Sanremo and is career objective to have La classica di Primavera on his palmarès. After the Classics, Matthews will focus on making his debut at the Tour de France.

    In his debut grand tour appearance at last year's Vuelta a España, Matthews won two stages including the final day into Madrid. He also wore the sprinters green jersey on stages 6 and 7.

    The 2010 U23 world champion has earmarked Tirreno-Adriatico for "a good hit out" and will be looking to "get some good results" in the Italian race. The preseason has been good for Matthews with hard training and consistency which are two factors he highlighted that have helped build his base for racing in 2014.

    While riders are the ones usually lauded with plaudits, Matthews told Cyclingnews about how the whole team working together including the staff, directors and everyone behind the scenes that contributes to the success of Orica-GreenEdge.

     To subscribe to the Cyclingnews video channel, click here.

  • BMC sending quality team to Haut Var

    The BMC team protecting Evans
    Article published:
    February 20, 2014, 2:40 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Evans and Hushovd joined by new recruit Sánchez

    BMC will enter the Tour du Haut Var this Saturday and Sunday with a pair of former world road champions, Cadel Evans and Thor Hushovd, while new signing and ex- Olympic road race champion Samuel Sánchez makes his debut for the team.

    Sánchez has participated once in Haut Var before, in 2003, and says he is ready to test himself. "I am looking forward to finding my race rhythm and to joining the team in competition," he said. "I think we will be very strong with Cadel and Thor. I expect to be able to adapt myself to the squad fairly quickly and to be able to enjoy the help of my teammates."

    Evans is making his debut at the race as his season program is altered from previous years as he targets the Giro d’Italia and not the Tour de France. Runner-up at the Australian national road championships, a convincing stage win and second overall at the Tour Down Under have provided a good start to the season but Evans is after more wins.

    "Second places are not always as rewarding as they should be," Evans said. "But overall, they are good indications that things are returning to normal for me. That bodes well for the year ahead. I have had a good period of training since Tour Down Under here in Switzerland."

    BMC Racing Team Sport Director Yvon Ledanois for the race said the team has a number of options for success. "We have a good team with two or three riders who can win stages, especially Thor on the first day," he said. "The second day will be a good test for Cadel before Tirreno-Adriatico."

    BMC Racing Team Tour du Haut Var: Brent Bookwalter, Cadel Evans, Thor Hushovd, Amaël Moinard, Steve Morabito, Manuel Quinziato, Samuel...

  • Drapac looking to claim top prize at Oceanias

    Jack Anderson now wears the Sprint jersey
    Article published:
    February 20, 2014, 3:40 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    14-man squad for three-day event

    With the 2014 Zarraffa's Oceania Road Championships kicking off in Toowoomba, Queensland on Friday, February 21 until Sunday February 23, Drapac have signalled their intent by sending along a strong 14-man team. Directeur Sportif, Henk Vogels believes that Drapac is set for a big performance, particularly in the Elite Men's Road Race on Sunday after impressing over the Australian summer of racing.

    "We really want to go up there and win the race. We've got the weight in numbers and we've got some strong guys that are chomping at the bit to get up the road," Vogels said.

    "It is a numbers game and we'll hopefully make sure that we have the most amount of guys up the road and if not we've got a very fast sprinter in Jonathan Cantwell sitting back."

    On Wednesday last week, reigning Australian Under-23 Individual Time Trial Champion Jordan Kerby fractured his collarbone in a training accident which required surgery and has ruled him out of the Championships.

    The silver medallist in last year’s road race and new signing, Jack Anderson has completed extensive reconnaissance of the Toowoomba course and is relishing the opportunity of racing says on the "hard" parcours.

    "It's not a climbing course and it's not a flat course – it's fair and very open to anyone," Anderson said.

    "It's not particularly hard when you look at the elevation gain and loss over the course but it's just up and down all day. There's no real respite. It will be hot and windy and dry and a hard man's day even though it's still only quite short at about 140km."

    Anderson will also compete in the time trial and explained that off the back of his eighth placing in the discipline at the Australian national championships last...

  • Luke Durbridge hunting time trial win at Oceanias

    Australian national champion Luke Durbridge (Orica-GreenEdge)
    Article published:
    February 20, 2014, 5:21 GMT
    By:
    Zeb Woodpower

    Australian eager to return to top step of the podium

    Having narrowly missed out on a third consecutive national Australian time trial victory in January, Luke Durbridge (Orica-Greenedge) is looking to end his disappointment with victory in the Oceania Championships' time trial.

    Having started his season in early-January at the Mitchelton Bay Cycling Classic, Durbridge was next seen at that Australian nationals and then the Tour Down Under (TDU) where he helped Simon Gerrans to overall victory. Having enjoyed a small break, Durbridge is hoping to claim the race against the clock before he steps onto a plane for Europe where he'll be based for the rest of the season.

    "I was a little tired after the Tour Down Under but I've had a bit of a break after that and then I've built back up quite well so I'm looking forward to seeing where my form is at," Durbridge told Cyclingnews.

    "I haven't done anything necessarily to test where it is so I'll have to wait and see where it is tomorrow. I'm feeling quite good and confident about tomorrow."

    The roads around Toowoomba are to Durbridge's favour and the West Australian is quietly confident in chance of victory up against a strong field.

    "The course is quite good, it's one that will suite me. They're going to be quite hard and dead roads on the way to the turnaround then on the way back it's going to be pretty fast with a tailwind.

    While several teams will have multiple entrants, Durbridge is the sole GreenEdge rider for the race. "Obviously Drapac have a few guys, Will Clarke, Jack Anderson, Travis Meyer, they'll do quite well. Also you've got guys like Joe Cooper and Ben Dyball [

  • Video: Swift targets stage wins in 2014

    Ben Swift (Sky) was second on the day
    Article published:
    February 20, 2014, 10:00 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Sky rider picks out Tour de Suisse

    After a disappointing season that was unctuated with crashes and injuries, Ben Swift (Team Sky) is hoping to have a more consistent and successful season in 2014.

    Having kicked off his season at the Mallorca Challenge last week, Swift will shift emphasis and focus this spring, forgoing the one day Classics programme at Sky and instead dial his efforts towards a number of week-long stage races.

    The 26-year-old, who admits he has little chance in the bunch gallops against the likes of Mark Cavendish, Andre Greipel and Marcel Kittel, has had success in week-long races before.

    His most succssesfil season came in 2011 when he won two stages in the Tour Down Under, followed by a stage apiece in Castilla y Leon, the Tour of Romandie and the Tour of California.

    In this exclusive interview with Cyclingnews, Swift talks about his goals for 2014, picking out a stage win in the Tour de Suisse as another major objective, before concluding that he will return to the track in the future.

    To subscribe to the Cyclingnews video channel, click here.

     

  • Modolo unconcerned by uncertainty over Milan-San Remo

    The strong start to 2014 continues for Sacha Modolo (Lampre-Merida) as he wins stage 1 at Volta ao Algarve
    Article published:
    February 20, 2014, 10:37 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Italian sprinter was preparing for Pompeiana

    Sacha Modolo (Lampre-Merida) is confident that he will be ready for Milan-San Remo regardless of whether the new climb of the Pompeiana ultimately features on the parcours on March 23.

    Last week, the province of Imperia announced that the descent following the Pompeiana is currently closed due to a landslide and that the road will not be repaired in time for Milan-San Remo. Organiser RCS Sport is monitoring the situation, although a return to the classic route seems very possible.

    The planned addition of the Pompeiana to the finale of the 2014 edition of the race was supposed to make the race too difficult for most sprinters, but unlike Mark Cavendish and André Greipel, the on-form Modolo was undeterred by the prospect and had tailored his early-season around La Classicissima.

    "They're talking about it a lot but I'm not letting it affect me. It makes no difference," Modolo told Gazzetta dello Sport of the Pompeiana. "It was planned to be there and I'm working to get to March 23 in top condition and capable of staying up there on the climbs."

    Modolo finished in a surprise 4th place at Milan-San Remo in 2010, his debut season as a professional, and he believes that the great difficulty of the race lies in its distance rather than its climbs, new or existing.

    "The difficulty of the race depends on how we approach it. And it's still 300 kilometres long. The selection is natural," Modolo said. "And if I keep going like this…"

    Modolo claimed his fourth victory of the season on the...

  • Vos to ride Women's Tour

    World champion Marianne Vos (Rabo) rides to the win
    Article published:
    February 20, 2014, 11:35 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    World Champion will return to Britain for first time since 2012

    Marianne Vos will return to Great Britain for the first time since winning her Olympic gold in 2012, when she ride the inaugural Women’s Tour, in May.

    Vos beat home favourite Lizzie Armitstead on a rainy Mall in London, to take her first Olympic title on the road. The pair are expected to face-off once again when the race begins on May 7.

    "It's great that we get a big new stage race on our calendar with The Women's Tour,” the reigning world champion said on the race’s website. “The times that I've raced in Great Britain - with of course the London Olympic Games fresh in my mind - I have been amazed by the huge crowds and the enthusiastic people. I'm sure it will be a fantastic event and I'm looking forward to competing here with the best riders from all over the World."

    With the penultimate week of the World Cup series going on at the Tour of Chongming Island there is a risk that some riders will opt to head out in China. Having Vos on the start line will be a big boost for the race, which is hoping to match the recent successes of the men’s Tour of Britain.

    Armitstead’s Boels-Dolmans team is also likely to make an appearance, which could include current time trial world champion Ellen van Dijk. Wiggle Honda, the home of two-time world champion Georgia Bronzini, also has a strong British contingent, including track star Laura Trott, could also be there on the start line.

    The Women’s Tour is the first UCI ranked stage race for woman in Britain. Organisers SweetSpot announced last year that it would give the women’s race the same treatment as the men’s, including television time and prize money. The race managed to secure the ranking 2.1, the highest outside of the world cup, meaning it can invite...