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Second Edition Cycling News, Thursday, June 27, 2013

Date published:
June 27, 2013, 1:00 BST
  • Five key stages of the 2013 Tour de France

    Chris Froome (Sky) in yellow at the Criterium du Dauphine.
    Article published:
    June 27, 2013, 14:03 BST
    Barry Ryan

    Breaking down the route of La Grande Boucle

    The opening week, from Corsica to Albi.

    For the overall contenders, the first key stage of the 2013 Tour de France is seven days long. The opening week is always a nervous affair, with 198 fresh riders battling for space on narrow roads, but for the overall contenders, it is usually a question of simply avoiding crashes before the real hostilities begin in the mountains. This time around, however, there are more potential pitfalls than usual in the opening week and a handful of openings to steal some time early on for riders with a dash of invention.

    The Tour’s rugged start in Corsica instantly gives a rather different feel to the opening week. The peloton faces a pair of second category climbs as early as stage 2 to Ajaccio and the following day’s sinuous stage to Calvi will be very difficult for any one team to control. There is scarcely a metre of flat as it winds along the coast and the drop from the Col de Marsolino to the finish gives escapees a fighting chance of staying clear.

    The stage 4 team time trial back on the mainland in Nice ought to restore some order to proceedings, but if the mistral picks up on stage 6 to Montpellier, the peloton could be split to pieces, as was the case on the road to nearby La Grande-Motte four years ago. With every directeur sportif bellowing in his riders’ earpieces to hit the front every time there is a change in direction (and there are plenty on the 176km stage), there is also a high risk of crashes regardless of the wind, and positioning will be absolutely crucial for the overall contenders. A sticky day of moyenne montagne to Albi follows ahead of the race’s entry into the Pyrenees.

    On the evidence of the Dauphiné, Sky will be expected to dictate terms in...

  • Vaughters believes Garmin-Sharp can create chaos at Tour de France

    Jonathan Vaughters (Garmin-Sharp)
    Article published:
    June 27, 2013, 15:04 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    Martin, Talansky and Hesjedal lead overall challenge

    Jonathan Vaughters introduced his Garmin-Sharp Tour de France line-up as “a group of guys that together can create chaos,” confident that they can take on Team Sky, BMC and Saxo-Tinkoff in the fight for success in the mountains and perhaps even overall success.

    Sitting between Rohan Dennis, Dan Martin, Ryder Hesjedal, David Millar and Andrew Talansky in their hotel, Vaughters and his riders revealed their goals, their hopes and their ambitions for the 2013 Tour de France.

    Garmin-Sharp was the last team to name its final line-up of riders for the Tour de France, revealing the names as the riders were already on the way to Corsica. Vaughters left out sprinter Tyler Farrar and the likes of Johan Vansummeren, opting for a band of climbers and overall contenders, a blend of youth and experience that could also target the team time trial stage in Nice on Tuesday.

    "Last year I had a lot of hesitation when I made the final Tour de France selection and let a lot of information into the equation. I didn't go with my gut. And even if David Millar won a great stage, we didn’t have a great Tour de France," he said.

    "This year I went with my gut and it was a hard, hard choice to get it down to the final team. But I went with instinct and with what has been our formula for success for the last eight or nine months of racing. We've won the USA Pro Cycling Challenge, Catalunya and Liège-Bastogne-Liège. In all of those races we won it on the basis of strength of the whole team. Of course one rider closed the deal, but each time we played an aggressive strategy and there were three, four or even five guys on the team could have won the race and then one did."

    "That's our strength and we’re going in with the same open...

  • Dutch team finalised for the 2013 Road World Championships

    Marianne Vos (Rabo Women) celebrates her win ahead of Emma Johansson (Orica - AIS)
    Article published:
    June 27, 2013, 15:50 BST
    Cycling News

    Vos heads women's line-up

    The Dutch Cycling Federation (KNWU) has announced its squad for the 2013 UCI Road World Championships in Florence, Italy, three months out from the competition.

    In late May, new coach Johan Lammerts said that he wanted to establish a core group to prepare for the races in both 2013 and 2014, announcing a long list of riders.

    Those names selected this week, are assured with Lammerts saying that the World Championships can now be figured into the rider's training programs.

    The selective parcours with more than 3000m of climbing, as much as in a mountain stage at the Giro d'Italia or the Tour de France has resulted in a Dutch team well-suited to a tough terrain.

    Defending World Champion Marianne Vos heads the women's team with Le Samyn des Dames and Gracia - Orlova overall winner Ellen van Dijk in support along with Annemiek van Vleuten, Lucinda Brand and Les Gunnewijk. Van Dijk, current national champion in the time trial and Gunnewijk will line up in the race against the clock.

    Four riders from Team Belkin line up in the men's road race with Bauke Mollema, Robert Gesink, Wilco Kelderman, Laurens ten Dam all selected along with Pieter Weening. Lieuwe Westra and Niki Terpstra have been selected in the time trial.

    The total distance during the 11 circuits around Florence in the Elite men's race add up to 58.650km of climbing or 30% of the distance covered on the circuit.

    The road race championships will be held between September 21-29, with the team time trials for men and women opening the week of racing.

  • Sieberg: When it works we’re hard to beat

    Marcel Sieberg speaks to Cyclingnews HD
    Article published:
    June 27, 2013, 16:00 BST
    Sadhbh O'Shea

    André Greipel’s lead-out man talks to Cyclingnews HD ahead of Tour

    In cycling, a leader is often nothing without his team. This may become apparent in the impending sprint battle on the opening day of the Tour de France, where Lotto-Belisol’s André Greipel will be putting his hopes into the hands of Marcel Sieberg and his seven other teammates.

    Sieberg helped Greipel to the German national title last weekend and will hope to do the same again on Saturday. He spoke exclusively to Cyclingnews HD about sticking with Lotto and the team’s Tour ambitions.

    CN HD: You recently re-signed with Lotto for two years. What was the reason behind that?

    Marcel Sieberg: “I am happy with the team and I really like to ride for Lotto. I can ride the Tour, which is something I didn’t have at HTC, because Cavendish had some riders around him, and also I like the atmosphere in Belgium. We have a nice group around, we are like a big family. It’s nice to work there.”

    CN HD: The Tour is almost here, how much focus is on the opening stage and a shot at yellow?

    Sieberg: “I think every team, with a sprinter, wants to win the first stage. For us it is really important and also for André, but there are a lot of stages. It would be nice to win the first one, but if we win some other stages then it would be great.”

    CN HD: Will the focus be more on stage victories over the green jersey?

    Sieberg: “We’ll see, I think the green jersey is always stressful. The rules have changed as well and you have to win points during the stage. We tried it two years ago but it was pretty difficult, because we have Jurgen [van den Broeck] for the GC. We said that maybe we just go for the stages, but you never know. André is also very good on the climbs. We will see, but first we have to win a stage.”

    CN HD: Do you...

  • Scott launch lighter Addict and new Solace road bikes

    The Scott Addict-SL boasts a sub-1kg frame and fork
    Article published:
    June 27, 2013, 16:04 BST
    Jeff Jones,

    Sub-1kg frame and fork for top-end Addict

    This article was first published on

    Scott have released the lightest version yet of their Addict road racing bike, alongside a new range of sportive-oriented bikes called Solace. Pricing and availability are to be confirmed.

    The Scott Addict-SL, which we spotted at the Tour of Flanders earlier this year, has a claimed weight of under 1kg for the frame and fork, with complete bikes being spec'd with SRAM Red 22, Ritchey WCS carbon parts and Syncros RL1.0 carbon wheels.

    The Addict will also be available as a Team Issue (790g frame/300g fork kitted with Shimano Dura-Ace and Syncros RL1.1 wheels), Addict 10 (890g frame/360g fork with Shimano Ultegra 11-speed) and Addict 20 (860g frame/360g fork with Shimano Ultegra 10-speed).

    The Scott Solace range is aimed at sportive and gran fondo riders, with four models available – the Premium (890g frame/330g fork with Shimano Dura-Ace Di2), the 10 (Shimano Dura-Ace mechanical), 20 (Shimano Ultegra 11-speed) and 30 (Shimano 105).

  • Langeveld to Sky?

    Sebastian Langeveld (Orica-GreenEdge)
    Article published:
    June 27, 2013, 16:16 BST
    José Been

    Poels on the radar of Belkin, Argos-Shimano

    Sebastian Langeveld might trade Orica-Greenedge’s colours for the black and blue of Team Sky. That is what Dutch news paper AD reports. The 28-year old Dutchman signed a two-year deal with the Australian team in 2012 after he spent five seasons at Rabobank.

    Cyclingnews understands that Langeveld asked for reinforcements within Orica-Greenedge for the spring campaign this year. It is still unsure if the Australian outfit is willing to strengthen the team for the Spring Classics.

    The 2011 Omloop het Nieuwsblad-winner saw his 2012 spring season end on the pavement of the Tour of Flanders. He crashed in the feed zone and suffered a broken collarbone. In 2013 Langeveld was more succesful with top ten results in Paris-Roubaix, E3-Prijs and the Tour of Flanders.

    Poels on the market

    Wout Poels is reportedly being courted by Belkin and Argos-Shimano, according to the Telegraaf. The 25-year old climber is currently part of Vacansoleil-DCM but his contract ends after this season. The Dutch team is still left without a new sponsor after both Vacansoleil and DCM decided not to renew their partnership with the team.

    In the 2012 Tour de France, Poels crashed heavily in the 6th stage to Metz. He suffered a damaged kidney, torn spleen, bruised lungs and three broken ribs. He is now back in France with his team Vacansoleil-DCM. The riders and the team agreed that they would not sign with other teams untill the finish of the Tour the France. If manager Daan Luijkx hasn’t secured a sponsor by then, the riders are free to talk to other teams.

  • Cavendish: Wearing the yellow jersey would be beautiful

    Tony Martin, Mark Cavendish and Sylvain Chavanel (Omega Pharma - Quick Step)
    Article published:
    June 27, 2013, 16:17 BST
    Peter Cossins

    British champion says the green jersey is “a clear target”

    Sitting alongside all eight of his team-mates in the Tour de France conference room on the good ship Mega Smeralda, Mark Cavendish admitted Saturday’s first stage of the Tour de France will be special for him because the yellow jersey is at stake, but said the prospect didn’t put any more pressure on him as the favourite to win it.

    “At the Tour de France, whether it’s for the yellow jersey or not, a sprint stage is something we’ve got to go for. We’ve got to be 100 per cent motivated. You can’t put any more pressure on yourself because the yellow jersey is at stake because a sprint stage of the Tour de France is a big thing in itself. It’ll be nice to have but we’ll do our best and see what happens,” said the Manxman.

    He added that he didn’t think the fact the race starts with what is likely to be a sprint stage will change its dynamic too much. “It’ll be the same as those recent editions that had the punchy hills at the finish. A small break will go and the teams that want to win the stage will control it.”

    Cavendish said one of his biggest concerns going into the opening stage will be the added difficulty created by Corsica’s tight and twisting roads. “In truth, I think it will be quite dangerous,” he revealed. “I think it will be more dangerous than it would have been if these stages had been later in the race. The peloton’s always nervous at the start of the Tour and there are always a few crashes. But I think there could be more on the narrow roads when everybody’s fresh and going for it. I hope everybody stays safe, but there will be a lot of teams pressing.”

    He also acknowledged that if he does win the opening stage and take the yellow jersey, his spell in it is likely to be brief....

  • Tour de France: Froome says he's in super condition

    Chris Froome (Team Sky)
    Article published:
    June 27, 2013, 18:15 BST
    Peter Cossins

    Sky leader believes there are seven or eight potential winners

    Chris Froome got a first taste of what the status of Tour de France favourite brings with it when he attracted the biggest attendance of the day to the conference room on the Tour’s floating home in Porto Vecchio bay. Sitting alongside his teammates and Team Sky principal Dave Brailsford, Froome confessed, “I don’t think there’s much you can do to be ready for this amount of hype. It’s really different to any other races we’ve got on the calendar. It’s a bit of a surprise to see it.”

    The Kenyan-born Brit described himself as being “in super condition. I feel ready and I feel I’ve got a strong team around me. I’m just looking forward to getting into the race now.”

    He refused to be drawn on his rivals for the yellow jersey, simply stating: “There are a lot of very capable GC riders in this year’s Tour de France. I’m not going to name them because I’m sure to miss one out, but I’d say there are close to seven or eight guys who stand out as potential winners.”

    However, he did acknowledge the difficulty of the opening three days of the race in Corsica. “One of the objectives for this race will be about limiting losses on the less decisive stages and then we can look at the rest of the race from there. That’s definitely the objective here in Corsica,” said Froome, whose run of race-winning success this season began on the island at the Criterium International in March.

    His training partner and right-hand man, Richie Porte, offered further insight into the Corsican stages, and particularly the one to Calvi on day three. “We looked at it just after the Criterium International. We were a little bit shocked at just how...