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Second Edition Cycling News, Thursday, May 2, 2013

Date published:
May 02, 2013, 1:00 BST
  • Cyclingnews presents the first sponsorship report on professional cycling

    2012 Tour de France champion Bradley Wiggins (Sky) with the winner's trophy.
    Article published:
    May 02, 2013, 9:48 BST
    By:
    Stephen Farrand

    Repucom data reveals the value of sponsorship

    Cyclingnews has teamed up with sponsorship evaluation specialists Repucom to analyse the value of commercial sponsorship in professional cycling.

    The 20-page report contains analysis and info graphics that detail the importance and impact of sponsorship for the leading teams and races in the sport.

    The report reveals that the average media exposure per UCI WorldTour team is $88.4 million, representing significant returns for sponsors in pro cycling. With television coverage of professional cycling increasing as the sport captures new markets, total TV media exposure delivered is estimated to be worth $2.1 billion.

    The Tour de France dominates the commercial value of cycling, accounting for nearly four fifths of many WorldTour team's annual exposure.

    Team Sky’s success last year at the Tour de France generated over $550m of equivalent advertising value to its sponsors, over four times that of its nearest competitor.

    The full report can be downloaded here.

    The road ahead

    Despite years of doping scandals and the impact of the global economic crisis, the value of professional cycling sponsorship remains strong. Few sports can offer the drama, return on investment and the close connection between a huge global participant base and the elite end of the sport. Our research shows fans of cycling are more engaged with brands in sport than other sporting audiences.

    Professional cycling is now a global sport but national sponsors still dominate sponsorship. Those multi-national sponsors investing in professional cycling have benefited but great opportunities exist for multi-national brands...

  • Giro d'Italia 2013: Alex Dowsett ready for Grand Tour debut

    Alex Dowsett
    Article published:
    May 02, 2013, 11:00 BST
    By:
    Daniel Simms

    British time trial champion heads to Italy

    Alex Dowsett (Team Movistar) is set to make his Grand Tour debut on Saturday when he starts the 2013 Giro d’Italia in Naples.

    The 24-year-old Briton is aware of the daunting prospect of competing in one of the hardest races in the calendar but has set himself a number of challenges, with the ultimate goal of completing the race.

    “It’s just 21 days of racing. I’ve tried to avoid looking at the route though to be honest. That’s purely because I know it’s going to be the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I’ve been working hard and I’ll take it day by day. Tirreno-Adriatico gave me a lot of confidence but riding for those second and third weeks, that’s an unknown experience for me. It’s mad to think that it takes up almost all of May. I’m having to write off May from my social calendar for the year and it’s something I’ve never done before,” he told Cyclingnews from his home in Essex.

    Dowsett has enjoyed a varied racing calendar this year competing in a number of the Belgian spring Classics while also riding Tirreno-Adriatico. He and his Movistar teammates also managed to fit in a team time trial training camp in Spain.

    “The camp went well,” Dowsett said. “We rode around with cars and radios in two groups and it was solid. I didn’t understand anything that was coming down the radio but I never heard my name mentioned so I must have been doing things roughly right.”

    The team time trial in this year’s Giro d'Italia on the island of Ischia will mark Dowsett’s first major test of the race. As the British national time trial champion and one of the more accomplished riders against the clock in the Movistar team, he will be charged with leading the likes of Jose Cobo towards a respectable time.

    “After what we did in Tirreno, I...

  • Giro objectives and mentality different for Urán

    Rigoberto Urán (Sky)
    Article published:
    May 02, 2013, 12:38 BST
    By:
    Peter Cossins

    Colombian goes into the Giro without the pressure of being Sky’s leader

    Seventh and best young rider at last year’s Giro d’Italia, Rigoberto Urán has confirmed he will go into this year’s race with no personal objective at all beyond doing as much work as he can for Sky Pro Cycling team leader Bradley Wiggins. “The objectives and the mentality is different to last year,” the Colombian told Marca. “Wiggins is the leader and I’ve not got that pressure.”

    Urán, who has recently moved to Monaco from his long-time base in the Spanish city of Pamplona, said he has been training hard on the roads around the principality since Liège-Bastogne-Liège. “I am very focused on working on the mountain stages. My preparation has been good and the team will start in good shape. Sergio [Henao], Kosta [Siutsou] and me will be the riders who will have to be with and work for Wiggins in the mountains, especially during the final week, which is really hard,” Urán explained.

    The 26-year-old Colombian admitted he will not pass up the opportunity to take something out of the race himself if it presents itself, but added this was unlikely to happen because his focus is so different this year. “It will be three weeks of hard work. Besides the Giro is… the Giro – it’s a bit of a madman’s race and you always have to be attentive.”

    The Colombian said he completed all of the hardcore preparation for the Giro prior to Liège, and has spent the time since La Doyenne settling down in Monaco and keeping his form at peak level. “I’ve enjoyed the training here because it’s a nice area with lots of climbs and the weather is better than in Italy, and it’s hotter.”

    Urán is one of no fewer than 14 Colombians participating in the Giro, a fact...

  • Garmin-Sharp announces Giro d'Italia team to defend Hesjedal's crown

    A historic day for Canada as Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Sharp) has won the 2012 Giro d'Italia.
    Article published:
    May 02, 2013, 13:25 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Danielson, Millar and Vande Velde set to start

    Garmin-Sharp has announced their Giro d’Italia squad with Ryder Hesjedal returning to defend his 2012 title. The Canadian will be joined by Christian Vande Velde, David Millar, Nathan Haas, Peter Stetina, Ramunas Navardauskas, Robbie Hunter, Thomas Dekker and Tom Danielson.

    “Winning the Giro d’Italia in 2012 was a dream come true and it will be a true honor to pin on the Number 1 bib on Saturday,” said Hesjedal. “My season has been built around the Giro again this year with the goal of defending my title and the whole team is coming into it very focused and extremely motivated. I want to do my best to honor the race, to honor the Number 1 bib, and take it from there, day by day. I know we have a great team to be able to do that, and we will work hard, every day, with our goal in mind."

    Hesjedal won the 2012 race in dramatic fashion, sealing the overall win in the final time trial. This year, with Bradley Wiggins and Vincenzo Nibali both lining up for the start, Garmin have sent one of their strongest squads. Peter Stetina finished 22nd in last year's race and will look to support Hesjedal in the mountains. Both Vande Velde and Danielson, suspended as part of the US Postal investigation carried out by USADA, have both finished in the top ten of the Tour de France. David Millar, Thomas Dekker and Robbie Hunter Navardauskas all have grand tour pedigree.

    “Our team is built around our leader and defending champion, Ryder, and our goal is to do our best race and defend his title,” said Director Charly Wegelius. “We have put together a strong and well-balanced roster, with a focus on climbers to support Ryder in the mountains. The team is very motivated for...

  • Pinarello to unveil Bolide time trial bike at Giro d'Italia

    The Pinarello Bolide time trial bike - the successor to the Graal
    Article published:
    May 02, 2013, 14:24 BST
    By:
    Sam Dansie

    15 percent less drag than Graal predecessor

    This article originally appeared on BikeRadar

    Pinarello will unveil a new time trial bike at the Giro d’Italia: the Bolide which, the Italian manufacturer claims, has a 15 percent drag reduction compared to its forebear, the Graal.

    Team Sky’s Bradley Wiggins will showcase the new machine – also said to be five percent lighter than the Graal – when the Giro visits the island Ischia for the team time trial on Sunday.

    The Bolide has been in development with Pinarello Lab technicians and Team Sky for more than a year, although a number of the features highlighted in the launch release suggest the frame is playing catch up with other manufacturers.

    The Bolide’s uses aeroplane wing-shaped tube sections and a so-called ‘concave back’ on the seat tube to get a closer position of the rear wheel to the frame, a development further assisted by horizontal rear dropouts. Pinarello say the frame design has been aerodynamically optimised for all wind conditions.

    Looking at the photo below, it seems the engineers have opted to keep the air flowing around the frame structure as a whole rather than widening the gap to the wheel to avoid an air dam from the spinning wheel, as a number of other manufacturers do.

    Integration is a key feature of the design. Brakes are sheltered behind leading edges - similar to systems on other bikes such as the BMC Time...

  • Phinney's Giro plan: Suffer less, win stage

    Taylor Phinney (BMC) rolling to the sign on
    Article published:
    May 02, 2013, 15:43 BST
    By:
    Daniel Benson

    American will support BMC team leader Evans

    Last year’s Giro d’Italia was a defining moment in Taylor Phinney’s career as a professional rider, and on the eve of the 2013 edition of the race, the American discussed his aims for this year’s race.

    In 2012, Phinney was seen as a promising young second-year pro. He had claimed world titles on the track [and U23 time trial worlds] and back-to-back wins in the U23 version of Paris-Roubaix while riding for Lance Armstrong’s and Trek’s U23 team. However, the opening 8.7 kilometres of the Giro d'Italia changed everything with Phinney winning the opening test and pulling on the race’s first maglia rosa. The promising road talent became an out-right star.

    “I knew going into last year’s Giro that the time trial could be a defining moment of my early career. I set it out as big goal for the year. I was able to survive the first couple of days in the maglia rosa and then through a lot of suffering made it through the race,” Phinney told Cyclingnews.

    Phinney eventually lost the leader’s jersey in the team time trial, but he’d made his impression on the race. He finished the race, his first Grand Tour, before heading the Olympics and Worlds, pulling out a silver medal in the latter. This year, with no opening time trial, and with a year of experience under his belt, Phinney has different objectives for the Giro.

    “This year, it’s a little less straight forward on the goal side of things with no time trial at the start, but the main thing is to try and suffer less and still get through the race,” he told Cyclingnews.

    Whereas last year BMC lacked a GC contender for the race, they start this year with Cadel Evans. Although the Australian has struggled for form and fitness following a...

  • Gallery: Giro d'Italia pre-race press conference

    It's likely that one of these riders will win the 2013 Giro, but who will it be?
    Article published:
    May 02, 2013, 19:07 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Stars of the Giro peloton gather in Naples

    As the start of the Giro d'Italia rapidly approaches on Saturday, the stars of the Giro d'Italia peloton gathered today in Naples for a pre-race press conference at the Castel dell'Ovo.

    Defending champion Ryder Hesjedal along with fellow general classification contenders Bradley Wiggins, Vincenzo Nibali, Michele Scarponi, Sammy Sanchez, Robert Gesink and Cadel Evans appeared together on stage, all eager to add their name to the Giro trophy as 2013 champion.

    The peloton's fast men such as Mark Cavendish, Matt Goss, Nacer Bouhanni and Elia Viviani fielded questions, too, as well as other likely candidates for Giro stage wins such as Taylor Phinney and Giovanni Visconti.

    Click here to view the press conference gallery.

  • Cavendish takes on Giro d'Italia without Petacchi

    Mark Cavendish will make his first Grand Tour start for Omega Pharma-QuickStep at the Giro
    Article published:
    May 02, 2013, 20:12 BST
    By:
    Barry Ryan

    Manxman is the favourite to triumph in Naples

    Although a late attempt to sign Alessandro Petacchi as his lead-out man was thwarted by UCI regulations, Mark Cavendish has insisted that he is pleased with the composition of his Omega Pharma-QuickStep team for the Giro d'Italia.

    When Petacchi rescinded his contract with Lampre-Merida last week in what he said was a "break" rather than a retirement, Omega Pharma-QuickStep's interest was quickly piqued, particularly given that Cavendish's lead-out train has suffered from repeated glitches through the early season. Cavendish had already made overtures to Petacchi at the tail end of last season, but he was circumspect when asked about the veteran Italian in his pre-Giro press conference in Naples on Thursday.

    "Obviously, it's a big thing to have a big rider in the team, but we've got a strong team for the Giro d'Italia and we're motivated to do well," said Cavendish, who will count on another Italian - Matteo Trentin - as his last man at the Giro. "We've got a mix of riders and they're strong guys. Trentin is back, too, after his scaphoid fracture."

    As Cavendish pointed out, he has rarely had such a successful start to this season, but the sense is that he could have won even more if his squad had been able to pilot him in the manner to which he became accustomed at HTC-Highroad. Scheldeprijs was a case in point, where the ground Cavendish was forced to make up on Marcel Kittel (Argos-Shimano) ultimately proved to be just too much.

    "We've won a lot - I've won seven races so far this year including the overall at the Tour of Qatar, so things have been going great," Cavendish said. "It's been the most successful start to the year I've had. We've won great. Maybe things didn't go well in the end and there are things you can work on,...