The 2013 Giro d'Italia has been a taxing affair for Garmin-Sharp's Peter Stetina, but the 25-year-old American has maintained his morale and hopes for a good result in the mountainous finale to come.
"I'm hoping to be able to re-find my climbing legs and take a chance and get something on a stage here," said Stetina.
The third Giro d'Italia of Stetina's career has been rough - replete with allergies, sickness and multiple crashes - but click on the following video to find out more, including his passion for brewing his own beer.
2002 Series winner lends experience to wildcard entry
Russell Van Hout is no stranger to the Subaru Australian National Road Series, but it has been a while. The 2002 Series winner will be back in the saddle for Team Lightsview this week at the Jarvis Subaru Adelaide Tour, the fourth round of the NRS.
"I was actually talking to Willo [GPM Data#3 manager Trent Wilson] about it and he said ‘Yeah it's changed a bit, mate,'" Van Hout recalled for Cyclingnews, the pair good friends and former teammates at Colombia - Selle Italia closing in on a decade ago. In fact, they were riding the Giro d'Italia together. Much has changed, with Van Hout admitting he's been watching "a little bit" of the corsa rosa with it broadcast live back to Australia in the middle of the night.
"It does look fairly professional now with all the teams and the team cars and everything," he continued. "I don't think I'm going to be in any sort of form to win the event but I really want to represent Lightsview and [team manager] Michele Primaro and try and help a couple of the guys on the team.
Van Hout, Australian Road Champion in 2006, the year that Will Walker was first across the line as an under 23, gave full-time racing away some time ago to concentrate on his own plumbing business. However he has been keeping his eye in locally in Adelaide riding in the annual elite criteriums with Lightsview, and doing enough to finish fourth in the state time trial championships earlier this month in the build up to the Adelaide Tour.
The 36-year-old former Tour Down Under stage winner will hopefully play a guidance role for the comparatively inexperienced Lightsview squad in the opening stage
Grand Tour debutant makes himself known in breakaway
Australian road champion Luke Durbridge made himself known to the tifosi and peloton by going in the day-long break on the 214km stage into Vincenza. A gentle nudge from his former Orica GreenEdge teammate turned sports director Julian Dean saw the second-year professional attack from the gun on Stage 17 and after some tussling to break free of the peloton's control it appeared the leading quartet could make it all the way to the finish. Durbridge and co were however, caught on the steeper slopes of final climb up to Crosara.
The grand tour debutant was included in the Giro line-up for a number of reasons; his strength in the race against the clock offered the reigning Australian TT champion a chance to shine but the team time trial around Ischia on Day 2 was also a big reason for the powerful youngster to be given the call.
The team effort didn't deliver the result Orica GreenEdge expected but Durbridge's 6th-place in the 54.8km time trial on Stage 8 suggested the young rider had arrived in Italy with very good condition but making it all the way to Brescia would be another matter. Remaining relatively quite since the TT and enduring the rain, snow and mountains lead Dean to suggest the youngest rider in the team's Giro squad was "travelling better" than what he believed.
"Julian said to me today 'look, I know you are actually travelling better than you think you are so I want you to get out there and give it absolutely everything today because you'll be able to get to the finish with the legs you've got'," said Durbridge shortly after crossing the line 8:09 down on dual-stage winner Giovanni...
Riding a grand tour without eating meat is not unheard of, but Maarten Tjallingii is definitely one of the few who choose a vegetarian diet whilst combating the rigours of the Giro d'Italia.
He's one of the easiest to cook for, according to the Blanco team's chef Jesper Boom who says that the 35-year-old generally just asks that Boom leaves out the meat component in the team's normal dishes and that he'll happily add a little pasta or rice to his meal.
Protein bars are also off the snack list for five-year Rabobank, now Blanco veteren but there's a reason behind his decision to steer clear of certain foods.
"If protein doesn't work for you, leave it out," says the Dutchman. Discover why Tjallingii lives a vegetarian lifestyle in the video below.
Sky American on weather, the mountain time trial and future races
Veteran pro Danny Pate (Sky) is nearing the end of the third Giro d'Italia of his 14-year career and the Colorado Springs, Colorado native has been doing yeoman's work for his team's general classification hopefuls. While Tour champion Bradley Wiggins has quit the race, Sky's Rigoberto Uran currently sits third overall with three stages on his preferred mountainous terrain yet to come this coming Thursday through Saturday.
Speaking to Cyclingnews after the Giro's 17th stage on Wednesday, Pate weighs in on his Giro d'Italia experience this year - a race with seemingly more than its share of inclement weather. The 34-year-old American, a former U23 time trial world champion, also speaks about his approach to Thursday's mountain time trial as well as his race schedule for the remainder of the 2013 season.
Richard Plugge, Blanco team manager, confirmed to De Telegraaf that, as earlier reported, Belkin is currently at the head of the list. “Although we are still in serious talks with other companies,” he said.
"We have serious interest and indeed see the opportunities to increase our brand awareness through cycling and to show what the world we do. It is premature to say that there is an agreement,” a Belkin spokesman told De Telegraaf.
The company is expected to make its decision within 10 days. A quick decision is needed, not only to prepare the team materiel with the new sponsor's name and logo, but also to reassure the riders that the team will continue, and convince them to stay for next season, if not longer.
Personnel changes in 2014?
If Belkin does come on as sponsor, it may want American riders on the team, and Blanco has already started inquiring as to what Americans will be available in the coming year. “But we have also asked about Asian and European riders,” Plugge said.
However, he did confirm that a more international character would probably be more desirable to a non-Dutch sponsor, which means that a number of Dutch riders may have to look for a new team. This year's roster of 29 riders features 19 Dutch men.
At least two Dutch riders are said to have been contacted by other teams. Team Sky is said to be interested in Lars Boom and Orica-GreenEdge in Tom-Jelte Slagter.
Another question that arises is the role of former sponsor Rabobank. The bank had said that it would continue to pay the contracts of 18...
Fredrik Kessiakoff was the surprise winner of the Vuelta a España’s hilly time trial, in 2012. He has been riding the Giro in support of his team-mate Vincenzo Nibali, but the Swedish rider is still hoping for some of his own success on Stage 18. Kessiakoff talks to Cyclingnews HD about the crucial time trial.
CN HD: Will the uphill time trial, on stage 18, be good for you?
Kessiakoff: “I think it could be good for me. The stage the day after is going to make it much harder. If you’re a GC rider then you’re going to have to go all in. Then you have a really hard stage the day after where you’ll have to do the same. It’s going to very interesting. If I’m feeling well, then I’ll definitely go 100%. When I come to a time trial I don’t think too much, I just go in and do the best I can. On a good day it would not be too bad for me.”
CN HD: Will you be thinking at all about the next day?
Kessiakoff: “To be honest, I need to see how I am when I get there. Compared to the Vuelta, it comes a lot later in the race. I’m expecting to be a lot more fatigued. In the Vuelta I had a freer role. I didn’t have to work like I have to at the Giro. I might have to decide to not go all in. At the moment, I will have a go and I’ll be relaxed about it and see how it goes. It looks to me like it’s going to be an honest race. There’s no hiding, it’s not about who’s been in the aero tunnel the most. There will be no time for recovery here, it’s all about power for the whole time.”
CN HD: What sort of bike will be best suited to this?
Kessiakoff: “Without having seen the course I think the absolute best would be to use a lighter version of a time trial...
Cyclingnews has gathered a wide range of opinions to Pat McQuaid's opinion piece following the publication of the stakeholder consultation recommendations.
These included staunch anti-doping campaigner and journalist Paul Kimmage, professional rider David Millar, who confessed to doping early in his career and is now on a member of the WADA athlete committee, Luuc Eisenga -the managing director of the AIGCP teams association, female riders Helen Eyman and Chloe Hosking, and Steve Beckett, representing Repucom -the leading sports marketing research company.
Paul Kimmage, former rider, journalist and the author of the book 'Rough Ride'
McQuaid has spent the last eight years at the helm of this sport. The only thing that interests me with his signature on it is his resignation.
David Millar (Garmin-Sharp): A voice from the men’s professional peloton
Pat McQuaid’s article seems a little mixed in that it’s a personal voice, not a UCI voice and perhaps a Pat McQuaid presidential voice. It’s almost a pitch with regards to future candidacy, which I’m not sure is appropriate at this time.
I did fill in the stakeholders questionnaire and it was good, and even I was aware going through it that there were a lot of good things that the UCI have done. I think we’re aware of that, and that’s not the concern, but I think what is important is what has been raised here. This gives me confidence that the report shows the genuine concerns that the stakeholders have.
Now I think what does concern me slightly is when it says, “The Deloitte report will be presented to the UCI Management Committee when it meets next month in Bergen, after which the committee’s decisions on which recommendations to take up will be...