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Second Edition Cycling News, Thursday, May 29, 2014

Date published:
May 29, 2014, 1:00 BST
  • Ulissi abandons the Giro d'Italia with sore throat and fever

    Davide Cassani and Diego Ulissi (Lampre - Merida)
    Article published:
    May 29, 2014, 9:30 BST
    Cycling News

    Antibiotics not enough for Italian to continue

    After a breakthrough Giro d'Italia which yielded two stage wins and second place on the stage 12 time trial behind Rigoberto Urán (Omega Pharma-Quick Step), Lampre-Merida's Diego Ulissi has withdrawn from the Italian grand tour.

    Ulissi had been suffering for two days from a bacterical faringitis and was racing with a sore throat and temperature. Antibiotics failed to provide a respite for the 24-year-old, who tried to honour the race as best as he could by finishing stage 17 to Vittorio Veneto, with the team doctor making the final decision.

    "I can't go on. [I have a] sore throat, temperature and antibiotics turned the stage into a suffering race," Ulissi said. "I did the best to complete today's stage, but tomorrow I won't be at the start, so I'll quit this Giro d'Italia with regret as it gave me so much satisfaction."

    The results from the Giro have given Ulissi food for thought as he now considers targeting stage races.

    As soon as he is back to full health, Ulissi turns his attention to his next season goal.

    "There will be other important appointments in the season, the first of them will be the Italian championship. As soon as possible, I'll start training with the aim of hitting this target."

  • La Course by le Tour announces teams for inaugural event

    2014 La Course by Le Tour de France
    Article published:
    May 29, 2014, 13:00 BST
    Cycling News

    20 teams to ride ASO race

    ASO has announced the 20 teams that will take part in La Course by le Tour. The one-day women’s event will take place on the Champs-Élysées ahead of the arrival of the Tour de France.

    The list of teams includes the top outfits such as Specialized-Lululemon, Orica-AIS, Giant-Shimano and Rabo Liv Women. Three national teams from France, the Netherlands and Australia will also take part.

    “It’s a no brainer, we have to be there and we have to be there to represent women’s cycling and put on a show for the world,” said Specialized-Lululemon team manager Kristy Scrymgeour. “I grew up watching the Tour de France, I never thought I'd become a cyclist, but it’s one of those things that really inspiring. Everybody wants to race in an epic race like that.”

    The event will take place ahead of the final stage of the Tour de France and is expected to attract the world’s best female cyclists. Riders will complete 13 laps, totalling 90 kilometres, of the famed cobbled Champs Élysées. The race will utilise the TV and media already in place for the men’s event, which will be a huge boost to a sport that struggles to get sponsors.

    “Just the fact that it will be on TV and on TV at one of the world’s biggest sporting events is just a brilliant thing The coverage is getting better but there is a long way to go,” said Scrymgeour.

    “It’s just a really good way to get exposure as outside the Olympics there is very few chances to watch women’s cycling on TV and the racing is really good but people don’t get to see it.

    “It just makes...

  • Report: Orica-GreenEdge interested in Wiggins

    Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky) thanks the crowd
    Article published:
    May 29, 2014, 13:45 BST
    Cycling News

    Australian team looking to sign Wiggins for 2015

    Orica-GreenEdge are looking to boost their Grand Tour team with 2012 Tour de France champion Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky). "I would love to work with 'Wiggo,'" team manager Matt White told the Sydney Morning Herald. He continued by saying that Wiggins "is definitely a rider who would fit into this group."

    Wiggins has been at Sky since its inception, but his contract is set to run out at the end of this season and he is yet to pen a new deal with the British squad. His race results and experience mean that several teams are looking to take him on, including Orica-GreenEdge.

    "Our team is ready to have a grand tour rider next year," said White. “If Bradley was to come we would have to have the money to buy him. He is not going to come for 'free'."

    Now in its third year of existence, the team sees itself in a position to extend itself into the competition for victory in one of the three-week races. "When you look at the likes of Esteban Chaves, Simon and Adam Yates, [Luke] Durbridge and [Michael] Hepburn," explained White. "If we can keep that group for the next two years we will have one hell of a Tour de France team in two to three years."

    The team has won stages in each of the grand tours. It has four in the Giro d'Italia, including three this year, two at the Tour de France and three at the Vuelta a Espana. While it has won a number of one-day and shorter stage races, it has never been a contender for the overall titles in any of the three-week races.

    Wiggins won the 2012 Tour de France, but did not ride the race last year after picking up an injury before the race. Earlier this season, Wiggins' agent told Cyclingnews that...

  • Chris Horner could return to racing at Tour de Suisse

    Horner was not wearing a helmet when he crashed
    Article published:
    May 29, 2014, 15:05 BST
    Daniel Benson

    Possible Tour de France slot also considered

    Chris Horner (Lampre-Merida) could ride next month’s Tour de Suisse with on eye on competing in the Tour de France a month later. The American was hit by a car in April while out training and suffered a punctured lung in the accident along with broken ribs and a cut to his head, which required stitches.

    He missed the Giro d’Italia this month but has made a quicker than expected recovery, with Lampre-Merida team boss Brent Copeland set to meet the rider this Friday and iron out Horner’s next move.

    “He’s back in Europe at the moment and training again. We will have a meeting with him on Friday and we’ll go from there,” Copeland told Cyclingnews.

    “At the moment we’re thinking about bringing him in for the start of the Tour de Suisse in order to see what his condition is like. Then we’ll look at the possibility of Chris riding the Tour de France.”

    While Horner has been able to train in recent weeks, the concern for Copeland and his rider is that if he crashes again he could damage his recovering ribs again.

    “We’ve always known that Chris is unbelievable at recovery, perhaps it’s because of all the crashes he’s had but seriously he’s great at recovery. I didn't expect it to be so quick. The biggest problem are the ribs and if he crashes again. That’s our biggest concern at the moment, but he’s coming on and his condition is getting better and better each day.”

    “If he gets through Suisse then we can start taking about the Tour in more detail. Chris also wants to see what his condition is like in racing. We have a chiropractor working him closely and I’ll see both of them together and then early...

  • Van Hummel booted from Belgium Tour

    Kenny van Hummel (Androni Giocattoli) gets cold as he waits to sign on
    Article published:
    May 29, 2014, 17:25 BST
    Cycling News

    Androni sprinter regrets actions after stage 1 crash

    The organisers of the Baloise Belgium Tour prevented Kenny van Hummel from starting stage 2 after he displayed "incorrect behaviour" in the first stage of the race.

    Van Hummel was seen shoving Oliver Naessen from the continental Cibel team after the pair crashed in the lead-up to the sprint.

    The Androni-Giocattoli sprinter issued a statement on his personal web page, saying he should not have pushed the other rider, but complained about dangerous riding in the peloton.

    "When I crash in such a way I feel have to say something," Van Hummel said. "I pushed him, I did not hit him. I shouldn't have done that but when someone refuses to hit the brakes in such a hazardous situation I felt I had to say something about it."

    Van Hummel was given no warning after the first stage, and even signed in for stage 2 before being called in by the race jury.

    "When I rode to the start I heard the commissaires wanted to talk with me. The organization had insisted that they took me out of the race and so they did."

    "The jury understood my situation and they didn't give me a penalty or a fine for it."

  • Evans slips to ninth at the Giro d'Italia but promises to fight back

    A happy Cadel Evans (BMC) in Tours for the start of stage 13
    Article published:
    May 29, 2014, 19:50 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    BMC leader looks to retake time in the Monte Grappa mountain time trial

    Cadel Evans (BMC) fought all the way to the finish line in the shadow of the Rifugio Panarotta in the spectacular Valsugana, trying to limit his rivals and hang onto his third place overall at the Giro d'Italia.

    However, when the time gaps were calculated and the overall classification formalized the veteran Australian had lost 1:35 minutes to his main rivals and so slipped from third overall to ninth, 4:59 down on race leader Nairo Quintana (Movistar).

    Evans lead the Giro d'Italia from stage eight to stage 12 and seemed on track for success. He lost precious time and the pink jersey during the Barolo time trial but seemed strong on the climbs. Now, as the key mountain time trial to Monte Grappa and the finish on the steep Monte Zoncolan remain as the final obstacles of the 2014 Giro d'Italia, his chances have slipped away and he has been past by several younger rivals.

    "In one way the day could be worse but it could certainly have been a lot better," Evans said after having to undergo an end of stage anti-doping control after going deep to try to limit his losses at the summit finish.

    "The day didn’t go in my favour again today. I wasn’t at the level of the others. It was a big time loss and going from a podium place to just inside the top ten isn't the direction I wanted to take and is exactly what I didn’t want to happen."

    Ready to fight back

    Despite plummeting down the overall classification, Evans plucked up the courage and found the determination to fight back. He suggested this as not the end of his fight for a good placing overall or the end of the...

  • Quintana: The Giro d’Italia isn’t over yet

    Nairo Quintana retained his pink jersey
    Article published:
    May 29, 2014, 20:01 BST
    Cycling News

    Colombian looks ahead to battle with Uran in Cima Grappa time trial

    As Nairo Quintana (Movistar) emerged from the anti-doping caravan atop Rifugio Panarotta, he was immediately waylaid by a boisterous group of Colombian fans who had already stood chanting his name while he provided his sample. Some applauded, more shouted their support, and others even leaned forward to hug him.

    Quintana was attempting to make his way to the post-stage press conference some 300 metres up the road but he stopped and shyly accepted the accolades until he was quietly ushered into an organisation car and driven the rest of the way.

    It was the only time Quintana’s progress had been impeded on a day that saw him comfortably withstand the attacks on his overall lead on stage 18 of the Giro d’Italia. In the first true test of his brief term in the maglia rosa, Quintana closely shadowed the accelerations of Rigoberto Uran (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) and Pierre Rolland (Europcar) to maintain his overall lead.

    “It was a relatively calm climb, but with plenty of attacks,” Quintana said. “I controlled what was important to me, the others were fighting for what was important for them. My team was working well and things went pretty well.”

    Quintana leads Uran by 1:41 minutes with just three days left to race, including Friday’s mountain time trial to Cima Grappa and Saturday’s finale atop the onerous Monte Zoncolan. Given his climbing credentials and, especially, the lightness with which he has carried the pink jersey to date – both on and off the bike – Quintana is the overwhelming favourite to claim overall victory in

  • Alonso says he still plans to create a team for 2015

    Fernando Alonso and Peter Sagan (Cannondale)
    Article published:
    May 29, 2014, 20:30 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    Formula One pilot visits the Giro d'Italia

    Spanish Formula One pilot Fernando Alonso was a VIP guest at the Giro d’Italia during stage 18 and insisted that he still plans to create a major team for the 2015 season.

    Alonso along with his technical manager and former double world champion Paolo Bettini rode in a VIP car during the stage and then Alonso presented race leader Nairo Quintana (Movistar) with the pink jersey.

    Bettini said he brought Alonso to the Giro d'Italia to show how the sport works and how different it is to the F1 race tracks and paddock area.

    Alonso was heavily protected by race organizers RCS Sport but spoke about his plans for 2015. He kept his cards close to his chest and chose his words carefully. Despite reports that he has failed to sign Peter Sagan, alleged worries that Alonso's title sponsor from the United Arab Emirates may have doubts about backing the team because of the complex UCI WorldTour application process, and the radical overall of professional cycling expected for 2017, Alonso insisted his people are working on the project to be ready to debut in 2015.

    "We're working on the team and the idea is still to do the team for 2015," Alonso confirmed, claiming that UCI rules mean the team is unable to talk to riders, despite no doubt knowing that Bettini has been in talks with numerous riders in the last six months.

    "The rules say that until August 1 we can’t talk to riders and that you don’t get a licence until November. So for several months there won't be any news. It's not a problem for us but it seems to spark a lot of rumours and people want to know things but until November, we won’t know if we've passed all the official tests and...