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Second Edition Cycling News, Thursday, September 12, 2013

Date published:
September 12, 2013, 1:00 BST
  • Roche praises his teammates after moving up to fifth at the Vuelta a Espana

    Nicolas Roche (Team Saxo - Tinkoff)
    Article published:
    September 12, 2013, 9:31 BST
    Alasdair Fotheringham

    Saxo-Tinkoff take advantage of the echelons

    Nicolas Roche (Saxo-Tinkoff) expressed quiet satisfaction after managing to move up to fifth overall in the Vuelta a Espana on the flat but wind-exposed terrain of stage 17. Saxo-Tinkoff blew the Vuelta peloton apart by forming a series of echelons - as they had done in the Tour de France three months ago -striking a huge blow to their rivals' ambitions of a top five finish.

    Domenico Pozzovivo (Ag2r-La Mondiale) was pushed down to sixth place. He is now one minute and 26 seconds behind Roche instead of five seconds ahead. A seemingly inoffensive-looking flat stage proved to be hugely beneficial for the Irishman.

    "It was a good stage, there took some dedication from the guys again, to go all out like that for 30 kilometres," Roche told Cyclingnews. "That wasn't an easy task, but they did an amazing job and I'm really proud and humbled by what they did."

    The split was initiated by Saxo-Tinkoff, with Roche's teammate Matteo Tosatto accelerating hard and then RadioShack-Leopard coming in to help build the momentum. By the end of the stage, the three dozen riders in the front echelon had gained 91 seconds on Pozzovivo and Thibaut Pinot (, seventh overall.

    "In the morning you talk about different plans and different possible scenarios and that was one of the plans, maybe if or what," Roche said. "But it's one thing to plan and another to actually do it."

    "There was a couple of minutes and a little bit of confusion before we got organised behind Tosatto, who did an amazing job opening up and holding on to the lead until we got there and RadioShack took over a bit with [Fabian] Cancellara. Once the rest of us got to the front, there was no looking back and we just gave it everything."

    "It's always exciting to be part...

  • Yates defends Armstrong but is critical of Team Sky

    Team directors Sean Yates and Scott Sunderland
    Article published:
    September 12, 2013, 10:44 BST
    Cycling News

    "There is no one at Sky who knows much about bike riding"

    Sean Yates has said he still believes Lance Armstrong was a phenomenal athlete, despite the Texan's confession to doping, describing him as 'the biggest engine ever to get on a bike, apart from maybe Chris Froome."

    The Briton made the comments to the Press Association news agency as an extract of his book called 'It's all about the bike' was published in the Times newspaper. Yates was a good friend and long-standing teammate with Armstrong in the nineties, when the two were at the Motorola team. Yates became a directeur sportif when he retired and directed Armstrong when the Texan came his comeback with the Astana team in 2009.

    "I still believe he [Armstrong] is a phenomenal athlete and still the biggest engine ever to get on a bike, apart from maybe Chris Froome," Yates told PA.

    Asked if Armstrong raced clean in 2009, he said: "I don't know. He came out and said he did whatever. I believe he was [clean] and certainly his performances were nothing out of this world."

    Leaving Team Sky

    Yates left the world of professional cycling last autumn after directing Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome to first and second at the Tour de France. He had become a key figure at Team Sky but walked away just a few months afterwards.

    At the time USADA published its explosive Reasoned Decision in the Lance Armstrong case, with many of his former teammates implicated. Team Sky was trying to introduce its zero tolerance policy and many people believed Yates left because of this reason.

    Speaking to The Times, who published an extract of his book, Yates reveals in his book how the Team Sky manager Dave Brailsford struggled to defend Yates's position on the team against the insinuations. Combined with health issues - Yates has had two...

  • Henk Vogels to join Drapac as directeur sportif

    Stage 4 winner, Darren Lapthorne (Drapac) battles ahead alone
    Article published:
    September 12, 2013, 12:15 BST
    Cycling News

    Brings European experience to Australian team’s Pro Conti bid

    Drapac Cycling has announced the signing of Henk Vogels as a directeur sportif for the 2014 season. Following successful stints as a directeur with Fly V Australia and Rusvelo, the Australian ex-professional is excited to be joining the exciting Drapac project.

    "I'm just super excited to get back into the driver's seat," Vogels said.

    "I'm extremely motivated and really excited about the bolstered roster. We're working incredibly hard to take this Australian team to the world. I've watched the way that Drapac has grown over the past decade to be not only one of the best teams that Australia's ever produced, but also make their mark in Asia."

    Jonathan Breekveldt, Drapac team manager, is similarly enthused to have Vogels on board.

    "Henk brings a lot of experience to the team, not only as an ex-professional but also as a leader and directeur sportif. His record that was achieved in the States with the Fly V team, despite its outcomes, stands as a great testament to the way that he works with athletes."

    Vogels, Australian Road Race Champion in 1999, raced as a professional between 1995 and 2008. He started his career for top European teams including Rabobank, Davitamon Lotto and Credit Agricole, before closing out his career with Mercury and Navigators in the US.

    In 2009, Vogels became a directeur sportif for the Fly V Australian Continental team where he oversaw 250 victories with the squad.

    Two riders confirmed for 2014 for the Drapac squad are Bernard Sulzberger and Darren Lapthorne with the team expected to announce some of their other signings in the coming weeks.

    The team does, however, remain wary of the tough time Vogels went through in the Pegasus debacle, and drawing on this Breekveldt believes Vogels' experience will be invaluable to the Australian team.

    "The experience that Henk brings to the team...

  • Jungels signs with Trek for two years

    Bob Jungels (RadioShack) comes through one of the twisty sections
    Article published:
    September 12, 2013, 12:20 BST
    Cycling News

    Luxembourger staying with Guercilena's team

    Bob Jungels will ride for the new Trek WorldTour team for the next two years, the bicycle manufacturer announced on Thursday. The 20-year-old made his pro debut this season with RadioShack-Leopard, impressing with some aggressive riding and ability to win.

    This season Jungels won the Luxembourg national titles in road race and time trial, and won the Grand Premio Nobili Rubinette race in Italy. He finished fifth overall in the Tour de Luxembourg, winning a stage. He will also be Luxembourg's only elite men representative in the upcoming World Championships.

    “I had some offers from other teams, but I think it's very important to be surrounded by people that have the same approach,” Jungels said in a statement from Trek.

    “In particular [General Manager] Luca Guercilena has been essential in my development and I really want to keep on working with him and the other performance staff. They are the most professional people I know.”

    "There's no secret that Bob is a very valuable rider in our long-term plans. Besides his talent and versatility, he knows that one has to work hard in order to achieve success," said Guercilena. "In his first year as a professional he already showed us a bit of what he's capable of in the future and he will be a resource to the younger members of the team."

    “We need to see how he develops and whether the focus for him will be more on the classics, the time trials or the stage races. In any case, we're very happy to have him on board!"

    Another reason for Jungels to stay with the team was the other riders who will be there next year.

    “Besides the guidance, there is obviously the roster of this team, where I have many friends,” he said. “I feel fortunate to be surrounded with such a good...

  • Mannion completes his transformation to become a climber

    Gavin Mannion (Bontrager-Livestrong) in action on Stage 2 of the USA Pro Cycling Challenge
    Article published:
    September 12, 2013, 13:49 BST
    Cycling News

    American Under 23 rider impresses at the Tour de l'Avenir

    After a painful day's racing in the French Alps at the Tour de l'Avenir, Gavin Mannion, the leader of the US National Team at the French stage race, decided the best cure for his wounds was a full box of maple syrup ice cream with caramelised pecans and a caramel swirl.

    Training this week in Nice, on the Côte d'Azur, the Massachusetts born rider still has red marks on his right side and the impression he could have got a better result in the Tour de l'Avenir. However he has the consolation of knowing that he is ending his season with a significant achievement: he finally showed himself as a climber and so perhaps is the next American talent for hills and the professional ranks.

    Discovering his ability to climb has been quite a journey for Mannion. In 2011 he missed out on a placed for the Tour de l'Avenir, he was considered as a "domestique" and a "sprinter". After his climbing metamorphosis, in 2013 he lead the US national squad in the mountains in France, while Nathan Wilson and Lawson Craddock, his teammates at Bontrager Cycling Team, were racing in the USA Pro Cycling Challenge.

    The day before his crash he was fourth in the general classification the Tour de l'Avenir. He dropped four places and finished eighth, 3:03 behind winner Ruben Fernandes Andujar of Spain.

    Becoming a climber

    "The story of me becoming a climber is quite funny," he told Cyclingnews.

    "Before, I loved criteriums in the US and kermesses in Belgium. I loved the speed and the fight to keep my position. I went to cycling because it gave me more rush and adrenaline than soccer or any other sport."

    Axel Merckx, his sport director, thought Mannion was too bulky and not successful enough. "Why don't you lose some weight?" he suggested. At first, the rider was reluctant. He was enjoying his sprinter's life and...

  • Vuelta to start in southern Spain in 2014?

    Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) remains in the general classification lead at the Vuelta a Espana
    Article published:
    September 12, 2013, 14:32 BST
    Alasdair Fotheringham

    Jerez de la Frontera most likely candidate for Grand Depart

    After two starts in the north of Spain, in Pamplona in 2012 and Galicia in 2013, and one in the south-east, in Benidorm in 2011, the 2014 Vuelta a Espana is expected to start in Spain’s southwesterly region of Cadiz, Spanish TV has reported.

    Race organisers Unipublic have refused to confirm or deny the story.

    Although a specific location is not known yet for the Vuelta 2014’s Grand Depart, the city of Jerez de La Frontera, which hosted a stage start this year on stage 8, is reported to be top of the list, with a start in its famous motorbike circuit more than likely.

    Starts in the Algarve in Portugal had been rumoured as well as the Canary Islands, but for the fourth year running the race is expected to start in Spain, with more stages in the Cadiz region before the race heads north or east.

    Extreme heat of over 40 degrees centigrade in the mid-afternoon is likely to be an important factor in the racing in the South of Spain. When the Vuelta last started in the south, in Seville in 2010, organisers held the first stage at midnight to try and beat the heat.

  • Germans announce women's, U23 and junior teams for Worlds

    Trixi Worrack in the race lead
    Article published:
    September 12, 2013, 15:45 BST
    Cycling News

    Brennauer, Worrack and Zabel to feature in Florence

    The current national champions will lead the German women's team in the UCI road world championship in Florence later this month. Lisa Brennauer and Trixi Worrack are the big names on the team, while Rick Zabel will ride the U23 race. The Bund Deutscher Radfahrer announced its women's, U23 and junior teams, with the elite men's team to be named later.

    Brennauer, who is national time trial champion, and Worrack, national road champion, will ride both the elite women's time trial and road race. Both are with Specialized-lululemon.

    Germany may send four riders to the start of the road race. Brennauer and Worrack will be joined by Esther Fennel (RV Rhede), Claudia Häusler (Team Tibco), Elke Gebhardt (Argos-Shimano), and Romy Kasper (Boels Dolmans).

    For the junior women, Anna Knauer (Rottaler RSV) and Luisa Kattinger (RV Karbach) will ride the time trial. Knauer, Lisa Klein (RV Kandel), Gudrun Stock (RC Die Schwalbe München) and Tatjana Paller (Equipe Holzkirchen) will take on the road race.

    At the U23 road race, Zabel (Rabobank Continental Team), who finished fifth in the Junior race in 2011, will be joined by Emanuel Burchmann (rad-net Rose Team), Silvio Herklotz (Team Stölting), Jasha Sütterlin (Thüringer Energie Team), and Johannes Weber (Team Heizomat). Both Zabel and Sütterlin will move up to the WorldTour in 2014, respectively going to BMC and Movistar.

    Sütterlin will also ride the time trial, along with Thüringer teammate Maximilian Schachmann.

    Oliver Mattheis  (RSC Kempten) and Joshua Stritzinger (RSC Felsenland) are the representatives for the Junior time trial.

    The five riders for the Junior road race...

  • Garmin-Sharp signs Ben King

    Best young rider, Ben King (RadioShack), was all smiles before the stage start.
    Article published:
    September 12, 2013, 16:19 BST
    Cycling News

    Former US national champion switches teams for 2014

    Former US National Champion Ben King has signed with the Garmin-Sharp team, effective in 2014.  He is making the move from the RadioShack-Leopard team.

    "I'm really excited to join Team Garmin-Sharp next year. I have a lot of respect for the team and I'm looking forward to becoming a part of what Jonathan Vaughters has put together," said King.

    "I was teammates on the US national team with Andrew Talansky and Alex Howes, so we work well together, and I will consider myself lucky to race alongside all the guys on the team. I began my international racing career on Cervélo with the HotTubes Junior Development team, so it's nice to come full circle with them."

    King won the U23 road and crit national championships and also previously won the pro road championships when he was just 21.

    "Ben is a great young rider with a lot of promise and we look forward to continuing to help him develop his considerable talent," said Jonathan Vaughters, CEO, Slipstream Sports and Team Garmin-Sharp.

    Two weeks ago, King proved his talents off-road too, by winning the Shenandoah Mountain 100, a 100-mile mountain bike race.