A close-up look at the Australian's purpose-built ride
Australian's 2015 Tinkoff-Saxo team bike
Winner of the 2015 Tour Down Under
New and old kicks and lids seen at WorldTour race
Belgian vying for OPQS roster spot with Bakelants
Thomas De Gendt rode a disappointing time trial in Florence today at the UCI Road World Championships where he finished 49th in a field of 77 riders. With the dissolution of his Vacansoleil-DCM team looming at the end of the season, the 26-year-old Belgian is growing increasingly pessimistic about his options for the 2014 season.
"If I can't sign with a WorldTour squad, I'd better quit cycling altogether," he told Sporza.
De Gendt finished third in last year's Giro d'Italia after his impressive victory on the Stelvio. This year, however, the Belgian only has one victory in his palmares, a stage win at the Volta a Catalunya, and his only other podium finish was third place in the Tour de France time trial to Mont St Michel.
"This year has been disastrous," said De Gendt. "Not only if you look at my own results but also because so many teams are folding."
Two WorldTour squads will cease to exist after this season, De Gendt's own Vacansoleil-DCM team plus the Euskaltel-Euskadi team which for a moment seemed to have been spared at the last moment by Formula 1 star Fernando Alonso only to have the negotiations come to a halt. The demise of two WorldTour squads means there are 55 riders shopping around for a new team. To date nine Vacanseoleil-DCM riders plus one...
Looking for a possible return to Saxo Bank
Alex Rasmussen will not return to Garmin-Sharp in 2014, and has expressed interest in going back to Bjarne Riis and Saxo-Tinkoff. The Dane said that he was told after the Vuelta a Espana that, contrary to earlier indications, he would not be offered a new contract with Garmin.
Rasmussen joined the US-based team in 2012, but was subsequently given a backdated 18-month suspension for whereabouts failures. However the team stood by the rider throughout the period and took him on again when his ban ended this past spring.
He told the Danish newspaper Ekstra Bladet that team manager Jonathan Vaughters had earlier told him the contract would be renewed, only to hear otherwise later.
“I got a message from Vaughters during the Tour that he wanted to sign a new contract with me, but then I got a message, that there was no room for me anyway,” he said. That message arrived “just after the Vuelta , but it was perhaps not so much me but the whole team at the Vuelta that Vaughters was a little mad at.”
He told DR Sporten, “I'm super annoyed when I only had a half a season with the team, during which I won a race and completed the Vuelta.” He won the first stage of the Bayern Rundfahrt, shortly after his return to racing.
As to whether he might still possibly have a future with Garmin, Rasmussen told Ekstra Bladet, “You never know with Vaughters , he can change from one day to the other. First I was told that I could go on, then I got the message that it was not possible. I think it's a little ... I'm not happy to know about it so late in the season. When he first says he will extend .. If I had now been told during the Tour, I would have had time to...
Name appears in unredacted O'Reilly affidavit
Freddy Viaene, currently head soigneur for BMC Racing Team, provided testosterone for George Hincapie in 1998, according to the unredacted affidavit of Emma O'Reilly, a former soigneur for the US Postal team. The affidavit , originally filed in the USADA case against Lance Armstrong, was filed as part of the government's recent motion in the whistleblower case against Armstrong.
BMC denied any knowledge of or responsibility for the claimed actions. “This does not relate to the BMC Racing Team and it does not have anything to do with Freddy Viaene while he has been working for the BMC Racing Team,” BMC chief communications officer Georges Lüchinger told Cyclingnews.
Viaene had left the USPS team before the 1998 season, but in “May or June" of that year, Hincapie contacted O'Reilly and asked her to pick up a packet for him from Viaene. She met the Belgian and accepted the packet, saying that if she did not see Hincapie in Spain, she would take it with her to the US and give it to him there.
“When I mentioned traveling with the package to the United States, Freddy said something like, 'Don't do that. Give it to George. It is testosterone and you do not want to transport it yourself,'" she said in the affidavit.
She added that while she never saw Viaene administer doping products to riders, “'he did explain to me how certain products worked to the benefit of the riders,” and that “Freddy also told me that there were certain prohibited substances that were used by U.S. Postal Service riders.”
The affidavit was originally filed with the USADA in its case against Armstrong, with Viaene's name blacked out and referred to only as “Other 11”. According to Het Nieuwsblad,...
RCS Sport unveils the full race route
The 2014 Tirreno-Adriatico will again start with a spectacular team time trial on the Tuscan coast and end with an individual time trial in San Benedetto del Tronto, with a key mountain stage to Cittareale and a new very steep finish after climbing the 25% 'Wall of Guardiagrele'.
Race organiser RCS Sport presented the route of the race at a special event at the hotel where the Italian national team is staying in Tuscany for the world race race championships.
The weeklong WorldTour stage race will be held from Wednesday March 12 to Tuesday March 18, ending five days before the 2014 Milan-San Remo.
The race includes three stages for the sprinters and two tough days in the Apennines, including a summit finish at Cittareale (Selva Rotonda) on the Saturday. Sunday's stage finishes on the short but steep climb Muro di Guardiagrele, near the town of Chieti. It is only 800m long but is considered the steepest road in Italy. It climbs at an average of 25% with some points at 28%.
Tirreno-Adriatico has become notorious for discovering steep narrow roads up to hill top villages in the heart of Italy. During this year's race, some riders were forced to walk on the Muro di Sant'Elpidio climb.
Italy's Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) managed to distance Chris Froome (Astana) during the finale of the rain-soaked stage and set up overall victory.
Stage 1: Wednesday March 12: Donoratico-San Vincenzo (Team time trial): 16.9km.
Stage 2: Thursday March 13: San Vincenzo-Cascina: 173km
Stage 3: Friday March 14: Cascina-Arezzo: 206km
Stage 4: Saturday March 15: Indicatore-Cittareale (Selva Rotonda): 237km
Stage 5: Sunday March 16: Amatrice-Guardiagrele: 190km
Stage 6: Monday March 17: Bucchianico-Porto Sant'Elpidio: 187km
Stage 7: Tuesday March 18: San Benedetto del Tronto (Individual time trial): 9.2km.
Four-day festival at the Barbican starts next week
The tenth edition of the Bicycle Film Festival's (BFF) kicks off on October 3 in London. The four-day event which showcases and celebrates a number of the best cycling films takes place at the Barbican until October 6.
“Whilst the culture of cycling is gaining popularity both as a sport and part of a lifestyle, its inspiration within film is hardly novel. Perhaps it’s due to the simplicity of the machine itself, or the ease with which aspects of the cycling experience can be related to your life, but bikes continue to find their way onto our cinema screens. Our goal of the festival is simply to promote cycling, and arts and the links between,” said Laura Fletcher, organiser of the event in London.
The event began in New York in 2001 and has grown into a worldwide event with festivals taking place in cities around the world including Florence during this year’s World Championships.
"I've attended the BFF in Australia a few times, and it’s an amazing event, bringing together a totally unique mix of cyclists,” Garmin-Sharp’s Nathan Haas told Cyclingnews.
“It’s great though, to tie such a strong medium (film) into a general cycling population, as it’s the perfect blend of our athletic passions with our artistic ones. I personally would like to see more events cross over between cycling and art, and I hope to get the chance to attend the festival in London this year, if I can get a break from racing."
The event will showcase over 40 unique films and programmes including Moonrider, an honest and heartbreaking picture of the extreme and lonely life of a young championship rider and Baisikeli, which follows the Kenyan National Cycling team as they hope to emulate the success of their running brothers and make a career in the sport.
The event also holds an exclusive exhibition of photographer...
Cookson blocks McQuaid's staff from counting votes
With the UCI presidential election set for Friday, candidate Brian Cookson has been accused of ‘subversive legal tactics and intimidation’ by one of Pat McQuaid’s supporters. The allegations stem from the President of the St Lucia Cycling Association, Cyril Mangal, who in an extraordinary seven-page letter identifies what he believes are similarities between Cookson’s campaign and apartheid in South Africa.
Mangal’s concerns arose after respected Belgian journalist Pascale Schyns allegedly sent him a message via Whatsapp; a free texting service that allows users to send written messages, photos and emoticons. Schyns used to be a UCI commissaire but resigned in 2011.
"St Lucia is very concerned that when we were contacted by someone supporting Cookson, the person indicated 'I would like you to be on the right side after the election, so you are on the priority list of the Federations which would be helped'," Mangal wrote in the letter, which Cyclingnews have obtained.
"We sincerely hope that this would not be the way Mr Cookson would operate should he win the Presidency of the UCI,” the letter continues.
Cookson, who is meeting delegates in Florence ahead of Friday’s UCI Congress, has denied that the third party contact came from his camp.
Mangal’s letter was sent to all 178 countries which are members of the UCI.
Those allegations aside, the letter from Mangal opens with the show-stopping line, “Prime Minister Winston Churchill won us the Second World War but Britain voted him out of office immediately after the war.”
It goes on to say that, “UCI President Pat McQuaid has launched an aggressive and uncompromising assault against the cheats in cycling, but even before the battle has been fully won, some want us to blame and crucify him. The...
Dockx, Kaisen, Van der Sande and Van Genechten longer with Belgian team
Lotto Belisol has extended the contracts of four more riders. Gert Dockx will stay with the team for another two years, while Olivier Kaisen, Tosh Van der Sande and Jonas Van Genechten have each signed one-year deals.
Dockx, 25, has been with the team since 2011. He took his first pro victories this year, wining two stages at the Tour of Gabon. He fractured his elbow and collarbone in a crash at the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad but quickly returned and was in fact able to ride the Giro d'Italia.
Kaisen, 30, joined the team in 2006. Van der Sande, 22, turned pro with the team in 2012, and rode the Vuelta a Espana as his first grand tour. He is actually a Classics specialist who won the U23 Liege-Bastogne-Liege in 2011. The 27-year-old Van Genechten also joined the team in 2012, and this year won the Grand Prix Pino Cerami.
That gives the team 25 riders for the coming season. Eight riders have left the team and nine new riders have joined for 2014.
Newcomers to the team will be Sander Armee, Kris Boeckmans, Vegerd Breen, Stig Broeckx, Sean De Bie, Tony Gallopin, Pim Ligthart, Maxime Monfort, and Boris Vallee. Leaving are Dirk Bellemakers, Gaeten Bille, Brian Bulgac, Sander Cordeel, Francis De Greef, Vincente Reynes, Frederique Robert and Jurgen Van de Walle.
Acquarone says added rest day opens door for Grand Tour travels
Michele Acquarone and his organisation RCS Sport announced the route of 2014 Tirreno-Adriatico in Montecatini Terme on Thursday, but he is already looking many years down the road to a time when his race will not conflict with Paris-Nice.
Pointing down the list of names on the 2013 edition's general classification, Acquarone noted that Vincenzo Nibali - Giro d'Italia champion - Tour de France winner Chris Froome, and Vuelta a España victor Chris Horner were all in the race this year, and the sport needs big stars in the races in order for them to grow, to attract more fans and more sponsorship. But this can only happen if races do not conflict.
"I hope [they will be separated]," Acquarone told Cyclingnews. "It's about the stars, you have some in Tirreno, you have some in Paris-Nice, it's not logical. I want France to enjoy their race with the best riders in Paris-Nice, and then at Tirreno. I think it's logical."
He indicated that the UCI has long-term plans to correct the calendar so that the WorldTour races will no longer overlap, but that the changes will take place over the next six years.
"They are working on 2020 now, starting to change in 2015 what is easy to change, and [continue] until 2020 with new rules," Acquarone said.
"I feel we are going the right direction. [The race organisers] are all together and we share the same strategy. No fighting - that's the way to work. We have the same interests. It's better for teams, riders, organisers, sponsors, broadcasters and press.
Another positive change for Acquarone was the "unexpected" decision by the Professional Cycling Council to add a rest day to the 2014 Giro d'Italia to buffer the riders from the first three stages in Ireland and the long transfer to...