On Wednesday, August 28th the world's leading international bicycle trade show will kick off its 22nd edition. Held in Friedrichshafen, Germany, the Eurobike red carpet will be rolled out for more than 1280 exhibitors from over 54 countries. Notably, a world leader will be attending for the first time as German Chancelor, Angela Merkel, officially opens the event.
The Eurobike Awards that highlight products with new and innovative designs will be unveiled on the 28th of August. Awards are spread across a multitude of categories ranging all the way from road racing to special purpose folding bikes, as well as including many awards for components and apparel.
An expected 40,000 trade visitors and 1,800 journalists will flock to Germany for the four day event in order to assess products for the 2014 retail season. Although the event is targeted at fellow traders, in keeping with Eurobike tradition, Saturday August 31st will be open to the public.
E-Bikes, travel talk, bike fashion and road cycling componentry are set to dominate proceedings, but as always, let Cyclingnews know what you want to hear about in the comments below.
Details of the slimmed down, cylindrical Campagnolo EPS V2 Power Unit were unveiled last night, on the eve of Eurobike 2013. The new Super Record, Record and Athena EPS battery weighs 132g, compared to the bulkier, boxier first generation unit that weighed about 170g.
The V2 Power Unit’s pen-shaped design means it can be mounted internally in the seat tube, down tube or top tube, or externally on the non-driveside. The fact that the already-waterproofed battery can be mounted inside the frame will mean it’s more protected from rain, grime and most crashes.
Campagnolo claim the three cell, 12V lithium ion unit – the same configuration as for the first gen battery – will last for about 1,500km on a single charge, though terrain and shifting frequency will have an impact on battery life. The unit is lab tested and guaranteed for 500 recharges.
The Power Unit’s 'brain', dubbed Digital Tech Intelligence, has been slightly reprogrammed for better shifting, but it is not known whether it’s compatible with older EPS groupset components.
The V2 Power Unit is reported to be 172mm long, including the mounting cage, with a 27mm diameter at its widest point, though dimensions haven’t yet been confirmed by Campagnolo.
Team Sky and Pinarello announced today that they've extended their partnership for a further three years, taking the British WorldTour squad's relationship with the Italian bike manufacturer into its seventh season.
Pinarello was a founding partner of Team Sky in 2010 and has worked closely with riders, mechanics and performance staff to help develop the road and time-trial bikes that have been ultilised in 136 wins thus far, highlighted by back-to-back Tour de France victories in 2012 and 2013.
"Over the last four years our relationship with Pinarello has been a true partnership, one which we are delighted to be extending," said Team Sky principal Dave Brailsford. "Not only do they share the same desire for excellence, but from Fausto right through the company they are an absolute joy to work with. There is a lot more we want to achieve as a team and we go forward knowing we have the best partner to do that in Pinarello."
"I want to thank everyone on the team – from the riders to mechanics and all the staff – for the great support that they have given us during the last four years," said Fausto Pinarello. "And a special thanks to Sir Dave Brailsford, the strongest leader in the peloton. It’s my honor to be a Team Sky partner and I am sure that together we’ll make the best bikes in the world."
USA Pro Challenge final domestic event for Garmin-Sharp veteran
When the day's early break was finally swept up on the streets of Denver, Colorado, and the bell rung for one 14.6km lap to go in the concluding stage of the USA Pro Challenge, Christian Vande Velde moved to the very front of the peloton for the finale of his last race on home soil. The 37-year-old American will bring his 16-year professional career to a conclusion following the team time trial world championships this September, but for the Garmin-Sharp veteran this final lap in front of the biggest crowds of the race was a fitting denouement for a career which began many years ago in this same state.
With two kilometres remaining the television camera zeroed in on Vande Velde, who looked into the lens and waved goodbye.
"It was a little more emotional than I thought it would be," said Vande Velde. "I didn't want to think about it too much before the race because it's a hard race and it's competitive but that last lap I definitely started thinking about the things I've done in my career when I first started racing 20 years ago in this state up until this time.
"I'm just happy that I got to race long enough to see three editions of this race. By far this is the coolest race there is in the United States and in my heart, the world."
Vande Velde, the defending USA Pro Challenge champion, finished his last race on US soil in 22nd overall, riding in support of teammates Lachlan Morton, wearer of the yellow jersey for two stages, and then Tom Danielson, who ultimately finished on the podium in third place behind a BMC one-two of Tejay van Garderen and Mathias Frank.
The son of US Bicycling Hall of Fame inductee John Vande Velde, Christian's cycling career began on the track. He embarked on his professional road career in 1998 with the US Postal Service Team where he spent the first six years of his career. Vande Velde spent 2004 on Liberty Seguros, 2005 through 2007 with Team CSC and then moved to the Garmin organisation, run by former teammate Jonathan Vaughters, in 2008. He's spent the final six years of his career on the US squad.
Vande Velde has contested 22 Grand Tours in his career, with multiple starts in Italy, France and Spain. He twice finished top-10 in the Tour de France, with 4th overall in 2008 his best result. While at Garmin, Vande Velde has been a part of three team time trial victories in Grand Tours, highlighted by a win in the first stage of the 2008 Giro d'Italia which put him into the maglia rosa.
Vande Velde is a two-time Olympian and has the following stage race victories in his palmares: 2012 USA Pro Challenge, 2008 Tour of Missouri and 2006 Tour of Luxembourg.
"I've had some insane highs and some really low lows," Vande Velde said of his career. "I hope people will think I've had the most well-rounded career ever. From racing for the minimum in the middle of my career to getting top-five in the Tour de France a couple of years later. I've begged Jonathan Vaughters for a job, being the director eight years ago, and I've had a very up and down career.
"The way I'm leaving my sport right now in 2013 I'm very proud of, leaving these guys like Tejay, Lachlan, all these guys are in a really great spot. They'll never have to look into the things that I had to look into when I came to the sport in '98. I'm very happy with the way I'm leaving the sport right now. If anything, I'm jealous of them (younger riders)."
Two months after winning the 2012 USA Pro Challenge, USADA released its 1000-page report detailing doping at the US Postal Service team, which resulted in Lance Armstrong being stripped of his seven Tour de France titles and banned from cycling for life. Vande Velde was one of Armstrong's former teammates who provided testimony to USADA which buttressed their case against the Texan.
Vande Velde confessed to doping from July 1999 through 2003 while with the US Postal squad, as well as doping offenses in 2004 while part of Liberty Seguros and 2005 through April, 2006 as a member of Team CSC.
Vande Velde served a six-month suspension during his 2012-2013 off-season, from September 1, 2012 through March 1, 2013.
Throughout his career, Vande Velde has suffered more than his fair share of serious injuries and just days into his return to competition in 2013 he fractured his hand at the Volta a Catalunya in March. Vande Velde then faced much more serious injuries from crashing multiple times at the Tour de France, where he abandoned during stage 7.
Vande Velde had the choice to retire at the end of 2012, as did George Hincapie, another former US Postal Service teammate whose doping regimen was detailed in USADA's reasonded decision, but he opted for one more season.
"It was hard to come back [for one more season], there were doubts in my mind," Vande Velde told Cyclingnews. "I'm glad I saw it through and I'm not going to lie, it was hard because I didn't have anything more to prove to myself. I just wanted to be there with my team and to be there to show solidarity with everything after USADA and to not run away from anything. I'm glad I did what I did and this is a real special week for me. I'm happy I did it.
"In the uphill time trial into Vail i made a point of just trying to soak it all in from the start to the finish," Vande Velde said regarding the emotions involved in his final race on US soil. "Maybe I should have gone a little harder, though. I didn't think I was going to go that well.
"And then again today [Sunday - ed.], to get on the front for the last lap and doing some work and then getting off the back and coming down the home straight by myself I'd be lying if I wasn't a little choked up."
Vande Velde told Cyclingnews he's content with what's he's accomplished during his career.
"In all honesty when I look back at my palmares now I did things I never thought I'd ever do. I don't need to be greedy - I'm very happy and content with what I've done. I would have loved to have done something a little bit more in the Ardennes Classics, when I was younger I definitely liked them a lot, but that kind of went to the wayside."
And what of his future once his professional cycling career comes to a conclusion?
"I have no idea what's next, I'm going to take some time and think about it. I still have a couple of more races, I'm just thinking about that first."
"For me personally, it's a good thing to lose the jersey - for the sponsor I think it's an absolutely terrible thing," was Chris Horner's honest view of his surprise loss of the leader's jersey at the conclusion of stage 4 at the Vuelta a España on Tuesday.
"[From here on] I will be able to concentrate on the GC, without all the leader's [ceremony protocol] stuff, maybe an hour to an hour and a half [of leader's obligations] after each stage," Horner told Cyclingnews.
"For me personally, it was all about leading for one day."
Horner's loss of the Vuelta leader's jersey occurred after he was caught out by a late split in the peloton at the finish in Fisterra. Isolated from his teammates and unable to move ahead as the bunch slowed in the final metres, commissaires ruled there had been a six-second split.
With Nibali in 16th spot in the front group of 21 - and initially completely unaware that he had the lead again - and Horner in 26th, with a six-second time gap, the American was out of the jersey after just 24 hours in red.
"I got boxed in, there was a split very close to the line and I couldn't move out on either side," Horner said. "It wasn't a hard effort in terms of the finish, but we slowed down and I got boxed in so badly there wasn't anywhere for me to go.
"We used up the teammates that usually I have around me 100 percent beforehand, I was left to work on my own and I got boxed. By the time I got unboxed, the gap was there.
"I got trapped on one side, I could see the acceleration going on the other. It wasn't bad luck, you know it's going to happen, there's nothing you can do and if you get caught out....that was the way the race went."
Horner said that his RadioShack teammates had worked hard at the front of the bunch on a stage with nearly 3,000 metres of vertical climbing and where there were strongly gusting winds. He also said on Spanish television that he was determined to fight back for the leader's jersey in the future on the mountain stages to come. And in second place, with so little margin on Nibali, Horner is certainly in the ideal place to strike.
Fast forward four months and Moreno was once again given the green light by Rodriguez - as roommate and teammate - to try for his own moment of glory, but on this occasion in the fourth stage of the Vuelta a España.
Rodriguez is uninjured this time around, and biding his time for the crunch moments of the race in the second and third weeks. But in the first week, after Moreno showed remarkably uneven form - suffering in the team time trial to keep in contact on the final climb into Sanxenxo, but then second on the next stage to the Alto de la Groba behind Nicolas Roche (Saxo-Tinkoff) - on stage four the Katusha Spaniard clinched the victory.
Moreno's double acceleration - first to reach Juan Antonio Flecha (Vancansoleil-DCM) and then again to go for his first win since Fleche this spring - was timed to perfection, and the veteran climber revealed afterwards he had been "practicing to make sure I got it right."
"Movistar had been driving really hard, but that kind of tough stage and fast finish suits me," Moreno, who won in the Vuelta on the Sierra Nevada summit finish in 2011, said afterwards.
"I had a lot of help from [teammate Luca] Paolini early on, then I went for it from a long way out. I think that surprised quite a few people."
Although his next targetted stage is in Valdepeñas de Jaén's grindingly steep kilometre climb on stage nine, he denied there was any possibility of a leadership change in Katusha, even though he is currently better placed than Purito.
"Today was a good day for me, another day will be good for him," he said. "I'm not trying to be the leader."
Vincenzo Nibali's return to the top spot of the Vuelta a España at the conclusion of stage four caught the 28-year-old Italian completely off guard. Team buses had been parked four kilometres away from the finish because of restrictions on space at the Fisterra lighthouse finish, and Nibali was actually on his bike, en route for a shower and change of clothes, when the news came through: overnight leader Chris Horner was caught on the wrong side of a split in the peloton, transferring the red jersey to Nibali's back by three seconds.
Lacking a race radio or phone on him, though, there was no way of making contact with the 2013 Giro winner so a member of team management was dispatched to track him down and bring him up to the finish via a team car.
"I'm surprised, I had no idea I was the leader," Nibali said afterwards. Asked whether he actually wanted to shoulder the responsibility of leading, he made it clear that it was not his aim so early in the game, with 17 stages still to come.
"I wanted to be calm, like I said on other days," Nibali said. "I could see that Horner's team wanted to keep the jersey, they had worked really hard to defend it. I appreciated how much they wanted it.
"I wasn't looking for the lead, just to stay in the main group right up until the end." With a 16th place result on the day he said he was pleased "because there were no big gaps at the finish and we had kept the situation under control."
"These four stages have been very tense, very hard racing and we've had [Alejandro] Valverde [Movistar] and [Joaquim] Rodriguez [Katusha] going for it in the finishes, using all their power in the uphill sprints." The two Spaniards, he said, were his clearest rivals for the moment.
Asked if he planned to defend the jersey on the three upcoming stages, two of which may end in bunch sprints, prior to the next big showdown, on Saturday's climb to Estepona, Nibali was noncommittal.
"The Vuelta is very long and we will see if we work to defend it, we have to take things day by day."
Ryan Anderson (Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies) nearly pulled off the upset stage win of the 2013 USA Pro Challenge on the final day in Denver. The 26-year-old Canadian had gotten the jump on Peter Sagan (Cannondale) out of the last turn, and faced 250 meters of road between himself and the biggest win of his life. Sagan, however, already a three-time stage winner in his first Colorado appearance, clawed his way back to Anderson and passed him in the closing meters for his fourth stage win of the USA Pro Challenge.
2012 came to a close in tumultuous fashion for Anderson, who found himself scrambling for a team after his two-year stint with Spidertech came to an abrupt conclusion last fall when the Pro Continental squad folded. Anderson, a member of US-based Continental squad Kelly Benefit Strategies in 2010-2011, received a lifeline in June from the team in its 2013 iteration, Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies, and set out to salvaging his season in dramatic fashion.
"When Spidertech folded we tried to recruit Ryan back, he went somewhere else, and that didn't work out for him," Optum performance director Jonas Carney told Cyclingnews. "He called me this spring and was wondering if we had a spot for him and we did. He was a member of our team for a couple of years and he's part of our family. We always wanted him to come back."
Anderson earned the silver medal in Canada's road championships in late June, followed that with third place in the Tour de Delta, then found himself going toe-to-toe with WorldTour fast man Elia Viviani (Cannondale) in early August at the Tour of Elk Grove. Anderson finished runner-up to the Italian sprinter on stages 1 and 2 and stood on the final GC podium in second place, behind Viviani, for his efforts.
Anderson arrived at the USA Pro Challenge as part of a sprinter-heavy Team Optum roster and went head-to-head in the race's two true field sprint finales - stage 3 into Steamboat Springs and stage 7 in Denver - with Viviani's teammate Peter Sagan, arguably the hottest property in cycling these days. In Steamboat Springs Anderson placed third behind WorldTour sprinters Sagan and Luka Mezgec (Argos-Shimano), on the final stage in Denver the Canadian finished an agonisingly close second to the Slovakian champion.
"Today I decided that I wanted to go before Sagan and try to hold him off," said Anderson, "I executed that plan, and it didn't quite work, but it was pretty close so I'm happy with the day. Our team has been through a lot this week with the crashes and injuries, so everyone left in the race was extremely motivated for a result today. Everyone worked so hard today to keep me safe and in good position, and all that worked paid off."
Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies started the race in Colorado with a squad chock full of fast finishers in Ken Hanson, Alex Candelario, Mike Friedman plus Anderson. The team's stage win ambitions were tempered first by the loss of Hanson due to a crash on stage 2, while the squad's lead-out train took a heavy hit in the finale of stage 3 into Steamboat Springs with Candelario, Friedman, and Jesse Anthony all hitting the deck in a crash caused by a rider colliding with a spectator. Anderson, nevertheless, placed third but Candelario and Friedman would withdraw from the race.
Despite missing some crucial manpower, Anderson proved his mettle on the final stage in Denver.
"I would have liked to see Hanson, Candelario and Friedman doing the lead-out today (Sunday - ed,) but instead Ryan just kind of had to do his own thing. I was blown away that he could do that," said Carney.
"I'm sure he's super-disappointed because he had that win. He made the perfect move and he almost had it, but he's sprinting against one of the fastest sprinters in the world so second place is a pretty amazing finish."
Carney spoke of Anderson's strengths as a rider.
"He's kind of an all arounder who has a very good sprint. He time trials well, he climbs well - maybe not up at 9,000 ft. - and he's got a good finish on him. He doesn't think of himself as a sprinter but when he wants to he can really scrap up there - he's a pretty cagey guy."
Next up for Anderson is a block of racing in his home country. He'll line up with Team Optum at the inaugural Tour of Alberta and then will contest the pair of one-day WorldTour races in Quebec and Montreal as part of the Canadian National Team.