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Second Edition Cycling News, Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Date published:
December 06, 2011, 0:00 GMT
  • De Gendt: Tour Down Under creates platform for the rest of the season

    Thomas De Gendt (Vacansoleil DCM) attacked from the gun
    Article published:
    December 06, 2011, 5:28 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Vacansoleil-DCM announces line-up for first WorldTour event of 2012

    Vacansoleil-DCM has confirmed its roster for January's Santos Tour Down Under with Belgium's Thomas De Gendt hopeful of being in contention for general classification honours at the Australian WorldTour race.

    "I asked to start my season again at the Santos Tour Down Under in Adelaide," the 25-year-old said. "The team gave me confidence in 2011 and I managed to perform for a big part of the season on which starting the year at the Santos Tour Down Under contributed. At this year's race I was close to a WorldTour stage win which I eventually took in Paris-Nice and the Tour of Switzerland," the 25-year-old continued.

    "My objective for the race in 2012 is to get a good stage result which will bring me towards the top of the GC too if I don't lose time at the other stages. The beautiful weather and it being the first race of the season gives extra motivation."

    De Gendt claimed an event-high placing of second on the fourth stage behind eventual overall winner Cameron Meyer (Garmin-Cervelo), while Vacansoleil-DCM finished runners-up to Movistar in the teams classification. Romain Feillu also claimed four top-10 stage finishes.

    "De Gent and Feillu will be back again and we will come to Australia with two objectives," explained directeur sportif, Michel Cornelisse. "One is to work on our sprints with Feillu and Dutchman [Kenny] van Hummel who both will be led out by the other guys. Secondly we aim to start the season with a great first race. The indicators for a great race can differ and have to be decided based on opportunities but the crowd and weather will also contribute."

    Earlier this month, Vacansoleil-DCM's new recruit, Kenny van Hummel...

  • Ronde van het Groene Hart cancelled again

    Jens Mouris (Vacansoleil)
    Article published:
    December 06, 2011, 9:15 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Financial problems cause second consecutive cancellation

    The Ronde van het Groene Hart in the Netherlands has been cancelled for the second consecutive year, for financial reasons. Organisers will try again to hold the race in 2013.

    The race organisers made the “difficult but inevitable decision” last week, they announced Monday on their website.  “The main reasons are that no new title sponsor for the event has been found, and that government grants have been dropped.

    “This is a major setback for the organisation, which has held four successful editions of the professional cycling race.”

    The race was also cancelled in 2011, “as the budget was not balanced.”

    According to the website, the foundation “will continue its efforts to continue the Ronde in 2013 and is also investigating the possibility of continuing it using a new concept.”

    The first winner of the race was Wouter Weylandt in 2007. Jens Mouris won the last edition, in 2010.

  • Hulsmans continues career at Farnese

    Kevin Hulsmans leads the break
    Article published:
    December 06, 2011, 9:56 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Belgian to ride for Pozzato at Spring Classics

    Belgian rider Kevin Hulsmans has signed a deal to continue his career at Italian squad Farnese Vini next year. The 33-year-old raced this season for Donckers Koffie-Jelly Belly, but the team will fold at the end of the year.

    Hulsmans used his good contacts to secure the contract. "The deal was done within two days," the Flandrian told Sporza on Monday. "When I came back from Australia I got in touch with (Farnese team manager) Luca Scinto and Filippo Pozzato. I know both of them well from my time at Quick Step."

    'Hulse' spent seven years riding for Patrick Lefevere's Quick Step team, which also included Pozzato in 2005 and 2006. Scinto ended his career at Mapei in 2002, which was Hulsmans' first professional team.

    "I didn't look for any other team. I'll see my new teammates at our first training camp in Italy next week," he added.

    Hulsmans will be expected to act as a domestique for Classics leader Pozzato. "That will be my main task," he confirmed. The Italian team has a Professional Continental licence and will rely on invitations for the Spring Classics. "But Pozzato is a name that is going to open doors - and perhaps my name can also help," Hulsmans said.

  • Bakala adds weight to cycling reform and breakaway league

    Zdenek Bakala at the Omega Pharma-Quick Step Cycling Team press conference
    Article published:
    December 06, 2011, 11:30 GMT
    By:
    Daniel Benson

    Quick Step owner calls for change

    Omega Pharma-Quick Step owner Zdenek Bakala used the team’s 2012 unveiling in Antwerp, Belgium, to set out his vision for the sport. The Czech financer has invested heavily in the Belgium team since taking a majority share last year and is now intent on a global restructuring of the sport, rather than just success with Patrick Lefevere’s riders.

    His comments will send shockwaves all the way to Lausanne, home of the UCI, with the governing body as yet unwilling to entertain reform from the outside.

    “We happen to live in a world where most sport industries have commercialised themselves and turned themselves into industries that are managed by professional managers for the well-being of all the stake holders and we believe that it’s time that the cycling industry restructures itself. It should become a little bit more commercial and provide greater benefits for the riders and the fans,” Bakala told the media on Monday.

    “In my opinion the process will take several years but in five years time we will see the world of cycling as a completely different world to the one we see today. We, the shareholders, and the sponsors would like to play a meaningful role in this going forward.”

    Although he would not go as far as selecting which of the two breakaway propositions he favoured, his comments show a desire and motivation from within the sport to reform. This was the first team presentation ahead of the 2012 season. How many more squads that follow Bakala’s lead will be crucial in determining a more general mood from within the rest of the professional peloton.

     

    “I’m not going to be changing the cycling world by myself,” he added, “but when you look at the way in which international...

  • 2013 Tour de France unveils three Corsican stages

    The 2013 Tour de France
    Article published:
    December 06, 2011, 13:01 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    100th Tour de France to be celebrated by a first

    Christian Prudhomme, director of the Tour de France, on Tuesday morning unveiled the programme for the 2013 Grand Départ on the island of Corsica. The race's one-hundredth edition will see the Mediterranean island host three stages in what will be the Tour's first visit to Corsica, after having visited all the departments of mainland France, since its inception in 1903.

    The first stage will see the peloton start in Porto-Vecchio in the south of the island for what should be a bunch sprint finish further north in Bastia. From Porto-Vecchio, the race will travel south to the cliffs of Bonifacio before moving up north again on one of the rare flat roads on the island to the stage finish in Bastia.

    Stage two, on the other hand, will give the climbers the first opportunity to express themselves. Riders will start in Bastia and then move westwards over the challenging mountains of Corsica, via Corte, to finish in Ajaccio on the island's west coast. That day, climbs will include the Col de Bellagranajo (723m), Col de la Serra (807m) and Col de Vizzavona (1,163m) passes. Ten kilometres from the finish, the ascent of the steep slope of Monte Salario will provide another hurdle.

    The third and final day on Corsica will then involve another mountainous stage from Ajaccio to Calvi along the west coast, including spectacular viewpoints over the coves at Piana, a World Heritage site. Main obstacles on this route will be the Col de San Bastiano (415 m) at kilometre 15, and then further on, the Cols de Lava (498 m), de Palmarella (374 m) and de Marsolino (443 m). For its first three stages on Corsica, the 2013 Tour could thus see the yellow jersey change shoulders every day before the race arrives on mainland France.

    "The setting of the Island of Beauty will definitely offer a terrain and roads designed for attacks and we are already thoroughly looking forward to...

  • Vacansoleil-DCM to ride Bianchi Oltre in 2012

    The Bianchi Oltre for Vacansoleil-DCM in 2012
    Article published:
    December 06, 2011, 13:57 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Dutch World Tour squad in Italian training camp soon

    Vacansoleil-DCM's bike supplier Bianchi has officially unveiled the new team Oltre model for the 2012 season. The carbon momocoque bike is described as "one of the best racing machines Bianchi has ever made. X-Tex carbon technology and Bianchi optimized aerodynamic shape give it an incredibly efficient power transmission and stiffness to weight ratio,' according to the Italian bike manufacturer's press release.

    The Oltre combines Bianchi's traditional "celeste" colour with blue and white touches to match the official outfit of the WorldTour team, with the Bianchi Eagle logo located on the lower part of the down-tube. The frame is equipped with FSA components, Fast Forward wheels, Vredestein tires and Shimano Dura Ace gears.

    Vacansoleil-DCM riders will get acquainted with their new equipment in Montecatini Terme (Italy) from December 10 to 20, where the first official team meeting will be held. From January 10 to 20, the Dutch WorldTour team will move to Spain, in Benidorm, for its second training camp ahead of the first 2012 season races.

     

  • 2011 Reader Poll: Pedal-based power meters voted best tech innovation

    The Garmin Vector is one of the most hotly anticipated power meter designs in years.
    Article published:
    December 06, 2011, 15:57 GMT
    By:
    James Huang

    Power still at the forefront

    Cyclingnews readers have again identified power meters as one of the continuing hot tech topics of 2011, giving nearly 40 percent of the total vote for Best Tech Innovation towards the new crop of pedal-based power meters, including the Garmin Vector and Look KéO Power.

    While effectively having two separate power meters instead of one can create some logistical complexities for manufacturers, pedal-based systems offer some practical benefits to users, namely the ability to more easily transfer them between multiple bikes and automatic left/right power output splits depending on the computer head.

    The full-blown scientific version of Garmin's Vector system will also provide an extraordinary amount of directional power data for biomechanists, which may lend greater insight into cycling performance, fit, and training methodology.

    Look's KéO Power is starting to trickle into the marketplace now but Garmin's Vector still won't land in consumer hands until later this spring.

    Curmudgeons and retro-grouches will undoubtedly decry the second-place finisher: disc brakes for 'cross and road bikes. While current rim brakes certainly get the job done, the mountain bike world has certainly demonstrated that disc brakes are not only more consistent and predictable but can also help riders go faster by providing more control.

    And while greater power is also a distinct benefit in those circles, disc-equipped road and 'cross riders will benefit most from the vastly improved modulation, which should...

  • Gallery: Behind the scenes with Team Spidertech

    The Spidertech riders dressed to impress at the presentation of the 2012 roster.
    Article published:
    December 06, 2011, 16:46 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Canadian Pro Continental squad strengthens roster for 2012

    Canada's Team Spidertech powered by C10 squad recently conducted a pre-season training camp in Toronto and then rolled out the formal wear for the presentation of the 2012 roster.

    Buoyed by the signings of RadioShack's Bjorn Selander and HTC-Highroad's Caleb Fairly for the upcoming season, the team looks to build on its successful 2011 campaign as it embarks on a split North American-European calendar for its second year in the Pro Continental ranks.

    "Pro cycling is a business and strong riders have options to sign with various teams. All teams must market themselves to riders to attract top talent," said team co-founder and manager Steve Bauer. "I am thrilled that we were able to recruit Caleb Fairly and Bjorn Selander. These riders bring a wealth of international experience and impressive racing resumes."

    The team will depart for Europe in early January for pre-season training with the race season starting in late January.

    View our gallery of the team's indoor training facility in Toronto as well as the team presentation.