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
Willett juggles road and mountain bike committments with an eye to London
Pensar-Hawk Racing is set to run a women's outfit for the 2012 Australian National Road Series and team member Jodie Willett told Cyclingnews that the Queensland-based squad is determined to impress in its debut season.
Pensar-Hawk Racing is re-branded from Tineli Racing which ran an elite men's team for the first time in the NRS in 2011, competing in selected events including a strong showing at the Tour of Toowoomba which was dominated by the established Genesys Wealth Advisers squad.
This season, the women's NRS will consist of Mersey Valley Tour, Battle of the Border, North Western Tour, Canberra Women's Tour, Shipwreck Coast and the Honda Women's Tour with Willett firm in the belief that the domestic scene is headed in the right direction given the recent focus on the standard of women's cycling.
"It's moving beyond just being an adjunct to the men's racing so we're really keen to support events like that," she told Cyclingnews.
Willett who competes at the elite level in mountain bike, joins former Australian Criterium Champion Kirsty Broun, former Australian Road Champion Ruth Corset, 2010 NRS runner-up Zoe Watters, Katrin Garfoot, Nicole Moerig, and Samantha Hemsley who previously rode for Suzuki Trek. Broun will captain the team and with Corset has spent time away from cycling in retirement before rejoining the peloton in a bid to give back to the younger generation.
If there's a common theme among the group, it's that each member of the team needs to financially support their racing by juggling work commitments – a sad reality for women competing on the Australian domestic scene that's not as common when it comes to their male counterparts.
"As a team we sat down and had a discussion and we've been hearing about the criticism of women's racing – that it's boring and all the type of thing and we made a bit of...
Cheatley to support team in DS role
Beijing Olympian Rosara Joseph will leads the BikeNZ National team at the Women’s Tour of New Zealand in the Manawatu this week.
BikeNZ has selected a six-women team with a mix of skills and experience to provide valuable training and learning opportunities for some of New Zealand’s top women road riders.
Joseph, better known for her mountain biking success, will be joined by experienced New Zealand track representative Kaytee Boyd along with Sequoia Cooper, Emily Collins, Kate Chilcott, and Reta Trotman for the five-day tour starting in Palmerston North tomorrow.
"It’s a fantastic opportunity for the riders to get international racing experience here at home. There is a good mix of experience and newcomers in the team. This is the chance for another tier of riders to put their hands up and show what they are capable of," said Andy Reid, BikeNZ Team Manager.
"Our main objective is to ride cohesively as a team, which will lead to results on the general classification and the chance of a stage win."
Reid will be joined by former national road cycling champion Catherine Cheatley in the Director Sportif role. An injury last year has forced Cheatley off the bike, but she is relishing the opportunity to get a taste of the other side of the sport.
"Cath has a huge amount of experience, has achieved a great deal on the bike and brings a new dimension to the team" said Reid.
Joseph will be using the intense racing to increase her fitness ahead of the upcoming Oceania Mountain Bike Championships and World Cup Season as she looks to secure herself Olympic selection.
There is a strong international field for the Tour, which includes reigning Olympic champion Kirstin Armstrong (US National Team), former World Champions Tatiana Guderzo (Italian National Team) and Judith Arndt (GreenEdge-AIS).
The field also...
2007 overall winner back on track after 2011 injury
Together with his Europcar teammates, Anthony Charteau is enjoying the warmth of Southeast Asia in Malaysia this week, where he will be participating in the ten-day Le Tour de Langkawi as of this Friday. The event is important to the Frenchman, as he took the overall win in 2007 and has always liked the steep climbs and the climate Langkawi offers. Back from an injury-ridden 2011 season, the 32-year-old hopes to be luckier this year and come back to the form that saw him win the 2010 Tour de France mountain jersey.
"This is a race that suits me well with its hot temperatures and high-percentage climbs," Charteau told Ouest-France, having arrived in Malaysia on Monday. "Every time I was here, I've been in a position to win, so I'm eager to do well again this time."
Charteau started the season at the GP Mareillaise and the Etoile de Bessèges, after a solid preparation with his team in Guadeloupe and in Spain. But the Frenchman needs some warmth to make the best out of his abilities, and the cold European weather in February made it hard to increase the pace. "I don't like riding in this sort of conditions. But during the ascents, I had some very good sensations. The more we climbed the better I felt. So I'm looking forward to better weather!"
Having had some difficulties due to an early injury last year, the Frenchman also hopes for more luck this season. "I crashed badly in South Africa where I had all the ligaments of my right shoulder, as well as the shoulder blade completely torn off and it took some time to get over that," he...
First race in 2012 for former winner
"This race is close to my heart. I made my career there," commented Danielson, who had only just made the switch from mountain to road riding when he won the race at the age of 25 in 2003. This performance allowed him to build his career with top teams Fassa Bortolo, Discovery Channel and now Garmin.
"Danielson is now established as one of the world's best riders for stage races," the chief operating officer of Le Tour de Langkawi Emir Abdul Jalal said. "We're honoured that he remembers Malaysia where it all started for him. His strong showing here in 2003 paved the way for him to join the world's best teams. It's also an important sign of faith to us that Garmin-Barracuda has decided to come back this year. We were the first organizers of a UCI H.C. race to invite them when they stepped up to Pro Continental level in 2007."
Newly-appointed team manager Allan Peiper stated that Le Tour de Langkawi will be the first race of the year for Tour de France riders Danielson and David Zabriskie who will fly directly from the United States to Malaysia, as they have chosen to avoid the cold training and racing conditions in Europe in February. "I'm convinced that we'll have a very competitive team at Le Tour de Langkawi," Peiper said.
Zabriskie will be one of the favourites to wear the first yellow jersey of the Malaysian race, with the opening stage 20.3 km individual time trial in Putrajaya beginning proceedings on Friday.
Garmin-Barracuda team for Le Tour de Langkawi: Tom Danielson (USA), Nathan Haas (Aus), Alex Howes (USA), Raymond Kreder (Ned), Thomas Peterson (USA), David...
Belgian motivated by working with Andy Schleck
Johan Bruyneel has insisted that the absence of Alberto Contador will not alter Andy Schleck and RadioShack-Nissan’s plans for the 2012 Tour de France, but acknowledged that the complexion of the race will be different without him.
“Contador’s absence from the start of the next Tour doesn’t change our plans at all, even if the race will undoubtedly be more difficult to control,” Bruyneel said, according to dhnet.be. “I’ve heard that Evans thinks the Tour would be more difficult to win without Alberto at the start.”
Contador misses this year’s race after the Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled that he should serve a two-year suspension for his positive test for clenbuterol at the 2010 Tour. Andy Schleck will now enter the record books as the winner of that year’s race, but Bruyneel explained that to all intents and purposes, his rider is still looking for his maiden Tour victory.
“I talked with Andy for a long time after the Contador verdict and he doesn’t consider himself as the true winner of the 2010 Tour,” he said.
Bruyneel began working with Schleck this winter following the merger of the RadioShack and Leopard Trek outfits, and he was enthusiastic about the Luxembourger’s presence in his team.
“Working with a rider of Andy’s quality motivates me, it literally gives me a boost,” he said. “I didn’t have a leader like that at my disposal last year, even if I’m still convinced that without his crash Klöden could have been in contention for a podium place in 2011.”
British rider says everything looking good as season cranks into gear
After finishing off in style by claiming the individual time trial on the final day, Bradley Wiggins has reflected on a fine week for Team Sky in southern Portugal at the Volta ao Algarve.
As well as winning the final stage, Wiggins helped teammate Richie Porte clinch the overall GC, while Sky’s Edvald Boasson Hagen won the points classification. Both men matched Wiggins’ feat of winning an individual stage, too. With Mark Cavendish winning two stages at the Tour of Qatar earlier in the month, the early signs for a successful 2012 are looking very positive indeed for the British outfit.
“We won three stages, Richie took the overall, Edvald claimed the white jersey and I was third on GC so it was a brilliant week for us all,” Wiggins told British Cycling. "We knew training this winter had gone really well but until you actually put it into practice in the first race of the season you are never quite sure where you are at. The goal was to try and get Richie as high up as possible in Portugal but we were just going from day to day with no big expectations really.
“It obviously went better than we'd all anticipated and it was great to start the season off that way; not only individually but as a team too - I think the way we rode together made us the dominant force.”
Porte joined Team Sky during the off-season and the 27-year-old Australian has got his spell with his new team off to a roaring start. His form and ultimate win in the GC didn’t...
American team 'dials in the details' at official training camp
Under the sweeping backdrop of sublime Tucson mountains and thick forests of Saguaro cacti, the Competitive Cyclist Pro Racing Team spent last week getting comfortable with their new equipment, management and fellow teammates as part of their official training camp.
Directeur Sportif Gord Fraser said he’s treating the upcoming 2012 season as a continuation of an already great thing. After a successful first season as RealCyclist.com, Cycling supplier Competitive Cyclist has merged with the team, allowing them to revamp their entire sponsor line.
"We got the ball rolling with On The Rivet management, getting the structure in place to execute the management of running a pro team, so I’d say about 95 per cent of our infrastructure is in place," he said during their week-long training camp on February 11-17. "We definitely want to keep this thing growing going on into next year."
According to Fraser, expanding their race schedule is one of the main changes from last year, while still placing high expectations on the NRC calendar and domestic grand tours. He considers seasoned professionals Cesar Grajales and five-time top 10 Tour de France finisher and last year’s NRC Francisco 'Paco' Mancebo to be their "go-to guys", gunning for the prestigious US stage races such as the Tour of California and Tour of Utah.
"We have three or four guys, like Paco [Mancebo], Cesar [Grajales], Chad [Beyer] and Max [Jenkins] that can finish top 20 in any big race like California and I don’t think any other team can come close to that. We have it on paper, but now it’s just a matter of going out and doing it, which is a different story."
Developing the younger talent on the team is also a priority. Riders like former BMC stagiaire Cole House and Ian Burnett have shown the...
UCI president outlines steps taken to increase equality
UCI president Pat McQuaid addressed the 5th World Conference on Women and Sport in Los Angeles, California this weekend, finally making public comment on how his organisation has addressed the inequalities between genders in cycling after facing harsh criticism from the women's peloton last month.
McQuaid ignited controversy when he made statements last September opposing the institution of a minimum salary for professional female cyclists. The comments prompted a vigorous reaction from the women's peloton, some reactions well-considered, some not so much.
In reaction to the recent criticism, McQuaid has until now refused to address the topic, and in a carefully worded speech at the conference this weekend he continued to dodge the issue of wage equality, stating only that, "Growth of visibility of the sport can be expected to have a direct affect on financial resources and raise athlete wages."
Instead, McQuaid focused on the elevation of women's cycling since it was introduced to the Olympic Games in 1984, and gave as evidence of the UCI's commitment to improving gender equality the creation of the women's World Cup and the more recent changes to the Olympic track cycling programme, where men and women now compete in the same number of events.
The UCI has also instituted rules governing women's teams that call for bank guarantees, but admitted that, "much work remains to be done and the UCI is committed to creating better visibility for women and to providing the best possible conditions for the development of women's cycling."
McQuaid called for more participation from women in the sport as a whole, including in sport media, roles with teams as coaches or directors, and as referees and administrators in sport.
Toward that end, McQuaid said the UCI...