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Second Edition Cycling News, Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Date published:
May 13, 2014, 1:00 BST
  • Wiggins to rely on teamwork to win Tour of California

    Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky) enjoying the spoils of the victor
    Article published:
    May 13, 2014, 3:00 BST
    By:
    Kirsten Frattini

    Hot tough day ahead on Mount Diablo

    Team Sky's Bradley Wiggins travelled stateside to win the Tour of California. The Stage 2 time trial win in Folsom on Monday pushed him into the race lead and he's going to rely on his teammates to bring him into Thousand Oaks with the overall victory on Sunday.

    "I'm in a good position now and I knew I was good coming into this race," said Wiggins, who is leading the race by 44 seconds ahead of Garmin-Sharp's Rohan Dennis and an additional eight seconds to Taylor Phinney (BMC Racing).

    "You can never count out the other people in the group," he added. "We're going to take it one day at a time. You're nothing without your team. It's going to be a long week for our boys."

    There's still a lot of racing left with another six stages that include two mountaintop finishes. The first summit finish is at the end of a challenging third stage atop Mount Diablo on Tuesday. The second is at the end of the sixth stage on Mount High North on Friday.

    "It's going to be a tough day tomorrow," Wiggins said. "It's all on our team to do the best job that we can do to put me in position to be able to finish it off on the climb. I'm going to take it one day at a time."

    There are a number of accomplished climbers sitting behind Wiggins in the overall classification who will be looking to do well on Mount Diablo including Dennis and Janier Acevedo (Garmin-Sharp), BMC Racing's Peter Stetina, Tiago Machado (NetApp-Endura),...

  • Analysis: SRAM wireless electronic group

    SRAM's upcoming electronic group has shown its face at the Amgen Tour of California - but its true identity is somewhat hidden under a crude mask
    Article published:
    May 13, 2014, 13:17 BST
    By:
    James Huang

    Detailed photos and patent drawings for SRAM electronic group

    This article was originally published on Bikeradar.

    SRAM is developing an electronic road drivetrain, and based on US Patent Office documents BikeRadar acquired and examinations of a prototype group at the Tour of California, we are confident that it will be a fully wireless system that could weigh less than the wired electronic drivetrains from Shimano and Campagnolo. It appears the new group will also usher in a new type of shifting — a button on the left lever will move the rear derailleur one way and a button on the right lever will move it the other way; pressing both will shift the front derailleur.

    Nearly six years after the launch of Shimano's first Dura-Ace Di2 group and two and a half years since Campagnolo followed suit, SRAM is well behind the curve. SRAM declined to comment on its developments, but here we present a case as to why we believe SRAM's electric group will be wireless.

    A wireless electronic group - hidden in plain sight

    A quick look at a prototype electric SRAM drivetrain show wires, but a closer look reveals something more. Wires conspicuously jut out of the top of both the front and rear derailleurs, and there are two other wires that exit the back of a box mounted beneath the stem. The assumption has been that those wires send signals back and forth from one to the other, but we're convinced that it's an elaborate ruse.

    For starters, just compare the look of the wiring to the finish on the rest of the package. The connection points to the derailleurs are strangely located, oddly crude with no clearly discernible sockets, and the strain reliefs are awkwardly positioned. Those reliefs are even occasionally missing altogether, leaving nothing but a basic hole with visible...

  • Kittel abandons the Giro d'Italia

    Marcel Kittel (Giant-Shimano)
    Article published:
    May 13, 2014, 13:23 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    German sprinter struck down with fever

    Marcel Kittel (Giant-Shimano) has abandoned the Giro d’Italia with a fever, ahead of stage four from Giovinazzo to Bari.

    The German sprinter broke the news via Twitter and the Giant-Shimano team confirmed to Cyclingnews that a high temperature made it impossible for to continue.

    “So, the Giro got me earlier then I thought. Absolutely disappointed that I have to leave this beautiful race today because of a fever,” The German sprinter tweeted.

    “Thank you to everyone, incl. my team, the organisers & all the fans next to the road, for your great support! It was short but intensive! <3”

    "We made the decision here before the start of the fourth stage that Marcel would not continue the race," coach Marc Reef said in a statement from the team.

    "Two days ago, after the third stage he already indicated that he did not feel 100%. Yesterday morning he said that he felt better, but this morning at breakfast he had the same complaints and after a few check-ups with our team physician we saw that the fever had deteriorated and so we made the decision together that he should not continue."

    "It is a hard decision and a big loss for the team and a pity for Marcel. But we have to move on and with Luka [Mezgec] we have another strong sprinter on board. We will rebuild our positioning in the sprint train and keep challenging with Luka on the flats now."

    Kittel spoke about his disappointment to leave the Giro d'Italia so early in the race.

    "I am very disappointed about leaving the Giro after such a strong start in good condition, but I do not feel healthy and I am not in the position to start the race in this condition. I want to thank my team for their support these past few days and wish them the...

  • Giro d'Italia shorts: Sorry for the Selfie, Happy birthday Giro d'Italia

    Nacer Bouhanni (FDJ)
    Article published:
    May 13, 2014, 15:04 BST
    By:
    Stephen Farrand

    Winner Anaconda, points means prizes

    Sorry for the Selfie

    The Irish fan who swooped to take a 'selfie' photo of Marcel Kittel as he sat on the ground gasping for air after winning stage three in Dublin has apologized after the photo sparked a social media storm.

    David McCarthy rides for Nicholas Roche's development team in Ireland. Live television showed McCarthy as he took his selfie and photographer Kristof Kramon also captured the moment.

    McCarthy's selfie photo went viral on Twitter on Tuesday morning, sparking a string of abuse and criticism. Roche published his apology via Twitter.

    "I know @davidmccarthy12 he is a nice kid. He has just send me this post to tweet," Roche tweeted before stage four.

    "To Marcel Kittel and all the people I have offended by taking the selfie I want to apologise," McCarthy wrote.

    "I did not think the photo would cause such hate towards me and cause offence. I got excited after the finish to see Marcel and wanted a photo. In hindsight, looking back, I understand the time and place was completely wrong. My sincere apologies."

    Kittel did not react at the time but on Tuesday, before abandoning the Giro d'Italia due to a fever, he wrote to McCarthy via Twitter: "@davidmccarthy12 guess you learned your lesson. So did I when my Grandma found me playing with fireworks next to our barn full with dry hay."

    "Oh and remember: social media can be mean... ;)"

    McCarthy replied: "I know the abuse I got has been crazy I just got excited and didn't think I'm sorry marcel."

    Happy Birthday Giro d'Italia

    The Giro d'Italia officially celebrates its 105th birthday today, with stage four to Bari starting on exactly the same as the first stage of the first edition of the Corsa Rosa in 1909.

    The...

  • Video: Sagan at the 2014 Tour of California

    Peter Sagan (Cannondale) doing an interview at the start
    Article published:
    May 13, 2014, 16:19 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Sprint king misses out on first leader's jersey, but is unconcerned

    Peter Sagan may have missed out on taking the first leader's jersey at the Tour of California when he could only manage fourth behind stage 1 winner Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma-Quickstep), John Degenkolb (Giant-Shimano) and Moreno Hofland (Belkin), but in his typical un-stressed fashion, the Cannondale rider explains that he was actually trying to help teammate Guillaume Boivin in the sprint.

    The Slovakian champion took a week away from the bike following an intensive campaign at the Spring Classics, and said he is racing in California to get back into the rhythm of racing and ramp back up for the Tour de France and his defense of the green jersey there.

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  • Urán confident about general classification prospects

    Rigoberto Uran (Omega Pharma-QuickStep).
    Article published:
    May 13, 2014, 17:41 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Colombian happy with start to Giro d'Italia

    Rigoberto Urán (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) will be the happiest of the Giro d'Italia general classification riders after the short trip to Northern Ireland at the weekend. The Colombian arrived in Italy yesterday as the leading overall contender, only 19 seconds down on current maglia rosa Michael Matthews. While Urán is happy with how things are going, he’s reluctant to look too far in the future.

    “We go with the intention to repeat last year or better it,” Urán told Biciciclismo. “It’s clear that it’s been a good start, but I always prefer to go day by day. It is only the fourth stage and the race is really hard. My sensations have been very good and every day I have been feeling better. The plan is to continue like this. Consistency is very important.”

    Urán’s strong position is largely to do with Omega Pharma-QuickStep’s performance in the opening team time trial. The Belgian outfit finished second over the 21.7 kilometre course. With the rain that soaked the riders over the following two days, the peloton was nervous and Urán’s Giro d’Italia could have ended in an instant. However, the Colombian made it to Dublin unscathed, which is more than some of his rivals could say. Urán paid tribute to his teammates, for bringing him to Italy in such a good position.

    “The truth is that it all went really well. We started with a very good time trial and the team couldn’t have covered me better in the other two stages,” said Urán. “It is incredible to have a rider like Petacchi next to me, with his...

  • Voigt plans to animate Tour of California

    Jens Voigt (Trek) is always the crowd favorite in California
    Article published:
    May 13, 2014, 18:55 BST
    By:
    Kirsten Frattini

    German toys with the idea of winning on Mount Diablo

    Jens Voigt has every intention of animating the Tour of California during the next five stages before the race concludes in Thousand Oaks on Sunday. The German crowd pleaser will be looking for opportunities to win a stage while also focusing on Trek Factory Racing's overall contenders.

    "I will definitely go for stage opportunities during the last five stages," Voigt told Cyclingnews. "I have looked at some of the stages that could present an opportunity for me; however, we always have to take it day-by-day."

    Voigt placed ninth in the stage 2 time trial and went into stage 3 sitting in eighth place overall, 1:24 behind overall race leader Bradley Wiggins from Team Sky. He also has two teammates ahead of him in the overall with Jesse Sergent in fifth place, 1:11 back, and Markel Irizar, 1:21 back, while Haimar Zubeldia is sitting 28th overall, 2:10 behind.

    Irizar's climbing skills make him a strong contender to move onto the top three overall following the third stage, which includes a climb over Mount Hamilton before finishing on Mount Diablo. Voigt will likely be working for his teammates heading into the final climb but the thought of winning the stage himself atop Mount Diablo has crossed his mind.

    "Stage 3 is the first hilltop finish, so I would need five minutes at the bottom of the climb in order to make it," Voigt said. "If I have the freedom to ride in a breakaway, I will, but it depends on whether or not the team wants me to stay with our captain or just go out there and have fun."

    Voigt animated the fifth stage of the Tour of California last year when he forced a battle in the crosswinds and made a late-race attack to win the race in Avila Beach. He says that his dramatic performances are not only important for...

  • Video: Matthews reflects on Giro d'Italia stage 4

    Race leader Michael Matthews (Orica-GreenEdge)
    Article published:
    May 13, 2014, 19:06 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Race leader defends decision to semi-neutralise stage

    Giro d’Italia leader Michael Matthews (Orica-GreenEdge) has defended the decision to partly neutralise stage four of the race as weather conditions turned the finishing circuit into the tarmacked equivalent of an outdoor skating rink.

    Matthews post-stage description of the Italian roads as "icy" might not have been meteorologically accurate but it hit the nail on the head when it came to the degree of slipperiness of the Bari city-centre roads on Tuesday afternoon.

    As Matthews pointed out, in parts of Australia (and in Ireland, where the heavy rain was also a source of complaint for many Giro riders) the roads are more often subject to wet weather than in drier southern Italy.

    That means that occasional sudden downpours like on Tuesday in the Bari area render normally dusty roads (where the tarmac does not get ‘washed’ as often by rain and is dirtier) far more dangerous.

    There was one point during the race when Matthews, BMC’s Manuel Quinziato and Omega Pharma-Quick Step’s Alessandro Petacchi were having a visibly tense on-the-bike discussion about what should happen. But as Matthews diplomatically pointed out "I had the pink jersey so it was up to me to organise things and there were a lot of different ideas kicking around."

    "I thought the best way to do it was to neutralise it until we got to the course [8.5 kilometre finishing circuit in Bari, tackled nine times] then see if it was safe to race."

    "However, when we got to the course, conditions were still really bad, it was icy out there, so it was best to neutralize the race [for the gc riders]."

    "That way the sprinters could still do their sprints and there was no time bonus. But if the race had gone to plan” - and had been raced normally “instead of five or six riders down, there could have...