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Second Edition Cycling News, Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Date published:
May 21, 2013, 1:00 BST
  • Meyer continues progression with Tour of California result

    Cameron Meyer (Orica-Green Edge) climbing to a top ten finish
    Article published:
    May 21, 2013, 0:59 BST
    Cycling News

    Orica GreenEdge GC rider headed to Tour de Suisse

    A top-ten performance would have been more than pleasing for Cameron Meyer at this year's Tour of California considering the Orica GreenEdge Australian was struck down with a dose of illness prior to the start of the 2.HC race. The 25-year-old battled through the opening days, putting himself at the head of affairs to move into third-overall with just one final test at Mount Diablo remaining. Falling off the back of the lead group in the finale on the penultimate stage saw his podium place slip away but his perseverance after a less-than-ideal start shows promise for the rest of the year.

    Meyer finished just outside the top-ten in the 2012 edition at California and hoped for more in 2013 until last-minute food poisoning resulted in a setback before the race begun. Despite not being at his best for the opening days Meyer kept himself well-place in the often testing winds of the Californian race. His tactical nous and teammates support meant he slowly but surely moved up the rankings.

    The hectic wind-swept stage into Avilla Beach, won by the evergreen Jens Voigt (RadioShack Leopard) helped move Meyer closer to the top contenders before he put his time trial prowess on show to finally crack into the top-three on the GC score sheet.

    Mount Diablo may have proved too much for the developing Australian who is still building his form after a slower start to the year with injury and post-surgery complications but after eight stages Meyer left the race with fifth overall and a renewed sense of confidence as he looks to battle the mountains at the Tour de Suisse.

    "It's been a really good week and I'm really thankful for all the guys that have helped me...

  • Gilbert and Van Avermaet headline BMC at Tour of Belgium

    Philippe Gilbert (BMC) and Greg Van Avermaet (BMC)
    Article published:
    May 21, 2013, 3:30 BST
    Cycling News

    World champion looking for special result on home roads

    Philippe Gilbert and Greg Van Avermaet make their return to racing this week when the five-day Tour of Belgium begins on Wednesday with a 194.2km stage from Lochristi to Knokke-Heist. Gilbert won a stage and the overall title in 2011 during arguably his greatest season to date but the reigning world champion arrives at the race with mixed expectations to that of his younger BMC teammate Van Avermaet. Gilbert is still recovering from the long-haul flight back from the United States while Van Avermaet returns to racing after the Ardennes and has his eyes on the general classification.

    Withdrawing from the Tour of California after just three days of racing so that he could return to Monaco for the birth of his second son means that Gilbert is uncertain of his form heading into the often wind-effect race. However, with the race passing through his home village on the final stage around Banneux, he will look to deliver something special on the roads he knows particularly well. Notching up a victory has alluded Gilbert so far this year but he will no doubt seek to break the drought in his home race.

    "It will be hard to recover from the jet lag before the start because I always have problems with jet lag," said Gilbert on his team site. "I hope to be able to follow in the first stages, but it will depend on the wind and the weather forecast, of course. I'm looking forward to doing something on the last stage because it passes right through...

  • Video: Cataldo on designing his own race shoes

    Dario Cataldo (Sky)
    Article published:
    May 21, 2013, 5:58 BST
    Cycling News

    Sky all-rounder's custom made Gaerne

    When he's not racing, Sky's Dario Cataldo has been known to pick up pencil, paper and even the odd aerosol can.

    At this year's Giro d'Italia, the 28-year-old is wearing the third shoe that he's designed for Gaerne.

    "It's my hobby," he tells Cyclingnews. "I always draw at home and I always bring something with me to make some little sketches."

    Featuring the distinctive red and green of the il Tricolore, representative of Cataldo's Italian individual time trial title won in 2012, and some of his sketchwork - in the form of a highly detailed watchface - these are far from the average pair of cycling shoes.

    Take a closer look at Dario Cataldo's shoes and listen to him speak about his artistic passion by clicking on the video below.

  • Sky realistic but not resigned to Nibali's dominance

    Rigoberto Uran (Sky) moved up to third in GC
    Article published:
    May 21, 2013, 7:09 BST
    Daniel Friebe

    British team will ride aggressively in remaining Alpine and Dolomite stages

    The Giro d'Italia enters its final week on Tuesday with Vincenzo Nibali's leadership apparently impregnable - but Team Sky privately determined to give the Sicilian an uncomfortable ride to the race finale in Brescia next Sunday.

    While both leader Rigoberto Urán and team principal Sir Dave Brailsford consider Nibali to be comfortably the strongest rider in the race, the British outfit are set to employ an aggressive strategy in the two remaining mountain stages on Thursday and Friday.

    Sky's high-altitude onslaught was set to begin on the Colle del Moncenisio on Sunday, but the plan unhinged when the race was effectively neutralised due to adverse weather. The current mountains classification leader, Stefano Pirazzi, broke the ceasefire three kilometres from the summit, incurring the wrath of several riders including Filippo Pozzato. Cyclingnews understands, however, that Team Sky's management - if not their riders - would also have preferred a fast and furious opening. Whether a repeat of their mass surge on the Cason di Lanza climb on stage 10 would have brought the same result - victory for Urán - is a moot point. That, though, was their blueprint.

    One rider, the Androni Giocattoli sprinter Mattia Gavazzi, said Monday that a Sky attack would have had seismic consequences at the back, if not the front of the race. "I saw a lot of guys on their knees at the finish yesterday. If Sky had done that, a whole load of guys would have been packing their bags last night," Gavazzi said.

    Sky now has two huge mountain stages plus an uphill time trial to either consolidate or improve Urán's third position and deficit of 2:43 from Nibali. Speaking at the team hotel in...

  • Giro d'Italia gallery: Evans and Nibali enjoy rest day

    Just in case you needed a reminder, there's still 8k till the summit of the Col du Galibier
    Article published:
    May 21, 2013, 9:39 BST
    Cycling News

    Riders train around Valloire ahead of final week

    The second and final rest day of this year's Giro d'Italia was a fairly relaxed affair for the remaining riders who made it through the freezing stage that finished at the Col du Galibier - won by Giovanni Visconti. The three-time Italian national road champion savoured his emotional victory the day prior and was also out taking in the sights around the ski resort of Valloire.

    With six stages remaining in this year's edition and one final mountain time trial to go it looks like Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) will ride into Brescia as the champion of the Italian grand tour. His team may have been weakened by illness and injury but the 2011 third-place finisher has kept himself more-or-less out of trouble and at the front of the action since the race left Naples.

    The first and sole  Australian winner of the Tour de France Cadel Evans remains one of Nibali's greatest threats in the overall classification and has already said he is not willing to accept a podium position just yet. Evans, along with a couple of his BMC teammates also looked to be enjoying a quieter day ahead of the final testing week.

    The following gallery features a collection of images captured on the second rest day where most riders were looking to get some much needed recovery before entering what will arguably be the toughest six days of the race.

  • Sanchez and Vanmarcke head up Blanco squad for Tour of Belgium

    2012 San Sebastian champion Luis Leon Sanchez (Rabobank)
    Article published:
    May 21, 2013, 12:03 BST
    Cycling News

    Spaniard returns after team suspension

    Luis Leon Sanchez and Sep Vanmarcke will form Blanco’s assault on the Tour of Belgium. The race starts Wednesday with a 194.2 kilometre stages from Lochristi to Knokke-Heist. The race also marks Sanchez’s return to racing after the team sidelined him due to links between the Spaniard and Operacion Puerto.

    “We don’t have an ordained lead man, but with Lars Boom and Sep Vanmarcke, we certainly have two guys who know their way around the Ardennes,” said Blanco sports director Erik Dekker.

    After a classics campaign that culminated with second place at Paris-Roubaix, Vanmarcke has returned to racing in recent weeks after a short break. He finished 5th in Rund um Köln last week and has targeted the Belgian parcour for stage wins.

    “I see some chances, especially in the second and fourth stages. To score well in the classification will be difficult for me, considering my time trial skills and a very challenging last day. It’s not often that I get the chance to race in my homeland outside the preseason. I am looking forward to it.”

    Sanchez was suspended by the team in February of this year, with the team announcing an internal investigation into his ties to Eufemiano Fuentes. The rider denied any association and although Blanco have not produced the findings of their report they have taken Sanchez off his inactive status.

  • Argos Shimano set out rosters for busy racing schedule

    Junior World Champion, Lucy Garner (Argos-Shimano) was in the front group
    Article published:
    May 21, 2013, 13:21 BST
    Cycling News

    Men's and women's team tackle multiple events

    Having secured a WoldTour licence at the start of the 2013 season Argos Shimano have lived up to the demands of fielding multiple rosters during the season. Their strength in depth will be tested in the coming days with a number of races overlapping, as the Giro d’Italia continues, the Tour of Belgium begins on Wednesday and this weekend sees the team line up for Bayern Rundfahrt.

    The squad for Germany includes Georg Preidler, Warren Barguil, and Simon Geschke.

    “The General Classification will be very difficult as we don’t have a specialist here for the long time trial but we will however be chasing a stage win,” said sports manager Christian Guiberteau. “With men like Preidler, Nikias Arndt and Barguil who are in good shape, and given last weeks results, we can make the difference in the break but also in a small bunch sprint.

    “Geschke only raced his first race after a few weeks rest last weekend but we will see how he is feeling, if he is feeling good, we can expect something of him too. One thing is sure we will have an aggressive strategy.”

    While the battle rages in Germany, Argos will send another squad to Belgium to compete in the five day national tour. The team will be built around sprinter Ramon Sinkeldam.

    “For the Tour of Belgium our leader will be Sinkeldam and we will look to continue from his strong performance in Dunkirk,” said sports manager Aike Visbeek. “We will be aiming for the sprints and in addition to this we will use an offensive strategy in the Ardennes. The focus will be largely on the stages rather than the overall, but we can adapt easily to defend this if we need to.”

    Argos are one of only a small contingent of WorldTour teams to run a...

  • Taylor Phinney abandons Giro d'Italia

    Taylor Phinney at the start
    Article published:
    May 21, 2013, 13:45 BST
    Cycling News

    BMC rider out with saddle sores

    Taylor Phinney (BMC Racing) has abandoned the Giro d’Italia on stage 16 from Valloire to Ivrea. The 2012 Giro prologue winner pulled out mid-way through Tuesday’s stage with his team citing saddle sores.

    Phinney, who wore the maglia rosa after winning last year’s Giro d’Italia prologue had already battled through illness in this year’s race. He had been targeting a possible stage win but also worked for team leader Cadel Evans, who currently sits second in the overall standings.

    More to follow...