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
Spaniard discovers "different parcours than expected"
On Monday, Spain's Alberto Contador and Jonathan Castroviejo rode the Worlds time trial course which will be raced on Wednesday. The winner of the 2012 Vuelta a España told Biciciclismo that he thought the parcours was easier than he previously expected - which he didn't rate to his advantage.
"It's quite a different circuit than what I expected," Contador said. "I had looked at the profile on the official Worlds website and it looked like a tough course, including several climbs and quite some rhythm changes. It's true that it's twisty with a lot of different corners, but of the three climbs, only the Cauberg - which I already know - is really challenging.
"I had hoped that the first one [Sint Remigiusstraat, 1000m reportedly at 7.7 per cent gradient - ed.] would be hard, but it's actually not that bad. They're not a climber's hills where you'd have to go out of the saddle. They can be ridden remaining seated, which is why they're not so much to my advantage."
While the famous Cauberg is a 1200m-ramp averaging 5.8 per cent gradient (with peaks up to 12 per cent), the only other main climb of the course is the Bundersberg, 800m long at 5.4 per cent gradient. Contador added that he would try to be at his best especially during the second part of the course.
"The road surface is a bit rough in the first part, so it advantages riders that are a little heavier than me. I quite like the second part, though. We'll see if there's any wind because there are some unprotected stretches," he added.
While he recovered well from the Vuelta, which finished only one week ago, the Spaniard was adamant that the biggest favourite for the gold medal on Wednesday was Germany's Tony Martin, the...
Van Emden extends with Dutch team
Jack Bobridge will join Rabobank for two years, the team has announced. The former U23 World time trial champion will come over from the Orica-GreenEdge team. The Dutch team also said that Jos van Emden has extended his contract for another year.
It was reported earlier today that Bobridge was on the verge of leaving Orica-GreenEdge for “personal reasons.”
After focusing on the track, Bobridge said he is ready to concentrate on the road in the coming season. In 2011, he won two world titles on the track, and this year he won two silvers at the Worlds and silver also at the Olympics.
Bobridge had no results on the road this season, due to his emphasis on the track. He rode the Giro d'Italia but abandoned on the penultimate stage.
"I want to develop myself further down the road," he said on the Rabobank website. "The Rabobank Cycling Team has experience in training young talents to good road racers. I am a real team player, want to help my teammates. That is my strength.”
In addition, the team announced that van Emden was happy to extend after a less-than-satisfactory year. "I have not really been able to show myself this year, through various circumstances,” he said. “I am very happy with this contract extension, I know what is expected of me.”
Rabobank also confirmed that Coen Vermeltfoort will be leaving the team and going to Cyclingteam De Rijke-Shanks.
Czech rider signs three-year deal with Riis
Roman Kreuziger will leave his current Astana team at the end of the season and join Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank in 2013, the team managed by Bjarne Riis announced on Tuesday. The Czech rider has signed a three-year deal with the Danish squad, where he will undoubtedly work for Alberto Contador but also get several opportunities to achieve his personal goals.
Kreuziger, 26, is a strong and proven all-rounder, skilled in both climbing and time trialling, which has seen him win some significant stage races like Tour de Suisse and Tour de Romandie. In 2011, Kreuziger finished fifth overall in the Giro d'Italia, winning the young rider's classification. This season, he also took a mountain stage win in the Italian grand tour.
Kreuziger has been with Kazakh team Astana these last two years, but was looking for new perspectives to further improve his career. "Personally I thought that now was the time for some new inspiration, and after I spoke with Bjarne and Alberto I was sure that Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank was the best choice for me," the Czech rider said.
"I know what I am capable of on the bike, and I know I have a chance of winning in a lot of different races, but over the last couple of years I've lost some of my confidence. Instantly when talking to Bjarne I felt he believed in me, and that this team can help me move on. I have seen how the team works with a young rider like Manuele Boaro, how hard work and dedication pays off, so I thought to myself, I just want to be part of this team," he added.
Riis was equally excited with the new addition to his roster. "Roman is a rider that I actually wanted to have on the team some years back. So that we have now been able to seal deal is something I'm extremely happy about. No doubt he...
Correction needed on hand broken at Tour de France
Tony Martin is now able to ride without pain in the hand he broke during the Tour de France, but nevertheless faces the possibility of surgery on the injured left hand after the season.
Martin led Team Omega Pharma-QuickStep to victory on Sunday in the team time trial at the World Championships in Valkenburg, Netherlands, and is the top favourite to win the men's title on Wednesday and defend his world title.
The German crashed early in the first stage of the Tour de France, and was diagnosed with a broken scaphoid. He stayed in the race, wearing a special brace, and abandoned on the first race day. He went on to win a silver medal in the London Olympics time trial.
Surgery may be necessary to prevent him from suffering from arthritis in the hand later. “We will talk about after the Worlds,” team doctor Helge Riepenhof told the dpa news agency.
“If the operation is necessary, then it must be done. But it is important to find the most sensible time,” said Martin's manager Jörg Werner. Martin's last race of the season is the Tour of Beijing, which he won last year, to be held October 7-14.
Great Britain left with one rider in time trial
Alex Dowsett will ride as Great Britain’s only representative in tomorrow’s Worlds time trial after Chris Froome pulled out of the event to concentrate on the road race. Dowsett, who rode as part of Sky’s team time trial squad, will also compete in Sunday’s road race but has set his sights on a top ten finish in Wednesday’s individual test.
“There’s the pressure of being the only Brit and knowing our time trial record this year has been but there’s no pressure put on by the team though, both trade and national, just the pressure that I put on myself. I’m looking forward to getting stuck in.” Dowsett told Cyclingnews.
The 23-year-old has endured a difficult season. After sustaining a broken elbow earlier in the year, he battled back to retain his national time trial title but in recent weeks he has been raced in one-day races, leaving him somewhat uncertain as to his form ahead of Wednesday’s race.
“It hasn’t been an ideal season for me but the team time trial went well for me personally. I felt pretty strong so was pleased,” he said.
“I’m not really sure where I stand form wise. I’ve been doing a lot of the single day races, like the two in Canada, Hamburg and GP Plouay but it’s quite difficult to gauge where you are based of them. At the national time trial, which went well for me, I wasn’t racing anyone I knew so there wasn’t any markers but there are a lot of riders now here. I’d be happy with a top ten.”
Froome isn’t the only pre-race favourite to drop out. Bradley Wiggins ruled himself out of the race weeks ago, while Fabian Cancellara has already brought the curtain...
Rumsas Senior comments on Armstrong
The son who follows in his father’s sporting footsteps takes on an unspoken risk – he must spend at least some time burdened by the weight of his name, knowing that only the happy few ever fully escape the shadows cast by the father’s legacy.
18-year-old Raimondas Rumsas has quietly accepted that challenge, and the Lithuanian lined up at the junior men’s time trial at the world championships in Valkenburg on Monday, grinding his way to 47th place, 2:29 down on winner Oskar Svendsen (Norway).
The teenager is the son of the man who finished third in the 2002 Tour de France and of the woman – Edita Rumsas – who was stopped at the Franco-Italian border that July with a car boot filled with 37 different medicines and empty syringes with traces of EPO.
On Monday, Raimondas Rumsas Senior was himself behind the wheel, driving the Lithuanian team car behind his son, but afterwards, he preferred to concentrate on his namesake’s performance rather than contemplate the feelings the occasion had provoked.
“My emotions are good,” Rumsas told Cyclingnews. “But my son wasn’t on a good day today and it went as it went. He’s lost over two minutes in the time trial, which would mean that there’s room for improvement.”
Rumsas is hopeful that a strong showing in Limburg this week can land his son a place at one of the top Italian amateur squads in 2012, and he said that they had deliberately held off signing any agreements until after Friday’s road race.
“We haven’t signed with anybody just yet, we’re waiting for the road race. We’re hoping to get a good result, so we’ll have to wait for the weekend and hope that it comes,” Rumsas...
USADA still preparing its report for UCI and WADA
The USADA has not yet passed on its paperwork regarding the decision to ban Lance Armstrong for anti-doping rule violations and to strip him of his results to UCI and World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), but plans to do so soon.
“We will be sending a reasoned decision to WADA, UCI and WTC (World Triathlon Corporation) as provided for under the rules in the coming weeks, “ a statement from the agency read.
In June, the USADA charged Armstrong with doping throughout his career. He decided not to challenge the charges and at the end of August, USADA banned him for life, disqualifying all his results since August 1, 1998.
The next step is for the agency to forward its decision to the aforementioned agencies. Only when that has been received and analyzed will the UCI take action. It has, however, indicated that it will not appeal the USADA decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
UCI president Pat McQuaid had also put forward the suggestion of an amnesty for riders who have doped, but that too won't be happening any time soon. UCI spokesman Enrico Carpani said that “we will talk about it in the presidium on Wednesday and Thursday, but don't count on a decision.”
Tony Martin, 2011 World time trial champion and 2012 World team time trial champion, didn't think much of the proposed amnesty. “That sounds absurd. Does that mean someone can say, I doped three weeks ago, and then not be punished?”
"Unfortunately, satisfaction is linked partly to results"
A time trial can often struggle to carry the same kind of suspense in a stand-alone setting as it does in a stage race, but the undulating Limburg course gave rise to a fierce contest between Pooley, Judith Arndt (Germany), Evelyn Stevens (United States) and Linda Villumsen (New Zealand).
At the first time check after 10.7km, Pooley, Stevens and Villumsen were locked within 1.5 seconds of one another, while the eventual winner Arndt was herself just six seconds ahead. The rolling central section and the final haul up the Cauberg eventually saw the gaps between to open, however, and when the dust settled, Pooley found herself in 4th place, 50 seconds down on Arndt and just nine behind the third-placed Villumsen.
"I'm disappointed, I gave everything," Pooley said quietly, when asked if fourth place was the cruellest position at a major championship. "No, I think finishing in last place is worse, but it is disappointing, especially when it's nine seconds. I was close, but I don't think I really could have gone much faster."
Pooley's dejection and fatigue were apparent as she recovered from her effort, gingerly walking from the team boxes to the mixed zone, but she acknowledged that she could take some solace from the eventual margin of her defeat.
"It was enough time so that there wasn't one point where I could say, 'oh yeah, I didn't go fast enough there' - I must have just been slower the whole way around," Pooley said. "The winner was faster and that's the way it is."