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Second Edition Cycling News, Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Date published:
August 14, 2013, 1:00 BST
  • Vandewalle, De Gendt earn world championship ITT berth

    Belgian time trial champion Kristof Vandewalle (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) powers to victory in the prologue time trial.
    Article published:
    August 14, 2013, 5:39 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Brulée claims women's spot for Belgium

    Dual Belgian time trial champion Kristof Vandewalle (Omega Pharma-Quick-Step) will spearhead the nation’s efforts in the chrono at the UCI Road World Championships next month in Florence. Thomas De Gendt (Vacansoleil-DCM) will be Belgium’s second rider for the September 27 event.

    Vandewalle defeated 2011 title holder Philippe Gilbert (BMC) and QuickStep teammate Julien Vermote on the 44.4km course in Maldegem.

    De Gendt finished the championships in 18th position, over three minutes behind Vandewalle, in a field of 22 starters. The Vacansoleil 26-year-old has endured a frustrating season to date but his third place in the opening ITT at the Tour de France was some consolation.

    Vermote will be the reserve rider.

    Latoya Brulée (Cyclelive Plus – Zannata) earned selection for the women’s race. The 24-year-old finished fourth at the national titles behind Liesbet De Vocht (Rabobank Liv/Giant), Maaike Polspoel (Sengers Ladies) and teammate Annelies Dom.

    The final selections for the road race will be announced next Monday afternoon.
     

  • Mouris extends with Orica GreenEdge for 2014

    Jens Mouris (Orica-GreenEdge)
    Article published:
    August 14, 2013, 6:43 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Another year for reliable Dutchman

    Orica GreenEdge has announced that Dutchman Jens Mouris has re-signed for the squad for another season.

    In 2014 the 33-year-old will chase a mixture of team and personal objectives from the spring classics through to the world championships where he plays an integral role in the team time trial. With another worlds just around the corner, first and foremost he will be chasing another podium performance with Orica GreenEdge.

    "I want to do well with the team at the worlds team time trial again this year," said Mouris. "We're hoping to improve on our third place from last year. Going forward, I haven't looked at next year too specifically yet, but I want to improve my individual time trials and I hope we can get some better results in the sprints."

    Mouris explained that he didn't want to leave the Australian-based outfit, very much at home in the relaxed atmosphere given he has spent many off-seasons Down Under.

    "I like the way Australians do things," he said. "It's a nice balance between professionalism and creating a good, fun environment. That makes the team both focused and relaxed, and I feel at home here."

    Sports director Matt White said Mouris was an integral member of the team's engine room.

    "I would say Jens is a rider that's able to provide crucial support in a number of different scenarios," White explained. "His strengths are on the flat roads, in the lead-out train and in the team time trial. With these varied skills, he is useful in so many races."

    Asked to pin-point a highlight of being part of the inaugural seasons with the team which joined the ProTour ranks in 2012, Mouris selected the TTT win at Tirreno-Adriatico.

    "The Worlds were also pretty cool even though we didn't end up accomplishing what we set out to do," he said.

    "It was massive for Pieter...

  • Chaoufi released by Euskaltel Euskadi

    Tarik Chaoufi (Euskaltel-Euskadi)
    Article published:
    August 14, 2013, 9:48 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Moroccan rider struggles with homesickness

    Euskaltel Euskadi has announced that Moroccan Tarik Chaoufi will no longer ride for the Basque team having failed to settle in with the squad.

    Euskaltel abandoned its former stance of signing exclusively Basque riders for this season, with the exception being Samuel Sanchez, however in the case of the Moroccan, the experiment has not proved fruitful.

    Mid-year Chaoufi, a climbing specialist, announced he was taking an extended break from Euskaltel, returning to his homeland and finishing seventh in his title defence at the Moroccan national championships. It's understood that he had a relative that was battling illness.

    "The days have become long and sad, even though his colleagues have tried to make the stay more pleasant, more comfortable," explained the team on their website.

    Due to return from his break and race a six-week stint through France, Belgium and Holland, Chaoufi chose not to resume his contract with the team.

    Chaoufi signed with Euskaltel Euskadi having finished top of the UCI Africa Tour rankings for 2012. He was the first Moroccan to sign with a European team.
     

  • Quintana given a hero's welcome in Colombia

    Nairo Quintana waves to the crowd
    Article published:
    August 14, 2013, 10:38 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Movistar rider meets the president on return home

    Nairo Quintana has been given a hero's welcome in Colombia after returning home for the first time since his success at the Tour de France.

    The Movistar rider finished second behind Chris Froome and won the climber's polka-dot jersey and best young rider's white jersey, reviving the passion for the Tour de France in Colombia and confirming the arrival of a new generation of riders.

    Quintana was greeted by thousands of people as he travelled in an open-top bus with his family from the airport to the Presidential palace. President Juan Manuel Santos awarded him the Cruz de Boyacá award for services to Colombia. Quintana gave a framed polka-dot jersey to the president.

    Santos revealed that Colombia hopes to host the 2017 world road race championships and will build a new development centre to help young riders.

    "I'm very happy to see all the people who have come to support me. I expected something like this but not as big," Quintana told the Colombian media.

    "For me it is an honour to meet all these people who have shown their affection and enjoyed my success. We should look forward to more success by Colombians."

    Quintana will travel home to Tunja on Wednesday and hold a press conference. He will stay in Colombia until mid-September before returning to Europe for the Tour of Britain and the UCI world road race championships in Tuscany.
     

  • Evelyn Stevens: My form is moving in the right direction

    Stage 1 winner Evelyn Stevens (Specialized-lululemon)
    Article published:
    August 14, 2013, 11:15 BST
    By:
    Daniel Benson

    American back with Specialized-lululemon after racing with national team

    Evelyn Stevens (Specialized-lululemon) is looking to take her recent run of good form into this week’s Open de Suède Vargarda TTT, part of the women's World Cup series.

    The American finished third overall at last week’s Route de France Féminine and although the 2012 champion missed out on the overall prize she is determined to capitalize on her condition with a number of key races on the horizon.

    With her trade team skipping La Route de France, Stevens linked up with the US national squad. It was situation the American enjoyed, having made her European debut at the same race, and with the same team, back in 2009.

    “La Route was good. It was a nice experience to race with the national team. Lululemon did Thüringen and the Giro so weren’t racing La Route. The parcours weren’t that challenging but the racing was quite hard. It’s probably hard to see that from the results but all the team definitely gave it a go until the finish,” she told Cyclingnews.

    The race was dominated by the Wiggle-Honda team, who won all but one stage and sealed the overall through Linda Villumsen. The New Zealand rider attacked on the final stage, bridging up to Stevens before dropping her on a key descent.

    “It was still impressive to see Bronzini win so many stages and then Wiggle taking the race at the end. It was aggressive racing most of the week. Because it was so close after the prologue you couldn’t really let anyone go up the road. Everyone was in GC contention and that made for aggressive racing.”

    “It’s a lovely race though. It’s the third year I’ve done it, and the peloton are grateful to have it.”

    After a crash earlier in the season Stevens is starting...

  • Kroon's future still up in the air

    Karsten Kroon (Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank)
    Article published:
    August 14, 2013, 13:30 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Denies signing for another year with Saxo-Tinkoff

    Following earlier reports in the Belgian media that Karsten Kroon had re-signed for a third season with Saxo-Tinkoff, the Dutchman says that he is still in the dark as to his plans.

    According to De Telegraaf, Kroon had extended his contract with Saxo-Tinkoff for one year.

    "I have absolutely not re-signed with the team for the new season," Kroon said on his personal website. "I still do not know what will happen."

    The 37-year-old turned pro in 1997 with Rabobank and rode for CSC (2006-2009) and BMC (2010-2011) before joining Saxo Bank last year. He won a stage at the Tour de France in 2002.
     

  • Swift ends his season early due to shoulder injury

    Ben Swift (Team Sky) on the podium again
    Article published:
    August 14, 2013, 14:22 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Team Sky sprinter to undergo surgery

    Team Sky has announced that British sprinter Ben Swift will end his 2013 season early to undergo surgery to resolve a shoulder injury that has significantly affected his performances in recent months.

    The Yorkshire man pulled out of the Eneco Tour during stage 2 on Tuesday due to the pain in his shoulder. He will soon undergo surgery to take advantage of the winter to make a full recovery in time for the 2014 season. Swift is hoping to secure a place in the Team Sky squad for the Tour de France that begins near his home in Yorkshire.

    “I couldn’t do anything. I couldn’t pull on the handlebars, I couldn’t accelerate out of corners properly. So we’ve made the call now to finish the season and focus on getting the shoulder fixed,” Swift said in a statement from Team Sky.

    “On the one hand, it’s a bad end to a tough year, but on the other hand I’m almost quite relieved in a way to find out that there’s a reason why I haven’t been firing on all cylinders this year. It’s the third year now that I’ve suffered with a bad shoulder. I had it operated on over the winter and then the crash in Mallorca re-damaged it.”

    Swift made a rapid return after breaking his shoulder before the 2012 Giro d'Italia, underwent rehabilitation and trained on the rollers during the winter but then re-injured his shoulder in February in a crash at the Trofeo Alcudia.

    Before his problems, he used his speed to win stages at the 2011 Tour of California and the 2012 Tour of Poland. He missed out on a place in the Great Britain team for the pursuit at the London Olympics, but the world title in the scratch race and took silver in the points race...

  • Betancur and Pozzovivo lead Ag2r-La Mondiale at the Vuelta a Espana

    Carlos Alberto Betancur (AG2R - La Mondiale)
    Article published:
    August 14, 2013, 18:24 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    French team looking for more success in the final Grand Tour

    The Ag2r-La Mondiale team has named its squad for the Vuelta a Espana, with Colombia's Carlos Betancur and Italian climber Domenico Pozzovivo expected to lead the team in the mountainous Grand Tour.

    Also in the nine-rider squad are Julien Berard, Steve Chainel, Ben Gastauer, Lloyd Mondory, Matteo Montaguti and Rinaldo Nocentini. Ag2r-La Mondiale had a difficult 2012 season but has performed consistently well in 2013, with Christophe Riblon winning the prestigious stage of the Tour de France to l'Alpe d'Huez. During the Tour de France, Ag2r confirmed its sponsorship of the team until 2016.

    Betancur is just 23 but finished fifth overall in the Giro d'Italia and won the best young rider's white jersey. He has had taken a long series of impressive placing this season but failed to land a major victory despite being aggressive. He was third at Fleche Wallonne and fourth at Liege-Bastogne Liege and also finished second on three occasions at the Giro d'Italia.

    Pozzovivo will also be looking to make up for missing out on success so far this season. He was tenth overall in the Giro d'Italia and showed some form by finishing seventh overall in the recent Tour of Poland.

    Both Betancur and Pozzovivo are suited to the mountain-packed route of this year's Vuelta and could challenge for the red race leader's jersey against Rigoberto Uran and Sergio Henao (Team Sky), Alejandro Valverde (Movistar), Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha), Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) and Ivan Basso (Cannondale).

    The final Grand Tour of the season begins in the western Galicia region of Spain on Saturday August 24.