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Second Edition Cycling News, Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Date published:
August 07, 2013, 1:00 BST
  • Planned move by Van Avermaet nets another win for BMC

    Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) got to take home some western ware for today's win.
    Article published:
    August 07, 2013, 4:29 BST
    Cycling News

    Belgian claims opening stage in Utah

    Inspired by teammate Taylor Phinney's attack last week at the Tour of Poland, Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) took control of the final kilometre of the opening stage of the Tour of Utah on Tuesday, for this third win in as many weeks.

    Van Avermaet won two stages of the Tour de Wallonie late last month en route to overall victory, a sure sign of his pre-Utah form. His latest win however, came as a surprise for the 28-year-old Belgian who had decided that he wouldn't have the speed to hold off some of the sprinters in the peloton.

    "I thought guys like [Michael] Matthews could beat me," Van Avermaet explained. "So I tried to do it differently and went in the last kilometer. It was already hard and I attacked. I came into the last corner with a gap and then I was just pedaling to finish and hoping they wouldn't come over. I'm happy that I won."

    BMC has been on a roll following a largely underwhelming Tour de France campaign. Along with Van Avermaet's success at Wallonie, the team claimed three of the seven stages in Poland, with former World Champion Thor Hushovd appearing on the top step of the podium twice either side of Phinney's win.

    While his winning move was planned, Van Avermaet admitted that such a tactic is easier said than done.

    "You can have the plan, but sometimes it's hard to work out," he said. "But the team was riding well on the circuits and it worked out in the last kilometer."

    Van Avermaet holds a four-second lead over Matthews heading into Wednesday's second stage courtesy of the sprint bonus on the line however he remains doubtful of repeating his overall win at Wallonie.

    "It's going to be hard for me to take the GC," he said. "We have a couple of good guys like Steve Cummings and Yannick Eijssen, who are going really good uphill. It's always good,...

  • Matthews hopeful of Salt Lake City repeat in Utah

    Orica GreenEdge worked hard to shut down the break.
    Article published:
    August 07, 2013, 5:46 BST
    Cycling News

    Another runner-up performance for Orica GreenEdge all-rounder

    Since joining Orica GreenEdge for the start of the 2013 season, former under 23 world champion Michael Matthews has now finished runner-up five times. The Australian was a definitive second place on Wednesday on the opening stage of the Tour of Utah and as a former stage winner at the event, BMC's eventual victor Greg Van Avermaet, had noted Matthews as a rider to watch on the final circuits.

    Orica GreenEdge spearheaded the bid to bring back the day's two-man break of Chris Jones (UnitedHealthcare) and Michael Torckler (Bissell), who attacked in the opening kilometres and at one point held an advantage of 10 minutes over the peloton before being nullified when the race hit Cedar City for the first time.

    According to Matthews, it was a chase that ultimately cost him his first win of the season.

    "The finish didn't go exactly to plan," Matthews admitted. "We had to use most of the team to bring back the break today, so we didn't have much a lead-out for the sprint. When Greg slipped away, there wasn't anything we could do without a full lead-out to bring him back. In the end, I could only sprint for second."

    Regardless, it was a team effort that the 22-year-old was proud of with trainee Damien Howson included in the squad for the first time.

    "I'm happy with the way the team raced," said Matthews. "They put it all on the line for me. I can't ask for more than that from them."

    Howson held his own in the chase.

    "Baden [Cooke] asked me to start to the ride the front with Tomas [Vaitkus] so that we could pull back the two that were up the road," the 20-year-old explained. "I think we went to the front after about 50 or 60km, and I stayed there until we made the catch 6km from the finish. We did a lot of...

  • Hamilton: Froome is a true winner of the Tour de France

    Thumbs up. Chris Froome (Sky) en route to Paris
    Article published:
    August 07, 2013, 7:28 BST
    Cycling News

    American calls for doping amnesty

    Tyler Hamilton says that Chris Froome (Sky) won the 2013 Tour de France riding clean.

    Hamilton, a confessed doper who has remained outspoken after lifting the lid regarding his own use of performance-enhancing drugs in a 60 Minutes interview in May 2011 following two doping bans, has not been backwards in pointing the finger but the American believes Froome's result will stand the test of time.

    "There's no reason to believe they're doping. I think [in Froome] we have a true Tour de France winner," Hamilton told The Times in South Africa.

    After an-already dominant season, speculations surrounding Froome's methods exploded following his win at Ax 3 Domaines, resulting in him taking the yellow jersey. Maintaining a cool head, he delivered the following response.

    "I certainly know that the results I'm getting are not going to be stripped 10, 20 years down the line – rest assured it's not going to happen," Froome said. "I think if people got more of a look into [my training] they would see that that work equals these results and it's not something that's so wow, so unbelievable. It does actually add up if you look and see what actually goes into this."

    Earlier this week, former WADA chief Dick Pound said that he refuses to watch the Tour de France in the wake of the USADA report and subsequent lifetime ban of Lance Armstrong because he believes doping is still rampant.

    "As an event, I don't believe what I see," Pound explained. "We've been there, done that and until there's a change of attitude at the very top [in the UCI] then I won't watch it."

    Hamilton has previously been

  • Mollema to lead Dutch charge at world championships

    Bauke Mollema (Belkin) at the Profronde van Surhuisterveen criterium
    Article published:
    August 07, 2013, 9:59 BST
    Cycling News

    Results dictate protected status, says Lammerts

    After a productive season which has been highlighted by his sixth overall at the Tour de France, Bauke Mollema will captain the Dutch team for the upcoming UCI Road World Championships in September.

    The Belkin rider came agonisingly close to securing his nation's first podium in 23 years at the Tour before his hopes were shattered when Mollema slipped from second to fourth overall following the stage 17 time trial to Chorges. Suffering with the flu, Mollema battled through the remainder of the stages to eventually finish sixth, 11:42 down on yellow jersey Chris Froome (Sky).

    Top-10 results have been a feature of the 26-year-old's season, beginning with sixth at the Tour Méditerranéen, runner-up at Vuelta a Murcia and Tour de Suisse, fourth at Critérium International, 10th at Amstel Gold Race, ninth at Flèche Wallonne, fourth at Tour of Norway, and just last week, he was ninth at Clasica San Sebastian.

    Dutch national coach Johan Lammerts told NOS that Mollema's results dictate that he should be the team's protected rider.

    "Bauke is the leader and we are expecting a result," he said. "He gets a protected role and should keep quiet until the final."

    Pieter Weening, Wilco Kelderman, Robert Gesink and Laurens ten Dam should also feature in the Dutch team of nine riders for the men's road race.

    Lammerts has been working with a core group of riders for the championships since May.

    Mollema's best placing at world championship level, of his two berths in the elite Dutch ranks, is his 48th place in Valkenburg in 2012. He made his debut in 2011, finishing 62nd. 

  • Martinelli confident Nibali can find form ahead of Vuelta

    Vincenzo Nibali (Astana)
    Article published:
    August 07, 2013, 10:50 BST
    Cycling News

    Astana manager wants to sign Nairo Quintana

    Astana manager Giuseppe Martinelli has admitted that Vincenzo Nibali is still short of condition but he remains confident that the Sicilian will be ready in time for the Vuelta a España.

    Nibali struggled during his return to action at the Tour de Pologne last week, his first race since winning the Giro d’Italia in May. He spent two weeks off the bike immediately after the Giro and also travelled to Kazakhstan on two occasions to fulfil commitments to his team’s backers.

    “I won’t deny that I expected him to be a bit further ahead, not so much in terms of results but in terms of condition,” Martinelli told Gazzetta dello Sport. “After the Giro, he left things go a bit too much and when he got back a lot of time had passed. The two trips to Kazakhstan were heavy going, especially the second one. But I’m still confident because the boy has talent and determination.”

    Nibali finished a discreet 53rd in Poland and Martinelli said that he suffered in the race’s opening days in Italy in particular due to the lack of a solid base of training in the month beforehand.

    “We spoke after the final time trial in Poland. He’s missing strength because he wasn’t able to do specific work for two months,” Martinelli said. “Furthermore, the first two days in Trentino were very hard and with a sufficient base of work behind him, he found it hard to recover. But maybe I’m more worried than he is.”

    Nibali lines up at the Vuelta a Burgos on Wednesday as he continues his preparation for the Vuelta a España, which gets underway on August 24....

  • Meier extends stay at Orica-GreenEdge

    Christian Meier (Orica GreenEdge)
    Article published:
    August 07, 2013, 11:44 BST
    Cycling News

    Canadian signs new two-year deal

    Christian Meier has signed up with Orica-GreenEdge for a further two years. The Canadian will remain with the team through to the end of the 2015 season.

    “For me the question isn't 'why stay?' It's 'why leave?" said Meier. "We have a great group of people to work with – riders, staff and sponsors. We're always right on the leading edge of training, recovery methods and nutrition. The team gives us all the tools we need to grow and get the best out of ourselves. I don't want to be anywhere else."

    Meier joined GreenEdge from UnitedHealthcare ahead of its inaugural season in 2012, and he has become one of the team’s most reliable domestiques in the intervening period. He pointed to his role in Matt Goss’ stage victory in last year’s Giro d’Italia as one of the highlights of his time with the team.

    "When I was younger, I never really aspired to be a huge champion myself," Meier said. "Sure, I wanted to win some races but I never thought I'd win the biggest races in the world. Working with guys like Gerro [Simon Gerrans] or Gossy [Matt Goss], who can achieve those big victories with my help, makes me feel like I have achieved something myself."

    While Meier is content with his place in the team’s hierarchy, he is not without personal ambition, citing a second Canadian national title and a debut ride at the Tour de France among his objectives for the coming two years. "I want to continue to grow as a rider," he said.

    Orica-GreenEdge sport director Matt White previously worked with Meier during their time at Garmin. He welcomed Meier’s decision to re-sign with the Australian team and pointed out the importance of his contribution.

    “Every team needs someone like Christian," said White. "In the make-up of the team you have your winners, your...

  • Lefevere has faith in grand tour leaders like Uran

    Patrick Lefevere (Omega-Pharma QuickStep) manager
    Article published:
    August 07, 2013, 12:28 BST
    Daniel Benson

    Hopes to keep Chavanel and possibly sign more riders

    Despite having already signed a trio of stars in the transfer window, Patrick Lefevere has not ruled out dipping into the market again. The Omega Pharma-QuickStep boss also revealed that he had been put off signing a grand tour contender until now due to cycling’s doping problems.

    The transfer window officially opened on August 1 with Lefevere confirming the capture of Mark Renshaw, Alessandro Petacchi and Rigoberto Uran. Uran finished second in the Giro d’Italia this year and is expected to lead Lefevere’s squad in major stage races in 2014.

    “Everyone said that we were always a team for the Classics and never did anything in the big tours. That was true but I never had the money to buy a classification rider and secondly I never trusted the situation in the past,” Lefevere told Cyclingnews.

    The Belgian worked with a number of grand tour rider in the 1990s, including Pavel Tonkov, Abraham Olano and Tony Rominger. His last grand tour leader was Levi Leipheimer, but the American failed to reproduce his top form at Omega and then was fired after he testified and confessed to doping as part of USADA investigation.

    “I remember two years ago I was close to losing the WorldTour licence at the UCI. I went to the commission and they said, ‘we can understand that Boonen has been injured, that Chavanel has crashed, but you’ve never had results in the big tours’. I said, okay here’s the results from the grand tours over the last ten years, I only see Xs on the podium. I asked if they wanted me to invest in something that I’m not sure about, and said that if they can guarantee that the biological passport is 100 per cent then I’d say yes,' but in the last two years I think a lot of things have changed in cycling,” Lefevere said.

    The signing of Uran sees Lefevere...

  • Garmin Vector power meter pedals available now

    Our test set of Garmin Vector power meter pedals weighed 428g including cleats and bolts
    Article published:
    August 07, 2013, 14:20 BST
    Ben Delaney

    Left/right power measurement thanks to meters in both spindles

    This article originally published on BikeRadar

    After a few delays, the Garmin Vector pedal-based power meter has officially launched, with stock shipping to retailers immediately. That means you might be able to get your hands on a set as early as next week.

    Also see: Garmin Vector - first ride review.

    The Garmin Vector system will retail for $1,699 in the US and Australia and £1,349 in the UK. For that you will get the pedals, pods and cleats but no head unit. Our UK test set weighed 428g including cleats and bolts.

    With eight piezoresistive strain gauges in both spindles of the Exustar (Look compatible) pedals, the Garmin Vector power meter offers a wealth of data using the ANT+ wireless protocol.

    Garmin are claiming the system is "essentially two power meters in one", as both pedals measure power, with each pod attachment able to transmit data. The left operates as a slave, delivering data via ANT+ to the right, which assimilates the information and sends it to any ANT+ head unit, Garmin or otherwise.

    The advantage of using pedals to measure power is that they can easily be transferred from bike to bike using a 15mm spanner. Unlike those on the Look/Polar Keo power pedal system, the pods, which clip into the ends of the axles, don't need to be aligned perfectly with the cranks. Garmin advise that they point down when the crank is in the forward position, but that's mainly to keep them out of the way.

    Once the pedals and pods are on, you do an initial sensor alignment calibration via your head unit, which takes less than half a minute. You only need to do this when you swap pedals over.

    For those who use an Edge computer, available power-related data from...