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Second Edition Cycling News, Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Date published:
January 15, 2014, 0:00 GMT
  • Condor Cycles makes bikes for Lance Armstrong movie

    Condor's version of the Motorola's Eddy Merckx
    Article published:
    January 15, 2014, 14:41 GMT
    Sam Dansie

    Replicated Cannondale, De Rosa, Giant, Eddy Merckx

    This story originally appeared on Bikeradar.

    In the words of the now-infamous Lance Armstrong, it’s not about the bike.

    But for London bike shop and framebuilder Condor, the forthcoming Armstrong film, based on the book Seven Deadly Sins, is precisely the opposite: it’s about nothing but the bike.

    In September last year, the manufacturer was tasked by film producers Working Title to recreate 40 replica bikes for the Stephen Frears-directed film, which stars Ben Foster as Lance Armstrong, Chris O’Dowd as Walsh and features Dustin Hoffman and Breaking Bad’s Jesse Plemmons.

    The inventory included Team Telekom’s Giant TCRs, Gwiss’s De Rosa Titanios, Saeco’s iconic Cannondale CAAD frames, Look bikes, LeMonds and Motorola’s steel Eddy Merckx Caloi bikes.

    The intricate replication prop project was led by Ben Spurrier, head of design at Condor. He admitted to frantic late nights trawling through retro photos from the era and working on a desktop vinyl cutter to painstakingly recreate decals for the bikes before they were sent to the filming location in France.

    “It was a fabulous project,” Spurrier told BikeRadar yesterday. “A lot of it was of an era when we were just getting into cycling ourselves so we were trawling through images like Miguel Indurain riding his bike,” he said.

    “Initially the producers wanted an entire peloton’s worth of vintage bikes between about 1994 and 2004, However the best thing we could think of was just simply to replicate the bikes as best as possible because we had three weeks in which to do the whole lot,” added Spurrier.

    The project used up Condor’s entire stock of steel-tubed Classico framesets which...

  • Gallery: World champion Vos's Rabo Liv team presented

    Pauline Ferrand-Prevot
    Article published:
    January 15, 2014, 15:35 GMT
    Cycling News

    Dutch team gets set for 2014 season

    The Rabo Liv Women's team launched its 2014 team at the headquarters of Rabobank in Utrecht this week, and while the team starts its training camp in Calpe to prepare for the 2014 road season, its star, Marianne Vos, is ramping up for the cyclo-cross world championships.

    According to team manager Koos Moerenhout, the team has three goals: "To at least maintain the position of Marianne Vos [winner of the World Cup and world championship road race], let each individual in the team develop further, and to promote women's cycling."

    The team is fortified by the addition of Anna van der Breggen from the Sengers team. Van der Breggen was the last lieutenant on the road for Vos's successful rainbow jersey defense in Florence.

    Also new to the team are two young riders, German omnium champion Anna Knauer (18) and Katarzyna Niewiadoma (19). Returning with Vos are Lucinda Brand, Annemiek van Vleuten, Iris Slappendel, Roxane Knetemann, Pauline Ferrand-Prevot, Sabrina Stultiens and Thalita de Jong.

    "I'm looking forward to the new team," Moerenhout said. "Anna van der Breggen is our biggest 'acquisition '. She's a top rider. They will take some getting used to, but we'll have a lot of fun with her. I also expect Annemiek van Vleuten, she is fit now, to be back to her old self, and our road captain Lucinda Brand is going to make a new step. It looks like the team will continue to grow."

    The one title which has eluded the team is that of the team time trial world champions. Specialized-lululemon has gotten the better of the Dutch team over the past two years, but Moerenhout says now that Ellen van Dijk has moved to Boels-Dolmans, the dynamic should change.

    "[The TTT] Was our big goal last year, and the silver medal at the world championship was a reward for all the hard work. We halved our deficit to Specialized, which was satisfying. I expect it will be even closer this year."

    Vos is continuing to put some focus into the...

  • Devolder happy in support role at Trek Factory Racing

    Stijn Devolder in the tricoloure of Belgium
    Article published:
    January 15, 2014, 16:40 GMT
    Barry Ryan

    Belgian champion misses Bruyneel management

    Stijn Devolder surprised many when he emerged from the wilderness to bring order to the leading group of the Tour of Flanders on the final approach to the Kwaremont last April, but in spite of his key role in Fabian Cancellara’s eventual victory, the double Ronde winner is under no illusions as to his status within the Trek Factory Racing hierarchy in 2014.

    Taken on by RadioShack after two listless seasons as a leader at Vacansoleil – it would prove to be Johan Bruyneel’s final deal before USADA’s Reasoned Decision ended his tenure – Devolder’s signing was viewed as something of a gamble, but he paid out a dividend by calmly piloting Cancellara through a fraught edition of the Tour of Flanders and then claiming the Belgian title in June.

    That impressive Flanders cameo has led Trek manager Luca Guercilena to suggest that Devolder could have greater responsibility in 2014, combining his domestique duties with a parallel role as back-up leader in the cobbled Classics, but the Kortrijk native stressed that his primary task remains to help Cancellara.

    "The main goal is to go with Fabian as the big leader, especially when he has the same condition as last year," Devolder told Cyclingnews. “I’ll also try to be in good shape, and if something happens or Fabian isn't on a good day, I can take over. But for now, the idea is to go with one leader in Fabian.”

    After landing successive Tour of Flanders victories as a foil to team captain Tom Boonen at QuickStep in 2008 and 2009, Devolder hoped to flourish when he jumped ship for Vacansoleil in 2011. It was to prove an inauspicious voyage, however, and Devolder didn’t win a single race during his two years at the helm of the Dutch squad. His...

  • Giant-Shimano came close to folding

    John Degenkolb and Marcel Kittel having fun at the back of the line
    Article published:
    January 15, 2014, 17:33 GMT
    Sadhbh O'Shea

    Team manager praises Giant's brave decision

    There was no doubt a sigh of relief from the team bosses at the Giant-Shimano presentation, on Monday.

    A little over a month prior, they had experienced the fickle nature of cycling, when their major sponsor pulled out without any warning. Now the team is looking at stability and a four-year deal with Giant.

    Needless to say, the last few weeks have been a whirlwind of emotions for the managers of the Dutch team. “We experienced how vulnerable a team can be when there is a problem with one of the main sponsors.” Giant-Shimano’s team manager Iwan Spekenbrink told Cyclingnews.

    Giant had already signed a four-year deal to supply the team with bikes, but stepped in when the team found themselves without a lead sponsor. Spekenbrink was quick to commend their swift action, “At the headquarters in Taiwan, they have earned big respect from me. What [Giant CEO] Tony Lo did, the decision he, and the others at the headquarters, took was a very brave one." Star riders, Marcel Kittel, John Degenkolb and Warren Barguil also expressed thanks for the company's swift saving of the squad.

    The frantic exchanges over the festive period were in stark contrast to the same period a year before. Argos-Shimano was about to embark on a season that would reap much reward. Their success at the Tour de France made them a very attractive prospect for potential sponsors. When Argos chose to reduce their marketing, the team decided to take advantage of new opportunities.

    “We had the chance to sign with another company, where we believed that there were more prospectives,” said Spekenbrink. “This company wanted to sign for four years. So for that reason, we reached a termination agreement with Argos, in order to sign with this other company.

    At the end of October last year,

  • Good vibrations for Craddock at Giant-Shimano

    Lawson Craddock
    Article published:
    January 15, 2014, 19:00 GMT
    José Been

    American neo-professional looks ahead to 2014

    Lawson Craddock is one of five new riders at Team Giant-Shimano for 2014. The American signed a contract after top ten finishes at the Tour of California and the USA Pro Cycling Challenge, although the then-Argos-Shimano team management had already scouted him before those results came about.

    “I talked to [general manager] Iwan [Spekenbrink] as early as March 2013. I felt really good vibrations from the team. It was the right fit. This really was a no-brainer to me. This team can help me become the best cyclist I can possibly be,” Craddock told Cyclingnews at the Giant-Shimano team launch in Lelystad, the Netherlands.

    The 21-year old Craddock comes from Texas and is proud to be born and raised in the Lone Star State. “I started riding because of my dad. We did tandem rides together. When there was a race one day with a bike as grand prize I entered, and won the bike. It’s good racing in Texas, flat and rolling terrain together.”

    Craddock rode in Europe with the USA national team as a junior and was on the podium of the world time trial championships twice, claiming a silver medal behind Luke Durbridge in 2009 and a bronze medal behind Bob Jungels and Jasha Sütterlin in 2010.

    “That is still my number one dream, to win a world title. To be the best in the world. I have come so close in the past but I have also been working on my climbing. Our team manager Axel [Merckx] always made fun of me and called me little fatty. I lost some weight last year, especially the baby fat, and it helped me improve on the climbs.”

    Craddock was scouted by Bontrager-Trek and signed a contract with Axel Merckx’s development team for his first year as a senior. Bontrager, now rebranded as Bissell Development Team, delivered four riders to the WorldTour this year, with Nathan Brown signing for Garmin-Sharp, Antoine Duchesne...

  • Majka ready for more pain at the Giro d'Italia

    Rafal Majka (Tinkoff-Saxo) is aiming to build on last season's very promising Giro d'Italia showing.
    Article published:
    January 15, 2014, 21:10 GMT
    Stephen Farrand

    Tinkoff-Saxo's young climber hopes to improve on 2013's 7th place finish

    Alberto Contador is the natural figurehead of the Tinkoff-Saxo team and will lead the Russian-owned squad at the Tour de France and the Vuelta a Espana. But Roman Kreuziger, Nicolas Roche and Rafal Majka will all have chances to show their Grand Tour credentials in 2014 before giving their all to help Contador.

    Kreuziger and Roche have proven their talents in recent years. Majka confirmed he is one of the most exciting prospects for future Grand Tours during the 2013 season.

    He is still only 24 but finished seventh overall in his Grand Tour debut at the 2013 Giro d'Italia and also impressed by leading the Tour of Poland for two days before finishing fourth overall. He was also third at Il Lombardia despite the terrible weather conditions.

    "Being in the top 20 in the world in cycling is not bad for now," he told Cyclingnews at the Tinkoff-Saxo training camp with youthful enthusiasm.

    "I'm very motivated for the new season. We've got a strong team and I've got a lot more experience for the future, especially for this year's Giro d'Italia."

    He rightly smiles when he looks back at his 2013 season.

    "The Giro was the peak of the season for me. It was my first Giro but I finished seventh. I was also in the white jersey for a long time but lost it to Carlos Betancur near the end. I was still happy through, because it was a great result for me."

    "Of course I can't forget my placing at Il Lombardia and the Tour of Poland. I wore the leader's jersey in my national Tour! I also learned a lot about myself during three weeks of the Giro. My body learned a...

  • Voeckler: I was so happy to be in Australia…

    Thomas Voeckler put in an impressive performance at Dwars Door Vlaanderen but was caught on the line
    Article published:
    January 15, 2014, 21:44 GMT
    Jean-François Quénet

    Frenchman breaks collarbone before Tour Down Under

    In an exclusive interview with Cyclingnews, Thomas Voeckler expressed his frustration at crashing only a few hours after his first appearance on Australian soil, where he had serious intentions of giving a Tour de France-like one-man show.

    "I was so happy to be here," Voeckler said at the media center of the Santos Tour Down Under in Adelaide. "I had never come to Australia and this race. Our team did it before when we were sponsored by Bouygues Telecom and I always said that, if another chance arose, I'd be first to put my hand up for a trip to Adelaide. I wanted to discover the event, the country, the environment, the fans… I'd heard so many good things about the Tour Down Under!

    "This year, I also had another reason for taking part in this race: in the past few years, I've struggled finding the rhythm of the racing in the early part of the season. It meant I had to resume racing early and Europcar's upgrade to the WorldTour simply meant that my duty was to be here for the first WorldTour race of the 2014 season."

    "I'm going to be honest," Voeckler continued. "I wouldn't have won the Tour Down Under because riders like Simon Gerrans, Cadel Evans and Richie Porte, having performed as they did at the Australian national championships, are at a higher level than me at the moment. However, I never show up at a race for nothing and I'm sure it would have been profitable. Had I been in form, the course of the Tour Down Under suited me really well. In any case, this race would have been beneficial for my build-up to the 2014 season."

    Voeckler crashed into a car on the coastal town of Glenelg. "A few minutes earlier, near the beach, I was telling my...

  • Will Walker Hospitalised with heart problems

    Tour of Gippsland leader Will Walker (Drapac) on the start line for the final stage.
    Article published:
    January 15, 2014, 22:05 GMT
    Cycling News

    Australian suffered recurrence of problems during Nationals

    Will Walker, Synergy Baku Cycling Project, was hospitalised after suffering heart problems during the Australian National Championshps road race on Sunday. Walker, 28-years-old, previously had to sit out several years or racing after being diagnosed with tachycardia, an excessively rapid heartbeat.  

    Walker had been very active in the race, taking part in the large breakaway of the day. However, on the very hot day in Ballarat, he had to pull out and ended up in an ambulance. "I was at 270 beats for an hour with almost no cardiac output. I had to have a cardio inverter to reset my
    rhythm after amiodarone did not prove succesful," Walker said on the team's Facebook page.

    He is now at home recovering with his family, and is fortunately able to put a good spin on things. "I'm lucky to be alive, Life is great," he said.

    Walker had previously ended his racing career in 2009 due to tachycardia and returned to racing in 2012 with Drapac. Walker had a "light episode of tachycardia" during the Tour of the Great South Coast in his return with the Continental squad that year.

    Walker joined the Baku team for the 2014 season and told Cyclingnews in November that he was looking forward to the new challenge as well as a return to racing in Europe.

    The management and staff of Baku are standing by Walker and both rider and team are in no rush to announce future plans.