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Second Edition Cycling News, Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Date published:
March 07, 2012, 0:00 GMT
  • 110th anniversary brings changes to Goulburn to Sydney

    The breakaway sprints for the prime at Bargo; Nathan Haas wins ahead of Alistair Loutit ( and Brian McLeod (Budget Forklifts)
    Article published:
    March 07, 2012, 4:39 GMT
    Cycling News

    Race organisers bow to criticism of prologue, include criterium

    2012 marks the 110th anniversary of the historic New South Wales event, the Goulburn to Sydney Cycle Classic, and the occasion has prompted the race organisation to tinker with the exisitng race format. The opening day prologue, which has featured in the last two editions of the race, has been removed in favour of a stand alone criterium.

    The prologue format had come under some criticism over the last two years, with the time differences collected in the time trial proving crucial to the overall winner. This angered purists because it shaped the 'classic' as a stage race, and from an NRS points perspective devalued the stature of the road race.

    "The day preceding ‘the Goulburn’ – instead of the prologue, we will run a criterium around the centre of the township of Goulburn," read a statement from the organisation. "This criterium will have no effect on the result of the road race and will act as a standalone event.

    "Wilson Asset Management has come on board as major sponsor for the criterium around Goulburn city centre. It will be situated in Goulburn CBD on wide, smooth streets, and we hope the race will attract large crowds and a spectacular festival-like atmosphere that will act as an appropriate precursor the 110th edition of the Goulburn to Sydney (Camden) Cycle Classic."

    A second positive change is the allowance of team cars in the convoy, echoing the change made by Grafton to Inverell last year. However, due to safety and NSW Police requirements, it is necessary for two teams to occupy each car so that a maximum of eight team cars only are in the race convoy.

    As the oldest cycling race in NSW - and one year older than the Tour de France itself – ‘the Goulburn’ is now a critical leg on Cycling Australia’s National Road Series, attracting the best cycling talent in Australia.


  • Gallery: Tirreno-Adriatico press conference

    The stars ahead of the seven stage Tirreno-Adriatico.
    Article published:
    March 07, 2012, 5:36 GMT
    Cycling News

    Cavendish gets his sea legs in before the race of the 'due mari'

    Dressed in their team track suits, and rugged up in multiple layers of clothing, five riders; Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas-Cannondale), Mark Cavendish (Sky), Cadel Evans, Philippe Gilbert (BMC), and Daniele Bennati (RadioShack-Nissan) attended the Tirreno-Adriatico pre-race press conference in San Vincenzo.

    The race of the 'two seas' was fittingly opened with riders alighting from a local coast guard patrol boat on a cold day on the Adriatic coast. The riders then answered questions from the assembled press about the race, and posed with the 'golden trident' to be awarded to the race winner in a week's time.

    This year’s Tirreno-Adriatico is set to be one of most spectacular for years with Wednesday’s opening team time trial set to decide the first race leader of the race. A more balanced route than previous years will give all riders a chance to compete, with an individual time trial, two sprint stages, two hillier days and a mountain top finish at Prati di Tivo included in addition to the TTT opener.

    2011 Tirreno-Adriatico winner Cadel Evans wears number one and leads a formidable BMC Racing Team. Other overall contenders include Italians Vincenzo Nibali, Michele Scarponi and Stefano Garzelli, Roman Kreuziger of the Czech Republic, Slovakia’s Peter Velits, Rafal Majka of Poland, Joaquim Rodriguez of Spain and Sweden’s Thomas Lovkvist. Fabian Cancellara, the winner of Saturday’s Strade Bianche race is also riding.

    "To repeat last year's result here would be the ultimate indicator of my fitness - I'm trying to build my season...

  • Gilbert plays down Tirreno - Adriatico chances

    Philippe Gilbert (BMC) has had a quiet start to the season, but his big goals are still more than a month away in the Ardennes.
    Article published:
    March 07, 2012, 10:42 GMT
    Cycling News

    2011's best rider says he has "no stress"

    This time last year, Philippe Gilbert (BMC) had two wins under his belt, from Strade Bianche and the Volta ao Algarve. The man himself does not appear concerned ahead of Tirreno – Adriatico which begins on Wednesday.

    "I'm not worried," he told Het Nieuwsblad. "I'm not bad. I have no stress. The season is still very long. My goals are the Amstel Gold Race, the Ardennes classics, the Tour, the Olympics and World Championships in Valkenburg."

    BMC will be the final team out of the start gate for the opening stage – a 16.9 kilometre team time trial between San Vincenzo and Donoratico. The team’s efforts will be centred on defending champion, Cadel Evans who said earlier this week that he will be using the race to put his early-season fitness under the microscope.

    "To repeat last year's result here would be an ultimate gauge of my fitness," the Australian said. "But we'll first test my fitness and then see the result."

    As for Gilbert, he is uncertain of his own chances in a well-rounded BMC outfit, against the rest of the peloton where Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas-Cannondale), Michele Scarponi (Lampre-ISD) and Peter Velits (Omega Pharma – QuickStep) are among the favourites for general classification.

    "I do not know if my form is good enough to win a stage here," he said. "The competition here is very strong."


  • Tech: Colnago launch C59 Disc

    Colnago C59 Disc
    Article published:
    March 07, 2012, 10:45 GMT

    Based on their popular top end C59 frameset

    This article appeared first on Bikeradar

    Colnago have launched their first ever disc brake equipped road bike, the C59 Disc. Based on their popular top end C59 frameset, Colnago say the C59 Disc has been redesigned to accommodate the different loading forces that disc brakes generate on the fork and seat stays.

    The C59 Disc will come with Formula-made, Colnago-branded front and rear hydraulic 140mm discs. The frame and fork will be compatible with standard brake calipers too. And in keeping with the in house branding, Colnago are fitting it with their own Artemis deep rimmed carbon wheelset, hammering home the point that this is a bike for road racing.

    In announcing the new bike, Colnago said that they've "taken a bold step towards the future of road bike evolution" - recognising and no doubt influencing one of the biggest trends in the road bike market at the moment.

  • Valverde still in contention for Paris-Nice victory

    Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) won stage 3 at Paris-Nice.
    Article published:
    March 07, 2012, 11:42 GMT
    Cycling News

    Spaniard looks ahead to Gilbert duel

    Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) snatched back ten seconds of his deficit to Bradley Wiggins (Sky) at Paris-Nice on Tuesday thanks to the time bonus for stage victory at Lac de Vassivière. The Spaniard remains twenty seconds off the overall lead, but in spite of the final day time trial to the Col d’Eze, he remains determined to deny Wiggins overall victory.

    “I’m still focused on the general classification, there are still stages that are going to suit me,” Valverde said, according to “Beating Wiggins is going to be very difficult, but it’s possible.”

    Tuesday’s victory was Valverde’s fourth since he returned from suspension for his part in Operacion Puerto at the beginning of this season. He was banned in 2010 after his DNA was matched to blood bags seized from Dr. Eufemiano Fuentes, albeit after a lengthy process.

    As part of new anti-doping measures, Valverde cannot score any WorldTour ranking points for the first two years following his return from suspension.

    “The important things are victories and podiums, and this one here is very important,” he said. “It’s Paris-Nice, the first big international stage race of the year.”

    Valverde is also planning to return to the biggest stage race of them all, the Tour de France. His last participation in the race in 2008 ultimately brought about his belated downfall, thanks to an Italian Olympic Committee-sanctioned blood test when the race visited Pratonevoso.

    DNA from that sample was matched to the blood bags seized from...

  • Video: Sky lays down objectives ahead of Tour de France and Olympic Games

    Mark Cavendish (Sky) salutes from the podium.
    Article published:
    March 07, 2012, 12:45 GMT
    Cycling News

    Footage of Porte, Cavendish, Froome and Hunt training in Spain

    Riche Porte says Team Sky is on the edge of something brilliant and given their start to the season it’s hard to disagree. Eight victories including wins at Kuurne-Brussels-Kuure, three stage wins and the over all the Volta ao Algrave, and the current lead in Paris-Nice, all point to Sky performing well throughout the season.

    Of course there’s still a long way to go until the major objectives that include the Tour de France and Olympic Games but in this video Porte, Mark Cavendish, Chris Froome and Jeremy Hunt outline their major objectives for the season, and there’s exclusive footage of the entire team training at their Mallorca base in Spain.

    Don’t forget you can follow today’s action live from Paris-Nice on Cyclingnews where Wiggins will be looking to defend his leader’s jersey, later today.


    (Video provided by IG Markets)

  • Pinot ready for Tirreno-Adriatico test

    Thibaut Pinot (FDJ)
    Article published:
    March 07, 2012, 16:04 GMT
    Cycling News

    Frenchman enjoys racing in Italy

    Young French hope Thibaut Pinot shone in a number of Italian races last season and the FDJ-BigMat rider was happy to eschew Paris-Nice for Tirreno-Adriatico, which gets underway on Wednesday afternoon.

    “I really like Italy,” Pinot told L’Équipe. “I like the nice routes, varied but always difficult, and I like the atmosphere – the starts in the squares, going through hilltop villages, the public with its big cycling culture. And besides, it’s cold and there are echelons at Paris-Nice…”

    For the 21-year-old Pinot, Tirreno-Adriatico is “the first big rendezvous of the season.” Winner of the Settimana Lombarda and a strong performer at the Tre Valli Varesine last year, Pinot should find a number of stages suited to his characteristics during the seven days of racing in Italy.

    “There’s something for everyone – two time trials for the rouleurs, two stages for the sprinters but above all there are some finishes for the climbers and the puncheurs.”

    It is on the marquee stages at the weekend that Pinot will particularly look to stretch himself. Stage 4 on Saturday sees the peloton tackle a mammoth 252km before a sharp uphill finish in Chieti, while the following day is marked by the summit finish atop the Prati di Tivo.

    A 14km climb so early in the season is a rare test, and Pinot will have the chance to gauge his progress by rubbing shoulders with the likes of Cadel Evans, Michele Scarponi and Vincenzo Nibali in Abruzzo.

    “On high-percentage gradients, I’m still missing some force to be able to follow the best,...

  • White on Tirreno win: I’ve never seen a more consistent and smooth ride

    GreenEdge powered to the team time trial win in Tirreno-Adriatico
    Article published:
    March 07, 2012, 18:50 GMT
    Daniel Benson

    GreenEdge power to win Tirreno-Adriatico TTT

    Matt White was expecting his GreenEdge team to be competitive in the opening team time trial at Tirreno-Adriatico but even he was surprised by their domination as they posted a winning time 17 seconds faster than their nearest rivals.

    Having arrived in Italy on Saturday, White told Cyclingnews that they used Sunday as preparation to ride recon and train for the time trial.

    “These time trials, there’s not many of them in a year and for some of these guys it might be the first time trial they’ve done in six to eight months. It’s a new season and it’s little things like the guys getting used to their time trial bikes and riding with each other at that sort of speed. At the end of the day though, you’ve got to have a team that can perform and is disciplined as well,” White told Cyclingnews.

    “I’m surprised by the margin. Usually these things are won by 3 or five seconds, not 17. I’ve never seen a more consistent and smooth ride than today. I’m really happy with the guys.”

    The win marks GreenEdge’s first win on European soil and fulfils one of their major objective for the early season. The team had faced questions over their start to the season after firing blanks since the Tour Down Under.

    “I don’t know what all the fuss is. We’ve won two national titles, a WorldTour event and today we’ve won a team time trial. Yesterday we were centimetres of winning a stage in Paris-Nice so we’ve got a versatile team. It’s great to have a win of Europe but it was going to happen. This was one of our goals and another is still to win a stage...