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Second Edition Cycling News, Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Date published:
May 14, 2014, 1:00 BST
  • Recovery the focus now for Garmin duo Martin and Fernandez

    Dan Martin is one of three Irishmen at the Giro d'Italia
    Article published:
    May 14, 2014, 7:00 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Successful surgery for riders after Giro team time trial crash

    After Garmin-Sharp's crash during the stage one team time trial of the Giro d'Italia, which ended the race for Dan Martin and Koldo Fernandez, both rides have successfully undergone surgery on their broken collarbones.

    Martin and Fernandez are currently recovering at home and the team is yet to make any decision on when either rider will make a comeback to racing. A statement from Garmin Sharp reiterated that the "health of our athletes is our top priority and right now we are focused on their recovery."

    "Now that the dust has settled on my operation I've been able to look back on the Giro start in Belfast with obviously incredible memories of the team presentation, the team work, the camaraderie of my team and the incredible noise and support enjoyed in the TTT," Martin said.

    "Unfortunately my Giro was cut short by an accident that we were lucky to come away with relatively light injuries, collarbone fractures for myself and Koldo. Once more, the spirit of this team through such hardships has blown me away and I'm confident the remaining seven riders will go on to do incredible things during the remaining three weeks."

    Both riders had surgery on the same day and Martin is thankful for all the support he has received since the duo crashed out of the race.

    "For myself and Koldo, we were successfully operated on Sunday and are on the road to recovery, with a steady supply of treats and hugs for us both from the team, my family and friends...

  • Video: Ben Swift discusses upcoming Giro d'Italia stages

    Ben Swift (Team Sky) was close to the win
    Article published:
    May 14, 2014, 8:00 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Team Sky rider targets stage five

    Ben Swift (Team Sky) has already come close to a stage win at the 2014 Giro d'Italia only to see a flying Marcel Kittel (Giant-Shimano) blast past and claim a second consecutive win on stage three.

    Ahead of a pair of rolling stages in Italy, Swift explained to Cyclingnews that stage five in particular suits both his, and teammate Edvald Boasson Hagen's, characteristics.

    While Swift will be hoping to claim a debut Grand Tour stage in coming days, with Kittel abandoning the race, the 26-year-old could also look to the flatter sprint stages coming up.

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  • Tour of California: Wiggins keeps race lead after mountain showdown

    Bradley Wiggins (Sky) at the front of the bunch
    Article published:
    May 14, 2014, 9:23 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Sky rider holds onto lead after win for Dennis

    Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky) has come through his first test at the Tour of California, with the yellow jersey still on his shoulders. While Wiggins lost some time to stage winner Rohan Dennis (Garmin-Sharp), he kept his loses to a minimum and still holds a 24 second advantage over the Australian.

    The British rider - who took the lead after the stage two time trial - looked strong as he pushed the peloton hard up Mt Diablo. At one stage Wiggins had the peloton strung out along the slopes of the tough climb. The tactic is one often used by Team Sky to quash any attacks, but Wiggins admitted that he didn’t get it totally right. “On the last climb I just wanted to ride a good tempo and avoid all the accelerations,” Wiggins said on the team's website.

    “I did that and then it was just about getting to the top at the end. It was difficult to know who was in the group riding on the front. That was probably the only mistake I made as Rohan Dennis took a little bit of time. I perhaps underestimated that he'd be there so we just need to keep a closer eye on him on the next ones.”

    Stage three was another sweltering day in the saddle for the whole peloton, with temperatures reaching around 93 degrees Fahrenheit (34 Celsius). The heat forced most riders to completely open their jerseys. Dennis crossed the line without a sponsor logo in sight, as his jersey flapped by his sides. For Wiggins, the heat was as much of a danger to his overall classification hopes as Mt Diablo.

    "It doesn't get much hotter than in a race and my biggest concern today was just exploding. I was drinking all day and the boys were just incredible. They rode all stage and minimised the break,”...

  • A homecoming for Pozzovivo as Giro d’Italia visits Basilicata

    Domenicao Pozzovivo (AG2R La Mondiale) in good spirits
    Article published:
    May 14, 2014, 11:09 BST
    By:
    Barry Ryan

    Viggiano finale will not split overall contenders says Italian

    The writer and painter Carlo Levi’s account of life as a political exile in Basilicata was titled “Christ Stopped at Eboli,” echoing the local lament that the southern region had been bypassed by history and overlooked by the rest of Italy.

    On Wednesday, Basilicata is, for one day at least, at the epicentre of the Giro d’Italia, playing host to a testing uphill finish in the village of Viggiano.

    After last year’s striking finale in Matera, where John Degenkolb won the sprint, it’s the second time in as many editions that the corsa rosa has visited a region of haunting beauty that is also one of Italy’s poorest and most isolated. For Domenico Pozzovivo (Ag2r-La Mondiale), stage 5 will be a particularly moving experience. The race passes through his hometown of Montalbano Jonico, a hilltop village inland from the Ionian Sea, the “instep” of Italy’s boot.

    “It’s important for the region that the race is coming through because it’s not something that happens often and it’s even more important for me personally because it passes right through my home in Montalbano Jonico,” Pozzovivo told Cyclingnews. “It’s an historic day because it’s the first time the Giro has ever gone through the village, and we’ve got the intermediate sprint too.”

    Basilicata’s status on the fringes of Italian economic life is reflected in its cycling scene. By the age of 17, Pozzovivo had exhausted his possibilities in southern Italy and was forced to make the long, lonesome trek north in order to pursue a career in the sport, arriving first in Piedmont and later in Tuscany and Lombardy, before finally...

  • Adam Yates looking for stage wins at Tour of California

    Race leader Adam Yates in the blue jersey
    Article published:
    May 14, 2014, 12:49 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Orica-GreenEDGE rider won't focus on GC

    Adam Yates (Orica-GreenEdge) moved closer to the podium after a strong performance on Mt Diablo on stage 4 of the Tour of California. He hung onto the strong pace set by his compatriot Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky), before launching an explosive attack near the top.

    Yates quickly distanced the peloton and looked like he could be on for a repeat of his Tour of Turkey stage victory. However, he hadn’t counted on the gradient increasing and was eventually caught by stage winner Rohan Dennis (Garmin-Sharp) who attacked on the steepest section of the climb. Yates dug in and eventually finished fourth to move himself up into fifth in the general classification, but had hoped for much more from the stage.

    “The plan today was to ride for Adam and Esteban. The rest of the guys were to look after them until the last climb. It all went pretty smoothly. There’s really not much you can say about today’s finish other than the strongest guy wins,” said Orica-GreenEdge directeur sportif Matt Wilson.

    “Adam had a good crack with 500 metres to go. Just as Adam came around the final corner with 200 metres to go, he hit the steepest part of the climb. That’s where Rohan made his move. He’s a bit disappointed because he felt he had a good chance to win today. He misjudged the finish, but he’s determined to make it right on the next hilltop finish.”

    Yates arrived at the Tour of California off the back of a strong performance at the Tour of Turkey, which saw him take a stage win and the overall classification. Adam is often overshadowed by his twin brother Simon, but...

  • Video: Wegmann on Farrar's Giro d'Italia prospects

    Fabian Wegmann (Garmin Barracuda) gives an interview
    Article published:
    May 14, 2014, 14:01 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    German confident Farrar can win a stage

    It’s safe to say that Garmin-Sharp’s Giro d’Italia hasn’t gone to plan. They lost their main general classification hope and a key domestique in Dan Martin and Koldo Fernandez. 

    In the first week of the race, the team is now looking to sprinter Tyler Farrar to turn their fortunes around. Farrar has won two stages of the Giro d’Italia before and was on form at the Classics, finishing second behind Marcel Kittel (Giant-Shimano) at Scheldeprijs.

    Cyclingnews caught up with his teammate Fabian Wegmann, who was confident about the American’s prospects in the bunch sprints. “Kittel is now out so I think that there is the possibility to win a stage,” Wegmann told Cyclingnews.

    “Giant are still good, they have a lot of good sprinters and FDJ with Bouhanni and Trek are also good. There are a lot of sprinters still there, but I think that Tyler can beat them all.”

    Farrar and Wegmann made it into the break of stage five of the Giro d’Italia, along with sprinters Ben Swift (Team Sky) and Elia Viviani (Cannondale), with victory in mind.

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  • Video: Greg van Avermaet at the 2014 Tour of California

    Greg van Avermaet (BMC)
    Article published:
    May 14, 2014, 15:33 BST
    By:
    Pat Malach

    Support role after successful Classics campaign

    Greg Van Avermaet was one of the most aggressive, consistent riders at the front of the Spring Classics this year, riding away from the bunch on a regular basis and then attacking the breakaways to make the winning moves. But for all his effort and good form, Van Avermaet was unable to break through to the top step of the podium.

    The 28-year-old BMC rider from Belgium came closest in Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Tour of Flanders, finishing second in those races to Ian Stannard (Team Sky) and Fabian Cancellara (Trek Factory Racing), respectively.

    In a very cold and wet Nieuwsblad, Van Avermaet had his best odds for a win as he approached the finish with Stannard for a two-up sprint. The pair had slipped away from the lead group just 17km from the line, and, on paper at least, Van Avermaet was clearly the faster sprinter of the two.

    But after a bit of cat-and-mouse tactics, Van Avermaet found himself leading Stannard into the final kilometer. Still, the Belgian thought he could lead out the sprint and a still win the race. Stannard obviously had other ideas, and he narrowly edged Van Avermaet at the line.

    "I think in Nieuwsblad I had [the win] a little bit already in my mind with 2km to go because I thought I could win the sprint easy from Ian Stannard," Van Avermaet recently told Cyclingnews in between stages at the Tour of California.

    "I think the shape was pretty good there," he said. "But the weather conditions totally cracked me in the sprint. I was not reacting like normal. I was supposed to react a little bit faster and win the sprint easy, but he surprised me a little bit and it was not so good."

    In Flanders, Van Avermaet again found himself in elite company near the front of the race as it flew into the...

  • Dennis gains confidence with Tour of California stage win

    Rohan Dennis (Garmin-Sharp) celebrates his stage win in Tour of California
    Article published:
    May 14, 2014, 16:15 BST
    By:
    Pat Malach

    Australian gains time on race leader Wiggins on Mt. Diablo

    After winning the stage 3 grind from San Jose to the top of Mt. Diablo Tuesday and pulling back 20 seconds on race leader Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky), Rohan Dennis believes he's in with a shot at taking the overall when the Tour of California ends Sunday in Thousand Oaks.

    “In the overall it does give me a bit of confidence,” the 23-year-old Garmin-Sharp rider said at the post-race press conference, which Wiggins skipped after finishing the stage in ninth place and with his lips covered in a pasty-white film.

    “I think Sky will be able to work from now on, and now they'll almost ask us to probably help out,” Dennis said. “And tactically that's going to keep more of their guys for the finishing climbs and whatnot. So it's going to be harder to isolate Brad from here on in I think.”

    Wiggins took the lead during the stage 2 time trial in Folsom, winning by 44 seconds over Dennis. The 2012 Tour de France champion went into the Diablo stage with a strong team, but a long day of chasing an early breakaway in heat approaching 100 degrees Fahrenheit sapped the squad's strength, and Wiggins was isolated on the final climb.

    Wiggins went to the front of the lead group and set a tempo he hoped would prevent any dangerous riders from going up the road, but Dennis was able to slip away in the end. The young Australian, who won the overall at the Tour of Alberta last year, said his team will have to rely on similar tactics if he is to win the race.

    “I don't think the Tour de France and Olympic champion is going to crack,” Dennis said. “He's a level above – I believe – all of us. But if we play our cards right like we did today, it can play into our hands. It's more...