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Second Edition Cycling News, Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Date published:
May 22, 2013, 1:00 BST
  • Cycling Australia dispel safety concerns surrounding Adelaide Tour

    Riders climb up the Gorge out of Adelaide.
    Article published:
    May 22, 2013, 1:30 BST
    Alex Malone

    Measures in place to ensure rider safety in Patrick Jonker TTT

    Cycling Australia has quashed safety concerns for the upcoming Jarvis Subaru Adelaide Tour and in particular the Patrick Jonker Team Time Trial. Following the news the opening stage would be run on open roads, Cycling Australia has been quick to refute suggestions that riders would be put at risk.

    Ben Godkin, head of Marketing and Communications at Cycling Australia reaffirmed to Cyclingnews that "rider safety is of paramount importance". This comes off the back of Cycling Australia's national manager for sport, Sean Muir stating "the minimum NRS standard is that a rolling enclosure needs to be maintained throughout a race on open roads," following the conclusion of the Battle on the Border.

    The Patrick Jonker TTT is technically being run without a rolling closure however Godkin detailed the measures that would be in place come race-day and stressed that both the men's and women's National Road Series fields will be kept safe for their 20.9km team effort.

    The high-speed Gorge Road course, a feature most years at the Santos Tour Down Under and is technically classed as an "open circuit" but the men's field experienced a similar set-up at the recent FKG Tour of Toowoomba where course officials and roving escorts did their all to ensure the circuit was car-free.

    Godkin and Muir provided Cyclingnews with the following list that explains the exact measures that have been put in place for the opening stage and following road race and kermesse.

    - The quarry located on the course has been closed for the day at the request of the promoters.

    - Signage will be in place on the circuit in the two weeks leading up to and during the TTT advising...

  • Video: Nathan Haas and Peter Stetina's rules for racing Grand Tours

    Nathan Haas (Garmin Sharp) tackles the Galibier on Stage 15 of the Giro d'Italia
    Article published:
    May 22, 2013, 2:39 BST
    Cycling News

    Recovering from Hesjedal's withdrawal, anti-biotics and soap

    He may have crashed out of the Giro d'Italia during Stage 16, but Nathan Haas and Garmin Sharp teammate Peter Stetina took some time during the second rest day to talk to Cyclingnews about the rigours of a three-week race in this exclusive video.

    Riding his first Grand Tour, Haas been learning some important lessons.

    "Rule number one," says Stetina, who is riding the Giro for the third time. "Don't throw your race book out on day one just because it's too heavy," pointing at his Australian teammate. Guilty.

    In this light-hearted take on the Giro, Haas and Stetina talk through some unexpected moments they've experienced so far.

  • Clark headed for dizzy heights at Tour of Qinghai Lake

    Matt Clarke (CharterMason Drapac Development) at the top of Bunya Mountains
    Article published:
    May 22, 2013, 4:38 BST
    Alex Malone

    Promising climber skips Adelaide Tour ahead of 2.HC

    Stepping to the plate against an otherwise dominant Huon Salmon-Genesys squad on the queen stage to Bunya Mountains at the FKG Tour of Toowoomba surprisingly came from one of the smaller squads in the Subaru National Road Series but the result demonstrated that Matt Clark (CharterMason Drapac Development Team) is one to watch when the road tilts upwards in NRS tours later this year.

    The promising climber has a busy 2013 schedule that not only includes managing his studies to become a physical education and mathematics teacher but also preparing for what will be his biggest physical challenge at the Tour of Qinghai Lake in China.

    Clark was named by Cycling Australia for the seven-man National Team that will take part in the 13-stage race that begins on 7 July and has chosen to skip the upcoming Jarvis Subaru Adelaide Tour in anticipation for the start of an Australian Institute of Sport training camp later this month that forms part of a study into racing at altitude. Not only will it be Clark's first time racing an international race but he will also get his first taste of the rarified air that puts additional demands on an already high-level tour.

    "I haven't done anything like this before so it's going to be a pretty hectic two weeks of racing," Clark told Cyclingnews.

    "I don't think I'll get a good understanding of how difficult it is at altitude until we get over there. In that sense I'll have to wait till we land to see where I'm at and what I can aim for. It would be great to get a top-10 or top-five if I find a stage that can really suit me but we'll just have to wait and see."

    "The study is purely going to test the differences between how we ride down at...

  • No Tour de France for Boonen in 2013, perhaps ever

    Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma-Quickstep)
    Article published:
    May 22, 2013, 6:20 BST
    Cycling News

    Lefevere wanted Belgian to be on the start in Corsica

    Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma - QuickStep) has ruled out riding the 100th Tour de France this July, despite the wishes of team boss Patrick Lefevere.

    A report by news agency Belga says that Lefevere left the decision to race in Boonen's hands but the former points classification winner is doubtful over whether he will ever return to the Grand Boucle.

    "The chances of that happening are very low," he said with six Tours de France under his belt and six stage wins. "Maybe I will never return."

    It's been a frustrating 2013 for Boonen who crashed out of the Tour of Flanders after hitting a road sign. His off-season was punctuated by intestinal problems and then a severely infected elbow.

    "I do not want to force it," said Lefevere. "A rider who fears the event that lasts three weeks, [I] do not force him to change his mind.

    "I confess I would have preferred to see him at the start in Corsica. For advertising it would have been a serious bonus. It will be otherwise."

    Instead of the Tour de France, Boonen will instead race the Tour de Wallonie (July 20-24) and the Tour of Poland (July 27 - August 3).

    When Omega Pharma - Quick-Step unveiled their 2013 roster at the Gent velodrome in January, Boonen raised the possibility of a return to the Tour de France, having not raced since 2011, and playing a role in the lead-out for Mark Cavendish. Those thoughts now have been put by the wayside for now, perhaps in the wake of the Manx Missile's success at the Giro d'Italia with four stage wins to his name so far.

    "Would I have been the perfect teammate Mark Cavendish? I think it would...

  • Snow set to hit the Dolomite stages at the Giro d'Italia

    The Gavia is still covered the snow, even in late May
    Article published:
    May 22, 2013, 8:32 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    RCS Sport planning alternative routes for Friday and Saturday

    The snow and bad weather has made this year's Giro d'Italia one of the most testing editions of the Corsa Rosa ever, and the riders still in the peloton after 16 difficult stages are likely to face even more testing conditions before the end of the race in Brescia on Sunday.

    Snow, rain and cold conditions are forecast for the rest of the week in northern Italy, with a cold front expected to dump snow on the Dolomites and force race organiser RCS Sport to cut several of the legendary climbs scheduled for Friday and Saturday.

    Snow is expected above 1500m and so all the high climbs are at risk, including the Passo Gavia (2618m) and the Passo dello Stelvio (2758m -the Cima Coppi, the highest climb in this year's race) on Thursday and the Passo Costalunga (1745m), Passo San Pellegrino (1918m), Passo Giau (2236m) and the Passo Tre Croci (1805m). Temperatures of -14C are forecast for the summit of the Passo Stelvio.

    According to Gazzetta dello Sport, Thursday's mountain time trial near Trento will be held as planned but both mountain stages will be affected and almost certainly changed.

    Race directors Mauro Vegni and Stefano Allocchio and their staff are working on alternative routes. The stages will start in Ponte di Legno and Silandro but avoid the high passes. RCS Sport hopes both stages will finish as planned in the Val Martello (2059m) and at Tre Cime di Lavaredo (2304m) but are ready to move the finishes down the climbs to ensure the stages are not cancelled.

    A final decision is likely to be made after more accurate weather forecast after Thursday's mountain time trial from Mori to Polsa.

  • Ag2r confirm they won’t ride Dauphiné

    AG2R La Mondiale
    Article published:
    May 22, 2013, 9:38 BST
    Peter Cossins

    MPCC rules appear to allow French team opportunity to start the Tour of Switzerland

    Following the UCI’s confirmation of Sylvain Georges’ positive test for the banned stimulant heptaminol, the Ag2r La Mondiale team has announced it will not be taking part in next month’s Critérium du Dauphiné, which is the Savoie-based team’s home event. However, the French team is still hopeful that it will be able to line up in the Tour of Switzerland, which starts six days after the Dauphiné.

    Under the rules of the Movement for Credible Cycling (MPCC), to which Ag2r belongs, any member team that has two positives within 12 months must suspend itself from racing for eight days as of the start of the next WorldTour race. Georges’ positive sample was delivered on May 10 at the Giro d’Italia, which came on the back of Steve Houanard’s positive test for EPO last September. Consequently, Ag2r team manager Vincent Lavenu has said the team will comply with the MPCC’s rules and miss the Dauphiné, which is the next WorldTour event.

    “It’s not a question of not having a choice, but simply of doing the right thing,” Lavenu told L’Équipe. “We’ve always done the Dauphiné and this is a big loss for us.”

    Having being forced to miss out on what is his team’s second-biggest objective of the season after the Tour de France, Lavenu indicated the team will consider other options, which are very likely to include the Swiss national tour. Although the start of this race also falls within the eight-day period set out in the MPCC’s rules, it is believed the penalty only applies to a single race.

    Lavenu expressed his hope that Georges’ positive...

  • Urán linked to Omega Pharma-QuickStep

    Rigoberto Uran (Sky) gave Sky another win in this year's race
    Article published:
    May 22, 2013, 10:59 BST
    Peter Cossins

    Colombian wants to ride 2014 Tour de France as a team leader

    Rigoberto Urán is a man in demand. Currently lying third overall at the Giro d’Italia and coming to the end of his contract with Sky Pro Cycling at the end of this season, the 26-year-old Colombian is looking for a team that can offer him the chance to be a leader in the grand tours, and specifically next year’s Tour de France.

    Speaking to L’Équipe at the Giro, the Colombian’s agent, Giuseppe Acquadro, said Urán is likely to leave the British team. “Unlike [Sergio] Henao, who is in the same situation, Urán won’t be staying with Sky because he wants to ride the Tour next year as a team leader, and Sky already have Froome, Wiggins and Porte, so there are too many ambitious riders and not enough space to accommodate them.”

    According to L’Équipe, Urán’s most likely destination is Omega Pharma-QuickStep. The Belgian team has plenty of top-class riders, but lacks an outstanding contender for the grand tours.

    Urán appears to have plenty of untapped potential as a leader. Prior to the Giro, he had ridden all three grand tours on two occasions, always riding in a support role. His best performance was at last year’s corsa rosa when he finished seventh overall and was best young rider. He came into this year’s Giro as a lieutenant to Bradley Wiggins, and has only taken on leadership duties since the Briton departed the race due to illness.

    A stage-winner at Altopiano del Montasio, Urán is currently 2:46 down on Giro leader Vincenzo Nibali, but has more than a minute in hand on fourth-placed Michele Scarponi as he attempts to become the...

  • Video: Dirk Demol on RadioShack Leopard's Giro d'Italia campaign

    Robert Kiserlovski (RadioShack Leopard)
    Article published:
    May 22, 2013, 12:15 BST
    Cycling News

    GC hopes in the hands of Kiserlovski

    Getting a team to and through a Grand Tour can be likened to a military operation.

    In this exclusive video for Cyclingnews, RadioShack Leopard directeur sportif Dirk Demol takes us through the staff and roster of the team at the Giro d’Italia whose general classification hopes are in the hands of Robert Kiserlovski, currently on the edge of the top-10.

    "When we talk about the climbs, Robert must be helped by Tiago Machado and George Bennett who are both climbing good," Demol says.
    "Then we also have some experienced guys like [Yaroslav] Popovych..."

    For an insight into the RadioShack Leopard Giro d’Italia campaign, click on the video below.