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Second Edition Cycling News, Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Date published:
May 29, 2013, 1:00 BST
  • Renshaw returns from injury at Ronde van Zeeland

    Blanco sprinter, Mark Renshaw (Blanco)
    Article published:
    May 29, 2013, 1:57 BST
    Cycling News

    Renshaw and Brown included in Bos' Blanco sprint train

    The one-day Ronde van Zeeland Seaports will be Mark Renshaw's first day of competition since breaking his collarbone on Stage 2 at the Presidential Tour of Turkey. The lead-out man turned sprinter will make his return to racing this weekend alongside Blanco sprint captain Theo Bos and last year's second-place finisher Lars Boom for the 200km race in Holland.

    Renshaw was at the head of the bunch coming into the finale of the 153km stage before a loss of concentration and subsequent touch of wheels brought him down in what he called the worst of his career. The former lead-out man for Mark Cavendish broke his collarbone which required surgery while also sustaining a concussion and a broken tooth.

    "That's the biggest crash I've ever had. You pay dearly for errors at this speed," Renshaw had said on Twitter.

    Race organisers announced the Australian's inclusion for the race that includes 14 cobbled sections with last year's winning squad MTN-Qhubeka to be lead by Milan-Sano Remo winner Gerald Ciolek. The 2012 victor Janse Van Rensburg, now riding for Argos-Shimano has not been included in the eight-man team.

    For Renshaw however, his participation in the race will play a crucial part in his comeback after more than five weeks since he last pinned on a number. The 30-year-old has already won once this season at the one-day Clasica de Almeria along with a couple of podium placings at the season opener at the Santos Tour Down Under but with just one month until the start of the Tour de France, it will be a race against time for him to line-up fit and ready in Porto-Vecchio.

    The line-up for Blanco suggests Renshaw will play a support role for the...

  • California results earn Dennis a start at Critérium du Dauphiné

    Rohan Dennis (Garmin-Sharp) on the way to third place
    Article published:
    May 29, 2013, 3:32 BST
    Jane Aubrey

    Tour de France a long shot, says Garmin Sharp neo pro

    Two top-10 performances in individual time trials against some of the world's best have landed Rohan Dennis a spot in Garmin Sharp's squad for the Critérium du Dauphiné which begins in Champéry on Sunday.

    The Tour de Romandie in April proved a turning point for the Australian neo pro, who surprised more than a few with his ride against the clock during the fifth and final stage, finishing less than a minute behind current world champion, Tony Martin (Omega Pharma-Quick-Step). Prior to the World Tour event, Dennis like some of his young Garmin compatriots Lachlan Morton and Steele Von Hoff had become increasingly frustrated and bogged down in ill-health and injury. He had just wanted to feel good on the bike again.

    A fortnight ago, at the Tour of California Dennis set the benchmark time in the San Jose individual time trial, eventually finishing in third place behind Tejay van Garderen (BMC) and Lieuwe Westra (Vacansoleil-DCM).

    "Now everything's started to come together, it's starting to pay off," Dennis told Cyclingnews from Barcelona on Tuesday where he was celebrating his 23rd birthday with girlfriend, Orica-AIS rider Melissa Hoskins. "I probably have to thank Mel for listening to my crap and my bitching about some things every now and then. It feels like all that pain was worth it."

    It could have been better for Dennis if not for the oven-like conditions experienced by the peloton over the opening two days in California, surely a story that more than a few riders will have in common. Chasing a top-10 overall finish, Dennis' plans required a re-think and he instead dedicated himself to the lead-out train of Tyler Farrar who showed some of his best form in recent times to come away with a stage win and three podiums. Meantime, Dennis still had enough in the tank to...

  • Olympic omnium champion Hansen signs with Garmin Sharp

    The fourth place finisher at U23 time trial Worlds - Lasse Norman Hansen (Denmark)
    Article published:
    May 29, 2013, 5:45 BST
    Cycling News

    Olympia's Tour winner van Baarle also primed for WorldTour debut

    Lasse Norman Hansen has reportedly signed a two-year contract with the Garmin Sharp squad for the 2014 and 2015 seasons. Team manager Jonathan Vaughters confirmed the signing via Twitter however it is not yet know if the 2012 Danish Cyclist of the Year will step into the ProTeam during the later part of this year.

    Vaughters retweeted rider management company Sports Entertainment Group (SEG) International's tweet: "Official: @Lasse_Norman Hansen will race with WT Garmin-Sharp next year. The Olympic Champion Omnium signed for two years with @Vaughters!."

    Hansen is best known for his gold medal performance in the omnium at the London Olympic Games in 2012 and fell two-seconds short of the podium at the World Championships for the under-23 time trial.

    The Dane has spent the past two seasons riding for the Continental team Blue Water Cycling, picking up victories at the An Post Ras in 2012 and the 1.2 GP Herning, under-23 Rund um den Finanzplatz Eschborn - Frankfurt and Tour de Berlin TT this season. Despite stating he wasn't ready to become a professional shortly after his Olympic victory, the 21-year-old signalled that his move to the professional ranks would likely come in 2014.

    "I've not signed a contract but I have a lot of different teams interested. I'll stay in the U23s so I can do the Worlds again next year (2013). The goal is to win next year. I will then do the track again. For the road, I think I'll stay with a Danish Continental team," said Hansen shortly after finishing fourth in the U23 World Championships TT.

    Given his earlier comments it...

  • Earle with insider knowledge for Tour de Kumano

    Earle, Ben Dyball (Huon Salmon-Genesys) and Matt Clark on the final climb up Bunya
    Article published:
    May 29, 2013, 6:47 BST
    Alex Malone

    Japan stage winner ready for GC battle, Dyball unlikely to start

    The tally of hilltop victories continues to amass for Nathan Earle who most-recently dominated the finish at the end of a punishing day around Izu's Japan Sports Centre at the Tour of Japan. There could be even more in store for the rider who finished ninth-overall when the second part of his Japanese schedule begins at the Tour de Kumano.

    With a number of the same teams staying on for Kumano, Earle said that knowing who to watch during crucial moments of the race will give the Huon Salmon-Genesys Wealth Advisers squad the advantage.

    "Having a few of the same teams racing is good because we know them now, who is strong and who can climb," Earle told Cyclingnews. "It's only an advantage really. It's a short but tough tour so I think we will tackle it as we did in Tour of Japan."

    Earle, who has become a bankable asset for the Huon Salmon-Genesys squad laboured through the 4,500m vertical metres of climbing around Izu before unleashing one of his near-unbeatable kicks to the line and in doing so demonstrated just how far he has come in the last 12 months.

    "It's a crazy course and I still can't make sense of the race booklet map," said Earle jokingy. "It's just up, down, left and right all day.

    "I was very confident I could take the win and took the risk of going from about 350m out on the steepest part [of the hill] and managed to hold them off but I'd have to say it was one of the longest 350's I've done," he added.

    Dyball unlikely starter for Kumano

    Earle's Tour of Japan-winning teammate Ben Dyball expected to be in the mix at the upcoming Tour de...

  • BMC Team Machine SLR01 launched in Provence

    The all new BMC SLR01 retains a familiar look but is completely re-engineered
    Article published:
    May 29, 2013, 10:04 BST

    Two-year project culminates with podiums in Italy, California

    This article originally appeared on Bikeradar.

    At first look you’d be forgiven for thinking that BMC’s all new Team Machine SLR01 is very familiar. Firstly, it deliberately bears a family resemblance to the outgoing SLR01. But also, the sharp-eyed may have spotted it charging to a maiden win at the Amgen Tour of California under Tejay van Garderen, and underneath Cadel Evans en route to third overall at the Giro d’Italia.

    But skin-deep similarities are just that, because the new SLR01 is the culmination of a two-year development project aimed at created an ultralight all-round road frameset. 'Lighter, stiffer, more comfortable with peerless performance' is surely the aim of most bike companies, but these aims aren’t always complementary, so BMC developed their new bike-specific ACE Technology software system, which they claim to be unique in the industry, to refine the design process.

    A collaboration with ETH University in Switzerland, ACE Technology software is able to work with hundreds of parameters, including frame tube shapes, material used, carbon layup, ergonomic dimensions and geometry. BMC say that the software worked through 34,000 different design iterations through the year or so it took to arrive at the final SLR01 form. The result seems to be a greatest hits compilation of BMC’s successful features, a few that have been proven elsewhere, and some further refinements and innovations, that together could be very special.

    We will be riding the new bike soon and will report back on its characteristics, but one design criteria we can judge now is weight. A 54cm painted (not bare carbon) frame, including seat clamp, bottle cage bolts and mech hangers weighs just 790g, and a complete frameset including fork,...

  • Nibali named as leader of Italian team for Worlds

    Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) on the podium
    Article published:
    May 29, 2013, 10:58 BST
    Cycling News

    Bettini: He's become a team leader

    Italian national coach Paolo Bettini has confirmed that Vincenzo Nibali will be the leader of the Italian team for the world road race championships in Florence.

    Bettini was at the Giro d'Italia and saw how Nibali has matured into a team leader and Italy's most important rider. Nibali is not a true Classics rider and does not have a fast finish but Bettini believes he can lead and inspire the squadra azzurra with the pressure on the team to win the rainbow jersey in Italy.

    "Nibali has completed a special chapter in his career and he can now go on to win the world title," Bettini told Gazzetta dello Sport after the presentation of the route of the world championships in Florence.

    "He's developed gradually as rider over the years but has kept is feet on the ground, as a person and as a rider. He's become a team leader, while still staying the likeable young guy that we all known and like. The team was happy to ride for him in Valkenberg."

    A hard course

    Nibali was unable to match Philippe Gilbert on the final climb of Cauberg last September but this year's world championships is considered the hardest course since Sallanches in 1980, when Bernhard Hinault won the rainbow jersey.

    Nibali saw the course in December while in Tuscany for an award ceremony. He is likely to study it in more detail next week when he returns to Tuscany to celebrate his Giro d'Italia victory with his friends and fan club at the amateur club where he raced after moving from Sicily.

    "I know how determined Nibali is to do well in Florence. The other day, after he won the Giro d'Italia, I told him: 'Enjoy this moment, draw a line under everything and then we'll start thinking about the world championships',"...

  • McQuaid calls on Armstrong to help fight doping

    UCI President Pat McQuaid speaks to the press
    Article published:
    May 29, 2013, 13:15 BST
    Cycling News

    UCI President again refuses to accept blame for cycling's doping problems

    UCI President Pat McQuaid has called on Lance Armstrong to "jump on his private plane and come to Switzerland and say 'what can I do?'," to help the overcome the doping problems that have caused so much damage to the sport.

    Speaking in St Petersburg, Russia, after being elected to serve a second four-year term on the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF) Council, McQuaid again refuted the idea that he should resign or even apologise for the UCI's failure to catch Armstrong and other dopers.

    "I would like to see him jump on his private plane and come to Switzerland (UCI headquarters) and say 'what can I do?'," Reuters reported McQuaid as saying.

    "He has not apologized to the sport of cycling. Everyone accepts he has not come clean. If he has information that is valuable to the sport he has to come forward."

    "He should sit down and work with us ... with USADA and the world Anti-doping Agency (WADA)."

    McQuaid said that Armstrong had no place in cycling when USADA banned the Texan for life. Armstrong reacted angrily to that statement in an exclusive interview with Cyclingnews, saying: "Pat is just in a constant CYA (Cover Your Ass) mode. Pathetic."

    No mea culpa

    McQuaid is standing for re-election as UCI President this year. He is already on the campaign trail and is working hard to justify his and the UCI's track record in the fight against doping. Despite a stream of accusations that the UCI could have and should have done more when the use of EPO was rampant in the peloton, McQuaid refuses to perform any form of mea culpa.

    "I do not think the UCI made mistakes," McQuaid claimed.

    "The statistics show the UCI was the most advanced...

  • 2013 Tour de France route finalised

    The 2013 Tour de France yellow jersey
    Article published:
    May 29, 2013, 14:07 BST
    Cycling News

    100th edition to end with a showdown in the Alps

    Tour de France organisers ASO has finalised the details and route maps of this year's race, with the final race distance.

    The stage start and finish towns remain the same but distances have changed slightly after the final route and roads have been decided.

    The 100th edition of the Tour de France starts in 32 days time on Saturday, June 29 in Porto Vecchio, on the island of Corsica. It is the first time the Mediterranean island has hosted the Tour de France. The first road race stage will cover a distance of 213km, with the winner taking the first race leader's yellow jersey of this year's Tour.

    This year's race route follows an anti-clockwise direction around France. Following two further road stages in Corsica from Bastia to Ajaccio (156km) and from Ajaccio to Calvi (145.5km), the race transfer to Nice for a 25km team time trial.

    The race climbs into the Pyrenees during the first weekend with a mountain finish at AX 3 Domaines after 195km of racing. Sunday's 168.5km ninth stage covers five cols before the descent to the finish in Bagnères-de-Bigorre.

    The race transfers north to Brittany on the first rest day, with a 33km individual time trial from Avranches to Mont-Saint-Michel before turning south and heading to the Alps via Lyon and Mont Ventoux. The bald mountain of Provence is climbed on stage 15 after 242.5km in the saddle.

    The Alps will decide this year's winner with the double ascension of L'Alpe d'Huez on stage 18 expected to special. Stage 20 to Annecy is only 125km long but ends with the climb to 10.7km Semnoz that has an average gradient of 8.5%.

    The second individual time trial comes on stage 17, before the Alps, meaning the final overall...