Kask unveil new sunglasses at the Tour Down Under
Kask is well known for its helmets thanks to supplying Team Sky and now the Italian brand has started to make sunglasses that match its helmets, with the Drapac team the first to use the new product during the Tour Down Under in Australia.
Cyclingnews spotted Graeme Brown from the Australian Professional Continental team wearing the wrap-around sunglasses during Sunday’s opening Down Under Classic criterium and Tuesday’s opening stage of the Tour Down Under.
“The glasses are comfortable, lenses are clear and the glasses sit well when training and racing. KASK eyewear is a great addition to 2016,” Graeme Brown said in an announcement from Kask.
Kask confirmed that the new sunglasses will be available to the public later in 2016 with a full presentation expected in the spring.
Adam Blythe (Tinkoff) made a late dash to move up in the first Tour Down Under sprint by diving inside the barriers. The move was risky but took him back to the front of the sprint, allowing him to finish fifth behind winner Caleb Ewan (Orica-GreenEdge).
Blythe has joined Tinkoff for 2016 and showed his early season form by finishing third in Sunday’s Down Under Classic criterium.
“Adam anticipated the sprint and tried not to fall behind in the finale by taking a risk. One has to take some chances in order to achieve big result,” sports director Lars Michaelsen explained.
Blythe is known for his sprinting skills and balanced the risk factor with the need to be in the sprint.
“In the last kilometres of the stage it was hard to stay in front of the group and I fought to keep a favourable position ahead of the final sprint. Towards the finish line my sprint took me in front of everyone but I'm afraid I was unable to keep the same speed until the end,” he explained.
Tinkoff also has Oscar Gatto in their team for the Tour Down Under and the Italian is likely to get his chance on the hillier second stage and rising finish in Stirling.
According to Spanish sports newspaper Marca and radio station SER, the Basque city of Bilbao is keen to host a future stage of the Tour de France.
Bilbao is famous for the modern Guggenheim museum designed by architect Frank Gehry and will host a stage of the Vuelta a Espana this year. According to Marca, the mayor of Bilbao is in contact with Tour de France organiser ASO perhaps to host a stage in 2018 or later. The stage of the Vuelta will reportedly cost the city 120,000 Euro. A Tour de France stage would cost significantly more.
Petacchi hangs up his bike and turns to coaching
Alessandro Petacchi has formally hung up his bike and confirmed his professional career is over at the annual “Bici al chiodo’ – ‘Bike on the hook’ – event organised in Campagnola Emilia by the Italian association of ex-riders.
Petacchi won 179 races during a 19-year career, including 22 stages at the Giro d’Italia and Milan-San Remo in 2005.
“My contract with the Southeast team officially ended on December 31st and so I’m officially a retired rider,” Petacchi told Gazzetta dello Sport. “I want to spend my time coaching young riders because I can’t see myself in the role of a directeur sportif.”