EuroTrash ITT Thursday!
The World time trials are behind us, they were dominated by Australia and Germany and a Mr. Wiggins filled a space in his wardrobe with a ITT Rainbow jersey. Results, video and comments from Ponferrada, world road race preview, plus team, rider and race news. A full EuroTrash Thursday.
TOP STORY: No More Tour of Beijing
On October the 10th the last Tour of Beijing will kick off in China. The race deal was put together and organized by Global Cycling Promotion, which is a part of the UCI. Global Cycling Promotions was set up under the president-ship of Pat McQuaid with Hein Verbruggen involved. The Beijing race became a WorldTour event without climbing the UCI events ladder, which did prompt questions as how a new race could receive automatic top billing. The race also had other problem; apart from the logistic difficulties of getting WorldTour teams to China, there is also the big problem of air pollution in Beijing, which caused the riders respiratory problems. The other problem for riders was the chance of them giving positive tests for clenbuteral after the event, to the point of the UCI issuing a warning to riders and then there was the case of Michael Rogers who was cleared of any wrongdoing after his positive for clenbuteral which was attributed to meat in China. Current UCI president Brian Cookson told French sports paper L’Equipe: “It is an event that has had its successes, but it’s not a major disaster.”
It seems that the UCI are distancing themselves from their own organizing body as Cookson said: “We will look for other partners to organize other events and try to find another way to end the season on the road. We believe that we do not intend to be a major organizer of bicycle races. It is the function of others. Ours is to grow the sport and help its components.”
2013 Tour of Beijing:
Men’s Individual Time Trial
The men’s individual time trial was always going to be a fight between Bradley Wiggins (GB) and Tony Martin (Ger), if Fabian Cancellara had been riding then it would have been a three cornered fight, although Tom Dumoulin (Ned) did try his bet to fill the big Swiss mans cycling shoes.
Early leader Nelson Oliveira (Por) had set the best checkpoint times through out the race, until the top men started to show their speed. Frenchman Sylvain Chavanel started fast outing up a top time at the first check, but faded. Next it was Rohan Dennis (Aus) who looked good, but he too ran out of steam. In the end it was left to Vasil Kiryienka (Belarus), Dumoulin, Wiggins and Martin to out do each other all the way to the finish line in Ponferrada. Kiryienka looked to be the surprise package, but he missed out on a podium place by 7 seconds to Dumoulin.
Wiggins won by 26 seconds from a disappointed Martin and 40 seconds from an elated Dumoulin.
World TT champion Bradley Wiggins (GB): “I knew coming into it that I had the legs. I realised once I saw the course that if I was ever going to beat Tony then it would be on a course like this. I’ve been in this situation so many times in the past and when I know that the condition is there I’m quite relaxed, I know what I have to do on the bike. I knew the difference would be made in the final, on that final loop. I paced it perfectly and still had gas in the final, even on that last descent, I heard that I was 10 seconds up and I was just pushing all the way. I didn’t want to take any risks. It’s been an up and down year, I didn’t ride the Tour, so I want to dedicate this to my family because they’ve been there for me all summer and they had to put up with me when I was at home during July. It’s my last world time trial championship and I’ve finished with a gold medal, to add the world title to the British title and the Olympic title means I’ve got the set. Along with the pursuit world titles, it’s fantastic.”
Second placed Tony Martin (Germany): “I’ve already said this before, I’m not a machine, I knew that almost everybody expected me to win, but I always said that Wiggins had a big, big chance. I already felt a little bit tired in the team time trial, for sure that’s not the best motivation and for today I was a little tired too. I didn’t have the best condition and that’s the biggest point, I couldn’t battle against Bradley in the finale of this race. I think I was missing a bit of freshness, sure it was more for him (Wiggins) than for me, but it was still OK for me. So in top condition, I would have been closer. I think simply he was stronger than me today.”
Bronze medal winner Tom Dumoulin (Netherlands): “I’m still 23 and I hope to still make improvements. Until now I have made really big steps on this team and I’m still here next year with Giant – what is it now? Alpecin. Yes, the shampoo. It was the same for me as for Bradley. On this course, the final was definitely about power to weight. I’m light for a time triallist. I knew the final was very hard so I saved myself for that. I was focusing on my own ride. I wanted to know my last split, after 35k, but I didn’t get it, I don’t know why. I decided to go as hard as I can. You have to on those hills and I made it. Even if the gap was bigger and I’d taken third, I would also have been happy but the gap is not that big so that’s promising for the next years. I’ve got my first medal at 23 and I hope to do better in the future. You don’t know exactly how it will turn out but I hope I can still improve.”
Men’s Individual Time Trial Result:
1. Bradley Wiggins (Great Britain) in 56:25.52
2. Tony Martin (Germany) at 26.23
3. Tom Dumoulin (Netherlands) at 40.64
4. Vasil Kiryienka (Belarus) at 47.92
5. Rohan Dennis (Australia) at 57.74
6. Adriano Malori (Italy) at 1:11.62
7. Nelson Oliveira (Portugal) at 1:21.63
8. Anton Vorobyev (Russia) at 1:29.66
9. Jan Barta (Czech Republic) at 1:43.41
10. Jonathan Castroviejo (Spain) at 1:44.20.
Men’s Individual Time Trial:
Women’s Individual Time Trial
Anna Solovey looked like she was going to make Ukrainian history by winning the Women’s time trial championships with her super-fast time of 39:06. Solovey led through the first two time checks, but German Lisa Brennauer was going faster the longer the race went on and crossed the line 18 seconds ahead of the Ukrainian. Evelyn Stevens (USA) was 3 seconds down on Solovey for 3rd. The last three riders were caught in a heavy down pour of rain, last years champion Ellen van Dijk being the worst affected finishing 7th at 1:11, although the weather steal her of a medal as she was down on the top three by the time of the torment.
World champion Lisa Brennauer (Germany): “I knew that for me it was good that the race was so long because I’m very good at the end of the race. I gave it my all on the climb, I took the risks on the descent and then in the end I just went full gas to the line. I can’t believe it right now. I’m overwhelmed, I think this needs some time for me to know it’s reality.”
Second Anna Solovey (Ukraine): “I knew I would be second because I’m still young.”
Third USA’s Evelyn Stevens: “I had information on the radio throughout and I knew I was in contention and it was exciting to be in the running for a podium spot.”
Women’s Individual Time Trial Result:
1. Lisa Brennauer (Germany) in 38:48.16
2. Anna Solovey (Ukraine) at 0:18.68
3. Evelyn Stevens (United States Of America) at 0:21.25
4. Mieke Kroeger (Germany) at 0:38.29
5. Ann-Sofie Duyck (Belgium) at 0:45.31
6. Karol-Ann Canuel (Canada) at 0:51.26
7. Ellen Van Dijk (Netherlands) at 1:11.64
8. Alison Powers (United States Of America) at 1:14.17
9. Linda Melanie Villumsen (New Zealand) at 1:14.28
10. Trixi Worrack (Germany) at 1:15.25.
Women’s Individual Time Trial:
Men’s Junior Individual Time Trial
There was no rider wearing the number 1 today in remembrance of last year’s winner Igor Decraene of Belgium who died recently. Germany’s Lennard Kamna won the Gold medal and the Rainbow jersey in a dominating fashion, at the first check he was 20 seconds up on Adrien Costa (USA) and at the second it was 34 seconds. By the finish the 18 year old German had 45 seconds on Costa, with Australian Michael Storer 58 seconds back. Kamna, the current German and European champion was surprised at his win with a time of 36:13, which gave him an average speed of 48.8 kph.
New World champion Lennard Kamna (Germany): “I’m very destroyed, very happy and very tired. I’ve been very nervous about this race for the whole week, but 10 minutes before I started, I calmed down and then I could ride. The last five kilometers of the course was the hardest part with the climb, particularly after 25 kilometers in the saddle. At the top of the climb, my trainer said I had the best time, so I hoped I wouldn’t crash on the descent, but I thought by that part I would win.” The young German was not confident of the win before he started: “I was hoping for a top three result, but this is a much better result than I dreamed of.”
Silver medal winner Adrien Costa (USA): “I definitely had high expectations, my friend and team-mate Zeke Mostov got third last year and both of us prepared really well this year too. I’m happy to finish second. It was kind of disappointing see Leonard get 44 seconds on me, but he was really the strongest and deserved it today. The U-23 program is a big stepping stone for those of us trying to make it into the professional ranks, but next year I will be a junior again and I hope to be able to match this result or even do better.”
Third Australian Michael Storer: “I had no expectations. I got the best time out, I left it all out on the road, and wanted to do the best time, I was really happy I got this bronze.”
Men’s Junior Individual Time Trial
1. Lennard Kamna (Germany) in 36:13.49
2. Adrien Costa (United States Of America) at 0:44.66
3. Michael Storer (Australia) at 0:58.11
4. Filippo Ganna (Italy) at 1:05.94
5. Zeke Mostov (United States Of America) at 1:19.13
6. Tom Wirtgen (Luxembourg) at 1:29.86
7. Sven Reutter (Germany) at 1:34.27
8. Michael O’Loughlin (Ireland) at 1:42.81
9. Jaime Restrepo (Colombia) at 1:43.89
10. Matthew Gibson (Great Britain) at 1:46.81.
Men’s Junior Individual Time Trial:
Men’s U23 Individual Time Trial
Australia doubled up with the morning’s Women’s junior individual time trial to take the Men’s Under 23 as Campbell Flakemore beat Irishman Ryan Mullen by the slimmest of margins; 0.48 of a second. The pair were over 9 seconds faster that Stefan Kueng of Switzerland in third. Ryan Mullen had been leading at all the intermediate time checks, but Flakemore lifted his pace over the final section of the 36.1 kilometer course to equal the disappointed Irishman’s time and win by a tyres width at the line. The Bronze medal winner; European TT champ; Stefan Kueng was last to roll down the start ramp, in the pouring rain and squeezed Rafael Ferreire of Portugal who had been leading for over an hour. At the finish it was so close that Mullen must have thought he had it in the bag and the disappointment was obvious to see on the young Irishman’s face as team manager Neil Martin (Dan Martin’s father) consoled him. Flakemore was in pain when he took the ‘Hot Seat’ to the point of trying to open a ring-pull can with his teeth.
Under 23 ITT champion Campbell Flakemore (Australia) said to UCI TV at the finish: “I knew in the first two time checks that I was down on Ryan, I knew I had to leave a lot in the tank for the last five kilometres. I took it really easy on the last descent, I didn’t want to crash, I had seen the junior girls go through it and it didn’t look so bad, then after that I hauled it to the finish. It’s my last U23 year too. I really wanted it today. It’s a fantastic start for Australia – and for Tasmania.”
Second Ryan Mullen (Ireland): “I can’t even explain it. I thought I might hang on but I got everything out, I emptied myself. I took as many risks as I could but at the end of the day the better guy won. I can’t really regret anything but it’s really disappointing to come so close to getting a world title. I can’t think of anywhere where I could have pushed harder without jeopardizing the overall result, so like I said the best guy won. It is very disappointing to come so close but I’m happy with the result and I’m proud of it because it shows my progression over the years to be up there with Campbell.”
Men’s U23 Individual Time Trial Result:
1. Campbell Flakemore (Australia) in 43:49.94
2. Ryan Mullen (Ireland) at 0:00.48
3. Stefan Kueng (Switzerland) at 0:09.22
4. Rafael Ferreira Reis (Portugal) at 0:19.32
5. Maximilian Schachmann (Germany) at 0:37.84
6. Jonathan Dibben (Great Britain) at 0:38.28
7. Andreas Vangstad (Norway) at 0:44.88
8. Louis Meintjes (South Africa) at 0:48.36
9. Frederik Frison (Belgium) at 1:07.22
10. James Oram (New Zealand) at 1:09.57.
The Men’s U23 Individual Time Trial:
Women’s Junior Individual Time Trial
Australia dominated the results in the junior individual time trial on Monday morning with first, third and fourth, second going to Denmark. Macey Stewart recorded the fastest time of 20:08 for the 13.9 kilometers, beating Pernille Mathiesen (Denmark) by 10.79 seconds. There was a big battle for the silver medal between the Australian pair of Anna-Leeza Hull and Alexandra Manly with the decision going to Hull by 0.5 of a second.
Stewart was the fastest throughout the race, but as she was the 25th of the 49 starters she had a long time to wait in the ‘Hot Seat’ before being able to don the Rainbow jersey.
Gold medal winner Macey Stewart (Australia): “The weather wasn’t the greatest but to be honest I love racing in the rain so when I saw the weather this morning I got a little bit excited. I knew it would be good for me. I just tried to touch the brakes as little as possible and hammer it through the corners. I wanted to go out later so I could have more time splits from the people around me. But really, I just went out to do the best time I could and see what happened. I didn’t expect this at all. It’s a very surreal feeling. I was excited to see how flat the course was when I got here because I’ve just come from the track Worlds in Korea and I didn’t really have the road training in my legs. To have my teammate Anna-Leeza on the podium with me and Alex Manley to do an amazing time as well, I’m so happy and proud to be an Australian. The big aim is Rio on the track. I’d love to go professional on the road afterwards, but I’m taking it as it comes. First of all, I want to make that Olympic dream a reality.”
Women’s Junior Individual Time Trial Result:
1. Macey Stewart (Australia) in 20:08.39
2. Pernille Mathiesen (Denmark) at 0:10.79
3. Anna-Leeza Hull (Australia) at 0:13.31
4. Alexandra Manly (Australia) at 0:13.81
5. Emma White (United States Of America) at 0:26.47
6. Greta Richioud (France) at 0:26.63
7. Melissa Lowther (Great Britain) at 0:27.69
8. Aafke Soet (Netherlands) at 0:28.23
9. Daria Pikulik (Poland) at 0:38.91
10. Daria Egorova (Russian Federation) at 0:44.73.
Women’s Junior Individual Time Trial:
Worlds Road Race Events
The road race events are based on an 18.2 kilometre circuit which climbs 306 metres every lap. The big Men’s Pro event on Sunday covers 14 laps for a total distance of 254.8 kilometres with 4,284 total meters of climbing. Not a sprinters race or a climbers race, so could be a very exciting race or a tactical battle.
Road Race Schedule:
Friday 26 September: Women Junior Road Race & Men Under 23 Road Race.
Saturday 27 September: Men Junior Road Race & Women Elite Road Race.
Sunday 28 September: Men Elite Road Race.
Lotto Belisol: Our riders in Ponferrada 2014
The World Championships cycling in Ponferrada, in the Spanish north-western region Castilla y León, will start on Sunday with the team time trials. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday the national teams will compete in the individual time trial and as from Friday the road races take place. Several Lotto Belisol riders, men elite and U23, are part of the national selections. An overview.
Elite men’s road race
Jelle Vanendert and Tim Wellens will race the road race for the Belgian team on Sunday 28th of September. Frenchman Tony Gallopin defends the colours of his country. Adam Hansen and Greg Henderson, the two riders from Down Under, are respectively lined up for Australia and New-Zealand. André Greipel is in the pre-selection for Germany.
The elite men’s road race is 254.8 kilometres long and consists of fourteen laps of 18.2 kilometres. Unlike the previous World Championships there will only be raced on the local circuit. At the end the riders will have covered 4284 altitude metres. In the local lap lie two hills: the Alto de Montearenas (5 km and 3.5% average) and the Alto de Compostilla (1.1 km and 6% average). The last two kilometres of the course are flat.
U23 men’s road race
The road race for the U23 riders takes place two days before the elite men, on the same course. They will have to cover ten laps, which means 3060 altitude metres. Two riders of the Lotto Belisol U23 team have been selected for Belgium: Tiesj Benoot and Kenneth Van Rooy. Daniel McLay will represent Great-Britain.
Lotto Belisol riders:
Friday 26th of September – Road race men U23
Belgium: Tiesj Benoot and Kenneth Van Rooy
Great-Britain: Dan McLay
Sunday 28th of September – Road race elite men
Australia: Adam Hansen
Belgium: Jelle Vanendert and Tim Wellens
France: Tony Gallopin
New-Zealand: Greg Henderson
Germany: André Greipel?
Rohan Dennis (Australia), Silvan Dillier (Switzerland) and Tejay van Garderen (United States) will compete in Sunday’s 14-lap, 254.8-km road race, along with Brent Bookwalter (United States), Stephen Cummings (Great Britain), Cadel Evans (Australia), Philippe Gilbert (Belgium), Ben Hermans (Belgium), Dominik Nerz (Germany), Manuel Quinziato (Italy), Greg Van Avermaet (Belgium), Peter Velits (Slovakia) and Danilo Wyss (Switzerland). Evans (2009) and Gilbert (2012) are past world road race champions while Velits was also a rider on the BMC Racing Team’s winning team time trial squad. “Each of these riders has proven themselves in recent competition and will be a fine representative for their country,” BMC Racing Team President/General Manager Jim Ochowicz said. “We are proud to send a quality and sizable group of athletes to go for more gold this week.”
Team Katusha on the World Championships
Ten riders of the WorldTour Team Katusha will take part in the UCI Road World Championships in Ponferrada, Spain in the road race of 254,8 km held on September 28th.
In the roster of the Russian National Team include: Sergei Chernetckii, Alexander Kolobnev and Iurii Trofimov. In the line-up of the Spanish National Team: Joaquim Rodríguez and Daniel Moreno. Giampaolo Caruso is included in the list of the Italian National Team. Alexander Kristoff will ride for Norway in the road race. In the list of the Austrian Team was included Marco Haller.
Giant-Shimano Riders ride the Worlds
The final races of the World Championships campaign are the women’s and men’s road races on Saturday and Sunday respectively. Team Giant-Shimano is well represented across both races with five riders in the women’s race and potentially nine riders in the men’s, with the final German line-up still to be announced.
Warren Barguil (FRA) returns to racing here after his eighth place at the Vuelta and is joined by Tom Dumoulin (NED) who is racing all three events in Ponferrada – TTT, ITT and RR. Also confirmed is Tobias Ludvigsson (SWE), Sweden’s only representative in the road race, while Georg Preidler (AUT) lines up having stayed in Ponferrada after Sunday’s TTT. Luka Mezgec (SLO) also starts, as does Reinardt Janse van Rensburg (RSA) after their strong performances this weekend at Kampioenschap van Vlaanderen and Grand Prix d’Isbergues respectively. John Degenkolb (GER) is on the road to recovery after a difficult period in hospital following the infection of a wound from the Vuelta, but he is still set to race on Sunday and the rest of the German team will also be confirmed this week.
The Women’s Team has five riders lining up for Saturday’s race with Lucy Garner (GER) joining four riders that raced Sunday’s team time trial – Claudia Lichtenberg (GER), Sara Mustonen (SWE), Amy Pieters (NED) and Maaike Polspoel (NED).
Warren Barguil (FRA), John Degenkolb (GER)*, Tom Dumoulin (NED), Johannes Fröhlinger (GER)*, Simon Geschke (GER)*, Tobias Ludvigsson (SWE), Luka Mezgec (SLO), Georg Preidler (AUT), Reinardt Janse van Rensburg (RSA).
*German team yet to be finalised, these riders are on the long-list.
Lucy Garner (GBR), Claudia Lichtenberg (GER), Sara Mustonen (SWE), Amy Pieters (NED), Maaike Polspoel (BEL).
7 riders from LAMPRE-MERIDA in Ponferrada
Seven riders from LAMPRE-MERIDA will race on Ponferrada roads for the world championships (28 September – road race, 24 September – invididual time trial) and at the start of the rainbow race there will be Rui Costa too. The world champion and the team mates will wear the jerseys of six different Countries: -
Maximiliano Richeze (Argentina) , Winner Anacona (Colombia) , Kristijan Durasek (Croatia) , Przemyslaw Niemiec (Poland) , Rui Costa & Nelson Oliveira (Portugal), Jan Polanc (Slovenia) .
Twelve months after his victory in Florence, Rui Costa will face the world championship at the end of the season during which he always raced as a strong champion. Together with Rui, in Portuguese team there will be the Portuguese champion for road and time trial, Nelson Oliveira.
Double participation in road and time trial race for Anacona too. Niemiec will race again on Spanish roads some weeks after he conquered in la Vuelta with a beautiful victory in the Lagos de Covadonga stage. Maximiliano Richeze too raced in la Vuelta and he’s going to wear the Argentinian jersey in Ponferrada; Durasek and Polanc, on the contrary, will approach the world championship after having taken part in GP Quebec, GP Montreal and Tre Valli Varesine.
The 2013 World Road Race:
Giant-Alpecin in 2015
As of January 2015, Alpecin will become a new major sponsor of international professional cycling team, Team Giant-Shimano. After its renaming to Team Giant-Alpecin, a team with a German partner will be present in cycling’s highest tier for the first time in five years. The globally successful producer of caffeine-shampoo plans for a long-term commitment, and with it underlines its international orientation.
“Alpecin has been committed to cycling for more than half a century. With this important step, for us the circle is now complete. For Alpecin unique opportunities to activate new worldwide markets open up, working in cooperation with Giant, the biggest worldwide bike producer,” Eduard R. Dörrenberg, executive director and shareholder of family-run Alpecin explains.
The family-run company, based in Bielefeld, has been connected with professional cycling for a long time and is in charge of an equally long tradition of partnerships in sport.
“This partnership with Alpecin sends out a strong message, also for global cycling. Our international team gets a German heart,” states Team Giant-Shimano General Manager Iwan Spekenbrink, who currently has five German riders contracted.
The commitment has been made for four years and is part of an international strategy. Title sponsor Giant, worldwide leading bike producer, also sees a valuable alliance in it.
“In partnership with Shimano, we made a strong commitment to the team this year so they could compete at the highest level. We’re happy that the performance and dedication of the riders and staff has led to the addition of Alpecin as a new long-term partner. Our mission to advance the sport of cycling, and to promote this healthy activity worldwide, will continue with Team Giant-Alpecin,” said Giant CEO Tony Lo.
Alpecin appreciates the team’s way of working, to help cycling develop a new culture through constant innovation, scientific research, as well as the individual support of its athletes. For years now Spekenbrink has fought for more credibility and transparency in cycling with the help of his “Keep Challenging” philosophy.
Until the end of this year, Alpecin and the team will outline the strategy of their partnership more specifically. They will be supported by former Tagesschau newsreader Marc Bator who has actively been supporting the credibility and transparency of cycling for several years.
For the current most successful sprinter in cycling, Marcel Kittel, who with four stage wins in this year’s Tour de France represents the new successful generation of German cycling, the entry of this new partner means a lot. “We have all dreamt about this for a long time. Thanks to the commitment of Alpecin, Germany moves further towards the centre of attention in global cycling. This message can boost public interest in Germany even more”, happily says the 26- year-old athlete from Thüringen. ”A current poll of ARD [the consortium of public broadcasters in Germany] shows that by now more than 50 percent of Germans are hoping for a return of the Tour de France to the public service live-broadcast.”
AG2R-La Mondiale Extend to 2018
The sponsors AG2R and La Mondiale have confirmed that they will stay with the team for the next three years. The two French based retirement and pension companies were more than pleased with the teams performances, especially Jean-Christophe Peraud’s 2nd overall in the Tour de France. Team manager Vincent Lavenu said: “As general manager of the team, it is with pride and honor that I can announce to all of my riders and members of staff the renewal of our partnership with Ag2r La Mondiale until 2018. I thank them for their strong commitment at our side. We have a chance to be supported by a faithful partner and we are committed to defending its values. The excellent results we obtained this season, in particular on the Tour de France, reward this faithfulness. This good news allows us to look on the future serenely and to build a strong team for next years.”
Training with AG2R-La Mondiale in Spain:
Dowsett re-signs with Movistar Team until 2017
Essex boy to remain into telephone squad’s roster after excellent 2014 season, including Tour of Britain GC lead and gold medal in Glasgow’s Commonwealth Games TT.
After two remarkable seasons that included his debut, with a stage win, in a Grand Tour, the 2013 Giro d’Italia, and consistent performances both as a domestique and in his individual chances as a time trialist, Alex Dowsett has signed a new, three-year deal with the Movistar Team, staying until 2017 with Eusebio Unzué’s squad. Dowsett claimed two victories in 2014; the TT in the Circuit de la Sarthe, which he led for one stage, and the Commonwealth Games time trial in Glasgow, where he beat two big specialists in Geraint Thomas (Sky) and Rohan Dennis (BMC).
His magnificent breakaway to yellow in the Tour of Britain ten days ago earned him even bigger popularity among fans, which along with his team-mates expect him to reach even higher steps in a career still far from its peak; he’ll turn 26 on October 3.
TT with Alex Dowsett:
2014 Tour de France Saitama Critérium: Froome Signs-up
Several days before the announcement of the pack’s composition for the 2014 Tour de France Saitama Criterium, Chris Froome, winner of the 100th Tour, accepted the organisers’ invitation and will be present on 25th October.
His hunger for cycling shows no signs of dimming. Chris Froome had to withdraw from the Tour de France after a fall and an injury well before he was able to show off his talents on the mountain roads where he might have been able to give Vincenzo Nibali a run for his money. He will still have the opportunity to finish his 2014 season on a familiar note because as title holder for the Saitama Criterium, the Team Sky leader has chosen to return to Japan. Since his premature exit in July, Froome has regained his physical form, picking up second place on the Vuelta a Espana behind Alberto Contador, and is now preparing for the Road Racing World Championships in Ponferrada. With or without the Rainbow Jersey, the Yellow Jersey winner of Le Tour 2013 will reacquaint himself, albeit more than 10,000 kilometres from the Mont Ventoux or Champs-Elysées, with a Tour de France atmosphere that already won him over last year. Equally valiant when faced with the presentation of the sumo wrestlers or in impressing the 200,000 spectators massed around the urban circuit that wound through Saitama, Froome has already signed up again to be present on 25th October. “It’s a wonderful way to finish off a year that has been unforgettable,” he explained on completion of the first edition of the Saitama Critérium. The second act promises to leave a selection of the main players on the Big Loop with just as memorable memories.
The 2013 Saitama Critérium:
Czech Olympic Committee clears Roman Kreuziger
Tinkoff-Saxo’s rider was found not guilty for the alleged abnormalities in his Biological Passport Profile. The team is very happy that Kreuziger has been cleared by the Judicial system of the Czech Olympic Committee and that he is is now eligible to resume racing.
Tinkoff-Saxo has been informed that the Czech Olympic Committee has found Kreuziger not guilty for the fluctuation in his Biological Passport Profile. Kreuziger was able to fully explain said value in his defense; the Czech Olympic Committee has stated that “Roman Kreuziger is not in violation of anti-doping regulations.” This is a clear indication that the decision not to suspend him from competition made earlier by the team had solid grounds and the support shown to Roman has been proven to be justified and correct before a Court of Justice.
The team is very happy that Kreuziger has been cleared by the Judicial system of the Czech Olympic Committee and that he is now eligible to resume training. According to Stefano Feltrin, CEO of Tinkoff-Saxo, “it is now of great importance that UCI make its next decisions and take any eventual actions on this matter swiftly. It is of paramount importance – in the interest of all involved parties in particular and cycling in general – that the whole procedure be brought to a final and definitive conclusion in the shortest time possible. Tinkoff-Saxo congratulates Roman and his defence team on this well-deserved result.”
Paolo Tiralongo with Astana in 2015
Astana Pro Team and Paolo Tiralongo have signed a contract to extend one year into 2015, with roles of mentor for and gregario to Fabio Aru in the course of working to achieve season objectives.
Astana Pro Team General Manager Alexandr Vinokurov said Tiralongo is a valued stage race veteran: “Paolo is an excellent gregario for Aru, three stage victories in one season, and his skills as a fine companion and shepherd in the daily fight for Fabio are invaluable.”
Tiralongo turned professional in 1999 and joined Astana in 2010 – he has two Giro and one career Vuelta stage win.
Sam Bennett signs contract extension to the end of 2017 & Shane Archbold reinforces the sprint train
Sam Bennett extended his contract by two more years. The 23-year-old neo-pro, who previously had a contract for 2015, will now ride for his team until the end of the 2017 season. The German team, built around its new naming sponsor BORA is further expanding the sprinter line-up around Bennett by signing New Zealander Shane Archbold.
“When we brought Sam on board, we were all clear about his potential. Although we’re delighted at his successes this year, we are always thinking a few steps ahead. This also includes the establishment of a sprint train, for which he will take responsibility. This development is an investment and it will take time, but despite his young age, Sam has shown a great deal of foresight in opting for this continuity now. I am delighted that we will be able to focus entirely on winning in the coming season”, says Team Manager Ralph Denk, explaining the reasons behind Sam Bennett’s early contract extension.
After winning the Clasica de Almeria, Sam Bennett also won this year’s edition of the German classic Rund um Köln, as well as a stage of the Tour of Bavaria. Alongside this, the Irishman has notched up ten top-five results, including the second place in the Berlin Velothon. Having recently turned pro, Bennett has completed successfully the transition to a professional career and he ranks in the UCI Europe Tour as one of the ten best riders.
“I am delighted to stay with my team for the next three years. The start to my professional career has been great with the team and I am already looking forward to next season. Having this year under my belt and also the experience I gained, I want to step up another level to bring the team even more success next year. Also I hope to start a Grand Tour, which will help my development. I get amazing support from all the staff and my teammates, who have never let me down. I can’t wait to work with the guys next year to pull off some big results”, comments Sam Bennett on his early contract extension.
In the team’s sprinter line-up, all the current key riders have extended their contracts and German talent Phil Bauhaus has also been signed. As further support, New Zealander Shane Archbold will be reinforcing Sam Bennett’s sprint train from next season on. The 25-year-old rode with Bennett last year in Irish team An Post – Chain Reaction, where he was one of his most important lead-out riders. Archbold can boast a successful background on the track. In 2011 he was runner-up in the omnium world championship, and he won the scratch race at this year’s Commonwealth Games. Archbold is also impressive on the road, as he recently showed by placing second in a stage of the Tour of Britain.
Curvers, De Backer, Hupond and Timmer Renew Contracts
Team Giant-Shimano is happy to announce that four riders have recently renewed their contracts with the team, with Roy Curvers (NED), Bert De Backer (BEL), Thierry Hupond (FRA) and Albert Timmer (NED) renewing their agreements with Team Giant-Shimano.
All four riders have been with the team since 2008, and they continue their commitment to Team Giant-Shimano as influential peers who have a big impact on the younger, developing riders in the line-up. The experience and guidance that these riders are able to pass on is invaluable in this regard, and all four have continued to show progress this season.
De Backer renews for another three seasons, while Curvers will be with the team for at least another two. Hupond has renewed until the end of 2015, while Timmer already had a contract through 2015 with the team but following another strong season has put pen to paper to continue the relationship until the end of 2016.
Team Giant-Shimano coach Rudi Kemna (NED) said: “All four have developed well again this year within the team and are stronger than ever. Roy is a really important rider in the team as one of our captains and in this he plays a key role in the results of others. Bert is also still developing and is a key rider in the classics as well as being experienced in preparing the sprints. As a captain in these races he makes a real difference. Albert and Thierry also both showed they are still progressing with strong results this season. Like with Roy and Bert, we don’t just look to their results, but at the role these riders have in the team and the impact they have in races. I am happy that we can continue to move forward with these riders.”
“I am very proud to be continuing with the team that I have developed with,” said Curvers. “Together we have progressed each year and I am not planning for my development to stop. There are always new challenges involved with the role I have in the team as captain, and it is a role I find very satisfying. I am glad to see that the team want to continue with me too and that they appreciate my role. I may be older than most riders here but the team know what they have with me, and I know what I can expect from them.”
De Backer also gave his input, saying: “This is a very important contract in my career, I have been part of the team for many years and want to continue here as I know the environment and know what kind of role I can play. I have seen myself developing in a captain’s role in the sprints and classics and want to continue this process. I thank the team for their confidence in me especially after a hard second half of the season with injury but I am as motivated as ever to keep challenging my strengths and weaknesses both on and off the bike together with the team.”
“It’s really nice to be able to continue with the team,” said Timmer. “I have been here already now for seven years and there’s a lot of trust there now between us. I feel that this year I’ve become stronger again and have really showed that when I get the opportunity I can take it and challenge for a win. From the first race until now I have felt at a good level and I think I have shown this. I feel very comfortable here, it’s like a real group of friends and that is what makes it special. There’s a great atmosphere and everybody gets the opportunity to progress and to show themselves.”
“I am really happy to be continuing with the team and to continue the adventure,” added Hupond who took his first professional win at the 4 Jours de Dunkerque this May. “I’ve been improving and developing with the team every year and that showed again with my win earlier this season. I have had a really good year with Team Giant-Shimano and I hope that 2015 will be even better.”
The contracts of Jonas Ahlstrand (SWE), Thomas Damuseau (FRA), Dries Devenyns (BEL), Reinardt Janse van Rensburg (RSA) and Tom Peterson (USA) have not been renewed and the team wishes these riders the best of luck with their futures.
Sprint action with John Degenkolb:
Thomas De Gendt signs a two year contract!
After the signing of Tiesj Benoot, Lotto Belisol announces its second transfer. Thomas De Gendt will strengthen the team next year. The rider from East-Flanders signed a contract for two years. For the De Gendt, this transfer has to offer and create new opportunities to show his self.
Thomas De Gendt: “Of course I’m glad with this transfer. I preferred Lotto Belisol. Deduced from the conversations I had with the team management, they apparently had a strong believe in me that I could show myself and the team. That is also my goal, by racing in an attractive way and aim for good performances. I would for example not refuse good GC results in a one week stage race. There my time trial capabilities could be a great help but most of all I’m looking forward to give it all. I can get the idea that sometimes there is work to be done for the team leader, but it’s clear that this team offers chances to its riders and then it’s up to the riders to take those chances.”
Thomas De Gendt: Passo dello Stelvio-Giro d’Italia 2012:
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