What's Cool In Road Cycling

EuroTrash Thursday!

Happy New Year to everyone, hope you all survived the celebrations. The 2013 season has started in Australia and cyclo-cross is still at full speed in Belgium. We hear what Pat McQuaid has to say in his defense and find out what Mark Cavendish and Joaquim Rodriguez will be up to this year. All the usual up-dates and videos for the first EuroTrash of the year, but not the first coffee, I’m sure?

“Top Story”

Pat McQuaid: “I think I am the best man.”
In a very open interview with The Irish Examiner newspaper on Saturday, UCI President; Pat McQuaid answered some very deep questioning by their writer Brian Canty, you can read the full interview here.

The most interesting parts in the interview cover his work against doping and the attacks on his Presidency by Greg Lemond and Paul Kimmage, he says he has received emails, letters, phone calls and faxes telling him to “get the fuck out and resign”. That final piece of advice came from three-time Tour de France winner Greg LeMond, no less.

As to quotes from Kimmage; “Paul Kimmage says you should be behind bars for the deaths of up to 30 young cyclists during the ’90s.”

“That irritates me,” retorts McQuaid. “It’s way over the top. It’s a personal vendetta he’s got against me and the only way he can pull me down is to associate me very closely with my predecessor Hein Verbruggen, doping and Lance Armstrong. That’s the only way he can see to bring me down. This year hasn’t been easy for me. It’s been difficult and I’ve put up with a huge amount of criticism, most of which is unjustified but that’s the way the media operate.”

McQuaid goes on to out-line his experience organising the Nissan Tour of Ireland and getting the Tour de France to Ireland and how he was planning a new Tour of Ireland on the back of it, although as he commented “but then Festina came along and fucked all that up!”

As to the Armstrong affair: “Look, we’ve said this over and over and over,” he interjects. “The UCI tested Armstrong and his team so many times, it was always negative. WADA [World Anti-Doping Agency] tested him, always negative, USADA [US Anti-Doping] tested him, always negative. AFLD [French National Doping Agency] tested him, always negative, CONI [Italian Olympic Committee] tested him, always negative. So the fact that the results were always negative, you ask could more have been done? No it couldn’t, simple as that.”

Has he ever thought of resigning? “Not for a second. I’ve done nothing to warrant resigning. All I’ve done since I became president is fight doping as best I could. All I’ve done is fight doping, promote the sport, working 365 days of the year for the sport, travelled the world developing the sport, introduced the Biological Passport, introduced a no-needle policy, introduced a rule whereby athletes caught in doping can never come back into the sport as part of the entourage. I’ve introduced all those regulations and if somebody comes to me with another regulation which I can introduce, which will strengthen the fight against doping, I’ll introduce it straight away. That’s as much as we can do. We’re not a police force. My attitude since day one is ‘do whatever it takes’. I don’t see any reason why I should step down, to let somebody in [who] maybe doesn’t know as much, or is as capable, or isn’t as passionate, or as dedicated. I think I am the best man.”

What about the Independent Commission? “There’s nothing to hide from my point of view. I do believe, either way, come 2013, Lance will be forgotten anyway. The sport will move on.”

What about the future after Armstrong? “I don’t think this is going to have any huge negative effect on the sport. Things are going in the right direction.”

David Millar questions Pat McQuaid:

Bpost Bank Trofee – G.P. Sven Nys, Baal 2012
The Sven Nys Grand Prix, on the 1st of January, didn’t have Sven Nys on the start line due to illness, which left the door open for the others and it was Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Napoleon Games) who took first place. Apart from the missing Nys, the podium was very similar to resent results with Zdenek Stybar (Omega Pharma – Quick-Step) second and World champion; Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus) in third, which kept him in the Bpost Bank Trofee overall lead. An early attack from Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb-Napoleon) lasted into the 3rd lap, Stybar was first to react; Pauwels and Albert went with him. The caught Vantornout and Stybar kept the pressure on with only Pauwels managing to hold him. Pauwels took over to distance the Czech champion and stay away to the end with a lead of over one minute.

Bpost Bank Trofee – G.P. Sven Nys Result:
1. Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games in 1:01:00
2. Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step at 1:09
3. Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus at 1:20
4. Rob Peeters (Bel) Telenet-Fidea at 1:29
5. Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games at 1:35
6. Thijs van Amerongen (Ned) AA Drink at 1:44
7. Bart Wellens (Bel) Telenet-Fidea at 2:24
8. Bart Aernouts (Bel) AA Drink at 2:28
9. Jonathan Page (USA) at 2:35
10. Radomir Simunek (Cze) BKCP-Powerplus at 2:42.

Here is a link to the race summary on Sporza.

Repeated Attacks Net Luke Durbridge the Win in Portarlington
Luke Durbridge delivered victory number two for the GreenEDGE family in Portarlington. The young Australian rode a gutsy, aggressive race to win the elite men’s criterium on the second day of racing at the Mitchelton Bay Cycling Classic.

“I attacked myself silly at the start,” said Durbridge. “Inside the final two laps, I thought that I might have gone too hard too early. I didn’t think I’d get the win. I went for it with one lap to go and ended up staying away.”

Durbridge was part of a group of favourites that forced a split in the field ahead of the first intermediate sprint. Shortly after the first sprint lap, he attacked the front group and managed to stay away alone for nearly 20 minutes.

“After he was caught, he almost immediately attacked again,” said Sport Director Matt Wilson. “Eventually, a three rider breakway formed that lasted until the finish.”
With Durbridge up the road, his ORICA-GreenEDGE teammates protected his interests back in the bunch.

“The other guys covered moves from behind,” noted Wilson. “They limited the number of riders allowed across and neutralized the race. Leigh Howard looked after his legs so that he would be well poised to win the bunch sprint if it all came back together.”

As the laps ticked down, Durbridge, Kristian House (Rapha Condor JLT) and James Oram (Grays Online) gained a 20 second advantage on a chasing, shattered peloton. Durbridge launched his final attack on the bell lap.

“Luke really showed his cards in terms of having super form for the National Championships next week,” said Wilson. “Leigh also rode a great race. He won the bunch sprint for fifth place.”

Durbridge’s win today marks an improvement over his second place showing in Portarlington last year.

“This is a super hard course with a solid climb,” noted Durbridge. “This type of racing suits me. The sprinters had their day yesterday around the hot dog while I struggled. Today was one for riders like me.”

“I was glad to get the win,” he added. “The team is riding really well with Jens finishing second from the break yesterday and me taking the win today. Hopefully we can do something tomorrow, too.”

Durbridge leapfrogged up to second place on the general classification following his stage win. He trails race leader Caleb Ewan (Bikebug) by five points.

Mitchelton Bay Cycling Classic-SBS World News Australia:

Tiffany Cromwell Wins in Portarlington
The second day of racing at the Mitchelton Bay Cycling Classic proved hugely successful for ORICA-AIS as Tiffany Cromwell soloed to victory. Melissa Hoskins won the small group sprint for second to move into the series lead after the Portarlington Criterium.

“It’s lovely to win,” reported Cromwell. “It always it. It gives me good confidence and shows that my form is coming around. I’m happy to deliver the first race win for ORICA-AIS in 2013.”

Cromwell jumped from the bunch early on in the nearly 46 minute race. After a few attacks softened the field, Cromwell timed her move to perfection on lap three and immediately opened up a gap.

“The rest of the girls organized behind Cromwell,” explained Sport Director David McPartland. “Because they were well organized, Tiff was able to grow her gap to 30 seconds really quickly. By the mid-point of the race, her gap was holding steady and I was confident that she would win.”

With Cromwell up the road, the team’s attention turned to the general classification. Melissa Hoskins started the day in second place, two points down on stage one winner Kimberley Wells (Specialized Securitor).

“All we had to do was isolate the yellow jersey,” noted McPartland. “I was confident we would be able to do that.”

Hoskins initiated the move that propelled her into the race lead.

“After the first intermediate sprint, Mel and Gracie [Elvin] formed a two-rider breakaway between Tiff and the peloton,” said McPartland. “By the time the second intermediate sprint rolled around, Mel and Gracie were in an eight rider move. Shara [Gillow] eventually bridged across to give us three riders in that group. Kim didn’t make the selection, so we only needed Mel to finish seventh place or higher to move into the leader’s jersey.”

Cromwell crossed the finish line with a 29 second gap on the group behind to take her second Portarlington Criterium win. She first won on this course in 2011.

“The way I won today was quite similar to my win two years ago,” Cromwell remarked. “I got into a breakaway early two years ago, too. Both times it was about getting into a good rhythm to hold off the field.”

“I was quite confident around the mid-point of the race that I could win,” she added. “The climb hurts your legs, and I wasn’t 100% at first. Eventually, as I settled into my own rhythm, the climb hurt less and I was able to stay away.”

Gillow took responsibility for the nine rider group, setting a pace that allowed Cromwell to maintain her lead while ensuring that the group behind wouldn’t regain contact. With two laps left to race, Gillow’s job was done.

“Gracie picked up where Shara left off, and she did an awesome job in her first lead out for the team,” said McPartland. “She took Mel into the bottom corner of the course, and all Mel had to do was come off Gracie’s wheel at the 150 metre mark.”

Hoskins handily won the sprint for second. With one race left in the three day series, Hoskins maintains a healthy seven point advantage over Peta Mullens (Anytime Fitness Trek) in second. Cromwell currently sits in third place in the overall standings tied on points with Wells in fourth.

“Our goal is to win the overall,” said McPartland. “As long as we have a solid plan and ride as a single unit, I expect us to accomplish this goal tomorrow. That said, we don’t take anything for granted. Kim Wells has a strong team here. If she wins tomorrow, Mel needs to finish fifth place or better to take the overall title.”

In addition to leading the general classification, ORICA-AIS also leads the Sprint Ace Competition (Cromwell) and the Team Classification.
Thanks to the Orica-GreenEdge team for the race info.

2013 Mitchelton Bay Cycling Classic-Newsfeed Package:

Rodriguez to Sign with Argos-Shimano?
The latest rumour is that if the Katusha team does not get its WorldTour license, World no.1 rider of 2012; Joaquim Rodriguez will riding for the Dutch Argos-Shimano team. The Gazzetta dello Sport in Italy and Biciciclismo in Spain are both reporting that the little Catalan rider is “very close” to a contract with the Argos-Shimano team, although Bicicilismo confirms that Argos deny any agreement with the (present) Katusha rider. Rodriguez said: “If the World Tour does not change the decision on Katusha; I do not want to step back. I believe, honestly, that I do not deserve it. I would, in that case leave, with a broken heart, because it would be leaving a large family, but sportingly I would have no other remedy because I have to look out for my destiny. I want to go to the Tour and fight for the victory. I know it’s a very difficult challenge. But next year the French Tour has a very hilly course that may be extraordinary good for me. This is my desire.”

Rodriguez training for Liege-Bastogne-Liege:

Cavendish to Ride Tour de San Luis
Tom Boonen will now not ride the Tour de San Luis in Argentina, stating on the 21st of January, his place will be taken by Omega Pharma – Quick-Step member; Mark Cavendish. Boonen was ill at the end of November and missed the team building days in Slovakia, but did join the team training camp in December and will be at the training camp in January.

Tour de San Luis promo, very nice looking race, I wonder is the PEZ budget would stretch to send me?

Mark Cavendish is Officially an OPQS Rider!
Press Release: The first day of the year coincides with Mark Cavendish’s first outing in the official team jersey. Cav pedalled for a little over an hour and a half on the hillsides of Tuscany, where he spent the end of the year with his family and a few friends.

“It was a nice ride, and I was enthusiastic about officially wearing my new kit. The heritage of this team is incredible; it’s been around since 2003. I’m proud to wear this jersey that Tom (Boonen) and the other guys on the team have made unique in the group. Now I, too, want to contribute and feel like this jersey I’m wearing is even more my own.”

Then Cavendish reflected on his first days with his new team. “I have to say that the first approach with the team at the Team Building in Slovakia and at Mallorca during the training camp was great! When you come to a new group, you never know how it’s going to go or how to behave. Instead, with this group there was immediate synchrony. Everyone here, staff and athletes, really loves cycling and is psyched to be a part of this group that has such a great history. For me, it’s important to be a part of this and to feel the faith around me.”

While the team surroundings may be new, with Team OPQS, Cavendish returns to familiar bikes and equipment: Specialized. “I’ve got some good news and some bad news,” Cav said jokingly in a brief video message to Specialized. “The bad news is you’re going to have to put up with me again! (The good news is) I’m going to be working with you all. I’m so excited about it!”

In a few days, Mark will meet rejoin his teammates for a training camp in Spain, from January 6th to the 13th.

Cav is more motivated than ever. “I will probably anticipate my arrival in Spain by a few days, so I can get right down to hard work. It’s going to be an important training camp, during which we’re going to be doing a lot of work to prepare for the start of the season. I will make my official debut with this jersey at Tour de San Luis in Argentina.” he said.

“2013 already looks like is going to be full of events. I want to do well and give back to this fantastic group that has placed so much faith in me,” Mark continued. “Let me also take this chance to wish all our fans a great 2013 full of health and fantastic victories!”

Mark Cavendish – One Man, Two Jerseys:

Siutsou Training Again
After breaking his left leg during the 2012 Tour de France, Kanstantsin Siutsou has been forced to spend the last six months recovering, but the good news is that he is back training with the Sky team in Mallorca in preparation for the 2013 season. He was back on the bike in August, but only on the home trainer, he explained to the Sky web-site; “every week I was able to do more exercise. I spent a lot of time in the pool, not only swimming, but simply walking in the pool was beneficial. It was gradual but day by day I began feeling better. In the morning when I woke up and got out of bed it was a bit difficult to start to walk for the first few steps.” As to the crash it’s self, he said, “there was a crash up ahead and I put out my left leg and slowed down. Then another rider arrived from behind much faster and hit my leg. I can remember the crash but then after that it was more shock. For a second I tried to get up but I knew it was not possible to ride.”

Siutsou gets Giro stage win, by Universal Sports:

Astana; Kashechkin Reinstated
After being suspended last week by his Astana team, Andrey Kashechkin has been reinstated and can ride the Tour Down Under later in the month. He had not signed the team’s internal code of conduct document, but now he must have agreed and they have moved forward.

Kashechkin promo video:

Routley for Accent.Jobs-Wanty
Will Routley has managed to find a team at the last minute after the demise of the Spidertech team for 2013. The 2010 Canadian champion will be lining up with the Belgian ProContinental team; Accent.Jobs-Wanty for a full Euro season.

Will Routley takes 2nd in the 2011 Canadian National championships:

Lotto Belisol 2012
Great video by the Lotto Belisol team summing up their 2012 season, watch out of the crash about 30seconds in, that looked bad.

Lotto Belisol has Announced its Selections for the First Races of 2013
Press Release: The season starts in the Tropicale Amissa Bongo in Gabon on the 14th of January. Sports director Jean-Pierre Heynderickx is heading to Africa with the following six riders: Dirk Bellemakers, Gaлtan Bille, Gert Dockx, Maarten Neyens, Vicente Reynes and Frйderique Robert.
In the meantime traditionally the first WorldTour race of the year is taking place, the Tour Down Under, preceded by the Down Under Classic two days earlier. Herman Frison is sports director in that race, Adam Hansen and Greg Henderson – although he’s a New-Zealander – are the local heroes, Andrй Greipel the top sprinter; together with Olivier Kaisen, Jьrgen Roelandts, Marcel Sieberg and Tim Wellens they will form the Lotto Belisol squad.

For the first time the team will also go to Argentina for the Tour de San Luis. Jurgen Van den Broeck will start his season in South-America, supported by Bart De Clercq, Jens Debusschere, Kenny Dehaes, Joost Van Leijen and Frederik Willems. Mario Aerts will be in the team car.

At the end of January the European season begins with the GP La Marseillaise, followed by the Etoile de Bessиges. There the team will be guided by Bart Leysen and Jean-Pierre Heynderickx. Lars Bak, Dirk Bellemakers, Brian Bulgaз, Francis De Greef, Maarten Neyens, Frйderique Robert, Jurgen Van de Walle and Tosh Van der Sande will represent the team in France.

Between the 3rd and 14th of January the riders will take off in small groups to training camp in Benicassim. Those who will ride the Tour Down Under won’t go and will be leaving for Australia already the 8th of January to grow accustomed to the circumstances. The men for Gabon will stay till the 9th of January, just like Jurgen Van den Broeck. The other riders will arrive on the 5th and will stay till the 14th of January.

Keep off the grass!

Keisse and Terpstra to Race 6 Days of Rotterdam
Press Release: Omega Pharma – Quick-Step Cycling Team riders Iljo Keisse and Niki Terpstra will race together at 6 Days of Rotterdam, from January 3rd until January 8th.

Keisse won 6 Days of Rotterdam in 2007 and 2010, while Terpstra is seeking his first victory at the event.

“I’m really happy to race with Iljo,” Terpstra said. “This is our 4th 6-days together. We rode twice in Amsterdam, we won one time. We also rode once together already in Rotterdam. We were 4th last year and now we really would like to improve this result. I’m in good condition and I’m looking forward to this race.”

“I won this race two times in the past,” Keisse said. “This race will be the only 6-days I will do until next winter. Normally in the past Janaury was a quite hot period with a lot of 6-days, but this year I will participate only in Rotterdam to focus the attention then on the road. I know that Niki is super motivated. I will give my best to try to get this race.”

Great little film of the Berlin 6 Days by PLATYNFILM:

Champion System Support Lampre-Merida
Press Release: For 2013 and for the next three seasons, Team LAMPRE-MERIDA will be able to rely on a new important partner that will provide to blue-fuchsia-green champions technical clothes of top quality.

The team signed an agreement with Champion System, that will be its new sponsor and technical apparel official provider.

Thanks to the impressive support by Mr Louis Shih, Champion System’s CEO, a line of articles was selected in order to satisfy the needs of the pro riders and the design of the team’s new cycling kit was defined: the traditional blue-fuchsia colours welcome the Merida green. Soon, the new design of the kit will be disclosed.

Champion System (www.champ-sys.com), a worldwide leader in custom technical apparel, was founded in 2005 and has quickly earned the reputation as a company offering the finest quality handmade garments for a wide range of sports and activities.

Strong customer relationships and close collaboration with the world’s top athletes has been the key to Champion System’s success. Distinctive and stylish garments are worn by Olympians, National and World Champions, professional and recreational athletes of all levels.

The goal is to allow the customer to be their own brand and we are known far and wide for its solid commitment to pioneering innovative, race-proven garments that can be customized with virtually any design. Along the way we have revolutionized sublimation printing, redefined garment construction and simplified the custom ordering process. With offices in 20 countries Champion System continues to set the standard in the custom apparel industry.

Champion System global CEO Louis Shih said of the announcement “To be involved with a prestigious team such as LAMPRE-MERIDA in what is our WorldTour debut, is very exciting. For Champion System a relationship with a WorldTour team was the final piece of the puzzle- the epitome of professional cycling, that will lead to further technological innovations that will be used in our custom line for all our customers to experience”

“I’m very happy for the start of this new cooperation with Champion System,” general manager Saronni commented. “It is a company full of ideas and its will to improve constantly is the same that characterizes our team. The feeling we set with Mr Shih has been immediately good and I’d like to thank him for the efforts done in setting the whole line of the team. I’m sure we’ll reach common top goals in the future.”

Lampre at Lombardia in 2011:

Team Sky & Rapha Teaser
And here is a teaser from team Sky, the new race clothing is by Rapha and basically it’s black!

An open letter from Simon Mottram, Rapha Founder and Chief Executive:
I have always been captivated by the sport of road racing; the riders, the races, the landmarks and the stories have fascinated and inspired me in equal measure. From the day Rapha launched in July 2004, we have sought to bring the beauty, suffering and glory of this wonderful sport to more people and to honour it with the finest cycling products and services.

Today, I am proud to mark the start of Rapha’s official partnership with Team Sky, the world’s number-one professional racing team. This partnership, bringing us closer to the races, riders and drama at the highest level of our sport, is an incredible opportunity.

I have known Team Sky’s principal, Dave Brailsford, since he first began to establish the team he presides over today. His progressive philosophy and drive within the sport resonated with me then and continues to serve as an inspiration. For Dave and his team to have chosen Rapha as their clothing partner is the best possible endorsement of the quality and performance of our products.

The success and enjoyment we’ve had working with the Rapha Condor and Rapha-FOCUS teams in recent years has set us up for this next step. We remain committed to continuing those relationships, just as we look forward to forging more through this exciting new partnership.

The richness of insights and experience that will come from working with the complete team of riders, directors and staff at Team Sky will help us develop our products to new levels and help create an even greater connection with fans of the sport. Just as we have always done for our customers, we look forward to continuing to improve performance and style, both on and off the bike, for the riders of Team Sky.

It’s going to be an amazing ride.

Team Sky and Rapha (teaser) from RAPHA on Vimeo.

Ag2r-La Mondial 2013
Not sure about this video from the French team filmed at their recent training camp in Spain (mostly, not the snowy bits), still prefer “Call Me Maybe” by the Orica-GreenEdge team at last year’s Vuelta a Espaсa, you decide:

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