Belkin goes eight from eight at the Tour of Hainan
We haven’t been following the UCI 2.HC Tour of Hainan as closely as we might have but we thought it was worth sharing this news if you haven’t heard it already.
— Belkin Pro Cycling (@TeamBelkin) October 27, 2013
Eight stages of the nine-stage race have now been completed and all eight stages have been won by Team Belkin. Hofland Moreno has won stages 1, 6 and 8 and his teammate Theo Bos has taken care of the rest, winning stages 2,3,4,5 and 7.
Admittedly Belkin is the only WorldTour team in the race so you’d expect them to be dominant, but winning eight stages from eight starts is a pretty amazing effort nonetheless.
— Jonathan Lovelock (@Jono_L) October 25, 2013
In addition to winning three stages, Hofland Moreno currently leads the overall classification by 1:07 going into the final stage.
Click here to see the results from the Tour of Hainan.
Van der Haar, Compton win round 2 of cyclocross World Cup
The second round of the UCI Cyclocross World Cup was held at Tabor in the Czech Republic on Saturday. In seasons gone past there have been back-to-back weekends of racing in the Czech Republic. This time the visit was fleeting, especially with Superprestige at Ruddervoorde (Belgium) the next day.
The dry twisty grass course was not the defining feature of the racing; it was the heat. The heat was such a factor that feeding was allowed, which is a rarity in cyclocross.
In the women’s race, Katie Compton created a gap on the second lap and took victory over the Telenet-Fidea duo of Nikki Harris and local hero, Pavel Havlikova. Compton didn’t have it all her own way, as a mechanical on the last lap saw the chasing pair nearly make contact. The “American style” course suited Meredith Miller who rode brilliantly to finish 6th, demonstrating the strength of the women’s scene in the USA.
Skip to 12:45 for the start of the race.
Having swapped his national champion skinsuit for the white World Cup leader’s version, Lars van der Haar was the rider to watch in the men’s race. Early in the race, van der Haar and fellow young gun Philipp Walsleben slipped off the front and quickly built a sizeable advantage.
The pair were looking comfortable until van der Haar dropped it on one of the few slippery corners. After a lap chasing he caught Walsleben again. The pair continued to maintain their advantage up until the last lap.
Behind Francis Mourey showed his strength and only Kevin Pauwels could hold his wheel. The sprint for victory was a great battle with Lars van der Haar on the hoods just edging out Philipp Walsleben on the drops. After a crash earlier, Francis Mourey bad luck continued as he was rolled by Kevin Pauwels for third.
— Lars van der Haar (@larsvanderhaar) October 26, 2013
With Lars van der Haar’s back-to-back victories and Philipp Walsleben podium time we could be seeing a changing of the guard in cyclocross. The Belgians should be worried as this is the third World Cup in a row they have not been on the top step!
Text by Paul Aubrey, BrewCX.
Jack Anderson wins Grafton-Inverell
Jack Anderson (Budget Forklifts) has claimed victory in the 2013 Grafton to Inverell Cycle Classic, sprinting past Ben Johnson to cross the line first after a gruelling 228km road race through spectacular New South Wales scenery.
WE WON!!!! Jack Anderson took out the Grafton to Inverell over Ben Johnson, what a way to finish the 2013 NRS. We also won the Team Clas.
— TeamBudgetForklifts (@BudgetForklifts) October 26, 2013
Anderson and Johnson broke away from a leading group of six riders with just over 20km to go, before powering through the descent into Inverell and grabbing the first two places on the podium ahead of Nathan Elliot (African Wildlife Safaris).
“It’s going to take a little while to sink in to be honest,” Anderson said post-race. “At the moment I’m just tired. Obviously it’s the last race of the season so I’m a bit relieved I can have a few easy weeks now.”
Anderson’s name will now join that of teammate and 2012 winner Peter Herzig on the Jack Griffin Memorial Shield.
“If you’re familiar with Australian cycling you know that this is arguably the toughest one day race in the country,” Anderson commented. “For me it’s definitely the hardest – I’ve done it a couple of times now and it was certainly much more difficult than I expected. And to join 50 or so other names on the shield is very humbling and overwhelming,” said an emotional Anderson.
Budget Forklifts controlled the race from the gun, pacing the breaks and making sure their riders were never too far away from the front. Despite several breakaways gaining sizeable time gaps throughout the day, Anderson bided his time before joining an attack in the latter half of the race to secure victory.
“I was confident I could take it in the sprint,” the Budget Forklifts rider added. “Ben’s a class rider, but he’s been out of the sport for a few years. I basically sprint the same after 5km as I do after 230km, so I knew if I could get to the finish I’d have a good chance of outsprinting him.
“It was fantastic to have him with me, we were the two strongest out there so when he came with me I thought it was a good move. Thankfully I had enough legs to finish it off.”
Entered as an individual, Johnson rode valiantly and pushed Anderson to the very end, but couldn’t quite pip the 26-year-old in the final push.
“If I’d known I was going to get second at the start of the day I would have taken that,” Johnson admitted. “It’s a bit disappointing – it is such a big race and to win it would have been fantastic, but Jack was really strong and we worked well together at the finish. It’s my first big race where I’ve been reasonably fit for a long time, so I’m really happy with the way it went.”
The 53rd Grafton to Inverell Cycling Classic is the final event in the men’s Subaru National Road Series for 2013.
Victorian Jack Haig (Huon-Genesys) did not compete in the event but has secured the individual honours for the 2013 series ahead of teammate Nathan Earle while Anderson will round out the overall series podium.
Text via Cycling Australia.
McConville wins Tour of the Goldfields, Garfoot seals NRS crown
Queensland’s Katrin Garfoot (Jayco/Apollo/VIS) sealed her 2013 Subaru National Road Series (NRS) crown in the best possible fashion with victory in the final stage of the season’s ending event, the Tour of the Goldfields on Sunday.
Victoria’s Chloe McConville (Jayco/Apollo/VIS), who took the leader’s yellow jersey following an outstanding team time trial victory in stage two, clinched her maiden NRS tour title after finishing the stage in eighth place.
The tour’s fourth and final stage saw a 70-strong field set out on the 83km road race around Dunnstown on the outskirts of Ballarat, with Sarah Roy (Bike Bug) shaking things up early after launching a daring solo attack within the first few kilometres.
A mammoth effort by the Sydney cyclist saw her establish a lead of almost two minutes at the halfway mark over the peloton being controlled by McConville’s Jayco/Apollo/VIS team, most notably by Jessica Allen.
However with the impending climb, and the affects of 70 plus kilometres riding solo taking its toll on Roy, she was caught at the foot of the climb leaving the tour big guns to fight it out for one final time in the 2013 season.
Despite having sealed the season’s individual crown after the Tour’s second stage on Saturday, Garfoot lead one final charge up the two kilometre climb up Mt Warrenheip to the finish.
And in a familiar storyline already written a number of times throughout the 2013 season, Garfoot edged close rival and former team mate Ruth Corset (Pensar SPM) for the win. Victorian newcomer Tessa Fabry rounded out the podium.
German-born Garfoot, 32, finished the NRS season on 114 points, eleven ahead of former Pensar-SPM team mate Corset (103pts). The gap to third highlighted the dominance the pair had on the entire peloton throughout the season, with Victoria’s Felicity Wardlaw 63 points in arrears in third place.
“I am definitely a very happy person that I have won the NRS and with the final stage win, but I don’t think it has sunk in yet,” said Garfoot, who claimed the overall tour honours at the Mersey Valley Tour, Tour of the King Valley and the Tour of the Murray River.
The season was not without drama off the bike with Garfoot parting ways with the Pensar SPM team after her Murray victory. She then contested the National Capital Tour as individual entrant before finding new home for the final two events with the Victorian based Jayco/Apollo/VIS outfit.
“It has been a very difficult year, with the team change, although I think that it definitely benefited me. Also with my citizenship, it was very emotional for me in 2013, so I am very happy the season and the year is over and I can’t wait for what the future holds.
“And now (with my citizenship) I can aim for the Australian title and Oceania titles now and then look towards Europe hopefully next year,” she added.
After finishing second overall in the Tour in 2012, McConville was ecstatic to move to the top of the podium. With Garfoot and Corset claiming victories at all but two of the nine NRS events held in 2013, McConville joined recent Lotto Belisol signing Amy Cure (Tour of Adelaide) and Victoria’s Nicole Whitburn (Shipwreck Coast Classic) as the only three riders to have knocked the pair off the top step of the podium in 2013.
“This win is for the whole team for sure, I had some great help all weekend, but in particular today,” said McConville. “Jess (Allen) controlled the break for 65-70 odd kilometres on her own today and I have to give it to Jessica Mundy who stayed there with me to the finish when she didn’t need to.
“I am really stoked with the win, for the whole team, it is awesome,” McConville added.
The 2013 Subaru NRS featured 17 individual events across Australia and over 75 days of racing. The Tour of the Goldfields was the ninth and final event for women.
Click here for results from the 2013 Tour of the Goldfields. Text via Cycling Australia press release.
Japan embraces prestige of colourful Tour
Tour de France organisers ASO took a bold leap into a new market by holding the first event outside France to carry its prestigious name in Saitama on Saturday.
The Criterium de Saitama, a publicity event aimed at attracting Japanese investment to the Tour while boosting the profile of road cycling in the Asian country, proved an unqualified success.
The result of the criterium’s three races were less significant than the attention the event attracted on a day that began in gloomy fog but ended with bright sunshine.
Japanese national riders Yusuke Hatanaka and Yasuharu Nakajima won the two opening track-style keirin races around the 2.7km Saitama street circuit before Tour de France champion Chris Froome unsurprisingly triumphed in the crowd-pleasing main event, the 54km criterium, from the Tour’s Green Jersey winner Peter Sagan and world champion Rui Costa.
The duel format race was aimed at tapping into Japanese enthusiasm for keirins and subtly turning their heads towards conventional road cycling, a sport which sits a long way behind the more popular endeavours of baseball, football and sumo.
For local hero Fumiyuki Beppu of the professional Orica GreenEDGE team, this was a great opportunity to educate local fans and he admitted Froome’s participation was crucial.
“It’s good for the fans in Japan because they don’t know cycling perfectly, it’s not easy to invite the winner of the Tour to a criterium like this,” he said. “With Japan and how far is it from Europe — it’s a long way — it’s not easy to get the best riders.
“It’s very important because we have to explain cycling well because otherwise people think cycling is keirin straight away, we have to explain it.”
And Beppu believes it is a sport with the potential to grow, especially given that Tokyo has been awarded the 2020 Olympics.
“Baseball, football and sumo are still great sports but we’ve made a lot of progress since 10 years ago,” he added. “This criterium, it’s the Tour de France that’s coming to Japan, that’s great progress. And with the 2020 Olympics at Tokyo, that’s great news for all sports, including cycling, so I’m super excited about the future.”
Meanwhile, Froome was pleasantly surprised by the level of interest the event had generated.
“It’s been amazing, first of all to see there’s a lot of supporters of the Tour who really know the ins and outs of the sport,” said Froome, who alongside top sprinter Marcel Kittel, Sagan, Costa and top Frenchman Christophe Riblon on Friday donned a traditional belt and tried his hand at sumo wrestling with students at the Saitama Sakae High School.
“They’re not just watching it but are proper fans of the sport, they know the intricacies of the racing. You can see that just by speaking to them, they know the tactics and how things work.
“I was quite blown away to arrive here and have to do things like autographs and photos in the hotel lobby. I didn’t really think necessarily European cycling would be that well televised here, but it obviously is.”
What cannot be doubted was the enthusiasm of those who braved the earlier grim, soggy conditions to cheer on the riders, while also being introduced to some French delicacies in a specially arranged fair.
That in itself was a curious Franco-Japanese mix as some of the more popular stalls were selling local fare such as noodles, but the French wine and charcuterie stalls also seemed to be enjoying a rip-roaring trade.
It wasn’t just food on offer, though, as the Japanese embraced their unique ability to revel in the bizarre with stalls selling various inflatable shaped balloons, energy drinks such as the fluorescent yellow Ex 3000 and the now ubiquitous white face masks.
But what really made the occasion quintessentially Japanese was the criterium sharing top billing with a Halloween party that seemed to have a feline-gothic theme and had attracted hundreds of imaginatively dressed youngsters. That proved the often colourful, weird and wonderful world of Le Tour really had come to town.
Text via AFP. Click here to read more about the Saitama Criterium.
Cadel Evans to ride in next year’s Tour Down Under
And in case you missed the news over the weekend, Cadel Evans will take part in Australia’s Tour Down Under in Adelaide for the first time in four years in January.
It will be the first time Evans, 36, has competed in his home tour and UCI World Tour event since he won the Tour de France in 2011.
Evans, who will race for the BMC Racing Team, said he has set his sights on next year’s Giro d’Italia and is using the Tour Down Under as preparation.
“With my focus on the Giro d’Italia, everything comes earlier in the year,” Evans said in a statement. “There is also the team’s desire to get the season off to a good start. I think with a bit harder course this year, it would be realistic to go for the overall win.”
Evans has competed in eight Tour Down Under races, with his last appearance in 2010.
“I haven’t been able to race there (Adelaide) since 2010 because I’ve always been working toward the Tour de France,” he said.
“But with me going for the Giro, it gives me the opportunity to race in Australia and at the race which has become the real season start and the meeting point for the world of cycling at the beginning of the year. So it will be something special, especially racing in front of the home crowd.”
Race Director Mike Turtur said it was a major coup to have the 2009 world road champion compete in Adelaide from January 19-26.
“He’s one of our greatest riders of all time, our only Tour de France winner and road world champion,” he said.
The full BMC Racing Team roster for the 2014 Tour Down Under is to be announced, Turtur said.
Text via AFP.
USADA requests Hamilton and others as witnesses in Bruyneel case
USADA is in the process of collecting potential witnesses to provide evidence against Johan Bruyneel at the Belgian’s arbitration in December.
Tyler Hamilton, who rode under Bruyneel at US Postal has been contacted by USADA but hasn’t announced whether he’ll provide evidence or not.
Cycling News reports that at least two more US Postal riders have been asked to head to London to give evidence.
Bruyneel has been charged with “possession, trafficking and administration of banned substances, aiding, abetting and covering up anti-doping rule violations”.
Click here to read more at Cycling News.
Hoogerland to ride with Androni Giocattoli for 2014
Dutch National Road Race champion Johnny Hoogerland will next season ride for Androni Giocattoli after reaching a late deal with the Italian team.
Hoogerland had been struggling to find an appropriate offer from a WorldTour team after his Vacansoleil-DCM team announced it would be folding at the end of this season due to sponsorship troubles.
Hoogerland is known for his aggressive style of racing and for being flung into a barbed wire fence during the 2011 Tour de France after being clipped by a passing car.
Click here to read more at Cycling News.
Dayer Quintana signs with Movistar
Movistar Team will have two Quintanas in 2014. In addition to Tour de France runner up Nairo, Movistar will next year feature Dayer, the younger brother of the Colombian superstar.
The 21-year-old from Cómbita, Boyacá, will make his debut in the pro scene after having competed in the ranks of amateur squad Lizarte in 2013. In spite of starting his season in April, Dayer Quintana finished more than 20 times within the best ten in the Spanish calendar and proved his strength, especially on the climbs.
After a brilliant period in the junior ranks, the Colombian rider had to stop riding for a year and a half as he served in the national police, getting back in the summer of 2012, when he battled well against experienced pros despite still in his early 20’s. Dayer’s first contact with his new team-mates will come next week at a team meeting on the outskirts of Pamplona.
Text via Movistar press release.
How the Dutch got their cycle paths
This video’s a couple years old but is still worth a look. It’s about, as the heading above suggests, how The Netherlands got to have cycling infrastructure that is envied by cyclists the world over.
The Rocacorba Recap
And finally this morning, here are a few things you might have missed:
- The Bike Lane: Young Guns and Wise Old Men
- Grafton to Inverell: the hardest one-day race in Australia?
- Rocacorba Daily: Friday October 25