Brad White wins stage 5 at the Tour de Langkawi
The USA’s Brad White (UnitedHealthcare) has taken his first UCI victory as a professional, winning stage 5 of the Tour de Langkawi yesterday.
White was part of a five-rider breakaway that got away 10km into the lumpy 140km stage and by the end of the stage in Rembau he and two others had more than a minute on the peloton.
White was in his third breakaway in as many days and suffered in the heat (which approached 40 degrees C), particularly given he’s come from Michigan where it’s been snowing in recent weeks.
White proved strongest in the run in to the line, breaking clear of Thomas Rabou (OCBC Singapore) and South African national champion Louis Meintjes (MTN-Qhubeka).
Mirsamad Poorseye Digolakhour (Tabriz Petrochemical) leads the general classification after winning the stage 4 queen stage over the weekend, which finished with the long climb to Genting Highlands. Five stages remain in the 10-stage race.
Australia ends track worlds with equal highest number of medals
The final day of the 2014 UCI Track Cycling World Championships netted Australia two medals, taking the team’s final tally to eight for the five-day Championships, equal with Germany for the most by any nation.
Dual keirin world champion Anna Meares claimed her second silver medal of the week (in the women’s keirin), while London Olympic omnium bronze medallist Annette Edmondson clinched her third consecutive World Championship podium appearance in the women’s omnium, with bronze.
After winning the team pursuit gold medal on the opening night of competition, Alexander Edmondson and Glenn O’Shea teamed up to finish 14th in the men’s Madison.
In the night’s other final, an amazing recovery from South Australia’s Matthew Glaetzer following a crash in the keirin earlier in the week saw him claim fourth in the men’s sprint final.
Australia finished with eight medals in all including three world championships through the men’s team pursuit (Edmondson, O’Shea, Scotson, Davison and Mulhern), plus Alex Edmondson in the men’s individual pursuit and Amy Cure in the women’s points race.
“It was a challenging World Championships for us in Colombia, but I’m pleased with the overall performance of the team, and especially encouraged with our ‘never say die’ attitude, when the odds were stacked against us,” said Kevin Tabotta, National Performance Director, High Performance Unit, Cycling Australia.
“No country was able to really dominate here in Cali and so our eight medals with three gold is a good indicator of our progress as we head toward the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games in July.
“We still have some work to do to be true podium contenders at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games across the program of events, but things are heading in the right direction,” Tabotta added.
Mark Cavendish to race Milan-San Remo
Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) will race Milan-San Remo this year after the Pompeiana climb — which was supposed to make its debut in the race this year — was removed from the course.
Cavendish, who won Milan-San Remo in 2009, had previously told the press he would not race Milan-San Remo if the Pompieana was added, but when the climb was removed due to concerns over rider safety and landslides, the former world champion changed his mind.
“He’ll ride as our sprinter but we’ll decide the tactics the day before the race, and not two weeks away,” Omega Pharma-QuickStep manager Patrick Lefevere told Cycling News.
When asked whether he thought Cavendish could win Milan-San Remo, Lefevere said: “I think so. I thought he was able to win in Dubai but unfortunately he had some bad luck. He won in Algarve and I’m sure he’ll be coming out of Tirreno with good shape [so] he can win San Remo as well.”
Click here to read more at Cycling News.
Lessons learned from the first weekend of European racing
In an article for VeloNews, Dan Seaton suggests that last weekend’s Belgian races — Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne — can be used to give us a good indicator of how the early season might unfold, far more, Seaton suggests, than earlier races such as the Tour Down Under or the Tour of Qatar.
Perhaps the biggest takeaway from the weekend is that Tom Boonen is well and truly back. He had a horror run last year, crashing out of a bunch of races and never really showing the strength and dominance he is known for.
But after struggling at Het Nieuwsblad on Saturday, Boonen came out on Sunday and got in the right moves at Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne, eventually winning the race for a third time.
As Seaton writes, Ian Stannard’s win at Het Nieuwsblad on Saturday is potentially another indicator of things to come. In recent years Team Sky has copped criticism for a lack of results in the Classics and Stannard’s win seems to be a move in the right direction. But questions still persist.
“Though they used a used a combination of tactical savvy and plain old superior strength to deliver leader Ian Stannard to a win in miserable conditions on Saturday”, Seaton writes,”on Sunday, the team missed the winning move entirely.”
What this all means for the likes of Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix remains to be seen.
Click here to read the full article at VeloNews.
Chaves hoping to repay Orica-GreenEDGE’s faith
On the long climb to Genting Highlands on stage 4 of this year’s Tour de Langkawi, young Orica-GreenEDGE recruit Esteban Chaves impressed many when he finished fourth, just ten seconds behind stage winner Mirsamad Pourseyedi Golakhour.
The result is impressive enough on its own, and even more so when you consider that Chaves was involved in a huge crash at the Trofeo Laigueglia early last year and missed an entire year of racing.
“I am really happy. It’s incredible this result, after one year with no races and no good training. I want to say thank you to the guys [at Orica-GreenEDGE], Shane, Alvaro, Neil for the opportunity in this team. This is one to say thank you,” Chaves said to Cycling News after stage 4.
The crash last February left Chaves with a long list of injuries — including a compound fracture to his right collarbone and several facial injuries — and required multiple surgeries before he was able to get back on the bike.
Last year he received an offer to ride with Orica-GreenEDGE — an offer that helped spur him on, to get back to his best.
“I was really surprised and it is one very important reason that I continued to fight. There were days when I thought ‘no more’, but the contract was on the table and it was the main reason to continuing to fight, to work and to work on my shoulder.”
And now the young Colombian is keen to repay the faith Orica-GreenEDGE showed in him.
“I want a result for Orica-GreenEDGE, because they helped me and maybe in the future I can repay them.”
Click here to read more at Cycling News.
16 teams to race inaugural Women’s Tour
Sixteen teams will ride in the inaugural Women’s Tour in Great Britain starting on May 7, with 11 of those teams now confirmed.
The confirmed teams are: Astana Bepink Women’s Team (ITA), Boels Dolmans Cycling Team (NED), Estado de Mexico Faren (MEX), Great Britain (GBR), Hitec Products (NOR), Lotto Belisol Ladies (BEL), Matrix Fitness-Vulpine (GBR), Netherlands (NED), Optum-Kelly Benefit Strategies (USA), Orica-AIS (AUS), Rabo Liv Women’s Cycling Team (NED), Specialized-lululemon (USA), UnitedHealthcare (USA) and Wiggle Honda (GBR).
“We are thrilled to be able to bring such a world-class field of teams to ride in the first ever Women’s Tour,” race organiser Guy Elliott of SweetSpot Group said in a press release. “The race has attracted a wonderful field of elite riders from all over the world, which will be one of the strongest fields ever assembled for an elite women’s international race, and a route which will feature some of the most beautiful roads, villages, towns and countryside in Great Britain.”
The remaining five teams to start the race are yet to be confirmed.
Click here to read more at VeloNews.
Criterium du Dauphine route released
The ASO has revealed the route for this year’s Criterium du Dauphine with the 66th edition of the race featuring eight-stages and plenty of climbing.
Chris Froome (Sky) is expected to be there to defend his title, with Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) and Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) slated to appear as well.
The first stage is a 10km ITT in Lyon which passes through a 1.8km-long underground bike tunnel, called Le Tube.
Stage 2 ends with the hors categorie (HC) climb to Col du Beal, stages 3 and 4 are likely to be stages for the sprinters, stage 5 is a lumpy affair with six classified climbs, stage 6 is another flatter stage, stage 7 ends with the HC climb to Finhaut-Emosson and the final stage also ends with a climb, the 1st category ascent to Courchevel.
As a WorldTour race the Dauphine will be contested by all 18 ProTeams, while the race’s three wildcards have gone to IAM Cycling, Cofidis and Team NetApp-Endura.
The 2014 Criterium du Dauphine begins on June 8.
Click here to visit the Criterium du Dauphine website for more information.
Top Gear takes on cyclist safety
The latest episode of the BBC’s Top Gear has featured a segment about cyclist safety with Jeremy Clarkson and James May presenting mostly-silly public information films about how to make cycling safer. Here’s one of the films:
Apparently the episode stirred up some controversy in the UK but it seems clear the whole thing was done as a bit of fun.
You can watch the full episode on the BBC’s iPlayer here, assuming you’re in the UK or are able to get around the geoblocking.
The Rocacorba Recap
And finally this morning, here are a few things you might have missed: