Rocacorba Daily: Friday March 8
In today’s edition of the Rocacorba we’ve got news of two great wins for Orica-GreenEDGE overnight, a stack of other pro cycling news, a handful of pieces on cycling safety and some cool videos to ease you into the weekend. Got something you reckon we should include in the Rocacorba? Hit us up: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Albasini wins stage 4 of Paris-Nice
Swiss rider Michael Albasini has kicked off a great night for the Orica-GreenEDGE team, winning the fourth stage of Paris-Nice in a bunch sprint.Three riders broke away within 10km of the 200km-long stage, with Johann Tschopp (IAM Cycling) dominating on many of the stage’s seven climbs to claim the polka-dot climber’s jersey.
The break was eventually reeled in with 14km left to race before Albasini outsprinted Maxim Iglinsky (Astana) and Peter Velits (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) to take the win. Andrew Talansky (Garmin-Sharp) holds on to the overall lead after riding near the head of the field all day.
Tonight’s 176km fifth stage finishes with a category 1 climb to La Montagne de Lure — a climb that could well prove decisive in the battle for the overall classification.
Click here for a full race report and full results from stage 4 of Paris-Nice 2013.
Goss wins stage 2 of Tirreno-Adriatico
Less than half an hour after Michael Albasini won the fourth stage of Paris-Nice, Matt Goss crossed the line first in a wet field sprint on stage 2 of Tirreno-Adriatico, making it two wins from two races for Orica-GreenEDGE overnight.
The rain began just 20 minutes after the start of the 232km-long stage and never really let up. A group of three riders managed to get away in the miserable conditions, eventually gaining a lead of seven minutes over a none-too-concerned peloton. Within 100km of the finish, though, the peloton started to work and eventually reeled in the break.
The bunch kick was initiated by Peter Sagan (Cannondale) who launched with 350m to go. Manuel Belletti (Ag2r-La Mondiale) made a promising move but was overtaken by Goss in the final 50m before the line. Gerald Ciolek crossed the line third, giving the Pro Continental team MTN-Qhubeka Africa’s first ever WorldTour podium.
“This is the first road stage I’ve done in Europe this year,” said Goss. “To come away with the win is great. It’s huge for my motivation and confidence, and it’s hopefully great for the team as well. With the win also in Paris-Nice today, we’re all on a bit of a high at the moment.”
Tonight’s 198km-long third stage takes riders from Indicatore to Narni Scalo.
Click here for a race report and full results from stage 2 of Tirreno-Adriatico.
Vos wins Drentse 8
World champion Marianne Vos (Rabobank Liv/Giant) has taken out her first road victory of the year, winning a windswept Drentse 8 ahead of Giorgia Bronzini (Wiggle Honda) and Emma Johansson (Orica-AIS).
The 141km race took in three laps of a 47km-long, figure-8-shaped course (hence the name) and featured several cobblestone sectors.
With 40km left in the race a breakaway of three riders had a gap of nearly a minute over the peloton. But in the remaining kilometres, the sprinters’ teams shut down the escape, setting up a sprint in which Vos prevailed over Bronzini and Johannson.
Drentse 8 is the first of three races over an extended weekend of racing that’s focused around the first World Cup race of the season, Saturday’s Ronde van Drenthe.
Click here for full results from Drentse 8 2013.
Cavendish expresses disappointment in his team
Mark Cavendish has spoken with his Omega Pharma-QuickStep team overnight about its failure to deliver him to a win in Tirreno-Adriatico stage two. The Belgian team worked most of the day, but disappeared when it mattered most.
“I’m quite disappointed in my lead-out train to be fair,” Cavendish said in a press conference. “I’ll have to have some words with them because I feel we could’ve done better.”
Cavendish was washed away before a roundabout with just 1.1km left to race but by that point he was already 30 riders behind.
Cavendish’s final chance for a win in the 2013 Tirreno-Adriatico comes today with only two stages in this year’s race suited to the sprinters.
Click here to read more on VeloNews.
Teams announced for Tour of California
Organisers of the Amgen Tour of California have announced the 16 teams that will take part in the 2013 edition of the race. The peloton will feature eight WorldTour teams, three Pro Continental teams and five Continental teams.
A noticeable absence from the list is Blanco Pro Cycling (formerly Rabobank), the team of defending champion Robert Gesink.
The eight-stage 2013 Amgen Tour of California kicks off on Sunday May 12.
MTN-Qhubeka — a team with a social cause
Here’s a genuinely a good story from the pro-cycling ranks. MTN-Qhubeka is the first African team to start a WorldTour race (this week’s Tirreno-Adriatico), but the story is more than that — they come with a social cause.
The goal of the team is to get more Africans on bikes, particularly kids. Their plan is to help rural communities move forward by giving bicycles to children in return for work done to improve their environment and their community.
Two-thirds of the MTN-Qhubeka team are from Africa and the remaining riders are Europeans who bring the high level of experience the team will need to race at the top level. The team was elevated to Pro Continental status at the beginning of this year and is aiming for a start in the 2015 Tour de France.
USADA reveals initiative for clean sport
USA Cycling has announced a new anti-doping initiative which will feature an increase in the amount of testing done in and out of competition. The program, called “RaceClean”, will be run in collaboration with USADA, and will feature testing for professional and amateur races.
USA Cycling president and CEO Steve Johnson said in a press release:
“The development of this innovative and collaborative RaceClean program is intended to send a strong statement about anti-doping, further establish the trust in our sport, and ensure a level playing field at all levels of racing.”
Four-stage race announced for Norway
The Tour de France organiser, ASO launched a new stage race in Norway yesterday. The Arctic Race of Norway, to be held on August 8 to 11, will give the peloton “the unique opportunity to enter the Arctic Circle and compete at the heart of the fjords on the Norwegian coastline.”
Details are short, but ASO said that further information will be available in the coming weeks.
Race funding comes from several public authorities and Statoil, an international energy company.
Click here to read more on Le Tour’s website.
Blanco worried over Boogerd confession
Blanco, formerly Rabobank, has fears for the future in the fall-out from former-Rabobank rider Michael Boogerd’s confession to doping.
“We were lucky we have money for one more year,” Blanco DS Nico Verhoeven explained. “Each of these new stories hurt. That’s why we are talking to the doping authorities, so we can make it clear and [be transparent].”
“These stories certainly do not make [looking for a sponsor] any easier,” team trainer, Louis Delahaije added. “We are looking not only within the Netherlands, but also internationally.”
The team re-structured itself after recent scandals rocked the sport in The Netherlands. Riders like Carlos Barredo and Luis León Sánchez have been cut or suspended. Delahaije underlined this: “Our riders today have nothing to do with these stories.”
Click here to read more on VeloNews.
Share the Road (US road safety campaign)
A collaboration between the American Automobile Association (AAA) and the League of American Bicyclists has resulted in the following public service announcement that encourages drivers to see people on bikes as more than just cyclists. Let us know what you reckon.
London launches Vision for Cycling
London mayor Boris Johnson last night launched the city’s Vision for Cycling, a nearly 1 billion pound project that’s focused on providing segregated cycling routes.
The centrepiece of the project will be a 15-mile-long (24km) corridor that runs from east to west across the city, providing what Johnson is calling “the longest substantially segregated continuous cycle route of any city in Europe.”
The four main pillars of Johnson’s Vision for Cycling are: “a Tube network for the bike”, “safer streets”, “more people travelling by bike” and “better places for everyone”.
The Track Aero System: better than wind-tunnel testing?
Wind-tunnel testing has been used to assess aerodynamics for bikes and cyclists for many years now and while it produces mostly accurate results, an engineering startup from Montreal, called Alphamantis, reckons it’s got a better setup.
The Track Aero System sets riders up in a velodrome with an ANT+ compatible power meter and speed sensor sending data back to the Track Aero System. The rider’s aerodynamic efficiency is then calculated using the speed and power sensors and an airflow meter.
The system uses more than than 20 calculations to strip out interference (such as the gravitational resistance caused by the velodrome’s banked walls, or the amount the rider is leaning to either side) to accurately assess how aerodynamic the rider is.
Click here to read the full story on VeloNews.
MTBing down a bobsleb run
And finally, this video might be an ad for Germany’s Radon Bikes but we don’t really mind. Why? Snow + MTB + bobsled track = awesome.
Please note: there won’t be a Rocacorba Daily on Monday due to the public holiday in Victoria.