Rocacorba Daily: Monday March 4

by Matt de Neef


In this edition of the Rocacorba Daily we bring you up to date on a whole host of races from the weekend, share the big headlines from the world of cycling, look forward to Tirreno-Adriatico later in the week and much more. Enjoy!

Gaudin wins Paris-Nice prologue

The 2013 edition of Paris-Nice got underway overnight, with Damien Gaudin (Europcar) winning the prologue time trial. Gaudin finished the 2.9km course in 3:37, one second faster than Sylvain Chavanel (Omega Pharma-Quickstep) and Lieuwe Westra (Vacansoleil-DCM).

Damien Gaudin takes out the 2.9km-long Paris-Nice ITT prologue.

Stage 1 of the seven-stage race will tonight take the riders 195km from Saint-Germain-en-Laye, on Paris’ western outskirts, south-east to Nemours.

Click here to see full results from the prologue. Stay posted for further coverage of the race in the coming days.

Cannondale goes one-two at Strade Bianche

Team Cannondale’s Moreno Moser became the first Italian to win Strade-Bianche on Saturday, crossing the finish in Siena’s Piazza del Campo ahead of teammate Peter Sagan and Rinaldo Nocentini (Ag2r-La Mondiale).

A breakaway of four riders formed early in the race and eventually gained an advantage of more than 10 minutes over the peloton. But with Cannondale and RadioShack-Leopard working hard at the front of the bunch, the deficit was gradually whittled away.

Moser left the peloton in the closing stages, eventually bridging to the breakaway before pushing past them to claim the victory.

Click here to read more, to see the full results and to see a video of the final kilometres of the race.

Pozzato left embarrassed after Roma Maxima mix-up

Biel Kadri (Ag2r-La Mondiale) took out the Roma Maxima race over the weekend — a race that revives one of Italy’s famous one-day classics, the Giro del Lazio, which has been on hiatus for five years.

While Kadri won the race, Filippo Pozzato (Lampre-Merida) thought he had been victorious, throwing his arms in the air as he crossed the line ahead of a small breakaway group.

Filippo Pozzato celebrates his victory in Roma Maxima ... except that he didn't win.

After chasing hard to catch the main peloton and then a five-rider chase group inside the last kilometre, Pozzato was unaware that Kadri was still away and was convinced he was sprinting to win.

“I’m gutted not to win but it happens….” Pozzato said. “When I got back on I thought there was only the five guys up front and so when we caught them and fought out the sprint, I put my arms up because I thought I’d won. When I saw that my soigneur was hiding instead of celebrating, I knew there was something wrong…”

Click here to see full results from Roma Maxima. Click here to read more about the race.

Emily Collins Wins Omloop van het Hageland

Emily Collins has claimed Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling’s first UCI victory of the season by taking out the Omloop van het Hageland, the second round of Belgium’s Lotto Cycling Cup, in a tight bunch finish. The 22-year-old New Zealander notched up her biggest career win to date, out-sprinting pre-race favourites Shelly Olds (TIBCO To the Top) and Emma Johansson (Orica-AIS) in a drag race to the line.

Image via Wiggle Honda press release

The aggressive race was punctuated by several breakaway attempts including one threatening last-minute attack by Johansson with 5km left to race, who took with her World Road Championships Silver medallist Elisa Longo Borghini (Hitec Products UCK) and Anna van der Breggen (Sengers).

Capitalising on the efforts of Specialized-Lululemon to bring back the breakaway group, Collins powered home to take the victory.

Click here for full results.

Victory for Ciolek in West Flanders

Gerald Ciolek has won the final stage of Three Days of West Flanders (Driedaagse van West-Vlaanderen), securing the first victory for his team, Africa’s new Pro Continental squad MTN-Qhubeka. Ciolek won the final sprint ahead of Adrien Petit (Cofidis) and Bobbie Traksel (Champion Systems) after a six-rider breakaway gained an advantage of no more than 3 minutes on the peloton.

Image via MTN-Qhubeka press release.

The overall classification was won by Kristoff Vandewalle (Omega Pharma-Quickstep) who led the race from the prologue ITT.

Arredondo holds on for Tour of Langkawi victory

Colombian rider Julian Arredondo (Nippo-De Rosa) has claimed his first stage-race victory, taking out the general classification in the 10-stage Tour of Langkawi over the weekend.

Arredondo claimed the race lead after winning a hilly stage 5 to the Genting Highlands and was able to hold on for the remaining stages.

Bryan Coquard (Europcar) took out his second consecutive victory in a bunch sprint on stage 8 and Francesco Chicchi (Vini Fantini-Selle Italia) took his second stage win on the final day of racing.

Melbournian Rico Rogers (riding for the Synergy Baku Cycling Project) lead out early in the final stage and was only overtaken by Chicchi in the final metres. Rico held on for second.

Click here for full results and the final general classification in the Tour of Langkawi.

Porte faces nerve-wracking Paris-Nice

Richie Porte leads team Sky in the Paris-Nice stage race this week, one year after team-mate Bradley Wiggins won.

“It’s nice to have an opportunity to ride for myself. It doesn’t happen that often in Sky,” Porte said.

“When you go into it knowing that the team’s going there to help you, it’s a little bit more nerve-wracking than rocking up as a neo-pro with no pressure and things just happening out on the road.”

Richie Porte and Chris Froome await their call to the start ramp in the time trial on stage 11 in the 2012 Vuelta. Image courtesy of David Serrano

Wiggins is training at altitude in Tenerife and Chris Froome leads the team charge in Tirreno-Adriatico starting Wednesday. Porte is wearing #1 in Paris-Nice due to Wiggins’ and Urans’ absence. Wiggin’s won the general classification last year and Uran came in 12th. Porte was 68th overall in 2012.

Porte came is 38th place in yesterday’s Prologue; 9 seconds back from winner Damien Gaudin. Full 2013 Paris Nice results here.

Click here to read more at Cycling News.

RadioShack’s bikes stolen

Thieves stole eight bikes, wheels and other equipment from team RadioShack-Leopard in Belgium over the weekend. It happened near Brugge ahead of stage 2 of the Three Days of West Flanders race on Saturday.

“I don’t think we’ll ever get back our stolen material,” DS Dirk Demol told the Belga news agency. “But our mechanics have already done an excellent job and have managed with spare bikes … They had to stay up all night working so that we could continue racing.”

Click here to read more on Nieuwsblad.de.

Tirreno-Adriatico promo video

The seven-stage Tirreno-Adriatico kicks off this Wednesday with a team time trial from San Vincenzo to Donoratico. See below for an unintentionally funny promo video for the race.

Click here to read more about Tirreno-Adriatico on steephill.tv.

Alex Rasmussen decides between Garmin and Movistar

With his whereabouts violation ban ending, Alex Rasmussen is deciding where to race.

“I need to find a team to ride for and I assume it will be Garmin-Sharp, but I’ve yet to sign a contract,” the Dane said.

“I have also talked with Movistar, but I’m not sure where it’s going to go.”

He said that he hopes to decide something in the next week. Rasmussen returns from an 18-month ban, which was issued for missing three anti-doping controls. Prior to the ban, he raced for Garmin.

Click here to read more.

High court upholds Riccò’s 12-year ban

Riccardo Riccò will continue to serve his 12-year ban through 2024, the sport’s high court, CAS ruled on Friday.

Italy banned Riccò after he was caught doping for a second time. The first came when he tested positive at the 2008 Tour de France after winning two stages. The second resulted from a bad blood transfusion. Riccò was rushed to the hospital in February 2011, nearly died and admitted the botched DIY transfusion.

Riccò argued the Italian court was not impartial and there were several procedural errors.

The high court released a statement which said that it “considered that the arguments of the rider were unfounded and that, in particular, he had failed to demonstrate a lack of impartiality.”

Riccò responded on Twitter:

“Ma drogatevi un po’ che vi fa bene,” or “Take drugs, it’ll do you good.”

David Lappartient elected as president of European Cycling Union (UEC)

David Lappartient was last night elected as president of the most powerful federation in cycling behind the UCI.

Lappartient’s influence was confirmed when he defeated a challenge from the Moldovian ex-pro Andrei Tchmil. Votes comprised of the 46 national federations of the UEC who were all in attendance in Paris. The Frenchman beat Tchmil in a vote of 34 to 12 representing Europe’s major cycling federations. Lappartient was elected to the presidency of the French cycling federation in 2009.

Updated release schedule for Garmin Vector

Back in September we travelled to Interbike and the most notable absence at Garmin’s booth was that of their much-anticipated Vector pedal-based powermeter. The popular and ever-so-thorough blogger DC Rainmaker reports that Garmin’s quarterly earnings (for Q4FY12) gave an update on Vector’s release schedule:

“We continue to make progress with our Vector Power Meter, and anticipate it will be made available this year”, Cliff Pemble, President and Chief Operating Officer of Garmin said.

Pemble also stated the following in the follow-up Q&A:

“We would expect the product to be in market in mid-year, but we would expect to catch some sales in the back half of the year” he said. “We felt like we needed to take more time to meet the expectations of our customers in that particular market.”

A Silicon Valley upstart called MetriGear originally developed the technology for measuring power via the pedal axle. They started showcasing their technology at Interbike back in 2009 and originally used Speedplay as their pedal. It was due to be released in Q1 of 2010 but then Garmin acquired MetriGear. Here we are, three years later.

Click here to read more at DC Rainmaker.

Shimano gives sneak-peek of new product line

Shimano has provided the first glimpses of its 2014 product line which appears to be focused on the MTB market but with a handful of new additions for the road scene. The 2014 range will feature a new version of Shimano’s Deore MTB groupset, new MTB chains, new carbon road pedals and new 11-speed-compatible wheels.

Shimano has also released a new entry-level road groupset, named Claris, which will replace the 2300 series.

Click here to read more on CyclingWeekly and here to read more on VeloNews.

World Naked Bike Ride hits Melbourne

And finally, here’s something you don’t necessarily expect to see on a Sunday afternoon: a huge bunch of cyclists riding naked down Beach Road. The ride was Melbourne’s contribution to the 2013 World Naked Bike Ride (link is NSFW) and we managed to get a photo as the bunch rolled past. If you really want to see it (it’s not as arousing as you might think) click here. And no, that link probably isn’t safe for work either.

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