Rocacorba Daily: Thursday March 7

by Matt de Neef


In this edition of the Rocacorba Daily we’ve got the latest on Paris-Nice and Tirreno-Adriatico, a handful of other tasty cycling tidbits, some info about a new cycling safety technology, and more. As ever, if you’ve got something you think we should include in the Rocacorba, let us know: editor@cyclingtips.com.au

Omega Pharma-Quickstep draws first blood in Tirreno-Adriatico

Mark Cavendish will start stage two of the 2013 Tirreno-Adriatico wearing the blue leader’s jersey (the maglia azzurra) after his Omega Pharma-Quickstep team won the stage 1 team time trial.

On a wet and miserable Tuscan afternoon, the Belgian team completed the 16.9km course in 19:24 — an average speed of more than 52km/h — and finished 11 seconds ahead of the Movistar team and 16 seconds ahead of Team BMC.

Stage 2 of Tirreno-Adriatico will tonight take the riders 232km from San Vincenzo to Indicatore.

Click here to see the full results from stage 1 and click here to read a full report from stage 1, courtesy of VeloNation.

Talansky sprints to stage win and overall lead in Paris-Nice

Andrew Talansky (Garmin-Sharp) has outsprinted his fellow breakaway riders to take stage 3 of Paris-Nice. With the 10-second time bonus he was awarded for winning the rain-affected stage, Talansky moves to the top of the general classification, ahead of Andriy Grivko (Astana) and Davide Malacarne (Europcar) who are both three seconds adrift.

The decisive seven-rider breakaway formed on the descent from the Cote de Mauvagnat, a climb that had seen then-race-leader Elia Viviani (Cannondale) slip off the pace and, eventually, relinquish his hold on the general classification.

Tonight’s 199.5km-long fourth stage takes the peloton from Brioude to Saint-Vallier, tackling four category 2 climbs and three category 3 climbs along the way.

Click here to see full results, a report and a highlights video from stage 3 of Paris-Nice.

Former Dutch rider Boogerd admits to doping

Former top Dutch cyclist Michael Boogerd has admitted doping from 1997 to the end of his career in 2007 in an interview to be aired on Wednesday.

The 40-year-old, who won two stages of the Tour de France — one in 1996 and one in 2002 — admitted using the banned blood-booster erythropoietin (EPO) and cortisone, as well as receiving blood transfusions.

Boogerd is the eighth cyclist from the former Rabobank team to admit doping, state broadcaster NOS said ahead of the Boogerd interview being broadcast.

Click here to read the full story.

Cavendish thankful to leave Sky behind

Mark Cavendish said that he feels better within his new Omega Pharma-Quick Step team than he did last year with British team Sky.

“I found a new motivation again,” Cavendish said after taking the lead in Tirreno-Adriatico yesterday.

“I don’t know if it was the pressure of the World Champion’s jersey or team Sky, or the pressure of all the years, but whatever happened this year, I’ve found a new motivation. … I got a girl and fiancée at home, but I’m really enjoying to be away racing. When you are with a group of people like I’m with, I couldn’t ask for much more.”

Cavendish raced for only one year with Sky. He annulled his contract early after having a difficult time finding his place in what is arguably the world’s best stage race team.

Click here to read more on Cycling Weekly.

Koen de Kort back racing after broken collarbone

Argos-Shimano rider Koen de Kort is back racing after recovering from a broken collarbone he sustained at the Tour of Qatar a month ago. Koen is riding in Tirreno-Adriatico, which started overnight, having recovered faster than he was expecting.

“The last week on the bike I didn’t have any pain in my collarbone anymore,” he said, “and I didn’t even think about it. I feel better every day and I can do everything again, from sprinting to descending. When I broke my collarbone I made an ideal plan for the upcoming races, but it’s amazing that it would progress like this.”

Speaking about the upcoming week at Tirreno-Adriatico de Kort said: “This is my first stage race again and it is all about getting into shape. I will see how it goes day by day. It isn’t realistic to have a position in the sprint train at the beginning of the race, but I will definitely do everything I can to work for the team and see if I can take part in the sprint train by the end of the race when I hopefully have gained the speed.

Click here to read more in a press release on the Argos-Shimano website.

Wiggins Giro-Tour double difficult, says Riis

Bradley Wiggins (Sky) will have a rough ride, according to Bjarne Riis, if he tries to double up and win both the Giro d’Italia and Tour de France this year.

“He should give it a shot if he thinks he can do it. He also knows that it’s not going to be easy for him to win if he comes to the Tour this year,” Riis explained.

“I think [the Giro] is too difficult. … To do the Giro and the Tour is too risky if you really want to win the Tour.”

Sky has scheduled Wiggins as team leader for the Giro and Froome to lead Sky at Le Tour. Wiggins will go on to race in France as Froome’s supporter, but if something goes wrong with Froome’s campaign, Wiggins could become the leader and take aim at a Giro-Tour trouble.

Only seven riders, the last being Marco Pantani in 1998, have won the double. Riis tried with Alberto Contador in 2011, but failed, after claiming that the Spanish rider had a chance of winning the Tour, Giro and the Vuelta in one year.

Click here to read more on Cycling Weekly.

Froome testing for Tour win

Chris Froome is racing Tirreno-Adriatico to continue honing Sky’s machinery ahead of the Tour de France. He explained it is not so much the win he’s looking for, but a good lead-up to Le Tour which starts on June 29.

“There’s a lot of people drawing comparisons to how Brad [Wiggins] started his season last year and how I’ve started this year, and maybe aligning those two, but for me it’s not about that at all,” Froome said.

“I’m here to just test myself and test my training. If I win here, fantastic, I’m on track. If I don’t win, I’ll still feel I’m on track and I’m heading in the right direction. The ultimate goal is the Tour and everything I do until then is just part of that process.”

Froome won his first stage race last month in the Tour of Oman. Just as he does in Tirreno-Adriatico, Froome faced stiff competition in the form of Alberto Contador (Saxo-Tinkoff), Cadel Evans (BMC Racing) and Joaquím Rodríguez (Katusha) at Oman — riders he will see again in the Grand Boucle.

Click here to read more on Cycling Weekly.

Armstrong blames sponsors for his lies

Lance Armstrong has sat down for another interview following his doping confession with Oprah Winfrey in January, speaking with a journalist from Sports Illustrated at his home in Austin.

Armstrong explained that his deals with high-paying sponsors pushed him to lie and fight doping allegations against him. Had he not, he added, he would have lost those important contracts.

However, in the process, Armstrong spent millions defending himself in lawsuits. He faces new lawsuits after his Winfrey confession.

Click here to read more on Sports Illustrated.

Volvo reveals world-first cyclist detection system

The safety-conscious car-maker, Volvo, has revealed a new cyclist detection system which will be included in its production cars from mid-May 2013.

The system uses data from a camera placed in front of the rear-view mirror and a radar unit under the grille to detect cyclists in the car’s vicinity. If an imminent crash is predicted, a red warning flash will alert the driver and the car will automatically activate full braking power.

Check out the video below for more information and click here to read more on Bike Radar.

BMC releases impec Lamborghini 50th Anniversary Edition

Lamborghini is celebrating its 50th anniversary with a special edition of the legendary Aventador. Inspired by the success of the previous impec Lamborghini Edition, BMC has created an even more exclusive ride.

The impec Lamborghini 50th Anniversary Edition combines high-end Italian components with the Swiss made impec frame, and is limited to 50 units.

Click here to read more and for some drool-worthy images.

The semi-pro, the hobbyist and the first-timer

And finally, here’s a nice little series of short documentaries about a new cyclist preparing for her first race, under the tutelage of a cyclocross semi-pro and an enthusiastic hobbyist. Four episodes of How to Win Paris-Ancaster have been released so far, but we recommend starting at episode 1. Enjoy!



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