Nibali still in pink, Intxausti wins stage

Astana’s Vincenzo Nibali kept possession of the Giro d’Italia race leader’s pink jersey for another night after a strong showing in Tuesday’s 16th stage.

Benat Intxausti of Spain, riding for the Movistar team, won the stage, a 238km ride from the French resort of Valloire, in 5hr 52.48min.

Intxausti beat Estonian Tanel Kangert into second in a sprint finish, with Nibali and his rivals in the general classification, Australian Cadel Evans and Colombian Rigoberto Uran, coming in as part of the same peloton 14sec behind.

Giro d'Italia 2013 - Tappa 16

Evans stands 1min 26sec off Nibali, with Uran 2.46 off the Italian’s pace.

“You might have thought the stage would be easy, but it wasn’t the case,” Nibali said.

“A lot of riders from Monday’s day off. The Giro, the Tour, they’re raced like that. In the final descent, I didn’t try to gain time, I only sought to control. It’s been a good day, I can only be happy.”

The big loser of the day’s racing was Mauro Santambrogi, the Vini Fantini rider starting in fourth overall but losing more than two minutes.

Santambrogio after winning stage 14. As you can see by his pudgy face and his surname , his nickname among the riders is "Santa"

Santambrogio after winning stage 14. As you can see by the combination of his pudgy face and his surname , his nickname among the riders is “Santa”

“Over three weeks, a bad day can happen to anyone,” said Santambrogio in reference to Bradley Wiggins and Michele Scarponi.

“Today was my turn. Tomorrow, I’ll ride out calmly with the goal of doing well at each occasion that presents itself.

A 22-rider breakaway formed several times in the ascent of Mont-Cenis mountain frontier between France and Italy, Nibali and his team content to hand them a lead that once stretched to almost five minutes.

But they were eventually reeled back in with 20km to race, with Astana taking up the lead.

Evans and Uran reeled in Nibali’s group 11.5km from the finish after the Italian had gone on the attack down a spectacular descent that featured a series of hairpin turns.

Kangert then attacked and at the 6km mark took with him Intxausti, Lampre’s Polish rider Przemyslaw Niemiec and Dutchman Robert Gesink, who was later knocked out of the equation with a flat tyre (correction – a dropped chain).

Intxausti, competing in the Giro for a third time, took his moment perfectly for the a first-ever stage win on a Grand Tour.

“It wasn’t an easy sprint. At 3km, Kangert got on my wheel and I knew he was my opponent,” said the 27-year-old Intxausti.

Giro d'Italia 2013 - Tappa 16

“At 700 metres, I was able to keep my head and stay in the saddle, and at 300 metres, with a tailwind, I attacked on the outside.”

The 17th stage on Wednesday sees the riders tackle a 214km course between Caravaggio and Vincenza, before three testing stages.

text via AFP


Giro plans Val Martello and Tre Cime detours

Giro d’Italia technical director, Mauro Vegni is planning new routes for its final two high-mountain stages. The stages to Val Martello and Tre Cime di Lavaredo on Friday and Saturday are at risk due to snow and bad weather forecasted.

Giro d'Italia 2013 - Tappa 16

“They are predicting bad weather and it’s clear, those two stages are at risk,” Vegni told Cycling Weekly.

Instead of the Gavia (2618m) and Stelvio (2758m), Vegni is thinking about taking the stage east through Val di Sole and Valle di Silandro at lower altitude.

The stage to Tre Cime di Lavaredo presents greater problems.

“It’d be great to have a plan B that would take us to Tre Croci below Tre Cime, but you have to climb Giau. If it is snowing on Tre Cime [2304m], we will for sure face snow on Giau at 2236 metres,” Vegni added. “I have to go around Giau, but the problem in that area is that all the other passes are high and we’ll face snow on them, as well.”

Read more on Cycling Weekly.

Nibali-Evans’ in a battle for seconds

Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) and Cadel Evans (BMC Racing) race for any seconds possible, as evident in stage 16 overnight in Ivrea. Giro’s bonuses for a top three finish – 20, 12 and 8 seconds – produce aggressive race. In Ivrea, they refused to let their guard down until a group of three, with eventual stage winner Beñat Intxausti (Movistar) escaped in the final five kilometres.


“It makes interesting racing, but then of course, if it’s to your disadvantage you don’t like it,” Evans told Cycling Weekly of the bonuses. “At the moment, they’ve worked to his [Nibali’s] advantage. Hopefully I can turn that around.”

Evans has lost 12 seconds total to Nibali in the battle for bonuses. Of his 1-26 minute deficit, 1-14 is from actual time loss.

Vanotti continues to support Nibali despite fracture

Despite fracturing his collarbone and abandoning on Saturday, Alessandro Vanotti remains in the Giro d’Italia to support leader Vincenzo Nibali.

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“It’s great for us that he’s here, he helps create a good atmosphere,” Nibali said during a press conference. “In my opinion, given the number of days we have to spend away a year, he could return home to be with his wife and baby.”

Vanotti crashed in stage 14 to Jafferau and fractured his right collarbone. He was an important rouleur for Nibali, who now relies on riders like Andrey Zeits and Fredrik Kessiakoff.

Taylor Phinney abandons Giro d’Italia

BMC’s Taylor Phinney was unable to finish stage 16 yesterday and abandoned the Giro d’Italia. The American time trial and classics specialists, had been sick. Earlier in the race, he complained of allergy problems and knee pain, the same that saw him skip the Ronde van Vlaanderen. “Taylor had a little fever and had started on some antibiotic therapies,” BMC’s Dr. Ruffini said in a press release. “But it grew a little and now we have bacteria infection. So we will continue that treatment for a week and I expect a full recovery.” Phinney was sitting in 162nd place at over 3hrs down from Nibali.

Phinney also cited some nasty saddle sores at this stage of the Giro:

Last year, in his Grand Tour debut, he won the opening time trial and wore the pink jersey for three days.

Giro d’Italia race doctor talks about illness sweeping through the peloton

This year’s Giro d’Italia has seen it’s fair share of big name riders fall victim to illness, the two biggest being Bradley Wiggins of Sky Procycling and defending champion Ryder Hesjedal of Garmin-SHARP. GCN spoke to the Race and Team Doctors to find out how the rest of the riders were coping.

Cataldo designs custom Gaerne shoes

Dario Cataldo (Sky), earmarked to help Brad Wiggins in the Giro d’Italia, is designing shoes in his free time.

“It’s my hobby,” he said. “I always draw at home and I always bring something with me to make some little sketches.” The Italian from Abruzzo explained to Cyclingnews in a video interview about his designs and Gaerne shoes:

AG2R’s Sylvain Georges faces drugs hearing, AG2R to sit out of Dauphine?

French rider Sylvain Georges is facing a disciplinary hearing after confirmation Tuesday of the presence of a banned substance in a sample taken after last week’s Giro d’Italia seventh stage.

The stimulant heptaminol was detected in the AG2R cyclist’s urine after the May 10th seventh stage, with the B sample released by cycling’s governing body the UCI confirming the original finding. Heptaminol, used to improve blood circulation, is available over the counter in pharmacies in France.

“Conforming to the rules, the UCI will ask the French Cycling Federation to start a disciplinary procedure against the rider,” a UCI statement announced. Georges quit the Giro d’Italia following his positive test.

AG2R team manager Vincent Lavenu said last week that if the B sample was also positive, then the team would not participate in the Critérium du Dauphiné. The team is a member of the MPCC (Mouvement pour un cyclisme crédible – movement for credible cycling), which state that a team that has had two positives within 12 months must suspend itself from racing for eight days as of the start of the next WorldTour race. AG2R’s Steve Houanard tested positive for EPO last autumn.

The Race Against Time

Brits Chris Boardman and Graeme Obree’s quest for the hour record and cycling perfection has been detailed in a new book, The Race Against Time. “The Race Against Time tells the story of how Britain first started to dominate cycling, but is also about the struggle between art and science, tradition and innovation, commercialism and individuality. It is the tale of two complex characters who redefined the sport and set in motion a new era in British cycling, the legacy of which we enjoy to this day.”

Edward Pickering, Cycle Sport editor, wrote the book that is now available in hard cover and digital editions. Cycling Weekly pushed an extract this week.

“Obree is excitable, engaging, amusing, prone to mood swings and depression, with a mind that seems to be in a permanent state of superficial activity. While Boardman stuck to a careful, controlled and balanced path down the middle of the road, Obree swung wildly across both lanes. He was capable of enjoying the great triumphs of sporting success, but just as capable of pitching into a bleak, dark, incomprehensible slough of despondency.”

You can see more and purchase the book here.

Frenchman beats speed record on rocket bike


François Gissy piloted a home-made rocket-powered mountainbike to 263km/h on Sunday. The actual speed is unverified, but there is video to prove this crazyness. The bike powered by hydrogen peroxide broke the previous record of 242.6km/h (150 mph) on a track near Mulhouse, eastern France.


Hit and run driver boasts on Twitter

A young driver may have landed herself in trouble after boasting about knocking a cyclist off their his on Twitter.


The woman, whose name is ‘Emma Way’ on Twitter, has been contacted by police in the UK city of Norwich following the ill-advised tweet.

Her remark was retweeted hundreds of times, sparking outrage among cyclist, many of who pointed out that there is no such thing as road tax in Britain.

It led to the woman receiving a tweet from Norwich Police, telling her she should report the incident as soon as possible. Emma Way’s twitter account (@emmaway20) has now been closed.

The commotion created by her tweet resulted in the alleged victim coming forward.

Toby Hockley, 29, and a trainee chef, said he was knocked off his bike while taking part in a race with his cycling club.

In an interview with the BBC, Mr Hockley said: “She hit me hard, really hard. I am lucky to be alive. But I managed to get out of the hedge and stand up.” “The car was nowhere to be seen. She hit me and she was gone. All I know is that it was a blonde girl driving.”

Norfolk Police said it was investigating and had spoken to both parties.

Read more about how this drama is unfolding on

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