Hushovd wins Tour of Poland stage 5

Norway’s Thor Hushovd powered to a sprint victory on the 160.5km fifth stage of the Tour of Poland from Nowy Targ to Zakopane on Thursday.

The 2010 world champion emerged triumphant ahead of Frenchman Matthieu Ladagnous and Italy’s Luka Mezgec in a cagey uphill sprint to earn his second victory in three days as BMC triumphed for a third straight stage.

Euskaltel-Euskadi rider Jon Izaguirre moved into the overall lead, one second in front of Poland’s Rafal Majka, after the Spaniard collected a 10-second time bonus for topping the stage’s attractivity classification.

Sky’s Colombian rider Sergio Henao, who is being helped by last year’s Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins on his return to racing after injury and illness, is 5 seconds adrift in third.

Friday’s penultimate stage will see riders tackle a 192km route around Bukovina.

Follow the link for full results from stage 5 of the 2013 Tour of Poland. Text via AFP.

Breshel wins stage 2 in the Tour of Denmark

Matti Breschel (Saxo-Tinkoff) has won stage 2 of the Tour of Denmark overnight and in doing so has become the rider with the most ever victories in the race’s history (five).

Tour of Denmark 2013 stage-2

A breakaway got away early in the stage but were rounded up without too many difficulties by the sprinters’ teams. Omega Pharma-QuickStep and Bardiani Valvole-CSF Inox got their sprint trains in position, but it was Saxo-Tinkoff which successfully took the sprint victory with Breschel, finishing ahead of Slovenian teammate Marko Kump and Moreno Hofland (Belkin Pro Cycling).

The 20-year-old Magnus Cort Nielsen (Team Cult Energy) retained the overall leader’s yellow jersey and also leads the best young rider competition.

Follow the link for full results from stage 2 of the 2013 Tour of Denmark.

Edmondson claims stage 3 in the Tour of Gippsland

London Olympian Alex Edmondson (Euride Racing) has taken out a thrilling third stage at the Lakes Oil Tour of Gippsland, winning the 90km road race from Leongatha to Yinnar ahead of Budget Forklifts riders Jack Anderson and Sam Horgan.

The South Australian found himself in a break of 11 riders with 30km to race and out-sprinted the group which included Alex Morgan (VIS). The win puts the 19-year-old into the tour lead, five seconds ahead of Anderson and a further seven seconds in front of Horgan.

Alex Edmondson wins stage 3 of the Tour of Gippsland.

Alex Edmondson wins stage 3 of the Tour of Gippsland.

On a course made up of undulating and rolling hills, the winning break was initiated by Anderson and Huon-Genesys pair Nathan Earle and Jai Crawford. The trio made their move after the first king of the mountain section at 43km and quickly gained an advantage of 33 seconds before a large chase group, including Edmondson, caught the breakaway following a long descent in the hills outside of Yinnar.

A crash in the main peloton hampered the chasing efforts allowing the leaders to gain an unassailable lead on the peloton and turned on themselves with Horgan attacking the group solo. The New Zealander dangled in front for 10km before being swallowed with 10km remaining.

With 5km to go, Morgan tried his luck at a solo victory forcing Edmondson’s teammate Harry Carpenter to chase hard to ensure the team made it back-to-back stage wins.

Stage four of the tour will see two stages including a criterium around Sale before a 98 km road race from Sale to Licola.

Follow the link for full results from stage 3 of the 2013 Tour of Gippsland.

Omega Pharma-QuickStep signs Renshaw and Uran

Belgian outfit Omega Pharma Quick-Step on Thursday confirmed the signings of Colombia’s Rigoberto Uran and Australia’s Mark Renshaw on two-year deals.

Both riders will remain with the team through to the end of the 2015 season, with Uran moving from Team Sky and Renshaw arriving from Dutch team Belkin.

Uran, 26 and a climber in the mould of his compatriot Nairo Quintana, was a silver medallist at last year’s London Olympics road race and finished second overall at this year’s Giro d’Italia.

Meanwhile, the 30-year-old Renshaw will be reunited with Mark Cavendish, becoming a lead-out rider for the British sprinter, with whom he raced for three years up to 2011 at the HTC High Road team.

“After a couple of years apart, riding on the same team as my good friend Mark Cavendish again is something I am going to enjoy. It will be great returning to lead-out duties fighting for victories with Cav,” Renshaw said in a statement released by his new team.

The duo follow in the footsteps of Italy’s Alessandro Petacchi, who last month reversed a decision to retire from the sport when he agreed to join Omega Pharma until the end of next season.

Click here to see the Omega Pharma-QuickStep press release about the signings. Text via AFP.

Astana signs Westra and Pellizotti

Like Omega Pharma-QuickStep, Astana has wasted no time in announcing its new signings for 2014. From next season, Dutch time trial champion Lieuwe Westra (currently Vacansoleil) and a former teammate of Vincenzo Nibali’s, Franco Pellizotti, will join the Kazhakstan-based squad.

But the signing of Pelizotti has caused some concern.

Astana is a member of the Mouvement Pour un Cyclisme Crédible (MPCC, Movement for Credible Cycling) and as such has agreed not to sign anyone within two years of a ban for doping. Pelizotti was banned for two years for a UCI Biological Passport violation and made his comeback with the Androni Giocattoli team in May 2012.

According to the MPCC rules, Pellizotti can only legally be a part of Astana from May 2, 2014 (two years after his ban) and not January 2014 (when he is contracted to start with Astana).

This means Astana will either have to opt out of the MPCC in 2014 (it’s a voluntary organisation) or Pelizotti’s contract will have to be changed.

Click here to read more at Cycling News.

Taylor Phinney’s power figures from his Tour of Poland stage win

Taylor Phinney’s stage 4 win at the Tour of Poland was one of those nail-biting finishes where you didn’t know, until the very last second, whether the solo breakaway was going to hold off the surging peloton.

Roughly 7km before the finish Phinney “put [his] head down and never looked back” and we now know just how big an effort it was by Phinney to get away and stay away:

To see Phinney’s Strava file on the stage, click here.

McQuaid denies bending or breaking rules but could face legal action

UCI management committee member Igor Makarov has reacted angrily to apparent plans by the Malaysian cycling federation to change the UCI constitution to assist Pat McQuaid in getting a third term as UCI president.

Makarov has threatened legal action to prevent the move from happening:

“I take the opportunity of this letter to inform you that should this unlawful process be maintained, I already intend to challenge, by all legal means, any decision taken by the UCI Congress in this respect and any other infringements to the UCI constitution,” he said.

Meanwhile Pat McQuaid has defended his actions while speaking to Myles Dungan from The Pat Kenny Show:

“I have not solicited this at all,” he said. “When the Malaysian federation saw what was happening back in January with myself and the Irish federation, they felt it was wrong. They decided to put that proposal forward. The UCI Congress will decide if they want to accept that proposal or not. I could not say I do not want to put that proposal on the agenda.

“I have not broken any rules. I have not bent any rules. Democracy is best served by having numerous candidates. If we were to follow your interpretation then I would just stand aside and let Brian Cookson walk straight into the UCI Presidency. My federations around the world would not thank me for that.”

Click here and here to read more.

AIS drops O’Grady from honour roll

The Australian Institute of Sport has indefinitely suspended Stuart O’Grady from its “Best of the Best” honour roll following the South Australian’s admission of doping at the 1998 Tour de France.

In a statement, Australian Sports Commission chief executive Simon Hollingsworth said:

“Unfortunately there is no escaping the fact that Stuart’s admission does diminish his achievements. The problems cycling, especially professional road racing, has had with doping in that era are well documented but there is never an excuse for athletes to use performance enhancing drugs.”

Since his admission O’Grady has had his membership of the Australian Olympic Committee’s Athletes’ Commission revoked and he’s been dropped as an ambassador for the Port Adelaide Power AFL club.

Click here to read more at SBS Cycling Central.

Giro to ascend Zoncolan twice in 2014?


There are suggestions in the Italian press that the 2014 Giro d’Italia will feature the brutal Monte Zoncolan climb not once, but twice.

One climb will apparently be from the popular starting point of Ovaro (10.1 km at 11.7%) with the other starting in Priola (9.4km at 12.1%).

If what we’re reading is true, the Double Zoncolan will be on the penultimate stage of the Giro, with the final stage finishing in Trieste.

Again, we can’t confirm this information yet, but if it turns out to be true it will make for a much tougher stage than this year’s Double Alpe d’Huez at the Tour de France.

Click here to read more at Rai Sport (in Italian).

Banned noodles ad

This ad for Energy Noodles is hilariously over-the-top and worth a watch, but be warned, it could be NSFW depending on your workplace.

Click here and here to read more about the ad.

Bicycle-powered helicopter

And here’s a video that’s just as entertaining but nowhere near as crass. A collaborative effort between some folks at the University of Toronto, Cervelo and a range of other organisations has produced a bicycle-powered helicopter.

You’re not going to be able to take this contraption down to the shops to get milk, but it’s an interesting project and, no doubt, very exciting for the team to the helicopter lift off the ground for the first time.

The Rocacorba Recap

And finally this morning, here are a few things you might have missed:

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