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by Matt de Neef
August 8, 2013
Good morning and welcome to your Thursday edition of the Rocacorba Daily. We’ve got the latest from a couple of big races happening at the moment plus the usual mix of news and other stories to bring you up to speed on the latest from the world of cycling.
Orica-GreenEDGE’s Michael Matthews has sprinted to victory on stage 2 of the Tour of Utah, improving his stage 1 result by one place and taking the leader’s jersey in the process.
Matthews outsprinted stage 1 winner and then-race leader Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) and Jasper Stuyven (Bontrager) to win the 210km stage from Panguitch to Torrey.
Despite an aggressive start to the day, a break didn’t form until nearly 40km of racing had been completed. The two riders that got away, Michael Hepburn (Orica-GreenEDGE) and Martin Wesemann (MTN-Qhubeka) stayed at the front for roughly 125km and got as much as 8 minutes ahead of the main field.
But on the category 1 climb up Boulder Mountain Hepburn fell away and Wesemann was later reeled in with 45km to go in the stage.
Andzs Flaksis (Bontrager) jumped away from the peloton to take the KOM points then pushed on solo, increasing his lead to one minute. Flaksis, the former Latvian U23 road and time trial champion continued alone but in the approach to Torrey BMC and Orica-GreenEDGE increased the pace.
Despite a determined effort, Flaksis was caught with 5km remaining. Dave Zabriskie (Garmin-Sharp) put in a solo attack with 3km to go but was wrapped up just inside the final kilometre before the sprinters contested the final.
Follow the link for full results from stage 2 of the 2013 Tour of Utah.
Giorgia Bronzini has continued her incredible streak at the Route de France, winning a fourth consecutive stage overnight.
The former two-time World champion finished more than a length clear of her nearest rivals, with Australian Melissa Hoskins (Orica-AIS) taking second and Roxane Fournier of the French National Team in third.
At 140km, the stage was the longest of the race but, with little to break up the peloton in its length, it was the biggest group so far that arrived at the finish. But Bronzini proved unstoppable once again.
“It was quite an easy day because this stage didn’t really have any climbs,” Bronzini explained. “It was very flat, and sometimes it was windy, but not strong enough to make a gap.
“I was with Linda Villumsen and Lauren Kitchen until the beginning of the sprint, and they put me on the right wheel. I was in the wheel of Emma Johansson [Orica-AIS], and I started my sprint with 200 metres to go, and it was good.”
“I never won four days in a row before!” Bronzini exclaimed. “Never. I’m so happy, and so proud for the team.”
Johansson remains in the leader’s jersey by a margin of one second — the same margin she won the prologue TT by before Bronzini won four stages in a row.
Follow the link to see full results from stage 5 of the 2013 Route de France. Click here to see reports from each stage by Orica-AIS rider Gracie Elvin.
The junior world track cycling championships got underway in Glasgow overnight and of the four possible gold medals on offer, the Australian team took out three.
The Australian men’s sprint team took out one of three wins for Australia on day 1 of the 2013 Junior Track World Championships.
The Australian national team won the women’s team sprint, the men’s team pursuit and the men’s team sprint.
The four-day meet continues in Glasgow today. Click here for the schedule and results and click here for a Cycling Australia press release about day 1 of competition.
It’s been a long time coming but Garmin’s pedal-based power meter system, called Vector, is finally available for purchase.
It’s been four years of development but in an event for a select group of media overnight, Garmin announced the Vector system will be available right away.
The Vector system can measure each leg’s power output separately and will sell for roughly $1,700 US.
For more information about Vector, click here and here.
Canadian Christian Meier has announced that he has extended his contract with Orica-GreenEDGE and will ride for the Australian-registered team for another two years.
“For me the question isn’t ‘why stay?’, it’s ‘why leave?”, said Meier. “We have a great group of people to work with – riders, staff and sponsors. All our equipment is top-notch. That’s a pretty big deal for performance. The team has invested in sport science, too. We’re always right on the leading edge of training, recovery methods and nutrition. The team gives us all the tools we need to grow and get the best out of ourselves. I don’t want to be anywhere else.”
Sports Director Matt White said Meier’s dependability and consistency is one of his greatest assets:
“Every team needs someone like Christian,” said White. “In the make-up of the team you have your winners, your developing riders and then guys like Christian who can support either group. We can put Christian in any race on the calendar between January and October, and we know exactly what we’ll get from him. He’s one of the first guys we slot into any roster because he’s very stable and very consistent. His work is hugely appreciated from the start of the race until its end.”
Click here to read more and click here for a round-up of contract extensions and transfers so far.
Colombian climber Nairo Quintana, who finished second at this year’s Tour de France, will stay with Movistar for the 2014 season despite apparent interest from other teams, including Astana.
Quintana’s agent confirmed to Cycling News that Quintana’s younger brother Dayer will almost certainly join the team next year as well, after riding for an U23 team in Spain this year.
Despite being under contract it’s expected that Nairo Quintana will attract a hefty pay rise after his podium place in the Tour de France.
Click here to read more at Cycling News.
Cycling Australia has announced the teams that will represent the country in the MTB world championships in South Africa later this month.
London Olympians Daniel McConnell and Rebecca Henderson will headline the cross country selections. Earlier this year, McConnell became the first Australian male since Cadel Evans in 2000 to claim a World Cup victory when he won the opening round in Albstadt, Germany.
The full team is as follows:
Elite men cross country: Daniel McConnell, Paul Van Der Ploeg.
U23 men cross country: Michael Crosbie, Ben Forbes.
U23 women cross country: Rebecca Henderson.
Junior men cross country: Ben Bradley, Chris Hamilton, Jack Lavis, Tasman Nankervis
Junior women cross country: Holly Harris
Elite men downhill: Bryn Atkinson, Troy Brosnan, Mitchel Delfs, Conor Fearon, Jared Graves, Michael Hannah, Sam Hill.
Elite women downhill: Caroline Buchanan, Tracey Hannah
Junior men downhill: Aidan Varley, Peter Knott, Thomas Crimmins, Dean Lucas, Brent Smith
Junior women downhill: Danielle Beecroft, Tegan Molloy
Four cross: Blake Neilson, Mitchell Scarr, Terence Scarr, Joey Vejvoda, Danielle Beecroft, Caroline Buchanan.
Click here and here to read more.
The inaugural Australian Cyclocross Nationals are happening in Melbourne this Saturday and ahead of that race our CX correspondents at BrewCX have put together a helpful guide to the rules of CX.
The article also clarifies rule changes that have been made especially for this weekend, to bring Australian CX rules in line with UCI regulations.
Click here to read the article at BrewCX.
Contour has been one of the biggest brands in outdoor adventure videography for a number of years now but according to MTB website pinkbike.com, Contour could be closing its doors.
While no official announcement has been made, here’s pinkbike’s take on the situation:
Speaking personally with former Contour employees confirmed this story, but details are still sparse. More than likely, Contour over-extended their credit, forcing them to shut down. The helmet camera market continues to show incredible growth, and we wouldn’t be surprised if another company steps in to resurrect Contour, and hopefully re-hire their former employees.
Click here to read more.
Over the past week or so we’ve been bringing you the news of Mike Cotty’s epic 17-Col adventure in France. Well, according to road.cc, Cotty’s ride went according to plan, completing the 674km ride with 16,066m of climbing in just under 34 hours.
Check out road.cc for all the latest.
When you think of cycling-friendly countries, Afghanistan probably isn’t top of that list. But in this short film a handful of intrepid MTBers spent many days making the trip to Afghanistan’s isolated Wakhan Corridor and the results are pretty impressive.
Click here to read about the trip.
After a few week break during the Tour de France we’re excited to get back up and running with Season 3 of The Bike Lane.
Tune in this afternoon to see our first episode back where we catch up on all that’s been happening, interview Richie Porte and Elizabeth Hepple (who podiumed in the 1988 Women’s Tour de France), and look ahead to the end of the season.
And finally this morning, here are a few things you might have missed: