Gilbert wins stage 12 of the Vuelta

Belgian rider Philippe Gilbert (BMC) edged out Edvald Boasson Hagen (Sky) in a sprint finish to take the 12th stage of the Tour of Spain overnight.

stage-12 of the Vuelta a EspaÒa 2013

Boasson Hagen looked set for victory in the 164.2km ride from Maella to Tarragona after being led to within sight of the line by teammate Rigoberto Uran. But Gilbert produced a late surge to take victory on the line with Maximiliano Ariel Richeze (Lampre) claiming his third podium finish of the race in third.

The victory was Gilbert’s first since winning the world road race title last year and he thanked his teammates and family for sticking by him during a difficult season.

“Firstly, I want to thank my family and all the people who have believed in me during what hasn’t been the best year,” he said. “This victory is very special for me because I have always done well in Catalonia and some of my family live here.”

On the last stage favourable to the sprinters before a series of demanding climbs over the next week, the early pace was made by Fabricio Ferrari (Caja Rural), Romain Zingle (Cofidis) and Cedric Pineau (FDJ).

The breakaway group of three were eventually caught with around 18km to go allowing Nicholas Roche (Saxo) to get up to claim second in the sprint past Port Aventura behind Ivan Basso (Cannondale).

In the overall classification, Italian Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) retained the leader’s jersey but lost two seconds on Roche. The Irishman picked up two bonus seconds in the sprint past Port Aventura to close to within 31 seconds with Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) and Chris Horner (RadioShack) remaining 46 seconds back.

But despite narrowing the gap on Nibali, Roche insisted the Giro d’Italia winner is still the strong favourite for the overall victory in Madrid come Sunday week.

“Nibali has to be the favourite. He is in extraordinary condition, he is fresh and he’ll make things very difficult for us come the mountain stages.”

The peloton then stayed together for a bunch sprint in the final kilometre and Boasson Hagen seemed to have it all in his favour as Uran pulled off the front with 500 metres remaining to give the Norwegian a clear run at the line.

However, Gilbert timed his surge to the finish to perfection as he came past Boasson Hagen with ease to claim a fifth career stage victory in the Tour of Spain.

Follow the link for results from stage 12 of the 2013 Vuelta a Espana. Text via AFP.

Dillier wins stage 2 of the Tour of Alberta

Team BMC stagiaire Silvan Dillier has won the second stage of the inaugural Tour of Alberta in Canada, holding off his fellow breakaway rider Serghei Tvetcov (Jelly Belly-Kenda) to the finish of the 175km stage between Devon and Red Deer.

Dillier and Tvetcov broke away from the peloton roughly 95km into the stage and gained an advantage of five minutes before the gap started coming down thanks to the efforts of team Cannondale, riding for race leader Peter Sagan.

The gap was less than a minute with 1km to go and the two escapees comfortably crossed the line ahead of the main field. Sagan won the field sprint to place third on the stage and to retain his overall lead in the race.

The race resumes tonight with stage 3, a 169km ride from Strathmore to Drumheller.

Follow the link for results from stage 2 of the inaugural Tour of Alberta.

Kirsten Wild wins stage 3 at the Boels Ladies Tour

Kirsten Wild has won stage three of the Boels Ladies Tour in Holland overnight, outsprinting Shelley Olds (Team Tibco To the Top) and Lizzie Armistead (Boels-Dolmans) to take her second win of the race so far.

Boels Rental Ladies Tour 2013 stage-3

With 5km to go in the stage there was a large crash in the peloton which split the bunch in two but this didn’t affect Wild or her Argos-Shimano team as they powered towards the line, taking full control and setting Wild up for her second win in three days.

“I am really happy with this second win,” Wild said. ”Today was quite tough with the heat but also because of the diverse route. The whole day the team protect me and I didn’t have to waste any energy.”

After yesterday’s team time trial Specialized-Lululemon still holds the top five positions on the general classification, led by Trixi Worrack, Ellen van Dijk and Lisa Brennauer. The Australian-registered Orica-AIS team holds positions 6 to 10 on the general classification after finishing second in the TTT.

There are three stages left in the race including tonight’s fourth stage, a 116km ride starting and finishing in Papendrecht.

Follow the link for results from stage 3 of the 2013 Boels Ladies Tour. Text via Argos-Shimano press release.

Numainville wins stage 4 at Tour de l’Ardeche

Just as she did in last year’s race, Joelle Numainville (Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies) has won stage 4 of the Tour de l’Ardeche, sprinting to victory at the head of a 39-rider group into Cruas.

Numainvile, the reigning Canadian road race and time trial champion, was first to the line ahead of teammate Lauren Hall and Tiffany Cromwell, who’s riding as leader of an Australian representative team.

It’s Cromwell’s second podium position in the race so far — she was second on stage 1 — and the lowest she’s finished on the five stages so far is ninth.

Cromwell’s third place overnight gives her the lead in the points classification and has her third in the general classification, 12 seconds behind race leader Alena Amialiusik (Be Pink) and nine seconds behind second-placed Linda Villumsen (Wiggle Honda) who crashed heavily on last night’s stage.

There are two stags remaining in the race, including tonight’s 118km fifth stage from Saint Sauveur de Montagut to Villeneuve de Berg.

Follow the link for results from stage 4 of the 2013 Tour de l’Ardeche.

Kerrison sprints to men’s Tour of the Murray River stage 4 win

Queensland’s Jesse Kerrison (Budget Forklifts) has claimed his first Subaru National Road Series (NRS) road race stage victory beating Tour of the Murray River defending champion Luke Davison (Drapac) and 2012 Australian criterium champion Anthony Giacoppo (Huon-Genesys) in a sprint to the line in yesterday’s stage 4 road race.

Kerrison, who has won a swag of sprint jerseys throughout the Subaru NRS this year, sealed his first road stage victory following a 140 kilometre race from Kerang to the small Murray River town of Cohuna.

“With about three kilometres to go Huon-Genesys, Euride and Drapac were all fighting for the front”, Kerrison said. “I was swapping from wheel to wheel because I knew we probably didn’t have the strength today. I saw Shannon Johnson (Charter Mason) kick with 500 metres to go and I jumped on his wheel and he gave me the perfect lead out.”

Drapac’s Tom Palmer retains the yellow jersey by seven seconds, but conceded two seconds to second-placed Giacoppo. Kerrison’s teammate Michael Vink has slipped to third place, 10 seconds back.

“The boys controlled the race really well and I’m so proud of them,” Palmer said. “When they put in the hard work like that it’s important for me to be able to reward them with a result.

The race began aggressively before the intermediate sprint in the town of Boort brought some excitement to the bunch. Pro Team Downunder’s Darcy Ellerm-Norton took his chances at a solo break at the 60km mark before he was soon joined by Nick Aitkin (Seight Test Team).

The pair worked together for almost 70km gaining a maximum advantage of three minutes while race leaders Drapac controlled the pace from the peloton.

As the finish line grew closer, Aitkin tired and Ellerm-Norton went solo before eventually being caught with less than 15km left to race ensuring another bunch sprint.

“I thought I’d give yellow a crack,” Ellerm-Norton said. “Some of the boys are looking a little tired and I thought they’d give me yellow to give the Drapac boys a rest tomorrow, but there are too many sprinters teams here,” he said.

The men’s tour continues today with a 91km road race beginning and finishing in Echuca.

Follow the link for results from stage 4 of the 2013 men’s Tour of the Murray River. Text via Cycling Australia press release.

Garftoot wins stage 2 ITT at the women’s Tour of the Murray River

Katrin Garfoot (Pensar SPM) has blitzed the Tour of the Murray River’s individual time trial to put herself in the yellow leader’s jersey after day two of the Subaru National Road Series (NRS) event.

Garfoot, who recently won the Sam Miranda Tour of the King Valley, took out the 21.6km individual time trial in Cohuna, 24-seconds ahead of Bicycle Superstore’s Felicity Wardlaw and a further 42 seconds in front of teammate and current NRS leader Ruth Corset.

“I am very happy with that ride, said Garfoot. “I was mentally preparing for this all week, I knew it was going to hurt, but I wanted to push myself to the next level so I am very happy (with the win).”

Garfoot caught time trial specialist Rebecca Wiasak (Suzuki-Bontrager) out on course.

“I saw Rebecca in front of me and it was very satisfying,” she said. “I tried harder to close the gap which tired me out and I needed that extra bit for the finish but I kept on fighting and I managed to stay in front of her.

Wardlaw, who was a medallist at the 2013 Cycling Australia Road National Time Trial Championships was pleased with her race.

“I am happy to come second by 24 seconds today,” Wardlaw said. “I know where I can make that up that time next time around with a little bit more work on the time trial bike.”

Garfoot now leads the tour by 24 seconds to Wardlaw while Corset is a further 42 seconds behind.

The women’s tour continues tomorrow with a 92km road race beginning and ending in Echuca.

Follow the link for results from stage 2 of the 2013 women’s Tour of the Murray River. Text via Cycling Australia press release.

Wiggins to lead Sky at the Tour of Britain

Bradley Wiggins will lead Team Sky’s challenge in the Tour of Britain later this month, the British team announced on Thursday.

Giro d'Italia 2013 - 8a Tappa

Ian Stannard, Josh Edmondson, Bernhard Eisel, Mathew Hayman and David Lopez make up the Team Sky squad but last year’s winner, Jonathan Tiernan-Locke, was not selected.

Wiggins says he hopes to use the eight-stage race, which begins in southern Scotland on September 15, to prepare himself for the individual time-trial at the Road World Championships in Florence, Italy, on September 25.

“It’s a race I’m fond of and it’s nice to see it growing,” he said. “The crowds and the roads make it special and it’s always very humbling to see the fantastic support that we get from the public.

“I’m coming into the race feeling really good. It finishes in close proximity to the world time-trial championships, which is my main late-season goal. The Tour of Britain is always a tough event and I’m looking forward to getting started.”

Wiggins, 33, revealed last month that he will turn his back on the road at the end of next season to focus on the track in the build-up to the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

Text via AFP.

Tyler Farrar without a team for 2014

American sprinter Tyler Farrar has not yet received a contract extension from his Garmin-Sharp team and is currently without a team for next season.

Tyler Farrar post-finish

The 29-year-old has won a stage in all three Grand Tours in the past but hasn’t achieved a major victory in Europe since the 2011 Tour de France. His 2012 was marred by injury and despite showing some great promise throughout the season, including a stage win at the Tour of California, Farrar hasn’t been at his best.

“Obviously it’s a bit stressful. I don’t know what’s going to happen yet for me in 2014,” he told Cyclingnews.

When asked if he still had a future with Garmin, Farrar said:

“I’ve not really heard a yes or a no from them so it’s a little bit up to them at the moment. I’ve been here for quite a while, this team has been my home for quite a few years but right now it’s up in the air and we’ll see how it shakes out.”

Click here to read more at CyclingNews.

Tony Martin to have surgery on old hand injury

World ITT champion Tony Martin is set to undergo surgery at the end of the season to fix the hand he broke on stage 1 of last year’s Tour de France.

Tony Martin on his way to a 2nd World TT Title

With the German likely to be in a cast for three months, the surgery has been scheduled for after the Tour of Beijing in October.

“A piece of bone will be taken from his pelvis and set into his injured hand between the thumb and wrist,” team doctor Helge Reipenhof told reporters.

Surgery was discussed for Martin after the race but is necessary now to ensure that he doesn’t suffer from arthritis in the years to come.

Click here to read more at CyclingNews.

BikeNZ to vote for Cookson at UCI presidential election

With a little more than three weeks to go before the UCI presidential election, Brian Cookson has secured two of the three Oceania confederation votes with BikeNZ confirming its support yesterday.

Richard Leggat, president of BikeNZ President, said that he believes Cookson is better suited to the job of bringing about much-needed changes to the UCI than Pat McQuaid, who has presided over the UCI for the past eight years.

“Brian Cookson will advocate for these changes, and based on his success with British Cycling we believe he can bring about the positive changes cycling needs,” he said.

The Canadian cycling federation has also put its support behind Cookson but it does not have a vote at the UCI Congress and so cannot directly affect the outcome of the election.

Click here to read more at VeloNation.

UK study to examine how to keep people riding as they get older

A three-year research project is set to begin in the UK in October to investigate how older people can be encouraged and supported to continue cycling into their old age, thereby helping them maintain their health, fitness and independence.

In the Netherlands cycling accounts for roughly a quarter of all journeys made by people aged 65 and over but in the UK that figure is as low as 1%.

The 1.4 million pound research will look at how the built environment and technology such as e-bikes could be adapted to support the needs of older cyclists.

Tim Jones, Senior Research Fellow of the Department of Planning at Oxford Brookes, is leading the research, said:

“It is a common misconception that older people don’t cycle or have no desire to do so. But having the option to ride a bicycle is a fantastic way of maintaining independence and community connections and in so doing potentially benefiting physical and mental health and wellbeing.”

Click here to

Vuelta Skelta cram session

1356_CT_Fox_Badge_V02-full-copyHow’s your Vuelta Skelta Strava challenge been going? Are you falling behind on your climbing? If you’re in or near Melbourne on Sunday morning and want to rack up some metres, why not join the CyclingTips team down at Arthurs Seat for some repeats? Nothing formal; just rock up whenever you like and say hi when you see us. We’ll be in fluoro yellow kit.

Last but not least…here’s a Chris Horner “then and now” to kick off your weekend:

Chris Horner back in 2001when he rode for Mercury-Viatel and ZZ-Top was still cool. I miss those days.

Chris Horner back in 2001when he rode for Mercury-Viatel and ZZ-Top was still cool. I miss those days.

The Rocacorba Recap

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

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