Lampre-Merida reeling after thieves raid service course
The Lampre-Merida service course in Usmate Velate (near Milan) has been broken into and robbed of all bicycles, accessories and material between Saturday and Monday.
The thieves got in through a window at the team warehouse, destroyed the alarm system, telephone system and internet connection, then continued to clear the warehouse and team vehicles of all valued materials, mostly bikes and accessories.
In a statement the team said:
“This is a huge loss for team Lampre-Merida, as the bicycles were all ready for distribution to the various riders in their first training camp of December, thus creating logistics problems for future consignment of the bicycles for the 2014 season.”
If you see some scruffy types on @lampre_merida teambikes or suspiciously cheap offers for these, pls let us know: firstname.lastname@example.org
— MeridaProRoadRacing (@MeridaProRoad) November 25, 2013
The team has offered a reward for any information that helps them find the stolen gear. You can get in touch with them by emailing email@example.com or by calling team mechanics at +39 335-6217725 if you have any information.
Text via Lampre-Merida press release. Click here to read more at VeloNation.
Reflections on the CX World Cup at Koksijde
by Greg Murison, BrewCX
The dunes of Koksijde have long been a stronghold for Belgian cyclocross. When the world champs were held there in 2012, the top seven riders were Belgian on a day where Niels Albert took a dominant win. The 2013/14 season has been different though, and we were interested to see if the internationals could break the duck at Duinencross (Dunecross).
With the first two rounds of the world cup in Valkenburg and Tabor having a mixed nationality podium in both men’s and women’s races, the 3rd round would really show whether the Belgian stronghold was being lost.
We like to think of Belgian Cyclocross as being dominated by mud, but Koksijde is sandy, on the dunes on the north coast of Belgium facing the North Sea. It has been unusually dry lately and that made the sand even looser and harder to ride than normal.
Katie Compton showed that she was best on the day, and currently best in the world by extending her lead in the series with a dominant win. Compton lead every lap and extended her lead at every opportunity, her white leader’s skinsuit just as brilliant on the final lap as the first.
The men’s race was exciting, with all the big names coming out to play and each trying to take their chances. Van der Haar, Nys, Vantornout, Pauwels, Walsleben, Mourey and van Kessel all tried to get away, but in the end, the powerful Belgian Niels Albert was able to reassert his dominance in the dunes.
Click here to read more at BrewCX.
Froome autobiography due before the 2014 Tour de France
Chris Froome’s autobiography, which is being co-written by the Sunday Times’ David Walsh, is due to be published ahead of next year’s Tour de France.
Much of the book will focus on Froome’s journey from his birthplace in Kenya, through South Africa and on to winning the biggest bike race in the world.
Froome said: “Many people have come to know my name through my achievements over the last year, but I feel that there are not many people who know who I really am. I hope that this book will give people a bit of insight into me and my obstacle-ridden journey to the top, and inspire them to push on despite any challenges they may face in achieving their own goals.”
Click here to read more at road.cc.
Kazakhstan to launch a Continental team
Italian website Biciciclismo.com is reporting that Kazakhstan is registering a third UCI-ranked team for 2014 with the Vino4ever Continental team.
The team, which is ovbviously named after the country’s star rider Alexandre Vinokourov, will be lead by Vino’s former coach Sergey Cruchina.
Vino4ever joins the Astana Continental team and the Astana WorldTour team on the list of Kazhastan’s pro cycling squads.
Click here to read more at Cycling News.
Euskadi Team applies for Continental license, despite funding shortfall
The Euskadi Foundation cycling team has applied for a Continental license despite a gap in its budget, according to a team press release.
The last remaining element of the Basque organisation is supposedly 100,000 Euro short of its 500,000 Euro budget, but the team has 15 days to secure the remaining funds.
The ailing Spanish economy has wreaked havoc on Basque cycling: more than half of the now-defunct Euskaltel-Euskadi WorldTour team are without contracts for next year.
Click here to read more at Cycling News.
The pre-season camp
Yesterday we featured a great piece about the Trek Factory Racing pre-season camp by new recruit Calvin Watson. Meanwhile The Inner Ring has published a piece taking a wider view of pre-season camps, what they’re about and what’s involved in some of the other teams’ camps. Check out the piece here.
Grand jury rejects manslaughter charges for driver who killed a cyclist
Here’s a worrying tale from the Washington Post: a driver who struck a cyclist from behind with her car, killing the cyclist, has been cleared of manslaughter by a grand jury in the US, and instead issued with US$2000 worth of traffic fines.
The cyclist was nearing the crest of a hill when the driver approached from behind and attempted to pass on what was a narrow road without a shoulder. When a car appeared from the other direction the driver swerved back into the lane, hitting the cyclists squarely from behind.
The driver received a total of four tickets: for “failing to exercise caution to avoid a collision”, “crossing the center line and unsafe passing”, “negligent driving”, and “failure to control speed”.
Commenting on the trial a local cyclist said “I’m scared to ride now. Precedent has been set that if someone kills me, it will only cost them $2,000 in traffic fines.”
Another local said: “Does this mean that when I get on my bike, my life is worth the same as a deer?”
Click here to read more at the Washington Post.
High-vis clothing seems to have no effect on driver passing distance
A study by researchers at Bath and Brunel universities has found that wearing hi-vis clothing while cycling doesn’t have a noticeable impact on the distance at which drivers pass cyclists by.
Some 269 cyclists rode bikes fitted with distance-detection devices and dressed in a range of cycling kit, including lycra cycling kit, a casual rider’s normal clothing and several types of high-vis vest.
The researchers found that the only item of clothing that had a noticeable impact on passing distance was a high-vis vest that featured the word “POLICE” on the back. Those riders were also bearing a notice advising motorists that they were being filmed. These conditions increased the average passing distance by 5cm, to 122cm.
Click here to read more at Cycling Weekly.
See below for the latest installment in the #SVENNESS series, a collection of videos from the team at In the Crosshairs that explain and demonstrate various cyclocross skills and tricks. In this episode: riding in the mud, the run vs. ride decision, the picket fence, and flyovers.
Awesome perspective on the Ghent Six-Day
Check out this short video captured from the back of a derny in the Ghent Six-Day track carnival. The rider in frame is Iljo Keisse.
The Rocacorba Recap
And finally this morning, here are a few things you might have missed: