Huon-Genesys win Tour of Southland TTT, Cooper in yellow

Joe Cooper goes into today’s first stage of the 2013 SBS Bank Tour of Southland in the yellow jersey after taking out the fastest time in yesterday’s prologue TTT.

Cooper, one of this year’s Tour favourites and riding for Australian-based team Huon Salmon Genesys Wealth Advisors, completed the 4.2km lap of Invercargill’s Queens Park in 4 minutes, 46.28 seconds in warm, sunny conditions.

In a tight finish, the teams of Kiwi Velo-Armstrong Prestige and PowerNet were each within three seconds of the winning team.

While Cooper admitted the time trial victory was “early days” he was confident his team was capable of staying in yellow as the week progressed.

“We’re not a team that likes to be on the back foot,” he said.

“It’s always a good feeling to be in it (yellow), you don’t have to go out and take it so to speak. We are comfortable leading tours – we’ve been doing it all year in Australian races. This is the first year I have come (to Southland) with a group of solid guys that I know can get the job done.”

This year’s Tour has undergone a number of changes. Today’s stage will be a testing 168km from Gore to Invercargill. Later in the week the traditional two-stage day from Riverton to Tuatapere, then Tuatapere to Te Anau, has been merged into one 148km stage straight through on Wednesday.

On Thursday riders will face a 186km stage from Te Anau to Queenstown, finishing with an 8km climb up Coronet Peak.

Follow the link for results from the prologue TTT at the 2013 Tour of Southland. For more information about the eight-stage race, click here. Text via BikeNZ press release.

Wrap-up from the track World Cup in Manchester

The three-day track cycling World Cup has drawn to a close in Manchester with Germany finishing at the top of the medal tally with five gold medals.

Great Britain was second with four gold, two silver and two bronze. Canada rounded out the top three with one gold and two silver. Australia, meanwhile, finished back in 10th place with two silver medals and two bronze medals.

Stand-out performers at the meet included the Great Britain women’s Team Pursuit team (Laura Trott, Elinor Barker, Jo Rowsell and Dani King) who set a new world record on their way to winning gold. Rowsell and Trott would go on to win individual gold in the Individual Pursuit and Omnium respectively as well.

Germany’s Kristina Vogel continued her brilliant form winning gold in the sprint, the keirin and the team sprint, the last of those alongside compatriot Miriam Welte.

Australia’s medalists included Luke Davison, Alex Edmondson, Mitchell Mulhern and Miles Scotson, who took silver in the team pursuit behind Great Britain, Rebecca Wiasak who took silver in the individual pursuit, Shane Perkins who snaffled bronze in the sprint, and the team of Annette Edmondson, Georgia Baker, Rebecca Wiasak and Elissa Wundersitz who won bronze in the team pursuit.

Click here for a full list of results from the 2013 UCI Track World Cup from Manchester.

McEwen, Garfoot win at the Noosa crit

He might have had nearly 18 months away from the top level of the sport but that didn’t stop Robbie McEwen from taking out the Noosa crit on the weekend.

The 41-year-old pipped Orica-GreenEDGE’s Leigh Howard on the line with Saxo-Tinkoff’s Jonathan Cantwell third. International drawcard Peter Sagan finished seventh.

“I am retired and I am going to go back into retirement again tomorrow,” said McEwen, who officially quit the sport last year. “But I can’t promise I won’t pop out of it for another day again next year.”

Meanwhile NRS champion Katrin Garfoot won the women’s Australian Open criterium ahead of Wiggle Honda recruit Peta Mullens and Australian national criterium champion Kimberley Wells.

Click here to see a photo of Peter Sagan and Robbie McEwen doing wheelies after the finish of the men’s Noosa crit.

Trek ‘couldn’t give Horner what he wants’

Trek Factory Racing manager Luca Guercilena has told the press that he hasn’t signed Vuelta winner Chris Horner for next year because Horner’s wage demands were too high.

Tour of Utah stage five

“We have to prioritise the youngsters and above all, I can’t give Chris what he wants: we have other priorities,” Guercilena said.

While Horner remains without a team for next year, Jens Voigt will ride on with Trek in 2014 and according to Guercilena the German could join Trek management as soon as he decides to retire.

“During the course of the season, Jens Voigt could climb into the team car, whenever he decides to hang up his bike,” said Guercilena.

Click here to read more at Cycling News.

Rasmussen considered doping with his father’s blood

Michael Rasmussen has told TV channel DR News that he considered using his father’s blood for homologous transfusions back in 2004. The 39-year-old’s biography points the finger at Rabobank team doctor Geert Leinders who allegedly gave the idea to Rasmussen.


“In the Tour of Spain in 2003, I discovered that there was someone who was blood doping,” Rasmussen said in the interview to be screened on DK’s 21Søndag this evening. “I had never done it before, so I spoke with the team doctor at Rabobank about it.

“[Leinders] had done it earlier with two brothers who were compatible,” Rasmussen explained. “And if the blood was compatible, it was like mixing water with water, so there was no risk to health.

Unfortunately for Rasmussen his father’s blood turned out to be incompatible.

In his interview Rasmussen also revealed that he had considered suicide after being thrown out of the 2007 Tour de France by his own team.

“I am looking all around my hotel room,” Rasmussen said. “Checking out every window and curtain rod to find a rope, so I can hang myself.”

Click here to read more at VeloNation.

Scarponi joins Astana

After months spent searching for a team Michele Scarponi has landed at Astana with the knowledge that he will likely lead the team’s Giro d’Italia tilt in 2014.

Giro d'Italia 2012 stage 7

Scarponi has raced with Lampre-Merida since 2011 and won the Giro that year after Alberto Contador was disqualified.

Signing Scarponi has relieved Vincenzo Nibali of the pressure of defending his Giro d’Italia title.

“Our main goal next year is to build up a team that can come together around the massively complicated and extraordinarily difficult task of riding for Vincenzo Nibali and his shot at a podium [at the Tour de France], and why not, a win,” General Manager Alexander Vinokourov said in a press release yesterday.

“Michele Scarponi has experience and strength that after the Giro we can go with him into the Alps and Pyrenees in July. It is worth an attempt, because the Tour is so important.”

Click here to read more at VeloNews.

Armed robbery at Sunday’s Glenvale crit

Carnegie Caulfield Cycling Club appears to have been the target of a well-planned hold up during the weekend’s criteriums when the offender threatened the club’s registration team with a hammer before escaping with the cash till.

The offender was wearing a green beanie and a beige jacket, and posed as a spectator for most of the morning before making his move. If you took any photos or video at Glenvale between 9.30am and 11am in the vicinity of the registration area or the start line, please check your footage for any images of this guy.

Please contact Mal ASAP on 0400 644 073 if you find anything that might match so the club can arrange to get the images to the detectives investigating.

Click here to read more.

How not to do a Madison hand-sling

Here’s a video from the men’s Madison at the track World Championships earlier this year showing how not to execute a hand-sling … particularly when it’s the first hand-sling of the race.

The Rocacorba Recap

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

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