Steele von Hoff wins elite men’s national criterium championship

Garmin-Sharp’s Steele von Hoff (VIC) claimed the elite men’s criterium in spectacular fashion at the Cycling Australia Road National Championships in Ballarat last night.


Von Hoff, who helped former teammate Anthony Giacoppo (WA) to criterium victory in 2012, was today rewarded with a green and gold jersey for himself.

“To finally win the national champs on home soil is a really good omen for the rest of the year for me,” von Hoff said. “I’ve done well in the criteriums in Australia but I’ve never got the breakthrough win until now.”

The race was thrown into disarray with the Drapac lead out train of Robbie Hucker (VIC), Adam Phelan (ACT) and Jonathan Cantwell (QLD) crashing out on the final lap.

“Up the back straight they went for it and Drapac had a mishap up the top corner and a few of them came down,” von Hoff explained.

Giacoppo pounced on the opportunity, launching an attack down the back straight with Brenton Jones and von Hoff in toe.

“I used to be on the Avanti cycling team so I know how strong they are so I just had to pick that train,” Von Hoff explained. “You’ve just got to take advantage of that stuff.”

Follow the link for results from the 2014 elite men’s national criterium championship. Text via Cycling Australia press release.

Sarah Roy wins crash-marred women’s national criterium championship

New South Wales’ Sarah Roy has clinched an upset win in the elite women’s criterium at the Cycling Australia Road National Championships in Ballarat.


Roy’s sprint was too strong for Victoria’s Peta Mullens and Lauren Kitchen (NSW) who all avoided a crash in the home straight which took out pre-race favourite Orica-AIS rider Annette Edmondson (SA).

“It’s so exciting, I don’t think I’ve ever won a race in Australia before,” exclaimed Roy who in 2013 was a part of an Australian development team which lead her to victory in Belgium.

Big names Gracie Elvin (ACT) and Chloe Hosking (ACT) also fell victim to crashes early in the 33km race. Despite Elvin’s departure from the race early, Orica-AIS teammates Jessie Maclean (ACT) and Carlee Taylor (SA) worked hard to control the tempo, forcing their rivals to follow any attacks.

Roy’s win follows in the footsteps of 2013 champion Kimberly Wells, with both women surprising their rivals after successful Subaru National Road Series seasons.

In the under 23 women’s event, Queensland’s Emily Roper finished sixth overall and first in the category to claim the gold medal over Rebecca Mackey (WA) and Jessica Munday (SA).

Follow the link for full results from the 2014 elite women’s national criterium championship. Text via Cycling Australia press release.

Caleb Ewan wins U23 men’s national criterium title

Nineteen-year-old New South Welshman Caleb Ewan has won the under 23 men’s criterium national title at the Cycling Australia Road National Championships in Ballarat.


In typical Ewan fashion, the 19 year old comfortably won a sprint to the line ahead of Robert McCarthy (SA) and Alex Wohler (QLD) to claim gold.

“It’s really good for me to get the Australian title, it’s my last year in under 23 and it’s really good to get a win,” said Ewan who is set to join the ranks of ORICA-GreenEDGE in late 2014.

McCarthy’s teammate Harry Carpenter broke free solo early in the race and gained a maximum advantage of 24 seconds before being reeled in with four laps remaining.

As the bell rung to signal the final lap of the 33 kilometre race, Ewan’s fellow road world championships teammate Samuel Spokes made a last ditch effort to solo to victory before the hungry peloton swallowed him up on the final bend.

Ewan managed to escape a fall on the final corner to chase down Wohler with enough time to salute to the crowd.

“There was a crash on the bottom [of the course] but the good thing about being a heavily marked person is that a lot of the fighting happens behind you. I was in a perfect position coming into the last straight, I was not too far in front and not too far back and it just worked out perfect in the end.”

Ewan will now turn his focus to the under 23 men’s road race which begins at 9.00am on Saturday January 11.

Follow the link for results from the 2014 U23 men’s national criterium championships. Text via Cycling Australia press release.

2014 Vuelta to “only” feature eight summit finishes

After last year’s 13 summit finishes, this year’s Vuelta a Espana will be comparatively easy, with only eight stages finishing at the top of a hill.

Vuelta Espana 2012 stage 4

According to details leaked ahead of tomorrow’s official presentation, the 2014 edition of the Vuelta comprises eight summit finishes, three time trials, three stages with short punchy uphill finishes with the remaining stages left for sprinters and opportunists.

This year’s route won’t visit the Pyrenees or Andorra but there will be three consecutive climbing stages in the Asturias in the final week of the race.

The race begins on August 23 with a 12km TTT and ends in Galicia three weeks later with a 10km ITT.

Click here to read more at VeloNews.

Michael Hepburn’s power data from his ITT nationals win

The team at last night released Michael Hepburn’s power data from his storming win at the Australian National ITT championships.

The track champion averaged 408 watts and 47.8km/h as he motored his way around the 45km course, upstaging teammate and two-time winner Luke Durbridge.

On the slight descent into the finish Hepburn spent the last seven minutes at an average of 419 watts and 58km/h.

Click here to

ASO planning three-day Yorkshire race as Tour de France legacy

The ASO, the organisation behind the Tour de France, has revealed plans for an annual, three-day stage race to be held in Yorkshire as a sporting legacy for the county’s hosting of this year’s Tour de France Grand Departe.

Tour de France director Christian Prudhomme, who has frequently visited Yorkshire in recent years, told The Guardian: “We want to do something. We want something to remain after the Grand Départ has happened.”

The race will start in 2015 and is likely to be held in May with a UCI 2.HC classification, ensuring a world class field will likely attend.

This year’s Tour will feature three stages in the UK, the first two of which will be in Yorkshire.

Click here to read more at The Guardian.

Tour de France trophy arrives in Leeds

Leeds, the northern English venue for the start of this year’s Tour de France, took delivery of the Grand Depart trophy on Thursday.

The eyes of the cycling world will be on Leeds in some six months’ time when the 2014 Tour starts on July 5, with Britain’s Chris Froome set to defend the title he won last year.

In all there will be three stages in England, with the first two in Yorkshire, as the peloton passes through Leeds, the Dales, Harrogate, York and Sheffield, before a third stage from Cambridge to London.

“The interest and media coverage in the last couple of weeks to mark the new year and six months to go is an indication of how excited everyone is getting around Leeds and Yorkshire hosting the start of the Tour de France,” said Keith Wakefield, the leader of Leeds City Council.

“We are honoured to host the Grand Depart trophy and hope lots of people come and see it and are inspired to get involved and support what is sure to be an amazing event when the Tour comes to Leeds in July.”

Text via AFP.

Doping scandals sent Bjarne Riis into depression

Tinkoff-Saxo manager and former owner Bjarne Riis has appeared in a Danish documentary revealing that he suffered depression last year as a result of doping allegations that have been levelled at him.


“There have been some tough months. Very tough. But I have prioritised myself. It has been necessary,” Riis said in the documentary, broadcast last night. “It was a period when I could not make any decisions. It’s uncomfortable because you cannot give anything. You cannot be there for anyone else, you cannot be there for yourself.”

The documentary, entitled “Riis — Forfra” (translated as “Riis — Back to the Beginning) followed Riis from Spring 2012 as he attempted to “resurrect” his team.

Click here to read more at Cycling News.

NetApp-Endura looking for a Tour de France wildcard

German ProConti team NetApp-Endura is hoping for a wildcard entry to this year’s Tour de France after the 2013 season netted the squad its first GrandTour victory, at the Vuelta.

Leopold Koenig wins stage 8 of last year’s Vuelta a Espana.

“The Tour de France is the target we have definitively set for ourselves,” said team manager Ralph Denk. “With our successes at the Vuelta a España, we showed just what potential this team has. Year by year we have set ourselves ever higher targets and have always backed this up with results.”

NetApp-Endura applied for a wildcard at last year’s Tour de France but missed the cut when Europcar, Sojasun and Cofidis were awarded the entries.

Click here to read more at Cycling News.

Organisers confirm multi-year commitment to women’s Tour of Britain

The organisers of the inaugural women’s Tour of Britain (known as The Tour) might still be looking for a title sponsor for the race this year, but they have already confirmed that the race will still go ahead, for several years, if they don’t find one.

“As of yet we haven’t signed an agreed a title sponsorship. It doesn’t mean to say that there are not conversations ongoing, with few further along the lines than others,” a spokesperson told VeloNation.

“But we do have our partners – Skoda are supporting the women’s tour by providing cars, and other partners from the Tour of Britain have pledged their support.”

The organisers, Sweetspot, don’t appear hugely concerned by the lack of sponsorship as yet, citing the men’s Tour of Britain which is successful without a naming sponsor.

The 2014 Women’s Tour of Britain will be ranked UCI 2.1 and will feature five stages of racing betwen Oundle and Bury St. Edmonds.

Click here to read more at VeloNation.

The Midnight Crit

This video shows a night race held in Santa Fe, New Mexico on December 23. Looks like fun, albeit it a little sketchy.

The Rocacorba Recap

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

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Today’s feature image comes from Cor Vos and was shot on stage 14 of the 2012 Vuelta a Espana.