Phil Gaimon wins stage 1 of the Tour de San Luis

Phil Gaimon (Garmin-Sharp) has started his WorldTour career in perfect fashion, winning the opening stage of the Tour de San Luis in Argentina from a solo breakaway.

Gaimon was part of a five-rider breakaway that moved away from the peloton in the opening stages of the 164km stage, which started in San Luis and finished in Villa Mercedes.

In sweltering conditions, the breakaway was gradually whittled down with one rider dropping back to the peloton after securing the points jersey and two riders crashing out of the breakaway.

Gaimon won the stage solo, 12 seconds ahead of Argentina’s Emiliano Contreras and will go into tomorrow’s second stage with the leader’s jersey.

Follow the link for results from stage 1 of the 2014 Tour de San Luis. Click here to read more at VeloNews.

Amanda Spratt wins Santos Women’s Cup road race

Amanda Spratt soloed to victory in stage 2 of the Santos Women’s Cup yesterday after launching a powerful attack at the base of Menglers Hill.

Image: Orica-GreenEDGE

Image: Orica-GreenEDGE

The perfectly-timed punch distanced her two breakaway companions (Taryn Heather and Rebecca Heath) and afforded Spratt an unassailable gap en route to victory in Angaston.

Spratt’s Orica-AIS teammate (who’s registered as an individual in the Santos Women’s Cup) Valentina Scandolara proved best of the rest, crossing the line in second place ahead of Jo Hogan (Boss Racing). Overnight race leader Loes Gunnewijk (Orica-AIS, registered as an individual too) managed second in the bunch kick, seventh place on the stage, to hold on to the series lead.

“I’m pretty excited,” said Spratt. “It was a great day for the team. We played things perfectly in the end with the numbers we had. We can all walk away knowing we put everything out there for the team today.”

The Santos Women’s Cup finishes this evening with a hotdog crit on the streets of Prospect.

Follow the link for results from stage 2 of the 2014 Santos Women’s Cup. Text via Orica-GreenEDGE press release.

Chris Sutton out of Tour Down Under with wrist fracture; Earle in

Team Sky sprinter Chris Sutton has been forced out of the Tour Down Under after fracturing his wrist in a crash during the People’s Choice Classic on Sunday evening.

Tour Down Under 2013 - Stage 4 - Modbury to Tanunda - 126.5KM

“It’s a massive blow not to be continuing on with the lads because they did an incredible job for me. My groin and my knee were pretty sore in the race but it was only afterwards, on the way back to the hotel, that my wrist started hurting and I couldn’t grip the handlebars,” Sutton said in a Sky press release.

“I’m trying to stay upbeat and looking forward to the Tour of Qatar now. That should be my first race back and I’ll have a week or so on the turbo before getting myself back on the road.”

Nathan Earle will replace Sutton in Sky’s Tour Down Under line-up, making it the first WorldTour race for the Tasmanian Sky signee.

Click here to read more at Cycling News.

Cadel Evans sympathises with Alessandro Ballan

Cadel Evans has expressed sympathy for the plight of his now-former teammate Alessandro Ballan who was handed a two-year ban by CONI for alleged doping offences.

Giro d'Italia 2013 - Settima Tappa

Ballan insists that he underwent ozone therapy, a treatment banned by WADA, to help his recovery from cytomegalovirus, rather than for any performance gains.

Evans told Fox Sports:

“The only things that appears to me that we must be the only profession in the world where for looking after your health and trying to be healthy you can ruin your career and all but ruin your life.”

Evans continued:

“Having had a virus myself, at a certain point you have to be healthy. That’s not whether you are a bike rider or not, that’s just human. The two most important things in our life are our health and then everything else.”

Click here to

UCI appoints Team GB bike designer to review equipment regulations

The man who designed Team Great Britain’s Olympic track bikes, composites engineer Dimitris Katsanis, has been appointed as a consultant to the UCI’s Equipment Commission to review the sport’s bike design regulations.

In announcing Katsanis’ appointment, UCI president Brian Cookson said he was keen to see innovation reintroduced into bike design.

“The UCI is in the process of modernising its technical rules and Mr Katsanis will be able to give us first-class assistance with this.

“We absolutely must ensure fair and safe competition but our regulations should not be rigid to the point of not allowing any technological development. It is a fine line and we are determined to get it right.”

Click here to read more at Bike Radar.

Successful surgery for Giovanni Visconti

Movistar’s Giovanni Visconti underwent surgery at the Royal Adelaide Hospital yesterday to treat a compound fracture in his right tibia after crashing in the People’s Choice Classic on Sunday.

Image: Team Movistar

Image: Team Movistar

The surgery lasted roughly an hour and saw a rod inserted into Visconti’s leg to stabilise the fracture for healing.

Visconti will stay in hospital for three days before being released and flying back to Europe next week with the rest of his teammates at the end of the Tour Down Under. Visconti is expected to be off the bike for at least five weeks.

Text via Movistar press release.

In response to criticisms of the make-up of Team UniSA

Yesterday we shared a story by Belinda Hoare who wrote at Cycling Central that she thought the selection process for the UniSA/Australian national team at the Tour Down Under was unfair.

As an update we thought it might be worth sharing this response from Avanti rider and CyclingTips contributor Jono Lovelock.

It’s a biting but respectful retort to Hoare’s position and it shows an interesting insight into the system from someone who’s ridden on Continental squads and on Australian national representative teams.

Win a ride in the Europcar team car at the Tour Down Under

Ever watched a bike race from a team car? It’s the most thrilling place to see the race unfold and if we had our way, everyone would get a chance to see a race this way.

52th Brabantse Pijl 2012

We’ve arranged for one VIP guest to join team Europcar in the race convoy for Stage 4 of the TDU, on Friday January 24.

To enter, simply fill in your details here. We’ll draw one name at random on Wednesday and give that person a call to confirm the prize.

Why We Play: Evelyn Stevens profile interview

This short profile documentary on Specialized-Lululemon rider Evelyn Stevens is beautifully shot and put together. It covers Stevens’ journey from Wall Street to becoming a professional cyclist whose wins include multiple US ITT championships, Fleche Wallone, the Exergy Tour and the Route de France.

The Rocacorba Recap

And finally this morning, here are a few things you might have missed here at CyclingTips over the past day or so:

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Today’s feature image was taken by Veeral Patel during stage 1 of last year’s Tour Down Under. The 2014 edition of the race starts today.