Simon Gerrans wins stage 1 of the Santos Tour Down Under

Australian Simon Gerrans (Orica-GreenEDGE) has continued his impressive season start and signalled his intention to claim his third Santos Tour Down Under crown with a stunning sprint to win the San Remo Pasta Stage 1 in Angaston.

Santos Tour Down Under stage-1

The 135km stage began in the town of Nuriootpa and wound its way through the Barossa winegrowing region to the nearby town of Angaston.

The day’s breakaway featured Will Clarke (Drapac) and Neil van der Ploeg (UniSA/Australia) and the pair contested both intermediate sprints before being caught by the peloton ahead of the day’s only categorised climb: Menglers Hill.

The short climb forced a selection in the main field with Andre Greipel (Lotto-Belisol) in the 50-strong group that came to the finish together to contest the win. Greipel looked to have the race won but Simon Gerrans timed the uphill sprint to perfection, just passing Greipel to take the win and the leader’s ochre jersey.

Today’s second stage takes the riders 150km from Prospect to Stirling.

Follow the link for results from stage 1 of the 2014 Santos Tour Down Under. Click here for a full report and some great photos from stage 1. Click here to check out Neil van der Ploeg’s diary from stage 1.

Julian Arredondo wins stage 2 of the Tour de San Luis

Julian Arredondo has given Trek Factory Racing its first win after he outsprinted BMC’s Peter Stetina to take out stage 2 of the 2014 Tour de San Luis this morning.

Arredondo and Stetina attacked from the bunch on the day’s final climb, a 4.8km rise to Mirador del Potrero and when it came to the final sprint, Stetina jumped first but it was Arrendondo that took the win. Nairo Quintana (Movistar) was third from a small chase group.

Stage 1 winner Phil Gaimon (Garmin-Sharp) holds on to the overall lead ahead of Marc de Maar (UnitedHealthcare) and Christian Meier (Orica-GreenEDGE).

Stage 3 of the Tour de San Luis takes the rides 175km from Tilisarao to Juana Koslay, including the category 3 Alto Paso Grande climb early in the race.

Follow the link for results from stage 2 of the 2014 Tour de San Luis. Click here to read more at Cycling Weekly.

Shara Gillow wins Santos Women’s Cup stage 3, Loes Gunnewijk takes the overall

Shara Gillow soloed to victory on Prospect Road on stage three of the Santos Women’s Cup yesterday while Loes Gunnewijk clinched the overall victory with a second place finish on the final day of racing.

Loes Gunnewijk's win on stage 1 of the Santos Women's Tour gave her the overall lead and she never lost it.

Loes Gunnewijk’s win on stage 1 of the Santos Women’s Tour gave her the overall lead and she never lost it.

Valentina Scandolara rounded out the podium, giving ORICA-AIS its second clean sweep of the three day race series,.

“It’s a great start to the season,” said Gunnewijk. “The last time I won an overall was a very long time ago. It’s nice to win here, especially at the beginning of the year. It’s a good team effort, and it’s an awesome feeling to finish off the work of my teammates.”

Gillow made her race winning move at the mid-point of the stage. Initially, she had trouble extending her gap beyond ten seconds. Eventually it become clear that although Gillow’s advantage was small, it was insurmountable.

Follow the link for results from stage 3 of the 2014 Santos Women’s Cup. Text via Orica-GreenEDGE press release.

David Tanner breaks collarbone in Tour Down Under crash

David Tanner (Belkin) broke his collarbone after crashing in the final kilometre of yesterday’s opening stage of the Tour Down Under.

Tanner was able to pick himself up and finish the race but the extent of the injury has forced the Australian to withdraw from the race.

Meanwhile, the team’s GC hope Robert Gesink finished in the front group and now sits in 10th place overall, 11 seconds behind the leader Simon Gerrans.

Click here to read more at Cycling News.

Evans rues lost seconds in Tour Down Under opener

Cadel Evans (BMC) finished comfortably in the lead group on yesterday’s opening stage of the Tour Down Under but the 2011 Tour de France winner says he is disappointed to have lost time to Simon Gerrans due to bonus seconds on offer at the finish and the intermediate sprints.

TDU Stage 1

“I was there in the final but I was disappointed. I would have liked to have been much closer to the bonus seconds in a finish like that. In that regard, it was not as good a start as I would have like to have had. But it’s the first day of what is going to be a pretty intense week of racing.”

A second place at last week’s Australian national road race championships showed that Evans has brought some great form into the early season. He is keen to move up the general classification and believes today could be the day.

“A slightly more selective [stage 2] will most likely see another small selection on GC,” he stated. “Hopefully a slightly more suitable stage for me too.”

Click here to read more at VeloNation.

Danilo Di Luca claims riders are using bikes with motors installed

Danilo Di Luca is now serving a life ban from cycling after repeated doping offences but that hasn’t stopped the Italian from speaking his mind about the state of cycling and doping.

Giro d'Italia 2011 - Quindicesima tappa "Conegliano-Gardeccia"

Di Luca claims that 90% of the riders in the Giro d’Italia are still doping, that it makes sense to make doping legal and that, perhaps most interestingly, that there are riders in the pro peloton using bikes with motors installed. A few years ago it was claimed that Fabian Cancellara had an motor installed in his bike and according to Di Luca it’s entirely possible.

He says the technology was invented about 5-6 years ago and that these small motors can give riders an extra 150 watts of power. His reasoning? “We think it is possible [that these bikes exist] because there was too much difference [between the performance of some riders]. Doping can not give you the difference.”

Click here and here to read more.

Teamlist and route revealed for 2014 Tour of Qatar

The organisers behind the men’s Tour of Qatar have unveiled the full race route and the list of 19 teams that will compete at this year’s edition of the race.

stage 4 of the Tour of Qatar 2012

The six-stage race begins on February 9 and features a newly-added individual time trial on stage 3. The 10.9km stage will almost certainly affect the general classification, turning it from a race for the pure sprinters (with six dead-flat stages) to one for a rider who can sprint and ride well against the clock.

The 19 teams that will take the start include 13 ProTeams — AG2R La Mondiale, Astana, Belkin, BMC, Cannondale, FDJ, Katusha, Lotto Belisol, Omega Pharma-QuickStep, Orica-GreenEdge, Sky, Tinkoff-Saxo and Trek — five Professional Continental teams — Bardiani-CSF, IAM, NetApp-Endura, Topsport Vlaanderen and UnitedHealthcare — and the new SkyDive Emirates Continental team.

Click here to read more at Cycling News.

Alexandre Vinokourov, the movie

Alexandre Vinokourov is one of the most polarising figures in the world of pro cycling — to some, a convicted cheat who will always be defined by doping offences; to others, a rockstar and a cult hero.

Cor Vos Archives

Now, it appears “Vino” will be the subject of a movie that will tell the story of the Kazakh rider’s rise through the cycling ranks, culminating with his gold medal at the 2012 London Olympics.

According to the film’s script writer, an old woman who helped Alexandre’s mother to deliver the boy was the first to recognise his potential.

“I don’t know what this boy is going to become, but he will bring a great fame to our nation,” the women apparently said when Vinokourov was born.

Click here to read more at Tengri News.

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 tonight and give that person a call to confirm the prize.

Orica-GreenEDGE Backstage Pass – Santos Tour Down Under stage 1

Orica-GreenEDGE’s Backstage Pass videos are always great and they’re even better when an OGE rider gets up for a win. Click on the image below to check out the video from yesterday’s opening stage of the TDU, won by Simon Gerrans.


The Rocacorba Recap

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

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Today’s feature image was taken by Tim Bardsley-Smith and shows Will Clarke (Drapac) and Neil van der Ploeg (UniSA/Australia) during their 115km breakaway in yesterday’s opening stage of the 2014 Santos Tour Down Under.