Zdenek Stybar wins elite men’s cyclocross world championships

The Czech Republic’s Zdenek Stybar has won his third world cyclocross championship after overpowering pre-race favourite Sven Nys (Belgium) and the rest of the field in Hoogerheide last night.

Stybar, who rides on the road with Omega Pharma-QuickStep, moved clear of the rest of the field with Nys in the opening laps of the race and with just a couple laps to go it was clear that the winner was either going to be Stybar or Nys.

Nys, normally so technically proficient, made a few small errors in the final lap and they were all Stybar needed to open a gap of six seconds as the finish approached.

Zdenek Stybar (CZE) 2014 UCI cyclo-cross World Championships, Elite Men

By the time he crossed the line to win the rainbow bands, he was 12 seconds clear of Nys who sat up, knowing his day was done.

Nys’ compatriot Kevin Pauwels came in third, 40 seconds behind the winner.

Follow the link for results from the 2014 elite men’s world cyclocross championships. Click here and here to read more about the race.

Marianne Vos wins elite women’s cyclocross world championships

Marianne Vos (Netherlands) has won her sixth consecutive world cyclocross championship in a dominant display in Hoogerheide over the weekend.

Vos moved clear of the field on the opening lap of the race and never looked in any danger of being challenged for the win.

One of the other pre-race favourites, Katie Compton (USA), got tangled up with the Czech Republic’s Pavla Havlikova in the opening minutes of the race, losing valuable time and positions. And while she was able to make up ground throughout the race, the 2013/14 Cyclocross World Cup winner never got close to challenging Vos for the overall win.

Kramon_CXworlds2014_EliteWomen_DSC3755 - Version 2

Italy’s Eva Lechner rode an impressive race to finish second while Helen Wyman (Great Britain) slotted in for third.

Follow the link for results from the 2014 elite women’s world cyclocross championships. Click here and here to read more. Click here for a post-race interview with Lisa Jacobs, one of Australia’s two representatives in the elite women’s CX worlds race, courtesy of our friends at BrewCX.

Michael Vink takes overall win at the New Zealand Cycle Classic

Michael Vink (Budget Forklifts) has led from start to finish at the New Zealand Cycle Classic, winning the five stage race by 15 seconds over Brenton Jones (Avanti Cycling), and 29 seconds over third-placed Adam Phelan (Drapac).

Vink won the opening stage time trial by four seconds ahead of Jones and was able to extend his lead on the final stage when he finished just two seconds behind stage winner James Oram (Bissell Development Team) on the summit finish just outside Palmerston North.

Brenton Jones, winner of the Mitchelton Bay Cycling Classic last month, was one of the most consistent performers throughout the week, coming second on stage 1, third on stage 2, first on stage 3 and fifth on stage 4.

Drapac’s new Dutch signing Wouter Wipper won two stages of the race.

Follow the link for full results from the 2014 New Zealand Cycle Classic.

Australian National Track Championships round-up

The four-day national track cycling championships came to a close on Saturday night with a total of 32 titles decided throughout the meet. Here’s a summary of the results from the last two days of competition:

– Men’s Sprint: Gold Matthew Glaetzer (SA), Silver Nathan Hart (ACT), Bronze Mitch Bullen (NSW)
Matthew Glaetzer (SA)
– Women’s Sprint: Gold Anna Meares (SA), Silver Steph Morton (SA), Bronze Caitlin Ward (VIC)
– Women’s 4000m Team Pursuit: Gold Tasmania, Silver Western Australia, Bronze South Australia
– Men’s 15 kilometre Scratch: Gold Scott (LAW), silver Glenn O’Shea (SA), Bronze Stephen Hall (WA)
– Women’s 25km Points Race: Gold Annette Edmondson (SA), Silver Melissa Hoskins (WA), Bronze Rebecca Wiasak (ACT)
– Men’s Keirin : Gold Shane Perkins (VIC), Silver Jacob Schmid (VIC), Bronze Daniel Ellis (SA)
– Women’s Keirin: Gold Steph Morton (SA), silver Anna Meares (SA), bronze Caitlin Ward (VIC)
– Men’s 40km Points Race: Gold Glenn O’Shea (SA), silver Jack Bobridge (SA), bronze Trent Derecourt (WA)
– Women’s 10km Scratch Race: Gold Annette Edmondson (SA), silver Beth Duryea (VIC), bronze Isabella King (WA).

Text via Cycling Australia press releases.

BMC signs Samuel Sanchez

Team BMC announced over the weekend that it has signed 2008 Olympic road race champion Samuel Sanchez for the 2014 season.

Samuel Sanchez (ESP) after the finishline

The 35-year-old Spaniard was without a team for this season after his Euskaltel-Euskadi team folded at the end of last season and after attempts to find a spot were proving unsuccessful. Sanchez last week vowed to quit the sport if a deal wasn’t found within 15 days.

“I feel like a rider who has just earned his first contract,” Sánchez said via a BMC press release. “I want to thank the entire BMC Racing Team, especially Andy Rihs and Jim Ochowicz, for welcoming me into one of the most prominent teams of the WorldTour.

“It is my hope that I can share my experience with the younger riders on the team. And after riding so many years to beat Cadel Evans, it will be good to help him since he is a rider I know very well.”

Sanchez will slot into a support role for the Ardennes Classics and Grand Tours.

It is not known how long the contract is for but with Sanchez rumoured to be linked to Fernando Alonso’s team for 2015, it could be a single-year deal.

Click here to read more at VeloNews.

ASO announces one-day women’s race on day of last Tour de France stage

ASO, the organisation behind the Tour de France, has announced a one-day women’s race to be held on the same day as the final stage of this year’s Tour de France, finishing on the Champs Elysees.

“La Course by Le Tour de France” will be raced several hours before the men’s race and will be broadcast live through France Télévisions and Eurosport International.

Yann Le Moenner, Managing Director of ASO said “As the event par excellence that attracts enormous crowds and TV viewers, the Tour has decided to welcome a women’s race during one of its outstanding stages, in an event that will have maximum exposure.”

UCI president Brian Cookson said “I am delighted to see this exciting development for women’s cycling. The quality of professional women’s road racing has long deserved a wider audience, and we are very happy that this initiative by A.S.O. will bring the sport to many fans, new and old.”

Click here to read more at the Tour de France website. Click here to read Australian sprinter Chloe Hosking’s perspective on the announcement.

UCI approves reduced sanctions for cooperation with CIRC

The UCI has announced that cyclists who admit to past doping offences while aiding the Cyclist Independent Reform Commission (CIRC) will be eligible for reduced sentences.

CIRC has been tasked with investigating allegations that the UCI was ineffective at policing doping in the pro peloton with the UCI hoping a thorough investigation will help restore the credibility of the sport.

“Our Management Committee has started the year with some great steps for our sport,” UCI president Brian Cookson said. “In particular, we have further developed on my commitment to an independent investigation with the approval of the regulations under which the CIRC will work.”

While the UCI has decided not to offer full amnesty to riders that cooperate with CIRC, there are certainly now incentives for riders to assist the commission.

Click here to read more at Cycling News.

Verbruggen and McQuaid reactivate legal case against Paul Kimmage

UCI president Brian Cookson announced back in October that cycling’s governing body was dropping its case against journalist Paul Kimmage but two other parties in that lawsuit, former presidents Hein Verbruggen and Pat McQuaid, have reportedly reopened the case.

According to VeloNation Verbruggen and McQuaid are trying to get Kimmage to pay some of the legal costs associated with the case. The Irish writer was less than impressed with the notion.

“You must be joking. That’s not going to happen,” he told VeloNation. “They initiated the action, they can settle it any way they want. There is no way I am going to pay anything. Hell will freeze over before I give any of those assholes a dime.”

Click here to read more at VeloNation.

Aaron Brown reportedly ordered to provide details of Kimmage Defence Fund

And in other Paul Kimmage-related news, Aaron Brown, the man behind the Paul Kimmage Defence Fund, has reportedly been ordered by a US court to prove that the fund is still intact.

Wisconsin court judge Bill Hue, a donor to the fund, took legal action against Brown on behalf of the donors and told VeloNation:

“The court has jurisdiction over Aaron Brown,” stated Hue to VeloNation. “He has the money, or at least he says he does. Once I was appointed by the court to represent the class and once Aaron said that he was going to redistribute the money on his own [via a refund site], I asked the court to take control of that so that we could make sure that everything was fair and transparent.

“The court did order that and Aaron has to give an accounting to the court.”

Click here to read more at VeloNation.

Rider agents: what they can and can’t do

Former Orica-GreenEDGE rider Baden Cooke played a pivotal role in getting Chris Horner a ride at Lampre-Merida this season despite the fact that the Australian is not yet a UCI-accredited rider agent. The Inner Ring has published a typically interesting analysis of the situation, including some great background on the job of a rider agent, what they can and can’t do and more.

Check out the article here.

Robert Marchand smashes his own hour record at 102 years of age

Frenchman Robert Marchand has beaten his own age-group hour record, the 102-year-old covering 26.927km in the a new velodrome in Paris to beat his own record set two years ago.

Marchand went 2.7km further than his record of 24.251km set in 2012 in an attempt that was done in conjunction with the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research.

Pre-ride testing showed Marchand to have a maximum heartrate of 157 beats per minute and a VO2 max of 38 ml/min/kg.

Marchand, who turned 102 last November, lives alone, is self-sufficient and continues to drive a car.

“I am lucky that I haven’t had any major health problems”, Marchand said in the lead-up to his record attempt. “My advice to anyone, young or old, is to keep moving. I do ‘physical culture’ every day. It works out my whole body and keeps me supple.”

Click here to read more at VeloNation.

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 Kristof Ramon and shows Zdenek Stybar winning the elite men’s world cyclocross championships last night.