Greipel takes Tour of Oman first stage

Andre Greipel of Germany won a sprint finish to take the first stage of the Tour of Oman cycle race in Muscat on Tuesday.

Greipel, who became the first rider to don the leader’s red jersey, edged ahead of Australia’s Leigh Howard and Nicola Ruffoni of Italy crossing the finishing line at Nassen Garden.

Tour of Oman 2014 - stage 1

Greipel, who rides for the Lotto team, has got his season off to a fine start with two stage wins in Australia, in the Tour Down Under, and another in last week’s Tour of Qatar.

“This proves I’ve lost none of my edge when it comes to speed, but it also shows the team is very strong, the guys all worked hard and no one but us deserved to win today,” he said.

Greipel did have a moment of doubt in the final run-in as as he found himself trailing a rapid breakaway, but the team came to his rescue.

“It was an awkward moment but Lars Bak put in the work to get me back to the front,” Greipel added.

For Tour de France winner Chris Froome, the race favourite, things do not really begin in earnest until Thursday with the first of the climbs.

In the meantime, the sprinters have another day in the limelight on Wednesday with a 139 kilometre ride on the flat from Al Bustan to Quriyat.

Froome said his success last year had made him more relaxed coming into the Tour of Oman, which he won last year.

“There’s less pressure because I’m not here to gain experience as a leader,” the 28-year-old Kenyan-born Briton said.

text via AFP

Click here for full results of stage 1 of the 2014 Tour of Oman

Kristof Goddaert killed in training crash

Belgian television station Sporza is reporting that IAM Cycling rider Kristof Goddaert (27 years old) was killed in a training crash in Antwerp. According to Sporza, Goddaert reportedly crashed on an old railway crossing where his wheel washed out. A bus was unable to avoid striking Goddaert, who died at the scene of the crash.

The Tour of Flanders 2013

Goddaert recently returned to Belgium after racing the Tour of Qatar, where he finished 34th overall. Goddaert previously rode with Ag2r La Mondiale and Topsport Vlaanderen and won a stage of the Tour de Wallonie in 2010.

Read full story (in Flemish)

Contador begins season at Volta ao Algarve

While many of the peloton’s top names have been racing since mid-January at the Tour Down Under or Tour San Luis, Alberto Contador make his season opener this Wednesday at the five-stage Volta ao Algarve in southern Portugal.

Tour de France 2013 stage-18

Contador said his first major goals arrive in the coming weeks, with Tirreno-Adriatico, Volta a Catalunya, and the Vuelta al País Vasco all lined up in March and into early April.

“Algarve will be my first touch with competition, and there will be other riders who will have better rhythm than me,” Contador said in a press release. “I am very motivated and excited about this season. I have been able to prepare more quietly than last year, working on my base, and I hope it’s something we’ll see on the road.”

“Alberto is coming into the season later this year, but he’s already stronger than last year,” Tinkoff-Saxo general manager Bjarne Riis told VeloNews. “Alberto is more focused this year. He will be ready.”

See the full startlist for Volta ao Algarve here.

Read more on Velonews

Pioneer launches new powermeter

Pioneer Electronics is introducing a new power meter, slightly different from what the company showed at last year’s Interbike and what we see on Belkin Pro Cycling bikes. The system still offers left and right pedaling measurement and analysis but now offers Shimano Ultegra cranksets in addition to Dura-Ace and does away with zip ties holding the unit onto the crank spider.

Pioneer Power Meter (PM910H_68)_300dpi

Also updated is the SGX-CA500 Cycle Computer that displays power data. Now with a black-and-white LCD touch screen instead of color, the computer is smaller and lighter than the previous model, features built in Wi-Fi, and drops in price to $300 from $900.

Pioneer SGX-CA500 Cycle-Computer_Angle_300dpi

The powermeter units will be available as a complete crankset for $1,850 (Dura-Ace 9000) and $1,550 (Ultegra 6800) in the US. The SGX-CA500 Cycle-Computer will retail for $300 and are available in the US in mid-March.

More information can be found here:

Behind the scenes at AG2R La Mondiale team photoshoot

A beautiful, and perhaps different look behind the scenes of the AG2R La Mondiale team photoshoot last December in Spain. If you look closely, you’ll see Kristof Ramon at work with his photography.

The Rocacorba Recap

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

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