Cavendish and Petacchi go 1-2 at Tirreno-Adriatico

Mark Cavendish took a comfortable victory in stage 6 of Tirreno-Adriatico last night to set up an Omega Pharma-QuickStep 1-2 on the stage and notch up his second win of the year.

Tirreno - Adriatico 2014 stage - 6

Cavendish was given a perfect lead-out by his team and when he crossed the line he did so more than five bike lengths clear of his teammate Alessandro Petacchi in second. Cannondale’s Peter Sagan was third.

“We had all the big motors in the last four kilometers,” said Cavendish. “Tony (Martin) just went on the front with no one to match us.

“Then Kwiato (Kwiatkowski) went and took us into the last kilometer. it was down to Matteo (Trentin), (Mark) Renshaw, (Alessandro) Petacchi, and myself.

“I knew when Renshaw went with about 600 meters to go, I knew it would be hard for anyone to pass because we were going that fast. We were doing more than 1000 watts for the last 600 meters. It was like doing a sprint.”

A four-rider break of Peter Kennaugh (Sky), Steve Morabito (BMC), Jack Bauer (Garmin-Sharp) and Cesare Benedetti (NetApp-Endura) was caught in the closing kilometres before Philippe Gilbert (BMC) launched a solo attack. But Gilbert was caught, setting up a sprint finish which Omega Pharma-QuickStep executed perfectly.

Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) finished in the main bunch, six seconds behind the lead group of 12 riders, and holds on to his overall lead of 2:08 going into the final stage ITT tonight.

“It was a perfect scenario for us. We were hoping that the sprinters’s teams would take the reigns of the pack and as Kittel was dropped, they were all eager to work in the front so we didn’t have to,” said Tinkoff-Saxo sporting director Philippe Mauduit.

“Now, we’re only one stage away from the overall win and let’s face it, it looks pretty promising with a two minute lead to Quintana.

“But history shows that many unforeseen things can happen during a time trial and we’re not celebrating until Alberto crosses the finish line tomorrow.”

Follow the link for results from stage 6 of the 2014 Tirreno-Adriatico. Click here to read more.

Horner quits Tirreno-Adriatico with achilles tendinitis

Chris Horner (Lampre-Merida) abandoned Tirreno-Adriatico before last night’s sixth stage after suffering from tendinitis in his Achilles tendon.

Volta  Algarve 2014 stage-2

Horner was 11th on the general classification after five stages, a little more than three minutes behind Contador.

“Horner is suffering from tendinitis at the left Achilles tendon,” team doctor Beltemacchi Matteo said in a press release. “As jointly agreed, in order to avoid a worsening of the situation, Chris will quit the race.”

Click here to read more at VeloNews.

Betancur targeting white jersey at Le Tour

A few days after becoming the first Colombian to win Paris-Nice, Carlos Betancur (Ag2r) has set his sights on the Ardennes Classics and his debut Tour de France, where he’s hoping to win the best young rider classification.

Paris-Nice stage-5

Betancur won the best young rider classification at last year’s Giro d’Italia after an entertaining tussle with Rafal Majka but this year’s he’s aiming for the French Grand Tour.

“I’ve done the Giro d’Italia twice; it’s an important and hard race, but it’s every rider’s wish to go to the Tour because that’s where you graduate”, Betancur said. “The white jersey is a dream and I’m going to work very hard to get it.”

Betancur is currently tied with Simon Gerrans at the top of the UCI individual rankings with his two stage victories and overall win at Paris-Nice adding to his stage and overall win at Haut Var a few weeks ago.

The Colombian will go into the Ardennes Classics as one of the favourites, after finishing third at Fleche Wallonne and fourth at Liege-Bastogne-Liege last year, and showing he’s in good form early in 2014.

Click here and here to read more at Cycling News .

Paolo Bettini working hard to build Team Alonso

Preparations for Fernando Alonso’s new cycling team appear to be continuing apace with Paolo Bettini, who’s expected to take on a managerial role at the new team, seen at Tirreno-Adriatico speaking to riders.

World championships track in Minsk 2013

Bettini reportedly spoke at length with Peter Sagan, and also crossed paths with Tony Martin (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) and stage 2 winner Matteo Pelucchi (IAM Cycling).

“I’m working but I’m also saying hello to lots of friends,” Bettini told journalists. “We’re busy working because January 1st is getting close. We’re working on what is a great project. I’m discovering more about it every day,” Bettini said.

“I can’t say much more. It’ll be Fernando who’ll do the talking. I’ve got to focus on getting the work done. He’ll give more details when it’s the right moment.”

“We will announce the sponsor shortly,” Bettini told journalists. “It’s only a matter of days. They have to finalise some of the details but before the big classics, you should know everything.”

The team’s sponsor is rumoured to be coming from the Middle East, possibly from Dubai.

Click here to read more at Cycling News and here to read more at Cycling Weekly.

Cycling can reduce your flu risk — study

A new survey from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine suggests that two and a half hours of vigorous cycling a week cuts the risk of catching the flu by around 10%.

The findings come from the research organisation’s online flu study, Flusurvey, and suggest that gentle cycling has little effect — the activity needs to be strenuous enough to make you sweat or breathe hard.

Dr Alma Adler, research fellow at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, said: “We’re really interested in the preliminary findings around fitness activity and flu-like illness, as exercise is something that everyone can do to reduce your chance of having flu.

“We need to treat this result cautiously as these are preliminary findings, however they are consistent with findings for other conditions and really show the health benefits of exercise.”

Click here to

Caught on camera — motorist hits a cyclist

With the Australian cycling community focused on the crash in Sydney on the weekend, a video has surfaced of another incident up in Brisbane.

According to the Courier Mail, the rider “escaped with a sore neck, hips, elbows and cuts and bruises.”

The person who posted the video on YouTube, Andrew Ison, told the Courier that the driver of the white car was doing a head-check to change lanes when the impact occurred.

According to the Courier Mail “no charges have been laid against the female driver of the car, but investigations are continuing.”

Click here to read the full article at the Courier Mail but it’s probably best to avoid the comments section.

What not to do as a spectator at a bike race


”The Little Things”

Team Sky has released a handful of short films showing some of the “little things” they do as a team that have helped “Team Sky become one of the best”. Here’s one of the videos:

The remaining videos can be found here, at

Ride to School Day tomorrow

The stats are pretty damning: back in the 1970s as much as 80% of all school children rode or walked to school. Nowadays it’s down around 20%. There’s little doubt that keeping kids healthy and active is good for them and for society more generally and this is the thought behind Ride to School Day.

Check out the video below from the initiative’s ambassador Matt Keenan for more info:

The Rocacorba Recap

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

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Today’s feature image comes from Cor Vos and shows, as you might have guessed, Mark Cavendish winning stage 6 of this year’s Tirreno-Adriatico.