Luka Mezgec wins Volta a Catalunya opener
Slovenian Luka Mezgec (Giant-Shimano) proved too fast on the opening stage of the Volta a Catalunya, winning a bunch sprint ahead of Leigh Howard (Orica-GreenEDGE) and Julian Alaphilippe (Omega Pharma-QuickStep).
— Leigh Howard (@leighhoward1) March 24, 2014
“With three kilometres to go Warren Barguil brought me into position and then after that Georg Preidler took me right to the front with one kilometre to race”, Mezgec said. “I lost a few places and had to go from far out to get through. Someone tried to box me in against the barriers but I was able to come through and get it at the end.”
The day’s early breakaway featured just two riders, Belgian Boris Vallee (Lotto-Belisol) and Frenchman Romain Lemarchand (Cofidis), who made their escape after 13km. The pair built an advantage of up to eight minutes and managed to hold off the peloton until the closing kilometres when it all came back together.
Mezgec’s win sees him take the overall leader’s jersey and a four second lead into stage 2 of the seven-stage race — a 168km stage from Mataro to Girona with two categorised climbs along the way.
Follow the link for results from stage 1 of the 2014 Volta a Catalunya. Click here to read more at Cycling Weekly.
Highlights from the Absa Cape Epic prologue and stage 1
The Absa Cape Epic is a UCI-classified mountain bike race — considered one of the hardest in the world — which is contested by two-rider teams over seven stages and a prologue.
This year’s edition of the race is underway and both the prologue and stage 1 have been completed. Check out the highlights from the prologue here:
And watch this video for highlights from stage 1:
The 113km stage 1 was taken out by German pair Markus Kaufmann and Jochen Kaess (Team Centurion-Vaude) in a time of 4 hours 42 minutes and 50 seconds, two minutes ahead of a sprinting group of five teams led home by Switzerland’s four-time Epic winner Christoph Sauser and his Czech teammate Frantisek Rabon (Meerendal Songo Specilized).
Kaufmann and Kaess now lead the overall after placing fourth in the prologue.
Click here to read more.
RCS Sport confirms Pompieana will feature in next year’s Milan San-Remo
The head of cycling at RCS Sport, Mauro Vegni, has confirmed to Cycling News that the Pompeiana climb will be added to the Milan-San Remo route in 2015, making the race more suited to GC riders and climbers than the sprinters that have traditional dominated in the past.
The Pompieana was supposed to be included in this year’s race but a landslide and safety concerns about the road forced its removal ahead of Sunday’s race.
The 5km climb will sit between the Cipressa and Poggio and will make the end of the race even more selective than it already is.
Responding to criticism about changing the route, Vegni said:
“People should understand that the Milan-San Remo route has always evolved as cycling has evolved, with more climbs added as the riders, the roads and the racing has evolved.
“The truth is that now the Cipressa and Poggio don’t make a massive difference. We think the race has been dominated by a handful of riders in recent years and we want to shake things up a bit.”
Click here to read more at Cycling News.
USA Cycling was reportedly told of doping at US Postal long before Armstrong investigation
The president and CEO of USA Cycling, Steve Johnson, has come under fire following suggestions in the new book “Cycle of Lies” that he was told about the widespread doping culture in the US Postal Service team several times, but never acted.
The book quotes former rider Dave Zabriskie who says he told Johnson directly about the doping within the team on several occasions, but Johnson denies any such conversations happened.
Zabriskie told Cycling News:
“I became more and more frustrated over the whole scene on Postal Service as it was the exact opposite of the clean sport I was hoping for so I told Steve in 2004 what had happened to me on the team. It seemed befitting to tell him because he had told me ‘no worries’ about drugs. I just assumed he would do what needed to be done, but he did nothing.”
Click here to read more at Cycling News.
Kristoff up to fourth on WorldTour rankings
His win at Milan-San Remo on Sunday has seen Norway’s Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) jump into fourth on the latest UCI WorldTour standings.
The standings are currently led by Carlos Betancur (Ag2r-La Mondiale), who is tied on points with Simon Gerrans (Orica-GreeneDGE), with Alberto Contador just behind. Kristoff’s win saw him jump up from 63rd on the standings.
Meanwhile Australia leads the national rankings while Movistar is now leading the teams classification.
Cyclist safety on Q&A
ABC TV’s weekly panel show Q&A last night featured a brief discussion about cycling and sharing the roads, kicked off by the following question directed to actor Rachel Griffiths:
“With the increase of bicycle ‘dooring’ accidents, it is often the cyclist who cries wolf. Numerous times I have attempted to cross the road as a pedestrian and have been almost hit by cyclists who don’t follow road regulations, especially when it comes to stopping at a red light. Are designated bike lanes the way of the future or will it get to the stage where you will need to pass a bicycle license to ride on a road?
Head to the Q&A website or ABC iView to watch the episode. A transcript will be available at the link above from 2pm today (AEST).
Kickstarter campaign for a luminous bike
The Mission Bicycle Company in San Francisco has started a Kickstarter campaign to create a city bike which reflects light from its frame and wheels.
The Lumen, which the company claims is the “world’s first commercially available retro-reflective bicycle”, is available as a single-speed, or with eight-speed Shimano Alfine or Nexus hub gears.
The company says: “by day the Lumen is a deep charcoal gray, with a slight iridescent sheen. The embedded reflective material adds a unique visual depth. At night, with direct light, the Lumen’s frame and rims glow with dramatic effect. There’s no on/off switch, no batteries required. This integrated illumination helps identify the rider to surrounding road users.”
The bikes will set you back a pledge of US$1,245 for the single-speed, and US$1,545 for the hub-geared version. The project has raised more than two-thirds of his US$15,000 target with more than 20 days remaining.
”Psychology: why we don’t like cyclists”
Here’s an interesting chat between ABC Radio’s Steve Martin and psychologist Damien Adler about why so many people just don’t like cyclists. The chat was off the back of the dooring incident in Melbourne last week, and the pair talk through some of the research that explains attitudes towards cyclists.
The audio file is a little under 13 minutes long but it’s well worth a listen.
This was originally published on the ABC Melbourne website here
The Darebin Shimmy
Here’s a cute little video from the Darebin City Council in Melbourne’s north, promoting their new bike routes that see riders “shimmy” their way down a series of backstreets. Good fun.
The Rocacorba Recap
And finally this morning, here are a few things you might have missed: