Rigoberto Uran wins Giro d’Italia individual time trial and takes the overall lead

Although best known as a climber, Rigoberto Uran underlined his abilities against the clock on stage 12 of the Giro d’Italia when he dominated the 41.9 kilometre test, finishing over a minute clear and taking the Maglia Rosa from the rider tipped to hold it, Cadel Evans.

Giro-D'Itaia 2014 stage 12 ITT

Uran, who moved to the Omega Pharma-QuickStep team this year after riding to second overall in the Giro with Sky 12 months ago, tore around the undulating course and steadily took time from Evans and the other GC riders.

He finished 1:17 ahead of runner-up Diego Ulissi (Lampre-Merida) and 1:34 up on Evans, who lost a little time when he ran wide on a bend. Tinkoff-Saxo’s Rafal Majka was a further five seconds back in third.

“To win the time trial has great significance for me personally, for my team, and for Colombia, and to take the Maglia Rosa as well is a nice surprise,” Uran said afterwards. “There’s a long way to go, of course, and the real mountains are still ahead of us, but today is important.”

He said that he had prepared well for the race against the clock, both in terms of reconnaissance and also bike position. “I came here twice to look at the route. I worked hard with Specialized and went to the wind tunnel in California,” he said.

“I rode well in the time trial at the Tour of Romandie. During the race today, I was given repeated updates on Cadel Evans’ times, and I think it made a difference. I wanted to do well today, but I didn’t expect to win and take the jersey.”

The result saw Uran move from second to first overall, displacing Evans by 37 seconds. Majka is 1:52 seconds back in third, with Domenico Pozzovivo (AG2R La Mondiale), Wilco Kelderman (Belkin Pro Cycling Team) and Nairo Alexander Quintana Rojas (Movistar Team) all between 2:30 and 3:30 in arrears.

Evans admitted to being both surprised by Uran’s result and disappointed by his own. However, being just over half a minute back is something which still gives him reason to believe he can win the race. “My position is good tactically. I think it is going to be interesting.”

Stage 12 (ITT): Barbaresco > Barolo - Stage Result

Thursday 22nd May 2014

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URAN Rigoberto
Omega Pharma - Quick-Step
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BMC Racing Team

Click here to read the full story at CyclingTips.

Marc de Maar wins stage 2 of the Tour of Norway

Marc de Maar (UnitedHealthcare) has taken the overall lead in the Tour of Norway after winning stage two ahead of his breakaway companion Maciej Paterski (CCC Polsat).

A breakaway of six riders got away early in the race but they would eventually be caught with 40km as strong crosswinds lashed the course. De Maar and Paterski made their move with 30km remaining.

“It was a bit of an impulse,” De Maar explained. “I wasn’t really thinking of any plan but sometimes that’s the best. There was an opportunity to escape because the bunch hadn’t split up and Katusha [the team of then-leader Alexander Kristoff] stopped working. I decided to jump and a CCC rider [Paterski] came with me. He was strong! We kept working together. As a group was apparently coming across, we thought it would be perfect but they didn’t catch us.”

Stage 1 winner Alexander Kristoff led home the peloton 12 seconds behind the two leaders with De Maar now leading the race overall by three seconds from Paterski and Kristoff in third, 10 seconds behind.

Three stages remain in the race.

Stage 2: Drøbak > Sarpsborg - Stage Result

Thursday 22nd May 2014

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CCC Polsat Polkowice
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KRISTOFF Alexander
Team Katusha

Click here to read more at Cycling News.

Neil van der Ploeg wins stage 1 of the Tour of Toowoomba

Avanti Racing have continued its dominance in the Subaru National Road Series, this time with Victorian Neil van der Ploeg who sprinted to top honours in stage one of the FGK Tour of Toowoomba, the fourth event on the men’s calendar.

(c) Tim Bardsley-Smith

Van der Ploeg, part of the team who finished last week’s Battle on the Border on the Tweed Coast with a clean sweep of the general classification and three from five stage wins, took out the stage in Highfields ahead of Daniel Fitter (CharterMason) and Alistair Donohoe (Health.com.au-search2retain).

“I’m really happy to win the first stage of the Tour,” said van der Ploeg. “Last week we had such a great result as a team so it’s really nice to be able to continue that here in Toowoomba.”

“There wasn’t much time to think about the sprint in the end because there were attacks going all day. I went too early last year so this year I just held back a bit and got the timing right.”

On an aggressive 118km stage from the town centre of Toowoomba to Highfields, it took until the 85km mark before a breakaway group were allowed to gain more than 30 seconds on the peloton.

Leongatha’s Stuart Smith (Health.com.au-search2retain) and Paralympic gold medallist Michael Gallagher (Jayco/John West/VIS) teamed up to form a breakaway duo and were able to gain a 50 second advantage before being reeled in 20km later.

Despite countless attempts to create a time advantage on the peloton including a late solo charge from Brendan Canty (health.com.au-search2retain), the nervous energy in the bunch and lack of wind ensured it was all together for the sprinters at the finish.

Mt. Beauty’s Van der Ploeg now leads the overall Tour ahead of Friday’s queen stage, a stage which concludes with a climb to the summit of Mount Mowbullan in the Bunya Mountains.

Follow the link to see the results from stage 1 of the 2014 FKG Tour of Toowoomba. Text via Cycling Australia press release.

Jonathan Tiernan-Locke anti-doping hearing postponed until the summer

UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) confirmed yesterday that the hearing into the case of Sky’s Jonathan Tiernan-Locke has been postponed until the European summer.

stage 2 Tour of Mallorca Trofeo Campos

The UCI had requested disciplinary action for the 2012 Tour of Britain winner back in December, after anomalies were found in his biological passport data. But a request from Tiernan-Locke has seen the case postponed.

“Proceedings are confidential until their conclusion, as dictated by the Anti-Doping Rules. To protect the rights of all involved and the integrity of the process, we are unable to comment further or disclose exact timeframes, which are in any event changeable depending on outcomes. However, as soon as appropriate we will publish the decision on our website.”

The last time Tiernan-Locke raced was September 15 last year and he has since been banned from racing and “any team activites” by Sky since the proceedings began against him.

Click here to read more at Cycling Weekly.

Lance Armstrong stripped of France’s highest civilian award

The downward spiral continues for Lance Armstrong with the Texan being stripped of France’s highest civilian award, the Legion d’Honneur, a distinction he earned in 2005 after his seventh consecutive Tour de France victory.

Santos Tour Down Under - etappe 6 - 2011

Last year the order responsible for the award confirmed they would investigate whether Armstrong should be stripped of the title after admitting to doping.

Foreigners aren’t admitted to the order but they can be awarded with its insignia in one of three ranks. Eddy Merckx was given the highest of those ranks, Commandeur of the Legion d’Honneur in 2011.

Click here to read more at road.cc.

Individual time trial?

Here’s a photo from last night’s ITT at the Giro d’Italia that made many people on Twitter ask: “isn’t this supposed to be an individual time trial?”

Tobias Ludvigsson crash at the Giro

Most of yesterday’s Giro ITT was raced in wet and treacherous conditions and it’s no surprise that we saw a handful of crashes. This one from Tobias Ludvigsson (Giant-Shimano) was certainly the most spectacular though.

Thankfully he appears to be mostly OK.

Join the CyclingTips & Jaguar Australia Monthly Photo Competition

CyclingTips has teamed up with Jaguar Australia to bring you an exciting new photo competition. With a monthly theme to follow, and some fantastic luxury prizes up for grabs it’s time to get snapping and hash-tagging!

We all love a good photo competition, and with the ease of snapping photos from the saddle these days getting an entry in couldn’t be more simple. Each month we’ll be looking through your submissions and selecting the winner of a Soigneur luxury cycling weekend in Victoria, including rolling mechanical support, meals, massages, accommodation and of course a Jaguar support car. All winners will also receive a Team Sky Replica Pro Jersey and Bib Shorts plus a Jaguar water bottle.

The themes are:

May: tough routes and high performance
June: wet conditions and adapting to your surroundings
July: best lookouts and glamorous views
August: close-ups and innovative designs
September: teamwork, tactics and cycling with mates
October: your perfect cycling moment

Click here to read more.

The Rocacorba Recap

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

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Today’s feature image comes from RCS Sport and shows Crikey Cadel cheering on Cadel Evans in the stage 12 ITT at the Giro d’Italia yesterday.