Julian Arredondo wins stage 18 of the Giro d’Italia, Quintana holds the overall lead

Fortifying his grip on the Maglia Azzurra as mountains leader, Julian Arredondo raced to his first Grand Tour stage victory on stage 18 of the Giro d’Italia yesterday, leading in a Colombia one-two.

Giro-D'Itaia 2014 stage 18

The Trek Factory Racing rider attacked on the final climb and soloed in 17 seconds clear of hard-chasing compatriot Fabio Duarte (Colombia), with Irish Team Sky rider Philip Deignan a further 20 seconds back in third.

A third Colombian, race leader Nairo Quintana, calmly controlled each of the serious attacks on his Maglia Rosa, although he did allow Astana’s Fabio Aru to take three seconds inside the final kilometre.

Three stages remain before the finish of the race in Trieste on Sunday and Quintana is showing no signs of weakening en route to what would be his first Grand Tour victory.

While the gap between Quintana and former race leader Rigoberto Uran (Omega Pharma Quick Step) remains the same, there was a significant change to the third step on the virtual podium. Cadel Evans had been holding that place but the BMC rider cracked badly on the final climb and slipped back with five kilometres to go. He rolled in 4:24 seconds behind Arrendondo, dropping him from third to ninth overall.

The 171 kilometre stage began in Belluno and featured three categorised peaks. A number of riders were keen to get into a breakaway move — eventual stage winner Arredondo was there, as were Androni Giocattoli duo Franco Pellizotti and Emanuele Sella, Sky’s Dario Cataldo and Edoardo Zardini of the Bardiani-CSF team. The attacks started when the breakaway riders hit the base of the final climb and likewise in the main field where the top 10 in the GC was being reshaped.

Today’s ITT covers 26.8 kilometres from Bassano del Grappa to the top of Cima Grappa. The first 7.5 kilometres are mainly flat but from there the road kicks skywards and the kilometres will bite hard.

Stage 18: Belluno > Rif. Panarotta (Valsugana) - Stage Result

Thursday 29th May 2014

1. co
Trek Factory Racing
2. co
Team Colombia
3. ie
Team Sky

Click here to read the full stage report at CyclingTips.

Mathias Frank wins stage 2 of the Bayern Rundfahrt

IAM Cycling has won its second consecutive stage at Germany’s biggest stage race, Bayern Rundfahrt, with Mathias Frank proving strongest in the race’s first-ever summit finish where he was able to hold off Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) and Leopold König (NetApp-Endura)

Frank made his move 2km from the finish and with nobody able to respond he opened up a sizeable gap. Pinot started chasing with 1km to go but the damage was done and when König joined the chase Frank was too far ahead.

The day’s early break featured Sam Bennett (NetApp), Christian Meier (Orica-GreenEdge), Anthony Delaplace (Bretagne) and Blel Kadri (Ag2r) and they built up a lead of 5.15 after 62km of racing. They were brought back into the fold less than 20km later, albeit by a peloton that had been severely reduced by a big climb in the middle of the stage.

Frank’s victory gives him a five-second lead over Pinot going into tomorrow’s third stage of the five-stage race.

Stage 2: Freilassing > Reit im Winkl Winklmoos-Alm - Stage Result

Thursday 29th May 2014

1. ch
FRANK Mathias
IAM Cycling
2. fr
PINOT Thibaut
3. cz
KöNIG Leopold
Team NetApp – Endura

Click here to read more at Cycling Quotes.

Tom Boonen goes back-to-back at the Belgium Tour

Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) has continued his good form at the Belgium Tour, winning a second consecutive stage off the back of another impressive effort from Gert Steegmans.

Baloise Belgium Tour stage-2

In contrast to the finish of stage 1 which was controlled by the lead-out trains, the stage 2 final was a disorganised and confusing affair. Steegmans pulled hard in the closing metres of the race and even managed to gain a gap on the field and it was only his teammate Boonen who was able to get around him, and only then after capitalising on a Thor Hushovd (BMC) sprint.

Steegmans finished second behind Boonen while Theo Bos (Belkin) was third again.

The 170.4km flat stage was always going to end in a bunch sprint, despite a few early climbs, but that didn’t stop a four-rider breakaway getting up the road. But with Omega Pharma-QuickStep in control of the race, the escapees were always within reach and were finally caught with 5km to go.

Boonen now leads the GC by 12 seconds over Theo Bos but the stage 3 ITT tomorrow should have a significant effect on the overall standings. With Tony Martin waiting in the wings, it could be three wins from three stages for Omega Pharma-QuickStep.

Stage 2: Lierde > Knokke-Heist - Stage Result

Thursday 29th May 2014

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Omega Pharma - Quick-Step
2. be
Omega Pharma - Quick-Step
3. nl
BOS Theo
Belkin-Pro Cycling Team

Click here to read more at Cycling Quotes.

Will Clarke wins Tour de Kumano prologue

Drapac Professional Cycling’s Will Clarke has claimed his second prologue victory in as many starts on Thursday, blitzing the Tour de Kumano (UCI2.2) opener in Japan.

Prologue: Shingu > Shingu - Stage Result

Thursday 29th May 2014

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CLARKE William
Drapac Professional Cycling
2. tw
Team Gusto
3. nl
Drapac Professional Cycling

Clarke, who just last week also won the prologue at the Tour of Japan, set a time of 51.05 seconds on the 700-metre course, winning by a margin of 0.15 seconds from Shih Hsin Hsiao (Team Gusto) and 0.34 from Drapac teammate, Wouter Wippert in third place.

Thursday’s effort marks Clarke’s seventh podium appearance this season having also won the opening stage of the Tour de Perth, finished as runner-up in the Oceania Individual Time Trial Championships and Stage 2 of the Tour d’Azerbaïdjan, and his third places at the Jayco Herald Sun Tour Prologue and the sixth stage of the Tour of Japan.

“I felt good this morning when I did a warm up and on such a short course I knew it was going to be close,” said Clarke. “In a prologue you can’t control what anyone does and on such a short course you can’t pace it – so I went out as hard as I could and thankfully got the win.”

Stage 1 is a 114km circuit course that is expected to be decided by the sprinters however Drapac’s Director of Performance Keith Flory warned that it won’t be a fait accompli.

“Tomorrow’s stage is actually quite dangerous – it’s a stage for Wouter but there are very technical, dangerous sections at each end of the lap – there will be seven,” he explained. “So the boys need to be ready and stay alert throughout the race.”

Text via a Drapac press release.

Acquarone still in limbo over RCS investigation but will remain in cycling

Five months after he was dropped by RCS Sport from his role as head of the Giro d’Italia, Michele Acquarone has said that he is still waiting for the chance to clear his name in relation to an investigation into the company’s finances. However he confirms that he will continue to work in the area of cycling, with more details to be confirmed in July.


“I am still waiting for the investigation to come,” he told CyclingTips. “There is nothing new lately, unfortunately. RCS doesn’t speak, the police don’t speak. I am sorry but I think I am the only one who is interested in this bad story [about his sacking – ed.].”

In early October the Italian was sidelined from his position as head of the Giro d’Italia and the COO of RCS Sport, as was former RCS CEO Giacomo Catano. He and Catano were given the suspensions after RCS Sport said that a possible misappropriation of 13 million euro had been detected.

The circumstances of his leaving RCS Sport made it difficult for Acquarone to find a new employment but he confirmed to CyclingTips that he is now involved in a different venture. While he cannot yet reveal details, this will ensure he remains within the sport.

“I am starting to work on a new project and everything will be official in July,” he said. “I will stay in cycling. I think that is correct – that is what I want and that is why I am so happy that I can work on this project.”

Click here to read the full story here at CyclingTips.

UCI says CADF will address Froome’s calls for more testing on Tenerife

The UCI has said that it is moving to address the issue of anti-doping testing at some high altitude locations, with the governing body responding to comments on the matter on Wednesday by Chris Froome.

Tour de France  2012 stage - 11

Froome, who won the 2013 Tour de France and who has been training at Mount Teide in Tenerife, called for more testing at such locations yesterday as his own camp came to an end. “Three major TDF contenders staying on Mt Teide and no out of competition tests for the past 2 weeks. Very disappointing,” he wrote on Twitter.

Contacted by CyclingTips over the matter, the UCI said Thursday that it is moving to address the matter. “The UCI has seen the comment by Tour de France winner Chris Froome regarding a lack of out of competition testing at Mount Teide, Tenerife,” it stated.

“Out of competition testing is clearly an essential component of any effective anti-doping programme and we are looking into the matter with the Cycling Anti Doping Foundation, which is responsible for planning and executing anti doping tests in cycling.”

Click here to read more here at CyclingTips.

Orica-GreenEdge interested in Brad Wiggins for 2015

Orica-GreenEdge sports director Matt White has confirmed that former Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins (who finishes a contract with Sky this year) “is definitely a rider who would fit into” the Australian team.

Giro d'Italia 2013 - 8a Tappa

The confirmation follows an announcement last week that Orica-GreenEdge is looking to sign an established GC rider to lead the Australian squad at the Grand Tours.

“We have identified people who would fit in to the culture of our team … They are people who are ready to come to the team and we are ready to support them.”

White and Wiggins have worked together previously, when Wiggins was riding at Garmin-Sharp and White was a sports director.

Click here to read more at the Sydney Morning Herald.

Fernando Alonso still aiming to launch a team in 2015

F1 star Fernando Alonso was spotted at the Giro d’Italia yesterday and while the prospective team owner confirmed he still hopes to launch his team next year, he gave few details.

Giro-D'Itaia 2014 stage 18

“We decided to go create our own team in December or January, now we are in May, June,” Alonso said on the Panarotta climb. “We are working on it but when there’s not news… We have to wait until we get a licence, and that deadline is in November. We can’t even talk to riders until August 1, according to the rules, and until then, it’s just rumours.”

“If we make a team, it’ll be with our ideas,” Alonso said, highlighting his desire to have a team a the WorldTour level. “The first thing we have to do is create a team at a great level to attract riders.

“We are working on our project, but I’m in a world that I don’t know well. We want to create a team, a good team, taking F1 to cycling. Maybe that will bring us the good riders and be good for us. It’s step by step for now.”

While there is some concern that the team doesn’t have enough time to get everything in order before next season, they are reportedly naming their first sponsor, rumoured to be from the UAE, on the Tour de France’s first rest day in mid July.

Click here to read more at Cycling Weekly.

Orica-GreenEdge down to two riders at the Giro

After starting the Giro d’Italia on such a high, with stage wins and a week in the maglia rosa, Orica-GreenEdge has had a considerably less enjoyable second and third week of the race. Of the nine riders that started the race, just two remain: Michael Hepburn and Svein Tuft.

Svein Tuft, one of just two riders remaining for Orica-GreenEdge.

Svein Tuft, one of just two riders remaining for Orica-GreenEdge.

Ivan Santaromita was the last to abandon, succumbing to a fever on stage 17.

“It’s been a contrast of emotion and results for us at the Giro”, team DS Matt White said. “Three stages wins and a week in the pink jersey was the best possible scenario, but ending with a couple of riders wasn’t planned.”

With three stages remaining the two OGE riders occupy second and third last on the GC, nearly four and a half hours behind Nairo Quintana.

Click here to read more at Cycling Weekly.

Chris Horner could return to racing at the Tour de Suisse, might race Le Tour

Last year’s Vuelta a Espana winner Chris Horner (Lampre-Merida) is eyeing off a return to racing at the Tour de Suisse next month, ahead of a potential Tour de France berth in July.

The American was hit by a car back in April and suffered several broken ribs and a punctured lung, forcing him out of the Giro d’Italia, a race he was targeting.

“He’s back in Europe at the moment and training again. We will have a meeting with him on Friday and we’ll go from there,” team boss Brent Copeland told Cycling News.

“At the moment we’re thinking about bringing him in for the start of the Tour de Suisse in order to see what his condition is like. Then we’ll look at the possibility of Chris riding the Tour de France.”

Lampre will send Rui Costa to the Tour de Suisse as team leader.

Click here to read more at Cycling News.

Teams announced for La Course by Le Tour de France

The organisers of La Course by Le Tour de France, the one-day women’s race held on the Champs-Elysees ahead of the final stage of the Tour de France, have announced the 20 teams that will take part.

Tour de France 2013 - Stage 21 - 133.5KM - Versailles to Paris Champs Elysees

Each team will feature six riders and the race will feature 13 laps of the famous Champs-Elysees circuit, for a total of 90km.

The teams attending the race are:

– Orica-AIS
– Australian National Team
– Lotto Belisol Ladies
– Bizkaia-Durango
– Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies
– UnitedHealthcare
– Specialized-Lululemon
– Poitou Charentes Futuroscope 86
– French National Team
– Wiggle Honda
– Ale Cipollini
– Astana BePink
– Estado De Mexico Faren
– Hitec Products
– Rabo Liv
– Boels Dolmans
– Giant-Shimano
– Dutch National Team
– Rusvelo
– Bigla

Bike Radar, Cycling News and others sold in £24m deal

Future Publishing’s sport and craft titles, including Bike Radar and Cycling News, have been sold to Immediate Media Co. in a package reportedly worth £24m.

Immediate CEO Tom Bureau said: “Immediate’s strategy is to create the leading special interest content and platform company, and these brands fit with our vision. We are developing our business around leading content brands, highly-engaged specialist communities, and multi-platform commercial models.”

Click here to read more at BikeBiz.

Police use high-tech lures to reel in bike thieves

Here’s a video from an article at the New York Times which talks about police in San Francisco using ‘bait’ bikes to catch bikes thieves.

Check out the full article here.

Last chance to cover Le Tour de France for CyclingTips

Over the past week we’ve had some great applications sent in for our Tour de France reporters job and yesterday we featured some of those applications. If you haven’t already submitted an entry, don’t wait — applications close at 11.59pm tonight (AEST).

The Rocacorba Recap

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

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