Grass fire cuts short stage 4 of the Tour of the Murray River

A grass fire in Cohuna has forced the early finish of stage four of the Tour of the Murray River, the fifth event in the Subaru National Road Series. The fire broke out just three kilometres from the planned stage finish, forcing event staff to move the finish line forward five kilometres at the last minute.

Queensland’s Jayden Copp (Wormall Civil CSS), who had made a solo charge for the line, was awarded stage honours however no general classification time bonus’ were awarded for the victory.

“Last year I got a second and that felt amazing but to get a win on a day like today was awesome,” said Copp who has recently returned from a stint in Belgium where he found the podium three times including one victory.

Sam Witmitz (Budget Forklifts) was second while Eric Sheppard (Search2Retain) rounded out the podium.

After winning an intermediate sprint during the race, Brenton Jones (Avanti Racing) extended his Tour lead to 12 seconds ahead of Jesse Kerrison (Budget Forklifts) with three stages remaining.

Earlier in the race, strong winds wreaked havoc with the peloton, causing many riders to lose contact throughout the 140 kilometre stage and eventually leaving just 30 riders to contest the finish.

“It was an interesting stage with the wind today,” said Jones. “The race split again and it was the race winning move but unfortunately, a small bush fire caused the race to be shortened. Out of all the confusion today, the main positive is that we retained the yellow jersey and even increased the lead by winning the intermediate time bonus sprint during the race.”

The Tour continues today at 2pm with a road race beginning and finishing in Echuca via Lockington, Rochester and Nanneella. Meanwhile the women’s Tour of the Murray River begins in Echuca today at 9.30am.

Click here for results from stage 4 of the 2014 Tour of the Murray River. Text via Cycling Australia press release.

Katrin Garfoot takes bronze in Commonwealth Games ITT

In her Australian national team debut, German-born Katrin Garfoot has claimed bronze in the women’s 30km time trial in the Glasgow Commonwealth Games on Thursday morning.

Garfoot was the 16th of 32 riders to take to the 30km course, with a downpour just prior to the 10am start forcing riders to battle the elements plus wet and greasy roads. However a cool and calculated ride from Garfoot saw her clock the fastest time of 43:13.91, to put her in the hot seat with half the field still to finish.

Her time remained the best until retiring British time trial specialist Emma Pooley edged her out and pre-race favourite and defending champion Linda Villumsen (NZL) clinched gold with 42:25.46, pushing Pooley to the silver medal position and Garfoot to bronze.

“It’s unbelievable, I’m very excited and had tears running out of my eyes before because it means a lot my first Commonwealth Games doing that for Australia,” said Garfoot who received Australian citizenship late in 2013.

Three-time Australian national time trial champion Shara Gillow finished sixth. Reigning national champion Felicity Wardlaw was not in attendance.

1. nz
Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling
2. gb
Lotto Belisol Ladies
3. au
Orica - AIS

Text adapted from a Cycling Australia press release.

Rohan Dennis takes silver in the Commonwealth Games men’s ITT

Just hours after Katrin Garfoot took bronze in the women’s ITT, Rohan Dennis went one better in the men’s race, taking silver in a tense finale.

Thousands of fans lined the course, watching on as Dennis and England’s Alex Dowsett traded leads at each time check. The fifth last of 60 riders to set out in pursuit of glory, Dennis trailed Dowsett by nine seconds at the seven kilometre mark. As the course wound up and down through the countryside, Dennis powered back to be second quickest by five seconds over Dowsett after 26 kilometres, and was still four seconds up at the 32km point.

Dennis then brought it home over the final few kilometres back into the heart of the city to cross the line with the best time of 47:51.08, putting him in the hot seat. However the Englishman fought back to edge out Dennis by nine seconds (47:41.78). Wales’ Geraint Thomas (47:55.82) took bronze.

“To be second again – it’s now four or five second places this year – it’s getting a bit annoying you could say,” said Dennis, who has already found the podium in half a dozen of WorldTour time trials in 2014 including the Tour of California, Tour de Romandie and Tour de Suisse.

“(But) At the same time you’ve got to take the positives out of it and it’s still a silver medal at the Commonwealth Games which is still a huge result. I feel proud, but it is bittersweet,” he added.

Australia finished with three riders in the top ten, with reigning national champion Michael Hepburn in sixth. Delhi Commonwealth Games time trial bronze medallist and 2013 national champion Luke Durbridge was ninth.

1. gb
Movistar Team
2. au
Garmin Sharp
3. gb
THOMAS Geraint
Team Sky

Text adapted from a Cycling Australia press release.

Acquarone: “Someone forged my signature. RCS controls should have spotted it”

by Shane Stokes

Former Giro d’Italia chief Michele Acquarone has strongly challenged RCS Sport’s claims that he authorised the payments of millions of euros, accusing persons unknown of forging his signature and saying that the payments should have been picked up by the company’s internal controls.

On Tuesday an unfair dismissal case he took over his firing by RCS Sport began in a Milan court; Acquarone attended with his lawyers while those representing RCS Sport were represented by theirs.

“The judge asked us if there was any change in finding an agreement. RCS said no, they want to go on,” he told CyclingTips.

“We told the judge that we found many fake signatures on their statements of defence. We said we cannot accept it as those signatures were forged; in response, the judge said that it was clear the case was a complex one. “He said, ‘it is going to be very complicated as it is a very tough situation.’”

“I said [to the judge] that I did nothing wrong, that all the signatures are fake. RCS said that I was responsible for what has happened.”

The judge set the date for the next hearing as being October 1. “I will be there,” Acquarone vowed. “I have nothing to hide. I will just say what was going on, what happened, and I hope that even this trial can help me and everybody to know what really took place.”

Click here to read the full story at CyclingTips.

Brew Cup rankings updated ahead of Australian National Cyclocross Championships

Ahead of the Australian National Cyclocross Championships in Adelaide this weekend, the BrewCX team has updated its Brew Cup rankings, a leaderboard showing which riders have performed most consistently through the Australian CX season so far.

After dominating the recent rounds of the National CX Series in Perth, April McDonough has a comfortable lead ahead of Mel Anset and reigning national champion Lisa Jacobs. In the men’s rankings, Chris Jongewaard leads ahead of Adrian Jackson and Garry Milburn.

There are two races in Adelaide this weekend: the national championships on Saturday and round 5 of the NCXS on Sunday.

Click here to read more at BrewCX.

A look back at The Ultimate Job

Over the past two weeks we’ve followed Matt McCullough and Stefano Ferro around France as they’ve ridden some amazing climbs, caught up with the locals and seen the Tour de France first-hand. Our Ultimate Job winners are now on their way home but just in case you missed any of the great stories, photos and videos they produced in their time in France, you can check out the full list below:

– Day 0: The Ultimate Job begins!
– Day 1: Conquering Alpe d’Huez
– Day 2: Having a moment on the Col du Glandon
– Day 3: An interview with pro photographer Mark Gunter
– Day 4: First contact with the race and climbing the Col d’Izoard
– Day 5: The madness of the publicity caravan
– Day 7: An interview with John Trevorrow: his career, the Tour de France and Australian cycling
– Day 9: The fans, festivities and towns of Le Tour
– Day 10: Tackling the mighty Col du Tourmalet
– Day 11: The seven best reasons to visit the Tour de France
– Day 12: Ending the journey on the Champs-Elysees

The Airdog auto-follow quadcopter

Over the past few years we’ve seen drones used to capture some pretty amazing cycling-related footage. To name just a few there was the video from the St. Kilda LSL Supercrit early in the year, this stunning video at Mt. Buffalo from the Cycle Atlas guys, and this one from our Roadtrip to New Zealand.

Now it would seem that making drone-shot videos of yourself is easier than ever with the Airdog, the “world’s first autonomous personal action sports drone”. Here’s a video of the drone in action:

The Airdog simply follows the user, flying at up to 65km/h, as long as that user is wearing the AirLeash tracking device.

It will be interesting to see what sort of videos start to come out once users get their hands on these devices (the first units from the Kickstarter project will be out in December).

Click here to read more at BikeRadar.

Cyclist vs sheep

When you think of the fast-movers of the animal kingdom, sheep probably don’t immediately cross your mind. But maybe they should …

GCN’s top 10 rider impersonations

Can you name all 10 of the riders that the lads from GCN are impersonating in this video?

Here’s another impressive video along the same lines that was released a little over a year ago.

The Rocacorba Recap

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

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