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by Matt de Neef
February 9, 2015
NEWS AND RACING BROUGHT TO YOU BY CHAPTER2 BIKES
In this morning’s edition of the CyclingTips Daily News Digest: Jose Joaquin Rojas wins stage 1 of the Tour of Qatar; Rohan Dennis sets new hour record with 52.491km; Cameron Meyer wins the Jayco Herald Sun Tour, Patrick Bevin claims the final stage; Mark Cavendish crowned Dubai Tour winner; Lizzie Armitstead wins the Ladies Tour of Qatar with consecutive stage victories; Wiggins on his attempt at the hour record; 2016 Qatar Road World Championships scheduled for October; Pressure on Peter Sagan to perform in the Classics; Sting captures alleged thieves who stole world champion’s bike; The Week in Bike – Supply and Demand; How to Speak Australia with Nathan Haas and Alex Howes; Unicycling in Moab; Another Tour of Qatar diary from Vale Scandolara.
Jose Joaquin Rojas (Movistar) has won the opening stage of the Tour of Qatar, sprinting to victory in Sealine Beach ahead of Tom Boonen (Etixx-Quick-Step) and Arnaud Demare (FDJ.fr). Peter Sagan, in his first race in Tinkoff-Saxo colours, was fourth.
The riders were buffeted by strong winds throughout the 136km race and some crosswinds sections saw the peloton thinned to little more than 50 riders.
In the run-in to the finish Rojas worked his way into the Etixx-Quick-Step lead-out train before launching his sprint with 300m to go. The Spaniard’s early jump took some riders by surprise and he was able to hold off his opponents to take the win and the lead overall.
“It was a demanding finale, especially before last 10 kilometres when Bora and Trek split the group,” Rojas said. “With 500 metres to go I took Niki Terpstra’s wheel when he came up on the side and when I saw he was out of gas, I jumped with 300 metres to go. The wind was blowing to the left, so anyone moved up there would have to take the brunt of it.”
The six-stage Tour of Qatar continues today with a 194.5km stage from Al Wakra to Al Khor Corniche.
Click here to read more at Cyclingnews.
by Shane Stokes
BMC Racing Team’s Rohan Dennis has been successful in his attempt to set a new UCI hour record, smashing the previous record of Matthias Brändle in Grenchen, Switzerland.
Dennis covered 52.491km to go almost 600 metres further than Brändle’s 51.852km, a mark that was set on October 30, 2014 in the World Cycling Centre in Aigle, Switzerland. Dennis started out strong and increased his pace until roughly 15 minutes to go where he started to flag slightly. But by that point he had enough of a buffer to comfortably set a new record.
“I am pretty tired but really, really proud”, he said less than ten minutes after the end of his effort, looking remarkably composed. “There was a lot of pain. I couldn’t really enjoy it too much, to be honest. I knew it was 208 laps [to equal Brändle]. Once I went past that, I knew I just had to go as hard as I can. I knew I still had to finish off the hour.”
The record comes just a fortnight after Dennis won the Santos Tour Down Under in Adelaide, the first race on the WorldTour calendar.
Click here to read more at CyclingTips.
Cameron Meyer (Orica-GreenEdge) has won the 2015 Jayco Herald Sun Tour after successfully defending his overall lead with a second place on the hill-top finish to Arthurs Seat on the final day of the race.
Patrick Bevin (Avanti) won the stage ahead of Meyer and his teammate Simon Clarke, the winner of last year’s race. The result saw Bevin finish second overall, 11 seconds behind Meyer and eight seconds ahead of Joe Cooper, Bevin’s teammate and fellow New Zealander.
Earlier in the day a 13-rider escape group got clear of the peloton as the race took in a nearly 90km loop around the Mornington Peninsula. None of the 13 riders in the break were a threat to the general classification but Cameron Bayly (Search2retain) would use his participation in the escape group to take control of the KOM classification.
The lead group later split up and the race was destined to come back together. It did so, just before the final of three climbs up to Arthurs Seat. Lachlan Norris (Drapac) attacked solo on the climb and opened a small and ultimately short-lived advantage. Robert Power (U23-Australia) was the next to attack, but he was quickly marked as well.
Only a handful of riders came to the finish with a chance of victory and it was Patrick Bevin that had the strongest kick.
Earlier in the weekend Mark Cavendish (Etixx-Quick-Step) secured the overall victory at the Dubai Tour after winning the final stage, his second win in the four-stage race.
Cavendish went into the final stage four seconds off the overall lead of John Degenkolb after the Giant-Alpecin rider took an impressive win on the steep uphill finish to stage 3.
But on the final day of racing Cavendish benefited from another textbook lead-out from his Etixx-Quick-Step teammates to win the stage and the race overall.
Degenkolb finished second overall, six seconds behind Cavendish, while Juan Jose Lobato (Movistar) was third after back-to-back third places on the final two stages.
Click here to read more via AFP.
And a little earlier in the weekend Lizzie Armitstead (Boels-Dolmans) secured the Ladies Tour of Qatar overall after winning the final stage — her second consecutive stage victory in the four-stage race.
Lizzie Armitstead holds off a late charge by Chloe Hosking to win the final stage of the Ladies Tour of Qatar.
Armitstead had gone into the final stage needing to finish third in a bunch sprint to ensure she’d win the title ahead of Chloe Hosking but the Commonwealth Games champion left no doubt about the result when she narrowly beat Hosking to win the stage.
“It’s a really nice surprise, I’m in better shape than I expected,” said the Boels-Dolmans rider. “I didn’t come here to win; I came here for the training, and to find out what I’m missing.”
Hosking finished second overall, 12 seconds behind Armitstead, while Armitstead’s Dutch teammate Ellen van Dijk was third, another 10 seconds behind Hosking.
Click here to read more at Cycling Weekly.
After watching Rohan Dennis ride his way to a new hour record with 52.491km on Sunday, Bradley Wiggins has said that he’s unsure how he’ll fare when he attempts the record in June.
“I thought Rohan would be capable of a mid-53km distance, then again I thought [Jack] Bobridge could do a 54km,” said Wiggins.
“People keep saying I will ride 55km, but I honestly have no idea. I’ve not done anything like that on the track before. Until I ride 30 minutes at that pace, and in that position, I have no idea.
“I think people underestimate it. That’s why I’m doing in June – I’ll have eight weeks to prepare for it after Paris-Roubaix and I’ll probably do the full distance in training just to be sure.”
Wiggins said that it’s been instructive watching the latest round of record attempts.
“It’s good having people go before you, you can see the mistakes they make,” Wiggins said. “I was chatting to [previous record holder] Matthias Brändle about it today, too, and he said it was too hot for him at 26°C, but [Chris] Boardman said I should go at 30°C.”
by Wade Wallace
The 2016 Road World Championships have been confirmed as taking place in Qatar in October.
It certainly won’t be the most picturesque Worlds we’ve ever seen.
Sheik Khalid bin Ali Al Thani, Chairman of Qatar cycling federation, has announced that the Team Time Trial will open the event on October 9, 2016 and closes on October 16 with the elite men’s road race.
These dates are approximately two weeks later than the World Championships is normally held, due to high temperatures in Qatar during September. Organiser John Lelangue explained that the conditions will still be a challenge in October, but that measures may be taken to make things more comfortable for the riders.
“Over the past decade the average temperature is at 31 degrees during the day,” he said, according to Het Nieuwsblad. “We will see what we can do and will consider putting in an extra water motorbike, as is the case with the Grand Tours.”
Eddy Merckx pointed out that the calendar slot also has another reason. “The timing has to do with the Olympics,” he said. “There should be sufficient time between the Olympic road race and the world championship. This is also why October was chosen.”
The flat course is likely to be wind-buffeted, and echelons will potentially be a prime decider for the medals. It will be seen as a strong opportunity for sprinters.
Peter Sagan is widely regarded as one of the most talented cyclists in the pro peloton and he has taken some big wins in recent years. But his new boss, Tinoff-Saxo owner Oleg Tinkov, has made it clear that much is expected of the Slovakian in 2015.
Peter Sagan (centre) flanked by Ivan Basso and Alberto Contador.
“We have high expectations this year, but we will see because we are talking about races, cycling, and he’s a human being,” Russian team owner Oleg Tinkov said.
“I hope he’s going to win two or three Classics. If he doesn’t, I’ll be very disappointed, but I’m not going to kill him!”
“What does he need? It’s all together, legs and luck. It’s both,” Tinkov said. “Like Alberto Contador, who had the legs to win the Tour de France last year, but no luck. Or sometimes you can have as much luck as possible, but no legs.”
Sagan is reportedly being paid 4 million euros a year to race with Tinkoff-Saxo. He began his season at the Tour of Qatar yesterday where he finished fourth.
Here’s a great story out of the US. Thieves who allegedly stole bikes belonging to road world champion Michal Kwiatkowski and Specialized founder Michael Sinyard have been caught after trying to sell the bikes, which are reportedly worth US$20,000, for a measly $1,000 each.
The two thieves are accused of breaking into the lobby of Specialized’s headquarters late last week and nabbing the bikes. Local police were reportedly tipped off about the pair’s plan to sell the bikes and they set up a sting operation.
Investigators contacted one of the accused and met her at a local shopping centre. She led police to a residential property where they found the other accused and the bikes. The pair has been taken into custody.
Click here to read more at KTVU.
At first blush, you might guess there was an oversupply of races right about now, or an over-investment in the Dubai Tour. But you might be underestimating the riders’ demand for nice weather and low results expectations, or just how deeply people in the media enjoy being catered to.
We hope you enjoy Cosmo Catalano’s latest episode of The Week in Bike.
Last week we shared one of Valentina Scandolara’s behind-the-scenes videos from the Tour of Qatar. Here’s Vale’s video from the final stage, another great look at what the Qatar experience is like for the riders. For one thing the hotel they stay in in Doha is the best the riders will see for the whole season. And it’s not hard to see why.
The screenshot above (chosen by Vale Scandolara) shows Amanda Spratt talking about the plate that was used to repair the fractured collarbone she sustained at the Tour of Flanders last year.
Here’s a fun little video from Cannondale-Garmin riders Nathan Haas and Alex Howes in which the former tries to teach the latter how to speak like an Aussie.
You can find the other episodes in the four-part series at Cannondale-Garmin’s YouTube channel.
This video is a couple months old but the silliness it captures is timeless. Pretty cool.
And finally this morning, here are a few things you might have missed at CyclingTips in the past few days: