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by Shane Stokes
March 18, 2015
Photography by Cor Vos
In this morning’s edition of the CyclingTips Daily News Digest: Quintana holds on to win Tirreno-Adriatico as Cancellara takes final time trial; Mollema satisfied with time trial improvements; Cookson unimpressed with Armstrong’s plans to return to Tour de France; Welsh start and toughest ever summit finish for Tour of Britain; Blythe: I’m very impressed by Ewan. He’s going to be something special; Cavendish plays it safe before Milan-Sanremo; Servais Knaven’s Murky Past; PowerTap releases new pedal and chainring powermeters; The GCN Show – Paris-Nice + Snow At Tirreno-Adriatico!; How a Giant Frame is built
Grabbing what is his second win of the season after earlier success on a stage of the Tour of Oman, Fabian Cancellara (Trek Factory Racing) was quickest in the concluding time trial at Tirreno-Adriatico on Monday.
The Trek Factory Racing rider beat Movistar’s Adriano Malori by four seconds and Sky’s Vasil Kiryienka by nine, while overnight leader Nairo Quintana (Movistar) was a solid 55th.
While his time was slower than that of GC rivals such as Bauke Mollema (Trek Factory Racing), Rigoberto Uran (Etixx-QuickStep), Thibaut Pinot (FDJ.fr) and Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo), Quintana had enough in hand to seal the GC.
He ended the race 18 seconds up on Mollema and a further 13 ahead of Uran.
“I couldn’t take things easy because it was a pretty demanding time trial, a bit longer to last year’s and harder,” he said afterwards.
“The rivals had a bigger advantage over me in that terrain and I had to go at full steam; fortunately, things went ‘normal,’ as well as I needed to keep the jersey, and I’m really happy.
“This victory was also needed for my morale: after the crash in the Vuelta a España, I had spent a long period without living a moment of joy like today’s, one for which you prepare yourself and spend so much time working hard.”
He thanked his team for their help and said that he would return to racing soon. “Now I’ll take some days of rest before the cobbled classics next week and then, País Vasco.”
Impressing with his performance in Tirreno-Adriatico, Bauke Mollema has shown that his move to the Trek Factory Racing team has got off to a fine start. The Dutchman, who has finished sixth and tenth overall in the Tour de France, was second on the Terminillo mountain stage and then placed 22nd in the concluding time trial.
He had to fend off Rigoberto Uran in the race against the clock, knowing that his nine second overnight advantage was a very slim buffer.
However, while Uran has a better history in time trials, Mollema ended up beating him by four seconds.
“I am tired,” he said. “I didn’t feel like I was going really well, but maybe that’s the feeling you need. A flat TT like this is hard for me, but I am really happy that I kept second place. I didn’t expect to be so close to Quintana, only 18 seconds in GC and that’s really good; I am really satisfied with my level.
“The first part went really well, the wind was still, and I heard that at two kilometres I was almost at the same time as Fabian so that gave me a lot of morale to push even harder.”
He said that he started working on time trials with his new team in December. “I am really happy with my position on the bike now, and with the bike itself,” he said.
“It gives me motivation to train harder and make another step this year, because you can see that if you do a good time trial you can really fight for the podium and fight for victories in the biggest races. Now I want to continue this in the other stage races, too.”
Responding to Lance Armstrong’s stated intention to ride part of the route of this year’s Tour de France during the event for charity, UCI president Brian Cookson made his opposition to the idea clear on Tuesday.
Armstrong was handed a lifetime ban in 2012 and while he and others have lobbied for that to be reduced, the recent Cycling Independent Reform Commission (CIRC) held back on recommending any such measure.
Armstrong spoke to CIRC but CyclingTips understands that the scope of these discussions were limited by the rider’s lawyers, with certain questions deemed off limits beforehand.
The rider has since said that he will be part of former England football player Geoff Thomas’ Le Tour — One Day Ahead charity ride for leukemia. It will ride the route of the Tour de France one day in advance of the peloton.
Cookson is aware that Armstrong’s presence will turn the focus back on the rider’s cheating to win seven Tours, titles he has since been stripped of.
“I’m sure that Geoff Thomas means well, but frankly, I think that’s completely inappropriate and disrespectful to the Tour, disrespectful to the current riders, and disrespectful to the UCI and the anti-doping community,” Cookson told the Sport Industry Breakfast Club in London.
“I think Lance would be well-advised not to take part in that.”
Cookson said that the charity angle did not justify Armstrong’s presence, alluding to his use of the Livestrong charity to deflect criticism before.
“I’ve heard that reason rolled out throughout Lance A’s career as well,” he said.
“I’m not critical of people trying to raise funds for charity, let’s be clear. But I think maybe Lance could find a better way of continuing his fundraising efforts than this.”
Click here to read the full story at VeloNews.
The route for the 2015 Friends Life Tour of Britain has been unveiled on Tuesday and shows the toughest-ever summit finish for the event, a new final stage in London plus what will be the first-ever Grand Depart for Wales.
The 2.HC-ranked national tour will begin on Sunday September 6 with a 177 kilometre stage from Beaumaris in Anglesey to Wrexham. The second stage visits Ribble Valley and Pendle en route to Colne, while days three and four to Floors Castle, Kelso, and Blyth, will be partially held on Scottish soil.
The stage five finish at Hartside Fell in the Pennines will bring the riders up the highest and toughest summit finish in the race’s history. Days six and seven will end in Nottingham and Ipswich respectively, with the new-look London stage will start and finish on Regent Street St James.
Unlike many previous editions, the 2015 race lacks a time trial.
“Overall we are absolutely delighted with the course for the 2015 Friends Life Tour of Britain and believe it offers something for everybody across eight very different stages,” said Mick Bennett, race director.
“Our hope and intention is to again encourage eight days of aggressive, uninhibited racing, the sort of action that we hope is becoming the trademark of the race. We want our national Tour to reflect the tough terrain which is part and parcel of our cycling scene in the UK, and to showcase both the race and the British countryside to spectators at the roadside and to the television audience both at home and around the world.”
For more details check out the Tour of Britain’s website.
Working as one of Caleb Ewan’s key leadout men after both were given pro contracts with the Orica GreenEdge team over the winter months, Adam Blythe has said that the 20 year old Australian has made a strong impression on him thus far.
The British rider helped Ewan to stage wins on days three and six in the Tour de Langkawi plus the points classification.
“He has won four races already and I think he is in only his second race of the year. So yeah, he is doing well,” Blythe told CyclingTips at the race.
“He is mature for his age. He is always looking for something extra to gain. That’s good and I think he’s just looking around and always observing things he can learn from.
“I am impressed in him – he is very mature for his age. He is going to be something special, I think.”
Given that Ewan is so young and still has plenty to learn in term of experience, Blythe feels all pointers indicate a strong future.
“I think it can be very good,” he said. “These races are good for him to start with, but I think it is sort of a different sort of level when he gets to WorldTour.
“He will get more of an idea then. But,” he added, “for sure he is going to be super good.”
Click here to read the full story on CyclingTips.
Rather than riding the final time trial in Tirreno-Adriatico, Mark Cavendish went training on Tuesday after dropping out of the race on Monday.
He and four of his team-mates withdrew 30 kilometres from the end of the sixth stage. It was, said Cavendish, a move designed to pay things safe before his big early-season target of Milan-Sanremo.
“If I was I was in contention, I wouldn’t have pulled out. There’s no point in doing kilometres in the rain, it’s better to go training today,” he told journalists at the team’s hotel in Casabianca di Fermo before his Tuesday training ride.
Cavendish has been in strong form this season but admitted that a recent stomach virus had weakened him prior to his big Classic goal.
“I really don’t know,” he said, when asked how it might affect him. “In Tirreno, we were under the weather. This year wasn’t a race you could ride into, it got harder and harder. It’s harder to tell if I’m more tired from the race. Stopping yesterday gives me an extra day, which is still enough time to see where I’m at before the race.”
Asked if he was nervous about the situation, he said that he was accepting of it. “It’s the way it is,” he stated.
Click here to read more at Cyclingnews.
Two weekends in a row British newspaper The Mail on Sunday has delivered up court documents from an old trial in France to embarrass Team Sky with allegations about directeur sportif Servais Knaven’s past.
An exhausted Servais Knaven moments after winning the 2001 Paris-Roubaix.
1998 might rhyme with Festina and Pantani but Dutch team TVM had a torrid time too following police investigations that began in March. A truck was stopped by customs police near the city of Reims and vials of EPO were found. The case was reheated when the TVM team was raided in the 1998 Tour de France and various substances were found, some banned and others legal but questionable. TVM riders were held overnight in cells, a stark reminder that they weren’t above the law and a contrast to other countries where it was then possible to buy EPO over the counter in a pharmacy, sometimes without even a prescription. The whole team quit the race, so did seven other squads.
Come the eventual trial in Reims and team manager Cees Priem, team doctor Andrei Mikhailov and a soigneur all protested their innocence but in the trial they got criminal convictions. The court suggested several riders were using EPO including Servais Knaven but at the time no approved test existed.
Since then we’ve had confessions. 1998 Tour riders Jeroen Blijlevens, Bart Voskamp and Steven de Jongh all confessed to EPO use. De Jongh had become a Team Sky DS but left in the wake of the Team Sky’s Zero Tolerance purge and wrote a confessional letter explaining and accounting “I took EPO on a few occasions from 1998 to 2000“. It’s understood De Jongh collected on his contract and he’s now at Tinkoff-Saxo.
Click here to read the full story at Inrng.
by Wade Wallace
PowerTap, highly regarded as one of the pioneers of powermeter technology, has released two new powermeters into the company’s portfolio at the Taipei Cycle Show today: the P1 pedal and the C1 chainring.
With the introduction of these new products, PowerTap strengthens its market position with a complete portfolio of powermeter products for multiple locations on the bike: hub, chainring, and pedals.
The P1 pedal is a simple design that reportedly provides accuracy on par with the company’s hub-based powermeter designs that have become one of the gold standards in power measurement and reliability. The one-piece design mounts to any crank and does not require calibration nor installation angle setting for a “plug-and-play” experience.
The P1 also features dual-band ANT+ and Bluetooth SMART for compatibility with a multitude of head units and smart devices. This independent measurement of left and right pedals opens the possibility for a new set metrics and analysis previously unavailable in their hub design.
Here’s the latest roundup from the guys over at GCN
A very interesting look at the complete process in building a Giant frame. Nine hours, 32 pairs of hands, 14 quality control inspections.
Come Hell or High Water: Lotto-NL Jumbo preview Milan San Remo
Our good friend and photographer extraordinaire Kristof Ramon has been hard at work on Bell Helmet’s “Hell or High Water” Spring Classics previews with Team Lotto NL Jumbo Cycling. With “la Primavera” or Milan-San Remo on this weekend, the team talks about the importance, difficulty, and beauty of the first Monument of the season. Stay tuned for the rest of this seven video series which preview all of the Spring Classics.
And finally this morning, here are a few things you might have missed at CyclingTips in the past few days: