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by Matt de Neef
March 24, 2015
Photography by Jered & Ashley Gruber and Cor Vos
In this morning’s edition of the CyclingTips Daily News Digest: Maciej Paterski claims stage 1 at the Volta a Catalunya as favourites lose time; Patrick Bevin wins stage 2 of the Tour of Taiwan and takes the overall lead; Report – Riis suspended by Tinkov, could Dane be on his way out of the sport?; UCI check 36 Milan-San Remo bikes for motors; Vincenzo Nibali fined for tax evasion but avoids prison term; Peter Velits out until mid-summer, surgery necessary; Rachel Neylan signs with Orica-AIS; New sponsor announced for Tour de France green jersey; Report – UCI to make a decision soon on disc brakes for road bikes; Win your own design with the Champion System ‘Kitspiration’ competition; How the Race was Won – Milan-San Remo; LeMond of Cycling V; Behind the scenes with John Degenkolb at Milan-San Remo; Polish cyclists breaks his own stair-climbing record.
with Shane Stokes
Poland’s Maciej Paterski (CCC Sprandi Polkowice) has won the opening stage of the Volta a Catalunya on Monday, sprinting to victory in Calella at the head of a three-rider breakaway. Pierre Rolland (Europcar) was second while Bart de Clerq (Lotto Soudal) completed the podium.
At one stage the breakaway had an advantage of more than 13 minutes over the peloton and despite some frenetic chasing in the closing stages, the bunch still finished 2:40 behind the leaders. The result could spell trouble for GC hopefuls such as Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) and Chris Froome (Sky) with Contador acknowledging the difficult situation.
“Given the stages we have ahead, that difference isn’t a joke at all,” Contador said. “We will now see what opportunities the parcours will offer us but it is true that it isn’t an ideal situation.”
According to Trek Factory Racing director Alain Gallopin, a lack of communication over race radio was partially to blame for the peloton’s miscalculation.
“There was … a problem with the organisation of the race,” Gallopin said. “They announced a gap of six minutes but in reality it was 13 minutes, which surprised everybody.”
The week-long race continues today with a lumpy 191.8km stage from Mataró to Olot.
Click here to read more at CyclingTips.
Kiwi Patrick Bevin (Avanti) has dashed to his third UCI victory of the year, winning a rain-soaked second stage of the Tour of Taiwan on Monday and moving into the overall lead.
A series of climbs in the second half of the course saw the peloton torn apart. Bevin emerged strongest on the uphill finish, beating Hossein Askari (Pishgaman Yazd) by two seconds and finishing another 10 seconds clear of Askari’s compatriot Mirsamad Poorseyedigolakhour (Tabriz Petrochemical).
A race report on the Avanti website is far from subtle when talking about the riders that joined Bevin on the podium: “When you dig a little deeper and realise [that] both second and third have returned from doping infractions over the past couple of years [it] makes you wonder,” the report reads. “If anything though that makes Paddy’s win all the more impressive and the yellow and polka dot jerseys were a fitting reward.”
Bevin leads the race by six seconds overall, going into today’s third stage: a mostly flat 143km day, albeit with an early climb and a roughly 800m-long climb to finish the stage.
Click here to read more at Wielerflits.nl.
by Shane Stokes
Amid rumours that he could be facing a lengthy – or possibly permanent – ban from the sport as a result of the pending Anti Doping Denmark investigation into professional cycling, Bjarne Riis has reportedly been suspended from the Tinkoff-Saxo team by its owner Oleg Tinkov.
Danish newspaper BT announced the news Monday, saying that recent poor performances by the team are the reason for the decision. Riis was reportedly not present at Milan-San Remo on Sunday, a race which was one of Tinkov’s big targets for the season. The team’s designated leader there, Peter Sagan, finished just off the podium in fourth place.
According to BT, the riders were not told why Riis was not present at Milan-San Remo. However the newspaper said that an email sent by Tinkov’s CEO Stefano Feltrin on Monday morning said that Riis was suspended.
Feltrin has declined comment, saying that he won’t speak about rumours and that either Riis or Tinkov himself need to speak on the subject rather than him.
The UCI and Italian police inspected as many as 36 bikes at Sunday’s Milan-San Remo, reportedly looking for hidden motors inside the frames. As expected, no such devices were found and all bikes were returned to the teams.
Cyclingnews reports that 11 Trek bikes from the Trek Factory Racing team, 11 Specialized bikes from Etixx-Quick-Step and 11 Specialized bikes from Tinkoff-Saxo were checked by the UCI, in addition to the bikes of the podium finishers: John Degenkolb, Alexander Kristoff and Michael Matthews.
The UCI reportedly announced the surprise checks via race radio just 20km from the finish of Milan-San Remo, taking some riders’ bikes as they crossed the finish line. The UCI has confirmed that it “carried out unannounced bike checks at Milano-San Remo” and that it “has planned to do so on other races throughout the international calendar.”
Click here to read more at Cyclingnews.
Italian news agency Adnkronos reports that 2014 Tour de France winner Vincenzo Nibali has escaped a prison sentence but has been fined €45,000 for tax evasion.
Nibali reportedly neglected to declare as much as €772,000 between 2010 and 2011, meaning he avoided paying nearly €300,000 euros in tax.
Given the total was more than €50,000 Nibali was reported for tax evasion. The 30-year-old admitted his mistake and was able to pay a fine instead of receiving a six-month stint behind bars.
Click here to read more at Adnkronos.
Former Tour of Oman champion and double Vuelta a España stage winner Peter Velits is facing a long period away from competition after it was determined that he needs surgery to correct an issue which cropped up in recent months.
The 30-year-old Slovakian rider, who has been with the BMC Racing Team since the start of last season, needs undergo an operation on his left leg in order to treat what the team has termed an overuse injury.
“His leg has definitely been bothering him the past few weeks,” BMC’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Max Testa said. “So after the medical staff consulted with an external specialist, we decided it was best for him to have surgery.”
The team has not specified the precise nature of the injury. Velits said that it first flared up at the team training camp in December, although he explained at first his performance was not affected.
Click here to read the full story on CyclingTips.
Winner of the inaugural Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race, Rachel Neylan, has signed with Orica-AIS and will race with the Australian outfit until the end of the season.
The 33-year-old world championship silver medalist had a successful Australian summer of racing, finishing second in the Australian Road Nationals road race and winning Cadel’s Race in Geelong.
“I am everything – happy, thrilled, proud and honoured to be part of Orica-AIS in what is a pivotal and timely step forward in my cycling career,” Neylan said.
“I have worked hard to build consistency in my cycling in the past couple of years and winning the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race was a game changer for me,” Neylan said. “To sign with Orica-AIS was the icing on the cake after a great start to the season.”
Neylan’s first race with Orica-AIS is likely to be the Cittiglio World Cup this Sunday.
Text adapted from an Orica-GreenEdge press release.
Czech carmaker Skoda has been announced as the new sponsor of the Tour de France’s green jersey after PMU’s long-standing sponsorship of the points jersey came to an end in 2014.
The French betting company had sponsored the points classification for nearly 25 years but now it will focus more on sponsoring soccer.
For Skoda, the deal is the next step in a partnership between the car brand and the Tour; a partnership that has lasted for the past ten years.
Click here to read more at Cycling Weekly.
Reports from within the bike manufacturing industry suggest the UCI is less than a month away from making a decision about the possible use of disc brakes in the pro peloton.
Speaking at a meeting of the World Federation Sporting Goods Industry’s Bicycle Committee at the Taipei Cycle Show last week, Jeroen Snijders Blok, committee chairman, said a decision is pending.
“It will be less than a month, but more than a day,” said Blok.
There are some suggestions that, should the UCI rule in favour of their use, disc brakes might be legal as early as January 2016. Others appear to be pushing for a 2017 introduction.
Click here to read more at Bicycle Retailer.
Cycling allows us to express our individuality; through the bikes we ride, the shoe-sock combos we sport, the names we give our Strava rides, and most of all, the kit we wear. While there are plenty of existing kit options to select from, we have all thought about what our own design would look like. There are so many sources of ideas for kit designs that the search has spawned its own hashtag #kitspiration.
Here at CyclingTips we have partnered up with Champion System to find out about your own #kitspiration, and see the designs that you would create if given the chance. We want to see the kit that you would design for the group you ride with, your club, or your weekend crew.
Every month for the next four months (March, April, May, June) we are going to be selecting our favourite kit design, and Champion System will then create your design for you and four mates.
Every entry throughout the next four months will also go into the draw to win an incredible money-can’t-buy experience at the 2016 Tour Down Under with a team that Champion Systems sponsors (details yet to be announced).
Click here for more information and to find out how to enter.
Great stuff again from Cosmo Catalano.
If you’re a fan of Greg LeMond this video is worth a look. In it, LeMond heads to London for bike shows, has a conversation with Sir Chris Hoy about cycling and Formula One racing, and also takes some time to ride the city and reflect on his history with London.
Great stuff here from John Degenkolb and Shimano. Well worth a watch.
Polish rider Krystian Herba has broken his own Guinnes World Record for climbing steps on a bike, jumping his way up 3,139 stairs inside the Taipei 101 tower. It took Herba two hours and 13 minutes to complete the feat, beating his previous mark of 2,919 steps, set in Melbourne early last year.
And finally this morning, here are a few things you might have missed at CyclingTips in the past few days: