In this morning’s edition of the CyclingTips Daily News Digest: Richie Porte withdraws from the Giro d’Italia; Contador – “A stage victory is secondary – I cannot jeopardise the GC”; Luca Paolini extends contract with Katusha; Jim Ochowicz calls for reduced peloton sizes to reduce the number of crashes; Orica-GreenEdge, Drapac to headline the Tour de Korea; Transfer rumours have begun; Subaru to sponsor Australian Women’s Development Team; Why you shouldn’t run red lights; On-board footage from the 2015 Red Hook Crit Brooklyn.
Richie Porte withdraws from the Giro d’Italia
by Shane Stokes
It was predicted by some after his Giro d’Italia plans unravelled due to a puncture, a time penalty and a crash. Sure enough, Richie Porte (Sky) confirmed Monday that he would not continue in the race, preferring to focus instead on the rest of the season and particularly on the Tour de France.
“The Giro has been my main goal this year and I’ve worked incredibly hard all season with this race in mind,” he said on Monday. “I’ve had a lot of back luck this week with the puncture and the time penalty, but it was the crash on Friday that has taken its toll.
“I fell heavily on my knee and hip which caused me a lot of pain on Saturday’s time trial and yesterday’s stage. I just wanted to keep trying and give it everything but now the medical team have advised me not to continue.”
“I’m gutted it’s ended this way and that I can’t stay and support Leo [Konig], Elia [Viviani] and the team in the last week”, Porte added. “They’ve been outstanding every step of the way and to not be able to repay that is tough.”
“The plan for me now is to take some time off the bike, get the medical treatment that I need and reset my goals for the rest of the season and come back fighting. Hopefully I can get myself ready for the Tour team.”
Click here to read more at CyclingTips.
Contador: “A stage victory is secondary – I cannot jeopardise the GC”
by Shane Stokes
He’s known for his aggressive racing and desire to dominate events, but Alberto Contador has given a clear indication that he is playing it safe in this Giro d’Italia, holding back in order to be as fresh as possible for the Tour de France.
Speaking on Monday’s rest day Contador said that measuring his energy is his big priority.
“Right now, a stage victory is secondary,” he said. “I cannot jeopardise the GC, which is my goal. If it comes, fine, but on the other hand, winning one of the remaining stages would require an effort of more than an hour and I can pay a price for that, not only in view of my program, but also in relations to the last week here at the Giro.”
“I didn’t imagine being in this situation with these time differences here before the final week,” he admitted. “I thought I could have the jersey, but also that these stages in last week could be my chance to get the jersey.
“I am happy with this situation and I’m better than I expected, but an important part of the race remains.”
Click here to read more at CyclingTips.
Luca Paolini extends contract with Katusha
Katusha has announced that Luca Paolini has extended his contract with the team and will ride for the Russian squad through 2016.
Paolini was a key lieutenant for Alexander Kristoff during the team’s Spring Classics campaign, helping the Norwegian to victories at the Tour of Flanders and other races. Paolini himself enjoyed individual success in this year’s Classics, winning a wind-swept Gent-Wevelgem.
“I feel I can be useful for the team and our leader Alexander Kristoff, I can get my own results, and I can help the young riders in the team with their professional development,” Paolini said via a Katusha press release. “This is the reason I immediately said ‘yes’ when team management proposed a new contract to me. I am very happy with the fact that I will continue my career in the peloton.”
Speaking of Paolini’s contract extension, Katusha general manager Viacheslav Ekimov said:
“Without any doubt, Luca Paolini is a great rider, and one of the most respected and popular riders in the professional peloton … Many times Paolini became that decisive factor that tipped the scales in our favour. I am very happy that Luca stays with our team. I know he has not voiced his last word in cycling.”
Text adapted from a Katusha press release.
Jim Ochowicz calls for reduced peloton sizes to reduce the number of crashes
General manager of the BMC Racing Team, Jim Ochowicz, has taken to the BMC website to call for reduced peloton sizes in the hope of reducing the number of crashes in professional bike racing.
“One step toward eliminating the chances of crashes and carnage is to reduce the size of the peloton,” Ochowicz wrote. “In this case, the UCI needs to reduce the number of teams in the races – and not the number of riders on the team at the starting line, which is something being proposed for future seasons.”
Ochowicz also called for race organisers to take more responsibility for which teams are invited to races.
“There are many other reasons for the number of crashes we have seen this season. These reasons should also be addressed. But first, we should examine the quality of those teams invited to participate in WorldTour events,” Ochowicz wrote. “Selection should be based on quality and performance – not politics.
“This can go a long ways toward reducing the danger and damage to riders during a long and rigorous racing season. Rider safety should be priority No. 1 going forward.”
Click here to read more at the BMC website.
Orica-GreenEdge, Drapac to headline the Tour de Korea
For the first time in the Tour de Korea’s 15-year history, one of the sport’s top tier teams will be in attendance. Australian WorldTour team Orica-GreenEdge will headline the eight-stage UCI 2.1 tour, while three Professional Continental teams will also be in attendance: Drapac (Australia), Nippo-Vini Fantini (Italy) and Novo Nordisk (USA). Rounding out the 20 teams will be three national teams and 13 Continental teams.
The 2015 Tour de Korea starts on June 7 in the coastal city of Busan and ends on June 14 in the South Korean capital of Seoul.
Click here to read more at the Tour de Korea website.
Transfer rumours have begun
UCI rules dictate that riders can’t formally sign contracts until August but that doesn’t mean riders, agents and teams aren’t well and truly discussing next year’s plans already. As Cyclingnews reports, several rider agents have been on hand at the Giro d’Italia in recent days, scouting out opportunities for 2016.
Among the many rumours floating around is the suggestion that World Champion Michal Kwiatkowsi is bound for Sky in 2016. When it comes to Grand Tour team leaders, Rigoberto Uran and Richie Porte both have contracts running out at the end of 2015. Porte told CyclingTips before the Giro that “there are other teams knocking on the door to my manager, who are prepared to give me the leadership for the Tour and things like that”. Cyclingnews suggests that both Etixx-Quick-Step and BMC are interested in Porte for next year.
There are also suggestions about a possible merger between BMC and IAM Cycling.
But as ever, early-season rumours from the transfer market should be taken with a grain of salt. More will become clear as the season unfolds.
Click here to read more at Cyclingnews.
Subaru to sponsor Australian Women’s Development Team
Rochelle Gilmore’s Australian Women’s Development Team has announced a commercial partnership with Subaru that will allow fans to “experience women’s cycling first hand through dedicated television footage and documentary style films that will be broadcasted on Fox Sports’ new cycling program, Full Cycle.”
The show, to be hosted by Scott McGrory and Brad McGee, will feature exclusive footage of the much-spoken-about selection camp as well as footage from the team as the riders go through a 10-week racing stint in Europe, starting in mid July.
“We’re incredibly proud to offer Australian female cycling fans and followers the opportunity to watch footage of our Aussie cyclists racing in Europe via Fox Sports’ newest cycling review, the “Full Cycle,” commented Gilmore.
The riders who will form the 2015 Subaru High5 Australian Women’s Road Development Team will be announced shortly.
Click here to read the press release in full.
Why you shouldn’t run red lights
Well, one of many reasons.
On-board footage from the 2015 Red Hook Crit Brooklyn
Yesterday we shared a video from the Red Hook Crit in Brooklyn, an unsanction criterium where only brakeless fixed-gear bikes are allowed. Here’s another video from the race, this time from within the bunch. It gives you a good sense of the madness of such a race.
What You Missed
And finally this morning, here are a few things you might have missed at CyclingTips in the past few days:
- 7 talking points from the second week of the Giro d’Italia
- Giant TCX Advanced Pro 0 review
- Tips for travelling with your bike
- Daily News Digest: Monday May 25