In this morning’s edition of the CyclingTips Daily News Digest: Sean Lake claims stage 1 of the Tour of Tasmania, Hill retains overall lead; No new WorldTour teams for 2016 but MTN-Qhubeka/Dimension Data hasn’t given up hope; Richie Porte interview – “I leave Team Sky without a bad thing to say about them”; Report – Riis attempting to buy Tinkoff-Saxo team back from Oleg Tinkov; Laurens ten Dam signs with Giant-Alpecin for 2016; Interview with Ben Foster about ‘Becoming Lance’; Solving a Rubik’s Cube while cycling in Hyde Park; More silliness from Peter Sagan.
Sean Lake claims stage 1 of the Tour of Tasmania, Hill retains overall lead
A well-timed solo move by former rower Sean Lake (African Wildlife Safaris Cycling Team) saw him claim stage one of the Jayco Tour of Tasmania, while Canberra’s Ben Hill (CharterMason Giant Racing Team) retained the leader’s jersey after finishing fourth.
Lake attacked inside the final 15 kilometres, holding off Anthony Giacoppo (Avanti Racing) and teammate Michael Schweizer to secure victory by less than a second.
Early in the stage a five-man breakaway quickly established a considerable time gap – stretching to over four minutes and thirty seconds at one point – before losing two riders and later being caught by the peloton. Lake soloed away just as the breakaway was caught.
Despite spending their day driving the peloton in pursuit of the breakaway group, CharterMason positioned their yellow jersey holder wisely on the final ascent to ensure Hill retained the general classification lead.
The Jayco Tour of Tasmania, part of the Subaru National Road Series, continues on Thursday with a 106.2 kilometre road race departing from Ulverstone in the state’s north. An ascent up Gunns Plains will test the peloton before they reach a picturesque seaside finish in Penguin.
Click here to read more at the National Road Series website.
No new WorldTour teams for 2016 but MTN-Qhubeka/Dimension Data hasn’t given up hope
A list of license applications released by the UCI earlier this week suggests MTN-Qhubeka/Dimension Data will continue to race at Pro Continental level in 2016. But team principal Doug Ryder has told Cycling Weekly that the team is still hopeful of stepping up to the WorldTour in the new year.
“There could be a possibility that the UCI comes to us in a month’s time and says, you’re at a high enough ranking to be in the WorldTour,” Ryder told Cycling Weekly. “A WorldTour licence gives everyone more opportunities, a Giro, a Tour, a Vuelta. What people forget is that a Pro Continental team has to beg for invitations, you can never plan. It’s like you are walking a tightrope.”
“[Stepping up to the WorldTour] would be tough on our infrastructure, but for Deloitte and Dimension Data, it’s fantastic because it differentiates them from our previous team. They could be part of Africa’s first WorldTour team, that’s pretty significant,” Ryder added.
The UCI’s current list shows the same 17 teams at WorldTour level in 2016 as in 2015, albeit with a couple of minor name changes. Cannondale-Garmin becomes the Cannondale Pro Cycling Team while Tinkoff-Saxo becomes simply Tinkoff.
Click here to read more at Cycling Weekly.
Richie Porte interview: “I leave Team Sky without a bad thing to say about them”
Australia’s Richie Porte has spoken to RoadCyclingUK about his much publicised move to BMC, reflecting on his time at Sky in the process.
“It’s weird for a cyclist to be leaving a team and not have a criticism,” Porte said. “I don’t have a single bad thing to say about Team Sky – they have revolutionised the sport and they’re just going to keep doing that. A massive percentage of the peloton are now looking at what Team Sky do.”
“One of the highlights has to be meeting my wife, Gemma, on the team,” Porte jokes, “but, seriously, if I look back on the racing then I’ve done the Tour de France four times and I’ve been on the winning team three times. That’s been incredible. On a personal level, the highlight has been winning Paris-Nice twice.”
Porte credits fellow Australian Tim Kerrison, Sky’s sports scientist, as one of the driving forces behind his development as a rider: “One of the things I needed to weigh up when I decided to leave was not having Tim behind me any more because he’s incredible. He’s probably one of the most intelligent people that you could work with.”
Click here to read more at Road Cycling UK.
Report: Riis attempting to buy Tinkoff-Saxo team back from Oleg Tinkov
Bjarne Riis is reportedly trying to buy the Tinkoff-Saxo squad back almost two years after he sold the team to Oleg Tinkov and seven months after he left it after a falling out with the Russian.
According to Danish publication Ekstra Bladet, what it terms ‘well-placed sources’ have told it that Riis’s bid to return to the sport of cycling has seen him negotiate with Tinkov. Ekstra Bladet contacted Tinkov’s right-hand man and current team general manager Stefano Feltrin who, it says, didn’t deny the story.
“As far as I am aware, no binding offer has been received to date,” Feltrin said.
It remains to be seen if Tinkov will consider selling. Even if Riis does regain control, he will be faced with the same headache as before: the need to have a sufficient budget to cover all of the big name riders on the team. More details are expected to be revealed today.
Click here to read more at CyclingTips.
Laurens ten Dam signs with Giant-Alpecin for 2016
by Shane Stokes
The expected push by Vuelta a España breakthrough rider Tom Dumoulin for stage race success next season and beyond has seen his Giant-Alpecin team make a signing that could boost the Dutchman’s goal. Laurens ten Dam, who has top ten finishes in the Tour de France and Vuelta a España to his credit, has inked a one-year deal with the team.
Ten Dam will back both Dumoulin and Warren Barguil, the French climber who took two stages in the 2013 Vuelta, his first Grand Tour.
“I broke my back two weeks after the Tour de France, which made me step back and look at a few things differently,” ten Dam explained. “I wanted to do a good season in Europe and live in the US. At Team Giant-Alpecin all this came together in a good way, and I will have those opportunities.”
Team Giant-Alpecin coach Rudi Kemna believes the near-35 year old is a perfect fit. “We were looking for a rider who is strong in the high mountains to support our GC riders and who also fit in with the profile and philosophy of the team. In Laurens we have found that rider.”
“The relatively ‘older’ ten Dam was recruited for a particular task in the overall team, for which Team Giant-Alpecin had identified his specific experience and skills,” he said. “We know that he has class and we expect him to play a significant and specific role in the team’s race plan on the climbs. Besides his physical ability, we will make use of his tactical knowledge.”
Click here to read more at CyclingTips.
Interview with Ben Foster about ‘Becoming Lance’
Actor Ben Foster, who plays Lance Armstrong in The Program spoke to Men’s Journal about ‘becoming Lance’ and the filming process. As the interview’s intro reads: “[Foster] went to insane lengths to become Lance, taking on intense months of training, riding the most treacherous legs of the Tour de France while filming, dramatically fluctuating his weight by 30 pounds to portray every point of his career, from the top of the podium to the battle with cancer, and even going on his own regimen of performance-enhancing drugs.”.
Here’s an excerpt from the interview:
“What kind of preparation did you do to re-create Armstrong’s appearance and cycling?
I was in very good hands. I rode with people who had rode with Lance in the peloton during the Tour de France. They did their best to teach me how to look like he did. We had a computer program that had analysed his position on the bike. Then we did the best to match my look and stats with his. I was also working with his nutritionist and his mechanic during his time on the Postal team. I worked with a wellness doctor who helped create a program of performance-enhancing drugs that I could do as safely as possible. I did that because I felt it was important for me to more deeply understand what this world was all about.
Cobbles are one of the more challenging aspects of the Tour. How did you face up with those?
We shot them in Belgum in the rain and mud. Insurance was not there on set that day, which was for the best because if you go down, you may break a knee, and then the film’s not happening. But keeping the handlebars loose in the hand, and keeping your balance is the trick behind those. I really loved riding the cobbles though. It’s brutal but fun.
Click here to read more at Men’s Journal.
Solving a Rubik’s Cube while cycling in Hyde Park
Earlier this week Italian student Simone Santarsiero published a video to his YouTube channel showing him completing a Rubik’s Cube while riding around London’s Hyde Park.
The video caught the attention of Royal Parks who described it as “reckless” and Santarsiero’s video has reportedly been shown to police.
A Metropolitan Police spokesman said of the incident: “If any offences are proven, police will take action against the cyclist.”
Click here to read more at Cycling Weekly.
More silliness from Peter Sagan
Here’s your newly crowned world champion messing about at some traffic lights in Abu Dhabi, just before the Abu Dhabi Tour (which starts today).
What You Missed
And finally this morning, here are a few things you might have missed at CyclingTips in the past few days:
- Roadtripping Malaysia
- Adam Phelan’s Video Diary: Lessons in the WorldTour
- Sportful 2015 spring/summer clothing review
- Daily News Digest: Wednesday October 8