Latest News in Cycling
2014 Tour of Oman Stage 4: Sagan, Purito
Peter Sagan (left), Joaquim Rodríguez, and Daniel Moreno (right) are among the stars in Oman this week. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com
2014 Tour of Oman Stage 4: Mosque
The peloton passed by this palatial mosque during stage 4 of the Tour of Oman. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com
2014 Tour of Oman Stage 4: Breakaway goes
The escape rides away on a short ramp 15 kilometers into stage 4 of the Tour of Oman. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com
2014 Tour of Oman Stage 4: Roads
The roads of Oman have opened up for the peloton's big names this week. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com
2014 Tour of Oman Stage 4: Four-man breakaway
Greg Van Avermaet leads Yaroslav Popovich, Evan Huffman, and Jelle Wallays in the day's long breakaway at the Tour of Oman. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com
2014 Tour of Oman Stage 4: Bousher Alamrat climb
The Bousher Alamrat climb featured each lap of the four finishing circuits Friday in Oman. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com
2014 Tour of Oman Stage 4: Out and back
The breakaway passes the peloton in an out-and-back section of stage 4 at the Tour of Oman. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com
2014 Tour of Oman Stage 4: Van den Broeck
Jurgen Van den Broeck let loose with an attack on Friday, drawing attention from a group that included Tour de France champion Chris Froome. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com
2014 Tour of Oman Stage 4: Van Avermaet attacks
Greg Van Avermaet attacked the breakaway late in Friday's stage, holding off the chase group of GC contenders until 18 kilometers to go. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com
2014 Tour of Oman Stage 4: Froome attacks
Chris Froome laid down an attack Friday in Oman, but couldn't shake the GC rivals. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com
2014 Tour of Oman Stage 4: Sagan look-back
An attack on the descent of the final climb by three of the peloton's best descenders — Peter Sagan, Vincenzo Nibali, and Rigoberto Urán — saw the winning move roll away. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com
2014 Tour of Oman Stage 4: Nibali catches Sagan
Vincenzo Nibali and Rigoberto Urán caught Peter Sagan on the descent. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com
2014 Tour of Oman Stage 4: Nibali pulls
The three riders of the winning group put money in the bank for the classics and March stage races with their late-race attack on Friday in Oman. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com
2014 Tour of Oman Stage 4: Sagan wins
Peter Sagan beat Rigoberto Urán in stage 4 of the Tour of Oman Friday. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com
2014 Tour of Oman Stage 4: Omani woman
The people and sights of Oman are unlike anything on the WorldTour calendar. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com
2014 Tour of Oman Stage 4: Sagan jersey
Peter Sagan pulled on the red leader's jersey Friday in Oman. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com
2014 Tour of Oman Stage 4: Leaders
Points leader André Greipel (left), overall leader Peter Sagan, and combativity leader Jelle Wallays (right) celebrated their jersey on Friday in Oman. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com
- I'll be headed to Daytona later this spring and wanted to get feed back on the cycling world. I'm going to have limited time to ride (early AM, or near/after dark), should I bring the Fat bike and ride the beach, or is it, worth bringing a road or MTB?
MILAN, Italy (VN) — The UCI is developing a new race calendar layout. Is there a possibility we might see two-week grand tours, rather than three-week races? Not likely.
The heads of pro cycling’s grand tours — the Giro d’Italia, the Tour de France and the Vuelta a España — have said they will not reduce the length of their stage races from three weeks anytime soon.
Insiders have kicked around the idea over the last few years, often pointing to the youngest of the three grand tours, the Vuelta.
In a sport that wrestles with doping issues, some have pointed to the length of three weeks of stage racing as being too severe, pointing to the human body’s tendency to break down after 10-14 days of intense exercise.
Additionally, shortening grand tours would open up room in the sport’s calendar for other races.
Michele Aquarone, former managing director of Giro d’Italia organizer RCS Sport, recently told Road Cycling UK that two-week tours could work, if the races had guarantees that the top riders would start in each event.
Tour director Christian Prudhomme said other issues take priority over shortening the big stage races. By 2017, changes in the new race calendar could do away with overlapping races.
“There are many meetings. We have to wait,” Prudhomme told VeloNews. “What is important for me… It is impossible to have two races of the same category at the same time, for example, Paris-Nice and Tirreno-Adriatico. It’s important to have the best riders in the best races, like it was 40 years ago. When I was a kid, Eddy Merckx and Bernard Hinault, they were there, in both Paris-Nice and then Tirreno. It’s important for the fans. I don’t know if it’s in the [UCI] negotiations. People follow the champions in the races.”
According to a leaked UCI document published in December, Paris-Nice and Tirreno-Adriatico, as well as other top races, would no longer overlap starting in 2017.
“Nothing’s ruled out and nothing’s ruled in at this point in time,” Cookson told journalists at the Tour Down Under. “There is a chance that every event’s role will change a little bit, but we are taking a detailed look at everything.”
However, the UCI document shows the Giro, the Tour and the Vuelta staying in their same time slots and running their usual length.
“No,” answered RCS Sport’s General Manager Paolo Bellino, when asked if the organizer had considered reducing the length of the Giro d’Italia.
“The Giro has to maintain its tradition. The tradition deserves to continue as much as possible,” Bellino told VeloNews. “Nothing is written in stone, and things can change over the years, but in my opinion, there’s no reason to modify the length of the race. It’s a great race, with a great tradition. It should remain how it is.”
Vuelta race director Javier Guillén echoed what Acquarone said, that any change would have to apply to all grand tours and be beneficial. Regardless, he said that he wants to keep the Vuelta at three weeks, adding that organizer Unipublic is not open to change.
“There is no plan to reduce the Vuelta, not by one day, not in 2016, 2017 or 2018,” Guillen told Spain’s Ciclismo a Fondo this month. ”We have never spoken about it in the short term, and we’ve never mentioned reducing the Vuelta by one entire week. We are open to having a debate [about the race calendar], but only if that’s done across the entire sport, and only if it benefits the Vuelta.
“I want to make clear that there is absolutely no plan to reduce the Vuelta in the near future, and if it ever happened, it would be a reduction of a few days, but only if and when that would benefit the Vuelta. As of today, Unipublic is opposed to any reduction of the Vuelta.”
The cycling calendar appears likely to change, but as the race directors have clearly stated, their races will maintain their 100-year-old traditions. The grand tours, at least through 2020, appear to remain just that — grand.
The post Grand tours staying grand, no reduction to two weeks appeared first on VeloNews.com.
MUSCAT, Oman (VN) — It is one of sport’s most cherished achievements, one that stands up to the relentless pushes of time and innovation. The hour record — in which a cyclist suites up and pedals as far as possible in one hour — was long sought after by stars as their careers wound down and their places in history were already etched on the showers of the Roubaix Velodrome or in the Tour record books.
Eddy Merckx was the most notable UCI Hour Record holder, riding it “Merckx style,” on a road bike with drop bars, today’s method of reference for the road riders in pursuit of 60-minute fame. Francesco Moser, Graeme Obree, Chris Boardman, Miguel Indurain, and Tony Rominger have also held the record, having ridden on a variety of aerodynamic equipment. Ondrej Sosenka is the current record holder.
So why not Fabian Cancellara? It makes perfect sense that the man they call “Spartacus” would bend the hour — what Merckx called the longest hour — to his will. Reports came out this week he would try to set the mark in Mexico, the country in which Merckx established his, after the Tour de France, in early August. (The high altitude, at more than 6,000 feet, at Aguascalientes, Mexico, allows for quicker travel through thinner air.)
During a long conversation in Oman this week, Cancellara (Trek Factory Racing) just laughed when asked about the record. It was, according to Cancellara, news to the star classics man. Trek asked the media to “respect” the fact that nothing had been set in stone, but, frankly, the media has very little respect for this kind of thing. Cancellara, though, was ready.
“I’ve Googled myself. … the first time in my life, honestly. Where is Aguascalientes? I don’t know where it is. I know it’s somewhere close to Cabo San Lucas. Then maybe there will be nice holidays, but I didn’t know, actually, where that is. That’s why I Googled it yesterday. It’s somewhere in Mexico. It’s close to this Cabo San Lucas. I was looking more to Baja,” he said, smiling wide.
“Of course there’s a lot of rumors. In another way, it comes out, more funny stories. Riders today asked me, ‘hey, I will not come. You need to invite me on a private jet.’ There’s all kinds of nice stories, journalists asked me, ‘hey, I booked holiday already after the Tour.’ Riders said, ‘hey, I need to race criteriums to get money.’ There’s all sorts of stories now,” Cancellara said. “Somewhere it’s funny, somewhere it’s frustrating. … It’s not just, ‘ok, you do it and it’s done.’”
But Cancellara is a star in a sport of that has few patrons at the moment, perhaps its very apex from a media and leadership standpoint. He knows it’s all part of the deal. In fact, he’s an old pro.
“I have to play a bit as well. I have to take this pressure away. But I think that’s normal. We know in cycling there is, from one little rumor, it’s an avalanche,” he said. “Even when I put I go to North Pole to visit the new track [on Twitter] they took that over and put it in the news, that I go to the North Pole, they make me a nice ice palace track. I mean, can you imagine?”
The current record belongs to Sosenka, a Czech, who set the mark in Moscow in 2005. He rode 49.7km. In June of 2008, Sosenka tested positive for methamphetamine. It was his second anti-doping case, coming after a 2001 expulsion from the Peace Race before it began for a high hematocrit reading.
Cancellara said firmly the attempt would not come after the classics, but that was about it. And it’s also unlikely to occur in the freezing cold in an ice palace.
“This is new food to make new stories,” he said. “The rest is just in the air and in the stars. I will not say no, but it’s not just, you run on a track one hour and then you’ve done it. There is more than that. There is a lot of time, with the road, with Trek. … I’m a road racer. I’m not a track rider. … I have to live with on the classics everyone will look at me and with this kind of project that I have somewhere in my mind in the next years, next months, or next days, or tomorrow I don’t know. That’s not a secret. That’s of course. But like I said. One hour is not just one hour. It’s more than that.”
And until then, that one hour will draw more stories, and more questions, than could ever possibly fit into it. It was the longest hour for Merckx, and will be the longest for Cancellara. And for the rest of us, we’ll be counting the hours until the one that, again, matters.
The post Cancellara coy on hour record: ‘It’s in the air and the stars’ appeared first on VeloNews.com.
WTB has released a new, gravel-specific tire, the Nano 40C. This isn’t the first time they’ve put out a wide 700C tire, and we’ve had some great adventures in the past on the 38c Interwolf and 44c Mutano Raptor tires on gravel and dirt, and they aren’t just about road and gravel, as seen in their Chris Cross tire. Stay tuned all weekend for more tech news coming from Frost Bike!
BLOOMINGTON, MINNESOTA – WTB released a new, gravel-specific tire named the Nano 40c during day one of Quality Bicycle Products’ Frostbike product expo. The tire employs a high volume 40mm casing, rounded profile, and centerline tread pattern designed for speed, consistency, and ample cushioning aimed at the rapidly emerging gravel market.
“The inspiration for this tire actually came directly from this show one year ago,” stated WTB’s Product Manager, Chris Feucht in reference to Frostbike 2013. “We were blown away by the number of requests we received for a gravel tire last year so we took a long, hard look at our tire line and decided to use the Nano tread pattern as a starting point. We wanted something that would appease racers due to its speed and light weight, yet also appeal to those wanting comfort over the long haul. By simplifying the pattern slightly, we’ve actually created a more durable tire while maintaining speed and the unique Nano handling characteristics, making for a winner.”
WTB ultra endurance athlete, Jay Petervary, also thinks the Nano 40c is a winner. Petervary spent time on early prototype tires and marveled over the speed and comfort the tires provided, having initially requested something in the 35c range. To further the Nano’s racing credibility, WTB will be sponsoring the Trans Iowa Gravel Race in late April as well as Jay Petervary’s own Fall Gravel Backyard Pursuit with Nano 40c Race tires.
WTB Nano 40c tires will be available in Race and Comp versions starting April of 2014. Nano 40c Race tires will feature a folding Aramid bead, Lightweight Casing, DNA Rubber, weigh in at 470g, and retail for $49.95. Nano 40c Comp tires will feature a wire bead, Durable Casing, DNA Rubber, weigh 550g, and retail for $31.95.
WTB would like to thank Mike Varley of Black Mountain Cycles in Point Reyes Station, California as well as Sean Walling of Soulcraft in Petaluma, California for their invaluable input and insight into the design and creation of the WTB Nano 40c tire.
- With the sudden break in the weather I found myself able to ride a bike outside without ice or 4 layers of clothing. I ventured from my home to Grants trail, and back. On my return I detour and cut thru Kirkwood,typically to avoid the late afternoon traffic on Big Bend . Just a general observation, but at every intersection ,barring a electroninc signal ; EVERY DRIVER(popo included) ROLLED the sign, most slowed to 2-3mph , but a large number , tapped the brake and passed thru like it was a yield , I got honked at twice for stopping and letting the car to my left "roll thu " .... can never win....
Women’s equality in Europe has been a major area of development in the past few years, and Koppenbergcross has taken it a step further and has become the first European ’cross race to give equal prize money to men and women.
From the race promoters:
The Koppenbergcross in Oudenaarde has set a new milestone in the history of cyclocross. In cooperation with the American company Twenty20 Cycling we are the first European cyclocross to provide equal prize money for men elite and women. So far there was a gap of over five thousand euros between the prize scales for men and women in first category races, such as the Koppenbergcross. A gap that the Sint-Pietersvrienden, organizers of the Koppenbergcross, now decided to close.
The winner of the GP Twenty20 Cycling (the new name of our women’s race) on Saturday November 1st 2014 is no longer rewarded by 350 euros but by 1667. Exactly the same as the next winner of our GP Willy Naessens for Elite Men. The same counts for all riders further down the results of our men and women’s race. A clear signal with which we hope to help the current growth of the Koppenbergcross and women’s cyclocross. So far, the world championships were the only cyclocross races on European soil to give equal prize money.
The British rider Helen Wyman – European cyclocross champion, member of the cyclocross committee of the international cycling federation, triple winner of our race and resident of Oudenaarde – is obviously happy with this step. “In my eyes, this is a huge step. It is a very significant moment for women’s cycling. This allows women to make one step up the ladder towards equality. I spend a lot of my free time trying to advance women’s cyclocross and I hope this will lead to a chain reaction of races who do the same, as I know the support is there from sponsors, supporters and riders. To be a part of this development for the sport is fantastic for me.”
“For the Koppenbergcross to be the first race in Europe to do this is very special. I love the Koppenbergcross, to me it is the biggest race outside of the World Championships. It is legendary. To have an American sponsor back the race shows how significant it is around the world. I can’t thank Twenty20 Cycling enough on behalf of all of the racers that take part next season. I’m certainly already looking forward to the GP Twenty20 Cycling and hope to collect another cobble stone in 2014.”
Kristopher Auer, manager of Twenty20 Cycling, is proud to connect the name of his company to the women’s race of the Koppenbergcross. “Twenty20 Cycling Co. is a small two-store bicycle shop located in Baltimore and Savage, Maryland in the United States. One of the things that makes our business unique is how it developed from a cyclocross background. Since before we opened our business I have been supporting the growth of cyclocross in America. I was promoting UCI cyclocross races in Baltimore nearly a decade ago when I met my future business partners. Growing the sport has always been on our agenda and I’ve always looked to ensure both women and men can race with equal opportunity.”
“There have been a lot of discussion recently about the globalization of the sport, and women’s racing is high on the agenda for change. Following discussion with Helen Wyman, a six-time winner in our UCI races in Baltimore, we looked for an opportunity to do our part to help advance these two key areas of change. As a company we are excited to be part of such a prestigious event as the Koppenbergcross. It is an amazing race with its own rich history, tough conditions and a fantastic venue. We are proud to be part of what I believe to be an important, if not historic, moment for women’s CX and women’s cycling in general. The growth of women’s sport is not to be ignored and we are hopeful that support of the Koppenbergcross will send a powerful message in Europe and the United States that the time is now.”
The GP Twenty20 Cycling, our women’s race on Saturday November 1st 2014, once again will be part of the bpost bank trofee, just like our men’s and u23 race.
MUSCAT, Oman (VN) — Call this the opening course in this young season for some GC riders. By the feel of it, the group is very hungry.
Friday’s stage 4 at the Tour of Oman saw a few attacks, and a Peter Sagan (Cannondale) victory. Business as usual, it would seem. But the leading three riders — Vincenzo Nibali (Astana), Rigoberto Urán (Omega Pharma-Quick Step), and Sagan — took the long side of a roundabout at about one kilometer to go, cutting their 20-second lead to just two by the time they’d crossed the finish line. Sagan reportedly bunnyhopped the offending curb, thus conserving energy and easily winning a sprint he likely would have won regardless.
The tough finishing circuit here saw the peloton ascend a short, punchy climb four times in total, and on its slopes, a welcome-to-the-season throwdown played out.
“The first two [climbs] were strong tempos, but nothing major,” said BMC Racing’s Tejay van Garderen. “The third one I was kind of predicting Sky were going to set their traditional tempo, which they started to, but then they started launching attacks, which was a bit different tactic than what I’m used to them doing. It was a bit more of an aggressive style. Mikel Nieve (Sky) got away, but he was only by himself, and we knew that since there was a big headwind there wasn’t much a chance of him staying away.”
Eventually, Sagan and the two GC riders tucked into a move together. One that came with flowers for Sagan but ended up short of the others’ hopes: a few seconds on Froome isn’t a lot of time with the 20-minute climb of Green Mountain looming Saturday, though it wasn’t for lack of trying.
“Quick Step was aggressive the last time up the ascent. And you know Froome put in another monster attack in headwind and dropped us from his wheel,” van Garderen said. “So he’s definitely not playing any poker. He’s letting everyone know how strong he is, and he’s certainly strong.”
Van Garderen said the two riders looking the best from what he saw today were Froome and Roman Kreuziger (Tinkoff-Saxo). As for himself, van Garderen said he feels good.
“I felt good. I didn’t feel like I’m in top, top form like, I could respond to one, two attacks. And then by the third one I was like, ‘whoa, this hurts,’” he said. “When you’re on really good form it seems like you can just kind of spin a lighter gear, and kind of go with the flow. And I was kind of having to muscle it a bit there at the end. I feel like my form is coming around.”
Saturday’s ascent up the steep Green Mountain climb will decide this Tour of Oman. As it stands now, Sagan leads the overall, though that won’t last. Urán is second, at 10 seconds. Nibali is third, three seconds in arrears of Urán. Kreuziger, Froome, van Garderen, and Robert Gesink (Belkin) are all 18 seconds down on Sagan and eight back of Urán.
“Tomorrow is going to be really the deciding factor. All this other stuff has just been sussing each other out,” van Garderen said. “But yeah, I think I’ll have a good run at it tomorrow.”