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- Nothing for sale, just wanted to have post #10,001. Mabel eats cake!
KORTRIJK, Belgium (VN) — Sky will start Sunday’s Paris-Roubaix with its star former Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins planted firmly in the back seat. Norwegian Edvald Boasson Hagen will lead Great Britain’s super team, with Wiggins and Geraint Thomas lending their hands in support.
“We have such a strong team here. It’s credit to the team,” Wiggins said Friday. “You can’t start out with six leaders in Paris-Roubaix, you have to have an idea of where you’re heading, a direction, but that doesn’t mean that everyone will peal off in the Arenberg and leave Eddy to get on with it. It’s a case of having numbers.”
Wiggins, who won the Tour and just about every other stage race in 2012, set Paris-Roubaix and the Amgen Tour of California as his targets during the off-season. Without a recent one-day race result and having last started Roubaix four years ago, the black and blue team passed over the multiple-time Olympic champion, handing the keys for Roubaix to Tour stage winner Boasson Hagen. (Classics stalwart and Omloop Het Nieuwsblad winner Ian Stannard crashed out of the northern classics at Gent-Wevelgem.)
Last year the Norwegian helped Bernard Eisel to 12th and finished 47th himself. Last Sunday, He and Wiggins rode in supporting roles for Thomas in the Ronde van Vlaanderen (Tour of Flanders).
“In Roubaix, you have a couple of guys who will sacrifice themselves early for crashes and punctures, but when it comes down to it, if you play any role for the team that’s of real importance, it’s going to be in that last 60 to 70 kilometers, which means having numbers in that final,” said Wiggins. “Any team that does well, or any individual who does well, has teammates round with them 50 kilometers to go. That’s the goal, to be close to Eddy until that final.”
Boasson Hagen accepted the challenge of leading the British team at the “Queen of the Classics.”
“Why not Brad or Geraint as the leader? I have the legs, I get the chance,” Boasson Hagen said. “It’s up to the sports directors, though. Also, what happens in the race is often different from what’s on paper. We need to see what happens, and you need luck.”
Wiggins trained on his bike Friday while his younger and quieter teammate spoke to the press. He arrived later and drew more attention from a press corps ever eager to confront the Tour champion with whom it has had a tumultuous relationship. He agreed with Boasson Hagen, in that anything can happen, and said that the more Sky riders up front, the merrier.
“These races have a way of opening up, things happen, you keep riding and you find yourself back in the front,” said Wiggins. “Things happen to others as well. Eddy could puncture at a crucial stage and we would have numbers there, people to step into his shoes. It’s the same as [Omega Pharma-Quick Step], which has many cards to play on Sunday.”
He would not say what result he wants for himself, explaining that he merely wants to avoid the race’s pitfalls and have a chance at staying on the wheel of riders like defending champion Fabian Cancellara (Trek Factory Racing).
“If you could put yourself in your physical form with 30 to 40 kilometers to go, drop yourself out of a helicopter onto Cancellara’s wheel to just see if you can hold it when he goes … that’s an ideal scenario, but obviously, it’s 220 kilometers before that of little French guys coming underneath you, chopping you, calling you a wanker and all this. I have to get through all of that to be in that position to be able to try to stay with those guys when they go.
“It’s not like a road race, where you can just sit there all day, stop for a wee, come back, pose for the cameras … all that sort of stuff. It’s like no other race.”
If Wiggins did win the race dubbed “The Hell of the North,” he would become the first Tour de France champion to do so since Bernard Hinault in 1981. He would also complete his journey from Olympic track champion to Tour winner to one-day warrior.
Anything is possible, he said, “It’s not just pie in the sky. I can do well.”
The post Wiggins takes back seat as Sky rallies around Boasson Hagen appeared first on VeloNews.com.
Chris Horner suffered a punctured lung, broken ribs, and other injuries in an apparent car/bike collision while training Friday near Lake Como in Italy.
“The details of the accident are still to be evaluated, however it seems that he was probably hit by a car while riding on the Lecco side of the Lake,” Horner’s Lampre-Merida team said via its website. “He was immediately transported to Lecco hospital where the team’s medical doctor (Luca Pollastri) met him to evaluate the circumstances with the hospital’s doctors.
“The medical checks taken show no head concussion, but a punctured lung, four broken ribs and cuts in his head which required stitches.”
Horner has had a difficult early-season return following his historic Vuelta a España victory in Sept. 2013. After landing a late contract with Lampre, the American has suffered from tendinitis and illness and abandoned Tirreno-Adriatico and the Volta a Catalunya in March. The former Vuelta al País Vasco (Tour of the Basque Country) winner missed the 2014 race, which Alberto Contador currently leads with one stage remaining.
The post Horner suffers punctured lung, broken ribs in training crash appeared first on VeloNews.com.
Yesterday, we got a sneak preview of the new and very first cyclocross frames from Redline before Sea Otter officially kicked off, but today we went back to get the stats on the five newest Redline Conquest cyclocross models.
New for this year is the addition of thru axle forks on all of the carbon models.
The top-of-the-line carbon Conquest Pro will be equipped with SRAM Force CX1 and full hydraulic disc brakes from SRAM (though the show bike was shown with Avid BB7 MTN disc brakes), and retails for $3,759.99, complete with Novatec CXD disc wheels that are tubeless ready. Redline’s team will likely race these exact wheels, since the team has switched from Challenge to Kenda tires for 2014, and Redline’s 30-34 National Champion Justin Lindine plans to race Kenda SCT tires tubeless on his Novatec CXD wheels.
The Conquest Pro features a Fizik Tundra 2 saddle, Cyrano stem and the excellent Cyrano seatpost, one of our favorites due to its easy angle adjustment and reliable hold on the saddle and angle.
A level down and showcasing the new (and not yet officially announced) SRAM Rival 22 with A-Class tubeless wheels, TRP HY/RD hydraulic disc brakes and Schwalbe Smart Sam tires is the Conquest Elite at $2,659.99. Rival adds YAW and an extra cog for 2014, a move that we predicted in our show preview just two days ago.
The last of the carbon frames is the Conquest Expert, which will be decked out with SRAM Apex 10-speed and TRP Spyre mechanical disc brakes for $2,299.
A solid thousand bucks cheaper than the carbon models, the Conquest Comp is the first in the lineup to have Shimano componentry with the TRP Spyre mechanical disc brakes for $1,299. The striking red alloy Conquest doesn’t look that different than the original Conquest from 1994.
The basic Conquest model comes with Shimano Sora with Render R mechanical disc brakes for $1,059 as seen below:
Want the best of the Redline frames? The carbon Conquest Flight with a front thru axle is available for an estimated $1,699.
Redline stressed that the MSRPs listed aren’t set in stone, and are still subject to change as the bikes become available.
Check out the slideshow below for more details, and check back soon for more from Sea Otter!
Check out all of our tech goodies from Sea Otter 2014, and keep checking as we start to get rolling into the long weekend.
Trek loses important lieutenant to Tour of Flanders injuries
Broken ribs, punctured lung from crash near Lake Como
KORTRIJK, Belgium (VN) — The pressure is on Omega Pharma-Quick Step to deliver the goods Sunday at Paris-Roubaix.
Omega Pharma boss Patrick Lefevere says he’s only interested in “big fish,” yet so far during this year’s northern classics season, his boys have only come back with nibbles.
After a consistent yet unspectacular run across the northern classics, Tom Boonen expressed optimism Friday that he’s ready for a winning ride in Sunday’s final cobblestone classics showdown.
“I usually react well under pressure,” Boonen said Friday. “When I feel the cobblestones under my wheels, I usually go fast.”
The pressure will certainly be on. The team has had the numbers, riding into the winning moves at E3 Harelbeke and the Ronde van Vlaanderen (Tour of Flanders), but has been unable to deliver a win. Victory at Dwars door Vlaanderen for Niki Terpstra just doesn’t cut it for a team as deep and experienced as Omega Pharma.
“I’ve been a pro long enough to know that sometimes you win, and sometimes you lose. It’s like that,” Boonen said. “You can have the best team in the world, but it’s no guarantee you can win a classic. That’s what makes the sport so beautiful.”
For Sunday’s pavé pounding at Paris-Roubaix, the team will rally around eternal captain Boonen, who is also hunting history with the chance to become the first rider to win “The Hell of the North” five times.
Omega Pharma will also count on Terpstra, Zdenek Stybar, who’s been relatively quiet so far this classics season compared to last year, and hard-working Stijn Vandenbergh, who carried team colors with fourth at both Harelbeke and Flanders.
“I wasn’t at my best level at Flanders for circumstances of the race, but I think I will be better at Roubaix,” Boonen said. “We are working together well as a team. We have many strong riders, and that gives pressure to the others.”
No team comes to Roubaix with a roster as complete as Omega Pharma.
Trek Factory Racing will be leaning exclusively on Fabian Cancellara following the announcement that two-time Flanders champ Stijn Devolder has withdrawn due to injuries suffered at Flanders. Belkin will back 2013 runner-up Sep Vanmarcke, with Lars Boom as a second-tier back-up player, but no team equals Omega Pharma’s firepower.
Yet no team has as many expectations piled on its shoulders as Omega Pharma. The Belgian super-team is the New York Yankees of the spring classics. As Lefevere said earlier this week, it’s only victory that counts.
“This is our last chance,” Boonen said bluntly. “Things haven’t happened as we had hoped so far, and things have not been good for me over the past few weeks, but I feel myself growing again these past few days.”
The stakes couldn’t be higher for Boonen. At 33, he’s poised to make history if he can win Sunday on the velodrome. He is tied with Roger De Vlaeminck with four Roubaix trophies. Cancellara could join that club if he wins Sunday, but Boonen seems intent on forming a one-man club of his own.
“I want to win Roubaix again, so if you’re at four, then next is the fifth,” Boonen said. “If I win a fifth time, it would make everything more special, to go to that next level.”
Many expect to see a classic showdown between Cancellara and Boonen over the 28 sectors of pavé. Between them, they’ve won seven of the past 10 editions of Roubaix. Cancellara finessed his way to victory last Sunday in Flanders, but he was unable to ride everyone off his wheel, giving hope to the likes of Vanmarcke and Boonen that the race will be wide open.
“There are a lot of other riders at a high level over the past two weeks, so it would be stupid to look only at Fabian, which I never do,” Boonen said. “We have a history together, and it would be nice to have a duel together. I have to have a good level Sunday, because it’s no fun against Fabian if you’re not at a good level.”
Omega Pharma lines up with four potential winners. Boonen is the team’s outright captain, but Terpstra, Stybar, or even Vandenbergh could ride away in the right situation.
Sport director Wilfried Peeters said legs and luck dictate tactics until late in the race.
“When you have a strong team, you can make a game,” Peeters said. “In Roubaix, anything can happen on any corner. We need to be [in] a good situation. I hope we can be up there in the first group. Then things can happen.”
Terpstra and Stybar would probably be outright leaders on any other team. Both are on good form, with Terpstra riding into the best condition of his career. He won Dwars, rode to second at Harelbeke, and sixth at Flanders. Third last year, Terpstra could be given wings, especially if Boonen struggles.
“My condition is there, and this race suits me well, so I am pretty confident,” Terpstra said. “You can talk about tactics, but you have to see how the race is going, who’s in the front group, and see how everyone is feeling, then you can play the tactics from the front of the race.”
Stybar, seventh in Milano-Sanremo, has not quite been at the same level as his breakout classics campaign last year, but he’s hoping to see a return to form, albeit without the late-Roubaix collision with a fan that knocked him out of contention for the win last year.
“I usually forget what happens in a race very fast, it’s always the press who reminds me about it,” Stybar said about last year’s Roubaix. “I hope to get in the same position again on Sunday, but without the crash. I was very disappointed about what happened last year, but a week after the race, I was already thinking about this year’s Roubaix.”
Omega Pharma despirately wants to get one of its big guns in position to win, and if we believe what the riders and staff say, it doesn’t matter who is first across the line, so long as he’s wearing team colors. But if they could choose, it would be Boonen. He’s been the team’s franchise rider for more than a decade, and Lefevere has stood by the Belgian superstar through the ups and downs of seven monument victories, a Tour de France green jersey, and two cocaine-related suspensions. Personal tragedy seemed to knock Boonen off his best over the past few weeks, but he promised Friday to be at his best come the final showdown of the cobbles season.
Boonen looked confident and fit this week, and there’s no questioning his motivation. He worked hard to be in top condition coming into the classics season this year, and it all comes to a head Sunday.
“Roubaix is the last authentic race,” Boonen said. “It hasn’t changed at all.”
The post Boonen promises to deliver as pressure mounts ahead of Roubaix appeared first on VeloNews.com.
Shimano just launched the M9000 XTR mountain bike component group (see our first look here), moving to 11-speeds and adding a single chainring option.
Eleven speeds and single ring sound familiar? SRAM released its Force CX1 cyclocross group a month ago (see our Force CX1 review here), and so you can be forgiven if you, like us, wondered if some of these new XTR M9000 mountain bike components will be compatible with 11-speed road components to help you assemble your dream cyclocross, adventure or gravel bike.
We pinned down Shimano’s reps and asked a ton of questions related to compatibility with road and legacy components, and have the answers, in our own language, for you here.
Will I have to buy new mountain bike wheels?
No, surprisingly the 11-speed XTR cassette, with its 11-40 tooth configuration, will fit fine on 8, 9 and 10-speed Shimano freehubs. That monster 40 tooth cog has such a large diameter that the chain will not touch the spokes. Due to the angle the spokes take from the hub to the rim, the spokes are far enough away from the cog that they won’t interfere with the largest cog.
Why didn’t Shimano make 11-speed road cassettes compatible on 10-speed hubs?
The smaller large cogs of road-oriented cassettes, even with a 28 or 32 tooth large cog, would interfere with the spokes if fit on old freehubs, and if it the large cog clears the spokes, the extra width of the chain would likely cause problems.
Did Shimano go wide/narrow with its single chainring teeth?
Shimano didn’t increase the thickness of the teeth, but rather increased the width of each tooth. See the slide below for a diagram on how Shimano approached chain retention on its single ring setup.
Will the new M9000 XTR derailleurs work with 11-speed Dura-Ace, Ultegra or the new Shimano 105 STI shifters?
In typical new component group fashion, no. The cable pull is different. No clutch option for road Shimano road shifters yet.
Can I use the new XTR M9000 single ring crank with my road components?
It depends on chain line. If you can get a good chain line with your bottom bracket and rear cassette and rear spacing, it should work.
Will the XTR M9000 hydraulic brakes work with the R785 or the new RS685 hydraulic STI levers?
Yes. Sven Nys and Lars van der Haar used a similar setup this year in Europe. The brakes are plug and play, but the R785 and RS785 uses narrower hoses for more modulation with road levers.
Can I use the XTR M9000 cassette on my 11-speed road setup?
Maybe. It should clear your spokes and fit on your 10-speed and 11-speed (with a spacer) freehubs, but your rear derailleur will likely be incompatible with the 40t cog. However, some clever folks have figured out that a longer rear derailleur B-screw can be a cheap hack to make it work.
Why can’t Shimano make these components all compatible?
Much to some cyclocrossers’ chagrin, the company is optimizing components for their intended use, and not prioritizing universal plug-and-play or necessarily worrying about the bastard stepchild cyclocrosser who falls in between road and mountain bikers. However, if or when Shimano moves towards electronic Di2 mountain bike groups, which is widely expected, that may open the door wide open for mix and match 11-speed components, assuming it remains loyal to its E-tube project.
Will the new M9000 pedals look like Sven Nys’ modified M980 XTR pedals?
No. Shimano didn’t change them at all. Only the graphics are different. They were not on display, and images weren’t available, but they will not look like this.
Will the XTR WH9000 tubeless and tubular wheels make good cyclocross wheels?
We have no idea, since we haven’t ridden them yet, but two limitations exist: They’re disc brake only, and they’re Thru-Axle only on the front. If you can work with those restrictions, they could be dual-duty mountain bike and cyclocross wheels, and the carbon tubular option is a light if not spendy option that may have a shallower gluing surface that could work well with wider cyclocross tires (compared to narrow road tubular rims with a deep rim bed).
We wish we could say stay tuned for a full test of compatibility on a cyclocross bike, but this stuff is always hard to get your hands on, so don’t hold your breath.
Check out all of our tech goodies from Sea Otter 2014, and keep checking as we start to get rolling into the long weekend.
For Immediate Release 4-14-2014
Contact Mark Eller
IMBA Communications Director
303-545-9011 ext. 115
On April 1, an IMBA press release announced early leaders for the 2014 Model Trail awards, including a fat bike tour of Siberia, a private Ride Center in Aspen and an uphill enduro trail.