Latest News in Cycling
- So time to ride and it is time for an upgrade out of the 80's. Looking for a roadbike with STI and I am 5'10, Pretty open other then that.
- 1. Javier Alexis ACEVEDO COLLE, Jamis-Hagens Berman, in 5:07:40
- 2. Tejay VAN GARDEREN, BMC Racing, at :12
- 3. Philip DEIGNAN, UnitedHealthcare, at :27
- 4. Mathias FRANK, BMC Racing, at :45
- 5. Michael ROGERS, Saxo-Tinkoff, at :55
- 6. Chad HAGA, Optum-Kelly Benefit Strategies, at 1:13
- 7. Matthew BUSCHE, RadioShack-Leopard, at 1:15
- 8. Francisco MANCEBO PEREZ, 5-hour Energy-Kenda, at 1:15
- 9. Lawson CRADDOCK, Bontrager, at 1:32
- 10. Cameron MEYER, Orica-GreenEdge, at 1:40
PALM SPRINGS, Calif. (VN) — Dutch squad Vacansoleil-DCM gained a leader’s jersey on Sunday at the Amgen Tour of California on the legs of Lieuwe Westra, but soon after lost one of its banner sponsors, in DCM. A day after the team kicked the race off with a stage win and leader’s jersey, it was left without its second title sponsor and, later, Westra’s overall lead.
“They always said, ‘we want to grow with the team,’ and they came on board when we were a Pro Continental team. And they expected to be in the world of pro cycling for five years,” the team’s press officer and commercial manager, Frank Kwanten, told VeloNews on Monday morning. “But then we got the ProTour license in 2007, pretty suddenly. And they increased the investment in 2012, and now they decided, thanks to the fast growth, it’s been enough.”
DCM is a producer of natural fertilizers in Western Europe, and will step back at the end of the 2013.
“We’re very grateful. They helped us come into the WorldTour. You saw in 2010, we didn’t get into a big tour despite a good team. We’re not French, we’re not Spanish, we’re international. So, thanks to their investment, we got onto the WorldTour, and that of Vacansoleil.
“We’re happy with that, and now we want to grow as a team, and there’s room to grow.”
The squad — largely unmentioned in the run-up to the Amgen Tour — didn’t stay in the shadows for long. Dutch time trial champion Westra attacked inside 10 kilometers to the finish line in Escondido on Sunday, taking the leader’s shirt and the stage win. On Monday, Westra appeared to wilt in the 110-plus-degree temperatures in Palm Springs and ceded the overall lead by more than nine minutes. Still, the team has a stage win in the bag and other riders ready to step up. On Monday morning, director Hilaire VanDer Schueren nearly dismissed the team’s GC chances, pointing toward the squad’s stage hunters.
“OK, we have … we have Wiestra, for the general classification,” he said. “We have the other guys for the other stages.”
Chief among those “other guys” are Juan Antonia Flecha, the Spanish opportunist, and Giro d’Italia stage winner Thomas De Gendt. De Gendt fell off the pace on Sunday, finishing nearly 18 minutes down. He did the same on Monday before Westra lost contact on the Tramway Road finish climb. Last year, De Gendt rode to a dazzling third place in the Giro d’Italia after a legendary stage win in the Italian Alps.
California marks the first race back in a month for De Gendt, who was suffering from a knee injury.
“I don’t know how the shape is. I have been training in the mountains a lot the last three weeks, so normally the shape is ok, but I don’t know if it’s good enough for the overall victory,” he said just prior to the start on Sunday. He soon found out that it was not.
“I think the top favorite is [Tejay] van Garderen,” he said. “He is beatable. Everybody is beatable. But he’s in his home country, and he’s very good climber, good time trialist. So it’s going to be hard to beat him.”
De Gendt and now Westra will turn their attention away from keeping pace with van Garderen and new overall leader Janier Acevedo (Jamis-Hagens Berman) on a daily basis. Instead, they’ll look to deliver another stage win and, hopefully, a new sponsor for the Dutch team.
Janier Acevedo (Jamis-Hagens Berman) won stage 2 of the Amgen Tour of California in Palm Springs on Monday. Acevedo attacked late on the Tramway Road climb to distance an elite group and take victory after 200 brutally hot kilometers.
Tejay van Garderen (BMC Racing) was second on the stage, 12 seconds off Acevedo’s pace. Philip Deignan (UnitedHealthcare) was third, at 27 seconds.
With his victory, Acevedo took command of the general classification. Overnight leader Lieuwe Westra (Vacansoleil-DCM) lost contact with the front of the race early on the finish climb and finished more than eight minutes off the pace.
Chavanel rides breakaway into the heat
Four breakaway riders shed the peloton just 7km into the stage: Sylvain Chavanel (Omega Pharma-Quick Step), Ben Jacques-Maynes (Jamis-Hagens Berman), Pat McCarty (Bissell), and Scott Zwizanski (Optum-Kelly Benefit Strategies). The foursome pushed to a maximum advantage of 12:15, but with McCarty positioned within 20 seconds on GC, the peloton wasn’t keen to see the breakaway get anywhere near the finish and began a long, hard chase under the desert sun.
The mercury pressed upwards of 115 degrees Fahrenheit as the stage drug on. With two Cat. 1 climbs — the Mountain Center KOM halfway through the stage and the steep finish ramp above Palm Springs — on the profile, the race’s second day was a brute.
“Insane,” van Garderen said of the conditions at the finish. “It was unlike anything I’ve ever done.”
Westra mounted a long chase back through the caravan after suffering a mechanical on the descent from the first climb. He rejoined the peloton with 44km remaining, just before the bunch rolled into Palm Desert.
Up ahead, the breakaway continued to roll. BMC Racing, Saxo-Tinkoff, NetApp-Endura, and Champion System each put riders on the front to lead the chase, but with 35km to go, the gap was still 5:25. The heat was oppressive enough that officials left feeding from team cars open until the base of the finish climb (regulations ordinarily see feeding end with 20km to go).
With 32km remaining, the gap was down to 4:35. The escape’s advantage was plummeting under pressure from Brent Bookwalter (BMC Racing) at the head of the bunch. Four kilometers later, the gap was at 4:00.
The gap plummeting to just three minutes with 22km to go, Jacques-Maynes rode off the front of the breakaway on his own. Behind him, McCarty and Zwizanski chased, Chavanel tucked in the back of the group. The two Americans pulled the French time trial champion through Palm Springs and drew Jacques-Maynes back over a couple of kilometers.
When the group was back together, Chavanel began chipping into the work again. Behind the four escapees, NetApp and Champion System continued to lead the peloton.
Five-time Amgen Tour stage winner J.J. Haedo (Jamis) stepped off the bike and abandoned the race, but Optum teammates Marsh Cooper and Jesse Anthony, a stage winner at the 2011 Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah, were feeling more sprightly. The duo jumped out of the bunch on the flat, wide roads leading out of Palm Springs and team time trailed to a quick 10 seconds.
With 14km to go, the Optum tandem was 2:30 behind the leaders. But with 9.5km to go, they held just 200 meters over the UnitedHealthcare-led bunch. The breakaway was 1:35 up the road.
Reset for the Tramway Road climb
With 8.5km to go, Cooper and Anthony were back in the bunch. Up ahead, Chavanel knew the escape’s 45-second gap wouldn’t hold on the climb and sat at the back. He was right, and with 6km to go, the four escapees saw the peloton roar past, led by BMC Racing teammates Michael Schär and world champion Philippe Gilbert.
Gilbert stood and accelerated, splitting the bunch. He soon faded and a group of roughly 25 riders were left at the front of the race. The pressure split Westra and Andy Schleck (RadioShack-Leopard) off the back of the race and the yellow jersey would not see the front again.
Fresh off his overall win at the Silver City’s Tour of the Gila, Philip Deignan (UnitedHealathcare) attacked and wedged eight seconds of tarmac between himself and the chasers. Mathias Frank took up the chase for BMC Racing teammate Tejay van Garderen, shredding the group down to five riders with 3.3km to go.
Michael Rogers (Saxo) was in the group, but Sunday’s runner-up, Francisco Mancebo (5-hour Energy-Kenda), lost contact. Acevedo was there as well, with Matthew Busche (RadioShack).
Deignan stood on the pedals as the gradient mellowed briefly with 2.6km to go. Acevedo attacked up the right gutter. Frank pulled the Colombian back, but Deignan continued on alone, 10 seconds up the road.
It wasn’t to be for the Irishman, however. Frank continued pulling the chasers and slowly cut into his lead. Frank pulled off, leaving van Garderen to do the work. The American closed on Deignan, distancing Rogers and Busche, and only Acevedo could follow.
As soon as the road pitch up in the final 500 meters, Acevedo jumped. Van Garderen did not react, leaving the Colombian to the stage win.
“I was afraid to go into the red,” said van Garderen. “Sometimes when you go into the red in this heat, you can’t recover.”
Acevedo looked over his right shoulder with 150 meters to go and accelerated again. He stood and pushed over the line, van Garderen 12 seconds behind.
The American continued to press, taking time on Rogers and his other GC rivals, save for the stage winner. Deignan came through third, with Frank fourth.
Rogers came through just inside a minute after Acevedo.
PALM SPRINGS, Calif. (VN) — It would be easy for Timmy Duggan (Saxo-Tinkoff) to blame cycling for all the bad luck he’s had — all the crashes, one of which nearly killed him in 2008, and another recent tumble at the Santos Tour Down Under that broke his leg and stopped the U.S. national champion’s spring campaign before it had begun.
He won’t do it. Duggan said on Monday that he’s riding back into form, and that the bad falls that seem drawn to him are only part of the sport, the same luck every other rider must deal with at one point or another.
“I think my story’s not dissimilar from a lot of riders. I mean, injuries are part of the game, especially in this sport. If there’s anything I’ve learned, you have to have the lows to have the highs. So, it’s how it goes,” he told VeloNews before the start of stage 2 of the Amgen Tour of California.
After a three-month racing break, Duggan returned at the Presidential Tour of Turkey in late April, and then came to California.
“It’s good. I’m just kind of lacking a little bit of consistency,” he said. “It’s hard to jump in and be perfect. Like Turkey, I got better each day, and kind of rode into the race. [Sunday] was my 12th day of racing in seven months. It comes along, but you can’t rush it and force it. I think I’ll only feel a little bit better over the course of the week as the days go by.”
Duggan’s main charge in California is to look after GC man and former winner Michael Rogers. After that, his eyes will turn to defending his national title in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
“California was definitely my first big goal. So I’m kind of just arriving here with some form by the skin of my teeth,” he said. “So we’ll see how the rest of the week goes. Obviously, our primary goal is getting another win here for ‘Mick’ Rogers. And then we’ve got national championships next week in Chattanooga, where I’ll be looking to defend my title there. And then, over to Europe for the rest of the season to start out at the Dauphiné. I’m looking forward to a strong rest of the season, and hoping to get back into form there.”
Race radio indicated that Duggan hit the deck again on Monday, but he later appeared back with the bunch, pedaling onward. And that’s becoming normal, for Duggan at least.
“I had to press the reset button and take a second off. If anything, I’m more fresh mentally and motivated than I’ve ever been this time of year,” he said.