TOP STORY: Disc Brakes on the Road?
The strong rumour at the moment is that the UCI are going to approve the use of disc brakes on road bikes in professional races before the end of the year. After speaking to riders and mechanics the idea doesn’t seem so welcome, except by the bike industry.
From a riders point of view; the opinion is that they would be too efficient and that tyre technology is not up to the job of gripping the road. Also either all of the peloton would have to use them or none; if you have a mix of normal brake systems and disc the braking differences would be dangerous and the chances for the normal brake rider ‘rear ending’ the disc rider would be greater.
As to the mechanics; changing wheels when there is a puncture became more difficult when the UCI insisted on the safety lugs being left on the front forks, imagine how long it will take with disc brakes. Then there is the problem of hydraulics, they lose pressure, a cable either works or it’s broken. They are just another complication.
The bike industry will love it. When the pro’s start to use disc’s, everyone will want the same, this means new wheels, new frames and forks, new brake/gear levers and of course the brakes themselves.
As always money will drive the idea forward, so expect disc brakes in the pro peloton next year for better or for worse.
This is one use for disc brakes on a road bike:
The PEZ Cobbles Classics Coverage ‘14
Last week the Northern European Classics season kicked off and we sent Lee Rodgers to Belgium to find out what it’s all about, here is what he did before he headed off to the cobbles and you can catch up with his adventure over the coming weeks in PEZ.
VDK-Driedaagse De Panne-Koksijde 2014
At the end of the 201 kilometre Stage 1 from De Panne to Zottegem; Cannondale’s Peter Sagan took the victory from his team mate Oscar Gatto in a photo finish. The team plan was for Gatto to win the stage, but Sagan’s lead-out was just that bit too fast. The early break of Tim De Troyer (Wanty-Groupe Gobert), Stijn Steels (Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise), Jay Robert Thomson (MTN-Qhubeka), Kevin Peeters (Vastgoedservice – Golden Palace) and Tom Devriendt (Team 3M) had a nice lead of 2 minutes with 5K’s to go, but they were pulled in around 30 kilometre’s before the finish. Sagan attacked on the Eikenmolen and took Gatto clear with the Omega Pharma – Quick-Step pair of Niki Tepstra & Gert Steegmans, they in turn caught a group that had escaped before the climb, and this put 12 men up the road with 10 kilometres to go. When it came down to the sprint; Sagan led-out 250 metres before the line and thought he had put Gatto on the podium, but the finish camera said otherwise. After the finish Sagan said: “I was thinking he would pass me on the line and we would do first-second, we did, but it was a little bit different. I wanted to do well for him and the team because I’m just as happy when the guys who work for me in the big races get results in other days.”
VDK-Driedaagse De Panne-Koksijde Stage 1 Result:
1. Peter Sagan (Svk) Cannondale in 4:29:39
2. Oscar Gatto (Ita) Cannondale
3. Kenneth Van Bilsen (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise
4. Gert Steegmans (Bel) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step
5. Laurens De Vreese (Bel) Wanty-Groupe Gobert
6. Mauro Finetto (Ita) Neri Sottoli
7. Vincent Jerome (Fra) Europcar
8. Niki Terpstra (Ned) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step
9. Jérôme Baugnies (Bel) Wanty-Groupe Gobert
10. Sander Cordeel (Bel) Vastgoedservice-Golden Palace-
VDK-Driedaagse De Panne-Koksijde Overall After Stage 1:
1. Peter Sagan (Svk) Cannondale in 4:29:29
2. Oscar Gatto (Ita) Cannondale at 0:04
3. Kenneth Van Bilsen (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise at 0:06
4. Gert Steegmans (Bel) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step at 0:07
5. Laurens De Vreese (Bel) Wanty-Groupe Gobert at 0:10
6. Mauro Finetto (Ita) Neri Sottoli
7. Vincent Jerome (Fra) Europcar
8. Niki Terpstra (Ned) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step
9. Jérôme Baugnies (Bel) Wanty-Groupe Gobert
10. Sander Cordeel (Bel) Vastgoedservice-Golden Palace.
Sagan takes stage 1:
Stage 2 was a sprinters day of 206 kilometres from Zottegem to Koksijde and Italian Sacha Modolo (Lampre-Merida) showed the others a clean rear wheel after his team mate; Max Richeze gave him the perfect lead-out. Arnaud Démare (FDJ.fr) was second and Milano-Sanremo winner Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) was third. Gert Steegmans (Omega Pharma – Quick-Step) fought out the sprint get enough bonus seconds to move into the overall lead by 1 second from Oscar Gatto (Cannondale). Earlier in the stage yesterday’s stage 1 winner and overall leader; Cannondale’s Peter Sagan called it a day to prepare for the Ronde van Vlaanderen on Sunday.
The break of the day saw seven men break away after 20 kilometres: Sébastian Rosseler (Veranclassic-Doltcini), James Vanlandschoot (Wanty-Groupe Gobert), Jelle Wallays (Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise), Marco Canola (Bardiani-CSF), Antonio Parrinello (Androni Giocattoli-Venuzuela), Daniele Colli (Neri Sottoli) and Alessandro Bazzana (UnitedHealthCare). Their lead at one point was nearly 8 minutes, but it wasn’t to be and they were caught, then a very dangerous group of three, including Guillaume Van Keirsbulck & Niki Terpstra (Omega Pharma – Quick-Step) and Oscar Gatto escaped in the last 25 kilometres, but the sprinters teams had them back in time to set up the gallop for Modolo.
Stage winner Sacha Modolo (Lampre-Merida) said: “All I had to do, after the perfect job by Cimolai and Richeze in leading me out, was to win and I succeeded in doing it. I’m so happpy!” Modolo said. “Today I had good feelings, I could pass Kemmelberg in fourth position and then two precious team mates were on my side in the head group. In the approach to Koksijde, I felt a little bit tired, but I noticed that my opponents were tired too. I was only worried by Demare, whose team mates worked in the head of the group, but when Cimolai and Richeze start the sprint, all my worries were left behind.”
“Comparing today to Gand-Wevelgem, the experience made the difference. Even if I could rely on the perfect advice by the team sport directors, I had difficulties in approaching the key moments of the races. Now I’m learning each race more and more and I have only one target; going on improve myself.”
VDK-Driedaagse De Panne-Koksijde Stage 2 Result:
1. Sacha Modolo (Ita) Lampre-Merida in 4:28:15
2. Arnaud Demare (Fra) FDJ
3. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha
4. Ruslan Tleubayev (Kaz) Astana
5. Danilo Napolitano (Ita) Wanty-Groupe Gobert
6. Daniele Colli (Ita) Neri Sottoli
7. Alessandro Bazzana (Ita) UnitedHealthcare
8. Marcel Kittel (Ger) Giant-Shimano
9. Kenneth Van Bilsen (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise
10. Marco Canola (Ita) Bardiani-CSF.
VDK-Driedaagse De Panne-Koksijde Overall After Stage 2:
1. Gert Steegmans (Bel) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step in 8:57:45
2. Oscar Gatto (Ita) Cannondale at 0:01
3. Kenneth Van Bilsen (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise at 0:03
4. Niki Terpstra (Ned) Omega Pharma-Quick Step at 0:05
5. Mauro Finetto (Ita) Neri Sottoli at 0:09
6. Vincent Jerome (Fra) Europcar
7. Guillaume Van Keirsbulck (Bel) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step
8. Arnaud Demare (Fra) FDJ at 0:14
9. Luke Durbridge (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge at 0:20
10. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha at 0:24.
Ronde Van Vlaanderen Team News:
Read Ed’s Tour of Flanders preview here.
Giant-Shimano for the Ronde
After Team Giant-Shimano’s success at Gent-Wevelgem on Sunday, the next classic on the horizon is the Tour of Flanders, or Ronde Van Vlaanderen. The team is unchanged from that which took victory in Gent-Wevelgem and after this win; John Degenkolb (GER) will be one to watch.
Flanders is one of the toughest one-day classics and requires concentration from start to finish as well as strong legs and head as the route takes in 17 energy-sapping bergs as well as six flat cobbled sections over the course of the 259km route. Last year Degenkolb finished ninth and with the reinforcement of an on-form Dries Devenyns (BEL) both he and the team will be looking to better this result.
Team Giant-Shimano coach, Marc Reef (NED) said: “The way the team have ridden in both E3 Harelbeke and Gent-Wevelgem gives us a lot of confidence for Sunday and the coming classics. However, the Tour of Flanders is a different race altogether, the highest level you get in the Flemish classics. We will focus on a result with John and to have Dries there to support him at the end. If we continue to work like we have been recently we will be there challenging at the end.”
Giant-Shimano Team: Nikias Arndt (GER), Roy Curvers (NED), John Degenkolb (GER), Dries Devenyns (BEL), Reinardt Janse van Rensburg (RSA), Koen De Kort (NED), Ramon Sinkeldam (NED), Albert Timmer (NED).
Coach: Marc Reef (NED).
Europcar team for Flanders
Riders: Jérome Cousin, Antoine Duchesne, Jimmy Engoulvent, Yohann Gene, Vincent Jerome, Alexandre Pichot. Morgan Lamoisson, Yannick Martinez (to be decided after De Panne).
Directeur Sportifs: Dominique Arnould, Jean-René Bernaudeau and Lylian Lebreton.
Team Garmin-Sharp Announces Tour of Flanders Roster
Team Garmin-Sharp today announced its line-up for Sunday’s Tour of Flanders, including 2011 Paris-Roubaix winner, Johan Vansummeren, Classics specialist Sebastian Langeveld, who has finished 5th and 10 in the Tour of Flanders (2011 and 2013, respectively), veterans David Millar and Tyler Farrar (whose 2014 Classics season to-date includes top 10′s in Dwars door Vlaanderen and E3 Harelbeke), and Steele Von Hoff, riding his first Tour of Flanders.
Team Garmin-Sharp Roster:
David Millar, Dylan Van Baarle, Jack Bauer, Johan Vansummeren, Raymond Kreder, Sebastian Langeveld, Steele Von Hoff, Tyler Farrar.
“We have a strong team lined up for Flanders – guys like Johan, Sebastian, David and Tyler have many years of experience and have done great things in this race,” said Andreas Klier, DS. “We are excited for Sunday and look forward to a strong team performance.”
Nick Nuyens, winner of the 2011 Tour of Flanders, is suffering from the flu and will miss the race. Nuyens said:
“I have been suffering from the flu for the past few days I am still not 100 percent on the bike. I did some tests on the parcours and I don’t have all of my power back yet, so I believe the best decision for me and the team is to give my spot to Steele. I know he is 100 percent ready. It’s difficult because this race holds a special place in my heart but I have confidence this is the right decision and I have worked closely with the team to determine it. For now I will recover and focus on the next set of races. The Flanders team is strong and while I am upset not to be there with them, I am confident they will do a great race.”
“I am really excited to be racing one of the biggest classics in the world,” said Von Hoff. “In 2012, I explored the Tour of Flanders Museum but never imagined in 2 years I would get an opportunity to line up on the start of such an amazing race, and I will do everything I can for the team for giving me the chance; and of course for Nick who can’t be here himself.”
Tinkoff-Saxo Flanders Team
This Sunday, 8 riders from 25 teams will be on the starting line for the first of the biggest Belgian cobblestone classics; Tour of Flanders or Ronde van Vlaanderen as it is called in Belgium. 259 rough kilometers with 17 steep climbs, most of them cobbled are waiting for the peloton and the Belgian hospitality will undoubtedly provide a warm welcome despite the cold part of the season.
Tinkoff-Saxo will be participating with this line-up: Matti Breschel, Daniele Bennati, Christopher Juul-Jensen, Nicki Sørensen, Karsten Kroon, Michael Kolar, Manuele Boaro and Nikolay Trusov
Tinkoff-Saxo DS, Steven De Jongh says: “Matti and Daniele are our guys for the finale and the rest of the line-up will support and guide them through the race as long as possible. Karsten and Nicki are our most experienced guys even though Nicki is a debutant in Flanders. Manuele, Chris, Michael and Nikolay are always ready to fight and they keep pushing until they’re punched to the ground. Realistically, we’re not favourites for the win. The usual big guns in this race, Cancellara, Boonen, Sagan, Terpstra and Vanmarcke are the obvisous candidates for the win,” says De Jongh.
Lotto Belisol for Flanders
Selection Lotto Belisol:
Lars Bak, Kris Boeckmans, Stig Broeckx, Jens Debusschere, Kenny Dehaes, Tony Gallopin, Pim Ligthart and Jürgen Roelandts.
Sports directors: Bart Leysen and Herman Frison.
ORICA-GreenEDGE Names Ronde van Vlaanderen Squad
Let’s cut right to the chase. Sunday marks the date for the second of the five monuments of cycling – De Ronde van Vlaanderen. The Tour of Flanders. In Vlaanderen it’s known as the Vlaanderens mooiste – ‘Flanders’ finest’. And who would argue this? Not the spectators and definitely not the riders.
Milan-Sanremo is the longest of the five monuments. Liège-Bastogne-Liège is the oldest. Paris-Roubaix is considered the Queen of the Classics. Flanders is without a doubt the toughest. The combination of steep bergs, cobbles and narrow roads creates a battle zone for the riders that requires as much mental aptitude as physical prowess to survive.
“Flanders is basically all the previous Flemish races rolled into one,” said Sport Director Matt Wilson. “It’s basically every sector of pave and every famous climb all put into one race. It’s the biggest sporting day of the year in Belgium, and you feel that on the roads. The atmosphere along the race course adds energy to the bunch but it also adds a lot of stress.”
Race organisers, Flanders Classics, have made slight modifications to this year’s route that will certainly dismantle the peloton more so than last year. Most of the race action will unfold in the two finishing circuits that are now void of long, flat sections. Instead the final two circuits will draw out the favourites as the punishing climbs come in quick succession, particularly in the final 50 kilometres.
“It’s an epic day”, said Svein Tuft. “It’s one of the most brutal races of the year as we ride 45-50 kilometres per hour shoulder to shoulder on narrow roads, fighting for a little spot of road through every turn and over every hill.”
The 17 ‘hellingens’, small roads, high speeds, rain, wind, crashes, mechanicals and other misfortunes wreak havoc on the peloton. By the end of 259 kilometres, only the strongest, the smartest and the most fortunate will have survived.
“It’s amazing to watch the attrition in this race,” noted Tuft. “The race just blows apart naturally. There are no real attacks. The pace keeps elevating throughout the day. As the climbs come, it just keeps getting harder and harder until the pack dwindles down to the real players for the finale.”
From the ‘real players’, the winner will emerge. His name will forever be recognized for achieving one of the greatest wins in the sport of cycling.
“On that day, a legend will be born,” said Mathew Hayman. “It doesn’t matter who it is, the winner’s name will go down in cycling history.”
Whilst ORICA-GreenEDGE hasn’t had an ideal build-up heading into Flanders, after a good result at De Panne, things are looking up for the team. Placing a rider in the top ten would be a fantastic result for the Australian outfit. Although the team will not line up with a clear standout leader, there are five riders amongst the team’s eight starters who can go the distance.
“Durbridge, Impey, Keukeleire, Hayman and Docker are our five protected riders,” said Wilson. “Keukeleire is going well at the moment and has proven he can be around the mark. Hayman and Mitch are both riding strong. Durbo has shown his from this last week, and Impey has the skills required to produce a result here. We want these five guys to get to the final as fresh as possible.”
In a race as chaotic and dangerous as Flanders, the support riders will play in important role in chaperoning the team leaders to the finish. To say their role is important is an understatement – it is vital.
“Heppy [Michael Hepburn], Tuft and Mouris are there to support the other five,” added Wilson. “They will need to ride near the other guys to give them wheels when they need it, help them regain contact if they’re involved in a crash and get them bottles. Most importantly, they have to be able to get them into position on the most decisive moments. These races are all about position – stay at the front, out of the wind and protected.”
For Tuft, it comes as no surprise that being the consummate teammate is what will keep him satisfied at the end of the day.
“I think both Hayman and Durbo have the legs to go to the finale,” said Tuft. “If I can go as far as I can helping those guys hold good position so they don’t have to do too much work in the final bits, I will be super satisfied with that. For the team, I want us up there in the top ten.”
Hayman is known as an experienced and respected domestique over most terrain, but the Classics are where he gets his best personal results. To finish Flanders content, Hayman says he needs to have the best possible race he can produce.
“I want to leave it all out there,” said Hayman.
Flanders – it’s the pinnacle of cycling.
ORICA-GreenEDGE for Ronde van Vlaanderen:
Daryl Impey, Jens Keukeleire, Jens Mouris, Luke Durbridge, Mathew Hayman, Michael Hepburn, Mitch Docker, Svein Tuft.
Movistar for the Tour of Flanders
Amador, Dowsett, Erviti, Gutiérrez, Lobato, Dayer Quintana, Sütterlin, Ventoso.
Sports Director: Jaimerena.
BMC Racing Team Reveals Ronde van Vlaanderen Roster
The BMC Racing Team has announced its roster that will compete in the 98th edition of Ronde van Vlaanderen Sunday in Belgium.
The BMC Racing Team’s line-up includes four riders who will be starting the race for at least the eighth time: Volta a Catalunya Stage 7 runner-up Marcus Burghardt, Norwegian national road champion Thor Hushovd, Manuel Quinziato and Omloop Het Nieuwsblad runner-up Greg Van Avermaet. Dubai Tour winner Taylor Phinney and Silvan Dillier, who was part of a late breakaway at Gent-Wevelgem, are first-time starters who join Klaas Lodewyck and Swiss national road champion Michael Schär on the roster for the 259.8-kilometer race.
Download the BMC Racing Team’s roster card (PDF with bios, statistics, etc.): http://bit.ly/1pMZh19
BMC Racing Team Ronde van Vlaanderen Roster:
Marcus Burghardt (GER), Silvan Dillier (SUI), Thor Hushovd (NOR), Klaas Lodewyck (BEL), Taylor Phinney (USA), Manuel Quinziato (ITA), Michael Schär (SUI), Greg Van Avermaet (BEL).
Sport Directors: Fabio Baldato (ITA) & Max Sciandri (ITA).
Team Belkin aims high with Vanmarcke in Tour of Flanders
Sep Vanmarcke displayed excellent form in recent weeks. He finished in the top five in Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne, E3-Harelbeke and Gent Wevelgem. On Sunday, the Belgian will lead the Belkin Pro Cycling TEAM in the Tour of Flanders. After all the great support he received from his team-mates in the latest races, Vanmarcke thinks he can go far in Flanders.
“There can only be one winner, but of course I hope to be the one,” said Vanmarcke. “We’ll go for it as a team. The team has supported me very well the last few weeks and that is very important as otherwise you’ll lose a lot of energy during a race. Every year, I got better and at this moment I feel stronger than ever. My good shape gives me a lot of confidence, even though I know that riders will look at me. That causes some pressure, but I think that’s better than when it’s the other way around. I just try to not get distracted by it.”
Sports Director Nico Verhoeven has seen a strong team effort in the last few weeks, which gives him confidence for the Tour of Flanders. “Sep has shown that he’s good”, Verhoeven said. “When the team worked for him, he bagged good results and gained confidence from that. Sep knows that he can count on his teammates, who love to work for him because they know that there’s a big change their work will bring a result. We’ll start the race to win it.”
Verhoeven is glad Lars Boom will be at the start in Bruges. The Dutchman was struggling with an elbow injury after a crash in Paris-Nice but is now back on track. “Maybe Flanders comes a bit too early for Lars, but he can still play a vital role for Sep,” said Verhoeven. Boom agrees with Verhoeven. “I’m going in the right direction,” he explained. “During Gent-Wevelgem I occasionally felt some pain, but during the race, it got better. Hopefully I can stay with Sep for a long time in Flanders and maybe next week in Paris-Roubaix, I can do something myself again.”
Belkin team line-up:
Lars Boom, Jos van Emden, Tom Leezer, Bram Tankink, Maarten Tjallingii, Sep Vanmarcke, Robert Wagner and Maarten Wynants.
Sports Directors: Jan Boven and Nico Verhoeven.
OPQS: Ronde van Vlaanderen 2013:
Redlands Bicycle Classic and San Manuel Band of Mission Indians present Stage 1 Results
Events of the 30th Year of the Classic
Press Release: The 30th annual Redlands Bicycle Classic presented by San Manuel Band of Mission Indians kicked off today in the City of Highland. The Race was returning to Highland for the first year since 2003.
The City of Highland Circuit race lived up to its past reputation and proved an excellent stage to get the classic rolling. The race began under cloudy skies at the San Manuel Village located at the base of the San Bernardino Mountains; from there it was onto the 2.8 mile circuit race. Once on the Highland circuit the racers were greeted with the grueling baseline climb that would await them every lap and possibly decide the race outcome.
After one lap of the women’s circuit it was apparent the climb up Baseline was going to be the great equalizer on the course. The peloton stayed together for most of the day with attacking only for climber points and time bonuses. Lauren Stephens of Team Tibco finished the race just as she started after grabbing both climber points and time bonuses she would hold off a charging peloton and grab the stage victory.
The final women’s Stage 1 results were Lauren Stephens of Team Tibco, Karol Ann Canuel of Specialized-Lululemon followed by Leah Kirchmann riding for Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies.
The men’s race featured a break that was made up of two and four riders for most of the stage. The initial gap was created by Bailey McKnight of Jet Fuel Coffee – Norco Bicycles and Coulton Hartrich of Sea Sucker/Guttenplan Coaching. A duo bridged up and the foursome held gaps to over 1:00 minute. The addition of Eric Marcotte of Smart Stop and Colin Daw of Team Mike’s Bike p/b Equator Coffees kept the break away until one lap to go.
The break that stayed away for most of the race was finally captured and a field sprint decided the day. The winner of the stage and the first yellow jersey went to Dion Smith of Hincapie Sportswear Development; James Oram sprinted for 2nd riding for Bissell Development Team and William Routley of Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies ended up with the last podium spot.
Racing continues tomorrow with the teams heading into the San Bernardino Mountains for the Big Bear Time Trial. The course features a 7.8 mile out and back on the beautiful north side of Big Bear Lake. The Big Bear Time Trial for women begins at 11:30 am followed by the men at 12:45 pm.
This year’s event will be held April 2 – 6, 2014 in Redlands, CA and surrounding cities. The race features professional men and women’s races that will include five tough days of racing, beginning with a Circuit Race in the City of Highland on Wednesday, a time trail at Big Bear Lake on Thursday, a grueling road race in the scenic City of Beaumont on Friday, wrapping up in Redlands with a criterium Saturday, and the famous Sunset Road Race on Sunday.
For more information, including race times, distances, and volunteer opportunities, visit www.redlandsclassic.com.
Teams invited to the Vuelta a España 2014
The organization of the race announce the teams that have been selected to participate in the Vuelta a España 2014 that will take place from 23th August to 14th September and will begin in Jerez de la Frontera (Provincia de Cádiz).
2014 UCI ProTeams:
AG2R La Mondiale (FRA)
Astana Pro Team (KAZ)
Belkin Pro Cycling Team (HOL)
BMC Racing Team (USA)
Garmin – Sharp (USA)
Lampre – Merida (ITA)
Lotto Belisol (BEL)
Movistar Team (ESP)
Omega Pharma – Quick Step Cycling Team (BEL)
Orica GreenEdge (AUS)
Team Europcar (FRA)
Team Giant Shimano (HOL)
Team Katusha (RUS)
Team SKY (GBR)
Tinkoff Saxo (RUS)
Trek Factory Racing (USA).
Besides these, Unipublic has invited four other teams selected from all nominations to participate in la Vuelta a España 2014:
Caja Rural – Seguros RGA (ESP)
Cofidis, Solutions Crédits (FRA)
IAM Cycling (SUI)
MTN Qhubeka (RSA).
Will a younger man win in 2014? Vuelta a España 2013 Stage 20:
MTN-Qhubeka to make history at this summer’s La Vuelta a España
Press Release: The pride of African cycling, Team MTN Qhubeka p/b Samsung, continues to capture the imagination of the international cycling world in 2014. Hot on the heels of completing a fantastic debut season on the international cycling stage in 2013, Africa’s first professional-continental cycling team will participate in the 2014 Vuelta a España, the 69th edition of Spain’s most prestigious race for the first time.
Team MTN Qhubeka p/b Samsung will join 21 other teams at the Vuelta, which will take place from Saturday 23 August to Sunday 14 September 2014, and will cover a total distance of 3181 kilometers over 21 stages.
MTN SA Chief Marketing Officer Brian Gouldie heaped praise on the team: “As proud sponsors of Team MTN Qhubeka, it is with great pride and jubilation to see the team secure a berth at the Vuelta a Espana. To witness the first African cycling team accepted to participate in such a big, international cycling event is testament to the capability of the team and the talent among the riders. Hard work has paid off in only the second year of this exciting team cycling on the international arena. We wish everyone at Team MTN Qhubeka well for the Vuelta and we will continue showcasing our support and commitment towards the team and the development of cycling as a whole in Africa.”
The Vuelta a España announcement comes after both the Giro d’Italia and the Tour de France were controversially declined to offer a place to MTN-Qhubeka in favour of local European teams. The team has grown massively in popularity since making its debut as a professional Continental team in 2013. The Vuelta will be an opportunity for the team to garner more fans and showcase their ability to compete with the world’s best and bring something special to a sport that’s all-too-often dogged by scandal and bad press.
Speaking shortly after receiving the news, Team Principal Doug Ryder said: “It was always our dream and ambition to take an African registered team to the highest level in World Cycling, be that the biggest one day races, the Monuments, and the Grand Tours. To be accepted into the Vuelta is the beginning of the realisation of that dream. Our dream goes way beyond riding and performing well in these races, which is the enabler to bring thousands of people in communities in South Africa onto Qhubeka Buffalo bicycles to further their lives. MTN has supported this dream to move Africa forward and with millions of eyeballs focused on the team in the Vuelta this dream will start to become a reality.”
“The team will focus on stage wins as well as the points jersey with Gerald Ciolek, who is a strong rider who can climb and sprint and the stages might suit his style of riding so this will be a focus. Sergio Pardilla and Linus Gerdemann will aim for a top GC result and they will be ably supported by our African riders who will animate the race in the 13 mountain stages.
“For the Vuelta the goal is to have at least 50% of our start list representing riders from the African continent. Riders from the African continent make up 70% of our team’s total roster. This is a significant contribution we are making in developing talent and providing world class infrastructure for African riders to compete in the World Tour,” concluded Ryder.
Linus Gerdemann, the experienced German rider who along with local hero Sergio Pardilla will have a key role for Team MTN Qhubeka in Spain, had this to say about the news: “As a team we were hoping for the Giro d’Italia, but now the Vuelta becomes my big goal and the team’s big goal for the season. To be a part of the first African team to ride a Grand Tour in cycling is an honour, the African riders are incredibly talented and great climbers so the Vuelta will suit their riding style and I know by then they will be super-motivated to be a part of the team and make cycling history.”
Team MTN-Qhubeka, an African cycling team, that prides itself on developing and supporting African athletes, supports Qhubeka, a non-profit organisation. The MTN Qhubeka project uplifts rural communities to enable children to get to school in time and return home with enough time to study and do their homework.
2014 Tour of Britain Route
The newly upgraded Tour of Britain is now a UCI 2.0HC race, the eight day, nine stage event starts in Liverpool with a city centre circuit race on Sunday the 7th of September and finish in London with another circuit on Sunday the 14th. The race introduces “our toughest summit finish yet” with the finish of stage 3 on the Tumble and an individual time trial in the morning of the last day in London. Eighteen teams are expected to line-up with six-rider squads, confirmed teams are: Great Britain national squad, plus UCI ProTour teams – Belkin, BMC, Cannondale, Garmin-Sharp, Movistar, Omega Pharma – Quick-Step, Giant Shimano, Sky and Tinkoff-Saxo.
It has also been announced that there will be more television coverage, with three-hours of live coverage daily, plus an hour’s highlights show on each evening in a new multi-year deal with ITV.
The Tour of Britain 2014 Route:
Stage 1: Sunday 7 September Liverpool
Stage 2: Monday 8 September Knowsley to Llandudno
Stage 3: Tuesday 9 September Newtown to the Tumble
Stage 4: Wednesday 10 September Worcester to Bristol
Stage 5: Thursday 11 September Exmouth to Exeter
Stage 6: Friday 12 September Bath to Hemel Hempstead
Stage 7: Saturday 13 September Camberley to Brighton
Stage 8a: Sunday 14 September London individual time trial, presented by TfL
Stage 8b: Sunday 14 September London circuit race, presented by TfL.
The Kellogs Tour Of Britan 1989 Stage 4 Birmingham-Cardiff, brings back memories:
Europcar to Route Adelie
The French race in Vitre near Rennes is on the 4th of April.
Riders: Yukiya Arashiro, Giovanni Bernaudeau, Bryan Coquard, Romain Guillemois, Brian Nauleau, Perrig Quemeneur, Angélo Tulik.
Directeur Sportif: Lylian Lebreton.
Ban for Salvoldelli?
The Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) want to ban Paolo Salvoldelli for two years and have announced that they have started disciplinary proceedings against him which were requested by the Union Cycliste International. What the request is based on is at the moment conjecture, it has been suggested that it could be based on statements from Danilo Di Luca recently or that Salvoldelli is ‘Rider 1’ in the USADA testimony of Tom Danielson. If he is ‘Rider 1’ he would be Danielson’s Discovery Channel team mate who only had enough EPO for himself at the 2006 Giro d’Italia. There was no secret that Paolo Salvoldelli was a client of Michele Ferrari’s for a long time and rode for Discovery Channel in 2005 and 2006, winning the Giro d’Italia 2005.
Salvoldelli wins the 2005 Giro d’Italia:
Sunny King Criterium in Anniston
Saturday, April 5th, is the Sunny King Criterium in Anniston, Alabama, the first NCC race on the 2014 Calendar. It will be running live from approximately 11:00am to 9:30pm EDT next Saturday. The live stream is here.
Sunny King criterium 2013 – last 3 laps:
Olympic Cyclist Launches Fundraiser to Support Youth and Provide Meaningful Programs To Kids
The Connie Cycling Foundation WEAR IT FOR CCF jersey campaign will run for eight-weeks, April – May, 2014.
Press Release: “The beauty of this campaign is that it’s simple and it’s a gift that keeps on giving,” says Connie Paraskevin, Olympian and CCF Founder. Donate $125 or more to WEAR IT FOR CCF and you get a Special Edition Jersey.
The Connie Cycling Foundation (CCF) has introduced more than 5,000 youths to the sport of cycling. Connie Paraskevin is a four-time world champion and five-time Olympian in two different sports – cycling and speedskating. Connie is the only American to claim a cycling medal at the 1988 Olympic’s in Seoul, Korea. She retired from competition after the 1996 Olympic Games. Today, Connie is busy sharing her passion for cycling with kids.
Only one in three children are physically active every day. Only 4% of elementary schools provide daily PE. “It’s alarming,” says Connie. “The statistics about kids & lack of exercise are improving but there is still a long way to go. At CCF we aim to be a part of the solution to these statistics.” Parents are happy to see their kids learning on and off the bike. “I have seen my son apply the lessons he learns on the bike to other aspects of his life including school and music. He has gained so much from participating in this unique program and from the example set by everyone involved with CCF,” shares a proud parent.
The CCF Special Edition Jersey’s for this campaign were donated by Squadra, a leading manufacturer of cycling apparel. “Squadra is proud to support such a great cause as CCF. Connie runs a great organization and it’s a perfect alignment for our company,” said Greg Demgen, Squadra’s vice president of sales. “Squadra has one goal in mind, make the best possible custom gear available to clubs, teams, and events.
For over 25 years we have outfitted everyone from the weekend warrior to world class athletes proving we have the right gear for everyone.”
Proceeds from this campaign help fund key CCF youth initiatives such as The Start Line, Peloton, and P-3 Cycle of Success. The Start Line is a free introductory program for kids age 8-16, based at the StubHub Center in Carson, CA.
Where To Donate and Get a Special Edition CCF Jersey
Visit conniecycling.com to support the WEAR IT FOR CCF campaign.
Connie Cycling Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. CCF’s mission is to bring kids
and families of all backgrounds and ability together through cycling; providing opportunity for
education, competition, and development while promoting the Olympic ideals.
Just to get you in the mood for the Ronde: Moser, Maertens, Demayer and De Vlaeminck fight it out in 1976:
PEZ Classics Coverage
Don’t forget PEZ will be roadside in Belgium and France from Flanders through Roubaix, as Lee Rodgers takes up the much hallowed Pez ‘roadside’ baton. He might discover something we’ve not seen in ten years of Classics Roadside reporting, or he might just get lost amongst the beer, frites, and cobbles like the rest of us wish we could. For sure he’ll tap out his own path up the bergs and across pave, (as he does on his blog at Crankpunk.com) And don’t miss our Previews, Race Reports, and photos as the season ramps up.
The PEZ INSTAGRAM
Take a look at our new Instagram page for a live feed of #PeloPics, #DailyDistractions, and giveaways straight from your phone: http://www.instagram.com/pezcyclingnews
The PEZ NEWSWIRE!
Don’t forget to check the “NEWSWIRE” section, you can find it down the right hand side on the home page, just above the EuroTrash section. The bits of news that missed the EuroTrash deadline are in there, plus any news as-it-happens will be added there too.
Any comments drop me a line, email address: email@example.com or Twitter. And there is the PezCyclingNews Twitter and Facebook Fan Page.