TOP STORY: Cancellara to go for The Hour Record
Swiss fast-man Fabian Cancellara looks fairly certain to be going for The World Hour Record in 2014 according to the Gazzetta dello Sport. Trek team manager and Cancellara’s coach; Luca Guercilena told the Italian sports paper that “first of all we’ll study the equipment with the engineers from Trek, and then we’ll decide the right moment to go for it. The ideal moment would be after a peak of form: he needs three weeks of specific training to get used to the track. There are two possible moments in the season: after the Spring Classics or after the first of the two Grand Tours that Fabian has on his programme.” As to the choice of tracks it has been suggested that Cancellara would use the Grenchen velodrome in Switzerland, which is not far from his home in Berne. Guercilena pointed out that the track has not been selected. “The track has to be the fastest there is, we haven‘t done any specific tests but speaking to experts, it seems there are three fast tracks: Manchester, Aguascalientes (Mexico) and Anadia (Portugal).” Cancellara will have to beat the current record of 49.7 kilometres held by Ondrej Sosenka, which he set on the Moscow track in 2005.
It’s good to see Cancellara get the old Hour Record ball rolling again, the battles between Graeme O’Bree, Chris Boardman, Miguel Indurain and Tony Rominger were always interesting. The UCI ruined the whole thing when they banned any innovation in bike design and rider position and put the World back to the age of Eddy Merckx and his record of 49.431 kilometres of 1972. Like everything else; the World has changed a lot since ’72 and so has bike technology. Maybe the UCI should run an old fashioned record with the Merckx style bike and a second modern record with all the new equipment and aero technology. Although I guess the UCI have other things to worry about than sport.
The World Hour Record by Eddy Merckx:
Superprestige – Gavere 2013
Two days and two wins for the World champion Sven Nys (Crelan-Euphony), Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb-Napoleon) was third in both of the weekend’s events, on Sunday it was the young German champion Philipp Walsleben (BKCP-Powerplus) who took the second place. Nys again had a slow start and had to work his way through the field to eventually break away with Walsleben. The German tried to drop the World champion, but in the end he had nothing left in the tank when Nys put the pressure on in the final straight. Earlier in the race Lars van der Haar (Rabobank Development) and Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb-Napoleon Games) made the running until on the third of eight laps they were joined by Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus) and Walsleben, while Nys was chasing. On the fifth lap Nys along with Tom Meeusen and Rob Peeters (both Telenet-Fidea) caught the others and then Walsleben attacked. Nys crossed to the German and let Walsleben lead until he made his move for the win.
Sven Nys leads the Superpretige from Niels Albert in second place and Klaas Vantornout in third.
Superprestige – Gavere Men’s Result:
1. Sven Nys (Bel) Crelan-Euphony in 1:02:13
2. Philipp Walsleben (Ger) BKCP-Powerplus at 0:01
3. Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon at 0:31
4. Rob Peeters (Bel) Telenet-Fidea at 0:38
5. Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus at 0:44
6. Lars van der Haar (Ned) Rabobank Development Team at 0:56
7. Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet-Fidea at 1:15
8. Thijs van Amerongen (Ned) AA Drink Cycling Team at 1:48
9. Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon at 1:54
10. Niels Wubben (Ned) Rabobank Development Team at 2:12.
The men’s race in Gavere:
Sunday saw Belgian champion Sanne Cant (Enertherm-BKCP) take her third win in a row beating European champion Helen Wyman (Kona) and Nikki Harris (Telenet-Fidea). Early leader Harris was joined by Cant on the third lap and then Belgian moved into the lead and stayed there to the finish. Harris looked good for second place until she had a mechanical problem and Wyman passed her near the end.
Superprestige – Gavere Women’s Result:
1. Sanne Cant (Bel) Enertherm-BKCP in 45:51
2. Helen Wyman (GB) Kona at 0:16
3. Nikki Harris (GB) Young Telenet-Fidea at 0:29
4. Pavla Havlikova (Cze) Young Telenet-Fidea at 2:02
5. Githa Michiels (Bel) Toka Print MTB Team at 2:24
6. Gabriella Durrin (GB) Rapha-Focus at 3:19
7. Christine Majerus (Lux) at 3:37
8. Annefleur Kalvenhaar (Ned) Giant Dealerteams at 3:38
9. Stephanie De Croock (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Bioracer at 5:25
10. Jolien Verschueren (Bel) Cycling Team Drogenboom at 6:22.
The woman’s race:
BPost Bank Trofee – GP Hasselt 2013
The World cyclo-cross champion Sven Nys (Crelan-Euphony) showed his good form again on Saturday by outsprinting Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus) and Belgian champion Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb-Napoleon) at the end of a fast GP Hasselt. Vantournout was the man of the race as he was up front all day, while Albert and Nys had bad starts and had to work their way up to the Belgian champ. Albert moved to the front at the half way point and put the pressure on, but couldn’t get rid of Vantornout and Nys. Tom Meeusen and Corné Van Kessel (both Telenet-Fidea) nearly upset the applecart as they closed on the leading three just before the sprint, but Van Kessel had nothing left and Meeusen made a mess of the sprint. At the end; Albert lead-out into a head wind, but Nys made a perfect jump for the win.
Nys now leads the BPost Bank Troffee by 50 seconds from Albert.
BPost Bank Trofee – GP Hasselt Men’s Result:
1. Sven Nys (Bel) Crelan-Euphony in 59:52
2. Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus
3. Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games
4. Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet-Fidea at 0:11
5. Corne Van Kessel (Ned) Telenet-Fidea at 0:21
6. Bart Aernouts (Bel) AA Drink Cycling Team at 0:25
7. Bart Wellens (Bel) Telenet-Fidea at 0:29
8. Wietse Bosmans (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus at 0:31
9. Thijs van Amerongen (Ned) AA Drink Cycling Team
10. Jim Aernouts (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games at 0:43.
In the women’s race; Belgian champion Sanne Cant (Enertherm-BKCP) carried on from her win on Monday in the Jaamarktcross by beating European champion Helen Wyman (Kona) in the sprint for first place. Behind them two more British riders were fighting it out for third, Gabriella Durrin (Rapha-Focus) got the better of British champion Hikki Harris (Telenet-Fidea) on the muddy/sandy course.
BPost Bank Trofee – GP Hasselt Woman’s Result:
1. Sanne Cant (Bel) Enertherm-BKCP in 42:57
2. Helen Wyman (GB) Kona Factory Racing
3. Gabriella Durrin (GB) Rapha-Focus at 0:52
4. Nikki Harris (GB) Young Telenet-Fidea
5. Pavla Havlikova (Cze) Young Telenet-Fidea at 1:04
6. Sophie de Boer (Ned) Young Telenet-Fidea at 1:26
7. Githa Michiels (Bel) Toka Print MTB Team at 1:34
8. Sabrina Stultiens (Ned) Rabobank Liv/Giant
9. Reza Hormes-Ravenstijn (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team at 2:06
10. Loes Sels (Bel) DNCS-Pro 2012 Cycling Team 0:02:20.
All the GP Hasselt races:
Team MTN-Qhubeka places four riders in top ten in Rwanda
The opening stage of the Tour of Rwanda got underway with a 3.5 kilometre prologue. The race started and finished at the Kigali sports stadium and was supported by thousands of people on the roadside. The crowds got what they came for when local rider Janvier Hadi (Rwanda Karisimbi) blitzed through the course with the fastest time of the day to win the stage.
Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung ended as the best team after it placed four riders in the top ten.
Louis Meintjes was the team’s fastest man, finishing third behind Hadi. Meintjes trailed Hadi’s winning time of 4 minutes 5 seconds by a further three seconds. Johann van Zyl was fourth on the day with Jay Thomson and Songezo Jim eighth and tenth respectively.
“It was a hard course,” Thomson said after the stage. “We can be happy with four of us finishing in the top ten. That’s our first goal achieved for the week, as we didn’t lose much time. It’s going to be a long week and we’re happy that no one crashed and we got through the opening day ok.”
Thomson went on to speak about the event as a whole. “We’re not going to come here and not take it seriously. It’s a beautiful place and the amount of people supporting the race is incredible so we’ll respect it. We’ll give it everything we have the next few days and make sure we enjoy it as well as spend some time with MTN Rwanda who get to see us race at home.”
The race marked the return of Adrien Niyonshuti. The Rwandan lined up in his home country for his first race of the season. He finished the course 19 seconds off the winning time, rolling across the line in 35th place. “It’s good to be racing with my teammates again,” Niyonshuti said. “Today was just a short stage but it feels good. I am happy to show my team Rwanda and how beautiful it is. I think they will see all the hills but we will have a good time here.”
Stage one takes place from Kigali to Kirehe 129,9 km. Rwanda is known as the country of 1000 hills and won’t disappoint with the amount of climbing the peloton can expect in the next few days.
Thanks to Team MTN-Qhubeka.
No Team for Sánchez or Horner
2008 Olympic road champion Samuel Sánchez has confirmed to Spanish website biciciclismo.com that he still has no team for 2014 and that “I am a Euskaltel rider for the next two seasons, until they tell me otherwise. I’ve got no offers; I’ve had no conversations with any team. I would like to keep racing, but that’s not the reality. I want to keep racing, the contract I signed with Euskaltel through to 2015 demonstrates that. I will be a professional up to that point, unless they rescind my contract at the end of the year or my future has not been resolved in any other way. If that turns out to be case, I will no longer be a professional.” There were rumours that he might ride for the Belgian Wanty-Groupe Gobert team, that seems unfounded, but still possible. Team Colombia has also said it was interested in Sánchez, although he would have to sort out his contract with Euskaltel first. Along with Vuelta a España winner; Chris Horner, Sanchez might ride for the UnitedHealthcare team, this rumour was also ended as UnitedHealthcare confirmed that the team was complete for 2014.
Chris Horner & Jens Voigt chew the fat:
Rebellin: Another Year with CCC Polsat
42 year old Davide Rebellin, has renewed his contract with the Polish Professional Continental team CCC Polsat-Polkowice for further season. “I am very happy with the renewal of Rebellin. Despite his age he maintains his class and is still able to compete with the best riders in the world,” explained the DS Peter Wadecki on the team’s website.
“Il Pious” has been competitive throughout the 2013 season and his age has not stopped him take 4 wins and be among the best in the Italian calendar. He finished 3rd in the Italian National Championship and was in the fight for the tricolour jersey to the end. His results allowed him to finish in third position in the UCI Europe Tour.
“Last season we showed our commitment: Rebellin has experience, knowledge and the ability to sacrifice; he brings us a lot,” added Wadecki.
Two New Riders for CCC Polsat
Former Movistar and Quick Step rider Branislau Samoilau from Belorussia and Polish rider Maciej Paterski of Cannondale will be with CCC Polsat-Polkowice in 2014, although there is as yet no official confirmation. Samoilau, born in 1985, has ridden for Acqua & Sapone, Quick Step and Team Movistar, Paterski arrives from Cannondale and Liquigas, where he has been since 2010. Both will join Davide Rebellin, Jaroslaw Marycz, Bartlomiej Matysiak, Mateusz Taciak, Adrian Honkisz and Marek Rutkiewicz who all rode for the Polish team in 2013.
Caja Rural-RGA Complete for 2014
The Spanish ProContinental team; Caja Rural-RGA has decided to close its roster for next season, with 18 riders, and no more. The Navarra bank will not expand its budget and doubts about the team’s calendar have led them to make the decision not to sign any more cyclists.
The team is reinforced with three riders from the WorldTour; Angel Madrazo (Movistar), Davide Vigano (Lampre-Merida) and Pello Bilbao (Euskaltel-Euskadi), plus Heiner Parra (Colombia 4-72), Lluís Mas (Burgos-BH) and amateurs Fernando Grijalba and Antonio Molina.
They join the riders from 2013: Amets Txurruka, David Arroyo, Francesco Lasca, Javier Aramendía, Antonio Piedra, Fabricio Ferrari, Karol Domagalski, Omar Fraile, Marcos García, Rubén Fernández and Ramón Domene.
The team has lost: André Cardoso to Garmin-Sharp, Manuel Cardoso, Yelko Gómez, Francisco Moreno, Enzo Moyano, Danail Petrov and Iban Velasco. In the case of Velasco, Caja Rural-RGA is waiting for his recovery after his crash in the Vuelta a España.
Caja Rural-RGA has presented its candidacy for a ‘Wildcard’ entry for the Giro d’Italia, they would be happy to race in the pink race, although they do realise it would be difficult to receive one of the four invitations. 18 riders will be attending a two weeks training camp in the second half of January, based in the Spanish town of La Villajoyosa, Alicante and will begin the season in La Tropicale Amissa Bongo in Gabon.
Caja Rural-RGA 2013 by ZonaMatxin Matxin:
Seeldraeyers for Wanty-Groupe Gobert
Kevin Seeldraeyers will be riding for the new Belgian ProConti team; Wanty-Groupe Gobert next year on a one year contract. The Belgian turned Pro for Quick-Step in 2007 and won the young riders jersey in the Giro d’Italia in 2009 before riding for Astana in 2012 and 13. He had a very good Tour of Austria this year finishing 3rd overall, winning stages 1 and 2, plus the points and mountains jersey. Team manager Jean–François Bourlart said “We will build a core around Kevin Seeldraeyers, Laurens De Vreese can be useful in this sense. He is a perfect reinforcement for the finale of the Ardennes Classics. With Kevin Seeldraeyers we’ll have more of a Belgian feel to the team. Nico Sijmens, Björn Leukemans, Veuchelen Frederick and Jan Ghyselinck have already signed up for next season. We have 19 riders under contract so far.” Still some spaces left though!
The Vuelta al País Vasco 2014 Route
The Tour of the Basque country has finalised its route for 2014 and confirmed the towns that will host the stage starts and finishes: Ordizia, Urdazabi-Urdax, Igantzi, Vitoria-Gasteiz, Eibar (Arrate) and Markina-Xemein. The Basque Tour will be held between 7th and 12th of April.
According to biciciclismo; the first stage in Ordizia has climbs similar to the classics of the Ardennes. The Baztán in Navarra returns in the second stage finishing in Urdazabi-Urdax, the Baztán is a winding path of a climb. The next day from Igantzi to Vitoria-Gasteiz is a sprinters stage.
The Santuario de Arrate will be decisive for the top men at the finish of the fourth stage. The final time trial in Markina-Xemein on Saturday is of 25 hard kilometres and should decide the race.
Stage 1: Ordizia – Ordizia
Stage 2: Ordizia – Urdazabi-Urdax
Stage 3: Igantzi – Vitoria-Gasteiz
Stage 4: Vitoria-Gasteiz – Eibar (Arrate)
Stage 5: Eibar – Markina-Xemein
Stage 6: Markina-Xemein CRI
Nairo Quintana (2013), Samuel Sánchez (2012), Andreas Klöden (2011 and 2000), Chris Horner (2010), Alberto Contador (2008 and 2009) and Juanjo Cobo (2007) were the last winners.
Stage 4 of the 2013 Vuelta al País Vasco to the summit finish of Arrate:
WADA Approve 4 Year Bans
As of the 1st of January 2015 doping offences will carry a 4 year ban instead of the present 2 year suspension. This new ruling was voted on at the WADA conference in South Africa so that any offending athlete would miss the next Olympic Games. At the meeting, Craig Reedie was voted in to be the next President of WADA taking over from outgoing President John Fahey.
Wiggins for 2016 Olympics?
Bradley Wiggins will have to fight hard against a lot of competition for a position in the British team for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
Wiggins who will be 36 years old in 2016, has expressed his intention to ride in Rio de Janeiro and race in his fourth Olympic Games and, in turn, try to add more medals to his achievements. In total he has seven medals, four of them gold, plus 12 World Championships. “The desire to return for Bradley is great, but the competition is high,” warns Ian Drake, the CEO of British Cycling.
“Decisions are made based on the results and podiums, not what has been done historically,” he said on BBC Sport. Wiggins won the time trial gold medal at London 2012, after his victory in the Tour de France, to add to his collection of six track medals of the Games in Beijing, Athens and Sydney.
In fact, only track cyclist Chris Hoy and rower Steve Redgrave have won more gold medals for Britain; six and five, respectively. However, Wiggins left the track after the 2008 Games and his return will not be easy. “The strength of the athletes we have now is phenomenal. All British riders known it will be a fight for the places. People have to earn that jersey. Just see what happened in terms of selection for London 2012 with Jason Kenny and Hoy, “said Drake. Kenny was chosen in the individual sprint then, despite that the Scot was the defending champion, Kenny rewarded the selectors by winning the gold medal.
Costa: Portuguese Athlete of the Year
World road champion; Rui Costa has been awarded the Portuguese Athlete of the Year for the second year in a row and also the Sócio de Mérito by the Portuguese cycling federation. He said to desporto.pt: “After the year I’ve had, it’s great being honoured where I learned how to race and grew up. I’m very happy to be honour by the Portuguese Cycling Federation. The federation has always helped me and I am grateful to them for everything they have done throughout my career.” For the Portuguese Athlete of the Year award he beat footballer Cristiano Ronaldo and canoeist Fernando Pimenta.
Costa winning stage 19 of the 2013 Tour de France:
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