» News Competitive Cycling News, Race Results and Bike Reviews Thu, 17 Apr 2014 14:10:59 +0000 hourly 1 USA Cycling names seven riders to Pan-Am squad Thu, 17 Apr 2014 13:45:41 +0000 Matthew Beaudin Evelyn Stevens will lead the women’s team in the time trial at the May 8-12 games

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SITTARD, Netherlands (VN) — The USA Cycling development house in the Netherlands was abuzz Thursday morning with the news that some of its athletes will be sent to the 2014 Pan American Continental Road Championships, slated for May 8-12 in Puebla, Mexico.

Maura Kinsella, 23, a rider training and racing here in the women’s spring classics, sat quietly in the early morning, drinking coffee and pecking away on a laptop. She’s been in northern Europe for two months now. She made the Pan-Am roster.

“I’m really excited to be selected for the Pan-Ams, because it’s a really big step forward in my cycling career,” said Kinsella, who races professionally for Optum-Kelly Benefit Strategies. “To be in such good company with [Evelyn Stevens], and Megan [Guarnier] and Kristin McGrath and Lauren [Komanski], I’m really excited. I think we have a really good team going.”

Kinsella’s best result here during this block is a sixth place at Le Samyn des Dammes; her selection is something like validation. Her racing in Europe this spring has been difficult — for a very good reason.

“I’ve definitely been happy with how it’s going so far,” Kinsella said. “I petitioned [for the games] obviously with the hope of making it, but it’s a little bit of a surprise for me, so I’m really exited about that.”

Komanski, 28, made the team as well. “It’s huge. It wasn’t really something I expected. It’s a huge honor to have another chance to race for USA. And on this stage is really exciting,” she said.

“It’s hard racing,” said Komanski, who has been over in Europe training and racing for two months. “But you kind of expect that coming over. But I was lucky enough to have some good groups coming over. Having good people around you makes a huge difference.”

USA Cycling announced Thursday morning the athletes who will represent the United States in Mexico. Leading the squad will be 2012 world time trial silver medalist Stevens (Specialized lululemon). She will race the time trial, as will McGrath (Twenty16).

McGrath, Guarnier (Boels Dolmans), Kinsella (Optum), and Komanski (Twenty16) will link up in the road race.

For the men, Justin Mauch (Airgas Cycling) and Chris Putt (Bissell Development) will team up to represent the United States in the men’s U23 ranks.

Elite women

Megan Guarnier, road race
Maura Kinsella, road race
Lauren Komanski, road race
Kristin McGrath, road race and time trial
Evelyn Stevens, time trial

U23 Men

Justin Mauch, road race and time trial
Chris Putt, road race and time trial

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Stetina, van Garderen join BMC’s cobblers for Tour recon ride Thu, 17 Apr 2014 13:10:16 +0000 Gregor Brown

Tejay van Garderen's path to the yellow jersey this summer will go over the cobblestones. Photo: Tim De Waele |

The squad is preparing for the Tour de France’s 15km cobbled section by riding part of the Paris-Roubaix route

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Tejay van Garderen's path to the yellow jersey this summer will go over the cobblestones. Photo: Tim De Waele |

GENT, Belgium (VN) — BMC Racing will ride Paris-Roubaix’s pavé Thursday for its Tour de France leader Tejay van Garderen. Nine of the nasty cobble sectors in Northern France will form part of the Tour’s fifth stage July 9.

“Us Tour climber guys are going to learn how to ride cobbles with a few of the Roubaix guys,” Peter Stetina told VeloNews. “I feel bad because they have to go back after Roubaix and re-ride the cobble sectors!”

BMC’s cobble warriors Greg Van Avermaet and Michael Schär will shepherd van Garderen, Stetina, Peter Velits, Dominik Nerz, and Amaël Moinard during the recon ride. Besides the days in the mountains, the stage from Ypres to Arenberg could be one of the Tour’s most crucial stages.

“It’s definitely possible that someone might lose their Tour de France chances because of it but that’s just the nature of the beast,” Stetina said.

“I think Tejay will be good at it because he’s one of the bigger GC riders. He has the weight and the momentum to carry him over. He’ll be able to use the inertia. We raced cyclocross together as juniors so he knows how to handle himself well on the dirt.”

Paris-Roubaix passed over 51.1 kilometers of cobbles Sunday. The 156km Tour stage will include 15.4km on cobbles.

In 2010, the Tour only raced over 13.2km but the riders felt the impact. Andy Schleck made the lead group, but his brother Frank fell and broke his collarbone. Alberto Contador lost one minute and Lance Armstrong lost two minutes.

“I’ve never rode any of those hardcore cobbles. We rode around on them [as under-23 riders] once in Izegem, but it doesn’t compare. Even that was in Flanders, totally different than the cobbles of Paris-Roubaix,” Stetina added.

“I’ve heard horror stories from past Tours when the race went over those cobbles. It sounds like all-out warfare, and then the next day’s pretty easy because everyone has PTSD — Post-traumatic stress disorder, like the war vets!”

To prepare for the “war,” Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) previewed the sectors on Monday. Astana scheduled a reconnaissance with its leader Vincenzo Nibali for Thursday.

Stetina spent the last four years in the service of Dan Martin and Ryder Hesjedal at Garmin-Sharp. BMC signed him over the offseason to help van Garderen in the Tour’s mountains.

On Wednesday, Stetina led classics captain Philippe Gilbert to victory at Brabantse Pijl (Brabant Arrow). He said BMC called him in for the race because it worked with his travel schedule around the Roubaix reconnaissance.

“It wouldn’t be bad to race the other Ardennes classics but I have other goals,” Stetina said. “I’ve got to go to Tahoe to prepare for the Tour of California. The team is allowing me a chance to win it and that’s my big goal before switching over to helping Tejay win the Tour.”

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Horner leaves hospital in high spirits after training crash Thu, 17 Apr 2014 12:20:32 +0000 The 42-year-old was struck by a car last week during a training ride in Italy

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PARIS (AFP) — Vuelta a Espana champion Chris Horner left the hospital in a jubilant mood Wednesday following a training crash with a car last week.

The American Lampre-Merida rider was taken to the hospital last Friday after being involved in a crash while riding around Lake Como in northern Italy.

The 42-year-old, who became the oldest grand tour winner in history at last year’s Vuelta at age 41, suffered a punctured lung and four broken ribs in the accident.

But he has now left the Lecco hospital and gone back to his home in Como.

“I’m happy I can come back home, it was a bad experience, but I also think I was lucky: the crash could have had worse consequences,” Horner said in a statement released by Lampre. “I still feel pains when I move. I know I must be patient, I hope I can soon pedal on the rollers.”

Horner also suffered cuts to his head and bruises to his elbow in the accident.

Before his Vuelta victory, Horner’s previous best finish in a grand tour was ninth at the 2010 Tour de France. Two years later, he finished 13th at the 2012 Tour.

His other notable results included an overall victory at the Vuelta al Pais Vasco (Tour of the Basque Country) in 2010 and the Amgen Tour of California in 2011.

He was also a reasonably successful rider in the spring classics, with top-10 finishes at all three Ardennes classics in 2010.

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High-caliber field set for Winston-Salem Cycling Classic Thu, 17 Apr 2014 03:23:48 +0000

Jade Wilcoxson, of Optum-Kelly Benefit Strategies, will be racing the Winston-Salem Cycling Classic. (Photo © Casey B. Gibson.)

Top professional cyclists from around the globe will be on the start line later this week for the Winston-Salem Cycling Classic in North

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Jade Wilcoxson, of Optum-Kelly Benefit Strategies, will be racing the Winston-Salem Cycling Classic. (Photo © Casey B. Gibson.)

Some of the top professional cyclists from around the globe will be on the start line later this week for the Winston-Salem Cycling Classic in North Carolina.

The two days of competition includes UCI/National Racing Calendar (NRC) road races on Friday, and National Criterium Calendar (NCC)/USA CRITS series races on Saturday. Provisional start lists include every stage winner of the recent Redlands Bicycle Classic, plus a roster of foreign and domestic pros with extensive European and international racing experience.

Friday’s 50.4-mile road race for women begins at 9:30 a.m., followed by the men’s 120-mile road race at 12:30 p.m. USA Cycling criterium races on a new, 1.5-mile course near Winston-Salem’s Innovation Quarter begin at 8:30 a.m. and conclude before the finish of the pro men’s road race. Saturday’s pro criterium for women starts at 4:45 p.m. and at 6 p.m. for pro men, both on a 0.9-mile loop through downtown. A 50-mile and 80-mile gran fondo in the morning and a special USA Cycling criterium in the afternoon precede both pro races.

“We heard a lot of feedback from participants last year who said these races were some of the toughest in America,” said Winston-Salem Cycling Classic race director Ray Boden. “They loved the intense competition of our races and the downtown courses. Our goal this time is to make everything bigger and better.”

Featured riders in the men’s professional field include (in alphabetical order):

Zach Bell (CAN), SmartStop Pro Cycling

A 2008 and 2012 Olympian, Bell is the reigning Canadian national road champion, a stage winner last year at the Tour de Korea and the Tour de Taiwan, and won the King of the Mountains classification at the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah. Teammate Jure Kocjan of Slovenia won two stages at the Vuelta Independencia Nacional in February and is a past stage winner at the Vuelta a Cuba.

Alex Candelario (USA), Optum-Kelly Benefit Strategies

A stage winner at the 2012 Tour de Korea, Candelario has announced this is his final season of a professional career that began in 1999. Joining him on the Optum-Kelly Benefit Strategies roster is 2010 Canadian national road champion Will Routley, as well as Jesse Anthony and Mike Friedman, overall winners of the Nature Valley Grand Prix in 2011 and 2013, respectively. Optum was champion of the NRC standings last year and the top-ranked U.S. continental team in the UCI America Tour standings.

Jake Keough (USA), 5-hour Energy-Kenda

Winner of stages last year at both the Volta a Portugal and the Tour of Qinghai Lake, Keough has also won stages at the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah and the Vuelta del Uruguay. Teammate Chad Beyer is a past Giro d’Italia finisher (2011) and winner of the King of the Mountains classification on the way to a runner-up finish at the 2012 SRAM Tour of the Gila.

Jeff Louder (USA), UnitedHealthcare

Champion of the 2009 Redlands Bicycle Classic and the 2008 Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah, Louder is also a stage winner at the Tour of Qinghai Lake and has extensive experience in both Europe and Asia. UnitedHealthcare’s roster also includes Australian sprinters Hilton Clarke, last year’s NCC and USA CRITS series champion, and Karl Menzies, who finished in the top five last year in the Speed Week series and NCC standings.

Joey Rosskopf (USA), Hincapie Sportswear Development Team

A stage winner and the overall champion at the 2014 Redlands Bicycle Classic, Rosskopf won stages of races in Canada, France and the United States last year on the way to a runner-up finish in the NCC standings. He will be joined on the Hincapie Sportswear Development Team roster by 2012 Under 23 national criterium champion Ty Magner.

The international men’s field for the Winston-Salem Cycling Classic also includes the Italian Amore & Vita-Selle SMP team, featuring American Logan Loader, and the Garneau-Quebecor Professional Cycling Team and Silber Pro Cycling Team, both of Canada.


Featured riders in the women’s professional field include (in alphabetical order):

Mara Abbott (USA), UnitedHealthcare

The most-decorated active American cyclist, Abbott is a two-time national road champion (2007 and 2010), a two-time champion and four-time stage winner at the prestigious Giro d’Italia Femminile (Italy) and a consistent winner on the domestic and international circuits. Abbott won the Vuelta a El Salvador earlier this year, in addition to winning El Salvador’s Grand Prix de Oriente and a stage of the Redlands Bicycle Classic.

Erica Allar (USA), Colavita-Fine Cooking-Stradalli

Winner of the 2012 and 2013 NCC and the USA CRITS series titles, Allar won the Delray Beach Twilight Criterium last month and was runner-up at both the Novant Health Invitational Criterium and the Sunny King Criterium this month.

Joanne Kiesanowski (NZL),  TIBCO

A three-time Olympian (2004, 2008, 2012) and two-time Commonwealth Games representative (2006, 2010), Kiesanowski has won eight national titles in four events: road race, points race, scratch race and the omnium. Teammate Amanda Miller was runner-up last year at the national criterium championships. In its 10th year, Team TIBCO is the longest running women’s team in North America.

Amber Neben (USA), FCS-Zngine + Mr. Restore

The 2008 world time trial champion and a member of the winning team time trial squad in 2012, Neben is also a past national road (2003) and time trial (2012) champion. Winner of the 2006 and 2012 time trials at the Pan Am Games, Neben is a two-time Olympian (2008 and 2012).

Shelley Olds (USA), Alé Cipollini-Galassia

Runner-up at the GP de Dottignies last week and a past national champion on both the road and track, Olds used her sprinting prowess to win national criterium titles in 2010 and 2011 and win back-to-back scratch race titles in 2008 and 2009. Winner of the 2010 Tour of New Zealand and the 2012 Tour of Chongming Island, she finished seventh in the 2012 Olympic road race race and won a stage of the Giro d’Italia Femminile the same year.

Alison Powers (USA), UnitedHealthcare

Winner of the Winston-Salem Cycling Classic road race and criterium last year, Powers is the reigning national criterium champion and a past national time trial (2008) champion. Overall winner of the Tour Femenino de San Luis in January, Powers won her second NRC title last year and a two-time winner of the Joe Martin Stage Race. Joining her and Abbott on the squad is Lauren Tamayo, silver medalist in the 2012 Olympic team pursuit.

Laura Van Gilder (USA), Mellow Mushroom-Pink Siren Sports

The leader of the USA CRITS series has been racing professionally since 1992 and was the 2000 national criterium champion. A two-time winner of the Tour of America’s Dairyland (2012 and 2013), she won the NRC title in 2002. Heading into last weekend’s USA CRITS seres races, teammate Laura Jorgensen was second in the standings and the Mellow Mushroom presented by Pink Siren Sports squad led the team standings.

Jade Wilcoxson (USA), Optum-Kelly Benefit Strategies

The current national road champion, Wilcoxson also won a gold medal in the individual and the team pursuit at track nationals last year and was runner-up at the 2013 national cyclocross championships. Teammate Leah Kirchmann, the Canadian national criterium champion, won a pair of stages at the Redlands Bicycle Classic on her way to third overall.

Italian squad S.C. Michela Fanini Rox, the Colombian national women’s team, and two squads from Mexico — Estado De Mexico Faren and the Mexican national team — bring additional international competition to the Winston-Salem Cycling Classic.

More information on all events can be found on the official website,

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Q&A: BMC’s Larry Warbasse eyeing a grand tour in 2014 Wed, 16 Apr 2014 20:44:17 +0000 Neal Rogers

BMC Racing's Larry Warbasse was nearly finished with his degree at the University of Michigan when he left to join the professional peloton. Photo: Graham Watson | BMC Racing

BMC Racing's 23-year-old American Larry Warbasse is hoping to race his first grand tour this summer

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BMC Racing's Larry Warbasse was nearly finished with his degree at the University of Michigan when he left to join the professional peloton. Photo: Graham Watson | BMC Racing

When Philippe Gilbert won Wednesday’s Brabantse Pijl, 23-year-old American Larry Warbasse was among the BMC Racing teammates that Gilbert thanked for their hard efforts.

Earlier this year, VeloNews caught up with Warbasse at the Tour de San Luís, in Argentina, where he landed a fourth-place result in the stage 5 time trial.

At the time of the interview, the 6-foot, 147-pound Michigan native was not certain of his race calendar, but he has since tackled Tour Méditerranéen, helping his teammate Steve Cunmmings take the win, as well as Strade Bianche and Volta a Catalunya, where teammate Tejay van Garderen won a climbing stage.

Now immersed in his second year with BMC Racing, after several years splitting his time between the BMC-Hincapie Sportswear Development Team (in the U.S.) and the USA Cycling under-23 national team (in Europe), Warbasse is hoping to become a more prominent face in the peloton, both by assisting the team through mountainous days in stage races, and securing some results for himself as well.

After moving to Nice, France, for the new year, Warbasse is hoping that 2014 will also bring him a first start at a grand tour. He recently learned that he’d be racing Brabantse Pijl, Flèche Wallonne, Tour de Romandie, and the Amgen Tour of California. In 2013, he raced the USA Pro Challenge, but this August, he’s hoping for a start at the Vuelta a España.

VeloNews: You were on the squad for BMC’s Tour of Qatar squad in 2013. That’s a hell of a way to start off your pro career.
Larry Warbasse: Yeah, it was awesome. It was kind of like a trial by fire with all the crosswinds. When I told everyone my first race was Qatar, they just laughed. But it was really good, we had a really good time — great squad, great group of guys. It helped with the cohesion.

VN: You also have guys like [Garmin-Sharp's] Phil Gaimon, whose first year at the WorldTour level is coming at 28. What do you think such a wide spectrum of ages for starting out as a pro?
LW: To even be able to go WorldTour at that age is really hard. There are a lot of guys who are 25 or 26 and they’re really good, but they don’t even get looked at because they aren’t young.

VN: When did you first start racing?
LW: I started mountain-bike racing when I was 13 and I switched to road when I was 15 or 16. I started racing with the national team when I was 17 and stayed with them until I was 22 — first with a junior national team, and then a U23 national team.

VN: You put in a strong time trial [at San Luís.] What kind of racer do you see yourself as?
LW: I’m more of a GC kind of guy. Right now it’s more helping out in the mountains, and I can ride a good time trial. Usually I can climb pretty well, but unfortunately that didn’t come out [in San Luís], but I hope to show that in the next bit of races. In some of the races last year I was up there on the climbs. In Colorado [at the USA Pro Challenge], I was helping Tejay. I was also climbing pretty well at the Tour of Utah. I had a rough season last year — just adapting to life in Europe and everything like that. I lived in Italy, and I [moved] to Nice, France this year with Joe Dombrowski. With Taylor Phinney there, too, I think it will be easy to build a younger American community, which is necessary.

VN: What race are you most hoping to do this year?
LW: Hopefully I’ll do my first grand tour. Whether it’s the Giro or the Vuelta, I’m not sure. That’s the main goal. I think one of the options would be to come back to Tour of California after a few WorldTour races. [Warbasse has since confirmed that he will race the Tour of California, rather than the Giro.]

VN: Is there any race you did last year at the WorldTour level, or just any race that you thought you could do well in, that would suit your characteristics?
LW: A lot of the WorldTour stage races seem to fit my characteristics. I think one day I’ll be able to do well in them. Last year I struggled a bit, but it was a really good experience. I did Catalunya and the [Critérium du] Dauphiné, and I really, really suffered at Dauphiné. It was probably my worst time of the year — I was a bit over-trained and just struggled through every single day. I learned a lot there and it really helped me turn around the second half of the season. One day I’d love to do well at those races, and, some day, Paris-Nice. This year I’d like to be good at helping whoever our leaders are over multiple days in the mountains, and maybe have a good time trial for myself — or even an opportunity for a stage win. I just want to feel like I’m more part of the race this year. A lot of times last year I was barely in. In the second half of last year I started becoming part of the race, and that really helps raise the confidence.

VN: You left school with two semesters left to chase the bike racing dream?
LW: I never planned on being a cyclist. My parents were pretty big into academics, so I wanted to be a doctor, and then go into business. Cycling was just kind of a hobby, I guess. I went to the University of Michigan, as it has a really good business program. I worked really hard, it’s a three-year program. I studied so hard, and still tried to train, running myself into the ground every day. The only thing I looked forward to was going to sleep, because it was the only time I wasn’t stressed. When I went to race with the national team in Europe, I just realized I loved what I was doing. Every day I was looking forward to waking up, couldn’t wait to get on my bike. I just lived for the sport. And it hit me: Why would I do something I didn’t like at all, when I could do something I loved? So right then and there, I decided to become a pro cyclist.

VN: What was your best result as a U23 rider?
LW: I was very consistent. In 2011 I had a couple of podiums, third in a stage in Nation’s Cup in Tuscany, fifth in the U23 Liége. And then seventh in some big stage races, fifth in the Tour of Berlin. I started talking to BMC and they decided I should do another year as a U23, so I went back to school in the fall of 2011, and then went to Europe, raced, and signed with BMC. And that was that.

VN: You said your parents were very into academia. Did they support your becoming a pro cyclist?
LW: My junior year of college I took a semester off to see if I could do the cycling thing, and my parents flipped out. I told them I wasn’t asking for their permission, but for their support. They said they would support emotionally, but not financially. I ended up moving to Greenville [South Carolina] to train with George Hincapie in the winter of 2010-2011. I went over with the national team in March, and had quite a few good results. … I’ve been under the radar a bit, just because I’ve mostly raced in Europe; I’ve never done any [National Racing Calendar] stuff. So I’ve taken a different path than the other guys. Now my parents think it’s cool, they came over to Europe [in 2013] to see me, and see Catalunya, so they came to the last stage, in the heart of Barcelona. I was in the breakaway and I saw them and said, “Guys!” and waved. They thought it was awesome. It was pretty cool they saw me race, and where I lived, and how I was doing everything. They thought it was cool.

Addie Levinsky contributed to this story.

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Results: 2014 De Brabantse Pijl Wed, 16 Apr 2014 20:30:15 +0000 Full results from the midweek tuneup ahead of the Ardennes classics

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  • 1. Philippe GILBERT, BMC Racing, in 4:54:26
  • 2. Michael MATTHEWS, Orica-GreenEdge, at :00
  • 3. Tony GALLOPIN, Lotto-Belisol, at :00
  • 4. Simon GESCHKE, Giant-Shimano, at :00
  • 5. Björn LEUKEMANS, Wanty-Groupe Gobert, at :00
  • 6. Nathan HAAS, Garmin-Sharp, at :00
  • 7. Davide REBELLIN, CCC Polsat Polkowice, at :00
  • 8. Julien VERMOTE, Omega Pharma-Quick Step, at :00
  • 9. Sébastien REICHENBACH, IAM Cycling, at :00
  • 10. Aleksei TCATEVICH, Katusha, at :00
  • 11. Dries DEVENYNS, Giant-Shimano, at :00
  • 12. Yukiya ARASHIRO, Europcar, at :00
  • 13. Jeffry Johan ROMERO CORREDOR, Colombia, at :00
  • 14. Julian ALAPHILIPPE, Omega Pharma-Quick Step, at :04
  • 15. Wouter POELS, Omega Pharma-Quick Step, at :04
  • 16. Pieter SERRY, Omega Pharma-Quick Step, at :04
  • 17. Luis Angel MATE MARDONES, Cofidis, at :04
  • 18. Jurgen VAN DEN BROECK, Lotto-Belisol, at :04
  • 19. Davide MALACARNE, Europcar, at :04
  • 20. Kristian SBARAGLI, MTN-Qhubeka, at :10
  • 21. Fabio Andres DUARTE AREVALO, Colombia, at :10
  • 22. Romain ZINGLE, Cofidis, at :10
  • 23. Alexander RYBAKOV, Katusha, at :10
  • 24. Sander ARMEE, Lotto-Belisol, at :10
  • 25. Franco PELLIZOTTI, Androni Giocattoli, at :10
  • 26. Fabio FELLINE, Trek Factory Racing, at :10
  • 27. Nathan BROWN, Garmin-Sharp, at :12
  • 28. Thomas SPRENGERS, Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise, at :16
  • 29. Pieter JACOBS, Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise, at :16
  • 30. Thomas DEGAND, Wanty-Groupe Gobert, at :16
  • 31. Cesare BENEDETTI, NetApp-Endura, at :16
  • 32. Guillaume LEVARLET, Cofidis, at :22
  • 33. Mauro FINETTO, NRI, at :22
  • 34. Petr VAKOC, Omega Pharma-Quick Step, at :22
  • 35. Enrico BARBIN, Bardiani-CSF, at :22
  • 36. Kiryll POZDNYAKOV, RusVelo, at :22
  • 37. Fumiyuki BEPPU, Trek Factory Racing, at :22
  • 38. Martin VELITS, Omega Pharma-Quick Step, at :25
  • 39. Gustav LARSSON, IAM Cycling, at :25
  • 40. Bartosz HUZARSKI, NetApp-Endura, at :25
  • 41. Patrick SCHELLING, IAM Cycling, at :25
  • 42. Alex HOWES, Garmin-Sharp, at :28
  • 43. Preben VAN HECKE, Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise, at :33
  • 44. Johnny HOOGERLAND, Androni Giocattoli, at :34
  • 45. Zico WAEYTENS, Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise, at :39
  • 46. Simon GERRANS, Orica-GreenEdge, at :39
  • 47. Daryl IMPEY, Orica-GreenEdge, at :39
  • 48. Kristof VANDEWALLE, Trek Factory Racing, at :50
  • 49. Andrei SOLOMENNIKOV, RusVelo, at 1:16
  • 50. Kevin ISTA, IAM Cycling, at 1:57
  • 51. Nick NUYENS, Garmin-Sharp, at 1:57
  • 52. Peter STETINA, BMC Racing, at 1:57
  • 53. Amaël MOINARD, BMC Racing, at 1:57
  • 54. Thomas DEKKER, Garmin-Sharp, at 1:57
  • 55. Yannick EIJSSEN, BMC Racing, at 1:57
  • 56. Daniel MARTIN, Garmin-Sharp, at 1:57
  • 57. Jan BAKELANTS, Omega Pharma-Quick Step, at 1:57
  • 58. Nico SIJMENS, Wanty-Groupe Gobert, at 1:57
  • 59. Kévin REZA, Europcar, at 2:43
  • 60. Michel KREDER, Wanty-Groupe Gobert, at 3:30
  • 61. Matthias BRANDLE, IAM Cycling, at 3:30
  • 62. Marc DEMAAR, UnitedHealthcare, at 3:30
  • 63. Kiel REIJNEN, UnitedHealthcare, at 3:30
  • 64. Adrian HONKISZ, CCC Polsat Polkowice, at 3:30
  • 65. Johannes FRÖHLINGER, Giant-Shimano, at 3:30
  • 66. Bartlomiej MATYSIAK, CCC Polsat Polkowice, at 3:30
  • 67. Boy VAN POPPEL, Trek Factory Racing, at 3:30
  • 68. Maciej PATERSKI, CCC Polsat Polkowice, at 3:30
  • 69. Eliot LIETAER, Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise, at 3:30
  • 70. Kevin DE WEERT, Omega Pharma-Quick Step, at 3:30
  • 71. Pieter WEENING, Orica-GreenEdge, at 3:30
  • 72. Edwin Alcibiades AVILA VANEGAS, Colombia, at 3:30
  • 73. Pim LIGTHART, Lotto-Belisol, at 3:30
  • 74. Thomas DAMUSEAU, Giant-Shimano, at 3:30
  • 75. Jérôme BAUGNIES, Wanty-Groupe Gobert, at 4:28
  • 76. Martin KOHLER, BMC Racing, at 5:19
  • 77. Lawrence WARBASSE, BMC Racing, at 5:19
  • 78. Frantisek PADOUR, NetApp-Endura, at 5:19
  • 79. Dennis VANENDERT, Lotto-Belisol, at 5:19
  • 80. Marco CANOLA, Bardiani-CSF, at 5:19
  • 81. Antonio PARRINELLO, Androni Giocattoli, at 5:19
  • 82. Stephen CUMMINGS, BMC Racing, at 5:19
  • 83. Jan GHYSELINCK, Wanty-Groupe Gobert, at 5:19
  • 84. Andrea ZORDAN, Androni Giocattoli, at 5:19
  • 85. Artem OVECHKIN, RusVelo, at 5:19
  • 86. Francis DE GREEF, Wanty-Groupe Gobert, at 5:19
  • 87. Daniele COLLI, NRI, at 5:19
  • 88. Angelo PAGANI, Bardiani-CSF, at 5:19
  • 89. Javier MEGIAS LEAL, Novo Nordisk, at 5:19
  • 90. Lukasz OWSIAN, CCC Polsat Polkowice, at 7:33
  • 91. Adrian KUREK, CCC Polsat Polkowice, at 7:33
  • 92. Dennis VAN NIEKERK, MTN-Qhubeka, at 7:33
  • 93. Roman MAIKIN, RusVelo, at 7:33
  • 94. Juan Esteban ARANGO CARVAJAL, Colombia, at 7:33
  • 95. Frederik VEUCHELEN, Wanty-Groupe Gobert, at 7:33
  • 96. Pirmin LANG, IAM Cycling, at 7:33
  • 97. Tosh VAN DER SANDE, Lotto-Belisol, at 9:38
  • 98. Thierry HUPOND, Giant-Shimano, at 9:38
  • 99. Sean DE BIE, Lotto-Belisol, at 9:38
  • 100. Petr IGNATENKO, Katusha, at 9:38
  • 101. Alessandro BAZZANA, UnitedHealthcare, at 9:38
  • 102. Pieter VANSPEYBROUCK, Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise, at 9:38
  • . Roy CURVERS, Giant-Shimano
  • DNF Yohann GENE, Europcar
  • DNF Morgan LAMOISSON, Europcar
  • DNF Perrig QUEMENEUR, Europcar
  • DNF Michael SCHÄR, BMC Racing
  • DNF Caleb FAIRLY, Garmin-Sharp
  • DNF Benjamin KING, Garmin-Sharp
  • DNF Kris BOECKMANS, Lotto-Belisol
  • DNF Damien HOWSON, Orica-GreenEdge
  • DNF Cameron MEYER, Orica-GreenEdge
  • DNF Adam YATES, Orica-GreenEdge
  • DNF Simon YATES, Orica-GreenEdge
  • DNF Cheng JI, Giant-Shimano
  • DNF Sea Keong LOH, Giant-Shimano
  • DNF Marco HALLER, Katusha
  • DNF Mikhail IGNATYEV, Katusha
  • DNF Alexander PORSEV, Katusha
  • DNF Rudiger SELIG, Katusha
  • DNF Jasper STUYVEN, Trek Factory Racing
  • DNF Fabio SILVESTRE, Trek Factory Racing
  • DNF Danny VAN POPPEL, Trek Factory Racing
  • DNF Marco BANDIERA, Androni Giocattoli
  • DNF Manuel BELLETTI, Androni Giocattoli
  • DNF Marco FRAPPORTI, Androni Giocattoli
  • DNF Emanuele SELLA, Androni Giocattoli
  • DNF Sonny COLBRELLI, Bardiani-CSF
  • DNF Nicola BOEM, Bardiani-CSF
  • DNF Filippo FORTIN, Bardiani-CSF
  • DNF Mateusz TACIAK, CCC Polsat Polkowice
  • DNF Jérémy BESCOND, Cofidis
  • DNF Edwig CAMMAERTS, Cofidis
  • DNF Julien FOUCHARD, Cofidis
  • DNF Stéphane POULHIES, Cofidis
  • DNF Clément VENTURINI, Cofidis
  • DNF Rodolfo Andres TORRES AGUDELO, Colombia
  • DNF Duber Armando QUINTERO ARTUNDUAGA, Colombia
  • DNF Edward Fabian DIAZ CARDENAS, Colombia
  • DNF Stefan DENIFL, IAM Cycling
  • DNF Jonathan FUMEAUX, IAM Cycling
  • DNF Ferekalsi DEBESAY ABRHA, MTN-Qhubeka
  • DNF Linus GERDEMANN, MTN-Qhubeka
  • DNF Martin REIMER, MTN-Qhubeka
  • DNF Jay Robert THOMSON, MTN-Qhubeka
  • DNF Jaco VENTER, MTN-Qhubeka
  • DNF Francesco CHICCHI, NRI
  • DNF Samuele CONTI, NRI
  • DNF Mattia POZZO, NRI
  • DNF Ivan BALYKIN, RusVelo
  • DNF Leonid KRASNOV, RusVelo
  • DNF Timofey KRITSKIY, RusVelo
  • DNF Alexander SEROV, RusVelo
  • DNS Martin WESEMANN, MTN-Qhubeka
  • DNF Iker CAMANO ORTUZAR, NetApp-Endura
  • DNF Jonathan MCEVOY, NetApp-Endura
  • DNF Erick ROWSELL, NetApp-Endura
  • DNF David LOZANO RIBA, Novo Nordisk
  • DNF Kevin DE MESMAEKER, Novo Nordisk
  • DNF Joonas HENTTALA, Novo Nordisk
  • DNF Thomas RAEYMAEKERS, Novo Nordisk
  • DNF Martijn VERSCHOOR, Novo Nordisk
  • DNF Christopher WILLIAMS, Novo Nordisk
  • DNF Arthur VAN OVERBERGHE, Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise
  • DNF Jonathan CLARKE, UnitedHealthcare
  • DNF Davide FRATTINI, UnitedHealthcare
  • DNF Ken HANSON, UnitedHealthcare
  • DNF Christopher JONES, UnitedHealthcare
  • DNF Martijn MAASKANT, UnitedHealthcare

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Brabantse Pijl victory a needed Ardennes confidence boost for Gilbert Wed, 16 Apr 2014 18:18:37 +0000 Gregor Brown

Philippe Gilbert landed a confidence-boosting victory Wednesday at De Brabantse Pijl. Photo: Tim De Waele |

Belgian former world champion gets his fifth victory since his remarkable 2011 season, and just in time for his favorite races

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Philippe Gilbert landed a confidence-boosting victory Wednesday at De Brabantse Pijl. Photo: Tim De Waele |

OVERIJSE, Belgium (VN) — Philippe Gilbert timed it to perfection. Not only did he launch an early sprint to hold off Michael Matthews and win Brabantse Pijl Wednesday, but he did so on the eve of the Ardennes classics.

“I know this race is not the same as the Ardennes classics, but a win is good for my confidence,” BMC Racing’s former world champion said. “I was second here last year, this year first. A win makes the difference and is unique.”

The win on the outskirts of Brussels marked Gilbert’s first for 2014. It came much earlier than last year, as well.

As world champion, he had to wait until the Vuelta a España in September to flash his rainbow jersey in a victory salute. With today’s win, Gilbert showed off his red and black team colors, just four days before the Amstel Gold Race, the first of the three Ardennes classics.

“Getting that first one each year is hard for him. He’s always up there, but sometimes he just misses the right moment or anticipates it a little bit,” team director Max Sciandri told VeloNews. “Getting a win will help for the Ardennes classics. It gives you that extra confidence when you got a win under your belt.”

Gilbert last scored in Overijse in 2011. That win was part of his magical season that included the Ardennes treble. After Davide Rebellin in 2004, he was only the second cyclist to win all three Ardennes classics. Gilbert stormed through the rest of the season, scoring 18 times, earning Tour de France yellow for a day, and winning the UCI WorldTour overall.

That winter, ahead of the 2012 season, he left Lotto for BMC. Other than his three Vuelta stage wins and his 2012 world title, he has struggled since (those four wins would make a career for many riders, of course). In fact, Gilbert has won only five times since that 18-race haul in 2011.

“This is a good test ahead of the Ardennes classics, but this is also a great race in its own right,” Gilbert said. “The best riders in the world, though, will be at Amstel, Flèche Wallonne, and Liège-Bastogne-Liège. On Sunday in Amstel, it’s going to be a different race.”

Gilbert could have lost Wednesday’s race with a late gamble to catch a group containing Simon Gerrans (Orica-GreenEdge). The Belgian attacked and bridged solo to Gerrans’ group, but the escape did not survive, leaving just 11.4 kilometers to recover ahead of the finish.

“It’s real impressive because we were chasing. He got antsy and attacked on his own. We were thinking, ‘what are you doing? No,’” teammate Peter Stetina told VeloNews. “I was scared at first, then once the field came back up to him, and he said, ‘I’m still ready to play,’ we just committed again. He had me ride him into the base of the second-to-last climb with three kilometers to go, into the wheels, then it’s all power from there.

“He’s finally got everything flowing and motivated for the week to come.”

Gilbert refused to blow the midweek Brabantse Pijl out of proportion. As he said, several of the big favorites that will be in Maastricht for the start of the Amstel Gold Race were not in Overijse.

“We are going to have to wait until after Liège-Bastogne-Liège finishes to draw conclusions,” Gilbert said. “I’m motivated by today’s result, but that doesn’t’ mean that we are going to work overtime in the Ardennes. We are only going to sacrifice one BMC rider at the front to control the race, not one more. I’m ready to lose upcoming races, but not ready to lead the races for my rivals.”

The rivals are many, from Joaquím Rodríguez (Katusha) to Daniel Martin (Garmin-Sharp). As Sciandri explained, though, an early win gives Gilbert confidence for the coming week.

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Amstel Gold Race: Belkin’s homecoming Wed, 16 Apr 2014 18:15:17 +0000 Matthew Beaudin

A sign of things to come? Bauke Mollema hopes so, as he aims high for this weekend's Amstel Gold Race. Photo: BrakeThrough Media |

The Amstel Gold Race is the most important race in The Netherlands, but a Dutchman hasn't won since 2001. Bauke Mollema hopes to change that

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A sign of things to come? Bauke Mollema hopes so, as he aims high for this weekend's Amstel Gold Race. Photo: BrakeThrough Media |

SITTARD, THE NETHERLANDS — Workers bustled about at the finish line of the Amstel Gold Race Wednesday, unloading pallets of beer, putting the finishing touches on VIP tents and decks. Red Amstel flags billowed in the ever-present wind, and a few cyclists took to the finale of the Amstel Gold Race.

But it was oddly quiet here. Maybe the Dutch are just getting ready for the party on Sunday. It’s the biggest race held in The Netherlands, and this is a country that loves cycling fiercely. Cyclists jump on wheels when passed, and attack at the bottom of the Cauberg, the climb that will certainly shape Sunday’s podium.

The home nation will have much to cheer for when the starter’s pistol sounds Sunday morning in Maastricht. Home team Belkin brings an effective unit to battle, and Niki Terpstra (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) was the first Dutchmen to win Paris-Roubaix since Servais Knaven in 2001, surely adding a bit more passion to the local scene. The last Dutchman to win Amstel was Erik Decker, in 2001. Jan Raas, also of the Netherlands, has the most wins at AGR, with five.

It’s an important race on the calendar for many a rider, but perhaps none more than a Dutchman.

“The Amstel is perhaps the best race of the year for a Dutchman. The fans show up in large numbers and they are very enthusiastic,” said one of Belkin’s danger men, Bauke Mollema. “After Niki Terpstra’s victory in Paris-Roubaix, I think things will be extra special. After our success in last year’s Tour de France, people will be excited to see us race as well. It could become a wonderful edition. As a team, we hope to provide the people with a good result.”

Belkin brings Laurens ten Dam, Jos van Emden, Jonathan Hivert, Paul Martens, Lars Petter Nordhaug, Bram Tankink and David Tanner to Amstel, with high hopes for Mollema, who finished sixth in last year’s Tour de France.

Mollema tuned for Amstel at Pais Vasco, picking up steam toward the end of the week after a tough start. “During the final stages, I gained a lot of confidence. I finished fifth in a mountain stage with an uphill finish and one day later, I was in a break until very late in a tough stage,” he said in a team release. “It proves that my condition is fine and that I’m at my level. I’m really looking forward to Sunday.”

In the last two editions, Mollema has finished tenth. That wouldn’t be enough this time around. “If I finish tenth again, I won’t be in a jubilant mood. Last year, I often finished between the fifth and tenth place in the Walloon classics. It would be nice to get a top five this year,” he said. “I like the new finish, it makes the race more open because now you can also attack after the Cauberg. Last year it wasn’t in my favor, as I arrived at the top of the Cauberg in fifth position, while I ended up tenth at the line. Next time, it could well be the other way round, though.”

Even Belkin’s director Frans Maassen comes from this region and — of course — won the race in 1991. “We haven’t won the Amstel for a long time and we won’t be the biggest favorite on Sunday, but we are 100 percent motivated and will do whatever we can,” Maassen said. “Bauke is our captain. Paul Martens and Lars Petter Nordhaug also have a free role. We have guys with knowledge of the course and experience and we really want to show ourselves. We want to compete for the win.”

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Gilbert wins De Brabantse Pijl Wed, 16 Apr 2014 15:39:11 +0000 Brian Holcombe

Philippe Gilbert held off Michael Matthews (left) at the line for his second career victory at De Brabantse Pijl. Photo: Tim De Waele |

Former world champion takes his second career victory in the Ardennes tuneup

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Philippe Gilbert held off Michael Matthews (left) at the line for his second career victory at De Brabantse Pijl. Photo: Tim De Waele |

Philippe Gilbert won De Brabantse Pijl, the final tuneup ahead of the Ardennes classics, Wednesday in Overijse, Belgium. Gilbert (BMC Racing) won the 203-kilometer semi-classic for the second time in his career, landing a confidence-inspiring victory ahead of the hilly one-day races serving as his top objectives in 2014.

Michael Matthews (Orica-GreenEdge) was second, missing out by half-a-wheel in the sprint, and Tony Gallopin (Lotto-Belisol) was third in the 26-climb midweek contest, which started east of Brussels in Leuven.

“Matthews was the fastest, but I played it well because he had to close the gap to (Björn) Leukemans and (Wouter) Poels in the descent and that cost him power,” Gilbert said in a team press release. “I also saw he was closed in in the last corner, but I waited, because I knew from the last times (up the climb), I didn’t want to make the same mistake. It was perfect.”

Kiel Reijnen (UnitedHealthcare) was the last of the survivors from the day’s breakaway when a half-dozen riders ripped past the American with little more than 40km remaining.

Nathan Haas (Garmin-Sharp), Pieter Serry (Omega Pharma-Quick Step), Mathias Brändle (IAM Cycling), Björn Leukemans (Wanty-Groupe Gobert), Mauro Finetto (Yellow Fluo), and Simon Gerrans (Orica-GreenEdge) pushed ahead to nearly a minute’s advantage, but couldn’t cut the leash from the peloton.

Forty seconds behind the leaders with 30km to go, BMC Racing and Giant-Shimano threw all they had at the chase. The former glued the front of the race back together and with 8km to go, the bunch reset for an explosive finale.

At the back, Gallopin, who later said he was satisfied with his result, given the circumstances, was forced to chase after a flat 25km from the line.

“I had a puncture at 25 kilometers from the finish. On the same place of the course as last year,” he said. “Honestly, I thought my race was over. Because of the succession of hills the race never stopped. I had to return from behind the team cars, but eventually I could pass one group after another and that way I could take my place back in front. Thanks to the teammates, I joined the first group just before the last climb, not a moment too early.”

An onslaught of attacks ripped at the peloton over the handful of kilometers leading to the final climb at Schavei, but no rider could shake loose.

American Alex Howes led into the 700-meter final ramp for Garmin. Serry took over with 700 meters remaining, but Gilbert led out the sprint onto the 200-meter finish straight and held onto victory over Matthews.

“It was a difficult race with everyone attacking when we got to the [finish circuit] laps. I had to bide my time for the sprint,” said Matthews. “I had a good sprint in the finish, but Gilbert was quicker today.”

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Movistar names provisional lineup to support Quintana at Giro Wed, 16 Apr 2014 14:03:47 +0000

Nairo Quintana wants to win the Giro d'Italia next month. Photo: Tim De Waele |

Movistar names short list from which it will choose to ride in the first grand tour of the season

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Nairo Quintana wants to win the Giro d'Italia next month. Photo: Tim De Waele |

Movistar released its list of 10 riders from which it will choose to support Nairo Quintana at next month’s Giro d’Italia.

In total, nine riders will make up the squad’s roster for the first grand tour of the year, the race through Italy that will begin with three stages in Ireland starting on May 9.

After months of debate, it was determined that Quintana would focus on the Giro this season instead of the Tour de France, despite his impressive performance in France last summer that resulted in a second-place overall and a first in the mountains and youth classifications.

“I would have liked to race the Tour again this year, but the team wants me to go to the Giro,” Quintana said in February. “The one who pays has the final say.”

Movistar will pick from these 10 riders for the rest of its Giro roster: Italians Adriano Malori and Eros Capecchi; Polish climber Sylwester Szmyd; Costa Rica’s Andrey Amador; and Spaniards Fran Ventoso, Pablo Lastras, Igor Antón, Jonathan Castroviejo, Gorka Izagirre and José Herrada.

This year’s Giro features five mountaintop finishes, several mid-mountain stages, and three time trials. Quintana will need to rely on Movistar’s climbing specialists — Anton won a mountain stage at the 2011 Giro and has registered two top-10 GC results at the Vuelta — to escort him through the challenging terrain.

Herrada was 12th in last year’s Vuelta, while Szmyd has finished all 22 grand tours he’s started. Amador triumphed in a mountain stage at the 2012 Giro.

“I hope to make another podium, and if it’s possible, to win the Giro,” Quintana said. “I believe it will go well because I will have a strong team supporting me all the time. … I am still young, so it’s better to go step by step.”

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Kwiatkowski wants to continue Omega Pharma’s spring success at Ardennes Wed, 16 Apr 2014 13:08:06 +0000 Andrew Hood

Michal Kwiatkowski rode to fourth place at last year's Amstel Gold Race. Photo: Tim De Waele |

The Polish rider kicks off the Ardennes classics with Sunday’s Amstel Gold Race

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Michal Kwiatkowski rode to fourth place at last year's Amstel Gold Race. Photo: Tim De Waele |

Omega Pharma-Quick Step switches gears from the cobblestones to the Ardennes this weekend with the intention of keeping the ball rolling.

Following its dramatic victory in Paris-Roubaix on Sunday with Niki Terpstra, the pavé specialists have stepped aside for the leaner climbers. Leading the team will be Polish sensation Michal Kwiatkowski.

“I like all three. I still need to progress a lot at Liège, because I’ve only done it twice,” Kwiatkowski said Wednesday in an interview. “Last year, I felt very good at Amstel and Flèche, but I was tired at Liège, and I couldn’t really challenge for it. [Liège] is a monument, so it would be great to challenge against the best. In principal, I will challenge for all three.”

Last year, Kwiatkowski was one of the revelations in the Ardennes, riding to fourth at Amstel Gold Race and fifth at Flèche Wallonne. The 23-year-old has been on a tear so far this season and wants to keep the momentum going across the Ardennes classics, which click into gear Sunday at Amstel Gold.

He skipped racing on the pavé, instead choosing to race at the Vuelta al Pais Vasco (Tour of the Basque Country), where only an on-form Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) could beat him.

“I love racing the Flemish classics, but, with the lineup Omega Pharma has for these races, I don’t think they missed me,” he said. “I think it was a good move to skip the cobblestones. After Tirreno I was optimistic, and I did specific training for the Ardennes. Last year, I wasn’t sure of my form … but this year, I am confident that things are going well for the Ardennes.”

Kwiatkowski has been prolific since the start of the 2014 season, winning in his debut at the Mallorca Challenge. He then won two stages and the overall at the Volta ao Algarve, knocking back a challenge from Contador to claim his first professional stage race title. He then beat Peter Sagan (Cannondale), his nemesis since their junior days, at Strade Bianche.

Things were going well at Tirreno, with Omega Pharma winning the opening team time trial, but he faltered and finished a disappointing 18th. He rebounded with a strong performance at the Basque Country and is ready to challenge for victory in the Ardennes.

Kwiatkowski is ambitious, and will return to the Tour de France later this summer with GC aspirations as well.

“I don’t know how far I can go, but I want to be the best, and I will work hard to get there,” he said. “Last year, I was 11th, so I will return to try to fight for the GC. But you never know, it will only be my second Tour. I learned a lot last year, and to be up front in all the key stages will be my objective. Also, to help Cav [Mark Cavendish], which is another big goal for the team.”

After the Ardennes, he will skip Tour de Romandie, take a break, and regroup for the Tour, with the Critérium du Dauphiné and the Polish national championships slated before the race through France. This year, he’ll return to the Tour of Poland, with ambitions of winning his national tour.

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Cancellara’s hour record attempt enters holding pattern over UCI rules Wed, 16 Apr 2014 12:25:19 +0000 Andrew Hood

Fabian Cancellara wants to break the hour record, but he'll have to wait for the UCI to clarify its rules. Photo: Tim De Waele |

Trek is waiting for the UCI to clarify its rules before resuming the program for “Spartacus”

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Fabian Cancellara wants to break the hour record, but he'll have to wait for the UCI to clarify its rules. Photo: Tim De Waele |

Fabian Cancellara’s plans to take on the hour record are on hold following a revived debate within the UCI over rules governing one of cycling’s most vaunted records.

The hour record was on Cancellara’s radar for later this season, most likely after the Tour de France, but now officials at Trek Factory Racing are waiting until the UCI clarifies its definition of the hour record.

Trek manager Luca Guercilena told VeloNews on Sunday the team is waiting for word from the UCI before moving forward.

“Right now we are standing still, because the project was almost ready, then we saw comment that the track commission is looking to have a new set of rules for the hour record, so we cannot go on,” Guercilena said before the start of Paris-Roubaix. “There is a big investment that we need to do, so we do not know which direction we are going. We cannot spend money for nothing.”

Since 2000, following a wave of hour attempts with ever more extravagant time trial bikes in the 1990s, the UCI instituted two definitions of the hour record.

Cycling’s governing body said the technological advantages pushed the sport too far from its tradition roots, and moved to separate the old from new.

Since 2000, the UCI set the official hour record based on what it called the “Merckx position,” using a similar track bike setup and geometry as Eddy Merckx used to set a record of 49.431km in 1972. That position does not allow aerodynamic modifications to handlebars, wheels, frames, position, or helmets.

It defined the more aerodynamic, time trial attempts as “best human effort,” currently held by Chris Boardman at 56.375km, set in 1996.

After the new rules were instituted in 2000, Boardman returned to the boards in October that year in Manchester with a traditional setup, bettering the Merckx mark at 49.441km. In 2005, Ondrej Sosenka bettered that on a track in Moscow with 49.700km, but a subsequent doping positive in 2008 for the Czech rider cast doubt on the validity of the record, although the distance still stands in the record books.

The arrival of Brian Cookson to the UCI presidency in September revived a debate within the cycling federation about what should constitute the official hour record.

Speaking to VeloNews in February, Cookson confirmed there was interest in opening up the rules to new technological advances.

“My own view is that the so-called athletes hour, the record on the old traditional track bike, I think it was a nice idea, but frankly I think it’s an idea whose time has passed,” Cookson told VeloNews’ Ryan Newill. “So what we’ve asked the track commission is, look, what’s the step forward out here? We aren’t going to allow anyone to ride the hour record in the superman position. But we think that the old, traditional track bike athlete’s hour record is probably a little bit of an outdated idea. Where do we go from here?”

In late March, the UCI track commission met to discuss the issue again, but has yet to make an official announcement. Until then, Cancellara’s hour attempt is on ice.

“The key point for us is, which would be [the] record to beat? Until we know that, we cannot go on,” Guercilena said. “We were working on the Eddy Merckx position, that was the goal we had in mind. And we were almost ready for that, but now we are waiting to see what happens. This is a big project. This is not something we can pull together in 15 days.”

Trek has been working on the Cancellara hour project since last winter. The company has invested time and money testing materials, and Guercilena said it simply doesn’t make sense to move forward until the rules are clearly defined.

Cancellara’s plan to tackle the record was the first serious attempt in nearly a decade. The UCI’s strict rules took the luster off challenging the hour record, at least from a technological point of view. Others recently have expressed interest, including 2012 Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins (Sky) and three-time world time trial champion Tony Martin (Omega Pharma-Quick Step).

Cancellara has been reticent to speak publicly about the hour attempt, insisting that he wanted to focus on the spring classics before becoming distracted with the intense effort to better the hour mark.

Guercilena insisted that Cancellara is enthusiastic about the project.

“He is excited. OK, first come the classics, but we made lots of tests over the winter, and he was motivated,” the Italian manager said. “He wants to do it.”

With everything in a holding pattern, Guercilena cautioned the attempt might not happen this year. Physically, Guercilena said Cancellara would not need that much time to reach a peak level, especially if he was coming off the Tour de France. It’s the technological side of things that would need more time to prepare, especially if the rules are modified.

“Once he’s 100 percent for the road, he’s not too far off top form to make the attempt. The main thing is to prepare the materials, the setup with the bike. That is what takes more time,” Guercilena said. “But now, everything is on hold, so we are waiting.”

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Ted King likely to see second shot at Tour de France Wed, 16 Apr 2014 09:00:05 +0000 Andrew Hood

Ted King is on the short-list for a second Tour de France start with Cannondale. Photo: Jen See |

Cannondale has American Ted King slotted in to return to France after a heartbreaking Tour exit in his debut attempt at the race

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Ted King is on the short-list for a second Tour de France start with Cannondale. Photo: Jen See |

GENT, Belgium (VN) — Ted King, who suffered a heartbreaking exit from last year’s Tour de France, will likely see a second shot to make it to Paris.

Cannondale manager Roberto Amadio confirmed to VeloNews that the team is planning a Tour return this July for King, who was forced out of last year’s race after he missed the time cut in the team time trial by seven seconds.

“Ted will be returning to the Tour this summer,” Amadio told VeloNews. “The Tour is still a long way away, and anything can happen, but, yes, he is part of our plans for the Tour.”

Last summer, the popular New Englander realized a dream when he earned a spot among Cannondale’s Tour nine. He worked hard to improve his condition, and slotted into an important support role for team captain Peter Sagan.

Disaster struck during the crash-marred, chaotic first stage on Corsica, when King fell in a frenetic finale. The Orica-GreenEdge team bus was stuck under the finish-line awning, creating mounting tension as race officials and commissaires struggled to safely manage the arrival of the fast-charging peloton.

Battered and bruised, and nursing a separated shoulder, King made it across the line to stay in the race. He survived the following two stages on Corsica, hoping to mend up and stay in the race, and lend a helping hand to Sagan later in the Tour.

The team time trial in stage 4, when the Tour returned to mainland France, proved his undoing, however. King was dropped in the first kilometer of the technical 25-kilometer course around Nice, and rode the entire course alone in a vain effort to make the time cut.

UCI officials were merciless when they calculated the time cut, and kicked King out of the race after missing the limit by just seven seconds. King suggested that he made the time cut, claiming the his power meter was more accurate than the official timing. UCI officials could not be swayed, and forced King to make an emotional farewell to the Tour.

King’s exit was even more bittersweet because his father, hampered by health problems, had traveled to France that day to watch his son race.

Amadio said King deserved his spot on the short-list of riders who are penciled in to start the Tour this summer.

“He is very important to protecting Peter,” Amadio said. “He is a very strong rider, and he is gaining more and more experience. We need riders like Ted in the Tour.”

Cannondale will return to the Tour this summer intent on winning a third consecutive green points jersey with star rider Sagan. There should be a heated battle for green, with Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) likely skipping the Giro d’Italia to arrive as fresh as possible to the Tour.

Cavendish’s priority will be winning the opening stage, and the yellow jersey that goes along with it, but the green jersey is also part of Omega Pharma’s plans. Cavendish has only won the green jersey once despite winning 25 Tour stages.

Sagan has proven so consistent in the bunch sprints that he can pick up points throughout the Tour to secure green, even when he cannot win against the pure sprinters. Last year, he only managed one stage victory, but easily won his second consecutive maillot vert.

King, meanwhile, has earned the trust of both Cannondale and Sagan, and has proven a steady hand in both the northern classics and longer stage races. King’s role in the one-day events and stage races is to protect Sagan’s flanks and then help chase down dangerous breakaways to set up the Slovak champion.

Since getting his full-time start in Europe with Cervélo in 2009, King has become one of the most experienced and strongest engines on the Cannondale team.

Lately, King has been focused on helping Sagan in the spring classics, and hasn’t talked much about the race in July, but there’s a sense he wants nothing more than return to the Tour, and ride all the way to Paris.

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Final Startlist: 2014 De Brabantse Pijl Tue, 15 Apr 2014 22:03:22 +0000

Wednesday's Brabantse Pijl is the final tuneup ahead of the Ardennes classics. Photo: Tim De Waele |

Yohann Gène will wear dossard No. 1 for Europcar's defending champion Tommy Voeckler in Wednesday's Ardennes tuneup

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Wednesday's Brabantse Pijl is the final tuneup ahead of the Ardennes classics. Photo: Tim De Waele |

1. Yohann Gène (FRA)
2. Yukiya Arashiro (JPN)
4. Morgan Lamoisson (FRA)
5. Davide Malacarne (ITA)
6. Perrig Quemeneur (FRA)
7. Kevin Reza (FRA)

BMC Racing
11. Philippe Gilbert (BEL)
12. Stephen Cummings (GBR)
13. Yannick Eijssen (BEL)
14. Martin Kohler (SWI)
15. Amaël Moinard (FRA)
16. Michael Schär (SWI)
17. Peter Stetina (USA)
18. Lawrence Warbasse (USA)

21. Daniel Martin (IRL)
22. Nathan Brown (USA)
23. Thomas Dekker (NED)
24. Caleb Fairly (USA)
25. Nathan Haas (AUS)
26. Alex Howes (USA)
27. Nick Nuyens (BEL)
28. Benjamin King (AUS)

31. Jurgen Van Den Broeck (BEL)
32. Sander Armee (BEL)
33. Sean De Bie (BEL)
34. Kris Boeckmans (BEL)
35. Tony Gallopin (FRA)
36. Tosh Van der Sande (BEL)
37. Dennis Vanendert (BEL)
38. Pim Ligthart (NED)

Omega Pharma-Quick Step
41. Jan Bakelants (BEL)
42. Julian Alaphilippe (FRA)
43. Kevin De Weert (BEL)
44. Julien Vermote (BEL)
45. Wout Poels (NED)
46. Pieter Serry (BEL)
47. Petr Vakoc (CZE)
48. Martin Velits (SVK)

51. Simon Gerrans (AUS)
52. Damien Howson (AUS)
53. Daryl Impey (RSA)
54. Michael Matthews (AUS)
55. Cameron Meyer (AUS)
56. Pieter Weening (NED)
57. Adam Yates (GBR)
58. Simon Yates (GBR)

61. Simon Geschke (GER)
62. Roy Curvers (NED)
63. Thomas Damuseau (FRA)
64. Dries Devenyns (BEL)
65. Johannes Fröhlinger (GER)
66. Thierry Hupond (FRA)
67. Ji Cheng (CHN)
68. Sea Keong Loh (MAS)

72. Marco Haller (AUT)
73. Petr Ignatenko (RUS)
74. Mikhail Ignatyev (RUS)
75. Alexander Porsev (RUS)
76. Alexander Rybakov (RUS)
77. Rudiger Selig (GER)
78. Alexey Tsatevich (RUS)

Trek Factory Racing
82. Jasper Stuyven (BEL)
83. Fumiyuki Beppu (JPN)
84. Fabio Felline (ITA)
85. Fábio Silvestre (POR)
86. Boy van Poppel (NED)
87. Danny Van Poppel (NED)
88. Kristof Vandewalle (BEL)

Androni Giocattoli-Venezuela
91. Johnny Hoogerland (NED)
92. Marco Bandiera (ITA)
93. Manuel Belletti (ITA)
94. Marco Frapporti (ITA)
95. Antonio Parrinello (ITA)
96. Franco Pellizotti (ITA)
97. Emanuele Sella (ITA)
98. Andrea Zordan (ITA)

Bardiani-CSF Inox
101. Sonny Colbrelli (ITA)
102. Enrico Barbin (ITA)
103. Nicola Boem (ITA)
104. Marco Canola (ITA)
105. Filippo Fortin (ITA)
106. Angelo Pagani (ITA)

CCC Polsat Polkowice
111. Davide Rebellin (ITA)
112. Adrian Honkisz (POL)
113. Adrian Kurek (POL)
115. Bartlomiej Matysiak (POL)
116. Maciej Paterski (POL)
117. Mateusz Taciak (POL)
118. Lukasz Owsian (POL)

Cofidis, Solutions Credits
121. Romain Zingle (BEL)
122. Jérémy Bescond (FRA)
123. Edwig Cammaerts (BEL)
124. Julien Fouchard (FRA)
125. Luis Angel Mate Mardones (ESP)
126. Stéphane Poulhies (FRA)
127. Guillaume Levarlet (FRA)
128. Clément Venturini (FRA)

131. Fabio Andres Duarte Arevalo (COL)
132. Juan Arango Carvajal (COL)
133. Edwin Alcibiades Ávila Vanegas (COL)
134. Rodolfo Andres Torres Agudelo (COL)
135. Jeffry Johan Romero Corredor (COL)
136. Duber Quintero Artunduaga (COL)
137. Edward Fabian Diaz Cardenas (COL)

IAM Cycling
141. Stefan Denifl (AUT)
142. Matthias Brändle (AUT)
143. Jonathan Fumeaux (SWI)
144. Patrick Schelling (SWI)
145. Kevyn Ista (BEL)
146. Pirmin Lang (SWI)
147. Gustav Erik Larsson (SWE)
148. Sébastien Reichenbach (SWI)

151. Kristian Sbaragli (ITA)
152. Ferekalsi Debesay Abrha (ERI)
153. Linus Gerdemann (GER)
154. Martin Reimer (GER)
155. Jay Robert Thomson (RSA)
156. Dennis van Niekerk (RSA)
157. Martin Wesemann (RSA)
158. Jacobus Venter (RSA)

Yellow Fluo
161. Francesco Chicchi (ITA)
162. Giorgio Cecchinel (ITA)
163. Daniele Colli (ITA)
164. Samuele Conti (ITA)
165. Mauro Finetto (ITA)
166. Luigi Miletta (ITA)
167. Mattia Pozzo (ITA)
168. Mirko Tedeschi (ITA)

171. Ivan Balykin (ITA)
172. Leonid Krasnov (RUS)
173. Timofey Kritskiy (RUS)
174. Roman Maikin (RUS)
175. Artem Ovechkin (RUS)
176. Kirill Pozdnyakov (RUS)
177. Alexander Serov (RUS)
178. Andrei Solomennikov (RUS)

181. Bartosz Huzarski (POL)
182. Cesare Benedetti (ITA)
183. Iker Camano Ortuzar (ESP)
184. Jonathan McEvoy (GBR)
185. Frantisek Padour (Cze)
187. Erick Rowsell (GBR)

Novo Nordisk
191. David Lozano Riba (ESP)
192. Kevin De Mesmaeker (BEL)
193. Joonas Henttala (FIN)
195. Javier Megias Leal (ESP)
195. Thomas Raeymaekers (BEL)
196. Martijn Verschoor (NED)
197. Christopher Williams (AUS)

Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise
201. Preben Van Hecke (BEL)
203. Pieter Jacobs (BEL)
204. Eliot Lietaer (BEL)
205. Thomas Sprengers (BEL)
206. Arthur Van Overberghe (BEL)
207. Pieter Vanspeybrouck (BEL)
208. Zico Waeytens (BEL)

211. Marc de Maar (NED)
212. Alessandro Bazzana (ITA)
213. Jonathan Clarke (AUS)
214. Davide Frattini (ITA)
215. Ken Hanson (USA)
216. Christopher Jones (USA)
217. Martijn Maaskant (NED)
218. Kiel Reijnen (USA)

Wanty-Groupe Gobert
221. Björn Leukemans (BEL)
222. Jérôme Baugnies (BEL)
223. Francis De Greef (BEL)
224. Thomas Degand (BEL)
225. Jan Ghyselinck (BEL)
226. Michel Kreder (NED)
227. Nico Sijmens (BEL)
228. Frederik Veuchelen (BEL)

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Former Jamis rider Pinkham dies after apparent accidental overdose Tue, 15 Apr 2014 20:13:31 +0000 Brian Holcombe

Former Bissell rider Chase Pinkham, 23, died Sunday night. Photo: Pat Malach |

Chase Pinkham, 24, died Monday night, a family friend has confirmed to VeloNews

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Former Bissell rider Chase Pinkham, 23, died Sunday night. Photo: Pat Malach |

Chase Pinkham, a former rider for Jamis-Hagens Berman and the Trek-Livestrong development team, died Sunday night, a friend of the Pinkham family has confirmed to VeloNews.

The 23-year-old American rider died of an apparent accidental overdose, according to his family, after years of chronic pain related to a 2008 crash.

Pinkham was a rapidly rising prospect in Utah cycling when he was struck by a car while training in Canada prior to the Tour de l’Abitibi stage race in 2008. Following his recovery from the crash, which resulted in facial injuries requiring multiple reconstructive surgeries, Pinkham attracted the attention of Trek director Axel Merckx and joined the development program for the 2010 season.

From Trek, Pinkham continued onto domestic teams Bissell and Jamis, for whom he rode in 2013.

A story about Pinkham’s 2008 accident and subsequent challenges, ran in the Deseret News in February 2010.

According to a March 9 Facebook post, Pinkham dealt with chronic pain and depression related to his 2008 crash.

“Just wanted to give you an update if you have tried to get a hold of me the last few days by cell phone. I am currently seeking treatment for some severe depression caused by years of dealing with chronic pain from my accident in 2008. I am in a safe and good place, but I do not have access to a cell phone. If you need to get a hold of me please message me here,” wrote Pinkham.

“Dealing with chronic pain, years of medication and depression is something that may make you completely alone and hopeless, even when surrounded by the people that love you. Please remember that if you are suffering currently, or ever end up suffering, that you are not alone and that people love you. There is help available and asking for it only proves that you have the strength to reach out and the desire to change the state you are in. Many suffer, but so few ask for the help that so many people are willing to give.”

According to Alex Kim, a close friend of the Pinkham family, Chase underwent dozens of surgeries related to his 2008 crash and suffered from chronic pain. Pinkham was eliminating his use of narcotic painkillers, according to Kim, earlier this year when he suffered a broken leg at the Valley of the Sun Stage Race in Arizona in February. Following the crash, doctors again prescribed narcotic painkillers for Pinkham. He was house-sitting last weekend in Salt Lake City when friends discovered Pinkham’s body.

“He didn’t take his own life,” Kim told VeloNews. “He was doing well when we saw him Friday and Saturday. This was an accidental overdose.”

Kim said the Pinkham family hoped a positive legacy would come from Chase’s death.

“Chronic pain is a big problem,” he said. “They want people to know this was something he was fighting and can happen to anyone.”

An outpouring of grief followed the news of Pinkham’s death, with former teammates among those offering condolences.

Addie Levinsky contributed reporting to this story.

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Cancellara still chasing history in the monuments Tue, 15 Apr 2014 13:31:07 +0000 Gregor Brown

Fabian Cancellara was unable to match Niki Terpstra's winning move at Paris-Roubaix and finished third. Photo: Tim De Waele |

“Spartacus” closes his spring classics run with three podium finishes

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Fabian Cancellara was unable to match Niki Terpstra's winning move at Paris-Roubaix and finished third. Photo: Tim De Waele |

GHENT, Belgium (VN) — Fabian Cancellara said it himself — only the win matters — but he still closed his 2014 spring classics campaign with an impressive run. The Swiss “Spartacus” in black with white pinstripes won the Ronde van Vlaanderen (Tour of Flanders) and placed second in Milano-Sanremo and third in Paris-Roubaix.

“OK, it could be worse,” Cancellara said when the dust settled at the Roubaix velodrome Sunday. “I’ve been on the podium 12 times in a row in these monuments, and that’s also not so bad. I get measured on winning, not finishing second or third, but it’s OK like this.”

Taking out the 2012 De Ronde, when he abandoned with a broken collarbone, Cancellara (Trek Factory Racing) placed in the top three in every monument he raced. He has never lined up in the other two monuments, Liège-Bastogne-Liège and the Giro di Lombardia.

After the 2010 season, he said he would like to target all five monuments. “You lose your motivation doing the same things,” he said. “I need new challenges.”

The feat of winning all five monuments, however, remains in the hands of Roger De Vlaeminck, Rik Van Looy, and Eddy Merckx — all Belgians.

Had Cancellara won in Roubaix, he would have been the first rider to win the De Ronde/Roubaix double three times. He also would have taken his fourth victory and matched Roubaix’s record for the most wins, sitting alongside De Vlaeminck and his current rival Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma-Quick Step). Instead, the numbers worked against Cancellara.

His key lieutenant Stijn Devolder could not start due to a crash in De Ronde. Gregory Rast lost ground in the Arenberg Forest with a bike change, while Yaroslav Popovych and Hayden Roulston crashed. With Roulston, Cancellara went down as well and had to change bikes. He nearly lost all chances to make 12 podiums in a row.

“I spent a lot of energy getting back on after changing bikes. Roubaix is a race where you can never spend too much energy because you’ll be missing it in the end.”

Cancellara appeared more human than “Spartacus” in these classics. In De Ronde, he followed and waited for the sprint. He did the same in Roubaix instead of attacking solo with 48 kilometers remaining as he did in 2010.

Boonen attacked. Sep Vanmarcke (Belkin) tried. And Peter Sagan (Cannondale) went, too. Cancellara dodged bullets, marked attacks and survived. He formed a part of an 11-man group with 20km to race. The numbers were stacked against the Swiss in black: Omega Pharma had three men, and Giant-Shimano and Sky counted two each.

“I couldn’t go with Boonen, that was too far out at 65km considering the headwind and Omega Pharma had more men behind. I knew I would have to wait,” Cancellara said.

“To just attack and to be in the front and then get dropped is also not what I wanted. My solution was to go towards the velodrome and then do my best: Third place and second behind John Degenkolb in a sprint like this.”

Omega Pharma won the race. Niki Terpstra attacked the front group and quickly put some real estate between himself and the chasers. His teammates Boonen and Zdenek Stybar watched. Cancellara’s chance for a fourth win and a third double vanished.

Cancellara said he did not want to risk a podium spot with a desperate chase. “Honestly, I race for winning, not arriving for second or third,” he said. “But in the end, I’m realistic.”

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Report: Gesink out of Amstel Gold Race with heart problem Tue, 15 Apr 2014 13:13:40 +0000

Robert Gesink is reportedly out of the Amstel Gold Race due to a heart condition. Photo: Tim De Waele |

The Belkin rider failed to finish last week's Tour of the Basque Country

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Robert Gesink is reportedly out of the Amstel Gold Race due to a heart condition. Photo: Tim De Waele |

THE HAGUE (AFP) — Dutch rider Robert Gesink will skip Sunday’s Amstel Gold Race due to a heart condition, the Algemeen Dagblad newspaper reported on Tuesday.

The 27-year-old Belkin rider suffers from stress in major races that triggers problems with his heartbeat, the paper reported.

When contacted by AFP, Gesink’s team declined to comment ahead of a scheduled press conference the rider is due to appear at later Tuesday.

UPDATE: Belkin distributed a comment on Gesink’s health status later Tuesday, saying the team would stand by its long-term star rider, who will be on the sidelines for an unknown period of time.

“Belkin Pro Cycling Team rider Robert Gesink has been suffering from cardiac arrhythmia during heavy physical exertions for a few years,” the statement read. “This was also the case while he obtained his greatest race results. During previously conducted medical research, medics have concluded that cardiac arrhythmia does not hinder a cyclist’s performance, even at the highest level. However, ever since the Giro d’Italia in 2013, Robert has become afraid of this disorder. In agreement with the team, the medical staff and experts, Robert has decided to go through an extensive medical examination to try and find the cause of this disorder and a solution for this problem.

“The Belkin Pro Cycling Team will fully support Robert during this period, and will give him all the time he needs to recover. Up until now, the medical staff has not found any reason to stop Robert from racing. In agreement with Robert, the team will perform an extensive cardiac examination and he will not race until further notice. The Belkin Pro Cycling Team has full confidence that Robert will be able to continue to perform at the highest level and that he will leave this difficult problem behind him.”

Gesink abandoned during the fifth stage of last week’s Vuelta al País Vasco (Tour of the Basque Country), and in March he also failed to complete the Tirreno-Adriatico.

Gesink’s best finish in a grand tour was fifth at the Tour de France in 2010.

The Amstel Gold Race is the first of three hilly spring classics set for the next two weeks. It is followed by the Flèche Wallonne and Liège–Bastogne–Liège.

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Contador: Tour cobbles will be harder in 2014 Tue, 15 Apr 2014 03:18:55 +0000

Alberto Contador previewed the cobblestones that will feature in stage 5 of the Tour de France Monday. Photo: Tinkoff-Saxo

Spaniard previews stage 5 of the Tour de France and says the stones deserve respect

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Alberto Contador previewed the cobblestones that will feature in stage 5 of the Tour de France Monday. Photo: Tinkoff-Saxo

Two-time Tour de France champion Alberto Contador previewed the Tour de France’s fifth stage Monday, taking a close look at the nine cobblestone sectors facing riders on the July 9 leg between Ypres, Belgium, and Arenberg, France.

“I have studied especially the material [equipment], which is most important here. I already knew some sections from 2010 [stage 3 of the 2010 Tour traveled over a number of cobbled sectors], but clearly the most critical will be the first sections, because there the group will still be very large and there will be more fighting to get into in front of the group. After there will have more selection,” Contador said in a press release. “The feeling on the cobblestones has been good, but we must not forget that this is just a workout, it’s not the race, and there wasn’t rain, which can complicate everything. The wind will also be very important.”

Contador rode the final 75 kilometers of the stage Monday after previewing the first portion in the car. A day after Paris-Roubix tore through the fields of northern France, he said the cobbles demanded respect. The Spaniard lost 1:13 when the race last encountered the cobbles, leaving the day 1:01 behind Cadel Evans and 1:40 behind then-leader Fabian Cancellara.

“The hardest part will be the entry into the sections of pavé. Some of them have a lot of sand and the bike skates a lot. Care should be taken,” he said. “I felt good on the cobbles, but you have to face this stage with respect and being aware that we’ll be here with 100 kilometers in the legs. I think it will be a more difficult stage than in 2010, because the first sections are more complicated.”

Contador returned to Spain following his reconnaissance. He will not race again until the Critérium du Dauphiné in early June, which will be his final race before the Tour.

“After finishing the [Tour of the Basque Country] and seeing this stage, I can say that I have achieved the objectives of the first part of the season,” he said.

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Rebranded Gran Fondo Italia announces 2014 lineup Mon, 14 Apr 2014 22:33:29 +0000

The Italian gran fondo series returns to Miami-Coral Gables, Florida, for a fourth year.

Three events in the U.S and one in Brazil make up the 2014 Gran Fondo Italia schedule, with more events expected to be announced

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The Italian gran fondo series returns to Miami-Coral Gables, Florida, for a fourth year.

The former Gran Fondo Giro d’Italia series has been rebranded as simply Gran Fondo Italia, with a new lineup of events for 2014.

In 2013 the series was one of several to usher in this highly popular format of organized rides, which cater to varying skill levels. Those at the front often race to win. Those in the middle strive for personal bests. Those at the back attempt to complete the distance.

Three events in the U.S and one in Brazil make up the 2014 Gran Fondo Italia schedule, with more events expected to be announced.

The first event will be held August 10 in Aspen-Snowmass, Colorado, just eight days before the USA Pro Challenge begins in the same location.

The second event will be held October 19 in Atlanta-Roswell, Georgia, a  well known cycling area. The event will be organized in partnership with Southern Bicycle League.

On November 9, Gran Fondo Italia will return to Miami-Coral Gables, Florida, for a fourth year.

Finally, on November 16, the first edition of Gran Fondo Italia Rio de Janeiro will be held, in the future Olympic city.

The series, brings a blend of Italian atmosphere, cycling history, and Italian partnerships to host cities, was founded by Italian Matteo Gerevini in 2009.

“To give an example from our early events, we added the pasta party at the end of the event, usually involving the local Italian restaurants,” said Gerevini. “And then jerseys and technical bike products were added as part of the offerings. Our history goes back to the early days of using timed climbs to provide riders with markers for their achievements. All these details make the difference in a great experience, and we are well-positioned to provide an Italian experience that will keep our value unique and successful.”

For more information visit Gran Fondo Italia’s website.

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Phinney’s Roubaix dreams go flat in the Carrefour de l’Arbre Mon, 14 Apr 2014 16:54:12 +0000 Andrew Hood

Taylor Phinney lost a shot at the Paris-Roubaix podium when he flatted late in Sunday's race. Photo: Tim De Waele |

American suffers first-ever Roubaix puncture and misses a shot at the finale in the cobbled closer

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Taylor Phinney lost a shot at the Paris-Roubaix podium when he flatted late in Sunday's race. Photo: Tim De Waele |

ROUBAIX, France (VN) — A puncture took the air out of Taylor Phinney’s dreams of Paris-Roubaix glory during a bumpy ride Sunday in “The Hell of the North.”

Phinney, 23, was hovering near the front group until the decisive Carrefour de l’Arbre, the last of three five-star rated cobbled sectors, with 15km to to go to the Roubaix velodrome. With an untimely puncture, he lost contact with his chase group just as the race was coming apart at the seams, and had to settle for 30th, at 2:55 back.

“I had a flat there in the Carrefour de l’Arbre sector, and that’s the first time I’ve had a flat ever in Roubaix. That was not a great moment to have a puncture,” Phinney told VeloNews. “I am not quite sure how the race played out, but I know I would have been there with Greg [Van Avermaet], Thor [Hushovd], and Marcus [Burghardt].”

BMC brought a multi-pronged attack to Roubaix, with Phinney enjoying new freedom to try his luck late in the race. The flat tire, however, spoiled his chances on a day when he was hoping to do a lot more. Since winning the under-23 Paris-Roubaix in 2009 and 2010, Phinney has had a growing passion for the pavé, and he was certainly swinging for the fences Sunday.

A strong showing in the Ronde van Vlaanderen (Tour of Flanders), where he rode into the day’s main breakaway after missing out on Milano-Sanremo and E3 Harelbeke with fever, raised hopes for a big ride Sunday. Covered in dust from the hard effort, Phinney could only shake his head in frustration.

“When you flat on the cobbles like that, you lose all your momentum,” Phinney said. “You cannot push the same power. I had to change a wheel, and lost a good 30 seconds. I got into a little group, and we powered to the line as best we could.”

BMC was looking good heading toward the final crescendo of the race. Hushovd enjoyed his best ride on the pavé since he was second in 2010. After suffering through a few sub-par seasons, and an equally frustrating Flanders the week before, the Norwegian national champion was back on the sharp end of the action, bridging out to the decisive, late-race breakaway featuring Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma-Quick Step).

The American team’s hopes quickly unraveled, however. Phinney’s puncture was matched by an earlier spill involving Flanders runner-up Van Avermaet, who spun out on a dusty right-hand corner over the cobbles with under 25km to go.

Despite solid riding throughout the meat of the race, no BMC jerseys made it into the 10-rider breakaway that fought for the victory in the final 10km.

Van Avermaet led BMC Racing with 17th, in the second chase group at 47 seconds back, with Hushovd and Burghardt riding into the third chase group, for 19th and 22nd, respectively, at 1:05 back. Phinney sprinted to third out of his group for 30th.

“As a team, I think we deserved more than what the results sheet showed,” Phinney said. “As a team, we were super strong and always together. Sometimes things just don’t go your way.”

Though clearly disappointed to suffer a puncture in the key moment of the race that he loves, Phinney tried to look for the positive in his third Roubaix since turning professional in 2011.

“It’s too bad,” he said. “Personally, I made a step forward from last year and the year before, so that’s all I can ask from myself.”

Experience counts in Roubaix, both good and bad, and Phinney continues to build up his account for a future withdrawal.

After a busy spring, which included a time trial stage win at the Dubai Tour and seventh in Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, Phinney returns Monday to the United States, where he will race at the Amgen Tour of California for the first time since 2011. Then he’ll try to fight his way onto BMC’s roster for a Tour de France debut and a chance to help his friend, Tejay van Garderen, in a run for the yellow jersey.

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