VeloNews.com http://velonews.competitor.com Competitive Cycling News, Race Results and Bike Reviews Mon, 08 Feb 2016 18:49:52 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.3.1 Russian minister: No ‘problems of any kind’ despite doping cases http://velonews.competitor.com/2016/02/news/russian-minister_394887 http://velonews.competitor.com/2016/02/news/russian-minister_394887#comments Mon, 08 Feb 2016 18:49:52 +0000 http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=394887

Eduard Vorganov was provisionally suspended after failing an anti-doping test. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com (File).

Despite two doping suspensions to date in 2016, Russia's sports minister says his country's cycling program is not suspected of corruption

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Eduard Vorganov was provisionally suspended after failing an anti-doping test. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com (File).

MOSCOW (AFP) — Russia’s sports minister denied there were “problems of any kind” in Russian cycling despite several doping cases in recent days.

“I fully trust the athletes and trainers,” sports minister Vitaly Mutko told state news agency TASS on Monday, referring to the national cycling team. “I don’t see problems of any kind here.”

Russia’s anti-doping agency RUSADA announced last week that track cyclist Yelena Brezhniva, a two-time European champion in the team sprint, had received a four-year suspension for doping. Her suspension was followed by that of Katusha rider Eduard Vorganov, a former Russian road race champion. Katusha suspended Vorganov from all team activities after he tested positive for meldonium, a substance that was only added to the banned list last month.

The 33-year-old became the second Katusha rider to fail an anti-doping test in 12 months after Italy’s Luca Paolini tested positive for cocaine on the 2015 Tour de France.

Russia has vowed to fight doping after a World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) independent commission last year released a report alleging state-sponsored doping and mass corruption in the country’s athletics. Russian officials initially dismissed the WADA report findings as groundless, but acted upon some of its recommendations after President Vladimir Putin said the country “must do everything” to fight doping.

The International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) provisionally suspended Russia over the report in November, sparking fears that Russian track and field stars could be sidelined from this summer’s Rio de Janeiro Olympics. Both RUSADA and Russia’s anti-doping laboratory were suspended over the scandal.

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Unrepentant Rebellin wants to be an example to younger riders http://velonews.competitor.com/2016/02/news/unrepentant-rebellin-wants-to-be-an-example-to-younger-riders_394882 http://velonews.competitor.com/2016/02/news/unrepentant-rebellin-wants-to-be-an-example-to-younger-riders_394882#comments Mon, 08 Feb 2016 17:58:29 +0000 http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=394882

Davide Rebellin, 44, is entering his 21st season as a professional cyclist. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com (File).

Unrepentant over his two-year doping ban and stripped Olympic medal, Rebellin presses on as one of the peloton's oldest riders.

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Davide Rebellin, 44, is entering his 21st season as a professional cyclist. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com (File).

DUKHAN, Qatar (VN) — Davide Rebellin, despite doping to win the silver medal in the 2008 Olympics, keeps racing at 44 years old. The Italian says that he did not cheat and that his younger colleagues see him an example of longevity.

This week, he is racing the Tour of Qatar alongside riders more than half his age. UnitedHealthcare’s Daniel Eaton, for example, was only two years old when Rebellin won a stage in the 1996 Giro d’Italia.

“I want to be an example of longevity. I’m showing that if one wants to, he can keep going into his 40s,” Rebellin said while he and his CCC Sprandi-Polkowice teammates prepared in their orange kits ahead of the first stage. “It’s an example. Even now many riders say to me, ‘Looking at you makes me want to consider to keep going.’ Not just the amateurs doing so, but the other professionals here in the group.”

The Italian from Veneto won the Tirreno-Adriatico and Paris-Nice general classifications, and in 2004 he swept the Ardennes classics — the Amstel Gold Race, Flèche Wallonne, and Liège-Bastogne-Liège. Last year, he won the Coppa Agostoni ahead of grand tour star Vincenzo Nibali, who is 13 years younger.

Those in sport, however, remember him as the first Italian to hand back an Olympic medal, a member of a notorious group that brought the public’s attention to a new super EPO, CERA. That status perhaps outweighs and overshadows any win he achieved before and after the 2008 Beijing Games.

He never admitted to cheating. He asked for the B sample to be analyzed, but it too revealed traces of the blood booster.

“No. No, I didn’t do it,” he said when asked if he doped with EPO. “Also the Olympics was a story that was … I tried to defend myself, but I never had a ruling in my favor. Now, though, I’ve won some legal cases in Italy.”

The point in his favor, he said, was that he won the criminal case against him in last May. Prosecutors had sought 500,000 euro ($559,000) in damages and a 12-month custodial sentence. In the ruling, the judge did not go against the scientific evidence that he doped.

Rebellin still sat out for two years from 2009 to 2011, and when he returned he did so in the lower ranks. Instead of top teams, such as Polti, FDJ, Liquigas, and Gerolsteiner, he has been passing his time with Continental and Professional Continental teams.

Giro d’Italia organizer RCS Sport invited his Polish CCC team to race the 2015 edition, but it did so while advising the team to leave Rebellin home, along with another convicted doper, Stefan Schumacher.

“For sure, the two-year suspension was very bad,” he said. “I lost contacts, teams didn’t want me, the organizers didn’t want me. My salary was cut by at least half, or even more, much more. It was not just a two-year suspension, but six or seven. I had to restart with small teams to be in a team that is a little larger now.”

Rebellin lives and trains in Monaco along the famous Côte d’Azur. He said that when he is with the younger cyclists, he tries to advise them. “I just tell them to love what they are doing above all. That’s the most important thing to being successful. For sure, doping does not make a rider; what counts the most is talent and the ability to take advantage of those natural talents,” Rebellin continued.

“How do I keep going? This is the thing that I love to do the most. I want to do it the best I can and to not have any regrets when I retire. I want to show that you can still win when you are over 40, as long as you have the will to do it.”

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Gallery: 2016 Tour of Qatar, stage 1 http://velonews.competitor.com/2016/02/news/road/gallery-2016-tour-of-qatar-stage-1_394863 http://velonews.competitor.com/2016/02/news/road/gallery-2016-tour-of-qatar-stage-1_394863#comments Mon, 08 Feb 2016 17:24:49 +0000 http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=394863

Edvald Boasson Hagen protected his Dimension Data teammate Mark Cavendish, keeping him fresh for the sprint. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

Mark Cavendish notched his first victory of 2016 on a wind-swept day in stage 1 of Tour of Qatar.

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Edvald Boasson Hagen protected his Dimension Data teammate Mark Cavendish, keeping him fresh for the sprint. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

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With deep squad, Sky off to hot start http://velonews.competitor.com/2016/02/news/with-deep-squad-sky-off-to-hot-start_394852 http://velonews.competitor.com/2016/02/news/with-deep-squad-sky-off-to-hot-start_394852#comments Mon, 08 Feb 2016 15:25:40 +0000 http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=394852

Wout Poels won the recent Volta a Valencia. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

The British team could be a threat in every stage race it starts this season, thanks to some new signees over the winter.

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Wout Poels won the recent Volta a Valencia. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

The sun never sets on the growing Team Sky empire. The squad is hot out of the gates in 2016, winning races over the weekend in three time zones around the globe.

Two-time Tour de France champion Chris Froome is a favorite in any race he starts — which he proved again with a thrilling GC victory at the Herald Sun Tour to open his season — but Sky is so stacked in talent, it can be a legitimate GC threat even when Froome isn’t racing.

Just look at what happened in the opening races of 2016. Wout Poels revealed he’s more than just a climbing domestique, riding Astana’s Fabio Aru off his wheel en route to winning two stages and the overall at the rebooted Volta a Valenciana in Spain. Peter Kennaugh was second to Froome in Australia, and Sergio Henao nearly beat the Aussies on home turf, taking third at the Santos Tour Down Under to open the WorldTour last month. Elia Viviani even took a sprint at the Dubai Tour to sweeten the pot.

“I think coming here, and walking away with the overall victory is an amazing way to start off,” Froome said after his first win since last year’s Tour de France. “I am seeing the results of some hard training this winter, but this season is lining up to be one of the most eventful of my career so far.”

Froome is clearly the gravitational center at Sky, and the team will back him 100 percent as the Kenyan-born star targets winning his third yellow jersey and a gold medal at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

But there’s room for more than one star in the ever expanding Sky galaxy. If Froome wasn’t scary enough already, the squad is revealing new GC depth that could prove deadly across the entire season.

“This will be a very special year for Team Sky,” team boss Dave Brailsford said at the team camp last month. “I don’t know why we cannot go for all three grand tours.”

It’s still early days, but Sky looks to be on an even higher level going into 2016.

Already bolstered by early-season success, the team’s major off-season GC signing, Mikel Landa, hasn’t even raced yet. Brailsford tapped Landa to replace Richie Porte, who made trails for BMC Racing, and will debut next week at the Ruta del Sol in Spain. Also with new additions Beñat Intxausti and Michal Kwiatkowski, Sky is deeper than it’s ever been.

“Sky made a place for me, and that’s why I’m here,” Landa told VeloNews contributor Gregor Brown. “I’m preparing for the Giro, and the team is doing everything it can to help me for that goal.”

The team’s GC universe also extends to Kwiatkowski and Geraint Thomas, two riders who are not hiding their ambitions to target stage racing. Kwiatkowski, the 2014 world champion, and Thomas both believe they have possibilities in one-week stage races and hope to develop into grand tour contenders some day.

“It’s come to a point where I need to decide what road I want to go down,” said Thomas, confirming he won’t race the northern classics this year. “It was a hard decision to make, because E3 Harelbeke is my biggest win and I love that race. It’s hard to miss it, but you have to make the call sometime.”

Here’s how Sky’s GC aspirations are shaping up this season. Froome will race Paris-Nice, Volta a Catalunya, Tour de Romandie, and the Critérium du Dauphiné, four races he’s either already won or could win. Thomas, however, will get his chance, especially at Paris-Nice, as Froome will likely keep things on a slow simmer until aiming to hit peak form for the Tour-Rio double.

Landa, the team’s new GC ace, will debut at Ruta del Sol and will start Tirreno-Adriatico, the Vuelta al País Vasco (Tour of the Basque Country), and Giro del Trentino, three races he will target for victory as he prepares to take on the mantle of leadership before the Giro.

Behind Froome and Landa, riders such as Thomas, a healthy and motivated Henao, Poels, Kwiatkowski, Leopold Konig, and Kennaugh will get their chances to chase their own results throughout the calendar.

Anything can happen during a racing season, but Sky is poised to be competitive in every stage race it starts this year. The spring classics, however, remain a challenge. Sky still has yet to win a “monument” since its founding in 2010.

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Evelyn Stevens will attempt to break UCI hour record http://velonews.competitor.com/2016/02/news/evelyn-stevens-will-attempt-to-break-uci-hour-record_394858 http://velonews.competitor.com/2016/02/news/evelyn-stevens-will-attempt-to-break-uci-hour-record_394858#comments Mon, 08 Feb 2016 15:25:04 +0000 http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=394858

Evelyn Stevens (Boels-Dolmans) won the women's Tour of California time trial by four seconds.
Photo: Casey B. Gibson | www.cbgphoto.com

American Evelyn Stevens will aim to break the world hour record on the track in Colorado Springs at the end of February.

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Evelyn Stevens (Boels-Dolmans) won the women's Tour of California time trial by four seconds. Photo: Casey B. Gibson | www.cbgphoto.com

Evelyn Stevens, an Olympian and five-time world championships medalist, will attempt to break the women’s UCI hour record on February 27 in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

“While attempting to break the UCI hour record is exciting for me and my career, I’m also proud to help shine a light on women’s cycling,” Stevens said. “This will be a special day, and it’s an honor to make my record attempt under the new dome at the Colorado Springs Olympic Training Center Velodrome.”

Stevens is a former U.S. national time trial champion (2011) and also won the Amgen Tour of California Women’s Edition time trial last season. She finished sixth at time trial worlds in 2015 and helped her Boels-Dolmans team win the team time trial title in Richmond, Virginia.

The record stands at 46.882km after Bridie O’Donnell broke American Molly Shaffer van Houweling’s record on January 22 in Adelaide, Australia.

“The current women’s UCI hour record will be only five weeks old when Evelyn Stevens tries to establish a new mark,” said UCI president Brian Cookson. “Bridie O’Donnell set a tough mark last month, and I am looking forward tremendously to following this next challenge. It is clear that the excitement surrounding the iconic UCI hour record will be just as high in 2016 as it was last year when we saw six attempts on the men’s record and two on the women’s record.”

Stevens will attempt to break the record at the Colorado Springs Olympic Training Center Velodrome under the newly constructed winter dome. A 333.3-meter banked cement track, the Olympic Training Center Velodrome sits at just over 6,000 feet above sea level.

“We are thrilled that Evie is attempting to break this very prestigious record here in the United States in front of an international audience,” said USA Cycling CEO Derek Bouchard-Hall. “Having one of our top American athletes chase history under our new Olympic Training Center Velodome will be very special.”

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Cavendish wins Tour of Qatar opener http://velonews.competitor.com/2016/02/news/cavendish-wins-tour-of-qatar-opener_394847 http://velonews.competitor.com/2016/02/news/cavendish-wins-tour-of-qatar-opener_394847#comments Mon, 08 Feb 2016 14:24:30 +0000 http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=394847

Mark Cavendish won his first race in a Dimension Data kit on Monday. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

Mark Cavendish picks up his first victory of the season by winning a bunch sprint and now leads the race's overall standings.

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Mark Cavendish won his first race in a Dimension Data kit on Monday. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

DOHA, Qatar (AFP) — Mark Cavendish won the first stage of the Tour of Qatar Monday ahead of Italian pair Sacha Modolo and Andrea Guardini.

Cavendish, who rides for Dimension Data, covered the 175 kilometers from Dukhan to the Al Khor corniche in 3:28:31, out-sprinting Lampre – Merida’s Modolo, Astana’s Guardini, and several others in a bunch sprint to the line.

Because of time bonuses, Cavendish leads Modolo by 8 seconds in the GC standings, while Guardini is another 3 ticks behind.

Tuesday’s 135km second stage around the campus of the University of Qatar will see the peloton tackle the course prepared for the UCI Road World Championships in October.

The tour comprises five stages and will cover a total distance of 626.4km.

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Cavendish could scrap Rio plans after Tour of Qatar http://velonews.competitor.com/2016/02/news/cavendish-could-scrap-rio-plans-after-tour-of-qatar_394843 http://velonews.competitor.com/2016/02/news/cavendish-could-scrap-rio-plans-after-tour-of-qatar_394843#comments Mon, 08 Feb 2016 14:06:54 +0000 http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=394843

Mark Cavendish picked up a pair of podium finishes at the Dubai Tour last week. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

Mark Cavendish says he may or may not reconsider his goal of winning an Olympic gold medal on the track after this week's Tour of Qatar.

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Mark Cavendish picked up a pair of podium finishes at the Dubai Tour last week. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

DOHA, Qatar (VN) — Mark Cavendish will plan his 2016 schedule, deciding if his Olympic gold medal quest is attainable, this week in the Tour of Qatar.

The British super sprinter, now with Dimension Data, sports a resume that includes 26 Tour de France stage wins, a world title, and a Milano-Sanremo victory. He is aiming for more of the same this year, plus combining his road job with his quest to win the omnium at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

However, Cavendish said that by the end of this week he could call off racing in the March track world championships and decide whether his quest is possible.

“I got to see how I’m going to race first,” Cavendish said in a press sit-down ahead of the Tour of Qatar. “I’ll decide on the worlds in the middle of this race, see how my endurance is. If I don’t hold up after that… Obviously my endurance isn’t very good so I’ll have to see how I’ll go in a few days. I’ll make a call then.”

Cavendish got off to a good start Monday, winning the opening stage in Qatar. He earned a tight victory in the bunch sprint finish ahead of Sacha Modolo of Lampre – Merida and Andrea Guardini of Astana.

Cavendish has already qualified for the British track team for the Rio Games, but he must still be selected by the team. At the same time, he must lead his new road team in the sprints from Qatar this week to the Tour de France in July. At the Tour, he wants to wear the yellow jersey for the first time in his career by winning the opening stage.

“It’s tricky, its not tricky it’s just that every single day counts. It might not work, it might be in a few weeks, I realize it’s not doable and I have to change everything, but I believe it’s possible to do,” Cavendish said. “I think there’s very few riders who could do the road and track at a high level, but I think I’m fortunate I can do that.”

If he finds out he cannot combine all of his goals, Cavendish said “things will have to change.”

It is unclear if team GB will select Cavendish to ride the multi-event omnium in Rio if he does not race the worlds in London. He might need a good showing to earn the ride, since in the last World Cup in Hong Kong he placed fourth.

When asked whether calling off the worlds would essentially end his quest to win track gold in Rio, Cavendish showed his prickly side. “Is there any way you could try to not call off some polemic story?”

The 30-year-old is considered one of cycling’s best sprinters, if not the best. But in recent times, rivals André Greipel of Lotto – Soudal, Marcel Kittel of Etixx – Quick-Step, and Alexander Kristoff of Katusha have won more sprint finishes.

In the Dubai Tour last week, Kittel won two stages and Cavendish placed second and third in stages 1 and 4. However, Cavendish said he generated his maximum watts since 2011 in one of those sprints. Asked if he learned anything from sprinting against Kittel in Dubai or his debut in the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race in Australia last month, he replied, “no.”

For now, the yellow jersey, an Olympic gold medal, and a second road world title in October remain Cavendish’s goals for 2016.

“I might not wear the yellow jersey, I might not win the Olympics, I might not win the worlds — the probability of winning two of them is pretty slim, let alone all three, it’s just something nice for you to write about,” he said.

“I’m a professional road rider so I’m going to ride on the road. I don’t pay a pound to race the Tour of Qatar or in Dubai, so I get paid to ride on the road. That’s my job, and I can’t win an Olympic medal on the road, so I’ll go on the track to win an Olympic medal if I can.”

Cavendish came up short of earning a medal in the last two Olympics. At the 2008 Beijing Games, his Madison partner Bradley Wiggins was off his form and in the 2012 London Games, Cavendish’s quest was stopped by the tactics in the road race.

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Divergent design — the UCI’s bike rules are less relevant than ever http://velonews.competitor.com/2016/02/bikes-and-tech/393575_393575 http://velonews.competitor.com/2016/02/bikes-and-tech/393575_393575#comments Sun, 07 Feb 2016 20:33:45 +0000 http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=393575

The UCI's restrictive rules are becoming less of a factor when average cyclists pick a new bike to purchase. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

For the first time, what pro racers ride and what everyone else buys are not the same.

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The UCI's restrictive rules are becoming less of a factor when average cyclists pick a new bike to purchase. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

A mechanic sticks a small expandable plug draped with lead weights into the bottom of Ryder Hesjedal’s bike, which hangs from a digital scale. It reads 6,809 grams — just over the 6.8-kilogram minimum mandated by the UCI. Ready to race.

Adding useless weight to a bike to comply with a rule intended to prevent the use of dangerously light equipment illustrates just how out of touch with reality much of cycling’s rulebook now is. And though the UCI recently announced its intention to do away with the 6.8kg rule, there are other examples: a wheel test that doesn’t evaluate strength but, rather, how far the spokes stick out after failure; a ban on socks that rise above the middle of the calf (but no ban on full-length tights).

Cycling’s rulebook was written “philosophically,” former UCI president Pat McQuaid told me three years ago. For a decade, those philosophical and often frustrating rules were a roadmap for the sport’s engineers and innovators. They built walls around racing bicycles, defining what they could and could not be. And because the industry followed a model in which pro racing led all other road development, those rules effectively limited what everyone else could buy.

That is changing. Road disc brakes, mixed-use road bikes, and super-aero triathlon bikes all break numerous UCI rules, yet these are the areas witnessing massive development and investment. By setting up regulatory walls around the bicycle, the UCI banned large-scale innovation in race bikes. So the ingenuity went elsewhere, following road cycling as it diverged. Pro racing and amateur riding mirror each other less than ever before. Instead of limiting innovation, the UCI’s efforts merely held pro bikes back while the industry, through consumer demand, left them behind, by focusing on bikes built for a purpose rather than to regulation.

In 1996, the year of Bjarne Riis’ Tour de France victory, a technical revolution blasted from aerospace to cycling. Metallic frames that barely evolved over the course of a century suddenly gave way to carbon fiber and a rate of innovation that the sport had never seen.

In 1989, Greg LeMond confirmed the supremacy of aerobars aboard a steel Bottecchia. In 1997, Riis rode a $20,000 carbon fiber monstrosity. (You’ll remember him throwing it across a field after a series of mechanical mishaps.) Radical carbon “funny bikes” like Miguel Indurain’s hour record Pinarello popped up everywhere, each a further departure from previous bikes than the last.

Then the UCI stepped in. The Lugano Charter, written in 1997 — in direct response to the composite boom — and approved in 2000, was designed to uphold some noble ideals: that cycling would be a sport of athletes, not machines; that bikes should look vaguely like they did in cycling’s Merckxian era; and that equipment should be available to any rider, pro or amateur. It became the sport’s rulebook and has changed little since its inception.

The charter expressly outlawed the use of prototype equipment in competition. It also set parameters for the shape of bike frames and components and put limits on rider position. It is the origin of the 6.8-kilogram weight limit, the 3:1 tube profile, the horizontal saddle rule, and a host of other regulations created with the goal of preserving the classic racing bicycle.

For about a decade, that’s exactly what happened. Innovation continued, but it happened inside a very small box. Then consumers and manufacturers realized that few bikes ever see the start line of a UCI race.

Chris Yu has just stepped out of Specialized’s in-house wind tunnel, where he and a team of engineers refined the concepts that would become the Venge aero road bike and Shiv time trial and triathlon bikes. As an aerodynamicist, he builds bikes for racers. Ten years ago, that meant light and stiff frames made of carbon fiber, with room for a 23mm tire and external cabling. Today, it means light, stiff, and aerodynamic, the new holy trinity of modern race bike design. But even in Yu’s realm, where professional racing heavily influences design, things are changing.

“We’re always going to follow demand,” Yu says. “In the past it was, ‘You race on it on Sunday and sell it on Monday.’ But nowadays more people are into experience and adventure. So the goal now is producing a bike that is optimal for the job. Sometimes that’s racing. More and more often it’s not.”

Because time trials in races like the Tour de France are such a huge marketing platform, major manufacturers used to make all of their TT bikes UCI legal. That’s no longer the case. Specialized’s fastest bikes aren’t for road racing. They go to triathletes, whose sport isn’t beholden to the UCI. These bikes feature integrated storage and massive downtubes that double as an internal water bottles, all while decreasing drag dramatically compared to the UCI-legal version of the same frame. The bikes are faster, more practical, and more comfortable — better in basically every measurable way.

The company’s most popular bikes aren’t for racing, either. The Specialized Roubaix, launched in 2004, brought racing attributes to a more comfortable frame, built for amateur riders. It had increased tire clearance and higher handlebars and ride damping inserts. By the end of the decade, it sparked the creation of an entire category. Sales of the Roubaix now equal, and have occasionally surpassed, sales of Specialized’s traditional road frame, the Tarmac.

This all points to a clear divergence between what pro racers ride and what everyone else buys. “The real world and the racing world don’t match up as much as they used to,” says Ben Coates, Trek’s road product manager. “When a road bike was just a road bike, and all you did was ride on the road, then it made sense to attach that to racing. They were made for the same purpose. But the capability of the bikes has changed, and the world has changed a lot. The way that people ride bikes has evolved, while racing hasn’t.”

Nowhere is this more obvious than with disc brakes, a consumer-first innovation that is now trickling up to the pro peloton. Racers and their teams weren’t eager for a technology that slows wheel changes, and major disc benefits like the ability to run larger tires don’t necessarily fall in line with racing’s goal of ultimate speed.

But for amateurs, those who ride for fun and for whom a few extra grams or a few extra seconds to swap a wheel are inconsequential, discs offer a better, safer and more enjoyable experience. Because they’ve become such a massive part of the industry, equipment sponsors — and a few pioneering pros — have pushed the UCI to relent a bit.

This is new. Previous innovations like carbon fiber wheels, aero helmets, and time trial bars all began at the top of the sport. Jan Ullrich ran early Lightweight carbon prototype wheels at the Tour de France, and Fabian Cancellara proved carbon could handle anything when he ran Zipp 303s at Paris-Roubaix. For many people, their first glimpse of an aero helmet or bars came with LeMond in 1989. Consumers only demanded things after seeing the pros use them.

Disc brakes have followed the opposite path. Frame and component manufacturers certainly sensed consumer interest — given how quickly disc brakes transformed mountain biking — and also saw an opportunity for a breakthrough technology that could drive bike sales the way the introduction of carbon had. SRAM and Shimano, especially, were developing road and cyclocross disc systems with no idea whether or not they would ever be race legal.

Still, racing matters. Even consumers who would probably be better on non-UCI bikes feel better if they know they’re riding the same thing as the pros. Four years ago, a coalition of cycling businesses — including Shimano, SRAM, and most major frame manufacturers — began working through the World Federation of Sporting Goods Industry (WFSGI) to lobby the UCI to legalize discs. Even if the sport’s governing body wouldn’t lead the way on discs, these brands knew it could further legitimize them for consumers who were on the fence.

Though progress came in fits and starts, WFSGI was ultimately successful. The UCI relented, first with cyclocross and, in late 2015, road cycling. But the response from professionals has been tepid, some vocally in favor of the technology, like Taylor Phinney and Tom Boonen, and others vocally opposed, like Philippe Gilbert and Alex Dowsett. The CPA, the closest thing riders have to a union, complained in late 2015 that it had never been brought to the table as the UCI and WFSGI discussed the introduction of discs, and asked that the pro peloton test period be put on hold. So though the road disc revolution is consumer-led, there is absolutely no guarantee that pros will follow.

Cycling’s technical populism — our ability to buy the same bikes as our heroes — won’t go away. But choice is at hand, for the first time. Consumers aren’t following the pros and the pros aren’t following consumers. Design is diverging, and becoming more purpose-driven. Pros will ride what makes sense within their narrow, well-defined setting, and we have better bikes now, because they’re built just for us.

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Kristoff hopes Katusha’s doping woes have no impact on his season http://velonews.competitor.com/2016/02/news/394836_394836 http://velonews.competitor.com/2016/02/news/394836_394836#comments Sun, 07 Feb 2016 20:00:05 +0000 http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=394836

Alexander Kristoff is the heavy favorite at this year's Tour of Qatar. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

Alexander Kristoff hopes his team's doping problems don't upend his season

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Alexander Kristoff is the heavy favorite at this year's Tour of Qatar. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

DOHA, Qatar (VN) — Norwegian sprinter Alexander Kristoff hopes his 2016 ambitions are not derailed by his Katusha team’s recent doping scandals.

Kristoff, 28, told reporters at the Tour of Qatar that he feared Katusha would be booted from the race after its most recent doping positive. On Friday, the UCI announced that Katusha rider Eduad Vorganov would be provisionally suspended after testing positive for the drug meldonium in an out-of-competition test.

“It seemed that maybe we’d be going on a day trip down here,” Kristoff said. “They said they’d be really strict with the new rules.”

UCI rules allow the governing body to suspend a team from between 15-45 days, if two riders test positive during a 12-month period. Vorganov’s positive comes just seven months after Katusha’s workhorse Luca Paolini tested positive for cocaine during the 2015 Tour de France.

The UCI has yet to announce a suspension for Katusha. Team and UCI officials are awaiting the results of the rider’s “B” sample.

Kristoff admitted he felt powerless in the situation.

“I cannot control what they are doing at home, so I can’t feel personally upset,” he said. “But for the team it’s always shit to have a positive case.”

Kristoff declined to speculate about Vorganov’s case, other than to say he did not recognize meldonium. The anti-ischemic drug is often used to treat patients with chronic heart failure. It was added to the WADA list of banned substances in January 2016.

“For sure it’s on the [WADA] list and it’s not legal to take it,” Kristoff said.

The positive test painted a bad picture of team Katusha, which saw Paolini test positive just months after winning Gent-Wevelgem. In 2013 Katusha had to fight to keep its UCI WorldTour license after four riders failed anti-doping tests within four years.

The Tour of Qatar has not suspended Katusha, so it is widely believed that the race will start on Monday. Kristoff is a heavy favorite for the overall. He won three stages and finished third overall behind Nikki Terpstra (Etixx – Quick-Step) in 2015. And with Etixx—Quick-Step not participating in this year’s race, the door is open for a powerful rider like Kristoff to succeed.

Kristoff will likely battle with sprinters Mark Cavendish and Edvald Boasson-Hagen (both Dimension Data), and breakaway specialist Greg Van Avermaet (BMC Racing Team).

“We will start [with the overall] as an objective, we’ll take it day by day,” Kristoff said. “Last year, was close because I had a lot of bonus seconds with three stages wins, and then I lost it in the time trial, but I didn’t lose too much. Hopefully, I can do the same thing again.”

Kristoff said the Tour of Qatar represents an important training and racing bloc as he prepares for his Spring Classics campaign. Kristoff is the defending champion of Belgium’s Tour of Flanders, and he’s on the short list of riders to contend for Paris-Roubaix, Ghent-Wevelgem and the other springtime races.

Kristoff said Qatar is often a bellweather for those races.

“Often the guys who are doing well in Qatar are… those doing well at the other classics,” he said. “It’s important for me to do this race and I hope we can do it.”

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Legally Speaking with Bob Mionske: Group ride etiquette http://velonews.competitor.com/2016/02/news/road/legally-speaking-with-bob-mionske-group-ride-etiquette_394605 http://velonews.competitor.com/2016/02/news/road/legally-speaking-with-bob-mionske-group-ride-etiquette_394605#comments Sun, 07 Feb 2016 17:45:00 +0000 http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=394605

Photo: Erik Kellar Photography |
www.erikkellar.com

What should you do when a group ride gets out of control. Bob Mionske explains the dangers of law-breaking group rides.

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Photo: Erik Kellar Photography | www.erikkellar.com

A new year is underway and so is a new season of bike racing. For most of us, racing is still a ways away, but group rides are already heating up.

For some of us, that can present a problem. Group rides mean different things to different riders. Seasoned racers will be getting in base miles with an eye toward fitness for the first races, which may still be a few months away. Other riders see group rides as a race, and to ‘win’ the group ride is the goal, no matter the month. With these differing motivations, the group behavior can be a bit schizophrenic; this can be dangerous and leave a horrible impression especially with the non-cycling public.

What kind of group rider are you?

Back when I was racing, we would often start the preseason in the warmth of California, and riding with locals who were already in form and ready to race presented a few immediate challenges, which both had to do with self-control. The first was having the discipline not to go into full race mode — after all, I had to be at peak form in July, not January. The second challenge is what I write about now, the individual’s contribution to an unruly group ride.

Those early season group rides in winter sun quickly turned into races that completely ignored all rules of the road, and even if you were simply following wheels near the back, you would be part of group that was behaving like an unruly mob, having taken over the road. When motorists complained, they would be ignored or worse yet, flipped off.

Now that cycling is mainstream, group rides can be found everywhere in the country, and while a commendable number of these are law-abiding and controlled in their behavior, others continue to be a problem. Within the group, Seasoned riders may try to maintain some safe decorum, but with so many newbies with expensive bikes, athletic backgrounds, and egos to feed, the rides can be chaotic.

It is easy to see how cyclists literally get swept up into contributing to behavior that is abhorrent and out of character. Add to the mix self-interest and egos that need to be stroked, and you have a recipe for disaster.

Those who join a ride that ignores the rules of the road and violates the right-of-way of people in motor vehicles, on foot, or even also on a bike, should realize that they are contributing to a malady that can have permutations that extend well beyond short-sighted ambitions like making the front group, ‘beating’ a higher category rider, or ‘winning’ the group ride. These negative externalities include souring the public to our presence on the road, leading to retaliatory behavior, exposure to legal liability, and even legal assaults on our very right to the road.

This behavior creates an enormous pubic-relations problem for us with the general public and with their legislative representatives. We have a constitutional right to the road, as I established in my book “Bicycling & the Law.” However, that doesn’t stop various legislatures from passing anti-cycling laws, and the more egregious our behavior, the more legislators will hear from their constituents. And of course, being roadies, we are the most immediately identifiable of the various cycling tribes.

There is something about riding in a group that creates a dangerous dynamic. Instead of being one rider responsible for your own choices, you are but a single member of a group, and the ‘group’ has its own identity. While you may never choose to illegally sprint through a red light on your own, when you are in a group you are following a wheel, holding your position, maintaining the gap you worked so hard to establish. Typically, the riders making the critical decisions are those at the head of the group. Therefore the pace and style of the ride can be determined by whoever is feeling frisky, except in controlled group rides, which are becoming more common.

But what can you do as a single cyclist? If you drop off the ride will it change anything?

The combination of adrenaline, and operating a bicycle at speed while at maximum effort can lead to bad decisions, and this is without considering the effect of the group on the individual. Waiting until you are caught up in the mix is not the best time to consider who you are as a rider and your role in group scofflaw riding.

Instead, be like the pros who don’t allow themselves to get sucked into an ego-driven pre-season “race” on a training ride, and ask yourself some questions now, as the new season begins. Do you want to go with the pack even when it is breaking the law, endangering other road users, alienating the public and giving our sport and mode of transport a bad name? And if you answer in the negative, what can and should you do? Drop off the ride? Talk to the offenders? Attempt to curb the group’s behavior? These are all questions best asked when you are closer to base heart rate and not when at threshold. That’s when you can best think about what kind of group rider you are, and what kind you want to be.

Remember, while you personally may be able to avoid being ticketed for your part of a group ride that violates traffic laws (this isn’t always the case), individual riders on group rides that have injured pedestrians, other cyclists or caused a motor vehicles to lose control have personally been sued. Because the injured party in these actions can rarely specify who caused their injuries they will name, in their suit, any riders they can identify from the group. Under a different theory of law lawsuits in these cases will also seek to attach legal liability to clubs, shops and even racing teams that are, in some way, affiliated with the group ride. Not exactly the best way to attract and keep sponsorship for our sport.

To the extent you participate in out-of-control group rides you are a part of the problem and you unwittingly give ammunition to anti-cycling legislation and injure our public perception.

Now read the fine print:

Bob Mionske is a former competitive cyclist who represented the U.S. at the 1988 Olympic Games (where he finished fourth in the road race), the 1992 Olympics, as well as winning the 1990 national championship road race.

After retiring from racing in 1993, he coached the Saturn Professional Cycling team for one year before heading off to law school. Mionske’s practice is now split between personal-injury work, representing professional athletes as an agent and other legal issues facing endurance athletes (traffic violations, contract, criminal charges, intellectual property, etc.).

Mionske is also the author of “Bicycling and the Law,” designed to be the primary resource for cyclists to consult when faced with a legal question. It provides readers with the knowledge to avoid many legal problems in the first place, and informs them of their rights, their responsibilities, and what steps they can take if they do encounter a legal problem. If you have a cycling-related legal question please send it to Bob, and he will answer as many of these questions privately as he can. He will also select a few questions to answer in this column. General bicycle-accident advice can be found at bicyclelaw.com.

Important notice:
The information provided in the “Legally Speaking” column is not legal advice. The information provided on this public website is provided solely for the general interest of the visitors to this website. The information contained in the column applies to general principles of American jurisprudence and may not reflect current legal developments or statutory changes in the various jurisdictions and therefore should not be relied upon or interpreted as legal advice. Understand that reading the information contained in this column does not mean you have established an attorney-client relationship with attorney Bob Mionske. Readers of this column should not act upon any information contained in the website without first seeking the advice of legal counsel.

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Froome wins Herald Sun Tour with solo attack http://velonews.competitor.com/2016/02/news/394831_394831 http://velonews.competitor.com/2016/02/news/394831_394831#comments Sun, 07 Feb 2016 16:44:47 +0000 http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=394831

Shown here in 2015, Chris Froome opened his 2016 with a victory in Australia. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

Froome opens season with a victory down under

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Shown here in 2015, Chris Froome opened his 2016 with a victory in Australia. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

Melbourne (AFP) – Two-time Tour de France champion Chris Froome won Australia’s Herald Sun Tour on Sunday after scoring a solo victory on the fourth and final stage. Teammate Peter Kennaugh finished second in the overall, 29 seconds in arrears.

In his first race after a five-month break, Froome (Team Sky) won the 121.8-kilometer stage four in the Mornington Peninsula in a solo push, 17 seconds ahead of Australian Damien Howson (Orica-GreenEDGE). The move put him ahead of Kennaugh, who had come into the stage leading the overall standings. Kennaugh, an Olympic gold medalist on the track, finished the stage in seventh position, which bumped him to second.

“It’s an amazing feeling,” Froome told broadcaster Nine Network after the win. “(I’ve) put in a lot of hard yards this winter, which hasn’t been easy with the new family starting and everything back home,” he added, thanking his family and team.

Froome and New Zealand’s Joe Cooper (Avanti IsoWhey Sport) built a lead during the second of three ascents of the Arthur’s Seat climb. Froome then attacked and dropped his companion with three kilometers to go.

Froome attributed the winning move to his pursuit of King of the Mountains points.

“The second time up Arthurs Seat, the team behind said, ‘Listen, Chris,just sit on the wheel, we’re not going to ride behind, you are in a great position to go for the stage win and overall victory,” Froome said. “And  Pete (Kennaugh) would bring it up from behind’.”

The victory is Froome’s first at Australia’s oldest stage race. He tackled the race for the first time in 2008, when he finished fourth. He is the first non-Australian champion since Sir Bradley Wiggins, who took the overall in 2009.

“It’s quite a sentimental feeling looking back to 2008,” Froome said. “Obviously what’s happened between then and now, it’s amazing to come back here and have won this final stage and the race overall.”

Kennaugh said he was happy for his teammate, but admitted he was “a bit gutted not to win.”  The 26-year-old British road champion, who won the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race last week, also said the stage was marred by a verbal spat with Australian Pat Shaw (Avanti IsoWhey Sport).

Avanti IsoWhey Sport’s sports director Andrew Christie-Johnson brushed off the fight. Christie-Johnson said the disagreement began during the Cadel Evans race, but said it was nothing more than a schoolyard argument.

“There was nothing more than what Kennaugh had said to two or three of our riders over the other days,” Christie-Johnson said. “Froomey acknowledged that they’ve got someone who’s a bit of a hothead and at the same time, so do we.”

Howson finished third overall, while compatriots Jack Bobridge (Trek-Segafredo)and Jack Haig (Orica-GreenEDGE) were fourth and fifth respectively.

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Qatar organizers block Etixx – Quick-Step from participating http://velonews.competitor.com/2016/02/news/qatar-organizers_394824 http://velonews.competitor.com/2016/02/news/qatar-organizers_394824#comments Sun, 07 Feb 2016 15:31:22 +0000 http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=394824

Tour of Qatar organizers claim that powerhouse Etixx-Quick-Step have had repeated discipline problems. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

Race officials say Belgian team repeatedly tardy, disrespected female race employee

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Tour of Qatar organizers claim that powerhouse Etixx-Quick-Step have had repeated discipline problems. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

DOHA, Qatar (VN) — Organizers of the Tour of Qatar on Sunday announced that team Etixx—Quick-Step would not be invited to the 2016 race, which begins on Monday. Sheikh Khalid Bin Ali Al Thani, president of Qatar’s cycling federation, said the Belgian team was not invited due to various disciplinary problems, including disrespecting a female race employee.

“It’s true. We did not send them an invitation,” Al-Thani said. “Yes of course [they wanted to come], we have proof of it.”

VeloNews has contacted Etixx—Quick-Step for comment, however the team has not yet responded.

Etixx-Quick-Step is the most successful team in the race’s 15-year history, having won the overall on eight occasions. Nikki Terpstra is the two-time defending champion, and Tom Boonen has won 22 stages and the overall four times, the most in race history.

The team’s stars regularly use the race as a tune-up event before the Spring Classics campaign. But questions about the Etixx—Quick-Step’s participation in this year’s race arose in December when the team was not included on the preliminary participation list.

Al-Thani said Etixx-Quick-Step’s problems have gone on for years. The most common problems, he said, involved the delay of the podium presentation.

“They’d take too much time changing their shoes, sitting around, and then meeting the press while keeping us waiting,” Al-Thani said. “They can’t do that. Then there were some problems with hotels, discipline… things.”

But Al-Thani said the team’s most egregious actions came in 2015, when the race assigned a female employee to escort the winner to the podium each day. That year, Terpstra won the time trial as well as the general classification, and Etixx-Quick-Step won the team general classification.

“We sent them a special lady to hurry them up, and they talked to her not in a very nice way and waved her off like that,” Al Thani said. “That was not good.”

Etixx is one of several top teams not attending this year’s race, along with Trek-Segafredo, Sky, and Tinkoff. Al-Thani blamed scheduling issues for the weaker field this year.

“Some teams had to race near home for their sponsors,” Al-Thani said. “Quick-Step was that one case and we hope things will be better in the future. We respect the team, they win a lot, but things must be corrected.”

Al-Thani said the absence of the top teams forced organizers to rethink joining the WorldTour, which requires all 18 WorldTour teams to participate. Al-Thani believes his race will be part of the WorldTour in 2017, and said organizers have applied with the UCI to upgrade to that level.

“We are the oldest tour in the region so if the WorldTour is coming to the area it should come here first,” he said. “We have good confidence in that.”

Launched in 2002, the race was the first major cycling event in the Middle East, and paved the way for other events, such as the Tour of Oman, the Dubai Tour, and the Abu Dhabi Tour.

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Dubai Gallery: Kittel wins Dubai Tour http://velonews.competitor.com/2016/02/news/road/dubai-gallery-kittel-wins-below-the-burj-khalifa_394806 http://velonews.competitor.com/2016/02/news/road/dubai-gallery-kittel-wins-below-the-burj-khalifa_394806#comments Sat, 06 Feb 2016 17:02:38 +0000 http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=394806

The peloton soaked up the sights and sounds of Dubai. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

German sprinter Marcel Kittel won the final stage of the Dubai Tour, and took the overall.

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The peloton soaked up the sights and sounds of Dubai. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

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Pro bike gallery: Alex Dowsett’s Canyon Aeroad CF SLX http://velonews.competitor.com/2016/02/gallery/pro-bike-gallery-alex-dowsetts-canyon-aeroad-cf-slx_394779 http://velonews.competitor.com/2016/02/gallery/pro-bike-gallery-alex-dowsetts-canyon-aeroad-cf-slx_394779#comments Sat, 06 Feb 2016 15:39:24 +0000 http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=394779

Alex Dowsett, a time trial specialist and former world hour record holder, rides this 56cm Canyon Aeroad CF SLX aero road bike in most races throughout the year. It's built with Campagnolo electronic components and wheels, a Power2Max power meter, Continental Competition ProLTD tires, and a Fizik Arione saddle. Photo: Caley Fretz | VeloNewscom

Former hour record holder Alex Dowsett rides this aerodynamic Canyon Aeroad CF SLX

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Alex Dowsett, a time trial specialist and former world hour record holder, rides this 56cm Canyon Aeroad CF SLX aero road bike in most races throughout the year. It's built with Campagnolo electronic components and wheels, a Power2Max power meter, Continental Competition ProLTD tires, and a Fizik Arione saddle. Photo: Caley Fretz | VeloNewscom

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Kittel takes stage, overall in Dubai http://velonews.competitor.com/2016/02/news/394794_394794 http://velonews.competitor.com/2016/02/news/394794_394794#comments Sat, 06 Feb 2016 14:33:09 +0000 http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=394794

After a disastrous 2015 season, Marcel Kittel roared back at the 2016 Tour of Dubai. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

Marcel Kittel held off Ella Viviani and Mark Cavendish to win the final stage and overall in Dubai

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After a disastrous 2015 season, Marcel Kittel roared back at the 2016 Tour of Dubai. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

DUBAI (VN) – Germany’s Marcel Kittel won the Tour of Dubai on Saturday after outsprinting his cheif rivals beneath the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa.

Kittel won the 132-km stage ahead of Ella Viviani and Mark Cavendish. The win vaulted Kittel ahead of Italy’s Giacomo Nizzolo in the overall.

“I’m really, really happy. I was dreaming about this moment,” Kittel said. “My team was fantastic all day and we did an incredible job to beat all the other teams, staying calm and attacking at the right moment.”

Nizzolo had seized the overall leader’s blue jersey on Friday but had to settle for sixth place in Saturday’s race after losing pace in the lead up tot he finish. Nizzolo took second place in the overall standings, four seconds behind Kittel.

Kittel said the four-day Dubai tour gave his Etixx-QuickStep team a chance to perfect its sprinting tactics. Throughout the race, he said, the team worked on its lead-out strategy against Sky, Dimension Data and the other sprint teams.

“I think that we are able to adapt to situations,” Kittel said. “We learned from a bad day like it was on the second day, and that makes me very happy and confident.”

The German won the Dubai Tour’s opening stage, but was beaten by Viviani (Sky) on the second stage after a crash pushed him back into the bunch. Kittel then survived the climb to Hatta Dam on the third stage to remain in contention, just six seconds in arrears on GC.

Kittel’s most impressive performance, however, came on Saturday, when he soundly defeated his sprinting rivals, including 2015 Dubai Tour champion Mark Cavendish.

Cavendish (Dimension Data) said his team came into the final stage hoping to surprise Kittel in the final turn before the finish.

“The plan was to get Kittel’s wheel in the last kilometer, and then lay off,” Cavendish said. “We knew the last corner was tight, so if we carry more speed and get a run-up, I would have been alright.”

Cavendish said the plan fell apart when he came into the corner too fast and too tight, and was forced to scrub off speed before accelerating toward the line. Cavendish finished third.

“I just cooked myself on the acceleration out of the corner,” he said. “There’s not much I could do.”

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Silent but deadly Worrack wins Ladies Tour of Qatar http://velonews.competitor.com/2016/02/news/trixi-worrack-silent-but-deadly_394774 http://velonews.competitor.com/2016/02/news/trixi-worrack-silent-but-deadly_394774#comments Fri, 05 Feb 2016 20:31:20 +0000 http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=394774

Trixi Worrack has long been a top rider in the pro women's peloton. Her Velocio-SRAM team won team time trial world championships in 2015. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com (File).

German Trixi Worrack and her Canyon-SRAM team are off to a good start with a win at Ladies Tour of Qatar.

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Trixi Worrack has long been a top rider in the pro women's peloton. Her Velocio-SRAM team won team time trial world championships in 2015. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com (File).

DOHA, Qatar (VN) — Trixi Worrack may be one of the smaller and quieter cyclists in the women’s peloton, but those close to her say that she makes up for that with her tactics and strength. Canyon-SRAM’s German won the Ladies Tour of Qatar overall Friday in Doha. Her keen eye and experience delivered victory in the oil-rich Persian Gulf state after four days of racing.

“As our DS said at the start of this week, ‘Trixi is always in the right breaks.’ I thought, ‘I better stick with Trixi wherever she goes,'” teammate Tiffany Cromwell told VeloNews. “She knows how to get into the moves, but also make moves that count. She gets big results, and for me, she’s a great person to learn from.”

Worrack is not new to the sport. The five-foot-three 36-year-old won the 2015 Tour of California, the 2004 Tour de l’Aude Cycliste Féminin, and a silver medal in the 2006 world championships.

When the race split to pieces in the wind-swept Qatari countryside Thursday, the experienced German made sure she was in the front group with Tiffany Cromwell. Ellen van Dijk (Boels-Dolmans) won the stage, but Worrack took the leader’s golden jersey with enough time to make it impossible to be dislodged today along Doha’s seafront.

“I was teammates with her for three years in a row,” van Dijk said. “She’s a complete bike racer, she can ride echelons, and she has a lot of experience because she has been racing for a long time already. She’s classy. I didn’t win the overall, but it’s good to see her win.”

Within the peloton, Worrack is one of the bosses. Like Cromwell, many younger cyclists look to her for advice and leadership.

“I roomed with her here and I’ve seen how professional and focused she is up close. I have everything to learn from her,” teammate and Italian champion Elena Cecchini said.

“She’s taught me how to eat well at the big stage races. I’ve never been with such a big leader. Up until now, I’ve always been in smaller teams, so I’m trying to learn everything from her. How to sleep, eat, and recover well. This is the basis of being a champion.”

Worrack said that the classification win would show the women’s peloton where German team Canyon-SRAM stands ahead of the first Women’s WorldTour races. She is racing all the major classics coming up, including Strade Bianche on March 5.

“It’s a step into the classics seasons,” she said. “It works as a stepping stone for the whole team. We know what we are capable of and where we stand.”

Do not expect Worrack to say much more — she is quiet, talking more with her legs than with words. Dutchwoman Van Dijk  laughed, “She’s German, of course she doesn’t say much! She’ll celebrate this Tour of Qatar win with beers, for sure. Find her at the bar then for sure you’ll have a good interview!”

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Chris Horner to ride for Lupus Racing http://velonews.competitor.com/2016/02/news/horner-to-race-for-lupus-racing_394772 http://velonews.competitor.com/2016/02/news/horner-to-race-for-lupus-racing_394772#comments Fri, 05 Feb 2016 20:15:50 +0000 http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=394772

Chris Horner won the Vuelta in 2013. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

2013 Vuelta champ Chris Horner will race another season in the U.S. with Georgia-based Continental team.

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Chris Horner won the Vuelta in 2013. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

Lupus Racing announced its roster for the 2016 season, including 2013 Vuelta a España champion Chris Horner, 44, who raced for Airgas-Safeway last season.

“This is a tremendous opportunity for me and I am very glad to race with the Lupus Racing Team. It was a priority for me to continue racing this year with a U.S.-based team. The Lupus team has put together a solid roster and has a great reputation. I couldn’t be more excited about 2016,” said Horner, who finished fifth overall at the 2015 U.S. Pro road national championships.

Lupus is entering its second year as a UCI Continental men’s squad and will field a roster of 15 riders for the coming season.

“We are excited to have a proven champion like Chris Horner as part of the Lupus Racing Team this season. He wanted to continue his racing career, and was eager to be part of our growing program. We are focused on making a solid presence in every race in which we compete this year. It’s all about being aggressive and being the best each and every day, and for years to come. Chris will be a great leader for our young team,” said sport director Phil Cortes.

Lupus Racing 2016 roster

Chad Beyer
Winston David
Oliver Flautt
Chris Horner
Matthieu Jeannes
Marcos Lazzarotto
Bryan Lewis
Jonah Mead-VanCourt
Barry Miller
Evan Murphy
Michael Olheiser
Michael Stone
Nolan Tankersley
Nicolae Tanovitchii
Thomas Vaubourzeix

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BMX star Mirra dies of apparent suicide http://velonews.competitor.com/2016/02/news/bmx-star-mirra-dies-of-apparent-suicide_394769 http://velonews.competitor.com/2016/02/news/bmx-star-mirra-dies-of-apparent-suicide_394769#comments Fri, 05 Feb 2016 19:58:45 +0000 http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=394769 X Games BMX star Dave Mirra, 41, is found dead in Greenville, North Carolina.

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Triathlete reports that BMX star-turned-triathlete Dave Mirra has died at 41 from an apparent suicide, according to Greenville, N.C. police reports. After retiring from his BMX and X Games career, Mirra competed in several triathlons — including at August’s Ironman Lake Placid — and said his goal was to qualify for the Ironman World Championship.

Mirra was a husband, father, mentor, and friend to so many. By all accounts, he brought incredible energy, dedication and enthusiasm to all of his pursuits, and dared others to dream big right along with him.

Read more >>

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Gallery: 2016 Dubai Tour, stage 3 http://velonews.competitor.com/2016/02/news/road/gallery-2016-dubai-tour-stage-3_394753 http://velonews.competitor.com/2016/02/news/road/gallery-2016-dubai-tour-stage-3_394753#comments Fri, 05 Feb 2016 19:47:29 +0000 http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=394753

Lobato celebrated with Movistar teammate Jonathan Castroviejo after the stage. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

Juan Jose Lobato wins on Hatta Dam, and Giacomo Nizzolo moves into the overall lead at the Dubai Tour.

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Lobato celebrated with Movistar teammate Jonathan Castroviejo after the stage. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

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Katusha suspends Vorganov for doping test failure http://velonews.competitor.com/2016/02/news/katusha-suspends-vorganov-for-doping-test-failure_394764 http://velonews.competitor.com/2016/02/news/katusha-suspends-vorganov-for-doping-test-failure_394764#comments Fri, 05 Feb 2016 19:37:26 +0000 http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=394764

Eduard Vorganov has been suspended after testing positive for meldonium. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

Russian Eduard Vorganov is suspended by his Katusha team on Friday for testing positive for meldonium.

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Eduard Vorganov has been suspended after testing positive for meldonium. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

PARIS (AFP) — Russian cyclist Eduard Vorganov was suspended by his Katusha team on Friday for testing positive for meldonium which was only placed on the banned list last month.

The 33-year-old becomes the second Katusha rider to fail an anti-doping test in 12 months after Italy’s Luca Paolini tested positive for cocaine on the 2015 Tour de France.

“We understand that the adverse analytical finding concerns the substance meldonium (also known as mildronate) which was placed on the prohibited list only on Jan 1, 2016,” said a team statement. “Team Katusha confirms that this substance has never been used by the team in any form and was not provided to the rider by the team.”

Katusha added that Vorganov has been suspended from all team activities, effective immediately while his B sample is tested.

Vorganov, a former Russian road race champion, joined Katusha in 2010 and was 19th on the Tour de France in 2012, his best performance in the grand tours.

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