VeloNews.com http://velonews.competitor.com Competitive Cycling News, Race Results and Bike Reviews Wed, 10 Feb 2016 22:32:25 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.3.1 Video: Col Collective climbs Pikes Peak http://velonews.competitor.com/2016/02/news/road/video-col-collective-climbs-pikes-peak_395149 http://velonews.competitor.com/2016/02/news/road/video-col-collective-climbs-pikes-peak_395149#comments Wed, 10 Feb 2016 22:32:25 +0000 http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=395149

Climb the second-highest paved road in North America. Pikes Peak is over 14,000 feet above sea level.

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Editor’s Note: This video is courtesy of The Col Collective. The opinions expressed in this video do not necessarily represent the opinions of VeloNews.com, Velo magazine or the editors and staff of Competitor Group, Inc.

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Velo magazine — March 2016 http://velonews.competitor.com/2016/02/magazine/velo-magazine-march-2016_395140 http://velonews.competitor.com/2016/02/magazine/velo-magazine-march-2016_395140#comments Wed, 10 Feb 2016 22:11:44 +0000 http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=395140

The March issue of Velo magazine is the 2016 season preview issue.

The March issue of Velo magazine is the 2016 season preview, including an interview with Tom Boonen and a carbon clincher wheel shootout.

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The March issue of Velo magazine is the 2016 season preview issue.

The peloton is awaking from its winter slumber, and right on cue, we’ve got our 2016 Season Preview in the March issue of Velo magazine. So what does the new year hold for pro cycling?

One of the biggest developments for 2016 is the addition of a Women’s WorldTour. Christina Bonnington writes about how the women’s peloton is deeper than ever — what does that mean for Marianne Vos? The Dutch Olympic gold medalist was once nearly untouchable in any race she started, but she suffered a disappointing 2015 due to injury.

On the men’s side of things, the question is flipped as Chris Froome looks to win his second consecutive Tour de France. Sure, Alberto Contador and Nairo Quintana will be on top form to challenge the Brit, but they have yet to find a chink in his armor.

Andrew Hood also interviews Tom Boonen in the March issue of Velo. This could be the final season for the Belgian classics star, and he’s hoping to go out in a blaze of glory, aiming for a record fifth Paris-Roubaix title and perhaps even a run at world championships — after all, the flat, technical course in windy Qatar could favor his skills, which have been honed over thousands of racing kilometers in northern Europe.

But Boonen isn’t the only rider with rainbow dreams; 2016 may afford a sprinters’ renaissance — we assess five of the peloton’s fastest men and their odds for a big season, one which may be punctuated by a world championship title.

Pro racing aside, when this time of year rolls around, most of us are dreaming of ways to upgrade our rides. You’ve probably heard this before, but that’s because it’s true: Wheels are one of the best upgrades for your bike. So, our tech team took four carbon fiber clinchers to the Velolab to find out which is fastest.

Subscribe to Velo magazine >>

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Reviewed: J.Paks frame bag http://velonews.competitor.com/2016/02/bikes-and-tech/reviews/reviewed-j-paks-frame-bag_395023 http://velonews.competitor.com/2016/02/bikes-and-tech/reviews/reviewed-j-paks-frame-bag_395023#comments Wed, 10 Feb 2016 21:39:57 +0000 http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=395023

It secures to the top tube via Velcro straps and to the seat and down tubes via water bottle cage bosses. Photo: Dan Cavallari | VeloNews

If you're looking for a way to store a lot of gear or apparel without a big backpack, this custom frame bag is a great option.

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It secures to the top tube via Velcro straps and to the seat and down tubes via water bottle cage bosses. Photo: Dan Cavallari | VeloNews

We Like: Water bottle cage boss mounting provides stability.
We Don’t Like: Custom build means longer wait time.
Price
: Starting at $180
www.jpaks.com

Frame bags solve a pretty major a storage problem for winter bikers who shed bulky layers that won’t fit in a hydration pack. There are plenty of choices out there, but J.Paks stands out for two important reasons: One, all the bags are made by hand in Denver by Joe Tonsager; and two, they’re custom-made to fit your frame with adaptability and toughness in mind. Whatever you want or need your pack to do, Tonsager will make sure it happens.

Our test model attached to a Meriwether Cycles fat bike with a curved top tube. To accommodate this unique tube shape, Tonsager made a completely custom bag shape that secures to the top tube with heavy-duty Velcro straps and to the seat tube and down tube via integrated bolts that thread into the water bottle cage bosses. This bag isn’t going anywhere — no swaying, no working loose.

Inside, removable Velcro panels allow for plenty of storage options. Want just one big compartment? Remove the Velcro separator. Want to separate your food from your clothes? Put the separator right where you need it.

Pockets are laid out logically: a small pocket on the left side is ideal for stowing your ride food, while the top pocket on the right side is sized perfectly for a water bottle and fat bike tube, or for your hydration bladder. The lower pocket is great for all your extra layers. A flared front adds storage capabilities without interfering with your pedal stroke, too. This layout was all part of the design process, which mostly involves several conversations with Tonsager about how you’ll be using the bag.

We rode this bag through all the slop we could find during a Colorado winter and the tape-sealed construction kept all our goodies dry. You can choose your bag’s material, too: Heavy-duty 1000D Cordura is ideal for long bikepacking trips, and the lighter X-Pac cloth is great for everyday riding and long-haulers looking to trim weight. Though we thought we’d only use it for bikepacking or longer day trips, the pack is ideal for shorter rides too — leave the Camelbak at home. And a J.Paks bag is only a few dollars more expensive than a comparable Revelate Designs bag — not bad for a fully custom build.

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Motorized cheating case moves forward http://velonews.competitor.com/2016/02/news/motorized-cheating-case-moves-forward_395125 http://velonews.competitor.com/2016/02/news/motorized-cheating-case-moves-forward_395125#comments Wed, 10 Feb 2016 18:12:11 +0000 http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=395125

Belgian Femke Van den Driessche was caught with a hidden motor in her bike at the cyclocross worlds. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

UCI's first-ever motorized cheating case heads to the Disciplinary Commission to be heard in the coming weeks.

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Belgian Femke Van den Driessche was caught with a hidden motor in her bike at the cyclocross worlds. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

The UCI has referred the sport’s first motorized cheating case to its Disciplinary Commission, which will hear arguments from all relevant parties in the coming weeks.

The bike of Belgian cyclist Femke Van den Driessche was found to contain a motorized crankset at the U23 world cyclocross championships in January. Her case will be put before a panel of either one or three members of the Commission (likely three in this case), and will be heard at UCI headquarters in Aigle, Switzerland. Panel members will call witnesses and experts, and Van den Driessche may either submit her own defense or be assisted by an advisor.

Read the explainer about how the UCI will prosecute technological fraud >>

Van den Driessche will be notified by mail of the result. She can appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, just as in a physiological doping case.

The minimum penalty for an individual found in breach of the UCI’s technical fraud regulations, which ban the use of propulsion of any kind, is a six-month suspension and a fine of 20,000 CHF. There is no maximum penalty.

Teams are also liable, though it is unclear how the UCI will define a team in this case. Van den Driessche races for the Kleur op Matt – No Drugs team during the regular season but was with the Belgian national team at worlds. A team can also be suspended for six months (or more) and fined between 100,000 and 1,000,000 CHF.

Van den Driessche maintains that the bike in question was not hers. She claims it was a friend’s bike, one she sold last year. It was sitting around, and a mechanic grabbed it.

However, technological fraud places strict liability on the rider and the team involved, so if non-compliant equipment is found near a team or race, “within or in the margins of a cycling competition,” as the UCI rule states, it qualifies as technological fraud.

A non-compliant bicycle is one that doesn’t conform to the rules laid out in Article 1.3.010 of the UCI’s technical regulations, which bans motors.

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UCI’s team reforms enacted — in NASCAR http://velonews.competitor.com/2016/02/news/ucis-team-reforms-enacted-in-nascar_395106 http://velonews.competitor.com/2016/02/news/ucis-team-reforms-enacted-in-nascar_395106#comments Wed, 10 Feb 2016 17:57:42 +0000 http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=395106

Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

NASCAR enacts major changes that are strikingly similar to what Velon is demanding, so why doesn't it work for cycling too?

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Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

NASCAR announced yesterday that it is moving away from its sponsor-dominated business model toward something intended to provide more stability for teams, as reported by the New York Times. Anyone who follows cycling will recognize the logic behind the move.

As the Times reports, NASCAR is “shifting to a franchise-like system that is intended to provide value and financial stability to team owners after decades of heavy reliance on sponsors.

“The change moves away from the independent contractor model that has been used since NASCAR’s inception in 1948. A car owner was responsible for all the financial obligations to race each week, depending on sponsorship to help pay the bills. When a sponsor pulled its funding, a car owner could potentially go broke.”

It makes total sense. And it is, in a nutshell, what the UCI and organizations like Velon are pushing for in pro cycling. So why would NASCAR teams be able to push through reforms like this while the UCI and WorldTour teams see every such move in cycling shot down? Why will NASCAR teams now own nine-year charters, while the UCI was barely able to increase the length of WorldTour licenses from two to three years? Because NASCAR doesn’t have an ASO to deal with.

Unlike pro cycling, NASCAR is a tightly controlled series with an empowered governing body. NASCAR does run into issues with the owners of the tracks that host its events. The organization frequently butts heads with the owner of Speedway Motorsports, which owns several of NASCAR’s most important tracks. But there is no race that casts a shadow over NASCAR the way the Tour de France does over cycling, and no track owner as powerful as ASO.

It’s worth noting that the new NASCAR model started as a proposal from the Race Team Alliance, a union of team owners formed in 2014 that both NASCAR and track owners said would undermine the sport, similar to criticisms of cycling unions like the CPA and Velon.

Like the UCI, NASCAR understands how vital team stability is to the future of the sport, which led to the new business model. Unlike the UCI, NASCAR — at the prodding of a team-owners organization — was able to do something about it.

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Gallery: 2016 Tour of Qatar, stage 3 http://velonews.competitor.com/2016/02/news/road/gallery-2016-tour-of-qatar-stage-3_395087 http://velonews.competitor.com/2016/02/news/road/gallery-2016-tour-of-qatar-stage-3_395087#comments Wed, 10 Feb 2016 17:43:32 +0000 http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=395087

Edvald Boasson Hagen showed off his Cervelo aero road bike that he rode to victory in the stage 3 time trial. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

The Tour of Qatar's golden leader's jersey is handed from one Dimension Data rider to another as Edvald Boasson Hagen wins stage 3.

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Edvald Boasson Hagen showed off his Cervelo aero road bike that he rode to victory in the stage 3 time trial. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

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Kristoff: ‘Good ol’ Boasson Hagen has returned’ http://velonews.competitor.com/2016/02/news/the-good-ol-boasson-hagen-from-a-few-years-ago-returned_395100 http://velonews.competitor.com/2016/02/news/the-good-ol-boasson-hagen-from-a-few-years-ago-returned_395100#comments Wed, 10 Feb 2016 17:31:03 +0000 http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=395100

Edvald Boasson Hagen is showing glimmers of good form at Tour of Qatar. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

Teammates and friends agree that Edvald Boasson Hagen's development was stunted at Sky, but now he is spreading his wings with Dimension

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Edvald Boasson Hagen is showing glimmers of good form at Tour of Qatar. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

LUSAIL, Qatar (VN) — The Edvald Boasson Hagen who shot to the top of cycling at 21 years of age is back to his winning ways with another win in the Tour of Qatar on Wednesday. Insiders say that he is now free from the shackles of Sky, where he had to work for much bigger stars.

The Norwegian won stages in the Critérium du Dauphiné and Giro d’Italia, Gent-Wevelgem, and the overall classifications in the Tour of Britain and Eneco Tour early in his career. After leaving HTC-Highroad for Sky, despite giving the British team its first Tour de France stage win, he appeared lost.

Since 2015, he has been with South African team Dimension Data. He won the Tour of Britain again last year and on Wednesday, the time trial stage of the Tour of Qatar. He holds the GC lead with two days to race.

“In Sky, he had to work a lot, and they wanted him to develop into another type of rider, but now he’s developing back to where he was before,” Norwegian Ronde van Vlaanderen and Milano-Sanremo winner Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) said.

“You see that he has his power back, he was up there in the echelons in the last two days, and he’s sprinted well. It looks like the good ol’ Edvald Boasson Hagen that we remember from a few years ago has returned.”

Boasson Hagen won the 11-kilometer stage by 25 seconds over Dutchman Jos van Emden (LottoNL-Jumbo) and moved into the lead with 26 seconds on teammate Mark Cavendish. The two raced together at teams HTC-Highroad and Sky.

“He’s the same rider as he was at HTC. He’s never changed as a rider, it’s just that he was a little bit in a service mode at Sky so you really didn’t get to see what he could do anymore,” Cavendish said. “He’s back in an environment where he can flourish as a racer.”

Not only does he have a free role, but he has responsibility. The now 28-year-old will need to arrange the sprints for Cavendish and take the lead in the classics.

“He’s grown as a leader. He’s one of the old guys in the team now, and for a quiet lad, he really motivates the other riders,” Cavendish added. “He knows how to ride in a unit, how to be a leader there and road captain. It’s good to see him grow in a leadership role.”

Journalists fear speaking to Boasson Hagen not because he is impolite, but because of his shyness and tepid responses that rarely exceed 20 words. “I don’t know if I really changed a lot, but I really had a good time in Sky, as well,” Boasson Hagen explained. “We aren’t riding for the yellow jersey win in the big tours so I have more freedom and opportunities.”

“He was a different rider in Sky, but he’s always been a good bike rider,” Dimension Data sport director Roger Hammond told VeloNews. “In Sky, though, he was surrounded by Tour de France riders, so what do you do? Here, we are focusing on him and giving him the same attention that Brad Wiggins and Chris Froome were getting for the Tour de France.”

Dimension Data not only worked for Cavendish in the last two sprint stages, but protected Boasson Hagen for the stage 3 time trial and the possible overall victory. Whether he can hold it for the next two days through the barren, sand-blasted plains remains to be seen. The Tour of Qatar continues Thursday with a stage through the northwest, just inland from Qatar’s vast natural gas fields and the Persian Gulf that separates the state from Bahrain.

“This race is far from over, but we have to be happy with this win and lead at the moment,” said Hammond. Cavendish added, “We are definitely in a strong position for Eddy’s overall win.”

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Pro Bike Gallery: Fabian Cancellara’s Trek Madone RSL http://velonews.competitor.com/2016/02/gallery/pro-bike-gallery-fabian-cancellaras-trek-madone-rsl_395062 http://velonews.competitor.com/2016/02/gallery/pro-bike-gallery-fabian-cancellaras-trek-madone-rsl_395062#comments Wed, 10 Feb 2016 15:28:15 +0000 http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=395062

Fabian Cancellara never rode the old Madone, preferring to stick to a special, hyper-aggressive version of the Domane for its improved comfort. But when Trek moved the ISOspeed Decoupler tech found on the Domane to the new aero Madone, Cancellara came right along with it. The RSL model, which stands for Race Shop Limited, is the team's version, with a more aggressive fit. Photo: Caley Fretz | VeloNews.com

Fabian Cancellara rides a special race team version of the Madone, and is still using mechanical shifting.

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Fabian Cancellara never rode the old Madone, preferring to stick to a special, hyper-aggressive version of the Domane for its improved comfort. But when Trek moved the ISOspeed Decoupler tech found on the Domane to the new aero Madone, Cancellara came right along with it. The RSL model, which stands for Race Shop Limited, is the team's version, with a more aggressive fit. Photo: Caley Fretz | VeloNews.com

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Riders say UCI’s ramped-up motor testing is warranted http://velonews.competitor.com/2016/02/news/riders-say-ucis-ramped-up-motor-testing-is-warranted_395051 http://velonews.competitor.com/2016/02/news/riders-say-ucis-ramped-up-motor-testing-is-warranted_395051#comments Wed, 10 Feb 2016 14:51:17 +0000 http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=395051

Brian Cookson is at the Tour of Qatar this week. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

The UCI has promised to step up its efforts after a motor was discovered hidden in a bike at the recent cyclocross worlds.

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Brian Cookson is at the Tour of Qatar this week. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

DOHA, Qatar (VN) — Bring on improved testing for motors, say riders after UCI president Brian Cookson announced Tuesday that the governing body would consider more invasive testing.

It was discovered that Belgian Femke Van den Driessche had a motor in her bike during the under-23 race at the recent cyclocross world championships. Cookson, who parachuted into the Persian Gulf for the Tour of Qatar on Tuesday, said the UCI is “taking this seriously.”

“It needs to happen because it’s probably happened in the past and they missed it a few times,” Dimension Data’s Mark Renshaw told VeloNews.

“I’ve never seen anyone win by 10 lengths in front of Mark Cavendish. It’s fair to say that we’ve never seen it in a sprint finish. Anything can happen though, it wouldn’t surprise me with technology now. It can be so advanced that even if it was 25 watts over an hour or two period, it is quite a lot in the mountains.”

The UCI is reportedly using a new tablet application that allows its CSI-type controllers to secretly detect electromagnetic frequencies.

“What we’ve been trying to do is to trial and develop equipment that will be easier to use and will allow us to scan more bikes more quickly and at more races,” Cookson said.

“If we need to go to a situation where every bike has to be pre-examined before a race, including the bikes on the team cars, then maybe this is something that we have to look at. We have much better technology now and we can do the more invasive tests.”

Some riders had dismissed motors as science fiction fantasy prior to the 19-year-old Van den Driessche being busted. Since then, the issue has become much more real.

“It could always happen, so it’s good that they are doing these small tests,” Belgian and BMC Racing rider Greg Van Avermaet said. “I had them control my bike at races. I think if they do that once or twice then it should be enough to scare others not to do it. It’s money well spent. It’s good that they can now check it in an easy and quick way.”

Said Astana’s Andrea Guardini: “It’s the right fight. If they have been used, then they were probably used years ago when no one thought about it. Now they are talking about it too much. I think a potential user would be scared off, but it’s worth it that the UCI is testing.”

BMC coach Marco Pinotti said it makes more sense that a motor was allegedly used in cyclocross, where teams are much smaller. He said it would take too much of an orchestrated effort for teams at the WorldTour and Pro Continental levels to cheat in such a way.

Van den Driessche faces a fine of 20,000 to 200,000 Swiss francs ($19,700 to 197,000) and a minimum six-month suspension if she is found guilty. The UCI’s disciplinary commission is examining her case now.

“Obviously, I don’t want to say anything that might prejudice the case, which is in fact sub-judice,” Cookson said. “But this is a very serious development and we are handling it with the utmost care.”

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Boasson Hagen wins Qatar TT, takes overall lead http://velonews.competitor.com/2016/02/news/road/boasson-hagen-win-qatar-tt-takes-overall-lead_395054 http://velonews.competitor.com/2016/02/news/road/boasson-hagen-win-qatar-tt-takes-overall-lead_395054#comments Wed, 10 Feb 2016 14:44:39 +0000 http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=395054

Edvald Boasson Hagen's time trial victory in stage 3 earned him the overall lead at Tour of Qatar. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

Edvald Boasson Hagen continues Dimension Data's domination of the Tour of Qatar, winning the stage 3 time trial.

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Edvald Boasson Hagen's time trial victory in stage 3 earned him the overall lead at Tour of Qatar. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

The Tour of Qatar’s golden leader’s jersey was handed from one Dimension Data rider to another on Wednesday as Edvald Boasson Hagen won the 11.4km time trial in Lusail, assuming the GC lead held by Mark Cavendish for the race’s first two days.

“It went pretty well today, I have been feeling quite strong since earlier in the week so I had a go to try and take the victory today,” Boasson Hagen said. “I am feeling strong but also I suffered in the wind. I am just happy that it was enough to take the jersey which we will do our best to keep.”

Stage 3, top 10

  • 1. Edvald BOASSON HAGEN, DIMENSION DATA, in 13:26
  • 2. Jos VAN EMDEN, TEAM LOTTO NL – JUMBO, at :25
  • 3. Manuel QUINZIATO, BMC RACING TEAM, at :29
  • 4. Greg VAN AVERMAET, BMC RACING TEAM, at :32
  • 5. Dmitriy GRUZDEV, ASTANA PRO TEAM, at :40
  • 6. Lieuwe WESTRA, ASTANA PRO TEAM, at :43
  • 7. Mark CAVENDISH, DIMENSION DATA, at :44
  • 8. Jordan KERBY, DRAPAC PROFESSIONAL CYCLING, at :44
  • 9. Søren Kragh ANDERSEN, TEAM GIANT – ALPECIN, at :45
  • 10. Daniel OSS, BMC RACING TEAM, at :47

 

Top-10 overall

  • 1. Edvald BOASSON HAGEN, DIMENSION DATA, in 6:53:35
  • 2. Mark CAVENDISH, DIMENSION DATA, at :26
  • 3. Manuel QUINZIATO, BMC RACING TEAM, at :32
  • 4. Greg VAN AVERMAET, BMC RACING TEAM, at :34
  • 5. Alexander KRISTOFF, TEAM KATUSHA, at :45
  • 6. Søren Kragh ANDERSEN, TEAM GIANT – ALPECIN, at :48
  • 7. Sven erik BYSTRØM, TEAM KATUSHA, at 1:02
  • 8. Sam BENNETT, RADIO POPULAR – BOAVISTA, at 1:07
  • 9. Viacheslav KUZNETSOV, TEAM KATUSHA, at 1:10
  • 10. Michael SCHÄR, BMC RACING TEAM, at 1:15

 

“I feel stronger than last year and with luck I am,” said Boasson Hagen. “I succeeded in winning today; now I’ll try to keep hold of the golden jersey.”

Norway’s Boasson Hagen won stage 3 by 25 seconds over LottoNL-Jumbo’s Jos van Emden, who edged out BMC’s Manuel Quinziato by four seconds. Cavendish is now 26 seconds behind his teammate in the overall after finishing seventh in the TT. Quinziato moved up from 10th to third overall, thanks to his strong performance on Wednesday.

“I never consider myself well off, but I thought that I would have a good chance to win this time trial,” van Emden said about his second place. “When I heard that Boasson Hagen was 25 seconds faster, it hurt me. It’s always hard to be dethroned, but it proves that he’s simply the best, on the other hand. I delivered a good time trial. The difference between is the power.”

Thursday will be stage 4 of the five-day race, a 189km run from Al Zubarah Fort to Madinat Al Shamal.

Stage 3 results

  • 1. Edvald BOASSON HAGEN, DIMENSION DATA, in 13:26
  • 2. Jos VAN EMDEN, TEAM LOTTO NL – JUMBO, at :25
  • 3. Manuel QUINZIATO, BMC RACING TEAM, at :29
  • 4. Greg VAN AVERMAET, BMC RACING TEAM, at :32
  • 5. Dmitriy GRUZDEV, ASTANA PRO TEAM, at :40
  • 6. Lieuwe WESTRA, ASTANA PRO TEAM, at :43
  • 7. Mark CAVENDISH, DIMENSION DATA, at :44
  • 8. Jordan KERBY, DRAPAC PROFESSIONAL CYCLING, at :44
  • 9. Søren Kragh ANDERSEN, TEAM GIANT – ALPECIN, at :45
  • 10. Daniel OSS, BMC RACING TEAM, at :47
  • 11. Nils POLITT, TEAM KATUSHA, at :51
  • 12. Lars BOOM, ASTANA PRO TEAM, at :51
  • 13. Hugo HOULE, AG2R LA MONDIALE, at :57
  • 14. Jesse SERGENT, AG2R LA MONDIALE, at :58
  • 15. Alexander KRISTOFF, TEAM KATUSHA, at :58
  • 16. Sven erik BYSTRØM, TEAM KATUSHA, at :59
  • 17. Rick ZABEL, BMC RACING TEAM, at 1:00
  • 18. Mike TEUNISSEN, TEAM LOTTO NL – JUMBO, at 1:00
  • 19. Jean-Pierre DRUCKER, BMC RACING TEAM, at 1:03
  • 20. Damien GAUDIN, AG2R LA MONDIALE, at 1:04
  • 21. Maarten WYNANTS, TEAM LOTTO NL – JUMBO, at 1:04
  • 22. Sam BENNETT, RADIO POPULAR – BOAVISTA, at 1:04
  • 23. Lukas PÖSTLBERGER, RADIO POPULAR – BOAVISTA, at 1:04
  • 24. Joseph ROSSKOPF, BMC RACING TEAM, at 1:05
  • 25. Mads PEDERSEN, SSG, at 1:05
  • 26. Berden DE VRIES, ROOMPOT – ORANJE PELOTON, at 1:06
  • 27. Gatis SMUKULIS, ASTANA PRO TEAM, at 1:09
  • 28. Viacheslav KUZNETSOV, TEAM KATUSHA, at 1:10
  • 29. Michael MORKOV, TEAM KATUSHA, at 1:11
  • 30. Scott THWAITES, RADIO POPULAR – BOAVISTA, at 1:11
  • 31. Michael SCHÄR, BMC RACING TEAM, at 1:12
  • 32. Vegard BREEN, FORTUNEO – VITAL CONCEPT, at 1:12
  • 33. Moreno HOFLAND, TEAM LOTTO NL – JUMBO, at 1:13
  • 34. Alex KIRSCH, SSG, at 1:17
  • 35. Zakkari DEMPSTER, RADIO POPULAR – BOAVISTA, at 1:18
  • 36. Peter KONING, DRAPAC PROFESSIONAL CYCLING, at 1:19
  • 37. Daniel EATON, UNITEDHEALTHCARE PROFESSIONAL CYCLING TEAM, at 1:19
  • 38. Jay Robert THOMSON, DIMENSION DATA, at 1:20
  • 39. Patrick GRETSCH, AG2R LA MONDIALE, at 1:20
  • 40. Gediminas BAGDONAS, AG2R LA MONDIALE, at 1:21
  • 41. Arnaud GERARD, FORTUNEO – VITAL CONCEPT, at 1:21
  • 42. Brian VAN GOETHEM, ROOMPOT – ORANJE PELOTON, at 1:21
  • 43. Sacha MODOLO, LAMPRE – MERIDA, at 1:22
  • 44. Brenton JONES, DRAPAC PROFESSIONAL CYCLING, at 1:22
  • 45. Tim DECLERCQ, TOPSPORT VLAANDEREN – BALOISE, at 1:25
  • 46. Johan VANSUMMEREN, AG2R LA MONDIALE, at 1:26
  • 47. Marco MARCATO, WANTY – GROUPE GOBERT, at 1:27
  • 48. Preben VAN HECKE, TOPSPORT VLAANDEREN – BALOISE, at 1:27
  • 49. Zico WAEYTENS, TEAM GIANT – ALPECIN, at 1:27
  • 50. Artyom ZAKHAROV, ASTANA PRO TEAM, at 1:28
  • 51. Luka PIBERNIK, LAMPRE – MERIDA, at 1:28
  • 52. Jacopo GUARNIERI, TEAM KATUSHA, at 1:29
  • 53. Simone ANTONINI, WANTY – GROUPE GOBERT, at 1:29
  • 54. Rudiger SELIG, RADIO POPULAR – BOAVISTA, at 1:29
  • 55. Dmitrii KOZONCHUK, TEAM KATUSHA, at 1:31
  • 56. Boris VALLEE, FORTUNEO – VITAL CONCEPT, at 1:31
  • 57. Jason LOWNDES, DRAPAC PROFESSIONAL CYCLING, at 1:32
  • 58. Jaroslaw MARYCZ, CCC SPRANDI POLKOWICE, at 1:32
  • 59. Benoit JARRIER, FORTUNEO – VITAL CONCEPT, at 1:33
  • 60. Adrian KUREK, CCC SPRANDI POLKOWICE, at 1:33
  • 61. Robert WAGNER, TEAM LOTTO NL – JUMBO, at 1:34
  • 62. Marco CANOLA, UNITEDHEALTHCARE PROFESSIONAL CYCLING TEAM, at 1:35
  • 63. Soufiane HADDI, SKD, at 1:35
  • 64. Twan CASTELIJNS, TEAM LOTTO NL – JUMBO, at 1:35
  • 65. Pieter VANSPEYBROUCK, TOPSPORT VLAANDEREN – BALOISE, at 1:37
  • 66. Pierre-Luc PERICHON, FORTUNEO – VITAL CONCEPT, at 1:37
  • 67. Marco HALLER, TEAM KATUSHA, at 1:37
  • 68. Tom VAN ASBROECK, TEAM LOTTO NL – JUMBO, at 1:39
  • 69. Ivan SANTAROMITA, SKD, at 1:39
  • 70. Sébastien TURGOT, AG2R LA MONDIALE, at 1:40
  • 71. Federico ZURLO, LAMPRE – MERIDA, at 1:40
  • 72. Christopher JONES, UNITEDHEALTHCARE PROFESSIONAL CYCLING TEAM, at 1:41
  • 73. Stijn STEELS, TOPSPORT VLAANDEREN – BALOISE, at 1:42
  • 74. Andreas SCHILLINGER, RADIO POPULAR – BOAVISTA, at 1:42
  • 75. Mekseb DEBESAY, DIMENSION DATA, at 1:43
  • 76. Timo ROOSEN, TEAM LOTTO NL – JUMBO, at 1:43
  • 77. Roy JANS, WANTY – GROUPE GOBERT, at 1:43
  • 78. Bjorn THURAU, WANTY – GROUPE GOBERT, at 1:43
  • 79. Matthew BUSCHE, UNITEDHEALTHCARE PROFESSIONAL CYCLING TEAM, at 1:45
  • 80. Tom STAMSNIJDER, TEAM GIANT – ALPECIN, at 1:46
  • 81. Tim KERKHOF, ROOMPOT – ORANJE PELOTON, at 1:46
  • 82. Carlos Eduardo ALZATE ESCOBAR, UNITEDHEALTHCARE PROFESSIONAL CYCLING TEAM, at 1:47
  • 83. Adil JELLOUL, SKD, at 1:48
  • 84. Andrea GUARDINI, ASTANA PRO TEAM, at 1:48
  • 85. Mario Jorge FARIA DA COSTA, LAMPRE – MERIDA, at 1:48
  • 86. Bradley WHITE, UNITEDHEALTHCARE PROFESSIONAL CYCLING TEAM, at 1:48
  • 87. Mark RENSHAW, DIMENSION DATA, at 1:49
  • 88. Floris DE TIER, TOPSPORT VLAANDEREN – BALOISE, at 1:49
  • 89. Thomas KOEP, SSG, at 1:49
  • 90. Robin STENUIT, WANTY – GROUPE GOBERT, at 1:50
  • 91. Kenneth VAN ROOY, TOPSPORT VLAANDEREN – BALOISE, at 1:50
  • 92. Michael Carbel SVENDGAARD, SSG, at 1:51
  • 93. Wesley KREDER, ROOMPOT – ORANJE PELOTON, at 1:52
  • 94. Yukiya ARASHIRO, LAMPRE – MERIDA, at 1:52
  • 95. Tomasz KIENDYS, CCC SPRANDI POLKOWICE, at 1:52
  • 96. Sébastien MINARD, AG2R LA MONDIALE, at 1:53
  • 97. Daniel MCLAY, FORTUNEO – VITAL CONCEPT, at 1:53
  • 98. Jesper ASSELMAN, ROOMPOT – ORANJE PELOTON, at 1:53
  • 99. Andrea PALINI, SKD, at 1:54
  • 100. Fabian WEGMANN, SSG, at 1:54
  • 101. Davide REBELLIN, CCC SPRANDI POLKOWICE, at 1:55
  • 102. Samuel SPOKES, DRAPAC PROFESSIONAL CYCLING, at 1:57
  • 103. Steven TRONET, FORTUNEO – VITAL CONCEPT, at 1:57
  • 104. Graeme BROWN, DRAPAC PROFESSIONAL CYCLING, at 1:57
  • 105. Karl MENZIES, UNITEDHEALTHCARE PROFESSIONAL CYCLING TEAM, at 1:58
  • 106. Ruslan TLEUBAYEV, ASTANA PRO TEAM, at 1:58
  • 107. Youcef REGUIGUI, DIMENSION DATA, at 1:59
  • 108. Meher HASNAOUI, SKD, at 2:00
  • 109. Kamberaj XHULIANO, SKD, at 2:01
  • 110. Danilo NAPOLITANO, WANTY – GROUPE GOBERT, at 2:02
  • 111. Christoph PFINGSTEN, RADIO POPULAR – BOAVISTA, at 2:02
  • 112. Jef VAN MEIRHAEGHE, TOPSPORT VLAANDEREN – BALOISE, at 2:03
  • 113. Johannes FRÖHLINGER, TEAM GIANT – ALPECIN, at 2:05
  • 114. Davide CIMOLAI, LAMPRE – MERIDA, at 2:05
  • 115. Matt BRAMMEIER, DIMENSION DATA, at 2:07
  • 116. Grzegorz STEPNIAK, CCC SPRANDI POLKOWICE, at 2:07
  • 117. André LOOIJ, ROOMPOT – ORANJE PELOTON, at 2:07
  • 118. Mark MCNALLY, WANTY – GROUPE GOBERT, at 2:08
  • 119. Amaury CAPIOT, TOPSPORT VLAANDEREN – BALOISE, at 2:08
  • 120. Marko KUMP, LAMPRE – MERIDA, at 2:12
  • 121. Cheng JI, TEAM GIANT – ALPECIN, at 2:15
  • 122. Michael REIHS, SSG, at 2:16
  • 123. Christian Mager, SSG, at 2:20
  • 124. Luke KEOUGH, UNITEDHEALTHCARE PROFESSIONAL CYCLING TEAM, at 2:24
  • 125. Tyler FARRAR, DIMENSION DATA, at 2:26
  • 126. Simone PONZI, CCC SPRANDI POLKOWICE, at 2:30
  • 127. Kenny DE HAES, WANTY – GROUPE GOBERT, at 2:32
  • 128. Bernard SULZBERGER, DRAPAC PROFESSIONAL CYCLING, at 2:32
  • 129. Yauheni HUTAROVICH, FORTUNEO – VITAL CONCEPT, at 2:33
  • 130. Shane ARCHBOLD, RADIO POPULAR – BOAVISTA, at 2:35
  • 131. Ivar SLIK, ROOMPOT – ORANJE PELOTON, at 2:42
  • 132. Adrian HONKISZ, CCC SPRANDI POLKOWICE, at 3:01
  • DNS Barry MARKUS, ROOMPOT – ORANJE PELOTON

 

General classification

  • 1. Edvald BOASSON HAGEN, DIMENSION DATA, in 6:53:35
  • 2. Mark CAVENDISH, DIMENSION DATA, at :26
  • 3. Manuel QUINZIATO, BMC RACING TEAM, at :32
  • 4. Greg VAN AVERMAET, BMC RACING TEAM, at :34
  • 5. Alexander KRISTOFF, TEAM KATUSHA, at :45
  • 6. Søren Kragh ANDERSEN, TEAM GIANT – ALPECIN, at :48
  • 7. Sven erik BYSTRØM, TEAM KATUSHA, at 1:02
  • 8. Sam BENNETT, RADIO POPULAR – BOAVISTA, at 1:07
  • 9. Viacheslav KUZNETSOV, TEAM KATUSHA, at 1:10
  • 10. Michael SCHÄR, BMC RACING TEAM, at 1:15
  • 11. Sacha MODOLO, LAMPRE – MERIDA, at 1:18
  • 12. Zakkari DEMPSTER, RADIO POPULAR – BOAVISTA, at 1:21
  • 13. Arnaud GERARD, FORTUNEO – VITAL CONCEPT, at 1:24
  • 14. Michael MORKOV, TEAM KATUSHA, at 1:32
  • 15. Rudiger SELIG, RADIO POPULAR – BOAVISTA, at 1:37
  • 16. Andrea GUARDINI, ASTANA PRO TEAM, at 1:47
  • 17. Jos VAN EMDEN, TEAM LOTTO NL – JUMBO, at 2:11
  • 18. Dmitriy GRUZDEV, ASTANA PRO TEAM, at 2:26
  • 19. Daniel OSS, BMC RACING TEAM, at 2:33
  • 20. Nils POLITT, TEAM KATUSHA, at 2:37
  • 21. Maarten WYNANTS, TEAM LOTTO NL – JUMBO, at 2:50
  • 22. Scott THWAITES, RADIO POPULAR – BOAVISTA, at 2:57
  • 23. Moreno HOFLAND, TEAM LOTTO NL – JUMBO, at 2:59
  • 24. Daniel EATON, UNITEDHEALTHCARE PROFESSIONAL CYCLING TEAM, at 3:05
  • 25. Jay Robert THOMSON, DIMENSION DATA, at 3:06
  • 26. Preben VAN HECKE, TOPSPORT VLAANDEREN – BALOISE, at 3:10
  • 27. Johan VANSUMMEREN, AG2R LA MONDIALE, at 3:12
  • 28. Jacopo GUARNIERI, TEAM KATUSHA, at 3:15
  • 29. Simone ANTONINI, WANTY – GROUPE GOBERT, at 3:15
  • 30. Dmitrii KOZONCHUK, TEAM KATUSHA, at 3:17
  • 31. Adrian KUREK, CCC SPRANDI POLKOWICE, at 3:19
  • 32. Soufiane HADDI, SKD, at 3:21
  • 33. Pieter VANSPEYBROUCK, TOPSPORT VLAANDEREN – BALOISE, at 3:23
  • 34. Pierre-Luc PERICHON, FORTUNEO – VITAL CONCEPT, at 3:23
  • 35. Sébastien TURGOT, AG2R LA MONDIALE, at 3:26
  • 36. Christopher JONES, UNITEDHEALTHCARE PROFESSIONAL CYCLING TEAM, at 3:27
  • 37. Stijn STEELS, TOPSPORT VLAANDEREN – BALOISE, at 3:28
  • 38. Mekseb DEBESAY, DIMENSION DATA, at 3:29
  • 39. Tom STAMSNIJDER, TEAM GIANT – ALPECIN, at 3:32
  • 40. Mark RENSHAW, DIMENSION DATA, at 3:35
  • 41. Andrea PALINI, SKD, at 3:40
  • 42. Steven TRONET, FORTUNEO – VITAL CONCEPT, at 3:43
  • 43. Ruslan TLEUBAYEV, ASTANA PRO TEAM, at 3:44
  • 44. Kamberaj XHULIANO, SKD, at 3:47
  • 45. Matt BRAMMEIER, DIMENSION DATA, at 3:53
  • 46. Mark MCNALLY, WANTY – GROUPE GOBERT, at 3:54
  • 47. Marko KUMP, LAMPRE – MERIDA, at 3:58
  • 48. Jean-Pierre DRUCKER, BMC RACING TEAM, at 4:01
  • 49. Michael REIHS, SSG, at 4:02
  • 50. Marco MARCATO, WANTY – GROUPE GOBERT, at 4:49
  • 51. Carlos Eduardo ALZATE ESCOBAR, UNITEDHEALTHCARE PROFESSIONAL CYCLING TEAM, at 6:10
  • 52. Tyler FARRAR, DIMENSION DATA, at 6:11
  • 53. Lukas PÖSTLBERGER, RADIO POPULAR – BOAVISTA, at 8:01
  • 54. Lars BOOM, ASTANA PRO TEAM, at 8:46
  • 55. Mike TEUNISSEN, TEAM LOTTO NL – JUMBO, at 8:55
  • 56. Gatis SMUKULIS, ASTANA PRO TEAM, at 9:02
  • 57. Patrick GRETSCH, AG2R LA MONDIALE, at 9:15
  • 58. Tim DECLERCQ, TOPSPORT VLAANDEREN – BALOISE, at 9:20
  • 59. Jaroslaw MARYCZ, CCC SPRANDI POLKOWICE, at 9:27
  • 60. Roy JANS, WANTY – GROUPE GOBERT, at 9:34
  • 61. Timo ROOSEN, TEAM LOTTO NL – JUMBO, at 9:38
  • 62. Lieuwe WESTRA, ASTANA PRO TEAM, at 9:45
  • 63. Tomasz KIENDYS, CCC SPRANDI POLKOWICE, at 9:47
  • 64. Fabian WEGMANN, SSG, at 9:49
  • 65. Jef VAN MEIRHAEGHE, TOPSPORT VLAANDEREN – BALOISE, at 9:58
  • 66. Zico WAEYTENS, TEAM GIANT – ALPECIN, at 10:48
  • 67. Adrian HONKISZ, CCC SPRANDI POLKOWICE, at 10:56
  • 68. Boris VALLEE, FORTUNEO – VITAL CONCEPT, at 11:02
  • 69. Kenneth VAN ROOY, TOPSPORT VLAANDEREN – BALOISE, at 12:21
  • 70. Hugo HOULE, AG2R LA MONDIALE, at 12:53
  • 71. Rick ZABEL, BMC RACING TEAM, at 12:56
  • 72. Damien GAUDIN, AG2R LA MONDIALE, at 13:00
  • 73. Joseph ROSSKOPF, BMC RACING TEAM, at 13:01
  • 74. Mads PEDERSEN, SSG, at 13:01
  • 75. Berden DE VRIES, ROOMPOT – ORANJE PELOTON, at 13:02
  • 76. Vegard BREEN, FORTUNEO – VITAL CONCEPT, at 13:08
  • 77. Alex KIRSCH, SSG, at 13:13
  • 78. Brian VAN GOETHEM, ROOMPOT – ORANJE PELOTON, at 13:17
  • 79. Brenton JONES, DRAPAC PROFESSIONAL CYCLING, at 13:18
  • 80. Artyom ZAKHAROV, ASTANA PRO TEAM, at 13:24
  • 81. Luka PIBERNIK, LAMPRE – MERIDA, at 13:24
  • 82. Jason LOWNDES, DRAPAC PROFESSIONAL CYCLING, at 13:28
  • 83. Benoit JARRIER, FORTUNEO – VITAL CONCEPT, at 13:29
  • 84. Robert WAGNER, TEAM LOTTO NL – JUMBO, at 13:30
  • 85. Marco CANOLA, UNITEDHEALTHCARE PROFESSIONAL CYCLING TEAM, at 13:31
  • 86. Twan CASTELIJNS, TEAM LOTTO NL – JUMBO, at 13:31
  • 87. Marco HALLER, TEAM KATUSHA, at 13:33
  • 88. Tom VAN ASBROECK, TEAM LOTTO NL – JUMBO, at 13:35
  • 89. Ivan SANTAROMITA, SKD, at 13:35
  • 90. Tim KERKHOF, ROOMPOT – ORANJE PELOTON, at 13:42
  • 91. Adil JELLOUL, SKD, at 13:44
  • 92. Floris DE TIER, TOPSPORT VLAANDEREN – BALOISE, at 13:45
  • 93. Thomas KOEP, SSG, at 13:45
  • 94. Michael Carbel SVENDGAARD, SSG, at 13:47
  • 95. Wesley KREDER, ROOMPOT – ORANJE PELOTON, at 13:48
  • 96. Yukiya ARASHIRO, LAMPRE – MERIDA, at 13:48
  • 97. Sébastien MINARD, AG2R LA MONDIALE, at 13:49
  • 98. Jesper ASSELMAN, ROOMPOT – ORANJE PELOTON, at 13:49
  • 99. Davide REBELLIN, CCC SPRANDI POLKOWICE, at 13:51
  • 100. Graeme BROWN, DRAPAC PROFESSIONAL CYCLING, at 13:53
  • 101. Youcef REGUIGUI, DIMENSION DATA, at 13:55
  • 102. Meher HASNAOUI, SKD, at 13:56
  • 103. Danilo NAPOLITANO, WANTY – GROUPE GOBERT, at 13:58
  • 104. Johannes FRÖHLINGER, TEAM GIANT – ALPECIN, at 14:01
  • 105. Davide CIMOLAI, LAMPRE – MERIDA, at 14:01
  • 106. Grzegorz STEPNIAK, CCC SPRANDI POLKOWICE, at 14:03
  • 107. André LOOIJ, ROOMPOT – ORANJE PELOTON, at 14:03
  • 108. Cheng JI, TEAM GIANT – ALPECIN, at 14:11
  • 109. Simone PONZI, CCC SPRANDI POLKOWICE, at 14:26
  • 110. Shane ARCHBOLD, RADIO POPULAR – BOAVISTA, at 14:31
  • 111. Ivar SLIK, ROOMPOT – ORANJE PELOTON, at 14:38
  • 112. Matthew BUSCHE, UNITEDHEALTHCARE PROFESSIONAL CYCLING TEAM, at 14:55
  • 113. Bjorn THURAU, WANTY – GROUPE GOBERT, at 14:58
  • 114. Mario Jorge FARIA DA COSTA, LAMPRE – MERIDA, at 15:10
  • 115. Amaury CAPIOT, TOPSPORT VLAANDEREN – BALOISE, at 15:32
  • 116. Andreas SCHILLINGER, RADIO POPULAR – BOAVISTA, at 15:58
  • 117. Bernard SULZBERGER, DRAPAC PROFESSIONAL CYCLING, at 16:04
  • 118. Christoph PFINGSTEN, RADIO POPULAR – BOAVISTA, at 16:18
  • 119. Kenny DE HAES, WANTY – GROUPE GOBERT, at 19:16
  • 120. Jesse SERGENT, AG2R LA MONDIALE, at 20:16
  • 121. Peter KONING, DRAPAC PROFESSIONAL CYCLING, at 20:49
  • 122. Federico ZURLO, LAMPRE – MERIDA, at 20:58
  • 123. Daniel MCLAY, FORTUNEO – VITAL CONCEPT, at 21:11
  • 124. Bradley WHITE, UNITEDHEALTHCARE PROFESSIONAL CYCLING TEAM, at 21:18
  • 125. Robin STENUIT, WANTY – GROUPE GOBERT, at 21:20
  • 126. Karl MENZIES, UNITEDHEALTHCARE PROFESSIONAL CYCLING TEAM, at 21:28
  • 127. Jordan KERBY, DRAPAC PROFESSIONAL CYCLING, at 21:36
  • 128. Yauheni HUTAROVICH, FORTUNEO – VITAL CONCEPT, at 21:51
  • 129. Luke KEOUGH, UNITEDHEALTHCARE PROFESSIONAL CYCLING TEAM, at 21:54
  • 130. Christian Mager, SSG, at 22:31
  • 131. Samuel SPOKES, DRAPAC PROFESSIONAL CYCLING, at 22:51
  • 132. Gediminas BAGDONAS, AG2R LA MONDIALE, at 28:13

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Trentin’s road to classics climbs Mount Etna http://velonews.competitor.com/2016/02/news/trentins-road-to-classics-climbs-mount-etna_395044 http://velonews.competitor.com/2016/02/news/trentins-road-to-classics-climbs-mount-etna_395044#comments Wed, 10 Feb 2016 14:02:04 +0000 http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=395044

Matteo Trentin, pictured here during the 2015 Tour of Britain. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

The Italian is one of several Etixx – Quick-Step riders who could contend for victories in Belgium and France this spring.

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Matteo Trentin, pictured here during the 2015 Tour of Britain. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

Matteo Trentin is hoping the heights of Mount Etna will give him an edge in the bergs and cobbles of the northern classics this spring.

Others have tried altitude training ahead of the spring classics, including Team Sky, with mixed results. Trentin, however, is convinced altitude will do him some good, and so the Etixx – Quick-Step rider will escape to Sicily to train on the flanks of Mount Etna ahead of the upcoming classics campaign.

“I always do altitude camp in the summer, usually about 15 to 20 days. It works really well, so let’s try if it will work for the classics,” Trentin told VeloNews. “I will head to Etna to see if it will give me a boost.”

Altitude camps have become an essential part of modern training, especially for grand tour riders heading to the Tour de France. While it has clear advantages for riders racing up the French mountain cols in July, altitude training hasn’t proven to be a major impact on the classics. Sky tried it with their riders a few years ago with mixed results, with some riders even saying the demands of the altitude camp wore them out ahead of the grueling classics. The British team has since ditched its altitude training for its classics-bound riders in its quest to win a major one-day classic.

Trentin has used altitude training before, including trips to Lake Tahoe and Livigno, Italy, and the 26-year-old Italian is hoping the effort will pay off for the classics.

As a key member of the deep and experienced Etixx classics team, Trentin knows he needs to be at the absolute top of his game to have a chance for victory. Not only does he need to beat the rest of the peloton, he has to work his way up the hierarchy at Etixx. With Tom Boonen, Zdenek Stybar, and Niki Terpstra ahead of him, Trentin accepts he is a few rungs down the ladder. But if a door opens, he wants to be ready to storm right in.

“We have the big guys, with Tom, Stybie, Niki, but even like last year, I was third in Harelbeke,” Trentin said. “Everyone is very clear about this. We all want to win, but it’s important that the team wins.”

Trentin is one of the few modern Italians who is targeting the northern classics, picking up the tradition from such riders as Michele Bartoli, Gianluca Bortolami, Andrea Tafi, and Franco Ballerini — a generation of Italians who dominated the classics in the 1990s.

“It’s always a childhood dream to win a big classic,” Trentin said. “It would be nice to win such a race just once. To win just one of these monuments would be like a dream. Being on this team, with such a big history, it’s something that I am very proud of.”

No Italian has won Paris-Roubaix since Tafi in 1999 or the Ronde van Vlaanderen (Tour of Flanders) since Alessandro Ballan in 2007. Yet it’s the 2001 edition of Roubaix, won by Sky sport director Servais Knaven, that drew Trentin into the classics.

“The 2001 Paris-Roubaix, that was the most epic race I’ve ever seen,” he said. “That’s when I started to love the classics. Your body is on the limit, they are very physical races. They are the big challenges in this sport.”

In fact, the dynamics of that 2001 Roubaix, when Knaven rode as a support rider for his higher-profile captains, is just the kind of scenario Trentin would need to someday win one of the classics.

“The road speaks for the riders, so if someone is feeling great, they will have their chance,” Trentin said, insisting there are no problems on the talent-rich Etixx classics squad. “We are all professional, and we are all racing for the same team. Last year, I was third at Harelbeke, so the chance is there to win something if you have a great day.”

With Boonen looking at perhaps his final season, Trentin is poised to move up. Entering his sixth campaign with the Belgian outfit, Trentin has already won two stages at the Tour de France and won Paris-Tours last fall. Though not considered a “monument,” Paris-Tours was an important milestone for the improving Italian.

“That was a nice present to win Paris-Tours. I was chasing victory in a one-day race for awhile,” Trentin said. “I made a good end of season [run]. I was well-prepared for the worlds, but I made a tactical mistake that took me out of the race. When I went home, I was mad for one week, thinking about the worlds, because you do not get too many opportunities to be there. I made a mental switch, and I used that frustration from the worlds.”

Don’t look for Trentin at the Belgian opener at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne, however. He’s skipping the first weekend of the Belgian classics to head to Mount Etna instead. He’s hoping the rarified air of the Sicilian volcano will help him on the cobbles of Flanders and France.

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Van Garderen hits the reset button in Spain http://velonews.competitor.com/2016/02/news/van-garderen-to-start-2016-season-in-spain_395039 http://velonews.competitor.com/2016/02/news/van-garderen-to-start-2016-season-in-spain_395039#comments Wed, 10 Feb 2016 13:34:53 +0000 http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=395039

Tejay van Garderen will jumpstart his season in Spain this weekend. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

The American will start his season at two races in Spain this weekend as he prepares for another Tour de France challenge.

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Tejay van Garderen will jumpstart his season in Spain this weekend. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

Tejay van Garderen is heading to Spain to begin his 2016 season. The 27-year-old has debuted in the Middle East or South America the past three years, but this year he’s staying on European roads to open his racing calendar.

Van Garderen will click his season into gear at the Vuelta a Murcia and the Clásica de Almeria, a pair of one-day races in Spain this weekend.

“The decision to start the season in Spain is due to a number of reasons,” van Garderen said in a BMC Racing press release. “I’ve opened the two previous seasons with the Tour of Oman, but we felt it was a good idea to stay in Europe, in the same time zone, with a better climate and eliminate the travel involved. These races are competitive and will really set my season up well.”

After that, van Garderen will race the five-day Ruta del Sol, also in Spain. The remainder of his schedule is not officially defined, but it’s expected he will race Tirreno-Adriatico, the Volta a Catalunya, Tour de Romandie, and the Critérium du Dauphiné ahead of the Tour de France.

With the arrival of Richie Porte as co-leader for the Tour, the 2016 season marks a new chapter for van Garderen. BMC general manager Jim Ochowicz said the team is aiming for outright victory at the Tour this year, and van Garderen recently signed a contract extension to stay with the U.S.-registered team.

Van Garderen hasn’t raced since crashing out of the 2015 Vuelta a España in stage 8. BMC sport director Jackson Stewart said the pair of Spanish one-day races is a good way to blow out the cobwebs.

“They’re great races to start the season with,” Stewart said “We’re sending a solid GC team to the two races so that they can get a couple of good race days in their legs before continuing on to Ruta del Sol. Really anyone from the team has a shot in Murcia, and then Almeria is traditionally a sprinters’ race.”

BMC Racing for Vuelta a Murcia and the Clásica de Almeria

Darwin Atapuma (COL)
Brent Bookwalter (USA)
Damiano Caruso (ITA)
Philippe Gilbert (BEL)
Ben Hermans (BEL)
Samuel Sanchez (SPA)
Tejay van Garderen (USA)

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Specialized cuts three percent of global workforce http://velonews.competitor.com/2016/02/news/specialized-cuts-3-of-global-workforce_395032 http://velonews.competitor.com/2016/02/news/specialized-cuts-3-of-global-workforce_395032#comments Wed, 10 Feb 2016 02:13:57 +0000 http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=395032

Specialized Bicycle Components announced on Tuesday that it will lay off of three percent of its global workforce.

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Specialized Bicycle Components announced on Tuesday that it will lay off three percent of its global workforce, citing a need for a “smaller, more focused team.”

The company did not release the precise number of workers affected, and a total workforce figure was not immediately available. A company representative responded to a request for clarification by noting that less than 50 employees will be laid off.

“We are tightening up our structure and focusing it on three key areas: innovation, marketing, and supply chain,” said Mike Sinyard, Specialized founder and CEO. “We are investing in new R&D space in Switzerland, Taiwan, and Morgan Hill that will keep us at the forefront of cycling innovation. We are focusing on marketing that will expand the global market for our brand and help our retailers drive traffic and sales. And finally, we are investing in our supply chain to ensure we are delivering the best product at the best price to riders and our retailers. All of this is an investment in our future.”

The company is working closely with affected workers, according to a statement, and is offering both severance packages and other services to help former employees find work elsewhere.

“We have made the difficult but necessary decision to reduce the number of employees and realign the organization. Our employees are, and have always been, what make this brand so special,” Sinyard said. “This decision, and the impact on our teammates, is of course very hard.”

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Reviewed: Specialized Airnet helmet http://velonews.competitor.com/2016/02/bikes-and-tech/reviews/reviewed-specialized-airnet-helmet_395012 http://velonews.competitor.com/2016/02/bikes-and-tech/reviews/reviewed-specialized-airnet-helmet_395012#comments Tue, 09 Feb 2016 21:47:44 +0000 http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=395012

The Airnet has textured grippers to hold glasses in the vents, both front and rear. Photo: Brad Kaminski | VeloNews.com

Specialized's Airnet helmet offers a subdued aesthetic but a lot of the performance found in higher-end helmets at a reasonable price.

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The Airnet has textured grippers to hold glasses in the vents, both front and rear. Photo: Brad Kaminski | VeloNews.com

We like: Subtle good looks, reasonable price.
We don’t like:
Non-adjustable Y straps limit adjustability.
MSRP:
$150
Weight: 270 grams
Specialized.com

Mid-level helmets are often designed to mimic the aesthetic of their more expensive brethren, but not the Specialized Airnet.

This $150 lid has a very different look from the $200 Prevail, and we like it. The Airnet has a subdued, low-profile design with five smooth lines wrapping over the top of the head, reminiscent of old leather hairnet “helmets” — likely the genesis of this modern interpretation’s name.

With 23 vents, the Airnet is sufficiently airy, although it’s not as light on the head as a Prevail, which comes as no surprise. It does share the same Mindset fit system, with an easily adjustable dial at the back, as well as five positions for the system’s vertical position on the back of the head. As is the case with other Specialized helmets, you can’t tune the Y junction of straps below your ears. For some, this is fine — simpler, and lighter — but for others, including one of our testers, it led to a sub-par fit.

This helmet’s low-profile design reminds us a little of the Giro Synthe. Evidently, the Airnet is also pretty good when it comes to aerodynamics. Sean Estes of Specialized told us that, while the Airnet isn’t as slippery as an Evade aero road helmet, it does produce less drag than a Prevail.

Beyond fit and performance, the Airnet has Merino wool pads and a removable visor that can be either flipped down or up.

If you don’t feel like having a modern art installation on your head, the Airnet is a great option in terms of both aesthetics and performance.

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UCI considers testing all bikes for hidden motors http://velonews.competitor.com/2016/02/news/uci-considers-testing-all-bikes-for-hidden-motors_395008 http://velonews.competitor.com/2016/02/news/uci-considers-testing-all-bikes-for-hidden-motors_395008#comments Tue, 09 Feb 2016 18:23:26 +0000 http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=395008

The UCI's Brian Cookson was on hand at Tour of Qatar to preview the venue for this year's world road championships. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

Brian Cookson vows to take all measures necessary to catch cheating, and that may mean expanded checks for hidden motors.

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The UCI's Brian Cookson was on hand at Tour of Qatar to preview the venue for this year's world road championships. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

DOHA (AFP) — UCI president Brian Cookson said on Tuesday his organization will leave no stone unturned in the bid to rid the sport of cheats.

Speaking during a visit to Doha where the Tour of Qatar is underway, Briton Cookson said the UCI would even consider expanding the tests for motorized bicycles if need be.

“If we need to go to a situation where every bike has to be pre-examined before a race, including the bikes on the team cars, then maybe this is something that we have to look at,” he said. “We have much better technology now to check whether there are any suspicious signs, and then we can do the more invasive tests to prove it one way or another.”

The issue of motorized bicycles — or technological doping as it is sometimes called — has come to the fore since Belgian rider Femke Van Den Driessche‘s bike at the recent cyclocross world championships was found to have a hidden motor.

Cookson, who was checking out facilities in Doha ahead of the world road race championships in the desert city in October, said he could not comment specifically on that case but insisted the UCI is doing everything it can to weed out the cheats.

“They’ve been looking everywhere. Please don’t delude yourself that we haven’t been taking this seriously,” he said. “What we’ve been trying to do is to trial and develop equipment that will be easier to use and will allow us to scan more bikes, more quickly, and at more races.”

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Gallery: Tour of Qatar, stage 2 http://velonews.competitor.com/2016/02/news/road/gallery-tour-of-qatar-stage-2_394968 http://velonews.competitor.com/2016/02/news/road/gallery-tour-of-qatar-stage-2_394968#comments Tue, 09 Feb 2016 18:01:32 +0000 http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=394968

The sprint was very close, and the difference came down to a final bike throw. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

On another windy day in Qatar, Mark Cavendish fights to keep his leader's jersey, while Alexander Kristoff wins stage 2.

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The sprint was very close, and the difference came down to a final bike throw. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

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In Qatar, another avoidable crash http://velonews.competitor.com/2016/02/news/in-qatar-another-avoidable-crash_394988 http://velonews.competitor.com/2016/02/news/in-qatar-another-avoidable-crash_394988#comments Tue, 09 Feb 2016 17:48:53 +0000 http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=394988

Tuesday's Tour of Qatar stage ended in a small bunch sprint after the field was split by a major crash. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

Riders are calling for more safety measures and repercussions for race organizers who fail to take appropriate precautions.

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Tuesday's Tour of Qatar stage ended in a small bunch sprint after the field was split by a major crash. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

Mark Cavendish and Alexander Kristoff were tucked behind the last of their lead-out men at 65kph when the Tour of Qatar peloton flowed around and then crashed atop a raised concrete road divider strewn with sign posts and speed camera poles — unprotected by barriers — just over 500 meters from the finish of the race’s second stage.

It was eerily reminiscent of the scene that ended the 2015 season and permanently scarred the leg of American Peter Stetina: metal poles, a pile of torn spandex, bent and broken equipment, glasses half off faces. Quite a lot of road rash. There was more luck this time, as no major injuries were reported, but riders say that game of chance and inches should never have been played.

They’re also saying that the Qatar crash was avoidable, and are clamoring for the the UCI to strengthen its punishments for race organizers that fail to create safe courses.

“How much has Qatar paid for the UCI worlds bid? The 2019 IAAF world championships? The 2022 World Cup? Of course they could afford a few more kilometers of barriers,” said Michael Carcaise, executive director of Association of North American Professional Cyclists (ANAPRC). “This is not an unsolvable or prohibitively expensive problem. This is the UCI failing to do its number one job: make rules and enforce them.”

Responses submitted by pro riders to a new rider race report form created by ANAPRC indicate that the crash Tuesday was caused by a lack of barriers in a key section of the final kilometer.

“The crash with 500m to go was due to a lack of proper barricades to block off a turn lane and island. It could’ve easily been avoided,” reads a response submitted to the form by one of the day’s racers.

Despite the fact that proper barricading could have kept riders upright, and despite the fact that the UCI produces a comprehensive guide to creating safe race finishes, history suggests that little will be done. At present, the UCI has little recourse against organizers because its guidelines are not binding, but are mere suggestions of best practice.

ANAPRC, which is part of the Cyclistes Professionnels Associés (CPA), called Tuesday for the current course guidelines to be turned into regulations.

“Riders are the only stakeholders held accountable in pro cycling. The UCI must start holding race organizers to a higher standard for safety. Their suggested guidelines are not good enough,” Carcaise said.

Riders are increasingly vocal regarding race safety, which they correctly term workplace safety. The CPA is expanding this year to represent more of the pro peloton, further enhancing the voice of riders in such matters.

The organizers of Vuelta al Pais Vasco, where Stetina smashed his knee on a metal pole that was stuck in the middle of the road, marked only by a small orange cone, have seen no repercussions.

“We are not asking for all risk to be removed from pro cycling,” Carcaise told VeloNews via email. “We simply ask that race organizers use the most basic common sense to make courses safe in the most dangerous part of the course — the last 5km.”

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Technical FAQ: Tires for riding rollers http://velonews.competitor.com/2016/02/bikes-and-tech/technical-faq/technical-faq-tires-for-riding-rollers_394989 http://velonews.competitor.com/2016/02/bikes-and-tech/technical-faq/technical-faq-tires-for-riding-rollers_394989#comments Tue, 09 Feb 2016 17:36:04 +0000 http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=394989

There are a number of factors to consider when choosing a tire to use for riding on indoor rollers.
Photo: Casey B. Gibson | www.cbgphoto.com (File).

Lennard Zinn explains how to choose the right tires for riding rollers this winter.

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There are a number of factors to consider when choosing a tire to use for riding on indoor rollers. Photo: Casey B. Gibson | www.cbgphoto.com (File).

Dear Lennard,
I have a question that I cannot find the answer to anywhere. I have been following you for years, have two of your books, and I just read your VeloNews article, “Where the rubber meets the road.” So you are eminently qualified to answer this question. I hope you can.

I just purchased a set of Elite Arion Mag Rollers, and I love them. They are the best rollers I’ve ever used, by far. One problem I am having, though, is that I’m getting some bumpiness. I’m fairly certain it’s due to my tires, and possibly the tubes. The tires, for sure, are fairly old and have imperfections in them. I’d like to correct this problem and make my roller experience as smooth as possible, but I just don’t know the best way to go about it.

PLEASE NOTE: The tires and tubes will be used on the rollers ONLY; no road or turbo trainer usage.

What characteristics do I need to look for in a tire? Weight, puncture resistance, and handling are obviously not a concern, so what does matter? TPI? Suppleness? Outer materials? Casing materials? Does tire width matter? (Ex 700×23 or 700×25?) Will using a latex tube make a difference? What about tire pressure?

There has been so much written about these issues in regard to turbo trainers, but I can’t find a single word on the subject for rollers. I just want to get the best experience out of them as I can, but also without spending hundreds of extra dollars.
— Adam

Dear Adam,
In the late 1970s, before turbo trainers, any indoor training I did was on rollers. The drums on my Cinelli rollers were not machined; they were made out of large-diameter, thin-wall steel tubing, and they had open cup-and-cone bearings, rather than cartridge bearings. Consequently, I had few expectations for smoothness (or quietness). My roommate, however, had some early Kreitler rollers with machined drums, and his were nice and smooth (so I tended to use his!). There were no decent clincher rims or tires at the time, so we rode tubulars for training as well as for racing. A good racing tubular glued on straight onto a true (especially a radially-true) wheel made for a smooth ride on the Kreitlers, but if the valve stem were cocked or if there was a bulge in the tire, it made for rough roller riding.

In the rolling-resistance article you cite, I did not publish the test results performed on the (very large-diameter) smooth roller surface at Wheel Energy Oy because it was unrealistically smooth, making the rolling resistance numbers unrealistically low and showing only that rolling resistance continues to go down as tire pressure goes up. (In the real world, even small imperfections in the road surface will cause rolling resistance to increase after a certain tire pressure with a given tire has been exceeded, so I instead only published the results of the diamond-tread surface on the roller, which revealed this effect.) Even with smooth rollers, however, as the roller diameter decreases, the tire’s rolling resistance will increase, due to the deeper deflection of the tread and casing. And while the drums on your Elite Arion Mag rollers are smooth, they are also relatively small in diameter, so they will push more deeply into the the tires than bigger drums. This will tend to compound any rolling issues due to inconsistencies in the tires.

Kreitler service manager Billie Uriguen says, “Any tire can be used on the rollers. However, the smoother the tire, the quieter the ride. The knobbier the tire, the louder the ride. We recommend a set of used tires, as they seem to have less rubber buildup than brand new tires.”

So, you will be looking for a used tire with a very smooth tread, and my contention is that you should also seek one with a consistent, supple casing. This generally means a higher-quality tire, as the construction will not only tend to be more consistent, but the thread diameter in the casing will also be smaller, allowing the casing to deflect more easily as the roller pushes deeply into it. To answer one of your questions, yes, this means higher TPI (threads per inch). And yes, better-quality inner tubes, especially latex ones, enhance the suppleness of the tire and hence, the smoothness of the ride.

To answer another of your questions, a larger tire size will also result in a smoother ride, as it will distribute the load over a wider area. So go for that 700x25c, rather than the 700x23c tire.

As for tire pressure, you obviously want it high enough that you won’t feel the valve area as it rolls over the roller. That said, lower pressures will provide smoother riding, and, as I discussed above, the rolling resistance will increase with decreased inflation pressure. If the tire were completely smooth, you could run super-high pressures, and your rolling resistance would be at or near its lowest. But no tire and wheel will be completely smooth and round. Furthermore, nobody pedals completely smoothly, and less rider-induced bouncing will be absorbed in a harder tire, so the amount of bouncing on the rollers will increase with higher tire pressure. And you don’t want the tire to be so hard that you could risk explosion with the added heat of friction on the rollers.

The tire pressure will also need to be lower with larger tires. As pressure is force per unit area; the force on the sides of the tire (and, in the case of a clincher, on the rims and beads holding tire onto the rim) at a given pressure go up as the square of the tire’s cross-sectional diameter. That’s why even high-quality mountain bike tires have a much lower maximum pressure written on the side than small road tires of similar-quality construction. It’s not that the listed number is for the smoothness of your ride, but that the bigger tire cannot contain as much pressure before exploding. So bigger tires will ride more smoothly on the rollers also because the pressure will be lower, thus increasing the size of the contact patch on the roller.

Of course, you also want to have as perfectly true and round wheels as possible. No combination of tire and inflation pressure can make up for a wheel that is bouncing up and down.
― Lennard

Feedback on last week’s column:

Dear Lennard,
Just wanted to report that IRD’s 11-speed (with 32t as the biggest cog) seems to shift as well as the OEM cassette on the wife’s Athena 11 triple setup.
— Larry

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Shifting Gears #3: Fighting off couch potato heart rate http://velonews.competitor.com/2016/02/rider-journal/shifting-gears-3_394967 http://velonews.competitor.com/2016/02/rider-journal/shifting-gears-3_394967#comments Tue, 09 Feb 2016 17:11:14 +0000 http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=394967

In spite of rain, couch potato heart rate, and other obstacles, Neal Karlinsky appreciates the privilege of getting out on a bike. Photo: Neal Karlinsky

Neal Karlinsky's fitness may be lagging, his diet may be weird, but still, he appreciates the privilege of each ride, no matter how cold or

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In spite of rain, couch potato heart rate, and other obstacles, Neal Karlinsky appreciates the privilege of getting out on a bike. Photo: Neal Karlinsky

Too busy to ride? So’s Neal Karlinsky. But the married father of two, who’s also a national television news correspondent (you may remember his bombshell 2010 interview in which Floyd Landis admitted to having doped with Lance Armstrong), just got his first USAC race license in 25 years. He’ll be blogging here throughout the year about re-entering the race world in middle age and trying to juggle training and team obligations with work, family, and unpredictable days-long trips to cover breaking news.

If the drug testers ever come, I’m gonna pee a steady stream of peanut butter and honey sandwiches. Plus some tortilla chips and hummus. I have no idea if it’s a good idea, but peanut butter and honey is my go to, non puke-inducing pre-ride fuel. And after a ride, I sometimes gorge myself on chips and hummus, before getting down to the real eating, but I can’t really explain why.

I blame the bike for all kinds of weird habits and eccentricities. I think I know my friend Owen’s butt better than his wife does. Don’t get me wrong, I’m happily married. But I swear I can identify a dozen different guys I know, even in matching kits, just from their butts while at cruising speed. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

On a recent ride, the butt in front of me belonged to Mike, a hard-charging racer on my Taco Time NW team. Near the end of the ride, he didn’t know it, but I was counting on that butt to drag me the last few, painful miles — and fast — or my butt was gonna be in big trouble. We dads have a constant headwind called kids’ activities. And the clock was ticking in a big way for me to get home in time to take my daughter to her basketball game. In all honesty, I love taking my kids to stuff and am painfully aware of the passage of time as they grow. But that didn’t make the decision of whether to clean myself or my bike — no time for both — any easier during the 20 minutes I had left by the time I got home. (Also, see food intake issues above.)

As determined as I am to race, my heart is with family and job first. But that’s left my heart aching. I mean really, my HR monitor tells me that my heart is the first muscle to lose fitness when I’ve been working like crazy, not sleeping and NOT riding or exercising. It’s a shockingly quick return to CPHR (couch potato heart rate). After a recent week on the road for work with roughly three hours sleep per night, not including one all-nighter, my first ride back was a mess. My average heart rate was higher than normal. My speed was fine and my legs felt OK-ish, but it sure didn’t feel good and the effort outweighed the performance. I try to fight this in the most pathetic ways. I skip the escalator or the scrolling people mover at the airport and pick up my walking tempo. I’ve convinced myself that the annoyingly distant new rental car facility at the Burbank Airport is actually a good thing, because there’s so much more walking now.

I’ve also convinced myself that being miserable is helpful. I ride in the rain a lot, but the other day, the thrashing I endured was so bone-chilling and wet, I was sure that my curse-filled thought bubble was showing. I like to think that people in their warm cars, rather than hating us for riding on the road, quietly respect the crazies in spandex spending their Saturdays filthy and freezing with a steady breadcrumb trail of snot. At least that’s the way I imagine it behind fogging Oakleys.

Before one such blustery ride, I was driving my son someplace and mentioned that I was going to head out and torture myself on the bike shortly. He looked at me and said, “You know what Dad, you love riding your bike so much, you shouldn’t look at it as torture.” And there it was, the boy had set me straight and cut right to the heart of it. Because even though I like to joke about how hard winter riding can be, I know it’s a privilege every time I get a chance to click in. Even when there’s no magic butt to draft and my training partner is my own imagination, that cold, lonely road is sweet as the honey in my belly.

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Kermesse-style Doha worlds course favors tough sprinters http://velonews.competitor.com/2016/02/news/the-2016-doha-worlds-will-be-a-sprint_394959 http://velonews.competitor.com/2016/02/news/the-2016-doha-worlds-will-be-a-sprint_394959#comments Tue, 09 Feb 2016 15:56:57 +0000 http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=394959

Some have likened the 2016 Doha world championships course to a Belgian kermesse criterium race. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

The men's pro peloton agrees that the 2016 Doha world championships course favors sprinters, but it won't be an easy race.

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Some have likened the 2016 Doha world championships course to a Belgian kermesse criterium race. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

DOHA, Qatar (VN) — The elite men’s peloton properly saw the 2016 world championship course at race speed for the first time Tuesday in stage 2 of the Tour of Qatar. The Pearl circuit, they say, will likely see a sprint finish for the men on October 16.

The Tour of Qatar covered four laps of the 15.3-kilometer Pearl circuit before finishing farther away, at the Qatar University, where Katusha’s Alexander Kristoff won over Mark Cavendish.

The $15 billion artificial island with its ever-increasing high-rises grew from nothing over the last 10 years. The circuit navigates the roads between the towers, passing 24 roundabouts and making two U-turns. It looks nothing like the open and straight roads outside the city that winds often buffet, creating echelons in the Tour of Qatar.

“I think it might be a bit easier [than the Copenhagen Worlds in 2011] because the roads aren’t as wide,” said Dimension Data’s Cavendish, who won the title that year.

“You’ve got in your head that it’s going to be a roll around and sprint finish, but it’s not. It may look like that on TV, but cycling’s f—king hard, man. It’s going to be someone who can sprint, but who is quite resilient over that distance. It’s going to take its toll, the distance around there. No matter where you sit in the peloton, it’s going to be gnarly.”

The race will start at Sealine Beach, where the final stage of the Tour of Qatar usually begins, and cover 73.5 kilometers, mostly through barren plains, to reach Doha’s Pearl to the north. Details are yet to be released, but the men would need to cover 12 circuits to reach 257.1 kilometers. Each lap circles around two lagoons, in the shadows of the island’s 60-plus towers. The finish is near a residential area made to look like Venice.

“It was windier than I thought it was going to be, there wasn’t so much shelter from the buildings and the wind was coming always from a different direction when we moved around the different pearls. I don’t think the final circuit will create any splits, but it’s definitely going to be uncomfortable no matter where you are in the group,” added Cavendish.

“There may be a split, I can’t see it happening, but it’s definitely going to be gnarly wherever you are in the peloton. It actually makes for quite a good world championships. The people who write on your internet forums are going to want echelons and that, but we’re not f—king robots, we’re not going to do that for 260K.”

“I’m good in the cross-winds, though!” Norwegian Kristoff said of the lack of open desert roads. “It’s not really like what you’d find in the Tour of Qatar, where we are normally in the desert. It’s a little bit special, it seems like a criterium. There are accelerations after every corner.”

Both Cavendish and Italian Manuel Quinziato (BMC Racing Team) said that it looked like the Belgian and Dutch roads they ride in the Eneco Tour.

Dimension Data’s Tyler Farrar could lead the U.S. team. He previewed the circuit ahead of the Tour of Qatar and rode it in stage 2. He called the circuit “crazy.”

“With a lot of roundabouts and a lot of corners, I’ve never seen anything like this before,” Farrar said.

“There’s more wind effect on the circuit than I thought there’d be, but I don’t know if it’ll actually split the bunch on the circuit. I think it’ll be a sprint, it won’t be the easy sprint, riding around in the bunch and easily spinning your legs all day and then sprinting. I think everyone will be tired at the end, but it’ll still be a sprint.”

Belgian Greg Van Avermaet (BMC Racing) was not so happy with what he saw on the island. He commented that “it’s not the most beautiful course.”

“It’s something special, like a kermesse criterium in Belgium,” he said. “Maybe some riders will be happy with it, but for a classics rider like me, we prefer something else. Even if it’s tough, a rider like Cavendish who can win Milano-Sanremo after 260K can do great on this course.”

Defending champion, Slovak Peter Sagan (Tinkoff) is not racing in Qatar after starting his season in Argentina’s Tour de San Luis. He won last year in Richmond, Virginia.

The post Kermesse-style Doha worlds course favors tough sprinters appeared first on VeloNews.com.

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