VeloNews.com http://velonews.competitor.com Competitive Cycling News, Race Results and Bike Reviews Thu, 28 May 2015 16:14:03 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0.1 Gilbert wins; Contador turns the screws in Giro stage 18 http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/05/race-report/gilbert-wins-contador-turns-the-screws-in-giro-stage-18_372005 http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/05/race-report/gilbert-wins-contador-turns-the-screws-in-giro-stage-18_372005#comments Thu, 28 May 2015 15:43:39 +0000 http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=372005

Philippe Gilbert (BMC) timed his attack perfectly to ride away from the big breakaway to win stage 18. Photo: Giro d'Italia

Philippe Gilbert wins with an audacious long-range attack out of a large breakaway, and Contador climbs away from GC rivals

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Philippe Gilbert (BMC) timed his attack perfectly to ride away from the big breakaway to win stage 18. Photo: Giro d'Italia

Philippe Gilbert romped to a bold solo win in stage 18 of the Giro d’Italia, as Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) turned the screws on his GC rivals Thursday.

The day’s winner chased up to a lead group after the day’s sole category 1 climb and used his BMC teammate, Amaël Moinard, to his advantage. Gilbert attacked with about 20km left, and the large, disorganized chase could not reel him back.

“We said the breakaway had a big chance, you know,” Gilbert said. “I knew that it was possible for me to be not so far on the big climb today.

“I knew if I had a small gap, I knew Amaël [Moinard] would help me. It was perfect for me. I took some risk in the first part of the descent. To win a stage you have to take some risks sometimes.”

Behind, in the GC group, Contador exacted revenge on Astana, which had attacked him after he flatted in stage 16 on Tuesday. Astana’s Mikel Landa was held up by a crash before the Monte Ologno, and Contador went to the front with his Tinkoff team to deliver the coup de grace.

“Today’s scenario was a bit different from what happened on the Mortirolo [Tuesday],” Contador said. “Before the climb, my team was working hard on the front and expending energy because we knew that we had to be at the front going into the climb, and we wanted to avoid problems. In [any] event, Landa was caught behind, for the first time in the race. I’m very happy to have gained more time in the general classification.”

The Spaniard extended his GC lead to 5:15 over Landa. Aru is in third, 6:05 in arrears after the stage from Melide to Verbania.

A big breakaway of 14 riders formed early in the 170-kilometer day.

Disaster struck when a caravan vehicle caused Roberto Ferrari (Lampre-Merida) and Damiano Cunego (Nippo-Vini Fantini) to crash out of the attack with just under 70km left.

Nearing the base of the climb with 55 kilometers to go, the gap was 12:44.

With the leaders on the lower slopes of the climb, a crash disrupted the peloton and held up Landa. It appeared that Tinkoff-Saxo started to push the pace at the front.

Then, Contador attacked shortly before the base of the Monte Ologno climb. He was 9:25 behind the lead group that included: Moinard, Kanstantsin Siutsou (Sky), David De la Cruz (Etixx-Quick-Step), Francesco Bongiorno (Bardiani-CSF), and Rinaldo Nocentini (Ag2r La Mondiale)

Midway up the ascent, Gilbert had joined the front group, which was over eight minutes ahead of Contador, who chased alone.

As the climb pitched up, Landa linked up with Aru’s group, about one minute behind Contador with less than 40km remaining.

The pink jersey suffered a moment of panic when he dropped his chain at about 37km to go, but he got a push from his mechanic and quickly shifted it back on.

Only four breakaway riders remained at the top of the climb: Siutsou, De la Cruz, Bongiorno, and Moinard.

Over the top of the climb, Ryder Hesjedal (Cannondale-Garmin) caught Contador. With 30km to go, their advantage over Landa’s group held at around 1:30. Davide Villella, Hesjedal’s teammate, had sat up from the early break, drifted back, and helped pace the duo.

A four-rider chase group including Gilbert, Sylvain Chavanel (IAM Cycling), Nocentini, and Busato joined the breakaway at the front. Gilbert quickly went on the attack once the catch was made.

“They went full gas on the bottom,” Gilbert continued. “I ride my pace, and then Chavanel came back, and he was pushing. I had no reason to help him. I stayed in the wheels and came back. I just let them work and on the first flat, my teammate attacked first, and I attack the three guys behind; I came to the front and attacked straight away.”

Gilbert extended his lead to 34 seconds with 9.2km left as Moinard marked the chasers.

Although Bongiorno attacked from the chase, Gilbert’s lead was insurmountable. The former world champion rode alone to his second stage victory in this year’s Giro.

Bongiorno held on for second place. Chavanel finished third.

As for the GC battle, Contador and Hesjedal finished 1:13 ahead of Aru and Landa. The Cannondale-Garmin Canadian moved up to ninth overall, continuing his steady ascent of the GC rankings.

On Friday, Contador will have another chance to play in the mountains with a 236km stage from Gravellona Toce to Cervinia with three category 1 climbs in the final half. Stage 19 will finish atop the 19.2km ascent of Cervina.

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Pro Bike Gallery: Chad Haga’s Giant TCR Advanced SL http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/05/gallery/pro-bike-gallery-chad-hagas-giant-tcr-advanced-sl_371980 http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/05/gallery/pro-bike-gallery-chad-hagas-giant-tcr-advanced-sl_371980#comments Thu, 28 May 2015 14:56:59 +0000 http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=371980

Chad Haga rides his TCR long and low, with a Pioneer power meter and wide Dura-Ace gearing

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U.S. pro nationals slated for Winston-Salem in 2016, 2017 http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/05/news/u-s-pro-nationals-slated-for-winston-salem-in-2016-2017_371972 http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/05/news/u-s-pro-nationals-slated-for-winston-salem-in-2016-2017_371972#comments Thu, 28 May 2015 14:00:15 +0000 http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=371972

The 2013-2015 Pro Road & TT Championships took place in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Photo: Casey B. Gibson | www.cbgphoto.com

Winston-Salem, North Carolina announced as host of USA Cycling pro road national championships for 2016 and 2017

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The 2013-2015 Pro Road & TT Championships took place in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Photo: Casey B. Gibson | www.cbgphoto.com

USA Cycling selected the city of Winston-Salem, North Carolina to host the 2016 and 2017 Volkswagen USA Cycling professional road and TT national championships.

“Winston-Salem is an excellent cycling town and is well equipped to host this nine-day celebration of road cycling next year,” said Micah Rice, USA Cycling vice president of national events. “Combining the three pre-existing events into one occasion will make Winston-Salem the epicenter of American cycling next spring, and we are proud to partner with a city so deserving of that role.”

The 2016 championships will be held May 22-30. The nine-day event will combine the pro road and time trial championships, masters road national championships, and the Winston-Salem Cycling Classic, ending on Memorial Day with the Winston-Salem Cycling Classic UCI road race.

USA Cycling is partnering with Visit Winston-Salem and the Winston-Salem Cycling Classic to put on the event.

The city was awarded the 2016-17 masters road national championships last December.

“We in Winston-Salem recognize the 2016 Volkswagen USA Cycling pro championships for road cycling and time trial as the premier event of the year for USA Cycling and are thrilled to have been selected as the host city,” said Winston-Salem cycling chair Dr. Richard Rauck. “May 2016 will showcase Winston-Salem as the leading city for cycling in the United States as we combine the Volkswagen USA Cycling professional road and TT national championships with the masters road national championships and the Winston Salem Cycling Classic into nine action-packed days of racing. This number of national cycling championships at one time and in one location is unprecedented and will welcome tens of thousands of spectators and racers to Winston-Salem.”

“The opportunity to host two national cycling championships, now combined in a nine-day event, reinforces Winston-Salem as a premier cycling destination,” said Richard Geiger, president of Visit Winston-Salem. “With strong local resources including the future cycling center in downtown, Winston-Salem is ready to be in the national spotlight and eager to welcome cyclists and spectators.”

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Ask a Mechanic: Installing secondary ’cross brake levers http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/05/video/ask-a-mechanic-installing-secondary-cross-brake-levers_371974 http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/05/video/ask-a-mechanic-installing-secondary-cross-brake-levers_371974#comments Thu, 28 May 2015 12:12:12 +0000 http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=371974

Art’s Cyclery shows us how to set up and install brake levers on top of the handlebars, a fairly common practice in cyclocross

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U.S. Pan American Games roster announced http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/05/news/u-s-pan-american-games-roster-announced_371968 http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/05/news/u-s-pan-american-games-roster-announced_371968#comments Wed, 27 May 2015 22:58:06 +0000 http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=371968 USA Cycling announces its team for the 2015 Pan American Championships to be held in Toronto, July 10-26

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USA Cycling announced Wednesday the men’s and women’s BMX, mountain bike, road, and track rosters for the 2015 Pan American Games, which will be held July 10-26 in Toronto.

The 15-member team is made up of five automatic bids, nine coaching staff nominations and one athlete discretionary petition.

Held every four years, the 17-day Pan American Games features competition in 36 sports between 41 countries from North and South America.

The U.S. Pan American cycling team is subject to approval by the United States Olympic Committee.

Team USA roster:

Men’s BMX
Connor Fields (Chase-Monster)*
Nic Long (Haro Bikes)*

Women’s BMX
Alise Post (Factory Redline)*
Felecia Stancil (GT Bicycles)

Men’s mountain bike
Stephen Ettinger (Sho-Air-Cannondale)*

Women’s mountain bike
Erin Huck (Scott-3Rox)*

Men’s road
Eric Marcotte (Team SmartStop), road race and time trial

Women’s road
Kelly Catlin (NorthStar Development), time trial
Lauren Tamayo (UnitedHealthcare), road race
Ruth Winder (UnitedHealthcare), road race

Men’s track
Matt Baranoski (Custon Velo), team sprint, sprint, keirin
David Espinoza, team sprint
Danny Robertson^, team sprint^, sprint^, keirin

Women’s track
Kelly Catlin (NorthStar Development), team pursuit
Sarah Hammer (Colorado Springs, Colo.), omnium, team pursuit
Lauren Tamayo (UnitedHealthcare), team pursuit
Jennifer Valente (Twenty16-Sho-Air), team pursuit
Ruth Winder (UnitedHealthcare), team pursuit

*Automatic bid
^Athlete discretionary petition

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Gallery: 2015 Giro d’Italia, stage 17 http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/05/gallery/gallery-2015-giro-ditalia-stage-17_371947 http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/05/gallery/gallery-2015-giro-ditalia-stage-17_371947#comments Wed, 27 May 2015 19:25:40 +0000 http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=371947

The Giro wends around Lake Como and finishes across the border in Switzerland with a fast sprint finish

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Video: How to train for time trials http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/05/training-center/on-the-bike/video-how-to-train-for-time-trials_371940 http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/05/training-center/on-the-bike/video-how-to-train-for-time-trials_371940#comments Wed, 27 May 2015 18:47:52 +0000 http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=371940

Global Cycling Network's top tips to help you time trial faster.

Global Cycling Network has tips for aspiring time trialists to help you go faster in "the race of truth"

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Global Cycling Network's top tips to help you time trial faster.

Editor’s Note: This video is courtesy of Global Cycling Network. 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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Sky: Porte still the best, despite Giro problems http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/05/news/sky-porte-still-the-best-despite-giro-problems_371933 http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/05/news/sky-porte-still-the-best-despite-giro-problems_371933#comments Wed, 27 May 2015 18:03:07 +0000 http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=371933

Richie Porte's DNF at the Giro d'Italia was a disappointment, but Team Sky is sure its GC star has what it takes to lead in big races. Photo: Gregor Brown

David Brailsford says that Richie Porte has proven himself as one of the world's top stage racers even though he abandoned the Giro

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Richie Porte's DNF at the Giro d'Italia was a disappointment, but Team Sky is sure its GC star has what it takes to lead in big races. Photo: Gregor Brown

LUGANO, Switzerland (VN) — Australian Richie Porte should keep his head up and reset for the Tour de France. Sky considers him one of the best stage race cyclists, despite his Giro d’Italia problems and abandonment, and Chris Froome’s right-hand man for the Tour de France.

General manager David Brailsford leaned on the black Team Sky jaguar prior to the Giro’s stage 17 to Lugano and reflected on the season to date. Putting aside the Giro d’Italia, which Porte quit on the rest day Monday, he explained that Porte is number one.

“Despite the last two weeks, he’s been one of or maybe the best stage racers of the season,” Brailsford said. “You can’t judge Richie on the last two weeks given the start of the season that he had.”

Porte placed second in the Tour Down Under and fourth in the Volta ao Algarve, then went on a winning streak. He took overall victories in Paris-Nice, the Volta a Catalunya, and the Giro del Trentino.

The Giro d’Italia, like his grand tours last year, did not work out. He punctured and lost time in Forlì, and fell further behind with a crash in Jesolo. Hurting his knee and hip in the Jesolo fall did not help Porte over the weekend. He sank 30 minutes down the classification and abandoned on the rest day to reset for the Tour de France.

“It’s very easy just to say, ‘He didn’t finish, he had his opportunity [to lead a grand tour team], and it didn’t work out,’ but it’s not fair to write him off in that sense. It’s not fair or appropriate,” Brailsford added.

“He was up there with the best climbers in the races he did. Can he put it together for three weeks, who knows? He had his crashes and incidents, et cetera, but it wasn’t that he got dropped. It wasn’t physical, but of course it all counts.

With the Giro still to finish, Porte sits second overall in the WorldTour classification behind only Alejandro Valverde (Movistar).

Porte had his chance to lead Sky’s Giro d’Italia team in 2014, but fell sick and was called off the race. In the Tour, he was Sky’s plan B after Froome abandoned, but lost time on a summit finish still suffering from pneumonia. After resetting over the winter, working with trainer Tim Kerrison closely, and cutting his alcohol consumption, he returned a new man: Porte 2.0.

“Last season and this season are two separate things. To be fair to Richie, he went to the Tour in support of Froomey, he had a challenging season. Whereas this year, it’s probably his best-ever season in terms of the first half, he won three big races, all the queen stages, he felt great.

“He came to the Giro as the leader, which was different. Your level of expectation and where you are at is mentally different than going into the Tour and finding yourself as plan B.”

Porte 2.0 should rebound quickly providing the medical checks in Manchester, England, give him the all-clear. Brailsford explained that he could train at altitude and then race in the Critérium du Dauphiné, the Tour de Suisse or the Tour of Slovenia depending on where he is at.

“It’s important that he finds for himself … A rider has to be motivated from inside for the goal, and I think he is [for the Tour],” added Brailsford.

“They have great memories, him and Froomey riding together in the Tour, that’s something he can get excited about.”

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Results: 2015 Giro d’Italia, stage 17 http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/05/giro-ditalia/results-2015-giro-ditalia-stage-17_371928 http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/05/giro-ditalia/results-2015-giro-ditalia-stage-17_371928#comments Wed, 27 May 2015 17:29:44 +0000 http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=371928

Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

After some heavy mountain stages, the sprinters have their day, and all is quiet on the GC front

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Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

  • 1. Sacha MODOLO, LAMPRE – MERIDA, in 3:07:51
  • 2. Giacomo NIZZOLO, TREK FACTORY RACING, at :00
  • 3. Luka MEZGEC, TEAM GIANT – ALPECIN, at :00
  • 4. Heinrich HAUSSLER, IAM CYCLING, at :00
  • 5. Davide APPOLLONIO, ANDRONI GIOCATTOLI, at :00
  • 6. Stig BROECKX, LOTTO SOUDAL, at :00
  • 7. Juan Jose LOBATO DEL VALLE, MOVISTAR TEAM, at :00
  • 8. Alexander PORSEV, TEAM KATUSHA, at :00
  • 9. Kévin REZA, FDJ, at :00
  • 10. Nick VAN DER LIJKE, TEAM LOTTO NL – JUMBO, at :00
  • 11. Elia VIVIANI, TEAM SKY, at :00
  • 12. Maximiliano Ariel RICHEZE, LAMPRE – MERIDA, at :00
  • 13. Alexandre GENIEZ, FDJ, at :00
  • 14. Sonny COLBRELLI, BARDIANI CSF, at :00
  • 15. Grega BOLE, CCC SPRANDI POLKOWICE, at :00
  • 16. Alessandro PETACCHI, STH, at :00
  • 17. Matteo MONTAGUTI, AG2R LA MONDIALE, at :00
  • 18. Leopold KONIG, TEAM SKY, at :00
  • 19. Philippe GILBERT, BMC RACING TEAM, at :00
  • 20. Damiano CARUSO, BMC RACING TEAM, at :00
  • 21. Rigoberto URAN URAN, ETIXX – QUICK STEP, at :00
  • 22. Manuele MORI, LAMPRE – MERIDA, at :00
  • 23. Alberto CONTADOR VELASCO, TINKOFF – SAXO, at :00
  • 24. Fabio ARU, ASTANA PRO TEAM, at :00
  • 25. Michael ROGERS, TINKOFF – SAXO, at :00
  • 26. Silvan DILLIER, BMC RACING TEAM, at :00
  • 27. Sergey LAGUTIN, TEAM KATUSHA, at :00
  • 28. Maxime MONFORT, LOTTO SOUDAL, at :00
  • 29. Mikel LANDA MEANA, ASTANA PRO TEAM, at :00
  • 30. Luis Leon SANCHEZ GIL, ASTANA PRO TEAM, at :00
  • 31. Tanel KANGERT, ASTANA PRO TEAM, at :00
  • 32. Eduard Michael GROSU, NIPPO – VINI FANTINI, at :00
  • 33. Paolo TIRALONGO, ASTANA PRO TEAM, at :00
  • 34. Andrey AMADOR BAKKAZAKOVA, MOVISTAR TEAM, at :00
  • 35. Dario CATALDO, ASTANA PRO TEAM, at :00
  • 36. Steven KRUIJSWIJK, TEAM LOTTO NL – JUMBO, at :00
  • 37. Mikel NIEVE ITURALDE, TEAM SKY, at :00
  • 38. Jurgen VAN DEN BROECK, LOTTO SOUDAL, at :00
  • 39. Yury TROFIMOV, TEAM KATUSHA, at :00
  • 40. Carlos Alberto BETANCUR GOMEZ, AG2R LA MONDIALE, at :00
  • 41. Sam BEWLEY, ORICA GreenEDGE, at :00
  • 42. Roberto FERRARI, LAMPRE – MERIDA, at :12
  • 43. Davide FORMOLO, TEAM CANNONDALE – GARMIN, at :12
  • 44. Boy VAN POPPEL, TREK FACTORY RACING, at :12
  • 45. Ryder HESJEDAL, TEAM CANNONDALE – GARMIN, at :12
  • 46. Sylvain CHAVANEL, IAM CYCLING, at :12
  • 47. Amaël MOINARD, BMC RACING TEAM, at :17
  • 48. Maxime BOUET, ETIXX – QUICK STEP, at :17
  • 49. Patrick GRETSCH, AG2R LA MONDIALE, at :17
  • 50. Fabio FELLINE, TREK FACTORY RACING, at :17
  • 51. Giovanni VISCONTI, MOVISTAR TEAM, at :22
  • 52. Tom Jelte SLAGTER, TEAM CANNONDALE – GARMIN, at :22
  • 53. Clement CHEVRIER, IAM CYCLING, at :27
  • 54. Mauro FINETTO, STH, at :27
  • 55. Andre Fernando S. Martins CARDOSO, TEAM CANNONDALE – GARMIN, at :27
  • 56. Marcus BURGHARDT, BMC RACING TEAM, at :35
  • 57. Fumiyuki BEPPU, TREK FACTORY RACING, at :35
  • 58. Adam HANSEN, LOTTO SOUDAL, at :35
  • 59. Lars Ytting BAK, LOTTO SOUDAL, at :35
  • 60. Alan MARANGONI, TEAM CANNONDALE – GARMIN, at :35
  • 61. Darwin ATAPUMA HURTADO, BMC RACING TEAM, at :35
  • 62. Jhoan Esteban CHAVES RUBIO, ORICA GreenEDGE, at :35
  • 63. Salvatore PUCCIO, TEAM SKY, at :35
  • 64. Kenny ELISSONDE, FDJ, at :35
  • 65. Sebastian HENAO GOMEZ, TEAM SKY, at :35
  • 66. Franco PELLIZOTTI, ANDRONI GIOCATTOLI, at :35
  • 67. Nathan BROWN, TEAM CANNONDALE – GARMIN, at :45
  • 68. Stefano PIRAZZI, BARDIANI CSF, at :45
  • 69. Nikias ARNDT, TEAM GIANT – ALPECIN, at :47
  • 70. Rinaldo NOCENTINI, AG2R LA MONDIALE, at :47
  • 71. Przemyslaw NIEMIEC, LAMPRE – MERIDA, at :47
  • 72. Francesco GAVAZZI, STH, at :47
  • 73. Roman KREUZIGER, TINKOFF – SAXO, at :47
  • 74. Jonathan MONSALVE, STH, at :47
  • 75. Diego ROSA, ASTANA PRO TEAM, at :47
  • 76. Jesus HERRADA LOPEZ, MOVISTAR TEAM, at :47
  • 77. Pier Paolo DE NEGRI, NIPPO – VINI FANTINI, at :47
  • 78. Elia FAVILLI, STH, at :47
  • 79. Jon IZAGUIRRE INSAUSTI, MOVISTAR TEAM, at 1:00
  • 80. Luca PAOLINI, TEAM KATUSHA, at 1:00
  • 81. Michael HEPBURN, ORICA GreenEDGE, at 1:02
  • 82. Luke DURBRIDGE, ORICA GreenEDGE, at 1:02
  • 83. Pieter WEENING, ORICA GreenEDGE, at 1:02
  • 84. David DE LA CRUZ MELGAREJO, ETIXX – QUICK STEP, at 1:02
  • 85. Brent BOOKWALTER, BMC RACING TEAM, at 1:02
  • 86. Alessandro BISOLTI, NIPPO – VINI FANTINI, at 1:02
  • 87. Martijn KEIZER, TEAM LOTTO NL – JUMBO, at 1:02
  • 88. Damiano CUNEGO, NIPPO – VINI FANTINI, at 1:02
  • 89. Axel DOMONT, AG2R LA MONDIALE, at 1:02
  • 90. Jan POLANC, LAMPRE – MERIDA, at 1:02
  • 91. Diego ULISSI, LAMPRE – MERIDA, at 1:02
  • 92. Sylwester SZMYD, CCC SPRANDI POLKOWICE, at 1:02
  • 93. Anthony ROUX, FDJ, at 1:02
  • 94. Francis MOUREY, FDJ, at 1:02
  • 95. Julien BERARD, AG2R LA MONDIALE, at 1:02
  • 96. Hubert DUPONT, AG2R LA MONDIALE, at 1:02
  • 97. Maciej PATERSKI, CCC SPRANDI POLKOWICE, at 1:02
  • 98. Hugo HOULE, AG2R LA MONDIALE, at 1:16
  • 99. Ivan BASSO, TINKOFF – SAXO, at 1:16
  • 100. Eugenio ALAFACI, TREK FACTORY RACING, at 1:16
  • 101. Gianfranco ZILIOLI, ANDRONI GIOCATTOLI, at 1:16
  • 102. Arnaud COURTEILLE, FDJ, at 1:16
  • 103. Marek RUTKIEWICZ, CCC SPRANDI POLKOWICE, at 1:44
  • 104. Kanstantsin SIUTSOU, TEAM SKY, at 1:44
  • 105. Francesco Manuel BONGIORNO, BARDIANI CSF, at 2:11
  • 106. Matteo TOSATTO, TINKOFF – SAXO, at 2:28
  • 107. Manuele BOARO, TINKOFF – SAXO, at 2:28
  • 108. Maarten TJALLINGII, TEAM LOTTO NL – JUMBO, at 2:28
  • 109. Andrey ZEITS, ASTANA PRO TEAM, at 2:28
  • 110. Davide MALACARNE, ASTANA PRO TEAM, at 2:28
  • 111. Sergei CHERNETSKI, TEAM KATUSHA, at 2:28
  • 112. Aleksejs SARAMOTINS, IAM CYCLING, at 2:28
  • 113. Rick ZABEL, BMC RACING TEAM, at 3:06
  • 114. Pavel KOCHETKOV, TEAM KATUSHA, at 3:06
  • 115. Matteo BUSATO, STH, at 3:12
  • 116. Dayer Uberney QUINTANA ROJAS, MOVISTAR TEAM, at 3:51
  • 117. Ruben FERNANDEZ, MOVISTAR TEAM, at 3:51
  • 118. Maxim BELKOV, TEAM KATUSHA, at 3:51
  • 119. Lukasz OWSIAN, CCC SPRANDI POLKOWICE, at 3:51
  • 120. Edoardo ZARDINI, BARDIANI CSF, at 3:51
  • 121. Igor ANTON HERNANDEZ, MOVISTAR TEAM, at 3:51
  • 122. Fabio SABATINI, ETIXX – QUICK STEP, at 3:51
  • 123. Petr VAKOC, ETIXX – QUICK STEP, at 3:51
  • 124. Vasil KIRYIENKA, TEAM SKY, at 3:51
  • 125. Simon CLARKE, ORICA GreenEDGE, at 3:54
  • 126. Simone STORTONI, ANDRONI GIOCATTOLI, at 3:54
  • 127. Serghei TVETCOV, ANDRONI GIOCATTOLI, at 3:54
  • 128. Jussi VEIKKANEN, FDJ, at 3:54
  • 129. Davide VILLELLA, TEAM CANNONDALE – GARMIN, at 4:09
  • 130. Benat INTXAUSTI ELORRIAGA, MOVISTAR TEAM, at 4:23
  • 131. Ivan ROVNY, TINKOFF – SAXO, at 4:41
  • 132. Simon GESCHKE, TEAM GIANT – ALPECIN, at 4:41
  • 133. Sergio Miguel MOREIRA PAULINHO, TINKOFF – SAXO, at 4:41
  • 134. Bernhard EISEL, TEAM SKY, at 4:41
  • 135. Christopher JUUL JENSEN, TINKOFF – SAXO, at 4:41
  • 136. Tobias LUDVIGSSON, TEAM GIANT – ALPECIN, at 5:00
  • 137. Fabio SILVESTRE, TREK FACTORY RACING, at 5:47
  • 138. Marco FRAPPORTI, ANDRONI GIOCATTOLI, at 5:47
  • 139. Alessandro MALAGUTI, NIPPO – VINI FANTINI, at 5:47
  • 140. Murilo Antonio FISCHER, FDJ, at 5:47
  • 141. Brett LANCASTER, ORICA GreenEDGE, at 5:47
  • 142. Jérôme PINEAU, IAM CYCLING, at 5:47
  • 143. Chad HAGA, TEAM GIANT – ALPECIN, at 7:22
  • 144. Bert DE BACKER, TEAM GIANT – ALPECIN, at 7:22
  • 145. Tom STAMSNIJDER, TEAM GIANT – ALPECIN, at 7:22
  • 146. Eugert ZHUPA, STH, at 7:28
  • 147. Marco COLEDAN, TREK FACTORY RACING, at 7:28
  • 148. Luca CHIRICO, BARDIANI CSF, at 7:31
  • 149. Riccardo STACCHIOTTI, NIPPO – VINI FANTINI, at 7:31
  • 150. Calvin WATSON, TREK FACTORY RACING, at 7:31
  • 151. Branislau SAMOILAU, CCC SPRANDI POLKOWICE, at 7:31
  • 152. Bartlomiej MATYSIAK, CCC SPRANDI POLKOWICE, at 7:31
  • 153. Rick FLENS, TEAM LOTTO NL – JUMBO, at 7:31
  • 154. Sander ARMEE, LOTTO SOUDAL, at 7:31
  • 155. Tsgabu Gebremaryam GRMAY, LAMPRE – MERIDA, at 7:31
  • 156. Janier Alexis ACEVEDO COLLE, TEAM CANNONDALE – GARMIN, at 7:31
  • 157. Giacomo BERLATO, NIPPO – VINI FANTINI, at 7:31
  • 158. Enrico BATTAGLIN, BARDIANI CSF, at 7:31
  • 159. Iljo KEISSE, ETIXX – QUICK STEP, at 7:31
  • 160. Bertjan LINDEMAN, TEAM LOTTO NL – JUMBO, at 8:39
  • 161. Ilnur ZAKARIN, TEAM KATUSHA, at 8:39
  • 162. Marco BANDIERA, ANDRONI GIOCATTOLI, at 8:39
  • 163. Nikolay MIHAYLOV, CCC SPRANDI POLKOWICE, at 8:39
  • 164. Moreno HOFLAND, TEAM LOTTO NL – JUMBO, at 8:39
  • 165. Caleb FAIRLY, TEAM GIANT – ALPECIN, at 8:39
  • 166. Cheng JI, TEAM GIANT – ALPECIN, at 8:39
  • 167. Nicola BOEM, BARDIANI CSF, at 8:39
  • 168. Cédric PINEAU, FDJ, at 9:11
  • 169. Roger KLUGE, IAM CYCLING, at 9:24
  • DNF Enrico BARBIN, BARDIANI CSF

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Cappuccino with Oleg: Tinkov wants to limit peloton size http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/05/news/cappuccino-with-oleg-tinkov-wants-to-limit-peloton-size_371919 http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/05/news/cappuccino-with-oleg-tinkov-wants-to-limit-peloton-size_371919#comments Wed, 27 May 2015 15:54:07 +0000 http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=371919

With his star rider, Alberto Contador, leading the Giro d'Italia, Oleg Tinkov has some strong opinions about how the race can improve. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

Outspoken Tinkoff-Saxo owner feels that cycling needs to change to offer better, safer racing, especially at the grand tours

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With his star rider, Alberto Contador, leading the Giro d'Italia, Oleg Tinkov has some strong opinions about how the race can improve. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

PINZOLO, Italy (VN) — Oleg Tinkov is never one to hold his tongue. The brash Russian millionaire is rich enough and smart enough to say what he wants, when he wants, and pity the fool who dares to disagree with him.

And he’s not shy about sharing his views. Whether it’s via his Twitter account — that was so outrageous that many were convinced it was a fake — or a self-described “manifesto” that he recently posted on Facebook to outline his vision of what professional cycling could and should be, Tinkov is a power to be reckoned with in the sport.

Ask him about politicians? “They are all losers. If you are imaginative, with ideas and charisma, why would you go into politics?” Or the general state of cycling? “The more I am in the sport, the more I realize how much stupidity reigns.” Or the future of his team? “The crisis in Russia with the ruble is over.” Or his big-dollar signing of Peter Sagan? “I won’t make that mistake again.”

So it was somewhat of a surprise that he enthusiastically backed an idea presented by someone else, when Tinkov sat down with VeloNews for an early morning interview. Specifically he agreed with Jim Ochowicz’s call to reduce the peloton by limiting major races to WorldTour teams. In fact, Tinkov said he had just read and tweeted a story posted on VeloNews about the issue moments before sitting down for a 45-minute chat over cappuccino.

“I kind of agree with this idea. I am not against small teams, but I am against the high number of teams in the races,” Tinkov told VeloNews. “The wildcard concept has its place in this sport, but 22 teams is definitely bullshit. That’s ridiculous. You would have much less crashes with 18 teams. That’s more than enough.”

Tinkov is the latest voice to join the debate about safety on the road, and the question of just how big the modern peloton should be.

Earlier this week, BMC Racing’s general manager Ochowicz prompted the debate with an open letter posted on the team’s website, sparking controversy by suggesting that second-division teams could be one reason behind the recent uptick in crashes.

That obviously didn’t sit well with the Professional Continental teams, which live and die by the wildcard invitations. In a scathing response to Ochowicz’s plan, Androni-Sidermec boss Gianni Savio said, “Ochowicz missed a great opportunity to keep his mouth shut,” and said wildcards teams are an essential part of the fabric of the peloton, insisting that it’s often the so-called smaller teams which light up the race, not the established, major teams.

Tinkov, like any smart businessman, is keen to protect his investment, and said the logic is sound behind Ochowicz’s call to limit the size of the peloton in the major races.

Alberto Contador, earning an estimated annual paycheck of $4 million, has barely averted disaster in this Giro, first, dislocating his shoulder in a crash in stage 6 provoked by a fan reaching into the peloton, and again last week, in a late-stage pileup just beyond the 3km to go banner. Tinkov echoed the sentiment that 200 riders and 22 teams is simply too big.

“I think 150 riders is about the right number. Why you need 200 riders, I have no idea,” Tinkov continued. “These days, with the speed bumps, roundabouts, there are more and more dangers. You cannot have 200 riders; it’s just not safe.”

The debate about how big the peloton should be, and how many riders should be in such races as the Tour de France and Giro d’Italia, has raged for decades.

Smaller teams, such as Savio’s, loathe the idea of being locked out of races like the Giro. And race organizers like the wildcard concept, not only because those teams tend to animate the race and provide more local flavor, but it gives them additional potential revenue. Invite a small team from an emerging market, and guess what? Lucrative TV rights deals are usually part of the package.

Since his re-entry into cycling in 2014, Tinkov says that the more he learns about the inner workings of the business side of professional cycling, the less he likes what he sees.

“I am still new in the sport, but the more I learn about the sport, the more stupidity I see,” Tinkov continued. “What happened last year in the Giro with this ‘red flag’ on the Stelvio. If you remember, they put the red flag, for some it was a sign of emergency, for others, it was a sign not to overtake. The riders and sport directors were confused. I hope they have fixed that.

“But I see in this Giro the same stupidity is still there, with this 3km rule, when Alberto [Contador] crashed. He was 200 meters from the flag, and they did not neutralize it,” Tinkov continued. “I had heard in other races, there was a crash with 3.4km to go, and the time was neutralized. That is a complete mess, and it should be resolved. After 3km on the sprint stages, the time should be neutralized there for the GC riders. Let the sprinter teams make their trains, and let the sprinters have an open road to safely make their sprints. People want to see beautiful battle for the sprints, and later a beautiful fight in the mountains. They do not want to see Contador, [Fabio] Aru, or [Richie] Porte risk crashing. It’s not smart.”

Tinkov even suggested the “safety zone” could be extended all the way out to five kilometers to go in sprint stages with flat finales. At this point, Tinkov was just getting started, and that was just the five minutes into the interview.

“I start this interview criticizing the system,” he laughed. “What else do you want to know?”

Well, Oleg, since you asked … to be continued.

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Twice is nice: Sacha Modolo wins Giro stage 17 http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/05/race-report/twice-is-nice-sacha-modolo-wins-giro-stage-17_371915 http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/05/race-report/twice-is-nice-sacha-modolo-wins-giro-stage-17_371915#comments Wed, 27 May 2015 15:30:12 +0000 http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=371915

Sacha Modolo (Lampre-Merida) sprinted to his second stage win at the Giro d'Italia in stage 17. Photo: Giro d'Italia

Italian sprint star Sacha Modolo claims his second Giro stage win as Contador keeps GC lead after the race's shortest day

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Sacha Modolo (Lampre-Merida) sprinted to his second stage win at the Giro d'Italia in stage 17. Photo: Giro d'Italia

With his second sprint victory in this year’s Giro d’Italia coming on stage 17, Sacha Modolo confirmed his role as Italy’s leading sprint star.

Modolo was cued up perfectly by his Lampre-Merida teammates, Roberto Ferrari and Max Richese, in the final kilometer of a 134km stage from Tirano to Lugano. The 27-year-old Italian jumped before the final, sweeping left-hand corner and held off Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek Factory Racing), who finished second. Giant-Alpecin’s Luka Mezgec finished third.

“Yesterday was very hard, but I had good legs today and it was nice and hot — the sort of day I like,” said Modolo. “Perhaps we could do with one more rider but, after months of hard work, in Max Richeze and Roberto Ferrari I have one of the best lead-out trains going. I’m afraid of no one.”

The general classification remained unchanged after the Giro’s shortest non-time trial stage, with Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) holding a lead of more than four minutes over the Astana duo of Mikel Landa and Fabio Aru.

“So far, something has happened almost every day — a crash, a puncture,” said Contador. “I’m very happy because I got through the stage safely and arrived in Lugano, where I live, on my home roads. Yesterday was much more wearing than I would have liked, but I’m one day closer to Milan.”

Giacomo Berlato (Nippo-Vini Fantini), Iljo Keisse (Etixx-Quick-Step), and Marco Bandiera (Androni-Sidermec) made the early breakaway.

With 40 kilometers left, the gap hovered just over one minute.

Inside of the final 30km, the break was caught as the sprinters’ teams cued up for the finale.

On an uncategorized climb with about 25km to go, Patrick Gretsch (Ag2r La Mondiale) and Adam Hansen (Lotto-Soudal) attacked.

Rolling over the top of the hill, BMC’s Darwin Atapuma bridged to the two leaders.

Hansen soon got a gap on his two companions. As Atapuma and Gretsch bickered, the solo leader extended his advantage to 17 seconds.

The peloton caught the two chasers with less than 20km remaining.

Giant-Alpecin drove the pace at the front, and with a little over 10km to go, Hansen was caught.

Cannondale-Garmin’s Tom-Jelte Slagter attacked next, with 5.5km to go, as Tinkoff-Saxo rode tempo on the front of the bunch.

BMC was keen to get a rider involved in a late break, sending Philippe Gilbert to chase. However, the peloton was not willing to forgo a chance for a bunch sprint and brought the duo back with three kilometers left.

On several hairpin turns dropping to the finish beside Lake Como, Luca Paolini (Katusha) countered. But Trek Factory Racing chased the Italian back in time for the final kilometer.

Lampre put three riders on the front to start the sprint.

Modolo went early as he was challenged on the left by Mezgec, and he would not be denied his second stage win at the Giro.

On Thursday, the peloton rides stage 18 from Melide to Verbania, a 199km day with one category 1 climb, Monte Ologno, late in the day.

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Video: Brad Huff talks about his pro career http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/05/video/video-brad-huff-talks-about-his-pro-career_371910 http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/05/video/video-brad-huff-talks-about-his-pro-career_371910#comments Wed, 27 May 2015 14:54:37 +0000 http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=371910

Brad Huff discusses his career in "The Cyclist."

What does it take to be a pro cyclist? Optum's Brad Huff talks about the challenges he faces and his aim to improve the sport

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Brad Huff discusses his career in "The Cyclist."

This video is courtesy of Doug Wilson.

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First Ride: Focus SAM goes carbon fiber http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/05/mtb/first-ride-focus-sam-goes-carbon-fiber_371739 http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/05/mtb/first-ride-focus-sam-goes-carbon-fiber_371739#comments Wed, 27 May 2015 13:05:13 +0000 http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=371739

The Focus SAM now comes in carbon fiber. It is 600 grams lighter, much stiffer, and has a better build. Photo: Caley Fretz | VeloNews.com

Focus adds carbon to its enduro offering and focuses on gravity-fed thrills with the Sam

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The Focus SAM now comes in carbon fiber. It is 600 grams lighter, much stiffer, and has a better build. Photo: Caley Fretz | VeloNews.com

Need to know

— Enduro race frame, with geometry to suit the task
— 160mm front and rear travel
— Carbon fiber frame
— 27.5” wheels
— New, better build kits
— Carbon version drops 600 grams and adds stiffness
— 65-degree head angle
— 75-degree seat angle

Focus’ new SAM is a 160mm enduro racer, tuned to high speeds and the sort of European courses favored by the Focus Enduro Team. It’s existed as an aluminum model for two seasons, and the latest iteration makes just a few changes to geometry and zero changes to the suspension design. The big story here is a switch to carbon fiber, which stiffens up the chassis considerably while dropping over 600 grams, and a newly tuned RockShox Monarch shock.

Geometry changes between the old aluminum version and the C Team are relatively minimal, but still important. Chain stays have been shortened from 438mm to 430mm and the bottom bracket has been dropped 5 mm, from -7mm to -12mm. Both changes were instigated by the brand’s enduro team, and serve to add agility and stability to the rear end.

The new SAM is quite light for a big bike, just 5.3 pounds for the frame and 27 pounds complete.

Cable routing is internal and done properly. There is no internal guide, but a massive hole near the bottom bracket facilitates easy routing. The plugs at the head tube can be replaced based on each build’s requirements — swapped for Di2, for example, or for 1x or 2x, with or without dropper, etc.

A bash guard at the bottom of the down tube should help prevent expensive rock damage, and another surrounding the top and bottom of the right chain stay will keep the chain from doing any similar damage.

U.S. prices have not yet been announced, though the bikes will be available in August. The build kits are solid.

The SAM C Team model features SRAM XX1, a 160mm Pike, Monarch Plus rear shock, and Reverb dropper. The SAM C SL will come with XO1, the same Pike, a Monarch RT rear shock, and DT Swiss E1700 Spline One wheels. The final carbon model, the C Pro, has a 160mm Pike RC fork, Monarch RT shock, and a SRAM XO1/X1 drivetrain.

First Ride

The SAM is a big bike. Enduro race bikes continue to trend closer and closer to what we might have defined as a downhill bike just a few years ago, and the SAM is no exception. The trail needs to be fast and rough before the SAM’s true strengths present themselves; anything mellower and it’s dramatic and somewhat frustrating overkill.

Those who don’t live near at least a few good descents, in other words, will likely want to look at the Spine instead.

There is no question that the new, carbon fiber SAM is a big step up from the aluminum version, which we had a chance to test last fall. The carbon version is stiffer, tracks better through rough corners, and comes with smarter build kits across the entire range — much closer to the sort of build we might put together ourselves.

Gone are the DT Swiss rear shock and Fox Evolution-series fork, replaced by a custom-tuned RockShox Monarch Plus (and the regular Monarch for lower models, but more on that later) and 160mm Pike, the best fork in its class.

Focus happily admits that the chunky, diamond-shaped top tube/head tube junction is part of a design initiative intended to make Focus mountain bikes more distinctive, but it serves a more practical purpose, too. Front-end stiffness on the SAM is excellent, thanks in large part to the massive top tube cross section and move to the Pike. It can compete with any enduro frame currently on the market in this realm.

The bike sits rather far into its travel, and it feels best set up with the rear Monarch Plus sag set around 35 percent. The suspension design, a relatively simple linkage-driven single-pivot, is heavily reliant on the tuned Monarch. That means that the top-tier models, which feature the more controlled Monarch Plus, will ride significantly better than those at cheaper price points.

Speaking of the Monarch Plus, aggressive riders will want to add a volume token or two to improve the progressiveness of the shock. Because the bike does sit rather far into its travel during regular trail riding, and the long-stroke rear shock is not particularly progressive out of the box, the rear end can feel a bit vague throughout its travel. I like to be able to push into the back end of the bike a bit and get a response — to know where I am in the travel through feel, in other words — and that was difficult with the SAM. Adding a token or two would likely solve the problem.

The SAM pedals well for a 160mm bike, and thanks to the super steep 75-percent seat tube angle, it’s easy to get over the bottom bracket to put power down. But it’s still a long way from sprightly. This should go without saying, but if climbing is half the fun for you, look for something smaller. With the SAM, descending is all the fun.

Enduro racers will love the geometry, the tuneability of the Monarch Plus, and the stiffness. More casual riders might want something that pedals a bit better for everyday riding.

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Ask a Mechanic: Setting up tubeless road wheels http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/05/video/ask-a-mechanic-setting-up-tubeless-road-wheels_371897 http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/05/video/ask-a-mechanic-setting-up-tubeless-road-wheels_371897#comments Wed, 27 May 2015 12:32:40 +0000 http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=371897

Art's Cyclery demonstrates the proper way to set up and install tubeless road tires

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Astana, Katusha say they didn’t know Contador flatted http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/05/news/astana-katusha-say-they-didnt-know-contador-flatted_371893 http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/05/news/astana-katusha-say-they-didnt-know-contador-flatted_371893#comments Wed, 27 May 2015 10:59:54 +0000 http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=371893

Katusha drove the pace, trying to move its team leader Dmitri Konyshev up in the standings. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

Astana and Katusha say they didn't know Alberto Contador flatted leading into a decisive climb in Tuesday's stage 16

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Katusha drove the pace, trying to move its team leader Dmitri Konyshev up in the standings. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

Polemics engulfed Tuesday’s epic stage over the Mortirolo, and the “wait or race” debate kicked back into gear at the Giro d’Italia as pink jersey holder Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) punctured at a key moment.

With a relatively easy day on the horizon for Wednesday’s 17th stage, many were revisiting exactly what happened on the descent off the Aprica, and whether or not rivals unfairly piled on the pink jersey when he punctured coming down the technical descent.

Officials from both Katusha and Astana denied they knew Contador had punctured on the Aprica descent, and each insisted they were simply racing their race as events unfolded at breakneck speed.

According to Tinkoff staffers, Contador punctured on sweeping switchbacks above an even narrower, more technical descent that leads to the valley below the approach to the Mortirolo. Riding within the protective cocoon of his teammates, Contador quickly swapped out a back wheel with teammate Ivan Basso, who also rode with the same 34×30 gearing as Contador, so the wheel change was as swift as it could be.

Because Contador’s wheel change was so fast, it evidently was not spotted by in-race commissaires, and, as a result, apparently was not called out on race radio per the custom when a rider punctures.

Astana boss Giuseppe Martinelli confirmed that version of events in comments to La Gazzetta dello Sport.

“On the descent of the Aprica, Contador’s puncture was never communicated,” Martinelli was quoted as saying after the stage. “Katusha had already started to pull, and I didn’t know why Contador wasn’t there, but it was at that point that I told my team to pull.”

Katusha sport director Dimitri Konyshev also denied knowing that Contador had punctured, and he had already ordered his troops to the front of the peloton on the Aprica descent to keep Yuri Trofimov in good position heading toward the Mortirolo.

Revisiting TV images of the Aprica descent, it’s unclear exactly what happened. During the race, announcers on RAI were reporting that Contador was involved with a crash with an Astana rider who swept out in a switchback. It was only at the finish line that Contador was able to confirm that it was a puncture, not an accident, that caused him to lose contact on the decisive descent.

What might have been clear to viewers on TV is rarely the case for racers in the heat of the battle, especially when they are barreling down a high-speed descent at full throttle.

Once teams were on the flats on the approach to the Mortirolo, it became evident that Contador was gapped out, and he was desperately chasing back with the help of his teammates.

Could the peloton have eased up? At that point of the race, the base of the Mortirolo was less than 10km away and it was full-gas to the base of the decisive climb. Teams at the front of the race say it would have been all but impossible to stop the gathering inertia of the leading pack.

Eventual stage winner Mikel Landa (Astana) admitted the peloton realized Contador wasn’t there once they hit the flats, and collaborated to widen the gap to the powerful Spanish climber, but he did not know what had happened.

The rapidly unfolding dynamics once again prompted the “wait or race” debate. It’s one thing if Contador had flatted with 100km to go, but it’s quite something else coming off a tricky descent and heading toward the most decisive climb of the 2015 Giro.

The general consensus within the peloton is that “when the race is on,” there is no waiting. To each his own fate.

“We were in the middle of the descent, chasing Katusha, who were working for Trofimov. Radio Tour didn’t say anything about a flat for anybody, and it was another 5 or 6km of chasing Katusha full-gas before we figured out what happened,” Astana sport director Alexandre Shefer said. “What are we supposed to do, stop and wait, and let Trofimov get a head-start up the Mortirolo?”

Of course, everyone inside the Tinkoff bus didn’t see things that way.

Tinkoff sport director Lars Michaelsen also questioned the opposing teams’ tactics, hinting that their only chance was to try to take out Contador when he was down.

“I don’t think it’s honorable toward the leader’s jersey [to attack] when he has a problem. If they want to fight him, they should fight him in a sporting way, not like this,” Michaelsen said. “On the flat part of 9km [before Mortirolo], everybody could see they went full, full, full … which would not be normal.”

Contador refused to enter into the debate, and used the tactical play to fuel his ambition up the punishing climb. He erased a nearly one-minute deficit at the base of the Mortirolo, and ended up tightening his grip on the pink jersey, shedding pink jersey rival Fabio Aru perhaps for good.

The Giro just isn’t the Giro without a good polemic. And with most of these debates, it all depends on who you ask.

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Chad Haga Giro Journal: Quality versus quantity http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/05/rider-journal/chad-haga-giro-journal-quality-versus-quantity_371886 http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/05/rider-journal/chad-haga-giro-journal-quality-versus-quantity_371886#comments Tue, 26 May 2015 21:46:43 +0000 http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=371886

Recently, the Giro has served up ample helpings of climbing and pasta with red sauce for Chad Haga (Giant-Alpecin). Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com (File).

Haga's survival instincts kick in as the Giro delivers two brutal days of climbing and a rest day, which wasn't really that restful

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Recently, the Giro has served up ample helpings of climbing and pasta with red sauce for Chad Haga (Giant-Alpecin). Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com (File).

As the Giro enters its third week, I’m looking for new and exciting food options to keep my appetite. It comes to a point where doesn’t matter what beautiful Italian name they give a bowl of pasta with red sauce. The better something tastes in Italy, the less they give you … and that’s a problem if you’re trying to recover from six-hour stages with tasty food.

Sometimes we get lucky and the hotel doesn’t realize that they’re expected to feed the riders like livestock, and we promptly dispose of the delicious food before the mistake is realized. “Sorry, what fancy Parmesan?” At breakfast, my ratio of croissants to actual bread is continuing to climb, as is the ratio of peanut butter to what it’s going on.

Somehow, whatever I eat, my body continues to awaken ready for another bike race, and I would hate to disappoint it.

Stage 15 from Marostica to Madonna di Campiglio rolled out under mostly sunny skies, although we would receive a few light sprinklings of rain throughout the day — just a kind tap on the shoulder by the Italian clouds to remind us that they can drop by at any moment. I started the stage with thoughts of a breakaway, but when I followed a surge in the opening flurry of attacks, I learned that my power records in the time trial came at a price. “We’ve had a change of plan,” my legs told me. “You’re no longer hoping to be in the breakaway. Now, you’re hoping the breakaway is gone before we reach the base of that mountain.”

But with the field motivated by the looming rest day, it looked like the fight would only be settled by the mountain we were racing toward. As I tried to save as much energy as possible, I kept hearing one of the final lines from the movie “October Sky:” ”This one’s gonna go for miles …” Sure enough, the field exploded as the attacks continued all the way over the top. We eventually regrouped in the valley before the final pair of mountains, but it was clear that most of the field was worn out from the last two weeks of unrelenting stages, and accordingly had no ambitions beyond the grupetto.

At the back, we lamented the fact that we never get to hang out with the boys in blue, but we’ve come to accept that they just might not like us.

If the first rest day was used to catch our breath; the second rest day was more like steeling ourselves for battle. The first rest day featured a relaxing ride with plenty of shenanigans; yesterday we did intervals. The efforts were short, and thus not too costly for our tired bodies, but it was crucial to make sure that our legs didn’t go into recovery mode with the queen stage just the next day. The way this race has been going, we can’t afford even a single bad day or we may go home early.

Our team meeting Tuesday morning was less “tactical discussion” and more “survival planning” for stage 16 from Pinzolo to Aprica, but that’s how it goes sometimes. The villaggio was completely empty before the start as nearly everyone was on the trainer warming up; you know things are serious when guys who didn’t warm up before the time trial are on the trainer before a stage with 15,000 feet of climbing. Talk of forming the grupetto on the start line was only half-joking, and it came to fruition just a few kilometers later when the race exploded on the opening climb. What followed was a hard bike race from start to finish, and I even had my pie-plate cassette to make the Mortirolo more manageable. By the numbers, it was the most physically demanding stage of the Giro so far, and I finished 38 minutes down.

We were nine hollow riders at dinner as we shared our stories from the day, barely noticing that we were shoveling yet another heaping bowl of pasta with red sauce down our throats. And tomorrow? Well, tomorrow, we’ll race bikes again.

I just hope there’s a nice selection of croissants and plenty of peanut butter at breakfast.

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Gallery: 2015 Giro d’Italia, stage 16 http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/05/gallery/gallery-2015-giro-ditalia-stage-16_371855 http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/05/gallery/gallery-2015-giro-ditalia-stage-16_371855#comments Tue, 26 May 2015 20:53:20 +0000 http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=371855

The fearsome Mortirolo shakes up the race as Astana aims for a sneak attack, but Contador counters with climbing prowess

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Pro Bike Gallery: Kiel Reijnen’s Wilier Cento1SR http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/05/gallery/pro-bike-gallery-kiel-reijnens-wilier-cento1sr_371840 http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/05/gallery/pro-bike-gallery-kiel-reijnens-wilier-cento1sr_371840#comments Tue, 26 May 2015 20:31:42 +0000 http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=371840

Perennial nationals contender Reijnen aims to defend title at the Philadelphia International Cycling Classic after podium in Chattanooga

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Phil Gaimon Journal: Food diary http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/05/rider-journal/phil-gaimon-journal-food-diary_371849 http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/05/rider-journal/phil-gaimon-journal-food-diary_371849#comments Tue, 26 May 2015 20:16:57 +0000 http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=371849

Gaimon keeps track of everything he eats during one day of racing at the Amgen Tour of California. Spoiler alert: There are cookies

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Focus Spine C: Light trail ripper with potential http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/05/mtb/focus-spine-c-light-trail-ripper-with-potential_371729 http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/05/mtb/focus-spine-c-light-trail-ripper-with-potential_371729#comments Tue, 26 May 2015 19:51:11 +0000 http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=371729

The new Spine is a 120/120mm aggressive XC bike or light trail bike, though its manners on the way down suggest something much more capable. Photo: Caley Fretz | VeloNews.com

Heading up the mountain or down, the Spine is a light trail/aggressive XC machine made for a well-rounded ride and real fun on descents

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The new Spine is a 120/120mm aggressive XC bike or light trail bike, though its manners on the way down suggest something much more capable. Photo: Caley Fretz | VeloNews.com

Need to Know

– Ultra-capable XC ripper or light trail bike
– 120mm front and rear travel
– Carbon fiber frame
– 27.5” wheels
– 68-degree head angle
– 75-degree seat angle
– Four carbon models, six alloy options
– Two alloy women’s models
– Carbon frame weight: 1,980 grams; aluminum is 2,400 grams

Focus’ all-new Spine slots into the light trail/aggressive XC category that has sprung up in recent years. It’s a category headlined and defined by ultra-fun bikes like the Yeti ASR, and for the vast majority of riders — those who don’t race, don’t shuttle, ride up as much as they ride down — it hits a sweet spot between efficiency and fun.

The Spine is a worthy addition to the category. Its 120mm of front and rear travel provide a stable climbing platform when it’s needed, and a surprisingly capable, wide-open feel when pointed downhill.

The bike is available in 10 different models, six carbon and four aluminum, including two women’s bikes, and each one has a smart parts spec while offering impressive value. There are no stinkers, and it’s clear that Focus set out to build each model, even the cheaper ones, to a performance standard, not a price standard.

In fact, our favorite model isn’t the top-tier Spine C; it’s one step down.

The Spine’s simple suspension design, a single-pivot with linkage off the top tube, doesn’t hold it back. Far from it.

Focus engineers designed a specific linkage for each frame size to keep suspension feel consistent across sizes (an effort that is surprisingly rare), addressing a common problem with top tube-mounted linkages. They managed to keep the top tube very low, too, offering impressive stand-over height.

Cable routing is all internal, cleverly done, and looks like it won’t be a complete nightmare for mechanics thanks to a large opening near the bottom bracket.

U.S. prices have not yet been set. Build kits range from a RockShox RS1 and SRAM XX1 equipped Spine C 0.0 to the Shimano XT and Fox equipped Spine Elite. Two women’s models, both in aluminum, use the same geometry and swap in narrower bars and a women’s saddle.

First Ride

The Spine is nothing special going uphill, but it’s no pig. There’s a bit of bob out of the saddle, but the suspension is relatively stable for seated climbing and the steep 75-degree seat tube angle keeps the rider in a good position for putting power down. Those who need more setback will struggle, though, as most dropper posts offer none.

Rolling terrain is handled well, and the Spine responds well to brief out-of-the-saddle bursts. The wheel size seems to help here; Focus is a proponent of 27.5 for every frame with more than 100mm of travel, and its easy to see why — the Spine felt far more nimble than any 120mm 29er we’ve ridden.

The Spine truly came to life going down. Test trails included steep, loose, and wet sections of rock, as well as slick roots, and the Spine felt bombproof through it all. It’s incredibly flickable, perhaps thanks to its ultra-short 428mm chain stays, and it was easy to pinball around the trail in search of the best line.

Those short chain stays did have one downside: One test rider had a 2.4” Continental rear tire, and it would rub slightly against the stays in hard corners, as the wheel flexed just a few millimeters. Clearance could be better, though most riders will not likely mount this type of bike with a rear tire so large.

The brand new 27.5” RockShox RS1 fork mounted to the top-tier Spine CC 0.0 test bikes was excellent, and notably stiffer than the 29er version, but sends the price through the roof. We’d look one step down, at the Spine C Factory, which comes with a cheaper, equally capable (perhaps more capable, albeit slightly heavier) RockShox Pike fork.

In fact, this bike was so lively and capable on the descents that we’d consider throwing something longer on the front, a 130mm or 140mm fork, to turn it into a true trail ripper.

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