VeloNews.com http://velonews.competitor.com Competitive Cycling News, Race Results and Bike Reviews Sun, 23 Nov 2014 01:04:50 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 Van Aert wins men’s cyclocross World Cup Koksijde in solo fashion http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/11/news/van-aert-wins-mens-cyclocross-world-cup-koksijde-in-solo-fashion_353873 http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/11/news/van-aert-wins-mens-cyclocross-world-cup-koksijde-in-solo-fashion_353873#comments Sat, 22 Nov 2014 15:50:16 +0000 http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=353873

Wout Van Aert rode, ran, and pushed his bike to victory at the Koksijde World Cup to claim a solo victory. Photo: Dan Seaton | VeloNews.com

The Belgian rides alone for the second half of the race to claim victory

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Wout Van Aert rode, ran, and pushed his bike to victory at the Koksijde World Cup to claim a solo victory. Photo: Dan Seaton | VeloNews.com

Wout Van Aert (Vastgoedservice-Golden Palace Cycling Team) rode to a solo win at the UCI Cyclocross World Cup Koksijde on Saturday.

The Belgian rode ahead of Mathieu van der Poel (BKCP-Powerplus) about halfway through the race, and he never looked back — or slowed down. Van Aert finished the race alone, crossing the line 42 seconds faster than Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Napoleon Games) and 53 ticks ahead of van der Poel.

“It was pretty amazing to cross the finish line alone, with a big gap in front of the others,” said Van Aert. “I never thought that before the race I could finish the race that way, but it’s incredible to win the race.”

When Van Aert and van der Poel were at the front, a large group battled for third place on the sandy course. As the race wore on, however, the field began to stretch out.

Van der Poel faded, which allowed Pauwels to surge past him with a handful of laps remaining. The chase was on from there, but Pauwels, who hails from Belgium, was unable to reach Van Aert.

With riders still vying for third behind him, Pauwels kept up his chase and was able to hold off the charging racers to grab second.

“I didn’t know the guys were gone,” Pauwels said referring to Van Aert and Van der Poel. “I suddenly found out Van Aert was leading by 35 seconds!

“The [World Cup leader's] jersey was the most important today. It’s good Mathieu was in between me and the rest. … Once I attacked, I also didn’t know Mathieu was there. I had a pretty good lap, but I think Wout was much stronger”

Van Aert dedicated his win to Belgian racer Niels Albert, who retired abruptly in May with a heart condition. Albert is now the sport director for Van Aert’s Vastgoedservice-Golden Palace Cycling Team.

“It’s a really special race for my team leader Niels Albert,” Van Aert said. “Before the race he asked me to do something special, and this victory is for him.

“He always gives me advice, so that’s not a big difference. But today he has the experience in this race on how to win it. He won it at the worlds and also last year. So he knows how to control the race when you’re alone in the front. And that’s the most difficult part of the race, you have a gap, but you have to hold on that gap. And you can only do that if you find the right rhythm, and that worked out perfectly.”

The course is known for its very difficult sandy sections. With huge ruts from the other races happening at Koksijde, only a few riders could ride the soft sand, while many ran. If there wasn’t anyone around them, they had a decent chance of making it. But riders in groups were forced to dismount and either shoulder their bike or push it.

Van Aert, the reigning under-23 world champion, won the Koppenbergcross round of the Bpost Bank Trofee series in early November.

“I’m still very young, and I can win races like this right now, and I hope I can win more races in the future,” Van Aert said. “Now it’s too soon after the race to make big statements, but this is a great start of my career with two big victories [in Koksijde and on the Koppenberg] in one month, and I hope the rest of the season I can hold on this kind of shape.”

Earlier on Saturday, another young rider, 16-year-old American Gage Hecht won the junior race in Koksijde. He finished ahead of two Belgians, Alessio Dhoore and Stefano Museeuw.

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Cant wins women’s World Cup ’cross race in Koksijde http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/11/news/cant-wins-world-cup-cross-race-koksijde_353868 http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/11/news/cant-wins-world-cup-cross-race-koksijde_353868#comments Sat, 22 Nov 2014 14:16:49 +0000 http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=353868

Belgian and European champion Sanne Cant extended her win streak to six races in the dunes of Koksijde. Photo: Dan Seaton | VeloNews.com

The Belgian finishes ahead of two Dutch riders to claim victory

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Belgian and European champion Sanne Cant extended her win streak to six races in the dunes of Koksijde. Photo: Dan Seaton | VeloNews.com

Sanne Cant (Enertherm-BKCP) rode to victory in the women’s race at the UCI Cyclocross World Cup stop in Koksijde on Saturday.

The Belgian finished ahead of Dutch riders Sabrina Stultiens and Sophie de Boer (Kalas-NNOF), who placed second and third at six seconds back in the Belgian race. Koksijde is the second stop of six on the Cyclocross World Cup.

“I’m in really good shape I think and today I think I was not the best of the three, but I had a good plan in my head,” Cant said. “And if you are in good shape, it all goes well.”

The difficult course had several sandy sections, which slowed down the racing and saw several riders either crashing or quickly dismounting to carry/push their bikes through the soft, thick stuff.

“The sand was really difficult. I was in front all the time, but it was not easy to get a gap. But the last lap I did it,” Cant said. “The sand, I really ride good in the sand, but it’s very hard, because it’s dry and there are a lot of sand sections.”

American Katie Compton had an asthma attack and suffered from allergies during the race and finished 10th.

“I just had an asthma attack and allergies,” Compton said. “I don’t know, I was just struggling with allergies even yesterday pre-riding, and just today going hard like that. And then I’m coming back from being sick, so I don’t have the fitness, and the sand, the fitness, the asthma attack, a little bit of everything, I just couldn’t go fast today.

“It was hard, it was a really hard day and just, on a sand course like this, you just can’t — there’s no hiding. You have a bad day and it’s not like you can sit on someone’s wheel and recover. So yeah, I just suffered and did the best I could and wasn’t quite fast enough.”

Dan Seaton contributed to this report.

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In the News: Moab BLM bans electric bikes on non-motorized trails http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/11/news/news-moab-blm-bans-electric-bikes-non-motorized-trails_353861 http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/11/news/news-moab-blm-bans-electric-bikes-non-motorized-trails_353861#comments Fri, 21 Nov 2014 22:22:22 +0000 http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=353861

Moab BLM officials have confirmed that electric-assist mountain bikes will be treated as motorized vehicles, and therefore not allowed on mountain bike singletrack in Moab. Photo: Daniel Dunn | VeloNews.com

Moab authorities will not permit electric-assist mountain bikes on trails designated for non-motorized traffic

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Moab BLM officials have confirmed that electric-assist mountain bikes will be treated as motorized vehicles, and therefore not allowed on mountain bike singletrack in Moab. Photo: Daniel Dunn | VeloNews.com

MTBR.com reports that the Moab field office of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has posted updated guidelines to their website putting electric-powered bicycles in the same category as gas-powered vehicles, effectively banning them from numerous trails in and around the Utah mountain bike mecca.

While motor-assisted bicycles are now not allowed on mountain bike trails, they are permitted on any motorized route open to motorcycles and off-road vehicles. This includes portions of classic trails like Porcupine Rim, where e-bikes are permitted on the “Jeep road” sections, but not the singletrack.

Read more on MTBR.com >>

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Rwanda aims to become a hub for African cyclists http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/11/news/rwanda-leads-way-african-cyclists_353857 http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/11/news/rwanda-leads-way-african-cyclists_353857#comments Fri, 21 Nov 2014 21:54:23 +0000 http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=353857

Janvier Hadi (Louis Garneau) of Rwanda rode in the break on stage 4 of Tour of Alberta, and would take the most aggressive jersey that day. Photo: Casey B. Gibson | www.cbgphoto.com (File).

Cycling in Rwanda is on the rise, in no small part due to the the Tour of Rwanda, which attracts and increasingly strong field

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Janvier Hadi (Louis Garneau) of Rwanda rode in the break on stage 4 of Tour of Alberta, and would take the most aggressive jersey that day. Photo: Casey B. Gibson | www.cbgphoto.com (File).

KIGALI, Rwanda (AFP) — Three years ago, Janvier Hadi pedaled a singlespeed bicycle taxi. This week, he won the prologue of the Tour of Rwanda, a success mirroring the growth of cycling in his country.

Born into a family of modest farmers, the 23-year-old took up the sport seriously after taking part in a race in the south Rwandan town of Butare.

“I heard there was a race for a singlespeed bike. … It was like a test, and I won; I got first place,” he told AFP.

“At first I thought that because I was young I didn’t have the strength like some of the others … but when I beat them, I thought finally, I can do this cycling,” he said smiling, and proudly wearing his winner’s yellow jersey after his win in the capital Kigali.

Cycling in Rwanda, as in the rest of Africa, is growing as a sport.

“We started with five riders and five-speed cycles from the 1980s, but most of the gears were not working, they were wrecks,” said Jonathan Boyer, the first American to have raced the Tour de France in 1981, and who in 2006 became the first coach of Team Rwanda.

Cycling in Rwanda “grows gradually,” said Boyer, explaining that like Hadi, many racers are former bicycle taxi drivers, who build strong muscles pedaling up Rwanda’s rolling hills, transporting people and goods. The Rwanda Cycling Federation has around 100 members.

One of Africa’s toughest races

“Cycling in Rwanda is still very young,” said federation president Aimable Bayingana. “We have not really a long history of cycling, we are building the sport, evolving at the same time as the Tour of Rwanda.”

In June, the country opened a training center in the northern town of Musanze with modern equipment, which is hoped to become a regional training center for African cycling. The Tour of Rwanda is gradually gaining a place as a key race on the continent.

Experts say the tour of Rwanda — dubbed the land of “a thousand hills” — is one of the toughest races in Africa.

Riders on the eight-day tour, which finishes Sunday, battle over 934 kilometers (580 miles) and climb some 19,500 meters (64,000 feet) with peaks rising to 2,500 meters (8,200 feet) high. Cyclists race up and down through coffee, tea, and banana plantations.

“This is a country where the hills are really tough,” said Cameroonian racer Damien Tekou. “But we came to win.”

Organizers estimate over two million spectators will see the race, nearly a fifth of Rwanda’s 11 million people.

The race’s reputation is growing, with 14 teams taking part this year, with cyclists from across the continent — including Algeria, Burundi, Morocco, Eritrea, Ethiopia — as well as from Europe too, from France, Germany, and Switzerland.

“When we compete with Europeans here it means that we Africans are developing,” added Tekou, adding his dream was the continent would soon rise up the ranks on a wider international stage.

Changing image of Rwanda

Yves Beau from the team Bike Aid — which includes Eritrean cyclist Mekseb Debesay, who is in the running to win the UCI’s Africa tour ranking — says the sport is becoming more organized.

There are increasing number of competitions held each year across the continent, he notes.

But while, for now, African cyclists are sometimes hampered by a lack of often expensive kit and the best bicycles, he believes things will improve in the future.

“I think they really have the qualities to make good cyclists,” Beau said.

Boyer points not only to Rwanda, but to Ethiopia and Eritrea, which he said have a large pool of talent, although tapping that will require serious training and investment.

For Rwanda, it offers more than the sporting race alone.

Hadi says it provides a different image of Rwanda abroad than just the memories of the 1994 genocide when an estimated 800,000 people were killed in just 100 days.

“We must move forward, to change the image of the country, so that people think not just of genocide but say, ‘Rwanda has good cyclists,’” he said.

“Like in Kenya, people talk about their marathon runners, so in Rwanda we in Rwanda we have strong riders.”

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Erica Zaveta hits her stride with the Amy D. Foundation http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/11/news/erica-zaveta-hits-stride-2014-racing-amy-d-foundation_353833 http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/11/news/erica-zaveta-hits-stride-2014-racing-amy-d-foundation_353833#comments Fri, 21 Nov 2014 19:11:30 +0000 http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=353833

Erica Zaveta solos in for the win on day one of the 2014 Gateway Cross Cup. Photo: Matt James

Erica Zaveta rides for the Amy D. Foundation, honoring the fallen rider's memory and progressing as a young cyclocross pro

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Erica Zaveta solos in for the win on day one of the 2014 Gateway Cross Cup. Photo: Matt James

Editor’s note: This story was originally published on the Raleigh bicycles website.

Dan Dombroski held a stacked resume in his hands. It listed collegiate gold medals in mountain biking and cyclocross, solid results in road races, and a history of international-caliber racing. The name on this resume might not be familiar to all cycling fans, but Erica Zaveta has steadily been working her way to the top of the sport.

The Erwinna, Pennsylvania native had applied for the Amy D. Foundation’s first racing scholarship, a program intended to help promising young female riders progress to the top of the sport. Dombroski established the foundation days after his 26-year-old sister, Amy, was killed on a training ride in Belgium in October 2013.

Zaveta was selected from about 34 applicants based on her racing potential and ability to represent Amy Dombroski’s spirit and the Foundation. Wearing a blue and orange Amy D. Racing skinsuit in her first race of the season at CrossVegas, the biggest U.S. ‘cross race, she finished an impressive ninth against the strongest women in the country.

Now 25, Zaveta began her competitive career 10 years ago on the road. She tried cyclocross for fun before she turned 18 and won a junior state championship. At Lees-McRae College in North Carolina, and later at Brevard College, she blossomed in collegiate cycling.

“Collegiate for me was really, really huge,” said Zaveta. “It was an opportunity to race everything … mountain bike, even track for one season. I jumped in as many ‘cross races as I could.”

While at Lees-McRae in 2011, Zaveta’s teammates and friends Carla Swart and Megan Baab were hit and killed by vehicles in separate training accidents. “I guess one of the biggest connections I feel with the Dombroski family is that feeling and how long [grieving] takes,” Zaveta said.

Zaveta met Amy Dombroski in Europe during a mountain bike World Cup in 2012. New to international racing and living in a foreign country, Zaveta was struggling. Dombroski provided the medicine she needed: a friendly face, and an offer to help with questions and team opportunities.

Many aspects of cyclocross appeal to Zaveta — the 40-minute race intensity, opportunities to improve in every lap, and an individual pace combined with head-to-head racing. The friendly, fun atmosphere hooked her right away.

“When you get too serious about it, you realize you’re running around in a field with a bicycle — it gives you a good perspective,” Zaveta said.

Racing alongside the Raleigh-Clement team, Zaveta has hit personal best after personal best. First came a top-five result in mid-October. Two weeks later, she won her first UCI race at Gateway Cross Cup in St. Louis, Missouri.

When this season’s more intense racing schedule required different training, Mani and Jamey Driscoll, supplied advice.

“That for me is really a confidence booster, knowing what they’re doing and how I can incorporate it,” said Zaveta of the Raleigh-Clement riders. “Ben [Berden] has been helpful in a lot of different ways, encouraging me … They’ve really been awesome.”

Mani, who took part in the scholarship selection process, shares her expertise in technical skills and the tactical elements of racing, like when to wait, or when to attack.

“She’s a great girl, really nice and humble and willing to learn, so it is really cool to be around her,” Mani said, speaking about Zaveta earlier in the fall. “I think she is going to have a great season. It’s going to be good mojo for everyone [on the team]. I’m really happy about what they did in memory of Amy. I think it’s a great program that will help Erica get a step higher.”

As the season has progressed, Zaveta has noticed her improvement throughout the year, yet remains willing to grow into her career.

“When I won collegiate mountain bike nationals for division one, that was really cool,” Zaveta said. “It meant a lot to me, but right now I just feel like a totally different athlete. And it doesn’t feel temporary. … I definitely would say it’s my best season racing bikes so far.”

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Week in Tech: Velocio-SRAM, Bontrager 29+, power meter updates, and children’s bikes http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/11/news/week-tech-velocio-sram-bontrager-29-power-meter-updates-kids-bikes_353801 http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/11/news/week-tech-velocio-sram-bontrager-29-power-meter-updates-kids-bikes_353801#comments Fri, 21 Nov 2014 18:42:35 +0000 http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=353801

Though Trek does not have a 29+ bike in its lineup, yet, Bontrager brought the 3"-wide Chupacabra to market, and if you're lucky enough to own an RS-1, a 29+ tire might be one of the most fun upgrades you make this year. Photo: Logan VonBokel | VeloNews.com

The latest tire size trend, SRAM teams with Velocio, Quarq offers power meter trade-in, and high-end kids' bikes, in time for Christmas

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Though Trek does not have a 29+ bike in its lineup, yet, Bontrager brought the 3"-wide Chupacabra to market, and if you're lucky enough to own an RS-1, a 29+ tire might be one of the most fun upgrades you make this year. Photo: Logan VonBokel | VeloNews.com

Here’s your Week in Tech — all the gear news, tips, and announcements you need and none of the marketing gibberish you don’t.

SRAM steps in as Velocio title sponsor

Component company SRAM has stepped in as the second title sponsor of the Velocio women’s cycling team, formerly called Specialized-lululemon. The squad will be known as Velocio-SRAM in 2015.

The team, which raised about $100,000 in crowdfunding earlier this year, will also be supported by sales of Velocio team clothing, which is now available for pre-order. Team owner Kristy Scrymgeour continues to seek another major sponsor.

Read more >>

Bontrager’s new Chupacabra 29+ tire

You can never have enough wheel and tire sizes, apparently. 29+ is the latest; it’s not quite a fat-bike tire, and and it might even be compatible with your existing bike. Bontrager’s Chupacabra 29+ tire can be your bike’s big upgrade this winter. It had never crossed our mind that we could cram a 29+ tire into one of our existing 29ers, but thanks to local pro, Brady Kappius, we learned that a 3.0 tire fits just fine in a RockShox RS-1.

Bontrager’s Chupacabra weighs in at a hefty 878 grams, but this tire isn’t about counting grams. At $120 the Chupacabra is pricey. Surly also offers a 29+ tire. Its 29×3” Knard retails for $65 and is available now.

The Chupacabra is expected to hit retailers near the end of this year. We will be logging some time on it soon.

SRM offers spider-only power meters

SRM is taking its renowned power meter and stripping it down to bare bones. It is offering four spiders compatible with Specialized, Cannondale, Rotor, and SRAM crank arms for $1,490 through the SRM website — we have heard that select dealers and coaching companies may offer them for less.

The new products still sound expensive, especially when compared to Stages meters, but when compared to Quarq’s Specialized- and Cannondale-compatible spiders, the SRM spiders are more than $300 cheaper. If you already own a Quarq, and are looking to upgrade to a new power meter, keep scrolling down.

Read More >>

Quarq trade-in

Quarq is inviting current owners to trade in their old Quarqs for new models. The trade-in program is good through the end of the year, and customers can upgrade to a brand new power meter for $900.

The new power meters are available with Quarq’s new magnet-free cadence measurement, thanks to an accelerometer in the spider. Buyers will have to remove their chainrings and crank arms and send back only the spider. Upon receiving your old spider, Quarq will send out a new spider of your choice.

Read More >>

Trailcraft Cycles children’s mountain bikes

Mountain bikes for kids are inherently inexpensive and therefore usually very heavy. Trailcraft, based out of Fort Collins, Colorado, hopes to change that with its high-end titanium and aluminum 24” hardtails.

The Trailcraft Pineridge hardtails are designed around Stan’s 24” wheels. Chainstays are quite short, to help children pop the front wheel off the ground, and corner with confidence. Trailcraft created its own cranks with 152mm arms, 32×22-tooth chainrings, and a bashguard to protect it all, as small wheels mean lower bottom brackets.

The Trailcraft bikes will be produced in small batches, but can deliver by Christmas if you order soon. The complete Aluminum Pineridge 24 retails for $1,700 and can be purchased through Kickstarter, but you won’t need to wait for Trailcraft to reach their goal, they’ll ship in a week or two, and it will make a great gift this holiday season — just hope that your kid doesn’t grow out of it too fast.

Read More >>

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Astana announces new sponsor for women’s team http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/11/news/astana-launches-womens-team_353826 http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/11/news/astana-launches-womens-team_353826#comments Fri, 21 Nov 2014 18:17:10 +0000 http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=353826

Astana is stepping up its commitment to its women's squad, which placed 10th at world team time trial championships in 2014. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

Astana is investing in women's professional racing with an Italian-based team of about 15 young riders it hopes to develop

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Astana is stepping up its commitment to its women's squad, which placed 10th at world team time trial championships in 2014. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

Olympic time trial champion and former world time trial champion Zulfia Zabirova will join forces with Maurizio Fabretto to launch Astana’s new women’s cycling team in 2015. The team will field a roster of about 15 riders, mostly young athletes that it hopes to develop into seasoned pros.

The team will be officially named Astana-Acca Due O, and it will be registered in Kazakhstan. Many of the riders will come from Eastern Europe, but the team will also have strong Italian flavor. It will have a headquarters in Cornuda, Veneto, and sponsor Acca Due O is an Italian water treatment company.

“The project is very exciting,” said Zabirova, supervisor of the entire sport management, “And so is the challenge: [Our] long-term goal is to bring Astana to be the first team in the world within four years. During last edition of Asia championships and world championships we saw encouraging things by young Kazakhs. “We have very professional coaches and sport directors, and I’m sure that they’ll know how to let them show their full potential.”

The Astana BePink women’s team placed 10th at 2014 world team time trial championships in Ponferrada, Spain.

The team had a few notable victories in 2014, including Alena Amialiusik’s wins in the Belarus national road and time trial championships, Doris Schweizer’s stage 1 win at Tour de Bretagne Féminin, and Amialiusik’s stage 5 win at the Tour Cycliste Féminin International de l’Ardèche.

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What’s inside the December 2014 Velo magazine http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/11/magazine/whats-inside-december-velo-magazine_353360 http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/11/magazine/whats-inside-december-velo-magazine_353360#comments Fri, 21 Nov 2014 16:27:33 +0000 http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=353360

The 2014 Velo Awards Issue is out and recounts all of the best players throughout the year.

The December issue recognizes the best cyclists of 2014 with the annual Velo awards, and it has a full preview of 2015 worlds in Richmond,

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The 2014 Velo Awards Issue is out and recounts all of the best players throughout the year.

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The 2014 Velo Awards Issue is out and recounts all of the best players throughout the year.

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The December issue of Velo magazine is a thick book, split between our choices for cyclists of the year and a guide to the 2015 road world championships in Richmond, Virginia, next September.

On the awards side of the magazine, the Velo staff has dissected the year of racing to determine who excelled in their respective specialties for our 27th annual Awards Issue.

After much internal debate, French rider Pauline Ferrand-Prévot earned top honors as Velo’s International Cyclist of the Year.

As one of the most dominant riders in the women’s peloton across road, mountain, and cyclocross, the young French star had amazing success throughout 2014, becoming the only elite rider to win UCI World Cup road and mountain-bike events in the same season. The 22-year-old capped off her season with the rainbow stripes at road worlds in Ponferrada, Spain.

It was a difficult choice to make, especially when we compared her season to Alejandro Valverde’s, but ultimately, it was Ferrand-Prévot’s results across road, mountain bike, and cyclocross that led to our final decision.

Valverde, however, didn’t go home empty-handed. The Spanish veteran is our International Man of the Year. Whether it was a punchy early season classic, a grand tour, or September’s world championships, Valverde fought for the podium all season long, and succeeded on a variety of terrain against a spectrum of competitors.

Also in our awards issue, we take a look back at Jens Voigt’s career as he is honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award for being one of the most daring, powerful, popular, and exciting racers in the modern era. (To bid on a 2014 Velo Cyclist of the Year jersey, signed by Voigt, click here. All proceeds go to PeopleForBikes.)

The December edition of Velo features dozens more awards as well. Where do riders like Nibali, Contador, Vos, Kittel, Rivera, and Rosskopf fit into our 2014 Awards Issue? Pick up a copy and find out.

In VeloNotes, Steve Maxwell discusses the winners, losers, and question marks of 2014, as some riders saw great success all year while other stars struggled throughout season.

Also in VeloNotes, the Velo tech staff has put together the 2014 Holiday Gift Guide, laying out a handful of great gift ideas for the cyclist in your life — or maybe just for yourself.

On the other side of the magazine, you’ll find an in-depth guide to the 2015 road world championships, and a look at the host city.

A playground for cyclists, the greater Richmond area, and Virginia as a whole, is one of the best places to ride in the U.S. Local stars, Joe Dombroski, Ben King, and Andrea Dvorak spill the details about their favorite places to train in the area.

The guide also takes a look back at the heritage of racing in Richmond, the history of the world championships, and the success that Americans have seen over the years at worlds.

Start planning your trip to Richmond 2015 to watch the best cyclists in the world. Grab the December issue of Velo at a bookstore or bike shop near you.

Subscribe now to receive Velo magazine every month >>

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Quintana, Valverde to share leadership at 2015 Tour, Vuelta http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/11/news/quintana-valverde-share-leadership-2015-tour-vuelta_353815 http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/11/news/quintana-valverde-share-leadership-2015-tour-vuelta_353815#comments Fri, 21 Nov 2014 16:22:51 +0000 http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=353815

After Movistar's dual-leader strategy payed off in the Vuelta, the Spanish team plans to send Quintana and Valverde to the Tour. Though Quintana is their best hope for yellow, Valverde will be ready to step in if things go wrong. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com (File)

Movistar aims to break the mold with a two-leader plan for the Tour de France that focuses on Quintana but keeps Valverde on deck

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After Movistar's dual-leader strategy payed off in the Vuelta, the Spanish team plans to send Quintana and Valverde to the Tour. Though Quintana is their best hope for yellow, Valverde will be ready to step in if things go wrong. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com (File)

PAMPLONA, Spain (VN) — Don’t expect behind-the-scenes drama between Movistar’s Alejandro Valverde and Nairo Quintana heading into the 2015 Tour de France.

A house united is always stronger than a house divided. That’s the philosophy behind Movistar’s provocative decision to bring both Valverde and Quintana as leaders to both the Tour and Vuelta a España.

Valverde promised there would not be a repeat of the soap opera that engulfed Team Sky as Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome fought publicly and privately for control of the British team.

“This is nothing like Froome and Wiggins, far from it,” Valverde said Friday during a press conference. “I have no problem working with Nairo. We’ve been together these past two seasons, and we get along well. First, we go to the Tour with the idea of riding for Nairo, and then we’ll see what happens.”

There is no rancor between Quintana and Valverde, and they’re friends on and off the bike. And Valverde is the first to admit that the 24-year-old Colombian has a better chance of winning the Tour than he does.

“It’s very clear that Nairo has the qualities to win the Tour. I can be close, but it’s more complicated for me,” Valverde continued. “For the Tour, first we’ll back Nairo, then me. We’re a lot stronger together than he or I riding alone.”

Movistar is clearly taking a different approach to the Tour. Most major teams are backing one lone leader, with Vincenzo Nibali (Astana), Froome, and Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) enjoying complete backing from their respective teams. Movistar boss Eusebio Unzue said the team has the “good fortune” to have two riders capable of leading who are also committed to working together.

“With Nairo and Alejandro working together, we have better chances of success. We are stronger together, rather than dividing our strength with distinct calendars,” Unzue said. “They can share the responsibility of the race between them. We go with Nairo as leader, but [with] Alejandro we have the assurance of a leader who has the experience that few in the peloton can bring to the Tour.”

This season, Movistar split the pair, sending Quintana to the Giro, which he promptly won, while Valverde got his shot at the Tour, where he finished a disappointing fourth.

Going into 2015, Unzue sat down with riders and staff to gauge the team’s mood and ambitions for a new season. The veteran Spaniard manager said they took lessons out of the 2014 Vuelta a España, when both Valverde and Quintana shared leadership. Quintana crashed out, but Valverde picked up the baton, and rode to third overall behind Contador.

Movistar is hoping to apply that Vuelta template to the 2015 Tour, with Quintana is the top captain, and Valverde poised in the wings if anything happens.

Movistar boss Unzue also confirmed that Quintana will not defend his Giro d’Italia crown, and instead will target the Tour and Vuelta double, with Valverde at his side.

“We have the Giro for younger riders who are looking for their chance to lead, such as Beñat Intxausti, Jesus Herrada, or Ion Izagirre,” Unzue said. “We believe the time is right for Nairo to target the Tour, and this route is ideal for him, as well as Alejandro.”

The decision to join Valverde and Quintana at the hip for the Tour simply reflects the reality within the Movistar camp. Valverde, 35, couldn’t quite reach the podium in 2014, finishing fourth, but he remains an explosive and productive rider who is a factor in any race he starts. And Quintana, despite winning the Giro in impressive fashion in May, remains relatively inexperienced at just 24.

“We cannot forget that Nairo is still a ‘chaval,’ and he is still progressing as a rider and a leader,” Unzue continued. “Valverde brings a depth of experience and tranquility that is invaluable to Nairo. And with Nairo there, Valverde doesn’t have to carry the entire weight of the team by himself. They’re stronger as a partnership working together.”

Quintana, too, seemed content to have WorldTour winner Valverde as his wingman. Not only will it give Movistar a one-two GC punch that the other top rivals will not have (assuming both survive the Tour’s treacherous first week), but it helps take the pressure off each of them.

“It could be a complicated situation, but we manage it well,” Quintana said. “It fills me with pride that a rider like Alejandro would vow to help me in the Tour. I am convinced that we are stronger together than ride separately.”

Sharing Tour leadership typically has backfired — look no further than the intrigue of the 1986 Tour with Greg LeMond battling Bernhard Hinault — but with Valverde and Quintana, it just might work.

Perhaps neither will start as a five-star favorite, but they will present a formidable pair that will create complications for their rivals.

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Behind the Barriers TV: Jingle Cross, day three http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/11/video/behind-barriers-tv-jingle-cross-day-three_353810 http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/11/video/behind-barriers-tv-jingle-cross-day-three_353810#comments Fri, 21 Nov 2014 15:43:12 +0000 http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=353810

Sunday's racing at Jingle Cross offered more snowy, cold action.

Check out the final day of cold, snowy racing in Iowa with Behind the Barriers TV, as they deliver a full recap of all the action

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Sunday's racing at Jingle Cross offered more snowy, cold action.

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Van der Haar to miss Koksijde World Cup with fever http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/11/news/van-der-haar-miss-koksijde-world-cup-fever_353803 http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/11/news/van-der-haar-miss-koksijde-world-cup-fever_353803#comments Fri, 21 Nov 2014 15:27:08 +0000 http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=353803

Lars van der Haar (Giant-Shimano) won the World Cup in Valkenburg to take an early lead in the series. However, he will have to forfeit his standing after Saturday because he was scratched from the Koksijde start list due to fever. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

World Cup leader and last year's title-winner, Lars van der Haar, will sit out round two in Koksijde, a major setback for the 23-year-old

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Lars van der Haar (Giant-Shimano) won the World Cup in Valkenburg to take an early lead in the series. However, he will have to forfeit his standing after Saturday because he was scratched from the Koksijde start list due to fever. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

World Cup leader Lars van der Haar (Giant-Shimano) will miss the second round of the prestigious cyclocross series to be held Saturday in Koksijde, Belgium. The 2013-2014 ‘cross World Cup winner has a fever and was told by his doctor not to race.

“I’m not allowed to start tomorrow in World Cup Koksijde,” van der Haar tweeted. “I still had a slight fever waking up. So doctor is giving the order not to start.”

After winning the first World Cup round in Valkenburg, Netherlands in October, the 23-year-old cyclocross star looked to be on track for another run at the series title. However, he will face an uphill battle after this setback.

“Maybe if I recover well today, I’ll be allowed to start SP Spa-Francorchamps,” the Dutch cyclocross champion said on Twitter, referring to Sunday’s Superprestige race in Belgium. “But this all depends on how I feel. :( I’m gutted not to start!”

Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Napoleon) sits second behind van der Haar in the World Cup, and Corné Van Kessel (Telenet-Fidea) is third going into the second round at Koksijde.

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Nibali goes on the attack after fourth Astana doping positive http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/11/news/nibali-goes-on-the-attack-after-fourth-astana-doping-positive_353794 http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/11/news/nibali-goes-on-the-attack-after-fourth-astana-doping-positive_353794#comments Fri, 21 Nov 2014 14:59:59 +0000 http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=353794

Vincenzo Nibali's Astana team could lose its racing license or have conditions attached to it after four doping positives this year. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

The Tour de France winner says the four Astana riders who turned in doing positives this year "have nothing to do with me"

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Vincenzo Nibali's Astana team could lose its racing license or have conditions attached to it after four doping positives this year. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

MILAN (VN) — Tour de France winner Vincenzo Nibali attacked after the announcement Wednesday that a fourth Astana teammate this season has failed a doping test, the fourth such announcement in less than three months.

“If people want to associate me with these cases, they don’t understand anything,” the Sicilian and 2014 Tour de France winner told Italy’s sports daily, La Gazzetta dello Sport.

“They are four idiots that have nothing to do with me.”

The four are brothers Valentin and Maxim Iglinskiy, Ilya Davidenok, and Victor Okishev — the latter two race for Astana’s third-division feeder team. Maxim Iglinskiy helped Nibali win the Tour in July.

Valentin Iglinskiy tested positive for EPO on August 11, with the announcement coming September 10; Maxim Iglinskiy turned in an EPO positive on August 1, which was announced October 1; Davidenok had a positive test for steroids on August 27, announced October 16; and Okishev tested positive for steroids on May 29, which was announced November 19.

The four cases have created a black stain on the team in blue.

“The problem is certainly not mine. I think about myself and I have a clear conscience. I certainly can’t give answers for their problems,” Nibali said.

“Also, the two riders race for the continental team and I don’t even know who they are.

“Maxim Iglinskiy? In a team there are those you have to live with regardless. He was not part of my group and between us, there’s no link.”

Before the Tour de France, Maxim Iglinskiy rode with Nibali in the Tour of Oman, Milano-Sanremo, Amstel Gold Race, La Flèche Wallonne, Liège-Bastogne-Liège, and the Tour de Romandie.

Because of its second doping case and its membership in the MPCC anti-doping movement, the team had to sit out eight days of racing in October and missed the Tour of Beijing.

The four cases, along with Roman Kreuziger’s biological passport problem stemming from his years with Astana, could shine a bad light on the team and its racing license. The UCI announced in October the 10 teams with a WorldTour racing license for 2015, and Astana was among them. Seven other teams had either applied or were requesting a renewal. In the wake of Astana’s doping cases, UCI President Brian Cookson said the licensing commission could decide to revoke or attach restrictions to its 2015 license.

“It’s safe to say that everyone was very disappointed by this turn of events,” Cookson told VeloNews last month. “But if we assume that there have been three cases, that’s something that’s obviously very, very serious and that’s why we’ve referred it to the licensing commission, asking them to look into all the issues around that and make recommendations as to what impact these issues should have on the license of Astana. That’s the right and proper process. That’s what the license commission was established to do, and we’re going to let them get on with their job now.”

The license commission heard from Astana general manager Alexander Vinokourov earlier this month as part of its review. The UCI will hear from the commission before it announces its WorldTour license renewals in the next week or the first week of December.

“It seems absurd that the blame falls on the team,” Nibali continued.

“I can guarantee that the sponsors are very upset. You can’t place the blame on the team for what has happened, however. The idea that it’s a team doping system is wrong. To take away our license would be a mistake.”

Nibali, though being upset with the situation in his team, wants the UCI and anti-doping testers to continue their work.

“I hope that they catch all the dopers,” Nibali added. “If they catch another 10, I’d be pleased. It means the controls are in place and they are working.”

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Gallery: 2014′s best distractions, by Tim de Waele http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/11/news/road/gallery-tim-de-waeles-best-roadside-distractions-2014_353672 http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/11/news/road/gallery-tim-de-waeles-best-roadside-distractions-2014_353672#comments Fri, 21 Nov 2014 13:33:32 +0000 http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=353672

Even once the racing starts, it's not all stern faces and toil. Photographer Tim de Waele finds many unique and amusing distractions

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Driver arrested in Richmond for threatening cyclists with gun http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/11/news/driver-arrested-richmond-threatening-cyclists-gun_353781 http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/11/news/driver-arrested-richmond-threatening-cyclists-gun_353781#comments Thu, 20 Nov 2014 22:52:42 +0000 http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=353781 After buzzing five cyclists with his SUV, a driver in Richmond, Virginia pulls a handgun. The 64-year-old suspect has since been arrested.

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On November 12, just miles from the 2015 UCI world road championships race course, a driver in an SUV buzzed a group of five cyclists, stopped, and then threatened them with a handgun.

NBC affiliate WWBT reported on an incident that occurred in Ashland, Virginia, in Hanover County, about 20 miles north of Richmond, host of next year’s world championships.

“It became out-and-out warfare when he produced a handgun, and threatened to kill me if I took another step toward the vehicle,” Stephen Hancock told WWBT. Hancock, 64, was one of the five riders involved in the incident.

The driver, Edward Fornel, 61, was arrested on November 14 and charged with reckless driving and brandishing a firearm. He will go to court November 25.

The incident took place about eight miles from the world championship time trial course route, which passes east of Ashland.

Another cyclist was the victim of a hit-and-run incident that occurred in Ashland, on October 17, but was not seriously injured.

“This was an incredibly unfortunate incident, however, an isolated one that doesn’t represent the predominant culture in the area,” said Lee Kallman, of Richmond 2015, regarding the incident with Fornel. “Richmond and the surrounding region (Hanover County is where the elite men’s ITT starts) is home to an emerging cycling culture and, on the whole, is a great place to ride your bike.

“Since Richmond was awarded the worlds, 2015 has served as a catalyst for a lot of positive efforts around getting more people on bikes and increasing awareness around those already on the road. Local municipalities and the Commonwealth of Virginia have ongoing share-the-road educational programs and PSAs that seek to educate and inform motorists and cyclists alike about best safety practices. Furthermore, Richmond’s hired a bike/ped coordinator. We’ve seen the creation of more and more bicycling events and a huge push is underway to add significantly more bike-related infrastructure.

“We have always seen Richmond 2015 as a transformative opportunity for the community — like a lot of industrial cities in the U.S., we are not there yet — but we are well on our way.”

When asked if there were measures in place to reduce conflicts between motorists and cyclists, or to protect the hundreds of riders that will descend upon local roads in September 2015, Terry Sullivan, a spokesperson at the Hanover Sherriff’s Office provided this reply via email:

“As far as the world championship races, discussions and planning have been going on for quite a while with regional law enforcement partners. Safety and security for each route planned is a top priority and encompasses a detailed plan designed to keep all participants and area residents safe and allow for an enjoyable experience.

“Regarding discussions on terrorism, as a crime, we monitor any and all threats with the upmost regard to ensure the safety of our citizens. Our planning process incorporates any potential danger with appropriate mitigation and response measures. In addition, we work very closely with state and federal authorities to identify and monitor any potential threats.”

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Video: Visit Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski and Heather Irmiger’s Airstream http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/11/mtb/video-visit-jeremy-horgan-kobelski-heather-irmigers-airstream_353789 http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/11/mtb/video-visit-jeremy-horgan-kobelski-heather-irmigers-airstream_353789#comments Thu, 20 Nov 2014 22:24:26 +0000 http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=353789

Mountain bike pros Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski and Heather Irmiger find comfort on the road as they race all summer long.

Mountain bike super-couple travels to races in style. Take a tour of their sweet setup

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Mountain bike pros Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski and Heather Irmiger find comfort on the road as they race all summer long.

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Behind the Barriers TV: Jingle Cross, day two http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/11/video/behind-barriers-tv-jingle-cross-day-two_353772 http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/11/video/behind-barriers-tv-jingle-cross-day-two_353772#comments Thu, 20 Nov 2014 19:02:53 +0000 http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=353772

Day two of Jingle Cross features more action in Iowa City. Watch the BTB TV recap.

Watch all the action from Saturday's Jingle Cross race in Iowa City, where Powers and Nash deliver wins in the cold

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Day two of Jingle Cross features more action in Iowa City. Watch the BTB TV recap.

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Reviewed: Light and Motion Urban 800 commuter light http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/11/bikes-and-tech/reviews/reviewed-light-motion-urban-800-commuter-light_353744 http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/11/bikes-and-tech/reviews/reviewed-light-motion-urban-800-commuter-light_353744#comments Thu, 20 Nov 2014 18:32:41 +0000 http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=353744

The Urban 800 provides a relatively narrow but very bright beam, designed primarily for use on the road. Photo: Caley Fretz | VeloNews.com

Light and Motion’s Urban 800 is brilliantly bright and compact, with a fast charge and impressive run time given its diminutive size

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The Urban 800 provides a relatively narrow but very bright beam, designed primarily for use on the road. Photo: Caley Fretz | VeloNews.com

Light and Motion’s Urban 800 is brilliantly bright and compact, with a fast charge and impressive run time given its diminutive size. Billed as a commuter light, the $180 light can easily pull double-duty as a trail-worthy helmet light and is plenty powerful to use on high-speed nighttime road rides.

Remember when an 800-lumen riding light required a battery the size of a water bottle, a second mortgage, and a massive dual-lamp setup that generated so much heat you worried about starting a forest fire? No more. The latest generation of LED lights are brighter, with better beam patterns, than trail-specific lights from a decade ago. It’s amazing what you can get for $180 these days.

Granted, the lumen figure is a bit useless by itself, as the way the beam is spread is equally important. The 800 lumens put out by the Urban 800 fall in a narrower beam than, for example, an 800 lumen trail-specific light, which is actually putting out more light.

The Urban 800 provides a relatively narrow but very bright beam, designed primarily for use on the road, but suited to use as a helmet-mounted light on trails. At 121 grams and four inches long, it’s noticeable on a helmet but not annoying.

Twin, amber-colored side-lights provide 180-degrees of visibility. The lithium-ion battery will provide 90 minutes of run time on high (800 lumens), three hours on medium (350 lumens) and six hours on low (175 lumens). Charge time is just 2.5 hours via a USB cable.

The medium setting is plenty for commute speeds, and I failed to outrun the high setting even on fast road descents.

The mount is a simple, effective rubber strap and hook. No fiddling with spacers for different bar diameters, just strap the light down and go. Even on trail, the mount is secure and doesn’t bounce or wobble. The weight of the light is evenly distributed fore and aft of the mount, which helps eliminate jiggling.

Commuters aren’t likely to find something brighter in a package this small with such quick charge time. Roadies training after dark and singletrack riders using it as a secondary light will find the Urban 800 perfectly adequate as well. If real trail riding is your goal, the Urban 800 will fall a little short unless paired with a second, wider beam.

Suggested retail price: $180
We like: Side visibility is excellent, and the brightness at this size is impressive.
We don’t like: Narrow beam better for road than trail.
The scoop: Compact and very bright commuter light with an excellent beam pattern and decent run time.
Read more > >

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Stevens takes time off, then looks ahead http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/11/news/stevens-takes-time-looks-ahead_353689 http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/11/news/stevens-takes-time-looks-ahead_353689#comments Thu, 20 Nov 2014 17:59:23 +0000 http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=353689

American Evelyn Stevens will take on 2015 with a new team, but she'll still bring familiar sponsors Specialized and lululemon along for the ride. Photo: BrakeThrough Media | brakethroughmedia.com

American Evelyn Stevens talks off-season, a new team, and next year after a successful 2014

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American Evelyn Stevens will take on 2015 with a new team, but she'll still bring familiar sponsors Specialized and lululemon along for the ride. Photo: BrakeThrough Media | brakethroughmedia.com

She finished up the world championships, went to Cape Cod, got engaged, and took three weeks off the bike.

And now, Evelyn Stevens is at it again. She’s in Boulder, Colorado this week getting back up to speed, staying with Connie Carpenter and Davis Phinney. “It’s always a nice time of year,” she said. “I’ve been training for a few weeks already. I go to my first training camp in December.”

That entrance back into the fray, though, comes after a chunk of time off the bike. Which, it turns out, doesn’t make her crazy. “That’s funny,” she said when asked if she gets a bit itchy without riding. “I don’t miss it. I’m also traveling a lot. … It’s really nice not putting on your kit. It’s not having to put your spandex on is what I find [nice]. Being able to do other things. I enjoy it. But you’re ready to ride again.”

While she enjoyed a good season, winning the Boels Rental Ladies Tour, the Parx Philly Classic, and the world team time trial, she had a rough go, too. Stevens separated her shoulder in a crash while training for the TTT at worlds, but that didn’t stop her from winning the team event with Specialized-lululemon, placing third in the individual time trial, and taking 12th in the road race.

“It was definitely a factor,” Stevens said to TeamUSA.org after worlds. “Anytime you hurt something, your body is trying to heal it. But it happened, and there was nothing I could do about it.”

Next year, Stevens will move to the Boels-Dolmans team along with sponsors Specialized and lululemon, but the structure will be different.

“It’s a new team, new management, but so far I’ve been lucky,” Stevens said. “That was really positive. I basically learned all my biking from that team and that program.”

As far as the goals for next year, those are undefined until team camp. At least until she starts talking about the upcoming season, then it much comes down to this: Do well in the big races.

The team time trial remains important, as does the individual effort. The UCI world road championships will be held in Richmond, Virginia, which heightens the pressure for American riders. She mentioned major stage races, and … “I would love to do well in some of the one-day classics, but I’m also content to be a good teammate,” she said. “I have teammates who are awesome.”

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Ask a Mechanic: The clincher vs. tubular debate http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/11/video/ask-mechanic-clincher-vs-tubular-debate_353757 http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/11/video/ask-mechanic-clincher-vs-tubular-debate_353757#comments Thu, 20 Nov 2014 17:13:25 +0000 http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=353757

Clinchers or tubulars? What is better for everyday riding and training?

Greg from Art's Cyclery weighs the arguments between clincher and tubular tires for everyday riding

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Clinchers or tubulars? What is better for everyday riding and training?

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Reviewed: Castelli ’Cross Sanremo Speedsuit http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/11/news/cyclocross/reviewed-castelli-cross-sanremo-speedsuit_353691 http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/11/news/cyclocross/reviewed-castelli-cross-sanremo-speedsuit_353691#comments Thu, 20 Nov 2014 16:40:00 +0000 http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=353691

The zipper takes two hands to zip up, although only one to open. Photo: Brad Kaminski | VeloNews.com

The Cross Sanremo Speedsuit is versatile and warm, but don’t throw out your other skinsuits just yet

The post Reviewed: Castelli ’Cross Sanremo Speedsuit appeared first on VeloNews.com.

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The zipper takes two hands to zip up, although only one to open. Photo: Brad Kaminski | VeloNews.com

Cyclocross weather is unpredictable. It could be warm and sunny one weekend and freezing the next. Castelli’s ’Cross Sanremo Speedsuit, which uses three-quarter sleeves and applies thermal material only to its upper half, attempts to cover as much of this range as possible. It comes close to hitting the mark, but misses in a few key areas.

The original Sanremo Speedsuit was designed for the blazing-fast finishers of the UCI WorldTour. The Speedsuit is essentially a play off of a skinsuit, but the top half can be unzipped similar to a traditional jersey — think of a tight jersey and bibs sewn together at the back, but not the front. The cyclocross version uses the same design concept, but changes the cut and adds key thermal elements up top.

The original Speedsuit was amazingly tight, and is still available in several models, most of which sport traditional three-pocket uppers. The ’cross suit, however, is looser and longer through the upper body to make it more comfortable when off the bike. The longer front also prevents the dreaded bellybutton gap, something best avoided in sub-freezing temperatures.

The ’Cross Sanremo suit uses a thermal material on the uppers, while the bottom half is made from the same thinner material you’d find on Castelli’s Race Bibshort line.

The two rear pockets are great for training, but not ideal for racing. Your pedal could snag a jersey pocket when you shoulder the bike. Castelli says it added pockets to the ’Cross Sanremo suit so that riders could wear it outside of races. But it makes more sense to wear a long sleeve jersey or jacket over a thermal skinsuit in training.

I rode in the ’Cross suit a handful of times and found it to be too warm for anything above 50 degrees, despite the lack of thermal bottoms and a highly breathable material in the underarm. On a cloudy and windy day, with temperatures around 45 degrees, the ’Cross Sanremo suit was perfect. Had the sun been out, it may have been too hot.

I’m quite a fan of the three-quarter sleeves. Most long-sleeve skinsuits tend to be too short for my long arms anyway.

The ’Cross Speedsuit’s aesthetics are subdued, but of the three colors offered — black, blue, and grey (pictured) — the best is the Johnny Cash look of the all-black Speedsuit.

The ’Cross Sanremo suit’s chamois, Castelli’s Kiss 3, is not the Italian brand’s top-of-the-line pad, but it is more comfortable than any other ’cross skinsuit I’ve worn.

At six-foot and 165 pounds with a 32-inch waist and broad shoulders, the medium was tight on me. The large would have probably been a better choice, but I prefer a snug fit, and the overbuilt zipper was up to the task.

To order a custom sublimated version of the ’Cross Sanremo Speedsuit, Castelli requires a minimum order of five pieces. Each item is priced at $270. Castelli’s custom line also has a more traditional skinsuit for ’cross, its Thermal CX Speedsuit. That is priced at $175, again with a five-piece minimum.

A couple other manufacturers allow riders to order custom skinsuits without the headache of minimums. Pactimo offers an order period in the early fall during which cyclocross riders can place full custom orders with no minimums. That brand’s Cross-Skinsuit is $225, though it has a pesky rear pocket. Vie13 Kustom Apparel allows riders to purchase any item with no minimums. The Vie13 Fleece Long Sleeve Skinsuit starts at $222 and prices decrease with bulk orders. Additionally, Vie13 has a 50 percent off crash replacement program that covers the garment for the first six months.

The ’Cross Sanremo Speedsuit will not cover the full swing of the mercury. Cold days will demand a full thermal, and warmer days require no thermal. In my race bag, I would rather have a traditional long-sleeve skinsuit and a thermal skinsuit. If you seldom see very cold days, the all-black ’Cross Sanremo Suit is a versatile option that will last you years, no matter what team you’re racing for.

Suggested retail price: $279
We like: Warm upper; comfortable chamois; high-end leg opening.
We don’t like: No need for pockets, let alone two; some sort of warmer fabric on the shorts would be nice.
The scoop: A well-made thermal skinsuit that covers some colder conditions, but not all, and is a good option for a privateer.
More info: Castelli-cycling.com

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