VeloNews.com http://velonews.competitor.com Competitive Cycling News, Race Results and Bike Reviews Tue, 05 May 2015 22:43:57 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0.1 BMC aims for pink jersey in Giro team time trial http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/05/news/bmc-aims-for-pink-jersey-in-giro-team-time-trial_369088 http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/05/news/bmc-aims-for-pink-jersey-in-giro-team-time-trial_369088#comments Tue, 05 May 2015 22:01:16 +0000 http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=369088

One of the highlights of BMC Racing's 2014 season was a surprise victory in the world team time trial championships. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

BMC Racing is aimed squarely at victory the Giro d’Italia’s opening team time trial, hoping to set up Caruso for a run at top-five in GC

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One of the highlights of BMC Racing's 2014 season was a surprise victory in the world team time trial championships. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

BMC Racing is aimed squarely at victory the Giro d’Italia’s opening team time trial, and the pink leader’s jersey that would come with it.

The team won last year’s team time trial world championships, and brings a wealth of time trial prowess to the Giro in the form of Marcus Burghardt, American Brent Bookwalter, and Stefan Küng, a former individual pursuit champion on the track who won a stage of the Tour de Romandie last week.

If all goes to plan, a good ride in the technical team event will line up BMC’s new GC hope, Damiano Caruso, for a run at the top-five overall.

“We will try to make a good start in the team time trial and maybe try to win one of the first stages,” said sport director Valerio Piva. “The rest of the race we will support Damiano. He will have the support of Darwin Atapuma in the climbs, so hopefully a top-five result in the general classification would be nice.”

Caruso, 27, who was ninth in last year’s Vuelta a España, is new to BMC.

“This year, I have a big opportunity and the team has given me a big responsibility,” the Italian said. “Last year, I did a good Vuelta and now I want to improve on that result in the Giro. I think I am realistic in wanting to be top 10, but in my heart, I hope to do better. This year, the Giro has a very hard start. The first five or six stages are very hard in Liguria and Toscana. It is very important to be ready from the start.”

Philippe Gilbert, who is recovering from a crash at La Flèche Wallonne, will take the start in San Lorenzo al Mare as well, but says he will take the race “day by day.”

“The Giro will be difficult because I am still suffering from my crash at Flèche Wallonne,” Gilbert said. “I have done a lot of work to recover, but my goals have kind of changed because I do not know if I will be at my best level.”

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Video: Hincapie Racing looks back at its TTT nationals win http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/05/news/road/video-hincapie-racing-looks-back-at-its-ttt-nationals-win_369070 http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/05/news/road/video-hincapie-racing-looks-back-at-its-ttt-nationals-win_369070#comments Tue, 05 May 2015 20:14:12 +0000 http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=369070

The Hincapie Racing Team won the 2015 men's team time trial national championship in Greenville, South Carolina. Photo: Casey B. Gibson | www.cbgphoto.com

Hincapie racing wins the U.S. team time trial national championships in its hometown of Greenville, South Carolina

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The Hincapie Racing Team won the 2015 men's team time trial national championship in Greenville, South Carolina. Photo: Casey B. Gibson | www.cbgphoto.com

This video is courtesy of Hincapie Racing Team

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Why Astana kept its WorldTour license http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/05/news/why-astana-kept-its-worldtour-license_369055 http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/05/news/why-astana-kept-its-worldtour-license_369055#comments Tue, 05 May 2015 19:41:45 +0000 http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=369055

It's been a rocky road for Astana this season. Photo: Iri Greco | BrakeThrough Media | brakethroughmedia.com

UCI License Commission releases detailed explanation of why it didn't pull Astana from the WorldTour amid doping and management concerns

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It's been a rocky road for Astana this season. Photo: Iri Greco | BrakeThrough Media | brakethroughmedia.com

If the UCI’s License Commission had known last autumn what it knows now about Astana’s long-time internal policies and practices, the team’s license “would likely have been refused.”

But it didn’t. And now, following months of ups and downs for the Kazakh team, the Commission has released its ‘reasoned decision,’ explaining in clear French why it suspended the procedure to revoke Astana’s WorldTour license. Astana gets to keep its license, the Commission says, because of its willingness to submit to internal audits, to change those internal practices and policies, and because it hasn’t had a doping case since last fall.

The License Commission, an independent, four-person body charged with reviewing license applications, decided to “suspend the procedure to withdraw” Astana’s license on April 23, allowing Astana to retain its license pending continued cooperation and a drug-bust-free 2015 season. The reasoned decision, which was released in French on Tuesday, offers further insight into the Commission’s reasoning.

The reasoned decision states: “At this stage, in view of the modifications that have already taken place [within Astana], those that are announced, the commitment to adhere to the conditions laid down by the ISSUL with the approval of and under the supervision of the Commission, and the absence of further incidents since autumn 2014, it is found that the sanction of a withdrawal, motivated mainly by facts of the past, would not, as of today, respect the principle of proportionality.”

The License Commission laid out three requirements for Astana. First, it had to submit to a full audit from the Institute of Sport Sciences at the University of Lausanne (ISSUL). Second, it had to heed the recommendations of the ISSUL audit and adhere to a new set of operation requirements. Third, it could not have another doping case during the 2015 season.

Astana formalized its commitment to the ISSUL recommendations in a document signed by the team, ISSUL, and the License Commission.

ISSUL found a number of deficiencies within Astana’s team organization during its audit process, which occurred last winter, including an overall lack of organization and supervision and management culture problems. The ISSUL report considered the team to be “at risk.”

However, the License Commission found that Astana upheld its commitment to cooperate with ISSUL and adhered to, or plans to adhere to, new operation requirements. The team has not had a doping case since fall of 2014, either. Thus it has met the requirements for retaining its license as laid out by the License Commission. Though the ISSUL report raised a number of concerns regarding the internal operations of Team Astana, the Commission ruled that the “majority of negative points raised in the ISSUL report were capable of improvement in the coming months.”

“The withdrawal of a license is the most serious sanction that a UCI WorldTeam can face,” and, “such a sanction should only be imposed if other less restrictive sanctions cannot be envisaged,” the report states.

Astana is not guaranteed to keep its license through the 2015 season. Another doping case would restart the License Commission’s procedure against the team, which has simply suspended rather than fully closed. Further, ISSUL will continue to monitor the team; non-compliance with the terms of agreement would trigger a restart of the procedure of license withdrawal as well.

“UCI recognizes the constructive approach adopted by the License Commission,” said UCI President Brian Cookson in a statement. “We are pleased to note that Astana Pro Team has committed to a process of in-depth reforms thanks to this procedure initiated before the License Commission. Taking into account that the team will be under the supervision of the ISSUL and monitored by the License Commission for the rest of the 2015 season, we are satisfied by this decision which we believe is proportionate.”

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Cavendish, Kittel, Sagan to light up sprints at 10th Amgen Tour of California http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/05/news/cavendish-kittel-sagan-to-light-up-sprints-at-10th-amgen-tour-of-california_369007 http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/05/news/cavendish-kittel-sagan-to-light-up-sprints-at-10th-amgen-tour-of-california_369007#comments Tue, 05 May 2015 17:00:12 +0000 http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=369007

Mark Cavendish won the final stage of the 2014 Amgen Tour of California in Thousand Oaks. Photo: Casey B. Gibson | www.cbgphoto.com

The aluminum anniversary of the Tour of California offers fresh faces a chance to vie for GC, and a sprint playground for top speedsters

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Mark Cavendish won the final stage of the 2014 Amgen Tour of California in Thousand Oaks. Photo: Casey B. Gibson | www.cbgphoto.com

Now one of the longest-running international stage races in U.S. history, the Amgen Tour of California celebrates its 10th edition when it kicks off on Sunday in Sacramento.

Launched in 2005 and first held in February 2006, the UCI-ranked 2.HC race is one of the most important stage races in the history of American cycling. For context, the Red Zinger/Coors Classic of the 1970s-80s spanned 14 editions, while the Tour de Trump/Tour DuPont of the 1990s covered eight editions.

This year’s Amgen Tour route travels over 700 miles in eight stages, winding through 13 host cities, starting in the state capitol of Sacramento and ending a week later in Pasadena, at the Rose Bowl Stadium.

And while the Amgen Tour has hosted women’s events every year since 2008 — usually one-off downtown criteriums, or time trials — for the first time, the event will host a three-stage women’s race in 2015.

Men’s race: The GC riders

Last year’s winner, Bradley Wiggins, will not be returning to defend his title, however his former squad, Team Sky, comes to California poised to make it two-for-two, this time with climber Sergio Henao.

The 27-year-old Colombian recently finished seventh at both Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège, and was second overall to Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) at the Tour of the Basque Country in early April.

The British squad is sending a stellar lineup to support Henao, including Philip Deignan, Xabier Zandio, Pete Kennaugh, Christian Knees, Danny Pate, and Ian Boswell. Injured sprinter Ben Swift, who was set to race in California, will require shoulder surgery after a crash on the opening stage of the Tour de Yorkshire.

In addition to Wiggins, several other former winners will not be in attendance — 2013 winner Tejay van Garderen (BMC Racing) and 2010 winner Michael Rogers (Tinkoff-Saxo) are still active in the pro peloton, but are not participating, while the upstart Airgas-Safeway team of 2011 winner Chris Horner was not invited to compete.

There will be just one former winner in this year’s race — 2012 California champion Robert Gesink (LottoNL-Jumbo). Gesink has struggled a bit since having heart surgery last year, but he has always performed well in California, winning the best young rider’s competition on three occasions.

And though anything can happen on any given day in pro bike racing, the key stages for the overall classification look to be the 15-mile time trial in Big Bear Lake on stage 6, and the summit finish on Mt. Baldy the following day, stage 7. Baldy returns after a two-year hiatus, and once again, it’s extremely likely that the winner of the Amgen Tour will be decided on the final 15 switchbacks to the finish line.

The Amgen Tour stacks the Baldy climb on top of the nine-mile climb up Glendora Mountain Road — a climb that is used as an uphill time trial for the San Dimas Stage Race — followed by 12 miles of twisting, uphill traverse back up Glendora Ridge Road. There’s only a brief respite before hitting the switchbacks of Mt. Baldy Road; in sum, from the bottom of Glendora Mountain Road, across Glendora Ridge, and up to the Mt. Baldy Ski Area, it’s a 26-mile slog, with 5,300 feet of elevation gain and very little flat or downhill.

Baldy was first introduced to the Amgen Tour in 2011. Levi Leipheimer won that stage, crossing the line alongside Horner, his RadioShack teammate, who secured the overall victory. The following year, Gesink won the stage, took the leader’s jersey, and held it through the finish.

American Joe Dombrowski holds the Strava KOM on the 7km climb from Baldy Village to the ski area, set during the 2012 Amgen Tour, in a time of 22:51 — though he finished that stage 18 seconds slower than Gesink and Colombian Darwin Atapuma. In 2014 Dombrowski rode in support of Wiggins on the pivotal climbs of the Tour of California; this year, he will ride as captain of his new Cannondale-Garmin squad.

Along with Henao, Gesink, and Dombrowski, other key GC contenders include Warren Barguil (Giant-Alpecin), Janez Brajkovic (UnitedHealthcare), recent Redlands Classic winner Phil Gaimon (Optum-Kelly Benefit Strategies), and, perhaps, young Australian climber Lachlan Morton (Jelly Belly).

Another rider to watch will be Julian Alaphilippe (Etixx-Quick-Step). The 22-year-old Frenchman was the revelation of the Ardennes Classics, taking seventh in the Amstel Gold Race, second in Flèche Wallonne, and second at Liège-Bastogne-Liège — his first attempt at these races. Following the Ardennes, Alaphilippe also finished in the top-three on a pair of stages at the Tour de Romandie. This will be his first attempt at the California tour, but if his recent string of results is any indication, Alaphilippe could well pull off a major performance on Baldy.

Rider to watch: Canadian Michael Woods of Optum-Kelly Benefit Strategies is enjoying a breakthrough season, with victories on mountainous days at the Tour of the Gila and the one-day Clássica Internacional Loulé in Portugal. He also finished fifth on the mountain stage of the Volta ao Algarve, just seconds behind riders like Richie Porte, Michal Kwiatkowski, Jon Izagirre, and Geraint Thomas.

Men’s race: The sprinters

On stages that aren’t pivotal to the GC, Mark Cavendish (Etixx-Quick-Step) will look to add to his total of five career stage wins in California, and based on his recent wins at the Tour of Turkey — and with Mark Renshaw, Gianni Meersman, and Stijn Vandenbergh providing a dominant lead-out train — the former world champion should be the man to beat in the field sprints.

However Cavendish is far from guaranteed victories in the fast finishes. Also looking for sprint wins will be Peter Sagan (Tinkoff-Saxo), who holds the record of California stage wins, with 11 wins — and five consecutive green sprint jerseys — in five participations. And Tinkoff will be far from a one-trick pony, as the team is bringing flatland horsepower in Daniele Bennati, Matti Breschel, and Michael Morkov, as well as promising young Australian Jay McCarthy.

Marcel Kittel (Giant-Alpecin) may have been the sprinter of reference at the last two editions of the Tour de France, but the big German has struggled with illness in 2015, and was winless at the Santos Tour Down Under and Tour of Qatar, his only race participations before he headed to the Tour of Yorkshire, where he abandoned midway through the opening stage.

Other world-class sprinters include Gerald Ciolek and Matthew Goss (MTN-Qhubeka) and Graeme Brown (Drapac).

Rider to watch: U.S. national road and criterium champion Eric Marcotte will look to show the stars-and-stripes jersey in the field sprints for Team SmartStop, which comes to California riding a high off of Rob Britton’s overall win at the Tour of the Gila.

Men’s race: Americans to watch

Several European-based American riders will be returning to home soil to race in California.

Matthew Busche, who finished sixth overall in California in 2013, will lead the Trek Factory Racing squad.

Carter Jones makes his North American debut in Giant-Alpecin colors, while his teammate Lawson Craddock — third overall in California last year — may have a chance to lead the team after a terrible crash in Australia derailed the first half of his 2015 season.

Joey Rosskopf also makes his North American debut in WorldTour kit, riding for BMC Racing. Rosskopf earned that spot after finishing second to Cadel Evans on the queen stage of the 2014 Tour of Utah, and backing it up with a sixth overall finish at the USA Pro Challenge, while riding for Hincapie Sportswear.

Cannondale’s Andrew Talansky, winner of the 2014 Criterium du Dauphiné, was a late addition to the team’s roster, but may not be a contender for the overall. At his last participation in the Amgen Tour, in 2012, Talansky suffered from allergy-induced asthma, and has stated that allergic reactions to California’s spring blooms have kept him from returning in previous years. And Talansky’s 2015 season has not been off to a stellar start, as he’s failed to crack the top 30 in his first three stage races of the year.

Rider to watch: Sprinter Tyler Farrar, a stage winner in California in 2013, will be looking to take his first win wearing new MTN-Qhubeka team colors.

Women’s racing: A stage race and an invitational time trial

The women’s stage race starts in South Lake Tahoe on Friday and ends in Sacramento on Sunday, May 10. The pro women will also race an individual time trial on Friday, May 15, using the same Big Bear Lake venue as the pro men; that race, an invitational, will not factor into the women’s stage race classification.

The women’s stage race is “empowered” by SRAM, rather than title sponsor Amgen, though Amgen is the presenting sponsor of stage 2, a circuit race starting and finishing at Heavenly Mountain Resort. No stages of the men’s race will be held in South Lake Tahoe or Heavenly.

The 75-mile opening stage offers a clockwise loop around the perimeter of Lake Tahoe, with three major climbs — one early, one late, and then finishing with a tough climb up the 15-percent grades back to Heavenly. Stage 2 is 50 miles (two laps) on a demanding 25-mile circuit, while the final stage, in Sacramento, is essentially a downtown criterium, finishing in front of the California State Capitol building.

Those expected to race for overall victory include Lex Albrecht (Optum-Kelly Benefit Strategies), Hannah Barnes (UnitedHealthcare), and Lisa Brennauer and Trixi Worrack, both of Velocio-SRAM.

The weather forecast for South Lake Tahoe is currently calling for rain/snow on Thursday, with a high of 54 degrees Fahrenheit and an 80 percent chance of thunderstorms on Friday’s opening stage, and sunshine returning on Saturday.

The roster of the fifth annual women’s invitational time trial includes Brennauer, the world TT champion, as well as two-time Olympic champion Kristin Armstrong (Twenty16-Sho-Air), 2013 U.S. national TT champ Carmen Small (Twenty16-Sho-Air), 2008 world TT champ Amber Neben, two-time U.S. national TT champion Evelyn Stevens (Boels Dolmans), and para-cycling star Sarah Storey (Pearl Izumi Sports Tours International).

Rider to watch: Jackie Crowell, an Amgen Tour of California ambassador, will be competing under the Breakaway from Cancer banner in her first professional race since she was diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2013.

TV coverage

For the fourth year, NBC Sports Group and Tour de France owners ASO will collaborate to produce the race telecast, including daily live HD coverage of the last two hours of each stage, with the eighth and final day of racing on May 17 airing live on NBC.

The Amgen Tour of California app will feature daily live coverage of the final two hours of each stage, full start-to-finish coverage via GPS, race situation and up-to-the-minute text commentary throughout the race, as well as live streaming of the women’s time trial. Highlights of the women’s stage race will also be available on-demand on the app.

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Graduation can wait as Rivera aims for worlds http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/05/news/graduation-can-wait-as-rivera-aims-for-worlds_369011 http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/05/news/graduation-can-wait-as-rivera-aims-for-worlds_369011#comments Tue, 05 May 2015 14:16:46 +0000 http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=369011

Coryn Rivera (UnitedHealthcare) had some bad luck at criterium nationals, but she admits that race was not her primary goal this season. Photo: Casey B. Gibson | www.cbgphoto.com

Coryn Rivera aims for a slot on the U.S. team for world road championships in Richmond

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Coryn Rivera (UnitedHealthcare) had some bad luck at criterium nationals, but she admits that race was not her primary goal this season. Photo: Casey B. Gibson | www.cbgphoto.com

BOULDER, Colorado (VN) — It won’t be long before Coryn Rivera gets a diploma from Marian University. But it’ll be a little bit longer.

UnitedHealthcare’s young star sprinter may only have three classes left to graduate, but she’s put school on hold for the spring semester.

“I think I made the right choice,” she said after winning a local circuit race near Boulder. “Plus, California, Pan-Ams, graduation, and collegiate road nats were all in the same weekend. If I was still in school, I’d be at a loss for something. At least not being in school this semester took two of those out of the picture.”

Contrary to what you might think, the 22-year-old wasn’t putting the bike first in order to defend her criterium national championship title from late last year.

Although she regrets only wearing her stars-and-stripes skinsuit three times before crashing in the final corner in South Carolina last month, her training is geared toward September, as she aims to make the U.S. team for the UCI Road World Championships.

“[I am] just really focusing on my training more. The past few years have been school, primarily as my focus. Now that I’m really getting back into racing again, just focusing more on riding and doing bigger races.”

Many of those bigger races have given her a taste of the top-flight competition she’ll face in Richmond if she makes the team.

Her best result was a fourth place at Omloop van het Hageland, which was won by Jolien d’Hoore (Wiggle-Honda). And for Rivera, it really shouldn’t come as a surprise, especially after her sixth-place finish at La Course by Le Tour de France last year.

“I’m pretty happy with that trip there,” she said.

And though the casual fan might know her best for results in criteriums, the young Californian has taken a shine to longer, harder road races, like the one she’d face at worlds.

“I like the aggressiveness and being attentive and the real teamwork that is involved in those high-intensity, longer races. I really like that kind of racing.”

Sure, Rivera would have wanted to defend her crit champion’s title this year, but it’s OK; she’s accumulated 68 stars-and-stripes jerseys over the years in a variety of categories, across road, track, and cyclocross. There will be other chances.

And yes, it’s likely she’d be happy to take those last three courses to graduate, but all in good time.

For now, her focus rests on Richmond, a race she says will hinge on “patience.”

Based on what she’s shown so far, Rivera seems to understand those elements well, both on and off the bike.

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Reviewed: Bolle 6th Sense prescription sunglasses http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/05/bikes-and-tech/reviews/reviewed-bolle-6th-sense-prescription-sunglasses_369002 http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/05/bikes-and-tech/reviews/reviewed-bolle-6th-sense-prescription-sunglasses_369002#comments Tue, 05 May 2015 14:03:28 +0000 http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=369002

If you prefer more protection from the wind, the 6th Sense offers clip-on shields for the temples. Photo: Brad Kaminski | VeloNews.com

Bolle is back in the cycling game, sponsoring several major teams and offering improved lens technology, which we put to the test

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If you prefer more protection from the wind, the 6th Sense offers clip-on shields for the temples. Photo: Brad Kaminski | VeloNews.com

Bolle is back. After enjoying some popularity during the 1980s, even gracing the face of five-time Tour de France champ Miguel Indurain at one point, the French brand seemingly went into hibernation. Up until recently, Oakley, Smith, and a passel of obscure European brands dominated the pro peloton.

But now, Bolle sunglasses are seen on the faces of Orica-GreenEdge and Ag2r La Mondiale’s riders, so we thought it was time to give the 6th Sense sport shield a go.

In late 2014, Bolle announced a new prescription lens option for the 6th Sense, which was our primary test subject.

Many riders who require corrective lenses resort to contact lenses. This gives you the freedom to wear any kind of sunglasses, take them off at will, or even opt for no eye protection at all.

However, there are a few situations where having a dedicated pair of Rx shades makes sense.

Some people simply can’t wear contacts — due to discomfort or dry eyes, for example — in which case, Rx sunglasses are the only viable option.

Those who do wear contact lenses might value prescription lenses for times when they are camping or traveling. The grit and grime of a mountain bike trip in the desert is a recipe for gross contacts, and we know that firsthand.

In the long run, prescription glasses could actually save you money as well. In our case, the eye exam required to obtain a new contact lens prescription cost $219. A year’s supply of contacts set us back $220 (Oaysis astigmatism). So that’s an annual cost of $439 in this example.

At first, the $600 price tag for a pair of Rx Bolle 6th Sense sunglasses seems steep, but in that context, provided your eyesight doesn’t deteriorate rapidly, it pays off in a couple years. For comparison, a pair of Oakley Radarlock Path prescription sunglasses can be ordered online for about $575 with standard, non-photochromic, non-progressive lenses.

As for the Bolle sunglasses themselves, the frames are lightweight — on par with most sport shields, but not quite as feathery as the Smith Pivlocks. Fit was good, although we had to fiddle with the adjustable temples a bit to get it right. The rubber on the nose bridge and temples could stand to be a bit softer and more grippy.

The removable plastic side shields that clip to the temples offer a sporty aesthetic that is a bit too much for some tastes, but they do help provide greater protection from wind.

The optics were particularly crisp, which seemed to be one of the 6th Sense’s strongest suits. We did perceive a bit of distortion at the very edges of our field of vision. It’s noticeable when you look to the side of the prescription insert. That said, we grew accustomed to the glasses — as one does to any new pair of Rx lenses — and the periphery became less noticeable.

For versatility’s sake, we chose the “photo clear grey” photochromic lens, which has a remarkable range, going from clear to quite dark in minutes of sunny exposure. Bolle claims the light transmission ranges from 76 to 20 percent with this lens.

If you’re the type that frequently scratches or loses your sunglasses and other personal items, it’s probably not wise to invest in a pair of $600 prescription glasses.

However, the 6th Sense is a solid alternative for someone who can’t abide by contact lenses and wants a look that’s a little different than the Oakley Radars or Smith Pivlocks that are more common on the Sunday group ride.

Price: $600 (Rx lens and frame, single vision); $775 (Rx lens and frame, progressive vision)
We like: Clear optics, great photochromic lens functionality, reasonable price, relative to the cost of contacts plus a non-Rx pair of sunglasses.
We don’t like: Slight distortion in periphery, fit requires a bit of fiddling to get right, rubberized parts could be softer.
The bottom line: If you don’t like sticking your finger into your eyes, but you need a high-performance sport shield to wear while riding, the 6th Sense is a good option.

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Technical FAQ: Drilling holes in carbon frames and more http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/05/bikes-and-tech/technical-faq/technical-faq-drilling-holes-in-carbon-frames-and-more_369031 http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/05/bikes-and-tech/technical-faq/technical-faq-drilling-holes-in-carbon-frames-and-more_369031#comments Tue, 05 May 2015 13:52:46 +0000 http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=369031

The only holes in a frame should be the ones drilled by the manufacturer. Photo: Logan VonBokel | VeloNews.com

In this week's Technical FAQ, one reader asks Lennard Zinn if it's safe to drill holes in the carbon frame of his bike

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The only holes in a frame should be the ones drilled by the manufacturer. Photo: Logan VonBokel | VeloNews.com

Drilling holes in a carbon frame

Dear Lennard,
Can I drill holes in the down tube of my carbon mountain bike frame without negatively impacting its structural integrity?

The back story: Rather than using a backpack for my hydration bladder, I place it in a frame bag, which eliminates the weight on my back and is much more comfortable. On a recent ride, I realized that the fairly massive down tube on my bike (a carbon Silverback 29er), offers significant capacity; utilizing it would mitigate the need for even a frame bag. My idea is to drill a 3/8″ inch hole on the upper side of the down tube near the head tube, and another 3/8″ hole on the bottom of the down tube near the BB. I would then sanitize the inside of the tube with food-grade chemicals, plug the bottom hole with a threaded rubber stopper, fill the down tube with water, and insert the appropriate length of 3/8″ OD surgical tubing into the upper hole, affixing the bit valve end on the bars.

Again, I am wondering if drilling holes of this nature would significantly reduce the structural integrity of the frame. (By the way, I hereby indemnify you from any and all ramifications of me drilling holes in my frame.) This may seem like a dumb question (“Of course it’ll screw up the frame!”) but, for example, the fifth picture in the VeloNews photo essay on the new Trek carbon IsoSpeed frame clearly shows a hole for a “rivet or a port” on the bottom side of the down tube. To make a long line of reasoning short, if Trek can do it, why can’t I?
— Jeff

Dear Jeff,
That’s a very poor idea. It’s not a good idea to drill a hole, particularly that big of a hole, even in a metal frame. But at least on a metal frame, you’re not cutting through fibers as you are on a carbon frame.

Below are some responses you should pay attention to.
― Lennard

From Specialized:
Drilling holes in a down tube is a bad idea. The holes will create stress concentrations where cracks could form, compromising the structural integrity of his frame. If we meant for holes to be drilled in those locations we would have reinforced the tube walls in those area. (Needless to say this would void the bike’s warranty). Most of the holes in our frames are drilled, but we have specific reinforcements in those areas to prevent structural issues and the drilling process is very controlled and repeatable.
— Luc Callahan
Engineering Manager- Road
Specialized Bicycle Components

From Trek:
There is no circumstance where a hole can/should be drilled in a carbon frame by anyone other than the manufacturer. The reason we can drill holes in frames is that we specifically design areas with reinforcement for post-molding machining processes. We make intricate and exact fixtures that can take advantage of those areas with the appropriate cutting tools. There is absolutely no circumstance where we would feel comfortable with anyone outside of Trek drilling a hole in a carbon frame.
— Ben Coates
Trek Road Product Manager

More on Trek’s skewer recall

Dear Lennard,
I don’t know if I should be sending this email to you or to “Legally Speaking,” but here we go.

I bet Mr. Tullio Campagnolo is turning in his grave. Between the lawyer lips and this recall, he must be saying, “it’s a simple device, people, but you keep finding ways to screw it up.”

So the video shows the mechanic putting the lever on the side with the disk brake. Is there a law against putting it on the non-brake side?

He describes a scenario were the lever “just opens up.” I’m guessing that this happens because the skewer is not tight enough and/or pointing forwards. So Trek’s “solution” is to replace it with a shorter lever. Sure, it prevents the lever from catching in the disk, but it does not solve the actual problem of not enough tension. In fact a shorter lever will make it harder to tighten.

So here is my question for Professor Zinn: Are there any skewers on the market that let the rider know that skewer is tight enough? Anything that ensures proper alignment, i.e., not pointing forward?

I do realize that the actual solution is to teach new riders the proper way. Each year on a charity ride that I do, I point this out to at least one rider. One guy even said, “That’s how the shop told me to do it.”
— John

Dear John,
I know of no skewers that tell you when they are tight enough, or that they are oriented in an approved direction …

I have always put my lever on any disc-brake front wheel on the non-brake side, but I am amazed at the scorn I occasionally get from people who find it unsightly to have the skewer lever on the drive side.

I believe that having the lever on the non-drive side is absolutely the way to go to prevent getting greasy fingers on the disc and to prevent inadvertently bending the disc by pulling on it with the fingers when pushing the lever over with the heel of the hand. That said, since you can’t prevent people from turning it around the other way. Trek simply training its shops to put the skewer lever on the drive side is probably insufficient to address this issue, which for three people was very serious.

Unlike the front, you can’t reverse the skewer on the rear so the lever is on the drive side, since the lever would be in the way of the derailleur. While a locked-up rear disc would not be as catastrophic as one on the front, it is still not something you’d want to have happen. Trek pretty much had to address this issue in the way that it has.

The recall replaces the skewers with ones that don’t flip open past 180 degrees.

It seems unlikely that other manufacturers of disc-brake bikes aren’t also selling skewers that flip open past 180 degrees; I wonder how many other bicycle brands will follow Trek’s lead.
― Lennard

More on disc-brake hubs on bikes

Dear Lennard,
You stated, “You aren’t apt to find disc-brake hubs with fewer than 32 holes to attach them to.”

Small detail, but I’d like to point out that DT Swiss offers road disc hubs in hole counts of 20, 24, 28, and 32, in Classic flange, plus 24 and 28 in Straight Pull flange hubs. Of course, a low spoke count disc wheel is not for every rider, but we do make the options available to wheelbuilders.
— Steven Sperling
Tech Manager
DT Swiss, Inc.

Dear Lennard,
In a recent column, “Technical FAQ: Disc brakes in road racing,” Mark commented that since kinetic energy is proportional to the square of speed, braking power (and therefore heat generation) was proportional to the square of speed. This isn’t strictly true. If you are braking to come to a stop, you lose all of your kinetic energy, which is proportional to the square of the initial speed, as Mark states. However, when braking on a descent, you aren’t typically losing kinetic energy, but rather preventing gravitational potential energy from increasing it. The rate of loss of potential energy is proportional to road grade times speed, so if you brake to maintain speed on a long descent, the rate of heat generation will be approximately proportional to the speed, not the square of speed. So descending a 20 percent grade at 30 kph would result in twice the rate of heat generation as descending a 20 percent grade at 15 kph. Total heat generation depends only on the potential energy lost, so speed doesn’t matter for total heat, which determines maximum temperature increase on very short descents. Although, if the heat sink (in this case the rotor) is losing heat to the air, then the peak temperature will be roughly proportional to the rate of heat generation on long descents where “steady state” is reached. This all of course ignores power dissipated to wind resistance, rolling resistance, etc. But the key point is significant kinetic energy is not being lost when speed is approximately constant, and there’s no reason to expect heating proportional to the square of speed.
— Dan

Dear Lennard,
Just read your Tech FAQ on disc brakes. Although I agree that it probably doesn’t make sense to convert rim brake rims to disc, folks are not limited to 32-hole hubs. I’ve run two disc brake bikes for over three years now. I live in Seattle and get most of my training in via long commute rides year-round. Prior to going to disc brakes, I went through a rim a winter despite careful and regular cleaning of the brake track. I wanted a go-fast, year-round bike. TiCycles built me a custom road race geometry frame with disc brakes (not a converted gravel or cyclocross). This bike was originally built with Ultegra 10-speed Di2 and Avid BB7s. I upgraded it to Dura-Ace 11-speed and Shimano hydro about a year ago (as an aside, no problems with brake fade even on 95+ degree days on long mountain pass descents). I also have one of their gravel disc frames that got the Ultegra Di2 and BB7s as hand-me-downs.

At any rate, I have four sets of wheels, all disc brake. On my road bike, I run 28 hole, three-cross for both wheelsets. For dry weather, a set of 28-hole DT Swiss 240 centerlock hubs laced with DT Aerolite spokes to Reynolds Competition 46 rims (DT Swiss bearing only make it one winter season for me, so I consider them junk for wet weather riding). For wet weather, I run 28-hole Chris King R45 disc hubs laced with Sapim CX-Ray spokes to Hed Belgium+ disc rims. I weigh about 163 pounds and ride with a messenger bag for about 75 percent of my miles. Both of these wheelsets have seen a lot of beating and are holding up very well. On my gravel bike, I do run 32-hole hubs (both Chris King ISO discs with Sapim CX-Ray spokes to Belgium+ disc rims for my fast tires and Sapim Force spokes to Stan’s Grail rims for my mud tires).
— Joel

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Surprise Romandie winner Zakarin to race in Giro http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/05/news/surprise-romandie-winner-zakarin-to-race-in-giro_369026 http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/05/news/surprise-romandie-winner-zakarin-to-race-in-giro_369026#comments Tue, 05 May 2015 13:06:00 +0000 http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=369026

Ilnur Zakarin won the Tour de Romandie last weekend and will now compete in the Giro. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

The Katusha rider from Russia rode to a shocking victory over the weekend in the Tour de Romandie

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Ilnur Zakarin won the Tour de Romandie last weekend and will now compete in the Giro. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

PARIS (AFP) — Surprise Tour de Romandie winner Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha) will compete in the Giro d’Italia, scheduled to start Saturday, in what will be his maiden start in one of the prestigious grand tours.

The Russian rider, 25, made a name for himself on the world stage this year with a ninth-place finish in the Vuelta al Pais Vasco (Tour of the Basque Country) before his unexpected victory in Switzerland over the weekend, where he finished second in a hilly fifth stage and third in the final time trial.

Zakarin, whose previous results never suggested he could be a contender in a race of this caliber, even overcame a technical problem that forced him to change bikes 5 kilometers from the finish to take the prestigious prize on the final day.

The all-rounder was suspended for two years in 2009 by the Russian cycling federation after he tested positive for the anabolic steroid methandienone.

The 2007 European road junior champion will head to Italy to gain valuable experience.

This year’s Giro starts Saturday with a 17.6km team time trial from San Lorenzo al Mare to Sanremo, and will end May 31 in Milan. It will be the seventh time Katusha has competed in the Italian grand tour.

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Sky assembles climbing squad to back Porte’s Giro bid http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/05/news/sky-assembles-climbing-squad-to-back-portes-giro-bid_369015 http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/05/news/sky-assembles-climbing-squad-to-back-portes-giro-bid_369015#comments Tue, 05 May 2015 12:48:36 +0000 http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=369015

Richie Porte is looking to earn the pink jersey at the Giro. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

The squad will work for the Tasmanian starting this weekend as he attempts to win his first grand tour

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Richie Porte is looking to earn the pink jersey at the Giro. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

Sky is packing some impressive firepower to back Richie Porte in a bid for the pink jersey at this month’s Giro d’Italia.

The Tasmanian has been on a tear this season, winning GC titles at Paris-Nice, Volta a Catalunya, and the Giro del Trentino, and Sky is bringing a team built around his quest for the maglia rosa.

Sky brings sprinter Elia Viviani, but the remainder of the team will be at Porte’s disposal as he takes on Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) in the season’s first grand tour, which clicks into gear Saturday with a team time trial.

“Team Sky has had a great start to the year and we are going into the first grand tour of the season with a strong team, led by Richie,” Sky principal Dave Brailsford said in a team release. “Richie is entering the race in good shape and with real focus and determination. He’s made a lot of small changes across a number of areas in his preparation and training this season after the illness that affected his performance in 2014. … This is one of the biggest and toughest races to win in the calendar but we go to the Giro confident about the challenge ahead.”

Although Sky has won two yellow jerseys at the Tour de France and has dominated one-week stage races across Europe the past few seasons, its run at the Giro has been bumpy at best. The team has never really focused on the Giro as an outright goal, except in 2013 when Bradley Wiggins’ bid to win pink went off the rails.

Last year, Porte was poised to take on leadership at the Giro, but he fell ill and did not race. After a rough-and-tumble 2014 season, Porte has hit the reset button coming into this year, with new motivation and a stronger work ethic. That’s paid off handsomely, and Porte’s delivered his best season so far as a professional.

“The Giro d’Italia has been my main goal of the season. I’ve worked very hard through the winter, and am entering the race strong, healthy and up for the challenge,” Porte said. “The competition will be tough, and obviously anything can happen in a grand tour, but we’ve got a great group of riders going into the race and we are ready for it.”

Viviani will give Sky a presence in the sprints, but the Italian will know the team won’t be working for him exclusively. Veteran Bernhard Eisel will double as road captain, and will help position Viviani in the final kilometers, but the remainder of the team will be focused on chaperoning Porte.

Porte can expect solid support in the mountains from such riders as Leopold Konig, Mikel Nieve, Kanstantsin Siutsou, and Vasil Kiryienka — the latter three are former Giro stage winners. Sebastian Henao, the young Colombian climber, and Salvatore Puccio round out the squad.

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Movistar giving its support riders a starring role in Giro http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/05/news/movistar-giving-its-support-riders-a-starring-role-in-giro_369017 http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/05/news/movistar-giving-its-support-riders-a-starring-role-in-giro_369017#comments Tue, 05 May 2015 12:31:15 +0000 http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=369017

Jesus Herrada is one of three Movistar riders who will shoot for a top-10 GC placing in the Giro. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

The squad will look for stage wins and a top-10 GC finish at the Italian grand tour, which rolls out May 9

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Jesus Herrada is one of three Movistar riders who will shoot for a top-10 GC placing in the Giro. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

Defending champion Nairo Quintana might not be coming back, but Movistar won’t be taking the Giro d’Italia laying down.

With Quintana focused on a bid for the Tour de France, the Spanish team brings a balanced, competitive squad to the Giro, but one without a clear favorite for overall victory.

Team boss Eusebio Unzué is giving his second-tier riders, who often support team captains Quintana and Alejandro Valverde, a chance to shine at the Giro.

Movistar will bring Beñat Intxausti, Ion Izagirre and Jesús Herrada as possible GC candidates, and Juanjo Lobato as its sprinter. Stage wins and a top-10 GC finish are the team’s realistic goals for the season’s first grand tour.

“This Giro should be the confirmation of Beñat, it’s a race he already knows, and he’s done well, finishing in the top-10 before,” Unzué said in a team release. “Ion and Jesús should also be able to build on their big successes so far … In general, not having to contest for the overall from the start of the race will give us a chance to ride with freedom, and make a ‘classic’ out of every stage.”

Movistar left off such riders as Eros Capecchi and Javi Moreno as it whittled down the team for the nine-man roster. Capecchi often suffers from allergies, and will likely race the Tour de France instead, while Moreno will have the chance to lead at other races and have a stronger role at the Vuelta a España later this season.

Last year, Quintana lit up the Giro, gaining the pink jersey in the controversial, snow-riddled stage over the Stelvio, and went on to become the first Colombian to win the Italian grand tour.

This year, Movistar will be riding to shake up the race, but without the pressure of pre-race favorites such as Sky or Tinkoff-Saxo. Instead, the team will be looking to pick up UCI WorldTour points with stage wins and strong placings.

“I hope this Giro confirms him as a top sprinter,” Unzué said of Lobato. “I think he has many chances to succeed. Andrey [Amador] has got experience, good form, and is a super ‘joker’ for any kind of stage.”

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Pro Bike Gallery: Simon Andreassen’s XC race bike http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/05/mtb/pro-bike-simon-andreassens-xc-race-bike_368982 http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/05/mtb/pro-bike-simon-andreassens-xc-race-bike_368982#comments Mon, 04 May 2015 19:59:37 +0000 http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=368982

Andreassen rides a custom-painted Specialized S-Works Epic World Cup with lots of unique details to recognize his world championship win

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Ilnur Zakarin’s Swiss surprise http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/05/news/ilnur-zakarins-swiss-surprise_368969 http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/05/news/ilnur-zakarins-swiss-surprise_368969#comments Mon, 04 May 2015 19:08:32 +0000 http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=368969

Katusha's Ilnur Zakarin raised eyebrows with a win at Tour de Romandie that few had expected. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

Ilnur Zakarin surprised GC heavyweights with victory at the Tour de Romandie but a doping positive in his early years has raised eyebrows

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Katusha's Ilnur Zakarin raised eyebrows with a win at Tour de Romandie that few had expected. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

Last week, Chris Froome (Sky), Thibault Pinot (FDJ), Rigoberto Uran (Etixx-Quick-Step), and Nairo Quintana (Movistar) fought for table scraps behind an unknown, 25-year-old rider, just four months into his first season in the UCI WorldTour and two years out of a doping suspension.

Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha) stunned the sport’s best stage racers, and nearly beat its most consistent time trialist, on his way to overall victory at the Tour de Romandie, an important tune-up for riders heading into the Giro d’Italia, and a race Froome has won for the last two years.

Zakarin won Romandie without taking a single stage. But he was consistent: second on the penultimate hilltop finish and third in the final time trial.

He put 13 seconds into Froome, Quintana, and Romain Bardet (Ag2r La Mondiale) on the climb to Champex-Lac. Then, despite jamming his chain and swapping bikes, he finished two seconds off teammate Simon Spilak and 13 seconds off three-time world time trial champion Tony Martin (Etixx-Quick-Step) in the final race against the clock.

‘Surprised’ was the adjective of the hour following the Sunday race.

“I am very surprised by his performance today, notably because of his changing bikes,” Martin told AFP. “Already yesterday I was surprised. I didn’t know of him before.”

“I was very surprised to beat Froome,” said Zakarin. “And I finished so close to Tony Martin. In all seriousness, the goal was to finish in the top five, and I did not think I could do so.”

Zakarin has shown glimmers of form already this season. He was ninth overall at Pais Vasco, ahead of Pinot and Tejay Van Garderen (BMC), and tenth at the early season Tour de San Luis in Argentina. But neither result suggested that he had the legs to defeat the world’s best, including riders like Uran, who is in his final preparations for a run at the Giro d’Italia.

Zakarin is not the only young rider to pop out of the woodwork this spring. Julian Alaphilippe‘s (Etixx-Quick-Step) rides in La Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège, second in both, were equally unanticipated.

But unlike Alaphilippe, Zakarin’s surprise comes with the asterisk that follows those busted for doping. The gap in Zakarin’s palmares was not voluntary. He was banned for two years at age 19, in 2009, for the anabolic steroid methandienone, a drug found more frequently in body building and weight lifting, where its ability to provide bulk and strength are better appreciated.

He returned in 2012, racing briefly as a stagaire for Katusha before dropping down to feeder team RusVelo. In 2014, he won three short stage races: Grand Prix of Sochi (UCI 2.2), Grand Prix of Adygeya (UCI 2.2), and Tour d’Azerbaijan (UCI 2.1). He returned to the WorldTour this season, signing with Katusha.

If physical stature is any indicator, it seems Zakarin has left methandienone to his past. Bulk, specifically a lack thereof, is a factor in Zakarin’s performance, he said. He’s lost 10 kilograms (22 pounds) since returning to racing in 2012, going from 75 (165 pounds) to 65kg (143 pounds). His body today certainly bears closer to resemblance to Froome’s thin appendages than the likes of Tony Martin. He is certainly no body builder.

Zakarin was a strong time-trialist prior to his ban, winning the European junior time trial in 2007. He was Russian time trial champion in 2013, too. Those skills have clearly not been lost as he slimmed down.

“Of course, when you improve in one area, you lose in another, but later there is a chance to find a good balance,” Zakarin said of his weight loss.

Dropping weight is key to stage race success. But Katusha Team director Dmitry Konyshev put the result down to something more: the magic of the yellow jersey Zakarin had on his shoulders for the final stage.

“We already knew that Ilnur was good at the time trial, but you put somebody in a yellow jersey and it changes him,” he said. “For some it makes them worse but for others it makes them better. He switched on for the better.”

In a spring of surprises, the fact that the yellow jersey can give a rider wings, at least, is no surprise at all.

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Preliminary start list: 2015 Giro d’Italia http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/05/news/preliminary-startlist-2015-giro-ditalia_368302 http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/05/news/preliminary-startlist-2015-giro-ditalia_368302#comments Mon, 04 May 2015 18:26:15 +0000 http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=368302

A full listing of the teams and likely riders who will race the Giro d'Italia this May

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This is the preliminary start list for the Giro d’Italia, which runs May 9-31.

An asterisk (*) indicates the team has been finalized.

Ag2r La Mondiale *
1. Domenico Pozzovivo (I)
2. Julien Bérard (F)
3. Carlos Betancur (Col)
4. Axel Domont (F)
5. Hubert Dupont (F)
6. Patrick Gretsch (G)
7. Hugo Houle (Can)
8. Matteo Montaguti (I)
9. Rinaldo Nocentini (I)
DS Laurent Biondi

Androni-Giocattoli *
11. Franco Pellizotti (I)
12. Marco Bandiera (I)
13. Davide Appollonio (I)
14. Tiziano Dall’antonia (I)
15. Marco Frapporti (I)
16. Oscar Gatto (I)
17. Simone Stortoni (I)
18. Serghei Tvetcov (Rou)
19. Gianfranco Zilioli (I)
DS Giovanni Ellena

Astana
21. Fabio Aru (I)
22. Dario Cataldo (I)
23. Tanel Kangert (Est)
24. Mikel Landa (Sp)
25. Davide Malacrane (I)
26. DIego Rosa (I)
27. Luis Leon Sanchez (Sp)
28. Paolo Tiralongo (I)
29. Andrey Zeits (Kaz)
DS Alexandr Shefer

Bardiani CSF
31. Francesco Manuel Bongiorno (I)
32. Enrico Barbin (I)
33. Enrico Battaglin (I)
34. Nicola Boem (I)
35. Luca Chirico (I)
36. Sonny Colbrelli (I)
37. Stefano Pirazzi (I)
38. Nicola Ruffoni (I)
39. Edoardo Zardini (I)
DS Roberto Reverberi

BMC Racing
41. Philippe Gilbert (B)
42. Darwin Atapuma (Col)
43. Brent Bookwalter (USA)
44. Marcus Burghardt (G)
45. Damiano Caruso (I)
46. Silvan Dillier (Swi)
47. Stefan Kûng (Swi)
48. Klaas Lodewyck (B)
49. Rick Zabel (G)
DS Valerio Piva

Cannondale-Garmin
151. Ryder Hesjedal (Can)
152. Javier Alexis Acevedo (Col)
153. Nathan Brown (USA)
154. Andre Cardoso (P)
155. Thomas Danielson (USA)
156. Davide Formolo (I)
157. Alan Marangoni (I)
158. Tom Jelte Slagter (Nl)
159. Davide Villella (I)
DS Charly Wegelius

CCC Sprandi-Polkowice *
51. Maciej Paterski (Pl)
52. Grega Bole (Slo)
53. Nikolay Mihaylov (Bul)
54. Jaroslaw Maeycz (Pl)
55. Bartlomiej Matysiak (Pl)
56. Lukasz Owsian (Pl)
57. Marek Rutkiewicz (Pl)
58. Branislau Samoilau (Blr)
59. Sylvester Szmyd (Pl)
DS Piotr Wadecki

Etixx-Quick-Step *
61. Rigoberto Uran Uran (Col)
62. Tom Boonen (B)
63. Maxime Bouet (F)
64. Gianni Meersman (B)
65. David De La Cruz (Sp)
66. Iljo Keisse (B)
67. Fabio Sabatini (I)
68. Pieter Serry (B)
69. Michael Vakoc (Cz)
DS Davide Bramati

FDJ
71. Alexandre Geniez (F)
72. Arnaud Courteille (F)
73. Kenny Elissonde (F)
74. Murilo Fischer (Bra)
75. Johan Le Bon (F)
76. Francis Mourey (F)
77. Cedric Pineau (F)
78. Anthony Roux (F)
79. Jussi Veikkanen (Fin)
DS Frederic Guesdon

Giant-Alpecin *
161. Luka Mezgec (Slo)
162. Nikias Arndt (G)
163. Bert De Backer (B)
164. Caleb Fairly (USA)
165. Simon Geschke (G)
166. Chad Haga (USA)
167. Cheng Ji (Chn)
168. Tobias Ludvigsson (S)
169. Tom Stamsnijder (Nl)
DS Addy Engels

IAM Cycling *
81. Sylvain Chavanel (F)
82. Clément Chevrier (F)
83. Stef Clement (Nl)
84. Heinrich Haussler (Aus)
85. Roger Kluge (G)
86. Matteo Pelucchi (I)
87. Jérôme Pineau (F)
88. Sebastien Reichenbach (Swi)
89. Aleksejs Saramotins (Lat)
DS Rubens Bertogliati

Katusha *
171. Luca Paolini (I)
172. Maxim Belkov (Rus)
173. Sergey Chernetskiy (Rus)
174. Sergey Lagutin (Rus)
175. Aleksandr Porsev (Rus)
176. Pavel Kochetkov (Rus)
177. Yury Trofimov (Rus)
178. Anton Vorobyev (Rus)
179. Ilnur Zakarin (Rus)
DS Claudio Cozzi

Lampre-Merida *
91. Diego Ulissi (I)
92. Valerio Conti (I)
93. Roberto Ferrari (I)
94. Tsgabu Grmay (Eth)
95. Sacha Modolo (I)
96. Manuele Mori (I)
97. Przemyslaw Neimiec (Pl)
98. Axel Maximiliano Richeze (Arg)
99. Gang Xu (Chn)
DS Orlando Maini

Lotto-Soudal *
101. Jurgen Van den Broeck (B)
102. Sander Armee (B)
103. Lars Bak (Dk)
104. Stig Broeckx (B)
105. Andre Greipel (G)
106. Adam Hansen (Aus)
107. Gregory Handerson (NZ)
108. Maxime Monfort (B)
109. Louis Vervaeke (B)
DS Bart Leysen

LottoNL-Jumbo *
181. Steven Kruijswijk (Nl)
182. George Bennett (NZ)
183. Rick Flens (Nl)
184. Moreno Hofland (Nl)
185. Martijn Keizer (Nl)
186. Bert-Jan Lindeman (Nl)
187. Maarten Tjallingii (Nl)
188. Nick van der Lijke (Nl)
189. Robert Wagner (G)
DS Jan Boven

Movistar *
111. Benat Intxausti (Sp)
112. Andrey Amador (CR)
113. Igor Antón (Sp)
114. Ruben Fernandez (Sp)
115. Jesus Herrada (Sp)
116. Jon Izagirre (Sp)
117. Juan Jose Lobato (Sp)
118. Dayer Quintana (Col)
119. Giovanni Visconti (I)
DS Jose Jaimerena

Nippo-Vini Fantini
121. Damiano Cunego (I)
122. Giacomo Berlato (I)
123. Alessandro Bisolti (I)
124. Daniele Colli (I)
125. Pier Paolo De Negri (I)
126. Iuri Filosi (I)
127. Manabu Ishibashi (Jpn)
128. Alessandro Malaguti (I)
129. Riccardo Stacchiotti (I)
DS Stefano Giuliani

Orica-GreenEdge *
131. Michael Matthews (Aus)
132. Sam Bewley (NZ)
133. Esteban Chaves (Col)
134. Simon Clarke (Aus)
135. Luke Durbridge (Aus)
136. Simon Gerrans (Aus)
137. Michael Hepburn (Aus)
138. Brett Lancaster (Aus)
139. Pieter Weening (Nl)
DS Mattews White

Southeast *
141. Manuel Belletti (I)
142. Matteo Busato (I)
143. Ramon Carretero (Pan)
144. Elia Favilli (I)
145. Francesco Gavazzi (I)
146. Jonathan Monsalve (Ven)
147. Alessandro Petacchi (I)
148. Mauro Finetto (I)
149. Eugert Zhupa (Alb)
DS Serge Parsani

Team Sky *
191. Richie Porte (Aus)
192. Sebastian Henao Gomez (Col)
193. Vasil Kiryienka (Blr)
194. Leopold Konig (Cze)
195. Bernhard Eisel (A)
196. Mikel Nieve Ituralde (Sp)
197. Salvatore Puccio (I)
198. Kanstantsin Siusou (Blr)
199. Elia Viviani (I)
DS Dario Cioni

Tinkoff-Saxo *
201. Alberto Contador Velasco (Sp)
202. Ivan Basso (I)
203. Manuele Boaro (I)
204. Christopher Juul-Jensen (Dk)
205. Roman Kreuziger (Cze)
206. Sergio M. Moreira Paulinho (Por)
207. Michael Rogers (Aus)
208. Ivan Rovny (Rus)
209. Matteo Tosatto (I)
DS Steven De Jongh

Trek Factory Racing
211. Giacomo Nizzolo (I)
212. Eugenio Alafaci (I)
213. Fumiyuki Beppu (Jpn)
214. Marco Coledan (I)
215. Fabio Felline (I)
216. Fabio Silvestre (Por)
217. Boy Van Poppel (Nl)
218. Kristof Vandewalle (B)
219. Calvin Watson (Aus)
DS Adriano Baffi

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WADA criticizes French TV doping report http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/05/news/wada-criticizes-french-tv-doping-report_368963 http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/05/news/wada-criticizes-french-tv-doping-report_368963#comments Mon, 04 May 2015 17:28:04 +0000 http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=368963

A report recently aired on Stade 2, a French television station, which indicated that athletes can micro-dose EPO, boost performance, and evade detection in the biological passport system.

World Anti-Doping Association blasts Stade 2 TV station for airing a program using "human guinea pigs" for bio-passport doping report

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A report recently aired on Stade 2, a French television station, which indicated that athletes can micro-dose EPO, boost performance, and evade detection in the biological passport system.

The World Anti-Doping Association (WADA) blasted the French television station Stade 2 for using what it termed “human guinea pigs” for a report that showed how micro-dosing with EPO could boost performance and foil the biological passport anti-doping system.

“WADA is aware of the television report that aired on French television recently,” read the WADA statement. “We would like to clarify that while we did make the Athlete Biological Passport (ABP) software available, we certainly did not ‘bless’ or endorse the study, as has been suggested.”

Stade 2 subjected eight volunteers to a monthlong course of small EPO doses, which resulted in an average 6.1-percent increase in VO2 max. The program then demonstrated that the athletes would not have tripped any alarms in the bio-passport system, implying that top professionals may be using this doping method to surreptitiously enhance performance.

WADA said that the results of this report were not scientifically proven.

“In commenting on any study, it is first important that the findings are properly peer reviewed and published,” it said. “This has not yet taken place with this study.

“Furthermore, WADA does not ever recommend athletes take part as ‘human guinea pigs’ in a study in which they would be subjected to taking performance-enhancing drugs.”

A 2011 study published in The European Journal of Applied Physiology revealed similar findings to those reported in the French TV experiment — a 10 percent increase in total hemoglobin mass among 10 subjects. A test, performed afterward using the biological passport parameters, did not flag any of the subjects’ samples as suspicious.

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Video: How to fix a broken chain http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/05/mtb/video-how-to-fix-a-broken-chain_368960 http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/05/mtb/video-how-to-fix-a-broken-chain_368960#comments Mon, 04 May 2015 16:33:12 +0000 http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=368960

Global Mountain Bike Network explains how to fix a broken chain.

Global Mountain Bike Network explains how to fix a broken chain on the side of a trail or road so you can ride — not walk — home

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Global Mountain Bike Network explains how to fix a broken chain.

Editor’s Note: This video is courtesy of Global Mountain Bike 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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Alaphilippe signs two-year extension with Etixx-Quick-Step http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/05/news/alaphilippe-signs-two-year-extension-with-etixx-quick-step_368955 http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/05/news/alaphilippe-signs-two-year-extension-with-etixx-quick-step_368955#comments Mon, 04 May 2015 15:54:23 +0000 http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=368955

Ardennes revelation Julian Alaphilippe has extended his contract with Etixx-Quick-Step for a further two years

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Ardennes revelation Julian Alaphilippe has extended his contract with Etixx-Quick-Step for a further two years, the team announced Monday.

Alaphilippe, 22, rode to a pair of second-place results at La Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège, finishing ahead of team leader and reigning world road champion Michal Kwiatkowski on both occasions. He then went on to take second and third in two stages of the Tour de Romandie.

“Etixx-Quick-Step is a team where I want to spend the next two years to improve and become a better and stronger rider,” he said. “We are a team that is dedicated to success, with a big team tradition for the classics and one-day races. So in order for me to continue to grow up as a rider, I think this is the best fit.”

Team CEO Patrick Lefevere hailed the signing. A number of his top riders, including Kwiatkowski, Mark Cavendish, Tom Boonen, and Rigoberto Uran have contracts that end this season; he may lose one or more of his stars, and so the signing of a promising young talent like Alaphilippe surely reduces pressure.

“We are happy to close this agreement with Julian,” Lefevere said. “He’s a genuine guy, always happy, but also a rider with a lot of potential. He has a lot to learn, but he is willing to do so. Even we don’t know where his potential stops. So we decided to invest in him and give him time to grow up, step-by-step, surrounded by the team and our staff.”

The young Frenchman came up through Etixx’s development team, and has said that the Belgian squad was the only team that showed interest in him as he moved into the professional ranks.

“Patrick [Lefevere] trusted in me a few years ago when I was a young guy, and then I passed through the satellite team of Etixx-Quick-Step before joining the WorldTour team along with Petr Vakoc in 2014,” said Alaphilippe. “I feel right at home and want to keep this team as my home for the next two years.

“I am absolutely happy with this choice. In this team I feel I can develop in the right way, without pressure, and can learn a lot from the staff and from the riders we have on the team. I really found my place within the group. I’m an emotional guy, and I think on this team we share the same passion. We are professional, but among the riders we are good friends. There is a great atmosphere on the team”

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Meier relishes chance to ride for GC at Tour of Turkey http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/05/news/meier-relishes-chance-to-ride-for-gc-at-tour-of-turkey_368943 http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/05/news/meier-relishes-chance-to-ride-for-gc-at-tour-of-turkey_368943#comments Mon, 04 May 2015 14:04:20 +0000 http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=368943

Christian Meier, seen here during last summer's Tour de France, finished 17th in Turkey. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

The former Canadian road champion was happy to find himself in the mix for the general classification at the eight-day race

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Christian Meier, seen here during last summer's Tour de France, finished 17th in Turkey. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

IZMIR, Turkey (VN) — It was an unexpected but welcome chase in the general classification for Christian Meier (Orica-GreenEdge) last week at the 51st Presidential Cycling Tour of Turkey.

The 2008 Canadian road race champion and three-time national time trial runner-up (2011-2013) withstood a treacherous crosswind that decimated and split the peloton over the second of three categorized climbs on the Queen stage last Tuesday to finish 15th atop the Category 1 hilltop finish on Elmali to climb to 16th on GC for his Australian-registered UCI WorldTeam.

Meier peaked at 15th before eventually dropping back two spots overall behind race winner Kristijan Durasek (Lampre-Merida).

“It’s nice to have the opportunity to give it a go now and again,” Meier told VeloNews after Sunday’s stage 8. “We were hoping to do a bit better actually, but in the end it’s all you can do.”

The 30-year-old, Girona, Spain-based New Brunswick native says he came to his first Tour of Turkey to support his 20-year-old Aussie teammate Caleb Ewan in what was a loaded sprinter field, which included heavy hitters Mark Cavendish (Etixx-Quick-Step), André Greipel (Lotto-Soudal), Sacha Modolo (Lampre-Merida), Alessandro Petacchi (Southeast), and Theo Bos (MTN-Qhubeka), to name a few.

“I was coming here as always to work for the team, which is a role I enjoy,” admitted Meier. “The other day I just happened to find myself in a good position on the first mountain day.

“Being such a sprinter’s race, there’s never been a real focus on the GC or anything, so I was just trying here and again while still trying to fulfill my team role.”

Other than a close second to Cavendish on the opening stage, Ewan, who came to Turkey fresh off a win at the Vuelta a La Rioja in early April, failed to crack the top 50 in the remaining seven stages.

“Only the first day was a pure sprint,” Meier said. “The first day was really a pure sprint and the sprints here have been a bit crazy — very hectic and dangerous — which you can expect from this level of racing because there is such a big mix of riders, and a lot of smaller teams. Everyone feels like they have a chance and they are up there in the finale, but they don’t always make the best decisions in the sprints.”

On Saturday, Meier’s 22-year-old teammate Magnus Cort claimed his second top-5 finish after also taking third on stage 4, and according to him, the team’s depth is a tremendous benefit.

“We’ve had a couple of stages that weren’t really sprints,” Meier said. “We thought they could be a sprint, but a team like MTN-Qhubeka has lit it up on the last climb or reduced the bunch and a lot of days even ‘Cav’ didn’t make it to the finish either.

“Caleb is young and will have his days. He understands that we are always going to work for him and help him. But we have guys like Magnus, so we have other cards to play.

“We don’t always have to wait for Caleb, because Magnus is a different type of rider and we all have our opportunities just like I did being in the GC mix this week.”

Aaron S. Lee is a cycling and triathlon columnist for Eurosport and a guest contributor to VeloNews.

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Orica’s Giro d’Italia goals: Win stages, wear pink http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/05/news/oricas-giro-ditalia-goals-win-stages-wear-pink_368933 http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/05/news/oricas-giro-ditalia-goals-win-stages-wear-pink_368933#comments Mon, 04 May 2015 13:18:22 +0000 http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=368933

Orica-GreenEdge won the stage 1 team time trial at the Giro last year. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

The Australian-based squad wants to start the race by successfully defending its opening-stage TTT win

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Orica-GreenEdge won the stage 1 team time trial at the Giro last year. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

Orica-GreenEdge is hoping to keep the ball rolling from its best-ever spring, and will enter the Giro d’Italia with high ambitions of winning stages and wearing the pink jersey.

While the Australian outfit doesn’t bring an outright favorite for the overall victory, it will bring a squad loaded with stage-hunters and protagonists for the Giro, which clicks into gear Saturday in Sanremo.

Michael Matthews, Simon Gerrans, and Esteban Chaves will be at the sharp end of the action, and the team will hope to defend its team time trial victory from a year ago in Belfast.

“We are aiming for multiple stage wins and the leader’s jersey. If we could achieve similar results to last year then it would be a fair call to say we would be satisfied,” Orica sport director Matt White said in a team release. “I honestly think it’s achievable. I think if we can win the first stage team time trial we are off to a sensational start. Then when you look at the stages throughout the three weeks, we have got multiple options with our fast guys in Matthews and Gerrans, we also have a great group of opportunists to take on the medium mountain stages and even high mountains with Chaves.”

Last year, Orica opened the Giro with a bang, winning the opening TTT, putting Svein Tuft into the pink jersey. Matthews also won a stage and carried the maglia rosa deep into the first week. Tuft isn’t back on for the Giro this year, but Luke Durbridge, Brett Lancaster, and Michael Hepburn, who were involved in last year’s success, will bolster the team’s chances for Saturday’s 17.6-kilometer race along the Italian Riviera.

“We have four guys who have a wealth of experience in that event in Brett Lancaster, Michael Hepburn, Luke Durbridge and Sam Bewley, and they’re the backbone to our team time trial,” White said. “They are guys that handle big pressure, they handle big events, and they’re really looking forward to Saturday. And in the other half of the team we have some strong guys who we know can contribute at an incredibly high level.”

Gerrans, who has been dogged by crashes and injuries this season, and Matthews will be looking to carry team colors in the sprint finishes and punchy, uphill finales. White said the team is hoping each will leave the Giro with a stage victory added to their respective palmares.

Once the race turns into the mountains, Orica will be counting on Pieter Weening, who won a stage last year, and 2012 Vuelta a Espana stage and mountains classification winner Simon Clarke, who will be given the green light to go on the attack.

White said it’s still too early for Orica’s long-term GC project Chaves, 25, to seriously challenge for the overall. Instead, the spindly Colombian who made his grand tour debut last year at the Vuelta a España will be looking to get another hard three weeks of racing in his legs.

“We are thinking more long term for Esteban. We want to use the Giro as a big block for him,” White said. “It’s all still part of his comeback. He rode the Vuelta last year, with some great results and we are going to build on that at the Giro, but general classification is not something we will be targeting as a team.”

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Tinkoff unveils ‘strong’ Giro squad to support Contador http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/05/news/tinkoff-unveils-strong-giro-squad-to-support-contador_368930 http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/05/news/tinkoff-unveils-strong-giro-squad-to-support-contador_368930#comments Mon, 04 May 2015 12:58:40 +0000 http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=368930

Alberto Contador's quest to win the Giro-Tour double starts this weekend. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

The squad announces the supporting cast that it hopes will pull Contador to the maglia rosa

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Alberto Contador's quest to win the Giro-Tour double starts this weekend. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

Tinkoff-Saxo is bringing its A-team to support Alberto Contador as the Spaniard makes a run at the elusive Giro-Tour double, with a loaded squad set to line up Saturday for the team time trial that will open the Giro d’Italia.

With the Tour de France also in his sights, Contador will be counting on his superstar team to control the sometimes chaotic Giro, and set him up for attacks when it counts on the decisive climbing stages. Behind the scenes, it remains to be seen if the dramatic exit of ex-team boss Bjarne Riis will have any impact. On the road, Contador will see support from Michael Rogers, former two-time winner Ivan Basso, and Roman Kreuziger, all riders who have been leaders on other teams.

“The main goal is to do the best possible GC result with Alberto,” Tinkoff sport director Steven de Jongh said in a team release. “Our clear road captain is Rogers, who together with Kreuziger and Basso, represent a very strong supporting trio in the mountains. I’m convinced that we have a really strong squad around Alberto.

“We all know that a grand tour is long and a lot can happen over the course of three weeks,” De Jongh continued. “However, if Alberto stays safe and fresh, he can play a main role in the GC. Alberto and the boys had a really productive altitude camp on Teide, where [Ivan] Rovny and Kreuziger also went earlier. And following the Ardennes classics, I can see that Roman is in great form. I’m confident that the guys stand fully prepared on Saturday.”

Rogers, who took an emotional stage win last year, said he focused on training camps rather than racing to prepare for the Giro. He’s also expected to race the Tour later this season, so much like Contador he’s riding into the Giro with relatively few racing days in his legs.

“To fulfill my goal of arriving at the Giro d’Italia with a balance of physical conditioning and mental freshness, the Tinkoff Saxo coaching staff and I decided to put greater focus on quality blocks of training, rather than the traditional early season competitions,” Rogers said. “I feel we have a well-balanced team, and we look forward to the numerous challenges that lay ahead in the next three weeks.”

Tinkoff will bring one of the strongest teams to the Giro, and with Contador starting as the five-star favorite, the peloton will be looking to the team to control the pace and bear the responsibility early in the race.

Basso, who switched roles when he joined the team over the winter, said he’s excited to help Contador.

“My determination, drive and will are identical to when I was preparing for the Giro d’Italia as team leader, where my goal was to win it. The only difference is that now, all my energy will go to serve the team and our leader, Alberto,” Basso said. “Alberto is in great form himself and the entire squad is in the best shape possible. I think the quality of work at the training camp was excellent, we rode a lot, we talked a lot and discussed at length our approach. Our leader is the world’s best rider and that fact gives confidence to the rest of the squad.”

For the transition stages, the team will lean on Matteo Tosatto, Christopher Juul-Jensen, longtime Contador confidant Sergio Paulinho, and Manuele Boaro.

Contador, meanwhile, is coming off a three-week altitude training camp at Teide. By his standards, he’s had a relatively discreet spring, with only one victory — a stage win at the Ruta del Sol — but Spain’s “pistolero” says he has one eye on the Giro and another on the Tour.

“I come in pretty good shape. It’s true that we must wait and see the race, and I am not at the same level I had at the beginning of the Tour last year, but slightly lower,” Contador said. “We have to keep in mind that if I were at the same level, it would be difficult to keep the good shape until the Tour. Anyway, we must wait to see how the race develops to measure myself against my rivals.”

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Rough riders: Sitting shotgun in the Mavic neutral service car at Roubaix http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/05/news/rough-riders-sitting-shotgun-in-the-mavic-neutral-service-car-at-roubaix_368740 http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/05/news/rough-riders-sitting-shotgun-in-the-mavic-neutral-service-car-at-roubaix_368740#comments Mon, 04 May 2015 10:00:33 +0000 http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=368740

Caley Fretz takes a ride in the front seat of the Mavic neutral service car to document the carnage that is the "Hell of the North"

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