Monday, August 29, 2016

Friday, August 26, 2016

Wiggins to ride the Tour of Britain after Olympic Success

Bradley Wiggins (Team Wiggins) at todays sign on (Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)

Bradley Wiggins will join Mark Cavendish on the start list of the Tour of Britain next month, the organisers have confirmed. The race will be Wiggins’ first appearance on the road in four months and his first race since winning gold on the track in the team pursuit at the Rio Olympic Games.

Wiggins’ fellow gold medallist and trade teammateOwain Doull has also been confirmed as a starter for the week-long race. Doull and Wiggins secured gold in emphatic style, along with Ed Clancy and Steven Burke, in the team pursuit, giving Doull is first Olympic medal while Wiggins claimed his fifth gold.
“We are delighted to be welcoming two of our Olympic Champions to the Tour of Britain just three weeks after their success in Rio,” said race director Mick Bennett. “As a former winner of the Tour of Britain, it is always a pleasure to welcome Sir Bradley Wiggins back to Britain’s biggest race, while Owain Doull was the star of the 2015 Tour, showing he has a very bright future ahead of him.”
This will be Wiggins’ eighth start at the Tour of Britain since 2008, missing it only once in that time in favour of the Vuelta a Espana in 2011. He claimed victory at his home race in 2013. For Doull, the race will be one of his last with the WIGGINS team as he is set to step up to WorldTour level with Team Sky next season. Doull capped off a strong 2015 season with third place overall at last year’s edition and snapped up the points classification.
Team Wiggins’ Jon Dibben has also been confirmed as a starter. Dibben enjoyed a very strong start to the season with his first world title on the track in the points race and second at the junior Tour of Flanders. The 22-year-old looked set to make up part of Great Britain’s team pursuit line-up in Rio but saw his hopes all but dashed when he broke his elbow at the ZLM Roompot Toer in March. Dibben is currently racing in British colours at the Tour de l’Avenir where he sits third in the overall classification.
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Other riders that have already been confirmed for the Tour of Britain are Cavendish, Andre Greipel, Steve Cummings, Mark McNally and Boy van Poppel. Italian media has also reported that Elia Viviani and Giacomo Nizzolo will compete at the race which begins in Glasgow on September 4 and finishes in London on Sunday 11.
Article Source: Cycling News

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Americans Abroad: Nine U.S. Riders Take on La Vuelta

By Spencer Powlison
Ian Boswell celebrated with his Sky teammates after they won the Vuelta's stage 1 team time trial. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com
The final, arguably most exciting, grand tour of the season is underway in Spain, and nine Americans are taking on the Vuelta a EspaƱa with a variety of roles. Some, like Andrew Talansky have hopes of a strong overall finish, while others, like grand tour first-timer Kiel Reijnen are aiming to be strong team players, perhaps finding opportunities along the way for individual glory.
Here’s a look at where they stand after three stages of racing, as well as the other top U.S. riders who were at a variety of races over the past week.
Ian Boswell (Team Sky)
Working for Tour champ Chris Froome. Boswell sat 98th overall in the Vuelta after three days of racing. He helped the Sky team to victory in the stage 1 team time trial.
Joe Dombrowski (Cannondale – Drapac)
Dombrowski was 52nd overall, 3:17 behind race leader Ruben Fernandez of Movistar, after three days of racing in Spain.
Taylor Eisenhart (BMC Racing)
A stagiaire for BMC Racing in the final months of the season, Eisenhart, 22, was 108th at the Tour du Limousin, riding in support of eventual winner and teammate Joey Rosskopf.
Tyler Farrar (Dimension Data)
Although the Vuelta’s mountainous route doesn’t favor Farrar, the veteran sprinter and strongman is happy to return to the laid-back race to work for his teammates. “I love the Vuelta, it’s the favorite of my three grand tours. Each grand tour has its own character and is special in its own way. There’s this nice kind of laid-back atmosphere here.” He was 157th overall after stage 3.
Chad Haga (Giant – Alpecin)
Haga was 105th overall following stage 3. Unfortunately for his German team, its top climber, Warren Barguil was forced to abandon the Vuelta Monday due to sinus problems.
Ben King (Cannondale – Drapac)
King was 74th overall following Monday’s steep uphill finish at the Vuelta.
Amber Neben (BePink)
Neben was 57th in the Crescent Vargarda Women’s WorldTour (WWT) road race Sunday, which was won by Emilia Fahlin. Her Italian team was seventh in the Crescent Vargarda Women’s WorldTour team time trialFriday.
Kiel Reijnen (Trek – Segafredo)
The 30-year-old from Washington state was riding in 60th place overall at the Vuelta after Monday’s race.
Joey Rosskopf (BMC Racing)
The 26-year-old has been on a tear, winning the first stage of Tour du Limousin in France and hanging on to claim the overall victory Friday. He had a more subdued outing Sunday at Cyclassics Hamburg, finishing 93rd.
Alexis Ryan (Canyon – SRAM)
Ryan helped her Canyon – SRAM team to fourth place in Friday’s WWT team time trial and finished 23rd in the Vargarda road race Sunday.
Carmen Small (Cylance)
Small was the top American finisher at Sunday’s Crescent Vargarda road race, taking 13th on the day. Her Cylance team, which also included Alison Tetrick, finished eighth in the TTT two days prior in Sweden.
Evelyn Stevens (Boels – Dolmans)
Stevens rode to victory in the TTT on Friday and went on to finish 61st in the Vargarda road race.
Andrew Talansky (Cannondale – Drapac)
After Monday’s first uphill finish at the Vuelta, Talansky was 19th overall, top American in the race. After two tough years, he says he’s back on top form, ready to get a result in the season’s final grand tour.
Tejay van Garderen (BMC Racing)
Sharing the BMC team’s leadership with Spaniard Samuel Sanchez, van Garderen was 90th overall Monday. The American-registered team finished fourth in Saturday’s stage 1 team time trial.
Larry Warbasse (IAM Cycling)
Michigander Warbasse was 72nd overall in Spain after Monday’s stage.
Tayler Wiles (Orica – AIS)
Orica opted not to race Friday’s TTT in Sweden, and Wiles rode to 60th place in the road race Sunday.
Tour de l’Avenir
The season’s most important under-23 stage race is underway in France; the Tour de l’Avenir is considered the Tour de France of the future, showcasing top up-and-coming talents. Axeon Hagens Berman’s Logan Owen was the top American after Monday’s stage 3, 13th overall. He has three fellow U.S. teammates in the race as well: Adrien Costa was 50th after three days; Nielson Powless was 53rd, William Barta was 65th, and Geoffrey Curran was 124th. Sep Kuss, riding for Rally, was 106th after stage 3.

Article Source: Velo News

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Viviani’s Omnium Gold Jumpstarts Italy’s Track Program

Elia Viviani captured gold in the men's omnium this week. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com
MILAN (VN) — Elia Viviani’s Olympic gold medal in the omnium on Monday in Rio de Janeiro boosted Italy’s attempt to return to track success.
The Bel Paese once ruled the two-wheeled sport – both on the road and in the velodrome – before the rise of several other countries and the crippling economic crisis. Before Great Britain came to dominate the team pursuit, Italy would regularly earn medals through the 1998 world championships.
“Viviani was able to recommence our great tradition,” Pier Bergonzi, deputy director at La Gazzetta dello Sport, wrote Wednesday. “At one time, not so long ago, we were a force and the track was a small medal mine.
“Elia’s gold medal, spectacular and moving given how he matured, is a victory of diligence, but also a huge assist for Italian track cycling. A hand out-stretched, a Madison hand-sling that our movement needs to take advantage of.”
Of the 30-odd velodromes in Italy, only one is covered and suitable for UCI-level events. That helps to explain why Italy has suffered so much in track cycling in recent memory. The 2000 Sydney Games were the last time Italy won a medal — bronze in the Madison. Four years earlier at the 1996 Atlanta Games, Italy took home two gold medals.
Great Britain discovered the rich “mine” and invested a high percentage of its national lottery money into cycling.
“We looked at it ruthlessly,” Chris Boardman, the pursuit gold medalist in 1992 and a British Cycling executive, told the Wall Street Journal. “On the track, there’s more low-hanging fruit.”
Cycling is the most funded sport in the UK behind rowing, receiving $39,740,000 in the four-year period from 2013 to 2017. Boardman explained the majority of the money is given to sports in which athletes can win medals.
“It was very clear that lottery funding is about gold medals, not even [just] medals. Gold medals in the Olympic Games — not world records, not growing the sport.”
If it were a game of Monopoly, then Great Britain is on Park Place and Italy still needs to round New York Avenue and Free Parking. As Bergonzi wrote, Viviani’s gold medal will help the country progress.
Filippo Ganna, the 20-year-old who won the individual pursuit world title in March, wrote this to Viviani on Twitter: “It was you, don’t forget, who helped us improve in this discipline. Thanks.”
Viviani sprinted to a stage win in the Giro d’Italia last year for Team Sky, but he has yet to consistently take on the bigs like Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data) and Marcel Kittel (Etixx – Quick-Step). He did upset Cavendish, however, in the Omnium. The Brit took home a silver to add to the country’s haul of 11 track medals in Rio. The Netherlands was next best with only two. The U.S. took two silver medals.
“I sacrifice the road because this was my big chance to win gold in the Olympics,” Viviani told La Gazzetta dello Sport.
“When I returned home from the Giro, I was upset. On the other hand, Sky backed me. After pulling out, David Brailsford [team boss and former British track head] said, ‘You’re building towards a big goal, don’t give up now.'”
Article Source: Velo News

Sunday, August 14, 2016

USA Cycling Shakes Up American Domestic Calendar

The men barely beat the rain today (Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)
Redlands Bicycle Classic moves to first week in May, Tour of the Gila moves to April, more changes planned

In a shake-up of the US domestic calendar, the Redlands Bicycle Classic will move next season from its traditional early April dates to the first week of May, while the Tour of the Gila, which usually occupies that spot on the calendar, will move to an earlier spot in April.

The changes come at the request of the USA Cycling Pro Road Tour, which asked Redlands to serve as the lead-in domestic race to the Tour of California, according to an announcement the race released on Wednesday. The five-day California race will take place May 3-7 next year, while Tour of the Gila will move to April 19-23, according to Gila race director Jack Brennan.
"The three races – Joe Martin, Gila and Redlands – all tried to work together to create a better flow for teams," Brennan told Cyclingnews. "So it's really USA Cycling working with teams and with our three races to kind of get things on the same page."
Teams have often complained that the current schedule creates long, expensive blocks of travel as they traverse with staff and equipment from one side of the country to the other and back again.
"So the idea is we can work a flow towards California," Brennan said.
In a statement released on Wednesday announcing the date changes, Redlands Bicycle Classic President Marc Shaw said his organisation was "excited to partner with USA Cycling and several other races to craft a schedule that will benefit the entire cycling community, particularly the teams who travel across the country to participate in the Pro Road Tour calendar."
"In 2017, the Redlands Bicycle Classic will move back to May, where it all started in 1985, allowing the west coast to host two of the most amazing cycling classics back to back," Shaw said.
Micah Rice, USA Cycling vice president of national events, told Cyclingnews it's been known for some time that the geographical flow in the first part of the season has been very tough on teams and their travel budgets. Rice said USA Cycling sat down with the teams after the US Pro Championships in May to try and work out a more efficient calendar.
"We went through it with them and just asked what could we do to improve this," Rice toldCyclingnews. "The teams were pretty clear that the two things they would love to see with Pro Road Tour are fewer events and a better travel flow, so those are the two things we set out to work on when we started creating the calendar."
The new schedule means Redlands will now be the lead-in race to the Tour of California, although that race's jump from 2.HC to WorldTour status next year will likely mean domestic UCI Continental teams will not able allowed to participate. Second tier WorldTour races must invite all WorldTour teams and must have a minimum of 10 on the start line.
As the rules stand now, Continental teams are not allowed to participate in WorldTour events, although there has been some suggestion that this rule could be changed for next year and possibly beyond.
"That is something that I have to admit those discussions are happening above me," Rice said. "So I don't know. We do know that the flow will be great for the women's teams, which will be going to the women's WorldTour race in California. Men's Continental teams? I think that's a tough one. I would be surprised if Continental teams got into Tour of California."
Although losing the opportunity to compete in California would be a big blow for domestic teams that count on high-profile US races to attract and keep sponsors, Rice said there is good news for US racing on the horizon.
"You're going to see maybe California go away for a lot of the domestic UCI Continental teams, but you're also going to see some other announcements coming out soon about some other opportunities that are going to be out there," Rice said. "I don't know when the announcement is on a couple of these things, but let's just say one thing goes away and maybe two more things pop up."
Rice also said that USA Cycling would soon be announcing a second national calendar below the Pro Road Tour.
"Another part of it, and you'll find out soon, too, is that there will be another calendar as well where we don't care about [event date] conflicts, the bar is lowered for prize money and things like that,” Rice said. “It will be a national calendar, but we're going to start possibly putting in some regional value. So you'll hear more about that soon as well."
The Redlands Bicycle Classic was founded in 1985 and has been a staple of the US domestic racing scene ever since. A look at the past winners of the race reads like a walk through a wing of the US cycling hall of fame.
Among the winners over the past 32 years are Thurlow Rogers, who won the inaugural race, Davis Phinney, Alexi Grewall, Scott Moninger, Jonathan Vaughters, Christian Vandevelde, Chris Horner, Dag Otto Lauritzen and a host of international riders. A young Tom Boonen competed at Redlands as part of the US Postal team in the 1990s.
Most recently, Silber Pro Cycling's Matteo Dal-Cin won the 2016 men's race. Newly crowned Olympic time trial champion Kristin Armstrong won the women’s race, which debuted in 1989, ahead of fellow Olympian Mara Abbott. The Tour of the Gila is equally prestigious. Recent Tour of Utah winner Lachlan Morton (Jelly Belly-Maxxis) won the men's race this year, while Abbott took the women's title.
Article Source: Cycling News

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Olympic Games: Late Mechanical Clips Dennis' Podium Ambitions

Rohan Dennis (Australia) (Getty Images Sport)

Broken aero bar forces a bike change in final 15km

Rohan Dennis was closing in on a likely medal performance during the Rio Olympics time trial on Wednesday when suddenly everything went haywire.

The left aero bar on the 25-year-old Australian's time trial machine broke, forcing him to make a bike change in the final 15km that cost him valuable time as he slipped down the leader board to fifth, 1:10 behind winner Fabian Cancellara (Switzerland) and eight seconds behind bronze medalist Chris Froome (Great Britain).
Dennis, who started in the second wave of riders with most of the other medal contenders, set the fastest time check at the top of the Grumari climb on the first lap of the 29.9km circuit, with Cancellara just squeezing past him minutes later. Dennis topped Cancellara by a seemingly significant 25 seconds at the final time check, but the 2008 gold medal winner was able to make up that time and climb back into the lead by the start of the second lap.
Nevertheless, Dennis looked on track for a medal when disaster struck.
"These things happen," Dennis told theAdelaide Advertiser. "I can't be too disappointed. Obviously it's out of my control. Look, I can still be proud of how I rode up until the mechanical, changing the bike and finishing off going hard, don't give in."
Dennis took solace in the fact the he lost to a champion like Cancellara, a four-time time trial world champion and now two-time Olympic gold medalist.
"(It) was a huge ride from Fabian," Dennis said. "Hats off to him. He's an impressive rider. He's won just about every race, so he's a real champion. He rode a perfectly paced race today, and going out in his last year as Olympic champion is a huge effort."
Dennis has been focused on the Rio Olympic Games since his breakout performance in the 2015 Tour de France, when he on the opening prologue time trial and wore the first yellow jersey of the race. He faced illness earlier this year, but then recovered in time to start the Tour de France in July,abandoning the three-week Grand Tour after stage 16 to prepare for Wednesday's race.
"Physically I felt good," Dennis said. "I thought maybe I went out a bit too hard in hindsight, but you've got to throw it all out there. If I pulled it all off and didn't crack in the last third, or without the mechanical, I would have been saying it was a perfect day.
"Gold was definitely the number one goal. Once I had the mechanical it was all about a medal; don't give in."
Article Source: Cycling News

Monday, August 8, 2016

Armitstead: ‘It Was a Victory to Be Here’

Lizzie Armitstead finished Sunday's road race in Rio in fifth place. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

RIO DE JANEIRO (AFP) — Great Britain’s Lizzie Armitstead defended her participation at the Olympics on Sunday despite missing drug tests, saying it was a victory for her.

The 27-year-old Briton rolled to a fifth-place finish in the women’s road race around Rio, but the fact that she made the start at all was controversial.

Armitstead missed three drug tests over a 12-month period, which normally would have seen her disqualified from the Games. UK Anti-Doping provisionally banned her, but Armitstead appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, and won.

Asked if she should have raced, Armitstead was unapologetic.

“Yes, of course. I feel good. It was a victory to be here for me,” she said. “It’s been a very difficult couple of weeks, but I’m happy I was here to represent my country, definitely.”

Armitstead struggled on the final climb and lost too much time to be able to catch the leaders in the final 15 kilometers to the finish on the world-renowned Copacabana beach.

“I couldn’t have climbed any faster. I’m happy with the tactic I had, I just simply wasn’t good enough at climbing, so I can be proud of the effort I did,” she said.

Dutch rider Anna van der Breggen won gold after her countrywoman Annemiek van Vleuten crashed on the treacherous descent off the final climb.

Armitstead said she took things carefully.

“It was particularly difficult, but I went into this thinking I’m not going to take extraordinary risks. I wanted to get down safely at a speed I was comfortable with.”

Armitstead came home fifth, 20 seconds behind the winner, whom she said she had tipped for gold.

“I would’ve put some money on Anna to win this race. She’s a phenomenal athlete and this course was designed for her,” said Armitstead.

Van der Breggen succeeded another compatriot in Marianne Vos as Olympic champion.

Article Source: Velo News

Friday, August 5, 2016

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Armitstead Cleared for Rio Olympics After Anti-Doping Appeal

 
World Champion Lizzie Armitstead (Boels Dolmans) (Sean Robinson/Velofocus)

World Champion missed three tests in one year

Great Britain's Lizzie Armitstead is clear to race at the Rio Olympic Games after the world champion won an appeal after missing three anti-doping tests. Armitstead, the London 2012 silver medallist, was facing suspension for missing the tests, however the Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled one of those tests did not follow procedures.

Armitstead, 27, was provisionally suspended on July 11 and was facing a four-year ban for the missed tests from UK Anti-Doping but successfully argued the case was administrative and she was not being avoiding being tested.

"I have always been and will always be a clean athlete and have been vocal in my anti-doping stance throughout my career. I am pleased that CAS has accepted my position, having provided detailed information demonstrating the situation around my strikes," Armitstead said in a statement.

"This issue was one of administration and was the result of UKAD not following proper procedure nor fully attempting to make contact with me despite clear details being provided under 'whereabouts'. I was tested in competition the day after this test, reinforcing my position that I do not cheat and had no intention of not being tested."

"I think that there should be clearer guidelines for those administrating tests and would like to work with UKAD going forward to explore how this can be better addressed in the future so no other athlete is put in this position.

"Meanwhile, I hope that UKAD can now return to the important job of making sure all athletes are clean and that Rio is the clean Olympics that we all want.

"I understand how important it is to be vigilant in my role as a professional athlete and realise the potential implications this could have had. I would like to thank British Cycling and the team around me for all of their help and support. I am very much looking forward to putting this situation behind."

The missed test were reported as August 20 last year when Armitstead was with her Boels Dolmans team at the Crescent Women World Cup Vargarda in Sweden, November last year, and June 2016.

Armitstead will be one of the favourites for the women's road race on August 7 having won the Aviva Womens Tour overall, and the one-day races Boels Rental Hills Classic, Women's Tour of Flandrers, Trofeo Alfredo Binda - Comune di Cittiglio, Strade Bianche and Omloop Het Nieuwsblad.

Article Source: Cycling News