Saturday, February 25, 2017

When To Eat While Cycling - Cycling Nutrition


If you want to go for long bike rides or if you train regularly then you are going to need fuel. Here are our tips for getting your cycling nutrition strategy right.

Ex-Professional cyclists Dan Lloyd and Matt Stephens explain when and how to eat when out cycling. It's not as simple as it would possibly seem! The guys explain the two key considerations for your cycling nutrition strategy – Timing and Terrain.

Timing can be made simple. If you're riding for more than an hour or an hour and a half, you will need to eat. Any less, you can probably do without. Use your training rides to work on a timing strategy that works for you. Some of us will need to eat more often when we're cycling, others might not need to eat so regularly on the bike.

Terrain, again, can be made simple. Ask yourself: Is it difficult or dangerous to take my hands off the handlebars to eat here? If the answer is yes, then the terrain isn't quite right. If the answer is no, then you'll probably be OK to eat while you're cycling along.

One thing that we need to emphasise is that it is OK to stop cycling to eat and that you shouldn't attempt to ride without your hands on your handlebars if that's illegal where you live.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Chaves to Race Tour de France, Yates Brothers Target Giro d'Italia

Orica-Scott set out Grand Tour ambitions

Esteban Chaves (Orica-BikeExchange) (Bettini Photo)

The Orica-Scott team has confirmed that Esteban Chaves will target the Tour de France in July, while Adam and Simon Yates will join forces and race the Giro d’Italia. The three Grand Tour riders will then combine and ride the Vuelta a Espana.

“Despite having three quality young riders to develop programs for, we have come up with a plan that the boys, and the team, are very excited about,” directeur sportif Matt White said in an official announcement.

“They have each pleasantly surprised us with their results over the last year, but we have a long term plan and we are not getting ahead of ourselves. Our priority is still to continue their development at a speed that suits them individually."

White said Chaves, who finished second at the 2016 Giro d’Italia, third at the Vuelta a Espana and won the end of season Il Lombardia, has earned his right to lead the team in the world’s biggest race.

“Esteban has proved that he is ready, and he deserves this opportunity,” White said. “I think it’s pretty unrealistic to expect anyone to win their first Tour de France but physically, Esteban has shown he can ride general classification at Grand Tours and he can handle the stress involved.”

The Yates brothers will make their debut at the Giro d’Italia and go on to ride two Grand Tours in 2017.

“The plan for the Giro d’Italia is to go with a two-pronged attack with the Yates brothers riding for the general classification,” White confirmed. “It's a very special edition of the Giro and maybe the toughest last week of a Grand Tour I have ever seen. The boys are up to the challenge and it looks to be the best field ever assembled.”

Adam Yates finished fourth in the 2016 Tour de France but will miss the race this year, as he and Orica-Scott lay the foundations for his Grand Tour career.

“People on the outside might think it’s a bit strange that we are not sending a lad that finished fourth last year back to the Tour de France. But it’s simple, we want to give the guys a bigger foundation for the future because that’s where their biggest potential lies,” White said.

“Their results have been impressive but we aren’t going to see the very best of them for a few years yet. Instead, we decided we will do two Grand Tours with them. The physical maturity and Grand Tour experience will be of great benefit for them both in the years to come."

Chaves and the Yates brothers will come together for the final Grand Tour of the year, the Vuelta a Espana, and if all goes to plan the team will once again support the Yates brothers for a result.

“We don’t know how Esteban will come out of the Tour,” White said. “He has done two Grand Tours in a year before but not back-to-back so we need to reassess after the Tour.”

“It will be the only Grand Tour this year that we will see them race all together and this is also an exciting prospect for us.”

Article Source: Cycling News

Sunday, February 19, 2017

UCI Confirms 2017 Tour of Turkey Has Been Postponed

The UCI confirmed Wednesday that the Tour of Turkey will be postponed from its original dates of April 18-23, but it did not specify a new time slot for the race.

Tour of Turkey was added to the men’s WorldTour calendar in 2017, a first for the six-day race. However, a report surfaced in early February that suggested the race was in jeopardy, with few commitments from WorldTour teams to race. The report indicated that organizers asked to move the race to October or February dates.

In a written statement, a UCI representative confirmed that the Tour of Turkey’s request had been granted: “Following its request and the approval of the Professional Cycling Council (PCC), the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) announces that the 2017 edition of the Presidential Cycling Tour of Turkey has been postponed from its scheduled date in April. A revised date for the event in the UCI WorldTour calendar will be considered at the next meeting of the PCC, which is scheduled for March.”

Of the 10 races added to expand the 2017 WorldTour calendar, Tour of Turkey is the second to experience difficulties. Tour of Qatar, the oldest of the UCI’s major Middle Eastern races, was cancelled this season, although organizers say it will return in 2018.

Read more at http://www.velonews.com/2017/02/news/uci-confirms-2017-tour-turkey-postponed_430776#7DplKlLfJOCA9Flw.99

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Beginners' Guide to the Cobbled Classics


A look at the series of cobbled races that run from February to mid-April, including Omloop Het Niewsblad, Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne, E3 Harelbeke, Gent-Wevelgem, the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Almeria: Cort Sprints to Second Win in Spain


The 32nd Clásica de Almeria (UCI 1.1) ended in a mad dash to the finish with 
two-time 2016 Vuelta a España stage winner Magnus Cort (Orica-Scott) of Denmark taking the bunch sprint victory over German Rüdiger Selig (Bora-Hansgrohe) and Belgian Jens Debusschere (Lotto Soudal).

The 24-year-old Dane fended off a squad of 30 riders on the streets of Roquetas de Mar in the south of Spain.

“It is a really great feeling to win again,” said Cort. “It was a long race and the team were fantastic in the finale, I couldn’t have asked for a better lead out and I am really happy that I could finish it off.”

A three-man breakaway went clear early on before the race came back together inside the final third to set up a thrilling finale.

“The boys were outstanding today,” said sport director Laurenzo Lapage. “Everyone was involved, we knew beforehand that we would have to work on the finishing circuits and the team took control beautifully.”

“Once the breakaway came back we stuck to our plan religiously. Magnus is full of confidence after a great start to the season with his win last week in Valencia and you could see that with the way he finished it off today.

“At the halfway point we decided how we would like to approach the finish and it’s very satisfying to see the guys not only execute the race plan, but execute it perfectly and come away with the win. It bodes well for the rest of the season, that’s for sure.”

Already winner of a stage of the Tour of the Community of Valencia on February 3, Cort has solidified a successful start to the year.

Results

  • 1. Magnus Cort NIELSEN, ORICA-SCOTT, in 4:31:22
  • 2. Rüdiger SELIG, BORA-HANSGROHE, at :00
  • 3. Jens DEBUSSCHERE, LOTTO SOUDAL, at :00
  • 4. Carlos BARBERO CUESTA, MOVISTAR, at :00
  • 5. Amaury CAPIOT, SPORT VLAANDEREN-BALOISE, at :00
  • 6. Baptiste PLANCKAERT, KATUSHA-ALPECIN, at :00
  • 7. Maciej PATERSKI, CCC-SPRANDI POLKOWICE, at :00
  • 8. Daniel LOPEZ PARADA, BURGOS-BH, at :00
  • 9. Raymond KREDER, ROOMPOT-NEDERLANDSE LOTTERIJ, at :00
  • 10. Jonas VAN GENECHTEN, COFIDIS, SOLUTIONS CREDIT, at :00
  • 11. Andrea PASQUALON, WANTY-GROUPE GOBERT, at :00
  • 12. Roman MAIKIN, GAZPROM-RUSVELO, at :00
  • 13. Luka PIBERNIK, BAHRAIN-MERIDA, at :00
  • 14. Jan TRATNIK, CCC-SPRANDI POLKOWICE, at :00
  • 15. Angelo TULIK, DIRECT ENERGIE, at :00
  • 16. Kevin DELTOMBE, SPORT VLAANDEREN-BALOISE, at :00
  • 17. Aidis KRUOPIS, VÉRANDAS WILLEMS-CRELAN, at :00
  • 18. Dylan PAGE, CAJA RURAL-SEGUROS RGA, at :00
  • 19. Pieter VANSPEYBROUCK, WANTY-GROUPE GOBERT, at :00
  • 20. Julen IRIZAR LASKURAIN, EUSKADI BASQUE COUNTRY-MURIAS, at :00
  • 21. Yoann OFFREDO, WANTY-GROUPE GOBERT, at :00
  • 22. Jasha SÜTTERLIN, MOVISTAR, at :00
  • 23. Leszek PLUCINSKI, CCC-SPRANDI POLKOWICE, at :00
  • 24. Silvio HERKLOTZ, BORA-HANSGROHE, at :00
  • 25. Kirill SVESHNIKOV, GAZPROM-RUSVELO, at :00
  • 26. Michaël VAN STAEYEN, COFIDIS, SOLUTIONS CREDIT, at :00
  • 27. Maxime FARAZIJN, SPORT VLAANDEREN-BALOISE, at :00
  • 28. Luka MEZGEC, ORICA-SCOTT, at :00
  • 29. Tim ARIESEN, ROOMPOT-NEDERLANDSE LOTTERIJ, at :00
  • 30. Mark MCNALLY, WANTY-GROUPE GOBERT, at :09
  • 31. Dries DE BONDT, VÉRANDAS WILLEMS-CRELAN, at :09
  • 32. Jurgen ROELANDTS, LOTTO SOUDAL, at :11
  • 33. Igor BOEV, GAZPROM-RUSVELO, at :13
  • 34. Michael GOOLAERTS, VÉRANDAS WILLEMS-CRELAN, at :15
  • 35. Beñat TXOPERENA MATXIKOTE, EUSKADI BASQUE COUNTRY-MURIAS, at :20
  • 36. Diego RUBIO HERNANDEZ, CAJA RURAL-SEGUROS RGA, at :20
  • 37. Jorge ARCAS PEÑA, MOVISTAR, at :22
  • 38. Thomas BOUDAT, DIRECT ENERGIE, at :27
  • 39. Etienne VAN EMPEL, ROOMPOT-NEDERLANDSE LOTTERIJ, at :34
  • 40. Elmar REINDERS, ROOMPOT-NEDERLANDSE LOTTERIJ, at :34
  • 41. Florian SENECHAL, COFIDIS, SOLUTIONS CREDIT, at :34
  • 42. Christoph PFINGSTEN, BORA-HANSGROHE, at :40
  • 43. Michael SCHWARZMANN, BORA-HANSGROHE, at :40
  • 44. Mathew HAYMAN, ORICA-SCOTT, at :46
  • 45. Kevin VAN MELSEN, WANTY-GROUPE GOBERT, at :47
  • 46. David PER, BAHRAIN-MERIDA, at :47
  • 47. Joan RUIZ VICENS, BURGOS-BH, at :47
  • 48. Adrian GONZALEZ VELASCO, EUSKADI BASQUE COUNTRY-MURIAS, at :47
  • 49. Sergey FIRSANOV, GAZPROM-RUSVELO, at :47
  • 50. Simon ŠPILAK, KATUSHA-ALPECIN, at :47
  • 51. Jérôme BAUGNIES, WANTY-GROUPE GOBERT, at :47
  • 52. Lukasz OWSIAN, CCC-SPRANDI POLKOWICE, at :47
  • 53. Guillaume VAN KEIRSBULCK, WANTY-GROUPE GOBERT, at :47
  • 54. Robert KIŠERLOVSKI, KATUSHA-ALPECIN, at :47
  • 55. Evgeny SHALUNOV, GAZPROM-RUSVELO, at :47
  • 56. Marco MATHIS, KATUSHA-ALPECIN, at :47
  • 57. Jhonatan RESTREPO VALENCIA, KATUSHA-ALPECIN, at :47
  • 58. Oscar RIESEBEEK, ROOMPOT-NEDERLANDSE LOTTERIJ, at :47
  • 59. Cesare BENEDETTI, BORA-HANSGROHE, at :47
  • 60. Tony GALLOPIN, LOTTO SOUDAL, at :47
  • 61. Ruben POLS, SPORT VLAANDEREN-BALOISE, at 1:18
  • 62. Piotr BROZYNA, CCC-SPRANDI POLKOWICE, at 1:18
  • 63. Igor MERINO KORTAZAR, BURGOS-BH, at 1:18
  • 64. Rayane BOUHANNI, COFIDIS, SOLUTIONS CREDIT, at 1:18
  • 65. Marcin MROZEK, CCC-SPRANDI POLKOWICE, at 1:18
  • 66. Javier MORENO BAZAN, BAHRAIN-MERIDA, at 1:18
  • 67. Ruben FERNANDEZ ANDUJAR, MOVISTAR, at 1:18
  • 68. Felix GROSSCHARTNER, CCC-SPRANDI POLKOWICE, at 1:18
  • 69. Paul OURSELIN, DIRECT ENERGIE, at 1:18
  • 70. Tosh VAN DER SANDE, LOTTO SOUDAL, at 1:18
  • 71. Gorka IZAGIRRE INSAUSTI, MOVISTAR, at 1:18
  • 72. Jon IZAGUIRRE INSAUSTI, BAHRAIN-MERIDA, at 1:18
  • 73. Jens WALLAYS, SPORT VLAANDEREN-BALOISE, at 1:18
  • 74. Mikel BIZKARRA ETXEGIBEL, EUSKADI BASQUE COUNTRY-MURIAS, at 1:18
  • 75. Timothy DUPONT, VÉRANDAS WILLEMS-CRELAN, at 1:18
  • 76. Marcos JURADO RODRIGUEZ, BURGOS-BH, at 1:18
  • 77. Domen NOVAK, BAHRAIN-MERIDA, at 1:18
  • 78. Berden DE VRIES, ROOMPOT-NEDERLANDSE LOTTERIJ, at 1:18
  • 79. Jon IRISARRI RINCON, CAJA RURAL-SEGUROS RGA, at 1:18
  • 80. Sam BEWLEY, ORICA-SCOTT, at 1:18
  • 81. Eliot LIETAER, SPORT VLAANDEREN-BALOISE, at 1:18
  • 82. Ander BARRENETXEA URIARTE, EUSKADI BASQUE COUNTRY-MURIAS, at 1:18
  • 83. Jelle WALLAYS, LOTTO SOUDAL, at 1:18
  • 84. Antonio NIBALI, BAHRAIN-MERIDA, at 1:18
  • 85. Josu ZABALA LOPEZ, CAJA RURAL-SEGUROS RGA, at 1:18
  • 86. Marc SOLER GIMENEZ, MOVISTAR, at 1:18
  • 87. Justin OIEN, CAJA RURAL-SEGUROS RGA, at 1:18
  • 88. Maxim BELKOV, KATUSHA-ALPECIN, at 1:18
  • 89. Alexander FOLIFOROV, GAZPROM-RUSVELO, at 1:18
  • 90. Dmitriy KOZONTCHUK, GAZPROM-RUSVELO, at 1:18
  • 91. Gaetan BILLE, VÉRANDAS WILLEMS-CRELAN, at 1:18
  • 92. Stef VAN ZUMMEREN, VÉRANDAS WILLEMS-CRELAN, at 1:18
  • 93. Kenneth VAN ROOY, SPORT VLAANDEREN-BALOISE, at 1:18
  • 94. Ángel VICIOSO ARCOS, KATUSHA-ALPECIN, at 1:18
  • 95. Antonio PEDRERO LOPEZ, MOVISTAR, at 1:18
  • 96. Christopher JUUL JENSEN, ORICA-SCOTT, at 1:18
  • 97. Jeroen MEIJERS, ROOMPOT-NEDERLANDSE LOTTERIJ, at 1:18
  • 98. Jerome COUSIN, COFIDIS, SOLUTIONS CREDIT, at 1:57
  • 99. Romain GUILLEMOIS, DIRECT ENERGIE, at 1:57
  • 100. Jens KEUKELEIRE, ORICA-SCOTT, at 2:49
  • 101. Tiesj BENOOT, LOTTO SOUDAL, at 2:49
  • 102. Pascal ACKERMANN, BORA-HANSGROHE, at 3:02
  • 103. Romain CARDIS, DIRECT ENERGIE, at 3:15
  • 104. Adrien PETIT, DIRECT ENERGIE, at 3:15
  • 105. Bryan COQUARD, DIRECT ENERGIE, at 3:15
  • 106. Cyril LEMOINE, COFIDIS, SOLUTIONS CREDIT, at 7:48
  • 107. Alvaro ROBREDO CRESPO, BURGOS-BH, at 12:24
  • 108. Christopher BUTLER, CAJA RURAL-SEGUROS RGA, at 12:24
  • 109. Yoann BAGOT, COFIDIS, SOLUTIONS CREDIT, at 18:38
  • DNF Matteo PELUCCHI, BORA-HANSGROHE
  • DNF Frederik FRISON, LOTTO SOUDAL
  • DNF Ion Ander INSAUSTI IRASTORZA, BAHRAIN-MERIDA
  • DNF Alexander ARANBURU DEVA, CAJA RURAL-SEGUROS RGA
  • DNF Garikoitz BRAVO OIARBIDE, EUSKADI BASQUE COUNTRY-MURIAS
  • DNF Imanol ESTEVEZ SALAS, EUSKADI BASQUE COUNTRY-MURIAS
  • DNF Elias VAN BREUSSEGEM, VÉRANDAS WILLEMS-CRELAN
  • DNF Raul CASTRILLO SEDANO, BURGOS-BH
  • DNF Jorge CUBERO GALVEZ, BURGOS-BH

Read more at http://www.velonews.com/2017/02/news/cort-sprints-almeria-victory_430513#irHwFivoriw2HOMc.99

Friday, February 10, 2017

UCI Takes Measures to Control Race Vehicle Convoy for Rider Safety

Governing body publishes 38 pages of guidelines and possible sanctions for violators
The caravan Joe Martin Stage Race stage 3 (Dejan Smaic/SportifImages
Following the string of collisions between riders and vehicles from the convoy that accompanies races, the Union Cycliste International (UCI) published a 38-page document full of guidelines it will now expect drivers to follow, along with sanctions under existing regulations for those who do not.

The measures follow the shocking on-camera collisions between a car at the 2011 Tour de France and Johnny Hoogerland and Juan Antonio Flecha, Jesse Sergent and a neutral support car in the Tour of Flanders in 2015, Greg Van Avermaet in San Sebastian, and a medical motorbike and Stig Broeckx in Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne in 2016.

Others accidents not televised include a separate incident with a motorcycle in the Baloise Belgium Tour that left Broeckx with a severe traumatic brain injury, and the fatal incident in Gent-Wevelgem between a motorbike and Antoine Demoitie.

The UCI's rules apply to vehicles between the lead commissaire's car and the broom wagon and relate to race preparation, traffic in the race, special measures for motorbikes, what to do in the case of a crash and time trials.

The guidelines also call for drivers to take personal responsibility to be sufficiently rested, abstain from using mobile phones while driving, having a "considerate, prudent attitude rather than overconfidence", and be prepared to avoid risks "even if pressured by an insistent passenger".

The UCI stated that the new document has the support of the Security and Technical Regulations working group, which is made up representatives from the UCI, CPA, AIGCP and the AIOCC, (federation, riders, teams and organisers).

In addition to each driver being required to hold a UCI licence issued by a national federation, they are now required to follow the guidelines or face penalties under road rules 2.2.038-2.2.074 that were modified in 2016. Fines can range from immediate exclusion from the race to a one-year ban, and fines from CHF 200-10,000.

The UCI stated in its press release regarding the convoy guidelines that cases of violations would go to the UCI Disciplinary Commission, and that "several cases are currently in progress".

"The Guidelines for vehicle circulation in the race convoy is an easily accessible reference document that is useful for both experienced and less-experienced drivers. It is a much-appreciated initiative that is part of the growing professionalism of our sport over the last 10 years," said AIGCP President Iwan Spekenbrink.

Gianni Bugno, president of the CPA, which has worked closely with the UCI on behalf of the riders, stated, "The CPA is proud to have contributed to these directives and will continue to work on this guide alongside the UCI."

In 2013, the UCI began organising training courses for drivers, and in 2016, appointed "a team of on-the-ground Technical Advisers made up of former professional riders Robbie Hunter and Thomas Rohregger as well as former rider and race director in the organisation of the Tour de France, Jean-François Pescheux," to identify "potential shortcomings in the organisation and security, and ensure necessary improvements are made before the event", according to the UCI press release.

The new guidelines build upon those efforts, providing detailed rules for drivers on their behaviour, most importantly on when and how to pass riders.

Vehicles are not allowed to overtake a rider, the breakaway or peloton in the 5km before an intermediate sprint, final 2km of a climb or mountain col in the 2km before a feed zone, in any dangerous zones announced by Radio Tour, during the final 5km of feeding from the team cars (between 25 and 20km from the finish, and in the last 10 km of the race.

"This Guide for vehicle circulation in a race is an important step forward which reflects the concrete efforts made by the UCI and all stakeholders to improve the safety of riders at competitions," said UCI President Brian Cookson. "We call on the drivers' sense of responsibility to guarantee the safety of riders. This document backs up our regulation, which was strengthened last year, and will serve as a reference for commissaires and organisers as well as anyone working at a race. This guide is proof of our determination to assume our responsibilities in the face of a capital issue: the security of our sport and our athletes."

Other guidelines of interest:

  • Sport Directors are no longer allowed to talk to their riders in the last 5 km of events.
  • Drivers cannot use mobile phones while driving, not even with headsets.
  • No TV screens in the front seat of team cars.
  • Drivers must have 0% blood alcohol levels at all times, and no opiod drug usage.
  • Motorcycles carrying guests are not allowed in the race convoy.
  • A maximum of five motorcycles carry out yellow flag (marshall) duties.
  • Vehicles preceding the race shall accelerate in the final kilometre in order to cross the finish line and pass the photographers' area at least 15 seconds before the first rider, to avoid appearing in the view of the fixed cameras and marring the shots of the photographers.
Article Source: Cycling News

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Roundtable: Too Windy for Bike Racing?

The high winds caused the peloton to break up into multiple groups on the road at Dubai Tour. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com
The winds of change are a blowin’ — now more than ever, pro cycling races are being cancelled or truncated due to extreme weather. In the last week, wind cancelled the Dubai Tour’s stage 4 to Hatta Dam and led organizers to shorten Volta a Valenciana’s final stage in Spain. Are the riders just getting soft? Or is the sport finally moving toward a level of professionalism that actually prioritizes safety? Time to roundtable!

The uptick in cancelled or shortened races due to extreme weather is a sign of _______.

Spencer Powlison @spino_powerlegs: It’s probably a sign of better meteorological science. We can also blame Twitter too, for giving everyone a forum to complain about stuff: “It’s too windy to race!” “That race I wanted to watch got cancelled!” “VeloNews wrote such a stupid opinion piece about that cancelled race!” Or maybe, just maybe, we’re seeing the influential track cycling lobby flex its muscles with a bit of backroom dealing to convince riders and fans that the only way to reliably run a race is to do it indoors on a velodrome. But in all seriousness, a lot of this can be chalked up to more influential and purposeful rider organizations, such as the CPA and ANAPRC — riders’ unions, essentially.

Fred Dreier @freddreier: OK, I really really want to say it’s because the riders are getting soft, but that’s not the answer. I think it’s more a sign that race organizers of smaller events are becoming scared of rider protests and/or getting on the bad side of the sport’s biggest teams and star athletes. Yep, the organizers are soft! I know that ASO shortened the Mont Ventoux stage last year, but I can’t imagine them canceling an entire stage due to wind anytime soon. The Tour of Dubai and Valenciana are not the Tour de France. To a certain degree, they are dependent on the stars showing up for publicity, fanfare, etc. If RCS pisses off Marcel Kittel, maybe he doesn’t show up to Dubai next year. If they piss off Quick-Step, then maybe Quick-Step brings its entire “B” team next year. Organizers do not want that.

Was it the right move to cancel Dubai Tour stage 4 and shorten Valenciana stage 5?

SP: We didn’t lose a whole lot with a shorter Valenciana stage because the GC was essentially decided, and the day was meant for the sprinters anyway. It’s too bad the Dubai Tour couldn’t include the only climb in the route (Hatta Dam), but did you see the crazy videos of the wind that week? Marcel Kittel was bound to get punched again.

FD: Regarding Hatta Dam, I can understand the decision. Caley Fretz, who was on the scene, just informed me that it wasn’t necessarily the wind that caused the cancellation, but rather the blowing sand that did the trick. He described a scene that sounded straight of the film, “The Mummy.” In my mind, this constitutes an Act of God (or mummy)-type scenario, so sure, cancel the day. You can’t really pilot a bicycle if your eyeballs have been sandblasted from your skull.

I’m not so sure about Valenciana.

OK, time to pilot this opinion right off a cliff. Here’s the thing: I am totally on board with canceling stages due to dangerously cold conditions, huge snowfall, and lighting. But wind is a natural element that factors heavily into the tactics and strategies of the race. Gusting wind often determines who wins and who loses, especially on flat stages. Learning to navigate wind — yep, even terrible gusting wind — is a skill that riders should learn. Riding into high winds and gusty winds totally sucks, but hey, cycling is a sport that’s about enduring sucky conditions, right? Canceling a stage due to winds is kind of like canceling a climb because it’s too hard. OK Internet, hate me.

In a CyclingNews story on Sunday, Allan Peiper said, “”You get the first hint of rain in Belgium and the riders are traveling to Spain to train. So the mentality has changed.” Is he basically calling modern cyclists a bunch of pansies?

SP: Hm, I wonder if Peiper would put his money where his mouth is and tell all the riders on his BMC team to stay in Belgium and tough it out when the winter weather comes …

FD: I mean, he’s totally calling them pansies. No debate here. But hey, Allan Peiper rode the Gavia in 1988 so I think he’s legally free to call anybody a pansy without retribution.

Let’s play a little game of Kiss, Marry, Kill (you know this game). What three extreme weather condition would you kiss, marry, and kill?

SP: I say kiss wind because crosswinds make for exciting racing (hello Gent-Wevelgem fans!). Marry hot weather because it’s nice when you don’t need leg warmers. And kill snow because, if it gets to that point, the pros should be out doing those silly winter training camp activities, like when they go skiing in team kit or have snowball fights.

FD: You kiss snow because it produces those epic, crazy, once-in-a-decade type experiences that you brag to your buddies about for years afterward (“There were three feet of snow on the ground and I was riding in shorts!”). You marry wind because it keeps you on your toes, never let’s you get complacent, and sometimes scares you straight. You kill hot because if you run out of water, hot will kill you first.

Read more at http://www.velonews.com/2017/02/commentary/roundtable-too-windy-for-bike-racing_430231#JuY01C78vMqFlJ8l.99

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Ultimate Sprint Training Tips With Marcel Kittel – How To Sprint Like A Pro


Find out how to sprint on your road bike like a pro cyclist with Tour de France stage winner Marcel Kittel.

Marcel Kittel is one of the greatest sprinters of his generation. He has won multiple stages at the Tour de France and is one of the few riders to consistently beat Mark Cavendish, Andre Greipel and Peter Sagan.

Marcel's advice on sprint training then, is probably up there with some of the best practical advice that you can receive.

In this video, which was filmed at before the 2017 Dubai Tour where Marcel won the first two stages, Kittel runs through his top three training sessions for sprint cyclists with GCN presenter and former Tour de France professional cyclist Daniel Lloyd.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Early Season Opportunities: Wins for the Little Guys

Nikias Arndt celebrated with his Sunweb teammates after winning the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com
The big names usually get the wins. That’s how pro cycling works, and that’s why they get paid the big bucks. A team goes all-in for its proven winners. If it’s not Mark Cavendish or Marcel Kittel taking the sprints, there’s a John Degenkolb or Peter Sagan ready to step in. And in the stage races, if it’s not Chris Froome’s and Nairo Quintana’s turn for glory, there’s Alberto Contador or Vincenzo Nibali.

But despite some 400+ racing days across the elite men’s road racing calendar, it’s still fairly rare for one of the “little guys” to take the flowers. On occasion, especially in early season races, teams will let their workers have a chance to shine. That happened twice this week across the peloton.

In stage 1 at the Herald Sun Tour, Orica – Scott’s loyal worker bee Damien Howson took his first pro road stage win of his career. Orica opened up its offenses on a late-stage climb, letting Howson have his run for glory ahead of designated team captain Esteban Chaves. The move paid off, and the Aussie fended off new Sky arrival Kenny Elissonde to grab the win.

“I’ve been living my successes through others, which I am always happy to do, but it’s nice to get a little bit of glory today,” said the 24-year-old. “This is my first win in these colors, and it’s been a long spell without a win.”

Halfway across the globe at the opening stage of the Volta a Valenciana, it was no surprise to see BMC Racing power to victory in an unusually long team time trial of 38km on a hilly course around Orihuela. BMC prides itself on team time trials, and the riders in red drilled it to take a 21-second win over defending champion Wout Poels and Sky. Other teams bled time, including Thibaut Pinot’s FDJ, at 1:30 slower, or Ilnur Zakarin’s Katusha squad, at 1:52.

It was refreshing to see BMC open the door for its budding Italian star Manuel Senni to cross the line first to take the leader’s jersey. While not a victory, it’s a chance for the 24-year-old to enjoy the spotlight for at least a day. Senni was a last-minute replacement for the ill Manuel Quinziato, so the payback was even sweeter.

“I came into this race late, so I was just trying my hardest to stay with them for as long as possible,” Senni said. “In the end, I still had good legs and was able to go all the way. On the run into the finish, I was sitting at the front, so before I knew it, I had crossed the line first. There wasn’t any plan for that to happen, but I am super happy about it.”

Teams will often use early season races as an opportunity for its second-tier riders to have a chance to go for their own results. Once the season’s main goals arrive, be they one-day classics or stage races, everyone slots into their traditional roles.

“It’s important for riders to keep racing to win, and we have to give them their chances,” said BMC Racing’s Jim Ochowicz in an earlier interview. “You see riders win at the U23 level, but often they get put into a helper’s role on a big team at the WorldTour. We try to give them chances along the year so they do not forgot what it’s like to win.”

So far this season, we’ve already seen a mix of established names taking early wins, such as Bauke Mollema (Trek – Segafredo) at the Tour de San Juan and Richie Porte (BMC Racing) at the Santos Tour Down Under, but some others have taken full advantage of an opening. Danny Van Poppel (Sky) took a morale-boosting win at the Herald Sun Tour prologue, and Nikias Arndt (Sunweb) snagged a big victory at the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Race.

Riders are smart to press the advantage when they get a chance. Teams want to see riders be aggressive, and results only mean that more chances will open up in the future. Or, in the case of Thomas De Gendt, make opportunities when there might not be any. The veteran Belgian attacked with gusto at the Tour Down Under in three stages, and came away with the king of the mountains prize. It might not seem like much, but for a rider who earns his stripes in breakaways, it’s a symbol of something bigger.

“You have to race hard every chance you get. Because usually, I am working for André [Greipel] or our GC leaders,” De Gendt said. “It’s important to gain results across the season, because if all you do is work for the others, you can lose the sensation of riding to win.”

Last spring, some early season “plan B” winners included Poels (Valenciana) and Gianluca Brambilla (Mallorca Challenge), two riders who later enjoyed breakout seasons. As a result, both will see even more opportunities in 2017.

With the first major European stage races still a month away, many team’s Plan B riders are waiting in the wings to show what they’ve got. After Valenciana, the peloton stays busy at the Volta ao Algarve and the Ruta del Sol in Spain, and Haut Var and La Provence in France.

Read more at http://www.velonews.com/2017/02/news/early-season-opportunities-wins-for-the-little-guys_430000#M2g45WwCFgH4tO34.99