Nibali defends Tirreno crown
(AFP) – Italy’s Vincenzo Nibali became the first rider in over 20 years to successfully defend his Tirreno-Adriatico crown on Tuesday as the Astana racer held off the challenge of Britain’s Chris Froome.
The Italian is the first rider to defend his crown in the Tirreno since Swiss Tony Rominger in 1989-1990. Froome had begun the day 34sec behind his rival and Nibali was able to hold him off to take the overall win following a 9.2km time-trial around San Benedetto del Tronto on Italy’s eastern Adriatic coast. Nibali came in 12th on the day with German racer Tony Martin of Omega Pharma winning the time-trial. Spanish Saxo Bank rider Alberto Contador — with Froome another contender for this year’s Tour de France — was third overall at 52sec.
“I am really happy with this repeat victory as it is very valuable (given it was achieved) against renowned adversaries such as Contador, Froome and (Joaquin) Rodriguez,” said 28-year-old Nibali, who gave up 26sec on the day to time trial world champion Tony Martin. This latest success underlines his status as a favourite for the Tour of Italy, where he will be up against, among others, Tour de France champion Bradley Wiggins.
Snow forces cancellation of Nokere Koerse semi-classic
(AFP) — Organizers have canceled the 68th edition of the Belgian semi-classic Nokere Koerse, scheduled for Wednesday, due to significant snowfall.
“Not being able to ensure the safety of riders, followers and spectators, organizers decided to cancel the race,” organizers said in a statement.
The Nokere Koerse is the second Belgian semi-classic canceled this winter after Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne, which could not take place Feb. 24, also because of the weather.
Gerrans plays down chances at Milan-San Remo
Ahead of la Primavera this Sunday defending champion Simon Gerrans told Velonews that he is “realistic” and does not consider himself to be a favorite for the win this year. Gerrans admits that last year’s scenario will be hard to do again.
“Being the defending champion does not make me the favorite,” Gerrans told Velonews. “I am pretty realistic. I don’t know what the stats are, but I think it’s 1-in-10 that a break goes away and holds off the bunch to win. Last year, I was in the right place, with the right guys, with great form. The chances of that happening again are pretty slim.”
“Last year, I was in pretty good shape and it’s hard to replicate that exactly,” he said. “I have not had ideal preparation. I am not exactly where I want to be for Sanremo. All the hard work is done; I am just shy some race days. It’s such a long race, it’s usually about who’s done the work and who has legs in the end rather than who’s race-fit.”
Jayco-AIS World Tour Academy riders unveiled
Cycling Australia the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) and JAYCO heralded a new era for Australian cycling in Canberra today at the official launch of the 2013 Jayco-AIS World Tour Academy.
A reshaping of the successful Jayco-AIS Continental team, the new-look Academy will provide the pathway for Australia’s most talented Under 23 riders into the World Championship, Olympic Games and professional ranks.
CA’s Performance Director Kevin Tabotta said that the Jayco-AIS World Tour Academy team will be presented as the Australian national team in all European races.
Jayco-AIS Women’s Endurance Squad
CA will continue to support the Jayco-AIS women’s endurance squad which functions as a development program in the pathway for the Orica-AIS professional women’s cycling team.
Mirroring the men’s structure, our women’s road and track endurance coaches are working closely together to ensure optimal development for the riders, and best efficiencies in the delivery of the programs.
Sharon Laws suffers broken collarbone and vertebrae in Cape Argus crash
Current British national road race champion Sharon Laws looks likely to sit out most of the 2013 season after suffering suffered a broken collarbone as well as a compressed fracture to vertebrae in her back following a crash during the Cape Argus race in South Africa at the weekend.
Overwhelmed by all messages, so fortunate to have such great friends. Thank you. Very sore, no movement allowed,maybe op tomorrow #goingnuts
— Sharon Laws (@SharonNLaws) March 11, 2013
Laws, who has spent the winter in South Africa riding for the Momentum Toyota team, was due to return to Europe at the start of next month to ride for her new Lotto-Belisol team.
Sunday’s incident during the Cape Argus, which attracts 35,000 competitors, happened when Laws was unable to avoid hitting a male rider who had come down in front of her.
Next weekend is the Cape Epic mountain bike race where Laws had been due to aim for a third victory with Hanley Booyens. Booyens said, “Sharon had a horrible crash nearing the finish line of the Argus. She was out there having a brilliant ride. “She was in front, riding aggressively and unfortunately this meant she was the first in line when one of the guys went down, sending her rocketing over him and crashing badly.
Read more at road.cc.
Countdown to Gran Fondo Beechworth
The town of Beechworth, located 3 hours north east of Melbourne, will come alive from 19 to 21 April 2013, when the Gran Fondo Beechworth cycling event takes place against the backdrop of the Victorian Alps. This three-day cycling immersion in country Victoria is where cycling, local food, wine will come together. Gran Fondo Beechworth, Director, Michael Hands is looking forward to delivering the event. “We want to kick off the cycling weekend with local food, wine and entertainment, and what better way is there than attending a fast and furious Giant cyclo-cross 2km event with Bridge Road Brewery’s spectator stadium on course.”
The cycling weekend includes something for everyone from the serious to the not so serious. On offer is a suite of distinctive categories such as;
- Gran Fondo: 173km closed road circuit (timed)
- Medio Fondo: 83km closed road circuit (timed)
- Giant Cyclo-Cross: A Dirty Deeds custom 2km circuit
- Gourmet Fondo: Pedal to produce (open road)
- L’eroica: Vintage salute to yester-year (timed)
Find out more at granfondobeechworth.com.au
Mavic Releases Cosmic Carbone 40c carbon clinchers
After three years of development, Mavic has released details of its ‘carbon clincher’ wheel – the Cosmic Carbone 40c. Up until now Mavic had resisted building a carbon clincher as too many problems were cited with braking and heat build-up.
The way Mavic has gotten around this problem is by creating a thin alloy box and a carbon rim built around it, to try to get the best of both worlds. One of the proprietary elements to this is TgMax, a special carbon resin element which chemically bonds the carbon to the alloy section. Read more at CyclingWeekly
Behind the scenes in the commentary box
GCN’s man on the inside, Daniel Lloyd, takes us behind the scenes at the Tirreno-Adriatico and into the realm of the commentators.