Struggling Wiggins upbeat over Giro hopes

(AFP) Tour de France champion Bradley Wiggins remains optimistic about his flagging Giro d’Italia chances and says it will be a new race when the peloton resumes racing on Tuesday following a challenging first week hindered by difficult weather conditions.

“The rest day has been very beneficial,” said the Olympic time-trial champion on Monday.

“I really needed it mentally. Physically everything is fine,” added the Englishman who lies fourth overall and 1 minute 16 seconds adrift of Italian race leader Vincenzo Nibali.

“The gap is far from insurmountable,” Wiggins insisted.

The Team Sky leader also feels that Nibali has weaknesses and reminded onlookers that the Italian suffered difficult days on last year’s Tour de France when Wiggins’ became the first British rider to win cycling’s most prestigious race.

“He (Nibali) had some off days on the Tour (de France) and it could happen again on the Giro, especially when you see how difficult the course is,” he added after being hampered by wet and dangerous conditions on week one that saw Wiggins lose time after a crash.

“Let’s be honest, I descended like bit of a girl really after the crash,” he said. “Not to disrespect girls, I have one at home. But that’s life and we have to push on and deal with the disappointments.

Giro d'Italia 2013 - Settima Tappa

Wiggins is also aware of the threat posed by former Tour de France winner Cadel Evans of Australia who is currently second and only 29 seconds behind Nibali.

“Cadel is the best I’ve seen him since he won the Tour. He is the dangerman in that position.”

The race resumes on Tuesday with a tough 167km run from Cordenons, that culminates with a tough final climb to Altopiano del Montasio that includes a stiff 20% incline.

“It will be one of the toughest finishes of this Giro, that’s for sure,” said Wiggins. “The race could tip upside down again.”

The 33-year-old is still looking for his first individual win of the season after finishing fifth behind Nibali during the Tour of Trentino when he was punished by mechanical problems.

Text via AFP. Click here to read more about Wiggins’ “I descended like a girl” comment.

Degenkolb withdraws from the Giro

(AFP) – Germany’s John Degenkolb, who sprinted to victory on stage five of the Giro d’Italia, has pulled out of the race during Monday’s rest day.

“Before the start, I said that I wanted to finish a race and in particular the Giro, but not at any price.

“I feel it will be difficult for me to recover,” said the 24-year-old who was lying in 129th position and 1 hour 9 minutes 4 seconds behind Italian race leader Vincenzo Nibali, when he dropped out.

“The first week of the Giro was very rigorous and we also had to deal with very difficult weather conditions. It has had an impact on my condition and I simply can’t adapt,” added the speedster who won five stages in last year’s Tour of Spain and claimed fourth spot at the world championships.

“I know that I am getting stronger every year and I must put my pride to one side and do what is best for my body. We decided as a team that I will go home, firstly to recover and then to work on our next objectives.”

Degenkolb is now hoping to be fit to take part in his first Tour de France, the 100th edition of the mythical race that runs from June 29 to July 21 and kicks off in Corsica.

Text via AFP.

Acevedo wins Tour of California stage 2

Janier Acevedo (Jamis-Hagens Berman) has won the 200km-long second stage of the 2013 Tour of California, outclimbing Tejay van Garderen (BMC) and recent Tour of the Gila winner Phil Deignan (UnitedHealthcare) on the brutal stage-ending climb to Palm Springs.

Deignan attacked with 3.5km to go on the steep climb but was reeled in by Acevedo and van Garderen with a couple kilometres to go. Acevedo attacked with 1km remaining to the finish and proved too strong for van Garderen.

Amgen Tour of California

Overnight race leader Lieuwe Westra (Vacansoleil) couldn’t match the pace of the leaders on the final climb and fell back, surrendering his yellow jersey. Acevedo will wear the leader’s jersey on stage 3, with van Garderen and Deignan second and third on GC respectively.

Australians Michael Rogers (Saxo Bank) and Cam Meyer (Orica-GreenEDGE) finished fifth and 10th on the stage respectively and will assume those positions on the general classification.

Stage 3 will take the riders 177km from Palmdale to Santa Clarita with a handful of challenging climbs along the way.

Follow the link to see the results from stage 2 of the 2013 Tour of California.

Wade blogs from the Ingkerreke Commercial MTB Enduro 2013

by Wade Wallace

This week I’m doing something different. My guilty pleasure if you will. I’m treating myself to a vacation and doing a mountain bike stage race in Alice Springs which features 200 competitors from all over Australia riding some of the most unique trails I’ve ever seen.

Two stages were held on day 1 yesterday and there was no easing into it. The first stage was a quick 42km loop west of Alice Springs finishing on the town’s velodrome. I placed myself in the start grid based on the look of the competitors around me (right in with the guys with beards and hairy legs). As it turned out, I nailed it and immediately found my place in the pecking order.

Nearly every kilometer of stage 1 was flowing singletrack and the trail conditions were perfect with some recent rain. As always, there are some unique characteristics to these trails and the two that stand out are the jagged rocks that hit your pedals more times than not, and the razor sharp needles that stick into your tyres (there’s no way you’d make it without slime in the tyres).

In the end I managed to follow someone who was better than me and pushed me all the way to 13th place overall (1st in my new category, the 40-49 year olds!).

Stage 1 Race Start - Neutral Zone

Later that evening we had the stage 2 time trial up Anzac Hill. It was only 300m long but an average of 11%. It was a fantastic atmosphere with many locals lining the road shaking cowbells in our ears. I hit it as hard as I possibly could and thought for certain that nobody would be able to beat my time. Was I ever wrong! I managed to get a time of 1:01 (9th in Vets, 43rd overall) and the winning time was by Andrew Blair (also winner of stage 1) who bombed up that hill in 44 seconds! (The Strava segment for the hill can be found here).

Today’s Stage 3 is 49km through some of the region’s best trails – apparently more singletrack heaven over fast, flowing and undulating terrain. Let’s see if I can hold together my lead in the Vets category. I’ll beat up on them while I can!

Click here to follow the race reports on Rapid Ascent (stage 1) and see the live results here.

Young Australians off to a good start at Olympia’s Tour

by Jono Lovelock

The prologue of the 61st Royal Smilde Olympia’s Tour (2.2) was held overnight in Holland and while victory went to one of the local favourites, Coen Vermeltfoort, it was impressive to see seven Aussies and one Kiwi clogging up the top ten. Competition is tough for young Australians these days!


Follow the link to see the results from the prologue of the 61st Royal Smilde Olympia’s Tour.

Inside the Giro d’Italia feedzone

Here’s another great video from the folks at the Global Cycling Network, this time about the feedzones at the Giro d’Italia. It’s all about how feedzones are set up, why they’re so dangerous, what the riders get in their musettes, and more.

Gerald Ciolek’s Milan-San Remo SRM Data

On March 17 Gerald Ciolek (MTN-Qhubeka) won a memorable victory at Milan-San Remo, surprising almost everyone, especially Peter Sagan (Cannondale). Now, Ciolek and his MTN-Qhubeka team have released the German sprinter’s power data from the race and it makes for fascinating reading. Check it out here.

From the Mediterranean to the Middle East

by Jono Lovelock

Giro d’Italia race organiser Michele Acquarone recently announced the dates for the inaugural Tour of Dubai, the next project for his Italian firm RCS Sport.

Taking place in February next year the new race will continue a trend in which race organisers are being forced by changing economic circumstances to follow the corporate dollar from Europe across to Asia and the Middle East.

We just hope that on the scale of excitement and scenery that the new race in the United Arab Emirates can rub shoulders with the Tour of Oman.

Click here to read more at sport360.

Bianchi Lotto Arbitrage finds its feet in Europe

Bianchi Lotto Arbitrage, Western Australia’s first international cycling team, has established itself in Belgium, where eight of the team’s 12 riders will spend the next few months training and racing in the highly competitive European scene.

The team is the culmination of seven years’ work for team owner Tony Anderson and team manager Glenn Harris in a project that was introduced to bring something new and exciting to Perth’s cycling scene. Tony and Glenn recognised a need for a pathway for talented and dedicated cyclists in WA who have the potential to forge international careers in the sport.

Since leaving Perth on April 25, Bianchi Lotto Arbitrage raced in the OCBC Criterium in Singapore, where they raced alongside Australian champion Stuart O’Grady and took seventh and 12th place. The team also took second in the Kermis at Kotenaken-Stok which was a European debut for some of the Bianchi Lotto Arbitrage riders. Michael Freiberg narrowly missed out on the win, Stephen Hall crossed the line in a chase group and the remainder of the guys finished in the main bunch.

Click here to learn more about the Bianchi Lotto Arbitrage team and click here to visit the team’s Facebook page.

Richard Branson to ride 1200km?

by Jono Lovelock

Well maybe. An entrepreneurial group calling themselves the Vision Crusaders is taking part in a 1200km, 12-day challenge that will take part across various cities in Australia and New Zealand.

This ANZAC effort is set to raise bucket loads of cash for cancer research. And the feather in their cap? They’ve put the hard word on Virgin boss Sir Richard Branson to join them. But only if they can get 1 million likes on this Facebook photo.

If Branson does join them, we just hope he remembers to wear a helmet!

Click here to read more about the Vision Crusaders.

Anna Meares’ Australian Story

Last night ABC TV aired the second and final part in a great Australian Story about track champion Anna Meares. If you haven’t seen the episodes, they’re more than worth a look.

Untitled

You can find episode one here and last night’s second episode here. You can also watch the episodes on iView.

The post-crash lament

We don’t normally feature poetry in the Rocacorba Daily but this bit of free verse from fatcyclist.com entitled “The Post-Crash Lament” made us laugh. Here’s an excerpt:

Here I sit
Alone, in pain
Not yelling, for I am alone
As previously stated
A minute ago
– a mere moment! –
I was riding
I was in the moment
I was focused
I was happy
I did not know
What my near future
Held in store

Check out the full poem here. Got a favourite piece of cycling poetry? Why not share it with us in the comments below …

Tour de France 100th edition art gallery

And speaking of the creative disciplines, a photography exhibition is touring from Paris to Sydney and Melbourne to celebrate the Tour de France’s centenary edition. The exhibition apparently “captures the emotion and evolution of the world’s biggest cycling race from the first event in 1903 – appropriately won by handle-bar moustachioed Maurice Garin – to the current day.”

This exhibition comprises more than 60 photos – ranging from early black and white images of charming towns thronged with spectators who’d journeyed by horse and cart, to the streaking colour blur of contemporary sprinters. There are famous faces, like five times Tour winner Bernaud Hinault.

The exhibition is free and it will be in Sydney and Melbourne on the following dates:

  • 01 May-10 July at Sydney Sofitel Wentworth
  • 15 July-31 August at Sofitel Melbourne on Collins

Click here to read more.

The Rocacorba Recap

We’ve published quite a few things in recent days and we don’t want you to miss out. Check these articles out if you haven’t already:

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