Navardauskas wins Giro stage 11 solo from breakaway

Ramunas Navardauskas (Garmin-Sharp) has powered away from his fellow escapees and dropped Daniel Oss (BMC) on the final climb of the day to take a solo victory on stage 11 of the Giro d’Italia.

Stage 11 took the riders 182km from Tarvisio to Vajont in north-eastern Italy and over two category-two climbs. With the opening 70km all gently downhill, it took a long time for a breakaway group to form, but eventually 20 riders forged clear, with only three teams — Lampre-Merida, Lotto-Belisol and Astana – not represented.

Giro d'Italia 2013 - Undicesima Tappa

The group built its lead up the long climb of Sella Ciampigotto, but on the subsequent descent Patrick Gretsch (Argos-Shimano) pressed on and opened up a gap of more than a minute on his breakaway companions and more than five minutes on the Astana-led peloton.

Heading into the final 20km, the rest of the breakaway upped their pace in a bid to catch Gretsch with Navardauskas and Oss able to break clear and catch the German. Gretsch eventually faded once the catch had been made and it was left to Oss and Navardauskas to battle it out on the final climb.

Navardauskas attacked Oss a number of times and eventually broke clear with roughly 5km to go, going on to win by 1:08 over Oss and by 2:59 over Stefano Pirazzi (Bardiani Valvole) in third.

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Vincenzo Nibali (Astana), Cadel Evans (BMC) and Rigoberto Uran (Sky) all finished on the same time, 5:31 behind Navardauskas, meaning there’s no change at the top of the general classification.

Tonight’s 12th stage takes the riders 134km from Longarone to Treviso with only a couple of smaller climbs to traverse. With 33km of flat road leading into the finish, it’s likely to be a rare stage for the sprinters to contest.

Follow the link to see full results from stage 11 of the 2013 Giro d’Italia. The report above uses text from a Team Sky media release.

Garmin back on track after Hesjedal blow-up

With reigning Giro d’Italia champion Ryder Hesjedal now out of GC contention after losing more than 20 minutes on stage 10, the Garmin-Sharp team has had to rethink their strategy for the rest of the three-week race. To quote from VeloNews:

“Last night at the team hotel, Garmin riders and staff tried to put the bad spell behind them and change the chip. Forget the GC; attack and try to win stages — those were the new marching orders.”

Their plan came up trumps immediately, with Ramunas Navardauskas winning the very next stage with a commanding performance. Navardauskas said after the stage:

“Ryder had a bad day yesterday. That’s racing, but we will keep fighting. Today we started a new type of race. The whole team is racing differently. We will try to keep winning more stages.”

Click here to read more at VeloNews.

Farrar wins stage 4 at the Tour of California

Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Sharp) has won stage 4 of the Tour of California in a bunch sprint ahead of Ken Hanson (Optum, second) and Gianni Meersman (Omega Pharma Quick Step, third). Winner of stage 3 Peter Sagan (Cannondale) ended up fifth.

Amgen Tour of California stage 4

Janier Acevedo (Jamis-Hagens Berman) finished in the main field and will wear the leader’s jersey for another day. He leads the general classification ahead of Tejay van Garderen (BMC) and Philip Deignan (UnitedHealthcare).

Follow the link to see full results from stage 4 of the 2013 Tour of California.

Andy Schleck on his stage 3 Tour of California breakaway

As we reported yesterday, Andy Schleck made the move in yesterday’s third stage of the Tour of California which was great to see given how much he’s struggled in the past year or so. In this video Andy Schleck talk us through how the stage unfolded and what lies ahead for the rest of the Tour.

Orica GreenEDGE’s Backstage Pass at the Tour of California

Orica-GreenEDGE’s resident video producer Dan Jones left the Giro after a handful of stages to come over to the Tour of California and he’s now producing a video per stage of the US biggest race. Check out the videos from stages 1 to 3 here:

Gilbert withdraws from the Tour of California

Reigning world road champion Philippe Gilbert of the BMC Racing Team has withdrawn from the Tour of California before the start of stage 4 to attend the birth of his second child.

“My wife is going to have our baby sooner than the delivery date,” Gilbert said. “So it’s an exciting reason and very important for me to be there.”

Amgen Tour of California

Racing for the first time in the United States, Gilbert finished 56th on Sunday’s Stage 1. On Stage 2, he provided an early lead-out to teammate Tejay van Garderen on the lower slopes of the finishing climb before finishing 30th.

Gilbert said while he was not enjoying top form, he did enjoy his time at the race. “I always have problem with the jet lag and differences of temperature but it was a nice race,” he said. “The roads were nice – different than Europe of course, with very big roads – and the organization was fine. It’s a little bit sad to leave because I think Tejay is going to win this race.”

Gilbert and his wife, Patricia, already have a two-year-old son, Alan.

Text via BMC press release.

Kristoff wins stage 1 at the Tour of Norway

Katusha’s Alexander Kristoff has won the opening stage of the Tour of Norway on home soil overnight, sprinting to victory ahead of fellow Norwegian Sky’s Edvald Boassen Hagen.

Kristoff said via Katusha press release:

“It was a short stage, but anyways the sprint was really hard.I have to thank the whole team, especially Rudiger Selig, Marco Haller and Alexander Porsev for the huge work they did in the final part in order to put me in the best position for starting my rush.

The sprint with Boasson Hagen was head to head until the very last meters, where I was able to pass him. I’m very happy for this victory: it’s the first time I take part to Tour of Norway, and it’s a pleasure to wear the leader’s jersey at my first attempt thanks to this brilliant performance.

I want to keep it as much as possible, I’ll do my best even if I know I won’t be able to keep it until the end: but tomorrow I think there will be another sprinters stage, suitable to my characteristics, I’m in a good shape so I’ll try to encore for sure”.

The Tour of Norway will be held over five stages with tonight’s second stage featuring a couple of climbs on its way from Kongsberg and Skien.

Follow the link to see the full results from stage 1 of the 2013 Tour of Norway. Click here to see which riders are competing in the race and click here to see the official Tour of Norway website.

Wade blogs from stage 4 of the Ingkerreke Commercial Mountain Bike Enduro

If there was any chance for anyone to make up significant time and put the nail in the coffin, it was stage 4. Some 90km of relatively flat doubletrack would put everyone’s road racing savvy-ness to the test.

An early 4am wakeup saw the whole field bussed 90km away from Alice Springs into the remote indigenous community of Santa Teresa where the race started. The pace was frantic from the gun and within 10 minutes the bunch was split to many pieces. As much as this resembled a road stage, it was extremely intense trying to follow the wheel while negotiating the wet and slippery soil along with ruts and rocks.

I was lucky to make the front split of about 20 riders but a crash in front of me saw a few of us slip off the back and not able to catch up again. These guys were absolutely flying.

Image appears courtesy of Rapid Ascent

Image appears courtesy of Rapid Ascent

I managed to catch on with a chase group which was a comfortable pace for the last 50km. The race within that bunch was between Rowena Fry (who rode for GreenEDGE last year) and Jenny Fay. I had my nemesis from the Vets category in my group as well, so the challenge was to get rid of him. Fortunately I was able to put my dirty little road tactics to work when I saw a gap open up and managed to pop him from our group in the last 15km.

Unfortunately someone had tampered with the course markings in the final sections of the stage which caused our group and the lead group to get lost. We met up with the lead group and had a laugh asking each other for directions and about a dozen of us rode across the line together after riding about 10km too far. The race was neutralised but I still had an incredible day out and was happy with my ride.

Today we race stages 5 and 6 at the Alice Springs Golf Course on a 23km course, starting this morning with an individual time trial over the 23km course, followed by an evening group stage of the same 23km course! It is expected to be a highlight of the week.

Vacansoleil won’t renew team sponsorship

Luxury camping holiday company Vacansoleil has confirmed that it won’t renew its sponsorship of the WorldTour team, having achieved all it wanted to achieve in the past five years.

The team announced via press release:

“The management of Vacansoleil-DCM was informed by its title sponsor Vacansoleil of the fact that they won’t renew the sponsorship agreement. A sponsor from the start, Vacansoleil saw the team grow since 2009, and they reached their goals with the sponsorship within five years’ time.”

Giro D'Italia 2013 stage-5

The announcement follows news just yesterday that the team’s other major sponsor, fertiliser company DCM, has also declined to renew its sponsorship, putting pressure on team management to fill two large gaps.

Team manager Daan Luijkx is clear on the challenges: “We talk to several parties who see the value of the sport in general and more specifically the team. This for example concerns getting a return of ten times the invested sponsorship amount over the complete season.”

Sylvain Georges fails Giro drug test

(AFP) – French rider Sylvain Georges has tested positive for a “specified substance” during the ongoing Giro d’Italia, according to cycling’s world governing body, the UCI.

The UCI said Georges had produced an “adverse analytical finding”, with the stimulant heptaminol showing up in a urine sample collected during the Giro’s seventh stage on May 10.

“Mr Georges has the right to request and attend the analysis of his B sample,” the UCI said. “The UCI Anti-Doping Rules do not impose a provisional suspension given the nature of the substance, which is a specified substance.”

But the AG2R rider did not start Wednesday’s 11th stage. It now falls to the French cycling federation to decide whether or not to open disciplinary proceedings against Georges.

Text via AFP

Mt Fuji and The Tour of Japan; A Preview of Pain

by Jono Lovelock

Asian cycling continues to strengthen its reputation as a bona fide transition for riders from Australia to the top league in Europe. In recent years the results attained by Australian teams such as Jayco AIS WTC, Huon-Genesys, Drapac Pro Cycling, Budget Forklifts, Satalyst-Giant Racing and now search2retain in Asia all go to the development of Australian cycling.

The Tour of Japan is one race that has served as a successful showroom for Australian talent. In 2008 Cam Meyer won the overall. In 2009 Leigh Howard won three stages and was kind enough to leave two stages for Jack Bobridge to snare. Finally, the following year Michael Mathews won the opening prologue by a blistering 6 seconds.

This year both Huon-Genesys and Drapac Pro Cycling will be racing against the likes of Vini Fantini and Lampre. Thus it will be brilliant to watch our domestic teams mix it with Giro level outfits, and it’s on the steep slopes of Mt Fuji where the best will really come to the fore.

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Mt Fuji is a mountain that Cameron Wurf has described as harder than both Zoncolan and the Mortirolo. Similarly, in an animated Mt Fuji preview on The Climbing Cyclist, the implications of holding a mass start road race at the very bottom of a 10% 11.4km climb are discussed.

So head over to TCC for more Tour of Japan links and a bit of Mt Fuji madness. It will make you laugh, promise!

Full disclosure: The Climbing Cyclist website, where Jono’s full article has been published, is run by a member of the CyclingTips team.

Miguel Ubeto tests positive to GW1516, suspended by Lampre

The UCI has announced that Migel Ubeto (Lampre-Merida) has been provisionally suspended after returning a positive test for the potentially dangerous banned substance GW1516.

In a statement, the Venezuelan rider has taken responsibility for the positive test, admitting to using the compound after surgery on a broken arm. But, Ubeto argued, he stopped using the compound when WADA issued a statement about the drug’s potentially harmful side-effects.

GW1516 is believed to help build muscles that preferentially burn fat rather than carbohydrate, leading to the potential for greater weight loss while maintaining muscle mass. The drug has also been linked to tumour growth in rodents when used at high dosages.

Click here to read our feature article about GW1516 and its potential use in cycling. And click here to read more about the Ubeto case in VeloNews.

Bikes-in-a-line world record under threat

Former English rugby captain Martin Johnson has announced he’ll try to break the Guiness World Record for the most number of bicycles in a line. The current record was set in Davis, California and stands at 916 bikes.

There’ll be no shortage of willing participants in Johnson’s attempt as it will be made during the Prudential RideLondon FreeCycle event in early August to which more than 50,000 people are expected to attend.

Everyone attending will be invited to take part in the record attempt. The route will take the line of riders past iconic London landmarks including St Paul’s Cathedral, Buckingham Palace, the Houses of Parliament and the Tower of London.

Don’t forget to enter the Giro quiz

If you haven’t already completed our Giro d’Italia quiz, what are you waiting for? There are some great prizes on offer, including a GoPro HD Hero3 Silver edition and a Garmin 510, and it’s totally free to enter. We can tell you that the quiz is quite challenging, thanks to Jamie Jowett, and as yet, no-one’s answered all the questions correctly.

Click here for more information and to take the quiz.

Trailer: Antidote MTB film

Here at CyclingTips we’re a sucker for a great MTB video so this trailer for the upcoming film Antidote caught our eye. To quote from Pinkbike:

“Antidote is a new full length MTB film about the top riders in the UK, across all disciplines and what they do in the off season to wind down. The film will be released free online in 4 parts one a week for the next 4 weeks, and then be available for download as a full film at the end.”

Coming soon: The Bike Lane

It’s Thursday morning which means the Bike Lane isn’t far away. Stay posted for episode 9 in season 2, coming soon!

The Rocacorba Recap

And finally, here are a couple of things we’ve published in the last day or so that you might have missed:

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