Cavendish wins stage 12 of the Giro d’Italia

The unstoppable Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) has taken out the 100th victory in his professional career, outsprinting his rivals in atrocious conditions on stage 12 of the Giro overnight.

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While the stage from Longarone to Treviso was only short at 134km, constant rain and wet roads made it feel far longer for the riders. A group of five riders managed to get away from the peloton and, at one point, enjoyed a lead of more than three minutes.

With the last 30km of the stage being slightly downhill it looked to be a stage tailor-made for the sprinters, despite a handful of short and sharp climbs earlier in the stage. The peloton slowly whittled away at the front group’s lead but it was always going to be touch and go as to whether the catch would be made.

In the end, the break was swept up with roughly 700m remaining in the stage and when it came time for the final sprint, Cavendish was best-placed and from there it was a mere formality. Three “sprinters stages” at the 2013 Giro d’Italia, three wins for Mark Cavendish.

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Race leader Vincenzo Nibali (Astana), Cadel Evans (BMC) and Rigoberto Uran (Sky) all finished with the same time meaning there’s no change at the top of the general classification.

Tonight’s 13th stage is the longest of the race, 254km from Busseto to Cherasco, and with only a couple of short climbs to contend with, it’s likely to be another chance for the sprinters.

Follow the link to see the full results from stage 12 of the 2013 Giro d’Italia. Click here to see Mark Cavendish’s impressive palmares.

Wiggins suffers with chest infection, loses more time

Bradley Wiggins’ horror start to the Giro has continued with the reigning Tour de France champion now out of contention in the overall classification. Team Sky reported before last night’s 12th stage that Wiggins is suffering with a chest infection and it was clear the Brit wasn’t at his best, eventually finishing 3 minutes behind the main field.

Wiggins was dropped on the descent off the Montello-S.M.d.Vittoria climb and trailed the group containing Nibali, Evans and the other GC contenders by one minute. And then, when the pace heated up in the flat run-in to the line, Wiggins was unable to hold the wheel in front of him and lost contact.

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A pale and empty-looking Wiggins didn’t speak to the media after finishing the stage but Team Sky manager Dave Brailsford denied Wiggins would withdraw from the race immediately.

“He’ll have a shower, have some food, get to the hotel and see how he is overnight. If he’s over the worst and getting better then he’ll carry on. If he’s getting worse it’ll be up to the medics to make the call that’s best for him health wise.”

Either way, it would appear Wiggins’ chances of winning the Giro have all but disappeared now that he sits more than 5 minutes off the pace.

Click here to read more at Cycling News.

Voigt wins stage 5 of the Tour of California

Jens Voigt (RadioShack-Leopard) has won stage 5 of the Tour of California, attacking with only 5km left in the stage, from a breakaway he initiated earlier in the day.

An initial move featuring three riders got as much as 7 minutes 30 seconds ahead of the main field but were eventually pulled back in with 48km to go. Shortly after, Voigt helped set up a new breakaway that would eventually attract 18 riders, including the likes of Peter Sagan (Cannondale), Tejay van Garderen (BMC), Thor Hushovd (BMC) and stage 4 winner Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Sharp).

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With 5km to go, and with the breakaway’s lead being eroded by the chasing peloton, 41-year-old Jens Voigt attacked the breakaway and soloed to the finish in Avila Beach. Farrar finished second, just six second behind Voigt (and with his third podium finish of the Tour), with Hushovd in third and Sagan fourth.

The result has seen a shake-up of the general classification with Tejay van Garderen now in the lead, 42 seconds ahead of Australia’s Michael Rogers (Saxo-Tinkoff) and 50 seconds ahead of overnight leader Janier Acevedo (Jamis – Hagens Berman).


Stage 6 of the Tour of California is a 31.6km individual time trial which will likely prove decisive in the battle for the general classification.

Follow the link to see results from stage 5 of the 2013 Tour of California.

Orica-GreenEDGE Backstage Pass – Tour of California stage 4

If you haven’t checked it out already, here’s the latest Backstage Pass video from Dan Jones and the Orica-GreenEDGE guys, from the Tour of California stage 4. Click here to watch the video.

Kristoff goes two-from-two at the Tour of Norway

Norway’s Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) has won back-to-back victories on the opening stages of the Tour of Norway, taking out the 179km second stage overnight in a sprint finish. Compatriot Edvald Boassen Hagen (Sky) finished second, as he did on stage 1, and Sondre Holst Enger (Plussbank) rounded out the top three, making it an all-Norwegian podium.

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Here’s what Kristoff had to say about his win:

Today it was a hard stage. It was a really bad rain all day long, the organizing body of ‘Glava Tour of Norway’ decided to shorten the course of 11 km, so it became very difficult and hectic.

Anyways, the team worked great: first we controlled the breakaway with Smukulis and Kritskiy, then again our train was perfect with Selig, Haller and Porsev. In the end I was a bit afraid of crashes, because there was a bad corner a few hundred meters before the finish line, everybody was full gas for the final rush and the road was slippery: but fortunately we avoided it, I was in the best position, so I kept a perfect trajectory and won.

I’m very happy about this second win, that allows me to enforce my leadership. It will be hard to keep it until the end: the fourth stage is for climbers, the fifth looks like a classic race, still I’m not in my best shape and I suffer a little during the uphill parts. But anyways, tomorrow it will be another sprinters stage, so I’ll try to get another victory: and, if I’ll be not able to defend my leadership during the competition, we have Sergey Chernetckii, a young talented Russian rider that can be a good job in climbers stages.

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

Bronzini continues winning form at the Tour of Zhoushan Island

Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling’s Giorgia Bronzini continued her winning ways as she took victory in the opening stage of the Tour of Zhoushan Island, outsprinting Trofeo Binda World Cup winner Elisa Longo Borghini in a two-up sprint.

The two Italians had escaped a breakaway group with 15km of the hilly 81.3km course remaining, with climber Longo Borghini doing all she could to shake off sprinter Bronzini on the way to the finish.

Third place was taken by Chinese Taipei rider Huang Ting Ying, at the head of a seven-rider group a minute and 12 seconds behind Bronzini, with the main peloton coming home more than five minutes later.

Victory on the first stage gives Bronzini the leader’s jersey in the three-day race, which she will look to defend over the remaining two stages.

Follow the link to see the full results from stage 1 of the 2013 Tour of Zhoushan Island.

Wade blogs from the Ingkerreke Commercial MTB Enduro

Stages 5 and 6 on Thursday were quite a unique format. In the morning an individual time trial was held around a 23km course starting from the Alice Springs Golf Club. That evening would see a night stage with all 200 competitors lining up against each other on the same course.

The morning ITT was sensational. The sun was shining and the trails were a great mix of fast singletrack and technical climbs and descents. Through it all I studied the course more than usual and tried to put all the tricky bits into memory. The whole time I was out there I was thinking, “this is going to be tough tonight!” I came away with a time I was happy with, but wow … some of those top riders took 5 minutes off the time I did in the space of only about an hour!

For the first time this week the sun was shining hot and most everyone spent the afternoon eating and drinking by the pool. The prospect of getting on our bikes with a belly full of food and beer didn’t have me very excited. However, once we got kitted up the mood to ride quickly came back. As we lined up on the start grid and felt the vibe, I knew this was going to be an absolute blast.

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Once we got moving I had a smile from ear to ear and couldn’t help but look behind me at the hundreds of lights dotting the trails in the darkness. I would have had the worst light of the bunch as I bought mine about 15 years ago (it was the best back them) and they certainly have come a long way. Regardless, the dynamics of riding in the dark are completely different than in the daytime and it feels like a different trail. What a blast, even though my time was 20 minutes slower than in the morning! The guys at the pointy end of the race did a quicker time than their individual time trials which is incredible.

Today is the final day with our last 40km stage with flowing sections of single track and 4WD tracks. It’s the first time I’ve every been disappointed that a stage race is ending so soon!

Have a wonderful weekend and I’ll be back online next week.

McQuaid secures Swiss backing for third presidency attempt

Pat McQuaid has avoided a potential showdown in Ireland after securing support from the Swiss Cycling Federation for a third tilt at the UCI presidency.

McQuaid required a formal nomination from a governing body to be considered for re-election and while Cycling Ireland would normally be the one to do that, vice president of Cycling Ireland vice president Anthony Moran last month voted against McQuaid’s nomination and later resigned in protest.

McQuaid said via press release:

“I am delighted that the board of Swiss Cycling has endorsed my nomination. I put myself forward to serve another term as UCI President on my record of developing the sport throughout the world and on combating the scourge of doping in cycling.

Click here to read more at VeloNews.

Boonen allegedly being investigated for tax evasion

According to a report in Belgian newspaper De Tijd, Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) is currently being investigated for tax evasion.

The case is apparently being handled by special tax investigators who are looking at whether Boonen didn’t declare enough of his income to Belgian authorities while living in the tax haven of Monaco. Boonen lived in Monaco from 2005 until 2012 and has since returned to Belgium.

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Apparently Boonen’s manager hasn’t responded to the newspaper’s requests for confirmation, and neither has the champion cyclist.

Click here to read more at Cycling News. And click here to see the original article at De Tijd.

New classification at the Tour of Poland

The 2013 Tour of Poland will be used as a testbed for a new classification the UCI is trying to introduce in an attempt to make races more exciting throughout.

Bonus points will be available for riders over predetermined sprints or KOMs under the “Race Appeal” banner with time bonuses also up for grabs

In a press release, UCI president Pat McQuaid wrote:

“This contest will add extra spice to each day of racing. The riders will have added motivation at certain points throughout the day, and the spectators will be treated to some exciting and spectacular competitions.”

Click here to read more at Cycling News.

The Bike Lane: Wiggo wobbles as the Giro continues

If you haven’t already checked out the most recent episode of The Bike Lane (published yesterday), you should. It’s another bumper edition full of all the regular segments — Weekend Warrior, What’s on Your mind, The Hot Lap , Target Healthy Living tips and so on — plenty of solid discussion about the Giro d’Italia, and more.

Click here to watch the latest episode.

Davison doubles-up in Belgium

by Jono Lovelock

The joy of kermesse racing in Belgium has been written about on CyclingTips and elsewhere many times before. Now Luke Davison, who won the second stage of the Herald Sun Tour at the start of the year, is off for a stint in Belgium under the guidance of newly appointed national track endurance coach Tim Decker. In only a few days he has already put some solid runs on the board by winning the Aalbeke kermesse and the Kluisbergen-Ruien kermesse back to back.

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Davison’s trip to Belgium took an unusual detour via the recent Tour d’Azerbaijan where he raced as part of the Australian National Team that was coached by Decker and also included Robert-Jon McCarthy, Tirian McManus, Alexander Edmondson and Alexander Morgan. At the conclusion of the race Morgan left the team to compete with the Jayco AIS WTA in Holland whilst the remainder of the squad went with Decker to Belgium.

In only four races since arriving in cycling’s homeland Davison has obviously started out on a high note and is now looking to follow a similar trajectory to Will Clarke who racked up enough wins in 2010 to land a stagiaire spot with Leopard Trek. For Davison this is the long term goal and we wish him and the rest of the team plenty of luck for their following races. Don’t forget folks, these names might be unknown to you now, but come team pursuit time at the Rio Olympics their names will much more familiar.

Melbourne to Mildura: 550km in one day

Last month a group of 8 cyclists set out to ride the 550km from Melbourne to Mildura in one day, just to see if they could, and to set a new record along the way. One of the riders in that group, Melbourne researcher Craig Fry, has written a short piece about the ride and put together a video that gives us a sense of what riding that far must be like.

Click here to read the article and see the video.

Giro d’Italia quiz: pick the winner of stage 19, win prizes

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.

InsideOut: Lucy Garner documentary

Argos-Shimano rider Lucy Garner is a double juniors world champion on the road and just the other week the British 18-year-old took her first professional victory, winning the opening stage of the Tour of Chongming Island.

This short doco about Lucy is well worth a watch, touching on Lucy’s motivations, her goals and who she looks up to in the sport.

The Rocacorba Recap

And finally, here are some things you might have missed in the past 24 hours:


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