Giro dream still alive, says Evans
MILAN, May 20, 2013 (AFP) – Australian Cadel Evans said he has not thrown in the towel ahead of his bid to overthrow Italian race leader Vincenzo Nibali and win this year’s Giro d’Italia.
Evans, the 2011 Tour de France champion, is second overall at 1min 26sec sec behind Nibali heading into the final week of the race which features key mountain stages including an uphill time trial.
Given he was only slated to compete several weeks before the May 4 start in Naples, Evans has impressed during a tough first two weeks of racing, in which pre-race favourite Bradley Wiggins and defending champion Ryder Hesjedal withdrew due to illness.
Although he admits Nibali’s Astana team will be hard to beat, the Australian — who has a dozen or so Grand Tour campaigns under his belt — said his victory ambitions remain intact.
“To be here second overall on GC (general classification) is not so bad,” Evans said during the race’s final rest day Monday.
“Me being somewhat the ambitious rider that I am, I say it’s not impossible to win. So I’ll be a bit greedy there and keep asking more of myself.”
After a mediocre 12th place in the stage two team time trial left Evans in 62nd overall, and in spite of losing 33secs to Nibali on Saturday, he has stayed at the front of the pack to find himself still well in contention.
Evans added: “I see a very good Astana (team) and a really good Nibali who has been able to cover everything that’s been thrown at him so far.
“This Giro, compared to the dozen or so other grand tours I have done, really has been a test of teams, of concentration, of bike handling abilities and of physical abilities.
“Being on the flats, being in the crosswind, being in the heat, being in the cold, the team time trial – everything has been such a test on everyone and everything involved in the race.
“It’s been interesting to say the least. But here we are with a week to go and there are a few more opportunities. We’ll see where we go from here.”
The race resumes Tuesday on the 238 km-long stage 16 from Valloire to Ivrea.
Cold weather could continue to hamper the Giro
Cold weather forced changes to stages 14 and 15 of this year’s Giro d’Italia and with more wintery weather set to descend on Northern Italy, more stages could well be altered.
VeloNews reports that rain is forecast on Friday and Saturday when the riders hit the Gavia, the Stelvio and the Tre Cime di Lavaredo and rain at those altitudes (all above 2300m) will fall as snow that could force a rerouting or shortening of the stages.
Race leader Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) summed up the mood among the riders:
“We hope the weather improves and we can race unhampered. The cold has been hard on everyone.”
Click here to read more at VeloNews.
Menchov announces retirement
Denis Menchov, who won the Giro d’Italia in 2009 and the Vuelta a Espana in 2005 and 2007, has announced his retirement from pro cycling after 14 seasons, effective immediately.
The 35-year-old Russian has been riding with Team Katusha since 2012 and before that he was with Rabobank and Geox-TMC. Menchov isn’t riding in this year’s Giro d’Italia due to a knee injury which, according to the Russian, is the reason he’s decided to retire now.
“The Giro was my main goal for this season, and I understood it was time to end my sporting career”, Menchov told reporters.
Click here to read more at Velonews.
Leipheimer announces retirement
Levi Leipheimer, teamless since admitting to doping last year, has retired from professional cycling, a US newspaper reported.
The American was fired by Omega Pharma-QuickStep in October following his admission during an investigation by the United States Anti-Doping Agency into shamed compatriot Lance Armstrong.
“I’m retired,” he told The Press Democrat on Sunday on the sidelines of the final stage of the Amgen Tour of California.
“It’s just been an unceremoniously retired,” Leipheimer said. “I sort of miss racing. I still love riding my bike.”
The 39-year-old veteran — who rode with Armstrong for US Postal in 2000 and 2001 and then again with Discovery Channel in 2007 — served a six month suspension imposed by USADA that ended March 1.
Leipheimer admitted to taking several banned substances including EPO and testosterone, as well as using blood transfusions, which are prohibited.
His results between June 1, 1999, to July 30, 2006 and July 7 to July 29, 2007 — the periods of time he admitted to doping as he continued with other teams such as Rabobank and Gerolsteiner — were erased from the record.
Text via AFP.
Giro d’Italia quiz — entries close this evening!
For the past week or so we’ve been reminding you about our Giro d’Italia quiz and here’s one last reminder: entries close at 7.10pm tonight (Melbourne time) — the time stage 16 of the Giro begins.
To recap, all you need to do is pick the winner of Friday night’s 19th stage — which, weather permitting, will feature the Stelvio and the Gavia — and complete the 30-question quiz Jomie Jowett has prepared.
We’ve got a bunch of great prizes available, not least a GoPro HD Hero 3 Silver Edition camera, a Garmin 510, a copy of the new Orica-GreenEDGE photobook and a year-long subscription to RIDE Magazine.
For all the details, and to enter, follow this link.
Bradley McGee appointed men’s national team DS
Cycling Australia CEO Graham Fredericks announced yesterday that Bradley McGee (OAM) will take on the role of Directeur Sportif for the Australian national team’s Elite Men’s Road program. Joining him will be Brian Stephens in the role of European Co-ordinator.
The pair will be responsible for the strategic direction and delivery of the Elite Australian Road teams as they strive for podium performances at the UCI World Championships in Florence this September, together with the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
One of the country’s most gifted and decorated cyclists, McGee was the first Australian to wear the leader’s jersey at all three grand tours (Tour de France, Giro d’Italia, Vuelta a España). His career also netted an Olympic gold medal win in Athens, together with multiple World and Commonwealth Games titles.
Post retirement, McGee transitioned into team management with a 4-year stint as a Directeur Sportif for Team Saxo Bank Sungard, before more recently moving back home to take up the position of head coach at NSW Institute of Sport (NSWIS).
“It’s an honour to be invited to take the helm of the Aussie road team” said McGee. “We are still very well stocked with riders competing on the world stage and the next generation are eager to continue the tradition of punching above our weight results wise.”
McGee added; “Brian’s role will be a critical one to ensure that the younger guys are well equipped to cope with the rigours of European professional bike racing as they continue to learn and develop.”
Looking forward to working with @bradley_mcgee next time I pull on a green and gold jersey.
— Simon Gerrans (@simongerrans) May 20, 2013
McGee replaces Matt White who was removed from the role by Cycling Australia in the fallout from USADA’s Reasoned Decision and its investigation in Lance Armstrong. White had been the national team DS since January 2011 when he took over from Neil Stephens who left the role to focus on the Orica-GreenEDGE squad.
Click here to read the full media release at the Cycling Australia website.
Pinch Point: a documentary about sharing the road
A high school student in Cambridge, UK has put together this documentary that explores the relationship between cyclists and other road users and the attitudes various road users have towards cyclists. The doco is very much focused on cycling in Cambridge but the themes will certainly resonate with cyclists elsewhere.
For more information, check out this article at road.cc
How to increase bicycling for daily travel
The folks at Active Living Research have just released a paper entitled “How to increase bicycling for daily travel”. The study is based on the idea that cycling is not only a great form of transport it’s extremely healthy. Not only that, but the more people who are cycling, and the better the infrastructure, the better the overall outcomes.
Here are some of the main findings from the report:
- Each additional mile of bike lane per square mile was associated with about a 1% increase in the share of workers commuting by bicycle
- cities with 10% more bike lanes or paths had about 2% to 3% more daily bicycle commuters
- adults living within a half-mile of a bike path were 20% more likely to bicycle at least once a week
You can read the paper in full here.
Funicular railway track hillclimb in Lisbon
A bunch of riders in Lisbon, Portugal recently took on the short but steep climb up the Elevador da Glória funicular railway track a century on from the first race of its kind.
The climb is only 265m long but with a gradient of 17%+ and with wet cobbles and the train tracks to deal with, the climb was far from easy. The winner managed to summit the climb in 39 seconds and you can see a highlights video from the night below.
Click here to read more at road.cc.
The Rocacorba Recap
And finally this morning, here are a couple of things you might have missed in the last day or so. Enjoy!
- Photo of the day: DOLOMITI
- UCI World Cup Mountain Bike in Germany – Men’s Elite full race
- RYOKOU Official Trailer
- Colours of the Giro — stages 10 to 15 Photo Gallery
- Rocacorba Daily: Monday May 20