Veilleux wins opening stage of the Criterium du Dauphine

Canada’s David Veilleux (Europcar) has won the first stage of the Criterium du Dauphine overnight, soloing to victory in the 121km stage around Champery.

The 25-year-old took the leader’s jersey after coming home almost two minutes ahead of the peloton, with Belgian Gianni Meersman coming in second ahead of Dutchman Tom-Jelte Slagter and Australia’s Richie Porte.

Riding the prestigious Tour de France warm-up race for the first time, Veilleux said it was better than a dream to win a stage.

“For my first participation, it’s a success. I’ve won the stage and taken the (leader’s) jersey,” he said. “What’s funny is that two days ago I dreamt that I was coming to the end of a Dauphine stage in the lead but was passed on the line. I came second. This is better than the dream.”

Dauphine Libere 2013 stage-1

While Veilleux’s team is not expecting him to challenge for overall success a week from now, they are hoping to keep hold of the leader’s jersey for a few days.

“We’ll defend the jersey and we hope to keep it until Wednesday’s time-trial,” said sports director Andy Flickinger. “Now it’s a bonus for the team.”

In a stage that began and ended in Switzerland but was raced for the majority in France, Veilleux escaped just 3km in, accompanied by Thomas Damuseau, Jean-Marie Bideau and Ricardo Garcia. At one point the front-runners had a lead of over 10 minutes before Veilleux left his fellow escapees behind on the Col du Corbier climb with 47km left.

World time-trial champion Tony Martin of Germany launched a counter-attack but was swallowed up in the final 15km. Veilleux proved durable on the final two climbs, holding onto the majority of his lead at that stage, 3 minutes 20 seconds with 20km to go.

The pace was fast enough to leave American Andrew Talansky and Norwegian champion Thor Hushovd trailing in behind the peloton by around 8 minutes and 15 minutes respectively. But the main challengers didn’t buckle as Chris Froome came in a place behind his Sky team-mate Porte with Alejandro Valverde eighth and Alberto Contador 11th.

Tonight’s second stage will see the peloton ride over a hilly 191km from Chatel to Oyonnax.

Text via AFP. Follow the link to see the results from stage 1 of the 2013 Criterium du Dauphine.

Wiggins ruled out of the Tour de France

In case you missed the big news over the weekend, Bradley Wiggins (Sky) won’t be riding the Tour de France this year due to a knee injury.

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Team Sky boss Dave Brailsford said: “With illness, injury and treatment Brad has gone past the point where he can be ready for the Tour.

“It’s a big loss but, given these circumstances, we won’t consider him for selection.”

Click here to read the full story.

Sutton: Wiggins’ absence could boost Froome’s Tour de France chances

British Cycling head coach Shane Sutton claims Bradley Wiggins’ absence from the Tour de France will prove a major boost to Chris Froome’s hopes of winning the race.

But Sutton, who stood down as head coach of Team Sky in January and now serves as a performance adviser to the squad, expects Froome to perform with more freedom now he knows there is no danger of Wiggins taking over his role as the team’s featured rider.

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“Team Sky will be weakened but I’m sure Froomey will be breathing a lot easier. It takes away that threat of your team-mate actually beating you, and I think he’ll be really up for it now”, Sutton BBC Radio over the weekend.

“Unfortunately you’ve got two of the best bike riders in the world on the same team and Froomey will be there thinking, ‘This is my opportunity, I need to seize on it’, and I’m sure he’ll do well.

Click here to read the full story.

Sutton: Wiggins should use Evans as an example

Britain’s Olympic time-trial champion and Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins should use Australian cyclist Cadel Evans as an example as he seeks to rebound from his present problems, according to Shane Sutton.

Sutton, former Team Sky and British cycling coach, told The Observer newspaper on Sunday that 33-year-old Wiggins was undoubtedly at a crossroads in his career after he announced on Friday he would not be defending his Tour de France crown later this month.

“When you have a setback like this you need to take inspiration from others, so I’d cite Cadel Evans, who had a rough year last year but has come back to get on the podium of the Giro at 36,” said 55-year-old Sutton.

Click here to read the full story.

Blanco secures Belkin sponsorship

Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf is reporting that the American consumer electronics manufacturer Belkin has signed a two and a half year sponsorship deal with Team Blanco. After losing their long time sponsor Rabobank last autumn the Dutch team has been looking for a new sponsor to keep the 30-year-old team alive.

2013 Giro d'Italia.stage 10..Blanco Laundry Parlor

On Saturday, June 29th in Corsica, Belkin will be presented on the Dutch team’s jerseys in the 100th Tour de France. The team has won 13 races this year and sits 12th in the UCI World Tour rankings.

Click here to read the full story.

Howson wins Trofeo Alcide Degasperi

Adelaide born cyclist Damian Howson (Jayco-AIS Academy) won the U23-Elite amateur race Trofeo Alcide Degasperi in Italy yesterday (from Trento to Bassano del Grappa, 166km).

From the Cycling Australia website:

The first two hours today averaged 47km/hr with the conditions providing limited opportunities for attacks. On arriving to the outskirts of Bassano del Grappa the race completed three circuits of a hilly 19km and then completed with nearly three circuits of a flat 9km.

The Aussie guys kept a close mark on most of the moves with Bradley Linfield in a group of 22 riders the first time over the small climbs, with the rest of the guys working well to keep any threats at bay.

Then the second time over the climbs, Howson worked well into a lead group of six riders with 50km to go, with the gap maintained at one minute over the closing stages, with small groups endeavouring to bridge in the final chase to the finish.

Entering the final 9km circuit the gap was down to 20secs, with Colpack chasing hard for the previous 20km for a bunch sprint. A final accelaration from the breakaway at 5km to go pushed the gap back out to 25sec. and a renewed commitment to retain the slim lead.

With one kilometre remaining, Leonardi (Zalf) attacked for a last effort to the line, while Howson forced his way out of a boxed-in situation to chase down a 70mtr gap and go after his first European win.

Howson caught his Italian counterpart at 400mtrs to go and kept the momentum going to create a final gap with the finish line in sight. The remainder of the breakaway group chased hard with the bunch now less than a few secs. to the back of the remants of the break.

Howson ‘just’ held on for his first European win by half-a-bike-length to Leonardi fighting back in the closing metres, with the other Zalf rider Milani holding on for third place (at 2secs) and the bunch recording the same time as third place.

Trofeo Degasperi podiohowson
Image courtesy of www.lavocedeltrentino.it

Top 3:
1 HOWSON Damien 3hrs. 38m. @ 45.7 km/hr
2 LEONARDI Gianluca
3 MILANI Simone

10. Brad Linfield (AUS) s.t.
15. Calvin Watson (AUS) s.t.
18. Phelan, Adam (AUS) s.t.

dnf Caleb Ewan, Alex Clements, Cambpell Flakemore

Czech team to ride the Tour de France … on scooters

Four Czechs, a Finn and a Dutchman have dispensed with pedals and plan to use only leg-power and a pair of wheels to get them through the Tour de France. They hope to complete the gruelling three-week cycle race on scooters.

The men have been training furiously on their footbikes — scooters with a standard-size bicycle wheel up front and a smaller one at the rear — ahead of the late June kick-off of the 100th edition of the world’s most famous cycling race.

“This will be the first-ever attempt to cover the Tour de France on a footbike and also the greatest sports challenge of our lives,” said Vaclav Liska, a theatre actor and the project’s mastermind.

Click here to read the full story.

Cyclist killed at the start of Melbourne’s 1 in 20 climb

It was a horror weekend on Melbourne’s roads with four people losing their lives in less than 24 hours. One of those killed was a cyclist who, according to The Age, was hit by a 4WD at the roundabout in The Basin, at the start of the popular 1 in 20 climb.

Our condolences go to the friends and families of the four killed.

Click here to read more.

”The Rules” book lands June 20

If you’ve been around road cycling for any length of time you’ll be familiar with Velominati and their Rules. As of June 20 The Rules will be available in book form as well as through the Velominati website and judging by the cover photo it looks to be a stylish tome. Well worth a look.

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Click here to read more.

“Totalitarianism” and the New York bike share scheme

Last week we brought you the news of the launch of New York City’s bike share scheme. Less than a week on, it would seem that the scheme is less than popular among some New Yorkers. In fact, check out this video interview with Wall Street Journal Editorial Board member Dorothy Rabinowitz. At first I thought it was a joke but nope, it appears she’s deadly serious.

Here’s one of many great quotes:

“The city is helpless before the driven, personal and ideological passions of its leader [Mayor Michael Bloomberg], in the interests, allegedly, of the good of the city.”

”The devil incarnate”: cycling in Melbourne

And speaking of anti-cycling rants, check out this beauty from former Herald Sun editor Bruce Guthrie published over the weekend. We won’t give too much away, but check it out for yourself here.

The Batam 6 Bridges race and the Immigration Nightmare

Here’s an entertaining two-part blogpost from Crankpunk about the author’s trip to Indonesia for a bike race that turned into one hilarious bureaucratic nightmare. Check out part 1 here and part 2 here.

Problem solving on the bike

Here’s a short, silly video from the folks at Cyclismas that made us chuckle.

The Rocacorba Recap

And finally this morning, here are a few things you might have missed:


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