Demare surprise stage winner at Swiss Tour

via AFP

Frenchman Arnaud Demare of FDJ was the surprise winner of the fourth stage of the Tour of Switzerland on Tuesday.

Home hope Mathias Frank kept hold of the leader’s yellow jersey after finishing the 161km stage from Innertkirchen to Buochs safely in the peloton.

Sprint favourites Peter Sagan, the winner of Monday’s third stage, and Tom Boonen were boxed in on a 90-degree bend 200-metres from the end and Demare surged through to take the victory from Australia’s Matthew Goss with American Tyler Farrar in third.

Arnaud Demare beats Matthew Goss to the line in stage 4 of the Tour de Suisse

Arnaud Demare beats Matthew Goss to the line in stage 4 of the Tour de Suisse

“The whole team did great work for me even though it wasn’t easy all day long with this hilly route,” said the winner.

“In the last 25km I told myself I needed to recoup (energy) ahead of the sprint, knowing that there was great competition.

“I really am very happy to have succeeded against such good sprinters.”

A three-man breakaway early in the day had got close to surviving right to the end of the lumpy stage that was made for a sprint finish, but the final escapee, veteran German break specialist Jens Voigt was caught inside the final 5km.

Olivier Kaisen (Lotto Belisol), Jens Voigt (Radioshack Leopard) and Robert Vrecer (Euskaltel - Euskadi) broke away early in the day with a maximum gap of 4 minutes. They nearly survived until the finish and Jens was the last man standing to only get caught with 5km remaining.

Olivier Kaisen (Lotto Belisol), Jens Voigt (Radioshack Leopard) and Robert Vrecer (Euskaltel – Euskadi) broke away early in the day with a maximum gap of 4 minutes. They nearly survived until the finish and Jens was the last man standing to only get caught with 5km remaining.

He had gone it alone after his companions Olivier Kaisen and Robert Vrecer fell by the wayside as their maximum lead of just over 4min proved insufficient.

Sagan’s Cannondale team and Boonen’s Omega Pharma-QuickStep outfit led the chase towards the end of stage, ensuring the escapees were reeled in and trying to set up their punchy finishers.

However, no-one managed to control the run-in to the finish and the 90-degree bend 200m from home helped cause chaos that saw both Sagan and Boonen lose valuable yards as they were squeezed off the racing line and forced to slow down.

Demare timed his burst perfectly and took the bend at speed, acting as a slingshot into the final straight.

He had understood that the first man into the corner would be at a significant advantage and he charged down the inside line and emerged into the final straight with daylight between himself and the chasers.

Goss had the faster finish and ate into the gap but just ran out of tarmac before he could overhaul the Frenchman.

With the favourites and leaders all coming home safely in the bunch, Frank leads Roman Kreuziger by 23sec overall with last year’s winner Rui Da Costa third at 35sec.

Click here for full Stage 4 results and final kilometers from the 2013 Tour de Suisse

Tour of Korea – LIU HAO Liu Hao takes stage 3, Cheung retains yellow

via Tour of Korea press release

24 year old Liu Hao from China secured his first UCI AsiaTour stage win today, no doubt surprising many of the experienced professionals who could do no better than arrive clutching at his rear wheel.

Liu, in his fifth season with Max Success Sports – one of China’s nine UCI-registered Continental teams this year – took a long-range punt at the line, sensing his breakaway group was close to being swarmed by a fast-chasing peloton. “I attacked with about 500m to go”, said Liu through a translator after the finish. “I saw the peloton coming and I thought it was time to go. I am not good as climber because I’m too heavy. I’m a track rider, an omnium rider.”

Liu Hao from China gets his first UCI AsiaTour stage win on stage 3 of the Tour of Korea. Image courtesy of race organiser.

Liu Hao from China gets his first UCI AsiaTour stage win on stage 3 of the Tour of Korea. Image courtesy of race organiser.

Hong Kong’s Cheung King Lok finished inside the Liu group to hold his position at the top of the general classification, but was quick to praise his team for getting him there.

“Nippo-De Rosa wanted to have a stage win for the Colombian (Arredondo). He is strong in the mountains. At first I thought this would be a difficult stage because in the middle we had two little mountains which caused some issues with the team’s work. It’s good. After those climbs (my team) started leading again to control the race and keep me with the lead group on the final climb.

I have to say thanks to my teammates because they worked very hard to control the race. I’m very happy to hang onto the Yellow Jersey again. I want to try and keep it as long as I can.”

Today’s fourth stage features one category 3 climb at the midway point, leading into a jagged second-half profile. With many strong breakaway riders well outside GC contention, this may be their one and only chance to get away for a stage victory.

See the full stage 3 race results, photos and report on CyclingIQ.

Porte believes in Tour podium

Richie Porte believes that he can arrive on the Tour de France’s podium at the end of next month by helping Sky team-mate Chris Froome win.

“God yes, it’s a dream to stand on the podium,” Porte told Cycling Weekly. “That’s every bike rider’s dream to be up there on the Champs-Élysées.”

The Tasmanian already placed second in the Critérium International, eighth in the Tour de Romandie and on Sunday, second in the Critérium du Dauphiné helping Froome win. Sky let him race for himself in Paris-Nice, which he won.

Richie Port, Chris Froome, and Moreno Fernandez on the podium for the overall classification at the Dauphine Libere

He sees no reason why they cannot repeat their success in the Tour.

“The Tour is just harder because it’s longer. The Dauphiné wasn’t an easy race and we were one-two. That’s the goal.”

Read more at cyclingweekly.

Georges sacked after Giro dope test

via AFP

French rider Sylvain Georges has been sacked after testing positive for a banned substance during the Giro d’Italia, the AG2R team said on Tuesday.

“He (Georges) is no longer part of the business,” team manager Vincent Lavenu said, warning of tough sanctions both for the team and the rider.

“You don’t do it (sacking) easily. But we’ve got very strict internal rules. There was a definite breach.”

A sporting sanction has yet to be imposed on the rider, after the stimulant heptaminol, which is found in some over-the-counter drugs to improve blood circulation, was discovered in his urine after the Giro’s seventh stage.

Georges quit the Tour after the test.

“We know very well that our team can’t make mistakes,” said Lavenu, who withdrew his team for the following race in the world calendar, the Criterium du Dauphine, in line with the rules of the “clean” cycling movement, the MPCC.

Lavenu said that they would step up internal testing of riders and introduce tougher sanctions as a result of Georges’ case.

Bruyneel says he is no devil

Lance Armstrong’s long-time director sportif, Johan Bruyneel said that he is not a devil despite an investigation that uncovered years of doping.

“I’d love to speak my mind after keeping quiet for so long, but I can’t. My lawyers told me to keep quiet,” Bruyneel told Belgium’s Humo magazine yesterday.

“I’ll tell you one thing, I’m no devil. The public probably thinks so, but everyone will get a better idea of the situation eventually and that image will change.”

Bruyneel also claimed that none of the doping allegations against him and Armstrong would have ever come to light if they had cooperated with Floyd Landis’ demands to offer him a spot on their team in the spring of 2010, following his return in 2009 from a two-year doping suspension. Landis is currently suing Armstrong and Bruyneel in a federal lawsuit that the U.S. Department of Justice joined in February.

The Belgian faces a hearing in the US in the investigation that revealed Armstrong doped and stripped him of his seven Tour de France titles. The investigation eventually saw Bruyneel fired from his General Manager post at RadioShack-Trek and sponsors RadioShack and Nissan pull their funding.

Read more

White back as Orica-GreenEDGE Directeur Sportif

mattwhiteMatt White, after being named in the Lance Armstrong scandal, has been re-instated as an Orica-GreenEDGE DS. An external review recommended conducted over the past months his return.

“We have reviewed and will constantly continue to review our management, and it was clear that Matt White is the right person for the job,” Shayne Bannan, the team’s general manager said in a press statement. I am sure he again will be an invaluable part of our management and a true asset to the riders and the staff. His perspective on the sport and his commitment to make cycling better are both key elements to our success and our identity.”

Cycling Australia dismissed at the same time when Matt White stepped down in October. He served a back-dated suspension and waited for the review, conducted by anti-doping expert, Nicki Vance.

Vance approved his return with a 12-month probationary period and made other recommendations.

Read the press release on the GreenEDGE website.

Martin calls Tour organiser careless over Alpe d’Huez descent inclusion

The Tour de France organiser will take the race up the Alpe d’Huez twice in one day to celebrate its 100th edition. However, according to Tony Martin (Omega Pharma-Quick Step), its inclusion of the never-before-used descent of the Col de Sarenne is careless.

“I was excited to see it, but I must say that I am negatively surprised,” he wrote on his Facebook page. “The road is old, narrow and no guardrails. One error and you’ll go straight down 30 metres. To send us there is irresponsible.”

The German time trial world champion previewed it during the seventh leg of the Critérium du Dauphiné on Saturday. The Tour will race down it in the 18th leg, three days before the conclusion in Paris.


View Larger Map Take the Google Street View tour and let us know if you’d want to be riding down there with 200 other blokes at 80km/hr

The peloton descended the Col de Sarenne in stage 7 of the Dauphine and it looks to have been resurfaced.

Basso restarts after Giro miss

Ivan Basso (Cannondale) re-starts his season after sitting out the Giro d’Italia due to a huge saddle sore. He will help his team-mates at the Italian Championships on June 22 and then race the Tour of Austria and Tour of Poland, building for the Vuelta a España.

“I’ve been out of action since the Tour de Romandie and went almost a month without getting on my bike,” Basso told La Gazzetta dello Sport newspaper. “I’ve only been back in action for 10 days, so I’m gradually getting myself into it.”

Basso, a two-time winner, pulled out of the Giro d’Italia on the eve of the race due to perineal cyst.

4StrikeBike unlocking pedal power in your hands

The inventor of the 4Strike Bike is Dutch surgeon Lex van Stekelenburg. The idea of the 4 Strike Bike arose from his physical complaints:

“I developed troublesome back and shoulder complaints from years of performing lengthy surgical operations while standing with a bent and crooked posture. To recover from and prevent these problems, I came up with the idea of ??this bike. I then designed and built the first bike and began to use the 4 Strike Bike successfully. Over the past 5 years I have experimented with several prototypes that hundreds of enthusiastic people have now cycled on.

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As slow walkers we pedestrians can’t do without our bikes and cycling has become a sort of ‘second gear’. If we don’t allow a rigid handlebar to suppress the natural feeling of wanting to move our arms together with our legs, but enable them to cycle as well, then we can shift into a ‘third gear’. We have now constructed a bike that you can cycle almost as if you were four-legged, assuming a more horizontal position and with harmonious movement along the shoulder and pelvic girdle. As well as steering, the hands now move with the feet in an alternate parallel pedalling movement using all 4 limbs to create more speed.

With the use of more muscle power from the combined use of both upper and lower body, more muscular work is performed and the effort more equally distributed; this is healthier for heart, better for aerating the lungs and prevents undercooling of the upper body in rain and cold. You’ll have more fun on this revolutionary new bike.”

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Will the UCI let the 4Strike Bike be ridden in the World Tour anytime soon? If there’s one thing they do well, it’s blocking things like this from entering the sport. Otherwise Lance Armstrong would have been doing it back in ’99.

Find out more on 4strikebike.com

From Wall Street to the road: Evelyn Stevens’ unusual journey

Just five years ago Evelyn Stevens worked on Wall Street and knew nothing about cycling. “I just wanted to feel freer,” she said. “I used to always sit in conference rooms and look out the window and think I wish I could just fly away.”

On a whim, Stevens’ sister entered her into a bike race, and she just kept on rolling — quitting her job and trading “the street” for the open road. Last year Evelyn Stevens beat Marianne Vos at the Women’s Flèche Wallonne and CBS interviewed her recently about her story:

Read the full (yet brief) story on CBS.com

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