Hushovd takes stage 3, Tour of Poland

Norway’s former world road race champion Thor Hushovd won the third stage of the Tour of Poland on Tuesday after the peloton covered 226km between Krakow and Rzeszow after two opening stages in Italy.

Australia’s Mark Renshaw and Steele Von Hoff took second and third while Poland’s Rafal Majka of Saxo-Tinkoff retained the leader’s yellow jersey and will carry a four second lead into Wednesday’s 231.5 ride from Tarnow to Katowice.

Tour of Poland - Stage Three

“The wind was coming from the left, so I knew he (Renshaw) would close the door to the right,” Hushovd said. “So I was already thinking about this and knew I would have to go left. Taylor Phinney did a good job and the whole team did really well. I’m really happy to get this win. I was quite confident today and the team had a lot of confidence in me – so that really helped.”

Mark Renshaw said, “At 300 to 400 metres from the line, I was already in second position and had to start my sprint very early. Normally, I like it that way but with the head wind and Thor Hushovd behind me, I couldn’t hold on.”

Following a rest day on Monday after two days in the Dolomites, 35-year-old former Tour de France green jersey winner Hushovd showed he had lost none of the strength in his legs and indicated to the Swiss BMC team that the three year contract he signed with them recently should yield positive results despite his age.

Click here for full results of stage 3 Tour of Poland, 2013.

Cookson calls McQuaid’s election manoeuvre desperate

Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) presidential candidate Brian Cookson called the body’s last-minute amendment proposal “a clear sign of desperation from the incumbent president, Pat McQuaid.”

“What sort of organisation attempts to rewrite the rules once an election has actually begun – it smacks of attempted dictatorship,” said Cookson on his website.

What’s going on here? Well, early yesterday morning the UCI said it accepted a proposal by the Malaysian federation and Asian Cycling Confederation to allow a presidential candidate to be nominated by any two federations (of which he had their backing). Previously the candidate had to be nominated by his home federation. This could potentially save McQuaid, who was rejected by his national federation in Ireland and is waiting an official nod from the Swiss Federation.

In tandem with this, the Moroccan and Thai federations have said that McQuaid is now a member, and has their backing.

“This latest twist appears to be nothing more than a fraught attempt to undemocratically and unconstitutionally impact on the process while it is underway,” Cookson. He is McQuaid’s sole challenger for the September elections.

“It is no wonder that many in the cycling family as well as fans and sponsors have lost faith in the UCI to govern ethically when the man at the top of the organisation is prepared to embarrass an entire sport in an attempt to try and cling onto power.”

“No one has changed the rules. No one has broken the rules,” McQuaid claims in a statement made via press release. “I have received enormous support from federations around the world urging me to stand for re-election and expressing their hope that I will continue on as UCI President. These nominations are a testament to that.”

Read more on velonation as well as McQuaid’s response to the criticism.

Katusha gives Zabel the boot

Following a doping confession and a resignation from the UCI’s Professional Cycling Council, team Katusha yesterday kicked Erik Zabel off its team.

A team statement read, “As a member of Movement for a Credible Cycling (MPCC), Katusha follows a strong anti-doping policy.”

zabel

Katusha suffered problems in the past and fought to keep its first division licence for 2013. Zabel’s confession of career doping, from 1996 to 2004, does not help. It followed a French senate investigation that showed he and around 30 cyclists used EPO at the 1998 Tour.

Though Zabel joined in 2012 and worked as an advisor, it distanced itself. “These revelations refer to Zabel’s career …” it added, “and do not have any connection with team Katusha, whatsoever.”

Jens Heppner and NetApp split over EPO positive

German second division team, NetApp-Endura fired Sports Director Jens Heppner after being named as an EPO user in the 1998 Tour.

“In light of the current situation in the sport of cycling,” Team Manager Ralph Denk said in a statement, “both sides agree that our new generation of riders should be able to focus on the season highlights uninfluenced by other circumstances.”

Read more here.

Bettini confident in Nibali for Worlds

Italy’s head coach, Paolo Bettini is confident that team leader Vincenzo Nibali will be ready for the World Championship on September 29.

“He’s going very well right now,” Bettini told Italian newspaper, La Gazzetta dello Sport. “In fact, I’d be worried if he won the Pordoi stage of the Tour of Poland.”

Nibali escapes on stage two of the Tour of Poland coming in 60th, 23'44" behind the winner, Riblon.

Nibali escapes on stage two of the Tour of Poland coming in 60th, 23’44″ behind the winner, Riblon.

Nibali formed part of an escape in Tour of Poland’s stage two on Sunday. It is his first race back since winning the Giro d’Italia in May.

After the Giro, he kept busy making the rounds for his sponsors. He has gone two months without racing and put on some weight.

“I know he’s prepared well for his return,” Bettini added. “The heat and the Vuelta a España will serve him well for the Worlds.”

Lombardia winner Maule dies

CletoMauleCleto Maule, winner of the 1955 Giro di Lombardia and Giro d’Italia stage winner, died on Sunday. The 82-year-old Italian suffered a heart attack while on vacation in Sardinia.

Maule was born in Veneto and made home in Lombardy, where he achieved his greatest win. In 1955, he beat Belgian Fred De Bruyne and his other seven escape companions on the Vigorelli velodrome in Milan to win the Giro di Lombardia one-day classic. The next year, he beat Italian great Fiorenzo Magni to claim the 20th stage of the Giro d’Italia.

(Ever wonder where the CyclingTips kit inspiration comes from?)

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UCI to require race wheel certification for 2014

The UCI is overhauling its wheel-testing program and similar to what it’s done with its framesets where certification labels will be required for all wheels that will be used in UCI races in 2014 onward.

“The new procedure is for January 2014 and this homologation will be mandatory for all wheels used in race only,” the UCI technical coordinator Matthieu Mottet told BikeRadar. “All approved wheels will receive a label to confirm that they are allowed in races. The control for the commissaires will be easier.”

The UCI wheel committee, which consists of UCI officials and wheel company representaties recently met in Aigle, Switzerland, to discuss a new testing standard.

Paul Lew from Reynolds told BikeRadar, “The UCI crash test that wheels are all required to pass now came about because of the old Spinergy,” The current test seeks to determine whether pieces could explode out from a crashed wheel, but does not really test for the safety or construction of a functioning wheel, Lew said.

Lew also said, “We as wheel companies asked, is this appropriate? A group of manufacturers recommended that the test be modified. UCI has been very accepting and even cooperative, asking for input,” he said. “We understand that, as manufacturers, a stiff wheel is a good wheel. But the UCI could make something out of newspaper and it would be a good wheel, according to the current test.”

In 2009 the UCI changed their carbon wheel regulations in 2009 and this new certification program will apply to all wheels that are used in racing. It’s unclear what the policy will be regarding old wheels that don’t have the certification sticker.

Read the full article on BikeRadar.

Interview with Nairo Quintana

This interview with Nairo Quintana was done a month ago before his enormously successful Tour de France, but his story hasn’t changed. Get to know Nairo Quintana a bit better by watching this interview.

Tour of Gippsland starts today

The Subaru National Road series begins today with the Lakes Oil Tour of Gippsland after the mid-season winter break. The race runs from July 31 to August 4th.

The Tour of Gippsland begins on the Philip Island Grand Prix circuit . Photo by Mark Gunter.

The Tour of Gippsland begins on Philip Island, just southeast of Melbourne. Photo by Mark Gunter.

The 8 stage tour held over 5 days starts on scenic Phillip Island, around the coastal village of Rhyll. In the afternoon they battle it out on the Grand Prix circuit. The race then heads into South Gippsland where the riders will endure a stage full of rolling hills from Leongatha to Yinnar. The Tour then moves east to Sale where the riders battle it out over a fast and furious criterium. The afternoon road stage starts from the same location and finishes with a climb up to bushfire affected Licola. Across to East Gippsland for stage 6 and a criterium in picturesque Lakes Entrance. An afternoon road stage on a testing course from Lakes Entrance across to the sleepy fishing village of Metung before heading back to Traralgon on the final day for a high profile Criterium in the city centre.

See here for the Tour of Gippsland event homepage for startlists, results, and course maps.

Cyclists save economy $21 on every commute

The SHM today reports today that the economy benefits by more than $21 every time a person cycles 20 minutes to work and back, and $8.50 each time a person walks 20 minutes to and from work, according to Deputy Prime Minister and Infrastructure Minister Anthony Albanese.

The federal government proposes to increase the number of people who make short trips by foot or bicycle after a report card on the performance of Australia’s cities found rapid changes in the labour market would pose challenges to transport infrastructure.

“For shorter trips we need to get more people choosing alternatives to the car,” Mr Albanese said in a speech. “People will walk or cycle if it’s safe and convenient to do so.”

Read more on SHM