Van Avermaet takes Tour of Utah Stage 1

BMC Racing Team’s Greg Van Avermaet put in a solo attack in the final kilometer and held off the charging peloton to win Tuesday’s opening stage of the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah. Van Avermaet had a small gap rounding the final corner – 600 meters from the finish of the 180-kilometer race – and held it all the way to the line to take the victory, the overall lead, and the sprint leader’s jersey.

“I saw the finish yesterday and it wasn’t such a great finish for me because it was downhill,” Van Avermaet said. “I thought guys like (Michael) Matthews could beat me. So I tried to do it differently and went in the last kilometer. It was already hard and I attacked. I came into the last corner with a gap and then I was just pedaling to finish and hoping they wouldn’t come over. I’m happy that I won.”

1 Greg Van Avermaet BMC 4:10:59
2 Michael Matthews Orica-GreenEdge
3 Tyler Magner Hincapie Sportswear
4 Eric Young Optum – Kelly Benefit Strategies
5 Kiel Reijnen UnitedHealthcare

Gallopin signs for Lotto

Tony Gallopin, winner of the Clásica San Sebastián couple of weeks ago, inked a deal to ride with Lotto-Belisol for the next two years. The Belgian team announced the move overnight, closing his two-year run with RadioShack-Leopard.

Tony Gallopin, winner of the 2013 Clásica San Sebastián, will be riding with Lotto for the next two years after a two season run with RadioShack-Leopard.

“With Tony Gallopin we reinforce our core considerably,” team manager, Marc Sergeant explained in a press release. “He’s only 25, the past years he has shown impressive examples of his talent and there doubtlessly is still room for progression. Tony is a rider who can be put into action on many terrains.”

Sergeant said that the 25-year-old Frenchman, nephew of Alain Gallopin, will race in French races like Paris-Nice and some of the classics. He added that Gallopin’s contract is an important plus for sponsor Belisol, who wants to help its business in France.

Boonen skips Eneco Tour

Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) must skip the Eneco Tour due to a saddle sore, his team announced yesterday.

In a statement, Boonen said, “I’m really disappointed. I really like the Eneco Tour and it’s too bad I can’t be at the starting line, but right now it’s essential that I take the proper time to heal from this cyst, which is preventing me from training consistently and which I don’t want to underestimate.”

Boonen’s 2013 season has been nothing like 2012, when he won the Ronde van Vlaanderen and Paris-Roubaix. This year, he crashed in Ronde and had to skip Roubaix.

“2013 has definitely not been my year,” he added. “Now the goal is to get better and get back to the races in the month of September, even though as things are now we can’t really set any definite date for a return.”

Vuelta favourites converge in Burgos

Several Vuelta a España favourites, including Giro d’Italia winner Vincenzo Nibali, are racing the Vuelta a Burgos this week. Nibali (Astana), Ivan Basso (Cannondale), Samuel Sánchez (Euskaltel) and Carlos Betancur (AG2R-La Mondiale) are all down for the five-day race, August 7 to 11, which will serve as a mild hit-out before the Vuelta a España which starts on August 24h.

Read more here on Velonews. 

Vini Fantini forced to make changes after doping positives

Italian team, Vini Fantini-Selle Italia must make several changes after Danilo Di Luca and Mauro Santambrogio failed a doping test in the Giro d’Italia three months ago. The team is considering flipping through their riders’ biological passport files.

Former Giro d'Italia winner Danilo Di Luca was riding for Vini Fantini when both him and his teammate Mauro Santambrogio tested positive for EPO in this year's Giro.

Former Giro d’Italia winner Danilo Di Luca was riding for Vini Fantini when both him and his teammate Mauro Santambrogio tested positive for EPO in this year’s Giro.

“It was a terrible blow. Five years of work, commitment and professionalism were wiped out in two days,” sports director, Luca Scinto told Italy’s Tutto Bici. “Unfortunately, we relied on riders who weren’t men.”

Both riders failed EPO tests linked to the Giro d’Italia. The double blow has Vini Fantini on its knees ahead of 2014. Scinto is considering requiring that his riders make available their biological passport data, which is currently in the hands of the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI).

“We’ve got to protect ourselves from the weak link,” he added. “We have to face privacy laws. If a rider disagrees, we have no way of knowing he missed a doping control, for example. But, we need room to manoeuvre.”

Read more here.

Mountain man, Charteau retires

Frenchman Anthony Charteau (Europcar) will retire at the end of the season, according to French newspaper, Ouest France.

AnthonyCharteau

Anthony Charteau who is currently riding with Europcar is reported to be retiring at the end of the season. He won the Mountains Classification at the 2010 TdF.

“I was already thinking about it last year,” the 34-year-old said. “I love this sport, but travelling is taking its toll. I want to see my children grow.”

Charteau won the Tour de France’s mountain jersey in 2010 and the Tour of Langkawi in 2007.

UAE creates team for 2014

The United Arab Emirates will be represented in the 2014 season by a new third division (continental) team, Sky Dive Dubai. The team, according to Direct Velo, is the formation of local club Al Ahli di Dubai.

Sky Dive Dubai will consist of six Al Ahli di Dubai riders, six under 23 riders and six foreigners. It will mostly race in the Asia Tour, likely in RCS Sport’s Dubai stage race, but may make its way to Europe.

Read more here.

Patrick Lane switches teams to Baku

Pat Lane has been a promising young rider for as long as I can remember (i.e. when he was riding the Hell Ride at 13 years old on a bike that was too big for him). He’s ridden with the AIS in Europe and this year got a contract with a U23 Italian amateur team before recently moving to Baku. Here’s what Pat had to say to us about his recent move:


After 3 years in the AIS team & racing around Europe I found I really enjoyed the italian races. So this year Calvin Watson & myself headed over to race with a U23 amateur team. Unfortunately it didn’t turn out like I had planned and ended up a bit of a nightmare.. Perhaps your typical italian amature team!?

After 2 months without racing and having my form slowly slip away, I had eaten a few to many gelatis and was feeling sorry for myself. I decided it would be best to come home [to Australia]. Luckily I ended up in contact with Jeremy Hunt at Baku, so straight away I started racing in France.

Despite my lack of form all the guys Synergy Baku Cycling Project have been really supportive & very understanding of my situation so I look forward to repaying the faith they have put in me with some results as soon as possible!

Im really excited to be part of this project & I am sure with the people behind it that it will keep growing into something special!

Read more about the Baku Cycling Project here.

The photographer’s dilemma

Photographers come to races to do a job: to document the moment without bias or interruption. However, bike racing comes with many hazards and cyclists often get hurt. It’s usually a well controlled environment where roads are closed and medical staff aren’t far away. But there’s a blurry line between capturing the moment and humanity – which is interpreted differently by everyone.

Jack Bauer crashes and suffers severe facial injuries on Col du Glandon on stage 19 of the Tour de France. Image courtesy of BrakeThrough Media.

Jack Bauer crashes and suffers severe facial injuries on Col du Glandon on stage 19 of the Tour de France. Image courtesy of BrakeThrough Media.

Jim Fryer and Iri Greko from BrakeThrough Media are two photographers I’ve gotten to know quite well and they wrote a stirring article on their website about this dilemma when they came upon Jack Bauer’s crash at the Tour de France.

As I make haste to grab the two most reasonable lenses I could use, the question I ask myself isshould I regret that single millisecond of hesitation… or should I honor it? An inquiry that clearly plagues me still….

I start taking photos before I know what’s happened, as I’m thinking what happened? how bad is it… is his leg broken… his jaw…will he be ok? These are jumbled thoughts, half-thoughts, that flutter in my periphery and try to make themselves invisible. They have little place here, in this moment, or rather purpose. I’m here to do my job, like everyone else.

Some of the other photographers move in much closer than I do, and without judgment, I think: ‘that’s so close, is it too close, should I get that close?’ What is the fine line between doing your job, documenting the moment, and… invasion? How can you know if you’ve violated an unspoken space around the rider and those helping him? Am I a vulture?

Have a read of the full post called My Mind’s Eye“.

Graeme O’Bree reveals the finished Beastie

Back in November Graeme Obree put the “Beastie” through its paces on an airport runway in the run up to his human-powered land speed record attempt. The bike itself handled well but the shell that goes round the bike was proving problematic.

Obree went back to the drawing board and came up with a brand new design, which was revealed last week. Obree tested out the steel-framed machine he built in his kitchen, similar to his 1993 world hour record bike. He plans to take the Beastie to the World Human Powered Speed Challenge where he hopes to break the 82.8 mph record set in 2009 by a rider using a computer-modelled carbon fibre recumbent.

I wonder what the UCI would say about this…

Read the whole story here.

Strava heat map

Now this is cool. On Saturday July 20th Strava users covered 4,890,000 miles in over 326,000 combined hours. To get a look at what all that riding looks like, Strava engineers built the Saturday on Strava Heatmap, a visual of all those miles, broken down by hour.

The initial page will show the world from 12:00 – 1:00 pm at the user’s local time. Use the orange slider at the top to step through the hours and zoom into any location for better detail. Individual data points are visible at the highest zoom level.

stravaHeatmap

Check out Strava’s blog post on the heat map here, and to have a play with it in your own area, click here. WARNING: THIS COULD MESMERISE YOU FOR HOURS.

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


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