Stybar wins Eneco Tour with last-minute attack

Czech rider Zdenez Stybar won the seventh and final stage of the Eneco Tour on Sunday to claim overall victory.

Stage 7 of the Eneco Tour 2013

Team Sky’s Ian Stannard was away solo, having left his fellow breakaway companions behind, and with roughly 7km to go Stybar bridged across to Stannard and the two worked together. Stybar attacked with a few hundred metres to go on the Kapelmuur climb, leaving Stannard behind and winning the 208km stage from Tienen to Geraatdsbergen and the Eneco Tour overall.

Stybar had started the day 9 seconds off the lead and coupled with time bonuses gained by winning the stage, he finished the tour 26 seconds ahead of Dutchman Tom Dumoulin in second (who had been leading overnight) with Ukrainian Andriy Grivko third overall at 50 seconds.

“This is one of the best days of my life,” Stybar said. “I am really happy and it is like a dream for me to come there to Eneco Tour to win two stages, almost three, and the GC.”

Follow the link for full results from stage 7 of the 2013 Eneco Tour. Text via AFP.

Horgan wins Tour of the Great South Coast

New Zealander Sam Horgan has celebrated the biggest win of his career, taking out the Campolina-Fulton Hogan Tour of the Great South Coast after a memorable final stage in Camperdown.

After taking the leader’s jersey on day one of the race, the Kiwi incredibly retained it for the remainder of the five-day event, holding off Alex Edmondson (Euride) and Drapac’s Darren Lapthorne to clinch his maiden major tour victory.

Budget Forklifts’ Horgan admitted the finale — six laps of an undulating Lakes and Craters circuit — was nerve-wracking as an aggressive Drapac launched numerous attacks in the hope that Lapthorne would leapfrog Horgan on the general classification.

2013 Tour of the Great South Coast

Lapthorne, teammate Bernard Sulzberger and Huon Salmon Genesys Wealth Advisers’ Jack Haig were involved in a three-man breakaway which built a 26-second lead as the bell rang.

Haig took honours in the final hill climb, while Edmondson, Lapthorne and Jayco-Apollo-VIS rider Thomas Hamilton formed a new lead group with and Haig, who eventually missed out on a podium finish.

Horgan finished 11 seconds behind the group in fifth, enough to seal overall honours by 19 seconds.

“This is my biggest win so far,” he said. “I was certainly confident with my form coming in and this tour suited me, but I certainly didn’t expect to have the yellow jersey for the whole tour.”

Horgan laid the foundations for his triumph when he was part of a defiant two-man breakaway in the second stage of the tour – the Blue Lake road race in Mount Gambier.

Honours in the final stage went to Edmondson who outsprinted his breakaway companions Hamilton and Lapthorne to take the win.

Edmondson’s overall podium was a huge feat after the 2012 London Olympian was taken to hospital following a nasty fall in the opening stage.

Follow the link for full results from the 2013 Tour of the Great South Coast. Text via Cycling Australia press release.

Specialized-Lululemon, Marianne Vos win in Swedish World Cup weekend

Two rounds of the women’s World Cup were contested over the weekend, a team time trial and a road race, both part of the Open de Suède Vargarda race meet.

The 42.5km TTT was won by Team Specialized-Lululemon in a time of 53:59 (average 47.2km/h) with Rabobank Liv-Giant in second, 38 seconds behind, and Orica-AIS third, 1:26 behind the winners.

The road race was won by Marianne Vos (Rabobank Liv-Giant) who outsprinted the likes of Emma Johansson (Orica-AIS) and Ellen van Dijk to win from a six-rider breakaway.

Marianne Vos now has an unassailable lead in the World Cup standings, with one race to go. Image via http://www.worldcupvargarda.se/

Marianne Vos now has an unassailable lead in the World Cup standings, with one race to go. Image via http://www.worldcupvargarda.se/

“I was pretty scared about Emma – she’s fast to the line too, so that’s why I wanted to take a fast last corner and sprint as hard as I could,” Vos said, thanking her competitors for their sportsmanship when she had to stop for a puncture on the last lap. “I was quite lucky and happy that the others didn’t attack me, I have to say thanks for that.”

The winning group of six had been part of a larger breakaway group that was splintered in the dying stages of the race but still had enough of a lead to ensure the gap between 10th and 11th place was nearly seven minutes.

With one round remaining in the World Cup — the GP de Plouay-Bretagne on August 31 — Marianne Vos leads the overall rankings with 354 points. Emma Johansson is second with 252 points and Ellen van Dijk rounds out the top three on 224 points.

Follow the links for results from the TTT and road race at the Open de Suède Vargarda. Click here for the latest World Cup rankings.

Froome supports life ban for dopers

Tour de France champion Chris Froome says he would be in favour of permanent bans for cyclists found guilty of using drugs.

The Team Sky rider believes the sport has moved on from past scandals, but he says he would feel even more confident if those found to have deliberately cheated were banned from cycling for life.

Tour de France 2013 stage-18

“I definitely think there need to be harsher penalties for people who break the rules,” he told national newspaper the Mail on Sunday. “I’m not so sure they should be allowed back into the sport at all.

“Maybe I’d implement lifetime bans for people who did blood bags or (banned blood booster) EPO — or something that you know is 100 per cent cheating. I think in this day and age, if there are new cases, I would like to see those guys out of the sport.”

The 28-year-old Englishman faced repeated questions about doping during his Tour triumph, amid a climate of suspicion following the downfall of disgraced drugs cheat Lance Armstrong earlier this year.

Text via AFP.

Van Garderen targets the USA Pro Challenge

The USA Pro Cycling Challenge begins in Colorado today and BMC’s Tejay van Garderen will be among the favourites for the overall title.

The American finished on the podium in the past two editions and has been improving, moving from third in 2011 to second last year. After winning the Tour of California in May, van Garderen is confident he can perform well, if not improve on his past two efforts at the race.

Tour de France 2013 stage-18

“I’m definitely motivated to win,” van Garderen said in a team press release. “It’s not going to be easy. Garmin-Sharp has a really deep team. Sky has a really deep team. But I like my chances here.”

Van Garderen struggled in this year’s Tour de France and wasn’t able to manage a repeat performance of last year’s ride when he finished inside the top 10 and won the best young rider’s jersey. He did, however, come very close to a stage win atop Alpe d’Huez.

Click here to learn more about the USA Pro Cycling Challenge.

Voigt to close out career with new Trek squad

One of the most popular riders in the pro peloton, Jens Voigt, has signed onto Trek’s new WorldTour cycling project for 2014. One of cycling’s greatest domestiques, Voigt brings a wealth of knowledge and experience for younger riders to learn from.

“I’m glad Trek and I got to an agreement for 2014. It’s been three crazy years for me on Trek, with a lot of highlights, and I’m happy that we can go on for another year,” said Voigt.

“Looking at the young kids: I see the future. They are ready to spread their wings. But maybe I can close one more gap for them, or teach them something from my years of experience. I feel I still have some gas left in the tank, so I can’t wait for what’s coming!”

Though he may be the oldest rider still competing professionally at the age of 41, the affable German has showed little signs of slowing down, as witnessed in stage 5 of the Tour of California and stage 20 of this year’s Tour de France. It is still undecided as to which races Voigt will compete in next year.

Text adapted from a Trek press release.

Leaving by the back door

Over the past few weeks we’ve brought you news of rider signings, contract extensions and so on, and there’s sure to be more to come. But what about the riders that don’t make it to the headlines, the ones who are out of a contract come the end of the year? Quite simply, they leave the sport via the backdoor.

Check out this article at The Inner Ring to learn more.

How much does it cost to sponsor a women’s team?

Here’s an interesting piece from the team over at Total Women’s Cycling about the cost of sponsoring a professional women’s team. They spoke to Matrix Fitness Racing Academy team manager Stefan Wyman and the founder of one of the team’s current sponsors, Vulpine, about what’s involved.

In short, the total budget to establish a high-level professional team is somewhere between AUD$400,000 and $500,000. But there’s far more to it than just having the money.
Check out the article here.

How Lance Armstrong ruined everything

This video is from the Melbourne International Comedy Festival earlier this year, but it’s still worth a watch. In it, Irish comedian David O’Doherty gets up and explains the Lance Armstrong Saga, putting his own humorous twist on it.

What’s in a name?

Many of you have asked where the name “Rocacorba Daily” comes from. If you haven’t already looked it up, or if you want a bit more context about it, check out this article in Cycling Weekly: a profile of the Rocacorba climb in Spain.

Sunday Night’s “War on our Roads”

Last night Channel Seven broadcast a story on their Sunday Night program about the so-called “war on our roads”. The story sparked much discussion on Twitter and elsewhere, and if you haven’t seen it already you can do so here.

Highlights from the Red Bull Joyride

The Red Bull Joyride was held at Crankworx Whistler in Canada over the weekend, fusing “elements of slopestyle, dirt jump and North Shore mountain biking”. Check out the highlights below:

Click here for photos from the event.

The Rocacorba Recap

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


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