USA Pro Challenge – Frank wins stage 2, Morton takes the lead

Mathias Frank (BMC Racing) won stage 2 of the USA Pro Challenge in Breckenridge, Colorado, today. Frank broke away for a late escape with Lachlan Morton (Garmin – Sharp) and Lawson Craddock (Livestrong) where he attacked on the final climb to Boreas Pass to take the solo win.

Mathias Frank crosses the finish line first in Breckenridge, Colorado.

Mathias Frank crosses the finish line first in Breckenridge, Colorado.

Lachlan Morton was able to keep Frank in sight on 4km descent to the finish and came in 3 seconds down which earned him the overall race lead in the 202-kilometer stage from Aspen.

Morton leads Frank by two seconds in the GC, with Sagan third, tied with Tejay van Garderen (BMC Racing), at 11 seconds.

“For me, the stage win was the most important thing,” said Frank. “That’s what I got, so I’m really happy.”

Stage 3 of the USA Pro Challenge continues Wednesday with the 170km race from Breckenridge to Steamboat Springs.

Lachlan Morton finished 3 seconds behind Frank, but takes the overall lead by 2 seconds after stage 2.

Lachlan Morton finished 3 seconds behind Frank, but takes the overall lead by 2 seconds after stage 2.

Stage 2

1 Mathias Frank – BMC Racing 5:05:19
2 Lachlan David Morton – Garmin-Sharp 0:00:03
3 Peter Sagan Cannondale – Pro Cycling 0:00:14
4 Tejay van Garderen – BMC Racing
5 Lawson Craddock – Bontrager 0:00:21
6 Thomas Danielson – Garmin-Sharp 0:00:32
7 Darwin Atapuma – Colombia 0:00:33
8 Damiano Caruso – Cannondale Pro Cycling 0:00:44
9 Michael Schär – BMC Racing
10 George Bennett – RadioShack Leopard

General classification after stage 2

1 Lachlan David Morton – Garmin-Sharp 7:31:22
2 Mathias Frank – BMC Racing 0:00:02
3 Peter Sagan Cannondale – Pro Cycling 0:00:11
4 Tejay van Garderen – BMC Racing
5 Lawson Craddock – Bontrager 0:00:18
6 Thomas Danielson – Garmin-Sharp 0:00:29
7 Darwin Atapuma – Colombia 0:00:35
8 Damiano Caruso – Cannondale Pro Cycling 0:00:41
9 Christopher – Baldwin UnitedHealthcare
10 Gregore Brenes – Obando Champion System

Click here for full results

Euskaltel ends 20-year run

(AFP) – Basque cycling team Euskaltel Euskadi is to shut down at the end of this season due to a lack of funding caused by the current economic crisis, the team said Tuesday.

2013 Giro d'Italia.stage 10..Samuel Sanchez (ESP) climbing at 20% gradient.

The news comes as a huge blow to cycling in Spain with the Vuelta a Espana set to begin on Saturday.

“Euskaltel Euskadi will not continue next season,” it said in a statement.

“The introduction of a second sponsor, essential to guarantee the sustainability of the team, has not come to pass, making it unfeasible for the team to continue from the start of next year, although it will wholly complete the sporting calendar for 2013.”

The team’s main sponsor, telecommunications company Euskaltel, admitted last month that it was looking for another sponsor to help with the running costs of the team after local government withdrew its 3.5 million euros ($4.6 million) of public funding due to spending cuts.

Euskaltel filled that funding gap themselves for this season, taking their contribution to seven million of the team’s nine million euro budget. However, it said that level of investment was unsustainable.

“Today is a sad day for Euskaltel, the team, the current sponsors, fans and all that have supported this project.

“We regret that no other company or entity have decided to bet on this team, well-established in the elite of world cycling.”

Cyclists currently contracted to the team for the 2014 season, including Olympic gold medallist Samuel Sanchez, have been given permission to speak to other teams about finding a place in the peloton for next season.

Henao leads Sky’s Vuelta team

(AFP) – Colombian rider Sergio Henao will lead Team Sky’s challenge at the forthcoming Tour of Spain, the British team announced on Tuesday.

Colombian rider Sergio Henao will lead Team Sky at the Vuelta

Colombian rider Sergio Henao will lead Team Sky at the Vuelta

The 25-year-old climbing specialist will spearhead a nine-strong squad that also includes Edvald Boasson Hagen, Dario Cataldo, Vasil Kiryienka, Christian Knees, Salvatore Puccio, Luke Rowe, Rigoberto Uran and Xabier Zandio.

“It’s a testament to the strength and depth in this team that we can line up in all three Grand Tours this year with such strong squads,” said team principal Dave Brailsford.

“We’ve watched Sergio develop since he joined the team and this is a great opportunity for him to demonstrate what he is capable of on a big stage like the Vuelta.”

Henao said: “The Vuelta is a huge race for me and an important and prestigious event.

“It is an honour to be picked as the team leader and it’s a responsibility that I want to try and fulfil. I respect what the team has asked of me and I want to try and make the most out of the opportunity.”

Team Sky’s Tour de France champion Chris Froome is currently engaged in the USA Pro Challenge in Colorado.

The Tour of Spain begins on Saturday.

More Vuelta team line-ups announced: Cannondale, Belkin and Lampre

Ivan Basso will lead team Cannondale into the Vuelta a España after having to nix the Giro d’Italia on the eve of the race. “It has been a season with very little good luck,” the Italian said in a press release. “My ambitions are high and I have a lot of desire to show that I can still do something impressive.”

Cameron Wurf, Paolo Longo Borghini, Tiziano Dall’Antonia, Maciej Paterski, José Sarmiento, Daniele Ratto, Guillaume Boivin and Lucas Haedo join Basso in Spain.

Belkin heads into the Vuelta with Theo Bos aiming at sprint stages and, as with the Tour, Bauke Mollema and Laurens Ten Dam going for the overall.

“I’m feeling strong but I don’t know how my body will react to two Grand Tours in a row,” Mollema said in a press statement. He races with Ten Dam, Bos, Graeme Brown, David Tanner, Stef Clement, Robert Wagner, Juan Manuel Gárate and Luis León Sánchez.

Michele Scarponi leads Lampre-Merida with the help of Winner Andrew Anacona, Matteo Bono, Luca Dodi, Massimo Graziato, Manuele Mori, Maximiliano Richeze, Simone Stortoni and Diego Ulissi.

Tour free of doping positives, says UCI

(AFP) – There were no positive doping tests during July’s Tour de France, the Cycling Anti-Doping Foundation said Tuesday.

Director Francesca Rossi stopped short of claiming the Tour had been clean but said 622 samples, including 443 blood samples and 179 urine samples, were taken during the last edition of the world’s biggest and most popular bicycle race.

“We have no adverse analytical findings,” said Rossi from the International Cycling Union’s base.

“We changed the strategy. We were unpredictable and the riders perceived we were unpredictable.”

Tour de France 2013 stage-21

During the Tour, the eventual winner, Britain’s Chris Froome, was subjected to intense press scrutiny and speculation regarding the validity of his at times phenomenal performances.

But Rossi was unequivocal about the Team Sky leader.

“We tested him a lot,” she said.

Rossi praised the French Anti-Doping Agency for their collaboration.

The news will come as a welcome boost to a sport that has suffered huge damage to its reputation this year with Lance Armstrong’s January admission that he cheated throughout his seven Tour victories, of which he has been stripped.

In July the French senate released the names of a number of riders whose retroactively tested samples from the 1998 and 1999 tours had tested positive for banned blood-booster EPO.

Among the names to be revealed were former Tour winners Marco Pantani, now deceased, and Jan Ullrich, who in June finally admitted to his doping past, as well as past sprint king Erik Zabel, who subsequently also came clean.

Froome understands doping questions

Chris Froome understands the spotlight he stood under in the Tour de France coming on the heels of the Lance Armstrong doping scandal.

Chris Froome gearing up

“It really takes a lot to piss me off,” he said of the doping-related questions last month. “I don’t generally take too much to heart. I don’t generally dwell on the past much either. I just like to look forward and at what I’m doing right now.”

He added that he knows that the questions need to be asked in the post-Armstrong era, even if he wished they were more focused on racing at times.

Read more on Velonews.

Adam Hansen aims for seven Grand Tours in a row

Vuelta 2011, Giro 2012, Tour 2012, Vuelta 2012, Giro 2013, Tour 2013 and Vuelta 2013. If Lotto Belisol rider Adam Hansen arrives in Madrid safe and sound that will be the impressive series he will have completed: 7 Grand Tours in a row. In May he won a stage in the Giro when he finished solo in the pouring rain in Pescara. Why does the Aussie like it so much to ride all three Grand Tours in one year?

2013 Giro d'Italia.stage 10..Victory Adam Hansen!

“I think it was more of a challenge last year, as it was the first time. This year I’m a lot more relaxed going into the 3rd Grand Tour of the season.” Hansen said in a team press release.

“I think it’s nice that if all goes well I will have completed seven Grand Tours in a row. It’s pretty incredible when you think about it and it does make me proud. I like to see how many I can do, I’m very happy Lotto Belisol enables me to have this kind of race programme. You need a team that supports you and that’s what my team does. I like doing block racing, so that’s why I like riding the three Grand Tours. In the end you have less travel days and are more at home. Other benefits are of course that you get free food, free rent, free laundry; you get taken care of (laughs). In that sense it’s very relaxing too.”

“When I completed the first Grand Tour I started thinking it would be nice to do them all in one year. I never said ‘okay this year I’m going to do it’, because you have to be selected by the team and have to be injury-free and have to finish them all. When the opportunity came last year after I had both completed Giro and Tour I asked if I could do the Vuelta and some of the sports directors laughed at me, thought I was joking. But if I have the chance I’d like to continue to do this.”

“I very much like to win a stage in the Vuelta. I’m definitely going to have a go for it, that’s for sure. Hopefully I’m in a breakaway that makes it to the finish, so I can have a chance.”

Garmin launches HD sports camera

Today Garmin has launched their 1080p sports action camera with built-in display. Two models were launched: the VIRB and the VIRB elite. The rugged, weatherproofed cameras are Garmin’s first attempt at HD cameras. The VIRB Elite will come equipped with a host of features such as GPS, WiFi, accelerometer, and altimeter.

2virb-659x440

Specs:

— 1080p HD video recording with 16 megapixel CMOS image processor
— Chroma™ display: color, high-resolution; easier control of setup, playback and adjustments
— (VIRB elite) High-sensitivity GPS, accelerometer and barometric altimeter
— (VIRB elite) Wi-Fi connectivity; use with free mobile applications for iPhone® and Android™
— Rechargeable, 2000 mAh lithium-ion battery, record up to 3 hours at 1080p

Pricing (USD): $299 for VIRB, and $399 for VIRB elite

Find out more on Garmin.com

Jens Voigt on why he’s retiring


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