Horner wins Vuelta stage 3, takes overall lead
American Chris Horner of the RadioShack team claimed his first grand tour victory in the third stage of the Tour of Spain last night and took the overall lead in the process.
At 41, Horner becomes the oldest rider ever to win a grand tour stage and the oldest rider ever to lead a grand tour.
Horner produced an impressive kick in the 4km climb to the finishing line to edge out 2009 champion Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) and Katusha’s Joaquim Rodriguez.
Overnight leader Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) finished 11th, the Giro d’Italia champion dropping to second overall just six seconds behind Horner.
“I arrived in great form, I like the route of this tour and I feel strong,” Horner said after being presented with the leader’s red jersey.
“My objective is to be as high as possible in the general classification. I have already won the Tour of the Basque country and I think I can win the Tour of Spain.”
It was another solid day for Valverde and Rodriguez as they continued to make up the time they lost in the team time trial on the opening day, with six and four bonus seconds respectively for their places on the podium.
Meanwhile, Sky leader Sergio Henao endured another frustrating day and now trails the leaders by over three minutes.
Team director for the race Nicolas Portal said earlier in the day that the Colombian had amazingly forgotten to eat during the second stage on Sunday, leaving him drained as he was dropped from the peloton on the demanding category one climb up the Alto do Monte da Groba.
And his luck didn’t improve last night when he first suffered a puncture and was then involved in a minor crash.
A second crash involving one of the pre-stage favourites Simon Gerrans (Orica-GreenEDGE) then split the peloton into two groups with Movistar, Astana and Katusha pushing the pace in the leading pack.
However, as they reached the final climb up the Mirador de Lobeira, it was Italian Ivan Santaromita (BMC Racing) who launched a surprise attack.
Santaromita though went too early and was easily reeled in by the chasing pack as Horner impressively held off Valderde, Rodriguez and Henao’s teammate Rigoberto Uran to take victory.
Follow the link for full results from stage 3 of the 2013 Vuelta a Espana. Text via AFP.
Ewan wins back-to-back at Tour de l’Avenir
Nineteen-year-old Australian Caleb Ewan has won his second consecutive stage at the Tour de l’Avenir overnight, sprinting to victory at the end of the 162km stage from Champagnoles to Saint Vulbas.
Ewan was too strong for second-placed Sondre Holst Enger and third placed Julian Alaphilippe who sits second in the general classification.
Ewan won in similar fashion on stage 1 of the U23 race and told CyclingNews afterwards “I’m in good shape, I can win again”.
Five stages remain in the 2013 Tour de l’Avenir with Frenchman Alexis Gougeard currently leading the general classification following his win in the prologue time trial.
Follow the link for full results from stage 2 of the 2013 Tour de l’Avenir.
Edmondson wins final stage of the Lotto Belisol Belgium Tour
Orica-AIS rider Nettie Edmondson has won the final stage of the Lotto Belisol Belgium Tour, pushing for the line after leading out her teammate Emma Johansson.
Edmondson had the field strung out as she powered uphill toward the finish line and when she opened up a small gap ahead of Johansson, the latter slowed ever-so-slightly to allow the gap to grow.
Edmondson held off the field to take her first professional road victory in Europe while Johansson proved best of the rest to take second on the stage.
“Emma was feeling really good today, and the finish is exactly the sort that usually suits her,” said Edmondson. “She could have won it if she wanted to, but she gave it to me, which was really nice. She deserves a huge thank you for that.”
Ellen van Dijk (Specialized-Lululemon) was third on the stage with the same time as Edmondson and Johansson; enough to hold on to win the Tour by seven seconds over teammate Lisa Brennauer and 27 seconds over Johansson in third.
Follow the link for full results from stage 4 of the 2013 Lotto Belisol Belgium Tour. Click here for the final general classification. Text adapted from an Orica-AIS press release.
Vos wins again at Trophee d’Or Feminin
Marianne Vos (Rabobank) was already leading the six-stage Trophee d’Or Feminin before last night’s fourth stage and when she won that stage ahead of a small group of riders, she further extended her overall lead.
Vos has now won three of the four stages so far this race and has an advantage of 1:02 ahead of her nearest rival Anna van der Breggen (Sengers), going into stage 5.
Follow the link for full results from stage 4 of the 2013 Trophee d’Or Feminin.
Johansson takes world number 1 spot from Vos
Emma Johansson’s third place overall in the Lotto Belisol Tour has seen her move to the top of the UCI women’s rankings, ejecting world champion Marianne Vos from number 1 for the first time since 2007.
The women’s ranking is done on a rolling 12-month calendar, rather than on the calendar year, and Johannson now sits on 1211.75 points, 30.5 ahead of Vos on 1181.25.
Emma Johansson is enjoying arguably her best season to date, having won the Emakumeen Euskal Bira and Thüringen-Rundfahrt and having come second in the Route de France. She’s also taken a whole host of podium positions throughout the season.
Devolder, Irizar, Popovych, Rast, Roulston, and Sergent join Trek in 2014
Trek has announced agreements with six key riders for its new WorldTour Team starting in 2014. Stijn Devolder, Markel Irizar, Yaroslav Popovych, Gregory Rast, Hayden Roulston and Jesse Sergent have all signed on to the classics-focused group, lead by multiple Paris-Roubaix and Tour of Flanders winner Fabian Cancellara.
Sports director Dirk Demol said:
“This group of riders has been essential to Fabian’s success in 2012 and especially 2013. I am delighted and proud that we are able to keep this group together. From here on we keep on working hard, toward many more successes.”
Click here to read more. Text adapted from a RadioShack Leopard Trek press release.
Lack of testing at Tour of Borneo raises questions
The Tour of Borneo finished last week surrounded in controversy about the lack of anti-doping controls at the race. The controversy was only heightened by the fact some riders from the Iranian Tabriz Petrochemical team put in performances that other riders and team staff viewed as simply unbelievable.
Jono Lovelock has written a piece over at Cycling News unpacking the issues around the Tour of Borneo and looking at Iranian cycling’s relationship with doping in the past.
Click here to read the article.
Cycling Australia endorses Brian Cookson in UCI presidential election
The board of Cycling Australia (CA) has announced its intention to endorse Brian Cookson in his bid to become the next President of the UCI.
During its board meeting in Sydney over the weekend, directors and delegates from New Zealand and the Oceania Confederation discussed the manifestos with both candidates – Cookson in person and Pat McQuaid via teleconference.
Outgoing CA President Klaus Mueller stated;
“After meeting with Mr Cookson this weekend, where he detailed his vision to rebuild trust in the UCI and grow cycling worldwide, my board has carefully considered the options before it and decided that Brian Cookson is the best candidate to restore both the sport’s, and the UCI’s, credibility.”
Cookson’s excellent track record at British Cycling was a factor in the decision.
“We believe that the leadership skills that he has demonstrated so effectively at British Cycling will be transferred to the UCI for the good of cycling on a global level.”
Meanwhile Brian Cookson has urged more Australian riders to come forward about past doping offences in an attempt to clean up the sport and move on.
“I would encourage anybody, not just the people named but others in that situation, that the sooner they tell all the truth, the better it will be for all of us and for them”, Cookson said.
Click here to read more. Some text adapted from a Cycling Australia press release.
Cyclists at risk of low bone density
One of the best things about cycling compared to, say, running, is the lack of bone-jarring impact on the joints. And while this is a certainly a good thing, there is a disadvantage: a lack of bone density in cyclists.
To investigate this issue further AIS researchers followed a recent training camp in Canberra with 32 elite female cyclists.
Australian Institute of Sport dietitian Louise Burke has been the team nutritionist at five Olympic Games and said:
“Over the years, we’ve been noting that both female and male cyclists can have problems with bone density. When you’re watching these athletes more closely, you see they’re actually losing bone when they should be increasing bone.”
Low bone density can have implications later in life, including osteoporosis.
The AIS recommends that cyclists maintain a high-calcium diet, not just by consuming dairy, but by consuming dairy just before exercise, to combat calcium-loss through sweating.
Click here to read more.
Reddit “Ask me Anything” with Phil Gaimon
Bissel Pro Cycling rider (and Garmin-Sharp 2014 recruit) Phil Gaimon has spent some time answering questions for fans and interested readers in a reddit Ask me Anything (AMA) session.
Click here to see what Gaimon had to say.
The Rocacorba Recap
And finally this morning, here are a few things you might have missed:
- USA Pro Challenge in photos
- Vuelta tipping report: stage 2
- Cam Wurf’s Vuelta Diary: stage 2
- Rocacorba Daily: Monday August 27