”Bling” Matthews wins stage 5 of the Vuelta a Espana

Australian Michael Matthews (Orica-GreenEDGE) has won the fifth stage of the Vuelta a Espana overnight, edging out Maximiliano Ariel Recheze (Lampre) and Gianni Meersman (Omega Pharma-Quickstep) in a sprint finish.

“This is what I have been aiming for all year … to get to this level and the team has been awesome throughout to help me get here,” said Matthews who arrived in Spain in fine form having won two stages at the Tour of Utah earlier this month.

Matthews was also on the podium on Tuesday when he was just pipped to the stage victory by Daniel Moreno (Katusha) and Fabian Cancellara (RadioShack).

It was a fairly uneventful day for the leaders in the general classification as Giro d’Italia winner Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) retained his lead in the overall classification ahead of American veteran Chris Horner (RadioShack) and Irishman Nicolas Roche (Saxo). All the contenders registered the same time in the 174km ride from Sober to Lago de Sanabria.


With the first flat finish of the race favouring the sprinters in the peloton, Nicolas Edet (Cofidis) was again amongst the early pace setters as he and Antonio Piedra (Caja Rural), Jurgen Van De Walle (Lotto Belisol), Arnaud Courteille (FDJ) and Winner Anacona (Lampre) built up a ten minute advantage before the first climb of the day up the Alto do Covelo.

That breakaway group continued to lead for the majority of the day with Van De Walle and Courtielle attacking on their own inside the final 10km.

They were eventually caught by the peloton with just over a kilometre to go and as the sprinters positioned themselves for the line it was Matthews who always looked the strongest. He powered into the lead with 500 metres remaining and freewheeled across the line to take his first grand tour stage victory.

Follow the link for full results from stage 5 of the 2013 Vuelta a Espana. Text via AFP.

Vos wins Trophee d’Or Feminin

Marianne Vos (Rabobank-Liv Giant) has won the six-stage Trophee d’Or Feminin having taken the lead in stage 1 and never looking like relinquishing it.

17ème Trophée d'Or cyclisme Féminin 2013 - 6

Vos finished 8th on the final stage, 1:26 behind compatriot and teammate Annemiek van Vleuten who took the win from a six-rider breakaway. That result on the final stage was enough to see Vos finish 1:02 ahead of her nearest rival Anna van der Breggen (Sengers) and 1:31 of Lucinda Brand (Rabobank-Liv Giant) in the final general classification.

In the penultimate stage of the race Orica-AIS’s Tasmanian stagiaire Amy Cure was too fast in the sprint finish, winning the stage at the head of a seven-ride breakaway.

Follow the link for full results from the 2013 Trophee d’Or Feminin.

Fernandez wins stage 4 of the Tour de L’Avenir

After a flat start to the 2013 Tour de L’Avenir, the race headed to the French Alps for stage 4 overnight, finishing with a climb of roughly 15km to Saint François Longchamp.

The stage was won by Spain’s Ruben Fernandez who finished 1:38 clear of second-placed Patrick Conrad (Austria), the first of five riders to finish within eight seconds of one another.

The summit finish saw significant changes in the general classification with Fernandez leaping to the top of the leaderboard from 47th position. Alexis Gougeard (France), who led the race until stage 4 after winning the prologue time trial, lost significant time on the stage and now sits 46th overall.

Orica-GreenEDGE stagiaire Damian Howson is the highest-placed Australian in 15th place overall, 3:20 behind Fernandez.

The eight-stage U23 race continues tonight with another mountainous stage.

Follow the link for full results from stage 4 of the 2013 Tour de l’Avenir.

Date set for Di Luca hearing

Disgraced Italian cyclist Danilo Di Luca has been summoned to a doping hearing next week, anti-doping officials said Wednesday, which could see him banned from the sport for life.

Di Luca quit the 96th edition of the Giro d’Italia earlier this year after testing positive for the banned blood booster EPO (erythropoietin).

96mo Giro d'Italia

The 37-year-old Italian, a former winner of his country’s biggest race, had previously served two bans for doping, prompting Giro chief Michele Acquarone to declare: “He needs help.”

Anti-doping officials with the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) have set Di Luca’s hearing for September 4 at their offices adjacent to the Olympic Stadium in Rome.

Di Luca’s latest brush with the sport’s officials even prompted disgraced American Lance Armstrong, who was stripped of his seven Tour de France crowns earlier this year, to react via a message on his Twitter feed.

The American said: “Knowing I have 0 cred on the doping issue – I still can’t help but think, ‘really Di Luca? Are you that stupid??’”

Text via AFP.

Goulburn to Sydney Classic cancelled

Cycling Australia confirmed yesterday that the 2013 Goulburn to Sydney Classic will be cancelled after no compromise could be met between Cycling Australia, race organisers, teams and New South Wales Police.

The one-day 170km race, which was first raced 111 years ago, was scheduled for September 15 but when several NRS teams threatened to boycott due to safety concerns, the future of the race was put in jeopardy.

The teams had demanded a rolling road closure along the Hume Highway — as opposed to just allocating a lane of the still-open highway to the race — but New South Wales police wouldn’t allow such measures.

Teams had apparently agreed to a route that would take in backroads parallel to the Hume Highway but New South Wales police reportedly refused rolling road closures for that option as well.

Click here to read more.

Cancellara yet to decide on Worlds target

Four-time world time trial champion Fabian Cancellara remains coy about which race he’ll be targetting at this year’s World Championships in Florence.

focused Spartacus the day before the race

The swiss powerhouse will be among the favourites for the individual time trial — with Tony Martin and Bradley Wiggins — but could also be a threat in the trade team time trial with RadioShack Leopard after the team came second in the stage 1 Vuelta TTT.

Asked for his main target, Cancellara said, “The best explanation is that we are looking at all the races, and then we will see. The problem is if I say the time trial, the trade team time trial or the road race, then I get pushed [pressurised] in that. The best thing to say is that there are three races there, and which one I will be specifically keeping an eye on has yet to be decided.”

Click here to read more at Cycling News.

Rio anti-doping lab doesn’t meet WADA standards

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has revoked the accreditation of the anti-doping laboratory in 2016 Olympic host city Rio de Janeiro.

In a statement WADA declared that the facility didn’t comply with the International Standard for Laboratories and that the lab “will no longer be authorised to carry out the testing of doping control samples on behalf of WADA or any testing authority.”

The laboratory has three weeks to lodge an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), and it can also reapply for accreditation.

WADA carries out regular checks on its 35 laboratories worldwide to ensure they aren’t declaring false positive samples and that they are reporting abnormal results.

Click here to read more.

Is Strava causing anti-social cycling?

A British researcher has presented research at an international conference that, he says, shows that riders trying to set PBs on Strava segments is having a detrimental effect on group rides.

stravaLeaderboards1

Dr Paul Barratt from Staffordshire University said that rather than enjoying their rides alongside fellow club members, some riders are more interested in vying with potential competitors.

“Whilst cycling club social rides have always tended to culminate in a short sprint, members are now jumping off the front of the group many times throughout a ride in order to bag a fast ‘segment’,” he explains.

What do you think? Has Strava made group rides less sociable?

Click here to read more at road.cc.

The four types of cyclists

After completing a study that involved 2,000 cyclists, researchers at McGill University in Canada have suggested that riders can be divided into four main groups.

Image by avlxyz

Image by avlxyz

  • Path-using cyclists (36% of those interviewed) who are motivated by the fun of riding, its convenience, and the identity that cycling gives them.
  • Dedicated cyclists (24%) who are motivated by speed, predictability and flexibility that bike trips offer.
  • Fairweather utilitarians (23%) who will ride when the weather is good but won’t when the weather is poor.
  • Leisure cyclists (17%) who ride because it is fun, and not so much for commuting.

The researchers believe the findings will help guide urban planners, transportation engineers and policy makers as they redesign cities to respond to new transit demands.

What do you think of these groupings? And do you think these statistics would be more or less the same in other cities around the world?

Click here to read more at Forbes.

”21st century cities won’t work without cycling”

And here’s something else about cycling, urban planning and the future of our cities. At the Velo-city 2013 mobility conference in Paris last week, keynote speaker Philippe Crist (from the International Transport Forum) was interviewed about the future of mobility.

When asked whether cycling can play a role in relieving some of the pressure on modern transport networks, Crist replied:

Cycling is indeed a solution that’s often overlooked. Cycling can be an access enhancer; it gets you where you want quickly and more affordably than any other form of transport, and most of all it’s accessible to anyone, rich or poor.

I would call cycling a ‘city safety valve’, because more people cycling can help a great deal in alleviating the overload on transport networks while still moving people around efficiently. With traffic expected to grow a lot more, it’s safe to say that 21st century cities won’t work without cycling and walking.

Click here to read more from this interview with Philippe Crist over at ecf.com.

A week in the Sudtirol Dolommites: trailer

This is a trailer for the first video in an upcoming series called Adidas Journeys. The series is apparently all about building “unique experiences in the great outdoors” and encouraging “a break from everyday life”.

In the first video “a team of cyclists … embark upon an unforgettable journey throughout Italy’s Südtirol and the Dolomites. This action packed tour includes spectacular views and awe-inspiring natural beauty as each rider’s stamina is put to the test.”

The full video will be out on September 1.

The Rocacorba Recap

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


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