Cancellara wins Vuelta stage 11 ITT

Switzerland’s Fabian Cancellara has won the 11th stage of the Tour of Spain overnight, a 38.8km hilly time trial, in which Italy’s Vincenzo Nibali regained the overall leader’s red jersey.

stage-11 of the Vuelta a EspaÒa 2013

Radioshack’s Cancellara paced his effort in the early uphill section of the time trial near Tarazona in Aragon and then powered to the finish, completing the course in 51 minutes, 37 seconds ahead of Germany’s Tony Martin of Omega Pharma-QuickStep. Italy’s Domenico Pozzovivo of Ag2r finished the first and only time trial of this year’s Vuelta in third place, 1:24 behind the winner.

Cancellara said the victory would stand him in good stead ahead of the time trial at the World Championships in Florence later this month.

“I’m coming into form for Florence. Having said that, I can’t really compare myself to Tony Martin today given that the course in Florence is very different to this one,” said Cancellara.

The time trial in Florence will be largely flat and run over 57.9km.

stage-11 of the Vuelta a EspaÒa 2013

Astana’s Nibali, who clocked the fourth fastest time at 1:25, took over the race leader’s red jersey from American veteran Christopher Horner of Radioshack. Horner came home in 54:01 and is now fourth in the overall standings, 46 seconds behind Nibali, the 2010 champion.

Ireland’s Nicolas Roche moved up to second at 33 seconds after finishing the time trial in sixth while 2009 winner Valverde finished seventh on the stage and is now third overall, on the same time as Horner.

Diminutive climber Pozzovivo’s stunning, and unexpected, result lifted him to sixth overall, just behind Spaniard Rodriguez, the third-placed finisher at this year’s Tour de France, who failed to shine in finishing 21st on the stage.

Tonight’s 12th stage is a 164.2km ride from Maella to Tarragona. With only one categorised climb just beyond midway and a flat final 20km, it should favour the sprinters.

Follow the link for results from stage 11 of the 2013 Vuelta a Espana.

Sagan off to a perfect start at the Tour of Alberta

Peter Sagan has continued his dominant form on North American soil, winning the first stage of the inaugural Tour of Alberta in Canada.

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Sagan was too strong for Eric Young who finished second after a solid effort from his Optum-Kelly Benefit Strategies lead-out train and an attempt to surprise Sagan with an early jump. Moreno Hofland (Belkin) was third on the 158km stage from Strathcona County to Camrose.

A breakaway featuring US cyclocross champion Jeremy Vennell (Bissell) spent most of the day at the head of the race and went into the final 11km with a 55-second advantage. But with Cannondale working hard at the front of the peloton to reel in the escape, the stage was destined for a bunch sprint in which Sagan proved to be too strong.

Sagan had gone into the opening road stage wearing the leader’s jersey after winning the 7.3km-long prologue individual time trial in a time of 8:28 (an average speed of 51.7km/h).

Sagan finished 13 seconds ahead of second-placed Australian Rohan Dennis (Garmin-Sharp) and 14 seconds ahead of third-placed Tobias Ludvigsson (Argos-Shimano). Cadel Evans (BMC) was in fourth place, a further six second behind Ludvigsson.

The 1st Tour of Alberta continues tonight with the 174km second stage, from Devon to Red Deer.

Follow the links for results from the prologue and stage 1 of the 2013 Tour of Alberta.

Specialized-Lululemon takes out stage 2 TTT at the Boels Ladies Tour

The American Specialized-Lululemon squad has won the stage 2 team time trial at the Boels Ladies Tour, completing the 30.3km course in 38:53, an average speed of 46.8km/h.

The team led by Dutch national time trial champion Ellen van Dijk was 1:15 faster than second-placed Orica-AIS and 1:37 ahead of third-placed Rabobank.

The victory sees Specialized-Lululemon’s Trixi Worrack take the overall lead with four stages remaining in the race, with Specialized-Lululemon riders taking up the top six positions on the general classification.

The Boels Ladies Tour continues tonight with a 122km road race starting and finishing in Leerdam.

Follow the link for results from the stage 2 TTT at the Boels Ladies Tour.

Bronzini wins Tour de l’Ardeche stage 3, Amialiusik takes stage 2

Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling’s Giorgia Bronzini has won stage 3 of the Tour de l’Ardeche, outsprinting her six breakaway companions in the hilly 77km stage to take her second victory of the race so far.

The former two-time World champion was the fastest of the leading riders at the finish, beating Italian compatriots Rossella Ratto (Servetto-Footon Mixed) and Elena Cecchini (Faren-Kuota) into second and third.

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Earlier in the day, Alena Amialiusik (Be Pink) won the stage 2 individual time trial, completing the 3.5km course in 5:15 (an average speed of 40km/h). Amialiusik’s teammate Noemi Cantele was in second place, nine seconds back, with prologue time trial winner Linda Villumsen (Wiggle Honda) rounding out the podium.

Amialiusik leads the race overall, three seconds ahead of Linda Villumsen and 12 seconds ahead of Australian Orica-AIS rider Tiffany Cromwell. The race continues this evening with a 110km road race from Le Pouzin to Cruas.

Follow the link for results from stage 2 and stage 3 of the 2013 Tour de l’Ardeche.

Palmer leads men’s Tour of the Murray River after two stages

ACT’s Tom Palmer (Drapac) has finished day two of the Tour of the Murray River in the yellow jersey after winning yesterday morning’s criterium in Swan Hill and placing second in the 98km stage 3 road race yesterday afternoon.

The stage 3 road race was won by Palmer’s teammate Luke Davison, the winner of last year’s race.

“It was awesome to get two stage wins today as a team and to not sacrifice the leader’s jersey is a fantastic result,” Palmer exclaimed. “Hopefully we can keep the momentum going tomorrow.”

On an afternoon controlled by the race leaders Drapac, the only real action saw Tyler Spurrell (African Wildlife Safaris) in a daring solo attack for 30km before the peloton were all together again for the final 40km.

A crash at almost the same time as Spurrell was caught caused carnage in the bunch with recent Tour of the Great South Coast winner Sam Horgan (Budget Forklifts) one of the casualties.

In the stage 2 criterium, Palmer stole victory from kiwi duo Michael Vink (Budget Forklifts) and Joe Cooper (Huon-Genesys) who had broken away from the lead group inside the final two laps.

The pair looked set to pick up the first two placings before they slowed in the finishing straight, allowing Palmer to pounce, the 23 year old flying past the two to open up his Subaru NRS account for the year.

The men’s tour continues tomorrow with a 136km road race from Kerang to Cohuna. Palmer leads the overall by seven seconds over Michael Vink and nine seconds over Anthony Giacoppo (Huon-Genesys).

Follow the link for results from stages 1 and 2 of the 2013 men’s Tour of the Murray River. Text adapted from a Cycling Australia press release.

Judith Betts wins stage 1 of the women’s Tour of the Murray River

Meanwhile in the women’s Tour of the Murray River Queensland’s Judith Betts (Team Bike Bug) has won the opening stage criterium ahead of Crystal Wemyss (Team Breeze) and Lisa Keeling (Bicycle Superstore).

Off the back of her recent Tour of the King Valley stage win, Betts won both intermediate sprints and was the strongest again in the final race to the line.

“Most of the major teams were represented in the break today so I was pretty confident it was going to stay away today,” Betts said. “The intermediate sprints weren’t really our goal for today’s race but when I was in the break I thought I should try and go for them, it’s always nice to get a jersey but event better to get the win.”

Betts was part of a breakaway group of eight which stayed away for most of the race despite the best efforts of Rebecca Wiasak (Suzuki Bontrager) and Rebecca Mackey (BOSS Racing).

Betts now leads the tour by two seconds to Wemyss and a further four seconds in front of Keeling.

The women’s Tour of the Murray River continues today with a time trial in Cohuna.

Follow the link for results from stage 1 of the 2013 women’s Tour of the Murray River. Text adapted from a Cycling Australia press release.

Evans buoyed by Tour of Alberta form

After a solid start to this week’s inaugural Tour of Alberta, Cadel Evans is confident his world championships preparation is on track.

Trofeo Palma 2012

After a lengthy period away from racing before the Tour of Alberta Evans rode to a respectable fourth place in the prologue time trial, 20 seconds behind winner Peter Sagan.

“After six weeks out of competition, and hitting the deck last Sunday, scraping in for 4th place was encouraging for me,” said Evans after the stage.

“It’s been a while – so I am happy to have a number on my back again. A 7.3km late evening prologue to start things off; a fast downhill, a two minutes climb on quite rough and otherwise flat roads. Sagan not surprisingly took the win, he was very impressive.”

Evans’ year has been rather unorthodox having raced the Giro d’Italia ahead of the Tour de France, finishing third in the former and struggling in the latter.

Evans doesn’t have aspirations to win the Tour of Alberta but is instead using the race as preparation for the worlds.

“Being so flat and straight, without the clutter of modern infrastructure, I’m guessing we will have very high average speeds. Sagan is clearly the man to beat. But we’ll see.”

Click here to read more at Cycling Central.

Santambrogio may get off EPO sanction

La Gazzetta dello Sport is reporting that Mauro Santambrogio may end up escaping suspension despite testing positive for EPO at the Giro d’Italia.

The newspaper reports that the B sample analysis has only shown small traces of EPO; less than is needed to conclusively prove doping. Santambrogio’s A-sample was positive, but the B-sample must match. There is speculation that this could be down to micro-dosing of EPO and possibly degradation of the sample.

Read more

Darwin Atapuma signs with BMC

The BMC Racing Team has signed Colombian climbing specialist Darwin Atapuma, General Manager Jim Ochowicz announced on Wednesday. Ochowicz said the fifth-year professional was impressive at the Tour of Poland when he won the uphill finish of Stage 6 and was runner-up on Stage 1. He went on to finish second in the race’s king of the mountains classification.

“We are happy to welcome Darwin to the team for 2014,” Ochowicz said. “He has shown on several occasions at ProTour races this year his skills in the mountains. He will be a great asset to the BMC Racing Team in the grand tours and other stage races.”

Atapuma, the 2008 Colombian national road champion, scored top 10 finishes overall this season at the Tour de Slovénie (sixth) and the Presidential Tour of Turkey (seventh). Last year, he won Stage 4 of the Giro del Trentino.

“This is a big moment for me,” the 25-year-old said. “To go to the ProTour completes my dream. I know it will be a difficult task. My objective is to work for the team and for the team’s leaders, so I will give my best.”

Text via a BMC press release.

Armstrong ordered to speak on doping

A Texas judge is pushing Lance Armstrong closer to his first sworn testimony on details of his performance-enhancing drug use.

Tour de France 2005 - 8e etappe

Nebraska-based Acceptance Insurance Holding is seeking the information in its quest to recover US$3 million of bonuses it paid to Armstrong between 1999 and 2001.

Acceptance is trying to prove a conspiracy and cover-up by Armstrong to commit fraud and wants to know when Armstrong’s personal and business associates first learned of the Texan’s doping.

Travis County District Judge Tim Sulak has ordered Armstrong to provide documents and written answers to a series of questions by the end of the month. The case has been set for trial in April 2014.

Click here to read more at Cycling Central.

The Armstrong Lie Documentary

In 2009 Alex Gibney was hired to make a film about Lance Armstrong’s comeback to cycling. The project was shelved when the doping scandal erupted, and re-opened after Armstrong’s confession. The Armstrong Lie picks up in 2013 and presents an insider’s view of the unraveling of one of the most extraordinary stories in the history of sports. As Lance Armstrong himself says: “I didn’t live a lot of lies, but I lived one big one.

Read one of many reviews here.

The world’s first interactive MTB video

The idea of using multiple YouTube videos to create an interactive decision-driven story for viewers is a few years old now, but this is the first time we’ve seen this storytelling technique used in cycling.

In this series of videos, you take control of an MTB rider in the South Tyrol province of Italy and decide which way the rider should go at important junctions. We haven’t delved too deeply into the story but it certainly made us want to head back to the start and choose different options.

Start the story at the beginning with the video below.

Thanks to Tim Halliburton on Twitter for sending us a link to this.

Mr H takes another Strava segment back from the pros

The folks at Peloton Magazine have put together an entertaining little video series called Mr H vs Strava in which a rider known only as Mr H (or Mr Hematocrit on Strava) takes back Strava segments from pro riders on behalf of all the amateurs out there that get their KOMs stolen when pro races roll through their backyard.

This second video in the series is worth a watch. Just don’t get disheartened by the large slab of ads in the middle section of the video.

The Rocacorba Recap

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


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