Bennett wins stage 5 at the Tour of Britain

Irish rider Sam Bennett has claimed the fifth stage of the Tour of Britain in the Welsh town of Caerphilly overnight, while Bradley Wiggins has retained the overall lead.

Bennett, from the An Post-Chain Reaction team, prevailed in a sprint finish ahead of Michal Golas (Omega Pharma-Quickstep) and Martin Elmiger (IAM Cycling) following a small breakaway.

Wiggins held onto his 37-second advantage as Team Sky, orchestrated by Ian Stannard, managed to hold the peloton together. Stannard is second in the overall classification, six seconds ahead of Swiss rider Elmiger.


Belgium-born Bennett, 22, completed the 177km ride from Machynlleth to Caerphilly in a time of four hours, 35 minutes and 28 seconds. It was his first career stage victory.

“It was a real hard fight coming into the finish, but I knew if I hung on up the climb that I would recuperate quick enough for the sprint and I just hung in,” he told www.britishcycling.org.co.uk.

“It was a bit of a gamble going into the last corner. I went a bit wide, but I had enough acceleration to take the win.”

Follow the link for results from stage 5 of the 2013 Tour of Britain. Text via AFP.

Nash and Nys take dominant wins at Cross Vegas 2013

Cyclocross World Champion Sven Nys put on a clinic to take the win at the CLIF Bar Cross Vegas overnight, much to the delight of the cheering crowd lining the course at the Desert Breeze Complex in Las Vegas.

Sven Nys in Las Vegas Cross

“For me, it’s something special because the World Champion winning over here after I won the Worlds in the States, that’s amazing”, Nys (Crelan-Euphony) said of his first victory of the season. “They’ve done a hell of a job at Cross Vegas creating something special and I’m really happy with this victory.”

Solo at the end of the first lap, Nys was caught by American Ryan Trebon (Cannondale p/b cyclocrossworld.com) after a protracted chase that lasted two laps. The pair rode together, taking turns at the front to push the pace. Behind, Jeremy Powers (Rapha-Focus) jumped away from the shattered field to give chase and slowly closed the gap. Halfway through the 60-minute race, with Powers only five seconds behind, Nys made another massive attack to power away to take his first victory of the cyclocross season.

Powers dropped Trebon to second. Canadian Cyclocross Champion Geoff Kabush (Scott-3Rox Racing) caught and passed Trebon to take third.

“Not a bad guy to lose to, he is the World Champ. He timed it perfectly, he’s smart.” Powers commented. “When I got about five or six seconds, Sven attacked and immediately opened a big gap and there was zero chance of closing that today.”

Meanwhile Katerina Nash (Luna Pro Team) easily won the elite women’s race to become the only rider to win the event three times.

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With about half the race to go, Nash accelerated ahead of Lea Davison (Specialized Racing) Catharine Pendrel, (Luna Pro Team) and Meredith Miller (California Giant Berry Farms/Specialized) and rode solo to victory.

“I didn’t really attack,” stated Nash. “I somehow got a gap. I just wanted to keep the pace really high. I wanted the front group to get smaller. The pace was not super high. Meredith (Miller) was really active and was helping out but no one else was interested in helping.”

The gap between Nash and the Davison/Pendrel duo grew steadily from 5 to 10 to 20 seconds. Miller was chasing behind Davison and Pendrel with Caroline Mani (Raleigh-Clement), Gabby Day (Rapha-Focus) and Elle Anderson (California Giant Berry Farms/Specialized).

Davison sprinted ahead of Pendrel for second.

“I missed racing Cross Vegas last year because I was injured,” said Nash. “I was standing here drinking a beer. I thought that this was kind of fun, but racing is a lot better. It feels great to be back.”

Text via CrossVegas website.

Teams gear up for the TTT World Championships

In addition to the road race and individual time trial, the world championships in Florence next week will also feature, for the second year running, a team time trial contested by the trade teams rather than national teams.

Tour de France 2013 stage-4

“Let’s be honest, the trade teams are the ones who can invest in the material to put together a time trial team,” UCI President Pat McQuaid said when he announced the event’s return in 2009. “With national teams, a lot of them don’t have the ability to invest. Trade teams can, and are willing. It’s more spectacular.”

Omega Pharma-QuickStep won last year’s TTT in The Netherlands and will go into this year’s race as favourite. Other teams to watch include BMC, Garmin-Sharp and possibly Orica-GreenEDGE.

The elite men’s TTT will be raced on a 57.2km course which is dead-flat aside from a 4km climb near the start. The women’s TTT is 43km long and doesn’t include the climb at the start.

Click here to read more at VeloNews.

National Capital Tour starts today

The Subaru National Road Series continues today with the start of the three-day National Capital Tour for men and women.

stage 1

The tour will be contested over four stages, beginning with today’s 17.4km individual time trial which skirts the western edge of Lake Burley Griffin. The route for tomorrow’s hilly stage 2 road race has been significantly altered following a rock fall on Corin Road.

The stage was set to conclude with a 12km climb to Corin Forest but with the road closures the stage will now be extended and the 12km climb replaced with a 7km climb.

The stage 3 road race takes in four laps of a 20km circuit around Lake Burley Griffin and Sunday’s final stage is a criterium that will be held between the old and current houses of parliament.

Click here and here to learn more about the National Capital Tour. For live updates from the races, follow the #NRS13 and #NCT13 hashtags on Twitter.

Gilbert admits the rainbow jersey is a burden

It took Philippe Gilbert nearly 12 months to get his first win in the rainbow jersey of the world champion and now the Belgian has admitted that the jersey has been a bigger burden than he first expected.

Fresh World Champion Philippe Gilbert being escorted from the podium

“After a while, I said to myself that there was something about this jersey, as though it blocked me in my quest for more success”, Gilbert told L’Equipe.

“It’s not a cursed jersey, but the problem is that it doesn’t pass unnoticed in a peloton where everybody is looking at it. In the finale of a race, nine times out of ten, there’ll be someone on your wheel when you attack.

“It’s like a point of pride to go after the world champion. It’s not about the person – it’s not Philippe Gilbert they’re watching, but the world champion. This jersey is a symbol unto itself.”

Gilbert had a similarly lean season in 2012 before taking two wins at the Vuelta a Espana and then winning the world championship road race a few weeks later.

“I love this jersey and I want to keep it”, Gilbert said. “Since the start of July, [defending the jersey] has been my sole objective, and I knew that I would build for it through the Eneco Tour and the Vuelta.”

Click here to read more at CyclingNews.

Verbruggen unworried about Makarov’s dossier

Former UCI president Hein Verbruggen has declined to comment about allegations made against him in dossier commissioned by Russian Cycling Federation president Igor Makarov, arguing that the dossier shouldn’t be taken seriously.

The dossier, a summary of which was leaked to the press last week, accusses Verbruggen and current UCI president Pat McQuaid of corruption, including taking a bribe of €250,000 from an unnamed team owner last year.

“I think if I commented, it would mean that I thought it was serious,” Verbruggen told Cycling News. “But I already told a journalist colleague of yours from Great Britain that I don’t think it’s serious and I don’t think you should take it seriously either.”

McQuaid has strongly denied the allegations made against him in the dossier, describing them as “totally untrue and […] not supported by a scintilla of evidence.” McQuaid has also pointed out that Makarov is among those supporting rival candidate Brian Cookson in next week’s UCI presidential election.

Click here to read more at CyclingNews.

Amgen extends contract with the Tour of California

Pharmaceutical company Amgen has announced that it will continue its sponsorship of the Tour of California for an undisclosed length of time.

Amgen Tour of California

“We are very excited about renewing our title sponsorship,” said Ray Jordan, senior vice president of corporate affairs at Amgen. “At Amgen, we are passionate about serving patients and this is a great opportunity to connect with them from a different perspective.”

Amgen has sponsored the Tour of California since the first edition of the race back in 2006. The week-long race is held in May and draws some of the world’s best teams and riders in the lead-up to the Tour de France. BMC’s Tejay van Garderen won this year’s edition of the race, his first major stage-race win.

Click here to read more at VeloNews.

Further details revealed for Giro 2014

Details about the 2014 Giro d’Italia have been emerging slowly in the past few weeks and last night in Las Vegas, race organiser RCS Sport presented details of a 46.4km time trial that starts in Barbaresco, features a small 200-metre climb and ends in Barolo.

Just last week it was revealed that the race will finish in Trieste and that there will be a climb of the challenging Monte Zoncolan on the penultimate stage.

And back in February it was announced that next year’s Giro will start in Belfast. There are rumours that one of the opening stages will be a team time trial in Belfast.

The official route presentation will take place on October 7 in Milan.

Click here to read more at CyclingWeekly.

Behind the scenes at the Tour of Britain

Here’s a great little behind-the-scenes video from the Madison Genesis team at the Tour of Britain. Click the image below to have a watch.

madisongenesis

The trolls, the mayor and cycling in Sydney

We wouldn’t normally share stories like the following from the Daily Telegraph’s recent campaign against cycling in Sydney (see here and here). But in this case it’s worth taking a look at the articles so you can understand the climate in which this response, by Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore, was written.

Moore is a long-time supporter of cycling and cycling infrastructure and it’s refreshing to see the Lord Mayor calling out the Daily Telegraph’s campaign for what it is: “anti-bike hysteria”.

The Rocacorba Recap

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


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