Martin defends world championship time trial crown
Germany’s Tony Martin came close to matching the speed of his six-man Omega-Pharma team on his way to a third consecutive time trial title at the world road race cycling championships Wednesday.
Britain’s reigning Olympic champion Bradley Wiggins finished second, with Swiss former champion Fabian Cancellara taking the bronze.
Martin clocked a winning time of 1hr 05min 36sec on the mainly flat 57.8km course from Montecatini Terme to Florence to beat Wiggins by 46sec, with Cancellara finishing 48sec off the German’s pace.
At an average speed of 52.91 km/h, Martin came close to matching the 53.4 km/h set by he and Omega Pharma-QuickStep on their way to victory in the team event on an almost identical course at the weekend.
Martin led at every time check bar one and by the halfway point the 28-year-old from Cottbus looked well on his way to his third straight gold in the race against the clock.
“To win a world championship is always special. To win it a third time in a row is even more special,” said Martin. “To win it this way – I can’t imagine a better race for me. I always knew I was able to win but to know, and to do it, is different.”
Wiggins, who had hoped to add a maiden world title in the event to a list of honours which includes the 2012 Olympic time trial crown, was sitting in bronze medal position for most of the race but finished strongly to push Cancellara down a place.
Wiggins began trailing Cancellara by 15secs near the halfway point, but came fighting back in the final 20 minutes and pipped the Swiss for second place by just 2secs.
“I had no idea until I finished and collapsed in the tent as to where I was,” said Wiggins. “In the final 20 minutes I was pretty oblivious to everything and you are just trying to get home. I love the sport and it is nice and an honour to be on the podium with those two guys. It will be something to show the kids when I’m older.”
Cancellara had shown promise early on, but once Martin got into his stride on the long, straight roads leading into the city he was able to comfortably distance his rivals. Despite losing the silver medal, Cancellara said: “I’m happy with my performance.”
American Taylor Phinney, expected to be in the hunt for a possible podium finish, finished fifth 2:08 adrift, with Belarusian Vasil Kiryienka fourth at 1:26. Australia’s representatives, Rohan Dennis and Richie Porte, finished 12th and 17th respectively.
The championships finish on Sunday when the main event, the men’s road race, is held with Belgium’s defending champion Philippe Gilbert putting his title on the line.
Follow the link for results from the 2013 men’s world championship ITT. Text via AFP.
Phinney’s world ITT chances hampered by a dropped bidon?
Taylor Phinney finished fifth in last night’s world championship ITT and while his coach Bobby Julich was expecting a similar result, he believes Phinney suffered from dehydration after dropping a bidon.
“He dropped his water bottle at kilometer 32. He doesn’t ride with a radio and if he had, I would have told him to take a sip every 10km. When he finally went to take a drink 32km in, it just slipped out of his hand and it was past the feed zone. We can’t feed from the car, so it was unfortunate.”
While Phinney finished in the same position he was in at each of the time checks, Julich believes dehydration might have cost Phinney a fast finish and a shot at fourth.
“Up until that point he was really on it, but anyone who knows about hydration – you’re losing 7-10% of your power [when dehydrated],” Julich said. “He had the power, he had the morale, he had the form, but when you don’t drink for an hour in these conditions … it just cut his legs out from under him.”
Click here to read more at Cycling News.
Chris Horner releases all of his Biological Passport data
After several weeks of intense scrutiny about his win at the Vuelta a Espana, Chris Horner has released all of his biological passport results over at his personal website.
Since the inception of the UCI’s biological passport program in 2008 the now-41-year-old has been tested a total of 39 times, including seven times this year so far, four of those during the Vuelta. The results from all 39 tests are now freely available to download and analyse.
“As a proponent of releasing his SRM power data for fans throughout his partnership with SRM, Chris feels that releasing this additional information will allow fans to feel confident in his victory at the Vuelta a España and the current state of the sport of cycling,” reads a statement on his site.
Click here to see Horner’s Biological Passport results.
Kreuziger pulls out of worlds road race
Winner of this year’s Amstel Gold Race, Roman Kreuziger, has ruled himself out of Sunday night’s world championship road race saying he doesn’t feel fit enough for the 272km race and that he will end his season now.
“I have been training in Italy last week but my form is not improving. It’s no use just to ride this race when I can’t have a good result,” Kreuziger said, according to Tuttobici.
The Czech rider is in his first year at Saxo-Tinkoff and has had a successful season, finishing fifth overall at the Tour de France and third in the Tour de Suisse, in addition to his Amstel Gold Race win.
Click here to read more.
BMC head soigneur and others implicated in past doping
In an un-redacted affidavit published this week during the federal whistleblower case against Lance Armstrong, Emma O’Reilly, a former Postal Service soigneur, has named Freddy Viane as a supplier of doping products for the team. Viaene is currently the head soigneur for BMC Racing.
In the affidavit O’Reilly claims that Viaene gave her a package at a hotel in Gent, Belgium, to deliver to George Hincapie and that Viaene told her the package contained testosterone.
BMC Racing issued an official statement on Wednesday morning saying “This does not relate to the BMC Racing Team and it does not have anything to do with Freddy Viaene while he has been working for the BMC Racing Team.”
Click here to read more at VeloNews.
Bakelants left stranded by Euskaltel/Alonso fallout
Jan Bakelants might have had the best year of his career but that hasn’t stopped the Belgian from getting caught up in the drama around Euskaltel-Euskadi’s on-again-off-again demise.
Bakelants, who won stage 2 of this year’s Tour de France, was supposed to be going to the Fernando Alonso-backed Basque-based team but with the Alonso/Euskaltel deal falling through, Bakelants is without a team for 2014.
“The sky fell on my head. And that’s an understatement,” wrote Bakelants in his column in the Gazet van Antwerpen. “Since yesterday my future as a cyclist is again uncertain. I had an agreement with the team of Fernando Alonso, the old Euskaltel – Euskadi. It was very important to me: they wanted me really.”
“Until Monday morning I was sure my team for next season. Indeed, even the contracts were ready. They would be signed here in Tuscany. But now the whole project won’t happen.”
Bakelants, who currently rides for RadioShack-Leopard would like to be focused on the World Championship road race but admits he’s been distracted in recent days.
“I have a great Tour de France behind and proved last week in Wallonia that I’m in great shape,” he said. “But at the same time it is extremely difficult to eradicate the uncertainty about next year out of my head.”
Click here to read more at VeloNation.
Cookson confident of a majority vote in UCI election
UCI presidential candidate Brian Cookson is confident that he can win a majority of votes from the 42 delegates at this week’s UCI Congress in Florence.
“I’ve been talking to a lot of people, a lot of voting delegates, and I know that there’s a movement in my direction. I’m confident I’ll have a majority, a clear majority but I don’t want to put numbers on it at this stage,” Cookson said in a press conference at the UCI road world championships in Florence yesterday.
Before voting on the new president, the UCI Congress will first have to decide if Pat McQuaid’s nomination is valid. If not, Cookson will be elected unopposed, although he would prefer the Congress still voted for him to take the top job.
“Even if Congress says [McQuaid] doesn’t have a valid nomination, I will still ask for a positive vote in favor of me by the Congress”, Cookson said. “I will not take on the job by default. I don’t want a coronation, I want a proper election and I want to take on the role of UCI president with the full support of the Congress.”
Click here to read more at CyclingNews.
McQuaid to walk away if he loses presidential election vote
Incumbent UCI President Pat McQuaid has promised to walk away and accept defeat if he loses this week’s presidential election to Brian Cookson.
Until now McQuaid has remained defiant and hasn’t publicly entertained the possibility of missing out on a third term in office.
“I know if I lose I certainly won’t be looking to make a legal challenge. I’d walk away. I would hope my opponent would do the same,” McQuaid told the British Press Association news agency.
McQuaid remains confident his candidacy will be considered valid and that he’ll be able to attract a majority of votes, even though he lost 14 vital votes (of 42) when the European Cycling Union came out in support of Cookson.
Click here to read more.
Course invader at the world championships
A couple hours before Tony Martin crossed the line to win his third consecutive worlds ITT last night, an unauthorised visitor got around the protective barriers and made their way onto the track, nearly colliding with Colombian rider Rafael Infantino. Check out the incident below:
The Rocacorba Recap
And finally this morning, here are a few things you might have missed: