Belkin completes clean sweep in Hainan
Team Belkin completed its clean sweep at the Tour of Hainan yesterday when Theo Bos sprinted to his sixth victory in nine days. His teammate Moreno Hofland won the other three stages and the race overall.
Today I won my first GC as a pro in the Tour of Hainan! Big thanks to my teammates and the staff!! Now time for soms vacation:) Ciaoo
— Moreno Hofland (@MorenoHofland) October 28, 2013
“A great feeling,” said Hofland about his win. “I could only believe and really celebrate it when I crossed the line. For me, and also for the team, it has been a great tour.”
Hofland took the overall lead after winning the opening stage of the race and never relinquished it. In the end he won by 1:07 over Frédéric Amorison (Crelan-Euphony) and his teammate Tom Leezer in third place.
Australia’s Will Walker (Drapac) finished fifth overall in a race that featured only one WorldTour team: Belkin.
Text adapted from a Belkin press release. Follow the link for results from the 2013 Tour of Hainan.
Trek Factory Racing signs Hondo, Nizzolo and Calvin Watson
Australian young-gun Calvin Watson is one of three new signings for the Trek Factory Racing team in 2014.
Watson, who won the Herald Sun Tour back in January, joins Danilo Hondo and Giacomo Nizzolo — both from the RadioShack Leopard Trek team — on the new Trek team which takes over RLT’s WorldTour license in 2014.
“Right now, my focus is on learning and developing into the rider that I’d like to be,” said Watson. “I’m excited to be part of this new team as there are some amazing riders and directors here with so much knowledge of the sport. I’m just hoping to be able to utilise as much of it as I can.”
Text adapted from a Trek press release. Click here to read more at VeloNews.
Bert Grabsch retires after 15-year career
Former world time trial champion Bert Grabsch has closed the curtain on a 15-year career as a professional rider after failing to find a new team for the 2014 season.
its time to say good bye.i announce my retirement.i wanna say to everybody thanks for the support at the last years as pro cyclist!
— Bert Grabsch (@BertGrabsch) October 28, 2013
Grabsch had been keen to continue for another season and spoke of the frustration of not being able to secure a contract for next year.
“Some of my former colleagues didn’t seem to remember how I helped them or didn’t want to put in a good word for me,” he told Radsport-News.com.
The 38-year-old, who has ridden for Omega Pharma-QuickStep for the past two years, felt that he didn’t get enough racing under his belt in 2013 and his performance suffered as a result.
“I had few races, hardly any WorldTour races, no Tour de France. I was depressed very often this year. I would say it was the most difficult year of my career.”
Click here to read more.
Peta Mullens joins Wiggle Honda
Twenty-five-year-old multisport national champion Peta Mullens has signed a contract to ride with Wiggle Honda women’s pro team in 2014.
Mullens has five Australian national titles to her name, in mountain running, track cycling, road cycling, and marathon and cross country MTB. Having ridden in Europe for the Australian Institute of Sport team in the 2008 season, she is looking forward to taking her first steps into the women’s professional peloton.
“I’m excited to be joining the Wiggle Honda team for the 2014 season,” Mullens said. “To come on board with such a successful outfit in my first year is a privilege and I hope that I can bring some good legs and a new personality into an already amazing team. I have worked with [team manager Rochelle Gilmore] before and know that her professionalism and athlete support are unrivalled and I value that.”
Mullens’ role within the Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling team will be as a supporter for the other riders, with her fast turn of pace used as a final lead out for former two-time World champion Giorgia Bronzini, who took 17 wins in 2013.
Mullens will continue to focus on MTB as well, targetting the defence of her Australian national cross country title, as well as the Commonwealth Games, in Glasgow, Scotland, on July 29th.
Text via Wiggle Honda press release.
Huon-Genesys announces five new signings
One of the big three teams in Australian domestic racing, Huon-Genesys, has announced five new riders for its roster in the 2014 season.
Mark O’Brien, Neil van der Ploeg, Scott Law, Mitchell Lovelock-Fay and Taylor Gunman will all wear the distinctive orange of Huon-Genesys next year, with team director Andrew Christie-Johnston suggesting the 2014 iteration of the team will be one of the strongest yet.
“We have brought in some very strong, motivated and versatile riders who I am sure will bring the team many results next year.”
Five riders from Huon-Genesys (or previous incarnations of the team) have made the leap to the WorldTour in recent years, including Nathan Haas (Garmin-Sharp), Steele von Hoff (Garmin-Sharp) and Will Clarke (Argos-Shimano).
Click here to read more at CyclingNews.
Bringing the Tour de France to Town
There’s been some controversy in the UK recently about the amount of money it’s going to cost to host the opening stages of next year’s Tour de France. In this piece The Inner Ring takes a look at how much it costs to host a stage (or several stages) of Le Tour, what the benefits are and whether it’s worth it.
Click here to see the article at inrng.com.
Off-season surgery successful for Tony Martin
Omega Pharma-QuickStep Cycling Team rider Tony Martin underwent surgery at BG Hospital in Hamburg (Germany) yesterday because of a “non-union” of his left scaphoid fracture as consequence of his 2012 Tour de France crash.
The decision was made to perform this surgery during the 2013 off-season to avoid any potential further damage in the future.
Martin was always assisted by team medical staff, and the surgery went very well. Martin will now wear a special, bike-specific cast for the next six weeks. The special cast allows Martin to resume training earlier than the six weeks it must be worn, and he will be ready for the next season.
Text via OPQS press release.
Groningen: The World’s Cycling City
We’ve written many times about how The Netherlands is the urban cycling capital of the world and the video below is another demonstration of why that’s the case.
The northern city of Groningen has a bike mode share as high as 50%, and closer to 60% in the city center. Cars seem almost extinct in the centre of the city and the 10,000 bike parking spaces at a city train station show just how dominant cycling is there.
The following video is a short documentary shot over three days in Groningen.
This video features frequent coarse language and is critical of the behaviour of some cyclists, but it’s still entertaining and well worth a watch.
The Rocacorba Recap
And finally this morning, here are a few things you might have missed: