Jones wins Mitchelton Bay Cycling Classic, Ewan takes final stage

Defending champion and one of Australia’s most promising up-and-coming sprinters Caleb Ewan (Subaru NSWIS) claimed the final stage of the Mitchelton Bay Cycling yesterday, while young Warragul rider Brenton Jones (Procon Telematics) won the series overall.

Ewan Jones

Having overcoming a race crash that left him in a coma two years ago, and being known around the cycling scene as a barrier crew boy at races growing up, Jones had quickly become the ‘peoples favourite’ over the past four days of racing.

The 22-year-old did not disappoint and despite not winning a stage throughout the series, rode strategically beyond his years to finish second in yesterday’s stage and claim the yellow jersey for the first time when it mattered.

“From the start in the warm up, and this morning when I woke up I thought, that’s it – put the race face on, get motivated, I really want this one,” Jones said.

The day’s two escapees, Marc Williams (Budget Forklifts) and Harry Carpenter (SASI Cycling), spent most of the race ahead of the main field but were brought back into the fold with three laps to go.

Ewan prevailed with a long sprint from the final corner having initially found himself out of position. Meanwhile Jones and the race leader heading into the final day, Zak Dempster (SASI), battled it out for the main prize.

Jones prevailed in the battle for second by centimetres giving him the vital two classification points to overtake the SASI rider in the overall standings.

Ewan was thrilled with the final stage victory, keen to prove he could match it with the best in the series.

“I was actually really nervous coming into this race because I really wanted to show that I still had it and I hadn’t really shown that in the rest of the series.”

Stay posted for a full recap and photo gallery from the Bay Crits later today. Click here for full results from the final stage of the elite men’s Bay Crits. Text via Mitchelton Bay Cycling Classic press release.

Bronzini claims final stage and overall at Mitchelton Bay Cycling Classic

Earlier in the day, Bronzini and her Wiggle Honda outfit perfectly controlled the final stage in the women’s race to deliver the Italian to the line for her third victory of the series.

Bronzini

Bronzini was far too strong in the final sprint, comfortably finishing ahead of Valentina Scandolara (Orica-AIS) and Tiffany Cromwell (Specialized Securitor) who rounded out the podium.

Such was the dominance of the 30-year-old, she finished the series on 46 points, 12 points ahead of her nearest competitor Annette Edmondson (36 points, Orica-AIS). Cromwell finished third on 30 points.

The victory makes Bronzini the first international female series winner since their inclusion in 1994.

“I am really happy because I bring my yellow jersey to the finish and I think the green jersey (we won) also so we are really happy because today the team worked so well,” Bronzini said.

“I think to come here and be good, but not like that. I think my shape was less that I showed so I am really happy because maybe when I come back home I can have some rest and not work so hard.”

The day’s racing featured one major breakaway with five riders including current Australian champion Gracie Elvin, her Orica-AIS teammate Loes Gunnewijk, Jessie Maclean (Orica-AIS), Sarah Roy (Roxsolt) and Linda Villumsen (Wiggle Honda).

Stay posted for a full recap and photo gallery from the Bay Crits later today. Click here for full results from the final stage of the 2014 women’s Bay Crits. Text via Mitchelton Bay Cycling Classic press release.

Compton takes out fifth-straight Cyclocross World Cup win

Meanwhile in Europe, Katie Compton (Trek) has taken out her fifth straight victory in the UCI Cyclocross World Cup, overpowering World Champion Marianne Vos on the Ippodromo dele Capanelle course on the outskirts of Rome.

World Cup cyclcross Rome 2014 women

Compton and Vos moved clear of the rest of the field in the opening four laps of the race and spent the remainder battling each other for the lead. Compton eventually cracked Vos in the final lap and opened up a 24-second gap by the time she reached the finish.

Compton’s victory ensures that the American will take out the Cyclocross World Cup for the second year running. Featuring seven events between October and January, this season’s World Cup has seen Compton win five races back to back after Vos won the opening race.

One race remains in the World Cup, to be held in Nommay, France on January 26.

Click here to read more at VeloNation.

Contador insists Rogers is a victim of food contamination

Alberto Contador has told Spanish sports daily Marca that he’s confident Michael Rogers, his teammate at Tinkoff-Saxo, is innocent of doping and that his recent positive test for clenbuterol is due to food contamination.

Tour de France 2013 stage-19

“I’m hoping everything can be cleared up,” said Contador “I have full confidence in Michael and I hope the issue can be cleared up. He is a crucial part of our team.”

Contador himself received a backdated two-year ban and was stripped of the 2010 Tour de France and 2011 Giro d’Italia titles after testing positive to clenbuterol.

Click here to read more at road.cc.

Luke Durbridge could miss national TT championship due to illness

After winning stage 3 of the Bay Crits down in Portarlington, Luke Durbridge missed the final stage due to illness.

Bay Crits 2014 - Portarlington (04.01.14) 858

Waking up with a sore throat on Sunday, Durbridge chose to play things safe, missing the race in Williamstown to speed up his recovery ahead of the national time trial championships — in which he is the reigning champion — on Wednesday.

Orica-GreenEDGE director sportif Matt Wilson told Fairfax Media that he wasn’t confident Durbridge would be right for the nationals.

“Last night he was saying there was a little bit of something in his throat, and then he woke up this morning saying it was really, really sore,” Wilson told Fairfax yesterday. “So there was no way we were risking him today. We’ll nurse him in the next couple of days and hope it doesn’t get any worse.”

Click here to read more at the Sydney Morning Herald.

Christina Watches Continental team interested in Chris Horner

Claus Hembo, manager of the Danish continental team Christina Watches has told Danish paper BT that Chris Horner’s manager has been in touch with the team.

stage-20 of the Vuelta a EspaÒa 2013

“We have been talking for a few days now. I have told his manager that we are very interested [in signing Horner]. We are honored. It shows that we have international stature.”

Horner is still without a team for 2014 and has been training in neutral kit while his manager tries to find him a team. The 42-year-old Vuelta a Espana winner’s manager has been in talks with many teams (from ProTour teams to continental teams) but no discussion has resulted in a contract as yet.

Click here to read more at Cycling News.

Rui Costa targets top 10 at Tour de France

Newly-crowned world champion Rui Costa is targeting a top 10 finish at this year’s Tour de France as he steps into a one-year contract and a leadership role at Lampre-Merida.

l to r Rodriguez 2nd Rui COSTA 1st and Valverde 3rd World Road Race Championships

“One day, I have to assume the role of leader and test my limits in a three-week race,” Rui Costa told Eurosport Portugal of the Tour. “The objective is to be in the top 10, see how my body works and see if I’m cut out for a race of 21 days like the Tour.”

Cost has ridden the Tour five times in his career with a best placing of 18th in 2012. He shone at the 2013 edition, winning two stages with punchy attacks on hilly stages.

Click here to read more at Cycling News.

How Team Garmin-Sharp got a panda on its jersey

This is a cool little story about how Team Garmin-Sharp got involved with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and how that relationship resulted in a small panda being added to the Garmin-Sharp jersey for 2014.

2014-kit-front-back

Check out this Storify piece to find out how it came about. And click here to read more in a Garmin-Sharp press release.

The effects of using a smartphone while cycling

It’s been known for some time that making phone calls or sending text messages while cycling can negatively affect a cyclist’s behaviour. Now, researchers at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands have published a research paper looking at whether operating a touch-screen smartphone is more unsafe than making calls or texting on a mobile phone while riding.

While the sample size of the study was small (24 participants), the researchers found, somewhat unsurprisingly, that using a smartphone (for activities such as listening to music, playing a game and so on) had a greater impact on cyclist behaviour that simply talking or texting.

Click here to read the full abstract from the study and/or to get access to the full paper.

Calcutta bike ban not based on any evidence

You might remember a story from last year in which we reported that the city of Calcutta had implemented a ban on cycling on some streets.

Now, in a response to an information request by a sustainability charity about whether the measures would improve traffic flow, Calcultta’s Police Deputy Commissioner (Traffic), Dilip Adak, said “No such corroborative data/ information/ evidentiary record is lying at the disposal of this office.”

While 38 streets in Calcultta have had cycle bans since 2008, the new measures have added nearly 140 more streets to that list, with cyclists banned between 7am and 11pm.

“There is just not enough space for all kind of vehicles,” Dilip Kumar Adak said.

The law has been an unwelcome development for the city’s cyclists, many of whom ride bikes because they can’t afford other modes of transport.

Click here to read more at road.cc.

Stories you might have missed over the break

There’s every chance you spent the Christmas/New Year period taking a bit of a breather from the daily news cycle in which case the following collection might of interest. This is a simple list of stories that came out over the break that we found interesting or worth reading.

What You Missed This Morning photo competition

Entries have now closed for our annual What You Missed This Morning photo competition and some amazing photos have been submitted. Over the next few days we’ll be finalising a shortlist of our favourite images which you’ll then be able to vote on to see which images make it through to the finals.

Capture

Stay posted for an article later today with more information. Thanks to everyone that’s taken part in the competition!

The Rocacorba Recap

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


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Today’s feature image was taken by CycingTips editor Matt de Neef during the Portarlington stage of this year’s Bay Crits.