Diego Ulissi claims stage 2 at the Santos Tour Down Under

Italian Diego Ulissi of the Lampre-Merida team stole the show in Stirling yesterday, holding off star Australians Simon Gerrans (Orica-GreenEDGE) and Cadel Evans (BMC) who crossed for the minor placings at the end of the 150km stage BikeExchange.com.au Stage 2 through the Adelaide Hills.

Santos Tour Down Under stage-2

The Santos Ochre Leader’s jersey remains on the shoulders of Gerrans but yesterday’s stage winner now sits in second place at seven seconds. Ulissi, 24, who won a stage of the Giro d’Italia in 2011, outfoxed his rivals to sprint well clear and celebrate his seventh professional career victory.

“I’ve never believed in my chances to win this stage because I had the impression that Simon Gerrans was by far the strongest,” said Ulissi who crossed the line in a time of 3:52:15. “I thought he’d be unbeatable but I managed to beat him thanks to the help of the great team I have behind me.”

The Adelaide suburb of Prospect hosted a stage start for the third year in a row farewelling the 136 riders as they headed off to the Adelaide Hills region ahead of two laps of an undulating, leafy 20 kilometre circuit through and around the finish town of Stirling.

Racing was barely underway when an early attack saw stage 1’s Europcar Most Competitive rider, Will Clarke (Drapac) break clear with UniSA-Australia’s Campbell Flakemore and Dutchman Boy Van Poppel of Trek Factory Racing. Hopes the trio might contest the stage win were dashed when they were reeled in by the peloton as they rode through Stirling to start the final 20 kilometre circuit to the finish.

Today’s Thomas Foods Stage 3 starts in the inner-city Adelaide shopping precinct of Norwood and takes the riders over the notorious Corkscrew Hill climb shortly before the finish in Campbelltown.

Follow the link for results from stage 2 of the 2014 Santos Tour Down Under. Click here for a full report and great photos from yesterday’s stage. Text via Santos Tour Down Under press release.

Giacomo Nizzolo wins stage 3 of the Tour de San Luis

Giacomo Nizzolo has made it back-to-back wins for the Trek Factory Racing team at the Tour de San Luis, taking out stage 3 this morning in a bunch sprint into Tilisarao, Argentina.

Strong winds in the middle of the stage helped the peloton to reel in the day’s breakaway with more than 50km remaining in the stage and ensured that the main field was split into echelons. But the bunch came back together ahead of the sprint finish, contested in 38 degree heat.

Two Lampre-Merida riders started the sprint but they faded, leaving Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) at the front with Tom Boonen on his wheel. Boonen launched from Cavendish’s wheel but with the Belgian unable to maintain his pace Nizzolo came around to take a comfortable win ahead of Francisco Ventoso (Movistar) and Boonen.

American Phil Gaimon (Garmin-Sharp) remains in the overall lead, 1:47 clear of second-placed Marc de Maar (UnitedHealthcare) with four stages remaining.

The Tour de San Luís continues early tomorrow morning (AEST) with the 168km fourth stage, from El Potrero de los Funes to Alto del Amago, finishing with a 1st category climb.

Click here to read more at VeloNews. Follow the link for results from stage 3 of the 2014 Tour de San Luis.

Tour of Oman route released

Organisers of the Tour of Oman have revealed the route for February’s fifth edition of the race, as well as the 18 teams that will take part.

The six-stage race will feature one summit finish, two medium mountain stages and three stages suited to the sprinters.

The queen stage of the race is the penultimate stage in which the riders will tackle the challenging climb up Jabal Al Akhdhar (Green Mountain). It’s a climb that’s featured in the past three editions of the race and which saw a Joaquim Rodriguez stage win last year.

Last year’s Tour of Oman was won by Chris Froome ahead of Alberto Contador and Cadel Evans and the teams of all three riders (Sky, Tinkoff-Saxo and BMC) will be present at this year’s race as well.

The teams contesting the 2014 Tour of Oman will be: Ag2r La Mondiale, Astana, Bardiani CSF, Belkin, BMC, Cannondale, FDJ.fr, IAM Cycling, Katusha Team, Lotto Belisol, Omega Pharma – Quick Step, Orica-GreenEdge, NetApp – Endura, Sky, Tinkoff Saxo, Topsport Vlaanderen – Baloise, Trek Factory Racing and UnitedHealthcare.

The race starts on February 18.

Click here to read more at Cycling News. Click here to visit the official Tour of Oman website.

Australian team announced for the 2014 world cyclocross championships

Cycling Australia and Mountain Bike Australia have announced the seven-member Australian team for the 2014 UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships to be held in Hoogerheide, Netherlands on February 1-2.

It’s the first time an official Australian national team has been selected to contest a UCI Cyclocross World Championships, although Australians have contested previous Championships.

It comes following the rapid rise in participation numbers and popularity of Cyclo-cross in Australia over the past few seasons, including the introduction of a National Series in 2012, and the inaugural National Championships in 2013.

The representatives are:

Elite Men: Nick Both
Elite Women: Lisa Jacobs (pictured above) & Melissa Anset
U23 Men: Alexander Meyland, Cameron Ivory & Tom Chapman
U18 Men: Nicholas Smith

Text via Cycling Australia press release.

CONI requests interview with Danilo Di Luca after doping comments

Anti-doping prosecutors at the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) have called Danilo Di Luca in for questioning after the disgraced cyclist made controversial statements in a TV interview last night.

Luik-Bastenaken-Luik 2007 Danilo Di Luca (Ita-Liquigas)

Di Luca was quoted saying that 90% of last year’s Giro d’Italia field doped and that those who didn’t were either focused on other races or didn’t care about doing well at the Giro.

In the interview Di Luca admitted to doping for the best part of 20 years, since he was amateur; a confession that could see CONI strip him of all race results, including his 2007 Giro d’Italia win.

Meanwhile American Andrew Talansky has taken to Twitter to express his outrage about Di Luca’s comments, seemingly echoing the sentiments of many cyclists and cycling fans around the world:


Click here and here to read more.

Brian Cookson impressed after arriving for Tour Down Under review

UCI president Brian Cookson is in Adelaide at the moment as part of a review into the Santos Tour Down Under and whether the race should retain its WorldTour status.

The assessment forms part of the the UCI’s review into all races in an attempt to streamline the elite men’s road calendar and ensure the biggest names attend the biggest races.

“It’s right and proper when you have a new administration that you look at everything,” Cookson said. “We have seen that cycling is a sport, a professional sport that is very challenging. We have lost teams. We have lost some events around the world – [while] other events like this one are doing very, very well.

“So our [aim] is that we develop the calendar, develop the sport in a structured, strategic way and not just in an ad-hoc way. I am very happy with what I have seen so far [of the Tour Down Under.]

“World Tour is a top-level status and I would hope there is always an event here that is worthy of that status. From what I’ve seen so far this event is absolutely worthy. We hope it can continue.”

Cookson acknowledged that the clash with the Argentinian Tour de San Luis is far from ideal, given many of the world’s biggest stars choose the UCI 2.1-ranked event over the WorldTour TDU.

“One of the things we have lacked in cycling is a proper structure so that we make sure the best teams are at the best races all of the time and that is something we have go to look at now,” Cookson said.

Click here to read more at the Sydney Morning Herald.

Power2max becomes official power meter of Team Movistar

power2max and Movistar Team have signed a sponsorship agreement starting 2014 that will see the number-one ranked team from last year train and race with power2max Type S power meters for Campagnolo 11-speed cranks.

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“We train and race with power at all times to maximize our performance. Accurate and consistent power data is a key piece of the puzzle,” says Eusebio Unzué, Movistar Team’s general manager.

“As the world’s best cycling team in 2013 we want a strong power meter partner that provides us with an outstanding tool and stands behind us 100%. power2max is our partner of choice as their power meters are precise, reliable and very simple to use. This is exactly what we want and need. It allows our riders to focus 100% on their job.”

Click here to read more at the power2max website. Text via Movistar press release.

102-year-old set to break the age-group hour record

French cycling phenomenon Robert Marchand, 102, will attempt to break his own hour record at the new national velodrome on January 31, it was announced on Tuesday.

Image: szeretlekmagyarorszag.hu

Image: szeretlekmagyarorszag.hu

The former fireman set the previous mark in the over-100 years category – created especially for him – in February 2012 in Aigle, Switzerland, covering 24.25km in the hour.

He also holds the centurion’s record for the 100 kilometres – set in Lyon on September 28, 2012 – timing 4hr 17min 27sec, which translates into 23 kilometres per hour.

Marchand has had a colourful life working as a lumberjack in Canada as well as living in Venezuela for a number of years and only retiring from his job as a market gardener in the Paris area aged 89.

His attempt will take place at the new velodrome in Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, just outside Paris, the day after its official inauguration.

Text via AFP.

Intense workouts cause runners more physical damage than cyclists

Research at the Appalachian State University (ASU) in North Caroline, USA has found that after comparably intense workout periods, long-distance runners experience more muscle damage, soreness and inflammation than cyclists.

“Runners just can’t put in the same volume of exercise as cyclists without experiencing more inflammation, soreness and muscle damage,” said Principal Investigator David Nieman director of the ASU Human Performance Laboratory.

“Long-distance runners are encouraged to vary their training schedules, mixing higher and lower exercise workloads, and to include other training modalities like swimming or cycling to maintain the highest level of performance.”

The study saw 19 to 45-year-old long-distance runners and cyclists work out for 2.5 hours per day for three days. The athletes had blood samples taken throughout the study and the results showed that the runners had greater muscle damage, inflammation and soreness than the cyclists.

Both the runners and cyclists had decreased immune system function after the study.

Click here to read more and click here to see the original research paper.

Tour Down Under movie night

UPDATE: We have postponed tonight’s screening of Rising From Ashes. Apologies for any inconvenience. We’ll be showing it at a later date. Stay tuned for details.

We have shifted back the screening of the movie Rising From Ashes to tonight (Thursday night) at 7.00pm in the Village Square after circumstances beyond our control prevented us from showing it last night. We are proud to bring you the first Australian screening of this powerful documentary.

The screening will be held in the Pure Blonde bar (directly on your right when entering the Tour Down Under expo from the Hilton side). If you arrive after 7pm this will be the only entrance you will be able to enter from.

Here’s a description of the film:

Rising from Ashes is a documentary about the first Rwandan national cycling team in their bid to make history and represent their country at the 2012 Olympics. Competing in a white man’s sport, reserved for the privileged, a rag tag group of cyclists coached by the first American to ride in the Tour de France, are transformed into a powerful symbol of hope for a country recovering from one of the world’s most devastating genocides.

Winner of our Europcar team car competition

Over the past few days we’ve had several hundred people enter the competition to win a ride in the Europcar team car on tomorrow’s stage of the Tour Down Under. We’re pleased to announce that the winner of that competition is Tristan Batey. Congratulations Tristan!

Photos from our Tour Down Under daily rides

Here at the Tour Down Under the CyclingTips team has been running daily rides. You can see some great photos from these rides in the latest edition of The Daily Tour here.

The Rocacorba Recap

And finally this morning, here are a few things you might have missed from our Tour Down Under coverage:


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Today’s feature image was taken by Tim Bardsley-Smith at the finish line of stage 2 of the Santos Tour Down Under.