Good morning and welcome to the Wednesday edition of the Rocacorba Daily news digest. Headlines for today include: TDF organisers confirm team line-up for 2014; Movistar confirms Quintana for Giro and Valverde for Tour; Drapac’s Ben Johnson hit by car while training; Froome scorched in new mesh skinsuit; Richie Porte and Cam Wurf Instagram Takeover; and How to be a Road Biker. Enjoy.

TDF organisers confirm team line-up for 2014

Tour de France organisers announced on Tuesday the final four teams invited to compete in this year’s 101st edition of the race which begins on July 5 at Leeds in England.

French second division teams Bretagne-Seche (Brittany-Seche) and regular participants Cofidis were included along with Swiss formation IAM and German team Netapp, organisers confirmed.

Only the Cofidis outfit have featured on the Tour de France before while the other trio are newcomers to a race won last year by Kenyan-born, British rider Chris Froome.

tourdefrance

Twenty-two teams of nine riders will be on the start line as the mythical three week race gets set to feature in England for only the third time.

Apart from the four invited teams, the other 18 squads qualified automatically as members of the top flight WorldTour circuit.

“The ASO (Amaury Sport Organisation, and organising body for the Tour) keeps a close eye on international cycling and continues to support French cycling,” explained TDF director Christian Prudhomme.

The 2007 race began in London, the only other time the race kicked off in the United Kingdom, where Swiss time-trial specialist Fabian Cancellara won the prologue before former green jersey winner Robbie McEwen of Australia won the first stage which finished in Canterbury.

The 2014 race starts in northern England for the first time with a 191km ride to Harrogate before the second day of racing between York and Sheffield.

The peloton then make their way down to Cambridge where they will race over 159km to London on stage 3.

The rest of the 18 stages will take part in France as the pack wind their way around the country and back to Paris for the traditional finish on the Champs Elysees on July 27.

text via AFP

Movistar confirms Quintana for Giro and Valverde for Tour

Colombian climbing specialist Nairo Quintana will ride the Giro d’Italia rather than the Tour de France later this year, his Movistar team said Tuesday.

The 23-year-old was the revelation of last year’s Tour, finishing second overall to Chris Froome while winning both the polka-dot king of the mountains jersey and the best young rider’s white jersey.

He was officially supposed to be riding for teammate Alejandro Valverde but the Spaniard suffered one awful stage that put him out of contention, leaving Quintana to ride for himself and for the overall classification.

Valverde will be team leader again for July’s Tour while that honour will fall to Quintana at May’s Giro.

“Personally, I don’t think it’s a good idea at his age to bring Nairo to the Tour with the pressure to do better than last year,” said Movistar general manager Eusebio Unzue in a statement.

Valverde and Quintana, who on Sunday completed victory in the Tour of San Luis in Argentina, will then share leadership duties at the Tour of Spain, which begins in August.

text via AFP. Read more on Movistar’s website

Australian national teams announced for Herald Sun Tour

Cycling Australia has announced two Australian national teams to compete at the 2014 UCI 2.1 Jayco Herald Sun Tour, February 5–9.

Jayco u23 National Team

Caleb Ewan (NSW)
Bradley Linfield (WA)
Robert Power (WA)
Harry Carpenter (SA)
Sam Spokes (NSW)
Alex Clements (TAS)

Reserve: Robert John McCarthy (SA)

KordaMentha Team Australia

Glenn O’Shea (SA)
Matthew Clarke (VIC)
Robert John McCarthy (SA)
Pat Shaw (VIC)
Chris Jory (NSW)
Thomas Hamilton (VIC)

Reserves:

Matthew Lloyd (VIC)
Allan Davis (QLD)
Michael Fitzgerald (WA)

Cannondale Pro Cycling confirmed for the Jayco Herald Sun Tour

Cannondale Pro Cycling will join fellow WorldTour teams Orica-GreenEDGE and Garmin Sharp at the Jayco Herald Sun Tour next week.

The Italian outfit, coming off a season debut at the Tour Down Under, has identified Canadian speedster Guillaume Boivan as their best chance to deliver the teams’ first success of the 2014 season.

At 24-years-old, Boivan is another developing rider. The Canadian returns to Victoria with fond memories, having tied for the bronze medal at the under-23 world championships in Geelong in 2010.

Whilst the team will let the racing decide their overall leader, there is no doubting he will be the man for any final bunch sprints.

“We can do a good general classification and we will try to win a stage with our sprinter Guillaume Boivin,” team manager Biagio Conte said.

“We haven’t the leader, yes for the sprint, but the road and the race will tell who will be the (general classification) leader.

Boivan and Mohoric are joined by 2013 New Zealand championship silver medallist George Bennett, 2011 Giro della Lunigiana champion Alberto Bettiol and 2011 Austrian road race champion Matthias Krizek.

Whilst it will be the majority of the team’s first start at Australia’s oldest stage race, their sole local ride Cameron Wurf will provide some valuable local knowledge.

“This will be my fourth Herald Sun Tour so and I have always loved coming back to race in and around Melbourne,” Wurf said.

“It’s a race where you need to be alert as with the varying terrain and weather, the race situation can change in the blink of an eye so you don’t want to be caught out!”

Drapac’s Ben Johnson hit by car while training – to miss New Zealand Cycle Classic

Drapac Professional Cycling’s Ben Johnson will not be on the start line at the New Zealand Cycle Classic this week after he was hit by a vehicle towing a caravan while training on the David Low Way, Peregian Beach on the Sunshine Coast Sunday morning.

Johnson will be replaced at the event by Dutchman Wouter Wippert who will be making his debut for the team. Johnson sustained a deep gash to his left elbow which required six stitches, as well as multiple abrasions and haematomas. He is hopeful of being back on the bike later this week.

benJohnson “I am really disappointed not to be in New Zealand,” said Johnson, 31. “I was coming off some great form following the Bright training camp and Nationals and I was looking forward to racing. I had a good opportunity to get a result there and Drapac has sent a very strong team over. I’m devastated.”

Johnson is pursuing the matter through legal channels.

The incident brings to light the importance of road safety for cyclists and the work of Drapac Professional Cycling’s community partner the Amy Gillett Foundation.

Tracey Gaudry, Chief Executive of the Amy Gillett Foundation, said sharing the road safely is a two way street.

Gaudry emphasised “let’s lower the temperature – we are friends, family, workmates, strangers sharing our great environment. Everyone has the right to ride, walk or drive in safety.

“Placing safety in our consciousness immediately changes the way we interact with others and use shared spaces. It’s important to remember we’re sharing the road with people, a moment of distraction or frustration can have potentially fatal consequences,” said Ms Gaudry.

“Queensland will soon implement trial legislation requiring drivers to leave at least a metre when overtaking bike riders. Clarity about the space bike riders need for improved safety while maintaining an efficient road system for everyone is long overdue,” Gaudry concluded.

Via Drapac Professional Cycling press release

Specialized Says Goodbye To Eurobike

Specialized has decided not to attend Eurobike, the largest bike expo in the world held in Friedrichshafen in 2014. A company statement said the change in strategy “allows us to invest more in dealer and consumer relationships.”

John Glett of Specialized in Germany said: “We want to be able to offer an even better service to our dealers by allowing them to see and experience the product in an attractive setting with the best test ride conditions available.”

Specialized-had-a-great-stall-with-the-burnt-orange-Olympic-bikes-suspended-on-the-outer-walls-IMG_9829

Specialized is the second big US brand after Trek that decides to strengthen its dealer relationship by organizing its own event instead of exhibiting at leading trade shows.

“In our opinion there is no better way for our dealers to get to know our products than test riding,” said Glett. “Our dealer event allows us to put the dealer and the riding experience first.”

Read more on BikeBiz.com

Froome scorched in new mesh skinsuit

Tour de France winner Chris Froome was putting his new ultra-lightweight Rapha skinsuit through its paces out in South Africa over the weekend when he noticed something he didn’t anticipate:

Photo Michelle Conde

Photo Michelle Conde

The mistake is said to be a lack of diligence with sunscreen rather than a garment design flaw.

Product background (via press release):

When Team Sky start the 2014 at the hot weather races of the Tour Down Under, Qatar and Oman, they are expected to use the all-new Rapha Road Race Mesh Skinsuit which was developed in conjunction with testing and feedback from Team Sky riders in the 2013 season.

sky-skin-suit

The background behind the Road Race Mesh Skinsuit was both the 2013 Tour Down Under and 2013 Tour de France. In Australia, Luke Rowe and Ian Stannard’s feedback on the Summer Bib Shorts resulted in a mid-season second generation Summer Bib Short being used at the Tour. In France the Team also had development prototypes of the Mesh Jersey, but on time trail days when aerodynamics overruled all other factors, a more traditional skinsuit was the choice.

The mesh structure and material are the similar to that used in the Rapha Pro Team Baselayer. The mesh upper and front thigh sections allow for airflow and evaporative cooling, while the panels in the shorts rely on “ColdBlack” and antibacterial treatments for additional comfort.

Rapha do not have plans to sell the Road Mesh Skinsuit, however there will be a Team Sky Mesh Jersey available mid-summer that shares from the same insights from the riders.

Richie Porte and Cam Wurf Instagram Takeover

richie-cam

Richie Porte is known for his legendary 300km training rides and for tomorrow’s session he’s managed to convince Cannondale’s Cameron Wurf to come along with him. To document this ride (that is likely to circumnavigate Tasmania), I’ve given Richie and Cam the keys to our Instagram account and told them to go nuts. What could possibly go wrong?

Follow www.instagram.com/cyclingtips tomorrow (Thursday, January 30) to see this ride from their view and everything that might come along with it.

My predictions? Cam will attack as soon as they leave the cafe, Richie will let him hang out there at 4 minutes for 250km, Eisel, Stannard and Thomas will appear out of nowhere just in time to pull him back. Eisel is likely take a wrong turn into Launceston and Wurf will cross the line first at the Cock ‘N Bull pub. Or not.

Either way, tune in to our instagram account tomorrow to follow.

How to be a road biker

If you haven’t seen it yet, it’s worth a look. It’s funny because it’s true…

Click on image to see the full video.

Click on image to see the full video.

The Rocacorba Recap

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


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