Tom Boonen wins stage 2 of the Tour of Qatar
After a forgettable 2013 season Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) has started 2014 in promising fashion, winning stage two of the Tour of Qatar overnight.
Strong winds split the peloton on stage 2, just as they did on stage 1, forcing an elite selection at the head of the race. Boonen was there, as was his teammate Niki Terpstra who led the race overall after winning stage 1.
Boonen proved strongest of the eight riders who crossed the line on the same time, winning the stage ahead of Michael Morkov (Tinkoff-Saxo) and Jurgen Roelandts (Lotto-Belisol).
The win takes Boonen’s total stage wins at the race to 21, which doesn’t include his four overall wins.
By finishing in the lead group Terpstra maintained his overall lead in the race, and now sits five seconds clear of Roelandts in second and 14 seconds clear of Boonen in third.
Tonight’s third stage of the six-stage race is a 10.9km individual time trial around Lusail which should shake up the general classification.
Dubai Tour could expand in 2015
It would seem that last week’s inaugural Dubai Tour was a great success with the local sheiks who underwrote the four-day race saying they’d like to see an expansion in 2015.
“We would like to expand the race by one day, but that also depends on the calendar,” Saeed Hareb, chairman of the organising committee told the press. “We need approvals to make sure it does not clash with Qatar and Oman.”
RCS Sport, the organisation behind the Giro d’Italia, has a three-year deal with the Dubai Sports Council to organise the event and hasn’t ruled out a potential Giro start in Dubai in future.
In 2015 the Dubai Tour organisers are considering taking the race into the desert surrounding Dubai.
Click here to read more at VeloNews.
Four Colombian cyclists test positive for performance-enhancing drugs
Colombian website El Tiempo has reported that four Colombian cyclists tested positive to performance-enhancing drugs at the Clasico RCN-Claro last year.
Three riders — Ómar Puentes (Elegant House), Jorge Martínez (Supergiros), and Diego Quintero (GW Shimano) — tested positive to EPO while a fourth, Jahir Perez (Ebsa), returned a positive test for the steroid betamethasone.
“The issue will be handled by the disciplinary tribunal of the cycling federation within 15 days and the penalties will be known,” Colombian cycling federation chief Jorge Ovidio González said.
Wiggins to race the Vuelta in 2014?
Bradley Wiggins’ 2014 season has started with Spain’s Trofeo Ses Salines and the 2012 Tour de France winner has spoken about his plans for the year ahead.
Wiggins is targeting victory in the world championships ITT in Ponferrada, Spain later this year and has indicated he’ll race the Vuelta a Espana in preperation for that event.
Wiggins told The Guardian, “I felt last year that I was short of racing when it came down to the worlds.”
Wiggins finished second at last year’s Worlds behind Tony Martin who, with the Tour de France and two-thirds of the Vuelta under his belt, did significantly more racing in the lead-up than Wiggins.
Last week Wiggins told the press that he’d target Paris-Roubaix and the Amgen Tour of California in the first half of the season before heading to the Tour de France in support of last year’s winner Chris Froome.
“I’ve got quite a few goals,” Wiggins said in an interview published to Sky’s website yesterday. “I want to get back to winning races again, being like the old me instead of turning up at races and not being in the best frame of mind.”
Last year’s Vuelta a Espana winner Chris Horner also opened his season in the Trofeo Ses Salines, his first race in Lampre-Merida colours.
Click here to read more at VeloNews.
New Zealand Cycle Classic director confident of Women’s Tour of New Zealand return
Jorge Sandoval, director of the New Zealand Cycle Classic, is confident that the Women’s Tour of New Zealand will return to the international race calendar in 2015 after a two-year absence.
The UCI 2.2 tour, which was the only UCI-ranked tour for women in Oceania, was cancelled last year due to the high cost of drug testing. The race didn’t return in 2014 due to a lack of sponsorship.
“The UCI didn’t allow the Drug Free Sport NZ agency to do the testing at this event in New Zealand and they wanted to send their own testers”, Sandoval told Cycling Central. “For us that would have been about $40,000 or $50,000 worth of drug testing.”
“We are looking forward to working together next year – it is really important for us to bring the women’s tour back to New Zealand,” Sandoval said.
Click here to read more at Cycling Central.
The Fly6 video camera/rear light combination
An Australian company, Fly Lites, is seeking roughly $100,000 in crowdfunding to launch their Fly6 combination rear light and video camera for bikes.
“As motorists become aware they could be recorded, they behave appropriately just as they do when they see traffic or speed cameras are ahead,” says Fly Lites CEO, Andrew Hagen.
With action cameras being expensive to buy, the team at Fly Lites believes the low price of the Fly6 ($169) will make it an appealing prospect to many cyclists.
“[It’s] a device that cyclists of all persuasions, can afford to buy at $169 as well as it appearing as if just a tail-light. Making it easy to use, intuitive, affordable and cyclist friendly it will be widely taken up.”
British Cycling launches 10-part manifesto
British Cycling has released a 10-point manifesto, entitled “Time to #ChooseCycling” which hopes to turn Britain “into a true cycling nation”.
The organisation explains that the manifesto “sets out what needs to happen to get Britain cycling at even a fraction of the levels seen in the Netherlands and Denmark.”
The 10 points in the manifesto are as follows:
1. Cycle-proofing: accommodate cycling in everything we do
2. Meaningful and consistent levels of investment
3. Consistent political leadership for cycling
4. Improving the justice system to protect and support vulnerable road users
5. Adding cycling safety to the driving test
6. Strengthening cycling safety provisions in the Highway Code
7. Road and cycle safety awareness
8. Reducing the risk to people on bikes from HGVs
9. Cycle training made available for all children
10. Reducing speed limits saves lives of all road users
Emma Johansson, ambassador for Flanders
Here’s an entertaining little tourism video for Flanders, narrated by and featuring Orica-AIS rider Emma Johansson:
The Rocacorba Recap
And finally this morning, here are a few things you might have missed from a big day at CyclingTips yesterday:
- Inside Line: Jessie MacLean on the Ladies Tour of Qatar
- Highlights from the 2014 Jayco Herald Sun Tour (photo gallery)
- Aussie Underdogs: reflections on the cyclocross world championships
- Rocacorba Daily: Monday February 10