Niki Terpstra seals Tour of Qatar victory
Niki Terpstra (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) clinched overall victory in the Tour of Qatar on Friday as Frenchman Arnaud Demare won the concluding stage.
Demare, of the FDJ team, secured the sixth and final stage at Doha Corniche in a sprint finish after a 113.5-kilometre ride from Sealine Beach Resort.
Terpstra led the race after winning the opening stage and finished at the top of the general classification, ahead of his teammate Tom Boonen who fell just short of winning the event for the fifth time. Boonen won stages two and four of this year’s race.
On the podium, a smiling Terpstra praised Boonen and predicted their Omega Pharma-QuickStep team was set for a good season.
“The great Tom is back,” said Terpstra, a former Tour of the Netherlands champion back in 2012. “Today it is me who won, but in the next few weeks we will make every effort to be in the best condition for the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix,” added Terpstra.
Follow the link for final results from the 2014 Tour of Qatar. Text via AFP.
Stephen Cummings wins Tour Mediterraneen
BMC’s Stephen Cummings has started 2014 with a bang, winning the five-stage UCI 2.1 Tour Mediterraneen overall just a week after finishing second in the Dubai Tour.
Cummings won the stage 4 ITT in the Tour Mediterraneen which gave him the overall lead by four seconds over Trek recruit Riccardo Zoidl. Cummings finished the final stage — which featured a mountain-top finish — in fourth place, holding on to his lead and winning the race overall.
“I thought I could do a good GC, but was looking more to the time trial and taking things day-by-day,” said Cummings. “But I kept staying in the front and then the time trial was great.”
The win is Cummings’ first stage race victory in 10 years as a professional.
“I wasn’t in the right races or I didn’t have the correct program,” said Cummings. “We’ve had a bit of a change of management and they’re putting me in more races suited to me which is good. It’s given me a new motivation.”
Weather and safety concerns may cut new climb from Milan-San Remo
Much has been made about the changes to the course for this year’s Milan-San Remo but there are suggestions that the new climb — the Pompeiana — might be scrapped due to weather and safety concerns.
“There were many doubts,” said Paolo Leuzzi, provincial police and town planning commissioner. “With the commander of the provincial police [Giuseppe] Carrega, I carried out an inspection of the route and many problems related to safety emerged.”
The descent off the climb reportedly narrows too much and could be dangerous with a lack of proper guardrails to stop cyclists that come unstuck. Recent rain in the area has also created landslides, covering the road with mud.
But with roughly a month until the race, there have been no official announcements about a route change.
“At the moment [the climb] is confirmed and we are monitoring the terrain,” RCS Sport press officer Stefano Diciatteo told VeloNews Sunday. “We still have over a month to go and all the time needed to verify its feasibility.”
Click here to read more at VeloNews.
Tour of California adds second day of women’s racing
Organisers of the Tour de France and Vuelta a Espana have already flagged their intentions to include women’s racing alongside the men’s in coming editions and now the Tour of California has gotten on board as well.
According to a report on ESPN the 2014 Amgen Tour of California will add a second day of women’s racing — a city centre criterium in Sacramento to coincide with stage 1 — to go with the women’s time trial which has run alongside the Tour of California time trial for the past three years.
“It has always been our priority to create a race that promotes both men’s and women’s cycling as well as how cycling is beneficial to a well-rounded, healthy lifestyle for the entire family,” executive director Kristin Bachochin told ESPN. “We are very pleased that with both the sponsorship commitment from SRAM and other logistical factors, we now have the ability to add a second day of women’s racing in 2014.”
A total of $20,000 prize money will be on offer across the two women’s events.
Click here to read more at Cycling News.
McQuaid ends his part of legal proceedings against Kimmage; Verbruggen continues
Former UCI president Pat McQuaid has dropped his two-year-old lawsuit against journalist Paul Kimmage while McQuaid’s predecessor Hein Verbruggen has decided to persevere.
“I’m glad to hear that one of them is stopping their involvement,” Kimmage told VeloNation. “That said, I don’t understand why McQuaid would drop it but not Verbruggen. What he [Verbruggen] is doing makes no sense and hasn’t made sense for a long time now. I can’t put any logic to it or explain it in any way.”
McQuaid and Verbruggen opened legal proceedings against Kimmage in early 2012, claiming they had been defamed by Kimmage in the Sunday Times.
Click here to read more at VeloNation.
Australian team announced for track world championships
Cycling Australia has announced a 15-member team for the 2014 UCI Track World Championships to be held in Cali, Columbia from February 26 to March 2.
Reigning world champion team pursuit duo Glenn O’Shea (SA) and Alexander Edmondson (SA) are confirmed, as is 2013 World Championship bronze medallist Luke Davison (SA). Mitchell Mulhern (QLD) and Miles Scotson (SA) are set to make their World Championship debuts.
The women’s endurance squad will see triple 2013 World Championship medallist Annette Edmondson (SA) joined by Amy Cure (TAS) and Melissa Hoskins (WA). 2010 team pursuit world champion Ashlee Ankudinoff (NSW) heads to her fifth Championships, while Isabella King (WA) will make her senior World Championship debut.
The final five-member sprint team features ten-time world champion Anna Meares (SA) who will contest her 12th World Championships and dual world champion Shane Perkins (VIC) who will line up for his eighth. 2012 team sprint world champion Matthew Glaetzer (SA), 2013 keirin national champion Steph Morton (SA) and 2008 Olympian Daniel Ellis (SA) round out the sprint selections.
SPRINT MEN & WOMEN – FINAL TEAM
– Daniel Ellis (SA/Formerly ACT, 25)
– Matthew Glaetzer (SA, 21)
– Anna Meares (SA/Formerly QLD, 30)
– Stephanie Morton (SA, 23)
– Shane Perkins (VIC, 27)
Ashlee Ankudinoff (NSW, 23)
– Amy Cure (TAS, 21)
– Annette Edmondson (SA, 22)
– Melissa Hoskins (WA, 22)
– Isabella King (WA, 21)
– Alex Edmondson (SA, 21)
– Luke Davison (SA/Formerly NSW, 23)
– Mitchell Mulhern (QLD, 23)
– Glenn O’Shea (SA/Formerly VIC, 24)
– Miles Scotson (SA, 20)
Text via Cycling Australia press release.
Allan Davis retires from professional cycling
Former Orica-GreenEDGE rider Allan Davis has retired from pro cycling after being let go by the Australian team at the end of last season and failing to find a new team.
The 33-year-old will be remembered best for his third place at the world championships in Geelong in 2010, a gold medal in the road race at the Commonwealth Games in the same year and second in the 2007 edition of Milan-San Remo.
— Allan davis (@allandavis27) February 14, 2014
“I would have liked to keep going for a few more years, but it’s just not an option the way things are,” he told AAP.
“I have to turn the page and get on with the next chapter of my life. have to find some source of income for my family and move on.”
Click here to read more at Cycling Central.
Jack Haig and questions of his future
A lot has been written about Jack Haig in the past 12 months, not least the fact that as a talented mountain biker and road cyclist, Haig will likely have to choose one discipline over the other in the near future if he’s to achieve his potential.
But Haig seems to be comfortable with the fact that, while he’d like to win a MTB medal at the Commonwealth Games later this year, his long-term future is probably on the road.
“I want to make it to the WorldTour, I feel like I’m ready to make that jump and that showed on that stage that we got away [at the Jayco Herald Sun Tour], it was really tough and I was able to make that decisive move at the end”, Haig told Cycling News. “I think that as long as I can keep backing up throughout the year then feel like I can and it would be good step for next year.”
Haig has already been in discussions with WorldTour teams for the 2015 season.
“I’d always say the top three teams that I’d like to go to are probably Sky, BMC, Omega Pharma-Quick Step and maybe Orica-GreenEdge in there as well. I’d probably put my first pick as Sky, having Richie [Porte] and Nathan [Earle] there would be great. Nathan and I are really great friends and I’d love to go and race with him some more.”
Click here to read the article at Cycling News.
Cancellara plans to retire after 2016 season
Fabian Cancellara has a contract with Trek Factory Racing until the end of 2016 and the Swiss Classics specialist has told Cycling News that he’ll retire once that contract runs out.
“I have a three-year contract and in my opinion it doesn’t look like there will be a fourth or fifth year because it will be 16 years as a professional. I don’t feel tired although once in a while I feel tired, and that’s normal. That’s not going against Jens [Voigt] or Chris Horner but you will not see me riding the bike at their age.”
Cancellara will be 35 in 2016 and is keen to end his time as a pro cyclist at the top of his game.
“I think of course I will stop on the highest level,” he said. “In my situation, I can’t wait until I’m down here, that’s normal. I could stop now and I would not have a problem to find new ambitions, but I would still miss something. I feel like I’m not finished yet with what I want to achieve. There’s still some time left, but there’s many options after and I’m not scared of that.”
Cancellara has flagged an interest in being involved in cycling, in some capacity, once his days as a professional race are over.
Click here to read more at road.cc.
Counterpoint: lactic acid myths, debunked
In the Rocacorba Daily late last week we shared a story from VeloNews about the myths behind lactic acid. Now VeloNews has published a couple of counterpoints to that article and a rebutall from the original author. Worth a read if you checked out the original piece.
Aerodynamics and the Winter Olympics
Here’s a great piece over at The Inner Ring in which the author compares road cycling’s obsession with aerodynamics to a seemingly less obsessive approach in downhill skiing.
The Inner Ring considers the gear and the clothing that many (if not all) skiiers wear and conclude that there are plenty of gains that could be made with simple modifications. Why does all this matter?
“Aerodynamics matters because air resistance increases to the square of the speed. In cycling we’re talking about competition speeds of 40-60km/h. In Alpine skiing it’s double with competitors clocking 130km/h at times meaning aero matters a lot more.
Click here to read the full article at The Inner Ring.
The next Winter Olympic sport?
The UCI might want cyclocross to be added as a sport at the Winter Olympics but if the guys from Red Racer Beer and Norco Bicycles in Canada have their way, it will be this particular cycling discipline that gets a run first:
Pantani: The Accidental Death of a Cyclist
A decade on from the death of Marco Pantani filmmaker James Erskine is set to release a film that chronicles the rise and fall of one of the greatest climbers in the history of road cycling. Here’s the trailer:
The film is due for release in April.
The Rocacorba Recap
And finally this morning, here are a few things you might have missed: