Alexander Kristoff wins stage 2 of the Tour of Oman

Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) has won stage 2 of the Tour of Oman overnight, sprinting to victory ahead of Leigh Howard (Orica-GreenEDGE) and Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) at the end of the 139km stage from Al Bustan to Quriyat.

Tour of Oman 2014 - stage 2

Howard, who was second overall before stage 2, took the overall leader’s red jersey after his second consecutive second-placed finish last night.

“It’s always nice to have the jersey, and if there’s a chance to keep it, you never want to give it up,” said Howard. “Tomorrow’s stage is more suited to a guy like Daryl Impey or Michael Albasini or even Jens Keukeleire rather than a guy like me, but I’ll try my hardest tomorrow to see if I can hold on to it.”

The stage featured a long breakaway from Preben Van Hecke (Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise), Paolo Colonna (Bardiani CSF) and Aldo Ino Ilesic (Unitedhealthcare) who rode to a maximum advantage of 7:25 but with Lotto-Belisol, Omega Pharma-QuickStep and Tinkoff-Saxo controlling the main field, the last of the trio were caught with 10km left to race.


The Tour of Oman continues tonight with the 145km third stage from Bank Muscat to Al Bustan which features several climbs close to the end.

Follow the link for results from stage 2 of the 2014 Tour of Oman.

Sacho Modolo wins stage 1 of the Volta ao Algarve

Italian sprinter Sacho Modolo (Lampre) has continued his impressive start to 2014, winning the first stage of the Volta ao Algarve in Portugal overnight in a bunch sprint ahead of teammate Rui Costa and Alessandro Petacchi (Omega Pharma-QuickStep).

Volta  Algarve 2014 stage-1

Modolo already has four wins beside his name in 2014, after winning the final stage of the Tour de San Luis and two races in the Mallorca Challenge before last night’s victory.

Tonight’s second stage of the five-stage Volta ao Algarve features several climbs near the end of the 196km race and could suit local favourite and reigning world champion Rui Costa.

Follow the link for results from stage 1 of the 2014 Volta ao Algarve. Click here to read more at Cycling Weekly.

Alejandro Valverde wins Ruta del Sol prologue

Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) has started the defence of his Ruta del Sol title in perfect fashion, winning the 7.3km prologue alround Almeria last night, ahead of Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Shimano) and teammate Jon Izagirre.

valverde

Valverde has won the past two editions of the Spanish race and is in a good position to make it three in a row.

The five-stage race continues tonight with stage 1 featuring six classified climbs on its 186km journey from Vélez Málaga to Jaén.

Follow the link for results from the prologue of the 2014 Ruta del Sol. Click here to read more at Cycling Weekly.

Mixed reports on Cancellara’s hour record attempt

There’s plenty of excitement about Fabian Cancellara’s proposed attempt at the world hour record at some point this year. It would also seem that some of the information being published about the attempt is, well, incorrect.

Tour de Qatar 2014 - stage 3

Gazzetta dello Sport reported overnight that Cancellara’s attempt would take place in Aguascalientes, Mexico on August 3. That report in the Italian newspaper prompted Trek to send out an official statement clarifying that no location for the attempt had been set and neither had the date.

In the statement Trek Factory Racing general manager Luca Giercilena said:

We are working on this project since some time now and we have a series of people managing the project, including engineers at Trek Bicycle. However there is no present-day reference for this kind of endeavour and we are still studying all of its facets.

We are in discussions with several tracks around the world and in terms of timing, I can only confirm that we are no longer considering the period after the Classics for an attempt.

The focus for Fabian is now fully on the Classics and an attempt to repeat the success of last year. After Paris-Roubaix we’ll turn our attention to the hour record and we will have more details.

Click here to read more at Cycling News.

Q&A with Simon Gerrans

Simon Gerrans is one of Australia’s most decorated cyclists and judging by his form at the start of this year, the Victorian is poised for more great things in the season ahead.

In a Q&A with Rupert Guinness, Gerrans gave many interesting answers and insights into his rise through the ranks of professional cycling, his knack of targeting specific races and winning them, his decision to hand over the yellow jersey to Daryl Impey in last year’s Tour de France, and the culture within his Orica-GreenEDGE team.

Here’s an extract in which Gerrans talks about his leadership style:

RG: When a teammate lets you down, are you calm about it or not?

SG: One of the other things I insist on as a leader is that after every race we debrief. I make sure everyone makes sure everyone knows what their role is before the race and we debrief after — as a group. Then you can be honest and open with everybody and say they did a great job, or they didn’t fulfill their role. Then you learn from the win or loss or otherwise and then you move on. I am very clear with my teammates if they haven’t fulfilled their role. You debrief, you are still in the work environment, you get it out there, learn from it, and move on to the next race.

Click here to read the full interview at VeloNews.

A bumpy ride for Phil Lavery

Earlier this week we reported that Irishman Philip Lavery had taken the place of the newly-retired Will Walker on the Azerbaijan-based Synergy Baku team. Now Shane Stokes has published an interesting feature interview with the former Cofidis stagiaire over at VeloNation.

Philip Lavery (third from right) while riding for the An Post Sean Kelly team in 2011.

Philip Lavery (third from right) while riding for the An Post Sean Kelly team in 2011.

Lavery put in some solid performances while at Cofidis and was told he was likely to get a full-time place with the team if Cofidis had got a WorldTour license in 2014. When that didn’t happen, and when Vacansoleil-DCM and Euskaltel Euskadi folded, Lavery’s prospects of getting a ride quickly diminished.

As Stokes reports, Lavery sold his bikes, got a job and effectively gave up on being a pro cyclist.

“Once that happened with Cofidis, I didn’t really see the point in keeping my bikes,” he said, looking back. “People know how I am…I am very final about things. When I make a decision, I don’t change”, Lavery told VeloNation.

“That can be my downfall sometimes but I trust my judgement very much and I didn’t see the point of sticking with it… Maybe if it was during the summer and the weather was nice, maybe I would have done more. But at the time I needed the money. I needed to get a car and I needed to get my life back on track.”

Thanks to Synergy Baku Lavery is now back on the bike.

Click here to read the full article at VeloNation.

MTB world champion Nino Schurter to guest ride for Orica-GreenEDGE

Three-time cross country MTB world champion Nino Schurter will compete in both the Tour de Romandie and the Tour de Suisse this year as a guest rider for Orica-GreenEDGE after getting the green light from the UCI and Swiss Cycling.

UCI mountain bike world cup #1 cross-country in Albstadt

“To do the Tour de Suisse once in my life has always been my dream,” said Schurter. “My heart is in mountain biking and will remain there. But if I ever wanted to ride a big stage race on the road, the 2014 season offers the perfect slot for it.

After the two races Schurter will return to MTB racing.

“To defend my world championship title is still going to be my main goal for 2014, and furthermore I will 100% concentrate on mountain biking to hopefully add a missing Olympic [gold] medal to my collection. I believe that on my way there, I can gain a lot of knowledge and experience from racing on the road with Orica-GreenEDGE this year.”

Schurter’s MTB team is sponsored by Scott, as is Orica-GreenEDGE.

Click here to read more at Cycling News.

Drone footage from Dominguez Hills crit in California

A few months back we shared with you a video from the LSL Supercrit down at the St. Kilda Cycling Club, a video that featured some terrific aerial shots from a quadrotor drone. Here’s a similar video from a local crit in California which bears a few similarities with the supercrit one, not least the dubstep backing track.

February Fifteen Cyclingtips-Strava Challenge

It’s that time of year again and we are challenging you to log 15hrs of riding time next week (Feb 24-March 2). Not only that, but to get the competitive juices flowing we’ll be tallying up the hours ridden between Australia versus the rest of the World. So get on board and let’s smash em! We got waxed last year so there’s lots of work to be done.

More details here and you can join the challenge here.

If you’re Tweeting, Instagramming or Facebooking your rides during the challenge, be sure to tag with #FebFifteen.

feb15promo

The Armstrong Lie – Melbourne and Sydney premiere

armstrongLie

If you haven’t bought your tickets yet to the premiere showing of The Armstrong Lie in Melbourne (March 13) or Sydney (March 14), you can get them here.

The Rocacorba Recap

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


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Today’s feature image comes from Jered Gruber and was shot on the Gavia Pass in Italy.