Andre Greipel wins stage 3 at the Tour of Oman

Andre Greipel (Lotto Belisol) has taken back the overall lead in the Tour of Oman after winning stage 3 last night in a sprint finish ahead of Peter Sagan (Cannondale) and Nacer Bouhanni (FDJ.fr).

Tour of Oman 2014 - stage 3

Greipel won the opening stage of the race and last night’s win takes his season tally to five wins already.

Stage 3 began with an early breakaway that featured Nicola Boem (Bardiani-CSF), Kevin Ista (IAM), Martijn Maaskant (UnitedHealthcare) and Jelle Wallays (Topsport Vlaanderen). The group got as much as 3:30 ahead of the main field but with Cannondale, Orica-GreenEDGE, Astana and BMC controlling the main field the last of the escapees were caught with 10km to go.

Dario Cataldo (Sky), defending champion Chris Froome (Sky), Fabian Cancellara (Trek) and newly-crowned world cyclocross champion Zdenek Stybar (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) made a late escape but they were caught with roughly 1km to go, setting up a sprint finish.

Tonight’s fourth stage takes the riders 173km from Wadi Al Abiyad to Muscat.

Follow the link for results from stage 3 of the 2014 Tour of Oman.

Michal Kwiatkowski soloes to Volta ao Algarve stage 2 win

Polish rising star Michal Kwiatkowski (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) has soloed to victory in stage 2 of the Volta ao Algarve overnight, attacking with roughly 5km to go in the race, on the final climb, and managing to stay away.

Volta  Algarve 2014 stage-2

Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) had attacked with 700m to go to the summit of the final climb and Kwiatkowski followed him before setting off on his own as the road headed down then into a false-flat.

World champion Rui Costa (Lampre Merida) finished second with Contador third. Kwiatkowski’s win — his second of the season after taking out the UCI1.1 Trofeo Serra de Tramuntana last week — puts the Polish rider into the overall lead by four seconds over Costa and 12 seconds over Contador.

There are three stages left in the race, including tonight’s 13.6km ITT.

Follow the link for results from stage 2 of the 2014 Volta ao Algarve.

Valverde goes back-to-back with Ruta del Sol stage 1 victory

Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) has consolidated his lead in the Ruta del Sol overnight, winning on the uphill finish to stage 1 ahead of Bauke Mollema (Belkin) and 42-year-old Davide Rebellin (CCC Polsat Polkowice).

1st stage of 60th Tour of Andalusia

An 11-rider breakaway got away just 10km into the hilly 186km stage and opened up a sizeable advantage, but when Sky and Movistar started to take things seriously the gap started to come down quickly.

A series of climbs on the run in to the finish in Jaen saw just eight riders in contention for the win and it was Valverde who proved strongest, taking the Spaniard one step closer to winning his third consecutive edition of the race.

Three stages remain in this year’s edition of the Ruta del Sol, including tonight’s 182km stage from Sanlucar La Mayor to Sevilla which ends with a climb roughly 17km in length.

Follow the link for results from stage 1 of the 2014 Ruta del Sol. Click here to read more at Cycling Weekly.

Sagan must focus on Classics, not contracts – team director

There’s been plenty of chatter about what Peter Sagan will and won’t do next year, given given his contract ends this year and Fernando Alonso is reportedly interested in nabbing the Slovakian star.

Tour de France 2013 stage-7
But according to Cannondale sports director Stefano Zanatta, Sagan just needs to focus on winning bike races and adding to his already impressive palmares.

“If he stops and thinks about [contracts] now that means that he’s losing time because there are many details, many offers to evaluate. You can’t just decide like that,” Zanatta told VeloNews. “For him, it’s not a big problem, he knows he’ll be racing in 2015, it’s just a matter of where. Right now, he has to demonstrate that he can win the big races.”

Sagan won 22 races in 2013 and in 2014 he’s targeting some of the biggest one-day races on the calendar: Milan-San Remo, Ronde van Vlaanderen and Paris-Roubaix.

Click here to read more at VeloNews.

Tour of California finalises route and teams

The organisers of the Amgen Tour of California have announced the final route details for this year’s race and confirmed the list of teams that will start.

Stage 1 starts and finishes in the state capital Sacramento and will almost certainly end in a bunch sprint. Stage 2 will be a flat ITT in Folsom and stage 3 will be the race’s queen stage, featuring the tough climb to Mt. Diablo to finish.

Stages 4 and 5 should end in bunch sprints while the climbers will get their chance again on stages 6 and 7, with the former finishing on the Big Pine Road climb and the latter being a hilly course through the Angeles National Forest.

The final stage into Thousand Oaks features the Rock Store climb on Mulholland Drive and a fast, technical descent, sure to make for an interesting final day’s racing.
The teams that will race the event are:

WorldTour: BMC, Belkin, Cannondale, Giant-Shimano, Garmin Sharp, Trek Factory Racing, Omega Pharma-QuickStep, Orica-GreenEdge and Team Sky

ProConti: UnitedHealthcare, Team Novo Nordisk and NetApp-Endura

Continental: Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies, Jamis-Hagens Berman p/b Sutter Home, Jelly Belly, and the Bissell Development Team

Despite lobbying for an invite, Australia’s only ProConti team, Drapac, has missed out.

The 2014 Amgen Tour of California starts in Sacramento on May 11 and ends in Thousand Oaks on May 18.

Click here to read more at Cycling News.

New route with 10 dirt sectors revealed for Strade Bianche

RCS Sport has unveiled a new route for the Italian semi-classic Strade Bianche which will take place on March 8.

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The one-day race is held on the white dirt roads of Tuscany, starts in San Gimignano, features 10 dirt sectors and finishes with a steep ramp inside the final kilometre in Siena.

“The Strade Bianche is a jewel in the international cycling scene,” said RCS Sport technical director Mauro Vegni. “This year the route is technically more difficult than in the past, given the greater number of sections of earthworks at the start, while the end is modeled on the traditional route, with the finish in the Piazza del Campo in Siena. We are confident that by working together with all the institutions involved we can get the best possible outcome for all.”

Strade-Bianche is the first race in two weeks of Italian racing which culimates in Milan-San Remo on March 23.

Click here to read more at VeloNews.

Voeckler happy to be racing again

It’s just five weeks since Thomas Voeckler (Europcar) crashed during training just days before the Tour Down Under but already the flamboyant Frenchman is back racing at the Volta ao Algarve.

Stage 1 - 99th Tour de France 2012

Team Europcar has put no pressure on Voeckler to perform and indeed the Frenchman is well down on the general classification.

“For me, the objective I came here with has been achieved,” he said. “I wanted to get some kilometres under my belt and for my shoulder to be fine as well. I didn’t have any issues at all with the shoulder. It’s just the legs that are the problem now. I’ve got to sort them out next.”

Voeckler is working towards the Ardennes Classics, his first target in a season that hasn’t started in ideal fashion.

Click here to read more.

Marianne Vos confirmed for Women’s Tour (of Britain)

Reigning world road race champion Marianne Vos has confirmed that she’ll take part in the inaugural Women’s Tour of Britain in May, her first return to Great Britain since winning the Olympic road race in 2012.

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“It’s great that we get a big new stage race on our calendar with The Women’s Tour,” Vos was quoted as saying on the race’s website. “The times that I’ve raced in Great Britain – with of course the London Olympic Games fresh in my mind – I have been amazed by the huge crowds and the enthusiastic people. I’m sure it will be a fantastic event and I’m looking forward to competing here with the best riders from all over the World.”

The Women’s Tour is the first UCI ranked stage race for women in Britain. Race organisers SweetSpot announced last year that the women’s race would receive the same treatment as the men’s, including television time and prize money.

The race begins on May 7 in Oundle, Northamptonshire and finishes in Bury St Edmunds the following Sunday.

Click here to read more at Cycling News.

The long-term health effects of using performance-enhancing drugs

Trevor Connor is a long-time cycling coach who researches exercise physiology and nutrition at Colorado State University. In a feature article first published in the February edition of the Velo magazine, Connor writes about the long-term health effects of using performance enhancing drugs.

The piece is framed with the idea that forgiveness is a foreign concept when it comes to doping and sport, and Connor promises to “strip out the emotions and hyperbole and see what the science does and does not say. Then you can decide how forgiving you want to be” of those who have doped in the past.

That article is available now in full on the VeloNews website, split into three parts. Click here to get access to part one.

World’s first carbon fibre 3D printer now available for order

Got a craving for designing and creating your own carbon fibre bike parts? Got a spare $5,000 sitting around? Why not pre-order a Mark One 3D printer and get started?

Image: Mark One

Image: Mark One

To be honest we’re not sure if you could use this to print bike parts (although 3D printing has definitely been used for creating bikes or parts thereof for a few years now) but the technology is pretty great and hey, it prints carbon fibre!

Click here to learn more at the Mark One website and here at Techcrunch. Thanks to Tristan for the tip-off.

El Diablo: a short film about Dieter “Didi” Senft

Here’s a short film about one of the most familiar faces in world cycling: Didi, El Diablo, The Devil. You’ve almost certainly seen him on the roadside during the Tour de France and a whole host of other races besides.

didi

Click on the image above to get through to the short film.

February Fifteen Cyclingtips-Strava Challenge

It’s that time of year again and we are challenging you to log 15 hours of riding time next week (Feb 24-March 2). But you aren’t just riding for yourself — we’ll be tallying up the hours ridden by entrants in Australia and entrants from the Rest of the World. Australia 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 them 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 at CyclingTips this week:


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Today’s feature image comes from Cor Vos and was taken during last night’s stage of the Ruta del Sol.