Duber Quintero wins Tour de Langkawi opener

Team Colombia rider Duber Quintero has won his first professional bike race with a solo attack on the opening stage of the 2014 Tour of Langkawi.

Tour de Langkawi 2014 - stage 1

The 23-year-old rider was part of a four-rider breakaway that escaped early in the race and managed to stay away, finishing more than a minute clear of the peloton. Quintero attacked on his own inside the final kilometre and opened up enough of a gap to win by 11 seconds ahead of Matthew Brammeier (Synergy Baku) and Australia’s Jonathan Clarke (UnitedHealthcare).

“I have heard about this race before but this is my first time here and from the moment I arrived I have liked this place”, Quintero said. “I like the people, they are very friendly and the temperature is exactly like where I come from, so I wouldn’t mind coming back here for a holiday.”

Today’s second stage will take the riders 134.5km from Sungai Petani to Taiping and should be an opportunity for the sprinters.

Follow the link for results from stage 1 of the 2014 Tour de Langkawi. Click here to read more at Cycling Central.

Aussie men win teams pursuit world championship

Australia’s youthful quartet has staged a memorable comeback to defend their men’s team pursuit world title on the opening night the 2014 UCI Track World Championships in Cali, Colombia.

In the afternoon session, reigning world champions Glenn O’Shea and Alex Edmondson, plus debutants Mitchell Mulhern and Miles Scotson, qualified second fastest (4:01.516), narrowly scraping into the final by just 0.099secs ahead of Russia.

In the final, Luke Davison came in for Scotson to face the strong Denmark outfit of Casper Von Folsach, Lasse Hansen, Rasmus Quaade and Alex Rasmussen, who qualified fastest by almost two seconds.

With favourable conditions greeting riders in the evening session at the semi-outdoor Cali velodrome, it appeared that Denmark would claim their second gold since 2009 in the event as they established a solid lead of 0.414seconds after two kilometres.

But in a display of superb riding, the young Australian team fought back to edge in front just after the halfway mark. The team continued to put the foot down, driving it home to cross the line in 3mins 57.907secs, well ahead of the Danish team (3:59.623).

Australian riders will today compete in five events on the second night of competition: Anna Meares in the women’s 500m TT, Glenn O’Shea in the men’s 15km scratch race, Alex Edmondson in the men’s individual pursuit, Shane Perkins and Matthew Glaetzer in the men’s Keirin and Nettie Edmondson, Amy Cure, Bella King and Mel Hoskins in the women’s team pursuit.

SBS One has live coverage of the racing from 10.30am AEST.

Text adapted from Cycling Australia press releases.

Venezuelan hits 63% hematocrit, misses chance of contract

Venezuelan rider Jimmi Briceno, two-time winner of the UCI2.2 Vuelta a Tachira, was supposed to be joining ProConti squad Androni Giocattoli later this year. But when Briceno went in to get his mandatory biological passport testing done, the results ensured he wouldn’t be joining the Italian team after all.

According to reports in the Venezuelan newspaper Diario de Andes, Briceno returned a hematocrit level of 63%, considerably higher than the UCI’s limit of 50%. His hemoglobin level was also considerably higher than normal.

While the testing results aren’t the same as testing positive for banned substances, they do ensure that Briceno won’t be riding for Androni Giocattoli later this year. Team manager Gianni Savio told VeloNews that the team was no longer interested in Briceno:

“First off, we never had a contract signed with Briceño. I always insist to see the health indicators from the biological passport before signing anyone,” Savio told VeloNews on Thursday. “Today a hematocrit of 63 is just crazy. It seems unbelievable.”

Click here to read more at Velo News.

Cyclists farewell Kristof Goddaert

Friends, colleagues and family of IAM Cycling’s Kristof Goddaert have farewelled the 27-year-old in a church in Antwerp after the Belgian rider died in a training accident last week.

“Kristof was a great teammate. He just was great fun,” Goddaert’s former Topsport Vlaanderen team manager Walter Planckaert told Sporza. “He was the man who gave the team morale. When we were on team training camp he just took the microphone and sang a song in front of us. It’s a great loss to the cycling community.”

Goddaert was on the start list for Saturday’s Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, a race that will now start with a minute’s silence in honour of the fallen rider.

Click here to read more at Cycling News.

Riders to watch at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne

As mentioned, the cobbled classics start in Belgium this weekend with Omloop Het Nieuwsblad on Saturday and Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne on Sunday. These races traditionally mark the start of the “proper” European season and it won’t be long before the likes of Milan-San Remo, Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix are rolling around for another year.

The weather forecast for the weekend’s races is fairly standard for this time of year in Belgium: a slight chance of rain with temperatures just above freezing. But at least it doesn’t look like there’ll be the snow that forced the cancellation of Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne last year.

The folks at Cycling News have put together a video featuring 10 riders to keep an eye on during this weekend’s races. Check it out above.

The women’s Omloop Het Nieuwsblad is also being held this weekend and Australia’s Tiff Cromwell (Specialized-Lululemon) goes into the race as defending champion after winning solo last year.

Click here to read more at VeloNews.

Tom Boonen searches for marginal gains

We’ve heard plenty from Team Sky in recent years about the principle of marginal gains and now it would seem that Omega Pharma-QuickStep is on board, at least when it comes to Tom Boonen’s sleeping habits and travel arrangements.

Tom Boonen attacking very strong on 'his' Taaienberg

After the Tour of Oman last week Boonen reportedly chose to get a taxi to the airport at 4am the morning after the race, rather than taking a shuttle at 2am, earning himself an extra two hour’s sleep. And earlier in the year, when heading back to Europe from the Tour de San Luis, OPQS reportedly chartered a private plane to give his riders a better chance to recover.

OPQS team manager Patrick Lefevere hopes the marginal gains will give Boonen an edge when it comes to Het Nieuwsblad and Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne this weekend.

Click here to read more at Cycling News.

Victoria’s police chief commissioner support cyclists’ rights

It’s well known that Victoria Police’s chief commissioner Ken Lay is a keen cyclist and now the state’s highest ranking police officer has spoken in support of cyclists using the roads.

“Bikes are classified as vehicles, and like cars, they have the right to use our roads,” Mr Lay said. “The vulnerability of cyclists does put the responsibility on motorists to drive safely and in a way that doesn’t risk the life of cyclists.”

In a YouTube video that’s yet to be released Mr Lay attempts to dispel common myths about cyclists using the roads.

“Our roads are paid for by our taxes and rates,” he says. “Cyclists may ride two abreast legally. Be patient when you’re driving and give bikes at least one metre clearance when passing, more if you’re travelling over 60km/h.”

Click here to read more at The Age.

Rigoberto Uran training in Medellin

In some ways this video is unremarkable — it’s just shows Rigoberto Uran riding through traffic in Medellin, Colombia on his TT bike — but there’s also something interesting about the lines he takes and how he positions himself while making his way through traffic. Not to mention the fact that he’s on a TT bike in heavy traffic.

FebFifteen to go down to the wire!

In last year’s edition of the FebFifteen Strava Challenge we Aussies were slightly humiliated by the efforts of the Rest of the World team. But after three days of competition this year, Australia was comfortably ahead!

Sadly, the Rest of the World is back in the lead, but there’s still the weekend to go! So, Aussies, it’s time to put in a couple of big rides this weekend and win back this competition!

FebFifteen is a collaboration between CyclingTips and Strava which challenges riders to spend 15 hours on the bike between February 24 and March 2. But it’s more than just an individual challenge: all the hours ridden by Australian riders are tallied, as are the hours from riders in the Rest of the World. The team with the most hours wins!

Click here to read more.

The Rocacorba Recap

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


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Today’s feature image comes from Kristof Ramon and was shot during last year’s Omloop Het Nieuwsblad.