Alexander Kristoff wins Milan-San Remo

Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) has won the rain-soaked 105th edition of Milan-San Remo, taking out a reduced bunch sprint ahead of Fabian Cancellara (Trek) and Ben Swift (Sky).

Pre-race favourites Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) and Peter Sagan (Cannondale) made it to the finish with the lead group, as did last year’s winner Gerald Ciolek (MTN-Qhubeka), while Andre Greipel (Lotto-Belisol) couldn’t match the pace in the final kilometres.

Sacha Modolo (Lampre-Merida) was one of the first fastmen to launch the final sprint, with Mark Cavendish making his move shortly after. But the Manxman couldn’t repeat his 2009 victory, fading as the end of the 294km race approached. In the end Kristoff proved too strong, powering clear to win by more than a bike length from a visibly upset Cancellara.

Earlier in the race a seven-rider breakaway, including Australia’s Nathan Haas (Garmin-Sharp), established itself after roughly 15km of racing as the rain and hail fell. As the riders made their way along the Mediterranean Coast, the escapees’ lead continued dropping from a maximum of nearly 11 minutes and the number of riders in the escape dropped as well.

Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) takes the 105th edition of Milan-San Remo ahead of Fabian Cancellara (Trek Factory Racing) and Ben Swift (Sky).

Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) takes the 105th edition of Milan-San Remo ahead of Fabian Cancellara (Trek Factory Racing) and Ben Swift (Sky).

On the Cipressa, the penultimate climb of the day, Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) launched an audacious long-range attack, sweeping up the remains of the breakaway. He was caught on the Poggio, the race’s final climb, and by the time the reduced peloton hit the bottom of the descent after that final climb, the scene was set for a reduced bunch sprint.

Extended Highlights:

Click here for full race report and photo gallery of Milan-San Remo 2014.

Follow the link for results from the 2014 Milan-San Remo.

First Froome/Contador battle of the season forecast for Catalunya

The Volta a Catalunya might be months away from the Tour de France, but the seven-day race, which begins today, will provide the first real head-to-head between two of the sport’s biggest names, Chris Froome (Sky) and Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo).

Tour de France 2013 stage-15

Contador is in sparkling form after a comfortable win at Tirreno-Adriatico thanks to two powerful stage victories. And while Froome has been battling a minor back injury, last year’s Tour de France winner took out his second consecutive Tour of Oman earlier this year and is back on track for a Tour defence.

Other big names to start the race will be Nairo Quintana (Movistar), last year’s champion Dan Martin (Garmin-Sharp), Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha), Chris Horner (Lampre-Merida) and Paris-Nice winner Carlos Betancur (Ag2r-La Mondiale).

The Volta a Catalunya is Spain’s oldest stage race and is now in its 94th edition. The week-long race doesn’t have any time trials to speak of, and the race will be decided on the climbs, possibly on stages 3 and 4 which both have summit finishes.

Click here to read more at VeloNews.

Wiggins to skip Catalunya in lead-up to Paris-Roubaix

One of the big names that won’t be on the Volta a Catalunya startlist is Bradley Wiggins, with the former Tour de France champion opting to skip the Spanish race to better prepare for Paris-Roubaix.

Giro d'Italia 2013 - 8a Tappa

“We have modified the program to assure our progress,” explained Wiggins.

“After talking with my coaches, we have decided that it would be better to have two weeks of intensive training before coming back for the Paris-Roubaix.

“This block was probably something I was going to end up missing out on this year just due to the congestion in the race schedule, but this is now an opportunity for me to get some good training under my belt and concentrate on improving in every area.”

Wiggins’ decision to target Paris-Roubaix has surprised many fans and experts alike with the Brit’s previous best result there being a 25th in 2009. Wiggins is set to race Scheldeprijs four days before Paris-Roubaix.

Click here to read more at Cycling Central.

Travis Tygart set to reveal redacted names from USADA investigation

Travis Tygart has revealed that the US Anti-Doping Agency could reveal the names of 37 riders that were redacted from the agency’s investigation into Lance Armstrong.

Tygart said there have been discussions between USADA and the Cycling Independent Reform Commission, which has been tasked by the UCI with investigating the sport’s murky past.

According to Tygart there are a number of riders and team support staff that haven’t yet been named publicly that could be exposed in efforts to clean out a “dirty system”.

“Just because you change the top, the dirty system doesn’t necessarily change,” said Tygart. “We all want to turn the page. But the job is not done. As long as those people stayed in the system, doped and never got caught, the odds of them changing their behaviour are not very high when the spoils of victory are so very high.”

Click here to read more at The Independent.

Garate sues Belkin

Juan Manuel Garate is suing the Belkin Cycling Team, claiming that the team is legally obliged, under Dutch law, to continue paying him even though he no longer has a contract with the team.

stage-20 of the Vuelta a EspaÒa 2013

Garate will argue in court that, according to Dutch collective-agreement law, he should be paid half a month’s salary for every year he was with the team, given he was never dismissed by the team. The Spaniard has been with the Rabobank/Blanco/Belkin setup since 2009.

Garate was offered a contract with Belkin for 2014 which, according to Cycling News, was worth 40% of his previous contract.

“My reasons are private,” Garate said when asked why he didn’t sign the contract. “If Belkin needs me, I am ready to come back. But at the moment I am not welcome with Belkin. It’s a personal thing and has nothing to do with money. And no, it’s not to do with doping either.”

Click here to read more at Cycling News.

ASO completes takeover of Vuelta a Espana

Spanish news outlets are reporting that the organiser of the Tour de France, the ASO, has completed a takeover of Unipublic, the Spanish-owned company which organises the Vuelta a Espana.

In 2008 the ASO had owned 49% of Unipublic with then UCI President Pat McQauid saying that he believed the ASO had plans to create an international cycling federation to rival the UCI.

There has been no official announcement about the takeover as yet.

Earlier this year there were rumours that the ASO was considering buying the Giro d’Italia from RCS Sport, giving it control of all three Grand Tours. But both parties have since denied the rumours.

Click here to read more at cyclismactu.net (via Google Translate) and here at Cycling News.

Armitstead targeting Flanders and Women’s Tour

After winning the opening World Cup race of the season (and her first ever World Cup race), Lizzie Armitstead (Boels Dolmans) has focused her attention on the Tour of Flanders and the inaugural Women’s Tour.

“I’m building towards the Tour of Flanders at the moment. My form is currently pretty good and now it’s all about adding another five per cent before we get to Flanders in a couple of weeks’ time,” Armitstead told Cycling News.

“In terms of prestige it’s second only to the Olympics and the World Championships. It’s our biggest Classic race. For me, the short and steep that you get in Flanders are definitely the best. They are very much like the roads I train on when I’m back home in Yorkshire.”

The British national champion has started 2014 in great form, taking podium positions on a stage at the Tour of Qatar and at Het Nieuwsblad, winning the Omloop van het Hageland and then the Ronde van Drenthe World Cup six days later.

While Flanders is her most immediate target, the prospect of racing the first ever Women’s Tour (of Britain) on home soil is keeping Armitstead focused.

“The organisers have put a lot of effort into making it a race that’s on a par with the men’s Tour of Britain – same hotels, same prize money, etc. I’m hoping the women’s peloton see it as the next big race,” she said.

“Personally, I’m hoping for a stage win. I’ve heard that the course isn’t going to be that challenging, so it might be difficult for me to have a massive impact if there aren’t any tough climbs, but I can’t wait to race it.”

Click here to read more at Cycling News.

Highlights package from the Ronde van Drenthe World Cup

Speaking of the Ronde van Drenthe, if you missed all the action from last weekend’s race — which was the first round of the women’s World Cup for 2014 — you can catch up on all the action with this great half-hour highlights package from the UCI.

The UCI will be producing a highlight package from each of the nine World Cup races this season.

You can also check out Chloe Hosking’s report from inside the race here.

Brake-checking driver gets fined and suspended

A motorist who brake-checked a cyclist in Glasgow has been convicted on four separate charges after the cyclist involved captured helmet-cam vision of the incident.

After the video evidence was shown in court, the driver, who turned out to be serving a driving ban, was convicted for dangerous driving, breach of the peace, driving without insurance and driving without a licence.

The motorist has been fined 375 pounds, banned from driving for 48 weeks and ordered to do 150 hours of community service.

Click here to read more at road.cc.

Police in Belarus set up fake cycling fatality

Police in Belarus have opted for an interesting method of trying to get drivers to look out for cyclists on the road. The authorities staged a fake crash scene, with a broken bike, a dummy representing a cyclist, and fake blood.

Image: tut.by

Image: tut.by

According to the BBC 186 motorists passed by the incident but only nine stopped to see if the cyclist was alright.

A local traffic official said the “Don’t Look the Other Way!” road safety campaign came about because the road in question carries a higher number of trucks, creating a great danger for cyclists.

Click here to read more at road.cc. Check out some pictures of the scene here.

Rules of the bunch: etiquette on the bike

Here’s a piece from the RIDE website that’s worth a read. It’s all about the etiquette of the bunch ride and how we all benefit from everyone rider safer, smarter and more predictably. Here’s an excerpt:

Just because you were recently crowned C-grade world champion and bought a set of carbon hoops to celebrate doesn’t give you the right to disrupt the age-old rhythm of the bunch.

So don’t run that red (don’t even accelerate for an orange light if you’re on the front), don’t chop wheels or half-wheel on the front, don’t pull out halfway up the bunch when you’re too tired, don’t alter the pace because you’re not in “the zone” or slam on the brakes when you get scared and please, never use a social ride in an attempt to increase your profile on social media.

Click here to read the full article at the Ride website. Click here to read more about the “lost art of the group ride”

The Rocacorba Recap

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


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Today’s feature photo is from Cor Vos and shows the peloton in Campo Ligure heading towards San Remo in the 105th edition of Milan-San Remo.