Michael Matthews wins stage 3 of the Vuelta al Pais Vasco

Michael Matthews (Orica-GreenEDGE) has continued where he left off at the Vuelta a La Rioja last week, winning stage 3 of the Vuelta al Pais Vasco overnight.


Matthews was the beneficiary of a great lead-out from teammate Simon Gerrans before sprinting to victory ahead of Kevin Reza (Europcar) and Michal Kwiatkowsi (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) in the 194.5km stage from Urdazbi to Vitoria-Gasteiz.

“It was a pretty hectic final,” said Matthews. “Not many teams had a lead-out train. It was easy to have just me and Gerro (Simon Gerrans) in the last three kilometres. He moved me up at the perfect time and then he gave me the perfect lead-out.”

The day’s early break of six riders included Andy Schleck (Trek), Natnael Berhane (Europcar) and Ben King (Garmin-Sharp) and despite a long range effort from Ruben Fernandez (Caja Rural-RGA) from the break, it was all brought back together before the finale.

Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) maintains his 14-second lead over Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) in the general classification with Kwiatkowski third a further 20 seconds back.

Tonight’s fourth stage of the six-stage race features two category one climbs and could prove decisive in the race for the GC.

Stage 3: Urdazabi-Urdax > Vitoria-Gasteiz - Stage Result

Wednesday 9th April 2014

1. au
MATTHEWS Michael
Orica GreenEDGE
05:02:09
2. fr
RéZA Kévin
Team Europcar
-
3. pl
KWIATKOWSKI Michal
Omega Pharma - Quick-Step
-

Click here to read more via AFP/Cycling Central.

Marcel Kittel wins third consecutive Scheldeprijs title

Marcel Kittel (Giant-Shimano) has taken a comfortable win in the Belgian semi-classic Scheldeprijs overnight, beating second-placed Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Sharp) by nearly three bike lengths to take a record third consecutive title.

Scheldeprijs 2014

“I feel good. It’s not just my legs but my team”, Kittel said afterwards. “I started the sprint from a good position and used my good legs to sprint as hard as possible.”

Scheldeprijs is a race for the sprinters and despite the best efforts of a tenacious lead group, which still had a one-minute advantage with 10km to go, it was destined to come back together for a bunch gallop.

Giant-Shimano and Omega Pharma-QuickStep led the peloton into the closing stages of the race, before Kittel made his move. Farrar was in Kittel’s wheel when the German started sprinting, but he quickly lost ground.

“It wasn’t exactly a photo finish and I have to be happy with second place. There was no touching him,” Farrar said immediately after the race. “He’s been the top sprinter in the world for the last year or year and a half, no question. He’s certainly the man to beat. He’s still human, but very hard to beat.”

1. de
KITTEL Marcel
Team Giant-Shimano
04:33:53
2. us
FARRAR Tyler
Garmin Sharp
-
3. nl
VAN POPPEL Danny
Trek Factory Racing
-

Click here to read more at Cycling Weekly.

Kirsten Wild wins stage 1 of the Energiewacht Tour

Giant-Shimano sprinter Kirsten Wild has continued her dominant form, winning the first stage of the six-stage Energiewacht Tour in the Netherlands overnight.

stage 1 Energiewacht Tour 2014

Wild proved too strong in the final sprint at the end of the 93km stage, moving clear of World Cup series leader Lizzie Armitstead (Boels-Dolmans) and Jolien d’Hoore (Lotto Belisol).

Wild won four of the six stages at last year’s Energiewacht Tour and appears to be on track to achieve a similar outcome this time around. The general classification, however, is likely to be decided in the stage 3b ITT on Friday.

Follow the link for results from stage 1 of the 2014 Energiewacht Tour. Click here to read more at bnr.nl (via Google Translate).

The UCI is considering allowing on-bike cameras: Brian Cookson

UCI president Brian Cookson has said that the sport’s governing body will consider allowing bike-mounted cameras in professional races in an attempt to “make the spectator and viewer feel even more engaged”.

In a statement on the UCI website, Cookson was quoted from a recent keynote presentation at the SportAccord Convention in which he spoke of the need for innovation in the way the sport is showcased.

“We will look at technology such as cameras on bikes and in team cars to see how they can be used to enhance the viewer experience. Imagine being able to share the view of Chris Froome as he rode up Mount Ventoux or came up the Champs-Elysees to win last summer’s Tour de France.

“And why stop at cameras—what about having microphones on bikes or sharing rider data on screen?”

Click here to read more at the UCI website. Click here to read more about the proposal over at Reddit.

Doping probe findings due next year

Meanwhile, Brian Cookson has confirmed that the findings from the Cycling Independent Reform Commission (CIRC) will be delivered next year.

“We have to have a sport where a parent can bring their child, and know that their son or daughter can go all the way to the top if they have the ability and dedication,” Cookson said in a UCI statement. “Without having to lie, without having to cheat, without having to do things that will risk their health, without having to spend the rest of their lives looking over their shoulder.

“If we cannot do that as a governing body, then we have failed our members and our sport. But we are not going to fail. We are going to succeed,” he added.

CIRC was founded with the main aim of determining how a culture of doping was perpetuated in the sport for the best part of 15 years, and who was involved.

Click here to read more at Bicycling.

Analysis of Michael Hepburn’s Flanders power file

While all the attention at the Tour of Flanders was focused on the favourites and those leading the race (understandably) there are plenty more individual stories within the race that just never get aired.

hepburn

Over at VeloNews the team has analysed the powerfile of Australia’s reigning ITT champion Michael Hepburn (Orica-GreenEDGE) showing just how hard the Tour of Flanders is, even when you’re finishing nearly 13 minutes behind the winner.

Here’s an excerpt:

After 4.5 hours of tense racing, Hepburn hit the Oude Kwaremont for the first time. He was able to average 401 watts for seven grueling minutes to keep Orica near the front. Hepburn followed that effort up quickly with a 446-watt, 1:47 effort up the Paterberg. There, he lost contact with the peloton.

Riding in the second chase group, Hepburn averaged 396 watts for just under three minutes on the Koppenburg. Not done yet, he again took on the Kwaremont and Paterberg, this time averaging 316 watts and 368 watts, respectively. While those numbers are lower than his first time up, they show what it takes just to ride in the pack after doing the job for the team.

Click here for the full article at VeloNews.

Triathlete injured by falling drone

The use of drones to film cycling has become increasingly popular in recent times, and with good reason: the footage looks amazing.

But in some ways it was only a matter of time before an incident prompted an investigation into the use of remote-controlled aircraft for this purpose.

Last weekend a filming drone at a Triathlon in Geraldton, Western Australia, dropped about 10 metres out of the sky and allegedly landed on a competitor, causing head injuries and requiring the patient to be taken to hospital.

The incident is now being investigated by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA). According to CASA, unmanned aircraft must be kept at least 30 metres away from people and in order for drones to be used in a commercial capacity, the operator must have appropriate certification.

Click here to read more at the ABC website.

Garmin announces Edge 1000

Garmin has announced a new top-of-the-range cycling computer, the Edge 1000, which appears to take aim at Strava with segment-based timing, among other features.

“Whether riding for a personal best or seeing where they stack up against the pros, Edge 1000 will help cyclists reach their goals with advanced segment capabilities including the ability to view start and finish point alerts, race themselves or the segment leader, and plan rides using segments,” according to Garmin.

According to road.cc, the segments Garmin refers to are only available through Garmin Connect and the device’s segment features will not be compatible with Strava segments.

Other features including bike-specific navigation and mapping, uploads to social media and live tracking, when the device is paired with a compatible smartphone.

We look forward to hearing more information about the device as it comes to hand and we’ll endeavour to get a review unit as soon as we’re able.

Click here to read more at road.cc. And click here for DC Rainmaker’s first look at the device.

Police crackdown on the Hell Ride continues

An article in Melbourne’s Herald Sun yesterday suggests that police are continuing a crackdown on cyclists involved in the Hell Ride on Saturday mornings. Senior Sergeant John Cormack is quoted as saying:

“At times we have been deploying three police motorcycles and two marked cars and have done so in order to try to keep the size of the groups from becoming too big and to keep them two abreast,” he said.

“We are also still seeing a small number of participants failing to comply with red traffic lights.”

Police have reportedly been undertaking safety checks of riders’ bikes.

“During these checks we found that the riders failed to have a bell fitted as required by law, which is of concern as participants in the Hell Ride often travel at speeds in excess of 50km/h,” Sen-Sgt Cormack said.


But Senior Sergeant Cormack said, the signs are positive.

“We have been working with the group over the last few months and we are starting to see some very promising results but it still may take some time to provide comfort that all of the risks have been diminished or reduced.

“I do wish to commend those riders within the group that have taken on a leadership role and are moderating their riding behaviour and holding others to account.”

Click here to read more at the Herald Sun.

Cyclist turns helmet cam on bad riders

We’ve seen plenty of helmet cam videos in recent months, normally showing dangerous or irresponsible driving. Here’s one video in which the rider turns his attention to the misdeeds of other cyclists.

Make sure you watch it to the end …

Click here to read more at Bike Radar.

Taking on the cobbles of Paris-Roubaix

Here’s an entertaining video in which the guys from the Bespoke radio show on BBC Radio 5 Live in the UK attempt some of the cobbled sections of Paris-Roubaix.

The Rocacorba Recap

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


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Today’s feature image comes from John Pierce (PhotoSport International) and was shot at the finish line of Scheldeprijs last night.