Andre Greipel wins stage 1 of the Tour de Luxembourg

Andre Greipel (Lotto-Belisol) has continued a successful return to racing after breaking his collarbone in the Spring Classics, sprinting to victory on stage 1 of the Tour de Luxembourg. Greipel finished ahead of Michael Morkov (Tinkoff-Saxo) and Danny Van Poppel (Trek), the latter holding on to the leader’s jersey he claimed in the prologue ITT.


The first road stage of the five-stage race was set to be one for the sprinters and so it proved to be. A three-man escape got up the road but after Trek controlled the gap for much of the stage, Lotto-Belisol took over as the riders hit the first of two 18.2km finishing circuits.

The break was brought back in with 5km to go and despite a late attack from Tinkoff-Saxo’s Matti Breschel it was a stage destined for a bunch sprint. The Lotto-Belisol train delivered Greipel perfectly into position and the German national champion finished off the job, holding off Morkov and Van Poppel.

Three stages remain in the race including today’s stage 2 which features a number of short climbs and rolling hills.

Stage 1: Luxembourg > Hesperange - Stage Result

Thursday 5th June 2014

1. de
GREIPEL André
Lotto Belisol
04:34:03
2. dk
MøRKøV Michael
Tinkoff-Saxo
-
3. nl
VAN POPPEL Danny
Trek Factory Racing
-

Click here to read more at Cycling Quotes.

AIGCP calls on UCI to take greater responsibility for protecting rider safety

Just over one week after the professional teams’ association AIGCP called on the organisers of the Giro d’Italia to revise the general classification times in the race, the group has commented further on the controversy of the Giro’s Stelvio stage, as well as an earlier leg of the race.

GiroControversyTeamManagers

It has expressed its displeasure with events during the Grand Tour and has said that the UCI needs to assume greater responsibility and authority in order to safeguard riders and the regulations.

While the UCI didn’t respond to the AIGCP request, the AIGCP said on Thursday that the UCI needed to “step up into its role as regulator of our sport.”

“In those occasions, it should not be the riders that feel forced to neutralize the race,” said the statement. “The jury is not only there to regulate, but also to protect the health and safety of the riders. The absence of regulation lead to an unsatisfactory race.

The AIGCP argued that an ambiguity between the organiser and the UCI must end, and the latter must step up to the plate as regards making responsibility decisions in races.

“To us, only the UCI chief commissaire will make any announcements on route changes, neutralisation etc. and he will enforce these changes. Only the UCI chief commissaire can and will judge if a race is safe enough and it is only the UCI chief commissaire who can decide and overrule the opinion of the organiser, riders and teams.”

Click here to read the full story at CyclingTips.

Tinkov chasing riders in 2015 with virtually unlimited budget

He’s a polarising figure but there’s little doubt that Oleg Tinkov loves cycling. The larger-than-life Tinkoff-Saxo owner was everywhere at the Giro d’Italia, riding many of the stages and now, in the lead-up to rider-signing season, the Russian has reiterated his plans for the seasons ahead.

Giro-D'Itaia 2014 stage 17

“Number one in the world. I am simple. I want to be the best team. That’s it. We don’t want anything more than that. To be the first, that’s enough,” he told VeloNews.

While the team is already home to one of the world’s best GC riders, Alberto Contador, Tinkov is happy to admit he’s got his eye on other superstars as well.

“We of course are talking to all the guys since we want to build the best team. We are talking to all of these guys like Sagan. We’re interested in [Edvald] Boasson Hagen (Sky) as well. We’re interested in a lot of guys.

“We definitely will sign two, three more stars who can help Alberto next year for the Tour. And maybe somebody to help Rafal [Majka] for the next Giro. Yeah, we’re on the market. And we are quite active. Haha.”

Tinkov has the luxury of having plenty of cash to throw at big-name riders; something not enjoyed by other teams.

“I’ve built one of the most successful, if not the best, bank in Russia. At least it’s the biggest online bank in Russia right now,” he said. “Cycling is still a very cheap sport to sponsor. I have a lot of exposure for quite little money.”

Tinkov has mused about the possibility of picking up Peter Sagan, and names such as Ivan Basso and Bradley Wiggins have also been mentioned. And then there’s Chris Froome.

“Then we buy Froome and put him on Giro d’Italia next year and Alberto will be winning [the] Tour and Froome is Giro d’Italia.”

Click here to read more at VeloNews.

Italian police investigating the fan who pushed Bongiorno into Rogers’ wheel on the Zoncolan

Italian police are investigating the man who pushed Francecso Bongiorno into Mick Rogers’ back wheel on the penultimate stage of the Giro d’Italia last week, an incident that saw the Italian lose touch at the head of the race.

Police have reportedly been watching videos of the incident, including from YouTube, to try and deduce the identity of the man. If charged and found guilty the man is only likely to face a minor penalty.

Click here to read more at Gazzetta dello Sport.

Teams confirmed for the Tour of Utah

Organisers of the Tour of Utah have announced the final team list for this year’s race which runs from August 4 to August 10.

Tour of Utah stage two

For Australian fans the biggest news is that ProConti squad Drapac will make its debut at the race while Orica-GreenEdge declined an invitation due to a potential clash with riders required at the Commonwealth Games.

“The entire organization of Orica-GreenEdge Cycling is extremely disappointed that we will not be able to return to the Tour of Utah this summer. We had great success at the 2013 Tour of Utah and found it to be one of the best-run UCI events of the year,” said manager Shayne Bannan. “It is an honor for our athletes to be part of the Commonwealth Games and represent Australia every four years. We do look forward to being part of the Tour of Utah in 2015.”

The teams that will line up at the Tour of Utah are:

UCI ProTeams

– Belkin-Pro Cycling Team
– BMC Racing Team
– Cannondale Pro Cycling
– Team Garmin-Sharp
– Team Lampre-Merida
– Trek Factory Racing

UCI Pro Continental Teams

– Drapac Professional Cycling
– Team Novo Nordisk
– UnitedHealthcare Professional Cycling Team

UCI Continental Teams

– Bissell Development Team
– Funvic Brasilinvest-São José dos Campos
– Hincapie Sportswear Development Team
– Team Jamis-Hagens Berman presented by Sutter Home
– Jelly Belly presented by MAXXIS
– Optum presented by Kelly Benefit Strategies
– Team SmartStop

Click here to read more at Cycling News.

200 bikes stolen from Scott headquarters in Switzerland

Last weekend thieves managed to elude the safety measures of the warehouse at Scott’s headquarters in Givisiez, Switzerland, stealing a large number of expensive bikes. The retail value of the stolen bikes amounts to almost 1 million Swiss Francs (roughly AUD$1.2 million).

Scott bikes at the Orica-GreenEdge service course.

Scott bikes at the Orica-GreenEdge service course.

The thieves reportedly gained access to the warehouse despite an active burglar alarm and without attracting attention. Once inside they stole a large number of expensive Model Year 2014 road and mountain bikes as well as several Model Year 2015 samples that have not yet been introduced to the market. A truck was also stolen.

“It is a sad truth that the bicycling industry, be it retailers, manufacturers or professional teams, have been victim of recurrent, severe burglaries causing extensive financial damage during the past few years,” said Pascal Ducrot, Vice President of Scott Sports.

Scott is the latest victim in a series of burglaries that have affected Swiss bike manufacturers and retailers during the past few months.

Text via Scott press release.

Ben Foster on playing Lance Armstrong: “those guys suffer”

The process of preparing for his role as Lance Armstrong in a forthcoming film has given actor Ben Foster a newfound respect for cyclists, including Armstrong.

Foster has spent much time on the bike preparing for the role and said of pro cyclists: “Those guys suffer in a very specific way. It was really interesting to spend time in that community. I had no idea what it took to push the body that way.

“It’s about being eight hours in the saddle. That’s a lonely, ritualized — it’s in circles. You’re making circles. You’re pushing past hunger. You’re pushing past clarity of thought. It’s a wild way to suffer. Your feet aren’t going anywhere. You’re going in circles up these impossible mountains.”

Despite Armstrong’s fall from grace in recent years, Foster still admires the Texan.

“He came up in a time of doping, and it’s my opinion, if you look at the statistics, you have to go down 17 or 18 guys for those seven years retroactively, at least, to find a clean rider.

“So it wasn’t EPO [Erythropoietin] that made Lance the greatest cyclist. It was something far bigger. How he handled that ability, how he handled his will, that story’s not over yet.”

Click here to read more at road.cc.

Driver charged with Sydney crash that injured seven cyclists

A motorist in Sydney has been charged over the incident that happened on Southern Cross Drive in Eastlakes earlier this year, in which seven cyclists were struck by a vehicle and injured.

The driver, from Caringbah in Sydney’s south, has been charged with eight offences following the crash on March 16: four counts of dangerous driving occasioning grievous bodily harm, three counts of causing bodily harm by misconduct, and negligent driving occasioning grievous bodily harm.

The driver reportedly stopped at the crash scene and spoke to police.

The man is due to appear in court on July 21.

Click here to read more at the Sydney Morning Herald. Click here to check out an article that we published about the crash at the time, from local Sydney rider John Sunde.

Man jailed in Tasmania for attack on cyclists

Meanwhile in Launceston, a 25-year-old man has received a two-week prison sentence for throwing a glass bottle at a cyclist and punching her riding partner.

The magistrate found the man guilty saying:

“I need to send to the community a loud and clear message that cyclists are road users like anyone else and don’t deserve to be used as a moving target by the likes of yourself,” he said in the Launceston Magistrates Court.

“That was a completely unprovoked action in throwing that bottle. The potential had that bottle actually hit the cyclist could have caused a very serious injury.”

The thrown bottle reportedly broke on the rider’s front wheel and when her riding partner confronted the thrower, an argument broke out and the cyclist was punched.

Click here to read more at The Examiner.

Volunteers wanted for cycling study in Melbourne

Researchers at the Australian Catholic University in Melbourne are seeking well-trained male cyclists for research on how beetroot juice and sodium bicarbonate affect time trial performance, both separately and together.

Participants must a) have a Cycling Australia racing license b) have at least two years of racing experience and c) race A Grade elite or masters level.

Participants will be required for six lab sessions and will be remunerated for their time and involvement.

For more information, download this flyer and contact the researchers listed at the bottom.

Riders call for fans to respect safety at Tour de France

Off the back of the wild scenes on the Monte Zoncolan at the Giro last week, team Giant-Shimano riders have helped create a video message to would-be fans at the Tour de France, warning them to treat riders with respect and ensure rider safety isn’t compromised.

The Rocacorba Recap

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


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Today’s feature image comes from Jered Gruber.