Gianni Meersman wins final stage and the overall at the Tour de Wallonie

Gianni Meersman has capped off a memorable Tour de Wallonie for his Omega Pharma-QuickStep team with victory in the general classification and a win on the final stage as well.


Meersman finished second on all of the first four stages of the race, before going one better in the yellow jersey on the final lumpy stage.

There were constant attacks in the final 30km with a number of climbs making it a challenge for Meersman to stay in contact. Tim Wellens (Lotto-Belisol) put in a dangerous attack with 21km to go and gained nearly 30 seconds, but he was soon caught.

The race came down to a bunch sprint and Meersman was able to prevail over Yves Lampaert (Topsport Vlaanderen – Baloise) and Jasper Stuyven (Trek Factory Racing) on his way to winning the GC and points classification.

“I am super happy about this victory,” Meersman said. “Not only for the GC, but also the stage win because after being four times in second place. For me, it’s important to be able to win this stage to finish off the great work of my teammates, and I did it, so I am thrilled.”

Omega Pharma-QuickStep has also announced a contract extension for Meersman who will now ride with the Belgian team through 2016.

Stage 5: Malmedy > Ans - Stage Result

Wednesday 30th July 2014

1. be
MEERSMAN Gianni
Omega Pharma - Quick-Step
00:00:00
2. be
LAMPAERT Yves
Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise
-
3. be
STUYVEN Jasper
Trek Factory Racing
-

Jesse Kerrison wins stage 2 of Tour of the Murray River; Brenton Jones wins stage 3 and maintains overall lead

Tour of the Murray River leader Brenton Jones (Avanti Racing) has notched up his second stage victory from three starts in the Subaru National Road Series event, this time sprinting to line honours in Quambatook.

Jones took out stage three ahead of Queensland duo Alex Wohler and Jesse Kerrison (Budget Forklifts) to extend his overall Tour lead to nine seconds ahead of Kerrison and 18 seconds in front of Raphael Freinstein (CharterMason).

“Today was a special win, it was a hard win,” said Jones. “There were a lot of challenging conditions out there with the weather and we were outnumbered in the breakaway with five Budget Forklifts and three Avanti riders, so to win the stage for the team shows that teamwork does win races. It’s good to keep yellow too.”

Jones was part of a 17=strong lead group which established inside the first 20 kilometres and quickly gained an unbeatable lead. In the final three kilometres, Wohler and Dylan Pierre-Humbert (Wormall Civil CSS) made an early dash for the finish, with Jones only catching the escapees meters from the line.

Earlier in the day, Jesse Kerrison took out the 33-kilometre criterium in Swan Hill ahead of Freinstein with Jones rounding out the podium.

“There was a three-man break and they were holding a pretty solid gap for a while, but with the pace of the peloton and the wind, it’s just not sustainable”, Kerrison said. “I was confident it would come back.”

The Tour continues today with a 140km road race from Kerang to Cohuna.

Click here for results from stage 2 and here for results from stage 3. Text adapted from a Cycling Australia press release.

Team Belkin’s future guaranteed after letter of intent signed with Lotto and BrandLoyalty

by Shane Stokes

The future of the current Belkin Procycling squad looks secure after an announcement that the Dutch national lottery De Lotto and the BrandLoyalty company have signed a formal declaration of intent with both the cycling team and also the current BrandLoyalty speed skating team.

“With this collaboration we will expand our vision of the team,” said the team’s general manager Richard Plugge in a statement announcing the arrangement. “During the Tour de France we have worked together as a team to bring cycling back to where it belongs: in the hearts of the fans!

“This unique concept brings Holland’s biggest high endurance sports together. Our team is looking forward to the start of this unique collaboration.”

The team had a successful Tour de France, with Lars Boom winning stage five of the race and Laurens Ten Dam and Bauke Mollema finishing ninth and tenth overall.

Concerns were raised prior to the Tour de France when the Belkin electronics company stated that it would not continue as backer beyond the end of this season.

The final details about the new team are being worked out and once that is done, a further announcement will be made. Until that time, the name of the team, the colours, the budget and the line-up will not be declared. It is being reported, however, that Bauke Mollema is in talks with rival teams for 2015.

Click here to read the full story at CyclingTips.

Roman Kreuziger to ride Tour of Poland despite ongoing biological passport case

Roman Kreuziger (Tinkoff-Saxo) is set to line up at the Tour of Poland and possibly the Vuelta a Espana next month, despite an ongoing biological passport case against him.

winner: Roman Kreuzinger (CZE)

Since Kreuziger was contacted by the UCI in the lead-up to the Tour de France (and subsequently pulled from the team’s line-up), he hasn’t heard anything further. Tinkoff-Saxo general manager Stefano Feltrin believes Kreuziger is therefore free to race.

“It’s true that Roman is on the roster. He was on it before, and we spoke to him and he said that he’s not had any new information from the UCI in terms of the sanctions so we feel, like we said before, that it’s not up to us to stop him from racing without there being solid concrete evidence,” Feltrin told Cyclingnews.

“There’s going to be a trial I suppose, or may be not, but as a team we have to apply the contract and that’s based on the model created by the UCI and I couldn’t see a clause in there that says that we have to suspend him. We have to allow him to race as long as the UCI don’t suspend him.”

“We felt that it wasn’t appropriate to race him at the Tour due to the timing. There’s been a month and he’s had a chance to get organised. If you look at from the legal standpoint he’s innocent until proven guilty.”

Click here to read more at Cyclingnews.

UCI annual report and financial accounts

The UCI has published its annual report and financial statements for 2013-14 and The Inner Ring has taken a look at the numbers and put together a nice little analysis. As he points out, the accounts seem to have been published a couple months earlier than normal (a campaign pledge from UCI president Brian Cookson).

Here’s an excerpt from the Inner Ring piece:

2013 will be remembered as a year of change for the UCI’s management but in the background the finances were stable, a boost from the Olympics allowed more money to be socked away in the reserve fund. We might think of cycling as the Tour de France and spring classics but for the UCI the Olympics and the road cycling world championships are the big events, at least in terms of income.

If 2013 was a steady year for the money it’ll be interesting to see where things go in the coming years. We know millions are being spent on the CIRC. With bold reforms to the calendar and more on the 2020 agenda the sport is set to see big changes and these will alter the costs and revenues.

It’s worth noting that since that article was published, it appears the UCI has taken down the financial statements from its website.

Click here to read the full article at The Inner Ring.

The New York Times article that stirred up trouble and the Bicycling rebuttal

You might have seen a little bit of backlash on social media to an article in the normally excellent New York Times about the use of carbon fibre in bikes and how, apparently, the use of this material is responsible for more crashes than other materials.

Here’s a quote from the piece:

“Anyone in a team who’s being honest with you will tell you how frequently their bikes are breaking; everybody knows,” said Mark Greve, a physician and assistant professor of sports medicine at Brown University who studied injuries to 3,500 competitive cyclists. “Few people in the public appreciate how many bikes a pro team will go through in a season, because they break for one reason or another. The bikes, they completely explode.”

Matt Phillips from Bicycling Magazine was particularly upset about the piece and penned a rebuttal, which featured the following section:

If the story was well researched, had good data, attributed information from experts on record, and, well, evidence, I’d be encourage everyone to read it. Instead, I’m encouraging you to read it for the same reason it’s fun to read about Lindsey Lohan. Everyone loves a trainwreck.

You can read the original New York Times article here and the Bicycling rebuttal here.

Best moments of the 2014 Tour de France

The ASO has pulled together a great little highlights package showing some of the most memorable moments from this year’s Tour de France. We’d embed it here but the ASO hasn’t allowed us to do so. Instead, click here to get through to the video.

The Road to Mont Blanc

Remember Mike Cotty, the British cyclist who did that 700km ride with 17 mountain passes last year? Well, he’s back with another challenge: to ride 1,000 kilometres over 21 mountain passes with more than 23,000m elevation gain. Here’s a video showing how Cotty has prepared for this insane ride:

Click here to read more at Mike Cotty’s website.

patchnride: “the world’s first permanent tyre repair system”?

Here’s a new tyre-repair product we’ve just learned about called patchnride, which works by “inserting a patch and adhesive into the tyre, repairing it from within.” The inventors claim that “patchnride eliminates the need to remove the wheel, and allows cyclists to patch the same tyre as many times as needed”.

Here’s a video showing how it works:

Visit the patchnride website for more information.

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 and was shot near Incino, Italy.