Petr Vakoc wins stage 2 of the Tour of Poland, takes overall lead

First-year professional Petr Vakoc (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) has taken an unexpected victory on stage 2 of the Tour of Poland, escaping from a three-rider breakaway with roughly 25km to race and holding off the peloton for the first WorldTour victory of his young career.

Tour de Pologne 2014 stage-2

Vakoc had been clear of the peloton for most of the day with his fellow escapees Bartholomew Matysiak (CCC) and Przemyslaw Kasperkiew (Poland) before chancing his arm in the closing stages. There was a lack of urgency in the peloton to catch Vakoc, who still enjoyed an advantage of 2:30 with 10km to go.

The peloton increased its work rate in the dying kilometres but it was all too late — Vakoc crossed the line solo with a 21-second advantage, moving into the overall lead in the process. Michael Matthews (Orica-GreenEdge) was first over the line in the peloton, clearly unaware that Vakoc was still away as he celebrated as if he’d won the stage.


The seven-stage Tour of Poland continues today with a 174km stage from Kielce to Rzeszow that features no categorised climbs.

Stage 2: Toruń > Warszawa - Stage Result

Monday 4th August 2014

1. cz
VAKOC Petr
Omega Pharma - Quick-Step
05:23:54
2. au
MATTHEWS Michael
Orica GreenEDGE
0:21
3. be
VALLéE Boris
Lotto Belisol
-

Moreno Hofland wins stage 1 of the Tour of Utah

Belkin’s Moreno Hofland has taken out the opening stage of the seven-stage Tour of Utah, claiming the bunch sprint in Cedar City.


The 183km opening stage featured two climbs — the first category Cedar Breaks climb and the fourth category Bristlecone climb — and it was a group of four riders that established the day’s main breakaway: Jonathan Clarke (UnitedHealthcare), Adam Phelan (Drapac), Stephen Leece (Jamis-Hagens Berman) and Robin Carpenter (Hincapie Sportswear).

After spending virtually the entire day out front, the quartet was joined by U23 world champion Matej Mohoric (Cannondale) on the descent off Bristlecone towards the finish in Cedar City, as the leaders’ advantage was eroded. The leaders had had a gap of as much as 3:50 over the peloton but with just inside 20km to go, the gap was down inside 30 seconds.

The five leaders were caught with less than 8km to go before Cam Wurf (Cannondale) tried to get away solo. He was brought back as Belkin set things up for a bunch sprint.

Their man Moreno Hofland delivered, beating Jure Kocjan (SmartStop) and Andrea Palini (Lampre-Merida) in the dash to the line.

The Tour of Utah continues tomorrow with a 211km stage that features four categorised climbs, the toughest being the first-category Boulder Mountain, peaking roughly 40km from the finish.

Stage 1: Cedar City > Cedar City - Stage Result

Monday 4th August 2014

1. nl
HOFLAND Moreno
Belkin-Pro Cycling Team
00:00:00
2. si
KOCJAN Jure
Team SmartStop
-
3. it
PALINI Andrea
Lampre-Merida
-

Lisa Jacobs and Chris Jongewaard win Australian National Cyclocross Championships

by Greg Murison & Paul Aubrey, BrewCX.com

Lisa Jacobs won her second consecutive Australian National Cyclocross Championship title in Adelaide on the weekend, while Chris Jongewaard became the new men’s national champion.

The women’s race got off to a flyer, with April McDonough getting the jump and shadowing Jacobs early, until a small mistake allowed Jacobs to jump away solo.

Lisa Jacobs’ preparation had been meticulous and it paid off; she celebrated in the final straight as she claimed her second national title.

After the race Lisa Jacobs said, “It means such a lot to me to keep the [green and gold] stripes for another year,” said Jacobs. “I’ve really grown to love the sport, it’s great to see it develop and to be a part of that is fantastic.”

Image: Kevin Anderson

Image: Kevin Anderson

With representatives from every state in the field of 35 — including defending champion Al Iacuone — the men’s race was keenly anticipated. When the gun went off, it was Jongewaard who got a great start along with Peter Hatton and Adrian Jackson, while Iacuone had a shocker, finding himself mid pack in the first kilometre.

After half a lap, Jongewaard already had a five-second gap, and kept the hammer down, soloing away in another imposing display from the six-time Australian mountain bike champion. Behind him, Iacuone chased hard, recovering from his poor start to move to second place and being the equal of Jongewaard on the flat fast stuff, but not quick enough through the corners to make a dent on the leader.

Jongewaard crossed the line first, ecstatic with his latest national championship, with a hard-charging Iacuone in second and Paul Redenbach in third.

Image: Kevin Anderson

Image: Kevin Anderson

“I’m ecstatic that I managed to take the win,” said Jongewaard. “Allan is a super nice guy and a tough competitor so it was good to compete with him. Leading into the race I didn’t’ know where my form would be, [so] I’m really happy.”

Click here to read the full story at CyclingTips, courtesy of Paul Aubrey and Greg Murison from BrewCX.com.

Froome, Quintana, Horner, Evans, Cavendish, Sagan amongst riders expected for Vuelta

by Shane Stokes

Boasting a provisional start list which rivals or possibly even exceeds the level of that shown in the recent Tour de France, the upcoming Vuelta a España looks set to be a massive battle between some of the top names in the sport.

Criterium Dauphine Libere 2014  stage -2

The 2013 Tour de France winner Chris Froome (Sky), the runner up in that race Nairo Quintana (Movistar), past world number one Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha), 2013 Vuelta champion Chris Horner (Lampre), 2011 Tour victor Cadel Evans (BMC Racing Team) and this year’s Tour podium finisher Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) are all slated to take part.

So too former race winner Alejandro Valverde (Movistar), 2013 double stage victor Warren Barguil (Giant Shimano), Critérium du Dauphiné champion Andrew Talansky (Garmin Sharp), former world champion Philippe Gilbert (BMC Racing Team), plus climbing specialists Mikel Nieve (Sky), Samuel Sanchez (BMC Racing Team), Rigoberto Uran (Omega Pharma-QuickStep), Fabio Aru (Astana), Dan Martin (Garmin-Sharp), Haimar Zubeldia (Trek Factory Racing), Laurens Ten Dam (Belkin Pro Cycling Team) and Robert Gesink (Belkin Pro Cycling Team).

The Vuelta a España should also see some very big sprint battles, with many of the world’s fastest riders expected to ride. According to the provisional start list, Mark Cavendish will have recovered sufficiently from his Tour de France crash to compete, and will be joined by Omega Pharma-Quick Step team-mate Tom Boonen, Tour green jersey Peter Sagan (Cannondale), Giro points winner Nacer Bouhanni (FDJ.fr) and the rapid Australian Michael Matthews (Orica-GreenEdge).

Click here to read the full story at CyclingTips.

Anti-doping expert Parisotto on inherent delays in bio-passport system

by Shane Stokes

Australian scientist Robin Parisotto has defended the length of time it takes for biological passport cases to advance through the various stages, cataloguing the complexity of the whole process in an interview with CyclingTips and saying that he considers the current Roman Kreuziger case to fit into the expected timeline.

CORVOS_00021144-112-1024x682

Here’s an excerpt from the interview:

CyclingTips: We appreciate that you can’t say much about what is an ongoing situation, but can you explain in general why biological passport cases can take time to develop and to reach a conclusion?

Robin Parisotto: Sure. There are 900 cyclists in the pro peloton, so it is a pretty big job to compile all the data. In saying that, some riders will be tested more often than others. Some may only be tested once every three months, maybe once every six months. Others may be tested monthly.

It depends on what sort of results they have displayed in the past, and if there is a reason for them to be targeted? Are they high suspicion? That leads to someone to target test those particular athletes.

Some athletes will have many blood tests in a twelve month period, others may only have one or two. In a case like this [that of Roman Kreuziger – ed.] , it may well have been that he was tested in 2011 and 2012, and maybe there were only a handful of tests thereafter.

Perhaps it was only then that the body of knowledge which was accumulated and put together showed that there was a suspicious pattern. Unfortunately that is the way it is with the biological passport. It is not a one-off test, where you may simply test positive and then the case goes ahead. In this case you have to accumulate a great amount of detail. You have to cast your eye over perhaps years of data to see if there is some sort of pattern that is suspicious.

Click here to read the full article and interview at CyclingTips.

Tinkoff-Saxo hits out at Kreuziger suspension

Meanwhile, CEO of Tinkoff-Saxo Stefano Feltrin has penned an open letter to Brian Cookson, criticising the UCI president for remarks made about Roman Kreuziger and his suspension in an interview over the weekend. Here’s a snippet from that letter:

On June 28th the team clearly stated: “Though he won’t be racing for now, until more information becomes available to the team it will not provisionally suspend Roman unless required by the UCI or the Czech Federation”.

UCI did not react to the public statement from the team that its clear understanding was that the rider was not suspended.

More than a month after that statement both Roman and the team expected to be able to have him racing in Tour of Poland. After all, we have a contract with the rider and we pay him a salary to race.

What seems inexplicable to us is how UCI can decide that from a certain moment in time but also retroactively the interpretation of the rule, that riders will not be provisionally suspended for alleged blood passport violations, which has applied since 2011 when the blood passport was introduced, shall be revised. What changed on August 1st, 2014?

You can read the letter in full at the Tinkoff-Saxo website.

Jens Voigt to call it quits after USA Pro Challenge

Jens Voigt (Trek Factory Racing) has confirmed that the USA Pro Challenge later this month will almost certainly be his last professional bike race.

TDFR 2014 - stage -21

“I think my fan base is almost the biggest here in the US, so why not finish here?” Voigt, 42, told Cyclingnews before the Tour of Utah where he’s competing. “Of course, if the team is in need of some riders for some races, I can jump in and still help out. But the plan is that this would be sort of like coming to an end here.”

Voigt is unlikely to end his career by sitting quietly in the bunch; look for him to go on the attack whenever possible and challenge for one final professional victory.

“There’s no need to save energy anymore,” he said. “I can throw it out whenever I want, just see what our tactics say and what the plan is for the team. If I get the freedom to go, I’ll definitely want to go out and show my face, and hopefully, yeah, try to grab a stage win somehow.”

Click here to read more at Cyclingnews.

Fernando Alonso awaiting license decision before signing riders

Despite concerns that he might have left the process a little late, F1 star Fernando Alonso appears to be pushing forward with his plans to have a WorldTour team in 2015, having applied for a license before the August 1 deadline.

Giro-D'Itaia 2014 stage 18

“We’ve got people working on forming the team and they are following the deadlines imposed by the UCI,” Alonso’s manager, Luis García-Abad told Spain’s AS newspaper, “Without the licence, we can’t do anything.”

It won’t be until October that the UCI announces which 18 teams have been awarded WorldTour licenses and until then, Alonso and his team do not wish to offer any contracts to riders.

“The rules are what they are, and we have to accept them,” García-Abad explained. “We don’t question if they are good or bad.”

There are reports that Alonso has €100m (AUD$144m) for five years from Dubai-based sponsors to go towards his team, but the danger now is that all the big-name riders will be signed by the time the WorldTour licenses are announced.

One potential option is for Alonso to take over an existing team. But Garcia-Abad has played down such suggestions.

“We are not coming [into cycling] to save anything,” added García-Abad. “We want to create our team with our ideas from Formula One. Not just technology, but we want to create a team that is profitable. We don’t understand how a cycling team can only operate on the money it receives from its sponsor.”

Click here to read more at Cycling Weekly.

Victorian Interschools’ Cycling Series announced

The Victorian Interschools’ Cycling Series is a new seven-race series of closed-road cycling events, run by Cycling Victoria and a dedicated group of behind the scenes volunteers. The series came about after discussions between Cycling Victoria, Simon Gerrans and others, when the question was asked: what can be done to assist the recognition of cycling as a safe and accessible school sport?

The series will run during the final term of 2014 and the first term of 2015. VICS allows novices, enthusiasts and experienced racers the opportunity to enjoy one of Australia’s fastest growing sports. With a mixture of team and individual events, participants will thrive on interschool rivalry, personal improvement and the thrill of the ride.

VICS will be a seven-event series comprising a mixture of individual time trial [ITT], team time trial [TTT] and criterium races.

Click here for more information and to read the VICS prospectus.

Oregon Manifest TEAGUE X Sizemore Bicycle

Here’s a promo video for an interesting-looking bike that features automatic gears, pedal-assist, an integrated lock, and a bunch of other nifty features.

Click here to read more about the bike at Engadget.

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 was shot by Jered Grbuer somewhere in Italy.