Majka takes Tour of Poland stage 5

Rafal Majka (Tinkoff-Saxo) has continued the winning form that netted him two stage wins and the KOM classification at the Tour de France, winning stage 5 of the Tour of Poland on a steep final climb. Majka beat Spanish Movistar duo of Benat Intxausti and Ion Izagirre at the end of a rain-affected 190km stage from Zakopane to Strbske Pleso, in Slovakia.

Tour de Pologne 2014 stage-5

The day’s breakaway featured as many as 16 riders at times but after spending most of the day out front, the escapees were all rounded up with 5km to go.

Petr Vakoc (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) finished 26 seconds behind Majka but holds on to the overall leader’s yellow jersey. Majka now moves into second overall.

Tinkoff-Saxo Director Sportif, Tristan Hoffman said after the race: “Our boys did a fantastic job for Rafal throughout the whole day setting him up for the finale. The final slope wasn’t really that steep so the pace was high and rather big group of 25 riders were to sprint it out between them.”

“Rafal waited and waited until the perfect moment where he demonstrated that he has taken some of his good form from the Tour de France with him home to Poland.”

Today’s sixth stage will be a 174km race to Bukovina Tatrzanska. The seven-day stage race concludes with an individual time trial in Krakow on Saturday.

Stage 5: Zakopane > Strbske Pleso (Svk) - Stage Result

Thursday 7th August 2014

1. pl
MAJKA Rafał
Tinkoff-Saxo
04:30:38
2. es
INTXAUSTI Beñat
Movistar Team
-
3. es
IZAGIRRE Ion
Movistar Team
-

Andrea Guardini wins stage two of Tour of Denmark

Andrea Guardini (Astana) won the second stage of the Tour of Denmark with Gerald Ciolek (MTN-Qhubeka) taking second place and Matti Breschel (Tinkoff-Saxo) rounding out the podium on a rain-soaked stage.

stage - 2 of the Tour of Denmark 2014

Four riders built up a one-minute lead in the first 30km of the race but the peloton wanted to contest the first sprint prime and so the quartet was reeled in just before the sprint.

After the sprint three new riders would then try their luck to get away. Kenny De Ketele (Topsport Vlaanderen), Rolf Nyborg (Denmark) and Frederique Robert (Wanty Groupe Gobert) would force out a three-minute lead as the rain continued to fall on the peloton led by Tinkoff-Saxo. The escape was neutralised with 45km remaining as the rain finally seemed to give up.

A flurry of attacks ensued and while none were successful, they did help to thin out the bunch leading up to the final sprint won by Andrea Guardini (Astana).

Stage 2: Skive > Aarhus - Stage Result

Thursday 7th August 2014

1. it
GUARDINI Andrea
Astana Pro Team
00:00:00
2. de
CIOLEK Gerald
MTN - Qhubeka
-
3. dk
BRESCHEL Matti
Tinkoff-Saxo
-

Report adapted from a MTN-Qhubeka press release.

Tom Danielson wins Tour of Utah stage 4

Tom Danielson (Garmin-Sharp) has taken great strides towards defending his title at the Tour of Utah, winning stage 4 on the race’s first mountain-top finish at Powder Mountain this morning.

A series of breakaways formed early in the stage but with the peloton keeping those moves in check, it wasn’t until the second categorised climb of the day, over North Ogden Divide, that the day’s main selection was made. Alex Diniz (Funvic) was first over the top with an elite group of 24 riders in chase.

The lead group splintered on the steep final climb (10km at 10%), thanks to the hard work of Garmin-Sharp, and soon it was just Winner Ancona (Lampre-Merida) up the road solo, followed by his teammate Chris Horner, Tom Danielson and Cadel Evans (BMC).

Evans was soon dropped and Ancona was caught, leaving Horner and Danielson alone on the steep slopes. Last year’s winner Danielson attacked and powered away to victory on the steep climb, putting himself in the overall lead in the process. Ben Hermans (BMC) finished second, 56 seconds behind (having latched on to Horner on the climb), with Horner a further second behind. Those three riders now lead the overall standings.

Stage 4: Ogden > Powder Mountain - Stage Result

Thursday 7th August 2014

No results available.

Click here to read more at VeloNews.

Contador recovery moving quicker than rider and team have claimed?

by Shane Stokes

Although both Alberto Contador and his Tinkoff-Saxo team have played down the speed of his recovery, saying that participation in the Vuelta a España is impossible after his July 14 crash in the Tour de France, speculation about a return to competition this season has been fuelled by reports that the rider was already back training before the end of July.

Contador1

Ulrich Fluhme, CEO of the Gran Fondo New York, has told CyclingTips that both he and his wife Lidia saw Contador training on climbs on two separate occasions.

He said the first such instance was on Monday July 28 as Fluhme descended the Marzio climb from Marchirolo to Brusimpiano at Lago di Lugano in Italy.

“I saw a rider come up and immediately knew he was a pro. A second later I realised it was Contador who lives somewhere in Lugano, which is about 20 kilometres from there. He wore full Tinkoff kit and had a bandaged knee. I stopped and turned around but was already about 30 metres behind him at that moment. And just then he started to accelerate out of the saddle so I let it go immediately.

“Lidia was descending a little further back and saw me turn around as well as Contador get out of the saddle. When she came to me she said ‘What? Contador?’ We were laughing at my attempt to catch him when he was going hard.

Fluhme said that two days later he and his wife were descending the Campanna Bar climb, which he describes as a ‘long and hard’ ascent north of Lugano, and which would take a pro rider more than half an hour to scale.

“I saw a fit looking rider coming up in long-long (it was a cool day) just before Bidogno. From there, you can either climb Bar or continue up Val Colla. When we passed each other, I realised it was Contador again, this time riding in a blue/white Alberto Fundacion kit.”

On Thursday CyclingTips contacted representatives connected to Tinkoff Saxo and Specialized, plus Contador’s spokesman Vidarte. They were asked to comment on Fluhme’s claim, and whether an early return to training meant the Vuelta a España might be possible after all. However no responses have been received thus far.

Click here to read more at CyclingTips.

WADA: provisional suspension handed to Kreuziger doesn’t contravene anti-doping code

by Shane Stokes

As Tinkoff-Saxo team owner Oleg Tinkov continues to threaten legal action against the UCI over the provisional suspension handed to Roman Kreuziger over irregularities in his biological passport, the World Anti Doping Agency (WADA) has verified that it believes the UCI has not crossed any lines with its move.

CORVOS_00021144-220-e1365977911792

“The provisional suspension issued by the UCI was a decision compliant with the World Anti-Doping Code,” a WADA spokesman told CyclingTips on Thursday, two days after Kreuziger said that he would appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

“The Code does not prevent a provisional suspension in this case, nor does it make it a mandatory requirement.”

While the UCI doesn’t have a rule specifically addressing provisional suspensions over suspect biological passports, WADA’s statement appears to take some pressure off the governing body.

Click here to read more at CyclingTips.

Basso, Sagan (Jurag), Boasson-Hagen and others heading to Tinkoff-Saxo

La Gazzetta dello Sport is reporting several transfers for the 2015 cycling season and if you believe what Oleg Tinkoff says on Twitter (we’d caution against this), Peter Sagan’s brother Jurag has been signed to the team.


Peter Sagan has been rumoured to be heading to Tinkoff-Saxo for the 2015 season, but yesterday Oleg Tinkoff said on Twitter that this is not the case:


If true (no guarantees) this suggests that media reports stating Alonso’s cycling team project has stalled may be false and that it is picking up steam again.

La Gazzetta also reports that Ivan Basso, two-time Giro d’Italia winner, will be reunited with Bjarne Riis under Saxo-Tinkoff. Basso rode at Team CSC under Riis from 2004 to 2006 and was later suspended for his denied involvement with Operation Peurto.

The article also reports that Tinkoff-Saxo has signed Norwegian Edvald Boasson Hagen (Sky) and Croatian Robert Kiserlovski (Trek Factory Racing).

Read more at La Gazzetta dello Sport.

Tejay van Garderen, Tom Danielson and Rafal Majka lead startlist at USA Pro Challenge

Tejay van Garderen (BMC Racing) will return to defend his title in the fourth USA Pro Challenge, which will begin in his hometown of Aspen on August 18.

Van Garderen, who finished fifth this year in the Tour de France, has been on the podium in all three previous Pro Challenge tours in Colorado.

“I’m really looking forward to defending my race title in Colorado this year,” van Garderen said. “Because it starts in my hometown, it’s different and more relaxed. To race in front of my family and friends is always special. We are bringing a really motivated team and with a summit finish this year, it promises to be another hard race.”

Boulder’s Tom Danielson will be leading the Garmin-Sharp team roster. Danielson finished third last year.

“I’m super excited to be coming back to race the USA Pro Challenge with my Garmin-Sharp teammates,” Danielson said. “Personally, it’s the one event every year I really look forward to because of the huge and crazy crowds and the general vibe of the race. It’s like no other race. Plus, our team is headquartered in Denver, so we have extra motivation.”

Poland’s Rafal Majka, KOM classification winner of this year’s Tour de France, along with Australia’s Michael Rogers will be headlining Tinkoff-Saxo’s lineup.

Read more at the Denver Post. See the provisional startlist for the 2014 USA Pro Challenge here.

Wiggins confirmed for Sunday’s Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic

Winner of the 2012 Tour de France Bradley Wiggins (Sky) will return to the road after his Commonwealth Games track exploits having won a silver medal for England in the team pursuit in Glasgow.

Wiggins, who was controversially left off of Team Sky’s Tour de France team this year is a late addition to the Team Sky squad in the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic on Sunday.

“We are delighted to welcome Sir Bradley to Prudential RideLondon this weekend,” said the race director Mick Bennett in a press release. “He completes an already first-class lineup for the event.”

Also starting the race will be Australia’s Caleb Ewan who will be racing for the first time as a professional with Orica-GreenEdge.

See the provisional startlist for the 2014 RideLondon – Surrey Classic.

Froome preparing for Vuelta in California

Chris Froome has been training in California since his early exit from the Tour de France, with Levi Leiphimer posting an Instagram showing Froome training in Sonoma County, following Chris Horner’s build-up towards his own 2013 Vuelta win:

If you haven’t seen it already, NBC did an interview with Chris Froome last week which talks about his recovery and build-up towards the Vuelta a Espana in California:

See the provisional startlist for the 2014 Vuelta a Espana.

Vuelta a Espana’s third stage to depart from aircraft carrier

The third stage of the Vuelta a Espana 2014 is set to depart from Spain’s one and only aircraft carrier, the Juan Carlos I, from the port of Cadiz on August 25th.

juan-carlos-i

This year’s Vuelta has a line-up that’s shaping up to be one of the best in years with the likes of Froome, Quintana, Horner, Evans, Cavendish, Sagan amongst riders expected to start the race.

And if all this doesn’t get you excited, have a look at the promo for this year’s race:

Cancellara: “I want that world title before I retire”

Fabian Cancellara (Trek) already has four world time trial championship titles to his name (not to mention his junior titles) but the Swiss powerhouse has told the Belgian press that he really wants a road race world championship before he retires.

“It’s clear that before I stop racing, I want that world title,” Cancellara told Belgian newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws. “But it really does not matter to me whether it is this year [in Ponferrada, Spain] or next year [in Richmond, USA]

“Perhaps I will be one of the many favourites in September, but after all these years as a pro, I have learned one thing: sport is anything but predictable.”

While not as familiar with this year’s world championships circuit as some of the Spanish riders, say — the Spanish national championships was held on the same circuit this year — Cancellara has been studying the route.

“I haven’t explored the circuit, but I know the roads ” he added. “I have already ridden them. And I’ve watched a lot of videos. Several of our team have been there before. I have a lot of information. Now I just need to follow my plan.”

Click here to read more at sporza.be.

30km/h is ‘safest’ for cyclists and drivers: cycling researcher

Adelaide University cycling researcher Dr Jennifer Bonham has called for speed cuts on residential roads to improve cyclist safety. Dr Bonham heads up a cycling safety study which includes looking at the success of cycling safety programs around the world.

“In places like the Netherlands you can’t do more than 30km/h in residential areas because they regard this as the safest speed,” she said, “and they have been doing this for 40 years. I think we should try 40km/h and if at some future point — especially as we get more intense (housing) development in suburban areas — we may want to travel at no more than 30km/h.”

Several cycling and road safety organisations back Dr Bonham’s suggestions, including Bike SA, the Centre for Automotive Safety Research and the RAA.

Click here for the full article at the Adelaide Advertiser. Probably best to avoid the comments though.

$12m plan for St Kilda Rd will extend bike lanes the length of the boulevard

Meanwhile the Napthine Government in Victoria is considering a $12 million plan to install separated bike lanes for the entire length of St. Kilda Road.

903277-89dcffd4-1d2b-11e4-bf72-fc0acc2f37ad

Under the proposal, being put forward by the City of Port Phillip, a two-metre-wide Copenhagen-style bike lane would be built in the space currently used for parking, with parking move into the vehicle lanes which would become unavailable during peak times.

Click here to read more at the Herald Sun.

Simon Gerrans – Victorian Interschool Cycling Series

Earlier this week we shared with you the news about the Victorian Interschool Cycling Series, a series of seven races for high school cyclists that will run in term 4 this year and term 1 next year. Cycling Victoria has just released a video showing Simon Gerrans’ support for the project.

Click here to read more about VICS.

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 in Iceland by Jered Gruber.