Kiel Reijnen wins stage 1 of the USA Pro Challenge

Kiel Reijnen (UnitedHealthcare) has won the opening stage of the 2014 USA Pro Challenge in Colorado, sprinting to victory at the end of the 98km stage from a small lead group.


An eight-rider breakaway formed within the first 15km: Danny Summerhill (UHC), Ben Jacques-Maynes and Matt Cooke (Jamis), Jonathan Freter and Luis Lemus (Jelly Belly), Gregory Daniel (Bissell), Lachlan Norris (Drapac) and Josh Berry (SmartStop). The leaders weren’t able to get more than 1:45 ahead of the peloton on the short stage, with Cannondale working on the front of the bunch for Elia Viviani.

Berry was dropped from the breakaway before Norris took maximum points on each of the first two KOM sprints. The gap continued to come down and was down to roughly 30 seconds with 25km to go.

With 23km to go Ben Jaques-Maynes attacked from the break, signalling the beginning of the end for the remainder of his companions. Jens Voigt (Trek), in his final race as a professional, bridged across to Jaques-Maynes before the pair was caught coming into the final 5km.

Javier Megias (Novo Nordisk) attacked with 4km left to race, being joined by Kiel Reijnen (UnitedHealthcare) and Alex Howes (Garmin-Sharp) a short time later. Despite the best efforts of the peloton, the small lead group was able to stay away, with Reijnen winning the stage ahead of Howes.

The race continues tomorrow with a 169km stage from Aspen to Mt. Crested Butte.

Stage 1: Aspen > Aspen - Stage Result

Monday 18th August 2014

1. us
REIJNEN Kiel
UnitedHealthcare
00:00:00
2. us
HOWES Alex
Garmin Sharp
-
3. be
HERMANS Ben
BMC Racing Team
-

Rogers to remain with Tinkoff Saxo until end of 2016

by Shane Stokes

Having had what was arguably the best season of his career, Michael Rogers has been given a new two year deal by his Tinkoff Saxo team and will continue in the colours of the squad until at least the end of 2016.

Giro d'Italia 2014, tappa 20 Maniago - Zoncolan

Rogers took two stages in the Giro d’Italia and also landed his first-ever win in the Tour de France. Performances such as those plus his work for Alberto Contador and others have earned him another contract.

“I’m very excited about extending,” the 34 year old Australian said in a team announcement. “For the last two seasons and especially in 2014, I’ve felt that we’ve been on the verge of something very special as a team – I most definitely saw that during the Tour.

“I’ve always been a strong advocate of teamwork, and I think that’s why I fit well into this team. We’re able to perform with a big mix of riders and I enjoy being able to assist some of the younger guys with their development.”

Rogers will continue to back Contador and will take his own opportunities when they arise. As he has shown this year, he is able to take stages in the biggest races and, according to team manager Bjarne Riis, he has moved to a new level.

“We’re all very pleased that Michael will stay with the team and it’s quite obvious why. It has been an amazing comeback and he has played an important role in raising the overall level of the team,” said the Dane. “In fact, I don’t think we’ve ever seen him stronger than he is now. He’ll definitely be important for us in the seasons to come.”

Click here to read more at CyclingTips.

No Cavendish for Vuelta as Omega Pharma-Quickstep names team

by Shane Stokes

Although Mark Cavendish recently returned to racing after his shoulder injury sustained at the Tour de France, the Briton’s Omega Pharma-QuickStep team has decided that he will have an alternative race programme to the Vuelta a España.

Tour de France 2013 - Stage 5 - 228.5KM - Cagnes-Sur-Mer to Marseille

The Belgian squad announced the lineup for the latter race on Monday, with that squad being oriented around Giro d’Italia runner-up Rigoberto Uran. He will be joined by former world champion Tom Boonen, who missed the Tour and will use the Spanish race as part of his preparation for Ponferrada 2014, multiple world TT champion Tony Martin, Wout Poels, Gianluca Brambilla, Pieter Serry, Martin Velits, Nikolas Maes and first-time Grand Tour rider Carlos Verona.

It had been thought by some that Cavendish might ride the race but instead the team has laid out an alternative schedule for him. He will do the Tour du Poitou Charentes, running from August 26 to 29, then the Tour of Britain. The latter race starts September 7 and lasts until September 14.

Click here to read more at CyclingTips.

Pinot commits to two more years with FDJ.fr

by Shane Stokes

Tour de France podium finisher Thibaut Pinot has put an end to speculation surrounding his destination for next season, with the Frenchman reportedly inking an extension to his current contract with FDJ.fr.

A kid screaming after Pinot, his new hero

French newspaper l’Equipe has said that the team has confirmed the rider’s new deal, meaning he will compete with the squad until at least 2016.

Pinot is 24 years of age and expected to keep improving for several more years. While it is too soon to say he is a future winner of the Tour, he is certainly one of the brightest French talents and FDJ.fr’s ability to hold onto him could pay off greatly in the years ahead.

Two year ban confirmed for Tiernan Locke as rider decides not to appeal

by Shane Stokes

Former Endura Racing and Team Sky rider Jonathan Tiernan-Locke has had his two year suspension for doping confirmed by UK Anti-Doping (UKAD), with the rider electing not to appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

Tour of Algarve cycling 2013 stage-1

Tiernan-Locke made a strong improvement in results in 2012, winning the Tour du Haut Var, the Tour of the Mediterranean and the Tour of Britain.

He had been subjected to three urine tests during the Tour of Britain but, according to UKAD, none of these were analysed for traces of EPO. Over the next five months four further samples were taken to build up his longitudinal profile for the biological passport. These set a baseline and made it clear that his September 22 reading was abnormal.

As part of his defence, Tiernan-Locke claimed that a long drinking binge on September 20 was responsible for the blood fluctuations. He claimed that he and his girlfriend went out to celebrate the signing of a two year contract with Team Sky and that over the course of several hours, he consumed vast quantities of alcohol.

An expert commissioned by Tiernan-Locke to help him with his defence said that the rider consumed an estimated 33 units of alcohol, and that this both dehydrated the rider and also caused the level of his reticulocytes, or immature red blood cells, to plummet.

However in a detailed judgement, UKAD explained why it didn’t believe the explanation.

Click here to read the full story at CyclingTips.

Voigt confirms career will end Sunday

by Shane Stokes

Fan favourite Jens Voigt has reiterated his intention to bring his career to a close, saying that the USA Pro Challenge will be his final race and, therefore, he will hang up his wheels after Sunday’s final stage to Denver.

Untitled-1

“Everything has to come to an end,” the 42 year old said. “I am a big fan of the idea that you are the master of your destiny. I like to decide when I want to go. I could have squeezed out one more year and then have the teams go, ‘well, Jens, we really like you but … we don’t need you anymore’.

“I don’t need that. I want to stop in good condition and put on a show one more time, and then finish feeling good and strong, knowing that I squeezed every little bit of energy out of me.”

The East German has been racing since he was ten years of age. He turned pro in 1997 at 25 years of age; prior to that he visited the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. Riding the USA Pro Challenge as his final competitive event completes a circle, and he said it was logical to bring things to an end there.

Click here to read the full story at Cyclingnews

Danielson commits to supporting team-mates in Garmin-Sharp bid to take Tour of Alberta

by Shane Stokes

Twelve months after the team won the Tour of Alberta with Rohan Dennis, Tom Danielson has confirmed that Garmin Sharp is gunning for overall victory again in the Canadian race and that he will support his team-mates in trying to take the honours.

The Larry H.Miller Tour of Utah 2014 (2.1) stage- 7

Danielson was the recent winner of the Tour of Utah and was backed by the other riders on the team then. He’s willing to turn things around and sacrifice himself in the event.

“Our Garmin-Sharp team is loaded with talent and we’re looking forward to defending our title from last year,” said Danielson. “The Tour of Alberta fits a couple of our guys real nice like Ramunas and Slagter. I look forward to supporting those guys.

“Both are super talented. I’ve heard great things about Alberta, the race, and the fans up there, so, I’m pretty pumped.”

Dennis will not be riding the event. He completed a rare mid-season transfer to the BMC Racing Team and is on its roster for the Vuelta a España, which begins on Saturday.

Click here to read the full story at Cyclingnews

Froome heads strong Sky selection for Vuelta a España

by Shane Stokes

Unable to fight for a second overall win in the Tour de France due to the broken wrist and hand he suffered at this year’s race, Chris Froome will instead lead a strong Sky lineup in the Vuelta a España, which begins Saturday in Jerez de la Frontera.

Tour de France 2013 stage-15

The British rider has trained hard in advance of the race and is determined to take the second Grand Tour victory of his career. He will be up against an elite field which includes other three week winners such as Alberto Contador (Tinkoff Saxo), Nairo Quintana, Alejandro Valverde (both Movistar), Cadel Evans (BMC Racing Team) and defending champion Chris Horner (Lampre Merida), but feels up to the task.

“This is exactly the sort of challenge I need after the disappointment of withdrawing from the Tour de France,” he said. “You can’t dwell on disappointment, you have to move on quickly to next thing and the Vuelta has become the perfect race for me to focus on.

“I’ve always really enjoyed racing at the Vuelta. It’s a tough race but a great opportunity for the whole team. I know that the level of competition will be incredibly high this year, but we’ve got a strong line-up so we hope to be as competitive as possible.”

Froome will be joined by fellow Britons Peter Kennaugh and Luke Rowe, as well as Dario Cataldo, Philip Deignan, Vasil Kiryienka, Christian Knees, Mikel Nieve and Kanstantsin Siutsou. The 2012 Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins will not take part, and is expected instead to defend his title in the Tour of Britain.

Click here to read the full story at Team Sky’s site.

The ongoing saga of the Paul Kimmage defence fund: Hue to try to get arrest warrant for Brown

by Shane Stokes

Fifteen months after the journalist Paul Kimmage received notification that the fund set up to help him fight former UCI presidents Hein Verbruggen and Pat McQuaid in court had gone missing, the clock continues to tick for Aaron Brown, the individual who was long known by his Twitter persona @UCI_Overlord.

In May 2013 it emerged that Brown had taken control of the fund and was refusing to hand it over to either Kimmage or his former Ciclismas business partner, Lesli Cohen. Repeated requests for an accounting to prove the fund still existed were ignored and a class action suit was initiated by Bill Hue last September.

In the same month the court ordered the fund frozen and commanded Brown and his attorney to prove an accounting and statement of whereabouts of the fund by February 25th. This was not complied with; in addition to that, Brown disobeyed court orders and issued refunds to at least two donors.

On July 9th he was found in contempt of court. In that initial ruling, the judge handling the case, David Ricciardone, said that the court had concluded, “that there is clear and convincing evidence that the defendant violated a clear and unequivocal order to provide information regarding the whereabouts of the funds and not to make disbursements.”

The saga shows no signs of ending anytime soon.

Catch up on the full story at CyclingTips here.

Cyclists exposed to five times less air pollution than those in cars

A collaboration between Kings College London, the Camden Council and the Healthy Air Campaign appears to show that those who travel by car are exposed to pollution levels five times those who cycle, and 3.5 times those who walk.

Air pollution detectors were fitted to one person driving a car, one on a bus, one on foot and one on a bike, all in London.

Someone travelling in their car will be subjected to a greater volume of pollution because exhaust from other vehicles enter the car and isn’t able to disperse. Cyclists, on the other hand, don’t have the fumes trapped in close proximity to them.

Dr Ben Barratt, lecturer in air quality science at Kings College London, said: “By walking and cycling you’ll not only create less air pollution yourself but you can reduce your exposure to air pollution. You can take a step further by taking quieter routes away from this traffic.”

“But avoiding air pollution is not a sustainable option. This is a very important point. We need to take more action by government to reduce the amount of air pollution in cities.”

Click through to The Guardian to see a video with more information. Click here to read more at Cycling Weekly.

Closed roads for Tour de France stage improved air quality in Huddersfield, UK

And speaking of air quality, it wasn’t just the huge crowds to the area that benefited Huddersfield when the Tour de France rolled through town. With many local roads closed to car traffic on July 6, routine air monitoring in nearby Kirkless showed a significant decrease in the amount of air pollution.

Clr Steve Hall, Kirklees Cabinet member for Environmental Health, said: “The unusual situation created by the visit of the Tour de France highlights how our car use affects pollution levels and shows the benefits of cycling and walking.

“I hope that one of the legacies of the Tour de France is to increase the number of journeys, particularly those done by commuters, completed by cycling and walking which will benefit people by increasing fitness levels through exercise but also improving the quality of the air we breathe.”

Click here to read more at The Huddersfield Daily Examiner.

A journey around Copenhagen’s latest bicycle innovations

This video shows just some of the many reasons why Copenhagen is revered as one of the most (if not the most) cycling friendly cities in the world.

Melburn Roobaix – A Sunday in Hell

Here’s a video shot by the CycleAtlas guys of the most recent edition of Melburn-Roobaix. As you can see, the weather was less than ideal for riding on cobblestone back-alleys, but judging by the happy faces it was still a great day out.

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 Gruber in the Ardennes region of Belgium.