Chris Horner, pictured at the 2014 Tour of Utah, will be racing with a U.S. team in 2015. Photo: Casey B. Gibson | www.cbgphoto.com
American Chris Horner will ride professionally in 2015, and the 43-year-old is poised to return to a U.S. team next season.
Baden Cooke, agent for the 2013 Vuelta a España champion, confirmed with VeloNews on Sunday that an announcement is imminent.
“Chris has signed with a U.S. team,” Cooke wrote to VeloNews. “It will be announced very soon.”
Earlier this month, Lampre-Merida confirmed it would not extend Horner’s contract after one season with the Italian team. The rumor mill has since gone into overdrive about where Horner could land for next season.
Cooke’s confirmation Sunday is the most specific hint yet about where cycling’s oldest grand tour winner will race next season.
So where could Horner land? Cooke would not reveal which team the veteran American is poised to join, or at which level.
It appears there are more closed doors than open doors. Cannondale-Garmin confirmed its 2015 roster last week, as did Professional Continental team United Healthcare, which signed Janez Brajkovic from Astana to bolster its ambitions to secure its first grand tour invitation next season.
Novo Nordisk, the other U.S. Pro Continental team in 2014, introduced a policy in 2013 of signing only riders who are diabetic.
It seems unlikely Horner would race at a small, continental U.S. team simply to continue his long career. His six-figure salary with Lampre in 2014 was likely on par with the entire budget of many U.S. continental squads. And it seems a stretch for a rider who beat Vincenzo Nibali (Astana), to become the first American to win the Vuelta little more than one year ago, would join a small team with a limited domestic racing calendar.
U.S. Continental squads, such as Jelly Belly, have been suggested, which the squad quickly denied, with team manager Danny Van Haute telling VeloNews, “That’s a good rumor. It’s all it is. The problem is, I don’t have the money … I’m sure Chris doesn’t want to work for just beans.”
The other two major U.S. teams at the World Tour-level — BMC Racing and Trek Factory Racing — certainly would have room on their respective rosters for a rider with Horner’s credentials, if they wanted him.
BMC Racing is firmly backing Tejay van Garderen as its GC man for present and future, but with a few key retirements, including Thor Hushovd and Cadel Evans, who will conclude his career at the Santos Tour Down Under in January, BMC might have some room on its roster.
Money is certainly not an issue for team owner Andy Rihs, and with the departure of Samuel Sánchez, as reported by CyclingTips last week, the BMC team could use a rider with Horner’s experience to carry team colors in such races as the Giro d’Italia and Vuelta.
Trek Factory Racing could be another option in what will be an important transition year for the U.S.-registered team. Though Horner left the team over money at the end of 2013, both parties are already familiar with one another. And with the retirement of Andy Schleck, and the arrival of Bauke Mollema (ex-Belkin) as a possible new GC candidate, the team could use some established firepower in the major races as the Dutchman develops into a leader.
Both of those teams, however, have been opaque about their interest in Horner. The answer, it seems, is imminent.
No matter where he lands, Horner looks to keep racing in 2015. Last year, Horner joined Lampre-Merida quite late in the game, signing in January, so don’t be surprised if he comes up big yet again.
The Koksijde dunes are always a brutal challenge. Those who can ride the sand often do well, but everyone ends up running at some point, including U.S. national champion Jeremy Powers (foreground). Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com
The mayhem on lap one made for a lot of running. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com
Belgian champion Sanne Cant (Enertherm-BKCP) rode away from the field, thriving in the sand. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com
It was a big effort for Cant in Koksijde, as she held off the chasers by a mere six seconds at the end. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com
Cant was impossible to beat at Koksijde, finishing well clear of the closest challengers. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com
Sabrina Stultiens (Rabo-Liv) rode to second place in the second World Cup of the 2014-15 season. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com
American Katie Compton (Trek Factory Racing) suffered from asthma and was unable to defend her World Cup lead, finishing 10th. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com
Sophie De Boer (Kalas-NNOF) was out-sprinted by Stultiens in the end and had to settle for third place. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com
American Jeremy Powers (Rapha-Focus) had a fair showing at Koksijde, riding in one of the main chase groups early, but fading to 17th at the finish. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com
The future is now. Teenage star Mathieu van der Poel (BKCP-Powerplus) again landed on the podium, after riding in the lead for the first half of the race. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com
Wout Van Aert (Vastgoedservice-Golden Palace Cycling Team) was the early aggressor, along with van der Poel. His approach paid off. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com
Belgian champion and former world champion Sven Nys suffered the rare 'un jour sans,' bobbling in several sand sections and eventually finishing 15th. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com
Van Aert was flawless and fearless on the dunes, riding away to a solo victory. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com
Van Aert, who is only 20, celebrated his first elite World Cup win in Koksijde. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com
Why is Van Aert hopping off his bike at the finish? It was a tribute to his manager Niels Albert's victory salute when he won Koksijde, which was, in turn a tribute to Paul Herygers. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com
No one else in the photo: Pauwels soled to victory after van der Haar slipped in the woods on the final lap. Photo by Tim de Waele.
Belgian Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Napoleon Games) won the Superprestige Cyclocross race at Spa-Francorchamps Sunday, ahead of Lars van der Haar (Giant-Shimano) and Tom Meeusen (Telenet-Fidea).
After van der Haar slipped in the woods on the final lap, Pauwels soloed to the finish to win the fifth round of the Superprestige series, which included a new venue at the famous Spa-Francorchamps Formula One car circuit in the Wallonia region of southern Belgium.
The inaugural Spa-Francorchamps event, also called the Grand Prix de la Région Wallonne, replaced the former GP Wallone event held in Dottignies. The new course featured several steep climbs, as well as rutted mud sections that saw some riders choosing to run rather than ride the bumps.
The battle for the win was contested by Pauwels, who finished second to Wout van Aert on Saturday at the Koksijde World Cup, and van der Haar, the Dutch national champion, who sat out the Koksijde World Cup on Saturday due to illness.
Van der Haar and Pauwels led by 30 seconds with three laps remaining. Behind, a chase group came together containing Mathieu Van der Poel (BKCP-Powerplus), Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb-Napoleon Games), Jens Adams (Vastgoedservice-Golden Palace), Meeusen, Corné Van Kessel (Telenet-Fidea), and Sven Nys (Crelan-AA Drink).
However, on the final lap, van der Haar slipped in the woods, opening the door for Pauwels to solo away. Van der Haar was quickly back on his bike, but could not close the gap so late in the race.
Meeusen, who had punctured early and was forced to run his bike to the pits, could only wonder what might have been, finishing third, while Van der Poel rode to fourth.
Adams took fifth, with Vantournout sixth, van Kessel seventh, and Nys a distant eighth.
Pauwels now leads the Superprestige series, with 63 points, tied with van der Haar (but ahead based on participations), with van der Poel third, at 62 points. Three events remain, with the final event held February 14 in Middelkerke.
Jamie Driscoll (Raleigh-Clement) attacked out of the lead group in Saturday's CXLA race and rode alone to win. Photo: Philip Beckman | PB Creative
Katerina Nash (Luna Pro Team) and Jamie Driscoll (Raleigh-Clement) each claimed solo victories at the first day of CXLA in Los Angeles, the only UCI-level cyclocross weekend in California this season.
Pro ‘cross action kicked off Saturday at the Greek Theater in Griffith Park, a new venue for CXLA. Classic California blue skies and dry, short-sleeve conditions greeted the racers as they took on a 2.5km course featuring considerable climbing and enough technical trickiness to keep even the most savvy bike handlers on their toes.
Nash wasted little time jumping to the front of the 20-rider UCI elite women’s field and was never caught in the 45-minute race. At the finish, the Czech Olympian had more than a minute lead over Amanda Miller (Boulder Cycle Sport-YogaGlo), who had gapped Courtenay McFadden (GE Capital-American Classic). Nicole Duke (Marin Bikes-Spy) and Emily Kachorek (Squid) rounded out the podium in fourth and fifth, respectively.
Driscoll escaped a lead group of six that formed at the front of the UCI elite men’s race around the halfway point of that hour-long event. Two laps later he was able to climb away to a solo lead on the course’s longest, hardest ascent. Adam Craig (Giant Factory) and Ben Berden (Raleigh-Clement) got the better of Shawn Milne (Boulder Cycle Sport-YogaGlo) to form the final chase group. Craig dropped Berden on the final lap, but both were well behind Driscoll, who cruised in with a 20-second cushion. Milne held on for fourth, with Cody Kaiser (LangeTwins/Specialized) completing the top five.
Saturday at CXLA also included a UCI-categorized Junior 17-18 event, won by Liam Dunn (Clif Bar Development CX Team). Brannan Fix was runner-up, followed by Eric Brunner.
Wout Van Aert rode, ran, and pushed his bike to victory at the Koksijde World Cup to claim a solo victory. Photo: Dan Seaton | VeloNews.com
Wout Van Aert (Vastgoedservice-Golden Palace Cycling Team) rode to a solo win at the UCI Cyclocross World Cup Koksijde on Saturday.
The Belgian rode ahead of Mathieu van der Poel (BKCP-Powerplus) about halfway through the race, and he never looked back — or slowed down. Van Aert finished the race alone, crossing the line 42 seconds faster than Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Napoleon Games) and 53 ticks ahead of van der Poel.
“It was pretty amazing to cross the finish line alone, with a big gap in front of the others,” said Van Aert. “I never thought that before the race I could finish the race that way, but it’s incredible to win the race.”
When Van Aert and van der Poel were at the front, a large group battled for third place on the sandy course. As the race wore on, however, the field began to stretch out.
Van der Poel faded, which allowed Pauwels to surge past him with a handful of laps remaining. The chase was on from there, but Pauwels, who hails from Belgium, was unable to reach Van Aert.
With riders still vying for third behind him, Pauwels kept up his chase and was able to hold off the charging racers to grab second.
“I didn’t know the guys were gone,” Pauwels said referring to Van Aert and Van der Poel. “I suddenly found out Van Aert was leading by 35 seconds!
“The [World Cup leader's] jersey was the most important today. It’s good Mathieu was in between me and the rest. … Once I attacked, I also didn’t know Mathieu was there. I had a pretty good lap, but I think Wout was much stronger”
Van Aert dedicated his win to Belgian racer Niels Albert, who retired abruptly in May with a heart condition. Albert is now the sport director for Van Aert’s Vastgoedservice-Golden Palace Cycling Team.
“It’s a really special race for my team leader Niels Albert,” Van Aert said. “Before the race he asked me to do something special, and this victory is for him.
“He always gives me advice, so that’s not a big difference. But today he has the experience in this race on how to win it. He won it at the worlds and also last year. So he knows how to control the race when you’re alone in the front. And that’s the most difficult part of the race, you have a gap, but you have to hold on that gap. And you can only do that if you find the right rhythm, and that worked out perfectly.”
The course is known for its very difficult sandy sections. With huge ruts from the other races happening at Koksijde, only a few riders could ride the soft sand, while many ran. If there wasn’t anyone around them, they had a decent chance of making it. But riders in groups were forced to dismount and either shoulder their bike or push it.
Van Aert, the reigning under-23 world champion, won the Koppenbergcross round of the Bpost Bank Trofee series in early November.
“I’m still very young, and I can win races like this right now, and I hope I can win more races in the future,” Van Aert said. “Now it’s too soon after the race to make big statements, but this is a great start of my career with two big victories [in Koksijde and on the Koppenberg] in one month, and I hope the rest of the season I can hold on this kind of shape.”
Earlier on Saturday, another young rider, 16-year-old American Gage Hecht won the junior race in Koksijde. He finished ahead of two Belgians, Alessio Dhoore and Stefano Museeuw.
Dan Seaton contributed to this report.
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Belgian and European champion Sanne Cant claimed a World Cup win on the dunes of Koksijde. Photo: Dan Seaton | VeloNews.com
Sanne Cant (Enertherm-BKCP) rode to victory in the women’s race at the UCI Cyclocross World Cup stop in Koksijde on Saturday.
The Belgian finished ahead of Dutch riders Sabrina Stultiens and Sophie de Boer (Kalas-NNOF), who placed second and third at six seconds back in the Belgian race. Koksijde is the second stop of six on the Cyclocross World Cup.
“I’m in really good shape I think and today I think I was not the best of the three, but I had a good plan in my head,” Cant said. “And if you are in good shape, it all goes well.”
The difficult course had several sandy sections, which slowed down the racing and saw several riders either crashing or quickly dismounting to carry/push their bikes through the soft, thick stuff.
“The sand was really difficult. I was in front all the time, but it was not easy to get a gap. But the last lap I did it,” Cant said. “The sand, I really ride good in the sand, but it’s very hard, because it’s dry and there are a lot of sand sections.”
American Katie Compton had an asthma attack and suffered from allergies during the race and finished 10th.
“I just had an asthma attack and allergies,” Compton said. “I don’t know, I was just struggling with allergies even yesterday pre-riding, and just today going hard like that. And then I’m coming back from being sick, so I don’t have the fitness, and the sand, the fitness, the asthma attack, a little bit of everything, I just couldn’t go fast today.
“It was hard, it was a really hard day and just, on a sand course like this, you just can’t — there’s no hiding. You have a bad day and it’s not like you can sit on someone’s wheel and recover. So yeah, I just suffered and did the best I could and wasn’t quite fast enough.”
Dan Seaton contributed to this report.
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Moab BLM officials have confirmed that electric-assist mountain bikes will be treated as motorized vehicles, and therefore not allowed on mountain bike singletrack in Moab. Photo: Daniel Dunn | VeloNews.com
MTBR.com reports that the Moab field office of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has posted updated guidelines to their website putting electric-powered bicycles in the same category as gas-powered vehicles, effectively banning them from numerous trails in and around the Utah mountain bike mecca.
While motor-assisted bicycles are now not allowed on mountain bike trails, they are permitted on any motorized route open to motorcycles and off-road vehicles. This includes portions of classic trails like Porcupine Rim, where e-bikes are permitted on the “Jeep road” sections, but not the singletrack.
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Janvier Hadi (Louis Garneau) of Rwanda rode in the break on stage 4 of Tour of Alberta, and would take the most aggressive jersey that day. Photo: Casey B. Gibson | www.cbgphoto.com (File).
KIGALI, Rwanda (AFP) — Three years ago, Janvier Hadi pedaled a singlespeed bicycle taxi. This week, he won the prologue of the Tour of Rwanda, a success mirroring the growth of cycling in his country.
Born into a family of modest farmers, the 23-year-old took up the sport seriously after taking part in a race in the south Rwandan town of Butare.
“I heard there was a race for a singlespeed bike. … It was like a test, and I won; I got first place,” he told AFP.
“At first I thought that because I was young I didn’t have the strength like some of the others … but when I beat them, I thought finally, I can do this cycling,” he said smiling, and proudly wearing his winner’s yellow jersey after his win in the capital Kigali.
Cycling in Rwanda, as in the rest of Africa, is growing as a sport.
“We started with five riders and five-speed cycles from the 1980s, but most of the gears were not working, they were wrecks,” said Jonathan Boyer, the first American to have raced the Tour de France in 1981, and who in 2006 became the first coach of Team Rwanda.
Cycling in Rwanda “grows gradually,” said Boyer, explaining that like Hadi, many racers are former bicycle taxi drivers, who build strong muscles pedaling up Rwanda’s rolling hills, transporting people and goods. The Rwanda Cycling Federation has around 100 members.One of Africa’s toughest races
“Cycling in Rwanda is still very young,” said federation president Aimable Bayingana. “We have not really a long history of cycling, we are building the sport, evolving at the same time as the Tour of Rwanda.”
In June, the country opened a training center in the northern town of Musanze with modern equipment, which is hoped to become a regional training center for African cycling. The Tour of Rwanda is gradually gaining a place as a key race on the continent.
Experts say the tour of Rwanda — dubbed the land of “a thousand hills” — is one of the toughest races in Africa.
Riders on the eight-day tour, which finishes Sunday, battle over 934 kilometers (580 miles) and climb some 19,500 meters (64,000 feet) with peaks rising to 2,500 meters (8,200 feet) high. Cyclists race up and down through coffee, tea, and banana plantations.
“This is a country where the hills are really tough,” said Cameroonian racer Damien Tekou. “But we came to win.”
Organizers estimate over two million spectators will see the race, nearly a fifth of Rwanda’s 11 million people.
The race’s reputation is growing, with 14 teams taking part this year, with cyclists from across the continent — including Algeria, Burundi, Morocco, Eritrea, Ethiopia — as well as from Europe too, from France, Germany, and Switzerland.
“When we compete with Europeans here it means that we Africans are developing,” added Tekou, adding his dream was the continent would soon rise up the ranks on a wider international stage.Changing image of Rwanda
Yves Beau from the team Bike Aid — which includes Eritrean cyclist Mekseb Debesay, who is in the running to win the UCI’s Africa tour ranking — says the sport is becoming more organized.
There are increasing number of competitions held each year across the continent, he notes.
But while, for now, African cyclists are sometimes hampered by a lack of often expensive kit and the best bicycles, he believes things will improve in the future.
“I think they really have the qualities to make good cyclists,” Beau said.
Boyer points not only to Rwanda, but to Ethiopia and Eritrea, which he said have a large pool of talent, although tapping that will require serious training and investment.
For Rwanda, it offers more than the sporting race alone.
Hadi says it provides a different image of Rwanda abroad than just the memories of the 1994 genocide when an estimated 800,000 people were killed in just 100 days.
“We must move forward, to change the image of the country, so that people think not just of genocide but say, ‘Rwanda has good cyclists,’” he said.
“Like in Kenya, people talk about their marathon runners, so in Rwanda we in Rwanda we have strong riders.”
Erica Zaveta solos in for the win on day one of the 2014 Gateway Cross Cup. Photo: Matt James
Editor’s note: This story was originally published on the Raleigh bicycles website.
Dan Dombroski held a stacked resume in his hands. It listed collegiate gold medals in mountain biking and cyclocross, solid results in road races, and a history of international-caliber racing. The name on this resume might not be familiar to all cycling fans, but Erica Zaveta has steadily been working her way to the top of the sport.
The Erwinna, Pennsylvania native had applied for the Amy D. Foundation’s first racing scholarship, a program intended to help promising young female riders progress to the top of the sport. Dombroski established the foundation days after his 26-year-old sister, Amy, was killed on a training ride in Belgium in October 2013.
Zaveta was selected from about 34 applicants based on her racing potential and ability to represent Amy Dombroski’s spirit and the Foundation. Wearing a blue and orange Amy D. Racing skinsuit in her first race of the season at CrossVegas, the biggest U.S. ‘cross race, she finished an impressive ninth against the strongest women in the country.
Now 25, Zaveta began her competitive career 10 years ago on the road. She tried cyclocross for fun before she turned 18 and won a junior state championship. At Lees-McRae College in North Carolina, and later at Brevard College, she blossomed in collegiate cycling.
“Collegiate for me was really, really huge,” said Zaveta. “It was an opportunity to race everything … mountain bike, even track for one season. I jumped in as many ‘cross races as I could.”
While at Lees-McRae in 2011, Zaveta’s teammates and friends Carla Swart and Megan Baab were hit and killed by vehicles in separate training accidents. “I guess one of the biggest connections I feel with the Dombroski family is that feeling and how long [grieving] takes,” Zaveta said.
Zaveta met Amy Dombroski in Europe during a mountain bike World Cup in 2012. New to international racing and living in a foreign country, Zaveta was struggling. Dombroski provided the medicine she needed: a friendly face, and an offer to help with questions and team opportunities.
Many aspects of cyclocross appeal to Zaveta — the 40-minute race intensity, opportunities to improve in every lap, and an individual pace combined with head-to-head racing. The friendly, fun atmosphere hooked her right away.
“When you get too serious about it, you realize you’re running around in a field with a bicycle — it gives you a good perspective,” Zaveta said.
Racing alongside the Raleigh-Clement team, Zaveta has hit personal best after personal best. First came a top-five result in mid-October. Two weeks later, she won her first UCI race at Gateway Cross Cup in St. Louis, Missouri.
When this season’s more intense racing schedule required different training, Mani and Jamey Driscoll, supplied advice.
“That for me is really a confidence booster, knowing what they’re doing and how I can incorporate it,” said Zaveta of the Raleigh-Clement riders. “Ben [Berden] has been helpful in a lot of different ways, encouraging me … They’ve really been awesome.”
Mani, who took part in the scholarship selection process, shares her expertise in technical skills and the tactical elements of racing, like when to wait, or when to attack.
“She’s a great girl, really nice and humble and willing to learn, so it is really cool to be around her,” Mani said, speaking about Zaveta earlier in the fall. “I think she is going to have a great season. It’s going to be good mojo for everyone [on the team]. I’m really happy about what they did in memory of Amy. I think it’s a great program that will help Erica get a step higher.”
As the season has progressed, Zaveta has noticed her improvement throughout the year, yet remains willing to grow into her career.
“When I won collegiate mountain bike nationals for division one, that was really cool,” Zaveta said. “It meant a lot to me, but right now I just feel like a totally different athlete. And it doesn’t feel temporary. … I definitely would say it’s my best season racing bikes so far.”
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Though Trek does not have a 29+ bike in its lineup, yet, Bontrager brought the 3"-wide Chupacabra to market, and if you're lucky enough to own an RS-1, a 29+ tire might be one of the most fun upgrades you make this year. Photo: Logan VonBokel | VeloNews.com
Here’s your Week in Tech — all the gear news, tips, and announcements you need and none of the marketing gibberish you don’t.SRAM steps in as Velocio title sponsor
Component company SRAM has stepped in as the second title sponsor of the Velocio women’s cycling team, formerly called Specialized-lululemon. The squad will be known as Velocio-SRAM in 2015.
The team, which raised about $100,000 in crowdfunding earlier this year, will also be supported by sales of Velocio team clothing, which is now available for pre-order. Team owner Kristy Scrymgeour continues to seek another major sponsor.
You can never have enough wheel and tire sizes, apparently. 29+ is the latest; it’s not quite a fat-bike tire, and and it might even be compatible with your existing bike. Bontrager’s Chupacabra 29+ tire can be your bike’s big upgrade this winter. It had never crossed our mind that we could cram a 29+ tire into one of our existing 29ers, but thanks to local pro, Brady Kappius, we learned that a 3.0 tire fits just fine in a RockShox RS-1.
Bontrager’s Chupacabra weighs in at a hefty 878 grams, but this tire isn’t about counting grams. At $120 the Chupacabra is pricey. Surly also offers a 29+ tire. Its 29×3” Knard retails for $65 and is available now.
The Chupacabra is expected to hit retailers near the end of this year. We will be logging some time on it soon.SRM offers spider-only power meters
SRM is taking its renowned power meter and stripping it down to bare bones. It is offering four spiders compatible with Specialized, Cannondale, Rotor, and SRAM crank arms for $1,490 through the SRM website — we have heard that select dealers and coaching companies may offer them for less.
The new products still sound expensive, especially when compared to Stages meters, but when compared to Quarq’s Specialized- and Cannondale-compatible spiders, the SRM spiders are more than $300 cheaper. If you already own a Quarq, and are looking to upgrade to a new power meter, keep scrolling down.
Quarq is inviting current owners to trade in their old Quarqs for new models. The trade-in program is good through the end of the year, and customers can upgrade to a brand new power meter for $900.
The new power meters are available with Quarq’s new magnet-free cadence measurement, thanks to an accelerometer in the spider. Buyers will have to remove their chainrings and crank arms and send back only the spider. Upon receiving your old spider, Quarq will send out a new spider of your choice.
Mountain bikes for kids are inherently inexpensive and therefore usually very heavy. Trailcraft, based out of Fort Collins, Colorado, hopes to change that with its high-end titanium and aluminum 24” hardtails.
The Trailcraft Pineridge hardtails are designed around Stan’s 24” wheels. Chainstays are quite short, to help children pop the front wheel off the ground, and corner with confidence. Trailcraft created its own cranks with 152mm arms, 32×22-tooth chainrings, and a bashguard to protect it all, as small wheels mean lower bottom brackets.
The Trailcraft bikes will be produced in small batches, but can deliver by Christmas if you order soon. The complete Aluminum Pineridge 24 retails for $1,700 and can be purchased through Kickstarter, but you won’t need to wait for Trailcraft to reach their goal, they’ll ship in a week or two, and it will make a great gift this holiday season — just hope that your kid doesn’t grow out of it too fast.
The post Week in Tech: Velocio-SRAM, Bontrager 29+, power meter updates, and children’s bikes appeared first on VeloNews.com.
Astana is stepping up its commitment to its women's squad, which placed 10th at world team time trial championships in 2014. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com
Olympic time trial champion and former world time trial champion Zulfia Zabirova will join forces with Maurizio Fabretto to launch Astana’s new women’s cycling team in 2015. The team will field a roster of about 15 riders, mostly young athletes that it hopes to develop into seasoned pros.
The team will be officially named Astana-Acca Due O, and it will be registered in Kazakhstan. Many of the riders will come from Eastern Europe, but the team will also have strong Italian flavor. It will have a headquarters in Cornuda, Veneto, and sponsor Acca Due O is an Italian water treatment company.
“The project is very exciting,” said Zabirova, supervisor of the entire sport management, “And so is the challenge: [Our] long-term goal is to bring Astana to be the first team in the world within four years. During last edition of Asia championships and world championships we saw encouraging things by young Kazakhs. “We have very professional coaches and sport directors, and I’m sure that they’ll know how to let them show their full potential.”
The Astana BePink women’s team placed 10th at 2014 world team time trial championships in Ponferrada, Spain.
The team had a few notable victories in 2014, including Alena Amialiusik’s wins in the Belarus national road and time trial championships, Doris Schweizer’s stage 1 win at Tour de Bretagne Féminin, and Amialiusik’s stage 5 win at the Tour Cycliste Féminin International de l’Ardèche.
The 2014 Velo Awards Issue is out and recounts all of the best players throughout the year.
The December issue of Velo magazine is a thick book, split between our choices for cyclists of the year and a guide to the 2015 road world championships in Richmond, Virginia, next September.
On the awards side of the magazine, the Velo staff has dissected the year of racing to determine who excelled in their respective specialties for our 27th annual Awards Issue.
After much internal debate, French rider Pauline Ferrand-Prévot earned top honors as Velo’s International Cyclist of the Year.
As one of the most dominant riders in the women’s peloton across road, mountain, and cyclocross, the young French star had amazing success throughout 2014, becoming the only elite rider to win UCI World Cup road and mountain-bike events in the same season. The 22-year-old capped off her season with the rainbow stripes at road worlds in Ponferrada, Spain.
It was a difficult choice to make, especially when we compared her season to Alejandro Valverde’s, but ultimately, it was Ferrand-Prévot’s results across road, mountain bike, and cyclocross that led to our final decision.
Valverde, however, didn’t go home empty-handed. The Spanish veteran is our International Man of the Year. Whether it was a punchy early season classic, a grand tour, or September’s world championships, Valverde fought for the podium all season long, and succeeded on a variety of terrain against a spectrum of competitors.
Also in our awards issue, we take a look back at Jens Voigt’s career as he is honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award for being one of the most daring, powerful, popular, and exciting racers in the modern era. (To bid on a 2014 Velo Cyclist of the Year jersey, signed by Voigt, click here. All proceeds go to PeopleForBikes.)
The December edition of Velo features dozens more awards as well. Where do riders like Nibali, Contador, Vos, Kittel, Rivera, and Rosskopf fit into our 2014 Awards Issue? Pick up a copy and find out.
In VeloNotes, Steve Maxwell discusses the winners, losers, and question marks of 2014, as some riders saw great success all year while other stars struggled throughout season.
Also in VeloNotes, the Velo tech staff has put together the 2014 Holiday Gift Guide, laying out a handful of great gift ideas for the cyclist in your life — or maybe just for yourself.
On the other side of the magazine, you’ll find an in-depth guide to the 2015 road world championships, and a look at the host city.
A playground for cyclists, the greater Richmond area, and Virginia as a whole, is one of the best places to ride in the U.S. Local stars, Joe Dombroski, Ben King, and Andrea Dvorak spill the details about their favorite places to train in the area.
The guide also takes a look back at the heritage of racing in Richmond, the history of the world championships, and the success that Americans have seen over the years at worlds.
Start planning your trip to Richmond 2015 to watch the best cyclists in the world. Grab the December issue of Velo at a bookstore or bike shop near you.
After Movistar's dual-leader strategy payed off in the Vuelta, the Spanish team plans to send Quintana and Valverde to the Tour. Though Quintana is their best hope for yellow, Valverde will be ready to step in if things go wrong. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com (File)
PAMPLONA, Spain (VN) — Don’t expect behind-the-scenes drama between Movistar’s Alejandro Valverde and Nairo Quintana heading into the 2015 Tour de France.
A house united is always stronger than a house divided. That’s the philosophy behind Movistar’s provocative decision to bring both Valverde and Quintana as leaders to both the Tour and Vuelta a España.
Valverde promised there would not be a repeat of the soap opera that engulfed Team Sky as Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome fought publicly and privately for control of the British team.
“This is nothing like Froome and Wiggins, far from it,” Valverde said Friday during a press conference. “I have no problem working with Nairo. We’ve been together these past two seasons, and we get along well. First, we go to the Tour with the idea of riding for Nairo, and then we’ll see what happens.”
There is no rancor between Quintana and Valverde, and they’re friends on and off the bike. And Valverde is the first to admit that the 24-year-old Colombian has a better chance of winning the Tour than he does.
“It’s very clear that Nairo has the qualities to win the Tour. I can be close, but it’s more complicated for me,” Valverde continued. “For the Tour, first we’ll back Nairo, then me. We’re a lot stronger together than he or I riding alone.”
Movistar is clearly taking a different approach to the Tour. Most major teams are backing one lone leader, with Vincenzo Nibali (Astana), Froome, and Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) enjoying complete backing from their respective teams. Movistar boss Eusebio Unzue said the team has the “good fortune” to have two riders capable of leading who are also committed to working together.
“With Nairo and Alejandro working together, we have better chances of success. We are stronger together, rather than dividing our strength with distinct calendars,” Unzue said. “They can share the responsibility of the race between them. We go with Nairo as leader, but [with] Alejandro we have the assurance of a leader who has the experience that few in the peloton can bring to the Tour.”
Going into 2015, Unzue sat down with riders and staff to gauge the team’s mood and ambitions for a new season. The veteran Spaniard manager said they took lessons out of the 2014 Vuelta a España, when both Valverde and Quintana shared leadership. Quintana crashed out, but Valverde picked up the baton, and rode to third overall behind Contador.
Movistar is hoping to apply that Vuelta template to the 2015 Tour, with Quintana is the top captain, and Valverde poised in the wings if anything happens.
Movistar boss Unzue also confirmed that Quintana will not defend his Giro d’Italia crown, and instead will target the Tour and Vuelta double, with Valverde at his side.
“We have the Giro for younger riders who are looking for their chance to lead, such as Beñat Intxausti, Jesus Herrada, or Ion Izagirre,” Unzue said. “We believe the time is right for Nairo to target the Tour, and this route is ideal for him, as well as Alejandro.”
The decision to join Valverde and Quintana at the hip for the Tour simply reflects the reality within the Movistar camp. Valverde, 35, couldn’t quite reach the podium in 2014, finishing fourth, but he remains an explosive and productive rider who is a factor in any race he starts. And Quintana, despite winning the Giro in impressive fashion in May, remains relatively inexperienced at just 24.
“We cannot forget that Nairo is still a ‘chaval,’ and he is still progressing as a rider and a leader,” Unzue continued. “Valverde brings a depth of experience and tranquility that is invaluable to Nairo. And with Nairo there, Valverde doesn’t have to carry the entire weight of the team by himself. They’re stronger as a partnership working together.”
Quintana, too, seemed content to have WorldTour winner Valverde as his wingman. Not only will it give Movistar a one-two GC punch that the other top rivals will not have (assuming both survive the Tour’s treacherous first week), but it helps take the pressure off each of them.
“It could be a complicated situation, but we manage it well,” Quintana said. “It fills me with pride that a rider like Alejandro would vow to help me in the Tour. I am convinced that we are stronger together than ride separately.”
Sharing Tour leadership typically has backfired — look no further than the intrigue of the 1986 Tour with Greg LeMond battling Bernhard Hinault — but with Valverde and Quintana, it just might work.
Perhaps neither will start as a five-star favorite, but they will present a formidable pair that will create complications for their rivals.
The post Quintana, Valverde to share leadership at 2015 Tour, Vuelta appeared first on VeloNews.com.
Lars van der Haar (Giant-Shimano) won the World Cup in Valkenburg to take an early lead in the series. However, he will have to forfeit his standing after Saturday because he was scratched from the Koksijde start list due to fever. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com
World Cup leader Lars van der Haar (Giant-Shimano) will miss the second round of the prestigious cyclocross series to be held Saturday in Koksijde, Belgium. The 2013-2014 ‘cross World Cup winner has a fever and was told by his doctor not to race.
“I’m not allowed to start tomorrow in World Cup Koksijde,” van der Haar tweeted. “I still had a slight fever waking up. So doctor is giving the order not to start.”
After winning the first World Cup round in Valkenburg, Netherlands in October, the 23-year-old cyclocross star looked to be on track for another run at the series title. However, he will face an uphill battle after this setback.
“Maybe if I recover well today, I’ll be allowed to start SP Spa-Francorchamps,” the Dutch cyclocross champion said on Twitter, referring to Sunday’s Superprestige race in Belgium. “But this all depends on how I feel. I’m gutted not to start!”
Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Napoleon) sits second behind van der Haar in the World Cup, and Corné Van Kessel (Telenet-Fidea) is third going into the second round at Koksijde.
The post Van der Haar to miss Koksijde World Cup with fever appeared first on VeloNews.com.
Vincenzo Nibali's Astana team could lose its racing license or have conditions attached to it after four doping positives this year. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com
MILAN (VN) — Tour de France winner Vincenzo Nibali attacked after the announcement Wednesday that a fourth Astana teammate this season has failed a doping test, the fourth such announcement in less than three months.
“If people want to associate me with these cases, they don’t understand anything,” the Sicilian and 2014 Tour de France winner told Italy’s sports daily, La Gazzetta dello Sport.
“They are four idiots that have nothing to do with me.”
The four are brothers Valentin and Maxim Iglinskiy, Ilya Davidenok, and Victor Okishev — the latter two race for Astana’s third-division feeder team. Maxim Iglinskiy helped Nibali win the Tour in July.
Valentin Iglinskiy tested positive for EPO on August 11, with the announcement coming September 10; Maxim Iglinskiy turned in an EPO positive on August 1, which was announced October 1; Davidenok had a positive test for steroids on August 27, announced October 16; and Okishev tested positive for steroids on May 29, which was announced November 19.
The four cases have created a black stain on the team in blue.
“The problem is certainly not mine. I think about myself and I have a clear conscience. I certainly can’t give answers for their problems,” Nibali said.
“Also, the two riders race for the continental team and I don’t even know who they are.
“Maxim Iglinskiy? In a team there are those you have to live with regardless. He was not part of my group and between us, there’s no link.”
Before the Tour de France, Maxim Iglinskiy rode with Nibali in the Tour of Oman, Milano-Sanremo, Amstel Gold Race, La Flèche Wallonne, Liège-Bastogne-Liège, and the Tour de Romandie.
Because of its second doping case and its membership in the MPCC anti-doping movement, the team had to sit out eight days of racing in October and missed the Tour of Beijing.
The four cases, along with Roman Kreuziger’s biological passport problem stemming from his years with Astana, could shine a bad light on the team and its racing license. The UCI announced in October the 10 teams with a WorldTour racing license for 2015, and Astana was among them. Seven other teams had either applied or were requesting a renewal. In the wake of Astana’s doping cases, UCI President Brian Cookson said the licensing commission could decide to revoke or attach restrictions to its 2015 license.
“It’s safe to say that everyone was very disappointed by this turn of events,” Cookson told VeloNews last month. “But if we assume that there have been three cases, that’s something that’s obviously very, very serious and that’s why we’ve referred it to the licensing commission, asking them to look into all the issues around that and make recommendations as to what impact these issues should have on the license of Astana. That’s the right and proper process. That’s what the license commission was established to do, and we’re going to let them get on with their job now.”
The license commission heard from Astana general manager Alexander Vinokourov earlier this month as part of its review. The UCI will hear from the commission before it announces its WorldTour license renewals in the next week or the first week of December.
“It seems absurd that the blame falls on the team,” Nibali continued.
“I can guarantee that the sponsors are very upset. You can’t place the blame on the team for what has happened, however. The idea that it’s a team doping system is wrong. To take away our license would be a mistake.”
Nibali, though being upset with the situation in his team, wants the UCI and anti-doping testers to continue their work.
“I hope that they catch all the dopers,” Nibali added. “If they catch another 10, I’d be pleased. It means the controls are in place and they are working.”
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Kim Tiebergyn climbed up a signpost to get a better look at Julien Vermote during the Omega Pharma-Quick Step team camp. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com
Sometimes, Mark Cavendish's Omega Pharma-Quick Step teammates end up cleaning up after his messes. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com
Katusha's Rudiger Selig did his best Peter Sagan impression at team camp. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com
Tom Boonen decided to cool his heels after a day of racing at the Tour de San Luis. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com
The first-ever Dubai Tour got off the ground in 2014. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com
The Giro d'Italia traveled to Belfast, Northern Ireland, where fortunately much of the violence is a thing of the past. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com
Pink was the trendy color on the Emerald Isle when the Giro was in town. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com
England pulled out all the stops to welcome the Tour de France's first stage from Leeds to Harrogate. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com
Elementary, my dear British cycling fan. The Tour de France's popularity in England was no mystery, with two British champions in the last two years prior to 2014. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com
This herd of sheep was decked out for the Tour. Unfortunately, they were unable to determine which animal was actually leading the general classification in this meadow. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com
French president Francois Hollande wasn't as opposed to the "selfie" trend at the Tour. Granted, this fan didn't try to snap a photo with him as he flew past at 50kph. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com
Stage 16 was another picture-perfect day at the Tour. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com
Fans of the Vuelta flocked to the hills to watch the Spanish grand tour. These goats were spared a paint job to match the race, unlike their English counterparts. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com
A Tinkoff-Saxo rider rolled past a stoic Chinese soldier during the Tour of Beijing. Perhaps he was not given orders to cheer. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com
The Tour's ride to Bagneres-De-Luchon had a few fan decorations that would make most of the peloton blush. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com
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On November 12, just miles from the 2015 UCI world road championships race course, a driver in an SUV buzzed a group of five cyclists, stopped, and then threatened them with a handgun.
NBC affiliate WWBT reported on an incident that occurred in Ashland, Virginia, in Hanover County, about 20 miles north of Richmond, host of next year’s world championships.
“It became out-and-out warfare when he produced a handgun, and threatened to kill me if I took another step toward the vehicle,” Stephen Hancock told WWBT. Hancock, 64, was one of the five riders involved in the incident.
The driver, Edward Fornel, 61, was arrested on November 14 and charged with reckless driving and brandishing a firearm. He will go to court November 25.
The incident took place about eight miles from the world championship time trial course route, which passes east of Ashland.
Another cyclist was the victim of a hit-and-run incident that occurred in Ashland, on October 17, but was not seriously injured.
“This was an incredibly unfortunate incident, however, an isolated one that doesn’t represent the predominant culture in the area,” said Lee Kallman, of Richmond 2015, regarding the incident with Fornel. “Richmond and the surrounding region (Hanover County is where the elite men’s ITT starts) is home to an emerging cycling culture and, on the whole, is a great place to ride your bike.
“Since Richmond was awarded the worlds, 2015 has served as a catalyst for a lot of positive efforts around getting more people on bikes and increasing awareness around those already on the road. Local municipalities and the Commonwealth of Virginia have ongoing share-the-road educational programs and PSAs that seek to educate and inform motorists and cyclists alike about best safety practices. Furthermore, Richmond’s hired a bike/ped coordinator. We’ve seen the creation of more and more bicycling events and a huge push is underway to add significantly more bike-related infrastructure.
“We have always seen Richmond 2015 as a transformative opportunity for the community — like a lot of industrial cities in the U.S., we are not there yet — but we are well on our way.”
When asked if there were measures in place to reduce conflicts between motorists and cyclists, or to protect the hundreds of riders that will descend upon local roads in September 2015, Terry Sullivan, a spokesperson at the Hanover Sherriff’s Office provided this reply via email:
“As far as the world championship races, discussions and planning have been going on for quite a while with regional law enforcement partners. Safety and security for each route planned is a top priority and encompasses a detailed plan designed to keep all participants and area residents safe and allow for an enjoyable experience.
“Regarding discussions on terrorism, as a crime, we monitor any and all threats with the upmost regard to ensure the safety of our citizens. Our planning process incorporates any potential danger with appropriate mitigation and response measures. In addition, we work very closely with state and federal authorities to identify and monitor any potential threats.”
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Mountain bike pros Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski and Heather Irmiger find comfort on the road as they race all summer long.
The post Video: Visit Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski and Heather Irmiger’s Airstream appeared first on VeloNews.com.