Compton, Hyde lead reduced USA team for cyclo-cross Worlds

USA Cycling will not be fielding the maximum allowed number of riders in the UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships in Bogense, Denmark next month since, for the first time in several years, the country failed to crack the top five in the nations rankings to earn six riders for the elite men’s race.

While the US women were ranked number 1 in the world, the men – thanks in part due to the illness and injuries of Jeremy Powers and Stephen Hyde – are ranked eighth behind top-ranked Belgium, the Netherlands, France and the Swiss, Czech, Italian and Spanish programmes.

USA Cycling came under criticism for opting to choose four instead of the maximum five allowed riders for the U23 Women’s race at Worlds, saying that only three riders had met the selection criteria, and one rider was chosen based on ‘future medal capability’.

The full roster of elite women will be headed up by 15-time national champion Katie Compton, ranked 8th in the world, Katie Keough (4th), Ellen Noble (14th) with Samantha Runnels (32nd), Elle Anderson (33rd) and Rebecca Fahringer (34th) rounding out the squad.

National champion Stephen Hyde and Pan-American champion Curtis White will lead the elite men’s squad with top-ranked Kerry Werner (18th), Anthony Clark (39th) and Cody Kaiser (57th). Tobin Ortenblad and Jamey Driscoll declined selection due to injuries, while Jack Kisseberth also qualified but declined his position.

Jesse Anthony, USA Cycling’s Cyclo-cross manager, said the country was fielding strong teams for both elite races.

“On the women’s side, we have a range of experience levels from Samantha Runnels’ inaugural World Championship race, to American Cyclocross queen, Katie Compton,” Anthony said. “The potential for a podium in Bogense is very high, and the women’s race will be hotly contested.

“On the men’s side, we’ve seen consistent progression from riders like Curtis White and Kerry Werner throughout the season. I expect some exceptional performances from this very motivated group.”

USA Cycling for UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships:

Elite Women: Kaitie Keough (Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld), Katie Compton (KFC Racing p/b Trek and Knight Composites), Ellen Noble (Trek Factory Racing CX), Samantha Runnels (Squid Squad), Elle Anderson (Milwaukee – AlphaMotorhomes), Rebecca Fahringer (Kona Maxxis Shimano CX)

Elite Men: Curtis White (Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld), Kerry Werner (Kona Maxxis Shimano CX), Stephen Hyde (Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld), Anthony Clark (Squid Squad), Cody Kaiser (LangeTwins/Specialized).

Go to Source

Liège-Bastogne-Liège 2019: all you need to know

All the information you need ahead of Liège-Bastogne-Liège and Liège-Bastogne-Liège Femmes, taking place on April 28 in 2019

Liège-Bastogne-Liège is the oldest of the five Monuments, and one of three spring Classics taking place in the Ardennes region. In 2019, the race is set to take place on April 28.

As the name may suggest, the race takes riders from Liège to Bastogne, and back. It’s a UCI WorldTour event, and in 2017 a women’s version was added – this is part of the UCI Women’s WorldTour and takes place on the same day.

>>> The climbs of Liège-Bastogne-Liège

The route for the 2019 edition represents a departure from the status quo of recent years, with a finish in the centre of Liège that is expected to favour a rider more suited to faster, flat finishes.

Liège-Bastogne-Liège 2019 route

The route for Liège-Bastogne-Liège always promises to throw up a war of attrition, with steep climbs providing opportunities for attacks and the unavoidable counters.

However, for 2019, we’ll be treated to a major shake up, as the finish moves from the Liègeois suburb of Ans to Liège itself. Though there will be plenty of metres of elevation along the way to whittle down the finishers, the new final stretch will be a flat sprint.

As per previous editions, the greatest challenges will feature in the second half of the 265km route, with nine ramps within the final 100km – including the trio of the Wanne, Stockeu and Haute-Levée, followed by the Côte de Mont-le-Soie.

In order to relocate the finish line to the city centre, the final uphill tests have been revised – with riders charging towards the finish via the Côte de la Redoute, Côte des Forges and the Côte de la Roche-aux-Faucons.

The women’s 138.5km parcours will share the same finish, with riders facing a total of five climbs – first the Côte de Wanne, Côte de Brume and Côte de la Vecquée, before a decisive finish over the Côte de La Redoute and Côte de la Roche-aux-Faucons.

Liège–Bastogne–Liège 2019 teams

The men’s race will be attended by all 18 WorldTour teams, as well as seven wildcard teams, these have been announced as:

  • Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
  • Wallonie Bruxelles
  • Wanty-Gobert Cycling
  • Team Confidis, Solutions Crédits
  • Direct Énergie
  • Team Arkea-Samsic
  • Vital Concept – B&B Hotels

Liège–Bastogne–Liège 2019 on TV

Eurosport will broadcast the men’s race live, with coverage on Eurosport 1 from 13.00 to 16.30.

Liège–Bastogne–Liège previous winners

The 2018 win went to Quick-Step Floors’ Bob Jungles, he attacked with just under 20 kilometres to go, pushing ahead at the top of the Côte de la Roche-aux-Faucons before riding to the finish line alone.

2001 Oscar Camenzind (SUI) Lampre–Daikin
2002 Paolo Bettini (ITA) Mapei–Quick-Step
2003 Tyler Hamilton (USA) Team CSC
2004 Davide Rebellin (ITA) Gerolsteiner
2005 Alexandre Vinokourov (KAZ) T-Mobile Team
2006 Alejandro Valverde (ESP) Caisse d’Epargne–Illes Balears
2007 Danilo Di Luca (ITA) Liquigas
2008 Alejandro Valverde (ESP) Caisse d’Epargne
2009 Andy Schleck (LUX) Team Saxo Bank
2010 Alexandre Vinokourov (KAZ) Astana
2011 Philippe Gilbert (BEL) Omega Pharma–Lotto
2012 Maxim Iglinsky (KAZ) Astana
2013 Dan Martin (IRL) Garmin–Sharp
2014 Simon Gerrans (AUS) Orica–GreenEDGE
2015 Alejandro Valverde (ESP) Movistar Team
2016 Wout Poels (NED) Team Sky
2017 Alejandro Valverde (ESP) Movistar Team
2018 Bob Jungels (Lux) Quick-Step Floors

Liège–Bastogne–Liège Femmes winners

2017 Anna van der Breggen (Ned) Boels Dolmans
2018 Anna van der Breggen (Ned) Boels Dolmans

The inaugural Liège–Bastogne–Liège Femmes victory went to Anna van der Breggen (Boels-Dolmans) – she managed to claim all three Ardennes Classics wins in an incredible display of spring form that player a part in her taking the second spot in the Cycling Weekly Top 100 Riders of 2017.

The ‘Queen of the Ardennes’ continued the same success into 2018, with wins at all three of the events once again.

We’ll keep updating this page as more information becomes available. 

Go to Source

Zwift launches first e-racing league for pro riders featuring Cofidis, Team Wiggins and Canyon – SRAM

The latest evolution of e-sport is here

The indoor cycling revolution is entering its latest phase as Zwift launches the first e-racing league for pro riders.

Zwift’s Kiss Super League, which launches on Wednesday (January 23), brings together second and third tier riders from across the world in an online race series.

There will be 15 teams invited to race in the inaugural series, including Cofidis, Team Wiggins – Le Col, Israel Cycling Academy and Hagens Berman Axeon.

>>> Zwift: Everything you need to know

In the women’s contest, Canyon – SRAM and Cervelo – Bigla will be amongst the teams competing.

Zwift CEO Eric Min said: “Our goal is to create a new sport within a sport, celebrated by pro cyclists, amateur cyclists and cycling fans all over the world.

“Pro cycling has embraced Zwift as a training platform and Zwift has proven itself as a talent ID platform for pro cycling.

“Now is the time to push on with e-sports and in doing so build value for pro cycling.”

Round one of the Super League will be held at the Pinarello store in central London on Wednesday evening, where Team Wiggins will race.

Team boss and Tour de France winner Sir Bradley Wiggins will attending to support his team in their first indoor race.

Wiggins said: “I’m well known for being a student of the sport.

“The history of cycling is very special to me but this doesn’t mean things should not change.

“BMX bikes came out of nowhere to become the ‘must have’ thing when I was a kid in the 80s. Now it’s an Olympic discipline.

“This story of cycling is ever evolving and as a parent I want to see our sport provide accessibility and inspiration for young people.

“If a computer game can get kids off the sofa and onto a bike to workout and compete, then I’m a supporter.”

>>> British Cycling to hold first ‘eRacing Championships’ with training platform Zwift

There will be four Pro Continental and nine Continental teams competing in the men’s league, as well as two teams from the Zwift community.

There will also be a women’s Kiss Super League, due to start in February, with six pro teams and two Zwift teams.

On the women’s contest, Zwift Academy winner and now Canyon – Sram rider Tanja Erath said: “It’s a great opportunity for women’s cycling.

“I do feel the pressure slightly, as there will be eyes on me.

“This will be my second year as a professional cyclist, so I know how to race well in a team.

“I have a lot of experience on Zwift, so now I get to share my experience with the team rather than the other way around.”

Zwift is hoping to inspire a generation of younger cyclists and a wider audience by “gamifying” bike racing.

Craig Edmondson, the former head of marketing for the Premier League who now leads Zwift’s e-sport business said: “Our role is to deliver something brand-new to cycling.

“By gamifying racing, we will create entertaining coverage and introduce an added dimension to bike racing.

“Team-based competition, power ups, course ‘know how’ and the differences in racing physics makes Zwift a new battleground for competition.

“Watts per kilogram is only one of many key factors.”

A community-focused Kiss League will also be launched for amateur competitors alongside the pro ranks.

Round one of the Kiss Super League will be broadcast live on the Zwift Facebook page from 6.30pm on Wednesday evening.

Teams competing in the KISS Super League


Hagens Berman Aexeon
Israel Cycling Academy
Novo Nordisk
Dimension Data U23
Canyon – dhb p/b Bloor Homes
Team Wiggins – Le Col
Arapahoe – Hincapie p/b BMC
Madison Genesis
Oliver’s Real Food Racing
SEG Racing Academy
Pro Racing Sunshine Coast
Ribble Pro Cycling
Zwift Community All Stars
Zwift Academy Dream Team


Canyon – SRAM
Doltcini – Van Eyck
Hagens Berman Supermint
Team Twenty20
Cervelo – Bigla
Zwift All Stars
Zwift Academy Dream Team

Go to Source

Retired Alberto Contador missing competition, but relieved to no longer be ‘slave to dieting’

The Spaniard says Sky’s Chris Froome and Egan Bernal can both win Grand Tours in 2019

Spanish Grand Tour star Alberto Contador, now retired, says he no longer feels a “slave to dieting” trying be fit for races like the Tour de France.

Contador retired ahead of the 2018 season with seven Grand Tour victories, including the 2007 and 2009 Tour, in his palmarès.

“I miss the taste of competition, because I’m a born competitor,” Contador told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

“However, I’m finally not a slave to dieting. You had to always be careful, at the limit… Then there was the tension in the races and the fear of crashes.”

Several crashes marked Contador’s Grand Tour runs. Three separate crashes led to knee problems in the opening week of the 2011 Tour.

He won 2008 and 2015 editions of the Giro d’Italia and the Vuelta a España in 2008, 2012 and 2014 in addition to his 2007 and 2009 Tour titles. His 2010 Tour and 2011 Giro wins were stripped due to an anti-doping case.

At 34-years-old in 2017, after ninth overall in the Tour and fifth in the Vuelta, he retired.

“I left in the perfect moment, still on top, and keeping a fantastic memory even in the last days,” he said.

Contador retired after the 2017 Vuelta, where he won the final mountain stage to Angliru.

“I could have continued for two or three years, I had good options… But you know projects in personal life, like that of becoming a father, demanded their space.”

In his free time now, he manages a team and commentates for television. Often, he is talking about Team Sky, with their Grand Tour star Chris Froome aiming for a record-equalling fifth Tour title in 2019.

“Yes he can [win a fifth title]. He has it in his legs as well as having a team like Sky that I imagine will be by his side after Thomas took good advantage of his chance last year. Chris has many possibilities.”

Froome will skip the Giro, which he won in 2018, and aim directly at the Tour in 2019. Team Sky is heading to the Giro with 22-year-old Colombian promise Egan Bernal. Contador said he is already ready to win the Giro in his first participation this May.

“Yes. For me he is truly strong!” Contador continued. “His potential and capacity are scary.”

Contador on the prediction Bernal wins the Giro and Froome the Tour: “I would say so.”

Go to Source

Vuelta a España runner-up Enric Mas shares picture of his impressive leg veins

The Spaniard says he is working to have ‘the same legs as last year’

Young Spanish revelation Enric Mas has shared a picture of his pretty staggering leg veins on social media.

The 24-year-old, who finished second overall at the 2018 Vuelta a España, posted a photo of his pumped legs on Twitter with the caption “working hard to have the same legs as last year.”

Deceuninck – Quick-Step rider Mas had a breakthrough season last year, winning the final mountain stage of the Vuelta and riding himself into second spot overall in the process.

This season he will ride the Tour de France for the first time, giving general classification ambitions to a team that traditionally focuses on stage victories in Grand Tours.

>>> Here’s the science behind why Tour de France rider’s legs are so veiny

Mas has been tipped as the next Alberto Contador, a comparison that was only supported by his blistering ride on stage 20 of the Vuelta.

He rode to a memorable victory that day while usurping compatriot Alejandro Valverde’s (Movistar) podium place.

The intense training of recent seasons has clearly taken its toll on Mas’ legs, which are impressive to say the least.

He joins a growing club of pro riders sharing their veiny limbs on social media.

In 2017, Bora – Hansgrohe’s Paweł Poljański shared a picture of his veined legs on Twitter during the Tour de France.

>>> Chris Froome shares first monster ride of 2019 on Strava

The Polish pro snapped a photograph of his veined legs and posted it on Instagram, saying “After sixteen stages I think my legs look little tired.”

Canadian pro rider Antoine Duchesne posted a similar photo of his legs prior to the 2017 Tour, although he was ultimately not selected to ride in the race by his French Direct Energie team.

And in 2014, Polish rider Bartosz Huzarksi caused a similar stir on social media by posting a photo of his veined legs after after stage 18 of that year’s Tour.

Go to Source

Rollers vs turbo trainers: which is better?

We seek to answer the greatest question known to cycling kind…

I recently concluded that I’m allergic to turbo trainers.

The discovery of my unfortunate affliction occurred after several angst filled weeks where, following a new FTP test result, I just couldn’t hit the power values. I kept hitting ‘pause’ much to the horror of the coach who had devised the sessions.

Before throwing in the towel and adjusting the numbers, I decided to give the same sessions a go on my trusty rollers – and suddenly it all became easy. By easy, I mean I was still hitting 193 bpm at the end of the first interval, but I could finish them without entering a state of emotional and physical turmoil.

>>> Indoor cycling session examples 

>>> Indoor cycling: options explained 

In the interest of honesty, the turbo trainer in question would have cost around £100, five years ago – more modern versions would feel a lot less leg-deadening, which was the root cause of most of my issues. Also, none of my mid-winter indoor sessions required me to go over 120 per cent of FTP, above which rollers might start to present a problem.

Regardless, in all but sprint effort focused sessions, they’d be my preference. But what are the pros and cons?


Rollers consist of three drums, where the second and third rotators are connected via a ‘belt’. Once you start pedalling, the rollers move beneath you.

Learning to use the rollers takes a bit of practice – most people start by positioning themselves between a doorframe, which limits the likelihood of coming a cropper. In time, you’ll find you grow in confidence, and can test yourself with tasks like grabbing a bottle from the cage or riding no handed.

Beginner’s guide to riding the rollers

>>> The best rollers for indoor cycling

Traditionally, rollers have been very simplistic, you can pick up a set from about £150 but the resistance levels are limited, meaning that efforts far above 120/150 per cent of FTP can be difficult to sustain. Most pairs of rollers don’t have any form of connectivity to be used with training apps.

However, rollers are coming of age – the Elite Arion Digital Smart Rollers (RRP £500) use Ant+ as well as Bluetooth Smart and can withstand up to 1100 watts or replicate gradients of 20 per cent.

Pros of rollers

  • Get on without any need to remove wheels or swap tyres
  • Encourages good pedalling technique to remain upright
  • Trains the full body as core needs to be engaged
  • Smoother feeling which can mimic the road more accurately
  • Usually easier and lighter to transport (good for race warm-ups)

Cons of rollers

  • Takes practice, so unless you’re accustomed, may limit fitness focus for a couple of sessions
  • On all but the more expensive versions, resistance is limited
  • Only more expensive versions connect with apps via Ant+ and Bluetooth
  • Concentration is required so sessions where physical effort eclipses all mental process may not be possible
  • Most people can’t get out the saddle so – aside from high cadence spin-outs – sprints are off the cards


Turbo trainers are by far the more popular choice.

There’s now three distinct options: a basic trainer which simply attaches to the bike to allow the user to pedal away, a wheel-on smart trainer which does the same but adjusts resistance to suit a workout and measures power, and a direct drive smart turbo where the rear wheel is removed creating a sturdy base and a heavy freewheel offers a better ride feel and allows for all-out sprinting just like the road.

>>> Best smart turbo trainers

You can pick up a basic turbo trainer from around £100, and a ‘wheel on’ smart trainer from around £250. Direct drive smart trainers start at around £500.

A basic turbo will be quite light, and inexpensive, but direct drive smart turbo trainers are expensive and can be pretty hefty – the Wahoo Kickr comes in at 21kg.

Regardless which option you choose, turbo trainers don’t require a time investment in ‘learning to ride’ them, you just get on and pedal. You can focus all your attention on the efforts, and there’s zero chance of falling off. You can get out the saddle and sprint, even more so on a direct drive model.

Smart trainers connect to apps like Zwift, The Sufferfest and Trainer Road to adjust the resistance in response to hills, descents, or efforts during a session – though you can turn this off by disabling ERG mode.

We’ve looked at the pros and cons of smart as opposed to basic turbos, since that’s what the majority is now using…

Pros of smart turbo trainers

  • Provide power data, handy if you don’t have a separate power meter
  • All will pair up with apps to adjust resistance
  • Can reach high efforts and sprint just as hard (if not harder) than on the road
  • All the effort can go completely into the bike

Cons of smart turbo trainers

  • Little need for upper body or core to work unless you consciously engage them
  • Non-direct drive versions can feel quite ‘draggy’, direct drive versions are still quite expensive

So – which is best – turbo or rollers?

Rollers are definitely losing the popularity battle.

According to Zwift‘s PR manager, Chris Snook, around 80 per cent of the platform’s users are competing their sessions on smart trainers.

“I enjoy both [rollers and the turbo], but my preference is the smart trainer,” Snook said. “I always have mine setup with a bike on it at home and I can just hop on Zwift in minutes. The smart trainer for me is better for racing on Zwift. It also provides a greater amount of resistance which means I can do a broader range of workouts – including sprint intervals.”

At The Sufferfest, ‘Senior Minister of External Affairs’ (PR guy), Dylan Robbins told us he reckoned around 98 per cent of Sufferlandrians were journeying to the fields of laver and gnashing of teeth (and back) on turbo trainers.

“Unless you have new-fangled rollers with a resistance unit it’s difficult to hit power targets with rollers, Robbins said. “There’s also a much steeper learning curve with rollers so most people who are looking for an indoor training solution will most likely go for a trainer since they can hop on and go.

“It’s also nigh impossible to do all-out efforts on rollers without significant tooth loss so sprint workouts are pretty much off the table.

“Before I started doing much in the way of structured training indoors I preferred rollers since my primary motivation for riding inside was to improve my form and pedal stoke. Rollers are brutally honest. They throw any choppiness in your pedal stroke into high relief and force you to really focus on keeping things smooth.

“But in terms of allowing you to really nail a structured workout with highly-variable power and cadence targets they’re not ideal.”

Francois Pervis on the rollers at Revolution in London, 2014. Image: Andy Jones

If you only have the space or money for one, and want to be able to use your full range of training zones, it seems like it’s going to have to be a turbo.

However, if you’ve got space in your life for both, plan to do all of your sprints and hill efforts outdoors, or you’re an endurance specialist who just doesn’t need to enter the absolute red, then rollers are a great way to add variety and keep it interesting. Plus, they won’t feel like you’re churning through a rock garden, as per the very oldest of cheap turbo trainers.

If you want the best of all worlds and money is no object? A Wattbike might be your calling…

Go to Source

Spanish team Burgos – BH given wildcard spot for Volta a Catalunya amid doping suspension

The whole team has been suspended after a string of doping offences

Spanish team Burgos – BH has been handed a wildcard spot for the Volta a Catalunya while serving a suspension after a string of doping offences.

The Pro Continental outfit are currently under a temporary ban from racing after three riders were suspended for doping.

But despite the UCI-enforced sanction, the Volta a Catalunya stage race announced on social media that Burgos would take the final wildcard slot of the 2019 edition.

>>> Amateur racer given four-year ban after testing positive for EPO and testosterone

Burgos is currently suspended for 21 days after three riders – Ibai Salas, David Belda and Igor Merino – were all caught doping within 12 months.

Ibai Salas, 27, was banned for four years for an anti-doping rule violation arising from an adverse passport finding.

David Belda, 35, was also banned for four years by the National Anti-Doping Organisation of Spain after an adverse analytical finding for EPO.

Then in November, 28-year-old Igor Merino was banned for four years after testing positive for growth hormone during a doping control carried out in June.

The UCI referred Burgos to its Disciplinary Commission after the first two doping positives, in accordance with its anti-doping rule violations.

In November, team bosses announced Burgos would be voluntarily suspending themselves from racing for three weeks in January and February to focus on anti-doping.

>>> Riders face disqualification, bans and suspension for using tramadol in competition as UCI bans painkiller

Speaking after the suspension was announced, team manger Julio Andrés Izquierdo said: “We have decided to voluntarily suspend our competitive activities for three weeks.

“It is essential for us that all riders and employees understand that clean sport is paramount and that there is no room for cheaters.”

The suspension started on January 16 and will continue until February 5, allowing them to compete in the Volta a Catalunya during the final week of March.

Burgos-BH is a member of the Movement for Credible Cycling (MPCC), an organisation made up of professional cycling teams that aims to clean up cycling’s image.

Go to Source

Vincenzo Nibali sets Classics aside as he makes Giro d’Italia primary target for 2019

Italian will probably not defend his Milan-San Remo title and ruled out a return to the Tour of Flanders as he plans a Giro/Tour double

Vincenzo Nibali says the Giro d’Italia will be his primary goal for 2019, with a reduced Classics season ahead of the Italian Grand Tour, which he’ll follow up with a ride at the Tour de France.

With two Giro victories already on his palmarès, the 34-year-old Italian will focus on a third maglia rosa in 2019.

“The first goal is the Giro d’Italia and afterwards I will train for the Tour de France,” Nibali told Cycling Weekly. “I have never said I am going to win the Tour and the Giro, but if I do it will be better!

“I know the [Giro] route but of course I will go and see the course more deeply, some stages are new, there is one near Turin and there is a new climb so I will go to see it.”

Vincenzo Nibali on Alpe d’Huez during the 2018 Tour de France (Sunada)

With seven summit finishes this year’s race could well suit Nibali, though he is bound to meet stiff challenges from the likes of Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott), Tom Dumoulin (Sunweb) and Team Sky’s Colombian sensation Egan Bernal.

One of only seven riders in the sport’s history to have won all three Grand Tours, a relaxed Nibali was speaking at a Bahrain-Merida team training camp in Catalunya, and justified his attendance in France this July.

“Usually I have two Grand Tours every year. I am not obliged to, but for a rider with my characteristics Grand Tours are the best things to do. What do I do from August to October, I have to find something to do,” he joked.

Nibali’s record in three week races is exemplary. He raced his first in 2007, finishing 19th at the Giro and has competed in two each in nine of the ensuing years.

Highlights of his 12 Grand Tour top-10 finishes are victory at the 2010 Vuelta, which he followed with the Giro success in both 2013 and ’16, and the Tour de France in 2014.

However, after winning Milan-San Remo last year, his 2018 season was derailed when he crashed after colliding with an errant fan on the Alpe d’Huez stage of the the Tour. Though he managed to remount and finish the day in seventh place, a broken vertebra meant he was forced to abandon the race, the injury blighting the rest of the year.

“Last year was a good season without the crash, it ruined the season,” Nibali continued. “I was very good in the Tour de France, I was very motivated, my position in GC was very nice, there were many stages ahead that were good for me.

“When I spoke to the police on Alpe d’Huez they explained that many people were very, very drunk, it’s a big party. They said they probably need more policemen, but it is very difficult, it is the same for Zoncolan you know, it is very, very difficult to control the race.

“On the Tour Down Under we saw people people almost hitting riders in the sprint with their telephone trying to get the selfie, it is very dangerous, but it happens in the Tour the Vuelta and the Giro.”

After winning the race last season, Nibali’s focus on the 2019 Giro means he is unlikely to target a second success at Milan-San Remo, and though he rode the Tour of Flanders last year he ruled out a repeat.

Instead his final preparation for the Giro will consist of the Tour of the Alps and Liège-Bastogne-Liège, though he expects his effort in the Ardennes to be compromised by his Giro preparation.

“I look forward to going to Liège and doing well, the problem is that if you are focusing on the Giro you have to be ready later. I will prepare at altitude and race Trentino [Tour of the Alps] and Liège.

“But I have one target and that is the Giro d’Italia.”

Go to Source

Wilier Cento 10NDR now comes in gorgeous ramato option

Metallic copper and black finish now an optional extra on Wilier’s premium endurance bike

Wilier launched its Cento10NDR endurance bike in 2017. Now it’s added a ramato finish to the colour options to its high end endurance machine. It’s a colour that harks back to Wilier’s past, when from the 1940s its top-end steel frames were finished in the metallic copper colour.

Making bikes since 1906, Wilier’s racing heritage includes a win in the Giro d’Italia in 1948 with Fiorenzo Magni. It sponsored top end teams throughout the 1990s and 2000s, with green jersey wins in the Tour de France and Marco Pantani making the fastest ever ascent of Alpe d”Huez on a Wilier in 1997.

>>> Check out Sylvain Chavanel’s gorgeous Wilier Cento10PRO

Wilier reintroduced the ramato finish in 2016, but this time applied to its modern carbon framesets as an option on its Cento10Air race bike. It says that getting the quality of finish required is a long and painstaking multistage process, with the special paint layers applied by hand. Each layer must be applied completely smoothly to achieve the unblemished mirrored finish.

Ramato colour extends to the bar and stem as well as the frame

The Cento10NDR itself is a premium endurance machine, topping out at over £7000 with Dura-Ace or SRAM eTap. It comes with Wilier’s unique Actiflex technopolymer damper built into the seatstay-seat tube junction. This adds extra compliance to the rear end, while maintaining a constant saddle-to-crank geometry.

Actiflex damper offers additional compliance in the rear triangle

The position is more upright than on Wilier’s typically race-oriented bikes and at the front, there’s a custom designed bar and stem combo which gives full adjustability, while completely hiding the brake and gear cables on hydraulic-electronic builds. On the ramato Cento10NDR, there’s added copper metallic finish on the bar and stem as well as the frame.

Wilier has hedged its bets with the Cento10NDR by offering both rim brake and disc brake variants. The bike made our Editor’s Choice list in 2017.

>>> Wilier’s 2019 range includes new endurance, gravel and time trial bikes

As you’d expect, adding ramato finish to the Cento10NDR adds to the price – expect to pay an extra €1500 over Wilier’s standard price.

Go to Source

Mikel Landa hoping for change of fortunes on Giro d’Italia return

The Basque rider is likely to ride the Tour de France following the Giro

Mikel Landa admits that he missed the Giro d’Italia last year and looks forward to returning to try for the win in 2019.

The Basque rider will lead Movistar in the Giro d’Italia this May 11 to June 2 before turning his attention to the Tour de France, where he will ride with Nairo Quintana.

The programme is similar to 2017, when he rode for Team Sky. Then he won a stage and the mountain classification in the Giro and placed fourth in the Tour helping Chris Froome win.

“It was a bit strange for me. I had been doing that for several years and, yes, I missed it,” Landa told Marca about the Giro.

The 2018 season was his first with Movistar after switching from Team Sky. He built up for the Tour and skipped the Giro; the first time to miss the Italian Grand Tour since 2013.

The season saw a trend continue for Landa, where a strong season is followed by a dip. In 2015, he had placed third in the Giro helping then Astana team-mate Fabio Aru to second and won a stage in the Vuelta a España.

“It is true, both in 2015 and 2017 the situation was similar. I hope that in 2019 the story is repeated. In terms of performance [last year], I felt good many times but I wasn’t been able to prove it,” he explained.

“The desire to attack remains, to shake up the race when you can. I think that I have that still, but with a little more responsibility. I am, at times, a bit more conservative.”

He ended the year “frustrated” with a second overall in the Tour of the Basque Country and seventh in the Tour. The crashes, also in the Clásica San Sebastián, took their toll.

“It was a year that I ended the most frustrated,” he said.

“But there are still people who trust me and I’ll be able to have another great opportunity this year.”

Movistar began the Tour with a three-prong attack with Landa, Quintana and Alejandro Valverde. Quintana highlighted the race for the Spanish team with a stage win. In the overall, though, the team suffered.

Landa crashed in the Roubaix, stage nine and lost a bit of spark, finding out later he had fractured a vertebra. He finished seventh overall behind winner Geraint Thomas (Sky).

“Now it hurts more than before, because I know I did half a Tour with a cracked vertebra. But at the same time, it is what encourages me to try again.”

He is aiming for the Giro and then going to the Tour. Last year, Tom Dumoulin (Sunweb) placed second overall in both races. Froome won the Giro and placed third in the Tour.

In 2019, Landa joins several double riders: Dumoulin, Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) and possibly Thomas.

“I think it’s good for me to do both. The Giro is a race that I’m good at, in case I’m not good at the Tour. I would say that it is a more conservative programme rather than a risky one,” he continued.

“We’ve make a good plan until the Giro to do it there as well as possible and then I’ll get the most out of my body in the Tour.

“Like in 2017, which went well for me. I will do the same, to try to reach 100% in the Giro and hopefully 99% in the Tour or 101%! [laughs].”

Go to Source