|Gadret & De Gendt to aim for the Tour in 2013
John Gadret has announced his preference to ride the Tour de France this year rather than aiming to replicate his 2011 Giro d’Italia form where he finished 3rd. Gadret claims to have been ‘inspired’ by this year’s Tour de France route when it was announced in October, with the specialist climber looking forward to the many big mountain stages that perpetuate this year’s parcours. The Frenchman, who famously failed to swap wheels with puncture-stricken team leader Nicolas Roche at the 2010 tour, has pointed to his Giro podium from 2011 as reason enough for him to expect to be leader, although he acknowledged he may have to accept the role of ‘number 2 protected leader’ behind Jean-Christophe Peraud, who finished 9th on his 2011 Tour debut. 14 of Gadret’s Ag2r-La Mondiale teammates are headed to Corsica later this week for a ten day training camp ahead of the start of the season.
Gadret’s successor on the 3rd step of the Giro podium, Thomas de Gendt, has also highlighted his plans for this summer’s Tour. The Belgian, who missed last year’s race to get married, is seeking a Top 10 finish. Speaking at Vacansoleil’s team presentation on Wednesday, the 26-year-old admitted his team were expecting big things this summer and that he could reasonably aim to finish between fifth and tenth, provided he can remain in contention having negotiated the first week. De Gendt, who was victorious on the Stelvio Pass in last year’s Giro, has only ridden the Tour once before, finishing 62nd in 2011.
Movistar announce analysis partner
For what will be their third season in the WorldTour peloton, Movistar have added the Cycling Research Center (CRC), based at the University of Granada, to its staff. CRC will be responsible for areas regarding the riders' performance, including training, nutrition and biomechanics.
Movistar’s 2013 squad. Photo © Movistar Team
Dr Mikel Zabala, a sports science professor at the University of Granada, says the team was looking to follow the evolution of cycling that has happened in the sport recently, with obvious examples including the work of Robby Ketchell at Garmin-Sharp and Tim Kerrison at Sky. "Our philosophy is based on teamwork,” explains Zabala, “It’s obvious that the rider is the most important piece in the wheel, but not the only one. To make the rider's performance optimal, it is necessary to collaborate with the rider, the sports director, the coaches, the doctors, the nutritionist and all other members of a pro cycling team's staff. Our labour is to try and get together all those pieces and integrate them so the result is the best possible one.”
The 25 Movistar Team riders have been working with the new methods resultant from CRC’s analysis for the last few weeks. The new system was presented to the riders at the team’s first training camp in November, where they were all assessed with the aim of defining their individual work plans. Along with Zabala, a huge team including some of the most important sports science research groups in the world will be working with the team for 2013. According to Eusebio Unzué, general manager of the Movistar team, "this agreement is a necessary step for the evolution of cycling, in order that the sciences of sport play the same role that they already do in other sports. It's putting all resources offered by science and technology at the riders' service.”
Immediately after the official Movistar Team presentation, held at the Telefonica headquarters in Madrid today, the team headed off to their latest training camp in Almeria, Andalusia. Featuring all but their Tour Down Under squad (Rojas, Moreno, Amador, Ju Herrada, Gutierrez, Capecchi, Visconti), Movistar will be based in southern Spain for 7-days, although the six-man Tour de San Luis squad (Castroviejo, Cobo, Je Herrada, Karpets, Tereul, Ventoso) will depart one day earlier.
Vacansoleil-DCM target 2013 success
Vacansoleil-DCM are hoping that investments in staff and team development will bring improvement for the 2013 season. With seven new riders including Jose Rujano, Grega Bole and Juan Antonio Flecha, the team has confidence for the coming season. Having put together a series of measures which have led to further professionalization, the team has “an all-round approach,” according to Vacansoleil’s Sporting Director Daan Luijckx. “A medical coordinator, a physical/mental coach and two sports scientist have been added to the team. We have also engaged an external organisation which can make adjustments in our sports and team dynamics processes if required” he added.
Vacansoleil DCM is prepared for the 2013 season. Photo © Kramon
“There is no way that the measures will not lead to improvement,” Luijckx continued, “last year we had high peaks with Lieuwe Westra in Paris-Nice, Thomas De Gendt in the Giro and Marco Marcato in Paris-Tours. That is great, but sometimes we fall through the floor. We want to at least equal the highest peaks, and the troughs have to become less deep.” The Dutch outfit will be riding Bianchi’s latest carbon monocoque Oltre XR frames this season, with Infinito and Impulso models ready for the Classics, and the Pico Crono Carbon TT bike for races against the clock.
Belgian Thomas De Gendt is ready for 2013. Photo © Kramon
Boels Dolmans Announce New Team Kit for 2013
At the official presentation of their new team kit, Boels Dolmans Cycling Team announced hopes “to receive more attention in 2013.” With the arrival of riders such as Lizzie Armitstead and Adrie Visser, the Boels Dolmans Cycling Team hopes to be noticed in terms of both their results and their striking new team kit. The team will be highly visible within the women’s peloton this year owing to the orange, yellow and black colour scheme that has been derived from the title sponsors, Boels Rental and Dolmans Landscaping Group who have renewed their contracts until the end of 2016.
Lizzie Armitstead models Boels Dolmans Cycling Team’s 2013 team kit. Photo © Boels Dolmans Cycling Team
"The design was made especially for us by a female designer, so that our riders will be wearing pretty and functional jerseys that display our team's colours in a dignified way” says Yvo Hoppers, who is in charge of the team’s communications. “Women's cycling has come a long way in the past few years” he added, “but I think that we still have some work to do in terms of professionalization. We will focus on this in the new season.”
The addition of renowned riders like Armitstead and Visser to the roster along with Lucy Martin, Romy Kasper, Kim de Baat and Marieke van Wanroij is evidence of the new strength that the team possesses, at least on paper, for the coming season. With the addition of former pro Steven Rooks in a Directeur Sportif’s role, 2013 certainly looks like it could be a bright year for the team.
Team Garmin-Sharp Unveil 2013 Team Kit
Jonathan Vaughters’ Team Garmin-Sharp have unveiled their 2013 kit from technical clothing supplier Castelli, which will be raced in for the first time at the Tour Down Under. Their 2013 jersey features an updated design with argyle covering the entire back, with the patterning more distinct on the front than in previous seasons.
Garmin-Sharp has unveiled their 2013 team kit. Photo © Garmin-Sharp
"The close partnership we have with Garmin-Sharp has led to improvements making sure the riders have the best possible clothing for every condition,” said Steve Smith from Castelli. “We're happy that our partnership with Team Garmin-Sharp leads to real innovation for the pros that we can then bring into our Castelli collection. Every cyclist can benefit from the feedback we get from the pros," he added.
The bibs for Garmin-Sharp’s 2013 kit. Photo © Garmin-Sharp
“Castelli and Garmin are crucial partners for the team,” says Garmin-Sharp Director of Sport Science, Robby Ketchell, “their commitment to working with us to provide with the best racing apparel and electronics possible contributes hugely to how we perform on the road.”
The back side of Garmin-Sharp’s 2013 kit. Photo © Garmin-Sharp
An advert for the latest Garmin Edge featuring Garmin-Sharp’s new kit has become popular on YouTube amongst cycling fans, and can be watched here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k0HMWMA7GQ4. Garmin-Sharp kit is available now for pre-order at http://www.shopslipstreamsports.com/cycling-apparel/2013-garmin-sharp-pro-team-jersey-config.html.
UCI Road World Championships, Tuscany 2013 – Latest
The Institutional Committee for the 2013 UCI Road World Championships, to be held in Tuscany, is set to meet on Monday, January 14th. The focus is to outline the projects' progress, but moreover to optimize the synergy between the Organizing Committee and the Local Authorities. The city of Florence will host the finish line of all 12 races of the Event, whilst the proposed routes have been described by Jonas Leib of the Swiss Cycling Federation as ‘selective, technical and spectacular.’ This news comes in the same week as the UCI announcement that as of this month, male and female World Championship races will award equal prize money, an announcement greeted by Pat McQuaid as ‘a simple but very important step forward in our effort to guarantee a healthy and fair future for our sport.’
Durbridge and Gillow Victorious in Ballarat as Cameron Meyer Wins National Crit Title
Luke Durbridge blasted around Ballarat to win gold in the individual time trial at the Mars Cycling Australia Road National Championships. The defending champion covered the 37 kilometre Lake Wendouree course in 43:26.71 to beat Rohan Dennis to the title. Michael Matthews, in his first outing in ORICA-GreenEDGE colours, took the bronze medal behind Dennis and his teammate Durbridge. “Winning the national title was definitely my main objective for January,” said Durbridge, “I worked hard over December to achieve that goal, and I’m happy to come out with the win.”
“It’s an honour to wear national colours,” Durbridge continued. “To have that honour last year and achieve it again this year is a huge thing for me. I take a lot of motivation from wearing the championship jersey. I’m glad to do it again this year. My 2013 season has started quite well.” As defending champion, Durbridge recognized that anything less than the gold medal would have been underwhelming. “It was different this year to go into the race with the win as an expectation,” he said. “It’s a different sort of feeling when anything but the win would be a disappointment. I used that pressure to motivate and drive me when I trained and raced. When it got hard out there today, I was able to remind myself that you don’t win when it isn’t hard. The pressure was good motivation in the end.”
Sport Director Matt Wilson drove behind Durbridge during his race effort. “Durbo is a level-headed guy,” explained Wilson. “He wanted some specific information over the radio with good time checks and a little encouragement towards the end. His radio stopped working during the second half of the course, so it was frustrating for him not have the information he wanted, but he was obviously riding super strong by that point.”
In the women’s race, Shara Gillow became only the second Australian woman to claim three consecutive national titles in the individual time trial championships on Wednesday. The Queenslander won the race against the clock at Lake Wendouree in a time of 38:56.59 over the 29.2 kilometre course. Gillow’s gold-medal ride was 1:09 faster than Grace Sulzberger for silver and 1:20 ahead of Felicity Wardlaw with bronze.
“I’m pretty happy with my ride, and it’s obviously really good to win the national championships again,” said Gillow. “With the course changes this year, it’s hard to compare my effort to my previous titles, and I’m always striving to go better. It’s a special win today, that’s for sure.” Gillow’s effort equalled the record set by 1992 Olympic road race champion Kathy Watt who claimed the hat trick of time trial titles from 1992-1994.
Cameron Meyer added to Durbridge’s success for ORICA-GreenEDGE with a victory in the elite men’s criterium at the Australian Road National Championships. Meyer established an early solo breakaway and managed to hold off the field for 26 laps en route to his third elite national title – his first in the criterium. “It’s another special win,” said the 24 year-old. “Obviously to win any Australian championship is special. I’m a little surprised as the criterium is not my forte. I’m definitely thought of more as a time triallist or road racer, but I went out there today and showed I have good form. We had some good tactics from the start, but we didn’t have to use them today.”
“We wanted to make the race as hard as possible,” said Sport Director Matt Wilson. “The Meyers are going really well, and the plan was to have them animate the race to make things as difficult as possible. Their attacks would impact the lead-outs for other teams and leave Leigh (Howard) fresh for the sprint. As it turned out, they made it so hard that they destroyed the field and Cam was able to ride away.”
Meyer admits that he didn’t allow himself to consider the win within reach until the final five laps. “I’ve been in the situation before,” he noted. “Many times, it comes back and you get caught. It looks good but you get nowhere. I thought that’s what would happen today as the gap held around 20 seconds. Further into the race, Matt Wilson was standing on the side and yelling at me to keep going. With ten laps left, he told me the field was cracking. That’s when I started to think I had a chance. Not until four or five laps to go did I think I could win.”
With two hugely successful days behind them, ORICA-GreenEDGE looks forward to Sunday’s road race. “We’ve won two titles now,” said Cameron. “We’re looking to add the big one on Sunday and make it three for three."