RCC and Zwift will be hosting events with Canyon-SRAM, EF Pro Cycling, and US national champion Justin Williams.
From Angliru to Zaugg and everything in between.
In a week when the merged RadioShack-Leopard-Trek team held its first training camp in Spain, when GreenEdge officially became Australia’s first-ever Division 1 team and when Rabobank presented its 2012 squad in the Netherlands, it’s worth reflecting on the team that won’t be in the peloton next year, HTC-Highroad, and why it will be remembered as one of the greatest teams in cycling history.
Even though Philippe Gilbert won five major classics in the 2011 road season that just ended, he was the exception rather than the rule in one of the must unpredictable seasons on record. From Matt Goss at Milan-San Remo in March to Oliver Zaugg at the Tour of Lombardy earlier this month, many of this year’s big winners have come from left field.
Great Britain’s only two world elite men’s road champions define their eras
World champion Thor Hushovd, in his rainbow stripes, may have stolen the show at Thursday’s Tour de France team presentation by donning a wig and brandishing a hammer as the Norse god of thunder; but also sharing the spotlight were the riders in distinctively colored national championship jerseys who won their respective title races last weekend.
The first week of this year's Tour features something for everyone
There’s perhaps no better indication of an athlete’s strength and form than time-trial performances. There were three major TTs this past weekend, and they were all won by riders from teams in the Anglo Empire: Brad Wiggins of Team Sky at Germany’s Tour of Bavaria; David Millar of Garmin-Cervélo at the Giro d’Italia; and Dave Zabriskie, also of Garmin, at the U.S. national TT championship.
The difficulties — or, rather, the over-the-top difficulties — of this month’s Giro d’Italia conclude this Saturday with a final gnarly mountain stage that features the dreaded Colle delle Finestre and a concluding climb to Sestriere for the eighth summit finish in two weeks.
When Alberto Contador lit his climbing after-burners on Mount Etna Sunday afternoon and streaked through the translucent Sicilian air toward his first-ever Giro d’Italia stage win (and a new grand-tour leader’s jersey), observers said the race was over. But Contador’s victory, only three seconds ahead of the enigmatic Venezuelan climber José Rujano and almost a minute ahead of his declared rivals, can be seen as a first salvo in a Giro that features six more mountaintop finishes and a couple of time trials before the checkered flag drops in Milan on May 29.
Wouter Weylandt’s death on Monday at the Giro d’Italia reminds us just how close danger lurks, and maybe his passing will stop us all from taking quite so many risks the next time we go out on the road.
The same afternoon that Philippe Gilbert was winning the Flèche Wallonne atop the notorious Mur de Huy last Wednesday, another French-speaking rider was taking a hilltop stage victory at the Giro del Trentino in the Dolomite mountains of Italy. That would be Thomas Voeckler, the current French national champion, notching (like Gilbert) his sixth win of the year and cementing his leadership of the 2011 UCI Europe Tour.
Editor’s note: Every week through the 2011 road season, VeloNews editor-at-large John Wilcockson is writing about key features of the week’s racing. This 10th installment focuses on the career of rider of the week Philippe Gilbert.
Depending on whose viewpoint you want to believe, the Garmin-Cervélo team was either (1) totally brilliant or (2) toxically negative.
VeloNews Editor-at-Large John Wilcockson writes on the importance of teamwork in the first of the cobblestone classics and two major stage races
It was with grit, great class and perfect timing that Matt Goss won Milan-San Remo on Saturday. He wasn’t meant to win though.
While Tony Martin and Cadel Evans were the headliners this past week for their overall victories at Paris-Nice and Tirreno-Adriatico respectively, the biggest news was the Court of Arbitration for Sport’s decision to uphold two-year suspensions on Italian racers Franco Pellizotti and Pietro Caucchioli.
At a time when the major professional teams have become unified in their position opposing the UCI ban on two-way radios, all three of the past week’s semi-classics saw dramatic, unpredictable racing.
The blogosphere is wondering about another vaunted new team, Leopard-Trek, which up until Monday had not registered a single victory since it debuted at the Tour Down Under just over a month ago.
When Marco Pantani died of an apparent cocaine overdose, alone in a Rimini hotel room seven years ago this St. Valentine’s Day, Riccardo Riccò was racing on a small amateur team called Grassi Marco Pantani. Riccò, then 20 years old, dreamed of emulating his hero by someday winning the Giro d’Italia and Tour de France.
After battling the UCI on its decision to ban radios in all but major events, Johan Bruyneel tells VeloNews that major changes are needed in the way important issues are decided in the sport.
John Wilcockson, VeloNews editor at large, recalls the late French champion.
Despite being in only its fifth year and lasting just eight days, the Amgen Tour of California is fast approaching the status of a three-week grand tour — in terms of the publicity it generates. That was shown by last week’s online release, over four days, of the 2010 stage details, and by the number of Tour de France contenders choosing to compete in the U.S. when the Giro d’Italia is under way in Europe.