Cycling News


Yates: Wiggins is the greatest rider of his generation
April 12, 2015 (04:45) [ Indexed from ]
With Bradley Wiggins on the point of ending his racing with Team Sky, his former sports director and Paris-Roubaix contender Sean Yates has paid tribute to the Briton he helped guide to a breakthrough victory for his countrys cycling back in 2012 at the Tour de France. For Yates, too, Paris-Roubaix has always been a very special race, so seeing Wiggins end his Sky career in the Queen of the Classics is a gesture he appreciates. As a pro, Paris-Roubaix was the one event of the year where Yates went from his usual role of super-domestique to team leader, finishing a career-best of fifth in one of the hardest ever editions, in 1994. As Bradley says, we all know hes well into his cycling history and the big heros of yester-year like Eddy [Merckx] and [four times Paris-Roubaix winner] [Roger] De Vlaeminck, Yates, now directing at Tinkoff-Saxo, told Cyclingnews.ADVERTISEMENT So given how passionate Bradley is about that and Monuments, Roubaix is pretty much the biggest and the most spectacular. [Finishing his career there] is a dream scenario. The ultimate dream for Wiggins would be to win, but whatever happens, hes doing this [retirement] on his own terms, hes gifted enough to be able to do that and I wish him all the best. Yates feels that Wiggins will definitely be in contention on Sunday because hes perfectly built for that. Ultimately [in Paris-Roubaix] you need power and hes clearly got that, hes won so many different kinds of races. Yates would even go so far as to argue that in the modern era, hes pretty much up there with the best theres ever been. Hes got that versatility as a rider, and its not over yet. He could well go to Rio and get another medal there. Also important is how far he can get when he focusses on something. We all know how far he put himself out of his comfort zone to get to the Tour in great shape in 2012, for example. Physically hes up there with the best. You can read more at More...
Wiggins is the man to watch at Paris-Roubaix, says Stybar
April 12, 2015 (04:45) [ Indexed from ]
Zdenek Stybar can smile about it now but at the time it was terrible. As the Czech rider posed for photographers ahead of Etixx-QuickSteps pre-Paris-Roubaix press conference on Friday afternoon, he flashed a grin that showed the success of his mid-week dental work. Stybars false teeth " he lost the originals in a crash at the Eneco Tour last year " rattled loose on the cobbles at the Tour of Flanders last Sunday, and he spent the final 70km of the race unable to eat solid food, subsisting on a diet of liquids and gels, though he managed to finish the race in ninth place. While his peers spent Monday recovering from their exertions at the Ronde, Stybar visited a dentist to receive a replacement dental bridge, and he said that he had encountered no problems during Etixx-QuickSteps reconnaissance on the pav on Friday morning.ADVERTISEMENT Theyre okay now, theyre really well glued and brand new, he said. I really hope I dont lose them again now. It was really disturbing in the race last week. Maybe I wont eat any coconut bars or sticky candy for a while, but drinking from the bidon or eating a bar isnt a problem. You dont feel it racing, but you do notice it when you lose half of your teeth at the end of the race. Despite the absence of Tom Boonen, Etixx-QuickStep still has a trio of Paris-Roubaix contenders, as Stybar will lead the line alongside Stijn Vandenbergh and defending champion Niki Terpstra. Stybars cyclo-cross background means that he was tipped as a future Roubaix winner on belatedly turning to the road full-time midway through 2012. Although he views himself as being more suited to the Tour of Flanders, Stybar performed better at Paris-Roubaix in his first two springs with QuickStep, finishing sixth after a collision with a spectator forced him out of the winning move in 2013 and then taking fifth last year. You can read more at More...
Wiggins in no mood to dwell on past ahead of Paris-Roubaix
April 11, 2015 (04:30) [ Indexed from ]
As reporters loitered in the doorway of Kortrijks Hotel Messeyne on Friday afternoon ahead of Skys pre-Paris-Roubaix press conference, word filtered through that the main attraction, Bradley Wiggins, was not inclined to come downstairs and speak with them. The sight of a group of British journalists arguing the toss with a Sky press officer on the pavement outside the hotel would, in its own way, have been a perfectly fitting way for Wiggins to sign off on his final round of media duties with the team, but eventually he filed into a conference room at the rear of the hotel to face questions, wrapped up in a black jacket and woolly hat. Wiggins classics campaign to date has had a decidedly valedictory feel. Ahead of Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and again before the Tour of Flanders, he regaled journalists with memories of watching Paris-Roubaix and his early professional experiences. Now 48 hours ahead of The Last Race Ever, however, he made it clear that he was in no mood to cast an eye back over his career just now.ADVERTISEMENT Im just focused on the race. Im trying not to think about that, its becoming quite negative now. Im not enjoying it, Wiggins said. My career finishes on Sunday, not before, so I need to focus on the race and not keep thinking about all the nostalgic parts of it. Im just focused on trying to get my head in the right frame of mind for the race with no thoughts of afterwards because that makes the job even harder. All winter, Wiggins preparations for his final crack at Paris-Roubaix have made headlines across Europe and the attention has only intensified following the withdrawal of both Fabian Cancellara and Tom Boonen through injury. The Englishman took the step of reconnoitring the pav once a month over the off-season in order to see the Roubaix finale in various conditions, though he stressed that, unlike a time trial or a pursuit, his methodical approach offered no guarantees. Its not as quantifiable, Ive been saying that all winter that its not a given, Wiggins said. I was talking to Sep Vanmarcke the other day. He said: If you listen to the press youve won it already. And I said to him that if it was as easy as that Id have done it fifteen years ago. You can be in the best possible shape and finish last in Roubaix. Its really like that. You can have a puncture at the wrong time, a crash, and its over. You can read more at More...
Wiggins: Winning Paris-Roubaix would be bigger than the Tour de France
April 11, 2015 (04:30) [ Indexed from ]
Bradley Wiggins says that if he were to win his final race with Team Sky at Paris-Roubaix this Sunday it would rank among his personal achievements than his Tour de France victory. Wiggins is due to draw a close to his road career this week as he switches his focus to the track ahead of next year's Olympic Games in Rio and will ride Roubaix as his final send-off. "It would be bigger in my eyes at the moment. That's not to say that the Tour wasn't huge because it was. I think it would be more enjoyable because it's only one day and it's over in six hours," Wiggins said. "It was always a fairy tale Roubaix, and you finish and because you had a good race you forget how hard it was. "I idolised some of my heroes as a kid who rode these races. Despite what might have come out in the last few years, with honesty groups and whatever, just the pure passion, regardless of what people were doing or not doing, just that pure passion for the sport. I wouldn't be here without it."ADVERTISEMENT Riding Paris-Roubaix was deemed much too risky when preparing for a tilt at the Tour de France and he was only able to return to the race last year, for the first time in three seasons. He survived the selection and came through the cobbles in the main group of contenders before going onto finish ninth. With more specific preparation for the event, Wiggins has been put among the favourites for victory on Sunday. However, Wiggins is aware that finding that perfect send-off is far easier said than done. "Everyone says, 'oh you can win Roubaix and have this fairy tale ending' but it's not as easy as that and I'd give anything to be in the same position, the Carrefore de l'Arbe again like I was last year and that would be enough for me to be honest. I mean I'd love to win, I'm not here saying that I'd accept ninth place but to have a clean run through the race, to have no crashes. "To come onto that Velodrome with all my peers, I'm getting too nostalgic but that's a huge part of it." You can read more at More...
Thomas: Wiggins is the best rider Britain has produced
April 04, 2015 (04:00) [ Indexed from ]
The next eight days will be the last for Geraint Thomas and Bradley Wiggins as teammates, as Wiggins draws the curtain on his road career. The pair have known each other for some time, riding together on the track and winning gold in the team pursuit at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. It was then that Wiggins decided to put an end to his track career and focus on the road but their paths would cross again with the advent of Team Sky. While Thomas was still performing at the highest level on the track, Wiggins was going from strength to strength on the road - culminating in his overall victory at the Tour de France in 2012. That year would be Thomas last on the boards and his road career has since enjoyed a dramatic leap forwards. Earlier this week, Wiggins tipped Thomas as the future of Team Sky and as a potentially talismanic figure for the British outfit. Talking ahead of this weekends Tour of Flanders, Thomas remembered his time with Wiggins fondly. Hes one of if not the best cyclists that Britains produced. Hes a top guy to have around and learn off really over the years, said Thomas. When I grew up he was a few years ahead of me, he was winning junior Worlds and then he went to the Olympics and turned pro and he was doing everything that I wanted to do. Then to ride Beijing with him and spend more or less two years together with that one goal in mind. Weve been good friends since really. When you do the team pursuit and youre away on training camps together with four or five guys, its pretty intense and you go through a lot together and that always stays with you. Hopefully he can end his pro career nicely in Roubaix. After his recent success, Thomas has taken on the responsibility of Team Skys sole leader for the Ronde Van Vlaanderen, and has been touted as the big favourite for the 264 kilometre race. Its a position that is new to him and he is grateful to have Wiggins and Ian Stannard by his side. Its massive. Its flattering as well. Its a big compliment for people to be mentioning my name as a potential winner, explained Thomas. I think Brads already said that hes happy to get stuck in and do his job. I think having someone like him to help keep you near the front near the end of the race, theres no better guy physically especially when he is up for it. Its great to have him around; its the same with Stannard. I think that theyre both happy to play that role on Sunday and then well talk about Roubaix afterwards. The tables are set to turn a week later as Wiggins rides his final race with the team at Paris-Roubaix. However, with Thomas so dominant in recent weeks, questions were asked if he would like to attempt the double and take on Roubaix but he brushed such inquiries off, saying that the elder of the two would have his backing on that day. Brads the guy for Roubaix at the moment. We havent really sat down and spoken about it but hes targeting that and usually when hes targeting that then hell have pretty good legs, said Thomas. I think for myself I think that this weekend is the one that Id prefer to do well in. It suits me a bit better and its the one Ive been thinking about all winter.ADVERTISEMENT "I havent really thought about Roubaix, obviously Monday morning you start thinking about that but when it comes to the leaders. Roubaix is the same as Sunday and a lot can happen and I think its good having Stannard, Brad and myself, three good guys who can be up there will help a lot. To subscribe to the Cyclingnews video channel, please click here. You can read more at More...
Wiggins dreams of delivering Thomas to Flanders victory
April 04, 2015 (04:00) [ Indexed from ]
Bradley Wiggins was in his element as he greeted the press ahead of this Sunday's Tour of Flanders. A day after his first victory in the rainbow stripes of world time trial champion at De Panne, Wiggins held court in Team Sky's Kortrijk based hotel.Wiggins is used to being the star of the show, while his chance to shine is a little over a week away, this weekend it is all about his teammate Geraint Thomas. Wiggins will be working for Thomas, who has put himself forward as the man to beat this Sunday with his recent success. It is a chance to repay Thomas and he has already been dreaming up scenarios of how the race will play out " all of which end in Team Sky taking the victory. "Dont think I haven't had an image of how that's going to look either. I see myself going up the Kwaremont one last time, doing damage, peeling off and watching Geraint attack," Wiggins laughs, knowing all too well that best laid plans aft go awry on the cobbles. "That's an ideal scenario, and soloing to the finish. Obviously life's not like that and I'm sure it will be a lot messier than that. If Geraint Thomas won on Sunday then, Jesus Christ, I don't think we'd be there on Sunday.ADVERTISEMENT "We've won those bottles already," he indicates to the three magnums of champagne that the team have collected from E3 Harelbeke, Gent-Wevelgem and Wiggins' latest victory at the Three Days of De Panne. "We'd probably open them all up on Sunday night. I think we'd be sending the B team to Roubaix. What a thing that would be." Wiggins will bow out of Team Sky following next weekend's Roubaix, as he switches to the Continental team that bears his name and focusses his efforts on the track for the final 18 months of his professional career. The 34-year-old joined Team Sky in its founding year and has seen it through some of its biggest achievements and toughest times. While they soon cracked the Grand Tours, it is only this year that the Classics team has reaped the success they desired. After his time trial victory at De Panne, Wiggins noted that this weekend was Britain's first opportunity to take top honours since Tom Simpson's victory in 1961. The 34-year-old's win at the 2012 Tour de France marked a revival in the passion for the sport in the country and three years down the line he's happy that the passion has spread to the cobbles. You can read more at More...
Team Sky unveil Pinarello DOGMA K8-S for the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix
April 03, 2015 (03:45) [ Indexed from ]
Team Sky, in conjunction with Jaguar, have unveiled the new Pinarello DOGMA K8-S for the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix. The bike is set to feature on the cobbles of this years Tour de France, but Bradley Wiggins, Geraint Thomas and Luke Rowe will be among the first Team Sky riders to race the bike this weekend in Flanders. The new bike, with a claimed raw frame weight of 900g, has a bespoke mechanical rear suspension system called the DSS 1.0 " Dogma Suspension System " that features a miniature rear shock and flexible flat carbon chainstays that Pinarello believes creates a revolutionary pivot point for the perfect riding comfort over the cobbles of northern Belgium and France." Cyclingnews joined Team Sky riders Thomas, Rowe and Salvatore Puccio as they rode the final 100 kilometres of the Tour of Flanders route on Thursday as part of their final preparations ahead of Sundays Monument, and the feedback from the riders was expectedly positive. I'm in the best shape I've been in, and the team are in the best shape they've been in, and we've got a lovely new bike, Thomas said.ADVERTISEMENT I rode [the bike] in February as well and it feels nice. The faster you go you can tell the difference even more. The back end definitely feels a lot comfier - not so rigid. The new rear suspension unit has been co-engineered by Pinarello, the teams bike supplier since their WorldTour inception in 2010, and Jaguar, who initially joined the team as their vehicle supplier that same year. The starting point for Pinarellos development started with the K8 road bike with the main triangle acting as the foundation of the project. As is typical for bikes purposely built for the cobbled classics, the front end is built with a slacker head tube angle, while the fork rake has increased by 4mm. In total, this should make for better shock absorption up front along with increased stability given the longer wheelbase. You can read more at More...
Wiggins closes circle with De Panne time trial win
April 03, 2015 (03:45) [ Indexed from ]
The final time trial of the Three Days of De Panne had the feel of a valedictory win for Bradley Wiggins, though the Briton will of course hope to add Paris-Roubaix to his palmars before he departs Team Sky in 10 days time for his new, eponymous Continental outfit. Wiggins first participated in De Panne in 2002, as a neo-professional with La Franaise des Jeux, and finished the concluding time trial in 12th place " incidentally, one spot behind another Sky man very much in the news in recent weeks, current directeur sportif Servais Knaven. Victory on that same windswept course in 2009 was an early flourish in the season that proved to be the turning point of Wiggins entire career, and there was a sense of closing the circle when he claimed his first win in the rainbow jersey of world time trial champion on Thursday afternoon.ADVERTISEMENT It was one of my first time trials as a professional back in 2002 and its my last one on this level, so its nice to win. It was certainly on my mind all week and especially today, I really wanted to win this one, Wiggins said afterwards. I always like this time trial especially when the weather picks up. Wiggins showed no lingering effects of Thursdays morning leg, quickly finding his rhythm on rolling down the start ramp, and it was immediately apparent that he would not be denied, even with 25 riders still to follow him. By close of business, only Stefan Kng (BMC) came within 10 seconds of Wiggins time on the 14.2km course, and the Briton had hauled himself up to third place overall, 42 seconds down on Alexander Kristoff (Katusha), for good measure. It felt horrible out there but I think it was the same for everyone, Wiggins said. When you race this morning really early it never feels like its flowing and fresh and everyone is trying really hard. But I knew there was an opportunity to jump onto the podium. You can read more at More...
Bradley Wiggins finds Team Sky's next talisman in Geraint Thomas
April 03, 2015 (03:45) [ Indexed from ]
Having spent a number of seasons in the services of Bradley Wiggins and his stage racing needs, Geraint Thomas will see those roles reversed on Sunday as the former Tour de France winner lines up as part of the Welshmans support crew at the Tour of Flanders. Wiggins, who is riding his final Classics campaign before leaving Team Sky at the conclusion of Paris Roubaix to focus on the track, is approaching the end of this particular road in his career just at Thomas is settling in as Team Skys most accomplished leader for the Classics. Wiggins believes that Thomas, after winning the E3Harelbeke, could be on the cusp of winning the teams first Monument. "We've probably got the race favourite in Geraint, so it's pretty clear-cut what we have to do. Sky is pretty good at that in terms of getting their leader where he needs to be and in Geraint we've got someone who can potentially win the race," Wiggins told Cyclingnews and one other journalist at the Three Days of De Panne.ADVERTISEMENT Wiggins, of course, knows Thomas better than most. The pair were track teammates at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and formed part of Team Sky's first roster two years later. The Welshman, who is enjoying his best season since turning professional skipped Wiggins' Tour de France ride in 2012 in order to concentrate on the track but at the recent Paris-Nice, Wiggins picked up on Thomas's new-found diligence and attention to detail " a trait he himself harboured during his own stage racing purple patch. "I said to him at Paris-Nice, I've never seen him like that before. He's normally a bit away with the fairies but he was paying attention to his food and his mindset. He's spent quite a few years racing for other people, being the strongman and being praised as the super domestique but now he's getting the opportunity and position where he has the confidence to ride at the front." Speaking to Thomas over the last few weeks it is abundantly clear the man himself has harnessed a confidence that was at times missing in the past. He has dropped weight over the winter but the way he clinically disposed of the opposition in E3 Harelbeke two weeks ago displayed a new side to his game. He is not the outright favourite for Flanders but he is certain among the leading contenders. You can read more at More...
Ellingworth: Wiggins moving in the right direction ahead of Flanders and Roubaix
April 02, 2015 (03:45) [ Indexed from ]
Bradley Wiggins survived the opening day of the Driedaagse De Panne and remains on course for Fridays individual time trial and a bid for the overall but with one eye on the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix the former Tour de France winners primary goal is fine-tune his form ahead of the two cobbled Monuments. Wiggins was meant to line up for last weeks E3 Harelbeke but he was taken out of the team as a precaution after falling ill. He, like the majority of the field, then failed to finish Gent-Wevelgem, leaving him short of recent race miles in Belgian. De Panne was already on his schedule coming into the Classics campaign but the three-day event has become more significant in the British riders preparation in recent days.ADVERTISEMENT "Ive never seen anything like that," he told reporters when reflecting on the windy conditions at Gent-Wevelgem that saw only 39 riders finish. "Those winds were incredible but it is what it is and I need these days for Roubaix." Wiggins was often at the front of the peloton during the opening stage in De Panne and although he finished 40 seconds behind winner Alexandre Kristoff he remains on course for Fridays individual time trial. Rod Ellingworth, who linked up with Team Skys classics contingent after Gent-Wevelgem believes that the team are still reaping the rewards from a confidence-boosting win in E3 Harelbeke. You can read more at More...
Wiggins on form and ready for final Classics with Team Sky
March 30, 2015 (03:45) [ Indexed from ]
Bradley Wiggins believes that Team Sky can benefit from their position of Classics favourites after Tom Boonen and Fabian Cancellara were both ruled out through injury. Wiggins, returning to the Classics at Gent-Wevelgem after skipping E3 Harelbeke through illness, told Cyclingnews that the loss of Cancellara and Boonen, changes everything. Boonen crashed in Paris-Nice and dislocated his left collarbone, while Cancellara fell during E3 Harelbeke and fractured two vertebrae. QuickStep are like a different team without Tom, Wiggins told Cyclingnews at the start of Gent-Wevelgem.ADVERTISEMENT Theyre like rabbits in the headlights and they all think that they can win or have a chance. He was the gel that kept it all together. Hes not there now and Fabian has gone too, so someone like Thomas is probably the favourite for Flanders. Everyone is going to be looking at us and the emphasis falls on us. That could play into our hands because were used to doing that. Wiggins heads into the main block of the Classics with his eyes firmly on Paris-Roubaix, which will be his final race for Team Sky before he embarks on a new project with his WIGGINS team. The form is alright and its gone well over the last few days. I was a bit sick last Monday and decided to sack Friday off just for precaution more than anything, so it was never planned for me to ride this race. I think the training has gone well though and well find things out in the next couple of weeks. You can read more at More...
Wiggins confirmed for Gent-Wevelgem
March 29, 2015 (03:30) [ Indexed from ]
Bradley Wigginshas been confirmed in Team Skys line up for Sundays Gent-Wevelgem. The world time trial champion had been set to race E3-Harelbeke but was replaced by Elia Viviani prior to the race. Wiggins travelled to Belgium on Friday to link up with his teammates after Geraint Thomas won E3, and both riders will take part in Sundays race. They will be joined by Bernhard Eisel, Andy Fenn, Christian Knees, Luke Rowe, Ian Stannard and Elia Viviani in the teams selection.ADVERTISEMENT Wiggins is targeting Paris-Roubaix this season and the race will be the final race he takes part in for Team Sky before he moves over to his newly-formed WIGGINS squad and concentrates on track racing ahead of the Rio Olympics in 2016. Wiggins stared his season at the Tour of Qatar in February and placed third in the individual time trial. He raced Omloop Het Nieuwsblad later that month and helped Stannard defend his race title before linking up with Team Skys stage racing squad at Paris-Nice. He rode as a domestique for winner Richie Porte but pulled out on the eve of the final time trial, instead deciding to focus on his Classics preparation. He is scheduled to race Driedaagse De Panne-Koksijde next week with a remote chance that the Tour of Flanders could be added to his programme before Paris-Roubaix. You can read more at More...
Wiggins out of E3 Harelbeke but may race Gent-Wevelgem
March 26, 2015 (18:00) [ Indexed from ]
Despite having E3-Harelbeke on his list of spring races for the better part of three months Bradley Wiggins has not been selected for Fridays race by Team Sky. Citing a race selection policy, a team spokesperson from the team told Cyclingnews that Wiggins will instead travel to Belgium on Friday and train before a decision is made on his possible participation in Gent-Wevelgem. The world time trial champion is aiming to close his Team Sky career with a win in Paris-Roubaix next month and has built his spring around a cobbles campaign. Team Sky will line-up with Bernhard Eisel, Andy Fenn, Christian Knees, Salvatore Puccio, Luke Rowe, Ian Stannard, Geraint Thomas and Elia Viviani for E3-Harelbke, with the team confirm that the squad selection for Sundays Gent-Wevelgem will be confirmed from the teams long list following the outcome of E3 Harelbeke.ADVERTISEMENT Wiggins also has Scheldeprijs on March 27 on his race programme. Last month, Team Sky confirmed that the door had not completely closed on Wiggins taking part in the Tour of Flanders. To subscribe to the Cyclingnews video channel, click here. You can read more at More...
Wiggins and Kittel head Tour de Yorkshire line-up
March 19, 2015 (02:00) [ Indexed from ]
Bradley Wiggins and Marcel Kittel will be the stand-out names when the inaugural three-day edition of the Tour de Yorkshire gets under way in Bridlington on 1 May. The 16 eight-rider teams include WorldTour outfits Sky, Giant-Alpecin, BMC Racing, Lotto-Jumbo and IAM Cycling. 2012 Tour de France champion Wiggins is set to make his first appearance for his eponymous team at the new race, which starts just days after his transfer from Team Sky. His presence is sure to give a huge boost to the event, which Welcome to Yorkshire chief executive Gary Verity is already predicting will attract a million spectators. Its fantastic to hear that the UCI have cleared the way for Bradley to ride, Verity tells Cyclingnews. We all know what a great sporting icon he is in the UK and were absolutely delighted that hell be here in Yorkshire with his new team.ADVERTISEMENT Verity also hailed Giant sprinter Kittels return to Yorkshire, where he won the opening stage of last years Tour de France in Harrogate. Marcel is sure to have his eye on the opening two stages into Scarborough and York. Id certainly have my money on him for that second one, which suits the sprinters down to the ground, says Verity, adding: But I dont expect him to be in contention on the final stage, which has 3,085 metres of climbing. The presence of Cofidis and Europcar squads takes the number of teams returning to Yorkshire after last years Tour de France Grand Dpart to seven. The two French outfits will be joined by another four Pro Continental teams: Cult Energy, MTN-Qhubeka, Rompoot Oranje and Topsport Vlaanderen. Were chuffed, its a cracking line-up, says Verity, who is also very pleased to see the race graced by a strong contingent of domestic squads. Four British Continental outfits " Madison-Genesis, NFTO, ONE Pro Cycling and WIGGINS " will be joined by a Great Britain team. You can read more at More...
2015 Tour of Britain hoping to attract star line-up with toughest route yet
March 19, 2015 (02:00) [ Indexed from ]
Tour of Britain race director Mick Bennett hopes that the challenging 2015 parcours will attract the biggest names in cycling, as they build up to the World Championships in Richmond. On Tuesday, Bennett announced what is probably the toughest route, and is definitely the longest, in the races history, with the Hartside Fell in the Pennines set to test the riders on stage five. There are some really brutal days out there and deliberately so, Bennett told the races website, Firstly we want our national British tour to reflect the tough terrain which is part and parcel of our cycling scene and secondly we have talked informally with the teams in recent years " and increasingly with the big World Tour teams " and they are adamant that they would welcome a couple of really testing long days ahead of the Worlds. We are very happy to oblige and it fits in perfectly with our remit of expanding the race. Competing with the Vuelta a Espaa and the Canadian WorldTour races of Montreal and Quebec, the race is fighting to make itself an ideal proving ground for World Championship hopefuls. Michal Kwiatkowski (Etixx-QuickStep) and Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky) used it to perfection last year, while Mark Cavendish (Etixx-QuickStep) also rode the race on the way to his world title in 2011.ADVERTISEMENT Anyone hoping for longer and more challenging terrain will be delighted, with three stages of the eight-day race breaching the 200-kilometre mark and the overall route totalling 1,471 " almost 100 kilometres longer than last years race. The 2015 course breaks another record for the race with the riders taking on the Hartside Fell, which at 1,904 feet is the highest point the race has ever passed. Hartside will be the show-piece finish to stage five and Bennett expects a big battle. You would fancy the peloton to arrive at the foot of the climb pretty much intact unless the wind blows en-route, in which case it could be split asunder by the time the main challenge presents itself. And wind is not unknown in those parts, he explained. "It's (Hartside) a proper 8km climb and although the average gradient is a comparatively modest 5% up at the top there are some nasty 10% sections and a hairpin that could reward the more aggressive riders. This stage has a real sting in the tail. There will be no time trialling at this years race, with construction work preventing the organisers from using the traditional London route on the final day. It has been replaced by a corner-packed criterium through the heart of London, which Bennett says will be no easy ride. You can read more at More...
Wiggins cleared to ride Tour de Yorkshire
March 13, 2015 (21:00) [ Indexed from ]
Bradley Wiggins has been cleared to participate for the WIGGINS team in the Tour de Yorkshire on 1-3 May following the UCI road commissions approval of the derogation of rule 2.17.007, which stipulates that the permitted transfer window for Continental squads lies between 1-25 June. Wiggins current contract with Team Sky is due to end on 26 April. According to the UCI, the request for the relaxation of this regulation came from the WIGGINS team with the support of British Cycling, the riders national federation. Having received the approval of the UCIs road commission, Wiggins transfer will become effective from the day that the UCI receives the official registration bulletin from British Cycling. Assuming there are no hitches in the registration process, Wiggins will then line up at the head of his eponymous team for the start of the Tour de Yorkshire in Bridlington on 1 May.ADVERTISEMENT The 2012 Tour de France champion told the Cycling Podcast earlier this week that his first race for Team WIGGINS will be ASOs new Yorkshire stage race. Official confirmation of his participation is sure to boost interest in the event, for which a million spectators are already predicted to turn out. After racing in the three-day Tour de Yorkshire, Wiggins will compete in Tour Series events in the UK before turning his attention to his attempt on the World Hour Record. You can read more at More...
Brailsford: Wiggins can go out with a win
March 06, 2015 (19:00) [ Indexed from ]
Team Sky principle David Brailsford believes that Bradley Wiggins can end his very successful tenure with the British WorldTour team in style. Wiggins is due to leave Team Sky after targeting Paris-Roubaix next month and then join his Wiggins Continental team and race on the track for the final part of his career. "There's no reason why he can't go out with a win. He's prepared well, he's focused well and when he does that, he's terrific with preparation. He needs a big stage to perform and Paris-Roubaix is certainly that, Brailsford told Sky Sports News. Wiggins has been part of Team Sky since its inception in 2010; the team was largely built around him until recently. He landed his biggest successes in Team Sky's black and blue colours, most notably his 2012 Tour de France title. Wiggins is due to switch to the track, where he began his career, to target the Hour Record and the Olympic games in the next 18 months. Among his final races for the team, Wiggins will ride Paris-Nice, which begins this Sunday, where he won ahead of his Tour success.ADVERTISEMENT "Bradley has been an iconic figure for us in Team Sky and for British cycling. He'll start this weekend in the Paris-Nice stage race, in his last stage race for Team Sky. He's won it before and he's ready for it, said Brailsford. Then we'll go on Paris-Roubaix which will be his last race for Sky - a big one-day classic and he's ready for that too. It'll be sad to see him go, that's for sure. Team Sky has enjoyed a purple patch of late with two GC victories at the Volta ao Algarve and the Vuelta a Andaluca with Geraint Thomas and Chris Froome respectively, and Ian Stannards commanding win at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad. "It's been our best start to the season ever. We've had more victories at this point of the year than we've ever had so it's been a terrific start, explains Brailsford. Brailsford claims the team have rallied over the winter, after a particularly challenging 2014 season. You can read more at More...
Wiggins confirmed for Paris-Nice, Froome for Tirreno-Adriatico
March 03, 2015 (18:30) [ Indexed from ]
Team Sky have revealed their rosters for March, confirming that Bradley Wiggins will ride Paris-Nice alongside Geraint Thomas and Richie Porte, while Chris Froome will have support from Peter Kennaugh, Leopold Knig, Mikel Nieve and Wout Poels as he takes on Alberto Contador at Tirreno-Adriatico. Team Sky will also ride the Tour de Langkawi (8"15 March), meaning that 25 riders from the British WorldTour team will be action in three stage races during the next two weeks. Paris-Nice will be Wiggins last major stage race of his Team Sky career. He won the 'Race to the Sun' in 2012 before going on to win the Tour de France. He could be a contender for the opening prologue and the final time trial on the Col dEze but is more likely to play a support role to Porte and Thomas as he prepares for the cobbled Classics.ADVERTISEMENT Porte won Paris-Nice in 2013 and showed that he his back to his best with second overall at the Tour Down Under and fourth at the Volta ao Algarve, won by Thomas. The Welshman lead Paris-Nice for two days in 2014 but then crashed and did not start the final stage. Completing Team Skys line-up for Paris-Nice are road captain Bernhard Eisel, Lars-Petter Nordhaug, Nicolas Roche, Luke Rowe and sprinter Ben Swift, who will target any sprint finishes as he prepares for Milan-San Remo. Froome has a solid squad as he takes on Contador Froome is looking to continue his winning streak after putting Alberto Contador to the sword at the recent Ruta del Sol and Team Sky has named a solid squad to support him. You can read more at More...
Wiggins comes full circle at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad
February 27, 2015 (20:45) [ Indexed from ]
Racing in Belgium has the uncomfortable tendency to remind neo-professionals that theyre not in Kansas anymore. Bradley Wiggins first taste of the Classics came at Omloop Het Volk in 2002, when he lined up in the colours of La Franaise des Jeux, and once the peloton hit that peculiarly Flemish version of the yellow brick road, he was quickly jettisoned out the back. I remember almost knocking [Johan] Museeuw off on the entry to Cte du Trieu because I was fighting to be up there, Wiggins said. I had [Andrei] Tchmil on one side and Museeuw on the other and I just remember thinking to myself what the fuck are you doing here? These guys are way better than you. So I just got out of the way, went to the back, got dropped and that was it. I got dropped after 30k so I didnt even make it to the Kwaremont. Because of the respect I had for those guys I didnt want to get in their way. You have to earn the right to be in the first 20 or 30 positions with those guys.ADVERTISEMENT Wiggins was speaking in Kortrijk on Friday on the eve of his first appearance at the Omloop since 2005, and while much has changed in interim " the race now carries the name of another Belgian newspaper, Het Nieuwsblad, and his old nemesis the Trieu does not feature on the parcours, for instance " the Englishman is back on familiar ground and in a familiar position. Like on those first, tentative efforts on the pav over a decade ago, Wiggins is, with Paris-Roubaix in mind, trying to earn the right to a long-term lease on some prime real estate at the head of the peloton. The Hell of the North is his final race in the colours of Team Sky, and unlike twelve months ago, Wiggins will ride a full programme of cobbled races in preparation for the last grand challenge of his road career. Its good to get into the mind-set for these races, to get to know the roads and for the others guys, Boonen and that, to see you there, Wiggins explained. When it comes to the real fight, theyre perhaps happy to sit behind you and not push you off the wheel because they know you wont lose the wheel. So its confidence for everyone that they see you there. You can read more at More...
Provisional riders announced for Paris-Nice
February 26, 2015 (15:45) [ Indexed from ]
After last year's time trial free Paris-Nice, the 73rd edition of the Race to the Sun returns to its familiar format including the final day time trial up the Col d'ze,attracting former winners and current world champions. With theroute announced earlier this month, race organisers ASO have released the provisional start list, confirming the appearances ofBradley Wiggins (Team Sky), Michal Kwiatkowski (Etixx-Quick Step), Tejay van Garderen (BMC) and Fabio Aru (Astana) among many more. From the 20 teams which were selected, 22 riders have won stages at Paris-Nice, including Wiggins, Richie Porte (Team Sky), Tony Martin (Etixx-Quick Step) and Luis Leon Sanchez (Astana) who all previous overall winners. While the route will favour the chrono specialists such as Wiggins, Martin and Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin), there will be opportunities for the climbers to make their mark on the race. The French climbing triumvirate of Romain Bardet (Ag2r-La Mondiale), Warren Barguil (Giant-Alpecin) and Pierre Rolland (Europcar) will be eying off the stage four summit finish on Croix de Chaubouret as will the 2014 Tour de France king of the mountains winner Rafal Majka (Tinkoff-Saxo).ADVERTISEMENT Having placed second overall at the Tour of Oman, van Garderen will be hungry for his first win of the season and with his time trialling prowess will be another rider capable of challenging for the GC. Teammate Rohan Dennis looks like providing support as he makes his return to the road following his successful hour record attempt earlier this month. Bob Jungels (Trek) and Wilco Kelderman (Lotto-Jumbo) could spring a surprise with both riders characteristics suited to the parcours while their appearances further bolster the depth of youthful talent at the race. It isn't just about the GC men though with French road race champion Arnaud Dmare (FDJ) set to go head-to-head with former teammate Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis) in the sprints as both riders look to open their 2015 accounts. However, they'll need to get the better of Andre Greipel (Lotto Soudal), John Degenkolb (Giant-Alpecin) and Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) who already have wins to their names in 2015 and will be looking for more success ahead of the classics You can read more at More...

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