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Amid the chaos of a bicycle race, Svein Tuft is known to enjoy quiet moments with nature — on occasion he has ventured barefoot into the woods to meditate or practice yoga. Recently, Tuft’s meditative moments came during early morning dips in the chilly Pacific Ocean in Oxnard, California, where he attended a training camp for his new squad, Rally-UHC.
For Tuft, now 41, the training camp in California marked a return to the North American racing scene, a decade after he made the jump to the WorldTour. Tuft began his career 17 seasons ago with Prime Alliance and then Symmetrics, before joining Garmin-Slipstream in 2009.
“It feels like I’ve gone full circle,” Tuft told VeloNews. “When I started it was a lot like this, just a core group of guys. When we came from LA, when we got picked up, we were in a similar van to what I always remember. It’s just how I remember 10, 15 years ago. We drove by the Motel 6 where Jonas [Carney] and I were teammates on Prime Alliance in 2002.”
Tuft had initially planned to retire following the 2018 season, his seventh with Australian squad Mitchelton-Scott. Yet his relationships with Rally-UHC’s Performance Director Jonas Carney convinced him to sign up for one more season.
The two were teammates in the early 2000’s, and kept in touch as Tuft jumped to the WorldTour and Carney became Rally’s director. When Rally embarked on a European campaign in 2018 and began to plan for a new service course in Europe, Carney contacted Tuft and asked him how to navigate the cycling scene there. Later that season, Rally management met with Tuft in Spain.
The team had future ambitions in Europe, and Carney believed that Tuft’s experience could help them achieve those goals.
“They started pitching the idea, and the more I started thinking about, the more I realized that that was something that would be really cool,” Tuft said.
window.ia_1 = googletag.defineSlot('/21732621108/velonews', [[300, 50],[300, 250],[320, 50],[728, 90]], 'ad-ia-1').defineSizeMapping(szmp_ia).addService(googletag.pubads());googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('ad-ia-1'); });With Danny Pate retiring, Rally was seeking a veteran racer to help shepherd the younger riders into the sport. Tuft, who has collected 11 Canadian time trial titles, two Canadian road race titles, and a number of international wins in his lengthy career, was an optimal choice.
Carney said he did not expect Tuft to change his retirement plans. He was thrilled when Tuft proved him wrong.
“We’ve been trying to have Svein race for us forever and finally we lined up,” Carney said. “Where he is in career and what he wants to do, and where we are and what we need, it was a great fit. We’re lucky.”
Tuft said that a transition from the WorldTour to a Pro Continental team was more attractive than quitting. He also liked Rally’s approach to growth. Over the past two seasons Rally has steadily grown its overseas ambitions, last year venturing into a handful of WorldTour races. Rally’s leadership hopes the team can eventually bring more riders from North America into the WorldTour ranks.
“We haven’t had that for a very long time now,” Tuft said. “I’m always talking about development in Canada and how we have all these young riders with nowhere to go. Here [Rally] is the place to strive to. To be part of that and grow with that, that’s super exciting.”
Rally’s increased focus on European races will mean that Tuft’s calendar will still include plenty of high-caliber events in Europe. While Tuft hopes to “rip a time trial” of his own occasionally this season, his main focus will be shepherding Rally’s crop of young talents into race finales.
“Most of my race schedule is very European so not a lot changes,” he said. “One of the things that we always have with North American riders is that it’s tricky to make your way in Europe. That’s something that I feel like I can help a lot of guys with.”
Tuft is no stranger to teaching younger riders. He was a trusted road captain with Mitchelton and imparted his wisdom to the squad’s talented time trialists. Rally management believes Tuft’s leadership can help the team’s under-23 talent Brandon McNulty, and others, thrive in the European peloton.
“[Tuft] genuinely wants to be there to help these young guys,” Carney said. “He cares about them.”
Tuft says his new teammates are already picking his brain, and that he has already begun sharing some veteran wisdom. What does he tell them? Rally’s racing ambitions in Europe represent the best opportunity they will ever have to make their mark in the sport.
“I’ve said to these guys, ‘This could be the biggest chance you have in cycling right now,'” he said. Tuft credited the Mitchelton-Scott team for identifying and elevating talented Australian riders to the sport’s highest league, and he believes Rally can play a similar role in North America. For 2019 the team’s roster is composed entirely of American and Canadian riders, and management hopes to maintain a predominantly North American roster for the foreseeable future.
“We didn’t have that, until this team,” Tuft said. “It’s super exciting. It’s something I can see growing with even when I stop I can maybe continue working on the project.”
Read the full article at Tuft comes ‘full circle’ with Rally-UHC on VeloNews.com.

FLORENCE, Italy (VN) — Andrea Tafi‘s dream of racing Paris-Roubaix 20 years after winning it appears at a dead-end without teams willing to sign him.
The 52-year-old Italian, who retired in 2005, continues to train without a professional team to make his dream possible. Only three months remain until the “Hell of the North,” which Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) won last year. Time appears to have run out.VeloNews spoke to a still-hopeful Tafi but also with with several insiders, the latter who said it seems impossible at this point that Tafi will take part in the 2019 race on April 14. It is a question of money, rules, and ethics, they noted.
Three months have passed since news first broke that Tafi wanted to race Paris-Roubaix for the 14th time and for the first time in 14 years. Since then, teams have announced and confirmed their rosters and in Australia this week, the season began with the Santos Tour Down Under. No team presented Tafi at its launch or spoke of the possibility that it could sign him.
“My project goes ahead, I’m continuing to train,” Tafi told VeloNews when asked what he is doing without the possibility of a professional team.
“When the news is there to announce, we will give it. I want that my dream comes true. I’m training hard, doing all the things that I need to do.”
To make his dream possible, Tafi registered with cycling’s anti-doping testing pool, RTP. He is listed on the 18th of 26 pages of riders to be tested this year.
window.ia_1 = googletag.defineSlot('/21732621108/velonews', [[300, 50],[300, 250],[320, 50],[728, 90]], 'ad-ia-1').defineSizeMapping(szmp_ia).addService(googletag.pubads());googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('ad-ia-1'); });The UCI confirmed to VeloNews that the transfer period for riders closed on December 31, 2018. As of this writing, it had yet to verify that a team could sign a new rider after its season has begun.
One agent who spoke of Tafi said it is still possible to sign for a team, but like all insiders, he doubts cycling will see Tafi race at the top again. Tafi would have to sign for one year and receive a minimum salary of around 30,000 to 35,000 euros. It would be a big commitment for a team, which would only see Tafi in action for a few races.
Another insider spoke of the ethics around signing Tafi, who tested positive for EPO during his career, when there are young and upcoming cyclists hoping to race the major events. In 2013, a retroactive testing program showed that Tafi and others had traces of EPO in their systems during the 1998 Tour de France.
He would need to sign with one of the 18 WorldTour teams with guaranteed starts in the race or with one of the Pro Continental teams that receives a wildcard invitation. Paris-Roubaix organizer ASO named seven teams in addition to the 18 WorldTour teams to race its 2018 edition, each with seven riders.
Tafi said last October that he intends to document the entire experience on social media and for an eventual film. If a team were to hire him, for publicity purposes, it would already want to be promoting the ride to make the most of its money.
Without a professional team, Tafi explained in October that he would race the amateur event and still celebrate the 20 years that passed since he rode Mapei’s team colors to victory in the Roubaix Velodrome.
“He doesn’t want to say it, but he can’t find a team,” said an Italian journalist who is following the story. “He doesn’t want to talk. He doesn’t want to say that he will have to race the amateur event.”
“I don’t know, I’m not thinking about [the teams’ lack of interest] now,” Tafi said. “I’m training every day, five to seven hours. I am going ahead, I don’t want to give up anything.
“I’m calm, I want to continue down my road and live this dream. I have faith in good sense and that we’ll be able to celebrate this 1999 win.”
Those close to Tafi say there are talks with teams but “nothing’s certain yet.” They want a team that embraces his documentary project and 20-year anniversary celebration.
Other riders who were asked about the possibility of a 52-year-old returning after 14 years away shook their heads.
“It’s hard,” Davide Rebellin, who continues to race at age 47, told Tutto Bici.
“Above all, because he’s been out of it for so long and then, frankly, I’m not sure if he could do it given the rules. And are teams interested in him?”
“To Andrea I say, I hope you don’t race, you need to do something else in your life at 52 years old,” former professional and Italian star Paolo Bettini told La Gazzetta dello Sport last year.
“He’s gaining media attention with this, but it’s better to think about leaving the place open to a younger rider.”
Although there are many who doubt things will work out as Tafi hopes, Tafi could be waiting for one of the Pro Continental teams to receive its wildcard invitation to Paris-Roubaix, due this month, before making any deal. Teams like Wallonie-Bruxelles, Vital Concept-B&B Hotels, and Arkéa Samsic were among the seven wildcards last year.
Read the full article at Amid doubts, Andrea Tafi, 52, still seeks team for Roubaix return on VeloNews.com.

ADELAIDE, Australia (VN) — It’s a new racing season for Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) with a familiar ending. A few new tattoos, a new haircut, and a new jersey, at least compared to the past three season debuts.
The end result, however, is very much the same.
Sagan returned to his winning ways in 2019, and it didn’t take long. Three days to be exact. After misfiring in the opening two sprints, Sagan punched his way onto the winner’s podium in knockout fashion at the Santos Tour Down Under.

“It’s always nice to win,” Sagan said with his trademark giggle. “That feeling never goes away.”
Sagan erased any doubt that he might not be up to snuff coming into a new campaign. Sagan is always close in just about any race that doesn’t end on top of a mountain. When it’s a long drag uphill, he’s almost unbeatable.
“Sagan has such fast finishing speed, he’s all but impossible to beat,” said Astana’s Luis Leon Sanchez, who came within a half-wheel of doing just that. “Along with Alejandro [Valverde], no one has the pedal speed in a finish like that.”
Thursday’s circuit-course finale over the punchy slopes of the Adelaide Hills is Sagan Country.
The three-time world champion endured a hilly 15km circuit course finale under stifling Australian heat to smash his way to his 110th career victory. It was on the same finishing straight, but a different course, where he won a stage last year.
window.ia_1 = googletag.defineSlot('/21732621108/velonews', [[300, 50],[300, 250],[320, 50],[728, 90]], 'ad-ia-1').defineSizeMapping(szmp_ia).addService(googletag.pubads());googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('ad-ia-1'); });The script was familiar and the ending was a sequel to the movie we’ve all seen before: a hilly circuit, a reduced bunch, and Sagan throwing his bike across the line.
“If you bring Peter Sagan with 10km to go, and there are only a few short climbs, you have a problem,” said Bora-Hansgrohe sport director Patxi Vila. “Once he sees the finish line, the other teams have a real problem.”
The winning ways might have been the same, but Sagan is easing into 2019 with a different vibe.
For the first time since 2015, he’s not wearing the rainbow bands. That’s something he said doesn’t really make that much of a difference. Vila, however, said Sagan had a much quieter winter. Without the bands, Sagan could unwind a little more — and he even went skiing for a few days.
That’s not to say Sagan has slacked off. If anything, he’s even more ambitious. He’s already said he wants to regain the rainbow jersey on a Yorkshire course that fits him like a glove. There are new ambitions as well, despite following much of the same schedule as always. There’s no Giro d’Italia, but he’ll take a stab at Liège-Bastogne-Liège.
One thing hasn’t changed and that’s Sagan’s desire to win. Put a finish line on the road, and he’ll be fighting for the win.
“We are getting used to these kinds of things from Peter Sagan,” Vila said. “He is a winner. He is a racer and likes to race to win. That’s Peter Sagan.”
Even if he has a different jersey this season, Sagan is still Sagan.
Read the full article at Sagan starts season on winning note on VeloNews.com.

Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) took his first win of 2019 in stage 3 of the Santos Tour Down Under on Thursday. The 28-year-old Slovak sprinted to victory in Uraidla, Australia — the same town that hosted his first race win of 2018.
A handful of riders, including EF’s Mike Woods and Sky’s Kenny Elissonde, tried attacking out of the peloton at the end of the 146.2-kilometer stage from Lobethal, but none of the moves stuck. A reduced but compact bunch rode into the final kilometer, where Mitchelton-Scott’s Daryl Impey was the first big name to launch his move.
Sagan surged past the South African with 200 meters to go. Astana’s Luis León Sánchez nearly matched Sagan’s speed in the finale but came up short, settling for second. Impey finished third on the day.
Sagan said after his win that his experience racing on the same roads last year came in handy in the finale.
“On the last climb, I said, ‘It’s going to be the same as last year again,'” Sagan said in a post-race interview. “In the end it was like copy paper.”
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The Tour Down Under continues on Friday with stage 4, which runs 129.2 kilometers from Unley to Campbelltown.
Santos Tour Down Under Stage 3 Results
Stage
GC
Points
Mountains
Youth
Teams
RankNameTeamTime1SAGAN PeterBORA - hansgrohe3:46:062SÁNCHEZ Luis LeónAstana Pro Team,,3IMPEY DarylMitchelton-Scott,,4VAN POPPEL DannyTeam Jumbo-Visma,,5BEVIN PatrickCCC Team,,6POLANC JanUAE-Team Emirates,,7GUERREIRO RubenTeam Katusha - Alpecin,,8POGAČAR TadejUAE-Team Emirates,,9HAMILTON ChrisTeam Sunweb ,,10POZZOVIVO DomenicoBahrain Merida Pro Cycling Team,,11ULISSI DiegoUAE-Team Emirates,,12GIBBONS RyanTeam Dimension Data,,13MEYER CameronMitchelton-Scott,,14POELS WoutTeam Sky,,15DEVENYNS DriesDeceuninck - Quick Step,,16BENNETT GeorgeTeam Jumbo-Visma,,17PRADES EduardMovistar Team,,18WOODS MichaelEF Education First Pro Cycling Team,,19LUDVIGSSON TobiasGroupama - FDJ,,20HALLER MarcoTeam Katusha - Alpecin,,21HARPER ChrisUniSA-Australia,,22VALGREN MichaelTeam Dimension Data,,23MCCARTHY JayBORA - hansgrohe,,24LATOUR PierreAG2R La Mondiale,,25MORABITO SteveGroupama - FDJ,,26HAGEN Carl FredrikLotto Soudal,,27MÜHLBERGER GregorBORA - hansgrohe,,28VAN BAARLE DylanTeam Sky,,29KUZNETSOV VyacheslavTeam Katusha - Alpecin,,30HINDLEY JaiTeam Sunweb ,,31PORTE RichieTrek - Segafredo,,32DENNIS RohanBahrain Merida Pro Cycling Team,,33KNOX JamesDeceuninck - Quick Step,,34SLAGTER Tom-JelteTeam Dimension Data,,35O'CONNOR BenTeam Dimension Data,,36STRAKHOV DmitryTeam Katusha - Alpecin,,37STORER MichaelTeam Sunweb ,,38HAMILTON LucasMitchelton-Scott0:0739HAAS NathanTeam Katusha - Alpecin,,40CAVAGNA RémiDeceuninck - Quick Step,,41SUNDERLAND DylanUniSA-Australia,,42VALLS RafaelMovistar Team,,43MAS LluísMovistar Team,,44PERNSTEINER HermannBahrain Merida Pro Cycling Team,,45GESINK RobertTeam Jumbo-Visma,,46BAK Lars YttingTeam Dimension Data,,47ARASHIRO YukiyaBahrain Merida Pro Cycling Team,,48HOFSTEDE LennardTeam Jumbo-Visma0:2049WHELAN JamesEF Education First Pro Cycling Team0:2650HAUSSLER HeinrichBahrain Merida Pro Cycling Team0:4151TOOVEY AydenUniSA-Australia,,52SCOTSON MilesGroupama - FDJ0:5553ELISSONDE KennyTeam Sky0:5654DAVIES ScottTeam Dimension Data,,55ROSSKOPF JoeyCCC Team1:2556CARRETERO HéctorMovistar Team1:2757OSS DanielBORA - hansgrohe1:5958MORTON LachlanEF Education First Pro Cycling Team2:2059SÜTTERLIN JashaMovistar Team3:1560BAUHAUS PhilBahrain Merida Pro Cycling Team,,61FOMINYKH DaniilAstana Pro Team,,62DE GENDT ThomasLotto Soudal,,63BYSTRØM Sven ErikUAE-Team Emirates,,64DUPONT HubertAG2R La Mondiale,,65GIDICH YevgeniyAstana Pro Team,,66STETINA PeterTrek - Segafredo3:3667MULLEN RyanTrek - Segafredo4:0768HEPBURN MichaelMitchelton-Scott,,69EDMONDSON AlexMitchelton-Scott,,70PANTANO JarlinsonTrek - Segafredo,,71MARCZYŃSKI TomaszLotto Soudal,,72DOCKER MitchellEF Education First Pro Cycling Team4:3073SCULLY TomEF Education First Pro Cycling Team,,74WHITE NicholasUniSA-Australia,,75HAYMAN MathewMitchelton-Scott5:2376SABATINI FabioDeceuninck - Quick Step,,77DURBRIDGE LukeMitchelton-Scott,,78LINDEMAN Bert-JanTeam Jumbo-Visma,,79LEEZER TomTeam Jumbo-Visma5:3680PHILIPSEN JasperUAE-Team Emirates7:0781BODNAR MaciejBORA - hansgrohe7:1682KNEES ChristianTeam Sky8:1583LEA JasonUniSA-Australia,,84BETTIOL AlbertoEF Education First Pro Cycling Team10:0685DOULL OwainTeam Sky,,86FRANKINY KilianGroupama - FDJ,,87PETERS NansAG2R La Mondiale,,88FRÖHLINGER JohannesTeam Sunweb ,,89LADAGNOUS MatthieuGroupama - FDJ,,90COSNEFROY BenoîtAG2R La Mondiale,,91SUTHERLAND RoryUAE-Team Emirates,,92ROWE LukeTeam Sky,,93CASTRILLO JaimeMovistar Team11:2694FERNÁNDEZ RubénMovistar Team,,95DE LA PARTE VíctorCCC Team,,96POTTER MichaelUniSA-Australia11:3997SIEBERG MarcelBahrain Merida Pro Cycling Team12:3098DENZ NicoAG2R La Mondiale,,99DE KORT KoenTrek - Segafredo,,100PÖSTLBERGER LukasBORA - hansgrohe,,101BLYTHE AdamLotto Soudal,,102ZAKHAROV ArtyomAstana Pro Team,,103VINCENT LéoGroupama - FDJ,,104BALLERINI DavideAstana Pro Team,,105HOELGAARD DanielGroupama - FDJ,,106HALVORSEN KristofferTeam Sky,,107DOWSETT AlexTeam Katusha - Alpecin,,108HANSEN AdamLotto Soudal,,109DEBUSSCHERE JensTeam Katusha - Alpecin,,110OWSIAN ŁukaszCCC Team,,111DLAMINI NicTeam Dimension Data,,112REIJNEN KielTrek - Segafredo,,113CLARKE WillTrek - Segafredo,,114DE VREESE LaurensAstana Pro Team,,115VIVIANI EliaDeceuninck - Quick Step,,116GATTO OscarBORA - hansgrohe,,117VENTOSO Francisco JoséCCC Team,,118OLIVEIRA IvoUAE-Team Emirates,,119EWAN CalebLotto Soudal,,120MØRKØV MichaelDeceuninck - Quick Step,,121KLUGE RogerLotto Soudal,,122BOL CeesTeam Sunweb ,,123CHEVRIER ClémentAG2R La Mondiale,,124WYNANTS MaartenTeam Jumbo-Visma12:50125MARECZKO JakubCCC Team13:28126HONORÉ Mikkel FrølichDeceuninck - Quick Step,,127VAN DER PLOEG NeilUniSA-Australia,,128MCLAY DanielEF Education First Pro Cycling Team,,129WALSCHEID MaxTeam Sunweb ,,130BOARO ManueleAstana Pro Team15:03131BAGDONAS GediminasAG2R La Mondiale16:23132SAJNOK SzymonCCC Team20:34RankNameTeamTime1BEVIN PatrickCCC Team 10:20:092SAGAN PeterBORA - hansgrohe0:013SÁNCHEZ Luis LeónAstana Pro Team0:094STORER MichaelTeam Sunweb 0:105IMPEY DarylMitchelton-Scott0:116VAN POPPEL DannyTeam Jumbo-Visma0:157POLANC JanUAE-Team Emirates,,8GIBBONS RyanTeam Dimension Data,,9HAMILTON ChrisTeam Sunweb ,,10BENNETT GeorgeTeam Jumbo-Visma,,11WOODS MichaelEF Education First Pro Cycling Team,,12ULISSI DiegoUAE-Team Emirates,,13GUERREIRO RubenTeam Katusha - Alpecin,,14POELS WoutTeam Sky,,15LUDVIGSSON TobiasGroupama - FDJ,,16LATOUR PierreAG2R La Mondiale,,17DEVENYNS DriesDeceuninck - Quick Step,,18VAN BAARLE DylanTeam Sky,,19PRADES EduardMovistar Team,,20STRAKHOV DmitryTeam Katusha - Alpecin,,21MEYER CameronMitchelton-Scott,,22O'CONNOR BenTeam Dimension Data,,23POGAČAR TadejUAE-Team Emirates,,24POZZOVIVO DomenicoBahrain Merida Pro Cycling Team,,25VALGREN MichaelTeam Dimension Data,,26HINDLEY JaiTeam Sunweb ,,27PORTE RichieTrek - Segafredo,,28MCCARTHY JayBORA - hansgrohe,,29MORABITO SteveGroupama - FDJ,,30HARPER ChrisUniSA-Australia,,31DENNIS RohanBahrain Merida Pro Cycling Team,,32HALLER MarcoTeam Katusha - Alpecin,,33SLAGTER Tom-JelteTeam Dimension Data,,34KUZNETSOV VyacheslavTeam Katusha - Alpecin,,35MÜHLBERGER GregorBORA - hansgrohe,,36HAGEN Carl FredrikLotto Soudal,,37KNOX JamesDeceuninck - Quick Step,,38HAAS NathanTeam Katusha - Alpecin0:2239GESINK RobertTeam Jumbo-Visma,,40HAMILTON LucasMitchelton-Scott,,41MAS LluísMovistar Team,,42SUNDERLAND DylanUniSA-Australia,,43VALLS RafaelMovistar Team,,44PERNSTEINER HermannBahrain Merida Pro Cycling Team,,45ARASHIRO YukiyaBahrain Merida Pro Cycling Team,,46CAVAGNA RémiDeceuninck - Quick Step,,47BAK Lars YttingTeam Dimension Data,,48WHELAN JamesEF Education First Pro Cycling Team0:4149HAUSSLER HeinrichBahrain Merida Pro Cycling Team0:5650TOOVEY AydenUniSA-Australia,,51HOFSTEDE LennardTeam Jumbo-Visma1:0552SCOTSON MilesGroupama - FDJ1:1053ELISSONDE KennyTeam Sky1:1154DAVIES ScottTeam Dimension Data,,55ROSSKOPF JoeyCCC Team1:4056CARRETERO HéctorMovistar Team1:4257OSS DanielBORA - hansgrohe2:5758BAUHAUS PhilBahrain Merida Pro Cycling Team3:3059SÜTTERLIN JashaMovistar Team,,60DUPONT HubertAG2R La Mondiale,,61FOMINYKH DaniilAstana Pro Team,,62GIDICH YevgeniyAstana Pro Team,,63BYSTRØM Sven ErikUAE-Team Emirates,,64DE GENDT ThomasLotto Soudal,,65STETINA PeterTrek - Segafredo3:5166EDMONDSON AlexMitchelton-Scott4:2267HEPBURN MichaelMitchelton-Scott,,68PANTANO JarlinsonTrek - Segafredo,,69MULLEN RyanTrek - Segafredo4:5470MARCZYŃSKI TomaszLotto Soudal5:0271LINDEMAN Bert-JanTeam Jumbo-Visma5:3872SABATINI FabioDeceuninck - Quick Step,,73WHITE NicholasUniSA-Australia,,74HAYMAN MathewMitchelton-Scott,,75DURBRIDGE LukeMitchelton-Scott,,76LEEZER TomTeam Jumbo-Visma5:5177MORTON LachlanEF Education First Pro Cycling Team5:5278SCULLY TomEF Education First Pro Cycling Team6:1479DOCKER MitchellEF Education First Pro Cycling Team6:3980PHILIPSEN JasperUAE-Team Emirates7:2181BODNAR MaciejBORA - hansgrohe8:1482LEA JasonUniSA-Australia8:2583KNEES ChristianTeam Sky8:3084DOULL OwainTeam Sky10:2185FRANKINY KilianGroupama - FDJ,,86COSNEFROY BenoîtAG2R La Mondiale,,87FRÖHLINGER JohannesTeam Sunweb ,,88PETERS NansAG2R La Mondiale,,89LADAGNOUS MatthieuGroupama - FDJ,,90ROWE LukeTeam Sky,,91SUTHERLAND RoryUAE-Team Emirates,,92BETTIOL AlbertoEF Education First Pro Cycling Team11:0193CASTRILLO JaimeMovistar Team11:3894FERNÁNDEZ RubénMovistar Team11:4195DE LA PARTE VíctorCCC Team,,96POTTER MichaelUniSA-Australia11:5497VIVIANI EliaDeceuninck - Quick Step12:2998EWAN CalebLotto Soudal12:3999ZAKHAROV ArtyomAstana Pro Team,,100HALVORSEN KristofferTeam Sky12:43101DENZ NicoAG2R La Mondiale,,102VINCENT LéoGroupama - FDJ12:44103HOELGAARD DanielGroupama - FDJ12:45104REIJNEN KielTrek - Segafredo,,105DEBUSSCHERE JensTeam Katusha - Alpecin,,106DE VREESE LaurensAstana Pro Team,,107VENTOSO Francisco JoséCCC Team,,108OWSIAN ŁukaszCCC Team,,109DE KORT KoenTrek - Segafredo,,110OLIVEIRA IvoUAE-Team Emirates,,111DLAMINI NicTeam Dimension Data,,112BALLERINI DavideAstana Pro Team,,113CHEVRIER ClémentAG2R La Mondiale,,114HANSEN AdamLotto Soudal,,115CLARKE WillTrek - Segafredo,,116MØRKØV MichaelDeceuninck - Quick Step,,117KLUGE RogerLotto Soudal,,118DOWSETT AlexTeam Katusha - Alpecin,,119SIEBERG MarcelBahrain Merida Pro Cycling Team13:09120BLYTHE AdamLotto Soudal13:15121BOL CeesTeam Sunweb 13:17122GATTO OscarBORA - hansgrohe13:28123WALSCHEID MaxTeam Sunweb 13:37124MARECZKO JakubCCC Team13:39125PÖSTLBERGER LukasBORA - hansgrohe13:41126VAN DER PLOEG NeilUniSA-Australia13:43127MCLAY DanielEF Education First Pro Cycling Team,,128HONORÉ Mikkel FrølichDeceuninck - Quick Step,,129WYNANTS MaartenTeam Jumbo-Visma14:01130BOARO ManueleAstana Pro Team15:33131BAGDONAS GediminasAG2R La Mondiale16:38132SAJNOK SzymonCCC Team20:49RankNameTeamPoints1SAGAN PeterBORA - hansgrohe362VIVIANI EliaDeceuninck - Quick Step343BEVIN PatrickCCC Team344VAN POPPEL DannyTeam Jumbo-Visma315PHILIPSEN JasperUAE-Team Emirates236SÁNCHEZ Luis LeónAstana Pro Team227BAUHAUS PhilBahrain Merida Pro Cycling Team228HALVORSEN KristofferTeam Sky189EWAN CalebLotto Soudal1410WALSCHEID MaxTeam Sunweb 1411IMPEY DarylMitchelton-Scott1312MARECZKO JakubCCC Team1313GIBBONS RyanTeam Dimension Data1114ZAKHAROV ArtyomAstana Pro Team1015POLANC JanUAE-Team Emirates1016GUERREIRO RubenTeam Katusha - Alpecin917LEA JasonUniSA-Australia918STORER MichaelTeam Sunweb 819POGAČAR TadejUAE-Team Emirates820HAMILTON ChrisTeam Sunweb 721REIJNEN KielTrek - Segafredo722POZZOVIVO DomenicoBahrain Merida Pro Cycling Team623HOELGAARD DanielGroupama - FDJ624CASTRILLO JaimeMovistar Team525DENZ NicoAG2R La Mondiale326VINCENT LéoGroupama - FDJ2RankNameTeamPoints1LEA JasonUniSA-Australia202BOARO ManueleAstana Pro Team123ZAKHAROV ArtyomAstana Pro Team124POTTER MichaelUniSA-Australia65BEVIN PatrickCCC Team46WHELAN JamesEF Education First Pro Cycling Team47CASTRILLO JaimeMovistar Team48STORER MichaelTeam Sunweb 29DLAMINI NicTeam Dimension Data2RankNameTeamTime1STORER MichaelTeam Sunweb 10:20:192GIBBONS RyanTeam Dimension Data0:053HAMILTON ChrisTeam Sunweb ,,4GUERREIRO RubenTeam Katusha - Alpecin,,5STRAKHOV DmitryTeam Katusha - Alpecin,,6O'CONNOR BenTeam Dimension Data,,7POGAČAR TadejUAE-Team Emirates,,8HINDLEY JaiTeam Sunweb ,,9HARPER ChrisUniSA-Australia,,10MÜHLBERGER GregorBORA - hansgrohe,,11KNOX JamesDeceuninck - Quick Step,,12HAMILTON LucasMitchelton-Scott0:1213SUNDERLAND DylanUniSA-Australia,,14CAVAGNA RémiDeceuninck - Quick Step,,15WHELAN JamesEF Education First Pro Cycling Team0:3116TOOVEY AydenUniSA-Australia0:4617HOFSTEDE LennardTeam Jumbo-Visma0:5518SCOTSON MilesGroupama - FDJ1:0019DAVIES ScottTeam Dimension Data1:0120CARRETERO HéctorMovistar Team1:3221BAUHAUS PhilBahrain Merida Pro Cycling Team3:2022GIDICH YevgeniyAstana Pro Team,,23MULLEN RyanTrek - Segafredo4:4424WHITE NicholasUniSA-Australia5:2825PHILIPSEN JasperUAE-Team Emirates7:1126LEA JasonUniSA-Australia8:1527FRANKINY KilianGroupama - FDJ10:1128COSNEFROY BenoîtAG2R La Mondiale,,29PETERS NansAG2R La Mondiale,,30CASTRILLO JaimeMovistar Team11:2831POTTER MichaelUniSA-Australia11:4432EWAN CalebLotto Soudal12:2933HALVORSEN KristofferTeam Sky12:3334DENZ NicoAG2R La Mondiale,,35VINCENT LéoGroupama - FDJ12:3436OLIVEIRA IvoUAE-Team Emirates12:3537DLAMINI NicTeam Dimension Data,,38BALLERINI DavideAstana Pro Team,,39BOL CeesTeam Sunweb 13:0740MARECZKO JakubCCC Team13:2941VAN DER PLOEG NeilUniSA-Australia13:3342HONORÉ Mikkel FrølichDeceuninck - Quick Step,,43SAJNOK SzymonCCC Team20:39RankNameTime1UAE-Team Emirates 31:01:122Team Katusha - Alpecin,,3BORA - hansgrohe,,4Team Sunweb ,,5Team Dimension Data,,6Team Jumbo-Visma0:077Mitchelton-Scott,,8Bahrain Merida Pro Cycling Team,,9Deceuninck - Quick Step,,10Movistar Team0:1411UniSA-Australia0:4812Groupama - FDJ0:5513Team Sky0:5614EF Education First Pro Cycling Team2:4615Astana Pro Team6:3016Lotto Soudal7:2217Trek - Segafredo7:4318CCC Team12:5119AG2R La Mondiale13:21Results provided by ProCyclingStats.
Read the full article at Tour Down Under: Sagan sprints to his first win of 2019 on VeloNews.com.

Contributor Rebecca Reza recently traveled to the Vuelta Ciclista a Costa Rica for an upcoming feature story in VeloNews Magazine.
“Just wait until you see! Pura Vida!” Lilieth Paniagua told me as she bid me farewell. Pura Vida is the local greeting in Costa Rica, but also how people say goodbye, ask how you are doing, or comment on their day — basically they say it for nearly everything.
Though we had just met, Lilieth treated me like I was her daughter, inviting me to her home in Turrialba, Costa Rica, a small working-class village set alongside an active volcano and part of the route at the Vuelta a Costa Rica. Lilieth attends the race every year. “Cycling is really big here, you’ll see. It’s a tradition for us, I hope you enjoy it!” she said.
The Vuelta Costa Rica is a UCI 2.2 stage race and part of the UCI America Tour. Last year, the race was upended by a doping controversy that ensnared many of the top finishers. I attended the 54th edition of the event this past December to report on the efforts being made by the Costa Rican Cycling Federation [FECOCI] to combat doping in the race. What I experienced was a massively popular bicycle race, with thousands of spectators lining the streets every day to cheer on a peloton of strong riders. I was impressed by Costa Rica’s passion for bicycle racing.
This year was my first time seeing the race in person and covering it as a journalist. It was eye-opening, and invigorating.
“Don’t worry! Trust me, I have everything covered,”photographer Luis Barbosa told me a week before our arrival.
This would become a theme throughout our travels during the race. I had yet to receive my flight reservations or list of hotels, but I trusted Barbosa since he had photographed the race for the past four years.
window.ia_1 = googletag.defineSlot('/21732621108/velonews', [[300, 50],[300, 250],[320, 50],[728, 90]], 'ad-ia-1').defineSizeMapping(szmp_ia).addService(googletag.pubads());googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('ad-ia-1'); });I have covered cycling in the U.S. and Mexico for a decade, but this was my first time venturing into Central America. Costa Rican cycling officials told me that the race had not attracted an American journalist in many years. Attending the race was also a first for VeloNews.
Former British cyclist Rob Hayles once described the Tour de France as a “fantastic circus” and “logistical nightmare.” Anyone working a pro cycling stage race would know that’s a pretty accurate description for any event. For journalists, covering a stage race is often a whirlwind. We often rely on the race Bible as our treasure map, while we constantly search for Wi-Fi and try to remember to eat. Covering the Vuelta a Costa Rica was no different, and I often wondered if I had a bed for the following evening’s stage.
At stage races, the press corps often misses the live action outside of the few kilometers after the start and before the finish. We spend much of each day in the press room watching the live feed. Some days, a coveted spot in a media car opens up, and we are able to see the action up close. Neither media car, nor live TV feed were available at the Vuelta a Costa Rica. Covering the action of each day was extremely challenging.
Friends gave me a few warnings before I traveled to the race: Watch out for the mysterious meat from street vendors. Don’t drink the water. A tourist was just murdered there last month. This is not far off from the usual warnings I hear before my regular trips to Mexico. I live on the border of Ciudad Juárez so I am not easily fazed by such warnings.
In the end, I had nothing to worry about. Costa Rica was plenty safe, and the people I met were extremely inviting. That said, covering the race did provide some wild moments.
My first day at the race arrived with plenty of stress. Just two hours before the start I learned that the race did not provide transportation for journalists to the start, which was an hour drive away.
“Don’t worry! Trust me, I have everything covered,” Barbosa told me. Luckily, Colombian team TCBY Bicicletas Strongman offered us a ride. As the driver weaved through the busy morning traffic, I was serenaded by a van full of Colombians, belting out their favorite reggaeton and cumbias songs. Three stage winners—William Muñoz, Jonathan Cañaveral, and Oscar Quiroz—all sung together on the way to the start.
Riding in the caravan at the Vuelta Costa Rica was a harrowing experience. The number of press motorcycles and vehicles easily doubled what you find at U.S. races. That huge parade squeezed into Costa Rica’s extremely narrow roads. Without warning, the traffic control would often blare their sirens, only meters ahead of the breakaway, as the race squeezed down to one lane, narrowly avoiding big supply trucks and other oncoming or parked traffic.
As the race sped by, drivers jumped out of their cars to capture the action on outstretched phones. Miraculously, no one crashed during these frequent and scary moments, even when riders took a feed or were speaking with their directors. In fact, I saw just two minor crashes throughout the 10 days of racing, an impressive feat compared to even the most organized American races.
Team directors of the Central and South American teams were superb at multitasking, chatting on their phones, while checking race numbers and conducting business, all while avoiding the many potholes and obstacles on the roads. I was often jolted from my car seat, mid tweet, by a team director testing his car on a speed bump. One day, an entire carafe of coffee spilled on me. Another day, I looked up from my phone just in time to be doused by muddy street water from a zooming team car. “Sorry!” yelled the director. I was soggy for my post-race interviews that day.
There were moments during the race that were, admittedly, more chaotic and disruptive than you might see at a professional race in the United States. There were also moments of serene beauty.
With 20km to go in one stage, race radio announced that the finish was moved 8km up, due to a protest by local fisherman. There was a break of four riders at the time, and the peloton had begun to chase. Team cars sped up to their riders while every commissaire within earshot shouted the news to the peloton. There was no marked finish line or podium stage for the day, and I felt like I was at a local race back home in Texas. Yet the chaos elicited no complaints from riders or directors. Nobody batted an eye.
The racing terrain in Costa Rica was punishing and steep—definitely riding to put on your bucket list. During the second stage, the peloton hit a 2km climb into the finish that had grades up to 20 percent. The riders seemed to grind to a stop, weaving back and forth out of their saddle. Before the race, I was told all about the mountains, but the valleys and plains we passed through, filled with coffee and sugar fields, were also breathtaking. Huge Guanacaste trees, the national tree of Costa Rica, with their massive canopies, provided a beautiful backdrop.
Throughout the 10 stages, we were surrounded by major mountains, including the infamous Cerro de La Muerte climb. On that climb we ventured into the clouds as the riders disappeared into the fog.
The enormous crowds of spectators lining the road each day was something I had never experienced before, even at big races in Colorado and California. The roads were so packed on stage 6 up through Turrialba, that riders had to climb single-file, often disappearing behind the motorcycles.
On stage 7, the breakaway attacked right from the gun. Driving rain and wet roads caused several motorcycles to crash, and multiple riders suffered mechanical problems. As we drove past several impromptu waterfalls up the long climb to Golcoechea, the spectators used the massive leaves of rainforest trees as umbrellas.
The ninth stage featured a 45km climb up La Georgina, which makes Arizona’s Mt. Lemmon appear short. With 10km to go to the finish in Llano Grande Cartago, the enormous crowds of roadside spectators gave a constant, deafening cheer. The finish felt more like a music festival than a bicycle race.
The Vuelta finished on Christmas Daywith a festival at the finish line. Costa Rican rider Bryan Salas took the overall win, 1:23 ahead of his teammate, Costa Rican Daniel Bonilla.
While Christmas may seem like a strange date for the finish of a bicycle race, officials from Costa Rica’s cycling federation told me they tried to change the dates several years ago, to attract North American and European teams. What happened? The locals protested and boycotted, until it was changed back to Christmas. They simply loved the bike racing and festive atmosphere.
I will remember the Vuelta a Costa Rica for the hectic caravan, the rain, and the aggressive racing. I will mostly remember the passion of the local fans, who every day stood alongside the road to show their love of bicycle racing.Pura Vida, indeed.
Read the full article at Reporter’s notebook: ‘Pura vida’ at Vuelta a Costa Rica on VeloNews.com.

Just as Sky was announcing its departure from the sport a few weeks ago, motorsport giant McLaren signaled that it was on its way in, saying it would join up with the Bahrain-Merida pro cycling team as a sponsor and reported 50-50 partner in the team’s ownership structure. Such a well-known international brand coming into the sport was quickly hailed as a game-changer for the team, and even for cycling as a whole. The news even caused some speculative observers to wonder on social media if the British-based company might step up to replace Sky as the owner/sponsor of the homegrown team.
The ever-changing game of musical chairs in pro cycling sponsorship is one of the biggest challenges the sport faces. So it is fantastic news any time a major brand decides to throw their marketing dollars into professional cycling, given the current downward trend in the sport’s investment climate. However, in this case, the narrative of a major international company bounding into the sport full bore is a little misleading.
First, according to financial reports from the McLaren Group Limited (the parent company of the famous McLaren F1 racing team, the McLaren luxury car company, and McLaren Applied Technologies), the conglomerate had a net profit of slightly over £1 million in 2016 and lost £65 million in 2017. These aren’t exactly the finances of an entity that could lay out the type of money it takes to sponsor a top-tier professional cycling team (Sky’s 2017 budget was about $40 million).
Second, and what really makes this story a bit overblown, is the fact that the stock of McLaren is controlled by the Mumtalakat sovereign wealth fund, owned by the Kingdom of Bahrain and ultimately controlled by the Bahraini royal family. Readers will note that the Kingdom of Bahrain has been accused of using its sports teams to improve its image abroad; In recent years the country’s government has been accused of jailing and abusing political opponents. The son of the Bahraini king, Sheikh Nassar bin Hamad Al Khalifa, reportedly owns and finances the Bahrain-Merida cycling team. Various state companies, including the national petroleum corporation BAPCO, are somehow involved behind the scenes in the sponsorship of the team, and although McLaren does have other outside minority shareholders, the team is clearly directed and controlled by royal family.
This structure not dissimilar to many of the other government- or patron-backed teams that cycling has often seen in the past. McLaren’s proven technology and materials expertise may bring interesting new development and innovation to pro cycling, and that is a positive development. But this announcement doesn’t really so much imply a major new global sponsor entering the sport, as it does an existing patron group simply providing some of the dollars out of a different pocket. In fact, skeptics could argue that this situation is not so much a new sponsor as it is a wealthy patron using its cycling team to provide discounted (or free) advertising to another company it owns.
window.ia_1 = googletag.defineSlot('/21732621108/velonews', [[300, 50],[300, 250],[320, 50],[728, 90]], 'ad-ia-1').defineSizeMapping(szmp_ia).addService(googletag.pubads());googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('ad-ia-1'); });There is nothing necessarily wrong with any of this. Large conglomerates and holding companies frequently utilize different subsidiaries to simultaneously support investments, charitable causes, or marketing and visibility vehicles like a sports team. For example, the situation is not dissimilar to Gerry Ryan’s Mitchelton-Scott team featuring BikeExchange – another company in which he is a major investor– as a co-title sponsor for the 2016 season. Or the Astana team, which uses the team as a revolving billboard for various Kazakhstan state-run economic entities. This approach is particularly common when subsidiary organizations may have slightly different but closely interlocking ownerships.
Using a pro sports team as a vehicle to sell (or give away) high-value advertising at a discounted rate to sister companies may be a fantastic way to get more value out of owning a cycling team. McLaren will have its name splashed across the kit of one of the best-financed teams in the peloton; in addition, we can hope that the company will contribute some new technology or ideas to the sport. But ultimately, the money is still flowing from the same tap — a wealthy Middle Eastern government. This is quite different than a major corporation coming out of the woodwork to enter the sport as a new top-level sponsor.
Read the full article at The Outer Line: McLaren races to the rescue? on VeloNews.com.

For her run at a fifth Absa Cape Epic title, Annika Langvad will have a high-powered but unexpected teammate at her side in South Africa this March: world road champion Anna van der Breggen.
Race organizers confirmed Wednesday that the reigning Cape Epic champ Langvad will team up with van der Breggen, who is perhaps the world’s most dominant road cyclist. As is customary in the eight-stage mountain bike race, March 17-24, they will race as a duo, representing Investec-Songo-Specialized.
This comes on the heels of news that Langvad has joined van der Breggen’s powerhouse Boels-Dolmans team for 2019.
Langvad, a former world cross-country champion and the reigning marathon champion, will blend in some road races with her World Cup mountain bike season.
“For me, it’s not so much a question of being defined as a mountain biker or a road cyclist,” said the Dane. “I tend to think of myself as a cyclist competing mainly in mountain biking, but I have had a flirt with the road racing scene before.”
Langvad raced the road world championships in Innsbruck, Austria in September 2018, finishing 37th.
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“The Absa Cape Epic is my first goal of the season,” van der Breggen said. “I am looking forward to a big adventure and to do something I never did before.”
Fortunately for van der Breggen, Langvad has a history of guiding first-time racers through the Cape Epic. In 2018, she won the race with American Kate Courtney who was also new to the race.
Given that the Cape Epic often has stretches of long, windy fire roads, which put a premium on tactics and drafting, a powerful rider like van der Breggen, winner of Flèche Wallone, Liège-Bastogne-Liège, Amstel Gold, and Tour of Flanders, may be well-suited for the challenge.
Read the full article at Van der Breggen and Langvad team up for Cape Epic MTB race on VeloNews.com.

ADELAIDE, Australia (VN) — Michael Woods didn’t start racing professionally until he was 25, but even as a teenaged running prodigy, he was already dreaming of racing at the Tour de France.
After confirming his WorldTour credentials with a breakout season in 2018, he’s hoping those dreams will come true this summer.
“I told the team I really want to do the Tour this year,” Woods told VeloNews. “It’s something I haven’t done yet and it’s one of my big goals this year.”
After notching world championship and monument podiums in 2018, along with an emotional stage win at the Vuelta a España, Woods is ready to step onto cycling’s biggest stage.
The EF Education First rider gladly admits he will be a rung or two lower in the pecking order if he can earn a berth on the eight-man Tour roster. EF will bring a solid team with 2017 runner-up Rigoberto Urán and two-time top-5 finisher Tejay van Garderen.
Ever the realist, Woods says he would be more than happy to be on domestique duty in order to get his first peek at cycling’s big show.
“I understand how it’s going to be. I will be the guy getting water bottles if I have to,” Woods said. “I realize that with Rigo and Tejay, with both of them being such experienced Tour riders, we have to make a roster that suits those guys.
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The fact that Woods is already angling for a Tour de France starting spot reveals just how far he’s come since his WorldTour debut in 2016.
The Canadian’s first WorldTour race came here, three years ago in the southern hemisphere. He snagged two podium finishes and took fifth overall in that race. The encouraging results provided the first real hint that Woods could thrive at the WorldTour level.
He’s since gone from one personal milestone to another, raising the bar and surpassing personal expectations year after year.
“I believed I could pop a good result somewhere, but even now, I have surpassed my initial expectations,” Woods said of his accelerated progression. “It’s been pretty special to come from thinking I could be a domestique to be a guy who could compete in these races. Everything is just icing in the cake.”
A possible run at the Tour is just part of what Woods hopes will be further extension of his tremendous evolution since he swapped out running shoes as a middle-distance runner for cycling cleats barely a decade ago.
Coming into this season, the Canadian’s confidence is flying high after winning his first WorldTour race with a stage at the Vuelta a España and scoring prestigious podiums at Liège-Bastogne-Liège and the world championships.
Making his season debut this week at the Santos Tour Down Under, Woods is setting his sights on more. After three highly successful and progressively better seasons at the WorldTour, it’s all about execution in 2019.
“I want to be going full-gas in the Ardennes,” he said. “I am champing at the bit to get back there.”
Woods came to Australia a few weeks ago to train in the warm weather and will stay here through the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race and the Herald Sun Tour in early February. His European debut might not come until the Volta a Catalunya and the Tour of the Basque Country before heading back to the Ardennes. After falling ill during the Giro d’Italia last year, Woods discovered he’s susceptible to seasonal allergies in Italy, so he will not race the corsa rosa.
Without the Giro in the cards, Woods is hopeful his summer will include a ticket to the Tour. After four grand tours — twice each in the Vuelta and Giro — Woods is keen to see the Tour.
“I watched the Tour every summer during the Lance era,” he said, explaining he would tweak his running schedule to make time for each day’s stage. “When I was watching the Tour, I thought, ‘I could race the Tour,’ without knowing anything about what that would entail. I said, ‘Oh, it doesn’t look that hard.’ Fortunately, my parents instilled this inner-belief in me, and they taught me to dream big.”
So far, Woods has been realizing those dreams every pedal stroke along the way. The Tour is simply the next step in his remarkable evolution.
Will the team bring him? That’s TBD.
Read the full article at Michael Woods angling for Tour debut following breakout 2018 on VeloNews.com.

ADELAIDE, Australia (VN) — Patrick Bevin (CCC Team) stepped boldly into the winner’s circle Wednesday with a victory that’s been years in the making.
The highly touted New Zealander upset the sprinters in the second stage at the Santos Tour Down Under to barnstorm into the leader’s jersey and claim his first WorldTour win.
After a season of riding in the shadow of Richie Porte, Bevin is taking full advantage of new leadership opportunities created by the demise of the once-mighty BMC Racing Team.
“He’s our big dog now,” said CCC Team sport manager Jackson Stewart. “The team’s changed a lot. He was showing amazing performances last year, but he was always second or third behind the other guys on the team.”
BMC’s closure at the end of 2018 opened up some room for Bevin. Porte moved to Trek-Segafredo and BMC rides on, at least in spirit, with a new iteration as CCC Team. With Porte gone, Bevin has space to move. And so far at the Tour Down Under, he’s riding free and unfettered.
“This [CCC Team] is a revamped outfit with a totally different mindset, totally different goals, and we want to give it everything we have,” Bevin said. “This sets a precedent for this team. We’re going to fight for everything we can.”
Bevin, 27, rode into the breakaway in Tuesday’s opening stage, earning him the most aggressive rider prize. More importantly, he got five seconds in mid-race time bonuses. Add his stage-winner bonus Wednesday and he’s suddenly 15 seconds ahead of most of the GC favorites.
window.ia_1 = googletag.defineSlot('/21732621108/velonews', [[300, 50],[300, 250],[320, 50],[728, 90]], 'ad-ia-1').defineSizeMapping(szmp_ia).addService(googletag.pubads());googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('ad-ia-1'); });And in a race that can go down to count-backs, Bevin suddenly has a target on his back.
“Bevin is in very good shape and he’s a class bike rider. There’s a target for me right there to win the Tour Down Under,” said Mitchelton-Scott sport director Matt White. “He’s got 15 seconds right now, and for a guy like him, I think 20 seconds would nearly guarantee him the win in the Tour.”
Still only 27, Bevin’s been racing for a decade. He raced four seasons with Bissell and another with Avanti before bumping to the WorldTour with Slipstream in 2016. In 2018, he moved to BMC and became part of the team’s formidable team time trial squad.
The mood was ecstatic around the CCC Team van post-stage. No one expected the team’s first WorldTour win to come so early in the season.
“Paddy has been working hard and knocking on the door for a result like this for a while so it’s great to see it become a reality for him,” Stewart said. “It’s a great feeling for the whole team. We started the season with a new title sponsor, new colors, a lot of new faces, so this is a fantastic way to kick the season off.”
If he hopes to win the Tour Down Under, Bevin will need as big a lead as he can get. Thursday’s hilly stage on a circuit finale presents a stout challenge before Sunday’s uphill, race-ending finish at Old Willunga Hill. Who will be the favorite there? Richie Porte, of course.
Read the full article at Porte-free Bevin taking advantage of freedom on VeloNews.com.

ADELAIDE, Australia (AFP) — New Zealand time trial champion Patrick Bevin swooped in to take his first WorldTour stage and claim the overall lead in Australia’s Santos Tour Down Under on Wednesday.
Bevin, 27, riding for the CCC Team, capitalized on confusion in the peloton sparked by a mass crash inside the final kilometer of the 122km second stage to power home in the finish.
The Kiwi unleashed a sprint on the uphill, 700-meter finishing straight to reel in Spain’s Luis Leon Sanchez before holding off Australian star sprinter Caleb Ewan and Slovakia’s former triple world champion Peter Sagan at the line.
The stage win gave Bevin a 10-second time bonus, lifting him into the overall lead of the race, five seconds ahead of Italy’s Elia Viviani, who won Tuesday’s stage 1 but could only manage seventh on Wednesday.
Ewan is third overall, ahead of Germany’s Max Walscheid (Team Sunweb).
Walscheid finished 23rd in Wednesday’s stage through South Australia’s famous Barossa Valley wine country in scorching, 104-degree temperatures.
“I got to pick a pretty good line in the hard, draggy finish. Once Sanchez was off the front in the final it gave me the perfect springboard and I just went long,” Bevin said.
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Bevin, whose previous best in the season-opening race was 10th in 2016, avoided a pileup in the peloton which blocked the road to the Angaston finish line.
The crash left around 25 riders to contest the finale, with Bevin surging from deep before dipping in behind Sanchez’s slipstream and crossing the line with enough time to clench his fists and raise his hands in celebration.
His victory is the CCC Team’s maiden WorldTour victory and his first triumph outside of a national championship since winning stage 4 of Australia’s Herald Sun Tour in February 2015.
The peloton once again had to endure brutal temperatures on the stage, which was cut pre-race by 26.9km because of the extreme weather conditions.
Australia’s Jason Lea (UniSA-Australia) retained the king of the mountains jersey after stage 2. Viviani edged Bevin for the sprint leader’s jersey by a point.
Thursday’s stage 3 launches from Lobethal into a challenging and hilly 6km circuit that finishes in Uraidla.
Santos Tour Down Under Stage 2 Results
Stage
GC
Points
Mountains
Youth
Teams
RankNameTeamTime1BEVIN PatrickCCC Team3:14:312EWAN CalebLotto Soudal,,3SAGAN PeterBORA - hansgrohe,,4VAN POPPEL DannyTeam Jumbo-Visma,,5PHILIPSEN JasperUAE-Team Emirates,,6BAUHAUS PhilBahrain Merida Pro Cycling Team,,7VIVIANI EliaDeceuninck - Quick Step,,8SÁNCHEZ Luis LeónAstana Pro Team,,9REIJNEN KielTrek - Segafredo,,10HALVORSEN KristofferTeam Sky,,11IMPEY DarylMitchelton-Scott,,12WOODS MichaelEF Education First Pro Cycling Team,,13DEBUSSCHERE JensTeam Katusha - Alpecin,,14HOELGAARD DanielGroupama - FDJ,,15SÜTTERLIN JashaMovistar Team,,16LUDVIGSSON TobiasGroupama - FDJ,,17BENNETT GeorgeTeam Jumbo-Visma,,18DEVENYNS DriesDeceuninck - Quick Step,,19HAMILTON ChrisTeam Sunweb ,,20POLANC JanUAE-Team Emirates,,21BOL CeesTeam Sunweb ,,22LATOUR PierreAG2R La Mondiale,,23WALSCHEID MaxTeam Sunweb ,,24SCOTSON MilesGroupama - FDJ,,25DOULL OwainTeam Sky,,26DE VREESE LaurensAstana Pro Team,,27OWSIAN ŁukaszCCC Team,,28EDMONDSON AlexMitchelton-Scott,,29HAAS NathanTeam Katusha - Alpecin,,30HEPBURN MichaelMitchelton-Scott,,31GIBBONS RyanTeam Dimension Data,,32VENTOSO Francisco JoséCCC Team,,33DOCKER MitchellEF Education First Pro Cycling Team,,34POELS WoutTeam Sky,,35GUERREIRO RubenTeam Katusha - Alpecin,,36VAN BAARLE DylanTeam Sky,,37GESINK RobertTeam Jumbo-Visma,,38LEEZER TomTeam Jumbo-Visma,,39ULISSI DiegoUAE-Team Emirates,,40OLIVEIRA IvoUAE-Team Emirates,,41PRADES EduardMovistar Team,,42VALGREN MichaelTeam Dimension Data,,43DE LA PARTE VíctorCCC Team,,44O'CONNOR BenTeam Dimension Data,,45FRÖHLINGER JohannesTeam Sunweb ,,46DENNIS RohanBahrain Merida Pro Cycling Team,,47CARRETERO HéctorMovistar Team,,48WHITE NicholasUniSA-Australia,,49PERNSTEINER HermannBahrain Merida Pro Cycling Team,,50POZZOVIVO DomenicoBahrain Merida Pro Cycling Team,,51HINDLEY JaiTeam Sunweb ,,52FERNÁNDEZ RubénMovistar Team,,53HANSEN AdamLotto Soudal,,54MORABITO SteveGroupama - FDJ,,55DENZ NicoAG2R La Mondiale,,56TOOVEY AydenUniSA-Australia,,57MARECZKO JakubCCC Team,,58KANTER MaxTeam Sunweb ,,59BOARO ManueleAstana Pro Team,,60MULLEN RyanTrek - Segafredo,,61FRANKINY KilianGroupama - FDJ,,62CHEVRIER ClémentAG2R La Mondiale,,63DUPONT HubertAG2R La Mondiale,,64ZAKHAROV ArtyomAstana Pro Team,,65DE KORT KoenTrek - Segafredo,,66MARCZYŃSKI TomaszLotto Soudal,,67ELISSONDE KennyTeam Sky,,68PORTE RichieTrek - Segafredo,,69ROSSKOPF JoeyCCC Team,,70KNEES ChristianTeam Sky,,71SUNDERLAND DylanUniSA-Australia,,72CASTRILLO JaimeMovistar Team,,73STRAKHOV DmitryTeam Katusha - Alpecin,,74FOMINYKH DaniilAstana Pro Team,,75VALLS RafaelMovistar Team,,76GIDICH YevgeniyAstana Pro Team,,77CLARKE WillTrek - Segafredo,,78STETINA PeterTrek - Segafredo,,79STORER MichaelTeam Sunweb ,,80MEYER CameronMitchelton-Scott,,81BETTIOL AlbertoEF Education First Pro Cycling Team,,82DLAMINI NicTeam Dimension Data,,83PANTANO JarlinsonTrek - Segafredo,,84MCCARTHY JayBORA - hansgrohe,,85HAMILTON LucasMitchelton-Scott,,86HAGEN Carl FredrikLotto Soudal,,87SAJNOK SzymonCCC Team,,88LEA JasonUniSA-Australia,,89VINCENT LéoGroupama - FDJ,,90LADAGNOUS MatthieuGroupama - FDJ,,91CAVAGNA RémiDeceuninck - Quick Step,,92HARPER ChrisUniSA-Australia,,93POTTER MichaelUniSA-Australia,,94HAUSSLER HeinrichBahrain Merida Pro Cycling Team,,95ARASHIRO YukiyaBahrain Merida Pro Cycling Team,,96SIEBERG MarcelBahrain Merida Pro Cycling Team,,97MAS LluísMovistar Team,,98SABATINI FabioDeceuninck - Quick Step,,99GATTO OscarBORA - hansgrohe,,100MØRKØV MichaelDeceuninck - Quick Step,,101LINDEMAN Bert-JanTeam Jumbo-Visma,,102DAVIES ScottTeam Dimension Data,,103VAN DER PLOEG NeilUniSA-Australia,,104WYNANTS MaartenTeam Jumbo-Visma,,105OSS DanielBORA - hansgrohe,,106DE GENDT ThomasLotto Soudal,,107HAYMAN MathewMitchelton-Scott,,108SLAGTER Tom-JelteTeam Dimension Data,,109SUTHERLAND RoryUAE-Team Emirates,,110BAK Lars YttingTeam Dimension Data,,111BYSTRØM Sven ErikUAE-Team Emirates,,112POGAČAR TadejUAE-Team Emirates,,113MORTON LachlanEF Education First Pro Cycling Team,,114WHELAN JamesEF Education First Pro Cycling Team,,115HONORÉ Mikkel FrølichDeceuninck - Quick Step,,116HOFSTEDE LennardTeam Jumbo-Visma,,117KLUGE RogerLotto Soudal,,118BAGDONAS GediminasAG2R La Mondiale,,119KUZNETSOV VyacheslavTeam Katusha - Alpecin,,120MÜHLBERGER GregorBORA - hansgrohe,,121DURBRIDGE LukeMitchelton-Scott,,122KNOX JamesDeceuninck - Quick Step,,123ROWE LukeTeam Sky,,124BLYTHE AdamLotto Soudal,,125BODNAR MaciejBORA - hansgrohe,,126PÖSTLBERGER LukasBORA - hansgrohe,,127DOWSETT AlexTeam Katusha - Alpecin,,128PETERS NansAG2R La Mondiale,,129MCLAY DanielEF Education First Pro Cycling Team,,130SCULLY TomEF Education First Pro Cycling Team,,131BALLERINI DavideAstana Pro Team,,132HALLER MarcoTeam Katusha - Alpecin,,133COSNEFROY BenoîtAG2R La Mondiale,,RankNameTeamTime1BEVIN PatrickCCC Team6:34:032VIVIANI EliaDeceuninck - Quick Step0:053EWAN CalebLotto Soudal0:094WALSCHEID MaxTeam Sunweb ,,5ZAKHAROV ArtyomAstana Pro Team,,6LEA JasonUniSA-Australia0:107STORER MichaelTeam Sunweb ,,8SAGAN PeterBORA - hansgrohe0:119MARECZKO JakubCCC Team,,10CASTRILLO JaimeMovistar Team0:1211BAUHAUS PhilBahrain Merida Pro Cycling Team0:1512PHILIPSEN JasperUAE-Team Emirates,,13VAN POPPEL DannyTeam Jumbo-Visma,,14HALVORSEN KristofferTeam Sky,,15IMPEY DarylMitchelton-Scott,,16REIJNEN KielTrek - Segafredo,,17HOELGAARD DanielGroupama - FDJ,,18SÜTTERLIN JashaMovistar Team,,19GIBBONS RyanTeam Dimension Data,,20SÁNCHEZ Luis LeónAstana Pro Team,,21HAMILTON ChrisTeam Sunweb ,,22POLANC JanUAE-Team Emirates,,23BENNETT GeorgeTeam Jumbo-Visma,,24HAAS NathanTeam Katusha - Alpecin,,25WOODS MichaelEF Education First Pro Cycling Team,,26DEBUSSCHERE JensTeam Katusha - Alpecin,,27LATOUR PierreAG2R La Mondiale,,28LUDVIGSSON TobiasGroupama - FDJ,,29ULISSI DiegoUAE-Team Emirates,,30SCOTSON MilesGroupama - FDJ,,31POELS WoutTeam Sky,,32GUERREIRO RubenTeam Katusha - Alpecin,,33DOULL OwainTeam Sky,,34DEVENYNS DriesDeceuninck - Quick Step,,35DE VREESE LaurensAstana Pro Team,,36EDMONDSON AlexMitchelton-Scott,,37VENTOSO Francisco JoséCCC Team,,38HEPBURN MichaelMitchelton-Scott,,39VAN BAARLE DylanTeam Sky,,40GESINK RobertTeam Jumbo-Visma,,41STRAKHOV DmitryTeam Katusha - Alpecin,,42OWSIAN ŁukaszCCC Team,,43PRADES EduardMovistar Team,,44O'CONNOR BenTeam Dimension Data,,45DE KORT KoenTrek - Segafredo,,46OLIVEIRA IvoUAE-Team Emirates,,47FERNÁNDEZ RubénMovistar Team,,48MEYER CameronMitchelton-Scott,,49CARRETERO HéctorMovistar Team,,50SAJNOK SzymonCCC Team,,51DLAMINI NicTeam Dimension Data,,52HAMILTON LucasMitchelton-Scott,,53MAS LluísMovistar Team,,54HINDLEY JaiTeam Sunweb ,,55DE LA PARTE VíctorCCC Team,,56PORTE RichieTrek - Segafredo,,57LEEZER TomTeam Jumbo-Visma,,58VALGREN MichaelTeam Dimension Data,,59POGAČAR TadejUAE-Team Emirates,,60VAN DER PLOEG NeilUniSA-Australia,,61POZZOVIVO DomenicoBahrain Merida Pro Cycling Team,,62MORABITO SteveGroupama - FDJ,,63MCCARTHY JayBORA - hansgrohe,,64DENNIS RohanBahrain Merida Pro Cycling Team,,65CHEVRIER ClémentAG2R La Mondiale,,66HARPER ChrisUniSA-Australia,,67MCLAY DanielEF Education First Pro Cycling Team,,68BALLERINI DavideAstana Pro Team,,69ROSSKOPF JoeyCCC Team,,70TOOVEY AydenUniSA-Australia,,71SUNDERLAND DylanUniSA-Australia,,72COSNEFROY BenoîtAG2R La Mondiale,,73HAUSSLER HeinrichBahrain Merida Pro Cycling Team,,74VALLS RafaelMovistar Team,,75FRANKINY KilianGroupama - FDJ,,76FRÖHLINGER JohannesTeam Sunweb ,,77PERNSTEINER HermannBahrain Merida Pro Cycling Team,,78DENZ NicoAG2R La Mondiale,,79SLAGTER Tom-JelteTeam Dimension Data,,80DUPONT HubertAG2R La Mondiale,,81LINDEMAN Bert-JanTeam Jumbo-Visma,,82KNEES ChristianTeam Sky,,83STETINA PeterTrek - Segafredo,,84PANTANO JarlinsonTrek - Segafredo,,85MØRKØV MichaelDeceuninck - Quick Step,,86HALLER MarcoTeam Katusha - Alpecin,,87CLARKE WillTrek - Segafredo,,88ELISSONDE KennyTeam Sky,,89HANSEN AdamLotto Soudal,,90ARASHIRO YukiyaBahrain Merida Pro Cycling Team,,91SABATINI FabioDeceuninck - Quick Step,,92KUZNETSOV VyacheslavTeam Katusha - Alpecin,,93PETERS NansAG2R La Mondiale,,94LADAGNOUS MatthieuGroupama - FDJ,,95FOMINYKH DaniilAstana Pro Team,,96MÜHLBERGER GregorBORA - hansgrohe,,97GIDICH YevgeniyAstana Pro Team,,98BAGDONAS GediminasAG2R La Mondiale,,99KLUGE RogerLotto Soudal,,100HONORÉ Mikkel FrølichDeceuninck - Quick Step,,101HAGEN Carl FredrikLotto Soudal,,102BAK Lars YttingTeam Dimension Data,,103ROWE LukeTeam Sky,,104CAVAGNA RémiDeceuninck - Quick Step,,105VINCENT LéoGroupama - FDJ,,106DOWSETT AlexTeam Katusha - Alpecin,,107POTTER MichaelUniSA-Australia,,108DAVIES ScottTeam Dimension Data,,109WHELAN JamesEF Education First Pro Cycling Team,,110BYSTRØM Sven ErikUAE-Team Emirates,,111DURBRIDGE LukeMitchelton-Scott,,112HAYMAN MathewMitchelton-Scott,,113DE GENDT ThomasLotto Soudal,,114SUTHERLAND RoryUAE-Team Emirates,,115KNOX JamesDeceuninck - Quick Step,,116BOARO ManueleAstana Pro Team0:30117SIEBERG MarcelBahrain Merida Pro Cycling Team0:39118HOFSTEDE LennardTeam Jumbo-Visma0:45119BLYTHE AdamLotto Soudal,,120BOL CeesTeam Sunweb 0:47121MULLEN RyanTrek - Segafredo,,122MARCZYŃSKI TomaszLotto Soudal,,123BETTIOL AlbertoEF Education First Pro Cycling Team,,124GATTO OscarBORA - hansgrohe0:58125OSS DanielBORA - hansgrohe,,126BODNAR MaciejBORA - hansgrohe,,127WHITE NicholasUniSA-Australia1:08128KANTER MaxTeam Sunweb 1:11129WYNANTS MaartenTeam Jumbo-Visma,,130PÖSTLBERGER LukasBORA - hansgrohe,,131SCULLY TomEF Education First Pro Cycling Team1:44132DOCKER MitchellEF Education First Pro Cycling Team2:09133MORTON LachlanEF Education First Pro Cycling Team3:32RankNameTeamPoints1VIVIANI EliaDeceuninck - Quick Step242BEVIN PatrickCCC Team233BAUHAUS PhilBahrain Merida Pro Cycling Team224SAGAN PeterBORA - hansgrohe215PHILIPSEN JasperUAE-Team Emirates216VAN POPPEL DannyTeam Jumbo-Visma197HALVORSEN KristofferTeam Sky158EWAN CalebLotto Soudal149WALSCHEID MaxTeam Sunweb 1410MARECZKO JakubCCC Team1311GIBBONS RyanTeam Dimension Data1112ZAKHAROV ArtyomAstana Pro Team1013LEA JasonUniSA-Australia914STORER MichaelTeam Sunweb 815SÁNCHEZ Luis LeónAstana Pro Team816REIJNEN KielTrek - Segafredo717HOELGAARD DanielGroupama - FDJ618CASTRILLO JaimeMovistar Team5RankNameTeamPoints1LEA JasonUniSA-Australia202ZAKHAROV ArtyomAstana Pro Team123BEVIN PatrickCCC Team44CASTRILLO JaimeMovistar Team45STORER MichaelTeam Sunweb 26BOARO ManueleAstana Pro Team2RankNameTeamTime1EWAN CalebLotto Soudal6:34:122LEA JasonUniSA-Australia0:013STORER MichaelTeam Sunweb ,,4MARECZKO JakubCCC Team0:025CASTRILLO JaimeMovistar Team0:036BAUHAUS PhilBahrain Merida Pro Cycling Team0:067PHILIPSEN JasperUAE-Team Emirates,,8HALVORSEN KristofferTeam Sky,,9GIBBONS RyanTeam Dimension Data,,10HAMILTON ChrisTeam Sunweb ,,11SCOTSON MilesGroupama - FDJ,,12GUERREIRO RubenTeam Katusha - Alpecin,,13STRAKHOV DmitryTeam Katusha - Alpecin,,14O'CONNOR BenTeam Dimension Data,,15OLIVEIRA IvoUAE-Team Emirates,,16CARRETERO HéctorMovistar Team,,17SAJNOK SzymonCCC Team,,18DLAMINI NicTeam Dimension Data,,19HAMILTON LucasMitchelton-Scott,,20HINDLEY JaiTeam Sunweb ,,21POGAČAR TadejUAE-Team Emirates,,22VAN DER PLOEG NeilUniSA-Australia,,23HARPER ChrisUniSA-Australia,,24BALLERINI DavideAstana Pro Team,,25TOOVEY AydenUniSA-Australia,,26SUNDERLAND DylanUniSA-Australia,,27COSNEFROY BenoîtAG2R La Mondiale,,28FRANKINY KilianGroupama - FDJ,,29DENZ NicoAG2R La Mondiale,,30PETERS NansAG2R La Mondiale,,31MÜHLBERGER GregorBORA - hansgrohe,,32GIDICH YevgeniyAstana Pro Team,,33HONORÉ Mikkel FrølichDeceuninck - Quick Step,,34CAVAGNA RémiDeceuninck - Quick Step,,35VINCENT LéoGroupama - FDJ,,36POTTER MichaelUniSA-Australia,,37DAVIES ScottTeam Dimension Data,,38WHELAN JamesEF Education First Pro Cycling Team,,39KNOX JamesDeceuninck - Quick Step,,40HOFSTEDE LennardTeam Jumbo-Visma0:3641BOL CeesTeam Sunweb 0:3842MULLEN RyanTrek - Segafredo,,43WHITE NicholasUniSA-Australia0:5944KANTER MaxTeam Sunweb 1:02RankNameTime1UAE-Team Emirates 19:42:542Groupama - FDJ,,3Team Jumbo-Visma,,4Team Katusha - Alpecin,,5CCC Team,,6Team Sky,,7Team Sunweb ,,8Mitchelton-Scott,,9Astana Pro Team,,10AG2R La Mondiale,,11Team Dimension Data,,12Bahrain Merida Pro Cycling Team,,13Movistar Team,,14Deceuninck - Quick Step,,15Trek - Segafredo,,16Lotto Soudal,,17EF Education First Pro Cycling Team,,18BORA - hansgrohe,,19UniSA-Australia,,Results provided by ProCyclingStats.
Read the full article at Tour Down Under: Bevin snags first WorldTour win on VeloNews.com.

Have a question for Lennard? Please email us to be included in Technical FAQ.Dear Lennard,
I was reading your recent Q&A regarding Speedplay cleats and cleat placement being moved farther back. In the article, you mention that moving the cleats farther back can potentially provide relief from “hot spots.” I saw a fitter last year who had adjusted the fore-aft of my road cleats to what they believed to be a neutral position and inserted a few shims to my left cleat to compensate for a leg length discrepancy. The shims solved one issue in my lower back and made another more noticeable. My left foot never experiences any numbness or tingling, but I frequently feel it in my big toe on the right foot.
You mentioned that some riders may experience this sensation by having too much weight placed on the front of their foot. In this case, would you recommend moving only the right cleat back further and leaving the left where it is with the shims in place, or is it best to move both cleats back slightly and also lower my saddle accordingly?— JustinDear Justin,
That stack of cleat shims alone could be a good solution to the leg-length discrepancy that your fitter has diagnosed for you, but it is cause for concern that new pains have appeared since then. I’m glad you’re investigating alternatives.
Moving the cleat further back will likely improve the foot numbness you are feeling, as long as you have a stiff (carbon) shoe sole. However, if you were to only move one cleat back and not the other, you would be throwing off that leg-length correction. I would recommend against doing that.
That said, there is a reason where one might wish to move one cleat back and not the other, and I have no way of knowing if it applies to you. Raising the cleat off of the shoe with a cleat shim (while keeping the fore-aft position of both cleats the same) is a good way to correct for a minor leg-length discrepancy that is isolated in the lower leg. However, if the leg-length discrepancy is in the upper leg, correcting with a cleat shim alone is ill-advised. Rather, the correction should consist of a combination of a thinner cleat shim combined with putting the long leg deeper into the pedal (i.e., moving the cleat back on just that one shoe). This is discussed eloquently by Andy Pruitt in his excellent book.
As with all adjustments meant to alleviate problems caused by leg-length discrepancies, the total amount of correction, whether with a cleat shim alone or with a cleat shim combined with fore-aft repositioning of a single cleat, should be less than the measured amount of leg-length discrepancy.
window.ia_1 = googletag.defineSlot('/21732621108/velonews', [[300, 50],[300, 250],[320, 50],[728, 90]], 'ad-ia-1').defineSizeMapping(szmp_ia).addService(googletag.pubads());googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('ad-ia-1'); });In your case, I have no way of knowing the amount of any leg-length discrepancy you might have and where that length discrepancy is located. My ability to make a recommendation is thus limited. If you have confidence in your fitter, going back to him or her for further adjustments might be the best course of action.
If you are going to move the cleats without further guidance from your fitter, I recommend that you initially move both cleats the same amount (and correct the seat height accordingly) unless you have a medical reason not to. And it would seem to make sense to move the shim stack along with its cleat and try that first. If you still have back pain resolved in one area but newly appearing in another, you might then remove a shim or two.― LennardDear Lennard,
Appreciate your column and common sense insight and advice on all things cycling. Regarding cleat position, I’m a size 46.5-47 shoe (6’2″ 190lbs) so I fit the profile you described, regarding someone who would benefit from a further rearward cleat position. While in triathlon I somehow got advice and ended up with my road cleats almost as far forward as possible, but as I’ve migrated toward dirt (MTB and gravel) the last few years, I’ve slowly moved those back on my MTB shoes and now my road shoes as well.
That said, I already have some toe overlap on my current road/gravel bike (3T Exploro in size large) and worry that experimenting with pushing cleats further back will cause the overlap to worsen. Is toe overlap a sign that the frame is too small? Or just something to ignore and not worry about, given that the only time you’re turning the bars (and front wheel) that far left or right is at a stoplight or when you’re barely moving?— Henry with Big FeetDear Henry with Big Feet,
While toe overlap can be indicative of a frame that is too small, this is not the case with small riders; the bike geometry must allow them to not only have the reach to the bars they desire (and the wheel size they desire), while also keeping the front tire away from their feet. With you at 6’2,” I suspect that your top tube length might indeed be short for you.
Toe overlap is caused by a combination of crank length, shoe size, cleat position, top tube length, tire diameter, head and seat angles, and fork offset (rake). If the other above variables are kept constant, toe overlap is reduced either by:
Decreasing crank length
Decreasing shoe size
More forward cleat positioning
Increasing the top-tube length
Decreasing the tire volume (or wheel size)
Decreasing the head-tube angle (i.e., making the angle of the head tube more shallow)
Increasing the seat-tube angle (i.e., making the seat tube steeper), or
Increasing the fork rake.
Without replacing your frame or fork, the only things you can realistically do are to decrease your tire and/or wheel size, decrease your crank length, or move your cleats further forward, none of which you probably want to do. You could get a fork with more rake, which would make the ride more compliant while making the steering quicker (decreased stability) and the wheelbase longer. Realistically, most carbon gravel road forks have 47mm of rake, so you’re not likely to make much of a change there.
As you have correctly identified, toe overlap is only a crash-causing issue at low speeds. Thus, it is an absolute no-no for a mountain bike on technical climbs, but it may be acceptable on a gravel road bike. If you find it to be a safety issue for you, you might want to look around for a different bike.― Lennard
Read the full article at Technical FAQ: More on cleat positioning and toe overlap on VeloNews.com.

PARIS (AFP) — Teenage Italian cyclist Samuele Manfredi has emerged from a coma more than a month after a serious crash in training, his team announced on Tuesday.
The 18-year-old, who rides for French outfit Groupama-FDJ, was rushed to a hospital with head injuries after being run over by a car in his hometown of Pietra Ligure in northwest Italy and placed in a medically-induced coma on December 10.
“The young Italian rider’s life is no longer in danger, but he is now entering a long process of rehabilitation,” his team said.
Manfredi finished in second place at last year’s Paris-Roubaix Juniors race and was European junior individual pursuit champion in August.

We have good news to share with you! Yesterday, Samuele Manfredi woke up from the induced coma he was kept in after his accident on December 10. He is no longer in a life-threatening condition and will now start a long recovery process.
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Read the full article at Top young Italian cyclist out of coma after crash on VeloNews.com.

Giro d’Italia fanatics have had it good this winter. Over the past few weeks, one GC star after another has announced plans to race the Italian grand tour in 2019. The start list is shaping up to be fantastic, with Tom Dumoulin, Simon Yates, and Vincenzo Nibali among the marquee names set to hunt the pink jersey this spring. Geraint Thomas may even join the fray, according to recent reports in Italian media.
Sounds great, right? Sure, if you’re okay with the sport’s biggest stars shying away from cycling’s biggest race.
Call me a curmudgeon: I’m not pleased with the Giro’s stellar field this year, because it weakens the field at the Tour de France. And with Chris Froome set to contend for his fifth maillot jaune, I want the Tour lineup to include the sport’s best GC riders, all on top form.
Froome’s decision to attempt the Giro-Tour double last year bummed me out because it meant we wouldn’t see cycling’s top stage racer at his best for the main event in the summer. I’ll be just as bummed to see Froome crush a weaker field this summer.
I love the Giro for numerous reasons. The race always delivers excitement, drama, and great scenery. For years now, people have been perfectly content to watch a field of mostly Italian and up-and-coming riders battle on gorgeous high-mountain passes in testing conditions. The formula works — I can’t remember a recent Giro that bored me.
I don’t need the Giro to have all of the top GC names in cycling on its start list to get me to tune in, so I can’t get behind the groundswell of riders flocking to the Italian grand tour. It is hard to see this as anything other than a decision by these riders to avoid taking on Froome and Co. in France.
This summer more than ever, I want to see the strongest field at the Tour. Froome is looking to join the special company of Jacques Anquetil, Eddy Merckx, Bernard Hinault, and Miguel Indurain with a fifth Tour win this July. That’s an incredible feat, but it only means so much if half of Froome’s would-be challengers skip the showdown. He — and cycling fans too — deserve fierce competition at the Tour de France, which is why I’m hoping at least a few big names have a change of heart before they book their flights to Italy.
window.ia_1 = googletag.defineSlot('/21732621108/velonews', [[300, 50],[300, 250],[320, 50],[728, 90]], 'ad-ia-1').defineSizeMapping(szmp_ia).addService(googletag.pubads());googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('ad-ia-1'); });I’ll give Nibali a pass because the Giro is his home race. He has won all three grand tours, and if he wants to race both the Giro and the Tour, good for him. But Dumoulin? At the start of 2018, I wondered whether he might finally be the rider to challenge Froome for grand tour dominance. He may not have won a three-week title last year, but Dumoulin looked plenty strong en route to a pair of runner-up performances. The talent is there. This year’s Tour could have been the showdown we’ve been waiting for, a fresh Froome taking on a fresh Dumoulin on cycling’s biggest stage.
Instead of taking on the challenge, Dumoulin is opting to target the Giro yet again. While he may ride the Tour as well, it won’t be a truly dedicated yellow jersey bid with the fatigue of a Giro run in his legs.
Dumoulin has pointed to the difference in the race routes as a determining factor in his decision. The upcoming Tour will be very light on individual time trial mileage, while the Giro will give the former ITT world champ three opportunities to put his talent on display.
I feel for Dumoulin, but it’s not like he wouldn’t have his chances at the Tour. The ASO is billing it as “the highest Tour in history,” with a collection of high-altitude climbs that will inject uncertainty into the race. As strong as Froome and Sky are, they aren’t immune to bad days, especially when the competition is there to push them to the limit. Should Froome suffer through a jour sans high in the Alps, even a power guy like Dumoulin could capitalize if he’s on a good day.
Plus, it’s not like the Giro’s route is overly friendly to the time trial specialists. The total TT distance sits under 60 kilometers. Is that really worth skipping a Tour battle the sport deserves?
And what about Yates? He is coming off a year in which he won the Vuelta a España and multiple Giro stages en route to the top spot in the WorldTour rankings. Now is just the time to see how far he can go in the biggest race on the calendar. Then there’s Primoz Roglic, who had a breakthrough 2018 too. Why aim for a Giro win when the Tour podium seems possible? Speaking of podiums, Miguel Ángel López finished in the top three in both the Giro and the Vuelta last year. He’ll be heading back to the Giro this spring; isn’t it about time he made his debut in the Tour de France?
And now even Geraint Thomas himself is reportedly considering a Giro run. We’re talking about the defending Tour champion here. Leave Egan Bernal to tear up the Giro. Aim for another yellow jersey, and may Sky’s best former Tour champ win.
I know that each of these riders faces a daunting challenge in prioritizing the Tour. For most, it’s the thought of going up against the indomitable Froome and his Sky train. For Thomas, perhaps, it’s the specter of intra-team strife. But how much is a grand tour title really worth when it’s won over a field of riders eschewing a bigger test?
Froome only went for the Giro victory last year after collecting four Tour titles — for him, the Giro-Tour double seemed a worthy challenge. For Dumoulin or Yates, on the other hand, focusing on the Giro this season is shying away from the worthy challenge of targeting the Tour.
Richie Porte, Nairo Quintana, Romain Bardet, and Rigoberto Urán are at least set to try to take on Froome in France. They deserve credit for accepting the challenge. Hopefully, they will put up enough of a fight to make things interesting this July; we’ll see how that goes.
In the meantime, Mr. Dumoulin, Mr. Yates, and Mr Roglic: Please reconsider and join the battle for yellow this summer.
Read the full article at Commentary: Giro stars should race the Tour instead on VeloNews.com.

LONDON (AFP) — Former British Cycling and Team Sky doctor Richard Freeman is to face misconduct charges brought by Britain’s General Medical Council (GMC), it was announced on Monday.
An independent medical tribunal, which will start in Manchester on February 6, is to hear GMC claims that Freeman was involved in a cover-up after allegedly ordering large quantities of testosterone, a performance-enhancing drug banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), to be delivered to the National Cycling Centre.
According to information published by the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service, the GMC has alleged Freeman obtained 30 sachets of Testogel “to administer to an athlete to improve their athletic performance.”
The tribunal has the power to suspend or remove the ability of any doctor to work within the United Kingdom.
Freeman was also the doctor at the center of the so-called ‘Jiffy Bag’ scandal which saw Team Sky accused of a suspected anti-doping violation regarding a mystery package reportedly destined for star rider Bradley Wiggins in 2011.
However, a UK Anti-Doping investigation concluded without any charges having been brought.
Freeman has previously denied all doping charges against him.
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Team Sky’s future was thrown into doubt last month after British media company Sky announced it was ending a partnership that has delivered six Tour de France titles in the past seven years.
Wiggins, riding for Sky, became Britain’s first Tour de France champion in 2012.
His Sky teammate Chris Froome won four Tour de France titles and Geraint Thomas became the team’s third winner of cycling’s marquee event in 2018.
Read the full article at Former Team Sky doctor to face misconduct probe over doping claims on VeloNews.com.

FLORENCE, Italy (VN) — Vincenzo Nibali is planning a 2020 project, with either his current team Bahrain-Merida or Trek-Segafredo, that will guide him through the end of his professional career.
The Italian grand tour star and winner of last year’s Milano-Sanremo is with his teammates this week in Spain for a training camp that will launch his 2019 season. The next years, however, are on his mind. A decision to stay with the Middle East team or move to the U.S. team backed by Italian coffee giant Segafredo is expected soon.
“We have two teams where talks are at a high level,” Nibali’s agent Johnny Carera told VeloNews. “We want a decision by the Giro d’Italia.”
Nibali is considering a switch to the U.S. squad after a serious push by general manager Luca Guercilena and Segafredo boss Massimo Zanetti. Already, the team courted him at the end of the 2016 season before he moved from Astana to help start Bahrain-Merida.
Now with Nibali’s three-year deal up for renewal, parties are talking. The 34-year-old Sicilian wants to plan the next two years of his career, which could be his last in the peloton.
He has won all three grand tours – the 2014 Tour de France, the Giro d’Italia in 2013 and 2016, and the 2010 Vuelta a España. He counts two victories in Il Lombardia and an amazing Milano-Sanremo solo win last spring. He wants to continue through the 2020 Olympics and world championships and the 2021 season at a high level.
News from the Nibali camp is that “Trek-Segafredo made a good offer” to get Nibali in its roster for 2020 and 2021 and as an ambassador with Trek bicycles and Segafredo after retirement. Currently, the team is starting the 2019 season at the Santos Tour Down Under with new Australian hire Richie Porte.
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“However, we also have to consider the positive things in the team that we have now. We have to look at it calmly and decide by May.”
Nibali helped get Bahrain-Merida off the ground after a chance ride with Prince Nasser Bin Hamad Al Khalifa on his Bahrain island in the Persian Gulf. The prince and several major Bahraini companies back the WorldTour team. This season, British motorsport giant McLaren joined as a 50 percent partner.
That deal delayed Nibali’s contract renewal talks.
Last week, Nibali and Carera met with Bahrain-Merida general manager Brent Copeland and managing director Milan Erzen. Copeland is currently talking to Prince Nasser and McLaren about Nibali’s request for a two-year deal through 2021.
“We haven’t discussed an ambassador or post-retirement deal in detail,” Copeland said. “I know Trek-Segafredo is offering it. They can gain from it, they are a bike brand, and Segafredo is Italian.
“I don’t see how a team that is sponsored by a consortium of sponsors in a country like Bahrain is going to benefit from that. Maybe if Merida bikes wants to do something similar like what they did with Joaquím Rodríguez. At the moment, I don’t see that happening.”
Nibali is due to speak with the team by the end of January and meet to discuss a new contract in the first weeks of February. His 2019 season starts in Spain, where he will race the Volta a Valenciana starting Feb. 6. He is targeting the Giro and Tour this year.
Read the full article at Nibali 2020: Bahrain-Merida or Trek-Segafredo? on VeloNews.com.