Kittel downplays rivalry

Marcel Kittel, the back-to-back Tour of Dubai stage winner, has downplayed the disputes of his arch rivalry with top sprinters, especially Mark Cavendish.

Leading Brit cyclist Cavendish was hailed as the best sprinter of Tour France by renowned French daily L’Equipe two years back – after he came up as the 1st rider to win on the most prestigious cycling championship of the world for 4 years in a row.

However, it was Kittel who upstaged the Omega Pharma rider last year at the Tour France finale that denied the champion to stretch his record further. In 2014 Dubai Tour sprint stage last Thursday, Cavendish was waiting in the 4th position during the final 10 kilometers.

But a last burst from the Giant Shimano rider brought the winning glory to the German cyclist ahead of Peter Sagan. Kittel repeated similar trick next day as well during Nature Stage & this time Cavendish was simply nowhere around.

“I am fighting in my very own ways in the pursuit of my typical goals which I share with my team as well. Then we’ve to focus on who to beat down to accomplish those goals”, stated Kittel. “Here it’s Mark & I cannot deny that this very championship is significant since it renders a chance to ride against him. At 1.5k we rode up just next to Mark’s team & he was still posted there. I did not see what actually happened- I have not got eye on my back- but personally it is really satisfying when you are able to beat down a sprinter riding next to one another, when you are able to battle it out & you are able to see them. This gets very interesting for the crowd. It is battling for win which offers great deal of excitement & I love that.”

2014 Events Will Use Grading System

British Cycling has now come up with grading systems for sportives. With this new system, cyclists who enter sportives from the next year will have a method to judge their comparative degrees of difficulty. The base of the grading system, as announced by the Governing body of British Cycling, will be on a difficulty scale of 1 to 5.

The difficulty scale has been devised with the help of IMG Challenger World who were the organizers of the Marie Curie Etape Series. This difficulty scale will enable prospective participants to measure the scale of the challenge that they are going to take up. They will also be able to compare one event against the other, for all events.

This scale will not only be useful for prospective entrants, but also hold benefits for the organizers. It will help organizers while planning routes that are focussed on cyclists of different abilities. This will help in reflecting the fact that many sportives involve a longer and tougher course, and a shorter and easier one.

This scale will be implemented in all the events that will be held in the year 2014. British Cycling has also said that there will be icons on the event listings on the website that will denote the grading of the event.

The working of the scale involves the combination of distance and climb to produce the required grading (more information on the working would be available in the British Cycling website).

The organisation’s Cycle Sport Events Manager, Jonathan Day, said about the scale that, “We are delighted to get this system up and running for 2014”. Day also added that every participant of the sportives should also enjoy the experience and this will help riders to get a better understanding of the physical demands of the events they participate in.

Froome eyes 2013 World Championship Jersey

Chris Froome, the current Tour de France looks all the more confident post his amazing victory in the world’s most prestigious cycling championship. After his Tour France win, the ace Brit rider is now aiming for World Championship Jersey. The 2013 World Championship is scheduled to be held in September in Florence.

The 2013 Tour France hero has already explored the Florence track and assured that the tough 272.5 kilometer road race track is pretty compatible with his own climbing caliber. Froome was a member of Great Britain group that helped another Brit rider Mark Cavendish to pull up a sprint victory in 2011, in Copenhagen. “It was certainly a big thing for Brit cycling for Mark to achieve the honorary World Championship jersey & it would my utmost honor to sport the very jersey myself”, stated the Sky ace.

While asked to speak about the elite Florence event, Froome looked ecstatic to be a part of the distinguished championship. In his own verse- “The Florence track looks really tough. The trail finishes with hard circuit- considering it’s 280 kilometer & more than 4 hundred kilometers of climbing. Hence it seems somewhat like gamble”. He further emphasized-“I feel either a true pure climber or punchier climber would be able to crack it. But that’s what makes the event all the more exciting. I would love to try hard for it.”

Froome has admitted that the upcoming World Championship is going to be a tough competition given its high profile roster packed by many talented climbers, other than himself.

Before participating in the World championships, the Brit rider will be seen competing in the soon to start USA Pro Challenge 2013, another most sought after cycling event.
He is also hopeful about duly defending his Tour de France title in the 2014 season.

The fighting spirit

Geraint Thomas is a name to reckon with in the international cycling circuits and his victories are legendary. He has survived many injuries and has yet come out the winner in the lot. When he was riding for the Tour de France, he fractured his pelvis and still finished the tour because of his fighting spirits.

This tour would become the most memorable one for a long time to come for him. Though he had a fracture in his pelvis right in the first stage of the race, he still managed to fight till the finish and stay with the team.

He says that the riding was a tough one because of the fracture, but the pain was worth the win and this made his day. The pain of the fractured pelvis carries him through the tour and his decision to stay in the race shows his fighting spirits.

With great fan following, he made it through in the race and did not let his team down. He remained stuck with his team and this ensured that he give his hundred percent to the team in its winning streak. He has to be a great bet for the future.

Winning the tour has been his dream and his broken pelvis never did come in the way of the win. His spirit to bounce back from the pain made him the winner without any question. He says that the pain of the fracture was washed out with the thrill of the victory.

From one challenge to the next, Geraint Thomas has been taking them up and winning them. As this is a team work, it does ensure that the contribution of each player is important; but Geraint Thomas has a special role in the team. His injuries, however minor or major are of no importance when team work is concerned. This attitude takes him a long way in the winning process.

Women’s Cycling Association to be launched

Women’s Cycling Association is all set hold their official launch party on 24th August, Saturday, at Fort Collins in Colorado. There the organization will unveil their official logo and its website.

Earlier in June, a small bunch of pro women cycle riders met to discuss how to bring equality in women’s cycling via media exposure, equal prize kitty as well as a minimum salary structure that would let the women to concentrate on this sport as a viable career. After the June meeting, a strong bunch of women from pro peloton have put their team commitment behind them and they joined forces to motivate women’s cycling with the creation of Women’s Cycling Association.

US National Road 2011 Champion as well as Women’s Cycling Association President Robin Farina said that it was time for a positive switch in Women’s Professional Cycling. The new association was created to help increase the sport of cycling as well as ensure sustainability in women’s cycling for the future.

Women’s Cycling Association’s Media Director and 2011 NRC Champion Janel Holcomb told that the time is right for all women cyclists and women’s cycling supporters to join together and work towards equality in this sport. The association would work to bring about alteration on a global level.

The Women’s Cycling Association’s goal is to maintain, support and develop a network of women cyclists as well as its supporters. The association will work to progress the interests of women cyclists by advancing and developing policies with governing bodies as well as engaging in media outreach. WCA’s vision is for pro women cyclists to have a career with fiscal security, advancement opportunities and recognition to support women cycle riders of all ability levels as well as to show grassroots programs so that it can help to develop new and young riders.

Cavendish Rejoices In His 100th Stage Victory

The British sprinter Mark Cavendish belonging to the Omega Pharma-Quick Step got his 100th stage victory in Giro d’Italia after winning the 12th stage in Treviso, Italy. This marked his third victory in the Giro d’Italia this year. However, Vincenzo Nibali (Italian cyclist) is still leading in the Giro d’Italia. Cavendish’s victory in the 12th stage has shattered the hopes of Bradley Wiggins to win Giro d’Italia this year. Wiggins was already suffering from a bad cold and chest infection. The bad weather just made it worse for him and he could not give tough competition to Cavendish.

Chances of Bradley Wiggins’s continuing in the other stages of the Giro d’Italia depends on what the medics have to say about his health condition. But according to Dave Brailsford, if health permits Wiggins will continue and support Rigoberto Uran (Teammate of Wiggins who is standing third overall at the Giro). Wiggins will make his decision before the longest stage at the Giro starts on Friday- 17th of May.

Cavendish has always praised his teammates for his victories. Therefore after the 12th stage victory he took the chance of thanking his teammates again. He said they rode with all their might from the start and gave him the needed lead to win the 12th stage. He was also very happy that he had marked his century stage victory at Giro d’Italia and said he was waiting for this moment anxiously. According to Cavendish the team had come determined to win the stage because they were facing criticisms from many quarters this year.

Cavendish claims that if he does not win any race then it is like losing the race no matter how well he performs in it. Like many of the other rival riders, he was also suffering from cold. But his victory in the 12th stage proves that he is in a better condition than most his rivals.

Hindrances And Tour de France Changes

With the Tour de France for this year coming closer every day, organizers have already started planning for Tour de France 2014. There are going to be some major changes to be done in the tracks of the Tour de France routes.

Next year, the Tour de France will be held in and in the outskirts of Yorkshire and the track changes have been suggested by organizers. News reveals that 21 new wider cycle lanes will be added within the city. The east road route will be completely redesigned as well. A 2 in 1 gradient will also be added in this region which is going to help riders do a hill climb up more easily.

The Cambridgeshire County Council has told the Tour de France organizers that during the race, the traffic lights cannot be switched off because of safety matters in the city. Also the cyclists would have to stop if they face a red light at some point of the race.

The route will cover Hills Road, Mill Road, Gonville Place and Milton Road as well. New lanes have to be set up here as well. The gradient plan in east road would need imported soil to be put in the tracks which will cost around 8 million pounds. Parker’s Piece in Gonville place will also need tar surface.

The East Road city officials are not happy with these changes. People’s representative of east road, Cllr Neil Wardy-Biggs said that they just finished resurfacing the roads in the area and they like the idea of holding cycling tournaments in the city but so many changes in such less time intervals disrupts the traffic and life of people in the town.

The red light situation also is a major hindrance in the so called plan for a smooth Tour de France tournament 2014.

Sir Brailsford Finds World Championships As Platform

Sir Brailsford is eyeing up the World Championships as the viable opportunity for the rise of new English cyclists. Britain is all set to participate in the upcoming World Track Championship at Minx which would be starting off this week. Britain squad at the Minx event includes a number of new names given the retirement of Olympian Victoria Pendleton and absence of Sir Hoy. Sir Hoy, the eminent British Olympian has announced to retire post Commonwealth Games 2014.

“The young & aspiring cyclists have great opportunity to come up as team leaders in the World Championships and that is what we are viewing in the case of Becky James & in the other areas”, stated Brailsford. The Minx World Championship is the 1st significant track meeting post Britain’s 7 gold medals in London, 2012.

James, the Welsh rider, who was compelled to miss out on London Olympics on the ground of illness and injury, would be competing with Vicky Williamson in women’s sprint this time. Williamson is one among the 6 newcomers in the Britain squad. Besides, there is Elinor Barker, another rider from Welsh, who would be teaming up with Dani King and Laura Trott for pursuit. Trott & King were the winning pair in 2012 London Olympics alongside Joanna Rowsell.

According to Brailsford the World Championships are most ideal portals to try out new combinations in the beginning of a fresh Olympic cycle. “The World Championship events are always the place where you get to view the blend of young & more seasoned sprinters coming together & it’s exciting to witness it always. The time post Olympic is the time for experimenting & trying out new things. Mix up little in the training & what sprinters are eyeing on & this is what which creates a difference & makes it dynamic”, Brailsford added in.

The Fastest Sprinter Cyclist In The World

Cycling, like motorcycling competition, has been a popular field competition where speed is the final word that determines the winners in every competition. The game of cycling has been popular all over the world and that sport has given birth to some great cyclists.

Alessandro Petacchi has been one of the most popular names in the world of cycling. He is an Italian by birth. He started his career as a sprinter and was heavily successful career. He found some other areas of interest at an early stage of life and that took him towards the cycling which is a popular game in the European circuit.

Alessandro Petacchi has been a popular name in world cycling who has been performing at the top professional level for last 16 years now. It is a rather long career but Petacchi still finds enough inspiration in himself where possibilities of growth are endless. People, who know and understand the game of cycling, are also fond of Alessandro Petacchi. They know and call them as the fastest sprinter in this sport of cycling. This man did wonders in the international level just by dint of his wonderful feats with his cycle. His amazing speed always remained the center of attraction for everyone and is what provide a little trouble for him in 2004 when Petacchi was banned from participation in the world cycling tours.

That was not at all accepted by this legendary and he fought against this ban and ultimately won the case. He made a successful come back and won the 1st and 4th stage of prestigious Tour de France in 2010. Known as ‘the fastest sprinter cyclist in the world’, Petacchi has an illustrious career where he lives every moment with great inspiration and courage. He has completed 16 great years in the sport very recently.

Lance Armstrong on the verge of losing Olympic medal

Lance Armstrong has been banned for lifetime by the USADA and they also stripped him off of his seven Tour de France titles. But currently it seems that more troubles await Armstrong as the International Olympic Committee has its intention to get the Bronze medal back which he won at the 2000 Sydney Olympic.

The IOC meeting holds the key to Armstrong’s fate as the decision will be made there. The USADA report has had a great impact on the IOC and it is believed that they will strip Armstrong off of the Bronze medal, too. A few days earlier International Cycling Union has agreed the decision of stripping Armstrong and now it is the term of the IOC. They can strip the medal after their meeting, but a source says that they could do it later, after the cycling’s governing body officially notify Armstrong of the loss of his seven Tour titles.

Thomas Bach, the vice president of the IOC and also a German lawyer, stated that the Olympic Board would look after the matter and the chances of Armstrong getting stripped of his medal are very high as the Olympic Board has decided to tackle the doping charges with a strong hand. After USADA published their report against Armstrong, IOC has unlocked a disciplinary case which will decide the fate of the cyclist.

Now the question arises if the medal is to be stripped off Lance Armstrong then who is to be awarded it. Well, the IOC is not considering any alternative to award the medal. The UCI has also done the same thing. They gave away all the titles from him but didn’t reallocate the titles to anybody else. If IOC stick to this decision then Abraham Olano Manzano of Spain, who registered the fourth place at the Sydney 2000 Olympic, won’t be allocated the third spot and nor will he be given the Bronze medal.