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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion:
Saturday, May 2, 2015

Back to news and opinion index page for links to archived stories

Today's Racing

Three races today, the seventh stage of the Presidential Tour of Turkey, the fifth stage of the Tour of Romandie, the second stage of the Tour de Yorkshire and finally, the first stage of the Vuelta a Asturias.

New World Hour Record

This from the UCI:

The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) congratulates Alex Dowsett for his new UCI Hour Record of 52.937 km established today at the National Cycling Centre in Manchester, Great Britain.

The Briton from UCI WorldTeam Movistar bettered the record by 446 metres. The previous mark of 52.491km had been set by Australia’s Rohan Dennis, on February 8, in Grenchen, Switzerland.

Three times British Time Trial Champion, Dowsett is the fifth rider to take on the legendary mark in 2015 after Jack Bobridge and Rohan Dennis, both of Australia, the Netherlands’ Thomas Dekker and Sweden’s Gustav Larsson.

The change of regulations for the UCI Hour Record introduced in 2014 has triggered a renewal of interest from riders, broadcasters and fans across the world.

Attention now turns to fellow British rider Bradley Wiggins who will tackle the UCI Hour Record at the Lee Valley Velopark in London on June 7.

Alex Dowsett setting new world hour record

Alex Dowsett setting a new World Hour Record

“Alex has done an incredible job,” said UCI President Brian Cookson. “Returning from injury he had to reschedule his attempt and he put up a stellar performance this afternoon. Alex made the UCI Hour Record one of his major goals of the season and his choice paid off. This is a great publicity for our event and for other riders who wish to follow in Alex’s footsteps. Let’s see what Bradley can do now. I would say he’s a safe bet but I'm excited to see what he can do in what is one of the toughest challenges in our sport.”

“The first 30 minutes were easier than I expected, the last 10 minutes were a bit grippy. I was expecting it to be horrific, but it was just terrible”, stated Alex Dowsett right after his attempt

World Hour Record history |

Pedego E-Bike Battery Recall

Pedego Electric Bikes has issued a voluntary recall of lithium ion rechargeable batteries. There are six reported instances of batteries becoming overheated and catching fire. Abut 5,000 bikes are involved.

The recall involves China-made 36-volt and 48-volt lithium ion rechargeable batteries sold separately and as original equipment with Pedego electric bikes. The batteries of each voltage came in two styles. One style has a silver or black metal case that measures about 13½ inches long, 6½ inches wide and 2½ inches high, with black plastic end caps and a handle.

The other style has a black or white plastic case that measures about 14 inches long, 6½ inches wide and 2½ inches high with a red indicator lamp on one end. The batteries have serial numbers that start with “DLG.” A label with the serial number is on one side of the metal batteries and on the underside of the plastic batteries.

Pedego Batteries

Pedego batteries

Pedego battery serial number

Pedego battery serial number

The e-bikes and batteries were sold at bicycle stores and online at from January 2010 through September 2013. The batteries were sold separately for about $600 to $900 and on electric bicycles that sold for between $2,000 and $3,000.

Consumers should immediately remove the battery from the bike and contact Pedego for a free replacement battery.

Tour de Romandie News

This from Tinkoff-Saxo:

Cold temperatures and heavy downpour affected stage 4 of Tour de Romandie, which saw the youngest of the field Stefan Küng win the stage. The majority of Tinkoff-Saxo finished with the decimated peloton including team captain Rafal Majka, who is reported ready for tomorrow’s queen stage.

Despite the adverse weather conditions with approximately 12ºC and steady rainfall, Tinkoff-Saxo’s sports director Bruno Cenghialta sees the stage as a good day prior to the crucial stage 5.

"It was a good day and in view of tomorrow's all-important stage I think our squad had a good race. They made an effort in the final climb, put the group in a bit of a difficult situation and six of them were in the final group at the finish line. It was a good stage for the morale because it was rainy and cold but they performed. They raced very well in the final kilometers, always keeping in mind that Saturday's stage is the most important one”, asserts Bruno Cenghialta.

Stage 4 took the riders 170km from La Neuveville to Fribourg. Ultimately, Stefan Küng (BMC) prevailed beating both fellow breakaway riders and the 53-man strong main bunch.

Stefan keung

Stefan Keung wins Romandie stage 4

Tinkoff-Saxo’s Rafal Majka sits 32nd, 1:15 behind race leader Michael Albasini (Orica GreenEdge), going into stage 5, where the GC-favorites will battle it out on a total of four 1st category climbs on the way to Champex-Lac.

“No rain is forecast for tomorrow but for Rafal that wouldn't make any difference. He feels mentally ready for the queen stage of Tour of Romandie and so does the rest of the guys but we all know it will be tough. Nibali, Froome and Quintana will also target the GC, so we will have to be very attentive and stage a tough battle”, finishes Bruno Cenghialta.

Lampre-Merida had this to say about the Romandie stage:

The rain was the first opponent of the cyclists who took part in the 4th stage of the Tour de Romandie, 169.8 km from La Neuville to Friburgo.

The course started with a long flat road, but after 60 km the road went upward to the 1073 mt of the summit of the Les Paccots (2nd category Kom), which was followed by the climbs of the Sorens (2nd category) and of the Treyvaux (3rd category, at 12 km to go).

The start flag had just been waved when the first attacks began: pedaling in the rain, 7 riders succeeded in starting the main breakaway, which had a maximum advantage of 5'40". In the final part of the stage, one of the attacker, Kueng, tried a solo action that gave him the victory with 38" on Bakelants and Lindeman.

Rui Costa reached the finish in the front group of the top riders (55 members), exploiting the perfect support that Bono gave him: Rui was 12th at 52", Bono 13th and Ulissi 58th.

"The course of the stage less demanding than the ones of the previous stages, there were fewer climbs, but the rain made the selection - Rui Costa explained - That's why in the main bunch there were only 55 riders left: for me, the support I received from my team mates was fundamental in order to avoid any trouble".

The First Stage of the Tour de Yorkshire was Friday

This came from Cult Energy:

Sunday, Cult Energy Pro Rasmus Quaade was in the Liege-Bastogne-Liege morning break and the time trial specialist picked up where he left during today’s 174-kilometer initial stage of the British stage race Tour of Yorkshire between Bridlington and Scarbourough. In the finale, the pressure was on Team Sky having two riders in the crucial counter-attack.

Quaade formed the first breakaway with four other riders and rode across the beautifully undulating terrain in the northeastern part of England. The landscape did have a crucial impact on the turn of events as the front group was gradually narrowed down as the hills steepened and took the best out of the escapees.

Rasmus Quaade

Rasmus Quaade

With 35 kilometers to go, the last standing escapee was joined and passed by a chase group including Thomas Voeckler (Europcar), Samuel Sanchez (BMC), Philip Deignan (Sky), Lars-Petter Nordhaug (Sky) and Stephano Rosetto (Cofidis).  In the highly entertainingly tactical finish, Nordhaug eventually was the first rider across the finish line.

Cult Energy Pro Cycling home turf hero, Russell Downing finished 17th in the second chase group as the field was divided in to numerous small groups:

“It was good to have Rasmus out there in the front to flash the jersey and when the final escapee was caught, the peloton was already cut in half and we had all riders in the first part of it. As both Ben Swift (Sky) and Marcel Kittel (GIANT) abandoned during the stage, it turned out to be very different tactically than everyone expected and when the big names started to attack, we simply didn’t make it. However, the boys are generally showing good form and without two top sprinters in the pack, tomorrow’s stage might be pretty similar to today’s and we have to pay attention in order to make it to the finale,” says DS, Luke Roberts after the stage.

And there was the Tour of Turkey

This came from Tinkoff-Saxo:

Tinkoff-Saxo delivered a team performance on stage 6 of Tour of Turkey in order to set up GC-captain Jay McCarthy ahead of the final 4km uphill finish. However, after an early attack, McCarthy had to see the stage slip away. The 22-year old finished 10th behind stage winner Pello Bilbao and retains his 4th place in the GC.

Following the stage finish atop the climb to Selçuk, Tinkoff-Saxo sports director Nicki Sørensen tells that the team had put in a dedicated effort during the course of the race. “The guys rode for Jay McCarthy as we had planned. They took to the front early on the stage and stayed there for the duration of the day until Jay was delivered at the front on the final climb. Overall, he did well in the finale, but if we are to go into details, he could have kept his cool and waited a little longer. But when your team has been putting in the work at the front throughout the day, the desire to deliver is great. He rode to win, and although he didn’t succeed, I’m satisfied with his and the team's performance”, says Nicki Sørensen.

Stage 6 from Denizli to Selçuk presented the riders with 184km – the longest of this year’s edition of Tour of Turkey. The stage left the fireworks for the final climb, where the race saw attacks from the front, while the heavier riders got dropped at the back of the bunch. Ultimately, it was Caja Rural’s Pello Bilbao, who proved the strongest on the day, while Davide Rebellin had to hand over the race lead to Kristijan Durasek (Lampre-Merida). Jay McCarthy finished 10th, 34 seconds off the winner.

Pelo Bilbao wins stage 6

Pello Bilbao wins Tour of Turkey stage 6

Nicki Sørensen notes that Tinkoff-Saxo will continue to try and cash in the good shape of the team’s riders in exchange for a stage win. However, stomach issues for team sprinter Michael Kolar on the stage might throw a spanner in the works.

“We continue to show great legs, and I still remember the effort from stage 5, which in my opinion was world class. However, Michael Kolar was suffering today from stomach problems, which might pose an issue on the last stages. We need to see how Michael is tomorrow, but the last two stages definitely suit him, so we hope that he will be ready. Otherwise, guys like Bennati and Jay will get the reins in the sprint tomorrow, while Pavel Brutt will continue to work hard in an attempt to hit the right breakaway”, finishes Nicki Sørensen.

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