Latest News in Cycling
Editor’s note: This story was originally published on the Raleigh bicycles website.
Dan Dombroski held a stacked resume in his hands. It listed collegiate gold medals in mountain biking and cyclocross, solid results in road races, and a history of international-caliber racing. The name on this resume might not be familiar to all cycling fans, but Erica Zaveta has steadily been working her way to the top of the sport.
The Erwinna, Pennsylvania native had applied for the Amy D. Foundation’s first racing scholarship, a program intended to help promising young female riders progress to the top of the sport. Dombroski established the foundation days after his 26-year-old sister, Amy, was killed on a training ride in Belgium in October 2013.
Zaveta was selected from about 34 applicants based on her racing potential and ability to represent Amy Dombroski’s spirit and the Foundation. Wearing a blue and orange Amy D. Racing skinsuit in her first race of the season at CrossVegas, the biggest U.S. ‘cross race, she finished an impressive ninth against the strongest women in the country.
Now 25, Zaveta began her competitive career 10 years ago on the road. She tried cyclocross for fun before she turned 18 and won a junior state championship. At Lees-McRae College in North Carolina, and later at Brevard College, she blossomed in collegiate cycling.
“Collegiate for me was really, really huge,” said Zaveta. “It was an opportunity to race everything … mountain bike, even track for one season. I jumped in as many ‘cross races as I could.”
While at Lees-McRae in 2011, Zaveta’s teammates and friends Carla Swart and Megan Baab were hit and killed by vehicles in separate training accidents. “I guess one of the biggest connections I feel with the Dombroski family is that feeling and how long [grieving] takes,” Zaveta said.
Zaveta met Amy Dombroski in Europe during a mountain bike World Cup in 2012. New to international racing and living in a foreign country, Zaveta was struggling. Dombroski provided the medicine she needed: a friendly face, and an offer to help with questions and team opportunities.
Many aspects of cyclocross appeal to Zaveta — the 40-minute race intensity, opportunities to improve in every lap, and an individual pace combined with head-to-head racing. The friendly, fun atmosphere hooked her right away.
“When you get too serious about it, you realize you’re running around in a field with a bicycle — it gives you a good perspective,” Zaveta said.
Racing alongside the Raleigh-Clement team, Zaveta has hit personal best after personal best. First came a top-five result in mid-October. Two weeks later, she won her first UCI race at Gateway Cross Cup in St. Louis, Missouri.
When this season’s more intense racing schedule required different training, Mani and Jamey Driscoll, supplied advice.
“That for me is really a confidence booster, knowing what they’re doing and how I can incorporate it,” said Zaveta of the Raleigh-Clement riders. “Ben [Berden] has been helpful in a lot of different ways, encouraging me … They’ve really been awesome.”
Mani, who took part in the scholarship selection process, shares her expertise in technical skills and the tactical elements of racing, like when to wait, or when to attack.
“She’s a great girl, really nice and humble and willing to learn, so it is really cool to be around her,” Mani said, speaking about Zaveta earlier in the fall. “I think she is going to have a great season. It’s going to be good mojo for everyone [on the team]. I’m really happy about what they did in memory of Amy. I think it’s a great program that will help Erica get a step higher.”
As the season has progressed, Zaveta has noticed her improvement throughout the year, yet remains willing to grow into her career.
“When I won collegiate mountain bike nationals for division one, that was really cool,” Zaveta said. “It meant a lot to me, but right now I just feel like a totally different athlete. And it doesn’t feel temporary. … I definitely would say it’s my best season racing bikes so far.”
The post Erica Zaveta hits her stride with the Amy D. Foundation appeared first on VeloNews.com.
Here’s your Week in Tech — all the gear news, tips, and announcements you need and none of the marketing gibberish you don’t.
SRAM steps in as Velocio title sponsor
Component company SRAM has stepped in as the second title sponsor of the Velocio women’s cycling team, formerly called Specialized-lululemon. The squad will be known as Velocio-SRAM in 2015.
The team, which raised about $100,000 in crowdfunding earlier this year, will also be supported by sales of Velocio team clothing, which is now available for pre-order. Team owner Kristy Scrymgeour continues to seek another major sponsor.
Bontrager’s new Chupacabra 29+ tire
You can never have enough wheel and tire sizes, apparently. 29+ is the latest; it’s not quite a fat-bike tire, and and it might even be compatible with your existing bike. Bontrager’s Chupacabra 29+ tire can be your bike’s big upgrade this winter. It had never crossed our mind that we could cram a 29+ tire into one of our existing 29ers, but thanks to local pro, Brady Kappius, we learned that a 3.0 tire fits just fine in a RockShox RS-1.
Bontrager’s Chupacabra weighs in at a hefty 878 grams, but this tire isn’t about counting grams. At $120 the Chupacabra is pricey. Surly also offers a 29+ tire. Its 29×3” Knard retails for $65 and is available now.
The Chupacabra is expected to hit retailers near the end of this year. We will be logging some time on it soon.
SRM offers spider-only power meters
SRM is taking its renowned power meter and stripping it down to bare bones. It is offering four spiders compatible with Specialized, Cannondale, Rotor, and SRAM crank arms for $1,490 through the SRM website — we have heard that select dealers and coaching companies may offer them for less.
The new products still sound expensive, especially when compared to Stages meters, but when compared to Quarq’s Specialized- and Cannondale-compatible spiders, the SRM spiders are more than $300 cheaper. If you already own a Quarq, and are looking to upgrade to a new power meter, keep scrolling down.
Quarq is inviting current owners to trade in their old Quarqs for new models. The trade-in program is good through the end of the year, and customers can upgrade to a brand new power meter for $900.
The new power meters are available with Quarq’s new magnet-free cadence measurement, thanks to an accelerometer in the spider. Buyers will have to remove their chainrings and crank arms and send back only the spider. Upon receiving your old spider, Quarq will send out a new spider of your choice.
Trailcraft Cycles children’s mountain bikes
Mountain bikes for kids are inherently inexpensive and therefore usually very heavy. Trailcraft, based out of Fort Collins, Colorado, hopes to change that with its high-end titanium and aluminum 24” hardtails.
The Trailcraft Pineridge hardtails are designed around Stan’s 24” wheels. Chainstays are quite short, to help children pop the front wheel off the ground, and corner with confidence. Trailcraft created its own cranks with 152mm arms, 32×22-tooth chainrings, and a bashguard to protect it all, as small wheels mean lower bottom brackets.
The Trailcraft bikes will be produced in small batches, but can deliver by Christmas if you order soon. The complete Aluminum Pineridge 24 retails for $1,700 and can be purchased through Kickstarter, but you won’t need to wait for Trailcraft to reach their goal, they’ll ship in a week or two, and it will make a great gift this holiday season — just hope that your kid doesn’t grow out of it too fast.
The post Week in Tech: Velocio-SRAM, Bontrager 29+, power meter updates, and children’s bikes appeared first on VeloNews.com.
Olympic time trial champion and former world time trial champion Zulfia Zabirova will join forces with Maurizio Fabretto to launch Astana’s new women’s cycling team in 2015. The team will field a roster of about 15 riders, mostly young athletes that it hopes to develop into seasoned pros.
The team will be officially named Astana-Acca Due O, and it will be registered in Kazakhstan. Many of the riders will come from Eastern Europe, but the team will also have strong Italian flavor. It will have a headquarters in Cornuda, Veneto, and sponsor Acca Due O is an Italian water treatment company.
“The project is very exciting,” said Zabirova, supervisor of the entire sport management, “And so is the challenge: [Our] long-term goal is to bring Astana to be the first team in the world within four years. During last edition of Asia championships and world championships we saw encouraging things by young Kazakhs. “We have very professional coaches and sport directors, and I’m sure that they’ll know how to let them show their full potential.”
The Astana BePink women’s team placed 10th at 2014 world team time trial championships in Ponferrada, Spain.
The team had a few notable victories in 2014, including Alena Amialiusik’s wins in the Belarus national road and time trial championships, Doris Schweizer’s stage 1 win at Tour de Bretagne Féminin, and Amialiusik’s stage 5 win at the Tour Cycliste Féminin International de l’Ardèche.
- For sale: Fizik Arione Versus K:ium saddle, used for three weeks this summer, new in 2014. $75.00 Fizik medium bag, $7.00. Selle Italia Thoork saddle with gel flow cut out channel, $20.00. Shimano Ultegra standard 53/39 crank set, taken off 2008 Scott Addict R4, great condition, $45.00. Ritchey WCS aluminum handlebars, Triple Butted TRX50, $20.00. Hudz brakehoods, white, never used, fits Ultegra 6600/105, $10.00. All for $160.00.
The December issue of Velo magazine is a thick book, split between our choices for cyclists of the year and a guide to the 2015 road world championships in Richmond, Virginia, next September.
On the awards side of the magazine, the Velo staff has dissected the year of racing to determine who excelled in their respective specialties for our 27th annual Awards Issue.
After much internal debate, French rider Pauline Ferrand-Prévot earned top honors as Velo’s International Cyclist of the Year.
As one of the most dominant riders in the women’s peloton across road, mountain, and cyclocross, the young French star had amazing success throughout 2014, becoming the only elite rider to win UCI World Cup road and mountain-bike events in the same season. The 22-year-old capped off her season with the rainbow stripes at road worlds in Ponferrada, Spain.
It was a difficult choice to make, especially when we compared her season to Alejandro Valverde’s, but ultimately, it was Ferrand-Prévot’s results across road, mountain bike, and cyclocross that led to our final decision.
Valverde, however, didn’t go home empty-handed. The Spanish veteran is our International Man of the Year. Whether it was a punchy early season classic, a grand tour, or September’s world championships, Valverde fought for the podium all season long, and succeeded on a variety of terrain against a spectrum of competitors.
Also in our awards issue, we take a look back at Jens Voigt’s career as he is honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award for being one of the most daring, powerful, popular, and exciting racers in the modern era. (To bid on a 2014 Velo Cyclist of the Year jersey, signed by Voigt, click here. All proceeds go to PeopleForBikes.)
The December edition of Velo features dozens more awards as well. Where do riders like Nibali, Contador, Vos, Kittel, Rivera, and Rosskopf fit into our 2014 Awards Issue? Pick up a copy and find out.
In VeloNotes, Steve Maxwell discusses the winners, losers, and question marks of 2014, as some riders saw great success all year while other stars struggled throughout season.
Also in VeloNotes, the Velo tech staff has put together the 2014 Holiday Gift Guide, laying out a handful of great gift ideas for the cyclist in your life — or maybe just for yourself.
On the other side of the magazine, you’ll find an in-depth guide to the 2015 road world championships, and a look at the host city.
A playground for cyclists, the greater Richmond area, and Virginia as a whole, is one of the best places to ride in the U.S. Local stars, Joe Dombroski, Ben King, and Andrea Dvorak spill the details about their favorite places to train in the area.
The guide also takes a look back at the heritage of racing in Richmond, the history of the world championships, and the success that Americans have seen over the years at worlds.
Start planning your trip to Richmond 2015 to watch the best cyclists in the world. Grab the December issue of Velo at a bookstore or bike shop near you.
PAMPLONA, Spain (VN) — Don’t expect behind-the-scenes drama between Movistar’s Alejandro Valverde and Nairo Quintana heading into the 2015 Tour de France.
A house united is always stronger than a house divided. That’s the philosophy behind Movistar’s provocative decision to bring both Valverde and Quintana as leaders to both the Tour and Vuelta a España.
Valverde promised there would not be a repeat of the soap opera that engulfed Team Sky as Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome fought publicly and privately for control of the British team.
“This is nothing like Froome and Wiggins, far from it,” Valverde said Friday during a press conference. “I have no problem working with Nairo. We’ve been together these past two seasons, and we get along well. First, we go to the Tour with the idea of riding for Nairo, and then we’ll see what happens.”
There is no rancor between Quintana and Valverde, and they’re friends on and off the bike. And Valverde is the first to admit that the 24-year-old Colombian has a better chance of winning the Tour than he does.
“It’s very clear that Nairo has the qualities to win the Tour. I can be close, but it’s more complicated for me,” Valverde continued. “For the Tour, first we’ll back Nairo, then me. We’re a lot stronger together than he or I riding alone.”
Movistar is clearly taking a different approach to the Tour. Most major teams are backing one lone leader, with Vincenzo Nibali (Astana), Froome, and Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) enjoying complete backing from their respective teams. Movistar boss Eusebio Unzue said the team has the “good fortune” to have two riders capable of leading who are also committed to working together.
“With Nairo and Alejandro working together, we have better chances of success. We are stronger together, rather than dividing our strength with distinct calendars,” Unzue said. “They can share the responsibility of the race between them. We go with Nairo as leader, but [with] Alejandro we have the assurance of a leader who has the experience that few in the peloton can bring to the Tour.”
Going into 2015, Unzue sat down with riders and staff to gauge the team’s mood and ambitions for a new season. The veteran Spaniard manager said they took lessons out of the 2014 Vuelta a España, when both Valverde and Quintana shared leadership. Quintana crashed out, but Valverde picked up the baton, and rode to third overall behind Contador.
Movistar is hoping to apply that Vuelta template to the 2015 Tour, with Quintana is the top captain, and Valverde poised in the wings if anything happens.
Movistar boss Unzue also confirmed that Quintana will not defend his Giro d’Italia crown, and instead will target the Tour and Vuelta double, with Valverde at his side.
“We have the Giro for younger riders who are looking for their chance to lead, such as Beñat Intxausti, Jesus Herrada, or Ion Izagirre,” Unzue said. “We believe the time is right for Nairo to target the Tour, and this route is ideal for him, as well as Alejandro.”
The decision to join Valverde and Quintana at the hip for the Tour simply reflects the reality within the Movistar camp. Valverde, 35, couldn’t quite reach the podium in 2014, finishing fourth, but he remains an explosive and productive rider who is a factor in any race he starts. And Quintana, despite winning the Giro in impressive fashion in May, remains relatively inexperienced at just 24.
“We cannot forget that Nairo is still a ‘chaval,’ and he is still progressing as a rider and a leader,” Unzue continued. “Valverde brings a depth of experience and tranquility that is invaluable to Nairo. And with Nairo there, Valverde doesn’t have to carry the entire weight of the team by himself. They’re stronger as a partnership working together.”
Quintana, too, seemed content to have WorldTour winner Valverde as his wingman. Not only will it give Movistar a one-two GC punch that the other top rivals will not have (assuming both survive the Tour’s treacherous first week), but it helps take the pressure off each of them.
“It could be a complicated situation, but we manage it well,” Quintana said. “It fills me with pride that a rider like Alejandro would vow to help me in the Tour. I am convinced that we are stronger together than ride separately.”
Sharing Tour leadership typically has backfired — look no further than the intrigue of the 1986 Tour with Greg LeMond battling Bernhard Hinault — but with Valverde and Quintana, it just might work.
Perhaps neither will start as a five-star favorite, but they will present a formidable pair that will create complications for their rivals.
The post Quintana, Valverde to share leadership at 2015 Tour, Vuelta appeared first on VeloNews.com.
- by Marc Bertucco (Stony Point, NY)—Tomorrow, the country’s top professionals and regional amateur cyclocross racers will line up to battle each other amongst the whipping ... The post Supercross presented by Rockland County weekend preview appeared first on Cyclocross Magazine - Cyclocross News,...
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