Cycling Australia CEO Graham Fredericks today announced Bradley McGee (OAM) as Directeur Sportif for the Elite Men's Road program. Joining him will be Brian Stephens in the role of European Co-ordinator.
The pair will be responsible for the strategic direction and delivery of the Elite Australian Road teams as they strive for podium performances at the UCI World Championships in Florence this September, together with the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
"Brad's decorated career as an athlete and more recently his coaching pedigree stamped him as the ideal choice to head up the program,” said Fredericks. “He will be ably assisted by Brian who has worked closely with numerous Australian athletes over the last 20 years and will play an important mentoring role from his European base.”
Fredericks added; “The selection process was extremely thorough and we are delighted with the appointments. Both coaches have signed no doping declarations in accordance with CA policy and are highly committed advocates of clean cycling at the elite level.”
One of the country's most gifted and decorated cyclists, McGee was the first Australian to wear the leader's jersey at all three grand tours (Tour de France, Giro d'Italia, Vuelta a España). His career also netted an Olympic gold medal win in Athens, together with multiple World and Commonwealth Games titles.
Post retirement, McGee transitioned into team management with a 4-year stint as a Directeur Sportif for Team Saxo Bank Sungard, before more recently moving back home to take up the position of head coach at NSW Institute of Sport (NSWIS).
Caleb Ewan was one of the first to benefit from McGee’s tutelage locally. Ewan’s stellar run of early season form in 2013 saw him selected for the Jayco-AIS World Tour Academy program currently enjoying great success in Europe.
“It’s an honour to be invited to take the helm of the Aussie road team” said McGee. “We are still very well stocked with riders competing on the world stage and the next generation are eager to continue the tradition of punching above our weight results wise.”
McGee added; “Brian’s role will be a critical one to ensure that the younger guys are well equipped to cope with the rigours of European professional bike racing as they continue to learn and develop.”
“I would also like to acknowledge NSWIS for allowing me to integrate this role into my existing coaching commitments that will continue as planned. My current workload has been carefully considered by CA and I’m confident that the net results will benefit riders in both programs.”
From his base in Austria Stephens added; "I’m looking forward to working with Brad and the boys. There is a lot of work ahead of us, but we’re certainly approaching the task ahead with much optimism.”
The scope of work for the Australian Elite Men’s Road group management team includes:
Ongoing liaison with athletes and their teams to monitor the progress and performances by Australians in UCI World Tour and sub category competitions - and to provide athletes with advice and support as required.
Working closely with Australian road selectors to drive the selection process for Australian teams for benchmark events (World Titles, Commonwealth and Olympic Games)
Strategic direction and delivery of Australian elite road teams toward podium performances at benchmark competitions.
Implementation of a professional transition program for Australian neo-professionals going into World Tour Teams, including an athlete mentoring 'big brother' program where they will engage selected experienced Australian pro's to assist young riders in their personal development.
Both roles are effective immediately.
The UCI World Championships will be held in Florence, Italy on September 20-28, 2013.
Finally some sunshine for the week and a stage the remaining Aussie guys had been targetting to chase a result. All four Aussies left were all still fatigued from yesterday's monster day as were most of the remaining peloton.
Alex Clements was our first rider off and put in a solid effort. He finished 13th on the stage and gained some valuable experience during the long wet week of Dutch style racing.
Then Damien Howson set the fastest time taking 11secs. off Michael Vink from New Zealand and remained in the hot seat for a while with Campbell and Adam our two remaining starters.
Clearly the ride of the week for the Aussie team was Campbell Flakemore's T.T. effort today taking another 6secs. off Damien's time and moving from 13th to 9th overall.
Adam was our last rider off and best placed on G.C. and managed a great result to move into a tie for 6th on G.C..
So 1st and 2nd for the stage with Campbell and Damien. This is off the back of Rohan's T.T. win and Glenn O'Shea's 3rd here last year and in 2011 it was Luke Durbridge and Michael Hepburn taking 1-2 on the same course.
STAGE 5 results - 13.8km T.T.
1. Flakemore, Campbell (Australia) 16min.54.580secs. @ 48.994 km/hr 2. Howson, Damien (AUS) @ 6s. 3. Van Baarle, Dylan (Rabobank development, NED) @ 15s. 8. Phelan, Adam (AUS) @ 46s. 13. Clements, Alex (AUS) @ 55s. (68 finishers)
YouTube highlights of T.T. stage. http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=NdElpccDI08#!
STAGE 6 - REUVER CIRCUIT RACE, 83 km (NED) (68 starters)
The final stage was a 10km circuit around Reuver and teams chasing intermediate sprint bonuses and points for respective overall jerseys.A final bunch sprint had the Aussie train of four hit front at 2km remaining trying to get a time bonus for Adam Phelan to move up on G.C. Adam sprinted well to get sixth on the stage and finish 7th overall.
FINAL G.C. 1. Van Baarle, Dylan (Rabobank development, NED) 2. Koning, Peter (Metec, NED) @ 1m.12s. 3. Van der Zwet, Arno (Koga, NED) @ 1m.17s. 7. Phelan, Adam (Australia) @ 4m.08s. 9. Flakemore, Campbell (AUS) @ 4m.57s. 32. Howson, Damien (AUS) @ 18m.41s. 59. Clements, Alex (AUS) @ 33m.30s.
Image courtesy of Olympia's Tour 2013
The cycling community were treated to another exciting weekend of racing around the challenging Harcourt Hills at the weekend.
Castlemaine Cycling Club again hosted the Metro and Country Road Championships for all grades and was delighted with the support received from cyclists, demonstrated by the large entries for both Championship days.
Cold dry and still conditions greeted the city travellers as they arrived for the 9.00am start on Saturday and the coffee stand and hot foods catered by the locals were very well supported, beginning early. For the Country riders on Sunday morning it was very cold and frosty in some areas of the courses.
However when the frost and fog abated early in the day it left beautiful sunshine and excellent racing conditions for riders and spectators alike. Harcourt also added a Country market to the occassion which added to the atmosphere around the starting area.
Marie Manskie was first on site both days, and the riders showed their appreciation to Marie, for her tireless work, at the first medal ceremony (see photo above). She was assisted to the number 1 spot on the podium and surrounded by riders for a unique photo opportunity. Thanks Marie from the cycling community. Castlemaine Cycling Club also received excellent assistance and cooperation as usual, from the group of Officials for both events and also from members of the cycling fraternity who willingly stepped up to help out.
The programs were the same on both days with riders leaving the start point in 3 waves over the day, the first at 9.00am then at 10.15 and 1.00pm. The J11 riders tackled an out and back course which is uphill all the way to the “U” turn at the 4 km point. The J13, J15 and W17 all rode laps of the lumpy 12km course to complete their respective distances. This circuit has surprises for the unwary, with a false flat, then short sharp hills, and several long climbs in succession, finishing off with a 4km downhill slope to within 300m of the line, then a slight uphill just to sort them out.
The Elite Men covered 2 laps of the 56km long course ahead of them. These large fields of riders were first to tackle this course and the Harcourt North hilly section did not disappoint, making hard work for the sprinters to hold the bunch. The Elite Women, M19, MMas 1, 2 and 3 all did the 80km combination of 2 laps of the small and 1 lap of the long courses. This is another tough combination. In the final wave of riders to head out were the M17, W19 and the remaining Masters groupings. Racing and presentations were well over by 3.45pm and riders and families were able to start their journeys home. For some the country riders this was a 3 or 4 hour drive.
Castlemaine Cycling Club look forward to hosting riders again for the IRTT based in Harcourt, on 23rd June.
It was terrific to have Metarace on board providing live timing services for the weekend, and detailed results for all events are available via the links below -
Results - Victorian Metropolitan Road Championships Results - Victorian Country Road Championships
Photos from the weekend were provided by Jo Upton Photography. A collection of Jo's photos on the be seen below, and also on the Cycling Victoria Facebook Page. However. many more photos are available for viewing and purchase from Jo's website via the following links:
Photo Gallery - Victorian Metropolitan Road Championships Photo Gallery - Victorian Country Road Championships
Images copyright Jo Upton www.jouptonphotography.com.au
He crashed out of the early break at the Giro d’Italia yesterday, and his team wasn’t sure how he would feel for stage 15 today.
Pieter Weening defied the odds. Sore but spritely, the Dutchman attacked on Mont Cenis around the mid-point of the stage. Stefano Pirazzi (Bardiani Valvole-CSF Inox) and Robinson Chalapud (Colombia) had already gone clear. Matteo Rabottini (Vini Fantini – Selle Italia), Paolo Longo Borghini (Cannondale) and Giovanni Visconti (Movistar) joined forces with Weening in pursuit of the lead duo. The six rider breakaway had established a six minute advantage by the base of the Col du Télégraphe.
“Pieter was obviously disappointed yesterday,” said Assistant Sport Director Julian Dean. “As much as we wanted to encourage him to have another crack today, we had to see how he was holding up after his crash. He certainly was a bit sore this morning, so we left it up to him to decide how he felt on that first climb. He obviously was going good. He followed an attack, established a small chase group and was in the race lead until nearly the end of the stage.”
The second week of racing came to a close on the slopes of the Col du Galibier next to the Marco Pantani monument. Although the finish was moved four kilometres below the originally planned finish due to snowy conditions, the peloton faced another difficult day in the saddle.
“The guys have had a hard few days,” noted Dean. “It’s impossible to race full gas every day on every stage of a Grand Tour. There are often days where the starts are easier, and today was clearly one of them. The conditions yesterday took a lot of the riders. That they started so easy today shows how exhausting and hard this Giro has been.”
“While we left Pieter with the option to make a move, the other guys were survival mode,” added Dean. “Their job was simply to make it through another brutal day with three difficult climbs and more terrible weather.”
Weening’s breakaway group marked the first and only significant aggression in the stage. Fully committed to chasing the win, Weening attacked the breakaway several times up the Télégraph. Visconti countered one of Weening’s attempts and slipped away, pushing his lead out to nearly one minute.
The Italian hit the base of the Galibier with a 42” advantage over Weening's group. Weening led the pursuit but, like all of the chasers, eventually fell back into the reduced main peloton. Attacks from the elite bunch proved Weening’s undoing, and he lost contact with the maglia rosa break in the final five kilometres. In results that belie the effort, Weening slotted into 44th placed on the stage, 3’55 behind his breakmate turned stage winner.
“What Pieter did today is the mark of a class athlete,” said Dean. “We admire someone that can take their misfortune and channel it into something positive. He definitely did that well today.”
Image courtesy of Team Orica-ling/Graham Watson
Cadel Evans of the BMC Racing Team stayed with the top contenders and showed some aggression of his own on the mountainous finish of a snowy Col du Galibier Sunday to keep his hold on second place overall at the Giro d'Italia.
Evans made his own attack at 700 meters to go on the way to finishing eighth on the stage won by Giovanni Visconti (Movistar Team). Evans crossed the line in the same time as race leader Vincenzo Nibali (Astana Pro Team) and nearly all of the top contenders to remain 1:26 off the lead with six stages to go.
"In the conditions, it wasn't exactly favorable for those kind of attacks," Evans said. "I didn't have a bad day but at least I am back at my level. No time lost but no time gained either." Evans said some challenges of the race have come from an uncontrollable factor: the weather.
"As a rider, just to stay healthy is really difficult with the changing weather conditions," he said. "The weather changes quicker than we can change our clothes. The third week of the race comes after a first week that was even harder than expected and a second week that was harder than expected because of the weather." Good Support Around Evans
The Giro enjoys its second rest day of the three-week race Monday before resuming Tuesday with a 238 km medium mountain stage. The peloton rode together up the first climb of Sunday's 145-kilometer stage which had its finish moved 4.25 km down the summit to Les Granges du Galibier (Pantani Monument) due to snow.
BMC Racing Team Assistant Director Fabio Baldato said he was impressed with the support the team provided Evans. "Into the last four kilometers, Steve Morabito and Ivan Santaromita were with him, which was good for his morale," Baldato said. "Then Morabito brought him onto the wheel of Nibali because it was turning from headwind to tailwind. So it was a dangerous moment where someone could have tried an attack." Listen to complete comments from Baldato and Evans on the BMC Racing Team's special Giro d'Italia Audio Line.
Image courtesy of BMC Racing Team/Tim de Waele
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