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First Edition Cycling News for July 17, 2007

Date published:
July 17, 2007, 1:00 BST
  • Devolder targeting the Vuelta

    Article published:
    July 17, 2007, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Paul Verkuylen

    Stijn Devolder (Discovery Channel) who earlier this week won the final classification at the Tour of...

    Stijn Devolder (Discovery Channel) who earlier this week won the final classification at the Tour of Austria has aspirations to win the Vuelta a España later this season. "In the Vuelta, I want to be in top spot," he told SportWereld.

    The Belgian decided to ride the Tour of Austria and avoid the Tour de France this year, as he didn't want to ride in a support role for the team, preferring instead to be top dog for the Vuelta in September.

    "It was a hard tour, with the tough climbs and the time trial," he said of the Tour of Austria. "It was really beautiful to win such a tour."

    "Of the GC riders, I was the best time trialist and in the mountains I was able to stay with the best," he continued. "This tour is comparable with the Tour de Suisse, only this time it wasn't a ProTour event."I have even more confidence now for the Vuelta, where I want to be in top condition. I want to finish on the podium in Spain."

  • Hushovd on antibiotics

    Article published:
    July 17, 2007, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Paul Verkuylen

    Norwegian sprinter Thor Hushovd has a cold and was treated with antibiotics on the rest day,...

    Norwegian sprinter Thor Hushovd has a cold and was treated with antibiotics on the rest day, according to his Crédit Agricole team. The 29 year-old who won Stage 4 into Joigny is expected on the start line for Tuesday's Stage 9 beginning in Val d'Isère.

  • Mazzoleni not retiring

    Article published:
    July 17, 2007, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    By Paul Verkuylen Contrary to earlier reports from his Astana team, Eddy Mazzoleni has said he is...

    By Paul Verkuylen

    Contrary to earlier reports from his Astana team, Eddy Mazzoleni has said he is not retiring from the sport of professional cycling. Earlier this week, a team Astana spokesperson told ANP that their rider, Mazzoleni, who was third in this year's Giro d'Italia, had decided to retire from the sport, stating that "due to the investigation of his involvement with the doctor Carlo Santuccione and the 'Oil for Drugs' case, he has decided to stop," referring to the case that was heard by the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) last Friday.

    However, Mazzoleni himself has denied that he is retiring. "It is not true, I am not retiring from cycling, I have only cancelled my contract with Astana," he told SportWereld. "It is true that a lot rides on what happens on Friday, but today I have been training and I have no intention of stopping."

    Mazzoleni began his professional cycling career with Saeco in 1995 and has ridden for a number of other teams including Polti, Tacconi, Vini Caldirola, Lampre, T-Mobile and Astana. As well as his third place in the 2007 Giro, the Italian has also won a stage of the Tour de Romandie, and the Tour de Suisse.

  • Rest day doping tests

    Article published:
    July 17, 2007, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    51 riders were required to do a blood test yesterday in Tignes during the first rest day of the Tour...

    51 riders were required to do a blood test yesterday in Tignes during the first rest day of the Tour de France. Riders from six different teams (CSC, QuickStep, Euskaltel, Bouygues Telecom, Saunier Duval and Barloworld) were tested between 8am and 8.45am during the surprise tests.

    Of the 51 tests, all came back negative, and all riders are allowed to start Stage 9. Since the start of the Tour a total of 104 tests have been carried out.

  • Quick Step leading Tour de Euro

    Article published:
    July 17, 2007, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Thanks to stage wins by Tom Boonen and Gert Steegmans, as well as Boonen's lead in the points...

    Thanks to stage wins by Tom Boonen and Gert Steegmans, as well as Boonen's lead in the points classification, Quick Step is leading the financial stakes of the Tour de France so far. In one week on the Tour, the Belgian super squad has earned 37, 030 euros, more than ten times that of French team AG2R who have earned 3, 340 euros.

    1. Quick Step-Innergetic: 37,030 euro
    2. Rabobank: 30,900 euro
    3. T-Mobile: 26,040 euro
    4. Team CSC: 21,540 euro
    5. Crédit Agricole: 19,080 euro
    6. Cofidis: 17,830 euro
    7. Liquigas: 15,710 euro
    8. Milram: 15,350 euro
    9. Predictor-Lotto: 12,510 euro
    10. Barloworld: 12,300 euro
    11. Française des Jeux: 12,270 euro
    12. Saunier Duval: 12,120 euro
    13. Gerolsteiner: 10,680 euro
    14. Astana: 10,200 euro
    15. Discovery Channel: 9,880 euro
    16. Euskaltel-Euskadi: 9,250 euro
    17. Agritubel: 8,760 euro
    18. Bouygues Telecom: 7,210 euro
    19. Lampre-Fondital: 6,920 euro
    20. Caisse d'Epargne: 5,630 euro
    21. Ag2r: 3,340 euro

  • Klöden sticks with his captain

    Vino thanks Klöden
    Article published:
    July 17, 2007, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Andreas Klöden stuck by his injured Astana team captain Alexandre Vinokourov on Sunday's final climb...

    Andreas Klöden stuck by his injured Astana team captain Alexandre Vinokourov on Sunday's final climb to Tignes, despite having the strength to ride with the favourites group of Christophe Moreau, Cadel Evans and Alejandro Valverde. However, for Klöden, who has found himself in a similar position before with former team-mate Jan Ullrich in previous Tours de France, it was the logical tactic to adopt.

    "When we didn't have any helpers left, Vino asked me to take over the lead work," he wrote on his website, andreas-kloeden.com. "I rode a regular rhythm and in the distance could see that the riders ahead of us weren't working well together. We slowly got closer to them and had almost joined them, when Vino started having problems.

    "Sure, I could have gone on alone, but we quickly agreed that I would wait for Vino and that together we would try to keep the time difference as small as possible, which worked out."

    The German now sits in 12th overall, 3'46" behind race leader Michael Rasmussen while Vino is down in 22nd, 5'23" back. "I can understand the fans' complaints," continued Klöden, "but cycling is a team sport. If one of us stands on the podium at the end of this Tour, then everyone on the team will have contributed."

  • O'Grady update

    Article published:
    July 17, 2007, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Paul Verkuylen

    Stuart O'Grady is in a comfortable but sore position after his fall during stage 8 and will remain...

    Stuart O'Grady is in a comfortable but sore position after his fall during stage 8 and will remain in hospital for some time. His injuries are well documented and have left him sad and sorry.

    In true Stuey style, O'Grady has thanked the pole he hit, as it could have well saved his life, prevented him from tumbling over the edge of the descent down the huge drop to no man’s land.

    O'Grady's pregnant wife Anne Marie son Seth and brother Darren O’Grady are keeping him amused in hospital, although they are trying to not make him laugh too much as even a small cough pains the tough aussie.

    Stuey has been able to raise a smile and is giving his thumbs up to indicate he’s fine, but just talking hurts him like hell. A true professional, it is not yet known when he will be released from hospital, but he is already thinking about his return, hoping to be back on his bike in two to three months.

    Stuart's manager, Max Stevens, would like to thank the many well wishers from all over the globe for their support, on behalf of Stuart.

  • Aussies reflect on battlefield stage

    Michael Rogers (T-Mobile) hits the deck
    Article published:
    July 17, 2007, 1:00 BST
    By:
    John Trevorrow

    By John Trevorrow Sunday was a black day for Australian cycling. Michael Rogers crashed out of the...

    By John Trevorrow

    Sunday was a black day for Australian cycling. Michael Rogers crashed out of the Tour de France while within reach of his first maillot jaune. "I could see the yellow, I could taste it - now it's gone," a shattered Rogers said. He almost certainly would have become the first Australian since Phil Anderson in 1981 to take the coveted golden fleece in a mountain stage.

    To add to the tales of woe, Stuart O'Grady crashed very heavily and is also out with eight broken ribs, a broken shoulder and collarbone. Robbie McEwen has made it a trifecta, getting eliminated for finishing outside the time limit. "With the pain I've been suffering and the fact that it's been getting worse then, at the moment the peloton, for me, is not the place to be," said McEwen. "Since the day after the crash I haven't been able to generate the same power out of my leg."

    "I always start the Tour with the aim to win a stage and then of course to finish," continued the Queenslander. "This is my 10th Tour and I finished the other nine. But when you're injured, and depending on the type of injury, sometimes riding with it can do more damage. I plan to get home recover and get back into it as soon as possible."

    That means the Aussie contingent is now down to two: Cadel Evans and Simon Gerrans. Gerrans rode strongly to finish 41st, 13 minutes down. "That was terrible news about Mick and Stuey," Gerrans said. "I saw Stuey about 3 km before the crash. I was going back for bidons and Stu came past with a pocket full of bidons. As I came around a corner I saw a few guys sprawled around the road and one CSC rider who was not moving, he was wrapped around a pole. I know now that was Stuey. It was more like a battlefield than a bike race."

  • Cancellara could ride Olympic individual pursuit

    Article published:
    July 17, 2007, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Brecht Decaluwé in Val d'Isère

    By Brecht Decaluwé in Val d'Isère As the current World Time Trial Champion, CSC's Fabian Cancellara...

    By Brecht Decaluwé in Val d'Isère

    As the current World Time Trial Champion, CSC's Fabian Cancellara naturally has one eye on Olympic gold in Beijing next year, but the Swiss powerhouse has also indicated a desire for a second Olympic title, by riding the 4km individual pursuit.

    Speaking with Cyclingnews at Team CSC's rest day press conference in Val d'Isère, Cancellara pointed out his special mission for 2008. "It's an important year with the Olympics," he said. "I want to do the time trial but maybe I'll also do the 4km individual pursuit. The team will probably agree as - with my results - I'm going the right way for them."

    In the future Cancellara also wants to develop into another type of rider. "My wins outside a time trial were always captured in a special way, think about Paris-Roubaix or the stage win in Compiègne. There I knew the corners and the street but I was surprised by the bad condition of the cobbles though; no wonder that they hurt everybody after 180km on flat roads.

    "I want to prove that I'm more than a time trialist. In Compiègne I realised that I should try more often to attack instead of sitting back in the peloton defending a good GC position. My example is Jens Voigt who did it so many times in the past. Everybody is tired after 180km and if I feel good I should use the attack more often."

  • Caisse d'Epargne with no designated captain

    Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d'Epargne) has the kick
    Article published:
    July 17, 2007, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Jean-François Quénet in Tignes

    By Jean-François Quénet in Tignes With Alejandro Valverde lying in fourth position, 2'51 down on...

    By Jean-François Quénet in Tignes

    With Alejandro Valverde lying in fourth position, 2'51 down on Michael Rasmussen, and 2006 runner-up Oscar Pereiro about one minute behind (14th @ 3'54), the Caisse d'Epargne team has two cards to play in the second part of the Tour de France. Valverde might have a more fearsome reputation but is mindful of his past performances in the Tour. "I don't know what the third week of the Tour is about," he said on the first rest day in the Alpine town of Tignes. "I've never done it."

    In fact, when he rode for Kelme and Communidad Valenciana, his team was no longer welcome at the Tour de France although the whole Fuentes connection wasn't public knowledge at the time in 2004. In 2005, he outsprinted Lance Armstrong in Courchevel but had to pull out because of a tendonitis after the Alps. Last year, he broke his collarbone on Stage 3.

    After last year's Vuelta a España where he was overhauled by Alexandre Vinokourov, Valverde isn't ruling out a possible win from the Kazakh star despite his injuries. "He suffered on the last climb but I've seen that very well before," said Valverde of the climb to Tignes on Stage 8. "We were all flat out at the end and it was impossible to drop him off earlier on. We didn't definitely get rid of him but it was the best way of racing."

    While Valverde was up the road on Christophe Moreau's wheel, Pereiro was able to watch Vinokourov more closely. "The media have an obsession with Vinokourov who is introduced as the strongest rider of the Tour de France," said Pereiro. "But for now, because of the circumstances of his crash, I reckon Kashechkin and Klöden are stronger than him. They rode very intelligently so far. It's been an important day for them yesterday. Vino is unpredictable."

    Caisse d'Epargne and Astana were sharing the same hotel together with Ag2r in Tignes during the rest day, and there is a lot of respect between the Spanish and...

  • Evans looking to Tour time trials

    Cadel Evans (Predictor-Lotto)
    Article published:
    July 17, 2007, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    By Brecht Decaluwé in Tignes With Cadel Evans in sixth position after the first mountain stage and...

    By Brecht Decaluwé in Tignes

    With Cadel Evans in sixth position after the first mountain stage and their stage win in Canterbury courtesy of Robbie McEwen, the Predictor-Lotto team were happy to talk to the press during the first rest day. Despite green jersey contender McEwen being forced to abandon the race, the team was upbeat about their chances for GC success with Cadel Evans.

    The Australian was quickly asked why he didn't attack during Sunday's stage. "We're all close on GC and because of that the racing might look less exciting," was Evans' response, a strange response considering the Tour de France has not been more open in a decade. "With US Postal you knew that when Popo [Yaroslav Popovych - ed.] pulled off there would only be ten guys left behind him and for sure you knew who was the strongest," Evans said.

    French champion Christophe Moreau made sure that the French crowds would all be behind him from now on as he started attacking the race right from the foot of the ultimate climb. "I'm glad he did it, otherwise they would come back on us. Obviously, we wouldn't work with him as he was clearly the strongest," Evans commented. "For sure the strongest riders attacked yesterday but on the other hand less strong riders could hang on in a group as the headwind benefited them."

    Some media are continuously trying to lure the Australian to ride a more attacking style and make some daring quotes, but insiders know that this isn't the style of Cadel Evans. "Moreau was so strong that I couldn't attack but when the opportunity is there I will try," Evans said, perhaps trying to keep the press happy. Cyclingnews asked him why he would attack since he can take time on the pure climbers in the time trials. "It's true that my strength lies in my consistency. Some guys are better in the mountains but when there's an action there's also a reaction, so they have their weaknesses," Evans explained.

    Last year Cadel...

  • CSC plots Tour from Val d'Isère

    Dave Zabriskie has been struggling
    Article published:
    July 17, 2007, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Brecht Decaluwé in Tignes

    Team CSC has had a good run in this year's Tour de France so far thanks to two stage wins by Fabian...

    Team CSC has had a good run in this year's Tour de France so far thanks to two stage wins by Fabian Cancellara and seven days in the race leader's maillot jaune. The second phase has started and the Swiss has promised himself to team leader Fränk Schleck and Carlos Sastre, while the team has had to deal with the blow of losing Aussie Stuart O'Grady. Cyclingnews' Gregor Brown reports from the team's rest day press conference in Val d'Isère.

    "Yesterday, we saw that the team was strong again," began directeur sportif Kim Andersen. "The riders that needed to be there were there. We are ready to go on for the next phase of the race." Schleck stayed with a group containing Valverde and Evans and he is now 3'14" behind GC leader Rasmussen, while Sastre trailed in the next group and sits at 3'35".

    Yellow jersey push aside, Andersen noted the loss of a key teammate, Paris-Roubaix champion Stuart O'Grady. "I would like to thank Stuart for his great work for the team for the whole week. We are sending our thoughts to the hospital where he is now; we will go on and try to win for him." The Aussie touched wheels with a rider, crashed on the descent of the Hauteville climb, and is reported to have broken five ribs, his shoulder blade and collarbone.

    In contrast to O'Grady's misfortune, Cancellera reflected fondly on his seven days in the golden fleece, but is now ready to ride for the team. "When I look back they were beautiful days but there were also hard," said the 26 year-old Swiss. "I think that the Colombière will cause me to pay for a week. I told the whole team I was feeling sorry. The yellow is beautiful but it is also a hard job [to have it]. There is no time for recovery. There is always stress, with the media, the controls... It was not an easy week. Now I am for the team to help Carlos and Fränk."

    To read the full feature, click...