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First Edition Cycling News, Friday, April 20, 2012

Date published:
April 20, 2012, 1:00 BST
  • Sutherland exits Trentino with stomach bug

    Stage 3 podium: Diego Ulissi (Lampre - ISD) in first; Rory Sutherland (Unitedhealthcare) in second, Danilo Di Luca (Acqua&Sapone) in third
    Article published:
    April 19, 2012, 23:32 BST
    By:
    Laura Weislo

    Australian's Amgen Tour of California preparation up and down

    UnitedHealthcare's Rory Sutherland along with teammate Chris Jones dropped out of the Giro del Trentino today after both riders suffered from a stomach bug since the Brabantse Pijl on April 11.

    "Battled through a day and a half and called it enough today so I/we can recover before heading to the USA next week then [Tour of the] Gila and Tour of California," Sutherland told Cyclingnews. "Marc [de Maar] seems to be doing a good job without us so that's good."

    De Maar is currently 18th overall after stage 3, which included the brutally steep Punta Veleno just before the finish line. With the Passo Pordoi (Category 1) featuring as the race's conclusion in tomorrow's stage, it made sense for the riders to save their energies for the two to recover and prepare for the team's major goal of the season, the Amgen Tour of California.

    Sutherland, 30, came back to Europe for the second year in a row this spring, and took in the Volta ao Algarve, Settimana Coppi e Bartali, and now the Giro del Trentino along with several one-day races. He scored one of his best European results since his days on the Rabobank team, taking second on stage 2 of the Coppi e Bartali race, and putting in a respectable individual time trial.

    But the roads of Europe are never smooth, as Sutherland says. "It's been ups and downs, sick riders, accidents, sometimes not the best races in preparation for Tour of California, but we've held it together well as a team. I've had my family in Girona...

  • Holloway happy with move to UK's Team Raleigh-GAC

    Daniel Holloway (Team Raleigh-GAC) awaits the start of the 2012 Tour of the Battenkill.
    Article published:
    April 20, 2012, 1:37 BST
    By:
    Peter Hymas

    American hopes to return to Six Days next winter

    US professional Daniel Holloway returned to his home country for the first time this season in a whirlwind trip to upstate New York for the UCI 1.2-rated Tour of the Battenkill this past weekend. After spending the previous two seasons on US-based UCI Continental teams Holloway, 24, signed with UCI Continental Team Raleigh-GAC for 2012 and moved in January to Great Britain, where the team is based.

    It's been several months of busy travel thus far this season for Holloway, during which he's earned his first victory of the year in stage six of the Vuelta Mexico on March 23.

    "So far, so good - I've been travelling like crazy," Holloway told Cyclingnews. "We did Singapore, I've raced in Holland and Belgium. Then we flew to Mexico and flew home. This is my first time in American since the end of January.

    "I definitely had a slow winter for me. The win in Mexico was kind of unexpected. It was the fruition of the team's work and I was the guy who was the benefactor of that. It feels good to have a win under the belt early - it boosts the confidence and makes things a little easier. It gives me confidence that it's kind of where I need to be for longer days. That was a really hard Tour."

    Holloway's slow winter was the culmination of health issues which plagued him throughout the 2011 season, ultimately keeping him off the European Six Day circuit of which he's been a noted showman. Holloway, however, intends to return to the boards in the Six Day season next winter.

    "The goal is to get back on the track," said Holloway. "It really helps with fitness and mixes up the winter instead of bland road miles. Last year I had a big bout with staph and I was on antibiotics all year, which just got stronger and...

  • Bruyneel expects strong RadioShack-Nissan teams for Tour de France and Tour of California

    Johan Bruyneel will attempt to work the oracle with Andy Schleck in 2012.
    Article published:
    April 20, 2012, 9:37 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Admits that Andy Schleck is weak at time trialing

    RadioShack-Nissan will send a “very, very strong” team to the Tour de France this year, which will be needed to help Andy Schleck overcome his time trial weakness, according to team manager Johan Bruyneel. The Belgian is also looking for his team to land on the top step of the podium at the Amgen Tour of California.

    On his personal website, Bruyneel said, “certainly time trialing will be a factor in this year's race. And we need to be honest with ourselves. As talented a rider as Andy is, time trialing is not his strength. The expectation is not to beat Cadel (Evans, ed.) or any of the time-trialists in the TT. I think that would be unrealistic.

    “So we'll need to maximize his strengths and work on limiting his losses. To do this, we'll need to implement an aggressive strategy. I think another thing that plays to our benefit is that we'll have an extremely strong support team. I don't know exactly who will make up the entire Tour team yet, but there's no doubt that it will be very, very strong.”

    Schleck wore the yellow jersey on the day before the final time trial in the Tour 2011, and went into that stage with a 57 second lead over Evans. But after the time trial, Schleck was 1:34 down on the Australian.

    While Bruyneel wouldn't say who will be on the Tour team, he did say that Jens Voigt “would certainly be considered.” The German is “reliable, sacrifices himself for the team, knows what the Tour is all about, etc. And all this at the age of 40. Impressive to say the least.”

    Chris Horner will lead the team in the Tour of California, and “if he shows up at...

  • Lotto Belisol reveals Giro d'Italia line-up

    The Lotto Belisol Team
    Article published:
    April 20, 2012, 11:03 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Meersman hoping to recover from knee problems in time

    Lotto Belisol has revealed its “almost definitive” line-up for the Giro d'Italia, without star sprinter Andre Griepel. Gianni Meersman, who has made the Giro one of his main goals this season, must first overcome knee problems, while Lars Bak will be making his return to racing after breaking his hand at the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad.

    Team manager Bill Oliver disclosed the “almost definitive” line-up to velo-club.net.  Barring any “last minutes changes,” the Belgian team will consist of Lars Ytting Bak, Gaetan Bille, Brian Bulgac, Bart DeClerc, Francis DeGreef, Adam Hansen, Olivier Kaisen, Gianni Meersman and Dennis Vanendert. The two reserves are Kenny Dehaes and Gert Dockx.

    Meersman's most recent race was the Amstel Gold Race. He then decided not to ride Fleche Wallonne or Liege-Bastogne-Liege, due to knee pain, which he hoped to overcome by the time the Giro starts in Denmark on May 5.

    Danish rider Bak is especially pleased to be nominated, and not just because he is coming back from the crash-related injuries. “After he was injured  I immediately thought of the possibility that he could ride the Giro. When I told him about the idea, he was very happy because he could ride at home,” sport director Marc Sergeant told sporten.tv2.dk.

  • Andersen won't be at Tour de France for RadioShack-Nissan

    Johan Bruyneel ties up a few loose ends before the start of stage one.
    Article published:
    April 20, 2012, 12:38 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Holm astounded at Andersen's treatment

    Kim Andersen will not be at the Tour de France as a directeur sportif for RadioShack-Nissan this year, as team manger Johan Bruyneel will be in the team car in France. Andersen has accompanied the Schleck brothers at virtually all their important races to date.

    Brian Holm of Omega Pharma-QuickStep was amazed at the news and speculated that Bruyneel wanted to get the brothers away from Andersen's influence.

    “I must be with the team for the Tour of California, but not the Tour de France,” he told sporten.dk. Things are “very different on the team this year,” Andersen said diplomatically.

    Alain Gallopin is expected to be the team's second sport director at the Tour.

    Andersen left Saxo Bank to set up Leopard Trek with Brian Nygaard in 2011. The team merged with RadioShack for the 2012 season, and Andersen was demoted from team manger to sport director, and Nygaard was dismissed.

    Andersen's fellow Dane, Brian Holm, sport director at Omega Pharma-QuickStep, was surprised by the news. “It amazes me that the brothers Schleck don't do something and demand that Kim is at the Tour De France,” he said.

    “Kim is good and in my opinion, the world's best. But perhaps Bruyneel is afraid that Kim Andersen's influence is too great. And you really should be saying that Johan Bruyneel over the years has proven that he knows the way to victory.”

    Holm disclosed that he had earlier tried to get Andersen to join Omega Pharma-QuickStep, and would still like to have his countryman join him at the Belgian team.

    “I called Kim and asked if he was interested in joining, when I heard about the merger plans between Leopard Trek and RadioShack. But Kim is a very honourable man,” he said

    As for a new offer for Andersen, “manager...

  • Video: Rebellin on his all-consuming passion for cycling

    Davide Rebellin
    Article published:
    April 20, 2012, 13:10 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Italian also discusses his struggle to find a new team

    In these two exclusive extracts from the forthcoming documentary film The Last Kilometer, Italian cyclist Davide Rebellin reveals his overwhelming passion for cycling that catapulted him to stardom and also led to his downfall. Rebellin gained a reputation as one of the finest Classics riders of his generation during the 2000s, winning La Fleche Wallonne three times (2004, 2007 and 2009). In 2004 he also added wins in the Amstel Gold Race and Liege-Bastogne-Liege, a treble that at that point was unprecedented.

    A silver medal in the 2008 Olympic Road Race in Beijing followed but the following year he was found guilty of testing positive for CERA during the Games and was stripped of his medal. Rebellin talks about how the stigma of the ban, and his advancing years, have contributed to his failure to find a team for the 2012 season and his sadness at the apparent fizzling out of a once-great career.

     

    Use this on all articles. The player is narrow enough to fit next to the article gallery images box on the right.
  • Basso sees Fuglsang as one of biggest threats in Giro d'Italia

    Ivan Basso (Liquigas - Cannondale)
    Article published:
    April 20, 2012, 17:01 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Liquigas-Cannondale rider eager to ride in Denmark again

    Ivan Basso sees Jakob Fuglsang as one of his main rivals to win the Giro d'Italia. The Liquigas-Cannondale rider is looking forward to the start of the race in Denmark, of which he has “beautiful memories”.

    Basso, who has won the Giro in 2006 and 2010, will be going for this third title. He did not ride the race last year.

    Fuglsang, of RadioShack-Nissan, “is one of my biggest competitors, for he has shown great improvement as a rider. He's very tenacious, and he has a good attitude as a climber,” Basso told sporten.dk. “I think only that he lacks more faith in himself to take the final step.”

    Fuglsang, 27, will be making his Giro debut as RadioShack-Nissan captain. He has already completed four Grand Tours, both the Tour de France and the Vuelta a Espana twice, with his best result an 11th place overall finish at the 2011 Vuelta.

    Basso was looking forward to returning to Denmark. He rode for Danish Team CSC from 2004 to 2006, and won the overall title in the Tour of Denmark in 2005.

    “I have beautiful memories of Denmark,” he said. “It is a wonderful country to be in, and I won there in 2005. I remember the great warmth of the Danes. I felt great support the whole way.

    “I hope they remember me and that they will support me through the Danish stages in the Giro.”

  • Cavendish: I will finish the Tour de France

    Race winner Mark Cavendish (Great Britain) talks about how the race will be different next year with the extra miles and climbs of Box Hill at the post race press conference
    Article published:
    April 20, 2012, 17:45 BST
    By:
    Daniel Friebe

    World Champion rejects talk of early Tour exit for Olympic preparation

    Mark Cavendish has vowed that he will finish this year's Tour de France, contrary to speculation that he might abandon the race to focus on the Olympics.

    Speaking to journalists at an event hosted by Team Sky partner Jaguar in London, Cavendish ruled out withdrawing from the Tour before the race finish on July 22, just six days before the Olympic road race.

    "I still want to win both [the Tour green jersey and the Olympic road race]. I'll finish the Tour de France. Unless I get eliminated, I'll finish it. I'm not pulling out of the Tour de France for the Olympic Games. No. But I want to do well in both," he affirmed.

    Earlier in the day, Team Sky principal Dave Brailsford had sounded upbeat about the challenge of reconciling Cavendish's and Bradley Wiggins' goals at the Tour. Just over a month ago, Brailsford talked about how both men would have to "prioritize" their Tour and Olympic ambitions. "I think just to say that you're going to give each one equal significance and try to win everything is probably the recipe for failure," Brailsford said in March. Some took this as a hint that Team Sky were already planning to withdraw Cavendish from the Tour before the race reaches Paris. Today's comments may dispel that idea.

    "The six days between the two are hard," Cavendish did concede. "You've got to take every single hour and make it count. But it's not like I'm coming in for a different sport at the Olympics. Probably all of the favourites for the Olympics will be riding the Tour anyway, so it's not like I'm in a different position. [It takes a lot of energy to win the green jersey], but that's why I need a good team in the Tour and a good team in the Olympics. It's not me winning the green...