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First Edition Cycling News, Friday, July 15, 2011

Date published:
July 15, 2011, 1:00 BST
  • Geraint Thomas's "great day out"

    Geraint Thomas (Sky) earned the combativity prize for his efforts.
    Article published:
    July 14, 2011, 22:28 BST
    By:
    Daniel Friebe

    Phlegmatic Welshman draws optimism from Pyrenean raid

    The white jersey may have eluded Geraint Thomas at the end of stage 12, but if Tour de France organizers ASO ever decide to award garments for deadpan understatement, the Welshman had better buy himself a bigger wardrobe.

    Many pundits described the Team Sky rider's 209 kilometer breakaway through the Pyrenees on Thursday as "epic". Thomas said just, "It was a great day out".

    "I'm a bit sore, a bit stiff," the Welshman admitted having crossed the line in 36th position, 5:20 behind stage winner Samuel Sanchez. Thomas was one of six riders who attacked after two kilometers of the 211km stage from Cugnaux to Luz-Ardiden, and, along with Frenchman Jeremy Roy (FDJ), half of a the duo which resisted the return of the main peloton until halfway up the final climb to Luz.

    "We're missing Brad [Wiggins] and I wanted to get stuck into the race and keep the jersey out there. There was a chance it could have stayed away today so we got out there and gave it a good bash," Thomas said.

    While his efforts couldn't lift him above sixth place in the white jersey classification, 4:31 down on new leader Arnold Jeanneson (FDJ), the 25-year-old did at least claim the Prix de la Combativité for today's 12th stage.

    Thomas admitted that he was oblivious to the existence of another prize, the €5000 Prix Jacques Goddet awarded to the first rider over the Col du Tourmalet. Thomas had earlier let Française des Jeux rider Roy ride unchallenged over the Tourmalet summit.

    With characteristic humour, the Welshman conceded tonight that, by wanting to conserve energy, he had committed a financially costly error.

    "No wonder [Roy] went for it," Thomas said. "I'll have to have a word with [Jeremy]. I'd have gone for it if I'd...

  • Tour de France rookie Jeannesson nets white jersey

    Arnold Jeannesson (FDJ) is the new white jersey wearer after Gesink cracked
    Article published:
    July 14, 2011, 23:02 BST
    By:
    Jean-François Quénet

    Young FDJ Frenchman finds success on Bastille day

    The number of French winners at the Tour de France on Bastille Day remains at 27 out of 108 total race editions after Spaniard Samuel Sanchez (Euskaltel-Euskadi) won Thursday's stage 12. But local fans had a lot to celebrate with Frenchmen leading two classifications at the end of the stage. Arnold Jeannesson (FDJ) took over the white jersey of best young rider, and Thomas Voeckler (Europcar) retained the yellow. Both Voeckler and Jeannesson hail from the Vendée province where the Tour de France kicked off.

    "This morning I didn't believe that I could take the white jersey, even though I was aware there was a possibility for it," said Jeannesson after the stage. "When I saw Robert Gesink getting dropped, three of us were left for the best young rider competition: Rein Taarämae, Rigoberto Uran and myself. It was up to the one who would hold on the most with the GC contenders."

    Jeannesson finished 12th and moved up to 13th on GC. In the best young rider competition, he leads ahead of Taarämae by 1:37, Uran by 2:05 and Jérôme Coppel by 3:05. The latter was the Frenchman tipped for the white jersey prior to the start of the Tour de France, but he has had some crashes.

    "I wasn't scheduled to ride the Tour de France this year," said Jeannesson, who rode the Giro d'Italia for Caisse d'Epargne on two occasions before moving to FDJ at the age of 25.Last year, helped pace David Arroyo on the Monte Zoncolan, but he was so strong that Arroyo asked him to slow down.

    Jeannesson is a former mountain biker who only switched to road cycling for training purposes five years ago. He won a mountain stage of the 2008 Tour...

  • Evans consistent in Tour de France summit finish

    Ivan Basso leads Andy Schleck and Cadel Evans inside the final 500m.
    Article published:
    July 14, 2011, 23:26 BST
    By:
    Barry Ryan

    Australian cautiously optimistic after fine performance

    The narrative of stage 12 of the Tour de France was composed of a number of different threads, from Alberto Contador's lapse to Fränk Schleck's aggression to Thomas Voeckler's defiance. But amid those variegated plotlines, the story of Cadel Evans was a familiar one, as the BMC man turned in another consistent performance at Luz Ardiden.

    After the phoney war of the opening week and a half of the Tour de France, the real hostilities began with the first mountaintop finish, and Evans came home safely in a select group alongside Ivan Basso (Liquigas-Cannondale) and Andy Schleck (Leopard Trek).

    "You're never particularly comfortable in the Tour at any moment, right now included," Evans joked at the summit. "It's still early in the mountains and it's a long way to Paris."

    In the chaos of the immediate aftermath of the finish, Evans was unsure of where his efforts had left him in the overall standings, although he was surely aware that his group's dislodging of Alberto Contador in the finale has altered the complexion of the race.

    "On the first real mountain top finish, there's always something you don't expect and something you do expect," Evans said, although he was reluctant to discuss the specifics of the overall picture. "There are some who do and don't make it, some who do more or less, but I'll have to see the result."

    Evans now lies in third place overall, 2:06 off Voeckler's yellow jersey, and 17 seconds behind Fränk Schleck. The Australian also extended his advantage over Contador to almost two minutes, and both the material and psychological gains of the day will doubtless be a boost to Evans' morale.

    His BMC team was very...

  • Pelvic fracture for Gilmore rules Australian out until end of July

    Rochelle Gilmore (Lotto-Honda) after taking the race lead in Qatar.
    Article published:
    July 15, 2011, 3:28 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Scan reveals problem after no improvement in injury after crash at Giro Donne

    Rochelle Gilmore (Lotto-Honda) has been diagnosed with a fractured pelvis after the Australian had found there to be little improvement in her condition since her serious crash on stage 5 of the Giro Donne.

    Initial reports suggested that her injuries were limited to bruising and road rash however a scan two days ago has revealed a fracture.

    "This is obviously the reason why I have not been able to walk or apply pressure on my right leg since the crash," she explained. "A fractured pelvis sounds serious and yes it is but I’m determined to let the bone heal quickly by complete immobilization [of it] for the next 10 days."

    The Australian hopes to return to racing by the 31st of July at the Open de Suède Vargarda World Cup round. Her big goal for the year remains September’s world championships in Copenhagen which many believe likely to end in a sprint.

  • Hoogerland just happy to still be competing at Tour de France

    Johnny Hoogerland (Vacansoleil-DCM) would surrender the polka dot jersey at the end of stage 12.
    Article published:
    July 15, 2011, 4:37 BST
    By:
    Barry Ryan

    Time in polka-dots 'like a dream', as Dutchman relinquishes jersey

    Johnny Hoogerland (Vacansoleil-DCM) has insisted that he is enjoying his Tour de France experience in spite of the injuries he sustained when a crash involving a French television car forced him into a barbed wire fence on stage 9.

    The Dutchman continued in the race in spite of requiring 32 stitches to wounds on his legs, and successfully defended his lead in the king of the mountains classification until the foot of the Pyrenees. Hoogerland ultimately surrendered the polka dot jersey on the road to Luz-Ardiden on Thursday, but after the stage he was keen to downplay his travails of the past week.

    "The Tour de France has been a dream of mine for ten years," Hoogerland pointed out. "I have to keep on smiling. I'm still in the race, so why would I cry?"

    Indeed, Hoogerland put up fierce if futile resistance in his bid to retain the lead in the mountains classification, by attacking on the day's opening climb, the first category Hourquette d'Ancizan. That effervescence would quickly fizzle out, and Hoogerland came home almost 25 minutes down in 93rd, losing his mountains jersey to Samuel Sanchez (Euksaltel-Euskadi).

    Hoogerland rolled across the line just as the crowds were dispersing following the end of the day's the podium ceremonies, and before speaking to a small gaggle of reporters beyond the finish, he peeled off his polka dot jersey and wrapped himself in a standard team jacket. The 28-year-old explained that while his injuries themselves were...

  • Video: Vaughters: "Danielson was always a GC focus"

    Thomas Danielson (Garmin-Cervelo) moves into the top-ten overall with his 11th place finish.
    Article published:
    July 15, 2011, 6:30 BST
    By:
    Daniel Benson

    American surges to ninth overall after solid ride to Luz-Ardiden

    Jonathan Vaughters has admitted that Tom Danielson was always Garmin-Cervelo’s best bet for a strong GC performance coming into this year’s Tour de France. Until today’s first mountain stage Vaughters had publicly stated that the team had three riders able to challenge for a top ten placing, with Ryder Hesjedal and Christian Vande Valde also in contention.

    However, Danielson looked to be Vaughters’ true leader after Hesjedal crashed and injured his back earlier race and Vande Velde was deployed as a domestique deluxe for Danielson on stage 9.

    "He was our GC rider from the start of the Tour de France. I just didn’t tell anyone that," Vaughers told Cyclingnews at the finish in Luz-Ardiden, after Danielson matched the likes of Alberto Contador, Cadel Evans and the Schleck brothers for most of the stage. The American climber finished the stage in 11th and now sits 9th overall.

    "Tom is an immensely talented rider but doesn’t necessarily deal well with having a bunch of media attention," Vaughters said when asked why he’d chosen to shield Danielson from the media spotlight. "When Robbie Ketchel and I were discussing all the riders coming into the Tour de France we felt that Tom was our best chance at a good classification ride."

    Vaughters has always been a strong supporter of Danielson’s talent on the bike, telling Cyclingnews back in 2010 that the former Discovery rider had the physiology to do very well in the Tour de France.

    That claim looked more credible after Danielson finished in the top ten at last year’s Vuelta but this season he...

  • Tour de France news shorts

    The view down the mountain.
    Article published:
    July 15, 2011, 8:58 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Bruyneel gets breathalysed, McGee positive despite losses, Kreuziger makes a move, Cunego proves his form

    RadioShack's Tour continues to be luckless

    As if Andreas Kloden's crash on the road to Luz-Ardiden wasn't damning enough, things took an interesting turn when director sportif Johan Bruyneel was pulled over during the race to be breathalysed.

    Bruyneel recounted the incident on his twitterfeed.

    "And here's a first. Got pulled over IN the race today by a gendarme and he made me do an alcohol test, duriing the race."

    "For the record - it was negative."

    "The race went perfect until we hit Luz-Ardiden," says McGee

    Bradley McGee was happy to have gotten through another day of the Tour de France without too much drama despite his team captain, Alberto Contador losing more time to many of his general classification rivals. McGee however was adamant that after so much that has gone wrong so far in this year's race for the team, the time loss - though uncharacteristic for Contador - was not race ending.

    "We've seen so many of the major contenders go down, and I'm sorry - but it really knocks [it] out of them," the SaxoBank-Sungard director explained to Ozcycling.com. "We saw with Kloden today, going down like that - just one crash can really ruin your focus and it can be enough to really hurt your Tour."

    "They're never quite the same after a crash - it takes a while to get the fluency and the power back in the legs."

    When asked about Contador's chances going forward, McGee was positive, but praised the work of the Schlecks in the final five kilometres.

    "It's not a knock out blow, but it's definitely one in the ribs," he joked.

    Kreuziger's day on the attack unsuccessful

    Roman Kreuziger (Astana) showed his team is still very much in the race, with a long-rage attack midway through the race in the company of French champion Sylvain Chavanel. The Czech who is still recovering from his own crashes earlier in the week showed...

  • Redant hopes to return to peloton as DS in 2012

    Chief Commissaire Peter Stuppacher (right) and Radio Tour Officer Hendrick Redant enjoy some waffles for brunch prior to the start of stage three in Tiaping.
    Article published:
    July 15, 2011, 9:23 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Belgian affected by Pegasus collapse

    Hendrik Redant hopes to return to the peloton as a directeur sportif in the coming year.  The Belgian had signed to be a DS with the Australian Pegasus project, but the deal fell through when the proposed team didn't get an International Cycling Union license.

    “I have some offers,” he said on Dutch tv, according to Sporza.  “There are big teams showing interest, inside and outside of Europe.”

    Redant evidently also has an offer from the new GreenEdge team, but is reluctant about it after last year's experience. “Yes, the Australians are there again, but that scares me a bit.”

    This year the 48-year-old has done “different things,” he said. “I drive guests around in the Grand Tours, work for Tour Radio, and have even worked as a parking attendant,” he said. “I'm not having a hard time. I always look at things positively.”

    His hardest task to date may have been having to shake “thousands of hands on Thursday in the Tour caravan. It is gratifying, but also hurt a little.”

    Redant was a professional bike rider from 1987 to 1997, and most recently worked as a directeur sportif for Omega Pharma-Lotto.