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First Edition Cycling News, Friday, July 27, 2012

Date published:
July 27, 2012, 1:00 BST
  • Cavendish leads Great Britain's Olympic dream team

    World champion Mark Cavendish (Sky) won the Tour's final stage in Paris for the fourth straight year.
    Article published:
    July 26, 2012, 21:35 BST
    By:
    Daniel Benson

    World champion nervous in lead-up to the big day

    Tucked away in leafy Surrey, far from the fanfare and glitz of the Olympic village, Great Britain's road cycling team has been putting the finishing touches to its plans for Saturday's road race.

    Mark Cavendish, the world champion, will line up as the favourite for the 250-kilometre race, possibly his biggest challenge in his career. Crucially though, he wont have to do it alone. Great Britain has assembled arguably its greatest ever road team, with four riders in top form all detailed to provide Cavendish with cover and sufficient support. Cavendish himself has dubbed them a "dream team" after they trained on the country roads in and around Surrey in the days leading up the Olympic Games.

    "We were out today and we were just buzzing. The team came properly together yesterday, and we went out today and we were just motoring along in training. I looked around it, it's just a dream team, there's a dream team there," he told the press at the team's hideaway.

    There's little doubt that the home team will be expected to control the race. As soon as Cavendish declared his Olympic intentions last year, it became clear that the team's only game-plan was to deliver him for the sprint. Despite no obvious lead-out man, his support is unquestionably strong. Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome finished one-two in the Tour de France, while David Millar won his first road stage in the Tour in nine years. Along with national champion Ian Stannard, the five-man team possess an enviable line up. However such strength will attract not just pressure but also attacks from rivals.

    And on a one-off course, with national colours rather than trade team uniforms, the race and the possible scenarios Great Britain become immeasurable to count. Only the Germans, with Andre Greipel, have a...

  • McQuaid disavows UCI responsibility in Armstrong case

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    Article published:
    July 26, 2012, 22:33 BST
    By:
    Laura Weislo

    Biological passport still evolving

    On the eve of the 2012 Olympic Games, UCI president Pat McQuaid sat down with members of the press to discuss the glowing state of British Cycling following the Tour de France victory of Bradley Wiggins, the honour with which Mark Cavendish has held the rainbow jersey, the high hopes the UCI has for these Games, and the future of the sport's Olympic programme. But there was a huge elephant standing in the middle of the room in the form of the US Anti-Doping Agency's doping procedures against cycling's most celebrated athlete, Lance Armstrong, and his managers, doctors and trainers.

    The UCI is currently planning its quest to fight for more Olympic medal events for cycling at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio - a process which begins straight after these Games and continues on for a year. At the same time there are outside forces pushing for the elimination of an entire sport from the Olympic programme to make room for more participants and more medal events in existing sports. With a high profile doping and conspiracy case against cycling's most well-known figures, could the other sporting federations exact pressure on the IOC to boot cycling out of the Games?

    Cyclingnews sat down one-on-one for a brief period with McQuaid to discuss the issues, and we wish to present his responses in full.

    Cyclingnews: Because I'm with Cyclingnews and it's my job to be a downer, I would like you to comment on an article in the New York Daily News (by

  • Terpstra and Boom headline Dutch team in London

    Dutch champion Niki Terpstra (Omega Pharma-QuickStep)
    Article published:
    July 27, 2012, 1:38 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Riders recovering well from recent crashes

    Niki Terpstra (Omega Pharma-Quickstep) has enjoyed one of his best seasons to date which began with a powerful display in the spring Classics, a win in Dwars door Vlaanderen - Waregem and a fifth-place in Paris-Roubaix. He rode with panache in Amstel Gold, chasing after a late breakaway attempt by Oscar Freire (Katusha) however he was caught before the final ride to the finish.

    The Dutch road title was won by Terpstra in solo fashion with his Olympic teammate Lars Boom (Rabobank) coming in a distant second. These two Classics specialists will lead the five-man Dutch team for Saturday’s Olympic road race. They will be backed by Robert Gesink (Rabobank), Dutch time trial champion Lieuwe Westra (Vacansoleil-DCM) and Sebastian Langeveld (Orica-GreenEdge).

    Terpstra chose not to ride the Tour de France and instead lined up at the Tour of Poland as part of his Olympic preparation. He thought this was a far better idea after seeing the carnage during the opening week in France. His Polish campaign didn’t go to plan, getting caught in a crash during the first stage and having to withdraw from the rest of the Tour.

    "I thought: am I glad I did not ride around in that madness," he said in regard to the Tour. "You can call it ironic," after abandoning from the Tour of Poland.

    His injuries have not affected his training or racing overly....

  • Reigning Olympic road champion Cooke ready to prove herself in London

    Nicole Cooke (Team Faren Honda) heads the chasers in pursuit of the four leaders
    Article published:
    July 27, 2012, 3:50 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Believes her form is peaking at the perfect time

    To win the gold medal at the Olympic Games is every athlete’s dream but to back-up and win the world championships road race, in the same year, was a historic feat for Great Britain’s Nicole Cooke.

    It was at Beijing and Varese in 2008 that Cooke won a gold medal and the rainbow-stripped jersey in the same year. She remains the only woman to achieve such success in road cycling. Since that year however, it hasn’t been easy. Team’s folding, injuries and subsequently a lack of results has made the last four years a challenging time for the 29-year-old.

    Cooke believes that, after a year based around building for this one event in her home country, that her condition may be perfectly timed for the race which is held the day after the men’s Olympic road race. It will be on Sunday and after 140 kilometres that all will be revealed.

    "I have not had the best form early in the season, but now I have reached the ideal condition to long for a good result - Cooke admits, 29 years-five victories this season. I know to be part of a national in this moment is among the strongest in international cycling and the Olympics in our home are another opportunity for us all to show what we're capable of," she told Tuttobiciweb.

    Great Britain is pegging their hopes around the former Olympic champion but included in the four-person team is Elizabeth Armitstead - a rider who Cooke hasn’t always seen eye-to-eye with, but insists they will ride as a united squad come race-day...

  • David Millar praised by Pat McQuaid ahead of Olympic Games

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    Article published:
    July 27, 2012, 6:27 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Riders accused of doping should follow his example say UCI President

    It had been nearly a decade (2003) since David Millar (Garmin-Sharp) won a stage at the Tour de France. That is, until he crossed the finish line of stage 12 at this year’s edition. It was the longest day of the Tour and the Scotsman won in a two-man sprint against Frenchman Jean-Christophe Peraud (Ag2r la Mondiale).

    Millar collapsed shortly after celebrating his victory across the line in Annonay Davézieux, a sign of just how much effort he had put into the day-long breakaway. "I just wanted to cross that line in first," he told Cyclingnews at the finish. He did just that and would take extra encouragement coming into the Olympic road race this Saturday.

    Millar’s inclusion into the Great Britain team was not a standard selection panel affair, it was a drawn out process due to his previous two-year suspension and admittance for doping back in 2004. It took a favourable ruling by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) before he could be selected. Now that he’s been included in the five-man team, he’s willing to put it all on the line to ensure Mark Cavendish wins the gold medal.

    "I'm an ex-doper and I'm clean now, and I want to show everyone that it's possible to win clean on the Tour," he said after his stage win at the Tour.

    His achievement in the sport since his comeback from suspension and advocacy work in the fight against doping has not gone unnoticed. The head of the UCI, Pat...

  • Jens Voigt is still in hot demand at 40-years-old

    Who else but Jens Voigt (RadioShack-Nissan) would you expect to see setting tempo at the head of the peloton.
    Article published:
    July 27, 2012, 8:00 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Three offers reportedly on table for next season

    It’s unusual for the ever-green Jens Voigt (Radioshack-Nissan) to not have won a race so far this year. The 40-year-old German has an impressive list of victories in his palmares which began with a win in the Peace Race of 1994 but he's yet to cross the line in first place this season.

    Since Voigt’s debut in the professional ranks he’s won two Tour de France stages and spent a couple of days in the maillot jaune for his efforts. He rode so hard to pull on the race leader’s jersey that he found himself outside the time limit two stages later. Seven years from then and he’s a regular in what many would call the ‘doomed’ breakaway attempts.

    Voigt’s tireless style and approach to his profession has made him an invaluable teammate for his team leaders throughout the years. He’s capable of setting tempo on the flat, in the mountains or going on the attack in search of his own results. There’s few in the sport who would question the loyalty and work ethic of Voigt.

    His character off the bike has also made him a favourite amongst cycling fans and while he’ll turn 41-years-old in under a months time, it would seem he’s a big hit with the management of a number of teams.

    "I have three concrete offers from the Sky team, Saxo Bank-[Tinkoff] and our RadioShack-[Nissan] team is still looking promising. Maybe I will stay there," Voigt told the German Press Agency.

    Voigt was the oldest participant in the 2012 Tour de France and while he didn’t win a stage this time around, it was not for lack of trying. It was on stage 10 when he nearly took his Tour third...

  • Wiggins focussed on Cavendish bid for Olympic gold

    Sky lead Wiggins and Cavendish
    Article published:
    July 27, 2012, 10:31 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Tour de France winner eager to repay teammate

    A historic week for British cycling could get even better tomorrow when Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins takes to the road in the 2012 Olympic road race looking to help deliver his Team Sky and Team GB colleague Mark Cavendish to the gold medal. It would be a perfect start to the Games for the host nation and would force cycling onto the front of the British national newspapers for the second time in less than a week.

    Wiggins clinched a first-ever Tour de France victory for Great Britain in Paris last Sunday and the sport is riding on a crest of a wave that will show no signs of abating if pre-race favourite Cavendish can swoop the Olympic title on the Mall tomorrow in his late and fast trademark fashion. Cavendish proved his form recently by winning two of the last three stages at the Tour, including the final bunch sprint on the Champs-Elysées in Paris.

    Reigning world champion Cavendish, whose own green jersey ambitions at the Tour were forced to take a back seat by Sky in favour of the GC aspirations of Wiggins and runner-up Chris Froome, sees tomorrow's race as the most important of his season. And Wiggins, who has been explicit in his praise for Cavendish's selflessness during the Tour de France, is eager to help him win gold. He will be aided in his support by Froome, David Millar (who - like Cavendish, Wiggins and Froome - was a stage winner at this year's Tour) and Ian Stannard, who is the current British champion.

    "It's probably the strongest Great Britain Olympic team on the road that has ever been assembled," Wiggins told Sky...

  • Hondo back in the saddle after Tour de France crash

    The man, the legend, Danilo Hondo (Lampre - ISD)
    Article published:
    July 27, 2012, 13:57 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Champs-Élysées fall could have been much worse for Lampre rider

    German rider Danilo Hondo has recovered well from the injuries he suffered last Sunday in the final stage of the 2012 Tour de France in Paris. The Lampre-ISD rider took part in a daring final lap attack on the Champs-Élysées before crashing heavily with around 3km left to race.

    He was not only swept up by the peloton but left on the ground and unable to cross the finish line with the rest of the field. Hondo was left unconscious for a few moments after hitting his head on the concrete and was rushed to hospital, where he received several stitches to his head wound and underwent precautionary X-rays.

    Lucky the scans showed no fractures and Hondo was able to take part in yesterday's Tour de Neuss in his homeland. Hondo finished fourth in the criterium race.

    "Everything was controlled. There is nothing broken and I'm lucky that [there's] no internal injuries," he told radsport-news.