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First Edition Cycling News, Friday, June 10, 2011

Date published:
June 10, 2011, 1:00 BST
  • King set for clavicle surgery after Philly spill

    He is Ted King
    Article published:
    June 09, 2011, 20:45 BST
    By:
    Laura Weislo

    Liquigas-Cannondale rider looks for late summer return

    Ted King is angry. Fresh off his podium finish at the U.S. Professional National Championships, one of his career-best performances, King's dream of being selected for his Liquigas-Cannondale team's Tour de France squad is now in tatters because of a broken collarbone.

    King crashed during the Philadelphia International Championship when he hit a gap between the pavement and a storm drain and his tire got caught, vaulting him into the air. He broke several ribs, covered his body in road rash and fractured his left clavicle, the same one that he had broken eight years ago as an amateur.

    He explained to Cyclingnews that because his previous break was in the center of the bone, the weak point was further out toward his shoulder, a break which is more challenging to repair.

    After visiting several different orthopaedic surgeons and getting several different opinions on the best course of action, King selected Dr. Jesse Jupiter at Boston Massachusetts General, who will be installing a permanent plate in the bone on Friday.

    "What bums me out most is I was down for the Tour de Suisse, and after my good showing at the U.S. Pro, Tour de Suisse was the final deciding race for the Tour de France. It wasn't certain I would do the Tour, but I was on the long team," King said.

    "The thing that gets me going about it is it was so preventable," he added, explaining that the dangerous gap should have been marked in some way or filled in.

    "I gave [race director] Dave Chauner a laundry list of reasons why I thought the race was unnecessarily dangerous, which I also detailed in

  • Degenkolb proves his pedigree on stage four

    John Degenkolb (HTC-Highroad) wins stage 4
    Article published:
    June 10, 2011, 1:15 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    German shows win earlier in the week was no fluke

    John Degenkolb’s (HTC-Highroad) impressive season continued on Thursday as he won the Criterium du Dauphiné’s fourth stage over a number of higher profile sprinters. The German neo pro proved again that he can mix it with the world’s best; unleashing a controlled but powerful final 100 metres allowed him to beat the more favoured Boasson Hagen to the line.

    "I’ll realize better about what I’ve achieved when I get back home", said the HTC-Highroad rider to Cyclingnews.

    "[The finale] was tense because of the roundabouts. The Garmin-Cervélo team rode well for Tyler Farrar and my team-mates did a great job as well for catching the two breakaway riders. I sprinted from 200 metres but only in the last 50 metres I managed to pass Boasson Hagen," explained Degenkolb.

    "My positioning for the sprint wasn’t the best but I had enough punch to stay in the front," Degenkolb continued. "It’s not a big surprise for me that I beat riders like Boasson Hagen and Farrar. I’m sure that other times they’ll beat me. I’m just really motivated at the moment and I think that makes me unbeatable."

    HTC-Highroad’s directeur sportif Brian Holm was surprised at how fast his young star is developing.

    "To tell you the truth, I wasn’t sure that John would be able to compete against these guys [Farrar and Boasson Hagen] on the flat as well as he could do it in a hill. But it seems that there’s something of an Erik Zabel in this guy -and a bit of Mark Cavendish as well."

    Holm also clearly delighted to collect the third stage win in a row for HTC-Highroad at the Dauphiné in five days of racing. Degenkolb and yesterday’s winner Tony Martin have...

  • Rui Costa making amends at the Dauphiné

    Best young rider Rui Alberto Faria Costa (Movistar Team)
    Article published:
    June 10, 2011, 4:45 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Tour de France beckoning for Portugese rider

    Portuguese cyclist Rui Alberto Faria da Costa became famous for all the wrong reasons in October of last year, but he’s making amends at this year's Dauphiné. Consistent riding has meant that after the individual time trial and before the big mountain stages, the recent recruit of Movistar wears the white jersey of best young rider and lies in fifth place overall.

    "I like the high mountain and I hope to go well", Rui Costa told Cyclingnews as he eyes the remaining three stages with great motivation. "I hope for the last three days to be just as good as today and yesterday in the time trial. I’ll ride at the front as much as I can. I’ve recovered very well from the time trial and I’m looking forward to fight in the mountains for a good final position on GC on Sunday."

    Cyclingnews readers may recall that Rui Costa was the rider who had a fight with Spanish rider Carlos Barredo at the finish of stage 6 at the Tour de France last year. In August he then found that he had tested positive for methylhexanamine, a substance contained in some nutritional supplements. The same result came out of the laboratory for his brother Mario.

    "The substance had reappeared in a number of nutritional supplements and was therefore subject to potential inadvertent use by athletes," according to the World Anti-Doping Agency. Many other athletes from different sports have faced the same problem.

    "It’s all resolved now", Rui Costa said in Mâcon. After risking a one-year suspension, he was allowed to race again by anti-doping authorities after five months and found his place back in the team Movistar in early April. His first race since August was the Amstel Gold Race. "I told him he could abandon, but he wanted to finish", Movistar’s...

  • Dempster breaks European duck in L'Oise

    Zak Dempster on the attack with 20 to go.
    Article published:
    June 10, 2011, 6:35 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Australian eyes bigger things in 2012

    Zak Dempster (Rapha Condor-Sharp) has continued his stunning season with his first win on the continent in 2011, taking out the opening stage of the 2.2 ranked Ronde de l’Oise. The Australian has had five wins so far in 2011; including victories in the Halford’s Tour series as well as the Rutland - Melton Classic, but until today was yet to break his duck on European soil.

    "This is my first ever win in France, I was close at Circuit Lorraine [2nd on stage 2] but this is a massive satisfaction. I think I’m showing with these results that I am ready to step up to a World Tour team," he said.

    Dempster was confident of his abilities in the sprint and used his two teammates perfectly in the finale to set up the win.

    "I have to thank Dan Craven and Jon Tiernan-Locke today. They both rode really strongly to ensure that the move firstly stayed clear and secondly, that it would come down to a group sprint," he commented.

    "Getting it all to come together was the hard part, then on a sprint like that with the form I have this year I was pretty confident I’d get it."

    The Rapha Condor-Sharp rider previously rode for the South-Australia.com AIS squad which has produced cyclists of the cailibre of Cameron Meyer and Jack Bobridge. With the arrival next year of the GreenEDGE cycling project, the Australian may well get his chance to re-unite with some of his old teammates and test his mettle at the highest level of racing.

  • Basso: There is still time before Tour's first climbs

    Ivan Basso (Liquigas-Cannondale) had a disastrous ride, losing six more minutes
    Article published:
    June 10, 2011, 10:13 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Italian searches for race rhythm at Dauphine

    Ivan Basso (Liquigas-Cannondale) believes that he still has time to find his form before the start of the Tour de France. The Italian has struggled at the Critérium du Dauphiné, as he suffers from the fall-out of a May training crash.

    Speaking to Gazzetta dello Sport, Basso insisted that the only solution to his current predicament was to keep working.

    “I’m still someone who has won the Giro, I won’t use a magic wand,” Basso said. “I don’t need a metamorphosis, I just need to work.”

    Basso floundered during Tuesday’s time trial around Grenoble, which was held on the same course as the penultimate stage of the Tour. He ultimately lost over six minutes to stage winner Tony Martin, but he said his performance was affected by his lack of racing miles in recent weeks.

    Basso had not competed since the Tour de Romandie, and spent part of May training at altitude at Mount Etna, the scene of his accident. Although he has since recovered from the facial injuries sustained in Sicily, Basso missed out on a week’s training.

    “It was a hard and difficult time trial, and I’m missing race rhythm,” Basso said. “I’m here to find that. I’ve done quantity, but not a lot of quality [in training]. After the time trial I called Amadio and Zani to reassure them. I wanted them to know what my real condition is.”

    Basso acknowledged that his build-up to the Tour has been far from ideal, in spite of his decision to skip the Giro d’Italia in order to pitch his preparation towards July.

    “I won’t hide...

  • Bruyneel: "Contador should ride Tour de France"

    Johan Bruyneel introduced Contador as the team's leader.
    Article published:
    June 10, 2011, 11:23 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    RadioShack manager believes that Van Den Broeck could reach Tour podium

    Team manager Johan Bruyneel has spoken in favour of defending champion Alberto Contador returning to this year's Tour de France. Despite ongoing doping accusations, which will be settled by a final verdict by the Court of Arbitration for Sport only in August, the current RadioShack manager thinks that his former rider should take the start in France next month.

    "He's convinced that he's innocent, so why should he not start?," Bruyneel told Het Nieuwsblad on Friday. "I think that Contador is innocent. There is nothing worse than punishing an innocent athlete."

    The Belgian, who was Contador's directeur sportif from 2007 to 2009, went even further, insisting that the recent Giro d'Italia winner will be at the start of the Grande Boucle if he is physically in shape to do so. "He has to take part in the Tour, if he has recovered enough from an immensely hard Giro. He will do so if he thinks that he can win," Bruyneel added.

    The RadioShack manager himself did not believe that his team will be able to contend for the final victory on the Champs-Elyseées this year. Without one designated leader, Bruyneel will decide on his realistic objectives as the race unfolds. "I'm in the same situation as in 2006, after the seven Tour wins with Lance Armstrong. I have four protected riders: Brajkovic, Horner, Leipheimer and Klöden, but you don't hear me saying that we'll win the Tour this year."

    Instead, he pointed to his fellow countryman Jurgen Van Den Broeck as a possible contender. "The Tour podium is within reach for Jurgen," he continued. The Belgian climbing talent also used to race for Bruyneel from 2004 to 2006 at US Postal and Discovery Channel, so the...

  • Quick Step and Lefevere go talent spotting

    Patrick Lefevere is confident about his team
    Article published:
    June 10, 2011, 12:57 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    U23 riders invited to team camp

    Quick Step will start a new talent spotting initiative next week in a bid to scout for the best U23 riders. 11 riders have been invited to a “Quick-Step Training Camp” that will take place in Belgium from June 14-17, with riders travelling from Holland, France, Spain, Norway, Eritrea, Latvia and from across Belgium.

    “This meeting is the first step in a wider project we’re building for young riders, which we hope to realise in the near future,” said Patrick Lefevere.

    “The main objective is to introduce our reality and our work method. In this initial phase the athletes were selected based on the results they’ve achieved in the recent past. We think that direct contact with our squad and staff during the formative experience of a training camp can help young athletes better understand what really goes on with a professional team. We’re aware that today’s young guns will be tomorrow’s champions. There was a lot of interest from the Under 23 athletes as well as their teams, even though not all the athletes who were invited will be able to attend the meeting due to competitive duties. We will definitely repeat this project in the future.”

    The U23 riders will be joined by several riders from Quick Step’s current professional ranks and former rider Tom Steels, who now works in a staffing position at the team.

    “We’re also organising evaluation tests, group meetings and individual interviews, as well as a visit to the team’s Service Course in Wevelgem. A mechanic and masseur from the team will also be available to the athletes. It will definitely be an interesting chance to get an inside glimpse of the approach to cycling applied by some of the best Under 23 riders and gather some important feedback from them,” Steel said.


     

  • Ochowicz: "No contradiction" in BMC's handling of Ballan and Santambrogio

    Jim Ochowicz of Team BMC
    Article published:
    June 10, 2011, 14:21 BST
    By:
    Barry Ryan

    Investigated riders return in spite of lack of new information

    BMC manager Jim Ochowicz has denied that there has been any contradiction in his team’s handling of Alessandro Ballan and Mauro Santambrogio’s involvement in the Mantova doping investigation.

    Ballan and Santambrogio were among 32 people named by investigators in April at the conclusion of an inquiry into the activities of Italian pharmacist Guido Nigrelli and his involvement with the Lampre team.

    BMC pulled Ballan and Santambrogio from racing on the eve of the Giro d’Italia, citing “new information received,” and Ochowicz said in a statement on May 2 that pair would be “held out of competition pending further details.”

    Yet, on May 28, BMC reinstated Ballan and Santambrogio, with Ochowicz then explaining that the team had “never been notified by any authorities regarding these alleged actions and conversations.”

    Speaking to Cyclingnews on Thursday, Ochowicz dismissed the idea that the two statements were contradictory, even though no further details clarifying the situation had emerged before Ballan and Santambrogio’s return to competition.

    “I don’t see any contradiction at all,” Ochowicz said. “The statement prior to the Giro was based on the newspaper report and some other information that I gathered from other people that I respect and that I believe have given me good information in the past.

    “We were under...