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First Edition Cycling News, Friday, June 11, 2010

Date published:
June 11, 2010, 1:00 BST
  • Soler in doubt for Tour de France

    Mauricio Soler (Caisse d'Epargne) in action
    Article published:
    June 10, 2010, 16:43 BST
    Cycling News

    Knee injury could put Colombian climber on sidelines

    Caisse d'Epargne's climber Juan Mauricio Soler may miss the upcoming Tour de France after injuring his knee this week in the Criterium du Dauphiné.

    Soler hurt his knee on the first stage and was eliminated for missing the time cut in Wednesday's time trial. The Colombian rolled in 24:21 down on stage winner Janez Brajkovic in the 49km test.

    He travelled on Thursday to Pamplona, Spain, where he will undergo medical examinations. Soler is scheduled to participate in the Route du Sud on June 17-20. If he is unable to compete then, he will not be included in the Tour de France roster because he would not be competitive, his Caisse d'Epargne team manager Yvon Ledanois told AFP.

    Soler won the mountains classification in the 2007 Tour de France while racing for the Barloworld team, but a series of injuries in subsequent years have hampered his ability to live up to that promise.

  • Vogondy surprises with Dauphiné stage win

    Nicolas Vogondy (Bbox Bouygues Telecom) celebrates a stage win in the Critérium du Dauphiné
    Article published:
    June 10, 2010, 17:40 BST
    Jean-François Quénet

    Former French champion put heart problems behind

    Nicolas Vogondy has put health issues which nearly ended his 14-year professional career behind him as he won the first mountain stage of the Dauphiné.

    "This is crazy," said Vogondy after crossing the finish line. "It's like a dream. I don't know what to say. Our Bbox Bouygues Telecom team is going well since the beginning of the season and it goes on here, it's fantastic. For us, the Dauphiné is already a success."

    Vogondy's career nearly came to an end in December, 2009 when doctors detected a heart problem: cardiac arrhythmia. "I underwent tests to check the reason for the irregular rhythm of my heart," he said. "I did the 24-hour test to see if there was a risk of a heart attack. Only after two months was I allowed to get a license and race again.

    "I respected the decision of the doctors of the French federation to put me on hold. I understand they want to take a minimum of risks. But I wouldn't have liked to put an end to my career this way.I had already signed a contract with Bouygues Telecom and I might not have been able to fulfill it."

    Vogondy resumed training at the end of February and started racing at the Route Adélie at the beginning of April. It took him a month to find the rhythm of pro races again. He got some advice from former French football coach of Paris SG, Denis Troch, who told him: "As you start later than other riders, you'll have more motivation when they get a bit tired."

    Vogondy stated that Bbox Bouygues Telecom didn't put any pressure for his comeback. "They told me: come back when you're ready."

    The 32-year-old Frenchman started the Dauphiné well. After the individual time trial, he held 11th position on general classification. "But these were the easiest stages of the Dauphiné in terms of terrain," he said.

    Vogondy appeared to be at ease today in the first mountains as well. "There was good work from my teammate Laurent Lefèvre at the...

  • Giro d'Italia tests show cycling is cleaner, McQuaid says

    Article published:
    June 10, 2010, 20:00 BST
    Richard Moore

    UCI president sees "encouraging" signs

    Pat McQuaid, the UCI president, claimed on Thursday that tests taken at the recent Giro d'Italia provide evidence that the sport is cleaner.

    McQuaid said that up to 500 samples collected at the Giro have now been analysed. "We've had four to five hundred tests analysed, including 6-8 riders from the top twelve, and their haemoglobin levels are going down from week one to week two, and down again in week three," claimed McQuaid.

    "In the past we've seen situations where the level has gone down then back up again, which can be evidence of blood transfusions. But the tests from the Giro look normal and that's very encouraging."

    Mechanical doping mistakes

    McQuaid was speaking at the first World Congress on Cycling Science in Edinburgh, with anti-doping and so-called "mechanical doping" two of the themes in his keynote address. He dismissed Italian TV's recent report on claims that engines could be fitted in bikes, and claimed that Davide Cassani, the retired professional who featured in the piece that has become a YouTube hit, had "made mistakes."

    "We've spoken to him, and he's acknowledged his mistakes," said McQuaid. "He said, for example, that the battery to this device could fit in the seat tube - that's incorrect."

    McQuaid did add, though, that the UCI is taking the threat of mechanical doping seriously. Indeed, as McQuaid was speaking, a meeting was being held at the UCI's headquarters in Aigle with the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausann (EPFN), the organisation that advised swimming's world governing body, FINA, on their own equipment controversy, when super-fast swimsuits saw swimmers obliterate existing world records at the Beijing Olympics.

    Unconcerned about Landis federal case

    In an interview before his address, McQuaid discussed the other major doping controversy, following Floyd Landis's allegations - contained in a leaked email to US Cycling -...

  • Sicard nets first ProTour result at the Dauphiné

    Under-23 World Champion Romain Sicard (Euskaltel-Euskadi)
    Article published:
    June 10, 2010, 20:45 BST
    Jean-François Quénet

    U23 World Champion gets second place at mountain finish

    U23 world champion Romain Sicard collected his first result at ProTour level as he finished second in Risoul at the end of stage 4 at the Dauphiné. He jumped from the group of Alberto Contador and race leader Jani Brajkovic but couldn't catch his compatriot Nicolas Vogondy who claimed the stage victory.

    "Vogondy was very strong," Sicard told reporters in Risoul. "I didn't manage to regain time on him. It's always a disappointment to come second but it was enjoyable to be up there with the best riders. I felt there was some hesitation in the group, so I profited from it to attack. Since I was five minutes down on GC, I had nothing to lose. I was impatient to discover the Alps."

    Sicard is more familiar with the Pyrénées as he hails from the French side of the Basque country. He's from Hasparren, a village at the top of a climb not far from the Atlantic, so climbing has always been a necessity for him.

    He also said in Risoul: "I had good feelings today." That wasn't the case when he started the Dauphiné. "I'm not satisfied with my condition," he had told Le Dauphiné newspaper prior to Thursday's time trial. "But I'm very motivated. This is a great stage race. I'm lucky to be able to take part in such an event in France on the kind of terrain I like the most. The Dauphiné was one of my biggest goals for this year with Paris-Nice."

    Sicard who turned 22 on January 1st this year, will not take part in the Tour de France nor the Vuelta a España in his first professional year. The Euskaltel team wants to nurture him. In every interview he's been giving since he started his pro career at the Santos Tour Down Under in January, the winner of the Tour de l'Avenir and U23 world champion in Mendrisio said: "I don't feel that I have to assume the responsibility of the future of French cycling. There are many young French riders who are doing well and better than me so far. For example,...

  • Brajkovic comfortable in captain's role

    Janez Brajkovic (Team RadioShack) leads Alberto Contador (Astana) across the finish line.
    Article published:
    June 10, 2010, 21:11 BST
    Jean-François Quénet

    Slovenian's defense of Dauphiné lead impeccable on first mountain stage

    Janez Brajkovic finished third today in the uphill finish to Risoul at the conclusion of the Critérium du Dauphiné's fourth stage. The stage was the first of three consecutive days in the Alps and it was Brajkovic's first day in the leader's yellow jersey. He didn't lose any time on his main rival Alberto Contador (Astana) and gained time over David Millar (Garmin-Transitions) and Tejay Van Garderen (HTC-Columbia) who started the day second and third, respectively, on general classification.

    "I'm very happy about it actually," Brajkovic told Cyclingnews after the stage. "This was the first day in the mountains and it went very well. Contador was feeling good, so he tried but I was able to follow. That was my satisfaction. Everyone suffered. To follow an attack by Alberto is almost impossible. It was hard but the headwind made the mission easier for me. It was hard but it went well."

    The 26-year-old Slovenian experienced his first day in the lead with the RadioShack team escorting him as if he was Lance Armstrong. "That was incredible," he said. "I was a little bit worried because I got sick after the Tour of California so I was still unsure of my condition, but I have recovered well. It's a shame that we don't have Haimar [Zubeldia] here with us anymore but we have a great team.

    "Today's climb gives me confidence for the rest of the Dauphiné of course. I don't know if I'll be able to follow Contador on L'Alpe d'Huez but at least I'll try to lose as little as possible. I don't feel like being a winner yet. We'll see day-by-day if it goes like today. I'll fight for every second, that's for sure."

    Brajkovic and Contador have something in common when it comes to L'Alpe d'Huez where the Dauphiné's queen stage concludes on Saturday: neither has ever ridden this climb before. L'Alpe d'Huez was not on the Tour de France routes contested by the Spaniard, it's the first time it's included at the...

  • Work for Cyclingnews: Sydney-based Senior Media Sales Executive position

    Work for Cyclingnews, the world's leading cycling website
    Article published:
    June 11, 2010, 9:07 BST
    Cycling News

    Work for the world's largest cycling website

    Employment Opportunity, the world's biggest cycling website, is looking for a Senior Media Sales Executive to join its successful team. The position is based in Future Publishing Australia’s North Sydney office so only local applicants need apply please.

    We are seeking a versatile, highly organised self starter, with two-three years relevant commercial experience and a solid understanding of the cycling sector.

    Explicitly core to the role is the ability to generate revenue from a competitive marketplace; to seek out new business from the core and non-core sectors; and to develop ideas, and collaborative concepts which integrate commercial and editorial initiatives.

    You will enjoy working with a small but talented team, but be comfortable operating autonomously and independently too. Enthusiastic, ambitious, and talented you will be comfortable working with clients direct, and also with media agencies too.

    In addition to a competitive salary and generous holiday entitlement this role puts you at the heart of the cycling industry, representing the world’s best cycling website. You will attend industry events on behalf of Cyclingnews, both in Australia and abroad.

    How to apply

    Email your CV with a covering letter - including an indication of salary expectations - to Karl Penn, Managing Director, Future Publishing Australia: Deadline for submissions – June 14th. Sorry, no agencies.

  • Oakley debuts new frame styles, lens tints

    The new OO-Polarized lenses will be offered in both Red and Black Iridium variants, both with a G40 base tint for more color contrast than the usual grey.
    Article published:
    June 11, 2010, 10:14 BST
    James Huang

    Split includes hinged lower 'jaw'

    Riders will smaller faces or who simply can't quite stomach the bold styling of Oakley's Jawbones now have a toned-down option called Split Jacket. As compared to Jawbone, Split Jacket is slightly narrower and smaller overall while also sporting softened lines and colors for a more casual look better suited to dual duty on and off the bike.

    Like Jawbone, though, Split Jacket will feature Oakley's clever Switchlock interchangeable lens system with a hinged lower 'jaw' that secures the optics in place with minimal pressure. Similarly interchangeable nosepieces will allow for a slightly tunable fit, too.

    As is typical for Oakley, Split Jacket will be offered in a wide array of frame colors and lens tints plus a new 'Clear-Black Iridium' Transitions photochromic option that will also be shared with Jawbone and Radar. As the name suggests, the range of light transmission is impressively broad, starting at a nearly clear 9 percent and darkening all the way up to 70 percent.

    According to Oakley eyewear brand manager Andy McSorley, the new photochromic lens will go from full-clear to full-dark in just ten seconds and yet will boast 80 percent fadeback within a minute (photochromics generally darken more easily than lighten), making them a good choice for dawn or dusk outings or mountain bike rides in mixed conditions.

    Like Jawbone, Split Jacket incorporates the clever Switchlock system for swapping out lens tints.

    Also joining the new photochromic lens is a pair of updated polarized options. The new '00 Polarized' (say, 'double oh') Black and Red Iridium lenses include a slightly detuned polarizing filter that still squelches glare but doesn't totally block out LCD displays, plus higher-contrast 'G40' base tints (polarized lenses are almost always grey) for improved color definition.


  • Hoy not coy about Wiggins' chances

    Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky) was stopped for a pre-race interview
    Article published:
    June 11, 2010, 11:10 BST
    Les Clarke

    'Sir Chris' backs fellow Brit for Tour glory

    Sir Chris Hoy has thrown his support behind Bradley Wiggins in the lead up to the Tour de France, saying that his former Great Britain track stablemate is capable of winning the race.

    Speaking to Sky Sports, Hoy praised the work of Team Sky thus far in its debut year, which of course lead to talk of its star rider, Wiggins, who was signed in the off season from Gramin-Transitions where he took fourth overall in the 2009 Tour.

    "I think they're going to go very well [at the Tour]. They've had a great season so far for a brand new team... you're bringing guys who have never raced together before into the same team and it takes a while to gel and work together as a unit," said Hoy.

    "Some of the results they've had so far have been fantastic. Bradley had a great Tour last year - he almost made the podium and equalled the best result for a British rider in the Tour, so there's a lot of pressure on him this year. I'm sure he's more than capable of handling that."

    Of course multiple world champion Hoy is no stranger to pressure and expectations of the British cycling public, winning the 1km time trial at the Athens Olympics before taking an incredible three golds at the Beijing Games. That aggregate gold medal tally is one more than Wiggins, who won the individual pursuit in Athens before taking the individual and team pursuit titles in Beijing.

    "I think the target for him in the next two or three years is to win the Tour de France," continued Hoy. "Whether he does it this year, I don't know. I think he's capable and he continues to amaze me. He's shown with the talent he has had since he was a junior - he was junior world champion - through to the senior team where he has won Olympic medals."

    Hoy saw his 'pet' event, the kilo, axed from the Olympic program after the Athens Games. He then focused on the team sprint and keirin, while the road was never an option for the big Scotsman. Conversely, following his 2004...