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First Edition Cycling News, Friday, June 22, 2012

Date published:
June 22, 2012, 1:00 BST
  • Vacansoleil-DCM names Tour de France team

    Lieuwe Westra waits for the presentation
    Article published:
    June 21, 2012, 19:30 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Hoogerland, Westra and Van Hummel lead the line

    Vacansoleil-DCM has announced its line-up for the Tour de France with Johnny Hoogerland and the in-form Lieuwe Westra leading the line for the Dutch squad this July.

    Hoogerland’s dramatic crash on stage 9 may have garnered its share of headlines last year but the Dutchman was equally noteworthy for his aggressive riding. He briefly wore the king of the mountains jersey and will launch a more concerted campaign for the polka dot jersey in 2012.

    Westra showed his quality with a second place finish at Paris-Nice in March and he confirmed that he is on track for the Tour by winning the Dutch time trial championship on Wednesday. His fellow rouleur Gustav Larsson is also included, and the pair have almost 100 kilometres of time trialling in which to show their worth this year.

    Kenny van Hummel, who arrived from Skil-Shimano in the off-season, makes his first Tour appearance since 2009 and will look to compete with Mark Cavendish, Marcel Kittel et al in the bunch sprints.

    Although the squad contains no obvious overall contender, Vacansoleil-DCM has selected a group of riders with the nous to eke out stage victory somewhere along the line, as Rob Ruijgh, Wout Poels – who showed his form at the recent Tour of Luxembourg – Marco Marcato, Rafael Valls and Tour debutant Kris Boeckmans round out the line-up.

    Sports director Hilaire Van der Schueren outlined that the team’s stated objective was to pick up a stage win. “During the Tour we would like to show our next improvement,” he said. “The classifications and jerseys are not our main goals. We want to win a stage again, like we did in the Giro d’Italia and earlier in the...

  • Hughes, Hesjedal chosen for Canadian Olympic team

    Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Barracuda) with the Canadian national flag
    Article published:
    June 21, 2012, 22:20 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Numainville, Ramsden join road team for London

    Even while its national championships are still taking place, Canada today announced its road team for the 2012 Olympic Games, naming Giro d'Italia champion Ryder Hesjedal as its sole representative in the men's road race and time trial. Clara Hughes, Denise Ramsden and Joëlle Numainville will comprise the women's team.

    Hesjedal will compete in his second consecutive Grand Tour as the Garmin-Barracuda classification contender for the Tour de France, and although the race finishes just six days before the men's road race, he hopes to be able to represent well.

    "I am honored and excited to represent Canada in the Olympic Games," Hesjedal said in a press release. "It is my hope that the sport of cycling continues to grow in Canada and that the spirit of the Olympics shines an even greater spotlight on it. I am extremely proud to represent Canada."

    Hughes will lead the women's road squad in terms of both strength and experience: the Specialized-lululemon rider is heading to her sixth Olympic Games and will be seeking her first gold medal in cycling to add to the one she earned in speed skating. Hughes has six Olympic medals - four in the Winter Games and two bronze medals in cycling in the 1996 Summer Games (time trial and road race). She will compete in both events together with Ramsden.

    "It will be my sixth Olympic Games and yet I still feel the same pride and joy to represent my country. After twelve years, I am excited to compete again at the summer Olympics. I am heading to London with the confidence that I could not be better prepared to perform at my best in London," commented Hughes.

    Numainville, the 2010 Canadian road race champion, has been...

  • Tjallingi extends contract with Rabobank

    Maarten Tjallingii (Rabobank)
    Article published:
    June 22, 2012, 0:51 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Dutchman motivated by a further two years with the team

    One of six Dutchmen to be selected in the Rabobank team for the Tour de France, Maarten Tjallingii has extra cause for celebration having just extended his contract with the team for a further two years.

    Tjallingii has been with Rabobank since 2009 and now aged 34, technical director Erik Breukink said that his maturity plays an important role within the Dutch squad.

    "He is at a high level and is committed to being there from start of the season to the end," Breukink said. "We've got a fairly young team here, and these young guys need someone who can share his experience with them, who can be of service to them. You can always build on that."

    Tjallingii will play a key support role for team captains Robert Gesink and Bauke Mollema during the Tour.

    "I enjoy taking a lot of the work off of the team captains' hands and helping them stay fresh for their own work," he admitted.

    "It's my job, especially in stage races, to give my all to the team. By doing that, I can help others improve on their performances. Also, the team allows me to focus on the spring classics. This contract gives me the confidence and motivation to go the extra mile."

     

  • Man arrested over Team Tibco bike theft at Exergy Tour

    Megan Guarnier (Team TIBCO) tries for a solo break away and earns the Freewheel Bike Most Aggressive Jersey.
    Article published:
    June 22, 2012, 2:27 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Bikes were recovered prior to race start

    A man alleged to have stolen 13 bikes from Team Tibco to the Top on the eve of the 2012 Exergy Tour in Boise, Idaho has been arrested.

    Michael Anthony Lawrence, 19, was arrested by police on Thursday while allegedly attempting to steal car tyres. The man was being investigated prior to his alleged offences and a search of his home netted additional stolen goods that he was re-selling online.

    The team trailer was parked at the Holiday Inn Express when the theft occurred on May 22. Police originally recovered six of the team's racing bikes locked together to a bike rack near Boise State University after officers received a citizen tip just before noon. A search of the immediate area resulted in the recovery of the remaining seven bikes..

    "We want to thank the citizen who took the time to call police and help us recover these bikes as quickly as they did," said Boise Deputy Police Chief Pete Ritter. "This type of cooperation between police and the citizens we serve is exactly the type of partnership that helps make Boise the great place to live that it is."

    Detectives at the time said the bikes were undamaged as far as they could tell and the bikes were returned to the team in time for the race.

     

  • Australian Olympic boss backs Evans as flag bearer

    A victorious Cadel Evans (BMC)
    Article published:
    June 22, 2012, 3:45 BST
    By:
    Jane Aubrey

    Decision shouldn't be tied to tradition, says Coates

    Australian Olympic Committee president John Coates admits it would be a break from tradition however; Cadel Evans would make an excellent choice as flag bearer at the London Olympic Games Opening Ceremony.

    Whoever has the honour of carrying the Australian flag during the Parade of Nations will be announced on the eve of the opening ceremony, with AOC chef de mission Nick Green making the final decision.

    Cadel Evans, who next week will begin his defence of his 2011 Tour de France title would make an excellent choice to fulfil the role, according to Coates.

    "It's a very difficult decision for Nick, but he shouldn't necessarily be tied to who has been to the most Olympic Games," Coates told ABC Grandstand.

    "The team could get great inspiration from someone who has been internationally recognised [in their sport].

    "I'd be very relaxed about breaking from tradition if Cadel Evans won his second Tour de France."

    Traditionally, the role goes to someone who has represented at multiple Olympic Games. James Tomkins (rowing) was contesting his sixth Olympics when he had the honour in 2008, as had sailor Colin Beashel in 2004. Basketball legend Andrew Gaze was competing in his fifth Olympics when he carried the flag in Sydney.

    If selected in the Australian team, Evans would be competing in his fourth Olympics having competed in Beijing in 2008 and in mountain biking in Sydney in 2000 and 1996.

    Adding to the conundrum is the fact that the opening ceremony for the London Games takes place the evening prior to the men’s road race.

    Fellow Australian cyclist Stuart O'Grady, if selected, will be competing in his sixth Olympic Games having won a gold medal in...

  • London 2012 Olympics unlikely for Longo

    Jeannie Longo continues to ride in spite of the speculation that surrounds her.
    Article published:
    June 22, 2012, 10:18 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Young generation finally takes over French women's cycling

    After having finished only fifth in the French time trial championship, 53-year-old Jeannie Longo is unlikely to be selected for the national squad for the Olympic Games in London later this summer. Longo was unable to defend her 2011 title against up-and-coming young riders such as race winner Pauline Ferrand-Prévot and second-placed Audrey Cordon, and the younger generation seems to have finally taken over Longo's reign in French women's cycling.

    With three Olympic entry slots available in the women's category, French federation officials looked somewhat relieved after Longo's defeat on Friday, as another success would have meant an eighth Olympic selection for the rider whose reputation has been recently tarnished by several doping-related affairs. Her husband and trainer, Patrice Ciprelli, has admitted having bought EPO on the internet, and Longo herself was accused of not having communicated her whereabouts several times.

    Even if Longo wins Saturday's road race, women's coach Isabelle Gautheron told L'Equipe that it would not necessarily lead to a selection. "If she wins on Saturday, we will study the case... But I think what is really important today is the breakthrough of this new generation. It's magnificent news," a happy Gautheron said after the time trial.

    "The time trial told us what we had to know. She seemed to lack power. It's one of the first times that Jeannie was beaten by such a significant margin in the discipline she prefers. I cannot speak in the name of the commission, which will meet next week,...

  • Issue 8 of Cyclingnews HD on sale

    Cyclingnews HD on sale now.
    Article published:
    June 22, 2012, 10:53 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Biggest news stories from inside the peloton

    This week's issue has in-depth coverage of the final stages of the Tour de Suisse, featuring world class photography, reports, results and analysis of what it all means for the Tour de France.

    There's also an exclusive interview with Sky and Great Britain strongman Geraint Thomas, while Daniel Friebe puts forward his view on what the latest Lance Armstrong allegations mean for cycling.

    Finally there's a look ahead to the biggest of this weekend's national road championships across Europe, featuring previews and startlists.

    To buy your copy or subscribe to Cycling News HD, visit www.cyclingnews.com/HD.

  • Nibali unsure ahead of Italian national championship

    Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas-Cannondale)
    Article published:
    June 22, 2012, 11:27 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Bettini predicts Nibali-Cunego duel at Valsugana

    Vincenzo Nibali (Liqugias-Cannondale) has downplayed his chances of winning the Italian national championships at Valsugana in Trentino on Saturday, noting that he may enter the race heavy-legged from his pre-Tour de France training camp at the Passo San Pellegrino.

    The Sicilian had a low-key Critérium du Dauphiné and endured a difficult day on the queen stage over the Col de Joux-Plane. Although he insisted that he had ample time to put things to rights ahead of the Tour, he is aware that his recent heavy training load was not ideal preparation for the national championships, even if the course appears well-suited to his characteristics.

    “It would be beautiful to take the tricolour jersey and above all the course is intriguing,” Nibali said. “But I think it’s important to be realistic and not get carried away by enthusiasm. I’ve been working with the Tour in mind since May. It’s the main objective of my season and unfortunately, I might pay for that on Saturday as the work I carried out at the Passo San Pellegrino was intense. Although that doesn’t mean that my grinta and desire to ride as a protagonist won’t be just as strong.”

    Italian coach Paolo Bettini is currently leading an Italian team training camp in the area, and after testing the circuit with his charges during the week, he is anticipating a duel between Nibali and Damiano Cunego (Lampre-ISD).

    “We tried the course and it’s going to be a hard and hot 255 kilometres of racing,” Bettini told Gazzetta...