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First Edition Cycling News, Friday, May 4, 2012

Date published:
May 04, 2012, 1:00 BST
  • Cancellara on road to recovery

    Fabian Cancellara (RadioShack - Nissan) on the Eikenberg
    Article published:
    May 03, 2012, 21:50 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Ligament damage adds to Swiss rider's woes

    Fabian Cancellara (RadioShack-Nissan) has resumed training on the road after breaking his collarbone in a crash at the Tour of Flanders but the Swiss rider has revealed that his recovery from injury has taken longer than anticipated.

    “It took a long time, longer than I had hoped and longer than anyone had expected,” Cancellara told Het Laatste Nieuws. “I’ve only been back on the road for a few days and it’s still a strange feeling.”

    Cancellara’s classics campaign was cut short when he hit the deck during the Tour of Flanders, and while the surgery on his broken collarbone was a success, he explained that he must now build up the muscles in his shoulder after his long period of restricted activity. A further scan this week also revealed ligament damage to the shoulder.

    “The broken collarbone was one thing, but the damage around it was greater than expected. The shoulder, ligaments, muscles, everything was lost,” Cancellara said. “After the surgery I was hopeful. The pain quickly disappeared, and within a week I was off medication. Everything was going well, but then I began to feel something in my shoulder. On Monday, I had another scan done, and they found a tear in a ligament.”

    After being confined to the rollers for most of April, Cancellara returned to training on the road last week, but he has been forced to tinker with his position to alleviate the pain from the ligament damage to his shoulder.

    “I’m searching for another position on the bike, the saddle and handlebars are different to normal. I must sit upright as...

  • Zabel takes Manhattan

    Zabel's New York appearance will serve to present the 2012 Rockstar Games sponsored Skyscraper Harlem Cycling Classic, now a USA Crits and NCC event.
    Article published:
    May 04, 2012, 1:50 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Sprinting great in New York ahead of Berkshire Cycling Classic

    Erik Zabel arrived in New York City on Wednesday, in the lead up to Sunday's Berkshire Cycling Classic in Lenox, Massachusetts for which he is patron. The event is the American stop on the fifteen-event UCI World Cycling Tour (UWCT) for 2012 through 2014. The rides are held as Cyclosportif (or Gran Fondo) event formats.

    With over 200 professional wins, Erik Zabel is considered as one of the greatest German cyclists and best sprinters in cycling history. Zabel won the points classification at the Tour de France a record six consecutive times between 1996 and 2001 and claimed 12 Tour stage wins in his career. He also earned the points jersey at the Vuelta a España three times (2002-2004) as well as winning Italy's most famed racing classic, Milan-San Remo, four times. Zabel retired from pro cycling in 2008.

    When Zabel took to the streets of Manhattan, it was the first time he had ridden in the US since the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games.
    As part of the festivities, event organiser Sparta Cycling hosted 'An Evening with Erik Zabel,' serving to present the 2012 Rockstar Games sponsored Skyscraper Harlem Cycling Classic, now a USA Crits and NCC event.

    Click here to see the gallery.

     

  • Hansen into form at the right time for Lotto Belisol

    The big engine of Adam Hansen gets over the top of Mt.Buninyong.
    Article published:
    May 04, 2012, 3:47 BST
    By:
    Jane Aubrey

    Australian still firing despite crash and concussion in Turkey

    Adam Hansen has hit his stride in 2012, and on Saturday will line up at the Giro d'Italia for the fourth time in his career. The Grand Tour comes just as the Lotto Belisol Australian is enjoying strong form, most-recently evident at the Tour of Turkey which was cut short by a crash on stage 6.

    Heading into the weekend, Hansen is supremely motivated. The Giro also marks one of the few events on the 30-year-old's calendar where he is not dedicated to the services of Andre Greipel, a role where he has had great success at both Lotto and with previous outfit Highroad. Hansen may have a different focus over the next three weeks but he makes it very clear that the Giro is a race he very much wanted to tackle.

    "I like Grand Tours, all of them," he told Cyclingnews from Denmark. "[It] Opens a lot of chances for riders and I've focused my training and program towards the Giro. The idea was, start season early and then have a break and start at Tour of Turkey and then Giro. Try to make something here and then into Ster ZLM Toer then Tour de France."

    Racing the Australian summer season in January, when the national titles are held, can create quite a challenge for the ever-growing contingent in the professional European peloton. To be good in January requires a solid preparation in the lead up while your usual competition is in the midst of the off-season. Depending on ambitions, it can result in chasing peaks in form up to four times during a season – something compatriot Matt Goss managed quite well in 2011. Current Australian Champion Simon Gerrans is now feeling the effects of his early-season tilt, having run out of steam at Liege-Bastonge-Liege following his...

  • Gadret under pressure as Ag2r searches for first win of 2012

    John Gadret (AG2R) was strong
    Article published:
    May 04, 2012, 5:24 BST
    By:
    Jean-François Quénet

    French climber doubtful about repeating 2011 third place

    John Gadret hasn't been back to Denmark since he rode the 1998 world championship for cyclo-cross in Middlefart in his first year as a U23, but he was also never called for a pre-race press conference at the start of a Grand Tour before he walked in alongside race favorites Ivan Basso, Michele Scarponi, Fränk Schleck, Roman Kreuziger and Joaquim Rodriguez. After Alberto Contador's disqualification, the Frenchman was officially classified third at the 2011 Giro d'Italia but always maintained that it would never have the same taste as going on stage on the podium at the end of the race.

    Gadret said: "I wasn't a favorite last year but I proved what I was able to do. I'll try and do the same thing, if not even better. It's always better to not being a favorite. But I know that I'll be watched this year. However, I'd like to win a stage the same way I did it last year." He outclassed Rodriguez and Italian champion Giovanni Visconti at the uphill finish of stage 11 to Castelfidardo and kept his momentum through all the following mountain stages.

    He's had a pretty quiet start of the 2012 season with his best results being two 15th places at the Giro del Trentino where he noticed his return to form. "I've had a lot of health troubles early this year," Gadret told Cyclingnews. "Because of bronchitis, I could only resume racing at the Criterium International at the end of March. I thought I was cured at the Giro del Trentino, but I got sick again, so I went to the Tour de Romandie after a treatment by antibiotics. Only in the second last stage, I started to feel good again."

    Gadret's health may not have been in his favour in recent times but the Ag2r-La Mondiale are eagerly awaiting his performance at the Giro d'Italia. The team based in the French Alps...

  • Hushovd hoping to wear the maglia rosa

    Former World champion Thor Hushovd (BMC)
    Article published:
    May 04, 2012, 6:44 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Norweigan still chasing Giro victory in his own right

    BMC's Thor Hushovd remains optimistic when it comes to his chances at the Giro d'Italia.

    The Norweigan is still eyeing his first victory of the 2012 season with a fifth placing on the seventh stage of Paris-Nice his best showing to date.

    The 34-year-old is yet to cross the finish line first at the Giro d'Italia, but was posthumously awarded stage 7 in 2007 after Milram's Alessandro Petacchi who was stripped of his victory for an irregular salbutamol test later in the race.

    "The Giro d'Italia has never been a big goal for me, and this year is more complicated due to the Tour de France and Olympics," he said at the BMC pre-race press conference. "I will try to limit the loss of time as possible on the first day and be with so that the pink jersey is within reach in the coming days.

    "But there is still a dream and a goal to be first across the finish line on a stage in the Giro d'Italia. And since I wear so much pink, I would like to wear the jersey once or twice."

    Prompted to draw comparisons to his 2006 efforts at the Tour de France where he won the 16.km prologue time trial, Hushovd was quick to point out that Saturday's task is very different.

    "I have not prepared me as well this time and this is due simply that I have not had time for that after Paris-Roubaix," he said. "But I've put in a few quality sessions and feel safe and confident on the bike pace. It is very important."

    Hushovd crashed during Paris-Roubaix, just as eventual winner Tom Boonen launched his attack on the race, effectively ending any chance the BMC recruit had.

     

  • Absent from the Giro, Evans tackles Tour de France reconnaissance

    2011 Tour de France champion Cadel Evans peruses the 2012 parcours.
    Article published:
    May 04, 2012, 7:59 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Van Den Broeck continues time trial preparation

    Defending Tour de France champion Cadel Evans (BMC) had undertaken reconnaissance this week of one of the key stages of this year's Tour.

    Evans was joined by teammate Steve Morabito on Wednesday for the final ascent of the 154km eighth stage between Belfort and Porrentruy.

    "It will be a short stage but very intensive," Evans told AFP. "There are beautiful landscapes, beautiful roads, without much flat."
    The 35-year-old remains favourite for the 99th edition of the race, with the 96.1 km of time trials falling in his favour. Evans will race the Critérium du Dauphiné as his main lead up event.

    Lotto Belisol's Jurgen Van Den Broeck was another to ride over the 2012 Tour de France parcours, also taking a look at stage 8 but adding the final climb of stage seven (Tomblaine - La Planche des Belles Filles), thought to be the first crucial day for general classification contenders.

    "It is possible that the early break comes after [the Col de la Croix], as the racers who will contend the general classification gave everything for the previous day classification [on La Planche] and have the time trial the next day," said Van den Broeck.

    The Belgian finished fifth at the 2010 Tour de France and then crashed out in 2011. With time trialling believed to be the climber's main obstacle to Grand Tour success, Van Den Broeck has made it a priority in training throughout this season. During his reconnaissance the 29-year-old spent two days on the roads around Besançon where the stage nine individual time trial will take place.

     

  • Cavendish won't ride 2012 Giro d'Italia to the end, Contador predicts

    World champion Mark Cavendish (Team Sky)
    Article published:
    May 04, 2012, 10:16 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Spaniard calls Giro “the nicest race of all”

    Mark Cavendish will be at a disadvantage at the 2012 Giro d'Italia and probably won't ride the race to the end, said Alberto Contador. The Sky rider's focus on the Tour de France and 2012 London Olympics may cost him when he goes into sprints against riders who are focusing solely on the Giro, the Spaniard said.

    “There are always newcomers in sprints,” Contador told Eurosport. “I don't know if it's matter of being young and they have more courage when approaching in the sprints.”

    “It's true that when Mark Cavendish has such a powerful and dedicated team at his disposal and when he's in top conditions, it's really hard to beat him. But you have to consider that in the Giro d'Italia there are the best sprinters in the world, at the maximum of their motivation and a sprint win on the Giro d'Italia is of maximum importance.

    “If Mark is thinking on the Tour and on the Olympics afterwards, as it's the case, I think he will not finish the Giro.”

    Contador won the 2011 Giro but lost the title when his results since July 2010 were disqualified and he was suspended on doping charges, but he retains his affection for the Italian race.

    “For me Giro d'Italia is something really special,” he said. “I got to know it in 2008 when I came in at very short notice and I didn't have the most adapted preparation for it, yet Italy welcomed me in an unbelievable way, to the point that I had the impression I was racing in Spain.”

    He added, “For sure it has a magic attraction that other races don't have, the crowd and the fans are real experts in cycling and...

  • Sanctioned riders still not eligble for Italian team, says FCI president

    The President of Italian Cycling, Renato di Rocco was present at the first stage
    Article published:
    May 04, 2012, 11:02 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Di Rocco admits regulation was prompted by Rebellin, Riccò and Mantova

    Riders who have been sanctioned for doping will continue to be overlooked by the Italian national team, according to federation president Renato Di Rocco. His comments came after the FCI’s federal court overturned a regulation barring riders who had served suspensions of six months or more from competing in the national championships, following an appeal from Annalisa Cucinotta.

    “The ruling from the federal court only covers participation in the Italian championships. That’s correct and we accept it,” Di Rocco told Gazzetta dello Sport. “But the court’s sentence doesn’t concern the blue jersey, which remains off limits for those who have had a doping ban of six months or more. Cucinotta, for instance, for now cannot compete for Italy.”

    Cucinotta served a two-year ban after she tested positive for the anabolic steroid boldenone at the track World Cup in Cali in 2008, and was one of a number of riders in all disciplines affected by the FCI measures, which were formalised in June of last year.

    An initial legal challenge from Danilo Di Luca on the eve of the national championships stalled, but Cucinotta lodged an appeal with the FCI’s federal court after the Court of Arbitration for Sport had ruled in October that similar provisions made by the International Olympic Committee were in violation of the WADA code.

    After CAS this week ruled that the British Olympic Association’s ban on former dopers representing Britain in the Games was also in contravention of the WADA code, the FCI federal court announced on Wednesday that it had upheld Cucinotta’s...