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First Edition Cycling News, Friday, September 6, 2013

Date published:
September 06, 2013, 1:00 BST
  • Surgery for Tony Martin after the season

    World champion Tony Martin could not pull off a second stage win
    Article published:
    September 05, 2013, 13:46 BST
    Cycling News

    Bone graft needed for hand broken in Tour de France 2012

    Tony Martin will undergo surgery on the hand he broke in last year's Tour de France. Since he will have to wear a cast for three months, the operation has been planned for after the end of the Tour of Beijing the end of October.

    The Omega Pharma-QuickStep rider fractured his left hand in the first stage of the 2012 Tour de France, but continued riding through the ninth stage. He finished second in the London Olympics time trial and won the world title in that discipline in Valkenburg.

    “A piece of bone will be taken from his pelvis and set into his injured hand between the thumb and wrist,” team doctor Helge Reipenhof told the dpa press agency.

    He will then have to put up with “stabilising measures for the hand for about 12 weeks.”

    An operation was discussed and dismissed last year. But now it is necessary, Riepenhof said, so that the 28-year-old German “doesn't have arthritis in the hand in ten years.”

  • Vuelta a España: Rodriguez planning to bounce back as race nears home

    Joaquim Rodriguez (Team Katusha) saw his Vuelta chances fall apart in the final time trial in 2010
    Article published:
    September 05, 2013, 15:20 BST
    Alasdair Fotheringham

    Spaniard recognises overall classification is difficult challenge

    The rider who dominated the 2012 Vuelta a España until the middle of the third week, Spain's Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) says he is determined to bounce back in this year's race despite his poor time trial showing and lower-than-hoped-for placing on general classification.

    Rodriguez lost 3:01 on Fabian Cancellara (RadioShack Leopard) and - more importantly - 1:35 on Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) and 1:06 on Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) over the 38km test, and overall is now fifth at 2:33.

    "The overall classification has become very difficult now thanks to [yesterday's] poor result," Rodriguez said before the stage. "It was a chaotic time trial, to the point where I even ended up running out of water."

    However, Rodriguez's morale will be boosted when the race enters his home region of Catalonia today on stage 12, with a full stage on Catalan soil on Friday for stage 13, and then another running from Catalonia into Andorra, the country in which he now lives, on Saturday. Today is likely to end in a bunch sprint, but tomorrow has a short, sharp uphill finish that could well be to Purito's liking, and Saturday ends on the Collado de la Gallina, where Rodriguez trains regularly.

    "Let's see if I can turn things around here on the roads I know well," Rodriguez, third in last year's Vuelta and third in the Tour de France this summer, said. He also said he would not have to look far for allies to upset the status quo in the GC.

    "The good news is that this is my terrain and [Ivan] Basso (Cannondale) and [Domenico] Pozzovivo (AG2R) are...

  • Kiko García confirms in negotiations to head Alonso team

    Igor Anton (Euskaltel-Euskadi)
    Article published:
    September 05, 2013, 16:10 BST
    Alasdair Fotheringham

    Former ONCE pro and ex-Olympian says discussions to continue next week

    Former ONCE pro and ex-Olympian Francisco José "Kiko" Garcia Armendaris has confirmed that he is in advanced negotiations with F1 star Fernando Alonso to act as team manager for the former Euskaltel-Euskadi squad in 2014.

    García, currently working as head of European marketing for Oakley, acted as a link in the negotiations between Alonso and Euskaltel-Euskadi during the build-up to the Vuelta a España start in Galicia. The team announced just prior to the race that it would fold due to an inability to find a title sponsor.

    Garcia told Cyclingnews he may have a key role in the team next season - as manager. "Discussions are on hold because of an imminent Formula One Grand Prix," - in Italy this weekend - García told Cyclingnews on Thursday. "However, they are going to continue next week."

    Negotiations for the licence purchase are moving fast, however, because all the documentation for the WorldTour licence has to be handed over to the UCI by the end of September.

    Now working for Oakley, García was a former pro with ONCE in the 1990s and also rode in the 1992 Olympics. He has also worked for Radio Tour and acted as translator for the Vuelta organisers Unipublic.

    It has been widely reported that 14 Euskaltel-Euskadi riders have a valid contract with the team for 2014 and some for 2015, too. According to Spanish radio, Igor Anton, one of Euskaltel-Euskadi best-known riders, has confirmed he is now staying with the team next season. Anton led the Vuelta back in 2010 until he crashed out at the foot of the Peña Cabarga climb and won a spectacular stage into Bilbao in the 2011 Vuelta.

  • MPCC advised Astana on Nibali wasp sting

    Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) is the Vuelta a Espana leader after the stage 11 time trial and was joined on the podium by Miguel Indurain
    Article published:
    September 05, 2013, 18:34 BST
    Barry Ryan

    Pellizotti cannot race for Astana before May 2014, says Legeay

    Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) made light of the effects of a wasp sting to ride back into the overall lead at the Vuelta a España on Wednesday, but twelve years on from Jonathan Vaughters’ infamous abandon at the 2001 Tour de France, the incident has reopened debate over the use of cortisone in such situations.

    A picture of Nibali’s swollen face made the front page of Gazzetta dello Sport, with the Italian newspaper’s report maintaining that the Sicilian was unable to treat the sting with cortisone due to Astana’s membership of the Movement for Credible Cycling (MPCC), which imposes more stringent rules than the UCI regarding therapeutic use exemptions for cortisone.

    “We will leave the movement,” Astana manager Giuseppe Martinelli said, according to Gazzetta, while Alexandre Vinokourov was described as having been “sent into a fury” by the news that Nibali would be unable to treat the sting with anything stronger than an antihistamine.

    Contacted by Cyclingnews on Thursday, however, MPCC president Roger Legeay said that the regulations governing the use of glucorticosteroids are laid down by the UCI rather than expressly by the MPCC, and he explained that he had advised Astana team doctor Raquel Ortolano on the matter ahead of the previous day’s time trial.

    Legeay could certainly empathise with Astana’s dilemma, given that he was the manager of the Credit Agricole team when the decision was taken not to create a false prescription in order to treat Jonathan Vaughters’ allergic reaction to a bee sting at the 2001 Tour.

    “The doctor from the Astana team called me to talk about the situation and, of course, it was a problem...

  • Gilbert ends 2013 dearth of victories with Vuelta a España triumph

    Philippe Gilbert (BMC) pops the cork on a fine day's work
    Article published:
    September 05, 2013, 20:07 BST
    Cycling News

    Belgian also claimed first season win of 2012 in Vuelta

    Recent history repeated itself in the Vuelta a España on Thursday: Just as in 2012, Philippe Gilbert (BMC Racing Team) claimed his first season win with a stage victory in the Spanish Grand Tour, confirming, too, that he is on track for a crack at the World Championships for a second straight year.

    Just like in 2012, Gilbert's maiden season victory came in Catalonia, albeit in a slightly different course. In 2012 the Belgian had won in Barcelona after attacking on the twisting rollercoaster finish at Montjuic park alongside then race leader Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha). And in 2013 in nearby Tarragona, he raised his arms skywards again - although this time, rather than a longer breakaway, there was a 'ramp' of some 150 metres in the final kilometer and Gilbert's move came with a perfectly calculated late charge past Edvald Boasson Hagen (Sky) as the pack snapped at their heels.

    "It's very special because this is my first victory, and my thanks to the team, my friends and family for trusting in me through this time," Gilbert said after repeatedly making ‘thumbs-up' signs at the television cameras.

    Asked how he felt about winning after a wait of nearly twelve months for a second year running, Gilbert said, "Just one word comes into my mind: finally. I've come really close [to winning] a few times, but it's been very hard. However, I've never lost my motivation."

    "At this point in the season, there was also a lot of pressure with the [upcoming] World's, so the situation has been pretty intense."

    As for why Gilbert has taken such a long time to win both in 2012 and 2013, he met the question head-on, saying "everybody's career has a high point and mine was in 2011." That...

  • Tyler Farrar yet to find a contract for 2014

    Tyler Farrar (Garmin Sharp) speaks about his chances at stage wins this week.
    Article published:
    September 05, 2013, 21:05 BST
    Daniel Benson

    No offer from yet from Garmin

    American sprinter Tyler Farrar has not received a contract extension from Garmin-Sharp and is currently without a team for 2014.

    The 29-year-old has tasted success in all three Grand Tours in the past but has failed to net a major result on European soil since the 2011 Tour de France. He endured a season full of crashes in 2012, and this year, despite a stage win in the Tour of California, he has failed to hit top form.

    He missed out on a slot at the Tour de France for the first time since 2008 this year and is currently racing the Vuelta a España, in which he has had three stage victories during his career: one in 2009 and two in the 2010 race, including the final stage in Madrid.

    After that success he was courted by a number of WorldTour teams including RadioShack but with a lack of results he has entered the final stages of 2013 without a signed contract for 2014.

    "Obviously it's a bit stressful. I don't know what's going to happen yet for me in 2014," he told Cyclingnews.

    At present the option of staying with Garmin could depend on how the transfer market plays out. The American WorldTour team is currently going through a major transformation with a large number of riders leaving at the end of the season. As yet, Farrar has not been offered a new deal from the team he joined in 2008.

    "I don't know," he answered when asked if he still had a future with Garmin.

    "I've not really heard a yes or a no from them so it's a little bit up to them at the moment. I've been here for quite a while, this team has been my home for quite a few years but right now it's up in the air and we'll see how it shakes out."

  • Gretsch signs for Ag2r-La Mondiale

    Patrick Gretsch (Team Argos-Shimano)
    Article published:
    September 06, 2013, 0:30 BST
    Cycling News

    German leaves Argos-Shimano after two seasons

    Patrick Gretsch has signed for the next two seasons with Ag2r-La Mondiale. The German joins Ag2r from Argos-Shimano, where he played an important part in the team’s sprint lead-out train over the past two years.

    A strong rouleur, Gretsch was twice a medallist in the under-23 world championships time trial before entering the WorldTour with HTC-Highroad in 2010. He has claimed five victories in the professional peloton, including the prologues of the Ster ZLM Toer (2011), USA Pro Cycling Challenge (2011) and the Ruta del Sol (2012).

    Grestch finished second behind his former Highroad teammate Tony Martin in this year’s German national time trial championships. As an amateur, Gretsch raced for the same Thüringer Energie Team as Martin, Marcel Kittel and John Degenkolb.

    “I took note of Patrick Gretsch last year, above all thanks to his strong performances in the time trial at the 2012 Tour de France [where he finished 6th in the final time trial in Chartres – ed.],” said Ag2r-La Mondiale manager Vincent Lavenu, who envisages that Gretsch will play a flexible role on the team.

    “He’s a rouleur with excellent qualities as a time triallist but he is also capable of leading out sprints and helping his leaders to stay positioned near the front. We’ve been on the lookout for a rider with this kind of profile and he will be an additional trump card for the team next year.”

    Ag2r-La Mondiale has been active in the transfer market in recent weeks, having already confirmed the arrival of Europcar pair Damien Gaudin and Sebastien Turgot to bolster its presence at the cobbled classics in 2014. The team has also extended the contract of young talent Romain Bardet through to the...

  • BMC stagiaire role going well for Dillier

    BMC stagiaire Silvan Dillier enjoys his win
    Article published:
    September 06, 2013, 1:43 BST
    Pat Malach

    Alberta stage win a well-earned welcome to WorldTour team

    Silvan Dillier's apprenticeship with the BMC Racing Team is going quite well. The 23-year-old Swiss espoirs road race champion has been riding with the BMC Development Team for most of 2013 but signed on as a stagiaire with the WorldTour program last month.

    On Thursday, he won stage 2 of the UCI 2.1 Tour of Alberta after spending 75km in a two-man breakaway. Now he and BMC are talking about his future with the US-based division-one team.

    “We are talking, and yeah, for sure this will be a good advantage for me to get into the world of the pros,” Dillier said after Thursday's stage. “If you can win something it's always good for your future. So you have always to take your chance and go for it.”

    Dillier went for it after about 100km of high-paced racing, joining Jelly Belly's Serghei Tvetcov in a two-man move that held off race leader Peter Sagan (Cannondale) and the charging peloton that was itching for another bunch sprint.

    “I think everybody was a little bit tired after all the attacks,” Dillier said. “So at first we had a big gap. We tried to save something for the final because we knew they wanted to have the bunch sprint again. Then, the last 30 kilometers were going to be really hard, so we tried to save something to go to the end.”

    After building an ultimate gap of more than five-and-a-half minutes, the duo saved just enough to hold off the peloton by 16 seconds, allowing Dillier to outsprint Tevtcov and post a victory salute in front of a large, cheering crowd in Red Deer.

    Dillier's win added to victories he's already scored for the BMC Development Team at the Tour de Normandie overall in March; the final stage of Triptyque Ardennais and Cham-Hagendorn in May; and at Flèche Ardennaise in June. He also...