TechPowered By

More tech

First Edition Cycling News, July 19, 2008

Date published:
July 19, 2008, 1:00 BST
  • Stage video highlights and podcasts

    Article published:
    July 19, 2008, 0:00 BST
    By:
    Gregor Brown in Nîmes

    Just can't get enough of the Tour? Well fear not because Cyclingnews has expanded its coverage once...

    Just can't get enough of the Tour? Well fear not because Cyclingnews has expanded its coverage once again this year to bring you video highlights of every stage plus daily podcasts courtesy of Bikeradar.com and Procycling magazine.

    Our video comes directly from Tour de France owners Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO), and will be online shortly after the finish of each stage. We've also got highlights from classic Tours of the past so click here to see the full archive.

    Check out the podcasts page in our Tour de France section for a full round-up of news and views from the Tour.

  • Missouri adds women's race

    Article published:
    July 19, 2008, 0:00 BST
    By:
    Gregor Brown in Nîmes

    The Tour of Missouri will add an invitational pro-am women's race in conjunction with its top-ranked...

    The Tour of Missouri will add an invitational pro-am women's race in conjunction with its top-ranked men's event this September. The one day criterium will be held in Kansas City before the arrival of the men for the end of their first stage of this year's event on September 8.

    The women will compete for a $7,500 cash purse on a 1-kilometer course with multiple turns and hills at the Country Club Plaza. The Women's Criterium will start at 1 p.m. and will cover 55 minutes plus five laps.

    A combined awards ceremony will be held for the men's and women's races in the Country Club Plaza, following the finish of the men's race at approximately 4:30.

    "It is a privilege to announce this addition to the 2008 Tour of Missouri," said Missouri Lt. Governor Peter Kinder. "The Tour is the single largest professional sporting event in the state, and the women's race will be an exceptional prelude to the excitement of the hard-charging finishing circuits of the men's race."

  • Lang talks polka-dots after Riccò dismissal

    Sebastian Lang (Gerolsteiner) did a great ride
    Article published:
    July 19, 2008, 0:00 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    By Gregor Brown in Nîmes German Sebastian Lang hopes to keep the polka-dot jersey of best climber...

    By Gregor Brown in Nîmes

    German Sebastian Lang hopes to keep the polka-dot jersey of best climber for at least two more stages after replacing Riccardo Riccò at the head of the competition. Following the Italian's dismissal on Thursday morning, the twelfth stage passed without any rider wearing the maillot blanc à pois rouges and so Lang enjoyed his first stage in the jersey on Friday.

    "I got a jersey and I got the jersey because of the right system. I feel that it belongs to me," said Lang Friday morning in Narbonne.

    Riccò was leading both the mountains and best young rider competitions before being forced to leave the Tour. Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas) was already dressed in the maillot blanc of best young rider, holding it for Riccò who had planned to race stage 12 in the polka dot jersey.

    On Friday, Lang's first day in the polka dot jersey went well; he took third on two category four climbs, adding a further two points to his total. He leads the competition by three points over team-mate Bernhard Kohl.

    "Two years ago, I had the mountains jersey in the German tour," he recalled. "I am not a time trial specialist. I am good for stages, stage races, and the Classics - but I am not a bad mountains rider either. Maybe I will show I can do more than just time trialling."

    Lang escaped to take the majority of his points on the Col d'Aspin Sunday. Riccò had passed Lang just prior to the top, but Lang gathered 26 points for passing second.

    Those points should see him keep the jersey until the end of stage 15 to Prato Nevoso. "I will not try for escapes," he said. "I think it is possible to keep the jersey over the two next days [stage 13 and stage 14]. It will be finished when the race arrives in the Alps."

  • Juan Jose Oroz: Emerging from anonymity

    Oroz is trying to escape anonymity
    Article published:
    July 19, 2008, 0:00 BST
    By:
    Gregor Brown in Nîmes

    Underneath the well-known names of the Tour, a few taps of the 'page down' key on the results below...

    Underneath the well-known names of the Tour, a few taps of the 'page down' key on the results below the Schlecks, Evanses and Valverdes of the world, you'll find the heart of cycling's peloton. These workers, like taxi drivers or waiters, perform essential jobs for their teams all the while dreaming of their day on the big stage.

    One such rider, Juan José Oroz, emerged briefly from obscurity when he launched a brave attack on stage 12. Cyclingnews' contributors Peter Hymas and Monika Prell learned more about this Basque rider.

    You'll be excused if you've never heard the name of Euskaltel-Euskadi pro Juan José Oroz Ugalde. The third year professional does not have any victories in his palmarés, photographs of him outside the confines of Euskaltel-Euskadi's web site are downright J.D. Salinger-esque in their rarity, and unfortunately for Oroz the most attention he's received in 2008 ignominiously involves surrendering the mountain leader's maglia verde on the final day of Tirreno-Adriatico.

    Even when Oroz launched an attack up the unclassified climb of the Col d'Extreme on stage 12 of this year's Tour in order to bolster a floundering two-man break on a sprinter's stage, the photographers failed to capture his 45 kilometres at the front of the world's biggest bike race. Even the television commentators could not come up with a single thing to say about the man in orange.

    Unfortunately for 'Juanjo', any report on his feat was overshadowed by the news of Riccardo Riccó's positive. However, it's not as if Oroz hasn't made a concerted attempt to escape from obscurity.

    Riding in his first Grand Tour, Oroz said that he found the first few stages to be stressful. "The pace was very high, and there were many attempts to break away until one group was finally able to escape," he said of the stage starts. "It's difficult on the body, so if you have been in a breakaway group during one stage, the...

  • UCI must be part of new teams' system, says Holczer

    Article published:
    July 19, 2008, 0:00 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    By Gregor Brown in Nîmes Following the news that all 18 member teams of the UCI's ProTour system...

    By Gregor Brown in Nîmes

    Following the news that all 18 member teams of the UCI's ProTour system will not renew their licenses next season, Gerolsteiner team manager Hans-Michael Holczer has said that whatever new model is formed in place of the ProTour must have the UCI on board. After the teams made their announcement on the Tour de France's first rest day in Pau, there were suggestions that the new group would be an alliance between the teams and the three Grand Tour organisers, leaving the UCI out in the cold.

    Tuesday's meeting in the Pyrenees was the fourth of its kind in the past two months, following three others in June before the Tour began. The teams initially met in Frankfurt on June 4, followed by two further meetings in Brussels on June 18 and June 30.

    "I gave a presentation about the situation and tried to find a common position," said Holczer of the Frankfurt meeting. "I am not a chairman, I am not the one who is pushing it, I am just the one who brought the 18 [ProTour] teams together in Frankfurt.

    "We found out that we could have a common position and we came up with a model for continuing the ProTour," he added. "We invited the ASO [Tour de France organisers Amaury Sport Organisation] and ProTour to a meeting on the 18th in Brussels. We wanted to have them both, but it did not work. However, we gave the UCI the same presentation on the 30th.

    "We found an agreement with the organisers and we are working on finding a common position with the UCI, because all the teams are 100 percent convinced that the UCI has to be in the system and that we need a federation in the system - we need a federal element in the system. No one is leaving the UCI, but the only thing is that we did inform the UCI that the 18 teams are not applying for ProTour licenses next year."

    The group attending the Pau meeting sent a letter to the UCI making clear its collective decision to abandon the ProTour. The UCI has replied...

  • Riccó indicted, returned to Italy

    French Gendarmerie drag Riccardo Riccò
    Article published:
    July 19, 2008, 0:00 BST
    By:
    Gregor Brown in Nîmes

    After spending the night in the police station, Italian Riccardo Riccó was indicted on charges of...

    Medical equipment found in his hotel

    After spending the night in the police station, Italian Riccardo Riccó was indicted on charges of "use of poisonous substances" in a court in Foix, France, Friday and then escorted to the Italian border where he was met by his mother and girlfriend. Riccó was removed from the Tour de France before stage 12 on Thursday after receiving news that he had tested positive for EPO in a control taken after stage four in Cholet.

    Riccó has asked for the counter-analysis of his sample to be performed, and if the result is confirmed, he could face up to two years jail time and fines on top of possible sporting sanctions.

    "I'm very bitter. I spent a night in the police station and it was like being in prison," Riccó told RAI television. "The magistrate listened to what I had to say. They searched my bags but only found some vitamins that we all use and so they decided to let me go home."

    In court, Riccó denied using EPO, but refused to answer the question for the Italian television reporter, saying that he would hire a lawyer and begin his defense in the coming days. He also dismissed his being fired by the team as a normal procedure. "It's the standard routine of the teams, that's what they have to do. I'm going to ask for the counter-analysis and then we'll see."

    Riccó's statements were contrary to the prosecutor, Antoine Leroy's testimony that medical supplies including syringes and equipment for intrevenous drips were found, but were unused, in his hotel room. According to AFP, the prosecutor said in the first searches, "there were no doping substances as such" found.

    The Italian's 'non-negative' doping test for the banned blood booster EPO resulted in him being fired from his Saunier Duval-Scott...

  • Cavendish unstoppable in fourth stage victory

    Mark Cavendish (Team Columbia)
    Article published:
    July 19, 2008, 0:00 BST
    By:
    Brecht Decaluwé in Nîmes

    By Brecht Decaluwé in Nîmes 23-year-old Mark Cavendish proved once again that he is the fastest...

    Equals feat of Cipollini, Petacchi

    By Brecht Decaluwé in Nîmes

    23-year-old Mark Cavendish proved once again that he is the fastest sprinter of the peloton on Friday by taking his fourth Tour de France stage win in Nîmes. The Team Columbia rider now brought himself equal with great sprinters like Mario Cipollini and Alessandro Petacchi in the number of stage wins in a single Tour. In the past 20 years, only Lance Armstrong has won more stages (five, 2004).

    Cavendish's feat is all the more remarkable given the small number of stages in this year's Tour which were suited for the sprinters. In fact, the only bunch sprint where the British rider lost was on stage two, when Thor Hushovd won, and Cavendish finished 27th. Even that finish in Saint Brieuc was more suited to his team-mate Kim Kirchen, who took second, thanks to a tough little uphill before the line.

    It is clear that on a pure sprinters' stage, Cavendish is practically unstoppable. Cavendish explained after the finish line that the other sprinters feel as if he's taking the bread out of their mouths. "Today there was a joke going through the peloton about it. I received text messages from the other sports directors asking me why I'm doing this," Cavendish laughed.

    "It's unfortunate for the other guys that I have to do my job. But at the end of the day I've won four stages and I'm still not in the green jersey. It just shows that I'm winning while the other guys are being a bit more consistent than me," Cavendish said.

    Continue to the full feature.