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First Edition Cycling News, July 6, 2008

Date published:
July 06, 2008, 1:00 BST
  • Even more great moments from previous Tours de France

    Article published:
    July 06, 2008, 0:00 BST
    By:
    Shane Stokes

    In our third installment of clips from the archives of the Tour de France, today we go from the...

    In our third installment of clips from the archives of the Tour de France, today we go from the mountains to the suffering of the thousands of cyclists who participate each year in the L'Etape de Tour, as well as looking at how riders relieve the tension and drama by clowning around when they get the chance.

    Cyclingnews will be presenting video highlights of every stage just after the stage finish. The video clips are being sourced from the Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO), the owners of the Tour de France, using footage provided by the host broadcaster. But before the 2008 Tour rolls out tomorrow, here are another four clips from the vault.

    The first clip of today's batch reviews the famous climbs of the Tour de France; those brutal, long and beautiful peaks that always create the final selection in every year of the Tour. This clip looks at the history of these climbs, such as the Col du Galibier and Mont Ventoux, the 'Giant of Provence' as it's known.

    The next clip we offer today is a feature on the L'Etape de Tour, that special event that's been held since the mid '90s where thousands of 'regular' cyclists test themselves by riding a complete stage of the Tour, with the roads closed to traffic for the day.

    The third new clip looks at the drama of the Tour. Called 'Le Soap Opera', this feature reviews the whole range of emotions on display as riders push themselves beyond their...

  • USWCDP hands out more bikes

    Alicia Pastore proudly displays her new bikes
    Article published:
    July 06, 2008, 0:00 BST
    By:
    Shane Stokes

    The US Women's Cycling Development Program (USWCDP), in partnership with bike manufacturer Giant for...

    The US Women's Cycling Development Program (USWCDP), in partnership with bike manufacturer Giant for Women, has handed out two more of its scholarship bikes to promising American youngster Alicia Pastore. The rider from Durango, Colorado has been competing in road and mountain bike events in the junior expert division and was also a top nordic skier competing at the Junior Olympics.

    Michael Engleman, director of the USWCDP, had this to say about the recent scholarship: "As the USWCDP network has grown we have seen the value in not just finding young talent and helping to develop their athletic potential, but also to promote the stories of these women in all their endeavours. These athletes will stand on a lot of podiums and they will have all sorts of company logos on their jerseys when they do but they will also run companies and contribute to the success of many a cause.

    "Alicia and the rest of the Pastore family is a perfect example of the sort of team it takes to create valuable citizens of the world as well as world class athletes."

    The relationship between the program and Giant for Women is something the two are looking to develop even further for future riders. "Giant for Women is thrilled to be able to support and partner with the USWCDP," said the company's manager Tiffany Brown. "Both of our programs are about giving women more opportunities, education, and assistance, whether they are just starting to ride, or like Alicia, developing into world-class riders. We are looking forward to helping develop a whole new generation of racers."

    For more information on the USWCDP visit www.uswcdp.org

  • Irish Paralympic team for Beijing 2008 announced

    Article published:
    July 06, 2008, 0:00 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    By Shane Stokes Four cyclists and two sighted pilot riders have been confirmed as travelling to...

    By Shane Stokes

    Four cyclists and two sighted pilot riders have been confirmed as travelling to Beijing to contest the 2008 Paralympic Games there. Locomotor Disorder (Arm amputee) rider Cathal Miller, Cerebral Palsy rider Enda Smyth, and visually impaired competitors Michael Delaney and Catherine Walsh will fly to China prior to the September sixth start, with David Peelo and Joanna Hickey joining up with the latter two for their tandem races.

    The Irish Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism Mr. Martin Cullen spoke at the announcement held on Thursday, which confirmed the 45 athletes on the Irish team. He congratulated their selection, saying that, "very few of us get the opportunity to represent our country on the International stage. It's a tremendous honour that the athletes, their families and friends should be very proud of. I have no doubt that they will be great ambassadors for our country."

    In addition to the four cyclists and two pilot riders, this comprises ten track and field athletes, one archer, four Boccia players, twelve footballers, six swimmers, five sailors, two table tennis players, and one dressage rider.

    The Irish cyclists will be sponsored by An Post, which also backs the An Post M. Donnelly Grant Thornton Sean Kelly team plus the green jersey competition in the Tour of Ireland.

  • Mark Renshaw: Building his career as a lead-out man

    A pre-ride cappuccino for Mark Renshaw in Monaco.
    Article published:
    July 06, 2008, 0:00 BST
    By:
    Shane Stokes

    Among the rookies at this year's Tour de France, Mark Renshaw will be a name to watch. The 25...

    Among the rookies at this year's Tour de France, Mark Renshaw will be a name to watch. The 25 year-old Australian could have a direct impact on the results sheet in his new role as lead-out man for Thor Hushovd. Cyclingnews' Jean-François Quénet caught up with him in Monaco as he completed his training on the French Riviera.

    Now in his fifth year as a professional and third at Crédit Agricole, Mark Renshaw has finally received the call up to the world's biggest bike race. Had that call not come this year, the rider who learnt his trade with Bradley McGee at Française des Jeux says he may have quit the sport he's been devoted to since the age of nine. His selection process inside the French team started back in October last year, two days before Paris-Tours, when Crédit Agricole held its gathering to prepare for the following season.

    Just as fellow French squad Cofidis developed Sylvain Chavanel for the Belgian classics after losing some of its specialists, Crédit Agricole looked inside its own ranks for a successor to Julian Dean. The New Zealander's departure for Slipstream (now Garmin) had left a vacancy for a lead-out man for Thor Hushovd, a role in which the Norwegian had previously described Dean as the best in the world.

    "I sat down with Thor and I told him that I definitely thought I had the power to do it," explained Renshaw, while sitting on a terrace in Monaco near to his French home. Before accepting his new role, the former track cycling star from Bathurst in New South Wales had just been one more fast guy on the B program of Crédit Agricole, looking for secondary success at the minor races. What's more, his performances in Europe had showcased little of the speed that had made him famous in the southern hemisphere.

    "After that meeting I changed things and became a lead-out man," Renshaw continued. "We needed a bit of racing together. Once it happened, we matched...

  • Crash spoils the fun for some in Brittany

    Mauricio Soler (Barloworld)
    Article published:
    July 06, 2008, 0:00 BST
    By:
    Brecht Decaluwé in Plumelec

    By Brecht Decaluwé in Plumelec The riders and managers predicted a nervous and dangerous first stage...

    By Brecht Decaluwé in Plumelec

    The riders and managers predicted a nervous and dangerous first stage of the Tour, and for an unfortunate few, the fears proved to be true. On the twisty, hilly 197.5 kilometre route from Brest to Plumelec, Mid-way through the stage, Hervé Duclos-Lassalle, son of double Paris-Roubaix winner Gilbert, became the first rider to abandon this year's event after he got tangled up in the feed zone and broke his wrist. The French rider was transported to the hospital in Lorient for treatment.

    Last year's polka dot jersey winner Mauricio Soler (Barloworld) and Silence Lotto's main lieutenant Yaroslav Popovych were the two of the biggest names who were caught up in separate crashes, but both riders could continue their race.

    The bad luck for the team of Cadel Evans was doubled when Johan Vansummeren suffered a frightening run-in with a team car. The Belgian was chasing back through the following cars when the crash of Duclos-Lassalle caused the convoy to slow suddenly. Vansummeren, who was drafting behind the Columbia team car crashed into the rear window, but luckily wasn't seriously injured.

    Team Columbia director sportif Rolf Aldag was in the car when it happened, and he expressed he had a bit of a fright. "We were returning to the front, but as we arrived there we had to brake and I guess Vansummeren hadn't seen that. I'm happy he isn't injured, because it could've been much worse. During the second half of the race it felt like we were driving a convertible," Aldag referred to the draught that was caused by the broken rear window.

    Vansummeren was able to return to the peloton after the crash and finished in the grupetto, two minutes behind stage winner Alejandro Valverde. "I was just returning to the peloton when that car suddenly braked, which I didn't notice. Luckily I could turn away and crashed sideways into the rear...

  • Valverde seizes the yellow

    Will he defend it
    Article published:
    July 06, 2008, 0:00 BST
    By:
    Brecht Decaluwé in Plumelec

    By Brecht Decaluwé in Plumelec On the opening stage of the Tour de France, Spanish champion...

    By Brecht Decaluwé in Plumelec

    On the opening stage of the Tour de France, Spanish champion Alejandro Valverde displayed the kind of riding which won him three Ardennes Classics in recent years, gave him his second career Tour stage win and, most importantly, the first yellow jersey of the Tour. With that feat, the Caisse d'Epargne rider gave a seamless transition of the yellow jersey from one Spaniard, last year's winner Alberto Contador, to another.

    Valverde had already shown twice in Liège-Bastogne-Liège (2006 and 2008), and once in La Flèche Wallonne (2006) that he packs a powerful uphill sprint, and on the two kilometre-long grade averaging 6.2% towards Plumelec, the 'Prince of Spain' showed the other general classification contenders that he is on top form. He was the only rider who could hold the wheel of this year's Flèche Wallonne winner Kim Kirchen, and in the final metres he blasted away towards the victory. Along with the yellow jersey, he also snuck in a one second advantage on Cadel Evans, and seven seconds on some other general classification contenders.

    "I'm in deliriously happy," Valverde reacted after crossing the line. "I dedicate this victory to all the fans that supported me all these years. I also want to thank the general cycling fans along the road. Some aren't the greatest specialists, but they show up because they love cycling as a whole," Valverde said.

    The Spanish champion realized that he hasn't won the Tour de France yet, although he did gave his adversaries a mental knock. "I found a finale that suited me perfectly, so no, this shouldn't be...