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First Edition Cycling News, June 22, 2009

Date published:
June 22, 2009, 1:00 BST
  • Pooley claims La Grand Boucle

    Emma Pooley
    Article published:
    June 21, 2009, 19:32 BST
    Daniel Simms

    Cervelo TestTeam one-two's the overall classification

    Briton Emma Pooley took home the overall classification in the Grande Boucle Féminine Internationale on Sunday after putting in a successful solo effort to claim the lead the previous day. The Cervelo TestTeam put in a strong performance to place two riders on the final podium with Christiane Soeder claiming second ahead of former world champion Marianne Vos.

    The final stage was won by Vos in a sprint between five riders. Soeder, the leader of the race after stage two, was second while another teammate, Regina Bruins, rolled in for fourth with Pooley on her wheel.

    "With the first climb of the day starting early in the stage at the 3 km mark, we gave it full power right from the start because we wanted to make the race hard right from the opening gun," said directeur sportif Manel Lacambra.

    "On the top of the mountain we had a group of five girls; Emma Pooley, Christiane Soeder, Regina Bruins, Marianne Vos (DSB Bank) and Maja Wloszczowska (Polish National Team). Vos tried to attack on the downhill but our girls controlled the race and chased her back.

    "The second mountain was very hard, with an average 15% gradient. But again we controlled the race and especially Vos right until the finish line. We knew that Vos was the fastest and today she took the stage, but we worked hard and Christiane earned second place and the Green Jersey. We've ended this tour with a great result, first and second in the overall, 3 stage wins, the Green Jersey and the Team Classification."

    "I'm very happy," said Emma Pooley. "It was a hard day, probably the hardest stage of the race because the team had to work to defend the Yellow Jersey.

    "The Grande Boucle is a really special race with a big history and I'm very happy to win it. Christiane and Regina were also really strong and could have won this race, but I am really happy with their support and really proud to be member of this team. My next goal will be the National...

  • Robic vs. Wyss in RAAM

    Article published:
    June 21, 2009, 19:51 BST
    Laura Weislo

    Team Type 1 pulls ahead in 8-person event

    Four days into the Race Across America, four-time winner and defending champion Jure Robič holds a relatively slim lead over Swiss rider Dani Wyss. Not to be confused with BMC professional Danilo Wyss, the RAAM competitor lags behind his Slovenian counterpart just under an hour behind Robic at the halfway point.

    With 1,500 miles of racing behind them, only 57 minutes separates the top two contenders in the men's solo division.


    In the eight-person division, Team Type 1 has taken the lead over Team ViaSat on the first day of racing in that category. The all-diabetic octet is averaging 26.74 mph to ViaSat's 25.58 mph.

  • Sastre to skip nationals

    Carlos Sastre (Cervélo TestTeam)
    Article published:
    June 21, 2009, 20:30 BST
    Laura Weislo

    Spaniard chooses to stay home with his family instead

    Defending Tour de France champion Carlos Sastre will skip participation in his national championships in order to rest at home before the Tour de France, he announced this weekend.

    The rider from Avila returned home Friday evening after spending five days reconnoitering the Alpine stages of the Tour. He had considered riding the championships as a final test before the French Grand Tour, but decided to spend more time with his family instead.

    Sastre's review of the mountain stages was satisfying. "It was a very important focus," said Sastre. "For me it has meant returning to training after the end of the Giro. We had a good time and we were able to get in quality training on route of the Alpine stages of the Tour."

  • Gilbert sprints to Ster Elektrotoer win

    Victory for Philippe Gilbert.
    Article published:
    June 21, 2009, 21:04 BST
    Daniel Simms

    Bonus seconds decide the overall as Terpstra falls to second

    Silence Lotto's Philippe Gilbert needed just one second to steal the overall victory in the Ster Elektrotoer from Milram's Niki Terpstra, but he took one more for good measure through intermediate sprint bonuses to secure the win on the final stage.

    Columbia-Highroad's André Greipel sprinted to his third stage win of the tour, ahead of Italian Danilo Napolitano (Katusha) and Roberto Ferrari (LPR Brakes).

    "It is the second stage race I've won" said Gilbert, a one-day race specialist who last won a multi-day race in 2004, the Paris - Corrèze, while racing for Française des Jeux.

    Gilbert took third in both intermediate sprints to edge out Terpstra in the overall classification. The two were tied on time coming into the final stage.

    "The tactic worked perfectly. We wanted to go for the bonus seconds, and were able to do so at the first intermediate sprint."

    "We tried everything to keep Niki Terpstra in the yellow jersey. The team was very strong. Unfortunately it wasn't enough in the end, and everything went against us,“ said Milram directeur sportif Ralf Grabsch. "Gilbert is a well-known rider and simply had the luck to pick up one second each at two intermediate sprints. Our team has nothing to blame itself for."

    Greipel confirmed himself as the dominant sprinter of the race, but Napolitano brought the final stage to a photo finish. The jury decided the win in favour of the German, who has won 10 out of 18 races so far this year after having his early season cut short by a crash in the Tour Down Under.

    “It’s often the way when riders have had a bad injury like André, when they come back they’re hungrier for the wins and at a better level than if they’d been racing for longer," said directeur sportif Allan Peiper.

  • Cancellara first Swiss since Zülle to win home tour

    Fabian Cancellara celebrates after taking the final TT and the overall Tour de Suisse.
    Article published:
    June 21, 2009, 21:23 BST
    Daniel Simms

    Spartacus returns to form ahead of Tour de France

    Saxo Bank's Fabian Cancellara became the first Swiss rider since Alex Zülle to win the Tour de Suisse overall when he powered away to the final stage win on Sunday.  He easily bettered his four-second deficit to Tadej Valjavec (AG2R) to seal the victory.

    Cancellara's dominating performance in the 39km time trial signalled the return to form of the former world champion in the discipline, who suffered from illness and injury over the first half of the season.

    Clad in his red skinsuit as Swiss time trial champion, Cancellara sped through the streets of Bern, crushing the hopes of Valjavec, who ended the day 3'45" in arrears.

    "It was a fantastic feeling to win on home ground today. I must admit that I had goose bumps on the course and I could clearly feel the support from the audience. When I started Tour de Suisse I had not dreamed of the possibility of the overall victory. But with the team's help and form that finally has arrived we managed anyway.

    "It has been a fantastic week for me and for the team. I would like to thank the team, the audience and the sponsors for their support and we could not wish for a better prelude to the Tour de France," said Cancellara.

    The nearest finisher was Tony Martin (Columbia-Highroad), who moved into second overall with his effort today, but was still 1'27" slower than the Swiss champion.

    Martin is one of Germany's most promising young riders.  He will head to the Tour de France to race for the best young rider's classification.

  • Steegmans given ultimatum on Katusha anti-doping charter

    Steegmans hasn't been as successful at Katusha as he was with Quick Step
    Article published:
    June 21, 2009, 21:25 BST
    Daniel Simms

    Belgian must sign by Monday, or no Tour de France

    Belgian Gert Steegmans has been given until Monday to sign the Katusha team's anti-doping agreement. The sprinter has so far refused to put his name to the document, which states that riders will give up five times their annual salary to the team if they test positive, La Dernier Heure reported Sunday.

    If he does not sign the document, he will forfeit his participation in the Tour de France.

    Several of the riders objected to the new contract, which was rolled out after Austrian Christian Pfannberger tested positive for EPO earlier this year. Riders had just voiced their objections when another from the team, Antonio Colom, was declared positive for EPO.

    Robbie McEwen was one of the riders to question at the document.  After having his lawyers review the deal, he signed his name stating emphatically that he is anti-doping.