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First Edition Cycling News, Monday, April 12, 2010

Date published:
April 12, 2010, 1:00 BST
  • Hushovd satisfied with second place at Paris-Roubaix

    Thor Hushovd (Cervelo) finishes just ahead of Juan Antonio Flecha (Sky)
    Article published:
    April 11, 2010, 20:25 BST
    Daniel Benson

    Cervélo captain concedes Cancellara the strongest

    After a Classics campaign hampered by illness, Thor Hushovd (Cervélo TestTeam) was pleased with his runner-up spot in Paris-Roubaix on Sunday. It capped a good day for Cervélo, which has struggled to emulate its success in the Classics 12 months ago.

    Today there was a turnaround, however, with three riders in the top 15 - Hushovd in second, Roger Hammond in fourth and Jeremy Hunt in 15th. The team was missing both Heinrich Haussler and Andreas Klier through injury.

    "Today I’m really happy because I had no chance against Cancellara after he attacked with 50 kilometres to go. I think all the group understood it wasn’t possible to get him back. That’s why I’m happy," Hushovd told Cyclingnews after he stepped down from the podium in Roubaix.

    Fabian Cancellara made his race winning attack near the Mons-en-Pévèle sector and despite having two teammates near him, Hushovd and his chase companions conceded defeat almost immediately. Leading into the final 20km the Norwegian counter attacked with Juan Antonio Flecha (Sky) and beat the Spaniard in a two-man sprint to round out the podium.

    "It was just a race for second place," Hushovd admitted. "The whole team did a really good job with Jeremy Hunt in front and Hammond up front too. Really good work today. I was really, really tired so I wanted to save as much as possible so I could win the sprint. It was a nice podium."

    Hushovd’s second place came after a less-than-stellar start to the season for the Norwegian and his Cervélo team as a whole. Teammates Heinrich Haussler and Andreas Klier were ruled out of the cobbled races with injury, while Hushovd himself has missed valuable racing and training in the last few weeks due to illness. At the start of E3 Prijs-Harelbeke he was vomiting and had to pull out.

    The team has still placed in several races, however. Dominique Rollin was fifth in...

  • Flecha secures Sky's spot on the Roubaix podium

    Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank) is congratulated by Juan Antonio Flecha (Sky)
    Article published:
    April 11, 2010, 20:38 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    Sunderland praises team's debut effort at the 'Queen of the Classics'

    Everyone from Team Sky, including special guest James Murdoch, cheered Juan Antonio Flecha as he entered the velodrome with Thor Hushovd (Cervélo TestTeam) to fight for the places on the podium. For a few moments they hoped he could perhaps take second behind Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank), but in the final metres of the final lap of the circuit Hushovd dived down the banking and snatched it from him in the sprint.

    Yet Flecha was still happy with third and after a just few moments of reflection, so was everyone at Team Sky. It was the team's first podium place in one of cycling's big five 'Monuments' and an indication the quality and ability of the British team, despite only being a few months old.

    Flecha is one of the nice guys in the peloton. On the podium in the centre of the Roubaix velodrome, he seemed as happy for Cancellara as he was for himself.

    "I'm happy with my ride because I was on the podium again. I worked the hardest in the finale, but Hushovd said he had cramps. He beat me in the sprint but it's not that important. Second or third is still a good result. And I'll be back next year to try again," he said.

    "I'm really happy for myself and I'm really happy for Fabian. We raced together at Fassa Bortolo and we're good friends. Winning Flanders and Roubaix is something really special."

    "He was the strongest and the one who took the biggest risk by going so far out. Not many people can do what he did. You need balls to do that and Fabian has got them."

    Sunderland proud of Team Sky's podium spot

    Team Sky directeur sportif Scott Sunderland won Paris-Roubaix with Fabian Cancellara and Stuart O'Grady during his tenure as a director at Team CSC. But he was equally as satisfied to have played a key part in Flecha's third place in this year's race. He directed the Team Sky riders from the team car and was rightly proud of the team's result on the pavé.


  • Knaven rides into the record books at Roubaix

    Servais Knaven (Team Milram).
    Article published:
    April 11, 2010, 20:52 BST
    Daniel Benson

    Milram rider completes his 16th trip through 'The Hell of the North'

    Servais Knaven (Milram) created history on Sunday at Paris-Roubaix as he equalled the record set by Belgian Raymond Impanis by completing his sixteenth edition of the famous cobbled Classic.

    The Dutchman, who won the race in 2001, finished in 43rd position, 12:47 down on winner Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank), but in doing so added to his tally of sixteen participations without a single abandonment.

    Regardless of the time difference to Cancellara, his finish was enough to seal his place in the history books and as he crossed the line he received a warm reception from his Milram colleagues who filmed his arrival on the velodrome.

    "I’m happy now," he told Cyclingnews afterwards. "It was a hard day with the headwind. We had a lot of headwind in the start and then cobbles and the cross wind."

    The 39-year-old first competed in the race in 1995 as a second-year professional with TVM and won the race with Domo – Farm Frites while riding as a domestique for Johan Museeuw.

    "A lot has been going on in my head in the last few days but I wanted to finish. Maybe if I was little bit more focused for a result I could have been there for a result," he added.

    "Last week I was saying it was important that I did a good race but then in the last few days so many people started talking about the record that I realised how nice it would be to finish the 16th time. It was a real goal for me."

    Knaven’s Milram team are set to leave the sport at the end of 2010 and as yet the Dutchman is without a contract for next year, but he wouldn't rule out another Roubaix finish next year at the grand old age of 40.

    However, today was about celebrating and not contractual talk as the former winner reminisced about his first time at the race.

    "The first time I came here I was really nervous. I was thinking to myself, ‘can I do it or not?’ but since then it has become one of my main...

  • Garmin-Transitions' Roubaix wrecked by crashes

    Tyler Farrar is one of Garmin's four team leaders
    Article published:
    April 11, 2010, 21:04 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    Farrar still satisfied after best ever spring campaign

    Tyler Farrar's Garmin-Transitions team was one of the first teams to depart Roubaix on Sunday and head back to the hotel in Belgium that they call home during the cobbled Classics.

    The affable guys in argyle were just happy the race was over after several crashes at crucial points along the route wrecked their race and left Tyler Farrar, David Millar, Martijn Maaskant and Johan Vansummeren out of contention.

    Danny Pate tweeted that only he and Steve Cozza didn't crash somewhere in the race, indicating the tough day the team had faced.

    Maaskant was best placed rider for Garmin-Transitions in 22nd place, 7:05 behind Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank). Farrar finished 84th, in a group of riders at 22:57, but he was declared outside the official time limit. Everybody else in the team was amongst the 85 riders that abandoned sometime during the race.

    Farrar crashed just before the Arenberg Forest section of pavé, as the peloton fought for the key positions at the front.

    "That was just about the worst place to crash and my race was over after that," he said to Cyclingnews.

    "I wasn't hurt, but I had to take a bike change. I tried to chase back but it was impossible. That's why you have to be in the first 20 at the Forest if you want to be in the race. And I was two minutes down with a bike change."

    "We just weren't lucky this time. I think Dave's first real Roubaix was perhaps a bit of a shock for him. Martijn crashed, Johan crashed too, so things didn’t go our way."

    Farrar was disappointed to end his spring on a low but was happy with his form in recent weeks and especially his win at last Wednesday's Scheldeprijs.

    "Yeah, it's disappointing because it's a race we were targeting, but the Spring as a whole has been a huge success for me and for the team. It would have been nice to end on a positive note, but we're pretty happy."

  • Hoste's love-hate relationship with Roubaix continues

    Leif Hoste (Omega Pharma-Lotto) earns eighth place at this year's Paris-Roubaix.
    Article published:
    April 12, 2010, 0:41 BST
    Brecht Decaluwé

    Belgian's hopes of a result burst by late-race puncture

    Leif Hoste (Omega Pharma-Lotto) continued his love-hate relationship with Paris-Roubaix in France on Sunday. The Belgian tends to get the best out of himself during 'the Queen of the Classics', but often bad luck has kept him from a podium spot or even victory.

    This year Hoste was again part of the lead group and had anticipated Fabian Cancellara's (Saxo Bank) race winning move before he eventually punctured out of the main chase group. After crossing the line at the Roubaix velodrome in eighth, 5:16 after Cancellara, Hoste sat down, displaying the signs of a crash on his hand.

    "That's nothing," he said of the injury. "I rode the race I wanted to race until that flat tyre. It was probably still more than 20 kilometres from the finish. It happened on the sector where Juan Antonio Flecha attacked. It's the same stretch where I had that flag in my wheel in 2004.

    "I'd been struggling for 20 kilometres,” he continued. “It was very hard. I was on my own for such a long time, battling the wind. I was in a lot of pain but it all seems so unimportant compared to what my team-mate Wilfried Cretskens is going through. His sister died last night and when you think about that then all that suffering pails into insignificance.”

    Some 20 kilometres before his flat tyre, Hoste had been witness to Cancellara's attack. The Swiss champion bridged up Hoste’s group, but he didn't stay there for long.

    "I tried to anticipate. When Cancellara came I rode my own tempo as there wasn't much we could do against him. I didn't see him for a long time. Last week it was already clear that he's flying," Hoste said. "As a team we were there. We rode a good attacking race. Greg Van Avermaet punctured too. Jurgen Roelandts was there and also flatted at the worst moment. That's Paris-Roubaix I guess."

    In 2004 Hoste launched an acceleration that could have been the winning move, but he was taken down by a Flemish lion flag that...

  • Devolder's unlucky run continues at Roubaix

    Stijn Devolder finishes
    Article published:
    April 12, 2010, 1:24 BST
    Brecht Decaluwé

    Belgian injures knee in crash, ready to re-focus

    While Quick Step's Tom Boonen missed out on a much hoped for fourth victory at Paris-Roubaix on Sunday, his team-mate Stijn Devolder was forced to contend with yet another day of bad luck at the 2010 Classics.

    Devolder crashed and punctured twice, continuing his disappointing run at the Spring Classics this season. His second crash resulted in a contusion and a haematoma on his left knee. Since the crashes happened long before the finale had started Devolder faced a constant battle to chase back towards the front of the race.

    Devolder didn't give up and came close on returning to the lead group, where Boonen was busy firing his ultimately unsuccessful attacks. "Ah, that didn't matter. I've never had the chance to get in the race. It's frustrating if you have the legs but you can't do anything with them. Especially because I've been so bad during the start of the season," Devolder said.

    The 30-year-old Belgian eventually finished the race in 42nd position, 12:44 behind winner Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank). Right after the race Devolder was guided to the doping control room by International Cycling Union chaperones, but eventually he limped out towards the team car.

    "My knee is seriously damaged. I went to see the doctor a couple of times but their treatment didn't help. Normally I would be riding the Brabantse Pijl, but we'll have to see how the injury develops," he said.

    "It's too bad because I'm back at the level I want to be. I have to keep working and one day luck will come my way. Hopefully I'll have a good summer or autumn," Devolder concluded, before leaving the velodrome complex in Roubaix.

  • Polish riders mourn President's death at Tour of Turkey

    Maciej Bodnar (Liquigas)
    Article published:
    April 12, 2010, 2:56 BST
    Jean-François Quénet

    Liquigas' Bodnar skips podium presentation as mark of respect

    Polish time trial national champion Maciej Bodnar (Liquigas) finished third in the individual time trial opener at the Presidential Tour of Turkey in Istanbul on Sunday but missed the podium presentation as a mark of respect for the Polish President, Lech Kaczynski, who was killed in a plane crash.

    Bodnar's absence meant HTC-Columbia riders - stage winner Andre Greipel and second placed Tejay van Garderen - were the only two athletes at the ceremony. Bodnar didn’t want to take part in any kind of celebration in the wake of Kaczynski's death in a plane crash in western Russia on Saturday.

    To pay tribute, all Polish riders engaged in the Tour of Turkey wore a black arm band during the stage. Bodnar and Maciej Paterski from Liquigas, plus the eight riders from the Polish CCC Polsat team.

    "We’re all devastated," said CCC Polsat team manager Piotr Wadecki. Some of them made their way to Turkey the day before the accident, while others learnt the news as they arrived in Istanbul.

    Bodnar’s elder brother Lukasz was the second best Polish rider in the prologue in Istanbul, finishing in 43rd position.

    It's unlikely that UCI commissaires will apply any fine to Bodnar for missing the presentation.

  • Haussler training pain-free again

    Heinrich Haussler (Cervelo) dropped out with a knee problem.
    Article published:
    April 12, 2010, 8:59 BST
    Cycling News

    Cervélo rider slowly coming back from injury

    German rider Heinrich Haussler has indicated that he is back in the saddle after his crash in Paris-Nice last month, where he was forced to drop out of the race. The Cervélo star had to undergo "a lot of therapy, up to eight hours a day", but now announced that his knee injury seems to be healed completely.

    "I can sit on the bike again without pain and started training again yesterday," Haussler wrote on his personal website at the end of last week. "My first ride around Freiburg lasted two hours. Fabian Wegmann, who has started training again after his crash in Tirreno-Adriatico, accompanied me. I had no pain at all during the ride."

    The Classics contender, who had to skip the legendary Spring races because of his accident, will now focus on the Tour de France. "I know that now I can start fully training again and can concentrate on the upcoming races. I especially want to be ready for the Tour de France and be in top form there, like I was last year," added Haussler, who won a stage at the French Grand Tour in 2009.

    Follow Haussler's return from injury on his Cyclingnews blog.