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First Edition Cycling News, Monday, August 12, 2013

Date published:
August 12, 2013, 1:00 BST
  • Orica-GreenEdge hit Eneco Tour with versatile squad

    Eight-time Canadian time trial champion Svein Tuft (Orica-GreenEdge) with a solid effort against the clock
    Article published:
    August 11, 2013, 12:54 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Tuft, Impey and Keukeleire start

    Australian outfit Orica-GreenEdge will be looking to take their recent good form to the Eneco Tour, which starts on Monday.

    The WorldTour team has won five races already this month with success on both sides of the Atlantic.

    Eneco has been a happy hunting ground for the team. Last year Svein Tuft won the individual time trial, the team picked up the team time trial, and the squad occupied three positions inside the top ten overall.

    “Last year was very successful for us, with the incredible week that Svein had,” said sport director Laurenzo Lapage. “As a director, winning the team time trial in particular was a very special moment for me to be involved in.”

    While there’s no team time trial this time around, Tuft does return. He will be joined by Tour de France yellow jersey Daryl Impey and want-away Classics specialist Sebastian Langeveld, who confirmed this week that he will leave the team at the end of the season.

    Jens Keukeleire, who has won two stages at the Tour of Burgos this week, and Pieter Weening, fresh from his Tour of Poland win, also line up.

    “With the team we have selected, we have many different cards to play,” said Lapage. “We will start without a real leader, and day by day we will formulate a plan. Starting the individual time trial with a few riders in good overall positions is important to that plan.”

    “If we look through the roster, you can see that we have a strong team with many options,” said Lapage. “Coming off the Tour de France, we have Daryl Impey and Svein Tuft. Daryl is a real team rider, and he could produce a surprise overall result, depending on his recovery from the Tour. Jens [Mouris] and Svein are always important additions to any team, especially these tough...

  • RadioShack confident Horner can win Tour of Utah overall

    Tom Danielson, Chris Horner and Yannick Eijssen on the podium
    Article published:
    August 11, 2013, 14:45 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    American leads with one stage remaining

    Despite being out with injury for most of the season, RadioShack’s Chris Horner returned to the front line to win the queen stage of the Tour of Utah on Saturday. The 41-year-old now leads the race ahead of Tom Danielson (Garmin-Sharp), although the two could not be separated on time.

    With one demanding stage to come, RadioShack are confident that they can complete the job and ensure that Horner wins his first stage race since the 2011 Tour of California.

    “I am confident,” said team director Kim Andersen. “We have the best team here.”

    The American team are currently leading the teams’ classification and have four riders within the top seven places overall. Danielson remains the biggest threat, but at the finish of stage 5, Horner was pleased to have made such a rapid comeback after a long lay off.

    “This is more than I expected. Utah is my first race in five months. The knee is 100 per cent – it’s recovered. As soon as I knew I would miss the Tour de France, I knew Utah would be my next objective. Honestly I came here a little bit under-trained but with the few days of racing, I was able to get a little more training in and it worked out really good. I expected to be good after Utah, but I am already thinking I’m not so bad."

    “Of course I feel bad, but all riders do at high altitude. In all honesty, Tommy D. was a little bit better than me on the climb, but I had an awesome team and I was able to take the win.”

    The race concludes on Sunday with a 78-mile route through the climbs of Wolf Creek Ranch, Empire Pass and Heber Valley.

     

  • BMC look to replace Lelangue but Pinotti's future unclear

    BMC's Jim Ochowicz and Cadel Evans before the start
    Article published:
    August 11, 2013, 16:55 BST
    By:
    Daniel Benson

    Julich hired full time as Ochowicz tries to strengthen team

    Following the surprise departure of John Lelangue BMC has been busy in the market, recruiting staff both on and off the bike. The American team has confirmed to Cyclingnews that Bobby Julich has joined the team full time as a trainer and that they’re still on the look-out for another sports director.

    In terms of the rider roster, they have signed Peter Velits but General Manager Jim Ochowicz has confirmed that they are still looking to recruit more riders for 2014, while the future of Marco Pinotti’s place on the team looks to be in the balance.

    The departure of Lelangue, coming less than 24 hours after the Tour de France, came as somewhat of a surprise. Rumblings of discontent had been rumoured during the Tour, but Ochowicz declined to confirm any such speculation, only wishing Lelangue luck for the future.

    The departure of Lelangue has left the team short of directors, a matter reinforced after Max Sciandri broke his arm at the end of July. It has meant that Allan Peiper has had to take over responsibilities in the team car.

    “Temporarily Alan Peiper is filling is as a DS for us. John left after the Tour, but we also have Sciandri down as he broke his arm. He’s had surgery but he’s not been able to be DS since after the Tour,” Ochowicz told Cyclingnews.

    “We’re not commenting on it,” Ochowicz said when asked further about Lelangue’s departure.

    “John decided that it was time to try something else. Those things happen in sport and we wish him luck. He’s a very capable person, and he’s been around the sport for many years and in a number of different capacities. Again we wish him luck in whatever his next venture is.”

    When asked if the decision to leave the...

  • Wiggins backs Froome to lead Sky at Tour de France in 2014

    Bradley Wiggins smiles for the cameras
    Article published:
    August 11, 2013, 21:09 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    British rider builds up for Tour of Britain and Worlds

    Bradley Wiggins has backed teammate Chris Froome to return to the Tour de France next year and lead Team Sky. Froome won the event this year, 12 months after Wiggins had become the first British rider to win the biggest event within the sport.

    “If anything, it makes it his place now. I think he has earned the right to lead the team again next year and do it all again,” Wiggins told The Daily Mail. “I would have loved to have been there and done a job, but it wasn't to be. Maybe that is next year.”

    Wiggins missed this year’s Tour due to injury. He had lined up as a favourite for the Giro d’Italia in May but cracked in the first week and pulled out eventually due to illness. He lost his battle to regain his form and fitness for July and missed out on selection for the Tour.

    “At the time, it was very frustrating and disappointing, but not going to the Tour was probably the best thing that has happened to me.”

    “In some ways it has been a bit of a wake-up call, a realisation. You are reminded things can't go well all the time. When you know the bad points, you really appreciate the good times."

    Since returning to the spotlight, Wiggins has found some form, wining the time trial at the Tour of Poland in his quest to peak for the world championships in September.

    “But I'm really good now, I'm back to where I was back in May,” he said. “It is all looking good for the next couple of months - Tour of Britain, world championships.”

    Despite the growing popularity of cycling, especially...

  • Poland proves to be a breakthrough for Von Hoff

    Steele Von Hoff (Garmin-Sharp) was third on the stage
    Article published:
    August 12, 2013, 1:15 BST
    By:
    Jono Lovelock

    Garmin Sharp sprinter earning respect in the bunch

    Steele Von Hoff (Garmin Sharp) sprinter recently came close to cracking that first WorldTour victory with two podium finishes at the Tour de Pologne. Von Hoff actually won the Stage 4 bunch sprint but was denied the win thanks to a herculean effort by Taylor Phinney (BMC) to escape and claim a solo victory. Nevertheless, Von Hoff was optimistic rather than jaded about coming so close, yet remaining so far.

    "I was really happy with how everything went," said Von Hoff. "I think I got a little bit of respect from a few of the other teams so hopefully it'll just start getting easier, people will start wanting my wheel instead of just wanting me off the wheel that I'm on."

    The Polish Tour started with two very hilly stages in Italy and for Von Hoff, it was victory enough just getting to the start of the sprint stages.

    "I've never done hills like that before! We didn't live too far away from the Pyrenees in Toulouse last year [with the Chipotle development team] but that was just next level," said Von Hoff. "We were climbing 4000m a day! And it was just brutal and I'm just not built for that! I was just trying hold gruppetto and that was a struggle for me. I was getting helped by a few people, and Leigh [Howard] was quite motivation saying 'once this is over it's going to be a lot better, so you've just got to struggle through'. So that was good. But I was just exhausted after that day, so I was just so thankful that there was a rest day on day three which is unheard of in a seven-day tour. But I really needed it!"

    Von Hoff was one of the few riders to celebrate the early rest day, and in regards to the laborious transfers following stage two in order to get riders to Poland, it's fair to say he wasn't too fussed

    "It...

  • Boom chasing a repeat win at Eneco Tour

    Lars Boom (Belkin)
    Article published:
    August 12, 2013, 3:06 BST
    By:
    José Been

    Dual objectives for Belkin this week

    Last year it was Lars Boom who took the overall victory at the Eneco Tour on the final day on the Muur of Geraadsbergen. This year, the 27-year-old Dutch Belkin rider has made a major goal of the WorldTour stage race through Belgium and the Netherlands.

    "It's going to be a hard race this week," Boom told Cyclingnews. "The first stages are flat but the wind on the Belgian coast may play a very important role."

    This July Belkin Procycling played a pivotal role in the Tour de France stage to Saint Armand Montrond where, as echelons formed in the gusty conditions, Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) lost 10 minutes and Bauke Mollema rose to the second place in the overall classification. Lars Boom was part of that Tour de France team.

    "Our team here is strong enough, just like it was in France," he said. "We make the race together and are really willing to work for each other. If the first stages result in echelons we know what to do but we also have got a sprinter's team. Normally they won't surprise me with echelons but I also need the legs to stay at the front."

    After the Tour de France where Boom worked in support of team captains Mollema and Laurens ten Dam, he took some time off.

    "I spent time with my girlfriend Niké and our daughter Kee," he explained. "I also rode some post-Tour criteriums and tried to rest as much as possible. Then I started training again to rebuild my form towards this race."

    Belkin has a team with two objectives in the Eneco Tour. With Theo Bos, Graeme Brown and Mark Renshaw the team takes a strong sprint train to the start in Koksijde. For the overall classification the Dutch outfit presents two captains: Boom and Wilco Kelderman.

    The young Dutchman Kelderman won his first...

  • Matthews wins sprint jersey at Tour of Utah

    Michael Matthews (Orica-GreenEdge) led up the first part of the final climb.
    Article published:
    August 12, 2013, 7:14 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Orica-GreenEdge sprinter left ruing missed stage win

    Michael Matthews capped off his successful week at the Tour of Utah by claiming the overall sprint jersey in addition to the two stage wins he already had to his name. Starting the final stage just three points shy of overnight leader Greg Van Avermaet (BMC), Matthews took matters into his own hands by bridging to the early break and taking out both intermediate sprints on the stage.

    "We thought there was a good chance the bunch would still be together for the first intermediate sprint," noted Orica-GreenEdge director Matt Wilson. "The break went earlier than we anticipated but Matthews managed to get himself across with Cookie ."

    "The first sprint was 32km into the race," explained Matthews. "If I won the sprint and Greg didn't get any points, I'd move into the lead. I saw an opportunity to go across to the break with a couple of riders. I made it to the break, and I won the first sprint from there. I think we took BMC by surprise a little bit when I got into the move."

    The category one climbs of Wolf Creek Ranch and hors category Empire Pass awaited as the bunch started to close in on the break. Matthews decided things were getting a little close for comfort so the Australian rider took hold of the break, ensuring they would stay away so he could win the second intermediate sprint.

    "I knew I had the jersey as long as Greg didn't beat me in the second sprint or take points at the finish," said Matthews. "I got a bit stressed after the first sprint when the time started to come down between the breakaway and the bunch. I was a little worried the advantage would get small enough that Greg could jump across, so I pushed the breakaway to consolidate our gap before the second intermediate sprint. In hindsight, I probably should have saved...

  • CAS to hear on Contador's UCI points next week

    Alberto Contador suffered on the climb to Annecy-Semnoz
    Article published:
    August 12, 2013, 9:59 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Three-day hearing for Sinkewitz HGH doping charges scheduled

    The Court of Arbitration for Sport will hear Bjarne Riis' appeal on the UCI's decision not to count any WorldTour points won by Alberto Contador. The hearing has been scheduled for August 19. The court also announced that it will hear the German National Anti-Doping Agency's appeal of the dismissal of doping charges against Patrik Sinkewitz.

    The first case stems from Contador's suspension on doping-related charges. His ban ended in early August 2012, and he returned to Saxo-Tinkoff, going on to win the Vuelta a Espana. However, the UCI had earlier ruled that any WorldTour points earned by a rider returning from a doping suspension would not be applied to the team for two years, and that this ruling covered Contador.

    The WorldTour points are important in determining whether a team will receive or retain a WorldTour licence.

    The rule went into effect after Contador was found to have violated the anti-doping rules, and so Riis argued that it does not apply to him.

    Contador has only one win this season, a stage at the Tour de San Luis in January, and finished a disappointing fourth in the Tour de France, but still has managed to gain 252 UCI points, putting him in 12th place.

    Including his points, Team Saxo-Tinkoff are fourth in the team ranking. Were his points removed, the team would fall to 11th place, out of 19 teams.

    Sinkewitz

    The Sinkewitz case stems from his March 2011 positive test for Human Growth Hormone. The German cycling federation cleared him of the charges in June 2012, saying that the World Anti-Doping Agency's...