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First Edition Cycling News, Monday, June 10, 2013

Date published:
June 10, 2013, 1:00 BST
  • BMC's long list for the Tour de France

    Article published:
    June 10, 2013, 9:27 BST
    Cycling News

    Only Evans and van Garderen assured of spots on the squad

    BMC Racing Team has narrowed the candidates for its 2013 Tour de France squad down to 12 riders. 2011 Tour winner Cadel Evans and Tejay van Garderen will lead the team, but 10 riders are still in contention for the remaining seven spots. Even world champion Philippe Gilbert has not been officially named in the line-up.

    Het Nieuwsblad reported that the squad will be picked from the group of riders who tested the team time trial course in Nice last week. Those riders are Gilbert, Mathias Frank, Michael Schär, Steve Morabito, Thor Hushovd, Marcus Burghardt, Amael Moinard, Brent Bookwalter, Dominique Nerz and Manuel Quinziato.

    Last month team principal Jim Ochowicz confirmed to Cyclingnews that Evans would be the team captain, with van Garderen as his chief lieutenant. Evans finished third overall in this year's Giro d'Italia, while van Garderen won the Tour of California.

    Gilbert has said that he very much wants to ride the Tour and has even indicated that he has been privately assured of a spot on the squad, although no official announcement has been made. The world champion, who is currently riding the Tour de Suisse, is still searching for his first victory of the season.

    Greg Van Avermaet expressed his disappointment at not being selected, saying. “ I am someone who is always there when the team needs me. The team would not regret it if they would take me.” The Belgian has ridden the Tour only once, in 2009, when he was with the Lotto team.

  • Garmin-Sharp to select Tour de France squad at last minute

    Johan Vansummeren (Garmin-Sharp)
    Article published:
    June 10, 2013, 10:48 BST
    Cycling News

    Vansummeren says riders will gather for tests after nationals

    The riders of Garmin-Sharp must wait until the last minute to find out if they will be named to ride the Tour de France. The US-based team won't make it's final selection until three days before the race starts, which Johan Vansummeren calls “not a pleasant situation.”

    “I'm on a list, but that is very long. The day after the Belgian championship we fly to Girona, where testing will take place,” the 2011 Paris-Roubaix winner told Het Nieuwsblad.

    “On the Wednesday before the Tour, the selection will be announced.. You heard it right. Three days before the Tour we know who is going to the Tour. That's not a pleasant situation.”

    No one is sure of a spot, not even sprinter Tyler Farrar, Vansummeren said. “I really don't want to have a competition against my colleagues. It should not depend on who rides hardest in a test. Of course I will not win the Tour, but I can play a role for the team.”

  • Contador sees Froome as his equal rival for Tour de France

    Alberto Contador (Saxo-Tinkoff) on the start line in Ambérieu-en-Bugey
    Article published:
    June 10, 2013, 12:56 BST
    Cycling News

    Spaniard says the two will fight it out for the title

    Alberto Contador sees Christopher Froome as an equal rival, with both riders sharing the same strengths, after their head-to-head competition in the Criterium du Dauphine. The two “will have to fight” for the Tour de France win, especially in the mountains, Contador said.

    The Saxo-Tinkoff rider refused to concede that Froome (Sky) is better, based on the duo's performances in the Criterium du Dauphine. “The answer as to who will win will come on the course. With Froome, I think we are both in top condition and have a very high level in the time trial,” he said on the Belgian television show Sportweekend.  “In the mountains we are about equal and will have to fight it out.”

    Although he finished only tenth in the Dauphine, nearly four and a half minutes down on overall winner Froome, Contador is content with his condition. "I feel very good. The result is of secondary importance. Every day was better, I am very happy with my form. I'm not saying I will start in better shape than in previous years. But it will not be worse.”

    The only shadow on his horizon is the fall he suffered in Sunday's final stage, whilst removing his rain jacket. “My left side is affected. It is too early to determine what the consequences are. Hopefully this does not disturb my preparation for the Tour."

    Froome may be his top rival, but Contador will keep an eye on several others, as well. “Tejay Van Garderen is among the best this year.. He is still very young and at any time can make the leap to the top. He can win the Tour." Van Garderen's BMC captain Cadel Evans also came in for a mention, as did Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) and Jurgen van den Broeck (Lotto Belisol).

    He is sure, though,...

  • Sprinters to dominate in Argos-Shimano Tour de France squad

    The Argos Shimano team
    Article published:
    June 10, 2013, 14:20 BST
    Cycling News

    Kittel and Degenkolb top Dutch team's short list

    Mass sprints and stage wins will dominate for Team Argos-Shimano in the Tour de France, starting in just over two weeks. Marcel Kittel and John Degenkolb head the short list for the Tour squad. But the team emphasized that all riders will have a chance to ride for themselves in breakaways.

    “When we got together with the coaches to discuss this Tour de France, we saw that our sprint train would have some good opportunities to demonstrate its speed in different scenarios. We also expect that on some of the stages offensive riders could stay away to the finish, and we expect to play a role in these breaks,” said general manager Iwan Spekenbrink.

    “We’ve worked from the start of this team to develop the strength and value of each rider, with a staff structure built around the riders to help them improve. We’ve created dedicated training plans for each individual, focused on their specialty, and have adopted the latest innovations to make sure we’re giving ourselves the best possible chance of success and not leaving any details to chance.”

    Spekenbrink made it clear, though, that the sprints have top priority. Kittel has ten wins so far this season, including the overall title in the Tour de Picardie, and most recently won the mass  sprint ahead of Andre Greipel in Sunday's Garmin ProRace Berlin. Degenkolb has only one win this year, but it was a stage of the Giro d'Italia, but he dominated the sprints in the Vuelta a Espana in 2012, with five stage wins. It would be his first Tour. Kittel started the Tour in 2012, but had to abandon early on due to illness.

    “We are reviewing the capabilities and characteristics of the preselected riders...

  • Hesjedal crashes out of Tour de Suisse

    Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin)
    Article published:
    June 10, 2013, 16:26 BST
    Cycling News

    Canadian taken to hospital after fall during stage 3

    Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Sharp) has abandoned the Tour de Suisse following a crash in today's stage 3, covering 203.3km from Montreux to Meiringen.

    Garmin-Sharp reported that Hesjedal sustained "a heavy blow to the neck and head. He was immediately transported to a local hospital for evaluation. Hesjedal suffered multiple, severe contusions and abrasions to the right wrist, hip and knee and left shoulder, elbow and knee. Preliminary CTs show no fractures and no neurological pathologies.

    "He will remain under close observation by team medical staff," stated the team. "Hesjedal's health is the team's priority - depending on how his recovery progresses team medical staff as of now hopes he may be able to train in a few days time, although this will depend on his recovery."

    After withdrawing from the Giro d'Italia last month after 12 stages, the 32-year-old Canadian signaled a return to form at the Tour de Suisse where he opened his campaign with a 9th place result in the stage 1 time trial followed by a fourth place finish on stage 2 which moved him to second overall, just three seconds behind general classification leader Cameron Meyer (Orica-GreenEdge).

    Hesjedal had been targeting the podium at the upcoming Tour de France, with the Tour de Suisse a final tune-up before the French Grand Tour's start on June 29 in Corsica.

  • Blanco announces short list for the Tour de France

    Team Blanco time trials
    Article published:
    June 10, 2013, 18:30 BST
    Cycling News

    Gesink and Mollema among 13 riders up for 9 spots

    Blanco has joined the ranks of those announcing its short list of riders for the Tour de France. Thirteen riders are competing for the nine available starting places. Perhaps the most interesting battle will be as to who fills the role of the team's captain, Robert Gesink or Bauke Mollema.

    The choice of nine riders is difficult, said sports director Nico Verhoeven. “The differences between the riders are marginal. A great deal is more or less fixed as some riders focussed the whole season on the Tour de France, but it is important that the riders for the remaining spots in the selection are also in shape.”

    The riders still having racing time to prove their form. “We were active in the Critérium du Dauphiné and currently we are racing in Tour du Suisse, the Tour du Luxembourg and the Ster ZLM Toer. Those races are good to monitor the form and health of the riders in the pre-selection.”

    Gesink has been the team's captain at the Tour for the past few years, but in four starts has finished the race only twice, as fifth overall in 2010 and 33rd in 2011. He started the recent Giro d'Italia as captain, but after a strong start showed weakness in the mountains and abandoned after the 18th stage. He said at the time that it was “not yet clear” what his role at the Tour would be.

    Mollema has had a strong season so far, winning the second stage of the Tour de Suisse and bringing in top ten finishes in a a variety of stage and one-day races. He has started in the Tour twice before, finishing 70th in 2011 and not finishing in 2012.

    The team will announce the line-up at the Dutch national road race, on June 23.

    The pre-selected riders are:...

  • Martin criticises Alpe d'Huez descent

    Time trial world champion Tony Martin wins another race against the clock with his victory in stage 4 at the Critérium du Dauphiné
    Article published:
    June 10, 2013, 20:45 BST
    Cycling News

    “Irresponsible” for race organisers to utilise that road

    Time trial word champion Tony Martin has sharply criticised the descent from the Alpe d'Huez as very dangerous. Sending the riders over that stretch is “irresponsible", the Omega Pharma-QuickStep rider said.

    The descent was included in the seventh stage of the Criterium du Dauphine and will also feature in the Tour de France next month, when the Alpe d'Huez will be climbed twice in the 18th stage.

    “We rode exactly the course of the Tour,” he said on his personal website. “I must say that i was negatively surprised.

    “The road is old, narrow, the surface bad, no barriers, if a rider makes a mistake he will face a free fall of 30 meters. To send us there is irresponsible. And I cannot imagine that anything about the road will change before the Tour.”

  • Froome moves to fourth in WorldTour standings after Dauphiné win

    Race leader Chris Froome (Sky)
    Article published:
    June 10, 2013, 22:00 BST
    Cycling News

    Spain regains nations lead, Sky remains top team

    Fabian Cancellara (RadioShack Leopard) remains in top spot in the individual rankings of the UCI WorldTour, but Sunday’s victory for Chris Froome (Sky) in the Critérium du Dauphiné has seen the Briton move up from ninth to fourth overall.

    Froome’s teammate Richie Porte’s second place overall in the Dauphiné, meanwhile, has gained the 2013 Paris-Nice winner two spots in the WorldTour rankings, moving the Australian into fifth. Thus while the top three spots remain completely unchanged, with Cancellara at 351 points, Giro d’Italia winner Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) at 322 and Peter Sagan (Cannondale) with 312, Froome is now just one point behind Sagan, with 311, while Porte's total is 305.

    Froome’s resurgence in the WorldTour standings is a just reflection of the 28-year-old Briton’s impressive domination in the Critérium du Dauphiné, where he took third in the mid-week time trial, moved into the lead 24 hours later at Valmorel, the race’s first major summit finish, and then concluded Sunday’s final mountain test, at Risoul, in second place on the stage.

    Overall, Froome completes what is both a hugely prestigious win in itself and a key dress rehearsal for the Briton’s bid for victory in the Tour de France in July with a 58-second advantage over teammate Porte, while Spain’s Dani Moreno (Katusha) is third, at 2:12.

    It is Froome’s ninth win this season, following...