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First Edition Cycling News, Monday, June 11, 2012

Date published:
June 11, 2012, 1:00 BST
  • Andy Schleck: You can do a lot in three weeks

    British champion Bradley Wiggins (Sky) with Andy Schleck and Luis Leon Sanchez in tow.
    Article published:
    June 10, 2012, 10:56 BST
    Cycling News

    Tour de France prep all at sea for 2010 champion

    Despite another disappointing display, Andy Schleck (RadioShack-Nissan) is hoping he can turn around his Tour de France preparations with training camps in the Alps and Pyrenees. The 2010 Tour de France winner abandoned midway through stage 6 of the Critérium du Dauphiné due to injuries sustained in a crash 48 hours previously.

    He had already pulled out of Paris-Nice after just two stages and the Volta a Catalunya. A knee injury in May also affected his training.

    “In bad things I always try to find the good things. The good thing is that I have done six stages. Some people will say ‘It is only three weeks till the Tour’ but you can also say it is ‘still’ three weeks to the start in Liège. You can do a lot in three weeks. That is my strength. I’ve shown it in the last years. I was not good in the Tour de Suisse but I was in the Tour de France. I won’t stop believing in it. I’ve worked hard for this.”

    While Schleck has indeed shown almost miraculous turns of form before previous Tours, this year will take something truly special if he’s to stand any chance of competing with Bradley Wiggins and Cadel Evans – the two tipped favourites for July.

    “It is just that bad luck is following me in the last months,” continued Andy Schleck. “I could not avoid it. Before this I had a left knee problem after my crash in a training camp in Sierra Nevada. It healed and then I improved. Even yesterday, after my crash I felt okay in the climbs. When I stayed in the saddle, my...

  • Yates: Wiggins hasn’t peaked yet

    Bradley Wiggins extended his lead in the Dauphine after a smashing time trial
    Article published:
    June 10, 2012, 12:04 BST
    Cycling News

    More to come at Tour de France

    Team Sky’s Sean Yates believes that Bradley Wiggins has yet to hit top form, with plans for the Criterium du Dauphine leader to reach optimal condition at the Tour de France this year.

    Yates, a former professional and now a team director at Sky, spoke after Sky demonstrated their stranglehold over the Dauphine field with a resounding performance on the Joux Plane on stage 6.

    In this exclusive interview with Cyclingnews, Yates also talks about Wiggin’s improving confidence since winning his first Dauphine title in 2011.

  • Video: Evans 'beaten by the better rider' in Dauphine

    Bradley Wiggins (Sky) and Cadel Evans (BMC) chat as race and points leaders
    Article published:
    June 10, 2012, 15:25 BST
    Cycling News

    Tour de France champion happy with form

    Cadel Evans (BMC Racing) complimented Team Sky and Bradley Wiggins on their resounding win in the Criterium du Dauphine, admitting that over the week-long stage race the better rider had won.

    However, the reining Tour champion, who finished third overall and picked up a stage win, added that he’s yet to hit top form. With the Dauphine complete Evans will focus on fine tuning his form ahead of the Tour where he will start as the defending champion.

    In this video, Evans talks about his form and performance at the Dauphine.

  • Wiggins spurred on by 2010 Tour de France disappointment

    Dauphine winner Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky)
    Article published:
    June 10, 2012, 16:37 BST
    Barry Ryan

    Briton wins Critérium du Dauphiné

    Bradley Wiggins (Sky) has credited his disappointing 2010 Tour de France for sparking the current run of form that has marked him out as one of the principal favourites for overall honours in Paris this July.

    The Englishman cemented that status on Sunday when he secured his second consecutive overall victory at the Critérium du Dauphiné, a success which follows on from victories at Paris-Nice and the Tour de Romandie earlier in the season.

    “The reason I’m in this position now is because I had a horrendous Tour in 2010, or at least way below expectations,” Wiggins said in Chatel. “It sort of felt humiliating. At the end of the year, I thought ‘right, you can’t go on like this. You’ve got the engine, you’ve got the motor.’ That was when [coach] Tim [Kerrison] came in and Shane [Sutton] and they started looking after my programme.”

    Wiggins proceeded to enjoy significant improvement in his second campaign for Sky in 2011, but that progress briefly threatened to unravel when his Tour challenge was ended by a broken collarbone at the end of the opening week. Instead, Wiggins dusted himself down and re-emerged with some strong displays in the season’s final weeks.

    “That was a massive kick for me, because it led me on to the Vuelta and the world championships and meant I started the winter fitter,” Wiggins said. “I was chasing something that I had perhaps lost last July and now here we are one year on…”

    Wiggins’ Dauphiné triumph was his third stage race victory of 2012, and each win will have provided his Sky team with a useful work-out in the complicated art of defending an overall lead.

    “We’ve had...

  • Trek's new aero Madone for RadioShack-Nissan

    Trek again uses a 90mm-wide bottom bracket shell with bearings that press directly into the frame on the new Madone
    Article published:
    June 10, 2012, 17:40 BST
    James Huang

    Trek's next-generation Madone on show before official release

    This article first appeared on Bikeradar

    Trek's next-generation Madone isn't set for official release for another two weeks but RadioShack-Nissan riders were racing on it at the Critérium du Dauphiné. This new version borrows several key design features from the company's Speed Concept time trial machine, giving the Wisconsin company the aero road bike they’ve been missing for the past few years.

    Much like Scott's Foil, the new Madone doesn't actually look all that slippery with its broad tubes and relatively shallow profiles. However, markings on the frame – not to mention strategically applied paint – point to a Kamm tail design with truncated airfoils that are said to mimic the aerodynamic benefits of a much deeper profile without violating UCI technical guidelines or sacrificing chassis weight and ride quality.

    Trek have taken the radical step of moving the rear brake down below the chain stays. Just as significant, Trek has wholly adopted Shimano's new direct-mount interface, which does away with the traditional center mounting holes in the frame and fork and replaces them with twin posts on which the newly symmetrical calipers attach directly. In some ways, this is similar to the U-brake posts of old mountain bikes.

    In theory, this design could save a few grams by virtue of the omitted caliper parts but the bigger expected benefit is a more direct lever feel and increased power thanks to reduced flex. In addition to locating the caliper arms closer to the base of the frame, the pivots themselves look to be adjustable for play for truly slop-free action.

    Another side benefit is the more slender seat stay design. In contrast to the current...

  • Moreno matches Rodriguez at Dauphiné

    Daniel Moreno (Katusha) wins his second stage in the Critérium du Dauphiné
    Article published:
    June 10, 2012, 18:42 BST
    Barry Ryan

    Spaniard takes second stage win at Châtel

    On a stage that would have been ideally suited to his absent Katusha teammate Joaquim Rodriugez, Dani Moreno came up trumps in the stiff uphill finish at Châtel on the final day of the Critérium du Dauphiné, winning ahead of Luis Leon Sanchez (Rabobank). It was the Spaniard's second stage victory of the race, a haul which matches that of the more feted Rodriguez in last year's Dauphiné.

    "Purito and I are always in contact. He congratulated me after I won earlier in the week and he sent me a message again today," Moreno told reporters at the finish. "We're not just teammates, we're friends."

    Like Rodriguez, Moreno is a redoubtable puncheur, and the 1.5km climb to the line at Châtel was ideally suited to his characteristics. After winning on a similar finish at Saint-Félicien earlier in the week, the 30-year-old's form was such that he had the final stage earmarked for a repeat performance.

    Though just 124.5 kilometres in length, there were no fewer than five climbs crammed into a frenetic day of action. After Moreno looked to save himself as best he could on the first-category Col du Corbier, his Katusha team, led by Denis Menchov in particular, set about shutting down escapees Pierre Rolland and Jérôme Coppel to prepare the terrain for the sharp finish.

    "I had marked this stage in my road book, and I know that it was going to be important to keep some strength for the finale," he said. "From there, I just benefited from some great work from my team, and I managed to beat Luis Leon Sanchez by a hair's breadth."

    Indeed, Moreno had sounded out his fellow...

  • Van Den Broeck enjoys Dauphiné test

    Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Lotto-Belisol) in the Dauphine
    Article published:
    June 10, 2012, 20:10 BST
    Barry Ryan

    Belgian shows improvement against the watch ahead of Tour de France

    Bradley Wiggins and Cadel Evans may have been the marquee attractions at the Critérium du Dauphiné, but Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Lotto-Belisol) is another man who comes away from the Alps quietly confident that he is on course to play a leading role at the Tour de France in July.

    The Belgian was an ever-present in the leading group on the climbs, and appeared comfortable in spite of the ferocious pace-setting of Team Sky. He finished the Dauphiné in 5th place overall, an encouraging echo of his break-out Tour display of 2010.

    Sitting on the steps of his team bus just past the finish line in Châlet, Van Den Broeck cut a relaxed figure as he reflected on his week. "The condition is on the point where I wanted to have it so I’m happy after the Dauphiné," he told Cyclingnews. "The test for me was the time trial, and it was a good one. When we went uphill, I was good but not super, but we expected that, so I’m happy with how things went."

    The domination of Wiggins’ Sky team on the climbs – the British squad placed a startling four riders in top ten overall – allied to the lack of a real summit finish meant that it proved difficult for the likes of Van Den Broeck to break the deadlock.

    "It’s a shame that there wasn’t an proper uphill finish, because it’s hard to keep your advantage when you attack on a climb that’s a long way from the finish," he said. "That’s maybe why the race stayed quite close, but even so, the Sky team had a really high pace on the climbs so it was just hard to attack anyway."

    Ironically, while Van Den Broeck’s final deficit to Wiggins was clocked up entirely in the race’s two time...

  • Menchov returns to Russian Championships

    Denis Menchov (Katusha Team)
    Article published:
    June 11, 2012, 10:11 BST
    Cycling News

    Hopes to ride Tour de France with national time trial jersey

    After an absence of 11 years, Denis Menchov will return to race the Russian Championships on June 24 prior to his come-back to the Tour de France. The Katusha rider announced the news in a blog on F-Sport. "It's been very long since I competed in the National Championships. The last time was in 2001. Since then, a lot has happened but I'm happy to come back to the most important event of my country," Menchov wrote.

    However, the 34-year-old plans to take part only in the time trial, not in the road race, "as the one-day race format is not so much for me anyway."

    Menchov has been building up towards the Tour de France, where he hopes to be an overall contender once again. Having won the Giro d'Italia in 2009 and the Vuelta a España in 2005 and 2007, he finished third in the Tour de France twice before and will be a dark horse going into this year's race.

    A solid climber and gifted time triallist, the Russian is motivated to take the national jersey against the clock to France in July, where the amount of time trial kilometres will be in his favour. "It's difficult to say what result I will be able to achieve, but I'll do my utmost to fight for the win [in the Russian time trial championship - ed.]. If I can win, the feeling of riding the Tour de France time trials with the Russian champion's jersey will be great," he added.

    However, Menchov's preparation so far for the big event in July has not gone without hiccups. Having had to abandon the Tour de Romandie on the very first day due to tendonitis, he returned to competition at the Critérium du Dauphiné but went unnoticed at the race, finishing 24th at the time trial and 42nd in the general classification.