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First Edition Cycling News, Monday, June 25, 2012

Date published:
June 25, 2012, 1:00 BST
  • FDJ-BigMat names Tour de France team

    Yauheni Hutarovich (FDJ-BigMat)
    Article published:
    June 24, 2012, 20:40 BST
    Cycling News

    Hutarovich for sprints, Pinot debuts

    The FDJ-BigMat team today named its Tour de France team, passing over new French champion Nacer Bouhanni. He will instead focus on the Vuelta a España.

    The Tour team is built around Belarus sprinter Yauheni Hutarovich, the only non-French rider on the squad for the race. The team will look to 22-year-old Thibaut Pinot, a Tour debutant, for the young riders classification.

    Arnold Jeannesson, who last year was 14th in the Tour and wore the white jersey for several days is not on the line-up after a fever caused him to drop out of the Critérium du Dauphiné.

    The team will have experience in the form of Sandy Casar, Matthieu Ladagnous, Anthony Roux, Jérémy Roy and Arthur Vichot along with Pierrick Fédrigo and Cédric Pineau.

  • Gilbert fails to defend national title

    It's been a tough spring for Philippe Gilbert.
    Article published:
    June 25, 2012, 3:10 BST
    Cycling News

    Belgian now turns attention to the Tour de France

  • Australia names Olympic road cycling team

    Aussie Stuart O'Grady happy on the start line.
    Article published:
    June 25, 2012, 8:05 BST
    Cycling News

    O'Grady set for sixth Games in London

    Australia has announced its five-man and three-woman Olympic road cycling team for the 2012 London Games.

    Matt Goss earned his selection courtesy of his silver medal at the 2011 UCI Road World Championships in Copenhagen, and will make his Olympic debut. At the other end of the scale, Stuart O'Grady will be attending his sixth Olympics, having made his debut on the track in Barcelona in 1992. National champion Simon Gerrans will be well-suited to the 250km road race circuit, with its nine laps of Box Hill expected to create a select group to fight it out for the first medals of the London Games.

    Cadel Evans meanwhile will be competing in his fourth Olympics having represented Australia in Beijing in 2008 and in mountain biking in Sydney in 2000 and 1996. He will join Michael Rogers in the individual time trial. Rogers made his Olympic debut in Sydney.

    "This has been one of the most difficult team selections in Australia's cycling history because we really have enough talent to field two teams of Olympic standard," said Australian professional men's coordinator and Athens Olympian Matt White.

    "We have more than 30 Aussie riders in the ProTour and they're major contributors to their respective teams," he said. "It's a great position to be in and we're really pleased with the riders we'll be putting on the start line.

    "The team has a lot of experience with Stuey [O'Grady], Cadel [Evans], Mick [Rogers] and Simon [Gerrans] - all having raced at Olympics, or five Olympics in the case of Stuey. Matt [Goss] might be an Olympic debutant but he's already notched up...

  • AG2R La Mondiale completes Tour de France roster

    Jean-Christophe Peraud (AG2R)
    Article published:
    June 25, 2012, 9:18 BST
    Cycling News

    Roche and Péraud lead the line

    French squad AG2R La Mondiale announced its Tour de France selection on Sunday evening, just after the French Championship road race taken by FDJ sprinter Nacer Bouhanni. AG2R fast man Jimmy Casper finished sixth, and team manager Vincent Lavenu decided not to include him in the line-up, which still had five spots left to fill.

    The French outfit will focus on entering the top ten of general classification and creating breakaway opportunities in the medium and high mountain stages. With Jean-Christophe Péraud and Nicolas Roche as co-leaders aiming at the overall classification, the team will be aiming to win on the more challenging terrain. Riders like Hubert Dupont, Christophe Riblon or Mikaël Chérel will be given the freedom to look for stage-winning opportunities.

    Another objective for Lavenu, as in 2011, will be a podium placing in the team classification. The squad has been struggling to obtain victories so far this season and will be under pressure to deliver at the French grand tour, the greatest season objective not only for French teams.

    The complete AG2R La Mondiale line-up at the start in Liège this upcoming Saturday will be: Maxime Bouet, Mikael Chérel, Hubert Dupont, Blel Kadri, Sébastien Minard, Lloyd Mondory, Jean-Christophe Péraud, Christophe Riblon and Nicolas Roche.

  • Fuglsang in negotiations with Saxo Bank

    Jakob Fuglsang (RadioShack-Nissan)
    Article published:
    June 25, 2012, 10:21 BST
    Cycling News

    "First offer" has been made by Bjarne Riis

    RadioShack-Nissan rider Jakob Fuglsang has been approached by Team Saxo Bank for next season. The Dane has been disappointed not to have been selected for the Tour de France this year, stating openly that he would prefer to leave the team directed by Johan Bruyneel at the end of this season, when his contract expires.

    "My manager has spoken to Bjarne (Riis)," Fuglsang confirmed to Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten. "It could be something, but there are other offers that look interesting too."

    But even if the prospect of returning to Saxo Bank is an interesting one, the 2012 Danish time trial champion will compare the possibilities offered to him closely before signing anything, and his choice will not depend on financial considerations alone.

    "He has made an offer, and in any case it is a first offer. It can still not work out, so I won't say too much. It has to be the right terms, and I also want to know what Bjarne has in mind for his team. It wouldn't be good if he takes four new captains in, as I would I end up in the same situation as now. That is also a thing to be taken into consideration," said Fuglsang.

    Fuglsang rode for Saxo Bank in 2009 and 2010, before joining Leopard Trek in 2011 and being taken over by RadioShack this season. He should have been the team's captain at the Giro d'Italia this year but had to withdraw at the last minute due to a knee injury. A gifted time traillist and solid climber, the 27-year-old has developed into a week-long stage race specialist also able to target the hilly Classics.

  • Omega Pharma-QuickStep takes eight national championships

    Tom Boonen in his national champion's jersey
    Article published:
    June 25, 2012, 11:06 BST
    Cycling News

    Four each on the road and time trial

    It is not often that a team wins four races in one day, or eight races within a few days. But that is what Omega Pharma-QuickStep did, winning eight national titles, with eight different riders. The team topped things off with Tom Boonen winning the Belgian national road championships on Sunday, the most important title for the Belgian team.

    The team can claim four winners in each discipline. On the road, Boonen won in Belgium, Niki Terpstra in the Netherlands, Matthew Brammeier in Ireland, and Michal Golas in Poland.

    In the time trial, world champion Tony Martin also won the German title, Sylvain Chavanel in France, Peter Velits in Slovakia and Dario Cataldo in Italy.

    Those victories cement Omega Pharma-QuickStep's top ranking in the number of team wins on the season. They now have 38, with Team Sky second with 31.

    Of the eight riders, three will be riding the Tour de France starting on Saturday, all of them time trial champions:  Martin, Chavanel and Velits.

  • Tinkoff Bank announced as co-sponsor to Saxo Bank

    The new Saxo Bank Tinkoff team kit
    Article published:
    June 25, 2012, 12:19 BST
    Susan Westemeyer

    Riis teams up with Russian Credit Systems company

    Team Saxo Bank manager Bjarne Riis announced on Monday that he has found a new co-sponsor for his team: the Russian Tinkoff Bank. The Credit Systems company will support the Danish team for the rest of this season and throughout 2013, while Saxo Bank has also extended its sponsorship contract through next year.

    The team will be named Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank.

    Tinkoff Bank was founded by Russian businessman Oleg Tinkov, who started his involvement in cycling with the Tinkoff Credit Systems team in 2007, before moving onto creating the Katusha squad in 2009. Tinkov left the team that year after a conflict with the other team head, Andre Tchmil.

    “For me of course it's a fantastic day, a beautiful day for me and for the team, that so close to the Tour de France we are able to announce that we are going forward for next year,” Riis said at the press conference on Monday afternoon at Riis Cycling headquarters in Hellerup, Denmark. “It is tough to get ready as there is a lot of practical stuff to do, but it’s very exciting, and it gives the whole team extra motivation going into the Tour.”

    But Riis was mainly thinking of the future. “We have big ambitions. This year is the restart, to build my dream again, and my dream and ambition is to have the best and strongest cycling team in the world again, and this is the first step in that direction.

    “To me, it is a dream to have two partners like that, who want to be the best in their area, which exactly the same as what I want. I want to be the best in my area and I would say that as of today, we are on are way to building that up again.”

    When asked what the team's new budget would be, Riis refused to say the numbers. “The most important thing for me is that have sponsors also in the...

  • Garmin-Sharp replaces Garmin-Barracuda at the Tour de France

    Jonathan Vaughters shows off the team's new kit
    Article published:
    June 25, 2012, 13:57 BST
    Cycling News

    Technology firm becomes new co-name sponsor

    Garmin-Barracuda will become Garmin-Sharp as of the Tour de France, team owner Slipstream Sports announced Monday. Barracuda will stay associated with the team.

    As teams are only allowed to have two sponsor names, the team will officially be known as Garmin-Sharp. “Barracuda Networks will continue as an important co-title sponsor, and team materials and the website will refer to the team as Garmin-Sharp-Barracuda,” according to the team's press release.

    Sharp is a world-leading technology provider, offering a wide portfolio of business and lifestyle products in markets across the globe.

    "In the year Sharp celebrates 100 years of creating unique technologies and products that bring genuine benefit to society, we are delighted to become Technology Partner to the most exciting team in one of the world's most beautiful sports, which perfectly showcases the convergence of technological and human achievement,” said Paul Molyneux of Sharp Europe.

    "Sharp shares our passion and commitment to the best innovations in technology," said Jonathan Vaughters, CEO of Slipstream Sports. "We are incredibly excited to partner with them to together develop technologies that will help our riders do what they do every day, even better."

    In addition to the commercial possibilities for Sharp, this deal “also gives them access to some of the best athletes in the world to develop products for the future,” said Matt Johnson, president of Slipstream Sports.

    The new kit will be introduced at a press conference Thursday at the team's Tour de France hotel in Belgium.