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First Edition Cycling News, Monday, June 27, 2011

Date published:
June 27, 2011, 1:00 BST
  • Cavendish, Goss, Martin and Van Garderen lead HTC at Tour de France

    Team HTC-Highroad works for its leader
    Article published:
    June 26, 2011, 13:54 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    US-registered team targeting stages and top ten overall

    The HTC-Highroad has announced its nine-rider team for the Tour de France that will target stage victories in the sprints with Mark Cavendish and Matt Goss and a top ten overall result with Tony Martin. The USA’s Tejay Van Garderen will make his Tour de France debut and hope for a good overall performance.

    Completing the HTC-Highroad squad for the Tour de France are road captain Bernhard Eisel, lead-out man Mark Renshaw, and quality domestiques Peter Velits, Lars Bak and Danny Pate.

    "As Cav says, for him it's about winning stages," says team manager Rolf Aldag in a statement from the team.

    "He has won 15 Tour de France stages with us since 2008 and our goal is add to this impressive tally. We believe he is the fastest sprinter in the world and will get the support he's used to with Eisel and Renshaw. We continue a winning formula."

    "Eisel is our most experienced guy and our road captain. He is essential to make crucial decisions in the race and to keep everyone relaxed and confident during the Tour with his leadership and spirit we have adapted our roster to the specific stages of the 2011 course, which include classic-like stages that may deeply challenge pure sprinters, but play to the strengths of Matt Goss. He has won eight races already this year including Milan-San Remo and has proven he can win on difficult finishes. He deserves his first start in the Tour de France and will get his chances. He may also be a strong contender for the Green Jersey as the race progresses.”

    Martin, Velits and Van Garderen

    Tony Martin is targeting a top ten result as he looks to move up from winning shorter stage races. He may suffer in the mountain but has the advantage of the final time trial stage around...

  • AG2R-La Mondiale finalizes Tour de France squad

    Maxime Bouet (AG2R)
    Article published:
    June 26, 2011, 20:17 BST
    Cycling News

    Saur-Sojasun leaves out Casper

    The French championships were used to determine the final choices of the AG2R La Mondiale team for the Tour de France. Maxime Bouet, Sébastien Minard and Sébastien Hinault will fill out the nine-man team behind leaders Nicolas Roche and Jean-Christophe Peraud.

    The team will also include Blel Kadri, Christophe Riblon, Hubert Dupont and John Gadret for the Tour, which begins on  Saturday July 2.

    "We obviously are concerned with establishing the best possible team and the three riders won their seats," said Vincent Lavenu, general manager of the AG2R-La Mondiale team. "Maxime Bouet has shown today that he is at his best and is capable of doing great things on the Tour. Sébastien Minard will be a super-domestique while Sébastien Hinault will hold the role of captain on the road."

    The Saur-Sojasun team also finalised its Tour de France squad after the French national road race championships, and has decided to leave out its top sprinter Jimmy Casper, who did not finish the race.

    The final two spots were given instead to Jérémy Galland and Anthony Delaplace, who were the team's top finishers behind Cyril Lemoine, who was also not chosen for the Tour team.

    AG2R La Mondiale for the Tour de France: Maxime Bouet, Hubert Dupont, John Gadret, Sébastien Hinault, Blel KADRI, Sébastien Minard, Jean-Christophe Peraud, Scrap Christophe, Nicolas Roche

    Saur Sojasun for the Tour de France: Jérôme Coppel, Anthony Delaplace, Jimmy Engoulvent, Arnaud Coyot, Jérémy Galland, Jonathan Hivert, Fabrice Jeandesboz, Laurent Mangel and Yannick Talabardon.

  • Cantele leads Garmin-Cervelo championship haul

    Noemi Cantele (Garmin-Cervelo) celebrates her victory in the Italian road championship.
    Article published:
    June 26, 2011, 23:18 BST
    Laura Weislo

    Double titles for Italian and Brazilian, Chipotle cleans up in USA

    The Garmin-Cervélo women's team added three more national championships to the one already won by Australian Alexis Rhodes in the team's first victory of the year.

    Italian Noemi Cantele took her first elite title in the road race on Thursday, and then added another today in the time trial.

    "I didn't expect such a successful week, and I am so honored to wear both jerseys to represent my country," Cantele said.

    "It was a long time trial, a windy and up and down lap. My victory in the road race gave me confidence going in and I tried to manage my effort in the beginning because the last part was more hilly and I knew that was where I could make the difference.

    "Now I have some days of rest and then all of the team Garmin-Cervelo will be focused on the next goal, the Giro Donne."

    In Great Britain, 22-year-old Lizzy Armitstead topped the reigning Olympic champion Nicole Cooke to claim the road race title.

    "It's going to be great to wear the jersey now," Armistead said. "I'm very proud to be British and we're one of the strongest nations in the world at the moment as females so it'll be great to be leading the way."

    Back in the USA, Slipstream Sports' Chipotle Development Team added another four titles to the organisation's haul, winning the U23 road race with Rob Squire, the criterium with Rob Bush and the

  • Fédrigo chooses not to ride Tour de France

    Article published:
    June 27, 2011, 3:10 BST
    Cycling News

    FDJ veteran struggling with back injury

    Three-time Tour de France stage winner Pierrick Fédrigo will not be joining his FDJ teammates at the Grand Tour this weekend, opting out of the event.

    Fédrigo was a non-finisher at the French National Championships on Sunday, won by Sylvain Chavanel (Quick Step), and decided that he was in no shape to contest his eighth consecutive Grand Boucle following a discussion with Mark Madiot.

    "He [Madiot] asked me what I wanted to do," Fédrigo explained to Ouest France. "I told him I did not want to go. I need holiday. I'm in the hole. I need to rest. Need to take care of myself, because I have not been able to resolve my back problems. "

    "Going to the Tour without being 100 per cent, it would be useless," he continued.

    Fédrigo joined FDJ for the start of this season, having ridden with Bouygues Telecom for the past six years. He is yet to win a race in 2011.

    The 32-year-old plans resume training in the latter months of the year and "start over."

    FDJ team for the Tour de France: William Bonnet (FRA), Sandy Casar (FRA), Mickael Delage (FRA), Arnold Jeannesson (FRA), Gianni Meersman (BEL), Rémi Pauriol (FRA), Anthony Roux (FRA), Jeremy Roy (FRA), Arthur Vichot (FRA)

  • McEwen "philosophical" regarding Tour de France omission

    Robbie McEwen (RadioShack)
    Article published:
    June 27, 2011, 4:04 BST
    Cycling News

    Three-time green jersey winner now concentrating on Vuelta, and worlds

    Robbie McEwen won't rule out another trip to the Tour de France in 2012, but says that his non-selection for RadioShack's 2011 team came as little surprise.

    Speaking with SBS' Cycling Central program, the three-time green jersey winner said: "I realised in the lead up to the Tour and with the other riders in the team and what have historically been the goals of Johan Bruyneel's teams in the Tour de France that I probably wasn't going to get selected this year.

    "Apart from their own tactic of more riding for GC and fully supporting the rider or riders who have a good chance to ride for the General Classification and reach the podium in Paris, the team has also heavily concentrated on winning the teams classification again as they did last year," McEwen continued, explaining that with a multi-pronged attack in Levi Leipheimer, Andreas Kloden, Chris Horner and Janez Brajkovic that all four riders were capable of standing on the podium in Paris.

    The 39-year-old will instead focus on the Vuelta a Espana and then hopefully gain a position on the Australian team for the world championships.

    McEwen faced the prospect of an early retirement earlier this year when he was left stranded without a team following the collapse of Pegasus Racing. A phone call to Lance Armstrong resulted in the veteran inking a one-year deal with RadioShack in January.

    The 12 stage winner at the Tour explained "nothing's impossible" when it comes to his participation in next year's Grand Boucle but admitted he hadn't made any decisions regarding his future.

    "I think I'm going to at least start the season, that's what I'd like to do, rider another Tour Down Under certainly," he...

  • Gilbert enjoying unexpected victories

    Philippe Gilbert (Omega Pharma-Lotto) is the new Belgian champion
    Article published:
    June 27, 2011, 10:17 BST
    Cycling News

    Belgian champion looks forward to world championships

    After taking a stylish victory at the Belgian championships on Sunday, Philippe Gilbert (Omega Pharma-Lotto) explained that such is his form this season that he is capable of winning even on courses not suited to his talents.

    Gilbert seized the initiative on the flat Hooglede-Gits circuit by splitting the peloton with 100km to go, and then jumping clear on a cobbled section in the finale to take the first national title of his professional career. He acknowledged afterwards that the race had not taken place over his favoured sort of terrain.

    “The thing is that I’ve started to win where I’m not expected to,” Gilbert told La Dernière Heure. “Like here, on this easy circuit, or, to the other extreme, on the slopes of the Mur de Huy (in the Flèche Wallonne – ed.), which are normally too steep for me.”

    Gilbert has been in dominant form since the beginning of the season, reeling in twelve victories, including Amstel Gold Race, Flèche Wallone and Liège-Bastoge-Liège. The Belgian said that he has not yet had time to take stock of his achievements this season.

    “It’s not like I look back and say to myself, ‘wow, I won all that!” Gilbert pointed out.

    Instead, the 28-year-old is looking forward to the hilltop finishes of the opening week of the Tour de France and to the world championships in Copenhagen in September. While the Danish circuit is not perfectly tailored to Gilbert’s talents, he will surely have...

  • Merckx critical of 'no needle' policy

    Eddy Merckx was on hand in Kortrijk on Friday.
    Article published:
    June 27, 2011, 11:03 BST
    Cycling News

    Legendary champion lashes out against UCI, WADA and Contador

    Eddy Merckx has spoken out against the new 'no needle' policy put into place by the UCI at this year's Giro d'Italia. In a long interview published in L'Equipe this Monday, the man once called the 'Cannibal' criticised the new anti-doping rule, labelling it as "foolish and dangerous". He also slammed the World Anti Doping Agency (WADA) for letting the doping case concerning Alberto Contador take such a long time, and the Spanish Grand Tour champion for giving away stage victories at the Giro d'Italia.

    "The UCI is going too far by banning the use of syringes for recovery products," Merckx said, speaking of the regulation. "It's foolish and dangerous. The riders, as a consequence, are taking pills and risk unsettling their intestines. What they are doing in a Grand Tour is extraordinary, so why lay such strict rules on them? If a doctor says that they need recovery products, then they do. It's not by drinking sugar water that they will recover from their efforts produced in the rain of that terrible stage with the Gardecchia..."

    Speaking of the Giro, the Belgian also condemned Alberto Contador's decision to let other riders take the stage victories while he extended his overall lead. This happened several times in the race, including stage 13 and stage 19. "I didn't like it when he gave away stages like he did. It's not very healthy, and it's disrespectful to the public. A great champion owes it to himself to race with more panache. Armstrong always regretted having left the victory on the Ventoux to Marco Pantani [at the 2000 Tour de France - ed.]. It wasn't useful. I also remember Pantani feeling greatly humiliated. I wouldn't have liked it it I had been given a stage win as charity."

    Of course, Merckx can still understand why Contador acted in...

  • Spanish federation to appeal Heras verdict

    Count the victories that Heras has in the Vuelta: 4
    Article published:
    June 27, 2011, 11:57 BST
    Peter Cossins

    Revocation of 2005 doping ban to be challenged in Supreme Court

    Spanish cycling federation president Juan Carlos Castaño has revealed that his organization is set to appeal against the revocation of the ban imposed on Roberto Heras after he tested positive for EPO at the 2005 Vuelta. This follows last week’s decision by the Supreme Court of Castilla y León to overturn the two-year ban on Heras on technical details relating to the testing procedure.

    “The federation has to comply with the decision,” Castaño told AS, “but we don’t agree with it at all as it goes against our Competitions Committee, which suspended Roberto Heras for his positive test at that time.”

    Castaño added: “Our plan is to request an annulment order at the Supreme Court. We believe that the legislation is being applied on a much-delayed basis. Governments have also recognized that the Court of Arbitration for Sport is the organization that has to intervene in sporting questions. If it doesn’t, then we could end up in a situation where there are different resolutions in different cases, some of them dragging out for longer than others depending on each country’s laws.”

    Castaño acknowledged that the federation’s legal challenge will be made jointly with the Spanish government’s Consejo Superior de Deportes, which ratified the sanction imposed on Heras. He also affirmed his displeasure at civil courts getting involved in sporting issues.

    “I don’t like the administrative delays that result when they get involved. Roberto Heras tested positive in the 2005 Vuelta, and now six years later there has been a development. We are all complaining about a one-year delay at the CAS being a very long period of time, but we will need another three or four before...