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First Edition Cycling News, Monday, June 4, 2012

Date published:
June 04, 2012, 1:00 BST
  • Video: Durbridge attributes Dauphiné success to weather

    Luke Durbridge (Orica GreenEdge) took the race lead with his winning prologue in the Dauphine
    Article published:
    June 03, 2012, 19:15 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Australian not intending to fight for overall victory

    U23 time trial world champion Luke Durbridge claimed his first WorldTour success at the Critérium du Dauphiné, winning the 5.7km prologue in Grenoble by one second over defending champion Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky). It was a remarkable result for the Orica GreenEdge rider, who leapt from the Continental level to the sport's top tier after his strong showing on the track and road in 2011.

    Ever humble, Durbridge attributed his win to the weather conditions: scattered showers affected some riders, but Durbridge was the 26th rider of 175 to start and enjoyed dry roads.

    "I think today I chose the right time to go off," Durbridge said. "It got a little bit windier towards the end of the race, and a bit wet on the corners."

    The teams can choose to send their riders off earlier or later, and while stage or overall favourites generally pick the later slots in order to judge their efforts based on the earlier riders' times, many of the favourites were betting on the weather in Grenoble, where afternoon thunderstorms were predicted.

    "It can go either way," Durbridge said of the choice. "I've been in a situation where you get the wet roads and you don't get the result you want, so I flipped the coin and it landed on my side. It's a great result for me and I couldn't be happier."

    His first WorldTour win comes after a strong early season: Durbridge won the Australian time trial title in January, and followed that with a time trial win in the Circuit de la Sarthe and the overall victory. He now leads the Critérium du Dauphiné in both the overall and best young rider classifications.

    "It hasn't sunk in yet," he said of today's success. "I came here to focus on the process of...

  • Wiggins satisfied with Dauphiné prologue

    Bradley Wiggins (Sky) focuses before his prologue
    Article published:
    June 03, 2012, 21:51 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Team Sky captain aiming to be 9th rider to win both Dauphiné and Tour de France

    Bradley Wiggins is one tiny step closer to his goal of being only the ninth rider in history to win both the Critérium du Dauphiné and Tour de France after taking a slim second place to Australian time trial champion Luke Durbridge in Grenoble today.

    If there was any year that the Sky Procycling rider could chalk his name up next to Louison Bobet, Jacques Anquetil, Eddy Merckx, Louis Ocaña, Bernard Thévenet, Bernard Hinault, Miguel Indurain and Lance Armstrong, this is it: Wiggins has won Paris-Nice and the Tour de Romandie, and the long time trials in both the Dauphiné and Tour de France favor Wiggins.

    After the 5.7km test today, Wiggins is just one second shy of Durbridge's race lead. "I'm happy enough to finish second but it's about the whole week. I couldn't have asked for better today," he said on TeamSky.com.

    Wiggins as defending champion was the last rider off from the start house on a day where the weather changed drastically throughout the stage. Some riders rode through rain showers, but both Durbridge and Wiggins enjoyed dry roads.

    "It's always the same with prologues," Wiggins said. "With riders going three hours apart there's always different conditions. The wind changed massively today. Some guys had disadvantages on the course elsewhere at the start and also advantages. That changed and you can't really compare rides. At the end of the day the result is the result and that's just the pick of prologues.

    "I'm just pleased it stayed dry really because it's never nice riding a prologue in the rain. It was perfect. I stayed safe and I'm where I want to be at the moment and I'm just...

  • Bos learning from all-rounder Renshaw

    Race winner, Theo Bos (Rabobank)
    Article published:
    June 04, 2012, 1:55 BST
    By:
    Daniel Benson

    Dutchman heads to the Tour of Poland next

    With his broken back having been diagnosed, Theo Bos (Rabobank) can start his recovery as he looks to resume racing in next month's Tour of Poland. The 28-year-old crashed in the Giro d'Italia on stage 2. He was initially diagnosed with just superficial injuries and battled through the pain before retiring on stage 16. However an MRI scan post-race revealed a fractured L3 vertebrae in his lower spine.

    "I had no power and was in a lot of pain with my back. I didn't have the strength that I'd had before and then during the Giro I thought and hoped I'd get better but that was really just wishful thinking. I hoped to make the second rest day because there was a little improvement but because of my back the legs weren't good," Bos told Cyclingnews.

    Bos can at least ride his bike now, meaning that his start in the Tour of Poland should be secured. However he must take small steps, increasing his mileage gradually and avoiding any hills.

    "I can do whatever as long as it's not painful. So I can ride easy, and on the flat, but if I do any climbs and start standing then it hurts once I've stopped training."

    Partnership with Mark Renshaw

    Rabobank's Giro was one to forget after they returned from Italy without a single stage win. The Dutch team's build-up had looked promising with Bos and teammate Mark Renshaw winning three stages between then at the Tour of Turkey. However both riders were unable match those results in Italy, leading to further questions of compatibility between the two.

    However Bos pointed to his...

  • Gilmore makes her claim to Australia's Olympic team in Philly

    The final podium: Bronzini, Teutenberg and Gilmore
    Article published:
    June 04, 2012, 4:19 BST
    By:
    Peter Hymas

    Sprinter hopes recent podium finishes bode well for selection

    The UCI 1.1-ranked Liberty Classic in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on Sunday was the final race in the selection process for Australia's women's Olympic road team, and second place finisher Rochelle Gilmore (Faren Honda) hopes her result will land her a coveted spot on her country's three-rider roster.

    In the field sprint finale deciding the Liberty Classic, Gilmore finished behind powerhouse sprinter Ina Teutenberg (Specialized-lululemon) but ahead of reigning world champion Giorgia Bronzini (Diadora-Pasta Zara).

    Gilmore has come into good form of late and her Liberty Classic result was her third podium finish in recent weeks, a run which included a third place finish in the opening stage of the Exergy Tour on May 25, preceded by a second place finish in Canada's Grand Prix Cycliste de Gatineau on May 21. Gilmore finished behind sprinters Theresa Cliff-Ryan (Exergy Twenty12) and Teutenberg in Idaho at the Exergy Tour, while also finishing second to Teutenberg in Canada.

    "Today was the last selection race for the Olympics and I really wanted to come here and do well," said Gilmore. "I had a bit of organising to do at the last minute to come here, it was a huge expense for my team to come. I'm really grateful for my two Italian riders and one Australian rider for coming. I couldn't start the race without three teammates, teams need a minimum of four, so I really owe it to them to be on the start line today."

    The Liberty Classic was the final event of a North American journey for the Italian-based Aussie and Gilmore hopes the great effort will result in the first Olympic Games of her career.

    "The organisers put us in really late and we also had to pick up a manager here in America at the last minute and a mechanic from...

  • Fuglsang hopeful for Tour de France after Luxembourg title

    Jakob Fuglsang (RadioShack-Nissan).
    Article published:
    June 04, 2012, 9:53 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    RadioShack-Nissan rider aware he may not make Tour squad

    Jakob Fuglsang still hopes to make the Tour de France squad for Team RadioShack-Nissan but will understand if the decision goes against him. He is still aiming for the 2012 London Olympics and the Vuelta a Espana will be a possibility, but “I would very much like to ride the Tour.”

    Fuglsang, 27, won the overall title in the Tour of Luxembourg, for the team's first stage race title this year. He was to have been captain at the Giro d'Italia but had to withdraw from the squad at the last minute with knee problems.

    The next race for the Danish rider is the Tour de Suisse, and he hopes to use it to qualify for the Tour de France, although he knows he faces tough internal competition.

    "The whole team has been riding incredibly strong, and we have a really strong team,” he told sporten.tv2.dk. “I don't feel 100 percent yet, because there are so many on the team who have the level to ride the Tour.”

    As to the composition of the team, “it really depends on what kind of tactics  There are many climbers on the team, but they also need someone for the flat. I do not hope that they believe they can ignore me.”

    Still, he knows that is a possibility. “I would probably initially be disappointed, but it's not the end of the world. There are still good races in July and maybe the Tour of Poland is a better preparation for the Olympics and may mean that I have one more chance to get a good result in the Vuelta, so that way we can say that there are pluses and minuses of both. But I would very like to ride the Tour. No...

  • Chavanel in the mix at Dauphiné

    Sylvain Chavanel (Omega-Pharma QuickStep)
    Article published:
    June 04, 2012, 10:36 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Top 10 prologue result shows French rider in good form

    Sylvain Chavanel has had a break from racing since the Spring Classics, but come back to competition in top shape as his Critérium du Dauphiné prologue result has showed on Sunday. The Omega Pharma-Quickstep rider finished eighth in the 5.7km time trial, six seconds adrift of winner Luke Durbridge (Orica-GreenEdge). Chavanel is known to be a classy time triallist but his result is all the impressive as the Frenchman was also amongst the last riders to start on the Grenoble course, experiencing less favourable weather conditions to those who had preceded him.

    That said, Chavanel was not completely satisfied with his performance. "I think I can do better. It was a good prologue but my objective was the top five. But I won't complain because I haven't raced since April 25. So for a return to competition it's not that bad. I was a bit apprehensive because even good training rides cannot replace racing. But I'm here at the start feeling fresh and I hope to improve my condition throughout the race," he told L'Equipe.

    A rainshower mid-way through the stage, as well as wind picking up in the afternoon, disadvanted some riders during the prologue. "It's true that when it started raining, my morale dropped somewhat," Chavanel continued. "But the wind that started blowing dried the roads very quickly, and that made me bouce back."

    The 32-year-old is starting his second peak of the 2012 season, preparing for the French Championships and even more so the Tour de France, where he has already won three stages in the past. But the Dauphiné itself could also be a target for Chavanel, as its course...

  • Bruyneel justifies press comments over Schlecks and RadioShack results

    blank
    Article published:
    June 04, 2012, 11:22 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Declares that team should have won everywhere

    Since Fränk Schleck's controversial withdrawal from the Giro d'Italia, reports of increasing differences between the Schleck brothers and RadioShack-Nissan manager Johan Bruyneel have been abundant in the media. Most recently, Andy Schleck criticised Bruyneel's outspokenness, saying that if he was team manager, he "wouldn't try to solve problems with my riders through the press, but discuss them internally."

    Now, the Belgian director has justified his comments, holding his ground on his ways of communicating. "I found it was the right moment to announce my opinion. Some people told me not to do this in the media, but I can't play-act, either. When a journalist asks me about the state of my team, then I have to say it's insufficient," Bruyneel told Sporza, blaming a lack of results for the frustrating situation.

    "We should have won everywhere, but when I look at the outcome so far I see two wins by Cancellara and some placings of honour. Of course, there are the circumstances, but nobody can be satisfied.

    "So I'm increasing the pressure. I'm seeing to it that there is no relaxing. It's also my task to point everyone at their responsibilities. Sometimes, hard words have to be said. If some guys don't like what I'm saying but then improve their performances, then that's fine my me," he added.

    Another issue has been Bruyneel's decision not to include directeur sportif Kim Andersen in his Tour de France team. Andy Schleck, who is known to have a strong relationship with Andersen from the seasons spent together at Saxo Bank and Leopard-Trek, was adamant that the Dane's support was

  • Nibali looking for time trial test at Dauphiné

    Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas-Cannondale) rode a solid prologue in the Dauphine
    Article published:
    June 04, 2012, 11:59 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Sicilian measures up against Wiggins and Evans

    With a healthy quota of time trialling on the menu at this year’s Tour de France, Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas-Cannondale) is keen to test himself against the clock at the Critérium du Dauphiné this week.

    The Sicilian will line up in July with eyes on a podium place, but is well aware that he will need to limit his losses to the likes of Bradley Wiggins (Sky) and Cadel Evans (BMC) if he is to aspire to overall honours.

    Nibali declared himself pleased with his showing in Sunday’s opening prologue at the Dauphiné, where he finished 22nd, 10 seconds down on winner Luke Durbridge (Orica-GreenEdge), 9 down on Wiggins and just 5 behind Evans.

    “A prologue is always a violent effort, not very well suited to my characteristics as an endurance rider, so I can only be happy with a result like this,” Nibali told Gazzetta dello Sport. “Such a short distance is suited to the specialists and to the track riders, and on top of that, Wiggins took a lot more risks than me.”

    Sunday’s short, 5.7km time trial was a mere prelude to the rather sterner test that awaits on the road from Villié-Morgon to Bourg-en-Bresse on Thursday. At 53.5km, it will be the longest time trial Nibali has tackled since the penultimate stage of the 2008 Tour de France, where he finished over five minutes down on Stefan Schumacher, who subsequently tested positive for CERA.

    “I’ve only done a time trial of that length once before,” he said. “It’s true that I’ve gone well in all of the other time trials since and it’s true that I’ve improved, but the longest of those were around...