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First Edition Cycling News, Monday, June 6, 2011

Date published:
June 06, 2011, 1:00 BST
  • Boom nurses knee in Dauphiné leader's jersey

    Lars Boom (Rabobank) is a formidable prologue rider.
    Article published:
    June 05, 2011, 19:44 BST
    Daniel Simms

    Dutchman realistic about overall chances

    Lars Boom rode an exceptional prologue of the Critérium du Dauphiné as he beat surprise runner up Alexandre Vinokourov by two seconds and third placed Bradley Wiggins by five seconds, which is almost one second per kilometer. But the Rabobank rider recently came out of an injury period and still has doubts about his near future, at the Dauphiné and the Tour de France.

    "I want to be honest with the team," the Dutchman repeated a few times after the finish in Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne. This response applied for two subjects: his further ambitions at the Dauphiné and his participation to the Tour de France.

    Boom had a solid campaign in the Classics as he finished ninth at Gent-Wevelgem and 12th at Paris-Roubaix, but he didn't encounter the same joy at his come back event. He pulled out of the Tour of California during stage 7 because of an injured right knee.

    "My training has been affected and I've worried a bit," Boom said. "It looks like my pain is moving in the right direction but I want to evaluate how it can improve in a near future. I felt ok while training recently and it's no problem to ride a 5.4-km prologue but it remains unknown how I can go at harder and longer races."

    A stomach bug made him lose the leader's jersey of the Tour of Qatar after he won another technical prologue in February, so he's not holding onto big plans for the Dauphiné. "I'm curious to see what I can do in the next few days but Vinokourov is very close on GC," he noted. "I wouldn't mind keeping the yellow jersey, but the goal of the team is more about winning other stages, with me or riders like Robert Gesink."

  • Amorison out with broken jaw

    Frédéric Amorison (Landbouwkrediet)
    Article published:
    June 05, 2011, 21:57 BST
    Cycling News

    Crash in Tour de Rijke claims Landbouwkrediet rider

    Landbouwkrediet's Frédéric Amorison suffered a broken wrist and jaw in a crash at the Tour de Rijke in the Netherlands today.

    The 33-year-old Belgian's injuries were confirmed by x-rays in Spijkenisse, and he has been transported to the Maria Middelares hospital in Deurne.

    His team's director Gino Verhasselt said that Amorison will undergo surgery tonight. "He sat next to me in the car in extreme pain. He could barely speak with his broken jaw.

    "The fall itself didn't seem so bad, but the result certainly is. At the moment of the crash the peloton wasn't going very fast, and Amorison couldn't avoid a fallen rider. He instinctively tried to protect his head with his arm and broke two bones."

    The team gave no estimate on how long Amorison, winner of this year's Vlaamse Pijl, would be out of action.

  • Vinokourov impressed by his Dauphiné debut

    Alexandre Vinokourov (Astana) in the start house.
    Article published:
    June 06, 2011, 0:18 BST
    Cycling News

    Prologue runner up attempts GC with no pressure

    Alexandre Vinokourov has showed the form of the best days of his career as he took second place at the prologue of the Dauphiné behind Lars Boom in Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne. The 37 year-old went beyond his own expectations and that might lead him to more ambition in a race he won in his early years as a professional back in 1999.

    "This is a formidable result," he told Cyclingnews from his hotel after the prologue. "I thought I could make the top ten but my legs were turning even better than expected. I'm very happy with this result. I enjoyed the uphill at the start. The prologue of the Tour de Romandie wasn't to my taste [he finished ninth, ed.] but this one today was perfect."

    The Kazakh finished third overall at the Tour de Romandie, behind Cadel Evans and Tony Martin. He hasn't raced for a month but went for a training camp in Tenerife with eight other riders from Astana. "The weather was great and the weather was fantastic," he said.

    "It's good for my head to realize that my training has been productive, but it doesn't mean that I'm going to ride the Dauphiné for the win," Vinokourov continued. "There are a lot of uphill finishes, so it makes it a very hard Dauphiné.

    "For French teams, it's a very important race. I remember with Vincent [Lavenu, at the time of the team Casino with which he begun his pro career in 1998, ed.], the Dauphiné was like the world championship. We don't have that kind of pressure at Astana."

    Vinokourov brought a very good team with him in the French Alps with two previous stage winners of the Dauphiné, Maxim Iglinskiy (2007) and Dimitry Fofonov (2008), a winner of the king of the mountain prize, Rémy Di Gregorio (2007),...

  • Purcell and Myers bring Danbury Audi podium success at Liberty Classic

    Winner of the Under 23 contest, Lindsay Myers (Danbury Audi), accepts the Miji Reoch Award check from Tracy Lea
    Article published:
    June 06, 2011, 1:58 BST
    Kirsten Frattini

    Fledgling team continues to build

    Connecticut-based elite women's team Danbury Audi put forth an impressive performance at the UCI 1.1 Liberty Classic's 98-kilometre road race held on Sunday in Philadelphia. The first-year squad made two podium appearances with Jennifer Purcell, who placed third on the day, and Lindsey Myers, who won the Under 23 Miji Reoch Award.

    The team's sprinter Purcell, initiated the sprint to get herself out of a chaotic and at times dangerous wrap around Logan Square and onto the final straight. She placed third on the day after being passed by two veteran sprinters, World Champion Giorgia Bronzini of the Colavita Forno D'Asolo team and Shelley Olds of Diadora-Pasta Zara.

    "The finish was a little sketchy and I was further back than I wanted to be, so I just launched it to avoid the swarm," Purcell said. "I saw a gap and kept going. I saw that I was a little further out from the finish than I wanted to be, but I rolled with it and held it off at the podium. I just believed in my jump."

    Prior to the bunch sprint, Danbury Audi brought a quality mix of riders to the marquee stateside women's event that also included Myers, Kathleen Billington, Emily Kachorek, Liza Rachetto and Rebecca Wellons. The team rallied together during the closing laps of the race to bring Purcell into a suitable position to sprint for a good result. In the process, Rachetto placed 11th and Myers placed 25th on the day.

    "HTC-Highroad and Colavita along with my team got up to the front to try and bring an early breakaway back," Purcell said. "This race was my big goal of the year and all of a sudden there we were. The support of my team was amazing and everyone did a really great job. It was really encouraging having us all in the finish together."

    Myers' performance bested the rest of the Under 23 riders in the field and she won the Under 23 Miji Reoch p/b Fuji award. "I didn't...

  • Evans happy with new time trial equipment

    A determined Cadel Evans (BMC) kicks off his Dauphine.
    Article published:
    June 06, 2011, 2:55 BST
    Jane Aubrey

    BMC Racing man on track for another top performance at Criterium du Daupiné

    Pre-race favourite, Cadel Evans said he was satisfied with his performance in the prologue time trial of the Criterium du Daupiné Sunday. The Australian BMC rider's nine second deficit over the 5.4 kilometre course to winner Lars Boom (Rabobank) sees Evans sitting in seventh place heading into day two.

    By the time Evans left the start house, the roads had began to dry out after a heavy morning downpour and a shower that dogged some of the early starters.

    "Unfortunately, when it's changing weather conditions, it can make for a little bit of an unfair racing," Evans said after the prologue. "But it was good the roads dried up for the GC favorites. It's a good start to what is going to be an interesting race. "

    The time trial was also an opportunity for Evans and the BMC squad to test out the recently refined frames of the team's time trial rigs.

    "For us, [it was] an interesting day to try some new equipment that the guys at BMC have been working away," the former world champion revealed on his blog. "Now having tried everything in both training and race conditions, I can happily say 'great job boys' - better we have those bikes than our competitors..."

    There was a varierty of different equipment on show during the prolgue, with some riders opting to use their road bikes over the short course which featured an opening 800 metres on a five percent incline.

    Evans predicted that there will be a few riders on the move in the general classification on stage one between Albertville and Saint-Pierre-de-Chartreuse, where the favourites are expected to save themselves for later in the week.

    BMC Racing directeur sportif John Lelangue believed Evans' time trial performance showed that the three-time...

  • Hagman prevails in TD Bank International Championship KOM

    Riders had good crowds to look forward to on the Lemon Hill climb.
    Article published:
    June 06, 2011, 6:32 BST
    Peter Hymas

    Jelly Belly rider pips Quinn Keogh by one point

    Once the day's early break was established in Sunday's TD Bank International Championship, on the second of ten big circuits out to Manayunk and back along the Schuylkill River, a battle royale ensued between Alex Hagman (Jelly Belly p/b Kenda) and Quinn Keogh (Team Exergy) for King of the Mountains supremacy.

    Hagman was the first of the five-man escape to focus on the KOM opportunity, but Keogh rallied strong to only concede top honours by one point, 45 to 44 at the end of the day.

    "I saw that nobody was going for the KOM points so I figured I'd make it happen," Hagman told Cyclingnews. "It just kind of worked out, I got lucky. Our team plan was to get somebody in that breakaway. Being a televised race it's good to get some exposure for the Jelly Belly team.

    "In the first couple of laps he [Quinn Keogh] just wasn't going for them for whatever reason, but he was super-strong today. I said I kind of got lucky because he didn't go for them early on, but he was just crushing it the last couple of laps."

    There was plenty of KOM opportunities throughout the 250km race with the top three finishers on both the Manayunk Wall and Lemon Hill earning points each lap. In the final three mini-circuits between Lemon Hill and Logan Circle the points were doubled. In total, the elite men's peloton faced 23 KOMs for the race's entirety.

    Once it became clear that Hagman and Keogh were waging a two-man climbing clinic, the duo were kept abreast of their respective KOM tallies.

    "The team car would come up and talk to us and the commissaire was pretty good. we'd ask him [for the points totals]. They knew there was a battle going on for the KOM so we talked to them and they would give us...

  • Brajkovic aims high for Tour de France

    Janez Brajkovic (RadioShack) is out to defend his Dauphine title.
    Article published:
    June 06, 2011, 10:16 BST
    Cycling News

    Defending champion at Dauphiné to build up for July

    His 17th place at the Critérium du Dauphiné prologue on Sunday confirmed that defending champion Janez Brajkovic may not have come to the Alpine stage race with the aim of repeating his 2010 feat. Instead, the RadioShack rider and his team have chosen to put all odds on the Tour de France this year, where the young Slovenian has ambitious objectives.

    "I didn't want to take any risks," Brajkovic told L'Equipe after the prologue yesterday, where he finished 14 seconds down on winner Lars Boom (Rabobank). "I felt good but I didn't want to give everything like I did last year. I'm already thinking of the Tour de France."

    In 2010, the 27-year-old had placed second behind Alberto Contador in the opening prologue, at the peak of his form. He then joined Lance Armstrong in the team for the Tour, but his performances declined as his strong spring season took a toll, and he eventually finished only in 43rd place. But his overall victory in the Dauphiné has given him more confidence to truly test himself in a Grand Tour.

    "It would be too pretentious to say that I aim for a podium placing on the Champs-Elysées," Brajkovic announced. "It would be more reasonable to say that a top five placing is possible."

    After finishing seventh in both Paris-Nice and the Tour de Romandie this spring, the Slovenian is slowly coming up to his peak form - exactly what is intended by his RadioShack team. "This is a rider who has very short phases of form and the challenge is to get him to a 100 percent at the Tour - not before," explained directeur sportif Alain Gallopin to

  • WADA chief advises Contador to skip the Tour de France

    WADA President John Fajey (l) and Director General David Howman earlier this year.
    Article published:
    June 06, 2011, 11:03 BST
    Cycling News

    David Howman defends the delay of the Spaniard’s CAS hearing

    David Howman, the director general of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), has suggested Alberto Contador should skip this year’s Tour de France but has also defended the decision of Court of Arbitration for Sport to delay the Spaniard’s hearing until August.

    Last week Howman told Cyclingnews that WADA does not run cases to win them but to ensure that proper justice is done.

    “Legally, he has every right (to ride). It’s up to him. I wouldn’t advise him to do it but I can’t tell him not to,” Howman told Spanish newspaper AS.

    “We have not formally opposed the postponement of his hearing before the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) because our main objective is that justice is respected to the fullest.

    “We will await the ruling of CAS and then accept its decision. I don’t think I can say more. We intend to let CAS do its job without any pressure, at least from our part. We have never sought to prejudge Contador or anyone else. In the interest of everyone, we have to ensure that the law is respected.”

    Contador tested positive for Clenbuterol in a test carried out on the second rest day of the 2010 Tour de France. The anti-doping laboratory in Cologne, Germany, detected just 50 picograms of Clenbuterol in his sample but there is currently no minimum threshold for Clenbuterol in the WADA anti-doping code. Contador has always claimed that the positive was caused by contaminated meat brought to the Tour by a friend from Spain. He was cleared of doping by the Spanish Cycling Federation in February but both WADA and the UCI have appealed the verdict.

    Howman confirmed that WADA...