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First Edition Cycling News, Monday, May 31, 2010

Date published:
May 31, 2010, 1:00 BST
  • Lloyd secures climber's green jersey

    Matt Lloyd (Omega Pharma-Lotto) still wears green
    Article published:
    May 30, 2010, 11:03 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    Australian climber emotional after fighting for every point

    When Matt Lloyd (Omega Pharma-Lotto) crossed the finish line at the Passo Tonale in pain and deeply disappointed, he thought he had lost the green climber's jersey.

    It was only when his team soigneur shouted excitedly that he'd actually won it, and that he had gained enough points during the stage to beat Ivan Basso, that Lloyd's face lit up and he jumped on the soigneur in celebration.

    Today he will wear the green jersey during the final time trial around Verona and then pull on one more green jersey on the final podium as the best climber in the 2010 Giro d'Italia.

    Lloyd won stage 6 to Marina di Carrara and has fought to defend the jersey everyday since then.

    "I was nearly dead when I arrived at the finish but it was emotional to discover I'd won the jersey. It's difficult to describe how I feel. I've won the green climber's jersey in the Giro. I live in Italy have a history here, so it's very special," he told Cyclingnews.

    "You go out all day on the attack and you can't be that calculated to know if the exact points were in your favour. When I was in the break  I wasn't actually trying to do the maths, I just tried to assert my authority and be first to the top of the climbs. It worked out perfectly in the end."

    "I'd never resigned to the fact that I'd lost it, even after Basso took it after the finish in Aprica. I never gave up and knew I had to go for it. We went out and rode."

    Lloyd scored 27 points during the stage to Passo Tonale. That gave him a total of 56, well clear of Ivan Basso in second place with 41 points. Johan Tschopp (Bbox Bouygues Telecom) finished third with 38 points after leading the Giro over the Passo Gavia and winning the stage at Passo Tonale.

    "It's been my own classification during this Giro and I've chased it all race," Lloyd said. "I didn’t chose to go for the GC and it was a good idea. I won a stage and just kept going for it,...

  • Pinotti kept his promise with top ten at Giro d’Italia

    Italian time trial champion Marco Pinotti (HTC - Columbia) in action on the Plan de Corones.
    Article published:
    May 30, 2010, 12:07 BST
    Jean-François Quénet

    HTC-Columbia captain raises his profile at 34

    As the organisation of the Giro d’Italia put clean cycling as their priority for this year, Marco Pinotti’s top ten finish overall is a sign that at least some expectations have been met. The Italian from HTC-Columbia was full of praise for Johann Tschopp. The Swiss climber who won stage 20 including the Gavia is like him a cyclist who works on a daily basis for the ecology and a doping-free sport.

    “When he broke away from our group with Gilberto Simoni on the Gavia, I thought he had a good chance of winning the stage,” said Pinotti who looked exhausted when he crossed the line on the Passo del Tonale.

    “I’m happy with my Giro,” he told Cyclingnews after a good night of sleep and prior to the closing time trial in Verona after which he might move from tenth to ninth overall. “To finish in the top 10 of such a difficult Giro is a satisfaction. I haven’t done any altitude training before the race. I came to the Giro after racing a lot but not with the specific preparation for the mountains. In the climbs where more than thirty minutes of effort were necessary, I’ve suffered.”

    Pinotti also realised that former Tour de France winner Carlos Sastre struggled even more than him on the Gavia. Sastre is – with David Arroyo and Richie Porte – one of the three riders who are higher than him on GC but took advantage of the twelve minutes lead of the maxi-breakaway of stage 11 to L’Aquila.

    “We’ve experienced some very difficult conditions during these three weeks of racing,” Pinotti said. “It has made me proud to be part of it. It’s been a nice Giro from the public’s perspective. The well designed course made the race really interesting.”

    After finishing eighth overall in the Tour of Romandie, Pinotti had told Cyclingnews four weeks ago that he might have a go for the first time at the GC in the Giro...

  • Larsson gets first big win at Giro d'Italia

    Sweden's Gustav Larsson (Saxo Bank) en route to an 8th place finish in the Giro opener.
    Article published:
    May 30, 2010, 20:02 BST
    Jean-François Quénet

    Olympic silver medallist feels better after three weeks of racing

    Saxo Bank's Gustav Larsson finally achieved a great career win as he rode the fastest time in the closing time trial of the Giro d'Italia after riding for three weeks as a helper for rookie and teammate Richie Porte, who finished seventh overall and as best young rider.

    In the middle of the arena of Verona where the final presentation of the Giro d'Italia was held, Larsson experienced a strange feeling. "I don't know what it means to win such a prestigious stage here," the Swede told Cyclingnews. "I'm just doing the one thing I'm good at."

    This "one thing" is time trialling, a speciality in which he has been the national champion a couple of times (2006 and 2007). Above all, he's a man who has produced impressive showings at the world level on different occasions: fourth at the World Championship in 2004 at the age of 23, second at the Olympic Games in Beijing and second again behind Fabian Cancellara at last year's world championship in Mendrisio.

    "This is my first stage win in a Grand Tour, and I hope it's not the last one," he said. "The race went well for me today. I just rode as steadily as I could. Yesterday, after helping Richie (Porte) to get back on in the climb to Livigno, I tried to take it easy on the Gavia to preserve myself for today."

    "When I watched Wiggins at the halfway point, I knew I had nothing to fear from him because he would never go faster than me downhill, but later on I was really afraid of (Marco) Pinotti. He was 12 seconds ahead of me at halfway. But unlike many other riders, I got better in the last couple of days in the Giro."

    This is the trademark of the tall and solid Swede, who started his career in 2001 at the Crescent team under the guidance of Tommy Prim, who is a former runner up of the Giro d'Italia and who recommended him to Giancarlo Ferretti. Larsson rode for Fassa Bortolo, Française des Jeux and Unibet before joining CSC-Saxo Bank in 2008. With the Danish outfit,...

  • Australians win all secondary jerseys of the Giro d'Italia

    The four jersey wearers of the Giro d'Italia: Matt Lloyd (mountains), Cadel Evans (points), Ivan Basso (overall winner) and Richie Porte (best young rider)
    Article published:
    May 30, 2010, 20:40 BST
    Jean-François Quénet

    Evans predicts a great future for Lloyd and Porte

    Australian riders won the points classification, the king of the mountain prize and the best young rider classification in the 2010 Giro d'Italia thanks to Cadel Evans, Matt Lloyd and Richie Porte. Never before has a rider from Down Under won a major secondary classification at the corsa rosa.

    Phil Anderson came the closest in 1990 when he won the Intergiro, a temporal classification based on midway points for every stage. The leader wore a blue jersey.

    "I came here for the pink jersey to be honest," said overall contender Evans, whose consistency netted him the points classification jersey.  It is no longer cyclamen this year, but red.

    "It was a great finish to the Giro and so thanks to the organisers for a great race," said the World Champion. The points jersey was some consolation for a missed opportunity to win a Grand Tour as Evans battled sickness during the Giro and did not have as strong of a team as some of the other favorites. "Some stages were amazing, and we didn't know what was going to happen next," he said. "I'm satisfied with my Giro."

    Evans was full of praise for his young compatriots, the other classification winners. "I was very impressed with Matt yesterday," said Evans. "He showed his depth and rode above himself. The same for Richie. I first met him when he was reserve for the Australian worlds team. He's been in hiding, but now everyone knows his name and what he's capable of. Matt can go for other stages and mountain jerseys. Richie learned, and it was a learning curve that will help him during the rest of his career. I wish him all the best."

    When Lloyd went on stage to get the green jersey of the mountains classification, he hadn't had a chance to research which other riders had won this classification previously. His name joins those of Gino Bartali, Fausto Coppi, Hugo Koblet, Louison Bobet, Charly Gaul, Federico Bahamontes, Rik Van Looy, Eddy Merckx, Lucien van Impe, Laurent...

  • Evans reveals he overcame illness to finish the Giro

    Points leader Cadel Evans (BMC) at the finish in Brescia.
    Article published:
    May 30, 2010, 21:10 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    World champion carried on despite problem after stage 11

    Cadel Evans (BMC) had hoped to finish better than fifth overall in the Giro d'Italia, 3:27 behind Ivan Basso, but revealed that a temperature and stomach problems after stage 11 to L'Aquila had wrecked his chances.

    The world champion said that the BMC team doctor had advised him to quit the race but he fought on, even if he was never as strong as before his problems. He did not reveal his problems because he did not want it to be an excuse during the race.

    "I came here with the legs and head to win the Giro but I had some bad luck with health issues. That's racing I suppose. Fifth is not bad," Evans said.

    "Unfortunately the night before the stage to L'Aquila, I went to bed with a temperature. I had a 38.8C and woke up the morning after with 38.0C. The team doctor advised me to go home. I tried to start the stage but was afraid of being dropped even in the neutralized zone. Everybody was talking about the break going away that day but I was just happy to have stayed with the front group on the first climb. Everybody knows how bad you feel when you've got 38C temperature but I rode for 262km like that."

    "The day after I still felt ill and also had stomach problems. I was forced to eat plain rice for a few days and after that I never felt as good as I had early earlier in the race."

    "I didn’t talk about it because I was trying to recover and get back in the race and there was nothing I could do."

    Evans admitted he could have perhaps finished on the podium with the support of a stronger team but said the illness was far worse than lack of teammates in key moments of the race.

    "We lost a minute in the team time trial and then there were other moments when I was alone but I lost the biggest margin of form with the illness and that cost me perhaps a couple of place overall. But I'm proud of the riders who came to the Giro and especially the four who finished the race with me and worked hard...

  • No Deutschland Tour in 2011

    Team Columbia dominates Deutschland Tour
    Article published:
    May 31, 2010, 10:13 BST
    Cycling News

    McQuaid supports return of German stage race

    There will be no Deutschland Tour in 2011 due to lack of interest by German television broadcasters, the race organisers confirmed on Monday. Last week International Cycling Union president Pat McQuaid said he thought the German race would return in “two or three years”.

    “Since television shows no interest, a new edition of the race for next year is definitely not in focus,” said Michael Hinz of the Agentur Upsolut to the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung.

    The race was last held in 2008. However, numerous doping scandals, especially those involving Bernhard Kohl, Stefan Schumacher and Davide Rebellin of the former German ProTour team Gerolsteiner, caused German broadcaster to eliminate or severely cut backs their coverage of cycling.

    Last week McQuaid told the magazine Sponsors that he thought the Deutschland Tour would return. “I am convinced that we will have the Deutschland Tour again in no later than two or three years.” Former race organiser Kai Rapp supported the idea, saying, “I think that is a realistic time plan.”

    Things look better for the Bayern Rundfahrt, which just finished its 2010 race. “We are planning for next year,” said organiser Ewald Strohmeier. “We already have some stage towns and acceptance from the main sponsor.”

  • Mollema makes Dutch heads turn

    Bauke Mollema (Rabobank)
    Article published:
    May 31, 2010, 10:16 BST
    Jean-François Quénet

    Overall performance at Giro indication of portent

    Rabobank's Bauke Mollema was a contented rider in Verona yesterday afternoon after finishing this year's Giro in 12th overall, a fantastic result for his team given its youth and lack of a clear leader without defending champion Denis Menchov.

    Three weeks ago in his home country of the Netherlands, Mollema was full of hope and enthusiasm but the winner of the 2007 Tour de l'Avenir didn't know what to expect from his first Grand Tour. His Rabobank team didn't start with a real captain a year after winning the event with Menchov.

    "Maybe one of us will make the top 20," Mollema had told Cyclingnews in the theatre Beurs van Berlage in Amsterdam the day before the opening time trial. Two of them made it as first-year pro Steven Kruijswijk finished 18th and also rode a very promising first Grand Tour. They came third and fourth respectively in the best young rider competition behind Richie Porte and Robert Kiserlovski.

    "I'm very satisfied", said Mollema inside the arena of Verona where the Giro concluded amid magnificent fanfare. "In every mountain I was in the top 10 or top 15. I feel I'm going to be even better next year."

    Mollema has the physique of a pure climber with a huge margin for improvement. Last year he was sidelined by the Pfeiffer disease and two years ago he was still a student, living amongst his peers at university although he was already a pro cyclist with Rabobank.

    "My ultimate goal is to win the Tour de France," he explained. He'll ride the Tour de Suisse in June and take a rest before gearing up for the end of the season. "I hope to perform in Italy again at the Giro di Lombardia," he said.

    Several years after Rabobank's great hope for the Grand Tours, Michael Rasmussen, was dismissed from the team, the Dutch squad appears to have some home-grown Tour talent, with Mollema and Kruijswijk two more climbers on the rise soon after Robert Gesink and Lars Boom, who are preparing to lead the team's...

  • Devolder happy to win in Belgium again

    Strong riding from Stijn Devolder won him his home race
    Article published:
    May 31, 2010, 11:38 BST
    Cycling News

    Considering riding the Tour de France

    Stijn Devolder was thrilled to win the Tour of Belgium for the second time on Sunday. The Quick Step rider is now considering riding the Tour de France in July.

    He took the overall victory through a third-place finish in Saturday's time trial and second on Sunday's queen stage. “I was pretty angry with myself after the individual time trial in Herzele, since I lost too much time in the corners. I wanted revenge,” he told the Belga news agency.

    “It is always good to win in your home country.” 

    Devolder and Sunday's stage winner Ben Hermans of RadioShack were part of an escape group which also contained Oscar Freire (Rabobank) and Philippe Gilbert of Omega Pharma-Lotto. Devolder and Hermans were able to break clear near the end and divide up the stage win and overall title between themselves.

    Over his career Devolder has been significantly more successful in one-day races rather than stage races,and had said that this year he would skip the Tour de France. Even after criticism from team manger Patrick Lefevere this year that he concentrated too much on the Tour of Flanders, which he won in 2008 and 2009, Devolder repeated his decision to concentrate on the Spring Classics and not ride the Tour.

    However, his improved form may make him change his mind. "We must see. I must decide together with the team. But if I am really welcome, it is likely,” he told the Belgian website Sporza.

    His next races are the Tour de Suisse and the Belgian national championships.