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First Edition Cycling News, Monday, May 6, 2013

Date published:
May 06, 2013, 1:00 BST
  • Stamsnijder out with broken scapula

    Tobias Ludvigson and Tom Stamsnijder (Argos Shimano)
    Article published:
    May 05, 2013, 9:42 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Argos Shimano rider crashes in Dunkerque

    Tom Stamsnijder (Argos Shimano) crashed out of the 4 Days of Dunkerque on Saturday, breaking his scapula in the process. The 29-year-old pro crashed while chasing back to the front of the peloton after suffering a puncture on the fourth stage from Louvre Lens - Parc Départemental d'Olhain.

    “Tom came down hard when he was between the cars chasing back after a puncture,” said sports manager Aike Visbeek, who saw the crash happen.

    “It was on bad roads and a slight downhill at around 70km/h. He couldn’t hold it in a corner and went down. He was immediately taken in the ambulance to the hospital, where they confirmed that his scapula is broken.”

    “Tom crashed on his left shoulder and broke his scapula. It is a stable fracture and conservative treatment is sufficient, but recovery for this kind of fracture normally takes several weeks" said team physician Edwin Achterberg."

     

  • Giro shorts: Ischia headaches, Bernhard loves Bouhanni and remembering Gino

    Nacer Bouhanni (FDJ)
    Article published:
    May 05, 2013, 12:57 BST
    By:
    Stephen Farrand

    News shorts from the Giro d'Italia

    Everyday during the Giro d'Italia we dig up the best the news snippets and inside information.

    Today we look at the long day the riders face to race on Ischia, the Twitter love between Bernhard Eisel and Nacer Bohanni after the stage one sprint, recall the last time the Giro d'Italia visited Ischia and remember Italian legend Gino Bartali on the anniversary of his death.

    Ischia headaches

    The 17.4km team time trial is a short, intense effort but stage two will be a long day for the riders and every one at the Giro d'Italia due to the need to sail to Ischia island.

    The riders had an early wake up call and caught a ferry at 9:30, arriving just before lunch. They had a quick meal and then headed out to study the very technical course.

    The Colombia team is the first off at 15:40 local time, with the last team finishing at 17:15. After the stage the riders will travel back to the Italian mainland by ferry, sailing to Sorrento, south of Naples, ready for Monday's road stage to Marina di Ascea.

    Not surprisingly, the teams were not too happy to spend so much time travelling.

    "I think it would have been better for everybody if the team time trial had been the first stage. Getting back and forth to Ischia on Sunday is going to be complicated from a logistical point of view, but that’s just one of things we have to accept," Astana manager Giuseppe Martinelli said.

    Twitter love

    Bernhard Eisel is not riding the Giro d'Italia this year but was in the action immediately after the stage one finish, tweeting about Nacer Bouhanni's sprinting.

    The French national champion bumped Adam Blythe (BMC) off Cavendish's wheel with a head butt and then finished...

  • Giro d'Italia: Nibali satisfied with third place in TTT

    Astana’s Vincenzo Nibali is the home nation’s favourite for the win this year and was a man in demand with the press
    Article published:
    May 05, 2013, 17:33 BST
    By:
    Alasdair Fotheringham

    Shark of Messina heads back to mainland 14 seconds down on Wiggins

    Leading Italian favourite Vincenzo Nibali says he is quietly satisfied with Astana having clinched third place behind Team Sky in the stage two team time trial at the Giro d'Italia despite not having many specialists in the squad.

    Nibali lost 14 seconds to the Briton, a difference he said was minimal even if the Giro was only won by just 16 seconds in 2012. In the most immediate reference point between the two squads for team time trialling, the Giro di Trentino, Sky beat Astana by 13 seconds over a slightly shorter course, 14.1 kilometres, in the town of Lienz.

    “It’s not too bad as a team performance goes, we can be pretty happy,” Nibali told reporters afterwards. “We can be pretty happy all round, considering the squad is mainly made up of climbers.”

    “The course was extremely hard, and we fought this as a unit, I’m still feeling very positive about all of this. It’s the end of the race which counts, not how things look after stage two.”

    “We were very consistent, we didn’t have any bad patches even though it was such a technical course, and to lose by a very small margin like that is pretty satisfying. I can be happy with that.”

    Nibali was perhaps also satisfied because Sky will be working on the front of the race from a very early point, particularly if they have a ‘home rider’ leading overall. On Tuesday the race reaches its most southerly point, closest to Puccio’s home region of Sicily, and the British squad may feel morally obliged to defend the lead at least until there.

    Scarponi happy

    If Astana were surprisingly close to Sky, the other top Italian contender,...

  • Cavendish loses the maglia rosa but takes red points jersey in Giro d'Italia

    Mark Cavendish relinquished his grip on the maglia rosa
    Article published:
    May 05, 2013, 18:25 BST
    By:
    Stephen Farrand

    Omega Pharma-Quick Step warns about Monday's tough stage on the Amalfi coast

    Mark Cavendish swapped the pink race leader's jersey for the red points jersey following the team time trial, after his Omega Pharma-Quick Step team finished 17th of the 23 teams in the Giro d'Italia's stage 2.

    Cavendish took a 20-second time bonus for his stage win in Naples on Saturday but lost 48 seconds to Team Sky during the technical and very demanding 17.4km team time trial, slipping to 40th in the overall classification after the two days of racing.

    "I'm tired and a bit disappointed. For me, not for the team," he said, continuing to defend is teammates from any possible criticism.

    "It was a very technical team time trial. You had no chance to get into a rhythm; it was all left, right, up and down. It was difficult for me and the team. We did a good job and the team helped me to get to the finish."

    "Team Sky deserved to win. They had a great day and it's good they got the pink jersey. I'm happy I wore it for a day. It's a beautiful jersey."

    A warning for Monday

    Cavendish compared Ischia to his native Isle of Man, "except it's a bit sunnier," and quickly put a hard day of racing behind him and looked to the rest of the Giro d'Italia, especially Monday's 222km third stage on the Amalfi coast from Sorrento to Marina di Ascea.

     

    Two late climbs will make it tough for the sprinters but Cavendish could be up there and have a chance for a second stage win.

    "Tomorrow is difficult from the start," he warned, knowing all about the twists and turns of the spectacular coast road.

    "We'll see what happens. We trained on the coast the other day and it'll be a very fast start. We'll try and stay up there and then we'll see what...

  • Puccio takes overall Giro d'Italia lead in Ischia

    Salvatore Puccio (Sky) on the podium
    Article published:
    May 05, 2013, 19:30 BST
    By:
    Barry Ryan

    Pink jersey mix-up but no mistake about result for Sky in Giro team time trial

    Sky made only one error in their preparations for the Giro d'Italia's stage 2 team time trial on Ischia, but in the grand scheme of things, it counted for little as they claimed victory and put time into Bradley Wiggins' rivals for final overall victory.

    In the team briefing on Sunday morning, it was decreed that Dario Cataldo would cross the line first and - so Sky thought - take possession of the overall lead should they win the stage. As the winning nine waited beneath the podium, however, it was Salvatore Puccio who was called up to accept the pink jersey by dint of having been Sky's best-placed rider on stage 1 in Naples the previous day.

    It seems that the marginal gains manifesto does not extend to scrutinising the rulebook closely, but the man who would have been maglia rosa - Dario Cataldo - could afford to smile about the mix-up when he spoke to reporters after the podium protocol.

    "We had talked this morning with Bradley about who would cross the line first, and he wanted to give me this gift, but none of us had thought about the positions in the sprint yesterday," Cataldo said. "But that's really not a problem. The important thing today was just to go all out in the time trial."

    "Dario would have deserved it, and I'm sorry for him because he's older than me," Puccio said almost apologetically, his cheeks still grazed with the lipstick of the podium hostesses. "It all happened so fast. Just two minutes before we were due up on the podium to get to the prize for the stage win, our press officer Dario Cioni told me that I was the maglia rosa."

    Wiggins

    The success or otherwise of Sky's Giro will be measured purely by whether that jersey...

  • Wiggins leads virtual classification of favourites after two stages of Giro

     Bradley Wiggins was looked after by his Sky teammates
    Article published:
    May 05, 2013, 21:35 BST
    By:
    Alasdair Fotheringham

    Briton confirms status as top contender, Nibali closest, Hesjedal and Evans on defensive

    Sky Team Principal Dave Brailsford was determined to keep any kind of euphoria to a minimum at the finish of stage 2 of the Giro d’Italia, where Sky took their first Grand Tour team time trial victory

    “I don’t think you can read too much into it, you’re not going to win the Giro today, the gap to Hesjedal is neither here nor there,” Brailsford said. And it is true that 17.4 kilometres of time trialling do not form a huge chunk of a 3,000-kilometre race, even if the 2012 race was won by less than 20 seconds.

    However, those determined to read the runes of the Ischia team time trial will have noticed that Sky have simultaneously reconfirmed their position as the dominating force in Grand Tour stage racing, and that Bradley Wiggins is lying in the ideal position for a Tour favourite: second overall, with none of the pressure of the leader’s jersey, but almost all of the advantages.

    It is, in fact, an uncannily close re-run of the situation after the prologue of the 2012 Tour de France, where Wiggins was lying second behind Fabian Cancellara, as close to the top as he can be without actually breaking the surface. The rest are on the defensive, and he is the man to beat. Already.

    Should this situation remain stable for the next week - unlikely but possible - Wiggins will be ideally placed for the upcoming time trial next Saturday, arguably the next key stage.

    As last favourite off in that time trial, he will have all their times as references by which to gauge his efforts, whilst the other rivals will have fewer ways of judging their effort. History is, therefore, that little bit more likely to repeat itself.

    Astana, of all Wiggins rivals’, have the most to celebrate. Traditionally reasonably strong...

  • White hungry for Orica GreenEdge reinstatement

    Orica-GreenEdge's Stuart O'Grady (left) and sports director Matt White before the start of the Down Under Classic in Adelaide.
    Article published:
    May 06, 2013, 0:34 BST
    By:
    Daniel Benson

    Former sports director has offers, wants return to former role

    With his back-dated doping suspension over Matt White is hungry to return to the sport of cycling and has his heart set on reinstatement to the Orica GreenEdge he helped to set-up. However White's ambitions are on ice as he waits for a set of recommendations Nicki Vance is set to make on Australian Cycling.

    White was forced to step aside from his roles with Cycling Australia and GreenEdge last year after his name appeared in USADA Reasoned Decision. The US anti-doping agency had investigated allegations centred around Lance Armstrong and his US Postal squad, a team White had raced for. White confessed to doping and stood aside before telling ASADA all he knew.

    "At the end of day if you look at the facts I had three choices to make after the USADA report came out: I could have lied. There was no hard evidence against me, you have to remember. All there was were allegations from athletes who had seen things more than a decade ago. Secondly I could have told half truths and just agreed with what was on the Reasoned Decision which was outside the statute of limitations. That meant I wouldn't have had to speak to any agency or anti-doping body. Or I could have told the truth and cooperate, tell my 100 per cent truth, draw a line and then try and move on," White told Cyclingnews.

    In the aftermath White came clean and offered ASADA what he says was the complete truth into his own doping as a rider. His stance

  • Drapac confirm application for Professional Continental status in 2014

    Darren Lapthorne during the climb
    Article published:
    May 06, 2013, 2:57 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Australian outfit intent on invite to Tour Down Under and California

    The Australian Continental squad Drapac Professional Cycling has formally announced it will apply for a Professional Continental license for the 2014 season. The news comes off the back of recent statements made by the team's principal Michael Drapac to Cyclingnews that the team was on the verge of upgrading its status once again. The team had previously held Pro Continental status in 2007.

    Drapac had stated the team was considering applying for a US license or an Asian-based registration but the most recent team statement confirming the move to Pro Continental next year suggests that decision is yet to be finalised; "the approval of this license will give the opportunity to see two Australian teams in any event on the world calendar". 

    "The team has been working for 18 months on returning to a Professional Continental license," said Drapac. "It's just been a matter of picking the right time and that is now."

    "We have conducted extensive investigations into the requirements of this application and having previously held the license in 2007 are confident that with the financial underwriting of the Drapac Group our application will be successful" said team manager Jonathan Breekveldt.

    "In the coming months we will be talking to and inviting both current and new partners to join us on our new journey. We will also further outline the sportive blueprint for the coming years to make sure we are fully prepared for the upcoming challenge."

    Michael Drapac has long pushed for his team to be invited to Australia's only WorldTour event, the Santos Tour Down Under however, with much of the Drapac Group shifting its focus to the US market, a start at Tour of California is also high on the agenda.

    "The teams racing program will be...