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First Edition Cycling News, Monday, September 24, 2012

Date published:
September 24, 2012, 1:00 BST
  • Ewan claims second silver for Australia

    Caleb Ewan (Australia) shows his silver medal
    Article published:
    September 24, 2012, 0:52 BST
    Jane Aubrey

    Mentor McGee says result will keep 18-year-old hungry

    The Australian Cyclones won their second road race silver medal of the UCI Road World Championships on Sunday, with Caleb Ewan leading the bunch sprint in the junior men's race for second place behind Slovenia's Matej Mohoric.

    On Saturday, Rachel Neylan finished runner-up to Marianne Vos in the women's road race, while earlier in the championships, Rohan Dennis was second in the under 23 event against the clock.

    "That was pretty disappointing for me but I think I will come out stronger next time," 18-year-old Ewan explained.

    Ewan's mentor, Saxo Bank - Tinkoff Bank directeur sportif Brad McGee shared similar sentiments via his twitter feed.

    "@CalebEwan nice work today mate. Silver at junior worlds is a great result and sure to keep you hungry."

    Last month, Ewan told Cyclingnews that the cards had to fall a certain way for him to come away with the result he wanted. Ewan's three teammates - Brad Linfield, Robert-Jon McCarthy and Nick Schultz - rode exclusively for the Bowral sprinter and had planned to have at least one of them with him once they got over the Cauberg.

    "Unfortunately with a four man team the guys used so much to try and set it up and keep it together we ran out of guys over the top," explained coach, Dave Sanders.

    "They did everything they could and the last climb before the Cauberg we had our guys on the front to try and split it up. There's two of them, that's 50 percent of the team, that spent their final 'biccies'."

    Ewan had nothing but praise for his teammates.

    "They did so well out there and rode as hard as they could," he said. "Silver is okay, I guess."

    While the...

  • Ochowicz praises Gilbert for stunning worlds success

    Philippe Gilbert (Belgium) has dropped the competition on the final ascent of the Cauberg.
    Article published:
    September 24, 2012, 2:10 BST
    Alasdair Fotheringham

    BMC team manager believes Vuelta stage wins key for confidence

    For the second time in four years - the first was with Cadel Evans in 2009 - a BMC rider is world champion, something which for Jim Ochowicz, present at Valkenburg, is a source of considerable pride.

    "Throughout the Tour he [Philippe Gilbert] was doing his job and staying healthy and then we saw with the Vuelta he was making those moves on the little climbs at the end of the stages, which was a great sign," the veteran team manager said.

    "It was just like what he did here, a second category climb, you make the effort and you hold it.

    "At Barcelona in the Vuelta" - when Gilbert attacked with race leader Joaquim Rodriguez on the steep uphill climb at Montjuic and claimed his first win of the season - "that was a good first moment. You have to get confidence, in cycling the head and the body work together.

    "That doesn't mean you win all the time but you have to at least be in the competition. And when you start to win races like you do at the Vuelta you have confidence that you can win."

    Just as at the finish in La Lastrilla, where Gilbert won on a very draggy finish, it was very similar - "It needed a lot of power, a lot of watts," Ochowicz said.

    He had believed, he said, pre-race that Gilbert could be up there for the win, but he was cautious, too.

    "There's a lot of good riders out there, circumstances can change, a year out we don't know what the weather's going to be like, there's no guarantees.

    "But when he got to the starting line he had confidence and we had confidence. He was hungry, too, for the win, and you'll see the same with [former world champions and BMC riders] Thor [Hushovd] and Cadel [Evans] when they've had a season that they're not...

  • Davis earns another top-10 at world championships

    Simon Gerrans won with grit and determination
    Article published:
    September 24, 2012, 3:25 BST
    Cycling News

    Gerrans won't "lose too much sleep" over finale

    Australia's plan to put Simon Gerrans on the podium at the UCI Road World Championships may not have come off, but Allan Davis was able to add yet another top-10 placing to his palmares.

    Gerrans had been viewed as Australia's best hope of a podium, adding to Cadel Evans's gold medal in 2009, Davis' bronze in 2010 and Matt Goss's silver in 2011 however the Milan-San Remo winner was unable to match the power of winner Philippe Gilbert in the finale.

    "He [Gilbert] was definitely a worthy winner today," Gerrans admitted. "I stuck to my plan and waited and put all eggs in the basket of going on the last lap but Philippe was just too strong when he attacked at two k to go. I was in the next wave of guys but couldn't match his acceleration there so he's a worthy winner and I'm really happy for him.

    "You can't be too frustrated when you haven't got the legs," he continued. "If I was good enough to go with Philippe I deserve to be on the podium so at the end of the day I'm disappointed I didn't have the legs but when you don't, you can't lose too much sleep over it."

    Teammate Simon Clarke, recent winner of the king of the mountains classification at the Vuelta a España, had the job of marking the Belgian and patrolled the front of the group on the final lap heading into the Cauberg.

    "It was my job to take the pressure off Gerro and by doing that had to be in everything before the final decisive lap so he could wait until then," Clarke explained.

    "I've been on his wheel before when he attacks and if you want to go with him you have to be one centimetre behind him because if you're not there's no way you can follow him... Full credit to him it was an awesome...

  • No regrets for Voeckler in Valkenburg

    Thomas Voeckler (France) pulls a face on the Cauberg
    Article published:
    September 24, 2012, 5:33 BST
    Barry Ryan

    Frenchman finishes 7th at Worlds

    Thomas Voeckler (France) approached the finale of the world championships road race hoping to triumph by using his wits, but ingenuity had to yield to brute strength on the Cauberg as Philippe Gilbert (Belgium) stormed clear to take the rainbow jersey.

    Mindful that he could never hope to match the likes of Gilbert and bronze medallist Alejandro Valverde (Spain) on the stiff slopes of the Cauberg, Voeckler opted to ride within himself on the climb in the hopes of catching them unawares on the interminable drag after the summit.

    "I didn't do the last climb full on so that I could try and save my effort for the false flat afterwards," Voeckler told reporters outside the French team bus. "I had good legs, but I knew that my only small chance on this course was to jump away after the effort was made on the Cauberg with 1.5km to go, when the leaders would have no teammates left."

    In theory, Voeckler's plan was a sound one, but in practice, it always risked being undone by an individual feat such as Gilbert's. With a surge akin to Beppe Saronni's famous "sparata" in Goodwood 30 years ago, the Belgian duly inscribed his name into both the palmares and the lore of the world championships.

    "Gilbert is the only person able to do that, and if he hadn't done that, there wouldn't have been a little group off the front chasing him either," Voeckler said wistfully.

    Once over the top, with Gilbert gliding towards the rainbow jersey, Voeckler sprang into action in a bid to salvage a medal, drawing to bring back the chasers who had been strewn across the Limburg hillside. Once he realised that Edvald Boasson Hagen (Norway) and Valverde were going to round out the podium, however, Voeckler's motivation waned for the sprint and he came home in 7th place, 5 seconds down on...

  • Degenkolb fast on the rise with fourth place in Valkenburg

    John Degenkolb (Germany) would finish just out of the medals in fourth place.
    Article published:
    September 24, 2012, 6:26 BST
    Alasdair Fotheringham

    German second year pro makes huge progress on 2011 Worlds

    From 111th in Copenhagen's World Championships to fourth in Valkenburg represents major progress in anybody's book and particularly when the two results have been garnered by a second year pro like Germany's John Degenkolb.

    Then again, Degenkolb has been punching above his weight regularly this season. In August and September alone, the 23-year-old had taken five stages of the Vuelta, and then he won again in the GP D'Isbergues last weekend. From a rider who had taken fifth in Milan-San Remo and sixth in E3-Harelbeke this spring, to maintain such good condition right the way through to late September is remarkable, to say the least.

    "We already knew that John can do a good sprint, and we'd agreed to work for him, but he was very, very strong on that last climb, particularly after such a very hard race," German team-mate Fabian Wegmann, who finished 27th in the main group behind Valverde, told Cyclingnews. "He really impressed me - I mean, this was nearly 300 kilometres of racing today!"

    Wegmann rode five laps with a broken spoke after somebody slammed into his wheel in a big crash two thirds of the way through the race. But he battled on nonetheless and tried hard to pull back Gilbert, Valverde and Boasson Hagen on the Cauberg.

    "I gave it everything to try and chase down those three guys, but it wasn't easy. Gilbert was unbeatable I guess, nobody could follow him but with the tailwind he was going at over 65 kmh so we couldn't have gone much faster."

    He wasn't surprised that there were very few breaks before hand because "there was only ever tailwind and headwinds, never a crosswind. The headwind on the climb, and on the false flat, where can you go [on the attack]?"

    Wegmann agreed, though, that the tension and speed that almost always...

  • Boonen and Gilbert applaud work of Belgian team

    Belgium's Tom Boonen and Philippe Gilbert.
    Article published:
    September 24, 2012, 7:51 BST
    Cycling News

    Dual leaders play roles to perfection

    Crossing the finish line in 12th place and as the second-best Belgium in the world championships road race was of no relevance to former world and current national champion Tom Boonen as his teammate Philippe Gilbert had won the race just seconds ahead of his chasing pack. ‘Tomeke’ has enjoyed one of his best seasons in as many years and was a real favourite to win the 261km elite men’s race. The dual leadership with Philippe Gilbert never appeared to trouble Boonen, speaking about their roles ahead of Sunday’s race

    "Mentally, I could not find better preparation for the world cup. And in collaboration with Philippe Gilbert, I see no problems. Phil can join in the offensive when the Spaniards let loose on the Cauberg. I can put pressure on the back. In the final Phil can attack on the Caubergitself," Boonen told Het Laatste Nieuws.

    Despite missing out on capturing his second world title of the week - after winning the team time trial with his Omega Pharma-Quikstep squad - Boonen had nothing but good words for what was arguably the strongest team in the race. Belgium finished with three riders in the chase group including Boonen, Greg van Avermaet and Bjorn Leukemans with Jurgen Roelandts trailing in just 17 seconds behind.

    "With two favorites in the team, we each had our roles to perfection," Boonen said to

  • Froome: Stannard did the ride of his life

    Great Britain set tempo early in the world championship race.
    Article published:
    September 24, 2012, 9:13 BST
    Alasdair Fotheringham

    GB rider praises British national champion for hard work during worlds

    Britain's Chris Froome had nothing but praise for team worker and national champion Ian Stannard for his strong riding in the UCI Road World Championships on Sunday. Stannard chased down breaks by riders as powerful as Andrew Talansky as well as guiding Jonathan Tiernan-Locke to the foot of the Cauberg on the last lap, when he and the British climber were the last two riders from their country in the front group.

    "He did the ride of his life today," Froome told Cyclingnews. "For a big boy like him to get round a course like this - that's really impressive. Also JT, this is his first race at over 200 kilometres, to come to a World Championships like this and do so well, that's an achievement in itself."

    Given Tiernan-Locke had some of cycling's very top names working for him, Froome said it was a situation where "he was probably feeling a bit of pressure and a bit surprised to have a whole team working for him like that, but he rose to the occasion and did what he wanted to do."

    Visibly tired after a tough season, Froome joked that he was "happy to have made it to the circuit [after the first 101 kilometres from Maastricth to the Valkenburg circuit] and not have to hitch-hike home."

    "I pulled out after about 190 kilometres, I could see that there was no job left for me, Belgium were pulling and we had Steve [Cummings] in the break. It was time to stop."

    Froome's season is now over, "from the real races at least, although I may do a couple of invitational events. It's time to switch off and ease back."


  • Tygart received death threats during USADA's Armstrong investigation

    Article published:
    September 24, 2012, 10:53 BST
    Hedwig Kröner

    USADA set to hand UCI case file

    The director of the American Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), Travis Tygart, has confirmed that he has received three death threats since opening a case against Lance Armstrong and several other individuals linked to the former US Postal team. In an exclusive interview with French L'Equipe, Tygart said that security measures inside the USADA headquarters in Colorado Springs have been increased since his predecessor Terry Madden and himself have been threatened.

    "The BALCO affair changed everything, as we've had to face death threats for the first time. Two for Terry Madden, and one for me and my family, later, when Landis first confessed [to doping, in May 2010 - ed.].

    "Since the Armstrong affair, I've received three death threats, individual initiatives I believe. The FBI is taking care of that."

    Tygart also said that the dossier of gathered evidence against Armstrong would be sent to the International Cycling Union (UCI) very soon. "It's imminent," he confirmed. "We will transmit the files at the end of this month."

    According to L'Equipe, the information contained in the files will be made public "before the end of the year".

    Tygart also revealed that Armstrong could be called to testify in the case against Johan Bruyneel, his former team manager still in charge of the RadioShack-Nissan squad. Facing important doping allegations, the Belgian has chosen to turn to USADA's Anti-Doping Review Board and be heard before the panel in the next couple of months.

    "I don't know what Bruyneel is hoping for, he has everything to lose," Tygart continued. "He will be heard before the end of...