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First Edition Cycling News, Saturday, July 10, 2010

Date published:
July 10, 2010, 1:00 BST
  • Fight breaks out after Tour stage 6

    Rui Costa (Caisse d'Epargne) wrests a front wheel away from Carlos Barredo (Quick Step) after the Spaniard hit Costa with it following the stage 6 finish.
    Article published:
    July 09, 2010, 21:41 BST
    Cycling News

    McEwen's day ends in crash

    Tempers flared along with the heat on Friday at the Tour de France. Spaniard Carlos Barredo (Quick Step) and the Portuguese rider Rui Costa (Caisse d'Epargne) came to blows after the end of stage six from Montargis to Gueugnon.

    In videos of the incident on and, Barredo brandished a front wheel as he charged toward Costa and attempted to club him repeatedly over the head with it. The conflagration soon disintegrated into a fist fight as both riders lobbed blows at the each other. Nearby journalists and team staff intervened to separate the brawling riders.

    According to L'Equipe, Barredo was upset after Costa touched handlebars with him in the final kilometres of the stage.

    Each rider was fined approximately 300 euros for his misconduct.

    "There were things that happened in the race, the product of stress," said Barredo after the incident according to AS. "I realize that my attitude was not correct and I take the penalty. These things should not happen."

    Man down

    Robbie McEwen had his own reasons to be upset after stage 6 after another incident. The Katusha rider's bad luck at the Tour de France continued when he collided with someone from the race organization at the end of the same stage. The Australian was taken to a hospital after the incident, but no fractures were found.

    "[I] got taken out at 60kph by a podium chaperone 75m after the finish," tweeted an irate McEwen. "He literally jumped in front of me and ran into me. Nothing broken."

    Just prior to the collision, he finished fourth in the final dash to the line.

    "My back is so sore," said an incredulous McEwen. "I want him identified and expelled. Just too ridiculous for words what he did. I hope I can ride tmoro [tomorrow - ed.]."

  • Stage 1 of Univest Grand Prix cancelled for 2010

    Trek-Livestrong team head down the finish straightaway at the Allentown stage of the Univest Grand Prix
    Article published:
    July 09, 2010, 22:15 BST
    Cycling News

    Race will go on in Souderton and Doylestown

    After months of planning, fundraising efforts and coordination with the City of Allentown and Salisbury Township, Sparta Cycling, Inc. announced Friday that the Allentown stage of the Univest Grand Prix is cancelled due to lack of funding.

    "This was not an easy decision or one that was taken lightly," said John D. Eustice, Univest Grand Prix race promoter and president of Sparta Cycling, Inc. "Despite tremendous support from the City of Allentown and Salisbury Township and a strong interest from the community, the current economic conditions are preventing the race's return."

    "I want to thank Mayor Ed Pawlowski, the Salisbury Township commissioners and other local officials for their support, and if economic conditions improve we will definitely look to bring Allentown back into the Univest Grand Prix in future years."

    Now in its 13th year, the Univest Grand Prix will return to a two-day event format with the first day in Souderton on Saturday, September 11 and the second in Doylestown on Sunday, September 12.

    "While we regret losing Allentown for 2010, we take great pride in knowing we are still bringing the Univest Grand Prix to Souderton and Doylestown," said Eustice. "This is only possible because of the enormous support from Univest Corporation - the title sponsor of the event since its inception in 1998 - and the dozens of other businesses providing support throughout Bucks and Montgomery counties. The Souderton and Doylestown area communities have embraced this event and held festivals, hosted riders, invited cyclists into schools and volunteered to give back on race weekend. These collective efforts fueled the Univest's success and helped us earn our prestigious reputation in the cycling community as one of the best races of the year."

    Not unlike the Allentown stage of the Univest Grand Prix, professional cycling events have been hit hard this past year, leaving only four remaining on the USA Pro Cycling Tour:...

  • Perget defends breakaway move

    Mathieu Perget (Caisse d'Epargne) leads Ruben Perez Moreno (Euskaltel - Euskadi) in the break of the day.
    Article published:
    July 09, 2010, 22:28 BST
    Hedwig Kröner

    Tour de France rookie received honours as most combative rider

    At the finish in Gueugnon on Friday afternoon, Mathieu Perget from Caisse d'Epargne was furious when answering the obligatory questions about his doomed breakaway. The Frenchman was part of a three-men escape in stage six, which rather predictably ended in a bunch sprint won by Mark Cavendish (HTC-Columbia). Still, Perget insisted that these sort of escapes are more than just show-offs.

    "Breaking away on stages like this is not just about advertising the sponsor on TV - I saw that this was written yesterday in L'Equipe and I'm just really mad about it," Perget told Cyclingnews at the finish as he was riding to the podium to receive his honours as most combative rider of the day. "We're not paid per kilometre raced in front, you know. We have team orders, and we respect them."

    His team orders were to make the pace for his teammates to break away, but he drove it so hard he got a gap himself. "I found myself in the break trying to filter out some guys in front to make way for the better rouleurs of our team," he said. "But then, I was suddenly away, and of course I didn't stop. I'm at the Tour, after all!"

    The 25-year-old is participating in the Tour de France for the first time after having raced the Giro d'Italia three times with his Caisse d'Epargne team, with which he signed in 2006. Always in the service of his leaders, Perget seldom had the chance to score for himself but was successful earlier this year in a French stage race.

    "When I won the Tour du Limousin, my breakaway was similarly 'impossible', but then we won the stage with Arroyo and I got second, and won the overall afterwards," he said. "You have to believe in it, otherwise there is really no point in being there."

    The longest day in this year's Tour de France, at 227.5km, saw Perget out and about for a total of 215 kilometres, moreover in blistering temperatures around 33° Celsius. Still, the Frenchman was sure he did not waste energy...

  • Time for some mountains at the Tour

    Race leader Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank) rides alongside 2010 Giro d'Italia winner Ivan Basso.
    Article published:
    July 09, 2010, 22:53 BST
    Hedwig Kröner

    GC attacks possible in the two first uphill finishes of the Grand Boucle

    Now that the first week of racing is drawing to its end, the Tour de France peloton has arrived in the vicinity of the French Alps, a territory where the race will again unfold for the general classification contenders after the race spent three stages on fast bunch sprint finishes.

    Attention is refocusing on the riders going for the overall victory as Saxo Bank's Fabian Cancellara is leading the race headed for the mountains. On Saturday, a medium-mountain stage will see the Tour's first uphill finish end on the Cat. 2 climb of Les Rousses. The next day, things may become serious for the first time with two Cat. 1 ascents on the menu to the ski station of Morzine-Avoriaz.

    Defending champion Alberto Contador, together with his Astana teammate and super-domestique Alexandre Vinokourov, sits comfortably at 31 seconds behind Saxo Bank's true leader, Andy Schleck. The remainder of his rivals, including RadioShack's Lance Armstrong, have already lost time on the Spaniard, so they should be aiming to attack.

    "Tomorrow's stage is not located in the high mountains yet, but it does take place in the delicate region of the Jura, with its bad road surfaces and in changing weather conditions," warned the Astana team manager Yvon Sanquer at the start of stage six in Montargis. He told Cyclingnews that while the run towards Les Rousses would probably see a breakaway aiming at the polka dot jersey of best climber, Contador would have to remain vigilant during the last climb. "We will have to watch out, as some riders that may have lost time on GC could use the day as an opportunity to come back a little."

    Still, he said that it was very likely that Saxo Bank would defend Cancellara's yellow jersey. "I think Saxo Bank will want to keep the overall lead, and they are largely capable of pulling any break back in order to do so. Both Jens Voigt and Fabian Cancellara were impressive in the third stage, when they pulled Andy Schleck to the...

  • Pineau ready for polka dot battle

    The mountains classfication leader Jerome Pineau (Quick Step) stocks up on food for the day.
    Article published:
    July 10, 2010, 2:21 BST
    Hedwig Kröner

    Frenchman determined to keep KOM lead

    The current leader of the King of the Mountains classification at this year's Tour de France may not be a true climber, but he is determined to defend his jersey for as long as he possibly can. As the Tour hits the Alps, Jérôme Pineau (Quick Step) knows he won't be able to take the lead to Paris, but he has a plan to at least save his polka dot jersey over the first two mountain stages.

    "Tomorrow is a more difficult stage where I will have to race out front in order to get more points for the polka dot jersey," Pineau told Cyclingnews. "There are more than 40 points at stake, so it is a stage that is going to be important."

    Stage seven to Les Rousses is a medium-mountain stage with an uphill finish. Pineau's thinking is that if he can take all the points there, it won't matter if others may be stronger than him on Sunday when the Tour peloton takes on the real thing in Morzine-Avoriaz.

    "If I can score all of the points tomorrow then I have a chance of defending the lead in Morzine - I know I'll have to drop back on the last climb,” he said. “But I feel good, I have good legs, so I don't want to set myself any limits. Except for the Champs-Elysées: I'm pretty sure I'm not going to keep it until Paris!"

    But Quick Step has alternative plans if Pineau doesn't make Saturday’s escape group. "I would like to keep the jersey but I also have a team-mate - and good friend - who is in excellent form. Together with him, we could also choose to share the jersey," Pineau hinted.

    There is no doubt that the team-mate he means is Sylvain Chavanel, who helped him take the KOM lead in the first place when the two were off the front in stage two to Spa.

    "It would be a pity to let the jersey go without putting up a proper fight,” he said. “That's not the way I am. I have an attacking personality, so as long as my legs respond to what I want to do, I'll go for it."

  • Reactions from the Tour's Stage 6

    Mark Cavendish (HTC-Columbia) wins in Gueugnon
    Article published:
    July 10, 2010, 5:42 BST
    Cycling News

    Sprinters get final run before race heads upwards

    Thor Hushovd (Cervelo Test Team) – 10th on stage, 7th overall @ 1:16: "It's a pity to not be up there. It just didn't work out today. I would like to be in top five or eight going into the last kilometre, when I crossed the finish line, I didn't even feel like I was sprinting. These things are sometimes confusing but I was too far off the back. The last kilometre was very technical and I lost the wheel of Brett Lancaster."

    Alessandro Petacchi (Lampre) – 3rd on stage, 121st overall @ 12:34: "The team performed good work, we were united and each of my teammates had the energy to support me in the long straights before the last kilometre and in the dangerous bends in the last 1000 metres. The other teams too showed a good sprint organisation and so there was battle. I wanted to prepare a long sprint, but I didn't find the necessary space, so I tried to recover in the last 100 metres."

    Gerald Ciolek (Team Milram) – 5th on stage, 123rd overall @ 12:39: "The finale course was full of turns and was very hectic. I couldn't come further forward because of the curves. Only in the last 200 metres could I really sprint, but by then it wasn't enough."

    Cadel Evans (BMC Racing Team) – 22nd on stage, 3rd overall @ 0:39: "I'm quite tired, but tomorrow is a new race. Everything is going to start to change around tomorrow and Sunday is going to be a real shuffle-up going into the Pyrenees. I imagine if Fabian Cancellara's motivated by that [he might retain the leader's jersey. It depends on what the other teams want to do and if they want to eliminate him. I think Cancellara has the better chance of making it than Geraint Thomas, in reality."

    Linus Gerdemann (Team Milram) – 36th on stage, 77th overall @ 4:33: "It was a very quiet day. It was obvious shortly after the start that the group would stay away a long time. We concentrated on...

  • McQuaid reveals Armstrong made two donations to the UCI

    UCI president Pat McQuaid denied Armstrong's donation was a bribe
    Article published:
    July 10, 2010, 6:26 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    President insists Armstrong has never had favourable treatment

    The president of the International Cycling Union Pat McQuaid has revealed to Cyclingnews that Lance Armstrong made not one, but two donations to the UCI. Speaking to Cyclingnews during a visit to Britain, McQuaid said that the seven-time Tour de France winner signed a personal cheque for $25,000 in 2002 and then his management company Capital Sports and Entertainment made a second payment of $100,000 in 2005.

    In recent weeks McQuaid has come under fire for the UCI accepting donations from Armstrong, who is still competing and so still faces regular anti-doping tests. Any donations could lead to a possible conflict of interest and McQuaid admitted during the Giro d'Italia that in hindsight, accepting Armstrong's donation may have been a mistake.

    Looking to deflect any possible accusations of favouritism, especially with Armstrong at the centre of a widening investigation following the doping accusations made by Floyd Landis, the UCI has dug through its archives.

    McQuaid showed Cyclingnews a photocopy of the invoice of the Sysmex blood testing machine that a large part of Armstrong $100,000 donation was used to buy. He refused to let us take a photograph of it, keeping it in a file marked 'Confidential'.

    "I said during the Giro d'Italia in May that we were going to investigate and look into the archives to discover exactly what happened. That's what we've done," McQuaid said.

    "Armstrong said he paid $25,000 but I also knew he paid $100,000,” he added. “There was other speculation about amounts but they were way out. We've now found out exactly what was donated by looking at our records in detail. They show that Lance, in May 2002, paid a personal cheque, signed by himself and his wife, for $25,000. That went into the funds of what was then the Anti-Doping Council. They decide to use the money for anti-doping tests on juniors, to separate it from Armstrong, because he was racing at the...

  • Cunego says Tour time loss deliberate

    Damiano Cunego (Lampre) rides along in the heat.
    Article published:
    July 10, 2010, 16:45 BST
    Jean-François Quénet

    Former Giro winner looking for Tour stage win

    Sitting 23 minutes behind the race leaders heading into the Tour de France’s first mountain stage isn’t normally something a Giro d’Italia winner would be happy about, yet Damiano Cunego says his 166th position is deliberate. Cunego crashed prior to the cobblestone sections on stage three, but the Italian decided against minimising his losses and didn’t chase the peloton.

    “I could have finished with Ivan Basso,” he said. “I’ve lost so much time on purpose because what I want here is to win a stage or more, but I’m not concerned by the overall classification. Any stage win is welcome.”

    Being so far behind on general classification could be the ticket Cunego needs for the race’s general classification leaders to allow him to slip away. Normally he’d be considered a potential overall threat, and would be marked if he tried anything.

    “I see the Alps coming and there will be good occasions to do something,” said the Lampre rider, who remains bitter that he missed the opportunity to win the stage to l’Alpe d’Huez where Fränk Schleck won in 2006.

    Today’s Stage 7 isn’t yet in the Alps but the ski resort of Les Rousses in the Jura is the first stage victory opportunity for someone with Cunego’s characteristics. “I’m far out on general classification, so I have my chance to go away,” he said. "I’ll have to understand where the right breakaway will go. We’re entering the central phase of the Tour de France. That’s my time to do something.”

    Cunego added that he rides in France with no more pressure than what he usually experiences in Italy. “I’m very relaxed,” he said. “The team is very cool with me. We have won two stages with Alessandro Petacchi, so we are preparing for the coming stages with extreme tranquillity.”