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First Edition Cycling News, Saturday, June 26, 2010

Date published:
June 26, 2010, 1:00 BST
  • Française des Jeux extends sponsorship to 2014

    The Francaise des Jeux team manager Marc Madiot
    Article published:
    June 25, 2010, 16:26 BST
    Barry Ryan

    Possibility of secondary sponsor to follow

    La Française des Jeux has announced that it will continue to sponsor a team until the end of 2014. The national lottery-backed squad has been a continuous presence in the peloton since its formation in 1997, and the renewal of their support is a major boost to French cycling.

    According to, the budget will be "at least equivalent" to the approximately €7 million assigned to the team for 2010, and there is a possibility for a major secondary sponsor to come on board for the first time in the squad's history. A spokesman for FDJ said, "We are studying the possibility of another partner but we could also do without."

    Team manager Marc Madiot is satisfied with today's announcement, affirming that in either scenario, "The budget will be whatever is necessary to compete in the ProTour".

    With this announcement of a four-year extension arriving ahead of the Tour de France, Madiot is now free to offer lengthy deals to riders already at the team. L'Équipe reported that FDJ riders Christophe Le Mével, Jérémy Roy and Yauheni Hutarovich had each attracted attention from other teams in recent weeks.

  • Boonen out of Tour de France

    Tom Boonen (Quick Step).
    Article published:
    June 25, 2010, 17:30 BST
    Barry Ryan

    Tendonitis rules out Belgian champion

    Tom Boonen has ruled himself out of this year's Tour de France and Sunday's Belgian National Championship due to patellar tendonitis in his left knee. He took the decision in consultation with Quick Step medical staff after a series of tests in Herentals today.

    "I'm very sad," Boonen said. "After three days of rest, yesterday I trained for five hours on the route of the National Championship in Leuven. The knee pain was always there. During the last hour of training I had to stop more than once because of the pain."

    Boonen's woes began with his crash in the Tour of California, and the problem was exacerbated by a fall in the Tour de Suisse.

    It will be a particular disappointment for the Belgian to miss out on riding on home roads during the Tour's opening stages. "I'm very sorry for myself, for the team and the sponsors and for all the fans who were waiting for me on the roads especially in the passage through Belgium. My next goal now is to work 100 percent to recover well and try to make a good final of the season."

    Team Manager Patrick Lefevere was equally disappointed. "The team will ride for four days on the roads near home [during the Tour]. The Arenberg stage was very important for us considering the characteristics of our team and Boonen's record in cobbled races. But we can't stop, life goes on. I'm sure the team that will participate in the Tour will do the best even without Tom. The negative moments often open up many opportunities."

    This latest setback continues Boonen's miserable run of luck with the Tour in recent years. Last year he abandoned without winning a stage, while in 2008 he was prevented from starting following a positive test for cocaine.

  • Wiggins ready for Tour de France

    Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky)
    Article published:
    June 25, 2010, 19:16 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    Briton reveals he will retire after 2013

    Bradley Wiggins is convinced he is ready to challenge for overall victory at the Tour de France after what he describes as a near perfect build up to what has now become his biggest goal of the season and even his career.

    Speaking from Girona in Spain, where he is completing his final training before heading to Rotterdam, the Team Sky leader was bullish and confident. He talked with the swagger that he uses to convince himself, and his rivals, that he can again be a real Tour de France contender.

    On Thursday Wiggins tested his form on a 30-minute climb in the mountains behind Girona. He did not reveal the exact physiological numbers he produced or his key strength to weight ratio figure, just saying the test went "very well". However he confirmed that he is now down to the 73 kilogramme racing weight that helped make him competitive last year and allowed him to take a surprise fourth place overall.

    Wiggins has not raced since completing the Giro d'Italia and will not ride the British national championships this weekend but is ready for the start of the Tour de France next Saturday.

    "I'm happy with my form, we've followed a near perfect plan which has taken us from last November to now. It's a nice position to be in," he said.

    "It was actually frustrating to hold back with my weight loss but I know I've got to think of the big picture and the Tour de France. There were times when I really wanted to make the most of the condition I had at the Giro d'Italia but two kilos on an hour-long climb makes a huge difference. It meant there was no way I could challenge for overall success. Instead I decided to just stay healthy, get the fitness benefits and drop that last bit of weight.

    "Now I'm at the Tour weight I was last year but having remained as powerful. Fat wise, there's nothing left to go without breaking the screw, anything else would be losing muscle and power. I'm bang on 73 kilos, we're in the ballpark now."

  • Haussler out of Cervélo's Tour roster due to knee injury

    Heinrich Haussler (Cervelo TestTeam) crashed heavily in the Tour de Suisse's stage four finale.
    Article published:
    June 25, 2010, 20:28 BST
    Cycling News

    2009 Tour stage winner to undergo surgery next week

    Heinrich Haussler, a stage winner at the 2009 Tour de France, will not be participating in this year's Tour due to complications surrounding an existing knee injury. The 26-year-old Cervélo TestTeam rider has been plagued by knee problems since a crash in the Volta a Algarve this spring. Despite taking time for recovery, the issue continued after crashes at Paris-Nice and most recently at the Tour de Suisse.

    "Heinrich's knee pain came back during the Tour de Suisse," said team doctor Andreas Goesele. "He did not finish that race in order to have some days off the bike. He felt better and everything seemed to be improving as he prepared for the Tour de France. But in the last few days the pain has come back again more intensely than before and so it was obvious to us, he could not race.

    "Now we will operate and do arthroscopic surgery on him next week and after that he will start rehabilitation. We will then have to wait until after the operation before making any further statements regarding his plans for the remainder of the season."

    "It is a pity that I cannot compete in the Tour de France this year," said Haussler. "I am well aware that for a Tour de France you must to be 100 percent healthy. Though my season so far has not been under a good star, I will not give up. I hold my head high looking ahead to my next goals.

    "I am young and will get my chance again. My focus is now on the recovery process and we will decide later when I can make my comeback. The health has first priority and I want to be 100 percent fit before I return on the start line."

    Great Britain's Daniel Lloyd will replace Haussler on Cervélo TestTeam's Tour de France roster.

  • Pagliarini to skip Brazil titles in protest

    Luciano Pagliarini (Liquigas) does his best schoolboy pose before stage 3
    Article published:
    June 26, 2010, 12:21 BST
    Cycling News

    UCI looking into team payment issue

    Luciano Pagliarini has revealed he’ll skip this weekend’s national road titles in Brazil in protest over the treatment by his Scott-Marcondes team. Pagliarini is widely recognized as one of Brazil’s top cyclists, having ridden for Lampre, Liquigas and Saunier Duval during his career.

    “I will not ride the Brazilian championship in protest against the non payment of our salaries,” he told “I’m tired of all the lies. We cycle to work and are professional, but just get back promises and excuses.”

    The website said the International Cycling Union (UCI) is now investigating the matter.

    Pagliarini returned to racing with the Brazilian Continental team this year after being one of the riders signed to the TelTech H2O squad which never eventuated last year.

    During his career Pagliarini has won stages of the Eneco Tour of Benelux, Tour deLangkawi, Tour of California and Tour of Missouri. Since returning to racing this year he has claimed three stage wins at Rutas de América.

  • Gilbert wants Belgian national title

    Philippe Gilbert (Omega Pharma - Lotto) en route to a ninth place finish.
    Article published:
    June 26, 2010, 12:27 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    Omega Pharma rider looking for success on hilly course

    Philippe Gilbert (Omega Pharma-Lotto) finished second to Tom Boonen in the 2009 Belgian national road race championships and was third in 2007, but is determined to finally pull on the red, yellow and black jersey this year.

    Boonen is out of action due to his knee injury but Gilbert faces other rivals this year on a tough course around Leuven, north-east of Brussels.

    The classy hilly classics rider will not ride the Tour de France because he is focusing on the world championships in September but wants the national title because the race is on what he calls his home course. But after he previous placings and his unlucky puncture at the Tour of Belgium, he feels it is the right place to step and finally take the Belgian title.

    "This time things are different. I'm the favourite, the course is around my home, I'm riding in front of my supporters and so there's more pressure," he told the Belgian newspaper La Derniere Heure.

    "I'm sorry that Tom Boonen isn't riding and it will mean that the Quick Step will have to change it tactics for the race. Now people like Devolder and Devenijns will have to try and attack because they won't have much chance in a sprint."

    Gilbert is not worried about a possible rivalry with his own teammate and fellow Wallonne Greg Van Avermaet.

    "I spoke to him on Wednesday, I know he's ambitious. Along with Roelandts, we're the three riders in our team that can really win the race. We should just got in each other's way and take advantage and win."

    "Of course, it's not an easy race to ride. Before a big classic, you know roughly what's going to happen. Here, anything can happen. After just three laps and a group of 20 riders can get away, with six teammates in it. You can be national champion without really being at 100%, which is not like the Tour of Flanders."

    "This race isn't the same level as a ProTour race. There are some moments when you can catch your breath. My biggest...

  • Andy Schleck crashes in training

    Fränk Schleck (Team Saxo Bank) wins stage 17 ahead of race leader Alberto Contador (Astana) and brother Andy Schleck .
    Article published:
    June 26, 2010, 14:48 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    Saxo Bank riders suffers cuts and bruises

    Andy Schleck was left with cuts, bruises and a dent in his pride after a training crash on Saturday. Fortunately the injuries should not cause concern for the Tour de France that starts next Saturday in Rotterdam.

    Andy was out training with his older brother Fränk when he hit a bump in the road and fell, he revealed the news of the crash on Twitter.

    Andy said: “Was out training with@schleckfrank hit a big bump in the road, went down pretty hard, lost quit lot of skin all over my body but I be okay”

    Fränk also tweeted about his brother’s crash: “@andy_schleck went down in training this morning I was really scared. tought about tdf, but finally its just skin n wounds.autch.he is ok”

    Fränk also tweeted this photograph, showing Andy treating the minor cuts to his legs, shoulders and chin.

    On Thursday Andy finished ahead of Fränk to win the Luxembourg national time trial title.

  • Garmin-Transitions announces Tour de France squad

    Christian Vande Velde (Garmin - Slipstream)
    Article published:
    June 26, 2010, 15:36 BST
    Laura Weislo

    Versatile, experienced team led by Vande Velde and Farrar

    Americans Christian Vande Velde and Tyler Farrar are the leaders of the Garmin-Transitions team's Tour de France roster for the second year in a row.

    Vande Velde, who finished fourth in 2008 and eighth overall last year will be backed in the general classification by a strong group of Grand Tour veterans, while Farrar will have a powerful lead-out train for the sprint stages.

    Farrar, winner of five races this season including two stages of the Giro d'Italia will be looking to gain his first Tour stage win with the help of Julian Dean, Robbie Hunter and Martijn Maaskant. David Millar, Ryder Hesjedal, David Zabriskie and Johan Van Summeren will be the key riders to help Vande Velde when the road climbs upward and in pursuit of a place on the final podium in Paris.

    “We are bringing a strong, versatile squad to the 2010 Tour de France,” said team manager Jonathan Vaughters. "The team is motivated and ready and will be sure to animate what will be an incredibly competitive Tour de France.”

    Noticeably absent from the list are Danny Pate, who was on last year's Tour squad, Dan Martin, Svein Tuft and Tom Danielson - all strong Grand Tour riders who have yet to make their Tour de France debut.

    “With so many riders going so well all season, selecting the Tour team was difficult,” said the team's director sportif Matt White. “But we knew we needed a squad that could support Christian for the overall, Tyler in the sprint stages, and also be on the lookout for other opportunities. We’ve certainly found the right mix in this group and I have a lot of faith in these athletes.”

    Garmin-Transitions for the Tour de France

    Julian Dean (NZL)
    Tyler Farrar (USA)
    Ryder Hesjedal (CAN)
    Robbie Hunter (SA)
    Martijn Maaskant (NED)
    David Millar (GB)
    Johan Van Summeren (BEL)
    Christian Vande Velde (USA)
    David Zabriskie (USA)