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First Edition Cycling News, Sunday, July 11, 2010

Date published:
July 11, 2010, 1:00 BST
  • Garate got the green light to try and repeat Ventoux win

    Juan Manuel Garate (Rabobank) pulled away for third.
    Article published:
    July 10, 2010, 19:45 BST
    By:
    Jean-François Quénet

    Spaniard to remain Menchov’s right hand man

    Juan Manuel Garate came third in the first mountainous stage of this year’s Tour de France. He was of course the last man to win a mountain stage at the Tour de France as he triumphed atop Mont Ventoux on the penultimate day last year. He tried to repeat his performance in Les Rousses but couldn’t make it back up to Sylvain Chavanel.

    “I’m happy with my ride”, the Rabobank climber said after the finish. “My work here at the Tour de France is to stay with Denis Menchov until the last climb. I attacked today when he told me I could go. I knew it would be very difficult to catch Chavanel. But I had good legs. I deserved to try something.”

    The Rabobank team made the race hard earlier on. Garate’s attack was not planned but was dictated by the circumstances of the race. “Tomorrow will be another story,” Garate warned, meaning that he’s more than ready to go back to his original job as Menchov’s closest helper. Rabobank intends to have Robert Gesink in a free role and the Russian as a serious and more cautious leader. Menchov (10th), Garate (18th) and Gesink (23rd) are at 1:10, 2:19 and 2:37 respectively from Cadel Evans, who is the highest placed of the favourites.
     

  • Chavanel kisses his medal again

    Sylvain Chavanel (Quick Step) was just a little bit happy to have yellow again.
    Article published:
    July 10, 2010, 20:18 BST
    By:
    Hedwig Kröner

    Frenchman scores second stage and regains yellow jersey

    When Sylvain Chavanel took the yellow jersey at the Tour de France for the very first time in his career a few days ago, he rode across the finish line in Spa, Belgium, kissing the medal bearing the names of his two sons and thought this was the most beautiful day of his professional career. Today, in the medium mountain ski station of Les Rousses, he did it again, and was simply incredulous about what he had just achieved.

    It is the second stage victory for the Quick Step rider at this Tour, and the second time he has taken over the general classification lead. This time he snatched it from Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank), whose enormous energy finally faded on today's uphill finish. At the post-race press conference, Chavanel grinned from ear to ear, shaking his head in disbelief.

    "I don't realise it at all. I think I will only grasp it fully once I come home, but there are still two weeks to go," he said. "Nothing but joy today, again. It's the birthday of our team director, Wilfried Peeters, too. That'll make two bottles of champagne tonight!"

    The day unfolded to perfection for his Belgian team, with Chavenel's teammate Jérôme Pineau successfully defending the mountains jersey and Chavanel finishing it off in style by taking the stage win and reclaiming the yellow jersey he had lost to Cancellara on stage three over the cobbles of Arenberg.

    "Jérôme jumped ahead, as it was planned in the morning's briefing," he said."Everything we say in the briefing comes true, it's crazy - sometimes there are Tours where everything works out perfectly, and others where nothing goes to plan. This time, we are in a positive spiral and we are really having a great time!"

    While Pineau had done his deed, securing the KOM lead off the front, Chavanel set out on his quest for the stage win in the beginning of the final climb - not actually thinking about taking the overall lead. "It took shape as the race unfolded,"...

  • Van Den Broeck ready for battle in the Alps

    Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Omega Pharma-Lotto)
    Article published:
    July 10, 2010, 21:04 BST
    By:
    Daniel Benson

    Belgian expects "all out war" on the road to Morzine

    According to Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Omega Pharma-Lotto) Sunday's Tour de France stage to Mozine will be "all out war". The Belgian finished in the group of GC favourites on Saturday's stage to Station Des Rousses and moved up to seventh overall, two seconds behind last year's Tour winner, Alberto Contador (Astana). However he already has one eye on tomorrow's mountaintop finish.

    "Today went well," he told Cyclingnews as he warmed down on the team bus. "It was an easy day with no problems but tomorrow will be all out war."

    Van Den Broeck finished 15th in Paris last year and was tipped as a potential future Tour winner. A strong showing in last month's Dauphiné cemented some of that speculation and during today's stage to Station Des Rousses he was never far from the front, sitting in second position for long stretches of the final climb.

    "I'm happy with my form, but I knew that my form was good. Today was just the beginning and tomorrow will be the real mountains," he said.

    However, the Belgian will try not to go on the offensive tomorrow, aware that the Pyrenees form a much greater test than the Alps. "It was an easy day today," he said confidently, "But I'll wait to attack in the Pyrenees."

    In Matthew Lloyd, Van Den Broeck has a strong mountain domestique and the Australian is sure that his teammate can make a serious impression on the race over the coming two weeks. "Today we made sure Jurgen was fresh all day, especially when the speed was relatively high."

    Lloyd formed part of an escape group earlier in the race but was caught and passed by the leaders on the final climb of the day. However the attacking Australian told Cyclingnews that he won't change the way he races, "It's a daily process and one of building confidence when it comes to Jurgen. But as far as racing goes it's better to have guys down the road and see what happens. I was completely nailed today when they caught me. It...

  • Investigators target Tour teams

    The Tour de France peloton is about to roll out of Cambrai
    Article published:
    July 10, 2010, 21:40 BST
    By:
    Hedwig Kröner

    OCLAESP continues search for doping material

    The French Central Office against Environmental Damage and Public Health (OCLAESP), which had initiated the examination of medical waste deposited by the Tour de France teams in 2009, is continuing its work at this year's Tour.

    Since the French law was changed in July 2008, possession of doping substances or prohibited material - like intravenous drip bags - constitutes a breach of the law subject to pursuit. The special unit may intervene in the case of a positive doping control, but if suspect material is discovered, investigators are entitled to open proceedings like in the case of Astana and Caisse d'Epargne.

    OCLAESP investigators are currently at the Tour with the aim of uncovering the networks needed to engage in doping methods. "We are less interested in the athlete than in the persons that are in truly in charge," said the head of the unit, colonel Thierry Bourret to AFP.

    "We have been able to observe that the most elaborated cases of doping are similar to organised crime. At the top, you find the prescriptioner, the person that gives the doping protocol. This can be a doctor. Then, the supplier of the products, which often are diverted drugs - stolen products or falsified prescriptions. Sometimes you have a provider, the person who will bring the products. And then, a person in charge of administering, as things like blood transfusions can't be done on your own. Finally, there will be a person to help control your parameters are normal for you not to be detected."

    The OCLAESP was also the investigation unit that uncovered the Ukrainian doping ring at the Tour de l'Avenir last year.

  • North American Continental teams evaluate professional upgrade

    The UnitedHealthcare train in full flight.
    Article published:
    July 10, 2010, 22:34 BST
    By:
    Kirsten Frattini

    SpiderTech, Team Type 1, UnitedHealthcare and Fly V Australia weigh options

    Continental teams interested in upgrading to the Professional Continental and ProTour were invited to attend a workshop at the International Cycling Union (UCI) offices two weeks ago in Geneva, Switzerland. Teams that regularly compete in North America which sent a representative to the meeting included Canada's SpiderTech p/b Planet Energy, Australia's Fly V Australia and the US-based Team Type 1 and UnitedHealthcare p/b Maxxis.

    "The main purpose of the meetings was to present all ProTour teams, Continental Pro teams and Continental teams wishing to upgrade with the new registration process," said SpiderTech Directeur Sportif Steve Bauer.

    There are four criteria that the UCI will evaluate before being considered for a Professional Continental license: Financial, Administrative, Ethical and Sporting. The later only applies to those requesting ProTour status whereby the number of points will rank each team.

    "Our team will obviously be very conscious of these areas but most importantly in the next two months, our financial situation will be the priority in order to make the jump," Bauer said. "Minimum roster with minimum salaries and insurance, bank guarantee, additional riders, a broader reaching program that includes Europe, additional staff and infrastructure. It all costs more dollars."

    The UCI outlined six deadlines for those teams requesting to upgrade. An optional letter to the UCI indicating that a team is interested in becoming professional is due by the end of July. A model of the bank guarantee and a model of the rider and staff contracts are due on August 1. The period to sign riders will be between August 1 and October 20, whereby the points of each rider will decide the team ranking. All teams must send an official request for inscription for either ProTour or Professional Continental by August 15. Payment of the registration fee is due on September 1. All documents including the original bank guarantee, sponsor...

  • Armstrong keeps his cool despite heat, saddle sore

    Lance Armstrong (RadioShack) marks Alberto Contador (Astana) closely. The shadow boxing ends tomorrow.
    Article published:
    July 10, 2010, 23:06 BST
    By:
    Jean-François Quénet

    Seven-time winner expects to suffer again on the Col de la Ramaz

    RadioShack's Lance Armstrong revealed to Lequipe.fr that he suffered a saddle sore and was forced to stand up out of his saddle more often that he wanted during the climbs of stage 7 at the Tour de France on Saturday.

    "I suffered," said Armstrong. "I think about everybody did. It was so incredibly hard. It was just the heat. Everybody really paid. Everybody would say it was much harder than we'd think because of the temperature. If you get a little behind on hydration and nutrition - that's what happened to Klödi (Andreas Klöden) - the man with the hammer comes and you're done."

    "Climbs from three to five kilometres are always very hard. They are high speed, and it's hard to get away, and it's hard to sit on the wheels. They are not my favourite."

    Armstrong focused on the wheels of his competition, the Astana rider, whenever they accelerated. Although in the past, Armstrong has raced surrounded by teammates, on Saturday, he had fewer men immediately around him from his RadioShack squad.

    Asked about his team today, Armstrong said, "I think they were good. We had a bad day. Everyone else was good. We had a lot of guys up there, but I tried to stay up the front. I was not turning around and looking, but from what I could hear on the radio, the guys were there."

    Klöden was not there though and Armstrong had an excuse for him. He cited the bed the German rider had photographed in his hotel room and posted on the internet. "Klödi was the one with the bad bed," Armstrong said. "Maybe that's why he had a hard day." The Texan then turned his head in direction of his teammate in the bus and yelled, "Hey Klödi! It was your bed!"

    "I had a good bed," said Armstrong with a sense of humor. "After he put his bed on twitter, I felt bad. My bed was fine. I won the Dauphiné twice and the Tour de Suisse once, so I got a good bed."

    Joking aside, the American is expecting another hard...

  • Evans moves closer to Tour’s yellow jersey

    Cadel Evans (BMC) enjoyed the day in the sun
    Article published:
    July 11, 2010, 1:02 BST
    By:
    Jean-François Quénet

    World Champion in perfect position prior to high mountains

    Prior to the first real mountaintop finish in Avoriaz, BMC Racing Team's Cadel Evans is in second position on the Tour de France's general classification. Evans, the reigning UCI World Road Champion, has a good chance to return to yellow after losing the jersey two years ago in the Alps; however, as Astana's Alberto Contador has learned from his previous experience in Grand Tours, it's often wise not to take the lead too early.

    Evans knew the yellow jersey was already a possibility in Les Rousses, at the end of stage 7, upon the conditions that both Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank) and Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) would blow on the first big climb of the Tour. In fact, both circumstances occurred, but Sylvain Chavanel's (Quick Step) epic ride helped keep Evans in a comfortable and familiar second position.

    "It's not our goal to get the yellow jersey today," BMC team president Jim Ochowicz told Cyclingnews before the start of stage 7 in Tournus. "We'd be happy to receive it, but we won't fight for it."

    "I'm satisfied to be sitting in second place," said Evans after the race. "To have taken the yellow jersey today would put a lot of pressure on the guys and it's a long way yet to go.

    "Tomorrow is going to be much more of a shake up," he added. "Today, we saw all of the general classification guys looking at each other and, particularly in the final, it was strange - really hot conditions to start with, a pretty high tempo set by Bbox, and then in the final it was tough."

    In the past five years, Evans has sometimes raced in the mountains with no teammates at his side. BMC's Steve Morabito finished with him in the favourites' group on Saturday, but Evans' biggest support came in a valley section where American National Champion George Hincapie rode hard at the front of the bunch.

    "With the headwind, to put your team on the front was a real commitment," said Evans with satisfaction. "George and the others were...

  • Reactions from the Tour's Stage 7

    Sylvain Chavanel (Quick Step)
    Article published:
    July 11, 2010, 4:02 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Overall riders all feeling the heat ahead of first high mountain

    Jens Voigt (Saxo Bank) – 87th on stage, 138th overall @ 32:36: "We worked a bit in the beginning until Bbox took things in their hands. In the last climb, Fabian wasn't too well, and he got dropped together with some riders of our team, such as myself. We already knew this morning that it would be difficult to keep the jersey with Fabian. The Tour just took its toll on him. Seven days of hard work; remember how he rode in the stage to Arenberg? He's just tired, like everyone."

    Alberto Contador (Astana) – 13th on stage, 6th overall @ 2:26: "Between us leaders, things were 'tranquilo'. Everybody looked for their own feelings. The team did a good job, and in the last climb we put on a regular tempo to not lose too much time on the escape. For sure, tomorrow will be different as the stage is harder. I am happy with how things are going. My legs work well. Now, I have to recover as much as possible for tomorrow."

    Damiano Cunego (Lampre) – 43rd on stage, 105th overall @ 25:17: “I knew that this stage was a good chance for me to try and get a good result, so when Voeckler attacked I understood that it was the best moment to escape from the bunch. I tried to attack but every time my opponents rejoined me and then, when Chavanel performed his move, I was not so brilliant any more. Tomorrow the stage will be very tough, also because the top riders will battle for the yellow jersey. If it isn’t possible to attack there I’ll try again in the coming stages knowing that my fitness will increase. I need to decrease the disappointment from today’s stage with a good performance.”

    Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Transitions) – 8th on stage, 3rd overall @ 1:32: “Today was great. The team took care of me really well all day and it was perfect to have Johan there in the final. I am really pleased with my Tour so far and we will see what...