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First Edition Cycling News, Sunday, July 15, 2012

Date published:
July 15, 2012, 1:00 BST
  • Vinokourov denied at final Tour de France

    Astana's Alexander Vinokourov feels the pinch on stage 13 of the 2012 Tour de France
    Article published:
    July 14, 2012, 15:30 BST
    By:
    Barry Ryan

    Astana man caught in finale of stage 13

    Alexandre Vinokourov (Astana) has cut a decidedly low-key figure in what is his final Tour de France, but the divisive rider from Kazakhstan eventually showed himself in the closing kilometres of stage 13 to Le Cap d'Agde, powering off the front in the company of Michael Albasini (Orica-GreenEdge) as crosswinds buffeted a significantly the peloton along the Bassin de Thau.

    Such winds are a notorious characteristic of racing in this particular corner of Languedoc, and Vinokourov himself had already showed his aptitude in the area during his infamous 2007 Tour, when his Astana squad split the field on the road to Montpellier. That race, of course, was to end in disgrace for Vinokourov, as he tested positive for an homologus blood transfusion that will forever overshadow his achievements.

    Nonetheless, Vinokourov was able to return to the Tour in 2010, winning a stage at Revel and was set to retire after last year's race until he suffered a broken femur on the road to Saint-Flour. Determined to bring the curtain down on his controversial career in a more dignified manner, Vinokourov opted to continue for one further season, and this Tour and the London 2012 Olympics will be his final bows on the world stage.

    Although Vinokourov had spoken before the Tour of his desire to sign off with a stage victory, he admitted afterwards that his move...

  • Goris remembered in Herentals, Belgium funeral

    Former ice hockey teammates pay Rob Goris the final honour
    Article published:
    July 14, 2012, 20:15 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Accent Jobs-Willems Veranda's rider succumbed to a heart attack

    Rob Goris was remembered at a funeral that was held on Saturday in Herentals, Belgium, with a bicycle and hockey skates laid before his urn at the Sint Waldetruis church. The 30-year-old who rode for Accent Jobs-Willems Veranda's died of a heart attack while visiting the Tour de France last week.

    The church was full for the services for the former pro ice hockey player, who first became a pro cyclist in 2010. Amongst those in attendance were Accent Jobs sports director Lucien Van Impe, Rik Van Looy, and Leif Hoste. 

    About 1000 people attended the service, which featured a video message from Karl Vannieuwkerke, who had interviewed Goris and his girlfriend Katrien Van Looy on his television show Vive Le Velo, only hours before Goris' death.

    Goris started his professional sports career as an ice hockey player. From 1998 to 2009 he was with HYC Herentals and Olympia Heist op den Berg, winning the national championship three times. He retired from the ice after the winning 2009 championship title game, and devoted himself to cycling.

    His former ice hockey teammates paid him the final tribute, lining the aisle with their jerseys and sticks as his ashes were carried into the church.

  • BMC has not given up on Tour de France win

    Cadel Evans (BMC) and Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Lotto-Belisol) attack on the final climb
    Article published:
    July 14, 2012, 21:00 BST
    By:
    Daniel Benson

    "We have to keep testing" says Ochowitz

    Every opportunity and every chance: That’s what Team BMC must try and take of advantage of if they’re to win this year’s Tour de France and their performance on stage 13 was a clear indication that the hangover from La Toussure had cleared and that Cadel Evans’ dream of winning back-to-back Tours was not over.

    The Australian’s aggressive accelerations on the lower slopes of the Mont Saint-Clair may not have split his rivals or caused race leader Bradley Wiggins a great deal of stress but BMC’s efforts had the majority of the peloton in pieces.

    Heading into Mont Saint-Clair BMC placed several of their riders on the front. Riding in the gutter and with cross winds ripping across the roads, echelons were soon formed. It was clear that the tactic was ruffle Sky’s nerve and when Evans finally broke clear on the climb, although his gap was just a few meters, Wiggins was forced to cover the move himself.

    "It was planned," Jim Ochowicz told Cyclingnews.

    "We knew what we were going to do and we knew the route. We knew coming into the town you had to be in front and so we were aware of that. We wanted to be in the front so we put the guys in that position with about 10 kilometres before the saint Claire."

    "Then Cadel went to the front and opened the gas to see if there was the chance to gain some time but that group stayed together."

    For all the planning and the effort, BMC’s finished empty handed. However, Ochowicz and his team don’t appear to have given up yet. Evans is still an outside bet for the win, although a podium place at this...

  • Boonen pulls out of Tour of Poland

    Belgian champion Tom Boonen leads the peloton
    Article published:
    July 14, 2012, 21:45 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Belgian champ heads home to heal up ahead of Olympic Games

    Omega Pharma-Quickstep announced today that Belgian champion Tom Boonen has withdrawn from the Tour of Poland after suffering from sharp pains in his chest as a result of a crash on stage 1.

    Boonen is slated to head back to Belgium on Sunday to have medical examinations to determine the source of the pain.

    "The entire day was OK, a little bit painful but OK," Boonen said. "I worked for the team without particular problems. Then in the final, at about 30 km from the finish, I did a wrong movement to avoid a pothole in the road, and suddenly I got really bad pain on the right side of my chest. I couldn't breathe. That's why I decided to stop. It's a pity — my condition is good and here the team is fantastic, there is a great atmosphere. It's hard to leave the team here, but I have to do what is best for my health leading up to the Olympics."

    Boonen chose his season schedule specifically with the Olympic Games and world championships in mind, skipping all three Grand Tours in favour of these races.

    Earlier this season he won stages in the Tour de San Luis and Paris-Nice as well as the overall Tour of Qatar before going on a romp in the Classics where he claimed the E3 Prijs, Gent-Wevelgem, Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix.

  • Video: Tour de France Stage 13 highlights

    Andre Greipel enjoys his podium time at the Tour de France
    Article published:
    July 15, 2012, 0:17 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Greipel outsmarts Sagan in Le Cap d'Agde

    André Greipel (Lotto Belisol) scored his third victory of the 2012 Tour de France, narrowly edging out Peter Sagan (Liquigas-Cannondale) on Stage 13 in Le Cap d'Agde.

    It may have been Bastille Day, but Frenchman Sébastien Hinault (AG2R La Mondiale) was robbed of a podium place by Edvald Boasson Hagen (Sky) who took third after doing much of the early work in the lead up to the finish line.

    Bradley Wiggins (Sky) maintained his overall lead, staying out of trouble as the peloton split in the windy conditions in the run in to the finish.

     

  • Tour shorts: Tributes to beginning and end of life

    Michael Morkov (Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank) floundered on the final climb after his escape
    Article published:
    July 15, 2012, 1:40 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Cancellara, Peraud baby daddies, Mørkøv remembers his dad

    The Tour de France was touched today by new life and a tribute to a life taken too soon on stage 13: Both Fabian Cancellara and Jean-Christophe Peraud became fathers again in the past 24 hours, while Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank rider Michael Mørkøv rode in remembrance of his departed father.

    Cancellara left the Tour earlier this week to be present at the birth, and in true Swiss timing fashion, daughter Elina was born at 2:12 on Friday afternoon. Cancellara called his daughter "the biggest gift beside our other daughter Giuliana".

    Peraud was a little too busy to be present for the birth of young Valentine, as she joined her brother Baptiste as part of the family while he was competing in the stage on Saturday.

    On the other end of the spectrum, Mørkøv, the most aggressive rider in the Tour de France by far, paid tribute to his father who died five years ago on this date by going on a nearly 40km solo attack from the day's breakaway.

    "It's precisely five years ago today that my dad died and I wanted to pay my respects to him with this attack. I had a lot to ride for," Mørkøv said. "I thought about him all the time out there and the thoughts and feelings were my gasoline today.

    "I had hoped the other guys in the break were stronger so we could have climbed the final slope together but the pace was too low and my only chance was to go on my own beating my own pace and I knew I was punching a crazy amount of watts but it wasn't enough so I'm happy about my performance." (LW)

    Brajkovic chasing top seven

    Janez Brajkovic (Astana)...

  • Report: Fuglsang sues Leopard SA for non-payment

    Jakob Fuglsang (RadioShack-Nissan)
    Article published:
    July 15, 2012, 2:20 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Holding company says account mix-up is to blame

    It's been revealed that Jakob Fuglsang has sued the owners of the RadioShack-Nissan team, Luxembourg holding company Leopard SA, for unpaid wages.

    The German media yesterday reported that Fabian Cancellara and Fränk and Andy Schleck have not been receiving regular paychecks, and that one of the riders has sued Leopard SA. Now, Danish website ekstrabladet.dk reports that Fuglsang is the man in question.

    "It is true that a Danish rider on the team has asked for the money paid by the wage agreement should have been transferred to a company he owns," said Carlo Rock, spokesman for Leopard SA.

    Fuglsang is the only Danish rider on the RadioShack-Nissan team.

    Rock then goes on to explain that an account mix-up is the reason for the outstanding wages, with Fuglsang changing the name of his private company the funds need to be made out to.

    "We have asked him to send us proof that this new company is a serious business, because we do not wish to contribute to poor handling of large sums," said Rock.

    "To date we have not received this documentation, and therefore we have not paid the money."

    Rock confirmed that the team has been under scrutiny by the UCI with budgets and accounts checked.

    "We have not been found to be at fault."

    Fuglsang was left off the RadioShack-Nissan team for the Tour de France and he then followed the snub by threatening to leave the outfit. He has also been informed that he will not be starting the Vuelta a Espana. Fuglsang hit back by winning the Tour of Austria.

    ...
  • Roche chases top 10 as Tour enters Pyrenees

    AG2R-LaMondiale's Nicolas Roche
    Article published:
    July 15, 2012, 4:23 BST
    By:
    Barry Ryan

    Irishman feels RadioShack-Nissan position hinders him

    After struggling on the set-piece Alpine stage to La Toussuire, Nicolas Roche (Ag2r-La Mondiale) showed signs of recovery at the business end of stage 13 of the Tour de France to Le Cap d'Agde on Saturday.

    The Irishman was present and correct when Cadel Evans (BMC) and Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Lotto Belisol) accelerated on the stiff climb of Mont Saint-Clair in the final 25 kilometres of the stage. Although Roche stressed that the climb was no real indication of the lie of the land ahead of the upcoming Pyrenean stages, he was pleased to have made the split on a potentially perilous day.

    "A 1k climb is much different to what's coming up in the next few days so I can't too excited about attacking on a climb like that," Roche told Cyclingnews. "Obviously I was happy and those kind of climbs suits me, so I said why not take the risk."

    The flurry of attacking over Mont Saint-Claire reduced the size of the peloton considerably and the whittling down process continued on the windswept run-in to the finish along the Bassin de Thau. Roche knew that he needed to be vigilant as the race skirted the Languedoc coast, and he was safely among the 43-man leading group that contested the finish.

    "I actually expected it to be worse," he said. "This morning with the guys on the bus, we were saying there would be maybe 30 guys max up there, so I wasn't far off."

    After an encouraging showing on the first summit finish at La Planche des Belles Filles, when he was one of the last riders to be dropped by Chris Froome's relentless pace-making, and a solid time trial at Besançon, Roche's general classification hopes suffered a major setback on the road to La Toussuire on Thursday.

    "Hopefully that was only a bad day or...