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First Edition Cycling News, Sunday, July 24, 2011

Date published:
July 24, 2011, 1:00 BST
  • Hincapie part of nine Tour de France victories

    George Hincapie (BMC) was all smiles
    Article published:
    July 23, 2011, 19:06 BST
    Sam Dansie

    Evans's likely victory validates BMC team

    BMC’s veteran George Hincapie said his teammate Cadel Evans’s Tour de France win today justified their decision to join the small, but ambitious team back in 2010.

    Hincapie, who has now taken part in a record-equalling 16 Tours – tied with Dutch legend Joop Zoetemelk – has been part of nine teams which have won the yellow jersey with three separate riders: Lance Armstrong, Alberto Contador and now (if all goes smoothly on Sunday) Evans.

    Hincapie said people questioned his decision to join the BMC team when it first set out to make an impact on the European scene in 2010 because it was a relatively small outfit that wasn’t guaranteed an entry to major races.

    Asked if it was one of his favourite Tours, Hincapie told Cyclingnews: "They’re all so different and so special.

    "This one has been as part of a sort of new team and everybody questioned my decision to come here – ‘why you going to such a small team?’ And Cadel too, imagine him joining it to now, winning the biggest race in the world – it’s quite satisfying."

    Hincapie, 38, said it had been a tough edition. "It’s been a very, very stressful, tough Tour, fighting for position every day and doing more work than we’ve ever done. We knew Cadel had a chance and we wanted to give him every opportunity to make that happen.

    "Really, the lowest point was seeing Cadel have a technical problem yesterday. All of a sudden we went from an awesome situation to ‘what the –’ and we had to go full gas to keep it at a minimum to a position where Cadel could close it down."

    Hincapie also suggested he will be back next year. "The way he [Evans] went this year, yeah, I might have to...

  • Rolland takes white jersey to Paris

    Pierre Rolland (Europcar) did well enough to keep the best young rider's jersey
    Article published:
    July 23, 2011, 19:49 BST
    Hedwig Kröner

    Best young rider of the 2011 Tour de France amongst top Frenchmen on GC

    Even though he finished only 21st, 2:50 down on stage winner Tony Martin (HTC-Highroad), Europcar's Pierre Rolland was amongst the winners of the Grenoble time trial on Saturday. The 24-year-old defended his white jersey of the best young rider against Rein Taaramae from Cofidis, who was placed 1:33 minutes down on him on general classification.

    After his impressive win yesterday on Alpe d'Huez, the overjoyed Rolland experienced a second consecutive day of success - and will be honoured on the final podium in Paris tomorrow.

    "This is the most beautiful day of my career," he cheered when he was certain of keeping the jersey lead. "What happened today and what is still to come tomorrow on the Champs Elysées will be just awesome. There are four jerseys to win at the Tour de France and I win one of them!"

    In the morning, the lean climber had been nervous about his margin on Taaramae. "I was afraid of losing the jersey because on paper, Rein Taaramae is the better time triallists between us. So I didn't really think I'd be able to keep it. But I also knew that it would be down to who has the better capacity to recover, who would still be fresher between us," he explained.

    "I wasn't so much afraid of the climb but more of the descent, because it was long and hard. Then, I had a problem with the radio and I didn't know the gaps." But finally, Rolland managed to put out a respectable performance against the clock, losing only 47 seconds on the Estonian who finished tenth of the stage.

    "I put out everything I possibly could, I really transcended myself for this jersey, or perhaps because I was wearing it..." said the rider from Europcar, whose leader Thomas Voeckler successfully defended his fourth overall placing against a...

  • Video: Evans remembers Aldo Sassi in Tour de France press conference

    Cadel Evans has his moment in the sun.
    Article published:
    July 23, 2011, 20:00 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    Australian looking forward to celebrating on the Champs Elysees

    Cadel Evans (BMC) was close to tears when he pulled on the yellow jersey at the Tour de France and he became emotional again during the press conference when he remembered his former coach Aldo Sassi.

    Sassi helped Evans with his transformation from successful mountain biker to grand tour rider, and always believed he could one day win the Tour de France. The Italian coach died from a brain tumor in December.

    Evans was almost in tears as he wished that Sassi could have been present in Grenoble to see him take the yellow jersey.

    "It was Aldo Sassi who believed in me. He often believed in me more than I did. It would have been nice for him to be here today," he said.

    "When I won the Worlds in Mendrisio it was six kilometers from his house. It was a beautiful day with Aldo there and Dottore Squinzi (of the Mapei company). He said to me: 'I'm sure you can win a grand tour and possible the biggest of them all, the Tour de France'. For him to be here now would be quite something."

    During the press conference, Evans talked about the difficulties he had faced during his career and during this year's battle for the yellow jersey against the Schleck bothers, Alberto Contador and Thomas Voeckler. He also praised his BMC teammates and staff for their diligent preparation and constant support.

    Australian public holiday

    Evans was informed of the calls for a public holiday in Australia to celebrate his Tour de France victory and that the mayor of Geelong has called for him to be knighted.

    He admitted he could hardly remember when a national holiday was held to celebrate Australia's victory in the America's Cup sailing competition in 1983, but...

  • Video: Andy Schleck promises he will be back to win 2012 Tour de France

    The disappointment is visible on the face of Andy Schleck
    Article published:
    July 23, 2011, 20:38 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    Leopard Trek rider praises Evans for his perfect race

    Andy Schleck (Leopard Trek) received an emotional hug from brother Frank just after crossing the finish line of the time trial in Grenoble but it was little consolation as he had lost the Tour de France.

    At the line Andy was mobbed by the media and struggled to escape but eventually rode through the crowd to the Leopard Trek team bus behind the Grenoble velodrome. He was congratulated by team patron Flavio Becca and his teammates, but quickly entered the team bus to take off the yellow skin suit he wore in the time trial as race leader.

    After finishing 2:31 slower than Evans, he is set to finish second in Paris on Sunday, 1:34 behind the Australian.

    When he emerged to talk to the media, Andy had rediscovered his composure and insisted he was happy to finish on the final Tour de France podium with his brother Frank. He praised Cadel Evans for riding a perfect race but said he would back to try to win the Tour in 2012.

    "I'm not the next Zoetemelk. I promise I'll come back next year to try and win the Tour de France," he said, referring to Joop Zoetemelk from the Netherlands, who finished in the top ten of the Tour de France several times in the seventies and eighties but only won it once.

  • Vande Velde celebrates after Garmin-Cervélo secure Tour de France team prize

    Christian Vande Velde and Tom Danielson (Garmin-Cervélo) can hardly feel the pain of the day after teammate Tyler Farrar wins his first Tour de France stage.
    Article published:
    July 23, 2011, 21:30 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    American ready to head home after tough race

    Christian Vande Velde finished the Grenoble time trial tired but happy after his Garmin-Cervélo squad secured the team competition prize to complete a hugely successful Tour de France.

    Vande Velde's chance of a good placing in the overall classification this year were derailed by a series of crashes early on, but he played a role in all the success of the team in this year's race and helped Tom Danielson secure ninth overall in his debut Tour de France.

    Vande Velde could have rolled around the Grenoble time trial course but gave it everything, inspired by the presence of his father in the team car.

    "I had fun today. I haven't had fun for a while in a time trial and so it was nice to do that. My old man was behind me (in the team car), yelling at me. He thinks I can hear him but I can't," Vande Velde joked after crossing the finish line.

    "I really had no reason to go and smash myself but you're at the Tour, it's a nice day and not wet, it was a beautiful road, a great crowd and so you go for it."

    Motivation from the team

    Vande Velde perhaps best epitomizes the team spirit at Garmin-Cervélo during this year's Tour de France. He could have focused on his own performance but rode hard in the final mountain stages to make sure the team had three riders well placed on key stages to secure the team prize.

    Garmin-Cervélo beat Leopard Trek by 11:04, with Ag2r-La Mondiale third at 11:20.

    "It's great to be part of a great team, to have the motivation to push on," he said. "Without a great team I wouldn't have the motivation to be in the final group on the climbs. I'd be cannon fodder...

  • Video: Fränk Schleck satisfied with Tour de France podium

    Frank Schleck (Leopard Trek) was resigned to third place early on in the day.
    Article published:
    July 23, 2011, 22:13 BST
    Cycling News

    Luxembourg brothers to stand together in Paris

    Fränk Schleck accomplished a Tour de France podium for the first time in his career, and, barring misfortune, will stand aside his brother on the dais in Paris. They will however not occupy the top step, as the Leopard Trek team's hope of a Tour victory fell to Cadel Evans, who put in a superior time trial performance in Grenoble.

    In this video, Schleck explains that he is happy with his performance on the day, and has no regrets about the outcome of the Tour.

    "We had one day in yellow..." Schleck said, giving the only indication of disappointment for his brother with a sigh. "But we are very, very happy. We gave our best and have no regrets. Today we have Andy and myself on the podium... of course we would have loved to win the Tour de France, but I'm very, very happy.

    "For me, the first dream came true today: two brothers on the podium from Luxembourg team, a new team we made it happen because of our team spirit and our character."

    Schleck, when asked about the commanding performance put in by Cadel Evans, said he didn't want to talk about the Australian.

    "We knew he was very strong, but to be honest, I have big respect for him, but I'm more concerned about myself right now. I'm happy and we can be satisfied and I don't want to talk about Cadel."

  • Video: Danielson ready for his first ever visit to Paris

    Tom Danielson (Garmin-Cervelo) seals his top 10 finish.
    Article published:
    July 23, 2011, 22:45 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    Tour de France debutant set to finish ninth overall

    Tom Danielson (Garmin-Cervélo) finished 11th in the Grenoble time trial to secure ninth overall in his debut Tour de France but he could hardly believe what he had achieved immediately after he crossed the finish line.

    The 33-year-old American was stunned and overjoyed after three weeks of hard racing. He had handled all the pressure and expectation and couldn't stop himself from letting out a few swear words, such was his amazement.

    He especially thanked his family for their support before revealing he had never even visited Paris. On Sunday he will ride into the French capital as a top-ten finisher of the Tour de France and feel the cobbles of the Champs-Élysées under his wheels as he tries to help Tyler Farrar win the final sprint.

    He is set to end the Tour de France 8:15 behind Cadel Evans (BMC) and will also climb on the final podium after Garmin-Cervélo secured the team classification.

  • Gran Fondo event returns to Philadelphia

    The 2010 event had a bit of everything.
    Article published:
    July 24, 2011, 0:41 BST
    Cycling News

    Second edition of the race follows successful events in LA and San Diego

    After successful editions in San Diego and Los Angeles, the 2011 Gran Fondo USA Series returns to Philadelphia for its second edition of the Gran Fondo Colnago Philadelphia. The event will take place on Sunday, August 14 starting at 7:00 AM in front of the iconic Museum of Art. In 2010, more than 1700 cyclists of all abilities took part in the exciting Italian-themed event; even more are expected this year.

    Gran Fondos are rides, not races, which include mass starts, well-stocked aid stations, a consumer expo, and a fun post-ride pasta party. The courses present a challenging goal both for the novice and the expert alike, bringing together an ever-growing population of bicycle lovers.

    Philadelphia, home to the one of the biggest races on the US racing calendar, the TD Bank International Grand Prix, is an obvious choice for a Gran Fondo, and in 2011 three routes will be offered to accommodate all levels of cyclists.

    In Fairmount Park, next to the Please Touch Museum, there will be also be a lively Expo on August 13 (10:00 am to 6:00 PM) and Sunday, August 14 (from 9:00 am to 5:30 pm). The Saturday expo includes the mandatory athletes’ packet pick-up and on Sunday features the post-ride pasta party.

    The Gran Fondo Colnago Philadelphia supports the Kisses for Kyle Foundation, a non-for profit organization supporting local families in the Delaware Valley whose children (from birth through age 21) are battling childhood cancer.

    "The Gran Fondo Colnago Philadelphia is our flagship event on the East Coast," says Matteo Gerevini, founder of Gran Fondo USA. "The start in front of the Art Museum with thousands of cyclists riding together down the Ben Franklin Parkway is a spectacular moment and a great image for this cycling-oriented city."