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First Edition Cycling News, Sunday, June 10, 2012

Date published:
June 10, 2012, 1:00 BST
  • Andy Schleck abandons Criterium du Dauphine

    Andy Schleck had a tough day in the mountains
    Article published:
    June 09, 2012, 11:14 BST
    Cycling News

    RadioShack-Nissan rider still suffering from time trial crash injuries

    Andy Schleck's Criterium du Dauphine has gone from bad to worse, and the RadioShack-Nissan captain threw in the towel on Saturday's sixth stage, abandoning the race. He had come into the penultimate stage in 129th place, over 29 minutes behind race leader Bradley Wiggins.

    Schleck had not performed well in any stage, but his worst stage was the fifth, when he lost nearly 14 minutes. He explained his early poor performance was due to knee problems which cost him a week's training in May.

    He then crashed heavily in Thursday's windy time trial, and suffered a heavy blow to his right aide and ribcage, as well as severe road rash. After Friday's stage, he declared his intentions to continue in the race, saying, “I’ve abandoned too many times this year already.”

  • Video: Porte on racing with Wiggins

    Article published:
    June 09, 2012, 12:13 BST
    Cycling News

    Sky control Dauphine over Grand Colombier

    Richie Porte (Team Sky) has become one of Team Sky’s and Bradley Wiggins’s most crucial helpers since moving to the team in the winter. Now part of their stellar stage racing unit and with the overall win in the Volta ao Algarve to his name, he is currently racing in the Dauphine, where Wiggins currently leads the overall.

    On stage 5 of the race Sky and a number of their rivals had somewhat of a dress rehersal for the Tour de France with the route climbing the Grand Colombier. Sky were able to control events on the climb but were attacked on the descent when Cadel Evans (BMC Racing) broke free.

    Sky were able to reel in their Australian rival with Porte and Edvald Boasson Hagen teaming up to do most of the work.

    In this exclusive video for Cyclingnews, Porte talks about the Grand Colombier as well how Bradley Wiggins differs from Alberto Contador – the Australian’s team leader in 2011.

  • Boonen starts preparations for 2012 London Olympics at Tour de Suisse

    Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) took second in the day's sprint finish.
    Article published:
    June 09, 2012, 15:40 BST
    Cycling News

    Omega Pharma-QuickStep rider says decision to skip Tour de France “wasn't easy”

    Tom Boonen will start his journey for the 2012 London Olympics at 15:05 CET Saturday afternoon, when he leaves the start ramp for the time trial opening the Tour de Suisse. "This is the first step in my preparation for the Olympics," the Omega Pharma-QuickStep rider said.

    Boonen, who dominated the Flemish cobblestone classics this year, has chosen not to ride the Tour de France this year. “It wasn't easy to skip the Tour, but the decision has now been made,” he told the Belgian newspaper Het Nieuwsblad. “The time is past when I could go to the Tour and ride unnoticed. It is better that I not start in a team with GC ambitions.”

    The 31-year-old chose to concentrate instead on the Olympics, and said the combination of Tour and Olympics would have been too much. “I'm not saying it is impossible for others but for me in all respects. I always come back bad from the Tour.” That means that he could “do little at the Olympics. "

    He has no idea who will be selected to the Olympic team and does not want to be involved in the selection process. He knows only that “The ideal team is the one which gets gold. Look, you can't go with five leaders. I think there must be one or two good helpers, men who go through fire for everyone.” But on the other hand, it might be better if he is not the only option.

    But first he must face the Tour de Suisse, which he calls “a perfect race this year. There are a number of stages that must suit me. First a time trial, then the first major climb stage to determine the...

  • Quintana continues Colombian tradition at Morzine

    Nairo Quintana (Movistar)
    Article published:
    June 09, 2012, 16:35 BST
    Barry Ryan

    Movistar rider wins at Critérium du Dauphiné

    Colombian cycling’s new wave continued to make its presence felt at the highest level in Morzine on Saturday, as Nairo Quintana (Movistar) danced clear on the Col de Joux-Plane and then held his nerve on the descent to claim victory on stage 6 of the Critérium du Dauphiné.

    In a season that has already seen notable performances from Carlos Alberto Betancur (Acqua&Sapone), Fabio Duarte (Colombia-Coldeportes) and Sky pair Rigoberto Uran and Sergio Henao, it was fitting that the nation claimed a win at the Dauphiné – it was in this race in 1984 that Martin Ramirez claimed a landmark overall victory for the first great generation of Colombian riders in Europe.

    It was also somewhat evocative that Quintana’s victory came in Morzine. Luis Herrera won atop Morzine-Avoriaz ahead of Bernard Hinault at the 1985 Tour de France, while three years later, Fabio Parra triumphed in the Alpine town itself after a lengthy solo raid that would ultimately carry him to the third step of the podium in Paris.

    “It’s a very good moment for Colombian cycling. We have a good generation of riders so I suppose it’s a bit of a renaissance,” the softly-spoken Quintana told reporters after the finish.

    A product of the Colombia es Pasion stable, Quintana first heralded his ability on the world stage in 2010 with overall victory in another race illuminated by his storied compatriots during the 1980s, the Tour de l’Avenir.

    “It was a good ambience at Colombia es Pasion, as we were able to do a lot of European races with the under-23 team and that brought us a lot of experience,” Quintana said.

    Still only 22 years of age, Quintana joined Movistar ahead of the 2012 season and he got his European-based...

  • Video: Wiggins focused on the task in hand at Dauphiné

    Team Sky lead Wiggins up the Joux Plane
    Article published:
    June 09, 2012, 17:55 BST
    Barry Ryan

    Englishman not interested in pre-Tour messages

    Bradley Wiggins moved a step closer to a second successive Critérium du Dauphiné victory at Morzine on Saturday as his Sky team controlled affairs all the way up the Col de Joux-Plane. In an impressive show of collective strength, Wiggins had no fewer than three Sky teammates with him in the yellow jersey group at the summit of the day’s final climb – Chris Froome, Richie Porte and Michael Rogers.

    Given its proximity to the Tour de France, it is always tempting to read the tea leaves of the Dauphiné in search of portents for July, but Wiggins played a resolutely straight bat when it was put to him afterwards that his Sky team was sending out a powerful message to their rivals ahead of La Grande Boucle.

    “It’s never about messages as much as people would love it to be,” Wiggins said. “We’re just trying to do a job and we’re doing it as efficiently and as professionally as possible. We’ve trained hard as a team. Each individual has worked as hard as I have and we’re getting the job done using our strengths. We haven’t got the arrogance to go about sending out messages.”

    With one day to go, Wiggins holds a healthy 1:20 lead over his teammate Rogers, with Cadel Evans (BMC) a further 16 seconds behind in third. Such has been the firmness of Sky’s policing on the Dauphiné’s climbs that comparisons have been drawn between their tactics and those of Lance Armstrong and his former US Postal team. Given that his formative years coincided neatly with the reign of Miguel Indurain, however, Wiggins preferred...

  • Nibali concedes ground at Critérium du Dauphiné

    Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas - Cannondale) cracked on the Joux Plane
    Article published:
    June 09, 2012, 19:28 BST
    Barry Ryan

    Liquigas-Cannondale rider dropped on Col de Joux Plane

    The Critérium du Dauphiné is traditionally an opportunity for Tour de France contenders to temper their steel ahead of the white heat of July, but Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas-Cannondale) insisted that he is not concerned after losing over nine minutes to Bradley Wiggins (Sky) and Cadel Evans (BMC) on the road to Morzine on Saturday.

    The Sicilian was one of many riders who struggled to cope with the persistence of Sky's pressing at the head of the yellow jersey group on the Col de Joux Plane, and less than halfway up the day's final climb, Nibali opted to continue at his own tempo.

    "I didn't even know how to explain it myself. I sat up on the final climb when I saw that I wasn't going to be able to stay with them," Nibali told reporters as he pedalled gingerly from the finish line to the Liquigas team hotel in Morzine. "I went up at a steady pace after that, I treated it almost like a training session, what can I say.

    "I didn't feel great early on when we went up the first climb at a decent pace, but then little by little, I began to unblock a bit after that, so I expected to be better in the finale."

    Nibali opted to forgo the Giro d'Italia this season in order to focus his energies for his tilt at the Tour podium. After enjoying a hugely consistent opening phase of his campaign, with victory at Tirreno-Adriatico, as well as podium finishes at the Tour of Oman, Milan-San Remo and Liège-Bastogne-Liège, Nibali has yet to rediscover the same vim after returning to action at the Tour of...

  • Nature Valley Pro Chase amateur team finalized

    The men's field awaits their start in Uptown Minneapolis
    Article published:
    June 09, 2012, 21:46 BST
    Cycling News

    Men's and women's squads ready to take on the pros

    Thirteen amateur cyclists have been chosen to compete against the pros at the Nature Valley Grand Prix, a five-day stage race taking place June 13-17 in the Minneapolis/St. Paul region of Minnesota.

    Six men and seven women will be brought to Minnesota for Nature Valley Grand Prix, part of the USA Cycling National Racing Calendar (NRC), and receive team support, clothing, travel stipends, mechanics and lodging from a sponsorship from Nature Valley Granola Bars. They'll attend a training camp prior to the race, learn how to race as cohesive, composite teams and work on team tactics.

    Most riders qualified at one of six Nature Valley Pro Chase races across the country, including the Tour of Murrieta in San Diego, CA; the Jefferson Cup in Charlottesville, VA; the RBC Tour de Moore in Southern Pines, NC; the Superior Morgul Classic, in Boulder, CO; the San Jose Omnium in San Jose, CA; and the Memorial Weekend Omnium in the Quad Cities area of Illinois and Iowa. Additionally, Two riders were selected by Nature Valley Cycling Team head coach Michael Engleman, a former pro.

    "Nature Valley gives amateur riders a chance to push the envelope," said Engleman. "The Nature Valley Pro Chase has been a ticket to the professional ranks for a number of amateur riders. Current pros who came through this program include Jade Wilcoxson, Anna Barensfeld (both Optum Pro Cycling) and Alison Tetrick Starnes (Exergy Twenty12)."

    Women's team:
    Lindsay Bayer, Reston, VA
    Erin Burton, Mount Pleasant, SC
    Bri Clark,Carmel, IN
    Trina Jacobson, San Diego, CA
    Cat Johnson, Boulder, CO
    Joy McCulloch, Redlands, CA
    Brianna Walle, Beaverton, OR

    Men's team:
    Tyler Brandt, Fairfax, CA
    Pete Custer, Hampton, VA
    Evan Fader, Raleigh, NC
    Connor McCutcheon, Big Bear Lake, CA
    Tony Olson, Mankato, MN
    James Stangeland, Seattle, WA

  • Cancellara was unsure of his form before Tour de Suisse time trial

    Article published:
    June 10, 2012, 9:28 BST
    Cycling News

    RadioShack-Nissan rider not entirely pleased with second-place finish

    Even four-time World Champions can still get butterflies in their stomach before starting a time trial. Fabian Cancellara tweeted before Saturday's Tour de Suisse opener that he “was really nervos today. Even me can still have that.”

    The RadioShack-Nissan rider also said that it was a “strange feeling when you dont no how good you are.” He covered the 7.3km course throughout Lugano in 9: 47, but ended up second behind Peter Sagan of Liquigas-Cannondale, who was four seconds faster.

    The Swiss rider missed nearly two months of racing after suffering a quadruple collarbone fracture in the Tour of Flanders on April 1. His recovery took longer than anticipated, and he had to abandon his first race back, the Bayern Rundfahrt, due to illness.

    “Just because I’ve won a lot of things in the time trial doesn’t mean I will automatically win. You have to have power. I tried to do my best, especially here in my home tour.

    “The expectations are always high and I tried to stay focused on the race and my performance. This is what counts. Maybe I lost just a little bit because of that pressure.”

    He tried to look for the positive aspects of the situation. “But I am still getting better and I am feeling better. I will continue to concentrate and focus on what is coming.  On the top of the climb I had gone so deep today. I have to keep reminding myself that I’m coming back from injury and so what I...