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First Edition Cycling News, Sunday, June 12, 2011

Date published:
June 12, 2011, 1:00 BST
  • Langeveld, Goss, Millar to GreenEdge: reports

    Sebastian Langeveld (Rabobank)
    Article published:
    June 11, 2011, 7:19 BST
    By:
    Jane Aubrey

    Dutchman would suit Australian project's 2012 race strategy

    Omloop Het Nieuwsblad winner, Rabobank's Sebastian Langeveld will reportedly ride for Shayne Bannan's fledgling GreenEdge outfit for season 2012.

    According to De Telegraaf, Langeveld has chosen Green Edge over Sky Procycling, BMC Racing Team and QuickStep. Bannan will learn if his project has been successful in gaining a UCI ProTour licence for next season in November.

    Bannan was approached by Cyclingnews following the report and the GreenEdge general manager confirmed that he was "in discussions with a number of riders but at this stage have not secured anyone."

    Should the news be correct, it would certainly fall in line with the goals that Bannan has said he is targeting for Green Edge's first year. Langeveld won the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad by a few centimetres from Juan Antonio Flecha of Team Sky, Rabobank's only success of the Spring Classics this season.

    "I think we'll probably start off as more of a Classics looking team more than a stage race team, with perhaps 50 per cent of the riders being Australian," Bannan explained to Cyclingnews in April. "Perhaps in four or five years we'd like to develop into a stage race team, but I think it's important to be realistic about the whole process."

    The UCI's rules allow for a fixed transfer period from August 1 to 20 October, with teams only able to recruit during that period although they are allowed to privately talk to riders throughout the year.

    Langeveld informed Cyclingnews a fortnight ago that he had made...

  • Cavendish now Member of the British Empire

    Mark Cavendish (HTC-Highroad)
    Article published:
    June 11, 2011, 9:44 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    HTC-Highroad sprinter honoured by the Queen

    Mark Cavendish of HTC-Highroad has been named a Member of the British Empire.  The British sprinter was awarded the title by Queen Elizabeth II in her official birthday honours list.

    "I can announce today I'm being awarded an MBE in Queens birthday honours. Proper happy about it. Shows cycling's popularity now in Britain." Cavendish revealed in a Twitter message on Saturday morning.

    "It is a massive honour for me to be recognised like this - it is not often that a cyclist is honoured without winning an Olympic medal,” he said during an interview with the British news agency PA, published by sportinglife.com.

    "Cycling is growing and I am more known now, but I don't do this for any celebrity status, I do it for the love of the sport. To know that cycling is getting recognised makes me massively proud."

    Tour de France the next big goal

    The 26-year-old Cavendish has won 15 stages of the Tour de France, seven at the Giro d'Italia and three at the Vuelta a Espana, plus the points jersey at the latter race.  He also won Milano-San Remo in 2009.

    He rides the Tour de Suisse that begins today in Lugano and is looking to add to his total of Tour de France stage wins in July, as well as taking the green jersey there for the first time. Cavendish will also target the world championships in September and the London Olympics in 2012.

    "The Tour de France is in three...

  • Roche pulls out of Critérium du Dauphiné following crash

    Nicolas Roche (AG2R La Mondiale) is gradually finding his form after an injury-hit spring
    Article published:
    June 11, 2011, 10:50 BST
    By:
    Stephen Farrand

    Irishman cut and bruised after stage five spill

    Nicholas Roche (Ag2r-La Mondiale) has been forced to quit the Critérium du Dauphiné because of the multiple injuries he suffered in a crash during Friday’s fifth stage to Les Gets.

    Roche’s management company Trinity Sports Management announced he would not start the stage via Twitter.

    The Irishman crashed at speed with Andy Cappelle (Quick Step) just before the final climb of the stage. He suffered some nasty cuts to his arm, thigh and chin but managed to get back on his bike, and finished the stage 25 minutes behind winner Christophe Kern (Team Europcar).

    He was taken to hospital where a scan ruled out a suspected fractured elbow. However he had stitches applied to his chin and numerous cuts and bruises on his chest, thigh and hip were cleaned and treated.

    Roche was dogged by a knee problem at the start of the season and crashed out of Fleche-Wallonne in April. However he had been recovering well and finished fifth on stage one of the Critérium du Dauphiné to Saint-Pierre-de-Chartreuse.

    Today’s 192.5km sixth stage of the Critérium du Dauphiné is from Les Gets to Le Collet d’Allevard and includes five major Alpine climbs.

    Roche is expected to head home to Varese, Italy, to recover from his injuries but is still on track to ride the Tour de France that starts on July 2.
     

  • Boonen to decide his team for 2012 before Belgian nationals

    Tom Boonen (Quick Step) heads onto the podium at Tour of Belgium.
    Article published:
    June 11, 2011, 11:04 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Quick Step sprinter returns to the Tour de Suisse

    Tom Boonen has agreed to give Quick Step a decision on if he will stay with the team in 2012 before the Belgian championships on June 26. The Belgian classics rider and former world champion is riding the Tour de Suisse -that begins with a time trial today in Lugano, as his final build-up for the Tour de France.

    Boonen has spent most of his career with Quick Step but has been courted by several other teams as he decides his future.

    “We know what we want from each other,” Quick Step team manager Patrick Lefevere told Sporza.  “We agreed that I am entitled to hear from him about if he will stay at Quick Step at the Belgian nationals.”

    Boonen was competitive in the Spring Classics this year but only won Gent-Wevelgem. His only other win this season is a stage at the Tour of Qatar after he decided to avoid constesting several sprint finishes. However he will back in the action against Mark Cavendish (HTC-Highroad) at the Tour de Suisse.

     

    However Boonen doesn't have recent good memories of the race. In 2009 the race organisers told him he was not welcome due to his positive out-of-competition tests for cocaine. Last year he had to abandon the race after a high-speed crash aggravated a knee injury.

    Yet the Quick Step is convinced it is the best way for him to prepare for the Tour de France.

    "It's better than the Dauphine, because the riders have a longer recovery phase after the Tour of Belgium,” said team director Wilfried Peeters. “Furthermore, just look at the course. Switzerland is hard, of course, but less than the Dauphine, which is a real climber's race. At Suisse, there are a couple of stages that suit his ability. It is important that a rider has specific...

  • Contador confirms he will ride the Tour de France

    Giro winner Alberto Contador shows off his trophy in front of Milan's stunning Duomo.
    Article published:
    June 11, 2011, 14:14 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Spaniard to lead Saxo Bank-SunGard team in July

    Alberto Contador has confirmed he will ride this year’s Tour de France.

    Speaking after riding the Marcha Alberto Contador mass participation ride in his home town of Pinto, near Madrid, Contador confirmed he will attempt to complete a Giro d’Italia-Tour de France double. The last rider to win cycling’s biggest two grand tours was Marco Pantani in 1998.

    "Yes, I'll go to the Tour de France. But it's a difficult challenge because nobody has been able to win the Giro and the Tour for 15 years,” Biciciclismo.com reported Contador as saying.

    "The Tour is the biggest race there is and all the best riders ride it. That gives me extra motivation.”

    Contador tested positive for Clenbuterol during the 2010 Tour de France but has always blamed the positive on contaminated meat brought to France from Spain by a close friend.

    That explanation was eventually accepted by the Spanish Cycling Federation in February but both the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and the International Cycling Union (UCI) have appealed the verdict to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). A verdict was expected before the Tour de France but the hearing has been delayed until August due to the complexities of the case.

    A recent poll carried by French radio station Alouette suggested that 63% of French people questioned were against Contador riding this year’s Tour de France.

    Contador was also doubtful after winning a very difficult Giro d’Italia. He was not satisfied with the results of a test during training on Friday but decided to ride the Tour de France after speaking to Saxo Bank-SunGard team manager...

  • Bak or Rasmussen likely to ride Tour de France for HTC-Highroad

    Lars Ytting Bak (HTC-Highroad)
    Article published:
    June 11, 2011, 20:00 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Danes up for last spots on Tour squad

    A Dane seems likely to ride the Tour de France this year for HTC-Highroad.  Sport director Brian Holm said that Lars Bak and Alex Rasmusen each have about a 50-50 chance to grab one of the last two spots on the squad.

    HTC is expected to be led in the Tour by sprinter Mark Cavendish, who will be accompanied by helpers Matthew Goss, Mark Renshaw and Bernhard Eisel.  The team will pin its GC hopes on Tony Martin, with the help of Tejay Van Garderen and Peter Velits, who last year finished third overall in the Vuelta a Espana.

    That would leave two spots on the squad still to be filled, with Bert Grabsch, Danny Pate, Michael Albasini, Martin Velits and Hayden Roulston going up against the two Danish riders.

    "As it looks right now, there are two vacant spaces, and it is tor hem, Lars and Alex, to fight for,” Holm told politiken.dk.

    "Lars has gradually carved out a strong position on the team and I would estimate his chances of joining the Tour to be around 55 percent. Alex I estimate a little lower, maybe 48 percent, but I definitely sensed that he is much stronger for his efforts both in the Giro d'Italia and his victory on Sunday in Philadelphia.”

    Bak, 31, joined the US-based team last year after five years with CSC/Saxo Bank.  Rasmussen, 26, also came over from the Danish team and recently won the Philadelphia International Championship race, shortly after having finished the Giro d'Italia.

    "There is no...

  • Rodriguez wins Dauphiné's Queen stage

    Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) climbs toward victory
    Article published:
    June 11, 2011, 23:08 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Spaniard will focus next on Vuelta a España

    Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) was happy to take his second win of the year in front of his parents Manuel and Manuela. He collected his victory atop Le Collet d'Allevard - last raced in 1992 when Colombia's Martin Farfan beat Charly Mottet - at the end of stage 6 of the Dauphiné. Earlier this season, he won stage 1 of the Volta al Pais Vasco.

    "I'm retired now, so all I have to do is come here for the week and enjoy something like this," said Manuel Rodriguez to Cyclingnews at the finish. In the early 80s, Manuel was the directeur sportif of the Colchon CR team. He signed as a neo pro the famous Alvaro Piño, who eventually won the 1986 Vuelta a España and more recently directed the teams Kelme, Phonak and Xacobeo-Galicia.

    "I'm more than happy with this win," Joaquim Rodriguez said to Cyclingnews. "This is a nice victory, but what fatigue it caused! I've suffered a lot. But this is what I came here for. I deeply wanted a stage win at the Dauphiné. Today I've found the right timing. To go solo with 5km to go was perfect."

    Its his first participation in the Dauphiné during his 11-year long career. He was a last minute entrant, only one week after the Giro. "I was scheduled to ride the Tour de Suisse," he said, "but during the last week of the Giro, because I was coming out with good form, I decided with the management of Katusha that I'd better do the Dauphiné since there were four uphill finishes."

    "It's been the right choice. I haven't had the right timing in the first stages, probably because I'm tired from the Giro, but I knew that this stage today was the one that suited me...

  • Colli set to return for Geox-TMC

    Daniele Colli is ready to ride again
    Article published:
    June 12, 2011, 0:33 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Italian rider recovers from career-threatening knee tumour

    Around six months ago, Daniele Colli was facing the loss of use of his left leg due to a benign tumour in his knee. With the joint rebuilt, the Geox-TMC rider will return to racing at the Giro della Toscana on June 19.

    Colli first experienced pain in his knee during Paris-Brussels, his final race in Ceramica Flaminia colours. After the knee problems persisted, Colli underwent an MRI scan in Milan in early November, where he was informed that he had a tumour on his knee.

    "I'm really happy, it's like being born again," he explained of his return. "The diagnosis was brutal: tumour to the knee with the threat that not only wouldn't I ride a bike again, but I could have lost the use of the leg. Instead I've come through it, I beat the odds… then I had to learn to walk again and finally I managed to get back to pedalling a bike. Not only am I able to pedal, but here I am, a professional cyclist.

    "I have to thank all the people who supported me during these difficult months, my family and friends have been wonderful. I especially thank my team and our sponsors, who had faith in me and had the patience to wait for me and help me get back to doing what I love best, cycling. I will try to pay back this trust by pedalling my best."

    Team manager, Mauro Gianetti praised the resolve of the 28-year-old.

    "When Daniele told us the news of his tumour, it was a hard blow for the whole team," he admitted. "In these cases cycling, racing, everything gets pushed aside; what counts is to beat the cancer and get back to living. Daniele had our full support and he showed us that he's a strong, determined guy. Guts and determination helped him get better and get back to high levels in a short time. Right now for all of us to see him on a bike again is our greatest triumph."

    Colli discussed his...