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First Edition Cycling News, Sunday, June 23, 2013

Date published:
June 23, 2013, 1:00 BST
  • Orica-AIS favour stage wins over GC at Giro Rosa

    Tiffany Cromwell with her trophy
    Article published:
    June 22, 2013, 4:20 BST
    Cycling News

    Two riders on debut

    Orica-AIS has named an opportunistic line-up for the Giro Rosa at the end of the month, with Loes Gunnewijk selected as team captain for the eight-stage race which includes current Australian Champion Gracie Elvin.

    "The objective for the Giro this year is completely different to last year," said sport director Dave McPartland. "We're taking a team full of opportunists, who will be chasing stage wins. The GC would be a bonus."

    It's been a successful season so far for the team which has claimed 12 victories, the majority of which via Emma Johansson who will not be on the start line in Giovinazzo on June 30. Orica-AIS has also claimed an additional 23 podiums for the year.

    "I will be looking to give opportunities to the girls who so far haven't had the chance to get results for themselves yet this year," added McPartland.

    "Obviously, I'll coordinate that tightly. It's not a matter of simply letting them loose to have a crack at it. We'll look at each stage in detail to determine who is best suited to what. Over the eight day tour, there will be plenty of chances for the whole team."

    The team has selected two debutants – Melissa Hoskins and Sungeun Gu – with Hoskins the designated sprinter.

    Two former stage winners at the Giro Rosa, Tiffany Cromwell and Shara Gillow, could find themselves as GC contenders despite it not being a huge objective for the outfit with McPartland favouring a wait and see approach.

    "I'm not putting any eggs in the GC basket early," explained McPartland. "If Tiff or Shara have a good stage and end up high in the GC, we'll support them all the way to the finish. We won't extend full protection early and then see how they do in the hilltop finishes. I expect there to be minutes between riders on the two summit days. Shara and Tiff will have to look after themselves and take risks, and then we will re-evaluate what we do from there."

    The Orica-AIS team for the...

  • Ullrich confesses to blood doping with Fuentes

    Article published:
    June 22, 2013, 9:40 BST
    Cycling News

    German claims it did not seem like cheating to him

    Jan Ullrich has confessed to blood doping with the aid of Dr. Eufemiano Fuentes but claimed that he only doped in order to compete on a level playing field with his rivals. The German was speaking in an interview with the magazine Focus, which is due to be published in full on Monday.

    “Yes, I availed of Fuentes' treatments," Ullrich told Focus. "Almost everyone at the time was taking performance-enhancing substances. I didn’t take anything that was not taken by the others. It would only have been cheating for me if I had gotten an advantage which was not the case. I just wanted to ensure I had an equal opportunity.”

    Ullrich was prevented from riding the 2006 Tour de France when his news of his relationship with Fuentes first broke on the eve of the race as part of the Operacion Puerto blood doping investigation. Although Ullrich would never race again, his two-year ban and the suspension of all results from May 2005 were not confirmed until a Court of Arbitration for Sport ruling in February of last year.

    After the CAS verdict, Ullrich belatedly acknowledged that he had been a client of Fuentes but refused to expand on the nature of his dealings with the Spanish doctor, who was convicted of endangering public health by a Madrid court in April of this year. Ullrich’s historic rival Lance Armstrong confessed to doping in January of this year after being stripped of his seven Tour de France titles. Ullrich, who won the Tour in 1997, finished second to Armstrong on three occasions.

    Ullrich wondered if the American had been protected by the UCI during his career. “I always...

  • Team tactics key at Belgian championships, says Gilbert

    World champion Philippe Gilbert (BMC)
    Article published:
    June 22, 2013, 13:35 BST
    Cycling News

    World champion leaves UCI Commission

    Philippe Gilbert (BMC) has declared himself pleased with his condition ahead of the Belgian national championships, but warned that the sizable Lotto Belisol and Omega Pharma-QuickStep contingents would hold the key to the race.

    “The national championships are always a special race and if the big teams are represented in the first break, it could all be over after one lap. Who would ride behind then? It would be very difficult to organise in any case,” Gilbert told La Dernière Heure.

    The world champion will have three BMC teammates alongside him on Sunday – Greg Van Avermaet, Yannick Eijssen and Klaas Lodewyck – and the climb of the Côte d’Ortho seems well-suited to his characteristics. Gilbert believes his chances would be better, however, if the race were the same length as a monument classic.

    “In the end, this championship is only 220 kilometres long. It’s a distance that all of the professionals at the start will be able to handle,” Gilbert said. “If you add another 30 kilometres, that makes a big difference. It means, for instance, that if the break still has a five-minute lead after 200km it’s going to be very difficult to go and bring them back, whereas in a 250km race, that wouldn’t be a problem.”

    After working for Mathias Frank and Tejay van Garderen at the Tour de Suisse, Gilbert is satisfied that he has the legs to take his first victory since becoming world champion in Valkenburg last September. “My condition is there and so is the speed,” he said.

    Gilbert also confirmed that he has stepped down from his role with the UCI Athletes Commission. The Belgian joined a number of riders across the various...

  • Boasson Hagen, Velits to bring national championship jerseys to Tour de France

    Jonathan Castroviejo (Movistar) in his time trial national champion's jersey
    Article published:
    June 22, 2013, 15:32 BST
    Cycling News

    Tamouridis dedicates victory to injured masseur

    A number of riders will bring newly-won national championship jerseys to the Tour de France: in the time trial titles earlier this week, Kanstanstin Siutsou and Edvald Boasson Hagen (Sky Procycling), Gatis Smukulis (Katusha), Maciej Bodnar and Brian Vandborg (Cannondale), Peter Velits and Sylvain Chavanel (Omega Pharma-Quickstep) and Lieuwe Westra (Vacansoleil-DCM) each earned new kits in Belarus, Norway, Latvia, Poland, Denmark, Slovakia, France and the Netherlands, respectively.

    Tony Martin (Omega Pharma-Quickstep) renewed his German title but will remain in the rainbow jersey of world champion in the time trials at the Tour.

    Rein Taaramae (Cofidis) took out the Estonian road race championship today.

    Siutsou will wear the red and green of Belarus in the Tour's time trial, while Boasson Hagen hopes to keep the blue cross on red background of Norwegian road race champion tomorrow after taking the time trial on Thursday.

    “Getting the title back was a big goal for me and I’m glad I achieved it," Boasson Hagen said after Thursday's victory. "I treated the Dauphine time trial a few weeks ago as practice for this, and although I actually felt better there, I was putting down more watts out here and that’s good news heading into the Tour de France."

    Only 12 of the 22 teams in the Tour de France have announced their rosters, with many...

  • Pinot sees Mont Ventoux as the hardest stage of the Tour de France

    Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) in the best young rider's jersey in Romandie
    Article published:
    June 22, 2013, 16:31 BST
    Jean-François Quénet

    Young Frenchman hopes for Spanish coalition against Team Sky

     Eleven months after becoming the first under-23 rider to make the final top 10 of the Tour de France since 1947, Thibaut Pinot is fired up for his second attempt one week prior to lining up in Corsica for the 100th edition of the race.

    “Last year, I was a little bit like a tourist at the start,” the FDJ rider told Cyclingnews on the eve of the French championship in Lannilis. “It worked out well. But my run-up this time is completely different. Except for the Pyrenees, I know all the crucial parts of the course. I’ve tried to leave nothing to chance. I’m the leader of the team.”

    On Friday, he reconnoitred the individual time trial from Avranches to Mont-Saint-Michel (stage 11) as well as the coastal part of stage 10 alongside the English Channel before the finish at Saint-Malo, a windy area where damage can be done.

    One year ago, he got a last minute start because he was on good form at the Tour de Suisse and FDJ was left without a climber as Arnold Jeannesson, who finished 15th in 2011, was injured. This time around, he was the only rider selected by Marc Madiot at the beginning of the season.

    “I rode with three goals this year: the Volta Catalunya, the Tour de Romandie and the Tour de Suisse”, Pinot said. He finished 8th, 12th and 4th at those World Tour races. “We’ll learn later on if my fourth place at the Tour de Suisse was a breakthrough in my career or not. Nobody remembers fourth places. I’m a bit frustrated because I had the legs for the podium but I feel relieved at the same time. I hope I’ll go well at the Tour too. I even start to get some good feelings in time trialling, which was my weak point. We’ve raced very well as a team at the Tour de Suisse. I hope...

  • Seven candidates to take over as French coach from Jalabert

    Laurent Jalabert was present at the start in Liege
    Article published:
    June 22, 2013, 17:58 BST
    Jean-François Quénet

    France to choose a national selector by the end of July

    France has been left with no coach for the world championships sinceLaurent Jalabert resigned on April 16. His successor will be designated by the end of July, FFC president David Lappartient announced during the national championships in Lannilis.

    "We have seven candidates," Lappartient explained. "We would have liked to go faster on the matter, but the nomination of a national technical director (DTN) by the Ministry of Sport has taken longer than expected." Vincent Jacquet who has no cycling background is expected to be officially named as the DTN next week. His predecessor Isabelle Gautheron also resigned, so did sprint coach Florian Rousseau who was recently replaced by Justin Grace from New-Zealand.

    Lappartient didn't name the candidates, but Cyclingnews understands they are world's bronze medallist Jean-Cyril Robin, legendary coach Cyril Guimard, triple Vuelta a Espana stage winner Dominique Arnaud, former Cofidis manager Eric Boyer, 1997 Tour de Suisse winner Christophe Agnolutto and Orica-GreenEdge's directeur sportif Lionel Marie.

    "They'll be audited by a selection committee formed of Professional League president Marc Madiot, high performance manager Laurence Leboucher, the new DTN and myself," Lappartient said. "More candidates can declare themselves until July 1st. I know the calendar is quite busy with the Tour de France but by the end of July, it'll be time to have a selector for the World's. We want someone who is able to federate and manage a group, recognized by everyone, and expert in racing strategies."

    Robin appears as the hot favorite. He's the second last French rider to have claimed a medal at the world championship (in 1999), the last one being Anthony Geslin in 2005. Laurent Brochard is the last Frenchman to have won the rainbow jersey in...

  • Familiar feel to BMC Tour de France team for Evans

    Cadel Evans (BMC) suffers in the snow
    Article published:
    June 22, 2013, 18:53 BST
    Cycling News

    Van Garderen flanks Evans but no place for Hushovd in line-up

    Cadel Evans will have six of his teammates from his victorious 2011 for company when he lines up for this year’s Tour de France in Corsica on June 29. The BMC squad, which was announced on Saturday, also includes reigning best young rider Tejay van Garderen and world champion Philippe Gilbert.

    There is no place for Thor Hushovd in the nine-man selection, while Mathias Frank, who impressed at the recent Tour de Suisse, has also been left out. Instead Evans, van Garderen and Gilbert will be joined at the Tour by Brent Bookwalter, Marcus Burghardt, Amaël Moinard, Steve Morabito, Manuel Quinziato and Michael Schär.

    “I am happy to have my three 'guardian angels' – Quinziato, Burghardt and Schär – around me, plus Brent, Amaël and Steve from our successful 2011 team,” Evans said. “And with Tejay coming into the mix, we are a lot stronger in the mountains than in past years."

    Evans has not raced since he finished in third place at the Giro d’Italia but he was adamant that he is in a better position to tackle two Grand Tours in succession than when he last attempted to do so three years ago. “My recovery and training has progressed well this time as we attempt the 'Giro-Tour double. When I look back at our 2010 attempt, I feel a lot better this time around," he said.

    While van Garderen finished 5th last year, two places ahead of Evans, BMC has been firm in its insistence that the team hierarchy remains unchanged. Van Garderen said that his primary function is to ride for his Australian teammate in the mountains.

    “The white jersey wasn't a goal of mine last year and it's not again this year," van Garderen said. "It just came along with me being up there every day, helping Cadel,...

  • Giro Rosa start too risky for US champion Wilcoxson

    Jade Wilcoxson (Optum) had a rough day but still made it on the podium.
    Article published:
    June 22, 2013, 23:59 BST
    Pat Malach

    Walle gets the call up for national team

    US professional road race champion Jade Wilcoxson's crash in the final corner of the final stage at the Nature Valley Grand Prix last week cost her more than the overall win at the Minnesota race. A fractured radial bone above her left wrist will keep her off the bike for at least a week and prevent her from starting the Giro Rosa on June 30 with the USA Cycling National Team.

    Doctors in Minnesota operated on Wilcoxson's arm less than 24 hours after the crash and repaired it with a plate and several screws, and the recovery is going well so far.

    "I took pain meds for 24 hours and then stopped just to see what the pain would be like, but I've never had any," Wilcoxson told Cyclingnews Saturday from her home in Talent, Oregon.

    Wilcoxson also said the doctors in Minnesota actually told her she could start the women's Giro, but it would be a big risk because a crash could force another surgery and further complicate her recovery. The 35-year-old Optum-Kelly Benefit Strategies rider said she plans on returning to racing in time for the Cascade Cycling Classic in mid-July.

    The US pro champion took the Nature Valley yellow jersey on stage 2 and held it into the final corner on the last day, when she swung wide and crashed into a course barrier. TIBCO-To the Top's Shelley Olds, the 2010 overall winner at Nature Valley, took the overall win following the crash.

    The unlucky break for Wilcoxson turned into an opportunity for her Optum teammate and fellow Oregonian Brianna Walle, however, as the first-year pro got the call up for the Italian race in Wilcoxson's stead. Walle said USA Cycling national team manager Jack Seehafer contacted her by telephone and asked if she wanted to go to the Giro.

    "I said, 'Uh, Sure!'" Walle recalled.

    But the unscheduled trip also meant that Walle, who still averages 32 hours a week at her job with...