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First Edition Cycling News, Sunday, June 24, 2012

Date published:
June 24, 2012, 1:00 BST
  • Team Saxo Bank expected to announce new name co-sponsor

    Contador leads the Saxo Bank team
    Article published:
    June 23, 2012, 9:25 BST
    Cycling News

    Another bank set to be named at press conference on Monday

    Team Saxo Bank is expected to announce a new name co-sponsor at a press conference called for Monday. According to, the new co-sponsor will be a “foreign” bank.

    The team announced that it will hold a press conference on Monday at 1:00 p.m. CET at its headquarters in Hellerup, Denmark. “Team owner Bjarne Riis will be present as the team has important news to share about the future,” according to the Saxo Bank press release.

    Lars Seier Christensen, director of sponsor Saxo Bank, was not forthcoming as to what would be announced. As he put it, “It's one thing if we convene a press conference later today, but when it is called for next Monday, then it's probably because we have something to say on Monday and not now,” he told

    The team has struggled this year in the absence of Alberto Contador, who is serving a doping-related suspension. It was recently announced that he has signed a new three-year contract with the team, and will start racing again with them when his ban is up on August 6.

  • Schlecks to found new German-sponsored team in 2013?

    The Schleck brothers have been forced indoors to keep their winter training going
    Article published:
    June 23, 2012, 11:18 BST
    Cycling News

    Dutch media reports brothers may leave RadioShack-Nissan

    The newest twist in rumours surrounding problem-plagued RadioShack-Nissan now have the Schleck brothers leaving the team after this season and founding a new team with a German sponsor.

    According to De Telegraaf, Fränk and Andy Schleck have found a so-far unnamed German company willing to be co-sponsor.  “Some” German riders are said to already have been approached about signing with the new team, but it is not clear whether that means the Germans currently at RadioShack-Nissan or now. 

    The team's management would be handled by Schleck confidant Kim Andersen, as well as Dirk Demol and Alain Gallopin.

    Both Schlecks have contracts with the current team through the 2014 season. However, there have long been reports of problems within the team, including late payment of salaries.

    The Schlecks and team manager Johan Bruyneel have often been at odds this season. Only yesterday Bruyneel announced that he would not attend the Tour de France due to the USADA doping investigation, in which he is a target.

  • World time trial champions also German national champions

    World champion Tony Martin (Omega Pharma-Quickstep) gets ready to take off for the prologue
    Article published:
    June 23, 2012, 15:29 BST
    Cycling News

    Martin and Arndt easily claim national titles

    World time trial champions Tony Martin and Judith Arndt are also German champions. Both won the national titles Friday in Grimma. It was Martin's second title and Arndt's eighth.

    Martin covered the 40.6km in 47:21, beating last year's winner and Omega Pharma-QuickStep teammate Bert Grabsch. Lars Teutenberg, 41, was the surprise third man on the podium.

    “Today we tested my position and fortunately everything worked out fine. I feel well prepared for the Tour de France and the Olympics,” said Martin, reported

    Grabsch, a former world champion, said that he was satisfied and “that I still haven't called up 100 percent of my performance potential. I can look forward optimistically.”

    For Arndt it was the newest addition to her collection of national titles, both in the road race, time trial and on the track. The 35-year-old put in a time of 44:28 over the 34.6 kilometers, with Trixi Worrack and Ina-Yoko Teutenberg finished second and third, well back.

    “Of course I am happy to have defended my title, but going all out for 44 minutes always hurts,” she said.

    The biggest loser of the day was Hanka Kupfernagel, the 2007 world time trial champion. She crashed and finished only sixth, which is expected to knock her out of contention for a spot on the German Olympic team.

  • Gilbert tips Boonen for Belgian championship

    Belgian Champion Philippe Gilbert waves to fans
    Article published:
    June 23, 2012, 18:47 BST
    Cycling News

    Defending champion doesn't expect a bunch sprint

    Philippe Gilbert doesn't expect to retain his national champion's status, and thinks it will go to Tom Boonen when the race finishes in Geel on Sunday. “Tom is riding in his own backyard. He also has a strong and experienced team with him,” he told Het Nieuwsblad.

    Gilbert doesn't expect the race to finish in a mass sprint, though, and predicts there may be 25 riders together at the finish. “There aren't that many riders in this country who are capable of going all out for 250km,” he said.

    “There is Boonen, but I also think my former teammate Jurgen Roelandts knows the value of the tricolor. On this kind of course even Kenny Dehaes may win. He is very fast. There are a number of candidates.”

    Gilbert will have three BMC teammates with him in Geel, but is happy with the size of his team. “That's not bad. In the past, at FDJ, I had to do with even less.”

    He has had less than a sterling year in 2012, and is still looking for his first win of the season. Of his many wins in 2011, the national title meant something special to him. “I like the fact that after three silver medals, I finally won the jersey. I glowed with pride.”

  • Germany names Olympic road team nominees

    The 2012 German time trial podium: Trixi Worrack, Judith Arndt and Ina Teutenberg
    Article published:
    June 23, 2012, 19:45 BST
    Cycling News

    Final team for men to be announced after road championships

    The German Cycling Federation (Bund Deutscher Radfahrer, BDR) today announced the riders who may compete in the 2012 Olympic Games road cycling events.

    The country earned four spots for the women's road race, five for the men's road race and two each for the individual time trial.

    While the final composition of the men's team will be finalized after the German national championship road race, the women's team has been decided.

    Dual German champion and world time trial champion Judith Arndt (GreenEdge-AIS/) is joined by teammate Claudia Häusler, Ina-Yoko Teutenberg and Trixi Worrack (both Specialized-Lululemon) on the team, although the starters for the time trial have not yet been announced.

    Following the road race on Sunday, the five rider men's team will be chosen from Marcus Burghardt (BMC), John Degenkolb (Argos-Shimano), Tony Martin and Bert Grabsch (Omega Pharma Quickstep), André Greipel and Marcel Sieberg (Lotto-Belisol) and Christian Knees (Sky).


  • Thomas Dekker says 2012 Tour de France too early for him

    Thomas Dekker (Garmin-Barracuda)
    Article published:
    June 23, 2012, 21:45 BST
    Cycling News

    Garmin-Barracuda rider looking to Vuelta a Espana and homeland World Championships

    Thomas Dekker was not surprised to be left off the Garmin-Barracuda squad for the Tour de France, stating that he is not yet ready for a race of that difficulty. “It's just too early. I'm too far from the level needed for the Tour,” he said.

    The Dutchman served a two-year doping suspension and has been back in the peloton for nearly one year. “It's just a tough sport and you notice that you don't have the hardness,” he told “In the Tour de Suisse I rode 1400 kilometers in nine days. I need more of these competitions."

    Giro d'Italia winner Ryder Hesjedal was named as the US team's general classification contender, with Tom Danielson and Christian Vande Velde as backups. “They are much better now and everyone has a certain role in a team. The rest should help them and that's never been my forte.”

    Dekker was supposed to ride the Giro d'Italia, but had to pass due to knee problems. He still expects to ride a Grand Tour this year, the Vuelta a Espana. “And then there's the World Championships in my own country, so there is still a lot to go.”  He further expects to ride the Tour in 2013. "Otherwise it would be a significant disappointment."

    He has one individual win this season, the fifth stage of the Circuit de la Sarthe. His next race is Sunday's Dutch national road race.

  • Longo concedes her Olympic dream is over

    Jeannie Longo's Olympic hopes are all but dead after she finished 12th
    Article published:
    June 23, 2012, 22:30 BST
    Cycling News

    Frenchwoman had ridden in seven Olympic games

    After 59 national championship titles and seven Olympic games, Frenchwoman Jeannie Longo has come away without a national title for the first time in many years, and has now given up hope of being selected to her country's team for the Olympic Games. Longo finished 12th in the womens' road race on Saturday, after taking fifth in the time trial on Thursday.

    Longo, 53, had to finally concede to the next generation of French talent: Pauline Ferrand Prevot, who won the time trial race, is 20 years old, as is the winner of the road race, Marion Rousse.

    Her aspirations of participating in an eighth Olympic games “is over,” Longon said on Friday, according to the AFP. She has been in every Olympic games since 1984, when the women's cycling events were first introduced, and has won four medals, including gold in the road race in 1996. The French women's team for the 2012 London Olympics is scheduled to be announced on July 5.

    Over the past year, Longo has suffered the death of her father and problems concerning her “whereabouts”. In addition, her husband and trainer, Patrice Ciprelli, has confessed to buying doping products.

    She didn't want to end her career with failure, Longo said. “I think that would be wrong, that is why I relaunched myself this spring. As long as there is life, there is hope.”

  • Bergen 2016 Worlds could be Hushovd's last race

    Thor Hushovd (BMC) was dropped from the breakaway.
    Article published:
    June 23, 2012, 23:15 BST
    Cycling News

    BMC rider now looking to 2012 Olympics

    Thor Hushovd has said that riding in the 2016 World Championships in Bergen, Norway, would be the perfect end of his career – assuming the city is awarded the races.  “I think I can guarantee that it would be my last race,” he said.

    If Bergen is awarded the championships, then “I feel I would have to say yes” to continuing to ride until then, Hushovd said, according to

    “To ride in the Worlds is a great experience anyway, but to do it at home would be a dream,” said Hushovd, who would be 38 in 2016.

    The BMC Racing Team rider fought a virus much of the first half of the season, and decided to skip the national championships and the Tour de France in order to concentrate on the 2012 London Olympics.

    “The feeling is completely different now than it was a few weeks ago. Now I'm 100 percent focused on the Olympics and the rest of the season,” he said.