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First Edition Cycling News, Sunday, May 27, 2012

Date published:
May 27, 2012, 1:00 BST
  • Basso on Giro performance: All I could do was defend

    Ivan Basso (Liquigas-Cannondale)
    Article published:
    May 26, 2012, 19:56 BST
    Cycling News

    Italian set for fifth overall

    At the top of the Stevlio with his Giro d'Italia bid all but over, Ivan Basso acknowledged that his performance had fallen short his expectations. The two-time race winner sits 3:18 down on race leader Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha Team) in seventh place after two difficult stages in the mountains. With just a 30-kilometer time trial to come, Basso has little chance of moving up the overall classification.

    “Today was a bad day, like yesterday and you just have to acknowledge that it hasn’t gone the way I or my team expected,” he said at the finish of stage 20.

    “On the Mortirolo I already understood that things weren’t going well and when things aren’t going well, you can’t do anything other than defend yourself. As you saw, I had to defend myself on the last climb. It’s one of those situations where you can’t do anything good of your own. You can only acknowledge that the others were better.”

    Despite two bruising days, Basso vowed to fight until the end of the race.

    “The Giro finishes tomorrow. Granted, I can’t change much, but at least we’ll look to finish the Giro as best we can. I’m still fifth on GC. This doesn’t satisfy me, but I have to accept that there were others who’ve been better than me.”

    While Basso’s fate is all but sealed the race for the podium order is still wide. The Italian wouldn’t be drawn on his thoughts on who would win, instead praising those who had out-performed him.

    “I don’t know, I’m not very good at predictions. It’s still a very open podium,” he said.

    “The only analysis you can make straight after a stage like that is to acknowledge the merits of those who were...

  • Hesjedal's final battle in Giro d'Italia "fight for pink" is crucial

    Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin - Barracuda) in the favorites' group
    Article published:
    May 26, 2012, 20:43 BST
    Jean-François Quénet

    First Canadian win would increase Anglo-Saxon influence

    Italian media are using irony to highlight new Giro d'Italia boss Michele Acquarone's evident inclination for the English language and the internationalization of the event. But they're ready to welcome Ryder Hesjedal as the first Canadian winner of the corsa rosa, should the rider from Garmin-Barracuda confirm tomorrow that he has the power to recover his 31-second deficit from current race leader Joaquim Rodriguez, who is not exactly a time trial specialist.

    "Fight for pink" is now the official slogan of the Giro d'Italia. It has never been so appropriate as this weekend with Jonathan Vaughters' Garmin-Barracuda team on the edge of winning its first Grand Tour. The team made its debut in three-week long races at the 2008 Giro d'Italia and won the inaugural team time trial to bring Christian Vande Velde in pink.

    Hesjedal has not been very talkative throughout the 2012 Giro d'Italia, but he looked pretty happy with the outcome of stage 20 at the top of the Passo dello Stelvio. "They have tried to make me lose," he said of his Italian rivals. "But today, the team has been incredible. I'm proud of how we rode. Everybody tried to stick to us. The whole Giro has been amazing. I hope I have enough of a lead. I'm gonna give everything tomorrow."

    During stage 20, Hesjedal faced a double challenge. Not only did he have to control the actions of Katusha's Rodriguez and Michele Scarponi (Lampre-ISD), but his potential lead was also threatened by Thomas De Gendt (Vacansoleil DCM) whose advantage increased drastically in the ascent to the Stelvio.

    "At the front, De Gendt was becoming dangerous,"...

  • Rodriguez still in Giro d'Italia lead with one stage left

    Race leader Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha)
    Article published:
    May 26, 2012, 21:27 BST
    Jean-François Quénet

    DS Piva realistic about Purito’s chances of winning the Giro

    With a late attack 800 meters from the top of the Passo dello Stelvio, Giro d’Italia leader Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) regained 14 seconds the on the time he'd lost the day before at l’Alpe di Pampeago to second placed Ryder Hesjedal. Considering his past as a poor time triallist, the Spaniard will not start the 30-kilometer time trial in Milan as the hot favorite for the overall victory with an advantage of only 31 seconds over Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Barracuda).

    “I’ve got to fight against myself and limit my losses as much as possible," Rodriguez said at the post race press conference.

    “I really want to win this Giro d’Italia because it’s something I’ve worked hard for. Ryder [Hesjedal] is the one under all the pressure because he’s got to make up the time. The final time trial isn’t like the first one. Our coach Sebastian Weber has studied the course and he thinks that I can do it. I trust him because he’s always been right so far.”

    “It’s going to be difficult,” Katusha’s directeur sportif Valerio Piva told Cyclingnews. “We said that one minute lead was needed and one minute was an optimistic prevision. We’re not there! But Joaquim is going well. He has really improved against the clock. He’s got a nice bike for that. We’ve done everything we could to put him in the right condition. Now we’ve got a few reasons to dream of the best outcome: the course isn’t straight, there’ll be sprints after curves and Joaquim is good at that. To wear the pink jersey is a huge advantage. He’s got a great heart as well. To win the Giro is a dream…...

  • Video: Brailsford left with mixed emotions on top of Giro d’Italia’s Stelvio

    Dave Brailsford keeps a watchful eye over Mark Cavendish (Team Sky)
    Article published:
    May 26, 2012, 22:01 BST
    Cycling News

    White jersey safe but Cavendish misses red by one point

    With just one stage remaining in this year’s Giro d’Italia, Sky’s Dave Brailsford has plenty of reasons to be proud. Three stage wins courtesy of Mark Cavendish and overall white jersey on the shoulders of Rigoberto Uran, not to mention the emergence of Sergio Henao in his first Grand Tour have given Sky their best return since debuting in the race two years ago.

    However the only cloud in Brailsford Giro's came just before Uran assured the team of the white jersey, when on the slopes of the Stelvio Joaquím Rodriguez attacked at the summit, and finished fourth on the stage.

    It meant that he leapfrogged Cavendish in the battle for the maglia rossa and secured the jersey by a solitary point. Cavendish, one of the few remaining sprinters in the race, survived the time cuts in all of the mountain stages but will leave the race without a red jersey to match his points success in both the Tour de France and Vuelta.

    In this exclusive video for Cyclingnews, Brailsford pays tribute to both his riders and Rodriguez. 

  • Martin takes confidence from Tour of Belgium time trial victory

    Time trial world champion Tony Martin (Omega Pharma-QuickStep)
    Article published:
    May 27, 2012, 10:02 BST
    Cycling News

    Omega Pharma-QuickStep rider now looking to Tour de France and 2012 London Olympics

    Tony Martin flew to victory in the Tour of Belgium time trial to also take the overall lead in the race. It was the first win for the Omega Pharma-QuickStep rider this season, and came less than seven weeks after he was hit by a car whilst training.

    His performance left him with high hopes for the upcoming 2012 London Olympics. “This victory means a lot to me and not just because of my bad crash. No, I am now exactly where I want to be for the Olympics. The win gave me a lot of motivation for the further preparations.,” he wrote on his personal website.

    “And of course I want to also win the Tour of Belgium. The overall victory in my team's homeland tour is our declared goal. So the win will mean a lot.”

    Martin is also looking towards the Tour de France. “Even when I haven't yet reached by top form, I am sure that there is still enough time until the start of the Tour de France.”

    Not that the time trial went perfectly.  “At the beginning I didn't have good legs. It was hard and windy and I wasn't doing one of my best time trials. But it was important to me to break the ice,” he said, according to

  • Vos sees no problem with Olympics

    Dutch Champion, Marianne Vos (Rabo Women) on the Kemmelberg
    Article published:
    May 27, 2012, 11:33 BST
    Cycling News

    Broken collarbone timing is “lousy”, Rabobank rider says

    A broken collarbone didn't stop Marianne Vos from finishing second in the Parkhotel Valkenburg Classic and it won't stop her from riding in the 2012 London Olympic games. “The timing is really lousy,” the Rabobank rider said.

    Vos collided with a race motorcycle with 63 km to go in the race on Friday, but she continued on to finish second.

    At the bottom of a descent there was a right-hand turn, and although the motos were there, she “drove it hard.  Then  I thought: this is tight.” Vos wasn't sure exactly how the crash happened, but  “Anyway, I fell and really hurt. But I had never broken my collarbone and thought: if the bone is broken, I will have to stop riding.  But I could keep on.”

    Vos went to hospital for x-rays after the awards ceremony where she was shocked to hear that it was indeed broken. “Something like this is never good, but the timing is really lousy,” she said. However, it is a clean break which probably won't require surgery.

    She does not think this will hurt her build-up to the Olympics.  “I am not afraid that I cannot keep riding. But this is far from ideal for my preparation.”  

  • Giro d'Italia time trial course shortened

    Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Barracuda) leads Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha)
    Article published:
    May 27, 2012, 12:57 BST
    Cycling News

    From 30km to 28km

    Road conditions have led to today’s final individual time trial in the Giro d’Italia to be shortened by nearly 2 kilometers. The course in Milan will now be run over 28.2km instead of the originally scheduled 30km.

    Spain’s Miguel Minguez Ayala (Euskaltel-Euskadi) is the first rider to start the time trial at 1:49 pm CET. Current race leader and pink jersey wearer Joaquin Rodriguez (Katusha Team) is the last rider to start at 4:40pm CET. He will be chasing Ryder Hesjedal of Garmin-Barracuda who lies 31 seconds down on GC.

    However, despite the time deficit and the shortened distance the Canadian is still expected to overturn the advantage and win the Giro d’Italia.

    For a full preview of today's route, click here.

  • Rodriguez crashes during Giro d'Italia time trial re-con

    Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) shows his injury from hitting a barrier whilst checking the time trial course
    Article published:
    May 27, 2012, 12:59 BST
    Cycling News

    Katusha rider has 31 seconds lead going into finale

    The finale of the Giro d'Italia will decide the overall winner in one of the tightest contests in years, and the tale took another turn on Sunday. Race leader Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) had a small crash whilst testing the course, his team reported.

    “Purito hits crush barrier in a turn during the course recognition,” the team tweeted. It also posted a photo showing a scratch on his upper left arm.

    Rodriguez, notorious for having difficulties time trialling, goes into the final stage with a mere 31 seconds lead over Ryder Hesjedal of Garmin-Barracuda. Michele Scarponi of Lampre is third at 1:51.