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First Edition Cycling News, Thursday, April 12, 2012

Date published:
April 12, 2012, 13:00
  • Boonen extends WorldTour rankings lead

    Tom Boonen joins compatriot Roger De Vlaeminck as the only four-time Paris-Roubaix champions.
    Article published:
    April 11, 2012, 20:25
    Cycling News

    Omega Pharma-QuickStep top team, Spain best nation

    Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) confirmed his superiority in the Spring Classics with a record-equaling fourth Paris-Roubaix victory that extended his lead in the individual UCI WorldTour rankings.

    Boonen also became the first rider to ever win the E3 Harelbeke, Gent-Wevelgem, Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix in the same season and joined Roger De Vlaeminck as the only four-time Paris-Roubaix winners.

    "My legs were good and after the great things I've done in the last two weeks, I was confident of pulling it off," said Boonen. "I wanted to do something extraordinary to mark my fourth Paris-Roubaix victory. I think I did it."

    Boonen scored 100 UCI WorldTour points which increased his total to 366. Milan-San Remo winner Simon Gerrans (GreenEdge) is a distant second with 210 points, and Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco winner Samuel Sanchez (Euskaltel-Euskadi) is third with 208 points.

    Boonen's Omega Pharma-QuickStep squad extended its lead in the UCI WorldTour team ranking and now has a total of 547 points. Katusha is second with 382 points and Liquigas-Cannondale is third with 376 points.

    Spain still leads the nation ranking with 717 points but Boonen's success has lifted Belgium to second place with 567 points. Italy is a close third with 566 points.

    The next race in the UCI WorldTour is the Amstel Gold Race in the Netherlands on Sunday, April 15.

    WorldTour Individual Rankings
    1 Tom Boonen (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quickstep 366 pts
    2 Simon Gerrans (Aus) GreenEdge Cycling Team 210  
    3 Samuel Sanchez Gonzalez (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi 208  
    4 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale 182  
    5 Peter Sagan (Svk) Liquigas-Cannondale 179  
    6 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar Team 167  
    7 Alessandro Ballan (Ita) BMC Racing Team 166  
    8 Joaquim Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha Team 142  
    9 Oscar Freire Gomez (Spa) Katusha Team 140  
    10 Michael Albasini (Swi) GreenEdge Cycling Team 112  
    11 Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Sky Procycling 112  
    12 Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre - ISD 106  
    13 Christopher Horner (USA) RadioShack-Nissan 96  
    14 Lieuwe Westra (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team 92  
    15 Niki Terpstra (Ned) Omega Pharma-Quickstep 90  
    16 Fabian Cancellara (Swi) RadioShack-Nissan 86  
    17 Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Astana Pro Team 78  
    18 Bauke Mollema (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team 75  
    19 Tiago Machado (Por) RadioShack-Nissan 72  
    20 Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Lotto Belisol Team 70  
    21 Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Sky Procycling 70  
    22 Simon Spilak (Slo) Katusha Team 66  
    23 Rigoberto Uran Uran (Col) Sky Procycling 63  
    24 Michael Rogers (Aus) Sky Procycling 61  
    25 Rinaldo Nocentini (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale 61  
    26 Matti Breschel (Den) Rabobank Cycling Team 60  
    27 Juan Antonio Flecha Giannoni (Spa) Sky Procycling 60  
    28 Daniel Martin (Irl) Garmin - Barracuda 60  
    29 Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team 60  
    30 Tony Martin (Ger) Omega Pharma-Quickstep 52  
    31 Johnny Hoogerland (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team 51  
    32 Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team 51  
    33 Michele Scarponi (Ita) Lampre - ISD 51  
    34 Bernhard Eisel (Aut) Sky Procycling 50  
    35 Robert Kiserlovski (Cro) Astana Pro Team 44  
    36 Lars Petter Nordhaug (Nor) Sky Procycling 42  
    37 Lars Boom (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team 40  
    38 Arnold Jeannesson (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat 40  
    39 Jan Bakelants (Bel) RadioShack-Nissan 40  
    40 Daniele Bennati (Ita) RadioShack-Nissan 33  
    41 Jean-Christophe Peraud (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 32  
    42 Sep Vanmarcke (Bel) Garmin - Barracuda 31  
    43 Matteo Tosatto (Ita) Team Saxo Bank 30  
    44 Luca Paolini (Ita) Katusha Team 30  
    45 Maxime Monfort (Bel) RadioShack-Nissan 30  
    46 Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Omega Pharma-Quickstep 24  
    47 Wout Poels (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team 24  
    48 André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Belisol Team 22  
    49 Matteo Carrara (Ita) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team 21  
    50 Mathew Hayman (Aus) Sky Procycling 20  
    51 Javier Moreno Bazan (Spa) Movistar Team 20  
    52 Michael Matthews (Aus) Rabobank Cycling Team 16  
    53 Dario Cataldo (Ita) Omega Pharma-Quickstep 15  
    54 Matthieu Ladagnous (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat 14  
    55 Marco Marcato (Ita) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team 14  
    56 Jose Joaquin Rojas Gil (Spa) Movistar Team 12  
    57 Steve Chainel (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat 10  
    58 Johan Vansummeren (Bel) Garmin - Barracuda 10  
    59 Daniel Oss (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale 10  
    60 Christophe Riblon (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 10  
    61 Allan Davis (Aus) GreenEdge Cycling Team 8  
    62 Gianni Meersman (Bel) Lotto Belisol Team 8  
    63 Yauheni Hutarovich (Blr) FDJ-Big Mat 7  
    64 Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team 7  
    65 Luis Leon Sanchez Gil (Spa) Rabobank Cycling Team 7  
    66 Cameron Meyer (Aus) GreenEdge Cycling Team 6  
    67 Gustav Larsson (Swe) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team 6  
    68 Daryl Impey (RSA) GreenEdge Cycling Team 6  
    69 Janez Brajkovic (Slo) Astana Pro Team 6  
    70 Mark Cavendish (GBr) Sky Procycling 6  
    71 Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Lampre - ISD 6  
    72 Francesco Gavazzi (Ita) Astana Pro Team 5  
    73 Mark Renshaw (Aus) Rabobank Cycling Team 5  
    74 Grega Bole (Slo) Lampre - ISD 5  
    75 Maarten Wynants (Bel) Rabobank Cycling Team 4  
    76 Eduard Vorganov (Rus) Katusha Team 4  
    77 Angel Vicioso Arcos (Spa) Katusha Team 4  
    78 Sergio Pardilla Bellon (Spa) Movistar Team 4  
    79 Michal Golas (Pol) Omega Pharma-Quickstep 4  
    80 Jens Voigt (Ger) RadioShack-Nissan 4  
    81 Gerald Ciolek (Ger) Omega Pharma-Quickstep 4  
    82 Denis Menchov (Rus) Katusha Team 4  
    83 Sylvester Szmyd (Pol) Liquigas-Cannondale 4  
    84 Tyler Farrar (USA) Garmin - Barracuda 3  
    85 Levi Leipheimer (USA) Omega Pharma-Quickstep 3  
    86 Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Movistar Team 2  
    87 Heinrich Haussler (Aus) Garmin - Barracuda 2  
    88 Sergio Luis Henao Montoya (Col) Sky Procycling 2  
    89 Davide Appollonio (Ita) Sky Procycling 2  
    90 Fabian Wegmann (Ger) Garmin - Barracuda 2  
    91 Xavier Florencio Cabre (Spa) Katusha Team 2  
    92 Mikael Cherel (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 2  
    93 Thor Hushovd (Nor) BMC Racing Team 1  
    94 Svein Tuft (Can) GreenEdge Cycling Team 1  
    95 Greg Henderson (NZl) Lotto Belisol Team 1  
    96 Vasili Kiryienka (Blr) Movistar Team 1  
    97 Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Garmin - Barracuda 1  
    98 Marco Pinotti (Ita) BMC Racing Team 1  
    99 Arthur Vichot (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat 1  
    100 Daniele Ratto (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale 1  
    101 Ben Gastauer (Lux) AG2R La Mondiale 1  
    102 Fabio Sabatini (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale 1  
    103 Manuel Belletti (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale 1  
    104 Thomas Rohregger (Aut) RadioShack-Nissan 1  
    105 Juan José Haedo (Arg) Team Saxo Bank 1  
    106 Kenny Robert Van Hummel (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team 1  
    107 Manuele Boaro (Ita) Team Saxo Bank 1  
    108 Elia Viviani (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale 1  
    109 Robbie McEwen (Aus) GreenEdge Cycling Team 1  
    WorldTour Team Rankings
    1 Omega Pharma-Quickstep 547 pts
    2 Katusha Team 382  
    3 Liquigas-Cannondale 376  
    4 Sky Procycling 366  
    5 GreenEdge Cycling Team 342  
    6 RadioShack-Nissan 327  
    7 BMC Racing Team 279  
    8 Euskaltel - Euskadi 208  
    9 Movistar Team 205  
    10 Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team 202  
    11 Rabobank Cycling Team 198  
    12 Lampre - ISD 168  
    13 Astana Pro Team 133  
    14 AG2R La Mondiale 106  
    15 Garmin - Barracuda 106  
    16 Lotto Belisol Team 101  
    17 FDJ-Big Mat 72  
    18 Team Saxo Bank 32  
    WorldTour Nation Rankings
    1 Spain 717 pts
    2 Belgium 567  
    3 Italy 566  
    4 Netherlands 348  
    5 Australia 315  
    6 Switzerland 198  
    7 Slovakia 179  
    8 United States 153  
    9 France 120  
    10 Great Britain 118  
    11 Norway 113  
    12 Germany 84  
    13 Czech Republic 78  
    14 Slovenia 77  
    15 Portugal 72  
    16 Colombia 65  
    17 Denmark 60  
    18 Ireland 60  
    19 Austria 51  
    20 Croatia 44  
    21 Belarus 8  
    22 Russia 8  
    23 Poland 8  
    24 Sweden 6  
    25 South Africa 6  
    26 Canada 2  
    27 New Zealand 1  
    28 Luxembourg 1  
    29 Argentina 1  
  • Haussler hoping for Tour de France slot

    Heinrich Haussler (Garmin-Barracuda)
    Article published:
    April 11, 2012, 22:20
    Daniel Benson

    Australian looking to put disappointing Classics form behind him

    At the finish line of Paris-Roubaix on Sunday Heinrich Haussler (Garmin-Barracuda) was ready to close a disappointing chapter in his season and focus on the rest of the year. The Australian finished 32nd in Roubaix, and in doing so, closed out a below-par Classics campaign that never got off the ground.

    "It wasn't good but I'm at least glad that my form picked up a little bit after Harelbeke," Haussler told Cyclingnews.

    "At least a bit of power has come back but I'm still not where I want to be. Another year has passed but I just have to try harder next year."

    Haussler recently criticised his preparation leading into the Classics for his lack of form. Unlike previous years when he slowly built up form in Europe, this season he was forced to race in Australia in order to set up a possible qualification for the national Olympic road team. The new race programme affected his form and fitness, with several bouts of sickness throughout the spring.

    "I'm going to go back to my old school stuff, do altitude training, go cross-country skiing in the winter, don't go to the Tour Down Under and just build up slowly with Qatar and Algarve."

    After a week's vacation in Las Vegas, Haussler will head to Boulder, Colorado for three weeks of intense altitude training but he has already set his sights on a Tour de France place in Jonathan Vaughters's American team.

    "The Olympics don't look too good at the moment, just because of my results," he admitted. "The other guys [in the national team] are that strong at the moment and I need results to qualify, I have no results. So I'd like to do the Tour."

  • Gilbert better, still not great ahead of Ardennes Classics

    Rain falls on Philippe Gilbert
    Article published:
    April 12, 2012, 00:47
    Brecht Decaluwé

    Belgian champ pulls himself from favorites list

    The Brabantse Pijl turned out to be a reasonable test for Belgian champion Philippe Gilbert (BMC), and while he did not defend his first of four consecutive wins in the hillier one-day races that follow after Paris-Roubaix from 2011, he did finish near the front of the peloton. Gilbert was 12th some two minutes behind winner Thomas Voeckler (Europcar), and the Belgian champion fears that he will not be able to keep up with the favorites in the Ardennes Classics.

    Gilbert said he shouldn't be regarded as a favorite for the Amstel Gold Race nor the other Ardennes classics La Fleche Wallonne and Liège - Bastogne - Liège. "The only goal I have right now is finding back my form from last year. We'll see if it comes or not. It's not fun right now because it's hard to analyze what is going wrong. There can be a lot of reasons. Last year has been extremely hard – both mentally and physically – and there was the team switch. It's normal that you get a whiplash after such a year," Gilbert said. "I'm not hiding away. I'm right where I belong to be."

    The BMC rider put in a few attacks in the latter half of the race, and showed reasonable form when he protected a move from teammate Greg Van Avermaet by marking a counter-attack from Jelle Vanendert (Lotto-Belisol).

    Shortly after these accelerations, Voeckler attacked the remainder of the peloton and started his successful solo ride. In the chase on Voeckler there were several attempts to distance the peloton but Gilbert failed to get into the right move while rain and hail tortured the riders. Having Van Avermaet up the road made Gilbert eventually settle for a role in the cold background.

    A couple of minutes after the race a relaxed Gilbert talked with the press while standing in the doorway of the BMC team bus. He didn't use his training block of ten days in Monaco as an excuse for his absence in the front of the race deep into the finale. "Last year I've won this race as well after doing a lot of training so that's not an excuse. If I could've been in that breakaway I would've. But we had Van Avermaet in the breakaway so I was stuck in the peloton because of the team tactics," Gilbert said.

    Wednesday's performance was his best so far this season and Gilbert actually enjoyed his race. "It was a really fast race. It was slippery and there were a lot of crashes. It took some risks but not an awful lot. This was a good training. with good intensity because of the accelerations after the corners and on the hills."

    Still, Gilbert feels that he is far from ready to take on the big guns in the Ardennes classics. "You have to be realistic: I'm not a favorite. In the Amstel you can get a result with some pilotage and good positioning but there's no hiding possible in the finale. I don't think I'll be up front with the favorites. In order to win I need to anticipate, but if you're Philippe Gilbert that's no longer possible. So I'll have to follow and hang on as long as possible," Gilbert said.

    If there's a benefit to his lackluster form so far this season then it might be that the super-strong rider Gilbert from last year turns out to be only a human after all. "I was human last year as well," Gilbert declared. When a journalist asked Gilbert if it wasn't superhuman Gilbert denied. "No, that was normal as well if you look at the progression and the results I got. It was always logical. I've had three nice seasons but before those I rode like I do right now."

    Since his move from the Omega Pharma-Lotto team to BMC the Belgian rider hasn't been able to live up to the high expectations. Nevertheless Gilbert pointed out that the team isn't unhappy with him right now. "They don't put pressure on me. They respect my form. Of course things are not going as we would want to but that's sport. A season is long and I signed for three years. You've got to look at the whole picture. I'm looking at the long term. My career has been nice already. I'm not panicking."

  • Ten Dam, Matthews save the day for Rabobank

    Laurens Ten Dam (Rabobank)
    Article published:
    April 12, 2012, 04:39
    Cycling News

    Sánchez punctures, Breschel crashes at Brabantse Pijl

    Brabantse Pijl-La Flèche Brabançonne didn't exactly go to plan for Rabobank, but with two riders – Laurens Ten Dam and Michael Matthews – finishing in the top 10 following an intense finale, the race was able to be salvaged somewhat.

    "Today was a real race of attrition," Rabobank directeur sportif, Frans Maassen told "The course is known as very difficult and the course was hard. There are not many riders who finished today. [Thomas] Voeckler is the deserved winner; he was simply the strongest today."

    The race of Luis León Sánchez effectively hit a dead end with a puncture on the Hertstraat, as did Lars Boom who stayed behind to assist. Matti Breschel crashed, but escaped injury, while the normally reliable Paul Martens had an off day.

    Daniel Schorn (Team NetApp) had been away from kilometre 32 but with Rabobank and BMC leading the chase, his initial companions Maxim Belkov (Katusha) and Artem Ovechkin (RusVelo) where unable to keep pace, so the Austrian"s advantage was never more than just over five minutes.

    On the finishing circuit Matthews, Alex Howes (Garmin-Barracuda), Pieter Jacobs (Topsport Vlaanderen-Mercator) and Voeckler took advantage of a fall from aggressor Jérôme Pineau (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) on the descent of the IJskelderlaan and achieved a small gap on the peloton.

    Ten Dam was then part a chase group that went after eventual winner, Voeckler who decisively attacked with two laps to go. The Dutchman finished ninth, 0:01:27 behind Voeckler, while Matthews was a further 27seconds back rounding out the top 10 finishers.

    "They were certainly the strongest for us today," said Massen of Matthews and Ten Dam. "Laurens has tried jumping away, but that did not work. We were then hoping that the chase group would get some assistance, allowing Michael to contest a bunch sprint, but that was not to be...

    "We're not overly pleased, but Laurens and Michael were still able to salvage something for us today with their performance."


  • Greipel: Spring Classics season “frustrating”

    Germany's Andre Greipel
    Article published:
    April 12, 2012, 08:41
    Cycling News

    Lotto Belisol rider takes break until Tour of Turkey

    Andre Greipel summed up his Classics season in one word:  “Frustrating!” Neither he nor his Lotto Belisol team were able to present themselves as they expected, with his best finish being 12th in the Scheldeprijs.

    The team was hit by injuries and illness, so that it couldn't send its best team to the races. “But one must also without jealousy recognize that Tom Boonen was in a class of his own in the difficult spring Classics, and that therefore there was nothing for us,” Greipel wrote on his personal website.

    A crash after the finish line in Scheldeprijs left him with a sore hand and questionable for Paris-Roubaix, but he was able to ride in “the hell of the north.” Unfortunately “I had to fight against five punctures within 25 kilometers”, and he was able to finish only 77th, at 13 minutes down.

    “All in all, my conclusion: frustrating!”

    The German sprinter now has a racing break before starting up again the Tour of Turkey, April 22-29, where “we hopefully have better cards again.” Last year he won one stage in Turkey, and in 2010 won five stages plus the points jersey.

    Meanwhile, he will relax with his family at home in Kreuzlingen, Switzerland, where he moved from his long-time base near Cologne, Germany.

  • Geraint Thomas not flustered by Sutton comments

    Great Britain's Geraint Thomas during qualifying
    Article published:
    April 12, 2012, 09:46
    Cycling News

    British rider insists he's skipping the Tour de France "for the right reasons"

    Welsh rider Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) has moved to diffuse any potential confrontation between himself and his Team GB coach Shane Sutton, after Sutton publicly questioned Thomas' decision to skip this year's Tour de France and focus on the London 2012 Olympics.

    After the dual-purpose rider helped Great Britain defeat arch-rival Australia to gold in the team pursuit at the 2012 Track World Championships in Melbourne last week, Sutton suggested that Thomas had decided to skip the Tour and focus on adding to the gold he won in Beijing in 2008 "for the wrong reasons" - claiming that Thomas was putting his Welsh patriotism ahead of his career and that he should be more selfish.

    Now Thomas has moved to play down any hint of a rift between the two men and has stated that he has no problem with what Sutton said.

    “Shane had told me already what he had said in the interview,” Thomas told Wales Online. "I have known him since I was 14 and he is a straight-talking guy."

    “There are no secrets between us and that is a great way to be. But I am doing things for the right reasons because the Olympics is something I’ve grown up wanting to win. I have always said London was my main 2012 goal and I don’t want to jeopardise my chances. The Tour would have done that and would have split my loyalties. It is an annual event and I am only 25, so I have got a few left in me.

    “But a home Olympics is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and to have a chance of winning a gold medal is amazing. Being British is part of the reason I am committing to the Games and I won’t deny that. Other nations maybe don’t see the Olympics as important as the British. Being Welsh is also an important factor and we don’t have that many gold medal prospects. To be one of those makes me massively proud.”


  • Tony Martin injured in training accident

    Time trial world champion Tony Martin (Omega Pharma-QuickStep)
    Article published:
    April 12, 2012, 10:52
    Cycling News

    UPDATE: World time trial champion to undergo surgery next week for jaw and cheekbone fractures

    Omega Pharma-QuickStep's Tony Martin will be out of action for some time after his team confirmed that he was injured in a training collision with a car near his home in Switzerland yesterday. Martin lost consciousness and was taken to a local hospital before being transferred to the University Clinic in Zürich. Thursday afternoon his manager Jörg Werner told the dpa news agency that Martin had suffered a fractured jaw and cheekbone.

    He is expected to undergo surgery early next week.  "But first the swelling has to go down," Werner said.  Martin hoped to go home over the weekend before returning to the Clinic on Monday.

    The world time trial champion said that he could not remember the accident. "He didn't sound troubled, but rather, optimistic," Werner said.

    The incident comes at the worst possible for Martin, who was in the process of building his form ahead of his big targets in late spring and throughout the summer. The 26-year-old German enjoyed a superb season in the colours of the now-disbanded HTC Highroad team in 2011, winning the world time trial championships, Paris-Nice, the Volta ao Algarve and the Tour of Beijing. He had endured an inconsistent start to 2012 with his new team, but his form at the Tour of the Basque Country earlier this month, where he finished fifth overall, hinted at a return to form.

    Martin's next intended race was the Tour de Romandie, which is scheduled to begin on April 24, but it is not known when he will race again.


  • Devenyns says Voeckler was just too strong

    Dries Devenyns (Omega Pharma-Quickstep )
    Article published:
    April 12, 2012, 11:50
    Cycling News

    Omega Pharma-QuickStep rider confident for Ardennes Classics

    Dries Devenyns was in the small group in the Brabantse Pijl out of which Thomas Voeckler took off with 35km to go and take the win. It was a hard race in bad weather, the Omega Pharma-QuickStep rider said, but it gave him confidence for himself and his team in the upcoming Ardennes Classics.

    “Voeckler was just too strong,” he said to, explaining why there was no serious chase of the Frenchman. “He arrived about a minute and a half ahead of us.”

    The riders also had to put up with heavy rain and even hail during the closing kilometers, making things even more difficult, especially on the cobblestones and “hellinge”.

    Devenyns is now looking forward to the second half of the Classics season. “We will be stronger in Amsel than in previous years, especially when Chavanel and Terpstra come back. Too bad Tom [Boonen, ed.] won't start, because he boosts the level in the team. With him, we stick together more.”

    Voeckler must now be considered a contender for the Amstel Gold Race and Liege-Bastogne-Liege, he said. “Not that he can beat Valverde in a sprint, but with a solo he can do it.”