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First Edition Cycling News, Thursday, August 2, 2012

Date published:
August 02, 2012, 1:00 BST
  • Phinney finds confidence boost in Olympic results

    Taylor Phinney (United States) at the start
    Article published:
    August 01, 2012, 22:32 BST
    Daniel Benson

    American looks to the future after two fourth place finishes

    Taylor Phinney (United States of America) finished just outside the medals at the Olympic Games road events for the second time with today's fourth place finish in the men's time trial to go along with his fourth place performance in Saturday's road race.

    The 22-year-old American came into the Olympics determined to win a medal and the time trial looked like his safest bet after a win in the Giro d'Italia prologue earlier this year. In a bid to sustain his power for a 40 kilometre course Phinney trained at home in the US and sacrificed any racing ambitions until the Games.

    His fourth place in the road race demonstrated his impressive form but in the time trial he came up short, with Bradley Wiggins, Chris Froome and Tony Martin preceding Phinney in the results. All three medalists had ridden the Tour and with a wealth of experience pushed Phinney down into fourth.

    "I came out here and I knew that I had trained specifically for this and I was confident in my abilities. I knew that it was going to be a tough task with the guys that I'm up against so in a way fourth place is good result for me based off the 15th place I had in Copenhagen at the Worlds last year. That's a big step on similar course, on a similar distance," Phinney said at the finish.

    "But again, I'm just so close to that medal. I'm a guy who likes time trials under the distance of 10 kilometres so coming around for 44 … it's all in your head really and it's down to the amount you're willing to suffer and I knew I was on a good time. It's a good result but I can't believe I got...

  • Davison satisfied with dual stage victories at Tour of Gippsland

    Luke Davison made it two wins from two
    Article published:
    August 01, 2012, 23:29 BST
    Alex Malone

    Q & A with overall leader from Budget Forklifts

    The Scody Cup, with two stages often raced in a day, can be hard going but Budget Forklifts rider Luke Davison came out on top on Wednesday at the Tour of Gippsland.

    Davison sprinted to victory on Stage 1 at the San Remo waterfront and also Stage 2 on the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit. Cyclingnews' Alex Malone, who is racing for the Plan B team, caught up with the overall leader heading into day 2.

    Alex Malone: You got two wins today, the second one seemed a fair bit harder than the first one. Talk me through this morning's stage and in the afternoon?

    Luke Davison: I think the first crit, the first race of any [tour] is always going to be frantic, trying to go for it [in the morning] the circuit was fast and flowing so it was imperative to stay near the front. It was tough to move up [because of the speed].

    I guess I just had really good positioning this morning, it was just fortunate that I had the legs when I needed it and I went from the corner - with 200m to go - and got a clean run to the line.

    The afternoon stage [around the famous Phillip Island] I had to come back from a fair way, maybe 300-350m and with a head wind so I had to make up quite a lot of ground on the guys in front. With 100m to go I looked across and could still see riders in front so I had to fight tooth and nail to get the win. It's always the one's you work hardest for that are the most rewarding.

    AM: I haven't looked over the course for the following stages but do you think it's possible for you guys to defend the jersey, either for yourself or another teammate?

  • Double bronze an Olympic achievement for Zabelinskaya

    Olga Zabelinskaya (Russia)
    Article published:
    August 02, 2012, 0:53 BST
    Laura Weislo

    Russian never expected two podium finishes

    Olga Zabelinskaya took home two bronze medals in the road cycling events at the 2012 Olympic Games in London, and it was something the Russian could never have imagined achieving.

    "Two medals, of course, were something that I was dreaming about. It was a dream and I did not expect it," she said. "This is the greatest achievement in my career."

    Zabelinskaya is not the best known female cyclist, although she's won a junior world time trial championship in 1997, a European title in the time trial as an under-23 rider in 2002, and a stage of the Tour de l'Aude in 2006. It is because she has twice taken years out of competition in order to give birth to her sons Bogdan and Vitaly that her palmares are not as complete as the other medalists here.

    Even celebrating her achievement will be curtailed because of family life. "Tonight I am not going to celebrate because tomorrow morning I have to wake up early to fly home. Maybe I will have a party at home tomorrow."

    The 32-year-old balances her family and her racing with the support of her husband, who takes care of the boys while she is away. "During the season, they always follow me. When I am training I train at home. I only go to race and go back, I need these days to rest."

    She made her latest comeback with Safi Pasta in 2010 after four years away from the international scene. She moved in 2011 to the new RusVelo squad, which has given her more flexibility to design her season around her family life. "In the beginning of the season I choose which races I want to do, which are more comfortable for me and my family. My team lets me do this."

    A little known fact, Zabelinskaya is the daughter of 1980 Olympic road race...

  • Rogers leaves nothing in the tank for sixth in Olympic time trial

    Michael Rogers (Australia)
    Article published:
    August 02, 2012, 4:14 BST
    Jane Aubrey

    Switch to individual effort required some thought

    When Australia's Michael Rogers left the start house at Hampton Court for the 2012 Olympic Games men's individual time trial on Wednesday, nine riders were set to follow.

    The 32-year-old took his place in the hot seat, having ridden at an average speed of almost 50km/h over the undulating 44 kilometre out-and-back course. Rogers had bumped Jonathan Castroviejo (Spain) from top place at the second time check at 18.4km, and again at the third setting the time to beat for the heavy-hitters than followed.

    "I wanted to start quite aggressively," Rogers, a three-time world champion in the discipline, explained after the race. "I'm really happy with the way I rode. I really got everything out of myself as everybody saw at the end."

    He would finish in sixth place in a time of 0:52:51.39, 0:02:11.85 behind the winning time of Great Britain's Bradley Wiggins.

    Rogers' season has been largely built around supporting Wiggins. Sky's general classification line-up of time triallists all riding tempo in support of one man in his bid for Tour de France glory the ultimate crescendo. There had been a brief sidebar where Rogers took the overall prize at Bayern Rundfahrt but individual opportunities have been few and far between since he began his season in Australia in January.

    "Yes, it's a bit of a different approach," he admitted of the mental switch required for the chrono. "We talked the course through last night with Matt White, the Australian director of cycling, and then it kind of dawned on me. I was able to make the click in...

  • Arndt nets second Olympic silver in time trial

    Judith Arndt (Germany)
    Article published:
    August 02, 2012, 7:36 BST
    Laura Weislo

    German aims now at team pursuit

    Germany came up short in the road races at the 2012 Olympic Games in London, but came away with two silver medals in the time trials thanks to Tony Martin and Judith Arndt.

    Speaking in the press conference just as her compatriot won his medal, Arndt expressed her satisfaction with adding the time trial silver to the road race medal she won in 2004.

    "I'm really happy with the silver medal. Of course my goal was to win gold, but if you would have asked me yesterday I would have named Kristin [Armstrong] as favorite for today. So I'm not surprised."

    Armstrong won by more than 15 seconds over Arndt, with Russian Olga Zabelinskaya in third.

    Arndt felt that the field was deep, agreeing with Armstrong that there were easily nine women who could take the gold medal on any given day.

    "It's hard. If you look at great athletes like Clara Hughes and Linda Villumsen and they miss out on podium, you really have to have a good day to get on the podium."

    Starting out relatively slow, Arndt lagged well behind the medal positions in the first check, coming fifth after 9.1km and moving into third at 20.4km. In the final 8.6km, she and Zabelinskaya made up spots on Villumsen, who came apart in the final leg.

    Even though radio communications are allowed in time trials between team cars and riders, Arndt chose to race without that technology, having ditched the idea ahead of her world championship title in 2011. She had no idea until the finish where she was placed.

    "I had one for a few years, but I decided last year I'm actually better without any input from the outside. Then I am just doing my race. Sometimes you get information you don't want to here, so sometimes it's just better to race and give everything you can."

    With silver in the bag, Arndt...

  • Froome confirms Vuelta start

    Chris Froome (Great Britain) on the podium
    Article published:
    August 02, 2012, 9:25 BST
    Daniel Benson

    Sky rider was unsure of results before Olympic time trial

    After taking bronze in the men's time trial in the 2012 London Olympics on Wednesday, Chris Froome confirmed that he would start the Vuelta a Espana in the coming weeks. Froome finished second in the race last year behind Jose Cobo, and claimed second in this year's Tour de France. However the upcoming Vuelta represents Froome's first opportunity to ride as a GC leader at Team Sky, having supported Tour winner Bradley Wiggins in the last two grand tours the pair have ridden together.

    "I will be lining up at the Vuelta in just two weeks time so I'll take a day off tomorrow and soak up some of the Olympic spirit around London and then I'll go back to Monaco and start training and focus on the Vuelta," he said.

    Froome's Olympic medal was somewhat overshadowed by Wiggins' success, with the Tour winner claiming gold to ensure that he is now Britain's most successful Olympian of all time. However Froome's ride backed up his strong Tour, where he finished second to Wiggins twice in the time trials, and second overall.

    But coming into the race Froome admitted that his result was by no means guaranteed, with a number of strong contenders and little success in one-day time trials.

    "I knew my form coming out of the Tour was good but doing a one-day time trial like today is always different to doing a time trial during a grand tour when everyone is really tired. I've never really had a decent result in a one-day time trial so I wasn't sure what to expect. Also being quite a flat course doesn't really play to my advantage too much here.

    “So I was coming in here a little bit open minded, saying to myself I would do go as hard as I can and...

  • Iglinsky re-signs with Astana for another two seasons

    Kazakh Maxim Iglinsky smiles for the camera
    Article published:
    August 02, 2012, 10:34 BST
    Cycling News

    Kazakh took career-best win at Liege-Bastogne-Liege in 2012

    Seen as the successor to the Pro Team Astana leadership following the retirement of Alexandre Vinokourov, Maxim Iglinsky has re-signed with the team for a further two years, meaning he will stay with the outfit until 2014.

    "2012 has been a great year for me and the team," said the Kazakh rider in a statement. "My race win at the Liege-Bastogne-Liege was a special moment and shows just how far we have come.

    "It was an easy decision to sign for two more years, and I am looking forward to training hard and competing for race wins in the future."

    Iglinsky rode to the biggest win of his career earlier this season at Liege-Bastogne-Liege, attacking out of a small chasing group to catch Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas-Cannondale) within sight of the flamme rouge and take the victory. Nibali had jumped from the field on the penultimate climb and tried to solo in the last 20km, but the Kazakh gave chase to claim his first Classic win. It followed a runner-up performance at Strade Bianche and 11th in Amstel Gold.

    In 2010, his win at Strade Bianche led to a solid run of form which included fourth overall in Tirreno-Adriatico, eighth in Milan-San Remo, seventh in Gent-Wevelgem, and eighth in the Tour of Flanders.

    "Maxim is an important member of Pro Team Astana," said Team Manager Giuseppe Martinelli. "His first place at Liege-Bastogne-Liege was a brilliant win, and I am very pleased that he has committed to the team through to 2014.

    "We are developing an exciting stable of riders and Maxim has a bright future ahead of him, and I look forward to more success for him and the team."


  • Nibali signs two-year contract with Astana

    Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas-Cannondale) on the final podium in Paris.
    Article published:
    August 02, 2012, 11:31 BST
    Cycling News

    Italian takes Vanoti and Agnoli with him to Kazakh team

    Vincenzo Nibali has signed with Team Astana for two years, Allen Chayzhunusov, vice-president of the Kazakhstan Cycling Federation has confirmed. Nibali will take two of his Liquigas Cannondale teammates with him, Valerio Agnoli and Alessandro Vanotti. The Italian has podiumed in all three grand tours.

    Nibali, 27, most recently finished third in the Tour de France. This season he also won Tirreno-Adriatico, was second in the Tour of Oman and Liege-Bastogne-Liege, and was third in Milan-San Remo.

    In 2011, he finished second overall in the Giro d'Italia and in 2010 he won the Vuelta a Espana the first time he raced it.

    The Kazakh team, under general manager Giuseppe Martinelli, will have a strong Italian faction in the coming year. In addition to these three riders, there are currently six Italian riders on the team and a number of Italian mechanics, soigneurs and doctors.

    Nibali's arrival at Astana is expected to signal the departure of Roman Kreuziger, who is rumoured to be moving to Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank.