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First Edition Cycling News, Thursday, August 23, 2012

Date published:
August 23, 2012, 1:00 BST
  • Van Garderen's first pro road victory earns him leader's jersey in Colorado

    Stage 2 winner Tejay van Garderen (BMC)
    Article published:
    August 22, 2012, 16:18 BST
    By:
    Peter Hymas

    BMC American faces queen stage into Aspen

    Tejay van Garderen (BMC) has steadily built palmares replete with young rider classification titles at professional cycling's highest level, such as this year's Tour de France, and numerous high stage and general classification placings. But victories have been few and far between for the 24-year-old American. Until Tuesday's victory at the USA Pro Challenge in Mt. Crested Butte, where he overpowered Christian Vande Velde (Garmin-Sharp) at the conclusion of a steep, leg-sapping finale, van Garderen's road stage tally as a professional stood at zero.

    "Last year at the Tour of Utah in the time trial was my first and to this day my only professional victory and since it's a time trial I didn't get to put my hands in the air," said van Garderen. "So this is my first road stage win as a professional. I've been counting, and I think I'm up to eight second places in my career and a lot of thirds and fourths. It's only the second first place, but it's a good one."

    Not only did van Garderen win the stage, he moved into the USA Pro Challenge leader's jersey, albeit tied on time with Vande Velde. Van Garderen was quick to point out that the race is far from decided.

    "Right now there's really not big time gaps, Christian and I are still on the same time," said van Garderen. "All it would take would be a little bit of a gap in a bunch sprint, and for me to be on the wrong side of it, and Christian takes the jersey.

    "I think if I can just hold him (Vande Velde), not let him get away, that I can beat him in the time trial. I'm confident in saying that. But then again there's guys like Ivan Rovny (third overall at six seconds) and there's [Levi] Leipheimer (fourth overall at eight seconds) and [Chris] Horner (eighth...

  • Rodriguez recovers from asthma episode in Colorado

    Stage 1 podium: Fred Rodriguez (Team Exergy), Peter Sagan (Liquigas-Cannondale) and Heinrich Haussler (Garmin-Barracuda).
    Article published:
    August 22, 2012, 17:18 BST
    By:
    Pat Malach

    Fastman feeling good despite setback on first stage

    Team Exergy fastman Freddy Rodriguez had pulled off the road Monday during the ballistically quick beginning of stage 1 at the USA Pro Cycling Challenge in Colorado after an early race asthma attack had made it impossible to keep up any longer.

    "I don't have too many problems with it," Rodriguez said of his breathing affliction. "Usually when I get sick, it really aggravates me. Then yesterday - we spent a week at altitude not really doing much - and then the intensity of the fast pace is like an attack on the lungs in a way. So it's very similar to being sick. The lungs just kind of do the opposite, they try to protect themselves, and I just could not breathe."

    Standing alongside the road trying to catch his breath, Rodriguez started doubting his ability to finish the 202km stage. "I really thought, 'You know what, I may not be able to make it,'" he said. "It's one of those days where you just know that things are not working. I pulled to the side of the road and was like, 'Yeah, this might be it.'"

    But Rodriguez found his savior in the gruppetto of sprinters that came up the road just behind him. The 38-year-old Grand Tour veteran jumped in with the group, which rode a steady tempo for a good long time, giving his lungs a chance to open back up. "Then I was fine," he said.

    Rodriguez wasn't just fine, he was on prime form. He made it over the daunting Hesperus, Lizard Head Pass and Alta climbs and found himself well positioned for the sprint finish following the downhill run into Telluride.

    The cagey speedster grabbed eventual winner Tyler Farrar's wheel as the peloton rocketed into Telluride, but Liquigas rider Damiano Caruso chopped his wheel on the super tight second-to-last corner and took away Rodriguez's prime position.

    "I...

  • Watch the USA Pro Challenge live online for free

    Tejay van Garderen (BMC) moves into yellow after his stage win.
    Article published:
    August 22, 2012, 18:42 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    RadioShack Tour Tracker brings live streaming to your PC or mobile phone

    Fans around the world can watch the USA Pro Cycling Challenge online for free with the RadioShack Tour Tracker.

    The Colorado Rockies stage race runs Monday, August 20 through Sunday the 26th, beginning in Durango and wrapping up with a time trial in downtown Denver.

    The RadioShack Tour Tracker app was one of the top-10 most popular sports downloads on iTunes last year, according to race organizers. This year, the RadioShack Tour Tracker will feature nonstop action from start to finish every day.

    The race will also be televised every week day on NBC Sports and on NBC on the weekend. Check your local listings for times.

    "With the world's best cyclists competing right here in Colorado, we want to be sure that as many people around the world as possible have the opportunity to experience the thrill and excitement of the USA Pro Challenge," said Shawn Hunter, CEO of the Pro Challenge.

    "In addition to being broadcast live on NBC Sports Network and NBC, through the RadioShack Tour Tracker fans are able to watch the race from anywhere – home, office and even on their cell phones."

    The RadioShack Tour Tracker is a free download on iTunes and Google Play and also online at www.prochallenge.com. All versions, mobile and web-based, feature live video coupled with real-time data presentation, including stats and standings of each rider.

  • Rodríguez predicts sparks will fly on Vuelta’s third summit finish

    Race leader Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha)
    Article published:
    August 22, 2012, 19:55 BST
    By:
    Alasdair Fotheringham

    Degenkolb claims second stage, Spaniard satisfied with day in lead

    Joaquím Rodríguez (Katusha) could not have asked for a more straightforward start to his leadership of the Vuelta a Espana after Wednesday's incident-free ride through predominantly flat terrain around Logroño, but he warned that it would not be so easy on Thursday's summit finish.

    Although a noisy demonstration against government cuts which took place just metres away from the finish made for a deafening background to post-stage interviews, and the heat once again soared into the high 30s for a fifth straight day on the Vuelta, Rodríguez’s message was clear.

    “It was a very straightforward stage,” Rodríguez said, “there was just one rider ahead [Javier Chacon - Andalusia] in the break and the poor guy was suffering out there in that heat.”

    “The last lap was fast, but that was the only tense moment.”

    "Purito" said that he had talked over stage four's incident-packed finale with Alejandro Valverde - who lost the lead to Rodríguez after crashing when an echelon formed - by phone on Tuesday evening and that the two had ironed out any issues.

    “I’m sure as today [Wednesday] was a quiet day, yesterday’s [Tuesday’s] events will have a lot of space in tomorrow’s [Thursday’s] newspapers, but we’ve each explained our version of what happened and that’s all there is to it,” Rodríguez said.

    Rodríguez predicted, however, that tomorrow’s [Thursday's] stage to Fuerte de Rapitan in Jaca would be a very different story to Wednesday’s stage. And the 2012 Fleche Wallone winner warned that he has every intention of trying to increase his currently very narrow overall...

  • Steegmans, Terpstra re-up with Omega Pharma - Quick-Step

    Niki Terpstra celebrates his new title
    Article published:
    August 22, 2012, 21:50 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Vermote, Maes, Trentin, Vandenbergh and Fenn all staying

    Omega Pharma-QuickStep has announced that seven of its current riders have renewed their contracts. Gert Steegmans, Julien Vermote, Niki Terpstra, and Nikolas Maes, all at the end of their current agreements, have extended through 2013

    Matteo Trentin, Stijn Vandenbergh and Andy Fenn, who had contracts through 2013, have also renewed through 2014.

    "We are very happy to announce that such a talented group will return to the team for several more years," CEO Patrick Lefevere said. "All of these riders have played crucial roles in our 43 road wins this year, and we want to build on the success of 2012 by keeping such a strong team in tact. They have worked well together all season, and we want to see all of them further their development, while wearing our team colors. "

  • Germany names men's long list for UCI Road World Championships

    Tony Martin (Germany) shows off his new hardware.
    Article published:
    August 23, 2012, 0:28 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Line up of seven riders for men's road race

    The German cycling federation has issued its long list of male elite riders for the UCI Road World Championships in Limburg, the Netherlands. Fourteen riders have been named for a possible start in the 261km road race which takes place on September 23, with the women's and junior teams to be nominated at a later date.

    Germany is eligible to send a team of seven riders to this year's championships, down two from last year where a team of nine lined up in Copenhagen. 2011 bronze medallist, André Greipel had already indicated that he would not be part of the 2012 German team and so was not named.

    "The route is too difficult for me," Greipel told Focus Online earlier this week. "From the beginning, I'm not ready for it."

    Preliminary line-up for the men's world championship road races:
    Marcus Burghardt (BMC)
    Gerald Ciolek (Omega Pharma-QuickStep)
    John Degenkolb (Argos-Shimano)
    Johannes Fröhlinger (Argos-Shimano)
    Linus Gerdemann (RadioShack)
    Simon Geschke (Argos-Shimano)
    Bert Grabsch (Omega Pharma-QuickStep)
    Patrick Gretsch (Argos-Shimano)
    Christian Knees (Sky)
    Paul Martens (Rabobank)
    Dominik Nerz (Liquigas-Cannondale)
    Tony Martin (Omega Pharma-QuickStep)
    Marcel Sieberg (Lotto-Belisol)
    Fabian Wegmann (Garmin)

    As defending champion, Tony Martin earns automatic qualification for the individual time trial while Grabsch and Gretsch have also been nominated for the 45.7 km event.

     

  • Dombrowski confirms UCI ProTour team move

    Joe Dombrowski (Bontrager Livestrong)
    Article published:
    August 23, 2012, 1:30 BST
    By:
    Pat Malach

    Merckx says it's further proof Bontrager-Livestrong's program works

    Joe Dombrowski, Bontrager-Livestrong's 21-year-old revelation, told Cyclingnews Wednesday that he has confirmed with a UCI ProTeam for next season but has not yet signed the paperwork. Rumours have been swirling over the past couple weeks about which team Dombrowski would ride with next year. Both Sky and BMC have been mentioned, but Dombrowski would not reveal his plans.

    "I've decided on a team, but I can't really say just out of respect for their program until they are willing to release it," he said. "I haven't signed, but I have confirmed that yeah, I'll go there. We'll all know soon."

    The climbing sensation from Marshall, Virginia, grabbed headlines in May with a fourth-place finish on the Mt. Baldy stage of the Tour of California. He impressed again by taking third overall at the Tour of the Gila and winning the jersey for best young rider. Then he travelled to Europe and won the Baby Giro with the USA Cycling U23 national team. He continued his run at the Tour of Utah, where he grabbed multiple top-10 finishes, including coming in third on the difficult summit finish at Snowbird ski area behind eventual overall winner Johann Tschopp (BMC). He also took home the Best Young Rider Jersey from that race.

    Even with the level of success he's achieved on the bike this year, Dombrowski still finds it hard to believe that his future has become the subject of so much speculation. "I guess it's a bit of a surprise," he said. "It's kind of funny that people are talking about it."

    But Bontrager-Livestrong team director Axel Merckx doesn't find it surprising at all, saying Dombrowski's move simply reaffirms that the Colorado-based development team's...

  • Ewan zeroing in on road worlds after Liège-La Gleize win

    Caleb Ewan takes his second win at the Jayco Bay Cycling Classic
    Article published:
    August 23, 2012, 3:50 BST
    By:
    Jane Aubrey

    Australian forgoes UCI Junior Track World Championships

    Caleb Ewan is missing from the Australian line up at the UCI Junior Track World Championships in Invercargill, New Zealand, this week where he would have been defending his omnium title from 2011. Instead, the 18-year old has been racing in Europe on the road in the build up for a tilt at the UCI Road World Championships where it's hoped he will compete for Australia in the junior men's road race.

    Ewan brought himself to the attention of the senior ranks in January when he won stage 2 and stage 4 of the Jayco Bay Cycling Classic, going on to finish second overall in the general classification. His week had got off to a rocky start when he forgot to bring his helmet and shoes with him to the airport but remained calm under pressure, initially treating the rest of the more-experienced field as if it was "just another under 19 race".

    There is no doubting Ewan's speed but he sees himself as being more in the mould of Philippe Gilbert despite a frame and a sprinting nous that would draw some comparisons to Robbie McEwen.

    "I think at the moment I'm still not 100 percent a pure sprinter," he told Cyclingnews. "I can still get over a few climbs and harder courses - I have to at the moment."

    So far, Ewan has claimed six wins on what will be a six month stint of racing in Europe, with the highlight undoubtedly coming on stage 2 of Liège-La Gleize in Belgium, one of the top events for juniors on the UCI calendar.

    "That was a pretty big one," Ewan admitted. "The day before I didn't go very well - I don't know why. I wasn't feeling that great.

    "Even the day when I did win, I wasn't feeling that great. It was a really hilly race. When we were living in Holland it was just flat everywhere, no hills at all, so I lost a...