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First Edition Cycling News, Thursday, July 22, 2010

Date published:
July 22, 2010, 1:00 BST
  • Ryder Hesjedal fighting for top ten

    Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Transitions)
    Article published:
    July 21, 2010, 20:24 BST
    By:
    Stephen Farrand

    Canadian extends with Garmin-Transitions until 2013

    If Ryder Hesjedal is able to fight on the slopes of the Tourmalet like he was able to put away two Chipotle burritos on the rest day in Pau, he should have no problem hanging onto tenth place overall in the Tour de France.

    Last year the lanky Canadian was a key team player at Garmin-Transitions but in the absence of Christian Vande Velde, who crashed out on stage two, he has stepped up to the plate and fought to defend the team's overall honour.

    Hesjedal is currently tenth, 7:51 behind Alberto Contador. He leads Roman Kreuziger (Liquigas-Doimo) by just seven seconds, with Ruben Plaza Molina (Caisse d'Epargne) 12th, just 11 seconds behind. Alexandre Vinokourov (Astana) is ninth overall, 39 seconds ahead of him, with Joaquin Rodriguez (Katusha) a further 2:06 ahead.

    While tenth or better would be a great result for the Hesjedal, he rightly points out that his successful Tour is about far more than his final placing in the overall classification.

    "Top ten is a nice even number, and easily rolls off the tongue but if I'm 12th or 14th in this Tour de France, does it mean I'm bad? Not quite," he said during the Garmin-Transitions burrito fueled press get together in Pau on the second rest day.

    "I think if you look at the riders who are still in the top 20, everyone is very solid and big champions in their own rate. Even to be where I am now, it's been a huge success for me."

    "I'm very proud and happy with how I've ridden. I know that people who saw my name up there in the top three in the first week thought I wouldn't be there in the end. But then the second week rolled along and I was fighting and still up there. Now we're almost a the end and I'm still up there in the top ten. I'm very proud I've been able to ride solid 'til now."

    "Now I'm just focused on the last few decisive days, on riding good on the Tourmalet and distancing anyone who is close behind me and maybe even approaching whoever is short in front...

  • Evans avoiding disappointment by battling on at Tour

    Cadel Evans (BMC) had an easy day today
    Article published:
    July 22, 2010, 5:43 BST
    By:
    Greg Johnson

    Rider not doing further elbow damage by continuing

    Despite his general classification hopes being smashed just one week into the Tour de France, UCI World Champion Cadel Evans has battled on to avoid disappointing fans, team members, race organisers and himself. The Australian spoke openly and honestly about his feelings throughout this year’s Tour during the race’s second rest day, when he tipped overall rival Alberto Contador (Astana) to claim this year’s title.

    “It’s obviously not where we aimed to be,” said Evans. “I always try and do my best, but given what’s happened it’s just the best I can do. I’ve never tried for a result with a broken limb; it’s not something I want to have experience in, it’s not something I want anyone to have experience in. I’m here and I’ve continued on my way. Even 24th…I was hoping for more.

    “Obviously after the crash I’m not performing as I was,” he added. “In respect to the race organisers, in respect to the team and the work we’ve done not just to be at the Tour but for me to be at the Tour and be good, I’ve continued on my way. It was actually kind of enjoyable riding a bit regularly in the group yesterday because we could actually enjoy the Tour for a moment as opposed to the group in front that was going flatout, but of course I want to do better.”

    Evans underwent further x-rays on the second rest day to ensure the bone he broke on stage eight hadn’t been displaced. The BMC Racing Team rider also went for a ride on his time trial machine to see if any changes were required to accommodate his physical condition, ahead of Saturday’s 52 kilometre race.

    “I’m not harming my health as I understand it,” he said. “The main thing for me is that quitting and sitting at home on the couch now watching the Tour for me would bring nothing to anyone but disappointment, so I’m not...

  • Recap: 12 Easton wheelset winners named

    Easton claims its new EC90 TT carbon tubulars are actually faster than Zipp's 1080 model in certain wind conditions.
    Article published:
    July 22, 2010, 7:28 BST
    By:
    Greg Johnson

    Time running out, but you can still win!

    There have been 12 winners in our Easton-Cyclingnews Wheelset a Day Giveaway, which we’re pleased to announce below. While the Tour de France and our competition are both nearing their end, there's still time for you to win a set of Easton wheels, see below for details on how.

    Nick Bryon won a set of Easton EC90 Aero wheels for correctly answering our trivia question from Stage 11. How many times has current World Champion and BMC team leader Cadel Evans finished the Tour de France on the podium? Two (2007, 2008).

    George Watson won a set of Easton EC90 SL wheels for correctly answering our trivia question from Stage 10 . What year had the fewest finishers? 1919 (10 out of 69 starters).

    Jessica Gully won a set of Easton EC90 SL wheels for correctly answering our trivia question from stage 9. Who was the Lanterne Rouge in last year’s tour? Yauheni Hutarovick, Francaise des Jeux.

    Ruta Skujina of France won a set of Easton EC90 SLX wheels for correctly answering our trivia question from Stage 8. Who has won the most polka dot jerseys? Richard Virenque with seven.

    Graham Paul Knopp of Hawaii won a set of Easton EC90 Aero wheels for correctly answering our trivia question from Stage 7 . Who has the greatest number of days in yellow? Eddy Merckx.

    Roy Nicholl won a set of Easton EC90 Aero wheels for correctly answering our trivia question from stage 6. How many Australians have won a Tour de France Stages? Eight.

    Mark Allebach of Willmington, NC won a set of Easton EC90 Aero wheels for correctly answering our trivia question from Stage 5. Where was George Hincapie born? Farmingdale, New York.

    Kerry Lau in Singapore won a set of Easton EC90 Aero wheels for correctly answering our trivia question from stage 4. Who has won the most green jerseys? Erik Zabel with six.

    Kirk Whitmer won a set of Easton EC90 Aero wheels for correctly answering our trivia question from Stage 3. Which country has...

  • Hamilton to speak with federal investigators

    Former Phonak rider Tyler Hamilton en route to winning the eighth stage of the Vuelta a España. Two days later, on September 13, the American returned positive for homologous blood transfusion.
    Article published:
    July 22, 2010, 9:20 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Former US Postal rider set to provide information on team activities

    Tyler Hamilton is preparing to talk with federal prosecutors investigating Floyd Landis' claims of organised doping with the US Postal Team in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

    His attorney, Chris Manderson, told ESPN.com that they are working on “ground rules and arranging a situation where Hamilton can speak confidentially and give them the information they need." He refused to say if Hamilton had been subpoenaed by the grand jury looking into the matter.

    Manderson also declined to say whether Hamilton had received a subpoena to testify before a grand jury empanelled in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.

    The investigation is based on Floyd Landis' allegations of doping at the US Postal Service Team. Hamilton rode on that team with Lance Armstrong from 1998 to 2001. He was later banned for two years after testing positive for a blood transfusion in 2004, and retired last year after testing positive for the steroid DHEA.

    Hamilton is believed to be just one of several of Armstrong's teammates and team employees contacted by the investigation. Attorney Zia Modabber has said that he has spoken with chief investigator Jeff Novitzky about his client George Hincapie.

    Greg Lemond has already announced that he has received a subpoena in the matter. His lawyer Mark Handfelt confirmed to ESPN.com that the subpoena is strictly for documents.

    According to ESPN.com, sources said that riders who co-operate with the investigation would most likely not be prosecuted if they admitted to having used illegal doping products.

    In addition, prosecutors are said to be looking into whether Armstrong was an operator of the team in any way, or simply a rider, as he has claimed. “That distinction could help determine whether Armstrong would be a primary target if there is enough evidence for a case to go forward,” according to ESPN. ...

  • On the start line in Pau

    The HTC-Columbia bikes were kept out of the rain.
    Article published:
    July 22, 2010, 14:09 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Photos from stage 17 of the Tour de France

    The atmosphere at the start in Pau was a mix of fear and excited anticipation as the Tour de France got ready for the final mountain stage and the finish at the summit of the Col du Tourmalet.

    The stage is expected to be the decisive showdown between Alberto Contador and Andy Schleck but will also shape the top ten standings and offer a final chance for a rider or team to save a disappointing Tour de France. Today's headline in L'Equipe is 'Le Jeudi de l'Ascension'. The first two pages celebrated the centenary of the Pyrenees in the Tour de France, with the title: 'Sommet du Tour, sommet du siecle' - the summit of the Tour, the summit of the century.

    Most riders stayed hidden in the team buses until close to the start, knowing that they probably faced 174km in the rain.

    Outside, all team the mechanics were ready for the stage and the wet conditions. They had all fitted their riders' bikes with wet weather wheels and special tyres. The deep section carbon rims were back in the truck and most riders were using medium or shallow section rims. Some were using carbon rims but the Garmin-Transitions team opted for aluminum rims on the bikes for the race and carbon rims on the spare bikes on the roof of the team car.

    Tyre pressure was expected to be a vital factor in the race and Cyclingnews spoke to Lampre mechanic Pengo about the pressure he was pumping up the tyres with his battery powered handheld pump. He revealed that the Lampre-Farnese Vini riders usually race with their tyres inflated to 11bar in dry conditions but today the team has opted for a safer 7.5bar to ensure better grip on the wet roads.

    Lampre use Vittoria tyres and were using the green side walled tyres often used in the classics. Garmin also use Vittoria but had fitted the all-black Acquagrip tyre. Team Sky was using black veloflex tyres, while BMC and others were using Continental tyres.

    Enjoy the

  • Schumacher preparing to return as transparent athlete

    Stefan Schumacher is interviewed by TV before the start.
    Article published:
    July 22, 2010, 15:24 BST
    By:
    Susan Westemeyer

    German expects to return for 2011 season if not sooner

    Stefan Schumacher will return to cycling as a “transparent athlete”, in order to restore his credibility and the public's trust in him.  The German said that he is sure to be back in the peloton for the 2011 season, and possibly the end of this season.

    Schumacher is currently serving a two-year ban after he tested positive for CERA at the 2008 Tour de France.  His ban ends on August 28.

    “I am aware that the announcement of my comeback won't only be greeted positively,” he said in an interview with the German news agency sid.  “The trust is gone.  So I will do even more in the coming months through transparency and openness to win back the lost trust and sympathy.”

    In order to accomplish this, he will publish “all training rides, climbs, blood values and other contol results” on his website.  “I will also undergo voluntary controls through an independent institution in addition to the required controls and tests.

    "Right now, I am intensively preparing for my comeback.  My suspension ends on August 28. After that I want to climb back on the bike as quickly as possible.” 

    Schumacher is currently in contact with several teams, both ProTour and Professional Continental, and says that he has concrete offers.   He is concentrating on returning next season with the team “that offers me the best athletic perspective,” but a return at the end of this season is also possible.

    He refused to answer the question as to his guilt or innocence of the doping charges.  “I won't address that theme any more.   So much has been said and written about that over the past two years  – whether by me, by others or by the media – that I think that is enough.”

    Schumacher did admit however that “the last two years were the hardest of my life.  But I think that I have...

  • Procycling's daily Tour de France dispatch - stage 17

    Caught in the action! The sheep dog led his charges through the peloton after the break had passed.
    Article published:
    July 22, 2010, 18:43 BST
    By:
    Procycling

    Vino, LeMond, Martin, All-black, Garmin, Nosh

    Tomorrow's Most Misleading Headline

    "Black Sheep Gives Contador Scare on Col du Soulor"

    For those who didn't see what actually happened, nothing to do with Alexandre Vinokourov taking revenge for what happened at Mende…

    One week to wait

    Greg LeMond's appearance before a grand jury in the investigation of possible fraud and doping charges against Lance Armstrong is now just a week away, and the anticipation is mounting. Asked by an AP journalist today what he was driving at last week when he told France 2 he hoped "Greg LeMond will tell the truth about 1989", Armstrong gestured in the direction of reporter Bruce Hildenbrand. "Bruce has been around a long time, so he probably knows better than I do," Armstrong muttered before making his excuses.

    Panzerwagen sniffs Pauillac bouquet

    HTC-Columbia's Tony Martin, aka "The Panzerwagen", hasn't enjoyed a particularly fruitful Tour in the mountains, but his team manager Rolf Aldag says it would be unwise to dismiss Martin's chances in Saturday's final time trial through the vineyards of Pauillac. On stage 13 to Revel, Martin was under instructions from his team and their star sprinter Mark Cavendish to hit the front at a roundabout with 10km to go, but Martin's own miscalculation provided the perfect opportunity to show his strength on the flat. "We'd identified a roundabout where Tony would start pulling, but he got the wrong one, which was 13km out," Aldag recalled. "Anyway, as soon as he started driving, other teams were trying to pull alongside but no one could get near him. It was incredible to watch…"

    Back to Black?

    Already featured once in our dispatches on this Tour, L'Equipe wordsmith Philippe Brunel is one of the more distinctive and distinguished figures in the press-room. Variously nicknamed "Gary Player", "Jacko" and "The Ref" on account of his favoured all-black...

  • Armstrong: I wish I was younger, faster

    Lance Armstrong (RadioShack) climbs the Tourmalet for the final time in his career.
    Article published:
    July 22, 2010, 18:53 BST
    By:
    Peter Cossins

    I’m just a week away from a very private life says 7-time Tour champion

    At the end of Lance Armstrong’s final mountain stage in a Tour de France career that stretches back to 1993, the seven-time champion described himself as being “a week away from a very private life” when he appeared on French TV alongside French president Nicolas Sarkozy. The pair have a good relationship that, Armstrong said, was based on a very simple fact: “We’re just two old guys who like to ride bikes.”

    President Sarkozy, who followed the Tourmalet stage from race director Christian Prudhomme’s car, responded by saying of Armstrong: “The difference between him and me is that he could become president but I can’t become a champion.”

    Asked if there is any chance of him becoming president one day, Armstrong firmly replied: “No. I think I’m a week away from a very private life. Beer, family, beach sounds like a good combination. There will also be the bike. I think I have to continue with that. I like the bike, I like good health and the bike is an integral part of that as the president can confirm.”

    Did the RadioShack team leader have any regrets this year? “I wish that I was younger, faster. I’ve had my time and I’ve got a long history with the Tour de France. I’ve had lots of good moments, got lots of good memories, I’ve also had some good luck, so I can’t complain and I won’t complain.”

    Sarkozy described the seven-time champion as a model personality. “It’s very nice for the president to say that I’m a model,” Armstrong said. “My story is certainly a little bit unique within professional cycling but within the world as a whole there are millions of people who have been ill like me, and have fought that illness and come back.”

    The pair were then joined in front of the cameras by Alberto Contador and Andy Schleck. “I think he is a great champion,”...