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First Edition Cycling News, Thursday, July 28, 2011

Date published:
July 28, 2011, 1:00 BST
  • Martin, Haussler, Nibali and Boonen head Tour of Poland start list

    Dan Martin (Garmin-Transitions) stayed in the lead of Tour of Poland after stage 6
    Article published:
    July 27, 2011, 14:07 BST
    Cycling News

    Weeklong stage race attracts quality field

    The cycling season gets back up to speed following the Tour de France at the weekend, with the Clasica San Sebastian on Saturday and the start of the Tour of Poland on Sunday.

    The Polish race organisers have revealed the big names headlining this year’s start list, as riders prepare for the Vuelta a España and kick off the second half of the season with a week of solid racing.

    Irelands Dan Martin wears number one as the 2010 Tour of Poland winner and leads the Garmin-Cervélo team along with Heinrich Haussler and Christophe Le Mével.

    Italy’s Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas-Cannondale) is targeting a second victory at the Vuelta a España and will use the Tour of Poland as his final build-up stage race. He will be joined teammates Peter Sagan and Polish riders Maciej Bodnar and Maciej Paterski. Other Italians riding include Michele Scarponi (Lampre-ISD), Filippo Pozzato and Luca Paolini (Katusha), plus BMC duo Alessandro Ballan and Mauro Santambrogio.

    HTC-Highroad has Kanstantsin Sivtsov and Slovakia’s Peter Velits in its line-up, while Fabian Wegmann and Thomas Rohregger lead the Leopard Trek team.

    Tom Boonen will be back in action with Quick Step after he retired from the Tour de France following his high-speed crash during stage six. Boonen will be joined by Kevin Seeldraeyers who won the white jersey as best young rider at the Giro d’Italia.

    The Tour of Poland begins on Sunday with a 101km road stage from Pruszkow to Warsaw, before heading south for the remaining six stages. The race ends in Krakow on Saturday August 6.

    The 22 teams for the Tour of Poland are:

    AG2R-La Mondiale,

  • Video: Behind the scenes on the Champs-Élysées

    The peloton on the Champs-Élysées
    Article published:
    July 27, 2011, 18:38 BST
    Paul Stevenson

    Riders celebrate the end of the Tour de France

    Suffering from post-Tour de France malaise? Unsure of what to do with your day now that there isn't several hours of live bike racing to watch on television? This video montage from Cyclingnews' Paul Stevenson is just the tonic you need to revive your spirits: it is a behind-the-scenes look at the post-stage chaos on the Champs-Élysées.

    Riders celebrate the end of the Tour in the midst of the mobs inside the race course. Smiles abound as members of BMC, Garmin-Cervelo, Europcar and HTC-Highroad are re-united with family, pose for team photos, uncork champagne, sign autographs, handle one final crush of media attention and revel in the enormous feat of completing the Tour de France.

    Soon enough, however, the streets will empty out and be replaced by commuters and tourists, but in this video the Tour lives on.

  • Tour of Lombardy to finish in Lecco

    Giovanni Visconti (ISD-Neri) atop the Madonna del Ghisallo.
    Article published:
    July 27, 2011, 19:26 BST
    Barry Ryan

    New route for Italian Classic in 2011

    The Tour of Lombardy will finish in Lecco in 2011 and 2012 after race organisers RCS Sport signed an agreement with the town on Wednesday.

    The move marks a new departure for the race after seven consecutive finishes in Como. For much of the 1990s, the race ended in Bergamo, while Milan and Monza have also hosted the finish of the Classic.

    Situated on the shores of Lake Como, Lecco has consistently featured on the route of the Tour of Lombardy throughout its 106-year history, but 2011 will be the first time the race finishes in the town. Lecco, immortalised in Alessandro Manzoni's canonical nineteenth-century novel I promessi sposi, is also bidding to host a stage of the 2012 Giro d’Italia.

    The newly-installed head of RCS’ cycling organisational structure Michele Acquarone confirmed that the race will again start from outside regional government offices in Milan, and explained that the finish is set to rotate between different Lombard towns in the years to come.

    “I confirm our decision to keep the start at the Palazzo Lombardia in Milan and to rotate the finish towns in order to show off the beauty of the Lombardy region,” Acquarone said.

    It remains to be seen what route will be chosen between Milan and Lecco. Last year, the race followed a clockwise course around Lake Como, and tackled the climbs of the Madonna del Ghisallo and Colma di Sormano after passing through Lecco with 85km still to race.

    The climb of San Fermo di Battaglia near Como has been of crucial importance in the finale in recent years, not least last season when Philippe Gilbert dropped Michele Scarponi en...

  • Fédrigo hit with Lyme disease

    Article published:
    July 27, 2011, 20:46 BST
    Cycling News

    Tick bite hampers Frenchman's season

    Pierrick Fédrigo's poor showing in his first season with FDJ has been explained by Lyme disease from a tick bite. Aside from a second place at GP de Plumelec-Morbihan, the 32-year-old Frenchman has been absent from the podium this year. He has been frustrated in his inability to achieve his season's goals, which included a repeat of his success in 2010 which included overall victory at the Critérium International plus a Tour de France stage win.

    According to L'Equipe, FDJ team doctor Gérard Guillaume explained that the bacterial infection was the cause of Fédrigo's fatigue. The 2005 French champion and three-time Tour de France stage winner is being treated with antibiotics and should be set to compete in the Polynormandie on July 31.

    Last month, Fédrigo was uncharacteristically dropped during the road championships in Boulogne-sur-Mer on a course which would normally have suited him. He begged out of the Tour de France for the first time in eight years, and was despondent about his lack of form.



  • Iglinskiy afoul of French police for speeding

    A winning spray: Tour winner Valentin Iglinskiy (Astana) releases the champers on the podium in Sanya.
    Article published:
    July 27, 2011, 22:00 BST
    Cycling News

    Astana rider denies reports of drunk driving

    The Astana team of Valentin Iglinskiy has denied reports made by that he was stopped by police for driving while impaired on Tuesday night.

    The team's spokesperson confirmed to Cyclingnews that Iglinskiy was stopped for speeding, but denied further reports that he had been under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

    "The police made an alcohol test and a blood control. The report of this blood testing isn't known for the moment, we will communicate it as soon as the result will be given," the statement read. It also added that the UCI arrived to perform a doping control on Wednesday morning. reported that Iglinskiy was stopped for speeding at 203km/h in a 110km/h zone on the A8 motorway on Tuesday night, and that he had been over the legal limit for alcohol. However, the report also identified Iglinskiy as riding the Tour de France, when it was his brother Maxim who participated in that race.

    The report also stated that the rider from Kazakhstan was on his way from a party held by Alexander Vinokourov, but the team denied the two had been together yesterday evening.

    "There might be some misunderstanding, because Valentin can't understand and speak French, English or Italian correctly. The team was astonished to learn that he signed a legal paper with statements in French, while he can't understand, speak and read this language.

    "The team is really shocked that the information of this confidential case as been made public to the press, while no official results have been provided yet."

  • Echelon Gran Fondo Seattle blessed with perfect weather

    Sasquatch twins led the riders out on motorized scooters. And, of course, posed for photo ops.
    Article published:
    July 28, 2011, 1:03 BST
    Steve Medcroft

    Second stop on Gran Fondo series a success

    The Echelon Gran Fondo series held its inaugural Seattle Gran Fondo last Saturday and was blessed with picture perfect weather to accompany stunning and challenging 30, 70 and one of two 100-mile routes.

    The Gran Fondo started for many of the almost 500 riders with a ferry ride from Edmonds, Washington across the Sound to Kingston. The ride proper kicked off with an escorted group through tree-lined two-lane highways and over the Hood Canal Floating Bridge before the groups split to complete their various routes.

    The first 100-mile route took riders over undulating terrain to the tip of Port Townsend peninsula and back to Kingston. Seemingly never flat, the course featured 45 ascents, and accumulated 6,500 feet of climbing by the time the ride was finished, some of the short-steep climbs at a 20% grade.

    The course earned numerous accolades from participants in the expo area at the finish. "Over the last 6 months of putting this course together, it seemed that each day presented some new epic component to add to the route," said Echelon's David Cochran. "This route has to be one of the best kept secrets in cycling. Add the uniqueness of a ferry ride, great food and entertainment and it all came together as a very special day."

    The second 100-mle route, dubbed the Super Gran Fondo, worked its way to a 17-mile mountaintop ascent up Hurricane Ridge in the Olympic National Park. Super Gran Fondo riders ended up with 10,000 feet of climbing in their legs before being bussed back to the ferry terminal in Kingston. "It was absolutely clear and sunny on Hurricane Ridge," says Cochran. "It looked like a mountain top finish at the Tour de France.

    "It was a huge hit and a first for Echelon to use this dramatic hill top finish," added Echelon's founder Hunter Zeising. "The climb rivals Mount Evans and Mount Washington in Colorado – events where people fight to get in."

    The fastest finishers for each ride were David Endres...

  • Nicholas Frey crashes out of Tour do Rio after sustaining horror knee injury

    Nick Frey rides at Redlands.
    Article published:
    July 28, 2011, 2:29 BST
    Jane Aubrey

    Jamis-Sutter Home rider has trip from hell

    A nightmare 24 hours for Jamis-Sutter Home rider Nick Frey culminated in him being forced to abandon the opening stage of the Tour do Rio. The Colorado native crashed in Wednesday’s neutral zone after hitting a cat’s eye on the edge of the road, soon after departing Rio de Janiero, resulting in a serious cut to his left knee.

    "I was getting the bike ready, putting the wheel back on and I was like, wow, I can see through to my tendon," Frey told Cyclingnews, still grimacing from the memory. As well as the knee injury, by far the most serious, the 24-year-old also suffered abrasions to his left elbow and ankle.

    "It was nasty. The guy worked faster than the anaesthetic - it was really bad. The doctors and the medical people were great though. At first they weren’t sure they could stitch it because there was nothing there [to stitch]. I’m just really disappointed."

    It was almost the trip to Brazil that never was for Frey and teammate Tyler Wren - the pair lucky to escape immigration officials at the airport on the eve of the race.

    Both had raced in Sao Paulo last October, but did not realise that the visa they had at the time, only gave them entry to the country for 90 days and would not cover them for the Tour do Rio.

    "We thought we had a five year visa," Frey explained. "The federal police were like ‘stop - get in the room’ and they had guns and stuff. It was really pretty bad; we thought we were going on the plane home last night. So it’s kind of like shocking that we’re still here."

    Wren had gone through immigration ahead of Frey, but the condition of his visa had gone unnoticed - until his teammate brought it to the attention of officials who pointed out that the pair had the same visa from their earlier trip.

  • GreenEDGE parts ways with Mike McKay

    Mike McKay introduces the team L-R:
    Article published:
    July 28, 2011, 3:17 BST
    Cycling News

    Former Olympian to pursue other opportunities

    GreenEDGE cycling have announced that CEO Mike McKay has left the organisation with immediate effect. McKay, who only joined the GreenEDGE cycling project in May of this year cited 'differences of opinion' with team owner Gerry Ryan.

    "We're both successful people with high standards and expectations, but ultimately we think difference in our approach to the business," said McKay in a statement issued by GreenEDGE. "[I think] It is best to part ways early so that everyone can achieve their respective objectives. Securing a [WorldTour] cycling license will be a historical moment for Australian sport."

    McKay was confident that despite leaving, the team was well-placed and on track to achieve their objectives.

    "The foundations are now in place and the team has a robust roadmap with clearly defined pathways and initiatives for sustainable commercial success."

    "I thank Gerry for the opportunity and must say that I enjoyed my involvement," he said. "I am now looking forward to exploring other exciting opportunities."

    There has yet to be announcement regarding who may be taking over in McKay's absence.

    GreenEDGE is currently in the process of signing riders for the 2012 season, with Shayne Bannan and Neil Stephens in Europe sounding out potential transfer targets at the Giro and at the Tour de France. The team currently has no title sponsor but has financial guarantees from Gerry Ryan, who has been a long-time supporter of Australian cycling.