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First Edition Cycling News, Thursday, June 21, 2012

Date published:
June 21, 2012, 1:00 BST
  • Giro d'Italia jerseys auctioned in support of UNICEF

    Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Barracuda) signs a pink jersey in Milan.
    Article published:
    June 20, 2012, 15:51 BST
    Cycling News

    Bid for Ryder Hesjedal's signed maglia rosa

    The Giro d’Italia may be over but its support of UNICEF continues with an auction of autographed jerseys from this year’s race. All proceeds will go to support UNICEF’s “Believe in Zero" campaign, which combats child mortality.

    The auction concludes on June 26 and the final week of bidding sees the most sought-after items up for grabs, namely the four jerseys of the final classification winners. In pride of place is the hallowed pink jersey itself, signed by winner Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Barracuda) after he sealed victory in Milan in May.

    Hesjedal’s dauphin in Italy was the redoubtable Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha), who led the Giro ahead of the concluding time trial. Although he would lose the maglia rosa by just 16 seconds, he did have the consolation of securing the red jersey of points classification winner, and he signed a jersey for the auction.

    Matteo Rabottini’s signed mountains jersey will be of particular interest to collectors, as the Farnese Vini-Selle Italia man is the first-ever winner of the newly introduced blue jersey, which replaced the traditional green this year. Meanwhile, given his enormous potential, the white jersey of best young rider Rigoberto Uran (Sky) will surely only appreciate in value as the years go by and his promising career progresses.

    For more information and to participate in the auction, please click here.

  • IG Pro Cycling Index: Cavendish up to 3rd

    World champion Mark Cavendish showed great consistency at Ster ZLM
    Article published:
    June 20, 2012, 17:11 BST
    Cycling News

    Costa into top 20 after Tour de Suisse win

    Mark Cavendish surprised many last week in winning his first stage race in his career. The Ster ZLM Tour is a four-day stage race in Holland that is ranked Tier 3 in the Pro Cycling Index alongside races like the Tour of Qatar and Tour of Britain. Even more surprisingly Cavendish did so without winning a stage of the race. Instead he finished in the top three on three occasions and kept in the front groups when the race split up.

    Cavendish has spent this week down playing Tour de France expectations in the British media. He told attendees at the Nolan Partners Sport Industry Breakfast club that his training has changed a lot so that he can be competitive at the Olympic road race. As a result he has lost four kilos from his race weight and says that he “will not be as successful in the Tour de France as I have been in the past.” With his points from the ZLM Tour Cavendish has climbed to third in the world and is just 14 points behind second placed Tom Boonen.

    The Tour de Suisse (Tier 1) was the biggest race of note taking place last week. Rui Costa powered to the early mountain top finish in Verbier on stage two and took the leaders jersey. He clung onto the jersey until the end of the race despite attacks from Frank Schleck and Robert Gesink. Costa has climbed 15 places to 18th spot for his first appearance in the top 20. Costa is now the highest ranked Portuguese and Movistar rider.

    Frank Schleck had a strong week at the Tour de Suisse - as well as finishing second overall he finished in the top ten on three different stages. He has moved up eight spots to 12th in the Index....

  • Scarponi, Visconti and Bertagnolli called before CONI

    Michele Scarponi (Lampre ISD)
    Article published:
    June 20, 2012, 18:16 BST
    Cycling News

    Trio to answer questions on their implication in Padova inquiry

    The Italian Olympic Committee’s (CONI) anti-doping procura is to question Giovanni Visconti, Leonardo Bertagnolli and Michele Scarponi next week about their alleged implication in the Padova-based doping investigation.

    In a statement released on Wednesday afternoon, CONI said that the three riders will appear in Rome on June 27 “to be heard in regard to press reports relating to the inquiry of the procura of Padova.” The Padova investigation is understood to be centred on the activities of Dr. Michele Ferrari, the notorious Italian sports doctor.

    In April 2011, Scarponi and his Lampre-ISD teammate Leonardo Bertagnolli had their hotel rooms searched by police during a training camp at Mount Etna, and Gazzetta dello Sport reported that investigators in Padova suspected the pair of being clients of Ferrari. Their Lampre team claimed that the only items found were the anti-inflammatory medicine Oki, powdered milk and Enervit energy bars.

    The following week, Gazzetta reported that police officers had searched Visconti’s home as part of the same investigation. The Italian champion Visconti, then at Farnese Vini, now rides for Movistar.

    Michele Ferrari was banned by the Italian Cycling Federation (FCI) over 10 years ago on the back of rider testimony relating to his activities and in February 2002, the body announced that it would...

  • Voigt's 15th Tour de France also his last one?

    Jens Voigt (RadioShack-Nissan)
    Article published:
    June 20, 2012, 19:45 BST
    Cycling News

    RadioShack rider will set German record for Tour participations

    Jens Voigt is facing his 15th and probably last Tour de France. The RadioShack-Nissan rider was nominated for this year's Tour squad, and will set a record for the German with most participations.

    “I think this is my last Tour,” the 40-year-old told the German news agency dapd. “After all, that is a good 4,000 kilometers around France, and it doesn't get any easier.”

    “I don't know myself whether I will continue my career,” he said. “My opinion changes every day.”

    Voigt is currently tied with former sprinter and friend Erik Zabel for most participations by a German rider in the Tour. “I don't care at all about the record, but it makes me proud that over the years my teams have always said: We need Jens, we can take him with us.”

    His team is going into the Tour under the shadow of team manager Johan Bruyneel's involvement in the USADA anti-doping case. “That is extra stress, which we really don't need.”

    The German turned pro in 1997, with the ZVVZ-Giant-Australian Institute of Sport team. Since then he has ridden for only three teams: Gan/Credit Agricole (1998-2003), CSC/Saxo Bank (2004-2010) and Leopard Trek/RadioShack Nissan (2011-2012).

    Voigt has won three stages in the Tour de France and one in the Giro d'Italia.  He made the Criterium International his own, winning it not only in 1999 and 2004, but also from 2007 to 2009.

  • Portugal names three for 2012 London Olympics

    Rui Costa (Movistar) on the podium after winning the Tour de Suisse
    Article published:
    June 20, 2012, 22:25 BST
    Cycling News

    Costa, Oliveira and Cardoso to represent Iberian nation

    Three riders will represent Portugal at the 2012 London Olympics: Rui Costa, Nelson Oliveira and Manuel Cardoso. All three will ride the road race, with Oliveira also riding the time trial.

    The Portuguese Cycling Federation announced the line-up on Wednesday. Bruno Pires of Saxo Bank and Sergio Paulinho (RadioShack-Nissan) are the reserve riders.

    Costa, 25, recently won the overall title in the Tour de Suisse, after winning the second stage. He has been with Movistar Team since 2009, and won a stage at the Tour de France in 2011.

    Oliveira is with RadioShack-Nissan. He was 2011 national time trial champion and this season finished third overall in the Circuit de la Sarthe.

    Cardoso (Caja Rural), won the opening stage of the Vuelta a Castilla y Leon this year. He has ridden professionally since 2005.

    Portugal sent two riders to the Beijing Olympics in 2008. In Athens 2004, Paulinho won the silver medal in the road race.

  • Rohan Dennis relishes the pressure on the road to London

    Rohan Dennis (Jayco-AIS) dons the yellow jersey for his win at the Internationale Thüringen Tour
    Article published:
    June 20, 2012, 23:27 BST
    Jane Aubrey

    International Thüringen Tour victory another highlight of a big season

    Australian under 23 road and time trial champion Rohan Dennis (Jayco-AIS) created history last week, becoming the first Australian to win the International Thüringen Tour in Germany. His victory comes during a hectic season, splitting duties between road and the track in the lead up to the London Olympic Games where he'll line up for Australia in the team pursuit.

    "I think it was probably the best thing for me," he told Cyclingnews following his victory in the seven-stage event. "The Olympics will be a lot more stressful but it's something to get me used to it."

    Dennis' road to the race lead was far from easy, having missed out on a targeted win in the team time trial which was the event prologue, and the Rabobank Continental squad taking a three second lead. The Australian team had won the opener the previous two years adding to expectations.

    "When we didn't win that our director wasn't overly impressed but it was only three seconds so it wasn't too big of a loss," Dennis explained. "We decided to change our plan and try and get some time back on some of the hillier road stages but it just didn't end up that way so we had to put all our eggs in one basket and hope that I had the legs in the time trial to get a big enough lead so that we wouldn't be too stressed about losing it on the last day."

    Adding to the pressure was the fact that Dennis had finished third overall at the International Thüringen Tour in 2010. This time around, a 28 second win in the penultimate stage individual time trial was enough for the Adelaide cyclist to take the overall leader's jersey from Moreno Hofland (Rabobank Continental). There were still some nervous moments for the 22-year-old with a day left to race.

    "I had been talking to some of the Germans in the race and they said the...

  • Fuglsang looking to leave RadioShack-Nissan over Tour de France snub

    Jakob Fuglsang (RadioShack-Nissan)
    Article published:
    June 21, 2012, 9:40 BST
    Cycling News

    Dane's contract expires end of 2012

    Jakob Fuglsang may be on the verge of leaving RadioShack-Nissan when his contract expires this year. The Dane is not happy with the team's decision not to nominate him for the Tour de France.

    “I am disappointed not to be taken and it doesn't give the team any plus points on my account,” he told the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten, according to the Ritzau news agency.

    “It doesn't make RadioShack my first choice for next season,” he said, as “being on the Tour team and riding as captain [...] is still my goal.”

    He does not know where he might go.  “I have to consider and find out where I can get the position of captain, which I must have to achieve the results that I dream about.  It is difficult, because all teams have one or maybe two captains, but there are teams where it could be easier.”

    Fuglsang was to have been the team's captain at the Giro d'Italia this year but had to withdraw at the last minute due to a knee injury.

  • Valverde: Anything can happen in Tour de France

    Alejandro Valverde (Movistar)
    Article published:
    June 21, 2012, 10:49 BST
    Cycling News

    Movistar rider sees Wiggins and Evans as top favourites

    Alejandro Valverde has come out of the Tour de Suisse with confidence for the Tour de France. “We will go for the overall title” in France, the Movistar rider said. He said that while he was impressed with Fränk Schleck in Switzerland, Bradley Wiggins remains the favourite to win, and he does not discount defending champion Cadel Evans.

    For the Spaniard to win the Tour “will be difficult, especially because the course is not the best for my talents, but you have to go with high aspirations,” he told  “Because anything can happen.”

    Because of the many time trial kilometers in the Tour, “I see Wiggins and Evans. This year the Englishman won't fail, but the Tour is unlike any other race and Evans has extensive experience.”

    Valverde was astonished by Schleck's performance in the Tour de Suisse.  “To follow him was impossible.  He rode very easily, the strongest by far, but I think he is too good too soon.”

    The Spaniard is skipping this weekend's national championships, in which he was to ride both the road race and the time trial.  The Tour de Suisse “was very hard and now it is essential to recover well before the Tour.  The trouble is not the championships but the travelling.”