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First Edition Cycling News, Thursday, June 5, 2014

Date published:
June 05, 2014, 1:00 BST
  • Pozzato Lampre's leader at Critérium du Dauphiné

    Filippo Pozzato (Lampre-Merida)
    Article published:
    June 05, 2014, 2:00 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Cunego and Anacona back racing after the Giro d'Italia

    Lampre-Merida have announced its Critérium du Dauphiné team with Filippo Pozzato as it leader for the WorldTour event. Having recently raced the Tour of Japan, the 32-year-old returns to Europe looking for his first win of 2014.

    Damiano Cunego and Winner Anacona also line up for Lampre a week after they both finished the Giro d'Italia. Cunego will look to improve upon his 21st overall placing of last year and claim a maiden win on French soil.

    The first stage of the Tour de France warm-up race is a 10km time trial around Lyon which Pozzato is targeting. The second stage, a summit finish on Col de Béal, will be the first test for the overall contenders and climbers with Anacona and Cunego looking to be protagonists.

    The duo will also have the opportunity to test their legs on the seventh and eighth stages which will decide the overall classification of the race.

    In order to secure his place on the Tour de France team, Kristijan Durasek is looking to impress throughout the eight stages.

    The team also enters the race with three young riders — the youngest participant in the 2014 edition of the race at 21-years-old, Valerio Conti, 22-year-old Luca Wackermann and 25-year-old Elia Favilli. It will be a debut Dauphiné for Conti and Wackermann while Favilli rode the race last year.

    Lampre-Merida for Critérium du...

  • NRS Shorts: A round up of Australian domestic racing

    Wouter Wippert (Drapac) wins stage 1 of the 2014 Tour de Kumano
    Article published:
    June 05, 2014, 4:40 BST
    By:
    Zeb Woodpower & Aaron S. Lee

    Corset, Wippert, Rice and African Wildlife Safaris

    With a break in the National Road Series, Cyclingnews'' weekly round up of domestic racing turns its attention away from racing to find out how Wouter Wippert is enjoying life at Drapac, gets to know a little bit more about an up-and-coming Canberra rider, finds about a new signing for African Wildlife Safaris and lets you know about Ruth Corset's off-road adventures.

    Firstly, last week we let you know that several Australian teams were making the most of the NRS break to head overseas. At the Philadelphia Cycling Classic, Brodie Talbot was the best placed BudgetForklift rider in 25th place while Bernard Sulzberger was the fastest Drapac rider and Australian at the 1.1 event in 17th place.

    This week Drapac and Avanti Racing continue their Asian racing schedule with the eight-stage UCI 2.2 Tour of Korea starting on June 8.

     

    NRS women's leader wins Cairns RRR Mountain Bike Challenge
    Current Subaru National Road Series women's leader Ruth Corset took first place in the 70km RRR (Rural, Rainforest and Reef) Mountain Bike Challenge to kick off the Cairns Airport Adventure Festival last weekend.

    The Townsville native, the 2012 NRS overall winner, crossed the finish line at Four Mile Beach in Port Douglas in 3 hours, 29 minutes and 30 seconds, while fellow Townsville resident Jeff Rubach took the men's title in 2:53:13.

    "This was my first time to race here and I didn't really know what to expect," Corset told Cyclingnews. "There was one section that featured a downhill bump track with a 20 per cent gradient, but luckily there were some open fire trails and make as much time as possible to give me the time to carefully navigate the technical...

  • Video: Top 10 riders to watch at the Critérium du Dauphiné

    Chris Froome (Team Sky) defended his title
    Article published:
    June 05, 2014, 7:15 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Cyclingnews' guide to Tour de France warm up race

    The Giro d'Italia is barely over and already the peloton is setting its sights on the Tour de France. The Critérium du Dauphiné — a traditional warm up race for the Tour — will see the top-three favourites for the French grand tour on the start line in Lyon.

    The last three years has seen a Sky rider win the WorldTour event and in the last two years, then go on to win the Tour in July.

    Bradley Wiggins won the 2011 and 2012 events and the defending Tour de France champion Chris Froome returns in the hope of making it successive wins.

    Chris Froome (Team Sky)
    29-year-old Froome won the Dauphiné last year after claiming victory on stage 5 to Valmorel ahead of Alberto Contador. Froome moved into the leader’s jersey after the win and held it for the next three stages to secure the overall win.

    Runner-up in 2013 was teammate Richie Porte who was the only rider to finish within one minute of Froome's time. Froome will start the race as a favourite as Team Sky look to make it four consecutive Dauphiné wins in a row but will face a sterner challenge than last year.

    Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo)
    The five-time grand tour winner may have never won the Dauphiné before but Contador will surely improve upon his 11th place last year, 4:27 minutes down on Froome. Contador is no stranger to success at the...

  • Barguil's Tour de France debut may have to wait

    Warren Barguil (Team Giant-Shimano)
    Article published:
    June 05, 2014, 10:26 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Frenchman unlikely to feature in Giant-Shimano squad

    Warren Barguil has revealed that he is unlikely to figure in the Giant-Shimano line-up for the Tour de France, with the team instead set to be built around sprinter Marcel Kittel.

    Barguil, who won two stages of the last season’s Vuelta a España as a neo-professional, had hoped to make his Tour debut this time around. Although the final nine-man selection is yet to be confirmed, he believes his exclusion is all but a formality.

    "Officially, on Saturday or Sunday I should know if I'm going to be part of the Tour team or not," Barguil told L’Équipe.

    Kittel, winner of four stages at last year's Tour, will lead the squad and aim to repeat his feat of wearing the first maillot jaune of the race. His lead-out train will make up the bulk of the Giant-Shimano selection, and there will also be a place in the team for the Dutch team’s other fast finisher, John Degenkolb.

    "I really wanted to discover the Tour," Barguil said. "I know that there is a team strategy in place but this Tour corresponds to my characteristics, and there isn't much time trialling, less than at the Vuelta."

    If he misses the Tour, the 22-year-old Barguil will return to the Vuelta, where he won stages at Castelldefels and Aramon Formigal last September, en route to a 38th place finish in Madrid. The Frenchman's sights appear to be fixed a little higher for this year's race.

    "It's a nice memory and of course I want to go back there. But if I go there, it won't be to get a place in the top 20," he said.

    While Barguil is under contract with Giant-Shimano for next season, manager Iwan Spekenbrink is still searching for a sponsor to secure the team’s...

  • Horner to skip Tour de Suisse as Tour de France training continues

    Chris Horner is hospital in Italy
    Article published:
    June 05, 2014, 11:24 BST
    By:
    Daniel Benson

    Lampre working on new Rui Costa contract

    Lampre-Merida have decided not to send Chris Horner to the Tour de Suisse next week, instead opting for the rider to train in Italy as he builds up for next month's Tour de France.

    Horner, who was hit by a car in April and suffered a punctured lung in the accident along with broken ribs and a cut to his head, missed the Giro d'Italia last month but he and his team last week discussed riding the Tour de Suisse as part of a Tour build-up programme.

    Although the American rider has made a swift recovery, the medical staff on the team believe that serious injury could occur if Horner crashes once again on his partially healed ribs. Therefore, he will skip the Swiss race and train in Italy instead. Horner may still race before the grand départ with the Tour of Slovenia a possible option.

    "We're not going to have him do Suisse. There will be good weather in Italy and he has a good training programme ahead of him so we'd prefer him to recover completely," Lampre-Merida team boss Brent Copeland told Cyclingnews.

    "Then he could do Slovenia, so then he would at least have four days of racing in his legs before he goes to the Tour de France. That could be a good option but he’s training well and looking good. We're really pleased with how he's coming along. His recovery has been amazing."

    Starting the Tour de France would be remarkable achievement in itself for any rider in Horner's circumstances but Copeland believes that the veteran rider can play a hand in the GC battle if he regains his full fitness, giving the team two potential leaders in Horner and world champion Rui Costa.

    "That we'll have to see closer to the time...

  • Andy Schleck sees logic in his standing ahead of Tour de France

    Andy Schleck trains on La Redoute with a heavily taped knee
    Article published:
    June 05, 2014, 14:06 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Trek rider in action at Tour of Luxembourg

    Three years on from last wearing the maillot jaune, Andy Schleck (Trek Factory Racing) has acknowledged that it is "logical" that he does not feature among the list of favourites for the Tour de France due to his results in the intervening period.

    "I agree with that. I don’t have any problem with that," Schleck told Le Quotidien. "I was 20th last year and I wasn't up there in the spring classics. That’s all logical. If it was the opposite, I'd be worried! If I'd read or heard somewhere that I was still a favourite for the Tour, I’d have picked up the phone and asked them if they were mad…"

    After missing the 2012 Tour through injury, Schleck finished 20th on his return to the race last year and has struggled for form so far this season. A recent Tour reconnaissance camp in the company of his brother Fränk did, however, bring back memories of his past achievements on the race, where he finished on the podium three years in succession from 2009 to 2011.

    "When I came over the Izoard, I said to myself: 'That's where you attacked on the Galibier stage [in 2011].' At the bottom of the Tourmalet, I said to myself: 'Up there in 2010, I won the stage ahead of Contador. When we came by Port de Balès, I said to myself: 'That's where you attacked and then slipped your chain.'

    "I thought of all of that again, obviously. It's true that at those moments, I felt very strong. Of course I want to be so again. I want become the same as I was before."

    Schleck's 2014 classics campaign was upset when he hurt a knee in a crash during Amstel Gold Race, and he said that it was something of a relief when a scan on the injury showed that the damage was real. "It's a bit funny to say it, but yes, I...

  • Tour of Utah teams confirmed for 2014 event

    Newly crowned US Road Champion, Eric Marcotte (Team Smartstop) gets to wear his new threads for the first time today. Lookin' good
    Article published:
    June 05, 2014, 19:25 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Orica-GreenEdge declines due to conflict with Commonwealth Games

    The Tour of Utah organisers announced today the final list of 16 teams which will take part in this year's race, which begins on August 4 and runs through the 10th.

    It will be the first time that the Australian Pro Continental team Drapac will be appearing in the race, while their compatriots Orica-GreenEdge declined an invitation due to the conflicting Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, which runs through August 3, and are important to the predominantly Australian team.

    "The entire organization of Orica-GreenEdge Cycling is extremely disappointed that we will not be able to return to the Tour of Utah this summer. We had great success at the 2013 Tour of Utah and found it to be one of the best-run UCI events of the year," said manager Shayne Bannan. "It is an honor for our athletes to be part of the Commonwealth Games and represent Australia every four years. We do look forward to being part of the Tour of Utah in 2015."

    There will be five WorldTour teams on the line in Cedar City for the opening stage. Cannondale will return for its fourth appearance, being joined by Belkin, BMC, Garmin Sharp, Lampre-Merida and Trek Factory Racing.

    Drapac joins the American Pro Continental teams UnitedHealthcare and Novo Nordisk, while three domestic Continental teams made the cut: the Bissell Development Team, and Jamis-Hagens Berman teams will be joined by Team SmartStop, which recently won the US Professional National Championships with Eric Marcotte.

    Previously announced teams were the Hincapie Sportswear Development Team, Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis, Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies and the UCI Americas Tour leaders Funvic Brasilinvest-São José dos Campos,...

  • Valverde to ride Route du Sud instead of Critérium du Dauphiné

    Alejandro Valverde (Movistar)
    Article published:
    June 05, 2014, 19:27 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Sierra Nevada camp yields benefits for Movistar rider

    Movistar have confirmed that Alejandro Valverde will not line up at the Critérium du Dauphiné, preferring instead to complete his Tour de France build-up at the Route du Sud later in the month.

    Valverde has not raced since he finished second at Liège-Bastogne-Liège in April, and had originally been pencilled in to return to action at the Dauphiné, which gets underway this weekend. The Spaniard has recently undertaken a long block of altitude training at Sierra Nevada.

    In a statement released on Thursday, however, Movistar confirmed reports that Valverde has opted out of the Dauphiné in favour of the Route du Sud, which takes place in the Pyrenees from June 20-22.

    "Good shape acquired in his three-week, altitude training camp in Sierra Nevada, combined with the chance of inspecting the final ITT and all three Pyrenean stages in the Grande Boucle made Valverde change his calendar," read the Movistar communiqué.

    In Valverde's absence, Movistar will be led by John Gadret, Beñat Inxtausti and Igor Anton – fresh from supporting Nairo Quintana at the Giro d'Italia – at the Dauphiné. The line-up for the Tour de Suisse (June 14-22), meanwhile, includes Alex Dowsett, Pablo Lastras and José Joaquin Rojas.

    On Wednesday, the Giro winner Quintana confirmed that he would not be part of Movistar’s team for the Tour de France, which will be built firmly around Valverde's general classification ambitions.The veteran has enjoyed an impressive start to the season, winning Flèche Wallonne, the Ruta de Sol, Vuelta a Murcia, Roma Maxima and GP Miguel Indurain in the spring.

    Valverde's best Tour finish was his 5th place of 2007, and he has...