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First Edition Cycling News, Thursday, June 9, 2011

Date published:
June 09, 2011, 1:00 BST
  • AG2R using cryotherapy for Tour de France

    AG2R La Mondiale
    Article published:
    June 08, 2011, 15:36 BST
    Cycling News

    Whole body immersion in extreme cold helps recovery

    The French team AG2R-La Mondiale will use cryotherapy to help enhance recovery during the Tour de France, the squad announced today.

    Riders will endure three minutes in a special whole body suit, pioneered by Tec4H, which is filled with liquid nitrogen at -150 degrees Celsius.

    Cold is said to aid recovery and reduce inflammation, and riders have traditionally taken ice baths to help recuperate from intense efforts. However, the short blast of extreme cold in the new suits, which cover the entire body from neck to ankle, has other benefits, explained the team's medical director Eric Bouvat.

    "Cryotherapy is a technique which has been used in Eastern countries for several decades to fight against inflammation in people suffering from rheumatism," Bouvat said. "They saw the effectiveness and developed it for use in athletes with inflamed muscle and tendons after exercise.

    "This technique has been developed for use by our team this year in France by the company Tec4H. We use it on our athletes for two reasons: first to facilitate recovery and fight against pain after exercise. Secondly, when used over the long term, cold can help boost the immune system.

    "We use cryotherapy on the team after the stages, but we also use it in the morning because the cold stimulates the endocrine system and the production of hormones."

  • Riccò has not proven fitness to race, says Italian federation doctor

    Riccardo Ricco in his new team kit.
    Article published:
    June 08, 2011, 16:57 BST
    Cycling News

    FCI explain precautionary suspension

    The head of the Italian Cycling Federation’s Health Commission has explained that the FCI decided to hand Riccardo Riccò a precautionary suspension because they have no evidence that the rider has recovered from the kidney failure that saw him hospitalised in February.

    Riccò, who was sacked by Vacansoleil-DCM after allegedly confessing that his illness was caused by a blood transfusion, was set to return to racing at next week’s Tour of Serbia in the colours of Meridiana-Kamen. On Wednesday morning, the FCI announced that Riccò has been placed under suspension for health reasons.

    Dr. Luigi Simonetto told that the FCI’s Health Commission reached its decision on Riccò’s suspension “by applying what is the standard procedure in these cases, which is naturally valid for all riders.”

    “We know that Riccò had a serious health problem and the moment he expressed his desire to return to racing, we had the obligation to verify his physical condition,” Simonetto said. “At the moment, we have not received any document that attests to his regained fitness for sporting activity.”

    Simonetto pointed out that the onus is on Riccò to offer the federation proof that he is healthy enough to compete. “Paradoxically, however, it’s a problem that the rider could solve tomorrow, if he wanted to,” he explained.

    The Croatian-registered Meridiana-Kamen team competes at Continental level, meaning that Riccò is not subject to UCI biological passport testing while registered to the squad....

  • Quick Step, Lampre name Tour de Suisse squads

    Tom Boonen (Quick Step) heads onto the podium at Tour of Belgium.
    Article published:
    June 08, 2011, 18:30 BST
    Cycling News

    Cunego tunes up for Italian championship, Tour de France

    Tom Boonen and Damiano Cunego will be using the Tour de Suisse to fine-tune their form for the July Tour de France. The Quick Step and Lampre-ISD teams announced their squads for the Swiss race on Wednesday.

    Lampre director Valerio Tebaldi said the race will be Cunego's first after a break following the early part of the season, and the Italian has been training well over the past three weeks.

    "We're hopeful that he'll be able to improve his form ahead of the National Championships and Tour de France," Tebaldi said. "We will also rely on David Losli, who will ride on his home roads. [Danilo] Hondo will be free to try to exploit the opportunities for the few sprint stages."

    Quick Step will look to Boonen, Gerald Ciolek and Gert Steegmans for the sprints, while Sylvain Chavanel and Dries Devenyns will be looking for good overall performances.

    Zdenek Stybar, the cyclo-cross world champion, continues his apprenticeship on the road and will use the race as an important test in the mountains.

    Quick Step for Tour de Suisse: Tom Boonen, Sylvain Chavanel, Gerald Ciolek, Kevin De Weert, Dries Devenyns, Gert Steegmans, Zdenek Stybar and Kristof Vandewalle.

    Lampre-ISD for Tour de Suisse: Damiano Cunego, Alfredo Balloni, Matteo Bono, Danilo Hondo, Oleksandr Kvachuk, David Loosli, Enrico Magazzini and Daniele Righi

  • Tony Martin targets top ten at the Tour de France

    Tony Martin (HTC-Highroad) celebrates his stage victory
    Article published:
    June 08, 2011, 21:48 BST
    Cycling News

    German still in build-up process

    Tony Martin stormed to victory at the time trial of the Dauphiné in Grenoble. He scored the second German win in a row for HTC-Highroad the day after John Degenkolb took stage 2 to Lyon. The winner of Paris-Nice considers that he's on the right track for the Tour de France, where he hopes for a top ten finish overall.

    As Martin crossed the finishing line in Grenoble, he had the feeling of a job well done. But when he heard where newly crowned American champion David Zabriskie stood, he was even more amazed by his performance. "58 seconds faster than Zabriskie, wow, that's good!" the German reacted. "I liked the course, it's a course for everybody and I came to the Dauphiné because this will be the course of the time trial at the Tour de France as well."

    Martin was hoping for his time to remain the best till the end. Only Bradley Wiggins threatened him when he scored an equivalent time at the second intermediate time check at the top of the hill. But the Brit had to ride downhill on a wet road. "The weather conditions I got were really good," Martin admitted. "The two climbs were pretty hard but I was lucky to have a tailwind. I also rode a good downhill at the end." 11 seconds separated Martin and Wiggins at the end.

    "I was the big favorite today and this is for sure a really nice test that I passed," the German said once he was certain he was the stage winner. "I found a good rhythm."

    He denied that he saved his energy for the time trial when he finished quite far behind the GC contenders of the Dauphiné in the first few days. "I had a pretty long break in my season," the winner of Paris-Nice explained. "It's normal that I wasn't doing very well in the first two stages of the Dauphiné.

  • Beyond The Peloton: Paris-Roubaix 2011

    A tired Van Summeren raises an arm in celebration
    Article published:
    June 08, 2011, 23:37 BST
    Cycling News

    Video from inside Garmin-Cervélo's race

    The stakes were high for Garmin-Cervélo as they searched for their first Classics victory at Paris-Roubaix. With an extensive arsenal of talent at their disposal, including world champion Thor Hushovd, the squad was expected to animate the race, but ultimately the win came from an unlikely source as Johan Van Summeren powered clear in the finale.

    Watch behind the scenes footage of the team’s pre-race reconnaissance and tactical meetings, as well as the emotional scenes at Roubaix’s velodrome as Van Summeren crossed the finish line.

  • GreenEDGE unveil their 2012 machines

    ...And they also gave us a glimpse of their time trial bike, the Scott Plasma.
    Article published:
    June 09, 2011, 0:35 BST
    Cycling News

    Scott Foil Aero and Scott Plasma 3 to be used by team

    GreenEDGE Cycling, the new Australian professional cycling team set to hit the peloton next season, have revealed the look of the bikes they'll be riding in 2012.

    The team, who will have Tour de France stage winner Neil Stephens on board as Sports Director, will be riding the new Scott Foil Aero road bike and the Scott Plasma 3 time trial bike. The colours will have a distinctly Australian flavour, with the traditional green and gold on a predominantly white frame.

    GreenEDGE are currently pursuing a UCI ProTeam licence for next year, which would allow them to compete in the cycling calendar's biggest races and would become the first Australian team to do so. Their aim is to have at least 75 percent of riders from Australia and sit within the top ten teams in the world. They haven't yet confirmed any riders but have said work is ongoing to secure those out-of-contract at the end of the season.

  • Wiggins looking to defend lead after solid ride in Grenoble

    Bradley Wiggins was rightly cautious on the wet descent
    Article published:
    June 09, 2011, 2:10 BST
    Cycling News

    Podium the aim, as Brit prepares for the Tour de France

    Bradley Wiggins took the lead of the Criterium du Dauphiné after his strong performance against the clock in Wednesday's time trial through Grenoble. Though the Englishman didn’t exactly look happy after losing the stage by ten seconds to Tony Martin, he did do enough to take the overall lead by 1:11 over three-time runner up at the event, Cadel Evans. Upon reflection the Brit denied being disappointed with the day.

    "I’m always like that", Wiggins said to Cyclingnews. "In time trials, I’m always very focused. I’m in my own world and I’m hardly satisfied at the end. But I had good sensations during this race today."

    During the race, Wiggins was seen on TV saying something to his directeur sportif Sean Yates.

    "I was telling Sean to keep talking to me because we did the lap in the car this morning and I wasn’t 100% sure whether there was anything tricky on that last descent so I was telling him to keep giving me the info about which corners you could take full gas and so on", the multiple Olympic champion explained.

    "Tony Martin and I didn’t have the same weather conditions but that’s what time trial is about", Wiggins continued. "It was just about GC for me today. I’m here for training for the Tour de France. I didn’t want to take unnecessary risks in the downhill. I knew that Vinokourov, Van den Broeck and the other GC guys were slower than me. This was a fantastic course, a very, very nice one for a time trial. I think it was even harder than it’ll be at the Tour in July. I’m in great shape but I’m still preparing for the Tour de France."

    Team Sky also enjoyed an impressive team performance, with Edvald Boasson Hagen taking third place, Geraint Thomas seventh and Rigoberto Uran, 17th.


  • Stepping up a gear in the Philippines

    A break forges clear at the Tour of Camsur.
    Article published:
    June 09, 2011, 4:59 BST
    Steve Thomas

    Tour of Camsur aims at UCI status

    It may come as a surprise to many to hear that the Philippines are something of a cycling hotbed, especially when it comes to stage racing. Just a few days ago the inaugural Tour of Camsur drew to a close with a 40-km criterium around the world-leading Camsur Watersports Complex, which lies a 7-hour drive south of the capital city of Manila.

    Covering some 1000km during its 9 stages from Manila through the mountainous Bicol region to CWC, the Tour of Camsur made for tough racing, especially when you throw in the intense heat and a sharp licking from a passing typhoon. But it’s not just the climate and geographical conditions that contribute to the tough racing in the country, as the riders themselves are renowned throughout the region for their aggressive racing and constant attacking. Although to passing foreign teams their racing style may seem a little insane at times, it does produce results, and has served to raise the overall standard of the Filipino riders, who are amongst the strongest road riders in the Southeast Asian region.

    The 2011 Tour of Camsur followed on from the 2010 Tour of Luzon, which last year was a hard-fought battle between the US Kelly Benefit Strategies team and the South African EMG squad, although the aggressive racing style of the local riders earned them the lion’s share of stage wins in Luzon, a portion which they also took this time around.

    The early stages of the race were dominated by the local 7-Eleven team, which has in recent years been something of a flagship for the country’s racing scene. The squad regularly competes in UCI Asia Tour races and is often considered the “unofficial” Filipino national team.

    The overall GC title went to Bicol native Irish Valenzuela of the 7-Eleven team, after he took a commanding win on stage 4 of the tour. The team rides in a strip almost identical to that worn by the pioneering American 7-Eleven team 25 years ago, and they are...