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First Edition Cycling News, Thursday, May 26, 2011

Date published:
May 26, 2011, 1:00 BST
  • Video: Beyond The Peloton on Cyclingnews

    Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Cervelo)
    Article published:
    May 25, 2011, 15:28 BST
    Cycling News

    Garmin-Cervelo at the Tour of Flanders

    Beyond The Peloton is Garmin-Cervelo's unique and insider series following the team throughout the season. The project started in 2009 when the team was called Cervelo TestTeam and was a fundamental part of the team's willingness and desire to bring fans access to the riders and staff.

    For 2011, the series is back and better than ever. In this episode, the American team takes on the Tour of Flanders in need of a result after a poor spring. In Thor Hushovd, Heinrich Haussler and Tyler Farrar, they posses three of the most talented one-day riders in the peloton.


  • Video: Le Mével goes on the attack again

    Christophe Le Mevel (Garmin-Cervelo)
    Article published:
    May 25, 2011, 17:13 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    Frenchman not discouraged despite missing out in Tirano

    Christophe Le Mével (Garmin-Cervélo) tried yet again to win a stage at the Giro d'Italia but yet again came up empty handed in Tirano.

    The Frenchman made sure he was part of the 16-rider break that fought for the stage and was the first rider to attack on the final climb to Aprica. However he was also one of the first to crack and was left behind as Ulissi, Visconti and 10 other riders contested the finale in Tirano.

    Despite missing out on the stage victory and on the pink jersey several times in the first week of the Giro, Le Mével told Cyclingnews that he would go on the attack again, perhaps on Thursday's stage to San Pellegrino Terme.

  • Ulissi shrugs off Visconti's accusations after Giro sprint

    Diego Ulissi (Lampre-ISD) took the biggest win of his career on stage 17 of the Giro
    Article published:
    May 25, 2011, 18:51 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    Young Italian shows his class with clever ride to Tirano

    Despite a drawn out polemic on Italian television, Diego Ulissi (Lampre-ISD) remained as cool and collected in the stage winner's press conference as he did in the sprint for the Giro d'Italia stage 17 win against Giovanni Visconti (Farnese Vini-Neri) and Pablo Lastras (Movistar).

    Visconti accused him of changing his line in the sprint and of missing turns in the long break, but Ulissi shrugged off the accusations, knowing he had been the smartest rider in the sprint.

    "I knew Visconti was the fastest in the sprint but I thought carefully of how to try and beat him and can't deny that I was used every trick in the book," Ulissi said.

    "In the finale I concentrated on staying with the best riders and on winning the stage. I knew I had to try and surprise Visconti by going early and that's what I did. I kept my line on the left and kept hoping the finish line would appear as soon as possible. I felt Giovanni touch me and he said I moved towards the barriers but I don't think I did. I've seen a lot worse than that and the judges studied it and decided I'd won.

    "It was a very hard stage but my job was to get in the break and that's what I did. I tried to save as much energy as I could because I'm only 21 and it's the third week of the Giro. I rode smart and missed a few turns but there were 15 of us in the break and at least 9 riders did the same thing. On the climbs I really suffered and I was dropped with 15km to go but I knew I had to give it everything to get back on because I knew I had a chance in a possible sprint."

    Classy pedigree

    Ulissi is still only 21 but was junior road race world champion in 2006 and 2007. He turned professional last year and showed his class by winning the GP Industria e Commercio di Prato...

  • Visconti considers himself winner of Giro d'Italia stage 17

    Giovanni Visconti felt Ulissi pushed him into the barriers.
    Article published:
    May 25, 2011, 20:23 BST
    Jean-François Quénet

    Italian champion DQ'd for irregular sprinting, insists he is right

    It didn't take long for the judges to disqualify Giovanni Visconti from the win at the end of stage 17 in the Giro d'Italia. Belgian chief commissaire Thierry Diederen announced that the Italian champion was relegated to third place for irregular sprinting.

    Visconti's directeur sportif Luca Scinto accepted the decision as his rider obviously didn't respect the rules of sprinting since he didn't keep his hands on his handlebar. "Visconti made a mistake but [Diego] Ulissi should have been disqualified as well and the win should have been given to Pablo Lastras," Scinto stated. "The rules clearly indicate that he's guilty but we're the moral winners of the stage. Visconti was the strongest."

    A few minutes after the finish Visconti was furious, even before knowing that he'd been stripped of the stage win. "Ulissi has done his best to make me fall," the Italian champion said. "I yelled at him ten times but he blocked me on the barricades. Had I not used my hands, I would have crashed. He behaved badly in the group today and proved to be badly educated. From a young rider, it shouldn't happen."

    Later the two Italian protagonists of the sprint were called up at the "Processo alla tappa" (the stage's court case) on RAI TV. It didn't end up like an episode of Jerry Springer as Ulissi and Visconti shook hands eventually, but Visconti maintained his point of view while watching the replay of the images. "He changed his line and not for just ten centimetres," the Italian champion commented. "He looked at me, I yelled, he knew he was slower than me."

    Visconti justified having moved from the right hand side of the road to the left because the wind was blowing from the right. Talking about his several attempts at winning a stage in the Giro, a race he approached with an injured knee, he firmly said:...

  • Contador keeps everything under control

    Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank Sungard) survived another day in pink
    Article published:
    May 25, 2011, 21:28 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    Maglia rosa happy to be one day closer to Milan

    Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank-SunGard) finished in the middle of the Giro d'Italia peloton, 2:59 behind stage winner Diego Ulissi at the end of the 230km stage 17 through the mountains to Tirano.

    The Liquigas-Cannondale team lead the chase for much of the stage, perhaps in the hope setting up an attack on the twisting descent to Tirano by Vincenzo Nibali. Contador was given an armchair ride to the finish but insisted it had not been an easy day in the saddle.

    "It was a hard stage and very fast with an average of 48km/h in the first hour," he said after collecting his latest maglia rosa from British fashion designer Sir Paul Smith.

    "Fortunately my training for the Giro was aimed to get me ready for huge efforts and long hard stages like this. The break got away but it was kept under by Liquigas and Geox because Nibali's and Menchov's GC positions were at risk. That played in our favour."

    Contador's overall race lead remained unchanged. Michele Scarponi (Lampre-ISD) is second at 4:58 and Nibali is third at 5:45.

    "I'm happy that we've covered another day of racing and that we're one day closer to the finish in Milan," he said.

    "I've just got to be careful and everything will be okay. The stage over the Colle delle Finestre will be the last chance for Scarponi and Nibali to try something. I've got a lot of respect for them, but I know I can count on the help of other riders. I'm not worried."

    Possible protest on Saturday

    There is a slight risk that protesters against a high-speed rail link through the Alps could try and block the Giro d'Italia during Saturday's stage to Sestriere. That would help Contador, just as the...

  • Vos and Wilde preview Worlds course

    Marianne Vos (Nederland Bloeit) took an historic fourth victory in Fleche Wallone ahead of Emma Johansson (Hitec Products) and Judith Arndt (HTC-HighRoad)
    Article published:
    May 26, 2011, 1:14 BST
    Cycling News

    Dutch rider says Copenhagen is major target in 2011

    Former world champion Marianne Vos (Team DSB Bank) and her team mate Kirsten Wild previewed the Copenhagen Worlds course on Monday, and the Dutch rider feels that the 2011 course, though technical, is perfectly suited to her.

    "It really is a beautiful circuit and as it is not that tough I believe that we will see a high speed from the very start with a lot of attacks. I think that after 120 km, the relatively shallow hills will seem like big mountains. All in all, the route is good for me and the world championship is my ultimate goal for the year." Vos said after riding the course for the first time.

    The Dutch superstar was also thrilled by the thought of participating in a world championship in the centre of a large city like Copenhagen.

    "I am really looking forward to passing the Parliament and Amalienborg Castle. Copenhagen is a fantastic city and, indeed, it is something special that the roads are being closed off at the time of the event," she said.

    Vos’ only previous world championships win was in Salzburg back in 2006. In that year she beat out Trixi Worrack and Nicole Cooke, but has since been unable to repeat her success. She has been second in every edition since and hopes to change that in 2011.

    "After the last four years [of coming so close] I am determined to win again this time," she concluded.

    The UCI Road World Championships 2011 are held from 19 to 25 September in Copenhagen and Rudersdal.


  • Howard recounts a frustrating Californian experience

    Leigh Howard (HTC-Highroad)
    Article published:
    May 26, 2011, 3:45 BST
    Alex Hinds

    Australian happy with final day win with Goss

    Things didn’t go quite as Leigh Howard (HTC-Highroad) would’ve liked in the Amgen Tour of California. Separate incidents on stages two and three, as well as Milan-San Remo winner Matthew Goss being dropped on stage five meant the team had to wait until the final stage to get the win they so desired. Not that Howard was complaining, but the Australian had envisaged things going slightly differently.

    "It would’ve been nice to win two or three stages; I think we were definitely capable of doing that," he explained to Cyclingnews.

    "The first stage where Gossy got third, it was just one tiny mistake that cost him the win."

    A miscommunication in the lead-out meant Howard and Goss headed in different directions as the sprint unfolded. Howard opened up and went to the left of the road as Goss went to the right.

    "I think he thought that I was peeling off when I wasn’t. I was going past the Sky train. Goss didn’t know that though and he stayed in the train and then couldn’t get going again," said Howard of that first sprint. A missed opportunity perhaps but the Australian was more frustrated with stage three.

    A crash in the closing kilometers involving then race leader Ben Swift (though he managed to stay up), Michael Matthews (Rabobank), and Matthew Goss left Howard stranded. He ended up managing to salvage a creditable fifth on the day but described...

  • Video: Sir Paul Smith visits the Giro d'Italia

    Epic scenes at the Giro d'Italia
    Article published:
    May 26, 2011, 7:00 BST
    Cycling News

    British fashion designer talks about his love for cycling

    British fashion designer Sir Paul Smith visited the Giro d'Italia on Wednesday and awarded Alberto Contador the maglia rosa at the end of the stage in Tirano.

    As a teenager Sir Paul was a keen cyclist but his racing career was cut short after a nasty accident. While recovering he began to hang out with art students, and fashion and design replaced cycling as his passion in life.

    However, he has always followed the sport closely and has designed bikes, clothing and cycling-themed accessories. He is friends with Mark Cavendish and several other riders and the British sprinter visited him in his showroom earlier this week as he recovered from riding the first part of the Giro d'Italia.

    He spoke to about his love of cycling.