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First Edition Cycling News, Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Date published:
July 01, 2014, 1:00 BST
  • No Tour de France for Danielson

    A very happy Thomas Danielson on the podium
    Article published:
    June 30, 2014, 17:12 BST
    Pat Malach

    Garmin-Sharp rider focusing on Utah and Colorado

    Garmin-Sharp veteran Tom Danielson announced last week that he will not be a part of the team's Tour de France squad in July and will miss the race for the first time in three years.

    Danielson broke the news on his Twitter account, adding, “I haven't been myself and am looking forward to this month to get back to normal for Utah and Colorado.”

    Danielson, 36, has competed in the Tour de France three times with Garmin. His eighth-place finish during his first attempt in 2011 was the team's top general classification result that year, but in 2012 he crashed out of the race on stage 6 during Garmin's disastrous campaign. Danielson returned last year and finished 60th overall on his way to helping Andrew Talansky secure a top-10 result.

    With Talansky's recent win at the Critérium du Dauphiné, Garmin's Tour squad has been picked to give him the best possible chance for a spot on the final overall podium in Paris. Although Danielson is not on that roster, he praised the squad that will be on the start line July 5 in Yorkshire.

    “Also excited to see the team contend for a podium in France!!! What a team we have this year!” he wrote on Twitter.

    Danielson did not finish the US professional championships road race at the end of May, and he most recently dropped out of the Tour de Suisse on the final day. He started the season in February at the Tour de San Luis, where he finished 22nd overall and helped guide teammate Phil Gaimon through several days in the leader's jersey. Danielson was unable to finish both the Volta a Catalunya and Vuelta al Pais Vasco in succession before springing back at Tour de Romandie.

    Danielson returned to the US in May and finished 14th overall at the Tour of California while...

  • Millar fumes over non-selection for final Tour de France

    David Millar (Garmin-Sharp)
    Article published:
    June 30, 2014, 17:18 BST
    Alasdair Fotheringham

    "I'm massively disappointed, saddened and angry at my team.”

    David Millar has never had a straightforward relationship with the Tour de France, but he certainly never expected it to end this way – with non-selection for the biggest bike race in the world by his team, Garmin-Sharp, just days before the Tour de France gets underway on home soil in Leeds.

    Now just months away from retirement, Millar's expectation that he would ride up the Champs-Elysées one final time was shattered on Monday afternoon when Garmin-Sharp published their definitive roster for the Tour. An integral part of Garmin's Tour line-up each July since he joined in 2008, the 37-year-old was not included in the nine-man selection.

    In the statement Garmin released to announce the team on Monday, manager Jonathan Vaughters expressed his regret at leaving Millar out of the Tour. "We are very sorry to leave David Millar home due to illness," Vaughters said. "His experience is unparalleled and his contributions to the sport and our team are undeniable. We wish things were different for David."

    Millar had pre-empted the official announcement by breaking the news on his Twitter profile, where he wrote that he had joined the long list of British absentees from the 2014 Tour. "I was selected for TdF last week, then they pulled me last night. Wiggo, Dowsett, Pete, Swifty, fancy a city break? I hear York's nice."

    Earlier in the day, Millar had already expressed concern via the same medium about his Tour de France chances. "None of my team will answer the phone to me. I under-performed at the nationals. I'm now so scared about losing my Tour spot I can't sleep."

    It would be an understatement, then, to say that Millar, who has completed...

  • Stetina set for Tour de France debut

    Peter Stetina (BMC) bringing it home
    Article published:
    June 30, 2014, 19:03 BST
    Kirsten Frattini

    BMC rider hopes to prove his domestique value in the mountains

    BMC Racing gave Peter Stetina the race start of his dreams as a member of the nine-rider team at the upcoming Tour de France. The American will be expected to help Tejay van Garderen get a top overall placing but he also wants to perform well in the mountains and like many Tour debutants before him, soak up the madness that surrounds the three-week pursuit of the yellow jersey.

    "It's my first Tour," Stetina said with a little anxiousness. "I'm just happy to be at the big show and I want to take it all in. I want to take in all the crazy fans, the whole circus, everything you watch on TV, and be apart of it."

    Stetina spoke with Cyclingnews at the end of a two-week training camp held in the Italian Dolomites. He said that he's fit, having pushed on the pedals over more than 10,000 feet of climbing every day. "It's a beautiful part of the world, pass after pass."

    Stetina spent a career-building five seasons under Jonathan Vaughters's wing at Slipstream Sports but toward the last season he felt like the team had categorized him as a Giro d'Italia rider. One of the reasons he left Garmin-Sharp and signed on with BMC Racing was for the opportunity to compete at the Tour. He said the new team couldn't guarantee his spot on the start line when he first signed his contract but if he worked hard and proved his worth, he would be considered.

    "I've always wanted to do the Tour but they [Garmin-Sharp] saw me as a Giro rider," Stetina said. "My first Grand Tour was the Giro and I did well in that, so I was pigeonholed into being a Giro racer. Also, we did really well with Ryder [Hesjedal] in 2012...

  • Tuft looks for gold medals at Commonwealth Games and World Championships

    Svein Tuft (Orica GreenEDGE) wins
    Article published:
    June 30, 2014, 20:40 BST
    Kirsten Frattini

    Canadian to sport national colors on the WorldTour circuit

    Orica-GreenEdge’s Svein Tuft showed the cycling world just how well he can time trial. He won back-to-back titles in the time trial and road race at the Canadian road championships this weekend, riding the rest of the field off his wheel.

    After missing the nationals last year, Tuft returned to secure his ninth time trial title on Thursday in Lac-Mégantic. He went on to win the road race on Saturday, in similar time trial fashion, after riding solo for more than 120km. He won the race with a minute to spare over chasers Ryan Roth (Silber Pro Cycling), teammate Christian Meier and Michael Woods (5-Hour Energy p/b Kenda).

    “I rode the time trial course during the days before the race,” Tuft said. “Christian and I had talked about the road race quite a bit coming into it. In other years, we’ve been conservative and have waited until the end to save a little horsepower. Sometimes when you play that game you end up missing out and having to race from behind, and that’s a difficult way to do it.

    “We decided to throw everything into keeping the race hard and never be satisfied with the move. We were in an initial breakaway with some strong guys but to me that was the same as being in a big peloton, nothing had improved. Some guys wanted to try to ride easily and then try and make a move at the end but I said, ‘no way, that’s not how it’s gonna be.’”

    Tuft last earned double national titles in 2011 in Toronto while racing for the now disbanded SpiderTech team.

    He had a successful spring campaign where he earned the pink jersey...

  • Prudhomme: Yorkshire is going to put on magnificent Tour de France

    Tour de France race director Christian Prudhomme
    Article published:
    June 30, 2014, 21:30 BST
    Peter Cossins

    Tour director regrets the absence of Wiggins and Millar from the start list

    After being welcomed into Leeds-Bradford airport by the band of the Yorkshire Regiment playing the Marseillaise and Yorkshire’s unofficial anthem, "On Ilkla Moor Baht ’At", Tour de France director Christian Prudhomme said he can’t wait for the 101st Tour to get under way on Saturday so that the whole world can understand why he chose to start the race in the north of England.

    "There are several reasons for the Tour de France being in Yorkshire. Obviously, there’s the beautiful scenery. There are racing roots here given it’s the home of Brian Robinson, the first British rider to win a stage of the Tour, and Barry Hoban, who was the Briton who had won the most stages before the advent of Mark Cavendish. But, above all, it’s the fact that we’ve been able to put together two stages that are very different," Prudhomme told Cyclingnews.

    "They’re both very beautiful, but one is one for the sprinters, even though there are some hills on it, and the other for the puncheurs and even for the riders aiming for the general classification. That was a determining element. I think these two stages will show the entire world why we have chosen Yorkshire.

    "I think people will be blown away by the scenery and also by the contests we’re going to see between two very different sets of riders on these two stages. That is what Yorkshire is going to show this weekend. The terrain is magnificent and from a sporting point of view it’s very testing."

    Prudhomme said his expectations for the race have been heightened as a result of events on the road at the Criterium du Dauphiné. "The Dauphiné was great news as far as the Tour is concerned. In fact, it couldn’t have been better because we saw an action-packed, thrilling race won by an...

  • Cannondale announces Tour de France team

    Peter Sagan (Cannondale) wins stage 3 in Tour de Suisse
    Article published:
    July 01, 2014, 1:25 BST
    Cycling News

    Team backing Sagan for third consecutive points jersey

    Cannondale have announced its final nine-rider roster for the 101st edition of the Tour de France to be led by Peter Sagan who is looking to win his third consecutive points jersey. In his final pre-Tour race, Sagan won the national Slovakian road race for a fourth consecutive year.

    Supporting Sagan will be several riders who were by his side at that 2013 Tour with Macej Bodanar, Ted King, Alessandro De Marchi, Fabio Sabatini, Kristijan Koren all backing up again this year. Also lining up in Leeds for stage 1 on Saturday will be Marco Marcato, Jean-Marc Marino, and Elia Viviani who will be Sagan's leadout man for bunch sprints having been the team's protected sprinter at the Giro d'Italia in May.

    The Italian duo of De Marchi and Marcato are to play important roles on medium mountain stages, although the team has been constructed for the purpose of collecting another green jersey for Sagan and also hope to pick up stage wins along the way.

    With six riders from last year's Tour team returning in 2014, Cannondale are hoping the familiarity between its riders will bring about success.

    "Every July, the cycling world turns its attention to the Tour de France as one of the most important races of the year," said Bob Burbank, Cannondale global general manager. "We approach this race as an opportunity to let our team show it's strength and all the excitement it brings to cycling.

    "Last year, the guys showcased incredible teamwork at every stage, especially during the stage 7 win with the amazing Montpelier 100km lead out. This Cannondale team has an infectious personality bringing flair back to the peloton and this year will be no exception."

    Cannondale for the 2014 Tour de France: Peter Sagan, Maciej Bodnar,...

  • Orica-AIS name eight-rider team for the Giro Rosa

    Emma Johannson was clearly pleased with her win
    Article published:
    July 01, 2014, 2:20 BST
    Cycling News

    Experienced team looking for a top five overall finish and stage wins

    Orica-AIS will line up at the Giro d'Italia Internazionale Femminile, the Giro Rosa, with the objectives of a top-five overall position and stages wins. With seven of its eight riders having previously ridden the race, the team is looking to ride aggressively and sports director Gene Bates is confident in his riders for the 10-stage event which opens with a prologue in Caserta on July 4.

    "The objective is winning stages and to challenge for the overall victory," said Bates. "I don't want to designate anyone to a purely domestique role in this tour. As a team, we race aggressively. That's our style. It will be no different at the Giro. When the right opportunity presents itself, we'll be ready to take advantage of that."

    The recently signed Katrin Garfoot is the only rider making her debut at the race and Bates said that recent performances by the team mean all the riders will have opportunities throughout the race to show themselves.

    "I'm really excited about this group," said Bates. "Everyone in the whole team has been building up some great form and we have seen that on display at the last couple of races. We certainly will give freedom to everyone to show their hand in search of a big result."

    "There is a little bit of unknown going in with Garfoot. I'm not even sure she is aware of the depth of her capabilities. I wouldn't at all be surprised if we see her right in the thick of the overall action in the last few days."

    Emma Johansson makes her return to the race having skipped the Giro Rosa last year and fresh from winning the Swedish national road race and time trial, she is in in form and looking to...

  • Taaramäe and Navarro to lead Cofidis at the Tour de France

    Rein Taaramae (Cofidis, Solutions Credits) celebrates the Stage 3 win at the Tour of Turkey
    Article published:
    July 01, 2014, 3:20 BST
    Cycling News

    Adrien Petit makes his Tour debut

    French Pro-Continental team Cofidis has announced its nine-rider roster for the Tour de France with Rein Taaramäe and Dani Navarro as its protected GC riders. Runner-up at the 2011 U23 world champion road race, Adrien Petit, makes his Tour debut as the designated sprinter although the team is backing its two GC riders for a high overall placing.

    In 2013, Navarro was the best placed Cofidis rider in ninth place overall although he was almost 16 minutes behind the winner, Chris Froome (Sky). Having entered the Tour last year with four GC riders, Cofidis have opted to back just Taaramäe and Navarro as its GC riders this year and have left Jerome Coppel and Christophe Le Mevel off its team roster as a result.

    Coppel was also suffering the effects of a knee injury sustained at the Critérium du Dauphiné and his focus is now on the Vuelta a España.

    Taaramäe's best result in 2014 so far was second overall at the Tour of Turkey which included a victory on the queen stage. It was an important confidence boost for the Estonian who had considered quitting professional cycling.

    At the Critérium du Dauphiné, Navarro showed his form with ninth place overall, his best result since he finished eighth overall at the Vuelta a Andalucia Ruta Ciclista Del Sol in February, and will look at claiming a maiden Grand Tour stage win.

    With a focus also on stage wins, Julien Simon, Nicolas Edet, Rudy Molard, Egoitz Garcia and Luis Angel Mate will look for opportunities throughout the race as well as supporting their...