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Winner of the 2015 Tour Down Under
Team started final Tour stage in unauthorised jerseys
The UCI has announced that it is launching disciplinary proceedings against Team RadioShack “for breaching the regulations governing riders clothing.” The American squad took to the start of Sunday’s final stage of the Tour de France wearing an all-black kit advertising Lance Armstrong’s Livestrong charity rather than their usual RadioShack jerseys, but failed to inform race commissaires beforehand.
The official start of the stage was delayed to allow the RadioShack riders to change back into their regulation colours. After the race, the RadioShack team took to the podium for the presentation of the team classification prize dressed in the contentious Livestrong kit.
A statement issued on Monday said, “The UCI regrets that an initiative for a cause as worthy as the fight against cancer was not coordinated beforehand with the Commissaires and organisers of the event. This could have been done whilst remaining within the rules.
“Team RadioShack’s incorrect behaviour led to a 20-minute delay to the start of the final stage, which could have disrupted the televised coverage of the race, placing the Commissaires under the obligation to impose a fine on each rider and the team managers.
“Team RadioShack subsequently breached the regulations by wearing an incorrect uniform on the podium for the protocol ceremony having been instructed not to.”
During the stage itself, RadioShack manager Johan Bruyneel vented his frustration via Twitter, fuming “Ok people! Now it’s official! To be a race commissar you don’t need brains but only know the rules! Their motto: ‘c’est le reglement!’”
It appears that such comments have also stoked the ire of the UCI, and Bruyneel will be called before the UCI Disciplinary Commission to explain his remarks, which the UCI statement deems “utterly unacceptable” and offensive “to all the...
Canadian finishes in top 10 overall
The Garmin-Transitions team rightly celebrated late into the night in Paris after placing yet another rider in the top 10 overall with Ryder Hesjedal's surprise seventh place.
When Christian Vande Velde pulled out after stage two with fractured ribs and Tyler Farrar fractured his elbow and had problems in the sprints, team manager Jonathan Vaughters knew he had to come up with an alternative strategy. He put his hopes in Hesjedal, knowing that the Canadian had the form and ambition to step up and become the team's hope for overall success.
"We had to really rely on 'Plan B' but it worked out for us yet again," Vaughters told Cyclingnews with a hint of pride.
"It's three years in a row that we've produced the surprise of the Tour de France in the GC. If it was just one or two years, you could say it's a fluke but I don’t think it is. It's actually a testament of the organisation in the team. By that I mean the physiologists, the sports scientists, the great mechanics and soigneurs, the doctors, the management and the whole infrastructure."
Most teams are focused on their star riders, but we universally give access to wind tunnels testing, to the best biomechnical monitoring and best possible coaching. Doing it that way is more of a shotgun effect and costs a little bit more but you get the breakouts too."
Hesjedal seventh place, 10:15 behind Alberto Contador (Astana) was a true breakout performance.
His consistent results in the Ardennes classics and stage win at the Amgen Tour of California showed that he is a talented rider. But the way Hesjedal handled the pain, the suffering and mental stress of competing in the Tour de France for three weeks, showed his special stage race ability.
"Ryder was definitely going to be Christian's biggest help in the mountains. But I don’t think he himself ever thought about riding GC in the Tour de France but when the chance was thrust on him, he was ready,"...
13 road and track racers selected
The Canadian Cycling Association (CCA) and Commonwealth Games Canada (CGC) announced the cyclists and coaches named to the Canadian Team headed for the XIXth Commonwealth Games in Delhi, India this October.
The list of accomplished athletes includes 2010 Tour de France competitor Michael Barry, who placed ninth in the road race at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. Barry also represented Canada at the 2003 UCI Road World championships, 2000 Pan-American Games and 2002 Commonwealth Games.
Veteran team member Svein Tuft, 2008 Pan-American Champion and silver medalist in the individual time trial at the 2008 UCI Road World Championships in Varese, Italy, recently claimed his sixth consecutive Canadian title in the time trial race at the 2010 Road Canadian Cycling Championships.
Zach Bell, who represented Canada on the track at the 2008 Olympic Games, won the men's road race for the third time at the Tour de Delta earlier this year. Multiple Canadian Champion and medalist Travis Smith recently won the sprint event at the 2010 Pan American Championships and won silver and bronze medals at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, Australia.
For the women, World and Canadian Champion Tara Whitten won the women's Points race at the 2010 UCI Track World Championships on March 28 in Copenhagen, Denmark. Monique Sullivan won the sprint event at the 2009 Track Canadian Championships in Burnaby, British Columbia. Joëlle Numainville won the women's Road race at the 2010 Road Canadian Cycling Championships in Edmonton, Alberta, in the final peloton sprint.
"The Canadian cycling team for Delhi intends to contend for medals," said Team Canada Chef de Mission, Martha Deacon. "With one gold, one silver and three bronze medals won in Melbourne in 2006, the cyclists will be highly competitive in Delhi and we are proud to support the already accomplished team members as the cycling team looks to surpass previous goals."
"With a team...
Tour alters UCI standings
Alberto Contador (Astana) has gone to the head of the UCI World Rankings for the first time this season as a result of winning the Tour de France. His Astana squad have maintained their position at the top of the team standings, while Contador’s points haul in July also helped Spain to pad out its enormous advantage over Italy in the national classification.
Contador moved up three places in the standings in July thanks to his performances in France, which brought his tally up to 482 points. He leads fellow countryman Joaquin Rodriguez (Katusha) by 84 points. Previous leader Cadel Evans (BMC) slips to third after his Tour challenge was tempered by a fractured elbow sustained the very day he took hold of the yellow jersey.
Given his relatively low-key season up until the Tour, it is not surprising that Andy Schleck (Saxo Bank) was among the biggest risers in July. His second-place finish and two stage wins in France saw him climb 51 places to 6th. Samuel Sanchez (Euskaltel-Euskadi) rose twenty places to 8th on the back of his fine Tour, while Denis Menchov’s podium place saw him shoot up the classification to 13th.
On the other side of the coin, Ivan Basso’s disappointing Tour saw the Liquigas man slip from 8th to 14th, while Fränk Schleck’s crash in week one saw ultimately saw him slide out of the top twenty.
In the team standings, Astana are on 884 points, almost 100 points clear of Saxo Bank (788) and Katusha are further back on 709. Spain’s dominance of the national rankings was buttressed by Contador’s Tour win. The Spanish points total of 1528 dwarfs that of Italy (856) and Belgium (849). Andy Schleck’s Tour haul brings Luxembourg into the top ten.
1. Alberto Contador (Astana) 482
2. Joaquin Rodriguez (Katusha) 398
3. Cadel Evans (BMC) 390
4. Philippe Gilbert (Omega Pharma-Lotto) 304
5. Luis Leon Sanchez...
McCarthy hopes junior worlds, youth Olympics success will follow
Australia’s junior national team has enjoyed a successful week abroad, with the squad winning Italian junior race Tre Giorni Orobica. While quick to express his teammate’s contribution, the overall victory went to Australian junior road champion Jay McCarthy.
The team defended McCarthy’s lead for three stages after he took a solo victory on the opening stage, two seconds ahead of Italian Lorenzo Di Remigio (Team 999 Caffè Mokambo). The squad backed up its success at the Tour of Bergamo where McCarthy claimed the overall title in addition to the points, mountains and non-European classification wins while the Australian National Team won the teams’ classification.
“The Australian junior team is a great team and we wouldn’t be getting the results we have been if we hadn’t been demonstrating the great team work,” McCarthy told Cyclingnews.
The form couldn’t come at a better time for McCarthy and his teammates, which include Calvin Watson, Damian Howson, David Edwards and Samuel Spokes. The riders are preparing for the UCI Junior World Road Championships, held in Italy next month, and the Youth Olympic Games which will be held in Singapore also during August.
“We are back in Castronno this week at the European AIS base, where we have a couple of easy days,” said McCarthy. “Then some more intensity before we head to Belgium this weekend, for a four stage event over three days. This will conclude our final preparations before the world titles.
“At this stage I will compete in the time trial with Dale Parker on the sixth of August and then endure the grueling 128 km road race set on the eighth of August,” he added. “Personally I think we can be the first junior Australian team to take out the event. A lot of our success comes from the great staff we have behind us in Dave Sanders and Gene Bates. They have put us through some...
Giro winner insists he can still be an overall contender
Ivan Basso left Paris on Monday afternoon with his wife and family to head home to Italy following a failed attempt at Tour de France glory after winning the Giro d'Italia in May.
He had hoped to fight for yellow in his first Tour de France since serving a ban for doping, or at least take home a stage victory or podium place. But bronchitis in the Pyrenees and fatigue from the Giro left him way down the general classification in 32nd place, 59:33 behind overall winner Alberto Contador (Astana).
Yet he was just happy to be back and promised to return in the future, even if he is entering the final years of his career.
"I'm not happy with my overall result - that's for sure - but I'm happy to have ridden the Tour de France after a five-year absence," Basso told Cyclingnews.
"To be honest, I don't think I could have done better than a place in the top 10 overall. I was a little tired after winning the Giro, but I wouldn't give up my pink jersey for a place in the top 10. Denis Menchov won the Giro last year and was on the podium at the Tour de France this year. Contador dominated last time but suffered a bit this year. I don’t think it's crazy to think I can fight for a place on the podium."
"I'm tired now, but it was important for me to ride the Tour again and it was nice to get a warm welcome from the organisers and the public. If the Giro closed the door on a difficult two years for me, then the Tour was the start of something new."
Basso refused to be drawn on if he will target the Giro and the Tour de France in 2011. The Giro will again be his first major objective but the Tour holds a special place in his heart.
"Now is not the moment to think about 2011. I need a break first," he said. "But even though I'm 33, I believe I can ride both in the same season and get results in both. I'm only riding some criteriums and the Italian one-day races in August and then my season will be done. I'll...
RadioShack team manager judges 2010 Tour
Tour de France runner up Andy Schleck has come in for both praise and criticism from RadioShack team manager Johan Bruyneel in the wake of his narrow overall defeat to Alberto Contador, one of the smallest margins in the race's history.
Writing his final column from this year's Tour for Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf, Bruyneel put a philosophical spin on the failure of a team managed by him to feature on the individual overall podium for only the third time since 1999.
His former charge (and the man he directed to the 2007 and '09 Tour titles), Alberto Contador, also received a blunt assessment from the Belgian. "The outcome of the Tour was more exciting than I expected. This wasn't because Andy Schleck rode so well but because Alberto Contador was so disappointing in the final time trial," he said.
"In my eyes Andy Schleck lost the Tour in Rotterdam. The 42 seconds that he lost in the 8.9km long prologue turned out to be very expensive. Yet he still had his chances.
"With some dismay I watched his time trial in Paullac. With such strong winds, he was totally wrong on the bike. Just by his position, he lost at least half a minute on Saturday. His position on the bike was a disaster," he added.
There were also words of encouragement for the Luxembourger, who took his third best young rider title: "Andy can learn a lot from this Tour de France. He's only 25 years old and is still a rough diamond that is free. There is much to polishing," said Bruyneel.
"If you look at the final results and realise that he lost the Tour by 39 seconds, in fact his battle for the yellow jersey seemed over before it all began. Of course he will never be a great time trialist, but this is an area where he can still profit."
Bruyneel added that Schleck needs to learn to act like a captain, citing the occasion he dropped back to the Saxo Bank team car to take food and water despite being the race leader. Calling it a "rookie...
No prologue for Vendee start
You can find our complete 2011 Tour de France coverage here.
Following the celebrations for the 100th anniversary of the first ever mountain stage in the Pyrenees in this year's Tour de France, the 2011 edition of the race is set to celebrate the Alps, covering legendary climbs such as the Col du Galibier and L'Alpe dHuez.
Tour de France race director Christian Prudhomme has already revealed that the Grand Depart of the 2011 race will be held in the Vendee region of France on the west coast.
The opening stage on Saturday July 2 will be a 180km road race stage instead of the more traditional time trial prologue. The stage will start on the island of Ile de Noirmoutie and ride across the Passage du Gois, the causeway which cuts across the bay during low tide. However the riders need not fear a repeat of the 1999 Tour, when Alex Zulle crashed on the slippy road and lost any chance of challenging Lance Armstrong. In 2011 the peloton will parade across the Passage du Gois before the official start of the stage.
Prudhomme has hinted the stage will be suit both the sprinters and attackers and is likely to finish on the short Mont des Alouettes climb near Les Herbiers. Stage two will be a 23km team time trial around the village of Essarts, while stage three will start in Olonne-su-Mer.
Decided in the Alps
The Tour will visit the Pyrenees in 2011 but only briefly before heading east to the Alps for the decisive stages in the third week. The Tour will end in Paris on Sunday July 24.
In 1911, following the success of the mountain stages in the Pyrenees, race director Henri Desgrange included stages in the Alps and the 2556m high Col du Galibier.
According to information published in the Journal du Dimanche newspaper, the 2011 Tour de France will climb the...