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First Edition Cycling News, Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Date published:
July 03, 2012, 1:00 BST
  • Video: Sagan lacked aggression in Tour de France bunch sprint

    Peter Sagan (Liquigas - Cannondale)
    Article published:
    July 02, 2012, 20:48 BST
    By:
    Brecht Decaluwé

    Sunday's stage winner holds on to green jersey

    Young Slovakian champion Peter Sagan (Liquigas-Cannondale) once again was ready to reach out for the win in the bunch sprint at the end of stage 2 of the Tour de France in Tournai, Belgium. One day after his first-ever stage win in the Tour de France, he lost the final kilometer battles and eventually finished sixth. His result allowed him to hold on to the green jersey as his 78 points give him a 15-point margin over Monday's winner Mark Cavendish (Sky).

    "I wanted to win, but that's cycling. It was a very nervous race. In the sprint, I won only some points for the green jersey," Sagan said, while gasping for air right after finishing the stage. "Cavendish is strong. Also this sprint is for him... It was a big battle. This is the Tour de France. It's not like another race but it's good."

    When analyzing his sprint, Sagan realized that he was too far back even though he was well placed at first. The 22-year-old sat perfectly on the wheel of eventual second place finisher André Greipel, who was following the Lotto-Belisol train. Somehow he was unable to hold that wheel. At 450m to go, he lost it to eventual winner Cavendish before giving up another spot to Matthew Goss (Orica-Greenedge). Eventually he was also passed by Tom Veelers (Argos-Shimano) and Alessandro Petacchi (Lampre) to finish in sixth place.

    "I think I was behind Goss when the sprint started. Too far and I'm not fast enough for a sprint finish like this. It was too flat, nervous and also, in the sprint you need some luck," Sagan said while expressing the hope that Tuesday's stage to Boulogne-sur-mer would suit him better. The third stage of the Tour de France features four climbs in the last 20km, including 600m...

  • USA Pro Cycling Challenge adds citizen's ride

    Somewhere in the crowd is a bike race.
    Article published:
    July 02, 2012, 21:15 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Public can ride first stage the day before the pros

    Organisers of the USA Pro Cycling Challenge in Colorado have announced the addition of a citizen's ride on the stage 1 course the day prior to the opening stage of the 2012 event in Durango.

    The Pro Challenge Experience Presented By UnitedHealthcare will take place on Sunday August 19, and will give the public a "once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to ride like a pro" on two course options - a 45-mile portion of the route or a 72-mile loop.

    "The Pro Challenge Experience gives fans the opportunity to ride part of the course the pros will utilize the following day," said Shawn Hunter, CEO of the USA Pro Challenge. "We want people to not only have the opportunity to witness the action of the USA Pro Challenge, but also experience it for themselves."

    Starting at 7:00 am local time, the routes begin in downtown Durango with a loop of the USA Pro Challenge official start. Riders will then head through Wildcat Canyon and past the breathtaking scenery of the San Juan Mountains and San Juan National Forest. After returning briefly to downtown Durango, the riders will climb steadily to Durango Mountain Resort via Route 250 and Shalona Hill. At this point, cyclists participating in the 45-mile route can stop and celebrate at a festival hosted by Durango Mountain Resort. Those wishing to continue will complete another 27 miles on the return to Durango via Route 550 with a final push into Fort Lewis College to cross the line at the official finish festival.

    Entry fee for the event is $65 and includes an exclusive commemorative shirt, and entries are limited. Upon registering, participants will have the option to raise funds for America’s Road Home, a nonprofit organization focused on ending family homelessness, and Trails2000, a nonprofit that builds and maintains trails, while educating users and encouraging connectivity.

    For more information visit the

  • Renshaw empty handed from stage two sprint at Tour de France

    Mark Renshaw (Rabobank) before the start.
    Article published:
    July 02, 2012, 22:30 BST
    By:
    Daniel Benson

    Rabobank man loses out in tactical affair in Tournai

    Mark Renshaw (Rabobank) was left empty handed on stage two of the 2012 Tour France from Visé to Tournai, finishing ninth after he was boxed in during the sprint finish.

    The Rabobank sprinter came into the stage as an outside bet for the win and heading into the final 10 kilometres he was in contention to take his first Tour de France stage but inside the final kilometre, with a bunch sprinters jostling for position, Renshaw became isolated and was unable to pull himself back into contention.

    "I didn't even get a chance to sprint," he told Cyclingnews after crossing the line.

    "I couldn't get out and I was boxed in on the barrier and didn't get to even sprint. It's disappointing."

    Like all but a couple of his rivals Renshaw lacks a complete leadout train in this year's Tour and in the Australian's case he was left with Maarten Tjallingii for help in the closing stages.

    "My legs got better throughout the stage but it's disappointing not to have a better sprint. I had Maarten Tjallingii leading me out and he did a great job actually. Now that I know how strong he is I can maybe save him for a bit longer."

    "Without a HTC style leadout the speed isn't so high and there was a lot of jostling and it just means it's harder to judge the sprint."
     

  • Menchov silently lying in wait at Tour de France

    Denis Menchov (Katusha Team)
    Article published:
    July 02, 2012, 23:50 BST
    By:
    Brecht Decaluwé

    Russian star cautious to predict outcome of race

    While the top favourites of the Tour de France, Cadel Evans (BMC) and Bradley Wiggins (Sky), are receiving most of the media attention,  there is one other general classification rider though who’s quietly avoiding too much attention. That man is Denis Menchov (Katusha), not coincidentally nicknamed the silent assassin, he is only six seconds down on second placed Wiggins in the standings.

    At the age of 34, Menchov is participating in his tenth Tour de France and he doesn’t have many years left to achieve his goal of becoming the first Russian rider to win the Tour. Back in 2010 he came the closest to his goal when he finished third, and later second after the disqualification of winner Alberto Contador. In 2008 he finished fourth, just behind the later-disqualified Bernhard Kohl.

    Before the start of stage 2, Menchov talked with Cyclingnews about his good start and his ambitions further up in the race. Menchov finished the stage in the first main group with all the GC contenders, and he was very happy with his presence in the group. "Of course during the first days it’s important not to have problems, not to lose time," Menchov said. "I started the last climb a little bit too far. I had to sprint a little bit. Of course it cost energy but finally it was OK."

    Usually Menchov is a man who loses time in a prologue, but in Liège he managed to keep his time loss to the minimum and that has boosted his confidence. "It means that I’m OK and that’s the most important," Menchov said. Back in May he started using a new time trial bike from Canyon, and the Russian was pleased with his new toy. "It’s a good bike. It’s on the level with the best. I have confidence in the material and that’s...

  • Video: Tour de France Stage 2 highlights

    Mark Cavendish (Team Sky) triumphs in his first Tour de France stage win outside of France
    Article published:
    July 03, 2012, 1:11 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    The class of Cavendish shines in Tournai

    It was Tour de France stage win number 21 for Mark Cavendish (Sky) on the 207.5km stage between Visé and Tournai. But it was a close one with arch-rival Andre Greipel (Lotto-Belisol) just pipped in a photo finish for second place. Australia's Matt Goss (Orica-GreenEdge) was third.

    For overall leader Fabian Cancellara (RadioShack-Nissan), it was "business as usual" as he retained his yellow jersey. Michael Morkov (Saxo Bank Tinkoff) retained the lead in the mountains classification by being the first rider over the top of the Cote de la Citadelle de Namur and Tejay van Garderen (BMC) maintained his one second lead over Edvald Boasson Hagen (Sky) in the young rider classification.

    The points classification is heating up however, Goss once again was first of the bunch across the line at the intermediate sprint while Stage 1 victor, Peter Sagan (Liquigas) has a 15 point lead over Cavendish with the completion of Monday's stage.

     

  • 2012 Tour of Beijing route announced

    The peloton on stage 3 of the Tour of Beijing
    Article published:
    July 03, 2012, 2:10 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    A tougher course designed to excite the fans

    The removal of an opening time trial and a more mountainous course awaits the riders of the WorldTour for the second edition of the Tour of Beijing. The host city of Beijing will kick-off the five-day race which promises to challenge the peloton far more than last year’s parcours. In 2011 it was Tony Martin, riding for the now defunct HTC-Highroad team who used his time trialling ability on the opening day to capture the race lead, something he wouldn’t relinquish for the remainder of the race. Martin took the win in a tour which did seemed to do little to excite the following fans - or riders, for that matter.

    Race organisers used the feedback gained from their inaugural edition and have produced a 761.5km route that see’s the opening time trial removed and a replica of last year’s final circuit race put in place instead. This will no doubt offer the sprinters the chance to gain the lead prior to stage two, also designed for the sprinters before tackling three tough stages with plenty of climbing.

    "The response from the teams and riders was very positive and whilst we had a well balanced course last year and the opening stage time trial around Olympic Park provided memorable images of the first WorldTour event in China, we did feel we required a different test for 2012," said Global Cycling Promotion director Alain Rumpf.

    In-form sprinters may be able to overcome the numerous climbs including a category one, two and numerous category three mountains but the teams will have to work much harder to control this year's race.

    "It should make for an exciting race. The climbs are hard, but the sprinters may still be in the mix, and we feel it will also provide a better possibility for a successful breakaway" Mr Rumpf said.

    The Tour of Beijing will run from 9-13 October and is slated to be included in the WorldTour calendar through till...

  • Goss' green jersey intentions hinge on Stage 3

    Matthew Goss (Orica-GreenEdge)
    Article published:
    July 03, 2012, 2:13 BST
    By:
    Daniel Benson

    Orica-GreenEdge sprinter confident, but eyeing Sagan

    On stage two of the Tour de France the battle for the maillot jaune took a back seat, allowing for the sprinters competing for the maillot vert to bask in the lime light.

    For Orica-GreenEdge and their sprinter Matthew Goss it was a missed opportunity to claim an inaugural stage win. While the Australian was left trailing by his former teammates Mark Cavendish and Andre Greipel he demonstrated his intentions for the green jersey, picking up 13 points at the intermediate sprint before finishing third on the line.

    "We've got to make sure we're close to Sagan," said team director Matt White when previewing the next few sprints.

    "If he wins tomorrow and Gossy isn't in the top three then he's going to have a massive lead. The green jersey is a big focus us, not the only one, but a big one for sure.

    "We're looking for Goss to win tomorrow's stage," White continued. "I expect a very aggressive last hour of racing. It's going to be very hectic. It's 700 meters up to the finish but the guys get a really good run at it. They're going to be hitting the bottom of it at 65kph so they'll get halfway up the hill before they have to really go for it. Sagan is definitely they favourite though."

    Peter Sagan (Liquigas-Cannondale) currently leads the competition with Cavendish 15 points adrift and Goss a further 11 points behind in fourth. While the Liquigas rider remains in green after today's first bunch sprint, he showed his inexperience in Tournai,...

  • Stomach problems too much for Marcel Kittel at the Tour

    Marcel Kittel (Argos-Shimano) wins stage 1 at the Ster ZLM Toer
    Article published:
    July 03, 2012, 4:40 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Veelers steps up to take fourth place in stage two

    It was the first sprint opportunity of the Tour but Argos-Shimano’s young sprinting hope, Marcel Kittel was nowhere to be seen as Mark Cavendish (Sky Procycling) took the victory into Tournai. Kittel had been dropped inside the final 20km of yesterday’s stage when his stomach issues became too much for the 24-year-old.

    Tom Veelers was quick to slot into the role of sprint captain and did not disappoint. He took fourth place behind three of the world’s best sprinters; Cavendish, Andre Grèipel (Lotto - Belisol) and Matt Goss (Orcia - GreenEdge).

    "I grabbed this opportunity with both hands. Of course it was very unfortunate for Marcel. We worked hard on our train and it's a shame that we could not unfold it like we wanted. But we maintained our plan as good as possible and fortunately it resulted in an excellent fourth place" said Veelers.

    Team doctors assessed Kittel’s condition after the stage and diagnosed the German with a viral infection of the stomach and intestines. Kittel will hope to recover over the next day before looking to get back in the mix for the more sprinter-friendly stage four.

    "We’ve done some checks and luckily Marcel doesn’t have a fever. Normally, he will be able to start tomorrow. He has received medication and will get easily digestible food. We have to wait and see how quick his body reacts to that" said team Doctor Edwin Achterberg.