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First Edition Cycling News, Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Date published:
July 31, 2012, 1:00 BST
  • New Zealand’s Villumsen hoping for Olympic glory

    Linda Villumsen (New Zealand).
    Article published:
    July 30, 2012, 4:31 BST
    Cycling News

    Happy to get through nervous road race ahead of time trial

    Linda Villumsen has finished on the podium at the UCI time trial world championships for the past three years. It’s the time trial which is her strongest discipline although she’s an accomplished road racer, riding for the Orica-AIS presented by GreenEdge team. Villumsen finished 5th at the Beijing Olympic Games road race whilst riding for Denmark but she has ridden for New Zealand since becoming a citizen in 2009.

    "Olympics is like a dream and the second one is unbelievable. It was maybe not an accident that I went the first time but at least this time I feel more ready, and more happy and lots more proud," she told Fairfax NZ.

    While her result in Beijing was pleasing, this time she is a real contender to win a medal in London. Her two bronze and one silver medals at the past three world championships are proof that she can perform at the world’s biggest events.

    "I'm confident but there's a lot of good riders around, and a lot who have come back from retirement to do the time trial and they're very strong [such as American Kristin Armstrong and Canadian Clara Hughes]. They haven't been racing much in Europe, just in the US and Canada so we'll see how they go," she said.

    Villumsen rode the road race as the single New Zealand participant and while she wasn’t overly happy with her 18th place in the London Olympic road race, a early fall and dangerous conditions meant that simply crossing the line relatively unscathed was more important than risking another fall to gain a better result.

    "It happened on the first climb. I was behind Armstrong and she stood up and her bike went back half a metre. I hit it, then I was alright, and then I hit the next bike and I was down. It could have been bad. Lucky it was an uphill and not a...

  • Australian women’s team left heartbroken at end of Olympic road race

    A group of six formed at the front, including Amanda Spratt (GreenEDGE-AIS)
    Article published:
    July 30, 2012, 6:35 BST
    Cycling News

    Hosking: I am really disappointed and sorry to have let people down

    Australia’s young sprint hope for the women’s Olympic road race, Chloe Hosking crossed the line more than 16 minutes behind race winner Marianne Vos, visibly upset that she had performed well below expectations that day. Coming in to The Mall so far down, both Hosking and Australian road champion Amanda Spratt did not record an official place for the race.

    "There is probably a mushroom cloud somewhere on Box Hill that says Chole," Hosking told The Herald Sun. ""It's funny, I felt really good on the Staple Hill and then on Box Hill I was hanging, hanging, hanging [on] and then bang," she said.

    Shara Gillow was the best placed of the Australian’s in 29th-place however, a dropped chain inside the final 10km meant she lost contact with the group sprinting for fourth place. Spratt had also experienced bad luck during the race, with two punctures causing her to expend precious energy but like Hosking, made no excuses for their performance.

    "Chloe and I didn’t really have the legs today, to be in the race when it really went," said Spratt.

    "We had a few words together and we are quite close. You don't have to say too much to know how each other were feeling and it's not the greatest day," said Spratt.

    Hosking spoke after the race and was struggling to remain composed, holding back tears as she spoke with the media. It was a disappointing end for the 21-year-old but despite underperforming, she was already talking about the future.

    "Right now, so I don't fall apart [emotionally] I'm saying to myself that I'm 21 and while I didn't have the race I wanted to have, I've hopefully got another two or three Olympics ahead of me," Hosking told Fairfax.


  • Former Olympic champion sees bright future for British cycling

    Reigning champion Nicole Cooke (Great Britain).
    Article published:
    July 30, 2012, 8:27 BST
    Cycling News

    Cooke: We will see whether I am at another Olympics at another time

    The winner of the gold medal at the Beijing Olympics Nicole Cooke, had stated her form was on track to defend her Olympic title successfully. Cooke was aware she would be sharing the protected-rider role in the 140km with her Great Britain teammate Elizabeth Armitstead but given the opportunity, she would be able to deliver.

    "We are going to be ready to produce one of the best performances GB has done in an Olympics," Cooke told Western Mail prior to the start of the women’s race."

    Cooke hasn’t enjoyed the smoothest run since winning the Olympic road race and the world championships in 2008. She was confident however, that she had turned her season around at the perfect time and would be contending for a medal in the 140km race. In the end it was her teammate Armitstead who shone for the British team, collecting a silver medal for her efforts.

    "I made an error going around a corner, which was pretty stupid, but I got back into the pack, where we were marking the chasing Italian and German racers and waiting for the race to develop," she said.

    "Lizzie did a fantastic ride - we were there backing her up but she didn't need it because she was superb."

    It is the development of women’s cycling within Great Britain that Cooke was truly proud of. Her silver medal-winning teammate Armitstead is just 23-years-old and is a positive sign that British cycling isn’t just being developed on the men’s side of the sport.

    "It is nice to know women’s cycling has moved on so much over the years...

  • Gilbert pleased with Olympic performance

    Philippe Gilbert (BMC)
    Article published:
    July 30, 2012, 10:24 BST
    Cycling News

    Belgian to continue Worlds preparation at Vuelta a España

    One of the forefront protagonists at the Olympic road race on Saturday, Philippe Gilbert, has been continuing to build up good form after what has been a rather disappointing season so far for the BMC rider. The Belgian, who attacked twice in the 250km race and was riding solo in front before the finale, executed his national team's strategy to perfection: a powerful breakaway and Tom Boonen in the bunch in case of a mass sprint.

    Out of this lead group, Gilbert was able to jump away twice, once on the seventh ascent of Box Hill, then finally on the penultimate climb, where he established a real gap. The Classics specialist increased his advantage to nearly one minute as the race entered its final phase.

    "I think I did everything to make the race hard. I had great legs. We did everything we could within our range of possibilities," Gilbert told Het Nieuwsblad.

    With Fabian Cancellara, Luis Leon Sanchez and Alejandro Valverde having bridged up to the chasing break, the Spaniards brought back the Belgian attacker, while the peloton had lost its drive and remained at around one minute for the last 20 kilometres.

    "When it became clear that we would stay away with a thirtyful of riders, I directed my focus on Cancellara. I was lucky that I was able to avoid Fabian when he crashed," continued Gilbert, who was riding just behind the Swiss when he fell into the barriers of a corner, injuring his right shoulder.

    Adding to the polemic of the British team losing out on a mass sprint as Alexandre Vinokourov (Kazakhstan) claimed the desired Gold medal, Gilbert said that: "The British steered behind the TV motorbike. It was sad -...

  • Cancellara confirmed to start in Olympic time trial

    Article published:
    July 30, 2012, 13:19 BST
    Cycling News

    Swiss Olympic Committee announces title defence

    The Olympic time trial champion Fabian Cancellara will be able to defend his title on Wednesday despite an injury to his right shoulder, which he sustained last Saturday at the Olympic road race. The Swiss Olympic Committee has confirmed the participation on its website, without mentioning if 'Spartacus' is still in pain from the contusions and hematoma he suffered.

    Cancellara indicated he was still hampered by his painful shoulder during a training ride on Sunday, but since then the time trial favourite has not given any updates on his injury. "The pain is there. Will try to go for a little ride on the normal bike. Hope it will work," he wrote on his Twitter page yesterday.

    Cancellara fell in the closing kilometres of the road race as he was leading the breakaway through a corner. His rear wheel locked up and the Swiss rider ran straight into the barriers, crashing on his right shoulder which he already fractured earlier this year. Medical examinations on Saturday evening showed that there was nothing broken, but the injury could mean that the reigning time trial champion will not be up to his full capacity in the event scheduled for Wednesday.

  • US women gave it their all in Olympic road race

    Team USA signs in
    Article published:
    July 30, 2012, 17:08 BST
    Laura Weislo

    Neben, Stevens on the attack in London

    Just as they had in the men's Olympic road race, Team USA executed their plan of action perfectly in the women's event, but only luck was not on their side. Sprinter Shelley Olds gave the country its top result in seventh, but had been in the winning move with gold medalist Marianne Vos, second placed Lizzie Armitstead and bronze medal winner Olga Zabelinskaya before she punctured, en route to a much better finish had luck not been against her.

    Amber Neben and Evelyn Stevens, together with time trial gold medal prospect Kristin Armstrong, were some of the main animators of the race, counter-attacking the numerous moves from the Dutch team and Britain's Emma Pooley.

    Stevens was proud of how the team rode: "We raced really aggressively. I thought the US was a big part of the race today. I attacked after the second time up Box Hill. Emma [Pooley] and I were off the front and [Marianne] Vos and Shelley were in the move. For me, I thought, 'This is perfect. Shelley's there, this is what we want.' Unfortunately, she got a flat tire, so she dropped out of the break. So, we had to start attacking and chasing."

    Neben was also attentive at the front, marking moves and then chasing for Olds after she flatted out of the breakaway.

    "I was trying to be on everything in the first two thirds of the race, and help set something up for Evie or Shelley to go late. I thought we rode smart. We were on everything in the beginning of the race, and Shelley was with Vos when she went and that was the winning move, but she flatted."

    It took a bit too long for the team to figure out that Olds was no longer up front, and in fact it wasn't until Neben saw Olds on the side of...

  • Julian Kyer, Joe Schmalz join Bissell Pro Cycling

    Julian Kyer (Juwi Solar) riding to second place in the TT.
    Article published:
    July 31, 2012, 1:27 BST
    Pat Malach

    Roster receives a late-season boost

    Bissell Pro Cycling bolstered its roster for the tail end of the season by signing 2012 US elite national road and time trial champion Julian Kyer from Juwi Solar. He'll join Joe Schmalz from the Elbowz Racing team as the newest riders in the red-and-black Bissell team kits.

    Kyer, 24, will join the UCI Continental Team for the Tour of Utah August 7-12 and the USA Pro Cycling Challenge August 20-26 in Colorado. Schmalz, 22, will also suit up with the squad for the first time in Utah. Bissell team director Omer Kem said the team had planned to add more riders to its roster as the stage racing picked up with the Tour of Elk Grove, The Tour of Utah and the USA Pro Cycling Challenge.

    "What I wanted to be able do - and this was started last fall when I built the roster - was be able to add guys as I needed to at the end of the year after we saw who was riding well," Kem said. "It's especially good to give the young guys an opportunity. I added three guys from the development team. We haven't added anybody from another pro team or anything like that. So these are just opportunity spots."

    Kyer, of Boulder, rode for Trek-Livestrong in 2009 and 2010. He signed with Kelly-Benefit Strategies team in 2011 but had an off year for results. He ended up dropping back down to the amateur level for 2012 with the domestic elite Juwi Solar team out of Colorado. He finished second to Kenda/5-Hour Energy's Phil Gaimon at the Redlands Bicycle Classic prologue and stormed back in June with the double win at the national championships in Georgia.

    "He won [nationals] on Sunday, and on Monday I called and asked if he wanted to do Utah and Colorado for...

  • Martin: Not much hope for gold in time trial

    Time trial world champion Tony Martin (Omega Pharma-QuickStep)
    Article published:
    July 31, 2012, 3:37 BST
    Cycling News

    German says it's Wiggins' race to lose

    World time trial champion Tony Martin believes that while he is in medal contention for Wednesday's event, Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins has already got one hand on the Olympic gold medal.

    The men's 44 kilometre individual time trial starts and finishes at Hampton Court Palace.

    Martin broke his scaphoid on the first road stage of the Tour de France, eventually abandoning following the Stage 9 time trial where he punctured and eventually finished in 12th place, 2:16 down on the winning time of Wiggins. The German worked hard in the bid to bring back the main break for Andre Greipel's chances, before pulling out of the road race with 90km before the finish on The Mall. With question marks over Switzerland's Fabian Cancellara following his crash in Saturday's road race, Martin said that Wiggins is the outright favourite to win on Wednesday.

    "There's just one name and it's Bradley Wiggins. He's the one to beat," said Martin.

    The 27-year-old explained that the injury to the base of his wrist is still causing him difficulty, although his position on the time trial bike shouldn't cause this to be a factor.

    "The surface of the road on the course is quite bad but I don't think that's too big a problem, because I'm leaning forward and will be resting on my arms," Martin expained.

    "My goal for Wednesday is still a medal. I still hope for gold, but I don't have much hope left," he added.

    Wiggins stands to enter the history books should he win, earning the seventh medal of his Olympic career which began in Sydney in 2000 where he won bronze in the...