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First Edition Cycling News, Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Date published:
July 05, 2011, 1:00 BST
  • Rojas' green jersey solace to his injured teammates

    Jose Joaquin Rojas (Movistar) takes the green jersey.
    Article published:
    July 04, 2011, 20:37 BST
    Pierre Carrey

    Movistar will not fight to keep Spaniard in the lead

    By taking third in the bunch sprint in Redon, Movistar's sprinter José Joaquín Rojas carried out the mission his team gave him in the morning's briefing: to capture the green jersey in the Tour de France.

    "We expected such a performance from Rojas or Ventoso," directeur sportif Yvon Ledanois told Cyclingnews. "The green jersey is a solace to us. We needed it to feel a bit better after eight riders crashed in the first stage."

    The medical bulletin notably reported on Saturday that Andrey Amador, involved in two accidents, suffered from an ankle sprain while Benat Intxausti had an elbow injury. Both riders went to La Roche-sur-Yon for X-rays and were allowed to start again, but they are obviously weakened.

    Movistar is also coming to grips with the death of its team leader Xavier Tondó, who perished in a domestic accident in May, and the crash of their climber Juan Mauricio Soler at the Tour of Switzerland. The Colombian, who suffered a traumatic brain injury in the crash, has been taken out of an artificial coma, but is still unable to communicate.

    Despite his happiness to get the green jersey, Ledanois says Movistar won't control the race Tuesday to the uphill finish in Mûr de Bretagne. "The favourite tomorrow is Philippe Gilbert. He has a good chance to take the jersey back, so the pressure is not on our shoulders."

    Rojas is now leading the points classification with 60 points, ahead of Tyler Farrar (58 pts) and Philippe Gilbert (52 pts). Relegated for their...

  • Petacchi down but not out after stage 3 failure

    Alessandro Petacchi (Lampre ISD)
    Article published:
    July 04, 2011, 21:32 BST
    Daniel Friebe

    Italian's green jersey defence off to worst possible start

    Not that Mark Cavendish is one to revel in the misfortune of others, but if on Monday night he was looking for consolation, the Manxman could take heart from the fact that defending champion Alessandro Petacchi’s 2011 Tour de France green jersey campaign is even further behind schedule than his own.

    While Cavendish chewed bitterly over the race jury’s decision to strip him of the 10 points he’d earned in stage 3’s intermediate sprint in Saint-Hilaire-de-Challéons, Petacchi was left contemplating a meagre current points tally of four and a massive 60 point deficit from green jersey holder José Joaquin Rojas.

    Having opted out of the earlier intermediate sprint, Petacchi finished out of the points again on the finish-line in Redon, way down in 161st place.

    "I was right on Cavendish’s wheel but then he left a gap with two kilometres to go and I was suddenly way too far back," the veteran Italian explained on Monday night. "I was moving back up but then, on the last corner, Samuel Dumoulin crashed, and that was the end of my sprint.

    "The intermediate sprint, I didn’t do, because I’d rather concentrate on winning stages for now," he went on. "It would have cost me too much effort. Last year, I won the green jersey by initially getting stage victories and building up a lead. That’s pretty much going to be my tactic again this year."

    Even before Cavendish’s unorthodox manoeuvre with two kilometres to go, a brief surge off the front by Petacchi’s lead-out man Danilo Hondo had raised eyebrows....

  • Navardauskas earns his Tour de France stripes

    Ramunas Navardauskas (Garmin-Cervelo)
    Article published:
    July 04, 2011, 22:33 BST
    Brecht Decaluwé

    Lithuanian helps pull back break for Farrar victory

    During the build-up towards the Tour de France all team managers have to make hard decisions when they're making their selection for the race. At the Garmin-Cervélo team, the last spot ended up being a tie between Paris-Roubaix winner Johan Vansummeren and little-known rider Ramunas Navardauskas.

    The Lithuanian national champion showed great potential and good form in his first professional season, especially in the Ster ZLM Tour in which he finished third. In the end it was Navardauskas who made the selection, and after three days of racing we're sure that manager Jonathan Vaughters has no regrets at all about his decision.

    "It's amazing. It's so nice. It feels like I don't deserve this," Navardauskas said. "It's so amazing to be with these guys. You come here as the last guy in the team so I do all I can to help the guys."

    His best efforts proved quite fruitful in the past two days, as he helped deliver the team to the victory in Sunday's team time trial - a feat which also netted the yellow jersey for Thor Hushovd.

    On stage 3, Navardauskas and David Zabriskie were solely responsible for keeping tabs on the five-rider breakaway: the pair set tempo for some 140km before any the teams pitched in. That allowed his team to have six fresh riders to help set up Tyler Farrar for his first Tour de France sprint victory.

    "David Zabriskie helped me today and worked much more than me I think. It allowed me to rest a bit and save...

  • WADA pairs with pharmaceutical giant for doping detection

    WADA president John Fahey gives an address at a symposium in Lausanne, Switzerland.
    Article published:
    July 04, 2011, 23:48 BST
    Cycling News

    Agreement with GlaxoSmithKline reached for confidential information

    The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) announced today that it has signed a long-term agreement with pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline to get assistance in its efforts to stay on top of detection methods for emerging performance-enhancing drugs.

    The agency inked a deal with GSK in London last month which will allow it to have confidential information about products in the early stages of development which have the potential to be used as performance enhancing drugs. That information will allow the agency to develop tests before the drugs can find their way into the hands of athletes.

    "GSK has worked with WADA to establish a formal scientific review process within its Research and Development teams to help identify as early as possible drugs with potential for sports-related abuse. This includes regular reviews at key research milestones," the press release stated.

    A group of scientists will look for stimulatory effects or improved physical endurance, and any substances showing performance-enhancing characteristics will be flagged for WADA, and data delivered to the agency so it can begin to work on detection methods.

    The move follows a trend of cooperation between drug manufacturers and anti-doping authorities that dates back to the 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City, where Amgen helped testers come up with a detection method for Aranesp, the company's erythropoietin compound.

    The test, developed with UCLA's Don Catlin, was successful in catching three athletes for doping.

    In 2008, when the French anti-doping agency discovered riders using the newest blood booster CERA at the Tour de France, it was the drug's manufacturer Roche that helped to hone the test.

    In the past year, a relationship between the two sides has been more...

  • Galimzyanov and Brutt re-sign for Katusha

    Stage winner Denis Galimzyanov (Katusha) on the podium.
    Article published:
    July 05, 2011, 1:48 BST
    Cycling News

    Quick Step signs Trentin through 2013; teams announce trainees for August

    Katusha Team have announced that sprinter Denis Galimzyanov has been re-signed for a further two years.

    It's been a solid season for the 24-year-old, with a stage win in the Tour of Luxembourg and the Three Days of De Panne. He came second in Belgian semi-Classic Sheldeprijs and in two stages of Paris-Nice.

    Meantime, 2011 Russian Road Champion Pavel Brutt has extended his contract with the team until the end of 2012.

    Quick Step signs Trentin through 2013

    The Quick Step team announced that it has signed Italian Under 23 road champion Matteo Trentin through 2013. The 21 year-old winner of the G.P. Liberazione and Trofeo De Gasperi will join the team on August 1.

    "Matteo made a good impression on us, not only for his technical skills but also for his personality," said Team Manager Patrick Lefevere in a press release. "Trentin will join the team starting August 1st, 2011, and he'll race with us until the end of 2013. Matteo's arrival is the start of a wider project the team is working on for the immediate future, dedicated to young riders and their development."

    Garmin-Cervélo has signed the Raymond Kreder, who will join his brother Michel on the pro team, with a two-year contract. The Dutch rider is currently with the Chipotle Development team.

    Liquigas-Cannondale will bring on Moreno Moser through 2013. Moser, the nephew of former pro Francesco Moser, won two stages of the GiroBio, the U27 version of the Giro d'Italia. The team will also bring in Stefano Agostini, also a dual...

  • Evans poised to take yellow for seventh time in career

    Cadel Evans (BMC) wore the polka-dot jersey during stage 3.
    Article published:
    July 05, 2011, 3:22 BST
    Cycling News

    Australian happy to stay out of trouble in hectic stage 3 finish

    With just one second separating Cadel Evans from the yellow jersey, stage 3 had the potential to be a very dangerous stage for the BMC leader.

    Evans stayed out of trouble in the hectic finale, won by Garmin-Cervélo's Tyler Farrar, but the Australian could count himself lucky after George Hincapie and Manuel Quinziato were caught up in a crash with around 25 kilometres remaining in the 198 kilometre stage.

    "But it was nothing bad," BMC Racing Team Directeur Sportif John Lelangue said. "Amaël Moinard and [Ivan] Santaromita did a nice job to bring those guys back so they could protect Cadel in the final."

    The top ranks of the general classification unchanged, Thor Hushovd (Garmin-Cervélo) again pulled on the yellow jersey but it's unlikely that he'll have the same honour once in central Brittany. Evans is the next likely owner, following Tuesday's fourth stage between Lorient and Mûr-de-Bretagne. He was grateful that he made it to Monday's finish incident-free.

    "It was a nervous, dangerous stage with a fair bit of wind in the final," Evans said. "It seems they use more and more narrow roads in the Tour. It's great for excitement but puts the risk rating up a bit high. Fortunately, George [Hincapie] and Marcus [Burghardt] kept me in front most of the time."

    The 34-year-old's positioning will be just as, if not more important on Tuesday, with a two kilometre climb to the finish which has the potential to split the bunch and create time gaps among the general classification. Given the successful navigation of stage 1, it's a situation where Evans is both confident and...

  • Cavendish ready to prove doubters wrong

    Mark Cavendish (HTC-Highroad) was relegated from the intermediate sprint.
    Article published:
    July 05, 2011, 5:43 BST
    Cycling News

    'Write me off at your own peril,' says HTC-Highroad man

    Mark Cavendish (HTC-Highroad) has attacked those doubting his form, citing misfortune and poor positioning in the finale preventing him from taking a 16th Tour de France stage victory. The Manxman's HTC team worked well together to bring back the break, but were left too few riders in the final five kilometres.

    "The team did a great job for me today," explained Cavendish after the race. "We were just over run by Garmin [Cervelo] in the final few kilometres."

    "From then I was poorly placed in the sprint and I was slightly caught between [Romain] Feillu and [Jose Joaquin] Rojas. I still thought I could win but Feillu was all over the road and I was afraid of falling - so I slowed down. After that there was no chance to come back. Considering the circumstances I'm happy with fifth, but I'm also really disappointed to have not won today.

    "Of course I'm sure people will now say that I've lost my chance at the green jersey, or that I'm not as good [as last year]," said Cavendish. "Whoever writes me off [this early] is a fool."

    Mark Renshaw, who has been Cavendish's lead-out man in every one of the Brit's Tours, also shouldered some of the blame for the day's non-performance.

    "I'm making the calls. I'm in discussion with Cav. I made the call to get to the front around 25 kilometres to go. That may be the reason we got caught a little bit," he told the Sydney Morning Herald. "It was quite windy [out there], but I'm sure the teams have studied how we ride. It's no secret. They are catching up. Hopefully we can come back and win."

    The day was made worse when race commisaires decided to

  • UniSA continues committment to Australian cycling

    Tim Roe will join Trek-Livestrong after the Tour Down Under, but he's having a corker in Adelaide so far; he leads the mountains classification
    Article published:
    July 05, 2011, 6:53 BST
    Jane Aubrey

    Team funded for another four years as busiest seasons approach

    While some ProTeams struggle to secure sponsorship funds, there are no such worries for Australia's Team UniSA with the announcement that the tertiary educator will continue its backing for the outfit for a further four years.

    The team comes together once a year for Australia's sole UCI WorldTour event, the Tour Down Under, with Patrick Jonker now at the helm. Jonker rode for the team when he took out the 2004 event.

    UniSA's Vice Chancellor, Professor Peter Høj says the University is proud to confirm its continued support of South Australia's major sporting event, the Santos Tour Down Under, signing on as naming rights sponsor of the national team for another four years.

    "We are coming up to our 12th year of involvement with the Tour and are very pleased to continue to support this great South Australian event," Professor Høj said. "UniSA is committed to backing major South Australian events across the arts, education and sports, and to support both excellence and the opportunity for participation. We are also especially proud to provide an opportunity for young riders to showcase their talents on an international stage as part of the Australian team in the annual cycling event. The Tour Down Under promotes the wonderful place that is South Australia, but it is also about health, teamwork and community access to international excellence - values with which we strongly associate."

    Team UniSA has a unique place in the sport, given that it provides both a stepping stone for young riders and a safety net for those with uncertain futures.

    In 2011, Luke Roberts joined the team after he was left stranded following the demise of Pegasus. He rode to 10th overall and took home the mountains classification before resuscitating his career with...