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First Edition Cycling News, Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Date published:
June 10, 2014, 1:00 BST
  • Greipel on track for the Tour de France

    Andre Greipel (Lotto-Belisol)
    Article published:
    June 09, 2014, 9:50 BST
    Cycling News

    German claims solo victory at Tour of Luxembourg

    André Greipel showcased his pre-Tour de France form by taking a surprise solo win on the final stage of the Tour of Luxembourg on Sunday, the first such victory of his career.

    The German was part of the nine-man break that animated the day’s racing, alongside Andy Schleck (Trek Factory Racing), and was teed up for victory by his Lotto-Belisol teammate Greg Henderson, who attacked alone with 40 kilometres remaining.

    The finale was over five laps of a 5.5km finishing circuit that featured the stiff Pabeierbierg climb, but the terrain did not discourage Greipel, who bridged across to Henderson with two laps remaining. Henderson swung off at the foot of the final climb, and Greipel’s power was enough to see him finish 14 seconds clear of the peloton, which was led home by overall winner Matti Breschel (Tinkoff-Saxo).

    “This victory is something different than normal. It’s the first time in my pro career that I won solo,” Greipel said. “We really wanted to have someone in the break today because there was a chance it would make it in this last stage.”

    Greipel paid tribute to Henderson’s efforts, explaining that his teammate’s attack had allowed him to sit on the break and save himself for his attack in the finale. “Tactically we rode a really good final together. I had cramps at the end so it wasn't easy on that steep climb. I had to go really hard there,” he said.

    Lotto-Belisol directeur sportif Mario Aerts admitted that Greipel’s victory had been something of a surprise but said that it was an indication of his form ahead of the Tour de France. The German’s spring campaign was cut short by a broken collarbone sustained in a...

  • Fränk Schleck: Nobody is sure of Tour de France place

    Fränk Schleck (Trek)
    Article published:
    June 09, 2014, 16:06 BST
    José Been

    Luxembourger on Tour de Suisse, Andy and Michael Rogers

    After completing the Tour of Luxembourg in 9th place overall, Fränk Schleck now has his sights set on the Tour de Suisse, where he will aim to secure his berth in the Trek Factory Racing team for next month’s Tour de France.

    Schleck finished second on his last appearance in the Tour de Suisse in 2012, a month before he had to leave the Tour de France after a positive test for Xipamide. Although Schleck’s ban expired in July of last year, he didn’t return to the peloton until this season with the revamped Trek Factory Racing Team.

    After one and half years without racing, Schleck started the season early in the Tour Down Under. Throughout his absence from the pro peloton he had kept training with his brother Andy and teammate Laurent Didier.

    Schleck drew similarities between his story and that of Michael Rogers, who was cleared of wrongdoing after returning a positive test for clenbuterol at the Japan Cup last year. The Australian missed the start of the season as he was provisionally suspended, but recently claimed two stage victories at the Giro d’Italia.

    “Michael faced the same thing as I did. You know that you didn’t do something wrong but the procedures take long. Knowing you did nothing wrong keeps you on track, keeps you fighting and keeps you motivated for training. It’s good to see what he does. I’ve missed some luck up until now,” Schleck said.

    Schleck is happy with where he stands now, although an important result would have been preferable. Schleck showed good form in Paris-Nice, almost winning the last stage on the Boulevard des Anglais in Nice, and subsequently took sixth place in the Critérium International.

    “In the Ardennes classics I was always in the first group. I am competitive,” he told Cyclingnews about his Spring Classics campaign. “My shape is good. I am very optimistic that the race will once be in my...

  • Contador holds firm but loses stage to Froome

    A fan asks Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) for an autograph
    Article published:
    June 09, 2014, 16:46 BST
    Daniel Benson

    Spaniard pleased with showing on Col du Béal

    The battle between Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) and Chris Froome (Sky) on stage two of the Critérium du Dauphiné creates more questions than it possibly answers but one certainty is that the Spaniard is set to push the defending champion far closer both in this race and the Tour de France than he did last year.

    In last year’s Tour, where Chris Froome consistently dominated Contador, it looked as though the Spaniard had lost his sparkle. An almost winless season, a weak showing at the Tour de France and the ascendancy of Froome all looked set to signal the end of Contador’s stage racing dominance. For whatever reason, he had gone backwards, while a handful of the pack had not just caught up but surpassed him too.

    However, this year Contador has regained something close his best form. He won Tirreno-Adriatico with a near faultless display but with Froome absent from that race, the Dauphiné’s importance is magnified. On the slopes of the Col du Béal, the final climb of stage 2 of the Dauphiné, the pair crossed swords once more.

    Team Sky had set the pace for the majority of the stage and despite sweltering heat they still had strength in numbers as they tackled the lower slopes of the Béal. The early loss of Richie Porte – who is still finding his way towards top form – was the only blemish up that point as the black and blue train set their trajectory and honed in on the summit.

    When Froome’s last man Mikel Nieve peeled off, the Tour de France champion unleashed the first of several punishing attacks. It was like the Tour all over again, with Contador the only rider able to match the initial acceleration. He’d done...

  • Talansky impresses for Garmin-Sharp at the Dauphiné

    Andrew Talansky (Garmin-Sharp)
    Article published:
    June 09, 2014, 17:51 BST
    Daniel Benson

    American sits fourth overall but feet remain on the ground

    After two impressive days of racing in the Critérium du Dauphiné, Andrew Talansky (Garmin-Sharp) sits in fourth place overall, 33 seconds behind race leader Chris Froome (Team Sky).

    The American opened his eight-day race with a fine ride in the opening time trial in Lyon and backed up that performance with an assured and mature performance on the stage 2 battle on the slopes of the Col du Béal.

    It was Froome who came home to take back-to-back stages with his main rival Alberto Contador second. However Talansky claimed a solid fifth place and now sits ahead of the likes of Vincenzo Nibali, Michal Kwiatkowski and Tejay van Garderen in the overall standings.

    “Today isn’t typically my speciality early on in a race with just one climb. It’s usually a lot better for me if it’s repetitively hard and when people are tired but I’m really happy with how today went. I think I’ll be a little bit better for Saturday’s stage,” Talansky said at the finish.

    The American was initially dropped on the final climb after Froome blew apart the group with a vicious attack with over five kilometres remaining. However he clawed his way back up to an elite leading group that contained Contador, Froome, Nibali, Jurgen Van Den Broeck and Wilco Kelderman.

    “I did [get dropped] but that wasn’t so much the effort as positioning. These people fight and I understand that we’re in race but you have guys who fight tooth and nail and then they don’t have it when then first acceleration comes. That opens up a gap so instead of putting myself in the red I and one of the IAM guys just rode back up there. They were start-stopping so I could ride my own...

  • Dauphiné: Froome in control as Contador shows resilience

    Team Sky's Chris Froome leads a select group of climbers up the final climb of stage two
    Article published:
    June 09, 2014, 20:15 BST
    Daniel Benson

    Briton pays tribute to teammates after second stage win

    A victorious display on the second stage of the Critérium du Dauphiné from Chris Froome ensured that the Team Sky leader extended his lead over Tinkoff-Saxo's Alberto Contador to 12 seconds. The British rider attacked several times on the final climb of the Col du Béal, and showed some of his best form to date this year, however, he was unable to drop his Spanish rival. He was able to hold him off on the line and take back-to-back stages wins but it was a mixed day for Froome and his team.

    The British squad marshalled the peloton for the majority of the stage and expectedly set the pace on the climb to the finish. Contador, however, was a match for each of Froome’s race-splitting attacks and although the Tinkoff rider failed or was unwilling to attack, he is certainly closer to Froome than he was at this stage twelve months ago.

    On top of that Team Sky also saw Richie Porte crack earlier than they would have liked, although Nicolas Portal was quick to play down the significance of the Australian’s performance.

    “I don’t know about Richie,” Portal told Cyclingnews.

    “We heard on the radio that he didn’t feel good but we’re disappointed for him as we know he has been good in the last few weeks. Maybe it’s something to do with the hot weather but let's wait and see but sometimes in sport this happens.”

    As for Froome, he remains in control, and fended off attacks from Belkin's Wilco Kelderman and Garmin's Andrew Talansky before claiming his stage win.

    “Chris is still not at 100 per cent. He still has some training to do before the Tour...

  • Kelderman amazed with form at Dauphiné after tough Giro d’Italia

    Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Sharp) and Wilco Kelderman (Belkin)
    Article published:
    June 09, 2014, 20:33 BST
    Daniel Benson

    Belkin rider just behind Froome and Contador in GC

    While the majority of the Giro d’Italia peloton are relaxing with their feet up and enjoying a well-earned rest, Team Belkin's Wilco Kelderman is defying the odds, and his own expectations, with a more-than-solid display at the Critérium du Dauphiné in France.

    The young Dutch talent, who finished seventh in the corsa rosa, sits third overall in the week-long stage race after he claimed the same position on a mountainous stage 2 from Tarare to the summit of the Col du Béal. He is 21 seconds down on race leader Chris Froome (Team Sky) with Alberto Contador (Tinkoff Saxo) in second, 12 seconds back.

    Kelderman held his own on the final climb when Froome and Contador went toe-to-toe and the British rider split the race with a series of powerful assaults. He made contact with the two leaders once they briefly slowed and even went on the attack.

    “That was really good. I never expected to be going so well after the Giro. It was amazing. They were watching each other and Froome had to do it all by himself so I tried an attack,” he told Cyclingnews before descending the climb on his bike and in search of the team’s hotel.

    His attack on the Col du Béal was eventually neutralized by Froome and he held on for third, and even picked up two bonus seconds on the riders behind him. Although he came into the race with three-weeks of hard racing in his legs, he now believes that a high position in the Dauphiné is possible.

    “It’s still really close in GC and Froome wasn’t going to let people ride away but now I’ll look to the GC. It was hard to think about that after the Giro...

  • Tech: Teams break out the lightweight kit for Critérium du Dauphiné's mountainous stage 2

    Chris Froome’s (Team Sky) new road bike, the Pinarello Dogma F8 arrives in Tarare
    Article published:
    June 09, 2014, 21:15 BST
    Sam Dansie

    28-tooth top sprockets fitted to handle hills

    This article first appeared on BikeRadar.

    While riders were tackling yesterday’s tough 10.4km time trial in Lyon, won by Team Sky's Chris Froome, mechanics were busy prepping road bikes for today’s lumpy second stage at the Critérium du Dauphiné that finished atop the Col du Béal.

    Froome took back-to-back victories in the first two stages, proving yet again that he is as adept against the clock as he is climbing mountains. It was his first win aboard the Pinarello Dogma F8, released at the end of the Giro d'Italia.

    Only Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) could survive with the Briton's high-cadence pace, as the pair crossed the finish line with the same time.

    Trek also chose the second stage to debut its new, yet-to-be-launched road frame.

    Many riders opted for a 28-tooth ring in their cassette to cope with the interminable hills they faced during the 158.5km stage that culminated at the top of the Col du Béal.

    Check out the gallery of bikes and tech here.

  • Arredondo extends with Trek Factory Racing after impressive Giro d'Italia

    Julian Arredondo (Trek Factory Racing) all smiles on the Stage 18 podium
    Article published:
    June 10, 2014, 9:58 BST
    Susan Westemeyer

    Colombian to stay with team until 2016

    Julian Arredondo, who won the mountains classification at the Giro d’Italia last month, has extended his contract with the Trek Factory Racing team and will now stay with the team through the 2016 season.

    The Colombian joined the team this year after two years with the Continental-ranked Team Nippo–De Rosa. He immediately won two stages at the Tour de San Luis and rode well in Fleche Wallone and Liege-Bastogne-Liege. The Giro d'Italia was his first Grand Tour and he also won the 18th stage to the Rifugio Panarotta.

    “In the short time that Julian has been in the pro peloton, he has solidified his place there,” said team manager Luca Guercilena in a press release announcing Arredondo's contract extension. “His appetite for racing is contagious and in the same time he’s always ready to learn lessons, being new to this level of racing and all. His mindset is right and his talent is obvious.”

    The 25-year old was also very happy. “I have had so much support from everyone in the team. An extra year added to my contract is a sign that the team believes in me. It is also a recognition of the hard work I have done,” he said. “It means great satisfaction for me. It means security and stability and it makes me hungry to keep working hard and ambitious for more nice results.”

    Guercilena sees the contract extension as a long-term investment. “We believe in him. Trek believes in him. His future is bright.”

    Arredondo is now taking a break back home in Colombia. His next goals are the Tour of Utah and the Tour of Colorado in August.