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First Edition Cycling News, Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Date published:
June 11, 2013, 1:00 BST
  • Meyer remains ambitious despite losing Suisse lead

    Cameron Meyer (Orica GreenEdge) was keen not to lose too much time during Stage 3
    Article published:
    June 11, 2013, 2:43 BST
    Cycling News

    Orica GreenEdge rider chasing another top 10 performance

    The last climb of the day on Stage 3, the category one Hasliberg may have brought an end to Cameron Meyer's time in the yellow jersey at the Tour de Suisse, but the Orica GreenEdge rider is hopeful of retaining a position in the top 10 by the end of the race.

    "Don't think I have done 205km harder or faster before," he said via his twitter feed on Monday. "Can't thank my @Orica_GreenEDGE team mates enough. Simply awesome. I aim for top ten."

    Meyer held just a three second buffer heading into Monday's third stage and teammate Michael Albasini rode into the day's break to take some of the pressure off the Australian. Albasini was eventually the last man out front by the time the race hit the Hasliberg.

    "He did a fantastic job riding at the front of the race which forced other teams to do the work," said sports director Lorenzo Lapage of the Swiss rider. "The rest of the boys did an excellent good job of looking after Cam as they long as they could in the bunch."

    Once caught, Albasini found Meyer in a bid to limit losses and the former Tour Down Under winner eventually finished 1:47 back on stage winner Peter Sagan (Cannondale). Albasini fell back 38 seconds in arrears. Meyer is 11th on the general classification, 1:42 back from new yellow jersey Mathias Frank (BMC). 

    Over the last six weeks, Meyer has produced a string of encouraging results following a slower-than-hoped start to the season. Sixth at the Tour of Turkey, fifth at the Tour of California – Meyer is hoping to keep the momentum going.

    "The team will continue to look out for Cam's GC ambitions," explained Lapage. "The overall will be decided in the final days of the tour – the penultimate day and the time trial. We expect...

  • Sagan surprised with Suisse stage win

    Peter Sagan (Cannondale) on the podium at the Tour de Suisse following his Stage 3 victory
    Article published:
    June 11, 2013, 6:30 BST
    Cycling News

    Slovakian encouraged by form in the lead in to the Tour de France

    The odds of Peter Sagan (Cannondale) taking the Tour de France green jersey shortened somewhat on Monday with the Slovakian claiming an impressive victory on Stage 3 of the Tour de Suisse.

    Sagan made a move around Rui Costa (Movistar) to take the win after the Portugese rider effectively led him out. While Sagan's comparative strength once the final selection had been made shocked no one, the 23-year-old was more than pleased at having found himself in contention. With 22km to the finish line, a category one climb stood in the way, with general classification contenders the likes of Tejay van Garderen and his BMC team pushing the pace.

    "Honestly I'm surprised to be able to take this win," explained Sagan. "In the morning meeting with DS we thought that this finale was too hard to try a move. The stage looked good when I stayed with the leaders on the final climb. On the descent, the group got smaller and with the other three riders I pushed to go to the finish. The final sprint wasn't so easy. I knew I was the faster rider of the group but my legs felt tired due to the last climb. I preferred a two-up sprint with Rui Costa to not run any risks."

    The battle for the green jersey at the Tour de France is thought to be a two-horse race between defending champion Sagan and 2011 winner Mark Cavendish. With a sprint stage ahead on today at the Tour de Suisse, Sagan will get another chance to hone his form. Last month, Sagan took his tally at the Tour of California to 10 stages while also adding his fourth points classification at the US race. Monday's win was Sagan's 11th victory of the 2013 season.

    "I'm really happy for this win and to have found the first positive sign of...

  • Immediate return for White as Orica GreenEdge implements Vance recommendations

    Orica-GreenEdge's Stuart O'Grady (left) and sports director Matt White before the start of the Down Under Classic in Adelaide.
    Article published:
    June 11, 2013, 8:22 BST
    Jane Aubrey

    Sports director says team in "good position" heading into Tour de France

    Matt White has be reinstated to his role of sports director with Orica GreenEdge in line with the recommendations set out by the Vance Review, released last month.
    The team has announced that all of the recommendations set out by Nicki Vance, a former World Anti-Doping Agency director, will be implemented. White meanwhile, will be subject to a 12 month probationary period.

    White has been with the squad at the Tour de Suisse over the last few days and will officially return to work today for Stage 4.

    "I've learned a thing or two over the past eight months but I'm still the same person I was at the end of last year when I was working for the team," White told Cyclingnews while out on a morning walk in the rain.

    "Personally, I'm very happy with the decisions I made in October – not so much with the decisions I made as an athlete. I'm very appreciative of our sponsors, especially Orica and more so Gerry Ryan for actually understanding where cycling is at on its journey to redemption."

    General manager Shayne Bannan said he was pleased to have White back with the team. The former Cofidis and United States Postal Service rider, and former Garmin DS was stood down from his role with GreenEdge in the wake of the United States Anti-Doping Agency's Reasoned Decision in October 2012. White received a six-month back-dated ban having confessed to doping violations.

    "We have reviewed and will constantly continue to review our management, and it was clear that Matt White is the right person for the job," said Bannan in a team statement. "I am sure he again will be an invaluable part of our management and a true asset to the riders and the staff. His perspective on the sport and his...

  • Rolland stopped by French health test

    Pierre Rolland (Europcar)
    Article published:
    June 11, 2013, 8:58 BST
    Cycling News

    Rider shouldn’t have started last Dauphiné stage, says doctor

    Pierre Rolland abandoned the Dauphiné after 20 kilometres of racing on the last stage, citing tendon problems that had affected him on Saturday evening after he took part in a breakaway for most of stage 7.

    But according to Dr Mégret who independently conducts health tests for the French cycling federation (FFC), the National League of Pro Cycling (LNC Pro) and the Movement for a Credible Cycling (MPCC), the Europcar rider shouldn’t not have taken to the start on Sunday due to abnormally low cortisol levels.

    Once the news was broken by on Monday morning, team manager Jean-René Bernaudeau denied that his team had contravened the rules of the League and the Movement he adheres to.

    “Pierre was controlled at 6.45am”, Bernaudeau explained. “Normally, half an hour is necessary to get a reliable result. It was impossible to get it on time because of the very early start time of the stage. We contacted Dr Mégret who authorized the start.”

    Bernaudeau’s version is now contradicted by the doctor. “The test was done on Saturday morning”, Mégret told Reuters.

    “On Saturday evening, there was a problem [only in the case of Rolland out of 42 riders of French teams tested during the Dauphiné]. I followed the procedure. I immediately called the team doctor [Hubert Long] to let him know. As always, I called a panel of experts who advised on the matter. When we conduct this kind of test for the FFC, we send a registered letter to the riders so he gives his license back until the health problem is resolved. When it’s for the MPCC and the League, the contraindication is immediate. I’ve kept record of my communications with the team doctor on the phone and via email. I’ve sent him all data of lab quality control, times and results. This...

  • Basso to return at Italian national championships

    Ivan Basso (Cannondale)
    Article published:
    June 11, 2013, 10:19 BST
    Cycling News

    Italian to skip Tour and build towards Vuelta a España

    Ivan Basso (Cannondale) is planning to return to competitive action at the Italian road race championships on June 22 after missing the Giro d’Italia due to a perineal cyst. The 35-year-old will not ride the subsequent Tour de France but will instead build steadily towards the Vuelta a España.

    This year’s Italian championships take place in Val di Non and, like in 1994, the elite’s men road race also doubles as the Trofeo Melinda. Basso finished 4th in the Trofeo Melinda in 2009 but said that he harbours no personal ambitions on the course this year.

    “I want to be at the start of the Italian championships,” Basso told Gazzetta dello Sport. “Naturally, I won’t be in any way competitive for the win, but we have some riders on the team who can aim at the title. I’m thinking of Moreno Moser and, above all, Damiano Caruso. I think my presence could be important.”

    Basso missed the national championships in 2011 when an Italian federation ruling barred riders with past doping suspensions from competing. The veteran, who served suspension for his links to blood doping doctor Eufemiano Fuentes, was a vocal critic of the regulation, which was withdrawn last season.

    Basso only returned to training ten days ago after spending over a month off the bike in the wake of his late withdrawal from the Giro, just two days before the start in Naples. He has been forced to forgo the Tour de France and will instead ride the Tour of Austria, Tour of Poland and Vuelta a Burgos as preparation for the Vuelta a España.

    “I haven’t raced since the Tour de Romandie and went practically a month without touching the bike,” Basso said. “Now I’ve been back...

  • Bruyneel: I'm no devil

    Johan Bruyneel and Lance Armstrong in the good old days
    Article published:
    June 11, 2013, 11:59 BST
    Cycling News

    Lawyers won't let me talk, says former US Postal manager

    Former US Postal Service and RadioShack manager Johan Bruyneel has said that he would like to speak publicly about his role in the Lance Armstrong affair but his lawyers have told him not to.

    Armstrong confessed to doping during his time at US Postal Postal under Bruyneel’s management and confirmed that there was a systematic doping programme in place on the team.

    “After a long silence, I am eager to speak my mind but my lawyers have instructed me to stay quiet,” Bruyneel told Belgian magazine Humo. “The current procedures make it impossible. But I can say one thing: I’m no devil. The public may think that but eventually everyone will get a better understanding of the situation and that image will change.”

    Bruyneel was removed as manager of the RadioShack squad in October following the publication of USADA’s Reasoned Decision on the Armstrong case. He is mentioned repeatedly in USADA’s dossier on the doping culture in place on the US Postal Service team.

    A nine-page section titled “Johan Bruyneel’s involvement in doping” includes rigorous detail of the Belgian’s organisation of the doping programme at the team and states: “The overwhelming evidence in this case is that Johan Bruyneel was intimately involved in all significant details of the US Postal team’s doping program […] He was on top of the details for organising blood transfusion programs before the major Tours, and he knew when athletes needed to take EPO to regenerate their blood supply after extracting blood.”

    Bruyneel did not refute those allegations outright in the Humo interview, but he did deny that he had placed his riders’ health at risk. “These accusations hit me very heavily and when my mother calls me in tears because she has read...

  • The Official Tour de France Guide 2013 – Available now

    The Official Tour De France Guide 2013 – Available NOW!
    Article published:
    June 11, 2013, 12:47 BST
    Cycling News

    Pick up your copy today

    Celebrate the build up to the world´s greatest race with the Official Tour de France Guide 2013. Put together by the team behind Procycling magazine, and, and featuring the best cycling writers in the world, this year´s guide is available to order now!

    This year´s massive 228-page official programme comes packed with detailed maps and profiles of each stage, stats for every rider, interviews with the stars, expert analysis and a lot more.

    In addition to the official programme the souvenir pack also contains:

    • A highlights DVD with all the best action from last years Tour.

    • A massive wall planner for filling in the stage winner and jersey holders after each day´s racing.

    • Classic book extracts with dramatic stories from some of the legends of the Tour.

    • The official, fold-out, full-size race route map to stop you getting lost on the roads of France (should you be lucky enough to be there!). Looks great on your wall too!

    The Official 2013 Tour de France Souvenir Pack, containing the Official UK Tour de France Programme, is on sale in all good UK newsagents, priced £9.99, and is available to order online now, including free delivery.

    Don’t miss out, order here today!

  • USA Pro Challenge announces 16-team field

    Riders take to the line in Durango.
    Article published:
    June 11, 2013, 14:59 BST
    Cycling News

    Team Sky to make first appearance in Colorado

    The USA Pro Challenge today announced the 16 teams which will contest the third edition of the seven-day stage race, taking place August 19-25 in Colorado. Seven ProTeams have been invited to the UCI 2.HC-ranked event, including Team Sky which will be making its USA Pro Challenge debut. BMC Racing Team, Team Garmin-Sharp, Cannondale Pro Cycling and RadioShack Leopard each return for the third time while the ProTeam selection is rounded out by Argos-Shimano and Saxo-Tinkoff Bank, each making their second start in Colorado.

    Four UCI Pro Continental teams will compete in Colorado with Team Novo Nordisk and UnitedHealthCare Pro Cycling each returning for the third time. Champion System Pro Cycling Team makes its second straight start in Colorado while the Colombia squad makes its USA Pro Challenge debut this August.

    The USA Pro Challenge peloton is rounded out by five UCI Continental teams: Bissell Pro Cycling, Bontrager Cycling Team, Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies, Jelly Belly p/b Kenda and Jamis-Hagens Berman p/b Sutter Home. Four of the five Continental squads are making return appearances in Colorado with Bissell the only team to make its third start while Jamis-Hagens Berman p/b Sutter Home makes its USA Pro Challenge debut.

    "After featuring an impressive lineup of teams and riders for the first two editions of the USA Pro Challenge, the 2013 race will host the most competitive field yet," said Shawn Hunter, CEO of the Pro Challenge. "Interest from teams continues to grow year after year, making the selection of these 16 even more difficult, but we looked at the stats and listened to the fans, and have put together a field that is going to keep things interesting down to the last minute of racing in Denver."

    While Team Sky hasn't confirmed their roster yet, the British team features a pair of young Americans in their first year at the WorldTour level, Joe...