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First Edition Cycling News, Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Date published:
June 15, 2010, 1:00 BST
  • Roche secures Tour selection

    Nicolas Roche (AG2R La Mondiale)
    Article published:
    June 15, 2010, 0:41 BST
    Cycling News

    Ag2r-La Mondiale name three riders

    Ireland’s Nicolas Roche is one of three riders pre-selected for the Tour e France by the Ag2r-La Mondiale team. Frenchmen John Gadret and Christophe Riblon have also been named for the final nine-rider squad, while 12 other riders are under consideration for the remaining six places.

    Roche tore his hamstring during the Tour de Romandie in late April and spent several weeks out of action, but has recovered well and finished fourth in the recent GP Canton d’Argovie. He is currently riding the Tour de Suisse.

    Gadret finished 13th in the Giro d’Italia, while Riblon was seventh overall in the Critérium du Dauphiné.

    Amongst the 12 riders fighting for Tour de France selection are Italy’s Rinaldo Nocentini, who wore the yellow jersey during last year’s Tour de France and current French national champion Dimitri Champion.

    Nocentini broke his leg in February and is riding the Tour de Suisse to find some form and secure a place in the Tour de France.

    The other riders are: Maxime Bouet, Cyril Dessel, Hubert Dupont, David Le Lay, Julien Loubet, Lloyd Mondory, Ludovic Turpin, Jose-Luis Arrieta, Vladimir Efimkin and Martin Elmiger.

  • Bruyneel "speechless" after Vuelta snub

    Johan Bruyneel ties up a few loose ends before the start of stage one.
    Article published:
    June 15, 2010, 0:42 BST
    Cycling News

    Belgian thought announcement was a mistake

    Team Radioshack director Johan Bruyneel has rejected the Vuelta a España organiser’s claim that his team wasn’t good enough to make the 22 team cut for this year’s Grand Tour. Bruyneel countered the snub by accusing the sport of being unprofessional, something he’s vowed to help change.

    Radioshack had expected to earn one of the Vuelta’s six wildcard invitations after submitting a roster for the event that included Levi Leipheimer, Andreas Klöden, Chris Horner and Jani Brajkovic.

    “I am not only surprised, I am speechless,” said Bruyneel. “At first I thought it was a mistake so I called organiser Javier Guillén for some explanation. He told me that the other teams offered him better options on a sporting level. I had to ask him to repeat it as I could not believe this but I heard right: we didn’t offer a good enough team.

    “I cannot accept or understand this decision,” he added. “With Levi Leipheimer, Andreas Klöden, Chris Horner and Jani Brajkovic we had four potential Vuelta winners on the roster we sent to Unipublic. Our 2010 Team goals were the Tour de France and the Tour of Spain. That’s why - together with the need to perform well in the Tour of California – we skipped the Tour of Italy this year. ”

    Clearly angered by Unipublic’s decision to invite Andalucia – Cajasur, Cervelo Test Team, Garmin – Transitions, Sky Professional Cycling Team, Team Katusha and Xacobeo Galicia over his own squad, Bruyneel vowed to fight for teams’ rights. Some 16 teams were already assured a start at the Vuelta under an agreement penned in 2008, including the Astana team that Bruyneel formerly led.

    "After what I heard today, I take it as a personal mission: from now on I will fight for the interests of the cycling teams. It will be more than just a goal,” he said. “I will work for it as hard...

  • BMC Racing admits Vuelta ride unrealistic

    BMC Racing Team president Jim Ochowicz has helped the organization grow into a reputable UCI Pro Continental team. This was a busy morning for him following the Floyd Landis declarations the previous night.
    Article published:
    June 15, 2010, 9:40 BST
    Cycling News

    Giro and Tour the priorities for Ochowicz's squad

    Following the announcement of the 22 teams to ride this year's Vuelta a España, BMC Racing has explained why it was not seeking an invitation despite being the team of Cadel Evans, current UCI road world champion and overall podium finisher at the 2009 Vuelta.

    BMC Racing Team President Jim Ochowicz (pictured right) released a statement outlining why the team wouldn't be lining up for the year's third Grand Tour, which starts in Seville on August 28.

    "When we were putting our racing program together for 2010, our initial commitment was to the Giro d'Italia," said Ochowicz. "From an organisational standpoint, we felt that we could do one Grand Tour."

    Evans was the designated leader for the Giro d'Italia, taking fifth overall, although he tackled the mountainous parcours of the final week largely without the support of teammates, most of which had abandoned during the first two weeks of racing.

    This was in contrast to overall winner Ivan Basso and second-placed David Arroyo, both of whom relied on the support of their Liquigas-Doimo and Caisse d'Epargne squads respectively during the torturous final week of racing to maintain their position on general classification.

    The scenario demonstrated that the squad currently lacks the depth necessary to take on all three Grand Tours and Ochowicz recognised this in his statement, admitting that three Grand Tours would stretch the team's limits too far.

    "If the opportunity came up, we could do one additional Grand Tour, like the Tour de France, as well," he continued. "At this time, the BMC Racing Team doesn't have enough riders on the roster - or enough staff - to do three Grand Tours.

    "Therefore, we felt the maximum of two Grand Tours was all that we could handle. We would like to take a look at the Vuelta for the future. But for 2010, it is...

  • Boonen unsure for Belgian nationals

    Belgian star Tom Boonen is interviewed before the start.
    Article published:
    June 15, 2010, 9:43 BST
    Susan Westemeyer

    Knee problem from California crash continues

    Tom Boonen is unsure whether he will be able to defend his title in the Belgian national road championship race Sunday, June 27. He is still suffering from a knee problem he picked up in a crash at the Tour of California last month.

    “I'm not worried,” he told the Belgian newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws. “But it will be tricky for the the Belgian championships. I will try to go the start of the Tour a week later in good form. I still have three weeks before the start.”

    “My right knee is still not right after the fall in California,” he added. “I feel it quite clearly by climbing.”

    Boonen is currently riding the Tour de Suisse. He finished 142nd in the prologue, over one minute down. Because of the knee pains, he dropped back on the final climb during Sunday's second stage and finished nearly 10 minutes down. On Tuesday, he finished exactly 10 minutes behind winner Fränk Schleck.

  • Haussler's season finally 'starts'

    Heinrich Haussler (Cervelo TestTeam) catches his breath after victory
    Article published:
    June 15, 2010, 10:15 BST
    Cycling News

    Cervélo star breaks the shackles after win

    Having endured a forgettable Spring campaign through injury, Cervélo TestTeam's Heinrich Haussler is now anticipating a solid Tour de France and relishing his newly-found form after winning stage one of the Tour de Suisse on Sunday.

    Haussler, who won a stage of last year's Tour de France in what was a memorable season, has been plagued by injury thus far in 2010 and the win in Sierre signalled a return to form for one of the peloton's most exciting prospects.

    "For me the season starts here and now," he told radsport-news. "It also gives me confidence for the Tour - my form is improving."

    During last month's Amgen Tour of California, the 26-year-old experienced a recurrence of the knee pain that kept him out of the Spring Classics before a vehicle accident that occurred whilst he was driving drunk added insult to injury during a season that threatened to be a write-off.

    This success has the Australian-born German back on track however, and he described the difficulty he faced throughout the day's closing kilometres: "It was really hard today. No one expected that the last mountain would be so hard - there were many attacks by the climbers," he explained.

    "We were only 30, 40 men and on the downhill some more reached us. But when I looked around, there wasn't one of my helpers around, which made it even harder. But I knew that the last 200 metres were uphill and that there would be wind, so I waited and waited for the right moment and yes, it was a beautiful victory."

    His Tour stage win also came in difficult circumstances, and Haussler is aware that he must not reach too far during the remainder of the Swiss event if he hopes to emulate his 2009 performances next month in France.

    "There are a lot harder stages [at the Tour de Suisse] and I will not go too deep. But if there's another chance for a win or two on offer again, I will definitely try it," he added.

  • Fränk Schleck confident for Tour after Suisse success

    Cancellara may have lost the race lead but Schleck won the stage
    Article published:
    June 15, 2010, 10:55 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    Saxo Bank rider dedicates win to baby daughter

    Fränk Schleck’s stage victory at the Tour de Suisse showed that the lanky Saxo Bank rider is on form and ready for next month’s Tour de France.

    Last summer Schleck was troubled by a knee problem that also affected his performance in the Tour.

    He timed his winning attack perfectly, accelerating just before the final kilometre after other riders went too deep too soon. Schleck won the Amstel Gold race in 2006 and compared the finale of the stage to Schwarzenburg to a major Classic.

    ”It was an incredibly tough finale which in many ways reminded me of the Ardennes Classics. 300 metres from the top of the climb, I launched the crucial attack and the last kilometre from the top of the climb to the finish line was probably the longest I have ever done,” he said.

    “The victory came a little earlier but I’ve been feeling good for a few weeks. The birth of my daughter Lia, on the day of my birthday on April 15, has changed me. And I would like to dedicate my success here and at the Tour of Luxembourg to her.”

    Schleck and his younger brother Andy finished fifth and second in the 2009 Tour de France, with Franck winning a stage in Le Grand-Bornand after the two brothers worked together. They will again form a special duo in this year’s Tour to take on Alberto Contador.

    "In 2009, I started the Tour with a knee problem. This year, I can’t promise that me and Andy will do as well again but there are two of us and will give it everything to try and win,” he told Swiss newspaper Le Matin.

    “Lance Armstrong is the greatest rider of all time and is also in contention, but the number one favourite remains Alberto Contador. Of course that does not mean we won’t try and beat him.”

    Teammate Fabian Cancellara lost the overall race lead to Tony Martin (HTC-Columbia) by a single second but Schleck is convinced that someone from...

  • Sky looking forward to first Vuelta

    British Cycling performance director Dave Brailsford
    Article published:
    June 15, 2010, 12:14 BST
    Susan Westemeyer

    British team rides all three Grand Tours in first year

    Team Sky is looking forward to its first Vuelta a España after being one of six teams to receive a wild-card invitation to the Spanish race from race organisers Unipublic. The new British ProTour team is now set to ride all three Grand Tours in its maiden season.

    "It's very, very pleasing to know that we'll be taking part in the Vuelta this year - it's great news for the team,” said team principal Dave Brailsford.

    "It's terrific to be able to race in the Giro d'Italia, the Tour de France and the Vuelta a España in our debut season and that has always been a big aim for us."

    "It's been one of the hardest Vueltas to get into for a number of years and we never took anything for granted. The process started a little while ago and this news is a real vote of confidence in the team and everything we are trying to do with it.

    "We'll have a really strong squad and the riders are all ready for it - we're delighted to be given the opportunity to fly the Team Sky flag in such a significant event."

    Race organisers announced the 22 teams who will participate in the race on Monday. 16 of the teams were covered by an 2008 agreement, with six other invitations going to Team Sky, Andalucia-Cajasur, Cervelo TestTeam, Garmin-Transitions, Katusha and Xacobeo Galicia. Team RadioShack and BMC Racing Team did not receive invitations, sparking a furious reaction from Johann Bruyneel.

  • Procycling and Cyclingnews Tour de France evening

    Daniel Lloyd (Cervélo Test Team)
    Article published:
    June 17, 2010, 11:32 BST
    Cycling News

    At Look Mum No Hands! June 21st, from 7pm

    There’s only one international sporting event worth talking about this summer - and it isn’t the one that's just kicked off in South Africa.

    The Tour de France begins in Rotterdam on July 3, and the drums start rolling with Procycling and Cyclingnews’s inaugural pre-Tour soirée on the evening of June 21st. The time is 7 o’ clock, the place Look Mum No Hands!, London’s first and foremost cycling-themed bar and café.

    The evening itself is also the first of its kind for Procycling and Cyclingnews, for London and for the Tour. There’ll be cycling chat – lots of that thanks to a Tour round-table chaired by a panel of experts including Cervélo TestTeam star Daniel Lloyd and top cycling author Richard Moore – plus a prize draw and, bien sûr, everything you require to nourish and lubricate a brilliant evening, naturally with a very French flavour.

    Located in Old Street, barely a turn of the pedals from the heart of the City, Look Mum No Hands! has already established itself as a new focal point for cycling culture in London. Our soirée is the perfect hors d’oeuvre for live stage screenings on the café’s big screen throughout the Tour.

    Procycling and Cyclingnews are now widely acclaimed as the world’s leading professional cycling magazine and website respectively. We’ll show why with this unmissable evening of punditry, gastronomy and Tour-related tomfoolery.

    To be added to guest list, please reply to, specifying whether you would like to book one or two places. Numbers are limited, and places will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. Entry is free.