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First Edition Cycling News, Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Date published:
June 19, 2012, 1:00 BST
  • Rabobank names Tour de France squad

    Robert Gesink (Rabobank) is building up for another Tour de France campaign
    Article published:
    June 18, 2012, 19:45 BST
    Cycling News

    Six Dutchmen in - Mollema and Gesink main GC hopes

    Dutch outfit Rabobank has named its provisional team for the 2012 Tour de France, which starts in Liège on June 30. Their main challenge in the overall general classification will as expected be led by Robert Gesink and Bauke Mollema, while Steven Kruijswijk has been named as co-leader in what will be his first appearance in the race.

    In all there will be six Dutch riders in orange on the start line, with three foreign riders - Mark Renshaw (Austraila), Luis Leon Sanchez (Spain) and Martin Wynants (Belgium) - making up the rest of the team of nine.

    Gesink has run into form over the last couple of months, having won the Amgen Tour of California in May and secured fourth overall at the Tour de Suisse, which finished on Sunday. He finished 6th overall (upgraded to 5th after the Alberto Contador clenbuterol conviction) at the 2010 Tour de France and has therefore got proven form in the book at cycling's showpiece event.

    Mollema is the team's other big GC hope. Although he has had a underwhelming 2012 so far, observers will point to his superb performance at last year's Vuelta a Espana, where he finished 4th, as evidence of his Grand Tour pedigree. Rabobank will also look to take points in the sprints via Renshaw, who proved his well being at the recent Ster ZLM Toer and appears to be finally making good progress in his leap from lead-out man to full blown number one sprinter.

    It will be particularly interesting to see how Mollema and Gesink perform. Only last month the Dutch duo were told to move on to fulfill their potential by former Rabobank stalwart Michael Boogerd, who criticised the team for a lack of ambition.

    Rabobank squad for 2012 Tour...

  • Fuglsang disappointed to miss Tour de France

    Jakob Fuglsang donned the red leader's jersey
    Article published:
    June 19, 2012, 0:38 BST
    Cycling News

    RadioShack issues "only the tip of the iceberg"

    After winning the Tour of Luxembourg and working diligently for RadioShack-Nissan teammate Fränk Schleck in the Tour de Suisse, Jakob Fuglsang was expected to be selected for the Tour de France. Although he was named to the team's long list for July, the Dane was surprisingly left off the final roster, announced today.

    In his place was Chris Horner, a rider who was not listed in the long team, but who petitioned for his inclusion for the Tour, insisting his back injury that flared up after the Tour of California was all better.

    Interviewed by, Fuglsang wouldn't speculate as to the reasons why he was not chosen for the Tour team. "I was told by Kim Andersen, but he could not say why," the 27-year-old Dane said.

    "Of course I'm disappointed with it and I think I should have a place on the team. If you look at my form and my results, I can not see that there are nine riders who are better."

    The flip-flop in selections could be related to Andy Schleck's broken sacrum, which was discovered last week, as stated by RadioShack press officer Philippe Maertens. The decision could also be related to Fuglsang's own admission that he is considering moving back to the Saxo Bank squad, or it could simply be that the team, sponsored by two US sponsors, wanted...

  • Small takes over NRC lead

    Carmen Small (Optum Pro Cycling p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies) won the TT and claimed the leader's jersey.
    Article published:
    June 19, 2012, 2:28 BST
    Cycling News

    Mancebo, Competitive Cyclist fends off challengers

    The standings of USA Cycling's National Racing Calendar shifted after the Nature Valley Grand Prix, with Optum Pro Cycling's Carmen Small forming a commanding lead in the women's individual rankings after her overall victory there.

    Small claimed the opening time trial and held onto her race lead throughout the six stage event in Minnesota. The 400 points earned for her efforts pushed her to the top of the standings by 264 points over her teammate Jade Wilcoxson, who was third overall at the Nature Valley Grand Prix. Amber Neben (Specialized-lululemon), who took 12th overall, dropped to third.

    Thanks to Small and Wilcoxson, the Optum Pro Cycling p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies team extended its lead in the women's team rankings, where it now leads with 1,005 points. Exergy Twenty12 overtook Team TIBCO-To the Top to assume second place.

    The women have three more events in the 2012 NRC: the Cascade Classic from July 17-22, and the Tour of Elk Grove and Aspen Blue Ribbon Alpine Challenge in August.

    Although he did not race the Nature Valley Grand Prix, choosing instead to contest the Tour de Beauce, Francisco Mancebo (Competitive Cyclist) held onto his lead in the men's individual standings over Rory Sutherland (UnitedHealthcare) and Chad Beyer (Competitive Cyclist).

    Nature Valley winner Tom Zirbel (Optum Pro Cycling) moved up into fourth ahead of Ben Jacques-Maynes (Bissell).

    Zirbel's win helped his team to knock 253 points off its deficit to leaders Competitive Cyclist: now only 198 points separate the two teams. Bissell is third a further 229 points back.

  • Tour of Gippsland to visit iconic Grand Prix circuit

    The sun shines on Nathan Haas of Genesys Wealth Advisers during his dominance in the Tour of Gippsland which began his reign on the domestic scene in 2011.
    Article published:
    June 19, 2012, 3:37 BST
    Cycling News

    Phillip Island hosts the first round of the Scody Cup

    The Tour of Gippsland is the first round of the Scody Cup and will kick off with the familiar San Remo criterium on the morning of August 1. Situated minutes from San Remo is the Phillip Island Grand Prix, the host for a 66.75km kermesse held in the afternoon of the same day.

    This is the first time the famous race circuit will be used for a round of the Scody Cup and included in the Australian National Road Series however, a number of cycling events have been held around the track in the past. Phillip Island Grand Prix manager, Fergus Cameron, was excited to be a part of the six-day, nine-stage event and spoke to Caribou Publications, which owns the Scody Cup.

    "It is very smooth and undulating which makes it more interesting" and "he hoped the stage at the circuit is exciting and memorable for all participants."

    Those who have raced around the circuit before will be aware of the possible challenges to be faced. The 4.45km circuit changes direction frequently and the coastal winds will likely play a large part in the stage's result.

    Teams will travel from Phillip Island to Moe the following day for the first of two stages. Last year Steele Von Hoff (Genesys Wealth Advisers) held off Philip Grenfell ( at the finish in the flowing Moe South Primary School criterium. The Moe win was one of five victories collected by Von Hoff in the Gippsland tour and no doubt played a role in his move to Jonathan Vaughters Development squad, Team Chipotle-First Solar. Moe's morning criterium will be followed by a second stage held in the afternoon starting in Morwell and finishing 55.2km later in Yinnar.

    Travelling is limited between stages on each day but like day two, teams will have to travel a short distance to Sale for Friday morning's wake-up criterium. There's another double-stage day to be tackled and the afternoon road stage will test how well riders...

  • Pozzato to front CONI anti-doping prosecutor today

    Filippo Pozzato (Farnese Vini - Selle Italia)
    Article published:
    June 19, 2012, 4:35 BST
    Cycling News

    Olympic campaign under threat following reports of Ferrari link

    Filippo Pozzato's participation in the London Olympic Games is under threat having been called to appear before the anti-doping prosecutor of the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) on Tuesday. The meeting is scheduled for 1230pm local time.

    The move follows a report in Saturday's La Repubblica which suggested that Pozzato was a client of the controversial Dr. Michele Ferrari, who last week was formally charged with doping by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), alongside Lance Armstrong and Johan Bruyneel.

    The article quotes extracts from a telephone conversation intercepted in the summer of 2009, in which Pozzato allegedly speaks of working with Ferrari, something which the Italian Cycling Federation (FCI) outlawed in 2002. According to La Repubblica, Pozzato can be heard speaking in Vicenza dialect in the recording, saying "Listen: I went to Ferrari because I asked him myself."

    Pozzato also allegedly discusses the Emanuele Sella doping case in the recording, and expresses his distaste at the manner in which the rider had negotiated a reduction on his ban after collaborating with the Italian Olympic Committee's (CONI) panel.

    "If you go to see him in his own house, then you're responsible," Pozzato is alleged to have said. "You don't have a gun pointed to your head. I wanted to go to Ferrari. We're grown-ups aren't we?"

    La Repubblica's report notes that the recorded conversation also reveals that it cost €40,000-50,000 per year to be "followed" by Ferrari.

    Pozzato's lawyer, Pierfilippo Capello said that the Farnese Vini-Selle Italia rider denied the association.

    "We've checked several times with magistrates in Padova and in other places where there are ongoing...

  • Schumacher takes a bitter-sweet victory in Serbia

    Schumacher takes yellow after his stage 3 victory
    Article published:
    June 19, 2012, 6:10 BST
    Cycling News

    Final stage crash ends German championships goal

    Stefan Schumacher (Christina Watches-Onfone) saw his strong run of form collapse in the final metres of the Tour de Serbie while wearing the leader’s jersey.

    His campaign for the overall classification began when he won the third stage. The stage featured three categorised climbs in the final 60km and with two fellow team mates in the leading group, had the chance to attack and ride to the line solo. He had little time to enjoy the victory as Sergei Rudaskov (Itera-Katusha) crossed the line just 16 seconds behind.

    The remaining stages were controlled by his team mates and his overall victory seemed assured through to the final stage until a crash in the closing kilometres spoiled his entire race. His crash was inside the final three kilometres and was awarded the same time as the day’s winner, Maximiliano Richeze (Team Nippo), saving his overall win.

    He had planned to race in the upcoming German championships and had focused on the time trial but his participation seems unlikely. The fall involved a number of riders who had crashed in front of him.

    "Actually, I wanted to deliberately stay out of all the position battles," he explained on his personal website. "Two riders crashed in front of me and I had no chance to avoid them."

    He was rushed to hospital with a suspected fracture and deep cuts to his arm and eye. Schumacher missed the awarding ceremony for the race he had won just hours before his crash. Thankfully his arm was not broken but damage to his tendons and significant bruising will mean the 30-year-old German will have to rest for a number of weeks. His injuries mean the chance of him lining up in the German championships is almost impossible.

    "At the moment I cannot imagine I will...

  • Voeckler confident he'll be fit for Tour de France

    Thomas Voeckler (Team Europcar )
    Article published:
    June 19, 2012, 8:17 BST
    Cycling News

    Frenchman to miss national championships with knee injury

    Thomas Voeckler (Europcar) may have been forced to abandon his last two races – the Critérium du Dauphiné and Route du Sud – but the Frenchman says that with a week's rest, he will have recovered enough to participate in his 10th Tour de France.

    The 32-year old had an MRI on his troublesome knee on Monday and the results have him feeling confident of being on the start line in Liège on June 30.

    "I am hopeful for the Tour," Voeckler told Ouest France after he got the results of his scan. "I have an inflammation of the iliotibial tract, that is to say, the outside of the knee. I have to take a week off without cycling."

    The injury means that Voeckler will be forced to miss this weekend's French National Road Championships, a title he won in 2004 and 2010. He finished third last year behind Sylvain Chavanel and Anthony Roux.

    "This is detrimental to the preparation for the Tour and that is disappointing, but I will be fresh, without being in top form because I have only three days of cycling in the legs before departure," Voeckler continued. He remained philosophical regarding his shortened Tour preparation on the basis that he's "largely been spared" of injury throughout his career.


  • Valverde and Sanchez to skip National Championships

    Alejandro Valverde (Movistar)
    Article published:
    June 19, 2012, 10:08 BST
    Cycling News

    Tour de France next race for the two Spanish leaders

    Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) and Samuel Sanchez (Euskaltel-Euskadi) will not line up at the Spanish National Championships, which begin on Thursday in Salamanca. Valverde, who initially wanted to compete in both the time trial and the road race, finally decided to skip the event while Sanchez never planned to race it in the first place.

    According to El Periódico, the Movistar leader "talked to Eusebio Unzué on Sunday evening. Considering that Valverde already rode 1,300 kilometres in the Tour de Suisse, and that his state of form was up to Tour de France level, the sports director thought that it was best to use this week to fine-tune his shape by training at home in Murcia."

    The 32-year-old, who will be his team's top man at the Tour starting June 30 in Liège, was instrumental in Rui Costa's overall victory in Switzerland last week-end. By skipping the Nationals, Valverde will start the French Grand Tour with 36 days of competition in his legs.

    Sanchez, who together with Valverde was named into the Spanish Olympic selection earlier this month, is sticking to his intital plan of not attending the National Championships. Euskaltel-Euskadi's sports director Gorka Gerrikagoitia confirmed to BiciCiclismo that "since the very beginning" of the season, Sanchez' race programme up to the Tour de France did not include the Salamancan event.

    On Tuesday last week, after having completed the Critérium du Dauphiné, the Olympic champion retreated to a