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First Edition Cycling News, Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Date published:
May 08, 2012, 1:00 BST
  • Phinney crashes once again in Giro d'Italia's maglia rosa

    Taylor Phinney is simultaneously attended to by medics and interviewed after his Giro d'Italia stage 3 crash
    Article published:
    May 07, 2012, 17:57 BST
    Jean-François Quénet

    No regret to have abandoned track cycling prior to the Olympics

    In three days at the Giro d'Italia, Taylor Phinney has become an absolute star in the world of cycling. After taking the pink jersey in the inaugural time trial in Herning, he made the highlights for crashing two days in a row but in both instances he showed his poise and stood uncomplaining on the race leader's podium.

    In stage 2, Phinney went down with 8.3km to go but the only consequence was mechanical, and BMC Racing Team president Jim Ochowicz was forced to put his protégé's chain back on the ring. Phinney's crash in stage 3 seemed more serious for his physical integrity but he insisted to be seen on TV to send an immediate message to his friends and family that he was fine.

    Sprinting in the top fifteen positions of the bunch, possibly too close to the front according to Italian experts at the race, Phinney was taken down as a consequence of the pile up on the right side of Mark Cavendish. He didn't cross the finishing line other than in ambulance but he was however classified at the last place of the stage with the same time as the winner Matt Goss.

    "There was a moment of confusion," Phinney explained. "I was getting some ice on my injured ankle and I told the driver of the ambulance: please take me to the finishing line. I wanted to show to my dad and my sister who were watching TV that I was fine." The ambulance drove Phinney for one lap of the 14.6km final circuit to deliver the hero to the finishing area where he received his third pink jersey on stage, even though the award had already been symbolically presented to a kid and the crowd had been informed that the race leader was taken to hospital for examination.

    "I've got a hole in my foot but I hope there's nothing serious," said the American as he was limping along....

  • Goss scores Orica-GreenEdge’s first Grand Tour stage win

    Matt Goss (Orica-GreenEdge) celebrates on the podium.
    Article published:
    May 07, 2012, 19:20 BST
    Alasdair Fotheringham

    Australian takes crash-torn sprint in Horsens

    Matt Goss (Orica-GreenEdge) clinched his team’s first Grand Tour win in its history with a perfectly timed dash for the line ahead of the mass pile-up that marred the end of stage three of the Giro d’Italia.

    Second to Mark Cavendish (Sky) in yesterday’s opening bunch sprint of the Giro, Goss was also four times second in the Tour of Turkey, and one of those defeats was so narrow it required a photo-finish to decide the winner.

    After an uneven start to the season, Monday was Goss’s first win since a stage in the Tour of California last May. It is also the second Giro d’Italia victory – his first being in 2010 – of the 25-year-old’s career.

    “I’m sick of finishing second,” the 2011 Milan-San Remo winner told Cyclingnews at the start of stage three today, some four and a half hours before – finally – going one better.

    “For one reason or another, I’ve been close but not had any luck in the last couple of weeks. So I’m really happy. Finally, I’ve hit the bulls eye.”

    Concerning the crash, Goss said, “The road was wide and I was near the front, so I didn’t know about what was happening behind me.”

    “It was a fast sprint, the last two kilometres were slightly downhill, but my teammates were in the right place at the right time, I didn’t make any mistakes, and I’m really happy to be able to finish it all off for them with a victory. And it’s my first win of the season, too.”

    Goss’s victory brought him another prize, too, the red points jersey. The Australian is 15 points ahead of Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Barracuda) and 17 up on Mark...

  • Video:Veikkanen praises Giro d'Italia start in Denmark

    Jussi Veikkanen (FDJ-BigMat)
    Article published:
    May 07, 2012, 20:55 BST
    Jean-François Quénet

    Finnish rider introduces teammates Soupe and Démare

    It was no surprise to see Mark Cavendish and Matt Goss crossing the line of stage 2 of the Giro d’Italia in Herning in the same order as at the world championship in Copenhagen the previous year, but the name of the third place rider was never heard before by many observers. Frenchman Geoffrey Soupe from FDJ-BigMat found himself at the front after losing his sprinter Arnaud Démare in the chaos preceding the sprint.

    Jussi Veikkanen, who returned to the French team after spending one year with Omega Pharma-Lotto, explained what happened on the start line of stage 3 in Horsens. He also introduced Démare who is a new sprinter in the making. The youngest rider among the 198 starters of the Giro d’Italia has already won four pro races at the age of 20, including the last stage of the Tour of Qatar and Cholet-Pays de Loire.

    Hearing a few fans cheering for him during the opening time trial, Veikkanen felt that Scandinavian cycling has taken a step up with the first start of a Grand Tour so far north. The whole peloton is scheduled to fly to Italy from Billund airport after stage 3.

  • Contador: 2011 Giro d'Italia is mine

    Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank)
    Article published:
    May 07, 2012, 21:55 BST
    Cycling News

    Spaniard rates Scarponi as biggest favourite for 2012

    Alberto Contador has stated that he considers the 2011 Giro d'Italia victory as still belonging to him, although he was officially stripped of the title by the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) following a doping suspension related to the 2010 Tour de France. Moreover, the Spaniard was asked by Eurosport to rate this year's Giro d'Italia contenders, and the former Saxo Bank rider placed Michele Scarponi (Lampre-ISD) - the official 2011 winner - as his favourite for the overall victory.

    On losing his 2011 Giro win, Contador said: "There are two things. There's what is written on a piece of paper and there is what you feel. I know that the 2011 Giro belongs to me, it's mine, I won it by making great efforts. What counts is that I achieved the planned objective, it's a personal satisfaction. Now, if they write in the books that I won the Giro once (2008) or twice, it's the same to me."

    Scarponi, who has since been awarded the 2011 trophy, was rated by Contador as this year's biggest favourite. "I think that Scarponi has a great opportunity this year. Nibali is not there, and I think that it would have been a Giro well-adapted to his capacities. But because I think that he can win, and because I am his friend, I put Scarponi in first position.

    "After that, it's hard to put an order for the podium. For second place, there are a series of riders like Kreuziger, Cunego,...

  • White thrilled by Orica GreenEdge effort to deliver Goss to victory

    _V6O7031 - Yellow jersey for Hossein Alizadeh of Tabriz
    Article published:
    May 08, 2012, 0:18 BST
    Daniel Benson

    Sports director tips competitive team time trial from grand tour debutants

    Matt White has praised his Orica GreenEdge team after Matthew Goss won stage 3 of the Giro d'Italia. It was Goss's first win in almost a year, and the Australian WorldTour team's first grand tour stage win.

    "It was very pleasing and a great ride by the boys," White told Cyclingnews.

    Goss had picked up a number of placings heading into today's stage, including four second places at the recent Tour of Turkey and White admitted that it had been a frustrating run for his lead sprinter.

    "It had been frustrating time for Matt. He'd been in good shape for San Remo and Gent Wevelgem, although probably not as good as last year but then after those races there wasn't much left for him to try and win. He got sick and then he had a break. That break has done him good and he's come back well.

    "He came here frustrated though and I've never seen someone get four second places in a week and lose two in a photo so he was really keen to get a win here and we knew he was ready."

    Orica GreenEdge based their win on a superb leadout, delivering Goss to within 300 meters of the line.

    "It was a very impressive leadout, especially from Impey who hasn't got that much experience at leading out at this level but we always knew that timing would critical it was more like a circuit race out there today and that if you got your timing wrong it was always going to make a difference."

    With the race now taking a rest day as it travel back to Italian shores, White and his team have 24 hours of rest before stage 4, a 32km team time trial around Verona. Having won the TTT at March Tirreno-Adriatico the team will be amongst the favourites, despite only three riders from March's team taking part in the Giro.

    "I expect...

  • Phinney cleared of serious injury after x-rays on right ankle

    Taylor Phinney (BMC) injured his foot in the fall in the finishing straight.
    Article published:
    May 08, 2012, 1:37 BST
    Cycling News

    Three stitches for maglia rosa

    After his second crash in as many days, maglia rosa Taylor Phinney has only required three stitches to his injured right ankle, following the pile-up late on Stage 3 of the Giro d’Italia in Horsens.

    BMC Racing Team has announced that Phinney was taken to hospital in Verona following the transfer for x-rays on the injured foot.

    Team Doctor Dario Spinelli said preliminary review of the x-rays with the hospital's overnight radiologist revealed no broken bones.

    "We'll take another look at his ankle later today and see how it's healing," Spinelli said. "It's definitely good that this happened before a rest day, since the transport and treatment process took so long. Taylor will enjoy a good night of sleep without the stress of having to get ready to race."

    Phinney crossed the finish line in an ambulance following the crash.

    "I've got a hole in my foot but I hope there's nothing serious," said the American as he was limping along. "I'm feeling better than straight after the crash. Fortunately, tomorrow is a rest day," he added prior to heading to Billund's airport and flying to Verona for Wednesday's team time trial.


  • Gazvoda makes Grand Tour debut at Giro d'Italia

    Gregor Gazvoda (AG2R-La Mondiale) awaits the start of stage 3 at the Giro d'Italia.
    Article published:
    May 08, 2012, 3:20 BST
    Jean-François Quénet

    30-year-old Slovenian's Asia Tour points lead to contract with AG2R-La Mondiale

    Gregor Gazvoda is living his dream at the age of 30 as he takes part in his first Grand Tour, the Giro d'Italia, after thinking that he had no future in cycling. The winner of last year's Tour of Qinghai Lake brought the points he collected on the Asia Tour to help French team AG2R-La Mondiale remain at the WorldTour level.

    "For me, it's incredible to be here on a start line of the Giro d'Italia," Gazvoda told Cyclingnews in Horsens. "It's better late than never but it's pretty unusual to join a team of the highest level for the first time at my age and suddenly be able to race the Tour of Flanders, Paris-Roubaix and the Giro d'Italia. To ride a Grand Tour was always my dream but I was not connected to the big teams."

    The Slovenian rode for his local team Perutnina-Ptuj at the Continental level from 2004 to 2008. Despite a strong showing at the Tour de l'Avenir and top-10 finishes (ninth and sixth) at the Chrono des Nations that evidenced his skills for time trials he was never contacted by any big team. When Perutnina-Ptuj folded, he joined Japanese team Meitan-Hompo but it was also the last season of Akira Asada's project that had already developed Yukiya Arashiro into a Tour de France rider with Bouygues Telecom.

    Gazvoda's career was in limbo but in June 2010, he joined Austria's KTM-Arbö Continental team.

    "In my mind, I always remained a cyclist and I've kept the aim to ride at a high level but in reality, I've been left with no job twice," Gazvoda said. "I rode for free for two seasons. Sometimes I've paid for my flights to go and race in Asia, hoping that prize money would eventually cover the expenses."

    It turned out to be an investment because...

  • Cavendish left unimpressed by Ferrari move

    Mark Cavendish (Sky) was felled by a late crash.
    Article published:
    May 08, 2012, 5:23 BST
    Cycling News

    World champion calls for Androni Giocattoli-Venezuela rider to be sent home

    Mark Cavendish (Sky) has voiced his frustration at being taken out by a diversion from Androni Giocattoli-Venezuela rider Roberto Ferrari within sight of the Giro d'Italia's Stage 3 finish in Horsens.

    Cavendish was one of several riders, which also included maglia rosa Taylor Phinney, to crash after Ferrari changed his sprint line. The reigning world champion hit the tarmac at 75km/h injuring his left shoulder and losing his fair share of skin. Ferrari was relegated by commissaries to last place for the manoeuvre.

    "Ouch! Crashing at 75kph isn't nice! Nor is seeing Roberto Ferrari's manoeuvre. Should be ashamed to take out Pink, Red & World Champ jerseys," the Manxman tweeted following the stage.

    "Apparently Roberto Ferrari has said to journalists, when asked about the incident, that he can't see what happens behind him & doesn't care," Cavendish continued. "Is the team of Roberto Ferrari or the UCI going to do the right thing? Other riders, including myself, have been sent home for much less."

    Androni-Venezuela manger Gianni Savio made no bones about his rider Ferrari's responsibility, telling Cyclingnews, "I'm on the bus going to the airport [for the transfer – ed.] and I will apologize to Mark Cavendish in the name of the team and in the name of Roberto Ferrari for the incorrect behaviour that was not intentional."

    Sky's team doctor explained that he was hopeful of Cavendish recovering.