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First Edition Cycling News, Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Date published:
October 18, 2011, 1:00 BST
  • Landis on trial for hacking charges

    Floyd Landis in 2006 giving a press conference after testing positive in the Tour de France
    Article published:
    October 18, 2011, 9:22 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    French court hears case against former cyclist

    Floyd Landis faces trial this week on charges that he attempted to hack the computer of the French anti-doping agency, in an apparent attempt to change the data in his 2006 Tour de France doping case. Neither Landis nor his coach Arnie Baker, who is also named in the case, are expected to attend but international arrest warrants were issued in January 2010.

    The main character in the trial is Alain Quiros, who worked for a company named Kargus Consultants. He is accused of having hacked computer systems and illegally retrieved thousands of confidential documents for a multitude of clients.

    According to Reuters, the case began in 2006 when the anti-doping lab complained of  intrusions into its computer system. These were traced back to Quiros, and said to be done on behalf of Landis. Further investigations however revealed more hackings, involving big industrial clients such as French energy firm EDF, who allegedly asked Quiros to spy on Greenpeace.

    Quiros is reported to be held accountable also for breaking into the systems of Luxembourg firms Eurolux and Heine, who allegedly intervened in doubtful commission payments for the sale of submarines to Pakistan in 1994. This information led to a bigger investigation for presumed corruption, which currently involves several persons close to French president Nicolas Sarkozy.

    Landis, however, has denied being involved in any hacking activity or using any illegally obtained material.

  • Andersen and Michaelsen to stay with RadioShack-Nissan-Trek

    Kim Andersen has come over from Saxo Bank
    Article published:
    October 18, 2011, 9:55 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Danish sport directors continue with Leopard Trek follow-up team

    Johan Bruyneel this week met with the sports directors at the new RadioShack-Nissan-Trek team for the upcoming season, and Leopard Trek's Kim Andersen and Lars Michaelsen were amongst them. Both Danish sports directors were glad to be with the team again in 2012, even if exact duties have not yet been announced.

    "Initially, I am happy that I'm still attached to the team. I think we have accomplished much in a completely new relationship this season, and now I wait to see which tasks arise ahead," Michaelsen told politiken.dk.

    Andersen, who was behind the wheel of the Leopard Trek team car when Oliver Zaugg won the Giro di Lombardia on Saturday, will no longer be the top sports decision maker for the team, given Bruyneel's arrival. But that does not seem to bother him.

    "My position in the hierarchy does not interest me so much. For me it is primarily about the sporting ambitions of the riders, so I am excited to see what my role is exactly," he said.

    "I expect that I will still work closely with the brothers Andy and Frank Schleck, but there has been so much in recent times that it is difficult to take anything for granted."

  • 2012 Tour de France route officially presented

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    Article published:
    October 18, 2011, 11:00 BST
    By:
    Hedwig Kröner

    UPDATED: Previously leaked parcours confirmed

    The route of the 2012 Tour de France has been officially presented in Paris today. The parcours, which had been mistakenly published by race organiser ASO one week ago, has been confirmed and detailed. The 99th Tour de France has been elaborated to include two long time trials and 'only' three summit finishes, so next year's winner will have to be an even more complete rider than in previous years.

    The first week of racing, starting in Belgium, will have plenty of opportunity for the fast men to shine after the traditional prologue in Liège. But stage three to Boulogne-sur-Mer will also carry some challenging hills for opportunistic attackers to the liking of race director Christian Prudhomme. A first test day for the climbers and GC contenders will come on stage seven, when the Tour hits the medium mountain range of the Vosges in Eastern France and its ski station La Planche des Belles Filles at 1,148m of altitude.

    This first summit finish comes after a 5.5km climb at an average gradient of 9.5 percent, with some parts exceeding 15 percent - a short but steep climb that should reveal the state of the favourites' legs.

    After a tricky stage eight to Porrentruy, again perfect for breakaways, the next decisive day will be stage nine's 38km time trial from Arc-et-Senans to Besançon, setting up the potential candidates for the overall victory on a hilly parcours.

    Stage 10 in the medium mountain range of Jura will feature the difficult Col du Grand Colombier, located 40 kilometres from the finish. Then, the second of the three summit finishes will take the riders to La Toussuire - Les Sybelles on July 12 via the mythical Cols de la Madeleine et de la Croix de Fer.

    Coming down the Alps,  the bunch will cross Southern France via another certain bunch sprint...

  • Cavendish going all the way to Paris at 2012 Tour de France

    Mark Cavendish debuts his rainbow jersey at the start of the Giro del Piemonte
    Article published:
    October 18, 2011, 14:15 BST
    By:
    Barry Ryan

    Manxman confident he can coexist with Wiggins in July

    Though the Olympics road race takes place just five days later, Mark Cavendish is adamant that he will go all the way to Paris at the 2012 Tour de France. The Manxman also dismissed the idea that Team Sky would have to choose between his green jersey challenge and Bradley Wiggins' tilt at overall honours.

    Speaking after the route presentation at the Palais de Congrés on Tuesday, Cavendish' message was clear: "I'm going to Paris." He pointed out that the bulk of the contenders for gold in London would be using the Tour to fine-tune their form for the race, which takes place on July 28.

    "I think most of the guys who are favourites for the Olympics will be riding the Tour de France anyway, so it shouldn't put me in a bad position," he said. "I have to finish the Tour de France if I want to win on the Champs-Élysées. Then it's five days [to the Olympics]. It is how it is, so I'll try and go my best for four weeks."

    With two long time trials on the menu at the Tour for the first time since 2007, Team Sky and Bradley Wiggins will know that he has never had a better chance to make it onto the podium in Paris. However, Cavendish insisted that he and his future stablemate would be able to coexist on the same team in July.

    "Me and Brad speak every day. If there were problems between us then at least one of us wouldn't be at Sky next year," said Cavendish, who confirmed his arrival from HTC-Highroad shortly after winning the world championships last month.

    "I've joined Sky because I think they can perform well. Brad's at Sky because he thinks they can perform well. Sky have ambition, so what's the problem? Teams have done...

  • Contador tips Evans as favourite in 2012 Tour de France

    Three-time Tour champion Alberto Contador at the presentation of the 2012 Tour de France route.
    Article published:
    October 18, 2011, 16:11 BST
    By:
    Daniel Benson

    Video: Riis likes Contador's chances for title number four

    Alberto Contador's (Saxo Bank) participation in the 2012 Tour de France is far from certain but the Spanish rider nevertheless attended the route unveiling in Paris and made clear his intention to win a fourth title.

    The Spaniard is awaiting the ruling from CAS on his clenbuterol positive from the 2010 race, but at the 2012 unveiling he picked Cadel Evans as his initial favourite.

    "It will be a race in which you have to attack, which is not a bad thing. It will all be decided in the mountains.

    "This is a course that favors the winner of last year, Cadel Evans," said Contador.

    "I like the route, but of course it is not the best for me maybe it is better for Cadel Evans, it is more for the riders that go very strong in the time trials and for me maybe I need to attack before the time trials."

    The Spaniard then backtracked, remembering that during the first of his Tour wins in 2007 the route favoured time trialists. That year he beat Evans into second place before going on to win another two Tours in 2009 and 2010.

    "I will try to take advantage of the type of terrain to make a difference. There will be riders like the Schleck brothers, for example who will try to make a difference before we get to the final time trial. This profile is not really for a climber but more for a more complete rider, as well as specialist against the clock. In 2007, there were almost 120 kilometers against the clock."

    If Contador is cleared to ride at next month's CAS hearing then he will head to Tour de France as Evans's most likely challenger. Despite a disappointing Tour in 2011, he won the Giro d'Italia in a dominant fashion. Having already confirmed that the Giro will disappear from...

  • 2012 Tour de France presentation in photos

    Jean-Etienne Amaury, President of the Amaury Sport Organisation, speaks during the official presentation of 2012 Tour de France route.
    Article published:
    October 18, 2011, 17:24 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Stars of the pro peloton on hand in Paris

    The route of the 2012 Tour de France was officially presented in Paris today and race organiser ASO rolled out the red carpet for cycling dignitaries and the stars of the professional peloton alike.

    Virtually all of the riders who made the 2011 Tour de France memorable were on hand, decked out in stylish attire and tuned into the presentation by race director Christian Prudhomme: overall champion Cadel Evans, multi-stage winner and maillot jaune wearer Thor Hushovd, green jersey winner and recently crowned world champion Mark Cavendish, podium finishers Frank and Andy Schleck, three-time Tour winner Alberto Contador, stage one winner Philippe Gilbert, Luz-Ardiden stage winner Sammy Sanchez, French hero Thomas Voeckler, and Alpe-d’Huez winner and race revelation Pierre Rolland.

    With the 2011 road season over, the riders were all smiles as they took in the parcours for 2012 and head into the off-season to plan their return in 2012 for the biggest race on the planet.

    View our photo gallery of the proceedings during today's Tour route presentation.

  • Prudhomme hails a 2012 Tour de France route filled with novelty

    Christian Prudhomme on stage at the 2012 Tour de France presentation.
    Article published:
    October 18, 2011, 18:15 BST
    By:
    Barry Ryan

    New climbs and increased time trial miles next July

    Christian Prudhomme has hailed the 2012 Tour de France as a race of novelties following the route's official unveiling at Paris' Palais de Congrés on Tuesday.

    The race director explained that in the midst of a period that has seen the Tour pay homage to some of its landmark historical moments and climbs, he was keen to take the opportunity to stitch some new locations into the tapestry of La Grande Boucle.

    "It's Tour of novelties for 2012," Prudhomme told reporters afterwards. "We're clearly in the middle of a run of historic editions of the Tour; in 2010, we celebrated the Pyrenees, in 2011 we celebrated the Galibier and of course 2013 will be the one hundredth edition of the Tour.

    "But 2012 has a truly new parcours and you can see that most notably in the mountains. In the Vosges and the Jura, in particular, we have some new climbs that have never been seen before at the Tour de France."

    In keeping with the tenor of recent Tours de France, however, Prudhomme's wish is that the race's decisive moments will not be confined to handful of set-piece high mountain stages and time trials.

    "It's a Tour designed to widen the possibilities," he explained. Of course, the Tour is decided above all in the Alps, the Pyrenees and the time trials, but it can also be decided in the Vosges, it can also be decided in the Jura. There are ten stages at this year's Tour de France where it can be decided."

    Puncheurs to the fore early on

    While the opening week of the race sees the usual parade of sprinters' stages, those with yellow jersey aspirations will have to be vigilant on the opening road stage to Seraing and stage 3 to Boulogne-sur-Mer.

    "We wanted to make a...

  • Video: Frank Schleck, Tour de France is still biggest ambition

    Tour podium finisher Frank Schleck takes in the 2012 route presentation.
    Article published:
    October 18, 2011, 19:33 BST
    By:
    Daniel Benson

    Luxembourger downplays amount of time trialing in 2012 route

    Frank and Andy Schleck took their seats in the Palais des Congres in Paris on Tuesday and watched as Christian Prudhomme unveiled his 2012 Tour de France route. The brothers were instantly relegated by commentators from the top favourites due to the nature of the parcours, but older brother Frank confirmed to Cyclingnews that they would still head to Liege committed to winning the race.

    While there are fewer mountaintop finishes compared to recent years, Frank pointed out that there were still more climbs than last year – 25 compared to 23. Yet the pair's biggest disadvantage will come in the time trials. While the 2011 Tour had less than 65 kilometers against the clock, next year's route will see riders battle through almost 100 kilometers of time trialing. It's a discipline that the Schlecks have never properly mastered and led to their new boss Johan Bruyneel suggesting that the pair would have to try new tactics if they are to make the top step of the podium next year.

    In this video Frank Schleck talks about the route, dispels the discussion that there are too many time trial kilometres but remains undecided if he and brother Andy could one day target the Tour and Giro d'Italia.

    "We've finished second and third last year and that was great for the team and for Luxembourg and the Schlecks. We'd never done that. We still have one space left towards the top and we should play those cards. The Tour is still the biggest ambition."