Though never formally suspended, the 35-year-old Mosquera has yet to turn a pedal in anger for Vacansoleil-DCM. The Spaniard, who was second overall in last year's Vuelta, signed for the team from Xacobeo Galicia days before his positive test was announced last September.
HTC are set to pull out of the sport at the end of this season and as of yet owner Bob Stapleton has failed to find a replacement sponsor. It is understood that Cavendish has talked to a number of teams but has not signed a contract. UCI rules stipulate that riders and teams can negotiate through the race season but that contracts can only be signed and recognised from August 1st. However, in June the Daily Mail reported that Cavendish would put pen to paper in deal worth £1.5 million a year.
“Mark’s an incredible guy to have around in the team, he’s got a great way of lifting everyone even when you’re not doing that well. I only see his arrival, if he does come and sign and they get the team sorted out, as a benefit all-round,” Wiggins told the press, Tuesday.
In their brief but successful existence to date, Sky have entered each Grand Tour with options, preferring to build a team around a GC hopeful and a sprinter, rather than just one or the other, and should Cavendish eventually sign for Sky, Wiggins believes his arrival would only see a continuation of that philosophy.
“I don’t see any conflict in that area and in every Grand Tour we’ve done we’ve always done the lead-out for someone. The thing with Mark is that if you do that lead-out 99 times out of 100 he’ll win. That helps the morale and everything in the...
McEwen, winner of 12 Tour de France stages and a three-time green jersey winner at the French Grand Tour, was not selected to RadioShack's Tour de France squad and spent the time training.
"I didn't see much of the Tour de France as I was concentrated on my own training," said McEwen. "I just trained at home easy for a week, then I went to the South of France and trained a lot in the hills. Just four hours a day, medium tempo, just building up my condition.
"A week before this race, back in Belgium I trained in the hills of the Flemish Ardennes and planned to used this Tour de Wallonie to get some rhythm back again. Apparently I found my rhythm quite quickly. This is promising for the next couple of months."
McEwen intended to work for teammate Manuel Cardoso in the finale of the Tour de Wallonie's fourth stage, but instead found himself in perfect position on the wheel of Daniele Bennati whose wheel he jumped off of for victory in Mouscron
"I am still very ambitious," said McEwen. "Since the beginning of the season the world championships in Copenhagen is a big objective. I think I can do a big preparation by doing...
Holcomb moves into top spot, as Mancebo consolidates lead
The Cascade Cycling Classic concluded on July 24 and there were some big changes in the National Racing Calendar (NRC) standings. Janel Holcomb (Colavita-Forno d'Asolo) finally regained her lead after losing it to Amber Neben (HTC-Highroad) earlier in the year. Francisco Mancebo (RealCyclist.com) built on his already commanding lead in the standings but there were some big changes in the top 10.
Mancebo's return to racing for the Cascade Cycling Classic was a successful one. The Spaniard won the time trial on stage two and finished in the top-three on two other occasions to take a convincing overall victory. The win increased the RealCyclist.com rider's buffer at the top to 299 points.
Chris Baldwin (Bissell) moved from 12th to 5th place after his own impressive performance in the Cascade Classic. Teammate Frank Pipp did enough to close his deficit to Jonathan Cantwell (V-Australia) and the two are now tied in third overall in the standings. Australian Lachlan Morton (Chipotle Development) also jumped up the standings courtesy of his second overall in the race.
In the team standings, Bissell have extended their lead largely thanks to the non-attendance of UnitedHealthcare. Bissell's lead now stands at 366 points.
Holcomb's impressive overall victory in the Cascade women's race has put her back in control of the Women's NRC standings. The Colavita-Forno d'Asolo rider didn't win a stage but rode a consistent race in Oregon to take maximum points. Amber Neben (HTC-Highroad) remains in second place overall despite having missed a number of NRC races due to her focus on her European schedule.
Colavita-Forno d'Asolo extended their lead courtesy of Holcomb's win and like Bissell look unlikely to be beaten in the team's standings.
Australian considering riding road race after Tour de France
Tour de France champion Cadel Evans (BMC) is considering whether to do the Tour-Olympics double in 2012 according to the AAP. Evans rode the Atlanta and Sydney Olympic games as a Mountain Biker before his switch to full-time road riding.
"I don’t know if the course is going to be suitable," Evans told AAP. "But if I can be the man for the job to represent the country, of course I would love to ride."
Evans rode to 14th in the Beijing games in 2008 won by Spaniard Samuel Sanchez (Euskaltel-Euskadi). Though the course proved selective enough fatigue from a heavy schedule meant the former world champion wasn't quite at his best. Having made attempts to win medals at three seperate games and coming up short - 2012 could well be Evans last chance to get the Olympic success he craves.
The BMC rider did however temper his aspirations, commenting that he was more than happy to ride at the service of another member of the Australian squad if the course didn't play to his strengths.
"If it’s a course more suitable to someone else, then it should be for someone else."
The London Olympic Games road race takes place 28th July 2012.
Vacansoleil rider borrows a bike to finish the stage
RadioShack’s Robbie McEwen deservedly got the cheers for his stage win at the Tour de Wallonie on Tuesday. But Gorik Gardeyn (Vacansoleil) also made a trip to the race podium to be congratulated for finishing the stage on a spectator’s bike.
Gardeyn’s incredible day in the race started when he crashed and was left behind by his team, who believed he was going to climb into the broom-wagon. Instead he battled on to finish.
“I was one of the first riders to crash. Initially I felt very bad but after I’d been treated by the race doctor I got back on my feet and tried to get back into the race… The problem was that I didn’t have a bike,” Gardeyn told Belgian TV.
“They had all gone on without me, my team thought I was going to abandon. It would have been a long walk to the finish, but a cyclotourist loaned me his bike and I rode on that until they were able to give me my spare bike. The bike was a bit small for me, but the key thing was that I could ride it…”
As Gardeyn pressed on, the cyclotourist took the seat in the broom-wagon that had seemed destined for the Vacansoleil rider.
“The broom-wagon followed me for a while until I could get the bike, then I rode full gas to get back up to the peloton and work for my leader. In order to say thanks to the guy who gave me his bike, I’m going to give him a jersey, or a hat and bottle. It’s thanks to him that I am still in the race. Thank you, sir!”
Gardeyn’s efforts did not pass unnoticed. After finishing 115th on the stage, he was called onto the podium to receive the prize for the day’s most aggressive rider.
Manxman determined to include his name in the history of cycling
Fresh from landing the green jersey at the Tour de France, Mark Cavendish (HTC-Highroad) has turned his attention his next major goal: winning the world championships road race in Copenhagen in September.
Speaking to L’Équipe, Cavendish stated that his next ambition was to “to become world champion in Copenhagen and then afterwards set myself new objectives.”
“I don’t have limits,” he said. “Too many riders content themselves with winning a race and spend the rest of their time looking behind them.”
With twenty Tour de France stage wins already to his name, 26-year-old Cavendish is on course to break Eddy Merckx’s all-time record of 34 victories. He admitted that he was determined to earn a place in the pantheon of cycling come the end of his career.
“[I want to] write my name in the history of cycling alongside those of Merckx, Hinault, Armstrong,” Cavendish said. “How many names are in there? Twenty? Thirty? I don’t know. But I want mine to be in there some day too. It’s simply a question of standing, of position.”
The Belgian was forced to abandon the Tour when he suffered a fractured shoulder blade, two fractured ribs and a collapsed lung in a crash on stage nine.
Following x-rays at hospital in Herentals on Tuesday, Van Den Broeck received the all-clear to step up his training.
“The doctor had never seen such a quick recovery,” Van Den Broeck said, quoted by Sporza. “The shoulder and broken ribs have healed perfectly and even my partially collapsed lung is in the past.”
An additional benefit of Van Den Broeck’s rapid recovery is that doctors have given him the green light to fly again. The climber had initially planned to drive to Italy for a spell of pre-Vuelta altitude training, but he is now considering other sites for a key block of training.
“I’ve change my original plans,” he said. “Because I wasn’t allowed to fly, I was going to drive down to Livigno for ten days. But it turns out the weather isn’t too brilliant there. So I’m looking to a new destination. Sierra Nevada is one of the possibilities.”