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First Edition Cycling News, Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Date published:
July 03, 2013, 1:00 BST
  • Cavendish recovering from bronchitis at Tour de France

    Mark Cavendish in his new British Champion's kit
    Article published:
    July 02, 2013, 15:35 BST
    Cycling News

    Omega Pharma-QuickStep rider just finished a round of antibiotics

    Mark Cavendish has so far not been a factor in this Tour de France, and that is partially due to the fact that he is recovering from bronchitis. The Omega Pharma-QuickStep rider said that he just finished a round of antibiotics on Sunday.

    “Yesterday I felt a little better than on Sunday,” he told “Unfortunately, last week I had to take antibiotics because of bronchitis and I just finished them on Sunday. I'm better now, although I'm still not 100 percent."

    From here, he said he will take it one day at a time. Tuesday's team time trial is “a difficult test in which I hope to help the team. And then tomorrow we'll start to think ... further."

    Cavendish, the newly-crowned British national road champion, was caught up by the mass crash on the first stage and finished only 58th on a stage which he had hoped to win and claim the race's first yellow jersey. He finished in the gruppetto in the last two stages and is now nearly 27 minutes down on race leader Jan Bakelants.


    WilliamHillSports3   Bet on the Tour de France with William Hill and get a £25...

  • Rolland switches tactics to defend KoM jersey lead at Tour de France

    Pierre Rolland wore an all-polka dot kit in honour of his lead in the mountains classification
    Article published:
    July 02, 2013, 16:54 BST
    Cycling News

    Europcar squad continue aggressive approach on final stage on Corsica

    Pulling on the polka-dot jersey as leader in the King of the Mountains classification at the Tour de France at the end of Stage 2 was a proud moment for Pierre Rolland but the Europcar rider was quick to thwart the idea he would attempt to defend his position in such an early part of the three-week race. However, arriving at the start of Stage 3 - the final day of racing on the island of Corsica – suggested Rolland had changed his tune. Resplendent in red dots he donned jersey, bib shorts, helmet, gloves and bike as best climber in the three-week race.

    With a breakaway established early in the stage that started in Ajaccio containing Europcar teammate Cyril Gautier, Rolland’s lead could be protected. That was until Orica GreenEdge’s Simon Clarke begun to collect points along the 145.5km stage that included four categorised climbs. The final Cat.2, the Col de Marsolino would come with just over 10km to go and when the solo Clarke was within striking distance from the bunch, Europcar made its move.

    Davide Malacarne was charged with setting up the move for his teammate and Rolland promptly overtook the tiring Clarke and successfully mopped up the maximum points. The Frenchman’s lead in the classification was all but secured and he will now continue to wear it at least until the start of Stage 5 with the team time trial offering no KoM points during the 25km combined team effort.

    Rolland’s move was, according to said directeur sportif Andy Flicklinger all part of the day’s plan.

    “The objective was to place one of our men in the break and for Pierre Rolland to defend his polka dot jersey if necessary," said...

  • Tour de France: Contador loses six seconds on Froome

    Saxo-Tinkoff kept Contador within six seconds of Froome
    Article published:
    July 02, 2013, 18:45 BST
    Brecht Decaluwé

    Team time trial creates first gaps between GC contenders

    Alberto Contador (Saxo-Tinkoff) lost six seconds over Christopher Froome (Sky) in the Tour de France during the team time trial in Nice on stage 4. Despite the loss, the Spanish cycling star kept his cool, claiming that a handful of seconds will be negligible once the Grande Boucle hits the mountain stages.

    The two were the top favourites ahead of the 100th edition of the Tour de France, and as expected, the team time trial created the first differences between the two protagonists. The strongest team prevailed on the 25km non-technical course, with Orica-Greenedge topping Omega Pharma-Quickstep by less than a second, and Sky in third place at three seconds from the Australian winners. The Saxo-Tinkoff was fourth, ceding six seconds to Sky.

    The gaps are small compared with that of Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Sharp), whose team was 17 seconds behind Orica, while Movistar lost 20 seconds and BMC gave up 26 for Cadel Evans.

    "It's not bad of course. Winning would be better but I'm happy because my team was very good, they rode at hundred percent," Contador told Cyclingnews as he rolled away from the famous Promenade des Anglais beach strip back to his team bus. "Sky is in front of us with Froome and Richie [Porte]. Ten or fifteen seconds is not a big difference. There are still two tough weeks before the finish."

    Although the firstt battle in this war was won by Froome, Contador was clearly proud about what his team had achieved. At the intermediate point of 13km the Saxo-Tinkoff team had a bonus of two seconds on Sky but that turned around in a six second loss.

    "The favourites have finished within seconds of each other and that's good for the race; it's nice for...

  • Tour de France shows no mercy for Ted King

    Cannondale's Ted King began his first Tour de France suffering to the linewith damage to his left shoulder
    Article published:
    July 02, 2013, 19:10 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    Injured Cannondale rider misses TTT time cut by seven seconds

    Ted King's dreams of finishing the 100th edition of the Tour de France have been shattered after he finished outside the time limit for the team time trial stage by seven seconds and was taken out of the race.

    Race officials refused to listen to pleas by the American rider's Cannondale team and listed him as HD ('Hors Delai') in the results for the team time trial. His name does not appear on the official overall classification, with just 195 riders now shown.

    King has been fighting to survive in the Tour de France after crashing in the closing kilometres of stage one in Bastia. He suffered multiple cuts and grazing plus separated his left shoulder after landing hard. He survived Sunday's and Monday's road stages but was quickly dropped by his Cannondale teammates in the streets of central Nice and had to ride the 25km alone. He used his normal road bike fitted with aero bars to help ease the pain but set a time of 32:32, seven seconds too slow for the merciless race judges.

    Cyclingnews understands the official time limit was calculated as 25 percent of the winner's time. King's SRM power metre apparently showed a time that would have left him inside the time limit but officials refused to consider King's suffering and determination to fight the pain in order to try to stay in the Tour de France.

    The 100-year history of the Tour de France is littered with stories of riders who finished outside the time limit due to crashes, illness and injury but who were allowed to continue in the race. This time there was no mercy for King.

    Cyclingnews challenged event director Jean-Francois Pescheux about the judge's decision. He also showed little mercy...

  • Millar blames himself for missing Tour de France yellow jersey

    Team Garmin-Sharp time trials
    Article published:
    July 02, 2013, 20:05 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    Garmin-Sharp finish sixth in the Nice team time trial

    David Millar had nowhere to hide after he crossed the finish line of the Tour de France stage 4 team time trial in Nice. With Garmin-Sharp finishing slower than earlier starters Omega Pharma-Quick Step, Millar knew his chance of stage victory and the yellow jersey were gone. They had proven too far to reach, despite being just a second away from his grasp.

    Garmin-Sharp eventually finished sixth in the team time trial, 17 seconds slower than winners Orica-GreenEdge.

    Millar is the team captain at Garmin-Sharp and blamed himself for missing out on the yellow jersey and defended the performance of his teammates.

    "The ride went fantastic, the team were incredible but I was perhaps the one who let the team down because I wasn't on a good day," he said as his heart rate and breath gradually recovered from an intense effort.

    "It's disappointing but we didn't make any mistakes and so we can’t beat ourselves up. We know we're one of the strongest teams but this is the Tour de France, every team is incredibly strong. It's disappointing but that's racing. We were fair and square beaten."

    It's an excruciating event

    Garmin rode a well-drilled team time trial, finishing together. They were fourth fastest to the 13km intermediate time split, only four seconds slower than Orica-GreenEdge and Omega Pharma-Quick Step. They lost 13 seconds to Orica-GreenEdge in the final 12km and slipped to sixth fastest at the finish.

    "We thought we'd pull it back because we do a controlled ride. We hoped the others team hit out too hard and would fade. But the others rode well, too, and went faster," Millar said.

    "Sometimes flat course are more testing than hilly ones. You don’t get blown out and you’re always...

  • French senate report on doping delayed

    Samuel Dumoulin gets his first win of the year at Etoille de Besseges
    Article published:
    July 02, 2013, 21:00 BST
    Cycling News

    News on 1998 samples to come out after Tour de France

    The French authorities today conceded to the wishes of professional cyclists and have delayed the release of a senate report on doping until after the Tour de France. The report will now be released three days after the race concludes on the Champs-Elysées.

    The report on a senate investigation into the effectiveness of anti-doping, which is expected to include a list of riders who tested positive for EPO in retroactive testing of samples from the 1998 Tour de France, was due to be made public on July 18, the same day that the dual ascents of l'Alpe d'Huez were set to decide the victor of this year's event.

    A delegation of professional riders, including Jens Voigt, Jérémy Roy, Samuel Dumoulin, Jerome Pineau, and Luis Angel Mate, met with French sports minister Valerie Fourneyron before the start of the Tour de France to request the delay.

    The news was welcomed by Dumoulin, who told L'Equipe, "It is a nice gesture on the part of the senators. They heard us and understood that our claim was well founded. Our goal was to avoid confusion between old business and the current peloton.

    "We never said we did not want the fight against doping, but simply were asked for equality between sports. Given the media coverage of the Tour, we know that a spark would trigger a huge fire. Viewers would be reminded of the old doping cases. Now we can concentrate on the sport, and once we have turned the page of the Tour, we will focus on the findings of the investigation."

    Leaked details of the report have already named Laurent Jalabert as...

  • Omega Pharma-Quick Step rues the second that cost them Tour de France lead

    An Omega Pharma Quick Step rider swings off
    Article published:
    July 02, 2013, 21:38 BST
    Stephen Farrand and Brecht Decaluwé

    Belgian team goes close after powerful TTT performance

    The Omega Pharma-Quick Step team was second to start the Nice team time trial and sat for an hour in the podium area near the finish, hoping they had ridden fast enough to have won the stage and put Michal Kwiatkowski in the lead of the Tour de France. Their hopes and dreams ended when Orica-GreenEdge beat them by less than one second, with Simon Gerrans pulling on the yellow jersey.

    Kwiatkowski had to be happy with another day in the best young riders' white jersey, while his teammates could only quietly ride back to their team bus, leaving the podium area for Orica-GreenEdge to celebrate a second consecutive historic day for the Australian WorldTour team.

    Mark Cavendish did not talk before the stage or afterwards, but Tony Martin, who had fought the pain of his crash injuries so he could play his vital role as the big engine of the Omega Pharma-Quick Step team, insisted he was not held back by the wounds from his stage 1 crash.

    "I wasn't hindered by my injuries," Martin said bravely after his ride, despite a thick dressing on his back and his body dotted with scars.

    "Our team was strong in general. There were no weak elements. The pace never really dropped back. It's about seconds on this course. How a corner was tackled can be decisive then."

    Gert Steegmans was hoping to celebrate victor on the podium with his daughter. "Shit happens. We were just a little too slow..." he said honestly. "But what's a second. It's really sad. I would have loved to be on the podium with my daughter."

    Management despair

    Directeur sportif Wilfried Peeters was convinced the team could have found a decisive second or two if they had started later and so known other team's time splits. They started...

  • Video: Gerrans emulates mentor Phil Anderson by capturing yellow jersey

    Simon Gerrans (Orica-GreenEdge) took the yellow jersey after the team time trial in Nice
    Article published:
    July 02, 2013, 23:17 BST
    Peter Cossins

    It doesn't get any better than this, says new Tour de France leader

    When it rains, it pours. And for now success is pouring down on Orica-GreenEdge, who captured an elusive first Tour de France stage win yesterday in Calvi and backed that up with another in today's team time trial in Nice. On top of that, team leader Simon Gerrans pulled on the yellow jersey, admitting soon after he did that, "It really doesn't get any better than this."

    As he did the press rounds in the mixed zone behind the team time trial finish line on the swanky Promenade des Anglais, he found himself being named alongside Phil Anderson, Stuart O'Grady, Brad McGee, Robbie McEwen and Cadel Evans, Australia's previous yellow jerseys. To be put alongside Anderson was particularly significant, as it was the first Aussie to wear yellow who introduced Gerrans to the sport and became his first coach.

    "It's pretty special to follow in Phil's footsteps," said Gerrans. "It's hard to believe that I'm being compared to those names. They're legends of Australian cycling and to be mentioned alongside them is special too. It really doesn't get any better than this.

    "Yesterday I was able to win on the back of some fantastic teamwork and today it was a real team effort to win again. And to take the yellow jersey was a massive bonus as well. I'm thrilled and couldn't be prouder of the team."

    Gerrans admitted Orica wasn't among the favourites for the team time trial, but revealed that within the squad there was a strong feeling they could do very well. "We knew we had a very well balanced and strong team. We knew if everybody played their part then we were going to go very close.

    "The plan was for our big, strong guys – Brett Lancaster, Svein Tuft, Stuart...