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First Edition Cycling News, Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Date published:
July 04, 2012, 1:00 BST
  • Tour shorts: Are Sagan's salutes supercilious?

    Peter Sagan (Liquigas-Cannondale) does a little dance
    Article published:
    July 03, 2012, 23:10 BST
    Cycling News

    Wrong turn Boeckmans, Voeckler, Brajkovic, Hutarovich

    Peter Sagan has won so many times this year, perhaps he has to get a little creative with his victory salutes so he can keep them straight in his photo book. On stage 1 of the Tour de France it was either a chicken dance or body builder pose, depending on who you ask, and on today's stage 3, he was a running man, a la Forrest Gump.

    However, his increasingly effusive antics were not amusing to South African Robbie Hunter. "Great win by Sagan again he, is class! But can't say I enjoy his victory salutes in the face of his competitors!" he wrote on Twitter.

    Sagan has stated that his teammates have been suggesting the various celebrations, and not all of the riders object to them. "Totally for Sagan and his crazy salutes, he's 22, he's got plenty of time to grow old and dignified," said David Millar.

    Sagan's teammate Ivan Basso is also enjoying the youthful exuberance. "Special atmosphere at Liquigas-Cannondale's home. with the beautiful crazy of Sagan & co I discover a younger Ivan," he said on Twitter.

    Notable author Richard Moore suggested one solution for those who object to the antics: "If you don't like Sagan's victory celebrations there's one good way to stop them, chaps."

    His colleague Daniel Freibe agrees. "So, are Sagan's celebrations obnoxious? I say no - like he said in presser, people will tune in to see what he does next. Great for sport."

    There is no word yet from the UCI, which regulates everything from sock height to saddle tilt, on whether it would follow the National Football League in banning excessive victory celebrations. (LW)

  • Orica-GreenEdge still hopeful for Tour de France sprint stages

    Matthew Goss (left) is guided across the finish line by teammate Stuart O'Grady
    Article published:
    July 04, 2012, 1:00 BST
    Daniel Benson

    Team says Sagan is beat-able

    Orica-GreenEdge saw its best laid plans go to waste on stage 3 of the Tour de France on Tuesday when Matthew Goss was dropped and Simon Gerrans crashed. Michael Albasini finished a fine fifth but the team lost ground to Peter Sagan in the race for the green jersey. Goss currently sits fifth in the standings on 55 points while his Liquigas rival extended his tally to 116 points.

    Racing in its inaugural Tour, the Australian team had earmarked stages 1, 2 and 3 as its first winnable opportunities. The team arrived several days before the Tour started and rode reconnaissance on both the uphill finishes on stages 1 and 3.

    "It was always going to be a stressful finish. Actually the only thing that wasn't up was the wind today but we knew it was going to be stressful," team boss Matt White told Cyclingnews at the finish.

    "Goss lost time and none of the real sprinters picked up points in the finish except for Sagan, so that's going to blow his lead out on the others. That changes things a bit. Gerrans is okay. There was quite a high speed crash but the other problem was that he needed a bike change as well and there were very narrow roads. By the time we got to him he wasn't going to come back."

    After Goss's third place in Tournai White had picked his sprint as the team's most likely for today's finish in Bolougne-sur-Mer but his subsequent failure means that the race's green jersey has become a far more difficult aim. However, while Sagan has made the most of the two uphill finishes it's clear he does not possess the same nous or...

  • Van Hummel: I'm a different rider to 2009

    Kenny van Hummel (Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team)
    Article published:
    July 04, 2012, 2:48 BST
    Daniel Benson

    Dutchman glad to be back at the Tour de France

    Jean François Peucheux once playfully called him the worst climber in Tour de France history but Kenny Van Hummel swears he's a different rider than the one was repeatedly dropped in the 2009 mountains.

    The Dutch sprinter hasn't raced the Tour since, but became a cult hero in 2009 with a mix of brave sprinting and spirited rides in the mountains. Often dropped from the gruppetto, he would be forced to race for hours through the Alps and Pyrenees on his lonesome in an attempt to make the time cut. The patriot orange army of Dutch fans adopted him as a hero.

    "That's the past and I'm looking forward to the future now. I'm more experienced and I'm looking forward to the bunch sprints," Van Hummel told Cyclingnews at the start of stage 2.

    "I lost 7kg so there's a big difference between me now and back then. My sprint power is still the same and I'm pushing the same watts. I'm in good form so we'll see what happens over the next few weeks.

    "This year I did Tirreno and I finished quite easy with the main bunch and I was never in trouble. There's a huge difference between the rider from 2009 and now. I don't fear the mountains."

    Weighing in at 68 kilograms, Van Hummel puts his new physique down to a regimented diet that he and his Vaconsoleil team have formulated in the last year.

    "It took a year to lose the weight. I put myself on a diet and we've got a good dietician here and we worked together for a long time on it. I'm in form and I feel great. It wasn't that my diet was that bad but I was in a bad pattern. I probably eat more now but do it consistently. I've added in more fruit and vegetables too."

    He may not win a sprint stage this year,...

  • Video: Tour de France Stage 3 highlights

    Peter Sagan (Liquigas-Cannondale)
    Article published:
    July 04, 2012, 3:51 BST
    Cycling News

    Super Sagan does it again

    Slovak sensation Peter Sagan (Liquigas-Cannondale) made a tough uphill climb to the finish in Boulogne-sur-Mer look easy, winning his second stage in his debut Tour de France. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Sky) and Peter Velits (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) filled the minor placings.

    It was a stage filled with drama with multiple crashes forcing the first two abandonments of this 99th edition of the Tour, and leaving several riders nursing injuries.

    Fabian Cancellara (RadioShack-Nissan) maintained his seven second overall lead over Bradley Wiggins (Sky), while Michael Morkov's spell in the break should see him safe in the polka dot jersey for a few more days. Stage 3 however, belongs to Sagan who now holds a 42-point lead in the battle for the maillot vert.


  • Nervous Evans relieved BMC's fortunes remain intact

    Cadel Evans (BMC)
    Article published:
    July 04, 2012, 4:51 BST
    Jane Aubrey

    Defending champion admits 10 second deficit to Wiggins is "not optimal"

    Cadel Evans (BMC) moved up one place on the general classification after Stage 3, although his time deficit to rival Bradley Wiggins (Sky) remained at 10 seconds.

    The slight improvement for the Australian in his Tour de France defence came via teammate Philippe Gilbert, who tumbled out of the top 10 following a crash. The benefits for Evans on Tuesday however small may be realised in the coming fortnight with Wiggins' team now down to eight men due to Kanstantsin Siutsou's broken left tibia.

    "To be one man down, it's not an advantage that's for sure," said Evans when told of Sky's misfortune. "Nine's better."

    BMC too had a few nervous moments with Gilbert crashing after being collided with from behind as he did his best to avoid one of the more serious pile-ups of the day, 30km out from the finish. The shunt left Gilbert with a grazed elbow and a damaged shoe, but personally, the greatest damage was done to his hopes of a stage victory – the Belgian forced into one of the many chase groups.

    "It's always a worry to lose teammates," admitted Evans. "Whenever there's a crash in the peloton you're just hoping all you're guys come through. We need to be firing on all cylinders all the way to Paris.

    "Phil, he's a pretty robust individual. He can lose a bit of skin but he just keeps going," Evans continued. "For him it was probably one of the last opportunities to have a go for himself today, but the most important thing is that we stay healthy and that our GC is pretty good."

    Evans' body language as he crossed the finish line of Saturday's

  • Millar selected for Team GB Olympic road race team

    David Millar (Garmin - Sharp)
    Article published:
    July 04, 2012, 9:48 BST
    Cycling News

    Stannard, Cavendish, Wiggins and Froome also picked

    The Great Britian team for the men's cycling road race at the London 2012 Olympic Games has been finalised this morning, with the big news being David Millar's inclusion in the five-man squad.

    The Garmin-Sharp rider saw a lifetime Olympic ban for doping offences overturned in a high profile case at the Court of Arbitration for Sport in April, where it was ruled that lifetime sanctions imposed on offenders by the British Olympic Association (BOA) were unlawful. Millar was banned from all cycling for two years after admitting doping in 2004 and the BOA immediately imposed a lifetime ban on him competing for Team GB.

    Millar was selected on the eight-man long list last month (see video below) and he has now received the ultimate backing from his peers and his superiors in the Team GB heirarchy by being chosen for the Games. He will be hopeful that he can now draw a line under a saga that has run for several weeks.

    Millar is currently riding at the Tour de France, as are Mark Cavendish, Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome - who have also been selected to the Team GB squad. They will be joined in London by that trio's Team Sky colleague Ian Stannard, who was crowned British road race champion in Yorkshire last month.

    Reigning road world champion Cavendish is the hot favourite for the Olympic road race, which takes place in Surrey and Greater London on July 28.

    Team GB five-man team for the 2012 Olympic road race: Mark Cavendish (Team Sky), Chris Froome (Team Sky), David Millar (Garmin-Sharp), Ian Stannard (Team Sky), Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky)

  • Morkov gives Saxo Bank Tinkoff reason to celebrate

    Michael Morkov (Team Saxo Bank-Tinkoff)
    Article published:
    July 04, 2012, 10:49 BST
    Brecht Decaluwé

    Nuyens aiming for stage win and post-Tour races

    Due to the absence of Alberto Contador the Saxo Bank-Tinkoff team lacks a leader. While that's not only the case during the Tour de France, it's also been an issue during most of the first part of the season. After the Olympic Games the Spaniard will re-join the squad of Bjarne Riis but for now the team has to fight with the weapons it has.

    The team is currently banking on the heroic efforts of Michael Morkov. The Dane is rising to the challenge as he's been part of the long breakaway group everyday so far, grabbing most of the KOM points and thus wearing the polka dot jersey.

    "We drank a glass [of champagne] after he got the jersey," teammate Nick Nuyens said. "The new sponsor [Tinkoff Bank] was only announced recently and we're already on the podium. From the first stage on we had the polka dot jersey. That's a great bonus, also for Michael. He's a team player but now it's for him. He's making his name. He deserves this. He's been in almost every breakaway attempt this year and finally he's receiving a reward for it. He's saying it himself too: it's my moment of glory in my career," Nuyens said.

    "It's nice for him, nice for the team and the new sponsor. He took some extra points today. Now there're a couple of days coming up with few points at stake so he's a little bit longer in the jersey. He's been in a long breakaway in stages with a lot of wind for three days in a row now; that's pretty hard."

    The Belgian classics specialist Nuyens is one of the key riders in the Saxo Bank-Tinkoff team. An injury...

  • Report: Alex Rasmussen given 18-month ban for whereabouts violations

    Denmark's Alex Rasmussen looks pretty pleased with the evening's progress
    Article published:
    July 04, 2012, 13:12 BST
    Cycling News

    Court of Arbitration for Sport overturns Danish decision, media says

    Alex Rasmussen has been given an 18-month suspension for whereabouts violations by the Court of Arbitration for Sport, according to the Danish media. The Court has not yet made its action public.

    The Dane had three violations of the whereabouts reporting system, missing three doping controls in an 18-month period. He was fired by his then-team HTC-Highroad last September and suspended by the Danish Cycling Union.

    In November, the Danish Olympic Committee decided not to sanction him, citing UCI procedural errors. Rasmussen was allegedly informed of his last violation 10 weeks after it occurred, instead of the prescribed 14 days.

    Rasmussen has been riding for Garmin-Sharp this year.

    Cyclingnews will have more on this story later.