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First Edition Cycling News, Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Date published:
June 13, 2012, 1:00 BST
  • Millar: I'd written off the Olympics

    David Millar (Garmin-Barracuda)
    Article published:
    June 12, 2012, 17:33 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Briton says decision to put himself forward for selection was not easy

    British rider David Millar (Garmin-Barracuda) has told BBC Sport that his decision to change his stance on selection for the London 2012 Olympic Games was not an easy one and it will force him revisit demons from his past that he has tried so hard to exorcise.

    The 35-year-old is widely tipped to be on the long list of British riders in contention for selection, which is to be officially revealed tomorrow. Millar was originally banned from competing at the Games after he was given a lifetime ban by the British Olympic Association for admitting to doping in 2004.

    But in April Millar's lifetime ban and that of several other disgraced British athletes was overturned at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), when the World Anti Doping Agency (WADA) successfully argued that lifetime bans were unlawful according to the code it had already put in place, which made provision for the punishment of cheats. Great Britain had been the only country who imposed lifetime bans on its athletes, and this was declared unlawful.

    Millar has been a strong anti-doping activist in the years since he completed his ban and repeatedly stated in the lead-up to the verdict that he would find it almost impossible to go to the Olympics with such a stigma attached to him. Now, it appears, he has changed his mind after careful thought and consideration, and he is in line for one of the five spots on Team GB for the Olympic road race.

    "This is not the easy path for me. I had written off the Olympics," he told BBC Sport.

    "To decide to go to the Olympics is to...

  • Harlem Skyscraper Cycling Classic next stop for USA Crits

    The Men's pros line up to start under the Stars and Stripes for the National Anthem.
    Article published:
    June 12, 2012, 21:33 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Full circle for John Eustice

    It's ironic that 39 years after rolling to the line at the very first Harlem Skyscraper Cycling Classic, American cycling legend John Eustice is now in charge of the very same event.

    "I rode the first one." Eustice said recently during preparations for next week's event where he is now the Race Director. The race, which is set to take place on Father's Day, June 17, is the seventh stop on the 2012 USA CRITS Championship calendar.

    Established in 1973 by David Walker, a NYPD Community Affairs Officer who wanted to create an event to draw children to his cycling safety program, Walker's vision for the event remains true to this day. Following the opening kids' races, winners get to go home with a new bike, just like they've done for nearly four decades.

    Eustice himself began racing in 1970. His first big races were the National Intermediate (12 - 14) Championships in Central Park, and track events out at the Kissena Velodrome in Queens. He actually used to race against Gene Dixon of USA CRITS as juniors. And here they are, 40 years later, still at it.

    "I just always loved riding bicycles, and for some strange reason, always wanted to be a racer from the time I was about eight years old," Eustice recalls.

    It's hard for Eustice to pinpoint a single moment in his racing career that stands out as his favorite. Coming in second at a big Italian race at the tender age of 19, becoming a national road champion in 1982, and going on the first training ride with his Gianni Motta squad (the first-ever US professional team to race a Grand Tour) are all equally special.

    But eventually Eustice made the jump to promoter, not only as a means of staying involved with the sport, but also as a way to ensure cycling remains viable.

    "I believe in cycling as a community benefit and in racing as a way of establishing the sport and the activity of cycling, of giving it credence and acceptance in society. Race promotion (is) a way of...

  • IG Pro Cycling Index – post Dauphiné update

    Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky) secured his second consecutive victory in the Criterium du Dauphine
    Article published:
    June 12, 2012, 23:20 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Wiggins remains in 5th

    Bradley Wiggins remains in fifth after defending his Critérium du Dauphiné (tier 1) title. Wiggins continued his stellar season that has seen him win his third stage race of the season. In doing so he became the first rider to win Paris-Nice and the Dauphiné in the same year since Eddy Merckx in 1971.

    After the result many would expect Wiggins to move up the rankings and not stay in 5th place but the fact that the Pro Cycling Index is a rolling ranking system meant that Wiggins merely replicated his performance from 2011. As a result his overall points tally did not go up that much. Similarly Cadel Evans only dropped a small amount of points by finishing 3rd this year compared to his 2nd from 2011.

    Wiggins infamously crashed out the Tour de France on stage eight last year and therefore has little points (25) to defend. If he rides strongly at this year’s Tour he could well mountain a challenge for the top spot as the riders above either have points to defend from 2011 (Gilbert and Cavendish) or are likely to not ride the Tour (Rodriguez). Only Tom Boonen, along with Wiggins, out of the top five has a small total from 2011 to defend.

    The top ten did see one place change. Tony Martin moved up to tenth at the expense of Thomas Voeckler. Again this was due to the 12 month rolling rankings structure of the Index. Both riders actually have lower points totals than last week as they failed this year to match their exploits in the 2011 Dauphiné. Tony Martin moved up a spot as he managed to perform better than Voeckler in stages during the...

  • Goss refining lead out for the Tour de France in Slovenia

    Matt Goss (Orica-GreenEdge) can't hide his delight in Horsens.
    Article published:
    June 13, 2012, 2:49 BST
    By:
    Jane Aubrey

    "Incredible" Impey crucial to sprint success

    Matt Goss (Orica GreenEdge) will try a different tack in the lead in to what he hopes will be a very successful July with both the Tour de France and the Olympic Games road race at the height of his season agenda.

    Goss will link up with key lead out men Daryl Impey and Brett Lancaster at the Tour de Slovenie, which starts on Thursday, in a bid to fine-tune his preparation.

    "It's going to be a bit of a different experience," Goss told Cyclingnews. "It's only a short, little hit out being only four days – two flatter stages, a mountain stage and then a time trial so, it's going to be a different preparation but at the same time I think it should be pretty good."

    In 2011, Goss rode the Tour de Suisse in the lead up to his debut at the Tour de France, but having raced the Tour of Turkey, and the Giro d'Italia he believes that his schedule would have been "too heavy" this time around.

    Lancaster was key to Goss' performance in Turkey where he frustratingly came away with four second places, but the 25-year-old believes that with the added firepower of Impey, with whom he also raced with at the Giro, he will gain some added momentum in the push for the finish line. Goss describes Impey's impact as "incredible" - a consistent 20 to 25 seconds worth of power he can't be without when it comes to the sprint.

    "He's really got a lot of power," Goss said of the South African. "He's quite strong and...

  • Omega Pharma – QuickStep name Tour de France shortlist

    Tony Martin (Omega-Pharma QuickStep) was dropped on the Joux Plane
    Article published:
    June 13, 2012, 5:20 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Martin, Leipheimer and Chavanel headline

    Omega Pharma – QuickStep has named a shortlist of 13 riders from which their line up for this year's Tour de France will be selected.

    "The athletes will be chosen next week based on the latest indications that will emerge from an important race like the Tour de Suisse," commented Sport Director Wilfried Peeters.

    The team is headed by an in-form Sylvain Chavanel, Levi Leipheimer and Tony Martin. Chavanel was very active during the recent Critérium du Dauphiné, while Martin finished just outside the top 20. The German's performance followed his overall win at the Tour of Belgium. This week the world time trial champion will be reconnoitering the Tour de France stages located in the Alps as well as the course of the first long time trial from Arc-et-Senans to Besançon (41.5 km).

    "Until Thursday, we will inspect the Alps and the first long time trial. After that, I'm looking forward to a quiet weekend at home," the 27-year-old told German Radsport-News.

    Leipheimer returned to racing last month at the Tour of California, having suffered a broken fibula when he was hit by a car during training in April.

    Tom Boonen, 2007 Tour de France green jersey winner, long ago announced he would not contend this year's edition, instead using the Tour de Suisse...

  • Andy Schleck reported to be out of Tour de France

    Thumbs up from Andy Schleck on the stage 4 start line.
    Article published:
    June 13, 2012, 10:03 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    RadioShack-Nissan rider seriously injured in Dauphiné crash

    Andy Schleck (RadioShack-Nissan) is said to have been more seriously injured in the Critérium du Dauphiné crash than previously thought, and will not be able to ride the Tour de France, according to Luxembourg websites.

    Examinations have shown that he fractured his pelvis and will be out for six weeks, tageblatt.lu reported. According to rtl.lu, he fractured a vertaebra which is part of the pelvis.

    His father Johnny Schleck has confirmed to RTL that Andy Schleck will not ride the Tour, Ekstrabladet.dk reported. Wort.lu says a member of the riders "inner circle" conrirmed the news to them.

    Cyclingnews tried to call Schleck for comment, but he did not respond. RadioShack-Nissan has called a press conference for Wednesday afternoon.

    He was the victim of a crash in the Dauphine's time trial, ridden in heavy winds. Rounding a sharp right hand bend 12 kilometres into the stage, a sudden gust caught his rear disc wheel, and Schleck hit the ground.

    A day later Schleck declared that while he was sore, he had no intentions of leaving the race. “I’ve abandoned too many times this year already,” he said. The pain proved to be too much, though, and he dropped out during the sixth stage.

    Timeline of a troubled season:

    December 2011: Andy Schleck attends first training camp with the merged RadioShack-Nissan team in Calpe, Spain, which is now under the...

  • Wiggins may not yet be at his peak, says Holm

    Bradley Wiggins completed his overall victory with ease
    Article published:
    June 13, 2012, 12:52 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Dane says “living computer” is now Tour de France favourite

    Bradley Wiggins is the top favourite now to win the Tour de France, according to Brian Holm. The Dane even said that the Team Sky rider may not have hit his peak yet. “He is a living computer who knows exactly what he is doing,” Holm said.

    Wiggins recently won the Criterium du Dauphine for the second consecutive year. Holm, now a sport director with Omega Pharma-QuickStep, worked with the Briton in 2008 when both were with HTC-Highroad.

    “He has done a great ride and is clearly Tour favourite now,” Holm told sporten.dk. “Actually I am almost afraid that Wiggins has not yet peaked.  He is a living computer who knows exactly what he is doing. I find it hard to imagine that his form is too far advanced.” 

    Still, Holm looks forward to a good Tour. “The Tour de France seems to be very exciting this year. I think a rider like Robert Gesink (Rabobank) showed good form at the Tour of California and has improved his time trialling a lot.”

    He looks to an outsider on his Belgian team to do well. “Personally, I hope that a rider like Peter Velits can be our secret weapon. If he can ride like he did when he was third in the Vuelta a España two years ago, he may be dangerous. But we will not arrange the whole team around him.”

  • Millar selected on Team GB long list for Olympic Games

    Mark Cavendish (Sky)
    Article published:
    June 13, 2012, 13:33 BST
    By:
    Mark Robinson

    Track, BMX and MTB squads finalised

    British Cycling announced their squads for the track, BMX and MTB events for the forthcoming London 2012 Olympics at a press conference in Manchester this afternoon, but the biggest news was David Millar’s inclusion on the long list for the road cycling team. Mark Cavendish is expected to lead the men's team.

    While the other squads have already been rubber stamped in terms of personnel, the road squads have simply been split down into ‘long lists’, with the actual shape of the final team yet to be decided. There are eight men on the men’s list, including Millar, and from this list five will be selected over the coming weeks. On the women’s list there are six names, which must be reduced down to four.

    Millar’s participation in the Olympics had been in doubt right up to April, when CAS overruled a lifetime ban imposed on British athletes found guilty of doping by the British Olympic Association. Millar admitted to EPO use in 2004, and up until yesterday had consistently implied that he wouldn’t put himself forward for selection.

    Now it not only appears that he has changed his mind, but he has forced his way into the thoughts of the selectors. Other names to appear alongside him are pre-race favourite and current road world champion Mark Cavendish and three-time Olympic gold medallist Bradley Wiggins.

    “We have selected what I believe to be an excellent team going into the Olympic Games and we have a good mix of experienced Olympians alongside young riders who are making their debuts,” said British Cycling Performance Director Dave Brailsford.

    “We still have some decisions to make –...