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First Edition Cycling News, Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Date published:
June 18, 2014, 1:00 BST
  • Tour de Suisse win a confidence boost for Sagan

    Peter Sagan (Cannondale) wins stage 3 in the Tour de Suisse
    Article published:
    June 17, 2014, 14:48 BST
    Cycling News

    Ninth career win for Cannondale rider in Swiss stage race

    Peter Sagan (Cannondale) won a trademark sprint on stage three of the Tour de Suisse, looking impressive and fit as he fine-tunes his form for the Tour de France. Sagan uphill sprint win in Heiden was his sixth win of 2014.

    "It was an hard stage and the finale was really insidious as well as unpredictable," said Sagan. "There were many possible winners in the leading group but not many chances to play. When I saw [Sergio] Henao and [Cadel] Evans attacking, I decided to stay in the first positions and to wait. I thought the two last corners would be the key moments of the sprint if we were all together."

    "On the last one, Albasini was the fastest, taking the perfect trajectory. The only option I had was to take the outside line and to open the gas on the final straight. Everything went perfect."

    The win was Sagan's ninth at the Tour de Suisse, adding to his two wins in 2011, four in 2012 and two again in 2013. 

    "After the first stage result I was pretty happy, because time trial are not my kind of race," he said. "On Sunday I was little disappointed because it was a good chance and I wasn't able to take it. Anyway, I felt good and I wanted to try again. I want to thanks my teammates for the support they gave me. It's never easy to manage a stage like this."

    With the ambition of claiming a third consecutive green jersey at the Tour de France, Sagan explained the win was an important confidence boost ahead of the July 5 start in Leeds, Yorkshire.

    "I'm really happy I took this success for the team and for myself. As I said before the start race, Tour de Suisse is an important test for me. Having so good feeling and taking victory, it's a big boost of confidence."

  • Tour de France selection dilemma for FDJ

    Nacer Bouhanni (FDJ) celebrates the points classification victory
    Article published:
    June 17, 2014, 15:00 BST
    Peter Cossins

    Pinot, Démare and Bouhanni all vying for places

    Football managers describe it as the kind of headache they don't mind having. Several of their players come into top form at the same time, providing them with a dilemma to resolve over selection, albeit one where each choice offers some guarantees.

    Such is the current situation for boss Marc Madiot. He already has sprinter Arnaud Démare and climber Thibaut Pinot pencilled in as his Tour leaders, but is now mulling over if and how he can accommodate Giro d’Italia points champion Nacer Bouhanni among his nine starters in Yorkshire on 5 July.

    Madiot has already suggested that the decision on Bouhanni's selection will depend to a large extent on how Pinot fares at the Tour de Suisse. The FDJ boss said recently that Pinot would be entitled to ask for an extra climber to be added to the Tour line-up if he finishes well up in the Swiss race - the GC rider recently told L'Équipe that he would have four riders working for him at the Tour. He currently lies 13th, having gained 10 places on stage three thanks to some canny tactics and strong riding by his team.

    Despite finishing outside the time limit on the Dauphiné’s final stage, Démare looks nailed on for his Tour debut. That leaves Bouhanni, who has spent the last few days on a training camp in the Vosges with his younger brother Rayane and his FDJ teammate Francis Mourey.

    "I've come out of the Giro in perfect condition," Bouhanni has told L'Équipe. "After the Giro I even managed to complete training rides of between seven and eight hours. I really rode well and feel that I passed another barrier."

    His coach, Jacques Decrion, was even more effusive, describing...

  • AG2R-La Mondiale name eight riders for Tour de France

    Romain Bardet (Ag2r-La Mondiale) was best young rider.
    Article published:
    June 17, 2014, 15:51 BST
    Cycling News

    Betancur debut delayed due to illness

    AG2R-La Mondiale have named eight of the nine riders that will represent them at this year's Tour de France.

    The team confirmed that Romain Bardet, Jean-Christophe Péraud and Christophe Riblon will head up the team. The trio have consistently been the team's and France's best performers at the Tour de France in recent years.

    Bardet finished 15th in last year’s Tour and was France's top general classification rider. Péraud had been on for that title, sitting in ninth when he crashed out during the second time trial on stage 17. Riblon was the only Frenchman to win a stage in last year's race, taking victory ahead of Tejay van Garderen (BMC) atop the Alpe d'Huez.

    Carlos Betancur was not one of the riders in the list. He was supposed to be riding the Tour de Suisse this week, but failed to turn up in Lyon – where the team had arranged to meet him. Colombian national coach Franco Gini later confirmed that Betancur was unable to travel due to illness and wouldn't be able to ride the Tour.

    Betancur is currently in Colombia and should return to Europe in the coming weeks. AG2R team manager Vincent Lavenu told L'Équipe that he will sanction Betancur, however it will not come in the form of a fine. "I have asked him to return to Savoy, where he must renew his residence permit from the Prefecture, around July 15, said Lavenu. "There will of course be a sanction, but it will not be financial as labour law prohibits it. A procedure is in place, it may be a reprimand, a warning, or a layoff. We...

  • InCycle releases on the bike video footage from the Tour de Suisse

    Marc Goos (Belkin) pulls back the breakaway
    Article published:
    June 17, 2014, 19:09 BST
    Cycling News

    A first look from inside the peloton

    IMG, the organizers of the Tour de Suisse and producer of the inCycle TV show has released the first on-bike video content from this year's race, giving a special view from inside the peloton at the most dramatic moments of the race.

    IMG has begun to work closely with numerous teams and fitted forward and rear facing Shimano cameras on several rider's bikes in the Swiss stage race. Each device will capture material for digital and TV distribution through the IMG's weekly inCycle show, which is also shown on Cyclingnews.

    Video content from stage 3 has been released today and shows one of the Belkin riders making a lone attack and how Jonathan Fumeaux (IAM Cycling) goes deep to get across to him.

    Other clips captures the emotions of descending and sprinting to the finish in the peloton on stage two, while a camera fixed to a Belkin team car captures Marc Goos on the descent in the opening time trial and his crash on a high-speed hairpin.

    IMG will produce more on-bike content during the rest of the Tour de Suisse.

    "With the inCycle show we've gone behind the scenes to capture special interviews and content. The next step is to get inside the racing," Floris Weisz, Head of Sales & Business Development IMG Media Cycling told Cyclingnews.

    "These clips from the Tour de Suisse are recorded but our aim is to go on to produce live in-race video content so that everyone can see and understand the speed and emotions of the racing. We've already captured some special content and we'll have more during the remaining stages of the Tour de Suisse."

    "The cameras weigh just 150g and the rider seem happy to use them. They've even been waving to the camera and doing stuff in front of them. People should keep on watching to see what happens in the sprints...

  • Teams announced for 2014 Tour of Alberta

    Rohan Dennis (Garmin-Sharp) gets his final podium kisses for taking the overall win.
    Article published:
    June 17, 2014, 19:58 BST
    Cycling News

    Large presence of Canadian teams in second edition

    Organisers of the Tour of Alberta have named all 15 teams which will participate in the 2014 edition of the race, with WorldTour teams Cannondale, Orica-GreenEdge and Giant-Shimano joining previously announced Garmin-Sharp, Belkin Pro Cycling and UnitedHealthcare as headliners of the second edition of the Canadian event.

    The 2.1 race will also include a strong contingent of Canadian teams, with a composite squad led by former pro and national team director Gord Fraser, and two Continental teams, Garneau-Quebecor and Silber Pro Cycling.

    "I look forward to bringing the national team to Alberta again for 2014," Fraser said. "Last year’s inaugural edition was a tremendous success not only for the development of my Canadian riders, but also showcasing professional cycling to media and business leaders in western Canada and across the globe. Last year my rider Antoine Duchesne had a fantastic race that helped him secure a place on a WorldTour team and I'm hoping someone from this year’s team has a similar opportunity."

    Six Continental teams from the USA round out the roster, with Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis, Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies, Hincapie Sportswear Development Team, the SmartStop squad of US national champion Eric Marcotte, 5 Hour Energy and the Bissell Development Team, which is led by Canadian resident Axel Merckx.

    The first edition of the race in 2013 was won by Garmin-Sharp's Rohan Dennis.

    Teams for the 2014 Tour of Alberta:

    Belkin Pro Cycling
    Silber Pro Cycling
    Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis
    Optum p/b Kelly Benefit...

  • Wiggins dealt double blow in Tour de Suisse

    Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky)
    Article published:
    June 17, 2014, 21:00 BST
    Cycling News

    Crash compounds illness woes for Team Sky rider

    If Bradley Wiggins wanted to earn a chance to show himself to the Team Sky leaders with a stellar Tour de Suisse performance ahead of selection for the Tour de France, he wasn't helped by his fortunes. After falling ill and losing 2:25 on stage 3's hectic finish, a crash on today's fourth stage set him even further back.

    Wiggins crashed into the barriers along with CCC Polsat's Jaroslaw Marycz at the end of the first of two final circuits, and took several minutes to remount and begin chasing down the peloton. In the end, he lost 11:55, and is now well down in the overall classification in 99th place.

    His team reported this afternoon that his injuries were not serious.

    "As for Bradley, he sustained grazing and bruising to the muscles on his right leg, which will be treated overnight and the team doctor will be reviewing his injury in the morning," directeur sportif Dan Frost said on

    "Bradley has been carrying a mild chest infection from the weekend so he has been taking antibiotics and his condition has improved. Racing with this illness has affected him a bit, but he’s shown his commitment and has worked really well for the team."

    Earlier this month, Wiggins aired his grievances at being possibly left out of Team Sky's Tour de France squad in an interview with BBC television. The 2012 Tour de France champion won that title despite barely reined in ambition from the subsequent Tour winner and teammate Chris Froome. Both riders have shown fine form and motivation in recent months, although Wiggins, should he earn a berth for the Tour, has stated that he would submit to the role of a helper.

    Team principal David...

  • Broken collarbone for Ratto in Tour de Suisse

    Daniele Ratto (Cannondale)
    Article published:
    June 18, 2014, 0:40 BST
    Cycling News

    Cannondale rider crashed in neutral section

    Team Cannondale confirmed today that its rider Daniele Ratto suffered a compound fracture of the right collarbone in a crash during the neutral roll-out of stage 4 of the Tour de Suisse.

    Ratto, an important lead-out rider for Peter Sagan, was involved in a multi-rider fall on a treacherous neutral section, tipping downhill at an 18 per cent grade.

    Jelle Vanendert (Lotto Belisol) also crashed in the stage and abandoned the race with an injured elbow and knee.

    Because of the crash, the race organisers extended the neutral section by 5 kilometers.

  • Daniel Teklehaimanot animates at the Tour de Suisse

    Daniel Teklehaimanot (MTN-Qhubeka) on the attack with Laurens De Vrees (Wanty)
    Article published:
    June 18, 2014, 3:10 BST
    Cycling News

    Eritrean executed plan to get into the breakaway

    On the fourth stage of the Tour de Suisse, won by Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma-Quick Step), 25-year-old Eritrean Daniel Teklehaimanot (MTN-Qhubeka) spent close to 150km riding in the breakaway with Laurens De Vreese (Wanty Groupe Gobert) as was planned by the team.

    The duo had a maximum of five minutes on the chasing peloton but with Omega Pharma-Quick Step keen on a bunch sprint finish, they were caught with 10km to go. 

    MTN-Qhubeka's director sportif Jens Zemke explained that it was a successful day with the team executing its plan by getting Teklehaimanot into the break.

    "Our plan was to place Daniel in the leading group today and he did it," Zemke said. "He showed a strong fighting spirit, won the last GPM and and the bunch caught him and his companion with 10km to go. All was prepared for a sprint of the champions."

    With the break caught, MTN then worked to set up Gerald Ciolek for the sprint win with Jaco Venter and Jay Thomson protecting the sprinter in the run in. The 2013 Milan-San Remo winner was boxed in having been dropped off by the team with 1.5km to go but finished inside the top-twenty.

    The team's GC rider,Sergio Pardilla, finished in the bunch to remain in 12th place overall, 31 seconds down on race leader Tony Martin (Omega Pharma-Quick Step).

    "We finished 17th with Gerald and Sergio was well protected throughout the day and finished in the bunch,"  Zemke said.