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First Edition Cycling News, Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Date published:
June 20, 2012, 1:00 BST
  • Greipel leads Lotto Belisol at the Tour de France

    Another win for Andre Greipel (Lotto Belisol)
    Article published:
    June 20, 2012, 0:13 BST
    Cycling News

    Henderson selected to finally make his debut

    Lotto Belisol has announced their line-up for the Tour de France with André Greipel's sprint train forming the nucleus of the squad.

    The German sprinter joins Lars Bak, Francis De Greef, Adam Hansen, Greg Henderson, Jürgen Roelandts, Marcel Sieberg, Jurgen Van den Broeck and Jelle Vanendert with Jurgen Van de Walle listed as a reserve.

    Sports director Marc Sergeant is pleased with the final selection but admitted it created some headaches.

    "I think I might say we have a balanced and homogeneous selection of riders who already proved themselves to be ready at the right moment and who can manage on different terrains," he explained in a team press release.

    "Obviously we had to make some decisions, but every year that's the case. Francis De Greef had a good Giro, is very solid and can go a long way in the mountains. After the Giro we decided not enter him at the Dauphiné or Tour of Switzerland, because the preparation would have been too hard. Adam Hansen also proved in the last week of the Giro that he is able to climb and is in shape at the right time."

    Among those to have missed out, Bart De Clercq, a stage winner at the Giro d'Italia in 2011, showed...

  • Cancellara leads Swiss Olympic road cycing team

    Fabian Cancellara (RadioShack-Nissan)
    Article published:
    June 20, 2012, 5:14 BST
    Cycling News

    Defending time trial champion joined by Games debutants

    Fabian Cancellara has been confirmed to defend his Beijing Olympic time trial title as part of the five-man team for the London Games.

    Then as a two-time world champion in the discipline Cancellara defeated Swede Gustav Larsson and American Levi Leipheimer to claim the gold medal by 33 seconds. In the road race he then finished second behind Spain's Samuel Sanchez.

    Cancellara will take on the race against the clock with Michael Albasini, who is making his Olympic debut following a successful year which has included three stage wins and the overall title at the Volta Ciclista a Catalunya.

    The pair will combine in the road race with Martin Elmiger, Gregory Rast and Michael Schär – the latter three also competing at the Olympics for the first time.

    Martin Kohler has been named as a reserve.

    Cancellara's season hit a speed bump when he fractured his collarbone at the Tour of Flanders on April 1. He finished second in the individual time trial at the recent Tour de Suisse but did not see the result as cause for concern with his focus firmly on the Olympics.

    "I can't just go to London. I can really only lose. Four years ago I had gold and silver, so everyone expects that this time I will get double gold," he told Het Nieuwsblad last week.


  • De Clercq finished Tour de Suisse with collapsed lung

    Bart De Clercq (Omega Pharma-Lotto)
    Article published:
    June 20, 2012, 9:32 BST
    Cycling News

    Lotto-Belisol rider recovering in hospital

    Bart De Clercq rode out the Tour de Suisse with a collapsed lung, and is now in hospital for several days. Despite the pain, the Lotto-Belisol rider managed to finish 12th on the final stage and 14th overall.

    He crashed during the race, and complained on Saturday about the pain, but it didn't stop him from being his team's top finisher on the difficult final mountain stage.

    The 25-year-old will now spend three or four days in hospital, and will probably have to wait another two or three weeks before resuming training.

    “A normal lung is right up against the rib cage,” team doctor Jan Mathieu said on the team website.  “When air gets stuck between the lung and the ribs, the lung collapses inward and reduces lung capacity.”

    The lung is now operating normally again, “but now comes the recovery, of course,” Mathieu said.

    “I must say it is phenomenal that Bart was able to put in such a performance on Sunday.”

  • Kessiakoff to Tour de France or Tour of Austria?

    Fredrik Kessiakoff (Astana) would take a narrow victory over Fabian Cancellara in the time trial.
    Article published:
    June 20, 2012, 10:39 BST
    Susan Westemeyer

    Conflicting comments from Astana rider

    Will Fredrik Kessiakoff ride the Tour de France or the Tour of Austria next month? Wednesday morning saw quotes from the Astana rider declaring he would ride both races – which would hardly be possible, as both start on the same weekend.

    Kessiakoff told that he expected to be named to the Tour de France squad. “They did not want to make the same mistake as last year and not take me,” he said.

    Last year he instead rode the Tour of Austria, where he won the second stage on his way to the overall title.

    In fact, the Tour of Austria sent out a press release Wednesday morning proudly declaring that Kessiakoff would defend his title there. “My form got increasingly better throughout the Tour de Suisse and I will come to Austria with a top team,” he told the race organisers.

    The Tour of Austria announced Kessiakoff and the other seven Astana riders nominated for the race, but acknowledged to Cyclingnews that the teams can change their squads up to 72 hours before the race. Astana has not yet announced its Tour de France line-up.

    Cyclingnews has asked Kessiakoff and Astana for comments on the matter.

  • Pozzato consulted with Ferrari "for training advice"

    Filippo Pozzato (Farnese Vini-Selle Italia) in Sulmona.
    Article published:
    June 20, 2012, 11:42 BST
    Cycling News

    Italian risks six-month suspension

    Filippo Pozzato has admitted working with Dr. Michele Ferrari from 2005 to 2009 but claimed that he consulted with the notorious doctor only to obtain training programmes and advice on nutrition, according to a report in Gazzetta dello Sport.

    The Farnese Vini-Selle Italia rider was called to appear before the Italian Olympic Committee’s (CONI) anti-doping procura in Rome on Tuesday to discuss allegations that he had been a client of Ferrari’s. La Repubblica reported at the weekend that investigators in the Padova-based doping inquiry had intercepted a telephone call in 2009 in which Pozzato had spoken of working with Ferrari.

    “It’s true, I went to Michele Ferrari from 2005 to 2009, then they told me that it was forbidden and that I risked being suspended so I stopped going there,” Pozzato told the CONI hearing, according to Gazzetta dello Sport.

    Ferrari was banned by the Italian Cycling Federation (FCI) on the back of rider testimony relating to his activities and in February 2002, the body announced that it would hand down suspensions of up to six months to riders who were found to have consulted with him.

    “I never received any instructions about doping products,” Pozzato said. “I only got training plans from Ferrari.”

    Such training advice is said to have come at quite a price - some €40,000 to €50,000 per year, according to La Repubblica. Pozzato is also said to have told the hearing that he “honestly” could not...

  • Hushovd healthy again and looking to London Olympics

    Thor Hushovd (BMC Racing Team)
    Article published:
    June 20, 2012, 12:26 BST
    Cycling News

    BMC rider to ride Tour of Poland as final warm-up

    Thor Hushovd has recovered from the virus that plagued him for so long this spring, and is now looking forward to the London 2012 Olympics, where he will lead the Norwegian team. The BMC Racing Team rider is disappointed to miss this year's Tour de France, but said he expects to be in the Tour line-up again next year.

    In May, Hushovd had to abandon the Giro d'Italia after only six stages. He took a ten-day break of complete rest before returning to training. “I feel much better in training than before the break. It is completely different and completely obvious that I needed a break,”' he told the Norwegian news agency NTB.

    The illness changed all his plans for the season, and he will now ride the Tour of Poland (July 10-18) as his warm up for the Olympics. “I have started to build capacity through interval workouts in training, and, in Poland, I'm going to ride hard. As there aren't many races before the Olympics, it is important that I go deep when the opportunities present themselves," he said.

    "Since it has been a long time since the last race, there will be a hungry cyclist starting in Poland!”

    Hushovd will serve as “road captain” for the four-man Norwegian team at the Olympics. The Scandinavian team is also sending Edvald Boasson Hagen, Alexander Kristoff and Lars Petter Nordhaug.

    The decision to not ride the Tour de France was the right one, he told, if not an easy one. “The disappointment that I did not get to ride the Tour de France has settled, now I am looking to the future.”  He will be back stronger than ever next year, Hushovd said.

  • Wiggins relaxed as Tour de France draws closer

    Bradley Wiggins celebrates his overall win in the Criterium du Dauphine
    Article published:
    June 20, 2012, 13:33 BST
    Mark Robinson

    Team Sky man not feeling the pressure of favouritism

    Team Sky's Bradley Wiggins was in a relaxed mood when Cyclingnews caught up with him yesterday at his training base for the crucial final few days before the 2012 Tour de France. The 32-year-old is currently on the Spanish island of Mallorca with his family as he puts the finishing touches to a training regime that, 12 months in the making, is wholly dedicated to performing up to standard at cycling's most famous race.

    That standard has risen in recent months. Wiggins has enjoyed an unprecedented run of success in 2012 thus far, becoming the first man to win Paris-Nice, the Tour de Romandie and the Criterium du Dauphine in the same season. That form has catapulted Wiggins to the top of the oddsmakers' lists for the Tour de France, which starts on June 30, where he will attempt to end a 109-year drought for British riders and thus become the first Briton to win the event.

    Wiggins insisted, however, that the tag of favourite isn't a burden - it's simply shows how well he and and his team have been performing over the last few months.

    "I’m not really feeling any pressure," he said. "I’m in this position now because I’ve done well and that’s a nice thing to be able to say. I remember going into the 2010 Tour answering all the usual questions and knowing that I wasn’t in any sort of form – that’s a different type of pressure.

    "I now realise what it takes to compete and to train hard week in, week out. I also have the maturity to be able to lead races and not have it take so much out of you that you need two months off after a big success. The confidence from winning those races has also helped build the momentum.

    "But the plan has always been to be...

  • Omega Pharma-QuickStep names Tour de France team

    Levi Leipheimer (Radioshack-Nissan) looking comfortable during his TT.
    Article published:
    June 20, 2012, 14:56 BST
    Cycling News

    Leipheimer, Martin and Velits lead the line

    Omega Pharma-QuickStep had named a solid line-up for the Tour de France as it bids to make a serious impact on the general classification after a startling run of spring form that saw the team dominate the cobbled classics.

    Although he requested not to be considered for the United States Olympic team, Levi Leipheimer will lead Omega Pharma-QuickStep in July. The veteran American was a new arrival at the squad from RadioShack in the off-season and after a crash-interrupted opening to the campaign, he showed his form is on the up with a third-place finish at the Tour de Suisse.

    Another new signing, Peter Velits, will also be aiming to produce a solid performance over the three weeks. A podium finisher at the 2010 Vuelta a España, the Slovak was impressive in winning the Tour of Oman in February after a 2011 campaign hampered by a nagging knee injury.

    Velits’ fellow arrival from HTC-Highroad, Tony Martin, is also in the line-up and world time trial champion is among the favourites to don the first yellow jersey of the race after the Liège prologue. Indeed, with two long time trials to follow later in the race, Martin could make an impact on the overall standings himself, although he has long insisted that his priority is to win the Tour’s time trials and prepare for the same event at the London 2012 Olympics.

    “In the time trials we can count on Levi and the undeniable skills of Tony Martin, who will be in his element with more than 100 kilometres on the schedule,” said team manager...