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First Edition Cycling News, Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Date published:
June 27, 2012, 1:00 BST
  • Bouhanni youngest French champion since WW2

    Nacer Bouhanni proudly shows off his gold medal
    Article published:
    June 26, 2012, 19:35 BST
    Cycling News

    21-year-old heads youngest-ever podium at national championships

    France has a fine young generation of sprinters coming up, as became clear last Sunday at the national championship road race in Saint-Amand-les-Eaux. FDJ-Big Mat dominated the race, first by working hard to take it to a bunch sprint finish and then by delivering its two best sprinters, Arnaud Démare and Nacer Bouhanni, to a one-two placing.

    While U23 world champion Démare (20) has already gained some notoriety, Bouhanni (21) is still less known by the general public - this, however, will change now that he has surprisingly crowned himself French champion just a few centimetres in front of his teammate. FDJ manager Marc Madiot gave both sprinters the chance to prove themselves in the national road race, and Bouhanni just happened to be a tad better on the day than Démare, who may have launched his sprint too early.

    Needless to say, the second place felt bittersweet for Démare, and the rivalry between the two sprinters is evident. "It's a personal disappointment and a collective joy at the same time," Démare told L'Equipe. "Nacer was the strongest today."

    The podium was rounded out by Cofidis' Adrien Petit (21), who last year came second at the U23 Worlds behind Démare. The three of them represent the youngest podium at the French national championships in history, and Bouhanni is the youngest French champion since World War II.

    "I can't believe it. I win the French championship and I'm not even 22 years old," he said. "It's great that we have such a young podium. We are three upcoming sprinters and I hope we'll continue in this way."

  • Ricco asks CAS to repeal his ban

    A waterlogged Riccardo Ricco finishes the stage in Calcinato
    Article published:
    June 26, 2012, 20:50 BST
    Cycling News

    CONI delays Scarponi hearing

    The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) today announced that Italian Riccardo Ricco has filed an appeal to overturn his 12-year sporting ban.

    Ricco was issued the ban in April by the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) anti-doping tribunal following a year of investigation into a 2011 incident which landed the Italian in the intensive care unit of a hospital with kidney failure, where he reportedly admitted to self-administering a blood transfusion.

    Because Ricco tested positive for EPO during the 2008 Tour de France and was later banned for 20 months, the CONI's decision that his 2011 offense was an anti-doping violation equated to a second offense, and the CONI issued the 12-year ban, effectively ending the 29-year-old's career.

    Ricco has now challenged the decision and asked that the CAS annul the suspension.

    Scarponi hearing delayed

    Michele Scarponi (Lampre) was due to have his hearing in front of the CONI on June 27, but the date has been rescheduled at the rider's request.

    Scarponi is due to start the Tour de France in Liège on Saturday.

    The Italian was being called in to answer to a Padova-based investigation together with teammate Leonardo Bertagnolli. The pair were suspected of links to banned Italian doctor Michele Ferrari.

  • Tour of Hangzhou joins WorldTour for four years

    Article published:
    June 26, 2012, 21:59 BST
    Cycling News

    Basque, Canadian races renewed

    The UCI announced today that it has extended a four-year WorldTour license for the new Tour of Hangzhou in China. The event is slated to kick off its inaugural race on October 17, 2012, closing out this year's WorldTour calendar.

    It joins the Tour of Beijing as the only Asian races on the sport's top calendar.

    "The Licences Commission's decision to award a four-year licence to the Tour of Hangzhou is excellent news for cycling," said UCI President Pat McQuaid. "Thanks to this development throughout the world, but without forgetting its origins, the UCI guarantees cycling's modern status and reinforces its position among the major Olympic disciplines."

    Not neglecting the sport's historic races, the UCI also extended licenses through 2016 to the Critérium du Dauphiné and two Basque races, the Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco and Clasica Ciclista San Sebastian.

    The Canadian races Grand Prix Cycliste de Québec and the Grand Prix Cycliste de Montréal also received an early extension through 2016.

  • Liquigas-Cannondale announces Tour de France roster

    After coming up short of the stage victory yesterday, Vincenzo Nibali made amends with a solo win at Prati di Tivo.
    Article published:
    June 27, 2012, 0:44 BST
    Cycling News

    Nibali, Sagan and Basso head Italian squad

    The Liquigas-Cannondale team announced its Tour de France team today and as expected the Italian ProTeam will be led by the trio of Vincenzo Nibali, Peter Sagan and Ivan Basso.

    Nibali, the 2010 Vuelta a Espana winner and a two-time podium finisher at his home Giro d'Italia, is one of the Tour's pre-race general classification favourites and he returns to the French Grand Tour for the first time since he finished seventh overall in 2009. The 27-year-old Italian has had a solid year with a stage win and overall victory at Tirreno-Adriatico, a stage win and second overall finish at the Tour of Oman plus podium finishes at two of this season's Monuments: Milan-San Remo and Liège-Bastogne-Liège. Nibali has recently completed a final training camp at altitude and finished fifth in the Italian road championships one weekend prior to the Tour's start.

    Peter Sagan will be making one of the most eagerly anticipated Tour de France debuts in recent memory during a season in which the 22-year-old Slovakian has been one of the sport's most prolific winners. Sagan won five stages at the Tour of California, followed by four stages at the Tour de Suisse. One weekend prior to the Tour's start in Liege, Belgium, Sagan won Slovakia's road championship for the second straight year. Sagan made his Grand Tour debut last year at the Vuelta a Espana, where he won three stages, and he...

  • Goss planning to race all the way to Paris

    Matt Goss (Orica-GreenEdge) wins stage 3.
    Article published:
    June 27, 2012, 2:05 BST
    Jane Aubrey

    Orica-GreenEdge sprinter says it's not just about beating Cavendish

    It's not an easy decision for a sprinter with Olympic ambitions in 2012, but Matt Goss (Orica-GreenEdge) says that when he leaves Liège this weekend, he'll be doing so with the ambition to still be sprinting when the Tour de France reaches the Champs Elysees on July 22.

    On Monday, he was confirmed as an automatic selection for Australia's five-man road team for the Olympic Games in London, meaning that both his preparation and condition will be of the upmost importance.

    "It's a tricky one you know," Goss admitted to Cyclingnews. "There's only six days after the Tour but I definitely plan to finish the Tour at this stage and then go over to London.

    "80-85% of guys who race the Tour will be racing the Olympics but only a handful of guys will train specifically for it so a lot of us are going to be in the same boat. It's probably going to be pretty painful for the first 100kms but the last part shouldn't be too bad."

    Goss has one individual win against his name for the season, Stage 3 of the Giro d'Italia in Horsens, where he bettered JJ Haedo (Saxo Bank) and Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Barracuda) who will both be in action at the Tour. Should Goss do as planned and race to Paris, he should be in line for the green jersey. Former teammate and now rival, Mark Cavendish (Sky), says he is not eying the points classification for the second year in a row.

    Cavendish was ruled out of the sprint in Horsens, held up by a crash, and given the expectations between the two sprinters Goss for one was slightly disappointed the Sky rider was not there.

    "It would...

  • Sanchez leads Euskaltel-Euskadi at Tour de France

    Olympic champion Samuel Sánchez (Euskaltel-Euskadi) leads Jelle Vanendert (Omega Pharma-Lotto) on Luz-Ardiden.
    Article published:
    June 27, 2012, 5:03 BST
    Cycling News

    Spaniard missed national titles

    Having missed the weekend's Spanish national championships, Samuel Sánchez has been named to lead the Euskaltel-Euskadi line-up for the 2012 Tour de France.

    The defending mountains classification winner had long planned not to ride the nationals, instead using the Critérium du Dauphiné as his lead-up race.

    Sánchez will be joined at the Tour by Mikel Astarloza, Jorge Azanza, Gorka Izagirre, Egoi Martinez, Ruben Perez, Amets Txurruka, Pablo Urtasun and Gorka Verdugo.

    Sánchez has had a successful season to date and will look to better last year's result where he finished sixth on general classification. He finished second overall at the Volta Ciclista a Catalunya, won the overall and points classification at the Vuelta Ciclista al País Vasco, and finished seventh at both Amstel Gold Race and Liège - Bastogne - Liège.

    The 34-year-old crashed during the opening road stage of the Dauphiné, suffering a tear to his left latissimus dorsi muscle and an edema near his right fourth rib. He had two days off the bike before heading to the Sierra Nevada to begin his final preparations for the Tour. Sánchez said he believes that Bradley Wiggins (Sky) and defending champion Cadel Evans (BMC Racing Team) will be the riders to beat.

    "Wiggins is very strong and his Sky team is really very motivated," said Sánchez. "I also felt that Evans was going very well."


  • RadioShack-Nissan rules out WorldTour races for Fuglsang

    Jakob Fuglsang (RadioShack-Nissan).
    Article published:
    June 27, 2012, 8:40 BST
    Cycling News

    “Punishment” for critical comments

    RadioShack-Nissan has decided to stop Jakob Fuglsang from racing in any further WorldTour races this year. This will prevent him from winning any UCI points, which could help his team in 2013 – a team which will not be RadioShack-Nissan.

    Fuglsang announced that he was “disappointed” not to be named to the team's Tour de France squad, saying that it “doesn't make RadioShack my first choice for next season.” He is already said to be negotiating with Bjarne Riis to return to Saxo Bank, soon to be known as Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank.

    He received word on Monday evening from team manager Johan Bruyneel that he would not be nominated for any further WorldTour races this season. Riders earn points for good results in WorldTour races, and these points transfer with a rider if he goes to a new team. So if Fuglsang were win points this year, they would count for RadioShack this season but also for whatever team he is with next year.

    The action is seen as punishment for his critical remarks concerning the team. It will also likely decrease his value for the coming year. It is also a clear indication that RadioShack will not offer him a contract for 2013.

    “Bruyneel simply will not give me the chance to score points the rest of the year,” Fuglsang told “I asked him directly if it also means I don't ride the Vuelta a Espana, and he confirmed it.”

    “It is sad that RadioShack thinking more on points than on results. Good results in WorldTour races are important for the team, and WorldTour points are highly important for me because they help to keep my market value,” he said. “I am...

  • Hoogerland to sue over Tour de France 2011 crash

    Johnny Hoogerland is seen to after his crash in the 2011 Tour de France
    Article published:
    June 27, 2012, 9:42 BST
    Cycling News

    Vacansoleil still suffering from effects of barbed-wire injuries

    Johnny Hoogerland is going to court against Euro Media, who auto driver forced him off the road and into a barbed wire fence during stage 9 of last year's Tour de France. The media company has apparently shown little interest in negotiating a settlement with the Vacansoleil-DCM rider, and today is the deadline for filing a suit.

    With only 36km to go on the ninth stage  of the Tour 2011, Hoogerland and Juan Antonio Flecha (Sky) were in a five man-break group going for the win. The media car attempted to pass them on a narrow road and ended up hitting Flecha. The Spaniard crashed, and Hoogerland collided with him and was then catapulted into a barbed-wire fence alongside the road.

    Both riders finished the race, and Hoogerland went on the podium to receive the King of the Mountains jersey with tears in his eyes and extensive bandages on his legs.

    “We have tried long enough” to come to an agreement, his manager Aart Vierhouten told De Telegraaf. “That failed, so unfortunately we have to take a different tack. And that is through the judicial process. Yesterday I actually had an appointment with a representative of Euro Media, but he never showed up.”

    Tour organizer ASO will have nothing to do with the matter, he said. “This week I was in Paris to ask the ASO if they would take any responsibility. All they say is, you must talk to the director of Euro Media. They gave us his number, nothing more. The human aspect is hard to find.”

    Hoogerland is said to still suffer from back pain, mood swings and insomnia as a result of the crash.