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First Edition Cycling News, Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Date published:
June 06, 2012, 1:00 BST
  • USA Cycling NCC rankings tighten up

    Teammates Hilton Clarke (UnitedHealthcare) and Jake Keough happy with the top two spots for the day.
    Article published:
    June 05, 2012, 22:15 BST
    Cycling News

    Criterium calendar continues with Tulsa Tough, Air Force Classic

    The first edition of USA Cycling's National Criterium Calendar (NCC) has reached its midpoint, and with the Tour of Somerville, Base Camp International and Glencoe Grand Prix behind, the standings are tighter than ever for the elite men and women.

    Hilton Clarke (UnitedHealthcare) held onto his overall lead in the men's rankings, but lost ground to Carlos Alzate Escobar (Team Exergy), who closed down 38 points and is now 86 points behind with his results in New Jersey.

    Luke Keough (Team Mountain Khakis p/b SmartStop) moved into third after winning the Tour of Somerville and taking a 12th place in Glencoe. He trails Alzate by only eight points.

    UnitedHealthcare leads the team standings by a large margin, but Jamis-Sutter Home overtook Team Exergy for second place.

    On the women's side, Erica Allar ( continued her string of top results. While the Tour of Somerville and Base Camp races were men-only on the NCC, Allar's second place in the Glencoe Grand Prix to Laura van Gilder (Mellow Mushroom) was enough to maintain a 146-point margin in the standings.

    The NCC women's team standings remained the same with Team TIBCO-To the Top extending its lead over Optum Pro Cycling p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies. Exergy Twenty12 is third.

    The NCC continues this weekend with the three-race Saint Francis Tulsa Tough in Tulsa, Oklahoma and two-day Air Force Cycling Classic in Arlington, Virginia.

    NCC rankings as of June 5, 2012

  • Matt King gets back on the road with search2retain

    Matt King salutes the judges to win stage two in Mallacoota.
    Article published:
    June 06, 2012, 0:54 BST
    Jane Aubrey

    Former Australian under 23 time trial champ to race Tour of Toowoomba

    Former Australian under 23 time trial champion Matt King will make his return to racing with search2retain at the FKG Tour of Toowoomba, which begins June 14.

    King, 23, was threatening to be an entry in the 'whatever happened to' books but within the Melbourne-based combined road and mountain bike team, has found the perfect environment as he relaunches a career.

    Speaking to Cyclingnews from his Northern Territory home, King said he'd been "all over the place" since he stepped away from full-time racing in 2009. There were the usual stints of working in bike shops, and he even worked as an operator in the mines in the resource-rich north of the country but the endurance specialist still dabbled in racing, mainly in mountain bike and triathlon, enough to finish as runner up on a stage of the gruelling Tour de Timor last year.

    Apart from his 2008 national title, King's best result came in 2007 racing for the Australian under 21 team in Germany where he won time trial at the Thüringen-Rundfahrt World Cup, beating the likes of Tony Martin, Tejay van Garderen, Thomas De Gendt, Ian Stannard, Marcel Kittel and Jerome Coppel

    "I definitely came up with a lot of great guys," King acknowledged. "That was an interesting result. There was myself, Pat Shaw, Simon Clarke, Hayden Josefski and we only had one proper time trial bike. That was supposed to be with Hayden because he was the top time trialler at the time but the day before he'd unfortunately crashed so the bike got handed to me. We came away with a pretty cool result."

    King's pedigree was established in 2005 with the junior road race title at the Oceanias and in 2006, he was 10th at the junior world time trial championships. After a stint with the team based out of Varese in Italy, King raced with a...

  • Wiggins credits teamwork after a hard day at the Dauphiné

    Overall race leader Bradley Wiggins (Sky) on the podium
    Article published:
    June 06, 2012, 5:11 BST
    Cycling News

    Sky man maintains slim overall lead

    Taking the leader's jersey at the Critérium du Dauphiné on stage 1 may not have been his objective, but Brad Wiggins and his Sky teammates were on the front foot on Tuesday to defend the slim one second lead.

    Edvald Boasson Hagen and Michael Rogers took off in an early breakaway attempt until they were joined by Wiggins. The day's break of David Moncoutie (Cofidis), Christophe Kern (Europcar), Blel Kadri (AG2R), and José Sarmiento (Liquigas-Cannondale) was finally cemented ahead of the Col de Montivernoux, the first of the day's categorised climbs.

    "Everyone knew the race went straight uphill right away and our objective was to make it hard from the start," Wiggins told

    "Once again the team were incredible, they were fantastic throughout the day and they made my job a lot easier.

    "When the four-man break eventually went clear it was a lot more straightforward, albeit still a hard day."

    Sky were attentive on the front of the bunch with Boasson Hagen, Rogers, Richie Porte and Kanstantsin Siutsou maintaining the pace.

    "It was a very hard stage - full on from the start - and the best place to be was at the front which is exactly where we were," said sports director Sean Yates.

    "The guys are working together superbly again and it's great to see."

    Yates said that with the focus on the sprinters on Stage 3 to La Clayette, the team may be lucky enough to have some extra support on the front.

    Wiggins, finishing in the front group along with his nearest rival and threat for the overall Cadel Evans (BMC), maintained his lead over the Australian ahead of Wednesday's 167km...

  • Adelaide to host new NRS event in 2013

    The peleton head out of the outer suburbs of Adelaide and into the hills.
    Article published:
    June 06, 2012, 6:11 BST
    Jane Aubrey

    Jonker, O’Grady, Turtur to be honoured

    Plans are afoot for an ambitious addition to Australia's National Road Series calendar, a three-stage event slated for May 2013 for
    both men and women in South Australia that will honour Adelaide's finest cycling exports.

    The 'Adelaide Tour' will be run on the fringe of the CBD and much like the event's big brother, the Tour Down Under, allowing teams to have easy access to each day's depart. A complimentary cyclo sportif event is also being planned for Cycling Australia silver members.

    "We know that we're not going to get the crowds of the number of the Tour Down Under, that's not what we're trying to achieve," event mastermind Max Stevens told Cyclingnews. "We're trying to give elite cyclists and participation cyclists something that they can experience close to Adelaide."

    Stevens who manages Stuart O'Grady, has developed the Adelaide Tour with local businessman Renditon Homes' Wayne Fazzalari and the pair are confident of raising around $50,000 in prize money. The Adelaide Tour has the support of Cycling Australia, Cycling South Australia, the Tour Down Under and Tourism South Australia.

    Cyclingnews can also reveal that the Adelaide Tour will pay tribute to the region's cycling greats. Stage 1 will be named the Patrick Jonker Team Time Trial and is expected to be raced over a distance of around 20km on the Friday from the well-worn path at Cudlee Creek to Campbelltown.

    "The way we're trying to design it is that if we have a team time trial, people aren't going to get blown away on the first day," explained Stevens. "It will make it a competitive day two and three."

    Stage 2 will be the 130km Stuart O'Grady Road Race which will hopefully be raced through the Adelaide Hills, with the event concluding on the Sunday with the Mike Turtur Kermesse. Organisers are hoping that the...

  • The story improves for RadioShack-Nissan at the Dauphiné

    Tony Gallopin (RadioShack-Nissan) sprinted to third place on Stage 2 and took hold of the white jersey for the best young rider
    Article published:
    June 06, 2012, 7:58 BST
    Cycling News

    Gallopin sprints to third, Bruyneel impressed by Schleck

    Tony Gallopin (RadioShack-Nissan) continued his run of solid form on Stage 2 of the Critérium du Dauphiné, sprinting to third behind winner Daniel Moreno (Katusha) and Julien Simon (Saur-Sojasun).

    Gallopin finished in the top 10 of each of the five stages of the Bayern Rundfahrt, and sixth overall in the lead up to the French event, and then fifth on Monday’s Stage 1.

    "When there isn’t a victory it is always disappointing," he said on the team’s website, frustrated that he had come close yet again.
    "The team did such a good job for me, especially Popo. Popo stayed with me until the last 500 meters when some riders attacked and it was time for me to go. I tried to keep the wheel of Moreno when he went and I couldn’t, but third place is not so bad. Tomorrow is the flattest stage of the week so it will be for the super fast sprinters which is not me, but that’s ok because on Friday and Sunday I will have more chances."

    The performance netted the 24-year-old the white jersey for the best young rider.

    Meantime, team talking-point Andy Schleck finished the 160km stage 1:47 behind Moreno, 100th man across the finish line with RadioShack-Nissan manager Johan Bruyneel encouraged by the effort.

    "I saw something special today from Andy, something that makes me hope," Bruyneel is quoted as saying on "In a second category climb of the Montivernoux, he started at the back and drove ahead as everybody went over the climb.

    "He literally told me: 'do not panic, I'll be ready for the Tour'. I believe him. He’s been there in the past. I just hope that he is not on the back foot heading...

  • Gesink puts his problems behind him

    A happy Robert Gesink (Rabobank) on the podium as race winner.
    Article published:
    June 06, 2012, 9:11 BST
    Cycling News

    Rabobank rider is “back and happy” after a difficult year

    Robert Gesink of Rabobank has learned a lot in the last two years, much of it hard lessons. He suffered from the death of his father throughout the 2011 season, and struggled his way to the end of the Tour de France. But “now I am back and happy,” he has said.

    The 2011 season started out good, as he won two stages of the Tour of Oman on his way to the overall title.  Although he had a number of top placings, he never again stood alone on the top step of the podium that year.

    Things look to have turned around this year, though. Gesink crowned his comeback by winning the Mount Baldy stage of the recent Amgen Tour of California, giving him the race lead which he held until the end.

    “I was racing already this year, but the results weren't there. I'm happy [now] because athletes want results. It's been slower than I wanted but now I'm here,” he said after that race.

    Gesink had a number of problems to overcome, both physical and emotional.  It started when he hit the road in the fifth stage of the Tour last summer, and needed stitches in his right elbow and hand. He stayed in the race and rode it to the end, which he now says he wouldn't do again. Abandoning the race is the better option, he told Wielerland magazine.

    “I don't want to get into a situation like this again – that you are only fighting against yourself. The next time in a similar situation I will say: goodbye, and you will see me...

  • Andy Schleck reveals he was treated for knee problems in May

    Andy Schleck (RadioShack-Nissan)
    Article published:
    June 06, 2012, 9:53 BST
    Cycling News

    Loss of a week's training affecting Dauphiné ride, RadioShack-Nissan rider says

    Andy Schleck has disclosed that knee problems have affected his form, and that he was in fact treated at a clinic in Switzerland for three days last month. So it is “not surprising” that he is behind in the Critérium du Dauphiné, he said.

    While checking out the Alpine stages of the Tour de France last month, the younger Schleck developed knee problems. Team RadioShack-Nissan decided not to take any chances and sent him to a clinic in Basel, run by one of the team doctors. He was there for three days for treatment and rest.

    In all, he lost a week of training. “Therefore it is not surprising that I am behind the competition in the Dauphiné,” he told De Telegraaf. “Of course I would prefer to show a better condition, but if you look at the preparations, it makes sense.

    “I think that I have gotten better over the past three days. I don't feel the panic which some other people feel because I was dropped in the first stage. I'm not panicking.”

    Neither is his boss, Johan Bruyneel. "He literally told me: 'do not panic, I'll be ready for the Tour'. I believe him. He’s been there in the past. I just hope that he is not on the back foot heading into the Tour,” he told

    Schleck lost over three minutes on the first stage of the Dauphiné and just under two minutes in Tuesday's second stage.  His main rivals for the Tour de France title, Bradley Wiggins (Sky) and Cadel Evans (BMC) are currently first and second overall, with only one second dividing them.

  • Evans Tour de France preparations on track

    Cadel Evans (BMC) maintains his lead in the Points classification
    Article published:
    June 06, 2012, 10:47 BST
    Cycling News

    Defending champion feels stronger than this time last year

    After victory in stage one on Monday, BMC's Cadel Evans has proved his sharpness at the Critérium du Dauphiné ahead of the start of the Tour de France at the end of the month. The Australian, who finally broke his duck in the Tour de France last year, is aiming to become the first man to retain the Tour crown since 2005.

    His performances in the Dauphiné so far have given him much encouragement and he currently lies in second place overall, just one second behind Bradley Wiggins, who he has identified as his main threat for the Tour. Evans is also the holder of the green jersey for the overall points classification.

    "He [Wiggins] is my main opponent," Evans told Belgian newspaper Het Nieuwsblad. "He stands to have a good year in the Tour and also there are the Olympics in London."

    Evans revealed that while he still has some final fine-tuning to do before the Tour gets underway in the Belgian city of Liege on 30 June, he feels that he is in better shape both mentally and physically. After so often being the bridesmaid at the Tour, where he had a couple of second place finishes (2007 and 2008) and a number of hard luck stories, winning last year at the age of 34 has given him serenity and lifted some of the pressure from his shoulders.

    "I feel good but I have to be even better," he said. "This level is not quite adequate enough for a second Tour victory. But I do feel fresher both mentally and physically than I did 12 months ago. In the past I have struggled with doubts as to how I could actually win the Tour. Now I know the answer: with a great team and no bad luck. We proved at BMC last year that months of hard work can really pay off."

    In terms of his rivals...

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    # Rider Name (Country) Team