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First Edition Cycling News, Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Date published:
May 15, 2013, 1:00 BST
  • Video: Wiggins pleased with his performance despite losing time

    Rigoberto Uran and Sergio Henao pace their leader Bradley Wiggins (Sky) back into contention
    Article published:
    May 14, 2013, 18:38 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    Briton reveals he is open to helping Uran win the Giro d'Italia

    Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky) lost 49 seconds to Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) and 37 second to Cadel Evans (BMC) on the steep climb to the finish at Altopiano del Montasio but after such a tough first nine stage in the Giro d'Italia, he insisted it had been a good day for both him and the team.

    Wiggins descended quickly from the finish area to the Team Sky bus. He opted not to warm down on the rollers but after taking time to recover from his efforts, he emerged from the Team Sky bus to talk to a select group of media, including Cyclingnews.

    "I'm pretty pleased actually," he said.

    "As I said yesterday, I've got a bit of a cold and it's just enough to take the edge off you on a finish like that, you've got to be 100 per cent against Nibali and those guys. All in all we won the stage and I limited my losses on the toughest stage in this Giro."

    "The tactic we set out with today was a good one; we aimed to put everyone in a bit of trouble on that first climb, which we did. It really whittled it down and it became a dog fight at the end."

    "Riggy (Rigoberto Uran) won and we are right up there really. We still got two players to play with, we are half-way through now and like I said, that's one of the hardest finishes out of the way."

    Wiggins fought hard to limit his losses on the steep, final part of the climb, when the gradient hit 20 per cent.

    "When you get to that part at the end of a day like this one, it's always going to be man against man and I go into time trial mode."

    Ready to work for Uran if necessary

    Speaking in the stage winner's press conference, Uran was very careful to stay on message about leadership at Team Sky, pointing out that he is no Chris Froome. Wiggins was more open and admitted that he could be willing to work for Uran if he feels...

  • Uran unwilling to claim Sky leadership at Giro d'Italia

    Rigoberto Uran (Sky) on the podium
    Article published:
    May 14, 2013, 19:30 BST
    Barry Ryan

    Colombian wins at Altopiano di Montasio

    Rigoberto Uran's victory atop Altopiano di Montasio on stage 10 of the Giro d'Italia moved him ahead of Bradley Wiggins in the overall standings but he was coy afterwards about any possible changes to the hierarchy at Team Sky.

    Uran now stands third overall, 2:04 off the maglia rosa of Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) and one second ahead of his team leader Wiggins, who was dropped in the viciously steep final four kilometres before the summit and finished the stage 1:08 down.

    The facility of Uran's pedalling on the final climb contrasted with Wiggins' travails, and, inevitably, the Colombian was asked in his post-race press conference if the mantle of team leadership was about to pass to him.

    "We'll still have to wait and see," Uran said afterwards. "Today was the first day after the rest day, and it's a day when some riders feel better than others. It was the first test."

    After an isolated Wiggins lost 17 seconds at Serra San Bruno on stage 4, La Gazzetta dello Sport speculated that Uran and his fellow countryman Sergio Henao were forming a Colombian conspiracy to wrest leadership of the team from Wiggins, but there can be no such murmurings about Uran's victory at Altopiano di Montasio.

    Sky carefully choreographed Uran's attack eight kilometres from the summit by having Kanstantin Siutsou and Dario Cataldo set an even tempo from the base of the climb, while Wiggins maintained a watching brief further back in the pink jersey group.

    "We spoke in the team today and decided that I would go on the attack to see what happened," Uran said. "As a team, we were very good today and we showed that we're the strongest team in the race, and we hope it continues like that."

    Carlos Betancur (Ag2r-La Mondiale) finished second...

  • Nibali's confidence grows after gaining time on his rivals

    Vincenzo Nibali (Astana Pro Team) powers to the line
    Article published:
    May 14, 2013, 20:10 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    Astana leader knows he has to watch Evans, Uran and Wiggins

    Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) gave another controlled display of race leadership on the first mountain finish of the Giro d'Italia during Tuesday's stage 10, even managing to gain time on all his rivals except stage winner Rigoberto Uran (Team Sky).

    Nibali's Astana team is still underpowered, with veteran domestique Paolo Tiralongo struggling with the effects of a bad crash and illness and talented neo-pro Fabio Aru hit by a cold after the rain of the stage to Florence. Yet the Sicilian never looked ruffled when Team Sky set the pace and then unleashed Uran, with even a gear problem not stopping him from taking third on the stage and so picking up eight bonus seconds. He also took another four seconds in the final sprint, four kilometres from the finish.

    Nibali was asked several questions about Wiggins and Uran but is rightly now more concerned about Cadel Evans (BMC), who was stronger than Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky) and Michele Scarponi (Lampre-Merida) on the steep part of the climb.

    Evans is now 41 seconds down, with Uran third at 2:04, Wiggins fourth at 2:05, Robert Gesink (Team Blanco) at 2:12, and Scarponi at 2:13.

    "The Giro is still very long and there are some important stages to come," he said wisely.

    "It could have been difficult for lots of people after the rest day, but we rode well. [Tanel] Kangert and [Valerio] Agnoli stayed close to me. Wiggins lost something, and I was surprised that Scarponi did, too. We saw that Evans was solid, and so he's becoming the biggest rival now."

    Mechanical problems have troubled several riders at this year's Giro d'Italia, and it was Nibali's turn on the two climbs, struggling with his chain. He stopped and put it back on...

  • Evans stays in the hunt at the Giro d'Italia

    Cadel Evans (BMC) moved into the red jersey having finished 5th
    Article published:
    May 14, 2013, 20:50 BST
    Barry Ryan

    Australian sticks with Nibali but concedes bonus seconds

    The first major summit finish of the Giro d'Italia is always its first great test, and as he has done at every major rendezvous of the race to date, Cadel Evans (BMC) passed himself present and correct at Altopiano di Montasio on stage 10.

    Guarded about his aspirations since the start in Naples, Evans has been consistent through the opening half of the Giro and he continued in that vein in Friuli on Tuesday, matching maglia rosa Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) pedal stroke for pedal stroke on the vertiginous slopes of the final climb to retain second place overall.

    While Nibali did manage to snaffle 12 seconds away from Evans in time bonuses to extend the overall margins to 43 seconds, the Australian had the considerable consolation of gaining ground on Bradley Wiggins (Sky), Robert Gesink (Blanco) and Michele Scarponi (Lampre-Merida).

    "I feel tired like after any mountain stage, but I'm happy to have passed the first real mountain day and hold my place in general classification," Evans said in the mixed zone afterwards. "I conceded a little bit of time to Nibali of course. It's probably not going to be a big deal at the end, but I would rather not concede time, although to maintain my position at this point is still very good."

    When stage winner Rigoberto Uran (Sky) zipped off the front with eight kilometres of climbing to go, Evans opted to maintain a watching brief and he stuck closely to Nibali when the road began to kick up in earnest inside the final four kilometres. Even in the face of Domenico Pozzovivo's (Ag2r-La Mondiale) sharp accelerations - which put Wiggins in difficulty - Evans never lost sight of Nibali and finished the stage in the same time as the Sicilian in...

  • Hesjedal to decide on his Giro d'Italia plans before stage 11

    Ryder Hesjedal lost a minute to his main rivals
    Article published:
    May 14, 2013, 23:42 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    Wegelius tries to find a silver lining after a terrible day for the 2012 overall winner

    Following his day of suffering at the Giro d'Italia and losing any chance of a second overall victory, Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin Sharp) will wait until Wednesday morning before deciding his plans for the rest of the race.

    A decision on possibly pulling out of the Giro d'Italia or fighting on with far lesser goals will be made with the team's management and medical staff after a night of recovery and reflection. He could decide to fight on or instead retire, to quickly understand his problem and then find a solution before it is too late for the Tour de France.

    The 2012 Giro d'Italia winner has been struggling since Saturday's time trial stage and cracked completely during Tuesday's first mountain stage to Altopiano del Montasio.

    Hesjedal was dropped on the earlier climb of the Passo Cason di Lanza when Team Sky set an infernal pace. He was unable to handle the pace, was dropped and eventually finished 20:58 behind stage winner Rigoberto Uran (Team Sky) at the mountain finish in Altopiano del Montasio.

    He looked terrible when he crossed the finish line, quickly pulling on a jacket and then descended to the Garmin Sharp bus before being taken to the team hotel.

    Directeur sportif Charly Wegelius, who last year led the Canadian to victory in his first-ever Giro d'Italia from the team car, shielded Hesjedal from the media spotlight, put off any decision on his future in this year's race.

    "We hope he can recuperate overnight and feel better but obviously his health comes first," Wegelius told Cyclingnews.

    "We'll see how he sleeps, how he recovers from the stage and how he feels in the morning. There's no definite plan for now, we'll take stock in the morning, talk to the doctor to work out what the problems are and what the next steps are."

    Wegelius confirmed that...

  • Schleck gets feisty in Tour of California breakaway

    Andy Schleck (RadioShack Leopard) is starting to look like his old self again
    Article published:
    May 15, 2013, 2:25 BST
    Laura Weislo

    Are RadioShack rider's troubles over?

    Ever since he finished second to Cadel Evans in the 2011 Tour de France, Andy Schleck (RadioShack Leopard) has been a shadow of the aggressive climbing specialist who has shone in the Grand Tours since placing second overall in his debut at the Giro d'Italia in 2007. First there was the drama of on-the-record disagreements with former team manager Johan Bruyneel over having Kim Andersen direct in the Tour de France, and then the argument became moot after Schleck crashed in the 2012 Critérium du Dauphiné and broke his pelvis.

    Dogged by the media for failing to finish race after race since his comeback, practically written off as too fragile, Schleck finally struck back on the third stage of the Tour of California, attacking after the day's first climb and helping to pull a strong group clear on a wickedly fast descent.

    When asked what inspired his attack, Schleck was honest: "My bad performance yesterday." He cramped at the base of the final climb on stage 2 and lost 9:22 on race leader Janier Acevedo, but the team was determined to make up for it today. They first sent Jens Voigt on the attack from kilometer zero, and then pulled away a large group with most of the team present.

    "It was clear it was going to be a hard day from the start on with the crosswind. In the start we were 20 guys in the front and there were four from our team up there, so that was a pretty OK situation for us, the only problem was that [Matthew] Busche was not there. That's why we didn't insist to ride there."

  • Video: Durbridge on riding and surviving his first grand tour

    Luke Durbridge heads to the Giro sign-on board a couple of days into his first grand tour assualt
    Article published:
    May 15, 2013, 3:33 BST
    Daniel Benson

    The stage 8 time trial and looking ahead

    Riding your debut grand tour can be a daunting prospect but Orica GreenEdge's Luke Durbridge has taken it in his stride.

    Ten days down, 11 to go in the Giro d'Italia and so far the Australian time trial champion has kept his head well above water, quite a achievement given the amount of rain that has showed down on the peloton in the opening week.

    Durbridge came into the Giro with a number of objectives. First and more foremost he was at the race to help his team, and secondly to see how far he could last through three-weeks of racing.

    The third aim centred purely on the individual time trial on stage eight, a torturous 54.8 kilometre test to Saltara that had a number of more experienced riders looking at their road book with furrowed brows.

    Durbridge came out of the stage in 6th, and in his this exclusive interview with Cyclingnews, he talks about his race so far, his feelings on his time trial performance and the mountain time trial that’s still to come.

  • Video: Wurf on the Giro's mountain stages

    Cameron Wurf (Cannondale)
    Article published:
    May 15, 2013, 4:52 BST
    Cycling News

    Cannondale Australian looking for more opportunities

    Cannondale may have lost their leader, Ivan Basso, before the Giro d'Italia even began but the team has fought back over the opening stages of the grand tour.

    "We wanted to make a pretty good statement from the start that we were here and a part of the race," climbing specialist Cameron Wurf told Cyclingnews in this exclusive video.

    So far, Elia Vivani has been second across the line on two occasions, but with the Giro parcours heading up, Wurf could be a man to watch having already featured at the head of the race and now recovered from a bout of bronchitis whoch dogged him in the first stages.

    "Hopefully they'll present some more opportunities to go in the breakaway - I've been in a couple already which has been pretty enjoyable," he said of the tougher stages coming up.