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First Edition Cycling News, Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Date published:
May 16, 2012, 1:00 BST
  • Video: Eisel talks about Cavendish crashes and Giro d'Italia GC

    Bernhard Eisel (Team Sky)
    Article published:
    May 15, 2012, 20:45 BST
    Cycling News

    Austrian worried by teammate's spills, tips Italian trio for glory

    Team Sky's Bernhard Eisel spoke exclusively to Cyclingnews this morning ahead of the 10th stage of the 2012 Giro d'Italia and was in candid mood as he prepared to tackle the spectacular stage up to the historic town of Assisi.

    The hot topic was the crash on stage 9 the previous afternoon, which had seen his close friend and teammate Mark Cavendish take a nasty fall in the finale for the second time in a week. The English sprinter was well-positioned both times to challenge for the stage win, which would have potentially given him four victories instead of the two he has already racked up.

    When asked if he was surprised that Cavendish hadn't won more stages, Eisel said, "He has won twice and got wiped out twice by somebody, so we can't expect more than that... it's not healthy if you keep on crashing...the Giro is hard enough without crashes."

    Eisel also predicted an Italian victory overall, stating that Ivan Basso (Liquigas-Cannondale) and Michele Scarponi (Lampre-ISD) were well placed as the race approaches the halfway point and that Domenico Pozzovivo (Colnago-CSF Inox) could prove hard to peg back as the third week progresses.

  • Cummings, Morabito abandon Amgen Tour of California

    Stephen Cummings (BMC Racing Team) and
    Article published:
    May 15, 2012, 22:04 BST
    Cycling News

    Ochowicz regrets loss of two BMC climbers after crash

    The BMC Racing team came to the Amgen Tour of California with the goal of delivering American Tejay van Garderen to the overall victory, but the team's ride so far has been rocky. General manager Jim Ochowicz confirmed to Cyclingnews that Steve Morabito and Stephen Cummings would not be able to take the stage 3 start in San Jose due to injuries sustained in the previous day's crash with 4km to go.

    Morabito sustained deep wounds to his left elbow and shoulder and will visit a local clinic for x-rays on his shoulder today, while Cummings re-injured the same wrist which he broke six weeks ago.

    "It's a shame they aren't able to continue," Ochowivz told Cyclingnews. "Both of them are good climbers and were here to work for Tejay. But, we'll carry on without them as best we can."

    It was the third major injury of the year for Cummings, who broke his pelvis in the Volta ao Algarve in February and came back in the Vuelta a Pais Vasco only to break his wrist on stage 5.

    "I've got experience at this now," Cummings joked on his latest injury. "So if my wrist is broken again, I'll just go on the trainer and it won't take me long to come back."

    The crash was the second of the day for the team, as two riders tumbled on the Empire Grade ascent without injury, and then with 4km to go the team was lined up on the right side of the road on the rapid run into Aptos when disaster struck. "It happened so fast I didn't even have time to brake," Morabito said. "It was a huge road and there were only 60 guys so it was a case of being in the right place at the wrong time."

    Morabito was a key...

  • Matthew Lloyd ready to roll into the Dauphiné, then the Tour

    Matthew Lloyd (Lampre - ISD)
    Article published:
    May 16, 2012, 0:42 BST
    Jane Aubrey

    Australian learns a new honest approach to injury recovery

    Two months ago, following his crash at Paris-Nice, Matthew Lloyd was adamant that his plan to return to the Giro d'Italia was on track. The Lampre-ISD Australian had fallen coming out of a blind corner on Stage 7, with his right shoulder taking the brunt of the impact resulting in a broken collarbone.

    He went on to race the Tour of Romandie, finishing 125th overall but the 28-year-old had to admit to himself that he was far from being the in physical condition required to perhaps mount a challenge for the maglia verde as he did successfully in 2010.

    "I definitely wasn't expecting to be there [at the Giro d'Italia], mainly because it would have been stupid," he told Cyclingnews having ridden the Swiss race uncomfortably. "I wouldn't want to be in the position, not only for myself but for the team having the objective of winning the race.

    "Being there, as a token of having had success in the Giro in the past would have been nice but on the other hand, you don't want to be in the stupid position of being potentially dropped every day and not enjoying the race. Additionally for the fact that you're not even helping the team."

    This was the same Matthew Lloyd who just over a year ago found himself without a team having not been completely honest about his recovery from a string of injuries. Cyclingnews dare not suggest that this was more mature Lloyd on the end of the phone line; instead Lloyd spoke up for himself.

    "I was speaking to some of the management from our team recently and one of the first things that was noticed was that there was an element of maturity, where it wasn't in the past," he admitted. "This time I...

  • Velits believes Leipheimer can come good in Amgen Tour of California

    Peter Velits (Omega Pharma-Quickstep)
    Article published:
    May 16, 2012, 2:55 BST
    Laura Weislo

    Omega Pharma-Quickstep Slovakian 12th overall

    The Amgen Tour of California may be currently led by Peter Sagan, but it's another Slovakian who could well claim the final overall victory when the race hits Los Angeles: Peter Velits. The Omega Pharma-Quickstep rider has stood atop the podium in the Vuelta a Espana, and coming off a solid block of training following the early season races, he's showing good form in California.

    On stage 2 to Aptos, Velits came across in 10th place in the sprint, and after three stages currently sits in 12th place overall in a big group of riders who are 30 seconds behind Sagan's lead.

    Yet even though he is in a good position and riding strong, Velits is still confident that his team captain Levi Leipheimer will find his form and be able to contend for his fourth Amgen Tour of California title.

    "I still believe that Levi can get into shape during the first stages, and the most important stages are going to be time trial and Mt. Baldy.," he explained. "By that time I hope he's going to be alright and I'm going to help him. If he's not alright then of course I'll try my best to get a result, but I believe he's going to be good."

    Leipheimer delighted his hometown fans by taking the start in Santa Rosa, and despite putting in only two weeks of training and having five weeks to heal his broken fibula he has backed up his teammate's confidence by sticking with the front group and not losing any time.

    Yet Velits told Cyclingnews that Leipheimer gave him the green light to go for his own result.

    "Levi said to me 'do your own ride', but we'll see," he said cautiously. "There is still one more day before the time trial. For now we will both ride for the general...

  • Video: Boonen chooses Poland over Tour de France for Olympic preparation

    Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma-Quickstep) taking it easy towards the back.
    Article published:
    May 16, 2012, 4:46 BST
    Laura Weislo

    Belgian coming around at Amgen Tour of California

    Tom Boonen showed himself in the sprint on stage 3 of the Amgen Tour of California, taking third by a thin margin behind stage winner Peter Sagan and Heinrich Haussler.

    "It was another hard stage today in California," Boonen admitted in Livermore. "The team rode great all day. We're super motivated and of course I was hunting for the win and really wanted it, but in the end I'm satisfied with another second. Hats off to Sagan."

    The Omega Pharma-Quickstep rider is just returning to competition after his immensely successful Classics campaign, but rather than tuning up for the Tour de France, the 2007 green jersey winner will skip the Grand Tour in July and opt for the Tour of Poland instead. His ultimate goal is an Olympic gold medal in London.

    "I still want to do the Tour in the future, but I don't think it's the right race for me to prepare for the Olympics," Boonen told Cyclingnews. "It is also not in the right team. We have a lot of GC guys now and it wouldn't be fair to take somebody's spot just to train a little bit or to try and take one or two sprints. So I think the best solution is to do an alternative program for the Olympics."

    Boonen has never competed in the Olympic Games: he did not compete in Athens in 2004, and in 2008 he was coming off winning the green jersey in the previous year's Tour de France and planned to defend it, but he tested positive for cocaine in an out of competition test after the Classics and was excluded from the Quickstep's Tour team.

    This year's Olympic road race takes place just six days after the...

  • Sulzberger surprises with 10th in California sprint

    Wes Sulzberger from Tasmanian in action at the top of the climb up Mt.Buninyong.
    Article published:
    May 16, 2012, 6:35 BST
    Cycling News

    Howard, McEwen struggle on Stage 3 for Orica GreenEdge

    While Orica GreenEdge's designated sprinters, Robbie McEwen and Leigh Howard failed to contest the Stage 3 sprint at the Amgen Tour of California, Wes Sulzberger sneaked in to 10th place on Tuesday - his best result of the season to date.

    Sulzberger, former Australian under 23 road champion, said on Twitter that in the fast and furious sprint for the line in Livermore that he "didn't quite have the nerves" where Peter Sagan (Liquigas-Cannondale) prevailed.

    "After training in Boulder before. #ToC legs seemed little sluggish, now I'm starting to feel some good sensations again," he explained.

    Orica-GreenEdge sports director, Neil Stephens said he has been impressed by Sulzberger's steady progression so far this week.

    "He has gotten better and better each day," Stephens said in a team statement. "He's pretty quick but maybe not quick enough for a bunch of that size. Tenth is a good personal result for him, and he'll be a great support to the other guys in the harder stages upcoming.

    "Wes was down towards the back of the pack and had to make his way up towards the front in the headwind," said Stephens. "I think if he had come off the climb in a better position, he could have done a few places better in the sprint. We weren't always in the right place today. It happens sometimes."

    Howard and McEwen both became separated from the main bunch on the deceptively tough Patterson Pass, with Liquigas-Cannondale pushing the pace from the front, straight into a headwind. The pair became separated and Travis Meyer was sent to bring them back in touch.

    "Unfortunately, they had used up energy...

  • Turgot under investigation after three missed tests, L'Equipe reports

    Sebastien Turgot (Team Europcar) finished second
    Article published:
    May 16, 2012, 8:25 BST
    Cycling News

    Europcar rider faces possible two-year ban

    Sebastien Turgot is apparently the next French rider to run afoul of the whereabouts requirements for doping controls. The French sports newspaper L'Equipe reported that the Europcar rider has missed three doping controls within 18 months, and faces up to a two-year ban.

    Turgot has already appeared before the disciplinary committee of the French cycling federation, and a decision is pending, according to the newspaper.

    “He's an idiot, it is indefensible,” Europcar team manger Jean-Rene Bernaudeau told the Ouest-France newspaper.  “He knew the rules,” he said, calling Turgot very negligient.

    The 28-year-old turned pro with Bouygues Telecom in 2008. He finished second this year in Paris-Roubaix, was eighth in the Scheldeprijs and sixth overall in the recent Tour de Picardie.

    Under the Adams system, also known as whereabouts, the riders are required to report their location and be available for doping controls.  Three missed doping controls caused by whereabouts failures are considered the equivalent of a doping violation.

    French track rider Gregory Bauge was given a backdated one year ban for violating the whereabouts requirements, nullifying all his 2011 results, including two world titles.

    Earlier this year Yoann Offredo of FDJ-Big Mat was given a one-year suspension for missing three doping controls within an 18 month period.

  • Video: Giro d'Italia stage 11 preview

    Proud father Mark Cavendish on the podium with daughter Delilah.
    Article published:
    May 16, 2012, 9:25 BST
    Cycling News

    Cioni and Lloyd add insight into race's longest stage

    Wednesday marks the longest stage of this year’s Giro d’Italia, a 243 kilometre slog from Assisi to Montecatini, Italy's most famous spa town.

    The likes of Nibali and Visconti live within a stone’s throw, and the region is a magnet for cyclists. Mario Cipollini won his 42nd (and final) stage here in 2003, beating Alessandro Petacchi in an unforgettable sprint. Back in 1969 Eddy Merckx won a road stage here on the first Monday of the race, then time trialled around the town to win again the following day. He continued to dominate the Giro until they threw him off the race on stage seventeen for you know what…

    The day is best suited to either a long breakaway or, if the bunch are still feeling feisty, another sprint showdown. Mark Cavendish (Team Sky) will know the road to Montecatini as well as almost anyone in the field. Cavendish spends much of the racing season in Quarrata, just a short ride away.

    In this video (courtesy of IG Markets) Daniel Lloyd and Dario Cioni take us through the race route, the art of breakaway riding and how the sprinters’s teams will hope to keep the peloton together for another possible sprint.