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First Edition Cycling News, Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Date published:
May 26, 2010, 1:00 BST
  • Gadret delighted with third place on Plan de Corones

    John Gadret (Ag2R - La Mondiale) put in a strong performance on the Plan de Corones.
    Article published:
    May 25, 2010, 19:12 BST
    Jean-François Quénet

    French 'cross rider achieves best result of career

    Frenchman John Gadret created a bit of a surprise by finishing third behind Stefano Garzelli (Acqua & Sapone) and Cadel Evans (BMC) in the individual time trial up to Plan de Corones at the Giro d'Italia. He welcomed the result as the best of his career so far.

    "I'm extremely happy," he said after stage 16. "After eight kilometres, I only had a 30-second advantage over [Ag2r-La Mondiale teammate Hubert] Dupont, so I didn't think I was putting in a good time. But I recuperated a lot of seconds on the gravelled roads. I had great feelings there. It was like cyclo-cross."

    At the Passo Furcia after 7.6km, Gadret only had the 11th best time, 42 seconds behind Evans, but he scored the second fastest time of the latter portion of the course where he rode 30 seconds faster than the Australian former mountain biker.

    Gadret, 31, originally from the Champagne area, is more famous in cyclo-cross than as a road rider. He was the French 'cross champion twice in 2004 and 2006 and made the podium seven times in the Elite category. Gadret finished 8th and 9th at the cyclo-cross world championship in 2007 and 2008 successively.

    "To finish such an important stage of the Giro d'Italia ahead of Ivan Basso and Alexandre Vinokourov is fantastic," Gadret said. "My Giro d'Italia is already a success but I'll try and win a stage before the end. However, today is the best performance of my career."

    Gadret won the Tour de l'Ain, a four-day stage race that also includes some big climbs, in 2007 but he had already produced a good showing at the corsa rosa in 2006 when he made the top 7 in three mountain stages before he crashed and had to abandon due to a broken collarbone on stage 18. The Ag2r team tried to make him a climber at the Tour de France after that but he never met expectations. Gadret finished 54th in 2007 and pulled out after one week in 2008.

  • Arroyo limits his losses at Plan de Corones

    David Arroyo held onto his maglia rosa
    Article published:
    May 25, 2010, 19:26 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    Spaniard ready to fight for pink jersey in remaining mountain stages

    David Arroyo (Caisse d'Epargne) kept the pink jersey for yet another day after the time trial to the summit of Plan de Corones, confirming that he has a real chance of emerging as the surprise winner of the 2010 Giro d'Italia, or at least of holding onto a place on the podium in Verona.

    Arroyo was sixteenth fastest in the 12.9km stage to the spectacular summit finish that has a 360-degree view of the snow-covered Dolomites. He lost 1:34 to Cadel Evans (BMC) and 1:06 to Ivan Basso (Liquigas-Doimo) - around a third of the time he had left before the time trial, but most importantly he is still in pink.

    "I'm satisfied. I thought I'd lose more time. Now I can start dreaming about at least a place on the final podium," he said in the post-stage press conference.

    "I'm not sure if I can win the Giro but the important thing is I've still got the pink jersey and I'll fight day after day to keep it."

    Arroyo was only 25th fastest in the first part of the time trial, 1:20 slower than Evans, but recovered and covered the hardest, dirt road section in the sixth fastest time, losing only 14 further seconds to Evans.

    "I knew I had to take it easy early on because I knew that the last five kilometres would be the most important and feel very long. My directeur sportif Neil Stephens told me I was doing a great finale and told me to push harder. I think that helped me gain time. I had a photograph of my son Marcos on my bike and that gave me extra determination, too."

    Arroyo now faces five days of hard racing before the Giro ends in Verona on Sunday. The 30-year-old Spaniard knows the mountain stages to Peio Terme on Wednesday, and to Aprica on Friday and the Ponte di Legno on Saturday will be decisive.

    The Aprica stage includes the Valico di Santa Cristina (11km at 7.6%) and the very steep Passo del Mortirolo (12.8km at 10.3%). The stage to Ponte di Legno begins with the 18km climb to the Forcola di Livigno and then climbs...

  • UCI to reform ProTour as early as in 2011

    UCI president Pat McQuaid speaks at the Giro d'Italia
    Article published:
    May 25, 2010, 19:51 BST
    Jean-François Quénet

    Decision expected in mid June

    During his visit to the Giro d'Italia at Plan de Corones, UCI President Pat McQuaid said that his organization is "working on a project to reform the ProTour in 2011".

    "There are various meetings taking place between the UCI and the stakeholders," said McQuaid. "The project will be ready for the meeting of the ProTour council on June 15, and the next day it will hopefully be approved by the board of the UCI. Not until after that will I go into details."

    Last week, ProTour teams received a document with information concerning the reform of the UCI points system and the qualification for the races on the world calendar. McQuaid had told Cyclingnews in April that the UCI wishes that the 18 best teams would automatically qualify for the world's biggest races.

    In contrast, Grand Tour organisers and teams' representatives have been asking for 12 to 16 assured entries, thereby leaving more wild cards to be allocated.

    The debate over automatic qualification will probably remain open for another few weeks.

    McQuaid also said in April that the current UCI points system is "not satisfying" and is "to be revised for next year". Cyclingnews anticipates a return of a global UCI ranking, like that which came before the ProTour and the continental circuits were implemented in 2005. There would not be world and continental rankings anymore, but a classification that would take into account all international races from ProTour level to category 2 events, with different scaling. Under 23 races and World Championships would also allocate points to the ranking.

    For team and national classifications, the results of the 15 best riders would be taken into account rather than the top five riders as in the present system. This change would keep strong cycling countries like France and the Netherlands from qualifying only six riders for the World Championship. In recent years, nations like Luxembourg and Norway have often...

  • Top Amgen Tour names defend cycling in wake of Landis statements

    Overall leader Michael Rogers is trailed by RadioShack's Yaroslav Popovych.
    Article published:
    May 25, 2010, 22:04 BST
    Laura Weislo

    California champion sick of negativity

    The most successful edition of the Amgen Tour of California to date wrapped up on Sunday in Thousand Oaks, California, but the cloud that had formed over the race on Thursday thanks to the accusations made by Floyd Landis still bothered the overall champion Michael Rogers (Team HTC-Columbia) at the final press conference.

    "I'm getting a little bit sick of this stuff," Rogers said after being asked another question about the effect of Landis' e-mails, which accused a number of riders including Lance Armstrong and his former US Postal team of doping.

    "The sport has got to get away from negativity. Everyone has to pull their weight from the riders to the management to the race organizers, we all have to do everything we can to get away from the doping issue because it's killing the sport."

    After a grueling final stage of the 800-mile race, Rogers, US Pro champion George Hincapie (BMC Racing Team), three-time Tour of California champion Levi Leipheimer (Team RadioShack) and race director Andrew Messick all seemed tired of the topic, which had distracted attention from the drama unfolding every day during the final three stages of the race.

    Hincapie was still struggling to recover his voice after giving his all on the race's final stage only to come second in the sprint, but despite saying he didn't want to comment on his former teammate's accusations, he sent a message:

    "I would like to say that there isn't anyone out there who wants a clean sport more than me. I'm out there suffering day in, day out. I sacrifice everything, my family - I don't see my kids that much, and when I'm home I train 5, 6, 7 hours a day and I give everything for this sport," Hincapie said.

    He continued, saying he didn't understand Landis' motivations for making the claims. "Personally, I would never want to bring harm on anyone or intentionally try to be malicious to anyone so I don't understand it."

    Rogers, asked about the Landis...

  • Basso moves up to second overall in Giro

    Ivan Basso (Liquigas-Doimo) en route to sixth on Plan de Corones.
    Article published:
    May 25, 2010, 22:31 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    Liquigas rider ready to take on Evans in final mountains

    Ivan Basso (Liquigas-Doimo) lost some time to main Giro d'Italia rival Cadel Evans (BMC) but as ever, the Italian played things cool, preferring to play a long game, knowing this year's Giro could be decided in the final mountain stages and perhaps even in the final time trial to Verona.

    Basso lost 28 seconds to Evans but gained time on maglia rosa David Arroyo (Caisse d'Epargne) and moved past Richie Porte (Saxo Bank) into second place overall. Basso is now 2:27 behind Arroyo and 42 seconds ahead of Evans.

    "Considering that this is an uphill time trial and came after the rest day, it's a good result for me," Basso said.

    "I'm a long distance rider and I'm not really suited to short intense efforts like that. I knew I'd lose something [to Evans] but I expected to lose about 40 seconds. This is a positive result for me. I've gone pretty well."

    Basso admitted he was unable to get out of the saddle on the dirt roads and claimed it cost him a few seconds.

    "You've got to give it absolutely everything on the dirt and I think I did pretty well," he said. "I stood up but had to sit down because I could feel my wheel slipping. My usual style is to sit in the saddle but I could have earned a few seconds more if I'd been able to get up on the pedals. But I think I still did a good TT.

    "I gained some time on some of my rivals. Now we'll take things day by day and see if we can gain more time. There will be other occasions later this week. I've gained time on Sastre but he's still dangerous, and so too is Scarponi. He did a good ride."

    Basso admitted he would not be ashamed if he lost the Giro to Evans, describing him as 'a great world champion'. However he seemed happy that, despite Arroyo still wearing the pink jersey, the Giro is gradually coming down to a head-to-head battle with the Australian BMC rider.

    "There are still three hard stages to go until the final time trial. Now the race is between the...

  • Riders recovering after colliding with Jeep at Rás

    The 2010 FBD Insurance Ras route.
    Article published:
    May 26, 2010, 1:01 BST
    Cycling News

    Four taken to hospital, stage neutralised

    A Jeep that had entered the route of FBD Insurance Rás’ second stage left four riders in hospital and led organisers to neutralise the first stage in the race’s history. After being treated at the scene for more than an hour the riders were taken to hospital, with one Spanish rider suffering from a broken leg and losing part of a finger.

    Three affected riders came from the Burgos 2016-Castilla y Leon squad while an Italian from Nippo was also transported to hospital. The Jeep entered the route after the breakaway but before the peloton had passed through before colliding with the bunch.

    Stage one winner Dan Craven (Rapha Condor Sharp) looked set to lose his race lead after being stuck in the peloton, but the rider was just happy to escape the incident without being injured more seriously.

    “Six guys went down, and I was actually in seventh position. I was the first guy who didn’t fall,” Craven told “Some riders went over the top of the jeep. That’s why the race had to be stopped, as you have to make sure the riders are okay – and alive – in a situation like that.”

    Reports suggest that the Spanish rider - who was most seriously injured - would be able to have the tip of his finger reattached. Another rider from the Spanish squad also fractured his leg while the Italian suffered lacerations from the vehicle’s windscreen.

  • Lelangue pledges to cooperate with investigation

    John Lelangue
    Article published:
    May 26, 2010, 2:22 BST
    Cycling News

    BMC confident in its director

    John Lelangue will co-operate with the French Cycling Federation’s (FFC) investigation into Floyd Landis’ accusations against him, the BMC Racing Team director said in a statement. International Cycling Union (UCI) president Pat McQuaid revealed yesterday he had asked the relevant national federations to investigate Landis’ remarkable claims last week, in an effort to bring transparency to the matter.

    "I will fully cooperate in such investigation by FFC, if any, to help the UCI and the cycling sport to show that the accusations of Mr. Landis against various persons and also me are not founded,” said Lelangue. “This may help the persons accused, including myself, and the UCI to terminate this side battle created by Mr. Landis.

    “As it was stated before and through various media during the last days, Mr. Landis is placing obviously disoriented accusations deriving from his regrettable fall down as sportsman and person in creditability,” he added.

    Landis claimed that he had informed Lelangue personally of his use of performance enhancing drugs while riding for Phonak in 2005 in an e-mail to USA Cycling last week that was leaked to Cyclingnews. Landis also claimed that Lance Armstrong had told him of a payment between Johan Bruyneel and the UCI to keep quiet on a positive test of Armstrong’s from the 2001 Tour de Suisse, which the UCI has responded to, saying it has a paper trail to prove there was no such positive test.

    Lelangue said he’ll focus his full attention on trying to lead Cadel Evans to a Giro d’Italia victory before addressing the matters. “However, and for the time being as Mr McQuaid stated into the same direction, we - the cycling sport and myself at the BMC Racing Team - continue to currently fully attend to the spectacular racing in this year's Giro d'Italia, and as far as my person is involved, I will have time to attend afterwards to the said...

  • Porte's dream continues at the Giro

    Richie Porte (Saxo Bank), leader of the best young rider classification, has been a revelation in this Giro edition.
    Article published:
    May 26, 2010, 4:24 BST
    Jean-François Quénet

    Australian sensation keeps white jersey and top three placing

    At his first attempt in a Grand Tour, Richie Porte remains near the top of the Giro d'Italia standings during the third week after producing a solid ride up the Plan de Corones.

    He finished 17th and lost only 1:10 to overall favourite Ivan Basso, who now sits just nine seconds ahead of him on general classification while compatriot Cadel Evans remains behind him in fourth place.

    More than his position overall, Porte was concerned about the performance of the other contenders for the white jersey of best young rider. "I'm ahead of the other young guys, right?" he asked after descending the podium steps with the traces of rose lipstick on his cheeks to which he's become accustomed... at least until he rejoins his team-mates in the Saxo Bank team bus.

    Porte scored a better time than Robert Kiserlovski and Bauke Mollema who finished 31st and 29th respectively. He's 6:21 ahead of the Croatian overall and 12:40 ahead of the Dutchman while Dario Cataldo has moved up thanks to his ninth place at Plan de Corones but he's 11:34 down on Porte in the best young rider classification.

    "Uphill time trials aren't really my forte," Porte told Cyclingnews. "But I rode comfortably all day and I'm happy to consolidate my white jersey. I'm having a fantastic Giro d'Italia.

    "Thanks to my team, I race stress free. I think this is the most important. I had no idea how I could time trial in the third week of a stage race but I think I've got the legs to do it.

    "To bring this white jersey home is a major goal. With teammates like Chris Anker Sørensen who is dedicating himself for me in the climbs, I can be confident."

    Porte could well make the top 10 - if not better - in his first attempt at a Grand Tour. "I love my new job," he said with a large smile. "For the GC, realistically, there are big guys chasing behind me. It's gonna be a pretty big war on the road. My position gives me the liberty to not go into the...