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Second Edition Cycling News, Friday, July 5, 2013

Date published:
July 5, 2013, 14:00
  • Fränk Schleck surprised by RadioShack dumping

    An unhappy Frank Schleck during the Giro d'Italia
    Article published:
    July 5, 2013, 00:20
    Cycling News

    Andy vows to "fight on"

    Luxembourger Fränk Schleck has responded to RadioShack Leopard's decision not to renew his contract upon his return from an anti-doping violation.

    Schleck, speaking to RTL Luxembourg on Thursday evening said:

    "I'm surprised by the decision. I have always done my work and have not been looking around in the meantime for other teams."

    On Wednesday, Schleck had told Cyclingnews that he was ready to return to the team with his ban set to conclude on July 14.

    On July 14, 2012, the UCI advised Schleck of an Adverse Analytical Finding in a urine sample collected from him at an in-competition test at the Tour de France.

    The WADA accredited laboratory in Châtenay-Malabry detected the presence of the diuretic Xipamide in Schleck's urine sample. He was later handed a one-year ban by the Luxembourg Anti-Doping Agency.

    It's understood that the contract of Fränk's brother Andy is currently up for re-negotiation. Riding the Tour de France, the younger Schleck put on a brave face in reaction to the news on Thursday evening.

    "I'm here to ride the Tour but we Schlecks are fighters and we will fight on."


  • Bouhanni forced to abandon Tour de France

    Nacer Bouhanni (FDJ) was suffering from illness and abandoned the Tour de France on stage 6.
    Article published:
    July 5, 2013, 03:00
    Brecht Decaluwé

    Frenchman lasts for just 90km of Stage 5

    It hasn't been an enjoyable Tour de France for Nacer Bouhanni (FDJ).

    The French sprinter struggled with his stomach since stage 3. On stage 5 he caused the bunch sprint crash when he rode into the rear wheel of Matteo Trentin (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) who was coming off the front. Just before the start of stage 6 in Aix-en-Provence a downhearted Bouhanni was all bandaged up and limping towards his bike. The Frenchman didn't make it to the finish in Montpellier.

    "I'm ill and I crashed," Bouhanni summarized his poor state of condition. "I left Corsica with stomach problems. I'm struggling for three days already. Yesterday's crash in the finale made things even more complicated. It's hard but part of cycling. I'm suffering a lot. My back hurts a lot, especially when I walk. I don't know how it'll be on the bike," Bouhanni said. "I'm only thinking about how I'm going to survive this stage. I'm not looking at the next stages." The Frenchman clearly realized how hard it would be. He got into troubles early on and at 90km he stepped off the bike.

    The bunch crash in the final metres of the fifth stage from Cagnes-sur-mer to Marseille was caused by Bouhanni. The Frenchman felt really bad about it, also because he did the utmost to stay in the front after enjoying a miserable day.

    "I crashed when I was riding in 15th position. I was too far for the sprint. I rode into somebody who had launched the sprint. I think it was a Quickstep-rider. He sat up and I didn't see him. I rode into him at 350-400m from the finish line. Once on the ground two or three riders rode into me. It's really sad because I managed to hang on after I had been riding between the cars all day long."


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  • Video: Fuglsang taking a wait and see approach to Pyrenees

    Jakob Fuglsang (Astana)
    Article published:
    July 5, 2013, 05:01
    Cycling News

    Astana leader admits TTT performance wasn't ideal

    Jakob Fuglsang (Astana) is in this Tour de France for the long haul as he makes a bid for the top-10.

    The Dane lost ground on his general classification rivals over Stages 4 and 5 and following Thursday's tricky sixth stage to Montepellier, now sits 1:01 back on the overall lead of Daryl Impey (Orica GreenEdge).

    In this video, Fuglsang talk about the importance of daily massage as he recovers from a crash on Stage 5 as the Tour heads into the Pyrenees where he says "I'm just going to try to follow and see where I am compared to the others."


  • Greipel's win shows Lotto Belisol is down, but not out

    Jurgen van den Broeck (Lotto Belisol) a little worse for wear after his crash on stage 5
    Article published:
    July 5, 2013, 07:28
    Brecht Decaluwé

    Wauters feels Van den Broeck's teammates can save Tour

    The atmosphere at the Lotto Belisol team bus in sunny Aix-en-Provence on Thursday morning was downcast. Only a few moments earlier, the team's GC-rider Jurgen Van den Broeck realized he wasn't able to continue the Tour de France. The Belgian rider sustained a knee injury in the bunch crash of stage 5. It's the second time in three editions Van den Broeck crashes out of the Tour de France. In 2012 the Belgian finished fourth in Paris.

    Without GC ambitions the Belgian team has to reshuffle their tactics throughout the race. The team's director sportif Marc Wauters was clearly still downhearted by the departure of Van den Broeck. Then again Wauters emphasized that there were still other cards to play in order to make a good Tour of the next two weeks. As Thursday's stage showed the strongest card to play is André Greipel. The German champion fell short during the first full-on bunch sprint in Marseille on Wednesday but Greipel fought back with his win on in Montpellier. Already before the stage Wauters didn't feel like it was all over already.

    "We had one leader for the GC and we lost him," Wauters said, "but we're only one week into the Tour. We have to try and safe what we can in the remaining weeks. When Jurgen [Van den Broeck] crashed out of the race two years ago we still managed to win two stages. Jelle Vanendert won a stage and got the polka-dotted jersey. It's all possible. We just have to keep on working, focus on the Tour. Life goes on," Wauters said. "Yesterday we narrowly missed the win. We missed Jurgen Roelandts. He was part of the first crash and as a result he was at the back of the peloton at the climb, then he got dropped. If there's no crash and Jurgen can start in the front of the peloton at the climb he would survive it. Then we would have one man more in the sprint."

    While talking about Van den Broeck it became obvious that nobody expected that he would not be able to start stage 6.

    "Last night it was absolutely unlikely he would abandon. We hoped it would all be fine. This morning at breakfast Jurgen was looking very pale. The knee was all swollen again. The doctor got 85cc blood out of it, it wasn't just fluid. We contacted doctor Toon Claes in Herentals too. Then we tried to get on the rollers but there was no way he could get the pedals round. That's where it stops. His reaction? You can imagine how he reacted. How would you react when you work for years towards that one goal and a stupid crash – they're always stupid – ruins that."

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  • Video: Voigt reflects on stressful stages

    Jens Voigt (RadioShack-Leopard) made his Tour de France debut in 1998.
    Article published:
    July 5, 2013, 09:19
    Cycling News

    German pleased for Greipel's win

    Jens Voigt (RadioShack Leopard) at age 41 and riding his 16th Tour de France is more than familiar with the rigmarole of racing over the three weeks in July.

    "It's just a normal Tour de France," Voigt told Cyclingnews in this exclusive video after a tough day on the bike on Thursday during Stage 6.

    "Stress without any reason; a bunch of crashes left, right, in the middle; a very fast final – nothing special really to say about the stage. May be it was a little bit more nervous because of the crosswind sections…"

    Voigt was also quite pleased that compatriot André Greipel won his first stage of the Tour.

    Watch more of Jens Voigt's thoughts on Stage 6 and what's to come by clicking the video below.


  • Cancellara to tackle hour record

    Fabian Cancellara (RadioShack Leopard) announced his new three-year deal with Trek today
    Article published:
    July 5, 2013, 10:56
    Cycling News

    Swiss to make attempt after Worlds or 2014 Paris-Roubaix, says Guercilena

    Fabian Cancellara is set to make an attempt on the world hour record within the next twelve months, either after the world championships in September or immediately after the 2014 Spring Classics campaign.

    Speaking to Switzerland’s Italian-language television station RSI on Thursday evening, RadioShack-Leopard manager Luca Guercilena revealed that Cancellara would tackle the hour on the new velodrome at Grenchen, which is the headquarters of the Swiss cycling federation.

    Cancellara had previously told Bicisport in 2009 that he planned to attack the hour record “sooner or later” but acknowledged that he would need time to prepare specifically for racing on the track.

    The hour record currently stands at 49.7km and was set by Ondrej Sosenka in Moscow in 2005. Sosenka’s career ended when he tested positive for methamphetamine at the Czech time trial championships three years later.

    A Cancellara attempt would bring considerable prestige to a record that has lost some of its lustre since the UCI opted to ban tri-bars and re-set the record to Eddy Merckx’s 49.431km from 1972.

    That decision saw Chris Boardman’s 56.375km on the since outlawed “Superman” position from Manchester in 1996 downgraded to the status of “Best Human Effort,” and the previous bests set by Francesco Moser (1984), Graeme Obree (1993 and 1994), Miguel Indurain (1994) and Tony Rominger (1994) were also expunged from the record books

    Boardman brought the curtain down on his career in October 2000 by bettering Merckx’s record on a traditional bike in Manchester, clocking 49.441, but the best road time triallists of the intervening period have all opted to forgo the hour record.

    Lance Armstrong infamously claimed that he was planning an attack on the hour record in 2001 as a means of explaining his collaboration with the controversial doctor Michele Ferrari, but no such attempt was ever on the cards.

    Cancellara is currently racing at the Tour of Austria and has built the second half of his season around reaching peak condition for the world championships in Florence. The Worlds road race takes place on September 29, meaning that a Cancellara hour record attempt would be likely to take place in the first half of October, or – if he decides to wait until next spring – in the weeks immediately after Paris-Roubaix.




  • US National Team set to defend Abbott’s Giro Rosa lead

    Mara Abbott (USA National Team) takes over the maglia rosa
    Article published:
    July 5, 2013, 12:25
    Kirsten Frattini

    Independence Day win for American

    American Mara Abbott celebrated her country’s Independence Day with a victory during stage 5 of the Giro Rosa, where she took over the race lead from Marianne Vos (Rabo Women’s Cycling Team). She is relying on her USA Cycling National Development Program teammates to help her win a second overall title upon the event’s conclusion on Sunday in Cremona, Italy.

    "I'm going to try to protect this lead with the help of my teammates," Abbott said. "They have been great so far. They've done everything that's been asked of them. I have confidence that they will continue to give everything until the end."

    Jack Seehafer is USA Cycling’s women’s program manager and national team director at the eight-day Giro Rosa. He put together a series of talented riders led by Exergy TWENTY16's Lauren Tamayo, who earned a silver medal in the team pursuit at the 2012 Olympic Games in London, along with her trade team teammates Kristin McGrath and Andrea Dvorak.

    He also selected Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies riders Lauren Hall, Janel Holcomb and Brianna Walle, and Vanderkitten’s Ruth Winder. US professional road race champion Jade Wilcoxson was scheduled to be participate in the race, however, a crash at the Nature Valley Grand Prix forced her to sit out.

    The team secured several top-10 stage results this week with Lauren Hall placing eighth in stage 1 and fourth in stage 2, while Abbott placed ninth in stage 3 and 10th in stage 4, before wrapping up stage 5 with a win. According to Tamayo, her team’s success is also because of USA Cycling’s support and the race organizer’s efforts to provide the women with a world-class event.

    "Everything is going really well for us over here," Tamayo said. "Seehafer is our director and we have amazing staff here from USA Cycling. They are taking care of everything for us.

    "The Giro organizers have done an amazing job putting together some great courses and making us feel so special and important here in Italy. The first few stages were typical Italian stages. They were fast with lots of interesting twists and turns and they found all kinds of fun roads for us to race up, before we even started in the mountains. It really is a special experience to take part in the biggest and longest stage race for women."

    Abbott knows exactly what it takes to win the Giro Rosa. She secured the overall title at the race that was formerly called the Giro Donne in 2010, and was the first American woman to do so. This time she took over the race lead after a dominating performance on stage 5's finishing climb up Monte Beigua.

    She won by over a minute and a half ahead of Italians Francesca Cauz (Top Girls Fassa Bortolo) and Fabiana Luperini (Faren-Kuota). The time advantage pushed her into the pink leader’s jersey by 1:27 minutes ahead of Tatiana Guderzo (MCipollini-Giordana), while Vos lost the race lead and dropped into seventh place more than three minutes back.

    "Mara had her climbing legs on today," Tamayo said. "Two kilometers into the 12km finishing climb, she went solo to the finish. Today was almost 2000 meters of climbing. We still have three days left that include one more big climbing day, a flat circuit stage and then the time trial. We plan to defend all the way through." 

  • Tour de France shorts: Quintana and Rodriguez survive crashes

    Andre Greipel (Lotto Belisol) won the stage and the combativity award.
    Article published:
    July 5, 2013, 12:47
    Cycling News

    L'Equipe unimpressed by Combativité judges

    High wind, high nerves

    Following stage 5 that saw Brent Bookwalter, Michael Schär and Tejay van Garderen of BMC Racing Team involved in crashes, stage 6 was full of nerves. The team captain for stage 6, Manuel Quinziato while telling of a stressful day said: "There was a lot of wind from the beginning and everybody wanted to stay in the front." Cadel Evans was the first over the line for the team, 5 seconds behind the days winner and without any further time loss to his general classification rivals. Evans currently sits 23rd overall leading into the Pyrenees over the weekend.

    Small scare for Quintana

    Columbian rider, Nairo Quintana of Movistar suffered a hard hit to his left knee, finishing the stage in pain yet positive for his recovery before the Pyrenees. Quintana was relieved to have finished the stage that saw an average speed of 44km/ph and said: "It was all about surviving today - it was the hardest stage so far in this year's Tour."

    A flat start

    Following stage 5 where tacks on the ground caused numerous flat tyres, the start of stage 6 saw RadioShack Leopard rider Maxime Monfort suffer the team's first flat tyre of the race, strangely it was before the stage had even rolled out.

    Barton a cycling fan?

    From the 'who knew' files… Olympique de Marseille's English midfielder Joey Barton was disappointed to have missed a chance to catch up with the Tour de France in Marseille.

    "Tour de France stage finished in Marseille yesterday," he tweeted to his 2.2 million followers. "Would have been great to see that. Starts in Aix en Provence today. Be class that..."

    First to respond was none other than Sky's Chris Froome who said: "will drop you an invite next time we're in the area ;)"

    Zero out of ten for judgement from L’Équipe

    André Greipel (Lotto-Belisol) was a bemused recipient of the Prix de la Combativité for stage 6’s most aggressive rider. Given that there had been just one breakaway during the stage – Luis Maté’s short-lived early effort – the judges’ task was not an easy one, but L’Équipe haughtily awarded them 0/10 for their decision.

    “André Greipel wasn’t the most combative, he was the strongest. You shouldn’t confuse the two things, otherwise the prize would go to the winner of every stage,” sniffed L’Équipe. “The most combative rider yesterday was Mark Cavendish. In the space of a few kilometres, [after his crash] he closed 40 seconds on the peloton after chasing back on through the convoy of cars.”

    No consequences for Rodriguez following stage 6 fall

    Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) was among the fallers on stage 6 but the Catalan was quickly back on his bike and crossed the line safely in the main peloton, albeit with a bruised and bandaged left arm, as well as abrasions on his left hip.

    “Fortunately, I didn’t have any bad consequences from the fall,” Rodriguez said afterwards. “Everybody wants to be in front at the Tour, so it’s normal to have some nervous stages. I lost my position at a crucial point of the stage but I was able to recover so all is well.”