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Second Edition Cycling News, Friday, June 1, 2012

Date published:
June 01, 2012, 1:00 BST
  • The countdown is on to the inaugural Santos North Western Tour

    Blake Hose (Genesys Wealth Advisers) gets advice from the team car after being dropped early on the first climb of the day.
    Article published:
    June 01, 2012, 5:15 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Australia's National Road Series about to resume

    The build up to the inaugural Santos North Western Tour continues with final preparations taking place in the lead up to the tour's commencement on June 21st, 2012. Leading men's and women's teams will battle it out through the regional centers of NSW in the third event of this year's Subaru National Road Series.

    The Santos North Western Tour will be a major event in the region, showcasing centres Narrabri, Coonabarabran, Gunnedah, Tamworth and landmarks such as the ANU Siding Spring Observatory which will host a grueling mountain top finish to Stage 3.

    Race Director, Kurt Polock, is excited about the upcoming event saying, "The Santos North Western Tour will be an iconic event on the NSW calendar for many years to come. With the overwhelming support given by major sponsors Santos and the six local councils, the tour will be able to showcase the beautiful regional centers of North Western NSW" he said.

    The tour will feature a Prologue and Criterium in the town centre of Narrabri before the iconic Coonabarabran to ANU Siding Spring Observatory stage on Friday. Racing will then take place separately to the historic Keegan Downes Memorial Sundowner Handicap and Gunnedah to Tamworth events, also taking place over the same weekend.

    2011 men's National Road Series team champions Genesys Wealth Advisors are set to headline the inaugural tour which will incorporate 5 stages of racing over 4 days. Looking to pick up an upset victory over last year's National Road Series champions is former Commonwealth Games gold medalist and Racing Kangaroos team leader, Ben Kersten.

    "We're excited to be racing in this inaugural event, the Racing Kangaroos has a lot of young talent on offer; I think we're a good shot at a couple of stage wins" he said. "I like what the tour is offering; to have a prologue, criterium and 3 road stages in an NRS event is quite unique," he added.

    The Santos North Western Tour offers Subaru National...

  • Greipel fights the fear of a Voigt attack to claim win number 11

    Andre Greipel chases back on from the caravan
    Article published:
    June 01, 2012, 6:12 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    German on par with his efforts of 2011 season

    Andre Greipel (Lotto Belisol) had a few nervous moments before coming out on top in the bunch sprint to conclude stage 1 of the Tour of Luxembourg. The German's victory was his 11th of the season so far – the most of any rider in the UCI ProTour.

    Greipel has now equalled his efforts of 2011. MTN Qhubeka's Reinardt Janse Van Rensburg has also taken 11 wins.

    A late attack by Jens Voigt had his compatriot worried. The RadioShack-Nissan hard-man had an advantage of three minutes with around 16 kilometres in the 181km stage remaining.

    "We were quite afraid of Jens because he is such a strong rider," Greipel said following his victory. "The team's goal was to win a stage and I did that. We'll see what tomorrow brings."

    Voigt meanwhile, relished the effect his escape had on the peloton.

    "It felt like the good ol' days with Jensie off the front, everyone chasing from behind, people hating me because I'm attacking all the time…….It was beautiful," he said. "Like I always say: 'It's better to be on the giving end of pain rather than on the receiving end'."

    Greipel is building up for an assault on the Tour de France and then the Olympic Games. Remarkably he won his first stage at the Tour last year when he outsprinted former teammate Mark Cavendish. His season began with a dominant performance at the Santos Tour Down Under where he won three stages plus the lead-up criterium, the Down Under Classic. Greipel then followed with two wins at the Tour of Oman. A victory over Matt Goss at the Tour of Turkey was next, before a he won three of the six stages at the Tour of...

  • Rujano says mononucleosis forced his Giro abandonment

    Jose Guillen Rujano (Androni Giocattoli)
    Article published:
    June 01, 2012, 10:10 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Performance had disappointed Savio

    While his abandonment on the 19th stage of the Giro d'Italia reportedly upset team manager Gianni Savio, Jose Rujano has released a statement explaining that medical tests have revealed he was suffering from mononucleosis.

    Rujano had been named as a pre-race threat to take overall honours however he failed to live up to expectations with a ninth placing on stage 8 his best performance. Prior to leaving the race, the Venezuelan was 37th on general classification, over 40 minutes back.

    The Androni-Giocattoli captain thought he was suffering from a bad cold but tests at the Vialarda di Biella medical clinic in Italy revealed otherwise.

    "I knew something was not right. I prepared very well for the Giro, to give satisfaction to my followers. Physically something was not right," Rujano said in a statement.

    "I want all my fans know what happened to me. I was more interested in doing a good job, was the career for which he trained for seven months. I could not finish it, it was not by choice, it was because my health did not let me."

    At the time, Savio told Gazzeta.it that his charge had been examined by medical staff at the race and there was nothing wrong with him.

    "Rujano did not have a condition that prevented him from continuing the Giro. The team doctor examined him and did not find anything particular," said Savio, who emphasized that Rujano "is far from the spirit of the team. I was disappointed."

    Savio continued that he was "glad" Rujano's contract was up at the end of the season and that there would be "no second chances" after he reinvigorated his career.

    Rujano's next target is the Olympic Games in London.

    "I will recover from...

  • Schleck back in action at Critérium du Dauphiné

    Andy Schleck was awarded the yellow jersey for winning the 2010 Tour de France at a ceremony in his hometown.
    Article published:
    June 01, 2012, 11:02 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Race not an objective for Luxembourger

    Andy Schleck (RadioShack-Nissan) returns to competition at the Critérium du Dauphiné on Sunday as he begins his final build-up to the Tour de France. The Luxembourger has not raced since Liège-Bastogne-Liège in late April and insisted that his main priority in the coming week would be to get back into racing rhythm.

    “I’m not necessarily looking for a place on the GC but I’m going to try and test myself on the Col de Joux-Plane [on stage 6 - ed.],” Schleck told Velochrono.fr. “The Dauphiné isn’t an objective in itself.”

    Schleck has raced sporadically this season and abandoned both Paris-Nice and the Volta a Catalunya earlier in the season. After spending the month of May away from racing, he admitted that it was difficult to assess his form ahead of the Dauphiné.

    “I’ve only done training. I feel good, but I need a race now,” he said. “It’s been a different preparation to other seasons. My form has progressed more slower over the past two years but it’s normal to progress more slowly now than when I was 22. We’ll see what comes of this preparation, which is new for me and gives me fewer references than normal.”

    The increasing trend among Tour contenders is to race sparingly – or not at all – in May, and instead undertake a stint of training at altitude. While rivals Bradley Wiggins and Vincenzo Nibali favoured Mount Teide in Tenerife, Schleck held a two-week camp at Sierra Nevada.

    “It was a good experience since I’d never done that before,” Schleck said. “I did something between 25,000 and 30,000 metres of climbing in twelve days – around three...

  • Pozzato should lead Italy at London Olympics, says Scinto

    Filippo Pozzato (Farnese Vini - Selle Italia)
    Article published:
    June 01, 2012, 12:01 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Tour of Lombardy also a target for Farnese-Selle Italia leader

    Farnese Vini-Selle Italia manager Luca Scinto has backed Filippo Pozzato to lead the Italian team at the London 2012 Olympics and even tipped him as a possible winner of the Tour of Lombardy.

    Speaking to Gazzetta dello Sport about his team’s objectives for the remainder of the season, Scinto said that his greatest wish was that Pozzato could triumph in London on July 28.

    “Above all, I’m hoping for Pozzato at the Olympics,” Scinto said. “If there’s an Italian who can climb onto the top step of the podium in London, it’s him. And I’ll go beyond that: Pippo – this year’s Pippo – can even win the Tour of Lombardy.”

    Pozzato joined Scinto’s squad on a one-year contract after a non-descript end to his spell at Katusha. The man from Sandrigo rediscovered his verve of old under Scinto’s tutelage this spring, and came agonisingly close to victory at the Tour of Flanders.

    In spite of crashing out of Paris-Roubaix, Pozzato entered the Giro d’Italia on a high after securing his first win of the season at the GP Larciano, but another fall on stage 9 forced him out of the Giro with a fractured wrist.

    “Pippo was in form and I don’t agree with those who say that he was a disappointment at the Giro,” Scinto said. “The stages suited to him had yet to come.”

    Pozzato resumed training this week and is set to return to action within the next two weeks.

    In spite of Pozzato’s crash, Scinto’s men still picked up two stage wins at the Giro, through Matteo Rabottini and Andrea Guardini. Rabottin triumphed at Pian dei Resinelli after a...

  • Stephen Roche: Wiggins, Evans or Contador could win the triple

    A nervous-looking Stephen Roche resplendent in the pink jersey following stage 17.
    Article published:
    June 01, 2012, 13:45 BST
    By:
    Daniel Benson

    Irishman tips Wiggins ahead of Evans for Tour

    Stephen Roche, in London this week to promote his autobiography Born to Ride, believes that there are riders in the modern peloton capable of accomplishing his magical triple from 25 years ago. In 1987, Roche became just the second man in cycling to win the Giro d’Italia, Tour de France and Worlds in a single season. Eddy Merckx had set the precedent 13 years beforehand.

    “Definitely it will happen again but it’s not just about the strongest rider, you’ve got to have the circumstances to do it,” Roche told Cyclingnews.

    “There are riders capable of doing it. Bradley Wiggins could win a Giro, a Tour and a Worlds. This is one year he could win the Tour but he’s not ridden the Giro, and the Worlds isn’t a bad circuit. Next year if Contador is back it might suit him if there’s more climbing. Wiggins is getting on a bit and same with Cadel Evans. There aren’t very many riders capable at the moment.”

    “It’s nice to be only the second person to do the triple,” he added. "It’s not something that happens every day of the week and it gives me a great sense of achievement. I think it was a great year as well because the competition then was very tough with Kelly, Delgado, LeMond and Fignon and it made a great spectacle for the fans as well because there was always something happening.”

    After Roche’s stellar 1987 season the Irishman struggled with injures and fitness, never reaching quite the same level again. The 1988 season was personal nadir, with Roche unable to, as he claims ‘honour the rainbow jersey.”

    “There were never bad memories and they were all part of a journey and you never look back and things happened for a reason, whether they were good or bad. If I put it all into one big pot and churned it all up it would still all come out...

  • Cofidis extend sponsorship through 2016

    Cofidis gets together
    Article published:
    June 01, 2012, 15:24 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    French team wishes to regain WorldTour status

    Cofidis will continue to sponsor a team until the end of 2016 after the telephone loan company announced a three-year extension to its current deal, which had been due to expire at the end of next season.

    In a statement released on Friday, Cofidis outlined that its objective was to participate in the Tour de France “and the events with most media coverage” every year. To that end, the sponsor has targeted entry into the WorldTour from 2013 and hinted that Cofidis will be active in the transfer market in the coming months.

    “From 2013, it’s necessary for the team to equip itself with recognised and performing riders, who could open up access to WorldTour races,” read the statement.

    Cofidis will provide a budget of €9.5 million per year until 2016, which will be the squad’s 20th consecutive season in the professional peloton. “The Cofidis team will have the means […] to allow it to reach the highest level and rejoin the WorldTour,” said the statement.

    Cofidis last featured in cycling’s top division – then called the ProTour – in 2009. In the intervening period, the squad has largely focused on the acquisition of French talent, but it remains to be seen if such a policy will change in the wake of Friday’s announcement.

     

  • Procycling Photography Special

    Patrick Lefevere went shopping for the best Belgian talent and picked up Tom Boonen
    Article published:
    June 01, 2012, 16:33 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    A decade of shots from Tim de Waele

    Although we rarely see him face to face, one of the most vital team members of Procycling magazine is Tim De Waele, cycle sport’s most talented photographer. He’s never in the office because he’s at races almost all the time – his calendar regularly ticks off around 250 days on the road. During his years covering events, he’s created mental maps of race locations that allow him to be in the right place at the right time far more often than if he’d left it all to chance.

    The result of this dedication is literally thousands of outstanding race photographs. Procycling magazine can only print a fraction of Tim’s shots every month. This Procycling Photography Special gives you, the fans, a further opportunity to revel in the incredible races, faces and places of professional road racing.

    You can order your copy here, or browse through some of the highlights here.