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Second Edition Cycling News, Monday, April 16, 2012

Date published:
April 16, 2012, 22:00
  • Voeckler in top form for Liège-Bastogne-Liège

    Thomas Voeckler (Team Europcar )
    Article published:
    April 16, 2012, 11:15
    Cycling News

    Frenchman becomes Classics contender after impressive showings

    Following his victory of the Brabantse Pijl last Wednesday, and an eighth placing at the Tour of Flanders two weeks ago, Thomas Voeckler has again proved that he has become a true Classics contender by finishing fifth at Amstel Gold Race on Sunday. The Europcar rider was amongst the strongest men on the final climb of the Cauberg and now looks forward to racing Liège-Bastogne-Liège next weekend.

    "I'm not overjoyed but I'm satisfied with my race," the Europcar rider told L'Equipe. "I was a little effected by Cunego's crash on the Cauberg. I didn't lose a lot of speed as I was able to pass him on the right, but I lost the slipstream of the first riders."

    Even if a higher placing was possible, Voeckler was still happy with his first top five result at the Classic, which was the best result of a Frenchman since Laurent Roux's fifth placing in 1999. With nine kilometres to go, the 32-year-old attacked together with Peter Sagan (Liquigas), who later finished third. "To stand a chance, we should have been more than two, though. And then, with the headwind and thinking of the difficult finish, I didn't want to give everything. I held myself back, I raced a little against my nature," Voeckler admitted.

    But this turned out to be a wise decision as the last attacker, Oscar Freire (Katusha), inevitably faded against the pressure of chasing riders. In the end, the victory was decided amongst the freshest and fastest riders in the run to the finish line. "At the foot of the Cauberg, I knew what I had to do: wait for the end of the climb to pull my card."

    This week, Voeckler has returned to his family in the Vendée region in West France in roder to recover in view of Liège-Bastogne-Liège, where he should now be seen as one of the race's contenders. "Since Flanders, I've been making a lot of efforts," he said. "I need to do some active recuperation to do well in Liège. My form will not go away within a few days..."

  • Boonen still leads WorldTour rankings

    Boonen savours the moment of victory at the Tour of Flanders
    Article published:
    April 16, 2012, 12:34
    Cycling News

    Sagan moves up to second, Sanchez remains third

    Despite not having taken part in the Amstel Gold Race last Sunday, Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) has maintained his first placing in the UCI WorldTour rankings. The Belgian, winner of the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix amongst other wins in 2012, has a considerable lead on his rivals: 366 points. Peter Sagan (Liquigas), who finished third at Amstel and therefore added 50 points to his tally, moved up to second place and now has 229 points. The podium is rounded out by Samuel Sanchez (Euskaltel) with 222 points.

    Simon Gerrans (GreenEdge), previously second-placed with 210 points, is now in fourth place.

    In the team rankings, Boonen's Omega Pharma-QuickStep outfit also remains on top with 547 points. Second and third spots have been traded with Liquigas passing Katusha by a narrow margin of only four points. Undoubtedly the two squads will be fighting for these placings in the races to come.

    The same goes for the nations ranking. Spain maintains its lead with 771 points, while Italy and Belgium, second and third, are spearated by only five points.

    WorldTour Individual Rankings
    # Rider Name (Country) Team Result
    1 Tom Boonen (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quickstep 366  pts
    2 Peter Sagan (Svk) Liquigas-Cannondale 229  
    3 Samuel Sanchez Gonzalez (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi 222  
    4 Simon Gerrans (Aus) GreenEdge Cycling Team 210  
    5 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale 182  
    6 Oscar Freire Gomez (Spa) Katusha Team 180  
    7 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar Team 167  
    8 Alessandro Ballan (Ita) BMC Racing Team 166  
    9 Joaquim Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha Team 142  
    10 Michael Albasini (Swi) GreenEdge Cycling Team 112  
    11 Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Sky Procycling 112  
    12 Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre - ISD 106  
    13 Christopher Horner (USA) RadioShack-Nissan 96  
    14 Lieuwe Westra (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team 92  
    15 Niki Terpstra (Ned) Omega Pharma-Quickstep 90  
    16 Fabian Cancellara (Swi) RadioShack-Nissan 86  
    17 Enrico Gasparotto (Ita) Astana Pro Team 80  
    18 Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Astana Pro Team 78  
    19 Bauke Mollema (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team 77  
    20 Tiago Machado (Por) RadioShack-Nissan 72  
    21 Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Lotto Belisol Team 70  
    22 Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Sky Procycling 70  
    23 Rinaldo Nocentini (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale 67  
    24 Simon Spilak (Slo) Katusha Team 66  
    25 Rigoberto Uran Uran (Col) Sky Procycling 63  
    26 Michael Rogers (Aus) Sky Procycling 61  
    27 Jelle Vanendert (Bel) Lotto Belisol Team 60  
    28 Matti Breschel (Den) Rabobank Cycling Team 60  
    29 Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team 60  
    30 Daniel Martin (Irl) Garmin - Barracuda 60  
    31 Juan Antonio Flecha Giannoni (Spa) Sky Procycling 60  
    32 Tony Martin (Ger) Omega Pharma-Quickstep 52  
    33 Johnny Hoogerland (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team 51  
    34 Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team 51  
    35 Michele Scarponi (Ita) Lampre - ISD 51  
    36 Bernhard Eisel (Aut) Sky Procycling 50  
    37 Robert Kiserlovski (Cro) Astana Pro Team 44  
    38 Lars Petter Nordhaug (Nor) Sky Procycling 42  
    39 Lars Boom (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team 40  
    40 Jan Bakelants (Bel) RadioShack-Nissan 40  
    41 Arnold Jeannesson (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat 40  
    42 Daniele Bennati (Ita) RadioShack-Nissan 33  
    43 Jean-Christophe Peraud (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 32  
    44 Sep Vanmarcke (Bel) Garmin - Barracuda 31  
    45 Maxime Monfort (Bel) RadioShack-Nissan 30  
    46 Luca Paolini (Ita) Katusha Team 30  
    47 Matteo Tosatto (Ita) Team Saxo Bank 30  
    48 Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Omega Pharma-Quickstep 24  
    49 Wout Poels (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team 24  
    50 Philippe Gilbert (Bel) BMC Racing Team 22  
    51 André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Belisol Team 22  
    52 Matteo Carrara (Ita) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team 21  
    53 Mathew Hayman (Aus) Sky Procycling 20  
    54 Javier Moreno Bazan (Spa) Movistar Team 20  
    55 Michael Matthews (Aus) Rabobank Cycling Team 16  
    56 Dario Cataldo (Ita) Omega Pharma-Quickstep 15  
    57 Marco Marcato (Ita) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team 14  
    58 Matthieu Ladagnous (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat 14  
    59 Fabian Wegmann (Ger) Garmin - Barracuda 12  
    60 Jose Joaquin Rojas Gil (Spa) Movistar Team 12  
    61 Steve Chainel (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat 10  
    62 Johan Vansummeren (Bel) Garmin - Barracuda 10  
    63 Christophe Riblon (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 10  
    64 Daniel Oss (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale 10  
    65 Gianni Meersman (Bel) Lotto Belisol Team 8  
    66 Allan Davis (Aus) GreenEdge Cycling Team 8  
    67 Yauheni Hutarovich (Blr) FDJ-Big Mat 7  
    68 Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team 7  
    69 Luis Leon Sanchez Gil (Spa) Rabobank Cycling Team 7  
    70 Cameron Meyer (Aus) GreenEdge Cycling Team 6  
    71 Daryl Impey (RSA) GreenEdge Cycling Team 6  
    72 Gustav Larsson (Swe) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team 6  
    73 Janez Brajkovic (Slo) Astana Pro Team 6  
    74 Mark Cavendish (GBr) Sky Procycling 6  
    75 Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Lampre - ISD 6  
    76 Francesco Gavazzi (Ita) Astana Pro Team 5  
    77 Mark Renshaw (Aus) Rabobank Cycling Team 5  
    78 Grega Bole (Slo) Lampre - ISD 5  
    79 Eduard Vorganov (Rus) Katusha Team 4  
    80 Angel Vicioso Arcos (Spa) Katusha Team 4  
    81 Maarten Wynants (Bel) Rabobank Cycling Team 4  
    82 Sergio Pardilla Bellon (Spa) Movistar Team 4  
    83 Michal Golas (Pol) Omega Pharma-Quickstep 4  
    84 Jens Voigt (Ger) RadioShack-Nissan 4  
    85 Gerald Ciolek (Ger) Omega Pharma-Quickstep 4  
    86 Denis Menchov (Rus) Katusha Team 4  
    87 Sylvester Szmyd (Pol) Liquigas-Cannondale 4  
    88 Tyler Farrar (USA) Garmin - Barracuda 3  
    89 Levi Leipheimer (USA) Omega Pharma-Quickstep 3  
    90 Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Movistar Team 2  
    91 Sergio Luis Henao Montoya (Col) Sky Procycling 2  
    92 Mikael Cherel (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 2  
    93 Xavier Florencio Cabre (Spa) Katusha Team 2  
    94 Davide Appollonio (Ita) Sky Procycling 2  
    95 Heinrich Haussler (Aus) Garmin - Barracuda 2  
    96 Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Garmin - Barracuda 1  
    97 Vasili Kiryienka (Blr) Movistar Team 1  
    98 Arthur Vichot (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat 1  
    99 Ben Gastauer (Lux) AG2R La Mondiale 1  
    100 Daniele Ratto (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale 1  
    101 Thor Hushovd (Nor) BMC Racing Team 1  
    102 Svein Tuft (Can) GreenEdge Cycling Team 1  
    103 Greg Henderson (NZl) Lotto Belisol Team 1  
    104 Marco Pinotti (Ita) BMC Racing Team 1  
    105 Fabio Sabatini (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale 1  
    106 Manuel Belletti (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale 1  
    107 Thomas Rohregger (Aut) RadioShack-Nissan 1  
    108 Juan José Haedo (Arg) Team Saxo Bank 1  
    109 Kenny Robert Van Hummel (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team 1  
    110 Manuele Boaro (Ita) Team Saxo Bank 1  
    111 Elia Viviani (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale 1  
    112 Robbie McEwen (Aus) GreenEdge Cycling Team 1  
    WorldTour Team Rankings
    # Rider Name (Country) Team Result
    1 Omega Pharma-Quickstep 547  pts
    2 Liquigas-Cannondale 426  
    3 Katusha Team 422  
    4 Sky Procycling 366  
    5 GreenEdge Cycling Team 342  
    6 Radioshack-Nissan 327  
    7 Bmc Racing Team 300  
    8 Euskaltel-Euskadi 222  
    9 Astana Pro Team 213  
    10 Movistar Team 205  
    11 Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team 202  
    12 Rabobank Cycling Team 200  
    13 Lampre-ISD 168  
    14 Lotto Belisol Team 161  
    15 Garmin-Barracuda 116  
    16 AG2R La Mondiale 112  
    17 FDJ-Big Mat 72  
    18 Team Saxo Bank 32  
    WorldTour Nation Rankings
    # Rider Name (Country) Team Result
    1 Spain 771  pts
    2 Italy 601  
    3 Belgium 596  
    4 Netherlands 350  
    5 Australia 315  
    6 Slovakia 229  
    7 Switzerland 198  
    8 United States 153  
    9 France 120  
    10 Great Britain 118  
    11 Norway 113  
    12 Germany 94  
    13 Czech Republic 78  
    14 Slovenia 77  
    15 Portugal 72  
    16 Colombia 65  
    17 Denmark 60  
    18 Ireland 60  
    19 Austria 51  
    20 Croatia 44  
    21 Belarus 8  
    22 Russia 8  
    23 Poland 8  
    24 South Africa 6  
    25 Sweden 6  
    26 Canada 2  
    27 Luxembourg 1  
    28 New Zealand 1  
    29 Argentina 1  
  • 2012 Eneco Tour "suits" Contador, says Saxo Bank chief

    Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank)
    Article published:
    April 16, 2012, 13:13
    Cycling News

    Spaniard's doping ban ends just in time

    Spanish rider Alberto Contador (Team Saxo Bank) could make his return to cycling in the 2012 Eneco Tour according to sources at his Saxo Bank team. In February, the 29-year-old received a backdated two-year ban for a positive Clenbuterol test at the 2010 Tour de France. The ban ends on August 5.

    The Eneco Tour gets underway the next day in Holland and runs for seven stages, culminating in a finale on August 12 that takes in the Muur van Geraardsbergen, the iconic and historic climb that was controversially left out of the revamped Tour of Flanders course earlier this month. Contador and his management team clearly see the race as ideal preparation for his big late summer targets - the Clásica de San Sebastián (August 14) and the Vuelta a España (August 18 to September 9).

    "I think the team is interested in the fact that he [Contador] can compete immediately in a stage race and use it as a springboard to San Sebastian and the Vuelta," said Saxo Bank sporting director Tristan Hoffman. "With a team time trial and the individual stages the organization of this year's Eneco Tour will suit his plans well."

    Contador will miss this year's Giro d'Italia, Tour de France and London Olympics as a result of the sanction and he was also stripped of his 2010 Tour de France victory. The Spaniard's comeback to racing will be one of the most eagerly-awaited of recent times and is bound to be one of the most fascinating sub-plots of the latter part of the season.

  • Denis Galimzyanov returns positive test for EPO

    Denis Galimzyanov (Katusha)
    Article published:
    April 16, 2012, 13:56
    Cycling News

    Katusha sprinter tests positive

    Denis Galimzyanov (Katusha) has been provisionally suspended after returning an adverse analytical finding for EPO in an out-of-competition test taken on March 22.

    The UCI announced the news in a communiqué on Monday afternoon. Galimzyanov has the right to request the analysis of his B sample, but remains suspended until a panel convened by the Russian Cycling Federation sits to hear his case.

    Galimzyanov, who was aiming to be part of the Russian selection at the London 2012 Olympics, had a mixed start to the campaign. After going close to stage victory at the Tours of Qatar and Oman, he raced sparingly in March, citing illness. He was omitted from the Katusha team for Paris-Nice and also withdrew from the Three Days of West Flanders in March after the prologue.

    The 25-year-old Galimzyanov then went on to take his first victory of the season on stage one of the Circuit de la Sarthe in April, less than two weeks after returning the positive test for EPO. He crashed out of the race the following day.

    Hailing from Yekaterinburg in the Ural region of Russia, Galimzyanov raced for the Premier (later Katusha) continental team before stepping up to the ProTour ranks in 2009. He made his first major impact at the highest level last season, winning Paris-Brussels and the final stage of the Tour of Beijing.

  • Freire: fourth Worlds victory is possible

    Oscar Freire (Katusha) second in Brabantse Pijl
    Article published:
    April 16, 2012, 15:25
    Cycling News

    Spaniard tested himself on Cauberg ahead of 2012 Worlds

    Oscar Freire's kamikaze Amstel Gold Race attack with seven kilometres to go up the final Cauberg climb may have been destined to fail, but the Katusha rider has indicated that it was also meant to be a test in view of the Worlds to be held in the province of Limburg later this year. The three-time world champion concluded that a fourth rainbow jersey in Holland was possible, and that if he won, he'd continue to race in 2013.

    "What a hell of a climb this Cauberg is," Freire told Het Nieuwsblad. "The last 200 meters I literally died on the bike."

    The good news is that the finish line of the World Championship course will be located 1.8km further away than the Amstel Gold Race finish. "The lesson of this Amstel is that I can become a World Champion here for a fourth time. If I do, then I'll continue to race one more year," the 36-year-old added.

    The Katusha leader has returned to be competitive this season, achieving a number of top placings on top of two victories: seventh in Milan-San Remo, second in the GP E3, fourth in Gent-Wevelgem, second in the Brabantse Pijl and now fourth again at Amstel Gold Race. After spending nine seasons at Rabobank, Freire thanked his new Katusha team for continuing to trust him.

    "I feel good and healthy. What's more, at Katusha I get the confidence I need to prepare for races at my own rhythm," he said.


  • Bittersweet feelings for Sagan after Amstel Gold Race

    Peter Sagan (Liquigas-Cannondale)
    Article published:
    April 16, 2012, 17:33
    Cycling News

    Another podium spot, but no victory for Liquigas rider

    After his early season victories as well as his very promising fourth place in Milan-San Remo, Peter Sagan was bound to score at the Spring Classics in Belgium but the Liquigas-Cannondale fast man again had to be content with a podium placing at Amstel Gold Race on Sunday. The Slovakian rider blamed a badly-timed sprint for his loss against Enrico Gasparotto (Astana) and Jelle Vandenert (Lotto-Belisol).

    "If I had attacked just two seconds later, I would have finished in front of everyone. I faded only in the last metres. What a shame," Sagan said on his team website. "I always race to win and to see the victory slip away in the last few metres makes me angry. On the other hand, the podium at Amstel Gold Race is a very good result."

    Sagan did not know when exactly to launch his final attack on the Cauberg. "The race finale was very difficult to interpret," he said. "There were a lot of riders and I had to observe many rivals."

    The Slovakian was always well-positioned, marking any attacks on the ultimate climb of the Cauberg. "At the start of the climb there it was still a big group and when Gilbert attacked I didn't think twice," he said. "With hindsight, I should have had more patience but after 250 kilometres your lucidity is what it is. But everything counts as experience for the future: today, I became aware that this is a Classic that I can win."

    For now, Sagan has added this result to his already impressive list of top placings this spring which includes fourth places at Milan-San Remo and at the Tour of Flanders as well as a second placing in Gent-Wevelgem. His teammate Vincenzo Nibali, who finished seven minutes down, has just come back from a training camp at altitude and hoped that he will be more successful at the upcoming races this week.

    "My feelings weren't too bad. But I knew that there was a risk that adapting from my altitude training camp could make me suffer: I take this race as a useful test for Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège," said Nibali.

  • Teams finalized for 2012 Exergy Tour

    Amber Neben (Specialized/Lululemon) after getting a little banged up yesterday.
    Article published:
    April 16, 2012, 19:40
    Cycling News

    Seventeen teams representing nine countries for inaugural tour

    Race organizers have named the 17 teams to compete in the 2012 Exergy Tour, which will take place May 24-28. With UCI and NRC teams comprised of several former, current and future national, world and Olympic champions, the teams represent nine countries, five of the top 11 teams in the world, and an international line-up for athletes vying to make their respective Olympic teams in 2012.

    The 17 elite teams include Diadora - Pasta Zara with the reigning World Champion, Giorgia Bronzini; Specialized - lululemon, currently ranked #2 in the world and with a roster currently listing Clara Hughes, Amber Neben, Evelyn Stevens and Ina Teutenberg; Exergy Twenty12 with Idaho native, former World Champion and 2008 Olympic Time Trial Gold Medalist Kristin Armstrong; and the Faren Honda Team with 2008 Olympic Road Race Gold Medalist Nicole Cooke.

    Team Tibco-To The Top brings six of the top 10 riders in the USA National rankings to their its with Lauren Hall, Megan Guarnier, Lindsay Myers, Amanda Miller, Jennifer Purcell and Jennifer Wheeler. ABUS Nutrixxion looks to bring a strong squad in the sprints led by Daniela Gass and Belinda Goss; and Now and Novartis for MS lists three-time Irish time trial national champion, Olivia Dillon and 2011 US road national champion Robin Farina currently on their roster.

    Team Optum presented by Kelly Benefit Strategies continues the rich cycling tradition established by its presenting sponsor in this, its inaugural year in women's cycling, and a roster on which six of the team’s 12 riders are Olympic long team members who have their sights set on the road race in London.

    Leading the efforts of Colavita/espnW Pro Cycling will be team captain Kathryn Bertine, a three-time road and time trial national champion of St. Kitts and Nevis. Directing the team will be six-time US National Champion and former Colavita pro rider Tina Pic and Iona Wynter Parks, who represented her native Jamaica at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney and directed the Colavita squad after her retirement from competitive racing.

    "I am confident we have found the right balance with the 17 teams that shall be competing at the inaugural Exergy Tour," said James Carkulis, CEO, Exergy Development Group, founder and title sponsor of the race. "Showcasing ladies professional cycling at the international level in the USA has been remiss; and we are honored to welcome these athletes in the first year of the Exergy Tour and dedicated to grow into the future as one of the premier ladies professional cycling races in the world."

    The inaugural 2012 Exergy Tour roster includes the following 17 teams.  The race previously announced a partial list of teams and the its route.

    UCI Pro Teams Confirmed (with UCI rankings as of April 14, 2012)
    Team Specialized - lululemon (Ger), No. 2
    GreenEdge - AIS (Aus), No. 4
    Diadora - Pasta Zara (Ita), No. 6
    Faren Honda Team (Ita), No. 9
    Dolmans - Boels Cycling Team (Ned), No. 11
    Tibco - To the Top (USA), No. 16
    Exergy Twenty12 (USA), No. 19
    ABUS Nutrixxion (Ger), No. 21
    Axman Team Taiwan (Tpe), No. 23
    Topsport Vlaanderen - Ridley 2012 (Bel), No. 24
    Forno D’Asolo Colavita (Ita). No. 26
    Sengers Ladies Cycling Team (Bel), No. 28
    Canadian National Team (Can)
    Ukraine National Team (Ukr)

    NRC (National Racing Calendar) Elite Teams Confirmed
    Optum Pro Cycling presented by Kelly Benefit Strategies (USA), No. 2 on NRC
    NOW and Novartis for MS (USA), No. 3 on NRC
    Colavita - espnW Pro Cycling (USA)

  • Cadel Evans withdraws from remaining Ardennes Races

    Cadel Evans (BMC) quits the race
    Article published:
    April 16, 2012, 20:35
    Cycling News

    Australian shifts focus to Tour of Romandie

    Cadel Evans will not participate in Flèche-Wallonne on Wednesday and Liège-Bastogne-Liège on Sunday while he continues his recovery from a sinus infection, the BMC Racing Team announced on Monday.

    BMC Racing Team Chief Medical Officer Max Testa said Evans, a past winner of Flèche-Wallonne, was motivated to play a supporting role in the two races. But after withdrawing from Sunday's Amstel Gold Race, the decision was made for the defending Tour de France champion to return home to help speed his recovery.

    "Cadel has the Tour of Romandie coming in one week and with this infection, we don't want to take any risks," Dr. Testa said. "The weather won't be helpful - it's going to be rainy and cold here - so it was probably the best decision we could make in the interest of the health of the rider."

    Directeur Sportif John Lelangue said Evans' absence does not affect the team's approach to either race. "We still have a good field around Philippe Gilbert, who finished sixth Sunday at Amstel Gold Race and Greg Van Avermaet to make two good Ardennes races," Lelangue said.

    "Cadel was coming here with the objective to help them. That was always the plan. We know his main objective is in a few months in July. Therefore he has to make a good Tour of Romandie. It will be a good test in real stage race conditions - with a time trial, prologue and mountain stages."

    BMC Racing Team Flèche-Wallonne Roster (April 18)
    Brent Bookwalter, Philippe Gilbert, Martin Kohler, Klaas Lodewyck, Mauro Santambrogio, Michael Schär, Greg Van Avermaet, Tejay van Garderen