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Second Edition Cycling News, Monday, August 13, 2012

Date published:
August 13, 2012, 1:00 BST
  • Rogers in two minds over 2004 bronze medal

    Michael Rogers (Australia)
    Article published:
    August 13, 2012, 4:26 BST
    Cycling News

    "The medal is more kind of a substitute," he says

    Michael Rogers will receive a belated bronze medal after Tyler Hamilton was officially stripped of his gold medal from the 2004 Olympic Games time trial in Athens.

    Rogers had finished fourth in the event. He is yet to receive official notification of his upgrade from the International Olympic Committee with it's executive board meeting on Friday to reassign the medals from the Athens Games time trial, rewarding gold to Viatcheslav Ekimov (Russia), silver to Bobby Julich (USA) and bronze to Rogers (Australia). The action is prompted by the IOC's approaching eight-year statute of limitations deadline.

    Hamilton tested positive for homologous blood doping at the 2004 Vuelta a España, which followed the Olympic Games. In fact, Hamilton's "A" sample from the Olympic Games time trial had also tested positive for a blood transfusion, but mishandling of the backup sample meant the result could not be confirmed with the "B" sample, and therefore, Hamilton had been allowed to keep his Olympic medal.

    A previous joint appeal by the Russian and Australian Olympic Committees to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), in 2006, was denied. The Russians and Australians had asked unsuccessfully for CAS to give Hamilton's medal to Ekimov and for this reason, Rogers is not confident of actually receiving the medal.

    "To tell you the truth, I wasn't really holding my breath [about receiving the medal]," he said in an Australian Olympic Committee press release.

    "One part of me is happy to finally receive the medal, on the other side it [the medal] doesn't mean a lot," the three times world time trial champion said.

    "I think I missed the opportunity of that actual moment of the podium on the day.

    "There aren't too many athletes who get to go on the podium and to experience the life long memories of that.

    "I remember that...

  • Boom primed for Vuelta after Eneco Tour victory

    Lars Boom (Rabobank) finished second overall
    Article published:
    August 13, 2012, 9:17 BST
    Cycling News

    Dutchman believes a stage win in the first week is possible

    Lars Boom (Rabobank) added to his already diverse and impressive palmares when he won the overall classification at the seven-day Eneco Tour on Sunday. It is the Dutchman’s second road victory of the season and demonstrates he’s on track for a strong opening week at the Vuelta a España which begins on August 18. Boom won a stage at Ster ZLM Toer in June and claimed the Dutch national championship cyclo-cross title in January.

    "If I can maintain the condition from Eneco, I think there’s a good chance of taking a stage win in the first week of the Vuelta," he told Het Laatste Nieuws.

    It is the third stage race victory for Boom who is steadily building upon his numerous cyclo-cross wins earlier in his career. Now, with his cyclo-cross racing taking a backseat to a fulltime career on the road, he is a hot prospect to get his second win at the Vuelta - he won stage 15 in 2009 edition.

    "Undoubtedly this is my biggest win since I concentrate fully on the road. It is unfortunate that I have taken this victory without a stage win but that has not taken away the fun."

    Boom will now travel to Spain for the start of the Vuelta in Pamplona. The race kicks off with a team time trial where Boom will hope to lead his Rabobank team to a strong finish. His Dutch team is not renowned for their TTT ability but with a solid fourth-place showing during Eneco’s TTT on stage 2, the team is looking good.

    "Hats off to the team, they performed very well all week. The first...

  • Dekker to Vuelta a Espana, reversing earlier decision

    Thomas Dekker (Garmin-Barracuda)
    Article published:
    August 13, 2012, 11:31 BST
    Cycling News

    Garmin-Sharp rider will face his first grand tour of the year

    Thomas Dekker will ride the Vuelta a Espana for his only grand tour of the year, and his first in five years. The Garmin-Sharp rider announced the news on his website Monday morning.

    Dekker was on the team's preliminary Vuelta squad, but at the beginning of this month it was said that he would concentrate on one-day races instead. But now he is back on for the three-week stage race.

    "I said before that I wouldn't be riding the Vuelta because I already completed a hard program this season but nothing changes as fast as the life of a pro cyclist. To get a bigger engine I will have to ride a Grand Tour sooner or later. The past week showed that my form is good enough to start in La Vuelta,” he said.

    Dekker, 27, will start Tuesday in San Sebastian, and will remain in Spain to prepare for the Vuelta, which starts with a team time trial in Pamplona on Saturday.

    "My trainer Adrie van Diemen advised me to take this chance to ride the Vuelta now. I am ambitious before the race. My aim is to help the team but also to find out where I stand personally. It's been five years since I did a Grand Tour because my last one was the Tour de France in 2007.

    “It will be a hard race in Spain but it will help me further. It's my first time ever in the Vuelta a España and I am really looking forward."

    Dekker rode the Giro d'Italia in 2005 and the Tour de France in 2007. In 2009 he was given a two-year ban for doping, and he returned to racing last season with the Chipotle Development Team, before moving up to Garmin-Sharp this year. He won a stage at the Circuit de la Sarthe in April.

  • Rodriguez leading Katusha in Vuelta a Espana

    Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) on the podium
    Article published:
    August 13, 2012, 12:43 BST
    Cycling News

    Spaniard to be supported by Menchov and Moreno

    Joaquím Rodriguez will lead Katusha Team in his quest to win his first Vuelta a Espana, and will be supported by two-time Vuelta winner Denis Menchov. Climber Daniel Moreno will also be there to help his captain in the race.

    Rodriguez, 33, finished second in the Vuelta in 2010. Last year he won two stages and wore the leader's jersey for one stage. This year he won the Fleche Wallonne and two stages at the Vuelta al Pais Vasco. He shone in the Giro d'Italia, finishing second overall and winning two stages.

    Menchov, 34, won the Vuelta in 2005 and 2007. He finished 15th in this year's Tour de France. Moreno has won the GP Miguel Indurain, two stages of the Criterium Dauphine and the overall title in the Vuelta a Burgos.

    "As usual it will be a very hard Vuelta, especially the uphill finishes, concentrated in the last week, will be crucial. I think we have a very balanced team,” said sport director Valerio Piva. “The leader will be Joaquim Rodriguez, just like in Giro d'Italia, with great riders such as Denis Menchov and Dani Moreno to help him, especially during the climbings. At least, that will be our starting organization: then, looking at our riders' shape and situation, we will see if we should change this setting or not.”

    Piva played down Rodriguez' weak time trialling, saying, “the stages against the clock won't be too important: obviously we want to start well in the first team time trial and not to lose time, but with stages such as Los Ancares, Lagos de Covadonga, Cuitu Negro and Bola del Mundo, in the last but one day, in the last week there will be many chances to make...

  • Cavendish to Omega Pharma – Quick Step?

    Mark Cavendish (Sky) won the Tour's final stage in Paris for the fourth straight year.
    Article published:
    August 13, 2012, 15:52 BST
    Daniel Benson

    Lefevere waiting in the wings if Sky contract is annulled

    The future of Mark Cavendish at Team Sky is still in doubt after Omega Pharma-Quickstep general manager Patrick Lefevere told Cyclingnews that the rider and his current team may rip up his current contract.

    Cavendish signed for Sky at the end of last year on multiple-season deal. However, at the tail-end of the Tour de France, the team's manager David Brailsford hinted that his ace sprinter could leave for a new team. The team's focus appears to revolve around Grand Tour success and throughout the Tour de France, Cavendish was often left to fend for himself in the bunch sprints. He still won three stages but the Tour may have cast doubts on whether Sky's goals match that of the sprinter's.

    Quick Step made an offer for Cavendish last year and although a number of his HTC-Highroad teammates made the switch to Lefevere's team, Cavendish signed for Sky.

    Cyclingnews understands that Cavendish's representatives will meet with Sky's management in the coming weeks to thrash out the rider's future.

    "There are no developments as far as I know," Lefevere told Cyclingnews.

    "There haven't been any negotiations either because first what I want to see is that there's an agreement from Brailsford that Mark can leave the team. After that we can negotiate but now it's difficult because even if a rider wants to leave a team you need three parties to agree.

    "I saw some things in the papers about Brailsford talking about it being an option but I don't know it was official or not. Either way, I don't know. It's up to Brailsford and Cavendish. If they agree that he can...

  • Great Britain tops cycling medal table at Olympic Games

    Sir Chris Hoy won the fifth Olympic gold medal of his career with victory in the team sprint in London.
    Article published:
    August 13, 2012, 16:55 BST
    Cycling News

    Nineteen nations take home medals from London cycling events

    Nineteen different nations won cycling medals at the 2012 London Olympics, with Great Britain leading the field with 12, eight of them gold. Germany and Australia followed with six medals each.

    Great Britain, USA, Germany and Australia were the only nations to take at least one gold, silver and bronze, each.

    The first events were on the road, where Great Britain took two medals in the time trial, with Bradley Wiggins winning gold and Chris Froome bronze. They rounded out their collection with Elizabeth Armitstead's silver in the women's road race. Germany took two silver medals, in the two time trials, while Olga Zabelinskaya of Russia took bronze in both women's races.

    Great Britain dominated the track events, taking seven of the ten events, and a total of nine medals. Australia had five medals, including one gold; German had three medals, with one of each; and Denmark's only cycling medal was gold in the Omnium.

    On the BMX course, golds went to Latvia and Colombia, who also won bronze as the only multiple winner.

    The mountain bikers took the last medals, with the golds going to the Czech Republic and France, with no country winning more than one medal.

    In total, nine nations won more than one medal: Great Britain twelve; Germany and Australia six each; USA and France four each; Netherlands, Colombia, and China three each; and Russia, two.

    One medal each went to Kazakhstan, Norway, Czech Republic,Switzerland, Italy, Lataiva, New Zealand, Denmark, Canada and Hong Kong.

    Medal standings

    # Country
  • Gilbert will not defend in Clasica San Sebastian

    Philippe Gilbert (BMC) sets the pace in the break on stage 14 at the Tour de France
    Article published:
    August 13, 2012, 18:57 BST
    Cycling News

    Van Avermaet leads BMC in Spanish WorldTour race

    The BMC Racing Team announced its roster for the Clasica Ciclista San Sebastian without defending champion Philippe Gilbert. The team will instead be led by another Belgian, Greg Van Avermaet, who was third in last year's edition. Gilbert is slated to ride in the Belgian time trial championship on August 15th before heading to the Vuelta a España.

    "Greg should have cards to play," said director Rik Verbrugghe. "He has already shown he is able to do something good at this type of race."

    The only Spanish one-day race on the WorldTour calendar begins with 120km of rolling roads before riders must tackle the challenging finishing circuit, which includes the Alto de Jaizkibel and the Alto de Arkale, twice. The second trip up the Jaizkibel proved decisive in past editions, with the 7.8km ascent that averages 5.84% coming with 38km to race.

    The shorter, steeper Arkale with 15km to go provides further selection, while the small Alto Miracruz with 3km remaining is the final launching pad for the champion.

    "If we still have Van Avermaet in the front group on the last circuit, with teammates like Lodewyck or Mauro Santambrogio, it should be a good thing for us," Verbrugghe said.

    BMC Racing Team for the Clasica Ciclista San Sebastian:
    Stephen Cummings, Yannick Eijssen, Klaas Lodewyck, Amael Moinard, Marco Pinotti, Mauro Santambrogio, Greg Van Avermaet, Danilo Wyss.

  • Rabobank satisfied with youthful Utah squad

    The Rabobank team lines up behind BMC
    Article published:
    August 13, 2012, 20:00 BST
    Cycling News

    Matthews wins a stage and points classification

    The young, seven-rider Rabobank team sent to the Tour of Utah can be proud of their week says team management. A stage win, the points jersey and a top-ten finish in the general classification were wrapped up by the squad led by ‘veteran’ Tom Leezer. Leezer may have been the oldest on the team at 26-years-old but with five of the riders aged 23 and under, he was certainly the elder statesman for the five-day race.

    "Our goal was to win a stage, and that we did. Even on the hard mountain stages we fared well. It was by no means a bad stage race for our young up-and-comers," said sports director Frans Maasen.

    Former U23 world road race champion Michael Matthews took confidence from the team’s second place ride in the team time trial as a reason to attack on the following stage. He rode into the stage 3 breakaway and while caught on the day’s final climb, he managed to hold on and then sprint for the win. Matthews remained attentive throughout the race and followed his main rival for the sprint jersey, Rory Sutherland (UnitedHealthcare) to ensure he did not take the lead.

    "Matthews was ready to pay whatever price needed to be paid in order to defend his points jersey. Rory Sutherland was his only opponent, and when the Australian [Sutherland] went on the attack, Matthews and his teammate Bol followed," reported the team.

    Steven Kruijswijk was the team’s rider for the general classification and rode impressively on the final day...