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Second Edition Cycling News, Monday, July 14, 2014

Date published:
July 14, 2014, 1:00 BST
  • Vos and Pooley lead praise for photographer, and women’s cycling advocate CJ Farquharson

    Marinne Vos (Rabo Liv) fights to hold onto pink
    Article published:
    July 14, 2014, 9:10 BST
    Cycling News

    Australian retires after suffering crash injuries

    The professional women's peloton last week raced one of its biggest events of the year, the Giro Rosa, but did so without one of its main media advocates, CJ Farquharson, a photographer who contributed to Cyclingnews, her own web site, and to numerous women's teams and race organisations.

    Farquharson announced before the start of the race that she would be unable to attend, and was closing down her web site due to lingering health and financial issues stemming from a serious incident, in which she was hit by a motorcycle official during the 2007 women's Thuringen Rundfahrt.

    "It is with deep regret that I am forced to announce that I will not be able to follow my plan to return to work at the Giro Rosa in July," Farquharson wrote in a statment. "After the disappointment of missing the beginning of the season, I had hoped to be fit in time to be in Italy to follow my tenth women’s Giro, the Giro Rosa.

    Farquharson still suffers from chronic pain to her shoulder and her right leg, which was nearly severed in the incident, as well as fighting a legal battle with the race's insurance company, from which she has not been able to recoup her nearly $200,000 medical costs.

    "In addition to recovering from the broken bones, torn skin and ripped muscles and ligaments, I have been subjected to more stress and anguish than I could ever have imagined possible. Due to client commitments, I have even had to return to Thuringen and even the scene of the horror each year."

    "Whilst the professional women’s peloton is following the well-worn pattern of races throughout the road racing season, I have been forced onto the sideline, due to my ongoing medical situation," she stated.

    "It has been an honour to witness some truly exceptional performances by highly talented and dedicated athletes during my time following the peloton. I have also had the opportunity to meet a variety of wonderful individuals...

  • Wiggins to stay at Team Sky in 2015

    Bradley Wiggins riding in the rain
    Article published:
    July 14, 2014, 10:13 BST
    Cycling News

    Briton targets Roubaix and the Hour Record, tips Nibali to win the Tour

    Bradley Wiggins has told Italian sports newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport that he plans to stay with Team Sky in 2015 and target Paris-Roubaix and possibly the Hour Record on the track. Team Sky manager Brailsford however told The Guardian that nothing is signed yet. "He hasn't signed. We've met with his management company and we'll see where we're at. Nothing is signed," said Brailsford.

    In recent weeks both Orica GreenEdge and Garmin-Sharp have expressed interest in signing the 2012 Tour de France winner.

    Wiggins was speaking at the Pinarello Cycling Marathon event in Italy, organized Team Sky's bike sponsor.

    "It's true, I'm thinking about it (the Hour Record). Not this year but I'll try next year. And I'll do it on these bikes because I'm going to stay at Sky," Gazzetta reported Wiggins as saying.

    "My time as a Grand Tour rider is over. I'll still ride them but not to win them," he reportedly said. "I'll sign up now for this event next year. If Sky doesn’t take me to the Tour, I'll be back."

    Cyclingnews contacted Team Sky, with Dave Brailsford confirming that the team would work with Wiggins into 2016.

    “Brad is a great champion and has been integral to the Sky story. We are keen to support him in the best way as he works towards his ultimate goal of achieving more Olympic success in Rio," he said.

    Wiggins tipped Vincenzo Nibali to win the Tour de France and praised the Italian for the way he dominated the cobbles on stage five. Wiggins finished ninth in this year's Paris-Roubaix but rode aggressively and impressed with how he handled the cobbles.

    "Nibali was fantastic on the pave, impressive. They're the most beautiful roads,...

  • inCycle video: Valverde says he's stronger than before his doping ban

    Alejandro Valverde (Movistar)
    Article published:
    July 14, 2014, 10:56 BST
    Cycling News

    "I've reached another level" says Spaniard

    Alejandro Valverde currently sits in seventh place overall in the Tour de France. The Movistar captain spoke to inCycle about the significance of the event, his racing before and after his doping suspension and his take on this year’s Tour.

    "The Tour de France is the race that scares the most. Being scared makes you feel more pressure and somehow that leads to mistakes and bad luck. You have the respect the Tour. I started with respect for the race but am not scared. I hope I have some good luck and be up at the front. I think I can be top three."

    Valverde won the Vuelta in 2009. From the 1st of January 2010 he was suspended for two years for his role in Operación Puerto. Since his return the Spaniard has won many races and he was on the podium of the Vuelta twice.

    "I believe I have not returned to the level I had before my suspension. I have actually surpassed it and reached a higher level. Every race I can be competitive and I start with greater motivation."

    Movistar already have won one of the Grand Tours with Nairo Quintana in the Giro d’Italia. This takes the pressure of Valverde.

    "His win gives us extra motivation. We don’t have the pressure this year to do something because we haven’t done anything yet. This will help us get better results."

    At 34 years old Valverde is not getting any younger. With his teammate Quintana second in last year’s Tour and ready to take on the Tour next year again, this year’s event may be the Spaniard’s last chance.

    "I enjoy cycling and I am not thinking of retiring. I love what I do and do it with lots of enthusiasm. This year’s Tour is not the last chance but it’s a good opportunity for me. My team, the route with the Alps first and then the Pyrenees, and only one time...

  • Local boy Pinot fearful of La Planche des Belles Filles

    Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) arrives in Gérardmer
    Article published:
    July 14, 2014, 13:28 BST
    Cycling News leader says it’s hard to find a rhythm on stage 10’s final ascent

    New yellow jersey Tony Gallopin may be the centre of attention as the Tour heads for La Planche des Belles Filles, but most of the support on the roadsides today will be directed towards local riders Thibaut Pinot and Arthur Vichot. The two riders were schooled on these climbs and still train on them.

    Already a victor in the 2012 Tour at not-too-distant Porrentruy, Pinot says that today’s two final climbs evoke particular memories, and not of the best kind. In an interview in the Official Tour de France Guide, the Frenchman recalls going up the Col des Chevrères one evening some years ago with Vichot, and the pair of them painting their names on the road.

    “The riders competing in the Tour de Franche-Comté had to climb it the next day. They were all over the place,” Pinot recalls, before going on to highlight the particular difficulty of climbs in this region.

    “The end of this stage takes place in what is like the Basque Country of the Vosges Haut-Saônoises,” he says. “They are short passes, from five to eight kilometres in length. The Chevrères reminds me of the Mur de Péguère, which we climbed [on the Tour] in 2012. It’s a narrow forest road where riders can’t go any more than three abreast.

    “I go up there very often, it’s on my training route. That’s where I evaluate the extent of my form… The last four kilometres are difficult and will put us to the test before the drop down into Belfahy, the highest village in the Vosges. You will have to be well placed at all times from the foot of the Chevrères otherwise you might not see the front of the race again!”

    Pinot believes that the worst is still to come in the form of the final ascent to La Planche des Belles Filles, where Chris Froome took his debut Tour stage win in 2012. “It’s an irregular and disconcerting climb,” he...

  • Alberto Contador out of the Tour de France

    Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo)
    Article published:
    July 14, 2014, 14:59 BST
    Kirsten Frattini

    Tinkoff-Saxo rider crashes out on stage 10

    Tinkoff-Saxo’s team captain Alberto Contador abandoned the Tour de France after a crash midway through the tenth stage on Monday. The Spaniard hit the ground 95km into the race and appeared to injure his right knee.

    Contador got back on a team bike but lost nearly four minutes to the peloton as he received medical treatment from the side of the car. He stopped a second time because he appeared to have a problem with his shoe. Three of his teammates waited for him to help pace him back to the field including Michael Rogers. It looked as though we would try to continue the race, however, he was forced to abandon the race all together a few kilometers later.

    Contador was a major favorite to win the overall title at this year’s Tour de France, along with the defending champion from Team Sky Chris Froome. Froome was also forced to abandon the Tour part way through stage 5 after suffering a broken left wrist and right hand from crashes during the first week of the race.

    Contador sat in ninth place overall at the start of the tenth stage, 4:08 minutes behind the overall race leader Tony Gallopin (Lotto-Belisol). He was poised to move up in the classification as the stage finished on La Planche des Belles Filles, and following a rest day on Tuesday, was headed toward the high mountain stages.

    Contador's crash occurred on the descent of Petit Ballon.  His team's efforts to bring him back to the peloton were made difficult by the mountainous terrain and the high speed up front. After 20 kilometers of chasing, Contador was not able to pedal and abandoned the race due to his knee injury, which was later confirmed by his...

  • German cycling set for a boost with new sponsor for NetApp-Endura

    Team manager Ralph Denk and Eric Baumann share a laugh
    Article published:
    July 14, 2014, 16:00 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    "We're on the way back up," says team owner Ralph Denk

    The NetApp-Endura team will announce a new five-year title sponsor on Tuesday, during the first rest day of the Tour de France. Team owner Ralph Denk is convinced that Germany is about to return as a major cycling nation in the professional peloton.

    Denk remained tight-lipped about the name of his sponsor and if he would apply for a place in the 2015 WorldTour but he has already revealed that it will be a German company with interests in Europe and the rest of the world.

    "We're on the way back up, that's for sure. We're past the lowest point in the crisis in German cycling," Denk told a small group of journalists at the Tour de France.

    "How far we can go up perhaps depends if we have a German GC rider. Germany isn’t a cycling country like Belgium, France, Italy or Spain. German cycling fans look more to the GC of the Tour de France than anything else,"

    "The goal of our new sponsor is to create an international team. We've got a German sponsor coming on board tomorrow and for sure the focus is more on Germany but it's an international company, with important markets inside and outside of Europe. It's not like the Milam team that had products that were only sold in Germany and so the team was 90 per cent German. Our strategy is different. Of course we will try to bring more German riders into the team in the future."

    UCI President Brian Cookson recently told Cyclingnews that professional cycling would suffer if it is not in Germany, the biggest economy in Europe. However, like Denk, he is optimistic on one condition: "We don’t descend into the problems of the past, I'm optimistic that cycling can be strong again there and in other countries.”

    The past problems of German cycling are linked to the doping scandals of the last two decades. The German public, led by the...

  • Contador fractured tibia in Tour de France crash

    Alberto Contador (Tinkoff Saxo) abandons stage 10 after a crash
    Article published:
    July 14, 2014, 17:34 BST
    Cycling News

    Tinkoff-Saxo rider to undergo operation

    Tinkoff-Saxo's Alberto Contador has been left with a fractured tibia after his fall in the Tour de France during stage 10 on Monday. The Spanish climber crashed midway through the stage and despite continuing was forced to abandon.

    He was taken to the finish where he was given x-rays by the Tour’s medical staff. Team boss Bjarne Riis confirmed to the press that Contador had suffered a fracture to his right tibia and that he would undergo an operation.

    "Alberto has a broken tibia. It's not a bad fracture but he needs surgery," Riis told a small group of journalists at the Tinkoff-Saxo bus.

    "He's in a lot of pain and is getting stitches," Riis said minutes after seeing Contador in the x-ray truck.

    "Mentally he's destroyed, of course. He was in the shape of his life. This was his Tour. It's a mess. We were here to win the Tour de France. He's in super good condition, never better. It's a big, big pity."

    Riis explained what happened with regards to Contador’s crashes. There were several vague early reports at the time.

    "He was going fast on the downhill at about 60 or 70km/h. It was a bumpy road and he lost control of he bike. Maybe he was eating."

    "He told me immediately that he thought it would be difficult to continue but he tried. Then he had a lot of pain. I could see that he couldn't pedal after the descent and after that there was nothing to do."

    "He said: 'What should I do?' And I said: 'Alberto, take your own decision because you have the pain.' Then he stopped because there was too much pain."

  • Nibali expects attacks from Porte and Valverde

    Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) moves back into the yellow jersey after his stage 10 win
    Article published:
    July 14, 2014, 20:37 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    "Contador fell right in front of me,” says Nibali

    Astana’s Vincenzo Nibali celebrated arguably the greatest stage victory of his career with a special salute to his baby daughter Emma, sucking on his thumb as he crossed the stage 10 finish line in La Planche des Belles Filles at the Tour de France on Monday. The Italian took back the yellow jersey, and with Tinkoff-Saxo’s team leader Alberto Contador now out of the race, he is expecting attacks from Team Sky’s Richie Porte and Movistar’s Alejandro Valverde.

    “I was going flat out but I wanted to dedicate the win to my little girl, this victory’s for her. I talk with my wife every day, and they’re watching the race on the TV every day. My wife told me that Emma goes silent and opens her eyes wide when she hears my voice on TV," Nibali said.

    It was a sign of celebration and relief for Nibali after a thrilling stage in the Vosges mountains. Nibali revealed he was close to going down when Alberto Contador crashed, which forced the Spaniard to abandon the race.

    His Astana teammates then produced a powerful chase of the break that contained Omega Pharma-QuickStep teammates Tony Martin and Michal Kwiatkowski. Nibali timed his surged perfectly and went on to win alone, taking back the yellow jersey and extending his lead to 2:23 minutes on Richie Porte (Team Sky) and 2:47 to Alejandro Valverde (Movistar).

    "This was a wonderful victory and it’s thanks to great team work, especially by Michele Scarponi in the finale,” Nibali said. “It’s been a very tough stage with the fog and the rain after ten days of hard racing. This was...