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Second Edition Cycling News, Monday, July 5, 2010

Date published:
July 05, 2010, 1:00 BST
  • Hansen out of Tour de France

    Adam Hansen (HTC - Columbia) feels the effects of riding much of stage one with a broken collarbone.
    Article published:
    July 05, 2010, 11:41 BST
    Cycling News

    Australian's crash in stage one ends his race

    Adam Hansen (HTC-Columbia) did not start today’s second stage of the Tour de France due to injuries sustained in a crash on the road to Brussels yesterday. The Australian broke his left collarbone and shoulder after crashing 60km into the Tour’s first road stage.

    In spite of his injuries, Hansen completed the stage, even riding on the front in the finale as HTC-Columbia sought to set up Mark Cavendish for the sprint.

    “I’m extremely disappointed,” Hansen said. “I was really looking forward to this Tour and I’m upset now that they have to continue with only eight riders. It was one of those freak crashes. I briefly saw something on the road before I hit it and my bike skid across the field. Most riders managed to avoid me but at the last second I hit the back wheel of another rider and went down."

    An HTC-Columbia statement said that Hansen will be taken to hospital in Hamburg, where his injuries will be assessed and treated.

    Team owner Bob Stapleton was keen to praise Hansen’s courage in reaching Brussels. "Adam displayed amazing loyalty to the team today by finishing the race and working extremely hard towards the end. He is an extremely valuable rider and we will definitely miss him at this Tour de France. For now his health is the most important thing and we want to give him the best care for a quick recovery."

    This was Hansen’s second participation in the Tour de France. He finished 108th in 2008.

  • Chavanel back to France?

    Sylvain Chavanel (Quick Step) in action during the Tour prologue.
    Article published:
    July 05, 2010, 14:05 BST
    Hedwig Kröner

    Frenchman to decide soon on 2011 contract

    Quick Step rider Sylvain Chavanel may be returning to a squad of his home country after having spent the last two years in Belgium. The odds are high that the Frenchman, who is currently negotiating with several teams, will sign for a French team once his contract with Patrick Lefevere ends.

    "I will make up my mind soon," he told Cyclingnews at the start of the first stage of the Tour de France in Rotterdam. In the meantime, he hopes to bring in some results to his current outfit, as he is back to excellent health after an injury that made him miss several weeks of racing during the first part of the season.

    "I'll try not to spill too much power in the first week, to keep my rising form for later. Still, I'd like to be in the right group in the stage to Arenberg on Tuesday and go for the stage win. But it'll be hard, as this is the Tour de France, and everybody's motivated to the bone."

    Even though his eyes are more laid on the second or third week of racing, Chavanel doesn't want to miss out on any chances to show a good performance or even go for a win.

    "Tomorrow will also be an interesting stage," he said about stage two from Brussels to Spa, which will take the peloton over the roads of the Ardennes Classics. "To be in a break there would be of use, as there is the mountains jersey up for grabs. And the rider who takes it tomorrow will be able to keep it for a little while..."

    Chavanel seems to be back to his attacking nature, feeling confident and fresh at the start of the French Grand Tour. "I would also like to be in front in Spa. but then, it may be more difficult to also go for the win on the pavé. But one shouldn't think about the next day, really. You have to live day by day - if you wait too long for the right opportunity, you end up losing out on them. The days go by very fast."

  • Mondory explains sprint mishap

    Lloyd Mondory (AG2R) carries his ruined bike across the line.
    Article published:
    July 05, 2010, 15:33 BST
    Hedwig Kröner

    Roelandts caused AG2R rider to crash into Farrar

    The 'sprint royal' that should have taken place in Brussels on Sunday did not happen, for a series of accidents caused the peloton to rip apart, bringing down several high-profile sprinters. Stage favourite Mark Cavendish (HTC-Columbia) went down along with Oscar Freire (Rabobank) inside the final two kilometres before another crash in the last 200 metres ruled out Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Transitions) and Lloyd Mondory (AG2R-La Mondiale).

    It was Mondory whose front wheel got tangled up with Farrar's rear wheel, sending the Frenchman down on the tarmac and ending both sprinters' chances. Alessandro Petacchi of Lampre-Farnese Vini finally scored the stage win.

    "The front wheel of an AG2R rider went under Farrar's derailleur - he basically had two bikes for a 100 metres," Garmin-Transitions manager Jonathan Vaughters told Cyclingnews at the stage start in Brussels on Monday morning. Fortunately, Farrar did not hit the ground, but Mondory came down hard and scraped some skin off his bottom.

    "I was on Petacchi's wheel, who started his sprint with 250 metres to go," Mondory told Cyclingnews for clarification. "Suddenly, I got hit on the back, which pushed me forwards, into Farrar's wheel, who was left of me. Unfortunately, for him as well as for myself, that's what ended our sprint. In fact, it was Roelandts who almost went into the barriers and who had to swerve to the left in order to make it."

    Mondory started stage two to Spa, but did not know how he was going to get through the day because of his injuries. "My bottom is burned, but this isn't my primary concern. My right ankle also hit something. Now, I don't know how it's going to evolve. I was able to walk this morning, but I don't know how it will affect my cycling in a 200km stage. But I'm optimistic. As for my bottom, the injury is just above the seat area so there shouldn't be too much contact."

    Cyclingnews then spoke to Jürgen Roelandts...

  • French sports minister to meet with UCI, WADA and AFLD

    French sports minister Roselyne Bachelot speaks to reporters in Brussels.
    Article published:
    July 05, 2010, 17:44 BST
    Jean-François Quénet

    Roselyne Bachelot full of praise for cycling's fight against doping

    French sports minister Roselyne Bachelot announced at the start of stage 2 of the Tour de France in Brussels that she'll organise a meeting on July 9 with representatives of the International Cycling Union (UCI), the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and the French Anti-Doping Agency (AFLD) regarding the controls conducted at the Tour de France and further races.

    "We have some legal issues to resolve," she told reporters. "There are misunderstandings to clear up. The AFLD is well present at the Tour de France. WADA said that, shall the AFLD conduct additional testing, athletes could not appeal to CAS (Court of Arbitration for Sport). We understood that they could because the controls are under the UCI. So we'll clarify the matter."

    Bachelot added that these misunderstanding would not affect the fight against drugs. "The organisation of the controls is good and they are conducted by qualified and competent people," she said. "The laboratory in Lausanne has proven to be reliable."

    The French anti-doping system includes a tight link between the AFLD and the laboratory of Chatenay-Malabry where the samples were tested in the past. It's not the case this year because positive tests would be considered internationally invalid. Behind the clarification of the misunderstanding, it might also be a question of bringing back to the Parisian laboratory the anti-doping business in the future. The LNDD (Laboratoire National de Dépistage du Dopage) is underemployed this month of July, having lost the analysis of the 500 samples of the Tour de France.

    "The sport of cycling is honoured by this active fight against drugs," Bachelot said. "There was a lot to do but this sport is recovering."

    The French sports minister took a breath of fresh air after dealing with all the troubles of the national team at the football World Cup in South Africa.

    "To come to the Tour de France is a source of real happiness," Bachelot said. "I've...

  • Procycling's daily Tour de France dispatch - stage 2

    Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank) led a protest into Spa against the dangerous conditions.
    Article published:
    July 05, 2010, 18:14 BST

    Stapleton, Cancellara, crashing Aussies, PMU hands, Shack, Holz

    The last of the surprises?

    Asked to comment on vague rumours of a peloton protest on stage 3, HTC-Columbia chief Bob Stapleton said this morning he'd be "shocked" to see a go-slow over the cobbles on Tuesday. In light of today's débâcle, we're giving Bob until breakfast time to change his mind.

    Never was a motor, UCI prez says

    Given the controversy surrounding the Swiss Time Lord's unproven disposition towards motorised transport of recent, it took a brave sub-editor to use the headline "Cancellara motors to victory" last Saturday. Despite explaining the need to X-ray 14 time trial bikes used in the prologue – all passing the test, mind you – the UCI president Pat McQuaid is convinced motorised machines in professional cycling never existed in the first place, regardless of the much-viewed YouTube clip. "I honestly don't believe that there has ever been a motorised bike in the peloton because the technology is not there yet to do it secretly," McQuaid told Juliet Macur of the New York Times, adding that the battery would not fit inside the bike.

    Aussie journo buckles under pressure

    Dramatic stories unfold in the Tour de France centre de presse on an almost daily basis. But one that sends a journalist toppling to the floor? Approximately 7 p.m. Sunday evening in Brussels, that's exactly what happened to the Sydney Morning Herald's Rupert Guinness, when the affable Australian added another spill to what was already a crash-marred day, as the legs from his chair buckled underneath his 86 kilos snapped off, and in one fell swoop, brought him crashing down. Bruised but alive, 'Rupe' received a round of cheers from his peers, and to use the words of cycling commentator Phil Liggett, lived to fight another day.

    PMU Scissorhands no more

    The green cardboard PMU hands that famously sliced open Thor Hushovd's arm at the end of...

  • Horner: Tour organisers got what they deserved

    Chris Horner (RadioShack) looked relaxed before the start
    Article published:
    July 05, 2010, 18:42 BST
    Daniel Benson

    Go-slow into Spa a protest on stage conditions

    Chris Horner (RadioShack) hit out at the decision to include the descent of the Stockeu on the second stage of the Tour de France. Numerous riders crashed including Horner's team leader Lance Armstrong, as well as Andy Schleck (Saxo Bank) and the Garmin-Transitions pair of Christian Vande Velde and Tyler Farrar. Both Garmin riders and Robbie McEwen (Katusha) were among the riders taken to hospital.

    The peloton reacted to the crashes by nullifying the finale and riding to the finish without contesting the sprint, allowing Sylvain Chavanel (Quick Step) to take the stage and ride into the yellow jersey.

    "They put on a dangerous stage and so when they put it on like that, that's the result they'll get," Horner told Cyclingnews. "They got all their drama on the descent and they lost it all at the finish and they got what they deserved. The only thing more stupid about this stage is the pro cycling federation and Cedric Vasseur for ever letting a stage like this exist in the first place. There's no place in the Tour de France for a stage like this."

    Horner was lucky enough not to crash but told Cyclingnews that he and his team knew that the descent was going to be dangerous, especially with riders battling for position on the difficult terrain. "Of course we knew it was dangerous if it was going to rain. We knew. That descent is dangerous in the dry and in the wet it's suicidal and there you go. They got all their excitement."

    As the peloton trickled over the line some fans began to boo, clearly unhappy with the stance taken by the bunch. "Everybody went down. I had bikes going down behind me that slid in front of me. The stage was too dangerous to be in the Tour de France."

    When asked who orchestrated the decision for the go-slow, Horner said: "It was nobody's idea and everybody's idea. You could feel it. I didn't even hear them talking about it, but you could feel it happening. That's what they get and...

  • Garmin-Transitions leaders crash heavily on Stockeu

    Tyler Farrar (Garmin - Transitions) in agony after crashing on the descent of the Stockeu.
    Article published:
    July 05, 2010, 19:16 BST
    Daniel Benson

    Vande Velde, Farrar and Dean taken to hospital after stage two

    Christian Vande Velde (Garmin-Transitions) crashed and lost nearly ten minutes on stage 2 of the Tour de France from Brussels to Spa. He was taken to hospital along with teammates Tyler Farrar and Julian Dean. Two other Garmin riders, Robbie Hunter and David Millar, also fell during the stage.

    Vande Velde came into the race as the team's GC contender and although nearly all of the pre-race favourites crashed, the 34-year-old American was unable to regroup with the leaders and now sits in 146th place, 9:50 down in the overall classification. With such a big time gap to his rivals and uncertainty over whether he will start tomorrow's stage, team director, Matt White admitted that Vande Velde's overall aspirations could already be over.

    "I've never seen so many guys come down in such a short period of time, I think half the bunch could have crashed today. As for Christian, the overall is pretty much over assuming that he rides tomorrow. First priority is to make sure he's okay," White said.

    The stage was marred by crashes. Dean was the first Garmin rider to go down before a large proportion of the field crashed on the descent of the Stockeu. However, White, who raced as a professional for US Postal and Cofidis amongst others, was quick not to lay the blame at the organisers for including the descent in the race.

    "Nothing is ever too dangerous. Yes, it was a slippery day but it's the same roads they raced on at Liège-Bastogne-Liège. I don't know if there was oil on the roads or what but there were numerous huge crashes."

    After the descent, the yellow jersey group led by Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank) sat up and waited for the majority of the field to regroup. The peloton then rode to the finish without contesting the sprint. White, who dictates the Garmin-Transitions tactics from the team car, wasn't aware of where the go-slow orders came from.

    "I have no idea. It was obviously something they were talking...

  • Full sweep for Chavanel

    Sylvain Chavanel (Quick Step) tries to contain himself while getting the yellow jersey.
    Article published:
    July 05, 2010, 19:51 BST
    Hedwig Kröner

    Frenchman erases spring misfortune with stage win and yellow jersey

    Frenchman Sylvain Chavanel has vanquished all of his early season mishaps by winning stage two of this year's Tour de France to Spa and taking the yellow jersey of race leader with his solo victory.

    Two months ago, the Quick Step leader got knocked over by a motorbike in the finale of Liège-Bastogne-Liège and had to wear a neckbrace because of a skull fracture. Today, Chavanel returned on these same roads to achieve a perfect comeback.

    "This is very emotional," he said at the finish. "I'm unbelievably happy. I'm very proud of what I've done. I'm thinking of my wife and my two kids. It's the greatest day of my career - not the greatest day of my life as that would be when my children were born." As he celebrated his victory, the 31-year-old had kissed the golden pendant he wears around his neck, bearing the names of his sons Baptiste and Maxence.

    "Before I left, I said that if I won a stage I would kiss it, so now it's done. I think my kids, my wife, my parents and all of my family cried today..."

    Chavanel himself could not believe his feat at the finish and had a hard time holding back his tears after riding a total of 180 kilometres in front. The Frenchman was part of the early stage breakaway including his teammate and good friend Jérôme Pineau, who scored the polka-dot jersey of best climber in the escape before falling back.

    Chavanel pressed on, and overtook his earlier breakaway companion Jürgen Roelandts (Omega Pharma-Lotto) after the descent of the Aissomont climb with 39 kilometres to go.

    "It was a difficult stage, a stage that I had marked on my calendar. With Jérôme, it was the plan to attack. But I don't have the sprint speed that he has, so we decided that he should go for the mountains jersey and then we'd see what happens. I had great legs, and it was a magnificent day for us."

    The now two-time Tour stage winner had less than one minute over the...