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Second Edition Cycling News, Monday, July 8, 2013

Date published:
July 08, 2013, 1:00 BST
  • Prudhomme: Chris Froome is like Paula Radcliffe on a bike

    Christian Prudhomme in Marseille
    Article published:
    July 08, 2013, 9:59 BST
    By:
    Jean-François Quénet

    Tour de France director on the first week, TV audiences, Sky domination

    Tour de France director Christian Prudhomme was happy to be proven mistaken for his pre-race predictions as stage 9 put an end to the apparent domination of Team Sky.

    "When I was questioned about the duel between Chris Froome and Alberto Contador before the Tour, I always answered: it'll be Sky versus the rest of the world, but I was wrong," Prudhomme told Cyclingnews in Bagnères-de-Bigorre. "It's Froome versus the rest of the world. Some people might have thought the race for GC was over after Froome's demonstration of force at Ax-3 Domaines. We've seen today that everything remains possible. It's not over."

    "Frankly, I didn't imagine Froome to be left alone and Richie Porte to finish at 18 minutes, even though he probably gave up chasing at the end," the Frenchman continued. "Contrary to some comments, Team Sky is not something like US Postal. Like yesterday, Porte is their second rider on the finishing line, but in the teams' classification today, Sky is sixteenth at forty minutes! It says it all. I'm cautious about immediate analysis. I can see that the heat has extremely damaged the organism of many riders who had suffered cold, snow, rain and wind during the whole spring and get caught by opposite conditions since the beginning of the Tour de France."

    From the organizer's point of view, he drew positive conclusions from the first third of the event. "In almost ten years at ASO, I never heard as many ‘thank you's' as in Corsica for bringing the Tour," Prudhomme summed up. "The race has been fantastically welcomed on the island and it has delivered the exceptional images that we...

  • Video: Fuglsang disappointed to lose sprint to Martin

    Stage 9 runner-up Jakob Fuglsang (Astana)
    Article published:
    July 08, 2013, 10:59 BST
    By:
    Sam Dansie

    Dane concentrating on GC goals

    Jakob Fuglsang (Astana) was left frustrated and disappointed at finishing second to Dan Martin in the sprint for stage 9 of the Tour de France on Sunday

    The pair slipped clear during a momentary slowing in the yellow jersey group on the final climb. The duo shared work for the final 30km to Bagnères-de-Bigorre. In the final kilometre, Martin, this year’s Liège-Bastogne-Liège winner - took a commanding position on the Dane’s wheel and led into the final corner.

    "I knew that he would be fast but still I felt that I was a little stronger," said Fuglsang at the finish line.

    "In the last kilometre he didn’t come through anymore - I was hoping he would and that I could come from behind in the last corner.

    "I thought I was strong and could do this I feel that my legs are good and if I start early enough I can still beat him."

    It is the second time in a month Fuglsang’s has lost a two-up sprint. He was beaten by Samuel Sanchez (Euskaltel-Euskadi) at the summit finish of Superdevoluy in the Critérium du Dauphiné.

    However the high placing will offset some of the bad luck that has befallen the injury-hit squad. After the loss of Janez Brajkovic, Fredrik Kessiakoff and Andrey Kashechkin, the team is down to six riders as the Tour de France enters its first rest day.

    Fuglsang added: "We’ve been unlucky in the first week, but we will change that from now. For sure we don’t give up and we keep on riding and trying to get some good results until we’re in Paris."

    Despite being given room to attack, Fuglsang said his primary objective was still a high placing on...

  • Tour de France shorts: Orica GreenEdge AC/DC tribute

    Simon Gerrans (Orica-GreenEdge) enjoys life in the yellow jersey.
    Article published:
    July 08, 2013, 12:02 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Roche proud of cousin Martin, Omega Pharma - QuickStep in the money

    Orica-GreenEdge celebrate with a rocking Australian tribute

    Orica GreenEdge are at it again with a fitting new song that pays tribute to Australian rock band AC/DC. The latest cover follows on from last year's cover of "Call Me Maybe". This time round, the Australian squad fittingly joins an endless list of tribute bands with hilariously fake hair and wild air guitar moves in pursuit of a chart topper.

    The Australian outfit scored its first stage win at the Tour courtesy of Simon Gerrans and then stunned the peloton the next day with victory in the team time trial around Nice. The win moved Gerrans in yellow before it passed on to teammate Daryl Impey - who became the first South African to wear the maillot jaune. You can watch the Orica GreenEdge squad rock out below.

    Roche shares family love

    Nicolas Roche (Saxo-Tinkoff) may be at this year's race  to support team leader Alberto Contador and his pursuit of a third Tour de France title but that doesn't mean he wasn't quietly cheering for his compatriot and cousin Dan Martin (Garmin Sharp) as the wiry climber attacked the leading group on the final ascent of Stage 9.  After Martin collected his first Tour...

  • Video: Kwiatkowski fights back for third place on tough stage 9

    Polish champion Michal Kwiatkowski (Omega Pharma-QuickStep)
    Article published:
    July 08, 2013, 12:57 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Young Pole's strong 2013 continues

    Omega Pharma-QuickStep's young gun Michal Kwiatkowski earned his second individual stage podium of this year's Tour de France on Sunday, leading home the yellow jersey group to take third place on Stage 9 into Bagnères-de-Bigorre.

    Having suffered early on, Kwiatkowski fought his way back to the ever-fluctuating group that contained Sky's Chris Froome, finally making contact on the Col de Val Louron-Azet, the day's penultimate climb.

    "I just want to say thank you to my teammates because they pushed me to the limit," the Polish Road Champion tells Cyclingnews in this video. "I was in trouble from the beginning of the stage."

    Kwiatkowski has posted results across all disciplines so far this year, with podiums at the Tour de San Luis, second overall at Volta ao Algarve, top-five placings at Amstel Gold Race and Flèche Wallonne before taking out his national championship.

    Kwiatkowski held the lead in the young rider's classification for six stages of the first nine and the all-rounder has not given up hope of regaining the white jersey despite the gauntlet currently being thrown down by Nairo Quintana (Movistar).

    Watch more of Kwiatkowski's comments after what he called the "hardest stage in this Tour," in the video below.

     

  • Bardet relishes first taste of mountains

    Romain Bardet (AG2R La Mondiale) was awarded the most combative rider prize for stage 9
    Article published:
    July 08, 2013, 14:07 BST
    By:
    Peter Cossins

    Ag2r youngster impresses even though his main objective is to learn

    While much of the pre-Tour talk in France centred on the GC prospects of Pierre Rolland and Thibaut Pinot, a good deal of that focus has since shifted towards a new French climbing prospect, Ag2r-La Mondiale’s Romain Bardet. The 22-year-old is making his Tour debut and is in the race primarily to learn. However, as he’s already shown on a number of occasions during his nascent pro career, Bardet is eager to get experience by testing himself out at the sharp end of races.

    On stage nine to Bagnères-de-Bigorre, Bardet moved up to the breakaway group on the second climb of the day, the Col de Menté, and was still there on the fifth and final ascent of the Hourquette d’Ancizan. Sensing the imminent arrival of the yellow jersey group, which was being driven along at a rapid clip by Movistar, the young Frenchman jumped away on his own, only to be caught 6km short of the summit.

    In his blog on L’Équipe’s site, Bardet explained that his attack had two goals. “My main objective in the Tour is to win a stage and there aren’t very many ways I can do this: in fact, all I can do is anticipate what’s going to happen. The other aspect to it is that the team asked me to try to get into the break in order to be able to provide some support to Jean-Christophe Péraud,” he said.

    Bardet said he had relished the opportunity to mix it with the big guns on the Hourquette, but had had to yield. He added, though, that he hopes the days when he finds himself in among the big names in the mountains aren’t too far away.

    “What I hope for, what fills me with ambition, is the prospect of being involved at the end of stages with the contenders. But you have to realistic...

  • McQuaid releases UCI presidency campaign manifesto

    UCI President Pat McQuaid at the UCI headquarters in Aigle
    Article published:
    July 08, 2013, 14:50 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    “A Bright Future for a Changed Sport”

    Pat McQuaid has started his campaign to be re-elected as president of the International Cycling Union, issuing his campaign manifesto “A Bright Future for a Changed Sport.” His major points include maintaining a clean sport, the further development of women's cycling and increasing the globalization of the sport.

    McQuaid is hoping to be elected for a third term, having served since 2005. He is opposed by Briton Brian Cookson, who last month issued his own manifesto.

    “I am delighted to launch my re-election campaign and to present my vision for cycling’s future to the cycling family whose support over the past eight years has enabled me to transform our sport,” said McQuaid in a press release issued Monday morning.

    “Cycling has changed since I was first elected as UCI President in 2005. It is now a global sport. It is now possible to race and win clean. We have travelled a great distance together and we must never turn back from cycling’s bright future.”

    His four priorities are:

    ·       “To preserve the new culture and era of clean cycling

    ·       To ensure equality in cycling through the development of women’s cycling

    ·       To modernise the way that cycling is presented as a global sport

    ·       To foster the global development of cycling”

    He took credit for cleaning up cycling, saying he “introduced the most sophisticated and effective anti-doping infrastructure in world sport to cycling. Our sport is leading the way and I am proud that other sports are following in its footsteps.”

    Under his plan, the UCI's anti-doping foundation would become more independent, the...

  • Abbott celebrates second overall victory at Giro Rosa

    Mara Abbott (US National Team) sprays the bubbly after retaining her lead in the Giro Rosa
    Article published:
    July 08, 2013, 15:53 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    US National Team rider vows to return to Italian race to defend title

    The final day of racing was always going to be much more than a formality for Mara Abbott as she rolled down the start ramp for her final individual test against the clock at the Giro Rosa. However, with nearly two and a half minutes in hand the money was always going to be on the 2010 Giro Donne winner. In fact the wearer of the maglia rosa could begin her celebrations early, crossing the line with a smile from ear to ear.

    "I can finally say I managed to do it! Thanks goes to my team, the public and all those who believed in me," Abbott said after stepping down from the race podium as winner of the pink jersey and climber’s classification.

    The US National Team rider took over race leadership after a commanding solo stage win on Day 5 and strengthened her grip with a repeat the next day into San Domenico. Her US National Team proved more than capable of controlling the race for the now two-time winner who has five stage victories in the Italian race formerly known as the Giro Ciclistico Internazionale Femminile or Giro Donne.

    "Today was a wonderful way to finish off a great team event with taking home a pink jersey," said US Team director Jack Seehafer at the finish of the time trial. "All the ladies rose to the occasion and executed their jobs in a professional manner. For myself this is very exciting to see, and builds great momentum for the rest of the season."

    Abbott knew she would need time up her sleeve when it came to Sunday’s 16km ITT and that a third stage win would be unlikely but the she did more than enough to secure the title despite losing 2:14 to the...

  • Pinot asks: "What am I doing on the Tour?"

    Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) tumbled down the GC yesterday after losing touch on the descent of the Col de Pailhères yesterday
    Article published:
    July 08, 2013, 16:18 BST
    By:
    Peter Cossins

    Frenchman confesses he doesn't know if he will be able to overcome fear on descents

    The Pyrenees should have been the making of Thibaut Pinot, France's great climbing hope, who finished 10th on his Tour de France debut last year. Instead, two days of torment have left have left the FDJ.fr leader more than half an hour down on yellow jersey Chris Froome and questioning whether he even has a place at the race.

    Pinot's problems stem from his tentativeness on descents. "Some people are afraid of spiders or snakes. I'm afraid of speed. It's a phobia," he confessed. It first became apparent on the descent of the Pailhères during Saturday's first stage in the Pyrenees, when Pinot lost contact with the yellow jersey group and ended up losing six minutes. On Sunday, he lost another 25 minutes when he came in with the gruppetto and was in tears soon after the finish.

    Speaking candidly to L'Equipe afterwards, he said: "When I saw that I was not able to stay on the wheel of a rider like Mark Cavendish on the descent off a mountain pass, I asked myself: ‘What am I doing on the Tour?' I received the clear response that I have nothing to do here."

    Pinot added: "This is a very sad situation for me, I'm the person who is most disappointed about it… I don't know if I will be able to get over this trauma. During yesterday's stage my only objective was to survive. I don't know if I will recover, but that's life and that's cycling."

    Pinot's difficulties go back to a crash he suffered when he was younger, which has resulted in him being extremely tentative on descents. Earlier this year, his FDJ teammate Laurent Mangel said on French TV: "He doesn't know how to take corners and that makes him go slower and take more risks."

    FDJ team boss Marc...