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Second Edition Cycling News, Monday, July 9, 2012

Date published:
July 09, 2012, 1:00 BST
  • Tony Martin to abandon after time trial?

    Tony Martin (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) steadies himself
    Article published:
    July 09, 2012, 9:43 BST
    Cycling News

    Omega Pharma-QuickStep team doctor advises German to quit

    Time trial world champion Tony Martin could very well abandon the Tour de France after today's 41.5km time trial between Arc-en-Senans and Besançon. The German is suffering from a fractured scaphoid since he crashed on stage one, and his Omega Pharma-QuickStep team doctor has advised him that leaving the Tour early would be better in view of his preparation for the London Olympics.

    "Tony wants to ride the time trial, but after that it would be best if he quits the Tour," team doctor Helge Riepenhof told Het Nieuwsblad. "I can see he's suffering by continuing to race with the fracture. After one week, his back and knees are starting to be affected, too. In order not to risk anything in view of the Olympic Games, he'd better stop and start over at home in Switzerland."

    Last week, Riepenhof had already told Cyclingnews that Martin saw stage nine's race against the clock as a test of his time trial position, looking towards the Olympics. "We'll take it day by day and see if he can get through to the Besancon time trial, literally just to see how he feels on a time trial bike in competition. It's something we want to try before the Olympics."

    Even before the start of the Tour, the German had said that his goal was not the general classification, but a stage victory. "The important thing for me is a...

  • Clearer picture of Tour de France's top 10 expected after Stage 9 time trial

    Tony Martin (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) steadies himself
    Article published:
    July 09, 2012, 11:02 BST
    Cycling News

    Evans, Wiggins not giving too much away

    The candidates for a win on today's Stage 9 41.5km individual time trial may be playing it down, but like it or not, a more complete picture of the Tour's top 10 will appear shortly after 5pm local time.

    Brice Feillu (Saur – Sojasun) begins proceedings at 9:45am local time with overall leader Bradley Wiggins (Sky) last man out of the start house at 4:39pm.

    It's a time trial that's best suited for the strong men and for this reason, Fabian Cancellara (RadioShack-Nissan) and reigning world champion Tony Martin (Omega Pharma-Lotto) should be going head-to-head for the stage win.

    Martin, struggling with a fractured scaphoid since Stage 1, is cautious over what to expect.

    "Today was a hard day in the mountains," Tony Martin said on Sunday. "The hand was also painful, but okay, I passed two mountain stages now. I am focused on the time trial tomorrow. Tonight I will try to fix a little my position on the bike. We will try to find a good position with the mechanics to tune things up and have a perfect set up for tomorrow. I will try to do my best tomorrow, but it won't be easy for me."

    Martin's teammates, Levi Leipheimer and Sylvain Chavanel will both have the opportunity to make up some of the time lost from the first two mountain stages of the Tour.

    Leipheimer however believes that Stage 19's race against the clock is slightly better suited to his abilities as it's comparatively flat.

    When it comes to the battle for the yellow jersey, last month's Dauphine offering...

  • Pozzato details Ferrari relationship

    Filippo Pozzato (Farnese Vini - Selle Italia)
    Article published:
    July 09, 2012, 12:05 BST
    Cycling News

    Guido Trenti recorded phone conversation from 2009

    Filippo Pozzato has spoken about his collaboration with Dr. Michele Ferrari for the first time and said that the intercepted telephone conversation that led the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) to recommend a one-year ban was not recorded by police but by his former teammate Guido Trenti.

    In an interview with Cycling Pro published on Monday, Pozzato said that he began working with Ferrari in June 2005, 10 days after the conclusion of that year’s Giro d’Italia. “I maintain that I’m not guilty of anything and so I have no problem in admitting to anyone who asks that I frequented Michele Ferrari,” he said.

    Ferrari continued to be Pozzato’s sole trainer until the middle of 2008, in which time he won Milan-San Remo and Het Volk, although Pozzato said that he saw Ferrari on two further occasions between 2008 and 2010, when he was formally trained by Sandro Callari. Pozzato said that he had worked with a variety of other trainers over the years, including Luigi Cecchini and Aldo Sassi, but that Ferrari “was the best. Everybody knows that.”

    “I went regularly until the middle of 2008, then I started going less,” Pozzato said. “By less, I mean that if before I did a test with him every twenty days, I then started going less frequently and speaking with him only by phone.”

    Pozzato said that Ferrari’s fee was lower than the €40,000 per year reported in the Italian media. “Other trainers copy the programmes that he invented, and they don’t always do it well,” he said. “He has a training system that is different and more advanced than everything else. He radically changed my way of doing resistance climbs, for instance. I improved more in a few weeks with him than in six months with others.

    “Others often wear you out with work. He knows how to dose work and above all recovery. At the highest level, that makes the...

  • End of season for Andy Schleck?

    Andy Schleck (RadioShack-Nissan)
    Article published:
    July 09, 2012, 13:10 BST
    Cycling News

    Healing process of hip fracture slower than expected

    Andy Schleck's plans of possibly coming back to racing at the London Olympics or at the Vuelta a Espana, following a hip fracture which ruled the RadioShack-Nissan rider out of the Tour de France, may be compromised. Luxembourg newspaper, usually well-informed, published information on Friday according to which the healing process of the broken sacral bone of Schleck's pelvis is taking longer than expected.

    "The fracture is healing only slowly. As a result, Andy Schleck is still hampered and cannot really strain his body," according to the paper's website.

    Following his crash in the Critérium du Dauphiné time trial at the beginning of June, an MRI scan revealed the fracture which put an end to his Tour de France preparations. At the time, orthopaedic surgeon Thorsten Gerich estimated that it would take between four and six weeks for the fracture to heal, and that Schleck would be unable to ride his bike in that period.

    But now, the "complete healing of the break could take several months." Schleck's plans for the second half of the season may thus be compromised, and the paper went so far as to saying, "a premature end of season is possible."

  • Armstrong files federal lawsuit against USADA

    Expect to see Lance Armstrong in suit and tie this fall if his case goes to arbitration
    Article published:
    July 09, 2012, 18:20 BST
    Ben Delaney

    Seeks temporary restraining order against proceedings

    Lance Armstrong filed a lawsuit Monday in U.S. federal court in Texas against the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, seeking to block the agency’s proceedings against him on charges that he doped during his career.

    The lawsuit claims that USADA rules violate an athlete’s constitutional right to a fair trial, and that the agency doesn’t have jurisdiction in his case.

    “Mr. Armstrong brings this Complaint against USADA and its CEO, Travis Tygart, to prevent imminent violations of Mr. Armstrong’s Constitutional and common law due process rights, by which the Defendants would strip Mr. Armstrong of his livelihood, his seven Tour de France titles, and the many other honors he has won in his world-renowned cycling career,” reads the final brief, which was submitted along with the motion for a temporary restraining order.

    Armstrong’s lawyer Mark Fabiani provided BikeRadar with the motion for temporary restraining order as well as two related documents, a 111-page final complaint and a 57-page final brief. These latter documents present the larger case of Armstrong’s position, asserting his innocence of all charges.

    On June 30, USADA announced its intent to file doping charges against Armstrong. As with all USADA charges, the athlete has the option to accept USADA’s sanctions — usually a suspension from competition and, when applicable, a stripping of titles — or to contest the charges before a three-personal arbitration panel. In both the filed complaint and the final brief, Armstrong’s camp derides the arbitration panel as a “kangaroo court.”

    Both Floyd Landis and Tyler Hamilton went through this same arbitration panel at the US level after USADA filed doping charges against them, and, after losing, both appealed to the international Court of Arbitration for...

  • Video: Wiggins proud of his time trial performance

    Tour de France leader Bradley Wiggins (Sky) stamped his authority on the race today.
    Article published:
    July 09, 2012, 19:25 BST
    Peter Cossins

    Describes victory in the yellow jersey as the high point of his career

    Bradley Wiggins described himself as being both proud and relieved having produced a performance that not only gave him victory in the Besançon time trial, but also enabled him to open up a substantial gap on his main rivals for the yellow jersey. Speaking soon after he had taken his first Tour de France stage win, the Sky team leader admitted he was still in a bit of a haze and is now looking forward to Tuesday's rest day. What will you do then, he was asked? "Rest!"

    Wiggins has said many times that he has come into the Tour with no expectations whatsoever. He's accepted the label of race favourite and all of the hoopla that goes with that, but says that above all he has been determined to focus on his own race. That was the case once again today when he went up onto the start ramp for what was undoubtedly the most important time trial of his career so far.

    "The noise when I rolled off the ramp was incredible. I tried not the let that faze me in terms of not going off too hard," he said. "I'm really pleased with the way I put the ride together and mentally how I put the day together. That's what I've been focusing on, so my main emotions are relief and pride in myself for doing all this.

    "When I get back to the hotel tonight I'll start thinking about the context and how it fits in to the whole Tour. That's when it will all starting sinking in. You've got numbers being thrown at you, ‘You've got this on Cadel, you've got that on Nibali.' For the moment it's a whole lot to take in."

    Although Wiggins is a novice when it comes to dealing with the unique pressures that wearing the Tour's yellow jersey brings, he's gained plenty of experience at the Olympics and other...

  • Evans's Tour defence suffers first setback

    2011 Tour de France champion Cadel Evans (BMC) lost 1:43 to Bradley Wiggins today.
    Article published:
    July 09, 2012, 20:30 BST
    Barry Ryan

    Australian loses 1:43 in Besançon

    Cadel Evans's Tour de France defence suffered its first major setback in the exacting stage 9 time trial between Arc-et-Senans and Besançon, and the BMC leader enters the first rest day of the Tour pondering how to make up the 1:53 that now separates him from the yellow jersey of Bradley Wiggins (Sky).

    On a disappointing day for the Australian, the early appearances were deceptively bright. Evans was noticeably smooth in the opening kilometres, and with many early finishers describing a rather more technical course than previously expected, it seemed as though he would limit his losses to Wiggins.

    In a race of truth around France's watch-making heartland, however, time is always the ultimate arbiter, and its judgement of Evans's efforts was a harsh one. At the first checkpoint after 16.5km, Evans was already over a minute down on Wiggins, and while he steadied the ship to lose only a further 19 seconds over the following 15km, he eventually reached Besançon in 6th place, 1:43 down on the Englishman.

    "To be honest I didn't know what to expect," Evans said after completing his post-race warm-down. "It was the first long time trial and I didn't know what the level of the others in time trialling here would be. We see where we are now and it was what it was."

    In spite of his losses in the overall classification, Evans looked to take solace from the fact that he had fared admirably against the pure time triallists, but it won't have escaped his attention that the Sky pair of Wiggins and Chris Froome – first and second on the stage – were on another sphere to the rest of the field.

    "I didn't ride my best time trial but certainly not a bad one, and in...

  • Cancellara praises Sky's strength

    Fabian Cancellara (RadioShack-Nissan) held the hot seat, but his time was later topped by Sky teammates Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome.
    Article published:
    July 09, 2012, 21:18 BST
    Sam Dansie

    Swiss predicts tough two weeks ahead at the Tour for British squad

    At the end of Tour de France's first long time trial in Besançon, Fabian Cancellara predicted a tough remaining two weeks for Team Sky and questioned the British squad's strategy to defend the maillot jaune so far from Paris.

    "Chapeau to the results," said the Swiss time trial specialist after he was beaten into third by the British team's duo of Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome on the 41.5km stage. "When you see how Sky was born and how they are performing now – better and better – it shows that they've been working really hard. That's normal. It's the same as when we saw Tony Martin becoming better and better at time trialling; it's just a demonstration that the whole team is growing.

    "They have a hard Tour de France now for sure because Bradley has said they will not throw it (the yellow jersey) away or give it away, but now there are hard mountain stages and yeah, I think we will see them pulling a lot."

    The 31-year-old Swiss pointed to Sky's dogged defence of the yellow jersey on yesterday's tough stage 8 which saw the team pulling hard to neutralise breaks for the first 80km which ultimately left Wiggins isolated on the final climb and descent.

    "We saw they defended the jersey really well. In my opinion I would do it differently but I am not a sports director. We look at our own things," added Cancellara, who won his fourth Tour de France prologue in Liège [and his fifth opening stage including the 15km time trial in Monaco in 2009].

    Cancellara said he was impressed with the...