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Second Edition Cycling News, Monday, June 21, 2010

Date published:
June 21, 2010, 1:00 BST
  • Boonen with continued knee problems

    Belgian star Tom Boonen is interviewed before the start.
    Article published:
    June 21, 2010, 10:14 BST
    Cycling News

    Injury from California aggravated by additional crash, bad weather

    Tom Boonen continues to have problems with his left knee, and is undergoing further medical examinations. The Quick Step rider's participation in the Tour de France is nevertheless not endangered at this time.

    Boonen skipped the closing time trial of the Tour de Suisse on Sunday. “The tendon in the left knee is inflamed,” he told Sportwereld. “On Saturday it was raining hard and was cold. All of that is no benefit to a joint that is still healing weeks after the crash in Sacramento in the opening stage of the Tour of California.”

    Directeur sportif Rik Verbrugghe said that the rider may skip the Halle-Ingoogem race on Wednesday, saying, “The Belgian championship is now priority number one.”

    Going into the Tour de Suisse, Boonen had complained of continued problems with his knee. He was then involved in the mass crash at the finish of the fourth stage of the Tour de Suisse, falling on his knee again.

  • Greipel close to signing with Omega Pharma-Lotto?

    Andre Greipel (HTC-Columbia)
    Article published:
    June 21, 2010, 11:22 BST
    Cycling News

    Three other Germans allegedly going with sprinter to Belgian team

    According to the Belgian media, Andre Greipel is on the verge of signing with Omega Pharma-Lotto. The HTC-Columbia rider is said to be taking three other German riders with him.

    Greipel has been negotiating with the team since April, the Gazet van Antwerpen said, and they are on the verge of an agreement.

    The sprinter would take two German teammates with him, according to the newspaper, with another coming over from a Professional Continental team. Former World time trial champion Bert Grabsch is said to be part of the package, as is Marcel Sieberg. Sieberg, a close personal friend of Greipel, still has a year to go on his contract with HTC-Columbia. He previously broke his contract with Milram to join the American-based team in 2008.

    The other German reported to be moving to the Belgian team is Robert Wagner of Skil-Shimano. The sprinter has four wins so far this season, including the overall title in the Ronde van Nord-Holland.

    Greipel continues to lead the peloton with 12 victories on the season, but has struggled lately. He opened the season by winning three stages and the overall title in the Tour Down Under, and in April won five of eight stages in the Tour of Turkey. However, he won only one stage in the Giro d'Italia and none in the recently concluded Ster Elektrotoer.

    It had earlier been reported in the Belgian media that Omega Pharma-Lotto was ready to sign Milram's Gerald Ciolek, but that story has been denied by both sides.

  • Van den Broeck to lead Omega Pharma-Lotto in Tour

    Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Omega Pharma-Lotto) put in a solid climb up L'Alpe d'Huez.
    Article published:
    June 21, 2010, 13:12 BST
    Cycling News

    Belgian team announces Tour line-up

    Jurgen Van den Broeck will lead Omega Pharma-Lotto at the Tour de France. The team announced its line-up Monday afternoon.

    Van den Broeck will be supported by fellow Belgians Mario Aerts, Francis De Greef, and Jürgen Roelandts. The rest of the team will be Mickaël Delage (France), Sebastian Lang (Germany), Matthew Lloyd (Australia), Daniel Moreno (Spain) and Charles Wegelius (Great Britain). Olivier Kaisen is the reserve rider.

    Jean-Christophe Peraud had been expected to make his Tour debut, but was not nominated. After a serious crash in the Dauphine Libere earlier this month, he was hospitalised for 10 days. “This has upset his training schedule, and therefore made his participation impossible,” the team said.

    It will be only the second Tour for the 27-year-old Van den Broeck, who finished 14th in his debut last year. He has not had any victories yet in 2010, but most recently finished fourth overall at the Criterium du Dauphine.

    It will be the ninth Tour de France for the 35-year-old Aerts. He has ridden the race every year from 2000 to 2003 and 2005 to 2008. In 2007, he rode and finished all three Grand Tours, only the 25th rider to accomplish this feat.

    Both De Greef and Roelandts will be making their Tour debuts.

    Omega Pharma-Lotto for the Tour de France: Mario Aerts, Francis De Greef, Mickaël Delage, Sebastian Lang, Matthew Lloyd. Daniel Moreno Fernandel, Jürgen Roelandts, Jürgen Van den Broeck and Charles Wegelius

  • Martin’s confidence boosted by Tour de Suisse stage victory

    Tony Martin (HTC-Columbia) celebrates his victory in the final time trial.
    Article published:
    June 21, 2010, 14:52 BST
    Shane Stokes

    German rider takes unexpected win ahead of Fabian Cancellara

    When Fabian Cancellara posted the fastest time in yesterday’s final stage of the Tour de Suisse, many thought the result was a foregone conclusion. On many occasions in the past, the Swiss rider has gone out early, improved the previous best times and then hung on to the top of the leaderboard until the end. However, Tony Martin threw a spanner in the works for the Olympic and world time trial champion, beating him by a cool 17seconds and winning the final stage of the race.

    “When Fabian goes out with the intention of winning, normally he will win. I am a bit surprised and I am proud to have beaten an athlete as strong as him,” the smiling HTC Columbia competitor said after the stage.

    Martin admitted that his rival’s reputation was a little intimidating, and that it was hard to believe that he could be beaten. “It is difficult, for sure. In the past you know when you are on the start with Cancellara, the best you can do is second place. I have proved now that I can also win.”

    The German suggested that the recent accusations about using a concealed motor may have taken their toll on the Saxo Bank competitor. “For sure there was a lot of discussion about Fabian, and for sure it was not easy for him. Maybe now he will get stronger in his head and go to a higher level in the Tour.”

    Martin finished third in the opening time trial in Lugano, conceding three seconds to Cancellara and finishing on practically the same time as runner-up Roman Kreuziger (Liquigas). He then took over the race lead on stage three to Schwarzenburg, but lost it three days later on the tough mountain stage to La Punt. He admitted that was a difficult moment for him.

    “It is true I felt very wasted and I had to really dig deep in my heart to resist,” he said. “This contributes to my surprise today at winning the time trial. It also is a nice sign before the Tour de France.


  • Sastre tops Cervelo's Tour squad

    Will Carlos Sastre (Cervelo TestTeam) go on the attack?
    Article published:
    June 21, 2010, 16:45 BST
    Cycling News

    Hushovd, Haussler also part of team headed to France

    Carlos Sastre will lead the Cervelo TestTeam in the Tour de France. The Spaniard has been cleared by team doctors to ride the year's second Grand Tour.

    Sastre revealed after the Giro d'Italia that he had injured in his back in numerous crashes in the Italian race. Earlier this month he was diagnosed with a herniated disc.

    The Spaniard has had only limited racing this year, but finished eighth overall in the Giro, despite his back injury.

    "I had problems with my back that reappeared after the crash in the Giro d’Italia," said Sastre, "but thanks to the physiotherapist and doctors I consulted, these problems have disappeared and lately I have been training without pain. I have another 12 days of preparation and will be fit at the start of the Tour de France.

    "At 35 years, I have a lot of experience. I will use that experience during this 10th Tour de France for me. I will be at the start line with enthusiasm and high morale. It is a really hard race, but that is the challenge that every athlete likes."

    Sastre's co-captain on the team will be Thor Hushovd, who will look to repeat his win of the green jersey in the Tour in 2009. The Norwegian also finished sixth in Milan-San Remo and second in Paris-Roubaix this season.

    If Hushovd is unable to fight for the green jersey, his teammate Heinrich Haussler may go for it. The Australian-German will have recovered sufficiently from injuries suffered in the fourth stage of the Tour de Suisse to start in France, where he will once again face HTC-Columbia's Mark Cavendish,who he claims caused the crash. Haussler won the second stage in Switzerland.

    The others on the squad are Xavier Florencio, Volodimir Gustov, Jeremy Hunt, Andreas Klier, Ignatas Konovalovas, and Brett Lancaster. The reserve rider is Daniel Lloyd.

    Cervélo TestTeam for the Tour de France: Xavier Florencio, Volodimir Gustov, Heinrich Haussler, Jeremy Hunt, Thor Hushovd,...

  • Rabobank's Ten Dam injured in auto accident

    Dutch rider Laurens Ten Dam (Rabobank) was relaxed ahead of the last stage.
    Article published:
    June 21, 2010, 17:33 BST
    Cycling News

    Dutch rider still recovering from serious Suisse crash

    Laurens ten Dam's streak of bad luck is continuing. The Rabobank rider, who is recovering from serious injuries suffered in a Tour de Suisse crash, was injured again in an auto accident on Monday.

    Ten Dam suffered two broken vertebrae, a fractured wrist and chin, and a severe concussion after crashing on the final descent of the second stage in Switzerland. He only recently returned home from the hospital in Sion, Switzerland.

    According to his team, on Monday after noon the car in which he was riding was hit from behind. "Following the accident Laurens has (even more) pain in the back and neck. The situation is under control, we will watch closely how it develops, "said team doctor Dion van Bommel.

  • Pauwels pleased with Tour de Suisse

    Serge Pauwels (Sky) refuels after a tough day at Paris-Nice
    Article published:
    June 21, 2010, 17:51 BST
    Shane Stokes

    Belgian hoping for Tour de France selection

    Belgian rider Serge Pauwels had a solid Tour de Suisse, finishing third-best of the Team Sky riders in 42nd place overall. He told Cyclingnews afterwards that he was happy with how things went for him and the team, and that he is hoping to make Team Sky's Tour de France selection.

    "I'm pleased about how the race was, because I think that the peloton here is the bunch of the Tour de France, except for Contador and a few other guys like Wiggins," he said, minutes after his time trial ended. "But I think I could do a good job for Thomas Lovkvist."

    Despite rumours that Team Sky's Tour de France selection has been completed, he said that he and other riders are still waiting for the final slots to be decided. He'll jump at the chance if it is presented to him.

    "I am not sure yet if I am going," he said. "I think the team will announce it tomorrow or Tuesday. But I am still in the running and I really, really want to go, of course."

    If he does get the nod, his main task will be to provide whatever assistance is required to the team's biggest riders. Edvald Boasson Hagen is back in form after injury problems, winning a stage in the Dauphiné, and will be on the hunt for stage wins. Bradley Wiggins is aiming to build on his fourth place of 2009, and could grab a podium place if all goes to plan.

    Pauwels said that Wiggins has been working hard to finalise his preparation. "I think he is going well," he said. "He is doing the recons of the Pyrennes and Alps over the last few days and I think he will be ready."

  • New and tougher route for San Sebastián

    The peloton rides through the stunning Basque region of Spain.
    Article published:
    June 21, 2010, 18:35 BST
    Peter Cossins

    Spanish Classic to feature two climbs of the Jaizkibel

    The organizers of the San Sebastián Classic have toughened up the route of the Spanish one-day race that takes place on the Saturday after the Tour de France finishes (July 31). In an attempt to make the race more selective, the route now features two climbs of both the first-category Jaizkibel and second-category Arkale during the final third of the race.

    To compensate for the back end of the race being substantially toughened up, the first two-thirds of the race will not feature as many climbs as has traditionally been the case. Indeed, the only categorized climbs before the first ascent of the Jaizkibel will be the third-category ascent of the Orio after 18km and the second-category Garate after 29km.

    The inclusion of 20km of climbing towards the back end of the race should make for a spectacular finale. The Jaizkibel, with its stunning views out over the Bay of Biscay and towards San Sebastián in one direction and the French Basque Country in the other, is long established one of the spectacular climbs on the cycling calendar and is sure to attract even bigger crowds than normal.

    This is not the first time the event's organizers have tinkered with the route of the San Sebastián Classic, which was first run in 1981. The Jaizkibel has been tackled from both sides in the past, while the Arkale is a relatively recent addition to the itinerary.

    Twenty-one teams will line up for the race that was won by Quick Step's Carlos Barredo in 2009. They will comprise the 18 ProTour teams and the three offered invitations by the organizers: Cervélo, Andalucia and Xacobeo.