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Second Edition Cycling News, Monday, May 30, 2011

Date published:
May 30, 2011, 1:00 BST
  • Pozzato fractures wrist and clavicle in Tour of Belgium crash

    Filippo Pozzato (Katusha) again failed to deliver
    Article published:
    May 30, 2011, 5:51 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Bad luck continues for Italian

    A bad run has continued for Filippo Pozzato with the Katusha rider crashing out of the final stage of the Tour of Belgium.

    The Italian suffered both a compound fracture to his left clavicle and a fracture to his left wrist.

    With 10 kilometres remaining in the stage from Oreye to Putte, won by Omega Pharma-Lotto's Andre Greipel, Pozzato was in the lead group when the 29-year-old touched another rider, lost balance and fell into a barrier on the side of the road.

    Pozzato was taken to hospital straight away and later taken to a clinic in Brescia where he was operated on by Professor Flavio Terragnoli.

    Pozzato was omitted from the Katusha team to ride the Giro d'Italia following a poor spring classics campaign and public critcism by team manager Andrei Tchmil. The Italian's contract ends this year.
     

  • Nibali satisfied with third place in the Giro

    Third-placed overall Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas-Cannondale)
    Article published:
    May 30, 2011, 8:12 BST
    By:
    Stephen Farrand

    Liquigas rider looking to learn from his mistakes

    Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas-Cannondale) tried desperately to gain enough time to move ahead of Italian rival Michele Scarponi (Lampre-ISD) in the final time trial of the Giro d'Italia but was forced to accept another third place overall on the final podium in Milan.

    The young Sicilian secured third place, ahead of Scarponi last year, but had too much of a deficit to make up this time on the streets of Milan.

    "Any chance of second place disappeared after I reached the finish in Milan. But I'm still satisfied with third place," Nibali said.

    "Last year I managed to edge out Scarponi for the third place on the podium but this year he got the better of me. But this is my third grand tour podium in just 12 months and so I'm satisfied. Winning the Vuelta was a great moment and I was a real peak of my form but this year I was under more pressure and that's never easy."

    Learning for the future

    With Basso focusing on the Tour de France this year, Nibali was the designated team leader for Liquigas-Cannondale and forced to shoulder the pressure from the team and the Italian media.

    He admitted he made some mistakes during the three weeks of the Giro but insisted he has learnt from them and will return to the Giro in 2012.

    "I think I handled it well and I've learnt a lot for the future," he said.

    "I've learnt where I perhaps made a few mistakes but also learnt where I can improve and do better in the future. I'm 26 and so I've got to use this year's race to do even better in the future. Cycling is about understanding your limits and ability and when to use what you have. There were a couple of days when I was a little weaker than I'd hoped: on the long stage to Gardeccia and then in the finale to Sestriere. For 2012 I hope to improve on those two difficult moments."

    Contador and Scarponi were locked in an often tense battle during the final week. They attacked each other on the road and...

  • Video: Porte proud to have played a key part in Contador's Giro victory

    Richie Porte (Saxo Bank Sungard)
    Article published:
    May 30, 2011, 8:50 BST
    By:
    Stephen Farrand

    Australian learns during three weeks of team work

    Richie Porte (Saxo Bank-SunGard) ended his Giro d'Italia on a high with fourth place in the final time trial to Milan.

    The Tasmanian was the revelation of the 2010 Giro d'Italia, finishing seventh overall wearing the pink jersey for several days.

    This year, he got a late call up to the Saxo Bank-SunGard team and had to work for Alberto Contador but still learnt a lot from the Spaniard.

    He told Cyclingnews he was proud to have played a part in Contador's success. Despite already racing for 60 days this season, he is looking forward to racing the Tour de France and will soon head to altitude to prepare for another busy month of racing in July.

  • Boonen on track for Belgian nationals and Tour de France

    Tom Boonen (Quick Step) heads onto the podium at Tour of Belgium.
    Article published:
    May 30, 2011, 9:57 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Blames altitude training for poor Tour of Belgium

    Tom Boonen is no longer the number one Belgian rider, ending his Spring programme with a disappointing Tour of Belgium. The Quick Step rider finished 36th overall, more than 20 minutes behind winner and new Belgian superstar Philippe Gilbert.

    Former world champion Boonen is not too concerned, though, blaming his poor performances on a recent altitude training and on an inexperienced team. He considers himself in good shape for the Belgian national title and the Tour de France.

    “Of course I would have like to have won,” he told Het Laatste Nieuws, according to Sporza. “I had too many ups and downs. I suspect that is the aftermath of my altitude training.

    "Second, I also see a lack of experience in our sprint train. We lack a captain,” Boonen said. “This is no criticism of the boys, Stauff, Van Keirsbulck and Stybar have little experience. "

    Boonen was in good place going into the finale of the last stage, a mass sprint, but it came to nothing. “I misjudged the final turn, It gave me no chance to sprint.”

    Boonen is off to another altitude training in the French Alps. "With four additional days training at altitude, I hope to strengthen the impact of what I already have. After that the Tour de Suisse is on the programme."

    That will be followed by two major races, the Belgian championships “and the Tour of course. I am perfectly on track for the nationals and the Tour.”

    He last won the national title in 2009, but has not won a Tour stage since 2007.

  • Puncture cost Rasmussen time trial win in Giro d'Italia finale

    Alex Rasmussen
    Article published:
    May 30, 2011, 10:38 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    HTC-Highroad rider finished with flat tire

    Alex Rasmussen saw his dream of winning the closing time trial of the Giro d'Italia disappear near the end with a flat tire. The HTC-Highroad rider finished second, only seven seconds behind stage winner David Millar of Garmin-Cervelo.

    "I had a puncture with one kilometre to go, so it was damn annoying, and it may be that it cost me the victory,” he told the Ritzau news agency.

    "It's f**king annoying.But I can't do much about it. I rode a perfect trial.I rode really fast, and if the puncture had not occurred, I would have finished even stronger.”

    The Dane, who was making his Grand Tour debut, said he figured he lost about 20 seconds because of the mechanical. He did not change bikes, but continued to ride with the flat tire.

    “The tire was completely flat with one kilometre to go, and so I had to edge the bike around the final turn. I caught Michael Mørkøv with three kilometers left, and then he brought me to finish, so it's probably 20 seconds,” Rasmussen said.

    Mørkøv, of Team Saxo Bank-SunGard, rode with Rasmussen on the Danish team earlier and is his partner on the track.

  • WADA director Howman respects Contador hearing delay

    WADA President John Fajey (l) and Director General David Howman earlier this year.
    Article published:
    May 30, 2011, 12:30 BST
    By:
    Daniel Benson

    Investigation into Clenbuterol-contamination from tainted meat under way

    World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) director-general David Howman has told Cyclingnews that he will respect the CAS decision to grant Alberto Contador more time to prepare for his hearing. The case was due to be held on June 6, 7 but Contador's legal team were granted more time, with a new hearing set to be announced soon. However, a new proposed date could be set for July - during this year's Tour de France - or later in the season.

    "The application was made by Contador's lawyers," Howman confirmed to Cyclingnews.

    "We didn't object to it and we think that those sorts of things have got to be decided by CAS. They were, and we accept it. You have to accept the process and the right people have to make applications and we abide by the decision. We have to wait now for the hearing."

    A new date and the possibility of it clashing with this year's Tour could heap more scandal on the sport. Contador, if found guilty, could lose his 2010 Tour title, as well his recent triumph in the Giro d'Italia and a number of other races won between July 2010 and the present day.

    If Contador's hearing is pushed beyond delay and he wins the Tour again, he could lose that title as well.

    "We wouldn't comment on that. I can only comment on the facts and we abide by CAS's decision to defer the hearing on the balance of what they heard from Mr Contador's lawyers," Howman continued.

    "I think they're going to appoint some news dates and I don't think it will be long before the new dates are known."

    Even though it has appealed the decision by the Spanish cycling federation to clear Contador from his charges, WADA is not in a hurry to see Contador banned.

    "We don't run...

  • Christina Watches gets invite for Tour of Denmark

    Michael Blaudzun, Christina Hembo and Michael Rasmussen
    Article published:
    May 30, 2011, 14:13 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Team manager "relieved"

    Danish team Christina Watches has finally been invited to the Post Danmark Rundt, the Tour of Denmark, which is set to take place from August 3-7. After several weeks of difficulties with the Danish cycling federation DCU, Michael Rasmussen's new squad has been given an entry to the country's national tour, important to both the sponsor and Rasmussen himself.

    "It's obviously a huge relief. We've been hoping for this very much. I'm extremely happy and relieved that we have it now," team owner Christina Hembo told Cykelmagasinet.dk.

    The team delivered some excellent results in recent races and thereby earned the invite on the road. In February, as Christina Watches was still in the making, DCU president had stated that Rasmussen's squad was not welcome at the largest race on Danish soil.

  • Zomegnan defends Giro d'Italia and Contador

    Angelo Zomegnan addressed the press following the death of Wouter Weylandt
    Article published:
    May 30, 2011, 15:18 BST
    By:
    Stephen Farrand

    Race director insists he has no regrets about the race route

    The director of the Giro d'Italia Angelo Zomegnan used three, carefully selected, numbers to describe the 2011 Giro d'Italia but refuted criticism that this year's was too hard and claimed he was happy to see Alberto Contador win the Giro despite his ongoing appeal after his Clenbuterol positive at the 2010 Tour de France.

    "I think the best way to sum up the Giro is with some numbers: 108 (Wouter Weylandt), 181 (Alberto Contador), the best rider in the world, and then 11 million people along the roadside: an impressive audience for the Giro," Zomegnan said after the finish in Milan.

    Italian newspaper Tuttosport has speculated that Zomegnan's role at RCS sport may be under review after the difficulty of the Giro route turned the final week into a battle of survival for many riders in the peloton.

    They can stay at home if they prefer,” Zomegnan said in reply.

    “Why can people think the Giro was too hard? In the last week, we had two young riders who won ─ Ulissi and Capecchi ─ and they did the first two hours at 50kph. Maybe the Giro's not hard enough….”

    Yet Zomegnan admitted that he was ready to listen to constructive criticism and hinted that the 2012 may be easier.

    "The big difference between this Giro and other editions is that there were more mountain finish rather than on descents. But that's only an extra effort of ten minutes. The Giro without mountain finishes wouldn't be same."

    “There are a lot of things to change. We had a lot of obligations this year because it was the 150th anniversary of the unification of Italy. We had to go to a lot of regions – 17...