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Second Edition Cycling News, Monday, May 7, 2012

Date published:
May 07, 2012, 1:00 BST
  • Bos left to rue crash before finishing straight in Herning

    Theo Bos (Rabobank)
    Article published:
    May 07, 2012, 7:09 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Renshaw relieved to finish sixth

    Rabobank's best-laid plans went astray when Theo Bos crashed on the right-hand bend leading into the finishing straight on Stage 2 of the Giro d'Italia on Sunday.

    Bos was being led out by Graeme Brown and Mark Renshaw when he clipped the back wheel of the latter and hit the deck heavily, taking Katusha's Alexander Kristoff with him, among others. Renshaw went on to finish in six place with Brown visibly frustrated by his teammates bad luck as he looked behind to see the pile-up of bikes and bodies.

    The Dutchman was not sure of how he would pull up heading into the third stage on Monday – another day well-suited to Rabobank.
    "When I got up, I felt my back. We must wait and see how it is tomorrow, " Bos told Rabosport.nl.

    "I noticed that a rider [William Bonnet] was trying to get by, but I don't think that's why I crashed. Mark was at one point trying to correct his position and I could not anymore. "

    Despite the fact that both himself, Dennis van Winden and Stef Clement had crashed earlier in the 206km stage, Bos was encouraged by his teammate's performance.

    "We were really good," he explained. "The bend was exactly in the position where we wanted it to be. It all looked good. We were ready and I had good legs. But it was unfortunately not to be. I hope that there is less damage tomorrow, because there are still real opportunities."

    Renshaw tweeted his relief at crossing the finish line unscathed.

    "Now that was a nervous stage," he said. "One pair of break (sic) pads done. Good to finish in 6th but it was for Theo who fell. Dennis & Stef also crashed."

     

  • Serpa hoping to start Stage 3 after fracturing finger

    Jose Serpa (Androni-Giocattoli)
    Article published:
    May 07, 2012, 8:04 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Androni Giacattoli-Venezuela climber says he can put up with pain

    Jose Rodolfo Serpa (Androni Giacattoli-Venezuela) is optimistic that he will be able to compete for the rest of the Giro d'Italia despite a crash on Sunday which resulted in the Colombian breaking the fourth metacarpal bone (ring finger) of his right hand.

    This morning Serpa said via his Twitter page that he was hopeful of being at the start line in Horsens: "Good morning everyone, thank God it was a small fracture, a little pain. But I hope to take it. Thank you all for the good wishes."

    According to a team press release, Serpa was taken to hospital last night where x-rays revealed the fracture and a light cast was applied.

    The 33-year-old has enjoyed a solid start to the season, having collected sixth on general classification at the Tour de San Luis followed by the overall win at the Tour de Langkawi where he won two stages. Serpa is considered to be invaluable support to teammate Jose Rujano in the mountains. He finished fourth on the stage to Castelfidardo in 2011.

     

  • Confusion over Nibali negotiations?

    blank
    Article published:
    May 07, 2012, 8:42 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Liquigas-Cannondale now says no official talks have taken place

    Despite comments made yesterday by Liquigas-Cannondale team manager Roberto Amadio that the outfit is resigned to Vincenzo Nibali leaving at the end of the year, the team has now released a statement that no official discussions between the parties have in fact taken place.

    In a media release issued Monday morning, Liquigas-Cannondale management said: "In reference to the press rumours that have emerged yesterday about the contractual position for the immediate future of Vincenzo Nibali, the Pro Cycling Team Liquigas-Cannondale announced that, at present, no official negotiations between the parties was conducted for a possible extension of the contract.

    "In full respect of the Union Cycliste Internationale regulations, Liquigas Cannondale can undertake negotiations with the athlete and his attorneys from 1 August 2012," the statement continued. "The representatives of Vincenzo Nibali point out that a contract is in place until 31 December 2012 and in order also to protect the serenity inside the team and the rider himself, refers to any discourse on or before the aforementioned date.

    "The Liquigas-Cannondale team, finally, states that the words expressed by the UCI regulations are applied also in respect of all other its members, staff members and athletes."

    Twenty-seven-year-old Nibali, who has been with Liquigas since 2006, is rumoured to have offers on the table of up to 2.5 million Euros per year from both Astana and BMC.

     

  • Soupe "sorry" to have finished third in Giro d'Italia stage

    Geoffrey Soupe (FDJ-Big Mat)
    Article published:
    May 07, 2012, 9:15 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Lead-out man lost sight of team sprinter Démare

    Looking at the top ten of Sunday's stage two of the Giro d'Italia, which ended in a bunch sprint taken by world champion Mark Cavendish (Sky), one name stood out: the one of third-placed Geoffrey Soupe (FDJ-Big Mat). The 24-year-old was not expected to finish so high up in the stage results, and for quite a while after the finish it was his teammate Arnaud Démare, FDJ's star sprinter, who was announced to have scored a podium place.

    Démare, however, finished 24th, while his lead-out man Soupe sprinted his way to media attention. It was such a surprise, even for himself, that the first thing he did when he was back at the bus was to apologise to his team leader.

    "I'm sorry I disrespected team orders but at a certain point I lost sight of you," was what Soupe told Démare, according to L'Equipe, feeling guilty for having scored such a good result despite his role as domestique. But Démare was caught in the crash that took down a fair amount of riders in the final corner with 600 metres to go, so Soupe was right to take matters into his own hands.

    "Geoffrey was scared of being given a reprimand, but I'm happy to see him finish so well after having been disappointing last year," said FDJ's directeur sportif Martial Gayant. "Let's hope it will serve as a trigger."

    Soupe, a former U23 French champion, nevertheless took two victories in 2011, a stage at the Tropicale Amissa Bongo and another at the Tour d'Alsace. It is his second year as a pro with FDJ, and the first time in a Grand Tour.
     

  • Rabobank reacts to de Rooy's doping claims

    Dutchman Michael Boogerd in 2007
    Article published:
    May 07, 2012, 12:02 BST
    By:
    Daniel Benson

    Team say it now has a zero tolerance policy

    The Rabobank team has reacted to allegations that systematic doping occurred on the team up until 2007 by saying that they now have a zero tolerance stance towards doping.

    On Saturday Volkskrant ran an interview with Theo de Rooy, who was the team manager from 2003 to 2007. De Rooy detailed how riders were allowed to use doping products, while the team’s medical staff oversaw that the athletes’ health was kept in check and that no positive doping controls were returned by anti-doping authorities.

    Rabobank, the team’s sponsor since 1996, was quick to react but on Monday the team itself sent Cyclingnews a statement.

    “We're surprised and disappointed about the statements made in the paper. We won't react on the content.”

    “We are satisfied with the direction we've chosen since the beginning of the new management and with the way we perform.”

    “We will obey the rules of the sport and comply with what's agreed with our sponsor Rabobank. We will stick to our policy of zero tolerance and to get to the top with young Dutch talent."

    The new management referred to in the statement took over the team in 2007/2008 in the wake of Michael Rasmussen’s Tour de France expulsion. Harold Knebel was appointed the new chairman of Team Rabobank's Board of Directors, with De Rooy resigning. Since then the team have made several steps to improve their image and ethics.

    In 2009 and 2010 the team published their anti-doping test records, while Knebel was vocal in his assessment that rider bans should be increased for high profile cases. However the team continues to be haunted by its past. The HumanPlasma case rubbles on, with several former Rabobank riders having...

  • Weylandt remembered at start of Giro d'Italia stage 3

    Stage winner Wouter Weylandt (Quick Step) raises his arms in triumph at the end of a sprint finish.
    Article published:
    May 07, 2012, 13:04 BST
    By:
    Alasdair Fotheringham

    Minute’s silence for Weylandt and Mayor of Horsens

    In bright, if slightly chilly, Danish sunshine this morning, the peloton of the Giro d’Italia remembered Wouter Weylandt, who died on stage three of the race the year before, and Jan Trojberg, the mayor of the start town of Horsens, who died suddenly on Sunday.

    Watched by hundreds of onlookers in a central square, helmets were removed and riders stood in silence for a minute’s silence, followed by a brief replay of the television broadcast of Weylandt’s victory in stage 3 of the Giro in 2010, then a short burst of one of his favourite pieces of music.

    Riders from the RadioShack-Nissan team, which fused with Leopard-Trek, Weylandt’s squad, at the start of this season, stood at the front of the pack, alongside Weylandt’s close friend Tyler Farrar. With Weylandt’s family also present, a message of condolence was read out by the Giro management. Then following some brief applause, the pack moved off.

    “It’s good to remember Wouter, ” said Farrar’s team-mate Chistian Vande Velde, who was wearing a narrow black bracelet with the words ‘In Memoriam Wouter’ engraved on his wrist. “He was a funny guy, a nice guy. We should appreciate what he did in his life.”

    “I’ve worn this bracelet since they were given to us on the Tour of California last year, there’s not a day goes by that I don’t think about him.”

    “The older you get the more you appreciate the dangers of racing. But we’re not going to dwell on it when we’re racing, that’s when bad things happen, you just have to do your own race, and reflect later.”

    “It’s good to digest this tragedy, life goes on and we’re here to race, but we should...

  • Big transfer underway for Giro d'Italia tonight

    The Giro d'Italia trophy
    Article published:
    May 07, 2012, 13:59 BST
    By:
    Alasdair Fotheringham

    Longest ever transfer for Giro

    The Giro d’Italia moves out of Denmark tonight for what could be its longest ever transfer - and what is very probably one of the longest of any Grand Tour: around 1,600 kilometres. Not even the Vuelta, when it shifted from Liège in Belgium to Reus in Spain during the 2010 race, has matched this figure.

    Today’s stage 3 finish has been brought forward by an hour and a half in comparison to its usual finishing time, to around four o’clock, and the riders, after showering and changing in Horsens, will be transferred  in organisation vehicles to nearby Billund airport. Two chartered flights for the peloton, with four spots for staff from each team, to Verona are scheduled out at 1900 and 1915. If everything goes according to plan, the riders should be at their hotels in Italy by 10 o’clock this evening.

    However, for the teams personnel and the logistical back-up, the transfer began far sooner, with vans from some teams containing time trial bikes leaving as early as Sunday morning. Some team buses already made the long haul south through southern Denmark, Germany and Switzerland or Austria, while others left immediately after that the start of stage three.

    How each team tackles it logistically varies radically from squad to squad. Some are sending almost entirely new sets of personnel to Italy, whilst other teams, particularly the smaller-budget ones not from Italy, are bringing their complete staff down from Denmark. There is no hard and fast rule.

    “We’ve anticipated things as best we can, but it’s difficult,” said Vincent Lavenu, manager of the AG2R La Mondiale team, which specifically designated a sports director, Laurent Biondi, in charge of organising the transfer’s logistical details.

    “A van already went down” - on Sunday morning...

  • Savio apologizes for Ferrari’s manoeuvre

    It was a chaotic finish to stage 3 of the Giro d'Italia.
    Article published:
    May 07, 2012, 17:46 BST
    By:
    Alasdair Fotheringham

    Androni-Venezuela rider provokes 60kph pileup in stage three finale

    Androni-Venezuela manager Gianni Savio has contacted Cyclingnews to say that he intends to make a full apology to world champion Mark Cavendish (Sky) for the 60kph pile-up provoked by his sprinter Roberto Ferrari in the finale of stage three of the Giro d’Italia.

    Cavendish injured his shoulder when he hit the tarmac at full speed just yards from the line, after which he lay inert and trying to protect himself as riders fanned out to try and avoid him.

    After a bad crash in the Tour of Qatar’s final stage, which left Cavendish shaken but able to ride (on this occasion, with his shoulder injured, he had to walk towards the finish line), this was the Briton’s second high-speed accident in 2012.

    Androni-Venezuela manger Gianni Savio made no bones about his rider Ferrari’s responsibility, telling Cyclingnews, “I’m on the bus going to the airport [for the transfer – ed.] and I will apologize to Mark Cavendish in the name of the team and in the name of Roberto Ferrari for the incorrect behaviour that was not intentional.”

    Ferrari himself, at least before talking to Savio, was unrepentant about the crash, telling reporters, “I was doing my sprint. I didn’t see him. I don’t know what happened because it was all behind me, my foot slipped. I had to switch lines because another rider moved abruptly.”

    Asked how he felt about being relegated to the last spot in the peloton for his manoeuvre, [as well as receiving a 200 Swiss Franc fine, a 30-second penalty and losing 25 points from his tally in the points competition] Ferrari responded “I have nothing to say about...