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Second Edition Cycling News, Saturday, July 24, 2010

Date published:
July 24, 2010, 1:00 BST
  • Landis brings doping accusations to US television

    Floyd Landis looking fast on the way out.
    Article published:
    July 24, 2010, 8:44 BST
    Kirsten Frattini

    Further allegations against Armstrong

    Floyd Landis further exposed his allegations against Lance Armstrong’s use of performance enhancing drugs on national television in an interview aired on the American broadcast television network ABC News Nightline at 11:35 EST on Friday, July 23.

    For the first time on camera, Landis spoke to ABC News Nightline correspondent Neal Karlinsky in Bend, Oregon where he is currently racing in the Bend Memorial Clinic Cascade Cycling Classic from July 20-25.

    "Look, at some point, people have to tell their kids that Santa Claus isn't real," Landis said. "I hate to be the guy to do it, but it's just not real."

    Karlinsky opened with a series of questions pertaining to Landis’ accusations that Armstrong used performance-enhancing drugs during his career.

    Asked if he saw Armstrong taking a blood transfusion more than once, Landis said, “Yes, multiple times.” Asked if he saw Armstrong using performance enhancing drugs Landis said, “At times yeah, at different training camps.” And when asked what specific substances, Landis said, “Well there is not a whole lot that helps. Like I said, there is EPO [Erythropoietin] you can use and you can use small amounts during the Tour de France if you need to monitor certain parameters that are better tested for or that are changed during blood transfusions.”

    In May, Landis admitted to using performance-enhancing drugs throughout most of his professional cycling career, including his 2006 Tour de France victory. He was stripped of that title after testing positive for synthetic testosterone and vehemently denied doping for the last four years.

    The confessions reached boiling point when he went on to make sweeping accusations against his previous teams and teammates of doping, including his former US Postal teammate Lance Armstrong and manager Johan Bruyneel in a series of emails sent to cycling officials and Cyclingnews.


  • Sanchez inspired by Vuelta time trial win over Menchov

    Samuel Sanchez (Euskaltel-Euskadi) crashed early in the stage but kept third place overall.
    Article published:
    July 24, 2010, 12:38 BST
    Cycling News

    Basque rider hoping to hold on to third overall

    Samuel Sanchez (Euskaltel-Euskadi) is drawing inspiration from the result of a time trial in the 2007 Vuelta Espana as he tries to limit his losses to Denis Menchov (Rabobank) in today's Bordeaux time trial and hang onto third place overall in the Tour de France.

    Sanchez won the 20km time trial, around the town of Villalba on stage 20 of the 2007 Vuelta, beating Menchov by 12 seconds.

    The Russian had a three-minute margin on Carlos Sastre and Sanchez and went on to win the Vuelta in Madrid and so perhaps did not give 100% in the time trial. However Sanchez is hoping he can pull off another surprise and stop Menchov from taking third place on the final Tour de France podium in Paris.

    The Basque rider leads Menchov by 21 seconds in the general classification before the 52Km time trial from Bordeaux to Pauillac.

    "It's going to be really difficult. 21 seconds is not much against Menchov but I've got to try," Sanchez said.

    "I'm not a bad time trialist but I'm not an expert like Menchov. However I've got to believe I can do it. It was a shorter time trial in the Vuelta and Menchov has beaten me in longer time trials in the Tour de France since then, but we'll see."

    Sanchez crashed hard during the early part of the stage to the summit of the Col du Tourmalet. He got up and finished fifth on the stage, gaining eight seconds on Menchov, but hurt his shoulder. He knows that his shoulder could be a problem when he is tucked in time trial position.

    "I rode well on the Tourmalet and gained eight seconds. I still feel strong and so I can draw hope from that and from the result in 2007. If I hadn't crashed I might have been able to gain even more time but I can't think like that," he said.

    "My shoulder hurts and it could be a problem but I'll fight the pain. I'd hate to lose my place on the podium after three weeks of racing. I'll go down fighting."

  • Ribeiro suspended for two years for CERA

    Portugal's Nuno Ribeiro (Liberty Seguros) after finishing ninth in the stage 10 time trial.
    Article published:
    July 24, 2010, 12:54 BST
    Cycling News

    Loses 2009 Tour of Portugal title

    The Portuguese cycling federation has given Nuno Ribeiro a two-year ban for doping. The 32-year-old tested positive last August for CERA-EPO before the start of the Tour of Portugal, which he won.

    The federation took the title away from the Liberty Seguros rider and awarded it to the previous second-place finisher, David Blanco of Palmeiras Resort-Tavira.

    After the positive test was announced last fall, he claimed that team doctors administered him the CERA without his knowledge. “I received injections without knowing what they were," he told the Portuguese sports newspaper O Jogo.

    Two of his teammates at the race also tested positive, Spaniards Isidro Nozal and Hector Guerra. Both have also received two year suspensions.

  • On the start line in Bordeaux

    Article published:
    July 24, 2010, 14:24 BST
    Brecht Decaluwé

    Photos from the stage 19 time trial

    The 52km time trial from Bordeaux to Pauillac will give the final verdict on who wins this year's Tour de France. Alberto Contador will start last and is in the yellow jersey. He leads Andy Schleck by just eight seconds but that advantage is expected to grow as the Spaniard rides through the vineyards close to the Gironde river. If Contador wins this year, it will be his third Tour e France victory after also winning in 2007 and 2009.

    However Schleck has yet to concede victory to Contador. He is not a world class time trialist but has been working with Bradley McGee and Bobby Julich this year and could cause a surprise by how little time he loses.

    Samuel Sanchez (Euskaltel-Euskadi) and Denis Menchov (Rabobank) are also locked in a duel for third place on the podium. Like Contador, Menchov is the favourite to dominate and take third on the podium in Paris. Behind them, most of the other placings in the top ten are unlikely to change.

    At the start in Bordeaux, most other riders were relaxed before the start. For them the 52km will be a recovery day before the celebrations and high-speed racing on the Champs Elysees on Sunday.

    Only the time trial experts like Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank), Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky), Tony Martin (HTC-Columbia), David Zabriskie (Garmin-Transitions) will be racing flat out. They will have no time to enjoy the views across the vineyards to the Chateau. But whoever wins the time trial, will probably raise a glass to celebrate.



  • Schleck finds consolation in time trial performance

    Andy Schleck (Saxo Bank)
    Article published:
    July 24, 2010, 17:47 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    Promised to fight for victory in 2011

    Andy Schleck (Saxo Bank) crossed the finish line in Pauillac but had to wait two painful minutes before Alberto Contador (Astana) crossed the line and it was confirmed he would finish second overall after three weeks of racing.

    Schleck looked for a moment of solace but was mobbed by photographers and cameramen. He stopped and then rode on again before trying to hide behind a truck. He sat on a kerb, trying to avoid the media as the seconds counted down to Contador’s arrival but he knew what was about to happen. He knew he had lost time and lost the Tour de France.

    Contador finished 31 seconds ahead of Schleck and so will now ride into Paris to win his third Tour de France with a 39-second margin.

    Schleck has the consolation of winning the best young rider's white jersey yet again but he was hugely disappointed. He started the
    52km time incredibly fast. He was two seconds faster than Contador at the first intermediate time split after 18.2km but then Contador began to pull back time, one second at a time.

    At the second intermediate time check after 36.5km, Schleck was seven seconds down on Contador and any chance of victory was slipping away. He finished with a time of 1:07:10 but Contador was 31 seconds faster.

    Schleck stood up with a hint of pride after wiping his face with a towel and rode to the podium area. He will ride into Paris second
    overall again this year but he was proud of his performance.

    "Everybody was saying that I was beaten before today’s stage but I said I wouldn’t give up and I tried everything and I got pretty close.

    Until ten kilometres from the finish, I was close but in the end Alberto could have gained quite a lot of time on me. At the finish, it wasn’t so much."

    “I don’t care what the time difference is between us. What counts is what placing you have at the end of the race. And Alberto was just better than me this...

  • Cancellara happy to fill gap on his palmarès

    Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank) on his way to the stage win
    Article published:
    July 24, 2010, 18:24 BST
    Peter Cossins

    Says there was little he could tell Schleck except “believe in yourself”

    Fabian Cancellara finally filled a gap on his palmarès when he won the final time trial of the Tour de France in Pauillac. Last year he complained he had been denied victory by the shelter Alberto Contador had received from race motorbikes, but this year the Swiss was in absolutely no danger of being overhauled once he had knocked 17 seconds off Tony Martin’s time of 1-01-14.

    Only Martin’s team-mate Bert Grabsch got within two minutes of the Swiss and Cervélo’s Ignatas Konovalovas was the only other rider to get within three minutes as the wind blowing down the Gironde increased in intensity.

    “I feel very tired after what has been a long day today,” said Cancellara. “But I’m very happy and very proud to have that victory on my palmarès. I’m going to celebrate tonight with a good bottle of wine.”

    One of the first to congratulate team-mate Andy Schleck after his great performance in the time trial and throughout this Tour de France, Cancellara said that the Luxembourger had “moved another step higher with that performance”.

    “There was little that I could say to Andy today except to believe in himself and give everything that he could,” said Cancellara. “He showed right through the race that he is so strong and also so cool under pressure. The coolness he maintained gave him his power. Me, Stuart O’Grady, Bjarne and the whole staff on the team supported him. He’s got so much experience already in many ways and he showed that again today.

    “I’ve been riding a lot in the wind for him to help him save energy, but the rest he now knows for himself. I remember very well when he was second at the Giro d’Italia, I told him that when he stopped for a pee, don’t sprint to come back, go slow and smooth and save your energy. But now he knows all these little things. He’s a real champion and...

  • Hesjedal set for seventh in Paris

    Canada's Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin - Transitions)
    Article published:
    July 24, 2010, 18:45 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    Garmin-Transitions rider moves past Rodriguez in TT

    Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Transitions) slumped over his bike after crossing the line in Pauillac, with sweat dripping off his face. He did not initially know it but his strong ride in the final time trial had lifted him up to seventh in the overall classification.

    He started the Tour de France as a key domestique for Christian Vande Velde but when he crashed out, Hesjedal took his place and fought for three weeks to secure a top ten finish.

    "Anything in the top ten here is a dream come true, especially after what happened in this race for us," Hesjedal said.

    "That morning when Christian didn't start, the guys were hurt. It's bad when you feel bad because you didn’t crash with your teammates and so I just wanted to go on the attack and race good. Ever since stage three, I wanted to stay high up in the race and show myself and show the team well. That's what I continued to do today."

    Seven is a nice number

    Hesjedal finished 52nd in the time trial, 6:40 behind winner Fabian Cancellara but he was 3:37 faster than Joaquin Rodriguez (Katusha). The strong head wind in the final part of the time trial course blew the little Spaniard all over the road and so Hesjedal moved past him into seventh place.

    "Seven is a nice number, I'll take it," Hesjedal said with a smile. "That was a really hard time trial. I didn't feel good at all. I suffered through the whole thing and that's a long time to be out there when you're not feeling good. It doesn't get much harder than that at the end of a Grand Tour."

    "With the wind, it's difficult to judge you've speed and you feel like you're going nowhere. You've just got to concentrate and suffer." The Garmin-Transitions team staff all wore special Maple leaf t-shirts with 'O Hesjedal' blazoned across the chest to celebrate Hesjedal's impressive performance during the Tour de France.

    There will be even more celebrations in Paris on Sunday...

  • Horner holds onto tenth overall

    Chris Horner (RadioShack)
    Article published:
    July 24, 2010, 18:55 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    RadioShack secure team classification

    Chris Horner came into the Tour de France happy just to be a team player and key domestique for the RadioShack team but heads to the finish in Paris with tenth overall after outshining teammates of the calibre of Lance Armstrong, Levi Leipheimer and Andreas Kloden.

    Armstrong finished a modest 67th in the time trial, 7:05 behind Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank) and will ride into Paris for the very last time, 23rd overall, 39:20 behind Alberto Contador. The seven-time Tour winner left the finish area in Pauillac without speaking to media, clearly disappointed with his ride.

    Horner was a little more forthcoming. He needed to sit down for a minute to catch his breath immediately the time trial but was rightly proud of his tenth place overall, 12:02 down on Contador.

    "I'm happy, especially with all the work and stuff I did for the team," he said.

    "When the race started I knew I was on form and could get into the top ten but when you've got guys like Levi, Kloden and Lance on the team, you've got to take a bit of step back and be realistic that you're going to be to working for Lance. I think he was definitely one of the best but after so many crashes and bad luck, I found myself going for the top ten."

    The fatique on Horner's face showed how much he had fought in the wind.

    "It was windy and really hard because the course was undulating all the time," he explained.

    "It's hard to find a rhythm and there was nowhere when you could get out of the saddle and stretch your legs, no turns where you could ease a little bit and rest up. That means you're always on the pedals the whole time. It was a brutal time trial. But this is the Tour de France and it's almost over, so why hold back today?"

    Fortunately three of his teammates also did not hold back and RadioShack secured the team classification, 9:15 ahead of the Caisse d'Epargne team.

    Early starters Dimitri Muravyev (19th at 4:38) and Yaroslav...