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Second Edition Cycling News, Saturday, July 3, 2010

Date published:
July 03, 2010, 1:00 BST
  • Germany announces long list for World Championships

    Jens Voigt (Team Saxo Bank)
    Article published:
    July 03, 2010, 9:53 BST
    By:
    Susan Wesetmeyer

    Haussler not included due to recent knee surgery

    The German cycling federation has issued its long list of riders for the World Championships this fall in Melbourne, Australia. 21 riders have bee named for possible inclusion in the national team.

    Germany should be able to send nine riders to the road race and two to the time trial, depending on the decisive ranking issued by the UCI in August.

    The most notable name missing from the list is that of Australian-born but German national Heinrich Haussler.

    “He is not there because since his knee operation, it is unclear when he can race again,” Bund Deutsche Radfahrer spokeswoman Christina Kapp told Cyclingnews. Haussler is not excluded because he is not on this list, and can be added to the team if he races well in August.

    The 21 riders come from seven different teams, and range from 23-year-old Patrick Gretsch of HTC-Columbia to Saxo Bank's Jens Voigt, who will be 39 at the time of the Championships, between September 29 and October 3.

    Preliminary line-up for the men's world championship road races:

    Burghardt, Marcus (Team BMC Racing)
    Ciolek, Gerald (Milram)
    Fröhlinger, Johannes (Milram)
    Gerdemann, Linus (Milram)
    Geschke, Simon (Skil-Shimano)
    Grabsch, Bert (HTC-Columbia)
    Greipel, André (HTC-Columbia)
    Gretsch, Patrick (HTC-Columbia)
    Hondo, Danilo (Lampre)
    Klemme, Dominic (Saxo Bank)
    Kluge, Roger (Milram)
    Knees, Christian (Milram)
    Lang, Sebastian (Silence-Lotto)
    Martens, Paul (Rabobank)
    Martin, Tony (HTC-Columbia)
    Niermann, Grischa (Rabobank)
    Sieberg, Marcel (Columbia)
    Voigt, Jens (Saxo Bank)
    Voß, Paul (Milram)

    Wagner, Robert (Skil-Shimano)
    Wegmann, Fabian (Milram)

  • Contador counts on a united Astana team

    Alberto Contador (Astana) gives his trademark salute.
    Article published:
    July 03, 2010, 12:04 BST
    By:
    Jean-François Quénet

    Spaniard hopes to beat RadioShack thanks to lessons learnt from Bruyneel

    Defending Tour de France champion Alberto Contador hopes to have learnt enough from his former team manager Johan Bruyneel to avoid any traps the experienced Belgian and Lance Armstrong may try and set him now they are at the rival RadioShack team.

    Contador’s Astana team is totally different from the one he shared with Armstrong last year. Then the team was divided and Contador had to virtually look after himself. This year he can count on a very united team as he tries to win a third Tour de France.

    However for the first time in his career, Contador will attempt to win the Tour de France without Bruyneel's tactical advice during the race. But he insists he is not worried.

    “I think I’ll have benefited more from our relationship of the last three years than Johan will,” the Spaniard said in a press conference in Rotterdam. “I’ve learnt from him how to ride in a team with a sole leader. I haven’t showed him many of my weaknesses.”

    Lance Armstrong describes Contador as “mentally unbreakable” but Contador is wary of the Texan, despite their often difficult relationship.

    “Lance is an important rival”, the Spaniard added. “There are ten to twelve riders who will fight for the overall victory in this Tour de France. He’s one of them. I know he’s in good form and he’s very motivated.”

    Contador insisted he will not have any problems this year with Astana teammate Alexandre Vinokourov. “Nothing like that will happen with Vinokourov this month”, Contador said. “My relationship with him is excellent. I have total confidence in him. It’s fundamental to have a united team especially away from the racing. This is one month we have to live together away from homes. On paper, my team was stronger last year. But I’m happier with the team I’ve now. I’m hopeful this team will do...

  • Florencio explains why he is out of the Tour

    Xavier Florencio (Cervelo TestTeam) is introduced to the crowd at the stage two sign in.
    Article published:
    July 03, 2010, 12:05 BST
    By:
    Susan Westemeyer

    Spaniard broke team rules by self-medicating haemorrhoids

    Xavier Florencio of Cervelo TestTeam has apologised for using an over-the-counter haemorrhoid treatment without first consulting the team doctor. 

    The Spaniard broke internal Cervelo TestTeam rules and pulled him from their Tour de France line-up on Friday night. The Swiss-based team will start the Tour with only eight riders.

    Following the Tour de Suisse, Florencio said he suffered from “increasingly painful” haemorrhoids, and bought a common over-the-counter remedy to treat the problem. “I looked at the prospect and I saw no contra-indication for athletes,” he said in a statement issued a few hours after the Cervelo TestTeam announced he would not ride the Tour de France.

    On Friday morning he again used the ointment before training, and in the afternoon he told the team physician about it. “The doctor advised me that this ointment contains ephedrine”, which is forbidden under International Cycling Union anti-doping rules. “The effects of the ointment take two or three days to go away, and I was in danger of testing positive at a doping control,” he said.

    The team subsequently pulled him from the Tour squad and suspended him from all competition. "This substance was not cleared in advance with the medical staff. This usage without clearance violates the internal policy,” the team said.

    "I should have gotten in touch with team doctors before I self-medicate, but I never thought that this product, which is commonly used and available without a prescription, could have these contra-indications," Florencio said. "It was a terrible mistake and I feel very bad because I worked very hard to get to this race in the best condition."

  • Dutch courage from Cancellara

    Fabian Cancellara (Team Saxo Bank) on the podium after winning stage 1 of the Tour de Suisse
    Article published:
    July 03, 2010, 12:06 BST
    By:
    Daniel Benson

    Saxo Bank star says he's feeling good in Rotterdam

    This year's Paris-Roubaix and Tour of Flanders champion Fabian Cancellara has admitted that despite not preparing specifically for today's Tour de France prologue in Rotterdam, he's feeling good.

    Cancellara has a glorious history on the Tour's opening day, having won the prologue of the 2004 edition in Liège, the prologue of the 2007 edition in London and the opening stage of last year's Tour in Monaco.

    He'll go into today's 8.9km test against the clock in the Dutch city as one of the favourites, although he wasn't making big declarations about his chances during a press conference yesterday.

    "I'm feeling a lot better than at the prologue at the Tour de Suisse and that for me is a huge sign that I'm on the right path to where I want to be," said Cancellara.

    "The last few days have been stress and we did the parcours of the cobbles, with a lot of traffic but I had a really, really good sleep in the afternoon; I'm feeling good and it's up to me on the road tomorrow. I'm just looking forward.

    "I'm motivated. I've not done much specific work but I did do some motor pacing to keep the rhythm going," he added.

    Befitting his record on the Tour's opening day, Cancellara will have a target on his back for those looking to upstage the favourites; the likes of Tony Martin, who showed great form during last month's Tour de Suisse, is one of those aiming for an early taste of yellow.

    "It's hard to say whether [Tony] Martin is my biggest rival for tomorrow," said Cancellara. "It's almost a time trial tomorrow and sure he may have the power but you need to be really explosive as well. It's a fast course and he's starting early, like Wiggins.

    "I have Lance in front of me and that's a big motivation to have a rider like that one minute ahead. It's something positive for me and I'll use it to my advantage.

    "I want to give my best, hope that everything goes perfect and see what happens."

  • Evans okay with not being a Tour favourite

    BMC Racing Team's Cadel Evans has never won a stage of the Giro d'Italia.
    Article published:
    July 03, 2010, 12:07 BST
    By:
    Jean-François Quénet

    World champion tackling Giro and Tour double for the first time

    Cadel Evans is the current world champion and has twice finished second in the Tour de France, yet he is not mentioned as a hot favourite for overall victory alongside Alberto Contador, Andy Schleck and Lance Armstrong.

    For the Australian BMC rider, it is a position he prefers. He and his new team know that just being at the start of this year's Tour de France is already a huge achievement.

    The US-registered team, managed by former 7-Eleven, Motorola, US Postal and Phonak boss Jim Ochowicz, got the 22nd and final spot thanks to a wild-card invitation from Tour de France organisers ASO. “We had initially planned to ride the 2011 Tour de France but the signing of Cadel Evans made us go quicker”, team co-owner and sponsor Andy Rihs explained to Cyclingnews at a press conference.

    The prologue in Rotterdam marks the return of Ivan Basso and Alexandre Vinokourov at the Tour de France after their suspensions for doping. It is also a comeback for the Swiss entrepreneur.

    “As a businessman, this is my first and only failure”, he said in 2006 when he pulled the plug on his Phonak team following Floyd Landis’ positive dope test at the Tour de France. He has now changed his mind, realizing that professional cycling remains the best way to promote his BMC bicycle brand.

    Evans ready for three weeks of racing

    Evans admitted his surprise move to BMC after he won the world title could have meant he would not ride the Tour de France but it was a risk he was ready to take.

    “It was a little bit of a risk and experiment to go to a new team with a new staff. I’ve had an alternative race program this year including the Giro, as some people saw,” he said.

    Evans thinks he is physically ready to target the Giro d'Italia and Tour de France but at the age of 33, he still hasn’t won a Grand Tour. The weakness of his team at the Giro was a factor but...

  • Armstrong hits back at Landis accusations in the Wall Street Journal

    Lance Armstrong (Radioshack)
    Article published:
    July 03, 2010, 12:08 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Compares former teammates' credibility to a carton of sour milk

    Lance Armstrong has hit back at the latest accusation by Floyd Landis in Saturday's edition of the Wall Street Journal, comparing his former teammate's credibility to a carton of sour milk.

    "Today’s Wall Street Journal article is full of false accusations and more of the same old news from Floyd Landis, a person with zero credibility and an established pattern of recanting tomorrow what he swears to today," Armstrong said in a statement published on the lancearmstrong.com site.

    In the detailed accusations published in the Wall Street Journal, Landis gave information of his own use of performance enhancing drugs while riding with the US Postal Service team and also accused Armstrong, team manager Johan Bruyneel, Dr Michele Ferrari and other former teammates and sponsors.

    In a new allegation, Landis also claimed that the team sold off bike from sponsor Trek to create a fund to pay for a doping programme.

    The Wall Street Journal reported that three other former U.S. Postal riders had said in interviews that doping had occurred at the team, during the time Armstrong was its lead rider. Several other riders said they had never seen doping going on during their time on the team.

    "The article repeats many of Landis’ baseless and already-discredited claims against many successful people in cycling, and even includes some newly created Landis concoctions," Armstrong continued in his statement.

    "Landis’ credibility is like a carton of sour milk: once you take the first sip, you don’t have to drink the rest to know it has all gone bad."

    "For years, sensational stories – based on the allegations of ax-grinders -- have surfaced on the eve of the Tour for publicity reasons, and this article is simply no different."

    Armstrong is scheduled to start his final Tour de France prologue at 19:30 local time in Rotterdam later today. He insists he will not...

  • Win Easton wheels during the Cyclingnews Tour de France live coverage

    Easton contributes custom painted wheels to Cadel Evans' (BMC) rainbow-themed ride.
    Article published:
    July 03, 2010, 15:24 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Enter the Easton-Cyclingnews Wheelset a Day Giveaway

    Easton Cycling has teamed up with Cyclingnews to give you a chance of winning a major upgrade to your bike during the Tour de France.

    Each day, during our live Tour de France coverage (live.cyclingnews.com), we'll ask a trivia question. Answer correctly at our contest page (easton.cyclingnews.com) to be entered into the draw for that day’s prize.

    The Easton-Cyclingnews Wheelset a Day Giveaway gives you 21 chances to try for a prize and you need to follow our live coverage for your shot.

    Easton makes some of the most durable high-performance wheels in cycling and they are used by World Champion Cadel Evans and US National champion George Hincapie, who ride for Easton-sponsored BMC Racing Team.

    Easton has included the best of their line in our giveaway:

    - EC90 Aero wheelsets on flat stages

    - EC90 SL wheelsets on hilly stages

    - EC90 SLX wheelsets on mountaintop finish days

    - EC90 TT wheelsets on days when the riders use the time trial bikes

    Every day gives you a chance to win a wheelset from Easton. At the end of the Tour one daily entrant will be randomly selected to win the Grand Prize; a set of Easton EC90 wheels right off Cadel Evans’ race bike.

    Follow the Tour de France live every day on Cyclingnews to make sure you have of the chance of winning.

  • Armstrong content with Tour prologue result

    Lance Armstrong (Radioshack) took fourth on the day.
    Article published:
    July 03, 2010, 20:24 BST
    By:
    Daniel Benson

    Seven-time Tour winner's fourth place bests GC rivals

    Lance Armstrong got his Tour de France off to an impressive start, finishing fourth in the opening 8.9km prologue in Rotterdam, on Saturday.

    The seven-time Tour winner clocked 10:22, 22 seconds behind winner Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank), but beat all of his key rivals for the yellow jersey. Defending champion Alberto Contador (Astana) finished five seconds down on the Team RadioShack American, while last year's other podium placer, Andy Schleck (Saxo Bank), finished well off the pace in 122nd, 1:09 down on Cancellara.

    Asked if the result had met his pre-race expectations, Armstrong said, "I think step-by-step it's gotten better. I've had the setbacks obviously, but I'm pretty content with it."

    Armstrong came into the Tour de France after having a less than ideal build up to the race. He crashed out of the Amgen Tour of California, while doping allegations made by Floyd Landis surfaced at California and again made headlines yesterday in the Wall Street Journal. However, Armstrong, who has faced doping allegations since he first won the Tour in 1999, was quick to downplay any negative effect they may have had on his preparation for the Tour.

    "It's been ten years, ten years. It's nothing new. Anything else? We made the reaction this morning," Armstrong said. "For years, sensational stories - based on the allegations of ax-grinders - have surfaced on the eve of the Tour for publicity reasons, and this article is simply no different."

    Armstrong issued a statement earlier in the day in which he'd refuted Landis with the following: "Landis' credibility is like a carton of sour milk: once you take the first sip, you don't have to drink the rest to know it has all gone bad."

    As for his form, the 38-year-old American believes he's ahead of where he was this time last year and that his new preparation of not racing the Giro d'Italia and competing at the Tour de Suisse - where he finished second - have stood him in...