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Second Edition Cycling News, Sunday, July 22, 2012

Date published:
July 22, 2012, 1:00 BST
  • Video: Tour de France stage 20 preview with Chris Boardman

    The peloton flies down the Champs Élysées with the Arc de Triomphe behind.
    Article published:
    July 22, 2012, 6:40 BST
    Cycling News

    Wiggins' parade and final chance for sprinters in Paris

    It will be a historic day for the Tour de France when the peloton rolls onto the Champs-Élysées with a British rider wearing the maillot jaune. Bradley Wiggins (Sky) will ride into Paris as the first rider from Britain to win the Tour de France but he will still have to keep out of trouble as the peloton races towards a likely bunch sprint.

    The fast-men will be doing everything possible to win the most coveted sprint stage with Mark Cavendish (Sky), Andre Greipel (Lotto-Belisol), points jersey wearer Peter Sagan (Liquigas-Cannondale) and Matt Goss (Orica-GreenEdge) all vying for victory. It may be a parade for most of the day but once the race hits the finishing circuits, it's on. After seven laps there will be a stage winner but the biggest victory will no doubt be British.

  • Janez Brajkovič steps up and delivers at Tour for Astana

    Janez Brajkovic (Astana)
    Article published:
    July 22, 2012, 8:02 BST
    Cycling News

    Slovenian holds off Pinot, falls short of catching Rolland

    Pictures of Janez Brajkovič (Astana) lying on the ground, visibly in pain, caused grave concern from his Astana team during stage 18 of the Tour. The Slovenian rider who was sitting in 9th place overall didn’t look well as his teammates rallied around him falling his crash.

    Brajkovič, despite the severity of his fall, got going again and rejoined the peloton to finish with the main contenders. He lost four seconds to the stage winner Mark Cavendish (Sky) but his other GC competitors rode across the line in the same time as Brajkovič.

    With only two stages to go and the chance to move up a spot – to eighth – in the general classification, Brajkovič would hold nothing back in the following day’s time trial. He came agonizingly close to overhauling Pierre Rolland (Europcar) but fell short. He did maintain his margin to 22-year-old Tour sensation Thibaut Pinot (FDJ-Big Mat) who remained in 10th-place at the end of the stage 19 time trial.

    “As always, Jani gave 100 percent in the time trial. Today he was racing to defend his position in the classification, particularly because of the terrible crash yesterday which left him battered and bruised, with some lacerations on his back and right arm. It is such a shame that we were prevented from climbing to eighth place by only seven seconds,” said team manager Giuseppe Martinelli.

    “This result is particularly praiseworthy because the team has also attempted to win stages and then, as the Tour went on, tried to help Kessiakoff win the King of the Mountains competition,” said Martinelli.


  • Poels hopes to head home from hospital soon

    Wout Poels (Vacansoleil-DCM) crashed heavily on stage 6 and would be forced to abandon.
    Article published:
    July 22, 2012, 9:47 BST
    Cycling News

    Vacansoleil rider says damaged kidney still at only 75%

    Wout Poels hopes to be coming home from hospital in the next few days. The Vacansoleil-DCM rider was the most serous injured in a crash on the Tour de France's sixth stage to Metz. He is not expected to return to racing again this season.

    Poels, 24, suffered a ruptured kidney and spleen, a bruised lung and three broken ribs. He was in intensive care in hospitals in both France and the Netherlands.

    “Normally I will go home next week,” he said on the team's website. “The last few days I can  get out of bed occasionally and may soon be able to continue my recovery at home.”

    He still has a long way to go, though. “I understand that my damaged kidney functions at about 75% and we have to wait and see whether it will completely recover. To help it recover, my bladder is emptied artificially, to give the kidney a rest.

    “I don't hear as much about my spleen and my ribs should soon fully heal.  My ribs hurt when I stand up, for example, but that is getting better.”

    From here on, he needs mainly peace and quiet. “I will be in good hands at home and can have my peace and continue to work on my recovery. I am pleased with the good wishes, but I hope the fans and the media respect that I mostly need rest.”

    Poels has been with the Dutch team since 2009. This season he won the best young rider ranking at the Tour of Luxembourg and won a stage on his way to finishing second overall. He was third in the Vuelta a Murcia and eighth overal in Tirreno-Adriatico, where he also won the best young rider title.

  • Prudhomme: Wiggins' Tour de France win ushers in a new era

    Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky) on the podium with one day to go
    Article published:
    July 22, 2012, 12:54 BST
    Cycling News

    Tour director lauds winner, Team Sky and young riders

    Bradley Wiggins' victory in the Tour de France is “the beginning of a new era,” said Christian Prudhomme. Not only are new countries moving to the head of the field, but also young riders have shown great promise for the future.

    Prudhomme, director of the Tour, told that “There is clearly a change in cycling. The Anglo-Saxon countries are taking the place of the traditional countries such as Belgium, Italy and Spain. It's amazing how teams like Sky prepare everything."

    He had nothing but praise for the Briton. "Wiggins is a winner like Miguel Indurain and Jacques Anquetil. He dominates in the time trials and follow in the mountains. Wiggins has even done more than follow. Only his teammate Chris Froome was stronger than him in the mountain passes."

    Wiggins had the advantage of not having a strong rival from another team. “I think Nibali and Evans were not strong enough to break through the dominance of the Sky team.” What opposition he had came from within his own team, to a certain extent. “We should also not complain about Froome's behaviour. Sky was here with a clear plan: winning with Wiggins. "

    In addition, Prudhomme saw hope for the future. “I am also very pleased with the performance of young talents such as Peter Sagan and Thibaut Pinot. Those were great. "

  • Kristin Armstrong withdraws from Cascade Cycling Classic

    Kristin Armstrong (Exergy) goes solo with 2km to go.
    Article published:
    July 22, 2012, 14:33 BST
    Pat Malach

    Reigning Olympic time trial champion readies for London Games

    Reigning Olympic time trial champion Kristin Armstrong (Exergy-TWENTY12) decided not to start the stage 4 criterium of the Cascade Cycling Classic Saturday despite leading the overall race by more than two and a half minutes, choosing instead to head home to Idaho and prepare for the upcoming London Olympic Games.

    Exergy-TWENTY12 team director Simon Cope said Armstrong, who broke her collarbone in May and just returned to racing at Cascade, didn't want to risk another crash that could end her chances of winning a second gold medal.

    "Obviously, criteriums are a quite dangerous aspect of the sport," Cope said. "And this close to London you can't take any chances. It's a sensible decision. I spoke to the commissaire as well, and he said if it was him going where Kristin is going, he wouldn't do it either. She's got a gold medal to think about, and there's a good possibility of bringing another gold medal back to the US."

    Armstrong won the 4.5 km opening prologue by eight seconds over Now & Novartis for MS rider Alison Powers, who took over yellow after Armstrong's departure. Armstrong won the 120 km stage 1 McKenzie Pass Road Race by bridging to a late-race breakaway and then leaving the riders in her dust. She added a third-consecutive win at the 25.8 km stage 2 Crooked River Time Trial, this time beating Powers by 1:17 over the rolling 25.8 km course. She finished 11th on the stage 3 Cascade Lakes Road Race Friday and maintained an overall lead of 2:37 over Powers.

    "She rode well in all the time trials, which were obviously dress rehearsals for London," Cope said. "You need to race to keep...

  • Zubeldia discloses cardiac problems in early 2012

    Haimar Zubeldia (RadioShack - Nissan) almost crashed but moved up a place on GC
    Article published:
    July 22, 2012, 16:06 BST
    Cycling News

    RadioShack-Nissan rider sat out three months

    Haimar Zubeldia will finish the Tour de France as sixth best overall and the best RadioShack-Nissan rider, but for the Spaniard the most important fact is that he has simply been able to ride the race. Before Sunday's stage he disclosed he sat out three months earlier in the season with a heart problem which could have ended his career.

    Zubeldia sat out racing form the end of February to the end of May, with a “persistent atrial fibrillation”, or irregular heart beat, “which the doctors told me could have been the end of my career,” he said in a statement. “I had four weeks of complete rest and treatment.”

    Fortunately, “everything went well,” and he thanked his doctor, family, friends and team, and now “I can enjoy cycling like never before.”

    He said that his team “was aware of my situation at all times,” but the same can't be said of the public. “Some of you asked me then why I did not race during that time and I answered that I had a hamstring injury ... I could not say anything else and I hope you understand.”

  • Cavendish makes it four on Champs-Élysées

    World champion Mark Cavendish (Sky) won the Tour's final stage in Paris for the fourth straight year.
    Article published:
    July 22, 2012, 19:27 BST
    Barry Ryan

    World champion turns his thoughts to London Olympics

    A man overlooked for much of Sky’s Tour de France campaign, Mark Cavendish offered a timely reminder of his indisputable qualities on Sunday as he powered to his fourth consecutive stage victory on the Champs-Élysées.

    The final day of the Tour might well have been Bradley Wiggins’ party but Paris’ most famous boulevard has become Cavendish’s private fiefdom. When Edvald Boasson Hagen led him across the Rue de Rivoli and into the finishing straight, there was more than an air of familiarity about proceedings.

    “I planned to go at 300 to go. I knew I could go long, especially with the wind today,” Cavendish said. “You could go slightly early. I was going to go at 300 but we came around the last corner at such speed that I thought I'd just use my acceleration now and hopefully distance the other guys and hold on.”

    The Manxman held on and more, distancing and then outstaying Peter Sagan (Liquigas-Cannondale) and Matt Goss (Orica-GreenEdge) to take his third stage win of the race. “It's an honour to be the first guy to wear the world champion's jersey while winning on the Champs-Élysées,” he said.

    Cavendish’s rainbow was not the only distinctive jersey on show in the Sky line-up on Sunday, of course. He paid tribute to the efforts of Wiggins, who strung out the peloton on the final lap of the Champs-Élysées circuit, and his dauphin Chris Froome, who put in a lengthy stint on the front in the finale.

    “It’s incredible to have the second on GC controlling the breakaway all day and then the yellow jersey himself leading out me and Edvald out,” Cavendish said.

    With Sky’s energies devoted primarily to the defence of...

  • Van Garderen: I can swap white for yellow in a few years

    Tejay van Garderen (BMC) joins Greg LeMond and Andy Hampsten as the only Americans to win the Tour's young rider classification.
    Article published:
    July 22, 2012, 20:35 BST
    Mark Robinson

    US rider looking to follow in LeMond's footsteps

    Tejay Van Garderen (BMC) clinched the best young rider classification at the 2012 Tour de France on Sunday on the Champs-Élysées in Paris, and the 23-year-old American immediately stated his ambition to turn white to yellow over the next few seasons.

    After finishing 47th in the bunch sprint on the Tour's final day, Van Garderen secured fifth place in the overall general classification – two spots ahead of 2011 Tour de France winner and teammate Cadel Evans.

    The Boulder, Colorado resident's consistency over the last three weeks has been one of the talking points of this year's Tour. He finished just over six minutes ahead of home favourite Thibaut Pinot (FDJ-BigMat) in the young riders classification and it was almost an hour back to the third place rider Steven Kruijswijk (Rabobank).

    One of the most iconic images of the entire race came on yesterday's time trial when Van Garderen passed Evans with just under 20km to go. Despite Evans suffering from sickness over the Tour's closing few days it was difficult not to envisage that moment as being representative, perhaps, of a passing of the torch from the older man to the younger man.

    It was a moment not lost on reporters as they gathered round Van Garderen after today's final stage and asked him whether this time next year he could be competing for the yellow jersey. After all, the last two American winners of the Tour's white jersey – Greg LeMond (1984) and Andrew Hampsten (1986) – both went on to Grand Tour success. LeMond graduated to become a three-time winner of the Tour (1986, 1989 and 1990) and Hampsten won the...