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Second Edition Cycling News, Sunday, July 24, 2011

Date published:
July 24, 2011, 1:00 BST
  • Shanks preps for track world title at Cascade Classic

    Women’s individual pursuit podium (l-r): Alison Shanks (New Zealand), Sarah Hammer (USA) and Vilija Sereikaite (Lithuania).
    Article published:
    July 24, 2011, 2:30 BST
    Kirsten Frattini

    BikeNZ rider using race as part of 12-month build up

    Alison Shanks is training in the US road season in preparation to win a second world pursuit title at the 2012 UCI Track World Championships held in April in Melbourne, Australia. She is currently competing under the BikeNZ outfit at the Cascade Cycling Classic where she placed second at the stage three road race that finished atop a daunting ascent to the Mt. Bachelor Ski Resort in Bend, Oregon.

    "Everything we are doing here is built around the London Olympics for the team pursuit, that is what this squad is aiming for, and I have goals in the individual pursuit at the World Championships," Shanks told Cyclingnews. "This is what we are here building towards."

    The BikeNZ team is based in Trexlertown, Pennsylvania during the summer months where they can train at the Lehigh Valley Preferred Cycling Center Velodrome. The team competing in the US also includes Kaytee Boyd, Lauren Ellis, Jaime Nielsen and Gemma Dudley. The track team also includes Rushlee Buchanan, who competes for Colavita-Forno D’Asolo and Jo Kiesanowski, who races for Tibco-To the Top.

    "We’ve been going to Trexlertown for years because it has great training, it’s close to the racing and the track is there," Shanks said. "We have the national track team here to train for our winter and then we head back for the track season."

    BikeNZ has competed at the Nature Valley Grand Prix, Tour de Toona, prior to arriving to the Cascade Cycling Classic. Shanks opened the six-day event with a sixth place at the prologue. She went on to place seventh in the stage two time trial and second place in the stage three road race.

    She is currently sitting in eighth place overall with two stages to go.

    "The reason we do this is to get a good base in our legs before the track season," Shanks said. "The racing we do in the US is very important because we...

  • Voeckler best Frenchman since 2000

    Thomas Voeckler (Europcar) put in a respectable time trial to hold fourth overall
    Article published:
    July 24, 2011, 4:10 BST
    Jean-François Quénet

    Tour de France hero regrets missing podium

    Thomas Voeckler (Europcar) comes out of the 2011 Tour de France with the kind of fame that no one would have predicted at the start of the race in Vendée. He became the first Frenchman to make the top five since Christophe Moreau finished fourth in 2000.

    Despite a string of ten days in the maillot jaune, Voeckler's podium time at the Tour is likely now over. On the Champs-Elysées on Sunday, aside from the yet-to-be determined stage winner, Cadel Evans will don the final maillot jaune, Samuel Sanchez the polka dot jersey of best climber, Pierre Rolland the white jersey of best young rider and probably Mark Cavendish as points classification winner. Already voted most aggressive rider was Jérémy Roy and the winners of the team classification are Garmin-Cervélo.

    Voeckler did a good time trial as he finished 13th ahead of the Schleck brothers (Andy 17th and Fränk 20th), but the Leopard Trek riders will be the ones who will accompany Evans on the final podium.

    The Europcar captain didn't blame his race against the clock for missing out. "I've given everything," the Frenchman said. "But I had already lost my spot on the podium yesterday, not today.

    "I'm disappointed because I've caressed the dream of making the top three of the Tour de France," he added. "But it was a dream. That means it was not accessible. When I remember that our team was going to collapse on September 30 last year, what we've done is fabulous: ten days in yellow jersey, Pierre Rolland's stage win at l'Alpe d'Huez and the white jersey… It's more than we expected."

    Later after the time trial of Grenoble, Voeckler admitted that he believed after saving his yellow jersey at the top of the Galibier on stage 18 that he would...

  • Unai Etxebarria wins damages for erroneous Puerto link

    Unai Etxebarria thinking
    Article published:
    July 24, 2011, 5:02 BST
    Peter Cossins

    Former Vuelta stage winner gets official retraction from ABC media outlet

    Former Euskaltel-Euskadi rider Unai Etxebarria has been awarded damages of more than 30,000 euros by the supreme court in the Basque Country after newspapers in the Grupo Vocento media group erroneously linked him with the Operación Puerto blood doping investigation.

    Etxebarria, who rode for Euskaltel between 1996 and his retirement in 2007, was awarded 31,583 euros after the court ruled that El Correo Español, El Diario Vasco and ABC were incorrect in stating on June 30, 2006 that he was one of the many riders listed who had links to Dr Eufemiano Fuentes, who had been accused of involvement in a blood doping ring. The court stated that the publication of Etxebarria’s name on a list of riders suspected to have links with Fuentes was wrong and, therefore, “constituted illegitimate interference on his honour”.

    According to the Deia newspaper in the Basque Country, the court also ruled that the editors involved on the various publications did not act with proper diligence with regard to checking the information on Etxebarria, which consequently resulted in damage being caused to his image. Euskaltel team manager Miguel Madariaga was quick to deny all links between his rider and Fuentes, whose alleged involvement in a blood doping ring had been revealed in May 2006.

    The court also said that ABC had not been diligent in its response to print a retraction of the story. Whereas El Correo Español and El Diario Vasco published articles stating that Etxebarria had no link to Fuentes within 24 hours of their original stories, ABC took no similar action. ABC blamed its lack of response on a breakdown in internal communication and on Etxebarria’s failure to request a retraction.

  • Video: David Millar talks about Giro fatigue and new Garmin contract

    A tired David Millar (Garmin-Cervelo) couldn't repeat his Giro d'Italia triumph.
    Article published:
    July 24, 2011, 7:00 BST
    Cycling News

    Scotsman relieved after arduous three weeks

    A weary David Millar (Garmin-Cervelo) finished a disappointing 32nd in Saturday's individual time trial, but the former Tour de France stage winner was pleased to simply be nearing Paris. Friday's stage to Alpe d'Huez tested his resolve, but in the end after a determined effort he was able to finish within the time-cut.

    "Julian [Dean] and I both found ourselves way off the back really early," he told Cyclingnews. "But you've got to look after eachother, and we ended up making it."

    Millar explained that he was motivated to make it to the finish so he could join the team on the winner's podium for taking out the Team's Classification.

    "I'm not going to give up the chance to stand on the podium for the team GC in Paris, that's a dream so I had to ride on."

    The Scotsman also confirmed that he will be staying with Garmin-Cervelo for three more years.

    "Yeah I intend to see out the rest of my career here, I don't know why I'd look to go anywhere else."

    Watch the full video below.

  • Porte shows his strength on penultimate day

    Richie Porte was the relevation of the 2010 edition, managing to wear pink for a few stages.
    Article published:
    July 24, 2011, 7:25 BST
    Alex Hinds

    Saxo Bank-SunGard rider now looking to Paris, then to Denmark

    Richie Porte (Saxo Bank-Sungard) put in another solid Grand Tour time trial on Saturday at the Tour de France. The Australian finished fifth, and adds that result to his fourth on the final day of the Giro d'Italia. Despite suffering from fatigue midway through the race, the former Maglia Bianca winner appears to have come out of the Tour with some impressive form.

    "I have been looking forward to this time trial for a long time," Porte explained after the race. "I started early and didn't have the best conditions on wet roads but I did the best possibly could after three weeks of racing. Now, I'm looking forward to going to Paris. I guess it's every bike rider's dream to be completing the biggest cycling event in the world and to being a part of the huge finale in the streets of Paris."

    Porte's team leader Alberto Contador was unable to defend his Tour de France title but the Australian felt that the team had ridden as well as they could have over the three weeks.

    "I think all in all we did a great race. Alberto [Contador] never lost his motivation, never complained and kept fighting to the very last and he won a lot of respect on the stage yesterday to Alpe d'Huez by launching that huge attack," continued Porte.

    The Australian is now fully focused on his next two races, particularly the Tour of Denmark, Saxo Bank-Sungard's home race, where Porte will finally get his chance to ride for his own back.

    "After the Tour de France, I'm doing San Sebastian and then I'm off to the Tour of Denmark," said Porte. "I'm really looking forward to be riding for the overall classification there and I...

  • Strong field to line up in San Sebastian

    Alexander Vinokourov (Astana), Luis León Sánchez (Caisse d'Epargne) and Carlos Sastre (Cervelo)
    Article published:
    July 24, 2011, 9:25 BST
    Peter Cossins

    Post-Tour classic to include Gilbert, Sanchez and the Schlecks

    Next weekend’s Clásica de San Sebastián looks set to feature many of the big names who have lit up the Tour de France, including the Schleck brothers, Philippe Gilbert, Thor Hushovd and Samuel Sánchez. The 31st edition of Spain’s leading one-day race takes place on July 30.

    The race was officially presented on Friday in San Sebastián. Jaime Ugarte, president of Organizaciones Ciclistas Euskadi that organises both the San Sebastián race and April’s Tour of the Basque Country, admitted that the event had been affected by the economic crisis that has had a particularly severe impact in Spain. But he said he is hopeful that the race will continue to hold its place among cycling’s leading events on the World Tour calendar.

    "We hope that the crisis is lessening, that sponsors will start to return, and that companies will find a way out of the delicate situation that many of them currently find themselves in so that we can continue to offer those in the Basque Country and San Sebastián the presence of the best cyclists in the world. The fans here in the Basque Country certainly deserve that," said Ugarte.

    Ugarte’s organising team spent two days at the Tour de France when the race was in the Pyrenees. They presented dossiers to the media and also encouraged teams to bring their best riders to the event. That work appears to have paid off impressively.

    The Rabobank team of defending San Sebastián champion Luis León Sánchez looks particularly strong. It features three-time world champion Oscar Freire, 2009 San Sebastián victor Carlos...

  • Prudhomme promises surprises for the 2012 Tour de France

    Christian Prudhomme starts the race
    Article published:
    July 24, 2011, 9:53 BST
    Jean-François Quénet

    Evans praised for having raced the Dauphiné

    Talking to Cyclingnews after the decisive Grenoble time trial, Tour de France director Christian Prudhomme enjoyed the success of the 2011 edition of the Grande Boucle.

    “We’ve had three tremendously rich weeks of emotions, joys, tears, passion and enthusiasm,” Prudhomme surmised. “We also have a winner who is a great rider from March to October. Cadel Evans has been the world champion and the winner of the Flèche Wallonne. He has honoured this Tour de France from start to finish. He was just behind Philippe Gilbert on stage 1 at the Mont des Alouettes. For months, I repeated that the Mûr-de-Bretagne [stage 4] was made for the leaders. I didn’t imagine that it would crown the eventual winner of the Tour de France. I’m delighted for Cadel. This time he hasn’t given up his chance. This Tour is a logical reward for his long and beautiful career.”

    As ASO doesn’t only organise the Tour de France, Prudhomme didn’t hide his preference for the duellist who chose to ride the Critérium du Dauphiné. The Schleck brothers opted for the Tour de Suisse. “We purposely offered the riders the same time trial course at the Dauphiné and the Tour de France”, Prudhomme said. “It was probably necessary to do the Dauphiné to win the Tour this year.”

    “Evans’ victory is also a great symbol,” Prudhomme continued. “It’s emblematic of the globalization of cycling. He’s the first winner from the Southern Hemisphere. He comes from mountain-biking. This year, he has won Tirreno-Adriatico and the Tour de Romandie. He came second at the Dauphiné. Cycling cannot simply be a race in July....

  • Contador feels accumulated fatigue in final time trial

    Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank Sungard) finished third on the stage, but it wasn't enough to move onto the Tour's podium.
    Article published:
    July 24, 2011, 11:21 BST
    Cycling News

    Spaniard lauds Evans as worthy winner

    A solid outing in the Grenoble time trial on Saturday saw Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank-Sungard) move up to 5th overall at the Tour de France, but the Spaniard admitted that he had paid for his efforts on the road to l’Alpe d’Huez the previous day.

    “I did a good time trial,” Contador told AS. “I felt good, although I noticed the accumulated fatigue on the rollers [while warming up.]"

    Contador finished third on the day, 1:06 behind Tony Martin (HTC-Highroad). Although disappointed to miss out on the final podium in Paris, he acknowledged that his sights were set much higher at the beginning of the Tour de France.

    “It would have been nice to have ended up on the podium, but I came with the aim of winning the race,” said Contador, who had failed to win only one of the seven Grand Tours he had started in his career prior to this race.

    The Spaniard was on the offensive throughout Friday’s short but sharp stage to l’Alpe d’Huez. Although his attacks ultimately yielded neither the yellow jersey nor stage victory, Contador was pleased by the reaction to his show of defiance.

    “Obviously, by expending so much energy you pay for it the next day,” Contador said. “However, I was filled with more affection from people than for a stage win in the Tour de France. When I got to my hotel room, my mobile phone was saturated with all the messages that had been sent to thank me for my efforts.”

    Contador also had words of praise for Tour de France winner Cadel Evans (BMC), who he had beaten into second place in Paris in 2007.