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Second Edition Cycling News, Sunday, July 3, 2011

Date published:
July 03, 2011, 1:00 BST
  • Roy suggests a ranking to better consider baroudeurs

    The early break of the stage
    Article published:
    July 03, 2011, 1:14 BST
    Pierre Carrey

    French non-sprinter is the first winner of Tour's new "intermediate sprints"

    Thanks to his 173-kilometer breakaway in the first stage of the Tour de France, FDJ's Jérémy Roy is the first winner of Tour de France's brand new "intermediate sprints." That system replaces the former "bonus sprints" which provided, twice a day, some points for the green jersey and/or bonus time for GC.

    There is now only one "intermediate sprint" a day and the first experience in Avrillé town was today a true show, a race into the race. Roy hardly fought to cross the line first, 87 kilometers after the start. He beat his two escapee companions, Lieuwe Westra (Vacansoleil) and Perrig Quémeneur (Europcar). 2:35 later, the peloton produced a very animated sprint, with strong team lead-outs, where Tyler Farrar won that bunch sprint.

    Not really famous for his burst of speed, Roy explains he decided to outsprint the breakaway for "fun and show". His performance gives him the 6th place in green jersey's ranking, with 20 points, while leader Philippe Gilbert counts 45 points.

    Roy confides he shouldn't try to take additional points in the coming days. "Gilbert will certainly secure his position in stage 4 to Mûr de Bretagne and, whatever are the new rules this year, green jersey remains anyway a sprinters' business", he told Cyclingnews.

    Roy doesn't believe the new "intermediate sprints" will favour baroudeurs like him.

    "To be fair, rules should change a little bit," he says. "It would be nice to have a ranking only including the intermediate sprints, such as the "Intergiro" in the Giro d'Italia. The current points ranking in the Tour de France mixes both intermediate sprints and finishes, giving two times more points to the latest."

    Caught by the peloton with 18 km to go, Roy was happy with his...

  • Video: Steffen on Garmin-Cervélo's no-needle policy

    He's a quiet, interesting character,
    Article published:
    July 03, 2011, 2:25 BST
    Daniel Benson

    Team Physician talks exclusively to Cyclingnews

    Garmin-Cervélo's Team Physician, Prentice Steffen played a major part in the UCI's new rules introducing a no-needle policy within the professional peloton.

    In 2010 they made it a full team policy, and each rider within the team was asked to sign a contract which states, "No injections or infusions of any kind will be permitted in any racing, training or resting circumstance, no matter time of year, location, or event."

    Earlier this year Steffen was asked to speak at an assembly of ProTeam doctors, UCI officials including President Pat McQuaid, as well as members of the French police. The meeting covered several topics, including an overview of the UCI's Biological Passport, police involvement and the possibilities of a no needle stance throughout the peloton.

    The UCI pushed through the regulation before the Giro with all teams now enforced to follow the rules. In recent days Bradley Wiggins (Sky) has claimed that the rule is hard to enforce - something that Steffen agrees with - but the American who has been passionate about the subject for a number of years still believes that it is a vital tool in the sport's fight against doping.

    In this exclusive video with Cyclingnews Steffen talks about the policy's formation and its relevance within the sport.

  • Schleck's early gains won't count until mountains, says Nygaard

    Frank Schleck (Leopard Trek) at sign-in
    Article published:
    July 03, 2011, 3:20 BST
    Barry Ryan

    Leopard Trek manager keeps Contador deficit in perspective

    Though he wasn't to know it at the time, Andy Schleck lost the 2010 Tour de France on the opening day, conceding 42 seconds to Alberto Contador in the Rotterdam prologue. Fast forward 12 months, and the Luxembourger now finds himself unexpectedly 1:20 clear of Contador after a fractious finale to the first day's racing.

    After the finish atop the Mont des Alouettes in the heart of the Vendée, Leopard Trek team manager Brian Nygaard was keen to keep a lid on excitement at his rider's early gain, warning that the Tour's unforgiving opening week could snatch Schleck's unforeseen bounty away from him just as easily as it had granted it.

    "It'll be a question of whether we still have that gap at the foot of the first really big climb," Nygaard told Cyclingnews. "If that's the case, then yes, it's an advantage. But as today showed, we'll have to get there first for this time to really count."

    In the build-up to the Tour, Schleck had pronounced that the race would only truly begin with the first bona fide summit finish to Luz Ardiden on stage 12. The Schleck brothers have themselves suffered among the slings and arrows of the first week of the Tour in their time, but Nygaard agreed with his rider's statement.

    "Every day is important in the Tour and Andy knows that as well," Nygaard said. "But as we've seen, there hasn't been any Tour that hasn't been mainly or largely decided in the mountains. I think history speaks for itself in that regard."

    Contador lost his time after being caught behind a crash that split the peloton with little over 15km to go....

  • Travis Meyer's season comes to an end after surgery

    Eventual winner Travis Meyer (Garmin Transitions) descends down Fisken Road into Buninyong.
    Article published:
    July 03, 2011, 4:56 BST
    Jane Aubrey

    Garmin-Cervélo rider suffered narrowing of external iliac artery

    With a renewed focus on the road, Travis Meyer (Garmin-Cervélo) had been hoping for a solid year in 2011, however the 21 year-old will instead spend the rest of the season on the recovery list, having undergone surgery on his left external iliac artery.

    Meyer hasn't raced since the Bayern-Rundfahrt in late May. The five-time junior world champion on the track had been starting to experience a lack of power in his left leg, but at the same time, a lot of pain and general discomfort which was heightened whenever time trialling or climbing.

    "The pain in my left leg got so bad that after about five minutes into a TT I would barely be able to use my left side," Meyer said.

    Further investigation revealed that Meyer had a major narrowing of his external iliac artery, which was stopping the blood flow to his leg. It's the same condition suffered by Stuart O'Grady in 2002, and he also required surgery.

    "I got the surgery done in Lyon on the 8th of June (my birthday) and had to stay in hospital for a week and then in a hotel in Lyon for another five days before I could get driven back to my apartment in Girona," Meyer explained.

    "I have to have a good two months off the bike in order to recover, and then a nice slow progression from there. It is quiet a delicate procedure and one which should not be taken lightly. If you over do things to early then it can lead to more serious complications."

    Meyer, who has serious potential as a classics rider, walked away from the boards for the 2011 season. He was unable to defend his 2010 Australian road race title (he finished 7th) before going on to ride the Tour Down Under which was won by his...

  • Voeckler still the home hero in the Vendée

    Thomas Voeckler and his Europcar teammates
    Article published:
    July 03, 2011, 5:58 BST
    Barry Ryan

    Frenchman says Gilbert was too strong in finale of Tour's opening stage

    It was hard to avoid Thomas Voeckler in the Vendée in the days leading up to the Tour de France. The Europcar rider’s image was used heavily in advertising the Grand Départ in the region and the giant hoardings featuring Voeckler in the yellow jersey were clearly aspirational in their tone.

    In spite of a plucky dig in pursuit of Alexandre Vinokourov at the end of stage one however, the pugnacious Voeckler was unable to complete the exercise in wish fulfilment atop the Mont des Alouettes, and ultimately had to content himself with 14th place behind Philippe Gilbert.

    Emerging from the Europcar team bus to enthusiastic hollers of approval after the stage, Voeckler first marched across the road to give his dossard to a supporter, before turning to field questions from a gaggle of reporters.

    "When Vinokourov attacked I followed him, but afterwards when Gilbert countered I couldn't follow anymore," Voecker said succinctly, when asked to describe his role in a breathless final kilometre. "I have no regrets, I just didn’t have the legs on the final climb. It's as simple as that."

    The in-form Gilbert was widely tipped to take the Tour’s opening yellow jersey and Voeckler was fulsome in his praise of the Belgian's winning effort.

    "Gilbert was impressive, but it was to be expected, wasn’t it?" Voeckler smiled ruefully. "Look at the races he's been winning since the end of the year. He was so heavily marked today and he still won, that's not easy."

    Although he was born in Alsace and spent a chunk of his childhood in Martinique, Voeckler's cycling bloodlines run through the very heart of the Vendée. A fixture in...

  • Olds forced to withdraw from Giro Donne

    Defending champion Shelley Olds (Diadora Pasta Zara) was off the pace of her rivals and finished over a minute back.
    Article published:
    July 03, 2011, 6:56 BST
    Cycling News

    Diadora - Pasta Zara rider still suffering from Nature Valley rib injury

    Shelley Olds (Diadora - Pasta Zara) has been forced to withdraw from the Giro Donne following Saturday's second stage.

    Olds finished stage two of the Giro Donne, 21 minutes down on the time of winner Shara Gillow (Bizkaia-Durango). On Friday's opening stage, Olds finished in 108th position, 1:42 back from winner Marianne Vos (Nederland Bloeit)

    The 30-year-old American crashed heavily at the Nature Valley Grand Prix last month, injuring her ribs. The same crash brought down Kristin Armstrong (Peanut Butter & Co./Twenty12) Hillary Billington (Danbury Audi), Robin Bauer and Laura Ralston (Kowalski's Collegiate All-Stars) with Olds stretchered from the scene.

    Olds made the decision in consultation with her team following persistent rib pain and will now take time to rest and recover properly.

  • Thomas' white jersey could soon be yellow heading into TTT

    Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) in the best young rider's white jersey
    Article published:
    July 03, 2011, 8:31 BST
    Jane Aubrey

    Yates relieved following Wiggins scare

    For the second year running, Sky Procycling's Geraint Thomas has pulled on the white jersey for the best young rider at the Tour de France but the Welshman admits that it was a proposition he hadn't given proper thought to.

    Thomas finished 6th on this Saturday's opening stage to Mont des Alouettes, six seconds behind stage winner Philippe Gilbert (Omega Pharma-Lotto). The Sky fastman was caught up in the second crash which splintered the peloton in the lead into the finish, 2.2 kilometres out but no damage was done.

    It's likely that Thomas will go one better at the end of today, should Sky succeed in the team time trial around Les Essarts, with white morphing into yellow.

    "It was every man for himself from there really," Thomas said following the finish.

    "I had the legs to move up a bit and get stuck in. I've been feeling good and we'll give it a good go tomorrow too. We're in there with a real fighting chance.

    "I could get used to it. It's always nice wearing this (the white jersey). "It was a nice surprise as well because I hadn't really thought about it."

    Thomas wore the white jersey between stages three and five in 2010, before relinquishing it to eventual winner, Andy Schleck.

    Yates relieved following Wiggins scare

    Thomas was alongside Sky's General Classification hope Bradley Wiggins when the second crash occurred. It was only the rule stating that crashes taking place within the last three kilometres which saved Wiggins from really beginning his Tour campaign on the back foot, with defending...

  • Saxo Bank-SunGard first off in team time trial

    Alberto Contador and his Saxo Bank Sungard teammates recon the team time trial course.
    Article published:
    July 03, 2011, 9:32 BST
    Cycling News

    Omega Pharma-Lotto last to go

    Alberto Contador and Saxo Bank-SunGard will be the first to take off in the stage two team time trial. Nearly two and a half hours later, Omega Pharma-Lotto, with yellow jersey Philippe Gilbert, will be the last team to leave the starting blocks in Les Essarts.

    The teams will start in reverse order of the team rankings from the first stage, which the Belgian team won. The teams will go off at seven minute intervals.

    Major time differences are not expected, as the course is completely flat and only 23 kilometers. There are intermediate time checks at 9km and 16.5km. An average time of 25 minutes is expected.

    Team Time Trial Start Times:

    14:30 Saxo Bank-SunGard

    14:37 Euskaltel-Euskadi

    14:44 Vacansoleil-DCM

    14:51 AG2R-La Mondiale

    14:58 Saur-Sojasun

    15:05 Rabobank

    15:12 FDJ

    15:19 Liquigas-Cannondale

    15:26 Garmin-Cervélo

    15:33 Europcar

    15:40 Quick Step

    15:47 Movistar

    15:54 Astana

    16:01 Katusha

    16:08 Team Sky

    16:15 Lampre-ISD

    16:22 Cofidis

    16:29 RadioShack

    16:36 HTC-Highroad

    16:43 Leopard Trek

    16:50 BMC

    16:57 Omega Pharma-Lotto