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Second Edition Cycling News, Sunday, June 23, 2013

Date published:
June 23, 2013, 1:00 BST
  • Rogers ready for ninth Tour de France

    Michael Rogers leads Alberto Contador near the front of the peloton
    Article published:
    June 23, 2013, 2:34 BST
    Cycling News

    Australian set to play key support role for Contador

    Michael Rogers will be lining up for his ninth Tour de France next week and following his key role in Sky's victory for Bradley Wiggins in 2012, he has the potential for a repeat performance with Alberto Contador at Saxo–Tinkoff.

    Rogers, 33, has returned to form in recent months, finishing runner-up to Tejay van Garderen (BMC) at the Tour of California and then sixth overall at the Critérium du Dauphiné.

    "Personally, a victory by Alberto in the 2013 Tour de France would be a huge thrill and feel of achievement," Rogers said. "When you see how much passion and belief Alberto has day in and day out in what he is doing, it's impossible to not feel emotional. Like all great leaders he brings the best out of his team and I can't wait to get things going."

    Rogers has been named in a Saxo-Tinkoff line-up for the Tour which includes Contador, Roman Kreuziger, Nicolas Roche, Benjamin Noval, Matteo Tosatto, Daniele Bennati and Sergio Paulinho.

    The Australian, who was maillot jaune virtuel on Stage 8 in 2007 only to crash out shortly after on the descent of the Cormet de Roseland said he was excited to be headed to the start line in Corsica.

    "I see myself as playing an important role in the last half of the race," Rogers explained. "Certainly in the high mountains and transition stages. The final week is looking to be the hardest."

    It's not surprising that Rogers names former teammate Chris Froome (Sky) as one of Contador's main rivals for the top step on the podium come July 21 but also suggested that Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) with his top-10 finishes at the Tour de Romandie and the Dauphiné could not be discounted.

    "I see Froome...

  • Froome: I'll never be stripped of my results

    Chris Froome discards his water bottle on the climb of the Col d'Aubisque in the heart of the Pyrenees, ahead of Mark Cavendish and Levi Leipheimer
    Article published:
    June 23, 2013, 6:38 BST
    Cycling News

    Sky's Tour de France leader admits anger over Vayer's report

    Tour de France favourite Chris Froome (Sky) says that the public can be comfortable in the validity of his results and that of the majority of the peloton.

    The statement comes in the wake of Jan Ullrich's admission on Saturday that he used blood transfusions and following the stripping of Lance Armstrong's seven Tour de France titles late last year.

    Froome says that this year's Tour, the 100th edition, is a chance for the sport to put its best foot forward.

    "The sport is in probably the best place it's been in the last 20, 30 years in that respect," he told the Daily Mail. "Moving on from the revelations we had from Lance last year, it's given us the chance to show people cycling has changed."

    "We can show that the sport has changed," he continued. "I know how I work for the results I get and I know my results aren't going to be stripped in five, six, seven years' time."

    It's a similar statement to what Froome made following his victory earlier this month at the Critérium du Dauphiné where he said that his results were proof that cycling had improved.

    Meantime, some of Froome's results were singled out as being suspicious by former Festina trainer Antoine Vayer in a recent publication he produced, along with other riders of the current era, Bradley Wiggins and Vincenzo Nibali.

    "It's hard not to get angry over reports like that because it almost feels the better we do our job the more people think we're doping," said Froome.

  • Euskaltel soigneur passes away after bus crash

    Euskaltel-Euskadi soigneur Rufino Murguía
    Article published:
    June 23, 2013, 10:23 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    Spanish riders remember Rufino Murguía before national championships

    The Euskaltel-Euskadi team has confirmed that soigneur Rufino Murguía died Saturday night due to injuries sustained in a crash while driving the team bus to the Spanish national championships on Thursday.

    The team bus was involved in a frontal crash and Murguía underwent emergency surgery.

    "Today is a very sad day for all the Euskaltel Euskadi family," the team said in a message on its website.

    "Our friend Rufino has departed after being unable to overcome the injuries sustained during his accident on Thursday while traveling to the Spanish championships. All of us at Euskaltel Euskadi would like to offer our heart felt condolences to his family and friends. Rest in Peace."

    A minute's silence was held before the Spanish national road race championships, with many riders wearing black armbands during the race.

    Alberto Contador was one of many riders to tweet messages in remembrance of Murguía.

    "My deepest condolences to the families and friends of Rufino, the cycling family will miss him. Rest in peace," he wrote in a message.

    Murguía was driving the Euskaltel team bus near Burgos when the accident happened. The front of bus suffered huge damage after apparently hitting another vehicle and Murguía was diagnosed as being in a serious condition.

  • Santaromita celebrates his breakthrough Italian title

    Ivan Santaromita (BMC) with the winner's goodies
    Article published:
    June 23, 2013, 12:38 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    BMC rider praised after beating Rebellin and Scarponi

    Ivan Santaromita has won just three races during his eight-year career and so was overjoyed to pull on the Italian 'tricolore' jersey after winning the Italian road race title in Trentino on Saturday.

    The likeable 29 year-old from Varese tweeted a photo of the red, white and green jersey after waking up on Sunday morning, writing: "So it's true!!! You should never stop chasing your dreams! Thanks for all the congratulations."

    He then retweeted many of the messages of congratulation and praise he had received after his win.

    Many in Italian cycling were pleased that he had managed to beat former dopers Davide Rebellin and Michele Scarponi after forcing the decisive move clear on the hilly circuit in the Val di Non apple orchards of Trentino. The BMC rider had just teammate Alessandro Ballan to help him in the race but they outwitted the likes of Lampre-Merida, Cannondale and Vini Santini-Selle Italia who had big teams and high hopes for the race. 

    Giorgio Squinzi, the owner of the Mapei company and the Mapei cycling team, called Santaromita just after he pulled on the 'tricolore', telling Gazzetta dello Sport: "What good news! It's great news for Italian cycling. He's a guy with a clean face who isn't embarrassed about his past."

    Santaromita is coached by Andrea Morelli at the Centro Mapei training centre, not far from Varese. According to Gazzetta dello Sport, Santaromita is set to ride for Orica-GreenEdge in 2014.

    He celebrated his win with his fiancée and family, describing it as the best day of his life.

    "A dream has come true that I've been chasing since I was nine years old and I first rode a...

  • Fuglsang confirmed as Astana's Tour de France leader

    A focused Jakob Fuglsang (Astana)
    Article published:
    June 23, 2013, 15:59 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    Brajkovic, Gasparotto and Kessiakoff also in the squad

    The Astana team has named its final Tour de France line-up, confirming Denmark's Jakob Fuglsang as team leader, with the rest of the team consisting of stage race hunters and climbers.

    Giro d'Italia winner Vincenzo Nibali is not riding the Tour de France. He will focus on the Vuelta a Espana and world road race championships in September.

    Fuglsang showed some solid form at the recent Criterium du Dauphine, finishing fourth overall.

    Also in the starting nine are Assan Bazayev, Janez Brajkovic, Enrico Gasparotto, Francesco Gavazzi, Andrey Kashechkin, Fredrik Kessiakoff, Alexey Lutsenko and Dmitri Muravyev.

    "The general classification at the Tour de France is by no means a forgone conclusion, and we see ourselves as dark-horse outsiders for a good finish in Paris," directeur sportif Dimitry Sedoun said in the press release announcing the team.

    "Fuglsang showed at the Criterium du Dauphine how well he can ride when he has the proper training and confidence, and he is very motivated to do well. The pressure is on the big favorites in this race, and we are content to come in low-stress with a strong team and ride well," Sedoun said.

    "This Tour de France has a lot of individual opportunities for stage victories, and we will send an experienced set of riders to seek them out. The winds off the Atlantic seacoast will split the peloton to favour breakaways, and the four stages in the Alps are going to make the whole race a fight to the finish. In particular the Alpe d'Huez day we expect a very, very hard first climb, and an extremely difficult descent to come back for the second time up the mountain."

    The Astana...

  • All French Ag2r-La Mondiale line-up for the Tour de France

    AG2R - La Mondiale team time trials
    Article published:
    June 23, 2013, 18:22 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    Péraud aims for top five overall

    The Ag2r-La Mondiale has named an all-French team for the Tour de France, with Jean-Christophe Péraud given leadership status in the hope of securing a top five result in Paris.

    Aggressive climber John Gadret is also in the team, along side possible stage winners Christophe Riblon and Blel Kadri. Completing the nine-rider team are Maxime Bouet, Samuel Dumoulin, Romain Bardet, Hubert Dupont, Sébastien Minard and Christophe Riblon.

    There is no place for Italian rider Rinaldo Nocentini but Matteo Montaguti is named as first reserve. Carlos Betancur is not in the team. He is expected to ride the Vuelta a Espana after finishing fifth in the Giro d'Italia.

    The Ag2r-La Mondiale team had a difficult 2012 season, winning just four races. This year things have been much better, with five wins and long series of placings.

    The Ag2r-La Mondiale team for the 100th edition of the Tour de France: Christophe Riblon, Blel Kadri. Also in the team are Maxime Bouet, Samuel Dumoulin, Romain Bardet, Hubert Dupont, Sébastien Minard and Christophe Riblon.

  • Dauphiné stage win earns Veilleux Tour de France debut

    David Veilleux (Europcar) has been the sole wearer of the Dauphiné leader's jersey through three stages
    Article published:
    June 23, 2013, 19:38 BST
    Kirsten Frattini

    Canadian to work for Rolland and Voeckler

    Canada's David Veilleux is set to become just the second rider from Quebec - after Pierre Gachon in 1937 - to compete in the biggest cycling event of the year when he toes the line at the start line at the 100th Tour de France in Corsica on June 29. The young rider from Team Europcar is aiming to be the best teammate he can for overall contenders Pierre Rolland and Thomas Voeckler.

    "My goal is to race for and work as hard as I can for Rolland and Voeckler," Veilleux told Cyclingnews. "If everything is going well with that, I would really like to finish the race."

    Veilleux received a call-up to compete in the Grand Tour after winning the opening stage of the Criterium du Dauphine and wearing the leader's jersey for three consecutive stages in early June. He lost the race lead during the stage 4 time trial and finished the event in 60th place overall.

    Two weeks later, he proved his top form again after winning the overall title at the Boucles de la Mayenne in France.

    "The Dauphine result was the biggest achievement in my career so far," he said. "It was so crazy and the amount of people who were following me and cheering for me was great. There were so many people who shared in my victory.

    "I was really trying to keep the leader's jersey for the first two stages. I had no idea how I would do in the time trial. I did the best that I could, but I think the chances were strong that I would lose the jersey during that stage. After that I tried to stay up in the GC to see how things would go but I later realized that it was not achievable. I was OK with that because just being in the yellow jersey for three stages was...

  • Vichot takes his place in FDJ team for the Tour de France

    Arthur Vichot (FDJ) celebrates his win in the French road race championship
    Article published:
    June 23, 2013, 20:45 BST
    Jean-François Quénet

    New French champion gets the nod

    Despite having done the Tour de France twice already and being one of Thibaut Pinot's best friends, Arthur Vichot had to wait to become the French champion to make the FDJ team for the Tour.

    "That's how it works in French teams, we get to know it at the last moment," the 24 year old from Besançon commented. "To wear the blue-white-red jersey during the 100th Tour de France that will be held completely in France is going to be exceptional."

    In the absence of team manager Marc Madiot, who was in mourning after the death of his father Marcel, directeur sportif Franck Pineau announced the 9-man line up.

    Former French champion Nacer Bouhanni will be escorted by lead out men William Bonnet and Murillo Fisher from Brazil. Jérémy Roy, Pierrick Fédrigo, Arnold Jeannesson and Alexandre Geniez have been designated to help Pinot while Vichot will be the promoter of the French colors in the breakaways.

    A tradition at FDJ prevents sponsorship from appearing on the national champion jersey.

    Experienced riders Sandy Casar, Matthieu Ladagnous and Anthony Geslin were sidelined by the four-leaved clover squad.

    The other French ProTeam AG2R-La Mondiale chose a fully French line up with Jean-Christophe Péraud as a leader, assisted by Romain Bardet, Samuel Dumoulin, Maxime Bouet, Blel Kadri, Sébastien Minard, John Gadret, Hubert Dupont and Christophe Riblon. The latter was the last man chosen over Matteo Montaguti.

    Sojasun also selected nine Frenchmen: Anthony Delaplace, Jonathan Hivert, Cyril Lemoine, Alexis Vuillermoz, Brice Feillu, Julien Simon, Julien El Farès, Jean-Marc Marino and Maxime Médérel.