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Second Edition Cycling News, Thursday, January 20, 2011

Date published:
January 20, 2011, 0:00 GMT
  • Garmin-Cervelo look to Cameron Meyer for overall

    All smiles from Tyler Farrar (Garmin - Cervelo) at the Tour Down Under.
    Article published:
    January 20, 2011, 1:41 GMT
    Jane Aubrey

    Farrar's hopes shattered by crash

    The 'sickening' crash that brought down a host of riders before the second stage finish at the Tour Down Under yesterday in Mannum, including HTC-Highroad's Mark Cavendish also claimed the general classification hopes of Garmin-Cervelo's Tyler Farrar.

    The US sprinter had hoped to be right in the mix when it came to claiming overall honours come Sunday's final stage, but after just two days, Farrar's hopes were in tatters.

    Three crashes marred the finish of stage two from Tailem Bend to Mannum on the Murray River, but it was the first which came when the bunch rounded a sharp bend with around four kilometres to go which hurt Farrar.

    "I went down but I kind of just ended up on top of the pile so I came off much better than most," he told Cyclingnews before the start of the third stage in Unley.

    Dubbed the 'mayhem in Mannum', the incidents resulted in injuries to around a dozen riders including Farrar's Garmin-Cervelo teammate's Cameron and Travis Meyer. Remarkably all three were on the start line in Unley sporting nothing more than a few plasters.

    Team director Matt White wasn't too pleased with the way that the stage panned out for his riders but found some joy in the fact that Cameron Meyer was still in contention for the general classification after he crashed within a hundred metres of the finish line.

    "There's too many sprinters here and everyone's too fresh," White joked in Mannum.

    Heading into today's third stage, Meyer sits just 10 seconds off the leading time of fellow Australian Robbie McEwen of Team RadioShack. Farrar is at three minutes and 52 seconds.


  • Goss in ochre ‘damn unbelievable,’ says Peiper

    Matthew Goss (HTC-Highroad) makes his way to the start
    Article published:
    January 20, 2011, 6:15 GMT
    Jane Aubrey

    Aussie hopes he's used up all his bad luck

    Punctures, horrific crashes and a stage win – HTC-Highroad's Matt Goss has experienced both sides of the coin over three days of the Tour Down Under.

    The Australian sprinter and much-hyped favourite to claim overall honours in the Pro Tour's first event of the season, took out the first stage before coming to grief in one of three crashes that marred the finish on day two in Mannum.

    While black cats are yet to be seen, Goss is hoping his bad luck has come to an end as he reclaimed the ochre leader's jersey by just two seconds over Omega Pharma-Lotto's Andre Greipel.

    "I've got the harder days to come so I could use some of that there," he said before heading to the podium presentation in Stirling.

    Puncture ends chance at a second stage win

    Today's bad luck came in the form of a puncture with around 15 kilometres left to go in the 129.7 kilometre course.

    Usually it's a case of getting a new wheel and moving on as quickly as possible but for Goss, the change wasn't so simple.

    "The bunch was going fairly hard but it wasn't really, really lined out so I knew I could get back but then we had a little bit of stress because we couldn't get the back wheel in my bike and I don't know what was happening but it just couldn't fit," Goss told reporters.

    "So I had to change my bike but I was stressed when I saw the ambulance go past - there's no more cars after that.

    "I only just got back at the bottom of the climb with about 4km to go so it was a very hard way to get the jersey back but I'm very happy to be in it now."

    Goss recovered to claim third place behind Rabobank's Michael Matthews and Omega Pharma-Lotto's Andre Greipel.

    Mixed emotions for Peiper

    HTC-Highroad sports director Allan Peiper said that while he was happy to have Goss retain the lead on general classification, he was disappointed to have missed out on another stage win.

  • Cavendish left on open roads at the Tour Down Under

    Mark Cavendish (HTC-Highroad)
    Article published:
    January 20, 2011, 7:00 GMT
    Jane Aubrey

    Green light vehicle finishes ahead of gruppetto

    An angry Mark Cavendish has hit out at the Tour Down Under organisers after a miscommunication resulted in the stage three finishing circuit at Stirling being re-opened to the public while he and two other riders were still to finish.

    The HTC-Highroad rider, Movistar's Jose Vincente Garcia and Matteo Bono from Lampre-ISD finished 12 minutes and 29 seconds behind stage winner Michael Matthews from Rabobank. Cavendish crashed on stage two and needed several stitiches in a cut above his eye but was determined to continue in the race.

    "They opened the f**king road didn't they before we finished; I did the whole last lap on open roads, you had to stand on all sides of the thing and stop for traffic. So if we haven't made it, they better make allowances," Cavendish said just after finishing the stage.

    Cut-off times are not something the group had to worry about, with race director Mike Turtur acknowledging post race that an error in communication within the convoy had occurred.

    "We've had a policy in place whereby the green light vehicle is the last vehicle on the road behind the last rider, for 13 years," he said.

    "For whatever reason, our understanding is that the green light vehicle was called forward of the Cavendish group with about 10km to go and we don't know the reason why."

    Turtur was unwilling to say where the fault lay at the time of publication but said a meeting with police would take place this evening.

    "It's not good, but sometimes these things happen," he admitted. "Something we've had firmly in place for 13 years has been altered today, for some reason."

    Cavendish said he was "a little bit disappointed" with the way the stage unfolded. The 25-year-old quipped about the amount of traffic he had to contend with over the final kilometres was "more than you want in a professional race I think."


  • Race radio does not increase security, says Guimard

    'The voice of the Tour de France' Daniel Mangeas interviews Cyril Guimard
    Article published:
    January 20, 2011, 10:42 GMT
    Hedwig Kröner

    Discussions on radio communication continue in France

    The debate about the use of race radios continues amongst riders and teams after the UCI decided to stop their use in Category 1 and Hors Category events in 2011 and extend the ban to World Calendar events in 2012.

    A large majority of teams and riders are against the ban, citing safety as the main reason to maintain radios, but several French sports directors have pointed out that the issue is not quite that simple.

    Cyrille Guimard, seven-time Tour de France stage winner and long-time team director, argued in Thursday's L'Equipe that radio communication could distract the riders, sometimes even causing crashes instead of preventing them.

    "I have never read a serious study of race radio impact on concentration or balance. In the last five kilometres of a race, I never say a word to my riders in order not to distract their attention, to not make them make mistakes with their braking and their trajectory. During the race, we don't even tell them about a roundabout because they're being signalled by motorcycles leading the race anyway," said Guimard, who now runs Continental team Roubaix-Lille Métropole.

    "One day, I saw a rider fall without an apparent reason. He told me,' Oh, I was absorbed by the radio and I touched the guy in front of me.' The security argument is a fraud."

    Guimard's opinion was echoed by former Tour of Flanders winner Jacky Durand. "It's a false pretext. Show me one single sports director who announces a speed bump... As regards security, race radio even has a perverse effect when 20 sports directors simultaneously ask their riders to move up in the bunch because of a change in direction or for a side wind. And I still remember Kivilev, who died because he had both hands in his back pocket, probably trying to fix his radio reception." Andreï Kivilev crashed heavily on March 12, 2003, in Paris-Nice, and died due to his injuries.

    To Guimard and Marc Madiot, manager of team FDJ,...

  • Vande Velde and Garmin-Cervelo warm up in Calpe

    Christian Vande Velde tests his new Cervelo time trial bike
    Article published:
    January 20, 2011, 10:45 GMT
    Daniel Benson

    Women's team jet in to join ProTeam in Spain

    Back from the latest Garmin-Cervelo training camp in Calpe, Spain, Christian Vande Velde is excited about the season ahead.

    The stage-race specialist met up with his teammates from January 9-19 for an intensive camp on the Spanish coast and while their December camp in the Cayman Islands was primarily focused on team-bonding, the European trip was all about fitness. So much so, that unlike most team camps, the media was not invited and the riders had only a single rest day.

    “It was one of the best training camps I’ve had in a long time," Vande Velde told Cyclingnews. "It was a real camp, in modern day cycling we don’t really train that much at them, we just try to get things swept out of the way before the year kicks off, which is convenient in one way but sometimes it’s just nice to concentrate on training. It was a real biking camp. We had one rest day and messed with our positions a little but it was bikes and more bikes.” 

    The Garmin-Cervelo team has gone through a number of changes over the winter, with riders including Heinrich Haussler and world champion Thor Hushovd joining. On paper the squad is one of the strongest in the world and its status as such is reinforced by the creation of a women’s team.

    “Meeting with them was great experience,” Vande Velde said.

    “To sit down with them on the first night was a different experience. It’s the 14th year of training camps for me and there’s never been a women’s team sitting there at breakfast, lunch and dinner. As camp went by we definitely got really comfortable and started chatting, and it made things far less mundane and more fun than normal."

    “A lot of the women rider were coming from Australia and battling jet lag so we didn’t train with them that much but they’re a fantastic team in their own right.”

    As for Vande Velde, he will be hoping for...

  • Cofidis confident of Tour de France invitation

    Team manager Eric Boyer has to convince Cofidis to continue their sponsorship
    Article published:
    January 20, 2011, 12:05 GMT
    Hedwig Kröner

    Team manager Boyer admits ASO faces some tough choices

    While the 2011 season has only just begun in Australia, Tour de France organiser ASO is ready close to deciding which teams will be given invitations to this year's Tour de France in July.

    While the 18 existing UCI ProTeams have obtained automatic entry along with their 2011 licence, four other teams will hope to secure a wild card invitation. Cofidis, FDJ and Europcar seem natural choices but other teams will all be hoping for the last golden ticket to the Tour de France.

    Cofidis team manager Eric Boyer is confident that his squad will be given a wild card for the event in July but admits that the decision-making process "must be a dilemma" for ASO.

    "I am serene with regards to our participation at the Tour," the Cofidis manager told Cyclingnews on Thursday. "Officially, of course, I have nothing. But I know that ASO are very conscientious about French teams participating in the race, and I think that together with FDJ and Europcar, we have the best chance of getting an invitation."

    Other Professional Continental teams bidding for participation are Saur-Sojasun, Skil-Shimano and, above all, Spanish team Geox-TMC, which has former podium finisher Denis Menchov and 2008 Tour winner Carlos Sastre in its ranks. According to Cyclingnews' sources, Geox-TMC looks unlikely to get an invitation to the Tour de France despite its two outstanding team leaders.

    "It will be hard for ASO to decide about inviting another French team like Saur-Sojasun. If they invite three French teams, it will already be a lot. There are others - Spanish, Italian, Dutch...," added Boyer, who refused to make any predictions.

  • Contador has damaged cycling, says McQuaid

    UCI President Pat McQuaid
    Article published:
    January 20, 2011, 14:07 GMT
    Cycling News

    Reiterates need for fast decision in doping case

    A French newspaper has reported that Pat McQuaid is "angry" at Alberto Contador for having tainted the image of cycling and that of the Tour de France. In an interview with Le Parisien, the head of the International Cycling Union (UCI) said that he wanted the case involving the 2010 Tour de France winner to be decided as soon as possible. The Spanish cycling federation has been investigating Contador's Clenbuterol positive for almost four months now.

    "I don't want to speak about the affair before it is concluded. But naturally, the fact that the Clenbuterol was found overshadows last year's Tour de France. Whether he is guilty or not, Contador has damaged us very much," said McQuaid, also clarifying his recent comments doubting Contador's presence at this year's Tour.

    "It's pragmatic. If he has no answer before the month of March, it will already be a bit late to prepare the Tour de France. We are waiting. We want [a conclusion of the case] as soon as possible."

  • Tour de France selects 22 teams

    The 2011 Tour de France map
    Article published:
    January 20, 2011, 14:45 GMT
    Cycling News

    Paris-Nice squads also revealed

    The Amaury Sport Organization (ASO) announced the selection of the 22 teams for the 2011 Tour de France. The first 18 teams are ProTeams chosen in compliance with the International Cycling Union (UCI) rules. The remaining four teams, all French, are wild cards picked at the discretion of the organizers. The Tour de France will start in the Vendée on Saturday, July 2.

    At the same time, ASO announced the 22 teams which have been selected to race Paris-Nice, the race that traditionally kicks off the primary season of European stage races.  It will be run on March 6-13. 

    Twenty-one of the 22 teams are the same for the Tour de France and Paris-Nice.  The only difference is that Saur - Sojasun gets the nod for the Tour de France while Bretagne-Schuller will contest Paris-Nice.

    The Geox-TMC team is notably absent from the start list for both races. It includes 2008 Tour de France winner Carlos Sastre and podium contender Denis Menchov.

    The Tour de France team selection news comes earlier this year.  In 2010, ASO did not announce the 22 teams for the Tour until March 30.

    2011 Tour de France teams
    Omega Pharma-Lotto (Bel)
    Quickstep Cycling Team (Bel)
    Saxo Bank Sungard (Den)
    Euskaltel-Euskadi (Spa)
    Movistar Team (Spa)
    Ag2R La Mondiale (Fra)
    Sky Procycling (GBr)
    Lampre - ISD (Ita)
    Liquigas-Cannondale (Ita)
    Pro Team Astana (Kaz)
    Team Leopard - Trek (Lux)
    Rabobank Cycling Team (NEd)
    Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team (Ned)
    Katusha Team (Rus)
    BMC Racing Team (USA)
    HTC-Highroad (USA)
    Team Garmin-Cervelo (USA)
    Team Radioshack (USA)
    Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne (Fra)*
    Saur - Sojasun (Fra)*
    FDJ (Fra)*
    Team Europcar...