A close-up look at the Australian's purpose-built ride
Australian's 2015 Tinkoff-Saxo team bike
Winner of the 2015 Tour Down Under
New and old kicks and lids seen at WorldTour race
Gap to green jersey wearer Sagan getting smaller
Matt Goss (Orica-GreenEdge) and his teammate Simon Gerrans did not intend on joining the breakaway for the first big mountain stage of the Tour but the green jersey is too important to the team riding their first Tour de France.
“It wasn’t the plan for Gerro [Gerrans] to get into a breakaway today. The stage didn’t suit him as well as the others. Sagan went on the attack early, and we had to respond,” said Sports Director Matt White.
The team were busy controlling the front of the peloton, closing in on a group trying to bridge to the first break when Peter Sagan (Liquigas-Cannondale) jumped away. It was at this point that Goss and Gerrans responded and found themselves minutes ahead of the Sky-lead pack. Sagan’s lead in the green jersey meant Goss needed to expend more energy than he would have liked, in order to contest the imtermediate sprint.
Goss remained with the break through till the sprint at the 130.5 kilometre mark where he won ahead of Yauheni Hutarovich (FDJ-Big Mat) and Sagan.
“We took the intermediate sprint off of Sagan. “We won the sprint, and Sagan could only manage third. We’re now five points closer to the green jersey,” said White.
The green jersey is the big goal for the Australian team and White was pleased with how the team had recovered following the rest day.
“Everyone’s legs seem to be responding well. “It was a successful day for us. We didn’t have to make too much of an effort to accomplish our objective, and we’re edging closer to that green jersey.”
Dane says not enough time to try to get on Olympic team
Alex Rasmussen will not appeal the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) decision banning him for 18 months. He had hoped to still be able to ride in the 2012 London Olympics, but said that the time was just too tight for an appeal.
Earlier this month CAS gave him a retroactive 18-month ban for three violations of the whereabouts requirements. He was subsequently let go by his team, Garmin-Sharp. His attorney indicated that the decision might be appealed, but now the Dane has ruled that out. Rasmussen had expected to ride on the track for Denmark in London.
"If I could get to the Olympics, I would have appealed the judgment. The Olympics mean so much to me and we would certainly have won a medal," Rasmussen said, according to the Ritzau news agency.
Rasmussen was annoyed at CAS's delay in announcing its decision. Originally scheduled for June 15, it wasn't handed down until July 4.
"If they had come to the decision a month before. as they said they would, I could have done something. Now it came two days before the Olympic team was announced and then it is impossible to do anything," he said.
Get the lowdown on today's pivotal Alpine showdown
With two huge HC climbs and a summit finish at the top of a category one, today's 148km stage from Albertville to La Toussuire promises to be one of the most pivotal of the 2012 Tour de France.
In this video, courtesy of IG Markets, Dan Lloyd from Team IG Sigma Sport takes you through exactly what's on the menu for the riders this afternoon and focusses on the three big climbs - the Col de la Madelaine, Col de Glandon and Col de La Croix de Fer.
Former race leader returns home ahead of imminent birth
RadioShack-Nissan rider Fabian Cancellara has quit the 2012 Tour de France ahead of today's eleventh stage in the Alps and is returning home immediately to support his wife in the final days of her pregnancy as they await the birth of their second child.
The 31-year-old Swiss won the prologue in Liege at the end of June and subsequently held the yellow jersey for seven days before Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky) took it from him at La Planche des Belles Filles in stage seven. Cancellara will be back in action at the end of July at the London 2012 Olympic Games. Last time round, in the Beijing Olympics of 2008, Cancellara won gold in the time trial and bronze in the road race. That bronze was upgraded to silver following Davide Rebellin's doping ban.
"The decision to go back home is harder than you might expect," Cancellara said. "Up to now the team has had a very good Tour de France. We won a stage, had the yellow jersey for more than a week, we lead the teams classification and we have four riders in the top 20 of the GC. Most of all, we could show the cycling world that we are not just a group of nine strong individual riders, but a real team.
"The atmosphere within this group is amazing. All of this makes it hard to abandon here. On the other hand, all of my teammates and directors understand and agree with my decision.
"I am not only a bike rider, I am also a husband and father with another baby on the way. It is my personal wish to be present when my wife Stefanie gives birth to our second child. That 'trophy' is more important than another Tour stage win or an Olympic medal. I already need to thank my wife for her patience with me during the last month in her pregnancy that has been difficult at...
Could mean end of the team, management says
After finding out this week that the team would not get to compete in any of the three big UCI stage races in the US this year, Kenda/5-Hour Energy is crying foul against Medalist Sports, the management company that runs the Tour of California, Tour of Utah and the USA Pro Cycling Challenge, claiming the snub could lead to the team's eventual demise.
“It's bullshit that Kenda didn't get any invites to the Medalist Sports events,” said Kenda/5-Hour Energy team director Frankie Andreu, who is currently in Europe working as a journalist at the Tour de France. “We had Kenda sponsor [Tour of California] and we didn't get invited. Then I had a meeting with a Medalist representative on what we needed to do to get an invite to Utah. We then worked that angle.”
Team Manager Chad Thompson said his squad had been given every indication it would be invited to the Utah race, saying Tour of Utah President Steve Miller told them he was “confident” things would “work out” given the team's “initiative and leadership.”
Miller was not available for comment, but Medalist President Jim Birrell said competition to get into the races is always tough, and no team is guaranteed a spot. Adjustments to the number of teams invited to the races also left three fewer spots for Continental teams this year than in 2011.
“We had interest from a significant number of teams to compete in the 2012 Tour of Utah and the USA Pro Challenge, and unfortunately, it just isn’t possible to invite everyone,” Birrell told Cyclingnews while surveying the Colorado venues for the August race. “We base our team selection on a variety of factors, the first being the competitive level of the...
Frenchman said to have been injected with ozone, ozone-enriched blood, and glucose
French prosecutors have asked that Rémy Di Grégorio be charged with "possession of a prohibited method without medical justification.” He is said to have received injections of ozone and glucose, several times this year.
"We are talking about prohibited medical or paramedical practices,” Marseille prosecutor Jacques Dallest said, according to the AFP. “As it stands, there was no doping product, just the doping methods.”
The Frenchman was arrested Monday, at the team Cofidis hotel at the Tour de France, and taken to his hometown of Marseille for hearings before investigating magistrate Annaick Le Goff.
"The rider denies any doping practices," Dallest said, according to the Reuters news agency.. However a second person arrested, a naturopath, has admitting to injecting Di Grégorio with ozone.
"He said he injected ozone into the rider's bloodstream twice. During another meeting, he had taken a blood sample that he enriched with ozone before injecting it again.” This is all said to have taken place between the end of May and the end of June.
"During another meeting, he injected a dose of 250 ml of glucose into the rider. Those two practices are forbidden," said Dallest.
Exclusive footage of what's in store from the Cyclingnews car
We drove up the entire category one climb before racing started and filmed every metre of the ascent, whch reaches a peak height of 1705m and has a total elevation from bottom to top of 1101m. You can see every twist and tight turn that lies in store for the riders at the end of this afternoon's gruelling 148km stage. Footage is shown at 1500% speed.
Injured RadioShack-Nissan rider's recovery slower than hoped
RadioShack-Nissan's Andy Schleck has returned from Basel, Switzerland, where he underwent a new series of clinical examinations and a MRI scan to establish the condition of his injury following the fracture of his sacrum during his crash in the Critérium du Dauphiné.
Team doctor Andreas Gösele said, "Andy still experiences pain, so a new examination was necessary. The MRI scan showed clear signs of a good healing, but the fracture is not fully healed yet. This makes us feel optimistic that with some minor modifications of his bike position, temporary of course, he can now look at being a pro cyclist again and train like his colleagues soon."
"I went on my bike for the first time three weeks after the crash, but it had to step off almost immediately," said Schleck. "The recovery is not going as fast as I had hoped for, but the examinations of yesterday have shown that it's going in the right direction."
"I have been doing quite a lot of alternative sports, mainly swimming. Basically everything I can do without pain was good. I didn't want to believe that my season had come to full stop in that crash."
Team Manager Johan Bruyneel said, "We have looked into a slightly different bike position for Andy now. The handle bar is basically positioned higher, so there's less pressure on the hip. The level of pain involved will determine how much work load he can take, but one thing is clear: the healing is priority number one and we'll adapt his schedule to that. We're very confident that Andy will return to racing in the course of the current season, but it's unclear when and where. The only certainty seems his absence...