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Second Edition Cycling News, Thursday, July 15, 2010

Date published:
July 15, 2010, 1:00 BST
  • Sky aim for stage wins

    Sky manager David Brailsford
    Article published:
    July 15, 2010, 10:11 BST
    Richard Moore

    Boasson Hagen, Thomas and Flecha set to step up

    Dave Brailsford, Team Sky’s team principal, has admitted that the British squad’s priorities have changed after Bradley Wiggins’s podium ambitions faded in the Alps, with top ten in the overall classification and a stage win now the twin aims.

    “Is it still feasible to think about the podium?” said Brailsford. “It’s four minutes away, but it’s looking unlikely, let’s be honest.”

    The British team will therefore look for an opportunity for a stage win. “Without a doubt - it’s the obvious thing to do,” said Brailsford. “It frees up the likes of Edvald [Boasson Hagen], Geraint [Thomas] and [Juan Antonio] Flecha.

    “We tried to get in the break [on stage ten], it didn’t work out, but it wasn’t for the want of trying,” Brailsford continued. “We think Thursday [stage eleven] will end with a sprint, so we’ll have a go with Edvald, but there are other days when we’ll have a go at getting in the break. And if the opportunity presents itself, what’s stopping Bradley going up the road? He’s up for it, that’s for sure.”

    Brailsford said that his team leader, though disappointed that his podium ambitions look unlikely to be realised this year, is determined to “fight” until Paris, with a top ten finish the revised ambition.

    “There are a lot of very tired people out there,” said Brailsford, “and this race is only half way through. Some riders are going to get better with the fatigue, and some are going to fall away, and we really don’t know what’s going to happen in the Pyrenees.

    “The main thing is that Brad wants to be able to look back and think that he found himself in a situation here, and what did he do - how did he react. And he wants to react by going all the way, and keeping fighting.”

    As for so many riders, it was...

  • Feillu brothers to leave Vacansoleil?

    Brice and Romain Feillu (Vacansoleil) are introduced at the team presentation.
    Article published:
    July 15, 2010, 10:36 BST
    Cycling News

    Alleged interest in new Luxembourg team

    Brice and Romain Feillu are said to be looking to break their contracts with Team Vacansoleil. The French brothers are apparently looking to move up to a bigger team, although Vacansoleil has said it plans to apply for a ProTour licence for the coming year.

    The brothers are said to be in contact with the new Luxembourg-based team being set up by Kim Andersen and Brian Nygaard.

    The Feillus moved to the Dutch team this season from Agritubel. Brice, 24, won a stage of the Tour de France in 2009. Neither brothers has any wins this year.

    They are said to want to leave because the Professional Continental team was not invited to any of the Grand Tours this year. In 2009, the Professional Continental team rode the Vuelta a Espana, which started in the Netherlands. The team had hoped for wildcard invitations to the Giro d'Italia and the Tour de France, both of which also had their starts in the Netherlands this year, but did not receive them.

    “I am surprised by this,” Vacansoleil manager Daan Luijkx told the Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf. “I don't know if I am open to this. They have ongoing contracts through 2011.”

  • French transfer news

    Quick Step teammates Sylvanin Chavanel and Jerome Pineau hold yellow and the polka-dot jerseys respectively.
    Article published:
    July 15, 2010, 10:53 BST
    Hedwig Kröner

    Contract negotiations under way for Chainel, Fédrigo, Chavanel and Pineau

    While many riders are looking for prominent placings in the Tour de France in order to find a new team for next season, others are being contacted at home.

    Steve Chainel, a cyclo-cross rider who made a name for himself in the spring when he won the first stage of the Three Days of De Panne and finished 17th in the Tour of Flanders, will reportedly join FDJ for next season, according to L'Equipe. The Bbox Bouygues Telecom rider's contract ends at the end of this year. Within the team directed by Marc Madiot, the 26-year-old increases his chances to participate in the Spring Classics which seem to suit him well.

    FDJ also seems the centre of attention for Pierrick Fédrigo, one of Bbox's leaders. FDJ could lose one of his big names to Garmin-Transitions next season - Christophe Le Mével - so the former French champion and Tour de France stage winner could be a good bet for Madiot, according to Cyclismactu. Both Fédrigo and Le Mével are currently racing the Tour de France.

    Contract negotiations at the Tour also continue for Sylvain Chavanel and Jérôme Pineau. The two Quick Step riders, who gave their team boss Patrick Lefevere plenty to cheer about in the first half of the race, apparently want to stay together on one team and may finally remain with the Belgian squad because of this.

    "It is to 99 per cent certain that they will stay with us," Patrick Lefevere said. "I will say 100 per cent when the contracts are signed, but I know Sylvain and Jérôme to be men that hold their word."

    With a return to France remaining a possibility, Chavanel told Cyclingnews in Morzine that he would announce his 2011 team in the second rest day of the Tour in Pau.

  • Hunter to continue in Tour despite broken bone

    Robbie Hunter (Garmin - Transitions) crashed early in stage 10, but finished the stage in the peloton.
    Article published:
    July 15, 2010, 10:57 BST
    Cycling News

    Garmin-Transitions rider crashed early in stage 10

    Robbie Hunter (Garmin-Transitions) will start stage 11 of the Tour de France, despite suffering with a broken bone in his arm. The South African rider suffered the fracture in a crash shortly after the start of Wednesday's stage 10.

    Hunter went to the hospital after the stage, and found he had “a small fracture on the head of the radial bone up in the elbow area,” he said on his twitter page. “X-rays can't show any muscle damage so I'm gonna start tomorrow.”

    “If I can take the pain and handle the bike with out putting any body in danger in the group,” he said, then he would continue in the race.
    In earlier tweets, the 33-year-old described the crash and the stage.

    “Hard crash in the start some tool dumped it in front of me had nowhere to go. Arm hurt like hell all day & plenty swollen.” He also apologised for the language he used after the crash, noting “I was a tad upset and tender.”

    He finished the stage, calling it “definitely not my best day on the bike, lots of guys were hurting today. Thank goodness we had a head wind!!”


  • Hunter and Wegelius out of Tour de France

    Robbie Hunter (Garmin - Transitions) crashed early in stage 10, but finished the stage in the peloton.
    Article published:
    July 15, 2010, 11:50 BST
    Cycling News

    Garmin-Transitions rider unable to start

    Robbie Hunter (Garmin-Transitions) was unable to start stage 11 of the Tour de France after breaking a bone in his elbow. The South African crashed during Wednesday's stage and despite finishing, was taken to hospital, where x-rays revealed the extent of his injuries.

    Despite aiming to start today's stage, Hunter was not able to grip the bars in the morning and was forced to abandon. He's the second Garmin-Transitions rider to leave the race after Christian Vande Velde crashed out of the race on stage 2.

    In their previous two Tour de France, Garmin had finished with all nine riders in Paris.

    Charles Wegelius of Omega Pharma-Lotto did not appear at the start of the eleventh stage of the Tour either. His team says that he is suffering from stomach and intestinal problems. Since he can't keep any food or drink in himself, it would be “irreponsible” for him to ride today, the team said.


  • Boonen undergoes surgery

    Tom Boonen visited the race
    Article published:
    July 15, 2010, 11:58 BST
    Cycling News

    Operation necessary after ongoing knee tendonitis

    Tom Boonen has had to undergo surgery in order to heal his injured left knee, which kept him from racing the Tour de France. The Quick Step leader was operated on Thursday morning in a hospital in Herentals, Belgium, and will now have to rest "three to four weeks" according to his team doctor.

    Even though Boonen resumed light training last week, the pain in his knee did not disappear, and surgery seemed to be the last option. "Last Friday, I started training again because there was less pain," said Boonen according to his team.

    "On Monday, I tried to ride 100 kilometres, but it was getting worse again. After consulting the medical staff of the team and doctor Claes [who operated him - ed.] we decided to have surgery performed."

    With Boonen and his team targeting the World Championships in Australia at the end of this season, the Belgian was starting to get nervous about his recovery, and surgery was the best option. "Until now, we chose the natural way [to heal the injury], but the question is whether the knee will heal in time. Because of the 17 days of inactivity, the muscle mass of his left leg has already started to shrink," said team manager Patrick Lefevere.

    Team doctor Yvan Van Mol also said the choice was the right one. "[The surgery] was the only possibility that remained. Now, Tom has to rest three to four weeks before he can start light training again. But it is much too soon now to say at which races he'll be able to compete."

    The top sprinter and Classics contender himself was confident in dealing with the new situation. "I have a lot of confidence in the procedure," Boonen said. "It's the first time in my career that I suffer this sort of injury but I'm ready to do my best to come back to the peloton as soon as possible."

  • Greipel "Plan A" for Lotto

    Stage winner Andre Greipel (HTC - Columbia) makes his way to the podium.
    Article published:
    July 15, 2010, 14:38 BST
    Cycling News

    HTC-Columbia sprinter set to compete in 2011 Tour

    While his teammate Mark Cavendish is scoring stage victories at the Tour de France, André Greipel of HTC-Columbia is preparing to leave on holidays with his family on the coast of the Baltic Sea. Even though the tall German won two stages at the Tour of Austria recently, he still has feelings about not having been selected for the Tour by his team, and is working on his departure.

    "I will ride in a team with which I'll be able to race the Tour," Greipel told German news agency sid. This team looks more and more likely to be Omega Pharma-Lotto, whose sponsor boss Marc Coucke confirmed that the squad and Greipel's manager are negotiating a contract.

    "Greipel is our Plan A," said Coucke. "We have riders for the Classics and for stage races, now we need Greipel for the sprints."

    The 28-year-old, who has 14 victories on his account so far this season, is reportedly taking three riders with him to the new outfit: Bert Grabsch and Marcel Sieberg from HTC, and Robert Wagner from Skil-Shimano.

    If Greipel's leave is confirmed, the 2011 Tour de France will have one more sprinter to challenge Cavendish in the fight for stage victories and the green jersey - an interesting prospect.

  • Café de Colombia targets Tour return

    The Colombia es Pasi
    Article published:
    July 15, 2010, 16:06 BST
    Peter Cossins

    Team that introduced Herrera and Parra prepares for Pro Continental status

    One of the great Tour de France teams of the 1980s has announced that it is setting its sights on a return to the event two decades on from its last appearance. What was then Café de Colombia and is now Café de Colombia-Colombia es Pasión is aiming to rise from Continental to Professional Continental level in 2011. Assuming that status can be achieved, the team hopes to be able to gain entry to some of the biggest races on the calendar, including the Tour.

    Confirmation of the heavily rumoured expansion plans for the Colombian Continental team came at a press conference in Bogotá that was hosted by the country's minister for foreign trade, Luis Guillermo Plata. Team manager Luisa Fernanda Ríos admitted during the press conference that "it's clear that we need to strengthen the team in order to deal with the challenges we'll face in this new category. With that in mind we've started negotiations with some Colombian riders who we will try to tempt back home, but nothing is set in concrete yet."

    The team already features a number of riders who have experience of racing in Europe, including Fabio Duarte, Luis Laverde and Victor Hugo Peña, who is the only Colombian rider to have worn the Tour's yellow jersey. Among those riders Café de Colombia are sure to be targeting is 2007 King of the Mountains champion Juan Mauricio Soler, whose current Caisse d'Epargne team looks set to fold at the end of the season.

    More details on the team's objectives for 2011 will be given at an official launch in Bogotá on July 30, the day before the start of the Vuelta a Colombia. Ríos revealed that a new sponsor for the team will also be unveiled on the eve of Colombia's national tour.

    The team's management have affirmed their commitment to developing younger Colombian riders as has already been the case in their current Continental guise. However, according to team manager Ríos: "We've...