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Second Edition Cycling News, Thursday, June 7, 2012

Date published:
June 07, 2012, 1:00 BST
  • Rogers in form and chasing spot in Sky's stacked Tour line up

    Michael Rogers (Team Sky)
    Article published:
    June 07, 2012, 2:03 BST
    Daniel Benson

    Australian set for fourth Olympic Games

    After his 2011 season was plagued by illness Michael Rogers (Team Sky) is back in business as the Australian heads towards a likely ride in this year's Tour de France.

    The 32-year-old has formed part of a strong core of stage race talent at Sky this season, helping the team to overall titles in Volta ao Algarve, Paris - Nice, Tour de Romandie and winning two stages and the overall at Bayern-Rundfahrt himself.

    Although the team's Tour de France line-up is yet to be announced, Rogers, currently riding in support of Bradley Wiggins at the Dauphiné, looks to be an almost automatic selection.

    "Nothing is confirmed yet," Rogers told Cyclingnews from the team bus at the end of the Dauphiné's third stage.

    "I think the team will make the decision after the Tour de Suisse. They're weighing up who is going the best and in the best condition. I think that's a very clear policy that the team has and everyone is fine with that."

    Rogers is a veteran of seven Tour starts and knows the importance of the Tour for Sky, who in Wiggins, has a genuine contender for the maillot jaune.

    "We've got a massive opportunity to win the Tour and we'll concentrate on that," he said, before adding that Wiggins's qualities as a team leader have been instrumental in Sky's performances this year.

    "He's certainly not a pushy type compared to some leaders. He commands respect from everyone and he gets that through his commitment and the amount of work he's done in the last few years. He's put his results on the board and shown time after time during the year that he's serious and that he's there to win.

    Wiggins will share leadership in July as

  • IG Pro Cycling Index: Evans leapfrogs Sagan

    Cadel Evans wins the first road stage of the Dauphine
    Article published:
    June 07, 2012, 7:25 BST
    Cycling News

    Top and bottom threes in kms and days raced also revealed

    Due to a lull in racing last week there were few big changes in the IG Pro Cycling Index. In the top 10 there was only one change, which saw Peter Sagan drop to 7th and Cadel Evans leapfrog him. This was because Sagan lost his points from his win last year at the Philadelphia International Championship. The only other change in the top 20 sees Andre Greipel move back into the top 20, kicking Dan Martin out of it in the process. Greipel looks to back to his strong early season form after sprinting to two stage wins at the Skoda Tour of Luxembourg.

    That was the main race of note last week and as a result the top riders in it moved up in the Index. Wout Poels won the queen stage of the race but missed out on overall victory by two seconds to Jakob Fuglsang. Poels moved up 25 places to 45th in the Index. Fuglsang jumped an even greater number of places, 46, but is below Poels in 53rd place. Fuglsang has recovered well from the injury that kept him out of the Giro d’Italia and is making a a strong case to be in RadioShack-Nissan’s Tour de France team. The highest new entry into the top 200 was Jonathan Hivert (Saur-Sojasun), who finished 4th overall in Luxembourg.

    As last week was a quiet week of racing, this week affords us the opportunity to look at some of the other stats in the IG Pro Cycling Index. We can first focus on the kilometres and days raced. When looking at the riders who are leading or are bottom of these categories in the top 200 they make interesting reading.

    The top three of the kilometres and days raced in the last 365 days of racing are:

    1. Thomas De Gendt (41st): 16,578km raced and 105...

  • Andersen can't explain Schleck's performance problems

    Andy Schleck (RadioShack-Nissan)
    Article published:
    June 07, 2012, 10:17 BST
    Cycling News

    RadioShack-Nissan sport director says knee problem is not the reason

    Andy Schleck can't blame his poor form on his knee problem, said sporting director Kim Andersen. But the Dane doesn't have any explanation for the RadioShack-Nissan rider's problems this year, and says he can only “assume” that Schleck will be in form for the Tour de France.

    Earlier this week Schleck disclosed that he had been treated for knee problems last month. He was in a clinic for three days and lost a total of one week's training, so “it is not surprising” that he is not doing so well in the Criterium du Dauphine, he told De Telegraaf.

    Andersen found that to be a bit exaggerated. “It only lasted two or three days. It was nothing special and they didn't find anything,” he told “I don't think it especially hurt his form, but every training day you miss puts you back.”

    He confirmed that Schleck “does not seem to be in super shape,” but has no explanation as to why, as he has “had a different programme to follow” rather than being with Schleck.

    Andersen's answers were unexpectedly curt, considering that he and Schleck are said to have a very close relationship. What does he think the rider is missing? “I have no comment.”

    Will the 2010 Tour winner be ready for this year's race? “I can't tell you. But he says himself that he will be so we must assume so.” Or are there reasons to worry? “I don't know.”

    Andersen will be guiding the RadioShack-Nissan squads at the Tour of Poland and Tour de Suisse but not the Tour de...

  • Terpstra to extend with Omega Pharma-QuickStep for two years?

    Nikki Terpstra feels the pain during a tough Flanders
    Article published:
    June 07, 2012, 11:30 BST
    Cycling News

    Dutch rider has oral agreement with team manager Lefevere

    Niki Terpstra has agreed to extend his contract with Omega Pharma-QuickStep for an additional two years. He and team manager Patrick Lefevere have reached an oral agreement on the matter, and Gert Steegmans is also said to have agreed to extend for two more years.

    “We would love to keep Niki," Lefevere told De Telegraaf. “Within the team, everyone is enthusiastic about him. For us it is a very logical thing for him to continue. There is nothing signed yet, but we have each other's word.”

    Terpstra, 28, joined the Belgian team after his previous team Milram folded. He had the biggest win of his career this season, winning Dwars door Vlaanderen. He also won the Dutch national road title in 2010, and a stage at the Criterium du Dauphine in 2009.

    He will not ride the Tour de France this year, but has already been selected for the Dutch Olympic team. His most recent race was the Tour of Belgium, where he finished third in the time trial.

  • Andy Schleck crashes in Critérium du Dauphiné time trial

    Andy Schleck (Radioshack-Nissan) in the start house
    Article published:
    June 07, 2012, 14:55 BST
    Barry Ryan

    Luxembourger disappointed to miss out on test

    Andy Schleck's fitness has been a major talking point at the Critérium du Dauphiné to date, but the RadioShack-Nissan rider was denied the chance to gauge his time trialling form when he crashed early on stage 4.

    The Luxembourger came a cropper in the stiff winds that buffeted the 53.5km time trial course from Villié-Morgon to Bourg-en-Bresse; rounding a sharp right hand bend 12 kilometres into his effort, a sudden gust caught his rear disc wheel, and Schleck duly took a tumble.

    Although Schleck was quickly back on his spare bike, a puncture shortly afterwards added insult to injury, and he opted not to take any further risks as the wind continued to wreak havoc on his cornering.

    "When we did the parcours this morning the wind wasn't like that," a dejected Schleck said afterwards. "I had a good start and good feelings until there. After that, I kept on going but I didn't have the concentration after that. I just wanted to get to the finish. I couldn't go in the [time trial] position anymore."

    Addressing a group of reporters huddled around a team van near the finish line, Schleck was at least able to count his blessings as far injuries are concerned. Although his skinsuit was torn around his right hip, Schleck reported road rash but no broken bones as a result of his fall.

    "After a crash you get on the bike and you have the adrenaline for the first few kilometres, but after a while my ribs hurt and my hand hurt," Schleck said. "Still, I'm sitting here and not in an ambulance, so that's a good sign."

    Schleck bristled slightly when it was put to him that he may have erred in choosing disc wheels on such a windy course. "Maybe if you have 85 kilos it's easier to stay on the bike," he said tersely....

  • Latest issue of Cyclingnews HD now available

    Article published:
    June 07, 2012, 18:12 BST
    Cycling News

    Download it in the Apple App Store today

    Issue 6 of our weekly digital magazine for iPads, Cyclingnews HD, is now available to download from the Apple App Store. This week's highlights include:

    Critérium du Dauphiné: The latest in-depth coverage of this year’s race featuring world class photography, reports, analysis and results

    Tour of Luxembourg: A look back at the week of racing including news and results

    Exclusive Interview: Tour de France director Christian Prudhomme

    Climax to the Dauphiné: A look forward to the final stages and the main contenders

    Tour de Suisse: pre-race news, route analysis, profiles and start lists

    For more information on issue 6 and to download it, click here.

  • Wiggins lauds new training philosophy

    Bradley Wiggins extended his lead in the Dauphine after a smashing time trial
    Article published:
    June 07, 2012, 19:29 BST
    Barry Ryan

    Sky rider strengthens lead at Critérium du Dauphiné

    Bradley Wiggins (Sky) has paid tribute to his new training philosophy after he took a firm grip of the overall standings at the Critérium du Dauphiné with a convincing victory in the stage 4 time trial to Bourg-en-Bresse.

    The Dauphiné is only the fifth race Wiggins has started in 2012 as he builds for the Tour de France under the stewardship of Tim Kerrison, his Australian coach, with a training programme that has aroused considerable interest. Kerrison’s background is in swimming, and the structure he has devised for Wiggins bears many of the hallmarks of his former discipline, in particular his recommendation that the rider dispense with the idea of using races as training.

    “My coach has not been in cycling for long, he’s come from swimming, so I’ve pretty much been training like the swimmers train,” Wiggins told reporters in Bourg-en-Bresse. “I’ve been constantly training through the year, so it’s not like the traditional way for cycling, which is starting in January fat or in really bad condition, and then building, building and showing form in these races.”

    Wiggins began his racing campaign with 3rd overall at the Volta ao Algarve in February, then won Paris-Nice in March. After abandoning, the Volta a Catalunya, Wiggins won the Tour de Romandie in early May and now holds a commanding lead at the Dauphiné. In between, his regimen has included some lengthy stints of training at altitude in the seclusion of Mount Teide, Tenerife.

    “It’s just trying to be 95, 97% all year and constantly working,” Wiggins said. “The only downside is that it’s mentally difficult,...

  • Video: Evans says "I need to improve to win Tour de France"

    Cadel Evans (BMC) struggled in the Dauphine time trial a bit.
    Article published:
    June 08, 2012, 1:13 BST
    Barry Ryan

    Australian loses time in Critérium du Dauphiné time trial

    Cadel Evans (BMC) has admitted that he has room for improvement ahead of his defence of his Tour de France title after he was soundly defeated by Bradley Wiggins (Sky) in the stage 4 time trial at the Critérium du Dauphiné on Thursday.

    Evans struggled to find his rhythm on the long, flat road from Villié-Morgon to Bourg-en-Bresse, and he ultimately conceded 1:44 to Wiggins over the 53 kilometres. Indeed, at one point, it appeared as though Wiggins might even catch the Australian for two minutes, but Evans battled resolutely to hold off his pursuer.

    Rolling to a halt outside the BMC camper van, Evans set about warming down on his regular road machine, pausing briefly to down a can of Aquarius. His manager John Lelangue quickly swooped in to stand in front of him, protecting him from the assembled autograph hunters and journalists, but also perhaps also guarding him from the doubts his performance might have aroused.

    In low voices, the pair discussed the day’s events, and Lelangue’s words perhaps had the desired effect – Evans’ tired grimace had creased slowly into a wan smile by the time he wearily clambered aboard the camper. After a long shower, he re-emerged to talk reporters through his afternoon.

    “I’m not happy with how I rode compared to the specialists,” Evans admitted. “It was a route that was very well suited to the specialists like Martin and Wiggins, but I expected a little more from myself.”

    The statistics show that Evans’ time trial unravelled in the middle section of the course. At the first time check after 18km, he was just 6 seconds behind Wiggins, but that gap stretched out to 1:37 over the following 22...