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Second Edition Cycling News, Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Date published:
July 06, 2010, 1:00 BST
  • Veilleux aims for Canadian ProTour start

    David Veilleux (Kelly Benefits) held on today to go home with sprint jersey.
    Article published:
    July 06, 2010, 9:47 BST
    Kirsten Frattini

    Fitchburg Longsjo winner headed in the right direction

    David Veilleux (Kelly Benefit Strategies) intends to put the finishing touches on his mid-season form in order to earn a spot on the Canadian National Team for the back-to-back ProTour races to be held in his hometown of Quebec City on September 10 and in Montreal on September 12. The all-rounder put himself at the head of a long list of talented riders by winning the Fitchburg Longsjo Classic on Sunday.

    “These races are big because it’s the ProTour and one of the few times that I will get the chance to race at that level and see where I’m at against the real European level,” Veilleux said. “Of course it is also at my home and held on two courses that I ride often and I really know them. I’ve been training on those two courses for the last ten years. It is very important for me and I will try to be as fit as I can to do something in those events.”

    The Canadian National Team selected a longlist of 16 potential riders that will be led by Steve Bauer, directeur sportif of the nation’s sole UCI Continental team SpiderTech p/b Planet Energy. Veilleux made the cut along with his Kelly Benefit Strategies teammate Ryan Anderson.

    The list also includes nine riders from Bauer’s team, Eric and David Boily, Guillaume Boivin, Martin Gilbert, Keven Lacombe, Bruno Langlois, Francois Parisien, Andrew Randell and Ryan Roth. Also in the mix is Jelly Belly p/b Kenda’s Canadian National Champion Will Routely, UnitedHealthcare p/b Maxxis’ Andrew Pinfold, Bissell’s Rob Britton and Fly V Australia’s Charles Dionne.

    “It is always hard to get a spot on a team like that,” Veilleux said. “There are ProTour Canadian riders that won’t need a spot on the national team and that opens up a lot of spots. I think it will be feasible.”

    Race organizer Serge Arsenault announced that all 18 UCI ProTour teams will be obliged to attend the two events....

  • Gesink to ride on despite fractured arm

    Robert Gesink (Rabobank).
    Article published:
    July 06, 2010, 9:48 BST
    Barry Ryan

    Farrar, McEwen also set to continue in the Tour de France

    Robert Gesink (Rabobank) suffered a hairline fracture in his left ulna in a crash on stage two but like Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Transitions), Robbie McEwen (Katusha), the Dutch climber is determined to continue in the Tour de France. Gesink was among those who fell on the treacherous descent of the Stockeu during yesterday’s stage. He was taken to Maastricht hospital after the stage, where x-rays revealed the fracture.

    Christian Vande Velde (Garmin-Transitions) suffered two fractured ribs in the Stockeu crash and has been forced to pull out of the Tour.

    De Telegraaf reports that Gesink will start today’s third stage, in spite of his injuries. The cobbled sections on the road to Arenberg will doubtless provide a strong indication of his ability to stay in the race long-term. Gesink abandoned last year’s Tour after breaking his wrist in a fall on stage five.

    “We’ll have to see day by day,” said Rabobank doctor Dion van Bommel.

    It will be a similar strategy for many of the riders who crashed on the Stockeu. But first they have to make it to the finish of today's stage over the cobbles.



  • Race director defends Tour’s stage three pavé finish

    There are some sections of pave that are devoid of fans.
    Article published:
    July 06, 2010, 9:50 BST
    Hedwig Kröner

    No roadside bike changes allowed in stage three finale

    Tour de France race director Jean-Francois Pescheux has defended the organiser’s decision to include several cobblestone sections in the finale of stage three leading to Arenberg on Tuesday. Voices of criticism have been raised as the stage is feared to cause damage amongst the general classification contenders early in the Grand Tour, before the race even reached the mountains.

    The organisers' point of view is that the pavé sectors are one ingredient that make up the Tour's challenge, equally dangerous than others. "Could you imagine not putting any mountain passes on the Tour parcours?" he asked Cyclingnews in return to our question whether it was justified to include a total of 13,150 metres of Paris-Roubaix pavé in the finale of a nervous early Tour stage. "The descents of those passes is extremely dangerous. Cycling as such is dangerous. It's part of the bike race. When they come down a mountaintop at 80 km/h, nobody says anything."

    The last sector of Haveluy, 2,300 metres long, comes with 10 kilometres to go before the stage finish. "If we had acted irresponsibly, we would have made the race pass on the Arenberg sector, with the finish at the end of it," continued Pescheux. The stage will end at the foot of the 'Chevalet', the former entry to the coal mine, in front of the Arenberg forest sector.

    "Those who don't like the pavés are those who like the mountains. But the sprinters, who don't like the mountains, don't come criticising the mountain stages. If we had to stage the Tour on motorways and boulevard finishes, there wouldn't be any mountains anymore, no descents, no delicate passages. The Tour de France is what it is today because it goes everywhere."

    Garmin-Transitions team manager Jonathan Vaughters agreed. "The cobblestones make the race interesting, they add an element to it," he told Cyclingnews. "They're a hurdle you have to overcome in the race, just like the rain or...

  • On the startline in Wanze

    Lance Armstrong's Trek
    Article published:
    July 06, 2010, 12:05 BST
    Daniel Benson

    Photos from stage 3 of the Tour de France

    After yesterday’s unusual finish, the Tour de France lurched towards normality as the riders and teams gathered at the start of stage 3 in Wanze, Belgium.

    Ahead of the bunch lay 213km of relatively flat roads, including 13.2 kilometres of cobbles, split over seven sections.

    Sylvain Chavanel (Quick Step) looked resplendent in yellow, his freshly painted yellow and green bike the stand out feature by the Quick Step bus.

    Meanwhile Jonathan Vaughters (Garmin-Transitions) put on a brave face after what he described as ‘the worst day the team had ever had in the Tour,” with Vande Velde crashing out and Tyler Farrar finishing but sustaining several injuries.

    Thor Hushovd (Cervelo Testteam) was only focused on the future. The Norwegian was one of the few riders to disagree with yesterday’s neutralised finish. According to one Cervelo source he was more motivated than ever to win.

  • Hesjedal produces epic performance for Vande Velde

    Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin - Transitions) rides alone at the front on the cobbles.
    Article published:
    July 06, 2010, 18:29 BST
    Daniel Benson

    Canadian becomes Garmin-Transitions’ best placed overall contender

    Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Transitions) went some way to rescuing his team’s Tour de France with a gutsy, although eventually unsuccessful ride, on stage three from Wanze to Arenberg.

    The aggressive Canadian all-rounder broke away with Steve Cummings (Team Sky), Pavel Brutt (Katusha), Pierre Rolland (Bbox Bouygues Telecom), Roger Kluge (Milram), Stéphane Auge (Cofidis) and Imanol Erviti (Caisse d'Epargne) early in the stage, gaining a maximum lead of nearly five minutes.

    As the battle between the overall contenders intensified behind, Hesjedal made a solo bid for glory with 41 kilometres to go. He was eventually reeled in with less than six kilometres to go by a chase group containing Andy Schleck, Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank), Cadel Evans (BMC) and Geraint Thomas (Sky). However he hung on for a well-deserved fourth place.

    The former mountain biker crossed the line exhausted and covered in dust. “I just wanted to ride a good stage today,” he told Cyclingnews. “It was an epic stage. I left mountain biking and everyone said I’d be good in Roubaix but my first few experiences weren’t great. Once I got in the break at the start of the day I thought I’d just get up the road and see what happened.”

    “It would have been nice to win but there were some classy guys coming up and to be able to stay with those guys in the end was nice. Now we’ll see what happens in the next few days.”

    Fight back

    Garmin-Transitions suffered a terrible series of crashes and injuries on stage two, losing their overall contender and team captain Christian Vande Velde, while sprinter Tyler Farrar also crashed and fractured a wrist. Today they fought back with pride.

    Thanks to finishing in the same time as Cancellara, Evans Schleck and Thomas, Hesjedal now sits fourth overall, 46 seconds down on new leader Fabian Cancellara. The Canadian has never been...

  • Payback time for frustrated Hushovd

    A triumphant Thor Hushovd (Cervelo Test Team) bests Geraint Thomas (Sky) and world champion Cadel Evans (BMC) for the stage win.
    Article published:
    July 06, 2010, 18:53 BST
    Jean-François Quénet

    Green jersey back on the shoulders of the Norwegian champion

    Just a day after being the most frustrated rider of the Tour de France, Thor Hushovd's chagrin turned to joy with victory at Arenberg. After stage two, he was angered by the decision not to award any points in the green jersey classification except to first-placed Sylvain Chavanel, but Hushovd responded magnificently today by winning the Paris-Roubaix-style stage.

    Hushovd has now taken command of the green jersey that he carried to the Champs-Élysées in 2005 and 2009.

    "I'm just happy that I managed to win after what happened yesterday," said the Norwegian champion. "I'm really pleased for myself and my team."

    Cervélo TestTeam did a lot of work with no reward the day before but they were prominent again today in spite of that disappointment. Olympic champion Brett Lancaster put in a phenomenal shift to place Hushovd at the front when the race hit the cobbled sections.

    "Brett was really strong," Hushovd said. "He went so fast on the pavé that I told him to slow down at some stages. He split the group. I've never seen him so strong."

    When Hushovd joined Cervélo after the Crédit Agricole team folded at the end of 2008, he insisted on the signing of Lancaster. The Australian was already touted as one of the world's best lead-out men at the time, although he had never had the opportunity to work with a top sprinter at the Tour de France.

    Lancaster won stage two at the Tour of California this year even before Hushovd got his first win of the year at the Norwegian championship in late June. Hushovd was second at Paris-Roubaix, but in early May his season was compromised by a broken collarbone sustained in training on Italian roads near Monaco where he lives.

    "I was never sure that I'd be back in time for the Tour de France," Hushovd said. "It's been hard to come back. I've been unsure of my form but at the Tour de Suisse, I found my race rhythm again."

    Hushovd felt...

  • Procycling's daily Tour de France dispatch - stage 3

    Edvald Boasson Hagen (Sky) chasing after the bunch.
    Article published:
    July 06, 2010, 19:35 BST

    Combativity, Damiani, Poulidor, Boasson Hagen, WADA and more

    Not quite the combativity ASO had in mind

    Had his vote for Ryder Hesjedal not already been dispatched, Procycling's "Prix de la Combativité" panel member might have considered the claims of Mark Renshaw, Iban Mayoz and Linus Gerdemann in Arenberg on Tuesday. While an innocuous tangle after the finish-line almost escalated into a brawl between Renshaw and Mayoz, a few metres away, Gerdemann unleashed his inner John McEnroe with an unprintable three-word tirade at a TV journalist.

    Career change, anyone?

    If there was also a daily prize for hand-wringing, yesterday's might well have gone to Omega-Pharma directeur sportif Roberto Damiani. "Riders who don't want to race in these conditions ought to ask themselves whether they'd rather go and spend their day in a factory," Damiani commented of Monday's go-slow.

    Poulidor dissed

    French daily Libération noted yesterday that among Floyd Landis's startling revelations to the Wall Street Journal was the claim that he and his US Postal team-mates chose the home village of French Tour legend Raymond "Poupou" Poulidor, St-Léonard-de-Noblat, for a blood-doping binge during the 2004 Tour. "Imagine doing that in St-Léonard-de-Noblat!" Libé trilled. "Without losing our sense of perspective, it's like pissing in the Grotto in Lourdes. Raymond will never be able to forgive such an affront!" Raymond Poulidor was not available for comment.

    Mr. Verbosity....ummm, not

    Team Sky's Edvald Boasson Hagen on whether he asked his teammates for advice before tackling his first Tour de France: "No, I haven't spoken much with them. I don't speak much generally." He can say that again...but probably won't.

    Fuel for thought

    French sports minister Roselyne Bachelot yesterday confirmed that the French Anti-Doping Agency (AFLD) would not carry out its own dope...

  • Fränk Schleck crashes out of Tour

    Jens Voigt and Matti Breschel attend to their fallen teammate Frank Schleck.
    Article published:
    July 06, 2010, 20:19 BST
    Daniel Benson

    Bittersweet day for Saxo Bank as Cancellara regains yellow

    Stage 3 of the Tour de France from Wanze to Arenberg Porte du Hainaut was full of mixed emotions for the Schleck brothers and their Saxo Bank team. The Danish squad regained the yellow jersey through Fabian Cancellara, while Andy Schleck took vital time out of all but one of his GC rivals. However, Andy Schleck's older brother Fränk crashed out of the race with a broken collarbone.

    Andy Schleck now sits 6th overall, with Cadel Evans (BMC Racing Team) 28 seconds ahead and Alberto Contador (Astana), Lance Armstrong (RadioShack) both trailing the Luxembourg rider.

    The loss of Fränk, who recently won the Tour de Suisse and who was touted as a possible Tour winner, will be a huge blow for the team when the race enters the mountains. Last year the brothers were never far from each other's side, often taking turns to attack eventual winner Alberto Contador. Andy finished second overall in Paris and Fränk fifth.

    While Fränk was taken to hospital it was up to Andy to talk to the press outside the team bus, clearly upset by the day's events.

    "It's not nice to lose a teammate, especially my brother, but I just hope it's the collarbone. I don't really care if he's in the race or not. I just want him to be okay, that's most important," he said.

    "We knew it was going to split up and the goal for me was to stay on Fabian's wheel. The Tour isn't decided today and there's still the Pyrenees and the Alps to come.

    "Everyone said that Schleck was too light to go over the cobblestones and I showed them that I can do pretty good."

    With Fränk out of the Tour, the Saxo Bank arsenal is irreparably damaged ahead of the mountains. However, Andy was quick to add that the team's aggressive style of racing won't change. Tour de France debutant Jakob Fuglsang will now step up and act as Andy's closest ally in the mountains.

    "The tactics won't change. I've said it before and I'll say it again when this...