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Second Edition Cycling News, Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Date published:
June 10, 2014, 1:00 BST
  • No Tour de France for Robert Gesink

    2013 Grand Prix Cycliste de Québec champion Robert Gesink (Belkin) on the podium
    Article published:
    June 10, 2014, 10:19 BST
    Cycling News

    Belkin rider to ease back into racing after heart procedure

    Robert Gesink will not ride the Tour de France this year. The Dutchman underwent a medical procedure for a heart problem in early May, and although he has been training at altitude in the Sierra Nevada in Spain, Gesink decided, in agreement with the team’s management, not ride the Tour de France. "The race comes too soon for the Team Belkin rider,” the team announced on Tuesday morning.

    Gesink will return to racing next week at the Ster ZLM Toer in the Netherlands, followed by the Dutch national championships, the Tour of Poland the end of July, and then the Vuelta a Espana.

    In mid-April, Gesink announced that he was suffering with a cardiac arrhythmia and that he would take a break from racing until the problem was resolved. He started training again shortly after the medical procedure on May 6.

    “I will also be aware not to start catching up with everything too fast so I would start the Tour already exhausted. If that is the case, the Vuelta might be a better option,” he said at the time. “Answers to those questions will come to me in the upcoming weeks.”

    Gesink and the Belkin team has decided that it is better to wait.

    “Participating in the Tour de France was a possibility, but the reality is that the periods before and after the surgery were extremely tough. It wouldn’t be wise to prepare myself for the most important race of the year in a forced way. To start in the Tour de France you have to be in top form, and I’m not fully confident that I am at this point.”

    Belkin is expected to name Bauke Mollema as team leader for the Tour de France. He finished sixth overall last year after a...

  • Betancur's extended Colombian stay puts Tour de France debut in doubt

    Carlos Betancur (Ag2r-La Mondiale) wins at Fayence.
    Article published:
    June 10, 2014, 11:44 BST
    Cycling News

    Ag2r-La Mondiale rider fails to return to Europe as planned

    Carlos Betancur’s participation in the Tour de France is in doubt as the Ag2r-La Mondiale rider failed to return to Europe as planned last week following an extended stay in Colombia.

    Betancur last raced at Flèche Wallonne in April and returned to Colombia after skipping Liège-Bastogne-Liège because of bronchitis. The 24-year-old was due to return to France on June 3 and his Ag2r-La Mondiale team had made plans for him to renew his working visa in Chambéry two days later.

    A member of the team's staff was duly delegated to collect Betancur from Lyon airport on June 3 but the rider never showed up. When contacted by directeur sportif Laurent Biondi, Betancur reportedly said that he was tired and would not line up at the Tour de Suisse (June 14-22) as originally planned.

    Ag2r-La Mondiale manager Vincent Lavenu noted that efforts to make further contact with Betancur had failed. “Even his trainer Michele Bartoli hasn’t been able to contact him,” he told La Provence on Monday. Speaking to AFP at the Critérium du Dauphiné, Lavenu admitted that Betancur’s chances of making his Tour de France debut have been significantly reduced.

    “Today, we can say that his participation is very uncertain,” Lavenu said. “He’s an incredible talent but he’s very difficult to manage. I’m convinced that he has the qualities to win a Grand Tour but it’s complicated. He needs to get back on track if he wants to have a great career.”

    Betancur’s season to date has been a striking mix of highs and lows. In spite of early struggles with his...

  • Hesjedal to focus on Vuelta a España and miss Tour de France

    Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin Sharp)
    Article published:
    June 10, 2014, 12:23 BST
    Daniel Benson

    Candian supporting Talansky at Dauphiné

    Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Sharp) will skip this year’s Tour de France and focus on a tilt at the general classification at the Vuelta a España in August. The Canadian climber finished ninth in last month’s Giro d’Italia and is currently competing in the Critérium du Dauphiné where he is supporting Andrew Talansky’s title challenge.

    Hesjedal will take a break from racing after the Dauphiné and then build up for the Vuelta, where he won a stage in 2009.

    “I’ve felt good since coming out of the Giro and I felt like I was on top of things coming out of the race. I’m interested to see how this race goes but after this I’ll take a break,” Hesjedal told Cyclingnews at the Dauphiné.

    “No one really does Giro, Dauphiné, and then the Tour. We made that plan a while back and then I’ll focus on the end of the year after a break. I’d like to take a run at the Vuelta. It’s something new and the plan was always to have a traditional two-part season. We made the call to do that and I’m looking forward to it.”

    With Garmin set to build a team around Talansky at the Tour de France, Hesjedal will instead ride the Tour of Poland as part of his Vuelta build-up. “I’ll start, probably, with Poland, another race I’ve never done. I like to keep things new and I’ll take a run at that,” he said.

    “I’m happy to take the opportunities with this programme. I’ll take the break and then see what I can do in the second half of the year.”

  • Report: Nuyens to be treated for minor heart problem

    Nick Nuyens (Garmin-Sharp)
    Article published:
    June 10, 2014, 15:01 BST
    Cycling News

    Garmin-Sharp rider to undergo surgery in Brussels

    Nick Nuyens has joined the list of riders diagnosed with minor heart problems. The Belgian Garmin-Sharp rider is to undergo minor surgery today in Brussels and is expected to be training again by the end of the week.

    According to, the 34-year-old first notice an increased heartbeat during the Bayern Rundfahrt last month. Examinations showed what the problem was, and the procedure was scheduled. The Belgian's issues can be dealt with through a catheter inserted in the groin and snaked up to the heart, according to the paper.

    Nuyens’ problem is considered a minor one and if left untreated, would not have endangered his career.

    This year both Niels Albert and Will Walker have been forced to end their careers due to severe heart arrhythmia, and Robert Gesink is preparing to return to racing after undergoing a minor heart procedure.

  • Voigt uncertain of Tour de France ride

    Jens Voigt (Trek) attacks
    Article published:
    June 10, 2014, 16:30 BST
    Daniel Benson

    German goes on the attack at Dauphiné

    Jens Voigt has described the possibility of riding the Tour de France in his final season as an honour but admitted that he is far from certain of his slot among Trek Factory Racing’s final roster.

    Voigt, 42, will close out his long racing career at the end of the year but is keen to ensure that he remains competitive throughout his final campaign.

    “If you do the Tour you want to it in good condition. You want to be part of the team and want to be able to do the work and bring the performance that the team expects of you. At the moment I’m not so sure if I have it. As much as I hate to say it I wish I could be ten per cent stronger,” Voigt told Cyclingnews at the Critérium du Dauphiné.

    “The Tour has a pretty intense start. The second stage, even after that a few guys will say goodbye to their GC plans. Then there’s the Roubaix stage so you can only go to the Tour if you’re 100 per cent healthy and ready. As far as I see it we have seven or eight riders for the final five places and we’ll see what happens in the next couple of weeks. Until then we keep racing and keep our fingers crossed.

    “It would be an honour to be selected. It’s not just a race but an adventure and to be part of it one more time, I would be proud.”

    Trek’s final nine for the grand depart in Leeds will depend on results in this week’s Dauphiné and Tour de Suisse, which starts on Saturday. Both Andy and Frank Schleck with use the latter as their warm-up but Voigt shared his personal thoughts on how the team’s selection may fall.

    “These are just my personal thoughts but we have two who are sure in [Fabian] Cancellara and Fränk Schleck. Then we...

  • Froome surprised at controversy over in-race inhaler use

    Thumbs up from Chris Froome (Team Sky)
    Article published:
    June 10, 2014, 16:54 BST
    Sam Dansie

    Tour winner says he has exercise-induced asthma

    Critérium du Dauphiné leader Chris Froome has voiced surprise that images of him using an inhaler while racing have created a controversy.

    In his post-stage press conference on Tuesday in Le Teil, the Team Sky rider said his inhaler use – filmed during Monday’s stage to the Col du Béal, which he won – was legal and did not require any dispensation or special permission for use from the UCI.

    He said: “I’ve used an inhaler since I was a kid – I do have exercise-induced asthma, it’s nothing new to me, it’s something I’ve used throughout my career.

    “I don’t use it every time I race, normally only when I know I’ve got a big effort coming up or something. It’s completely allowed, you don’t even need a TUE (Therapeutic Use Exemption) for it so it’s a bit of a surprise that everyone is talking about it.”

    Asked why he thought the inhaler puff attracted so much attention he said: “I think given the sport’s history people are looking for a reason …I mean there’s no need to make a big deal out of it.

    “A lot of people have seen the interviews I do after a race, part of the coughing that I have all the time – that’s part of that narrowing of my airways and that’s one of the reasons I use the inhaler.”

    While Froome insists there was nothing illegal in his nebuliser, some popular asthma drugs in particular doses are banned: more than 1600mg of salbutamol over 24 hours is prohibited by WADA. Formoterol will also trigger an adverse analytical finding if more than 30 ng/mL is detected in a urine test and lacks an accompanying TUE.

    In 2008, Alessandro Petacchi was banned...

  • Yates impresses in Dauphiné mountains

    Orica-GreenEdge's Adam Yates wins Stage 6 at the Tour of Turkey
    Article published:
    June 10, 2014, 18:00 BST
    Daniel Benson

    Briton aims for stage wins with Orica-GreenEdge

    First year professional Adam Yates of the Orica GreenEdge team laid down another strong performance on stage 2 of the Critérium du Dauphiné with eighth place on the Col du Béal. The British rider currently sits ninth overall, 1:31 minutes down on race leader Chris Froome (Team Sky) but is determined to hunt for stage wins as the race continues.

    Yates’s stage 2 ride to the summit of the Col du Béal comes on the back of a dream start to his WorldTour debut season. He and his brother Simon both turned professional with Orica GreenEdge this year with Adam already capturing a stage win and the overall at the Tour of Turkey. He followed that up with fifth overall at the Tour of California.

    “Yesterday wasn’t too bad. Obviously I’ve been in some pretty good form recently and I’ve continued that through. I had a bit of a bad week after California due to jetlag and fatigue but I had an easy week and then started training again. I’m happy with how yesterday went,” Yates told Cyclingnews at the start of the third stage.

    Stage 2 was marked by the hotly contested battle between Alberto Contador and Chris Froome with both riders keen to show off their form ahead of the Tour de France. Froome made several brutal attacks that helped to split the race on the final climb. Contador matched the Sky leader but eventually was forced to concede the stage.

  • Van Garderen not hitting the panic button ahead of Tour de France

    Tejay van Garderen (BMC Racing) is building his form into the Tour de France
    Article published:
    June 10, 2014, 18:51 BST
    Cycling News

    American to use Dauphiné to build after fractured hip

    Despite losing time on the first mountain stage of this year’s Critérium du Dauphiné, BMC Racing'Tejay van Garderen remains optimistic over his ambitions for next month’s Tour de France.

    The American all-rounder lost over two and half minutes to Team Sky's Chris Froome and Tinkoff-Saxo's Alberto Contador on the Dauphiné’s second stage, but like his rivals, he enjoyed a relatively quiet day on stage 3 with the race ending with Nikias Arndt (Giant-Shimano) winning the bunch sprint.

    A day after his time loss on the Col du Béal van Garderen spoke to Cyclingnews about his form and revealed that he had picked up a small hip facture in a crash at the Tour of Romandie last month. Until now the injury had been kept under wraps.

    “It was pretty obvious that yesterday wasn’t that good,” van Garderen told Cyclingews.

    “I was optimistic coming in here but dealing with the injury that I had at Romandie, I had to take a couple of weeks where I was off the gas a bit. I posted some good training numbers coming in and thought I should be fine but it’s obvious that I need a bit more race rhythm and a bit more building before July.”

    “I hadn’t told anyone this until yesterday but I told my teammates yesterday that when I returned to Aspen I had a scan and it showed a small fracture in my hip. After a couple of weeks there was no pain and I was able to ride. I increased the intensity a bit and...