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Second Edition Cycling News, Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Date published:
June 12, 2012, 1:00 BST
  • BikeNZ PureBlack chasing more success at Tour de Beauce

    James Williamson (Pure Black Racing) wins the Elite Men’s race.
    Article published:
    June 12, 2012, 5:37 BST
    Cycling News

    Kiwi outfit back in action following Asian tour

    BikeNZ PureBlack Racing, New Zealand’s National Cycling team, will begin the Tour de Beauce in Quebec, Canada on Tuesday.

    Director Sportif, John Harris, believes the team is ready to take on the teams such as Team Optum and Equipe Canadienne.

    Harris said: "There is plenty of good competition that is going to make it a hard tour, teams from the European division two and local Canadian teams."

    The BikeNZ PureBlack Racing team includes five of the team members who have spent the last three months racing in Asia, and will be joined by Taylor Gunman, who has been racing for the BikeNZ PureBlack Racing Under-23 team in Europe.

    Gunman is excited to reconnect with the team in Canada saying: "It is sure to be another successful trip, the team is made up of some great riders who are also good mates, making it exciting to travel and compete."

    Harris is looking for the team to become a stronger team throughout this tour but does not want them to get too excited.

    Harris said: "I want the boys riding hard and strong during Beauce, we need to get them strong again after the three months Asia, the goal for the tour is to have solid rides, take stage wins and not empty our chambers.

    "Conditions are looking good and the weather is beautiful, it is going to be a good tour."

    This is the second year PureBlack is racing in the Tour de Beauce, with the team picking up a stage win, and a number of top 10 placings in its inaugural appearance.

    The team who will be racing in the Tour de Beauce is: Joseph Cooper, Louis Crosby, Taylor Gunman, Michael Torckler, Roman van Uden (Captain), James Williamson.



  • Video: Robert Gesink's climb to victory

    Robert Gesink (Rabobank) goes off by himself.
    Article published:
    June 12, 2012, 8:14 BST
    Cycling News

    Take a front row seat as the Rabobank man prepares for the Tour

    Eight months after he broke his leg in a training crash, Rabobank rider Robert Gesink was back on top, winning the 2012 Amgen Tour of California on his Giant TCR Advanced SL – his first win since February 2011.

    The 2011 season started out good, as he won two stages of the Tour of Oman on his way to the overall title.  Although he had a number of top placings, he never again stood alone on the top step of the podium that year.

    Things look to have turned around this year, though. Gesink crowned his comeback by winning the Mount Baldy stage of the recent Amgen Tour of California, giving him the race lead which he held until the end.

    "I was racing already this year, but the results weren't there. I'm happy [now] because athletes want results. It's been slower than I wanted but now I'm here," he said after that race.

    Join Gesink in Sierra Nevada, Spain, as he prepared for the Tour de Suisse and Tour de France with his Rabobank teammates.

  • Rolland "better than last year"

    Pierre Rolland (Europcar)
    Article published:
    June 12, 2012, 10:37 BST
    Cycling News

    2011 Tour de France best young rider confident after Dauphiné

    Winner of the white jersey last July, Frenchman Pierre Rolland is looking forward to the upcoming Tour de France, having found the form he was looking for at the Critérium du Dauphiné.

    Rolland did not score any spectacular result at the Dauphiné, but used the race to gauge his form - and was very satisfied. "It's not easy to express 100 percent of my capabilities in a one-week race. I tried to get into the right breakaways, but I'm often better in the second or third week. All in all, I feel a bit better than last year. I'm more at ease in the mountains and inside the peloton in general. The last Tour de France taught me the importance of positioning. I've also gained more confidence in the descents," the Europcar rider told L'Equipe.

    Thanks to his success at last year's race, Rolland has matured into a team leader, a position he shares with Thomas Voeckler. "I've gained a lot of confidence in myself. Moreover, I've come to an age where I can be more of a protected rider within my team. My teammates will be playing towards my advantage."

    This also applies to the more experienced Voeckler. "I worked for him in Liège-Bastogne-Liège, on the Tour last year, and I know he'll be doing the same for me. If I tell him one morning that I feel good and that I can win, I know he'll help me. He's a smart guy, you can tell by the way he races. He never attacks for nothing," Rolland continued.

    Unlike the previous edition, this year's Tour de France will include an increased number of time trial kilometres, for which the climber will prepare by racing the French time trial championships. "It's simple: I'll...

  • Dan Martin happy to make it through Critérium du Dauphiné

    Daniel Martin and Sebastien Rosseler (Garmin Barracuda)
    Article published:
    June 12, 2012, 11:22 BST
    Barry Ryan

    Irishman keeps Tour hopes alive after crash

    In spite of crashing heavily on the opening road stage, Dan Martin (Garmin-Barracuda) managed to complete the Critérium du Dauphiné and keep his hopes of making his Tour de France debut intact.

    The Irishman fell forcefully on his right side, injuring his shoulder and cracking his helmet in two in the process, but fortunately sustained no broken bones in the incident. Although his restricted movement would hinder his ability to eat on the bike for much of the week, Martin battled through to Châtel and declared himself pleased with his condition as he emerged from the race.

    “I’m really proud to have finished the race now because it’s been a really tough week,” Martin told Cyclingnews in Morzine ahead of Sunday’s final stage. “The physios and the chiropractor have been great and the guys have been incredible at keeping the morale up.

    “I just count myself pretty lucky because I was pretty sure that I’d broken my shoulder when I crashed. So to come away from that with just some muscular damage is pretty good.”

    Martin was able to count on the help of Sep Vanmarcke in particular during his travails on stages two and three, as he struggled to feed himself on the hoof. “I didn’t have the strength in my right arm to support myself when I took my left hand off the bars to eat,” he explained.

    Indeed, like Andy Schleck, who would crash and eventually abandon later in the week, Martin’s injuries meant that simply climbing out of the saddle proved nigh on impossible for several days. “I couldn’t get out of the...

  • Sanchez heads for Sierra Nevada ahead of Tour de France

    Olympic champion Samuel Sánchez (Euskaltel-Euskadi) leads Jelle Vanendert (Omega Pharma-Lotto) on Luz-Ardiden.
    Article published:
    June 12, 2012, 12:09 BST
    Cycling News

    No broken ribs for Olympic champion after Dauphiné crash

    Samuel Sanchez (Euskaltel-Euskadi) struggled through the Critérium du Dauphiné after crashing early on the opening road stage, but the Spaniard’s Tour de France participation is not in doubt after a scan on Monday confirmed that he had sustained no broken ribs in the incident.

    The Olympic champion consulted Sporting Gijon club doctor Antonio Maestro on his return from France, and learned that he was suffering from a tear to his left latissimus dorsi muscle and an edema near his right fourth rib. Sanchez will spend two days off the bike before beginning his final build-up to the Tour.

    “If I had pulled out of the Dauphiné, I would have been a step behind in my preparation and I could almost have waved goodbye to the Tour, but I managed to keep going and at least I have eight days of high-level racing in my legs,” Sanchez told El Comercio.

    Sanchez, who finished the Dauphiné almost an hour down on overall winner Bradley Wiggins (Sky) will travel to Sierra Nevada on Wednesday to undertake a ten-day training camp at altitude. Third overall in 2010 [following the disqualification of Alberto Contador – ed.] and king of the mountains last year, Sanchez agreed that based on their Dauphiné form, Wiggins and defending champion Cadel Evans (BMC) would be the men to beat in July.

    “Wiggins is very strong and his Sky team is really very motivated,” said Sanchez. “I also felt that Evans was going very well."

  • Nibali starts training camp on Passo San Pellegrino

    Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas - Cannondale) cracked on the Joux Plane
    Article published:
    June 12, 2012, 13:26 BST
    Cycling News

    Italian to work on long climbs ahead of Tour de France

    From Tuesday, June 12 until Saturday, June 23, Liquigas-Cannondale is holding a last pre-Tour de France training camp on the Passo San Pellegrino, including Vincenzo Nibali and Ivan Basso. Nibali, the designated leader for the upcoming grand tour, will use the camp to get his form up to the desired level following a Critérium du Dauphiné in which his performances were somewhat limited compared to his rivals for July.

    The Italian was on the attack on the final day after having losing more than nine minutes on Saturday's queen stage, which involved the HC climb Col de Joux-Plane. "It was a question of pride, and most of all, I wanted to see how I'd feel," he told Gazzetta dello Sport, explaining his moved that was ultimately doomed. "In the stage of the Joux Plane I had a bad day. But I'm not hiding the fact that I'm looking for better form, and for that the efforts made in the race will serve me well. I was looking for answers and I got some.

    "There were riders who were doing well, but I think that many were worse than I was," he added, possibly alluding to Andy Schleck's recent form. The RadioShack-Nissan is arguably in even worse form just three weeks prior to the Tour, where Bradley Wiggins (Sky) and Cadel Evans (BMC) now look to be the top favourites.

    But Nibali remains confident that he can catch up on his delay during the training camp and by competing in the Italian road race championships on June 23. On Passo San Pellegrino, "I have to do some specific mountain training, especially on the long ascents that last more than one hour."

    The 2010 Vuelta a Espana winner and two-time Giro d'Italia...

  • Voeckler's Tour de France start not in danger

    Thomas Voeckler (Europcar) was in the break but was dropped on the Joux Plane
    Article published:
    June 12, 2012, 14:57 BST
    Cycling News

    Knee pain won't stop Europcar rider in July

    Thomas Voeckler (Europcar) should be able to ride the Tour de France as planned, despite having abandoned during the Critérium du Dauphiné's last stage due to knee pain. Voeckler threw in the towel after 28km of the undulating stage seven from Morzine to Chatel. The two-time French national champion had been part of Saturday's main break on the queen stage to Morzine.

    "Thomas has been weakened by a problem with his right knee. It's a muscular problem and not as a result of a knock or a crash," said directeur sportif Andy Flicklinger, quick to reassure the media that Voeckler's withdrawal was merely precautionary and that his participation in the Tour de France was not in danger.

    "Thomas's injury is not a concern. He noticed there was a slight twinge in his right knee during the stage to Morzine and he simply didn't want to take any risks."

    Voeckler, who's done a lot of racing already since the start of the season, finished fourth overall in last year's Tour and wore the yellow jersey for ten days.

  • 2012 Tour of Utah course announced

    The capitol building was the backdrop for today's race start.
    Article published:
    June 12, 2012, 15:06 BST
    Cycling News

    'America's Toughest Stage Race' twice as tough this year

    Organizers of the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah revealed on Tuesday that this year's event, scheduled for August 7-12, will increase the overall distance from 409 miles to 550 miles of racing over six days. New and refreshed courses along the Wasatch Front will provide 37,500 vertical feet of climbing, including a new road race on the final day in Park City via the summit of Empire Pass.

    Sanctioned by the UCI as a 2.1-rated stage race, the Tour of Utah has added 33 percent more miles of racing for the athletes, of which many come on the first day in Ogden with a 131.6-mile stage race rather than a short, opening prologue. The Tour will also include 11 intermediate sprint lines and 13 King of the Mountain (KOM) climbs this year. This is an increase from eight sprint lines and five KOM climbs in 2011. This year there is a 25 percent increase in elevation gain for the week, up from 30,000 feet to 37,415 feet of vertical gain.

    "'Tough' really is the quintessential word for the Tour of Utah this year," said Steve Miller, president of the Tour of Utah. "The reconfigured course will really test the best cyclists in the world. And it's going to be unbelievably exciting for fans - from the enormous crowds we expect at all the host venues and at all the King of the Mountain climbs, to the worldwide audience we anticipate with live coverage on both FOX Sports Network and Tour Tracker,"

    Levi Leipheimer, the two-time defending Tour of Utah champion, expects fine battles between the climbers. "The Tour of Utah is very important for American cycling," said the Omega Pharma-QuickStep rider, whose team has recently accepted an invitation to race to race the event for the first time. "It's billed as 'America's Toughest Stage Race,' and I believe the courses...