Presidential candidate says allegations will be investigated
Brian Cookson, challenger for the role of UCI President, has said that he was left "disturbed" by the contents of the dossier allegedly produced by UCI Management Committee member Mike Plant over the weekend. The UCI Management Committee was meeting in Bergen, Norway.
Cookson did not divulge the contents of the dossier, writing the second of his planned regular blog posts during his bid to replace incumbent Pat McQuaid.
"I have to respect the confidentiality of the Management Committee with regards to the contents of the dossier with which we were presented," Cookson wrote. "But what I can say is that I was disturbed by what I heard and I have been assured it will be properly investigated."
The dossier, believed to be centred on McQuaid’s dealings with Lance Armstrong, was reported to spark a heated debate within the meeting possibly resulted in a vote of no confidence for the man that had led the UCI since 2006.
Katusha rider on Froome, time trialling and the Alps
Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) is not ruling himself out of the running for Tour de France victory although the Catalan has acknowledged that Chris Froome (Sky) is the favourite to carry the maillot jaune to Paris.
Rodriguez is making only the second Tour appearance of his career – he finished 7th in 2010 – but at 34 years of age and after finishing on the podium of both the Giro d’Italia and Vuelta a España last year, he is hopeful of making a big impact in July.
“I’m not giving up on it,” Rodriguez told AS of his chances of Tour victory. “Last year I was second in the Giro and third in the Vuelta and I could have won both of them. I am a mature rider. I know it’s complicated but I won’t rule myself out before the race begins.”
Rodriguez does not believe his lack of Tour experience will count against him, particularly given that he competed against his chief rivals at the Vuelta last year. “In the end the rivals will be the same – Froome, Contador, Valverde,” he said. “Sure, the Tour is more stressful than any other race, but it’s the same for everyone.”
In 2011 and 2012, Rodriguez opted to race the Giro and the Vuelta but he explained that the relative lack of time trialling miles on this year’s Tour parcours persuaded him to return to France. There are two individual time trials on the route – the 33km test to Mont-Saint-Michel on stage 11 and the 32km stage to Chorges on the final Wednesday of the race.
“This year there aren’t long, flat time trials where you have to go at 55kph. The two time trials are shorter and hillier, especially the second one,” said Rodriguez, who is mindful, however, that he must...
The Dutch team is riding its first Tour de France as a WorldTour team. Last year it secured a wild card invitation but made little impact. Ambitions are much higher this year. Kittel has already shown he can take on and beat the best sprinters in the world, winning Scheldeprijs, stages at the Tour of Oman, Paris-Nice, the Tour of Turkey and, most recently, at the Ster ZLM Toer.
Argos-Shimano will clash with Mark Cavendish’s Omega Pharma-Quick Step squad, Andre Greipel and his experienced Lotto Belisol lead-out team and Orica-GreenEdge, which is set to ride for Matt Goss in the Tour de France sprints.
“We will be looking for stage wins at this Tour de France and have lined up the strongest team possible to achieve this. In the flat stages, Marcel Kittel will be leading our team to sprint success,” said sports manager Christian Guiberteau in the official announcement from the team.
“When the bunch hits some of the hillier stages, we have Giro stage winner John Degenkolb who can be successful. We are also looking forward to seeing a strong sprint train.”
The Argos-Shimano Tour de France squad is working on perfecting its sprint lead-out and testing equipment at the Circuit Zandvoort in northern Holland today.
“Creating the perfect sprint train takes years. The key to our train is the combination of science and experience. All the team members can...
The Blanco team has revealed its nine-rider squad for the 100th edition of the Tour de France, opting to name Bauke Mollema and not Robert Gesink, as team leader.
The Dutch team, that was sponsored by Rabobank until the bank quit following a series of doping scandals last winter, is expected to reveal Belkin as its news sponsor on the eve of the Tour de France.
Gesink has often been the team's leader at Grand Tours but after his poor performance and retirement at the Giro d'Italia and Mollema's second place overall at the Tour de Suisse, Mollema has been given the protected leadership role in the team.
“We have geared our team around Bauke”, stated directeur sportif Nico Verhoeven in the official team announcement.
“We are looking to score a good classification with him. We are aiming for the top ten but in fact we’re simply trying for the maximum achievable. We could say that we’d like Bauke to finish fourth, but if he then finishes fourth when second was within grasp, I’d say we’d be less satisfied. But if it turns out that he is seventh and that is the best result we could have expected, then we’d be happy with that.”
“In the Tour of Switzerland, Bauke showed that he was ready in the way he rode and led the team. On top of a good GC, we would like to take a stage win."
Mollema will be supported by teammates Lars Boom, Laurens ten Dam, Gesink, Tom Leezer, Lars Petter Nordhaug, Bram Tankink, Sep Vanmarcke en Maarten Wynants. The Dutch team has decided to focus on the overall classification, opting not to select sprinters Theo Bos or Mark Renshaw.
The Australian hinted that he would not be part of the Blanco Tour...
The Cyclingnews Fantasy Tour de France game is now open for registration. With less than two weeks to go before the 2013 Tour de France kicks off in Corsica, it's your chance to show that you could do a better job than all the other so-called pro team managers picking an unbeatable Tour squad.
You can play for free, limited to one team per entrant. All you need to do is pick nine riders, a team and a bonus stage and you'll have a chance to transfer up to 24 riders during the course of the race.
You score points from stage placings down to 20th, your team scores if one of your riders finishes in the top five on the stage, and you get additional points if your riders finish a stage or retain the yellow or green jersey at the end of a day.
Your team will score double points in your nominated bonus stage. Note that there are no points for the team time trial and no points for the final overall classifications.
Haussler spent two nights in hospital in Uster before returning home – “I’d been on the road already for six weeks before Suisse, between racing and altitude training and I just really wanted to get home,” he explained – and he will now spend the best part of three months off the bike as he faces into a lengthy rehabilitation process.
“If everything goes smoothly, I should be back on the bike within ten to twelve weeks. I just need a lot of patience at the moment,” Haussler told Cyclingnews. “It depends on how quickly it heals. I’m going to have to do a lot of physio and a lot of rehab because I can’t move my left leg really at all. The big problem is that I’m going to lose all of that muscle in the next six to eight weeks and then I’m going to have to build all of that back up again. But at least I didn’t need to get operated on and nothing’s crooked on the hip or pelvis, so it was a good break in that sense.”
Haussler, of course, is all too aware of the road he now has to travel and he is mindful, too, that it there are plenty of potential pitfalls along the way. A series of crashes in 2010 saw him undergo knee surgery in June of that year and, filled with the buoyancy of youth perhaps, his first instinct was to return to racing as quickly as possible. Now 29, experience has taught Haussler to be rather more cautious in the...
Cannondale hoping for an early spell in the maillot jaune
Peter Sagan is hoping to wear the Tour de France race leader’s maillot jaune, the yellow jersey, before going on to fight for a second points competition green jersey in this year’s 100th edition of the Grand Boucle. The Slovak will be the sole leader of the Cannondale team.
Sagan proved he will be at his very best in for the opening stages of the Tour de France by winning two stages at the Tour de Suisse. He was able to handle the hilly stages and then had the speed to beat his rival in the sprint to the line. He also won two stages at the Amgen Tour of California and won the points jersey yet again.
The 23 year-old Slovakian won three stages in the 2012 and took the green jersey. With this year’s Tour de France beginning with three road stages in Corsica before travelling to Nice for the team time trial, Sagan is targeting a few days in yellow as well as a second green jersey. A good performance in the stage four team time trial could see Sagan stay in yellow all the way to the Pyrenees.
As a result Sagan and his Cannondale spent Monday morning training for the contre-la-montre par équipes in Italy.
“We would like to try to be in the yellow jersey in the first part of the Tour and so the time trial is a very important part of this plan," Sagan said in a press conference at home in Slovakia as he prepared for Sunday’s national championships.
"Last year we had Vincenzo Nibali in the team who was an overall contender. Now I’m the leader. My goal is clear: to defend my green jersey and get the most stage wins I can. It won’t be easy because I’ll be up against Cavendish, Greipel and Goss. You can’t have a bad day, you’ve got to choose the right tactics and you need a strong team.”
The full breakdown of the 100th Tour de France route
The 100th edition of the Tour de France is just around the corner and teams are finalizing their rosters. Which stages will be critical for the overall contenders? Which ones could create surprises? All of these questions and more are answered in 21 video previews featuring former Tour stage winner Magnus Bäckstedt.
The Swedish/British commentator walks us through each of the stages, from the opening flat stage to the twilight finale in Paris, pointing out all of the features which will determine how the race will evolve.
All 21 videos are available in the playlist below, or you can view the text descriptions, watch the video and see the maps and profiles on each of Cyclingnews' stage preview pages, starting with stage 1.