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Second Edition Cycling News, Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Date published:
June 26, 2012, 1:00 BST
  • Czech Cycling name men's Olympic road team

    A pensive Roman Kreuziger (Astana) at the finish
    Article published:
    June 26, 2012, 3:55 BST
    Cycling News

    Kreuziger unhappy with the selection

    Roman Kreuziger (Astana) was quick to react once the Olympic team had been announced following the national championship road race. The Astana rider who most recently won a stage at the Giro d’Italia was unhappy with the federation’s choice of Jan Barta (NetApp) as his second and only teammate.

    Kreuziger had made statements earlier in the year calling for the second spot to be awarded to Zdenek Stybar (Omega Pharma - Quickstep).

    "The cooperation with Barta is impossible" he told "I respect the choice, it’s not me who decides. The Olympic Games were my big goal early in the season. I'm glad to be chosen and I will go and fight for the best result possible."

    Barta, on the other hand was pleased with the opportunity to work with the Astana rider. "I am willing to work with him, I have no problems with it"

    The selection was heavily based on the outcome of the national championship. The road race was won by Milan Kadlec (ASC Dukla Praha) with Kreuziger finishing in the front group, one spot behind Stybar, in 6th while Barta came in 12th. All three finished at the same time as the winner. The time trial was narrowly won by Barta ahead of Stybar.

  • New Zealand Olympic road squad announced

    Greg Henderson (Lotto Belisol)
    Article published:
    June 26, 2012, 6:35 BST
    Cycling News

    Henderson leads team while Roulston and Dean miss out

    Greg Henderson (Lotto Belisol) will lead a two-man men’s squad for New Zealand at the London Olympic road race. The single spot for the women's race was given to Linda Villumsen (GreenEdge - AIS) who will ride in her first Olympics - in New Zealand colours. She was chosen to represent Denmark at the 2008 Beijing Games.

    It will be Henderson’s fifth Olympics after his debut at the 1996 Atlanta Games for the team pursuit.

    "Henderson has been a form rider on the World Tour for the last three years, earning his first start in the Tour de France that begins this week, for his Lotto-Belisol team" said BikeNZ High Performance Director, Mark Elliott.

    "Greg has been in the professional peloton for a number of years and his elevation to the Tour de France is arguably something he has deserved for the last two years. This will provide him with the ideal platform for the Olympic road race."

    Henderson will be joined by 2010 NZ national champion Jack Bauer (Garmin - Sharp) who made the move up to the WorldTour this year. He rode in support of his team mate Ryder Hesjedal at this year’s Giro d’Italia, playing a vital role in the team time trial victory and finished 14th in the final individual time trial.

    "Jack is an immensely talented athlete, a big, powerful rider whose abilities have been well and truly recognised by the top teams. Jack’s abilities are suited to this type of circuit where he will be required to play a key support role for Henderson. Added to that Jack is an accomplished time triallist and he is a top-15...

  • Cofidis sacks manager Boyer

    Team manager Eric Boyer has to convince Cofidis to continue their sponsorship
    Article published:
    June 26, 2012, 9:47 BST
    Cycling News

    Frenchman sidelined for lack of results, replaced by Sanquer

    Eric Boyer, team manager of French squad Cofidis, has been sacked on Monday following weeks of rumours. François Migraine, head of the team's sponsor, blamed Boyer for the outfit's lack of results this season and decided to replace him. According to L'Equipe, former Festina, Astana and FDJ-BigMat directeur sportif Yvon Sanquer will replace him, with the start of the 2012 Tour de France only a few days away.

    Boyer, a former pro rider and Giro d'Italia stage winner, joined Cofidis in 2005 to save the team in the aftermath of the Cofidis doping affair, which involved a soigneur and several riders including Philippe Gaumont and David Millar. The now 48-year-old succeeded in restoring the team's credibility and brought the outfit back to success, while at the same time being active as president of the team's association AIGCP. Cofidis' best year in terms of results during his tenrue was in 2008, when Samuel Dumoulin and Sylvain Chavanel won stages at the Tour de France and Chavanel won two Flandrian semi-Classics, Dwars Door Vlaanderen and Brabantse Pijl.

    But after the team lost its ProTour license in 2010, results have not been convincing and Boyer's recent incapacity to keep such promising riders like Tony Gallopin, who opted for RadioShack, were additional reasons which led to his exit. Nonetheless, L'Equipe quotes a rider agent, who noted, "It's suprising to reproach to Eric Boyer for having failed in terms of rider recruiting when it was actually François Migraine who directly negotiated the contracts, often behind Boyer's back."

    Boyer has not yet publicly reacted to this new turn of events, nor has Cofidis officially announced Yvon Sanquer as new manager. But Migraine hopes that the change of...

  • French long team for London 2012 Olympics announced

    Laurent Jalabert in the car.
    Article published:
    June 26, 2012, 10:41 BST
    Cycling News

    Women's selection officially without Longo

    The French cycling federation has published a long list of seven names for the London 2012 Olympic men's road events. Bearing in mind that national coach Laurent Jalabert has to reduce this list to four available spots, it nevertheless gives an insight on who might finally be chosen to participate on July 5.

    Sylvain Chavanel, Arnaud Démare, Tony Gallopin, Anthony Roux, Julien Simon, Arthur Vichot and Thomas Voeckler have been selected to possibly compete. With one spot alotted for the Olympic time trial, chances are the 2012 French time trial champion Chavanel will join the definitive Olympic squad. As for the road race, Démare has a good chance of obtaining a spot as he is the only pure sprinter on the long list.

    In the women's events, three young riders all under 23 years of age have been appointed: Pauline Ferrand-Prévot, Aude Biannic and Audrey Cordon. Veteran Jeannie Longo, less competitive and in difficulty for two alleged doping affairs, will miss her first Games since 1980. Ferrand-Prévot, although French time trial champion, will not compete in the race against the clock, as she is already down for the mountainbike event. Cordon will race the time trial.

  • Gesink added to Dutch squad for London 2012 Olympics

    Robert Gesink (Rabobank) puts in a dig
    Article published:
    June 26, 2012, 12:13 BST
    Cycling News

    Tour podium "not realistic" says Rabobank manager

    Robert Gesink (Rabobank) has been added to the Dutch squad for the London 2012 Olympics after he decided that the road race circuit might prove more demanding than was originally thought.

    Lars Boom, Sebastien Langeveld, Lieuwe Westra and Nike Terpstra had already been selected, with Westra and Terpstra also slated to ride the time trial.

    With an average gradient of 5%, the 2.5km climb of Box Hill is the principal difficulty on the road course. Gesink likened the ascent to Amstel Gold Race’s Camerig and believes that it will take its toll on the peloton when tackled nine times. Mark Cavendish won a bunch sprint over a shorter distance at the Olympic test event last August, but Gesink is hopeful that it will be a different kind of race on July 28.

    “I’m hearing more and more experts insist that it’s going to be a tough race,” Gesink told De Telegraaf. “The ascent of Box Hill is like the Camerig and if you go up that nine times, then the race will definitely be hard. That’s made me come back on my earlier decision [not to ride the Olympics.]”

    Before the Olympic Games, Gesink lines up at the Tour de France with aspirations of a high overall finish, but he insisted that is able to perform strongly coming out of a grand tour.

    “I think that I could be in good shape in London,” he said. “In recent years the best riders from the Tour have always animated the Clasica San Sebastian the following week.”

    Gesink also pointed to his performance at Sunday’s Dutch national championships as proof of his willingness to ride in a support role if the situation arises. He worked for his Rabobank...

  • Vandenbergh forced out of Tour de France

    Stijn Vandenbergh (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) at the start
    Article published:
    June 26, 2012, 14:25 BST
    Cycling News

    Martin Velits replaces him in Omega Pharma-QuickStep team

    Stijn Vandenbergh has been forced to withdraw from the Omega Pharma-QuickStep team for the Tour de France as he is suffering from a saddle sore. The Belgian will be replaced in the selection by Martin Velits, who will now line up alongside his brother Peter.

    Vandenbergh had been struggling with the delicate injury in the wake of the Critérium du Dauphiné but he believed he was over the worst when he was listed in the original Omega Pharma-QuickStep team last week. However, after riding to 38th at the Belgian championships on Sunday, a race won by his leader Tom Boonen, Vandenbergh realised that he would have to withdraw from the Tour.

    “I had this problem in the last ten days and it was almost solved," Vandenbergh said. "But Sunday's national championship exacerbated the problem. Together with the medical staff of the team, we decided not to take risks. This is why I will not participate in the Tour.”

    Vandenbergh winner has ridden the Tour de France on two previous occasions. In 2009, he reached Paris in 95th place, while he finished outside the time limit on the stage to Station des Rousses.

    “I am really sad, but I think there are no other solutions,” he said. “I have to think also about the team. I don't want to start, not knowing how I would be during the race. The Tour is a demanding race, and you need nine riders completely ready and healthy for the fight.”

    While the 2007 Tour of Ireland winner misses out on La Grande Boucle, his replacement Martin Velits will make his first appearance in the race. The Slovak has completed the Vuelta a España in each of the past four seasons, although he was...

  • Scarponi and Petacchi lead Lampre-ISD Tour de France team

    Alessandro Petacchi (Lampre - ISD) always feels like he's carrying the team
    Article published:
    June 26, 2012, 15:44 BST
    Cycling News

    Matt Lloyd returns to La Grande Boucle

    Michele Scarponi and Alessandro Petacchi will lead an experienced Lampre-ISD team at the Tour de France, which gets underway in Liège on Saturday, while there also a place in the line-up for Australia’s Matt Lloyd.

    Scarponi finished last month’s Giro d’Italia in fourth place but has not ridden the Tour since 2004, when he raced alongside Mario Cipollini at Domina Vacanze. With almost 100 kilometres of time trialling on the course, the 32-year-old has ruled himself out of mounting a podium challenge, and is instead targeting stage victories and a possible tilt at the mountains classification.

    Before lining up at the Tour, however, Scarponi must first negotiate an Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) hearing on Wednesday, as he has been summoned to Rome to discuss allegations that he has been a client of the infamous doctor Michele Ferrari. The allegations arose due to the Padova-based anti-doping investigation centred on Ferrari’s activities.

    Petacchi will lead the line for Lampre-ISD in the sprints, ably abetted by Danilo Hondo and Grega Bole. Petacchi skipped the Giro in order to focus on the accumulation of WorldTour points elsewhere but the Italian has endured a low-key opening to his season.

    Petacchi eventually got off the mark with a hat-trick of stage victories at the Bayern-Rundfahrt last month and he will now be looking to repeat his exploits of 2010, when he took two stage wins and the green jersey in Paris. Later that summer, Petacchi was questioned by CONI regarding his implication in the Padova inquiry.

    2010 Giro mountains prize winner Matt Lloyd makes the Tour squad after proving his fitness at the Critérium du...

  • Cavendish not eyeing Tour de France green jersey

    Although he didn't win a stage, Cavendish was on form for all four stages
    Article published:
    June 26, 2012, 18:22 BST
    Mark Robinson

    Team Sky man mindful of Olympics and Wiggins bid for yellow

    With just four days to go until the start of the 2012 Tour de France, Cyclingnews was present in East London as 2011 green jersey winner Mark Cavendish held court at a press conference organised by Team Sky.

    The 26-year-old from the Isle of Man looked lean and ready for action as he answered questions about his ambitions and that of his team for the three-week showpiece, which starts in Liège on Saturday. Cavendish was in a calm and co-operative mood but there was no doubting the steel in his eyes and supreme self-confidence in some of his answers, which is the hallmark of all great athletes as their date with destiny draws nearer and nearer.

    "My form's really good, it's the best it's been for a few years heading into the Tour," he says.

    "I've got a lot of wins this year and I'm excited to get started on Saturday. It's come round quickly - it always does - but I'm happy I've done everything right and prepared properly."

    With the Tour imminent and the small matter of a home Olympics coming just six days after its finish, there is much on Cavendish's plate. So just how much has his new surroundings at Team Sky helped him to digest it all?

    "You're not just expected to turn up and ride here - there's actually an emphasis on getting you prepared to ride," he said.

    "I was never a big fan of the scientific approach in the past. I didn't used to look at my numbers on a graph. But I've been working with Tim Kerrison and Rod Ellingworth for a while now and I've come to realise that it wasn't the methods that I didn't like, it was the way they were presented to me.

    "They're now put to me in a way I can understand and not by some scientist who has never...