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Second Edition Cycling News, Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Date published:
June 05, 2012, 1:00 BST
  • "Dress rehearsal" for Evans at Dauphiné

    John Lelangue
    Article published:
    June 05, 2012, 9:57 BST
    Cycling News

    BMC director Lelangue happy with stage one victory

    The Critérium du Dauphiné has always had the reputation of being a miniature Tour de France before the big event in July itself, and this was confirmed again on Monday when Cadel Evans (BMC) took the stage victory while Bradley Wiggins (Sky) moved into the general classification lead. Both Tour de France overall favourites showed themselves at the front, and while the same could not be said of Andy Schleck (RadioShack-Nissan), one of the last pre-Tour tests lived up to its expectations.

    At the stage finish in Saint-Vallier, following Evans' victorious sprint of a three-man group, morale at the BMC team bus was understandably high. But team director John Lelangue insisted that the Australian did not only prepare the Tour de France at the Dauphiné, but also came for the event itself. "It wasn't our intention to deal out a blow to our rivals for the Tour - we want to ride a good Dauphiné," the manager told Sporza. But he couldn't deny that almost everything that happened at the French stage race could be interpreted in view of the Tour.

    "We are here with almost our complete Tour squad. It is a good dress rehearsal for us."

    Unlike over at RadioShack, BMC has nothing to worry about in light of the recent results. "Cadel has a good altitude training camp behind him. His programme was purposely lighter than last year, but he's in good shape already. In three weeks, he will be even much better," added Lelangue, who however did not want to comment on Andy Schleck's poor performance.

    "I don't look at our rivals, only at our own...

  • Sanchez and Martin confirmed to continue Dauphiné

    Samuel Sanchez (Euskaltel) struggles home
    Article published:
    June 05, 2012, 10:27 BST
    Cycling News

    Euskaltel-Euskadi leader and Irishman hope to struggle on

    The Basque Euskaltel-Euskadi team has announced that Samuel Sanchez will continue to race the Critérium du Dauphiné despite the heavy crash and bruised ribs he suffered in Monday's stage one. The Olympic champion finished 24 minutes down on the stage winner Cadel Evans (BMC), visibly suffering, but x-rays at the hospital later showed no fracture.

    "Yesterday, Samu was able to finish the stage thanks to his teammates. Today, he will take the start and I hope there won't be any problems to continue," directeur sportif Gorka Gerrikagoitia told Biciciclismo.

    After his crash, Sanchez covered the remaining 140 kilometres surrounded by his teammates Pello Bilbao and Ricardo García. He was in a lot of pain, and could barely get off his bike on his own at the finish, his left rib cage heavily bruised.

    Another crash victim of stage one was Garmin-Barracuda's Daniel Martin. He, too, will be at the start again today as he announdced on Twitter: "Been rocktaped back together for today's stage. Hope it works."

    Tuesday's stage two of the Dauphiné will be a tough nut for both riders as it has six categorised climbs on the menu, totaling 2900 vertical meters.

  • Savio doubts Rujano's mononucleosis claim

    Jose Guillen Rujano (Androni Giocattoli)
    Article published:
    June 05, 2012, 10:57 BST
    Cycling News

    Venezuelan abandoned Giro on stage 19

    Androni-Venezuela manager Gianni Savio has dismissed José Rujano’s claim that he abandoned the Giro d’Italia due to the effects of mononucleosis. Rujano pulled out of the race on stage 19 and last week released a statement explaining that subsequent medical tests had revealed the illness.

    “While it’s not my intention to have an argument with the rider, I have to intervene since nobody can be allowed to alter the reality of the facts and cast doubt on the professionalism of those who work for our team,” Savio said, according to Tuttobici. “Rujano maintains that his Giro abandon was caused by mononucleosis, but the blood tests didn’t show mononucleosis in an acute phase, but rather traces of a previous exposure to the virus.”

    Rujano had entered the Giro with high hopes after his stage victory twelve months ago, but he never made an impact in the race, and was lying over 40 minutes down on general classification when he withdrew on the road to Alpe di Pampeago. It was the second time that Rujano had stoked the ire of Savio with a Giro abandon – in 2006, he famously climbed off on the descent to La Thuile, just three kilometres from the finish.

    “[Team doctor] Luca Romano confirmed that Rujano never presented any medical pathology that would prevent him from continuing in the race,” Savio said. “In fact, in every team meeting in the first 17 stages, the rider always said that he felt good, and the team always ‘sacrificed’ two riders to ride alongside the ‘captain.’”

    Savio labelled Rujano’s announcement that he was now preparing for the London 2012 Olympics as...

  • Betancur attracts WorldTour interest

    Carlos Alberto Betancur Gomez (Acqua & Sapone) wins the final stage in Belgium
    Article published:
    June 05, 2012, 12:26 BST
    Cycling News

    Colombian enjoys Melinda success

    Carlos Alberto Betancur (Acqua&Sapone) has revealed that his recent run of form has not gone unnoticed at WorldTour level. The Colombian talent took a fine stage win at the Tour of Belgium at the end of May and followed that up with victory at the Trofeo Melinda at the weekend.

    “I’m happy with everything that’s happened over the past few months. The two wins that I had in less than a week have opened up some more doors for me,” Betancur told El Colombiano.

    The 22-year-old was reported to have signed for Liquigas-Cannondale at the end of last season, but ultimately remained put at Acqua&Sapone when it emerged that he still had another year to run on an existing deal.

    “Many have come to ask if I am available, but I’ll only know in August if I’ll stay with Acqua&Sapone or if I’ll go to the WorldTour. But there are a lot of offers,” Betancur said.

    After a string of strong performances at the Giro del Trentino, Giro della Toscana and Four Days of Dunkirk, Betancur got off the mark for 2012 with a victory on the final stage of the Tour of Belgium at Engis. It was his performance at the Trofeo Melinda that garnered the most attention, however, as he coolly dispatched Moreno Moser (Liquigas-Cannondale) and Giampaolo Caruso (Katusha) in the sprint at Malè.

    “Gazzetta dello Sport said last week that I’m like an eagle, who fixes his eyes on his prey and knows when to launch himself,” said Betancur.

    Betancur is currently at...

  • Vos to lead Dutch women in Olympics

    Marianne Vos (Rabo Women) opens a gap on a descent
    Article published:
    June 05, 2012, 17:00 BST
    Cycling News

    Rabobank rider expected to be fully recovered from fractured collarbone

    Marianne Vos will lead the four-woman Dutch team in the road cycling events at the 2012 London Olympics. Vos, who is recovering from a fractured collarbone, will ride in both the road race and time trial.

    The Dutch cycling federation announced the team on Monday. Vos will be joined by Annemiek van Vleuten, Loes Gunnewijk and Ellen van Dijk. The latter will join Vos in the time trial. Adrie Visser is the reserve for the road race.

    The womens' road race will be held on Sunday, July 29, and the time trial on August 2.

    Vos, who rides for the Rabobank women's team, broke the collarbone in a crash with a race motorbike shortly after the start of the Parkhotel Valkenburg Classic on May 25. She not only rode the race to the end but finished second.

    It was a clean break which does not require surgery, and she expects to be racing again in the Giro Donne, starting June 29.

  • Video: Riis on losing riders like the Schlecks

    Article published:
    June 05, 2012, 17:40 BST
    Cycling News

    Dane admits he can get too close to his riders

    The Leopard-Trek team of 2011 was built on the many of the foundations Bjarne Riis had helped set up. Along with a talent base that included the Schleck brothers, Jacob Fuglsang, Fabian Cancellara and Jens Voigt, the team was run by Kim Anderson and Brian Nygaard, both of whom had served under Riis’s management at CSC and Saxobank.

    At his book launch - Stages of Light and Dark – in London last week, Riis spoke about his rider management style, admitting that he allows himself to get too close to riders but that it’s an important element of bonding as he aims to draw out the best from his staff.

    He also admits that losing his riders to rival teams is "part of the game" while in his autobiography he discloses that the loss of Fabian Cancellara was one of the hardest departure he has dealt with.


  • Funds to save Basque races donated to cycling federations

    The flag of the Basque country.
    Article published:
    June 05, 2012, 19:20 BST
    Cycling News

    Grassroots effort benefits local programs

    Funds donated to save two Basque races will be instead used to support the local cycling federations, organiser Jaime Ugarte Arce announced today.

    Earlier this year, the 2012 Vuelta al Pais Vasco and Clasica San Sebastian were under threat of extinction due to financial difficulties in the Basque government, which had promised to support the races through 2013.

    A grassroots effort called "Kontuz 1 Euro" encouraged fans to donate one Euro each to help keep the races alive. The effort raised a total of 11,116.32 Euro, far short of the 150,000 Euro goal, but the publicity generated from the effort led to a sponsorship deal with the Basque bank Sababell Guipuzcoano, which ultimately funded the races through 2013.

    The funds have been donated to four local federations, Gipuzkoa, Bizkaia, Araba and Navarre at 2,779.08 Euro each.

    The Vuelta al Pais Vasco was won by Euskaltel-Euskadi's Samuel Sanchez. The Clasica San Sebastian will take place on August 14.

  • Phinney, Zabriskie vie for sole Olympic time trial spot

    New race leader, Dave Zabriskie (Garmin-Barracuda) takes the spoils on the podium
    Article published:
    June 05, 2012, 21:45 BST
    Laura Weislo

    Danielson, Van Garderen support Zabriskie, Phinney makes his case

    In 10 days, USA Cycling will announce its final selections for its 2012 Olympic Games road teams, and competing for the country's sole individual time trial spot is US time trial champion David Zabriskie (Garmin-Barracuda) and BMC's Taylor Phinney. With Beijing bronze medalist Levi Leipheimer still recovering from a leg injury, Zabriskie and Phinney can make equally strong cases for their selection as no rider has met the automatic selection criteria.

    Zabriskie is a five-time national champion who has won time trials in the Giro d'Italia and Tour de France, and he has taken the silver medal in the world championships. Phinney is a former U23 world time trial champion, elite world individual pursuit champion with the Giro d'Italia prologue win fresh in his palmares.

    Speaking after the Tour of California where he dominated the Bakersfield time trial, Zabriskie said he was motivated to perform in order to gain an Olympic bid, and said the selection committee should "take who [they] think is the best. It's pretty simple."

    But Phinney is also dreaming of watching the official counting the seconds down for him on the start ramp in London, and made his case for his selection to Cyclingnews.

    "I'm a big fan of Dave, am a good friend of his, and have a huge amount of respect for him. I've grown up watching him race, but I'd be stupid not to make a case for myself.

    "According to the automatic selection criteria for Olympic time trial, we had to place in the top three in a Grand Tour time trial over 40km [in length]. The only result of that kind in the last year and a half is...