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Second Edition Cycling News, Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Date published:
May 22, 2012, 1:00 BST
  • ASO to pay former Tour de France doctor damages

    Race doctor Gerard Porte wishes Cyclingnews bon journee.
    Article published:
    May 22, 2012, 10:55 BST
    Cycling News

    French court rules 2010 dismissal as abusive

    Tour de France owner Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO) has been ruled to pay damages to its former race doctor, Gérard Porte, who was dismissed by the organisation in September 2010. On May 16, 2012, the Paris magistrates court decided that the dismissal was unfair and that Porte was entitled to 115,000 Euro in retroactive salary and damages.

    Porte, who had been the Tour de France chief doctor for 39 years, stopped working for ASO in 2010 after the race organiser decided to entrust in-race medical assistance to a service provider, the company Mutuaide, who offered the doctor a free-lance contract based on fees. Porte however, reckoned he was on a regular employment contract with ASO, and refused.

    The court proved him right and ordered ASO as well as Mutuaide to pay the damages. Porte received the French Legion of Honour title in February 2011.

  • Bak praised by Riis, sought after by Team Sky

    Lars Ytting Bak (Lotto Belisol Team)
    Article published:
    May 22, 2012, 12:57 BST
    Cycling News

    Danes unanimous in praise of Lotto Belisol's stage winner

    Lars Bak's win in the twelfth stage of the Giro d'Italia has turned the Lotto Beilsol rider into a much-sought-after man. Bjarne Riis has said that his young Team Saxo Bank riders can learn something from Bak, while Team Sky has admitted it would have liked to have signed him.

    The 32-year-old Dane won the stage from Seravazza to Sestri Levante in a solo effort out of an escape group. The group had gotten away 50km into the stage, and Bak took off  alone with about 1.5km to go to claim the biggest win of his career.

    Bak had ridden for Riis' teams fro five years, from 2005 to 2009, and obviously left a good impression on the team principal. “I would like to see even more riders – even among my own – have the same sense of fight as Lars Bak. He says to himself: Now I'm going to go out and do it. Lar Bak did it and fought for it until he got his way. That's what it takes,” Riis wrote in the Ekstra Bladet newspaper.

    “The young riders in the field can really learn something from a guy like Lars Bak. He continues to push himself – and if you have the will, the results will come sooner or later. That's how you should ride a race, I think.”

    Another Dane in team management joined the chorus of praise for Bak. Carsten Jeppesen, Team Sky's director of Operations, told the B.T. newspaper that he would very much have liked to have Bak on the team.

    “The only thing I really would like to change on this team right now is that I wanted a Dane. I would really have liked Lars Bak on board. I'm a...

  • Démare frustrated with Giro d'Italia outcome

    Arnaud Demare (FDJ-BigMat) still leads the young riders classification of the Coupe De France.
    Article published:
    May 22, 2012, 14:11 BST
    Cycling News

    First grand tour a lesson for French sprinter

    Having abandoned the Giro d'Italia on Saturday's mountain stage 14 to Cervinia, FDJ-Big Mat's Arnaud Démare finished his first Grand Tour after two weeks of racing. At 20 years of age, the French sprinter was happy to have stayed on the race for that long, but at the same time disappointed with his performances in the sprint stages where his best placing was fourth on stage 3 in Horsens, Denmark.

    "I'm not particularly happy with the outcome of my Giro," Démare wrote on his race blog on the L'Equipe website. "I didn't get the feeling to have done a single sprint for my true worth. I'm leaving this Giro feeling frustrated because I wasn't able to take advantage of all my capabilities. I'm a bit sad to leave like this, and I feel bad for my teammates who worked so hard for me during these two weeks."

    The 2011 U23 world champion had a very successful start into this season, winning four races, and did not expect to race the Giro for that long. "I expected to suffer on this Giro because it's the first time I rode a race longer than one week, but I didn't think I'd come this far. Two weeks of racing is a lot for me but it should have left me the time to seize some opportunities. It's a pity.

    "I realise only now that my season start was very lucky. I didn't really realize that winning four races during my first year amongst the pros had that much value. The Giro taught me this."

    Still, Démare couldn't help himself from feeling frustrated. "When your legs hurt on the finish line you can't blame yourself, but I don't want to be satisfied with [top ten placings]....

  • Video: De Gendt racing for GC in Giro d'Italia

    Thomas de Gendt (Vacansoleil - DCM)
    Article published:
    May 22, 2012, 17:41 BST
    Cycling News

    Vacansoleil rider swaps breaks for GC

    Sitting 12th on GC after 15 stages of the Giro d’Italia, Thomas De Gendt (Vacansoleil-DCM) has enjoyed his role at the head of the Dutch team.

    De Gendt has been riding consistently throughout the first fortnight of the race, gauging his efforts on the climbs and staying in contact whenever urgency has run through the bunch.

    His typical tactic of breaking away in attacks has been tempered so far, in fact the Belgian has not made any accelerations out of the bunch.

    In this exclusive video with Cyclingnews, De Gendt talks about his Giro d’Italia so far, his tactics for the final week, and who he thinks is the strongest ride in the race.

  • Daniel Martin on course for Tour de France debut

    2011 Giro della Toscana champion Dan Martin (Garmin-Cervelo)
    Article published:
    May 22, 2012, 19:07 BST
    Daniel Benson

    Aiming for stage wins and possibly KOM

    While his teammates battle on at the Giro d’Italia, Daniel Martin (Garmin-Barracuda) continues his training as he focuses on the Tour de France. July’s start in Liege is still some weeks away, and the American ProTeam has yet to even announce their long list, let alone their final nine, but all being well, the Irish climber will make his debut at the Tour.

    After his best ever start to a season which has included 5th in Liège - Bastogne – Liège and 6th in La Fleche Wallonne, Martin headed to the Tour of Romandie where he concluded his spring with 14th place overall. With the Dauphine in June, his race programme matches a traditional Tour build-up schedule, similar to Andy Schleck or Cadel Evans.

    “Romandie put me in a box. I suffered my way through and then I’ve had a bit of a break. That was always the plan to have a really heavy load of racing then recover. I always come out really well from that,” Martin told Cyclingnews.

    The Tour will not mark Martin’s debut in Grand Tour stage racing, he’s competed in two editions of the Vuelta plus one edition of the Giro. He was of course slated for Garmin’s Tour team in 2009 but was forced to withdraw through injury on the eve of the race.

    “If everything goes to plan I’ll be going to the Tour but last time I was selected for the Tour I got injured and couldn’t go. I want to say I’m dong the Tour until I’m on the start line in Liege. Everything is going to...

  • Izagirre marks Grand Tour debut with stage win at Giro

    Jon Izagirre (Euskaltel-Euskadi) triumphed in stage 16 at the Giro d'Italia.
    Article published:
    May 22, 2012, 20:18 BST
    Jean-François Quénet

    Basque rider not worried about Euskaltel's future

    Fifteen years after José Luis Rubiera prevailed in Falzes, another Spaniard, Jon Izagirre (Euskaltel-Euskadi), has won a Giro d'Italia stage in the northern Italian city near the Austrian border. It is only the third time that the Giro has finished a stage there in the Dolomites, with Damiano Cunego also a winner in 2004.

    Izagirre was a member of the 10-man breakaway that dominated stage 16, the first day of racing after the Giro's second rest day. With a final climb in the last 5km, featuring a maximum gradient of 12 percent, the teams of the sprinters opted not to control the peloton while the squads of the overall general classification hopefuls were content to wait for the upcoming mountain stages to expend energy. It was an ideal scenario for a breakaway to succeed, and Izagirre rode away from his nine companions on the final climb to claim a solo victory.

    "This is a great victory," Izagirre said after crossing the line. "I had one pro win before [the time trial at the Vuelta Asturias this year] but I never imposed myself at such a high level of cycling. This one is of a great importance.

    "Today we knew that the breakaway could work but at the end I had to battle against strong climbers like José Herrada and Mathias Frank but I attacked and finished solo. To be able to win during the third week of a Grand Tour is also very meaningful about my capacities."

    The winner in Falzes is the younger brother of Gorka, who also rides for Euskaltel-Euskadi, and the son of José Ramon who, during his four years as a pro cyclist, was twice the Spanish national champion for cyclo-cross and twice second.

    "Yes, I come from a cycling family," said the 23-year-old Basque...

  • Team Sky's Henao and Uran well-placed entering Giro's mountainous finale

    Best young rider Sergio Henao (Sky)
    Article published:
    May 22, 2012, 21:41 BST
    Jean-François Quénet

    Best young rider leader Henao wants top 5 overall finish

    With three very hard mountain stages to come at the Giro d'Italia, Team Sky is in an interesting position with Colombian climbers Sergio Henao and Rigoberto Uran positioned eighth and eleventh overall, 1:55 and 2:56 back respectively behind leader Joaquim Rodriguez.

    Henao, 24, is the revelation of the race so far and has been able to hold his own in the mountains against the overall GC contenders. "In the initial prologue, he lost some time," team Sky principal Dave Brailsford said. "In the team time trial we went ok but not that great. Since then, Sergio hasn't lost time except on Rodriguez. But now we're in the third week when it all counts. But we don't put any pressure on him. His Giro is already a successful one. It's all about learning."

    Team Sky directeur sportif Nicolas Portal is the link between the Colombians and the English speaking part of the team as he speaks fluent Spanish after his four seasons riding for Caisse d'Epargne (2006-2009). "Sergio impressed me at the Vuelta al Pais Vasco when he attacked on the big ring up to Ibardin, where only Samuel Sanchez and Rodriguez passed him," the Frenchman told Cyclingnews. "Here at the Giro, we got him to gain confidence by getting involved in the early minutes of the lead-out for Mark Cavendish."

    "Three years ago we thought it was important to start looking for young talents, especially climbers, and not only in Britain," Brailsford said. "We did some research and sent [team coach] Rod [Ellingworth] to Colombia. We attracted Sergio because we were one of the first teams to make him an offer. Now there is a difference between a potential and the reality....

  • Sam Bewley joins Orica-GreenEdge

    Sam Bewley (New Zealand) is focusing on his track ambitions this year as he builds toward the London Olympics.
    Article published:
    May 22, 2012, 22:35 BST
    Cycling News

    Space freed on roster after McEwen retirement

    Orica-GreenEdge announced that New Zealand's Sam Bewley has joined the Australian ProTeam. With the retirement of Robbie McEwen, a space on the roster became available for the 24-year-old New Zealander who had been without a professional contract this season after spending the previous two years on the RadioShack team.

    While Bewley begins his tenure at Orica-GreenEdge immediately with a start in Bayern Rundfahrt, he won't be completely focused on the road until the conclusion of the 2012 London Olympics where he will represent New Zealand in the team pursuit.

    "We weren't able to sign Sam until Robbie retired because we were maxed out on numbers," said Matt White, Orica-GreenEdge directeur sportif. "This ended up working out well for both Sam and the team because of Sam's track schedule. He has a lot of potential on the road when he's able to fully concentrate on road racing, and we're looking forward to helping him develop his complete potential. We've signed him for this and the next season, and while we won't see him much this year, he'll be with us full-time on the road in 2013."

    "I'm excited to be part of an Australian team," said Bewley. "I'm not Australian of course, but New Zealand and Australia are pretty united when it comes to sport unless we're competing against one another. Even then, it's a friendly rivalry. I'm really happy to be part of a team from the Southern Hemisphere that's racing in Europe."

    Bewley considers a bronze medal in the team pursuit at the 2008 Beijing Olympics his career highlight.

    "Most of my highlights are on the track as that's where I have put my energy," Bewley said. "The Olympic...