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Second Edition Cycling News, Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Date published:
July 13, 2011, 1:00 BST
  • Wiggins eyes Vuelta to prepare for World Championships

    Bradley Wiggins (Sky) is enjoying life as British champion.
    Article published:
    July 13, 2011, 10:03 BST
    Cycling News

    Speculation continues that Brit will skip Tour in 2012 in lead up to London

    After successful surgery on his broken left collarbone, Bradley Wiggins is looking ahead. The Team Sky captain's 2011 Tour de France was brought to an abrupt end on stage 7 following a crash with 35 kilometres left to race. One of the pre-Tour favourites, Wiggins had been sitting quite comfortably in sixth place, 10 seconds back on the then-leader, Thor Hushovd. Now he thinking about other objectives

    "All focus on WorldsTT now as the big one for the end of the season with most likely prep being the Vuelta, which will be a first for me," the Brit said on his Twitter feed.

    "Only downside being will miss Nat TT and TOB! (Tour of Britain). But something has to give as hadn't planned on crashing out of TDF."

    Wiggins had two plates attached to his collarbone to stabilise the fracture and now has six weeks to recover before his first tilt at the third Grand Tour of the season. He has been ruled out of competing in the British National Time Trial Championships, which he has won two years-running given the clash of dates with the Vuelta a Espana (August 20 - September 11). The Tour of Britain then runs September 11-18.

    Plans for 2012

    Meantime, Wiggins' misfortune and the risk of the Tour de France have fuelled speculation that he and other top-line Brits may miss next year's Tour de France. David Brailsford, boss of both Team Sky and the Great Britain national team, reiterated at a British Olympic Association presentation that the London Olympics is the priority for 2012....

  • Boonen suffering with headaches from Tour de France crash

    Tom Boonen dropped out of the race after suffering a concussion on stage 6
    Article published:
    July 13, 2011, 10:35 BST
    Cycling News

    Quick Step leader still not back in training

    Tom Boonen continues to suffer from headaches a week after suffering a concussion during his stage five crash at the Tour de France.  He has not started training again and does not know when he will be able to do so.

    “Tom has suffered a mild concussion,” team doctor Yvan Vanmol told the Gazet van Antwerpen.  “He is still waking up every morning with head and neck pains. He only feels a little better during the course of the day.

    “We agreed that he should go three days without any symptoms before he can train again.  It is difficult to predict when that will be.”

    Boonen was one of many who crashed on last Wednesday's fifth stage, going down with about 60km to go.  He sat dazed on the road for several minutes before getting back on his bike and finishing the stage. He and teammate Addy Engels crossed the finish line as the last riders on the stage, more than 13 minutes behind winner Mark Cavendish.

    The former World champion started stage six but abandoned some 90km into the seventh stage, saying, “I was a danger for the other riders.” 

    He suffered from a severe headache, dizziness and other concussion symptoms, even vomiting before the stage.

  • Androni Giocattoli confirms sponsorship for 2012

    The Androni Giocattoli team
    Article published:
    July 13, 2011, 11:53 BST
    Cycling News

    Italian team to have 16-rider roster

    Androni Giocattoli has confirmed it will continue to sponsor Gianni Savio’s team in 2012, with the ever-enthusiastic Italian team manager confirming the team will have a 16-rider roster.

    “We’re building a team that will again be competitive,” Savio said according to Tuttobiciweb. “We’ve already deposited contracts with the UCI for Josè Rujano, Josè Serpa, Roberto Ferrari, Omar Bertazzo, Alessandro De Marchi, Antonio Santoro, Carlos Ochoa, Jackson Rodriguez and Yonnatta Monsalve. We’ll add seven other riders to the team to create a final roster of 16 riders.”

    Androni Giocattoli has a Professional Continental licence this year and was given a wild card invitation to the Giro d’Italia after winning the Italian team title in 2010.

    Venezuelan climber Jose Rujano returned to Androni Giocattoli team this year and won stage 13 on the Grossglockner mountain finish. He finished seventh overall behind maglia rosa winner Alberto Contador.

  • Kelly and Van Impe see Gilbert in green in Paris

    Philippe Gilbert (Omega Pharma-Lotto) moved back into the green jersey at Super-Besse.
    Article published:
    July 13, 2011, 14:33 BST
    Cycling News

    Retired stars have doubts on his Tour de France GC ranking this year

    Former cycling greats Sean Kelly and Lucien Van Impe have encouraged Philippe Gilbert to try and win the points ranking in this year's Tour de France.  The two are not unanimous on the Belgian's chance for the overall rankings, but agreed that the Belgian probably has too much hard racing in his legs this year to achieve a high finish in the French Grand Tour.

    “I think it would be a mistake to go for the GC", Kelly told La Derniere Heuer.  “His priority should be the green jersey.”

    The Irishman said that he did not think the Omega Pharma-Lotto rider would do much better than 20th or 25th.  “Not this year anyway.  The Tour is hard and in my years, those who rode the Tour also did the Classics, like Hinault, Fignon, LeMond, Kuiper, Zoetemelk, Criquielion ... Now there are guys who just ride the Tour.  Philippe has been riding since March.”

    Kelly, who won the points ranking four times, said that “I don't see him yet able to finish eighth or ninth in the Tour, not this year.  He has done far too much.

    “But he can take points for the green jersey in the mountains, in the intermediate sprints, in some finishes.  In the climbs it will definitely happen.  He can take advantage of the situation, the absence of his opponents.”

    Kelly, 55, rode professionally from 1977 to 1994.  He won nine of the Classics Monuments and a total of 193 pro races, including the overall victory in Paris-Nice for seven consecutive years. 

    Van Impe sees chances

    Van Impe thinks that Gilbert may have a good chance at the GC.  "Quite honestly, to see how it works for now, I think you never know what he may be able to do," he...

  • Startline gallery: Tour de France stage 11

    The start line of stage 11 of the Tour de France
    Article published:
    July 13, 2011, 15:15 BST
    Cycling News

    Cavendish in for green, Greipel looking for back-to-back wins

    Grey clouds and rain greeted the peloton on the startline in Blaye-les-Mines for stage 11 of the Tour de France. Set for another probable sprint encounter, the talk from within the start village centred around whether Andre Greipel (Omega Pharma Lotto) could complete back-to-back wins over his rivals, including Mark Cavendish (HTC-Highroad).

    The Manxman has already claimed two stage wins in this year’s race and, if in the mix for today’s finale, should assume the lead over Philippe Gilbert in the points race, putting the Belgian on the back foot for the first time in the race for green.

    Yet there will be plenty of teams fighting against the predicted sprint. With tomorrow’s first Pyrenean skirmish the GC contenders will be hoping for an easy day in the saddle, while teams such as the French triple entente of Cofidis, FDJ, Saur-Sojasun, plus Astana and Quick Step will be aiming to propel men into breaks.

  • Kelly Benefit Strategies-OptumHealth disappointed with no Colorado invite

    The new Nature Valley Race Leader Jesse Anthony (Kelly Benefit Strategies-OptumHealth)
    Article published:
    July 13, 2011, 16:46 BST
    Kirsten Frattini

    Team focuses on season's second half in US, Europe and Asia

    Kelly Benefit Strategies-OptumHealth directeur Jonas Carney was disappointed and surprised not to receive an invitation to the inaugural USA Pro Cycling Challenge, held from August 22-28 in Colorado. Carney said his riders typically gear up for strong performances during the second half of the season and they will once again focus on the remaining National Racing Calendar (NRC) along with UCI-sanctioned European and Asian events.

    "We were also very surprised that we were not invited to race in Colorado," Carney told Cyclingnews. "We were not given a specific reason for our exclusion. But, we were 100 percent committed to the race in Colorado. In fact the creation of that event influenced our hiring process at the end of 2010."

    The US-based UCI Continental outfit is composed of several riders who were either born or reside in Colorado including Michael Creed, Michael Friedman and Jason Donald, all former ProTour level riders, along with Andrew Bajadali, Dan Bowman and Julian Kyer.

    "We specifically built our team to be competitive in Colorado and we thought those investments would pay off," Carney said. "Most of our athletes live at altitude full-time and we planned to start an all-American team that included five Colorado residents.

    "This is extremely disappointing for everyone involved in our program," he added. "However, I mostly feel terrible for our Colorado natives who have waited their whole lives to compete in a race like this. It was very...

  • Cavendish’s French lesson for Manx students

    Mark Cavendish (HTC Highroad) on the podium
    Article published:
    July 13, 2011, 17:36 BST
    Daniel Friebe

    School group watches hero avenge Greipel defeat and take green

    There wasn’t a spectator at the Tour de France who wasn’t licking their lips at the prospect of Mark Cavendish’s sprint rematch with Andre Greipel on Wednesday – and it’s fair to assume that a group of eleven schoolchildren from Cavendish’s native Isle of Man were more enthusiastic and vocal than most.

    The teenagers from Ramsey Grammar School and their teacher Rob Sorby had watched in dismay as Greipel out sprinted Cavendish in Carmaux on Tuesday. Twenty-four hours later, they stood alongside the finishing straight in Lavaur draped in the same Manx flags, singing the same verses of the Manx national anthem, but hoping for a different result.

    On the stroke of five o’clock, the Ramsey Grammar delegation got what it was wishing for.

    “We were disappointed in Carmaux on Tuesday, especially as we thought he’d won, but we still had a good time,” Sorby, a geography teacher, had told Cyclingnews midway through Wednesday’s 11th stage. “We picked these two stages to come to, thinking they were set up for Cav. It didn’t work out for him yesterday but our fingers are crossed for today.”

    The school trip to France is one of several arranged by Ramsey Grammar every year, but the first to a bike race, and came about thanks to Sorby’s own passion for cycling. His group of thirteen to eighteen year olds contains several promising cyclists, some of whom have already ridden with or against Cavendish.

    The teacher himself lined up against the Manx Missile on one of Cavendish’s recent visits to the Isle of Man. “We have a race called the Tour of the North in April, and I found myself on the start line next to Cav and the MotoGP rider Cal Crutchlow, who lives...

  • Voeckler expects to lose Tour de France lead at Luz Ardiden

    Thomas Voeckler dons yellow again.
    Article published:
    July 13, 2011, 18:14 BST
    Jean-François Quénet

    French hero promises to fight to the end

    Thomas Voeckler's reign in the Tour de France's yellow jersey lasted ten days in 2004, but his current one will probably end on the third day. The former French champion admitted as much on the finishing line in Lavaur after stage 11.

    He played down speculations by his team manager Jean-René Bernaudeau that the nice adventure could continue in the Pyrénées, in the same way that he maintained his lead at Plateau de Beille seven years ago.

    "We all know Jean-René, he's naturally optimistic," Voeckler said. "With the situation on GC now, nothing plays in my favour. Contador is behind the other favourites, so he cannot just wait and see."

    In 2004, Lance Armstrong was the boss of the bunch and it was in his interest to keep a young Frenchman in the lead as long as possible in order to soften the home crowds' behaviour towards him.

    "I'll give everything but I expect to lose the yellow jersey," Voeckler said. Instructed by fans to deliver another exploit on Bastille Day, he answered: "Whether it's July 14 or not tomorrow, I have to remain lucid. Even before the GC riders attack in the mountains, it's hard for me to follow the rhythm. I'm not one of the world's strongest climbers but I don't want to bother. I'm just not convinced that a miracle can happen."

    Stage 13 will take the riders to Lourdes, the Christian city of miracles, but Voeckler obviously doesn't believe it can happen to him.