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Second Edition Cycling News, Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Date published:
May 16, 2012, 1:00 BST
  • Luke Roberts witnesses birth of daughter via Skype before Giro d'Italia stage

    Luke Roberts
    Article published:
    May 16, 2012, 10:36 BST
    Cycling News

    Saxo Bank rider watched new family member arrive on Skype

    The miracles of modern technology allowed Luke Roberts to witness the birth of his second daughter in Germany before taking to the start of the tenth stage of the Giro d'Italia on Tuesday. The Saxo Bank rider said he hopes to meet his newest family member on next week's rest day.

    “The phone rang at 6 o'clock this morning as my wife was close to giving birth and I was actually able to follow the birth via Skype,” he said on the team's website. “They're both well and naturally we're proud and happy parents and it took a few kilometres to get my head back in the race but there was a job to be done.

    “It's not going to affect the race for my part and I'm hoping to be able to see all my three girls on the rest day.”

    He finished the stage in Assisi as 94th, 3:49 down.

    The 35-year-old Australian turned pro with Team ComNet in 2002, and has also ridden for Teams CSC, Kuota and Milram. He had signed with the Pegasus project for 2011, but when that fell through, he signed with Saxo Bank.

    Roberts won a gold medal for the team pursuit at the 2004 Olympics.

  • Goss assesses crash risks for Giro's stage 11

    Matthew Goss (Orica-GreenEdge)
    Article published:
    May 16, 2012, 10:55 BST
    Alasdair Fotheringham

    Australian still suffering from monday’s crash

    Two hundred and fifty five kilometres of hard riding, not to mention a heavy rain shower early on, will make for a tough Giro stage today as the event ‘celebrates’ reaching its half-way point with the longest day’s racing of its whole three weeks. And if stage 11 should culminate with a bunch sprint in Montecatini Terme this evening, it will come after three tough corners in the final kilometre.

    All in all, far from the easiest day at the office, with the sprinters understandably even more wary than usual of such finishes after Monday’s big crash on the last corner of the stage.

    Fastman Matt Goss (Orica-GreenEdge), equally at home in rain soaked northern Classics as he is in a grand tour, is cautious about his chances today, even if the stage three winner was unlucky enough to lose out badly and hit the tarmac hard on Monday’s pile-up.

    “I’m not feeling great, Monday’s crash wasn’t ideal,” the points competition leader told Cyclingnews as he waited for the start of stage 11.

    “Some guys were trying to take the corner from the inside and I went out wide to try and take the apex of the corner and they just went straight on.” Cue one very painful crash.

    “Yesterday wasn’t so bad, but today I’m not feeling so good. My neck and back and hip are aching from the crash.”

    “Still, it’s a long stage today and there’s enough time for the body to warm up and hopefully I’ll pick up during the day. I should be fine.” Today started rainy, but after an hour’s racing it was beginning to clear, which could make a difference, too.

    As for the finish, “it’s almost identical to the...

  • Scotland push for 2017 Tour de France start

    The Highlands
    Article published:
    May 16, 2012, 12:32 BST
    Cycling News

    First stage planned for Edinburgh

    Efforts to bring the start of the 2017 Tour de France to Scotland and England have kicked up a notch. EventScotland, working with British Cycling and UK Sport, is developing a proposal to host the race, “with the overall aim of keeping the Tour in the UK for as long as possible.”

    The basic plan is to hold the first stage in Edinburgh before heading south for several stages in England and Wales, according to EventScotland.

    The Scottish government is supporting the proposal. “Scotland has a strong relationship with the international cycling community, and I am delighted that a proposal is being developed for the opening stages of the Tour de France,” said First Minister the Rt. Hon. Alex Salmond MSP. “To bring such a fantastic event to Scotland would be a huge coup, but we have a strong track record and I know that the country has a huge amount to offer ASO and the cyclists taking part.”

    Ian Drake, CEO of British cycling said that “The last visit to Britain by the Tour de France was a great success for all involved and is still held in very high regard by those riders that took part. British Cycling has embraced the opportunity to work with Scotland, helping them to full fill their ambition of bringing the Grand Depart to Edinburgh.”

    Simon Morton, Director of Major Events and International Relations at UK Sport, said: “Our ambition after the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games is to attract some of the world’s most prestigious sporting events to the UK and cement our position as one of the world’s leading host nations.”

    “The Tour de France is a spectacular competition, and would provide a fantastic opportunity to engage the British public in the sport, so we welcome the opportunity to work with EventScotland and British Cycling to look at bringing the...

  • Giro attacker Slagter is a "Purito" in the making

    Tom Jelte Slagter (Rabobank)
    Article published:
    May 16, 2012, 13:29 BST
    Jean-François Quénet

    Young Dutchman was biggest threat to Rodriguez on stage 10

    Apart from the expected final effort of stage winner and new race leader Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) on the uphill finish to Assisi, the man who impressed in stage 10 of the Giro d'Italia was Tom Jelte Slagter (Rabobank). His effort at the front on the final climb was the sort of effort often put forth by Rodriguez.

    One year ago, in the Giro d'Italia in the same region of Umbria, Italy, just after a section of strade bianche gravelled roads and just prior to the end of stage 5 in Orvieto, the Dutchman Slagter quit his first Grand Tour. He had crashed in a spectacular manner after colliding with a team staff member on the roadside. It was a frightening incident, coming so soon after Wouter Weylandt had passed away earlier in the Giro.

    Slagter made a comeback later in the 2011 season to ride the Vuelta a España in the role of a domestique for points classification winner Bauke Mollema, who finished fourth overall in Madrid.

    Back in the Umbria region in central Italy on Tuesday, Slagter found a terrain that suits his characteristics, including a steep and narrow uphill finish into Assisi.

    "I first attacked with 3km to go," Slagter told Cyclingnews. "But that was only to test the legs. [Michele] Scarponi jumped behind me, so I realized that the big guns didn't want to let me go. Before the downhill, I tried again and I created a small gap. Unfortunately, [Daniel] Moreno brought [Joaquim] Rodriguez back."

    "At the entrance to the sharp corner, Rodriguez was on my wheel. It meant it was over for me. I did a perfect lead-out for Rodriguez. It's too bad that he's not in the same team as me!"

    The 22-year-old Slagter, who finished fourth in the...

  • Boily ready to fight to regain KOM lead at Amgen Tour of California

    David Boily (Spidertech) fighting for KOM points on Mt. Diablo.
    Article published:
    May 16, 2012, 15:28 BST
    Pat Malach

    Tour de l'Avenir targets under 23 world championship

    Despite losing the King of the Mountains jersey he had held since stage 1, Spidertech powered by C10 rider David Boily said Tuesday that he is ready to fight for the polka dot top when the race resumes with Wednesday's stage 4, a 209 kilometre test from Sonora to Clovis that contains six KOMs.

    "Today is the war," said the 22-year-old Canadian. "The big days are coming up, especially tomorrow is a big day for the KOM jersey. I'm pretty confident and the form is good."

    The team's decision to keep Boily out of the breakaways on Tuesday's stage 3 backfired when Optum Pro Cycling's Sebastian Salas, who started the day second in the mountains competition, set out with a group of four riders about 5k into the stage and gobbled up maximum points on two of the day's three KOMs. Salas snagged the jersey from Boily by just four points, setting up Wednesday's showdown.

    "It was a strategic move to keep David out of the break," said Spidertech team director Steve Bauer. "Unfortunately it didn't work out with Salas getting in there. We wanted to keep David fresh for the big stage on Wednesday; I think there are six or seven KOMs, so it is going to be a big day, and David is keen for the battle."

    Bauer said the KOM jersey is the team's main goal, and the entire squad will be riding to put it back on Boily's shoulders.

    "Just like last year, we came out with a goal to go for the KOM jersey, and we focused a few riders on it," Bauer said. "David came out on stage 1 and came through with flying colors. Each stage is a little different, so we have to strategize and try to keep him near the front. But he's focused on it, and so is the rest of the team."

    Although Boily and Spidertech are currently aiming for the

  • Video: Fränk Schleck discusses his Giro d'Italia GC prospects

    Frank Schleck (RadioShack-Nissan) lies in 8th place in the overall GC after nine stages
    Article published:
    May 16, 2012, 16:11 BST
    Cycling News

    RadioShack leader looks toward demanding final week

    Frank Schleck (RadioShack-Nissan) was thrust into the Giro d'Italia at the last minute when teammate Jakob Fuglsang was ruled out through injury. A Tour de France podium placer in his own right, Schleck was quickly added to the list of favourites for the race, and despite losing 26 seconds to the leaders on stage 10 to Assisi, the Luxembourg rider is still within reach of the maglia rosa.

    At the start of stage 11, a cagey Schleck fielded questions about his prospects for the overall, but he was quick to point out that any current time gaps could become superfluous in the demanding final week of the Giro.

  • Huzarski surprised even himself in Giro d'Italia arrival in Assisi

    Bartosz Huzarski (Team NetApp) takes a surprise second place
    Article published:
    May 16, 2012, 18:20 BST
    Cycling News

    NetApp rider adds to wildcard team's achievements

    Team NetApp continues to surprise at the Giro d'Italia, as Bartosz Huzarski finished second on Tuesday's climb up to Assisi. The Polish rider is now 16th overall, only 1:48 down, in the team's maiden Grand Tour.

    "To be honest, I had a bit of respect for the last climb. I was among the first 30 riders going into it, and then I fought my way up one rider at a time,” Huzarski said on the team's website.

    “Then I gave it all I had during the last 800 meters. I never expected to get such a result here. It's simply unbelievable!"

    DS Enrico Poitschke was beside himself. "Bartosz had an outstanding race today. We're all thrilled. The team did a great job setting him up, and he crowned that performance with a spot on the podium. We showed that we're also good for a big surprise in the second week of the Giro!"

    Huzarski 31, was not the only NetApp rider to shine on the stage. Matthias Brändle was in the day's break group, which was caught with only six kilometres to go.

    "We rode on two tracks today. We wanted to support Bartosz in the final part of the race, but we also wanted to be part of a group in the event that it would come through,” Poitschke said. “That tactic worked out perfectly.”

    Huzarski was on the NetApp squad which broke through at the Settimana Coppi e Bartali. The team won the team time trial and he took over the leader's jersey from teammate Cesare Benedetti, before handing it over to teammate Jan Barta, who won the closing time trial to claim the overall title. Huzarski finished second overall.

    A number of eyebrows were raised when...

  • Issue 3 of Cyclingnews HD now in the App Store

    Issue 3 of Cyclingnews HD is now available on the iPad
    Article published:
    May 16, 2012, 18:30 BST
    Cycling News

    All the Giro and Tour of California info, plus Peter Stetina interview

    Issue 3 of our weekly digital magazine, Cyclingnews HD, is now available for your iPad at the Apple App Store. This week's highlights include:

    Rodriguez Climbs Into Pink: In-depth coverage with stunning photography of all the stages at the Giro d'Italia over the past seven days

    Sagan Dominant In California: A look at how the Liquigas man is cleaning up at the Tour of California

    Peter Stetina Interview: We talk to Garmin's rising star who spent time in the Giro's white jersey this week

    Coming Up: A detailed look ahead at the biggest stages, as the Giro and Tour of California hit the high mountains

    For more information and to purchase an individual issue or subscribe, click here.