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Second Edition Cycling News, Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Date published:
May 30, 2012, 1:00 BST
  • Post Giro d'Italia: IG Pro Cycling Index

    Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) won the points classification in the Giro d'Italia
    Article published:
    May 30, 2012, 8:12 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Rodriguez tops rankings

    Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) may have not have managed to hold onto the Pink Jersey at the Giro d’Italia but he has held onto top spot in the IG Pro Cycling Index.

    His second place at the Giro bettered his fourth from the previous year and was his best Grand Tour finish in his career. In total his two stage wins and podium finish netting him 1449 points. Rodriguez is now top in the rankings by over 700 points to second place Tom Boonen. Why? He was one of the top performers this spring coming second at the Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco and winning Fleche Wallone. Not forgetting his strong second half of last season that saw him win the Vuelta de Burgos and two stages in the Vuelta a Espana. Rodriguez is one of the most consistent performers in the peloton. Since 2010 he has won five races each year as a minimum.

    Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin- Barracuda) surprised many to win the Giro d’Italia on Sunday. His back and forth battle with Rodriguez in the Italian mountains was captivating to watch. He has shot up the Index to a career high 18th place and is the top ranked rider in the Americas. He is not threatening the top 10 yet as his performances in the last 12 months have failed to match his stellar year in 2010 when he finished 6th in the Tour de France and 2nd in Amstel Gold. It will be interesting to see the races Hesjedal will target later in the season. Perhaps his home town one day races GP de Montreal and Quebec.

    Rounding off the Giro d’Italia podium was Thomas de Gendt. The Belgium rider is a fan’s favourite for his propensity to go on the attack. For the last two years he has won a stage each year at Paris-Nice from breakaways. Last year he surprised many at the Tour de France by finishing the race strongly coming in the top five in the...

  • No operation needed for Marianne Vos

    Marianne Vos (Rabobank)
    Article published:
    May 30, 2012, 10:08 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Broken collarbone won't require surgery

    2008 Olympic gold medallist Marianne Vos will definitely not require surgery on her broken collarbone and is confident of returning to cycling well ahead of the London 2012 Olympics to prove her fitness, her Rabobank team have confirmed. Vos is hopeful of gaining selection to the Dutch team for the Games, which start on July 27.

    The 25-year-old suffered the injury last Friday when she crashed at the Valkenburg Hills Classic. She collided with a motorcyclist but still managed to complete the race and finished in second position. X-rays performed after the race revealed a clean break to her collarbone, which has saved her from the need for an operation, and she hopes to return for the Giro Donne. That race gets underway on June 29 in Naples and Vos is the defending champion.

    "As things look now, I can do the Giro," Vos said. "But I have to be careful as I can't put too much weight on my right arm. But after the fall, this is more than I dared to hope for."

  • Cancellara: I know I have to work

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    Article published:
    May 30, 2012, 10:50 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Swiss rider builds towards Tour and Olympics

    Fabian Cancellara (RadioShack-Nissan) returned to competitive action at the Bayern-Rundfahrt last week, and the Swiss rider said that the race was a useful gauge of his form ahead of his objectives later in the summer.

    After his classics campaign was cut short by the broken collarbone sustained in his crash at the Tour of Flanders, Cancellara turned his focus to preparations for the London 2012 Olympics in particular, although he admitted that his recovery had been more complicated than first anticipated.

    Cancellara abandoned the Bayern-Rundfahrt on the final stage, while on the previous day, he could only manage 14th in the time trial, 1:15 down on winner Michael Rogers (Sky). Given the road he has travelled since April 1, however, Cancellara was pleased simply to be back in action.

    “I’m convinced that it was a good race to get into competition,” Cancellara told Het Nieuwsblad. “You know that when you’re not in condition, a time trial like that is really hard.

    “I woke up on Sunday with a destroyed body and stuffy nose. But ultimately it proved to be a useful experience. I know now that I have to work.”

    While tensions between Johan Bruyneel and the Schleck brothers were exacerbated by Frank Schleck’s withdrawal from the Giro d’Italia, Cancellara was last week given a forceful vote of confidence by his manager, who said that he was the only rider assured of his place in RadioShack-Nissan’s Tour de France line-up.
     

  • Fränk Schleck "very confident" of making Tour de France team

    Frank Schleck (RadioShack-Nissan) lies in 8th place in the overall GC after nine stages
    Article published:
    May 30, 2012, 11:44 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    RadioShack-Nissan rider returns at Tour of Luxembourg

    As he returns to racing at the Tour of Luxembourg on Wednesday, Fränk Schleck has declared himself “very confident” of earning selection for RadioShack-Nissan’s Tour de France line-up, in spite of mounting speculation that he will not figure in manager Johan Bruyneel’s plans for July.

    A late and reticent replacement for the injured Jakob Fuglsang at the Giro d’Italia, Schleck stoked the ire of Bruyneel when he abandoned the race ten days ago, citing a shoulder injury. The Luxembourger said that he is still suffering from the effects of that injury and has trained fitfully ahead of his home tour.

    When asked by Le Quotidien if his programme would change if he were unable to complete the Tour of Luxembourg, Schleck quipped, “As you know, I’m flexible. For the moment, I should be at the Tour de Suisse. After that, we don’t know. But I’m very confident for the Tour de France. All the same…”

    Last week, Bruyneel pointedly noted that only Fabian Cancellara was guaranteed selection for the Tour, while on Tuesday he expressed the wish that Frank Schleck would be “motivated to do better in future.” For his part, Schleck again denied that he had abandoned the Giro in order to prepare for the Tour with his brother Andy, but insisted that it was due to his shoulder injury.

    “I have communicated the things that I wanted to communicate,” Schleck said. “If you take my abandon, I’ve...

  • Astana keen to extend Kreuziger contract?

    Roman Kreuziger (Astana Pro Team) wins stage 19 of the Giro d'Italia
    Article published:
    May 30, 2012, 12:42 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Team also planning changes for 2013 squad

    Despite victory on stage 19 of the 2012 Giro d'Italia, where he overcame five tough categorised climbs in determined fashion, the race overall was a disappointing one for Astana's Roman Kreuziger, as he finished in 15th position, almost 20 minutes down on overall winner Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Barracuda).

    The 26-year-old Czech had been seen as the Kazakh-sponsored team's number one hope for a podium place after finishing fifth overall and winning the young rider classification last year. Tipped as a dark horse for the pink jersey this time around, Kreuziger struggled almost from the outset and came in for plenty of criticism over the last couple of weeks, including from team manager Giuseppe Martinelli.

    Yet he has received a boost from others within the set-up who have since indicated their desire to extend his contract. Kreuziger's current deal runs out at the end of the season and with rumours of big name signings on Astana's agenda over the closing months of 2012, his position there looked under threat. Despite confirmation that there would be changes for next season, however, Astana insisted that Kreuziger remained in their plans.

    "I can only say that we always look for options to improve the team," Allen Chayzhunusov, vice president of the Kazakh Cycling Federation, told time.kz. "Kreuziger's contact with us ends this year but we would like to continue to have him in the ranks of Astana."

    In the run-in to the Giro, Kreuziger was linked with a switch to Omega Pharma-QuickStep (a team backed by his fellow countryman Zdenek Bakala) or a return to Liquigas for 2013.

    Meanwhile, speculation has been rife in recent months that Liquigas-Cannondale's Vincenzo Nibali is a...

  • Rodriguez ponders Giro d'Italia defeat

    Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) on the podium
    Article published:
    May 30, 2012, 13:57 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Catalan looks ahead to Vuelta a España

    Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) was feted in his hometown of Parets de Valles on Tuesday evening following his second-placed finish at the Giro d’Italia, and the Catalan rider was stoical as he pondered his narrow defeat to Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Barracuda).

    Rodriguez carried the pink jersey into the final day of racing and put up fierce resistance in the concluding time trial in Milan, ultimately missing out on the top step of the podium by just 16 scant seconds. Such a slender margin naturally leads one to wonder where Rodriguez might have recouped the necessary seconds over the course of the three weeks.

    “Once you cross the finish line, you can’t look back,” Rodriguez insisted, according to EFE. “16 seconds is nothing and at the same time, it’s everything. Perhaps I made an error at Pampeago in leaving the responsibility to [Ivan] Basso and not going with Ryder.”

    Rodriguez has opted to forgo the Critérium du Dauphiné and his next major goal is the Vuelta a España, which gets underway on August 18. On a course replete with short, sharp summit finishes, Rodriguez is expected to be the principal challenger to Alberto Contador, who returns from suspension just ahead of the race.

    “Alberto will be the clear favourite and it will be very difficult to beat him because he is very complete,” he said. “There are a lot of riders for the GC and Alberto will have a lot of responsibility.”

    Rodriguez also ruled out the possibility of lining up at the Olympic Games road race in London, although he should be among the riders vying for leadership of the Spanish team at the world championships in Valkenburg, along with Contador, Alejandro Valverde and Samuel...

  • Video: Phinney on his toughest day at the Giro d'Italia

    Taylor Phinney (BMC)
    Article published:
    May 30, 2012, 17:10 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    American recalls stage to Porto Sant'Elpidio

    The day after finishing his debut Giro d’Italia, Cyclingnews sat down with Taylor Phinney (BMC) at his home in Tuscany to discuss the highs and lows of his maiden ride in the corsa rosa.

    Phinney got his Giro off to the best possible start in Herning as he roared to victory in the opening prologue time trial. He would go on to hold the pink jersey until the race’s return to Italy, but a crash in the finishing straight in Horsens on stage 3 left him with a puncture wound to his foot and added significantly to the difficulty of the Giro’s first week.

    In this context, it’s perhaps not surprising that Phinney plumped for stage 6 to Porto Sant’Elpidio as the most trying moment of his race. While not boasting the same vertiginous peaks as the stages in the Dolomites in the final week, the trek through the rolling roads of the Marche posed it own problems.

    “By this point in the race, I’d lost the pink jersey and the white jersey and I was kind of hanging on by a thread,” Phinney said. “It was a medium mountain stage but we still had like 3,500 metres of climbing. It was all really short, steep climbs.”

    After being dropped early on the stage, Phinney had to push hard to make it home inside the time limit in the company of Mark Cavendish (Sky), and he labelled the final two kilometres of the stage as the “hardest of the race.”

    “I didn’t have a lot in my reserves and I had to dig myself out of a pretty big hole that day,” he said. “That was the day that I finished with Cavendish, 31 seconds within the time limit, so that was a pretty close call. It only got better from that point on.”

  • Issue 5 of Cyclingnews HD now available

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    Article published:
    May 30, 2012, 18:04 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Download it in the App Store today

    Issue 5 of our weekly digital magazine for iPads, Cyclingnews HD, is now available to download from the Apple App Store. This week's highlights include:

    Giro d'Italia: In-depth coverage of the final stages of this year's race, featuring world class photography, reports, analysis and results

    Tour of Belgium and Bayern-Rundfahrt: News and results

    Exclusive Interview: Italian Olympic hopeful Elia Viviani

    Critérium du Dauphiné: pre-race news, route analysis, profiles and startlists - can Bradley Wiggins defend his crown as the best riders in the world get ready for the Tour de France?

    For more information and to download your copy of issue 5, click here.