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Third Edition Cycling News, Friday, July 17, 2009

Date published:
July 17, 2009, 1:00 BST
  • Matthew Lloyd ready to be Evans' Alpine asset

    Matthew Lloyd (Silence-Lotto)
    Article published:
    July 17, 2009, 17:23 BST
    Daniel Benson

    Aussie prepares for showdown in the Alps

    After breaking his sacrum in Amstel Gold race in the spring, mountain climber Matthew Lloyd wasn’t guaranteed a ride in this year’s Tour. However the Australian recovered, and on the cusp of he Alpine stages is one of Cadel Evans’ right hand men.

    "It’s been really good Tour so far for me but I’ve not done anything yet. In the Pyrenees I was there to help Cadel [Evans] and that was my main job. As far as transition stages involving breakaways go I wasn’t really called upon to work too much," said Lloyd. "I’m not like the flat stage breakaway artists with a load of panache, like some of the French who are here for publicity. It’s more of an intelligent move on my behalf to wait for the mountains where it will be better for me. The last few days have been an exercise in resource management if you know what I mean."

    Lloyd was the Australian national champion in 2008 and has been with Silence-Lotto since 2007. In that time he’s forged a strong relationship with his leader, Evans, who currently sits 17th overall, 3:07 down on race leader Rinaldo Nocentini.

    "There are so many things that can change in cycling, especially for a yellow jersey contender like Cadel. There can be time gaps that you haven’t anticipated and ones that can’t be avoided," Lloyd said, alluding to the team time trial. "But Cadel is still motivated and we’re all keen to get him as high up the as possible."

    Lloyd also said that the next few days in the Tour will define the battle for the overall after only a mild sorting out in the Pyrenees. "Today and the next few days are going to be battlegrounds. The Alps is where the course gets even more violent," Lloyd told Cyclingnews.

  • Vande Velde satisfied after tough stage 13

    Christian Vande Velde (Garmin - Slipstream)
    Article published:
    July 17, 2009, 18:31 BST
    Daniel Benson

    Hard day for everyone as GC remains status quo

    Christian Vande Velde was satisfied with his performance on the difficult stage 13 from Vittel to Colmar, finish comfortably with the main group of favourites. Vande Velde came into the Tour in uncertain form after a serious crash in the Giro d’Italia and a slow recovery. However the Garmin-Slipstream leader rode strongly through the first week and now sits seventh overall, 1:24 behind leader Rinaldo Nocentini.

    "My legs felt good but it was a crazy day from start to finish. Of course I was a little worried about crashing but we went hard on the second to last climb and it was hard for everyone," Vande Velde said after the stage.

    The day saw all of the race favourites finish in the same group with no attacks coming from either Cadel Evans or Carlos Sastre – arguably the two riders who most needed to claw back vital seconds on Vande Velde and Co. "I don’t think anyone could attack and one more percent of effort and the race would have totally blow to shreds. We had on our rain jackets and all weighed about 100 pounds out there. The stage took a lot out of us."

    Vande Velde’s Tour hasn’t been without hitches after he crashed on both the stages to Barcelona and Saint-Fargeau. "It’s been a Tour of survival," he said before the stage. "I’m not the kind of person to say I’m going to attack and it’s all about taking it day-by-day. I’ve surprised myself with how well I’ve been going but usually the third week in is my best in a Grand Tour."

    Vande Velde will hope his tradition of week-three form continues with the Tour building towards an exciting final week and, in particular, a crucial stage to Le Grand-Bornand that features four first category climbs. "That will be the key stage," Vande Velde added.

  • Tears flow as Haussler flourishes in the rain

    An elated Heinrich Haussler on the Tour de France podium
    Article published:
    July 17, 2009, 19:20 BST
    Daniel Benson

    Lucky stage 13 for Cervélo's rising star

    Heinrich Haussler, Cervélo’s joker in the pack was finally let off the leash on today’s stage from Vittel to Colmar, as he soloed to his first stage in win the Tour de France. The 25-year-old was signed from the defunct Gerlosteiner at the end of last year under the strict instructions of Cervélo’s then director sportif, Scott Sunderland, and he put aside what has so far been a difficult Tour de France with a win that brought him to tears at the finishline.

    "It’s the Tour, the biggest race in the world; it means a lot to me and you could see that at the finish. I really tired hard today and couldn’t hold the tears back," Haussler said in his post-race press conference.

    Haussler had endured a frustrating Tour to date, dutifully putting aside his personal aspirations to work for green jersey contender Thor Hushovd and defending champion Carlos Sastre. He carried despite a crash on the stage to Barcelona – a stage that Hushovd went on to win – and difficulties with a saddle sore and the heat.

    However, today’s wet conditions brought back memories of Haussler's successful Classics campaign as he escaped with fellow specialist Sylvain Chavanel (Quick Step) and Ruben Perez Moreno (Euskatel-Euskadi). "I go better in the cold. I know it sounds strange but I’d rather it was cold and raining than hot so when I saw the forecast for today I knew I was in with a chance. I know Sylvain from the Classics and really respect him, but I knew that it was going to be difficult at the end."

    On the descent of the Col du Platzerwasel, Chavanel did indeed start to tire. "I didn’t know if he was playing with me when he wasn’t coming through for the turns and with the bunch coming up from behind I made my move."

    Debut stage win aside, Haussler’s press conference was dominated by questions surrounding his national identity for the future. Born in Australia to a...

  • Freire, Dean shot at during Tour stage

    Oscar Freire (Rabobank) in action during stage 10.
    Article published:
    July 17, 2009, 20:14 BST
    Daniel Simms

    Both riders injured after air rifle attack, but will start on Saturday

    Oscar Freire (Rabobank) and Julien Dean (Garmin-Slipstream) were hit by lead pellets fired from an air rifle during Friday's stage 13 at the Tour de France. Neither rider was seriously injured and both plan to start in Saturday's fourteenth stage.

    Three shots were heard as the peloton were descending, 165km into Friday's stage. Freire and Dean were hit, with the third shot luckily missing any member of the peloton.

    Both teams confirmed the incident. “Oscar [Freire] was shot in the leg but he is okay,” Rabobank spokesman Luuc Eisenga told Cyclingnews. “Just the thought of it is very frightening.”

    Eisenga said that the team was reporting the incident to the French gendarmerie.

    After the stage, Rabobank team doctor Dion van Bommel removed a lead pellet from the three-time former World Champion's thigh. “He was very cool, but that is Oscar,” van Bommel said. “In the femur, such a pellet can cause little damage, but if it had hit Oscar in the eye, he would be blinded. I think this is outrageous, and I've never experienced anything like it in my career.”

    Garmin team manager, Jonathan Vaughters, told Cyclingnews: “[Julien] Dean was hit in the index finger. I think this is an issue for the police. It's a bit sad that this happened. The tour has remained open to the public because we trust them. It would be horrible to erode that trust.”

  • Gerdemann unsuccessful after bold move

    Linus Gerdemann (Milram)
    Article published:
    July 17, 2009, 20:23 BST
    Daniel Benson

    German recovers to retain GC place

    Linus Gerdemann tried and failed on stage 13 of the Tour de France from Vittel to Colmar with a solo move that was eventually nullified by the peloton on the Col du Platzerwasel.

    Gerdemann, who is Milram’s best hope for the overall was lying in 24th place at the start of the day, 4:20 behind the yellow jersey. A wearer of the yellow jersey himself in 2007, Gerdemann lost time in this year's stage four team time trial and suffered through the Pyrenees.

    However, on Friday Gerdeman attacked on the descent of the Col de la Schlucht in a bid to claw back time and catch the breakaway riders who had given up time on the ascent of the category two climb. The move proved unsuccessful, with the peloton catching and then distancing the German on the first category Col du Platzerwasel.

    Gerdermann was able to claw back to the leaders on the run in to the finish, meaning he kept his 24th overall. "It was really hard out there in the rain but I had to try. Sometimes you just have to risk something, but if you don’t try then you’ll never win," a tired Gerdemann told Cyclingnews at the finish in Colmar.

    "It was tough when I was caught but I’m not finished yet. We’ll see what happens in the next few days."

    Gerdermann started his professional career with CSC in 2005. He moved to T-Mobile in 2006, riding subsequently for Columbia-Highroad last season. The move to Team Milram came after enduring a mixed 2008, as he suffered a broken leg in Tirreno-Adriatico before returning to win his home race, the Deutschland Tour.

  • NRC heads to Idaho

    Lucas Sebastian Haedo helped John Profaci's Colavita Sutter Home team move up the ranks, despite "missing an overall GC and a time trialist."
    Article published:
    July 17, 2009, 20:57 BST
    Kirsten Frattini

    Boise Twilight increases purse

    The National Racing Calendar (NRC) will make its next stop on Saturday in Boise, Idaho for the Boise Twilight Criterium. The event will host some of the fastest sprinters in the nation looking to make a few extra bucks and pick up valuable points toward the series standings.

    The Downtown Boise Association (DBA) has partnered with the Wells Fargo and George's Cycles, the two companies that started the Wells Fargo Twilight Criterium 21 years ago. The event prize pay out has increased to $18,000 which is a unique circumstance considering many events have cut prize purses due to lost sponsorship funding.

    "We are very happy that the locals in Boise stepped it up this year to further support our event," said Mike Cooley, event director and co-owner of George's Cycles and Fitness.

    The course consists of a one-kilometre rectangular loop, with four left-hand turns. The sun will set around the start of the pro men's 90-minute race where an average of 15,000 spectator are expected to line the downtown streets.

    Criterium specialists in attendance include Sebastian Haedo (Colavita-Sutter Home), Thomas Soladay (Mountain Khakis), Ken Hanson and Also Ino Ilesic (Team Type 1), Roman Van Uden (Land-Rover Orbea) and Frank Pipp and Kirk O'Bee (Bissell).

  • Rock Racing from Madrid to Oregon

    Oscar Sevilla (Rock Racing)
    Article published:
    July 17, 2009, 20:58 BST
    Kirsten Frattini

    Sevilla, Mancebo to head to USA for Cascade Classic

    Rock Racing will field a tough-to-beat team at the BMC Cascade Cycling Classic, set to begin on July 21 in Bend, Oregon. Oscar Sevilla and his teammates are counting on having good form after competing in this weekend's Vuelta a Madrid.

    "My form is good and my state of mind is very good," said Sevilla who placed fourth in the Madrid opening time trial on Friday. "We are feeling great mentally and physically and hopefully that will stay after such a long trip to Oregon and the time change."

    Sevilla and his team will fly west to compete in the six-stage race which will mark Sevilla's first race on US soil since the Tour of California held in February. In the Spring, he returned to his home in Ossa de Montiel-Albacete and has since competed in races in Spain and Colombia.

    "Our objective is to have a good race and to try to win," Sevilla said. "But the trip is long. We will leave on Monday and arrive to the race on Tuesday, the flight ends up being 20 hours. The Cascade course is good for me and Mancebo because of the mountains."

    Rock Racing's eight-man line up include Oscar Sevilla, Victor Hugo Pena, Francisco Mancebo, Cesar Grajales, Jose Enrique Gutierrez, Glen Chadwick, David Vitoria, Ivan Dominguez.

  • Sunday key for Evans' Tour de France hopes

    Cadel Evans (Silence-Lotto)
    Article published:
    July 17, 2009, 21:53 BST
    Gregor Brown

    Evans has to try on Verbier, says director

    Australian Cadel Evans faces one of the Tour de France's most important stages on Sunday in the race to Verbier. He is 3:07 behind the leader in the overall classification, and the mountaintop finish presents an opportunity to change the standings.

    "We will shift from the jabs to the big knock-out blows," Silence-Lotto director Roberto Damiani told Cyclingnews. "Cadel, three minutes back, he has to try, even if the climb suits Lance Armstrong."

    Evans lost most of his time in the overall classification in the team time trial in Montpellier last week. The Silence-Lotto team finished 2:35 down to stage winner Astana.

    Astana controls the top spots of the race two days ahead of Verbier. Rinaldo Nocentini (AG2R) leads the race, but Astana is right behind: Alberto Contador at six seconds, Armstrong at eight seconds and Andreas Klöden at 54".

    Sunday's stage is 207.5 kilometres long and features the 15.5-kilometre Col des Mosses and the 8.8-kilometre Verbier climb.

    "It is a stage that needs to be managed well prior to the final climb up Verbier. Verbier is not very hard, but suits those who have the capacity to spin the gears. I said after the team time trial, which went very bad for us, Evans and Jurgen Van den Broeck have to think carpe diem."

    Evans tried to escape on stage nine to Tarbes, but the overall favourites prohibited his group from gaining time. Besides Astana, Evans trails Christian Vande Velde (Garmin-Slipstream), Fränk and Andy Schleck (Saxo Bank) and defending champion Carlos Sastre (Cervélo TestTeam).

    However, Evans, who finished second in the Tour de France for the past two years, is prepared well for Sunday. He went with Silence director Hendrik Redant twice in training to view the Verbier climb prior to the Tour. It averages 7.5-percent gradient and tops out at 1468 metres.