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Third Edition Cycling News, Friday, July 9, 2010

Date published:
July 09, 2010, 1:00 BST
  • Armstrong tips hat to USA junior champion Craddock

    American rider Lawson Craddock during his winning time trial ride.
    Article published:
    July 09, 2010, 15:00 BST
    Kirsten Frattini

    Texan captures three US junior national titles

    Lawson Craddock got the biggest tip in his junior cycling career in the form of a recent tweet by seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong. The Houston native wowed the cycling community when he won three junior national titles in the time trial, criterium and road race at the recent USA Cycling National Championships held in Bend, Oregon.

    “I came into the National Championships feeling confident with my abilities, but you can never tell how the races are going to turn out,” Craddock told Cyclingnews. “There is always something that can go wrong at the last minute, and in fact I did have a problem with my shifter the day before the time trial. But with the help of David Brown, Grant Boswell and my dad [Tom Craddock], they were able to fix it. You can also have horrible luck in a race with mechanicals, but fortunately nothing went wrong and I was able to come away with all three titles which is a dream come true.

    “The national title that means the most to me has probably got to be the road race,” he added. “With the majority of my competitions being road races, it will be a great honor to be wearing the American flag on my back as the national champion.”

    The youngster has continued his form at this week's junior track championships in Trexlertown. Craddock claimed the Junior Men 17-18 Individual Pursuit title on the event's opening day.

    The 18-year-old spent much of the early season in Europe with the US Junior National Team before competing in the US Junior National Championships in June. He placed third in the Junior Paris-Roubaix in April and went on to win the first stage of Belgium’s Ster van Zuid Limburg, where he moved into the leader’s yellow jersey.

    In June he took two stage wins, both time trials, and place third in the overall at the UCI 2.2 Pays de Vaud in Switzerland. He followed that with a victory at Germany’s Nations Cup Trofeo Karlsberg and...

  • On the startline in Montargis

    Current maillot jaune Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank) will likely hold on to his prize until the race hits the mountains.
    Article published:
    July 09, 2010, 16:20 BST
    Daniel Benson

    Photos from stage 6 of the Tour de France

    Early morning thunder storms greeted the riders in France, but the inclement weather moved clear as the peloton readied to depart Montargis for the Tour's sixth stage, the 227.5km journey to Gueugnon. Today will likely be a day for the sprinters who are looking for another chance to shine prior to the weekend's entry into the Alps, decidedly un-friendly terrain to the Tour's fast men.

    After a rocky start to the Tour, Mark Cavendish (HTC-Columbia) won for the first time at the Tour yesterday, out-sprinting Gerald Ciolek (Milram) and Edvald Boasson Hagen (Sky) for stage honours in Montargis. While the Manxman is well behind the eight ball regarding his green jersey aspirations, Cavendish and his lead-out train should once again be back in action today, trying to make it two-in-a-row.

    The Tour's green jersey holder, Thor Hushovd (Cervelo TestTeam), as well as double stage winner Alessandro Petacchi (Lampre-Farnese Vini) and three-time world champion Oscar Freire (Rabobank) will have something to say about that, however, so expect another spirited finale to the longest day on the road at the 2010 Tour.

    The teams of the sprinter will have to be vigilant as there's a category 4 climb, Côte de la Croix de l'Arbre, 23km from the finish which may provide an opportunity for those with breakaway aspirations.

    It's a day to keep the powder dry for the GC contenders, and maillot jaune Fabian Cancellara should expect to add another yellow jersey to his collection.

    The Cyclingnews live coverage is already underway. Join us here for all the action.

  • Arvesen commentates on Sky teammates

    Norway's champion Kurt-Asle Arvesen (Sky Professional Cycling Team)
    Article published:
    July 09, 2010, 16:42 BST
    Daniel Benson

    Norwegian analyses team's performance and chances

    Team Sky’s Kurt-Asle Arvesen made a surprise appearance outside the Sky team bus on the start of stage 6 in Montargis. The 35-year-old Norwegian was left out of the team’s line-up after his season was blighted by injury.

    Here as a television commentator, Arvesen has witnessed his current and previous teams, Sky and Saxo Bank, respectively, act as major protagonists. Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank) currently leads the race, with Geraint Thomas (Sky) in white as the best young rider.

    Had he made Sky’s line-up, Arvesen would have shepherded Bradley Wiggins through the first week. The Briton currently lies in 14th place overall, 1.49 down Cancellara

    “I don’t think we’ve seen his form yet, we’ll have to wait until the mountains but hopefully he’s ready like last year. The Alps will be a true test of who is the strongest and Sunday’s stage to Morzine is hard. We’ll see who is in good form. Sky has ridden a good Tour so far and Edvald [Boasson Hagen] and Geraint [Thomas] are both up there and that’s really good. You have to also remember that this is our first Tour together.”

    Boasson Hagen currently lies third in the points classification after a consistent but unspectacular start to his Tour debut. However Arvesen doesn’t believe that his fellow Norwegian will target the green jersey at this stage.

    “I don’t think he’s thinking about that. He’s mainly here for Bradley but he will try and be there in the sprints.”

    As for his former team, Arvesen is well aware how much Andy Schleck will miss older brother Fränk in the mountains.

    “Andy will miss Fränk when he comes up to the climbs. He just has to try and follow and then try and attack if he has anything else. When it comes to the big climbs he’s just going to have to think about himself and attack.”

    As for the rest of the GC...

  • Cavendish wins 12th Tour stage of career

    Mark Cavendish (HTC - Columbia) bested Tyler Farrar (Garmin - Transitions) in the sprint for stage 6 honours.
    Article published:
    July 09, 2010, 19:05 BST
    Jean-François Quénet

    Manxman equals McEwen, Zabel and Cipollini

    With twelve Tour de France stage wins at only the age of 25, Mark Cavendish has equalled the career Tour stage tallies of his idols Robbie McEwen, Erik Zabel and Mario Cipollini. Having claimed his second stage win in a row in Gueugnon, Cavendish wasn't as emotional as the day before and expressed humility to counter his 'bad boy' image.

    "When I've been asked 'what do you want from cycling?', I've often answered: 'if there is a book of the great champions like Armstrong, Contador, Zabel, McEwen, Cipollini..., I want to be in that book," he said in a post-race press conference. "But there are seven guys working for me. I'm not the one taking the glory, I'm the one to finish off the job. I'm just the last part of that unit."

    Cavendish insisted on acknowledging the dedication of his teammates from HTC-Columbia and dedicated his win to the baby of Maxime Monfort who was born during the stage. "For Michael Rogers and Tony Martin, it was supposed to be a rest today but they went full gas at the end," said Cavendish. "They sacrificed their chances for this stage win. It's an incredible situation for me to be in."

    Asked to confirm if he said "I know I'm still the best" when he rejoined his team at the hotel after winning stage 5 on Thursday, Cavendish hesitated. "I didn't say that," he said but he looked at his press officer Kristy Scrymgeour and asked: "Did I say that?"

    "I remembered I said tomorrow I'm gonna win," he said.

    So the confidence is obviously back. "It was hard for me to be the part of the unit that failed, that's what happened on Wednesday and I had a bad night after that," Cavendish said. "I don't like that feeling. Yesterday I spoke with Alessandro Petacchi in the peloton. It's not often that you can talk to riders about problems. He told me it's in your head, not in your legs. It shows the classy man he is. Fortunately, I got saved by the faith the team kept in me."

    Cavendish is back in contention for the...

  • Pineau ready for polka dot battle

    Jerome Pineau (Quick Step) took the Tour's first polka dot jersey of the year.
    Article published:
    July 09, 2010, 19:17 BST
    Hedwig Kröner

    Frenchman determined to keep KOM lead as long as possible

    The current leader of the King of the Mountains classification of this year's Tour de France may not be a true climber, but he is determined to defend his jersey for as long as he possibly can. As the Tour hits the Alps, Jérôme Pineau from Quick Step knows he won't be able to take the lead to Paris, but he has a plan to at least keep his polka dot jersey over the first two mountain stages.

    "Tomorrow is a more difficult stage when I will have to race out front in order to get more points for the polka dot jersey," Pineau told Cyclingnews in Montargis on Friday moring. "The are are more than 40 points at stake, so it is a stage that is going to be important."

    Stage seven to Les Rousses is a medium-mountain stage with an uphill finish. Pineau's thinking is that if he can take all the points there, it won't matter if others may be stronger than him on Sunday when the Tour peloton takes on the real thing in Morzine-Avoriaz.

    "If I can score all of the points tomorrow then I have a chance of defending the lead in Morzine - I know I'll have to drop back on the last climb. But I feel good. I have good legs so I don't want to set myself any limits. Except for the Champs-Elysées: I'm pretty sure I'm not going to keep it until Paris!" he said, laughing.

    But Quick Step has alternative plans if Pineau doesn't make the escape group on Saturday. "I would like to keep the jersey but I also have a teammate - and good friend - who is in excellent form. Together with him, we could also choose to share the jersey," Pineau hinted. There is no doubt that the teammate he means is Sylvain Chavanel, who helped him take the KOM lead in the first place when the two were off the front in stage 2 to Spa.

    "It would be a pity letting the jersey go without putting up a proper fight. That's not the way I am. I have an attacking personality, so as long as my legs respond to what I want to do, I'll go for it," Pineau said as a...

  • Leipheimer looks forward to the Alps

    Levi Leipheimer (RadioShack) is happy to finish another stage safely
    Article published:
    July 09, 2010, 20:00 BST
    Richard Moore

    Believes RadioShack "best team in the mountains"

    Levi Leipheimer (RadioShack) spoke bullishly at the end of stage six of the Tour de France as he looked ahead to the coming days' rendezvous in the Alps, where he predicted that RadioShack would prove themselves "the best team in the mountains."

    Sitting 24th, almost three minutes down on race leader Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank), the American is still in with an outside chance of a second podium finish, after he finished third in 2007. But the 36-year-old didn't seem to be thinking of his individual ambitions as he claimed his team would come out fighting after what he admitted had been a challenging first week.

    "Things haven't gone our way this first week so far, but in the last two days we've come together as a team," said Leipheimer. "We're riding far more attentively as a group, and I think we're strong.

    "I would say we definitely have a team for the mountains," he continued. "Saxo Bank really showed they had a team for the other day [on the cobbles of stage three], but I predict we have the best team for the mountains, and we need to show that."

    The American squad is unlikely to demonstrate what they're capable of on Saturday, though. "I don't know that tomorrow [with the uphill finish at Station des Rousses] is such a crucial day," said Leipheimer, "but the day after [to Morzine-Avoriaz] we'll definitely see some gaps."

    With Lance Armstrong, Andreas Klöden and Janez Brajkovic all capable of animating the race in the mountains, RadioShack has - on paper at least - several different options. Not that Leipheimer was revealing what the strategy would be. "I can't tell you that, obviously. But we have a lot of guys who can climb and we have to take advantage of that."

    Leipheimer, who crashed out of last year's Tour, suffering a broken wrist while sitting fourth overall, also remarked on the danger of the first week, saying that he had discussed the issue with a fellow veteran, Jens Voigt (Saxo Bank), during...

  • Moinard to BMC

    Amael Moinard (Cofidis) pushes the pace on stage six
    Article published:
    July 09, 2010, 20:28 BST
    Cycling News

    Frenchman on Evans' side for the mountains next year

    Amaël Moinard will move from Cofidis to BMC next year according to a Reuters article citing a source within the Cofidis team.

    BMC has already been active in the transfer market with the possible recruitment of Greg van Avermaet from Omega Pharma-Lotto for the Classics, but the team is also looking for reinforcements for its Grand Tour rider Cadel Evans, who doesn't have many climbers currently on the roster to support him.

    Moinard, 28, was the King of the Mountains in Paris-Nice this year. He finished 15th of his first Tour de France back in 2008, and he was hoping for a good GC again in 2010, but he lost some time in stage 2 on the cobblestones to Spa as well in the following stage. After Friday's stage 6, he is 118th in the general classification, 11:23 down on maillot jaune Fabian Cancellara.

  • Procycling's daily Tour de France dispatch - stage 6

    Mark Cavendish (HTC-Columbia) was reduced to tears, this time of joy.
    Article published:
    July 09, 2010, 20:48 BST
    Cycling News

    Cavendish, Felline, Sastre, Roux

    Crying for England or, er, the Isle of Man

    French Sports and Health minister Roselyne Bachelot said that Mark Cavendish's tears in Montargis on Thursday had "warmed her heart". One Italian colleague in the press room clearly didn't agree: "English [sic] cry babies!" the journalist in question was heard to mutter as Cav turned on the waterworks.

    Felline landing on his feet - just

    Fabio Felline of Footon-Servetto admitted to us yesterday that he's hardly living up to his name (minus one "l") in his first Tour de France. The youngest rider to start the Grande Boucle since 1947, the 20-year-old confessed that he's been less than cat-like thus far in the Tour.

    "The hardest thing is staying on my bike. The speed hasn't surprised me, the nervousness in the bunch has," Felline told Procycling.

    Sastre relying on stealth

    Clearly irked by the media's disregard for his title defence last year, 12 months on, Carlos Sastre is apparently warming to the role of Tour de France darkhorse. "I think people have probably forgotten too quickly that he won two summit finishes at the Giro just over a year ago," Sastre's Cervelo teammate Dan Lloyd told ProCycling yesterday.

    "I think it suits him now that not many journalists are talking to or about him. He was OK on the cobbles and looks good," Lloyd said.

    The bad news for Sastre is that his sweetly spinning legs haven't gone unnoticed in the peloton: last night Andy Schleck predicted that the Spaniard and Ivan Basso would be "big factors" in the Pyrenees.

    Roux the revisionist

    FDJ Tour debutant Anthony Roux says that he wouldn't swap places with Lance Armstrong for anything. "Frankly, I wouldn't want his life," Roux told Aujourd'hui newspaper. "Everyone's always shouting 'Lance, Lance, Lance'. It gets suffocating".

    One would think the sporadic cries of...