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Third Edition Cycling News, Monday, July 2, 2012

Date published:
July 02, 2012, 1:00 BST
  • Tour shorts: Martin keeps on, Team Alpecin, and fingernails

    Article published:
    July 02, 2012, 12:14 BST
    Cycling News

    Plus: No Tour Devil this year?

    Martin, Pineau start despite crashes and injuries

    Tony Martin was at the start of the second stage in Visé, Belgium, with a cast on his broken scaphoid. So far this Tour he is “hexed”, he said.

    The Omega Pharma-QuickStep rider explained on on his website how it happened: Robbie Hunter got wiped out by a pothole and Martin crashed right over him. He tried to stop his fall with his left hand, and that was it for the bone.

    Martin kept going despite the pain and ended up finishing in the same time as winner Peter Sagan of Liquigas – proof that his form really is as good as he says. Nevertheless, chances are he might have to abandon the race, he admitted.

    Teammate Jérôme Pineau, who collided with a photo-taking fan standing in the road 25 kilometres from the finish, also took to the start today. He too visited the hospital last night but he was lucky enough not to have broken anything. SW

    Schlecks to Team Alpecin?

    Will Andy and Fränk Schleck ride for Team Alpecin next year – a hair-care product which advertises “Doping for the Hair”, and whose spokesman is Jan Ullrich, retired but serving a doping suspension?

    German news agency dpa is reporting that not only the Schlecks but also German riders Jens Voigt and Linus Gerdemann are in talks to join the new team which would be ready to start in 2013. Kim Andersen is said to be the sports boss of the team.

    Alpecin is produced by the Dr. Wolff Gruppe, which declined to comment. SW

    Fingernails for the Tour

    Those who want to show their devotion to the sport and the Tour can now do so on their fingernails. Nailnerd shows you how!...

  • USADA has right to ban Bruyneel worldwide, McQuaid says

    Johan Bruyneel faces the media
    Article published:
    July 02, 2012, 13:27 BST
    Cycling News

    UCI chief comments on USADA doping investigation

    The United States Anti-Doping Agency “has the right to sanction Johan Bruyneel worldwide,” UCI president Pat McQuaid has acknowledged. RadioShack-Nissan team manager Bruyneel, Lance Armstrong and others have been charged by the USADA with doping violations. All have denied the charges.

    Bruyneel is not attending the Tour de France this year, having decided at the last minute to stay away. But “his Tour withdrawal will be the theme here three weeks long,” McQuaid told the dpa news agency at the start of the race.

    McQuaid also said that the UCI learned of the American investigation only at the last minute. “We heard of the case only one day before it was made public,” he said.

    Armstrong showed himself unimpressed by the whole affair. “I refuse to be distracted by usantidoping's antics,” he tweeted. “It's 2012, I'm gonna continue to lead Livestrong, raise my 5 kids and stay fit!”

  • New German Team Alpecin in the making?

    Article published:
    July 02, 2012, 14:52 BST
    Cycling News

    Rumours are getting louder about German company sponsoring WorldTour team

    It hasn't been confirmed by the company's management yet, but it seems German shampoo producer Alpecin may be planning to sponsor a new WorldTour team as of next season. The company first showed its interest in pro cycling in February this year, when it chose Jan Ullrich as its media representative. It is also already the main sponsor of a cyclosportive event to be held in August this year.

    At the start of the Tour de France in Belgium these days, rumours about the new team are getting louder. As already reported, the new outfit is said to aim at signing the Schleck brothers as well as many German pros, including Linus Gerdemann and Jens Voigt, all riding for RadioShack-Nissan at the moment. Its sports director Kim Andersen and former pro Jörg Ludewig, currently the race director of the Alpecin Days-cyclosportive, are said to become its sports directors.

    "I haven't received a call with a concrete contract offer yet," Voigt told "But where there's smoke, there's fire. Perhaps they'll offer me a combined contract - one more year as a rider and then join the management."

    The world governing body of cycling also welcomed the idea. "A new German team would be a good thing," UCI president Pat McQuaid commented. "It's a big market, and Germany is the most powerful country in the European Union. Cycling is very popular there."

    Alpecin is also rumoured to be in talks with American equipment provider Trek, currently still in partnership with RadioShack. More potential sponsors are also said to be interested.

    "All has to be ready by September," McQuaid added, which leaves very little time for the new sponsor to set up a proper structure and the needed formalities to register with the UCI....

  • Scotland in the hunt for 2017 Tour de France depart

    Defending Tour de France Champion Cadel Evans (BMC) begins his 2012 campaign in Liege
    Article published:
    July 02, 2012, 17:25 BST

    Edinburgh's Royal Mile could host the 2017 Tour prologue

    Officials representing Edinburgh's bid to host the grand depart of the 2017 Tour de France were in Liège this weekend to step up their bid.

    Representatives from EventScotland, British Cycling and UK Sport were looking to witness first hand what goes into staging the race, with Tour organisers ASO said to be impressed by initial plans of the path the race would follow.

    Finer details of their proposal are still being ironed out, but the prologue would be staged in Edinburgh and take in landmarks such as Holyrood Palace, The Scottish Parliament, the Royal Mile and Arthur's Seat. Up to three further stages are in the pipeline, running not just through Edinburgh and Scotland but through the "spine of Britain".

    The next steps will involve further engagement with local authorities throughout Britain, as well as key bodies from the world’s of cycling, business and tourism.

    Stuart Turner, International Events Director for EventScotland said: “The experience in Liege this weekend was superb and has given us further insight into the running of the Grand Depart, which will ultimately contribute to our final plans. The most important thing for us is to develop a proposal that will deliver a spectacular bike race for ASO and most importantly the riders, and I am confident that the combined experience and knowledge of the partners involved will achieve that. It would be unprecedented for Britain to host an international event which reached so much of the country and so many people."

    The plans may be complicated by Yorkshire submitting plans to host the opening stages in 2016. Their formal bid was announced in March this year and the odds of Britain getting the grand depart two years on the trot are long. Should either get the nod, it would be first time the race had visited British roads since 2007.

  • UCI issues communiqué lays out tech rules for Tour de France

    The UCI is frowning upon the use of friction tape such as what's used here on the handlebars. According to team technical staff we spoke with, the UCI is considering it to be an untested "modification" that is unintended by the component manufacturer.
    Article published:
    July 02, 2012, 18:08 BST
    James Huang

    Rules clarified on short notice

    This article first appeared on BikeRadar.

    Teams competing at the Tour de France received a communiqué from UCI technical coordinator Julien Carron just two weeks before the start of the race, outlining a number of "clarifications" that the sport's governing body threatened to enforce. BikeRadar obtained a copy of the letter and it's certainly an interesting read:

    From: Carron Julien - UCI
    Sent: Monday, June 18, 2012 7:48 AM
    To: Undisclosed recipients:
    Subject: Recommandations [sic] for the Tour of France 2012

    Dear Teams,

    You can find the clarification of the technical regulation as it will be enforced during the Tour of France in attached file. The first part concerns the rules on the position of the rider and the second part illustrates the rules related to the equipment used during the race.

    I would like to especially call your attention to the 5 following points:

    1. The use of the camelback system in competition is allowed, but only if used solely for hydration purposes and without an aerodynamic covering. The liquid container must not be rigid nor present a shape liable to be considered as having the objective of improving penetration through the air and must be limited to 0.5 litres. Furthermore, since 1st April 2012 it is mandatory to use the camelback system only on the back of the rider and to present it to the Commissaires before the start of the race at the risk of being disqualified.

    First off, there's the issue of the timing. Even assuming the rule clarifications are justified and logical, June 18 doesn't leave teams sufficient time to make necessary adjustments, especially for rule changes that represent a substantial change from the status quo. Ideally, the UCI should lay out the rules - in very...

  • Horner content with new role in Tour de France

    Chris Horner (RadioShack-Nissan) heads to the sign on stage.
    Article published:
    July 02, 2012, 18:50 BST
    Brecht Decaluwé

    American's job is to be super domestique, not GC contender

    American Chris Horner (RadioShack-Nissan) is riding in the Tour de France for the sixth time in his career, but it is a participation that almost never happened. About two weeks before the start of the Tour de France in Liège, Belgium, the 40-year-old didn't understand why he wasn't in the team's long list for the Tour de France.

    The decision stood and his non-participation in the Tour de Suisse reportedly was one of the key reasons. One week later he was added to the list nevertheless, replacing injured team leader Andy Schleck. The Tour de France selection of the RadioShack-Nissan team caused a lot of discussion as also Jakob Fuglsang fell out of favour, reportedly his exclusion was due to rumors he plans to sign with another team for 2013.

    Horner on the other hand is content to stay put with RadioShack-Nissan. "I've got a two-year contract with the team. I've got no plans to go anywhere else."

    A couple of days into the race it's clear that "the redneck" is not in the Tour de France to focus on the general classification but to take care of teammates. At the end of stage 1, which finished on the 2.4km long Cote de Seraing climb, Horner worked hard to bring Fränk Schleck back into the group with all the general classification riders. Eventually, he crossed the finish line 55 seconds after winner Peter Sagan (Liquigas-Cannondale). It's clear that Horner is not going to repeat his top 10 result of the 2010 Tour de France.

  • Tour Shorts: Cavendish's special status, Bozic uncertain for stage 3

    Stage 5 winner Mark Cavendish (Sky) on the podium with his daughter Delilah.
    Article published:
    July 02, 2012, 19:25 BST
    Cycling News

    Fans give way! A Royal arrival, Crash-insensitivity

    Is Cavendish a gay icon?

    That’s the rather bizarre question posed by Liberation in this morning’s edition of the French publication. Pierre Carrey, a former Cyclingnews writer says: “Cavendish isn’t yet an established gay icon, like perhaps his rival Tom Boonen involuntarily is, nor is he a bisexual muse like the Italian rider Filippo Pozzato.”

    Wait, there’s more: “Awaiting that, he [Cavendish] confesses that he eats Special K with soy milk for breakfast, his first bike was a girl’s frame and that he listens to Callas in a loop. The latest provocations of a boy lost in the kingdom of the rutting stags." DB

    Bozic questionable for stage 3

    Astana's sprinter Borut Bozic was not able to contend for the stage win in Tournai, as he was suffering the after-effects of a mid-race crash. The Slovenian crashed mid-way through stage 2. The official report from the team has director Giuseppe Martinelli tactfully avoiding the cause of the crash. "Today’s sour note was Bozic’s crash halfway through the stage, when he hit his right elbow. We are taking him for some tests to assess the accident's consequences."

    However, Astana's team GC hopeful Janez Brajkovic was not quite as diplomatic. He wrote on Twitter: "Bad day. @BorutBozic was hit from behind by organization car. Org car could avoid him, but would bump into other car. He chose hitting rider".

    If true, the incident recalls the still-unresolved crash of last year's Tour de France, where a media car clipped Johnny Hoogerland, sending him and Juan Antonio Flecha flying.(LW)

    Riders plea to fans: stay off the road!

    After a massive pile-up on stage 1 was caused by a spectator standing on the road to take a...

  • Cavendish: Victory in rainbow jersey is special

    Mark Cavendish (Sky) wins the stage
    Article published:
    July 02, 2012, 20:06 BST
    Peter Cossins

    Sky sprinter explains how he got himself into contention for the sprint

    Coming into the Tour de France, Mark Cavendish’s hopes of maintaining his incredible winning run at the race were being widely written off. He had, it was said, lost weight and finishing speed and wouldn’t have a lead-out train. However, lead-out train or not, Cavendish has often proved himself to be nothing less than extraordinary and he did so again today in Tournai, chalking up his 21st Tour stage win and his first in the rainbow bands of the world champion.

    The Briton seemed to be out of contention with 600 metres remaining, with as many as a dozen riders ahead of him. Somehow, just 200 metres later, there were just two, Lotto’s André Greipel and his lead-out man Greg Henderson. But how had he done it?

    "I saw [Oscar] Freire coming up and I know Freire always surges in the final kilometre so I jumped on his wheel. Then I saw [Daryl] Impey going on the right to lead out Matt Goss, but Goss was a bit slow to react so I jumped on Impey and took the opportunity to get between them. He couldn’t stop because Gossy was behind me – he had to go and I knew he was going to be perfect to lead me out. If he’d have pulled off I’d have been left on the front a bit too early.

    "Then I saw Henderson go on the left with Greipel on his wheel, and I went left. When Hendy surged he made a gap on the riders who were on Greipel’s wheel and I was able to get in there," Cavendish explained after the stage, adding, "I even left it a bit too late. I jumped off Greipel with 200 to go and I should have gone earlier because it was very tight on the line. I had to lunge it."

    Cavendish denied that winning without having a lead-out train made this victory particularly special. "A win at the Tour de France is a win at...