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Third Edition Cycling News, Sunday, July 13, 2014

Date published:
July 13, 2014, 1:00 BST
  • 2010 Tour de France podium for Van Den Broeck?

    Jurgen Van den Broeck (Lotto-Belisol)
    Article published:
    July 13, 2014, 10:08 BST
    By:
    Brecht Decaluwé

    Belgian in line after removal of Menchov and Contador

    Four years after the tumultuous 2010 Tour de France, the results are being rewritten again. Alberto Contador was the winner on the podium in Paris, being flanked by runner-up Andy Schleck and third-placed Denis Menchov. Due to his positive test for clenbuterol, Contador lost his third Tour de France victory half a year later to Andy Schleck, and now Menchov has been stripped of his third place finish.

    Menchov had become runner-up and Olympic champion Samuel Sanchez moved up to a spot on the podium after Contador's positive test. Four years on, Menchov will now be removed from the results due to anomalies in his biological passport, which were belatedly revealed on Saturday. Andy Schleck remains the winner while, at least in theory, Sanchez becomes runner-up and Belgian rider Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Lotto-Belisol) is now to be considered a Tour de France podium finisher.

    Back in February 2012, Van Den Broeck was nonplussed by his elevation to fourth place following  confirmation of Contador's disqualification. "I'm not happy with this news. The race has been raced and I finished fifth. In my opinion I remain fifth. I don't know the details of the [Clenbuterol] case but in the past there's been guys who were tested positive because of eating contaminated meat. If that's the case then it's very sad for him [Contador],” Van Den Broeck told Sporza Radio back then.

    After finishing off the pace on...

  • Tour de France shorts: Paolini's communication malfunction

    Luca Paolini (Katusha)
    Article published:
    July 13, 2014, 15:51 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Ji Cheng battles to become first Chinese Tour finisher

    Riding without due care and attention

    Luca Paolini was given a warning by the UCI on stage eight after the Katusha rider was spotted using his mobile phone during the race. After each stage the organisers issue a document with all the sanctions given, from disposing of food wrappers in the wrong way to taking bidons at the wrong time.

    At the bottom of the stage eight document, there was a small caution to all riders: "The use of mobile phones during the race by riders is not authorised in reference to article nine of the event and article 2.2.024 of the UCI regulations."

    An Italian paper reported that Paolini may have been receiving sensitive information on the phone. Paolini responded by saying that the reporter should "put more tobacco" in what he was smoking, and explained that he had not been sending text messages at 50kph as one photograph may have implied.

    "I forgot that my phone was in my pocket and I was switching it off and bringing it back to the team car," Paolini tweeted, followed by a truly Pozzato-esque array of emoticons to express his embarrassment.

    Stomach churning day for Fuglsang

    The opening mountain stage proved to be a much more difficult day than anticipated for Jakob Fuglsang (Astana). Fuglsang was expected to be one of Nibali's last men on the Gérardmer but the Danish rider said that he was "suffering from diarrhoea. Last night, I felt feverish and I had cold sweats."

    Fuglsang was dropped on the final climb and had to be paced up by teammate Tanel Kangert, who reportedly did so without the knowledge of his team leader Vincenzo Nibali.

    The Danish rider held onto his second place in the general classification, but by a slim 14 seconds over Team Sky's Richie Porte. At the start of stage...

  • Menchov opts not fight two-year ban for doping

    Denis Menchov (Katusha).
    Article published:
    July 13, 2014, 16:42 BST
    By:
    Stephen Farrand

    Katusha chose to protect his privacy

    Denis Menchov has said he will not try to fight his two-year ban for doping announced by the UCI, saying that he does not want to 'waste time' trying to reduce his ban now that he is retired.

    Menchov was stripped of his results from the 2009, 2010 and 2012 Tours de France for a violation of his Biological Passport blood data, with the UCI surreptitiously slipping the news into a summary of doping cases that was published on July 10.

    Menchov officially finished second in the 2010 Tour de France behind Andy Schleck, after the disqualification of Alberto Contador for doping. He last raced with the Katusha team in March 2013 and retired in May 2013 citing a knee injury.

    "I'm not going to appeal the sanction, I don't want to waste time doing it, nor do I want to spend any energy on it,” Menchov said, according to Russian website R-Sport.

    The Russian Katusha team, where Menchov spent the final season and a half of his career, expressed its disappointment about the news and admitted that Menchov left the team due to his UCI Biological Passport case as well as his chronic knee problems.

    The team defended the decision not to reveal details of the case at the time, citing Menchov's right to privacy. Menchov rode for the Rabobank, Geox and Katusha teams during the years of his biological passport violations. He won the 2009 Giro d'Italia despite crashing in the final time trial stage in Rome. However he has not been disqualified from that Grand Tour victory, even though his 51st place finish at the Tour the following month has been stricken from the record.

    "In order to preserve his right to privacy until a final decision had been rendered, the...

  • No panic for Nibali after losing the Tour de France leader's jersey

    Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) in the yellow jersey at the Tour de France
    Article published:
    July 13, 2014, 18:22 BST
    By:
    Stephen Farrand

    Astana leader ready for the battle on the road to La Planche des Belles Filles

    Vincenzo Nibali initially headed to the Tour de France podium area after the finish of stage 9 to Mulhouse, perhaps thinking he had to climb on the podium. Of course the tactical decision by his Astana team to let the attackers stay away and so let Tony Gallopin (Lotto Belisol) pull on the yellow jersey, meant the Sicilian was free to head back to the Astana team bus.

    Speaking briefly before climbing aboard the bus, every team's safe haven at a race, Nibali seemed content to have lost the responsibilities of Tour de France race leadership but also appeared a little nervous before Monday's stage 10, where there will be an expected showdown on the climb to La Planche des Belles Filles.

    "The team worked hard all day after everyone seemed to want to go in the break," he said still wearing his helmet and glasses and looking tired.

    "We knew that today was a day for breaks. Nobody helped us with the chasing and so we worked all day. Tony Gallopin took the jersey but it's not worth losing sleep about. Now tomorrow (Monday) it won’t be up to us to work and we’ll see what happens.

    "Today was really hard and we got through it okay. I think Pierre Rolland was the only real GC contender to gain time and perhaps we could say Tony Martin too but tomorrow's stage is tough, a real mountain finish."

    Nibali is now 1:34 minutes behind Gallopin in the overall classification but will probably not worry about the Frenchman, and instead focus on his biggest rivals for the final yellow jersey in Paris in two weeks time.

    Richie Porte (Team Sky) is closest, 1:58 behind, Michal Kwiatkowski (Omega...

  • Tour de France: Talansky happy to make it through unscathed

    Andrew Talansky (Garmin-Sharp) rolls into the finish line after crashing in the sprint
    Article published:
    July 13, 2014, 18:32 BST
    By:
    Sadhbh O'Shea

    American still hurting from crash injuries

    Andrew Talansky (Garmin-Sharp) was happy to make it through stage nine of the Tour de France with all his skin remaining. The American is still suffering the effects of two heavy crashes in the last two days, but finished safely within the main peloton.

    "It was definitely not fun," Talansky told the press after doing his daily warm down. "Crashing pretty hard at high speed two days in a row, the team got me through today but it was a really difficult day for me. Of all the days, I could just feel the effects of hitting the ground twice and it was really a struggle to get through and I was really happy to just get to the finish."

    It was a day for the escapees, with almost every team looking to put their riders into the breakaway. Astana were more than happy to let it go and allow Tony Gallopin (Lotto-Belisol) to take the yellow jersey. Astana’s tactic played into the hands of Talansky, as he tries to recover from his accident.

    "It's nothing unusual, but always the day after crashes like that you feel a bit strange and you can feel a bit odd on the bike. The way the stage went was really good for us," directeur sportif Charly Wegelius told Cyclingnews at the finish. "It went just the way we hoped it would go. In the sense that the main contenders for the race didn't face off against each other and we bought ourselves another day to get Andrew through his crash and hopefully be ready for tomorrow."

    The primary goal for Talansky will be to get over the injuries he sustained in the two accidents, before attempting to reduce the deficit to the leaders. Talansky avoided a time loss on stage seven, but went on to lose 2:20 after his crash on Saturday. It leaves him more then four minutes down and with an extra mountain to climb in the GC...

  • Tour de France: Gallopin in yellow on Bastille Day

    Tony Gallopin is overcome with emotion upon accepting the maillot jaune
    Article published:
    July 13, 2014, 19:00 BST
    By:
    Brecht Decaluwé

    Lotto-Belisol rider lives his dream in the maillot jaune

    Riding the Tour de France in the yellow jersey on Bastille day must be a childhood dream for every French rider, but Tony Gallopin made his dream come. His large breakaway was no match for the solo move from stage winner Tony Martin, but they had enough of a gap for the Lotto-Belisol rider to move into the race lead. The 26 year-old French rider will wear the maillot jaune in the stage from Mulhouse to La Planche des Belles Filles on Monday, Bastille Day.

    "Between dream and reality there's a massive difference. It was hard to make it happen. There was a chance to get the jersey and I took it. To be in the yellow jersey on Bastille Day in unbelievable," Gallopin said.

    "I thought about it since the pavé stage [Wednesday]," Gallopin said. After that stage Gallopin was in seventh place overall at 1:45 from race leader Vincenzo Nibali (Astana). Team manager Marc Sergeant allowed him to chase his dream on Sunday. Entering stage 9 with a 3:32 deficit on Nibali meant that there was a chance that the Astana team would let him go.

    "It was on his mind for a couple of days. He told me that he intentionally lost some time on Saturday but I told him it was still not a lot but it worked out," Sergeant said, adding that he knew Astana would not be trying too hard to keep the jersey. "They had announced it in the press a couple of times that if there was an opportunity they would be ok with it." As it turned out, Gallopin was the best placed rider of the large group that got away.

    "This morning the team gave me carte blanche. I thank the team for believing in me. It was a hard battle to get in the breakaway. I suffered a lot," Gallopin said. What helped Gallopin too is that he's a likeable person and many riders seemed to grant him his day of glory. Not only...

  • Tour de France: Contador ready to go on the attack

    Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) had a detante with Nibali on stage 9
    Article published:
    July 13, 2014, 19:16 BST
    By:
    Stephen Farrand

    Tinkoff-Saxo leader out to pull back time on Nibali

    Alberto Contador has hinted he is ready to go on the attack during Monday's mountain stage in the Vosges to La Planche des Belle Filles as he attempts to pull back time on Tour de France rival Vincenzo Nibali as soon as possible.

    Tinkoff-Saxo owner Oleg Tinkov suggested that Contador would wait until the Alps or the Pyrenees before challenging Nibali, but after finishing stage nine to Mulhouse safely in the peloton surrounded by several of his teammates, Contador said he would attack if he felt good.

    Team manager Bjarne Riis also sent out the same warning message, suggesting that Contador will attack on the final climb to the finish at La Planche des Belles Filles, without revealing exactly how, where or when.

    "I think this is a race that you have take an opportunity when it’s there. We're still two and half minutes behind, so we have to move," Riis said, after another day calling the tactics from the passenger seat of the Tinkoff-Saxo team car.

    "I don’t think there will be gaps of minutes but definitely seconds. If Alberto has the legs, then Alberto will try."

    Contador confirmed the message of warning to Nibali and every other overall contender at this year's Tour de France. We can expect the Spaniard to be aggressive and dance on the pedals in his unique style.

    "It'll all depend on how much energy I have, how I recover and how my legs are but I'll be looking to attack if I can," Contador said.

    "It's a hard stage, with lots of climbs. The final one to the finish is a hard climb but I will try to attack there. I think that's pretty obvious.

    "We'll also see a little bit more about how strong each of us are. Nibali is a very aggressive rider but is also very careful, as are Valverde or...

  • Tour de France: Morale high for van Garderen after ninth stage

    Tejay van Garderen (BMC) crosses the line
    Article published:
    July 13, 2014, 19:19 BST
    By:
    Sadhbh O'Shea

    BMC rider confident ahead of La Planche des Belles Filles

    Tejay van Garderen (BMC) is taking each day as it comes at this year’s Tour de France, after suffering four crashes during the opening week of the race. After enjoying a calm day inside the peloton on stage 9, van Garderen is looking to move himself back into GC contention.

    "I think we’re not going to put everything into one day," van Garderen told Cyclingnews at the finish of stage 9 in Mulhouse. "We're just going to stay the course and keep chipping away and move up day-by-day, as and when we get the opportunity to, and just stay calm. We have two weeks to make up the time."

    The Tour de France has been a cruel mistress for van Garderen this year. Crashes and injury have meant that he has lost time to his rivals on three of the last four stages. The terrain on Sunday’s stage was a tough one, but the pace set by Astana made for a relatively relaxed day in the peloton. Heading into some sterner tests next week, van Garderen has put the disappointments behind him.

    "The morale is still high, the legs are still good. I'm missing a little bit of skin but you know, I think a lot of people are," said van Garderen. "We're just fine. The morale is high, the spirit is high and we're looking forward to moving up on GC and fighting for the next few weeks."

    Tomorrow sees the riders return to La Planche des Belles Filles, which first featured in 2012 and was won by Chris Froome (Sky). It is deceptively listed as a category one climb, but has sections that reach up to an energy-draining 28 per cent. Three other first category climbs are dotted throughout the route, along with a smattering of second and third category ascents.

    In 2012, van Garderen went...