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Third Edition Cycling News, Sunday, July 3, 2011

Date published:
July 03, 2011, 1:00 BST
  • NetApp's Schorn eager for first Tour of Austria

    Daniel Schorn (Team Netapp) looked relaxed during the stage.
    Article published:
    July 03, 2011, 11:22 BST
    Susan Westemeyer

    Sprinter can't wait to start in homeland race

    Daniel Schorn is ready for his first Tour of Austria, the race through his homeland. The 22-year-old Team NetApp rider said he “can't wait” for thing to start Sunday midday.

    Schorn warmed up for the race at the Tour de Suisse. “I think I managed quite well.  I know I'm hoping that my form is perfect for the Tour of Austria,” he told Cyclingnews. “I'm looking forward to competing in a stage race in my home country, so I can't wait to start!”

    His best result this year was a third place in the Tour de Rijke last month, and he admits that he is not really satisfied with his season to date. “I'm putting all my effort in performing well in the mass sprints and achieve some reasonable results. But I haven't picked out a special stage so far, I'm just going to try to do my best in stages which finish in a mass sprint.”

    “It would have been nice if the queen stage which finishes in St. Johann/Pongau ended with a mass sprint because it's kind of my home stage. But the race route makes it impossible for a sprinter like me to get a result there.”

    The Austrian is in his second season with the German team, and had three wins last year – a stage at at the Tour de Normandie and two stage at the Tour of Slovakia. That was despite suffering a broken scaphoid bone in the spring.

    This season he had to undergo knee surgery and missed a month in the spring but is optimistic about the rest of the season.

    “I feel very happy with this team, which I think also reflected my good results last season. I'm looking forward on the rest of the season competing for Team NetApp - hopefully without any other crashes!”

  • Tour de France news shorts

    Leopard Trek's Fränk and Andy Schleck get ready for a pre-Tour training session.
    Article published:
    July 03, 2011, 12:56 BST
    Jane Aubrey

    Fränk Schleck's bomb, Cav's Twitter admiration, Lefevere abuse and the dame jaune

    Our often irreverent look at the Tour de France news you may have missed.

    Fränk Schleck's morale-lifting present for Saxo Bank

    There may have been a mass exodus from Saxo Bank-SunGard at the end of last season for the new Leopard Trek outfit, but it appears as though some former members of the team are still 'giving back' to the team run by Bjarne Riis.

    Saxo Bank and Leopard Trek were sharing hotels following Saturday's opening stage, and a few of the riders bumped into each other in the lift. Australia's Richie Porte reported the following exchange on his Twitter feed:

    "shared a trip in hotel lift with some of Team Leopards finest lads... Thanks @schleckfrank for the nasty little present as he exited!"

    Round one to Leopard Trek.

    Man is harder than rock and more fragile than an egg...

    They may be on the side of the road, but as mere mortals, spectators have done some serious damage to the peloton over the years, and Saturday's opening stage was no different. The person who got in the way of the main bunch with nine kilometres to go was the subject of much ire on social networks as images of cyclists hitting the deck were beamed live around the world.

    Astana's Maxim Iglinskiy was the rider who hit the spectator, and he explained what happened once safely at Mont des Alouettes.

    "I was pushed by a fan who turned at the moment I went alongside him, the group was compact, I had no alternative," the Kazakh rider said. He was able to ride on with abrasions to his left elbow and thigh and some bruising to his knee.

    Iglinskiy's teammate Tomas Vaitkus, who was riding behind him when the collision occurred, has a non-serious injury to...

  • Start line gallery: Photos from stage 2 of the Tour de France

    Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank Sungard) heads for the safety of the team bus after Sunday's team time trial.
    Article published:
    July 03, 2011, 15:35 BST
    Cycling News

    Teams ready for team time trial stage

    In stage 2 of the 2011 Tour de France, racers are competing in a 23km team time trial starting and finishing in Les Essarts.  After stage 1, Philippe Gilbert (Omega Pharma-Lotto) is in yellow.  He's followed by Cadel Evans (BMC) and Thor Hushovd (Team Garmin-Cervelo) in the standings.

  • Video: Vaughters on Garmin's first stage and Tour de France yellow jersey

    Jonathan Vaughters celebrates on the podium
    Article published:
    July 03, 2011, 18:38 BST
    Daniel Benson

    Ellis on hand to celebrate with team

    Garmin-Cervelo’s stage win and yellow jersey at the Tour de France is "indicative of what the team and Slipstream have stood for from the beginning", according to team manager Jonathan Vaughters. Garmin-Cervelo won the stage 2 team time trial, putting world champion Thor Hushovd in the yellow jersey by one second ahead of GC contender Cadel Evans (BMC).

    The team rode selflessly throughout the stage with riders like Tyler Farrar and Dave Zabriskie sacrificing themselves.

    It was a tense finish though. Once Garmin had posted the best time of the day, the team retreated to the team bus where they watched events unfold. One by one, rival teams crossed the line and the stage and jersey looked secured until BMC reached the intermediate time check at two seconds down.

    However Evans’ team wilted in the wind by a further two seconds, giving Garmin the stage and Hushovd a one-second advantage in the GC.  Garmin-Cervelo's David Millar is in second, with the same time as Hushovd.

    Ellis proud of team effort

    Doug Ellis, Chairman on Slipstream Sports, was at the stage and joined the team in celebrating its first ever Tour de France stage victory and first yellow jersey. The American founded Slipstream sports with Vaughters in 2006 and has funded and developed the team towards the top echelons of the sport.

    “We always wanted to build a team that was competitive every day of racing, and I think...

  • Video: Roche still ranks Contador as Tour de France favourite

    Ireland's Stephen Roche is one of four new appointees to the UCI ProTour Council.
    Article published:
    July 03, 2011, 19:23 BST
    Daniel Benson

    Former winner tips Van Den Broeck and Martin to do well

    1987 Tour de France winner Stephen Roche still ranks Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank SunGard) as the favourite for this year's race.

    The Spaniard lost over a minute on his rivals on stage one and slipped even further down the overall standing after the stage two team time trial. He now lies 1:38 behind on arch rival Andy Schleck (Leopard Trek) and 1:41 behind Cadel Evans (BMC).

    Taking both a long term and optimistic view, Roche believes that Contador will come good and that with 19 stages still remaining in the race, he has ample opportunities to eliminate any time gaps. According to Roche, if Contador starts the final time trial in Grenoble with even a deficit of 1:45 to 2 minutes on Schleck, he can still win his fourth Tour de France.

    Roche also picks Jurgen Van Den Broeck as the candidate for the podium while Tony Martin may surprise with a strong performance in the Pyrenees and the Alps. As for Nicholas Roche, his son, Stephen is optimistic that he can make the top ten by Paris.

  • Hushovd happy to swap rainbow jersey for yellow

    Thor Hushovd (Garmin-Cervelo) in yellow
    Article published:
    July 03, 2011, 20:33 BST
    Brecht Decaluwé

    New Tour de France leader recalls winning in 2001

    After a frustrating spring, lady luck is smiling on world champion Thor Hushovd and his Garmin-Cervélo team at the Tour de France.

    Hushovd and his teammates held off a late surge by BMC to win the team time trial and their four-second margin was just enough for Hushovd to take the yellow jersey. Teammate David Millar is second overall, at the same time but finished further down the pack during stage one on Saturday. Both riders hold a lead of one second over Cadel Evans (BMC).

    “This time luck was on our side. We had one goal and that was to get to the finish line as fast as possible. We worked hard for this and everything worked out perfectly for us,” Hushovd said.

    “To win the team time trial is very special. It's stressful and hard, especially when you're in the lead of the train. It's on the limit but today we found a very good rhythm.”

    Despite being world champion, Hushovd admitted he felt under pressure to do well in the Tour de France.

    “I’ve already won a nice stage in the Tour of Switzerland but there's always the pressure to do something at the Tour,” he said.

    “The team wanted a stage win and I wanted it as well. Now we're all rid of the pressure. It's a dream coming through to step on the podium in the rainbow jersey. I'm proud that I can show the jersey in this race. After all this is the biggest race in the world.”

    The jersey collector

    The Norwegian’s suitcase is packed with different coloured jerseys. He wears the rainbow jersey most of the time but rode the team time trial in the climber’s polka-dot jersey. Philippe Gilbert is leading the competition but was wearing the yellow jersey. Now Hushovd has yellow...

  • Aldag says Hushovd and Gilbert pose green jersey threat

    Mark Cavendish (HTC-Highroad) before the start
    Article published:
    July 03, 2011, 21:50 BST
    Daniel Friebe

    Cavendish and Goss have work cut out, HTC boss claims

    HTC-Highroad chief Rolf Aldag admitted on Sunday at the Tour de France that his dream duo of Mark Cavendish and Matt Goss may face an uphill battle to reel in early front runner Philippe Gilbert (Omega Pharma-Lotto) and current Tour leader Thor Hushovd (Garmin Cervelo) in the green jersey competition.

    No points were awarded in Sunday's team time trial, meaning that Cavendish must wait another 24 hours before he can make any inroads into Gilbert and Hushovd's respective 41- and 26-point advantages.

    Goss, meanwhile, is yet to get off the mark.

    On Sunday in Les Essarts, HTC's victory hopes effectively ended with Bernhard Eisel's crash in the first 500 metres. Twenty-four hours earlier, as Goss and Cavendish were both delayed by crashes in the final two kilometres, Aldag and his sprint twins discovered that the green jersey rule changes thought likely to favour Cavendish may have a quite different effect.

    "My prediction for green is that guys like Thor, even Gilbert - they have an advantage," Aldag said. "I just don't know if they realize it yet and if they're going to go for it. If Omega-Pharma after one week says to itself, 'Wait a minute, Gilbert won another stage, and if we put Greipel in front of him, he's not going to win a flat stage but he can finish fifth or seventh.' That's the problem, you see: yesterday Goss and Cav got zero [sic] and Gilbert's already on 45. Tomorrow, Cav could get 45, but Gilbert could still get 20. So, whatever you do, you just never come back if you get zero on so many occasions. That was the problem when Cav won six stages in 2009: Thor wasn't winning but he was always picking up...

  • Vinokourov satisfied with Astana's teamwork

    Alexandre Vinokourov of Astana looks serious as he prepares to take a drink
    Article published:
    July 03, 2011, 22:45 BST
    Jean-François Quénet

    Kazakh veteran still hopeful for yellow jersey

    Alexandre Vinokourov was relieved when he heard that his Astana team didn't lose more than 32 seconds on hot favourites Garmin-Cervélo in the stage 2 team time trial at the Tour de France. But the Kazakh rider was hoping for a better ranking at the end of the day.

    "Our goal was to make the top five," Vinokourov told Cyclingnews as he unzipped his skin suit after finishing the stage.

    Thanks in part to the initiative of Paolo Tiralongo, Astana eventually clocked the ninth best time. Vino and Tiralongo shook hands after the finish line in Les Essarts, congratulating each other.

    "I think we planned our race pretty well," Vinokourov said. "We did our best to take the curves smoothly at the end, but it was a difficult race. We were flat out from start to finish. Everyone did a good job."

    This comment included Maxim Iglinskiy, who apparently didn't suffer any consequences from his crash the the previous day. He was the man who collided with a female spectator clad in a yellow jersey on the roadside with eight kilometres to go on stage 1. This accident was what caused Alberto Contador to lose 1:14 to Andy Schleck.

    "There were a lot of crashes yesterday but we've been lucky," said Vinokourov. "None of us who crashed were injured. We know that the Tour de France always begins with nervous stages. Tomorrow, we expect a cross wind and possibly more crashes."

    Vinokourov travelled to the Vendée province with the intention of riding the Tour de France for the last time. He's rumoured to be ready to announce his...