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Third Edition Cycling News, Thursday, June 23, 2011

Date published:
June 23, 2011, 1:00 BST
  • 58th national championship title for Longo

    Jeannie Longo-Ciprelli won the women's event.
    Article published:
    June 23, 2011, 11:13 BST
    Cycling News

    French veteran takes time trial crown, Ferrand Prévot fourth despite illness

    The "eternal" Jeannie Longo has added yet another national championship victory to what is arguably the most impressive palmarès ever in women's cycling. At 52 years of age, Longo snatched her 58th national championship crown, taking her fourth consecutive of a total of 11 victories in the women's time trial.

    On the 19km-course around Boulogne-sur-Mer, Longo was 42 seconds faster than her runner-up Christel Ferrier Bruneau. Third-placed Audrey Cordon was 52 seconds down, and fourth-placed Pauline Ferrand Prévot - hailed as Longo's successor at 19 years of age - conceded 57 seconds.

    Longo had been preparing to defend her title, notably in Canada and in the United States where she took part in several time trials including the Iron Horse Classic, Colorado. "I've been working the time trial a lot. Since this spring, Patrice [Ciprelli - her husband and trainer - ed.] succeeded in motivating me once again by finding time trials all over the place. It's true that it starts to get difficult finding objectives that change a little from routine," she had told L'Equipe ahead of the event, before revealing her next goal.

    "I still have an eye on the Worlds in Denmark this year, it'll be pancake-flat. So I'm working a lot on raw power."

    Ferrand Prévot, the new star of French women's cycling, took the start of the time trial diminished due to illness. "I got a cold last weekend," she explained afterwards. "I felt really bad and even considered not to start at the championships. But I talked to Gerard Brocks [her and Julien Absalon's trainer - ed.] this morning who told me I could still do the 19 kilometres on my 'class' be going flat out."

    Ferrand Prévot clocked the best intermediate time mid-race, but then had trouble holding her pace until the end. "The first part of the parcours was good but then I had difficulties in the climb," she confirmed.

  • Caja Rural sack riders implicated in doping investigation

    A Caja Rural rider on the attack.
    Article published:
    June 23, 2011, 12:27 BST
    Peter Cossins

    Spanish team affirms its “zero tolerance” commitment to doping infractions

    The management of the Caja Rural team have announced that they have released Víctor de la Parte and Guillermo Lana from their contracts after the pair were implicated in the Andorra doping investigation that came to light earlier this week. The two riders were among 42 cyclists implicated in the investigation, which also involved a number of athletes.

    According to a statement released by the Spanish pro continental team, both riders “have been willing to do all they can to clear up and resolve this situation as quickly as possible”. The statement added that the team will take “whatever disciplinary measures that might be open to it.”

    It also added that the team’s ethical code “is based on the principle foundation of zero tolerance to doping and we are inflexible on that point… The team hopes for a rapid resolution of the investigation that is under way.”

    According to reports from the Catalan police and Spain’s Guardia Civil, for the past year the investigating team had been tracking sales of doping products through an online pharmacy located in the Andorran town of Encamp and the subsequent trafficking of those products. Among the other riders implicated in the investigation are Ángel Gómez Gómez (ex-Saunier Duval and Fuji-Servetto), Enrique Mata (ex-Footon Servetto) and former Kelme pro Adolfo García Quesada.


  • Posthuma ninth man in Leopard's Tour de France line-up?

    Andy Schleck sets tempo for Leopard Trek teammate Jakob Fuglsang in the lead break on the climb of the Grosse Scheidegg.
    Article published:
    June 23, 2011, 12:51 BST
    Cycling News

    Full team roster yet to be confirmed

    The line-up of the Leopard Trek team at this year's Tour de France seems to be decided. Dutch newspaper Telegraaf reported on Thursday that Joost Posthuma had been chosen for the last available spot in the nine-man roster.

    On Tuesday, Maxime Monfort had told L'Équipe that the "the team in Switzerland is the Tour team," thereby revealing eight riders of the nine scheduled to take part in the Tour: Fabian Cancellara, Andy and Fränk Schleck, Jakob Fuglsang, Linus Gerdemann, Maxime Monfort, Stuart O'Grady and Jens Voigt.

    However, when asked for confirmation, Leopard Trek told Cyclingnews that the final roster would not be officially announced until next week.

    Posthuma may have been preferred for his abilities against the clock in view of the team time trial. French climber Brice Feillu, also in the mix for a possible Tour spot, suffered a thigh muscle injury during the Critérium du Dauphiné.

  • Basso says condition improving at pre-Tour de France training camp

    Ivan Basso (Liquigas)
    Article published:
    June 23, 2011, 12:56 BST
    Cycling News

    Italian prepares at Passo San Pellegrino

    Ivan Basso (Liquigas-Cannondale) has insisted that his condition is improving after his poor showing at the Critérium du Dauphiné and he is confident that he will be ready for the opening mountain stages of the Tour de France.

    The Italian could only muster 26th place overall at the Dauphiné, and appeared to struggle both in the mountains and against the clock. He acknowledged that his training crash on the slopes of Mount Etna on May 17 had compromised his build-up to the race.

    “With the scant preparation that I had as a result of the fall on Etna, I couldn’t go any better,” Basso told Gazzetta dello Sport. “Above all, I was missing something when I went into the red.

    “An example: one day at the Dauphiné, I was on Boasson Hagen’s wheel for quarter of an hour above threshold and I was doing 430 watts. I’ve just done a test and I’m doing 440 watts at threshold. It means that my condition is improving. An excellent sign. I’ll be at my best by the ninth stage, with the first tough climbs.”

    Basso is currently at a training camp with his Liquigas-Cannondale team in the Dolomites at the Passo San Pellegrino, where he has alternated blocks of two or three days of hard training with a day of recovery and resisted the temptation to over-compensate for the work his missed out on in late May.

    “[Liquigas trainer] Paolo Slongo has marked me tightly because he was afraid I’d do too much,”...

  • Tour de France: Vacansoleil without Devolder

    The Vacansoleil team is presented on stage
    Article published:
    June 23, 2011, 13:16 BST
    Cycling News

    Dutch team line-up leaked by Tour rookie

    Wout Poels, a 23-year-old rider with Vacansoleil, revealed his squad's Tour de France line-up on his personal website on Thursday. The team was also going to announce its rider selection officially today, but the Tour rookie was faster.

    Belgian champion Stijn Devolder is not included in the list of nine riders. Devolder, struggling to find both form and morale after the death of his close friend Wouter Weylandt in the Giro d'Italia, will be training in July instead of racing the Tour. The Belgian aims to target the Vuelta a Espana in late August instead.

    The final nine Vacansoleil riders for the Tour are French sprinter Romain Feillu, Tour de Suisse stage winners Thomas De Gendt and Borut Bozic, Bjorn Leukemans, Johnny Hoogerland, Rob Ruijgh, Lieuwe Westra, Wouter Poels and Marco Marcato.

  • Omega Pharma-Lotto announce Tour de France team

    Philippe Gilbert and his Omega Pharma-Lotto teammates.
    Article published:
    June 23, 2011, 14:58 BST
    Cycling News

    Gilbert, Van den Broeck and Greipel lead the charge

    Omega Pharma-Lotto has announced a strong line-up for the Tour de France, as it fights on three fronts with its leaders Philippe Gilbert, Jurgen Van den Broeck and André Greipel.

    Gilbert is aiming to wear the yellow jersey during an opening week well-suited to his characteristics. The Belgian will be expected to feature strongly on the uphill finishes at Mont des Alouettes on stage one and at the Mûr de Bretagne three days later.

    After finishing 5th overall twelve months ago, Van den Broeck will be hoping to consolidate his position as one of the best climbers in the peloton, and he was in fine form at the recent Critérium du Dauphiné, where he took his first win as a professional.

    In the bunch finishes, the team’s attentions will turn to André Greipel, who makes his long-awaited Tour de France debut at the age of 28. The German has not enjoyed a hugely successful first six months in Omega Pharma-Lotto colours, but he will relish the opportunity to go head to head with his rival and erstwhile teammate Mark Cavendish (HTC-Highroad).

    Greipel’s fellow countrymen Sebastian Lang and Marcel Sieberg are also on the roster, while Jurgen Van de Walle and Jurgen Roelandts will add plenty of horsepower.

    Omega Pharma-Lotto for the Tour de France: Philippe Gilbert, André Greipel, Sebastian Lang, Jurgen Roelandts, Marcel Sieberg, Jurgen Van den Broeck, Jurgen Van de Walle, Jelle Vanendert, Frederik Willems.

  • Italy: FCI federal council ratifies ban on sanctioned riders

    Italian manager Paolo Bettini and Italian federation head Renato Di Rocco at the Liquigas-Cannondale presentation in Milan.
    Article published:
    June 23, 2011, 16:24 BST
    Cycling News

    Bennati free to compete at Worlds

    The federal council of the Italian Cycling Federation has confirmed that riders who have served suspensions of six months or more for doping infractions will not be able to ride the national championships or represent Italy at international level.

    “The rampant problem of doping and the many ongoing investigations – which do not concern cycling alone, but many sports – mean that it is necessary to fight not only by suppressing doping but also with education,” FCI president Renato Di Rocco said.

    Di Rocco’s resolution, which was tabled on May 30, was ratified by the FCI federal council in Terme di Vigliatore, Sicily on Thursday. The national road race championships also take place in Sicily over the weekend.

    A statement from the FCI said that the rules of the national championships had been modified to forbid the participation of “athletes who have faced sanctions for doping with a suspension of 6 months or more from any anti-doping organisation for any violation of any anti-doping regulation.”

    The same criteria are also set to be applied to the Italian national team, meaning that riders such as Alessandro Petacchi, Ivan Basso, Danilo Di Luca and Michele Scarponi will be unable to ride in the world championships.

    Daniele Bennati (Leopard Trek) will be free to compete for Italy at the Worlds in Copenhagen in September, however, as he received a warning rather than a suspension for his 2005 positive test for betamethasone when it was accepted that the positive was caused by the use of an undeclared anti-inflammatory cream.

    On Tuesday, Italian manager Paolo Bettini suggested that...

  • Pre-Tour de France TTT training for Euskaltel-Euskadi

    Olympic champion Samuel Sánchez (Euskaltel - Euskadi) finished in third place.
    Article published:
    June 23, 2011, 17:48 BST
    Peter Cossins

    Basque team attempt to improve what is likely to be their weak point

    Euskaltel-Euskadi has made no bones about the fact that the Tour de France stage that presents the biggest obstacle to its chances of putting team leader Samuel Sánchez onto the podium in Paris is the second-day team time trial at Les Essarts.

    But the Basque squad has taken steps to mitigate its potential losses on that stage by bringing its nine Tour riders together for a day of team time trial training near Logroño, in Spain’s northern province of Rioja.

    The training day required Sánchez to fly in from a high-altitude training camp in the Sierra Nevada to join his eight teammates. The nine riders then spent two-and-a-half hours working with team manager Igor González de Galdeano and DS Gorka Gerrikagoitia. As well as establishing the best positions for each rider in the Euskaltel line for the Les Essarts test, the team also attempted to work out how long each rider should lead the line and tinkered with the set-up on the Orbea time trial bikes.

    Even though the test only extends to 23km, Sánchez has acknowledged that he could lose 90 seconds and perhaps even two minutes to some of his key rivals. Euskaltel’s last place finish in the equivalent test at the Giro d’Italia suggests the Olympic champion could be right, given that Euskaltel’s nine riders that day lost 1:13 over 19.3km.

    González de Galdeano, who once formed part of ONCE’s formidable team time trial line-up, played down concerns about the team time trial. “It’s a tough test, but I’m not worried,” he told El Correo. “We’ll be able to see what kind of potential we have as a team. I hope...