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Third Edition Cycling News, Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Date published:
July 17, 2012, 1:00 BST
  • Tour shorts: Sörensen's lengthy chase, De Kort rues missing the break

    Thomas Voeckler (Europcar) nips Nicki Sörensen (Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank) for third place
    Article published:
    July 17, 2012, 11:23 BST
    Cycling News

    Sky tops prize money haul, Van Garderen's ambitions

    If you want to succeed, you better wait

    Without a real general classification leader, Bjarne Riis’ men have been hard at work in the breakaways of this year’s Tour. They may not have won a stage but there’s been time in the polka-dot jersey and the most aggressive award as consolidation. It was surprising then to see no Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank rider in the day’s stage 15 escape. It had been almost 60km before the break succeeded but there was no Saxo Bank rider present, that was until Nicki Sörensen took off in pursuit.

    Sörensen took his time getting to the five leaders, approximately 20km but he may not have made it at all if it wasn’t from some encouragement by his director sportif Riis. The words were not however, directly at his rider but rather apparently toward the other team managers who were aware of Sörensen’s chase. They were reportedly told, according to L'Equipe, that if his rider didn’t make it, then the team would chase the break down. This was the predicament placed upon the leading group.

    "You do not want him to return, we will ride behind you", the team reportedly said.

    Sörensen eventually caught and joined in the effort to stay away from the uninterested peloton. The Dane ended the day in fourth place, just losing out to Thomas Voeckler (Europcar) in a two-man sprint. (AM)

    Simply trying isn't enough for Argos-Shimano

    Koen de Kort had made it clear that he was looking forward to a number of stages that suited him for a breakaway. Stage 15 from Samatan to Pau was of particular interest to the Dutch rider, who was clearly unhappy that he missed the opportunity.

    "I attacked several times, but was grabbed back every time. Everyone tried to get away. When everyone was...

  • Boom replaces Terpstra in 2012 London Olympic time trial

    Niki Terpstra celebrates on the podium
    Article published:
    July 17, 2012, 12:50 BST
    Cycling News

    Dutch rider will still ride road race

    Lars Boom will ride the 2012 London Olympic time trial instead of Niki Terpstra, who is still suffering form an injury suffered in the Tour of Poland. Terpstra will still ride the road race.

    Terpstra abandoned the Tour of Poland after crashing on a wet corner in the first stage. He suffered a deep gash to his knee and an injury to his shoulder, but x-rays proved negative.

    “Niki, after his fall in Poland, was too bothered by his injury in the time trial position,” said national coach Leo van Vliet on the Dutch cycling federation's website. “Despite a customized programme, which was drawn up after his crash, he has not a good preparation for the time trial bike.

    “Boom is a good substitute. Last month the two men showed similar performances in the time trials.” Boom finished second in the national championship in June, with Terpstra third.

  • Sagan set to win Porsche in Paris

    Peter Sagan looking more and more secure in green
    Article published:
    July 17, 2012, 14:11 BST
    Cycling News

    Points leader in line to collect on bet made with Liquigas team boss

    Having bagged three stages and all but wrapped up victory in the points competition, Peter Sagan has admitted that he already has his eye on the Tour de France's final stage finish on the Champs Elysées. But even if the Slovak misses out in Paris, he’s still set for a nice bonus as he prepares to collect on a pre-race bet made with Team Liquigas president Paolo Zani.

    In the days before the race started in Liège, Sagan asked Zani whether he would give him a car if he could win the green jersey in Paris. OK, Zani said, but to claim it you also have to win two stages. With three in the bag, all Sagan now has to do is cross the finishing line in Paris in green to collect the Porsche that Zani put up as an incentive to the Slovak sensation.

    “I’m not certain of reaching Paris in the green jersey, but I’ve got a good advantage over André Greipel,” Sagan told Spanish news agency EFE. “There are still five stages left and anything could happen on any of those days.”

    Sagan leads Greipel by 102 points ahead of Wednesday’s big Pyrenean stage. Beyond that, there are only two stages where the sprinters are likely to feature. In order to deny Sagan the green jersey, Greipel would have to win both of them and hope that the Liquigas rider does not pick up any points at all, which is very unlikely given Sagan’s staggering performances throughout the race.

    Sagan admits that he has been helped in his quest for green by Sky’s focus on the GC, which has left world champion Mark Cavendish isolated in the sprints. He also believes that his rapidly advancing reputation helped him on Monday’s stage into Pau....

  • Tour de France numbers: stage wins and abandons

    Peter Sagan (Liquigas-Cannondale) wins stage 6 of the Tour de France in Metz
    Article published:
    July 17, 2012, 17:40 BST
    Susan Westemeyer

    Only four teams still have all nine riders in the race

    The 2012 Tour de France started out with 198 riders and 22 teams, all looking for glory. With the race two thirds complete, 42 riders have abandoned, and only eight of the teams have been able to claim stage wins.

    Less than half of the teams in the race have won stages, with four teams claiming more than one. Liquigas-Cannondale and Lotto-Belisol have three each, all from the same rider for each team. Sky also has three, but from three different riders while two Europcar riders have taken stage wins.

    Peter Sagan and Andre Greipel are tied for the lead with three stage wins apiece. They are in fact the only riders to have won more than one stage so far this year at the Tour.

    Looking at the nations, both Britain and France have four wins each. Mark Cavendish, Christopher Froome, Bradley Wiggins and David Millar have scored for Britain, with Thibaut Pinot, Thomas Voeckler, Pierre Rolland and Pierrick Fedrigo taking the honours for France. Slovakia and Germany have three each, from Sagan and Greipel.

    More than one-fifth of the field has dropped out, with reasons ranging from injury to illness to Olympic preparation. One rider, Remy Di Gregorio (Cofidis), had to leave after being arrested on doping-related charges.

    Hardest hit are Vacansoleil-DCM and Rabobank, which both have only four riders going into the final week. Euskaltel-Euskadi and Lampre ISD have both lost four riders.

    The only four teams which are still complete are BMC Racing Team, Liquigas-Cannondale, Lotto-Belisol and Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank.

    Only 156 riders finished the race on Sunday and headed into the...

  • Greipel can't fulfill birthday wish of fourth 2012 Tour de France stage win

    Andre Greipel enjoys his podium time at the Tour de France
    Article published:
    July 17, 2012, 18:28 BST
    Cycling News

    Disagreement between Lotto Belisol and Orica-GreenEdge

    Andre Greipel had hoped to celebrate his 30th birthday Monday with a sprint win in Pau in the fifteenth stage of the Tour de France. However, an escape group was allowed to get away and the German won only the sprint of the field for seventh place, nearly 12 minutes behind stage winner Pierrick Fedrigo of FDJ-Big Mat.

    Meanwhile, a spat developed between Lotto Belisol and Orica-GreenEdge about whether or not the two sprinter teams should help one another.

    “It was impossible to control the field. There was nothing to do against Voeckler and co.,” Greipel told the dapd news agency. “I couldn't expect my guys to sacrifice everything.”

    The team met with little to no help from the other teams, who appeared to feel no need to help Greipel win. After the day's escape group got away, Lotto planned to chase and catch them at the end, but the rest of the peloton didn't agree.

    “Suddenly Sky rested their legs and GreenEdge didn't do anything either. I couldn't understand that,” said Greipel's teammate and good friend Marcel Sieberg. He is one of three ill riders on the team, and “we didn't want to sacrifice all our strength.”

    The spat between Lotto  and GreenEdge became public after the stage. Both Matthew Goss and Greipel would have had a chance to win the mass sprint, but it didn't come to be.

    The Australian team “didn't help to cut the gap to the escape group,” criticized Sieberg, according to

    “There are days when...

  • Video: Wiggins plays down Froome rivalry

    Bradley Wiggins (Sky) en route to Pau in stage 15.
    Article published:
    July 17, 2012, 19:32 BST
    Barry Ryan

    Tourmalet is just like any other climb

    Given the manner in which Bradley Wiggins and Sky have dictated the story of this Tour de France to date, the media descended on his rest day press conference in Pau eager to add some colour to a narrative that seems already written in black and blue.

    Sky's dominance means that for all Vincenzo Nibali's aggression and Cadel Evans's experience, the most compelling challenge to Wiggins's yellow jersey seems to be coming from within his own camp. Chris Froome unsheathed his apparent superiority in the mountains at La Toussuire, and the possibility of a civil war would be an enticing twist in a Tour running so resolutely to script.

    There was to be precious little rattling of swords in the sweltering heat of Pau, however. With Froome seated demurely alongside him, Wiggins pointed out that Sky's collective strength and pre-established tactics had carried him into a commanding position with just five stages to go.

    "There are a lot of teams of stars out there but this is a star team," Wiggins said, before adding: "This team prides itself on racing as a team and sticking to that game plan."

    There were shades of Bernard Hinault and Greg LeMond in 1985 when Wiggins vaguely discussed the possibility of riding to help Froome win the Tour in the future. Wisely, with this current Tour yet to run its course, Wiggins did not get weighed down in specifics of when he and Froome would swap roles.

    "The guy is capable of winning the Tour for sure, otherwise he wouldn't be second overall in the Tour de France," Wiggins said. "He will win this race one day and I'll be there to support him to do that. Obviously people will try...

  • Martin looks forward to Pyrenean return

    The hilly Liege-Bastogne-Liege terrain should play to the strengths of Daniel Martin (Garmin-Barracuda).
    Article published:
    July 17, 2012, 19:38 BST
    Barry Ryan

    Irishman back on familiar terrain on the road to Bagnères-de-Luchon

    Illness has tempered Dan Martin's Tour de France to date but the Garmin-Sharp rider is hoping for a change in fortunes as the race enters the Pyrenees, where he has enjoyed notable success as both an amateur and a professional.

    Lying 65th overall on the Tour's second rest in the shadow the Pyrenees, Martin is looking to give a different sense to his race when hostilities recommence on Wednesday. Stage 16 brings the peloton over the Aubisque, Tourmalet, Aspin and Peyresourde as it traverses the fearsome Circle of Death, familiar terrain for the Irishman.

    Martin's overall victory at the Route du Sud in 2008 was forged in that stirring natural amphitheatre, as he traversed the Tourmalet and Peyresourde during the queen stage to Superbagnères. Long before he had entered the professional ranks, however, Martin had already made the pilgrimage to the Tour's holiest ground with his father Neil.

    "We had a couple of really good holidays here when I was growing up," Martin told Cyclingnews in Pau on Tuesday. "We did an epic ride one day when I was 16. We started out from Luz-Saint-Saveur, then we did the Tourmalet, Aspin and then up to the Peyresourde to watch the Tour.

    "We rode back too, so I ended up doing the both sides of the Tourmalet, both sides of the Aspin both sides and once up the Peyresourde, all in the same day. It took something like seven hours and I was only 16. I was on my knees afterwards, but I do love these mountains. They've got good memories for me."

    While Martin is intimately familiar with Wednesday's set-piece stage (it is only the sixth time in history that the Big Four of the Pyrenees feature in the same day), he charts unexplored territory when the...

  • UCI announces adverse analytical finding for Fränk Schleck at Tour de France

    Frank Schleck (RadioShack - Nissan)
    Article published:
    July 17, 2012, 19:48 BST
    Cycling News

    UPDATE: Schleck withdraws from Tour after Xipamide found in urine sample

    Earlier today, the UCI advised Luxembourger Fränk Schleck (RadioShack-Nissan) of an Adverse Analytical Finding in a urine sample collected from him at an in-competition test at the Tour de France on July 14, 2012.

    The WADA accredited laboratory in Châtenay-Malabry detected the presence of the diuretic Xipamide in Schleck's urine sample.

    According to UCI anti-doping rules the finding does not require a provisional suspension, but in a statement the UCI said, "the UCI is confident that his team will take the necessary steps to enable the Tour de France to continue in serenity and to ensure that their rider has the opportunity to properly prepare his defense in particular within the legal timeline, which allows four days for him to have his B sample analyzed."

    Xipamide, the substance found in Schleck's urine, is not specifically mentioned on WADA's prohibited substance list.

    Cyclingnews has called Fränk Schleck for comment but have not yet received a response. However, his RadioShack-Nissan team has announced that the Luxembourger has withdrawn from the Tour de France. Following is the complete statement from the RadioShack-Nissan concerning Schleck:

    "Our team attaches great value to transparency. Because of this, we can announce the following as a response to the adverse analytical finding of xipamide in Fränk Schleck's urine sample of July 14 during the Tour de France.

    "After being informed by the UCI about the presence of xipamide in the urine sample of Fränk Schleck on July 14, the team has decided to immediately withdraw Fränk Schleck from the Tour de France.

    "Even though an abnormal A sample does not require these measures, Mr. Schleck and the team...