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Third Edition Cycling News, Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Date published:
July 11, 2012, 1:00 BST
  • USA Pro Cycling Challenge announces 16-team field

    The final jersey holders of the USA Pro Cycling Challenge (l-r): race winner Levi Leipheimer, mountains winner Rafael Montiel, points winner Elia Viviani, best young rider Tejay Van Garderen and most aggressive rider Timmy Duggan.
    Article published:
    July 11, 2012, 15:40 BST
    Cycling News

    Defending champion Levi Leipheimer, Cadel Evans confirmed for Colorado

    The USA Pro Cycling Challenge announced the 16 teams which will contest the second edition of the seven-day stage race, taking place August 20-26 in Colorado. Levi Leipheimer, champion of last year's inaugural race, plus 2011 Tour de France champion and seventh place finisher last year in Colorado, Cadel Evans, are confirmed participants as their respective Omega Pharma-QuickStep and BMC Racing Team are among the six ProTeams invited to the UCI 2.HC-ranked event. Garmin-Sharp, Liquigas-Cannondale and RadioShack-Nissan are three additional ProTeams which make their return to Colorado, while the Astana Pro Team will make its Colorado debut to round out the ProTeam selections.

    Five UCI Professional Continental teams will compete in Colorado with three of last year's selections slated to return: Canada's Team Spidertech p/b C10, and the US-based squads of Team Type 1-Sanofi and UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team. The Champion System Pro Cycling Team and RusVelo squads round out the Pro Continental ranks.

    The USA Pro Cycling Challenge peloton is completed by five UCI Continental squads including three which competed in the inaugural race last year: Colombia's EPM-UNE plus US-based teams Bissell Pro Cycling and Team Exergy. The field is rounded out by two additional American Continental teams making their race debut, the Bontrager Livestrong Team and Optum Pro Cycling p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies.

    Not present on the roster for the race are the US Continental teams Jamis-Sutter Home, Kenda/5 Hour Energy and Jelly Belly, all of...

  • Zubeldia enjoying his time back in the limelight

    Haimar Zubeldia (RadioShack-Nissan)
    Article published:
    July 11, 2012, 17:02 BST
    Alasdair Fotheringham

    RadioShack-Nissan rider relishing return to high-profile role

    Fifth overall in the Tour de France in 2003 and 2007, Basque Haimar Zubeldia (RadioShack-Nissan) is currently his team’s best-placed rider - in sixth, 3:19 down on Bradley Wiggins (Sky). For now, the veteran stage race expert is refusing to rule out his chances of improving on his position.

    “I’m recovering well and I’m noticing that I’m in good shape,” Zubeldia, now in his 14th year as a pro, told Basque daily El Diario Vasco. “I had my doubts about how I’d get on in the time trial, but I went steady until that first little climb, and then upped the pace after that. It went well.”

    Sixteenth in the 2011 Tour, he is cautious about comparing his state of form with other years that he took a top-five place, like in 2003 when he was racing with Euskaltel-Euskadi.

    “That was nine years ago, and I was a Tour rookie. I had good form, but I had no idea how to tackle the race.

    “Now I’m much more experienced, I know what I’m doing and I know where I should be at every point in the race. In general, I’m in a better place than back then.”

    Despite a flood of congratulatory telegrams and emails for his performance in the first part of the Tour, Zubeldia recognises though, that he is trying not to raise expectations: "You have to take this on the day by day. This team gives you a lot of confidence," he said.

    “I’m three minutes off the top spot, but there’s almost two weeks of racing to go. We’ve got a lot of riders for making attacks - [Andreas] Klöden, [Maxime] Monfort [seventh overall at 4:23] or Fränk Schleck. In general, the team is doing really...

  • Armstrong given 30-day extension by USADA

    Expect to see Lance Armstrong in suit and tie this fall if his case goes to arbitration
    Article published:
    July 11, 2012, 18:24 BST
    Laura Weislo

    Attorneys drop request for restraining order, aim to continue federal suit

    The US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) has granted Lance Armstrong a 30-day extension to decide whether he will accept the lifetime ban proposed for alleged doping and conspiracy charges or fight the case in an arbitration hearing, USADA has confirmed. The move allows time for a Texas judge to consider a federal lawsuit against USADA filed by Armstrong's attorneys.

    "USADA has agreed to extend its Saturday, July 14th deadline for 30 days. A temporary restraining order is not now necessary. This extension will allow the court sufficient time to evaluate Mr. Armstrong’s amended complaint," stated Armstrong spokesman Mark Fabiani.

    Armstrong's team has filed a federal lawsuit challenging the validity of the USADA case, part of which was a request for a restraining order aimed at delaying the deadline to decide upon arbitration or not. The maximum amount of time a court could have granted to Armstrong's team would have been 14 days with one 14-day extension, so the 30-day extension rendered the request moot.

    Armstrong has been accused by USADA of not only using performance enhancing drugs throughout his career but also engaging in a conspiracy together with his US Postal and Discovery Channel team manager Johan Bruyneel and doctors Pedro Celaya, Luis Garcia del Moral, Michele Ferrari and trainer Jose "Pepe" Martí.

    The latter three have already accepted bans for life from engaging in any sport which is a signatory to the WADA code.

    USADA CEO Travis Tygart confirmed to Cyclingnews that the extension was granted after Armstrong's attorneys filed the amended federal suit, which calls into question the validity of USADA's...

  • Wiggins: I'm not some s--t rider who has come from nowhere

    Bradley Wiggins before the start of stage 10 in the Tour de Frnace
    Article published:
    July 11, 2012, 18:50 BST
    Daniel Benson

    Tour de France leader gives pedigree in response to doping questions

    After stage 10 of the Tour de France race leader Bradley Wiggins was given a second opportunity to address the topic of doping in cycling and Twitter. At the end of the stage to Porrentruy, Wiggins was first asked about the topic of doping in this year’s Tour and his response was reported here. On his rest-day press conference Sky banned the topics of Twitter and Rémy Di Grégorio from discussion.

    However after stage 10 Wiggins was asked by journalist Anthony Tan if Wiggins understood why the media had asked the maillot jaune doping related questions.

    Here is the question and answer in full:

    Tan: "Brad I know a couple of days ago you lost your cool when a reporter asked you about those idiots on Twitter saying stuff about your team and doping. Just based on yesterday with what happened with Rémy Di Grégorio do you understand that the maillot jaune is going to be asked these questions and that the riders need to try and gain back the trust of the media and the public and the responsibility of the leader of the race is to answer these type of questions?"

    Wiggins: "I understand it from certain parts of the media but I don’t think I should sit here and justify everything I have done to the world. I’m not some shit rider who has come from nowhere. I’ve been three times Olympic champion on the track. I think people have to realise what kind of engine you need to win an Olympic gold medal as an Olympic pursuiter.

    "I’ve been six times world champion, I’ve been fourth in the Tour de France, third in the Vuelta last year, it’s not like I’ve just come from nowhere. I’ve got an incredible pedigree behind me, junior...

  • Cavendish continues his “four-week” Tour de France

    Mark Cavendish (Sky) triumphs
    Article published:
    July 11, 2012, 19:42 BST
    Barry Ryan

    Manxman builds quietly towards London 2012 Olympics

    So used to being the centre of attention at the Tour de France, Mark Cavendish this year finds himself in an unfamiliar backseat position on a Sky team focused on defending Bradley Wiggins’ yellow jersey. With the Olympic Games on the agenda immediately after the Tour, however, the Manxman may well be grateful for small mercies as he prepares quietly for his big rendezvous in London on July 28.

    As television crews swarmed around Wiggins and the intriguing Chris Froome at the Sky team hotel during the rest day in Brouilly, Cavendish discreetly held court at a rather more low-key roundtable discussion. Ten days into the race, Cavendish admitted that he was glad to have the chance to meet with his family on Tuesday and step out briefly from what he termed “the bubble of the Tour.”

    “It’s not claustrophobic to be in it – it’s really nice to be in it – but it takes a lot of energy mentally to concentrate on one thing for three weeks,” Cavendish said. “To move out of it and enjoy normal life for one day is really good.”

    Cavendish’s Olympic appointment means that his Tour is effectively made up of five Saturdays rather than the traditional four. He reiterated his intention to continue until the final stage in Paris, but he will cross the Channel that evening to begin his final countdown to the Olympics.

    “We’re flying straight out on Sunday night and we’re just treating it as part of this, it’s a four-week process,” he said. “There might be a couple of days where I can relax but then there are three days of really working towards it. It’ll be just like imagining I’ve got a four-week race going on....

  • Voigt almost pulls off the impossible in stage 10 at the Tour de France

    Jens Voigt (RadioShack-Nissan) came third on the stage after being in the breakaway
    Article published:
    July 11, 2012, 20:51 BST
    Daniel Benson

    RadioShack-Nissan rider ultimately happy with podium spot

    Jens Voigt (RadioShack-Nissan) came back from the brink to almost win stage 10 at the Tour de France, eventually taking third behind Thomas Voeckler and Michele Scarponi. The veteran rider attacked with a group of two dozen riders early on the stage from Macon to Bellegarde-sur-Valserine.

    However, when the group split on the daunting slopes of the Col du Grand Colombier, Voigt found himself dropped when Michele Scarponi, Thomas Voeckler, Luis Leon Sanchez, Dries Devenyns and Sandy Casar surged ahead. Even when Casar was dropped all eyes remained on the front four, with Voigt a forgotten man on the 17-kilometre climb.

    By the summit Voigt was still nowhere in sight and the stage looked set to be four-way battle. However when race radio crackled with 'race number 18 at 17 seconds' a once highly unlikely victory became a distinct possibility. On the slopes of the stage's final climb, the shorter and shallower Col de Richemond, Voigt was still closing, and inside the final 10 kilometres the German accelerated alongside and past his rivals.

    "We saw some slow motion attacks and everyone was on the limit after being out there all day. We had to fight really hard first to get the group going and then it was more or less full gas all day long. I was struggling and in the end I was missing a bit of freshness but still, third on the stage and I'm pretty happy with that," Voigt said at the finish.

    "I think I've showed you a few times, never count me out. Okay, I have to admit was struggling on the long climb but then I recovered a bit and I could smell that the group was even more dead than me and that it was a make it or break it moment - either go full gas and catch them or explode completely."


  • Tech: Tony Martin's Tour de France time trial flats

    Tony Martin's (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) special time trial-specific clincher tires are built with a supple 220tpi casing, a minimal breaker belt, and a paper-thin sub-1mm of tread. Based on how the prologue and first individual time trial went, though, it seems Specialized needs to build a bit more durability into the system.
    Article published:
    July 11, 2012, 21:49 BST
    James Huang

    What happened to his Specialized TT clinchers?

    This article originally published on BikeRadar

    After a fair bit of hype on Tony Martin's (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) new Specialized time trial-specific clincher tires, disaster struck as the current world champion flatted in both the prologue and the first individual time trial of this year's Tour de France. We asked Specialized tire product manager Wolf vorm Walde to explain the two separate failures.

    According to vorm Walde, it wasn't just Martin who rode the new clinchers during the prologue but rather the entire Omega Pharma-QuickStep team. Given the close proximity of the start and finish that day, the team decided it was worthwhile to transfer the limited number of Zipp carbon clinchers from rider to rider.

    That being said, Martin's rear tire ultimately suffered a puncture from a piece of glass although in fairness, this likely had more to do with the tire's delicate construction and paper-thin tread depth than the fact that he was running clinchers instead of the usual tubulars.

    "This cut would have damaged any tire - no matter if tubular or clincher since the failure is not build specific," said vorm Walde. "Tony also rode a clincher during Sunday's stage on the front [where from what we can tell he did not suffer a flat – Ed.]."

    Martin again flatted during Monday's time trial but in this case, vorm Walde says the failure came from within.


  • Video: Voeckler's win a response rather than revenge

    An ecstatic Thomas Voeckler (Europcar) on the podium after his stage win.
    Article published:
    July 11, 2012, 22:20 BST
    Barry Ryan

    French favourite centre stage at Tour de France once again

    After a troubled opening to the Tour de France, Thomas Voeckler (Europcar) claimed victory on stage 10 to Bellegarde-sur-Valserine, continuing his remarkable run of success in La Grande Boucle.

    Holder of the yellow jersey for ten days in both the 2004 and 2011 Tours, Voeckler's palmares also boasts stage wins in 2009 and 2010 as well as his famous 4th place finish of a year ago, but 2012 had looked to set to be a somewhat darker edition for the Frenchman.

    Suffering from a nagging knee injury in the run-up to the Tour that would compromise his bid for the general classification, Voeckler's Europcar team was placed in the eye of a storm on the eve of the race, when it emerged that the squad had been placed under investigation for suspected use of corticosteroids and intravenous vitamin solutions during last year's Tour.

    "In my win today, there was a response to that – not revenge, but a response," Voeckler said in his post-race press conference. "All I felt on crossing the line was satisfaction at the victory."

    Lying in a lowly 52nd place overall as the day began, Voeckler was part of a large group of riders granted a bon de sortie after 30km. By the time they hit the slopes of the day's main difficulty, the Col du Grand Colombier, the 25-strong break had a lead of 6:20 over the peloton.

    "Once we were on the Grand Colombier, I saw I had good legs when I could follow Michele Scarponi," said Voeckler, who went clear with the Lampre-ISD Italian, Luis León...