News shorts: Tiernan-Locke would still like to compete

Bernaudeau on Europcar, Chavanel heads to Normandy beaches

Tiernan-Locke: I would still like to compete

Jonathan Tiernan-Locke is likely to look to return to racing when his two-year ban for a biological passport violation expires at the end of 2015. The Briton was fired by Team Sky in July of this year after he was sanctioned for an anomalous biological passport reading from September 2012, just before he signed for the team.

On Sunday, Tiernan-Locke lined up in the Exmoor Beast sportive event near his home in Devon and he said that he was hopeful of a return to competitive action. He will turn 31 the week before his ban expires.

“I’d like to stay involved which is why I’m riding today. I’m looking at some coaching things at the moment, trying to bring on some younger guys,” Tiernan-Locke told ITV. “My heart’s still in racing and I would still like to compete. I don’t think I’m done competing yet.”

Bernaudeau confident he can find a replacement for Europcar

Jean-René Bernaudeau is confident that he will be able to find a replacement sponsor for Europcar when it pulls out at the end of 2015. The rental car company announced its intention to leave cycling on Friday.

“That’s life for teams and especially for mine,” Bernaudeau told Le Figaro. “It’s not bad news that Europcar is stopping. The agreement was that they’d take a quick decision that would give us the chance to work calmly [to find a new sponsor]. I have good hopes and I’m happy to be able to take a bit of time to look.”

Bernaudeau’s team developed from the Vendée U amateur set-up and began life as Bonjour in 2000, and was later sponsored by Brioches La Boulangère and Bouygues Telecom. Europcar stepped in as title sponsor at the eleventh hour in October 2010, just when it seemed that Bernaudeau’s efforts to find a replacement for Bouygues Telecom had come to nothing.

Thomas Voeckler’s decision to eschew a contract offer with Cofidis to stay with the team was pivotal to Europcar’s entry to the sport, and Bernaudeau believes his squad is in a stronger position to attract a sponsor now.

“The team is going well, it’s popular, the brand has grown,” he said. “Thomas [Voeckler], Pierre [Rolland], Romain [Sicard] and Bryan [Coquard] will be there. I’ll fight for this group. I’m confident. The timeframe is good. 2016 budgets haven’t been decided on yet.”

Alpe d’Huez on Tour’s penultimate day?

The route of the 2015 Tour de France will be unveiled in Paris on Wednesday but some advance details have already emerged in the local press in France. Le Dauphiné reports that the penultimate stage of the Tour will begin in Modane and finish atop Alpe d’Huez, in what it describes as a “carbon copy” of the miniature epic to the famous climb in 2011.

On that occasion, the Tour peloton tackled the Col du Télégraphe and the Col du Galibier before the final haul to Alpe d’Huez, where Pierre Rolland dropped Alberto Contador to claim a famous victory. If the 2015 Tour follows the exact same parcours, the total distance will be a shade under 110 km.

The short mountain stage format is one that has become popular at the Tour. In 2013, for instance, the penultimate stage to Semnoz was just 125 km long, while the stage to Pla d’Adet last year was also just 125 km in length.

Chavanel claims the Chrono des Nations

Sylvain Chavanel (IAM Cycling) brought the curtain down on the European road season with victory in the Chrono des Nations on Sunday afternoon. He succeeds his former Omega Pharma-QuickStep teammate on the roll of honour and becomes the first French winner since Pascal Lance in 1995.

“Tony Martin wasn’t here and that was all the better for me because it wasn’t clear if I was going well for this final race of the year,” Chavanel said. “I had to push myself to give my best after a week where I only went out for two recovery rides.”

Chavanel beat Jérémy Roy (FDJ.fr) by 53 seconds, while Reidar Bohlin Borgersen (Team Joker) took third at 2:03. His next stop is a family holiday in Normandy.

“I’m keen to go on holiday with my family before starting up again calmly with 2015 in view,” said Chavanel. “With my newly-purchased camper van, I’m going to discover the countryside and landscape around Mont-Saint-Michel and the beaches of the Normandy landings.”
 

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