Tour de France shorts: Two big days for Omega Pharma

Omega Pharma-Quick Step chasing back to back wins with Cavendish and Martin

The Omega Pharma-Quick Step is hoping for back to back wins as the Tour de France kicks off again in northern France.

Team coach and former Tour de France stage winner Tom Steels hopes that Mark Cavendish can win in Saint-Malo, with Tony Martin then taking Tuesday's time trial to Mont-Saint-Michel.

"It's almost certain that the stage will finish with a sprint, so our objective is loud and clear: a win for Mark Cavendish," he told Belgian newspaper La Derniere Heure.

"Tony Martin's time will come on Wednesday at Mont-Saint-Michel. His wounds are almost healed and time trials are his thing. We've missed his big engine but now he's ready roar again."

Corti praises Froome

Italian team manager Claudio Corti has revealed that he knew Chris Froome was a special talent as soon as he saw him riding at the Giro del Capo.

The current Colombia team manager ran the Barloworld team and signed Froome in 2009 after seeing in action at the 2008 Giro del Capo. Froome immediately paid him back by winning a stage in 2009.

"He immediately showed his special character when he moved to Italy. He wanted to live alone with his girlfriend and knew what he wanted to do in his career. He was more difficult to manage because of his character but it was worth it.

"He's made huge improvements since joining Team Sky but that's because he's overcome the virus that he picked up in Africa. You could always see the talent he had."

Hesjedal's Twitter apology

Ryder Hesjedal has sportingly put his hand up via Twitter and apologised to Peter Kennaugh for sparking the Team Sky rider's crash during Sunday's stage.

Kennaugh went off the road at speed and was forced to scramble up a banking to get going again. There wild suggestions that he may have been taken out by a rival team but Hesjedal explained that it was simple due to a problem with space on the road.

Kennaugh hurt his arm but was able to finish the stage and stay in the Tour de France to help team leader and race leader Chris Froome.

There was no immediate reply from Kennaugh. Perhaps the two will catch up in the peloton on the road to Saint-Malo.

Hoogerland is the daddy

Johnny Hoogerland is known for getting in the news for more than just his racing. In 2011 he hit the headlines after surviving a spectacular crash caused by a French Television car and won huge admiration by finishing the Tour with 33 stitches in a leg wound.

He has tried to show off his new Dutch national champion's jersey in this year's Tour de France by making several attacks but with little success. However he made the headlines on the rest day by revealing that his girlfriend Girda is pregnant.

Hoogerland is sharing a room at the Tour de France with Thomas De Gendt, who is also set to become a father.


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Stephen Farrand
Head of News

Stephen is the most experienced member of the Cyclingnews team, having reported on professional cycling since 1994. He has been Head of News at Cyclingnews since 2022, before which he held the position of European editor since 2012 and previously worked for Reuters, Shift Active Media, and CyclingWeekly, among other publications.