Tour shorts: Rojas wants luck, not green and Prudhomme on Evans

Rojas not going for green in 2012

He finished second in the points classification to Mark Cavendish in 2011 but José Rojas (Movistar) is not bothered with chasing the maillot vert this time around.

Rojas was one of the many who crashed on the Tour's first road stage to Seraing, and was one of the last riders to cross the finish line. Nursing a painful coccyx, Rojas eased his way into Monday's stage to Tournai, "getting into the sprint was going to be impossible," he described.

The former Spanish national champion finished 11th in the bunch sprint on Stage 2, but his placement should not be mistaken for anything other than a chance to observe the other sprinters, he warns.

"I made the front more to study my rivals than any other thing. I could see that Cavendish is not having the same help from the previous years and that makes things more equal, so others can find a good spot and bring a surprise," Rojas explained.

"This year, I'll be focusing on helping Alejandro [Valverde], so that's why I have forgotten about contesting the green jersey. We'll try and profit from chances in the sprint finishes or rather calling for some breaks and trying to stay at front and win the sprint. Last year, the fact that I was competing for green made any breakaways impossible to stay away, so I hope to be luckier this year."

He currently sits on 13 points in the classification, with leader Peter Sagan (Liquigas-Cannondale) on 78.

Limburg bids for 2018 Grand Depart

The start of the Tour de France could be returning to Belgium sooner rather than later with the province of Limburg making a submission to the ASO for 2018, according to

Retired former Lotto and Rabobank rider Marc Wauters is part of the lobby group. The bid reportedly has the support of Belgian Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo and Minister-President of Flanders, Kris Peeters.

Sprint politics

Kenny Van Hummel (Vacansoleil) may have got the better of Rabobank's Maarten Tjallingii on the results sheet, but that doesn't mean that things were all good between the two Dutchmen at the conclusion of Stage 2. Van Hummel said he was "not amused" and finished 11th, Tjallingii was 22nd.

"That was because Maarten Tjallingii, got in my way," remarked Van Hummel to De Telegraaf having lost sight of teammate Marco Marcato in the final kilometres. "Because I lost Marco, I did not get in position for the bunch sprint. Unfortunately, it's a missed opportunity."

Tjallingii had been working for Mark Renshaw, with the pair striking out early.

Cadel Evans, global ambassador

Tour de France race director, Christian Prudhomme has lauded Cadel Evans for widening cycling's global appeal.

Evans won the 2011 Tour de France, and in doing so, became the first Australian to do so. Prudhomme, speaking to the Sydney Morning Herald explained that it took an interview describing how Evans' achievement was recognised in Tibet, to hit home.

"Cadel says: 'Even my Tibetan friends know what I have done on the Tour de France.'" Prudhomme explained, referring to an interview in La France Cycliste. "Everywhere knows what he has done. He is the plus belle ambassador of the Tour.

"He comes from so far away, from Down Under … and through him and how he talks himself, the images of the Tour are everywhere in
the world."





Thank you for reading 5 articles in the past 30 days*

Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read any 5 articles for free in each 30-day period, this automatically resets

After your trial you will be billed £4.99 $7.99 €5.99 per month, cancel anytime. Or sign up for one year for just £49 $79 €59

Join now for unlimited access

Try your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1