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EuroTrash Monday!

The Tour de France looms closer every day and all the talk is pointed at that French race. Alberto Contador talks about his build-up and we look at Bradley Wiggins’ wind-down. The Critérium du Dauphiné is underway, it’s billed as a training race for the Tour, but it’s a big race in its self, we have the results, video and rider comments. Other races and news and the usual bits and pieces fill the EuroTrash bag for a Monday morning coffee and read.

TOP STORY: No Wiggins at the Tour!
The Sky team announced the other day that Bradley Wiggins would not be part of the team at this year’s Tour de France starting in Corsica on June the 29th. The reason give was an “ongoing knee condition.” At the recent Giro d’Italia he abandoned because of a chest infection, the knee injury was mentioned by the Sky team doctor, but at the time it was not thought to be a big problem. Dr. Richard Freeman explained: “The chest infection that caused his withdrawal from the Giro has responded to treatment and rest. It has completely cleared up. However, further medical investigations on the knee injury that we were managing at the Giro showed the condition was more significant than we thought.”

Wiggins likens the problem to the broken collar bone he sustained in the 2011 Tour de France, saying, “I’ve been through this before, when I broke my collarbone, so I know how it works. I’ll get this sorted, set new goals for this season and focus on those.” Adding that; “I can’t train the way I need to train and I’m not going to be ready. Once you accept that, it’s almost a relief not having to worry about the injury and the race against time.” As to missing this year’s Tour as the defending champion he commented: “It’s a huge disappointment not to make the Tour. I desperately wanted be there, for the team and for all the fans along the way, but it’s not going to happen.”

This makes thing easier for Team Sky and Chris Froome, no conflict between the riders and the team can stick to its usual one plan: All for the one rider without flexibility, as has been seen in the Giro, Tour and Vuelta over the last few years. Except this year it’s all for Froome. It is disappointing not see Wiggins on the start line for a couple of reasons; obviously its good to see the defending champ with the No. 1 on his back, plus its good for cycling in Britain (and other English speaking Nations), it would keep the interest that Wiggins generated with his ride in the Tour and Olympic time trial rolling. From a sporting point of view it would have been interesting to have seen him line up against riders like: Alberto Contador, Joaquim Rodriguez and (possibly) a freed Chris Froome in a less time trial centric Tour than last year.

The Tour de France starts soon, one rider down won’t take the excitement away from the World’s biggest bike race.

A young Wiggins crash:

Critérium du Dauphiné 2013
Stage 1 was a short stage of 121 kilometres around Champéry. A four man group escaped in the first kilometres of the stage and built up a lead of nearly 10 minutes at one point. With just under 50 kilometres to go and a lead of still 5 minutes over the peloton; Canadian David Veilleux (Europcar) attacked the other three; Thomas Damuseau (Argos-Shimano) and Jean-Marc Bideau (Bretagne-Séché) and Ricardo Garcia (Euskaltel-Euskadi) on the climb of the Col du Corbier (Cat 1) and soloed to the finish. World time trial champion Tony Martin (Omega Pharma – Quick-Step tried to cross the leader for much of the stage, but was caught by the peloton as where the other escapees. Gianni Meersman (Omega Pharma – Quick-Step) jumped early from the bunch on the run in to the finish for second place with Tom-Jelte Slagter (Blanco) at the head of the bunch for third.

Saxo-Tinkoff’s Alberto Contador was brought safely across the finish line in 11th place by his teammates among the other GC riders: “I think most teams were taken by surprise by the stage winner who did a great effort and the final part of the stage was rather hectic with high pace chasing. But Alberto was well-protected by his teammates all the way through the stage and the goal here is to bring the riders closer together before the Tour. Nicki (Sørensen) did a good job before the penultimate climb keeping up the pace and Chris Anker (Sørensen) was looking strong on the slopes. Tomorrow’s stage is a bumpy stretch where we’ll focus on refining the team work. I think today’s stage winner will be able to hold on to the jersey for more than just a few days now. Obviously, he can both climb and do a solid time trial so it’s going to take a big effort taking the jersey away from him,” said Saxo-Tinkoff DS, Philippe Mauduit after the stage.

Thanks to a third place in the challenging first stage of the Critérium du Dauphiné, Tom-Jelte Slagter has assured himself of the first white jersey of the French stage race. Behind solo winner David Veilleux of Team Europcar, ‘The Butcher’ ended up third in the sprint of the peloton, behind Gianni Meersman (Omega Pharma-QuickStep).

“I didn’t expect this”, Slagter stated afterwards. “I knew I had a small chance at this arrival, but I didn’t consider a top five finish possible in this field. Of course wining is better, but this is a good start of the week. Veilleux was too far ahead and Meersman was just a little bit too quick for me.” With the white jersey in his possession, Slagter wants to fight for his chances. “There’s a long time trial later on, so it will be hard to maintain the lead up until the end, but I’ll try a day-to-day approach and I’m going to defend the jersey with everything I have.”

Sports Director Merijn Zeeman was pleased with the performance of his riders. “Everything went according to plan. It was a difficult first stage, but we managed to do well. Tom-Jelte did a good job in the sprint for second place, while our leader Laurens ten Dam was where he belonged, in the first peloton together with all the favourites.”

Garmin-Sharp rider Andrew Talansky had a very bad day with stomach problems and lost eight minutes on the stage winner Veilleux.

Critérium du Dauphiné Stage 1 Result:
1. David Veilleux (Can) Europcar in 3:17:35
2. Gianni Meersman (Bel) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step at 1:56
3. Tom Jelte Slagter (Ned) Blanco at 1:57
4. Richie Porte (Aus) Sky
5. Christopher Froome (GB) Sky
6. Angel Madrazo Ruiz (Spa) Movistar
7. Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana
8. Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar
9. Tony Gallopin (Fra) RadioShack Leopard
10. Leopold Konig (Cze) Team NetApp-Endura.

Critérium du Dauphiné Overall After Stage 1:
1. David Veilleux (Can) Europcar at 3:17:35
2. Gianni Meersman (Bel) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step at 1:56
3. Tom Jelte Slagter (Ned) Blanco at 1:57
4. Richie Porte (Aus) Sky
5. Christopher Froome (GB) Sky
6. Angel Madrazo Ruiz (Spa) Movistar
7. Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana
8. Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar
9. Tony Gallopin (Fra) RadioShack Leopard
10. Leopold Konig (Cze) Team NetApp-Endura.

Stage 1:

Ronde Van Zeeland Seaports 2013
Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung got yet another top ten in a UCI event when Kristian Sbaragli sprinted to seventh in the Ronde van Zeeland Seaports. The result is the Italian’s sixth top ten of the season, in his first year as a professional. The race came down to a bunch sprint which was won by Andre Greipel (Lotto Belisol).

Most of the day was dominated by a six man breakaway that got a maximun gap of 5 minutes. There was panic in the peloton in the closing kilometres as the gap was not decreasing fast enough. Eventually all the sprinters teams contributed to bringing the move back and the break was caught with one lap to go on the finishing second.

Andreas Stauff unfortunately did not take to the start line due to illness.

Sports director, Kevin Campbell explains the day’s affair: “At the start there was nice sunshine and the wind picked up as the day went on but it wasn’t as bad as the day before or as bad as it could have been. Our guys rode really well. Brad [Potgieter], Martin Wesemann all seven of the guys were involved in all of the action. The first major action of the day was set up by our team when we went to the front and started driving in a gutter stretch. It came back together after that and everything was going according to plan. We had Brad, Martin Wesemann and Johann [van Zyl] controlling on the front. When the Blanco guys started riding on the front we sent Johann up to help them and he did a great job of just pacing through. As we went into the last lap we caught the break. It was good hard work by all of our guys. Whenever there was a split in the race we had at least four guys in the front at any given time. We were really good and never isolated and when it came down to a sprint obviously Greipel isn’t a slow guy. Kristian didn’t quite have the speed in the end but he gave it his all to get seventh. Our guys are realising we have the potential to ride at this level and nothing is stopping us. It’s great to see the confidence growing and the whole team involved throughout the day.”
Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung Press Release.

Early in the race a breakaway of six was formed with Jens Debusschere for Lotto Belisol. Kenneth Vanbilsen and Maarten Van Trijp were two of his companions. The front group got more than five minutes lead. In the peloton especially Argos-Shimano and Blanco did much work. At about three kilometers from the end all escapees were caught and the peloton was heading for a sprint. It was won by André Greipel, before Ramon Sinkeldam and Kenny Van Hummel.

André Greipel: “It was our plan today to have someone in the breakaway, so we wouldn’t need to work until the end of the race. I was hoping that Jens could stay away, I would have liked him to win. Although we had a guy in the front it wasn’t a relaxed race for us, we had to pay attention the whole time. There was wind along the route and there were many turns.”

“When the escapees were caught, Jens was still able to help us to move up in the peloton and set up a small lead-out train. Kenny Dehaes and Marcel Sieberg did a great job to lead me out. Every victory is important and it always gives you extra confidence. My next race will be in Berlin, next Sunday. We’ll aim for a bunch sprint there, it won’t be easy to control the race because we only start with six riders.”

Ronde Van Zeeland Seaports Result:
1. Andre Greipel (Ger) Lotto-Belisol in 4:39:11
2. Ramon Sinkeldam (Ned) Argos-Shimano
3. Kenny Van Hummel (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM
4. Michael Van Staeyen (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise
5. Jean-Pierre Drucker (Lux) Accent Jobs-Wanty
6. Maxime Le Montagner (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole
7. Kristian Sbaragli (Ita) MTN Qhubeka p/b Samsung
8. Stefan Van Dijk (Ned) Accent Jobs-Wanty
9. Theo Bos (Ned) Blanco
10. Nick van der Lijke (Ned) Rabobank Development Team.

Andre Greipel wins the Ronde van Zeeland Seaport:

Heistse Pijl 2013
Omega Pharma – Quick-Step Cycling Team rider Tom Boonen won 170km Heistse Pijl on Saturday.

Boonen, Guillaume Van Keirsbulck, and Kevin De Weert were in an 18 rider breakaway that escaped in the middle of the 10 lap (17km each) race.

Boonen attacked Kenny Dehaes (Lotto-Belisol) after the break was reduced to a smaller group on the last lap.

“In the final there was a small group of six in the last lap,” Sport Director Wilfried Peeters said. “Tom attacked on the last climb, but Dehaes came back to him on the descent. Tom went for the sprint and won.”

Dehaes was 2nd, and Sean De Bie (Leopard-Trek) was 3rd, 4″ back from Boonen and Dehaes. Only 20 riders finished the race.

“I’m very happy about the race,” Boonen said. “It was a tough race because we made it tough as a team, being all day in front. We made a great effort and really pushed it, and in the end I also won. I attacked in the final on the last lap. I chose to attack on the last climb, which was more or less 2km on the cobblestones. I was solo, but in the final kilometre Dehaes was starting to come back to me. So, I waited for him and we went for the sprint. I am happy I was able to get the victory. It’s always good when you raise your arms in a race. It’s my second Kermesse victory of my life along with GP Zele in 2006. So, it’s something special to win another one.”
Thanks to the OPQS Team for the race report.

Heistse Pijl Result:
1. Tom Boonen (Bel) (Omega Pharma – Quick-Step) in 4:02:15
2. Kenny Dehaes (Bel) Lotto Belisol
3. Sean De Bie (Bel) Leopard-Trek at 0:04
4. Frédéric Amorison (Bel) Crelan-Euphony
5. Björn Leukemans (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM at 0:10
6. Reinier Honig (Ned) Crelan-Euphony
7. Sébastien Delfossa (Bel) Crelan-Euphony at 0:32
8. Guillaume Van Keirsbulck (Bel) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step
9. Frédérique Robert (Bel) Lotto Belisol
10. Maarten Neyens (Bel) Lotto Belisol.


Alberto Contador at the Dauphiné Libéré
Saxo-Tinkoff team leader; Alberto Contador had a press conference on the eve of the start of the Dauphiné Libéré to talk about his form of the moment, his team and the way he is facing the upcoming Tour de France, his major objective of the 2013 season.

How have you been training and how is your form for the Dauphiné?
Contador: “After the classics, I took a break that I needed, because I had a very long early season. Then I returned to training by working in very hard blocks, which I had not done at the beginning of the year but it is still early for the Tour, because it will be decided in the third week. In the Dauphiné I’ll see what my form is and if I have yet to give a touch to the engine for the Tour, but I’m happy with my preparation.”

What do you think of the Dauphiné Libéré?
Contador: “It’s a race that I always took lighter than others, because it is mostly a set-up for the Tour de France. It is not a race to take responsibility and think about winning.”

In Oman you tried to beat Froome, it can happen here? Do you come in the same spirit?
Contador: “No, they are very different races and with very different objectives. Here, the goal is to prepare for the Tour, but if you are a candidate, you’re always ahead in the Dauphiné. I do not remember, but one year I finished second and I think other years I have finished third and fifth. If the race situation is good and I can do a test at some stage, I may do so, but always thinking of the Tour.”

Is there a special day, a more important stage?
Contador: “No, I’m not thinking of any particular stage. I’m looking forward, I’m motivated to know how I am and want to climb long mountains, but there is not a special stage that motivates me. It will be nice to go through Alpe d’Huez and see how it is, because the descent last week was very bad yet.”

Contador: “There were parts of dirt road and the descent was very rough and with
stones. I don’t know if they will have had time to prepare it now, but I hope for the Tour it will be ready.”

How is the Tour without Wiggins, is it an advantage or a disadvantage?
Contador: “The approach of the race does not change much for me. Of course, Wiggins is a good rider and has already won the Tour, but this year Froome was more a favourite and honestly, without him my vision of the Tour wouldn’t have been any different.”

Have you been surprised by Wiggins’ problems in the Giro?
Contador: “Not really. In the Giros I have ridden it’s always been raining, narrow roads, and a very crazy race where everything can change in a moment. This race did not surprise me and also the first time things were bad for Wiggins.”

What do you think about Andy Schleck, do you believe he can be an adversary in this Tour?
Contador: “We have to see, I don’t know if he will race in Switzerland, but he is a great rider, I haven’t seen many with more class than him. In the last year and a half he has not been at his level, but this year he is competing a lot and each time is going a little better. I don’t know which level he will have, but he would be good for the race and for the spectacle.”

Is Van den Broeck an adversary at the Tour?
Contador: “Of course he is, he is a very strong adversary. Last year was very strong; lost time in the beginning, but did not fail to try. He is a great professional and will be among the favourites.”

This year you had duels with Froome in Oman, Tirreno, maybe here … will the Tour be a duel against Froome?
Contador: “A three-week race can’t be based on two riders. This year Froome is a reference due to his performance, and I may be because my past, but there are many young riders who are consolidating … The clearest example is Wiggins and what happened in the Giro, which started as a battle with Nibali and look what happened. The same can happen at the Tour. The Tour is more than two riders.”

Is your team here the same as the one that will be at the Tour, what do you think of your team and about your director Philippe Mauduit?
Contador: “Basically all the team here is in the selection for the Tour, plus some men that will be in Switzerland, like Kreuziger or Roche. We have one or two riders to decide yet, but we have a group of 10 or 11 riders for the Tour team. This year I am very happy, I have great confidence in the team and all riders are progressing well. The Saxo-Tinkoff in the Tour will be a benchmark. And about Philippe, he is very important in the team. He is a very professional director, attentive to detail to prevent waste of time or lack of concentration in the race. He is a very important pillar for the team.”

What do you think about riders like Rodriguez, Valverde or Evans?
Contador: “I hate to say names because I always forget someone, but there are many candidates, as Joaquim, Vangarderen, Evans, Van den Broeck and many others. In reference of those who you ask me, Joaquim has consolidated in the last two years when he almost got the victory in the Giro and the Vuelta. Valverde fights always in three weeks tours and Evans already knows how to win the Tour, you always have to keep him in mind.”
Thanks to Jacinto Vidarte.

Training with Alberto:

Good News for Team Blanco
The ex-Rabobank set-up, known as Blanco since the start of the year has signed a contract with Belkin, the Californian manufacturer of consumer electronics. It has been reported by De Telegraaf that the team will be in its new colours for the Tour de France starting on June the 29th. The team is yet to make any official announcement, but it was well known that negotiations had been going on over a month ago.

Successful arm surgery for Esteban Chaves
Team Colombia’s climber Esteban Chaves underwent surgery to his right brachial plexus, to fix the consequences of his severe crash on February 15th Trofeo Laigueglia, on Friday May 31st.

The surgery performed by Prof. Julio Sandoval Reyes, assisted by Orthopedist Dr. Gustavo Castro, at the Fundacion CardioInfantil in Bogotà was successful, and the Colombian rider is expected to be able to restart training in a three-month time.

The intervention was required after Chaves’ movement in his right arm was affected by a lesion in his brachial plexus: after consultations with Team Colombia’s technical and medical staff, Chaves chose to go through the surgery, and even though his 2013 competitive season is over by any means, Esteban will be able to get back in the peloton in early 2014.

“The lesion to his nerves was quite severe – General Manager Claudio Corti said – but an 80% recovery means he will be able to get back to racing at the highest level, and that’s good news. First of all though, Esteban feels more serene now, and looking forward to his recovery: during this time, we as a team have been constantly in touch with Esteban and his family, looking to take the best decision for Esteban – as a man, in first place. He is a great guy, and we truly hope to rejoin him in full swing soon.”
Thanks to the Colombia Team for the up-date.

Michael Rogers – Execution and Experience
Find out what cycling looks like from Michael Rogers’ POV. Hint: it’s fast, tough and requires making hard decisions in a split second. Visit: www.saxocyling.com.

Don’t forget to check the “NEWSWIRE” section, you can find it down the right hand side on the home page, just above the EuroTrash section. The bits of news that missed the EuroTrash deadline are in there, plus any news as-it-happens will be in there too.


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