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EuroTrash Monday!

The Tour de France GC hopefuls are at full gas; the Critérium du Dauphiné finished on Sunday and the Tour de Suisse has another week to go. Chris Froome has put himself in the driving seat with his win in France, but Paris is a long way away. Loads of other stuff with video, results and what the riders are saying. A big coffee for a big EuroTrash Monday.

TOP STORY: McQuaid Hit’s Back or Not?
After the announcement of British Cycling’s president; Brian Cookson standing against Pat McQuaid in the election for the UCI presidency, McQuaid sent a letter to all the presidents of other countries drawing attention to meeting between Cookson and Igor Makarov, the president of the Russian Cycling Federation. McQuaid has cast aspersions on the motives of Makarov and the connection between the two.

In the letter he said: ”In this respect, therefore, I must also express my extreme concern about a donation of almost €1million made by Mr Makarov’s company, Itera, to the UEC within weeks of the UEC elections. Given all of the accompanying activities, it is important to know what the true nature and purpose of this donation is – and I also spoke directly to Mr Cookson on this subject outlining my concerns. I am however also confident that UEC President Lappartient will look into this and that in any case the funds, if accepted, will be used for the development of cycling in Europe.

I fear Mr Cookson may be a pawn in a larger game. Mr Makarov, owner of Katusha, has expressed his anger on a number of occasions that the UCI Licence Commission denied his team a place in the 2013 WorldTour for “ethical reasons”. The independence and impartiality of the Licence Commission is exactly the sort of positive step forward that the UCI has taken in the past decade.

Mr Cookson’s decision to announce his candidacy for the UCI President raises a number of important issues. Given all this, I think it is for Mr Cookson to explain his reasons for meeting Mr Makarov at the behest of Mr Walkiewicz. All three men have strong ties to World Tour teams. In the interest of transparency, Mr Cookson must answer a number of questions.”

This does bring up a couple questions:
Surely Mr. Makarov as a sponsor of the Katusha team would be very interested in why his team was not given a WorldTour licence, considering they had the World No. 1 rider Joaquim Rodriguez.

As to transparency; McQuaid stopped the inquiry into the UCI by the independent committee, that wasn’t very transparent.

And as to other financial connections and independence; Global Cycling Promotions (GCP) is the arm of the UCI that promotes global cycling and acts as a race organiser. Races like the Tout of Beijing pay GCP, the UCI control the company and the shares are owned by the UCI and their offices are at the UCI.

It all has a feeling of calling pot/kettle and black.

Critérium du Dauphiné 2013
Sky’s Chris Froome put his name at the top of the Tour de France favourites list on Thursday’s Stage 5 from Grésy sur Aix to Valmorel, a distance of 139 kilometres. After many early attempts to set-up a break, fifteen riders managed to escape, they were: Bert Wellens (Lotto Belisol), Matteo Gavazzi (Astana), Tom-Jelte Slagter (Blanco), Matthew Busche (RadioShack Leopard), Daniel Teklehaimanot (Orica-GreenEdge), Pelo Bilbao (Euskaltel-Euskadi), Kevin Reza (Europcar), Frantisek Rabon (Omega Pharma – Quick-Step), Cayetano Sarmiento (Cannondale), Imanol Erviti (Movistar), Bertjan Lindeman (Vacansoleil-DCM), Bartosz Huzarski (NetApp-Endura), Brent Bookwalter (BMC), Thomas Damuseau (Argos-Shimano) and David de la Cruz (NetApp-Endura). The bug group managed a lead of over 5 minutes, but with Garmin-Sharp and Katusha on the chase, it was down to 3 minutes by the Côte de la Croix and at the start of the climb to the finish in Valmorel it was 30 seconds. Bart Wellens, Matthew Busche and Daniel Teklehaimanot struck out on their own as the others had to give up the hope of a stage win. The attacks started from Movistar with Alejandro Valverde, twice, and Imanol Erviti. Overall leader; Rohan Dennis (Garmin-Sharp) lost contact and the yellow jersey with around 3 kilometres to the summit. Busche had dropped Wellens and was heading for the win as Alberto Contador (Saxo-Tinkoff) split the chase group at the red kite. Chris Froome waited for the sting to go from Contador’s attack and then crossed to him, passed him and took the stage win and the overall lead.

Chris Froome, Team Sky Rider: “It’s definitely a good gauge for me to be able to test myself against someone like Alberto who has won multiple Grand Tours. To be able to finish in front of someone like him definitely gives me a lot of confidence, especially three weeks out from the Tour de France.

“Yesterday was a big test in the time trial to see where the other guys were. I’m happy with the result in that stage and today was a different kind of test in the mountains. Coming away with a stage win wasn’t really the plan, but I’m really happy that I can reward my team-mates with a stage victory because they did a super job looking after me. Especially in the final, Pete Kennaugh and Richie Porte were fantastic.

“It’s a position that I’ve been adjusting to this year. It still feels quite new to have a team of guys riding and sacrificing themselves for you. But so far this season the guys have done it throughout my race programme – starting in Oman, Tirreno-Adriatico, Criterium International, Romandie and the Dauphine. So naturally they must have some confidence in me. It’s a really good feeling and I feel privileged to be in this position.

“I’m hoping to improve my form before the Tour. I don’t feel that I’m in 100 per cent condition yet but I’m where I need to be at this stage.”

Tim Wellens (Lotto Belisol): “I took off with a rider of Euskaltel and became part of a group of twelve and later fifteen riders. There was a good cooperation all the time. We had to give full gas, because in the background Katusha was riding hard. We didn’t get or lead for free. On the final climb three riders jumped away. I accelerated and could catch up with them, then I ended up on my own. For a moment I believed I could make it to the finish, but the climb was tough. Then Busche passed me by. Unfortunately for him he was caught so close to the finish line.”

“The level is very high here, so that I can make the race here gives me a good feeling. Many people watch this race of course, that’s always nice. The past few days I supported the team, but didn’t feel quite good. I also had some knee troubles, but that’s over now. This stage has made my Dauphiné. Saturday there’s the queen stage. The team will try to have someone in the break again, so who knows you’ll see me again.”

Alberto Contador (Saxo-Tinkoff) has acknowledged he was “happy because I found it a little better than yesterday, but not much more. I’ve been at wheel the whole race, I know that this time of the year is not the best for me due to allergies and I have to go day by day. My condition is improving every day and this is the most important”. Alberto said that Froome “ is very strong, like his team”, but is clear that this “is not my race, I’m here to improve the condition and not to go too fast, because the real goal is the Tour de France. Regardless of the result, the goal is to get ready for the Tour. If you can win a stage, it’s fine because it always gives you a bit of confidence, but the important thing is to keep working”. He was also pleased with the performance of his Saxo-Tinkoff teammates. “Rogers has placed very well overall and the team also is going better each day. Today we got three riders in the front group and that is thanks to the hard work of all my teammates”. Finally he said that the result of the time trial “must be left apart, analyze it and continue working, that’s all”.

Michal Kwiatkowski (Omega Pharma – Quick-Step) is now 8th in the GC, 1’58” back. “It was really hard, but you know every stage race after four or five stages there are big gaps,” Rabon said. “So, the goal was not to let a big group go. That’s exactly what happened from the beginning. But our guys wanted to be in the breakaway. I was near the front, so I think it was a good situation for the team as there were also no Sky or Garmin-Sharp riders in the group. So, our guys didn’t have to chase behind us. They could focus on Kwiatek and I was there to try and get a stage win because for me, it’s also nice as a worker to get such a chance. Being in the breakaway was a nice feeling. I tried to get the stage, but of course it’s a mountaintop finish. It’s always difficult, especially with the guys in that group. But, if you don’t try, you don’t know. I was a little disappointed with my time trial yesterday and am happy I fought back a little bit.”

“The plan was to have someone in the big break away from the beginning,” Kwiatkowski said. “Frantisek went perfectly, started in the front and he was in the breakaway. So, we could stay near the front all day without problems. The guys put me into position perfectly before the climb. I was just behind Sky. My teammates helped me a lot so I gave it my all. I am happy with my performance. I gave it my all but didn’t go over my limit. I’m looking forward to the next stages. I still have a bit of reserves in the legs. I’m happy about my condition and every day it’s getting better. So, we’ll see how we will finish this race.”

Critérium du Dauphiné Stage 5 Result:
1. Christopher Froome (GB) Sky in 3:28:39
2. Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Saxo-Tinkoff at 0:04
3. Matthew Busche (USA) RadioShack Leopard
4. Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar at 0:10
5. Michael Rogers (Aus) Saxo-Tinkoff at 0:12
6. Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Katusha
7. Rein Taaramae (Est) Cofidis
8. Daniel Navarro Garcia (Spa) Cofidis at 0:21
9. Richie Porte (Aus) Sky at 0:24
10. Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana at 0:29.

Critérium du Dauphiné Overall After Stage 5:
1. Christopher Froome (GB) Sky in 16:08:44
2. Richie Porte (Aus) Sky at 0:52
3. Rohan Dennis (Aus) Garmin-Sharp at 0:54
4. Michael Rogers (Aus) Saxo-Tinkoff at 1:37
5. Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Katusha at 1:47
6. Daniel Navarro Garcia (Spa) Cofidis at 1:49
7. Rein Taaramae (Est) Cofidis at 1:52
8. Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step at 1:58
9. Leopold Konig (Cze) Team NetApp-Endura at 2:16
10. Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana at 2:20.

Stage 5:

A group of eight persistent escapees including Thomas Voeckler (Europcar) dominated today’s 143 kilometre long Stage 6 of the Criterium du Dauphiné from La Lechéré to Grenoble. In the peloton, the sprinter teams worked hard to bridge the gap to the front group that shattered in the undulating terrain of the final kilometres of the stage. The eight riders took the lead going over the Cat 1 Col du Barioz. They were: Tim Wellens (Lotto Belisol), Kevin Seeldraeyers & Egor Silin (Astana), Mikel Nieve (Euskaltel-Euskadi), Alexandre Geniez (FDJ), Thomas Voeckler (Europcar), Jose Herrada (Movistar), and Thomas de Gendt (Vacansoleil-DCM). They had a lead of 2:50 with 50 kilometres to go, but that was the best they could manage before it collapsed.

In the final kilometres of the stage, other teams joined in on the chase to catch Thomas Voeckler, Jose Herrada, Igor Silin and Kevin Seeldrayer, but without any luck. In the tactical waiting game on the final kilometre, Thomas Voeckler was the coolest of the quartet and took a superb win ahead of Herrada, while the two Astana riders had to settle with third and fourth place.

The Team Saxo-Tinkoff riders were brought safely to the finish line: “It was a fast and furious stage but our riders managed to get through the course without mishaps and Michael (Rogers) and Alberto (Contador) were both covered by teammates on the crosswind sections of the stage. So now, we’re ready to take on the mountain stage tomorrow, which looks like a taste of Tour de France. The goal is to stay among the best on the stage and to continue on the right path to our main goal later this summer, the Tour de France,” said Saxo-Tinkoff DS, Philippe Mauduit after the stage.

Critérium du Dauphiné Stage 6 Result:
1. Thomas Voeckler (Fra) Europcar in 3:24:13
2. José Herrada Lopez (Spa) Movistar
3. Kevin Seeldraeyers (Bel) Astana
4. Egor Silin (Rus) Astana
5. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Sky at 0:46
6. Gianni Meersman (Bel) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step
7. Francesco Gavazzi (Ita) Astana Pro Team
8. Wesley Sulzberger (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge
9. Arnaud Gerard (Fra) Bretagne-Seche Environnement
10. Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step.

Critérium du Dauphiné Overall After Stage 6:
1. Christopher Froome (GB) Sky in 19:33:43
2. Richie Porte (Aus) Sky at 0:52
3. Rohan Dennis (Aus) Garmin-Sharp at 0:54
4. Michael Rogers (Aus) Saxo-Tinkoff at 1:37
5. Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Katusha at 1:47
6. Daniel Navarro Garcia (Spa) Cofidis at 1:49
7. Rein Taaramae (Est) Cofidis at 1:52
8. Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step at 1:58
9. Leopold Konig (Cze) Team NetApp-Endura at 2:16
10. Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana at 2:20.

Stage 6:

A big group of 22 riders were in Saturday’s long-lasting breakaway on the 187.5 kilometre long mountainous Stage 7 finishing on Superdevoluy. They reached the bottom of the Alpe d’Huez with a lead of 3:30 which increased to 5:40 at the top of the Col d’Ornon, mostly due to the strength of Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Lotto Belisol).

In the peloton, the leading team of Team Sky controlled the pace of the pack passing the legendary climb of Alpe d’Huez. A climb this year’s Tour de France peloton will pass twice in the same day in the anniversary edition of the race less than a month from now.

At the foot of the penultimate climb, Omega Pharma – Quick-Steps Sylvain Chavanel and Canondale’s Alessandro di Marchi broke clear of the front group while the speeding peloton was getting closer behind. As the group with Sergio Paulinho was caught, teammate Jesus Hernandez went to the front of the pack with Alberto Contador and Michael Rogers on his tail and reeled in the last standing escapee. On the final kilometers of the penultimate climb, only the GC riders were left in the front group after Team Saxo-Tinkoff put the hammer down.

Diving to the foot of the uphill finish, Samuel Sanchez (Euskaltel-Euskadi) and Jakob Fuglsang (Astana) gained a gap of about 20 seconds to the other favourites as Team Saxo-Tinkoff’s Alberto Contador was sitting in front of teammate, Michael Rogers and set a fierce pace in the chase group.

The two escapees made it to the finish line where Samuel Sanchez was the faster rider and took the stage win. Team Saxo-Tinkoff’s Alberto Contador worked hard throughout the day for teammate, Michael Rogers and they both finished among the best and Rogers is now third overall.

Chris Froome (Sky) held onto his lead and his team mate; Richie Porte tried for stage success, but finished third.

“I’m in the moment of form I want to be” Alberto Contador worked today as a luxury domestique for one of his teammates, Michael Rogers, who managed to pull himself up to third place overall in the Dauphiné thanks to Alberto’s work. “I’ve worked thinking about my team mate Michael Rogers, pulling the group. My condition is perfect, I’m at the moment I want to be. I figure I’ll be at 75
percent maximum and would not change in any way the moment of preparation that I have now,” said Contador after the stage. Alberto admitted that the plan was previously designed. “Yes, because they always work for me and today I had the chance. I wanted to enjoy a little pulling and it serves me for training. The goal was to move to the third place overall and I think that has been achieved. Personally I’m happy, legs work very well, are at the moment I want and I am sure that in the Tour de France they will be stronger still. The plan is going perfectly”.

To work for Michel Rogers was planned or improvised?
“As he was in fourth overall, he was to get on the podium, and yeah, we’ve talked, I asked him how he was and we thought on that. So I have been dedicated to set a good pace for leaving back riders and take third place, I kept the pace until the finish to maintain the differences. The stage was totally secondary, so I’m happy, at the moment of form I want to be, not being the best time of the year for me due to allergies. My condition is very good and I am happy with the performance. We’ll see what happens tomorrow.

The pace you have put in front … maybe you had one more gear? They were ahead; Samuel and Fuglsang, how have you planned this?
“The important thing was to keep a good pace so riders that had been unhooked did not come back. The stage was secondary. I put a pace comfortable to allow Michael to respond in case there was an attack at the end to take away his position.

How are your sensations and what we can expect for tomorrow?
My sensations are pretty good, I feel quite comfortable on the climbs and tomorrow seems it will be a raining day, which in some way favours me. We’ll see what happens.”

Critérium du Dauphiné Stage 7 Result:
1. Samuel Sanchez Gonzalez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi in 5:26:14
2. Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana
3. Richie Porte (Aus) Sky at 0:15
4. Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Katusha at 0:16
5. Stef Clement (Ned) Blanco
6. Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar
7. Christopher Froome (GB) Sky
8. Daniel Navarro Garcia (Spa) Cofidis
9. Michael Rogers (Aus) Saxo-Tinkoff
10. Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Saxo-Tinkoff at 0:23.

Critérium du Dauphiné Overall After Stage 7:
1. Christopher Froome (GB) Sky in 25:00:13
2. Richie Porte (Aus) Sky at 0:51
3. Michael Rogers (Aus) Saxo-Tinkoff at 1:37
4. Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Katusha at 1:47
5. Daniel Navarro Garcia (Spa) Cofidis at 1:49
6. Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana at 2:04
7. Stef Clement (Ned) Blanco at 2:32
8. Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar at 2:47
9. Rohan Dennis (Aus) Garmin-Sharp at 2:48
10. Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Saxo-Tinkoff at 2:56.

Stage 7:

The Final Stage 8 winner; Alessandro De Marchi (Cannondale) was the last of a big break of 24 riders who battled through heavy rain and fog to Risoul over 155 kilometres. The Sky team had been in control of the stage and put the hammer down on the final climb. De Marchi held on for the win and Chris Froome took second from Andrew Talansky (Garmin-Sharp) and his team mate Richie Porte and obviously Froome won the overall.

Alberto Contador (Saxo-Tinkoff) was again the domestique for Michael Rogers, but due to the Australian having a bad day and Contador crashing, Rogers dropped from 3rd to 6th in the overall standing.

“I thought it was better to give a hand to Rogers” Alberto Contador finished the Dauphiné helping Michael Rogers, who had a bad day on the climb to Risoul. He wanted to be in front to try to fight for the stage win but, as he says, the race wanted something else. “It was a day that I was waiting for. The finish suited to me pretty well and we wanted to control the stage all day. After the Col de Vars I had a bit of bad luck, because for the only moment I dropped behind the group in these eight days to leave the raincoat and I had a bad fall. I got up and got back to the group and the sensation was very good at the last climb”. Alberto thought today of the victory. “I was thinking of the fight for the stage, because today, with the rain, I was breathing much better. But we have seen that Rogers was in a bad moment and I thought it was better to give him a hand to try to hold the position. At the end he did not have a good day, but I’m happy because the sensations are very good. Where would I come today? I do not know, I can’t know, but I’m very happy with the sensations that I had”.

The fall seems to not had serious consequences, but Contador is cautious. “It is still too soon to know if it will have any consequence. I have the left side quite beaten. Luckily, with the rain we wear much clothes, you slip over in the road and have less scratches. I hope it don’t bother me to continue the preparation for the Tour”. The best moment of the day was when Gallopin went forward. He felt great. “The situation was very good, because Gallopin was wearing down Sky, he had a good pace and I was following his wheel, thinking of giving one more gear to try to fight for the stage win. But the race developed in another way and I thought that being with my teammate was better”.

Finally, Alberto Contador makes an optimistic balance of the Critérium du Dauphiné. “The balance is good, very good. My sensations are very good, regardless of the result in the overall, that is secondary. I’ve been mostly focused on going better every day and I am very happy with the moment of form that I have now and I think I’ll be in top condition for the Tour de France. I will not say if better than any other year, because that will be seen in the race, but not less than in previous years”.

Gianni Meersman (Omega Pharma – Quick-Step) bested Froome for the points jersey by two points. “I am happy about my green jersey,” Meersman said. I knew this morning I had to enter in the breakaway to get the points. It was the only way to win the jersey and then I also had to wait for the final result, because if Froome was the winner I would have lost the jersey. I did what I was supposed to do — I entered and arrived with the points. Then in the final I was there, sitting in back and waiting. With 1km to go I heard Froome was 2nd, so I was happy I won the points classification. The green jersey is a great achievement, but I really would have liked to win a stage. Because in this Criterium du Dauphine I only missed a win. I was always there, always at the top of the best riders in the bunch for the sprints. But I didn’t have the victories. I would have liked to add one win, but it was not possible. So I have to be happy for the good results. ”

Meersman said he is happy with his consistency. “This season I really showed that I can be one of the most regular guys in the peloton, which is also important for me” Meersman said. “Now I go home and Wednesday I fly to Calpe to train under the sun and will come back Monday evening next week. I do this because of the national championship approaching. Wearing the Belgian National Champion jersey would be like a dream. I checked the parcour two weeks ago and think it’s nice, even a bit hard maybe, but really nice. The race depends also on how the peloton will ride. But honestly I hope to try to maintain the condition I had here at the Dauphine. I can probably do something good but I go to the national championship without any stress, and I will take what is possible.”

Tim Wellens (Lotto Belisol): “I was the first to attack today immediately after the start and then a front group of 24 was formed. The group was big, but still there was a very good cooperation. Meyer was remarkably faster on the Col de Vars and I had to let him go. In the descent I could come back. We were leading with five and the others were descending very fast and took risks. I didn’t want to do that and lost a few meters. When I returned to the front on the final climb, I noticed the others were watching each other and decided to keep up my own tempo and was solo ahead.”

Chris Froome (Sky): “This win is a massive achievement for me. I was using the Dauphine as build up to the Tour de France, but to have come away with the victory here, I couldn’t have asked for any more, and to have my best friend in second place is the perfect scenario. It would have been great to win the stage as well but we have already won two of those this week and it just proved impossible to reel in De Marchi in the end.”

So Chris Froome has thrown down the Tour gauntlet and made himself the favourite, all we can do it wait and see.

Critérium du Dauphiné Stage 8 Result:
1. Alessandro De Marchi (Ita) Cannondale in 4:28:09
2. Christopher Froome (GB) Sky at 0:24
3. Andrew Talansky (USA) Garmin-Sharp
4. Richie Porte (Aus) Sky at 0:31
5. Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana at 0:38
6. Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar at 0:49
7. Joaquim Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha
8. Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Katusha
9. Daniel Navarro Garcia (Spa) Cofidis at 0:55
10. Rohan Dennis (Aus) Garmin-Sharp at 1:00.

Critérium du Dauphiné Final Overall Result:
1. Christopher Froome (GB) Sky in 29:28:46
2. Richie Porte (Aus) Sky at 0:58
3. Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Katusha at 2:12
4. Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana at 2:18
5. Daniel Navarro Garcia (Spa) Cofidis at 2:20
6. Michael Rogers (Aus) Saxo-Tinkoff at 3:08
7. Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar at 3:12
8. Rohan Dennis (Aus) Garmin-Sharp at 3:24
9. Samuel Sanchez Gonzalez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi at 4:25
10. Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Saxo-Tinkoff at 4:27.

The final stage 8:

Tour de Suisse 2013
Orica-GreenEdge’s Cameron Meyer won the 8.1 kilometre time trial Stage 1 around Quinto in a time of 9:40, ahead of Niki Terpstra (Omega Pharma – Quick-Step) by 10 seconds and Heinrich Haussler (IAM Cycling) by 14 seconds. Many expected a good tome from RadioShack Leopard’s Fabian Cancellara, but he was 16th at 22 seconds.

Meyer goes in to stage 2 in the leader’s jersey with a hard week ahead over the 9 stages.

“Today went really well,” said Meyer, following his media obligations and doping control. “I’m excited and a bit surprised with the result. I started off with the earlier group of riders, and the wind was definitely in my favour. Still, my legs were good.”

While the weather may have worked to Meyer’s advantage, his team had studied the forecast and deliberating started him earlier in the day.

“Any day there is a first stage time trial, the team can choose in which order it wants to race its riders,” explained Sport Director Laurenzo Lapage. “We knew there was a big chance of rain in the afternoon, so we purposefully put Cam early.

Although the rain didn’t fall until after the final finisher, the winds picked up and shifted for the second half of the field.

“Most teams put their GC guys in the last wave as a general rule,” said Lapage. “We did something different today and it paid dividends. It was a little bit of luck and some good planning combined with a super, super ride.”

Meyer has long talked up the Tour de Suisse as a major objective for his season. He finished in the top ten overall at Tour of Turkey in late April and repeated the feat at the Amgen Tour of California in May.

“Cam has targeted this a long way out,” Lapage said. “He’s progressed very well since his saddle sore surgery at the beginning of the year. The course suits his characteristics with another time trial mixed amongst the hilly stages. We’re expecting a big ride from him.”

“I’m very happy with my ride,” added Meyer. “To be leading a WorldTour race with a lot of riders getting ready for the Tour de France is better than I could have dreamt.”

The team will defend the yellow jersey tomorrow on the first road stage. There is no easing into the road racing with a summit finish on stage two.

“I’m looking forward to tomorrow,” Meyer said. “It will be hard with the final up to Crans Montana, but we have a good team. I’m confident we can represent the jersey well.”

Tour de Suisse Stage 1 Result:
1. Cameron Meyer (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge in 9:40
2. Niki Terpstra (Ned) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step at 0:10
3. Heinrich Haussler (Aus) IAM Cycling at 0:14
4. Alex Rasmussen (Den) Garmin-Sharp at 0:15
5. Gorka Verdugo Marcotegui (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi at 0:16
6. Reto Hollenstein (Swi) IAM Cycling
7. Michel Koch (Ger) Cannondale at 0:18
8. Peter Velits (Svk) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step at 0:19
9. Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Garmin-Sharp
10. Matteo Tosatto (Ita) Saxo-Tinkoff.

Tour de Suisse Overall After Stage 1:
1. Cameron Meyer (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge in 9:39
2. Niki Terpstra (Ned) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step at 0:10
3. Heinrich Haussler (Aus) IAM Cycling at 0:14
4. Alex Rasmussen (Den) Garmin-Sharp at 0:15
5. Gorka Verdugo Marcotegui (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi at 0:16
6. Reto Hollenstein (Swi) IAM Cycling
7. Michel Koch (Ger) Cannondale at 0:18
8. Peter Velits (Svk) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step at 0:19
9. Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Garmin-Sharp
10. Matteo Tosatto (Ita) Saxo-Tinkoff.

Stage 1:

It was a very exciting finale on today’s 167 kilometre Stage 2 of the Tour de Suisse where the peloton moved up in the highlands from Quinto, over the HC-categorized climb Nufenenpass to a thrilling finale on the first category uphill finish on Crans Montana.

Christophe Riblon (Ag2r-La Mondiale) soloed away from a front group entering the final 25 kilometres of the stage while Orica-GreenEdge as the leading team were controlling the pace making the chase in the bunch, 15 kilometres from the top, all escapees were brought back in.

With nine kilometres to go, Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Sharp) launched a viscous attack and only Tanel Kangert (Astana) was able to hang on. Team Saxo-Tinkoff then went to the front of the chase group and started reeling the duo back in. The Canadian rider dropped his companion with 5 kilometres remaining but it didn’t last.

In a counter-attack, Bauke Mollema (Blanco) created the crucial gap on the chasers and took the stage win. Team Saxo-Tinkoff’s Roman Kreuziger finished seventh and is now seventh overall:

”I’m very content about the way the stage progressed both before the climb and on the uphill finish where Roman (Kreuziger) was fighting intensely, bridged a few gaps on the final steep kilometre and finished seventh. We’re here to prepare for Tour of course, but I want a good result here as well and I believe that Roman has the legs to do it. Tomorrow, there’ll be another few climbs. Not as long as today but I don’t think it’s going to be a bunch sprint decision so we have to stay in front,” said Saxo-Tinkoff DS, Fabrizio Guidi.

Stage winner Bauke Mollema: “This is the biggest win of my career. It’s been a while since I’ve won. The last time was about three years ago in the Tour of Poland. I’m very happy with this victory.” When Mollema drew a bead on Hesjedal, he knew he was going to win. “I felt it, because I knew I had build up a nice gap with the peloton. The guys did an excellent job in helping me. Going into the finale, I told them I felt really good and that’s when they rushed to the front of the bunch to increase the pace so that Hesjedal couldn’t enlarge his gap.”

Tonight in the hotel, Mollema will uncork a bottle of champagne. However, very little of the bubbly will actually pass his lips as Monday another tough stage awaits. “I want to ride a good GC here. Top three would be nice, although that’s going to be slightly more difficult now because of my time penalty.” Mollema received a twenty second penalty from the jury because in the last twenty kilometres he received a bottle out of a chase car.

With Mollema’s victory, his altitude training in the Sierra Nevada has immediately paid off. “Up there, in the mountains, I already noticed I had some power in my legs. Hopefully, I can take this good form with me into the Tour de France.”

BMC Racing Team’s Mathias Frank finished runner-up to Bauke Mollema (Blanco Pro Cycling Team) on Sunday’s ascent of Crans-Montana to climb into third overall at the Tour de Suisse.

Frank crossed the finish line 11 seconds after Mollema on the 117.2-kilometer stage that was shortened by snow on the original, 161.3-km race route. “I had good legs today and knew if I passed Ryder Hesjedal, maybe I could be in the leader’s jersey tonight,” Frank said. “I came around him with one kilometer to go, but I didn’t quite have it anymore. But generally, I’m happy with the way things went.” Hesjedal (Garmin-Sharp) had put in a bid for the stage win with an attack of his own but the chasing efforts of Frank’s teammates, Amaël Moinard and an attacking Tejay van Garderen, helped bring back the 2012 Giro d’Italia winner. Van Garderen said he later paid for the effort, finishing 29 seconds after Frank’s group, in 25th place. “It maybe wasn’t the smartest thing because I ended up losing a bit there at the end,” he said. “I think the legs just aren’t as sharp as maybe they were a few weeks ago. But it’s definitely good preparation for the Tour de France and I’m excited to help Mathias get on the podium.”

Frank sits five seconds out of the race lead held by Stage 1 individual time trial winner Cameron Meyer (Orica-GreenEDGE) and two seconds behind Hesjedal. Van Garderen jumped from 73rd to 22nd overall and is 58 seconds back. BMC Racing Team Directeur Sportif John Lelangue said he was happy to have Frank follow his 12th place in Saturday’s opening time trial with his best result of the season. “For us, it’s a good satisfaction to see Mathias going onto the podium for the moment,” Lelangue said. “On the general classification, he was pretty close to taking yellow, so it was a really good operation. Tejay is coming from the States, resting a little bit after coming to Europe and being at a nice team time trial camp. It’s still a long ways to the last stage. We know there are still a lot of things that can happen. But Mathias is also one of the guys who we wanted to protect and that was also the clear plan.” Monday’s 204.9-km stage includes three categorized climbs – the last of which summits about 20 km from the finish.

Cameron Meyer (Orica-GreenEdge) held onto his overall lead, but Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Sharp) has moved into 2nd at only 3 seconds.

Tour de Suisse Stage 2 Result:
1. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Blanco in 2:43:00
2. Mathias Frank (Swi) BMC at 0:11
3. Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ
4. Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Garmin-Sharp
5. Johan Tschopp (Swi) IAM Cycling
6. Daniel Martin (Irl) Garmin-Sharp
7. Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Saxo-Tinkoff
8. Michele Scarponi (Ita) Lampre-Merida
9. Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Movistar at 0:19
10. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Ag2r-La Mondiale.

Tour de Suisse Overall After Stage 2:
1. Cameron Meyer (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge in 2:53:06
2. Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Garmin-Sharp at 0:03
3. Mathias Frank (Swi) BMC at 0:05
4. Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Movistar at 0:12
5. Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ at 0:16
6. Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Saxo-Tinkoff at 0:28
7. Moreno Moser (Ita) Cannondale at 0:34
8. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Blanco
9. Alexsandr Dyachenko (Kaz) Astana at 0:35
10. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Ag2r-La Mondiale at 0:36.

Stage 2:

Garmin ProRace Berlin 2013
Andreas Stauff brought in the next top ten finish for Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung at the Garmin ProRace Berlin (UCI 1.1). The German sprinter placed eighth in the mass sprint in the German capital. His countryman Marcel Kittel (Argos-Shimano) dashed across the finish line first, ahead of Matteo Pelucchi (IAM) and Andre Greipel (Lotto Belisol). Stauff finished eighth, for his fourth top ten placing of the season. His teammate Gerald Ciolek unfortunately lost touch in the sprint finale and finished 30th.

“Up until shortly before the finish line everything was going well for us. Everyone worked well in the finale, but unfortunately in the hectic, Gerald lost Andy’s rear wheel in the last roundabout. That was just bad luck,” is how sport director Jens Zemke summed things up after the race. “I am satisfied with Andy’s top ten placing and the team’s overall performance. The attitude was 100 percent right. A special nod to Sergio Pardilla, who worked hard in the chase and showed a good ace as a helper for Ciolek.”

South African Jay Thomson was in the first break group of the day, but it was caught early on. Another group of five riders was more successful, and MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung helped to lead the chase, with Spaniard Sergio Pardilla often visible at the front of the race. The chase was successful and the group was caught with 15 kilometres to go. From there the peloton stayed together and thundered in for the expected mass sprint.
Thanks to the MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung for the race report.

Garmin ProRace Berlin 2013
1. Marcel Kittel (Ger) Argos-Shimano in 4:00:05
2. Matteo Pelucchi (Ita) IAM Cycling
3. Andre Greipel (Ger) Lotto Belisol
4. Michael Van Staeyen (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise
5. Roger Kluge (Ger) Team NetApp-Endura
6. Raymond Kreder (Ned) Garmin-Sharp
7. Rüdiger Selig (Ger) Katusha
8. Andreas Stauff (Ger) Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung
9. Grischa Janorschke (Ger) Nutrixxion ABUS
10. Luke Roberts (Aus) Team Stölting.

GP du Canton d’Argovie 2013
ORICA-GreenEDGE put on a dominating display in Gippingen to deliver Michael Albasini to the top step of the podium at GP du canton d’Argovie. It is the second win of the season for Albasini, who has twice won the one day Swiss race near his hometown of Lanterswil.

“It was a perfect, coherent effort from the team,” said Sport Director Vittorio Algeri. “It’s great to see Michael pull off the win. He did a great performance backed up by a solid team.”

“This is one of the only one day races in Switzerland,” added Albasini. “It’s also the 50th anniversary of this race. As a Swiss rider, I’m quite happy to write my name in the history books here.”

Daryl Impey represented ORICA-GreenEDGE in an early move of seven. While Impey toiled away to help establish a lasting advantage, his teammates tried to decimate the bunch on the punishing circuit.

“It was a fast start,” explained Albasini. “The break went quite early. We were covered in the move by Daryl Impey. It was perfect for us because we knew if the break went to the line, we had a good chance. Daryl was the fastest in the group. Only Astana and Vacansoleil had missed the move. They did the work to bring it back together.”

The attacks continued throughout the entire race resulting in a constant reshuffling. Riders from ORICA-GreenEDGE were represented in every significant move.

“It was a chaotic finale with the situation changing after every half lap,” noted Albasini. “Near the end of the race, we had Stuey [Stuart O’Grady], Sebastian [Langeveld] and Impey in a group of around ten riders. This allowed me to stay safe behind and watch the action as it happened.”

Albasini bridged up to the front group inside the final lap. By this point, the lead group had swelled to include 16 riders. The attacks continued nearly all the way to the finish. Alexandr Kolobnev (Katusha) was the final rider to be swept up before the sprint.

“Kolobnev was caught with at 1.5 kilometres,” said Albasini. “There were only 12 guys in the sprint, and I had enough to take the win. I wasn’t sure what to expect of my condition. It’s my first race since Romandie, and I just came back yesterday from training at altitude. I’m a bit surprised to do so well today.”

“It’s really great for Michael’s confidence to take a win like this going into Tour de Suisse and Nationals,” added Algeri. “It’s an important win for the team as we build the bridge into the next part of our season.”

Before he heads to Tour de Suisse, Albasini will spend one last night with his family at home. They were on hand to see him take the win, and they’ll celebrate before sending him off to the nine day tour that begins on Saturday.
“It’s always nice to win in front of the family,” said Albasini. “I didn’t have a chance to see them at the start, but I saw them during the race and a little bit after I had won. I’ll go home tonight because I live quite close to here. We can celebrate as a family, but we won’t celebrate too much. Tour de Suisse starts Saturday, and we have some big goals for the week.”
Thanks to the Orica-GreenEdge team for the race report.

GP du Canton d’Argovie 2013
1. Michael Albasini (Swi) Orica-GreenEdge in 4:24:59
2. Jonathan Hivert (Fra) Sojasun
3. Marco Frapporti (Ita) Androni Giocattoli
4. Jan Bakelants (Bel) RadioShack Leopard
5. Tanel Kangert (Est) Astana
6. Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC
7. Simone Stortoni (Ita) Lampre-Merida
8. Jonathan Fumeaux (Swi) IAM Cycling
9. Laurens De Vreese (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise at 0:01
10. Björn Leukemans (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM.

2 More Year’s for Greipel
André Greipel has extended his contract with the Belgian Lotto Belisol team for two more years. He joined the team in 2011 and has won 44 races in that time. Marcel Sieberg has also signed a contract for a further two years.

André Greipel: “For me there’s no better team than Lotto Belisol. Not many teams focus on the sprint. I find it important that the guys from my train stay as well, like Marcel Sieberg with whom I’m already riding together for many years and who’s a good friend. I don’t see him in another team than me. As well the team as I wanted to sign the agreement as soon as possible, now we can fully focus on the Tour.”
“The next race is in Berlin. I have trained much the past week, so possibly I’m not that explosive. We start with only six riders, that means we’ll have to work together with other teams to catch escapees. It’s a beautiful race in my home country. There is much history in this city and the race passes many monuments and finishes at the Brandenburger Tor.”

Nikita Novikov provisionally suspended after possible breach of anti-doping rules
Team provisionally suspends the rider after positive A-sample

Press Release: During an out of competition test on May 17th there were traces found of Hydroxy-ostarine / O-dephenyl-ostarin in the urine sample of the rider. It concerns a non-specified substance. Due to this positive A-sample the rider is provisionally suspended by the UCI. The team followed the UCI in this decision. A dismissal of the rider will follow after a positive B-sample or when the rider refuses to ask for a B-sample, this is in line with the contractual agreement between the team and rider.

Team manager Daan Luijkx was very disappointed: “At the end of 2011 we hired this young talent for two years. Since that time he didn’t manage to reach his old level in our environment despite all the efforts of our team. It needs no clarification that as a team we are devastated by this. As a team you try to give your riders a safe environment with good coaching and staff and that makes it very disappointing when a rider does something wrong, like it appears this is the case now. When I talked to the rider last night, after the UCI informed us, he said he had no idea how the substance got in his body.”

Luijkx also wants to add something positive: “I strongly believe the sport is on his way up and I am sorry for the sport that this happens but it is good that possible breaches of the rules are traced.”

No Chris Horner in Tour de France
RADIOSHACK LEOPARD TREK’s Chris Horner will not be able to take the start in Corsica on June 29th. Horner recovers from his knee operation of two weeks ago. Chris Horner suffers from an iliotibial band friction syndrome since the end of Tirreno-Adriatico.


No Tour for Fabian Cancellara either
No repeat Yellow jersey for Fabian Cancellara at this year’s Tour de France as he will not be there. The Swiss Super-Champion said in a Press Release: “My ambitions now are for later in the season, for the World championships. Because of this I won’t be part of the Tour de France this time. I will have another program. That’s why I can now follow other goals. You have to go to races 100% motivated and that’s why I’m looking forward to the Tour of Austria, Poland, the Vuelta and to be 100% fresh for worlds.”

2013 Canadian Road Championships Expected to Attract Top Cyclists to Beauce
St-Georges and Lac Mégantic ready to welcome Canada’s top road cyclists.

Press Release: The 2013 Canadian Road Championships promises to be very exciting this summer makes its way for the second consecutive time on the beautiful roads of Québec, with the top cyclists converging onto the cities of St-Georges and Lac Mégantic, QC to race for the ultimate Canadian honors and the coveted Red and White Maple Leaf jersey.

The 2013 edition of the event will be held from June 20th to 30th, featuring the traditional road race, the individual time trials, and the always exciting criterium. The event is expected to bring over 500 riders of all ages, from juniors to masters, including para-cycling.

“We are very confident that the organizing committee led by Francis Rancourt will once again deliver a solid and challenging event as they did last year. The course will be challenging, and the support from the community will be substantial. Preparations are in its final stages, and everyone is excited for this first Canadian Championships of the 2013 season,” said Mathieu Boucher, Performance Development Director at Cycling Canada.

The Canadian Championships are an important opportunity for young riders to test their skills against World Tour and Pro-continental riders, and to grow within the Canadian competitive cycling scene.

The first weekend of competition will feature the Elite and U23 cyclists in St-Georges, while the second weekend will attract the top Para-cyclists and up-and-coming Junior cyclists as well as masters riders

This year, many of the Canadian riders racing on the WorldTour are expected to be on the start line, such as Guillaume Boivin of Longueuil, QC (Cannondale), Hugo Houle of Ste-Perpétue, QC (AG2R La Mondiale), Dominique Rollin of Boucherville, QC (FDJ and Christian Meier of Sussex, NB (Orica-GreenEDGE). All of these riders will already be in the region, representing Canada at the Tour de Beauce a week earlier.

Both defending Canadian Champions, Ryan Roth (Cambridge, ON) of Champion System Pro Cycling and Denise Ramsden of Optum-Kelly Benefits, are also expected to be present.

Added Boucher: “The event is a critical step in our Long Term Athlete Development model. The up-and coming riders will have the exciting opportunity to race against top Canadian riders from the WorldTour, and to test their skills and development.”

Cycling Teams from all over Canada are expected to be present for this race, including Canadian-based UCI Continental teams Équipe Garneau-Quebecor, and Équipe Ekoi-DeVinci and Canadian-based UCI Women’s professional cycling team GSD-Gestion Kallisto.

In addition to the traditional road races, the 2013 Canadian Road Championships will host the Canadian Sprint Challenge for the second time at Canadian Championships. The country’s top sprinters will go head to head, in heats, in a single elimination format. The top rider along with the Elite men criterium will earn their ticket to the Pro Sprint Challenge at the 2013 Grand Prix Cycliste de Québec, this upcoming September.

The organizing committee is led by the Francis Rancourt, the same organizer as the popular and classic Tour de Beauce.

Registration for the event is open, and riders can register at: https://www.championnatscanadiensroute.com/.

SCHEDULE (subject to change)
St-Georges, QC
Thursday, June 20 – Time Trials (Men and Women, Elite and U23)
Friday, June 21 – Road Race (Women Elite, U23)
Saturday, June 22 – Road Race (Men Elite, U23)
Sunday, June 23 – Criterium Challenges (U23/Elite)
Sunday, June 23 – Canadian Sprint Challenge (U23/Elite)
Lac Mégantic, QC
Thursday, June 27 – Time Trials (Juniors, Masters, Para-cycling)
Friday, June 28 – Road Race (Masters)
Saturday, June 29 – Road Race (Para-cycling, Juniors)
Sunday, June 30 – Criterium (Juniors, Masters).

Cycling Celebs Invade Newhaven
As part of the Edinburgh Festival of Cycling, Newhaven are delighted to be hosting an exhibition of the work of top sports photographer, Pete Goding.

Working closely with the Press Association, not happy with having built a reputation on snapping some of cycling history’s most iconic moments including Bradley Wiggins’ yellow jersey-ed days, he’s also co-authored a book that has any cycling enthusiast salivating; Mountain High and previews photography from his new book Mountain Higher.

The exhibition runs from Sunday 16 June from 12 noon til 4pm and then Monday 17 June to Friday 21 June from 11am to 4pm every day. It’s in here. Entry is free. And make sure you pop in for a cup of tea once you’ve looked at the pics.



Vincenzo Nibali discovers the circuit of the World Championships Toscana2013
Press Release: The National Coach and ten riders, among which Vincenzo Nibali, Valerio Agnoli, Fabio Aru, Luca Paolini, Filippo Pozzato, Diego Ulissi, Fabio Felline, Gian Paolo Caruso, Giovanni Visconti, Mauro Santambrogio, after a spontaneous auto-convocation, met this morning in Florence, to test for the first time the World Championship circuit of Fiesole, that on Sunday 29th September will be the protagonist of the Elite Men Race, that will assign the rainbow jersey.

Starting from the Franchi Stadium, they faced two laps of the circuit (on the day of the World Championship it will be ridden 10 for times) that is 16,570 meters long, paying much attention to the dreaded “stretch” of Salviati Street (600 meters long, average slope of 10.2% and maximum slope of 16%), the place where, according to many experts, the outcome of the World Championship could be decided. The Men Road Race will be the main event of the eight days of competitions, it will start in Lucca and finish at the Nelson Mandela Forum of Florence, after 272,26 km.

Below are the statements collected at the end of the test:
Vincenzo Nibali: “The route is very nice and fast. The climb of Fiesole is important because it is long and will be useful as a springboard for the stretch of Salviati Street. There will be selection if the riders want it.”
Giovanni Visconti: “The city tour of Florence is appropriate for our National Team. It’s very challenging and the stretch of Salviati Street will make the difference. Having already tested it is a positive fact as, we already know how to prepare ourselves.”

Fabio Aru: “I’m very pleased and excited to be here to try the World Championship circuit, together with the others. I’ll struggle to gain a place in the National Team in September.”

Fabio Felline: “Last year I ran the Under-23 World Championship, to be here today means to be inside the project of the National Coach Paolo Bettini, so I can have a chance to earn a place among the professionals. The course is hard, it is possible to ride the slope of Fiesole for once, but from the eighth to the tenth lap there will be selection.”

Paolo Bettini: “It is a demanding route, very similar to the races of the Ardennes. As I always say, the World Championship is a great classic and this year is smiling at us because of our athletes, their conditions and the fact that we are in Italy. From the top of Salviati Street the route is fast, those who will succeed in gaining a few seconds of advantage will have more chance, because the circuit is technical and the group will have more difficulties to reach him. The stretch to approach the final part of the circuit is not a picnic, in fact, the riders will have to face first Montecarlo and then San Baronto. Summing up we can say that the path suits the characteristics of the Colombian runners such as Betancur and Uran, not extremely fast competitors, but able to disturb when taking the breakaway”.

The cycling champions talks about Toscana2013:

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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