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EuroTrash Monday!

Tours of Suisse, Ster ZLM and Beauce with all the results and video. The ”Top Story” is a round-up of the Armstrong/USADA affair…who said what. Some Olympic news and some other bits and pieces. So settle back to catch up with all the video race action, EuroTrash Monday coffee time.

“Top Story”

The Lance Armstrong/USADA Doping Case
In the end I guess we have to comment on the latest developments in the Lance Armstrong case, this is my un-biased report on the different statements:

Last week the US Anti-Doping Agency brought formal charges against Lance Armstrong, Johan Bruyneel, Michele Ferrari, Pedro Celaya, Luis Garcia del Moral and Pepe Marti concerning doping between the years of 1998 and 2011. The people concerned were sent a fifteen page letter on Tuesday explaining the charges and that there are ten un-named cyclists among the witnesses. All this comes after the US Department of Justice Grand Jury Investigation filed no charged against any member of the ex-US Postal team.

The letter states that Armstrong used EPO, blood transfusions, testosterone, corticosteroids and masking agents and that he distributed and administered drugs to others. Armstrong is now suspended from competition, he had been taking part in triathlons and the World Triathlon Corporation has confirmed that “an athlete is ineligible to compete during an open investigation.”

Lance Armstrong wrote a statement on his web-site: “I have been notified that USADA, an organization largely funded by taxpayer dollars but governed only by self-written rules, intends to again dredge up discredited allegations dating back more than 16 years to prevent me from competing as a triathlete and try and strip me of the seven Tour de France victories I earned. These are the very same charges and the same witnesses that the Justice Department chose not to pursue after a two-year investigation. These charges are baseless, motivated by spite and advanced through testimony bought and paid for by promises of anonymity and immunity. Although USADA alleges a wide-ranging conspiracy extended over more than 16 years, I am the only athlete it has chosen to charge. USADA’s malice, its methods, its star-chamber practices, and its decision to punish first and adjudicate later all are at odds with our ideals of fairness and fair play.”
“I have never doped, and, unlike many of my accusers, I have competed as an endurance athlete for 25 years with no spike in performance, passed more than 500 drug tests and never failed one. That USADA ignores this fundamental distinction and charges me instead of the admitted dopers says far more about USADA, its lack of fairness and this vendetta than it does about my guilt or innocence.”

The UCI have confirmed that they have been informed of the USADA’s actions without naming any individuals, referring to the case as “against a number of rider support personnel and a rider.” The governing body added that “the UCI is not aware of the information that is available to USADA on the persons concerned and has not been involved in the proceedings opened by USADA. The UCI will follow the case to the extent it will be informed and has noted that the persons concerned have been invited to send submittals on the allegations that are made against them.”

WADA also confirmed that the process put into place was within the rules and procedures of the World Anti-Doping Code and that WADA would not comment on the case, but would monitor the case and await its outcome.

Johan Bruyneel commented; “I have never participated in any doping activity and I am innocent of all charges,” read a statement on Bruyneel’s personal website. “I am dismayed that once again doping allegations have been raised against me, this time by USADA.” The Belgian team manager added “It cannot be right that I or anyone else can be pursued from court to court simply because our accusers do not like the decisions made along the way and so attempt to find a court which will get them the result they want.”
Johan Bruyneel is specifically charged with:
The possession of prohibited substance and/or methods.
Trafficking of those prohibited substances and methods.
The administration or attempted administration of those prohibited substances and methods.
Assisting, encourage, aiding, abetting covering up and other complicity involving anti-doping violations.
Aggravating circumstances which would justify a longer period of ineligibility than the standard sanction.
If the charges are proven Bruyneel is facing a possible life time ban from cycling.

The Belgian federation have said that “the USADA will firstly give it to the UCI, then it will eventually be given to us and we will of course examine it.” Adding that “If we get official information from an official authority like the UCI or like the American cycling federation, then we can eventually proceed, but before then we can’t do anything.”

Luis Garcia del Moral was a doctor with the US Postal Service team between 1999 and 2004 and Astana in 2009 and 2010, told Spanish sports paper Marca that “the charges are not true and without foundation.” He also cites the previous investigation “these charges are the same as those which the Justice Department decided not to pursue after a two-year investigation, and once again and like every year, within weeks of the Tour de France, there is emerging news about cyclist doping allegations in which, again, we are involved.” The Spaniard confirms his innocence “never in my career have I used doping substances. Never in my career has there been a positive for doping among athletes who have trusted me with their health and sports medicine.”

Johan Bruyneel’s present team issued this statement: “LEOPARD S.A. (with its cycling team known as « RADIOSHACK NISSAN TREK ») has been informed of the content of the document whereby the USADA has opened formal disciplinary proceedings against some individuals, including Mr Johan BRUYNEEL.
After a first review of this document, LEOPARD S.A. takes note that none of the investigated facts relate to its cycling team, to its riders or to the present activities of Mr Bruyneel within the LEOPARD S.A. structure. Indeed, these alleged facts report exclusively to events that took place prior to the start of the collaboration between LEOPARD S.A. and Mr Bruyneel.
LEOPARD S.A. stepped into cycling with the firm commitment of actively promoting a « zero doping » policy. In this context, and in the light of the possible development of the case, LEOPARD S.A. will take all appropriate measures, in order to guarantee its sporting integrity and the general interest of cycling.”

SCA Promotions is the insurance company that had to pay out $5 million after Armstrong won his 6th Tour de France in 2004, plus a further $1 million in court costs and interest after they lost a court case that Armstrong took against them as they didn’t want to pay due to the doping suggestions. They say they are keeping an eye on any developments and will take action if they can.

Since the USADA made the formal charges, it has been alleged by the Italian Gazetta dello Sport that Lance Armstrong paid $465,000 to Dr. Michele Ferrari in 2006, which was 2 years after the American had said he had finished his working relationship with the doctor. Other information also came out of Italy from the Corriere della Sera that Armstrong had made a series of payments to a company based in Neufchatel in Switzerland, which was thought to be linked to Dr. Michele Ferrari.

So what happens next? The USADA makes a written submittal to its Anti-Doping Review Board regarding the doping allegations. The Anti-Doping Review Board will decide if there’s sufficient evidence to proceed with adjudication process and the respondents have a right to a hearing if proceedings advance beyond Anti-Doping Review Board, this could happen before November 2012.

Tour de Suisse 2012
Peter Sagan (Liquigas-Cannondale) showed his continuing form by winning Stage 6 to Bischofszell for his fourth stage win. Baden Cooke (Orica-GreenEdge), Vicente Reynes (Lotto-Belisol), Matteo Montaguti (Ag2r-La Mondiale), Troels Ronning Vinther (Saxo Bank) and Rubens Bertogliati (Team Type 1-Sanofi) broke away after around 30kilometres gaining a lead of 5 minutes at the 100 kilometres mark. When the leaders started the first of two finishing circuits of 30 kilometres each, they had a lead of 4 minutes, this was not enough and they were all back in the peloton with 2 kilometres to go. Liquigas-Cannondale gave Sagan a good lead-out, but Ben Swift (Sky) was the first to jump, Sagan was too good and passed him before the line and Allan Davis (Orica-GreenEdge) was third. The overall didn’t change as Rui Costa (Movistar) kept his lead of 8 seconds from Frank Schleck (RadioShack-Nissan).

Tour de Suisse Stage 6 Result:
1. Peter Sagan (Svk) Liquigas-Cannondale in 4:30:08
2. Ben Swift (GB) Sky
3. Allan Davis (Aus) Orica GreenEdge
4. Michael Albasini (Swi) Orica GreenEdge
5. Oscar Freire Gomez (Spa) Katusha
6. Lloyd Mondory (Fra) Ag2r-La Mondiale
7. Marco Marcato (Ita) Vacansoleil-DCM
8. Alessandro Bazzana (Ita) Team Type 1-Sanofi
9. Matti Breschel (Den) Rabobank
10. Francesco Gavazzi (Ita) Astana.

Tour de Suisse Overall After Stage 6:
1. Rui Alberto Faria Da Costa (Por) Movistar in 25:23:38
2. Frank Schleck (Lux) RadioShack-Nissan at 0:08
3. Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Astana at 0:15
4. Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ-BigMat at 0:19
5. Nicolas Roche (Irl) Ag2r-La Mondiale at 0:21
6. Thomas Lцfkvist (Swe) Sky
7. Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar at 0:23
8. John Gadret (Fra) Ag2r-La Mondiale at 0:24
9. Mikel Nieve Ituralde (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi at 0:26
10. Thomas Danielson (USA) Garmin-Barracuda at 0:29.

Stage 6 final:

The 34.3 kilometre time trial Stage 7 was won by Fredrik Kessiakoff (Astana) and the race leader Rui Costa (Movistar) put in a great ride to finish only 41 seconds down on Kessiakoff, but more importantly beating all his rivals on GC. The overall had a good shake up with Roman Kreuziger (Astana) moving in to second and Robert Gesink (Rabobank) in third. Fabian Cancellara (RadioShack-Nissan) was second to Kessiakoff showing he still has to find some form.

Rui Costa had this to say on the Movistar web-site: “To tell the truth, today’s overview couldn’t be better. I spent the morning doing the recon with Alejandro, firstly into the team car and then on the bike for the last part, and there we saw it was a ITT that could do well for the two of us. It wasn’t a flat TT at all, but rather a hilly one, full of pace changes. I tried to keep a regular rhythm and give my maximum at the end. I knew, by the references I was being given, that I was riding within the best, but I didn’t know how the other favourites were doing. Now there are two really hard stages ahead, two selective ones, but I’m confident because I have such great teammates by my side. They’re developing an extraordinary work here. Let’s hope that my body responds well this weekend. My rivals? Not only those two or three people might be thinking of. There are many who are still close to me, talented ones which we must keep respect to. For me, the most important thing is having someone like Alejandro here. Knowing that he’s there makes me so calm. He could well be contesting the GC and committed himself to helping me. That offers you enormous confidence and I’m really grateful towards him.”

Tour de Suisse Stage 7 Result:
1. Fredrik Carl Wilhelm Kessiakoff (Swe) Astana in 46:36
2. Fabian Cancellara (Swi) RadioShack-Nissan at 0:02
3. Maxime Monfort (Bel) RadioShack-Nissan at 0:20
4. Jйrйmy Roy (Fra) FDJ-BigMat at 0:25
5. Robert Gesink (Ned) Rabobank at 0:27
6. Tanel Kangert (Est) Astana at 0:34
7. Andreas Klцden (Ger) RadioShack-Nissan at 0:38
8. Rui Alberto Faria Da Costa (Por) Movistar at 0:41
9. Peter Velits (Svk) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step at 0:43
10. Brent Bookwalter (USA) BMC at 0:51.

Tour de Suisse Overall After Stage 7:
1. Rui Alberto Faria Da Costa (Por) Movistar in 26:10:55
2. Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Astana at 0:50
3. Robert Gesink (Ned) Rabobank at 0:55
4. Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar at 1:04
5. Frank Schleck (Lux) RadioShack-Nissan
6. Thomas Danielson (USA) Garmin-Barracuda at 1:12
7. Levi Leipheimer (USA) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step at 1:15
8. Vladimir Gusev (Rus) Katusha at 1:17
9. Thomas Lцfkvist (Swe) Sky at 1:22
10. Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Rabobank at 1:27.

Stage 7 from NBC Sports.

Home Swiss rider Michael Albasini (Orica-GreenEdge) went up the road with Peter Velits (Omega Pharma – Quick-Step), dropped him and took the victory on Stage 8. The important action for the GC men was behind him as overall leader Rui Costa (Movistar) lost time to Frank Schleck (RadioShack-Nissan) who launched a big attack on the last climb before Arosa. Schleck was joined by Levi Leipheimer (Omega Pharma – Quick-Step) and Mikel Nieve (Euskaltel-Euskadi). Nieve got the better of Leipheimer and Schleck at the finish as they finished 1:15 behind Albasini, Costa had Alejandro Valverde at his side to help him but they finished 50 seconds behind the Schleck group. Rui Costa still held the overall lead, but now only at 15 seconds.

Leipheimer moved up to 3rd place in the GC from 7th, just 21″ back from Costa.

“We are happy about Levi’s performance today,” Sports Director Rik Van Slycke said. “Once again he has proven that he never gives up and that he will be one of the major players until the end of the race. Tomorrow the team will give him the maximum support to try to win this Tour de Suisse. Today we also tried to win the stage with Peter Velits. This morning during the technical meeting we decided that he had to try to go in a breakaway. We didn’t get the result but Peter is improving day by day. ”

“The team was good today,” Leipheimer said. “The guys brought me to the bottom of the last climb in perfect position. The first part of the climb was hard but I could count on Cataldo. I was OK there. The last kilometers of the race were really steep. Schleck attacked, but I was able to stay with him. I think I did a good race. I’m happy because I’m improving day by day. It’s a good trajectory for the Tour de France. Tomorrow it won’t be easy. The stage is hard, but I will try to take it kilometer by kilometer. It will be a fight, but I will do my best to be there until the end.”

Tour de Suisse Stage 8 Result:
1. Michael Albasini (Swi) Orica-GreenEdge in 3:45:39
2. Mikel Nieve Ituralde (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi at 1:15
3. Levi Leipheimer (USA) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step
4. Frank Schleck (Lux) RadioShack-Nissan
5. Robert Gesink (Ned) Rabobank at 1:36
6. Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ-BigMat
7. Thomas Danielson (USA) Garmin-Barracuda
8. Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Rabobank at 1:39
9. Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Astana at 1:57
10. Jakob Fuglsang (Den) RadioShack-Nissan.

Tour de Suisse Overall After Stage 8:
1. Rui Alberto Faria Da Costa (Por) Movistar in 29:58:39
2. Frank Schleck (Lux) RadioShack-Nissan at 0:14
3. Levi Leipheimer (USA) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step at 0:21
4. Robert Gesink (Ned) Rabobank at 0:25
5. Mikel Nieve Ituralde (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi at 0:40
6. Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Astana at 0:42
7. Thomas Danielson (USA) Garmin-Barracuda at 0:43
8. Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Rabobank at 1:01
9. Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar at 1:04
10. Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ-BigMat at 1:13.

Stage 8:

The final Stage 9 was won by Tanel Kangert (Astana), but it was Movistar’s Rui Costa who retained the overall lead with a lot of help from team mate Alejandro Valverde on the last climb of the day. Earlier in the stage, second overall; Frank Schleck (RadioShack-Nissan) attacked on the second to last climb of the Glaubenberg to be caught on the descent. On the final climb Valverde marked every move to keep the jersey in the Movistar camp. Up front, a five man break had split on the road to Sцrenberg at the end of the 216 kilometres stage, leaving Tanel Kangert (Astana) and Jйrйmy Roy (FDJ-BigMat) to fight it out for the stage where Kangert was the strongest.

Levi Leipheimer, who was 3rd overall, spoke to his team web-site after the stage: “Today I wasn’t good as yesterday.” Levi said. “The most I can do was to defend third place. The team helped me a lot and I want to thank them. The big Belgian guys did the job in the beginning and the others in the final. Today it was impossible to attack because Valverde and Costa were stronger then yesterday. But 6th in California and 3rd in the Tour de Suisse is a really good progression. I’m focused and ready for the Tour. The Tour de Suisse is a great preparation for the Tour de France. I can only improve. I want to be with the best in the Tour de France. In these next days I will work for it.”

And the winner; Rui Costa: “I’m extremely happy to have been able to crown all the work done during the week. I went through a bad day yesterday due to the efforts from the TT on Friday and I didn’t know how I was going to feel today, but I use to recover well from such bad days. I already saw I had good legs after the first climb and that made me confident. I didn’t become nervous either when Schleck attacked, because I knew he was doing really strong uphill and it’d have been crazy to go for him. I knew that the flat between the two climbs was good for us to reel him back, and that’s how we did. In the finale, Alejandro gave me some fundamental help because the race was becoming chaos, and he did an impressive work. I owe this yellow jersey to him. He’s a great champion, a great team-mate and friend, and he showed those values today. With 3k remaining, it was a matter of controlling the group and keeping Kruijswijk close. Together with my stage win in the Tour, this is my most important triumph and the one I’m going to enjoy the most for all efforts we had to take. I want to dedicate this to all the team, because they made a magnificent labor all week. I have no words to describe it.”

Tour de Suisse Stage 9 Result:
1. Tanel Kangert (Est) Astana in 5:54:22
2. Jйrйmy Roy (Fra) FDJ-BigMat at 0:02
3. Matteo Montaguti (Ita) Ag2r-La Mondiale at 0:31
4. Robert Kiserlovski (Cro) Astana at 1:46
5. Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Rabobank
6. Mathias Frank (Swi) BMC
7. Chris Anker Sцrensen (Den) Saxo Bank
8. Frank Schleck (Lux) RadioShack-Nissan at 1:48
9. Robert Gesink (Ned) Rabobank
10. Rui Alberto Faria Da Costa (Por) Movistar.

Tour de Suisse Final Overall:
1. Rui Alberto Faria Da Costa (Por) Movistar in 35:54:49
2. Frank Schleck (Lux) RadioShack-Nissan at 0:14
3. Levi Leipheimer (USA) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step at 0:21
4. Robert Gesink (Ned) Rabobank at 0:25
5. Mikel Nieve Ituralde (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi at 0:40
6. Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Astana at 0:47
7. Thomas Danielson (USA) Garmin-Barracuda at 0:48
8. Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Rabobank at 0:59
9. Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar at 1:42
10. Nicolas Roche (Irl) Ag2r-La Mondiale at 1:52.

Stage 9:

Ster ZLM Toer 2012
Argos-Shimano’s sprinter; Marcel Kittel took Stage 1 in front of a fine selection of sprinters; Renshaw, Cavendish and Greipel etc. An early break of Sven Vandousselaere (Topsport Vlaanderen-Mercator), Jesper Schipper (Cyclingteam De Rijke), Rens Te Stroet (Cyclingteam Jo Piels) and Jeffrey Wiersma (Metec Continental Cyclingteam) had a lead of over 6 minutes, but they were back in the fold with 15 kilometres to go. Sky tried hard to set-up Mark Cavendish for the sprint, as did Rabobank for Mark Renshaw, but it was the Argos team that came out on top.

Ster ZLM Toer Stage 1 Result:
1. Marcel Kittel (Ger) Argos-Shimano in 3:30:05
2. Mark Renshaw (Aus) Rabobank
3. Mark Cavendish (GB) Sky
4. Kenny Robert Van Hummel (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM
5. Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) RadioShack-Nissan
6. Andrй Greipel (Ger) Lotto-Belisol
7. Kevin Peeters (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Euphony
8. Takashi Miyazawa (Jpn) Saxo Bank
9. Jean-Pierre Drucker (Lux) Accent Jobs-Willems Veranda’s
10. Stefan Van Dijk (Ned) Accent Jobs-Willems Veranda’s

Ster ZLM Toer Overall After Stage 1:
1. Marcel Kittel (Ger) Argos-Shimano in 3:29:55
2. Mark Renshaw (Aus) Rabobank at 0:04
3. Rens Te Stroet (Ned) Cycling Team Jo Piels
4. Mark Cavendish (GB) Sky at 0:06
5. Sven Vandousselaere (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Mercator
6. Jeffrey Wiersma (Ned) Metec Continental at 0:08
7. Kenny Robert Van Hummel (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM at 0:10
8. Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) RadioShack-Nissan
9. Andrй Greipel (Ger) Lotto-Belisol
10. Kevin Peeters (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Euphony.

Stage 1:

The other top German sprinter Andrй Greipel (Lotto-Belisol) won Stage 2 ahead of the two Mark’s: Cavendish (Sky) and Renshaw (Rabobank) which put Cavendish in the overall lead from Renshaw and Greipel in third. The day’s break included Bart van Haaren & Jim van den Berg (Koga Cycling Team), Nathan Haas (Garmin-Barracuda) and Nikolas Maes (Omega Pharma – Quick-Step),they had 5 minutes but were caught 4 K’s out, the a big crash 1 kilometre later split the field leaving the sprinters up front to battle it out.

Ster ZLM Toer Stage 2 Result:
1. Andrй Greipel (Ger) Lotto-Belisol in 4:13:26
2. Mark Cavendish (GB) Sky
3. Mark Renshaw (Aus) Rabobank
4. Greg Henderson (NZl) Lotto-Belisol at 0:02
5. Kenny Robert Van Hummel (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM
6. Marcel Kittel (Ger) Argos-Shimano
7. Alexey Tsatevich (Rus) Katusha Team
8. Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) RadioShack-Nissan
9. Sven Vandousselaere (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Mercator
10. Juan Antonio Flecha Giannoni (Spa) Sky.

Ster ZLM Toer Overall After Stage 2:
1. Mark Cavendish (GB) Sky in 7:43:21
2. Mark Renshaw (Aus) Rabobank
3. Andrй Greipel (Ger) Lotto-Belisol
4. Marcel Kittel (Ger) Argos-Shimano at 0:02
5. Sven Vandousselaere (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Mercator at 0:08
6. Kenny Robert Van Hummel (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM at 0:12
7. Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) RadioShack-Nissan
8. Greg Henderson (NZl) Lotto-Belisol
9. Raymond Kreder (Ned) Garmin-Barracuda
10. Michael Van Staeyen (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Mercator.

Stage 2:

Overall leader; Mark Cavendish (Sky) was beaten to the line in La Gileppe by Lars Boom (Rabobank), the Manxman held on to the overall as he was second on Stage 3. The stage was not made for the sprinters as there were some hard climbs which saw off other sprinters; Mark Renshaw (Rabobank) and Andrй Griepel (Lotto-Belisol). There had been a break including Dion Beukeboom (De Rijke), Marco Haller (Katusha), Jaroslaw Marycz (Saxo Bank) and Nйlson Oliveira (RadioShack-Nissan), they were joined by Oliveira’s RadioShack-Nissan team mates; Jan Bakelants and Ben Hermans, but all that power up front was not enough to keep the Sky chasers at bay and they were caught on the finishing circuit. On the uphill finish, Boom jumped and Cavendish couldn’t close on him, the hard stage shows that Cavendish is coming in to form again for the Tour de France.

Ster ZLM Toer Stage 3 Result:
1. Lars Boom (Ned) Rabobank in 4:52:46
2. Mark Cavendish (GB) Sky
3. Juan Antonio Flecha Giannoni (Spa) Sky
4. Koen De Kort (Ned) Argos-Shimano
5. Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) RadioShack-Nissan
6. Maxime Vantomme (Bel) Katusha
7. Dennis Van Winden (Ned) Rabobank
8. Jurgen Roelandts (Bel) Lotto-Belisol
9. Lars Ytting Bak (Den) Lotto-Belisol
10. Laurens De Vreese (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Mercator.

Ster ZLM Toer Overall After Stage 3:
1. Mark Cavendish (GB) Sky in 12:36:01
2. Lars Boom (Ned) Rabobank at 0:08
3. Juan Antonio Flecha Giannoni (Spa) Sky at 0:14
4. Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) RadioShack-Nissan at 0:18
5. Sven Vandousselaere (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Mercator
6. Nikolay Trusov (Rus) RusVelo
7. Lars Ytting Bak (Den) Lotto-Belisol
8. Jurgen Roelandts (Bel) Lotto-Belisol
9. Koen De Kort (Ned) Argos-Shimano
10. Dennis Van Winden (Ned) Rabobank.

Stage 3:

Mark Cavendish (Sky) held onto the overall lead to the finish on a very flat Stage 4 to Boxtel, he didn’t contest the sprint and crossed the line in 16th place in the same time as stage winner Marcel Kittel (Argos-Shimano). The Sky and Rabobank teams held the race together for the sprint, but the fast finishing German, Kittel, was too good for the others and now must be looking forwards to his first crack at the Tour de France. Cavendish was very pleased with his overall win, commenting “this is my first GC win and I’m really, really happy with it,” another rider looking forward to the Tour.

Ster ZLM Toer Stage 4 Result:
1. Marcel Kittel (Ger) Argos-Shimano in3:35:54
2. Mark Renshaw (Aus) Rabobank
3. Jurgen Roelandts (Bel) Lotto-Belisol
4. Raymond Kreder (Ned) Garmin-Barracuda
5. Alexander Porsev (Rus) Katusha
6. Kenny Robert Van Hummel (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM
7. Michael Van Staeyen (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Mercator
8. Rudiger Selig (Ger) Katusha
9. Jean-Pierre Drucker (Lux) Accent Jobs-Willems Veranda’s
10. Lars Boom (Ned) Rabobank.

Ster ZLM Toer Final Overall:
1. Mark Cavendish (GB) Sky in 16:11:55
2. Lars Boom (Ned) Rabobank at 0:08
3. Jurgen Roelandts (Bel) Lotto-Belisol at 0:14
4. Juan Antonio Flecha Giannoni (Spa) Sky
5. Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) RadioShack-Nissan at 0:18
6. Nikolay Trusov (Rus) RusVelo
7. Koen De Kort (Ned) Argos-Shimano
8. Maxime Vantomme (Bel) Katusha
9. Sven Vandousselaere (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Mercator
10. Lars Ytting Bak (Den) Lotto-Belisol.

Stage 4:

Tour de Beauce 2012
Canada’s biggest stage race, six stages with tough profiles and a summit finish, two circuit races and a individual time trial on stage 4 and some good teams to fight it out. The winner has to be a good all-rounder. Last year’s winner Francisco Mancebo returned to defend his place but he was up against strong opposition from Unitedhealthcare, Spidertech, Champion Systems, Team Type 1 and a very strong Canadian National team. Stage 1 was won by Francisco Mancebo (Competitive Cyclist) after there were two crashes in the last five kilometres.

Tour de Beauce Stage 1 Result:
1. Francisco Mancebo (Spa) Competitive Cyclist in 4:15:01
2. Ryan Roth (Can) Spidertech p/b C10
3. Matthias Friedemann (Ger) Champion System
4. Christian Meier (Can) Йquipe Nationale Du Canada
5. Bruno Langlois (Can) Garneau-Quebecor-Norton Rose.

Tour de Beauce Overall After Stage 1:
1. Francisco Mancebo (Spa) Competitive Cyclist in 4:14:51
2. Ryan Roth (Can) Spidertech p/b C10 at 0:04
3. Matthias Friedemann (Ger) Champion System at 0:06.

A bit of Am film of stage 1:

Craig Lewis (Champion System) won Stage 2 and came within 3 seconds of taking the overall from Francisco Mancebo (Competitive Cyclist). Craig Lewis was in a break with Jamie Sparling (Raleigh-GAC) and James Williamson (Bike NZ-Pure Black Racing) that went away after 40 kilometres, but the bunch managed to keep the gap at 3 minutes and then when Williamson was dropped the lead came down to 29 seconds at the finish.

Tour de Beauce Stage 2 Result:
1. Craig Lewis (USA) Champion System in 4:05:07
2. James Sparling, (Can) Raleigh-GAC at 0:05
3. Alexander Serebryakov (Rus) Team Type 1-Sanofi at 0:29
4. Matthias Friedemann (Ger) Champion System
5. Serghei Tvetcov (Mda) Exergy.

Tour de Beauce Overall After Stage 2:
1. Francisco Mancebo (Spa) Competitive Cyclist in 8:20:27
2. Craig Lewis (USA) Champion System at 0:03
3. Ryan Roth (Can) Spidertech p/b C10 at 0:04.

Francesco Mancebo (Competitive Cyclist) held onto his overall lead by finishing second to Stage 3 winner Matthew Cooke (Exergy) at the top of Mont Mйgantic. Matt Higgins (Node4-Giordana Racing), Russell Hampton (Raleigh-GAC), David Stephens (Garneau-Quebecor-Norton Rose), William Blackburn (Team Mйdique p/b Silber Investments) and Nic Hamilton (Canadian National Team) were the early break and gained nearly 6 minutes, but they were caught 5 K’s from the finish and Cooke launched his winning attack.

Tour de Beauce Stage 3 Result:
1. Matthew Cooke (USA) Exergy 4:12:32
2. Francisco Mancebo (Spa) Competitive Cyclist at 0:07
3. Rory Sutherland (Aus) Unitedhealthcare
4. Hugo Houle (Can) Spidertech p/b C10 at 0:10
5. Christopher Butler (USA) Champion System at 0:12.

Tour de Beauce Overall After Stage 3
1. Francisco Mancebo (Spa) Competitive in 12:33:06
2. Matthew Cooke (USA) Exergy at 0:03
3. Rory Sutherland (Aus) Unitedhealthcare at 0:10.

Stage 2 & 3 action from Pure Black Racing:

The Stage 4 individual time trial was won by Svein Tuft (Canaidian National Team), Rory Sutherland (Unitedhealthcars) was second at 30 seconds and took over the overall lead and the GC changed completely.

Tour de Beauce Stage 4 Result:
1. Svein Tuft (Can) Йquipe Nationale Du Canada in 27:08
2. Rory Sutherland (Aus) Unitedhealthcare at 0:30
3. Hugo Houle (Can) Spidertech p/b C10 at 0:46
4. Christian Meier (Can) Йquipe Nationale Du Canada at 0:55
5. Ryan Roth (Can) Spidertech p/b C10 at 1:10.

Tour de Beauce Overall After Stage 4
1. Rory Sutherland (Aus) Unitedhealthcare in 13:00:54
2. Hugo Houle (Can) Spidertech p/b C10 at 0:19
3. Christian Meier (Can) Йquipe Nationale Du Canada at 0:43.

Stage 4 TT:

Team Type 1-Sanofi rider Vegard Stake Laengen won his first pro race on Stage 5 into Quйbec. He out sprinted two men from Raleigh-GAC; Russell Hampton and Liam Holohan and the others of an eight man break. Unitedhealthcare kept the race together for Rory Sutherland in the leader’s jersey, so there was no change in the overall.

Tour de Beauce Stage 5 Result:
1. Vegard Stake Laengen (Nor) Team Type 1-Sanofi in 2:59:27
2. Russell Hampton (GB) Raleigh-GAC
3. Liam Holohan (GB) Raleigh-GAC at 0:02
4. Chad Beyer (USA) Competitive Cyclist
5. Thomas Rabou (Ned) Competitive Cyclist at 0:07.

Tour de Beauce Overall After Stage 5:
1. Rory Sutherland (Aus) Unitedhealthcare in 16:01:00
2. Hugo Houle (Can) Spidertech p/b C10 at 0:19
3. Christian Meier (Can) Йquipe Nationale Du Canada at 0:43.

Stage 5 in Quйbec:

Bruno Langlois (Garneau-Quebecor-Norton Rose) won the Final Stage 6 and the Unitedhealthcare team “rode so hard all day” as Rory Sutherland said, to hold onto the overall lead on the street circuit in Ville St. Georges. Langlois broke away with Chad Beyer (Competitive Cyclist), Matthias Friedmann (Champion System), Jamie Sparling and Liam Holohan (Raleigh-GAC), Marsh Cooper and Ken Hanson (Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies) and as none of them were of any GC danger the break was allowed its lead. Behind the favourites were attacking and chasing each other, but no one was allowed to get away from Rory Sutherland.

Tour de Beauce Stage 6 Result:
1. Bruno Langlois (Can) Garneau-Quebecor-Norton Rose in 3:05:58
2. Marsh Cooper (Can) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies at 0:02
3. Matthias Friedemann (Ger) Champion System at 0:21
4. Christian Meier (Can) Йquipe Nationale Du Canada
5. Evan Oliphant (GB) Raleigh-GAC.

Tour de Beauce Final Overall:
1. Rory Sutherland (Aus) Unitedhealthcare in 19:07:19
2. Hugo Houle (Can) Spidertech p/b C10 at 0:19
3. Christian Meier (Can) Йquipe Nationale Du Canada at 0:43
4. Svein Tuft (Can) Йquipe Nationale Du Canada at 1:06
5. Mattew Cooke (USA) Exergy at 1:07
6. Marc De Maar (Aho) Unitedhealthcare at 1:12
7. Francisco Mancebo (Spa) Competitive Cyclist at 1:17
8. Ryan Roth (Can) Spidertech p/b C10 at 1:29
9. Sebastien Salas (Can) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies at 1:31
10. Rob Britton (Can) H&R Block at 1:38.

Sorry no video of stage 6.

Maybe No Voeckler at the Tour
France’s Tour hero from last year; Thomas Voeckler may not be on the start line in Liege in two weeks time as he has been told to take a week off from training and not to ride the French National championships. He told L’Equipe that he was not able to pedal any more when he abandoned during the Route du Sud. The chances of the inflammation on his right knee being cured in less than two weeks are fairly slim.

Thomas Voeckler in 2011:

US Olympic Team
US Cycling has announced their team for the London Olympics, a strong team that can go with different options; sprinter Tyler Farrar will be backed up by National champion Timmy Duggan, Chris Horner and the two BMC men Taylor Phinney and Tejay van Garderen. Surprising omission was David Zabriskie from the time trial, the place being taken by Taylor Phinney who showed great form at the Giro d’Italia and will be well rested as he will not be riding the Tour de France this year.

The women’s team has Kristin Armstrong and Amber Neben for the time trial; they will be joined Evelyn Stevens and Shelly Olds for the road race.

Men’s road cycling:
Timmy Duggan (Liquigas-Cannondale)
Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Barracuda)
Chris Horner (RadioShack-Nissan)
Taylor Phinney (BMC) – Road Race & Time Trial
Tejay van Garderen (BMC).

Women’s road cycling:
Kristin Armstrong (Exergy TWENTY 12) – Road Race & Time Trial
Amber Neben (Specialized-lululemon) – Road Race & Time Trial
Shelley Olds (AA Drink – Leontien.nl)
Evelyn Stevens (Specialized-lululemon).

Back stage with Taylor at the Giro d’Italia:

Endura Racing win 2012 Halfords Tour Series
Press Release: Endura Racing have won the 2012 Halfords Tour Series with a dominant performance through the twelve race series with seven team wins and two individual victories each for Scott Thwaites and Zak Dempster.

The final round in Stoke-on-Trent started in the dry but the wind made its intentions known by blowing barriers down during the period before the first race, the inaugural Tommy Godwin Team Time Trial. As series leaders, the team were last off chasing Rapha Condor Sharp’s time. The TTT was held over two laps of the 1.2km circuit in Hanley town centre and after the first lap, we were slightly down on the leading time. A faster second lap wasn’t enough however to bring victory and finished the race in third place behind Rapha Condor Sharp and Team UK Youth.

The riders then had a few hours to relax before the final circuit race of the series and whilst they did so, the rain blew in and it was to be a wet race. As has been the case in all the previous rounds, Endura Racing were mixing it at the front during the early skirmishes but unlike Woking where they dominated, this time it was the team of Node 4 – Giordana, racing in their home round, who went on the attack.

They sent New Zealand circuit race champion Mike Northey up the road and from that, a break of six formed with three Aussies; Bernie Sulzberger (Raleigh-GAC), Zak, Richard Lang (Rapha Condor Sharp) and Zak, Kiwi Mike Northey Node4-Giordana) and two Brits, Stephen Adams (Cycle Premier Kovert) and Yanto Barker (Team UK Youth). They soon had a solid lead and we soon started to fire lone riders up the road to try and join them from the bunch. Ian Bibby was looking like his old self and riding strongly off the front of the chasers and then another rider who has struggled in the series at times, Ian Wilkinson, joined a chase group of six riders. They weren’t going to catch the leaders but with the other major teams in the chase group, Wilkinson was there protecting Endura Racing’s interest in winning the team award.

Into the closing laps, the rain got heavier and the wind making it very cold. With the light almost gone, Bernie Sulzberger slipped away into the shadows with just over a lap to go. Zak waited for his moment but his fellow Australian, Sulzberger, was too strong and Dempster finished third behind Mike Northey.

The race though wasn’t over and Ian Wilkinson won the sprint for seventh, but even with third and seventh, that wasn’t enough for the series leaders to win the round as our next rider was further down the results and as in the Team Time Trial, the team finished 3rd. Whilst the individual and team wins on the night though escaped them, the team did have plenty of reasons for celebrating with their first series win now a reality. Champagne flowed as the team, riders and staff, were brought up onto the podium to celebrate the victory and the all important target for the team had been achieved.

Final Team Standings
1. Endura Racing, 110pts
2. Rapha Condor Sharp, 93pts
3. Team UK Youth, 92pts
4. Team Raleigh – GAC, 89pts
5. Node4 – Giordana Racing, 88pts
6. Cycle Premier – Kovert, 53pts
7. Team IG – Sigma Sport, 45pts
8. Metaltek Scott, 42pts
9. Herbalife LeisureLikesBikes, 26pts
10. Team Hope Factory, 21pts.

The last round of the Halfords Tour Series:

Two Rapha Condor Sharp Rider’s to the Olympics
Press Release: After a rigorous six-month selection process aimed at creating a gold medal winning team, two Rapha Condor Sharp riders, Ed Clancy and Andy Tennant, have been selected for the GB cycling team at the London Olympic Games.

The two riders will form part of the five-man team pursuit squad and will be aiming to repeat their victory over their main rivals for the Olympic title, Australia, at the World Championships in Melbourne this March.

Many consider Clancy, a gold medallist from Bejing, the mainstay of the team and his selection came as confirmation to him that he has done everything correctly throughout his training.

“Without sounding egotistical I never really feared for my place, but at the same time you cannot take these things for granted. As athletes we aren’t involved in the selection process at all, we don’t know what goes on behind the scenes.”

“The good news on my part is that all the hard work I have been doing, particularly through the Tour Series, where Andy and I were working very hard, has gone really well and that will start to pay dividends in three or four weeks.”

Indeed Clancy had shown good form at the Halfords Tour Series, winning the round in Peterborough, before retiring from the series to focus on training for the Olympics.

While Clancy may already be preparing for his second Olympic games, for Andy Tennant, his selection marked the first time he will attend the Olympics, and he was rightly very excited by the prospect.

“I am really chuffed to be named in the squad. As spaces for athletes are limited for the Games, there was some debate as to whether we would take four or five guys for the team pursuit.”

“In the end the selection was tight. I was dropped from the London World Cup team as I wasn’t quite going well enough, so I really had to fight for my place. I had to make sure I was good enough so that they didn’t just use a road guy and make him double up on the track for example. For a while it was touch and go for me and I chased hard to be a part of this team.”

“It makes my selection a big achievement, but what makes it extra special will be doing my first Olympic games on home turf in London. That is something I know I’ll never get to do again.”

Clancy and Tennant will now be focused on continuing their final build up for the games with the rest of the squad for the Games, which are now only six weeks away.

London 2012 Olympic Games London Prepares Team GB Track Cycling Take First Place at the Velodrome by tomonamission:

I Want One of These for Christmas!

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