What's Cool In Road Cycling

EuroTrash Monday!

We have as many National championships as you can shake a stick at, plus the ”Top Story” looks at Spanish Banks involvements in cycling as we wait for Saxo Bank to announce their co-sponsor. In case you forget the Tour de France starts on Saturday, so we have more Tour news. There isn’t room for much else, but we do manage to squeeze a bit more EuroTrash in on this fine Monday morning.

“Top Story”

Spanish Banks in Cycling
On Friday afternoon I received a press release from Riis Cycling saying there would a press conference on Monday the 25th at the Saxo Bank HQ in Hellerup, Denmark as the team has important news to share about the future. According to Bшrsen.dk they say that another foreign bank (non-Danish) will become co-sponsor. They suggest that the signing of Alberto Contador has made the signing of a wealthy backer easier than a few months ago.

So which bank could it be? Last year there was talk of the Banco Santander sponsoring a team to be lead by Contador with Formula 1 driver; Fernando Alonso involved. As you probably have noticed the Spanish banks are not doing so well at the moment and are reportedly in need of around 62Ђ billion in extra funding. The Banco Santander is one of the biggest banks in the world with a lot of business in South America and they have enough money to put into F1, which costs a lot more than cycling, Alonso is the highest paid at 30Ђ million this year and the cars, equipment and personnel etc. its estimated that Ferrari’s budget for 2009 was $404 million.

Banks in Spain have been involved in cycling for a long time, Banesto being probably the best know through the wins of Miguel Indurain, his five Tour’s de France and twice winning the Giro d’Italia, plus Pedro Delgado winning the 1988 Tour riding for Reynolds-Banesto before the bank took over full sponsorship. Banesto dropped down to second sponsor of the Illes Balears team, but due to their money problems they pulled out to be replaced by Banco Santander, who own 88.4% of Banesto.

The Illes Balears team sponsorship ended and they were replaced by the French bank; Caisse d’Epargne, but the team was still based on the original Reynolds-Banesto team structure under the management of Josй Miguel Echavarri and Eusebio Unzue.

Bancaja in Valencia used to sponsor the Luis Puig Classic and the Tour of Valencia stage race, but they pulled out in 2008, to put money in motorbike racing, and both races have not been held since and Bancaja become Bankia when it joined up with six other regional banks and had to be nationalised by the government in May due to near collapse, needing Ђ19 billion, so unlikely they will be sponsoring anything for a while, well not until I’ve paid them back my mortgage.

The success story of Spanish cycling and banks has to be Caja Rural, the rural savings bank has been involved in cycling for many years sponsoring local teams and professionals. A Caja Rural team rode the Vuelta a Espaсa 1987, 88 and 89, but they pulled out half way through that season to be replaced by the Spanish wine company; Paternina. Since then they have been sponsoring amateur/U23 teams with the aim to climb the ladder to the professional ranks and now has a UCI Professional Continental team with aspirations to ride the La Vuelta.

So, could the new co-sponsor of the Saxo Bank team come from Spain? Maybe, but if it does it could only be Santander, we will know soon enough.

And it’s the Tinkoff Bank that makes a return to the Pro peloton with Saxo Bank and also Garmin have added Sharp as a co-sponsor.

Miguel Indurain = Banesto.

2012 National Championships Round-Up

2012 Road Race Champions:

Pellizotti is Italian Champ
Franco Pellizotti (Androni Giocattoli) has come back from his two year ban to win the Italian National championships on Saturday from Danilo Di Luca (Acqua & Sapone) and the young Moreno Moser (Liquigas-Cannondale). The race was animated by Michele Scarponi (Lampre-ISD) who attacked on the Telve climb at 50 kilometres to go, he was joined by Nibali, Caruso, Moser, Di Luca and Pelizotti, but could not follow the attack of Pellizotti when it came on the last climb of the Telve. Pellizotti soloed to the finsh to win by 27 seconds from Di Luca and Moser. Scarponi, who finished 6th, had this to say after the race: “I joined the breakaway while I was following an attack by Oss, then the gap on the bunch increased and so I understood that that could be an interesting action” Scarponi added “after the very effective support by Cimolai, I decided to make a my own move and I confess that I believed it could be a winning action. Unluckily, Moser led the chase in a very intense way, then I could not be competitive any more. Good signs in view of my next races”.

The night before the championships, the President of the Italian Federation, Renato Di Rocco, said to La Gazzetta dello Sport that he wouldn’t do the presentation if any ex-dopers won, so I guess he didn’t!

Italian National Championships Result:
1. Franco Pellizotti (Androni Giocattoli-Venezuela) in 6:43:12
2. Danilo Di Luca (Acqua & Sapone) at 0:27
3. Moreno Moser (Liquigas-Cannondale).

Trepstra Takes Dutch Champs
In a race that should have been dominated by the powerful Rabobank team, but it didn’t go their way as Niki Trepstra of Omega Pharma – Quick-Step clipped off the front of the leading group to solo to the finish on a tough circuit for his second National title. Behind Lars Boom & Robert Gesink (Rabobank), Michel Kreder (Garmin-Barracuda), Sebastian Langeveld (Orica-GreenEdge) and the young first year Pro Bert-Jan Lindeman (Vacansoleil-DCM), who was interviewed by PEZ earlier this year, were not able to close on Trepstra and he had a lead of nearly 3 minutes at one point. Lars Boom and Bert-Jan Lindeman rode away from the others on one of the many short climbs before the finish, but it was too much of a gap to close. Boom was too strong for the tiring Lindeman on the rise to the line and took the silver.

“I’m happy about my performance” said Terpstra about his Dutch victory. “I have to say that I surprised myself. We were in a little group and I tried to accelerate to split the group and make it smaller but I remained alone. At that point I took the risk and I did a time trial. I like these kind of races with bad weather conditions. It’s my second title, and the first win was great, but this one, with a solo ride. is even better!”

Dutch National Championships Result:
1. Niki Terpstra (Omega Pharma – Quick-Step) in 6:15:12
2. Lars Boom (Rabobank) at 1:58
3. Bert-Jan Lindeman (Vacansoleil-DCM) at 2:02.

Tom does it Again!
Just like the French champs down the road, the Belgian race was run off in heavy rain and strong winds. Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma – Quick-Step) was out for the win and was in all the action and looking like he was doing too much to have anything left for the end of the race. The early break had a 5 minute lead coming into the final 60 kilometres of the 253 kilometre race around Geel. The peloton started to chase, as they were in sight, Boonen jumped across and made a new lead group with team mate Julien Vermote, Kristof Goddaert (Ag2r-La Mondiale), Jan Bakelandts (RadioShack-Nissan) and Sven Vandousselaere (Topsport Vlaanderen-Mercator). Boonen didn’t hold back putting in lots of work to keep them clear, gaining a minute at one point. Last year’s champion; Philippe Gilbert (BMC) tried to cross to the leaders, but just couldn’t do it on his own in the weather conditions. When it came to the sprint Tom Boonen was by far the strongest to take his second National championship jersey.

“For me it’s something special to win in front of all my supporters in my region” Boonen said about his win in Belgium. “It was a difficult race. Actually I was happy about the rain, because I knew that in these kind of weather conditions the race would have been even harder in the final. When I attacked, I thought I could try solo, but there was too much wind. After a while I attacked again because there wasn’t a great collaboration in our small group. The team was super strong today and in the final I counted on a great Julien Vermote, who did a great job for me. I finalized the good team work. I’m in good condition — I really worked hard in the last week. As I said, after the Classics this was my goal. Now I can look forward to the Olympics and train hard for my next goal.”

Belgian National Championships Result:
1. Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma – Quick-Step)
2. Kristof Goddaert (Ag2r-La Mondiale)
3. Sven Vandousselaere (Topsport Vlaanderen-Mercator).

Spanish Championship for Ventoso
On a hot and windy course in Salamanca, the Cantabrian rider Fran Ventoso (Movistar) won the Spanish championships by outsprinting Koldo Fernбndez (Garmin-Barracuda) and Francisco Pacheco (Gios Deyser-Leon Kastro) at the end of 198 kilometres. There was an early break of several riders among them were the brothers Jesus and Jose Herrada, David Arroyo and Sergio Pardilla (Movistar). This first attempt was caught, but led to a second break, including last year’s winner Josй Joaquнn Rojas, Ivan Gutierrez (Movistar) Egoi Martinez and Gorka Verdugo (Euskaltel-Euskadi). They were caught and Movistar kept control of the peloton. A crash due to the wind caused some confusion allowing Ventoso, Pacheco and Paco Mancebo (Competitive Cyclist) to escape, but the work was left to Mancebo and it came together for the sprint.

After he was presented with the medal and jersey, Fran Ventoso told the Movistar web-site: “I am very, very happy for this title. From my first year as an amateur when I started leading the Tour of Salamanca, the city has always been good to me, both in the Tour of Castilla and Leon, where I have won twice, as in the two National appearances here. I can say that the Giro helped me get here with a good pedal stroke. Then I stopped bike six days without thinking about the race and I started to train more seriously, the feelings were good. The race became very hard in the heat; in the end it always takes its toll. The group is selected in the second climb, which has been the fastest part after passing the Marcheta the first time. Mancebo, I saw was very strong and I thought he could take the win. I took the relay with the little I had and I saved a bullet for the sprint. I started at 250 meters behind, then jumped hard. My next goal is to start the Tour of Poland, there will debut this jersey makes me really happy.”

Spanish National Championships Result:
1. Francisco Jose Ventoso Alberdi (Movistar)
2. Koldo Fernandez De Larrea (Garmin-Barracuda)
3. Francisco Jose Pacheco Torres (Gios Deyser-Leon Kastro).

Stannard Sets the Standard in GB Champs
Ian Stannard added another National championship jersey to the Sky wardrobe; he rode away from the opposition and a few of his team mates to win by 1 minute from Alex Dowsett (Sky) in second and Russell Hampton (Raleigh-GAC) in third. Ben Swift and Jeremy Hunt filled the other places to give Sky four of the top five places. Rapha Condor-Sharp rider Mike Cuming was the Under 23 champion.

British National Championships Result:
1. Ian Stannard (Sky)
2. Alex Dowsett (Sky)
3. Russell Hampton (Raleigh-GAC).

Wegmann German Champ x 3
Fabian Wegmann (Garmin-Barracuda) won his third National road championships outsprinting Linus Gerdemann (RadioShack-Nissan) and the young Julian Kern (Leopard-Trek). There was an early break including Kern, Voigt, Hondo and Kittel that made its move after only two laps. With around 60 kilometres to go Wegmann and Gerdemann crossed to the leading group, with others, and then the winning three attacked with 40 kilometres left. At the finish Wegmann was the stronger on the uphill finish.

German National Championships Result:
1. Fabian Wegmann (Garmin-Barracuda) in 4:54:26
2. Linus Gerdemann (RadioShack-Nissan) at 0:01
3. Julian Kern (Leopard-Trek) at 0:03.

Three in a Row for Brammeier
“It’s my third title in a row but it wasn’t easy,” Brammeier said about his win in Ireland. “From the start there were a lot of attacks. I managed to follow all the attacks. In the final lap we were with three guys left. At 2km from the finish I attacked, and I went alone. It’s always a good feeling when you can win alone.”

Irish National Championships Result:
1. Matthew Brammeier (Omega Pharma – Quick-Step)
2. Nicolas Roche (Ag2r-La Mondiale)
3. Philip Lavery (IRL).

Martin Kohler; Swiss Champ for BMC
Five BMC Racing Team riders, including Kohler, were part of an early break of nearly 20 riders that survived until the end of the 204.6-kilometer race which featured 22 laps. “We were all present in the break except (Johann) Tschopp and we took advantage of the number, we made a strong team work,” Kohler said. The break was eventually reduced to eight riders, which came to the finish together, still with four from the BMC Racing Team. Kohler out-sprinted Michael Albasini (Orica-GreenEDGE) while defending champion Fabian Cancellara (RadioShack-Nissan) took third. “In the team’s strategy we had planned that if there was a sprint, we would ride for me, and my teammates have been fantastic, they have launched many attacks and even if we didn’t get to drop Cancellara and Albasini, I could save energy for the finish thanks to their help,” he said. “It’s fantastic to have this title and I will show this jersey all season on the roads and I hope to have nice victories with it. It’s so important for the team, because we really went there for the win and our sponsor, BMC, deserves this victory in its home country.” Kohler’s Swiss national road title comes a year after he held the Swiss time trial crown.

Swiss National Championships Result:
1. Martin Kohler (BMC)
2. Michael Albasini (Orica-GreenEdge)
3. Fabian Cancellara (RadioShack-Nissan).

Edvald takes his First Norwegian Champs
The Sky team dominated the championships in Norway taking first and second with Edvald Boasson Hagen in the champions jersey and Lars Petter Nordhaug in second place. They had been in the leading group coming into the last 30 kilometres, Nordhaug headed off on his own to be joined by Boasson Hagen with 20 kilometres left to the finish in Bergen. The Sky pair rode to the line together with Boasson Hagen taking the win by mutual agreement. Katusha’s Alexander Kristoff was third.

Norwegian National Championships Result:
1. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Sky) in 4:59:13
2. Lars Petter Nordhaug (Sky)
3. Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) at 1:33.

Didier Wins Luxemboug National Championships
Laurent Didier is the new Luxembourgish road champion, after beating Ben Gastauer (Ag2r-La Mondiale) and team mate Frдnk Schleck in Tйtange.

Didier: “I’m incredibly happy with this result. It’s my first pro victory and pro title, so i’m really happy. It’s an honor to wear the colors of your country.” Didier was the national cyclocross champion as a junior (in 2000) and also the U23 time trial champion in 2005.

Didier was part of a break of nine riders that formed after one third of the race. The group included Schleck and Gastauer, but also three U23 riders of the continental team LEOPARD TREK.

The conditions were hard today: it was cold and it was raining the whole day. “Frдnk launched the first attack with four laps to go. He got a small gap, but then Gastauer counterattacked and managed to stay clear for a while. He was riding very strong today. But we closed the gap again and then Frдnk and I launched one attack after another, to isolate Gastauer. When I eventually got away with 7 kilometers to go, Frдnk was the perfect team mate.” Schleck stayed on the wheel of Gastauer, who to no effect tried to catch back Didier. Didier finished solo, with Gastauer beating Frдnk Schleck to the line for second place.

Luxembourg National Championships Result:
1. Laurent Didier (RadioShack-Nissan)
2. Ben Gastauer (Ag2r-La Mondiale)
3. Frank Schleck (RadioShack-Nissan).

Russian National Championships Result:
1. Eduard Vorganov (Katusha)
2. Alexander Kolobnev (Katusha)
3. Pavel Brutt (Katusha).

Estonian National Championships Result:
1. Tanel Kangert (Astana) in 3:53:46
2. Gert Joeaar at 1:25
3. Rein Taaramae (Cofidis).

Czech & Slovakian Championships Result:
1. Peter Sagan (Liquigas-Cannondale) in 4:32:08
2. Peter Velits (Omega Pharma – Quick-Step)
3. Patrik Tybor (Dukla Trencin Trek).

Danish National Championships Result:
1. Sebastian Lander (Glud & Marstrand)
2. Nicki Sшrensen (Saxo Bank)
3. Andre Steensen (Glud & Marstrand).

2012 Time Trial Champions:
As we know from Thursday’s EuroTrash, Fabian Cancellara (RadioShack-Nissan) won the Swiss time trail championships, to give him his 7th National championship. Here are some of the other National champions:

Tony Martin Powers to German National TT Championship
Tony Martin (Omega Pharma – Quick-Step) is now both the World Time Trial Champion and the German National Champion, setting a blazing average speed of 51.54km/h on a 40.68km/h course on Friday and finishing at 47’21”.

Bert Grabsch, who was the defending German Champion, was also super strong. He finished with a time of 48’47”, more than enough to put him in 2nd behind teammate Martin. Lars Teutenberg took 3rd, with a time of 49’15”.

“I’m really happy about my race,” Martin said after his victory. “Today I was looking for a good result, and a good performance, and I got both. It’s important even for the confidence prior to the Tour de France. It was a good test in function for an important event such as the Olympics. It was nice to win in front of my friends and my family, It was great. Even Bert did a great race. Tomorrow I’ll go home, I will recover, and I will focus on the last training sessions before the Tour.”

Peter Velits Wins Slovak National TT Championship
Peter Velits Won the first national time trial championship of his career on Thursday, besting brother Martin Velits in the Slovak National Time Trial Championship.

“I am happy, but it is better because it is my first national time trial title,” Velits said. “I am also happy because we are riding really in our region — our area — me and my brother. So, all of the public was for us and it was amazing to win here. We are happy and we will try our best, even on Sunday, to honour this race as best we can. It will even be a special thing to take the start of the Tour Prologue with this jersey. It is a symbol of our country, and with the TV coverage and everything I think all of the Slovak public can be happy to see our flag on my shoulders.”

Sylvain Chavanel Wins 4th French National TT Championship
Sylvain Chavanel earned his 4th French National Time Trial Championship, with the fastest checkpoint times, and a finishing time of 57’34”.

Chavanel’s effort never wavered as he was the fastest time at the 9km and 33km checkpoints by 1″ over the same rider: Jeremy Roy (FDJ-BigMat). Roy finished before Chavanel, and rain began to pour at the finish line. However, Chavanel only got stronger, besting Roy by 13″ at the finish. Yoann Paillot was 3rd, with a time of 58’35”.

“The parcour was completely flat,” Chavanel said. “It wasn’t easy to interpretate. For the entire time trial my heartset didn’t work, so I had no point of reference. In the last part I went full gas, even if in the last three kilometres I had to fight against the rain. Roy did a great race. He was strong even in Suisse. I knew he would be a competitor.”

Jakob Fuglsang Danish Time Trial Champion
After winning the Tour of Luxembourg, Fuglsang has shown he still has good form. In Hammel, Fuglsang won the Danish TT Championships ahead of Andrй Steensen (Glud & Marstrand) and Michael Mшrkшv (Saxo Bank). This is Fuglsang’s second national TT title.

“For a Danish course, it was a pretty hilly course,” explained Fuglsang. “It was really nice, but hard. It was constantly up and down with one good climb in the end. Kim Andersen was behind me, my father was on the course and also our mechanic Frank Christensen. They all kept me informed. I knew perfectly where I was compared with my competitors. Since I am not selected for the Tour the France, I want to take advantage of my good legs. After the road championship, I will focus on the Tour of Poland.”

Lieuwe Westra is Dutch TT Champ
Vacansoliel-DCM’s Lieuwe Westra won the Dutch National time trial championships on Wednesday ahead of Lars Boom (Rabobank) and Niki Trepstra (Omega Pharma – Quick-Step) in third. After the race he told De Telegraaf “this title means more to me than the road title.” He is looking forward to riding in the time trial and road race for Holland at the London Olympics.

Sбnchez Spanish TT Champ, Again!
Luis Leon Sбnchez (Rabobank) won the Spanish National time trail championships for the fourth time beating Jonathan Castroviejo (Movistar) and Alejandro Marque (Carmin-Prio) in third. Sбnchez recorded a winning time of 54:55 for the 42.3 kilometre course, Castroviejo was at 1:23 and Marque at 1:40.

Scott Thwaites wins British Circuit Race Championships in Otley
Press Release: Endura Racing recorded a 1-2 in the National Circuit Race Championship in Otley on Wednesday night with home grown hero Scott Thwaites winning from Russell Downing and Matt Cronshaw (Node4-Giordana) third in front of a huge crowd in the West Yorkshire town.

The race was ultra-agressive from start to finish with teams like from the 100%ME (GB Olympic Academy), Rapha Condor Sharp, Cycle Premier Kovert and IG Sigma Sport and others trying to split the field up, but even on a tough course like Otley, the championship ended up being decided in a big bunch kick.

After a late attack in the closing laps by George Moore (Cycle Premier Kovert) was brought back, Ian Wilkinson led a dangerous looking move with Steve Lampier (IG Sigma Sport) and Sam Harrison (100%ME) gaining a few seconds with two laps to go. As the bell rang out, Wilkinson was still leading the race through the line, a few lengths clear of the Raleigh-GAC train for defending champion Graham Briggs. As Wilkinson was reeled in however, Ian Bibby saw his chance to go for it on the climb, where he had noticed he’d been able to gap his rivals. Over the top of the hill, he had a small gap and the chase behind was having to be led by Raleigh and the other teams as the riders from Endura Racing stayed close to the front in the wheels.

The headwind across the top of the course made it tough on Bibby and he was brought back by the chasers as they got to the second last corner where Russell Downing, with Scott Thwaites in his slipstream, yelled to Bibby to go again on the descent. Bibby responded, sprinting for another 100 metres and Russell Downing lead Thwaites past a spent Bibby and into the final corner where Thwaites knew the line to take after his victory in 2011. With Russell Downing on his wheel riding shotgun, Thwaites surged ahead as Downing closed the door on Matt Cronshaw to take second ahead of the Node 4 rider in a 1-2 for Endura Racing.

Highlights of the Otley Circuit Race by mynder85.

Tour de France News:

Team Sky Announce Tour de France Line-Up
Press Release: Team Sky have confirmed their squad for the 99th edition of the Tour de France, which commences in Liиge on Saturday 30 June.

Bradley Wiggins will lead the team after his consecutive victories at Paris-Nice, Tour of Romandie and Critйrium du Dauphinй, and will be joined by Edvald Boasson Hagen, Mark Cavendish, Bernhard Eisel, Chris Froome, Christian Knees, Richie Porte, Michael Rogers and Kanstantsin Siutsou.

The 2012 edition will be Bradley Wiggins’ sixth Tour appearance and he goes into the event in the form of his life having clinched podium places in every single stage race he has completed over the last 12 months.

World Road Race Champion Mark Cavendish rides his first Tour de France for Team Sky and has the honour of being the first Briton in 46 years to wear the fabled rainbow jersey in cycling’s biggest bike race. The Manxman is also looking to defend the points classification title he secured in last year’s event and is aiming to add to his remarkable tally of 20 Tour stage victories which have put him joint-sixth on the list of all-time stage winners.

Edvald Boasson Hagen will be Cavendish’s key lead out man and also offer support to Wiggins when the race hits the mountains. If the opportunity arises, Boasson Hagen is highly capable of going for stage victories himself, as demonstrated in 2011 when he sprinted to victory in Lisieux and then produced a triumphant solo attack as the race dropped into Pinerolo.

2011 Vuelta a Espaсa runner up Chris Froome, Volta ao Algarve winner Richie Porte, and three-time World Time Trial champion Michael Rogers will be Wiggins’ biggest allies on the most testing stages while Christian Knees and Kanstantsin Siutsou will be his wingmen during the flatter sections of the race. Bernhard Eisel brings his invaluable experience to the squad and his all-round capabilities will prove a huge asset to the team.

Bradley Wiggins said:
“I’m really proud to be part of such a strong unit going into the Tour de France. The team’s preparation has been perfectly managed and our form this season gives us a great chance of being successful.

“I’ve been waiting for this moment for a long time and I’ll do everything I can to win the Tour de France. Hopefully we can do the business for ourselves and our fans, and become the most successful British-based cycling team ever.”

Mark Cavendish said:
“It’s a dream to ride for a team that holds so much British interest and has a chance to win the yellow jersey.

“I know the push for the GC podium will make it more difficult for me to repeat the success I’ve enjoyed the last few years. But I’ll compete and – as always – I’ll dedicate myself to making it a successful Tour for Team Sky and, let’s hope, for Britain.”

The Sky Tour Riders:
Edvald Boasson Hagen,
Mark Cavendish,
Bernhard Eisel,
Chris Froome,
Christian Knees,
Richie Porte,
Michael Rogers,
Kanstantsin Siutsou,
Bradley Wiggins.

Sky 2012 objectives:

Garmin-Barracuda Announces 2012 Tour de France Roster
Press Release: Team Garmin-Barracuda today announced its much-anticipated 2012 Tour de France roster. The squad is headlined by recent Giro d’Italia winner and former top-ten finisher, Ryder Hesjedal, along with 2011 top-ten finisher Tom Danielson and Christian Vande Velde, a two-time top-ten finisher. Time trial experts David Zabriskie and David Millar will feature in the three individual time trials of the race and will also provide support both in the mountains and on the flats. Top American sprinter and previous Tour stage winner Tyler Farrar will be joined in the sprints by South African national champion and Tour stage winner Robbie Hunter. Dan Martin will make his Tour de France debut, and the nine-man team is rounded out by 2010 Paris-Roubaix winner, Johan Vansummeren.

“We have put together a well-balanced team with an emphasis on support for our leader, Ryder. We have Christian and Tom, both excellent climbers who each have had great GC rides in the Tour and have shown their strength in recent racing. Dan Martin, making his Tour debut, rounds out the climbers of the team,” said Allan Peiper, Director of Competition, Team Garmin-Barracuda. “The climbers will have the support of TT specialists David Millar and David Zabriskie along with Johan Vansummeren, who will also be able to help out sprinters Farrar and Hunter in the quest for stage wins.”

“Having just won our first Grand Tour our goals for the Tour de France are high,” said Jonathan Vaughters, CEO, Slipstream Sports. “We are going in very focused on the GC, but we’ll be looking for stage wins with Tyler as well. This is a great mix of riders with a lot of depth and talent, and we’re looking forward to some exciting racing.”

Team Garmin-Barracuda 2012 Tour de France Roster:
Tom Danielson,
Tyler Farrar,
Ryder Hesjedal,
Robbie Hunter,
Dan Martin,
David Millar,
Christian Vande Velde,
Johan Vansummeren,
David Zabriskie.
Directors: Bingen Fernandez, Allan Peiper & Jonathan Vaughters.

Good bit of video from the Spanish training camp:

Team Saxo Bank Announces Line up for Tour de France
Team owner Bjarne Riis and the sports management of Team Saxo Bank have named the nine riders who will represent the Danish based World Tour team in this year’s Tour de France.

“We are entering this year’s Tour de France with our eyes set on stage wins and with the aim to make an impact on the race, and I’m convinced that this is possible. We have tried to put together a group of riders that will enable us to open up possibilities, and I believe we have found a great mix of experience, aggressiveness and different competencies,” team owner Bjarne Riis said on the Saxo Bank web-site.

“Of course this is a very different job waiting for us this year without a designated GC rider. But I see this as an exciting challenge and a possibility to take some risks that would have been practically impossible under other circumstances. I actually have a really good feeling about the Tour, and I don’t think it would be wise to underestimate our team,” Bjarne Riis concluded.

The line up is:
Juan Josй Haedo (Argentina),
Jonathan Cantwell (Australia),
Nick Nuyens (Belgium),
Chris Anker Sшrensen (Denmark),
Nicki Sшrensen (Denmark),
Michael Mшrkшv (Denmark),
Anders Lund (Denmark),
Karsten Kroon (Holland),
Sergio Paulinho (Portugal).

Saxo Bank training in Mallorca:

Alexandr Vinokurov and Jani Brajkovič to lead experienced Astana Team
Alexandr Vinokurov said to the Astana Team web-site: “We have definitely got a strong and highly motivated team. Martinelli has done – and is doing – a great job with our riders. Personally, my form has been improving every day since the Dauphinй. I recently did a series of training sessions in mountains and saw some good signs. After last year’s unfortunate experience, I am going to the Tour with the aim of winning a stage – hopefully in the Pyrenees – and to help Jani for the general classification, while also preparing as well as possible for the Olympics.”

Commenting on the squad selected for the Tour, Team Manager Giuseppe Martinelli said: “I think I have got a very competitive team here. Our goal is to play a major role every single day, both in the transition stages and in the most prestigious finales. We will also have our eyes on the general classification, but we know that we are not the favourites.

“Vinokurov is our team captain, our charismatic leader,” Martinelli continued, “and his experience will doubtless be a huge help to everyone. After the accident last year, he has given 100% to get himself ready for this Tour and there is every reason to believe that he might do well.

“Brajkovič will be our man for the GC but I do not want to set any specific goals for him. I know that he will give everything to get a good result, both for himself and for the team. Kiserlovski, meanwhile, has had a good season so far and been competitive in every race that he has been in; he cannot fail to carry on this form at the Tour and maybe get the win that has so far eluded him this year.
“Grivko and Fofonov will be our team players, doing the work that you do not see on television but that is indispensable for the team – although that does not mean that they cannot get into a couple of major breaks and shake up the race.

“Bozič is our unconventional sprinter, not only for the sprint finishes but also when sprinting out of a small group after long-distance breakaways. Kashechkin will help Jani in the high mountain stages and could aim for a good personal result in the others. Lastly, Maxim Iglinskiy won the Liиge and is here to go after stage victories, which he is very well equipped to do.”

The Astana Team for the Tour:
Alexandr Vinokurov (KAZ)
Jani Brajkovič (SLO),
Borut Bozič (SLO),
Dmitry Fofonov (KAZ),
Andriy Grivko (UKR),
Maxim Iglinskiy (KAZ),
Andrey Kashechkin (KAZ),
Fredrik Kessiakoff (SWE),
Robert Kiserlovski (HRV).
Directors: Giuseppe Martinelli and Guido Bontempi.

Astana 2012 team official video:

Vacansoleil-DCM Tour de France Team
The Dutch team has announced the nine riders who will start the Tour de France next week. It’s a strong team with many opportunists’, but without a GC leader. For the sprint they have Kenny van Hummel and for the KOM jersey they have Johnny Hoogerland, who will want to make up for the disappointment of his crash last year. Lieuwe Westra, the new Dutch TT champion should show well with the 100 kilometres of time trialing, the rest of the team are strong and have stage win prospects, especially Wout Poels who was second at the Tour de Luxembourg. As team manager pointed out “jerseys are not our main goal, we want to win a stage again.”

Vacansoleil-DCM Tour riders:
Kris Boeckmans,
Johnny Hoogerland,
Kenny van Hummel,
Gustav Larsson,
Marco Marcato,
Wout Poels,
Rob Ruijgh,
Rafael Valls,
Lieuwe Westra.

Vacansoleil-DCM in Benidorm, Spain:

No Bruyneel at Tour!
Johan Bruyneel will not be joining his RadioShack-Nissan-Trek team at the Tour de France this year due to the on-going USADA allegations. Bruyneel stated on his web-site “I’m sad to say that I’ve decided that for the first time in many years I will not be attending this year’s Tour de France. The story of the Tour should be the achievements of its riders and the thrill of our great sport. I dearly wish to be there but my attendance in light of the recent USADA allegations against me would be an unwelcome distraction to my team, and to all those participating in and supporting the Tour. This is why I’ve decided – after consulting with the Team’s main sponsors and in agreement with the Senior Management of Leopard – not to attend the race. It is unfortunate that these latest, unfounded accusations have resulted in my withdrawal from the Tour, although I hope to prove my innocence and resolve this matter soon and once and for all.” But I bet he has a big phone bill for July!

Stage win by Johan Bruyneel back in 1995:

Schleck’s Off to a New German Team
The latest rumour to hit the newsstands (according to De Telegraaf) is that the Schleck brothers will be riding for a new team next year supported by a new German sponsor. There is one problem with this; the two Luxembourgers have a contract with Leopard (RadioShack-Nissan-Trek team) till the end of 2014. At the start of the year RadioShack-Nissan was billed as the top team, they would be winning everything from Classics to Tours…that hasn’t been the case.

Schleck’s gone fishing!

Two more years at Rabobank for Tjallingii
Press Release: Maarten Tjallingii (34) has extended his contract with Rabobank for another two years. The rider who has ridden for Rabobank since 2009 will start the Tour de France on June 30th as lieutenant to the team captains, a job that he relishes. “I enjoy taking a lot of the work off of the team captains’ hands and helping them stay fresh for their own work.”

The soundness of the team, the appreciation for his work and the pleasure he derives from being at the source of the team’s performance is among the reasons he gave for extending his contract by two years. “It’s my job, especially in stage races, to give my all to the team. By doing that, I can help others improve on their performances. Also, the team allows me to focus on the spring classics. This contract gives me the confidence and motivation to go the extra mile.”

Technical director Erik Breukink is happy about the extension. He sees Tjallingii as an appreciated worker who can be deployed on a variety of terrains. “He is at a high level and is committed to being there from start of the season to the end. We’ve got a fairly young team here, and these young guys need someone who can share his experience with them, who can be of service to them. You can always build on that.”

Maarten Tjallingii at the Amegen 2010:

Bobridge & Hepburn in Trouble!
Jack Bobridge and Michael Hepburn (both Orica-GreenEdge) were involved in a drink driving incident in Spain where Bobridge was fined Ђ700 and had his driving licence suspended for 8 months. Apparently Bobridge was driving a car that was involved in a minor accident in the resort of Lloret de Mar, near Girona where the Australian lives, Hepburn and another unnamed Australian cyclist were also in the car at the time. The two riders are part of the Australian team pursuit team for the London Olympic, they have not been thrown out of the team, but have been fined by Cycling Australia, Bobridge $A2500 with $A2000 suspended and a 12 month good behaviour bond and Hepburn is on a good behaviour bond for 12 months with $A1000 suspended. They are also banned from drinking alcohol when with the National team.

Bobridge & Hepburn in action:

Sharp Increase in Cycling Participation Announced
British Cycling on track to deliver Olympic legacy
Press Release:
“Cycling in this country has never been in better health,” British Cycling Chief Executive Ian Drake said today following the publication of Sport England’s Active People results, which show that 161,000 more people are cycling now than six months ago.

The news of the growth in participation follows the continuing success of British Cycling’s annual Sky Rides – mass traffic-free bikes rides typically attended by thousands of cyclists and their families. Last year, over 200,000 people took part in Sky Ride events across the UK.

Today’s Sport England figures also show that participation among women has risen – 54,000 more women are cycling now than six months ago. This is thanks to initiatives like Breeze – a British Cycling scheme aimed specifically at getting women back on their bikes.

The figures also show that there has been an increase in participation among people with a disability.

British Cycling’s Chief Executive, Ian Drake, said: “Cycling in this country has never been in better health.

“We’re on course to achieve our target of delivering a sustainable participation legacy before London 2012 thanks to our partnerships with Sport England, Sky and local authorities, without whom we would not be seeing these results today. These successes are also a credit to the fantastic work of our volunteers – at regional, club and event level – without whom our sport would not function.

“Grassroots initiatives like Sky Ride and Breeze are continuing to inspire people to get on their bikes and enjoy life on two wheels and it is particularly encouraging to see a rise in women’s participation.

“At the start of what could be British Cycling’s greatest summer, our ambitions remain high and the focus is on maintaining momentum and continuing to build on our success over the next Whole Sport Plan period 2013 to 2017.

“Membership is at record levels and our riders are aiming for success in the Tour de France and at the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics.”

The results announced today represent an almost 81,000 increase in the number of people cycling since 2010/11. The growth target set by Sport England for British Cycling (2009 – 13) is 150,000 more people cycling at least once a week. British Cycling is currently exceeding this target and is committed to inspire thousands more, in this special Olympic year, to take to their bikes.

British Cycling has also seen a sustainable growth in the number of people taking part in sportives and competitive cycling. Over 20,000 people are now regularly racing across all disciplines and almost 3,500 competitive cycling events now take place each year.

Cycling events for young people are also on the rise. 100 Go-Ride clubs have signed up to take part in the Go-Ride Games – a national summer festival of cycling for young people. Last year, British Cycling delivered over 100,000 opportunities for young people to get into cycling.

British Cycling also today revealed that its membership has grown by another 1,000 in the last month – taking the total membership count to almost 50,000.

Sport England’s cycling specific results, as well as figures for other sports, can be viewed on their website here.

BMC and Bell; A Good Combination
This video is a blatant advert for Bell Helmets, but it is a great behind the scenes little race video, and no they didn’t sent me a helmet for using it, I just like the views! Enjoy:

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