What's Cool In Road Cycling

EuroTrash Thursday!

It’ll soon be Tour time, but we have lots of action this week with the “warm-up” event; the Critйrium du Dauphinй to keep us keen. If that’s not enough the Tour de Suisse rolls on Saturday. The Endura team does rather well in Norway, Gilbert might be on the move and news of the GB National champs. Will “The Cobra” bite again? Let’s hope not…

Critйrium du Dauphinй
After Lars Boom (Rabobank) won the prologue on Sunday by 0:02 of a second from Alexandre Vinokourov (Astana). Stage 1: from Albertville to St. Pierre de Chartreuse was not full-on mountain stage, but quite hard with four climbs with a summit finish. After an early break of three rider were pulled back at the start of the finishing climb there were many attacks off the front of the peloton, but Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Omega Pharma-Lotto) jumped hard to not be seen till after the finish. “Purito” Rodriguez (Katusha) led the fragmented bunch with Evans (BMC), Vinokourov (Astana) and Nico Roche (Ag2r) close by. Vinokourov took over the overall by 5 seconds from Evans at 7 and Wiggins at 11.

Dauphinй stage 1 result:
1. Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Omega Pharma-Lotto) in 3:36:42
2. Joaquin Rodriguez Oliver (Katusha) at 0:06
3. Cadel Evans (BMC) at 0:07
4. Alexandre Vinokourov (Astana)
5. Nicolas Roche (Ag2r-La Mondiale)
6. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Sky)
7. Thibaut Pinot (FdJ) at 0:13
8. Rob Ruijgh (Vacansoleil-DCM)
9. Thomas Voeckler (Europcar) at 0:15
10. Janez Brajkovic (RadioShack).

If you want to take a 3D Tour of Mondays stage finish up to Saint-Pierre-de-Chartreuse then try this from cyclingthealps.com:

And the race action from stage 1:

Stage 2: saw a fair bit of stress for the Sky team and points leader Cadel Evans (BMC) as a split in the peloton forced them to use a lot of energy to get back to the front in the last 10 kilometres of the 179 kilometres from Voiron to Lyon. Three riders had been away but as soon as they were caught the hammer went down at the front with Vinokourov’s Astana and Ag2r pressing hard on the pedals, helped by Cofidis and Europcar. Up the finishing slope Thomas Voekler went for a long one but died letting big German John Degenkolb (HTC) shoot ahead for the stage win. Mondays stage winner; Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Rabobank) crashed on the run-in, but saved his second overall position due to it being in the last 3K’s. Alexandre Vinokourov (Astana) held the overall going into Wednesdays time trial of 42 kilometres round Grenoble.

Dauphinй stage 2 result:
1. John Degenkolb (HTC-Highroad) in 4:02:39
2. Samuel Dumoulin (Cofidis)
3. Paul Martens (Rabobank)
4. Joaquin Rodriguez Oliver (Katusha)
5. Thomas Voeckler (Europcar)
6. Jelle Vanendert (Omega Pharma-Lotto)
7. Grega Bole (Lampre-ISD)
8. Nicolas Roche (Ag2r-La Mondiale)
9. Fabian Wegmann (Leopard-Trek)
10. Rob Ruijgh (Vacansoleil-DCM).

Stage 3: was a hilly 42.5 kilometre individual time trial. Tony Martin (HTC) took an early lead with a time of 55.28. David Zabriskie (Garmin-Cervelo) came in 58 seconds slower, but Edvald Boasson Hagen (Sky) pushed ahead of him at 43 seconds. At the mid part of the race the weather conditions worsened with heavy rain making the roads a bit slippy, but it became dryer for the top men off at the end. Tony Martin led through all the intermediate points until the last one where Bradley Wiggins (Sky) matched him, both had ridden through a storm. Big loser was Ivan Basso (Liquigas) who lost over 6 minutes to Martin, but then everyone lost time to the flying German. The rain became heavy again as Evans (BMC) caught Nico Roche (Ag2r) as Wiggins powered on to take more time out of the yellow jersey of Alexandre Vinokourov (Astana) for the overall lead. At the end Martin held his lead by 11 seconds from Wiggins as Vinokourov lost 1:56 to Wiggins, Evans and Brajkovic also jumped above Vino on the overall.

Dauphinй stage 3 result:
1. Tony Martin (HTC-Highroad) in 55:28
2. Bradley Wiggins (Sky) at 0:11
3. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Sky at 0:43
4. David Zabriskie (Garmin-Cervйlo) at 0:58
5. Janez Brajkovic (RadioShack) at 1:17
6. Cadel Evans (BMC) at 1:20
7. Geraint Thomas (Sky) at 1:36
8. Christophe Riblon (Ag2r-La Mondiale) at 1:37
9. Rein Taaramae (Cofidis) at 1:56
10. Rui Costa (Movistar) at 2:00.

Dauphinй overall after stage 3:
1. Bradley Wiggins (Sky) in 8:41:37
2. Cadel Evans (BMC) at 1:11
3. Janez Brajkovic (RadioShack) at 1:21
4. Alexandre Vinokourov (Astana) at 1:56
5. Rui Alberto Faria Costa (Movistar) at 2:12
6. Geraint Thomas (Sky) at 2:25
7. Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Omega Pharma-Lotto) at 2:28
8. Christophe Riblon (Ag2r-La Mondiale) at 2:45
9. Ben Hermans (RadioShack) at 2:46
10. Jerome Coppel (Saur-Sojasun) at 02:52.

Tour de Suisse
The Tour of Switzerland starts in Lugano on Saturday the 11th of June with nine stages finishing on Sunday the 19th in Schaffhausen. As you would expect there is a bit of climbing, but some of the top sprinters will be on the start line; Cavendish, Boonen, Swift, McEwen, Greipel, Freire and World Champ Thor Hushovd. For the overall Frank Schleck for Leopard will fight it out with a strong RadioShack team with Kloden, Horner and Leipheimer with Cunego for Lampre and Davis for Astana. Not sure if the horse will ride this year?

Quick-Step Cycling Team to Tour de Suisse
Press Release: Quick-Step Cycling Team has officially announced the selection that will participate in the 2011 Tour de Suisse. The race starts with a time trial prologue next Saturday on the banks of Lugano Lake and ends on Sunday, June 19th in Schaffhausen, after 9 stages and a total of 1246 kilometres.

“Once again, the route for the Tour de Suisse is very demanding this year” Sports Director Wilfried Peeters says. “It’s tailored to climbers. However there are some mixed stages that will test our training, perfect for finding the right pedalling momentum as we lead up to the Tour de France. Our team is well equipped for this race. We’re lining up for the start with athletes like Chavanel, De Weert and Devenyns, who are highly motivated after a period of intense training and ready to ride a good race; but there are also high calibre athletes like Boonen, Steegmans, Ciolek and Vandewalle who’ll be able to get into the battle for victory in some stages. Stybar will also be on the starting line. This will be an important test for him on the major climbs, and a further step in his apprenticeship period in road cycling.”

Riders:
Tom Boonen (BEL),
Sylvain Chavanel (FRA),
Gerald Ciolek (GER),
Kevin De Weert (BEL),
Dries Devenyns (BEL),
Gert Steegmans (BEL),
Zdenek Stybar (CZE),
Kristof Vandewalle (BEL).
Sports Director Davide Bramati (ITA) & Wilfried Peeters (BEL).

Switzerland marks alternative route to TdF
Press Release: Second Movistar Team block starts the Tour de Suisse, penultimate obstacle before the Grande Boucle on Saturday, while their teammates complete the Dauphinй in France

At the same time a French expedition completes the Critйrium du Dauphinй on Sunday, a second Movistar Team block will start their participation in the 75th Tour de Suisse, the last World Tour-ranked race before the imminent Tour de France.

Movistar Riders:
Pablo Lastras,
Branislau Samoilau,
Mauricio Soler,
Marzio Bruseghin,
Ivбn Gutiйrrez,
Бngel Madrazo,
Josй Joaquнn Rojas,
Fran Ventoso.

Riccт Back?
Riccardo Riccт has signed for Croatian registered Continental team; Meridiana-Kamen and could race in the Tour of Serbia starting on the 13th of June according to the UCI. If you had forgotten; Riccт has had quite a chequered past with his ban for two years when riding for Saunier Duval and then being rushed into hospital with (he claims) a “kidney infection” although the doctor at the hospital claims to have been told by Riccт that he had given himself a blood transfusion of old blood, he was then sacked by his then team; Vacansoleil. There have been many rumours surrounding Riccт since he was a junior in Italy and at one point had to prove his “natural” high hemocrit level to the UCI. Riccу does not come off well in David Millar’s new book ”Racing through the darkness: the fall and rise of David Millar” where Millar describes Riccу injecting “substances” on the team bus before big races.

There is an ongoing investigation by the Italian Olympic Committee and it has moved on a pace since Riccт suggested he would return. Riccт will have to have a medical exam and until the Italian Cycling Federation decides he is fit he will not be free to race and at the moment he is suspended. I know I’ve said this before; but, for sure, the Riccardo Riccт story will not end on a happy note!

Geraint Thomas has confirmed he will be defending his title at the British National Road Race Championships in Northumberland on Sunday 26 June.
Press Release: The Welshman is one of nine Team Sky riders who are currently planning to travel to Stamfordham to battle it out for the white champion’s jersey, and they will be part of a strong field which includes many other WorldTour professionals.

Thomas took the title 12 months ago by edging out Team Sky teammates Peter Kennaugh and Ian Stannard in Lancashire, and that same trio will be in action again on the challenging countryside circuit, along with Russell Downing, Alex Dowsett, Chris Froome, Jeremy Hunt, Ben Swift and Bradley Wiggins.

Thomas said: “I’m obviously going to try my best to win it again but it’s going to be hard as it looks a bit of an easier course than last year so a lot more guys can race it.

“But it has been great being the national champion over the last 12 months – it’s like representing Great Britain in every race you are in.

“You obviously stand out a bit more and it’s similar to wearing the leader’s jersey in a stage race, you just get that lift every day you’ve got it on.”

Thomas has had an outstanding year as national champion, with highlights including a spell in the young rider’s jersey at the Tour de France as well as his first overall stage-race victory at Bayern-Rundfahrt last month.

He agreed: “It’s definitely been a pretty memorable 12 months and wearing the national champion’s jersey as well has made it even more special.”

Of the day itself – for which full ticket details are available at the bottom of this article – Thomas added: “It’s always a bit different at the nationals – it obviously means a lot to so many people and everyone wants to win it. We’ll just take it as it comes and see what happens but it should be a great day again.”

Thomas’ teammate Wiggins will be also hoping to add the road race title to his long list of achievements after winning the National Time Trial Championship for the last two years while sprinter Ben Swift has had a stellar season on the road with five victories already.

And it’s not just in Britain that Team Sky are well represented, with Christian Knees defending his German title the same day while Kurt-Asle Arvesen, Kjell Carlstrцm, Juan Antonio Flecha, Edvald Boasson Hagen, Thomas Lцfkvist and Lars Petter Nordhaug are also scheduled to line up in their respective championships.

The British National Elite Road Racing Championships take place around Northumberland as part of the Northern Rock Cyclone weekend (24 to 26 June) – which also includes Newcastle’s Leazes Criteriums on the Friday night and the Northern Rock Cyclone Challenge ride on the Saturday.

Book plan the best places to watch and the Nationals race, ride the Northern Rock Cyclone Challenge, find accommodation, and more at www.northernrockcyclone.co.uk. You can also find the event on Twitter @nrcyclone or join the Northern Rock Cyclone group on Facebook.

Cavendish to ride GB National Champs
Mark Cavendish will line-up in Northumberland for the British Road Race Championships on Sunday the 29th of June. He will also be appearing in the Friday (24th June) evening Leazes Criterium on the streets of Newcastle.

Gilbert for BMC?
It seems that the Swiss based BMC Racing Team want the services of Philippe Gilbert for next year. His contract runs out with Omega Pharma-Lotto at the end of the year and the team sponsors are due to split also leaving some doubt as the their future. Gilbert has been quoted as saying he wants the safety of a three contract with whoever his next team is; at BMC he should get that kind of deal. John Lelange, the BMC manager, told Het Laatste Nieuws “We want the best team in the stage races and in the classics. For the stage races we have Cadel Evans. If you want to win the Classics, there is just one name: Gilbert.” It’s too early for any contracts, but the writing is on the wall!

Endura do well in Norway!
Press Release: Camaсo wins Queen stage in Tour of Norway
Iker Camaсo powered to an impressive victory on stage four of the Tour of Norway (UCI 2.2), the hardest stage in the five day race.

The team’s plan was to make the stage as tough as possible for the peloton and they executed the plan perfectly.

First, James Moss made it into an early break which forced Team Joker Merida to do a lot of work chasing the escapees down. Once this move was swept up, Iker made it into a break but being well placed on GC, the others in the group were unwilling to work with him and this too was shut down by the peloton.

Rene Mandri was next to try his luck and spent 70km out front alongside Angelo Furlan (Christina Watches), At one time the pair opened up a four minute lead on the fractured peloton before being slowly reeled in and caught within the last 30km.

As the race swept in towards the final climb of the day, a group of 18 moved clear, including Iker and Jack Bauer (who’d finished 3rd on stage 3), and the Endura Racing pair worked hard to cover any dangerous moves.

Iker attacked the lead group in the final 500m and was just able to hold off a charging bunch to take a fine victory.

Speaking after the podium ceremony, Iker said: “Just into the last km I decided to make my last move. I got a little gap and continued full gas just to the finish line – the bunch took me 10 metres after the line! This victory is really important for us because we have worked as a team. I’m very happy with my team mates and all of them has an important percentage in this victory – without their work would been impossible.”

DS Alex San Vega was quick to dedicate the victory to his friend Xavier Tondу, the Spanish Movistar rider, who was killed in a tragic accident last month and said of the day’s result: “The team performance today was great. Right from the outset, our riders were in front and in all the attacks.”

With the final stage tightly controlled, Jack and Iker finished as Endura’s best place riders in 12th and 13th positions respectively.

A new yellow jersey!
From 2012 Le Coq Sportif will be the official supplier of the Tour’s yellow jersey and all the other competition leaders’ jerseys for races organised by ASO. Le Coq Sportif manufactured the leaders’ jersey for many years way back when Anquetil was winning and 2012 will be the company’s 130th birthday, so it’s fitting that they make a return for next year.

WADA tell Bert to (maybe) miss Tour!
David Howman, the director of the World Anti Doping Agency has suggested that Alberto Contador should not start this year’s Tour de France due to his impending ruling from the Court of Arbitration of Sport at the start of August, after the finish of the Tour. In the Spanish sports paper AS; Howman commented “Legally, he has every right to ride. It’s up to him. I wouldn’t advise him to do it.” If the rumours are correct that WADA are soon to set a lower limit on the amount of clenbuteral in the system. If Contador won the Tour and then had the win taken away with last year’s Tour and this year’s Giro and then the rules are changed…could be a bit embarrassing for UCI/WADA and would stir up a lot of legal and ethical trouble.

THE TOUR DE POLOGNE IS SURFING THE WEB…
Press Releas: The Polish stage race reaches out to all its “friends” on Facebook.
The Tour de Pologne is surfing the web… In the build-up to the big date with the Polish stage race, scheduled from July 31st to August 6th, 2011, the Tour de Pologne is reaching out to all cycling fans and enthusiasts on the web. The official internet site for the race https://www.tourdepologne.pl/ is constantly updated in Polish and in English, with rich content and information on the 2011 edition.

Now also there is a Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/tourdepologne.

Thanks to the extraordinary media potential offered by social networking and Facebook, now you can stay in touch with the Tour de Pologne directly. On the page you’ll find events, news and important information about the race, special guests and celebrities, and lots more. The page is like an open window that gives all fans a chance to get a real time peek on everything that’s going on surrounding the Tour de Pologne.

And it’s not just about the Tour de Pologne. The page is also a point of reference where you can meet like-minded fans and find information on the Polish riders who race on World Tour teams in the most prestigious races on the international calendar. This is the page to go to stay in touch with everything that’s going on in the world of cycling.

This year the Tour de Pologne is also doubling down with a brand new Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/tourdepologne#!/tourdepologneamatorow specifically dedicated to the Tour de Pologne Amatorow (the Tour de Pologne stage open to amateurs), the date reserved for all two-wheel enthusiasts which has been expanded for 2011 after the brilliant success it enjoyed last year. It will be the 6th stage, on Friday, August 5th , starting in Terma Bukovina and featuring a spectacular climbing arrival in Bukowina Tatrzanska. Cycling lovers will get the chance to take on the same route as the pros! It’s sure to be a great time.

Rapha Cycle Club SF events
Press Release: Two events coming up this week at Cycle Club SF»
PRO PELOTON BAR TAPE SESSION
Wednesday, June 8th at 7pm
Nothing makes a bicycle look more ‘pro’ than fresh, beautifully wrapped bar tape. Come and learn first-hand how to wrap tape like a pro from three of the Bay Area’s top race mechanics: Ralf from JellyBelly and Above Category, Tim from VeloBelo and City Cycle, and Luke from StudioVelo.
Bring in your road bicycle this Wednesday night and for $20 you will leave with fresh Fi’zi:k Microtek Tape (Black or White only), and renewed confidence in your own wrapping skills.

THE STEEPEST HILLS OF SAN FRANCISCO RIDE
Saturday, June 11th
Meet at the Rapha Cycle Club for coffee at 8:00am. Depart at 8:30

Join us on a tour of the steepest hills in the city, with detours at Four Barrel Cafe and Tell Tale Preserves for some well deserved fuel and respite. Our guide for the day is Scot Nicol, founder of Ibis Cycles . This ride, not race, is open to anyone willing to suffer at the hands of gravity as we work our way up and down the steepest hills in San Francisco. We would not typically say this, but with 13 of the climbs reported to pitch 29% and higher, mountain bikes or similar gearing is something that you may want to consider for this unique ride. Or certainly at least a compact and new brake blocks.
Additional motivation: https://www.datapointed.net/2009/11/the-steeps-of-san-francisco/

See more about the Rapha Cycle Club SF: www.rapha.cc/san-francisco

Jacques Anquetil at the Dauphinй and Le Double!
Seeing as the Critйrium du Dauphinй is on at the moment I can show you one of my favourite bits of cycling retro. Here is the story of how Raphael Geminiani talked French hero; Jacques Anquetil into winning the Dauphinй and then the (now defunct) Bordeaux-Paris back to back. The best bit is Raphael Geminiani’s description of the derny bikes…classic!


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