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EuroTrash Thursday!

So, no Andy Schleck at this year’s Tour de France and Armstrong is Charged. The French Grand Tour just became even more open, time for a new name to take the honours in Paris? Today we have a mixed bag of trash, Tour de Suisse, Tour de France news, Olympic news, the up and coming races and as much other stuff as we can find to squeeze into that EuroTrash bin. Not forgetting some great videos…time for a coffee and maybe a chocolate biscuit?

“Top Story”
OK, The Armstrong Case
So to Lance; the United States Anti-Doping Agency has formally charged with doping, including; EPO, blood transfusions, testosterone, corticosteroids and masking agents as well as distributed them and administered them to others. The charge also includes Johan Bruyneel, Dr. Pedro Celaye, Dr. Luis Garcia del Moral, Dr. Michele Ferrari, and soigneur Pepe Marti. Armstrong is now suspended from taking part in triathlons.

On his part Armstrong has said on his web-site: “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.”

Those are the bare bones of the case and there is much more involved, but let’s wait and see how it pan’s out.

No Tour for Andy
It was announced yesterday (Wednesday) that Andy Schleck will not be on the start line of this year’s Tour de France due to a spinal injury caused during the time trial in the recent Critйrium Dauphinй. In a press conference in the Maison des Sports in Strassen, Luxembourg, the RadioShack Nissan Trek rider announced that a MRI scan taken at a Luxembourg hospital had shown a break in the sacrum, which is where spine meets the pelvis. His chances of riding the Olympic road race for Luxembourg is also in doubt, but the Vuelta a Espaсa will be pencilled into his schedule.

Andy Schleck had this to say at the press conference “This is the biggest disappointment in my life,” said the three-time Tour de France podium finisher. “The Tour is the most important race. I feel sad for my dedicated teammates. I would have been ready to perform. I wanted to give an answer to my critics. As a bike rider you never stop believing in goals, in dreams. That’s why I also continued on the bike after my crash. I wanted to go on as I had the Tour in my head. I was always thinking that it would become better. Riders are hard. I remember Cadel Evans finishing the Tour once with broken ribs but in the end I really had to quit the race. In my career I’ve broken my collar bone twice but this is the most painful thing I’ve ever had so far.”

At the start of the year the combination of the RadioShack and Leopard teams was billed as all conquering and was thought to be the “Super Team” for 2012, winning everything in its path…that has not been the case.

Fabian Cancellara won the Strade Bianchi for the second year, a time trial stage in Tirreno-Adriatico and finished 2nd in Milan-San Remo, but crashed out in the Tour of Flanders and is still recovering. Andy’s brother Frank rode fairly well at the Giro d’Italia to eventually pull out and incur the wrath of team manager Johan Bruyneel. The super team has not had the best of luck and the Tour looks like it will also not live up to the team’s expectations.

The TT has never been the Schleck’s fav:

Tour de Suisse 2012
Peter Sagan (Liquigas-Cannondale) still has what it takes by winning Stage 3 in to Aarberg from Baden Cooke (Orica-GreenEdge) and Ben Swift (Sky). Guillaume Bonnafond (Ag2r-LaMondiale), Michael Morkov (Saxo Bank) and Jonas Van Genechten (Lotto-Belisol) took a 10 minute lead in the second half of the stage, 2 of those minutes was due to a closed railway crossing, but in the end Liquigas-Cannondale and Sky pulled them back for the sprint. Cooke made the first jump and only Sagan could get past him. Rui Costa (Movistar) held on to his 8 second lead over Frank Schleck (RadioShack-Nissan) and 15 from Roman Kreuziger (Liquigas-Cannondale).

Tour de Suisse Stage 3 Result:
1. Peter Sagan (Svk) Liquigas-Cannondale in 4:35:32
2. Baden Cooke (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge
3. Ben Swift (GB) Sky
4. Jacopo Guarnieri (Ita) Astana at 0:03
5. Allan Davis (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge
6. Yauheni Hutarovich (Blr) FDJ-BigMat
7. Lloyd Mondory (Fra) Ag2r-La Mondiale
8. Tyler Farrar (USA) Garmin-Barracuda
9. Daniele Colli (Ita) Team Type 1-Sanofi
10. Marcus Burghardt (Ger) BMC.

Tour de Suisse Overall After Stage 3:
1. Rui Alberto Faria Da Costa (Por) Movistar in 11:06:57
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 3:

Peter Sagan (Liquigas-Cannondale) took yet another stage win to give him his third in this Tour de Suisse. Sagan outsprinted JJ Rojas (Movistar) and Michael Albasini (Orica-GreenEdge) into Trimbach/Olten at the end of the 188 kilometre Stage 4. The hilly finish of the race saw a depleted bunch pull back an escape group of Greg Van Avermaet (BMC), Martin Elminger (Ag2r-La Mondiale) and Lars-Petter Nordhaug (Sky) on the run-in to the finish. Rui Costa (Movistar) held on to his lead.

Omega Pharma – Quick-Step team manager; Rik Van Slycke summed up the stage “Today, despite the stage expecting to be normal, it was a hard stage. Within the first 10km Levi crashed. The team had to put in an extra effort today to put him on the best position possible. When he crashed, Matteo Trentin and Tom Boonen did a big effort to bring Levi into the group, but at the same time, the group was split into three parts. It took a while to return to the first part of the group. At the beginning it was Matteo and Tom, and then Niki Terpstra, Gert Steegmans and Peter Velits worked hard to put Levi in the first group. It was like a fight for 70km. Then, he was in front with Stybar and Cataldo, and then on a steep Category 1 climb, Dario went with a group of riders. He did a great action.”

Tour de Suisse Stage 4 Result:
1. Peter Sagan (Svk) Liquigas-Cannondale in 4:36:55
2. Jose Joaquin Rojas Gil (Spa) Movistar Team
3. Michael Albasini (Swi) Orica-GreenEdge
4. Heinrich Haussler (Aus) Garmin-Barracuda
5. Francesco Gavazzi (Ita) Astana
6. Vladimir Gusev (Rus) Katusha
7. Matteo Montaguti (Ita) Ag2r-La Mondiale
8. Wout Poels (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM
9. Oscar Freire Gomez (Spa) Katusha
10. Mathias Frank (Swi) BMC.

Tour de Suisse Overall After Stage 4:
1. Rui Alberto Faria Da Costa (Por) Movistar in 15:43:52
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 4:

Vladimir Isaichev (Katusha) out sprinted his break away companions at the end of Stage 5 into Olten-Gansingen. The escapees were no danger to the overall, so were allowed to gain over 11 minutes. On the run-in to the finish the break attacked each other, but Isaichev held it together to show them a clean pear of heels. Rui Costa (Movistar) held onto his overall lead going into the last four stages to the finish on Sunday.

Tour de Suisse Stage 5 Result:
1. Vladimir Isaichev (Rus) Katusha in 4:58:28
2. Ruben Perez Moreno (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
3. Salvatore Puccio (Ita) Sky
4. Karsten Kroon (Ned) Saxo Bank
5. Sйbastien Minard (Fra) Ag2r-La Mondiale
6. Daniel Oss (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale at 0:05
7. Klaas Lodewyck (Bel) BMC at 1:50
8. Elia Viviani (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale at 11:07
9. Kris Boeckmans (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM
10. Alessandro Bazzana (Ita) Team Type 1-Sanofi.

Tour de Suisse Overall After Stage 5:
1. Rui Alberto Faria Da Costa (Por) Movistar in 20:53:27
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 0:00:21
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 5:

Kristian House wins Smithfield Nocturne
In front of an estimated 12,000 strong crowd, Kristian House once again proved that he is capable of rising to the occasion, fighting to an excellent second place at the IG Markets Smithfield Nocturne on Saturday night.

After the race was split asunder in the early stages by pressure from Team Sky, House rode an intelligent race all the way to the line, but simply couldn’t get the better of Ian Stannard at the finish.

“To be honest I was happy to come second to Ian tonight- he was the strongest out there by far. I felt good and we, as a team, are always motivated by this event. The crowds are huge and with our sponsors being London based, it is like a home event for us. I would have loved to have won, but there was a better man on the night.”

House’s second place was the Rapha Condor Sharp team’s third second spot in a row at the event, which attracts many top World Tour professionals to the capital for a full night of racing action.

“It is a little frustrating to miss out on this one, the support here for us was great and I really appreciated that. When you have guys like Stannard, Goss, and Lancaster who have come here with the Giro in their legs, it is a tall order for the domestic guys to get the better of them. Doesn’t mean we make it easy for them though.”

House will now return to criterium action as the Rapha Condor Sharp team heads into the final week of the Halfords Tour Series in second place overall, with two rounds remaining.

Smithfield Nocturne 2012:

Zak Dempster leads Endura Racing to a clean sweep in Woking
Press Release: Zak Dempster led the team to a clean sweep in round 10 of the Halfords Tour Series in Woking with three wins in the one race, Individual, Sprint and Team and with only the final rounds in Stoke to go, the 2012 Tour Series title edges closer.

Zak was out was riding on the circuit when the women came to do their warm up, over three hours before his event signalling how much he wanted the win.

After settling into the race, Zak’s long lone attack early on showed just what great form he has right now. When that attack failed, he went again, and then again and in the end, still won the bunch kick after a great last lap by Ian Bibby. As Bibby went for the win, Yanto Barker (Team UK Youth) reacted but all that did was give Dempster the platform to go for his second win in the series.

The team go into Thursday’s double-header in Stoke-on-Trent with a 17 point lead over nearest rivals Rapha Condor Sharp, with a maximum of 20 points still on offer.

1. Endura Racing, 94pts
2. Rapha Condor Sharp, 77pts
3. Team UK Youth, 76pts
4. Team Raleigh – GAC, 76pts
5. Node4 – Giordana Racing, 71pts
6. Cycle Premier – Kovert, 45pts
7. Team IG – Sigma Sport, 36pts
8. Metaltek Scott, 33pts
9. Herbalife LeisureLakesBikes, 22pts
10. Team Hope Factory Racing, 19pts.

Halfords Tour Series from Durham:

Tour de France 2012 News:

Omega Pharma – Quick-Step TdF Pre-selection
Omega Pharma – Quick-Step Cycling Team has selected the shortlist of 13 riders, from which 9 riders will be chosen to defend the team colors at the 2012 Tour de France.

“The athletes will be chosen next week based on the latest indications that will emerge from an important race like the Tour de Suisse” commented Sport Director Wilfried Peeters.

Omega Pharma – Quick-Step Cycling Team Pre-Selection (In alphabetical order):
Dario Cataldo,
Sylvain Chavanel,
Gerald Ciolek,
Dries Devenyns,
Kevin De Weert,
Bert Grabsch,
Levi Leipheimer,
Tony Martin,
Jerome Pineau,
Gert Steegmans,
Matteo Trentin,
Stijn Vandenbergh,
Peter Velits.
D.S.: Davide Bramati, Brian Holm, Wilfried Peeters.

Argos-Shimano TdF Pre-selection
The ProConti Argos-Shimano team have announced their long list of riders for this year’s Tour de France and it does not include John Degenkolb who is saving himself for the Olympic Games.

Argos-Shimano long list.
Marcel Kittel (Ger),
Simon Geschke (Ger),
Johannes Frцhlinger (Ger),
Patrick Gretsch (Ger),
Tom Veelers (Ned),
Koen de Kort (Ned),
Albert Timmer (Ned),
Roy Curvers (Ned),
Tom Stamsnijder (Ned),
Alexandre Geniez (Fra),
Yann Huguet (Fra),
Thierry Hupond (Fra),
Mathieu Sprick (Fra),
Bert De Backer (Bel).

The final selection will be made on Tuesday 19th June.

RadioShack Nissan Trek TdF Pre-selection
The RadioShack Nissan Trek Team Management made a preselection of 14 riders for the 2012 Tour de France (June 30 – July 22).
Fabian Cancellara,
Jakob Fuglsang,
Tony Gallopin,
Linus Gerdemann,
Markel Irizar,
Andreas Klцden,
Maxime Monfort,
Yaroslav Popovych,
Gregory Rast,
Hayden Roulston,
Frдnk Schleck,
Jens Voigt,
Haimar Zubeldia.
The final roster of 9 riders will be announced in the week of June 18.

Tour 2012 preview:

Movistar to Route du Sud
The tough Route du Sud in France, won by Kiryienka last year, will be the last stage race before the Tour for a young roster willing to increase their 17-victory account in 2012

Press Release: One month before the Tour de France reaches the Pyrйnйes, Movistar Team –in great moral after their two victories last weekend, taking their 2012 triumph list up to 17- travels from today to the French mountains to take part in the 36th edition of the Route du Sud.

Featuring two hilly stages -Thursday’s opening one in Albi and the closing to Saint Gaudens- and several slopes in the finale of day 2 in Saint-Michel (Friday), the biggest attention over the route will be set on the third day of racing: 204 kilometers with a summit finish in Arras, after climbing the Tourmalet (Cat. 1), Soulor (Cat. 2) and Spandelles (Cat. 1).

For the Pirenaic race, where Movistar Team will defend the triumph obtained by Belarusian Vasil Kiryienka in 2011, Yvon Ledanois will conduct a Blue roster including Colombian Nairo Quintana, the brilliant winner of the recent Critйrium du Dauphinй’s Queen stage. The telephone squad will be completed by Sergio Pardilla, Javi Moreno, Josй Herrada, Javier Iriarte, Jonathan Castroviejo, Бngel Madrazo and Enrique Sanz.

Omega Pharma – Quick-Step Cycling Team to Ster ZLM Toer
Press Release: Omega Pharma – Quick-Step Cycling Team has officially announced the squad that will participate in Thursday’s Ster ZLM Toer.

“As always the race will be very tense and spectacular,” said sport director Wilfried Peeters, who will lead the team. “Without a time trial the race will be wide open for all 4 days and will be great preparation for the National Championships next week. As for our goals, we’re going to try to win a stage. On the squad we have a young sprinter, Andy Fenn. Although the competition will be very close we’re going to try to put him in the best possible position to go for a good sprint. We’re also going to try to take advantage of Nikolas Maes and Marco Bandiera’s form after the Giro d’Italia in the hillier stages.”

The race will also mark a return to racing for Kristof Vandewalle, who will open the second part of his season at the Ster ZLM Toer. “I feel good. I’ve finally resolved a few minor problems tied to a food intolerance that influenced the first part of my season. After the Romandie I worked very hard. I still haven’t found my racing rhythm but I hope I can start doing well as soon as this race, perhaps in support of my team mates.”

Marco Bandiera (ITA),
Matthew Brammeier (IRL),
Andrew Fenn (GBR),
Iljo Keisse (BEL),
Nikolas Maes (BEL),
Frantisek Rabon (CZE),
Guillaume Van Keirsbulck (BEL),
Kristof Vandewalle (BEL),
Sports Director Wilfried Peeters (BEL).

RadioShack Nissan Trek line-up for the Ster ZLM Toer
Jan Bakelants,
Ben Hermans,
Ben King,
Tiago Machado,
Giacomo Nizzolo,
Nelson Oliveira,
Jens Voigt,
Robert Wagner,
Director: Dirk Demol.

Last year’s stage 1 of the Ster ZLM Toer:

Regis Clere Dies
French ex-Pro Regis Clere passed away in a Dijon hospital on Saturday the 9th at the age of 55 either during or after a heart operation. He had a successful professional career from 1981 to 1992 with stage wins in the Vuelta a Espaсa, holding the overall lead for 9 days in 1981 and two stage wins in the 1987 Tour de France, plus French national champion and some lesser race wins.

1987 Tour de France:

David Millar in GB Olympic Squad
After the ruling of the Court of Arbitration for Sport that the British Olympic Committee cannot ban for life convicted dopers, David Millar has been selected for the British Olympic squad for the London games. The riders who will be on the start line has still to be decided, but here are the men’s and women’s squads:

Team GB long list for men’s road race (five to be selected):
Mark Cavendish
Steve Cummings
Chris Froome
Jeremy Hunt
David Millar
Ian Stannard
Ben Swift
Bradley Wiggins.

Team GB long list for women’s road race (four to be selected):
Lizzie Armitstead
Nicole Cooke
Katie Colclough
Sharon Laws
Lucy Martin
Emma Pooley.

A Thin Olympic Cavendish
According to Sporza Mark Cavendish is on a diet for the Olympic road race and is already 4 kilo’s below his race weight. He said that he has cut out all sugar from his diet, including; “candy, soft drinks and ready-made meals.” He said that the route of the road race is not tailor-made for him and he is losing weight for the climb of Box Hill.

Cavendish “Destroyer”

BMC Racing Team’s Hincapie Announces Retirement
Press Release: George Hincapie announced Monday that this will be his final season of professional cycling. The three-time U.S. national road champion said the Tour de France and the USA Pro Cycling Challenge in August will be the last two races of his 19-year career.

Hopes To Stay Involved In Cycling
Hincapie said his decision came after much thought and discussion with people closest to him – particularly his wife, Melanie, whom he met while competing in the Tour de France. “This is definitely not a decision that has been easy,” Hincapie said. “I came to the conclusion that I want to go out while I can still contribute and make a difference. To be able to compete for 19 years as a professional cyclist has been something I would have never dreamed of doing. But at the same time, it’s also going to be good to spend more time with my kids, who are getting to be the age where they miss me when I’m gone.”

The soon-to-be 39-year-old (June 29) has played an integral role in helping teammates like Cadel Evans (third at the Critйrium du Dauphinй) and Alessandro Ballan (third at Paris-Roubaix and the Tour of Flanders) to success. The Greenville, S.C., resident said he hopes to stay involved in the BMC Racing Team and the sport in some capacity. “I don’t want to get completely out of cycling,” he said. “My company, Hincapie Sportswear, obviously revolves around cycling. So I want to see it grow while putting in more time with the people I love. But also know that I’m still feeling strong and healthy and ready to make a contribution to the team these last two months. I’m 100 percent motivated to help Cadel win another Tour.”

Evans: ‘George Is Incredible’
Evans, the defending Tour de France champion, said he was saddened to hear one of his most trusted teammates will only be at his side one for one more edition of the world’s greatest race. “I’m hoping that he’ll change his mind, probably like many other cycling fans around the world will do when they hear the news,” Evans said. “George is incredible. He’s the core of the BMC Racing Team and not just on the road as a captain, but also in the structure of the team. He’s a part of so many aspects of everything we do because of his tremendous leadership.” Evans said he would like nothing more than to have Hincapie lead him onto the Champs-Йlysйes for a repeat Tour victory. “It’s a dream at this point, but it’s a dream that I’d like to deliver to George to thank him for all the sacrifices he’s made for me over the past few years.”

Unselfish, Tireless Worker
BMC Racing Team President Jim Ochowicz said Hincapie has cemented his legacy in the sport with unselfish teamwork and a tireless work ethic. “George was the first big rider to believe in the BMC Racing Team,” Ochowicz said. “He’s led us through the past three years of the classics and grand tour seasons as both a leader and a teammate. I am very proud that he was able to start as a professional with me on the Motorola team in 1994 and that I’m still with him at the end of his career. It’s been an honor to bookend the career of one of the nicest people and one of the greatest cyclists America has ever produced.”

BMC Racing Team Sponsor Andy Rihs said he was disappointed to hear the news, but respected Hincapie’s decision to go out while still being a crucial component of the team’s success. “We’ll really miss him,” Rihs said. “He’s a great champion and while I’m saddened, I understand everything must come to an end. We wish him well and hope he stays involved in the sport because he’s always been the guy I call the champion’s champion.”

Bettering Records
Hincapie is a five-time Olympian (1992, 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008) and past Tour de France stage winner who has been bettering longevity records this year in races like Paris-Roubaix (17 finishes) and the Tour of Flanders (17 finishes). A start at this year’s Tour de France later this month would bring another: 17 participations in cycling’s greatest race. He shares the record of 16 Tour starts (to go along with 15 finishes) with Dutchman Joop Zoetemelk and a record nine times he has helped a teammate win the three-week race.

George in Paris-Roubaix 2001 with USPS:

Cycling legends, sporting stars and cycling enthusiasts gear up for the start of The London-Paris 2012
Press Release: The London-Paris 2012 officially starts on 21st June. 450 riders – who have spent months dedicating their time to training – will head to the start-line at Imber Court, Surrey to begin the three stage, 507 km ride from London to Paris.

Cycling enthusiasts, professionals, legends and celebrities will all rub shoulders in the peloton. Very few sporting events allow enthusiasts to ride with the sport’s legends, making The London-Paris a unique event. The event has rolling road closures in France, motorbike outriders, Skoda lead vehicles, Mavic neutral service and mechanical support. Timed flagged sections enable the riders to compete for jerseys, bringing participants as close as it’s possible to get to the experience of the professionals on The Tour de France.

This year there are seven speed groups, led by 17 HotChillee Ride Captains. The start-line will see an array of stars cross it, including cycling legend Stephen Roche who is celebrating the 25th anniversary of his Triple Crown Win (The Tour de France, The Giro d’Italia and The World Championships). As part of the celebrations he will be riding his fully restored Battaglin bike into Paris; the bike he won the Tour de France on in 1987. The event will be followed by a special gala dinner, dedicated to Stephen Roche’s anniversary celebrations.

Other cycling legends participating are Tour de France hero and World Champion winner Maurizio Fondriest, current professional cyclist Magnus Backstedt and professional ex German National mountain-biker Karl Platt – who’s won the Trans Alp 7 times and the Absa Cape Epic four times. Formula One legend Nigel Mansell, Rugby Heroes Joel Stransky and Will Carling, former professional footballers Geoff Thomas and John Salako and former Olympic medallist and athletics World champion Sonia O’Sullivan will also form the peloton.

This year also marks the first year a hand cyclist team has taken on the challenge. The Jimmy Savile Stoke Mandeville Hospital Trust team, sponsored by Stewarts Law LLP, will complete The London-Paris 2012 with the aim of raising Ј500,000. The money raised will go to the Spinal Injuries Centre – the birthplace of the Paralympics back in 1948 and a Centre of Excellence in spinal medicine.

2012 is also a record year for Team involvement, with over 125 corporate applications for 35 team slots; more than any previous year. The teams come from a wide variety of sectors, including media, technology, FMCG and financial. Teams participating this year include Adobe, ICAP, Tullett Prebon, Hogan Lovells, Moet & Chandon, DHL and Blackberry.
This year, Adobe has teamed with HotChillee to become the official Training Jersey partner and Garmin is an official Ride Captain Sponsor, supplying all Ride Captains with the latest Garmin Edge 800, complete with European street mapping and heart rate monitors.

Race Across America 2012
The Race Across America (RAAM) started with the solo women and 60+ men on the 12th of June, they were followed by solo men on the 13th and all the team start on the 16th to head off into 3000 miles across the Rockies, the heartland of America, and finally the Appalachians. The race crosses 12 states and climbs over 170,000 vertical feet. Team racers have a maximum of nine days and most finish in about seven and a half days. Teams will ride 350-500 miles a day, racing non-stop. Solo racers have a maximum of 12 days to complete the race, with the fastest finishing in just over eight days. Solo racers will ride 250-350 miles a day, balancing speed and the need for sleep. If you want more information here is the RAAM web-site.

“Race Across America” Film by Stephen Auerbach:

Wattbike Joins Forces with Etape Cymru for Effective Training Plans
Press Release: Wattbike, the ultimate training tool for amateur and elite cyclists, have joined forces with the Etape Cymru closed road cyclosportive to offer participants top training tips and plans ahead of the event on Sunday 9th September 2012.

No closed-road sportive challenges a rider quite like the Etape Cyrmu, so Wattbike has partnered with the organisers of the event to help riders get to the start line in fantastic condition and make the most of their training time. Wattbike aims to provide cyclists with the best possible cycling experience and in partnering with Etape Cyrmu has linked with an event with matching ambitions.

Training on a Wattbike using power, heart rate and cadence measurements enables the rider to train at exactly the right intensity for optimal improvement. Combined with the Wattbike’s unique pedal technique analysis, unrivalled level of accuracy and the feel of riding a real bike, the sportive rider has the ultimate training tool to meet the challenge of the UK’s toughest closed road sportive.

The 92-mile Etape Cymru, which has received some major modifications from the 2011 edition, will start from Bangor-on-Dee racecourse, situated a few miles southeast of Wrexham. Set amongst beautiful countryside, the start point is overlooked by the hills that participants will later be climbing, providing a perfect opportunity to assess the challenge ahead and soak up the pre-event atmosphere.

Wattbike is also providing the official Etape Cyrmu Training Plan combined with a 10% discount on the purchase of a Wattbike for all participants.

Their training plans will help prepare for the challenging route. It will pass by the villages of Llangollen, Carrog, and Minera, and takes in climbs of many of the tough hills in the Clwydian range, including Panorama and The Shelf. The exposed climb up World’s End towards the end of the course will provide cyclists with fantastic views of the Welsh scenery whilst they tackle the stretch home. Much of the Etape Cymru is held in the Clwydian & Dee Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Ian Wilson, Managing Director of Wattbike said: “Partnering with the Etape Cyrmu is a fantastic opportunity for us to showcase the Wattbike to some of the most committed sportive riders in the UK. Training on a Wattbike is without doubt the most effective way to prepare for a challenging sportive. Etape Cyrmu riders have the ultimate sportive training tools in the Wattbike and our bespoke Training Plan for this great closed road event.”

More information on the Etape Cymru route can be found on: https://www.etape-cymru.co.uk. The event will cost Ј55 and entries are now open.

Australians in a Wind Tunnel
The Australian Olympic team pursuit squad are looking for any gain they can to get those Olympic Gold medals on the London track and so they have been in the wind tunnel to get any advantage they can, here is the story:

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