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EuroTrash Thursday!

I thought this week would be a quiet one, but no, the National championships are on this week-end and there is lots of news about some race around France starting soon! Dr. Ferrari keeps cropping up, he is the subject of the ”Top Story”; two interesting articles. We catch up with Slovenia and Serbia and there are the usual videos and news to set you up for the day. EuroTrash Thursday time!

“Top Story”

Two Connected Articles
Yesterday I was trawling through the usual articles and found two that are strangely connected through one man, a certain Dr. Michele Farrari.

The first is a web-site called 53×12.com which is a personal training site, which is described as being conceived with the help of Dr. Michele Ferrari, “53×12.com is an online training center for cyclists from all over the world.” Anyway, there is a very good article by the good doctor concerning the up and coming Tour de France and what could be the decisive 53 kilometre time trial. Ferrari compares the performances of the important men in the TT at Bourg en Bresse where Bradley Wiggins rode at 50.79 kph; he calculated that Wiggins had 1.9% more power than Tony Martin (2nd), 3.4% more than Michael Rogers (3rd), 4.9% more than 2011 Tour winner Cadel Evans (8th) and 11.3% more than Vincenzo Nibali who was 31st. He also is impressed by Wiggins in the mountains, on the climb of Joux Plane (11.7 km at 8.4%) he calculated that Wiggins output was “1684 m/h was the VAM, equal to 5.92 watts/kg”. Now compare that to Frank Schleck in the Tour of Switzerland, on the climb of Glaubenberg (1070 metres of climbing at 7%), now the Luxembourg rider had an output of “1663 m/h VAM, equal to 6.16 watts/kg”. Dr. Ferrari puts Wiggins form down to his training at altitude on Mount Teide on Tenerife, Canary Islands at 3,718 metres (12,198 ft). Farrari also draws our attention to the fact “teams have trained at altitude in the area that the UCI repeatedly cited as suspicious.” Pot, kettle and black come to mind.

Which brings me to the second article which was in La Gazzetta dello Sport yesterday (Wednesday) reporting on the further investigations of the Prosecutor of Padua in Italy and that Giovanni Visconti, Leonardo Bertagnolli and Michele Scarponi will have to explain themselves to the Italian Olympic Committee’s (CONI) anti-doping committee about their links to Ferrari. The investigation launched in 2010 was in collaboration with the police of France, Switzerland, Spain, the United States and Interpol with Dr. Ferrari at the centre, with about ninety athletes; Italians and foreigners. The Treasury Department of Padua and Nas Carabinieri of Florence and Brescia, through the prosecutor have revealing the doping plot and its turnover of 30 million Euros. Among the suspects is Armstrong, Popovych, Italian champion Visconti, Scarponi, Bertagnolli, Gasparotto. Russians like Menchov, Kolobnev, Silin, and Petrov.

So, Dr. Ferrari knows his stuff, but that stuff seems to cover a few different methods. Who does he think will win the Tour? “Although, in my opinion, the favourite for the victory in Paris is Cadel Evans, who seems more solid and complete than Wiggo.”

The rise of Wiggo:

Tour de Slovйnie 2012
The diminutive Italian climber; Domenico Pozzovivo (Colnago-CSF Inox) nearly pulled of the overall win in the Tour of Slovenia with his win in stage 3. The big problem for the little man was the individual time trial on the last stage won by home boy; Kristijan Koren (Liquigas-Cannondale), more importantly Janez Brajkovic of Astana took enough time to beat Pozzovivo by 6 seconds at the end of the four stages.

Tour de Slovйnie Stage Winners:
Stage 1: Simone Ponzi (Ita) Astana.
Overall: Ponzi.
Stage 2: Daryl Impey (RSA) Orica-GreenEdge.
Overall: Ponzi
Stage 3: Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Colnago-CSF Inox.
Overall: Pozzovivo.
Stage 4 (TT): Kristijan Koren (Slo) Liquigas-Cannondale.

Tour de Slovйnie Final Overall:
1. Janez Brajkovic (Slo) Astana at 14:20:42
2. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Colnago – CSF Inox 0:00:06
3. Kristijan Koren (Slo) Liquigas-Cannondale at 1:16
4. Bruno Pires (Por) Saxo Bank at 2:12
5. Matteo Rabottini (Ita) Farnese Vini-Selle Italia at 2:23
6. Dominik Nerz (Ger) Liquigas-Cannondale at 2:35
7. Jure Golcer (Slo) Tirol Cycling Team at 2:39
8. Daniele Ratto (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale at 2:45
9. Tomaћ Nose (Slo) Adria Mobil
10. Winner Anacona Gomez (Col) Lampre-ISD at 2:51.

Backstage with Orica-GreenEdge in Slovenia:

Tour de Serbie 2012
The Tour of Serbia was won by Stefan Schumacher (Christina Watches-Onfone); he won stage 3 from Sergei Rudaskov (Itera-Katusha) into Bajina Basta and took the overall lead. Between him and his team they controlled the rest of the race, until the last 3 kilometres of the last stage where he crashed, but all was OK as he was given the same time as the stage winner; Maximiliano Richeze (Team Nippo) who took his third stage win. Schumacher was taken to hospital with face and arm injuries and could not be presented as the winner.

Tour de Serbie Stage Winners:
Stage 1: Maximiliano Richeze (Arg) Team Nippo.
Overall: Richeze.
Stage 2: Enrico Rossi (Ita) Meridiana Kamen.
Overall: Ivan Stevic (Srb) Salcano.
Stage 3: Stefan Schumacher (Ger) Christina Watches-Onfone.
Overall: Schumacher.
Stage 4: Fortunato Balliani (Ita= Team Nippo.
Overall: Schumacher.
Stage 5: Maximiliano Richeze (Arg) Team Nippo.
Overall: Schumacher.
Stage 6: Maximiliano Richeze (Arg) Team Nippo.

Tour de Serbie Final Overall:
1. Stefan Schumacher (Ger) Christina Watches – Onfone in 19:05:38
2. Sergei Rudaskov (Rus) Itera-Katusha at 0:16
3. Alexander Prishpetnyy (Rus) Itera-Katusha at 0:33
4. Maarten De Jonge (Ned) CCN-Hong Kong at 0:34
5. Matija Kvasina (Cro) Tusnad Cycling Team
6. Alexander Foliforov (Rus) Itera-Katusha at 0:42
7. Gabor Fejes (Hun) Bianchi Regional at 0:47
8. Michael Rasmussen (Den) Christina Watches-Onfone at 1:03
9. Fortunato Balliani (Ita) Team Nippo at 1:19
10. Damian Walczak (Pol) BDC-Marcpol Team at 1:32.

Tour de Serbie finish in Belgrade:

The National Championships
Most countries are having their National championships this week-end with the Pro/Elite race on Sunday. Here is some championships news.

Cancellara Scores 7th National TT Title
Fabian Cancellara has won the Swiss National Time Trial Championships, ahead of Thomas Frei and Martin Elmiger. It’s Cancellara seventh national title against the clock.

The four times World Champion finished the 50 km course in Messen in 1:00:39. Thomas Frei (Christina Watches) came in second place, 1:54 behind Cancellara. Martin Elmiger (AG2R La Mondiale) was third, two minutes down on Cancellara.

Cancellara: “I’m very proud to have won another Swiss title in the time trial. It’s an honor to wear the colors of your country, even if you win the race for the seventh time. The competition was very motivated, because all of us want that title.”

DS Luca Guercilena: “Fabian’s time trial project is a work in progress. Even though he still feels the last two heavy mountain stages of the Tour de Suisse in his legs, he can be proud of his performance today. This is not yet the Olympic time trial, of course, but it was a good test for him. Every victory is a victory. He puts in two minutes to the second man, so that’s very good. It’s an indication that he’s growing to his best shape and ability for this kind of long efforts, so I’m very satisfied.”

Cancellara: “I’m happy with where I stand at this point. I was relaxed and very focused. In a race like this you don’t have the big infrastructure around you, there are no official split times and there are not so many competitors, but it’s still very good to go home with a good feeling in the pocket. The race was only 20 kilometers from my home, so that made it extra special.”

Cancellara will also take the start in the national road race on Sunday. Team mates Gregory Rast and Oliver Zaugg will be there as well.

Omega Pharma – Quick-Step Cycling Team to the National Championships
Press Release: Quick-Step Cycling Team has officially announced the names of the athletes who will take part in both the time trial and road national championships in nine different countries.

The time trials will kick off on Wednesday, June 20th, starting with Niki Terpstra in the Dutch National Time Trial Championships. Terpstra will also be participating in the road race scheduled for next Sunday, June 24th.

In Germany, Tony Martin and Bert Grabsch will participate in the time trial. Grabsch will try to defend the title he won last year. Ciolek and Grabsch will also be participating in the road race.

Tony Martin will not be lining up to start the race.

“I’m really sorry that I can’t be there for the start of the race,” declared the World Time Trial Champion, “but I want to concentrate on recuperating and training so I can be at my best for the Tour de France, which will be opening with a time trial prologue, no less.”

Zdenek Stybar and Frantisek Rabon will take part in both tests — the time trial on June 2nd, and next Sunday’s road race. The same goes for the Velits twins, Martin and Peter, who will try to capture the time trial and road titles on those same days. Both the Slovak and the Czech Championships will be contested in a single test with two separate classifications, one for each country.

In France, Sylvain Chavanel will try to garner the 4th national time trial success in his career on June 21st. Jerome Pineau will also take part in this race. Then, both riders will line up for the road race on Sunday.

“It’s no secret that I would like to do well in the time trial,” commented Chavanel. “This year I have started feeling like I used to, and in the time trial for the Tour de Dauphinй that gave me an awareness of what I can do.”

In Poland, Michal Kwiatkowski will take part in the time trial on Thursday the 21st. On Sunday, Kwiatkowski and Michal Golas will take part in the road race.

In Ireland, Matt Brammeier will try to defend the title he clinched last year in the road race.

“The objective is to ride a good race,” said Brammeier. “One of the most intimidating adversaries will be Roche, who proved to be in top form at the Tour de Suisse.”

In Italy, Matteo Trentin, Marco Bandiera and Dario Cataldo will be at the starting gate for the road race on Saturday the 23rd. On Sunday the 24th, Cataldo and Trentin will also participate in the time trial. It will be a special race for Trentin, who will be racing right in his native town of Borgovalsugana, where he still lives.

Last but not least, the Belgium National Championships will be held on Sunday the 24th in Geel, Belgium. As usual, they’re expecting large crowds on the circuit suited for sprinters. For Boonen, it will be like riding at home. In fact, Tornado Tom lives just a few kilometres from the track.

“It will be a nice race,” commented Boonen. “The team is very strong and we can count on many men at the starting line. Wearing the National jersey for the second time in my career — close to home — would be a dream come true, but it won’t be easy. However on the team there are other athletes who could win this race.” All eleven Belgian riders from the team will take part in the race: Tom Boonen, Kevin De Weert, Dries Devenyns, Iljo Keisse, Nikolas Maes, Serge Pauwels, Gert Steegmans, Guillaume Van Keirsbulck, Stijn Vandenbergh, Kristof Vandewalle, and Julien Vermote.

No Valverde & Sanchez at Spanish Champs
Olympic champion Samuel Sanchez (Euskaltel-Euskadi) and Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) will not be riding the time trial or the road race championships in Salamanca. Sanchez has been training at altitude in Sierra Nevada and had no intention of riding the championship events. Valverde had originally planned on riding both the time trial and road race, but after helping team mate Rui Costa win the Tour du Suisse last week his form is on track for the Tour de France, so staying at home in Murcia preparing would be better.

Euskaltel-Euskadi for the Spanish National road race Championship
Egoi Martinez, Gorka Verdugo, Amets Txurruka, Ruben Perez, Alan Perez, Pablo Urtasun, Gorka Izagirre, Jon Izagirre, Mikel Astarloza, Jorge Azanza, Juanjo Oroz, Miguel Minguez.

Endura Racing announce teams for National Circuit Race and Road Race Championships
Press Release: Endura Racing will be represented by strong selections at both of the British National Championships this week, as well as sending riders to the French, German, Estonian, Spanish and Swedish Nationals

At the British Circuit Race Championships in Otley, local hero Scott Thwaites will be hoping to repeat his 2011 win in the “Queen of Crits” after a strong Tour Series where he scored two individual victories in our successful campaign. Ian Wilkinson, winner in Otley in 2010, will be aiming to make the top step of the podium after two back-to-back 2nd places in the Championships in 2010 and 2011. Russ Downing, twice a winner in Otley will be looking to add a third National Champions jersey to his collection after wins in 2003 and 2009.

In Sunday’s British Road Race Championships in Ampleforth, Russ Downing, winner on a similar circuit in 2005, comes off the back of a series of stage races on the European mainland and will aiming to break Team Sky’s recent dominance in the road race championships. Scott Thwaites will look to defend his U23 title on the variation of the Ryedale Grand Prix course and will be joined in the U23 category by Erick Rowsell, 3rd last year in Stamfordham. UCI Europe Tour leader, Jon Tiernan-Locke, winner of the Ryedale Grand Prix in 2011, will continue his recovery from a broken collar bone after a solid return to action at last week’s Route du Sud. The road squad will be supplemented by Endura MTB Racing’s Oli Beckingsale, winner of the last two British XC Series rounds, who is making a rare foray onto tarmac.

On the European mainland, Rene Mandri will start as one of the favourites in the Estonian Road Race Championships, whilst Alexandre Blain (France), Paul VoЯ (Germany), Iker Camaсo (Spain) and Alexander Wetterhall (Sweden) will also be looking to convert strong stage racing performances into one-day form in their National Championships.

British Circuit Race Championships – Otley, West Yorkshire, Wednesday 20th June: Ian Bibby, Russ Downing, Jonny McEvoy, Rob Partridge, Erick Rowsell, Scott Thwaites, Ian Wilkinson.

British Road Race Championships – Ampleforth, North Yorkshire, Sunday 24th June: Ian Bibby, Russ Downing, Jonny McEvoy, Rob Partridge, Erick Rowsell, Scott Thwaites, Ian Wilkinson, Oli Beckingsale.
Alexander Wetterhall – Swedish Road Race and Time Trial Championships.
Alexandre Blain – French Road Race Championships.
Iker Camaсo – Spanish Time Trial Championships.
Paul VoЯ – German Road Race Championships.
Rene Mandri – Estonian Road Race and Time Trial Championships.

A collection of National championships from 2010:

2012 Tour de France News:

BMC Racing Team Announces Tour De France Team
Press Release: Defending champion Cadel Evans headlines the BMC Racing Team’s roster for the Tour de France, as announced Tuesday by BMC Racing Team President/General Manager Jim Ochowicz and Directeur Sportif John Lelangue.

Difficult Roster Choice
Ochowicz said it was not an easy task selecting the eight riders who will help Evans during the three-week race that begins Saturday, June 30 in Liиge, Belgium. “We have a number of qualified athletes, all of whom who could have been a great addition to this team,” Ochowicz said. “We’re looking forward to a challenging race, but one that we’re prepared to take on. What we got out of last year’s Tour was that we did a lot of things right and not too many things wrong. We’d like to repeat that this time around.” Returning to join Evans from last year’s Tour team are Marcus Burghardt, George Hincapie, Amaлl Moinard, Manuel Quinziato and Michael Schдr. Joining them will be three riders new to the BMC Racing Team this year: Steve Cummings, Philippe Gilbert and Tejay van Garderen.

One Objective
Lelangue said the eight riders joining Evans will solely devote their efforts toward helping him become the Tour’s first back-to-back winner since 2005. Seven of the eight raced together at the Critйrium du Dauphinй – where Evans finished third – and none of them competed in the Giro d’Italia. “We have one objective: to defend Cadel’s title and bring him to the podium in Paris,” Lelangue said. “Everyone will know clearly what their job is during the three weeks of racing. Our roster has a really good balance, especially considering the parcours.”

Stronger Team
Evans said he is buoyed by confidence gained from his first Tour victory last year in seven appearances. “I know now that I can win it and my lead-up this year is nearly identical to what we did last year,” he said. “We’re bringing an even stronger team to the Tour this year and the route would seem to favor me. But the time trials will change the dynamics of the race and some of the tactics of my rivals. But like last year, I’ll go to the Tour with my own plan, to ride my own race.” In addition to a stage win and third place overall at the Critйrium du Dauphinй, Evans’s lead-up to the Tour included a win in the time trial stage of the Critйrium International on the way to overall victory.
BMC Racing Team Tour de France Roster:
Marcus Burghardt (GER),
Steve Cummings (GBR),
Cadel Evans (AUS),
Philippe Gilbert (BEL),
George Hincapie (USA),
Amaлl Moinard (FRA),
Manuel Quinziato (ITA),
Michael Schдr (SUI),
Tejay van Garderen (USA).
Brent Bookwalter (USA),
Steve Morabito (SUI).

The 2012 Route:

Rabobank 2012 Tour de France Team
The Dutch Rabobank team have announced their line-up for the up and coming Tour de France, they have gone for six home riders; Robert Gesink and Bauke Mollema will be going for the overall with Steven Kruijswijk as a protected rider, Laurens Ten Dam, Bram Tankink and Maarten Tjallingii make up the Dutch contingent. All round rider Luis Leon Sanchez, sprinter Mark Renshaw and Belgian strongman Maarten Wynants complete the orange squad.
The nine riders are:
Laurens Ten Dam,
Robert Gesink,
Steven Kruijswijk,
Bauke Mollema,
Mark Renshaw,
Luis Leon Sanchez,
Bram Tankink,
Maarten Tjallingii,
Maarten Wynants.

Katusha Tour de France Team
The Katusha team has announced that Denis Menchov will be leading the team for the Tour with multi-World champion Oscar Friere as a protected rider for stage wins. The Russian says he is motivated to do well in the only Grand Tour he hasn’t won, as he pointed out; “the Tour de France is the only Grand Tours that I still hadn’t won: it’s not a secret that this year it was my main goal, it would be the crowning achievement of my career.”
The Katusha riders are:
Denis Menchov,
Oscar Freire,
Giampaolo Caruso,
Vladimir Gusev,
Joan Horrach,
Aliaksandr Kuchynski,
Luca Paolini,
Yuriy Trofimov,
Eduard Vorganov.

Euskaltel-Euskadi Team for the Tour
The Orange Basque team will be backing Olympic champion Samuel Sanchez again this year at the French Tour, he will be hoping to defend his mountains jersey from last year and get a place in the top ten overall. Mikel Astarloza will probably make his return to the Tour after testing positive at the 2009 Tour where he won a stage, but was then banned for two years for EPO use. The definitive Euskatel-Euskadi team for the Tour will be announced after the Spanish National championships.

The probable nine riders:
Samuel Sanchez,
Gorka Izagirre,
Egoi Martinez,
Ruben Perez,
Amets Txurruka,
Pablo Urtasun,
Gorka Verdugo,
Mikel Astarloza,
Jorge Azanza.

Lotto-Belisol Tour Line-up
The Belgian Lotto-Belisol team for the Tour de France will be built around the German sprinter Andrй Greipel and overall aspirant Jurgen Van Den Boeck. Team manager Marc Segeant said “Obviously we had to make some decisions. Francis De Greef had a good Giro, is very solid and can go a long way in the mountains. Adam Hansen also proved in the last week of the Giro being able to climb and being in shape at the right time.” As to his team leader he commented; “with Jurgen Van den Broeck, we aim for the best general ranking possible. Next to that, there are a couple of stages in which Jelle Vanendert can have a go. Andrй Greipel worked his way up to the Tour and supported by Greg Henderson, Jьrgen Roelandts and Marcel Sieberg, he gets the great sprinting train who showed its skills during the last weeks.”
The riders are:
Lars Bak,
Francis De Greef,
Andrй Greipel,
Adam Hansen,
Greg Henderson,
Jьrgen Roelandts,
Marcel Sieberg,
Jurgen Van den Broeck,
Jelle Vanendert.

Reserve: Jurgen Van de Walle.

Omega Pharma – Quick-Step Team for the Tour
Omega Pharma – Quick-Step Cycling Team has officially announced the squad that will take part in the 2012 Tour de France.

Press Release: “We will be at the starting line with a competitive formation” Team Manager Patrick Lefevere said. “Leipheimer has recently shown that he is enjoying a period of crescendo in the Tour de Suisse, as is Peter Velits. By their side on the major climbs we will see Kevin De Weert, one of the best riders in the last editions of the Grande Boucle. In the time trials we can count on Levi and the undeniable skills of Tony Martin, who will be in his element with more than 100 kilometers on the schedule. Same goes for Bert Grabsch, a fantastic time trial performer, who, together with Stijn Vandenbergh, will be tasked with keeping the squad together on the flat stages. For the individual stages we will have high caliber athletes like Sylvain Chavanel, a natural attacker who has already twice won the prize for most combative rider while making our jersey stand out on the roads of the 2010 Tour; as well as Dries Devenyns, riding in the third Tour de France of his career. We will also see Jerome Pineau at the start line, an athlete who really knows how to play his cards, as well as how to be a perfect team player when the occasion calls for it. Overall, the formation is well balanced and they will be able to stand out in the individual stages as well as in the general classification.”
Sylvain Chavanel (FRA),
Kevin De Weert (BEL),
Dries Devenyns (BEL),
Bert Grabsch (GER),
Levi Leipheimer (USA),
Tony Martin (GER),
Jerome Pineau (FRA),
Stijn Vandenbergh (BEL),
Peter Velits (SVK).
Sports Director Davide Bramati (ITA), Brian Holm (DEN) & Wilfried Peeters (BEL).

French Tour Promo:

RadioShack Nissan Trek’s line-up for the Tour de France 2012
RadioShack-Nissan-Trek team had to lose Andy Schleck due to his cracked sacrum, but they do have his brother Frank who looked a bit better at the Tour du Suisse. He is backed up by a lot of experience on the team; Cancellara, Horner, Klцden, Voigt, Popovych and Zubeldia have been there and seen it all before. The team has been out of luck recently, maybe it’s time for a change?
The nine riders are:
Fabian Cancellara,
Tony Gallopin,
Chris Horner,
Andreas Klцden,
Maxime Monfort,
Yaroslav Popovych,
Frдnk Schleck,
Jens Voigt,
Haimar Zubeldia.
Team Directors: Alain Gallopin and Dirk Demol.

No Fuglsang for RadioShack-Nissan
Jakob Fuglsang wanted to ride this year’s Tour de France and although he has given the team something to be happy about this year with his Tour de Luxembourg success, he was left out of the Tour line-up. In an interview with Sporten.dk he showed his surprise and displeasure, saying “Of course I’m disappointed with it and I think I should have a place on the team. If you look at my form and my results, I cannot see that there are nine riders who are better. It’s not because of my condition or that the results have not been there; I feel in good shape and I think I have also shown some good results.” The Danish rider was also not happy about the explanation as to why he wasn’t picked, or lack of it. “I was told by Kim Anderson, be he could not tell me why, there was no further explanation and justification.” He could have been left at home due to his public wish to change team next year and his open criticism of the team.

Hoogerland Wants Tour Mountains Jersey
In an interview with De Telegraaf Vacansoleil-DCM rider Johnny Hoogerland has stated his aim of taking the King of the Mountains jersey at this year’s Tour de France. Last year he wore the KOM spotted jersey for five stages and was racking up the points before being launched into a barbed wire fence by a TV car overtaking a break he was in. he commented that; “it was a shame I never got the chance to finally go for it,” he wants to make up for last year’s disappointment saying “I have put my mind to the mountain jersey, although I know that it is not easy. You need luck and a couple of times a good offense. There are a few stages where you can pick up a lot of points.” Let’s hope he can keep away from crazy car drivers!

Scarponi at Tour for Lampre-ISD
Michele Scarponi had a fair Giro d’Italia, but not as well as he or his team wanted, which was fourth. At the start of the season he had discussed riding both Grand Tours this year with the team and after training on the Stelvio, after finishing the Giro; he has confirmed his participation in the French race. Scarponi known’s it won’t be easy for him with all the time trials, summing it up “There are more or less 100 kilometres of time trialling so it might be a bit stupid to say I want to go to France to ride for the GC, even if you never know.” He has pointed out that his motivation for mountains is high; “A good Tour would be to go on the attack in the mountains and maybe even win a stage.”

Voeckler at the Tour? Maybe Not
On Monday we reported that Thomas Voeckler (Europcar) would probably not be riding this year’s Tour de France, well now it seems he might be on the start line as a MRI scan has shown that the damage is not as bad as first thought. “I am hopeful for the Tour,” Voeckler told Ouest France after the scan. “I have an inflammation of the iliotibial tract, which is the outside of the knee. I have to take a week off without cycling.” He will be a week behind his training, but he usually gives it his best efforts.

The Tour de France:

Kittel with Argos-Shimano until end of 2014
German sprinter Marcel Kittel has signed to stay with the Dutch Argos-Shimano team until the end of the 2014 season. He originally signed for the teams previous incarnation; Skil-Shimano in 2011 and rode through its transitional phase of the Project 1t4i until it became Argos-Shimano in April this year. In 2011 he took 18 wins and has so far in 2012 he has racked up 8 wins, including the points jersey at the recent Ster ZLM Toer. Kittel will make his debut in the Tour de France this year and his sprinting prowess should help the team step up to the ProTour from their present ProContinental place at the moment.

Kittel ready for the Tour:

Geniez to Leave Argos-Shimano
After the news that Marcel Kittel will be staying on at Argos-Shimano, his team mate Alexandre Geniez has announced that he wants a new team for next year. The French climber thinks that he will not get the support from the team as it is a sprinters team, exclusively there for in the service of Kittel. His non selection for this year’s Tour de France has brought the message home, does hope to ride the Vuelta a Espaсa at the end of the year.

Alexandre Geniez wins 4th stage of the Tour of Austria 2011:

Pozzato Talks to CONI
Farnese Vini-Selle Italia rider Filippo Pozzato appeared before the Italian Olympic Committee in Rome on Tuesday to answer questions concerning the allegations that he was/is a client of the disgraced doctor Michele Ferrari. The newspaper La Republica had printed extracts from a phone call where Pozzato had discussed working with Ferrari and how much that would cost. Pozzato admitted to Gazzetta dello Sport that he consulted Dr. Ferrari from 2005 to 2009 for a training programme and advice on nutrition. He says he has been working towards the Olympic games and philosophically said “we will see what happens. I am calm.” Pozzato faces a suspension of up to 6 months.

Pozzato the Playboy:

Rasmussen/Rabobank Case Postponed
Danish rider Michael Rasmussen is seeking Ђ5.8 million in compensation from the Rabobank team because of them sacking him during the 2007 Tour de France. The Dutch court in Arnhem could not come to a decision; this case comes after he had been awarded Ђ715,000 in 2008 by a court in Utrecht. The case is based on Rasmussen’s claim that the Rabobank team knew where he was, but has sent him to the Tour anyway. His first payment was based on probable lost money from the 2007 season, but Rasmussen believes he is due money from all the money he would have earned as a Tour de France winner. There has so far been no date set for a rehearing.

Better times for Michael:

Paracycling Double World Champion, Colin Lynch will join HotChillee on The London-Paris 2012
Press Release: HotChillee today (19th June) announces that Colin Lynch, the Irish Paracycling Double World Champion, will join The London-Paris 2012, starting on 21st June. He will head to the start-line with the 450 other riders to begin the three stage, 507 km ride from London to Paris.

The World’s top paracyclist has been tipped for Gold success at the London 2012 Paralympic Games since winning the C2 TT at the UCI Paracycling Road World Championships in Denmark. He has since won the 2012 Paracycling Track World Championships in Los Angeles in the C2 3km Pursuit, beating the World Record holder Gui Hua Liang of China.

Lynch has been cycling competitively since the age of 16, but his Paracycling endeavours are recent, dating back to 2008. Since this time, his talents have dominated.
Lynch will join an array of cyclists, from enthusiasts, professionals, legends and celebrities. Very few sporting events allow enthusiasts to ride with the sport’s professionals – like Lynch – and 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.
Other cycling legends participating are Triple Crown winner Stephen Roche, 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.

Colin Lynch says: “I am really looking forward to joining HotChillee on The London-Paris. It will be great training for the London 2012 Paralympic Games and I am excited to be cycling with some of the sport’s legends.”

Sven Thiele, founder of HotChillee says: “We are honoured to have such a high-calibre cyclist join us out on the road from London to Paris. He’s a great addition to the peloton and I personally cannot wait to cycle with him. Having Lynch join us adds to the professional nature of The London-Paris, allowing all levels of cyclists, from the enthusiast to the legend, a professional, safe and fun cycling experience.”

Kenyan Riders Chasing a Dream in the Haute Route 2012
Press Release: Cycling enthusiasts from all over the globe will come together on the start line of the Haute Route in Geneva on 19th August 2012.

Lawyers from England, doctors from Brazil, even an Olympic medallist from New Zealand, will be among 600 riders who will test themselves to the very limits for the World’s highest and toughest cyclosportive.

Among the participants is a team of seven unique cyclists: The Kenyan Riders. These dedicated individuals have a dream to be the first black African team to participate in the most prestigious professional cycling races over the next few years. As an important milestone towards this goal, the Haute Route will provide the team with vital experience of a multi-stage event in the mountains. Aged between 24-29, the Kenyan Riders will scale 21,000m during the seven-day event from Geneva to Nice between 19th and 25th August 2012.

In 2006, visionary entrepreneur Nicholas Leong from Singapore arrived in the tiny village of Iten in Western Kenya to start recruiting cyclists. Iten is famous for producing some of the greatest distance running champions of all time, and Leong wanted to see if was possible to nurture this hub of talent to perform on two wheels.

Emulating the same successful training techniques that had been used in the region to develop running talent, he put together a training programme using culturally relevant methods. The result is a fascinating project built on the belief and determination that one day the Kenyan Riders will make the start line – and hopefully the podium – of the world’s most famous professional cycling race.

Speaking about the seven riders who will take on the 780km Haute Route challenge in August, Leong described the make up of the team: “We have a multi-tribal team. Most come from rural areas and none of them completed secondary school. These are hard men; they have dug 10 meter boreholes with their hands and simple tools, hauled 90kg sacks of corn up hills, endured abandonment and deaths in their families, and generally experienced deprivation throughout their lives.”

Almost all of the team used a bicycle, the basic 1-geared Black Mamba, in some capacity in their daily lives.
All the members of the team cherish the unique opportunity the Kenyan Riders programme offers them. It is almost unheard of to discover such a refined training camp for cycling in western Africa, which Leong runs using local resources and the 25 staff and riders each take a monthly salary – a revolutionary concept for sports in the region.

The Kenyan Riders have just arrived in France to begin an action packed summer of cycling races in preparation for the Haute Route. More details about the project and their progress is available at https://www.kenyanriders.com.

The Maglia Rosa – Birth, Life and Celebration
This year’s Giro has to be one of the best races of the year, maybe even the decade! Here is a great little video, it highlights the values of the Santini company –the official supplier of the pink jersey and all the classification jerseys at the Giro d’Italia, and recalls the moment Hesjedal celebrated his Giro d’Italia victory.

Santini is also clothing supplier to the Katusha Team and Vacansoleil-DCM Procycling Team. With Joaquim Rodriguez finishing second and Thomas De Gendt third overall, it meant that all three places on the final Giro d’Italia podium were wearing Santini jerseys.
And here is the video:

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