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EuroTrash Thursday!

The Tour is upon us, so not surprisingly we are full of all the latest news; team line-up’s and all the other happenings for “The BIG One” starting on Saturday. We also catch up with the Tour of America’s Dairyland, London-Paris and Jakob Fuglsang makes the ”Top Story” with his team problems and we finish off with a music video from the Sky team. The Tour is on its way baby!

“Top Story”

No More WorldTour Races for Fuglsang in 2012
The RadioShack-Nissan team has decided that Jakob Fuglsang will not be picked to ride any WorldTour events this year due to his outspoken comments about the team and management. Apparently he was told on Monday by team manager Johan Bruyneel that there would be no place for him in the team at the top class races. This means that Fuglsang will have no chance of gaining any a high amount of UCI points that he would take to another team in 2013 and so affecting his value and wages. Fuglsang was originally annoyed that he would not be starting the Tour de France and spoke his mind and now is paying the price for airing his opinions.

To my mind is seems strange to stop a rider from possibly winning races wearing a jersey with your teams sponsors name on it, even if he is moving to a new team the next year. With all the bad press that Johan Bruyneel is getting at the moment maybe this isn’t the best time to be doing this kind of thing, plus could Fuglsang not have a legal case under the European law on restriction of trade? Last year a rider I know quite well told me not to say anything about his pending move to a new team from RadioShack as he was worried about the same treatment, so it’s not a new trick and as Fuglsang pointed out to ekstrabladet.dk. “it was perhaps not smart to have commented on my situation.” Well that’s true.

Here is Jaob finishing 5th in the 2009 Dauphine stage to Mont Ventoux:

2012 Tour de France News:

Ag2r-La Mondiale Team for the Tour
The French team announced their line-up for this year’s Tour de France on Sunday after the National championships. Nicolas Roche and Jean-Christophe Pйraud will be team leaders and looking for high overall places. The other riders in the team are all strong performers and will be looking for stage wins.

The Ag2r-La Mondiale Tour riders:
Maxime Bouet,
Mikael Chйrel,
Hubert Dupont,
Blel Kadri,
Sйbastien Minard,
Lloyd Mondory,
Jean-Christophe Pйraud,
Christophe Riblon,
Nicolas Roche.

Behind the scenes with Ag2r-La Mondiale in California:

FDJ-BigMat at the Tour
FDJ-BigMat, the other French team, is not taking the new French National champion, Nacer Bouhanni, but it’s still a strong all round team selection, but without any obvious overall ambitions. They could get a stage win here or there from sprinter Yauheni Hutarovich.

FDJ-BigMat Team for the Tour:
Sandy Casar,
Yauheni Hutarovich,
Matthieu Ladagnous,
Thibaut Pinot,
Anthony Roux,
Jйrйmy Roy,
Arthur Vichot,
Pierrick Fйdrigo,
Cйdric Pineau.

FDJ-BigMat promo video:

Lampre-ISD for the Tour
Lampre-ISD has announced its nine blue-fuchsia cyclists for the Tour de France. They are from six Countries (Italy, Slovenia, Germany, Australia and Ukraine/France). The team will be made up of two groups, one concerning the fast finishers (Petacchi and Bole could aim for top results in the sprints), and the other group to be competitive on the climbs, with Scarponi who will try to be a protagonist in the most demanding stages.

Some statistical data: the average age of the team in the Tour de France will be 31 years old (the oldest Petacchi, 38 years old; the youngest Bole, 26 years old); the average height is 177 cm (Hondo the tallest, 186 cm; the shorter Stortoni, 169 cm) and only Petacchi has won stages in the Tour de France. The mix of Ukraine and France is due to Yuriy Krivtsov, who was born in Pervomaisk (Ukraine), but has a French passport.

The riders are:
Grega Bole,
Danilo Hondo,
Yuriy Krivtsov,
Matthew Lloyd,
Marco Marzano,
Alessandro Petacchi,
Michele Scarponi,
Simone Stortoni,
Davide Viganт.
General Manager: Giuseppe Saronni, Sport Directors: Fabrizio Bontempi and Maurizio Piovani, Technical Director Roberto Damiani.

Lampre-ISD team video:

Movistar Ready for the Tour
In good spirits after the 22 victories conquered up to date (one more than in the entire 2011 season) and the ambition to keep winning in their already brilliant 2012 season, Movistar Team will take part from Saturday in the Tour de France. It will be the Blues’ 30th appearance at the Grande Boucle (they have participated every year since 1983) of the squad directed by Eusebio Unzuй, who had this to say: “I think it’s a highly talented squad,” said Unzuй to the Movistar web-site. “All of them already know the Tour and are real experts in Grand Tour, but the most important thing is that they all come in perfect condition to the start. It was difficult to rule Arroyo out, but it was just the same in the Giro when we left Quintana out of our selection. It’s sad, because he was strong too, but only nine riders can make it.”

The Movistar riders are:
Alejandro Valverde,
Juanjo Cobo,
Josй Joaquнn Rojas,
Rubйn Plaza,
Vasil Kiryienka,
Ivбn Gutiйrrez,
Imanol Erviti,
Vladimir Karpets,
Rui Costa.

The Movistar Team visit the Museum of Human Evolution:

Euskaltel-Euskadi set for the Tour
Euskaltel Euskadi team arrived in Liege on Wednesday June 27, the starting point of the 2012 Tour de France, from Loiu airport. Eight cyclists (Egoi Martinez, Gorka Verdugo, Ruben Perez, Mikel Astarloza, Amets Txurruka, Gorka Izagirre, Pablo and Jorge Azanza Urtasun) left Loiu airport at 8:30 pm accompanied by sporting director Gerrikagoitia to first travel to Barcelona. In Barcelona they were joined by Olympic champion Samuel Sanchez, who traveled from Oviedo, to take a second flight to Brussels, they then concluded the trip by coach to their hotel in Liege, where the team “Orange” are based before the start on Saturday.

The Euskaltel-Euskadi team for the Tour is:
Samuel Sanchez,
Egoi Martinez,
Gorka Verdugo,
Ruben Perez,
Mikel Astarloza,
Amets Txurruka,
Gorka Izagirre,
Pablo Azanza Urtasun
Jorge Azanza Urtasun.

Last years Euskatel-Euskadi team:

Andrй Greipel at the Tour
On Saturday Andrй Greipel will start his second Tour de France. He will be looking for a second victory, after being the fastest in the tenth race last year, in Carmaux.

Andrй Greipel: “With Marcel Sieberg, Jьrgen Roelandts and Greg Henderson I have the best and the fastest launching partners next to me. I was able to win seven times in the last four weeks, which made the foundations for our Tour. I was able to show me as one of the best sprinters. I’m really excited for me second Tour de France.”

Greipel is very satisfied with the team formation for the Tour: “I’m especially happy that the team management has fulfilled my wish to have a sprinting squad. We are a very good team and get along excellent outside of the races. The spirit is superb.” He also shines a light on the other five Lotto Belisol riders: “With Jurgen Van den Broeck and Jelle Vanendert we have two strong guys for the climbs. With Lars Bak, Adam Hansen and Francis De Greef, we have three all rounder’s who will also play a big role in the sprints.”

Greipel wins stage 6 at the Tour Down Under:

Selection Change for OPQS at the Tour de France
Martin Velits will replace injured Stijn Vandenbergh
Press Release:
Stijn Vandenbergh, one of the nine riders originally selected to compete in the 2012 Tour de France. The Belgian rider selected for La Grande Boucle is suffering from a saddle sore.

“I had this problem in the last 10 days, and it was almost solved,” Vandenbergh said. “But Sunday’s national championship exacerbated the problem. Together with the medical staff of the team, we decided not to take risks. This is why I will not participate in the Tour. I am really sad, but I think there are no other solutions. I have to think also about the team. I don’t want to start, not knowing how I would be during the race. The Tour is a demanding race, and you need nine riders completely ready and healthy for the fight. I hope the guys will have a great Tour de France, and that they can fight for prestigious results.”

Vandenbergh will be replaced by Martin Velits at his first Tour de France experience.

“It is a shame for Vandenbergh” Velits says. “I can imagine how he is feeling now. I know how difficult it is to train and be ready for a race and then be forced to not participate because of an injury. That is why I will give it all for the team and for him at the next Tour. I am ready, am in good condition and am really looking forward to my first Tour de France.”

Rabobank Cycling Team enters Tour on solar energy
Press Release: The Rabobank Cycling Team is going to be powered by solar energy as of Saturday, June 30. On top of the brand-new DAF CF materials truck there will be seven solar panels, which will provide the truck with all of its electricity needs.

Two washing machines run every day in order to clean the team members’ kit, but the personnel’s clothing needs to be washed in them too. There is a refrigerator and a freezer in the truck as well, for sandwiches and food for the feed bags. What is more, the team mechanics use the DAF CF as their mobile work station. All of the electricity necessary for this will be supplied by the seven solar panels provided by Victron Energy. The DAF CF made its first appearance in the Tour de Suisse. Team driver Walter Boom commented on how well everything worked: “If the sun’s shining bright, then the panels should provide sufficient energy for everything. Then we won’t need an aggregate anymore.”

Several companies worked hand in hand to assemble the truck. The design is made by Elenbaas, De Rijke built the custom chassis, which needed to provide space under the loading platform for a series of batteries that will store the energy. Victron Energy provided the solar panels, and also the electrical box and its connections. Finally, Stork Technical Services prepared the truck to be able to safely hang the 35 bicycles and extra wheel sets, all of which will go to the Tour de France.

Slipstream Sports and Garmin Welcome Sharp As New Co-Title Sponsor As Team Gears Up for the Tour de France
Press Release: Slipstream Sports, owners of the top professional cycling team dedicated to ethical sport and developing the next generation of cycling champions, today announced that it has added Sharp as a new, co-title sponsor of the team. Sharp is a world-leading technology provider, offering one of the widest portfolios of business and lifestyle products in markets across the globe.

“In the year Sharp celebrates 100 years of creating unique technologies and products that bring genuine benefit to society, we are delighted to become Technology Partner to the most exciting team in one of the world’s most beautiful sports, which perfectly showcases the convergence of technological and human achievement. Sharp has a strong focus on developing its brand presence globally, and this offers us the opportunity to put ourselves in front of a significant, new, world-wide audience. Sharp is dedicated to its founding ideals of sincerity and creativity, and with their clear commitment to ethical innovation, Slipstream are the perfect fit.” said Paul Molyneux, CEO of Sharp Europe. “The rapidly-growing consumer Health and Wellness market offers tremendous potential for Sharp and with this team and the partners involved, we have a world-class platform to develop real technological benefit in a highly-focused, performance-based environment. We will challenge ourselves to use new and existing Sharp technology to help this amazing group of athletes go faster, recover quicker and continue their inspiring journey to the top of their sport, looking to create new products that help people live in a healthier, more enjoyable way.”

The official UCI-registered name of the team will be Garmin-Sharp (GRS), just in time for start of 2012 Tour de France. Barracuda Networks will continue as an important co-title sponsor, and team materials and the website will refer to the team as Garmin-Sharp-Barracuda.

“Sharp shares our passion and commitment to the best innovations in technology,” said Jonathan Vaughters, CEO of Slipstream Sports. “We are incredibly excited to partner with them to together develop technologies that will help our riders do what they do every day, even better.”

The new team kit by technical clothing sponsor Castelli, will be revealed on Thursday, June 28th at 10am at a Tour de France press conference.

For additional information please visit: www.slipstreamsports.com.

Figures for the Tour de France 2012:
4500 people: organization – sports groups – media – partners – publicity caravan – providers.

198 riders at the start (22 teams of 9 riders)
300 personnel
17 members of the College of Commissaries

Course 2012:
3497 km (20 stages + prologue)
37 stage towns
695 towns crossed to France, including 70 communities abroad (52 in Belgium, 18 in Switzerland)
39 French departments visited
Three countries visited (France, Belgium, Switzerland)

100 Permanent ASO employees
280 contractors
1400 beds every day for the organization and sports groups

Medical Service:
10 emergency physicians, a nurse anesthetist
7 ambulances, two doctors’ cars, a motorcycle

47 Republican Guards motorcyclists
13 policemen standing police mission component of the Tour
14,000 gendarmes / police and 9000 CRS mobilized
1000 Agents of General Councils

Media (2011 edition):
2300 journalists, consultants, photographers
700 media from 35 different countries present at the event
320 newspapers, news agencies and websites
100 channels of TV
80 photo agencies
70 radio stations, including 50 national.

TV Broadcasting:
Broadcast in 190 countries
About 100 channels including 60 live
New national channels: Albania (Top Channel), Canada (RDS), Mongolia (Channel One)
7 Steps produced in full
81.5 hours live on France Televisions and the international signal (including Eurosport)
4700 hours of broadcasting (2011)
3.5 billion viewers worldwide (2011).

Internet (2011 edition):
14 million unique visitors (July)
133 million page views (July)
Four languages: French, German, Spanish, English (version most visited)
700,000 fans on Facebook.

43 brands including 6 new sponsors
4 Sponsor Clubs
9 Official Sponsors
6 Environment and Institutional Sponsors.

Media Sponsors:
14 Official Suppliers
7 Technical Sponsors
5 supporters Official

Publicity Caravan:
180 vehicles
37 brands
600 people
14.5 million distributed objects
12 km procession
45 minutes of show
54 people including 13 from the Republican Guards.

Spectators on the roadside:
12 million viewers
65% men and 35% women
55% under 50, including 12% under 15 years
80% of French spectators and 20% foreign
Identified 38 different nationalities
6:45 of presence on the roadside (6:20 flat stage, 9:22 mountain stage)
95% of people come in groups (4-5 people).
*Facts from ASO Press Office*

Some nice Tour film:

So, It’s Now Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank
After all the speculation about which bank would be the Saxo Bank co-sponsor it was announced that Oleg Tinkov would be returning to sponsoring professional cycle sport with his Tinkoff Bank. Tinkoff Bank will be co-title sponsor with Saxo Bank through this year and for 2013. Team owner Bjarne Riis said; “This is indeed a great day and a proud moment for our cycling team, and I believe we now have a very strong setup for the future development of Riis Cycling and our team.” The owner of Tinkoff Bank, Oleg Tinkov said: “We are proud to return to cycling and be sponsoring this team and Bjarne Riis who is without doubt the best manager in the cycling world. And we are delighted to be joining our co-sponsor Saxo Bank, one of the most highly regarded businesses in the world of online banking, and an excellent strategic fit for us – as a cutting edge, online bank ourselves that is leading the field in Russia.” Now we know: Saxo Bank – Tinkoff Bank.

CSC V’s Tinkoff, 2005:

Fuglsang to Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank?
Jakob Fuglsang is well known to be unhappy at his present RadioShack-Nissan team; this was not helped by his non-selection for the Tour de France next week. In an interview with Jyllands-Posten Fuglsang commented on where he might be going next year: “My manager has spoken to Bjarne (Bjarne Riis, Saxo Bank manager), it could be something, but there are other offers.” Fuglsang rode for the team for two years, 2009 and 2010, before he moved with the Schleck’s to Leopard-Trek and then to RadioShack-Nissan.

Rapha Condor-Sharp at GB Championships
Press Release: Only weeks after breaking his elbow at the Lincoln GP, Rapha Condor Sharp rider Mike Cuming took a memorable victory for his team in the Under-23 category at the British Road Race Championships yesterday.

In the wake of a dominant performance from Team Sky, who easily outclassed the domestic based riders in the Elite field, Cuming and teammate Richard Handley rode the perfect race to take the team’s first white, red and blue U23 jersey.

Without any U23 riders in the three-man break that determined the Elite podium, the Rapha Condor Sharp rider’s had been able to conserve their energy until the final selection came, and with both Cuming and Handley making the 9 man group that splintered clear of the exhausted peloton in the final two laps, the stage was set for them to fight for the title.

Resplendent in his new jersey, Cuming explained after the finish: “Going into the final lap there was only one other U23 rider in the group, Sam Harrison (100% Me) and we managed to drop him on the climb when Rich accelerated.”

“Then though, two other U23’s somehow got across and coming in to the finish Rich and I knew that we had to just keep attacking. Rich went with two kilometres to go and I jumped onto the wheel of Matt Holmes who I knew was the greatest threat, and as they caught Rich with 250 to go I just launched as hard as I could.”

Team manager John Herety was also delighted with his young charges performance: “Without the manpower to take on Sky in the Elite race, the U23 title was the ideal goal for our development squad. We agreed that Kristian and Dean, our only two senior riders, would dedicate themselves to helping the young guys on the day, and they both did a great job.”

“With the U23 race being part of the Elite race it is a difficult race to plan to win, but things went really well all day for us. We had all the guys we wanted in the group, and when the selection of 25 or so was made from the bunch with 50km to go and we still had three guys there, I was confident we had done everything we could to put the boys in the best position.”

Along with taking the U23 title, Herety was also pleased to see that his riders, some of whom were riding the Elite title for the first time, performed so well against the best riders in the country.

Tour of America’s Dairyland p/b Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board
Day 1: Tim Hart DDS/Rainbow Jersey Bicycles Shorewood Criterium

Mellow Mushroom and Kenda 5-Hour Energy pb Geargrinder Dominate Podium.

Press Release: Beautiful 80-degree air at the official start time of Tour of America’s Dairyland presented by Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board. The Pro Women’s field was together most of the way until three laps to go when Kristen Lasasso (Mellow Mushroom) broke free. Vanessa Drigo (Vanderkitten-Focus) tried to hold on to Lasasso’s wheel but there was no chance. Lasasso’s teammates had her back, and the chance of anyone chasing down Lasasso was nil.
Lasasso put forth an amazing solo ride before a record Shorewood crowd, establishing a 40-second gap between herself and Drigo with two laps remaining.

Coming around the corner with one lap left, Drigo put forth a giant effort in an attempt to hold on to second as third place place remained fiercely contested and anyone’s game. In the end, Lasasso gave it her all, and put forth a flawless ride to earn the night’s top step on the podium as teammate and breakaway specialist Laura Van Gilder caught Drigo for second, with Aussie Nicole Whitburn claiming third by clipping Drigo at the line.

Five laps into the 90-minute Pro Men’s race, it was a 6-man competition with the established breakaway of Luca Damiani (Kenda 5-Hour Energy pb Geargrinder), John Murphy (Kenda 5-Hour Energy), James Stemper (Kenda 5-Hour Energy), Daniel Chabanav (Champion System pb Stan’s No Tubes), Rob White (RACC pb Geargriner), and Mike Scherer (Kelly Benefits/Optum Pro Health).

The gap had grown to almost 50 seconds with nine laps remaining, with the break showing signs of discontent as the lap counter flipped to seven. An $800 Maryland Avenue neighborhood party prime on the backside of the course was the game changer with five laps to go. Murphy launched a huge attack off the front as teammate and local favorite Stemper grabbed the loot. Former Pro Crit Champion Murphy out of Georgia thrived in the night’s heat, establishing a 26-second gap from the initial break and a full minute and 10 seconds over the front of the field on the 1.3 mile course. Murphy raised his arms for the easy win before the screaming, barricade-pounding crowd as an all-out drag race ensued behind him…with Damiani claiming second and former Kenda rider Rob White in at third.

Day 2: Klumb Family Foundation East Troy Cycling Classic
Kenda 5-Hour Energy pb Geargrinder and Mellow Mushroom/Rose Bandit Reign Supreme.

Early on, Laura Van Gilder (Mellow Mushroom/Rose Bandit Race Team) and Cari Higgins (Exergy Twenty12) formed a duo break but most of the day, the field stayed as one on the highly technical half-mile, six-turn course. While a prime sent a minor shockwave through the field with six laps to go, Mellow Mushroom’s trio of Van Gilder, Kristen Lasasso and Laura Parsons maintained their focus.

With Van Gilder sitting third wheel, the front of the field exploded into wild chaos as Van Gilder sprinted up the middle for the stage win as well as a fitting for the pink Becker Law Overall Leader’s Jersey. Emily Collins (Vanderkitten-Focus) and Nicole Whitburn battled it out for second and third, respectively.

The short course lent some drama to the Pro Men’s race, with Rafael Meran (CRCA Foundation) and Paul Mach (Kenda 5-Hour Energy pb Geargrinder) making a bridge to Kenda’s Chad Hartley and Ryan Freund (Enzo’s/Psimet) to form a 4-man break 40 minutes in. Freund was the first to pull away from the break to lap the field but was soon joined by the rest of the foursome, who clung together ‘til the bitter end. And as they held tight, some stories unfolded from the field.

Kenda’s John Murphy took flight on a crazy solo flyer off the front with 35 minutes remaining in attempt to catch the powerhouse foursome and protect his coveted yellow cowprint leader’s jersey. But it didn’t take long for Michael Jacques (Clif Bar) to pull Murphy back. And then came the $500 Klumb Family Foundation cash prime, which escorted Kenda’s Paul Mach to the bank.

Springing from the field out of nowhere on a solo effort away from the Kenda brigade came Tulsa Wheelman Stefan Rothe with 10 laps remaining. He sat a silent wallflower until another prime reset the field and set up an 8-man Kenda roadblock. In the end, it was Kenda’s Hartley, the 2009 Overall ToAD Champion, screaming out of the final turn for the win followed by Meran and Freund, in at two and three, respectively. Money-bags Mach finished fourth, with Latino Cycling Team’s Emile Abraham claiming the field sprint for fifth.

Day 3: Giro d’ Grafton presented by Aurora Health Care and First Bank
Kenda 5-Hour Energy pb Geargrinder and Mellow Mushroom/Rose Bandit Dominate in Damiani and Van Gilder Wins.

The average, not peak, speed halfway through the Men’s Pro race was a blazing 31 miles per hour, and the Kenda 5-Hour Energy Pro Cycling pb Geargrinder squad insisted on keeping that pace high. With 15 laps to go, the shake-up began with Max Korus (Kenda 5-Hour Energy) off the front of a temporary 4-man break, which dissolved with 9 to go as two riders, Cole House (Competitive Cyclist) and Paul Mach (Kenda 5-Hour Energy) came screaming around the 100-degree Turn Four.

Pulling away from the field, House and Mach were 15 seconds up the road…then 22…with seven Kenda 5-Hour Energy riders at the front of the field. Kenda 5-Hour Energy chasing hard, the gap was cut to 7 seconds as the number 2 flashed on the lap counter. Going into the final lap, it was Rahsaan Bahati (Bahati Foundation) sitting on the back of the Kenda 5-Hour Energy train as the breakaway was on the verge of field absorption.

But in the end, it was a day of perfect execution for the Kenda 5-Energy team as Luca Damiani was led out for the win with teammate John Murphy taking second. Rafael Meran (CRCA Foundation) put forth an extraordinary effort for third.

Earlier in the afternoon, the Mellow Mushroom/Rose Bandit Cycling Team continued to dominate keeping it all together

Riders spread all across the road in a full-on sprint, Van Gilder waited then popped to the right to come around current USA Cycling National Criterium Calendar (NCC) leader Erica Allar (RideClean/Patentit.com) for the win. Emily Collins (VanderKitten-Focus) took the third step on the podium. Erik Loberg (GDVC) and Shelby Reynolds (Helen’s Cycles) went home in the green Oarsman Capital Cat 2 leaders jerseys.

Day 4: Waukesha Carl Zach Cycling Classic presented by Couri Insurance
Kenda 5-Hour Energy pb Geargrinder’s Stemper Unstoppable.

Nearly 100 Pro Men starters took to the line for the Carl Zach Cycling Classic, Day 4 of Tour of America’s Dairyland presented by Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board, which consisted in 51 .85-mile laps…28 of which were led by Stemper. Random breakaways were attempted with nothing sticking until Stemper’s outrageous solo break, roughly 50 minutes in to the 90-minute race. What started as a 13-second gap grew to one tickling a full minute. Stemper’s foot was just glued to the gas as his local fanbase, “Stemper Nation” about pole-vaulted over the barricades with excitement.

Stemper’s gap during his one-man time trial increased by the lap as field primes would stir the pot but never to a boil. With 10 to go, Kenda teammate Pat Lemieux rolled off the front of the field to form a temporary four-then-five man dangle, including Kenda’s Issac Howe, behind Stemper but it wasn’t until three to go that any glue started sticking. Rahsaan Bahati (Bahati Foundation), Hartley (Kenda 5-Hour Energy) and Euris Vidal (CRCA Foundation), among others, grabbed some quick cash but it wasn’t until Dylan Kennett (Cycling Southland), the17-year-old from New Zealand expected to compete this September in the World Road Championships, made the bridge with three to go that we got a glimpse of the ToAD Waukesha cycling future.

In the end, Kenda dominated the podium with Stemper and Isaac Howe standing one and two, respectively, while Kennett scootched onto the third step. Overall, Kenda’s John Murphy passed the yellow cowprint leaders jersey on to teammate Chad Hartley, as Kenda 5-Hour Energy stands strong, claiming 4 of the top 6 Overall slots, separated by a mere 11 points.

On the Pro Women’s side, the Mellow Mushroom/Rose Bandits squad continues to be the powerhouse to beat. Another day of waiting…watching…listening, Erica Allar (RideClean/Patentit.com) jumped out to pick up a chunky prime as the field pushed hard. But the final shuffle ensued at race end with Van Gilder teammate Kristen LaSasso in lead position. Ultimately, Van Gilder shot up the middle to launch her attack and take the win, accepting no refunds on gas. Emily Collins (Vanderkitten-Focus) and Sophie Williamson claimed the second and third steps. Van Gilder remains in the pink Becker Law Overall jersey, eight points ahead of Collins.

“Giro D’Italia” Launches its First Signature Gran Fondo in the United States
Preview in Pasadena of the cycling event organized by Giro d’Italia.

Press Release: The summer breeze brings a touch of pink to California and the spirit of Giro d’Italia arrives in the United States: the first edition of Gran Fondo Giro d’Italia in Pasadena (Sunday, July 22) was just announced to an enthusiastic crowd of media, local authorities and fans.

The press conference took place in front of the magnificent Pasadena City Hall: a perfect choice since the building’s evocative architecture, inspired to Palladio’s famous masterpieces. Attending the event were the Mayor of Pasadena, Bill Bogaard, who was presented with the bib #1, The Italian Consul General in Los Angeles, Giuseppe Perrone and the Italian Trade Commission Director, Carlo Angelo Bocchi.

The mayoral address conveyed all the pride of Pasadena’s cycling tradition. “As one of America’s most progressive cities, Pasadena is a leader in environmental advocacy, compliance and protection,” said mayor Bogaard. “As such, the city has made it a priority to help people get around Pasadena without driving their cars. In fact, one of the seven guiding principles in our General Plan proclaims that ‘Pasadena will be a city where people can circulate without cars.’” Named the most bike-friendly city in LA County, Pasadena has 50 miles of bike routes.

“This event will offer an opportunity for California residents, to experience a typical Italian event, like the ones associated with the Giro d’Italia/Gran Fondo,” added Consul General Perrone. “In the Americans’ perception, it represents not just a major sport event, but also a way to learn and appreciate the Italian lifestyle.”

In fact, the Made in Italy trademark in the cycling industry, is a unique phenomenon in the US. “Despite the crisis, started in 2008, the companies in this significant industry never lost sales, indeed incrementing the market share, a segment dominated by triangulations with China and Taiwan” says Carlo Bocchi, Director of the Italian Trade Commission and part of the press conference. “This is because the cycling industry in Italy (where Italy is a world leader in quality and innovation) consists of frames but also helmets, accessories, apparel and pedals: in short, every aspect of the composition of an amateur and professional bike. Italian companies could resist the 2008 crisis because well before then (around the end of 1990s) they got organized with their distribution network in the US.”

The format is geared, in addition to exciting and scenic courses, on a 2-day expo, where tens of Italian companies will be able to present their merchandise.

The next event will be held in Miami and Coral Gables in November, with an exotic edition in sunny Florida. For additional information and details please visit: www.granfondogiroditalia.com or www.gfgiro.com.

A Video to Celebrate the Giro d’Italia 2012
The Giro d’Italia ended exactly one month ago…and RCS decided to “celebrate” this moment with a special video with the story and the emotions of the winner Ryder Hesjedal.

Greg Mansell finishes Stage One of The London-Paris in the Yellow Jersey
Press Release: Stage One of The London-Paris saw a damp, but exciting start to the event. 450 riders, including cycling legends Stephen Roche, Maurizio Fondriest and cycling professionals Colin Lynch, Karl Platt and Magnus Backstedt, gathered at Imber Court from 05:30 this morning. This year there were a total of seven speed groups setting off at timed intervals. Other sporting stars in this year’s peloton include Nigel Mansell, Joel Stransky and John Salako to name a few. The riders cycled a total of 169kms, taking them through the Surrey Hills, East Sussex, past Ashford and along to Dover.

The Yellow, Green and Red flagged time sections saw riders competing for the General Classification, the Sprinter and the Climber jerseys. Greg Mansell finishes Stage One with the Yellow Jersey. The Red Jersey went to professional ex-German National mountain-biker Karl Platt, who took King of the climbs by a very comfortable margin. The Green Jersey went to the fastest sprinter of the day, Shaun Pearson and this year, Annette Loubser took the Pink Jersey as the lead woman, piping Tanya Slater – the fastest woman for the last few years – to the post. Tomorrow will be an interesting day for the ladies as there were seconds between them.

The handcyclists got off to a great start, despite the difficult weather conditions and the very early start for their group. Nigel Mansell got to the HotChillee start-line following his epic journey cycling from John O’Groats in the previous days. The rain managed to ease off by the time the peloton was into the swing of Stage One and held off until just before the riders boarded the boat.

Greg Mansell retains the Yellow Jersey on Stage Two of The London-Paris
Stage Two of The London-Paris, through the undulating yet beautiful French countryside, started in Calais and headed south to Amiens. It was a tough stage, but all riders finish in high spirits. The elements were against the peloton before lunch, with dark clouds and a head wind sometimes reaching 40mph. The lunch stop was in the picturesque town of Frйvent and 110km into the stage.

The afternoon saw the riders cover a much shorter distance and the sun finally shone through. The total distance covered during Stage Two was 169.38km with a total ascent of 1,184m. During the day local primary schools came out to show their support and locals stood in doorways cheering the riders on, bringing the event even closer to The Tour de France experience.

Group One today averaged a pace of 26kmph. Yesterday the average was 29kmph, showing how tough the conditions were today. The riders contended for the Yellow, Green and Red jerseys in the flagged time sections. Greg Mansell started Stage Two in the Yellow Jersey and retained his lead. Professional German National mountain-biker Karl Platt held on to the Red Jersey and stays king of the climbs. The Green Jersey also stayed with the fastest sprinter from Stage One, Shaun Pearson and Annette Loubser starts in Pink again tomorrow.

This year there are a seven speed groups, all led by HotChillee Ride Captains and supported by motorbike outriders, Skoda lead vehicles, Mavic neutral service and mechanical support. Now in France, the peloton benefits from rolling road closures through the stunning French countryside, bringing participants as close as it’s possible to get to the experience of the professionals on The Tour de France.

This year’s London-Paris sees professional cyclists Karl Platt, Magnus Backstedt and Colin Lynch and legends, Stephen Roche and Maurizio Fondriest cycling in group one. Other sporting stars in this year’s peloton include Nigel Mansell, Joel Stransky and John Salako. Nigel Mansell and the UK Youth team are still going strong following their epic journey from John O’Groats to The London-Paris start-line. The Hand cyclists also had another successful day, completing Stage Two in good time even in the face of the wind and rain.

Stage Three is the final stage and will see riders cycle into Paris. Triple Crown Winner, Stephen Roche, is celebrating the 25th anniversary of his victory and will be cycling into Paris on his newly restored 1987 Tour de France winning bike.

Team Sky Announce Official Team Soundtrack
Team Sky is proud to announce the release of the team’s official soundtrack – ‘Go Far’ (Team Sky) by The Elite.

Press Release: The music track has been exclusively created for Team Sky in time for the start of the 2012 Tour de France and has been produced to help inspire, excite and motivate Team Sky riders ahead of the Tour.

‘Go Far’ (Team Sky) will be used across all of Team Sky’s communication channels and will deliver a distinct musical signature that will resonate with new and existing fans.

Music plays an important part in the life of a cyclist and is often used by Team Sky riders to help them remain focused and perform at the highest level.

The viral trailer that accompanies the track introduces the music and builds anticipation for the team’s 2012 Tour de France campaign. Both the music file and the high-res video file are available for media to download now [details below].

To create the music Team Sky commissioned two of the UK’s hottest young producers, Z-Dot and Dan Dare who together make up The Elite. The duo then drafted in the talents of Ollie Sloane who delivered the vocals on the track.

The Elite are from the highly successful 679 stable, which launched the careers of artists such as The Streets, Plan B, Marina and The Diamonds and Little Boots. The Elite’s production credits already include work with artists such as Drake, Wretch 32, Maverick Sabre, Trey Songz and Wiley.

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