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EuroTrash Thursday!

The first week of the Tour has been its usual crash-fest with riders falling off from the first day, but the racing has been quite exciting. Mark Cavendish and Peter Sagan have been the men of action…but that will change when we hit the mountains! Loads of Tour news, Tour of Austria, Olympics and other news, plus the ”Top Story” is a competition. Cafй au lait avec votre EuroTrash Thursday?

“Top Story”

Win A Radioshack Nissan Trek Jersey Signed by Fabian Cancellara

First Endurance is giving away three signed Radioshack Nissan Trek team jerseys to celebrate the Tour de France.

How to Enter:
Entering couldn’t be easier, just sign-up on firstendurance.com to receive the First Endurance newsletter to obtain one entry that will give you three chances to win one of three signed Radioshack Nissan Trek signed team jerseys. For a second entry, just ‘Like’ the First Endurance Facebook page. To Increase your chances of winning, First Endurance is also giving away an additional entry for every order placed between June 30 and July 23, 2012.

Each jersey is signed by: Fabian Cancellara, Daniele Bennati, Tony Gallopin, Markel Irizar, Yaroslav Popovych, Gregory Rast, Hayden Roulston and Jesse Sergent

First Endurance will randomly select one jersey winner each week, starting on July 8, 2012.

Tour de France 2012
After the excitement of the week-end, Monday’s Stage 2 was perfectly made for the sprinters. After the break including the KOM leader; Morkov (Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank), Anthony Roux (FDJ-BigMat) and Christophe Kern (Europcar) was caught, it was down to the lead-out trains to set things up for their respective fast-man. Lotto-Belisol and Orica-GreenEdge were the main teams and looked to have it sewn-up, but World champion Mark Cavendish popped up from nowhere to appear on the wheel of Andrй Griepel and pass him on the way to a classic stage win.

Rider quotes:
Stage winner Mark Cavendish (Sky) had this to say after his win: “It wasn’t too technical but there were enough technicalities to make it a bit chaotic with all the other riders there. Normally I’m out of the way in the front but today I could kind of freestyle. It wasn’t as windy as I thought it was going to be and that didn’t play as much of a factor. It’s been a good start to the race for the team. Brad stayed out of trouble and hopefully he can continue on towards yellow. We’re here to win the yellow jersey. I’m here to do what I did today. I’ve been on the back foot but I’ve been more relaxed than ever coming into this Tour de France as the pressure hasn’t been there for me to do anything. [A win] doesn’t give me any more confidence as it’s never easy to win a Tour de France stage, with a team or on your own.”

6th place for Alessandro Petacchi (Lampre-ISD): “As first step, it’s not so bad, mainly because my legs had good feelings in the final part of the stage. I was satisfied about how I was approaching the last kilometres, but Veelers passed me and took the position ahead mine, so I needed to boost again and to try to catch up with the head positions, but by then Cavandish and Greipel were unreachable”.

Current Olympic road champion; Samuel Sanchez (Euskatel-Euskadi) commented on his Tour so far: “The goal of this first week is for it to pass safely. The first days of the Tour are often stressful, every year it’s the same. They are very difficult days, each day there is a threat and we must be very careful. Today was the risk of wind and you had to be well placed. The team has done a great job, I have been very well placed throughout the day and in the end I was perfectly situated. Stages are very difficult for us, but the team is working very well and we will follow this path, ” Samuel is in 45th place overall.

Tour de France Stage 2 Result:
1. Mark Cavendish (GB) Sky in 4:56:59
2. Andrй Greipel (Ger) Lotto-Belisol
3. Matthew Harley Goss (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge
4. Tom Veelers (Ned) Argos-Shimano
5. Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Lampre-ISD
6. Peter Sagan (Svk) Liquigas-Cannondale
7. Yauheni Hutarovich (Blr) FDJ-BigMat
8. Juan Josй Haedo (Arg) Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank
9. Mark Renshaw (Aus) Rabobank
10. Tyler Farrar (USA) Garmin-Sharp.

Tour de France Overall After Stage 2:
1. Fabian Cancellara (Swi) RadioShack-Nissan in 10:02:31
2. Bradley Wiggins (GB) Sky at 0:07
3. Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step
4. Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC at 0:10
5. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Sky at 0:11
6. Denis Menchov (Rus) Katusha at 0:13
7. Philippe Gilbert (Bel) BMC
8. Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC at 0:17
9. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale at 0:18
10. Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Garmin-Sharp.

Stage 2:

Stage win No. 2 for Peter Sagan of Liquigas-Cannondale came on Stage 3 from Orchies to Boulogne-sur-Mer after 197 kilometres. The early break had mountains jersey holder Michael Morkov (Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank) in there collecting points, with him were; Andriy Grivko (Astana), Giovanni Bernaudeau (Europcar), Ruben Perez (Euskaltel-Euskadi) and Sebastien Minard (Ag2r-La Mondiale). They built up a lead of nearly 6 minutes, but this was to end with only 7 kilometres to go in the stage. During the stage there was a bit of a tussle between Mark Cavendish (Sky) and Kenny Van Hummel (Vacansoleil-DCM) at the intermediate sprint, Cav came out on top, but with a bit of finger waving. There were also a few crashes today (as usual), the worst to Kanstantsin Siutsou (Sky) who became the first race abandonee, followed by Jose Rojas (Movistar), Maarten Tjallingii of Rabobank also crashed, but finished the stage to he had fractured his left hip and would not be starting on Wednesday.

On the last sharp climb to the finish a large group of around 60 came together to fight it out to the line. There were too many and in the push and shove a few hit the road and many were held up. Sylvain Chavanel (Omega Pharma – Quick-Step) tried an attack similar to stage 1, but just like then it failed splitting the bunch. Michael Albasini (Orica-GreenEdge) led the charge up the finish, but that man Sagan shot past him taking Edvald Boasson Haggen (Sky), Peter Velits (Omega Pharma – Quick-Step) and the yellow jersey of Fabian Cancellara (RadioShack-Nissan) past the Italian.

Cancellara held Yellow as Sagan and Morkov extended their lead in the points and mountains competitions. Philippe Gilbert (BMC) lost time due to a crash and dropped out of the top ten.

Lapre-ISD’s Michele Scarpone summed it up: “I knew it would have been a demanding stage and the crashes made it even more intense, I was happy because I could have avoid the accidents, but when I was trying to sprint on the final hill, I had to stop my action because of a crash in the bunch. It’s a pity, even if I could not have competed against Sagan”.

The attacking Sylvain Chavanel to the Omega Pharma – Quick-Step team web-site: “I was involved in the crash with Gilbert and a bunch of other riders,” Chavanel said. “I spent some energy to catch up with the group again. In the final I attacked. It was planned to attack there. My goal was to gain a few seconds and go full gas on the downhill to make a gap between me and the group. I did it, but it wasn’t enough. In any case I attacked and I tried to win. With Sagan at the sprint, it is almost impossible to win. Now we will see day by day.”

Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) was also not so lucky, he said: “This is the Tour: there’s much nerves, much danger. At the moment, our goal is intact: we’re riding up-front, I went through a difficult day due to crashes and did not lose time. We were told before the start about a difficult turn to the right, but when we got there, the radio wasn’t working properly and I didn’t hear what they were telling us. I went from fourth to last into the group and, even after that, I got into the crash that happened in the final slope. If I was there with 2k to go, it was because I had good legs. I was into perfect position and had strength into the previous climbs, with no troubles to advance into the group. I’d love to contest a finish like that against Sagan, but we’re not having that chance. We have to congratulate him because he’s showing to be the best into such finishes.”

Olympic champion Samuel Sanchez (Euskaltel-Euskadi) summed up his thought on the young Peter Saga; “He is gifted, it shows in every race. In the future, we will say that we rode with him. ”

Tour de France Stage 3 Result:
1. Peter Sagan (Svk) Liquigas-Cannondale in 4:42:58
2. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Sky at 0:01
3. Peter Velits (Svk) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step
4. Fabian Cancellara (Swi) RadioShack-Nissan
5. Michael Albasini (Swi) Orica-GreenEdge
6. Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC
7. Nicolas Roche (Irl) Ag2r-La Mondiale
8. Samuel Sanchez Gonzalez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
9. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team
10. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale.

Tour de France Overall After Stage 3:
1. Fabian Cancellara (Swi) RadioShack-Nissan in 14:45:30
2. Bradley Wiggins (GB) Sky at 0:07
3. Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step
4. Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC at 0:10
5. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Sky at 0:11
6. Denis Menchov (Rus) Katusha at 0:13
7. Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC at 0:17
8. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale at 0:18
9. Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Garmin-Sharp.
10. Andreas Klцden (Ger) RadioShack-Nissan at 0:19.

Super Sagan stage 3:

Stage 4 to Rouen would have been another day for Mark Cavendish if he had no hit the deck with 2.7 kilometres to go. Lotto-Belisol were in control of the peloton as they entered the last 5 kilometres, all looked good for a show down between the top fast-men until a group of riders came down near the head of the bunch, bringing down Cavendish and his (only) lead out man Bernhard Eisel, amongst others. This split the peloton allowing the Lotto-Belisol powered section to head for the finish line, including; Greipel, Alessandro Petacchi (Lampre-ISD), Matt Goss (Orica-GreenEdge) and the Green jersey wearing Peter Sagan (Liquigas-Cannondale). Lotto kept the speed high, Greipel came off his last man; Greg Henderson’s wheel with Petacchi in second place and it stayed that way to the line. The break of the day went at 0 kilometre with Yukiya Arashiro (Europcar), Anthony Delaplace (Saur-Sojasun) and David Moncoutie (Cofidis), they stayed out front till the 8.5 K mark, and they were replaced by Samuel Dumoulin (Cofidis), Sylvain Chavanel (Omega Pharma – Quick-Step) and Wout Poels (Vacansoleil-DCM). With Chavanel there it was too dangerous so was chased down around a kilometre before the crash. Fabian Cancellara (RadioShack-Nissan, Overall), Michael Morkov (Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank, KOM), Peter Sagan (Liquigas-Cannondale, Points) and Tejay Van Garderen (BMC, Young rider) all kept their competition jerseys.

Best young rider Tejay Van Garderen (BMC) said about the crash: “You don’t really have time to think,” he said. “You’re just holding your brakes and trying to stay balanced. I was lucky I didn’t go down and that it was inside three kilometers, so we got the same time.” His team mate Marcus Burghardt added: “We saw last year it was really important to have the classics guys, especially in the first week,” he said. “You have a lot of crashes and you can have some crosswinds, so you must be prepared. I’m not sure if you can do that with a team of just climbers.”

Samual Sanchez (Euskaltel-Euskadi) told the team’s web-site: “The guys did a great job; they have been impressive as they have kept me in the top positions. This race is going very fast, there’s so much tension and demands to make a huge effort, so I am very grateful. Today we had a few riders cross the line in the top 25, and Ruben (Perez Moreno) made tenth in the sprint. The team is doing a great job; we are all very motivated, let’s see if we pass this week without incident.”

Second placed Allesandro Petacchi (Lampre-ISD) commented: “My team mates prepared the sprint in the best way and thanks to them I could avoid the crash. The position in the approach of the sprint was very good, I was on the stream of the train of Greipel: I waited he made the first move, then I tried to overtake him, but Andrй was great. I think I could not to anything better, so my best compliments to Greipel.”

Sean Yates the Sky DS said of the crash involving Mark Cavendish: “It was certainly not what we wanted to see,” he said. The lead-up to a sprint is very dangerous and we see this kind of thing time and time again. Nobody wants to see crashes for anybody and we were among the victims again today. There wasn’t a lot of room there in the bunch. At that speed with a touch of wheels, before you know it you are lying on the deck. The guys are battered and bruised but they will fight on. These guys are tough. We saw Cav jump back up after his accident at the Giro.”

Tour de France Stage 4 Result:
1. Andrй Greipel (Ger) Lotto-Belisol in 5:18:32
2. Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Lampre-ISD
3. Tom Veelers (Ned) Argos-Shimano
4. Matthew Harley Goss (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge
5. Peter Sagan (Svk) Liquigas-Cannondale
6. Jonathan Cantwell (Aus) Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank
7. Daryl Impey (RSA) Orica-GreenEdge
8. Kris Boeckmans (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM
9. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Sky
10. Ruben Perez Moreno (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi.

Tour de France Overall After Stage 4:
1. Fabian Cancellara (Swi) RadioShack-Nissan in 20:04:02
2. Bradley Wiggins (GB) Sky at 0:07
3. Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step
4. Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC at 0:10
5. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Sky at 0:11
6. Denis Menchov (Rus) Katusha at 0:13
7. Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC at 0:17
8. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale at 0:18
9. Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Garmin-Sharp
10. Andreas Klцden (Ger) RadioShack-Nissan at 0:19.

The last kilometres and the crash:

A closer look at the Cav crash:

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Tour News:

OPQS Tour de France Marketing & Communication
Press Release: Omega Pharma – Quick-Step Cycling Team is taking a special approach to their fans for the next three weeks during the Tour de France.

The team has a specific Tour de France themed web site that can be visited by clicking on the original homepage teaser. Or, by simply visiting www.omegapharma-quickstep.com, the Tour de France version of the site can be seen. The site itself has unique sections: Brian Holm’s Tour de France blog entries, three episodes of video documentaries, Tour de France specific news, results, and Tour de France specific pictures and content.

An Omega Pharma – Quick-Step Cycling Team magazine, which is entirely about the team and the Tour, is downloadable on the Tour de France themed site as well and are for free available for the fans who our team bus at the start and finish.

Furthermore, there is information for fans on the site — for example, if a fan attends stages of the Tour they can get an “I Like #OPQS” tattoo. If a fan wants to support the team they can purchase an “I Like #OPQS” summer edition T-shirt on the web site.

The team understands and respects the prestige of the Tour, and is focusing its marketing and communication on the Grande Boucle from start to finish.

Olympian Greg Henderson at the Tour
In this Tour there is one New-Zealander riding around, Greg Henderson from Lotto Belisol. The 35-year old lead-out man of Andrй Greipel is participating for the very first time. And later on he’s defending the colours of his homeland in London, in what will be his fifth attendance at the Olympic Games.

Greg Henderson: “If I am an icon in my country? Surely an icon in cycling and that makes me proud. I’m a professional since 1995, so I’ve already had a long career. My first selection for the Tour de France pleased me a lot. Since the beginning of the season it was my ambition to be here. The past few weeks we proved that the train for Andrй Greipel works well and that I have my place in it. Apart from that there’s the intention to share my experience with other guys, to coach them and to keep the control. When will I be satisfied? If I can perfectly drop off Andrй Greipel at the last 200 meters and see him spread his arms. That will be a sweet satisfaction. And besides that get to Paris, that’s why you are doing it.”

The Tour will hardly be over, or Henderson is leaving for the Olympics in London, for the fifth time. During his last participations he was active on the track, now he’s starting in the road race.

Greg Henderson: “The Olympic Games is the most prestigious sports event in the world. In Atlanta and Sydney I was mostly there to learn, but in Athens and Beijing I started with ambition in the points race. Unfortunately I didn’t get any further than a fourth place in 2004. Since that year the points race isn’t any longer an Olympic competition and I made the transition to the road. The difference with the past is that I’m not longer impressed by the setting. As a young athlete you’re overwhelmed by the athlete’s village for example.

After the Tour I’m heading home, but really relaxing isn’t a good option; my body will have been active each day for three weeks, than you have to keep busy with the road race in mind, that takes place already six days after the end of the Tour. The course should suit me and I have the ambition to be part of a group that will possibly sprint for the victory after the last obstacle at 50km before the finish line. There’s no doubt I will ride my own sprint. The Olympics you ride for yourself and your home country.”

Greg Henderson moto pacing in 2011 by ExcelSportsBoulder:

Cyclists of the Omega Pharma – Quick-Step Cycling Team will feel at ‘home’ every night, during the Tour
PressRelease: During this year’s Tour de France, Innergetic will, once again, ensure that the cyclists enjoy a good night’s rest every evening, as if they were at home. Innergetic is supporting the racing cyclists for the 8th year in a row now, at their explicit request.

No one would disagree that the Tour de France puts great pressure on the cyclists. That’s why it is so crucial for them to have an invigorating night’s rest every day. Yet, as the sportsmen change hotels and, consequently, beds and sleeping comfort day after day, it is not always easy to sleep well.

The Omega Pharma – Quick-Step Cycling Team has therefore explicitly asked Innergetic to support them for the 8th year in a row, during the 2012 Tour, by moving their personal Innergetic mattress from hotel to hotel. Innergetic has gladly undertaken the task, thus offering the cyclists their well-deserved night’s sleep, so that they can appear at the next stage’s start with their batteries recharged.

Sylvain Chavanel: “Sleep quality is fundamental. Thanks to Innergetic during the Tour de France we can sleep as if we were at home, even in a random hotel room. In fact, each athlete on the team has an Innergetic mattress at home with the same features as those we end up using during the Tour de France. The service Innergetic offers the team provides a considerable advantage during important moments like stage races.”

Цsterreich Rundfahrt/Tour of Austria 2012
Danilo Di Luca (Acqua & Sapone) won Stage 2 by seven seconds as Steve Morabito (BMC) attacked Thomas Rohregger (RadioShack-Nissan) in the final 100 meters to record his best result of the season on the challenging climb of the Kitzbьheler Horn mountain.

Morabito said it was important for him to show he was on good form on the 7.8-kilometer ascent that averages 14 percent and includes pitches as steep as 22 percent. “I have to thank all my teammates – especially Danilo Wyss, Brent Bookwalter and Marco Pinotti – who did a good job to bring me in first position at the start of the climb,” Morabito said. “When Di Luca attacked with Thomas Rohregger (RadioShack-Nissan), I couldn’t follow. But when I saw Rohregger got dropped, I got into a constant rhythm to get back to him.”

Цsterreich Rundfahrt/Tour of Austria Stage 2 Result:
1. Danilo Di Luca (Ita) Acqua & Sapone in 3:50:50
2. Steve Morabito (Swi) BMC at 0:07
3. Thomas Rohregger (Aut) RadioShack-Nissan at 0:10
4. Petr Ignatenko (Rus) Katusha at 0:21
5. Alexsandr Dyachenko (Kaz) Astana at 0:23
6. Robert Vrecer (Slo) Team Vorarlberg at 0:27
7. Sergio Pardilla Bellon (Spa) Movistar at 0:40
8. Angelo Pagani (Ita) Colnago-CSF Inox at 0:50
9. Marco Pinotti (Ita) BMC at 0:59
10. Marcel Wyss (Swi) Team NetApp at 1:17.

Цsterreich Rundfahrt/Tour of Austria Overall After Stage 2:
1. Danilo Di Luca (Ita) Acqua & Sapone in 7:45:28
2. Steve Morabito (Swi) BMC at 0:11
3. Thomas Rohregger (Aut) RadioShack-Nissan at 0:16
4. Petr Ignatenko (Rus) Katusha at 0:31
5. Robert Vrecer (Slo) Team Vorarlberg at 0:37
6. Alexsandr Dyachenko (Kaz) Astana at 0:44
7. Sergio Pardilla Bellon (Spa) Movistar at 0:50
8. Angelo Pagani (Ita) Colnago-CSF Inox at 1:00
9. Marco Pinotti (Ita) BMC at 1:09
10. Marcel Wyss (Swi) Team NetApp at 1:27.

Stage 2:

Stage 3 was another bunch sprint like stage 1, this time won by Sacha Modolo (Colnago-Csf Inox). Danilo Di Luca (Acqua & Sapone) held the overall from Steve Morabito (BMC) by 11 seconds.

Цsterreich Rundfahrt/Tour of Austria Stage 3 Result:
1. Sacha Modolo (Ita) Colnago-CSF Inox 3:29:22
2. Daniel Schorn (Aut) Team NetApp
3. Francesco Gavazzi (Ita) Astana
4. Daniele Colli (Ita) Team Type 1-Sanofi
5. Alessandro Bazzana (Ita) Team Type 1-Sanofi
6. Danilo Wyss (Swi) BMC
7. Pier Paolo De Negri (Ita) Farnese Vini-Selle Italia
8. Maxime Vantomme (Bel) Katusha
9. Josй Herrada Lopez (Spa) Movistar
10. Jure Kocjan (Slo) Team Type 1-Sanofi.

Цsterreich Rundfahrt/Tour of Austria Overall After Stage 3:
1. Danilo Di Luca (Ita) Acqua & Sapone in 11:14:50
2. Steve Morabito (Swi) BMC at 0:11
3. Thomas Rohregger (Aut) RadioShack-Nissan at 0:16
4. Petr Ignatenko (Rus) Katusha at 0:31
5. Robert Vrecer (Slo) Team Vorarlberg at 0:37
6. Alexsandr Dyachenko (Kaz) Astana at 0:44
7. Sergio Pardilla Bellon (Spa) Movistar at 0:50
8. Angelo Pagani (Ita) Colnago-CSF Inox at 1:00
9. Marco Pinotti (Ita) BMC at 1:09
10. Marcel Wyss (Swi) Team NetApp at 1:27.

Stage 3:

RadioShack Nissan Trek riders animated Stage 4 in the Tour of Austria, executing a well-crafted race plan that saw Jakob Fuglsang winning the stage and earning the yellow jersey. “I’m super happy with this win and the overall,” said a joyous Jakob Fuglsang. “It is certainly defendable and we’re going to do everything we can to bring the yellow home. It’s cool that the team has the yellow jersey in two different stage races.”

“We went to the race today with a definite strategy,” said team director Josй Azevedo. “We planned to send some guys to the front and force our rivals to play the game our way. Jakob and even Laurent (Didier) were not that far back in the GC so we had different cards to play. If our plan didn’t work, we still had Tommy to show his good legs on the steep finish climb. But Plan A was good enough so that didn’t turn out to be necessary.”

At 141.3km stage 4 began in Lienz and ended in St. Johann/Alpendorf by way of the Grossglockner. From the start the course went uphill and RadioShack-Nissan sent four riders in the break to go hard on the Iselberg. Race leader Danilo Di Luca (Acqua & Sapne) was forced to put his team on the chase and by the time the front group of 18 had reached the top, the gap was around one minute.

Fuglsang: “From the beginning it was our plan to put Di Luca under pressure. On the first climb I felt straight away that I had super good legs today. I hadn’t felt very good on the climb to Kitzbьhel, but today everything felt perfect. I was there pulling with Matthew Busche. We didn’t have a big gap on Di Luca, but we wanted to make the race as hard as possible because we have a strong team here.”

On the Grossglockner (2500m) with a summit 95k from the finish, RadioShack-Nissan team riders went hard, joined in the effort by BMC. Fuglsang: “Di Luca came back to us on the Grossglockner but he had to work hard to do it, so that was ok for us. Once he was back with us, Laurent attacked and Di Luca closed the gap. Then it was my turn. I had to go at that point.” Jakob tried and managed to get away with Kцnig from Team Net App. The gap went up again and with 50km to go, the duo held over 3:30.

“Kцnig didn’t do too much work; I think he was really tired,” continued Fuglsang. “But in my mind I knew he could be playing and saving his energy to beat me for the stage, so I was careful. I dropped him on a rolling part with 20km to go.” Fuglsang arrived solo with more than one minute advantage and took the yellow jersey from Di Luca.

Цsterreich Rundfahrt/Tour of Austria Stage 4 Result:
1. Jakob Fuglsang (Den) RadioShack-Nissan in 3:52:37
2. Leopold Konig (Cze) Team NetApp at 1:14
3. Robert Vrecer (Slo) Team Vorarlbergn at 2:35
4. Petr Ignatenko (Rus) Katusha at 2:47
5. Marcel Wyss (Swi) Team NetApp
6. Danilo Di Luca (Ita) Acqua & Sapone
7. Steve Morabito (Swi) BMC
8. Yannick Eijssen (Bel) BMC
9. David Arroyo Duran (Spa) Movistar at 2:51
10. Rubens Bertogliati (Swi) Team Type 1-Sanofi.

Цsterreich Rundfahrt/Tour of Austria Overall After Stage 4:
1. Jakob Fuglsang (Den) RadioShack-Nissan in 15:09:02
2. Danilo Di Luca (Ita) Acqua & Sapone at 1:12
3. Steve Morabito (Swi) BMC at 1:21
4. Robert Vrecer (Slo) Team Vorarlberg at 1:28
5. Thomas Rohregger (Aut) RadioShack-Nissan at 1:31
6. Petr Ignatenko (Rus) Katusha at 1:43
7. Alexsandr Dyachenko (Kaz) Astana at 2:02
8. Sergio Pardilla Bellon (Spa) Movistar at 2:08
9. Angelo Pagani (Ita) Colnago-CSF Inox at 2:24
10. Marcel Wyss (Swi) Team NetApp at 2:39.

Olympic News:

The Italians Going to London
The men’s Olympic squad is announced

Press Release: The technical commissioner of the Italian national team Paolo Bettini has officially announced the names of the five riders who will make up the men’s squad for the road race and time trial in the 2012 London Olympics scheduled for Saturday, July 28 and Wednesday, August 1. The riders selected to wear the blue jersey are: Sacha Modolo (Colnago CSF-Inox), Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas Cannondale), Luca Paolini (Team Katusha), Marco Pinotti (BMC Racing) and Matteo Trentin (Omega Pharma – Quick-Step).

Sacha Modolo from Treviso, born in 1987, has already worn the blue jersey in the 2011 World Championships in Copenhagen, and he came in second place on the heels of Mark Cavendish in the reduced-kilometer “test event” held last year on the Olympic circuit in London.

Vincenzo Nibali from Messina, born in 1984, has already worn blue in the 2008 Beijing Olympics and the 2007 and 2010 World Championships. In addition to being a leader in major stage races (winner of the 2010 Vuelta and two podiums in the Giro d’Italia) he has demonstrated that he knows how to best interpret one day races with impressive performances this season both in the Milano-Sanremo and the Liege-Bastogne-Liege.

For Luca Paolini from Como, born in 1977, this is his second participation in the Olympics after Athens 2004. He has always been an important member of the national team, as proven by his eight times wearing the blue jersey in the World Championships. Throughout his brilliant career Paolini also managed to conquer the bronze medal at the 2004 World Championships in Verona.

Marco Pinotti from Osio Sotto, Bergamo, born 1976, is an expert team rider. He’s already worn blue many times; in addition to the road race, since he is a specialist in trials against the clock, he will also participate in the Olympic time trial scheduled for Wednesday, August 1.

For new-professional Matteo Trentin, born in 1989 from Borgovalsugana (TN), this will be his first experience in blue at such a high level event, after winning one race already this year and giving an excellent performance in the Milano-Sanremo.

These athletes will be joined by Elia Viviani (Liquigas-Cannondale), from Isola della Scala, Verona, born 1989, and already in blue for the 2011 Copenhagen World Championships. Since he has already qualified for the track race, where he will be riding in the omnium Olympic race, he earned the right to a sixth spot as a reserve rider, and could possibly be inserted among the five appointed riders for the road race.

2004 Olympic road race won by Paolo Bettini:

GB Team for the Olympic Road Race
The Great Britain team for the Olympic road race has been announced and it includes David Millar of Garmin-Sharp who had previously been banned for life by the British Olympic Committee. Millar will be joined by other British Tour riders; Mark Cavendish, Chris Froome and Bradley Wiggins (all Sky), with them will be British National champion Ian Stannard also of Sky.

2008 Olympic road race:

Other News:

Stef Clement Signs for Two More Years with Rabobank
Press Release: The Rabo Cycling Team has held on to an important pillar once again. Stef Clement (29) has extended his contract for two more years. The Brabant native plays an important supporting role in the team, and will extend that role throughout the upcoming years.

“I am very happy with the role the team leadership has in mind for me. Within and outside the course I have to make sure the GC riders are able to deliver an optimal performance. I think that role suits me well.” As child of the Rabobank team, Stef Clement has already been at the pro team’s service for four years. After a short trip to France, he returned to his old nest in 2009. “Here I’m riding with guys I grew up with. We know each other well, go through all kinds of things together, and I want to keep contributing my part. I believe we’re on the right track, and have full confidence in the future.”

Technical director Erik Breukink sees an important role in the team for Stef Clement. “Stef is an experienced force, and is an important help and stay for the GC riders in the tour circuit. Wherever the possibility occurs, he can also try his specialty – the time trial – himself. After a couple of years of uncertainty, during which his injuries played roles, Stef has again proven to be able to ride at a good level. He is very important for the team.”

Alex Rasmussen; 18 Month Ban
The Danish press are reporting that Court of Arbitration have gone against the previous ruling by the Danish Cycling Union to remove any sanctions against Rasmussen after he had missed three out of competition doping controls in an 18 month period. The Danes said that the UCI had not told Rasmussen of his last violation until two and a half month after it occurred, when they are supposed to inform him within two weeks. CAS made its ruling public on Wednesday, so Rasmussen’s team, Garmin-Sharp, have had to terminate their contract.

No Vuelta a Espaсa for Boonen
After his fantastic spring, Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma – Quick-Step) is looking towards the Olympic Games and the World Championships, both of which he wants to win. Boonen is currently not riding the Tour de France and will not start the Vuelta a Espaсa at the end of August, both races he has deemed too hard and too close to his goals of the Olympics and Worlds. He has chosen to ride shorter stage races as preparation with more rest before the big events.

Tom Boonen; World champion 2005:

Birkenhead Tunnel Closed for Liverpool-Chester-Liverpool Bike Ride
Press Release: The Birkenhead Tunnel will be closed on Sunday 8th July, between the hours of 6.00am and 4.00pm, for the annual Liverpool-Chester-Liverpool Bike Ride. Diversions for motorists will be put in place to avoid any major disruption.

Now in its 19th year, the Liverpool-Chester-Liverpool Bike Ride is expected to attract 3,000 entrants. Riders will start at the Birkenhead Tunnel and travel through the three-mile underground tunnel, before setting off towards the Wirral countryside on a variety of different routes.

The event, which will once again be partnered by Merseytravel, is the only cycle event in the country that includes almost three traffic free miles underground, thanks to exclusive access to the Birkenhead (Queensway) Tunnel. Without the help of Merseytravel, this unique underground element of the Liverpool-Chester Bike Ride would cease to exist.

Councillor John Salter, member of Merseytravel Integrated Transport Authority said: “We are delighted to support the Liverpool-Chester-Liverpool Bike ride once again this year. The event seems to go from strength to strength every year and it is fantastic to see so many people taking part.

“Being able to cycle through the Birkenhead Tunnel is a unique opportunity for the riders. It is going to be a fantastic day for everyone involved.”

Riders have until Wednesday 4th July to register online and have a choice of five routes:
25 mile Chester-Liverpool *New*
25 mile Liverpool-Chester
25 mile Wirral Circular
50 mile Liverpool-Chester-Liverpool
90 mile Liverpool Challenge

Cyclists are advised that participants returning to Liverpool must be back through the tunnel by 3:00pm to avoid any disappointment and disruption.

Participants wishing to register, or find out more about the Liverpool-Chester-Liverpool Bike Ride should visit: www.liverpoolchesterliverpool.com.

Entries will be accepted on the day if the event has not reached its capacity, however it is strongly advised you register before. All on the day entries will be subject to a Ј2 per person surcharge. Registration will be open from 06.30am at the Liverpool site. For those riding Chester-Liverpool route, registration will be open from 08.00am at the Countess of Chester site.

Tour Preview Video’s
Shift Active Media have filmed five reconnaissance video’s on behalf of IG Markets with Daniel Lloyd riding the routes of stages 7, 9, 11, 16, and 19. This first video explains how the steep climb to the finish at La Planche des Belles Filles at the end of Saturday’s stage 7 could cause the first time gaps amongst the overall favourites.


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