TOP STORY: No Tour for Kreuziger
Roman Kreuziger will not be on the start line of this year’s Tour de France in Yorkshire as he and his Tinkoff-Saxo team have agreed that he should not race until things between him and the UCI are sorted out.
Kreuziger announced on his web-site that the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) is likely due to instigate disciplinary proceedings against him arising from an alleged violation of its anti-doping rules due to abnormalities detected in his Biological Passport in 2011 and 2012.
According to the UCI’s Cycling Anti-Doping Foundation (CAFD) its Experts Panel has concluded that Roman Kreuziger’s blood passport profile shows abnormalities established from March 2011 until August 2011 as well as from April 2012 until the end of the 2012 Giro d’Italia, periods prior to the rider signing for Tinkoff-Saxo.
The rider received notice from the UCI that CAFD regarded his data as suspect by a letter dated 28 June 2013. The notice provided him with the opportunity of explaining the alleged irregularities in his passport to CAFD and UCI. He offered the explanation, based on two medical expert opinions independently of each other, that the fluctuations in his blood passport profile were not abnormalities and did not indicate anti-doping violations, which was submitted to the UCI by 3 October 2013.
The rider had no further contact with the UCI until receiving a letter of 30 May 2014. He was advised that the CAFD’s Experts Panel did not accept his explanation.
Since Roman Kreuziger received the UCI’s letter of 30 May he has sought the services of a third independent expert. This scientist has now provided a preliminary report in which he concludes that the fluctuations in his Biological Passport profile are not irregularities which can only be explained with the use of doping methods or substances (as alleged) and that the conclusions of CAFD’s Experts Panel have limited scientific supporting evidence.
Roman Kreuziger continues to deny any wrongdoing and has informed his team that he intends to defend himself against the charges. It seems strange that the UCI are so slow to make this judgement on a Biological Passport from 2011/2012, but allow the use of an inhaler over night.
One riders bad news is good for another as now Rafal Majka will start the Tour in his place.
Roman Kreuziger wins stage 19 of the Giro d’Italia in 2012:
World Congress of Cycling Science at the Tour Start
With Toolbox Editor Dr. Stephen Cheung
As part of the festivities surrounding the Grand Depart in Yorkshire, the University of Kent is hosting the 2nd World Congress of Cycling Science at the Rose Bowl centre in Leeds, UK on July 2-3 (http://www.kent.ac.uk/wcss2014/). Endorsed by the UCI, the purpose of the conference is to share the latest research in the science of cycling from both the lab and out on the road. Speakers at the conference will include leading scientists from around the world, including our own Toolbox Editor Dr. Stephen Cheung giving a lecture on “Heat stress: physiology, perception, and performance.” He will be joined by sport scientists such as Dr. David Martin from the Australian Institute of Sport and Dr. Mikel Zabala from the Movistar team. Adding to the mix will be Charly Wegelius, Garmin-Sharp DS giving the opening keynote talk on “Can sport science help make race-winning decisions” along with recently retired professional rider Marco Pinotti. The conference will close with a free public event, “The science behind the Tour de France” 1900-2100h on July 3 at the Rose Bowl. Tickets are free and the few remaining can be pre-registered through Everbrite: http://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/free-public-event-the-science-behind-the-tour-de-france-tickets-10896436535.
National Road Race Championships:
Italian Road Championship
Vincenzo Nibali lived up to the predictions by winning the Italian National Championship in Fondo (Trento), edging out Davide Formolo and Matteo Rabottini. The new Italian Champion will therefore line-up at the start of the Tour de France in Leeds next Saturday wearing the cherished Tricolore jersey.
Nibali’s last success was the Giro d’Italia GC in May, 2013, Vincenzo dominated the race, receiving key support from an outstanding Michele Scarponi, who gave up only with 3 km to go after giving every bit of energy. At that time it was up to Nibali (who had already attacked twice) to get the job done, and his sharp final move did just that. The final obstacle was the fear of doing the wrong thing, but his acceleration into the final bend, left Formolo with no real choice but settling for second.
The new Italian champion in tears, while holding his baby daughter Emma, provided the most emotional shot of a beautiful and exciting Italian Championship: “I shouted for joy and rage, I finally relieved myself,” Vincenzo said. “And this win gives me a huge boost to tackle the Tour with the best spirit. I will race for the Yellow Jersey, aiming for the best possible result, and then let the road say what my limit will be.”
Italian National Team Coach Davide Cassani was in brilliant mood after seeing many of his “Azzurri” in great shape: notable performances came from Giovanni Visconti (showing good recovery after injury), Daniel Oss and former Champion Ivan Santaromita, who remained in contention until the end in spite of his own doubts of his condition. “It was an outstanding race,” Cassani said. “Showing that Italian cycling can rely on plenty of resources and emerging talents. Nibali is an excellent Italian Champion, he was the strongest today and the strongest man won.”
Italian Road Championship Result:
1. Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) in 5:40:54
2. Davide Formolo (Cannondale)
3. Matteo Rabottini (Neri Sottoli) at 0:06.
Vincenzo Nibali: Italian Champion
Démare Sprints to French Championship
In the battle of the FDJ sprinters at the French champs was won by Arnaud Démare ahead of Nacer Bouhanni with Kévin Réza of Europcar in 3rd. The battle was hightened wfter Bouhanni’s Giro stage wins and the FDJ team picking démare for the Tour, plus the probability of Bouhanni moving team at the end of the year. Bouhanni said after the finish: “I felt less strong than one week ago. At the Route du Sud, I was stronger than at the Giro, but today I stalled and Arnaud was stronger than me, I have to admit it. The one-two finish is wonderful for the team but personally I’m very disappointed.”
French National Championship Result:
1. Arnaud Démare (FDJ.fr) in 5:44:48
2. Nacer Bouhanni (FDJ.fr)
3. Kévin Réza (Europcar).
The FDJ.fr Sprint Battle:
Kennaugh is GB Road Champion
The Sky pair of Ben Swift and Peter Kennaugh came into the finish straight together to fight for the champions jersey and Kennaugh came off the faster man after 186 kilometres round Monmouthshire in South Wales. Simon Yates of Orica-GreenEDGE had been with them but was distanced before the sprint for third place.
GB National Championship Result:
1. Peter Kennaugh (Sky)
2. Ben Swift (Sky)
3. Simon Yates (Orica GreenEdge).
The GB Nationals:
Movistar Dominate in Spain
Just like the Spanish TT champs race, Movistar were the dominant team in the road race. Ion Izagirre and Alejandro Valverde swapped places on the podium with Izagirre on the top step. Euskaltel’s Carlos Barbero Cuesta was third.
A 10 man break reached more than three-and-a-half minutes’ advantage, but the hardness of the circuit and pressure put on by the Movistar team shrunk the peloton to about forty riders with two laps two go, attacks followed one after the other. Firstly Valverde, into the third-to-last ascent; then, Erviti, who reached a gap of almost 20 seconds into the last lap and finally, after the Navarran was caught, Ion Izagirre. He was joined by a splendid Valverde on the last climb for the duo to take turns in absolute harmony to reach the finish together.
Ion Izagirre: “We had a very strong block and we controlled the race well, though you can never relax, before it’s not easy at all to win. Things turned out well in the finale and Alejandro and myself could take another turn on the podium after our one-two in the TT. With one lap and a half to go, Erviti tried it solo, but Euskadi reacted from the pack and they caught him – that’s when I decided to attack. With around 6km to go, Alejandro attacked from behind, and to be honest, he gave me wings, because I was starting to struggle a lot.
“Eventually, this circuit has come to be really hard. It seems comfortable into the opening laps, but when you start to get closer to the end, the transit through the city being so fast and making the bunch string out – the circuit doesn’t offer you many possibilities to recover, have some food, drink… That makes some impact. The race will be even harder in the Worlds – the longer distance will make people suffer much. Of course I’d like to be at the Worlds, but I don’t know if I’ll be part of the team; it’s not a choice I can do by myself. I’m really happy with my season – I only lacked a victory and I got it today. I wanted to dedicate one to some of the people who left us way before than they should, from a lot of time ago – Rufino Murguía, Víctor Cabedo and Urtzi Gurrutxaga – this is for them.”
Alejandro Valverde: “I think I attacked at the right place. Into the final lap, I jumped away from a lower point of the climb to test myself, and it became clear to me that the best place to give it a try was with 50 or 100 meters before the top of the ascent. I saw Ion was really close and chose to attack, catch him and take some turns together to the finish, just like we did. It’s a parcours where you can never leave the first 30 positions of the bunch, because, except for the first climb, the other roads are covered in a long line. It’s really fast, dangerous… We usually see these Worlds circuits getting harder from the 200km mark and it was demanding already before that, so it will be more difficult in September. Even more with rain…”
Spanish National Championship Result:
1. Ion Izagirre (Movistar) in 4:53:51
2. Alejandro Valverde (Movistar)
3. Carlos Barbero Cuesta (Euskadi) at 0:10.
Oliveira TT & Road in Portugal
Nelson Oliveira added another national champion jersey to his 2014 collection. After having won the Portuguese time trial title, ahead of team mate Rui Costa, the twenty-five years old from Team Lampre-Merida won also the road title in Sabugal over 201 km. He beat Sousa by 5 seconds, with Machado in 3rd at 12 seconds.
This is a first Pro win on the road for Oliveira, he had only ever won against the clock (two national championships, 2011 and 2014).
Langeveld Takes Dutch Title
The underrated Sebastian Langeveld (Garmin-Sharp) soloed to victory in the 243 kilometre race in Ootmarsun on Sunday. Behind him Omega Pharma – Quick-Step’s Niki Trepstra won the bunch sprint for second from Wesley Kreder (Wanty-Group Gobert). The early break of 15 riders had 11 minutes in hand at one point, but as they were being closed down Langeveld jumped across and was joined by Terpstra, Lars Boom (Belkin) and Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Shimano). With 21 kilometres to go Langeveld attacked and wasn’t to be seen again until the podium.
Dutch National Championship Result:
1. Sebastian Langeveld (Garmin Sharp) 5:42:01
2. Niki Terpstra (Omega Pharma – Quick-Step) 0:00:33
3. Wesley Kreder (Wanty-Groupe Gobert).
New Dutch Champ: Sebastian Langeveld:
Michael Valgren Danish Champion
The Danish national road race championships were held in Faaborg, a hilly course with 15 laps covering 195 kilometres. The first breakaway was formed after 40 kilometres, Tinkoff-Saxo and the bigger continental teams in the race were represented among the 27 escapees and it looked like a crucial development in the race very early on. Chris Anker Sørensen worked like a horse in the front group while teammate, Nicki Sørensen managed to bridge across with three followers, among others Troels Vinther (Team Cult- Vital Water). Behind, Magnus Cort (Team Cult-Vital Water was struggling to do the same with teammate, Lasse Bøchmann, BMC’s Sebastian Lander and Tre-For Blue Water’s Rasmus Guldhammer.
As the race progressed, the front group was divided and with 60 kilometres to go, it was reduced to only 16 riders and the chasers were finally distanced. And entering the final 50 kilometres, Tinkoff-Saxo were represented by Nicki Sørensen, Matti Breschel and Michael Mørkøv in the front group of nine riders in total. Nicki Sørensen leaped up the road with 30 kilometres to go and was joined by Martin Mortensen (Cult-Vital water) and at the same time, Cort was closing in on Mørkøv and Breschel. On the penultimate lap, Matti Breschel bridged across to Nicki and they were now two against one in the front trio. However, the 22 year-old Michael Valgren then started his rocket engine. He launched the attack from third chase group and passed the front trio to solo his way to the finish line where he took his biggest win of his career by winning the Danish national championships in his neo pro season.
“This is absolutely phenomenal. The final 50 kilometres were really intense and when I bridged across, I was fortunate to be able to stay behind in the wheel of Rasmus Guldhammer and reaching the front group I went the other way in a roundabout securing no one could take my wheel. From then on, I knew that Mortensen was chasing alone while Matti and Nicki stayed behind and I quickly develop a decent gap. I was actually pretty exhausted in the finale after having worked side by side with Chris Anker Sørensen but I must be in pretty good shape since I was able to maintain the gap. My first race in the national jersey will probably be San Sebastian or Tour of Denmark and of course, I’m looking to it,” said an excited Michael Valgren. Michael Mørkøv took bronze.
The Danish Champs Race:
Aleksandr Porsev New Russian Road Race Champion
After a double win in the individual time trial two days ago, Katusha again took the first two podium places in the road race of the Russian National Championships, held in Tula.
Aleksandr Porsev became the new Russian road race Champion, while Vladimir Gusev took the silver medal and second podium place. The bronze medal went Artur Ershov of RusVelo.
The race of 194,3 km started with a number of strong attacks, where Katusha’s riders, including 2013 Russian Champion Vladimir Isaychev, were very active. But the decisive breakaway went away in the final part of the race with Vladimir Gusev and RusVelo rider Artur Ershov. With 30 km to go Aleksandr Porsev and Sergei Chernetckii joined them. With 12 km to go the advantage of the break was 2 minutes and 40 seconds. Inside the final 4 km it was Aleksandr Porsev who made a strong attack. He took a good gap, enough to get a nice solo victory.
Russian champions Aleksandr Porsev: “We started the race with our only aim to take a victory. All of the rivals were very strong and it was quite impossible to predict the result until the final kilometers. Before the start, team management appointed me as team leader, so all teammates did their best to help me today. We had a good strategy, which we followed for 100%. It worked well, and finally, we won. I consider this victory as a complete team’s success, because it would be impossible to win alone in such a hard race as we had today. I am very happy with my performance. To become a Russian Champion is a great honor for me. I hope I will have a chance to justify this title with new victories at the international level.”
The Russian Podium:
Debusschere; Belgian Champion
Jens Debusschere conquered the Belgian tricolour in Wielsbeke as a bunch sprint decided the victory. The first half of the day it was pouring rain, but the sun came out for the finale. The long breakaway consisted of twelve riders, but they were caught with about 70 kilometres to go. A new front group was formed quickly with nine riders this time, they had a maximum advantage of just over one minute.
It looked good for the group until Omega Pharma – Quick-Step turned the pace up with only six kilometers to go and the escapees were caught in the final kilometre. Lotto Belisol had Jürgen Roelandts for the lead-out for Jens Debusschere, who sprinted to the victory. Second was Roy Jans (Wanty-Groupe Gobert) and Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma – Quick-Step) was third.
Jens Debusschere (Lotto Belisol): “I peaked to this period. After my victories at the end of last season I thought it would continue that way. I started this season well in the Tour Down Under where I replaced the injured Greg Henderson. Afterwards I struggled a bit with myself because I didn’t set new strong results. But the people in the team helped me to keep calm and eventually I’m standing here today on place one, that’s fantastic. In my first year as a pro I worked for Philippe Gilbert, that made me stronger. My second year was less good, but I was still only 22. Last year I injured my elbow in the Tour de Suisse, but luckily I had a strong last part of the season.”
“In the team we had several fast guys, we didn’t stand at the start with one captain today. We rode offensively. In every break we had a rider who could finish the job. When the nine took off we didn’t have to chase with two fast guys in front: Kris Boeckmans and Kenny Dehaes. That was the perfect situation for us. Eventually Omega Pharma – Quick-Step led the group to the sprint.”
“Until the sprint Jürgen and I could spare ourselves. The experience we have from André Greipel’s train came in handy. We rode on the right side of the road to avoid the wind. I’m very grateful to Jürgen Roelandts that he sacrificed himself for me. With six laps to go he told me he wanted to ride for me. I’m very grateful he suggested it himself. That gave me confidence, because he has already proven more in his career.”
“At Lotto Belisol guys like me can have a go in certain races. Here we can further develop. It’s my dream to win Paris-Roubaix one day, but this title is already the first dream to come true. I will be more easily recognized with that jersey and there will definitely be more pressure. Lotto Belisol won three times today, I’m so happy with that. Via the Tour de Wallonie I want to prepare myself for the Vuelta.”
Belgian National Championship Result:
1. Jens Debusschere (Lotto Belisol) in 5:21:38
2. Roy Jans (Wanty-Groupe Gobert)
3. Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma – Quick-Step).
Debusschere Takes It!
German National Championship
Defending champion André Greipel (Lotto Belisol) did it again by outsprinting John Degenkolb (Giant-Shimano) and Phil Bauhaus (Team Stölting) at the end of the 206 kilometre race. Four riders made the early break; Mario Vogt (rad-net ROSE), Grischa Janorschke (Team Vorarlberg), Philipp Zwingenberger (KED-Stevens) and Nils Politt (Team Stölting), they were joined by Arne Egner and Christian Mager (Team Stölting) and the six built up a lead of nearly 6 minutes. Time trial champion; Tony Martin (Omega Pharma – Quick-Step) attacked from the peloton and crossed to the break and then took Janorschke with him. Into the last lap the race was altogether for Greipel to show his sprinting form.
André Greipel (Lotto Belisol): “There were three small climbs on the lap, so it wasn’t exactly flat. It rained a few times, but luckily mostly the roads were dry. Marcel Sieberg and I didn’t need to do anything. Giant-Shimano controlled the race. We tried to be in every group where they had a guy in as well. That went quite well. Sibi was in front for a while. We were only with two, but still we felt we had control of the situation. In the end it came down to a sprint of a reduced peloton of about fifty riders. Sieberg set me up and I started to sprint in the last 250 meters. I’m happy I could hold off John Degenkolb. It was perfect again, just like last year. It was a special moment.”
“Today I was riding in the red Lotto Belisol jersey for one day, but of course I was hoping I could put back on that German jersey. I’m happy and proud to wear it for another year. It’s great also Jens Debusschere and Jolien D’hoore won their national championship race today. That’s a perfect day for the team. Now I have two days with the family before I head off to the Tour.”
German National Championship Result:
1. André Greipel (Lotto Belisol) in 4:49:51
2. John Degenkolb (Giant-Shimano)
3. Phil Bauhaus (Team Stölting).
André Greipel again:
Stybar Wins in Czech
Omega Pharma – Quick-Step Cycling Team riders Zdenek Stybar and Petr Vakoc took home gold and silver at the 192km Czech National Road Championship on Sunday. Jan Barta (NetApp-Endura) earned the bronze medal.
Stybar, who is also the UCI World Cyclocross Champion, earned the 45th victory for OPQS, in three disciplines, in 2014. Vakoc was essential in the national championship victory. He protected Stybar and closed down every attack.
“I’m super happy about this result,” Stybar said. “To me it’s the first national title on the road and I’m really proud to wear this jersey. It will be fantastic to ride with it for an entire year. The race wasn’t easy. The race was fast since the beginning, but we rode smart. The penultimate lap was really hard with a lot of attacks, especially from the guys of NetApp Endura. Then in the final lap we went on the first climb, me and Peter Sagan. As you know, the Czech and the Slovak championships are united in one race. At that point, to me, it was easier to control and in the final sprint I was able to beat Sagan. I’m really happy that I could finish off with an overall victory.”
The Czech Podium:
Tuft Solo’s in Canada
Orica-GreenEDGE’s Svein Tuft went on a long break to equal his time trial title in the road race. In the 175 kilometres race Tuft was out alone for over 100 kilometres. A minute after Tuft finished; Ryan Roth (Silber) beat Tuft’s Orica-GreenEDGE team mate Christian Meier for second. Tufta said: “When I won in 2011, we had some good odds with SpiderTech. We had numbers, and we could take control of the race. Today, with two guys, we had to race the perfect race. Right from the beginning, Christian and I were always in the moves and making sure that we wouldn’t be racing from behind. I’d have to say I’m proud of this one.”
Canadian National Championship Result:
1. Svein Tuft (Orica GreenEDGE) in 4:27:51
2. Ryan Roth (Silber Pro Cycling Team) at 1:00
3. Christian Meier (Orica GreenEDGE).
Fränk Schleck wins Luxembourg Championships
Fränk Schleck capped off great teamwork by Trek Factory Racing to win his first National Championship since 2011, his fifth total, as he soloed to a last lap win in Luxembourg on Sunday. Trek Factory Racing also claimed four of the top five spots with Andy Schleck finishing in third, Bob Jungels fourth, and Laurent Didier fifth.
“The four of us were really strong today; it was a full gas race until the end. Only Ben Gastauser was capable of staying with us. Andy was really strong today; he’s ready for the Tour [de France]. For me, after all what happened last year, and to be able to return to the WorldTour, this is just great! For my family, I never stopped training, they have always been my motivation. It is fantastic to be champion again – it’s a real honour. Also for Trek Factory Racing it is good that the jersey stays in the team. Laurent, Bob and Andy all worked super hard today, and we deserved to take it home.” Said Fränk Schleck.
It was Trek Factory Racing’s championship to lose as they lined up with four riders for the 160-kilometer race that was comprised of 10 laps of typical hilly Luxembourg terrain. Andy Schleck went straight from the gun – knowing it was up to Trek Factory Racing to make the race difficult – and was solo for two laps before the peloton chased him back.
In the second half of the race Andy attacked again and once more found himself alone out front. Fränk Schleck jumped out of the bunch, drawing out Ben Gastauer (Ag2r-La Mondiale) who was quickly followed by Laurent Didier and Bob Jungels; together the four caught Andy Schleck and never looked back. The quintet pulled away, and despite numerous attacks from behind, for the peloton, the race was over.
In the final few laps the five were pared to three; Didier and Jungels fell back after pushing the pace for Fränk and Andy Schleck. Outnumbered, Ben Gastauer continued to follow the wheels of the pinstriped team, but when Fränk made his move on the last lap there was little he could do: Fränk crossed the line alone to win the Luxembourg National road title and a fistful of seconds later Gastauer outkicked Andy for second place.
“That was a hard one! I liked it! I am always motivated for this race. I had 310 average watts, and that’s more than a Classic. I was very active, I felt really good. We knew that we had to make the race, and actually everything went as planned. We wanted to decimate the field and then try have one of the four of us win. When we had all four out front with only Ben Gastauser, we kind of had to win. It would not have looked good if we didn’t! I am so happy for Fränk. And now it’s on to the Tour!” said brother Andy.
Fränk the Champ.
National Time Trial Championships:
Tony Martin Wins Fourth German TT Title
Omega Pharma – Quick-Step Cycling Team rider Tony Martin took home his third straight gold medal at the 44.4km German TT Championship on Friday, which was also the fourth national TT championship victory in his career.
The three-time UCI World TT Champion won by 57 seconds with a finishing time of 56 minutes and 22 seconds (47.262 km/h). Nikias Arndt earned silver, and Lars Teutenberg bronze at 1:14. Martin’s victory was the 44th overall for OPQS in 2014.
“I’m happy I won after a thrilling race,” Martin said. “The parcours was a circuit with three laps, and the last lap was the only time we had to take a left to pass the area of the finish line. My radio wasn’t working so well at the time I was on course and the visibility was also not so good due to the rain and darkness. So I was focused on the split time. I didn’t realize I had to go right on the first lap and not pass the finish line. I heard the speaker shouting and saw the fences at the end of the road and thought ‘oh, I probably did a mistake.’ So, I turned around and I lost about 200 or 300 meters to come back. But I immediately found my tempo again and after the second lap I already had the best time again. It wasn’t an easy race. The weather conditions weren’t so good, which made the roads slippery. But, I got the result I was hoping for and I am happy with my fourth German TT gold medal. For me, this brings me a bit of good luck before the Tour de France. My condition is there and I’m excited that the Tour is coming.”
German TT Championship Result:
1. Tony Martin (Omega Pharma – Quick-Step) in 56:22
2. Nikias Arndt (Giant-Shimano) at 0:57
3. Lars Teutenberg at 1:14.
World & German Champion Tony Martin.
Beppu Takes Japan TT Title
Fumiyuki Beppu took the national time trial title in Japan, bringing home the third national jersey for Trek in three days.
Fumy stopped the clock after 53:02, having covered the three laps of the 40 km event 30 seconds faster than the runner-up for his third national title ahead of Nasu Blazen (Team Jyunya Sano) second and Genki Yamamoto (Vini Fantini-Nippo) third.
“I’m really happy with this victory, but the battle is not over. On Sunday, I want to win the title on the road as well. It’s always a bit hard to assess the competition, as I usually don’t race against the home riders. There were three laps, so I decided to go quite hard in the first lap and then try to control, trying to save some energy for the road race on Sunday. My split time after lap 1 was the fastest by 15 seconds, so I could shift down a gear. But after the second lap, my gap was only 8 seconds, so I had to do lap 3 quite deep anyway. At the finish, I had a 30 seconds lead. I had a 56 chainring mounted on my SpeedConcept, because the downhill part was really fast. I quite enjoyed the race, actually. I was looking to win – that’s why I travelled all the way here. My condition is good, having finished the Giro and then maintained my shape.”
Racing the Nationals is not an easy feat for the Japanese rider, who resides in France. It’s Fumy’s fifth trip ‘home’ for nationals since he turned pro in 2005. He’s now won three TT titles (2007, 2011 and 2014) and is looking for a third title on the road on Sunday.
“I had so much luggage coming here! Two bikes, race wheels, spare wheels, helmets, etc. It’s really a big challenge to do the Nationals, but I like it. I’m proud of my country and I will wear the jersey with a lot of respect. That’s also why I want to win Sunday. But it will not be easy. Three years ago, on the same course, I was in the break. But the peloton was controlling the gap very well and they caught us back. Then luckily I won in a sprint.”
British TT Championship
On a very wet Thursday evening in Wales; Bradley Wiggins beat Sky team mate Geraint Thomas by 1:08 and Movistar’s defending champion Alex Dowsett by 1:21. Wiggins was never under threat as he led all the way round the undulating 42 kilometres. Wiggins said after the race: “It will probably be my last British Time Trial Championships. To win it and perhaps never come back is kind of a nice way to end it all and add it to the Olympics and try and win the worlds at the end of the year and try to get the set.”
British TT Championship Result:
1. Bradley Wiggins (Sky) in 53:56
2. Geraint Thomas (Sky) at 1:08
3. Alex Dowsett (Movistar) at 1:21.
Bradley Wiggins wins the GB TT:
Malori is Italian TT Champion
Movistar’s Adriano Malori beat Dario Cataldo (Sky) by 1:08 and almost 3 minutes from Alan Marangoni (Cannondale) to take the Italian title.
Adriano Malori: “I’m really happy that I won – it was one of my main goals of the season. The route wasn’t one that really suited me, but I think I made a nice effort. I told my sports director, José Luis Laguía, after the end of the race: ‘Do you see now you didn’t waste your time by coming here from Spain?’ Luckily, we didn’t have the bad weather that was forecast and everything went like we expected. I didn’t go full-gas over the first half of the race, because since this year, I was convinced to use the power meter on time trials, and I’m getting to manage my energy and wattage over the course.
Movistar’s Adriano Malori, Italian TT Champion:
Nelson Oliveira Portuguese TT, Rui Costa 2nd
Double for Lampre-Merida in the Portuguese time trial national championship. The duo Nelson Oliveira and Rui Costa in Soito over 32.2 kilometres. The National title was won by Oliveira, who covered the course in 42:08, which was 38 seconds faster than former champion and team mate Rui Costa. Sergio Sousa was 3rd.
Oliveira obtained his second Portuguese time trial title as he had won the national race in 2011. “I’m so happy, it’s such a joy to win again the national title in time trial,” Oliveira commented. “The course was demanding and it required good legs. In addition, Rui was strong today, but I was feeling very good, so I could realize a top performance. I’m also happy for the compliments I received from Rui, he was happy for me, even if I preceded him at the end of an intense fight.”
Info about Oliveira: http://www.teamlampremerida.com/en/team/atleti/santos-simoes-oliveira-nelson-filipe/
Double TT & Road Champion Nelson Oliveira.
Jan Barta wins again the Czech time trial championship
Jan Barta defended his title as national champion in the time trial discipline in the Czech town of Slavkov u Brna. The 29-years old rider from Team NetApp – Endura won the race against the clock for the third consecutive time. With 55:38 minutes Barta set the fastest time on the course over 40 kilometres. Barta’s teammate, Leopold Koenig, had to abandon the race after 10km only due to a technical defect.
French TT Championship
IAM Cycling’s Sylvain Chavanel took his sixth French time trial championship in Poitiers on Thursday. On the 47.8 kilometre course round the Futurscope theme park he recorded a time of 57.54 which was 17 seconds faster than Anthony Roux (FDJ.fr) and 1:17 on Maxime Bouet (Ag2r-La Mondiale) in third. After the podium, local boy, Chavanel said: “I may be in my 15th year as a professional, but this time, I really wanted to do well. I was all fired up when I woke up at 6:00 am. I didn’t want to be over-confident. It was a strange feeling to race for the French title at home. I didn’t have the impression of being at the national championship. Only when I saw the staging, the advertisements and so many people on the roadsides, I realized that I was really racing at home for something serious.”
French TT Championship Result:
1. Sylvain Chavanel (IAM Cycling) in 57:54
2. Anthony Roux (FDJ.Fr) at 0:17
3. Maxime Bouet (Ag2r-La Mondiale) at 1:17.
Velits Repeats As Slovakian Time Trial Champion
BMC Racing Team’s Peter Velits won his third straight Slovakian national time trial championship in dominating fashion Thursday.
Felt Good About Form
Velits and his BMC timemachine TM01 completed the 40-kilometer course in 56:09, 2:12 better than runner-up Maros Kovac and 4:30 faster than third-placed Patrik Tybor, both of the Dukla Trenčín-Trek team. “It feels very good to have another victory, but it would have been a big disappointment if I did not win,” Velits said. “I felt pretty good about my form in comparing my time to Jan Barta of NetAapp-Endura, who is usually one of the top 10 time trialists in the world.” Barta won the Czech Republic time trial crown in 55:38. The two championships are annually run in conjunction with one another on the same course. Velits will next sport his national team colours in the Tour de France Stage 20 individual time trial on July 26 after being named to the BMC Racing Team’s squad for the race on Wednesday.
Canadian TT Championship
Orica-GreenEDGE’s Sven Tuft won his ninth time trial title in Lac-Mégantic, Québec on the 40.4kilometre course in 53:25, beating Hugo Houle (Ag2r-La Mondiale) by 2:04 and Ryan Roth (Silber Pro Cycling) by 2:21. “It’s never in the bag,” said Tuft. “You never know what you’re going to get on the day. I came here really motivated. Coming out of the Giro, I had a good little rest and worked hard coming back. I’m extremely happy to come out here strong.”
Canadian TT Championship Result:
1. Svein Tuft (Orica GreenEDGE) in 53:25
2. Hugo Houle (Ag2r-La Mondiale) at 2:04
3. Ryan Roth (Team Silber Pro Cycling) at 2:21.
Didier wins Luxembourg Time Trial Championships
Trek Factory Racing’s Laurent Didier won his first elite National Time Trial Championship stopping the clock at 27:31 for the 21-kilometer course. Bob Jungels, last year’s victor, raced to a close second place five seconds behind, giving Trek Factory Racing a one-two finish in the Luxembourg National Time Trial Championships on Thursday. Ben Gastauer (Ag2r-La Mondiale) rounded out the podium, a further 37 seconds in arrears.
The 21-kilometer course consisted of two laps on undulating, technical roads, and after the first lap Didier trailed Jungels. Not losing any rhythm, Didier slowly chipped away at Jungels’ lead, and narrowly edged out his teammate by the finish. “It was quite a hard circuit, it had a little bit of everything with technical corners, false-flats and up and downs, before finishing on a flat road. We had to do two laps and I was trailing Bob after the first lap. I tried to hold my pace, and in the end it went really well. I didn’t expect that I could beat him! I am happy! At the intermediate I was told I was behind Bob around 10 seconds.” Didier added: “This is my win in the National TT as a professional; I had done it as a U23 before. I was surprised to beat him, but I attribute that to coming into the Nationals with good form from the Tour de Suisse. Otherwise I would not have beaten him.”
Bob Jungels, 21, a definite favourite to repeat his National time trial title, was disappointed after a less than stellar day. However, gracious in defeat he was happy to see his teammate, and friend, on the top step, donning the Luxembourg National Championship jersey. “I did not have a great day. I was feeling very good and confident in training the days before, but I knew immediately in the first lap that it was not my day. You have these days; that’s sport. Of course the most important thing in the National Championships is that the team gets the jersey and it does not matter who. Laurent really deserves it, he did a great ride today and I am super happy for him, he is a great friend of mine.”
Trek’s Laurent Didier.
Danish TT Championship Result:
1. Rasmus Quaade (Team Trefor-Blue Water) in 50:47
2. Christopher Juul-Jensen (Tinkoff-Saxo) at 1:10
3. Michael Valgren Andersen (Tinkoff-Saxo) at 1:17.
Vorobyev and Chernetckii one and two in Russian TT Championships
WorldTour Team Katusha took a perfect double victory in the individual time trial of the Russian National Road Championships, held in Tula. The race took place in terrible weather conditions – it was very cold and raining all the day.
Anton Vorobyev became the new Russian ITT Champion, showing the best time 1:01.17 at the 50 km distance. Another Team Katusha rider Sergei Chernetckii won the silver medal, losing 1 minute and 6 seconds to his teammate.
Artem Ovechkin from RusVelo completed the Russian ITT Championships podium, taking the bronze medal. Ovechkin lost 1 minute and 45 seconds to the winner.
For me this is a very important victory, I was very motivated for it. The Russian Championships were one of the main goals in the season for me. And I built all my preparation having in my mind the Russian Champs, where I wanted to be in top shape. I did a huge amount of work and spent a lot of power for it. Before the start I felt I was strong, but had some doubts if everything would be ok, because this is the first time to ride such a big distance during the race and also, the rivals are really strong here. Finally everything went well and I am happy! The race was hard – I started under heavy rain. I did not know exactly what to expect from this distance; it was hard to distribute power over the whole race. Thus my first lap was very speedy, while on the second one I suffered a little bit, but in the end I found enough energy to win. Next time such a long distance will be only at the World Championships, where I would like to proudly represent Russia,” said Anton Vorobyev.
“The weather was not the best, but I was a little bit lucky and I did most of the race without rain. But it was still cold and windy. In general, I felt quite well during the whole race. After Tour de Suisse I managed to recover and to get some rest, so today in the time trial I was in good shape. I am pretty happy with the result, this is my first podium at the Russian Championships in category Elite,” added Sergei Chernetckii.
Today’s success is the first personal win of Anton Vorobyev as a professional rider. The U23 World ITT Champion and 2-time U23 Russian Champion, Anton came into professional ranks in 2013 with Team Katusha. Last season he took two podium places as well as being part of Katusha’s victorious team time trial at a stage of Settimana Internazionale Coppi e Bartali. This season Vorobyev took a podium place in ITT of Bayern Rundfahrt.
A Time Trial of History
A Clean sweep for Movistar Team with all six top performers in Ponferrada’s national TT: Valverde -first gold medal-, Izagirre (silver), Castroviejo (bronze), Herrada (4th), Erviti (5th) and Intxausti (6th).
Even the most optimistic predictions couldn’t forecast Movistar Team’s impressive performance on the Spanish Time Trial Championships held in Ponferrada, over 47 kilometres full of long straights, small climbs and changing winds in and around the capital of the Bierzo in León. The six riders the telephone squad brought to the Northern province took the six top places in the race, led by a surprising Alejandro Valverde, who claimed his first TT national championship by stopping the clock in 58 minutes straight, 56 seconds behind was silver medalist Ion Izagirre and 1:04 quicker than Jonathan Castroviejo (bronze). Jesús Herrada (4th), just 2 seconds behind the former champion; Imanol Erviti, 5th across the line after leading the standings in the first intermediate point; and Beñat Intxausti (6th) completed a day for the particular history of Eusebio Unzué’s teams.
Alejandro Valverde (1st): “I’m surprised by this victory. We can’t forget that Ion does really well on time trials, Castro is a huge specialist and shows it every day, and there were other riders, such as Eloy Teruel, Luis León Sánchez… who had prepared this TT well. I felt really strong at the Route du Sud after two months without racing, and I think those days gave me an extra level of fitness in view of July.
“I found this TT route demanding. All time references I had were pointing out gaps were really short, and when I reached the final climb I was equal to Castro and Izagirre – I knew I could make big gaps in the end and had to keep my best to win, and that’s what I did. At the end of the day, it was a victory for myself, but the most important thing and the one I’m happy about is that we got all six top positions.
Ion Izagirre (2nd): “Things didn’t go well for me in the Tour de Suisse and that always makes you doubtful, but I felt really well today and I’m willing to fight on Sunday. Valverde was unstoppable today – I can only be happy about second place. This year I’m feeling really comfortable on time trials – I feel like I’m taking steps forward, and that makes me confident.
Jonathan Castroviejo (3rd): “I’m happy with Alejandro’s win – it’s a sign of his good form before the Tour. I started off well, with the aim of contesting the win, but I went through a little down halfway into the course, and later suffered from a stomach cramp in the finale – but we must not think too much about this.”
The Spanish Movistar TT Podium.
Tour de France News:
Sky Announces Tour de France Team Ahead of Yorkshire Grand Départ
Team Sky has selected its nine-man line-up for the 101st edition of the Tour de France, which starts with the Grand Départ in Yorkshire on Saturday 5 July. Tour de France champion Chris Froome will lead the nine-man team and will be joined by: Richie Porte, Geraint Thomas, Mikel Nieve, Bernhard Eisel, Vasil Kiryienka, David López, Danny Pate and Xabier Zandio.
Confirming the final selection for the Tour de France team, Team Principal Sir Dave Brailsford said: “Team Sky returns to the Tour de France with the reigning champion and we are looking to win the yellow jersey for the third time in three years and a second consecutive time for Chris Froome. Defending champion Chris Froome is an exceptional talent, a brilliant stage racer, and he’ll lead the team. We know how hard it is to win this race and that it takes a totally focused and carefully constructed team, with the right blend of riders, to give us the best chance of victory. Each rider has been selected to play a specific role which will involve total sacrifice and commitment to the team’s ambition of reaching the Champs Élysées in yellow. The last time the Tour came to Britain it helped sow the seeds for what eventually became Team Sky. Everyone should be immensely proud of how far we’ve come and we can’t wait to ride in front of the UK fans. I believe that this will mark the moment when Britain truly becomes a cycling nation.”
Chris Froome, Team Sky’s leader and 2013 Tour de France champion, said: “Everyone in the team is hugely excited about the Tour de France starting in the UK and racing in front of home fans as defending champion will be an incredible honour.”We did a recce of the Yorkshire stages a few weeks ago and the excitement was already starting to build and the support that we have received has been fantastic. I’ll never forget the atmosphere on the roads during the London Olympics and to receive similar support at the Tour would be amazing. There’s no greater motivation for us than riding in front of our UK fans.”
“We have a really strong team going into the race, full of experience and ability, and we’ve spent a lot of time together this year which is very important. We’re ready to get started and can’t wait to get to Yorkshire.”
Team Sky Tour Fever Film 1: What’s Got Into Dad
As seven-year-old Molly Burns witnesses her old bike being spray painted the colours of the Tour de France and hung outside her family restaurant, she can’t help wondering what’s got into her dad. Owner of Bed Restaurant in Harrogate, Dave Burns declares himself as ‘giddy as a kipper’ about the first day of the Tour de France finishing in his home town.
A keen cyclist and bike tester himself, Dave is taking his support for Team Sky and the Grand Depart to new heights.
He’s already transformed an entire wall inside his restaurant into a shrine for the first and second stages, and wants to ensure Team Sky get the extra morale boost required to power through to the finish line. No blank surface is left untouched in Dave’s quest to let everyone know that Team Sky and the Tour de France are coming to Harrogate this July.
Movistar: Searching for Tour de France Podium
After dominating their home Nationals, Movistar Team brings strong block into Grande Boucle’s 2014 edition with goal of taking Alejandro Valverde to overall top-3 in Paris.
With 22 victories on their season tally and three national titles -Valverde and Malori were crowned ITT champions in Spain and Italy, while Ion Izagirre got the ‘rojigualda’ jersey in Ponferrada- as a final moral boost, the Movistar Team will head into the 101st edition of the Tour de France. The Grande Boucle, which will start in Leeds on Saturday, will see Eusebio Unzué’s squad bringing a strong nine-man block aiming to repeat last year’s podium finish claimed by Nairo Quintana.
With Alejandro Valverde as designated leader for the overall classification, the Blue roster for the French stagerace will be completed by Imanol Erviti, John Gadret (FRA), Jesús Herrada, Beñat Intxausti, Ion Izagirre, Rubén Plaza, José Joaquín Rojas and Giovanni Visconti (ITA). Unzué’s structure will take part in the Tour for a 32nd consecutive time, having snatched 7 overall victories (five from Miguel Indurain, one each by Pedro Delgado and Óscar Pereiro), 31 stage wins and spent 80 days in the yellow leader’s jersey.
Eusebio Unzué: “The goal is fighting for a podium place in Paris with Alejandro, that’s clear. He’s coming into the race really strong, confident about his chances of achieving that objective, in a route I think suits him pretty well. We know there will be lots of traps he’ll have to get over – the stress in this race makes all risks to increase. Still, we hope to get through the first week in good shape and start with the first weekend of mountains in the best possible condition. He will have a balanced team by his side, with riders suited for all terrains and in perfect form. Intxausti and Plaza had gone through some problems in the last few weeks, but looked totally recovered in the National Champs. Izagirre has already shown his condition; Erviti and Rojas are a guarantee, as well as Gadret, who will be important in the mountains. Jesús Herrada will make his debut because we think he’s prepared to debut in a Grand Tour, and by his characteristics, I think this is the one that can be most adequate to him. He took a huge leap forward this year and he deserved it. It’s so sad for us to leave Dowsett out of the team – despite his efforts, he couldn’t get to his best form due to breathing problems resulting from an infection he suffered; on the other hand, Visconti contested the win until the very in the Italian championships on Saturday, which indicates he’s into good condition.”
Tinkoff-Saxo Presents the Team for Tour de France
Tinkoff-Saxo has selected the nine riders for Tour de France 2014 after a thorough phase of decision. The team that will head out with the clear ambition of winning Tour de France is:
Alberto Contador, Michael Rogers, Nicolas Roche, Rafal Majka, Jesús Hernandez, Sergio Paulinho, Daniele Bennati, Matteo Tosatto, Michael Mørkøv.
The team management has carefully selected the nine riders after following a very strong group of candidates, who according to Team Manager Bjarne Riis would all be more than suited to ride this years Tour de France.
“It has been very difficult to select this year’s line-up. This year, we’ve had a very strong group of candidates, who have all been showing impressive spirit. We have selected a team of high quality both in relations to individual strength and their compatibility to support each other and ride as a team towards the main goal of winning the Tour with Alberto”, says Bjarne Riis.
The team is chosen with the purpose of supporting team captain Alberto Contador on a very demanding route against strong competitors. Bjarne Riis has together with the sport directors focused on finding riders, who would be able to support Alberto Contador on a versatile parcours.
“We have been looking at what shape the riders were in and tried to match their unique skills as riders with the challenges we’ll face during the 21 stages. It’s a tough Tour this year with almost no flat stages after the first week. When we reach the Vosges, we’ll already be facing serious climbs”, explains Bjarne Riis and continues:
“So we’ve chosen riders that are capable of protecting Alberto on all kind of stages and supporting him to the fullest in the mountains. I have complete confidence in our team, their readiness and their commitment to take up the fight in this year’s Tour. We all focus on standing on the podium in France putting on the yellow jersey”, concludes the Team Manager.
Lampre-Merida Tour 2014 Team
After the national championships, Lampre-Merida technical staff and technical advisor Michele Bartoli selected the 9 riders for Tour de France.
This is the selection:
Davide Cimolai: 24 year old, Italian, sprinter, pro since 2010.
Rui Costa: 27 years old, Portuguese, rouleur climber, pro since 2007, World Champion and three stage wins in the Tour de France.
Kristijan Durasek: 26 years old, Croatian, climber, pro since 2008.
Christopher Horner: 42 years old, American, climber, pro since 1995.
Sacha Modolo: 27 years old, Italian, sprinter, pro since 2010.
Nelson Oliveira: 24 years old, Portuguese, rouleur, pro since 2010, Portuguese champion in road race and time trial.
Maximiliano Ariel Richeze: 31 years old, Argentinian, sprinter, pro since 2006.
Josè Rodolfo Serpa Perez: 35 years old, Colombian, climber, pro since 2006.
Rafael Valls Ferri: 27 years old, Spanish, climber, pro since 2009.
Lampre-Merida selection will be characterized by different colours, considering that seven riders will wear the traditional blue-fucshia-green cycling kits, while Rui Costa will wear the rainbow jersey and Oliveira will have the colours of the Portuguese champion.
Riders are from seven different Countries and three continents: Italy (2), Portugal (2), Argentina, Colombia, Croatia, Spain, United States of America (1 each).
The average age of the selection is 29 years old: Horner is the oldest (42 years old), Cimolai is the youngest (24 years old, he’s some months younger than Oliveira).
The average years as a pro of the selected cyclists is 8 years.
Four riders will take part in Tour de France for the first time: Durasek, Modolo, Oliveira and Richeze.
Garmin-Sharp Tour Roster
Team Garmin-Sharp today announced its much-anticipated 2014 Tour de France Roster.
The team features 25-year-old American, Andrew Talansky, recent winner of the 2014 Critérium du Dauphiné. Talansky was the best-placed American in the 2013 Tour de France, earning 10th overall in his Tour debut.
Talansky will be supported by a strong argyle squad, including fellow young Americans Ben King and Alex Howes, both making their Tour de France debuts this year. Howes has been a part of the Slipstream organization since he was a junior in 2004. Tom-Jelte Slagter comes off a strong season to-date with stage wins at Paris-Nice and top-ten finishes in La Fleche Wallone and Liege-Bastogne-Liege. Sebastian Langeveld, the newly crowned Dutch National Road Champion, has netted top-ten finishes in this year’s Paris-Roubaix and the Tour of Flanders. The team is rounded out by 2011 Paris-Roubaix winner, Johan Vansummeren; Janier Acevedo, 9th overall in the recent Tour de Suisse and the Tour of California, Ramunas Navardauskas, 2014 Lithuanian National Time Trial Champion, and Jack Bauer, who won the Prologue of the 2014 Herald Sun Tour.
“Selecting the final 9 for our Tour is a very difficult task,” said Director Charly Wegelius. “This year, we come into the Tour with a team built around Andrew Talansky. Had David Millar been healthy, he would have been a phenomenal team member. We would have loved to have him. Unfortunately, as seen over the weekend, David is sick, so we were forced to make a difficult and sad decision. That said, I am confident that we have put together an excellent group of riders that will be best equipped to ride a great race and support Andrew. Its going to be an exciting Tour and as always, we will look to animate the race and bring excitement home to our fans.”
“In years past we have approached the Tour with multiple leaders, and multiple goals,” said Jonathan Vaughters, CEO, Team Garmin-Sharp. “This year, we approach it with one clear leader, Andrew Talansky, and our roster is designed to give him the best support possible. We are very sorry to leave David Millar home due to illness. His experience is unparallelled and his contributions to the sport and our team are undeniable. We wish things were different for David, but as we look ahead to the Tour, we believe we have selected a strong team and we are committed to helping Andrew build on last year’s success.”
Team Garmin-Sharp 2014 Tour de France Roster:
Janier Acevedo, Jack Bauer, Alex Howes, Ben King, Sebastian Langeveld, Ramunas Navardauskas, Tom-Jelte Slagter, Andrew Talansky, Johan Vansummeren.
Europcar Tour Team
Yuiya Arashiro, Bryan Coquard, Cyril Gautier, Yohann Gene, Alexandre Pichot, Perrig Quemeneur, Kévin Reza, Pierre Rolland and Thomas Voeckler.
Directeurs Sportifs: Dominique Arnould & Andy Flickinger.
Manager: Jean-René Bernaudeau.
The PEZ 2014 Tour de France Fantasy League
Its Tour time again and you can have your own team fighting it out. Go to Velogames, log in, pick your riders, choose your jersey and then join the Ciclismo PEZ Fantasy League with league No. 27110155. No prizes, but you will probably have the pleasure of beating me! Good luck.
And now Team Sky Tour Fever Film 2: King of the Mountain
At eighty-one years of age, Alan Bonner is a lifelong Tour de France fan and over the past few years has become an equally avid Team Sky fan. He regularly clocks up 80-100 miles of cycling each week and is an ardent hill climber. Since retiring, he’s ridden up some of the most notoriously difficult mountains in previous Tour de France races, including the Alpe d’Huez and Mont Ventoux — all on his Paris Tour de France racing bike, bought in Stoke Newington, London in 1949.
With roughly 40-50 thousand miles already covered by this elegant 65 year old steed, we join Alan as he attempts to emulate the actions of the Team Sky riders by tackling one of the Tour de France’s toughest climbs in Yorkshire: Buttertubs Pass.
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