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Latest Cycling News, July 30, 2008

Edited by Gregor Brown

Schleck celebrates emotional team effort

By Gregor Brown

Fränk Schleck proud of Carlos Sastre's overall Tour de France win
Photo ©: Roberto Bettini
(Click for larger image)

Fränk Schleck celebrated a sentimental Team-CSC Saxo Bank win on Sunday in Paris, with Tour de France winner and team mate Carlos Sastre.

The Luxembourg rider finished sixth this year and described his feelings after he crossed the line, "It is really important, with a lot of emotions. We did not have to talk a lot. We gave each other a big hug, and that was nice," said Schleck to Cyclingnews.

The Denmark-based team won the maillot jaune with Sastre, the maillot blanc with Schleck's brother, Andy Schleck, and took the teams classification. Schleck devoted himself to Spaniard Sastre after he held the overall lead for two stages.

He confirmed the team's hard work, which also included a stage win by Kurt-Asle Arvesen. "It is nice to finish with the team. It was a big team effort." As for the future Schleck made is intentions clear and looked forward to the competing among the top contenders . "Back to win? I hope so."

After a post-Tour criterium in his home country, Schleck travels to Beijing for the Olympics with national team-mates Andy Schleck and Kim Kirchen.

Millar proud of team's debut

By Gregor Brown

David Millar content with Garmin's Tour debut
Photo ©: Isabelle Duchesne
(Click for larger image)

Briton's David Millar was proud of Team Garmin Chipotle - H30's performance in its first Tour de France, one that included near stage wins and fifth overall with Christian Vande Velde.

"Considering people weren't convinced we'd get a ride, we've shown we deserve it, we're a future great team," Millar said to Cyclingnews on Paris' Champs Élysées.

Jonathan Vaughters' Team Garmin boosted its roaster last year by signing – among others – Millar, Vande Velde and David Zabriskie. It received a huge boost with invites to the two biggest Grand Tours – Giro d'Italia and Tour de France – and immediately repaid organiser's faith with the opening team time trial win in the Giro.

At the Tour it came close to the leader's maillot jaune with Millar and Vande Velde. Vande Velde, with help from Millar and the other seven riders remaining, went on to close the three-week race with his best-ever finish, fifth overall.

"We've got eight guys who've finished. All of us showed at some point in the race. I think that it's been great and we can be very proud of ourselves. Christian's fifth is highlight, no doubt about that," Millar continued. The team lost Magnus Backstedt after he finished outside of the time limit early in the race.

Millar pointed to other successes outside of his own team. He tipped his hat to fellow British rider Mark Cavendish – winner of four stages. "Cavendish is a phenomenon; he's going to be around for ages, winning stuff."

The day ended with a team party. Millar remained in the French capital for some needed rest days. "I'm going on holiday now, here in Paris." Millar's next goal is the World Championships in Varese this September.

Terpstra extends with Milram

By Susan Westemeyer

Niki Terpstra has extended his contract with Team Milram for two years. The extension was signed before the start of the final Tour de France stage.

"We are happy that Niki has decided to stay longer with us," Milram Directeur Sportif Raul Liebregts told Cyclingnews. "In the spring Classics and the Tour he showed that he has great potential – and he is always good for a surprise! We wish him the best of luck in Olympic road race and track events."

Terpstra, 24, made his Tour de France debut this year and was the most combative rider for stage 13. He finished third overall in the Bayern Rundfhart and fourth in the Driedaagse De Panne-Koksijde.

Teams' reviews of the 95th Tour de France

All 20 teams went into the Tour de France with great hopes. Some planned to win the Tour, others went for stage wins, and others were hoping merely to gain as much exposure as possible. How did they do? CSC-Saxo Bank and Columbia dominated the race in various ways, while other teams did little more than put in their daily kilometres. Cyclingnews' Susan Westemeyer takes a look back at the next ten teams' performances, in order of their start numbers.

AG2R La Mondiale

Cyril Dessel on his way to giving AG2R La Mondiale the win.
Photo ©: Roberto Bettini
(Click for larger image)

AG2R was the most successful of the French teams. Captain Cyril Dessel won the first big Alpine stage, stage 16 into Jausiers. He was part of a larger breakaway group which got away early, and in the end, after two HC climbs, he won a three-man sprint It was a tremendous comeback for the French rider who wore the yellow jersey briefly in 2006 but missed most of the 2007 season with toxoplasmosis. Dessel ended up being only the fourth best finisher on the team in 28th place, with Stéphane Goubert being 21st. But both were eclipsed in the overall by Tadej Valjavec in 10th and Vladimir Efimkin in 11th. That was enough to give the team the second place rank in the overall team rankings – at 15 minutes behind winner CSC, they were the only team closer than an hour to the Danish team.

Mark out of 10: 7/10


Things couldn't have gone better for the German team. Stefan Schumacher surprisingly won the first time trial and wore the leader's yellow jersey for two days. He attacked continually throughout the Tour and was frequently to be found ahead of the peloton, either in escape groups or alone. He topped it off by also winning the closing time trial, beating two-time World Champion Fabian Cancellara by 21 seconds. But the shaved-headed German wasn't the biggest success of the Tour for the team. That honour went to Bernhard Kohl. The Austrian went into the race with an eye on the GC, hoping to do better than his last year's 31st place. He succeeded beyond his dreams, standing on the podium in Paris as third overall. In addition, he held on to the polka-dot jersey of the King of the Mountains, which he held until the end, on the 15th stage – taking it over from team-mate Sebastian Lang, who had won it for three days. It was an outstanding Tour for the German team which has traditionally done poorly in the race. Now they are lacking only one thing: a sponsor for the coming years...


Read the full part two review or read part one.

Wanted: All-rounder with time trialling abilities

By Bjorn Haake

Chris Anker Sørensen is hoping to deliver the win for CSC-Saxo Bank
Photo ©: Gepa-Pictures
(Click for larger image)

The 18th Post Danmark Rundt will be run over 890 kilometres in five days and six stages. The only split stage is on the penultimate day and will see the riders tackle a road race in the morning, followed by a time trial in the afternoon. The lack of mountains will be compensated by the conditions, with lots of winds necessitating some typical echelons. A good all-rounder with time trialling abilities should be the number one favourite.

Last year's winner Kurt-Asle Arvesen (CSC-Saxo Bank) will not take the start, as he recovers from a successful, but tiring, Tour de France. Number one will therefore be worn by Matti Breschel, who won the second stage last year. The question on everyone's lips will be if anybody can stop CSC-Saxo Bank in its home race. Nobody has been able to prevent the team, which also dominated the Tour de France, from winning since 2003. That year, Gerolsteiner's Sebastian Lang took the honours. The German squad, still looking for a sponsor, would dearly like a repeat performance in its quest to find a sponsor.

Breschel's team-mate Chris Anker Sørensen finished fourth in the recent Österreich Rundfahrt and will have good chances of taking the overall title here in Denmark. CSC-Saxo Bank has three foreigners on its team. Swede Gustav Erik Larsson will eye the time trial. Argentinean Juan José Haedo is looking forward to some sprint wins. US boy Jason McCartney can rival Larsson in the race against the clock and/or win a stage in a breakaway.

Read the full preview.

Barloworld remains for 2008

By Gregor Brown

Claudio Corti's team will continue to race under the Barloworld name for the remainder of 2008 despite previous reports that the South African sponsor would remove its visibility at the end of the Tour de France.

"We will change the jersey a little, but Barloworld will remain," said Team Manager Corti to Cyclingnews Wednesday morning, three days after the Tour de France.

Barloworld announced it was leaving the team following the doping case of Moisés Dueñas. French Gendarmerie escorted Dueñas out of the Tour the morning after the rest day in Pau, July 16, when informed of his positive test for Erythropoietin (EPO) stemming from stage four's time trial in Cholet. A search of Dueñas' room revealed banned substances.

"Remember, it is a problem with the rider, not the team. Look at the recent Marta Bastianelli case – she did it on her own, not with a team."

Despite just returning from France, Corti is in talks with new sponsors and Barloworld for 2009 support.

Arrieta and Goubert extend with AG2R

José Luis Arrieta at the Tour de France
Photo ©: AFP
(Click for larger image)

Jose Luis Arrieta and Stéphane Goubert have both extended their contracts with AG2R La Mondiale for an additional year.

Both Arrieta and Goubert showed good form during the Tour de France, helping the French team to secure second place in the teams classification, behind CSC-Saxo Bank.

Goubert worked well for Vladimir Efimkin and Tadej Valjavec in the mountains, especially in Alpe d'Huez. Goubert ended the race 21st overall.

The duo is considered a cornerstone of the team and they are expected to pass on their experience to the younger riders.

Both will also participate in the Clásica a San Sebastián on Saturday, August 2. They will be joined by Cyril Dessel, Hubert Dupont, Christophe Edaleine, Tanel Kangert, Julien Loubet and Rinaldo Nocentini.

Gesink and Freire to lead Rabobank in Vuelta

Dutchman Robert Gesink, fourth at the Dauphiné Libéré, will make his Grand Tour debut in the Vuelta a España next month. He will share the Team Rabobank captain's role with sprinter Oscar Freire.

The two will be joined by Marc De Maar, Juan Antonio Flecha, Pedro Horrillo, Mauricio Ardila Cano and Grischa Niermann, according to the news agency ANP. Directeur Sportif Adri van Houwelingen said that the final two riders will be named within the next few weeks. (SW)

Dockx as stagiaire to Columbia

Gert Dockx will be a stagiaire with Team Columbia, as of August 1. His first race with the USA ProTour team will be the Sparkassen Giro Bochum on August 3.

"My goal as a beginner is to see where I stand in comparison with the experienced pros," he said, according to "My aim next season is to perform consistently from April through the World Championships. If I can do that..."

He currently rides for the Team Beveren 2000 and has two victories this season, stage three of the Ronde de l'Isard and the one-day race Nieuwrode-Holsbeek. (SW)

FRF withdraw sponsorship of Continental team

By Paul Verkuylen

FRF Sports have become the latest sponsor to pull the plug on their sponsorship dollars. The wholesale and distribution company was the title sponsor of the FRF-NSWIS squad based in Sydney, Australia. The team returned from racing the Tour of Qinghai Lake just a week ago and planned to ride the Tour of Gippsland, which starts today.

"FRF have pulled their sponsorship money for the remainder of the season," Andy Portess, the team's manager told Cyclingnews.

"We have released the riders, so they can start looking for other avenues. But we are in negotiations with other sponsors and hope to be able to continue for the rest of the season under another name."

Portess was unable to name the potential new title sponsor, but does hope that the team can continue. The team have standing invitations to races in Asia towards the end of the season.

"We will know more in about a week," Portess said.

All the riders still remain under scholarship with the NSW institute of sport and will continue to be looked after by them for certain races.

A depleted team will contest the Tour of Gippsland which begins today, July 30.

(Editorial assistance and research provided by Susan Westemeyer)

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