In this morning’s edition of the CyclingTips Daily News Digest: Marcel Kittel out of Tour de France as Giant-Alpecin confirms lineup; Vaughters on Cannondale-Garmin’s Tour approach: “Mix it up a bit, throw in some crazy tactics”; Chris Froome admits missed drug test and blames zealous hotel staff; Matthews’ 2015 Tour de France path avoids risky roads; Col du Galibier removed from the Tour de France; Peter Stetina hoping to return to racing before the end of 2015; Cycling karma?; How to use a powermeter to conserve energy while cycling.
Marcel Kittel out of Tour de France as Giant-Alpecin confirms lineup
by Shane Stokes
The will-he, won’t-he about Marcel Kittel’s Tour de France particatipation has finally been settled by his Giant-Alpecin team, with the German squad confirming that the eight-time stage winner will miss the race this year.
Kittel has struggled with the effects of a virus for much of the season and while he returned to racing recently, the team has decided that his performances plus his form are not good enough to be able to ride the Tour. Milan-San Remo and Paris-Roubaix winner John Degenkolb will step up as the team’s sprinter.
“Of course I am disappointed about not participating in the Tour de France this year,” said Kittel. “But I will have to look ahead and focus on new goals.”
A Giant-Alpecin press release reads: “The team will be strengthened for stage success over a different type of parcours, the hard sprints. For now, an alternative racing program will be determined by the performance team and Kittel himself and new goals will be set for the autumn to structurally work towards them.”
The Giant-Alpecin team for the 2015 Tour de France is: Warren Barguil, Roy Curvers, John Degenkolb, Tom Dumoulin, Simon Geschke, Koen de Kort, Georg Preidler, Ramon Sinkeldam and Albert Timmer.
Vaughters on Cannondale-Garmin’s Tour approach: “Mix it up a bit, throw in some crazy tactics”
By Shane Stokes
Heading towards the Tour de France with three strong riders likely to share top billing, Cannondale-Garmin’s CEO Jonathan Vaughters has promised an aggressive approach, with the American team looking to shake up the more controlled tactics favoured by the big GC teams.
Cannondale-Garmin has employed such a strategy in the past, most notably on stage nine in 2013 when the relentless attacking decimated the Sky team, exposing Chris Froome and setting Dan Martin up for the stage win. Ryder Hesjedal also won his 2012 Giro d’Italia with an aggressive approach towards the end of the race, and showed a similar flair for going off the front this year.
“The final lineup isn’t decided yet but more than likely we are going to have Dan and Ryder and Andrew [Talansky] all on the start line,” Vaughters told CyclingTips.
“I think how we use them individually is going to be a little bit creative. We came to the decision that, okay, maybe one on one Talansky isn’t as good as Froome, one on one Dan isn’t as good as Contador. But by bringing three very, very high quality talents, if those guys choose to seamlessly and selflessly work amongst each other, we can make the race interesting.”
Click here to read more at CyclingTips.
Chris Froome admits missed drug test and blames zealous hotel staff
Chris Froome (Sky) has admitted that he missed a doping test while on holidays earlier in the year, describing the incident as “a hugely frustrating situation”.
“I had a couple of recovery days and I took my wife down to quite an exclusive hotel in Italy. On the first morning the authorities pitched up at seven and the hotel staff actually wouldn’t give them access to our room and also refused to let them call up.
“So when we came down for breakfast at 8.30, they basically just said to us: ‘OK, the anti-doping guys were here to test you this morning but it’s our hotel policy not to let them disturb our clients or let anyone disturb our clients’.
“I did appeal to try and explain the circumstances to the authorities but at the end of the day I take full responsibility for that case,” said Froome.
WADA has a three-strike policy meaning any athlete who misses three tests in 12 months is deemed to have committed an anti-doping rule violation and will serve a ban.
Click here to read more at The Guardian.
Matthews’ 2015 Tour de France path avoids risky roads
After missing last year’s Tour de France due to a crash in training just before the event, Michael Matthews (Orica-GreenEdge) is avoiding certain roads in an effort to minimise all risks.
“Definitely, I’m avoiding it,” Matthews told VeloNews, of a piece of road near his adopted home near Monaco where he crashed last year. “I never had actually ridden down there before in my life, that was the first time for me. It was only because there was a car crash on the main road, so the police sent us down this little road that ended up causing the crash, which wasn’t really a safe road to ride on, but I was maybe going a little too fast also.”
Matthews told VeloNews he’s not “putting too much emphasis on the Tour this year”:
“I’ll train full for it, but I’m not going to aim for certain stages, I’m just going to train and switch off my head and consider it just another race,” Matthews said.
“I think my problem was that last year it was my first Tour de France and I was going really strong, the best I’ve gone in my life, and I think I just over-thought it a bit going into the race. That could have been one of the reasons why I had the bad crash.”
Click here to read more at VeloNews.
Col du Galibier removed from the Tour de France
After plenty of foreshadowing from local authorities, organisers of the Tour de France have confirmed that the Col du Galibier climb will be removed from stage 20 of this year’s race, due to a landslide.
“Kept on alert since the closure of the Chambon tunnel, because of a landslide in April, Tour de France organizers have been informed by the Isère authorities of the inability to restore circulation before the passage of the race scheduled on 25 July,” a Tour press release said Thursday.
“Despite the determination of all parties involved to conserve the original route, but more importantly, to allow the population of the communities concerned to return to their normal traffic patterns, it was decided that the route of stage 20 be changed.”
The stage will now include the Croix-de-Fer climb en route to the stage-ending climb to Alpe d’Huez.
Click here to read more via VeloNews/AFP.
Peter Stetina hoping to return to racing before the end of 2015
A horrible crash on stage 1 of the Vuelta al Pais Vasco earlier this year left BMC’s Peter Stetina with a broken tibia, patella and ribs. In a teleconference with journalists earlier this week Stetina provided an update on his recovery and his plans going forward.
“My goals are always ambitious…,” Stetina said. “I have to set my goals high, so I do plan on racing this year still, maybe extremely soon, basically as soon as I can get some basic fitness.
“I know that I will be basically a shell of myself for the rest of this year but – and the BMC director team and medical team are behind this – we think if I can hop into a few races and help the guys early on, make the gruppetto in a few races, then it will set me up better going into the off season.
“[Then] I can really focus on left- and right-leg imbalances, regain the muscle mass that I’ve lost, and any lingering joint pain that may arise. I plan on being full strength by next year but I hope that you guys will see me a few times this year.”
“With such a bad break like this, it is still slow,” Stetina said, speaking of the recovery process. “It’s coming along bit by bit and now I got the metal out of the knee, which makes a world of difference because there was a lot of metal in there. I’ve been fully weight bearing, weaning myself off the crutches and doing some old-man hikes in the forest and what not.”
Click here to read more at Cyclingnews.
Keep your eyes on the road, people.
How to use a powermeter to conserve energy while cycling
As the guys from GCN demonstrate here, powermeters can be useful for a whole bunch of reasons.
What You Missed
And finally this morning, here are a few things you might have missed at CyclingTips:
- Thereabouts Reprise
- Extend your outdoor riding season by keeping warm in the (extreme) cold
- Daily News Digest: Thursday June 25