Monthly Archives: August 2011

Wiggins takes overall Vuelta lead

Bradley Wiggins

Wiggins suffered a broken collarbone during the Tour de France

Britain’s Bradley Wiggins marked his full return from injury by claiming the overall lead of the Spanish Vuelta.

Stage 11 was won by David Moncoutie who reached the finish of the 167 km leg at the Manzaneda ski resort one minute and 18 seconds ahead of Benat Intxausti and Luis Leon Sanchez.

Moncoutie clocked 4 hours, 38 minutes for his fourth career Vuelta stage win.

“I’m absolutely delighted to be in red and cannot thank my team-mates enough,” Wiggins said.

“They looked out for me right the way through the stage and did a fantastic job.

“It was chilly out there on that final climb but I felt comfortable right the way to the finish. When Rodriguez attacked there was no point in trying to follow him and as always, I just kept a steady pace and worked my way to the top.”

The 31-year-old’s grit carried him into the overall lead as the Briton finished 3:08 behind Moncoutie in 13th.

“To have Team Sky one and two on the podium is about as good as it gets really,” Wiggins added.

The Team Sky rider, who sustained a broken collarbone at the Tour de France, took the leader’s red jersey from teammate Christopher Froome, who is seven seconds behind in second place.

The ‘Tour of Spain’ finishes on 11 September in Madrid.

It continues on Thursday with a 167.3 km ride between Ponteareas and Pontevedra that is mostly flat and is expected to end in a sprint finish.

Result and overall standings after the 167-km 11th stage of the Tour of Spain from Verin to Estacion de Montana Manzaneda:

1. David Moncoutie (France / Cofidis) 4hrs 38mins 00secs

2. Benat Intxausti (Spain / Movistar) +1:18″

3. Luis Leon Sanchez (Spain / Rabobank)

4. Mathias Frank (Switzerland / BMC Racing) +1:36″

5. Sergio Paulinho (Portugal / RadioShack) +1:43″

6. Matteo Montaguti (Italy / AG2R) +2:29″

7. Amets Txurruka (Spain / Euskaltel)

8. Aitor Perez (Spain / Lampre) +2:55″

9. Joaquim Rodriguez (Spain / Katusha) +3:01″

10. David Bernabeu (Spain / Andalucia) +3:08″

Overall standings:

1. Bradley Wiggins (Britain / Team Sky) 42 hrs 50 mins 41 secs

2. Chris Froome (Britain / Team Sky) +7″

3. Vincenzo Nibali (Italy / Liquigas) +11″

4. Fredrik Kessiakoff (Sweden / Astana) +14″

5. Jakob Fuglsang (Denmark / Leopard) +19″

6. Bauke Mollema (Netherlands / Rabobank) +47″

7. Maxime Monfort (Belgium / Leopard) +1:06″

8. Juan Jose Cobo (Spain / Geox) +1:27″

9. Haimar Zubeldia (Spain / RadioShack) +1:53″

10. Janez Brajkovic (Slovenia / RadioShack) +2:00″

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Thomas to lead Team Sky’s GB bid

Geraint Thomas

Thomas was a founder member of the Team Sky squad

Olympic gold medallist and Tour de France rider Geraint Thomas will lead Team Sky in the Tour of Britain.

The Welshman will be joined by former Tour of Britain stage winner and king of the mountains Ben Swift in the six-man squad for the eight-stage race.

Thomas, 25, held the white young riders’ jersey between stage one and stage seven in the 2011 Tour de France and secured three top 10 finishes.

The Tour of Britain takes place between 11 and 18 September.

The provisional Team Sky line-up includes a strong British contingent, including rising stars Peter Kennaugh and Alex Dowsett, who claimed his first professional victory at the Tour du Poitou in France last week.

Double Tour of Britain top 10 finisher Michael Rogers and fellow Australian Mathew Hayman are also in Team Sky’s squad.

“The announcement of such a strong Team Sky line-up clearly sends a message that the team is serious about winning the Tour of Britain,” said race director Mick Bennett.

“In Geraint, Ben, Alex and Peter they have four of the finest British cyclists currently racing, all of whom are more than capable of winning The Tour of Britain.”

Team Sky are without Bradley Wiggins for the race as he is competing in the Tour of Spain.

World and Olympic team pursuit track gold medallist Thomas is set for his sixth Tour of Britain, with the Cardiff rider having finished sixth and 12th in the past two editions.

He clinched his first major professional win with victory in the Tour of Bavaria in May.

Thomas will race against Olympic team pursuit team-mate Ed Clancy, who will lead the Rapha Condor team.

Team Sky provisional Tour of Britain line-up:

Alex Dowsett (GB), Mathew Hayman (Aus), Peter Kennaugh (GB), Michael Rogers (Aus), Ben Swift (GB); Geraint Thomas (GB); Reserves: Steve Cummings (GB), Greg Henderson (NZ), Jeremy Hunt (GB)

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Froome snatches Vuelta red jersey

Chris Frome

Froome celebrates his red jersey on the podium in Salamanca

Britain’s Chris Froome has taken the overall lead in the Vuelta a Espana, with his Team Sky co-rider Bradley Wiggins moving into third place.

Froome claimed the race leader’s red jersey after finishing second behind Germany’s Tony Martin of HTC in the 10th stage, a 47km time-trial.

He moved up 13 places in the general standings, 12 seconds clear of Danish rider Jakob Fuglsang.

Wiggins is eight seconds back after finishing third in the time-trial.

Four more cyclists, including Vincenzo Nibali of Italy and Juan Jose Cobo of Spain, are all within two minutes of the leader.

Born in Kenya, Froome acquired British citizenship through his grandparents’ country of birth and is in his second season with Team Sky, where he is essentially a domestique for team leader Wiggins.

He finished fifth in the time-trial in the Commonwealth Games in Delhi in 2010.

After a rest day on Tuesday, Wednesday’s 11th stage is a moutainous 16 km ride from Verin and Verin to Estacion de Montana Manzaneda, offering Wiggins an opportunity to stamp his authority on the race.

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Contador doping hearing date set

Alberto Contador

Contador has previously said it would be “ridiculous” if he was stripped of his Tour de France win

Alberto Contador’s doping hearing at the Court of Arbitration for Sport has been set for 21-24 November.

The World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) and world cycling’s governing body UCI are appealing against the Spanish Cycling Federation’s decision to acquit him.

The 28-year-old’s case was due to be heard before CAS in June but was initially delayed until August.

The hearing will consider Contador’s positive test for clenbuterol after the 2010 Tour de France.

The Spanish rider won that race by 39 seconds, ahead of Andy Schleck.

Contador faces a possible two-year ban and losing his Tour de France victory if the Lausanne-based court finds against him.

He was found to have minute traces of clenbuterol in his urine samples days before the Tour began last July.

Clenbuterol is a banned fat-burning, muscle-building drug, but the Spanish cycling federation accepted Contador’s explanation that he had inadvertently consumed the drug in contaminated beef.

Wada regards clenbuterol as a zero-tolerance drug, although its rules allow athletes to escape a sanction if they prove “no fault or negligence” on their part.

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Man Down!

No, I haven’t had a crash, but my cycle commute buddy wont be riding for a few weeks :(

Currently he is waiting for an operation later today at the local hospital – to repair a ruptured achilles!

Carrera Virtuoso "Betsy" with SKS Race Blade Fitted
He’d just arrived in Rhodes for the family holiday, went to have a kick about with his lad and bang! Man Down! Not good at all, and sounds like it is going to keep him off the bike for the best part of 10 weeks, and I guess longer before he is happy to do the 30 to 40 mile round trip that is our commute – especially given the hilly nature of the area.

It’s so much nicer to get up and ride in with someone, going to have to motivate myself a little more in the mornings for the foreseeable.

On the plus side, my new SKS Race Blade mudguards arrived yesterday, as did my new SMART rear light (Lunar R2).

Mrs Johnny was, once again, understanding as I put Betsy up on my workstand in the front room and gave her a good clean with baby wipes before I fitted the race blades.

I must say on first impressions I am very pleased with the SKS Race Blades, they seem very sturdy and were simple to fit and adjust. I like the method they attach by (rubber strips), and this will make taking them on and off very quick indeed. Also a nice touch to include some frame/fork protector patches to prevent scratching, and Carrera Virtuoso "Betsy" with SKS Race Blade Fittedadapters to fit them to bladed forks too.

I don’t see these breaking as easily as my Crud Road Race mudguards did, and whilst they don’t cover as much of the wheel as the Cruds, I can see they will protect both rider and frame from much of what gets thrown up.

The Carbon effect is great, and they suit the Virtuoso a treat.

I can’t comment much on the Lunar R2 yet, but I’ll put some batteries in this evening and then see just how bright it is.

Betsy is still on the stand as I type, following last nights commute home I seem to have a rear wheel out of true – I know I hit a pot hole or three, so her rear wheel is in at my local bike shop for truing. The perils of being a commuter bike!
No doubt she’ll be glad to have her rear wheel back, and Mrs Johnny will be relieved too – so that the bike stand is packed away and the lounge is once again bike free! ;)

Johnny’s favourite stores