Monthly Archives: July 2012

Evans out of Olympic time trial

Former world champion Cadel Evans has been ruled out of the men’s individual time trial because he is exhausted.

The Australian won the Tour de France in 2011

but endured a

difficult defence of his yellow jersey this year,

finishing 15 minutes behind winner Bradley Wiggins in seventh.

Evans, 35, competed in

Saturday’s road race

for Australia but finished 79th.

Cycling Australia said two doctors have “confirmed he is fatigued and will not recover in time for Wednesday”.

The Australian Olympic Committee said Evans will not be replaced in the time trial, so Michael Rogers will be the only Australian to take part.

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/olympics/19041164

Pendleton tips Meares to win gold

World and defending Olympic champion Victoria Pendleton believes long-term rival Anna Meares is favourite to win the sprint title at London 2012.

She

beat the Australian to gold both in Beijing

and on the way to a

sixth world sprint gold, in Melbourne in April.

“She probably has the advantage, because her performances over the last 12 months have been more solid than mine,” said Briton Pendleton.

Qualification begins on Sunday 5 August with the final the following Tuesday.

The track programme as a whole gets under way on Thursday with the men’s and women’s team sprint.


Britain's Victoria Pendleton

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Pendleton gears up for Meares Olympic showdown

A lot has been made of the rivalry between Pendleton, 31, and the 28-year-old Meares – whom the Briton described earlier this year

as a rider who “pushes the rules”. 

But Pendleton,

who was the subject of a recent BBC documentary,

admits it is nothing more than you would expect from two competitors both going for gold.

“The rivalry thing between Anna Meares and myself has been blown out of proportion and sensationalised to make it sound worse than it really is,” she said.

“We’re just two individuals who happen to have reached the top of our performance in our sporting lives at the same time, so we meet each other often.

“I have a huge respect for Anna Meares and I know that she has for me. We’re just very competitive individuals and our performances have converged at the same moment.”

Pendleton,

who is set to retire after the Games,

will also compete in the keirin and team sprint, alongside Jess Varnish.

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/olympics/19041856

Armitstead lifted by GB support

Britain’s Lizzie Armitstead lavished praise on the rousing support she was given on her way to

a silver medal in Sunday’s Olympic women’s road race.

Like the

men’s race on Saturday,

thousands gathered all along the 140km course to roar Armitstead, 23, on to Team GB’s first medal at London 2012.

Dutch star Marianne Vos beat Armitstead in the sprint finish on The Mall.

But the Yorkshirewoman said of the backing: “It’s the most special thing I’ve experienced, it was amazing.”

The key to Armitstead’s success was breaking away in a group of four riders, with three-quarters of the race completed.


Lizzie Armitstead

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Armitstead delighted with road race silver

Russian Olga Zabelinskaya went first, but Armitstead, Vos and American Shelley Olds leapt clear of a tiring field to forge a multi-national dash to the finish.

The quartet became a trio, however, when Olds had to drop back with a puncture.

This left Armitstead, Vos and Zabelinskaya to work together to hold off the chasing pack, a feat they managed with some panache.

“We saw in the men’s race that once a committed group goes, it’s hard to chase from behind,” said the former track world champion. “Vos was the one to watch, I was following her around.

“I’m a bit shocked, really, but I’m happy. I didn’t even feel my legs, it was just so special.”

Armitstead was also quick to praise her British team-mate Emma Pooley, who rode tirelessly for almost 100km, covering every break made during the frantic middle section of the race.

Analysis



“That was fantastic. Marianne Vos has wanted that result for so long. Lizzie Armitstead has done everything right and rode a superb race but in the end she just didn’t have the speed to take gold.”

The Leeds-born star did voice a brief “what if”, however, when she wondered if she should have attacked Vos earlier in the run-in to the finish line, but deep down she will know that Vos was the stronger rider.

“She is a machine right now and the rest of us are not yet at this high level,” was bronze medallist Zabelinskaya’s assessment of Vos, who has all too often had to settle for silver on the big occassion.

“Of course, I was a little nervous,” said the 25-year-old Vos, who finished sixth in the road race at the 2008 Olympics.

“After Beijing, that was the thing on my mind for four years. Now it’s happened, it’s incredible. The gold is mine.”

Vos, the world number one and reigning cyclo-cross champion, was also amazed by the level of support, especially as the fans had to endure three separate soakings from a sky that could not make up its mind.

“It was like a wall of sound, there were so many people,” she said.

After five straight silver medals in the road race at the World Championships, nobody should begrudge Vos her moment now, particularly as Armitstead’s time will come again, as will a British team now finally on the board at its home Olympics.

Final Results

Final results by Athlete

Rank
Athlete
Country
Medal moment
Result
1

Vos



NED

Watch: Medal moment

3:35:29
2

Armitstead



GBR

Watch: Medal moment

3:35:29
3

Zabelinskaya



RUS

Watch: Medal moment

3:35:31

View full results for Women’s Road Race

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/olympics/19040930

Cancellara hopes to defend title

Swiss cyclist Fabian Cancellara is set to defend his Olympic time trial title on Wednesday despite a crash late in Saturday’s road race.

Cancellara was leading a breakaway when he missed a right-hand turn and crashed into the safety barriers.

The 32-year-old finished the race in 106th place but had cuts and grazes from the incident.

Continue reading the main story

I feel better with every hour passing. The pain is still there, but I am in good hands. I am a hard man

Fabian Cancellara

The Swiss Olympic Association confirmed the four-time world champion would be at the start at Hampton Court Palace.

He will be challenged by a field including the likes of
Britain’s Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins

and reigning world champion Tony Martin of Germany.

Cancellara, who broke his right collarbone at the Tour of Flanders in April, finished Saturday’s race,

which was won by Kazakhstan’s Alexandre Vinokourov,

but was holding up his right arm afterwards.

“I am an optimist and now I hope the training today will show if the position on the time-trial bike suits me and if I can go forward,” he said on Monday.

“I feel better with every hour passing. The pain is still there, but I am in good hands. I am a hard man. I’ve had a lot of things happen this year.

“I have to look ahead to the next few hours and days to come to try to get the maximum potential of a good feeling in my body. Now I have to see how I sit on the time trial bike.

“Maybe everything turns out OK. The mental aspect is important. I have two legs and I can ride. I have been training many, many hours for the Olympics. We will just have to see how it goes.”

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/olympics/19034798

Cavendish blames Aussie tactics

Mark Cavendish blamed the negative tactics of other teams, including Australia, for his Olympic men’s cycling road race disappointment.

Cavendish, 27, was favourite to claim Britain’s first gold medal at London 2012 but finished 40 seconds behind

winner Alexandre Vinokourov.

“Other teams were content that if they didn’t win, we wouldn’t win,” said Cavendish.

Analysis



“The British team were a victim of their own success. The same tactics worked at the World Championships [where Cavendish won gold] last year and then in the Tour de France Cavendish battered them on the Champs Elysees in Paris. There were eight riders helping in Copenhagen, just four today and while four people can influence a race, they cannot control it. The problem is nobody wanted to ride against Cavendish on the Mall because they knew they would come second. The team did everything they could, other riders did not contribute to the race and they missed out too. Andre Greipel is the second best sprinter in the world but he and his German team sat back.”

“The crowd was tremendous, but the Aussies just raced negatively.”

Australia’s Michael Rogers, who was a team-mate of Cavendish’s during the Tour de France, told BBC Sport: “Cavendish is a great athlete.

“He is the world’s fastest man. Credit to him, his team gave it their best. They rode strong and took the race by the horns. They really took responsibility, but that’s cycling.”


Dave Brailsford

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Brailsford backs team to recover

Cavendish, who finished 29th, refused to blame his team-mates, who included 2012 Tour de France champion Bradley Wiggins and runner-up Chris Froome.

“The guys are all sat there in the tent absolutely spent,” he said.

“We did everything we could. The team was incredible. They left everything on the road; I am so proud of them.

“We rode the race we wanted to ride but we couldn’t pull them back on [the key climb] Box Hill.”

The Manxman, who has won 23 stages of the Tour de France since 2008, also praised the “tremendous” support the British riders were given by the enormous crowds that gathered along the 250km course – early estimates suggested over a million people lined the roads, making it the biggest crowd in Olympic history.

For Vinokourov, this victory was a perfect send-off after a long, sometimes glorious and often controversial career.

The Kazakhstan rider becomes the first man to win two medals in the Olympic men’s road race, having won silver in 2000, but he will also be remembered for his 2007 doping conviction.

“It’s just unbelievable,” said Vinokourov, 38, who

may consider retirement

after winning gold.

“I finished the Tour de France a little tired, but the Olympics, I must go there.


Great Britain's David Millar

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Millar disappointed but proud

“It was up-down, up-down, too many people and very dangerous.

“But I knew if I followed the group, I would have no chance in the sprint. This victory finishes my career.”

The key to Vinokourov’s triumph was getting himself in a group of potential race-winners with about 30 miles to go.

Once it became clear that the British-led charge would not reel these riders back in, Vinokourov and Colombia’s Rigoberto Uran jumped clear with five miles to go.

“The last metres were very difficult,” said Uran. “Vinokourov attacked and I didn’t have the strength to sprint. We put everything into it.

“This is a historic medal. I hope that all of Colombia can celebrate this medal. It is Colombian.”

It is a sentiment Cavendish, Uran’s professional colleague at Team Sky, will understand, but must now wait until 2016 for another chance to experience it for himself.

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/olympics/19032756

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