Bradley Wiggins wins UK national TT title, won’t race the Tour de France

Bradley Wiggins (Sky) has won his third UK national time trial championship, beating teammate Geraint Thomas and Alex Dowsett (Movistar) on the 42km course in Wales on Thursday.


Wiggins finished the race in 53:56 (46.7km/h), 1:08 ahead of Thomas and a further 13 seconds ahead of Dowsett.

“This is probably my last British TT champs so to win it and perhaps never come back again is a nice way to end it,” Wiggins said.

Despite having had a solid season — including ninth at Paris-Roubaix and an overall victory at the Tour of California — Wiggins confirmed to BBC Radio that he has been left off the Sky Tour de France squad which will be announced later today (Melbourne time).

“I would have liked to have been there but the squad is so strong now there are probably eight riders who are stronger than me,” Wiggins said.

Click here to read more at Wales Online. Stay posted to CyclingTips for a round-up of the big national championship results, men’s and women’s, coming next week.

Dan Martin confirms no Tour, will focus on Vuelta and worlds

by Shane Stokes

Dan Martin (Garmin-Sharp) has confirmed that he will miss this year’s Tour de France, electing to delay his return to stage racing after suffering a collarbone fracture in the Giro d’Italia.

100 th  Liege - Bastogne - Liege 2014

Although Martin has fully recovered from the shoulder issue which occurred when he crashed during the opening team time trial in Belfast on May 9, he and his Garmin-Sharp team have passed up the possibility of him riding the Tour, opting instead to target the Vuelta a España and world championships.

“Before the start of the year we looked at the course and thought the Vuelta was a better option for me. Obviously a lot of guys crash out of the Giro or have a bad Giro, and the immediate reaction is to just go straight to the Tour,” Martin told CyclingTips.

“For me, I prefer to be 100% ready for the next Grand Tour I do. I wasn’t ready in time to do Suisse, so I wouldn’t have had a stage race before the Tour. I didn’t have enough time to be 100%.”

Martin won a stage of the Vuelta a España in 2011 and finished 13th overall. That remains his best Grand Tour general classification performance to date, but he believes he would have been top 10 in last year’s Tour had he not become ill towards the end of the race.

A high GC finish is a realistic goal for what is a very hilly Vuelta, as well as stage wins. He said he didn’t want to lay out targets just yet, however, preferring to concentrate on his next races.

Click here to read more at CyclingTips.

Robert Gesink returns to racing after heart surgery

Robert Gesink is set to line up at the Dutch road championships on Sunday, his first race back after heart surgery.

Belkin Tour Challenge for Kids in Utrecht

The Belkin rider missed two and half months of racing and underwent surgery last month to fix a heart condition that has troubled him for the past few years. Gesink had been planning to make his comeback at the Ster ZLM Toer last week, but he wasn’t quite ready in time.

Gesink goes into the Dutch nationals road race as one of 15 Belkin riders in contention. Despite being the best-represented team in the race, it’s been five years since the Rabobank/Blanco/Belkin setup has won the title.

“We are the team with the most riders at the start”, Belkin team manager Merijn Zeeman said. “But one should not forget that there are also many other great Dutch teams racing. Riders like Dumoulin, Langeveld, Slagter, Terpstra and Weening are real contenders.”

Click here to read more at nu.nl.

Katusha announces Tour de France squad

Team Katusha is the latest to announce its Tour de France line-up with the team heading to Leeds with several goals in mind.

Yuri Trofimov (pictured here on his way to winning stage 4 of the Dauphine) will lead Katusha's GC ambitions at Le Tour.

Yury Trofimov (pictured here on his way to winning stage 4 of the Dauphine) will lead Katusha’s GC ambitions at Le Tour.

Yury Trofimov, who won a stage at the Criterium du Dauphine a few weeks ago, will go in to the race hoping for a top-10 overall. Milan-San Remo winner Alexander Kristoff will be the team’s go-to man in the flatter stages.

Joaquim Rodriguez, who would normally be the team’s GC leader, is still recovering from a crash at the Giro d’Italia and will go into the Tour de France looking for stage wins.

“We hope ‘Purito’ will be able to find good form, which will allow him to fight for a stage win”, team manager Viacheslav Ekimov said. “And, of course, other riders of the team will hunt for stage wins, too. I think Katusha is ready for a new three-week adventure and the only thing I would like to wish for our team is just some good luck, the only component we really missed at the Giro d’Italia.”

Text adapted from a Katusha press release.

Bennett disappointed to miss out on Tour: ‘I could have snuck a podium’

by Shane Stokes

Commenting after the NetApp-Endura team named its nine for the Tour de France, Sam Bennett has said that he accepts the team’s decision to pass him over for the race but the Irish sprinter is disappointed to miss out, saying that he had hoped to force his way on to the team by showing them that he was going well.

Bennett

“I knew I wouldn’t be doing the Tour, but I thought that maybe if I got a few more results it would maybe help change it,” he told CyclingTips on Thursday.

“But they picked what they think is the best possible team for the race, in terms of getting a stage win and a top ten overall. I think they did a good job with the selection. They are going in supporting Leo König. He is obviously the best rider on the team and they are going to support him.”

Bennett turned pro this season with the team, earning a contract after winning a stage of the 2013 Tour of Britain with the An Post Chainreaction Sean Kelly team.

He quickly got up to speed in the pro peloton, winning the Clasica de Almeria in March, the Rund um Köln in April then the fifth stage of the Bayern Rundfahrt on June 1. And while he was left off the NetApp-Endura team for the Critérium du Dauphiné and the Tour of Slovenia, he won the professional kermesse in Lede, Belgium, on Sunday.

Click here to read the full article at CyclingTips.

Managing the UCI’s conflicts of interest

There’s been plenty of talk in recent weeks about the UCI giving Chris Froome a therapeutic use exemption (TUE) for a corticosteroid at the Tour de Romandie.

The Journal Du Dimanche, which kicked off the story with a piece entitled “Froome ‘doped’ by the UCI”, suggested that Froome had been given a TUE quicker than he might have because UCI president Brian Cookson’s son Oliver works for Team Sky.

Here’s an excerpt from a piece at The Inner Ring piece in which he talks about how the UCI can start to make things right, regardless of whether the Journal du Dimanche accusations are true or not:

All organisations have conflicts of interest and the UCI has some obvious ones. Cycling’s governing body has struggled with issues of trust and reputation. The first step is to recognise the problem and register these conflicts of interest, the next step is to be open about these and then ask outsiders to review and validate the procedures and decisions.

Click here to read the full article at The Inner Ring.

Tour de France podcast: David Millar special

Over the course of this year’s Tour de France we’ll be bringing you podcasts from the team at The Telegraph Cycling Podcast, starting with this extended interview with David Millar ahead of his final Tour de France.

The Telegraph Cycling Podcast features Richard Moore, Lionel Birnie and Daniel Friebe.

Portrait of “The Rider”

Tim Krabbe’s “The Rider” is widely regarded as one of the definitive texts when it comes to road cycling. Now, the team at Soigneur has put together a short film inspired by Krabbe’s participation in the 245km Tour of Flanders 2014 cyclo-tourist ride at 71 years of age.

Check it out here:

The Rocacorba Recap

And finally this morning, here are a few things you might have missed at CyclingTips:


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Today’s feature image comes from Jered Gruber and was taken in Italy’s Chianti region.