Hot off the Press – Frank Schleck fails drugs test at Tour de France


“Luxembourg rider Frank Schleck is out of this year’s Tour de France after failing a drugs test.

The 32-year-old, who finished third in last year’s race, tested positive for the diuretic Xipamide on 14 July.

Schleck, the older brother of 2010 winner Andy, was 12th in the Tour’s overall standings, nine minutes and 45 seconds behind leader Bradley Wiggins.

His RadioShack-Nissan team said he had been withdrawn from the race so he could prepare a defence.


“Governing body UCI said Xipamide turned up in the test conducted by the French anti-doping lab in Chatenay-Malabry, south of Paris, on a sample from Schleck taken on July 14.

RadioShack will continue to compete in the race.

Still, it was more bad news for the RadioShack squad, which was built on the remains of former teams of Lance Armstrong.

Frank Schleck

Frank Schleck came third in last year’s Tour

The team manager, Johan Bruyneel, has been targeted in the same US anti-doping case targeting the seven-time Tour champion Armstrong.”

This news is so dissapointing………….But I am looking forward to the next few nights.

Tonight – Stage 16

and Thursday night, Stage 17


A week is a long time in the tour.

It seems such a long time ago that I went to bed during Stage 10 as the peleton was half way down the Col de Mollard after Cadel had had his first crack at trying to break team Wiggo.  A great lead out by Tejay, followed a few minutes later by Cadel in a planned attack half way up the Croix de Fer, but unfortunately he struggled once he got there, and got reeled back in by the might of Team Sky and Aussie Michael Rogers. Thought that was it and my caffeine deprivation caught up with me.  Woke up the next day to the news that Cadel had lost more time.  Bugger!


Young Guns

What I take from that stage, and the race in general , is that Christopher Froome, Peter Sagan and Tejay are riders to keep an eye out for in the future.

Now that Team Sky have taken the fun out of the tour (this is no doubt jealousy sinking in from an Aussies perspective, but seeing Wiggo sit 4 riders back all day every day, and team sky just rotating the gun climbers from 1 – Porte, to 2 – Froome, to 3 – Rogers, and back to first base, etc, has taken some of the anticipation out of the last week for me), lets have a closer look these three riders of the future.


Christopher Froome

IMG 3244

Born in Nairobi in 1985, Froome moved to South Africa for schooling as a teenager. His background was mountain biking around the rural highlands north of Nairobi.

Froome began his cycling career as a registered Kenyan cyclist, but since 2008,  has ridden under a British license, having been born of British descent.

2008, rode with Team Barloworld as a neo-pro based in Italy in the classics of Paris-Roubaix, Fleche-Wallone, Amstel Gold and Liege-Bastogne-Liege.

Froome found himself lining up for the Tour de France in 2008 and completed the tour at his first attempt, showing promise in the mountains and time trials, and even went on to podium in Italy at the Giro d’Appennino shortly afterwards.

Joined Team Sky in 2010 and had his first major breakthrough during the 2011 Vuelta a España where he finished second overall.

Date of birth 1985/05/20
Place Nairobi, Kenya
Nationality British
Nickname Froomey / Froome Dawg
Height 1.86m
Weight 69kg
Strengths Climbing & timetrialling
Teams Team Sky (2010 – Present)
Team Barloworld (2008 – 2009)
Konica Minolta (2007)
Career highlights 2012 Tour de France – 1st Stage 7 & awarded King of the Mountains
2012 Criterium du Daupine – 4th overall
2011 Vuelta a Espana – 1st Stage 17, 2nd overall; 2nd Stage 10
2011 Tour of Beijing – 3rd overall; 3rd Stage 3,
2010 British National Time Trial Championships – 2nd
2009 Giro del Capo II – 1st
2008 Giro dell’Appennino – 3rd
2008 Giro del Capo – 2nd overall
2007 Tour of Japan – 1st stage six
2007 Giro delle Regione – 2nd stage three; 1st stage five
2006 Tour of Mauritius – 1st overall; 1st stages two & three
2005 Tour of Mauritius – 1st stage two
Victoria Pendleton – Anna Meares nemesis


Teejay van Garderen

Turned pro 2008
Date of birth August 12, 1988
Place of birth Bozeman, Montana, USA
Country United States
Residence Boulder, Colorado, USA
eight 6 ft 1 inch / 185 cm
Weight 151 lbs / 69 kg

Bio snapshot

Won Best Young Rider classification while finishing fifth overall at Paris-Nice – 2011

Third overall at USA Pro Cycling Challenge

Won Best Young Rider classifications at USA Pro Cycling Challenge and Amgen Tour of California

Wore King of the Mountains jersey at Tour de France

Third at 2010 Critérium du Dauphiné.


Peter Sagan

Peter Sagan, Daniel Oss and Elia Viviani bake in the sauna (via cyclingnews)

Characteristics: long distance rider-sprinter

Date of birth: 26.01.1990

Birthplace: Zilina (Slovacchia)

Professional since: 2010

Personal website:

Height: 184 cm

Weight: 73 kg


2 stages Paris-Nice
1 stage Tour de Romandie
2 stages Tour of California

3 stages and Final standing Giro di Sardegna
1 stage Tour of California
2 Stages Tour de Suisse
2 stages and Final standing Tour de Polonie
3 stages Vuelta Espana
GP Industria e Artigianato di Prato
Road race national championship

1 Stage Tour of Oman
1 Stage Tirreno Adriatico
1 Stage KBC Driedaagse van De Panne – Koksijde
5 stages Tour of California
4 stages Tour de Suisse
1 stage Tour de France

In 2008 he won MTB World Championship, MTB European Championship and MTB national championship in junior category
In 2010 and 2011 he took part in road race of World Championship


The wrap up from the last week


Stage 11: Albertville → La Toussuire-Les Sybelles, 148 km

The Tour is never won on a single day, but it can certainly be lost, as Evans found out today.

Frenchman Pierre Rolland won todays stage at the summit finish at La Toussuire.

Chris Froome and Beadley Wiggins were both there, as were Vincenzo Nibali and Jurgen Van den Broeck. However, Cadel Evans (BMC) failed on the climb to La Toussuire.

Cadel attacked on the penultimate climb with the assistance of Tejay, but on the last climb could not hang on when Froome increased the speed on the front of the yellow jersey group with less than 5km to go. Evans lost almost 90 seconds on his main rivals as Froome and Nibali leapfrogged him.

Pierre Rolland


Stage 12: Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne → Annonay, 226 km

David Millar outsprinted Jean-Christophe Paraud to win stage 12 into Annonay Davézieux. The two riders were part of a five-man breakaway also including Robert Kiserlovski (Astana), Cyril Gautier (Europcar) and Egoi Martínez (Euskaltel) who built up a lead of more than 12 minutes on the bunch towards the end of the longest stage of the race.

Cofidis rider Moncoutie – broken collarbone

The yellow jersey group came in 8 minutes behind the lead group, led by that sprint. Minutes after pipping Sagan, Matt was relegated for having deviated from his line in that sprint, “giving” the points to Green Jersey holder Peter Sagan and effectively ending the Green Jersey competition for 2012.  Big penalty. The deviation was there. Sagan was slowed, so in my opinion a penalty was due, but jeez, thats a big penalty.  He wont do that again will he…..

Liquigas-Cannondale rider Sagan of Slovakia gestures at Orica Greenedge rider Goss of Australia on the finish line of the 12th stage (via steephill tv)


Stage 13: Saint-Paul-Trois-Châteaux → Le Cap d’Agde, 217 km

Andre the Giant took his third stage win by a whisker over that man Peter Sagan, with Edvald Boasson Hagen 3rd in a mass sprint.


Stage 14: Limoux – Foix,  191km

Luis Leon Sanchez broke away from the escape group to take the win in front of the amazing Peter Sagan (I thought he was a sprinter) and Sandy Casar . The peloton with yellow jersey Bradley Wiggins came in more than 18 minutes later after what turned out to be an amazing and controversial afternoon on top of the category one Mur de Péguère, where tacks thrown on the top of the climb claimed quite a few riders. Fortunately the yellow wiggle and the remainder of Team Sky showed some terrific sportsmanship by slowing their tempo and encouraging the remainder of the peleton to follow suit, allow those with flats to catch up.

Not Happy Jan (via couriermail)


Stage 15: Samatan – Pau 158.5km

A fairly benign stage, with the biggest surprise being the lacklustre chasing from the sprint teams  which allowed the breakaway group to build up an unbeatable lead.

What happened to the Orica Greenedge teams objective of trying for a stage win today.  Something went astray somewhere out on the road.

Pierrick Fédrigo (aka “The Nose of Marmande”) won in a two-man sprint from Christian Vande Velde with Thomas Voeckler twelve seconds in arrears.

The Nose of Marmande


The placings have moved around with Christopher Froome moving up a few spots,and Cadel moving down a few.

Barring any major mishaps, the yellow jersey is no longer up for grabs. It now waits to be seen who stands up there on the podium with him.

General classification after stage 15
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Sky Procycling 68:33:21
2 Christopher Froome (GBr) Sky Procycling 0:02:05
3 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale 0:02:23
4 Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing Team 0:03:19
5 Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Lotto Belisol Team 0:04:48
6 Haimar Zubeldia Agirre (Spa) RadioShack-Nissan 0:06:15
7 Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team 0:06:57
8 Janez Brajkovic (Slo) Astana Pro Team 0:07:30
9 Pierre Rolland (Fra) Team Europcar 0:08:31
10 Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat 0:08:51
11 Andreas Klöden (Ger) RadioShack-Nissan 0:09:29
12 Frank Schleck (Lux) RadioShack-Nissan 0:09:45
13 Nicolas Roche (Irl) AG2R La Mondiale 0:10:49
14 Jerome Coppel (Fra) Saur – Sojasun 0:11:27
15 Christopher Horner (USA) RadioShack-Nissan 0:12:41
16 Denis Menchov (Rus) Katusha Team 0:17:21
17 Maxime Monfort (Bel) RadioShack-Nissan 0:17:41
18 Egoi Martinez De Esteban (Spa) Euskaltel – Euskadi 0:18:04
19 Rui Alberto Faria Da Costa (Por) Movistar Team 0:19:02
20 Chris Anker Sörensen (Den) Team Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank 0:20:12


Toy of the Week – The Lobster Glove

pearl izumi pro-softshell lobster glove
Pearl Izumi’s P.R.O. Softshell Lobster Glove features a P.R.O. Barrier Lite wind mitt shell in a clever back-of-hand pocket, providing riders extra protection in changing weather.
RRP $57 from Evans
Fabric Properties:
ELITE Softshell provides superior wind and water protection
Velcro closure
Comfort Bridge Gel padding relieves pressure on Ulnar and Median nerves for riding comfort and provides superior durability
Ventilated mesh fingers allow the glove to breathe when the tempo speeds up
Extra Features:
Back-of-hand pocket contains P.R.O. Barrier Lobster wind mitt that provides optimal wind protection


Website of the Week – Peopleus

I’m not quite sure how to describe this website, other than that there are some fascinating photos on all sorts of  themes such as

Derilict and decaying buildings

Captured: The Ruins of Detroit

Americans at War

Running with the Bulls


Photo of the Week

A depleting insect population has forced millions of bats around drought-stricken Texas to emerge before nightfall for food runs, making them more susceptible to natural predators. Some experts have already noticed fewer bats emerging from caves and have seen evidence that more infant bats are showing up dead, hinting at a looming population decline.

Some of the 20 million bats emerge from Bracken Cave in Bracken, Texas, on August 31, 2011. (AP Photo/Eric Gay) # (via peopleus.blogspot)

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