NewsWire: Giro climber’s jersey turns blue; Freire can still win worlds

Giro d'Italia climber's jersey turns blue; Simon a punchy French hope; Freire believes he can win another world championship

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In our daily NewsWire, we bring you a collection of the intriguing stories from newspapers, journals and elsewhere around the world of competitive cycling. Pour your coffee, mute your phone and read on.

Freire: ‘I can still be world champion for the fourth time’ — Het Nieuwsblad

After his fourth-place finish at the Amstel Gold Race following a bold attack, which saw him ride solo into the Cauberg and spend most of the climb alone, Katusha’s Oscar Freire feels more confident about this year’s world championship road race, which finishes just 1.8km from the Cauberg.

“The lesson of the Amstel is that I can become world champion for the fourth time,” said the 36-year-old Spaniard, who donned the rainbow jersey in 1999, 2001, and 2004.

“The Cauberg is an infernal beast. The last two hundred meters, I thought I would die on the bike,” he added.

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Giro climber’s jersey turns blue — Tuttobici

The official classification jerseys for this year’s Giro d’Italia have been unveiled, and as rumored, the formerly green climbers’ classification jersey has turned to blue.

Esta Thé remains the title sponsor of the pink jersey, while new sponsor Banca Madiolanum, and the brand’s blue color, will headline the climber’s jersey. The sprint classification jersey remains red, and the best young rider’s jersey remains white.

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Julian Simon, the next French hope? — L’Équipe

While Europcar’s Thomas Voeckler has garnered most of the attention from the French press in the last few weeks, a young rider from Saur-Sojasun also has his eye on the remaining punchy classics. Julian Simon, winner of two stages at the recent Tour of Catalonia, likes the look of Flèche Wallone’s finish.

“Everyone tells me it suits me,” Simon said of the Mur de Huy. “Before arriving this week, I had never ridden it, even in training. You must know how to ride it in the first part, then it is just played out by the legs. The course suits my characteristics.”

“My teammates have confidence in me,” he added. “The ideal for me is a small finishing bump, and if I’m sharp, it’s better if it’s steeper. I get to use my turn of speed in a sprint finish out of a small group.”

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Frank Vandebroucke’s parents: ‘Even after his death they cannot leave him alone’ — Het Nieuwsblad

David Millar’s new book, “Racing Through the Dark,” is stirring up some bad memories for the parents of Frank Vandenbroucke.

Millar devotes a chapter to the deceased champion, painting a very black picture of Vandebroucke and detailing his addiction to drugs and wild nights before a race. He also bluntly states that Vandebroucke prepared for the 1999 world championships with blood transfusions.

“Oh, all these wild stories about Frank. They must stop,” said Vandenbroucke’s mother, Chantal Vanruymbeke. “Even after his death, they cannot leave Frank alone.”

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