NewsWire: Monfort all smiles before Tour; USA Pro Cycling Challenge may face course change

NewsWire: USA Pro Cycling Challenge may face course change, Christophe Kern back on form prepared to help team leaders, the social media of cycling

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.

Maxime Monfort: ‘The Tour, it will be a party!’ — La Dernière Heure

A month before the Tour begins, Maxime Monfort (RadioShack-Nissan) has a permanent smile. The race will begin in his home country this year, a bonus that may come only once, or not at all, in a non-French rider’s career.

“For a foreign rider, to host the Grand Depart of the Tour de France in his country, it is incredibly exciting,” said Monfort, who will participate in his fifth Tour. “Enthusiasm, pride, excitement; I am already thrilled to be there and this will no doubt be a great and beautiful celebration.”

“These are the roads that I know like the back of my hand,” smiled Monfort. “I can again count on the support of many fans throughout this journey … I try to enjoy it as much as possible.”

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Every Mile Too Serious — Competitive Cyclist

A Strava addict needs a cure, and finds it in a distraction. This is excellent read shows the social change brought on by instrumenting our bikes and connecting them to each other, and how to step back and make riding about the eyes as well as the legs.

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Boulder activists balk at Flagstaff Amphitheater USAPCC finish — Boulder Daily Camera

Citing legal barriers, a group of Boulder residents has lobbied the city to change the finish of the penultimate stage of the USA Pro Cycling Challenge from the Flagstaff Amphitheater to Realization point. The change would move the summit finish about half a mile and 100 vertical feet down.

Shortening the final climb would keep the finish entirely on county roads, rather than heading into Boulder County Open Space. County roads are “not subject to equivalent constraints, although of course the land outside of the County Road right-of-way is Open Space,” the group says.

The move would help avoid any potential legal issues, the group claims. “The objective here is to make the race a success, not to stop it in any way,” said Raymond Bridge, one of the email’s authors. “Because of some of the charter issues, we think the best way for it to be a success is to have a different finish. We also think it will make it a better race.”

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Kern’s fine June — L’Équipe

June of 2011 was Christophe Kern’s finest month ever, with his great form taking him to a stage win in stage 5 of the Criterium du Dauphiné, plus sixth place overall. He rolled into the Tour de France as Europcar’s leader, only to abandon on the sixth stage due to injury. He watched, with great regret, as his teammate Thomas Voeckler grabbed yellow. He wished he was among his teammates in that happy time.

“I would have loved to be with them. It was tough, mentally,” he told L’Eqiupe. “I had to stay off my bike for six weeks. When I remounted, the knee was fragile.”

But he worked through the winter to recuperate, and entered this season in good health. The Tour course suits his time trial skills, but he only hopes to help team leaders Voeckler and Pierre Rolland. “Thomas is in shape, even if he has been weakened a bit by allergies. Pierre has shown great things in training,” Kern said.

Kern will turn to the Route du Sud for final Tour preparations, but not before a few days with his wife. “Before leaving, I will stay with my wife. She has to give birth on June 20,” he laughed.

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