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First Edition Cycling News, December 4, 2008

Date published:
December 04, 2008, 0:00 GMT
  • Tour of Bright coming this weekend

    Article published:
    December 04, 2008, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Mark Zalewski, North American Editor

    The15th edition of the Tour of Bright will be held this weekend on December 6-7, with more than 500...

    The15th edition of the Tour of Bright will be held this weekend on December 6-7, with more than 500 entrants expected. The three-stage road race will run over two days in the Alpine area of Victoria in Australia. Participants in all eight categories will use transponders for the first time to enable more accurate results. Among the elite racers, Scotsman Evan Oliphant is one of 91 racers taking a crack at the title.

    For more information, visit www.tourofbright.com.au.

  • Euskaltel-Euskadi racers spend some time in the wind tunnel

    Mikel Astarloza Chaurreau (Euskaltel - Euskadi)
    Article published:
    December 04, 2008, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Mark Zalewski, North American Editor

    The Basque team of Euskaltel-Euskadi has sent two of its riders to the wind tunnel in San Diego,...

    The Basque team of Euskaltel-Euskadi has sent two of its riders to the wind tunnel in San Diego, California, with the goal of improving their positions on their bikes and analyzing sponsors' products. It's the second time some of the team's riders are visiting the tunnel.

    During a three-day period this week, the aerodynamic positions of Samuel Sánchez and Mikel Astarloza are being tested while riding on Orbea Ordus. The wind tunnel tests will be complemented by exercise tests in the Anoeta velodrome.

    The testing is part of a joint AIZE project by Orbea and the team. "Aize" means "air" in Basque, and in the project's name it is an acronym standing for "Aerodynamic Investigation Zone for Euskaltel-Euskadi by Orbea". Orbea intends to use the test results for developing new models of bicycles.

    Sánchez was among the riders the team sent last year for similar testing. He was there with Igor Antón, and Haimar Zubeldia. It was that round of testing that resulted in the Orbea Ordu time trial bike.

  • US 'cross nationals course map, registration

    Jonathan Page got muddy at last year's US National Championships
    Article published:
    December 04, 2008, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Mark Zalewski, North American Editor

    By Mark Zalewski, North American Editor US cyclo-cross racers who were waiting to see the map of the...

    By Mark Zalewski, North American Editor

    US cyclo-cross racers who were waiting to see the map of the newly designed course for the national championships before registering can now download one from the race web site: www.kccrossnationals.com. The site also features a video preview of the course. But organizers encourage people to act fast as online registration closes this Sunday night.

    "Online registration closes this Sunday night at Midnight," said race director Bill Marshall. "The long range forecast is looking sweet and gas is cheap!"

    Organizers are hopeful that the weather will be more enjoyable for everyone compared to last year, which saw a week of ice storms almost cancel the event, followed by a Saturday of frozen conditions and a slightly warmer Sunday resulting in a mud fest.

    SRAM Neutral Support has once again signed on to support all riders entered in the championships, likely again amid the soothing smell of hot apple cider.

  • Danielson looks forward to "good pressure" in 2009

    Tom Danielson hopes to regain his form years past
    Article published:
    December 04, 2008, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Peter Hymas

    By Peter Hymas Tom Danielson has wrapped up the Garmin-Slipstream camp in the team's home base of...

    By Peter Hymas

    Tom Danielson has wrapped up the Garmin-Slipstream camp in the team's home base of Boulder, Colorado, and now the 30-year-old will set to work on executing the plan for his 2009 season with the intent to ride the Tour de France. An integral part of Danielson's training regime for the upcoming season is the guidance of Garmin-Slipstream Team Manager Jonathan Vaughters.

    "I'm working closely with Jonathan Vaughters on my training schedule," said Danielson to Cyclingnews. "Basically we sat down and looked at all my weaknesses from last year and from years past, even the years that I had great years, and put together a program that's really thorough. Right now I'm doing typical things like weights, some cross training and I've gotten back on the bike. I'm also incorporating a few changes regarding my diet and my fat-burning capabilities. Genetically I'm really efficient with sugars and glycogen but I'm not very efficient at burning fats. It's been good because Jonathan and I are similar riders. He also had the efficiency with glycogen and the inefficiency with fat-burning so he has some motivation and interest to research that. He's sharing a lot of things, problems that he had when he was racing, so it works out well."

    Danielson commented on the pressure he feels regarding Garmin-Slipstream's greater expectations for the 2009 season. "I'm definitely putting a lot of pressure on myself. Good pressure. Last year I felt a pressure where I was forced to play catch-up and I was uncomfortable in that role. Now I have a different kind of pressure where things are all coming together and I feel very confident. I'm having a normal off season and I'm glad that I have a great infrastructure around me."

    Danielson's 2009 season will start off domestically at the Tour of California before making the transition to Europe. "I'm looking forward to the Tour...

  • Pellizotti faces Giro & Tour in 2009

    Franco Pellizotti trains in Bibione, Italy,
    Article published:
    December 04, 2008, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Gregor Brown

    By Gregor Brown Italian Franco Pellizotti of Team Liquigas will race the Giro d'Italia and Tour de...

    By Gregor Brown

    Italian Franco Pellizotti of Team Liquigas will race the Giro d'Italia and Tour de France Grand Tours in 2009. The winner of the Plan de Corones mountain time trial will co-captain in his home tour with Ivan Basso and join Vincenzo Nibali and Roman Kreuziger in the French race.

    "We will start with two captains," Pellizotti said to Cyclingnews regarding the Giro d'Italia. "The team gives me the responsibility to play my cards and I think it is right to allow me to make my race. If [Basso] shows to be better than me then okay, I will help him."

    Pellizotti spent four days in the early part of this year's Giro wearing the maglia rosa of race leader. Though he lost the jersey, he went on two win one of the Giro's most epic stages, the 12.9-kilometre time trial up the dirt and gravel roads of Plan de Corones. It was his only win of a season marked with numerous top finishes, including fourth overall in the Giro, second in the Tour de Slovénie and third in the Tour de Pologne.

    Pellizotti will share leadership responsibilities with Basso, a new signing and winner of the 2006 Giro. Basso is returning to the sport following a two-year suspension for his implication in the doping investigation Operación Puerto. He will face his first Grand Tour in three years, slightly less time away than that taken by Lance Armstrong. The American is returning to the sport following his retirement in July of 2005 and will be one of Liquigas' rivals for victory.

    "The years also pass for Armstrong. ... I have matured and, hopefully, he has aged some. We will see."

    Pellizotti is training and programming the season with teammates at Liquigas' first camp for the new year. He remarked there is little actual training, but lots of bonding and group building exercises.

    Kreuziger and Nibali, both who battled for the Tour's maillot...

  • 2009 Vuelta a España route not quite decided yet

    The peloton begins the chase,
    Article published:
    December 04, 2008, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    By Antonio J. Salmerón The route for the 2009 Vuelta a España will be officially announced on...

    By Antonio J. Salmerón

    The route for the 2009 Vuelta a España will be officially announced on December 17 in Madrid. One thing that is already officially known is that the race director will be Javier Guillén. He replaced Víctor Cordero, who stepped down after the 2008 Vuelta. In another change, Unipublic will no longer hold the race on its own since ASO has purchased a 49-percent stakeholder share.

    Some details have been made available by Spanish cycling paper Meta2mil. The start will be in the Netherlands on August 29, and the final will conclude with its traditional circuit race in Madrid (September 20).

    The organisers have recently travelled to Alicante, to check out two mountaintop finishes, the Aitana and Xorret de Catí. Eladio Jiménez won on the Xorret de Catí in 2004, when the climb was part of the Comunitat Valenciana. Cyclingnews has also received information that the organisers have negotiated with Murcia.

    The first option would have the race travel from Holland to Lloret de Mar on the first race day. From there, a clock-wise route would be followed.

    The second option would also resume in Lloret de Mar after the Dutch experience, but then would mimic the Andorra stages from 2008. From there, it would head to the eastern part of the country again, before having several stages in the proximity of Madrid. This option would mean less transfers for the riders, except for the initial huge leap from the Netherlands.

  • Austrian Federation to take legal action against Kohl

    Bernhard Kohl (Gerolsteiner)
    Article published:
    December 04, 2008, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Antonio J. Salmerón

    The Austrian Cycling Federation (ÖRV) will file a complaint against Bernhard Kohl, joining a public...

    The Austrian Cycling Federation (ÖRV) will file a complaint against Bernhard Kohl, joining a public prosecutor's inquiry into the Austrian rider for fraud. Kohl was suspended for two years for his use of CERA, a new form of EPO, during the Tour de France.

    ÖRV President Otto Flum said there were two reasons for the action. One was "to very clearly show that we actively participate in every explanation of a doping case. But also because of the damage that has been done to ÖRV."

    By filing a formal complaint, Flum said that the Federation could work together with prosecutors. "With these activities we hope to get to the dealers and suppliers."

    Meanwhile, Stefan Matschiner, who was previously identified as Kohl's manager, said that he and Kohl had agreed to end their relationship. Matschiner said that he had served as the rider's press spokesman since the Tour de France 2008 In a statement issued Wednesday evening, he said that "the parameters have drastically changed in the last few weeks" and that there is no longer a "financial or media necessity," so that the two have agreed to stop their work together.

  • Horner unites with Armstrong despite past differences

    Chris Horner
    Article published:
    December 04, 2008, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Gregor Brown

    By Gregor Brown Chris Horner will be one of the core supporters for fellow American Lance Armstrong...

    By Gregor Brown

    Chris Horner will be one of the core supporters for fellow American Lance Armstrong in his next season at Team Astana. Despite past differences of opinion, the Oregon native is honoured to ride in the company of a seven-time Tour de France winner.

    "The guy has been the Tour de France champion and I have been trying to get on his team for years. I don't have any problems working for him," said Horner to Cyclingnews.

    The two and the rest of their Astana teammates are on the Spanish island of Tenerife for a team training camp. The last major meeting between the two was when they were racing for different teams at the 2005 Tour de France. Armstrong retired at the end of that race, but he is making a comeback for the 2009 season with his old team manager Johan Bruyneel. Horner joined the team at the beginning of this year.

    Besides a daring escape with Frenchman Sylvain Chavanel in the 2005 Tour's stage 13, Armstrong might remember Horner from some of his remarks regarding the end of Team Discovery Channel. Horner insisted that he was simply expressing a difference of opinion.

    "I don't have any problems working for him, having conflicts with riders throughout your career is completely normal. Nothing that Lance and I have had conflicts over has been anything major."

    Horner explained that the team is splitting into different groups every day during the training camp in Spain. Tuesday Alberto Contador and Armstrong were in different groups, but yesterday they were training together. Horner has had his time with both the Tour winners.

    His programme will follow closely to that of Armstrong. "It will probably be Tour Down Under, [Tour of] California, Paris-Nice, Giro [d'Italia]..." he said of his early races.

    Thursday is the official presentation of the 2009 Astana team. With...