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First Edition Cycling News, Friday, April 8, 2011

Date published:
April 08, 2011, 1:00 BST
  • Pozzato needs to deliver results, says Parsani

    Filippo Pozzato needs a drink after a tough finish
    Article published:
    April 07, 2011, 13:16 BST
    Barry Ryan

    Katusha unhappy with Italian rider's 2011 campaign to date

    Katusha directeur sportif Serge Parsani has responded to reports that Filippo Pozzato is unhappy at the team by calling on the Italian rider to 'examine his conscience' and start to deliver results.

    Pozzato has been perturbed by recent public criticism from manager Andrei Tchmil, and spoke of tensions at the Russian team in an interview with Gazzetta dello Sport on the eve of the Tour of Flanders. However, Parsani has outlined why the team was not satisfied with Pozzato’s performances to date this season.

    “He wasn’t happy, but the team wasn’t happy with Pozzato either,” Parsani told Cyclingnews. “He’s a rider of a certain level, a leader, one who must get results. But if we take away his fifth place in Milan-San Remo, Pozzato must examine his conscience and say that he hasn’t been getting results.”

    Pozzato failed to make an impact in the Tour of Flanders last Sunday and is without a victory since last September, something which Parsani maintains is not commensurate with his status of team leader.

    “He’s not Katusha’s 30th rider, he’s the first rider, so it’s normal that the team might expect something from him because his teammates who work for him are working towards an objective, which is winning races,” he said. “But if the leader isn’t in condition to get a result, then all the work of the team goes up in smoke.”

    However, Parsani was adamant that the Pozzato-Tchmil polemic should not be blown out of proportion, and that...

  • Millar views Giro d’Italia as a survival camp

    David Millar (Garmin - Cervelo) close up
    Article published:
    April 07, 2011, 15:00 BST
    Jean-François Quénet

    Scot back on track after Sarthe performance

    Sickness ruled David Millar out of the Flemish classics that he fell in love with last year, but the Circuit de la Sarthe-Pays de la Loire has put the Scot back on track with second place at the 6.8km individual time trial.

    “It’s been a pleasant surprise and I expect to ride significantly faster in a few weeks,” he told Cyclingnews on the start line of stage 4 in Angers, where he celebrated his overall win in the same event exactly 10 years ago, which was also his first success on general classification in his career.

    After the Circuit de la Sarthe-Pays de la Loire, the Garmin-Cervélo rider will take part in the Amstel Gold Race, the Flèche Wallonne and the Tour de Romandie as a lead up to the Giro d’Italia where he’ll combine his own ambitions with his work as a helper for sprinter Tyler Farrar and GC rider Christophe Le Mével.

    “I really want to win a stage at the Giro,” he said, although he’s not totally impressed by the route that features no less than nine uphill finishes.

    “I’ll take the Giro as a survival camp,” Millar said. “From what I understand, it’s just ridiculous. It’s more a circus than a race. It requires a different mentality than for the other events. Since my mentality shifted, I have enough madness, which is quite good. I’m prepared for that. The course will push us to our limits.”

    Between the Giro and the Tour, the world time trial championship silver medallist will release his autobiography, entitled Racing Through the Dark: The Fall and Rise of David Millar.

  • Sinkewitz B-sample confirms growth hormone

    Patrik Sinkewitz (Farnese Vini-Neri Sottoli) returned an adverse analytical finding for HGH.
    Article published:
    April 07, 2011, 16:46 BST
    Cycling News

    German faces life ban for second doping case

    German Patrik Sinkewitz is facing a possible lifetime ban from the sport after doping authorities confirmed the presence of human growth hormone (HGH) in the B-sample taken at the GP Lugano on February 27.

    The 30-year-old served a previous ban for testing positive for and admitting to having used synthetic testosterone prior to the 2007 Tour de France. He cooperated with authorities and was given a reduced suspension.

    Sinkewitz denies having used growth hormone, however, although he acknowledged to Süddeutsche Zeitung that "I'm sure no one believes me".

    He has already been suspended from the Farnese Vini team and provisionally by the UCI. It is now up to the German authorities to decide what his punishment will be.

    The World Anti-Doping Agency's code allows for anywhere from eight years to a lifetime ban for a second doping offense.

  • Rui Costa signs for Movistar

    Final GC podium: Rui Costa (2nd, Caisse d'Epargne), Martin Elmiger (1st, Ag2R-La Mondiale) and Juan Joaquin Rojas (3rd, Caisse d'Epargne)
    Article published:
    April 07, 2011, 19:00 BST
    Cycling News

    Portuguese rider makes comeback with Unzue

    The Spanish team Movistar announced today that it has signed Rui Costa, who will return to competition in the coming weeks. The news had been rumoured for some time.

    The Portuguese rider returns from a shortened doping suspension after having tested positive for Methylhexanamine at the national championships last year, where he took the time trial title.

    The positive test result was made public in October 2010, but Costa and his brother, who was also positive, were able to show that they ingested the banned substance through a contaminated food supplement.

    Costa has already raced for Eusebio Unzue in the past, as he was a member of Caisse d'Epargne in 2009 and 2010. The 24-year-old won the eighth stage of the Tour de Suisse last year, and the 2009 Four Days of Dunkirk. Movistar has signed Costa on a three-years contract.

  • HTC, RadioShack, BMC to race Tour of Utah

    Levi Leipheimer wins on Mt. Nebo at Tour of Utah.
    Article published:
    April 07, 2011, 21:50 BST
    Cycling News

    UCI ranking allows ProTeam entries

    Organisers of the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah today announced that top teams HTC-Highroad, RadioShack and BMC would be competing in the August event.

    With its classification as a UCI 2.1 stage race, ProTeams and Professional Continental squads are now allowed to compete in the seventh edition of the six stage race which runs from August 9-14.

    The race is one of only three stage races in the United States which are ranked high enough to allow the sport's top teams, the only others being the Amgen Tour of California and the new USA Pro Cycling Challenge in Colorado.

    Professional Continental teams UnitedHealthcare, Team Type 1 - Sanofi-Aventis and SpiderTech p/b C10 and the Continental Trek-Livestrong U23 team have also been confirmed.

    The remaining eight teams will be announced at a later date.

    Levi Leipheimer won the race last year while competing under the Mellow Johnny's moniker in order to conform with a compromise reached with the UCI to allow some riders from top teams to compete, but it will be the first outing in Utah for the full RadioShack team. "I look forward to defending my title with Team RadioShack this year," said Leipheimer.

    While the BMC team has been a fixture at the race since its inception, it will be the first appearance for number-one ranked HTC-Highroad.

    "We're very enthusiastic about the Tour of Utah. It offers an ideal setting for dramatic competition," said Bob Stapleton, founder of High Road Sports and owner of HTC-Highroad. "This premiere event can showcase the beauty and drama of both Utah and cycling in a compelling way."

  • Cunego retires early from Pais Vasco

    Damiano Cunego finishes the fourth stage of the Vuelta al Pais Vasco.
    Article published:
    April 08, 2011, 3:49 BST
    Alex Hinds

    Italian looking forward to Ardennes

    Damiano Cunego (Lampre-ISD) has decided to end his participation in the Vuelta al Pais Vasco early having slipped down the overall standings in today’s stage to Eibar. Cunego crossed the line in 30th place, nearly two minutes behind stage winner Samuel Sanchez (Euskaltel-Euskadi) and had dropped from seventh to 18th overall, trailing Joaquin Rodriguez (Katusha) by 1:49.

    Speaking at the end of the fourth stage a contemplative Cunego said;

    "I thought I could do better, but I also knew well that I'm not at the same level as the top riders in the race. I took part in the Vuelta al Pais Vasco, which was not in my programme, with the aim of working hard in order to recover the race days that I had lost because of otitis.”

    The Italian, who only decided to race in the Basque country after missing racing at the Coppi e Bartali, has had a less than ideal build up to his first key objective of the season; Amstel Gold but remains positive.

    “The targets are the Ardennes Classics,” he added, “so I needed to race against the top riders and I think that is a normal thing that I'm making efforts.”

    The former Amstel Gold winner will be looking to fine tune his form at...

  • King replaces Hunter in Paris-Roubaix for RadioShack

    US road champion Ben King (RadioShack)
    Article published:
    April 08, 2011, 8:06 BST
    Daniel Benson

    US champion continuing Belgian debut

    US road champion Ben King is a late inclusion in the RadioShack team for this Sunday’s Paris-Roubaix. The 22-year-old replaces Robbie Hunter after the South African was not deemed ready to race by the team.

    King, a first year professional, only made his debut on Belgian roads this week at Scheldeprijs but backed that up with a strong performance in the GP Pino Cerami on Thursday.

    At the time of Scheldeprijs, King was only down as a first reserve but told Cyclingnews, "For me and because of the style of rider I am, it could be a once in a life time experience to ride Roubaix. We have a young team but a few experienced guys that we can learn from.”

    Although this weekend would mark King’s first senior Roubaix outing, he has experience in the U23 edition, finishing fifth in last year race which was won by his then teammate Taylor Phinney (Team BMC).

    “I was here to protect Robbie McEwen for the sprint,” King told Cyclingnews after Scheldeprijs.

    “I enjoyed the race and it was a nice day with the sun out but I don’t think it was a typical race in Belgium. I showed up on Tuesday and it was pouring with rain which was a great welcome back.”

    “I did two races last year here and I crashed out of one. It’s like a sport here compared to racing in somewhere like the mountains.”

    Team RadioShack for Paris-Roubaix: Fumiyuki Beppu, Ben King, Robbie McEwen, Nélson Oliveira, Gregory Rast, Sébastien Rosseler, Bjørn Selander & Jesse Sergent

  • Boasson Hagen philosophical about new injuries

    Edvald Boasson Hagen (Team Sky)
    Article published:
    April 08, 2011, 8:55 BST
    Cycling News

    Norwegian out for six weeks with broken ribs

    Edvald Boasson Hagen has been ruled out of the remaining of spring Classics after a high-speed crash during Wednesday's Scheldeprijs race. 

    In 2010 the young Norwegian was sidelined during the spring with an Achilles tendon injury. This season he has missed several races due to the same problem in his other leg and admitted that missing Paris-Roubaix and the other Classics was a bitter blow.

    Boasson Hagen crashed during the second of three closing laps when another rider's rear gear went in his front wheel. “It broke several spokes in my front wheel, and I was thrown over the bike,” he told “I hit a tree at 60 km/h and slammed into it with my right side.”

    "I saw Edvald lying on his back, but with his yellow shoes and his kicking legs. It looked like he was walking,” joked teammate Kurt Asle Arvesen. But Boasson Hagen was hurting, not walking and was knocked out by the accident.

    “I was probably out for a few seconds. Suddenly a lot of people were around me. There were people from the team and ambulance personnel.”

    He must now rest for two to three weeks, and faces a minimum six-week racing break due to the three broken ribs. 

    “I have not had the best spring, either this year or last year,” he said. “Of course it's tough. But I must take it as it is.'”