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First Edition Cycling News, Friday, August 12, 2011

Date published:
August 12, 2011, 1:00 BST
  • Van den Broeck to lead Omega Pharma-Lotto at the Vuelta

    Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Omega Pharma Lotto)
    Article published:
    August 11, 2011, 10:52 BST
    By:
    Stephen Farrand

    Gilbert and Greipel to miss last grand tour of the season

    The Omega Pharma-Lotto team has confirmed that Jurgen Van den Broeck will lead the Belgian squad at the Vuelta a España, as Philippe Gilbert and Andre Greipel opt for lighter race programmes before the world championships in Copenhagen.

    Van den Broeck showed his grand tour credentials by finishing fifth in the Tour de France last year but crashed out of the this year’s Tour on stage nine to Saint Flour when rain and twisting roads also left Alexandre Vinokourov and Dave Zabriskie with nasty injuries.

    Van den Broeck wasvdiagnosed with a collapsed lung, three broken ribs and a broken shoulder blade but has recovered from his injuries. He is currently training at altitude in the Sierra Nevada mountains in southern Spain.

    Also in the Omega Pharma-Lotto team for the Vuelta are Jan Bakelants, Francis De Greef, Australia’s Adam Hansen, Olivier Kaisen, Sebastian Lang and Jurgen Van de Walle. The team will be directed by Dirk De Wolf and Jean-Pierre Heynderickx.

    Philippe Gilbert and Andre Greipel will not ride the Vuelta. Both have opted for alternative race programmes and are currently riding the Eneco Tour, were Greipel has won the opening two road stages.

    “I want to be on form for Hamburg (on Sunday August 21) in front of my fans and I also hope to be up there at the world championships,” Greipel said on Wednesday.

  • Rabobank confirm Renshaw signing

    Mark Renshaw (HTC-Highroad)
    Article published:
    August 11, 2011, 12:06 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Australian leaves HTC, Cavendish behind

    The Rabobank team has announced it has signed Mark Renshaw for 2012 and 2013 to bolster its roster of sprinters.

    The highly regarded Australian has played a key role in helping Mark Cavendish dominate the sprints in the last three years but will work with Theo Bos and fellow Australian Michael Matthews in the future, as well as getting more opportunities to win himself.

    "For many years I helped others to win races, now I'm going to try some of the biggest competitions to win myself. Rabobank cycling team is one of the most professional teams with a solid structure, so I have goals to pursue. I look forward to sharing my experience, helping Theo Bos and Rabobank. "

    Renshaw follows in the footstep of Robbie McEwen, Graeme Brown and Michael Matthews, Australians who have raced or who are racing for Rabobank.

    "Renshaw has excellent qualities, extensive experience in field sprints, who may in addition sprint for his own gain. The fact that the initiative comes from Renshaw says a lot about the esteem in which riders hold our team," said Rabobank director Erik Breukink.

    Theo Bos welcomed the arrival of Renshaw: "Mark is the best lead-out man in the world. I'm really thrilled that Renshaw has chosen to sign for us. The partnership with Mark will help me in my development."

  • Freire will ride in 2012 – but who with?

    Oscar Freire (Rabobank)
    Article published:
    August 11, 2011, 15:00 BST
    By:
    Peter Cossins

    Spaniard confirms negotiations with Rabobank, but says other teams are interested

    Oscar Freire has confirmed that he will compete for another season, apparently with his sights set on the road race title at the 2012 London Olympics.

    Freire had previously indicated that he might retire at the end of this season, but has told Spanish newspaper El Diario Montañés that he is in negotiations with Rabobank and admitted that other teams are also interested in signing him on a one-year deal. On Thursday the team confirmed it has signed Australia’s Mark Renshaw for 2012 and2013.

    Freire, who is represented by his brother, Antonio, revealed: “We are negotiating with Rabobank to renew for next year, but there is still nothing sorted. Moreover, if things do not work out with Rabobank there is the possibility that I will sign with another team. We already have some options, so if I don’t ride for Rabobank I will do for someone else.”

    The 35-year-old Spaniard suggested that the negotiations would be completed before the start of the Vuelta on August 20. Freire will be one of Rabobank’s leaders in Spanish grand tour, and admitted that he is hoping to finish the race for the first time in eight appearances.

    He said he has recovered well from the sinus operation he underwent in June and believes that his condition is better than it has been for some time, largely as a result of the procedure.

    “I’ve recuperated well and I’m raring to go,” said Freire. “Last year they operated on me [to resolve the sinus problem] after the Tour and I wasn’t at my best at the Vuelta and Worlds, but this time I’m completely recovered with both the Vuelta and the Worlds in mind.”

    Fresh for...

  • Van Garderen's future secure after HTC-Highroad demise

    Tejay Van Garderen (HTC-Highroad) leads the Under 23 classification
    Article published:
    August 11, 2011, 15:24 BST
    By:
    Laura Weislo

    American not revealing new team until September 1

    One of the soon-to-be-defunct HTC-Highroad team's biggest talents has already secured a new team, but Tejay Van Garderen is not going to reveal where he will land for the 2012 season until September 1.

    "It's in my contract I can't say anything until September 1, they may not mind so much now that the team's folding, but I want to honor every part of my contract," he told Cyclingnews.

    The 22-year-old made his professional debut with the Rabobank Continental team in 2008, but it was with HTC-Highroad, where he has raced for the past two seasons, that he came into his own as a rider.

    "It's been an incredible experience," Van Garderen said. "They taught me how to be a good teammate, to give 100 per cent no matter what you're doing, whether it's for yourself or for someone else. I got to ride in support of Mick Rogers at the Tour of California, so that was an important GC win. I also got to ride in support of Cavendish, Greipel and other sprinters like Goss. Then I've also had chances for myself like California, the Dauphine and Algarve."

    The net result was a string of top results: second in the time trial at Tour de Suisse, second overall to teammate Tony Martin at the Volta ao Algarve, fifth in the Tour of California and best young rider this season, and a third place in the Critérium du Dauphiné in 2010.

    "I think I kind of had a break-out year last year. I had a lot of success that I wasn't really expecting - it kind of came as a surprise. This year I showed I can live up to last year, but I feel like my riding style is a bit different. Last year I was happy to follow wheels and just be there, and this year I want to get in the thick of it, so if someone attacks I want to be right on them instead of just staying in my rhythm and trying not to over-exert myself. I'm still...

  • Leopard Trek signs Hermans to its 2012 roster

    Ben Hermans (Team RadioShack)
    Article published:
    August 11, 2011, 18:47 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Young Belgian will support Schleck brothers in the Classics

    Leopard Trek signed one of Belgian cycling's most promising youngsters, Ben Hermans, for a two-year deal effective January 1, 2012. The 25-year-old rider is making the move from Team RadioShack and will add to the team's climbing and time trialing strength.

    "I'm very happy and proud to join Leopard Trek, because it's one of the most exciting outfits in professional cycling," said Hermans. "This team is all the way professional: the riders are amazing, the staff is great and the equipment is the best available. I'm sure I can further improve my skills here. There's a lot of hard work to come, but I'm ready for that."

    Hermans, a junior time trial national champion in 2004, is an excellent racer against the clock, but he also climbs well. This season, he won the third event in the Challenge Mallorca and finished eighth in the Amstel Gold Race. He was also within a hair's breadth of the white jersey in the Critérium du Dauphiné and finished third overall in the Tour de Wallonie.

    In 2010, Hermans won the queen stage of the Tour of Belgium and obtained top-10 placings in the Critérium International, the Tour of Belgium and the Tour of Austria. In 2008, he wore the yellow leader's jersey for two days in the Tour de l'Avenir.

    Team Manager Kim Andersen is proud to welcome the Belgian. "We have closely monitored Ben's results and development and I'm looking forward to working with him. Ben is still young, but he is very professional and has the right attitude. I'm very confident that there is still room for improvement."

    Hermans is looking forward to supporting Fränk and Andy...

  • Scarponi eyes overall success at the Vuelta a Espana

    Michele Scarponi (Lampre-ISD)
    Article published:
    August 11, 2011, 20:03 BST
    By:
    Stephen Farrand

    Lampre-ISD leader training at altitude before final Grand Tour

    Michele Scarponi (Lampre-ISD) said he will be targeting overall victory at the Vuelta a Espana after carefully preparing for the final Grand Tour of the season at altitude in Livigno.

    With Damiano Cunego tired after riding the Tour de France, Scarponi will be the Lampre-ISD team leader in Spain. Alessandro Petacchi will target the sprints, but most of the riders in pink and blue will be there to help Scarponi.

    Scarponi finished second at the Giro d'Italia behind Alberto Contador but ahead of Vincenzo Nibali, who won the 2010 Vuelta. He finished 13th and 11th back in 2003 and 2005, but is convinced he can fight for victory on this year's mountainous route.

    "I'm going to Spain to try and win my first ever Grand Tour. I've been working carefully, and I'll have the same determination and aggression I had in the Giro, in the hope of having a great Vuelta," he told Gazzetta dello Sport on Thursday.

    Scarponi is currently training at altitude in Livigno after riding the Tour of Poland. He failed to show in the race but revealed that was all part of his master plan for the Vuelta.

    "I didn't finish the Tour of Poland but that was the plan," he said. "I needed the race to get back rediscover the rhythm of racing. On the hardest stage, I was at the front until three kilometres to go but then I sat up, as I'd planned. Now I'm back at altitude in Livigno and I'll stay here until the 15th of August. We've got one day at home and then we leave for the Vuelta."

    Vuelta rivals and the targeting UCI ranking

    Scarponi admits he has not seen any of the key mountain stages of the Vuelta but his race strategy reflects his happy-go-lucky mentality.

    "I've studied the maps in detail and at least on paper, the Vuelta seems to have fewer mixed stages," he noted....

  • Henao inks two-year deal with Sky

    Sergio Henao (Gobernacion de Antioquia) stands victorious on the podium
    Article published:
    August 12, 2011, 0:41 BST
    By:
    Kirsten Frattini

    Colombian leads overall standings at Tour of Utah

    Sergio Luis Henao Montoya has signed a two-year contract with the Sky Procycling, beginning in 2012. The Colombian climber is currently racing with the Gobernacion de Antioquia squad at the Tour of Utah, where he is leading the overall classification mid-race.

    "Yes, I signed a contract for two years with Sky," Henao told Cyclingnews. "The team manager and I were talking. He called to tell me that Sky wanted to hire me for two seasons. I am very happy with this contract because Sky is such a big team."

    Henao is one of the most prominent climbers currently racing out of South America. Last year, he won the Vuelta a Colombia, which could be considered one of the most challenging stage races in the world, with 15 days of racing through high altitude and mountainous terrain.

    "This is the first time that I will go to race with a big professional team," Henao said. "The team had space for a rider who could do well one-day races, stage races and stages wins and they found these things in me."

    Henao won the Tour of Utah opening prologue ahead of Francisco Mancebo (RealCyclist.com) and his own teammate Oscar Sevilla. He maintained the lead heading into the stage three time trial and hopes to carry the yellow jersey through the mountainous ‘queen’ stage five finale on Sunday held at the Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort.

    The Tour of Utah upgraded to UCI 2.1 status, which allowed race organizers to invite ProTeams Garmin-Cervelo, RadioShack, BMC Racing, HTC-Highroad and Liquigas-Cannondale, teams that Henao will become better acquainted with at races next season.

    "This is my first professional contract," Henao said. "But, I...

  • Is there a naming-rights sponsor in the works for GreenEdge?

    Shayne Bannan posses in front of the Greenedge Cycling van.
    Article published:
    August 12, 2011, 2:12 BST
    By:
    Jane Aubrey

    Bannan says assessment will be made at the end of August

    GreenEdge General Manager Shayne Bannan is not ruling out having a naming rights partner for his project in 2012, should it be successful in gaining a UCI ProTour licence.

    Speaking to Cyclingnews from UCI Headquarters where he was attending a meeting for 2012 hopefuls, Bannan confirmed that Australian Cadel Evans' recent Tour de France win – the first by any man from the nation, had piqued the corporate world's interest in GreenEdge.

    "I think our intentions are that we'll wait until the end of August to see what interest is out there," he explained. "The synergy needs to really feel right and we may have a partner on board, but if not then our intention is to really focus on the brand 'GreenEdge'."

    According to Bannan, GreenEdge is representative of the green and gold of Australia and the environment. The Edge being the edge of performance and initiative.

    "We believe that it's a dynamic word and when I think Green Edge it motivates me to put something together that's very special for the future of cycling in Australia," he said.

    GreenEdge is bankrolled by one of Australia's wealthiest men, Gerry Ryan, who owns Jayco Caravans and the team has financial backing to the tune of around A$22 million a year for the next three years. Ryan himself is reported to be valued at A$180 million.

    Several months ago, Bannan told Cyclingnews that Ryan's support meant that he was not "desperate" for a sponsor, indicating that this was most-likely to come into affect for the 2013 season.

    "At the moment we are a project, we haven't got a UCI licence, and therefore when you talk to partners it's really hard to quantify what value the sponsorship should be at," he said.

    Interest in the sport of cycling and in the nation's athletes has never been higher and for both GreenEdge and a potential...