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First Edition Cycling News, Friday, August 19, 2011

Date published:
August 19, 2011, 1:00 BST
  • Boasson Hagen to to skip Worlds time trial

    Edvald Boasson Hagen (Team Sky) was Phinney's closest challenger
    Article published:
    August 18, 2011, 13:04 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Norwegian focused on road race in Copenhagen

    Edvald Boasson Hagen (Sky) will forgo the time trial at the world championships order to focus his energies on the road race, where he will form a fearsome double act with reigning champion Thor Hushovd.

    The Norwegian acknowledged that “maybe a top ten” finish would be the summit of his ambition in the time trial, and he has instead opted to prepare specifically for the road race. The flat Copenhagen circuit has been touted to produce a bunch sprint, and both Boasson Hagen and Hushovd could be to the fore on the slightly uphill finishing straight.

    “I have chosen to concentrate on the road race,” Boasson Hagen told aftenposten.no. “With such a tight schedule, it’s difficult to make time for both.”

    Boasson Hagen won his fifth consecutive Norwegian time trial title in June, but admitted that it would not be feasible to do himself justice in both the time trial and the road race in Copenhagen.

    “It would have required much more specialized training,” he admitted. “I would have had to have been on the time trial bike more often and I’m afraid it would have taken something from me for the road race.”

    Boasson Hagen has not ridden the Worlds time trial since Mendrisio in 2009, when he finished 27th and over five minutes down on winner Fabian Cancellara. Now 24, Boasson Hagen put in solid performance in the final time trial of this year’s Tour de France, even if an untimely bike change saw him finish in 12th place.

    “I haven’t been put under any pressure to race the time trial,” Boasson Hagen said. “I said well before the Tour de France that I would consider it if I won the time trial there, but I did...

  • Wiggins primed for Vuelta and time trial Worlds

    Bradley Wiggins (Sky) is enjoying life as British champion.
    Article published:
    August 18, 2011, 15:32 BST
    By:
    Peter Hymas

    Dress rehearsal for 2012 Tour and Olympic Games

    The Vuelta a España was never part of Bradley Wiggins' programme for the 2011 season, but a crash at the Tour de France forced him to change his plans. The Sky rider is now taking full advantage of his first start in Spain's Grand Tour to garner key insight into how he responds to racing a three-week race full-bore followed by the transition to time trial mode shortly thereafter in his pursuit off a time trial world championship.

    The time interval between the conclusion of the upcoming Vuelta and the elite men's time trial world championship in Copenhagen is similar to the gap between the end of the 2012 Tour de France and the Olympic Games time trial in London, both enormous goals for the Briton.

    "Give or take a couple of days, if I'm correct there's nine days between the end [of the Tour] in Paris and the [Olympic Games] time trial next year," said Wiggins. "So it's an opportunity to do three weeks basically flat-out and get a GC result and then obviously to keep that momentum going, keep your head on, and go into time trial mode for the world championships.

    "It's a bit of an experiment and also a good dress rehearsal. Obviously there's only one way to find out if you can do it or not and that's to go through the whole experience."

    While the time trial appears to be Wiggins' primary goal at the 2012 Olympic Games, participation in the track events such as the individual or team pursuit is still very much a question mark at this stage.

    "There is a possibility I may enter the [British] track championships directly after the world championships, although I'm not too sure at this moment. I don't know what events I could do to see whether I could transfer straight from the road world championships to the track with a view to doing the team...

  • EPM-UNE looks to earn USA Pro Cycling Challenge invite

    The EPM-UNE team dominated the third stage
    Article published:
    August 18, 2011, 17:41 BST
    By:
    Kirsten Frattini

    Two Colombian teams to start thanks to UCI rule

    Two Colombian teams will take the start of the USA Pro Cycling Challenge due to a new UCI regulation requiring events to invite them, but EPM-UNE Directeur Sportif Gustavo Carrillo wants to show that his team deserves the invitation because of their strength. The Gobernacion de Antioquia team already showed its worth in the Tour of Utah, taking second overall and three stages, and Carrillo wants to follow suit in Colorado.

    "Our team has done some pretty big races in Europe and have done really well against top teams," Carrillo said. "I didn't want the organizations to invite this team based on a rule, but more because it is a really good team."

    The Gobernacion de Antioquia team showed some of the talent of the Colombian scene to the world at the Tour of Utah where Sergio Henao placed second overall to winner Levi Leipheimer (RadioShack). In addition, the team won three stages, Cristian Montoya won the Best Young Rider and the Gobernacion de Antioquia won overall team competition.

    EPM-UNE, fresh off a dominating performance in the Tour do Rio in Brazil, will send an equally talented team to Colorado.

    The team recently secured the top four places in the Tour do Rio overall classification. Juan Pablo Suarez, the overall winner, and Eduard Beltran, who placed third, will take to the start in Colorado Springs on Monday. Joining them will be Giovanny Manuel Báez, who won the 2008 Vuelta a Colombia and the Vuelta a Guatemala last year, and Walter Fernando Pedraza, who won the King of the Mountain competition at the Vuelta a Colombia.

    Edward Stiber Ortiz, Rafael Infantino Abreu, Freddy Orlando Piamonte and Robigzon...

  • Holloway raring to defend USA Pro Criterium title

    Daniel Holloway (Kelly Benefit Strategies)
    Article published:
    August 18, 2011, 18:41 BST
    By:
    Kirsten Frattini

    Championship event for Americans only

    A strong field of American-only sprinters will be participating in the USA Cycling Pro Criterium Championships held on a brand new course on August 20 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Daniel Holloway (Kelly Benefit Strategies-OptumHealth) is confident that he will be able to defend his title, noting that his team has several cards to play.

    "I feel good about defending my title," Holloway told Cyclingnews. "I have a great team in Kelly Benefit Strategies-OptumHealth but I'm not the only guy on the squad that can win. We have more options than most of the teams."

    Holloway won the jersey in Glencoe, Illinois last year after taking fourth place to three non-US citizens, but did not have many opportunities to show it off in the early part of the season.

    "My season has been rough, started with injury and then a staph infection I didn't know about that caused severe saddle sores," he said. Having won two stages of the Tour of Americas Dairyland in June, the 24-year-old is getting back on track. "I'm starting to come around again to be back at the front of the field."

    The USA Cycling Pro Criterium Championships has historically permitted international riders to participate. Last year, the first rider to cross the line was Canadian David Veilleux, who now races for Europcar. This year, however, USA Cycling will only permit American riders to contest the national title event.

    The organisation made a similar change in the US Professional road championships in 2006 when it moved from Philadelphia to Greenville, South Carolina. With the popularity of criterium racing in the USA, it decided to adopt the US-only rule in the criterium championships as well.

    "I don't think...

  • Pinotti to announce 2012 team in September

    Marco Pinotti (HTC-Highroad) waved goodbye to the Giro d'Italia after a crash
    Article published:
    August 18, 2011, 20:29 BST
    By:
    Barry Ryan

    Italian linked with move to BMC

    Following the demise of HTC-Highroad, Marco Pinotti is one of a number of riders on the look-out for a new team for next season. While Gazzetta dello Sport has linked the Italian with a transfer to BMC, Pinotti told Cyclingnews on Thursday afternoon that he is not yet in a position to comment on his destination for 2012.

    “I can’t confirm where I am going,” Pinotti said. “I’m in the situation where I'm looking for a new team for 2012 and I’ll make an official announcement in September.”

    A professional since 1999, Pinotti has enjoyed the most successful period of his career in the Highroad set-up, and he remained hopeful that the team would survive right up until the announcement in early August that the team would disband at the end of the current campaign.

    “I think we were all hoping that we’d find a new sponsor,” he said. “The more time passed, the more difficult things became I suppose, but I was hoping to the very end that the team would be able to find a solution.”

    As well as having to contend with the demise of his team in recent weeks, Pinotti has also been continuing his recovery from the fractured pelvis he sustained in a crash at the Giro d’Italia. He was finally able to get back on his bike in early August, although his rehabilitation is still ongoing.

    After a training ride in the morning, Pinotti’s afternoons are spent either undertaking specific exercises in the swimming or undergoing physiotherapy as he attempts to put the muscles imbalances triggered by his lay-off to rights.

    “I’ve lost some muscle tone. I’ll need a bit of time to recover. For now, I can’t put too much of a strain on...

  • Bennett hoping to secure 2012 contract at USA Pro Cycling Challenge

    Tour winner George Bennett (Team Cardno) works hard in a strung out peloton.
    Article published:
    August 18, 2011, 22:16 BST
    By:
    Alex Hinds

    New Zealander enjoyed trainee role at Tour of Utah

    For talented youngster George Bennett the next few weeks are crucial. Currently riding with the RadioShack team as a trainee, the 21-year-old is hoping he can do enough to earn himself a professional contract for the 2012 season.

    The opportunity with RadioShack was certainly a deserved one. Along with teammate and friend Dale Parker, Bennett has enjoyed an impressive 12 months with RadioShack feeder team Trek-Livestrong, that has seen him win the Tour of Wellington, as well as taking an impressive second overall at the Ronde de l’Isard. However his transition from Espoirs racing in Europe to the US scene took some initial adjustment.

    "When I came over for my first US races [Redlands, Gila] of the season I definitely struggled a bit," said Bennett. "The racing over here was not as much my style; it really suits guys with a lot of power."

    Compounding this, the New Zealander was unused to having long breaks between races. Sojourns of nearly a month between the opening events on the US calendar made it hard for Bennett, who was used to competing on a weekly basis in Europe.

    "I’ve definitely stepped up this year from years before - but I was finding that I wasn’t quite where I wanted to be [in terms of performances]," explained Bennett. "I’d finish one race and have a pretty long time until the next one. It made it a lot harder to string together any sort of momentum.

    "In hindsight I think the schedule at Trek-Livestrong is really good, it’s just that I’ve come off two years of racing in Europe where you ride yourself completely into the ground.

    "Since May, I’ve really been able to work out how to structure my training and it’s going a lot better."

    Bennett...

  • BMC re-signs Burghardt and more

    Marcus Burghardt (BMC) worked hard for Evans.
    Article published:
    August 18, 2011, 22:44 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Bookwalter, Morabito, Quinziato and Schär return

    The BMC Racing Team announced today that seven riders have decided to continue with the team through 2012.

    Five of its winning team from the Tour de France will continue: Brent Bookwalter, Marcus Burghardt, Steve Morabito, Manuel Quinziato and Michael Schär have all extended their contracts, as have Martin Kohler and Mathias Frank.

    "These riders performed brilliantly throughout the 2011 season and played a major role in Cadel's victory at this year's Tour de France," said Jim Ochowitz, the team's president and general manager. "We look forward to their continued dedication and performance within the BMC Racing Team family."

    The news comes in addition to the continuation of Cadel Evans through 2014 and George Hincapie for another year, making nine riders set to continue with the team. The team also added reigning world champion Thor Hushovd to its ranks.
     

  • Armstrong and Longo headline Aspen Pro Race

    Jeannie Longo wouldn't be adding her 59th national title.
    Article published:
    August 19, 2011, 1:14 BST
    By:
    Kirsten Frattini

    Stacked field for inaugural event

    Jessica Phillips assembled a decorated women’s peloton at her inaugural Aspen Women’s Pro Race, held in conjunction with the USA Pro Cycling Challenge, from August 22-24 in Colorado. Former double world time trial champion and Olympic gold medalist Kristin Armstrong (Peanut Butter & Co Twenty12) and French legend Jeannie Longo are among the high quality field expected to participate.

    "I have always been in touch with Kristin Armstrong about the race, just trying to work with each other to help promote women's cycling," Phillips said. "As for Jeannie, it was Connie Carpenter's idea to contact her, as she won the Coors Classic and loves Colorado."

    "It really helps having these two women registered for the event," she said. "It makes the race really fun to promote to the public when I can say the gold medalist, and two-time world time trial champion is coming, along with one of the most decorated cyclists of all time, will be racing in Aspen."

    The Aspen Women’s Pro Race attracted other world-class competitors including UCI teams HTC-Highroad’s Amanda Miller, Ally Stacher, Emilia Fahlin and Katie Colclough and Colavita-Forno D’Asolo’s Kristin Sanders, Andrea Dvorak, Lauren Hall and Janel Holcomb.

    The three-day event will include a stage one uphill time trial in Maroon Bells, stage two circuit race in Snowmass and a stage three criterium in downtown Aspen.

    "Everything is coming together really well," Phillips said. "I have some cute podium guys, we have awesome banners in town, and host housing and volunteers are all set."

    Phillips put together a three-day stage race for women after hearing about...