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First Edition Cycling News, Friday, August 26, 2011

Date published:
August 26, 2011, 1:00 BST
  • Aldag close to deciding his future for 2012

    Rolf Aldag chats at the start.
    Article published:
    August 25, 2011, 11:22 BST
    By:
    Daniel Simms

    German manager may take Erik Zabel with him

    HTC-Highroad team manager Rolf Aldag has made sure that as many riders and team staff have found employment for the 2012 season but is now working on his own future. He hopes to be work with another WorldTour team and may well take former teammate and HTC-Highroad sprint consultant Erik Zabel with him.

    “I have three more meetings this week.  Then I will sleep on it and decide,” he told Yahoo.de.  He is expected to make his announcement next week.

    aldag hinted that Zabel may well join him at the new team.  “We have known each other so long, and Erik has of course an unbelievable know-how. No team would want to miss out on that,” he said.

    The future teams of only a handful of HTC-Highroad riders have so been announced, but most, if not all, have apparently found teams for 2012.

    Cyclingnews understands that riders are contractually prohibited from announcing their new teams until September 1. However several teams have confirmed they have signed riders from HTC-Highroad. Martin and Peter Velits will ride for Quick Step, Patrick Gretsch and John Degenkolb for Skil-Shimano, Alex Rasmussen for Garmin-Cervelo, and Mark Renshaw for Rabobank.

    Many of the team's top names have been linked to new teams. Mark Cavendish is widely expected to join Team Sky, while Milan-San Remo winner Matt Goss is likely to join GreenEdge. It has been reported that Tejay Van Garderen will move to BMC, while Tony Martin is still considering a number of offers after being linked to Quick Step and Leopard Trek.

  • Breschel abandons Vuelta after early crash

    Matti Breschel (Rabobank) lost his overall lead
    Article published:
    August 25, 2011, 12:40 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    UPDATED: Rabobank rider' likely to miss Worlds after surgery on broken fingers

    Matti Breschel has retired from the Vuelta a Espana after crashing early during the sixth stage to Cordoba.  The Rabobank rider suffered a wound on his chin, which needed to be stitched, as well as road rash on his knees, elbows and hips in his crash in the neutralized section of the stage.  According to the Rabobank team, he has gone to hospital for x-rays on his chest, ribs and hands.

    UPDATE:  It looks like Breschel will miss the Worlds, according to Rabobank spokesman Luuc Eisenga.  He tweeted that Breschel was found to have broken the middle and ring fingers on his right hand, and will undergo surgery on them as soon as tomorrow.  "Normally one week rest and assesment of the situation, forecast worlds impossible now."

    Ironically, the Danish national coach announced Thursday morning that Breschel would lead the team.

    Breschel, 26, was named as the “undisputed leader” of the Danish team in the road race at the home world championships in Copenhagen on September 25.  Breschel won bronze in the road race in 2008 and silver in 2010 behind Thor Hushovd. He will therefore have a say in the make-up of the six man team.

    “It is not Matti Breschel who decides who is on the team. But I listen to what he says about the team composition,” national coach Lars Bonde told sporten.dk. 

    “I think this is the first time as a coach that I can say everybody is ready. I can clearly feel the riders are motivated because it is the World Championships in Denmark,” he said.  “But I look at the riders, as they must be able to both hold their position in the field to protect Matti along the way and then be there for him in the final.”

    ...
  • Arvesen quits the Vuelta due to crash injuries

    Kurt Asle Arvesen (Sky)
    Article published:
    August 25, 2011, 15:48 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Norwegian hit a spectator during stage five

    Kurt-Asle Arvesen (Team Sky) has retired from the Vuelta a Espana during stage six due to the consequences of his high-speed crash on Wednesday.

    The veteran Norwegian hit a young spectator at 70km/h but managed to finish in 169th place, safely inside the time limit. He bravely started today’s stage but retired 50km from the finish as the racing became animated.

    Arvesen, in his final year before retirement, has had his share of mishaps this season. Not only did he crash in the team time trial on stage 1, he also crashed and broke the saddle off his bike in Paris-Roubaix, riding 20km without a seat before finally quitting the race.

    He was due to race the world championships for Norway, but was concerned he might not be fit to start in Copenhagen because of the crash: "I must give it a few days first. Am I not 100 percent, but we have others who can do a good job. I will not take any decision on it now, but I feel surprisingly good."

    Earlier in the stage, Denmark’s Matti Breschel (Rabobank) pulled out of the Vuelta after a crash during the Neutralised zone of the stage. He suffered a wound on his chin, as well as road rash on his knees, elbows and hips in his crash. According to the Rabobank team, he has gone to hospital for x-rays on his chest, ribs and hands.

    It is not yet clear as to whether the injuries will keep him out of the world championships. Ironically, the Danish national coach announced Thursday morning that Breschel would lead the team.

  • Henderson, Dean top New Zealand's long list for Worlds

    Mission accomplished. Greg Henderson (Sky) takes the stage
    Article published:
    August 25, 2011, 21:28 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Villumsen named on women's team

    New Zealand announced its long list for the UCI Road World Championships today, topping the elite men's team with sprinters Greg Henderson (Team Sky) and Julian Dean (Garmin-Cervélo). The course in Copenhagen is expected to be more sprinter-friendly than in past years.

    The Kiwis have three spots for the road race and two spots for the time trial for the elite men. Also in the list, presumably for the time trial, is Jesse Sergent (Radioshack), the winner of time trials in the Three Days of West-Flanders, Eneco Tour and Tour du Poitou-Charentes. Filling out the long-team are Jack Bauer (Endura Racing) and Jeremy Vennell (Bissell).

    "There has been plenty of interest from riders to be considered for selection for the World Championships," said Bike NZ’s Road Director Sportif, Andy Reid. "Obviously we expect that Julian will be the leader of this team and we will be looking at the make-up of the other riders to provide the best possible support for Julian.

    "We have taken into consideration performances during the year, athlete’s access to high level competition in the build up to the world championships and riders’ current form."

    On the women's side, only two-time medalist at the world championships, Linda Villumsen (AA Drink-Leontien.nl), was nominated so far.

    "Several other leading candidates like Rushlee Buchanan, Jo Kiesanowski and Alison Shanks are all involved in the track programme while the national road champion, Cath Cheatley is still recovering from injury," said Reid of the selection process.

    "We have two riders competing in the Holland Ladies Tour and we will evaluate their form next week to determine if they are riding at a level that could provide support for Linda."

    ...
  • Danielson struggles with illness in Colorado

    Tom Danielson (Garmin-Cervelo) is one of the race favorites.
    Article published:
    August 25, 2011, 22:27 BST
    By:
    Kirsten Frattini

    Team doctor says rider is well enough to start time trial

    Garmin-Cervelo’s Tom Danielson tweeted that he felt ill on the eve of the USA Pro Cycling Challenge’s decisive stage three time trial held in Vail. Team doctor Kevin Sprouse stated that the rider was treated for his condition through the night and was well enough to start the 16km uphill event.

    "Tom was up suffering all night with gastroenteritis," Sprouse said. "We treated his symptoms and spent the early morning getting him comfortable to the point so that he could rest and keep food down. He is really determined to start the day so we are going to monitor him and he is going to take the start.

    "Gastroenteritis is generally viral but can be bacterial and we are rarely able to determine the cause. The best we can do is treat the symptoms and let the body heal which is what we are trying to do."

    During the morning of the time trial, Danielson tweeted that he had a rough night battling food poisoning and that he hoped to start the time trial. He later tweeted that he was going to ‘give it a go and start’.

    "He was throwing up and whatever else but we all ate the same food and no one else go sick so it is probably just a little stomach bug that he caught," said Garmin-Cervelo boss Jonathan Vaughters. "He has a little stomach bug, what it is I don’t know, but he is definitely going to start today. He’ll probably need a little extra cheering from all the fans."

    Danielson rode into a decisive breakaway during the ‘queen’ stage two from Gunnison to Aspen. The breakaway split over the top of the second ascent over Independence Pass and down a technical descent to the finish line. His companions included stage winner George Hincapie (BMC Racing), overall race...

  • Video: Powers on the attack in Colorado queen stage

    Cannondale teammates Jeremy Powers and Tim Johnson would race for the USGP Championship today.
    Article published:
    August 26, 2011, 0:34 BST
    By:
    Peter Hymas

    Jelly Belly rider makes early break

    Jeremy Powers (Jelly Belly p/b Kenda) was part of the early six-man break during stage 2 of the USA Pro Cycling Challenge and the 28-year-old American reveled in his lengthy stint off the front on event's queen stage.

    Powers, a powerhouse 'cross rider in the winter months, was a fitting candidate to make the break on a stage featuring a 20km dirt road ascent of Cottonwood Pass, and while Powers told Cyclingnews that targeting a break in any race is an iffy proposition, he was glad that he could make the early move on a stage which he had already reconned with his teammates.

    Powers spoke to Cyclingnews while warming up for the stage 3 time trial in Vail, Colorado, still beaming and justifiably proud of his ride.

    "I did not anticipate going into the breakaway," said Powers. "I had pretty good legs at the start and thought it would be a good day to get in the break and get up the road and maybe help [teammate] Alex Hagman who's riding really well at altitude."

    Powers talked about the huge crowds out on the road, the tension which arose in the break on the run-in to Independence Pass, and the set-up for his bike on a stage featuring two climbs topping 12,000 feet.

    'Cross riders frequently have an informal 'cross classification in stage races and Powers also spoke of the jovial rivalry with his Rapha Focus 'cross teammate Chris Jones, who's riding the USA Pro Cycling Challenge on the UnitedHealthcare squad.

    Watch the full video below.

  • Lewis back to racing at USA Pro Cycling Challenge

    Craig Lewis (HTC-Highroad)
    Article published:
    August 26, 2011, 1:24 BST
    By:
    Kirsten Frattini

    American recovered from broken femur

    Craig Lewis (HTC-Highroad) rejoined the professional peloton for the first time since breaking his femur three months ago and is racing at the USA Pro Cycling Challenge. The American says he is on his way to a complete recovery and is using the seven-day, high-elevation event as preparation for the two World Tour events Grand Prix Cycliste Quebec City and Montreal held in September in Canada.

    "After looking at the two Canadian races, compared to the USA Pro Cycling Challenge, I thought it was a better decision to start racing here," Lewis told Cyclingnews. "There is a little bit of a lower field quality here and not as many technical courses like the ones in Canada. I wanted to see how I would go here and be better prepared for those two events."

    Lewis broke his left femur after hitting a street sign during the 19th stage of the Giro d'Italia in May. He, along with teammate Marco Pinotti, were taken to a hospital in the nearby mountain city of Domodossola for treatment before returning home.

    "It has been a slow process and every day has been a slight increase in my fitness and mobility and everything," Lewis said. "It is a lot harder to walk right now than it is to ride; I'm missing a little bit of strength and mobility in my hip."

    Lewis's teammate Tejay Van Garderen was leading the overall ranking at the USA Pro Cycling Championships heading into the stage three time trial in Vail. The team is placing no pressure on Lewis to perform. He put forth respectable rides during the first four stages through the mountains and is hoping to build additional fitness before the end of the week.

    "I felt better than I thought I would so far...

  • BMC's top 10 run continues in Vail

    BMC's Cadel Evans had another top 10 performance
    Article published:
    August 26, 2011, 2:37 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Hincapie fifth, Evans seventh on general classification

    BMC Racing Team continued its solid run at the USA Pro Cycling Challenge with Tour de France champion Cadel Evans and George Hincapie finishing ninth and 10th, respectively, in Thursday's individual time trial.

    The result gave the two their fourth straight day with a top 10 finish at the Colorado event.

    Evans, who had only a short preparation at altitude due to a short trip back to Australia after the post-Tour crits, said he was again satisfied with his performance today in Vail. The Australian finished 1:01 back on the winning time set by Levi Leipheimer (RadioShack)

    "Considering all the lead up I've had for the race, I rode pretty well," Evans said. "Technically, I rode a good time trial, but I don't have the basis in altitude acclimatization to really be at the top level with some of the other guys here."

    Evans is seventh on general classification, 1:18 back from Leipheimer. Hincapie meantime, explained that the 16.1 kilometre uphill course was not to his liking.He was 1:11 off the pace.

    "But I gave it everything I had," the three-time U.S. national champion countered. "I started maybe a bit too fast. I was close to Levi in the first time check and paid for it dearly in the last four kilometres."

    Hincapie's performance puts him fifth in the overall standings, 53 seconds back on Leipheimer, while Evans is seventh, 1:18 behind. BMC Racing Team Assistant Director Michael Sayers said the team will focus on pursuing the team classification while also chasing stage wins in the race's final three days.