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First Edition Cycling News, Friday, August 5, 2011

Date published:
August 05, 2011, 1:00 BST
  • Willock secures Women’s Prestige Cycling Series overall title

    Errine Willock (TIBCO) takes the overall jersey for the Womens Prestige Series.
    Article published:
    August 04, 2011, 23:50 BST
    Kirsten Frattini

    Colavita Forno D’Asolo tops team competition

    Erinne Willock (Tibco-To the Top) won the Women’s Prestige Cycling Series (WPCS) overall title with strong performances in three of the four participating national calendar stage races. The Canadian accumulated 451 points to win the series ahead of National Racing Calendar (NRC) leader Janel Holcomb (Colavita-Forno D’Asolo)  and former world champion and Olympic gold medalist Kristin Armstrong (Peanut Butter & Co Twenty12).

    "The team goal was to win races and get on the podium," Willock told Cyclingnews. "This series is a result of always racing hard and giving our best everyday. This win means a lot to me. I had three strong performances. This result shows consistency in the strength of Team Tibco and this title was won by the whole team."

    The WPCS kicked off at the Redlands Bicycle Classic where Willock placed second behind overall winner Amber Neben (HTC-Highroad). An injury prevented her from participating at the Tour of the Gila, however, she returned to the Nature Valley Grand Prix and placed second, once again behind overall winner Neben.

    The series concluded at the Cascade Cycling Classic where Willock placed fourth behind overall winner Holcomb, Anne Samplonius (Now-Novartis for MS) and Clara Hughes (Cycling BC).

    "I was injured during a race in Holland in April," Willock said. "I broke my scapula and separated my shoulder. I had six weeks where I didn't ride outside and after that I was fortunate to be back pretty quick."

    Willock will next compete at the Tour of Elk Grove followed by a trip overseas to compete in European events, where she hopes to secure a spot with the Canadian...

  • Bobridge, Meyer brothers first Australian signings for GreenEdge

    Cameron Meyer takes the biggest win of his career
    Article published:
    August 05, 2011, 2:50 BST
    Cycling News

    Bannan says riders are part of his long-term vision for the team

    GreenEdge has announced the signings of their first Australian riders on their roster, with Jack Bobridge along with Cameron and Travis Meyer joining the Shane Bannan project from Garmin-Cervelo.

    The three have each signed two-year deals, and it follows the announcement earlier today that multiple African champion Daniel Teklehaymanot has signed with GreenEdge.

    In a statement, GreenEdge general manager Bannan said that all three riders are part of his long-term vision for the team which it is hoped will become the first Australian squad to secure a ProTour licence later this year.

    "During my time at the Australian Institute of Sport I worked with many of the young Australians now making an impact on cycling's world stage so I'm pleased to be able to continue that with three of our most talented young riders," he said.

    "Cameron and Jack are going to play a big role in Australia's success on the track at the Olympics and have already proven their quality on the road. Not many guys can finish the final time trial of a three week tour in the top-10 at such a young age like Cameron has for the past two editions of the Giro d'Italia. Plus Jack was the U23 time trial world champion in 2009.

    "And Travis was making big gains over the past 12-months before injury got the better of him. We know his recovery is in good hands and a minor step-back doesn't change how talented he is. Travis won five junior world titles on the track and as soon as he stepped up to the elite ranks he won the Australian road title at his first attempt.

    "As an Australian team aiming to be around for a long time it was...

  • Video: Chad Beyer on the attack in Poland

    Chad Beyer (BMC Racing Team) featured in the breakaway
    Article published:
    August 05, 2011, 4:03 BST
    Cycling News

    American looking forward to USA Pro Cycling Challenge

    Chad Beyer (BMC) was on the offensive on stage 4 of the Tour de Pologne on Wednesday and he was the last survivor of the main break of the day to stay clear of the peloton on the approach to the testing finishing circuit at Cieszyn.

    The American’s bold bid for glory was ultimately snuffed out in the finale, but Beyer explained that his main aim in joining the breakaway was to take pressure off his team. BMC’s leader in Poland is Mauro Santambrogio, who was suspended and then reactivated by the team earlier in the season following his implication in the Mantova-based doping investigation.

    While many riders at the Tour de Pologne are fine-tuning their form ahead of the Vuelta a España, Beyer is looking forward to returning to the United States to compete in the Tour of Utah and the USA Pro Cycling Challenge later in the month.

    “I have two days between the Tour of Poland and the start of the Tour of Utah, so it’s going to be a short turnover,” Beyer told Cyclingnews in Zakopane, Poland.

    Tour de France winner Cadel Evans is also set to line up at the USA Pro Cycling Challenge in Colorado, and Beyer said that the Australian’s victory had provided a significant boost in morale to the team.

  • Tour of Beijing enters WorldTour

    ProTour director Alain Rumpf with UCI head Pat McQuaid.
    Article published:
    August 05, 2011, 6:06 BST
    Laura Weislo

    Top teams still considering boycott over radio issue

    The UCI announced this week that its licensing commission has awarded the Tour of Beijing a WorldTour license for the next four years, but despite a requirement of the top ProTeams to compete in all WorldTour events, AIGCP president Jonathan Vaughters indicated that the top squads might not be present on the start line come October 5th.

    Earlier this year, the teams organisation threatened to boycott the race unless the UCI backed down on its plan to fully ban radio communications between teams and riders during races.

    In order to leverage their point, the teams targeted the Tour of Beijing, a race which is fully supported by UCI president Pat McQuaid as a step toward globalizing the sport.

    After months of warring with words, the UCI set forth a compromise in June, offering to keep the current regulations, which disallow radios in all but WorldTour races, in effect until the end of 2012, and to create an independent group "to study this regulation and its effects, advantages and disadvantages". In exchange, the AIGCP would renounce the proposed boycott.

    Vaughters told Cyclingnews that the deal has yet to go through because the AIGCP would have no say in who would be appointed to the study group.

    "The AIGCP has not reached an agreement with the UCI regarding radios or participation in Beijing, and since the race was not in the WorldTour when our agreements to be WorldTour teams were signed, we are not under any obligation to race.

    "That said, we would like to get an agreement in place regarding both Beijing and the radios. The conversations with the UCI have been very productive and positive. I hope it continues that way."

    The UCI confirmed that negotiations were ongoing, but refused further comment because, "despite pressure put...

  • Soler undergoing daily physical therapy to aid recovery

    Movistar's Mauricio Soler celebrates his stage victory on Crans-Montana
    Article published:
    August 05, 2011, 7:28 BST
    Cycling News

    Condition continues to slowly improve

    Mauricio Soler continues his steady improvement following a crash during the sixth stage of the Tour de Suisse in June.

    The Movistar rider remains at the Clínica Universitaria de Navarra in Pamplona where he undergoes physical therapy on his right leg while the left remains immobilised due to a fracture sustained in the crash in which Soler collided with a spectator.

    The 28-year-old sustained head injuries and was placed in an induced coma after he collided with a spectator during the race. Soler spent three weeks in an ICU in St. Gallen, Switzerland, before he was transferred to Pamplona last month.

    According to Revista Solo Ciclismo, Soler has no recollection of the incident but now recognises his visitors which include his wife, Movistar teammates and Miguel Indurain. He is able to hold brief conversations although they come with some difficulty.

  • Erik Dekker nostalgic for World Cup

    The last Dutch winner: Erik Dekker in 2001
    Article published:
    August 05, 2011, 9:54 BST
    Pierre Carrey

    2001 winner misses the leader's jersey in the peloton

    Now a directeur sportif for the Rabobank team, Erik Dekker is one of the last winners of the road World Cup, in 2001. "I hadn't realised it was 10 years ago," he told Cyclingnews. "But I'm still very proud about that victory. It's the result of ten races."

    From March to October, the 2001 World Cup included the "Five Monuments" of cycling: Milan-San Remo, the Tour of Flanders, Paris-Roubaix, Liège-Bastogne-Liège and the Tour of Lombardy. The five other Classics, all based in Europe, were the Amstel Gold Race, the Clasica San Sebastian, the HEW Cyclassics in Hamburg, Paris-Tours and the GP of Zurich.

    Erik Dekker said that the World Cup was not his goal at the beginning of the 2001 season.

    "But it became it once I took the lead after the Amstel Gold Race [the Dutch Classic, where he won, Ed.]. I fully focused on the overall in the second part of my season and I raced the Tour de France only to prepare it."

    On the final podium, Dekker finished ahead of Erik Zabel and Roman Vainsteins. After him, Paolo Bettini won the last three editions of the World Cup. The Italian closed the palmarès of a trophy launched by the UCI in 1989. The best Classics hunters of the era succeeded in winning the competition overall, notably Sean Kelly, Michele Bartoli, Johan Museeuw and Andrei Tchmil.

    Dekker says the withdrawal of the World Cup was "a shame." He remembers the special kit worn by the leader, with rainbow stripes, in a vertical position not to be confused with the horizontal stripes of the world champion. "It was a wonderful jersey and cycling is a sport of jerseys," Dekker noted.

    In 2005, UCI created the ProTour ranking, which last year became known as the WorldTour.

    "The new world classification has nothing to do with the former World Cup," Dekker said. "It was a wonderful challenge for one-day race riders".

  • Garmin-Cervélo, Astana headline 2012 Le Tour de Langkawi

    The Tour de Langkawi peloton rides past enourmous crowds on the roadside
    Article published:
    August 05, 2011, 11:08 BST
    Cycling News

    Main Coordinating Committee meeting confirms planning is on schedule

    The first 13 teams have been named for the 17th edition of Le Tour de Langkawi, which in 2012 will move to a later start date with the opening stage time trial kicking off proceedings on February 24.

    At the race's Main Coordinating Committee (MCC) meeting today, the parties reaffirmed their commitment to the cause and it is all systems go for the UCI 2.HC class race.

    Le Tour de Langkawi is set to see the return of at least two UCI Pro Teams, with American outfit Garmin-Cervélo and Asia's biggest cycling team, Pro Team Astana of Kazakhstan, among the 13 teams already confirmed for the race, which Youth and Sports Committee secretary general Dato' Mohid Mohamed announced will be expected to feature 22 teams in total.

    "All the states and government bodies involved are happy to be chosen and host venues for 2012 and have pledged to give their full support to ensure the success of Le Tour de Langkawi," said Dato' Mohid.

    "Le Tour de Langkawi's progress for the 2012 is on schedule, the states involved are called much earlier on this time so they can prepare in advance," he added.

    Preparation will be vital for the 2012 race, which will feature 10 stages and some interesting highlights, including an individual time trial in Putrajaya. This will be the first time since 2006 that an individual time trial has featured, held in Melacca.

    The historic state of Malacca will host two stage starts and a finish, while the local cycling hotbed of Terengganu will host the final three stage finishes and two starts.

    The race, which will cover a total distance of over 1400 kilometres, will also see the return of lengthy stages, topped by a 215.8 kilometre stage from Bentong to Kuantan on the seventh day of the...

  • Di Grégorio swaps Astana for Cofidis

    Rémy Di Gregorio enjoys his moment at Paris-Nice
    Article published:
    August 05, 2011, 11:20 BST
    Cycling News

    Boyer disappointed with Chavanel and Gallopin decisions

    Rémi Di Grégorio will leave Astana at the end of this season and move to Cofidis after signing a two-year deal with the French team on Thursday evening.

    “Rémi will have the goal of helping our leader [Rein Taaramae - ed], but will also have opportunities to play his own cards,” Cofidis manager Eric Boyer said, according to the French Federation website.

    The Cofidis deal marks a speedy return to France for Di Grégorio after just one season with Astana. The Frenchman had spent the previous six years of his professional career at FDJ.

    After his progress stalled towards the end of his time at FDJ, Di Grégorio enjoyed a resurgence of sorts at Astana, winning a stage of Paris-Nice and putting in a number of strong showings in the opening half of the season.

    Di Gregorio is Cofidis’ first signing since the transfer deadline lifted on August 1, but the team’s plans suffered a blow during the week when target Sylvain Chavanel announced that he would remain with Quick Step next season.

    A disappointed Boyer suggested that French champion Chavanel did not want the pressure of being sole leader at Cofidis, and preferred to share that burden with Tom Boonen and perhaps Philippe Gilbert in the new Quick Step-Omega Pharma amalgamation.

    “I think Sylvain is in quite a comfortable situation in Belgium alongside Boonen and Gilbert, who might perhaps have to stay,” Boyer said in L’Équipe. “Sylvain can play his hand without pressure, and that should suit him.”

    As well as missing...