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First Edition Cycling News, Friday, December 3, 2010

Date published:
December 03, 2010, 0:00 GMT
  • Kasper, Fouquet to Kuota Speed Kueens

    Romy Kasper (Equipe Noris Cycling)
    Article published:
    December 02, 2010, 12:17 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Austrian team signs two Germans

    Romy Kasper and Laura Fouquet will ride for the Kuota Speed Kueens in the coming year. The Austrian women's team announced that it has signed the two Germans.

    Kasper, 22, rode for Equipe Nürnberger Versicherung in 2009 and its follow-up Team Noris Cycling this year. She finished fourth in the U23 European road race championship this year.

    “I am happy that the contract has been signed, because I found it hard to find a good team, despite my fourth place in the European championship,” she told Rad-Net.de.

    "This will be my first time in a foreign team. The race calendar and the team are good. I am looking forward to the new challenge.”

    Fouquet, 19, rode this year for the Elite 2 Team Stuttgart. She had no wins but brought in a number of top ten placings and was nominated to the European junior championships.

    “I am looking forward to the challenges in a professional team,” she said.

  • Riders from Xacobeo Galicia to receive overdue wages

    Spanish team Xacobeo Galicia
    Article published:
    December 02, 2010, 19:21 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Galego Cycling Foundation agrees to pay four months of salaries

    The riders from the Xacobeo Galicia team will receive an early Christmas present from the Galego Cycling Foundation, which agreed today to pay months of back wages owed to the squad.

    The Galego Cycling Foundation issued a press release today stating that it would pay out the full amount owed under the contracts of the riders and staff from the Xacobeo Galicia team through the end of December, when the agreements end.

    The payment should fend off action by the UCI to release the bank guarantee which is set aside at the start of the year should a team organization fail to pay its riders.

    Riders had petitioned the UCI after going months without being paid.

    The Xacobeo Galicia team announced in October that it would not continue after it failed to find a title sponsor for the 2011 season. The team came under investigation by Spanish police after the doping cases of Vuelta a Espana runner-up Ezequiel Mosquera and David Garcia Dapena.

    While some of the riders have found places on other teams, the late withdrawal of the squad has left Gustavo Cesar Veloso, Gonzalo Rabuñal, Serafin Martinez, Gustavo Domínguez and Gustavo Rodriguez still in the hunt for teams.

  • Lewis re-ups with HTC-Highroad

    Craig Lewis (HTC-Columbia)
    Article published:
    December 02, 2010, 19:36 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    US rider to kick off seventh professional season

    American Craig Lewis has re-signed with the HTC-Highroad team for the 2011 season. It will be his seventh year as a professional, having begun with TIAA-CREF and Team Slipstream before moving to the Highroad squad in 2008.

    Lewis, 25, competed in his first Grand Tour in 2010 in support of sprinter Andre Greipel. His moment of glory came with an eighth place finish on stage 13, when he made the successful breakaway and attacked inside the final kilometres only to be caught just before the line.

    HTC-Highroad manager Rolf Aldag was pleased with Lewis's progress during his time with the team. "Craig showed some good improvement in 2010, with finishing the Giro d'Italia," Aldag said in a press release. "He made another step forward in his personal development and beside that he is a very reliable team player, always ready to help his team leaders in the interest of the team success.

    "We expect him to be one of our key riders in our team when it comes to long climbs in one-day classics and hard stages races. Craig was very close to winning a stage in the 2010 Giro, which gives him the confidence that he is able to stay with the best."

    Lewis's race programme for 2011 will include the Vuelta al Pais Vasco, the Ardennes classics week, a return to the Giro d'Italia, this time in support of star sprinter Mark Cavendish and general classification contender Konstantin Svitsov. He will also return to home soil to compete in the Tours of Colorado and Utah.

    "The team offers me the best tools to reach my goals and they always secure invites to all of the biggest races," said Lewis. "There isn't much more you could ask for. Specialized will be an exciting company to work with, and I really enjoy working with each of the staff we have. It is just a great group."
     

  • Davis targets Milan-San Remo

    The 2011 Astana team kit, modeled by Alexander Vinokourov
    Article published:
    December 02, 2010, 19:54 GMT
    By:
    Daniel Benson

    Astana unveils 2011 jersey

    Allan Davis has targeted Milan San Remo as his first major goal for the 2011 season but confirmed to Cyclingnews that the Australian nationals and the Tour Down Under would also be on his radar as he aims to carry his strong form into next season.

    Speaking from the Astana training camp in Italy, the Australian said that the team spirit within the squad was higher than ever.

    "There's a really good vibe in the team and we're really happy with how we've gelled as a team. It's nice to get together and build a bond on and off the bike," Davis told Cyclingnews..

    The team lost leader Alberto Contador to Saxo Bank - SunGuard for next season and like Alexandre Vinokourov, Davis believes that the loss has brought the team closer together.

    "In a way that's right. I didn't race with Contador last year and wasn't here at the training camp last year because I was a late signing so there's a lot of guys I never met last year," he said.

    "We've got a lot of experience and some talented youth coming through. Roman Kreuziger is a big one for the future. He's young but he's already been a pro for five years. I've got to know him here the camp."

    Davis will head back to Australia this Saturday and is set to compete in the Australian national road race before taking part in the Tour Down Under – an event he won in 2009 while riding for Quick Step.

    With a strong end to the 2010 season in which he won gold at the Commonwealth Games and bronze at the Worlds, Davis is aiming to carry his form into the new year.

    "The first major goal will be San Remo but before that there are some good races with Tour Down Under, the nationals and Tirreno-Adriatico. I'm just going into the season aiming to win as many races I can. It's nice to go into the off-season with the form I have and it'll be nice to keep the ball rolling into Amstel, after which I'll take a break. Up until then it's all winnable."

    After...

  • Kreuziger looking to Giro d'Italia podium

    Roman Kreuziger (Liquigas) held on to ninth on GC
    Article published:
    December 03, 2010, 8:15 GMT
    By:
    Susan Westemeyer

    Astana rider to skip Tour de France

    Roman Kreuziger is looking to land a podium place at the Giro d'Italia in his first year with Astana. The Czech says that if things go right, he could even end up on the top step.

    But that means that he won't be riding the Tour de France this year. Despite rumours that he would be the number two man at the Tour behind Alexander Vinokourov and ready to take over it the Kazakh falters, Kreuziger doesn't expect to ride the Tour until 2012.

    "My main race will be the Giro this year.,” he told Cyclingnews from the team training camp in Italy. “I want to do really well there and am convinced that I will.”

    "I am convinced that I can ride on to the podium and when everything works out right I think I can win it. I am very motivated.”

    But that means that the Tour will fall by the wayside. “Riding the Tour in addition would be too difficult. I will ride the Giro and Vuelta this year, and the Tour in 2012. The Giro is really hard this year and doing the Giro and Tour would just be too much,” said the 24-year-old.

    Things will change in 2012, though, when he expects to be Tour captain in Vinokourov's absence. “This is Vino's last season, I am a bit sorry that I won't ride the Tour with him, but that's cycling.”

    Kreuziger was the first big name to sign with Astana after it was announced that Alberto Contador was leaving. After five years with Liquigas, he needed a change. “ I still had a year on my contract with Liquigas, but I just didn't have the right morale to ride more races. I just wasn't happy there any more.”

    "I had offers from two or three teams, and after weighing all the pros and cons I decided Astana was the best fit.”

    He is now happy with that decision. “I feel really good here. I find the 'old-timers' on the team have accepted me really well, and taken me into their family,” he told...

  • Garmin-Cervelo: Days three and four at Cayman training camp

    Jonathan Vaughters brought his team to the Caymans
    Article published:
    December 03, 2010, 9:10 GMT
    By:
    Peter Hymas

    Team bonding continues with helicopters, Batmobiles and a public ride

    Grand Cayman continued to roll out the red carpet for the Garmin-Cervelo squad's first gathering of its 2011 roster. On Wednesday the team enjoyed time swimming with stingrays, exploring the island of Grand Cayman via a treasure hunt plus an exhilarating helicopter view of the Caribbean island with a former military pilot putting the aircraft through its paces.

    Another venue visited by the team was the Cayman Motor Museum, chock full of exotic, rare, and classic cars and motorcycles from the personal collection of Norwegian shipping magnate Andreas Ugland, who's called Grand Cayman home for 20+ years. While
    David Zabriskie was spellbound by the original Batmobile from the late 1960s Batman television show, world champion Thor Hushovd received a warm welcome from Ugland, a compatriot who happens to share the same hometown of Grimstad in Norway.

    On Thursday morning the team took part in the 'Ride with the Pros' event in which approximately 85 riders, comprised of sponsors and local cycling fans, rode for approximately two hours on quiet Grand Cayman roads. While the pace was predominantly leisurely, the team dropped the hammer in the latter portion of the return journey to their host hotel to give those along for the ride a lesson in speed and the art of riding in wide open terrain buffeted by strong crosswinds. The planned acceleration was public knowledge from the offset for those along on the ride but as one would expect the Garmin-Cervelo squad soon shed their companions and rode alone along the coast before dialling back the throttle and allowing many to catch back on for the final kilometres.

    "There's a lot of people on this island who hosted us and supported bringing the team here and part of our thank you was to do a bike ride with them," Jonathan Vaughters told Cyclingnews. "I have a big payroll these days and I can't just take 80 people off to the Cayman Islands. We've worked with Grand Cayman's Tom McCallum to drum...

  • Vinokourov says Sanquer's Astana exit not his decision

    blank
    Article published:
    December 03, 2010, 10:00 GMT
    By:
    Daniel Friebe

    Kazakh aiming for podium, yellow and polka-dot at 2011 Tour de France

    Alexandre Vinokourov today dismissed the suggestion that he helped force French manager Yvon Sanquer out of the Astana team. Speaking to Cyclingnews from Astana’s first training camp of the winter in Tuscany, Italy, Vinokourov claimed that reports to that effect were the result of a mistranslation.

    “I was quoted as talking about ‘a problem’ with Yvon, but that was a mistranslation from a Russian website,” the Kazakh said. “I wasn’t aware of any issue with Yvon. In any case, it’s not me that makes the decisions. Everyone’s always going on about ‘Vinokourov deciding this, Vinokourov deciding that’, but it’s not my team. We have a general sponsor, the president of the Kazakh federation and, now, a new manager in Giuseppe Martinelli. They make the decisions. I might give a bit of input if asked but that’s it. We’re very grateful for what Yvon did. He took on the team in difficult circumstances last year and led us to Tour victory. There was no ‘problem’.”

    The Tour victory to which Vinokourov referred of course came courtesy of Alberto Contador, and the 37-year-old has already spoken out in support of his embattled former team-mate. On Thursday, Vinokourov also revealed that he had called Contador at the end of October to offer “whatever help he needed”.

    “I told him that he could count on me for whatever he needed,” Vinokourov commented. “Kazakhstan was very proud of what he achieved in Astana’s colours. If he’d needed a team, we would happily have had him back, but we’d made him a good offer in the summer and he’d decided to go elsewhere.”

    Vinokourov also reiterated his earlier statements that the Contador case was a “hard one to judge”. “I don’t know if the substance came from meat or not,” he said. “I just hope that it turns out...

  • Sanchez to be both helper and captain at Rabobank

    Spanish TT champion Luis Leon Sanchez takes a drink
    Article published:
    December 03, 2010, 10:57 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Spaniard will help Gesink at Tour de France

    Luis Leon Sanchez wore his new Rabobank kit for the first time at the team's presentation earlier this week and hopes to help Robert Gesink onto the Tour de France podium in 2011. After four years with Caisse d'Epargne, the Spaniard moved to the Dutch team for the coming season.

    His first goal for the season will be Paris-Nice, where he hopes to top last-year's performance of finishing second overall. He won the race in 2009. Leading up to that, he will ride the Mallorca Challenge and Algarve.

    From there he will tackle the Tour of the Basque Country before heading to the Ardennes Classics: Amstel Gold Race, Flèche Wallonne and Liege-Bastogne-Liege. After the Dauphine Libere he will face the Tour de France, San Sebastian Classic and Vuelta a Espana.

    Sanchez has been able to train well so far, even in the cold Spanish winter. “The weather is good and I can use it to get good form,” he told biciciclismo.com.

    The plan is to go into Algarve in good form and then, “do even better in Paris-Nice.”

    The Spaniard has little experience with the Classics, but knows they are important to his new team. “The goal is to win at least one. At Rabobank we are fortunate that there are people such as Oscar Freire with experience in this type of racing, and we will have several options. We hope to have luck on our side.”

    At the Tour de France, Sanchez will mainly be a helper for captain Robert Gesink, but hopes to have his own chances as well. “"The Tour for 2011 is even harder than 2010. It is for a pure climber and we have one, Gesink. So I have to think of the needs of the team and although I will have freedom in key moments I have to think more about Gesink than of myself.  And I will have more freedom in the Vuelta, where I hope to do well."

    The 27-year-old showed support for his future captain, Gesink. “He is young and has shown he can be...