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First Edition Cycling News, Friday, July 29, 2011

Date published:
July 29, 2011, 1:00 BST
  • Giro di Padania route unveiled in Italy

    The inaugural Giro di Padania was presented in Milan.
    Article published:
    July 28, 2011, 21:20 BST
    By:
    Stephen Farrand

    New September race offers timely world championship preparation

    The organisers of the first edition of the Giro di Padania have unveiled the route of the six-day race, saying they hope to have Tour de France winner Cadel Evans (BMC) and current world champion Thor Hushovd (Garmin-Cervelo) on the start line on September 6.

    Padania is a name coined by the Italian Lega Nord political party to describe the northern part of Italy it hopes could one day become an autonomous region.

    The Giro di Padania will start in Paesana, south of Turin on Tuesday September 6 and end in Montecchio Maggiore near Venice on Saturday September 10 after crossing through the Lega Nord’s political heartland.

    The five-day race clashes with the Vuelta Espana that will be held between August 20 and September 11, the GP Quebec (September 9), GP Montreal (September 11) and Tour of Britain (September 11-18). However organisers hope to attract riders looking for an alternative build-up for the world championships. There is a strong possibility an Italian team consisting of professional riders under consideration for a place in the world championships will take part.

    “It’s a new stage race which has the potential to become an important race and earn a place amongst the biggest stage races in Europe,” Michelino Davico, the Italian Senator Lega Nord and key organiser, told Tuttobiciweb.it during the presentation in Milan.

    “We’ve got a strategic position in the calendar, just two weeks before the world championships in Copenhagen. We hope a lot of riders will work on their form on the roads of Padania. It’s a good occasion for riders who won’t race in Spain, perhaps Tour winner Cadel Evans, who has said he won’t ride in Spain, or perhaps the current world champion Thor Hushovd will...

  • USA Cycling adds criterium calendar

    Daniel Holloway (KBS) US Criterium Champion
    Article published:
    July 28, 2011, 22:51 BST
    By:
    Laura Weislo

    National calendar splits in two

    The top domestic races in the USA will be divided into two separate racing series in 2012, USA Cycling announced today. The National Racing Calendar will no longer include any of the single-day criteriums that make up half of the series. Those events will be on the newly introduced National Criterium Calendar (NCC).

    USA Cycling said it expects the NCC "to include the top dozen or so marquee American criterium events".

    Unlike the demonstration-only post-Tour de France criteriums in Europe, the American criterium races are hotly contested events which, because of the relative ease of hosting the event when compared with road races and the spectator-friendly nature, have become the most predominant type of bicycle race in the country.

    Micah Rice, USA Cycling's Managing Director of National Events explained the rationale behind the decision to Cyclingnews. "We created the criterium calendar to do a few things: to create a manageable calendar of races that teams both small and big can follow, to create a series of races that have the same teams invited, and to create a showcase of the American-style racing that is quite popular here."

    The UCI and USA Cycling have been working over the past year to come to a compromise which will allow the sport's top level teams to compete in some national-level events. By UCI rules, ProTeams and Professional Continental squads are not allowed to race non-UCI events. However, a deal was struck this year to allow the top teams to race criteriums that have been submitted to the UCI's criterium calendar.

    ProTeam, Pro Continental, Continental and amateur squads will be able to compete in the NCC, according to Rice, while the women's fields will be open to registered elite...

  • Changing the South American way

    The peloton leaves Rio de Janiero on stage 1 of the Tour do Rio
    Article published:
    July 29, 2011, 1:30 BST
    By:
    Jane Aubrey

    Conditions not ideal but UCI commissaire predicts improvements for 2016

    The UCI Chief Commissaire at the Tour do Rio, Adrian Levesque, says that difficulties experienced during the opening stage of the 2.2 race are just "part of racing in South America" but the time will come with the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janiero on the horizon when aspects of race organisation need to change.

    Stage 1 from Rio de Janiero to Angra dos Reis on Wednesday was plagued by roads in poor condition and several security concerns at the back of the Tour caravan. The run into the finish in Angra dos Reis was marred by a speed bump 100 metres from the line, which second place-getter Rafael Andriato (Petroli Firenze) blamed for him not topping the stage.

    Levesque suggested that the obstacle "was an issue which may have been overlooked on the organiser’s behalf but we can assure that won’t be the case on any other day."

    The road taken by race organisers was one of three out of Rio de Janiero and yet, despite the issues, was the best option for the Tour do Rio to make use of on its parcours.

    "We talked with a lot of the riders from Europe and North America about the conditions of the road and what to expect, once again it comes back to we won’t see that elsewhere but in South America it’s commonplace," Levesque explained to Cyclingnews. "You work with them, you can’t go out and tell them, you’re wrong, we have to work with them and try to make it better and it’s a long process."

    Many riders, particularly those from overseas commented on the state of the roads following the first stage. Tyler Wren from US team Jamis Sutter Home was more diplomatic than most.

    "I’ve raced in South America before so I know it’s always dangerous but we race criteriums in the US at night time with lots of turns so I’m used to being heads up for the whole race but it’s just a matter of being heads up...

  • Interview: Morton eyes Garmin-Cervelo upgrade in the future

    Lachlan Morton (Chipotle) looking pretty satisfied with his second place finish today
    Article published:
    July 29, 2011, 3:34 BST
    By:
    Kirsten Frattini

    19-year old phenom enjoys international success against veteran Pros

    Australia’s Lachlan Morton, 19, turned heads after winning Canada’s prestigious Junior race, the Tour de l’Abitibi last year and riding into a seventh place overall at the Tour of Utah. This year, he took his young career one step further and rode into a sixth place overall at the UCI 2.HC Le Tour de Langkawi in Malaysia. He also made a distinct impact on the US domestic racing scene for his climbing prowess during many of the National Racing Calendar (NRC) stage races including the Tour of the Gila and the Cascade Cycling Classic. Now in his second season with Jonathan Vaughters’ UCI Continental Chipotle Development team, he is hoping to make the jump to its ProTeam counterpart Garmin-Cervelo in the near future.

    Cyclingnews spoke with Morton following the Cascade Cycling Classic held in Bend, Oregon last week, where he placed second overall to the veteran Grand Tour contender from RealCyclist.com Francisco Mancebo, where he also secured the event’s Best Young Rider competition. The six-day race was intended as a precursor to more important races at the UCI 2.1 Volta a Portugal from August 4-15 and the UCI 2.1 USA Pro Cycling Challenge held from August 22-28 in Colorado. However to his disappointment, the UCI made a last-minute decision to prohibit the development team from competing at the USA Pro Cycling Challenge due to its affiliation with the participating team Garmin-Cervelo.

    Cyclingnews: When did you start bike racing, how did you get involved in the sport and have you had a strong support network of family, friends and coaches, during your career?

    Lachlan...

  • Movistar and Lampre-ISD ready for San Sebastian

    Damiano Cunego is satisfied with his performance in this year's Tour de France.
    Article published:
    July 29, 2011, 4:51 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Cunego and Rojas looking for some glory after Tour de France

    The Clásica San Sebastian will be raced on Saturday and a number of teams have now announced their final line-ups. Movistar and Lampre-ISD are both bringing strong squads to the Spanish one-day classic.

    Damiano Cunego (Lampre-ISD) will look to improve on last year's result of 25th as he comes off a respectable finish of 7th at the Tour de France. The former Giro d'Italia winner leads an all round team including key Tour domestiques, Leonardo Bertagnolli and Matteo Bono.

    "Cunego is our main man, but I think that the whole team will be very competitive," said director sportif Bruno Vicino. "We've brought a lot of riders straight from the Tour de France and I think everyone will be at a top quality level of condition."

    Movistar will pin their hopes on Jose Joaquin Rojas or potenitally Rui Costa. Rojas finished second in the points classification at the Tour de France but was unable to get past Philippe Gilbert (Omega Pharma-Lotto) or Mark Cavendish (HTC-Highroad) for a stage win. Rui Costa managed to win the stage to Super-Besse and both he and Rojas will be hungry to show off their form in Spain.

    Movistar for Clasica San Sebastian: José Joaquín Rojas (Spa), Rui Costa (Por), Imanol Erviti (Spa), Sergio Pardilla (Spa), David López (Spa),

  • Boonen to test himself in Tour of Poland

    Tom Boonen (Quick Step) heads onto the podium at Tour of Belgium.
    Article published:
    July 29, 2011, 10:13 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Quick Step rider building up for Vuelta and Worlds

    After having had to abandon the Tour de France because of a crash, Tom Boonen is ready to take on the second part of the season with a view to the World Championships in Copenhagen, Denmark, in September. The Quick Step rider is due to start at the Tour of Poland this Sunday, and hopes to score a stage victory while further fine-tuning his form.

    "I've been able to train well these last ten days," Boonen told Sportwereld. "I'm not affected anymore by my crash in the Tour. My condition was already good in France and now I'll try to refine it. I feel very good on the bike."

    The Belgian crashed on his head during stage five and suffered a concussion, forcing him to withdraw on stage seven with a severe headache. Now, he wants to make amends for lost opportunities.

    "I want to test myself and try to win a stage," Boonen said about his participation in the Tour of Poland. "On the climbs, I want to hold on for longer than I normally do, to see how far I can get. I started out as a pro in the 2000 Tour of Poland. It's an important competition in my preparation for the Vuelta and the Worlds."

    Boonen especially hopes to bid for success at the week-long race as all its stages finish on city-centre circuits. "I've had a look at the route and I noticed that almost all the stages that are adapted to my skills, end on a city circuit. On these types of parcours it's important to have a good pedal flow and to never get caught off guard," he added.

    The 30-year-old will be joined in Poland by the following teammates: Dario Cataldo, Francesco Chicchi, Marc de Maar, Davide Malacarne,...

  • Pro Continental licence not yet in sight for Rasmussen's team

    Michael Blaudzun, Christina Hembo and Michael Rasmussen
    Article published:
    July 29, 2011, 10:57 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Rasmussen wants upgrade to ride Giro d'Italia

    Michael Rasmussen and Christina Watches-Onfone are still searching for sponsorship money to enable them to move up to Professional Continental status in the coming year. The Danish team currently has a Professional licence, but hope to move up in order to become eligible for a wild-card invitation to next year's Giro d'Italia, which starts in Denmark.

    “We must send a lot of forms within the next two weeks to even get permission to move up as a Pro Continental Team,” Rasmussen told sporten.dk. “But before we can send them, we must be sure that we have some sponsors who stand behind us in an economic category that corresponds to the team's status. There is no need to send forms off knowing that we do not have money in the bank.”

    The team will ride in the Tour of Denmark, starting next week, and hopes to do well enough there to attract the missing sponsors.

    “It can really happen from one day to the next, that someone comes up with ten million Krone for me. But finding the person or business is not easy, and it's probably not something that just happens over night.”

    Rasmussen is working hard towards his goal of riding in the Giro next year. “But it is something that is being worked on in the wings. If there were 30 hours available per day, so I'd probably work a little more.”

  • Fränk Schleck targeting San Sebastian

    Cadel Evans (BMC) with .Andy and Frank Schleck (Leopard Trek)
    Article published:
    July 29, 2011, 12:13 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Leopard Trek brothers reveal they will skip the Vuelta to race in Colorado

    Fränk and Andy Schleck were the stars of the Gala Tour de France criterium in Luxembourg on Thursday evening, with the two brothers taking first and third, while Frenchman Thomas Voeckler (Europcar) finished between them in second place.

    The Schlecks rode two other criteriums immediately after the Tour de France but revealed to L’Equipe they are feeling the fatigue after fighting so hard for victory in the three-week race. However Fränk Schleck will lead the Leopard Trek team at the Clasica San Sebastian on Saturday and hopes to have kept some of his Tour de France form for the hilly Basque classic.

    "We're very, very tired. But I want to keep the pressure on until the Clasica San Sebastian,” he told L’Equipe before the criterium. “My form from the Tour de France can’t have disappeared and I hope to have the freshness needed to do something, even if it’s in a complicated and nervous race.”

    No Vuelta this year

    Last year both Andy and Fränk rode the Vuelta Espana. Fränk finished fifth overall but Andy was sent home from the race by Saxo Bank team manager Bjarne Riis after going out drinking after a stage.

    Frânk revealed that both he and Andy will skip this year’s Vuelta and instead ride the USA ProCycling Challenge in Colorado. The seven-day race will be held between August 22-28.

    Andy rode the Amgen Tour of California in May but this will be Fränk’s first race trip to the USA this season.

    The organisers of the USA ProCycling Challenge are expected to reveal details of team rosters on Friday....