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First Edition Cycling News, Friday, July 30, 2010

Date published:
July 30, 2010, 1:00 BST
  • Veikkanen to Lotto

    Jussi Veikkanen (Française Des Jeux)
    Article published:
    July 29, 2010, 8:10 BST
    Cycling News

    Finnish rider leaves FDJ for Belgian team

    According to several French news outlets, Jussi Veikkanen is reported to have signed with Belgian team Omega Pharma-Lotto for next year, with another season as an option after completing 2011. The Finnish Française des Jeux rider will move to Belgium, re-joining his former team-mate Philippe Gilbert.

    A pro rider since 2005, the Finnish champion won a stage in the Tour Mediterranéen this year, after finishing second in the event last season. He also placed third in the Tour du Haut-Var and ninth in the Tour Down Under in 2009.

  • Chicchi signs with Quick Step

    Francesco Chicchi (Liquigas-Doimo) winds down after his win
    Article published:
    July 29, 2010, 13:58 BST
    Cycling News

    Liquigas sprinter set to join Belgian team

    Francesco Chicchi is reported to have signed a deal with Quick Step. According to Sportwereld, the Liquigas sprinter is set to leave the Italian squad and return to Patrick Lefevere's outfit, for which he rode for in 2006.

    Chicchi has seven victories to his name this season, including stage wins in the Tours of Qatar and California. The 2002 U23 world champion has accounted for many victories in week-long stage races throughout his career and could also be used as a lead-out man for Tom Boonen.

    Chicchi's arrival coincides with the probable departure of  Wouter Weylandt from Quick Step. Another good sprinter Lefevere has shown interest in is Sébastien Chavanel, the brother of Tour de France stage winner Sylvain.

  • Mental visualisation boosts Fédrigo’s potential

    Pierrick Fedrigo (Bbox Bouygues Telecom) claims the stage win in Pau.
    Article published:
    July 29, 2010, 16:10 BST
    Peter Cossins

    Bbox rider reveals how sports psychologist helped him win

    While his Bbox Bouygues Telecom team-mates celebrated Thomas Voeckler’s stage victory at Bagnères-de-Luchon, Pierrick Fédrigo was, he later admitted, on the verge of breakdown. The Bbox puncheur felt his chance of adding to his two previous Tour stage wins had gone. The following day’s stage to Pau offered him one final chance for victory, and the prospect of failing to take advantage of that last opportunity was shredding his nerves.

    This is where former football coach turned sports psychlogist Denis Troch came in. Introduced to Fédrigo earlier in the season by his Bbox team-mate Freddy Bichot, Troch has been tutoring a growing list of clients in positive visualisation techniques. In Fédrigo’s case, Troch has worked on boosting the Bbox leader’s often fragile temperament by encouraging him to focus on "strong moments" in his career, such as his sprint victory over Franco Pellizotti on last year’s Tour stage into Tarbes.

    "He visualises a positive image of an event that he has already experienced and summons up that image for two minutes every day, thinking about it when he’s going up a climb during training," Troch told L’Equipe. "While he’s focused on that image he doesn’t think about physical pain at all. In order to conquer his nerves before a race, I’ve given him techniques that enable him to switch from one emotional state to another. He thinks of a positive image, such as being with his family or on the beach."

    Fédrigo acknowledges that working with Troch has improved his racing. "Denis manages to get me to let go of things that used to block me mentally. I think of scenarios that I’ve already experienced that boosted my confidence and tell myself that I’m going to reproduce them, and that gives me confidence," Fédrigo explained.

    The best example of this prior to the Tour came in March’s...

  • Cervelo team signs two stagiaires

    Article published:
    July 29, 2010, 16:13 BST
    Cycling News

    Wetterhall and Teklehaymanot join until end of season

    Alexander Wetterhall and Daniel Teklehaymanot have signed with Cervelo TestTeam as stagiaires for the remainder of the season.

    Wetterhall, 24, and from Sweden, started his career as a mountain biker before moving to the road in 2008. During his first full season on tarmac, he became the national champion in the individual time trial.

    This year, he has already taken the overall in the Irish tour FDB Insurance Rás and a stage victory in the Ringerike Grand Prix.

    His first race in Cervelo colours will be the Tour of Denmark, which starts August 4.

    Teklehaymanot hails from Eritrea and the 21-year-old is tipped by the team as one of the most promising African riders. In 2008, he won his first national title in the road race and also claimed victory in the individual time trial (category U23) at the African Championships.

    In 2009, he took two stage victories at the Tour of Eritrea and finished sixth overall in the Tour de l’Avenir. The fact that he is racing at all is a success within itself after he underwent heart surgery earlier in his career. He was diagnosed with a serious tachycardia, but after a successful surgery he was able to start training within a few months.

    This season he has a stage win in the Coupe de Nations Ville Saguenay to his credit and took second place in the Berner Rundfahrt. His first appearance for Cervelo will be at the Chateauroux Classic de l’Indre Trophée Fenioux in France at the end of August.

  • CONI recommends two years for Pellizotti

    Franco Pellizotti (Liquigas) on the podium.
    Article published:
    July 29, 2010, 20:01 BST
    Cycling News

    Italian faces suspension under blood passport rules

    The Italian Olympic Committee's Anti-doping prosecutor has officially recommended a two-year suspension for Franco Pellizotti for violation of the WADA Anti-doping code.

    The 32-year-old was provisionally suspended by his Liquigas-Doimo team in May after the UCI announced that it had detected abnormal values in the profile of Pellizotti's blood passport.

    The irregularities date back to a sample taken after he placed second in the 2009 Giro d'Italia and before the 2009 Tour de France, where Pellizotti won the mountains classification and was voted most aggressive rider.

    He learned of the UCI's results in May just before this year's Giro d'Italia.

    The CONI also recommended Pellizotti be responsible for costs associated with managing the result.

    Pellizotti has insisted that he has not doped, and his lawyers claim there were only two irregular values out of 22 samples, one in November 2008 and a second on July 2, 2009.

    The case now goes to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

  • Chavanel to miss San Sebastian

    Sylvain Chavanel (Quick Step) was super happy with his second stage win.
    Article published:
    July 29, 2010, 21:21 BST
    Cycling News

    Quick Step rider sidelined by infected toe

    Frenchman Sylvain Chavanel, who wore the Tour de France's maillot jaune and won two stages this year, has been forced to skip the upcoming ProTour race Clasica San Sebastian due to an infected toe.

    The Quick Step rider suffered toward the end of the Tour from the injury to his right toe, and he and the team decided against his participation in the Spanish race this weekend so as not to jeopardize the rest of his season.

    "On Tuesday I rode in a criterium, which is a short race that lasts about an hour, but the pain was too strong and the foot swelled up, so at the moment it's unthinkable that I can take part in a high level race like San Sebastian," said Chavanel.

    He was due to support the race's defending champion, teammate Carlos Barredo, in the Basque classic, but will instead be replaced by Italian Mauro Facci.

    "It's too bad Chavanel will be absent, he could have been one of the favourites for this race and he's always been an important rider in the economy of the squad," said Quick Step director Davide Bramati. "As far as the course, in the final the Alto de Jaizkibel and the Alto de Arkale can be very decisive, but as always we'll have to be on the lookout for faraway breaks and pay close attention to the wind, which often influences the race."

    Quick Step for Clasica San Sebastian: Carlos Barredo, Jerome Pineau, Kevin De Weert, Dries Devenyns, Mauro Facci, Francesco Reda, Jurgen Van de Walle, Maarten Wynants.

  • Fränk and Andy Schleck to leave Saxo Bank

    Frank and Andy Schleck will swap jerseys after the Luxembourg championships.
    Article published:
    July 29, 2010, 22:11 BST
    Daniel Benson

    Updated: Tour runner-up and brother leave Saxo Bank cycling team

    Fränk and Andy Schleck have officially announced that they will not be riding for Bjarne Riis' Saxo Bank cycling team next season. Instead the brothers will ride for a Luxembourg-based team in 2011.

    For months the pair were rumoured to be setting up a team based in their homeland, while Riis, struggling to find a backer for next season, had finally announced at the Tour de France that a new sponsor had been found to replace Saxo Bank, who are set to leave the sport at the end of the year.

    In a text message to Cyclingnews, Andy wrote, "It's official that we will not be riding with Bjarne next season."

    "We're not going to stay. We're going to leave at the end of the year. All the doubts and news about us racing in the same team as Contador are now finished. We're not going to continue."

    In June, Saxo Bank directeur sportif Kim Andersen left the team to work on creating a new ProTour squad. Within a week former Riis employee, Brian Nygaard, left Team Sky, with speculation mounting that the Schlecks had hired him as a team manager.

    A week after leaving Sky, Nygaard issued a statement: "The economic foundation for the team for next year is in place and now that I have hired Kim Andersen as senior director of sports, the sports management is also as strong as it can be. We may not yet say anything concrete about the sponsors or riders who will ride for our new team."

    Tonight, Schleck ended all the speculation after competing a criterium in the center of Luxembourg. "We can't say where we're going but of course there's a team in Luxembourg coming up but we made our mind up and Bjarne knows."

    "It's been a fantastic five years for me and eight for Fränk and I learnt a lot in that time. I'll still stay friends with Bjarne but this is the end of the road for us as a team."

    Before the Tour, Riis was aware that he was set to lose two of his biggest stars. "I can not imagine a new Luxembourg...

  • Peiper holds high hopes for San Sebastian

    Michael Rogers (HTC-Columbia) at the finish at Morzine-Avoriaz
    Article published:
    July 30, 2010, 2:28 BST
    Cycling News

    HTC-Columbia director says course suits Sivtsov

    HTC-Columbia might not have been as competitive on general classification at the Tour de France as hoped, but sport director Allan Peiper believes the Grand Tour has two of his riders in excellent form for this weekend’s Clásica San Sebastian in Spain. Peiper believes changes made to the race’s course will play into its hands, with the team aiming to get Michael Rogers or Kanstantsin Sivtsov into a winning position.

    "They've completely restructured the last part of the course, with a double ascent of the Jaizkebel climb, and that makes it far more likely we see a move of a just a few riders at the head of the race staying away,” said Peiper. “For Michael Rogers and Kanstantsin Sivtsov, that's good, because they've come out of the Tour de France with that extra racing form you always get from racing a major stage race.”

    Peiper likened the revamped finish to that of the Giro d’Italia’s stage eight in 2009, where Sivtsov claimed a 21 second victory after the 208 kilometre trip to Bergamo. Rogers also finished well on that stage at last year’s Giro, crossing the line in fourth behind Edvald Boasson Hagen and Danilo Di Luca.

    “Kanstantsin is in particularly good shape,” he said. “He always keeps his cool in tricky finishes, too, and this very hilly new finale is a bit like the stage of the Tour of Italy he won a couple of years back.

    “We know the Spanish will be very motivated - they always are for San Sebastian,” he added. “But we'll be trying as hard as we can to get in those late breaks so we've got a fighting chance."

    Peiper expects the hot, humid conditions to play a factor in this year’s race, but the squad has plenty of firepower in its ranks. After playing a crucial role in Rogers’ Tour of California victory Tejay Van Garderen will join the squad for Saturday’s race while New Zealand’s Hayden Roulston will...