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First Edition Cycling News, Friday, June 25, 2010

Date published:
June 25, 2010, 1:00 BST
  • Windsor wins large in UK

    Dean Windsor (Rapha-Condor-Sharp) wins in Woking.
    Article published:
    June 25, 2010, 11:13 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Australian takes final Halfords Tour Series round

    Rapha-Condor-Sharp rider Dean Windsor jumped to a stirring win in the final round of the Halfords Tour Series held in Woking, England last night as the series drew to a close.

    The Australian has been a part of the Continental team's assault of the ever-growing series, that highlights some of England's favourite cities in a teams-based format run over 10 races.

    He jumped clear of a 10-man break in the closing two laps around Woking to record his biggest win of the season thus far, demonstrating the strength many know he has but which has been on limited display in 2010.

    "It's a great way to finish, it's been a long time coming," said Windsor. "You knock on the door each time but you've really got to race the perfect race because it's such a quality field.

    "Tonight was my night and it's good to finish it off with such a big win."

    It wrapped up a mixed series for his Rapha-Condor-Sharp outfit, which experienced several terrible rounds that ultimately cost it the overall team win - that honour went to Motorpoint-Marshall's Pasta, the squad of evergreen sprinter Malcolm Elliot.

    Windsor signed for the team from his previous squad, Drapac-Porsche, in late 2009 and joined fellow Australian Zak Dempster as workhorses for the likes of British national road race champion Kristian House and Dean Downing.

    This latest win is a welcome relief for Windsor, who has "knocked on the door" of victory several times this season but narrowly missed out.

  • Flaminia deny Riccò transfer rumours

    Riccardo Riccò (Ceramica Flaminia) signs on for his first race since serving a two-year ban for doping
    Article published:
    June 25, 2010, 11:33 BST
    By:
    Barry Ryan

    But rider’s agent says “nothing is impossible”

    Ceramica Flaminia have denied reports that Riccardo Riccò could make a mid-season switch to Quick Step, although his agent has refused to rule out that the controversial Italian rider could change teams.

    The possibility of Riccò leading the Belgian squad at the Vuelta a Espana was first suggested by La Gazzetta dello Sport. However a statement from Ceramica Flaminia manager Roberto Marrone denied receiving any offers. “It is not true that there are negotiations in progress. As of today, nobody has made any proposal to us. Riccardo is a rider tied to Ceramica Flaminia and to other important sponsors now and in 2011. Furthermore, we have no meeting planned with Riccò to discuss this matter,” Marrone said.

    Riccò’s agent, Alex Carera, sees things a little differently. Quoted by Cyclismag.fr, he said, “Nothing is impossible. Riccò signed for Flaminia with the guarantee of riding the Giro, and the team was not invited. On Friday, I want to hear what the future of the team will be. If there is no guarantee that next year Ricco can ride the big races, we will terminate the contract.”

    Riccò returned to the peloton in Flaminia colours in March following a two-year suspension for the use of CERA. He is among the favourites for Saturday’s very hilly Italian Road Race Championship around Conegliano. Speaking in Friday's Gazzetta dello Sport, he noted that “the race is long and I have the base fitness, even though I haven’t ridden a race longer than 250km for two years, since the national championships in Bergamo [before his subsequent positive test at the 2008 Tour de France].”

    He views Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas), Giovanni Visconti (ISD-Neri) and Matteo Carrara (Vacansoleil) as favourites, but sounded a warning of his own. “In 2004 I won the Italian under-23 title, and beforehand I had more or less the same sensations as now, I wasn’t...

  • Time trial titles around the world

    The elite men's podium (l-r): Sylvain Chavanel, Nicolas Vogondy and Laszlo Bodrogi.
    Article published:
    June 25, 2010, 11:52 BST
    By:
    Susan Westemeyer

    A wrap-up of the fastest in the ride against the clock

    France

    Nicolas Vogondy of Bbox Bouygues Telecom took his first national time trial title, ahead of Sylvain Chavanel (Quick Step) and Laszlo Bodrogi (Katusha). Vogondy, who has twice won the road title, missed much of the season due to a heart arrhythmia problem.

    "I am maybe in the best shape of my career," said Vogondy, who won a mountain stage at the Dauphiné earlier this month. "I came here for a podium placing and I'm very happy to have the best place."

    Jeannie Longo-Ciprelli took her 57th national title, and her ninth time trial title. The 51-year-old covered the24.7 kilometres over a minute faster than her closest competitors, Edwige Pitel and Christel Ferrier-Bruneau.

    "I've trained hard for this since December. That was my main goal,” she said.


    Denmark

    It was all Team Saxo Bank at the Danish time trial, as teammates Jakob Fuglsang, Alex Rasmussen and Michael Mørkøv filled the podium. “Naturally, I'm happy and proud to be able to fill the podium with our riders,” said Riis. “Alex and Jakob are going strong as expected and they really delivered a great performance today."

    “But it is truly remarkable to see Michael (Mørkøv) is now among the three best riders in the country. He did a great job and it only confirms that our work with the riders pays off,” he added.

    On the women's side, Annika Langvad finished nearly two minutes ahead of Trine Schmidt and Maria Grandt Petersen on the 25km course.

     

    Sweden

    Sweden was also in Saxo Bank's hands, as Gustav Erik Larsson blasted his way to his third title. He finished over two and a half minutes ahead of his nearest rival, Sebastian Balck, with Frederik Kessiakof of Garmin-Transitions only seconds back in third.

    HTC-Columbia's Emila Fahlin claimed her third national time trial title at the...

  • World Champion Evans leads BMC in maiden Tour de France

    Cadel Evans (BMC) finished fifth overall
    Article published:
    June 25, 2010, 12:38 BST
    By:
    Susan Westemeyer

    Hincapie and Ballan among those supporting Australian

    Cadel Evans will lead BMC Racing Team in the Tour de France, supported by US national champion George Hincapie and former world champion Alessandro Ballan.

    "The best result for the BMC Racing Team is looking to the highest step on the podium," said Directeur Sportif John Lelangue. "With Cadel, we come to the Tour clearly with one objective – one leader. All of the team will be focusing on supporting him."

    The rest of the team is equally strong: Brent Bookwalter (USA), Marcus Burghardt (GER), Mathias Frank (SUI), Karsten Kroon (NED), Steve Morabito (SUI) and Mauro Santambrogio (ITA). Four of the riders on the squad have won Tour stages; Evans, Hincapie, Burghardt and Kroon.

    World Champion Evans, 33, has been on the final Tour podium twice, finishing second in 2007 and 2008. He was 30th last year, 45 minutes down.

    This season he has won the Flèche Wallonne and finished fifth overall in the Giro d'Italia, winning a stage and the jerseys for the points and Azzuri d'Italia classifications. He wore the leader's jersey for one stage.

    The 2010 season has started well, and he hopes that it becomes even better. "Leading into the Tour, things seem to be coming together," Evans said. "For me, the Giro was a bit more fatiguing than I expected, possibly because of the health problems I encountered.”

    American George Hincapie will be making his 15th tour start, and warned of the cobblestones in the first week of the Tour. "There are cobblestones in the mix and small roads and wind and possible bad weather conditions, so it can be very hectic," he said.

    Ballan missed the Giro d'Italia as the team had placed him on inactive status due to concerns raised in the Mantova doping investigation regarding his former Lampre-Farnese Vini team. "I was most worried about not returning in time to be selected for the Tour de France," Ballan said. "I had hoped to help Cadel at the Giro but was unable to...

  • Bodrogi has place in French Worlds team in his sights

    Laszlo Bodrogi (Team Katusha) on the podium after finishing the French time trial championship in third place.
    Article published:
    June 25, 2010, 12:55 BST
    By:
    Jean-François Quénet

    Former Hungarian collects his first medal at French championship

    Laszlo Bodrogi (Katusha) has become a serious candidate for the French team at September's World Championships in Melbourne, following his bronze medal at the French time trial championship on Thursday. He was the warm favourite after his ninth place in the Dauphiné's long time trial two weeks ago, but Nicolas Vogondy and Sylvain Chavanel rode significantly faster than him on the circuit of Chantonnay in the Vendée. Nonetheless, his ride will surely have stoked the attention of French manager Laurent Jalabert.

     “I still lack power”, said Bodrogi, who had a major crash that resulted in a bad fracture of his tibia and fibula during the 2008 Tour of Germany and left him out of action for eight months. “I need to do some work in the mountains to get back to the level that I had in 2008. I’m a bit disappointed that it’s taking so long.”

    In 2007, Bodrogi was second to Fabian Cancellara at the World Championships in Stuttgart and he won the Chrono des Nations. He is not on the Katusha team for the Tour de France, so he will train alone in the mountains in preparation for the second part of the season.
    “I’m looking for a team for next year”, he said openly after the French championship. “As you know, Katusha is sometimes stressful.” He received technical support from Quick Step for the time trial on Thursday.

    At the age of 33, the former Crédit Agricole rider would welcome a return to a French team. He’s been officially a Frenchman for two years now but this was his first participation in the French championship. He was the Hungarian road race champion in 2000 and 2006, as well as being time trial champion on ten occasions between 1997 and 2008. “I only used to go back to Hungary for the national championships”, said Bodrogi, who grew up as a cyclist in Besançon in eastern France after his father moved there to work as a...

  • Rock Racing's Ball said to be subject of search warrant

    Michael Ball runs Rock
    Article published:
    June 25, 2010, 14:26 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Possible federal investigation of doping on the team

    Michael Ball, owner of Rock Racing Team, is named in a sealed federal search warrant, according to the New York Daily News. The Food and Drug Administration is said to be investigating the possible use of performance-enhancing drugs use by members of the team.

    Rock Racing Team existed from 2007 to 2009 as a Continental or Professional Continental team. Ball hired many riders who had been suspended for doping or had been associated with doping, such as Tyler Hamilton, Oscar Sevilla and Santiago Botero. The team was known for its “bad boy” image.

    This year the team announced that it would seek a Continental license from the International Cycling Union as a Mexican team, and said that it had signed Floyd Landis. The UCI refused to grant the team any licence at all, and Landis dissolved his contract.  It is now operating as an amateur team.

    It is not immediately clear whether the search warrant is connected to the FDA's investigation stemming from Landis' recent claims of doping within the peloton. However, FDA investigator Jeff Novitzky, who conducted the BALCO investigation and is said to be leading the Landis investigation, helped obtain the search warrant, the newspaper claims.

    The New York Daily news further claims that the government's interest in Ball predates the Landis investigation.

    Ball has consistently said that his team rides clean. "I was in the sport for three years and I saw what went on," Ball said. "But not on my team, because I wouldn't allow it."
     

  • Katusha name Tour de France line-up

    Team Katusha put in a solid, fourth placed ride.
    Article published:
    June 25, 2010, 15:04 BST
    By:
    Barry Ryan

    McEwen to start eleventh Tour

    The Russian Katusha team has announced its selection for the upcoming Tour de France. Deprived of the services of Kim Kirchen owing to his heart problems at the recent Tour de Suisse, the team’s best chance of a high overall placing may well come in the shape of former white jersey winner Vladimir Karpets, 14th overall at the Giro d'Italia this year.

    Robbie McEwen is listed to start his eleventh Tour de France and will be looking to add to his haul of twelve stage wins, having missed out on participating last year. With the race passing through his adopted home of Belgium in the opening days, the Australian will not be lacking in motivation. He turned 38 on Thursday but has told Cyclingnews that he is determined that this year's Tour de France will not be his last.

    Apart from Karpets and McEwen, Katusha will be looking to the wily Sergei Ivanov to hunt out opportunities on transitional stages just as he did in Colmar last year. With recent World Championship medallists Alexander Kolobnev and good climber Joaquim Rodriguez also in their ranks, the Russian squad should be capable of animating the race on a variety of terrains.

    The full line-up is: Pavel Brutt, Sergei Ivanov, Joaquim Rodriguez, Vladimir Karpets, Robbie McEwen, Alexander Kolobnev, Stijn Vandenbergh, Eduard Vorganov and Alexandr Pliuschin. Sport Directors: Serge Parsani, Dmtri Konychev.
     

  • 2010 National Championships index page

    Stevens tops the podium
    Article published:
    June 27, 2010, 14:48 BST
    By:
    Greg Johnson

    Quick links to national championships around the globe

    A packed weekend of national road race championships has awarded the various national champions’ jersey for another year. And just like every year, there were some surprise winners and spectacular racing.

    Most time trial events were held last week, with the women's and men's U23 and Elite road race events on either Saturday or Sunday. Now clothing manufacturers around the world are busy making new kit for the riders who will be decked out in their national colours at the Tour de France and the Giro d'Italia Internazionale Femminile which begins on Friday.

    The God of Thunder soloed in for the Norwegian national title. The Schleck brothers divided up the national jerseys amongst themselves in Luxembourg, with older brother Fränk winning the road race. He out sprinted younger brother Andy, who won the time trial title.

    Stijn Devolder silenced his critics in Belgium and in his own Quick Step team by winning the Belgian title. Jose Ivan Gutierrez of Caisse d'Epargne was another who used a solo attack to win a national title, his second after 2001. Niki Terpstra was the surprise winner of the Dutch men's race, Nicki Sorensen of Saxo Bank topped the podium in Denmark and Christian Knees was the surprise winner in Germany. Charlotte Becker of Cervelo TestTeam took the women's title in Germany ahead of Judith Arndt (HTC-Columbia).

    Thomas Voeckler (BBox Bouygues Telecom) won the French title and will wear the red, white and blue jersey at the Tour de France.
    For the women, 20-year-old Melodie Lesuer soloed in to victory nearly two minutes ahead of Amelie Rivat, also 20. Their ages added together wouldn't equal Jeannie Longo-Ciprelli's 51 years, but she took third place.

    In Britain, Welshman Geraint Thomas led home a Team Sky 1-2-3 on a tough course. Talented first year professional Peter Kennaugh was second and Ian Stannard was third. Emma Pooley of Cervelo TestTeam won a crash-marred women's race, continually...