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First Edition Cycling News, Friday, November 19, 2010

Date published:
November 19, 2010, 0:00 GMT
  • Basso hopes Contador case can be resolved quickly

    2010 Giro d'Italia winner Ivan Basso (Liquigas-Doimo)
    Article published:
    November 18, 2010, 13:53 GMT
    By:
    Stephen Farrand

    Giro winner shows support to Tour rival

    Ivan Basso has wished Alberto Contador all the best as he fights to clear his name following his positive for Clenbuterol during this year’s Tour de France.

    The Giro d’Italia winner can empathise with Contador because he was caught up in Operacion Puerto after winning the 2006 Giro d’Italia. He initially denied doping and rode with Lance Armstrong’s Discovery Channel team in 2007. However he then confessed he was planning to use bags of blood stored in Madrid. He was banned for two years and returned to racing at the end of 2008 with the Liquigas team.

    “I hope Alberto can resolve things as soon and as well as possible. Everyone is innocent until proven guilty,” Basso told the Italian newspaper La Repubblica during a sponsor event in Rome with clothing company Lotto.

    “I’m not his defence lawyer and I don’t know the facts of the case but I consider him the strongest stage race rider. My problem isn’t knowing if he’ll be at the Tour de France. I’m just focusing on being in the possible form I can be for the Grand Boucle.”

    Basso admitted that the continuing doping scandals were a problem for cycling.

    “It’s not nice to keep hearing of all these problems but it’s also important to underline the fact that cycling is the sport doing more than anyone else in the fight against doping,” he said.

    The Italian has already began training for the 2011 season and will head to Passo San Pellegrino in the Italian Dolomites for a get-together with his Liquigas-Cannondale teammates.

  • Contador given okay to attend Saxo Bank training camp

    blank
    Article published:
    November 18, 2010, 13:54 GMT
    By:
    Susan Westemeyer

    Rider and team still to decide on attendence

    The International Cycling Union has said there is no legal reason why Alberto Contador cannot attend a Saxo Bank-SunGard training camp on the Spanish island of Fuerteventura later this month. However Contador has still to decide if he will meet up with his new teammates.

    Contador has been temporarily suspended by the UCI following his positive test for Clenbuterol during the Tour de France. He signed with Saxo Bank-SunGard before the positive test was made public.

    Both the UCI and the Danish anti-doping agency have said there is nothing to stop him from attending.  “As I see it, there is nothing in the WADA rules that legally prevents it. Unless the sport has some internal rules that say otherwise, I cannot see why it would not be okay,” Anti Doping Danmark chairman Jens Evald told the Danish website sporten.dk.

    UCI spokesman Enrico Carpani told sporten.dk: “Our lawyers have checked the rules. From a legal standpoint, in the UCI's eyes it is no problem for  Alberto Contador to take part in a training camp. Neither for  Bjarne Riis, the team or the rider. He is temporarily suspended, but it is only from competition and not training camps."

    Carpani added that it is up to Team Saxo Bank owner Bjarne Riis and Contador to decide whether it is ethically a good idea.

    “With regard to ethics and image, the UCI has nothing to say on the matter. The problems lie with Bjarne Riis and Team Saxo Bank-SunGard. It is up to them to determine whether it is a good thing for them to take Contador to a training camp or not."

    No decision yet

    Riis and Contador have yet to make a final decision on if the Tour de France winner will attend the training camp. The two are expected to talk in the next few days to discuss the matter but Contador is said to be training as usual, while preparing his defence for the upcoming hearing before the Spanish...

  • Knee surgery could knock Breschel out of Classics

    Matti Breschel smiles on the podium, the season is almost over
    Article published:
    November 18, 2010, 14:50 GMT
    By:
    Susan Westemeyer

    UPDATED: Dane could be out up to three months

    Matti Breschel planned to lead Rabobank in the Spring Classics in 2011, but the Dane now faces surgery which could hold him out of racing for an extended period.  The Dutch team said the surgery will be done very soon.

    “It is unknown when the surgery will take place, but in coordination with Matti, the surgeon and our medical staff, it has been decided that it will have to be done as soon as possible,” Rabobank spokesman Luuc Eisenga told Cyclingnews.

    The 26-year-old must undergo surgery on his right knee, an examination at a clinic in Brondby showed on Thursday.

    “I started feeling pain after the Tour de France, and now it is even worse,” Breschel told sporten.tv2.dk.

    The surgery would require complete rest for six to twelve weeks, making it unlikely that he would be able to ride the Classics.

    Breschel, who has been with Team Saxo Bank since 2005, won Dwars door Vlaanderen this year.  He also won the silver medal at the world championship road race in Melbourne.

  • Nicole Cooke to target classics in 2011

    2008 Olympic and World Champion Nicole Cooke on the podium in Monzambano after winning the Giro del Trentino in 2009.
    Article published:
    November 18, 2010, 18:00 GMT
    By:
    Stephen Farrand

    Welsh woman one of three former world champions at MCipollini-Giordana

    Nicole Cooke rode a limited race programme in 2010 after the collapse of Team Nürnberger in February but she looks set to return to her best after joining the new MCipollini-Giordana team for 2011.

    Cooke is one of three former world champions in the team, along side Italians Marta Bastianelli and Tatiana Guderzo. They will be the three leaders of the team along with current Italian national champion Monia Baccaille.

    “I’m really pleased to have teamed up with the other world champions, we’ve got a really strong line-up and I’m sure we’ll have a successful debut season,” Cooke told Cyclingnews.

    “I was talking to some teams during the season but then Walter Ricci Petitoni told me his plans, and then it all happened pretty quickly. It’s not easy when your team suddenly folds and leaves you struggling like Nürnberger did at the start of the season, but I think I still performed pretty well in 2010.”

    Cooke finished fourth in the world championships in Australia after making a late attack with Judith Arndt of Germany. They were caught almost in sight of the finish but Cooke dug deep and fought all the way to the line, just missing out on a medal.

    She won Olympic gold and the world title in 2008 and is widely acknowledged as the most aggressive rider in women’s racing. Cooke plans to target the biggest one-day races on the calendar in 2011, including World Cup events such as the Tour of Flanders and Fleche Wallonne.

    “We haven’t gone through our plans for next season in detail yet but I think things will naturally fall into place,” Cooke explained. “I’d like to do the one-day races and I think Tatiana Guderzo will target the stage races.”

    Cooke has already enjoyed her off season and is back in training for the 2011 season.

    “Things are going well so far. I’m in the UK at the moment...

  • Voss signs with Endura Racing Team

    Paul Voss (Milram) en route to winning the Volta a Catalunya's opening stage.
    Article published:
    November 18, 2010, 19:13 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Milram rider goes to British Continental team for one year

    Paul Voss of Team Milram has signed with Endura Racing Team for the coming year. The German had hoped to stay in the ProTour ranks, but is satisfied with the British Continental-ranked team.

    "I am happy to be part of this ambitious team," he told Radsport-News.com. "I hope that I can use my ProTour experience to bring in a win or two."

    The 24-year-old, who rode for Milram for two years, had his first pro victory this year when he surprisingly won the opening time trial of the Volta a Catalunya. He then wore the leader's jersey for two stages. This year he rode the Giro d'Italia and the Vuelta a España, the latter for the second time.

    Voss held some discussions with top teams," but they all came to nothing. I can't really explain why," he said.

    However, he is looking forward to the smaller team. "They had a very good racing calendar this year and I hope that it will get even better," he said. "The team has big ambitions, which you can see in their new signings."

    In addition to Voss, the team has signed former ProTour riders Iker Camano and Rene Mandri.

    Voss, who has signed a one-year contract, wants to use that year to his best advantage. "I can't say anything yet about my racing schedule, but I want to, and must, use every race to present myself. I am very much looking forward to the new season and to being successful with the team."

    Endura is holding its first team gathering from December 1-3 in Livingston, Scotland.

  • AG2R-La Mondiale completes 2011 roster

    The AG2R La Mondiale squad
    Article published:
    November 18, 2010, 21:15 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    27 riders for French squad

    The AG2R-La Mondiale team announced its complete roster for the 2011 season, listing a 27-man squad headlined by Irishman Nicolas Roche.

    The team is largely French, with Roche, Italians Rinaldo Nocentini and Matteo Montaguti, Belgian Kristof Goddaert, Swiss Martin Elmiger and Ukrainian Yuriy Kristov providing international flavor.

    AG2R brought in seven new riders including 24-year-old Mikael Cherel (FDJ), Sebastian Minard (Cofidis), winner of Paris-Camembert and 24-year-old Steve Houanard (Skil-Shimano).

    AG2R-La Mondiale for 2011:

    Julien Berard
    Guillaume Bonnafond
    Maxime Bouet
    Dimitri Champion
    Cyril Dessel
    Hubert Dupont
    Martin Elmiger
    John Gadret
    Ben Gastauer
    Kristof Goddaert
    Sebastien Hinault
    Blel Kadri
    Yuriy Krivtsov
    David Le Lay
    Julien Loubet
    Lloyd Mondory
    Rinaldo Nocentini
    Anthony Ravard
    Christope Riblon
    Nicolas Roche
    Mikael Cherel (FDJ)
    Steve Houanard (Skil-Shimano)
    Romain Lemarchand (BigMat)
    Seabastien Minard (Cofidis)
    Matteo Montaguti (De Rosa)
    Jean Christophe Peraud (Omega Pharma-Lotto)
    Mathieu Perget (Caisse d'Epargne)

  • Matthews debuts for Rabobank at Tour Down Under

    Australia's Michael Matthews celebrates his world championship.
    Article published:
    November 18, 2010, 22:39 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Under 23 world champ to start life in the ProTour ranks

    Current Under 23 road race world champion Michael Matthews will be making his debut for Rabobank in the opening round of the ProTour at next January's Santos Tour Down Under.

    The 20-year-old Canberra native has shot to international prominence this season with commanding performances in European espoirs racing before winning the road race in that category during the UCI Road World Championships in Geelong, Victoria.

    He'll be a part of the Dutch team's lineup in the service of fellow Australian and experienced sprinter, Graeme Brown, who returns to the Tour Down Under in search of stage wins and another crack at the overall title.

    Led by team manager Adri Van Houwelingen, Rabobank's squad for the Santos Tour Down Under includes Dutch riders Laurens Ten Dam, Pieter Weening, Thomas Leezer, Coen Vermeltfoort and Jos Van Emden in addition to Brown and Matthews.

  • Brailsford: Sky must avoid "isolated and robotic" approach

    The masterminds behind Team Sky: Sean Yates (l) and Dave Brailsford.
    Article published:
    November 19, 2010, 0:14 GMT
    By:
    Daniel Friebe

    British team boss admits mistakes in 2010

    Team Sky principal Dave Brailsford has admitted that his team needs to focus more on enjoyment if they are to improve on a 2010 season which critics viewed as an underwhelming debut in the pro elite.

    Brailsford said that Sky must look to avoid an "isolated and robotic" approach in 2011. In a recent interview with Procycling magazine, Bradley Wiggins suggested that Garmin's more relaxed modus operandi perhaps partly explained why he was able to finish fourth in the 2009 Tour de France with the American team, yet only managed 24th with Sky this term.

    Also on Thursday, Sky's senior directeur sportif Sean Yates conceded that the team's goals for Wiggins going into the 2010 Tour were "possibly unrealistic". The esteemed former pro nonetheless believes that a top ten finish for the Englishman at the 2011 race is "easily attainable".

    Speaking to journalists at the Savill Court Hotel in Windsor, where Sky has assembled this week for its first team meeting of the winter, Yates also conceded that the glitz and glamour surrounding their arrival in the pro ranks had done Wiggins et al few favours.

    "Sky is a media company and it is normal that a launch is good and big and will get everyone excited," said Yates. "We tried desperately to live up to the expectations. In a way we shot ourselves in the foot. But what are you going to do? You can't go under the radar with a sponsor like Sky.

    "Obviously, yes, it did set the bar high. But there's only so much you can drag out of the riders. The energy kind of tailed off after the initial super start."

    Growing pains and lessons learnt

    Confidence was another thing which, according to Yates, dwindled as the 2010 season wore on. And as that seeped away, so, said Brailsford, did their faith in some of the innovations that, a year ago, many imagined would propel them to...