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First Edition Cycling News, Friday, October 16, 2009

Date published:
October 16, 2009, 1:00 BST
  • Hands happy with women’s tour turn-out

    Rochelle Gilmore (HP Pinarello) in the red, leader's jersey of the inaugural Honda Hybrid Tour
    Article published:
    October 16, 2009, 0:26 BST
    Greg Johnson

    Honda could increase cycling association

    Honda Hybrid Women’s Tour race director Michael Hands is delighted with the quantity of riders taking part in this year’s inaugural race. The tour, which runs in conjunction with the Jayco Herald Sun Tour, was announced in the weeks leading up to the race yet has attracted a large field of Australian women’s riders to compete.

    “We have been working to this point for a number of years and I could not be happier with the number of entries,” said Hands. “Teams have come from right across Australia to participate and the number of teams is more than I could have hoped for. Companies like Bundaberg Sugar, who did not have budget to support a team, managed to find some to support the event.”

    Honda Australia’s press manager Mark Higgins indicated the Japanese car manufacturer was using the sport’s green aspects to promote its hybrid technology. “We are proud to support women’s racing and are very impressed with the turn out for this event,” said Higgins. “This is very important: cycling and Honda has had a long history. Mr Honda’s father, actually set up a bicycle shop in Tokyo and promoted cycle racing in Japan. They actually started putting engines onto bicycle frames, so this really was the beginning of the Honda you see it today, starting, courtesy of the bicycle.

    “Cycle is a wonderful mode of transport and a great sport and is very green, environmentally friendly and high tech and these are very important values of Honda, so this is a very important event for us,” he added.

    Higgins added that he’s pleased with the results Honda has seen from its support of the race. He wouldn’t go into detail on the company’s future involvement with the sport.

    “At first it was a see how it goes, with the results we have seen so far and the coverage we have received I think, and I am hoping we will have a long future with...

  • Bobridge, Garmin to decide initial race programme soon

    Jack Bobridge (Australia) Under-23 World time trial Champion
    Article published:
    October 16, 2009, 2:16 BST
    Shane Stokes

    Pro contract allows equal focus on road and track seasons

    Up and coming Australian talent Jack Bobridge will start training soon for 2010 and will make his debut with the Garmin-Slipstream team early next year. He told Cyclingnews this week that he will meet with management soon to work out his schedule.

    "I know I will be racing the Tour Down Under with Garmin as my first race with them," he said, happy with the thought of returning to Australia's ProTour event again. "As for the races after that, I will have to sit down with Matt White after the Herald Sun Tour to work out the schedule for the rest of the season."

    Bobridge is recognised as one of the most promising young riders on the road, but also has a strong track background. Fourth in the team pursuit at the 2008 Olympic Games, he got silver medals in both the individual and team pursuit earlier this year at the track world championships. He said that it's important for him that Garmin-Slipstream will allow him to have targets on the road and in the velodrome.

    "I don't have to give up my track programme," he said. "They are going to really work with me on that right through to London. They are going to back me 100 percent on the track and on the road. Because of that, I think my programme with them is going to fit in perfectly with what I have to do on the track up until London.

    "It is going to be really good. I am going to head over to them after the track worlds in March. Matt White is going to give me an awesome race programme and some good training, which is going to help me in both areas. Good racing will obviously help me on the road but it will also help me in the training for the track."

    Bobridge won the

  • Gilbert and Vinokourov end season with French TT

    Alexander Vinokourov (Astana) started well, but faded to 15ht.
    Article published:
    October 16, 2009, 9:22 BST
    Jean-François Quénet

    Chrono des Nations on Sunday attracts top cyclists

    After the fall-out of Firenze-Pistoia, the Chrono des Nations is the only UCI Cat. 1.1 individual time trial left on the international calendar at the end of the cycling season. After competing the Tour of Lombardy, Philippe Gilbert, Alexandre Vinokourov, Thomas Voeckler, Maxime Monfort and Rubens Bertogliati will head to the west of France to race against the clock on the 48.5km course of Les Herbiers in the Vendée province on Sunday, October 18.

    Belgium's Monfort and Bertogliati from Switzerland are amongst the national time trial champions lined-up for the event. Also racing are Raivis Belohvosciks (Latvia) who won the race in 2006, Andriy Grivko (Ukraine) who is the very last winner of Firenze-Pistoia, Alexander Wetterhall (Sweden) and France's Jean-Christophe Péraud, the Olympic MTB silver medallist who dominated Sylvain Chavanel in June and came 12th at the World's TT in Mendrisio. Tour de France stage winner Brice Feillu and Tour of Spain stage winner Anthony Roux are some of the participating French up-and-coming riders whose aim is to improve their time trial capabilities.

    "I'm still hungry racing although the season has been long," said Gilbert, who scored for the third time in one week when he won the Giro del Piemonte on Thursday after the Coppa Sabatini and Paris-Tours. "I love the great cycling atmosphere of Les Herbiers. The crowd is usually very supportive, that's why I like to finish my season there. It's also a way for me to improve my time trial abilities." The Belgian finished sixth in the last time trial of the Vuelta a España. He targets a top five in the Chrono des Nations on Sunday.

    The 2009 Chrono des Nations has registered 128 cyclists. Every race (Junior women, Junior men, U23 Men, Elite Women and Elite Men) will be contested by the French national champion for time trial in each category.

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  • Gilbert and Evans both eye Lombardia win

    Philippe Gilbert and Cadel Evans united for Lombardia
    Article published:
    October 16, 2009, 11:10 BST
    Gregor Brown

    Gilbert insists professionalism will prevail between two Silence-Lotto stars

    Philippe Gilbert and Cadel Evans will share the Silence-Lotto team leadership tomorrow at Giro di Lombardia, according to Gilbert. The Belgian won his third consecutive race yesterday at Giro del Piemonte, three weeks since Evans won the World Championships.

    Both Gilbert and Evans are dreaming of Lombardia, the last big race on the season's calendar and one cycling's five Monuments.

    "He wants to win, but we are both professionals," Gilbert told La Gazzetta dello Sport. "It's clear between us. If I can win I will do it, if I see that I am cooked, he can win."

    Evans helped Gilbert win Coppa Sabatini October 8 at his first race wearing the rainbow jersey of World Champion. Gilbert attacked with Tom Boonen and out-sprinted his countryman at Paris-Tours Sunday. He made three in a row yesterday, sprinting to win in Fossano, Italy, at the Giro del Piemonte.

    Evans abandoned with 50 kilometres to race yesterday to prepare for Lombardia.The legendary race has always been one of the Australians' end-of-season goals and he lives close to the race course. Kazakh Alexander Vinokourov (Astana) and Russian Alexandr Kolobnev (Saxo Bank), favourites for Lombardia, also abandoned with Evans.

    Kolobnev, Vinokourov and Evans, along with three-time winner Damiano Cunego (Lampre-NGC) and Joaquím Rodríguez (Caisse d'Epargne), are Gilbert's favourites for the event on Sunday.

    The 103rd Giro di Lombardia starts in Varese and finishes in Como, 242 kilometres. The Madonna di Ghisallo, Civiglio and San Fermo climbs come in the final 60 kilometres and will help decide the race.

    "It's a lot harder as a race, but when I am in top condition I can do it all," said Gilbert. "I've had a fourth in Liège and Amstel, which are similar races. The first important point is Ghisallo, but for me Civiglio is important."

    Like in Piemonte, Gilbert will be thinking of former cyclist Frank Vandenbroucke, who...

  • Vandenbroucke's body to be returned to Belgium

    Looking at the doorway to the La maison bleue room where Frank Vandenbroucke was found dead on Monday.
    Article published:
    October 16, 2009, 11:11 BST
    Hedwig Kröner

    Further examinations needed to determine cause of death

    Frank Vandenbroucke's body will be returned to Belgium soon, possibly today or this weekend. After no traces of alcohol were found in an initial autopsy, Belgians will conduct further toxicological studies.

    The former Belgian professional cyclist died in a hotel room in Saly, Senegal, Monday.

    Senegalese authorities released the body on Thursday, according to Sporza. "If the family wants to repatriate the body, someone from a Belgian funeral parlor should contact his colleague in Senegal. Then, the body can be flown to our country this weekend," said Bart Ouvry, spokesman of the Belgian Foreign Affairs Ministry.

    The Senegalese doctor who performed the autopsy this week, Isidor Boye, said he found "lesions which could explain his death," according to Belgian media. Boye refused to give any more details, but he said that he did not find any traces of violence.

    Seynabou Diop, the young prostitute who was with Vandenbroucke the night he died, is under investigation only for theft and sale of stolen goods, but not for murder or homicide. She admitted steeling a mobile telephone and some money from Vandenbroucke when she left the hotel room in the early hours on Monday morning, but insisted that Vandenbroucke was still alive at the time.


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  • Gonzalo first Spaniard to join Bretagne-Schuller

    Eduardo Gonzalo joins Bretagne-Schuller
    Article published:
    October 16, 2009, 12:36 BST
    Gregor Brown

    Eduardo Gonzalo makes jump from Agritubel to Bretagne-Schuller

    Eduardo Gonzalo will ride for Bretagne-Schuller next season, according to L'Equipe. He will be the first Spanish rider for the French team, which had no foreign riders this year.

    Gonzalo, 26, became professional with French team Agritubel in 2006. He leaves the team after it failed to find a new sponsor for next season.

    Bretagne-Schuller is ranked third division, or Continental, a level down from the Professional Continental Agritubel team.

    Gonzalo finished seventh in the Route du Sud and GP Triberg-Schwarzwald this season. He has two professional wins, a stage each in the 2006 Circuit de Lorraine and Rhône-Alpes Isère, and raced the Tour de France three times.

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  • 2010 Dauphiné to visit L'Alpe d'Huez

    The Dutch fans swarm Alpe d'Huez
    Article published:
    October 16, 2009, 12:40 BST
    Hedwig Kröner

    Event's sponsorship still to be decided

    After the Tour de France unveiled its 2010 route Wednesday in Paris, some details of France's second most important stage race have emerged. Thierry Cazeneuve, the Dauphiné Libéré's new race director, revealed that the event's queen stage would finish on L'Alpe d'Huez on Saturday, June 12.

    According to the Dauphiné Libéré newspaper, organiser of the race since 1947, the week-long competition will start in eastern France and finish in Sallanches. A stage finish in Grenoble is planned for Friday, June 11, with a mountaintop finish taking place on L'Alpe the next day.

    This will be a consolation prize for the legendary ski station, which had also applied for a Tour de France stage next year after already being left out of the parcours in 2009. "We had submitted a candidacy to receive the Tour," said Alpe d'Huez mayor Jean-Yves Noyret.

    The city was disappointed missing out on the chance to host its 27th Tour de France stage next year.

    "We don't want to dwell on it. We will have the penultimate stage of the Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré. It is important to us to keep the link between cycling and L'Alpe d'Huez."

    The funding of next year's Dauphiné Libéré is still being negotiated, according to France's Cyclismag. French bank Crédit Mutuel bought the Ebra press group, former owner of newspaper Dauphiné Libéré, and has yet to approve continued sponsorship of the race.


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  • Pozzato doubtful for Lombardia

    Filippo Pozzato (Katusha) may skip Lombardia due to fever
    Article published:
    October 16, 2009, 15:47 BST
    Gregor Brown

    Fever spoils end of season for Italian Champion

    A fever has spoiled Italian Champion Filippo Pozzato's season finale and placed doubts on his participation in the Giro di Lombardia tomorrow.

    Team Katusha's Pozzato had a 38°C temperature Wednesday night, but raced and finished the Giro del Piemonte yesterday. He skipped training today and will make a decision on starting Lombardia tomorrow morning, team Katusha told Cyclingnews.

    Pozzato chased the winning three-man move of Philippe Gilbert (Silence-Lotto) in the final five kilometres of Paris-Tours Sunday. He failed to catch them, but held off the main group for fourth.

    "I haven't said my last word for this year," said Pozzato in Tours. "I'm fit enough for Lombardia."

    Pozzato's season may now be finished. He won five times this year: the Belgian one-day classic, E3 Prijs, a stage of the Driedaagse De Panne, the Italian Championships, the Giro del Veneto and the Memorial Cimurri.