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First Edition Cycling News, Friday, October 28, 2011

Date published:
October 28, 2011, 1:00 BST
  • Accent.jobs – Willems Verandas to continue in 2012

    The Verandas Willems team is riding Granville bikes
    Article published:
    October 27, 2011, 17:54 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Sponsors swap places in team name

    Accent.jobs – Willems Verandas will be one of three Belgian teams in the Professional Continental peloton in 2012. The team will continue with the same sponsors, but it will change the order of their names from last season, when the team was known as Verandas Willems – Accent.

    Accent.jobs is becoming “the full owner/sponsor of their Pro Continental cycling team,” it announced Wednesday.  “The basis of the new team will consist of the riders who were in the spotlight last season and is being extended to include some targeted reinforcements.”

    Wim Vanhaelemeesch will move in as General Manager, replacing Bill Olivier who has moved to the new Lotto-Ridley team. Jean-Francois Bourlat will continue as Sport and Operations manager.  In addition, Lucien Van Impe and Thierry Marichal have extended their contracts as sports directors.

    Stefan Van Dijk has also extended his contract “despite many ProTour teams showing interest in the Dutchman”. The sprinter won the opening stage of the Route du Sud, and also had five second-place finishes and two third places. “Stefan is very important for Accent.jobs – Willems Verandas,” the team said. “Last season he managed to win as many as 494 valuable UCI points.”

    Climber Thomas Degand, Jempy Drucker and Seven Caethoven also extended their contracts.

    “Behind the scenes we are very busy to further expand and professionalize the existing team, to be fully ready at the start of the season,” Vanhaelemeesch said.

  • Roulston confirms with RadioShack for 2012

    Hayden Roulston (HTC-Highroad) tries a late race attack.
    Article published:
    October 27, 2011, 19:10 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    New Zealander planning on Olympic track gold

    Hayden Roulston has confirmed that he will ride with RadioShack-Nissan-Trek in the coming year. He is already planning his season for the Spring Classics and the build-up to a gold medal at the London Olympics.

    "I'm really excited to finally confirm my future," Roulston said. "This is a great move which enables me to have the best of both worlds and I can't stress how important that is to me."

    The 30-year-old rode for HTC-HIghroad the last two years, and is reigning New Zealand national road champion. At the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, he won two medals: silver in 4000m men's individual pursuit and bronze in the team pursuit.

    "Riding for New Zealand and wearing that silver fern is so close to my heart and was a big part in discussions with Johan [Bruyneel, RadioShack-Nissan-Trek Team Director]. This contract ensures that I am in the best possible shape coming from a full time pro team environment but equally committed and prepared for the London campaign."

    On the road, Roulston is eager to become the first New Zealander to win a Spring Classic. "I'm so excited to have a shot at winning a Classic and mixing it up with the best riders in the world, not only in racing but in training, too."

    He also sees no problem is combining his two ambitions. "Johan [Bruyneel] knows I have big dreams on the road as well as the track and with the support of RadioShack-Nissan-Trek and Bike NZ, I know I can be successful in both with a gold medal and a Classic win sounding like a nice way to enjoy 2012.

    "People that know me will understand I am not about settling for second best."

  • First RadioShack-Nissan gathering concludes in Belgium

    Maxime Monfort (Leopard-Trek)
    Article published:
    October 27, 2011, 20:30 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Monfort aims for Tour de France start on home roads

    Maxime Monfort was one of 26 riders on hand at the first gathering of the 2012 RadioShack-Nissan team, which took place over three days in Francorchamps, Belgium this week.

    The new squad has formed as a result of the merger between the existing RadioShack and Leopard Trek outfits. Monfort, who rode for Leopard Trek in 2011, explained that the gathering was not so much a training camp or planning meeting as a chance for riders from the two teams to get to know one another.

    “One of the goals of this first stage is to unite the two groups through different activities,” Monfort told La Dernière Heure. “While we haven’t jumped on our bikes at all, we did take a big, long hike together in the forest.”

    The riders only learned of the surprise merger during the Vuelta a España, but over the remaining weeks of the season, Monfort took every opportunity he could to acquaint himself with his future teammates from RadioShack.

    “Since the confirmation of the fusion of the two teams, we have spoken a bit on the last few races of the season to such an extent that I knew practically all of my new teammates,” he said.

    The move to RadioShack-Nissan also sees Monfort ride under the tutelage of his fellow countryman Johan Bruyneel for the first time. “He had been depicted to me as being very firm and authoritarian in his management, but I have to say that up to now the atmosphere has been very cool and relaxed at this first meeting,” Monfort noted.

    Monfort’s early season plan is to build towards the Ardennes classics by...

  • UCI expects Tour of Beijing to be profitable

    The peloton on stage 3 of the Tour of Beijing
    Article published:
    October 27, 2011, 22:25 BST
    By:
    Daniel Benson

    Rumpf confirms another WorldTour race for 2013

    Alain Rumpf has confirmed that the Tour of Beijing has netted an unspecified profit for the UCI and that the GCP is looking to roll out another World Tour event in 2013. The prospective event would most likely be held in Brazil, Russia or India.

    The inaugural Tour of Beijing took place in August and was won by HTC's Tony Martin. As expected with a first-year event there were a number of teething problems, but Rumpf told Cyclingnews that plans had already been discussed to improve the 2012 edition of the event. Some criticism was levelled at the event due to uncertainties over testing laboratories, pollution and a lack of crowds.

    "For the first edition it was a success. Of course you have a few little things that didn't work exactly how you want them to work but overall things were good. From a sporting point of view we had very good winners and to have the world time trial champion as the winner was a success," Rumpf told Cyclingnews.

    "The local organising committee did a good job as well. It was their first time and they were very inexperienced but the teams were well treated and received. The quality of the roads, the closures were all very good too. The coverage from the media and television were also good but we need to improve on things for next year and we've already started doing that for next year.

    "We can improve the course and some of the stages to make the battle for GC more exciting. We need to discuss that with the local organising committee and we have some ideas on how to do that for next year."

    As for the cost of the event, Rumpf remains tight lipped. Before the event he would only tell Cyclingnews that it would cost less than 10 million Euro and despite the event finishing over a month ago the precise cost is still uncertain.

    "We've not finished...

  • Specialized Women SA team launches ahead of Noosa debut

    Liz Phillipou will be a rider/manager for the team.
    Article published:
    October 28, 2011, 2:00 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Phillipou managed team to ride Australian summer, 2012 NRS races

    Cycling Australia's women's National Road Series (NRS) calendar has today recieved a welcome boost with the announcement that a new team, Specialized Women SA, will participate in the year long series for the 2012 season.

    Specialized Women SA is the brainchild of Australian professional cyclist Elizabeth Phillipou, who told Cyclingnews she was pleased to be able to be launching the new women's team ahead of it's first race at Satuday's Noosa Grand Prix.

    "Specialized were really keen to get involved, and after some months of discussions we've managed to put together something," said Phillipou. "Specialized have made an initial 12 month commitment but I think both parties are hoping to increase that depending on the success of the team next year."

    "We'll be looking to do all the major women's races in Australia, the Bay Series, the Tour Down Under women's events before we take on the NRS. The team’s objective is to raise the profile of women’s cycling within the community, promote healthy lifestyle and fitness and provide a sustainable pathway for development into professional cycling for up and coming female cyclists."

    The team will start with an intial roster of five riders but will be potentially expanding on that number as the season progresses.

    Along with Phillipou, who has ridden in the past for the Honda Dream Team and Virgin Blue RBS Morgans will be Rebecca Werner who is fresh off a stellar season riding with Webcor on the American NRC and all rounder Trudy Van Der Straaten who is known for her tenacity in criteriums.

    The team’s climbers Narelle Hards and Angela McClure will be looking to the mountains to show their skills and experience, McClure having just returned from Europe where she rode on the UCI Kleo Ladies team.

    Specialized Women SA is the second new women's team to be sponsored by the bike manufacturer after the announcement earlier this month that the part of the...

  • Lastras sets sights on Flanders

    Lastras puts in a dig.
    Article published:
    October 28, 2011, 3:30 BST
    By:
    Pete Cossins

    Movistar veteran "more motivated than ever" after signing new two-year deal

    Approaching what will be his 15th year as a pro, Movistar veteran Pablo Lastras says that he is more motivated than ever and has set his sights on an unlikely target in 2012: the Tour of Flanders.

    Speaking to Meta2Mil, the Spaniard admitted that he likes to set himself ambitious targets in order to maintain his enthusiasm for racing. “If I don’t have targets, I don’t get that necessary motivation. I always set the Spanish road championship and the Tour of Lombardy as targets, but next year I’ve also put a cross on the calendar on the date of the Tour of Flanders,” said Lastras.

    “I already know what it takes to finish the race, so now I want to go a little bit further and finish in the first group. I know that this will be difficult, but [Juan Antonio] Flecha has done it and I would like to get to that level. Of course, I would also like to help people like [Giovanni] Visconti or even [Alejandro] Valverde, if he does end up coming to the team.”

    Having signed a new two-year deal with Movistar, a set-up he joined back in 1998 when it was still carrying the Banesto name, Lastras admitted he’s enjoying his racing more than ever. “I’ve got more enthusiasm than ever because I know that these are my final years as a cyclist and I want to enjoy them to the full,” he said.

    “That’s why I set myself very ambitious targets because they provide me with the drive that’s needed to keep on training and racing. This year, for instance, I’ve competed more than ever before. I’ve got 98 days of racing under my belt. And while it’s true that I’m feeling physically fatigued, I don’t feel mentally fatigued at all.”

    Winner of a stage at the

  • Tour of Wellington confirmed with 2.2 status

    2011 Tour of Wellington winner George Bennett (Team Cardno)
    Article published:
    October 28, 2011, 4:30 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Race Director Sandoval hoping to celebrate 25th edition in style with world class field

    Ahead of the this weekend's Tour of Southland, New Zealand's other big event, the Tour of Wellington has been confirmed by the UCI as a 2.2 event. The rating continues the event's proud history as New Zealand's only internationally recognised cycling event, and with the 25th anniversary of the race set to take place next year, race organiser Jorge Sandoval is planning something

    "With the 25th edition of the Tour in January we are really looking forward to a great celebration," Sandoval said. "The event is recognised overseas as the road tour with the highest international standing in this country and I expect it will be reflected in the quality of the New Zealand and overseas riders taking part. Six UCI pro teams will be invited to take part in addition to a specially selected New Zealand national team.

    "Each year the classic unearths new talent, and a number of those riders have gone on to win stages in the Tour de France, the Giro d'Italia and world championships."

    Last year's winner was Trek Livestrong rider George Bennett who is expected to be on the cusp of announcing a WorldTour future for 2012, but the event has also been won by a plethora of quality riders including Hayden Roulston, Robbie McEwen, Matthew Lloyd and Travis Meyer over the years.

    With the Tour route finalised Sandoval singled out two of the stages in particular as crucial to whoever becomes the overall victor. The 164km stage three from Palmerston North and return via Apiti and the Pohangina Valley, and stage four on the penultimate day from Palmerston North to a mountain finish at the top of Saddle Road.

    The 25th Tour of Wellington runs from January 25 to 29

    Wednesday 25th, Stage 1: Individual Time Trial - 8km

    Thursday 26th, Stage 2: Palmerston North - Ashhurst - Palmerston North - 113km

    Friday 27th, Stage 3: Palmerston...

  • New under 23 development team launches for Australia's domestic circuit

    The podium for the under 19 individual pursuit - AlexanderMorgan, Jackson Law and Jack Cummings.
    Article published:
    October 28, 2011, 5:54 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Tabotta says new program will provide "additional stepping stone for young Australian male road talent"

    Eclipse Pro Cycling (EPC) has today announced a new partnership with Cycling Australia’s High Performance program that will create a new Australian based under 23 development team. Eclipse will run the new program, which will give under 23 cyclists in Australia more opportunities to display their talent on the Australian domestic circuit.

    According to a release EPC will invest into CA’s development pathway, with the aim of filling a niche in the Australian domestic development scene. The program will have no effect on the exisiting Jayco-AIS continental and Australian under 23 national team programs which will continue to function as they are.

    The new team will be headed by current Jayco-2XU sporting director Patrick Jonker. Riders will be sourced from all of the state institutes though the management of the team will be very much independent.

    National High Performance director Kevin Tabotta said the addition of the new program would create a new pathway for Australia's up and coming cyclists.

    "Cycling Australia High Performance Programs looks forward to working with the 'Eclipse Pro Cycling NRS Team' over the next 12 months to provide an additional stepping stone for young Australian male road talent aiming toward selection into under 23 National teams and the Jayco-AIS Continental Team.

    "This is one of a number of important partnerships CA develops designed to provide the best possible support and pathway for emerging elite talent, and Team Director Patrick Jonker will be pivotal in the development of these young riders through the NRS events."

    The confirmed rider roster for 2012 is:

    Jack Beckinsale (NSWIS), Edward Bissaker (SASI), Alex Edmondson (SASI), David Edwards (QAS), Jackson Law (NSWIS), Bradley Linfield (WAIS), Mitch Lovelock Fay (ACTAS), and Jordan Kerby (QAS).