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First Edition Cycling News, Friday, September 16, 2011

Date published:
September 16, 2011, 1:00 BST
  • Horner waiting on confirmation over his RadioShack-Nissan-Trek future

    Chris Horner (RadioShack)
    Article published:
    September 16, 2011, 1:11 BST
    Jane Aubrey

    Confusion after merger but hoping to ride into his 40s

    Chris Horner has told Cyclingnews that confirmation that he is one of the confirmed riders for the newly-merged RadioShack-Nissan-Trek is news to him, despite an earlier statement from Johan Bruyneel that he was one of the safe riders.

    Speaking at Interbike in Las Vegas, Horner seemed surprised at the news.

    “Did I make the merger?” he said. “Of course I know that the merger is coming together but you’re telling me this information and it’s the first I’ve heard of it.

    “I haven’t even seen that everything’s gone through - that may have happened while I’ve been sitting here at the show.”

    A statement issued by RadioShack on September 6, explained that Horner along with two-time Tour de France runner-up Andreas Klöden, Haimar Zubeldia, and national champions Matthew Busche, Jani Brajkovic, Nelson Oliveira and neo-pros Jesse Sergent and Ben King would all be a part of the new team from 2012. Horner had recently agreed to a two-year contract extension with RadioShack.

    RadioShack-Nissan-Trek is due to make further announcements about their roster within the next 24 hours.

    Regardless of his situation, Horner was enthusiastic about what the team could achieve in 2012 and beyond.

    “Hypothetically speaking at this moment if the merger’s all there, we’re going to have a team that’s going to have a star-studded, super incredible team that’s going to be something like Mapei had back in the day, when you’re looking at Tony Rominger winning the Giro, winning the Tour of Spain and then all their classic guys,” he said.

    “First off look at any stage race that we’ve done, the 10 guys at the finish, there’s Frank [Schleck], Andy [Schleck], [Andreas] Klodi, me there’s Jani [Brajkovic] so you’ve got to ask the other five in that group what they’re going to...

  • Laurent Didier to ride for RadioShack-Nissan-Trek in 2012

    Laurent Didier (Saxo Bank-SunGard)
    Article published:
    September 16, 2011, 11:28 BST
    Cycling News

    Luxembourger back with the Schlecks

    Leopard SA, the management company that runs the Leopard Trek team and will control the RadioShack-Nissan-Trek team in 2012, has announced that Laurent Didier has signed a one-year contract with the squad.

    When the merger of the Leopard Trek and RadioShack outfits was announced, RadioShack said details and specifics of the new super team would be announced on September 15. However, only Didier’s arrival was confirmed, while Chris Horner told Cyclingnews that he had yet to have a final confirmation that he was part of the new roster despite being named a team leader in press releases. When announcing Didier’s signing, Leopard said that the final line-up for the team will be announced in due time.

    Didier joins RadioShack-Nissan-Trek from Saxo Bank-SunGard and is a close friend of the Schlecks.

    “I’m very glad to be riding in the same team as the brothers again. We train a lot together when we have similar race programmes and we've gotten to know each other very well,” Didier said in a press release. “I’m proud to be part of this team. As a Luxembourger, it’s an honour to be riding alongside Fränk and Andy.”

    Didier turned professional in 2010 after finishing a construction engineering degree. He is expected to be a key domestique in the team in the coming season.

    Team Manager Kim Andersen said: “Laurent is a clever guy, who can read a race very well. He’s very professional and will be a strong support when chaperoning his leaders through the peloton. He climbs okay too, so he’s really a valuable card to play. We’re very happy to welcome him aboard.”

  • Andy Schleck confirms he will miss the Worlds Championships

    All eyes will be on Andy Schleck in 2011.
    Article published:
    September 16, 2011, 12:18 BST
    Cycling News

    Dental surgery healing slower than expected

    Andy Schleck has confirmed that he will not ride alongside his brother Frank at the World Championship road race next week in Copenhagen. The Tour de France runner-up has been taken out of the Luxembourg six-man roster initially published on the federation's website.

    "I'm not going to the world's because of my tooth problem. Healing slower than expected," the younger Schleck tweeted on Friday.

    Schleck has been suffering from an infection of a wisdom tooth for several weeks, making the removal of the tooth necessary. The surgery has already forced him miss the GP de Quebec and the GP de Montreal race in Canada.

    It is unclear if Andy will race again this season.

    The Luxembourg federation has decided not to replace Andy in the line-up, as the only rider who could have possibly taken his place, Bob Jungels, is still an Under 23 rider. The Luxembourg team will thus enter the road race with only five instead of six riders: Fränk Schleck, Jempy Drucker, Christian Poos, Laurent Didier and Ben Gastauer.

  • Video: Renshaw talks about his Tour of Britain stage win

    Mark Renshaw (HTC Highroad) in the press conference)
    Article published:
    September 16, 2011, 12:51 BST
    Cycling News

    Australian still angry about not being selected for the World Championships

    Mark Renshaw (HTC-Highroad) was happy to get a chance to win a stage at the Tour of Britain on Thursday, but no amount of success and a goodbye win set up by teammate and close friend Mark Cavendish will cancel his anger and disappointment about not being selected for the Australian team for next week’s World Championships in Copenhagen.

    Cavendish let Renshaw get a gap coming out of the final corner on the Exmouth seafront and then finished second behind him, re-enacting their frequent double act of the last three seasons, when Renshaw was Cavendish’s leadout man.

    “In the last three years I’ve given him a lot of victories and so it’s great to see him help me win a stage,” Renshaw said during the stage winner’s press conference.

    “That's the best part of HTC and Highroad, We’ve always shared the victories around, and that’s why we won so much. He’s been a good friend over the years and understands the decision I’ve taken to leave next year. It’s good to end the last three years with a win.”

    Renshaw admitted however that no amount of success will help him get a place in the Australian team for Copenhagen.

    “Unless one of the riders crashes or has a major problem, I can’t see me getting a call up,” he explained in this video interview.

    “I’m extremely disappointed not to get a start in the nine riders. In the last three years I’ve been one of the most devoted riders out there. As I said after they released the team, I can’t explain why they didn’t take me. They’ve decide to go for a different approach with Simon Gerrans. But I don’t think there’s a better rider...

  • Belgium launches bid to host 2016 Worlds

    Roland Liboton, Dird Craen, UCI president Pat McQuaid, Albert van Damme and Robert Vermeire take in the 'cross action.
    Article published:
    September 16, 2011, 13:10 BST
    Cycling News

    Belgian candidacy proposes road race finish in Namur

    The president of the Belgian cycling federation (RLVB), Tom Van Damme, has announced that the cycling mad nation hopes to host the UCI road race World Championships again, perhaps as soon as 2016. The last time the international event took place in Belgium was in 2002 in Zolder.

    "We have two years to apply. Our aim is to host the Worlds again in 2016, 2017 or 2018," said Van Damme, who told DHnet that the project would include the whole of the Belgian territory: Wallonie, Flanders and the German-speaking part. The French-speaking south and the Flemish-speaking north of the country have not always stood united in the country that has not had a regular government for over one year.

    "The idea would be to propose a complete package for Belgium, a project that will appeal to UCI president Pat McQuaid, with whom we have already talked. All the time trails would be located in west and east Flanders, the team time trial in the German-speaking part of the country and the road races would start in Louvain and finish in Namur," Van Damme explained.

    "Why Namur? Because it's the Wallonie capital and because there is a lot of interest from there, while Liège is very busy with the Tour de France right now [the 2012 Tour will start in Liège]."

    "We are able to make this happen by working together, in Flanders as well as in Wallonie," Van Damme said. "There is a lot of good will on both sides and we are convinced that we have the financial and technical resources to succeed."

    This year's world championships will be held In Copenhagen, Denmark, while the 2012 world championships will be held in the Limburg region of the Netherlands and Florence, Italy will host the 2014 championships.

  • New route for the Tour of Flanders unveiled

    Tour of Flanders: Nick Nuyens (Saxo Bank-Sungard) was on cue at the Ronde.
    Article published:
    September 16, 2011, 14:07 BST
    Hedwig Kröner

    Finish in Oudenaarde after Oude Kwaremont finale

    The 2012 Ronde van Vlaanderen will not be including the famous Muur van Geraardsbergen climb in 2012 after race organisers announced that they have designed a new finale for the race, which will now finish in Oudenaarde instead of Meerbeke, where it has ended since 1973. Nick Nuyens (Saxo Bank-SunGard) won this year's race.

    Next year, the finale of one of the sports most spectacular classics will include the Oude Kwaremont and the Paterberg. Both climbs are set to be covered three times on a final circuit - with the Paterberg as the last ascent before the finish in Oudenaarde, 13km before the finish.

    In previous editions the Oude Kwaremont and Paterberg were some of the first cobbled climbs and proved critical for separating the favourites from the field, but the Muur has always been the iconic attack point. The new positioning will give the Paterberg much greater importance, making it a possible launch pad to victory.

    "With Oudenaarde as a finish, the route of the Ronde van Vlaanderen will be completely different in the finale," the director of the Centrum Ronde van Vlaanderen in Oudenaarde, Rik Vanwalleghem, told Het Nieuwsblad.

    The 2012 edition of "Vlaanderen's Mooiste" will start with a typically flat 90 kilometers, followed by the Nokereberg, Taaienberg, Eikenberg, Molenberg, Rekelberg, Berendries and Valkenberg climbs before the threre finial circuits. The finish will be located on Minderbroederstraat close to the city centre of Oudenarde.

  • Froome to stay with Team Sky in 2012

    Chris Froome (Team Sky) takes the win on stage 17 and is now 13 seconds off the race lead
    Article published:
    September 16, 2011, 14:34 BST
    Cycling News

    Vuelta a España runner-up signs a new three-year contract

    Team Sky has announced that Chris Froome has signed a new three-year contract that will keep him with the British team until 2014. The talented Kenyan-born British climber finished a close second to Juan Jose Cobo (Geox-TMC) at the Vuelta a España earlier this month. He had several rivals offers after his performance in spain but opted to stay with the British team.

    "Chris' performance at the Tour of Spain was tremendously exciting and generated much interest and competition for his services from other teams," explained Team Sky manager Dave Brailsford in a statement from the team.  "In light of this we are very pleased that he has chosen Team Sky as the best place to continue his career."

    "We are all very much looking forward to supporting Chris' future development and working with him to consolidate and build on his breakthrough performance over the coming seasons."

    Froome's general classification result in Spain, his spectacular stage 17 victory on the Peña Cabarga and team-mate Bradley Wiggins' third place on the podium stood out as the most successful Grand Tour result ever for British cycling.

    "Standing on the podium at this year's Vuelta a España was the highlight of my professional career so far," the 26-year-old said. "But that success was only possible because of everyone at Team Sky, both on and off the road, and so I am absolutely delighted to be signing an extension to stay with the team for the next three years."

    Froome was also named as part of the Great Britain team for next week's world championships in Copenhagen. He has not been selected for the time trial but will ride the road race as part of an experienced team designed to help Mark Cavendish. 

  • Great Britain names World Championships teams

    Mark Cavendish (Great Britain) has won the London-Surry Cycle Classic.
    Article published:
    September 16, 2011, 15:57 BST
    Cycling News

    Experienced squad to protect Cavendish in men’s road race

    Great Britain has named its final teams for the world road race championships in Copenhagen, with selectors going for experience and endurance to help Mark Cavendish in the Elite men’s race.

    Cavendish will have the support of Steve Cummings, Chris Froome, Jeremy Hunt, David Millar, Ian Stannard, Geraint Thomas and Bradley Wiggins for the 266 km road race, in the hope he can win a possible sprint finish. Thomas may have the role of lead-out man for Cavendish in the sprint finish, with the other riders expected to control the race and bring back the expected late attacks.

    Millar and Wiggins have been named for the Elite men’s time trial, meaning younger riders Alex Dowsett and Chris Froome miss out. Millar missed the Tour of Britain after becoming a father but has continued to try hard at his base in Gerona, Spain.

    Wiggins is targeting at least a medal but faces stiff competition from four-time world champion Fabian Cancellara of Switzerland and Tony Martin of Germany.

    Lizzie Armitstead and Nicole headline a strong women’s team that also includes Katie Colclough, Catherine Williamson (nee Hare), Sharon Laws, Lucy Martin and Emma Pooley, who will ride the time trial.

    The men’s under-23 team includes Mark Christian, Andy Fenn, Luke Rowe, Erick Rowsell, Scott Thwaites and Simon Yates.
    Rowe will ride for Team Sky in 2012, while Fenn has shown his ability with An Post this year, winning races and racking up several impressive places. He will ride for Quick Step-Omega Pharma in 2011.

    Elite Men's Road Race: Mark Cavendish, Steve Cummings, Chris Froome, Jeremy Hunt, David Millar, Ian Stannard, Geraint Thomas and Bradley Wiggins

    Elite Men's Time Trial: David Millar and Bradley Wiggins

    Elite Women's Road Race: Lizzie Armitstead, Katie Colclough, Nicole Cooke, Catherine Williamson (nee Hare), Sharon Laws, Lucy...