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First Edition Cycling News, Friday, September 18, 2009

Date published:
September 18, 2009, 1:00 BST
  • Danielson out of Vuelta

    Tom Danielson (Garmin-Slipstream) was one of a number of favorites to lose time to Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d'Epargne) today
    Article published:
    September 17, 2009, 15:56 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Illness ends podium hopes of Garmin-Slipstream rider

    Tom Danielson withdrew from the Vuelta a España during the 187km stage 18 from Talavera de la Reina - Avila. Danielson pulled out with about 100km to go due to illness.

    "I have a bad infection in my lungs. I've been fighting illness for the last six days, and I felt like I was in a good enough condition to fight it," said Danielson, who could barely get the words out to Cyclingnews over the telephone. "I was in really good form, but I had no choice today. I couldn't race."

    "I've proved to a lot of people that I'm one of the best guys on the climbs and in the time trials," he said. "I'm obviously really upset. I thought I had a chance of winning or finishing on the podium," he said. "I'll go to hospital tonight and get checked out. I think I might have broken a rib in my crash yesterday."

    The Garmin-Slipstream rider was involved in a crash with race favorites Robert Gesink (Rabobank) and Eziquiel Mosquera (Xacobeo Galicia) on stage 17 on Wednesday.

    Danielson is scheduled to lead the US team in both the elite men's road race and time trial at the World Championships next week. There is no word yet on whether he will still compete.

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  • Bos to leave Rabobank program

    Theo Bos (Netherlands) celebrates his win
    Article published:
    September 17, 2009, 16:28 BST
    By:
    Laura Weislo

    Higher aspirations leave sprinter as free agent

    Former track sprint star Theo Bos will leave the Rabobank programme after a his successful transition from the boards to the road. Bos was supported by Rabobank during his track career, where he earned five world championship titles and a silver in the 2004 Olympic Games.

    Since his transition to the road, the 26-year-old won six races for the team - four stages of the Olympias Tour, the Omloop der Kempen and the Ronde van Noord-Holland.

    He served a one-month suspension for his actions during a crash with Barloworld's Daryl Impey during the Presidential Cycling Tour in Turkey earlier this year.

    The team planned to move Bos to its ProTour team, but indicated that Bos' aspirations to compete in the Grand Tours was the reason for the Dutchman's departure.

    "We have worked with Theo for a number of years, first as his sponsor as a track cyclist and then as part of our road team," said general manager Harold Knebel. "Of course we understand the aspirations of Theo, but there remained a discussion about guaranteed participation in the Grand Tours especially against the backdrop of the large amount of Dutch talent inside the Rabo Team.

    "We believe that we could have provided him an excellent environment to grow as a road racer. We are grateful for the wonderful years and successes, but are now especially disappointed that Theo has ignored our offer."

  • Skil-Shimano drops ProTour bid

    Skil's bikes at the start of Gent-Wevelgem.
    Article published:
    September 17, 2009, 17:41 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Seven teams left to vie for top tier licenses

    The Skil-Shimano team announced that it has chosen to keep its current Professional Continental status through the 2010 season on Thursday. 

    The squad was seeking entry into the ProTour ranks, and was up against the new teams RadioShack and Sky and existing ProTour squads AG2R La Mondiale, Bbox Bouygues Telecom, Cofidis, Lampre-NGC and Milram for a maximum of seven available spots.

    The team made its Grand Tour debut at the Tour de France this year.

    "The team this week informed the UCI and the Licensing Committee that it would not be following the procedure for a ProTour licence. The team instigated the procedure last July, among other things in anticipation of the new world calendar in 2011 and beyond," the team said.

    The squad said it would like to receive more details regarding the new calendar before working to fulfill the conditions for a ProTour license.

    UCI regulations limit the number of ProTour licenses issued per year to 20. Currently, 13 teams have existing licenses and with the withdrawal of Skil-Shimano's bid, seven are seeking renewal or new licenses.

  • Wurf bounces back from mono to answer Worlds call

    Cameron Wurf from Tasmania
    Article published:
    September 17, 2009, 22:00 BST
    By:
    Jean-François Quénet

    Australian to tackle time trial in Mendrisio

    While Australia's top time trialists Cadel Evans and triple world champion Michael Rogers will focus on the road race only in Mendrisio next week, Cameron Wurf will represent Down Under in the individual time trial in addition to Columbia-HTC's Adam Hansen.

    The Fuji-Servetto rider revealed his potential on the world stage by finishing 26th in his first ProTour race, the Tour of Catalunya, in May - soon after he joined the Spanish squad. But since then he has experienced consistent illness and only recently learned that he had been suffering from mononucleosis - glandular fever - all along.

    "On the final day of Catalyuna, I awoke with a sore throat which came and went with varying severity until four weeks ago, and from that point on my body seemed to be a magnet for any infection", Wurf told Cyclingnews.

    "In the Dauphiné my throat was very painful. In the Tour of Austria I managed to get a chest infection. At the Tour of Poland it was an intestinal virus. And finally at the Eneco Tour I was down with a sinus infection. Though in crashes in Austria and Poland, I just thought it was a run of bad luck. Little did I know that the combination of racing with glandular virus had my system run down to the point that I was very susceptible to any infection.

    "As an athlete, glandular is the last thing you want to imagine you have and I managed to convince myself at the beginning of each race I would finally come good again, but it just wouldn't happen. In the back of my mind I felt something was up as in all my years of sport I have never felt this off for such a long period, not being able to train or race properly."

    Wurf was a rower and took part in the Athens Olympics until he switched to cycling in 2006.

    "Being new to the ProTour, and after Catalyuna, I was so excited and determined to learn and improve that each day on the bike was a new opportunity and I could ignore the lingering ailments caused by the...

  • Deignan scoops Vuelta stage victory

    Philip Deignan (Cervélo TestTeam) wins a Vuelta stage.
    Article published:
    September 17, 2009, 22:03 BST
    By:
    Shane Stokes

    First Irish stage success in three-week Tour since 1992

    Finally able to make the most of his ability after several seasons hampered by illness and injury, Philip Deignan today ended a 17-year wait since Irish cycling last took a Grand Tour stage win.

    Almost two decades after Stephen Roche triumphed on the La Bourboule stage of the 1992 Tour de France, the 26-year-old Cervélo Test Team member raced to victory in Ávila, decisively outsprinting breakaway companion Roman Kreuziger (Liquigas) on the uphill rise to the line at the end of stage 18 in the Vuelta a España.

    It also moved him from 18th to ninth in the general classification, just seven minutes and 49 seconds behind ongoing race leader Alejandro Valverde.

    "I was really nervous," the Cervélo Test Team competitor admitted afterwards. "I don't go into those situations too often. It was really slippery heading to the finish - a couple of times on the roundabouts, my wheels were sliding about a little bit, and I had to back off.

    "I was sure he [Kreuziger] was going to attack me on the cobblestone part heading into Ávila. He never did, so I guess he must not have been able to. Then I just kept watching him until near the finish, when I started the sprint. I thought he was stronger than me, I thought he would come by, but he didn't have the legs."

    Earlier today, Cyclingnews spoke to Deignan at the race start in Talavera de la Reina, and he seemed noticeably fresher than other days. "I do feel better," he said. "Those two easier days gave me a bit of a chance to recover. We'll see how things go today."

    Things went well indeed, with the Irishman thriving in wet, cold conditions more typical of his native Donegal than Spain. He went clear in a 16-man move approximately 40 kilometres after the start, and rode well to get up to various breaks that were trying to form.

    He then showed his strong form in netting second at the top of the category two El Herradón climb and...

  • Reaction from the 18th stage

    Samuel Sanchez (Euskaltel-Euskadi) makes his way up the Velefique
    Article published:
    September 18, 2009, 5:35 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Wild weather, a breakaway day and caution abounds

    Samuel Sanchez (Euskaltel - Euskadi) - 19th on stage, third overall @ 1:10

    "It was a tough day, the kind that can take its toll. Water and cold are not good traveling companions for cyclists; they made a day that in itself already had a demanding parcours even more difficult.

    We tried to keep the race fast and took responsibility in the bunch. Igor Anton was involved in the break, so we had a fellow in front, just in case there was movement. Surprising Valverde will be complicated - he has a very strong crew. Purito, Moreno and Kiriyenka are always at his side - [they're] high quality cyclists and [it will] be difficult to catch them unaware, but we must try.

    Mosquera and Gesink have much merit; they're injured due to falls from yesterday but today they have showed a brave face at all times - it shows that all of us up front are plugged into the Vuelta. Tomorrow will be another difficult day, and we'll the response to any forceful riding.

    Jesús del Nero (Fuji - Servetto) - 10th on stage, 75th overall @ 1:37:36

    "The stage was very hard, with the pouring rain and the high pace in the peloton on the flat before the mountains. We knew there was an obligation to enter the break and everyone inside the team was on high alert to get into the escape, even after the first attacks had no effect.

    I gave it a try in the start of the first climb; a 10-rider group was breaking apart, I jumped from the pack and took them, and while we were doing the ascent to Mijares at full speed, the peloton didn't allow us to take a big gap until some kilometres after.

    I had high hopes to do well at the Avila walls, because the cobblestones are always attractive to me, but the strong rhythm in the break and the attacks from 15 kilometres before left me with no energy.

    At least I can say I've been into a winning break in this race. I was saving gas in the tank for the second half of the...

  • Sastre says he'll double up in 2010

    Carlos Sastre (Cervelo TestTeam)
    Article published:
    September 18, 2009, 8:13 BST
    By:
    Les Clarke

    Cervélo leader explains next season's objectives

    Carlos Sastre has indicated that in 2010 he'll again ride two grand tours in one season - although he hasn't yet decided whether he'll supplement his Tour de France appearance with one at the Giro d'Italia or Vuelta a España.

    Sastre paid a visit to the Vuelta yesterday, the El Barraco resident making the trip to Ávila and announcing his plans for next season, which closely resemble those he executed this year.

    "I am all but sure to race two grand tours. Of course, I will be back at the Tour. Whether I race the Giro or Vuelta depends on which course is better suited to my capabilities," said Sastre.

    "Of course, the Vuelta has a special place in my heart. It's the race that's marked my career and helped me grow as a rider."

    Despite not being a ProTour squad, the Cervélo TestTeam has ridden all three grand tours in 2009. Sastre's fourth overall in the Giro d'Italia was an obvious highlight in addition to Simon Gerrans' stage win in the same event Thor Hushovd's green jersey at the Tour de France and Heinrich Haussler's stage triumph in la grande boucle vindicating the squad's selection for these major races.

    Sastre's Tour de France performance wasn't what he had hoped - as defending champion leading into the event, the Spaniard was looking to further consolidate his place at the top of the grand tour tree. A final placing of 17th overall in Paris wasn't in the plan, although he maintains perspective about his chances in France next season.

    "Concerning next year, the Tour will once again be the top goal," he explained. "This year's Tour wasn't ideal for my style of riding, so let's see what they come up with for next year. I will attend the Tour presentation next month [in Paris], so I hope it has a lot of mountains."

    And Philip Deignan's victory in yesterday's 18th stage of the Vuelta a España is further proof that the Cervélo crew has what it takes to be amongst the world's...

  • Kreuziger comes up short in Ávila

    Roman Kreuziger (Liquigas)
    Article published:
    September 18, 2009, 8:44 BST
    By:
    Shane Stokes

    Liquigas rider hopes team has another Vuelta chance

    Liquigas rider Roman Kreuizer tried to salvage a quiet Vuelta a España campaign on Thursday on the road to Ávila but, at the end of the mountainous 165 kilometre 18th stage, he was lacking the power needed to beat Irish rider Philip Deignan.

    "I'm really disappointed to end this hard day with nothing in hand," the Czech rider said after the stage. "Since this morning I thought that this day could be good to search for the victory. The route was good for my characteristics and the conditions to try an attack were good."

    Deignan, a fifth year professional with the Cervélo TestTeam, rode strongly in a late-race move with Kreuziger and then left his rival behind on the uphill approach to the line.

    "On the last climb I quickened the rhythm to make the selection and the result was good. Then I increased it again and, together with Deignan, we got clear of the other riders of escape. I knew that Deignan was faster than me and so, in the final kilometres, I wanted to go faster again. Unfortunately he was pedalling really well and, on the final short climb, I hadn't enough power to speed up once more and make the difference as I had wanted."

    Krueziger, 23, won the Tour de Romandie earlier this year and finished second to Fabian Cancellara in the Tour de Suisse, a race he was victorious in twelve months earlier. But he's hasn't been his usual self in this Vuelta - albeit partly due to his work in support of Ivan Basso - and wanted to put that right on the penultimate mountain stage.

    Sadly for him, it was not to be. "Today was really a big opportunity to win and get a victory for the team," he said. "We're going really well in this Vuelta, we're protagonists almost every day and I think we deserve success. We will see what will happen in the next few days."

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