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First Edition Cycling News, Friday, September 2, 2011

Date published:
September 02, 2011, 1:00 BST
  • Boonen suffering from open groin wound

    Tom Boonen (Quick Step)
    Article published:
    September 01, 2011, 12:06 BST
    Cycling News

    Quickstep rider with much pain, but getting better

    Tom Boonen has been struggling in the Vuelta a Espana, and has finally disclosed the rather embarrassing physical problem which has been hindering him. He has an open wound under a delicate area which is very painful and makes it difficult for him to ride. "It does hurt quite a lot," he told Het Nieuwsblad.

    The heat is to blame for the problem. “Because of the friction of the pants with the saddle, I suffer from an injury to the scrotum. The extreme heat and excessive sweating caused a heavy irritation in that area. There is a hole. It is not the first time that I have suffered in this place, but never as bad as now. "

    The Quickstep rider consider abandoning during Monday's time trial. “I stood on my pedals all day because I could not take the pain.” Boonen finished last in the time trial, 10.49 behind winner Tony Martin.

    The injury is “a bit better now, Boonen said, and explained what he has done. “I got a 'second skin', and glued it at times to a kind of diaper. The perineum, the area between the scrotum and the anus, is simply the most delicate part of the body."

    Team doctor Toon Cruyt thought the situation was finally under control. “The extreme heat caused the perineum to start to tear five days ago. The rest day came just in time, so that his injury had two more days – including the time trial – to heal.”

  • Contador aims at Tour and Vuelta return in 2012

    Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank) went out fighting
    Article published:
    September 01, 2011, 14:25 BST
    Cycling News

    Spaniard speaks on possible Leopard-RadioShack merger

    Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank-Sungard) has said that the Tour de France will be the centrepiece of his 2012 season, and also hinted at a return to the Vuelta a España for the first time since 2008.

    The Spaniard, who returned an adverse analytical finding for Clenbuterol at the 2010 Tour, is still awaiting a Court of Arbitration for Sport hearing into the case, but he is already looking ahead to next year and he plans to tailor his early-season programme to aid his Tour preparation.

    “For 2012, the Tour will be my number one objective,” Contador told Teledeporte. “First I will pick interesting races and take them on to prepare myself to the best. And then I might also ride the Vuelta."

    In a related web chat on the, Contador was more emphatic. "Next year my goal is the Tour but it is very likely that I will take part in the 2012 Vuelta a España. I feel like it again."

    After winning the Giro d’Italia in May, Contador could only manage 5th in this year’s Tour, a result which marked his first defeat in a three-week stage race since his debut in La Grande Boucle in 2005. He is set to cut the Giro from his 2012 programme, but he was adamant that he did not regret attempting the Giro-Tour double this year.

    “My account is very positive. First at the Giro and fifth at the Tour, I wouldn’t change that,” Contador said. “I retain an extraordinary memory of the Giro, it’s the most beautiful race there is.”

    Following rumours of a possible merger between Andy Schleck’s Leopard Trek squad and RadioShack in 2012, Contador admitted that his great rival’s chances of Tour victory would be increased, but he...

  • BMC signs Pinotti and Van Garderen

    Marco Pinotti (HTC-Highroad) waved goodbye to the Giro d'Italia after a crash
    Article published:
    September 01, 2011, 15:37 BST
    Cycling News

    HTC-Highroad duo latest acquisitions

    BMC’s extensive transfer campaign continued on Thursday with the announcement that the squad has secured the services of Marco Pinotti and Tejay Van Garderen for the 2012 season.

    Pinotti and Van Garderen join the team from HTC-Highroad, which will cease operations at the end of this season. Both riders had been linked with a move to BMC in recent weeks, but were unable to reveal their new team until September 1 due to the terms of their contracts with Highroad.

    After bolstering their classics line-up with the acquisition of Philippe Gilbert and Thor Hushovd, the free-spending BMC has added significant depth to its stage racing stable with the arrival of Pinotti and Van Garderen. The team's 2012 roster will also include Tour de France champion Cadel Evans.

    "Marco has been the Italian national time trial champion five of the past seven years and brings power to our team time trials, as well as incredible talent in the mountains. We believe he will be a great asset to the team in many ways," BMC general manager Jim Ochowicz said.

    "Tejay is a gifted young talent with a complete set of skills that will allow him to one day be a contender in the Grand Tours. His time trialing continues to improve, as is his climbing. With Cadel acting as his mentor, the road to success should come quickly."

    Pinotti joins his fellow countrymen Alessandro Ballan, Ivan Santaromita, Manuel Quinziato and Mauro Santambrogio at BMC. The 35-year-old Italian was a hugely-influential figure at HTC-Highroad, and is hoping to continue in a similar role on his new team.

    "It's really a team that's been growing and developing fast in the last two years," Pinotti said. "I'm an experienced rider who can share that experience with the younger riders while...

  • Great Britain announces Worlds pre-selection

    Mark Cavendish (Great Britain) has won the London-Surry Cycle Classic.
    Article published:
    September 01, 2011, 18:33 BST
    Cycling News

    Strong quota of Sky riders in line to support Cavendish

    British Cycling has announced a long list of twelve riders for the world championships road race in Copenhagen later this month.

    Mark Cavendish will lead the squad, and thanks to Great Britain’s high placement in the UCI WorldTour rankings, the Manxman will have seven teammates to support him in Denmark, up five from last year.

    As expected, Sky riders dominate the pre-selection, with Vuelta a España protagonists Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome included, along with Geraint Thomas, Alex Dowsett, Peter Kennaugh, Ian Stannard, Ben Swift, Jeremy Hunt and Steve Cummings. Garmin-Cervélo duo David Millar and Dan Lloyd round out the pre-selection.

    “We are heading to the road Worlds with serious aspirations this year,” British Cycling Performance Director Dave Brailsford said. "This is the biggest team we've taken to a road world championships, demonstrating the continuous progression of road racing in the UK.”

    Also team principal of Team Sky, Brailsford is pleased with the role that the WorldTour outfit is playing in the development of young talent. “It's great to see the positive impact that Team Sky has had on young developing riders, with Geraint Thomas, Chris Froome, Pete Kennaugh and Alex Dowsett all being long-listed.”

    Dowsett is also included on the three-man time trial pre-selection, along with Millar and Wiggins, with two riders set to be selected for the Worlds.

    Nicole Cooke, Emma Pooley and Lizzie Armitstead are among the nine riders listed in the pre-selection for the women’s road race, where Britain will have seven berths. Pooley is also on the time trial long list, along with Sharon Laws and Julia Shaw.

    The British teams for the world championships...

  • New Zealand Cycle Classic celebrates 25th year in 2012

    2011 Tour of Wellington winner George Bennett (Team Cardno)
    Article published:
    September 01, 2011, 21:08 BST
    Cycling News

    Five-day event to be held in Manawatu for first time

    For the first time in its 25-year history the UCI-sanctioned men's Cycle Classic Tour will be held in the Manawatu, New Zealand. Formerly the Tour of Wellington, the five-day event will be renamed the New Zealand Cycle Classic and is scheduled for January 25-29, 2012.

    Race director Jorge Sandoval said he is looking forward to reviving the Cycle Classic thanks to the support of Palmerston North City Council and Sport Manawatu. "Earlier this year I took part of my international women's tour of New Zealand to Palmerston North and the reaction was so positive that I started to investigate the possibility of the men racing in the region as well."

    Sandoval said that the tour has grown to become one of the most important on the Oceania calendar. "Riders from all around the world compete in this event and continue on to join the professional ranks. Three past riders of the tour rode in this year's Tour de France.

    "This is a great opportunity for cycling and the Manawatu region in general. I'm really excited by the change of environment, Manawatu is perfect for cycling at all levels and a new challenge for me."

    Originally Sandoval had hoped to mark 25 years of his Wellington tours with one stage on the streets of the capital. However, in recent times it has been restricted to a final stage criterium on Lambton Quay. With the UCI stipulating its tours cannot end with a criterium Sandoval approached the Wellington City Council about having the final stage on the Miramar Peninsula.

    "Feedback from the Wellington Council was that this was an unlikely option. This combined with my previous experience in the Manawatu led me to look at an alternative home for the event," says Sandoval.

    The event first ran as the Angus Inn Cycle Classic in 1988 and has evolved into the major international event it is today. It is the only UCI event in New Zealand for men's racing.

    2012 New Zealand Cycle Classic

  • Dempster looks to step up after best season yet

    Zak Dempster on the attack with 20 to go.
    Article published:
    September 01, 2011, 23:40 BST
    Jane Aubrey

    Australian talks to Cyclingnews about racing to win

    Zak Dempster has six wins to his name in 2011 for Rapha Condor Sharp, an impressive winning streak which played a big role in his recruitment to HTC-Highroad as a stagiere for last month's Tour of Utah, however with the ProTeam's collapse the Australian is hoping his future is sealed sooner rather than later.

    The air of urgency has been with Dempster for most of the season – something he credits for his success.

    "It's been a couple of years coming," he says of his best season to date which netted victories at the Severn Bridge Road Race, the Dengie Marshes Tour, Tesco CiCLE Classic, overall at the Tour of Doonhame, the first round of the Halfords Tour, and the first stage of the UCI 2.2 ranked Ronde de l’Oise along with a host of top 10 results. "This isn't out of the blue I've had good results before but I'm just really desperate to win races – that's why I do cycling at this level. I don't want to be a professional just so I can get a cool Nike tracksuit and go for a ride on a team bus. I want to be a professional so I can try and win races or contribute significantly to a team that does win races."

    Just as he was chosen to ride as a stagiere for HTC-Highroad at the Tour of Utah, it was announced that the team had failed to secure financial backing beyond this season. Bob Stapleton's team may not have had a future, but Dempster was still chasing his so it was business as usual "because you never know what might happen," the 24-year-old Bendigo-native told Cyclingnews.

    "So the mental approach didn't change for me at all, I was ready to perform and to do what I was asked. I was really happy to be there, everyone was cool and nice and everything was organised. Hopefully that prepares me for next year."

    Utah may not have been a race that...

  • 2011 Goulburn to Sydney Cycling Classic launches in Sydney

    Sydney's Harbour Bridge may soon feature in the Goldburn to Sydney race
    Article published:
    September 02, 2011, 3:16 BST
    Alex Hinds

    Race organiser Paul Hillbrick says race has 'transformed' since 2004

    The Goulburn to Sydney Cycling Classic was launched on Thursday in Sydney with a celebration of Australian cycling.

    The National Road Series event will see riders tackling a flat but often windy 170 kilometre course from Goulburn to Camden, on Sydney's outskirts. A unique event on the Australian National Road Series calendar, the race mixes elite level racing with a sportive team time trial and road race designed to raise money for charity.

    The lavish event honoured the history of the race which stretches back to 1902, but was a start contrast to just seven years ago when the race was facing permanent cancellation due to financial problems.

    Paul Hillbrick, one of the key pillars of the Macarthur Collegian Cycling Club, the club crucial to race's revival, spoke to Cyclingnews about those dark days, and the encouraging way the Goulburn community rallied to save the race in 2004.

    "It’s been great to see the race grow and develop over the last seven years," said Hillbrick. "We’ve been incredibly fortunate to have had the support of some great sponsors, particularly early on when the Campbletown Catholic Club essentially underwrote the event financially in the first year or two."

    "That was the level of commitment and support that the race has received in the community. [Former Australian rugby union player] Simon Poidevin has also been crucial in re-building the image of the race. Simon put his hand up very early and was really important on bring on corporate support for the race. We wouldn’t be here today without that.

    "The loyalty of support is something that’s really great to see. I go back to sponsors every year and it’s almost embarrassing how quickly they want to jump back on board. You feel genuinely humbled."

    "It’s been a lot of hard work, from the Macarthur Collegians Cycling Club, from a number of people, but the product is there to see."

  • Fatigued Kittel withdraws from Vuelta

    Marcel Kittel (Skil-Shimano)
    Article published:
    September 02, 2011, 5:44 BST
    Cycling News

    German sprinter now focussing on worlds

    Marcel Kittel (Skil-Shimano) has withdrawn from the remainder of the Vuelta a Espana, following Thursday's 12th stage to Pontevedra, won by Liquigas-Cannondale's Peter Sagan.

    Kittel, winner of stage seven, had always planned to leave the Vuelta early according to team manager Rudi Kemna, and will now focus on his preparation for the UCI Road World Championships at the end of the month.

    "This is entirely according to plan," confirmed Kemna. "Marcel is still young and you should eventually be better off if you're in a race as it goes on. He can take a rest."

    Kittel's fatigue was evident on Thursday, dropped with 10 kilometres to go before being brought back to the bunch by his teammates.

    "They have helped me very well," the German said. "But I just was not strong enough to stay in position at the front with the best sprinters." He eventually crossed the line in 81st, 34 seconds off the pace.

    "I am not glad to have to leave the Vuelta," Kittel admitted. "I have had two wonderful weeks and would like to thank the organization for inviting us. To get a victory in my first grand tour is unbelievable."

    It's been a successful year for the 23-year-old, who prevailed in the fifth stage of the Tour de Langkawi, won four stages at the Four Days of Dunkirk, won the first stage and then overall at the Delta Tour Zeeland, before claiming four stages at the Tour of Poland.