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First Edition Cycling News, Friday, September 21, 2012

Date published:
September 21, 2012, 1:00 BST
  • Haussler to work for Gerrans at world championships

    Heinrich Haussler (Garmin-Barracuda ) all smiles before the start.
    Article published:
    September 20, 2012, 18:10 BST
    By:
    Daniel Benson

    Australian confirms he will leave Garmin-Sharp at the end of the season

    Heinrich Haussler (Australia) will ride this year’s elite men's world championship road race in support of teammate and leader Simon Gerrans. Haussler, who confirmed that this will be his last season at Garmin-Sharp, arrived in Valkenburg late Wednesday night, and after a light training session on the race course spoke to Cyclingnews.

    “It’ll be interesting to see what happens at the weekend because a lot will depend on the weather. You’re not going to have a 30-man bunch sprint but if the wind picks up then the race could change,” he predicted to Cyclingnews.

    Australia comes into the Worlds with a depleted squad in terms of experience and Gerrans appears to be the team’s best chance of success. Cadel Evans, Michael Rogers, Matthew Goss and Stuart O’Grady are all missing through injury, illness and non selection. It means Haussler, who led out Goss last year in the chaotic sprint in Copenhagen, will have a key role to play over the 267km course.

    Despite not picking up a win in 2012 – he has recorded five second places – Haussler’s form has improved in the second half of the season. The 28-year-old was seventh in the Cyclassics Hamburg and third in the GP Plouay-Ouest France, results which improved his ranking in the UCI WorldTour significantly.

    “My form is getting better and better, and every week since Hamburg I’ve been improving and feeling stronger,” he told Cyclingnews.

    With Gerrans in high form, and racing a circuit that suits his punchy characteristics, Haussler is adamant that Australia’s best chances for a medal rest on the shoulders of this year’s Milan-San Remo...

  • Gallery: World championship favourites train on the Cauberg

    Vincenzo Nibali leads the Italian training ride
    Article published:
    September 20, 2012, 20:11 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Boonen, Gilbert, Contador, Nibali and Gesink get ready for Sunday

    Several national teams took advantage of a day without racing at the UCI Road World Championships to train on the road race course and check out the crucial Cauberg climb that is expected to play a huge role in deciding who pulls on the rainbow jerseys.

    Americans Tejay Van Garderen and Taylor Phinney used their ride to recover from the efforts of the time trial, while other teams spent several hours in the saddle.

    Italian national coach and two-time former world champion Paolo Bettini rolled out with the Italian team for several laps of the course after posing for an official team photo. He discussed tactics with road captain Luca Paolini and key riders in the squadra azzura: Vincenzo Nibali, Moreno Moser and Diego Ulissi.

    Alberto Contador tried to put the disappointment of Wednesday’s time trial behind and pulled on the red and yellow Spanish kit for a recovery ride along with teammate Alejandro Valverde –one of the favourites thanks to his climbing ability and fast finish.

    Thousands of Belgian cycling fans are expected to cross over into the Netherlands to cheer on Tom Boonen and Philippe Gilbert on Sunday. Both riders are on form and give the Belgian team a formidable array of tactical options. Both looked relaxed and confident during the ride, with Boonen stopping to say hello to Paolo Bettini after the Italian switched to a scooter to follow his riders.

    All the teams enjoyed the sunny and dry conditions in Limburg on Thursday, perhaps knowing that showers are expected for Sunday’s elite men's road race. 

  • Aldag: Team time trial was best preparation for Martin

    Tony Martin (Germany) counts his world championship TT wins
    Article published:
    September 20, 2012, 21:30 BST
    By:
    Barry Ryan

    Advisor lauds German’s defence of world title

    There were two conflicting schools of thought as to what constituted the best preparation for the men’s time trial at the road world championships in Valkenburg, but the final result vindicated those who felt that lining up in the team time trial three days beforehand was the right approach.

    While eventual winner Tony Martin (Germany) was always keen to ride for Omega Pharma-QuickStep in the team event, his technical advisor Rolf Aldag admitted that he had himself initially doubted the wisdom of tackling the team time trial Worlds so soon before he put his individual rainbow jersey on the line.

    “I think it was a help, as it was great to do that effort beforehand,” Aldag told Cyclingnews. As well as offering Martin an opportunity to reconnoitre the Cauberg and the demanding finale of the time trial course at race pace, Aldag said that there was physiological reasoning behind racing on the Sunday.

    “At first, us guys who were not too familiar with training were like, ‘ah, is that smart to do such a hard ride?’ but the trainer [Koen Pelgrim – ed.] said that it was the best thing to do. You have to do a hard effort in those days beforehand anyway, so he felt he should absolutely do it. That way, Tony learnt about the course and had his effort, plus when you do it in a team time trial, it’s not as hard as in an individual time trial.”

    With Omega Pharma-QuickStep’s victory in the team event, Martin has now won two world titles in the space of four days, while Taylor Phinney (BMC and USA) comes away with two silver medals. Bronze medallist Vasil Kiryienka (Belarus and Movistar) also lined up on Sunday, as did BMC’s Tejay...

  • Cavendish and Vos share advice with juniors

    Mark Cavendish (Sky) won his second straight stage at the Tour of Britain.
    Article published:
    September 20, 2012, 22:00 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Junior congress held in conjunction with world championships

    For the second year running, the UCI held a congress for all junior riders taking part in the UCI Road World Championships with the goal of introducing the world of racing at an amateur level and beyond.

    Entitled "No Stress",two hours long and translated into six languages, the conference consisted of a series of informal chats between a presenter and representatives of different areas of the sport.

    First up was commissaires, who revealed - amongst other things - that the most commonly broken rule in a race was defacing a race number (by cutting it out). Drafting behind vehicles is the most frequently misunderstood rule.

    What followed was presentation of the media's role in the sport featuring Jacky Durand, after which came a section on frame construction. Curiously enough, in a vote amongst the audience, "safety" figured well below "comfort" and "weight" in their list of priorities when valuing a bike frame.

    Rather dishearteningly, in the next section, was an introduction to the anti-doping fight under the title of "Prevention". When asked for reasons for taking nutritional supplements, only 31 percent of those who took part in an informal vote opted for stating simply: "I don't need them anyway."

    The high point of the evening though, was the presence of Mark Cavendish and Marianne Vos, both of whom provided reams of advice about the juniors step up into the next category. They also discussed how to tackle the upcoming world championships races.

    "Don't do a lot of different things [at the world championships], follow your normal training plans," said Vos. "Just do like you normally do, and race with pride and courage, and don't think of it as being any different or the pressure will be higher."

    "It's...

  • IAM Cycling announces 2013 roster

    Heinrich Haussler (Garmin-Barracuda ) all smiles before the start.
    Article published:
    September 20, 2012, 23:21 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Haussler, Tschopp, Löfkvist confirmed

    UCI Professional Continental hopefuls IAM Cycling has announced its roster for its debut season in 2013.

    The Swiss-based team will be headlined by grand tour stage winner and classics specialist Heinrich Haussler (Garmin-Sharp), while Johann Tschopp (BMC) and Thomas Löfkvist (Sky) are at the heart of the team’s general classification ambitions. Gustav Larsson (Vacansoleil-DCM) and Martin Elmiger (Ag2r-La Mondiale) are the other marquee signings.

    Tschopp and a host of other riders were confirmed a month ago.

    Former French national road race champion and four-time Tour de France rider Serge Beucherie will manage the team which made a beeline for a number of young Swiss riders - a large portion coming from the Atlas Personal-Jakroo squad. Marcel Aregger, Jonathan Fumeaux and Patrick Schelling will join for 2013 while former Atlas rider Sebastien Reichenbach is also on board.

    Reto Hollenstein (Team NetApp), Marcel Wyss (Team NetApp), Rémi Cusin (Team Type 1) and Sébastien Hinault (AG2R) are the other riders who have inked deals with the team.

    The team will look to receive wildcard invitations to Tour de Suisse and Tour de Romandie.

    The full IAM Cycling squad is:
    Marcel Aregger
    Marco Bandiera
    Matthias Brandle
    Rémi Cusin
    Stefan Denifl
    Martin Elmiger
    Jonathan Fumeaux
    Kristoff Goddaert
    Heinrich Haussler
    Sébastien Hinault
    Reto Hollenstein
    Kevyn Ista
    Dominic Klemme
    Permin Lang
    Gustav Larsson
    Thomas Löfkvist
    Matteo Pelucchi
    Alexandr Pliuschin
    ...

  • Verbruggen won't take legal action against Hamilton

    Hein Verbruggen
    Article published:
    September 21, 2012, 1:12 BST
    By:
    Daniel Benson

    Dutchman reacts angrily to questions on Armstrong testing

    Former UCI President Hein Verbruggen has ruled out taking legal action against Tyler Hamilton despite the former rider substantiating Floyd Landis' allegations of past corruption within the UCI. Cycling's governing body is suing Landis for defamation after he alleged that the UCI had covered up a positive test for Lance Armstrong during the 2001 Tour de Suisse and protected riders. Both Armstrong and the UCI have denied the allegations while Landis has yet to see his case come to light in court.

    The UCI is also in the midst of legal proceedings against the former Sunday Times and "Rough Ride" author Paul Kimmage, who received a subpoena on Wednesday from the Est Vaudois district court, which is based in Vevey, near UCI headquarters at Aigle. The case is to be heard on December 12.

    While the UCI sues a journalist with a stern public anti-doping stance and an ex-rider who has confessed to doping, they are still awaiting a "reasoned decision" which USADA must issue as the next step in its anti-doping case against Lance Armstrong.

    "The problem is we can't find Landis," Verbruggen told Cyclingnews as he poured himself a glass of wine at a worlds presentation in Valkenburg.

    However Verbruggen, who served as UCI president from 1991 to 2005, added that, "We've had legal suits in the past with Dick Pound so everyone that says we have put things under the table or not done our best is sued. Simple. They can come to the court and prove their case. Simple like that."

    It is understood that the UCI's action against Kimmage stemmed from a body of work for The Sunday Times newspaper, which includes an extensive interview with Floyd Landis published in January 2011, and in response to criticism of the UCI that Kimmage expressed in an interview with L'Équipe. However, the UCI has not requested damages from...

  • Spokes disappointed to miss Australian worlds berth

    Sam Spokes (EFC Omega Pharma QuickStep) wins Zillebeke - Westouter - Zillebeke
    Article published:
    September 21, 2012, 2:51 BST
    By:
    Jane Aubrey

    Tour de l'Eure et Loire winner ready for the next challenge

    Despite having only just made his first appearance for Australia at under 23 level, Sam Spokes should count himself as being very unlucky to have missed a spot for the national team for the UCI Road World Championships.

    "I'm pretty disappointed not to get a spot, but that is what cycling is all about," the 20-year-old told Cyclingnews following news of his non-selection. "I just roll with the punches and take it how it comes."

    Selectors instead went with a line-up of Nick Aitken, Rohan Dennis, Michael Freiberg, Damien Howson, Jay McCarthy (Team Jayco AIS) and Adam Phelan (Drapac Professional Cycling).

    Spokes, who rides for EFC Omega Pharma QuickStep, was already focusing on his next challenge with an eye to finishing off the season and adding to his already-impressive palmares. The Tamworth rider has just finished eighth overall at the Tour de Moselle.

    With so many of Australia's riders coming through the AIS program, Spokes is indeed in a minority but it's a path that he's made work. Spokes' dad Alan rode in Europe; won a stage of the Sun Tour and in 1973 rode the fastest time in Grafton to Inverell. Given the family connection within the sport, he's been bike races for as long as he can remember. Racing locally in Tamworth from the age of six eventually landed Spokes a spot with Johan Museeuw Test Team and in 2011, with EFC Omega Pharma QuickStep.

    "I wanted to do a full season in Europe after juniors and at the time Jayco was only offering three or four months so I went to Belgium at the end of junior year for two months and raced with a Belgian team [Johan Museeuw Test Team]," Spokes explained.

    Racing and winning the overall at Liège-La Gleize with the national team as a junior in 2010, Spokes came to the attention of EFC Omega Pharma QuickStep.

    "I just had a really good day on the last stage and wasn't the...

  • Sergent replaces Bauer for New Zealand worlds team

    Jesse Sergent (RadioShack-Nissan) at the end of stage 19 at the Giro
    Article published:
    September 21, 2012, 4:53 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Three-man team includes Dean and Roulston

    Jesse Sergent has been called-up to race for New Zealand in the UCI Road World Championships road race following the late withdrawal of Jack Bauer. Bauer expected to be in top condition for the worlds in Valkenburg however following his performance in the team time trial, riding for his Garmin - Sharp team, he realized he was not in good enough condition to handle the 261km Elite men’s road race.

    "I had freshened up after the recent racing and thought I was coming right," Bauer said. "But I am just not back to the top of my game.

    "The [team] time trial gave me the opportunity to see where I was at, but I just didn't have the legs that you need to be a useful part of the team. So the best thing was to pull out.

    "We have so many good professionals that it is much better for the team to bring in someone who can do justice to the ride. After all it is the World Championships."

    Sergent had been named as a reserve for the road race along with fellow RadioShack-Nissan teammate George Bennett. However, having already shown his condition in the TTT and the individual time trial where he finished 8th and 23rd respectively, Sergent was called up to the road team.

    Sergent was part of the bronze medal-winning New Zealand team pursuit squad at the London Olympic Games and has demonstrated his successful transition from the track back to the road.

    "A key was that I left even before the Olympics were over and got straight back into racing and training on the road. The last training block went really well and I feel pretty strong,” said...