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First Edition Cycling News, Friday, September 30, 2011

Date published:
September 30, 2011, 1:00 BST
  • Brajkovic headed to Astana?

    Janez Brajkovic (Team RadioShack)
    Article published:
    September 29, 2011, 18:54 BST
    Cycling News

    French federation reports on Slovenian's decision

    Squeezed out by the merger between RadioShack and Leopard Trek, Slovenian Janez Brajkovic could be headed to the Astana team, where he would likely share leadership for the Grand Tours with Roman Kreuziger and Alexander Vinokourov.

    The French cycling federation's web site,, published a story claiming that Brajkovic has decided to go with Astana for 2012, but the team has yet to confirm the signing.

    The Kazakh team is in dire need of the UCI points that would come with Brajkovic: the 2010 Critérium du Dauphiné winner this year took third in the Tour of Utah, seventh in Paris-Nice and the Tour de Romandie and ninth in this year's Dauphiné.

    Brajkovic touched off speculation surrounding his future after a cryptic comment on Twitter last week: "JB [Johan Bruyneel] never tried to sell me elsewhere, he'd never do that. He is a great and honest man who always tried to help."

    Interviewed at the UCI road world championships, Brajkovic told Cyclingnews he was looking to race the Tour de France for his own ambitions in the next year or two.

    He was one of RadioShack's co-leaders in this year's race, along with Levi Leipheimer, Chris Horner and Andreas Klöden, but crashed out of the Tour with a broken collarbone and concussion.

  • Jenkins, Beyer join Mancebo at Competitive Cyclist

    Chad Beyer (BMC Racing Team) featured in the breakaway
    Article published:
    September 29, 2011, 22:15 BST
    Cycling News

    Three riders return

    The newly-minted Competitive Cyclist team announced today the acquisition of Max Jenkins, 26, from UnitedHealthCare and Chad Beyer, 25, from BMC. The two riders will join Spaniard Francisco 'Paco' Mancebo on the team, currently known as

    Mancebo and two of his teammates from the 2011 season, Tommy Nankervis and Thoas Rabou, extended their contracts with the team.

    Earlier this month Competitive Cyclist was named as the new title sponsor of the team which won five stage races this year with Mancebo: the Redlands Bicycle Classic, Sea Otter Classic, Tour of the Gila, Tour de Beauce and Cascade Cycling Classic. The team intends to expand its calendar for the coming year.

    "I think our signings will go a long way to attain our goal for next year," said Directeur Sportif Gord Fraser. "This will provide better support for Paco when he's in a leadership position, and also hopefully give us more options so that we can race a bit more spontaneously."

    Jenkins, a native of Novosibirsk, Russia,became a US citizen in 2007, and subsequently won the U23 national championships. He finished 11th overall at the Tour of Utah this year.

    Beyer, a winner of the Tour of the Battenkill, has been a pro since 2009 and has participated in the Giro d'Italia, Tour of Poland and other World Tour races.

  • All or nothing for Haas at Tour of Tasmania

    Nathan Haas (Genesys Wealth Advisers) was a pre-race fancy and didn't disappoint on Mt.Misery.
    Article published:
    September 29, 2011, 23:57 BST
    Jane Aubrey

    Why it could be Haasta la vista early if the race slips from Canberran’s grasp

    Australia's National Road Series leader Nathan Haas (Genesys Wealth Advisers) heads into next week's demanding Tour of Tasmania with a dilemma on his hands – race to win or make an early exit in order to ensure proper preparation and recovery for the Jayco Herald Sun Tour which starts just three days after the island race's conclusion.

    Haas will also be riding the Launceston to New Norfolk Classic on Sunday October 2 although in a support role for teammates Steele Von off and Pat Shaw, who won the race last year.

    Weighing heavily on the Canberra 22-year-old's mind is the sentimental value the Tour of Tasmania holds.

    "This is by far the most important race to me in the season," Haas, bound for Italy in 2012, told Cyclingnews. "It was the first road tour that I ever did [in 2009] and I won the king of the mountains classification and I jokingly said to the team that I was with that ‘I'm coming back to win this race one year'. I'm not trying to sound cocky at all but I like setting goals for myself."

    Haas' results in 2010 were none too shabby either, winning the Tour's toughest stage from Ulverstone to Penguin.

    "I think this is probably my last real chance to win the Tour with the team behind me so I'm going down with 100 per cent commitment to winning this Tour," he continued. "If I come second that's okay but the only result that I can walk away with completely satisfied with is by winning. I really, really want to do well."

    It's a situation that Genesys team manager Andrew Christie-Johnson is also aware of, warning the talented rider not...

  • Champion System forms UCI Professional Continental team

    The Champion System team awaits the start.
    Article published:
    September 30, 2011, 1:11 BST
    Kirsten Frattini

    American Ed Beamon appointed as directeur sportif

    Champion System, an international cycling apparel company, will sponsor Asia’s first UCI Professional Continental outfit during the 2012 season. American Ed Beamon has taken on a role as directeur sportif to lead the team through its targeted events in Asia, Europe and North America.

    "From Champion System's perspective, our goal is to continue our efforts to support professional cycling and to do our part to help its development in Asia," said Charlie Issendorf, Vice President Sales & Marketing at Champion System. "Like any commercial sponsor we use sponsorship to help increase brand awareness and having a top level team will certainly increase the endorsement value of what we believe is a great brand.

    "It has long been the goal of the company to support competitive cycling's development in Hong Kong, China and greater Asia, and what better way than helping create Asia's first Professional Continental team."

    Champion System has sponsored several top level US domestic teams since 2004, beginning with Toyota United. This year, the company branched out and became title sponsor of its first UCI Continental team that was registered in Hong Kong and competed on the international circuit. According to Issendorf, the 2012 UCI Professional Continental outfit is a brand new venture.

    "For 2012 we are backing a new and entirely different project," Issendorf said. "This is a new endeavor. It has been a company goal for several years to back a Professional Continental team with the interest in creating an opportunity to advance and develop Asian riders. We felt that the timing was right to get the program growing and hopefully have it be an important step in building and preparing Pan Chinese athletes for world competition and ultimately the 2016 Olympics."

    The official roster and event calendar will be announced at a later date. However, Champion System has its sights set on competing in an array of international events...

  • Age no barrier for McEwen at Circuit Franco-Belge

    Robbie McEwen (RadioShack)
    Article published:
    September 30, 2011, 4:23 BST
    Cycling News

    Thirty-nine year-old too strong, too fast for third season victory

    Australia's Robbie McEwen claimed his third victory of the season, taking out the opening stage of the Circuit Franco-Belge, outsprinting last year's overall winner Adam Blythe (Omega Pharma-Lotto) while Rudiger Selig (Leopard Trek) was third.

    The stage was marked by a three-man breakaway featuring Ronan Van Zandbeek (Skil-Shimano), David Lelay (Ag2r-La Mondiale) and Jonathan Dewitte (Wallonie Bruxelles-Credit Agricole). The trio broke clear after 55km and quickly built up a six-minute lead before the peloton began to whittle away at their advantage and swallowed them up on the run-in to the finish.

    In spite of a flurry of attacks in the finale, it all came down to a bunch sprint, and the veteran McEwen proved too quick praising the work of his teammates in the finale.

    "With Sam Bewley, Michal Kwiatkowski and Gregory Rast I still had three teammates with me," explained McEwen. "Rast and Kwiatkowski brought me through the last kilometre and then Kwiatkowski guided me to the sixth position to start the sprint. An ideal situation for me.

    "Sky was pulling for Russell Downing. Behind their trio of Sutton, Henderson and Downing, Blythe was there with his teammate Vandousselaere," he continued. "I was in the wheel of Blythe who accelerated. I could easily go around him and his teammate. My sprint was very regular, no explosiveness, but I continuously accelerated. I had to as the last 150 meters were really uphill. I could keep up my pace and won quite easily. This makes me happy."

    RadioShack Team Director Dirk Demol said that age proves no barrier for McEwen.

    "Despite his age that lends to less explosiveness, he never gives up and is always fighting for his position. He is an example for all other riders. The team also believed in him and worked a lot for him."

  • Hansen hopes to end season on high at Jayco Herald Sun Tour

    Adam Hansen (Omega Pharma-Lotto) rode well in support of Gilbert.
    Article published:
    September 30, 2011, 7:11 BST
    Cycling News

    Omega Pharma-Lotto director Michiel Elijzen says team is excited to race Down Under

    Having forged his early career in the hot north of Australia at the Crocodile Trophy, Omega Pharma-Lotto rider Adam Hansen will be trying something completely different when he lines up for the Jayco Herald Sun Tour.

    The 30-year-old has never ridden the prestigious Victorian stage race and is extra motivated to end his season on a high after making the long-lists for his two major objectives, the Tour de France and recent UCI Road World Championships – and then not making the final selections.

    "I really enjoy racing in countries with nice weather and with the Jayco Herald Sun Tour being in Australia it’s a great way for me to end my season," Hansen said. "It will also be my time at the race and I’m looking forward to finally racing it.

    The native Queenslander is a former national time trial champion, but rarely gets the chance to ride for the general classification at a race. The Jayco Herald Sun Tour, which has invited teams and athletes from all over the world, will be a great opportunity for Hansen to show what he can do in internationally recognised stage race.

    "Overall it would be nice if we win a stage and prove we are there to put a show on. It’s exciting for all of our riders to come to Australia and race. We are all really motivated," Hansen said.

    Hansen will be ably supported by an Omega Pharma-Lotto roster bulging with talent. The squad includes Jens Debusschere, Vicente Reynés, Kenny Dehaes, Maarten Neyens and Olivier Kaisen.

    Team Tactics

    Speaking ahead of the race, Omega Pharma-Lotto Sport Director Michiel Elijzen explained that the team has plenty of options, and that along with Hansen’s ambitions for the overall, stage wins will be a big...

  • Report: Aidis Kruopis latest to join GreenEdge

    Lithuania's Aidis Kruopis (Landbouwkrediet) finished third.
    Article published:
    September 30, 2011, 9:11 BST
    Cycling News

    Lithuanian sprinter looking to learn from Davis and McEwen

    Lithuanian Aidis Kruopis is reported to have signed with the Australian outfit GreenEdge, according to Cyclism'Actu. Kruopis, a first-year-professional with the Landbouwkrediet team, has enjoyed a stand-out season, taking a stage of the Tour of Belgium before surprising some big names at the 1.1 rated Schaal Sels.

    "I signed two days ago now for the new team GreenEdge," Kruopis said. "I think that this is a real chance for me to establish myself as a rider there. For me it’s a really great opportunity."

    Kruopis felt that though the team already has a number of high profile sprinters, there would still be plenty of chances for him to grow and learn under the guidance of riders like Matt Goss, Allan Davis, and Robbie McEwen.

    "Yes, many sprinters have already joined the team. However, I hope to make my place and have my own chance to sprint for the win. Of course, I don't expect anything at the start, and I'm happy to do my work for the other senior riders."

    "I really like the team set-up, there's so much experience on the same team next year and that can only be good for me. I think I'm going to learn a lot and this will help me for my future."

    Kruopis becomes the 25th signing for the GreenEdge team.

  • NetApp satisfied with top finishes in big races in 2011

    The NetApp team out for a Saturday stroll.
    Article published:
    September 30, 2011, 10:18 BST
    Susan Westemeyer

    Impey leaving, Cozza staying, four new riders announced

    Team NetApp hasn't had any wins so far this season, but “good podium placings in big races show that we belong where we are,” team manager Ralph Denk said, and declared himself “more than satisfied” with the 2011 season. He also said that Steven Cozza would be back with the team in 2012, but that Daryl Impey would not.

    The team has come close to the top step of the podium a number of times, with seven second place finishes and nine third places. The lack of wins is due to “the very, very hard and big race programme,” Denk told Cyclingnews. “If we had ridden smaller races we would have done better, but we chose these to develop our young riders. I am not unsatisfied, we have seen a big step up in several of our riders.”

    The team's two top riders this year have proven to be the two Czechs, Jan Barta and Leopold König. In his second year with the team, the 25-year-old Barta finished eighth overall at the Tour of Austria and third overall at the Tour of Britain. König, 24, had an outstanding second half of the season, finishing second overall at the Tour of Austria, third at the Tour de l'Ain and fifth in the Tour of Britain.

    The team did well at those races as a result of the racing programme, Denk said. “We saw the riders develop during the races and the season, and therefore they got good results in the big races.”

    But König and Barta did not accomplish that alone, he noted. “Both surely had the best results this year. But to be on the podium of an HC race, the whole team must perform well. They also own a part of that.

    “I hope that next year they will bring the same performance...