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First Edition Cycling News, Monday, August 15, 2011

Date published:
August 15, 2011, 1:00 BST
  • Arvesen to retire at the end of the season

    Kurt Alse Arvesen (Team Sky)
    Article published:
    August 14, 2011, 11:31 BST
    Daniel Benson

    Sky rider calls time on 14-year career

    Kurt-Asle Arvesen (Sky) will retire at the end of the 2011 season, bringing down the curtain on his 13-year career. The 36-year-old hopes to remain in cycling and help develop young riders in the sport.

    “I hope to stay involved in cycling but I haven't got anything sorted. It won’t be as a rider though, as this will be my final season. I'm keeping all my options open," he told Cyclingnews.

    Arvesen turned professional in 1998 with Risco Scotti and rode with Ivan Basso, Vladislav Bobrik and Filippo Simeoni. He then moved to Amica Chips for a season before moving to Denmark, first riding for Fakta and then starting a six-year run with CSC/Saxo Bank.

    He left Bjarne Riis' team ahead of the 2010 season and moved to Team Sky on a two-year contract, where he became one of their most experienced and well-respected riders.

    "I've been out there for many years now and I think it's about time I found something else to do and help out the younger guys."

    Despite being more of a worker than a winner, Arvesen still racked up a number of impressive victories. Long before Thor Hushovd became a road world champion, Arvesen was already pulling on a rainbow jersey, winning the under-23 road title in San Sebastian in 1997. In 2003, he won a stage at the Giro d'Italia and a year later he claimed the overall honours in the Tour of Denmark. A Vuelta a España stage followed in 2006, with another Giro stage and Tour of Denmark title a year later.

    The following season, he made completed his collection of grand tour successes, taking a memorable stage into Foix at the Tour de France. The Norwegian places that race as his proudest moment as a professional.

    "Wining with Carlos [Sastre] and then of course winning a stage myself and the team GC – being part of that group was...

  • Gobernacion de Antioquia aims to annihilate Utah finale

    The Gobernacion Indeportes Antioquia team keeping things in check on the first time up the climb.
    Article published:
    August 14, 2011, 19:29 BST
    Kirsten Frattini

    RadioShack teammates dwindle on penultimate stage

    The Colombia-registered team Gobernacion de Antioquia is prepared to use every one of its climbers to destroy the peloton during the Tour of Utah "queen" stage 5 finale that ends atop the Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort. The team intends to strip the yellow jersey off of RadioShack’s Levi Leipheimer’s back and win the overall title.

    "Anything is possible, and it is possible that we will win tomorrow," Oscar Sevilla told Cyclingnews. "I think that Levi is very strong in this race, but between myself and [Sergio] Henao, we have a very strong team. The big mountains are very good for me and Henao. We are going to attack a lot and try to gain time on Levi. I really think it is possible that we can win tomorrow."

    Henao opened the six-day event with a victory at the prologue, where his teammate Sevilla placed third. The stage one circuit race boasted a challenging climb where Henao and Sevilla along with Leipheimer and his teammate Janez Brajkovic rode away from the field, proving to be the four strongest climbers.

    Leipheimer moved into the yellow jersey with a strong second-place performance in the time trial. He started the stage four circuit race leading the overall ahead of Brajkovic, Sevilla and Henao.

    RadioShack controlled the time gap between the main field and an all-day breakaway during the demanding circuit race. However, the team lost several of its riders in the closing laps and two riders finished outside of the time limit. Leipheimer and Brajkovic were left to defend their own race leads against the relentless attacks on the climb from Gobernacio de Antioquia, among others.

    "We are used to taking responsibility for defending jerseys, but this kind of race is very difficult to control," said RadioShack...

  • Untimely crash costs Farrar his chances at Olympic test event

    Tyler Farrar (USA) before the start.
    Article published:
    August 14, 2011, 21:30 BST
    Daniel Benson

    American praises young teammates for their help in London

    Tyler Farrar (United States) came into the Olympic test event in London as one of the favourites, but an untimely puncture, followed by an even more untimely crash ruled him out of contention as sprint rival Mark Cavendish (Great Britain) ruled.

    Farrar was leading an inexperienced American team that comprised of a number of under 23 riders from the likes of Trek-Livestrong. Up against the numerical advantage of Great Britain and Team England, plus the strength and depth from the Australians, the Americans were always going to find the going tough.

    However up until the final kilometres, Farrar looked to be on course for at least a shot at the sprint. That was until Cavendish clashed with a Japanese rider. Cavendish remained upright but the Japanese rider fell, bringing down Farrar in the process.

    "That's just the way it is out there. It's half professionals, half amateurs who are maybe in a bit over their heads and it was a bit dodgy at the end. Some guys fell in front of me and I went into them," Farrar told Cyclingnews, after limping home behind the main group.

    "Before that I had been feeling quite good. I came here to try and win, and I wanted to do this sprint and see how it felt, so it's a pity. That's bike racing."

    Farrar's participation - he was the only US pro to attend - should be seen as a clear indication of how seriously he is taking next year's Olympic Games, when he will line up as his country's best shot at a medal. The course, although far from flat, suits his style of riding and capabilities and should the race come down to an expected sprint he should feature.

    "It's a nice course. It's interesting, and I think the circuit is harder than people were giving it credit for. So nine laps...

  • GreenEdge set to announce athlete development policy

    The team from Plan B Racing rode brilliantly to take out the teams' general classification category on the tour.
    Article published:
    August 15, 2011, 0:27 BST
    Jane Aubrey

    Bannan wants to "value-add" to Australian cycling

    GreenEdge is putting its roots into the depths of Australian cycling, and this week will announce its development policy outlining pathways for the next generation of the nation's cyclists to join the UCI's WorldTour should the project be successful in gaining a ProTour licence in November.

    Under the plans, the UCI Continental-registered Jayco-AIS team will be the direct feeder team to GreenEdge, much like the Trek-Livestrong arrangement with RadioShack although the project's General Manager Shayne Bannan told Cyclingnews that the deal won't be exclusive.

    "We would certainly like to have an affiliation with a lot of NRS [National Road Series] and Continental teams which are developing in Australia," he explained. "The way we can value-add to those teams is a plan that we're developing at the moment."

    Cycling in Australia is currently riding a wave of enthusiasm, especially following Cadel Evans' win at the Tour de France with the GreenEdge project also generating a lot of interest in the eight months since it was launched in Adelaide. Because of this, Bannan says that any links need to be fostered with the best interests of everyone concerned with his number one goal being to "value add to the Australian cycling system".

    "We want it to actually mean something to the riders – those are the details that we're going through at the moment," he said.

    Last week, Australian National Road Series outfit Plan B Racing trumpeted the announcement that it had "officially recognized as a feeder team to the GreenEdge Pro team."

    Plan B's team manager, Wayne Evans – who also represents the interests of GreenEdge

  • Evans hopes for good form at USA Pro Cycling Challenge

    Cadel Evans showed off his yellow jersey
    Article published:
    August 15, 2011, 2:32 BST
    Kirsten Frattini

    Tour de France winner spectates at Tour of Utah finale

    Cadel Evans (BMC Racing) is hoping that he has recovered enough from his recent Tour de France win to put forth a strong performance at the USA Pro Cycling Challenge held from 22-28 in Colorado. The Australian arrived Stateside on Sunday and watched his teammates race the final stage of the Tour of Utah, where he will acclimatise to the altitude before travelling to Colorado.

    "I'm here for a few days," Evans said. "Seriously, the timing is really good and Colorado is a really beautiful place to race. We could go to the Vuelta, Colorado or Poland, I know which one I want to do, because I am here and I don't think I am the only one that feels that way. I don't know if I will be a factor in Colorado, but I'm going to take it as it comes. If I can be good that would be great but with the travel and altitude it is not exactly optimal."

    Evans recently celebrated his Tour de France victory in his homeland of Australia, at an official ceremony hosted by Premier Ted Baillieu. In addition, he met with the Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard prior to departing Stateside.

    According to Evans, he wanted to arrive to the mountains early in order to prepare for the more than 12,000 feet of elevation at the USA Pro Cycling Challenge, which will host several Grand Tour contenders including Frank and Andy Schleck (Leopard-Trek),

  • Cheula wins aggressive rider award at Utah finale

    Geox - TMC 2011 - Gianpaolo Cheula (Geox - TMC)
    Article published:
    August 15, 2011, 4:18 BST
    Kirsten Frattini

    Geox-TMC rider completes two weeks of racing Stateside

    Giampaolo Cheula (GEOX-TMC) won the Most Aggressive Rider jersey after initiating a decisive solo breakaway during the 'queen' stage five finale at the Tour of Utah on Sunday. His team's two-week stint in the US has come to an end and rider will return overseas for the final block of European racing.

    "Our team came to the USA for our sponsor Fuji because that is an American brand and they wanted our team to have some presence in the US," Cheula told Cyclingnews. "We also wanted to ride well, train well and to have two weeks of good racing. Today was a very hard day and so to win the most aggressive rider jersey, on a day like today, was very good for our team. We are very satisfied with this result and it was nice to give our team some presence on the podium this week."

    The UCI Professional Continental team arrived to the US prior to the UCI 2.2 Tour of Elk Grove held from August 5-7 outside of Chicago, Illinois. Cheula placed third on the stage two circuit race. The team traveled to the Tour of Utah where it was relatively quiet with the exception of Cheula's final attack on stage five.

    "We had more success at the Tour of Elk Grove but the Tour of Utah was much tougher with respect to the climbing and so we are happy with our performances," Cheula said.

    His late-stage five move came after a decisive ascent mid-stage on the Alpine Loop and resulted in a solo breakaway of nearly a minute heading into the final climb of the day on Little Cottonwood Canyon up to the Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort.

    "Stage five was so hard today, the climbs were long and it was...

  • Dean caught up in crash at London-Surrey Classic

    Kiwi Julian Dean expected to figure in the results of a bunch sprint.
    Article published:
    August 15, 2011, 5:07 BST
    Cycling News

    Kiwis believe Olympic course will prove to be a challenge

    BikeNZ High Performance Road Director Sportif Andy Reid believes next year's London Olympic course will prove technically challenging.

    The New Zealand team, led by Julian Dean, were caught behind a major crash three kilometres from the finish with only Ashburton's Jason Christie evading the carnage to finish in the top 15 bunch sprint won by Great Britain's Mark Cavendish.

    The field completed the 140km women's course yesterday with just two laps of the Box Hill loop but it was sufficient to give a good indication that it will provide a strong test next year. The men's race will comprise nine circuits around the Surrey Hills course after the initial route out of the city from The Mall, passing Buckingham Palace and the central London landmarks.

    "It's a pretty neat course. Technically it will be full-on and that will demand full concentration throughout," Reid said.

    "The course can get tight at times and quite often the field were down to single file with the very narrow corners. Placement in the bunch will be critical and I think it is that technical aspect of the course that will make it very tough.

    "I think that it is very possible for the elastic to break and a group could get away."

    Reid said the course will be extremely challenging if it is wet.

    "Overall we got out of it what we wanted. We didn't need the crash because we were travelling well with the group well position to set-up Julian for the sprint finish."

    Cavendish produced his trademark sprint along The Mall in London to win from Sacha Modolo (Ita) and Samuel Dumoulin (Fra). The crash also counted out the chances of American sprinter Tyler Farrar and the Australian team with only Stuart O'Grady and Matt Goss getting through.

  • Hill makes the most of switch to Jayco-2XU to claim Victorian Open Road Championship

    Time for some Benny Hill music: Jayco/2xu's Benjamin Hill proudly displays his gold medal from stage five.
    Article published:
    August 15, 2011, 7:40 BST
    Jane Aubrey

    Jonker says team is getting closer to finding the winning formula

    Ben Hill capped off a solid debut for Jayco-2XU at the Geelong Tour by winning the toughest stage of the National Road Series event, the tough 143 kilometre fifth stage which also doubled as the Victorian Open Road Championship.

    Canberra-based Hill joined Jayco-2XU for the Geelong Tour haven ridden the earlier part of the season with the Suzuki Trek outfit. It was a move that Suzuki-Trek team manager John Forrest knew was in Hill's best interest, and so gave the 21-year old his blessing.

    "We're going to continue to help develop Ben with John Forrest from Suzuki Trek, explained Jayco-2XU director sportif Pat Jonker. "He's been with Suzuki all year, he comes with us and wins a big race so Suzuki has to take credit as well and it's now our job to develop him all the way to a standard where he can be in the national team – that's pretty much my job now. If he's not in the national team by July next year, then I haven't done my job."

    Hill was just as impressed with his new team:

    "They're just very professional," he surmised. "They do all the little things right – they get us prepared both physically and mentally before the race. Pat Jonker's excellent. He gave me so many tips during the race – when to do what and it just helped a lot."

    As with most stages in the NRS, Saturday's began with attacks off the front but the "tough man's course" as Jonker described it would gradually result in 60 riders not making it to the finish, such was the pace over the demandingly hills parcours. Hill, with teammates Glenn O'Shea, Nick Dougall and Mark Jamieson rode a smart race, staying safely in the lead group which was eventually whittled down to 25 riders, the Canberran only showing his hand on the final KOM of the day where he claimed two points for being third across the line.