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First Edition Cycling News, Monday, August 16, 2010

Date published:
August 16, 2010, 1:00 BST
  • Pozzato builds up for the world championships

    Katusha's Filippo Pozzato in Austria.
    Article published:
    August 15, 2010, 10:44 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    Italian hoping for second success in Hamburg

    Filippo Pozzato (Katusha) is out to save Italian pride and begin what he hopes will be a successful build-up to the world championships in Australia, with success in today’s Vattenfall Cyclassic race in Hamburg, Germany.

    An Italian rider has not won a major one-day classic race since Damiano Cunego won the Tour of Lombardy in 2008. Pozzato won the Vattenfall Cyclassic in 2005 and is hoping he can do it again.

    Victory would help him secure a clear leadership role in the Italian team for the world championships and make up for a meagre list of results so far in 2010.

    “I haven’t won a lot but it shouldn’t be forgotten that I was ill before the Tour of Flanders but was still up there in Paris-Roubaix and got seventh, when nobody expected it,” Pozzato argued in an interview with Sunday’s Gazzetta dello Sport.

    “I won a nice stage at the Giro d’Italia and almost won another. After that I took a break and I’ve only just started racing again. To be honest I feel the best part of my season is still to come. It feels likes in January.”

    Pozzato is now backing in a standard Katusha jersey after a year as Italian champion and has opted to stay with the Russian squad for 2011. He was criticised for not trying to defend his ‘tricolore’ jersey but after finishing the Giro d’Italia, Pozzato has his eyes fixed firmly on pulling on the rainbow jersey.

    “I think I honoured the ‘tricolore’ every time I wore it in a race but you can’t do everything in cycling these days,” he said. “And I think that’s a good thing. The course of this year’s championships was too hard for me and so I opted to take a break earlier and so work on a second peak of form for the world championships.”

    Pozzato did not ride the Tour de France, returning to racing at the Clasica San Sebastian. He also rode the Tour de Wallonie...

  • Kelly Benefit Strategies returns to Europe

    David Veilleux (Kelly Benefit Strategies) wins the USPro Criterium.
    Article published:
    August 15, 2010, 14:23 BST
    Peter Hymas

    Team riding momentum from US Pro Criterium victory

    Fresh off of the team's biggest victory of the season at the US Pro Criterium Championships by David Veilleux, the American Continental Kelly Benefit Strategies squad returns to Europe for the second time this year to compete in a block of racing in Belgium, Norway and France. The team will first contest the GP Stad Zottegem on August 17, a 192.3km, UCI 1.1-ranked event in Zottegem, Belgium, followed by a three-day stage race in Norway, the UCI 2.2-ranked Festningsrittet, August 20-22.

    The team will then take part in two more one-day events starting with France's Grand Prix des Marbriers (UCI 1.2, 160km) on August 24, immediately followed by Belgium's Druivenkoers - Overijse (UCI 1.1, 198km) on August 25.

    "The end of this season was tough, we had the end of our season set up and then most of our season cancelled," Jonas Carney, Kelly Benefit Strategies performance director, told Cyclingnews. "We had the Tour of New York, the Tour of Ireland, the Tour of Missouri and we were going to do Univest. The first three were cancelled and Univest was shortened, so what was a really heavy schedule turned out to be super light. That's one of the main reasons why we're taking our guys to Europe, to get them ready for the ProTour races in Canada and the US Pro [Road] Championships in South Carolina."

    The team had a strong performance at 2009's US Professional Road Championships, placing riders on the podium for both the time trial and the road race, and the Americans on the squad are preparing for another run at the podium at this year's event September 18-19 in Greenville, South Carolina. Meanwhile, two of the squad's Canadian riders are being considered for spots on the Canadian National Team roster for a pair of new ProTour events in Canada, the Grand Prix Cycliste de Québec on September 10 and the Grand Prix Cycliste de Montréal on September 12.

    "I think it's pretty likely that David [Veilleux] and Ryan Anderson will...

  • Wiggins to miss Eneco Tour

    Bradley Wiggins (Sky) had a somewhat disappointing time.
    Article published:
    August 15, 2010, 19:30 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    Froome to replace Briton in Team Sky line-up

    Team Sky's Bradley Wiggins has been forced to pull out of the Eneco Tour stage for family reasons.

    The eight-day race was scheduled to be Wiggins's first race appearance since the Tour de France but a family bereavement means he will now miss the event which takes place in Holland and Belgium this week.

    Chris Froome will replace Wiggins in the Team Sky line-up which features 2009 overall winner Edvald Boasson Hagen. Froome took part in the London Sky ride on Sunday, a family ride in the British capital, and will now join up with the team travelling to Holland for the team presentation on Monday and the opening 5.2km time trial in Steenwijk.

    Team Sky’s line-up for the Eneco Tour is: Kurt-Asle Arvesen, Michael Barry, Edvald Boasson Hagen, Chris Froome, Mat Hayman, Greg Henderson, Chris Sutton and Geraint Thomas.

    Team Sky will also be compete in France this week, at the four-day Tour du Limousin. Kjell Carlstrom, Dario Cioni, Russell Downing, Simon Gerrans, Thomas Löfkvist, Serge Pauwels and Morris Possoni have been selected for the race.

    Downing has been ill in recent days but has promised to travel to France to start the race.

    Wiggins's only major objective for the end of season is now the Tour of Britain between September 11-18. Before then he is expected to ride the British national time trial championships in Wales on September 5. He has already announced he will not compete in the World Championships in Australia or the Commonwealth Games in India.

    This week Team Sky announced the line-up for the Vuelta a España, promising to target stage victories rather than a good overall classification. The line-up is: John-Lee Augustyn, Kjell Carlstrom, Juan Antonio Flecha, Simon Gerrans, Peter Kennaugh, Thomas Löfkvist, Lars-Petter Nordhaug, Ian Stannard and Ben Swift.

  • Fly V working to become a ProTour team in 2011

    Cheers for Fly V Australia!
    Article published:
    August 15, 2010, 20:25 BST
    Cycling News

    Chris White set to reveal sponsor and riders

    Australian cycling could be about to have its first major team in the European peloton after Chris White of the Fly V Australia team confirmed he is working on plans to secure a UCI ProTour licence for 2011.

    Speaking to the Australian newspaper, White revealed he has been working with the UCI on a ProTour application. He refused to name the major sponsor of the team or the name of any major European-based riders he is in talks with. However, veteran sprinter Robbie McEwen could be one target after confirming he wants to race for one last season in 2011. Fellow Australian Mick Rogers is also believed to be considering his future and could be a possible stage race leader for the team.

    White is a Brisbane accountant, testicular cancer survivor and former racer.

    "The UCI has given me an August 31 deadline to formally submit my ProTour bid," he told the Australian.

    "In cycling, Australia has punched well above its weight for a number of years and now I believe we are ready to go to the next level, which is ProTour. We've got a lot of guys who could ride in the ProTour, but up to now there hasn't been an Australian team for them to aspire to. Cadel Evans, Michael Rogers, Mark Renshaw, Simon Gerrans, Stuey O'Grady, Richie Porte and Wes Sulzberger currently ride for either American, French, British or Danish teams.

    "The world of cycling has been talking about establishing an Australian ProTour team for a number of years and now it's just about to happen. Fly V will be well funded and resourced and we will want to compete at the highest level and that includes the Tour de France next July. What I also want to do with Fly V is provide the structure for some of the younger Australian riders to work together and become successful together."

    The Fly V team has competed successfully in the USA for the last two years and White is expected to keep a core of that team, including directors Henk Vogels and Patrick...

  • Vattenfall Cyclassics proves critical for worlds roster allotments

    André Greipel (Team HTC - Columbia) after finishing third.
    Article published:
    August 15, 2010, 22:05 BST
    Cycling News

    Germany, Netherlands secure nine starters at worlds

    While the elite men's road race world championship is still approximately one and a half months away on October 3, August 15 is a critical date for nations seeking to attain the coveted maximum allotment of nine starters for their respective world championship rosters.

    The top 10 nations on the International Cycling Union (UCI) World Rankings on August 15 will be allowed to start nine riders in the Geelong, Australia-hosted world championships and today's Vattenfall Cyclassics, offering points for the top 10 finishers, proved critical for several nations on the top 10 bubble. Nations are ranked by totalling the World Rankings points of their top five riders.

    The top seven nations on the World Rankings remained unchanged (Spain, Italy, Belgium, Australia, United States, Russia and Switzerland), but the Vattenfall Cyclassics results provided a shuffling of the nations ranked eighth through 12th.

    André Greipel's third place finish vaulted Germany from 12th to eighth on the World Rankings and enabled his country to secure the maximum allowable roster for its world championship roster.

    The Netherlands, 10th on the World Rankings prior to the Vattenfall Cyclassics, kept its spot in the top 10 due to the seventh place finish of Thomas Leezer (Rabobank). The Netherlands now occupies ninth place overall on the nation rankings.

    Kazakhstan, ninth overall prior to the Hamburg ProTour event, did not score any points and dropped from eight to 10th place. Kazakhstan, however, will only be able to start six riders in the elite men's world championships because of a provision which states that a nation in the top 10 overall, but with fewer than six riders ranked, will start six riders instead of nine. Astana teammates Alexandre Vinokourov and Maxim Iglinsky are Kazakhstan's only ranked riders.

    Luxembourg, ninth overall entering the August 15th deadline, also did not score any points and dropped out of the top 10 to 11th...

  • Shaw aiming for Scody Cup title

    Attracting a crowd: Patrick Shaw (Virgin Blue/RBS Morgans) struck back wheel trouble and received a lap-out but found plenty of friends whilst waiting for the peloton.
    Article published:
    August 16, 2010, 0:09 BST
    Cycling News

    Virgin Blue-RBS Morgans rider extends series lead

    Winning the Scody Cup wasn’t on Patrick Shaw’s to do list for this season, but at the series’ mid-point the Virgin Blue-RBS Morgans rider now has his eye on the title. After taking the series lead with his Tour of Gippsland victory, Shaw now leads by 72 points after finishing runner up to Rohan Dennis at the weekend’s Tour of Geelong.

    With 149 points Shaw leads the series by 72 points over Drapac’s Joseph Lewis. The series has just two rounds remaining – the Tour of Murray River and Tour of Tasmania.

    “When you look at some of the previous riders who have won the Scody Cup, it’s a big deal,” Shaw said. “To have my name on the honour roll alongside the likes of William Walker, Leigh Howard and Wes Sulzberger would be pretty exciting.”

    Shaw will again feature in his squad’s roster at the Tour of Murray River, however the 24-year-old isn’t getting too carried away with the idea of becoming the next Scody Cup champion. Having nearly retired from the sport at the end of last season, Shaw is just pleased to be enjoying competitive cycling once more.

    “I will be going up to the Murray to enjoy myself, to try my best, and hopefully look forward to some characteristic warmer weather,” he said.

    Dennis won the series’ second round in Geelong, 1:33 minutes ahead of Shaw. Cameron Jennings (Team Budget Forklifts) took third place a further 42 seconds behind.

  • UnitedHealthcare planning for Pro Continental upgrade in 2011

    Rory Sutherland (UnitedHealthcare-Maxxis) launches an attack.
    Article published:
    August 16, 2010, 4:54 BST
    Kirsten Frattini

    Team rumoured to be courting McCartney

    The United States of America will see at least one new Professional Continental team next year as UnitedHealthcare-Maxxis takes the steps needed to secure its upgrade with the International Cycling Union (UCI). Momentum Sports Group LLC director and team owner Thierry Attias told Cyclingnews that the upgrade from its current Continental status to Professional Continental will provide a suitable transition toward its long-term goal of becoming ProTour.

    “They [UCI] won’t officially contact us until November 15 but we have applied for everything, we’ve given them all the paperwork and we think that everything will be perfectly well in order to meet the UCI requirements,” said Attias. “It is completely our intention and we are in the process of registering for the Professional Continental license.

    “The registration process of becoming Pro Continental is almost identical to the ProTour,” he added. “In our case, we are hoping to eventually ease our way into that step. We want to take it slowly and intelligently and we are not going to make that jump all at once.”

    Upgrading to a Professional Continental license will allow the team to hire stronger and well-seasoned professionals to its roster. The squad is widely rumored to be in discussions with ProTour RadioShack rider Jason McCartney.

    “These riders have a certain skill set and we hope that they help our ability to reach our goals,” Attias said. “They bring experience that some of our other riders don’t have on an international level. They bring proven results, ability to race internationally with success, and they round out our roster. We think these are the right athletes. We also think they will fit in really well as people and have the right characteristics to be an asset to the organisation.”

    Other new recruits confirmed to have signed with UnitedHealthcare-Maxxis include Kelly...

  • Sinkewitz pleased with Tour of Portugal form

    Patrik Sinkewitz has signed with the Professional Continental team ISD-Neri.
    Article published:
    August 16, 2010, 11:06 BST
    Cycling News

    German targets strong end to season

    Patrick Sinkewitz (ISD-Neri) has declared himself satisfied with his performance at the Volta a Portugal. The German rider rode consistently throughout the eleven days of racing to register a fine fourth-place finish in Lisbon on Sunday.

    “It was an important result for me,” Sinkewitz told Cyclingnews. “I couldn’t have done any more. A race with ten stages was never going to be easy for me when I only started my season two months ago, so fourth place was as well as I could have done. After two months of racing it’s a good result.”

    Sinkewitz, who rode for PSK Whirlpool-Author in 2009, was left without a team at the start of the season and had to wait until the end of May to find a contract. He previously tested positive for testosterone in 2007 when riding for T-Mobile. He was handed a one-year suspension after co-operating fully with the authorities and giving detailed confessions.

    “I trained by myself. I know my body well, so I was able to do that. At the same time, it was difficult to have no objective, just training,” Sinkewitz explained.

    Sinkewitz was finally brought in from the cold just ahead of the Tour of Luxembourg, when he signed a deal with ISD-Neri. “My condition was okay, but it was difficult to start in the middle of the year,” he said. “I was signed just five days before going to Luxembourg, so it wasn’t easy to go straight into a race like that.”

    Since then, Sinkewitz’s form has been rising steadily, as testified by his display in Portugal, and he will be looking to capitalise on that in the coming weeks.

    “I’m hoping that my condition continues to grow while the other riders get tired as we get closer to the end of the season,” Sinkewitz said. “There are a lot of good races for me and the team coming up and we want to do well. I will be at the Trofeo Melinda on Saturday, and a lot of...