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First Edition Cycling News, Monday, August 23, 2010

Date published:
August 23, 2010, 1:00 BST
  • Lund leaving Saxo Bank

    Anders Lund (Saxo Bank) comes in third.
    Article published:
    August 22, 2010, 10:01 BST
    Cycling News

    Third Danish rider to leave team

    Anders Lund will leave Team Saxo Bank at the end of the season. He is the third Danish rider to leave the team, after Matti Breschel and Jakob Fuglsang.

    “It's obviously sad, because I have been enormously happy to ride here and have learned a lot of things,” he told TV2/Sporten.

    Lund, 25, turned pro with the Danish team in 2007. He is an allrounder and climber, who has served as a domestique. He is scheduled to ride the Vuelta a Espana, where he will ride in support of captains Andy and Fränk Schleck.

    “It's not that I slammed the door and am dissatisfied with anything, but I am looking forward to the new challenge,” he said.

    Lund has not yet said where he will ride in 2011, but it is suspected that he will join the Schlecks at the new Luxembourg team.

  • Milram's Knees crashes out of Eneco Tour

    German champion Christian Knees (Milram)
    Article published:
    August 22, 2010, 10:35 BST
    Cycling News

    German champion with 15 stitches near eye

    Christian Knees of Team Milram abandoned the Eneco Tour Saturday after a crash sent him to hospital. The German road champion ended up with 15 stitches around his right eye.

    “Two riders tangled right in front of me and forced me head first into a traffic island. In the crash I received a lot of cuts around my eye and I had to get 15 stitches,” he said. “Our doctor says that I can be back on the bike in three days.”

    Knees, 29, had gone into Saturday's stage in seventh place, only 1:37 behind leader Tony Martin of HTC-Columbia, and was looking to move up in the standings.

    "Christian was our best rider in the ProTour stage race and was in a promising position in the Top Ten overall,” said Milram Directeur Sportif Ralf Grabsch. “This is a hard blow for us. We hope that Christian is back on his feet quickly and we must now make the best of the situation at the Eneco Tour.“

    Milram is losing its title sponsor at the end of this year. Knees has not yet announced where he will ride in 2011.

  • Saiz plots return to top level of sport

    Manolo Saiz
    Article published:
    August 22, 2010, 12:25 BST
    Barry Ryan

    Controversial ex-manager criticises Contador

    Former ONCE and Liberty Seguros manager Manolo Saiz has said that he wishes to return to the sport and has revealed plans to build a new team for 2012. The Spaniard has not managed a professional team since he was arrested in May 2006 as part of raids by Spanish police that kick-started the Operacion Puerto investigation.

    “In 2011 I think we’ll start making progress and then in 2012 start working with a new structure, built from scratch,” Saiz told El Diario Montanes. "If I learnt anything from managing ONCE, it’s that planning is everything and I hope that in this way we can take important steps next year, and then in 2012 start the team.”

    The controversial Saiz says that he is looking to one of cycling’s untapped markets to help to build his team. “Professional cycling has not incorporated any team from Asia, except for Astana, but let’s not forget that Alexandre Vinokourov and Andrei Kashechkin both developed in Europe,” he said. “Asia is a continent with enormous human and economic potential.”

    Saiz also told El Diario Montanes that he hopes that his role in any new team will involve “the preparation of riders” and he claimed that no team has since surpassed the level of preparation and organisation that was the feature of his ONCE set-up.

    When asked about his former charge Alberto Contador, Saiz bemoaned the brevity of his season. “It’s not good to finish the season with just 48 days of competition,” he said. “I’ll say one thing and I hope it doesn’t bother anyone, but Contador has learned the bad things from Armstrong as opposed to the good. Armstrong did some very good things, but Alberto has failed to grasp them and that’s not good for him or for cycling.”

    Saiz’ arrest in 2006 came about after he was videotaped meeting in a Madrid café with Eufemiano Fuentes,...

  • Terpstra to Quick Step in 2011

    Dutch road champion Niki Terpstra (Team Milram)
    Article published:
    August 22, 2010, 18:09 BST
    Cycling News

    Dutch road champion leaving Milram

    Netherlands road champion Niki Terpstra will ride for Quick Step in 2011, the team announced on Sunday evening. He is currently with Team Milram, which will lose its sponsor at the end of the year.

    Terpstra, 26, also won the Sparkassen Giro Bochum this season. He has brought in a numbr ot top ten finishes, including third in Dwars door Vlaanderen and sixth overall in the Tour of Oman. In 2009 he won a stage in the Criterium du Dauphine Libere and the prologue of the Ster Elektrotoer and in 2007 won the mountain jersey in the Deutschland Tour.

    He has a track background, and won the silver medal at the team pursuit at the 2005 Track World Championships.

    "I'm very glad to be able to race next year in a top team like team Quick Step,” Terpstra said. “Personally this is a great opportunity and I hope to repay the faith Patrick Lefevere has shown in me with performances that will measure up to his expectations.”

    “Technically Niki is an excellent rider who can still make a lot of progress in terms of results and performance,” QuickStep team manager Patrick Lefevere said.

    “He will be an important player in the Northern classics, in which he's already proven himself in the past with some optimal placements in some of the most prestigious races, such as, for example, his third place this year in the Dwars door Vlaanderen. However we're also expecting great things from him in other one day races or in some stages of the major stage races."

  • No Vuelta a España for Sanchez

    Third overall Igor Antón (Euskaltel-Euskadi)
    Article published:
    August 23, 2010, 4:44 BST
    Cycling News

    Igor Anton promoted to protected Euskaltel rider

    Samuel Sanchez has decided not to ride this year's Vuelta a España, which begins in Seville this Saturday evening.

    After a hard-fought fourth place overall at the Tour de France last month, the Olympic champion's decision means Igor Anton has been promoted to Euskaltel-Euskadi's protected rider for the general classification.

    Sanchez, who finished second overall in last year's Vuelta, focused his 2010 efforts on a big Tour de France performance and he very nearly delivered an overall podium place for the Basque outfit, only dislodged from third overall in the final time trial by Rabobank's Denis Menchov.

    For his part, Anton has performed well this season, finishing fourth at the Flèche Wallonne and sixth at Liège-Bastogne-Liège before winning a stage of the Tour of Romandie in Sion.

    "My early season has been successful", Anton explained. "I've not taken part in the Tour de France to focus on the Vuelta only. This was the right decision because the Vuelta is hilly and I'll need to be fresh."

    Euskaltel-Euskadi stalwart Egoi Martinez will lead the support for Anton, explaining that the outfit no longer relies on opportunity in Grand Tours thanks largely to the efforts of Sanchez, which he hopes to continue, despite his absence.

    "Now that we have strong leaders for the Grand Tours, we race differently than previously," said Martinez. "We don't look for all the breakaways anymore. We've done a great job for Sanchez at the Tour and we'll be 100 percent behind Anton at the Vuelta."

    After speculation from some quarters, Sanchez renewed his contract with the team earlier this month while Martinez and Anton recently followed suit, as did Amets Txurruka and Gorka Verdugo in the past few days.

  • Freire ready to take on Vuelta and Worlds

     Oscar Freire (Rabobank) talk to Europsort
    Article published:
    August 23, 2010, 8:59 BST
    Susan Westemeyer

    Spaniard recovering well from sinus surgery

    Oscar Freire (Rabobank) has recovered from sinus surgery and is looking forward to the Vuelta a España and the World Championships in Melbourne.

    In an interview with the Spanish website, Freire said he started training 10 days ago and won't be in perfect condition for the Vuelta, “But I don't mind. Every day I feel better and I hope to breathe normally when the Vuelta starts.”

    The three-time former world champion will look for stage wins, although he knows that “in the first week I won't be able to dispute the sprints.”

    Normally Freire would not finish the Vuelta so he can arrive at the World Championships in prime condition, but that may change this year. “This time there are two weeks between the end of the Vuelta and the Worlds. I might end the race. Everything depends on how my development goes,” he said.

    Freire expects to be the Spanish captain at the World Championships in Melbourne. “The times that the team has ridden for me at Worlds, I have always responded well,” he noted. “I am not infallible. But on a course like this, which is good for me, if I am going well and that gives me the confidence, I think I can respond. I hope the Worlds team will gamble on me.”

  • Transfer news: Gutierrez to ride for Movistar

    Jose Ivan Gutierrez (Caisse d'Epargne)
    Article published:
    August 23, 2010, 9:01 BST
    Susan Westemeyer

    Euskaltel, Omega Pharma-Lotto also announce signings

    Ivan Gutierrez will stay with his current team for an additional two years. The current Spanish national road race champion told that he has signed with Team Movistar through 2012. Movistar is a major telephone brand owned by Telefonica and will replace Caisse d'Epargne in 2011 as title sponsor of Usebio Unzue's team.

    "I am delighted to continue for two more years in the same team I've ridden nine consecutive seasons with. I'm sure our success will continue," he said.

    "Now with Telefonica, a one-hundred percent Spanish team, we hope to achieve some great results, because I believe that we are one of the most powerful squads in the world.”

    David Arroyo is also likely to stay with Unzue’s team in 2011. He had several offers after his second place in the Giro d’Italia but is expected to sign a new contract before the start of the Vuelta en Espana.

    Other teams are also confirming riders before the start of the Vuelta. Euskaltel-Euskadi has extended its contract with Iban Velasco for one year. The 30-year-old has been with the Basque team since 2006, and this year rode the Tour de France.

    In Belgium, Omega Pharma-Lotto has signed two young riders for next season. Bart De Clerq will make his profesional debut with the team. He is a climber who comes from the team's development team Davo-Lotto-Davitamon. The second rider is Maarten Neyens, 25, who joins the Belgian team after three years with Topsport Vlaanderen. The childhood friend of Jürgen Roelandts has a one-year contract.

  • Greipel to lead Germany at the world championships

    Andre Greipel (HTC-Columbia) took his team's 50th win of the year at the Eneco Tour.
    Article published:
    August 23, 2010, 11:09 BST
    Susan Westemeyer

    Grabsch and Martin to ride time trial in Melbourne

    Andre Greipel will lead the German team in the Elite mens world championships road race in Melbourne next month. Germany also hopes for a medal in the men's time trial with former winner Bert Grabsch and Tony Martin.

    Greipel, who is the most successful rider in the professional peloton so far this season with 17 victories, will lead a strong nine-man team in the road race. He will be joined by HTC-Columbia teammates Grabsch, Martin, and Marcel Sieberg, while Danilo Hondo of Lampre will be Germany's alternative sprinter. Also in the team are Marcus Burghardt (BMC), Christian Knees (Team Milram), Sebastian Lang (Silence-Lotto) and Fabian Wegmann (Team Milram).

    Grabsch was world time trial champion in Varese in 2008, while Martin won bronze in 2009. “It isn't easy to beat Cancellara, but a medal here is an absolute must,” said BDR Vice President Udo Sprenger.

    German squad for the World Championships:

    Marcus Burghardt (BMC Racing Team)
    Bert Grabsch (HTC-Columbia) (road and time trial)
    André Greipel (HTC-Columbia)
    Danilo Hondo (Lampre)
    Christian Knees (Team Milram)
    Sebastian Lang (Silence-Lotto)
    Tony Martin (HTC-Columbia) (road and time trial)
    Marcel Sieberg (HTC-Columbia)
    Fabian Wegmann (Team Milram).