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First Edition Cycling News, Monday, August 3, 2009

Date published:
August 03, 2009, 1:00 BST
  • Gárate breaks hand in San Sebastián crash

    Rabobank teammates Oscar Freire (L) and Juan Manuel Garate both crashed on the rain-slicked roads.
    Article published:
    August 02, 2009, 9:45 BST
    By:
    Susan Westemeyer

    Rabobank rider expected back for Vuelta

    Juan Manuel Gárate of Rabobank broke a bone in his hand in a crash Saturday in the Clásica San Sebastián. It is expected to heal in time for him to start the Vuelta a España on August 29.

    Gárate, winner of Tour de France stage to Mont Ventoux, was descending the Jaizkibel in heavy rain with teammate Oscar Freire. Both went down, with Freire uninjured. Doctors took Gárate to the San Sebastián hospital where they diagnosed and plastered a broken middle hand bone.

    Gárate finished second in the race in 2007. It takes places near his home, his house is at the foot of the Jaizkibel.

     

  • Quick Step's Barredo no one-win wonder

    Spain's Carlos Barredo (Quick Step) celebrates on the podium.
    Article published:
    August 02, 2009, 10:01 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Spaniard wants more wins after San Sebastian

    Carlos Barredo is already thinking about Vuelta a España glory following his victory at Clásica San Sebastián on Saturday. Barredo hopes to continue his good form through to the Spanish Grand Tour later this month.

    “Now I’m looking forward to a period of rest before turning my attention to the Vuelta a España and the end of the season,” said Barredo. “I’d like for this performance to not be a one shot deal, but just the beginning of a series of good performances.”

    Barredo thanked his Quick Step team for yesterday’s win, which saw him beat Czech Roman Kreuziger (Liquigas) in a two up sprint. "This victory is dedicated to the team who worked really well today and who really needed an important win like this one after a not easy Tour de France,” said Barredo.

    The victory made up for Barredo’s own disappointments at last month’s Tour de France, said the rider. “Sports-wise this is the best day of my life,” he said. “In the Tour de France I tried attacking thousands of times without luck and the last days in France I also had to deal with the onset of bronchitis. But mentally I stayed focused. I trained constantly and today I can enjoy the results."

    Carlos Barredo (Quick Step) wins the 29th Clásica San Sebastián.

    Quick Step sports director Davide Bramati commended not just Barredo’s efforts, but the result of all his riders. Quick Step have five riders in the first major group to cross the line, seven seconds behind Barredo and Kreuziger.

    “The team did a great job,” said Bramati. “We were very careful and united in the first group positions, we really wanted this result. With six athletes in the first group, besides Carlos’ brilliant race,...

  • Pozzato's San Sebastián attack unrewarded

    Filippo Pozzato (Katusha) in the Clásica San Sebastián
    Article published:
    August 02, 2009, 11:50 BST
    By:
    Gregor Brown

    Italian Champ keeps faith in Basque country

    Italian Champion Filippo Pozzato made an attack to join the favourites in an attempt to win Spain's Clásica San Sebastián Saturday. He joined on the Miracruz climb, but Carlos Barredo made his winning move immediately after on the descent.

    "I had faith became I was feeling good," said Pozzato. "I joined the front riders with less than four kilometres to go because if I had not I am sure that our group would have not re-joined them."

    Pozzato (team Katusha) joined Barredo (Quick Step), Luis León Sánchez (Caisse d'Epargne), Roman Kreuziger (Liquigas), Kim Kirchen (Columbia-HTC) and Pierrick Fédrigo (Bbox Bouygues Telecom). Czech Kreuziger attacked immediately afterwards, at the top of the Miracruz climb.

    Pozzato refused to respond to rest his legs for a later attack or a sprint finish. "But then everything broke apart and the tactics started. I risked it, I had hoped for more cooperation."

    Barredo reacted to Kreuziger's attack. The two rode the final two kilometres together, to the finish along San Sebastián's waterfront. Spain's Barredo sprinted ahead of his partner in the final 200 metres.

    Pozzato finished sixth and teammate Serguei Ivanov eighth. Katusha teammate, Russian Evgeni Petrov, won the best climbers' award.

    Pozzato finishes sixth in the Tour de France's stage to Barcelona last month and second in the Paris-Roubaix in April. He won the Italian championship, a stage of Driedaagse De Panne and the E3 Prijs earlier this year.

  • Ullrich investigated for lying under oath

    Jan Ullrich (T-Mobile) salutes from the podium
    Article published:
    August 02, 2009, 12:26 BST
    By:
    Susan Westemeyer

    Tour winner paid money to Fuentes?

    German prosecutors are investigating if Jan Ullrich lied under oath in an August 2006 court hearing in Hamburg, Germany. The former Tour de France winner denied he paid money to Doctor Eufemiano Fuentes, centre of doping investigation Operación Puerto.

    The Hamburg prosecutor's investigation started two weeks ago "because of the suspicion of giving a false statement."

    The investigation originates from a court case between Germans Ullrich and Werner Franke, an anti-doping supporter. Franke claimed that Ullrich paid Spain's Fuentes €35,000 for doping products and assistance. The court ordered Franke to stop making the statement.

    During the trial, Ullrich denied under oath making any payments to Fuentes.

    In May 2006, Spanish Guardia Civil seized coded blood bags during its raid on the offices of Fuentes. Related investigations led to the suspensions of cyclists Ivan Basso and Alejandro Valverde.

    Team T-Mobile suspended Ullrich June 30, 2006, the day before the start of the Tour de France, because of his suspected involvement in Operación Puerto. The team later fired the 1997 Tour winner and he retired in February 2007 without racing again.

    German prosecutors' DNA testing showed in April 2007 that Ullrich's blood was in some of the bags found in Fuentes' offices.

    The Swiss cycling federation is also investigating Ullrich for his involvement in Operación Puerto. He has lived in Switzerland for a number of years and rode under a Swiss licence.

  • Haedo's $11,000 sprint

    Lucas Sebastian Haedo (Colavita/Sutter Home p/b Cooking Light) wins a stage of the Nature Valley Grand Prix.
    Article published:
    August 02, 2009, 21:53 BST
    By:
    Kirsten Frattini

    Menzies moves into the overall lead at Tour of Elk Grove

    There are times in cycling when every rider wishes they could sprint and the Tour of Elk Grove's stage two circuit race was one of them! Argentinean Sebastian Haedo (Colavita-Sutter Home) unleashed a blazing sprint on Saturday to win the $11,000 prize available at the finish line.

    The Chicago-based Blackhawks NHL hockey team supplied the Tour of Elk Grove's stage two 150-kilometre circuit race with the $40,000 purse that went directly into the riders' pockets.

    "We won some good money today but for me it is more important to have the victory," said Haedo. "We were tired after Fitchburg and tried to use Cascade Classic to prepare for this. So, this is a nice victory. Also because all the great sprinters are here, every one, and that always makes it an important win."

    Haedo outpaced Tasmanian Karl Menzies (OUCH p/b Maxxis) and Jonathan Cantwell (Fly V Australia) in the final 200 meters. "It was an aggressive sprint and a little dangerous at the end," said Haedo.

    Menzies moved up from third place into the yellow jersey by virtue of capturing a 12-second time bonus for placing second in the stage. He leads the race by eight seconds ahead of stage one winner Tom Zirbel (Bissell) and nine seconds ahead of Brent Bookwalter (BMC) in third place.

    Menzies thanked his teammates for a job well done after the OUCH p/b Maxxis squad worked hard at the head of the peloton for the final 30 kilometres. It served to bring back a threatening breakaway of two riders and more importantly set up their sprinter for a podium finish.

    "It was an amazing lead-out and I didn't have to do much," Menzies said. "I probably just rode hard for 100 metres and that's all I had to do. Hats off to the team. They did an awesome job today and to get the time bonus and the yellow jersey is what we came here to do. We'll defend it tomorrow with all our might and hopefully we're still in yellow tomorrow night."

  • Fuglsang takes second straight Tour of Denmark

    Jacob Fuglsang (Saxo Bank) leads the race
    Article published:
    August 03, 2009, 0:22 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Saxo Bank defends Fuglsang's three-second lead on final stage

    Jakob Fuglsang (Team Saxo Bank) won his second consecutive Tour of Denmark on Sunday, maintaining his slender three-second margin over runner-up Maurizio Biondo (Ceramica Flaminia-Bossini Docce). Fuglsang is no stranger to defending a small lead-when combined with his 2008 victory the Dane's winning margin of victory for both wins totals 12 seconds. His Saxo Bank teammates were on the alert all day and prevented Biondo from gaining any bonus seconds.

    "It went okay since a four man break got away and took all the time bonuses on the course," Team Saxo Bank Directeur Sportif Dan Frost said. "That suited us just fine, and then the rest of the peloton, keen for a sprint finish, reeled them in at the end."

    With the Saxo Bank race leader holding only a three-second advantage over Biondo, his teammates kept a very close eye on second-placed Italian. "The guys did a great job since the gap to second was so little we were never certain what the other team was going to try," Hoj said. "We had to make sure that Biondo didn't get away in the stage and most importantly, didn't get any time bonus in the final sprint.

    "Of course we are tired. But it is a different sort of tired when you can also go home with a victory like this."

    Since Saxo Bank led the race from start to finish, the team has been under constant pressure to control the race. "I feel absolutely great after this victory for the team," Frank Hoj said. "From the beginning this race has been a bit of a strange situation since we had the lead in the first three days with three different riders, so for most of the stages we had four protected riders."

    With half the Saxo Bank team riding more or less protected for the first four stages of the tour, that meant the other four had to do the work of seven. "It put us under a little bit of pressure since in the early part of the stages Alex Rasmussen and I would have to do a lot of the work to save Kasper [Klostergaard] and Anders...

  • UCI recognises French agency's decisions

    Riccardo Ricco (Saunier Duval-Prodir) is all smiles at the start
    Article published:
    August 03, 2009, 3:08 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    AFLD correct in wake of 2008 Tour de France positives

    In a rare sign of unity within cycling's governance, the International Cycling Union (UCI) has recognised the decisions of the French Anti-Doping Agency (AFLD) in relation to doping tests during the 2008 Tour de France.

    Manuel Beltrán, Moises Dueñas, Bernhard Kohl, Stefan Schumacher, Leonardo Piepoli and Riccardo Riccò (pictured, right) were all caught after testing positive for EPO-CERA during last year's Tour and suspensions given accordingly. The sport's governing body released a statement acknowledging the role the French agency played in policing anti-doping efforts.

    "Following an examination of the decisions made by the French Anti-Doping Agency (AFLD) with regard to positive doping test results during the 2008 Tour de France, the International Cycling Union (UCI) has decided to extend the sanctions announced by the French agency to international level in accordance with the prevailing regulations," it said.

    "As a result, on 28 July, the UCI requested the relevant National Federations to withdraw the licences of Manuel Beltrán, Moises Dueñas, Bernhard Kohl, Leonardo Piepoli and Riccardo Riccò for two years from the applicable dates."

    This means Riccò, Dueñas, Schumacher, Piepoli and Beltrán will be eligible to ride again after July 2010, although it's unlikely the latter two will return to the sport. Kohl, meanwhile, announced his retirement this year.

  • Schleck in doubt for Vuelta

    Andy Schleck assesses his injuries following a crash while his bike is retrieved by a mechanic.
    Article published:
    August 03, 2009, 4:23 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    San Sebastián slip could cost Schleck a Vuelta ride

    A fall early in Saturday's Clasica San Sebastián has cast doubt over Andy Schleck's participation in this year's Vuelta a España, according to Europa Press.

    Saxo Bank's Luxembourg Champion slipped on a white road marking in the wet conditions and injured his back, ruining his chances of winning the classic and possibly his hopes of more grand tour success.

    Schleck had been looking towards the Vuelta to continue his strong run of form that saw him net second place overall in the Tour de France last month. The year's third grand tour begins on August 29 and the time frame for recovery may prove too small to start the Spanish event. Medical checks will be conducted to determine the required period of rehabilitation for the younger Schleck.

    He wasn't alone in his misfortune, however. Rabobank rider Juan Manuel Gárate, who won the Ventoux stage in this year's Tour, also fell and broke his hand.