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First Edition Cycling News, Monday, December 20, 2010

Date published:
December 20, 2010, 0:00 GMT
  • Le Mével to lead Garmin-Cervélo at 2011 Giro d'Italia

    Christophe Le Mevel tried to put pressure on the other favourites.
    Article published:
    December 19, 2010, 18:31 GMT
    Barry Ryan

    Frenchman to share duties with Dan Martin in Italy

    Christophe Le Mével is set to lead the Garmin-Cervélo team at the 2011 Giro d’Italia, along with Ireland’s Dan Martin. The Frenchman, who joins the squad from FDJ, has already tasted success at the corsa rosa, winning a stage in 2005.

    “For now, I’m sure to figure at the Giro d’Italia, where I should have the role of co-leader alongside Daniel Martin,” Le Mével told Cyclism’Actu. “We’ll then have to look at my condition after this first Grand Tour and see if I am capable of going straight on the Tour de France, but for the moment my primary objective is the Giro.”

    Le Mével finished 10th at the 2009 Tour de France but failed to repeat those heroics this year. While he is keen to return to the Tour in 2011, he insists that being the sole Frenchman in his new team is no guarantee of selection.

    “My selection for the Tour hasn’t been discussed,” Le Mével said. “It’s possible that I might be there, but the merging of Garmin and Cervélo means that there are great sprinters like Tyler Farrar and Thor Hushovd together in the same team. The main objective of the team at the Tour will thus be the green jersey. The management will have choices to make and my nationality won’t influence that.”

    In spite of his new surroundings, Le Mével will follow a familiar early season schedule.

    “My start to the season will be 100 per cent French,” he said. “I’ll start at the Tour of the Mediterranean before continuing in the south of France with the Tour du Haut Var, Paris-Nice and the Criterium International.”

    Later in the spring, Le Mével will be hoping to be competitive at the Ardennes classics, but his first major rendezvous of the season will come at Paris-Nice.

    “Above all I’m going to try to be in very good...

  • BMC announces Tour Down Under squad

    Alessandro Ballan (BMC) has had a disappointing time of it this season.
    Article published:
    December 19, 2010, 22:15 GMT
    Cycling News

    Evans to start his season at Strade Bianche

    Team BMC will return to Adelaide in January to compete in the 2011 Santos Tour Down Under but former world champion Cadel Evans will not be amongst their seven-man line-up.

    Evans took part in the 2010 edition of the race while wearing the rainbow jersey but will not start racing until Montepaschi Strade Bianche, which takes place on March 5.

    Despite this, BMC, who recently achieved ProTeam status, will send a strong team, which includes the likes of Alessandro Ballan, Alexander Kristoff and new recruit Amael Moinard.

    An Australian presence comes from South Australian Tim Roe.

    Hailing from the South Australian suburb of Hallet Cove, the return of this young rider to the 2011 Tour is something fans will await eagerly, says Race Director Mike Turtur.

    "Many cycling fans will remember Tim from the 2010 race, where he rode for Team UniSA and came 13th overall in the Cycle Instead Young Rider category, really proving himself as a young cycling talent," said Mike Turtur.

    Roe spent the majority of the year as part of Lance Armstrong's Trek-Livestrong team and signed for BMC this winter.

    "Team BMC is bringing a very strong team for what will be their second Santos Tour Down Under and their first race as a ProTeam," said Mike Turtur.

    BMC team for Santos Tour Down Under:

    Alessandro Ballan (Ita), Timothy Roe (Aus), Alexander Kristoff (Nor), Martin Kohler (Swi), John Murphy (USA), Amael Moinard (Fra), Simon Zahner (Swi)

  • Lewis and Loutit make their way Stateside

    Joseph Lewis (Drapac Porsche) leads the criterium championship of the tour after three stages and is second overall on the GC.
    Article published:
    December 19, 2010, 23:34 GMT
    Les Clarke

    Young Australians to ride with Trek-Livestrong and Jelly Belly

    Joe Lewis and Alistair Loutit are the latest young Australians to ride in the US next season, with the former taking a place with the Trek-Livestrong development squad while Loutit will ply his trade in long-standing Continental outfit Jelly Belly.

    For Loutit, the Jelly Belly position was organised by former professional Trent Wilson, who was one of the US peloton's 'favourite Australians' for several years, riding with the likes of Neil Shirley at Jittery Joe's earlier this decade. "I was going pretty well this year so he helped me out and set me up with something for next year... it just turned out that they liked my profile and the fact that I have dual citizenship," he explained.

    Lewis told Cyclingnews that his opportunity was mostly through persistence and some attractive results. "At the start of the year I had two goals; one was to make Worlds and one was to ride for an international team for next year," he said. "Basically, from the start of the year I thought about where I wanted to go and the pathways people have taken through to the ProTour. There was one obvious option: the Australian Institute of Sport but there was also Trek-Livestong.

    "I got [team manager] Axel Merckx's email from Ben King [the Australian Ben King - ed.], actually, and I just emailed him, telling him who I was and what I wanted to do next year and what I was doing... Since then I've just been talking to him and emailing results. Eventually he just offered me a spot."

    Lewis admits that he's not a pure sprinter but can find his way to the front of a small group given the right conditions. Loutit explained that he's still finding his niche, but says that he's "always been naturally better at climbing" although he doesn't want to be known as a "pure climber" and doesn't think he will be.

    "I'm aiming to be an all-rounder and a good time trialler, stuff like that," he said. It's reminiscent of another Jelly Belly rider, Australian Will...

  • Argentine champion Borrajo takes his own life

    Armando Borrajo.
    Article published:
    December 20, 2010, 0:40 GMT
    Kirsten Frattini

    Mysterious kidnapping under investigation

    The Argentine cycling community lost one of its prized riders, Armando Borrajo, to a tragic suicide on December 18 in Buenos Aires. The 34-year-old was kidnapped for two days and released just prior to his death and reportedly suffered from injury and shock.

    According to reports, Borrajo's younger brother Alejandro, who races for the US-based team Jamis-Sutter Home, broke his arm while attempting to intervene. Details of Borrajo's death have not been released.

    Borrajo was a member of an electoral campaign for the Argentine Track and Road Cycling Federation, directly under Facundo Donadio who was running for presidency. The election was scheduled to take place on December 22 but has been postponed.

    Borrajo recently traveled to northern Argentina for a campaign presentation. It was reported that he was a victim of a kidnapping and then released two days prior to his suicide. Investigators are still searching for details in the kidnapping case.

    Borrajo won the national road title in 2006 and more recently won a stage of the Giro del Sol San Juan in 2009.

  • Bellis back to camp with Saxo Bank SunGard

    Manx Jonathan Bellis
    Article published:
    December 20, 2010, 2:51 GMT
    Daniel Benson

    Manxman says the entire team is behind Contador

    Back from Saxo Bank SunGard’s inaugural training camp in Fuerteventura, Jonny Bellis says he is back to feeling like a proper bike racer ahead of the 2011 season.

    Fourteen months ago the 20-year-old was involved in a scooter accident that nearly cost him his life; with a partial return to racing at the tail end of this season under his belt and having suffered no permanent damage, he is ready to fulfil all the early promise that guided him to in the 2007 Under 23 road race world championships in Stuttgart.

    “I’m starting to feel like a proper bike racer again and I think I’ll move on leaps and bound. Perhaps my programme might be adjusted after I’ve got my form back but finishing races is the main goal for now. I’m not really thinking about results,” he told Cyclingnews.

    Bellis started a number of races in the second part of this season, completing 150km of the GP Plouay. Next season, after another team training camp, he will make his first outing at the Challenge Mallorca in February.

    “It’s five days long and it should be good for me. I have a training camp before and after that and I’ve got some racing in Belgium after that.”

    Bellis has already stated that he wished to repay the faith Saxo Bank and team owner Bjarne Riis placed in him after his accident. He was rewarded with a one-year deal by the Danish team after spending a block of time training with Bradley McGee in Nice. It was the recent training camp where Bellis realised that he was back to being part of the team, however.

    “It was incredibly good. Most places in Europe are covered in snow but we were able to train in summer kit. Aside from the weather everyone got on well,” he said.

    The Luxembourg team

    Recently the team has faced questions over unity and strength after a number of high profile riders left and it was announced that new...

  • Roe relishes chance to return to Tour Down Under

    Timothy Roe (Uni SA) goes solo after dropping his break companions on the climb.
    Article published:
    December 20, 2010, 5:27 GMT
    Les Clarke

    Young Australian talent part of BMC Racing's lineup on home turf

    Young BMC Racing recruit Tim Roe is anticipating the opportunity to return to the Santos Tour Down Under after being named in the team's starting list for the first ProTour of the 2011 season, which gets underway January 18 in Adelaide, Australia.

    During the 2010 edition of the event, Roe showed his hand on the opening stage to Tanunda as part of the UniSA lineup (pictured right); while the day was won by André Greipel in a big bunch kick, the young South Australian climbed well on the lumpier section of the day's parcours and caught the eye of teams around the world, one of those being BMC Racing.

    It was a similar experience to that of fellow South Australian Jack Bobridge, who went on the attack late in the first stage of the 2009 race - garnering the public admiration of Lance Armstrong - and went on to sign a pro contract with Garmin-Transitions.

    "[Tour] Down Under this year was definitely an eye-opener; it showed me how the race can take you from being a nobody to being someone people recognise," Roe told Cyclingnews the day that BMC Racing's team was announced. "I also realised that it's an important pro race, one worth training for."

    And train he has been doing, explaining that he recently rode the third stage, which finishes with an uphill burst in Stirling, behind a motorbike.

    "Stirling's good - I did it behind the motorbike two days ago and I was slower then but I hope to be a lot faster in a couple of weeks' time! Maybe it's a little too explosive finish for me, so maybe Willunga is a stage in which I can do something," said Roe

    "I can try to target the KOM there - I've been training on it - and I'll be as ready as I can be."

    Whilst the Tour Down Under is generally regarded as a sprinter's event and BMC Racing is taking Alexander Kristoff to represent it in the likely fast finishes, Roe says that he hopes he can have a little leeway to take something from the event

  • Movistar signs Oyarzun

    Team Movistar grew out of the former Caisse d'Epargne team
    Article published:
    December 20, 2010, 9:29 GMT
    Hedwig Kröner

    Chilinean rider integrates ProTeam

    Spanish outfit Movistar - formerly Caisse d'Epargne - has signed a South American rider to its 2011 team, Carlos Oyarzun from Chile. The 29-year-old has been living in Oviedo, Spain, for two years, riding with Supermercados Froiz. He became a pro in 2006 with the Mexican Tecos team.

    Oyarzun, winner of the 2010 Panamerican Championships, also took a stage of the Circuito Montañés this year, where he finished second overall. He was also victorious at the Vuelta a Lugo.

    The Chilinean rider is the tenth newcomer to the team directed by Eusebio Unzue. The team also signed Jesús Herrada, Beñat Intxausti, Sergio Pardilla, Javier Iriarte, Xavier Tondo, Ignatas Konovalovas, Branislau Samoilau, Enrique Sanz and Francisco Ventoso.

    The riders that have extended their contracts from this season with Caisse d'Epargne are the following: David Arroyo, Imanol Erviti, Andrey Amador, Marzio Bruseghin, José Vicente García, José Iván Gutiérrez, Vasili Kiryienka, Pablo Lastras, David López, Angel Madrazo, José Joaquín Rojas, Mauricio Soler, Luis Pasamontes, Fran Pérez and Rubén Plaza.

  • Gilbert voted Belgian male athlete of the year

    Philippe Gilbert (Omega Pharma - Lotto) with his winner's trophy.
    Article published:
    December 20, 2010, 9:35 GMT
    Cycling News

    Omega Pharma-Lotto rider repeats honour

    Philippe Gilbert took a final victory in the 2010 season, defending his title as Belgian male athlete of the year. “I'm athlete of the year of a small country, but one with many strong athletes,” he told

    The Omega Pharma-Lotto rider opened his successful year by winning Amstel Gold Race in April. He then won the first stage of the Tour of Belgium and wore the leader's jersey for three days.

    Gilbert skipped the Tour de France, and came back strong again in the fall. The win in the third stage of the Vuelta a España gave him the leader's jersey, which he held on to for five stages, and he then won the 19th stage.

    Topping off his traditionally powerful autumn, he won the Gran Piemonte before taking his second consecutive Giro di Lombardia.

    Tennis player Kim Clijsters was female athlete of the year. The awards, which were voted by Belgian sports journalists, were awarded Sunday in Oostende.