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First Edition Cycling News, Monday, December 7, 2009

Date published:
December 07, 2009, 0:00 GMT
  • Garmin-Transitions announce shake up of backroom staff

    Garmin-Chipotle team physiologist Allen Lim and physical therapist - and bicycle coach - Curtis Cramblett take some measurements the old-fashioned way.
    Article published:
    December 06, 2009, 19:44 GMT
    Daniel Benson

    Lim leaves in search of a new challenge

    In a bid to expand its sports science team Garmin-Transitions has announced the signing of four new members of staff. Allen Lim, the team’s sports physiologist is set to move in the other direction, confirming to Cyclingnews that he will leave the team with immediate effect.

    Joining the team on a permanent basis will be Inigo San Millan, who has been working with the team since early 2009, overseeing the team's physiological testing, including the Vuelta a España where the team picked up its first three Grand Tour wins since the 2008 Giro d’Italia. He has previously worked with several professional teams and is the head of sports physiology at the University of Colorado.

    Carlos Gonzales Haro has also been recruited and will be based in Girona, at the team’s European base, and will develop the team’s training methods. Marc Quod is the third addition and comes from the Australian Institute of Sport, where he worked with the Australian U23 cycling team. In his role with Garmin-Transitions he will work with all riders to execute in-the-field testing.

    Robbie Ketchell joins as an expert in low-speed aerodynamicist and computational biomechanical modeling. He was responsible for all of the team's aerodynamic innovations in 2009 and in his expanded role will continue to create aerodynamic advantages for riders. Adrie Van Dieman will continue in his role as direct coach to Christian Vande Velde, Tyler Farrar, Martijin Maaskant, a position he has held for the last two seasons.

    "This is a crew of extremely talented and creative people - the best in the world at what they do, and who share our vision for maximizing the potential of natural human performance" said Jonathan Vaughters. "We have always prided ourselves on giving our riders the best possible sports science and technology. The additions and expanded roles of this group reflect that mission."

    Despite the added personnel the team will...

  • Williams Racing ready to roll in 2010

    Kyle Gritters is a member of Health Net's Tour of Taiwan contingent.
    Article published:
    December 06, 2009, 21:40 GMT
    Cycling News

    SoCal Velo club expands to race in NRC events

    Williams Cycling will sponsor Southern California Velo club as it expands to include the Williams Racing pro men's team in 2010, with a squad to contest Southern California races, the USA Cycling road and criterium championships in addition to select National Racing Calendar (NRC) events.

    The team includes Jeremiah Wiscovitch, Kyle Gritters, Curtis Gunn, Brandon Gritters, Nate Deibler and Joshua Webster, with Wiscovitch, Gunn and Kyle Gritters having previously ridden together with the Seasilver squad.

    Wiscovitch has ridden at Continental level, having been a member of Rock Racing team, while Kyle Gritters spent three seasons at Health Net presented by Maxxis.

    In addition to Williams Cycling as headline sponsor, the team will receive technical support from Cannondale, SRAM, Incycle, Giro, Hammer Nutrition, Sockguy and Serfas.

  • Augustyn looking forward to joining Team Sky

    John-Lee Augustyn (Barloworld)
    Article published:
    December 06, 2009, 23:50 GMT
    Daniel Benson

    South African returns home after meeting new teammates

    John-Lee Augustyn is back home in South Africa after a long season on the road, but after meeting his new Sky teammates at the team's headquarters in Manchester, he's already enthusiastic about racing in 2010.

    Augustyn signed for Sky after two years with Barloworld. When the team folded at the end of 2009, the South African was picked up by the new British super squad along with Steve Cummings, Geraint Thomas and Chris Froome. Having met his new teammates for the first time, Augustyn is pleased with what he's seen so far. "It was awesome. Meeting the team and the management the riders, it was all well over my expectations but the structure of how everything is going to work next year was the biggest thing for me and it was so impressive," he told Cyclingnews.

    As for his racing programme, details are yet to be ironed out but one thing Augustyn could confirm was that he'd focus on the smaller stage races as well as improving his skills against the clock. "I know I can improve so much as a rider," he said. "We've talked about my programme a bit but to win smaller stages races you need to be able to time trial well. There's a lot to improve on but I think I've found the right environment to do that here."

    Sky's Scott Sunderland, who has been crucial in the team's recruitment of riders, believes that Augustyn has the key ingredients needed for success at the top level. "We noticed the talent John-Lee is harnessing, but also that technically he has never been taught much. That's where the headroom with him lies. With the right guidance and instructions, John-Lee can grow immensely as a bike rider. It's one thing to have the talent, but tactical insight is another. That's where we can help John-Lee during the coming season and see where he takes it."

    After training in South Africa for a few weeks, Augustyn will return to Europe in early January and then train in Spain at the team's first training camp. With so many former Barloworld...

  • Weighty Wiggins talking tough on 2010 Tour

    Great Britain's Bradley Wiggins (Garmin - Slipstream) was guttered with his second place.
    Article published:
    December 07, 2009, 0:05 GMT
    Daniel Benson

    Briton believes he’s a better rider than Armstrong

    Bradley Wiggins is already talking a good fight in the build up to next year’s Tour de France and despite speculation surrounding his future remains focussed on improving on his fourth place from 2009. The Olympic champion spoke at the recent track meeting in Manchester – Revolution 26 – and believes that he has the ability to beat Lance Armstrong, the rider who stood between him and the podium in Paris this July.

    Wiggins had taken a three week period off the bike after racing his most gruelling yet most successful season on the road. In previous years, with his focus lying on the track, a sixty day road programme was par but in 2009 Wiggins raced from the Tour of Qatar in February, before competing in the Classics, Giro d’Italia, Tour, Worlds and Sun Tour in September.

    “I raced ’till very late in the season with the Sun Tour after the World Championships. To be honest it was perfect really as it extended my season and meant less time pissing around as I only had a small concentrated break, but still got everything out of my system that I needed to,” Wiggins told journalists in Manchester.

    “It was my definitely my longest season and I did roughly a hundred days of racing,” he added.

    Wiggins, who admitted to gaining a small amount of weight in the off season still looked in good condition after enjoying all the benefits that come with spending time off the bike. “I’ve put on a bit of weight, lager does that to you but I’m not really thinking about diet,” he said.

    Wiggins has already earmarked the racing schedule he’ll compete in before lining up as one of the favourites in Rotterdam on July 3. Unlike rivals like Armstrong, the Schlecks and Levi Leipheimer, he’ll opt for his traditional programme of the Classics and the Giro as preparation, instead of racing in the new, revamped Tour of California in May. “I’m going to be a...

  • Brailsford: Swift TDU announcement was planning ahead

    Ben Swift (Katusha)
    Article published:
    December 07, 2009, 0:35 GMT
    Cycling News

    Sky following UCI rules as Swift situation unfolds

    Team Sky is following the International Cycling Union’s (UCI) rules in its attempt to court Team Katusha’s Ben Swift for its debut season next year, according to team manager Dave Brailsford. Brailsford clarified his team’s position to the media after South Australia Tourism, the government body which operates Tour Down Under, announced the British rider would start its event with Team Sky in January, despite Swift still being under contract with Katusha.

    "It was planning ahead. The information we've received is that Ben had resigned and terminated his contract and become a free agent - that's what we were led to believe,” Brailsford told Press Association Sport. "We just acted in good faith."

    Brailsford admitted his squad is hopeful of signing Swift for 2010 and that he’s spoken with the UCI following the TDU announcement. "Were he to become a free agent - as we were led to believe - then in our pre-planning we have foreseen a situation where Ben, were he a Team Sky rider, would compete in the Tour Down Under,” he said. "However, we respect the fact that there is an element of speculation, but we have acted in good faith and have been in contact with the UCI regarding this matter."

    While a Katusha representative said last month that Swift was its rider at that point in time, the team didn’t comment on whether that situation may change. According to Brailsford the rider and his manager are negotiating an early termination of his rider agreement with the squad, entirely independent of Team Sky.

    "The situation regarding Ben is in the process of being resolved," said Brailsford. "I think we're very much following the UCI's lead in terms of that situation. As a team we haven't actually been directly involved with regards his current team - that's him acting independently with his agent.

    "Our understanding is that he has become a free agent, but were this not to be the case then of...

  • Wrolich elected president of local cycling federation

    Peter Wrolich (Team Milram) and Philippe Gilbert (Silence-Lotto).
    Article published:
    December 07, 2009, 9:58 GMT
    Susan Westemeyer

    Milram rider to do double duty as rider and administrator

    Peter Wrolich of Team Milram has been elected President of his provincial cycling federation. He won the election of the Landesradsport-Verbandes Kärnten this weekend by a vote of 39 to 21.

    “I hope I can change a lot of things,” said the Austrian. “I would like to lead the Landesverband Kärnten back to a leading position in Austrian cycling. The most important aspects are concentrated work with the young riders, more races and new perspectives for all cyclists.“

    In running for the office, which involves a four-year term, Wrolich composed a two-page letter, in which he presented his comprehensive plans. "I want to sit down in January with all the important cycling people in Kärnten, figure out the necessities, and listen to all the other ideas and plans. But when you are all the way down, you don't need much to get back to the top,“ said the 35-year-old.

    Kärnten is one of nine Länder, or provinces, in Austria. Located in the south of the country and bordering both Italy and Slovenia, the mountainous area contains the 3798 metre high Großglockner climb, which is included annually in the Tour of Austria.

    Wrolich will ride his twelfth year as a professional cyclist next season. In him, the federation has “a President who will bring the experience of a still-active cyclist,” said Rudolf Massak, president of the Austrian cycling federation, Österreichisches Radsport Verein.

  • Gesink looks for home in Girona, Spain

    Robert Gesink (Rabobank) wins
    Article published:
    December 07, 2009, 10:14 GMT
    Susan Westemeyer

    Dutch rider wants second home to help with mountain training

    Robert Gesink has started to search for an apartment in Girona, Spain as he looks to establish a second European training base. The Rabobank rider hopes a move to the city north of Barcelona will allow him to improve his climbing skills in the nearby Pyrenees.

    “I want a place for myself where I can go and where I can train,” he told the Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf. “A place of my own, so that I don't have to sit in a hotel, so I can cook for myself or that my girlfriend can do it.

    The terrain close to the Catalan city will also provide a distinct advantage over the Dutchman's native country. “If I can find a place in Spain then I hope to develop my climing even further; I hope to become stronger there.”

    The 23-year-old Dutch rider ought to have no problem finding training partners. It is particularly popular among American riders, as George Hincapie and Levi Leipheimer both have houses there, and Garmin-Slipstream uses the city as its European base.

  • Spanish teams boycott two Spanish races

    The Caisse d'Epargne team at the tip of the arrowhead.
    Article published:
    December 07, 2009, 13:28 GMT
    Peter Cossins

    Top five teams to skip Ruta del Sol and Murcia

    The top five teams in Spain have announced that they will not be taking part in the Ruta del Sol and the Tour of Murcia in the opening weeks of the 2010 season. ProTour outfits Caisse d’Epargne, Euskaltel and Footon-Servetto, and Pro Continental squads Andalucía-CajaSur and Xacobeo made the decision because the organisers of the two races have not signed up to the annual agreement between the Spanish Association of Bike Race Organisers (AEOCC) and the Association of Teams that establishes the requirements for every race on the Spanish calendar.

    Instead of signing the accord, Ruta del Sol organisers Deporinter and Murcia’s organisers, the Club Murciano Organizador de Carreras Ciclistas, will be following the regulations laid down by the UCI, just as they did this year. At that time the major Spanish pro teams opted to take part in the two races because they did not have enough time to plot out an alternative calendar.

    The organisers insist there is no legal requirement for them to sign up to the disputed accord. In addition, they point out that the Majorca Challenge and Spain’s four ProTour races aren’t signed up to the accord either. They also point out that the boycott is not likely to be consistent as Andalucía-CajaSur are almost certain to line up in the Ruta del Sol at the insistence of their sponsors, as it is effectively their home tour.

    The organisers of the two events are expected to cover for the absence of the Spanish by offering invites to foreign squads. Spain’s continental outfits – Orbea, Burgos Monumental and Caja Rural – are also in line to benefit.