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First Edition Cycling News, Monday, February 1, 2010

Date published:
February 01, 2010, 0:00 GMT
  • Contador to target Tour de France but denies he is favourite

    Vino, Contador and Pereiro present the new Astana jersey
    Article published:
    January 31, 2010, 14:56 GMT
    Stephen Farrand

    Spaniard given total leadership at Astana

    Alberto Contador has confirmed that the Tour de France will again be his big goal in 2010 season but insists he is not the only favourite for the yellow jersey.

    The 2007 and 2009 Tour winner was the star of the official Astana team presentation in Vienna, Austria on Saturday. Looking fit and happy, Contador posed with Alexandre Vinokourov, Oscar Pereiro, and his 24 teammates in the bright blue and white Astana kit.

    "The big goal is to repeat my victory in the Tour de France. But I know it won’t be easy because there are lots of other riders who also have the same goal. I think there are eight or maybe ten riders with a real chance but both the team and I will be giving everything to win it," Contador said.

    "I don’t like saying that I’m the big favourite. There are other favourites because of their physical strengths and because of tactical factors, such as the strength of the teams. If I had to say one name of someone who could cause me trouble in the mountains, I’d say Andy Schleck because he was second last year."

    Happier without Lance

    Contador also included former team mate Lance Armstrong as a Tour favourite but seemed happy not to be on the same team as the Texan after their tense relationship in 2009.

    "Of course Lance will be one of my rivals this year but I'm more relaxed," Contador said.

    "We have a very good team at Astana and I think we’ll have a great season. The team has worked hard in training and I am pleased with everybody’s motivation and the commitment they are putting in. That's the key."

    Both Vinokourov and Pereiro said they would back Contador 100% in the Tour de France.

    "The aim is to win the Tour de France for Astana and show that, with Alberto Contador, we are the best team in the world. I think that with his talent and my experience, we can count on him to succeed," Vinokourov said.

    Pereiro almost retired...

  • Ricco denies involvement in his girlfriend's EPO CERA positive

    Riccardo Riccò
    Article published:
    January 31, 2010, 19:08 GMT
    Stephen Farrand

    Italian doctor describes taking banned drug and breast-feeding as ‘crazy’

    Riccardo Ricco has said he has nothing to do with his girlfriend Vania Rossi testing positive for EPO CERA.

    The Italian Olympic Committee suspended Rossi on Friday after a sample she gave on January 10, following her second place in the Italian national cyclo-cross championships, indicated EPO CERA.

    Ricco failed a test for the same blood-boosting drug in the 2008 Tour de France but told Gazzetta dello Sport that he had nothing to do with his girlfriend’s positive. Ricco’s ban ends on March 19 and surprisingly he is training with the Flaminia-Bianchi team in Tuscany, rather than being at his girlfriend’s side.

    Gazzetta claimed that Ricco could try and force his girlfriend to take a DNA test to try and prove her innocence. The news of Rossi’s positive test for EPO CERA caused massive headlines in Italy and could overshadow Ricco’s return to racing.

    “What’s happened? I know as much as anyone else. I’ve been away from home for three months but now everyone will put two and two together and ask ‘Who gave it to her? I’ll be guilty again,” Ricco said.

    “I trust her. If she tells me something, I believe her. I don’t think she tells lies. At least I hope so because otherwise it a mess, especially with a baby involved.”

    “When I was found positive, I confessed everything. I was honest. I hope she does the same. People know I don’t like her racing, you can imagine what I think about her taking anything. Cycling isn’t for women, it hurts too much.”

    “The thing that bothers me is what people will think. I didn’t need this but I can’t go and kill myself. I’m going to carry on training. It’s a strange situation but it’s nothing to do with me. We’ll do the counter-analysis but in the meantime I’ve been splashed all over the newspapers.”...

  • Former Cervelo TestTeam director to lead team USA

    Team USA
    Article published:
    January 31, 2010, 20:46 GMT
    Cycling News

    USA Cycling hires Lacambra to lead women's road endurance program

    USA Cycling announced today that it has signed an agreement with a Spanish company, Management Cycling Prof, S.L., to manage the organization's Women's Endurance Program.

    Led by Director Sportif Manel Lacambra, formerly manager of the Cervelo TestTeam women's squad, the Spanish-based company will direct the women's development efforts from the USA Cycling European Residence Center in Lucca, Italy.

    A former road racer and race mechanic, Lacambra worked closely with now retired two-time world champion and Olympic gold medalist Kristin Armstrong. He helped the Cervelo Test Team take 87 podium places in 2009, including five World Cup victories.

    Jim Miller, who previously ran the development program for eight years before stepping up as USA Cycling's Director of Athletics, called Lacambra "one of the best directors in the world when it comes to professional women's cycling."

    "We've had one goal with our women's development efforts and that has been to win world titles and Olympic medals. Under the direction of Manel and Management Cycling Prof, that goal is the same. We want to be nothing less than the best national team in the world."

    Lacambra expressed his eagerness to work with the US team. "After two great years of working with Kristin, I get the opportunity to work with the U.S. National Team and am very happy for that," said the 34-year-old.

    "Over the last few years, I have noticed that U.S. riders are talented but that they have a different style of racing than in Europe. I like the American people and their professionalism and will do my best to raise the U.S. Women's National Team to the highest possible level."

  • Bont to release lightweight climbing shoe

    The size 46 Cyclingnews was shown weight just under 220 grams per shoe, but a size 41 will be closer to 160 grams.
    Article published:
    January 31, 2010, 23:14 GMT
    Greg Johnson

    Zero to hit market in a month

    Australian cycling shoe manufacturer Bont will release a new climbing shoe in late February named Zero. The shoe will be Bont’s first shoe targeted specifically at weight reduction for climbing, and follows the company’s launch of a time trial specific model called Crono.

    Bont’s Steven Nemeth described the shoe as an everyday shoe that happens to be built incredibly light, when showing off the new model to Cyclingnews at Tour Down Under.

    “It’s an ultra light shoe but what we’ve done is created a shoe with a lot of structural integrity,” said Nemeth. “We haven’t gone out there to make the lightest shoe in the market. There are shoes out there that are lighter, but they’re just not practical.

    “We’ve gone out there and made a shoe that anybody can ride without any weight limit,” he added. “It’s not an ultra light that has a 70 or 75 kilogram weight limit. It’s an everyday shoe that a person can use, but it just happens to be built with a structure that allows it to be incredibly light.”

    Bont has employed different layup techniques to help save weight in its new model, which has a claimed weight of around 160 grams per shoe for a size 41. The shoe has a new upper and done away with buckles in favour of a lacing system, again to reduce weight.

    “It’s just a slightly different layup technique to what we’ve used,” he said. “We’ve got a very different upper; we’ve basically got a laminated glass upper which really minimizes weight. We’ve taken out things like buckles and gone back to a lacing system.”

    A recommended retail price is yet to be set for the new shoe, which is currently in production and will be rolled out over the coming four weeks. Zero won’t be an unaffordable shoe but will be priced around or above the cost of a top-end road shoe, according to...

  • Endura Racing unveils Blain signing at Silverstone launch

    Ian Wilkinson stands in front of the LOOK time trail machine the team will use throughout 2010.
    Article published:
    February 01, 2010, 5:44 GMT
    Greg Johnson

    British Continental team launched

    Endura Racing took the wraps off its new line-up at the weekend, including a surprise last minute signing in the form of Alexandre Blain. The French rider has spent the last two seasons at ProTour outfit Cofidis, which closed its doors at the end of 2009.

    The Continental team features predominately riders from Great Britain, including former British Road Champion Rob Hayles, with Blain one of the few exceptions. In addition to the Frenchman, Endura Racing’s roster includes New Zealand duo Jack Bauer - the current national champion - and Jason Christie.

    “The scene is set now,” said Hayles. “Today's nerves quickly turned to confidence and pride as the morning went on. It has been a perfect send-off for the guys as we now embark on our race programme – it really is up to us now.

    “We are all looking forward to getting out there and riding,” he added. “We have the Tour of Mediterranean in early February, and then the whole of the squad convene in Nice on the 15th of Feb for our first full training camp.”

    Endura Racing has some big races listed on its schedule for the year. In addition to domestic events in the United Kingdom, Endura Racing will contest races in greater Europe like Tour Méditerranéen, Vuelta Ciclista a la Region de Murcia and Vuelta a Castilla y Leon. It also lists the Tour of Britain, Tour of Ireland and Tour of Missouri on its race schedule for 2010.

    The team’s launch was held at the Porsche Human Performance Centre at Silverstone, England. It announced the team’s athletes would be trained at PHPC during the team launch.

    Endura Racing 2010 roster: Rob Hayles (Eng), James Moss (Eng), Jack Bauer (NZ), Evan Oliphant (Sco), Jason Christie (NZ), Rob Partridge (Wal), Ross Creber (Sco), Scott Thwaites (Eng), Gary Hand (Sco), Callum Wilkinson (Sco), David Lines (Sco), Ian Wilkinson (Eng), James McCallum (Sco),...

  • Martin reduces ambitions for season start

    German Tony Martin (Columbia-HTC) in the best young rider's white jersey.
    Article published:
    February 01, 2010, 10:36 GMT
    Cycling News

    German needed rest to heal knee problems caused by overtraining

    Tony Martin, HTC-Columbia's surprise prodigy of the 2009 season, was over-ambitious with his winter training and injured his knee. The German is now going into the season with reduced ambitions for the first races.

    Martin, 24, told the German press agency DPA, “I probably overdid it a bit with my winter training and injured a tendon in my knee.” He had to stop training for two weeks, and has only just returned to training, riding up to 100 kilometres a day.

    He will open his season with the Mallorca Challenge, taking place from February 7-11, but has nevertheless reduced his ambitions for his first major test of the year, Paris-Nice (March 7-14).

    Martin wore the white jersey as best young rider at the 2009 Tour de France for 12 days, and finished second on the Mont Ventoux stage. He finished second overall in the Tour de Suisse, where he also won a stage. Martin took the mountain jersey in both the Tour de Suisse and Paris-Nice.

  • German federation refutes Belgian TV claims

    Germany's Philipp Walsleben (BKCP-Power Plus)
    Article published:
    February 01, 2010, 11:03 GMT
    Cycling News

    Belgian TV alleged Walsleben departed from cross Worlds due to high blood values

    The Bund Deutscher Radfahrer (BDR) has denied claims by Belgian TV commentators that Philipp Walsleben left the Cyclo-cross World Championships in Tabor due to a high hematocrit. The German cross champion had been suffering from an intestinal infection for several days and flew home on Sunday before the men's elite race.

    The doping charges “are totally made up,” according to Walsleben. He never underwent any blood tests at the championships, “and without blood tests, nobody, not even me, can know my current blood values. I don't know how the Belgian TV came up with this information.

    “I left the world championships because I was sick, not because I have anything to hide or because I was suspended,” Walsleben said.

    BDR Vice President Udo Sprenger told the DPA press agency that Walsleben was already suffering from the intestinal infection when he arrived in Tabor on Wednesday, and did not get better. On Saturday it was decided that he would not start, and a UCI doctor certified him ill that evening. The 22-year-old headed home on Sunday.

    During the women's race Sunday morning, Belgian television commentators from Sporza said that Walsleben had been sent home due to a high hematocrit. They have since retracted that statement.

  • Di Luca given two-year suspension for Giro CERA doping

    Danilo Di Luca (LPR Brakes)
    Article published:
    February 01, 2010, 16:23 GMT
    Cycling News

    Italian must also pay 280,000 Euro fine

    Danilo Di Luca has been suspended for two years by the Italian National Olympic Committee (CONI). He tested positive for the EPO derivative CERA at the 2009 Giro d'Italia.

    The rider announced he will contest the decision. “We will turn to the Court of Appeal for Sport,” he said, according to the Gazzetta dello Sport. “I am confident even though the fight isn't over. But I will not be saying farewell to racing. I still have a lot to give. I am convinced I will be able to return before the two years are up.”

    Under the decision, announced Monday afternoon, the former LPR Brakes rider must pay a fine of 280,000 Euro and costs of 2,040 Euro.

    CONI had sought a three-year ban for Di Luca, the usual two-year suspension plus an addition year for “aggravating circumstances.”

    The suspension runs through July 21, 2011.

    On July 22, 2009, the International Cycling Union (UCI) announced that it had suspended Di Luca for two positive tests from the Giro d'Italia. The tests were from May 20 and 28. Di Luca finished second overall in the Giro.

    According to the UCI, the findings “were a direct result of a targeted test programme conducted on Mr. Di Luca using information from his biological passport’s blood profile, previous test results and his race schedule."

    Di Luca has consistently denied the charges.