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First Edition Cycling News, Monday, February 22, 2010

Date published:
February 22, 2010, 0:00 GMT
  • AFLD wants WADA to override blocking of tests

    Pierre Bordry
    Article published:
    February 21, 2010, 0:08 GMT
    By:
    Shane Stokes

    Bordry determined to carry out additional Paris-Nice controls

    Pierre Bordry, president of the French national anti-doping agency AFLD,  has indicated that he might lobby the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) so that his agency can carry out its own drug tests during Paris-Nice next month.

    "According to the world anti-doping code, national agencies can ask WADA to allow them to carry out some tests, even during international races," said Bordry, according to Reuters.

    On Friday the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) had rejected an AFLD proposal to carry out additional controls during the race, which runs from March 7 to 14.

    UCI president Pat McQuaid wrote to Bordry, saying that he would not agree to the request. He said that the UCI would provide "a perfectly adequate control program with 95 checks, including unannounced controls," according to the AFP. "I see no deficiencies that would necessitate 15 additional controls.

    "According to the world anti-doping code, international sporting events have to be controlled by the International Federations," he added.

    The AFLD and the UCI had a well-publicized clash last autumn after the French agency blasted the UCI over testing in last year’s Tour. Amongst the faults highlighted was an alleged favouring of the Astana team of Alberto Contador and Lance Armstrong, first and third overall in Paris, as well as claims that urine samples were not transported and stored in correct conditions.

    The UCI responded by saying that it would not work with the AFLD in the 2010 Tour de France.

    According to Reuters, Bordry described McQuaid’s letter as ‘unbelievable’ and said that he had replied. However he was not willing to elaborate on what he stated in the response.
     

  • Giro organiser says Italian girls will be on the podium in Amsterdam

    The podium girls love Visconti but he's taken!
    Article published:
    February 21, 2010, 10:59 GMT
    By:
    Stephen Farrand

    Zomegnan says the Giro will provide it own presenters

    Angelo Zomegnan, the director of the Giro d'Italia, has squashed the debate about possible 'podium guys' during the opening stages of the Giro d'Italia in the Netherlands by saying that the pink jersey will be presented by Italian podium girls.

    Marco de Goede of the GroenLinks party had argued during a local council meeting that having podium girls was outdated and sexist. Because Amsterdam is known as the gay capital, he suggested that men or drag queens should be used for at least one stage finish presentation.

    Local TV stations and AT5 RTV Noord-Holland had organised a competition to select the possible podium presenters, but Zomegnan reclaimed the right to select who should present the pink jersey.

    "We'll decide the podium girls. The winner of the prologue of the next Giro will be celebrated on the podium in Amsterdam by two girls chosen by the race organizers of the 'Corsa Rosa'," Zomegnan told the Italian La Stampa newspaper.

    "I don't know anything about the competition, it's been authorised by us. However the girls will be Italian and we'll bring them from Italy. This whole thing is not a problem."

    Dutch actress actress Yolanthe Cabau van Kasbergen has been selected as the Giro “miss”. She presented the official route and the 2010 race jerseys

    The 2010 Giro d'Italia starts with a prologue time trial around the centre of Amsterdam on May 8. The following two stages also start from the Dutch and end in Utrecht and Middelburg, before the race transfers back to Italy.
     

  • Bissell Pro Cycling welcomes sprinters to 2010 roster

    Bissell team riders enjoy the California weather.
    Article published:
    February 21, 2010, 20:38 GMT
    By:
    Kirsten Frattini

    Meet and greet concludes in Santa Rosa on Sunday

    The Bissell Pro Cycling Team welcomed its new recruits at a week-long training camp held in its hometown of Santa Rosa, California.

    Among the new recruits are sprinters Kyle Wamsley and Daniel Holloway, who hope to bring their new squad the winning sprint it lacked in years passed.

    Holloway is a former elite US national criterium champion who raced for the Garmin-Slipstream U23 program. Wamsley joins the team having previously competed for Navigators Insurance in 2008, and played an integral role in bringing Colavita-Sutter Home into its leading national ranking in 2009. His performances did not go unnoticed by Bissell’s Directeur Sportif, Glen Mitchell, who gave Wamsley a leading sprint role for the 2010 season.


    “I think we make one of the strongest teams in the country last year a more complete team,” Wamsley told Cyclingnews. “Last year they were lacking in sprinting. We have a lot more of finishing speed needed to take some stage wins and single day races. I feel like we are key components for rounding out the team this year.”


    “I’ve never been the sprinter for the entire season,” Wamsley said. “It’s a tall order to live up to but it’s also really good motivation to know that you’re the guy they are depending on and that motivates me to do everything right. I’m really excited to have this position, that’s why I’m in the sport. I want to put Bissell on the top as many times as I can this year.”

    Wamsley revealed the importance of racing well against the other sprint teams early in the season at races like the Redlands Bicycle Classic held in March in California. The highly ranked and prestigious event is known as one of the toughest on the National Racing Calendar (NRC). Last year, Wamsley won the forth and final stage.

    “Our immediate goals are to have a similar performance at Redlands,” Wamsley...

  • Van Garderen's stage race debut bittersweet

    Tejay Van Garderen (HTC - Columbia), right, in action at the Challenge Mallorca.
    Article published:
    February 21, 2010, 21:01 GMT
    By:
    Daniel Benson

    Mechanical drops neo-pro from fifth to ninth in Algarve finale

    Despite bad luck in the time trial finale of the Volta ao Algarve, Tejay Van Garderen (HTC-Columbia) held onto a top 10 spot overall in his first stage race of 2010.

    Van Garderen went into the stage lying fifth overall but as a talented time trialist a podium place wasn't out of the question. At the first time check the American was down on stage winner Luis Leon Sanchez (Caisse d'Epargne) but a mechanical problem forced him to swap to a road bike and he slipped to ninth overall.

    "I felt good but I didn't have the best of luck. After about seven kilometres my bars became loose and I had to get a bike change. I was feeling good and got on a road bike but to drop from fifth to ninth is a little disappointing, but that's bike racing I guess," Van Garderen told Cyclingnews.

    "I was on my way to a good ride and I think I was around the top five or pretty close to it but I don't want to speculate too much."

    Van Garderen started the day 35 seconds down on race leader Contador (Astana) but tied with Olympic road champion Samuel Sanchez (Euskaltel - Euskadi). "I didn't really have any expectations," Van Garderen said. "I knew that there were some good guys ahead of me and some good guys behind me but I wanted to keep my top five in GC and maybe even move up a place. The podium was a long shot but I was thinking about that. I'm the kind of guy who likes to swing for the fence.

    "Ninth on GC when you look at the field isn't too bad. I didn't expect to do as well as I did but it's still kind of bittersweet with the mechanical issue. I'm happy with where my form is, I can't be too disappointed."

    Van Garderen cemented a strong overall position on stage three from Castro Marim to Malhão. The stage was won by Contador but Van Garderen finished fifth, 25 seconds behind the two-time Tour de France champion, and ahead of established riders such as Andreas Klöden (RadioShack) and Luis Leon Sanchez (Caisse d'Epargne)...

  • Meyer happy with third overall in Oman

    Cameron Meyer (Garmin-Transitions) signs in for the last stage.
    Article published:
    February 21, 2010, 23:09 GMT
    By:
    Stephen Farrand

    Young Australian preparing well for track worlds

    While most of the riders who took part in the Tour of Oman headed back to Europe over the weekend, Cameron Meyer (Garmin-Transitions) traveled home to Australia buoyed by an impressive third place in the final time trial and third overall. Meyer will soon begin preparing for the International Cycling Union (UCI) Track World Championships in Copenhagen, Denmark at the end of March.

    The 22-year-old is the current Australian national time trial champion and it showed on the testing course on Oman. He finished third, 45 seconds behind winner Edvald Boasson Hagen (Team Sky) and only 28 seconds behind world time trial champion Cancellara.

    Meyer missed out on second place overall in the six-day race by just a few hundreds to Boasson Hagen and was only 28 seconds –the seconds he lost in the time trial- behind Cancellara. "It was close for second but it was still a good way to finish the race," Meyer told Cyclingnews.

    "To finish off with a tough time trial like that after six days of racing was very hard,” he said. “But I knew the course would suit my style because I'm a lighter built guy who could climb. I had good legs in the time trial and the hills early in the course suited me. Then I just had to hang on the descents and flat roads and get to the finish. I think I did that pretty well."

    "I think I had a good Tour all round because I needed to get through it all without losing any time to have a crack in the time trial,” he continued. “I did it thanks to having the team around me. I learnt a lot by following Tyler Farrar and Robbie Hunter in the bunch and that was a big reason why I didn't lose any time."

    Meyer made his debut with Garmin in 2009 and also won his first senior world title in the points race at the track world championships in Poland. With some quality early season racing in his legs, Meyer will now focus on preparing for this year's world championships in Copenhagen and the...

  • McGee praises Cancellara's Oman performance

    World Champion Fabien Cancellara (Saxo Bank)
    Article published:
    February 22, 2010, 0:33 GMT
    By:
    Stephen Farrand

    Saxo Bank DS admires how his riders get the job done

    Bradley McGee knows a few things about great performances against the clock and he had nothing but praise for how Fabian Cancellara positioned himself for overall victory at the Tour of Oman and then sealed success with a huge effort in the final time trial. McGee won numerous time trials during his own professional career and was one of the best pursuit riders of his generation, winning Olympic medals and world titles.

    Now a directeur sportif with Saxo Bank, McGee drove the team car during Cancellara's ride in the final time trial on Oman and watched as the big man from Switzerland was able to snatch overall victory. Cancellara is still far from his best form after missing a vital block of training due to illness in January and for McGee that made his performance even more impressive.

    "He had to fight it all the way; not one pedal stroke was easy for him," McGee told Cyclingnews. "That's impressive for a guy of his caliber and his stature. But he spat on the gloves, gripped the handlebars tight and fought for it. It's pretty cool to watch from the team car."

    After the ride Cancellara and McGee quickly began to discuss the ride. Their mutual respect and huge amount of time trial expertise was easy to see and if Cancellara does decide to go for the hour record, McGee would surely play an important role in the attempt.

    McGee revealed Saxo Bank's strategy for the race. Success was always on objective but without losing sight of the real goal: laying down 12 days of quality training ready for the spring classics.

    "The time trial was a big effort and a major focus for Fabian but there was no real push to win overall. We just positioned ourselves as well as possible during the other stages and let the win come to us," he said. "Of course we always knew that time trial would be a big day and Fabian's the best in the business. He sucks in all the pressure and then he's able to come out with a winning ride. That's why he's...

  • Grafton-Inverell gets new date

    Drapac-Porsche has tasted success on home soil this year with Maclachlan's win in the Grafton to Inverell...
    Article published:
    February 22, 2010, 4:39 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    50th edition to close NRS

    The Grafton to Inverell Cycle Classic will celebrate its 50th anniversary in October this year, after receiving approval to relocate the race’s date. The event will take place one week after Australia’s other major one day race Melbourne-Warrnambool.

    “This is a relief to the committee which has been waiting for confirmation of the date change before committing to organising many of the fantastic options the race will bring for spectators and cyclists,” said a release from the organiser. “It will be top gear now for the committee as they prepare for the biggest day in the history of the toughest classic in Australia.”

    Grafton to Inverell will now be the final race in Cycling Australia’s National Road Series for both the women’s and teams series, while the men’s series will conclude with the Emerald Lakes Cycle Classic in early November.

    “There has been some shifting of dates with other races in the NRS which has allowed the committee to slot the great race into the date they preferred,” said the organiser’s release. “There is great excitement and expectation for the 50th [anniversary] and October allows for more flexibility and options for race organisers and for the cyclists.”

  • Astana fires first shots in Algarve

    Alberto Contador (Astana) back to racing for the 2010 season
    Article published:
    February 22, 2010, 8:23 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Contador: Victory important for team morale

    After enduring a much-publicised, off-season war of words with Lance Armstrong, Alberto Contador has made his latest statement on the road, winning the Volta ao Algarve against the likes of Team RadioShack's Levi Leipheimer and Andreas Klöden.

    Contador took second in the stage five time trial to win by 30 seconds overall, ahead of countryman and early-season pacesetter Luis Leon Sanchez (Caisse d'Epargne), with another RadioShack rider, Tiago Machado, finishing third. Leipheimer and Klöden finished fourth and eighth, respectively.

    Whilst the next-best Astana rider on the overall standings was Daniel Navarro - in 58th overall - Contador said that the win has boosted team morale ahead of Paris-Nice and eventually the Tour de France, where he enters the 2010 edition as reigning champion.

    "This race has a very great importance, especially for my team because it has done an excellent job throughout the tour. We had to take responsibility knowing that other riders that were more covered could win the race, but every one has ridden out of their skin. They finished very tired but we are very happy," said Contador.

    Contador added that the result had even more importance given the drama surrounding the ineligibility of his Specialized Shiv time trial bike for use in the final stage. "I had my doubts, especially yesterday, when I tested the bike and I had really bad feelings," said the Spanish ace.

    "This morning we made some adjustments and went a little better but still had my doubts. Especially when I stood up on the pedals, the bike was very different, but I felt very good and at the end result was good and I could keep the jersey."

    During January Contador had stated that he felt good in pre-season training, although he wasn't sure how this would compare to the form of his competitors as the...