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First Edition Cycling News, Monday, January 18, 2010

Date published:
January 18, 2010, 0:00 GMT
  • Cervélo TestTeam target the Classics and Tour de France in 2010

    Cervélo TestTeam for 2010
    Article published:
    January 17, 2010, 20:53 GMT
    Stephen Farrand

    Sastre, Hushovd and Haussler ready for racing

    The Cervélo TestTeam held its official presentation in Portugal on Sunday, confident it can build on its debut season in 2009 and be even more successful in 2010.

    The women’s squad topped the UCI team ranking but is looking for more stage race and classic success in 2010 as well as the top spot in the individual UCI rankings.

    Thor Hushovd and Heinrich Haussler want a major Classics win for the men’s team after going so close, so often in 2009, while Carlos Sastre is to target the Giro d'Italia before deciding if he will target the Tour de France. Hushovd is ready to ride even more aggressively to win a second green jersey at the Tour de France, and then both he and Haussler will target the World Championships in Australia.

    The Cervélo TestTeam has a redesigned jersey for 2010, with the Cervelo é filling the back of the jersey. The team issue R3sl bike has also been given a new look and the team will use SRAM components alongside Rotor cranks, 3T bars, Fizik saddles and Zipp wheels.

    Cervélo co-founders Phil White and Gerard Vroomen were the first to reveal their hopes and ambitions for 2010 during the presentation.

    "It's been an unbelievable first year. Some people thought we wouldn't be back for a second year but we proved we can make the difficult first step on a long journey," Vroomen said with pride.

    "12 months ago, it was the riders who decided our core values: honest innovation, sacrifice, unity and success. Now we want to build on those even more. We know that 2010 will be better than 2009. We can’t guarantee to win more but we can guarantee we will make better bikes, and give people better access to the team."

    There have been significant changes in the Cervélo Team Test management structure for 2010. Thomas Campana is no longer involved and Vroomen and White have brought in Joop Alberda who has worked for the Dutch Olympic teams and the Russian...

  • Young Frenchmen impressed by Armstrong's breakaway effort

    Lance Armstrong (RadioShack) leads the breakaway which included fellow Tour de France winner Oscar Pereiro.
    Article published:
    January 17, 2010, 23:46 GMT
    Jean-François Quénet

    Perget, Chérel note American rider's fitness

    Two of the five breakaway riders from Sunday's Cancer Council Helpline Classic share the same birthday, September 18. Caisse d'Épargne's Mathieu Perget came into the world 13 years to the day after Lance Armstrong. It was enough of a reason for the two to have a chat one year ago - when the Texan returned to competition at the Tour Down Under. That's when Steve Morabito, Armstrong's then teammate at Astana, made the presentation, and the American signed a jersey for the Frenchman's girlfriend.

    Both Armstrong and Perget said they felt like they are in better shape than they were in January of 2009. Perget seemed to prove this by initating the breakaway at the Cancer Council Helpline Classic, and Armstrong followed him.

    "I wondered what I could do to show off and please myself," said the 25-year-old Perget. "Halfway into the race, after a fast lap, I thought it was the right moment to attack. But I didn't want to go for just one or two laps ahead. When I attacked, I heard 'go Mathieu' in Spanish, and that was my former teammate Oscar Pereiro."

    "When our group was formed, Armstrong's turns were twice as long as ours. He obviously enjoyed being in the front. He was fully on."

    Française des Jeux's Mikaël Chérel, the other Frenchman in the break, was also impressed by Armstrong. Chérel was prompt to follow his fellow compatriot off the front and was a bit surprised to see the seven-time winner of the Tour de France joining them in the break.

    "It was nice to be out there with him", Chérel said to Cyclingnews. "I don't know if he had something in mind, but he was doing a lot of efforts. It was really impressive. I can tell you that when you are on his wheel when he pedals at threshold, it hurts! He was a step above everybody else in the breakaway."

    Chérel was a late inclusion in the FDJ line-up for the Santos Tour Down Under. In December, he replaced New Zealander Tim...

  • Evans looking to familiarise himself with team-mates

    Cadel Evans (BMC Racing Team) showed his light-hearted side while joking with the press during the pre-race press conference.
    Article published:
    January 18, 2010, 0:04 GMT
    Greg Johnson

    World champion knows why Armstrong’s still fans’ favourite

    Reigning UCI world road champion Cadel Evans thinks it would take an alignment of the stars for him to try his luck in a breakaway at this year’s Tour Down Under. Instead Evans is looking forward to spending time getting to know his BMC Racing Team team-mates, having joined the Professional Continental team in a shock move from ProTour outfit Silence-Lotto last year.

    “If the opportunity arises then maybe, if the stars align. I’m not counting on anything,” said Evans. “It’s not suited to my capacity, I’m just happy to be here to get my season started and meeting my new team-mates is probably the most important thing for me. “

    Despite being Australia’s first road world champion and competing in the jersey on home soil, Evans is under no illusions as to why all the chatter surrounds Lance Armstrong and not himself. “He’s won seven Tours, I’ve only lost five,” he joked.

    After arriving in Adelaide, South Australia for the race on Saturday Evans is looking to simply get to know his team-mates. That doesn’t however mean BMC Racing Team isn’t looking to achieve results at its ProTour debut.

    “I didn’t know any of them,” said Evans. “For me, not in any way to dishonor the race at all, but it’s really a great opportunity for us just to get to know each other. Guys like Danilo Wyss and Thomas Frei are here for opportunities and I’m just happy to be here with them, get to know them and help them get some results.”

    Given the predominately flat terrain doesn’t suit Evans, a Grand Tour or tough one-day rider, he has modest goals for his appearance at the 12th Santos Tour Down Under. For Evans this week will be more about getting to know his new home, which will be aided by the presence of team owner Andy Rihs at the race.

    “Work together well as a team, that’s my main goal,”...

  • Riis not ready to give up on Team Saxo Bank

    My name is Riis – Bjarne Riis
    Article published:
    January 18, 2010, 11:04 GMT
    Susan Westemeyer

    Dane says he still has much to give to the sport

    Losing his major sponsor has been a hard blow for Bjarne Riis, but the Dane isn't ready to throw in the towel yet. “This team is my life's work. I will not give up,” he said. Saxo Bank announced earlier this month that it would stop its sponsorship of the team at the end of the 2010 season.

    In an interview with the Danish website, Riis denied media speculation that he was disenchanted and discouraged. Quite the contrary, “I am more motivated this season than ever before. I have too much to give to cycling and especially to this team.”

    Riis, 45, acknowledged that one day he may be “forced into” quitting the sport, “because of things I don't have control over. So I will just face it. But it has nothing to do with my desire.”

    He hopes that day will be a long way off. “I still have so many ambitions, things I'd like to try before I start thinking I shouldn't have a cycling team any more. I can easily see myself doing this for many more years.”

    “I am convinced we have more fans than critics,” he added. “When I sit and look as my riders being cheered on stages, I am very proud. This team has helped put Denmark on the world map.”

    He concluded: “We have given so much to Danish sports. So to hell with the critics. I think there are many who would be sad if our cycling team stopped. I certainly would be.”

  • Botero expected to shine in San Luis

    Santiago Botero
    Article published:
    January 18, 2010, 11:40 GMT
    Kirsten Frattini

    Announces his official retirement in June

    Columbia’s Santiago Botero has returned from a temporary hiatus to compete against a world-class peloton at the Tour de San Luis in Argentina. Botero will officially retire from cycling in June, 2010.

    “I was training a lot in the gym until the end of December and I have been on my bike for just three weeks,” Botero said. “But, I live at altitude and when you come from that and being in the mountains every day, you always have one extra point. We will see, my rhythm is slow but maybe I can do something.”

    Botero along with long-time friend Victor Hugo Pena will join the Colombian National Team’s ten-man roster during the seven-day stage race through the mountainous region of San Luis. The pair bolster the Columbian National Team team with their extensive pedigree in stage racing.

    Botero, is a former world champion in the time trial and Pena is the only Columbian to wear the yellow jersey at the Tour de France. “I believe I have a possibility for the overall but, we have two or three good riders that have a possibility for the overall and Pena is one of them too,” Botero said.

    Botero outlined several stages that suit his ability. Stage two that will take the riders on six-lap circuit through the streets of Potrero De Los Fuentes before sending them out toward the first mountain finish, a distance of five kilometres atop the Mirador ascent. He also pointed out the stage four and the stage six mountain finish atop Mirador del Sol.

    “Then there is the time trial and normally I am good in this speciality. I don’t know what my rhythm is like now but we will try to win a stage and do a good stage. Also, stage six is hard. The profile looks hard on that day.”

    The fourth Tour de San Luis is sanctioned by the UCI as a 2.1 category event for a second consecutive season. It has attracted some of the best teams and riders in the world, including three ProTour teams...

  • Saxo Bank's time trial training on Fuerteventura

    Cancellara goes flatout during the training session.
    Article published:
    January 18, 2010, 11:45 GMT
    Daniel Benson

    Danish team take to road on new bikes

    Being one of the strongest squads in the world doesn’t happen overnight and on Sunday Team Saxo Bank spent close to five hours on the road training. After a gentle three-hour spin on their road bikes the riders tested out their new Specialized time trial machines.

    Led by World and Olympic Champion Fabian Cancellara, the squad covered a 40-kilometre loop on the island of Fuerteventura.

    This year Andy Schleck has pinpointed time trialling as one of the main areas he must improve if he’s to topple Tour de France winner Alberto Contador. Despite already having an aerodynamic position on the bike, he’ll be looking to improve his power output under the tutelage of former professional Bobby Julich, who now works as an advisor and manager for the team he used to ride for.

  • Velits brothers ready to step up at HTC-Columbia

    Vincente Reynes, Mark Cavendish and Marco Pinotti (top) don't look too fussed about the weather, but it's a different story for Peter Velits, Tony Martin, Maxime Monfort and Martin Velits (bottom)
    Article published:
    January 18, 2010, 11:51 GMT
    Richard Tyler

    Slovakian twins spread out to target Belgian and Italian Classics

    A part of HTC-Columbia's significant influx of talent for 2010, Slovakian twins Peter and Martin Velits say they are looking forward to the challenge and pressure of being part of one of the peloton's strongest teams as they target a strong start at the Spring Classics.

    The Velits, 24, have made the move to the US-backed squad after two years with Germany's Milram and despite the efforts of their former employer to retain their services, the two opted for a fresh start at HTC.

    "We got an offer from Milram too, but we were perhaps also looking for something new, a new challenge and maybe some bigger pressure for both of us," Slovakian road race champion Martin told Cyclingnews at the team's training camp in Majorca. "This is only the second camp we've had with the team, but we feel quite integrated already."

    The brothers' comfort in their new surroundings is due to HTC's concerted effort to introduce riders new to the roster into the team environment as early as possible. The two began their introduction to the team in September, after sealing their contracts with the squad shortly after the 2009 Tour de France. It was a deal that had, in part, been facilitated by former-Milram teammate and now HTC advisor, Erik Zabel.

    "It actually happened at the Tour [de France]. Erik came to us at the end of a stage and said the team was interested in signing us. We said, 'okay, speak to our agent Tony Rominger and we can discuss it', but it all happened pretty quickly so that by the end of the Tour it was pretty much done," said Peter, who rode the Tour, while Martin did no.

    “We're looking forward to the racing, and as Martin said, it's a good feeling in this team."

    Despite their biological proximity, the brothers will spend the opening months of the season in pursuit of different goals. Martin will focus on a predominantly Belgian programme, while Peter's schedule will include an all-Italian lead-up to...

  • Armstrong breaks ground at Livestrong facility

    The new facility’s research wing will carry the name of Lance Armstrong’s charity: Livestrong.
    Article published:
    January 18, 2010, 13:06 GMT
    Cycling News

    Cancer research laboratories due for August 2011 completion

    Lance Armstrong utilised the rest day at Australia's ProTour opener Tour Down Under to break ground at the site of the Flinders Centre for Innovation in Cancer. The centre's research wing will be named after Armstrong's charity Livestrong, which is focused on raising awareness for the disease.

    "We are honoured that the new research laboratories within the Flinders Centre for Innovation in Cancer will be named the Livestrong Cancer Research Centre and provide a world-class home to more than 100 of Australia's leading cancer researchers," said Armstrong.

    The $27 million facility's research wing will work on developing early diagnostics and new prevention technologies and strategies. South Australia's State Government has provided a $7.5 million commitment to the centre, plus committed some $5.2 million in annual operating costs.

    Premier Mike Rann joined Armstrong at the ground-breaking ceremony. "Lance Armstrong is just as committed to his passion for helping to saving the lives of cancer survivors across the world as he was when he made his come-back to professional riding at the Tour Down Under last year," Rann said. "As a person who has so spectacularly returned to good health after surviving advanced testicular cancer, Lance is a powerful voice in raising awareness about the global cancer burden.

    "Many cancers can be prevented - that is the message that Flinders researchers and this new centre will be sending the world," Rann said. "This is about doing what we can we employ every means possible to fight the global cancer epidemic."

    The centre's design will be finalised over the next five months, while construction on the site is anticipated to begin by July. The building is expected to be completed around August 2011.