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First Edition Cycling News, Monday, January 9, 2012

Date published:
January 09, 2012, 0:00 GMT
  • Video: GreenEdge women lay down the gauntlet to male counterparts

    Tiffany Cromwell (GreenEDGE) looked comfortable in the chasing bunch
    Article published:
    January 07, 2012, 22:07 GMT
    Jane Aubrey

    Road race gold and silver medallists talk to Cyclingnews

    The GreenEdge-AIS outfit showed once again that team efforts pay dividends with Amanda Spratt and Tiffany Cromwell the first women across the finish line in Saturday's road race at the Mars Cycling Australia National Championships.

    The result was a continuance of the new team's brilliant form which dominated the Jayco Bay Cycling Classic criterium series earlier in the week when Spratt was one of three members of the outfit to win a stage, with Melissa Hoskins also claiming the overall prize.

    On Saturday, Spratt escaped from a select group of 18 at the top of the Buninyong climb to race on her own for the remaining two-and-a-half laps of the 10.1-kilometre course.

    "There was a lull in the bunch at the top of the climb, and I thought I could go then and I thought, for me, that was probably the best way to get a gap," Spratt told Cyclingnews. "I didn't really back myself to get a bit of acceleration on the climb among some pretty strong climbing competition."

    The result for both Spratt and Cromwell was evidence that the difficult times of the past 18 months are now well and truly in the past. Spratt had had time out from the sport after a painful sciatic nerve injury and Cromwell had changed European teams mid-season last year, severely disrupting her career's momentum. Spratt's fortunes started to turn around with her first UCI victory at the Czech Tour last July while Cromwell's future seems to be back on track with the advent of pulling on the GreenEdge-AIS kit this month.

    Asked what the secret is to the team's success, Spratt and Cromwell agreeing, said, "We're not afraid to sacrifice ourselves for each...

  • RadioShack-Nissan owner Becca questions fairness in Contador case

    Leopard Trek financial backer Flavio Becca talks to directeur sportif Kim Andersen
    Article published:
    January 07, 2012, 22:50 GMT
    Cycling News

    Becca notes Israeli connection

    During the presentation of the RadioShack-Nissan team, founder Flavio Becca attacked Alberto Contador, his Saxo Bank team and that team's owner Bjarne Riis. Two facts had caught Becca's attention, causing him to wonder whether Saxo Bank was trying to influence the fate of its star rider Contador: Saxo Bank had recently held its pre-season training camp in Israel and one of the judges involved in the upcoming Contador doping case decision from the Court of Arbitration for Sport is Israeli.

    "When I saw that in the CAS (Court of Arbitration for Sport) commission, an Israeli judge will decide the fate of Contador and soon after discovered that Saxo Bank has its own training camp in Israel, I do not think we are on track," said Becca to Le Quotidien.

    Saxo Bank held a training camp in Israel - not a regular pre-season training camp destination for WorldTour teams - from November 29 to December 11. While there, team's riders did the usual early team camp activities: getting to know each other, help building a cycling school and spending some time riding locally.

    The CAS ruling is expected in a few days, from a commission that includes three members: Quentin Byrne-Sutton of Switzerland, Ulrich Haas of Germany and the Ephraim Barak of Israel. The latter is the president of commission.

    "An Israeli judge will issue a ruling on Contador, and Saxo Bank is doing its training camp in Israel, even being officially received by the Government. There are two facts that can not be separated. At this point, I think everything is already decided," said Becca.

  • Video: Von Hoff outlasts rival sprinters in Buninyong

    Steel Von Hoff (Chipotle) talked to us after the race in Buninyong.
    Article published:
    January 08, 2012, 11:12 GMT
    Alex Hinds

    Chipotle rider shows that course is conquerable for the fast men with sixth place finish

    While the 10.1 kilometre Buninyong course at the Cycling Australia Road Championships has been criticised by some riders as "too hard" for a sprinter to succeed on, Steele Von Hoff (Chipotle Development) showed no shortage of tenacity to stay in the race and - had Lady Luck smiled a little differently on the Victorian, may well have been celebrating an unlikely national title.

    Von Hoff finished sixth on the day, leading home the main field 1:11 back from winner Simon Gerrans (GreenEdge). Impressively, he outsprinted two WorldTour veterans in Chris Sutton (Sky) and Baden Cooke (GreenEdge) to take the result. It was a great performance from a man who has been criticised in the past for his unproven performance on longer, hillier parcours.

    He's already shown that with his results in Launceston - New Norfolk and Goulburn to Sydney that such a view is unfounded, but went even further on Sunday.

    The sprinter explained to Cyclingnews he'd come close to getting dropped a few times but forced himself through the final few laps to get the result.

    "I was cramping with three laps to go, and I tried to force the water down, then I felt bloated," said Von Hoff. "Then the laps just kept ticking down and all of a sudden it was the final lap."

    "I was on Sutton's wheel, he went and I was on his wheel, and got past him to take sixth. I'm stoked."

    Von Hoff added that he was really pleased to be able to...

  • Video: Bruyneel on Tour de France and Andy Schleck's strengths

    Frank and Andy Schleck (RadioShack-Nissan)
    Article published:
    January 08, 2012, 13:46 GMT
    Daniel Benson

    Bruyneel on aims for this season

    Twelve months on after Brian Nygaard unveiled the Leopard Trek team in Luxembourg, it was Johan Bruyneel’s turn to unveil the country's WorldTour squad on Friday evening.

    Much has happened in the last year, with the team unable to secure a sponsor in 2011 and Nygaard’s dismissal at the hands of Flavio Becca.

    The subsequent merger between the Leopard and RadioShack squads was one of the most intriguing stories of the off-season, but one constant remains and that’s the team’s desire to win the Tour de France.

    At their press conference on Friday they held court with four top ten finishers in the Tour, but their greatest weapon, Andy Schleck, looks like being Johan Bruyneel’s preferred choice as team leader. Schleck has finished second on three occasions (2009, 2010, 2011) and in these exclusive videos Bruyneel talks about Schleck’s strengths and the team’s desire to win the Tour de France.

    Use this on all articles. The player is narrow enough to fit next to the article gallery images box on the right.
  • Vacancy for a Staff Writer – ProCycling

    Work as a staff writer for Procycling magazine.
    Article published:
    January 08, 2012, 15:41 GMT
    Cycling News

    Join the magazine team (based in Bath)

    Are you are writer with a passion for cycle racing and would like to work at the forefront of cycling journalism?

    As Staff Writer you’ll be a vital part of Procycling magazine’s hard working, dedicated team. You’ll be interviewing the world’s top riders, spotting up and coming talent, covering races and reporting from behind the scenes of the world’s toughest sport. You will plan and write copy to deadline, help plan issues ahead and work with the Production Editor fact-checking material from contributors and seeing finished pages to completion at the highest standards.

    About You

    With an ability to write you will have a deep knowledge of professional road cycling and be familiar with the current racing scene as well as its rich history. With experience of working within magazine or newspaper journalism, you will ideally have contacts in cycle sport and be confident in creating and maintaining relationships with significant figures in the sport. Fluency in a European language such as French, Italian or Spanish would be advantageous for this position.

    What We Can Offer You

    In addition to a competitive salary, generous holiday entitlement, comprehensive training programmes and additional benefits this is an opportunity to make your name as a writer on Future Publishing’s flagship road racing magazine by travelling to, and reporting on, the biggest races of the race calendar.

    About Us

    Future is an international special-interest media company creating over 180 publications, websites and events, with strong portfolios in the technology, games, music, automotive and sports sectors.

    Procycling holds a position as the leading authority on the world's most spectacular sport. Procycling is the worldwide voice of international professional road racing, distributed in every country where there are English-speaking...

  • Alex Howes moves to Girona for debut season with Garmin

    Alex Howes talks about how special it is to move up to the pro team
    Article published:
    January 08, 2012, 16:29 GMT
    Daniel Benson

    Neo-pro aiming for Tour of California spot

    Alex Howes (Garmin-Cervelo) will make his professional debut at the Tour of Qatar next month, eager to make the most of his opportunity within the professional ranks.

    It will mark Howes’ second coming to European racing having spent a season at VC la Pomme in 2007. This time around, Howes is determined to use that experience to help settle into his new base in Girona.

    “I’d definitely say I’m excited. This time around I think I have more personal responsibilities that I need to take care of. Last time I was staying in a team house but now I’ve got to sort out my own apartment and that will give me more of a general feel for the culture so that it doesn’t feel like I’m just jumping in the dark,” he told Cyclingnews.

    “I’m going to make a better effort to integrate into the culture a little more than when I did when I was in France. That will be a little easier this time around because I’ll be going back and forth a bit more”

    Howes’ race schedule is still not confirmed. He had been planning on riding the Tour Méditerranéen but the Tour of Qatar in February will likely be Howes’ debut. From there he will head to the Tour of Langkawi – a race he shone in last year with the Chipotle team.

    However, the biggest race on his provisional plan is the Amgen Tour of California.

    “I got a schedule in November and it’s already changed. It’s supposed to be starting with Qatar and then going back to Langkawi to try and pull out a result for the team. The schedule goes up to...

  • Gallery: RadioShack-Nissan-Trek undergoes threshold testing

    Chris Horner having his test
    Article published:
    January 08, 2012, 20:39 GMT
    Cycling News

    Luxembourgian team kicks off Mallorca camp

    RadioShack-Nissan-Trek's season swung into action on Friday when the team was presented to the media in Luxembourg. The live televised event saw the team's stars unveil their new team kit with the Schlecks, Fabian Cancellara and Chris Horner amongst those that outlined their goals for 2012.

    The morning after and the team jetted to Mallorca, Spain, for its second training camp of the last few months. Day one involved a series of tests including threshold testing. Dr Luca Guercilena set the test up. The riders were asked to push 100 watts before additional 40 watts were added at certain intervals.

    “A test like this determines the physical condition of the riders. It allows us to study the progress they have made since the training camp in Calpe. The point of such a test is to see where the rider is individually, not in comparison with the others riders. We don’t use this data for race selection, as there are so many other strategical factors that come in play," Guercilena said.

  • Sulzberger, Clarke complete UniSA-Australia team for Tour Down Under

    The big Tasmanian Will Clarke took out the MARS sprint points competition.
    Article published:
    January 09, 2012, 0:00 GMT
    Alex Hinds

    Top performances in elite men's road race enough to seal selection

    UniSA-Australia has finalised its squad for the Santos Tour Down Under, with Tasmanians Bernard Sulzberger (Raleigh) and Will Clarke (Champion System) earning the last two available spots thanks to their performances in the elite men's road race on Sunday, in Buninyong.

    Clarke, who spent last season with Leopard-Trek, was one of the key animators of the 16 lap, 163 kilometre race. Despite lacking teammates he managed to get in several dangerous moves, and though unsuccessful in picking up the title, did pick up fifth place on the day as well as the sprint classification.

    Sulzberger meanwhile showed impressive form on the climbs, nearly joining the winning move of Porte, Gerrans and Lloyd in the final laps. His January has gone from strength to strength carrying on from his showing at the recent Jayco Bay Classic series, where he finished fourth overall, fourth again in the criterium championship on Thursday, and tenth on Sunday.

    One rider who will feel at least slightly aggrieved is West Australian Anthony Giacoppo (Genesys), who boasts arguably better results than Sulzberger over the past month. Giacoppo won a stage of the Bay Classic series along the way to finishing runner-up overall. He then came to Ballarat where he out-sprinted Mark Renshaw to the line to take out the criterium national title. He wasn't as active as Sulzberger was on Sunday, but in the end he did finish in front of him, in ninth.

    Cyclingnews understand that the criterium championships are not considered in the selection process for the UniSA squad. According to a source within Cycling Australia, the elite men's road race is the key focus along with the previous year's performances in other road races.

    The UniSA - Australia team for the...