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First Edition Cycling News, Monday, June 7, 2010

Date published:
June 07, 2010, 1:00 BST
  • Versatile Peanut Butter & Co. team ready for Liberty Classic

    Shelley Evans (right) with her Peanut Butter & Co TWENTY12 teammate Lauren Tamayo
    Article published:
    June 06, 2010, 0:10 BST
    Kirsten Frattini

    Team confident in break or sprint

    Shelley Evans (Peanut Butter & Co TWENTY12) is confident that her team will be able to pull off a victory under any race scenario at the Liberty Classic held in Philadelphia on Sunday. The Pan American Road Champion will have the full support of her team should the race come down to a dash to the line.

    "Knowing that I have a team around me that is very capable of winning this race together as a team is great," Evans said. "I think we have all the cards to play to make it a hard race and to capitalize on that."

    The women peloton will complete four laps of a 23 km circuit that includes a climb over the steep Manayunk Wall, for a total of 91 kilometres. The race will finish on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway for one last wrap around Logan Square to the finishing straightaway.

    Evans will have five teammates that include Mara Abbott, Katharine Carroll, Olivia Dillon, Sinead Miller and Lauren Tamayo. "There are a couple of teams that can dictate the way things will play out. HTC-Columbia is one and so is my team, the teams that can dictate whether or not it is going to be a field sprint," Evans said. "We are prepared if it goes either way, field sprint or break. We have the riders to do both."

    In its 16 years of existence, the Liberty Classic has traditionally ended in a field sprint won by some of the most respected female sprinters in the world. One of those sprinters is three-time winner and defending champion, Ina Teutenberg (HTC-Columbia) who will field a team of five riders.

    Evans took to road racing with the ProMan-HitSquad and last year where she placed third place at the Liberty Classic. Evans says that after one season of full-time road racing, she is a different rider and better able to handle the pressure of winning bike races.

    "Last year I didn’t have a team and that was OK because of the way the race played out," Evans said. "It was one of those races where I was in the right place at the right time...

  • Mancebo signs with Kastro Heraklion-Murcia

    Race leader Francisco Mancebo (Rock Racing) finished ninth.
    Article published:
    June 06, 2010, 12:35 BST
    Susan Wesetmeyer

    Spaniard will be team leader at Greek-Spanish Continental team

    Spain's Francesco Mancebo has signed with the Greek-Spanish Continental team Kastro Heraklion-Murcia, the team has announced.

    Mancebo, 34, rode for the US-Based Continental-ranked Rock Racing Team last year. The team did not get a licence for the 2010 season.

    Mancebo finished third in the Vuelta a Espana in 2004 and 2005, and fourth overall in the Tour de France 2005. He first turned professional in 1998 with Banesto, remaining with the team until 2005, when it was called Illes Balears – Caisse d'Epargne. In 2006 he joined Ag2r, but was suspended just before the Tour de France due to his suspected involvement with Operacion Puerto. He initially announced his retirement but in 2007 he rode for Relax-Gam and for Fercase-Rota dos Moveis in 2008, before joining Rock Racing last year. He won the rain-soaked stage of the 2009 Amgen Tour of California but then crashed out of the race.

    "I still have a lot of cycling left in my legs,” Mancebo said. He will be the new team leader, and thinks he “will give the team a stronger presence in its races.”

    He is scheduled to ride the Volta ao Alentejo in Portugal, June 10-13; Tour de Beauce (Canada), June 15-20; Spanish nationals, June 25-27, and the Vuelta a Venezuela, June 20 to July 11. “Each of these competitions offers different features, but very attractive,” he said.

  • Pozzato and Cavendish remember Ballerini

    Filippo Pozzato with Matteo Ballerini
    Article published:
    June 06, 2010, 12:55 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    Italian rides in national champion's jersey for last time

    Filippo Pozzato, Mark Cavendish and many of the riders that were part of the Italian team remembered former national coach Franco Ballerini at an emotional memorial race in his hometown of Cantagrillo, near Florence on Saturday.

    Ballerini died on February 7 after a car rally accident. His wife and two sons Matteo and Gianmatteo were the special guests and a special exhibition was held in the main square, remembering Ballerini's career as a professional rider, his two victories at Paris-Roubaix and his success as Italian national coach.

    Pozzato was due to take a break from racing after the Giro d'Italia but rode in the Italian national champion's jersey for one last time to remember Ballerini. Cavendish had just returned from a mountain training camp but wanted to ride the race.

    "It was nice to be here and to see so many people here too," Cavendish said.

    "I didn't know Ballerini as well as a lot of other people but I remember he was always kind and always smiling. Everybody misses him."

    Pozzato beat Francesco Ginanni, who comes from the same town as Ballerini, after the two broke away in the final 10km of the 75km circuit race. Cavendish was fourth, behind Alessandro Petacchi in the bunch sprint. Pozzato was unable to attend Ballerini's funeral because he was riding the Tour of Qatar.

    "I really wanted to win this race because it's held in memory of Franco," Pozzato said after climbing on the winner's podium with Ballerini's son Matteo.

    "This is my last race as Italian champion because I won’t ride this year's championships. It's very satisfying to end my time as national champion with a special win. I won the prize as best Italian rider at Paris-Roubaix and now I've also won his race."

    "I had a special relationship with Franco. We often argued about things but that's how you create true friendship."

  • On the start line in Philadelphia

    Liquigas-Doimo are ready
    Article published:
    June 06, 2010, 16:21 BST
    Laura Weislo

    Images from the start of the men's and women's races

    Cyclingnews was at the start of both the men's and women's races in Philadelphia on Sunday morning.

    The 9:00am start meant an early wake up for everyone but the warm weather means it should be a great day of racing.

    There is live coverage of both races here on Cyclingnews. 


  • Armstrong pleased with Luxembourg podium

    Lance Armstrong (RadioShack) put in another strong performance on stage two.
    Article published:
    June 06, 2010, 19:14 BST
    Susan Westemeyer

    Texan looking forward to Tour de Suisse

    Despite a late scare that threatened to bump him off the final podium, a satisfied Lance Armstrong finished third in the Tour de Luxembourg as he prepares for next month's Tour de France.

    Heavy rains and flooded streets caused the RadioShack rider to slip back as the final stage entered the closing circuit course and consequently the American veteran finished over two minutes down on the stage. Race judges ruled that the stage would have no effect on the overall rankings because of the terrible weather conditions, so Armstrong finished third overall behind Matteo Carrara (Vacansoleil) and Fränk Schleck (Saxo Bank).

    “We rode four days in beautiful conditions and suddenly all hell broke loose,” Armstrong told A thunderstorm with lightning, thunder and driving rains started just as the riders started on the first of what was supposed to be five laps of the closing circuit. The jury cut the race to only three laps.

    "I am pleased with my week in Luxembourg,” Armstrong added. “I felt strong. My third place is nice. This is better than I hoped and expected."

    The 38-year-old was already looking forward to his next race, the Tour de Suisse, where he'll also be able to gauge his form against Schleck. “There are a lot of climbs here but no long climbs and no long TT’s. That’s what we will do in Suisse,” he said on the team's website. “Then we will have the answers. For now I feel strong. My recovery was good. I was glad to stay upright.”

    Johan Bruyneel, the RadioShack team manager said, “Lance needs Suisse but it looks good. Luxembourg was necessary anyway after he missed California. He needed the rhythm of competition. Here we had four days of up and down. It was hard.”

    The seven-time Tour de France winner had an unpleasant encounter with a spectator after the stage. “Liar, cheater,” the spectator...

  • Contador won’t defend Critérium du Dauphiné leadership

    Alberto Contador (Astana) in yellow
    Article published:
    June 06, 2010, 21:54 BST
    Jean-François Quénet

    Prologue course favoured Spanish time trial champion

    Alberto Contador won the prologue of the Dauphiné despite playing down his chances prior to the Alpine race but quickly warned that he won’t defend his yellow jersey in the early days of the race.

    Several directeur sportif predicted Contador would win once they had seen the course and they knew that they were talking about.

    “It suits a climber who has the sense of the rhythm”, explained Française des Jeux’s Marc Madiot who added: “This is exactly what Contador is good at.”

    “Contador will win”, assured RadioShack’s Alain Gallopin who directed the Spaniard for the past two years at Astana. “The climb at the beginning and the one kilometre false after the summit flat will dictate the classification.”

    Contador showed the two directeur sportif know what they are talking about with a balanced ride on the technically difficult course. He the fastest on the climb to the first time split, while the second fastest, Jérôme Coppel (Saur-Sojasun) had given everything in the hill and Van Garderen pulled back time on the downhill and the final flat section. “It’s true that this course suited me to perfection and I knew I would do well after I saw it but to win is a surprise, even if the distance and the hill favoured my characteristics.”

    Contador talked about the new bike he tested and his form.

    “The prologue gave me the opportunity to test my new time trial bike”, he said. “This bike is the fruit of numerous discussions I’ve had with the engineers from Specialized. I’m satisfied with it but I think we can improve it again from now until the prologue of the Tour de France.”

    “My form isn’t yet what it is usually in July. I’m still in a process of gearing up for the Tour de France. This win isn’t a message to send to the Schleck brothers or Lance...

  • Cancellara: No repeat of Suisse success

    Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank) during his 10km solo effort to the finish of Flanders
    Article published:
    June 07, 2010, 11:04 BST
    Susan Westemeyer

    Anticipates Fabian Cancellara Challenge against amateurs

    Fabian Cancellara is training for the defence of his Tour de Suisse title but the Saxo Bank rider has played down his chances of claiming the title again.

    “I have started training again and I am working very intensively, including behind a motorcycle. I have to find my racing rhythm again,” he wrote on his personal website.

    “As the title holder I want to put in a good performance. However I don't have the kind of form that I had before the start of last year's Tour de Suisse. For that reason the stage from Meiringen to La Punt, with the Susten, Oberalp and Albula passes, will probably be too much for me,” he explained.

    Adding to the difficulties could be the continuing bad weather in Switzerland. “I hope that the weather plays along. They say it's still quite wintry on the passes,” he said. “On the Susten pass the thermometer was showing just three degrees above freezing.”

    The Swiss rider is hoping to able to check out the Tour's third stage, from Sierre to Schwarzenburg. “It starts on the flat, goes up to the Col des Mosses, along the Lake of Gruyere through the Fribourg region via Tafers to Schwarzenburg. The additional lap of around 30km, two of which have an eleven percent uphill gradient, is something special,” he said.

    This year's Tour de Suisse opens with a 7.6km time trial in Lugano, which the three-time world time trial champion is especially looking forward. Not only because he ought to win it, but because it also features the Fabian Cancellara Challenge.

    A lucky 200 fans were able to sign up to ride the time trial course of the day of the race, and take on Cancellara. But the riders won't be trying to actually beat his time, which ought to be impossible for them anyway. Instead, they must guess the difference between their racing time and Cancellara's. Whoever comes closest, wins.

  • HTC-Columbia issues long list for Tour de France

    Article published:
    June 07, 2010, 13:15 BST
    Cycling News

    Cavendish, Greipel and Rogers all make the cut

    Team HTC-Columbia has released its long list for the Tour de France, featuring former World time trial champions Michael Rogers and Bert Grabsch, and both sprinters Mark Cavendish and Andre Greipel.

    The US-based team told Cyclingnews Monday afternoon that it has 15 riders on the list: Michael Albasini, Lars Ytting Bak, Mark Cavendish, Bernhard Eisel, Maxime Monfort, Mark Renshaw, Andre Greipel, Haydon Roulston, Adam Hansen, Michael Rogers, Bert Grabsch, Tony Martin, Peter Velits, Kanstansin Sivtsov and Frantisek Rabon.

    The final decision as to which nine will ride in France will be made after the Tour de Suisse. “We will probably announce after the Tour de Suisse and Dauphine are finished, like we did last year,” Kristy Scymgeour told Cyclingnews.

    The team's biggest decision will be selecting which of its two sprinters to take to the Tour. Cavendish won six stages at the Tour last year, but got off to a slow start in 2010. He has since found some form, recently winning a stage in the Amgen Tour of California. Griepel currently leads the peloton with 12 wins so far this season.