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First Edition Cycling News, Monday, March 21, 2011

Date published:
March 21, 2011, 0:00 GMT
  • Piva celebrates a second Milan-San Remo win for HTC-Highroad

    2011 Milan-San Remo champion Matt Goss (HTC - Highroad)
    Article published:
    March 20, 2011, 12:10 GMT
    By:
    Stephen Farrand

    Italian directeur sportif suggests Goss could be as good as De Vlaeminck

    For the second time in just three years, HTC-Highroad directeur sportif Valerio Piva rushed through the finish area to celebrate winning Milan- San Remo with his rider.

    In 2009 he helped mastermind Mark Cavendish's victory. On Saturday he suffered in the team car knowing that Matt Goss was the only HTC-Highroad rider in the front group of 44 but he knew that the 24-year-old Tasmanian was on form and had the speed to win the sprint.

    Piva is Italian but has lived in Belgium since the end of his own ten- year professional career, and he helped Goss give Australia its first ever win at Milan-San Remo.

    "I knew he was on great form and that's why he had a leadership role in the team," Piva explained after giving Goss a emotional hug and letting out a shout of celebration to release the pent-up tension after seven hours of racing.

    "We'd decided that if Cavendish was up there on the Poggio that Matt would have worked for him, but the crash before the Manie and then Freire's crash on the descent of the Manie split the group. Matt was in the front group, kept cool all the way to the finish and then finished it off fantastically."

    Piva and the other HTC-Highroad directeurs sportifs have been working with Goss since he joined the team from CSC in 2010. He showed his potential during his two seasons with Bjarne Riis, but HTC helped him to emerge and show his full potential.

    As good as Roger De Vlaeminck?

    Piva went as far as comparing Goss to legendary Belgian classics winner Roger De Vlaeminck, who won Milan-San Remo three times and Paris-Roubaix four times in the seventies.

    "In just a few years he could win as much as De...

  • Scarponi rues being caught behind in Milan-San Remo split

    Michel Scarponi (Lampre - ISD) made a remarkable solo effort to bridge from the second chase group to the first chase group.
    Article published:
    March 20, 2011, 14:37 GMT
    By:
    Barry Ryan

    Italian bridged to lead group after Cipressa attack

    Michele Scarponi (Lampre-ISD) has admitted that he left himself with too much to do in the finale of Saturday’s Milan-San Remo, after getting caught in the second group when the peloton split on the descent of Le Manie, 90km from the finish.

    “I was sleeping,” Scarponi told Gazzetta dello Sport. “I was behind, and behind I stayed.

    “It was my own fault. On the descent I went slowly because there were riders in the middle of the road. In an instant, we were over two minutes down.”

    Scarponi subsequently launched a blistering attack on the Cipressa and incredibly managed to bridge a one-minute gap to the lead group of 44 riders all by himself. Remarkably, the Italian still had the wherewithal to form part of the eight-man group that contested the finish, ultimately finishing in 6th place,

    “The gap had come down to a minute but I wasn't certain of getting back on, so I said it was now or never,” Scarponi said. “I attacked hoping not to bring anybody with me so as not to create problems for Alessandro Petacchi.”

    He explained that it was difficult to know how to dose his effort during his pursuit on the Cipressa, with the pace beginning to rise up ahead.

    “I ate up half a minute on the climb, and the other half between the descent and the flat afterwards,” he said. “I knew I was using up a lot of energy, I was hoping I wasn’t using up too much or all of it.”

    When Scarponi made it up the leaders on the approach to the Poggio, he discussed tactics with his teammate Petacchi. The 2005 Milan-San Remo winner had made the split on Le Manie, but gave Scarponi the green light to...

  • Nibali looked to eliminate sprinters on Le Manie at Milan-San Remo

    Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas - Cannondale) gives it his all on the Poggio.
    Article published:
    March 20, 2011, 16:40 GMT
    By:
    Barry Ryan

    Liquigas-Cannondale hit the front after split formed

    Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas-Cannondale) explained that he set about marshalling forces at the head of the peloton on Le Manie, when it became clear that a number of big names could be eliminated from contention for Milan-San Remo glory. The Sicilian recognised that he had a chance to radically alter the dynamic of a race that has increasingly favoured the sprinters over the past decade.

    “It was a great opportunity,” Nibali told Gazzetta dello Sport. “Almost all of the sprinters plus [Michele] Scarponi were left out of the first group. [Valerio] Agnoli pulled on the Manie, and then at the top we all looked at one another. I asked [Alessandro] Ballan to put some of his men on the front because they were suffering behind, and for them the race would have become difficult.”

    While the major talking point on the Cipressa was Michele Scarponi’s dramatic attack from the second group that ultimately saw him bridge a one-minute gap to the leaders, Nibali was also pondering a move of his own on La Classicissima’s penultimate climb.

    “Agnoli pulled on the Cipressa as well,” he said. “I had the idea of attacking there, but I was also afraid of being left alone and wearing myself out. I thought of staking everything on the Poggio.”

    On the final climb, Nibali had Philippe Gilbert (Omega Pharma-Lotto) earmarked as the danger man, and he bided his time before launching a searing acceleration of his own.

    “I was waiting, there was still a break ahead,” Nibali said. “When Gilbert attacked, I followed him. When he sat up again, I went straight on.”

    However, while Nibali’s powerful...

  • Contador continues Giro preparation at Volta a Catalunya

    blank
    Article published:
    March 20, 2011, 18:37 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Spaniard confirms he will ride Fleche Wallone

    Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank-SunGard) continues his Giro d’Italia preparation with the seven-day Volta a Catalunya, which gets under way in Lloret del Mar on Monday.

    The Spaniard was recently cleared by his national federation after testing positive for Clenbuterol at the 2010 Tour de France, although it is thought that the UCI will appeal that verdict to the Court of Arbitration for Sport. In the meantime, Contador is free to compete, and he won the Vuelta a Murcia on his last outing. He is determined to put on another show in front of his home fans in Catalonia.

    “I arrive with motivation,” Contador said. “I like to compete, but I haven’t done so since the Vuelta a Murcia 15 days ago. I did some good training, but mainly base training as I was thinking more in the long-term, towards the Giro d’Italia.”

    Contador was keen to downplay expectations as to his chances in Catalonia, and pointed out that there will plenty of riders on hand who have more recent racing miles in their legs.

    “In this race, there are riders who have trained more than me, people coming from Paris-Nice and above all, people who were competing in Tirreno-Adriatico a few days ago,” he said. “They’re probably a bit ahead of me.”

    After struggling against the watch at times in 2010, Contador is determined to return to his time trialling form of two years ago, and he regrets the absence of such a test in the Volta a Catalunya.

    “I can make a difference against some riders in that discipline, and it’s...

  • Signed jerseys and kit up for auction to benefit earthquake survivors

    Japanese champion Takashi Miyazawa (Farnese Vini-Neri Sottoli) on the start line of Milan-San Remo.
    Article published:
    March 20, 2011, 20:25 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Save the Children Norway helping Save the Children Japan

    Save the Children Norway is helping the children in Japan, auctioning off a number of sports-related items, including cycling jerseys.  All proceeds will go to Save the Children's Japan Appeal.

    The items up for bid include:

    HTC-Highroad 2011 jersey signed by the Milan-San Remo team, including winner Matthew Goss.

    HTC-Highroad 2011 jersey signed by the women's team who will be riding the Ronde van Vlaanderen.

    Garmin-Cervèlo 2011 team kit (jersey and bib shorts). The winner will be able to request their size.

    Sky special edition Milan-San Remo jersey signed by the whole team.

    Kurt-Asle Arvesen's Team Sky jersey worn at Milan-San Remo (signed).

    Liquigas-Cannondale jersey signed by Ivan Basso, Vincenzo Nibali and Peter Sagan.

    The auction can be found at http://www.qxl.no/Contents/no/reddbarna/index.htm.  Those outside of Norway who wish to bid may contact Save the Children Norway's Mona Lock Skålevik at either  Twitter @MonaLS85 or email at  mona.skaalevik@hotmail.com

    "Following the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear problems, there are currently about 100,000 children now in evacuation centres in Japan, " the organisation said in a press release.  "Save the Children Japan is working with these children so that they can play, learn, deal with everything that's happened and just be kids. This is an important part of dealing with the trauma they have been through, and also allows parents to deal with things they might need to do and know that their children are in a safe place.”

    Two centres have already been set up in Sendai and Asahai, with more being established.

    Save the Children is also helping with the distribution of food,...

  • Sinkewitz denies doping and wants his B sample tested

    Patrik Sinkewitz (Farnese Vini-Neri Sottoli) returned an adverse analytical finding for HGH.
    Article published:
    March 21, 2011, 9:27 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    German cycling scene responds sceptically

    Patrik Sinkewitz has denied doping, saying he was stunned to hear of his positive test for human growth hormone. However, many observers of the German cycling scene have said they were not surprise to hear of his positive doping test.

    “I can only say that I have have definitely not used any banned substances,” Sinkewitz told the Süddeutsche Zeitung. “At first I thought it was a joke, but then I was given the news in writing.”

    The 30-year-old said that he would ask to have his B-sample tested.

    Sinkewitz could face a lifetime ban if found to have used the illegal substance. He was given a reduced one-year ban in 2007 after testing positive for testosterone.

    His former attorney, Michael Lehner, who represented him in the earlier case, said that he had not yet heard from Sinkewitz. “I don't know if I would take this case. I don't want to pre-judge the athlete,” he told the SID news agency. “But if it is so, then I would be pretty disappointed.”

    Lehner worked hard to get Sinkewitz a reduced sentence for co-operating with investigators, “and was personally very involved.” Even at that time, “we talked about how it is possible to return to cycling without doping,” he told the dpa press agency.

    Rolf Aldag, sport director for HTC-Highroad, was a sport director for Team T-Mobile when Sinkewitz tested positive in 2007. The latest news...

  • Freire's Milan-San Remo hopes dashed by crash

    Oscar Freire (Rabobank)
    Article published:
    March 21, 2011, 9:51 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Spaniard now looking for success in the Spring Classics

    Crashes before and after the Manie climb wrecked the chances of several Milan-San Remo favourites, including three-time winner Oscar Freire. The Spaniard hit the ground hard in the descent of the climb. He finished the race in the main peloton but was 5:23 behind winner Matt Goss (HTC-Highroad).

    "I was riding in front, within the first ten riders, as I knew that the road was dangerous due to the rain," the Rabobank leader told Marca after the race. "I got up again quickly, but I couldn't continue as my chain was off and my rear wheel was broken. There was also a problem with the heel of my shoe..."

    Freire changed bike and shoes, but as he reached the end of the descent he was 2:40 minutes to the leaders. "I raced well, but I wasn't lucky," he added. "There was a bend to the right, a hairpin so we took it very slow, but my bike just slid away and I fell down. Others crashed before that, some afterwards. I crashed when I least expected it."

    It was the first time that Freire has crashed in ten rides at Milan-San Remo. 94th was also his worst-ever result. His three victories came in 2004, 2007 and 2010.

    Freire will now turn his attention to the Spring Classics, hoping for better luck. "At least I know my form is good," he said. He is also hoping that the light pain he was feeling in his knee would not be holding him back. "As I had to change shoes, I felt it. But I hope it's nothing serious, as I'll be racing Gent-Wevelgem next Sunday."

    The Spaniard will then continue his race program with the...

  • Cancellara considers skipping Worlds time trial and aim for the road

    Runner-up Fabian Cancellara (Leopard Trek) at the finish in San Remo.
    Article published:
    March 21, 2011, 12:49 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Leopard Trek rider disappointed with second place in Milan-San Remo

    Fabian Cancellara is obsessed with winning the Worlds road title this September in Copenhagen. The Swiss rider has won the time trial title four times, but is considering not riding that race this year in order to concentrate on the road title.

    "I just turned thirty,” he told Het Nieuwsblad. “Basically I have five years to win a gold medal.”

    The Leopard Trek rider continued, “I definitely want to fill this gap. I shudder at the thought that I could end my career without having ridden a season in the rainbow jersey.”

    In order to accomplish that, he is willing to sacrifice the time trial, because it “costs energy” which could be better used a few days later in the road race.

    Disappointment in San Remo

    Cancellara had hoped to repeat his 2008 victory on Saturday in Milan–San Remo, although he knew it would be virtually impossible to repeat that successful attack. He was obviously disappointed with his second place behind winner Matthew Goss of HTC-Highroad.

    “I was here to win," Cancellara said on the team's website. "The team rode really well, and I tried to finish that off, but I didn't succeed. I even tried go alone but everyone was on my wheel.

    “In the end, I did one of the best sprints of my life but Goss was unbeatable."