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First Edition Cycling News, Monday, May 30, 2011

Date published:
May 30, 2011, 1:00 BST
  • Danny Pate aims for USA Pro road title

    Danny Pate (HTC-Highroad)
    Article published:
    May 29, 2011, 17:42 BST
    Kirsten Frattini

    HTC-Highroad man trained for road race rather than TT

    HTC-Highroad’s Danny Pate is aiming to win his first professional road race stars and stripes jersey at the USA Pro Cycling Championship p/b TD Bank on Memorial Day Monday. The veteran from Colorado Springs placed sixth in the championships time trial on Saturday, after reportedly suffering a mechanical en route.

    “I had a better chance in the road race and my training and thinking has been going toward that,” Pate told Cyclingnews. “I did the time trial but I have more confidence in being competitive to win the road race.”

    Pate is well known for winning an Under 23 world title in the time trial in 2001. More recently, he won a stage of the Giro d’Italia and a stage of the Tour de Georgia, along with taking top five overall placings at the Criterium International and Tour Mediterranean, all in 2009. Although he has won several championship events as an Elite and Amateur rider, he is still looking for that elusive professional title.

    “I won the Under 23 road race before and the road amateur champion twice,” Pate said. “It would be great to win a jersey. We will still have a good team with three riders. Sometimes if you have a big team you end up having to ride the front and then you end up with only with three guys at the end anyway. I hope things will go well for us.”

    HTC-Highroad’s three-man team will also include Tejay Van Garderen and Caleb Fairly. They will be up against more than 100 professionals that are registered to compete for the championships title. The 185km route includes several opening small circuits, followed by four large circuits over Paris Mountain, and concludes with additional small circuits. Last year Ben King, who now...

  • Video: Millar celebrates Giro time trial victory

    David Millar (Garmin-Cervelo) powers to victory in Milan on the Giro's final stage.
    Article published:
    May 29, 2011, 19:20 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    Garmin-Cervelo rider ends his race on a high

    David Millar (Garmin-Cervelo) watched from a terrace overlooking the Piazza Duomo in Milan as his rivals tried but failed to beat his time for the final time trial stage of the Giro d'Italia.

    Millar started his ride early and set the fastest time of 30:13. Other riders went close, with both Alex Rasmussen (Saxo Bank-SunGard) and overall winner Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank-SunGard) faster after the two intermediate time checks, but Millar was faster in the final more technical streets of down town Milan and beat Rasmussen by seven seconds.

    He spoke exclusively to Cyclingnews about his win and the emotions of a physically and psychologically testing Giro d'Italia. He has now won stages and worn the race leaders' jersey in all three Grand Tours.

    Millar took the maglia rosa the day that Wouter Weylandt died and admitted that his days in the symbolic jersey meant little to him after the death of a fellow rider.

    Millar called on the riders, teams and race organisers to talk more about rider safety in the future and confirmed he would be happy to play a key role in establishing a dialogue that helps improve the sport.

    The Scot will head to altitude to prepare for the Tour de France in a couple of weeks. Before then he will present his much awaited autobiography called Racing Through The Dark: The Fall and Rise of David Millar. It will be published on June 16.


  • Leopard Trek awarded Bonacossa Trophy at Giro d'Italia

    Brothers in arms: Leopard riders and Tyler Farrar
    Article published:
    May 29, 2011, 20:20 BST
    Jean-François Quénet

    Wouter Weylandt remembered during the three weeks of racing

    Instead of a rider, which has always been the case since the inception of the award in 1989, a team, Leopard Trek, has earned the Bonacossa Trophy at this year's Giro d'Italia in the name of their rider Wouter Weylandt who tragically died during stage 3. The Luxemburg ProTeam crossed the finish line of stage 4 in Livorno ahead of the peloton and withdrew from the Italian Grand Tour the same evening.

    The Bonacossa Trophy designates the protagonist of the best exploit at the Giro. It's a tribute to one of the founders of the Olympic movement and of Italian sports daily newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport, Cesare Bonacossa, and his son Alberto who continued his father's enterprise.

    Since 1989, the Bonacossa Trophy has been awarded by a panel of journalists to Flavio Giupponi and successively to Gianni Bugno (1990), Franco Chioccioli (1991), Miguel Indurain (1992), Claudio Chiappucci (1993), Marco Pantani (1994), Mariano Piccoli (1995), Enrico Zaina (1996), Ivan Gotti (1997), Marco Pantani (1998), Paolo Savoldelli (1999), Francesco Casagrande (2000), Mario Cipollini (2001 and 2002), Alessandro Petacchi (2003), Damiano Cunego (2004), Ivan Basso (2005 and 2006), Gilberto Simoni (2007), Emanuelle Sella (2008), Carlos Sastre (2009) and Cadel Evans (2010).

    During the Giro d'Italia Weylandt has been remembered daily by the fans, the riders, the race organisation and the media. The most common message on the along the stage routes each day has been "108 (the Belgian's back number) presente (present)".

    Some riders, including most of those from Weylandt's former team Quick Step team, kept a black band on their arm till the end of the Giro. Matteo Montaguti from Ag2r-La Mondiale wrote on his helmet: "Wouter nei...

  • Scarponi satisfied with second behind Contador

    Michele Scarponi with his trophy for second place overall.
    Article published:
    May 29, 2011, 21:00 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    Italian holds off Nibali in the final Milan time trial

    Michele Scarponi (Lampre-ISD) managed to defend his second place overall in the Giro d'Italia despite Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas-Cannondale) beating him by ten seconds in the final time trial to Milan.

    Scarponi finished 1:28 behind David Millar (Garmin-Cervelo) and 52 seconds behind overall winner Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank-SunGard). He ended the Giro second overall 6:10 behind Contador but was 46 seconds ahead of Nibali.

    There is much debate about whether Contador could lose his 2011 Giro d'Italia victory if he is found guilty of doping by the Court of Arbitration for Sport. But if he does, Scarponi will be declared the winner of the Giro.

    Scarponi finished the time trial tired and empty after three weeks of intense racing. But true to character he still found a way to laugh at all the pain and suffering.

    "This was the hardest Giro I've ever done but if you let your head drop and you can't see the funny side of things then you're in big trouble," he said after climbing on the podium with Contador and Nibali in the centre of Milan.

    "There were several stages, especially during the last week, when I had no legs left and the only thing that kept me going was my head and my morale. It was a really hard Giro but after finishing second in Milan and holding off Nibali, I'm really happy for myself and for the team."

    Scarponi lost precious time when he went into the red trying to follow Alberto Contador on the slopes of Mount Etna and then became locked in a battle of nerves and strength with Nibali. He managed to finish...

  • Candelario looks to take top step on US Championship podium

    Alex Candelario (Kelly Benefit Strategies-OptumHealth) makes it through the rainy day
    Article published:
    May 29, 2011, 21:45 BST
    Kirsten Frattini

    Kelly Benefit Strategies-OptumHealth sprinter on form after Amgen Tour of California

    Kelly Benefit Strategies-OptumHealth's Alex Candelario is looking to improve on last year's second place performance and win the stars-and-stripes jersey at the USA Pro Cycling Championships p/b TD Bank on Memorial Day Monday.

    The renowned domestic sprinter arrives in Greenville, South Carolina in top form having put forth a strong performance at the recently concluded Amgen Tour of California.

    "I tell the guys that, as the sprinter, I am the last resort and for them to go out and race hard and if the move is going to stick, great, but if not, I'll go for it," Candelario told Cyclingnews.

    Some 100 professional racers are registered to compete in the championships event. The field will include domestic Continental and Professional Continental riders along with riders from ProTour squads Garmin-Cervelo, RadioShack, BMC Racing and Liquigas-Cannondale.

    "US Pro is always a little hard when you add in the bigger teams and the tactics change a bit because it's not what we usually deal with," Candelario said. "I'm confident in our team's ability that we will be able to chase what we need to bring back."

    Last year, Ben King was involved in a nearly all day breakaway. Candelario made it over the final climb up Paris Mountain within several seconds of the peloton and was able to work his way back into contention for a podium place. He ultimately won the bunch sprint for second place.

    "If there is a split with a few of our guys then we are confident in that," Candelario said. "We will have a few cards to play. It won't just be about me, Andrew Bajadali is coming back on form so is Michael Creed and...

  • "No regrets" from Tour Down Under boss over Armstrong

    Lance Armstrong (RadioShack).
    Article published:
    May 29, 2011, 22:30 BST
    Jane Aubrey

    Taxpayer-funded appearance invaluable to Australian race

    With the recent focus on the alleged doping practices of Lance Armstrong, both the Premier of South Australia where the Tour Down Under is held and race director Mike Turtur, have reaffirmed their support for the now-retired American.

    The 2009 Tour Down Under marked Armstrong's return to the professional peloton while this year's edition was his final competitive race.

    There is no doubt that the Tour Down Under is a successful, well-managed event and will continue to be, regardless of the outcome of the FDA investigation into Armstrong. However, the use of taxpayer dollars to fund appearances of controversial figures can be polarising.

    The event's rise in popularity and Armstrong's presence over the past three years have been inexorably linked with the race consistently marketed as "Your chance to see Lance." Attendance figures, economic impact, and media coverage all rose when the Tour Down Under received ProTour status from the UCI for its 2008 edition. But with Armstrong's participation from 2009 through 2011, those figures increased significantly again. This year alone, over 780,000 spectators watched Australia's WorldTour race, while over $43 million was injected into the South Australian economy.

    Turtur was on the front foot when speaking to Cyclingnews following the CBS Network's "60 Minutes"...

  • Gadret targets Tour of Beijing after the Giro

    John Gadret (Ag2r-La Mondiale) at the end of the Giro d'Italia in Milan.
    Article published:
    May 30, 2011, 0:49 BST
    Jean-François Quénet

    Rodriguez rode best flat time trial ever to keep fifth place

    Avowed non time triallists John Gadret (Ag2r-La Mondiale) and Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) have managed to keep their respective fourth and fifth positions overall at the Giro d’Italia after completing the final stage in 71st and 40th place. There were 159 participants left at the end of the three-week long event.

    “This is almost a victory for me,” Rodriguez told Cyclingnews after crossing the line at Milan's Piazza del Duomo. At the time trial of last year’s Tour de France from Bordeaux to Pauillac, “Purito” finished 154th out of 170 starters and the last rider on the classification was Gadret! At the Vuelta a España one and half month later, the climber from Katusha finished 107th in the 46-km long time trial in Peñafiel and dropped from first to fourth place overall.

    If anyone doubted that Rodriguez had really worked on his time trialling, his results can now do the talking. “This is definitely the best flat time trial I’ve ever done,” the Catalan rider said. “I thought I’d do well because I’ve finished the Giro better than I started it. I was confident of keeping my fifth place overall, which is a pretty good result at the end.”

    Gadret had a margin of 1:38 over Rodriguez, who was threatened by Roman Kreuziger and Denis Menchov, but the Czech (16th) and the Russian (35th) rode beneath expectations. “I was always informed of my deficit to Rodriguez,” said Gadret, who eventually lost 37 seconds to his rival. “I’m relieved and super happy with my final result at the...

  • Contador considers 2008 Giro d'Italia victory "most beautiful of all"

    Alberto Contador celebrates his second victory in Italy's Grand Tour.
    Article published:
    May 30, 2011, 3:21 BST
    Jean-François Quénet

    Tour de France participation to be discussed with team manager

    Prior to being welcomed at the Spanish consulate in Milan on Sunday evening and flying back to Madrid at lunch time on Monday, Alberto Contador spoke to the media for the last time near the Piazza del Duomo.

    "People might think this has been an easy win but it wasn't," the Spaniard said. "It has required a lot of work and it brings an unforgettable emotion. I've had some difficult times during the first week, as I didn't know exactly the state of my form and where the other riders were standing."

    Contador became the second Spaniard to win the Giro d'Italia twice, like Miguel Indurain did in 1992 and 1993. Asked to compare his two wins, the three-time Tour de France champion said they were very different ones. "In 2008, I did this race without wanting to do it. I was obliged by the team to do it for my sponsor (Astana) and I thought I'd ride for one week only," he said. "With the nice results I got, I stayed and happened to win it but I suffered a lot during that Giro.

    "This year, I came with a totally different condition. I did the Giro with the proper approach and clear objectives. I went to reconnoitre the important stages. I was 100 per cent focused on winning.

    "Today I'm totally satisfied with the job being well done, but the 2008 Giro remains the most beautiful of all my Grand Tour wins in my memory."

    Contador has now six Grand Tour victories under his belt with three in the Tour de France, two at the Giro and one Vuelta. "Last year's Tour de France is mine," he firmly answered to a reporter who suggested that CAS might take the title away from him. "Nobody can take it out.

    "I want to savour this win at the Giro," he insisted when questioned about riding the Tour de France in one month from now. "I'll discuss with...