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First Edition Cycling News, Monday, November 15, 2010

Date published:
November 15, 2010, 0:00 GMT
  • Chaotic anti-doping control in Belgium

    Bart Wellens (Telenet-Fidea) fought for fourth place
    Article published:
    November 15, 2010, 9:50 GMT
    Cycling News

    Lack of information in cyclo-cross race finish leads to UCI report

    The anti-doping controls carried out at the finish of the Belgian GP de la Région Wallonne cyclo-cross in Dottignies on Saturday turned out to be so badly organised that UCI jury chairman Edwin Kistemaker included the incident in his report to the world governing body. The Walloon Community in charge of the controls did not properly communicate the list of riders to be tested, resulting in chaotic circumstances with one rider, Bart Wellens, already on his way home when he was notified of the control.

    "Many things had to be noted in that control," Kistemaker told HLN. "The doctor only came as the riders were already on the final lap. He didn't even have an official paper with him to post the names of the riders at the finish. I had to get him that. I feared that too many riders would not be informed, so I had them called over the public address system - even though that is no longer permitted by the regulations. Even the location of the control wasn't indicated."

    At the finish of the rainy and muddy event won by Frenchman Francis Mourey, the controls turned out to be "a mess", according to third-placed Gerben De Knegt. "Normally, there is a chaperone waiting for you if you're going to be controlled, but there were none. I knew that I had to go to the controls as I finished on the podium. But Wellens saw no-one and so he turned straight home in this awful weather," he told the Telegraaf.

    Bart Wellens, who finished fifth, was already in Gent when word of his control reached him, so he had to return all the way and finally carried out the control. Fortunately, the incident did not result in a 'missed control'.

    "There was no information as to where the control was," added Wellens. "I had to look for it for half an hour. That really can't be."

  • TVM returns to peloton as sponsor of Dutch amateur team

    Jeroen Blijlevens takes victory for TVM in Besancon at the 1996 Tour de France.
    Article published:
    November 15, 2010, 10:32 GMT
    Cycling News

    Previously sponsored pro team from 1988 to 1999

    TVM will return to the peloton in 2011, co-sponsoring an amateur Dutch team. TVM previously sponsored a top-ranked pro team from 1988 until 1999.

    The road-haulage insurance company, based in Hoogeven, Netherlands, will be a co-sponsor of the newly named Team De Rijke, formerly Cyclingteam Van Vliet-EBH Eishof. De Rijke Group, a Dutch firm specialising in logistics, transport and warehousing, will be the main sponsor of the small amateur team as of the coming year.

    The team is managed by, among others, Maarten den Bakker, who established the contact with TVM. He rode for the TVM team from 1993 to 1997. The firm has agreed to act as a sponsor for two years. “It is a modest sponsorship, but it is indeed our comeback to cycling,” a TVM spokesman told De Telegraaf.

    The former TVM team featured such riders as Phil Anderson, den Bakker, Jeroen Bleijlevens, Bo Hamburger, Peter van Petegem and Steven de Jongh. The team won Paris-Tours twice, Omloop Het Volk four times and took Tour of Flanders victory in 1999 with van Petegem. It also claimed two stages each at the Tour de France and Giro d'Italia, as well as four stages of the Vuelta a Espana.

    The team was involved in a doping scandal a the 1998 Tour de France, when it was revealed during the race that French customs officials had seized doping products from a team car in March of that year. The team hotel was raided a few days later and manager Cees Priam was arrested. Only a few days later, the team's vehicles were all impounded, and all of the riders taken to hospital for dope testing. The team ultimately abandoned the Tour, as did a number of other teams. TVM withdrew its sponsorship of the squad at the end of the 1999 season.

  • Tondo says riding for Movistar is realisation of childhood dream

    Xavier Tondo (Cervelo) was 8th
    Article published:
    November 15, 2010, 10:35 GMT
    Barry Ryan

    Spaniard aiming to impress in Grand Tours in 2011

    Xavier Tondo said that he has realised a childhood dream in signing for Movistar, the direct descendant of the legendary Reynolds and Banesto squads of Pedro Delgado and Miguel Indurain.

    “I never imagined that I would have the privilege of riding for Eusebio Unzúe’s team,” Tondo told Marca. “It’s been my dream since I was a child.”

    The outfit’s lengthy run in the professional peloton was in severe doubt until August, when Movistar stepped in to replace Caisse d’Epargne as team sponsor. Two weeks later, Tondo’s Cervélo TestTeam revealed that it would cease at the end of the season. The Spaniard announced his switch to Movistar during the Vuelta a España.

    The Vuelta turned out to be the highlight of a fine season for Tondo. He broke his collarbone in the build-up to the Spanish race but recovered to finish sixth overall in Madrid

    “Three weeks before the Vuelta, I fractured my clavicle but thanks to riding on the rollers, high hopes and a lot of suffering, I was able to get there in good form, and in the end, finish sixth,” Tondo explained.

    His strong showing in the final week of the race, and in particular, the penultimate stage to Bola del Mundo, has instilled a new confidence in the 32-year-old ahead of his new beginning at Movistar.

    “Fifth place on the Bola del Mundo stage has shown me that I can manage a three-week race,” Tondo said. “This gives me great confidence for the future because my goal for 2011 will be to improve on my great sixth place from this year’s Vuelta.”

    As well as his gritty display in his home tour, Tondo tasted victory on two occasions in 2010, with stage wins at the Volta a Catalunya and Paris-Nice. However, an equally indelible memory of his year with Cervélo is the hardship he endured before climbing off at the Giro d’Italia.


  • 2011 Vuelta to be announced in January

    The Vuelta passes along the Balearic Sea en route to Vilanova i la Geltrú
    Article published:
    November 15, 2010, 10:46 GMT
    Cycling News

    Tour of Spain returns to Basque Country after more than 30 years of absence

    Unlike the other two Grand Tours, whose route presentations have already taken place, the organisers of the Vuelta a España are taking their time in announcing their 2011 parcours. In recent years, the Tour of Spain has held its official presentation in mid-December, but this season, the final route will not be unveiled until mid-January, "probably on January 12," according to Marca writer Josu Garai.

    Only a few elements of the 2011 Vuelta have been revealed until now. The three-week event will start in the Mediterranean beach resort of Benidorm, with the first three stages located in that same area around the town of Alicante. A return to the ascent of Xorret del Catí, where David Moncoutié won in 2010, also seems likely, although the climb may not be a summit finish.

    More climbing will come in the mountains of Sierra Nevada, Andalucia, Asturias and Galicia, but the most fascinating aspect of the 2011 looks set to be a long-awaited return to the Basque Country. The race has not visited the region since 1978 when the organisers had to cancel the final stage to San Sebastián. Terrorist activities in the region posed a security threat to the race, which is why the organisers chose not to visit the Basque Country in the intervening period, in spite of the area's deep-seated passion for cycling.

    Next year, however, the Vuelta will be back with two finishes in the region, one in Bilbao and another in Vitoria, according to Marca. Euskaltel-Euskadi's Igor Anton will doubtless be among the riders hoping the shine here. A crash meant that he had to abandon this year's event due while leading overall, having already won two stages.

    The full route for next year's race should be presented on January 12, 2011, in Alicante.

  • Van Genechten dies at 80

    Article published:
    November 15, 2010, 11:45 GMT
    Cycling News

    Belgian climber rode professionally from 1953 to 1961

    Richard Van Genechten died this weekend at the age of 80. The Belgian rode professionally from 1953 to 1960 and passed away in a nursing home.

    He finished third in the King of the Mountain rankings at the Tour de France in 1954, behind Federico Bahamontes and Tour winner Louison Bobet.

    Van Genechten won Fleche Wallonne in 1956, and finished second in both Gent-Wevelgem and Liege-Bastogne-Liege. In that same year he also won the Ardens Weekend and the Polymulitplee for the second time.

    In 1958, Van Genechten won the overall title in the Tour of Catalonia, winning not only two stages but also the points ranking.

    In his career, he also won stages at the Tour of Asturia and the Tour of Belgium, as well as the Stadsprijs Geraardsbergen.

    Van Genechten rode the Tour de France four times, finishing it three times, and the Vuelta a Espana once.

    He spent most of his career with the Peugeot team.

    Cyclingnews extends its sympathy to his family.

  • NetApp gets wild card invitation to Vuelta a Andalucia

    Then NetApp took over on the front
    Article published:
    November 15, 2010, 12:26 GMT
    Cycling News

    German teams hope to make Professional Continental debut in Spain

    Team NetApp will make its debut appearance in the Vuelta a Andalucia in February. The race has announced that it has issued the German team a wildcard invitation for the race, which takes place from February 20 to 24.

    NetApp rode as a Continental team in 2010, its first year in existence. It applied for Professional Continental status for the coming year, but the International Cycling Union (UCI) has not yet issued its decision. The team has said its long-term goal is to obtain ProTeam status.

    A team spokeswoman confirmed to Cyclingnews that the team will open its season at the Tours of Qatar and Oman, and further hopes to ride the Mallorca Challenge.

    According to the Spanish media, team general manager Ralf Denk was very interested in participating in the race, and an agreement was quickly reached allowing the German team to start.

    In only its first year on the road, NetApp had five individual victories. It has strengthened itself for 2011 with seven new riders, including American Steven Cozza from Team Garmin-Transitions.

    NetApp's planned line-up for Andalucia is Jesus del Nero, Andreas Schillinger, Jan Barta, Dimitri Claeys, Andreas Dietziker, Daniel Schorn and Leopold König.

  • Bookwalter remembers Giro prologue ride

    Brent Bookwalter (BMC Racing Team) crosses the finish line
    Article published:
    November 15, 2010, 14:47 GMT
    Cycling News

    BMC rider eager for more in 2011

    Brent Bookwalter started the Giro d'Italia as a relatively unknown domestique but when he crossed the finish line just over ten minutes later, he had become a star.  The American posted the provisional best time for the opening time trial and in the end was runner-up by only two seconds.

    "What really sticks out is that I didn't know I had the current best time when I crossed the line," Bookwalter said. "I had just got done with this hugely anaerobic, totally-depleting effort and all I could think about was continuing to ride a cool down or catch my breath."   He then sat in the “hot seat” for nearly an hour before Bradley Wiggins of Team Sky broke his time to take the victory.

    In his previous two years with BMC, Bookwalter had never ridden a Grand Tour, but in 2010 he took on two of them.  After his startling success in the Giro opener, he went to to support captain Cadel Evans, who finished fifth overall but won the red points jersey.

    His first Grand Tour was not easy, he admitted.   "My goal at the Giro was just to get off on the right foot in my first stage in a Grand Tour," Bookwalter said. "I was nervous and hopeful, but I knew it was going to take every last ounce of everything I had to get through each day and hopefully make it to the end of the race."

    Having conquered one three-week race, Bookwalter was ready to tackle another one.  His next race was the Tour de France, where he finished 11th in the prologue. Later in the season, he had another podium placing, when he finished third in the Tour of Utah prologue.

    He has been busy in the offseason, having ridden the Iceman Cometh Challenge, a mountain bike race in Michigan.  This weekend he will participate in the Miami Dolphins Cycling Challenge, a charity ride.

    The American is also begin to train his thoughts on the 2011 season. "I've been mixing riding with some weight lifting and core workouts,"...

  • Cornu pumped about his future at Pegasus

    Dominique Cornu (Skil-Shimano).
    Article published:
    November 15, 2010, 15:24 GMT
    Richard Tyler

    Belgian secures one-year deal with Australian squad

    Dominique Cornu will meet with his new Pegasus teammates for the first time at a gathering in Brisbane, Australia next week and he says he is excited about his future with the squad, which will make its debut in the European peloton next year.

    Cornu, 25, confirmed a one-year deal with Pegasus earlier this month after parting ways with his former squad, Skil-Shimano, in mid-October.

    "I was talking with other teams but even though this project was new I knew it was a big Australian team and it had big ambitions," Cornu told Cyclingnews. "I'd been talking to them for a long time and I was looking forward to this agreement. It took a little bit longer but I'm really satisfied now that everything is signed."

    Pegasus will be the fifth team Cornu will have raced for, having already served six years as a professional. While the team hasn't yet succeeded in securing a hoped-for ProTour licence, Cornu said the scope of the team's ambitions had attracted him to the project.

    "I knew Robbie [McEwen] was going for sure and that they wanted to go directly into the ProTour, so you could tell that this wasn't just a normal start-up team. They everything wanted to get everything right and professional; it was something special."

    While the Pegasus outfit will debut in 2011, Cornu will be surrounded by some familiar faces. He raced under the directorship of compatriot Henrik Redant at Silence-Lotto in 2007 and 2008, where he also raced alongside Robbie McEwen. Both men are prominent parts of the Pegasus set-up.

    "I'm the only Belgian rider, but with those two guys it's easier to start with the team and it gives you confidence knowing they are a part of it. I had a good time when I was at Silence-Lotto and working with Redant, so I was satisfied knowing he was going to the team," said Cornu.

    The team will come together for the first time next week at a meeting in Brisbane, Australia. Cornu is confident the team will...