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First Edition Cycling News, Monday, November 2, 2009

Date published:
November 02, 2009, 0:00 GMT
  • Landis admits Tour dream return is over

    Floyd Landis (OUCH pb Maxxis) chats before the start.
    Article published:
    November 01, 2009, 11:05 GMT
    By:
    Susan Westemeyer

    Cycling politics will keep him out of race

    Floyd Landis has returned to racing after serving a two-year suspension for doping, but doesn't believe he will ever ride the Tour de France again. “I don't think it's a possibility next year, or ever, for that matter.”

    In an interview with The New Zealand Herald, Landis said, "I can't foresee what the politics in cycling will possibly lead to but the organisations in control are not working well together. There are people caught in the crossfire and I happen to be one of them, so I don't know if the opportunity will come up again. I would like to. But it's very sensitive.”

    The difficulty, he knows, would be finding a team willing to take the risk of hiring him. “The UCI and Tour de France don't get on well at the moment and they like to use whatever they can, whatever pawns are in the middle, to try to make a point. Most teams are afraid of giving them any reason to make them the pawn."

    Landis is in New Zealand to ride the Southland Tour (November 2-7), with local team Cyclingnzshop.com-.Bio Sport. This season he rode for Team OUCH Presented by Maxxis. It has been rumoured that he would join Rock Racing for 2010.

    Landis tested positive for testosterone during the Tour de France 2006. After a vigourous publicity campaign and highly-publicised hearing, he was suspended for two years.

    Looking back, he said that 2006 “went from the best year to the worst year.” What helped him get through the bad times, Landis said, was the knowledge that he would one day race again. “There were times when I wasn't particularly motivated to do so. There were other times when I enjoyed riding my bike again. At no time did I feel I needed to come back for some kind of redemption. My motivation in bike racing is never of that nature anyway. I like to compete and set goals. That's still the same.”

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  • Planet Energy's 2010 ProTour debut in question

    Martin Gilbert (Planet Energy) was the only domestic rider to claim a stage victory.
    Article published:
    November 01, 2009, 16:00 GMT
    By:
    Kirsten Frattini

    Canadian team hoped to race new Quebec events

    Canadian-Continental team Planet Energy may have been prematurely invited to compete in the two ProTour races held in Quebec next September. International Cycling Union's (UCI) ProTour regulations could leave the squad ineligible to participate in its pair of national marquee events.

    The organisers secured a five year license for the two Canadian ProTour races set to start in 2010 on September 10 in Quebec City and September 12 in Montreal. Discussions between organizer Serge Arsenault and the UCI regarding the possibility of the Canadian Province of Quebec hosting two ProTour races began one year ago.

    The events' locations fell in line with the UCI's recent efforts to globalize the ProTour. Australia's Tour Down Under became the first non-European event on the ProTour calendar last year.

    Arsenault admitted that the UCI granted him a five-year license almost immediately, despite that fact that some promoters in Europe have been waiting for years to be eligible to organize a ProTour level event.

    Arsenault named Planet Energy as one of the participating teams based on its Canadian-Continental status alongside other non-ProTour teams such as a Canadian National team, US National team and North America's only Professional Continental team, BMC Racing.

    However, according to the UCI's ProTour rules, the ProTour teams are the only ones with priority for competing in UCI ProTour events.

    Following those teams, Professional Continental teams with wild-card status and the host country's national team, in this case Canada, may be invited to compete in the two ProTour events. This leaves both the US National team and Planet Energy ineligible to participate.

    "It's a bit of political game with the UCI," said Directeur Sportif, Steve Bauer. "What we have tried to do with the UCI is ask them to slacken the rule of strategic events on the ProTour schedule. Our markets are different then Europe and if the UCI wants to...

  • Evans not heading to Garmin in 2010

    World Champ Cadel Evans (Silence-Lotto)
    Article published:
    November 01, 2009, 17:12 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Vaughters debunks rumoured move

    After the Silence-Lotto team announced on Saturday that World Champion Cadel Evans would leave the team following a mutual agreement to terminate his contract, the cycling world has been rampant with rumours as to where the Australian would land.

    One of the teams heavily rumoured to be the new home of the two-time Tour de France runner-up is Garmin-Slipstream, but manager Jonathan Vaughters put that story to rest.

    "Cadel is a great athlete, and I wish I'd known he was on the market. But no, he hasn't signed for Garmin in 2010," Vaughters told Cyclingnews.

    The Belgian media reported that Evans would move to the Professional Continental team BMC Racing, but if Evans did sign for the team he would not be assured entry into the Tour de France. The team is low in the UCI's World Rankings and is not part of the ProTour, so it would have to rely upon a wild-card invite to get into the Grand Tours and other major races.

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  • BMC confirms Evans signing

    Cadel Evans (Silence-Lotto)
    Article published:
    November 01, 2009, 19:33 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    World Champion signs three-year deal

    The BMC Racing Team confirmed that it has signed World Champion Cadel Evans to a three-year contract on Sunday. The Australian was released from his Silence-Lotto squad by mutual agreement with the team on Saturday, and the US-registered team was heavily rumoured to be his new team.

    "Cadel brings a wealth of experience in the Grand Tours to the team," BMC Racing Team co-owner Jim Ochowicz said in a press release.

    Grand Tours? The team has yet to participate in the Giro d'Italia, Tour de France or Vuelta a Espana, but the squad has made no secret of its ambitions to do so in 2010.

    "As I said earlier, our team will have multiple chances to measure ourselves against the greatest teams in the world. We are pleased that we will have the opportunities to send out our most successful riders, now including Cadel Evans, to tackle these challenges," Ochowicz added.

    Toward that end, the squad hired several top riders for the upcoming seasons, including former world champion Alessandro Ballan, US champion George Hincapie, Karsten Kroon and Marcus Burghardt.

    Evans made it clear that he is still targetting the Tour de France as a major goal.

    "I look forward to working with a new team, in a new environment, towards my same goals; honouring the rainbow jersey at the highest level of the sport, and ultimately at the highest step of the Tour de France podium.

    "Obviously, I would like to do better than my two second places at the Tour de France," he said.

    The 32-year-old has spent the past five seasons with the Belgian squad Lotto, progressing quickly from mountain biker turned stage racer to standing on the podium at the end of three Grand Tours. However, after he twice fell short in the Tour de France, in part due to lack of help from his team, there was much speculation that he would seek another opportunity. 

    "I would like to thank the Silence-Lotto team for the opportunities they...

  • Bewley aiming for Southland stage victory

    Sam Bewley & Jesse Sergent were on New Zealand's medal-winning Olympic Games team
    Article published:
    November 02, 2009, 0:09 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Radioshack-bound rider to support Chadwick, Blackgrove

    Sam Bewley believes he is in better shape than last year’s Tour of Southland but does not consider himself as a candidate for general classification honours for this year’s 53rd edition. His goal is to support fellow Olympian Glen Chadwick and Heath Blackgrove.

    The 22-year-old, who will join Lance Armstrong’s new Radio Shack ProTour team in the New Year, is a key member of the Zookeepers squad. A record 25 teams lined-up for the six-day tour which started with a prologue in Invercargill this morning.

    “Both Heath and Glen are in great shape and will be really strong this year. So my job is to help them and look after them,” Bewley said. “Of course I’d love to win a stage this year and I will be giving it everything.”

    Bewley, who was part of the medal winning team pursuit at the Beijing Olympic Games last year, says he’s motivated to ride well, despite a long season.

    “I had eight days off after the world championships but aside from that I have pretty much ridden through,” said Bewley. “I don’t feel jaded at all though. I am naturally excited and motivated about next year.

    “I am not in my best shape right now but I am ok. I will definitely be looking for the opportunity to get a stage win if I can,” he added. “The conditions are the key. It is likely to blow pretty hard and it can create opportunities for a breakaway. I will need to be attentive to those opportunities to get away in a small break. That will be my best chance.”

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  • Cycling Australia announce people's choice finalists

    Simon Gerrans (Cervélo TestTeam), 29, wins Vuelta a España stage 10 to Murcia
    Article published:
    November 02, 2009, 2:19 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Eight contenders to vie for annual award

    Cycling Australia has unveiled eight riders nominated by the public for its 2009 People’s Choice Cyclist of the Year award. Nominations include Australia’s first International Cycling Union (UCI) World Road Champion Cadel Evans and Grand Tour stage winner Simon Gerrans.

    The national body is now inviting Australian cycling fans to select their winner of the eight nominations. The winner will be announced at the Jayco Australian Cyclist of the Year Awards in Melbourne, Victoria on November 22, 2009.

    Voting will close at midnight Friday 6, November 2009 AEST. Voting is open to Australian residents only and all those who lodge a nomination will go in the draw for a prize pack, which includes flights and accommodation to attend the awards night.

    Other finalists include Mountain Bike World Champions Caroline Buchanan and Jared Graves, Mark Cavendish’s lead-out man Mark Renshaw and track World Cup gold medallist Anna Measres.

    Visit Cycling Australia's finalist page to vote for your favourite from the final eight (link opens to an external website in a new window).

    Finalists are: Brendan Bailey, Caroline Buchanan, Cadel Evans, Simon Gerrans, Jared Graves, Anna Meares, Mark Renshaw and Sam Willoughby.

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  • Evans confident in BMC organisation

    World champion Cadel Evans (Silence-Lotto)
    Article published:
    November 02, 2009, 2:28 GMT
    By:
    Les Clarke

    Swiss squad’s Tour debut could come a season early

    Cadel Evans has indicated he’s confident in BMC Racing’s ability to deliver him an optimal racing programme following the announcement he would be riding for the Swiss squad in 2010. Whilst the team hasn’t yet competed in a Grand Tour, Evans’ sentiments, coupled with directeur sportif John Lelangue’s statement of intent to ride the Tour de France, may calm the nerves of those who thought the Australian’s move would rule him out of la grande boucle next July.

    Evans told Cyclingnews that the move to BMC Racing, “had been in the works for a while – well before the world championships. We just wanted to do everything correctly, within the rules in terms of confidentiality and so on.

    “When the idea [of moving to BMC Racing] first occurred to me I thought, ‘It’s BMC, not a big team or anything’; and of course when I’m making a decision like this I do a fair bit of research,” said Evans. “Then we looked at the names in the team, the plans they have plus where they want to go – everybody [in the team] wants to go to the Tour de France in 2011.

    “At that point Andy Rihs and John Lelangue said, ‘Maybe you’d be interested in going to the Tour in 2010…’ and I thought, ‘Oh…’ We had a couple of meetings and it was amazing how everything was in place and ready to go,” he said. “I was just like, ‘This is just such a neat fit for me’.”

    The Australian, who finished second in the Tour in 2007 and 2008 before winning this year’s International Cycling Union (UCI) World Championship road race in Mendrisio, Switzerland, will undoubtedly be the team’s Grand Tour general classification gun. Evans will be riding alongside the likes of George Hincapie, Alessandro Ballan and Karsten Kroon. It’s a quality line-up managed by people who have experience in the...

  • Silence-Lotto surprised by Evans' transfer to BMC

    Australia's Cadel Evans (Silence-Lotto) awaits the start of the Giro di Lombardia.
    Article published:
    November 02, 2009, 12:44 GMT
    By:
    Susan Westemeyer

    Australian pays a year's salary to buy out last year of contract

    Cadel Evans' decision to leave Silence-Lotto a year early came as a surprise to the Belgian team. “Nothing pointed in that direction,” said team manager Marc Sergeant.

    Evans' manager Tony Rominger called Silence-Lotto sponsor chief Marc Coucke with the news at the end of last week. The team announced his departure Saturday.

    Sergeant said that Evans had already created his 2010 season schedule with Directeur Sportif Roberto Damiani. “There was no signal. We had also signed the Spaniard Moreno to help him. Over the years, we tried to build up the team for the Grand Tours,” Sergeant told Sportwereld.be.

    US-based BMC Racing Team announced Sunday that Evans had joined on a three-year contract.

    Evans was able to break his contract with Silence-Lotto due to a clause inserted in it only last year. The clause allowed him out of the contract for a fee of one year's salary.

    The relationship between Evans and Silence Lotto had deteriorated since the Tour de France this summer, according to Sportwereld. Coucke indicated that Belgian Jurgen Van den Broeck would be a more worthy team captain in the future after Evans lost nearly 30 minutes on the 17th stage to Le Grand Bornand.

    Evans also clashed with most people associated with the team and really only got along with DS Hendrik Redant and chiropractor David Bombeke after the Tour, according Sportwereld.

    “You're not happy when you hear of such a transfer,” Coucke said. “Of course it is hard, but we have to continue.

    “When Cadel Evans arrived with us, he was Mister Nobody.” He noted that Evans “will want to cash in on his [World Champion] rainbow jersey and he apparently got the chance to get a big raise.”

    Van den Broeck will benefit from Evans' absence. He finished 15th in the Tour last year and could become the team's Tour de France captain. “Finding a...