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First Edition Cycling News, Monday, October 10, 2011

Date published:
October 10, 2011, 1:00 BST
  • Arvesen to stay with Sky as Sport Director

    Kurt Alse Arvesen (Team Sky)
    Article published:
    October 09, 2011, 13:56 BST
    Cycling News

    Norwegian retiring Sunday after 12 pro years

    Kurt Asle Arvesen will stay with Team Sky after his last race today as a professional cyclist. The 36-year-old will be a sports director for the British team in the coming year.

    He won the under 23 world road title as an amateur in 1996 and turned pro in 1998 with Asics. He also rode for Risso Scotti and Fakta before joining CSC (later Saxo Bank) for six years before joining Sky in 2010.

    He is five-time Norwegian road champion and won the national time trial title twice. Arvesen has also won stages in all three grand tours.

    Arvesen said that he was “so happy and grateful for what I've been able to achieve”, but that “now is the right time for me to retire from the peloton and look to new challenges. I have been hugely impressed with the way Team Sky has approached its first two years as a professional team and I didn't hesitate when they suggested I join the coaching staff. Cycling has been a huge part of my life for many, many years and I’m looking forward to passing on my experiences to other riders."

    Sky principal Dave Brailsford said that “Kurt's approach to the sport makes him a tremendous role model which is why we are so delighted that he has accepted an offer to remain with Team Sky as a DS. Keeping experienced riders like Kurt, with the right approach and attitude, in our sport is vital. He will be a fantastic addition to our coaching staff."

    Arvesen is making his final appearance today at Paris-Tours, and his colleagues paid tribute to him. Bradley Wiggins said, "For me, his determination to be the best and his leadership of the teams he rode for were hugely impressive. On top of that he is one of the sport's good guys and will be missed by everyone in the peloton.”

    "As a...

  • Engels and Reef to Project 1T4i as sport directors

    Addy Engels (QuickStep)
    Article published:
    October 09, 2011, 15:05 BST
    Cycling News

    Former riders move into team car

    Addy Engels and Marc Reef will be sport directors at Project 1t4i, currently known as Skil-Shimano, in the coming year.  Engels is retiring after 12 years as a pro rider, whle Reef is a former amateur rider.

    “The Project 1t4i management team is convinced the young Dutchmen are talented coaches who have a clear view on cycling and fit well into the team,” the team said on its website.  “With their own specific qualities, they will be valuable additions to the sports staff that further contains Christian Guiberteau, Rudi Kemna and Merijn Zeeman (coach).”

    Engels currently rides for Quick Step and will retire at the end of the season. He turned pro with Rabobank in 2000 and rode with them until 2003.  After one year with Bankgiroloterij, he joined Quick Step in 2006. He has ridden all three grand tours in his career, including both the Giro d'Italia and the Tour de France this year.

    Reef rode as a amateur but had to stop due to an injury last season. He has already served as an “intern” DS for the team this season, as at the USA Pro Cycing Challenge.

    The team will have a new title sponsor in the coming season, as Skil is leaving.  The new sponsor will not be announced until later, and until then, the team will be known as Project 1t4i.

  • Video: Galimzyanov targets the Olympics in 2012

    Denis Galimzyanov (Katusha) wins the final stage of the Tour of Beijing.
    Article published:
    October 09, 2011, 18:33 BST
    Pierre Carrey

    Russian is ambitious after winning Tour of Beijing's final stage

    The Tour of Beijing has been a showcase for cycling's young sprinters. Elia Viviani (Liquigas-Cannondale), 22, won Saturday's stage while Denis Galimzyanov (Katusha), 24, claimed victory on Sunday in the shadow of the "Water Cube".

    "That's the last race of the season and my first WorldTour victory," the Russian told Cyclingnews in a video interview. "It's incredible."

    Second on Thursday, only beaten by Heinrich Haussler (Garmin-Cervélo), Galimzyanov held his motivation and his strong team's support.

    "All the team helped me, brought me to the front," he said. "Andrei Tchmil is a good manager, too, he did a lot for me."

    Earlier this week, his team manager Andrei Tchmil had told Cyclingnews his whole squad was dedicated to his young sprinter at the Tour of Beijing. "It's important he wins as he will get even more motivated to 'faire le métier' in winter and have a strong 2012 season."

    About his coming schedule, Galimzyanov says he certainly will start at the Tour of Qatar and then prepare for the Olympic Games in August.

    The Russian sprinter may prove to be a challenger to Mark Cavendish on the London circuit in the event, of course, the race finishes in a bunch sprint.

  • Video: Martin says Beijing was "not an easy race"

    Tony Martin (HTC-Highroad) won the inaugural Tour of Beijing.
    Article published:
    October 09, 2011, 20:12 BST
    Pierre Carrey

    German rouleur suffered even in the time trial

    Recently crowned time trial world champion Tony Martin (HTC-Highroad) led start to finish at the Tour of Beijing to win his second WorldTour race of the season after claiming Paris-Nice in March.

    "I'm proud to be the first winner, here, of the first Tour of Beijing. It's a nice finish for a very long season," Tony Martin (HTC-Highroad) told Cyclingnews on Sunday in a video interview.

    The 26-year-old German won the first stage of the inaugural Tour of Beijing, an 11.3km time trial, and maintained his 17-second advantage over David Millar (Garmin-Cervelo) through the remaining four stages.

    "It was not an easy race," said Martin. "Even the time trial was not so easy [because we used] our road bike. And the third stage was also very hilly and there were a lot of aggressive riders. To follow the teams it was very hard to defend the jersey."

  • Video: Millar pleased with podium finish in Beijing

    David Millar (Garmin-Cervelo) with a strong ride to finish in second place
    Article published:
    October 09, 2011, 22:01 BST
    Pierre Carrey

    Garmin-Cervelo rider "reassured" by result

    Thanks to his second place in the opening time trial and his consistency the whole week, David Millar (Garmin-Cervélo) finished second overall at the inaugural Tour of Beijing, 17 seconds behind winner Tony Martin (HTC-Highroad).

    "I came here with zero ambitions so it's reassuring to be able to get a result like this," he told Cyclingnews in a video interview.

    As a result of his performance, Millar earned 80 WorldTour points and moved into the top 20 in the individual ranking.

    The Scottish rouleur was initially "a bit skeptical" of the Tour of Beijing and mentioned on Twitter his difficulties regarding visa applications to get to the race. Millar spoke of his initial reaction: "We are all pretty tired and I've a new born son and I've already been ten days away for the world championships and I wasn't too over the moon about coming here."

    At the end of the Tour of Beijing, Millar, however, was satisfied: "It's incredibly well-organised, it's very safe and we've been treated well," he said.

  • Real Steele? Sun Tour a true acid test for Von Hoff

    Scody Cup Series leader and eventual race winner Steele Von Hoff was finding the going tough on the climb at Poatina.
    Article published:
    October 09, 2011, 23:35 BST
    Jane Aubrey

    Allan Peiper on what’s ahead for Genesys’ star sprinter

    It may be one thing to be the standout sprinter of Australia's National Road Series, but the true test of Steele Von Hoff's mettle comes this week at the Jayco Herald Sun Tour where the Genesys Wealth Advisers team will be putting everything on the line to give the 23-year-old the best chance possible of matching it with some of the world's best.

    The timing could not be better for the Victorian who has amassed 17 stage wins in this year's NRS, with the crowning glory coming via a determined chase to stay firstly in contention and then edge out Russian National Team pair Alexander Serov and Alexi Markov on the finish line at the 208.2 kilometre Launceston to New Norfolk Classic. Importantly for Von Hoff, the victory was an indication that distance would not be a problem for him.

    "It's all well and good winning the short criteriums but when you go over to Europe there aren't many of them – they're all long 200km-plus races," he told Cyclingnews from the Tour of Tasmania, which he was sitting out in preparation for this week's five-stage challenge.

    "When I had the teammates around me that I did, I was always confident that I was going to get back but it was whether or not I had the legs in the end. It turned out I had a little bit more than I thought at the end and I finished the sprint quite well."

    European dreams

    There is quite the buzz when it comes to Von Hoff and his racing future, although he is yet to put pen to paper with anyone for 2012. However, one very interested party to Von Hoff's progress is Allan Peiper who will join Garmin-Cervelo following the demise of HTC-Highroad. The renowned directeur sportif has been in contact with Von Hoff and his Genesys boss Andrew Christie-Johnson, offering guidance along the way for some months...

  • No Clenbuterol sandwiches for riders in China

    The peloton on stage 3 of the Tour of Beijing
    Article published:
    October 10, 2011, 1:24 BST
    Pierre Carrey

    Tour of Beijing organizers took care of the pros

    If a rider were to test positive for Clenbuterol at the Tour of Beijing, it won't be possible to blame the food provided by the organization.

    "We have asked chicken for the sandwiches the staff give the riders after each stage", a very reliable source told Cyclingnews.

    Such a measure is perhaps useless or a luxurious detail but organizers have tried to ensure there is "zero risk" for the first edition of their race.

    China is not immune to scandals about pork and beef contaminated with Clenbuterol, a forbidden hormone which is used to develop muscle mass, both in veterinary and sport department. According to the Shanghai Food Safety Commission, there were 18 outbreaks of food-related Clenbuterol poisoning between 1998 and 2007. Earlier this year, China's biggest meat processor recognized the drug as being addictive for his pigs. In 2010, Radioshack's Fuyu Li, now the Chinese national coach, suggested his positive test for Clenbuterol might have come from Chinese food.

    Taking all this into account, Tour of Beijing organizers tried to give as much comfort as possible to the riders.

    The new WorldTour event was launched indeed following criticism from teams (regarding the proposed radio ban in class 1 races) and some riders' complaints (pollution, visa difficulties, etc).

    In the two nights the caravane spent out of the centre of Beijing, in Mentougou and Yanqing, the hotel had been told to serve a more Western-style meal than what they were accustomed to providing.

    "It's very important for us the riders feel good," Alain Rumpf told Cyclingnews. The director of Global Cycling Promotion, the company related to the UCI and the Tour of Beijing's organizer, says they "took some inspiration from the Tour Down Under," the other WorldTour race...

  • Video: Ex-Chinese national coach expects more recognition for cycling

    The Chinese national team lines up for the day's start.
    Article published:
    October 10, 2011, 4:47 BST
    Pierre Carrey

    Philippe Mauduit suggests China needs to "restructure" approach

    As a former coach for Chinese cyclists, Saxo Bank-Sungard's directeur sportif Philippe Mauduit has a fine knowledge about what the Tour of Beijing means for national athletes.

    Asked if the new WorldTour race would help domestic cycling to develop, French directeur sportif says: "It's very difficult to say. Cycling in China is not a sport. People don't recognise it. I had some talks with people in the public and they have no clue about the race."

    During his time working for the national program, between 2002 and 2004, he says the athletes did only five or six races. "They didn't go out of the country, except for the Asian Games and, if they were qualified, for the Olympics", Mauduit told Cyclingnews in a video interview.

    The situation seems to have barely changed, mainly due to the very small race schedule and "the few athletes" available.

    Mauduit concludes the Chinese authorities "have to restructure the way they are organising cycling if they want to have some good athletes".