Two-time Tour stage winner hopes an American can win in Bordeaux
Former American professional Davis Phinney, who in 1986 became the first American to win a Tour de France road stage as part of the groundbreaking 7-Eleven squad, appreciates the challenge Tour director Christian Prudhomme faces in creating a balanced and fresh Tour de France route.
"I feel like 2010 is an interesting Tour and an interesting route," Phinney told Cyclingnews. "I think that it will be extremely stressful for the overall Tour contenders the first week. The first week of the Tour is always stressful anyway, but particularly riding on roads in Holland which have traffic islands, rain, and potentially lots of wind.
"Then, of course, you throw in other things like cobblestones and we'll see some interesting challenges. It's like putting a bomb into people's preparation."
Phinney sees one rider as the man to beat in the opening week. "It depends on the weather conditions but the longer prologue favours [Fabian] Cancellara, [Bradley] Wiggins potentially. Cancellara would also be well-suited for the cobble section on stage three and he can climb well enough. If he wins the [yellow] jersey by enough, with no time bonuses he won't lose it until they get into the serious Alps. It could be a repetition of this year's race."
While Phinney was no stranger to the spring Classics during his days as a European professional, he has mixed feelings about the inclusion of several sections of Paris-Roubaix cobbles. "Crashes are for sure a concern. As the fitness of the riders becomes higher and higher and the competitive pressure from the sponsors and the publicity side of the race grows, people take more and more risks. So we're seeing riders going down with greater frequency than ever which is a concern. These guys aren't gladiators, they're athletes in an endurance-based sport. This isn't the keirin.
"I don't think it helps to have these sections from the Classics in, although it makes for exciting racing. If this...
Colavita has stepped down from its title sponsorship of men’s professional cycling team Colavita-Sutter Home presented by Cooking Light, after a seven-year venture. Jamis Bicycles has taken over the title position and the American-based UCI Continental outfit is newly named Jamis-Sutter Home presented by Colavita for the 2010 season.
“He supported the men’s team for over seven seasons, and it was time for them to leave,” Alexandre said regarding the John A. Profaci, Colavita USA’s Vice President and uber cycling supporter. “The good thing is that Jamis and Sutter Home stepped up and wanted to continue to working with us.”
Colavita plans to continue their involvement in cycling with the sponsorship of the women’s professional cycling team along with its many club teams that span the USA. As for the men’s professional team, Profaci will continue to manage the team under Colavita Sports LLC.
“If there were several people like John in the US there would definitely be more teams,” said Sebastian Alexandre, directeur sportif who expressed his gratitude to Colavita for its support. “He is a great guy who always wanted to support cycling, at every level, from clubs, Colavita has several regional clubs across the nation, to the pro teams. He believes in this sport and he thinks that is a great way to promote his brand.”
The team signed nine riders to date with seven returning from 2009 to include winning Argentinean sprinters Sebastian Haedo, who placed second overall in the NRC ranking and Alejandro Borrajo a former Giro d’ Italia podium finisher. The bulk of the team returns with Cuban Luis Amaran, Argentineans Anibal Borrajo and Guido Palma, Americans Tyler Wren and Andy Guptill.
New additions to the team include Jamey Driscoll from Rock Racing and Nick Frey from Ciclismo Racing. “Nick is a very talented time trialist and Jamey is one of...
Kenda Pro Cycling's team owner Chad Thompson went back to the drawing board after his team struggled to gain results in the National Racing Calendar (NRC) this past road season. Time-intensive brainstorming between he and the team's co-sponsors revealed two key ingredients essential for increasing its chances for victory in 2010 - funding and Frankie Andreu.
"We met with the people at Kenda, generally, on how to improve the team," said Thompson founder of Inferno Racing LLC, Kenda Pro Cycling's management company. "It really boils down to funding because from a supply standpoint we have great sponsors. We felt that we needed to modify the direction, really follow our mission statement and progress. In order to do that we needed to get a DS that can be full time, commit all year to the team, someone with experience and who is respected and Frankie's it."
Their working relationship began two years ago with the intention that Thompson would find the means to hire Andreu as a full time directeur sportif once the team could afford him. "Everyone knows he has a checkered history but he is a very sought-after DS," said Thompson. "He is respected, he is a mid-west guy too. I know him well, he's laid back, doesn't lose his cool and is great with the riders. That was the immediate change."
Part of the funding required to hire Andreu came from title sponsor Kenda who doubled the cycling team's budget for the 2010 year. Furthermore, Jimmy Yang, Kenda owner, and Stefano Lumbaca, Kenda road manager, doubled the amount of technical support. The team recently announced the addition of Gear Grinders, headed by Paul Weaver, as a presenting financial sponsor. Weaver committed to provide the team with assets such as a team trailer, van and follow-car. According to Thompson there may be the addition of a surprise sponsors to be announced at a later date.
Thompson is a former professional bike racer turned full-time fire fighter in Ohio. After an...
Eighth in Saturday's Giro di Lombardia marked a fine end of season for Irishman Daniel Martin, who was also second overall in this year's Volta a Catalunya, third in the Tour Méditerranéen and fifth in the GP Ouest-France.
The second-year professional is regarded as a talented stage race rider but the weekend result underlines that he also has a future in Classic races. "It just confirms what happened at Plouay, that I can race over that distance," Martin told Cyclingnews.
"Obviously there was a stronger field at Lombardy. I raced really aggressively in the event too, which made me happy."
After an early, long-distance break involving his first cousin Nicolas Roche (Ag2r La Mondiale) was brought back, Martin then went on the attack with Johnny Hoogerland and Matteo Carrara (both Vacansoleil), Mauro Santambrogio (Lampre), Dries Devenyns (Quick Step) and Gustav Larsson (Saxo Bank). They struck out on the Ghisallo climb and remained clear until just before the final ascent.
Martin undoubtedly used energy in the move, but played down the suggestion that he might have fared significantly better had he stayed put with the favourites
"I don't think I would ever have been able to go with Philippe [Gilbert] on the last climb," the 23-year-old explained. "Those last two climbs are pretty short so they are not quite my scene, but I thought I'd go for a longer one...
"If I could have got to the bottom of the last climb with a bit of an advantage, that would have been good. I knew it was going to split up behind, so maybe they would start looking at each other and perhaps I would be able to win the race," he added.
"I am really happy with how it played out. I got back on the last descent. I kind of messed up the sprint a bit because I didn't know what it was like. I've never done the race before and I didn't know it was a downhill tailwind sprint," continued Martin.
Italian claims pro continental title with strong finish at Italian races
Italian Giovanni Visconti has claimed the International Cycling Union's (UCI) 2009 Europe Tour. The ISD-Neri rider sealed the overall title with a series of podium results in the final races of the UCI's Europe Tour calendar to finish clear of Kenny van Hummel (Skil-Shimano) and Jimmy Casper (Besson Chaussures – Sojasun).
Van Hummel had led the Europe Tour since May, but Visconti's second place finishes at the Coppa Sabatini and GP Beghelli provided him with enough points to overtake both the Dutchman and Casper in the final two weeks of the series calendar. He finished the season with 638 points, 37 points clear of Van Hummel (601 points) and 63 points in front of Casper (575 points).
Sunday's Chrono des Nations marked the final race of the UCI Europe calendar. Astana's Alexandre Vinokourov won the event, however, with Visconti, Van Hummel and Casper absent, the individual time trial had little effect on the final overall rankings.
Agritubel closed their final season as a professional team with victory in the team rankings. The French squad finished ahead of Dutch team Vacansoleil and the now disbanded Portuguese team Liberty Seguros, who finished third.
Italy, France and Spain were the top-three nations in the competition for pro-continental teams.
UPDATED: Stapleton's women's team bolster roster with Cantele, Stevens, Visser and Hosking
The Columbia-HTC women's team will be going all out to reclaim the number one spot in the world next year after being beaten by Cervélo TestTeam in 2009. It was the first time in three seasons that Bob Stapleton's squad missed out on the accolade and despite a series of crashes that robbed Judith Arndt of valuable race days, the team are looking to strengthen with the signings of Noemi Cantele, Evelyn Stevens, Adrie Visser and Chloe Hosking.
"Out biggest disappointment last year was falling from number one to number two in the world," Stapleton told Cyclingnews. Former World Champion Judith Arndt sustained three crashes in the first part of the season and didn't register her first win until June, racing just twenty days in 2009.
However, the year was far from disastrous with the ever-consistent Ina Teutenberg picking up an impressive 24 victories, including her first German road race title. Kim Anderson also won the Route de France, while the team took the top three places in the RaboSter Tour and Arndt fought back from injury to finish fourth in the individual time trial at the World Championships, one place behind her teammate Linda Melanie Villumsen.
As for his new signings, Stapleton believes that Cantele can build on the success she had at the Worlds this year where she won silver in the individual time trial and bronze in the road race. "[Evelyn] Stevens is going to be phenomenal next season too. She kicked ass in the Worlds and was the absolute animator in the race. Ina will be team leader and race captain. They're obviously a source of real pride for me. I love them to death."
Columbia have also confirmed that Dutch rider Adrie Visser and Australian rider Chloe Hosking will join the team roster for 2010. Visser, 26, has transferred to the American squad from DSB Bank - Nederland Bloeit, while Hosking, 19, has signed a full contract after riding as a stagiaire with Columbia this season.
Spaniard prepared for either outcome from ProTour licence commission
Alberto Contador should find out today whether he will be riding for Astana in 2010 or taking up one of the offers he's been made by Caisse d'Epargne, Garmin or Quick Step. His future depends on the decision that the International Cycling Union's (UCI) licensing commission reaches over Astana's ProTour status. If the Kazakh team is not authorized to remain in the ProTour, Contador will have the opportunity he needs to opt out of his contract and consider offers from other teams.
The Spaniard will receive the news in Mexico, where he is enjoying a few days of rest of after winning Saturday's Gran Premio criterium in Cancún. After that event, he told Mexican newspaper La Verdad that he has no idea which way the verdict on Astana will go.
"The UCI will announce its decision about Astana on Monday and will decide, I suppose, if it's a solvent and serious team," said Contador. "If they are favourable [to Astana's request] a team will have to be put together, a competitive team, based around me and focused on the Tour… It would have been better to start building a team in August and September, but that's the way things are. I am confident they can put a good team together."
With former Festina manager Yvon Sanquer lined up as the successor to Johan Bruyneel as team boss and Marco Pantani's former directeur sportif Giuseppe Martinelli set to take on the same role at Astana, talk has started about possible rider signings. Fuji's David De La Fuente is being heavily linked with a move to the team, while Spanish daily AS claims Spanish road champion Rubén Plaza and Ceramica Flaminia's Giampaolo Caruso are in Astana's sights. The team is also reported to have a new sponsor in Samruk Kazyna, the Kazakh national welfare fund.
With his eyes very much on next year's Tour, Contador was asked whether he regarded Lance Armstrong as...
18th place in 2009 World ranking hurts German team
With the Milram team finishing eighteenth in the post-Giro di Lombardia world rankings, the team will have to rely on wild card invitations in order to ride events on the Historical Calendar next year.
UCI ProTour manager Alain Rumpf spoke to Cyclingnews recently on the new rules of participation and confirmed again today that the top seventeen teams will have automatic entry into the events in 2010. The races concerned are Paris-Nice, Tirreno Adriatico, Milano-Sanremo, Paris-Roubaix, Flèche Wallonne, Liège-Bastogne-Liège and the Giro di Lombardia.
He also confirmed that new ProTour teams Sky and RadioShack will have to compete for wildcard invitations to all Historic Events. Their licence will however give them the right and obligation to compete in all ProTour events.
The Grand Tours will be the exception, and Milram is covered by the pre-existing agreement between the organisers of those events lasting until the start of 2011. Sky and RadioShack are not part of that accord, and would need wildcard bids for the Grand Tours.
Milram has a one-year ProTour licence and while it will gain entry to the ProTour races plus the Grand Tours, it will need an invitation to ride the events listed above. It has 182 points, 24 less than 17th-ranked AG2R La Mondiale.
Team general manager Gerry Van Gerwen said that there is a lot of uncertainty around the new system and said that he is unconvinced it will be in place for 2010.
"We have heard nothing and we can't find any mention of these regulations on the UCI website," he told Cyclingnews today. "There is a lot of uncertainty – do the points count from this moment in time, or will the changing rankings during 2010 affect the teams that will get into the next races?...