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First Edition Cycling News, Monday, October 25, 2010

Date published:
October 25, 2010, 1:00 BST
  • Vera Bradley Foundation folds after opening season

    Alison Powers (Team Vera Bradley Foundation) finished fifth in the elite women's time trial.
    Article published:
    October 24, 2010, 18:08 BST
    Kirsten Frattini

    Hunt hopeful Olympics will see new teams develop

    Vera Bradley Foundation Women’s Pro Cycling team announced that it will no longer exist in 2011. According to its directeur sportif Lisa Hunt, the foundation that supports Breast Cancer Awareness had a hard time envisioning a cycling team as a long term investment.

    “They were extremely pleased with the team and the success and fundraising effort,” Hunt told Cyclingnews. “The executive director of the foundation really wanted to continue but it was a decision at Vera Bradley Corporate and what they felt was that the sponsorship didn’t really fit in with their long-term strategic plans for the company.

    “We loved it and it was a great partnership and I think the world of the company and the organization. I am very sad that it is not going to continue,” she added. “Unfortunately things like this happen. Not everyone is a fan.”

    The team grew from the former Value Act Capital Cycling Team with a roster that included former national time trial champion Alison Powers, Toni Bradshaw, Robin Farina, Leah Goldstein, Lauren Hall, Alison Testroete, Alex Rhodes, Anne Samplonius, Carrie Cash and Carla Swart. It was recently announced that Powers found a home with TIBCO-To the Top and Swart will be joining HTC-Columbia in 2011.

    “I’ve done my best to be an advocate for the riders and try and get them on other teams,” Hunt said. “As part of the annual process every rider goes about looking to see if they want to continue with the same team or move on to another team.”

    “This year is a challenge because there are two teams going away,” she added. “Things like this happen and new teams are coming up. These are incredible women and they will find ways to continue in the sport. It is in my best interest that they do find teams.”

    Webcor Builders Pro Cycling also announced that it has ended its seven-year program due to a...

  • Campagnolo shows off its new electronic gear system

    Valentino Campagnolo and Fausto Pinarello with the new Pinarello bike
    Article published:
    October 24, 2010, 19:15 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    Movistar first to use electronic gear equipped Pinarello bikes in 2011

    Campagnolo has announced that the Spanish Movistar team will be the first and only professional squad to use the Italian company's new electronic gear system in 2011.

    The much awaited electronic groupset was unveiled on a special black and pink Pinarello bike on show at the presentation of the 2011 Giro d'Italia. Pinarello has replaced Cervelo as the official Giro d'Italia bike for the next three years.

    Movistar will use a similar bike in 2011 and will be the only team to use the electronic gear system before it goes on general sale.

    Shimano released its Di2 electronic system two year ago but Campagnolo delayed their own electronic system as they continued to work on the project.

    At first look, the Campagnolo system seems very similar to the Shimano Di2, with wires replacing the gear cables and with the gear changes powered by a battery positioned on the down tube, below the bottle cage. However, instead of buttons to change gear, there are curved gear levers on the inside of brake hoods. The battery, levers and gears are labeled Campy Tech Lab, the name given to Campagnolo development division.

    Valentino Campagnolo posed with Fausto Pinarello and the new bike but was reticent about revealing more details.

    "Shimano were the first to produce an electronic system but we kept working hard on our system and now the bike unveiled is very similar to the bike that will be used by the new Movistar team," Valentino Campagnolo told Cyclingnews.

    "Our system is different to Shimano's. Their one is ten-speed, while ours is 11-speed. It will also have other different aspects too but it's a little bit soon to talk about it now."

    Further details are expected at the start of the 2011 season, when the Movistar team will first use their new bikes.

  • Armstrong focused on 2012 London Olympic Games

    2009 women's time trial world champion Kristin Armstrong (United States of America).
    Article published:
    October 24, 2010, 22:26 BST
    Kirsten Frattini

    American to return with Peanut Butter & Co TWENTY12

    Kristin Armstrong recently announced that she will return to professional bike racing with Peanut Butter & Co TWENTY12 in 2011. According to the team’s co-owner Nicola Cranmer, Armstrong is focused on capturing a second time trial Olympic Gold medal in London, 2012.

    “Kristin will focus on the individual time trial at the London Olympics,” Cranmer told Cyclingnews. “She will race domestically for the most part but will compete in some later season European races with the US National Team. Kristin will also spend a little time training on the track as she has in the past.”

    Armstrong is a double UCI Elite Time Trial World Champion, winning her titles in 2006 and 2009. She also won the 2008 Olympic Games time trial in Beijing. She took one year off and recently gave birth to her first child.

    “We don't like to call it retirement, after her World Championship win in 2009, her focus changed to family, only eight weeks after her win she became pregnant. Like everything she was on the fast track to motherhood. She is fully supported by her husband Joe [Savola] in this decision.”

    Armstrong and Cranmer are co-owners of Peanut Butter & Co TWENTY12. The team stemmed from the California-based development program ProMan-HitSquad. It is strongly focused on developing US riders for the Olympic Games in 2012 and 2016.

    “While part owner, her duties will be to train, race and be a mother,” Cranmer said. “Kristin is very involved in the current and future plans for a sustainable development program. It’s my goal to take as much off her hands as possible these next 21 months.”

    This year’s roster included US Road National Champion Mara Abbott, who became the first American to win the Giro d’Italia Femminile in July. It was recently announced that her, along with her teammates Shelley Evans and Sinead Miller will be racing with Safi-Pasta...

  • Valjavec facing forced retirement

    Tadej Valjavec (Ag2r-La Mondiale)
    Article published:
    October 25, 2010, 4:25 BST
    Jean-François Quénet

    Taiwan the Slovenian’s last outing?

    Tadej Valjavec may be forced into retirement after failing to secure a new professional contract for 2011, as the fallout from an abnormal biological passport result hangs over the rider’s head. The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) is yet to give its verdict on the International Cycling Union’s (UCI) appeal against the Slovenian anti-doping agency clearing Valjavec to ride, meaning team managers and sponsors won’t sign the Slovenian rider for next year.

    “The Ag2r-La Mondiale team wanted to give me another contract but the sponsor said no,” Valjavec told Cyclingnews in Taipei. “My agent Alex Carera is still looking for a team for me but managers are scared to sign someone whose case isn’t totally closed. I’ve been cleared but the appeal by the UCI is still pending.”

    Valjavec was suspended in May due to abnormal biological passport results, but was cleared to ride in early August by the Slovenian anti-doping agency. He returned to racing at Tour du Doubs and has been competing ever since, right through to the weekend’s hill climb near Sunmoon Lake, Taiwan, which was held in place of the washed-out Taiwan Cup.

    “I spent three months without riding my bike at all in the middle of this year,” Valjavec said. “I went back to my normal level as I finished ninth in GP Prato in September.

    “I was very motivated for the Tour of Lombardy but I got sick two days before,” he added. “I threw up all night after the Giro del Piemonte. I didn’t eat at all the day before the Tour of Lombardy. I didn’t know if I was even able to start and I raced anyway but after 200 kilometres I was done.”

    His unlucky year continued with the cancellation of the Taiwan Cup due to a typhoon in the area. While he remained upbeat about the trip, Valjavec was bitter that it might be his last as a professional cyclist.

  • Vandborg happy to return to Saxo Bank

    Brian Vandborg (Liquigas) readies himself for his 40.5km ride.
    Article published:
    October 25, 2010, 8:52 BST
    Susan Westemeyer

    Dane hopes to ride the Tour in 2011

    Brian Vandborg is returning to Saxo Bank-SunGard in 2011 and is happy to be back with a Danish team. He rode for Liguigas for the last two years.

    The 28-year-old Dane turned professional with Team CSC, as it was called in 2004, and rode with them for three years before joining Discovery Channel for the 2007 season. In 2008 he rode for the Danish Continental team GLS-Pakke Shop, and then joined Liquigas in 2009.

    His last race this season was the GP de Montreal the middle of September, and he has already started training again for next season. Vandborg's racing programme for 2011 has still to be finalised. "I've given my ideas on what I want to race, but it's not me who decides. We will probably talk about it at the team meeting," he told The team has scheduled its first team gathering for next month.

    Vandborg rode the Tour de France this year in support of Ivan Basso and likes the route of the 2011 Tour. "It looks exciting. Plenty of mountains,” he said, and hopes that he will be on the Danish team's nine-rider squad. "I hope so, and it is obviously beneficial to me that there's a team time trial.”

  • Van Den Broeck looking to extend contract with Omega Pharma-Lotto

    Jurgen Van den Broeck (Omega Pharma-Lotto)
    Article published:
    October 25, 2010, 8:54 BST
    Cycling News

    Tour contender might stay with Belgian team through 2013

    Jurgen Van Den Broeck is interested in extending his contract with Omega Pharma-Lotto for another two years. The Belgian, who finished fifth overall in the Tour de France, would like to stay until the end of the 2013 season, but with improved financial considerations.

    According to the Belgian website Sportwereld, Van Den Broeck's manager Jef Van den Bosch is meeting this week with team officials to work out a deal. The website speculates that a contract extension for Jurgen Van Goolen might also be part of the package.

    Van Den Broeck's bargaining position is said to be strengthened by speculation that Saxo Bank may also be interested in him. Team owner Bjarne Riis has said that he has a “Plan B” for his team if Alberto Contador is suspended on doping charges, and that plan is said to be the signing of Van Den Broeck.

    The 27-year-old proved himself in the mountains of the 2010 Tour, finishing as high as fourth on the 12th stage to Mende. He had moved into fourth place overall on the eighth stage, when he finished in the first chase group only 10 seconds behind stage winner Andy Schleck.

    Van Den Broeck didn't have any victories this season, but finished second in the Vuelta a Andalucia/ Ruta del Sol and fourth overall in the Criterium du Dauphine.

  • Basso likes tough 2011 Giro d’Italia route

    Giro d'Italia champion Ivan Basso (Liquigas-Doimo).
    Article published:
    October 25, 2010, 11:40 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    2010 winner still to decide on 2011 goals

    Ivan Basso is likely to target the Tour de France in 2011 but has not ruled out also trying to win a second consecutive Giro d'Italia.

    The Liquigas-Doimo rider won the 2010 Giro ahead of David Arroyo and teammate Vincenzo Nibali but then struggled in the Tour de France, finishing 32nd, almost an hour behind Alberto Contador.

    The mountainous profiles of the Giro and the Tour in 2011 seems to make winning both grand tours almost impossible. Basso still believes he can win the Tour and Nibali has said he wants to target the Giro but Basso denies that means Liquigas-Doimo has decided its leadership strategy for 2011.

    Basso was not at the presentation of the 2011 Giro d'Italia route on Saturday because he was riding the Vuelta Chihuahua criterium in Mexico. However he told Gazzetta dello Sport the seven mountain finishes and the limited time trials in the 2011 Giro make it perfect for him.

    "I like the route a lot. It's got everything and is perfect for me. Who said I'm not going to ride it?" he said.

    "Believe me. Nothing has been decided yet. We've still got to speak about it. Compared to this year, things have changed. How many people thought I'd win the Giro and Vincenzo would have the season he has. One thing is for sure, we can't fight to be the leader inside the team. We've got to talk about it and I'm sure we'll find a solution."

    "There are a lot of aspect to evaluate, including what I feel in my heart. I could help Nibali at the Giro and then get his help at the Tour. It's easy to say that but it's a lot harder to put it into practice. We'll make the right decision. Of course, it's not a secret that I still haven't won a yellow jersey."

    Despite being in Mexico, Basso has studied the route of the 2011 Giro d'Italia.

    "I don’t like playing the game of talking about if it's a hard Giro or an easy Giro. The most important thing is how the riders race it," he said.

    "I've noticed...

  • Luxembourg Pro Cycling Team names classics riders

    Maxime Monfort (HTC-Columbia)
    Article published:
    October 25, 2010, 13:36 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    Monfort, Weylandt and Klemme confirmed for 2011

    The Luxembourg Pro Cycling Project has revealed three further signings, adding Maxime Monfort, Wouter Weylandt and Dominic Klemme to boost its strength for the cobbled and hilly classics.

    Monfort joins the new Luxembourg team from HTC-Columbia, Weylandt moves from Quick Step and Klemme is one of the many riders to quit Saxo Bank for the new team.

    "When I heard about the possibility of this team being created, I became very interested very quickly," Monfort said in a statement issued by his new team.

    "Now I am extremely motivated by the idea of riding alongside such fantastic athletes in our attempt to win some of the Northern Classics and carry the yellow jersey to the Champs Elysées. Personally I would like to perform well in one-week tours and regain my Belgian National Time Trialling Championship but also after seven years in the peloton, I think I do have a certain experience which I will be happy to share with the younger riders on the team, too."

    26-year-old Weylandt won a stage in the Giro d'Italia this year and hopes to step out of Tom Boonen's shadow and have more opportunities in sprints.

    "I've chosen this team because it's a new project so everybody will be super motivated; after more than six years in the same team, it will be good for me to have some fresh air and new people around me," he said.

    "This is a good moment in my career to learn new things about cycling and see some new visions. I want to show that I'm more than a regular sprinter. After two winters of dealing with knee problems I want to prove that I'm able to have good results and performances in the classics."

    Klemme is still only 23 but showed his ability in the classics by finishing 14th in Paris-Roubaix while helping Fabian Cancellara win.

    "I have worked with many of the team members in the past years, and believe that I will be able to develop myself further within its structure," Klemme said.