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First Edition Cycling News, Monday, September 10, 2012

Date published:
September 10, 2012, 1:00 BST
  • High five for Degenkolb in Madrid

    John Degenkolb (Argos-Shimano) finished the Vuelta with five stage wins
    Article published:
    September 09, 2012, 20:19 BST
    By:
    Alasdair Fotheringham

    German claims fifth Vuelta stage

    John Degenkolb (Argos-Shimano) is just 23 but he became the German with the most victories in a single Vuelta a España on Sunday, clinching one more than André Greipel’s total of four in 2009, with an all-out surge for the line in Madrid.

    Already victorious in stages two, five, seven and 10 of the Vuelta, the Argos-Shimano sprinter added a fifth win to his palmares by fending off Italians Elia Viviani (Liquigas-Cannondale) and Daniele Bennati (RadioShack-Nissan).

    “I’m really unbelievably happy with five victories,” Degenkolb said afterwards. “As the first German to take five stages of the Vuelta, it’s pretty good to be making history, too.”

    Discussing the Madrid stage, he said “The final was pretty fast, but the last kilometre was simple after the U-turn [with 1.2 kilometres to go]. [Teammate Simon] Geschke and [Koen] De Kort were in the lead, we passed the Italians and then Geschke took me to 500 [metres] to go, De Kort until 200 to go and I was strong enough to make the last 200 metres without too many problems.”

    “It’s been a very hard Vuelta, everybody is pretty tired, including me, and I’ve not had an easy time on the climbs in the last few days. But we were willing to suffer as a team and focus 100 percent on my sprint for one last time.”

    Degenkolb’s immediate race programme will have as its highlights the GP d’Isbergues (September 16) followed by the world championships road race (September 23), Paris-Bourges (October 4) and as his last race, Paris-Tours (October 7).

    Given that Peter Sagan’s impressive track record in the Vuelta 2011 - three...

  • Chavanel takes aim at Worlds time trials

    Sylvain Chavanel with his fourth gold medal in the French national TT championship
    Article published:
    September 09, 2012, 21:40 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Voeckler the leader for road race

    Although the world championships road race takes place over classics terrain, Sylvain Chavanel (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) is set to prioritize the two time trial events in Valkenburg.

    2012 sees the team time trial introduced to the Worlds programme, with trade teams rather than national selections taking part. Chavanel is confident that Omega Pharma-QuickStep will prove competitive next Sunday, with the likes of Tony Martin providing real firepower.

    “I’ve been looking forward to the team time for a long time,” Chavanel told L’Équipe. “Since I turned pro, I’ve always wanted to be in a team that goes well in time trials, and that’s been the case this year.”

    In the individual time trial event, Chavanel is looking for redemption after a disappointing London 2012 Olympics. After winning the French time trial championship in June and performing strongly in the time trials at the Tour de France, Chavanel suffered mechanical problems in London and could only finish 29th.

    “I’m not a pure specialist, but I want to take some revenge for the Olympics,” he said. “I had a problem with my equipment there – my rear wheel was touching my frame. I only realised it at the finish because there was no paint left at the point where it had been rubbing.”

    Thomas Voeckler (Europcar) is set to lead the French team for the road race on September 23, and while Chavanel is also part of manager Laurent Jalabert’s plans, he insisted that he did not have any designs on leadership himself.

    “I’m asking myself if it’s wise to ride all three events. Maybe I’ll need to make a choice,” Chavanel said. “There’s a...

  • Trebon's move to Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld won't stop 'cross rivalries

    Ryan Trebon (Cannondale)
    Article published:
    September 10, 2012, 0:50 BST
    By:
    Pat Malach

    'Tree-farm' vows to maintain West-East battles

    After carrying the standard for West Coast cyclo-cross for nearly a decade, Ryan Trebon raised some eyebrows this spring when he signed with Northeast titan Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com for 2012-13 season. But the two-time US national champion says the East-West rivalry is still on, and he's ready to represent.

    "Why should it ever end?" Trebon said shortly after dismantling the Elite men's field at the Oregon cyclo-cross opener earlier this month. "I always like racing out on the East Coast and that, but I'm a West Coast kid. This is where I'm from so this is where I will always live. It's just fun to bust everybody's balls."

    The 6-foot-5-inch rider from Bend, Oregon, had cruised to his first win of the season over a grassy, singletrack-heavy course in a city park across the Columbia River from Portland and was cheering on his girlfriend, who was doing well in the intermediate race that immediately followed his own. Trebon took some time in between cheers to talk with Cyclingnews about the upcoming season, which peaks with the UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships in Louisville, Kentucky, in February.

    Since 2004, Trebon had ridden Pacific Northwest bike company Kona's machines to the top of the sport, winning the stars-and-stripes jersey in 2006 and 2008 and making the podium most other years, including silver-medal efforts the past three. He and fellow Oregonian Barry Wicks, riding under the moniker the "Twin Towers," ran up a streak of wins at the fledgling US Gran Prix of Cyclocross as they fought epic battles against former world's silver medalist Jonathan Page and his fellow East Coast stalwarts Tim Johnson an up-and-coming Jeremy Powers, who flew the colors of Stu Thornes's Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com teams.

    Eventually Wicks turned his focus to mountain bike World Cup races, but Trebon...

  • Nordhaug claims Sky’s 100th UCI win in Montréal

    Lars Petter Nordhaug (Sky) dug deep to take the biggest win of his career
    Article published:
    September 10, 2012, 3:50 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Norwegian delivers victory before moving to Rabobank in 2013

    Lars-Petter Nordhaug claimed his biggest victory to date when he won the Grand Prix Cycliste de Montréal at the weekend. It was the Norweigen’s third win of the year and his team’s 100th UCI victory, according to Teamsky.com. His most recent victory was just a couple of weeks ago on stage three at Tour of Denmark.

    "That was incredible. I was riding for Edvald [Boasson Hagen] originally because we thought it was going to come down to a sprint. I just tried to sit on the front to cover the counter-attacks, but felt so strong in those last 4km that I just rolled off alone," Nordhaug said on Teamsky.com.

    "When I saw those three guys were coming I waited a bit and then joined them. I didn’t think I would take the sprint because the other guys in that group were very fast, but I just had unbelievable legs today, so to win was fantastic.

    "I only realised I’d won inside the last 30m. I’m really pleased because I’ve taken some big steps this year and had two victories already. To win this race though is the biggest thing I’ve ever done," he said.

    The 28-year-old will be leaving Sky at the end of the season and joinging the Rabobank team on a two-year deal after three years with the British squad.

    Nordhaug had already shown he was on-form in the days prior when he finished 14th in

  • Zabel back to winning ways in Germany

    Rick Zabel at the Rabobank Continental team presentation
    Article published:
    September 10, 2012, 5:56 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Son of Erik wins U23 National road race title

    Rick Zabel, son of six-time Tour de France Points Classification winner Erik Zabel won the U23 German national championships at the weekend. The 18-year-old finished ahead of Nikodemus Holler and Michael Koch. Zabel is riding his first year at the U23 level for the Rabobank Continental team.

    "I never expected this," said Zabel after the race. "once it was down to three I knew each of us has a medal. I was initially uncertain about the three-man sprint, but it worked out great," he said on Rad-net.de.

    The younger Zabel was a frequent visitor to the top step as a child, his father taking him up to collect his green jersey at the finish of the Tour de France on the Champs-Élysées. The time however, the upcoming German champion stepped up to collect his jersey based on his own merits.

    Zabel will have little time to soak-up his victory as he continues his preparation for the U23 UCI Road World Championships which begin with the Elite women team time trial on 16 September. Last year Zabel was Germany’s top placed rider, finishing fifth in the 126km Junior road race.

  • Contador will not attend 'pointless' Tour of Beijing

    Vuelta leader Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank) awaits the start of stage 20.
    Article published:
    September 10, 2012, 7:20 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Riis intent on overruling UCI’s stance in court

    Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank - Tinkoff Bank) and his team owner Bjarne Riis have stated the recently crowned Vuelta a España winner will not compete at the upcoming Tour of Beijing - unless his points count towards the team.

    "It makes no sense that Alberto Contador promote their race, if we do not get anything back. He will be a huge name over there, and he cannot even score some points. It makes no sense. And why should he go there? I cannot see why," said Riis to Sporken.dk.

    Contador returned from serving a doping suspension at the Eneco Tour after his positive test at the 2010 Tour de France and while he won a stage and the overall at the Vuelta, his WorldTour points will not count towards the team’s points tally when the UCI asses their criteria for next season’s ProTeam license.

    The UCI has already informed the Spaniard and his team that his WorldTour points will not contribute to the team’s total for the 2012 or 2013 season. Considering the team was last, sitting in 18th place, in the UCI’s standings earlier in the year, Contador’s points are vital for the team to continue in the top league for the coming seasons.

    Riis will seek to challenge to the UCI’s ruling in order to have his star rider’s points accumulated to Saxo...

  • Bak more than a worker at Lotto Belisol

    Lars Bak (Lotto Belisol) in the day's breakaway on stage 12
    Article published:
    September 10, 2012, 8:22 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    GP Fourmies winner using experience to gain results

    After two seasons in a domestique role with Bob Stapleton’s HTC - Highroad and Team HTC - Columbia squads, Lars Bak is getting his chance for individual glory on the Lotto Belisol team. Bak took his second victory of the year at GP de Fourmies when he bridged to a two-man leading group in the closing 10km of the 205km race.

    Bak made contact with the leading pair of Oscar Freire (Katusha) and Michael Mørkøv (Saxo Bank - Tinkoff Bank) with approximately 8km to go. The trio held onto a slim advantage with just five kilometres remaining and continued to work well together. The peloton had nearly made catch shortly after travelling under red-kite banner and so Bak attacked solo, holding the bunch off to finish on his own.

    "The way I won is similar to my stage win in the Giro and I treasure this victory as highly. In France the race is shown live on television, this rates at the same level as Paris-Brussels yesterday and on the honor roll are beautiful names," said Bak on Lottobelisol.be.

    After riding as a worker for two seasons with Highroad and another five beforehand with Riis at Saxo Bank, Bak is relishing his new role and season with Lotto Belisol. In the previous day, at Paris-Bruxelles, he was in the early breakaway and with a calmer start to the following day's race, Bak was clearly ready to attack again.

    "Yesterday I was on the attack in Paris-Brussels for 150 kilometers. Today was relatively calm in the initial phase and the good weather meant my...

  • Froome reflects on leading Sky at Vuelta

    Danny Pate and Chris Froome lend a hand at the front.
    Article published:
    September 10, 2012, 9:56 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Road World Championships participation yet to be confirmed

    Chris Froome (Sky) had mixed emotions at the end of his second grand tour of the year, the Vuelta a España where he finished a credible fourth place, 10:16 down on race winner Alberto Contador. The 27-year-old had be touted as a potential race winner by Contador and while he began the race strongly, fatigue began to show itself towards the second half of the race.

    "It’s slightly disappointing not to come away with more - obviously we had high ambitions coming here. But having said that, I’m not disappointed with how we rode, and how I rode. I know I gave it everything and I know the team did a fantastic job to look after me and support me. In that sense there’s no disappointment at all," Froome told Team Sky.

    It was Froome’s first time as the designated leader and while he had finished second overall at last year’s Vuelta, this would be his true test of whether he can handle the pressure of leading a team throughout a grand tour. He demonstrated that he’s up to the task, just perhaps not off the back of this season.

    "For me it’s been the first time leading the team and being in a position where I need to tell the guys around me what I need to get me though the race as best as possible," he said.

    It was perhaps overzealous to expect Froome to contest for the overall Vuelta title after a brilliant Tour de France performance, where he won a stage and finished second overall to teammate Bradley Wiggins. The Kenyan-born rider has now earned a deserved rest ahead of a decision on his participation at the UCI Road World...