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First Edition Cycling News, Monday, September 12, 2011

Date published:
September 12, 2011, 1:00 BST
  • Gallopin's future uncertain with RadioShack-Leopard Trek merger

    Allain Gallopin talks to radio
    Article published:
    September 11, 2011, 21:15 BST
    Kirsten Frattini

    French DS hopes to stay with the new team

    The merging of WorldTour teams RadioShack and Leopard Trek has left directeur sportif Alain Gallopin unsure of where he will end up during the 2012 season. The Frenchman hopes to re-sign with the new program having been a part of nine stage race victories with RadioShack this year.

    “Normally I would stay with this team but it is not official yet, nothing is official about the composition of the team and so I cannot yet speak about what I will do next year,” Gallopin told Cyclingnews. “[Flavio] Becca and [Johan] Bruyneel are working on the management of the team. I spoke a little bit with Bruyneel but it is not certain yet.”

    Gallopin is a notable directeur sportif having worked for teams Francais des Jeux, Mercury, Team Coast, Bianchi and CSC. He believes a leadership role on the new team will suit him having worked closely with Andy and Frank Schleck, along with Fabian Cancellara, during his four seasons with Team CSC management.

    “Of course, for me, if I am part of the new team it is perfect for me because I know the Schleck family and Cancellara very well,” Gallopin said. “I worked with them for four years with CSC and these riders. But, it is not official yet and I don’t know.”

    RadioShack won nine stage races during this season including Vuelta Pais Vasco, Tour de Suisse, Amgen Tour of California, Tour of Utah and USA Pro Cycling Challenge along with the USA Pro Road Championships.

    “This year I enjoyed working with RadioShack,” Gallopin said. “We were not lucky at the Tour de France but we won nine stage races. We had a good campaign in the USA winning...

  • Sagan confirms his sprint credentials with third Vuelta win

    Peter Sagan (Liquigas-Cannondale) wins in Madrid.
    Article published:
    September 11, 2011, 22:21 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    Slovakian sprinter ready for world championships

    Peter Sagan (Liquigas-Cannondale) proved he is a huge sprinting talent and a true world championship contender by taking his third stage victory at this year's Vuelta a España in Madrid

    The 21-year-old Slovakian has the speed and the instinct to win almost at will and the slightly uphill in the center of Madrid finish suited him perfectly.

    Sagan made sure he was on the right wheel in the final kilometer, moving from Bennati's to Petacchi's as the sprint began. Then as Petacchi moved across the road to challenge Bennati close to the barriers, Sagan took a straighter line to the finish and won with a well-timed bike throw.

    "The Vuelta was a kind of bet for me: To see what I could do in a three week stage race and see how I handled the climbs and the sprints after so much racing. I've made it to Madrid and won three stages, so I have to be happy. I couldn't have asked for more," Sagan said after holding up three fingers to indicate his three stage wins.

    Sagan explained how he won the sprint: "I was on Bennati's wheel but I got boxed in a bit and I had to stop my effort. I had to go again and I was a bit behind, so it was hard. But I was still fresh because my team protected me during the whole stage. It was a technical finishing circuit, exactly how I like them and I was feeling good, despite being tired after three weeks of racing."

    Although still only 21, Sagan will ride the Elite men's race at the world championships. He is not eligible to ride the Under 23 race because he is part of a WorldTour ProTeam. Slovakia has only qualified a three-rider team but Sagan will have excellent support from Martin and Peter Velits.

    "I'm trying not to think about the world championship," he explained. "It’s...

  • Video: Matthews hopes to help Australia at Worlds

    Rund um Köln winner Michael Matthews (Rabobank)
    Article published:
    September 11, 2011, 22:48 BST
    Pierre Carrey

    U-23 world champion hopes to be part of the elite roster this year

    An Under-23 World Champion last year in Geelong, on his home soil, Australian talent Michael Matthews (Rabobank) expects to be a part of the elite race in Denmark in two weeks.

    "We have a very strong team for the World Championship this year and it will be hard to make it," the 21-year-old sprinter admitted in a video interview with Cyclingnews. "But I think the team we will put on the start line will be very hard to beat."

    Cycling Australia might unveil its final selection for the Worlds in the coming hours, after the traditional deadline of the Vuelta a Espana's end.

    The previously announced long list included 14 riders for nine places. Understandably, the 2008 World Champion and Tour de France winner, Cadel Evans, hasn't been added, given the relatively flat parcours. Most of the riders named are sprinters: alongside Matthews, there is Simon Clarke, Baden Cooke, Simon Gerrans, Matt Goss, Adam Hansen, Heinrich Haussler, Matthew Hayman, Leigh Howard, Robbie McEwen, Stuart O’Grady, Mark Renshaw, Sutherland and CJ Sutton.

    If he does get a seat in the squad, Matthews hopes to play a role in the finish: "I would like to be there in the last five kilometers to help or do the sprint, if I do make the team I would like to be there at the finish to see what I can do."

    It is expected that Cycling Australia will name Matt Goss (HTC), the Milan-San Remo winner earlier this year, as the leader of the team for a course which is expected to be a tough-man's field sprint.

    For his part, Matthews has shown some good results for his first season in WorldTour, winning...

  • GreenEdge snares Howard

    HTC-Highroad will look to Leigh Howard to deliver the team's third straight win in Philadelphia.
    Article published:
    September 12, 2011, 1:41 BST
    Cycling News

    Australian set to continue partnership with Matt Goss

    Leigh Howard, one of Australia's most promising young sprint talents, will join GreenEdge in 2012. The 21-year-old, already a two-time Madison world champion, is another exciting prospect for the team as it continues to build on its mix of youth and experience. An in demand rider, Howard explained that the final decision to join GreenEdge was a carefully considered one.

    "GreenEdge was always my first choice of team but I had a lot of offers on the table," Howard said. "With my long term career prospects as the number one priority, I wrote a pros-and-cons list for each of the teams I’d been approached by and GreenEdge came out on top."

    The Australian is approaching the end of his second season in the professional ranks with HTC-Highroad, and despite enjoying his time with the team was forced to move on after the team announced in August that it would no longer be continuing.

    Looking ahead, Howard is keen to continue his partnership with current teammate Matthew Goss, and relishes the chance to learn from sprint ace Robbie McEwen.

    "I’ve spoken to Robbie a couple of times already about his involvement with the team next year and I think his role is going to benefit me a lot. Racing for the first half of the season will allow him to get a feel for what needs to be improved from seeing us first hand under race pressure.

    "It’s going to be a big benefit for me."

    A remarkable progression since 2009 has seen Howard come from dominating the domestic circuit in Australia to riding some of the biggest races in the world in 2011. Having just finished the Vuelta a Espana, where he had two top-5 stage finishes, Howard has high hopes for his future with GreenEdge.

    "One of the big races I want to win at some stage is

  • Australia announces Worlds team

    Aussie Stuart O'Grady happy on the start line.
    Article published:
    September 12, 2011, 4:51 BST
    Alex Hinds

    Goss to lead one of the 'strongest teams ever named'

    Cycling Australia has released its final selections for the UCI Road World Championships in Copenhagen, with team captain Matthew Goss supported by a strong and versatile team.

    In addition to Goss, Stuart O'Grady, Baden Cooke, Simon Gerrans, Mathew Hayman, Michael Rogers and Simon Clarke will all return to the national team for the elite men's road race. Debutants include Vuelta stage winner Chris Sutton and Heinrich Haussler, who will finally make his long awaited appearance in Australian colours.

    The time trial will be contested by Jack Bobridge and Richie Porte, with both considered to be genuine medal chances.

    The most notable omission is Mark Renshaw, though he does remain on the reserves list along with Adam Hansen. National Performance director Kevin Tabotta admitted it was one of the toughest teams he'd ever had to pick.

    "It was certainly one of the hardest teams to pick because the depth and quality in the men's elite ranks is very healthy right now," said Tabotta. "The team has proven finishers and strong experienced team players who can guide our team of nine riders towards a result. We also have quality options for a large group finish."

    "I believe we've put together teams best suited for the course taking into account recent form and results," said Tabotta. "We've considered the possible scenarios that might arise during the race and selected the riders to suit."

    Elite Women

    In the women's team, Oceania champion Shara Gillow lines up along side Rochelle Gilmore, Chloe Hosking, Jesse Maclean, Carla Ryan, Amanda Spratt and Vickie Whitelaw. For Gilmore the selection will be particularly sweet, having almost been ruled out in July with a pelvic fracture.


  • Durbridge breaks course record in Chrono Champenois

    Luke Durbridge (Jayco/AIS) powers towards the gold medal in the men's under 23 national time trial championship in Learmonth near Ballarat.
    Article published:
    September 12, 2011, 6:57 BST
    Cycling News

    Australian on track for Gold at Worlds

    Luke Durbridge (Jayco-AIS) has sent an early warning to his U/23 road world championships rivals, putting in a dominant ride at the Chrono Champenois in France overnight to take victory in a course record time.

    The 20-year-old Australian, who finished second in the time trial at last year's worlds in Melbourne has come leaps and bounds in the last 12 months, and looks to be a strong favourite for the race in Copenhagen.

    Durbridge clocked a time of 40:16 at an average speed of almost 50 km/h for the 33.4 kilometre distance. Impressively, he was also 51 seconds faster than 2010 winner Rasmus Christian, who placed second. The result builds on last week's ride in the Memorial Davide Fardelli, where he finished third.

    "Luke set a course record and he did it on wet roads," said Cycling Australia's U23 Coach, James Victor. "The previous best time was set in 2008 and Luke went 1:10 under that."

    The UCI Road World Championships begin on the 19th September, with the U23 Men's Time Trial the second event on the program. The Australian U23 team is expected to be announced on the 14th of September.

  • Fédrigo almost back at the top

    Pierrick Fedrigo (FDJ)
    Article published:
    September 12, 2011, 10:00 BST
    Cycling News

    FDJ rider takes second place in GP de Montreal after illness

    Pierrick Fédrigo's 2011 season, which looked to have been wiped out just two months ago when he was diagnosed with Lyme disease, finally does take a positive ending. By placing second behind winner Rui Costa (Movistar) at the GP de Montreal on Sunday, the FDJ rider proved to himself and the public that he's been able to come back almost to his former level despite the bacterial infection caused by a tick bite.

    On the Montreal course, Fédrigo missed the victory by just 30 metres as he sprinted for the line against Costa. The Frenchman went early, with 200 metres to go, but could not take his attack to the line as the Portuguese climber closed in on him. "The difference between Costa and me is that he's done the Tour, he's got the power that I lack because I haven't done any big races this year," Fédrigo explained to L'Equipe.

    Not many observers expected him to shine at the event after he had abandoned the GP de Quebec on Friday. "But I didn't drop out because I felt bad that day - it's just that the circuit in Montreal suited me better. The climbs are longer and you can put on a bigger gear," Fédrigo added.

    The 32-year-old three-time Tour de France stage winner was immensely dissatisfied with his performances earlier this year, and his new team FDJ wondered what had happened to one of the best French riders in the peloton. After getting dropped at the French Championships in June, Fédrigo's morale was so low that he himself ruled out of participating in the Tour de France. Finally, in July, doctors found the reason for his poor fitness.

    "I don't know when I...

  • Hushovd on penicillin for bad cold

    World Champion Thor Hushovd (Garmin Cervelo)
    Article published:
    September 12, 2011, 10:55 BST
    Cycling News

    Defending world champion still clear for Copenhagen

    Thor Hushovd's preparations to defend his road World Championship title are being hampered by an illness. The Norwegian is being treated with penicillin, but does not feel that his participation in the race is endangered.

    The current world champion is riding the Tour of Britain as his final preparation for the Worlds next week in Copenhagen. On Sunday's first stage he finished 67th in the same time as winner Mark Cavendish.

    Hushovd is having problems with his nose, throat and sinuses. “He is very sick and it's true that he has begun to take penicillin,” his personal trainer Atli Kvalsvoll told

    Kvålsvoll is concerned that the forecasted rain in Britain will aggravate the problem, saying it is “day-to-day as to whether he will abandon the race or not.” Hushovd however told that he intends to ride all the stages since he did not have a fever.

    “Riding a few stages is important, for it is short-intensive stages that are very form-building, but it is not very important to complete the whole race,” the trainer said, assuring  that “there is no danger that Hushovd does not compete” in the Worlds road race.

    The Norwegian national team is scheduled to meet for a training camp in Belgium on Sunday before traveling to Copenhagen on Thursday for the Sunday race.