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First Edition Cycling News, Monday, September 13, 2010

Date published:
September 13, 2010, 1:00 BST
  • Anton undergoes surgery in Bilbao

    Igor Anton in the red leader's jersey
    Article published:
    September 12, 2010, 10:46 BST
    Barry Ryan

    Bruseghin and Uran set to start stage 15

    Igor Anton (Euskaltel-Euskadi) underwent surgery on his broken right elbow last night after crashing out of the Vuelta a España’s overall lead. As well as ending his Vuelta, the injury rules Anton out for the remainder of the season.

    Anton’s operation took place at 11pm Saturday night at the Hospital de Cruces in Bilbao, incidentally the same hospital in which the unfortunate Anton had surgery after crashing out of the 2008 Vuelta.

    Anton’s teammate Egoi Martinez was involved in the same incident and also had to abandon the Vuelta. The Basque was initially suspected to have sustained a broken collarbone but after being discharged from hospital last night, it emerged that he had suffered a dislocated shoulder.

    “Fortunately I have no fracture,” Martinez told El Ciclismo. “The doctors found that I had a dislocated shoulder and trauma to my chest and neck. I’ll be out for a week so that they can monitor my internal bleeding and I’ll have my arm in a sling too.”

    Martinez plans to return to racing “soon” but admitted that yesterday’s double crash was a crushing disappointment. “It was the second time that I cried in my whole career,” he explained. “I cried on the road because we do not deserve such misfortune.”

    Caisee d’Epargne also had two fallers in the crash, which took place inside the last 7km of stage 14. Marzio Bruseghin and Rigoberto Uran had their hopes of a high overall placing dashed by the incident and last night were rumoured to be on the verge of abandoning the race due to their injuries.

    However, according to Biciciclismo, both riders are expected to start stage 15. Uran suffered a heavy blow to the shoulder and forearm in the accident, while Bruseghin needed 19 stitches to his arms. Initially, it was feared that he may also have fractured his clavicle and a rib, but he underwent a...

  • Roche aiming to hold Vuelta position to Madrid

    Nicolas Roche (AG2R) comes to the finish.
    Article published:
    September 12, 2010, 12:40 BST
    Barry Ryan

    Irishman constantly improving

    Nicolas Roche (AG2R-La Mondiale) moved up to 5th overall at the Vuelta a España on the road to Peña Cabarga and the Irishman is determined to hold on to that placing until the race finishes in Madrid next Sunday.

    “I know that the next two stages will be difficult but if I continue to have good legs then I can finish in the top 5,” he said after the stage. “On the last climb I felt really good. I feel better now than I did during the days that followed the rest day.”

    Roche does not believe that the midweek time trial will penalise him in any significant way and his confidence in the discipline is high after his solid showing at the Tour de France. “At the Tour, I was only 28 seconds behind Andy Schleck and a minute behind Contador in the final time trial,” he explained. “That’s given me confidence.”

    The Irishman was also thankful that he managed to escape the crash that ended the unfortunate Igor Anton’s race. “I was on Anton’s right when he crashed,” Roche said. “I heard the crash and I saw a bike flying next to me.”

    Roche starts today’s stage to Lagos de Covadonga 2:11 off the overall lead in 5th place and he is on course to emulate his compatriot Philip Deignan’s feat of finishing in the top ten overall at the Spanish race. Deignan was 9th overall last year and also managed to win a stage.

    Two Irish riders have previously finished on the Vuelta podium: Sean Kelly took overall victory in 1988 (and 3rd place in 1986), while Shay Elliott finished in 3rd place in 1962.

  • Hincapie looks for miracle at US Pro Road Championships

    George Hincapie (BMC) riding along in the group.
    Article published:
    September 12, 2010, 21:00 BST
    Kirsten Frattini

    Canadian ProTour races offered valuable USPro prep and UCI points

    Reigning US Pro Road Champion, George Hincapie (BMC Racing) lost valuable training time due to a knee injury sustained weeks prior to the start of the USA Cycling Pro Road Championships which will be held in his hometown of Greenville, South Carolina, on September 18 and 19.

    He is currently competing in North America's first two ProTour races at the Grand Prix de Quebec City and Grand Prix de Montreal and he is hoping to regain some of the form needed to win a second consecutive national title.

    "My knee is fine, that is not the problem," Hincapie said. "The problem now is missed training and missed racing. My knee is totally fine now. I'm still behind where I need to be and I'm still hoping for a miracle in the next six or seven days to get me to where I need to be. I'm just happy that I'm able to race because 10 days ago I thought my season was over."

    Hincapie injured his knee in a crash during the stage two road race at the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah. The injury forced him to take a 10-day recovery period. It was questionable whether or not he would start the pair of Canadian ProTour races.

    "The two ProTour events were very important," Hincapie said. "They were the first ProTour races here and a very important goal of mine up until I crashed. So, I wasn't able to come into them with top condition which was unfortunate."

    "I think they both suited me pretty well," he said. "I was definitely excited to come up and race them. They are held in great cities, beautiful downtowns. It should be a big part of the future of this sport. Both cities were spectator friendly and it was great to be able to race in big cities around the world and bring the best riders in the world to those events and cycling should focus a lot more on those events."

    Hincapie noted that the pair of ProTour races were important for the BMC Racing team in gaining the additional UCI points needed to increase its world ranking. The strategy is in...

  • Nibali retains Vuelta lead in the mountains

    Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas-Doimo) rode well to hold on to his red jersey.
    Article published:
    September 12, 2010, 21:36 BST
    Jean-François Quénet

    Nickname follows Italian star to Spain

    The Vuelta a España has a new boss. Only 24 hours after bewailing the dramatic loss of Igor Anton (Euskaltel) in a nasty crash due to a piece of wood on the road, Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas-Doimo) has emerged as the strongest rider in the way he dominated the group of the favourites.

    After brilliant performances in three Grand Tours, Nibali, known as "the shark from the strait", has had his nickname translated across Europe: "le requin du détroit" in France, "El Tiburon del destrecho" as well as the usual "lo squallo dello stretto" in Italy.

    The shark seems t prepared to swallow all the smaller fish of the Vuelta. Nibali wasn't worried when Ezequiel Mosquera went away in an attack on stage 15, countering a short-lived attack by Carlos Sastre (Cervélo TestTeam), who for a moment, showed the glimmer of his old Vuelta form. Sastre's attack succeeded only in dropping Cervélo teammate Xavier Tondo from the group of the favourites on the way up to the mythical finish of the Lagos de Covadonga.

    "When Sastre attacked, Roman (Kreuziger) put in the maximum effort at the right time," said Nibali. "He's been brilliant. I have never been scared of Mosquera. Look, he has done five kilometres of climbing flat out, and what did that benefit him? 11 seconds - that's no big deal for me. I'm serene and happy to have passed one more day with no problem."

    "This is not the first time I'm leading a big race, but this time I strongly hope to keep the jersey until the end," said Nibali, who is based in Tuscany, the region of Italy where he lost the pink jersey in the Giro d'Italia this year.

    "There are many more stages to come at the Vuelta," he said. "I want to live it day by day. I bet tomorrow's stage will be quite similar to today's. There are many more climbs, but I'm very confident in the work of my team. I want to arrive at the time trial with about the same advantage that I have now."

    Nibali has the...

  • No world championship for Hesjedal

    Svein Tuft (Garmin-Transitions)
    Article published:
    September 12, 2010, 22:29 BST
    Kirsten Frattini

    Tuft aims world time trial title; joins Fly V Australia in 2011

    Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Transitions) declined his automatic spot with the Canadian National Team to compete in the UCI Road World Championship held in Australia on October 3. However, his teammate Svein Tuft says he is on target to win a world title in the time trial after placing second in the event two years ago.

    Both riders are currently competing in North America's first-ever ProTour races Grand Prix Cycliste de Quebec City and Grand Prix Cycliste de Montreal held on September 10 and 12 respectively.

    Canada is permitted to field three riders in the road race and two in the time trial and has the difficult task of choosing the team from a long list of seven. Of the seven riders, two spots were automatically spoken for by Hesjedal and Michael Barry (Team Sky). However, both riders have declined to participate.

    "Hesjedal decided that it was a long season and he was focused on doing well in the UCI races in Europe and the two ProTour races here in Canada," National Coach, Vincent Jourdain told Cyclingnews. "He will be competing in one more race held in Queens Park in Toronto but he didn't want to travel all the way down to Australia. Michael can't go because he broke his ribs."

    The long list also includes Canadian National Time Trial Champion Svein Tuft and Christian Meier (Garmin-Transitions) along with Canadian National Road Champion Will Routley (Jelly Belly p/b Kenda), Kevin Lacomb (SpiderTech p/b Planet Energy) and Dominique Rollin (Cervelo Test Team).

    Tuft is confirmed to compete in time trial and is an unofficial starter for the road race. The British Columbia native placed second in the world time trial championships in 2008 in Varese, Italy. He says he is on track to improve on that performance and bring his country a world title this year. He recently placed second overall at the Tour of Denmark and won the prologue at the Eneco Tour.

    "I feel like I'm on good form now and I've had a good build up...

  • Reactions from the Vuelta's 15th stage

    Stage winner Carlos Barredo (Quick Step) on the podium
    Article published:
    September 13, 2010, 3:12 BST
    Cycling News

    Hometown boy Barredo runs riot

    Carlos Barredo (Quick Step) - stage winner, 41st overall @ 36:28: "It's a great joy to win at home! I was born in Gijon and I've lived 30 kilometres away from the stage finish here.

    "I've been waiting for such a nice win since the Clasica San Sebastian in 2009. I've come close in Pau at the Tour de France where I got caught inside the last kilometre. For a while I had put a mark on this stage up to the Lagos de Covadonga and tomorrow's to Cotobello.

    "It's special for me to win here because I remember I asked my dad to buy me a racing bike when I was a kid. My grandfather suggested to me to borrow a bike first and climb up here, to the top of the Lagos de Covadonga. I found a mountain bike, I made it [up the climb] and my reward was a racing bike. Years later, it's a symbol to win up here.

    "I dedicate this win to my dad and the Quick Step team that has allowed me to continue my career since 2007 and to improve. In the finale, I was a bit worried when Martin Velits attacked but it played to my advantage to know this climb. I knew that I'd won if I could stay with away after the steepest part of the climb.

    "One week ago in stage nine to Alcoy, I took part in a breakaway and I got a hungerflat. Since then, I've done my best to lose time and have the freedom I needed for doing what I've done today."

    Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas-Doimo) - eighth on stage, overall leader: "I didn't make the same mistake as in Andorra when I tried to follow Mosquera and I burned myself. I only looked at saving my leadership. My team did a great job of that. They rode on the front from the start till the bottom of the climb; Oliver Zaugg and Roman Kreuziger did the final part.

    "We coped with the situation really well. I set a regular pace all the way up. My back wheel slipped with about three kilometres to go. That was about my only worry of the day.

    "I'm serene and happy to have passed one more day...

  • Devolder out of Worlds

    Stijn Devolder (Quick Step) downs a snack.
    Article published:
    September 13, 2010, 9:28 BST
    Cycling News

    Pulls out due to lack of form, replaced by Hoste

    Stijn Devolder has pulled out of the Worlds in Melbourne, Australia, due to a lack of form. According to Het Nieuwsblad, the Belgian called up the country's national coach Carlo Bomans on Sunday evening to inform him of his decision.

    "I waited until after this week-end on purpose," Devolder said. "Paris-Brussels and the GP Fourmies taught me that I'm too tired and out of shape at the moment."

    Moreover, the Belgian road and time trial champion has been a bit ill lately. "These last few days I felt a bit of a flu, and I thought that I was going to draw some energy back by resting more. But this hasn't been the case." The Belgian cycling federation has meanwhile confirmed this and replaced Devolder with Leif Hoste.

    "Under these circumstances, I can't perform properly at the Worlds. It wouldn't be honest with regard to Gilbert to be travelling that far without being able to help him." Philippe Gilbert is the Belgian team's appointed leader for this year's Worlds.

    The two-time Tour of Flanders winner blames a long season with few pauses at Quick Step for his fatigue. "It's a pity, but I'm clearly paying for a year in which I haven't really rested since February. My time trial in the Eneco Tour was already a sign on the wall. I'll work this season off, but there's no more margin for a condition peak."

    National coach Bomans thus called Leif Hoste, currently racing at the Vuelta, to take the vacant place on the team surrounding Gilbert. "He briefed me on the situation, and I said 'yes'," said Hoste.

    "I feel good and I'm ready to pull myself inside out for Gilbert in Australia."

    This means that team leader Gilbert will be supported by Jan Bakelants, Mario Aerts, Greg Van Avermaet, Jurgen Roelandts and Leif Hoste in his bid to win the rainbow jersey.

  • Kirchen says no decision over future until December

    Article published:
    September 13, 2010, 9:29 BST
    Cycling News

    Return to racing still "pure speculation"

    Kim Kirchen said that he has not yet decided about his future, denying press reports this weekend that he planned to return to racing. The Luxembourger is still recovering from an apparent heart attack suffered at the Tour de Suisse which left him in an induced coma.

    “Right now, I just want to get well again,” he told the Tageblatt newspaper. “I feel quite well, all things considered, but I am still under a doctor's care.

    “A definite decision as to how it will go on will be made in December. Not before. Everything else is pure speculation.”

    It was reported over the weekend that Kirchen was planning to return to racing in 2011, and that Katusha manager Andre Tchmil was opposed to this plan. “It’s irresponsible for someone to race now when in June he was close to death,” Tchmil said. “It’s a time bomb that could explode at any moment. I’m prepared to offer him a job on the team staff, but not as a rider,” Tchmil had said.

    Kirchen meanwhile confirmed that he was indeed back on the bike again, but more to keep himself fit than to come back into racing form. “As a father of twins, I have different priorities right now,” he said.