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First Edition Cycling News, Monday, September 20, 2010

Date published:
September 20, 2010, 1:00 BST
  • Greipel signs off from HTC-Columbia with final win

    Stage winner Andre Greipel on the podium.
    Article published:
    September 19, 2010, 12:29 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    German sprinter to end his season at the world championships

    André Greipel’s victory on the last stage of the Tour of Britain in London was his 21st victory of the 2010 season and also his final race with the HTC-Columbia team.

    The German sprinter will ride the world championships in Australia but it will be his final race of the season. After five seasons with T-Mobile and then HTC-Columbia, he will ride for Omega Pharma-Lotto in 2011 and finally get a chance to ride the Tour de France and go head to head with Mark Cavendish in the sprints.

    Greipel has been critical of HTC-Columbia’s preference for Cavendish for the big races, but after winning so much and with his season virtually over; he is more relaxed and is looking to the future rather than dwelling on the past.

    “I’m a little tired after a long season but I’m happy. I’ve beaten my number of wins from 2009 and I think that is a good achievement,” he told Cyclingnews.

    “The Tour of Britain is my last race with HTC-Columbia and so it's a moment of change for me. Now I’ve got a few days at home to recover and train a little and then I’ll travel to Australia. It’s a long way to go for a race but I like Australia, I’ve been successful there in the past...”

    Greipel won three stages and the overall classification at this year’s Tour Down Under and won four stages and the overall in 2008. He has been named as team leader for Germany, in a squad that also includes Bert Grabsch, Tony Martin, Marcel Sieberg, Danilo Hondo, Paul Martens, Christian Knees, Dominik Klemme, and Fabian Wegmann.

    “I rode on the course in Geelong before the Tour Down Under. It’s not easy but I think my form is pretty good now and if it ends in a sprint I think I can be up there,” he said.

    “We have a good team and Tony Martin is also on form. He will target the time trial first, but he was really strong in the Tour of Britain...

  • Pate to join HTC-Columbia in 2011

    - Danny Pate (USA) Garmin - Transitions
    Article published:
    September 19, 2010, 15:13 BST
    Cycling News

    American leaves Garmin-Transitions

    Danny Pate will ride for HTC-Columbia in 2011, the team announced Sunday afternoon. He is leaving Garmin-Transitions after four years.

    "We are happy to welcome Danny to the team," said team manager Rolf Aldag. "We have followed him for some time and we really like the way he races. We believe he still has a lot of development in him. He has been U23 TT world champion, which means that he should absolutely be competitive with the right support."

    "I had a great time with Garmin-Transitions in 2008 and 2009," said Pate, "but in the middle of this season I realised things had changed and I needed a change. So when the chance came to sign with HTC Columbia, I had no doubts that that's where I wanted to be. I have experience, but I also know I can still improve. I am really looking forward to this new episode in my career."

    The 31-year-old American from Colorado Springs turned pro in 2000 with Saeco, and then returned to the US scene. From 2001 to 2006, he rode for Prime Alliance Cycling Team, Health Net, Jelly Belly, and Team TIAA-CREF. He joined Team Slipstream, as it was then called, in 2007.

    While with Garmin-Transition, Pate rode both the Giro d'Italia and the Tour de France in 2008 and 2009, but was not selected for any of the grand tours this season. He won a stage at the Tour of Missouri in 2007, and finished first with the team in team trial trials a the 2008 Giro and the Tour of Georgia. Last year he finished third overall in the Criterium International.

    He is a domestique with strong time trialing and climbing skills. In 1997 he was Junior National cyclo-cross champion, national U23 road champion in 1998, and won the U23 World time trial title in 2001.

  • Rogers leaving HTC-Columbia but future undecided

    Michael Rogers (HTC-Columbia) has every reason to smile, after moving one step closer to winning the Tour of California.
    Article published:
    September 19, 2010, 15:17 BST
    Daniel Benson

    Sources confirm that Rogers hasn't signed a contract for 2011

    Despite widespread media speculation linking Michael Rogers with a move to Team Sky, sources familiar with the subject have confirmed to Cyclingnews that although the Australian will leave HTC-Columbia at the end of the year his destination has yet to be sealed. The source also confirmed that a number of teams have approached Rogers, but that no contract has been signed yet.

    Rogers, who declined to comment, signed a two-year extension with HTC-Columbia at the start of 2009 but according to sources, decided to run his existing contract down. It ends this year, but he is contractually unable to announce that he is leaving the team or say which team he may be joining until later in the year.

    Rogers had returned to his winning ways in 2010, after a number of difficult seasons at HTC-Columbia due to injuries and illness. This season he put in a very strong spring, taking the overall win in both the Amgen Tour of California and the Vuelta a Andalucia. Rogers also finished second overall in the Criterium International and third in the Tour de Romandie, taking the same result in the Montepaschi Strade Bianche.

    However his early season form dipped in July and he was unable to perform at such high standards in the second half of the Tour de France, leading to the Australian to doubt his future credentials as a GC contender in three-week racing.

    Sky is believed to be leading the chase for Rogers’ signature. The British team has had a mixed debut season in the pro ranks. They disappointed in their main objective of the season, the Tour de France, where Bradley Wiggins failed to repeat his 2009 performance and the team came away without a stage or GC success. They have scored a number of impressive wins through the likes of Juan Antonio Flecha, Greg Henderson and Edvald Boasson Hagen amongst others.

    Rogers would potentially bolster Sky's GC ambitions, having previously competed for the overall in the Tour de France and...

  • Alex Rasmussen leaves Saxo Bank for HTC-Columbia

    Alex Rasmussen (Saxo Bank) accepts the applause of the crowd on the podium
    Article published:
    September 19, 2010, 17:59 BST
    Cycling News

    Dane looks forward to spring classics and working with Cavendish

    Alex Rasmussen is the latest rider to leave Team Saxo Bank, and the latest new signing to be announced by HTC-Columbia. The track and sprint specialist says that he is looking forward to helping Mark Cavendish in 2011.

    “I have chosen them because I see some opportunities in the sprint. I see that I still have a lot to learn and this is the best team, so I believe I can learn much more in the coming years,” Rasmussen told Danish network TV 2 Sporten.

    He hopes to help prepare sprints for Cavendish. “I'd like to be one of the key figures there. Renshaw is the big man right now, but it might be cool to be in front of him and help bring him forward.”

    Rasmussen will also hope to ride the spring classics such as Paris-Roubaix and the Tour of Flanders. He did not get to ride them this year at Saxo Bank.

    “I hope to prepare for those races next year, and could focus 100 percent on them. I'm not riding the track world championships, so I'm going to be focusing on the road 100 percent,” he said. “It means a lot to have those two races in my sights and it makes the training in the dreary winter months a little more fun.”

    Rasmussen is likely to work closely with fellow Dane and HTC-Columbia directeur sportif Brain Holm. “The team has a Danish directeur sportif, and that means a lot,” he told DR Sport last week. “And it is a great team and there are very many exciting things about the team. Also the salary is better, that also means a lot.”

    Rasmussen has taken four road wins this season, winning the time trial at the Vuelta a Andalucia, the GP Herning, and two stages at the Four Days of Dunkirk. He is also a track specialist who is reigning world champion in the scratch event.

  • Farrar shows his form with Vuelta sprint win

    Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Transitions) takes the stage
    Article published:
    September 19, 2010, 18:14 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    American confident for world championships after beating Cavendish

    Tyler Farrar was extremely happy to have won the final stage of the Vuelta in Madrid and come out of the Spanish stage race in form as he turns his attention to the world championships in Australia.

    Farrar lost his usual lead out man Julian Dean early in the race but never lost hope of winning the final sprint of the race.

    “This is amazing. To win two stages at the Vuelta is more than I hoped. It’s great. I already won two stages at the Giro and now I do the same at the Vuelta,” he said.

    “My whole team did a great work. Christian (Vande Velde) and Tom Peterson worked hard to bring the break back but the guy who did an incredible job is Matt Wilson. He’s been there for me all day. When Julian Dean crashed before stage 1, I feared that I could suffer a lack of help but not at all. Matt has been fantastic. Without Julian, I had to ride the final kilometre by myself but I had a clean run today.”

    Farrar failed to take the green jersey from Mark Cavendish, with the HTC-Columbia rider winning the points competition by seven points. However he is now more confident of beating Cavendish in sprints and is looking forward to the world championships. Farrar is expected to be one of the team leaders in the USA squad in Melbourne.

    “Even after Mark Cavendish’s two stage wins, I’ve kept confidence in my capacities of beating him by the end of the Vuelta. That’s part of sprinting, to always believe in yourself,” Farrar said.

    “There was only one possibility left for winning. I’m so happy to win such a prestigious stage in Madrid. Today on the circuit, there were three U-turns that made it hard to control because it was easy for everyone to come on the inside. I stayed healthy and I came through all three weeks of the Vuelta very strong, so I’m looking forward to the World’s.”


  • Nibali ready to take on Contador and Schleck

    Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas-Doimo): winner of the 2010 Vuelta
    Article published:
    September 19, 2010, 19:41 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    Sicilian comes of age with Vuelta win

    Vincenzo Nibali was forced to move from Sicily to Tuscany while still a schoolboy to pursue his dreams of becoming a cyclist but by winning the Vuelta a Espana, he has now confirmed he is one of the best stage race riders of his generation and a likely contender against Alberto Contador in future editions of the Tour de France.

    Nibali was emotional but happy after climbing onto the final winner’s podium in Madrid and pulling on the winner’s ‘roja’ jersey.

    “I’ve always wanted and always dreamed about winning a grand tour and now I can finally say that I’m part of cycling’s elite that has done it,” he said.

    “It was difficult to win, I had to fight and go deep but I built my victory day after day by being careful about every tiny aspect of the race: the time bonuses, my position in the peloton, and the finale of every stage. The last few days were the hardest because it seemed that everybody was racing against me. But climbing onto the final podium in Madrid is one of the best moments of my life. It’s all very emotional and it will take me a few days for it to sink in that I’ve won the red jersey.”

    Nibali is a complete rider and has often been described as the Italian answer to Alberto Contador because he can both time trial and climb. He has played down the comparison but is not afraid to say he wants to try and take on the Tour de France winner in years to come.

    “I’ll start thinking about next season form November onwards. I’ve developed gradually and constantly. I’m ambitious and aware of my ability. I want to win the big and text myself against everyone. I don’t know if I’ll ever beat Contador and Andy Schleck but I’m definitely going to try.”

    Next stop: the world championships

    Nibali started racing, and winning, at the Tour de San Luis in Argentina in...

  • Cavendish's points title tinged with regret

    Mark Cavendish (HTC-Columbia)
    Article published:
    September 19, 2010, 20:00 BST
    Daniel Friebe

    Did broken spoke cost Manxman fourth stage win?

    Mark Cavendish has revealed that a broken spoke in the final four kilometres of the last stage around Madrid almost cost him victory in the Vuelta’s points competition– and made a fourth win in Spain an impossibility.

    Having finished second in Madrid behind Tyler Farrar, Cavendish showed journalists the buckled rear wheel which hampered him in the sprint to the line. Meanwhile, to the HTC-Columbia sprinter’s mild annoyance, Farrar made no mention of an incident which, according to Cavendish, he must surely have witnessed.

    “With four kilometres to go, I felt something hit my back wheel, then I heard ‘Ping!’” Cavendish told Cyclingnews. “After that, my rear rim was rubbing on the brake pads all the way. I was doing between 700 and 800 watts just to hold my position. It felt like sprinting up a mountain. At the finish-line, I was on my knees. I even had to spew up behind the podium.”

    “I saw Tyler after the finish… but he didn’t say anything to the press about what happened with my wheel. I don't like making excuses, but there was an obvious reason why I didn’t have my usual speed. Tyler did a great sprint nonetheless, and has been going well throughout the race. Under any other circumstances, I probably wouldn’t have even sprinted, but I knew that I had to finish in the top four to win the points jersey. That meant so much to me. It was life or death.”

    It was a bitter-sweet end to a highly satisfying first Vuelta for Cavendish. He is set to return to his Italian home on Monday before flying to Australia to begin final preparations for the world championships on Tuesday. Strongly fancied to perform well in Geelong, he admitted on Sunday that he will leave Spain with good form and good morale.

    “More than my three stage wins, I’m so happy with how the team has ridden here, and our five stages in total,” he said....

  • US pro championships move to May

    The top three for the TT: Levi Leipheimer, Taylor Phinney and Bernard Van Ulden.
    Article published:
    September 19, 2010, 23:30 BST
    Cycling News

    Event to remain in Greenville through 2012

    USA Cycling announced today that the USA Cycling Professional Championships will remain in Greenville, South Carolina through 2012, but will be moved up to the last weekend in May.

    Its new position on the calendar will be more in line with the rest of the world's national championships, and allow the US riders to accumulate points through the championships toward qualification for the world championships and Olympic Games.

    USA Cycling Chief Executive Officer Steve Johnson explained, “After the 26th weekend of the year [late June], no points are given toward UCI World ranking at national championships. It is important for American cycling to hold our Professional National Championship prior to the UCI deadline, especially heading into an Olympic year.”

    Medalist Sports will continue as the technical directors of the race.


    Next year's time trial will take place on Saturday, May 28 and the road race on Monday, May 30, dates between the Amgen Tour of California and the TD Bank International Championships in Philadelphia. The position will allow more of the riders who race the majority of the season in Europe to attend.

    The placement on the Memorial Day holiday weekend should boost the number of spectators. It does, however, overlap with one of the country's oldest running races, the Tour of Somerville. 

    USA Cycling stated in its press release that "the date change is not expected to impact the Tour of Somerville which will continue to be a vital part of USA Cycling’s National Racing Calendar".