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First Edition Cycling News, Monday, September 6, 2010

Date published:
September 06, 2010, 1:00 BST
  • A day of glory for David Lopez

    David Lopez (Caisse d'Epargne) was full value for his win.
    Article published:
    September 05, 2010, 20:14 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Basque rider takes win for Caisse d'Epargne

    It’s party time for the cyclists from the province of Biscaia. On the day that the Euskaltel-Euskadi team intelligently defended the lead of Igor Anton against the twin threats of Olympic mountain biking silver medallist Jean-Christophe Péraud ,who was virtual leader for part of the stage, and Joaquin “Purito” Rodriguez, who tried to gain a second at the very end, David Lopez (Caisse d'Epargne) found glory with the stage win in Alcoy. It’s the first time that the 29-year-old from Bilbao has tasted victory at the Vuelta a Espana.

    Lopez Garcia is normally a domestique although he did win a stage of the Tour of Germany at the Austrian ski resort of Sölden in 2007. That was his first year with Caisse d’Epargne after transferring from Euskaltel where he learnt his trade.

    “The emotion this win generates is indescribable,” the Basque rider said after the finish. “I didn’t imagine that it could be so intense. In the final kilometres, I was scared of riders as strong as Roman Kreuziger and Giampaolo Caruso. I picked the right time to go solo and I’ve suffered a lot to maintain my advantage until the finishing line but it was worth it. In the last kilometre I realized I couldn’t lose.”

    This is the first win of the Vuelta for a Caisse d’Epargne team that lined up at the race without defending champion Alejandro Valverde, who is currently banned, but with five riders supposed to share the captaincy: David Arroyo, Marzio Bruseghin, Rubén Plaza, Luis Leon Sanchez and Rigoberto Uran. “The crash that involved many riders on stage 8 has taken its toll,” said directeur sportif Yvon Ledanois. “Probably our best rider for GC is now Marzio Bruseghin after Arroyo and Sanchez’s crash.”

    Plaza is convinced that he has better form here at the Vuelta than at the Tour de France, where he finished 12th overall. He’s hoping for a...

  • Luis León Sánchez signs with Rabobank

    Luis León Sánchez (Caisse d'Epargne) out-sprints Alexander Vinokourov (Astana) and Carlos Sastre (Cervelo)
    Article published:
    September 05, 2010, 22:03 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Spaniard confirms two-year contract

    Luis León Sánchez announced today that he has signed a two year contract with Rabobank. The 26-year-old Spaniard has spent the previous four seasons with Caisse d'Epargne, but has opted to not continue with the Spanish ProTour squad. Movistar, a major telephone brand owned by Telefonica, will replace Caisse d'Epargne in 2011 as title sponsor of Usebio Unzue's team.

    "I make public the fact that I came to an agreement for two seasons with the team Rabobank," said Sánchez. "I am very happy and motivated to start a new stage in my sporting career. I also want to thank Team Rabobank for their interest as well as for trusting me."

    Sanchez turned professional in 2004 with the Liberty Seguros squad and continued with the team through 2006, in which it was known as Astana-Würth. Sanchez moved to his current team, Caisse d'Epargne, in 2007.

    Sanchez has six victories this season, including Clasica San Sebastian, the Spanish time trial championship (the second of his career), stage wins at the Tour Down Under, Volta ao Algarve and Circuit de la Sarthe, plus the general classification at Circuit de la Sarthe.

    Sanchez has also finished second this season in stage 9 of the Tour de France as well as notching second overall at the Tour Down Under, Volta ao Algarve and Paris-Nice. Sanchez finished 11th overall at the Tour de France, the best general classification placing of his career at the French Grand Tour.

    Sanchez is competing in the Vuelta a España and is currently in 19th overall after nine stages.

  • Reactions from the Vuelta's ninth stage

    Eventual stage winner David Lopez (Caisse d’Epargne)
    Article published:
    September 06, 2010, 2:12 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Heat, hills and breakaway bandits

    David Lopez-Garcia (Caisse d'Epargne) - stage winner, 21st overall @ 3:31:

    "In the final kilometres, many attacks occurred. I was scared of riders as strong as Roman Kreuziger and Giampaolo Caruso. I found the right time to go solo and I suffered a lot to maintain my advantage until the finishing line but it was worth it.

    In the last kilometre I realised I couldn't lose. It was a lot of suffering but the emotion this win generates is indescribable. I didn't imagine it could be so intense.

    People often told me that my skills are bigger than my record book but I've been lucky to work for great captains. My best win so far was the one of Alejandro Valverde at the 2009 Tour of Spain for which I've contributed a lot. Of course this win is important for me.

    Igor Anton and myself are both riders from Biscaia sharing the honours today. It means our work has paid off and I hope it'll inspire all the young Basque riders to do the same. I also hope that Caisse d'Epargne will shine again at the Vuelta. There's more serenity in the team since we know that we have a new sponsor for next year [Movistar]."

    Igor Anton (Euskaltel-Euskadi) - 16th on stage, overall leader:

    "What we did today has been interesting for the spectacle. At the end of the day, I'm happy to preserve my lead rather than let the jersey go to [Omega Pharma-Lotto's Jean-Christophe] Péraud. My team has worked all day.

    Maybe people expected more from Purito [Rodriguez] but he's going very well. I believe in Nibali for the overall win, he's fresh."

    Jean-Christophe Péraud (Omega Pharma-Lotto) - seventh on stage, fifth overall @ 0:52:

    "I believed I could have taken the [leader's] jersey today because I was informed of the gaps. I'm disappointed. It would have been great to be paid back after all the efforts I've made today."

    Roman Kreuziger (Liquigas-Doimo) - ...

  • Petacchi forced out of Vuelta a Espana

    Alessandro Petacchi (Lampre) celebrates his first stage win of the Vuelta.
    Article published:
    September 06, 2010, 10:12 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Multiple abrasions as Lampre rider goes home to face doping challenge.

    Alessandro Petacchi's difficult 2010 season continued after he was forced out of the Vuelta a Espana by a crash on Saturday. He will return to his home in Italy to face another doping challenge.

    The Lampre-Farnesi Vini sprinter won Friday's stage, beating Mark Cavendish of HTC-Columbia at the line. It was his 19th career Vuelta stage win, and his eighth victory this season.

    However things turned sour early in Saturday's seventh stage, as he went down with a number of other riders shortly before the first intermediate sprint. He had several abrasions and a cut on his right elbow which required stitches. Petacchi was able to finish the stage.

    "It's a pity to quit the race right now as my legs were going better and better.” he told Eurosport.

    "In the end, I couldn't do anything. The abrasions were so large that I couldn't go to the masseur and during the night I could not sleep. Also, today I couldn't hold the handlebars.

    "The only comfort is that I won a stage before the crash."

    Team doctor Matteo Beltemacchi said that he was worried about the open wound on the elbow. "In fact it was necessary to give stitches and to begin a course of antibiotics.

    "During the night Alessandro could not sleep, his arm was totally raw and he had pain in the back and back side. Petacchi tried to stick it out, but he could not hold the handlebars and he was pedalling in a bad position.

    "It was not possible to go on in this way."

    The 36-year-old said that he is waiting for word from the Italian Olympic Committee as to whether it would refer or drop an investigation as to whether he used illegal doping products. He would face a lifetime suspension if he is found to have violated the rules.

  • Wild weather leaves Worlds course under water

    In just three weeks time, the world's top cyclists will battle for world championship glory along this street...hopefully.
    Article published:
    September 06, 2010, 10:22 BST
    By:
    Greg Johnson

    Floods hit Australian course

    Wild weather over the weekend throughout Victoria, Australia, has left the 2010 UCI Road World Championship organisers with some mopping up to do, as parts of the Geelong course lay under water on Monday. Fortunately the severe weather system that caused the Barwon River to swell occurred three weeks before the cycling world’s attention is focused on Geelong, giving the floods time to subside before the world’s best cyclists start arriving Down Under.

    The two sections of the course affected by flooding includes a temporary bridge and pathway that’s been constructed specifically for the event in Queens Park, as the existing bridge – which sits much higher up – wasn’t wide enough to meet the UCI’s technical requirements. Debris from the rainfall further up the 160 kilometre long river was stuck alongside the bridge today, as the water level sat just inches from the bridge’s surface level, while a tree at the entry of the bridge had shifted awkwardly across the bridge’s mouth as the soil around it was eroded away.

    The other section of the course hit by flooding was Barrabool Rd, which was closed to traffic throughout Monday due to the extent of flooding. A local government official told The Geelong Advertiser that Mt Pleasant Rd could be used as an alternative to Barrabool Rd in the event that flooding was an issue closer to race day.

    Before:


    The bridge during construction with the river's water level at its normal height.

    After:


    The bridge on Monday with flood levels yet to reach their expected peak. Photo: The Geelong Advertiser

  • Sinkewitz extends with ISD and takes first season win

    Patrik Sinkewitz (ISD - Neri) after winning the Giro della Romagna.
    Article published:
    September 06, 2010, 10:43 BST
    By:
    Susan Westemeyer

    Ricco', Schumacher return in the Giro della Romagna

    Patrik Sinkewitz secured his first victory of the season on Sunday and only his second win since completing his doping ban, by beating Domenico Pozzovivo (Colnago – CSF)  to win the Giro della Romagna. The ISD-Neri rider subsequently announced that he would stay with the team in 2011.

    The Giro della Romagna also saw the return to racing of Stefan Schumacher after his two-year doping ban, as well as Riccardo Ricco's debut with Vacansoleil. Ricco' finished 25th, in the chase group that was 58 seconds behind Sinkewitz. Schumacher failed to finish.

    Sinkewitz beat Pozzovivo after the two brokeway 33km from the finish and then the German was able to outsprint his rival and take the win by two seconds.

    After much deliberation, Sinkewitz signed a contract extension with the ISD-Neri team, which will be known as Farnese Vini next year. “That was naturally a great weekend for me, with the contract extension and the race success,” he told Radsport-News.com. “I can hardly describe the feeling.”

    Schumacher was riding for the Italian Miche team. It was his first race appearance since the 2008 world championship road race after serving a two-year ban after testing positive for EPO-CERA at the 2008 Tour de France.

    “I hit my physical limits today,” he told the “dpa” news agency after the race. “Up until the last climb I was in the 30-man leading group, and then had awful cramps.”

    He vowed to keep on with his comeback. “I won't stick my head in the sand. All beginnings are difficult.”

  • Pozzato denies tax evasion

    Filippo Pozzato (Katusha) waits to step on to the podium
    Article published:
    September 06, 2010, 11:46 BST
    By:
    Stephen Farrand

    Italian insists he lives in Monaco

    Filippo Pozzato is under investigation for tax evasion in Italy but the Katusha rider has insisted he lives in Monaco and denies avoiding paying tax on his contract.

    According to reports in the Italian press over the weekend, tax officials from Vicenza, near Pozzato’s home town of Sandrigo, suspect the 2006 Milan-San Remo winner has avoided paying tax in Italy since 2008. Italian media has reported that Pozzato could owe up to two million Euro. The classics rider is currently riding the Vuelta but denies tax evasion.

    “It’s true I’ve been investigated by the Guardia di Finanza but that concerns 2008 when I was already living in Monaco. I categorically deny the amount that is contested,” Pozzato said in a statement.

    “I’m not at all worried because there’s nothing that is false. I really do live in Monaco, where everybody knows me. I’m sure I can prove that I acted in good faith.”

    Pozzato is the latest in a long line of Italian cyclists who have been investigated for tax evasion after apparently being based in Monaco during their careers.

    Mario Cipollini reportedly paid the Italian tax authorities over a million Euro after a long investigation, but then won an appeal against the sentence. Paolo Bettini claims he resolved his problems with the Italian tax office before taking up the role of Italian national coach.

  • Vuelta a España: Anton, Rodriguez and Nibali fighting for race lead

    Igor Anton (Euskaltel - Euskadi) resplendent in the red leader's jersey.
    Article published:
    September 06, 2010, 12:33 BST
    By:
    Susan Westemeyer

    Nine days see nine different teams win stages

    The Vuelta a España has gone from a wide-open race to a tight battle between three riders divided by only two seconds – and all that after nine stages of intense racing. During Monday's first rest day, the peloton finally had a chance to recover from the exceptionally high temperatures and the testing hilly stages already covered.

    So far no one rider or team has dominated in Spain. On Sunday evening, after stage nine, Igor Anton of Euskaltel-Euskadi was in the red leader's jersey but in the same time as second-placed Joaquin Rodriguez (Katusha). Vincenzo Nibali of Liquigas-Doimo is third, only two seconds back. It is a close fight but yet only two other riders are within a minute of the leaders: Xavier Tondo (Cervelo TestTeam) and former mountain biker Jean-Christophe Peraud (Omega Pharma-Lotto), after some surprise lackluster performances by some of the race's  big-name favourites.

    Stage one brought Mark Cavendish his first leader's jersey in his first ever Vuelta, as he was the first over the finish line after the 13km team time trial. Held at night under the lights, the course presented some problems, and the final team didn't finish until nearly midnight. Garmin-Transition and Sky put in worse-than-expected performances, and Rabobank surprised by finishing third from last.

    Cavendish wasn't the first across the finish line the next day for stage two, after being passed at the last second by Yuaheni Hutarovich of FdJ. As Rabobank's Oscar Freire said, “Hutarovich? That's the first time I've heard that name.” The sprint stage took the usual route of a four-man break group which got away early and wasn't caught until late on a very hot day.

    Classics rider Philippe Gilbert (Omega Pharma-Lotto) won the Classics...