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First Edition Cycling News, Saturday, April 13, 2013

Date published:
April 13, 2013, 1:00 BST
  • Galdeano says Euskaltel are at a "critical moment"

    Euskaltel-Euskadi's Miguel Madariaga, left, and Igor Gonzalez de Galdeano at the 2008 Tour de France.
    Article published:
    April 12, 2013, 9:00 BST
    Peter Cossins

    Basque team boss bemoans Serebryakov’s positive test and star riders’ lack of success

    Three months into a season in which his team has yet to win a race and one of their new signings has tested positive for EPO, Euskaltel-Euskadi team manager Igor González de Galdeano has said, “This is the most critical moment for me since I joined Euskaltel.” He went on to criticize his riders for their lack of results this season, revealing that he was particularly disappointed with the team’s performance at the Tour of the Basque Country.

    Speaking to El Diario Vasco following confirmation that recent signing Alexandre Serebryakov had tested for EPO in an out-of-competition control carried out in mid-March, González de Galdeano affirmed his commitment to signing foreign riders in order to raise the level and points-winning potential of his team. But he described news of the Russian’s positive test as “a terrible blow”.

    González de Galdeano explained that as well as adopting a new recruitment policy that has resulted in the signing of riders from a number of countries, the Spanish team has also introduced a “more rationalized” training regime. This new programme, he acknowledged, could well be the reason for his squad’s lack of results.

    “We decided to make a change to our preparation and for this reason we signed Iñigo Mujika, who is a renowned figure in the world of athletic preparation. This change needs time to have effect, it can’t be achieved in a month,” González de Galdeano said. The new system, he added, should have a beneficial long-term effect on performance. “But we started very late when it came to preparation, as things were quite complicated...

  • Tiernan-Locke ready for Ardennes campaign

    Team Sky
    Article published:
    April 12, 2013, 10:46 BST
    Daniel Benson

    Sky rider willing to support Porte and Henao

    Despite a tough start to his WorldTour career Jonathan Tiernan-Locke is looking to help Sky win their first major Classic at the Ardennes.

    Tiernan-Locke, 28, signed to the team this year having enjoyed a successful 2012 at Endura Racing, winning a stage and the overall title at the Tour de Mediterranean. He followed that up with the overall win in the Tour du Haut Var. Another overall title, and two stages, at the Tour Alsace followed before a winning performance in the Tour of Britain.

    The Ardennes form a key part of Tiernan-Locke’s season but so far the Plymouth-born rider has endured a less than ideal start to the season.

    “I’ve had the most interrupted start to a season that I’ve ever had. I’m usually pretty robust but I had a virus and had to pull out of Paris-Nice and then during Pais Vasco with two days to do I had the worst saddle sore. I had a few days off on antibiotics so it’s not been ideal, I can’t lie,” he told Cyclingnews.

    Tiernan-Locke will race all three Ardennes, Amstel Gold, Fleche Wallone and Liege-Bastogne-Liege but his role will most likely centre around supporting Richie Porte and Sergio Henao, two of Sky’s top performers in recent weeks.

    “I’m in a team that’s stacked with guys on form, with Porte and Henao, who has the punch to finish it off from a small group,” he said.

    “I’m thinking it’s going to be more of a support role for me. Maybe I’ll have a bit more freedom than I’ve had in the last few races when I’ve been riding on the front and trying to keep a lid on the attacks. In one day races the responsibility won’t be on us as much but you can’t ignore the form of Porte and Henao and if I’m told I’m riding for them,...

  • Ardennes loom large but Giro remains Hesjedal's top goal

    Giro d'Italia winner Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Sharp)
    Article published:
    April 12, 2013, 12:50 BST
    Daniel Benson

    Defending Giro champion talks ahead of Amstel

    Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin Sharp) continues his build-up to a defence at the Giro d'Italia with the Ardennes Classics kicking off this weekend.

    The Canadian rider has always been a factor in Amstel, Flèche and Liège, with top-ten placings in each event over the last few years, and with Dan Martin in a rich vein of form too, Garmin look well equipped for the week ahead.

    For Hesjedal the focus is firmly on the Giro d'Italia, although he knows that his current form should mean he features in the upcoming races too.

    "It's a bit like last year, I'll stick to a plan and I'll be at a good level in the Ardennes based off that. I feel good, I've a few stage races in my legs but the main aim is to get a result for the team at the Ardennes. If it's me getting the results or someone else, it doesn't matter," he told Cyclingnews from his base in Girona, Spain.

    Garmin have endured a mixed season to date. Dan Martin and Andrew Talansky have picked up the squad's best results but the American outfit had a disappointing cobbled classics campaign with the squad depleted through injury, illness and a lack of form. Hesjedal, always a relaxed figure, certainly isn't feeling the pressure at this stage.

    "There's always pressure to perform and get results. Bad luck is bad luck and people get sick so the results aren't there. It's a tough game and a tough sport and there are only so many spots on the podium. Are we looking to make up for some bad luck and a lack of results? Definitely, and we've had some consistent results in the past in these races."

    Hesjedal finished second in Amstel in 2010 but his most consistent rides have come in Liège, where he was 9th last year. The course profile, coupled with the sheer distance of the race suit his...

  • Evans and Pinotti line up for BMC in Trentino

    Cadel Evans (BMC) endured a tough day on Prati di Tivo.
    Article published:
    April 12, 2013, 15:30 BST
    Cycling News

    Australian looking for miles ahead of Giro d'Italia

    Cadel Evans and Marco Pinotti will both line up for next week’s Giro del Trentino - April 16-19 -  for BMC. The Australian had planned on racing the Ardennes Classics but changed his schedule in a bid to improve his form ahead of this year’s Giro d’Italia, a race his team added to his schedule last month.

    Pinotti, on the other hand, returns from four weeks out. The Italian time trialist crashed out of the Tour Méditerranéan, breaking two ribs and his left collarbone.

    "I guess I'm halfway in the recovery process," he said. "Having been sidelined four-and-a-half weeks, I need about 12-13 weeks to get back to my former level," Pinotti said.

    "The goal is to get a good block of volume and intensity, getting the right amount of fatigue I need to keep building my condition," he said. "Achieving that, while also helping the team, would be ideal."

    Evans has also had a difficult start to the season, failing to return to top form after a virus-hit 2012. The 2011 Tour de France champion will use Trentino as preparation for this year’s Giro d’Italia.

    "I look forward to racing on long and hard climbs in a good field," he said. "I just want to be able to ride well with the team and use it to get ready for the Giro d'Italia."

    BMC Racing Team roster for Giro del Trentino:
    Adam Blythe (GBr), Yannick Eijssen (Bel), Cadel Evans (Aus), Martin Kohler (Swi), Sebastian Lander (Den), Marco Pinotti (Ita), Ivan Santaromita (Ita), Larry Warbasse (USA)

  • Bozic, Veelers, Traksel undergo surgery

    Borut Bozic has been in good form for Astana over the cobbled classics so far
    Article published:
    April 12, 2013, 19:02 BST
    Cycling News

    Lewis sidelined with broken wrist from Brabantse Pijl

    Riders from Astana Pro Team, Team Argos-Shimano and Champion System Pro Cycling Team have been sidelined by injuries and are healing up in anticipation for their return to the peloton.

    Borut Bozic (Astana) crashed while in the lead group at Paris-Roubaix and broke his right wrist, forcing the Slovenian champion to abandon. He underwent surgery in a Ljubljana hospital and returned home yesterday following a successful operation.

    "The doctors put some metal pins in me, because the break was very complicated," said Bozic. "At most they say there is a six-week recovery process, but we will come back after one week for more consultation before we can make any decisions. The most important thing is that everything gets fixed and that my wrist is going to be ok.

    "This is the first time I have ever broken my wrist, and it's quite painful," said Bozic. "I was okay to travel home Sunday night, but on the plane I began having really bad pain. My wife picked me up at the airport and we went immediately to the hospital for x-rays.

    "On Wednesday, I went in for surgery, and I will go back on Saturday for a follow up consultation with the doctors here in Ljubljana."

    Bozic has had multiple top-10 results thus far this season, highlighted by second place finishes at both Dwars door Vlaanderen and Gent-Wevelgem.

    Team Argos-Shimano's Tom Veelers had surgery performed on his stomach at the Medisch Spectrum Twente in Enschede, the Netherlands, on Friday. The surgery went well, and Veelers will now take a period of rest and recovery.

    "In recent years I've often had stabbing pains...

  • USA Cycling announces centralized European training base in Limburg

    USA Cycling president Steve Johnson and Limburg officials display the signed agreement for the training facility.
    Article published:
    April 12, 2013, 21:05 BST
    Cycling News

    Year-round facility for road, MTB, track and 'cross riders

    USA Cycling selected Sportzone in the Limburg municipality of Sittard-Geleen as its European training base, it was announced Thursday at a press conference at the Hotel Merici. Approximately 150 U.S. cyclists and staff will utilize the Limburg location in the Netherlands year-round to train and race for road, mountain bike, track and cyclo-cross.

    "This base is what makes everything we do in Europe possible, and that is a significant piece in all our programming," said USA Cycling Vice President of Athletics Jim Miller.

    A 10-year agreement was jointly signed at the press conference by USA Cycling President & CEO Steve Johnson, Regional Minister of Sports for the Province of Limburg Noel Lebens, CEO of Topsport Limburg Geert Ruigrok and Alderman of Sports for the Municipality of Sittard-Geleen Ruud Guyt.

    "Limburg as a cycling province, combined with the facilities at Sportzone Limburg, provides us with the best environment in Europe for developing our talented young cyclists," said Johnson. "Cycling is unique in that you don't train to get better, you race to get better. So, it's important to race at the highest level against the world's best athletes during your development years."

    In addition to racing, the USA Cycling program introduces Americans to the culture of Europe. Each year about 130 athletes will rotate through the program.

    "Some of the athletes in our program will go on to professional careers, but the reality is that many of them will not," said Johnson. "They will go back home and pursue their respective careers and ultimately become the decision makers for the next generation. I believe this group will have an entirely new perspective on the world thanks to their experiences in Europe, so we're doing our part not just to develop the next generation of cycling heroes and role models, but also to develop Americans with a larger world view."

    Prior to this arrangement with Limburg, USA Cycling's...

  • Perfect warm-up key to Cooper's dominant victory at Tour de Perth

    Joe Cooper (Huon Salmon-Genesys) blazes the Rottnest TT, takes stage and race lead at Tour de Perth
    Article published:
    April 13, 2013, 3:17 BST
    Alex Malone

    Huon Salmon-Genesys team with cards to play after Rottnest TT

    Getting through a warm-up that Joseph Cooper says is almost harder than the actual race may be the reason why the Huon Salmon-Genesys Wealth Advisers rider delivered such a dominant time trial performance on Stage 2 at the Woodside Tour de Perth. The Kiwi national TT champion has been working on the discipline for the past year or so and believes that with the way he prepares for individual tests against the clock, it's almost certain that he will perform well.

    "The time trial is something I've been working on for the past 12 months," Cooper told Cyclingnews. "Everytime I get to a time trial I think, 'yep I've got a chance to get a result'. I just have go through the process and usually at the end of the day something happens.

    "The time trial is sort of based all around my warm-up. Generally if I can get through the warm-up and feel good then I should be able to produce the watts I need for a good time trial. I don't do anything in training to work on that because when you are out training solo it feels like a time trial anyway.

    "I can't really give away any secrets," joked Cooper when asked about his warm-up routine. "It's about 45 minutes of a fairly intense nature - almost harder than the actual race. In effect that makes the TT feel pretty simple," he added.

    Cooper, who signed with the 'Tassie' outfit at the end of 2012 has been a serious threat to win nearly every TT he's entered so far in 2013. The 27-year-old opened the New Year with second-place in the Prologue at the Jayco Herald Sun Tour, won the New Zealand national TT title and then went...

  • McQuaid endorsed by Cycling Ireland for UCI Presidency

    UCI President Pat McQuaid at the UCI headquarters in Aigle
    Article published:
    April 13, 2013, 4:30 BST
    Cycling News

    Federation requests governance issues to be raised at UCI Congress

    Pat McQuaid has received the nomination from Cycling Ireland to endorse the incumbent president of the UCI into what would be a third term in the governing body's top role. The next UCI president will not be known until September of this year but it appears McQuaid could be the man for the job once again.

    McQuaid has come under a wave of scutiny over the past months in the aftermath of Lance Armstrong and USADA's case against the disgraced cyclist and his former US Postal and Discovery Channel teams but he has nonetheless received the backing of his home country to retain the position he has held since 2006. McQuaid took the reigns from the now honorary president Hein Verbruggen - who has also been the target of fierce scrutiny since the Reasoned Decision document was released to the public in October 2012.

    It's understood that McQuaid's nomination would not come as easily as the two times prior as allegations of corruption, cover-ups and questionable payments to the sport's governing body have surrounded McQuaid and the former UCI president Verbruggen.

    Despite the call by some to see the Irishman step down from his current role Cycling Ireland have, it appears, given the Irishman one last shot to make amends for perhaps not doing enough to prevent the sport's greatest doping scandal to date.

    McQuaid has been given a definitive list of "requests" by his home Federation which, if he's voted in to president once more, will...