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First Edition Cycling News, Saturday, August 14, 2010

Date published:
August 14, 2010, 1:00 BST
  • Klöden bemoans state of German cycling

    Andreas Klöden (Radioshack)
    Article published:
    August 13, 2010, 15:34 BST
    Hedwig Kröner

    Lashes out attacks against German federation

    Andreas Klöden vehemently criticised the German cycling federation (BDR) on his Twitter account on Thursday. The German RadioShack rider, who lives in Switzerland, has never made his opinion of the heads of the BDR a secret, and has now leashed out against them once again.

    The reason for his tirade was the news that Germany will probably have to line up with only five riders at the World Championships because it currently sits in 12th place on the UCI nation rankings. He advised his fellow German riders to stop "arguing on the internet" on who should be selected into the Worlds roster but instead concentrate on getting more ProTour points in order to make it into the top ten.

    "The German Cycling Federation is an amateur! No nomination criteria, no professional guidance. No one has any idea of professional cycling," he tweeted just a few minutes later. "Only when the gentlemen retire, it will be better."

    He pointed to "people like Rudolf Scharping, Udo Sprenger or Burkard Bremer" as the main culprits of the situation, and spoke out in favour of former professional Marcel Wüst to be involved in the decision-making at the BDR in the future. According to Klöden, Wüst has "intelligence and competence".

    The nation's lack of competitive ProTour riders, according to Klöden, was only made worse when Heinrich Haussler decided to race for his home country of Australia instead of Germany, where he has resided since age 14.

    "The best German classics rider now rides for Australia. He had a lot of Pro Tour points last year. And he is the future. Why he went?" asked Klöden, before answering the question himself: "I love Australia and what Heinrich has done, was the only right way. He is to work with professionals and not amateurs."

    The RadioShack rider, who has stopped talking to German-speaking media in the aftermath of the Operación Puerto affair and in 2008 refused to line up on the...

  • Sastre to take on Schlecks, Menchov and Nibali at the Vuelta

    Carlos Sastre (Cervelo TestTeam)
    Article published:
    August 13, 2010, 15:38 BST
    Cycling News

    Cavendish takes on his sprint rivals before world championships

    The Cervelo TestTeam has confirmed that Carlos Sastre will ride the Vuelta a España, but the Spanish veteran faces major competition from several international rivals, after this year's race attracted its best ever field since moving from late April to September in 1995.

    The Vuelta often suffers from being the third Grand Tour on the race calendar but this year's start list includes Frank Schleck (Saxo Bank), who will get support from his brother Andy, Denis Menchov (Rabobank), Vincenzo Nibali and Roman Kreuziger (Liquigas-Doimo) and other potential outsiders.

    The flat stages, especially in the first 10 days as the race heads northeast from Seville, will also be highly contested as the best sprinters in the world use the Vuelta to prepare for the World Championships in Australia. Mark Cavendish leads the list of long sprinters in the race, as he makes his Vuelta debut.

    Sastre's Third Grand Tour

    The Cervelo TestTeam confirmed that Sastre would ride his third Grand Tour of the season when it named its long list on Friday. Eleven riders have been named, including several of Sastre's preferred Spanish domestiques, sprinters Thor Hushovd and Theo Bos, plus Ireland's Philip Deignan and Britain's Roger Hammond. The final starting nine will be named closer to the start of the race on August 28.

    Sastre has a string of placings in the Vuelta but will be looking for victory this year after struggling in both the Giro d'Italia and Tour de France. However, the likes of Frank Schleck, Menchov and especially Nibali will be fresher and so perhaps hungrier for success.

    Outsiders to watch include Nicolas Roche (Ag2r-La Mondiale), who was 15th overall in the Tour de France, Frenchman Christophe Le Mevel (Francaise des Jeux), Oscar Pereiro, who leads the Astana team in the absence of Alberto Contador, David Arroyo...

  • Relegation costs Morabito win and possible lead

    Steve Morabito (BMC Racing Team)
    Article published:
    August 13, 2010, 17:56 BST
    Daniel Benson

    Wrong turn for BMC rider in Tour de l'Ain

    Steve Morabito (BMC) was stripped of stage victory and probable overall race lead on stage three of the Tour de l’Ain after officials deemed the Swiss rider had taken a short cut in the final two kilometres of the stage. Morabito, along with two other riders, was relegated after going the wrong way around a roundabout. The race jury's decision elevated second-place finisher, Maxime Bouet (AG2R La Mondiale) to the victory and kept Morabito from taking the yellow jersey with one day left.

    "I attacked to the left side, got a good gap and stayed away to the finish," Morabito said.

    "After the race, they told me I was supposed to go to the right around the roundabout. The road was not closed to the left and even the motorbikes were even going that way. I was feeling good today, but not now."

    Morabito signed from Astana at the end of last year and the 27-year-old formed part of Cadel Evan’s Tour de France line-up in July. He finished fourth overall in June's Tour de Suisse.

  • Devolder targets Eneco Tour

    Stijn Devolder with his championship medal
    Article published:
    August 14, 2010, 11:01 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    Belgian national champion to face Boasson Hagen, Boom, Gerdemann and Tony Martin

    Stijn Devolder (Quick Step) will target next week's Eneco Tour stage race as he prepares for the world championships instead of riding the Vuelta Espana.

    On Sunday, Devolder will try to add the Belgian national time trial title to his road title. Nobody has ever taken both titles in the same year since the inception of the Belgian time trial championship in 1997. Devolder is already the only man to have worn the Belgian champion’s jersey in each discipline, having won the time trial event in 2008.

    With Devolder joining Vacansoleil in 2011, the Quick Step team has opted to get extra visibility from showing the Belgian national champion's jersey on home roads. Quick Step directeur sportif Wilfried Peeters believes Devolder has a real chance of overall success because the seven-day race is likely to be decided in the last stage time trial in Ghent.

    "Stijn's participation was decided after talks between the rider and the team," directeur sportif Wilfried Peeters said.

    "He's Belgian champion and so it's right that he wants to race in front of his home crowd. It's also the better way to prepare for the world championships. He won't ride the Vuelta."

    Devolder won the Tour of Belgium in 2008 and 2010 and has the climbing skills to handle the hillier stages in the Ardennes and perform well in the 16.9km Ghent time trial.

    "The Eneco Tour is always open race. Anything can happen. We'll have to see what happens in the race and if Stijn form will allow him to fight for overall victory. But the Ardennes suit him, as does the final time trial. Overall victory is possible," Peeters insisted.

    Devolder's biggest rivals for victory include last year's winner Edvald Boasson Hagen (Team Sky), Jens Voigt (Saxo Bank), fellow Belgian Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Omega Pharma-Lotto), Tony Martin (HTC-Columbia), Andreas Kloden (RadioShack) and José Ivan Gutierrez (Caisse d'Epargne).

    The seven-day race kicks off with...

  • Luxembourg team on schedule for 2011 debut

    Article published:
    August 14, 2010, 12:52 BST
    Daniel Benson

    Schlecks confirm they will ride for new team

    Andy and Fränk Schleck have confirmed that they will ride for the new Luxembourg-based team in 2011 and team manager Brian Nygaard has told Cyclingnews that the team is on schedule to become a major ProTour squad for the 2011 season.

    The team, which has yet to announce its title sponsor, riders or reveal its budget, is currently applying for a UCI ProTour license. According to Nygaard the process is moving in the right direction, with over half the team already under contract.

    The UCI’s ProTour licence commission is set to announce any new ProTour teams for 2011 in the coming weeks. The ProTour licence commission operates independently from the UCI and is responsible for issuing licences and bases its assessment on three criteria: sporting, ethical and financial structures.

    “The project is well underway and everything is going as planned,” Nygaard told Cyclingnews in an exclusive interview.

    “We’re lining everything up so that we’re a ProTour team for next year and racing at the highest level. It’s a big process but that’s as it should be. You need to have things in order. In due time we’ll have a big press conference where will give out all the details.”

    “But first we have to meet the criteria and show the UCI our contracts. Then it’s up to them. If you want to be at the highest level in any sport you have to show the right contracts, material, insurances and bank guarantees but I’m very comfortable that they’ll all be in place.”

    The New Big Team

    Although Nygaard would not commit to which riders had been signed, both Fränk and Andy Schleck are set to ride for the team of their home country. They both parted ways with Saxo Bank earlier this month and today announced via Twitter that they would be part of a home-based team in 2011.

    Andy Schleck tweeted: "Next year, we will be...

  • Knaven races for last time

    Servais Knaven (Team Milram).
    Article published:
    August 14, 2010, 19:02 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    Milram veteran retires after 17-year career

    Former Paris-Roubaix winner and likeable Dutchman Servais Knaven will ride his last race as a professional on Sunday, marking the end of his 17-year career.

    Knaven will sign-off at the Profwielerronde Etten-Leur criterium, with Andy Schleck (Saxo Bank), Ivan Basso (Liquigas-Doimo) and his Milram teammates Niki Terpstra, Wim De Vocht and Wim Stroetinga on the 22-rider start list.

    Illustrious former teammates such as Johan Bruyneel, Steven De Jongh, Michael Boogerd, Tom Steels and Jeroen Blijlevens will ride a support race to celebrate Knaven’s long career.

    Among the successes of Knaven’s long career are the Dutch national championship in 1995, a stage victory at the Tour de France in 2003 and his triumph at Paris-Roubaix in 2001. He finished the toughest cobbled classic an amazing 16 times, equalling the record by Belgium’s Raymond Impanis from the 1920s.

    Knaven turned professional in 1994 with TVM. He then joined Quick Step in 2003, before riding for T-Mobile in 2007 and then Milram. His last official race with Milram was in June but will race for one last time to say goodbye after 17 years in the saddle.

  • Bjarne Riis and Alberto Contador talk about 2011

    Alberto Contador (Astana) resplendent in yellow on the Tour's final day.
    Article published:
    August 14, 2010, 19:52 BST
    Cycling News

    Saxo Bank team manager predicts a special Tour de France rivalry with Andy Schleck

    Alberto Contador and Bjarne Riis are convinced they can work successfully together in 2011 when the three-time Tour de France winner rides with Riis’ Saxo-Bank SunGard cycling team.

    The two held a press conference in Riis’ home town of Herning on Friday night before the Herning Criterium and talked confidently about their goals and ambitions for 2011. The criterium was won by Michael Morkov (Saxo Bank), ahead of Michael Rasmussen, while Contador finished in the main peloton.

    “Saxo Bank is a good and serious team, and that’s what I need to have around me,” Contador told

    “In addition, Bjarne is important too because of the philosophy he has on the team. I think next year will be really good for me and for the team. I see this change as an important step in my career. It will give me greater peace and greater opportunities to achieve results.”

    Riis reiterated that Contador can win all three Grand Tours in one season but admitted it was just a dream and would not happen in their first season together.

    “We've talked about it,” Riis revealed. “The first time Alberto told me that it was a dream for him to win the three big Tours I thought it was fantastic. But, as I have said, it's a dream and sometimes there’s a long way between a dream and reality. And right now the gap is really big. I don’t think it’s something which happens next year, but it may happen one day. More importantly, we’ve first got to work together and then we’ll take it from there. Ultimately it's down to Alberto feels he can do it. I’ve just got to sit in the car, and that’s the easy part.”

    Contador promised to work hard to capture the hearts of the Danish cycling fans and Riis advised him to work on his English so that he can quickly replace the Schlecks as the idol of the Danish cycling fans.

    “He's a great guy...

  • Leipheimer brings modest ambition to Tour of Utah

    Levi Leipheimer (RadioShack) wins the Leadville 100 after a hard-fought battle with Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (Subaru/Trek)
    Article published:
    August 14, 2010, 21:26 BST
    Kirsten Frattini

    Rocky Mountains offer prep for Canadian ProTour and US Pro Road Championships

    Breaking news: Leipheimer won the Leadville Trail 100 mountain bike race in a time of 6:16 breaking the previous course record by roughly 12 minutes held by his teammate and seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong. Click here for the race report, photos and results.

    The Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah has once again attracted some of the most prominent climbing specialists in the United States of America including ProTour talent Levi Leipheimer (RadioShack). According to the three-time Tour of California winner, he will ride sans teammates making his chances of winning the overall title nearly an impossible task.

    The six-stage race boasts more than 30,000 feet of climbing over 480 kilometres through the Rocky Mountain's Wasatch Range and is scheduled to take place from August 17-22 in and around Salt Lake City, Utah.

    “I'm on my own,” Leipheimer told Cyclingnews. “Being that I'm alone, I'm realistic about the GC, I don't think it's possible to win but I'd like to win a stage. The courses are tough, really tough, so I'm looking forward to it.”

    Leipheimer has graced the domestic US racing scene on several occasions over the years by competing in the Tour of the Gila, the Cascade Cycling Classic and Nevada City Classic. This year he won his second consecutive Tour of the Gila two weeks prior to his targeted event at the Tour of California where he placed third. This will be his first appearance at the Tour of Utah and he pointed to several reasons for making the decision to once again take part in a domestic-level stage race.

    “There's a few reasons why I decided to race the Tour of Utah,” Leipheimer said. “I lived in Salt Lake City for a few years when I graduated from High School and then attended the University of Utah so I made a lot of friends in the Utah Cycling...