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First Edition Cycling News, Saturday, August 27, 2011

Date published:
August 27, 2011, 1:00 BST
  • Vande Velde finds form of old in Colorado

    Christian Vande Velde (Garmin-Cervelo) gets some encouragement as he leaves the start.
    Article published:
    August 26, 2011, 13:39 BST
    Peter Hymas

    Garmin-Cervelo American puts two years of suffering behind him

    Christian Vande Velde (Garmin-Cervelo) has come heartbreakingly close to two stage wins with runner-up finishes in both the prologue and stage 3 time trials at the inaugural USA Pro Cycling Challenge, but the 35-year-old American is buoyed by his general classification position and the possibility of overall victory.

    Vande Velde lies in second place overall on general classification, 11 seconds down on Levi Leipheimer, with three stages remaining.

    "I'm happy with the way that I am riding and happy to be back in contention to win the race," said Vande Velde. "I haven't felt like this since 2008 or the spring of 2009."

    The 2008 season was a magical year for Vande Velde, highlighted by his fourth place finish in the Tour de France. Additionally, his then Garmin-Chipotle presented by H3O squad won the opening team time trial at the Giro d'Italia which put Vande Velde into the leader's maglia rosa, Vande Velde won the Tour of Missouri, finished second overall at the Circuit de la Sarthe, third overall at the Tour of California, third in the US professional time trial championships, plus won two individual time trials - stage 3 at the Circuit de la Sarthe and stage 1 of the Tour of Missouri.

    In early 2009 Vande Velde took a solo victory in stage 4 at Paris-Nice and was building form for the Giro d'Italia.

    Then disaster struck in stage 3 of the Giro where Vande Velde crashed and suffered three fractured vertebrae, and a cracked pelvis in addition to two broken ribs. Amazingly, not more than a month later he returned to competition at the Tour de Suisse and bounced back to finish 8th overall in the Tour de France. His season ended with another broken bone, however, as crashed in the finale of stage 1 at the...

  • No change needed to Worlds time trial course

    World time trial champion Fabian Cancellara (Leopard Trek) suffered from setting out among the early starters.
    Article published:
    August 26, 2011, 14:55 BST
    Cycling News

    Danish elections to be held week before Worlds

    The course of the World Championships time trial in Copenhagen will not be changed after it was confirmed that national elections have been called for Thursday, September 15, the week before the championships.

    Danish Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen announced the election date on Friday morning, according to the Worlds organising committee.

    The time trials are scheduled to be held September 19-21.The time trial course runs directly by the Christiansborg Palace, home of the Danish Parliament (Folketing). The elections would have entailed a large number of broadcasters at the building, filling the road with transmission vehicles and equipment, to the detriment of cyclists.

    Race organiser and Danish cycling federation president Jesper Worre had said that he would adjust the course if necessary, but that will now not be needed.

  • Riders' reactions after Vuelta crash

    Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Cervelo) struggles to make it to the finish
    Article published:
    August 26, 2011, 19:38 BST
    Susan Westemeyer

    Nibali, Scarponi and Rodriguez amongst the injured

    Michal Golas of Vacansoleil-DMC and Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Cervelo) were the principal victims of the mass crash at the end of Friday's stage at the Vuelta, but they brought many others down, including a number of big names overall contenders

    Race leader and red jersey wearer Sylvain Chavanel (Quick Step) was happy to be have been out of harm's way.  “The only rough moment came at the arrival when Farrar slid out and caused a pile-up. Luckily I managed to brake in time and not fall,” he said.

    2010 Vuelta winner Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas-Cannondale) was forced to walk to the finish line after the crash. He hurt his hip and was treating it with ice and anti-inflamatories.

    “It was a nervous finish and I wanted to stay near the front, to avoid any gaps forming," he said. "We were going flat out but then a lot of riders were taken down. I dived on the right, against the barriers and ended up on the ground. There’s was nothing else I could do to avoid it. It could have actually been much worse.”

    Joaquim Rodriguez of Katusha, fourth overall, was caught up in the crash. His worst injury was “some discomfort in his wrist, when he had to “brake very hard,” he told the EFE news agency.  “I had practically stopped and had fallen backwards, when I crashed onto something soft.”  Another rider, presumably.

    Michele Scarponi (Lampre-ISD) went down hard on his right side after spinning through the air. He was quickly up and rode to the finish with some help from his teammates....

  • Baden Cooke and Matt Wilson to ride for GreenEdge in 2012

    A happy Baden Cooke just won the 2006 GP d'Ouverture
    Article published:
    August 27, 2011, 0:04 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    Australian veterans confirmed for new team

    The new Australia GreenEdge team has announced that Baden Cooke and Matt Wilson will join the team for 2012, rebuilding the close bond the two riders had earlier in their careers.

    Cooke has been with Saxo Bank-SunGard for the last two years, while Wilson is currently riding for the Garmin-Cervelo team. They successfully raced together at Francaise des Jeux a decade ago, along with fellow Australian Bradley McGee. Cooke won the green jersey at the 2003 Tour de France, while Wilson was Australian national champion in 2004.

    “Matt Wilson is my best friend, Simon Gerrans grew up just down the road, I’ve spent a lot of time on the road with Stuart O’Grady, everyone on the team is a friend and there won’t be another team in the peloton with such a close bond,” 32-year-old Cooke said in a statement issued by the team.

    “The strength of this bond will be one of our advantages. The reason Australians are in such demand with European teams is our reputation for putting it on the line for the team. Now we get to do that for our mates on an Australian team.”

    Wilson said: “This team is more than a team for me, it's like a family. The opportunity to ride for a team directed by people who have been so instrumental in my career is very exciting. Signing with GreenEdge feels like I've come full circle, as I started my career riding for Shayne Bannan in the under-23 Australian team 14 years ago.

    “With Bannan, Neil Stephens and Gerry Ryan, who has been a long time supporter of mine and of Australian cycling generally, I have complete faith in the future of the team. I'm very much looking forward to becoming part of this exciting new era in Australian cycling.”

    Confident for the Classics

    Cooke is confident he can still be...

  • Rodriguez vies for stage win and sprint jersey in Colorado

    Fred Rodriguez (Team Exergy) in action during stage 4 of the USA Pro Cycling Challenge.
    Article published:
    August 27, 2011, 2:08 BST
    Kirsten Frattini

    American up against a handful of fast men

    Fred Rodriguez (Team Exergy) has two main objectives at the USA Pro Cycling Challenge in Colorado: to win one of the final three stages and the Smashburger Sprint jersey before the seven-day event concludes in Denver on Sunday.

    "For me, I have always sprinted better in these types of races where there are big lead-outs that are fast for a long time. That suits me more than the typical US criterium style racing," Rodriguez told Cyclingnews. "I'm excited to sprint, I'm feeling good and so I am going to go out there and get the legs rolling again."

    "I think the first goal is that if the race comes down to a sprint that I am there to play a part in it," he said. "We wanted to set up myself and Carlos Alzate to try and get sprint points earlier on in the stage race so that if we did win a stage, we would have a chance to get into the sprinter's jersey."

    Rodriquez won the first intermediate sprint for points during the queen stage 2 race from Gunnison to Aspen. He currently has six points and has a fair size gap to close to the sprint jersey leader, and overall race leader, Levi Leipheimer (RadioShack) who has 17 points.

    "I think I have about six points, and if I won a stage, I might be able to either move into the [sprint] leader's jersey or be close in the standings," Rodriguez said. "At this point, it is more critical to pick up bigger points at the finish line than to go for intermediate sprints. I think that is the only way anyone is going to win that jersey now."

    There were two accomplished sprinters in the running for sprint points prior to the start of...

  • Farrar unbroken after dramatic Vuelta crash

    Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Cervelo) struggles to make it to the finish
    Article published:
    August 27, 2011, 3:00 BST
    Cycling News

    Garmin-Cervelo sprinter hopes to start stage 8

    Garmin-Cervelo sprinter Tyler Farrar suffered a dramatic crash in the final 100 meters of the Vuelta a Espana stage 7 in Talavera de la Reina, but his team confirmed that he escaped without broken bones.

    Farrar hopes to start stage 8, but will be evaluated by the team's medical staff in the morning to determine his best course of action.

    Farrar was pushing ahead in the final 100m of the 185km stage and, in an attempt to pass Michal Golas (Vacansoleil), collided with the Polish sprinter and went down heavily.

    After a few minutes on the ground, Farrar managed to get back on his bike and cross the finish line with the help of his teammates, and was taken by ambulance to a local hospital where preliminary x-rays showed no fractures.

    He suffered severe contusions on his left hip.

  • Viviani hopes to secure sprint jersey in Denver

    Elia Viviani (Liquigas-Cannondale) takes the victory in Steamboat Springs
    Article published:
    August 27, 2011, 3:34 BST
    Kirsten Frattini

    Young Italian eyes World Championships and Olympic Games

    Italy's Elia Viviani (Liquigas-Cannondale) is focused on solidifying the Smashburger sprint jersey at the USA Pro Cycling Challenge before the race concludes in Denver on Sunday. The 21-year-old moved closer to this goal after winning the stage 4 sprint in Steamboat Springs and is now leading the competition by six points.

    "The stage victory was very important for the team because Cannondale is an important sponsor and it is from the USA," Viviani said. "The team is in a good period because we won the stage in the Vuelta [a Espana] yesterday and today we made another demonstration that Liquigas-Cannondale is very compact, good and one of the biggest teams in the whole world."

    "After Ivan Basso was out of the general classification, the team supported me for the final three stages," Viviani said. "Today the whole team worked all day for my sprint and in the last kilometres, [Davide] Cimolai and Oss did a very good ride and perfect work for me."

    Viviani picked up intermediate sprint points during the stage one road race from Salida to Mt Crested Butte. He started stage 4 with eight points, trailing sprint (and overall) classification leader Levi Leipheimer (RadioShack) by nine points. His stage four victory was worth 15 points and he moved to the top of the sprint ranking with a total of 23 points heading into the final two stages.

    "The jersey was very important," Viviani said. "In the first stage, with five kilometres to the finish, I sprinted for the points for the jersey. Tomorrow is also a good stage for [Daniel] Oss because the last part finishes on a climb and the last stage is good for me. Tomorrow I think we will work for...

  • Breschel still unsure of riding Worlds

    Matti Breschel (Rabobank)
    Article published:
    August 27, 2011, 9:37 BST
    Cycling News

    No surgery yet for Dane's broken fingers

    Matti Breschel's chances of winning a medal at the upcoming world championships in Copenhagen,  or of even taking part, dropped dramatically after his crash in the sixth stage of the Vuelta a Espana.  The Rabobank rider has broken two fingers on his right hand and may yet require surgery.

    The Dane crashed in the neutralized zone of the stage, breaking the fingers and bruising his chest and knees.  “I am very hurt. My whole body has taken a beating,” he told  “I have seven stitches in my chin, and headaches - and then there's hand.”

    Breschel was scheduled to undergo surgery on the hand on Friday, but the fingers were too swollen.  He now hopes to avoid an operation.

    Rabobank reported that doctors decided that he should rest the hand for a week, and then they will decide whether to operate.  “I hope they just need to keep quiet – you don't use the hands so much when you ride, so maybe I can ride soon. But the fingers are well and truly crushed,” Breschel said.

    Breschel had already been named as captain for the Danish team in the world championships in his homeland, but he admitted that his chances of lining up on September 25 are not good.

    “It looks a little bleak in terms of being 100 percent in top form, which you must be to win, so it does not look too good. But I have to take it day by day now and see how far I get. The worst thing is starting to train again and push your body.”