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First Edition Cycling News, Saturday, August 6, 2011

Date published:
August 06, 2011, 1:00 BST
  • Phinney to race Vuelta

    Taylor Phinney (BMC) rides in defense of his TT title.
    Article published:
    August 05, 2011, 12:03 BST
    Daniel Benson

    Admits he didn't train properly this year

    Taylor Phinney (BMC) has confirmed that he will start this year’s Vuelta a España but admits that he made mistakes at the start of his professional career that led to injury, illness and the loss of form.

    The 21-year-old turned professional with BMC at the start of the year and is widely tipped as one of the most talented riders of his generation, with multiple world titles to his name. However, Phinney has told Cyclingnews that he made several mistakes in the first half of the year, and that he wasted time living off the spoils of his professional lifestyle, instead of knuckling down and living the life of a dedicated athlete.

    “I feel like I made a lot of mistakes and if I’m really honest I was really lazy in the first part of the season. That’s where all my injuries came from. I was being stupid. I wasn’t jumping off cliffs but I wasn’t training properly or eating properly. I was out, buying nice clothes and I thought I was being it. But now I’ve realised I’m a pro and that’s how I have to live,” Phinney told Cyclingnews.

    Based in Italy, along with a clutch of riders from various other teams, Phinney was taken in my BMC’s Max Sciandri. The Anglo-Italian, formerly of British Cycling’s academy, has helped nurture a number of talents and he helped put Phinney back on the straight and narrow.

    “With the help of Max, and some of the riders who live around me, he’s picked me up and put me back on my feet. He showed me how I was supposed to be doing things and I think I only really started acting like a professional in April and at the Tour of Romandie,” Phinney said.

    Phinney regrouped in late spring and despite subdued...

  • Downing uncertain of future at Team Sky

    Team Sky team mates Russell Downing and Alex Dowsett in Covent Garden at the Tour of Britain route launch
    Article published:
    August 05, 2011, 12:52 BST
    Daniel Benson

    Briton hoping to gain another year at current team

    With his current contract set to expire at the end of the season Russell Downing (Team Sky) has an uncertain few months ahead of him. The 32-year-old pro has signed two one-year deals with Sky in the last two seasons but is unsure if he will fit into the team’s plans for next year.

    “I’m on a one-year deal with Sky, like I was last year, so I’m not quite sure what’s happening at the moment. There are big things happening within Sky and I’m not sure where that leaves me in the team really,” Downing told Cyclingnews.

    Speculation is rife with a number of riders being linked to Sky. So far the team has only announced riders they have retained for next year but a number of signings are expected, with Mark Cavendish and Riche Porte both linked to the squad. Should Cavendish sign he would likely take at least one HTC teammate with him, preferably Bernhard Eisel. While Downing would welcome improvements to the team, he would also dearly like to remain on their books.

    “It might be a strange next month or so with who Sky actually sign and if I fit into the picture. I’d love to stay with Sky, I’ve had a great couple of years but if there’s no place there, there’s no place and I can't force Sky into giving me another contract. I want to continue racing at this high level and over the last two years I’ve proved to myself and few people this is where I should be racing.”

    Downing has had a solid year and although he has missed out on a win this year, he fulfilled a life-time ambition this spring when he raced and completed his first grand tour at the Giro d’Italia. He had strong form in the final week of the race but...

  • Tour of Lombardy teams announced

    An iconic Lombardy image: the Italian champion in the shadow of the chapel of the Madonna del Ghisallo. Giovanni Visconti (ISD-Neri) was aggressive on the climb but would pay for his efforts subsequently.
    Article published:
    August 05, 2011, 13:59 BST
    Cycling News

    FDJ and Europcar among seven wildcards

    Tour of Lombardy organisers RCS have released the list of teams that will contest the season-ending classic. The 18 WorldTour teams will be joined by seven wildcard squads at the race, which takes place on October 15.

    As expected, Italian Pro Continental teams Acqua & Sapone, Androni Giocattoli, Colnago-CSF Inox and Farnese Vini-Neri Sottoli are among the invitees, along with Geox-TMC.

    French squads Europcar and FDJ have also been invited, following strong performances from both teams on Italian roads in 2011. Thomas Voeckler (Europcar) won a stage of the Giro del Trentino in April, while Yoann Offredo (FDJ) impressed in the finale of the RCS-organised Milan-San Remo.

    The 2011 Tour of Lombardy will see an alteration to the course from recent years, as the race finishes in Lecco for the first time in its history. Full details of the new course have yet to be released.

    The 25 teams for the 2011 Tour of Lombardy 2011 are:

    Acqua & Sapone, Ag2r-La Mondiale, Androni Giocattoli, BMC, Colnago-Csf Inox, Europcar, Euskaltel-Euskadi, Farnese Vini-Neri Sottoli, FDJ, Geox-TMC, HTC-Highroad, Katusha, Lampre-ISD, Leopard Trek, Liquigas-Cannondale, Movistar Team, Omega Pharma-Lotto, Astana, Quick Step, Rabobank, Saxo Bank-Sungard, Sky Procycling, Garmin-Cervelo, Radioshack, Vacansoleil-DCM

  • Guardini in line for under 23 world championships

    Andrea Guardini (Farnese VIni-Neri Sottoli) wins stage 1 of the Tour of Turkey
    Article published:
    August 05, 2011, 17:23 BST
    Cycling News

    Italian eligible as he is not on WorldTour team

    Italian sprinting sensation Andrea Guardini is in line to ride the under 23 road race at the world championships in Copenhagen in September. Although he turned professional with Farnese Vini-Neri Sottoli at the beginning of the year, Guardini is eligible to compete as his team is not part of the WorldTour.

    Although the elite road race is widely tipped to finish in a bunch sprint, Italian national coach Paolo Bettini has ruled out selecting the 22-year-old fast man for the senior team due to its 281km distance. Instead, Guardini looks set to gain experience by leading the under 23 squad over a significantly shorter course.

    With nine victories over a host of top-level sprinters to his name already this season, Guardini would line up in Copenhagen as a firm favourite for the rainbow jersey.

    “Yes, there is the idea of picking Guardini, even if we know well that a move of that kind could always spark some polemics, because if you win, it’s expected and if you lose, you look bad,” Bettini told Gazzetta dello Sport.

    According to Gazzetta, Farnese-Neri manager Luca Scinto first floated the idea of sending Guardini to the under 23 Worlds last winter, but Bettini was nonetheless adamant that the youngster will have to earn his selection over the coming weeks. Guardini is currently riding the Tour of Portugal.

    “He has a month to show that he is going really strong,” Bettini said. “What he is won so far is a nice calling card, but it’s not sufficient to get in the national team.”

    Both Bettini and Italian federation president Renato Di Rocco defended the potential inclusion of a successful professional rider in the under 23 line-up. Gerald Ciolek captured the under 23 world...

  • Kashechkin return to Astana in Vuelta pending

    Andrey Kashechkin (Lampre-ISD)
    Article published:
    August 05, 2011, 18:45 BST
    Cycling News

    Team awaiting UCI confirmation of transfer

    Andrey Kashechkin's return to the Astana team is still pending approval of the transfer from Lampre-ISD by the UCI, Cyclingnews learned from a source inside the team.

    The rider from Kazakhstan has been named as riding the Vuelta a Espana for the squad, but as of today he has yet to officially become a part of the Astana team.

    "Kashechkin hasn't signed yet but it might be [final] within two days," a source familiar with the situation said.

    "Kashechkin will ride the Vuelta only of the UCI confirms his transfer on time. The previous leader for the race was Frederik Kessiakoff."

    Should Kashechkin be allowed to start, he would share leadership in the race with Kessiakoff.

    Kashechkin made his comeback from a two-year suspension for a 2007 blood doping case with the Lampre team in 2010. He last rode with Astana in 2006 and 2007, and in that time won stages of Paris-Nice, the Vuelta a Espana and led the Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré for two days and took third overall.

    In 2007, Kashechkin was targeted by the UCI for an out-of-competition control which came up positive for an illegal blood transfusion. The test followed news that his then-teammate Alexander Vinokourov had also been declared positive for blood doping in the 2007 Tour de France.

    Kashechkin vigorously defended himself against the allegations, even going so far as claiming his human rights had been violated - a case which was dismissed by a Belgian court.

    The Kazakhstan federation refused to suspend the rider, but the UCI was able...

  • Cyclingnews' guide to 2011 trainees

    Points classification leader Jetse Bol (Rabobank Continental Team)
    Article published:
    August 05, 2011, 20:58 BST
    Cycling News

    Young riders step up to the big leagues in August

    Every August a crop of fresh young talent enters professional cycling as the professional teams take on their 'trainees' for the last part of the season.

    The UCI rules allow teams to test out new riders for this time period, and give the riders a chance to show their abilities and fight for a highly covered professional contract.

    For some riders, it's a chance to move up from the Continental ranks to the World Tour, but for others it is their first shot at the big leagues.

    Keep an eye on these riders in the coming races to see the stars of the future.

    A special thank you to Tomas Nilsson for compiling this list.

    Professional Teams

    AG2R La Mondiale
    Axel Domont (Fra)
    Yannick Martinez (Fra)
    Mathieu Teychenne (Fra)

    Zakkari Dempster (Aus)
    Lachlan Norris (Aus)

    Lampre - ISD
    Massimo Graziato (Ita)
    Mirko Tedeschi (Ita)
    Thomas Tiozzo (Ita)

    Leopard Trek
    Rudiger Selig (Ger)

    Pro Team Astana
    Dmitriy Gruzdev (Kaz)
    Nazar Jumabekov (Kaz)
    Alexandre Shushemoin (Kaz)
    Ruslan Tleubayev (Kaz)

    Rabobank Cycling Team
    Jetse Bol (Ned)
    Marc Goos (Ned)

    Saxo Bank Sungard
    Ran Margaliot (Isr)

    Team RadioShack
    George Bennett (NZl)
    Dale Parker (Aus)
    Evgeny Shalunov (Rus)

    Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team
    Bertjan Lindeman (Ned)
    Barry Markus (Ned)
    Willem Wauters (Bel)

    Professional Continental Teams

    Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator
    Arthur Van Overberghe (Bel)
    Zico Waeytens (Bel)

    Veranda's Willems - Accent
    Dries Hollanders (Bel)
    Kevin Van Den Noortgate (Bel)

    Andalucia Caja...

  • Olympic test event: Cavendish, Goss and Farrar confirmed

    Life is pretty good for Mark Cavendish at the moment.
    Article published:
    August 06, 2011, 0:30 BST
    Cycling News

    Olympic Games hopefuls line-up in Surrey

    Mark Cavendish, Matt Goss and Tyler Farrar will go head to head at next week’s Olympic test event. The London Organising Committee for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympics Games today released the provisional start list for the London Surrey Cycle Classic.

    The field is made up of 148 riders from 28 international and UK-based teams.

    Cavendish will lead a team from Great Britain, comprising Sky’s Ben Swift, Ian Stannard, Alex Dowsett and Peter Kennaugh. Garmin-Cervelo’s Roger Hammond takes the final slot.

    They will be up against strong teams from Belgium, Italy and France to name but a few. However, their strongest competitors could come from Australia. The team has a number of potential contenders with Matt Goss and Heinrich Haussler selected. Michael Matthews, Chris Sutton, Jack Bodbridge, Leigh Howard and Stuart O’Grady round out the team.

    Other notable inclusions who could well challenge for a spot on the podium at the Olympic Games in 2012 are Tyler Farrar (USA), Sylvain Chavanel (France), Davide Appollonio (Italy) and Tom Boonen (Belgium).

    The course, sanctioned as a UCI 1.2 event, is 140 kilometres long and will race though 6 London boroughs.

  • Cavendish disappointed about the demise of HTC-Highroad

    The new points format worked out well for green jersey Mark Cavendish (HTC Highroad)
    Article published:
    August 06, 2011, 10:30 BST
    Daniel Benson

    Briton thanks teammates and staff for shared success

    Mark Cavendish has expressed his disappointed with the news that his HTC-Highroad team will cease to operate come the end of the season. The Isle of Man sprinter was already linked with a transfer with his contract ending this year and a number of suitors making approaches.

    The news of the team’s demise was confirmed on Thursday, bringing an end to a team that had won over 480 races in its brief but prolific history.

    “I am obviously very disappointed that HTC Highroad will no longer be a team at the end of this season,” Cavendish posted on his official website.

    “I am hugely indebted and incredibly grateful to my teammates and all the staff for their support over the last 5 years and I am immensely proud of what we have achieved together.”

    Cavendish signed for Telekom as a fully fledged professional in 2007 and the squad became as Highroad within a year after Telekom abruptly ended their sponsorship. It was the following year when Cavendish caught the sport’s eye with a breakthrough win at Scheldeprijs but within a month he had gone from rough diamond to pure gold, wining two stages of the Giro and four at the Tour de France. Stapleton looked to secure his services with a new contract after the Tour and Cavendish signed a deal that ran until 2010, with an option of a third year.

    More success, primarily in grand tours, followed but in 2010 cracks appeared to surface between the rider and the team’s management. The Manxman told the press at the Commonwealth Games that he was frustrated by the team’s inability or unwillingness to offer him a new contract, despite winning multiple stages in the Tour that year.

    He told the press: “I’ve got great family, great friends, great...