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First Edition Cycling News, Saturday, February 12, 2011

Date published:
February 12, 2011, 0:00 GMT
  • Amgen Tour of California route announcement complete

    The profile of the Mt. Baldy stage
    Article published:
    February 11, 2011, 21:29 GMT
    Cycling News

    Final two stages to end sixth edition with drama

    The details of the final two stages of the 6thAmgen Tour of California have been released, revealing an epic penultimate stage to Mt. Baldy and a challenging new finale in Thousand Oaks. Today's announcement follows the full details of the opening three stages and stages 4, 5, and 6.

    Stage 7 from Claremont to Mt. Baldy will present riders with 75.8 miles of racing and the most daunting obstacle ever included in the Tour of California - a brutal final climb that ascends over 5,000 vertical feet, with more than 2000 feet covered in the final 10km of the stage.

    Starting in the college town of Claremont, the course heads immediately uphill for eight miles to the village of Baldy for the first KOM before looping back up Glendora Ridge Road for another mile of climbing. A 12-mile respite precedes a technical descent to the San Gabriel Reservoir and down into Glendora for the only sprint of the day.

    The race then sends riders up the Glendora Mountain Road climb, which has been the time trial stage of the San Dimas Stage Race for nearly a decade, but for the first time since fires and erosion closed the upper portion in 2004, the full length of the 8.5 mile climb will be used in competition.

    The climbing doesn't stop there, as riders face another 12 miles of gradual uphill before reaching Baldy Village for the second time. Once the riders turn onto Baldy Road, they hit three steep miles of ascending which is just a warm-up for the final push to the line.

    The final 2.5 miles punishes the riders with 10 torturous switchbacks with grades so steep it will seem more like the Monte Zoncolan than Alpe d'Huez.

    The race's first ever high mountain finish brings the...

  • Renshaw insists HTC-Highroad sprint hierarchy remains unchanged

    Mark Renshaw (HTC-Highroad) came away with a stage and the overall
    Article published:
    February 11, 2011, 23:00 GMT
    Barry Ryan

    Australian hopes Qatar will be springboard to Worlds place

    Mark Renshaw said that his victory in the Tour of Qatar will not alter the sprint hierarchy at HTC-Highroad. The Australian became leader of the team midway through the race once it became apparent that his form outstripped that of his leader Mark Cavendish.

    "I certainly didn’t expect to be in the position of winning the Tour of Qatar at the start of the week," Renshaw told Cyclingnews in Doha. "I was very happy with my prologue, I was happy to be up there in a good position. That put me up there for the rest of the week. Unfortunately we had the Cavendish crash so the focus shifted towards getting a result to me."

    Renshaw assumed the responsibility of leading HTC-Highroad’s Qatari challenge after stage two, when Cavendish failed to make an impression in a mass sprint captured by his fierce rival Heinrich Haussler (Garmin-Cervélo).

    "I think after three days the team shifted all its focus to me," Renshaw said. "Mark wasn’t feeling at the top of his game. The crash really affected him. I think his form is good but he’s just been a little bit unlucky so far this season."

    By winning the penultimate stage, Renshaw took the overall lead from his fellow countryman Haussler. On the final day, he picked up two seconds at intermediate bonus sprints, then marked Haussler tightly to seal victory. While Renshaw was delighted with the win, he insisted that he will be equally happy to pilot Cavendish to victory in the major races later in the season.

    "It’s good to get some runs on the board, I don’t get the chance too often," Renshaw explained. "But I don’t think it’s going to affect [the hierarchy] too much because once I get to the bigger races...

  • Video: Hushovd looks ahead to Paris-Roubaix and a stage win at the Tour

    Thor Hushovd check his bike
    Article published:
    February 11, 2011, 23:25 GMT
    Cycling News

    Behind the scenes images from the Garmin-Cervelo camp

    Thor Hushovd (Garmin-Cervelo) is planning his season around the Classics before aiming for a stage win at the Tour de France and the Vuelta a España.

    In this video from the Garmin-Cervélo team camp in Girona, he tells Cyclingnews about his race programme for the year. He explains how Tyler Farrar will be the team’s hope for the points jersey at the Tour, while he will be chasing stage wins and enjoying racing the Tour in his World Champion’s jersey. The team’s goal from day one, he says, is to aim for stage wins in France, and see what happens with the General Classification.

    The 33 year old Norweigan is confident that the new team will be successful in the Classics, and says that every member of the squad is capable of winning. He doesn’t think the number of strong riders the squad has is a problem, saying they will need to race smartly, and be able to play on each others' strengths. He will ride all the Classics with the team, but his biggest goal for the Spring will be achieving his first win at Paris-Roubaix.

    Since winning the Road World Championship in Geelong in October, Hushovd has had an increase in media interest and requests for appearances – but he hasn’t let that interfere with his training, and is still feeling good after the team training camp in Calpe.

    View the photo gallery here.

  • Cyclingnews forum seeks new moderators

    New homepage
    Article published:
    February 12, 2011, 8:33 GMT
    Cycling News

    Get involved with cycling's most exciting forum!

    The Cyclingnews forum is exploding, with new members and hundreds of new postings every day. To help keep things ticking along we are looking for new moderators to help out.

    With over 18,000 members, the going can get lively. There are debates over riders' abilities in the Professional road racing forum, as well as threads to virtually every race. And the Clinic – where doping is the topic – it can get really wild at times.

    You can check out the forum here, and you must be a registered member to participate.

    Being a mod is fun and challenging but it gives you a chance to help regulate matters and be involved in cycling's top fan forum.

    We are particularly looking for volunteers from the US and Australia time zones, but those in Europe are also welcome. There are no set hours, but the more time you can bring to the project, the better.

    And of course the volunteer moderators can still post their opinions and comments in the forum.

    If you are interested, please look at the “Wanted: new moderators” threads in the Professional road racing, Clinic, and About the forum sub-forums.

  • Zabriskie zones in on Amgen Tour of California

    Dave Zabriskie tests his legs
    Article published:
    February 12, 2011, 9:51 GMT
    Daniel Benson

    Can he carry his form into the Tour de France?

    Dave Zabriskie (Garmin-Cervelo) will once again target victory in the Amgen Tour of California, while he has also pinpointed the Tour de France as a race he would like to perform in.

    The American has finished on the podium in California three times – twice in the last two years – making the top ten in every one of his four finishes. Last year he narrowly missed out on victory to Michael Rogers.

    “California is a good goal,” Zabriskie told Cyclingnews.

    “It’s where I live and I’ve always really liked the race. I was very close last year but Rogers rode a good race. This year is going to be a pretty hard race, with a lot of hills and this Mt Baldy is supposed to be pretty challenging, but it’s something for me to target again.”

    While Zabriskie will line up in California as one of the favourites, his billing for the Tour is far less obvious. While it’s still no certainty that he will make Garmin-Cervelo’s starting line-up, he has had mixed experiences with the race. In 2005 he won the prologue and wore the yellow jersey for several days. Since then he has failed to replicate that form, finishing in the top ten in just three stages.

    However at this point last year his teammate, Christian Vande Velde, and team boss, Jonathan Vaughters, put Zabriskie’s name forward as a possible dark horse for the top ten. But an injury picked up in training meant that he was unable to show any of the form he had built up in California.

    “I wanted to come over and do the Tour de Suisse last year and have a good transition into the Tour de France and do a lot better than I did. The problem was that I didn’t have that good transition. You...

  • Carpani says UCI pleased with Spanish federation's handling of Contador case

    UCI press officer Enrico Carpani awaits the start
    Article published:
    February 12, 2011, 11:02 GMT
    Cycling News

    UCI spokesman says it wouldn't help to “crucify” Contador

    The International Cycling Union is “pleased” with the way the Spanish cycling federation has handled the Alberto Contador case and looks forward “with serenity and trust” to the final decision, expected early next week.

    UCI spokesman Enrico Carpani held a press conference in Madrid on Friday. He would not say whether the UCI would appeal the RFEC's decision. “Until we examine the arguments in depth, we will not make a decision, which could go two ways: either we accept the decision or ask for an appeal.”

    The UCI will have one month to decide whether to appeal the decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

    He added, according to, “It is not beneficial to cycling to see Contador crucified.”

    Carpani said that the UCI had “the utmost confidence” in the RFEC. "The quality of the work the Federation has done is good.

    The RFEC's preliminary recommendation was for a one-year ban, and there has been recent speculation in the Spanish media that the RFEC might even conclude that no ban should be issued.

    "The regulations say that Clenbuterol is two-year ban regardless of the amount,” Carpani noted.

  • Gerdemann: It’s important we win back trust

    Germany's Linus Gerdemann signed from Milram
    Article published:
    February 12, 2011, 12:00 GMT
    Daniel Benson

    Outspoken German wants press to rally around clean talent

    Linus Gerdemann has stressed the importance of professional cycling winning back the trust of cycling fans. The German, who has often been outspoken on doping within cycling, last year volunteered to go under 24 hours surveillance during the Tour de France in a bid to prove he was riding clean.

    “I think it’s important for cycling to have a good image and I think most of the riders are clean, but we have to prove and show that cycling is clean,” Gerdemann told Cyclingnews at a recent Leopard Trek training camp.

    “We have so many controls and so many people are still sceptical about the sport it’s important for cycling that we try and win back trust so people love to watch the Tour.”

    German cycling has gone through a dark period in recent years with a number of teams and races disappearing from the scene and 2011 marking the first time since the early 1990s that the country has been without a top division team.

    While the majority of the problem can be placed at the feet of the list of doping stories, Gerdemann also believes that the scepticism of the nation's press has at times gone too far.

    “The German journalists were always so sceptical. I can understand being a bit sceptical but in Germany it’s just negative reports for years, so my surveillance idea was a step to just say, stop criticising us. There wasn’t really much feedback to my suggestion and that showed me that they just like to complain about things but they don’t want to change things. There was no reaction and that’s a bit sad.

    “You cant say it’s just the German media, you can’t just lay the blame on one thing. The German media are focussed on doping more than the sport and I mean for example Haussler was second in San Remo in 2009 and Andre Greipel won so many races and there weren’t any big stories in the German media. Yet if someone from a third division...

  • Van Garderen: I can win the Amgen Tour of California

    Tejay Van Garderen (HTC-Columbia) had a strong time trial in the Dauphine.
    Article published:
    February 12, 2011, 19:40 GMT
    Daniel Benson

    HTC-Highroad rider talks California, Tour de France, race radios, Contador and Riccò

    With his race programme finalised until May, Tejay Van Garderen (HTC-Highroad) has said he will target overall victory at the Amgen Tour of California as well as a coveted place in the team's Tour de France line-up in July.

    Van Garderen recently kick-started his season at the Challenge Mallorca and, despite a crash on the final day of racing, will head to the Volta ao Algarve before testing himself at Paris-Nice, Volta Ciclista a Catalunya, Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco, Flèche Wallonne, Liège-Bastogne-Liège and the Amgen Tour of California.

    "There are no serious injuries, just a bit of road rash and I'm a bit stiff," he told Cyclingnews.

    "The roads are just really slippery on the coast there and in the shade you couldn't really see the wet spot. I touched the brakes, lost control and the wheel slipped from under me. I was the first one to go down so I guess I caused it. It was actually a big crash and I felt bad but it's not like it was on purpose.

    "Generally though, Mallorca went well. The common misconception is that the first race of the year in Spain is all tranquillo as people ease into things but it's full-gas racing, everyone is nervous and wants to make a good first impression. It was all super-fast as well and we were finishing around half an hour ahead of each scheduled finish.

    "I was feeling good and finishing in the top groups and putting in some attacks so I'm pretty happy with where the form is at the moment. I'm on track with where I need to be."

    Where Van Garderen lies right now is at the head of a new generation of American bike racers coming through the ranks. The likes of Lance...