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First Edition Cycling News, Saturday, January 30, 2010

Date published:
January 30, 2010, 0:00 GMT
  • Contador "I'm better than in 2009"

    Astana's Alberto Contador adjusts his helmet prior to a training ride in Calpe, Spain.
    Article published:
    January 29, 2010, 14:09 GMT
    Hedwig Kröner

    Spaniard's training values yet improving, reaffirms Tour TT wheels inequality

    Alberto Contador is starting the 2010 season with even better training data than in 2009, an indication that the 27 year-old multiple Grand Tour winner can make further progress in performance during the season.

    In an interview with Spanish newspaper Marca, Contador confirmed that he thought he hadn't reached his peak and also talked about the polemic surrounding the time trial wheels used by Team Astana at the last Tour de France.

    "I am now 27 years old, and I think that I still have some margins for improvement, both in the mountains in the time trials," he said. "I'm having a lot of fun in training at the moment and my data is better than before," he added, explaining that his training data during January 2010 were superior to that recorded in January 2009.

    This improvement was not due to more intensive training, Contador said. "Actually at this time I should be a bit short of training because I haven't raced since the Tour, when in 2008 I raced until the Worlds."

    Compared to 2009, the start of this year was mentally less difficult, as the Spaniard does not have to worry about team leadership for the Tour de France. "Last year, I tried not to waste energy in these things, but it's true that this year the atmosphere has been more relaxed," he said.

    Contador also answered questions about the the continuing controversy surrounding his claim that he had to buy his own time trial wheels at the 2009 Tour de France, after discovering that the ones belonging to Lance Armstrong were allegedly better quality.

    "Johan [Bruyneel] knows the truth," he said when asked what he made of Bruyneel's affirmations that both Contador and Armstrong were provided the same wheels from American bike manufacturer Trek.

    "There was a pair of wheels of a certain brand that were more advanced and lighter than the rest. I thought that there had to be equality in the team and I decided to buy a pair. We shouldn't have to go on...

  • Riccò's partner positive for CERA

    Vania Rossi and partner Riccardo Riccò
    Article published:
    January 29, 2010, 15:32 GMT
    Stephen Farrand

    Vania Rossi tested at Italian cyclo-cross championships

    Riccardo Riccò's partner Vania Rossi has tested positive for EPO CERA, the Italian Olympic Committee announced via its website on Friday.

    The Comitato Olimpico Nazionale Italiano (CONI) carried out the test after Rossi finished second in the Italian women's national cyclo-cross championships on January 10.

    CERA is the latest generation of the blood boosting drug erythropoietin.  Riccò tested positive for the same banned substance during the 2008 Tour de France.

    Rossi recently gave birth to their child - a boy - but quickly made a successful return to cyclo-cross racing. On Thursday Rossi was not named in the Italian team for this weekend's world cyclo-cross championships 'for health reasons'. She is expected to be suspended by CONI before the analysis of her B sample is carried out.

    Riccò is set to return with the Flaminia team this season when his 20-month doping ban ends on March 17.


  • Experience UnitedHealthcare p/b Maxxis training camp like a pro

    Rory Sutherland (UnitedHealthcare p/b Maxxis) with assistant director Gord Fraser
    Article published:
    January 29, 2010, 17:45 GMT
    Cycling News

    VIP spots on offer to public through fundraiser for UHCCF charity

    The US-based UCI Continental team UnitedHealthcare p/b Maxxis is offering the public two VIP spots at the team's training camp in Scottsdale, Arizona. Make a donation to the UnitedHealthcare Children's Foundation ( by January 31, 2010 and the two highest donors will be special guests of the team on Saturday, February 13, and Sunday, February 14, the final two days of the team's training camp.

    The package includes two nights at the Radisson - McDowell Ranch Resort/Casino; group rides with the team Saturday and Sunday morning; one full team kit, including long and short-sleeve jerseys, one set of bibs, gloves, socks, and more; team apparel package (T-shirt and podium cap); VIP seating and acknowledgement at the official team presentation and banquet, hosted by renowned cycling personality Dave Towle and Continental breakfast both mornings.

    Winners are responsible for travel to and from the Radisson, and providing their own bicycle for the group rides.

    If you can't experience the entire training camp, you can still attend the official team presentation and banquet in Scottsdale, Arizona on the evening of Saturday, February 13. Less than 100 tickets will be available to the general public on a first-come, first-served basis for a tax-deductible $175 donation to the UnitedHealthcare Children’s Foundation (UHCCF). Tickets must be purchased by January 31, 2010 at

    The entire evening is a fundraising event for the Foundation. Meet team riders and staff, and enjoy an evening hosted by veteran cycling announcer and personality Dave Towle. Tickets include dinner and the formal team presentation, speeches by Sister Madonna Buder and Dr. George Brooks, as well as a silent auction that includes team equipment and rides in the team car at the Tour of California and Tour of Missouri. The $175 banquet ticket also includes participation in the fully-supported, two-hour group...

  • Garmin signs Peron and Fernandez

    Andrea Peron is always smiling
    Article published:
    January 29, 2010, 18:06 GMT
    Daniel Benson

    Former pros become assistant manager and directeur sportif

    Garmin-Transitions has bolstered its European experience within its backroom staff with former professionals Andrea Peron and Bingen Fernandez joining the team. Peron is acting as an assistant general manager while Fernandez joins as the team's latest directeur sportif.

    Fernandez retired from the sport at the end of a 2009 after a 14-year career that began with Euskaltel and ended with French team Cofidis. The Spaniard had the option of riding one more year, but decided to try his hand as a directeur sportif when Garmin offered him the role. During his career Fernandez worked as a domestique for David Millar and Andrei Kivilev but never won a professional race.

    "It's a good team. I know so many of the riders and team staff, so I said,'why not?' when they offered me the position," Fernandez told Cyclingnews.

    "I was a worker at Cofidis. When I moved there from Euskaltel, I changed my mentality. I stopped going after results and started working for others."

    Fernandez is under no illusion as to what the job entails and how hard the transition from rider to director may be. "It's a difficult job and I think it will take some time to adapt. We're always busy and trying to support the riders but it's a challenge I'm really optimistic about. It's different to being a rider. I wouldn't say it's harder. It just means you have to be organised but in a totally different way."

    Peron, on the other hand, retired at the end of 2006. He turned professional with Gatorade and rode for Motorola, Francaise de Jeux, ONCE, Fasso Bortolo and CSC in a 15-year career.

    Since then, the Italian has worked in cycling-related media roles but his move to Garmin marks his first job in a professional team since retiring.

    "It's in my blood to be close to a racing team. I learned a lot as a rider and then in the last three years I worked with race organisers so I feel I have good experience. Jonathan approached me just when the team...

  • Gallery: Media day for Garmin-Transitions

    The full Garmin - Transitions team poses for a photo.
    Article published:
    January 29, 2010, 20:59 GMT
    Cycling News

    Photos abound for team at Calpe, Spain training camp

    Garmin-Transitions ended their official media day on Thursday with a team photo shoot on a beach in Calpe, Spain.

    It was the first time the 2010 team was together after the Tour Down Under squad jetted in to be with their teammates.

    It was back to business for the riders on Friday with a five hour race simulation planned for their training ride. The team camp ends on Sunday with the riders set to either return to their bases in Girona, Spain or head to the Tour of Qatar.

    Click here for a gallery of images from the Garmin-Transitions training camp.

    Timothy Duggan and Dave Zabriskie take center stage.

  • Zirbel confirms B sample is also positive

    Tom Zirbel (Bissell Pro Cycling)
    Article published:
    January 30, 2010, 10:38 GMT
    Shane Stokes

    USPRO silver medallist facing USADA hearing

    Just a month after he announced he had returned a non-negative test for DHEA at the 2009 USPRO TT championships, American rider Tom Zirbel has confirmed that his B-sample analysis is also positive.

    “As expected (though hope plays funny games with your mind), the 'B' sample of my urine has come back confirming the presence of an exogenous anabolic in my system from the Aug. 29, 2009 test,” Zirbel wrote on his online blog.

    “I expect USADA to come back with a two-year sanction any day now but I'm tired of waiting for them so I decided to let everyone know what's going on.”

    31 year-old Zirbel took his second-consecutive silver medal in the USPRO championships at the end of August, finishing behind Garmin’s Dave Zabriskie.

    He then took fourth overall behind Zabriskie in the Tour of Missouri, going on from there to represent USA in the world championships in Mendrisio. He was fourth in the time trial, finishing 2’47 behind the winner Fabian Cancellara (Switzerland) and 17 seconds off the bronze medal of German’s Tony Martin.

    The then-Bissell Pro Cycling team rider looked set for a breakthrough season in 2010 and had signed a contract with the Garmin-Transitions team, giving him a chance to race regularly in Europe. However he learned of his positive test for DHEA in mid-November, leading to the loss of his Garmin contract.

    Since then, he’s been waiting for the B sample result, and has now revealed the outcome.

    “There will probably be a hearing in a few months where I will proclaim my innocence,” he wrote. “We all know the drill! How many times have we been through this with this sport? I even secured one of those lawyer fellas to help me through this. We are still attempting to figure out how this happened and I'm optimistic that we'll have an answer in time for the hearing."

    “I'm sorry that this is more negative press for the sport...

  • HTC-Columbia kicks off season in Qatar

    New U23 time trial champion Ellen van Dijk (Columbia-HTC) at the Tour of Qatar
    Article published:
    January 30, 2010, 20:02 GMT
    Cycling News

    Van Dijk looking to improve upon 2009 result

    The women's professional season gets underway on Wednesday with the Ladies Tour of Qatar, a three-day sprinter's race on the  Arabian peninsula. The HTC-Columbia squad will be just one of many teams heading to the Middle East in search of good results.

    Topping the list for the German team will be last year's best young rider of the Ladies Tour, Ellen Van Dijk, while new recruit, Chloe Hosking will also look to get in the mix.

    Team director Ronny Lauke said that getting some early season results is important to raise the riders' confidence for the rest of the season, and the team will ride hard to win.

    "We've got a good group there, it often gets really windy in Qatar but they all know how to ride hard in the gutter and line out the bunch," said team director Ronny Lauke.

    "The high winds and fast speeds make Qatar very technical, the riders have got to be well-placed in the peloton and stay focussed all the time.

    "The heat's a big factor, too. The latest forecasts say it'll be nearly thirty degrees during the day, which is thirty degrees warmer than most of Europe.That's quite a difference."

    HTC-Columbia for Tour of Qatar: Judith Arndt, Noemi Cantele, Chloe Hosking, Emilia Fahlin, Adrie Visser, Ellen Van Dijk

  • 2010 Katusha team presented in Italy

    Katusha's 2010 kit, with special Russian and Italian champion versions.
    Article published:
    January 30, 2010, 20:20 GMT
    Cycling News

    Pozzato, McEwen, Tchmil joined by dignitaries in Desenzano del Garda

    The 2010 Katusha team was presented today in Desenzano del Garda, Italy at the recently renovated Teatro Alberti. Helping to kick off the new season for the Russian ProTour squad were dignitaries such as Yves Letreme (Belgium Prime Minister), Igor Makarov (chairman of the Board Director Itera), Sergey Chemesov (Rostechnologii General director) and Angelo Zomegnan (Giro d’Italia General director)

    The squad consists of 27 riders, eight of which are new to the team. Italian National Champion and Paris-Roubaix runner-up Filippo Pozzato was present along with Australian sprint ace Robbie McEwen to address the assembled media.

    2010 Katusha team: Marco Bandiera (Ita), Laszlo Bodrogi (Fra), Alexander Botcharov (Rus), Pavel Brutt (Rus), Denis Galimzyanov (Rus), Joan Horrach (Spa), Mikhail Ignatyev (Rus), Sergey Ivanov (Rus), Timofey Kritsky (Rus), Vladimir Karpets (Rus), Robbie McEwen (Aus), Luca Mazzanti (Ita), Danilo Napolitano (Ita), Evgeny Petrov (Rus), Alexandr Pliuschin (Mda), Filippo Pozzato (Ita), Joachin Rodrigues (Spa), Egor Silin (Rus), Nikolay Trusov (Rus), Stijn Vandenbergh (Bel), Maxime Vantomme (Bel), Kim Kirchen (Lux), Eduard Vorganov (Rus), Artiom Ovechkin (Rus), Nikita Eskov (Rus), Sergey Klimov (Rus), Alexander Kolobnev (Rus).