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First Edition Cycling News, Saturday, January 8, 2011

Date published:
January 08, 2011, 0:00 GMT
  • RadioShack, Liquigas to race Tour de Mumbai

    Winner JJ Haedo celebrating his victory in the Mumbai Cyclothon for photographers and tv cameras from Indian national television who broadcasted the race live.
    Article published:
    January 08, 2011, 0:14 GMT
    Cycling News

    ProTeams bolster Indian two-day event

    The Tour de Mumbai will expand significantly in its second year, adding a second day to the event and adding more of the sport's top professional teams including the RadioShack and Liquigas squads.

    In last year's inaugural event, Saxo Bank was the only top tier team to participate and its rider JJ Haedo won the race over German Dirk Muller.

    The event is part of the International Cycling Union's efforts to globalize the sport, and it has garnered a higher ranking this year, going up from 1.2 to a 1.1 for both the 158-kilometre February 11 race in Nashik and the 117-kilometre Mumbai event on February 13. 

    "We are looking forward to see how these races develop as international events on the UCI calendar," said UCI director Philippe Chevallier according to AP.

    "We believe India has huge potential for a representation of professional cycling on a global level with initiatives like Tour de Mumbai I and II."

  • World record holder Dale Parker has started racing for Trek-Livestrong

    Dale Parker (SA) collects his medal for the under 19 men's omnium
    Article published:
    January 08, 2011, 11:04 GMT
    Jean-François Quénet

    Australian prodigy 15th at national champ after turmoil

    World junior pursuit record holder Dale Parker is back on his bike after being cleared to race by a Sport SA tribunal on December 23rd. He finished 15th at the national championship road race won by Ben Dyball in Ballarat, in what was his first appearance with the jersey of his new team Trek-Livestrong.

    “I’m pretty happy with this 15th place today”, Parker told Cyclingnews on the finishing line. “I didn’t know exactly what my form was.” The other Trek-Livestrong Australian rider Joe Lewis put up a strong performance as he took the bronze medal. “But I was aiming at gold”, he admitted.

    Following the path of another promising cyclist from South Australia, Tom Roe who is now with BMC, Parker had secured a contract with Lance Armstrong’s development squad but his future as a cyclist was placed in parenthesis when he was involved in a drink driving incident near Adelaide in November. He pleaded guilty, was fined and ordered to pay court costs and levies, and a sport tribunal in South Australia suspended half of the 16-week ban he received after the incident, which allowed him to race again from January 1.

    Allegedly affected by what occurred, the 18-year-old has nonetheless quickly shown on his bike that he retains the potential to become a great champion in the future. However, the gold medallist for team pursuit at the Commonwealth Games will not ride on the track this year. “I hope to come back for the London Olympics”, he said. “But this year, I’ll build endurance on the road with a solid program in the US and in Europe as well, including the U23 Paris-Roubaix and I hope to be stronger on the track after that.”

  • Fuglsang looking forward to greater freedom at Leopard-Trek

    Jakob Fuglsang (Leopard-Trek) will ride for the Schlecks in the Tour de France
    Article published:
    January 08, 2011, 11:07 GMT
    Barry Ryan

    Dane aiming to peak in July

    Jakob Fuglsang will ride in the service of Andy and Fränk Schleck at the 2011 Tour de France but the Danish talent will also have more opportunities to chase his own ambitions in the colours of his new team, Leopard-Trek.

    “I think I will have more personal freedom than I had but I think that’s natural,” Fuglsang told Cyclingnews at the Leopard-Trek presentation in Luxembourg. “It’s my third year on the road now and I’ve also grown as a rider so they’re going to give me more freedom I think.”

    Fuglsang will enjoy a similar build-up to the Tour de France as he did in 2010 and he ruled out the possibility of going to the Giro d’Italia as Leopard-Trek’s leader. For the most part, he will follow the same programme as the Schleck brothers, and the objective for all three is to reach July in peak condition.

    “I’m going to go 100 per cent for the Tour,” he explained. “I want to be 100 per cent there to help Fränk and Andy and maybe also try to do something for myself in the Tour, but there’ll be no Giro for me.

    “I’m going to have the same preparation as Fränk has and more or less the same as Andy. I’m not going to go to California, but I have the Tour of Luxembourg and the Tour de Suisse before the Tour.”

    Before the Tour rolls around, however, Fuglsang will be aiming to be competitive at Amstel Gold, Flèche Wallone and Liège-Bastogne-Liège, races that he believes suit his characteristics.

    “The Ardennes classics are where I want to try and do something,” Fuglsang said. “We’ll have to see how it goes. I have to get some more wins than I did last year and I have to find them somewhere.”

    Fuglsang will start those classics on an equal footing with the Schleck brothers, and he believes having a trio of leaders will play to...

  • Laurent Fignon voted Cyclingnews Legend of 2010

    Laurent Fignon in yellow at the 1984 Tour de France, en route to his second straight Tour victory.
    Article published:
    January 08, 2011, 12:18 GMT
    Stephen Farrand

    Frenchman secures 60 per cent of the vote

    Voters in the 2010 Cyclingnews reader poll have confirmed that the late Laurent Fignon was a true legend of the sport, with over 60% (10142 readers) voting for him ahead of Franco Ballerini, who also passed away in 2010, and Gilberto Simoni, who retired after this year’s Giro d’Italia.

    Fignon had been fighting intestinal cancer since June 2009 and defiantly commented on the 2010 Tour for French television before being taken into hospital. He died on August 31, aged 50.

    In 2009 Fignon published a revealing autobiography called ‘Nous étions jeunes et insouciants – We were young and carefree.’ Know as the professor during his career because of his round glasses, ponytail and air of intelligence, Fignon captured the hearts of cycling fans for his panache and love for attacking.

    Fignon won the Tour de France in 1983 and 1984, and a total of nine Tour stages. He also won the 1989 Giro d’Italia after being beaten by Francesco Moser in 1984. He famously finished second in the Tour in 1989, losing to Greg Lemond by just eight seconds, the slimmest margin ever in Tour history.

    Fignon was never the same rider after his traumatic defeat and was also dogged by injury. He withdrew from the 1990 Tour, but went on to finish sixth in 1991 and 23rd overall in 1992, taking his ninth and last Tour de France stage win in Mulhouse.

    His last victory was at the early-season Ruta Mexico in 1993, while riding for the Italian Gatorade team. Fignon admitted he did not have the motivation to continue his career and retired. He initially turned to race management, taking over Paris-Nice, until ASO bought the race. He later opened a training centre in the Pyrenees.

    Lemond and Robert Millar remember a former rival

    Fignon’s death was a sad day for cycling. On hearing the news, Greg Lemond admitted he had felt sorry for him after he snatched victory from in the final...

  • Cuban and Dutch races cancelled for financial reasons

    The Cuban devil
    Article published:
    January 08, 2011, 13:40 GMT
    Cycling News

    Vuelta a Cuba and Groene Hart won't be run in 2011

    Two more races have been cancelled for 2011, the Vuelta a Cuba and the Ronde van het Groene Hart. The Cuban race will not be run as "as part of the reorganisation plan required in the national and international powers" of the country, while the Dutch race could not find a sponsor.

    The Vuelta a Cuba was scheduled to be held from February 8-20, but Jose Pelaez, head of the national federation, announced yesterday that it would be cancelled this year. He noted that this is part of “the strategy developed to meet the commitments” for Cuba to host the 2011 Pan American games and also to participate in the 2012 Olympics, the EFE news agency reported.

    Last year the race was won for the second consecutive year by Arnold Alcolea of the Cuban national team.

    The Groene Hart, which was to be held March 20, has been cancelled, too, since no sponsor could be found. Race director Herman Brinkhoff told the AFP news agency, “”We will continue to seek a new sponsor, so that the race can resume in 2012.”

    The Dutch race was first held in 2007 to promote the “Green Heart” agricultural region. Jens Mouris of Vacansoleil won it in 2010.

  • Pozzato and Paolini work on track ahead of new season

    Filippo Pozzato shows off the 2011 Katusha team kit
    Article published:
    January 08, 2011, 14:22 GMT
    Barry Ryan

    Katusha pair trained in Montichiari over Christmas period

    Katusha duo Filippo Pozzato and Luca Paolini took in a series of training sessions on the track over the Christmas period to fine-tune their form in the build-up to the 2011 season. The pair used  the facilities at the Montichiari velodrome near Brescia for three days at the end of December.

    “We went above all to work on our speed and to train behind a derny with a fixed gear, which is very important for us in the winter period,” Pozzato told “In the mornings, we still went out on the road for strength work.”

    Paolini explained that training on the covered track also had the additional benefit of providing them with some respite from the cold weather that struck northern Italy in recent weeks.

    “With the freezing temperatures outside it was hard to do five hours on the road,” he admitted.

    The covered track at Montichiari opened in May 2009 and for both riders it was their first visit. Pozzato was impressed by what he saw, although he lamented that it is the only such structure of its kind in the country.

    “We needed a facility like it in Italy,” he said. “It’s a pity that, for now, there’s only one of them: it could be a good incentive to attract young riders to the track.”

    Looking to the season ahead, Pozzato confirmed that the classics will once again be the focal point of his campaign. The 2006 Milan-San Remo winner will once again do battle with Fabian Cancellara and Tom Boonen on the Riviera and on the cobbles.

    “My objective is still the same, to do well in the classics,” Pozzato said. “In particular Milan-San Remo, the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix, as they are the ones that are best suited to me.”

    For his part, Paolini is enthusiastic about the prospect of riding for a ProTeam again after three seasons with Acqua & Sapone.

    “Being back in a ProTeam...

  • Retired Sydor advising Trek Red Truck p/b Mosaic Homes

    Alision Sydor (Team Maxxis-Rocky Mountain) riding in fifth place.
    Article published:
    January 08, 2011, 15:44 GMT
    Cycling News

    Former road, mountain bike, 'cross pro guides team development

    Retired road and mountain bike Canadian pro Alison Sydor has joined the Trek Red Truck p/b Mosaic Homes Cycling Team in an advisory capacity.

    Sydor, who retired from pro competition in 2009, is looking forward to sharing her vast wealth of knowledge in the sport, working with both the team's management and the team athletes.

    "The Trek Red Truck racing program has already proven itself to be a very successful rider development program," said Sydor, a three-time mountain bike cross country world champion (1994, 1995, 1996) and Olympic silver medallist (1996). "I'm looking forward to being a part of a great group of people who have already given back a lot to the sport here."

    "I'm pleased to be able to share my 23 years of racing experience in the sport to support, where I can, the team's current and future goals."

    Sydor will be at the team's annual training camp in Santa Rosa, California in April. She will also attend some races with the team in her capacity as part of team management.

    "She is going to assist the team with rider selection, race/schedule selection and general team direction going forward," said Steve Engh, Team Director and Owner.

    She won't be coaching riders, but will help riders align team goals and prepare for the squad's races.

    The Trek Red Truck team's program will focus on the BC Cup Series, BC Superweek, Cascade Classic and Mt Hood.

    During the mountain bike portion of her career, Sydor won 17 World Cup races and for 14 consecutive years (1991-2004), she never finished outside the top five at the world championships.

    In her road career, which preceded her mountain bike career, she won stages at events like the Tour de L'Aude, Tour de France Feminin, and the EU tour. She earned two Olympic medals in 2004.

    In the final years of her career, she also raced cyclo-cross and her accomplishments in that discipline gave her the unique distinction of being the only...

  • Bennati looking to pounce at Giro d'Italia for Leopard-Trek

    Daniele Bennati signed from Liquigas-Doimo
    Article published:
    January 08, 2011, 18:32 GMT
    Barry Ryan

    Italian keen to make Worlds team

    Daniele Bennati (Leopard-Trek) downplayed speculation that he is set to ride in all three Grand Tours in 2011 and stressed that the Giro d’Italia and Vuelta a España will be his priorities.

    “I’ll be focusing on the Giro and the Vuelta,” Bennati told Cyclingnews at the Leopard-Trek team presentation in Luxembourg. “The Giro in particular is my big objective. I’d like to go there and win a couple of stages, and there will be two or three riders in the team at the Giro to help me in the sprints.”

    The Italian fast man is also set to ride the Vuelta with an eye to fine-tuning his top-end speed ahead of what looks set to be a sprinters’ course at the Worlds in Copenhagen. Given his own heavy schedule and Leopard-Trek’s ambition of bringing Andy Schleck to Paris in the yellow jersey, however, Bennati acknowledged that it would be a big ask to make the team’s Tour de France roster.

    “It would be very difficult to go to the Tour even if I would like to,” Bennati said. “If I went there, it would have to be to ride for the whole three weeks given our team’s aim of winning the Tour. You couldn’t just pull out after the first week.”

    Bennati’s early season objective will be a strong showing at Milan-San Remo, and he will also aim to be in the mix at Gent-Wevelgem. He will then miss the remainder of the cobbled Classics in order to focus on his Giro d’Italia preparation.

    The Worlds and a new beginning

    There is another major one-day race that is very much on Bennati’s radar this season, however: the world championships. He was disappointed to be omitted from Italian coach Paolo Bettini’s line-up last season, although he insists that he had never expected to be brought to Geelong as a protected rider.

    “I want to be very precise on this, I never said that I wanted to go...