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First Edition Cycling News, Saturday, July 30, 2011

Date published:
July 30, 2011, 1:00 BST
  • Iglinskiy negative for drugs, plans to sue for defamation

    Tour winner Valentin Iglinskiy (Astana) takes a well deserved drink in Sanya after the completion of the tour.
    Article published:
    July 29, 2011, 12:32 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Astana rider apologises for drunk driving and speeding incident

    Valentin Iglinskiy was not under the influence of drugs when he was caught for speeding and drunk driving in France earlier this week. The Astana rider also said that he had not spent the evening with teammate Alexandre Vinokourov, as some media had reported, and that he would take legal action against those who claimed that he, and by inference, Vinokourov, had been using cocaine.

    A blood test conducted by the National Gendarmerie “revealed a negative result for any form of drugs,” Astana said in a press release Friday afternoon.

    The Kazakh rider appeared before the High Court in Nice Thursday, and answered questions under oath through an interpreter. He said that he had dined alone in Nice, and denied having told police that he had spent the evening with the team's future manager Vinokourov.

    "I never said that, I don’t master the language enough to explain all this. I just made it clear to a policeman that Vinokourov was a friend whom I saw regularly. I never said that I was with him as several newspapers and websites wrote.”

    When the story of the incident first appeared, it was reported that Iglinskiy had also consumed cocaine. “I am very angry to read all this, because it implies that I left my friend after having consumed alcohol and cocaine. All that is very damaging on a professional level and I risk losing my job because of this rumour.”

    Iglinskiy said that he would take legal action agains those who perpetuate the allegation. “I intend to bring this matter to court for defamation on my friend Vinokourov and me. This misinformation has circulated in the media and has had devastating effects.

    “I am a professional cyclist of the Astana team, and now it says that Vinokourov and me, we have a life of...

  • August: time for stagiaires!

    George Bennett (Trek/Livestrong) was the last rider to stay with the race leader on todays tough climb.
    Article published:
    July 29, 2011, 14:26 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Leopard, RadioShack, HTC and Garmin all take on youngsters

    After the greatest event of the cycling calendar has come to an end, top teams are already preparing for the next season, not only signing new riders but also thinking about the mid-term future. The month of August is when young riders are given a chance to prove themselves at the highest level as stagiaires.

    Luxembourg team Leopard-Trek has taken German sprinter Rüdiger Selig under its wing, according to Bicicilismo. The 22-year-old, currently racing with Jenatec, has taken stage victories in the last two editions of the Tour de Berlin Espoir race, and finished in fourth place at the Berlin Prorace this spring, won by Marcel Kittel (Skil-Shimano). Selig is also German champion in the points race on track. Leopard-Trek is expected to hire more stagiaires for the remainder of the season.

    George Bennett, 21, and Dale Parker, 19, will be racing for RadioShack as of August 9 at the Tour of Utah, according to Velochrono. New Zealander Bennett finished second in the Ronde de l'Isard this spring and is a gifted climber. Australian Parker also got second at the Tour of the Gila. Both come from the squad's reserve team Trek-Livestrong.

    Another Australian rider, Lachlan Norris, will be riding the Tour of Utah as a stagiaire with HTC-Highroad. The 24-year-old rider of the Drapac Porsche team got fifthinf the Australian Road Championships last January. Originally a mountainbiker, he was Australian U23 champion in 2009.

    Last but not least, Garmin-Cervélo will be welcoming American rider Danny Summerhill to its roster as of August 1. The national junior and U23 cyclo-cross champion comes from the squad's feeder team Chipotle Development and finished...

  • Haussler to ride Olympic test event for Australian national team

    Heinrich Haussler (Gamin-Cervelo)
    Article published:
    July 29, 2011, 16:35 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Garmin-Cervelo rider has big plans for the Tour of Poland

    Heinrich Haussler is ready to return to racing for the first time since the Tour de Suisse in June.  The Garmin-Cervelo rider not only has his eye on the Tour of Poland, but also on the test race of the London Olympics road race course, during which he will ride for the Australian national team.

    On Friday evening, Haussler, 27, will ride in the Nacht Von Hannover in Germany, before flying to Warsaw for the Tour of Poland.

    This has not been a good season for him, and he is planning big for this race. “I have some plans for the seven stages of this tour,” he wrote on his personal website.  “On one hand, I can see myself winning a sprint on one of the flat stages, and on the other hand, there won't be any hard climbs on the mountain stages, so that I can come to the finish with the best here, too”

    That race will be followed by the London-Surrey Cycle Classic, which will be held on the course for the 2012 London Olympics road race.  “I am looking forward to riding this course,” he said, especially since it will be for a "new" team.  “This time I won't start  for my American team Garmin-Cervelo, but for the Australian national team.”

    Haussler had earlier said that he may also ride the Vuelta a Espana, hopefully followed by the world championships in Copenhagen.

  • Omega Pharma confirms merger plans for 2012

    The Omega Pharma-Lotto team works to set up Gilbert
    Article published:
    July 29, 2011, 17:25 BST
    By:
    Stephen Farrand

    Belgian sponsor expected to join forces with Vacansoleil

    Management at Omega Pharma has confirmed that the Belgian pharmaceutical company will stay in cycling in 2012 after agreeing to join forces with another team with the objective of securing a WorldTour licence.

    Omega Pharma and Lotto, the Belgian national lottery, have already confirmed they will end their partnership after the current season. Omega Pharma will retain control of the team’s management company Belgian Cycling Company and hopes to have joint title sponsor rights with the new partner.

    “Omega Pharma confirms that it will stay in the world of professional cycling,” Marc Coucke, the head of the Omega Pharma company, and Geert Coeman of Belgian Cycling Company said in a joint statement.

    “After selecting potential partners, six options were examined. After a detailed evaluation, Omega Pharma and BCC have chosen a preferred option and easily reached an agreement with another existing team to join forces to compete on an international and Belgian level in the WorldTour. Further details about the new partner and the name of the team will be announced soon via a joint statement.”

    A report in last week’s L’Equipe newspaper suggested that Omega Pharma was ready to join forces with the Vacansoleil team. Cyclingnews sources have confirmed the same reports of the Belgian-Netherlands merger.

    It is still unclear which of the current Omega Pharma-Lotto riders will be part of the new team in 2012. Both Tour de France stage winner Jelle Vanendert and grand tour contender Jurgen van den Broeck are reported to be joining the rival team backed by Lotto in 2012, while Philippe Gilbert is widely rumoured to be joining BMC.

  • No Vuelta a Espana for Pozzato

    Filippo Pozzato accepts the "exploit of the day" prize
    Article published:
    July 29, 2011, 18:47 BST
    By:
    Stephen Farrand

    Italian fights to secure a place in Italian world championship team

    Filippo Pozzato has been left out of the Katusha line-up for the Vuelta a Espana and faces a fight to secure a place in the Italian team for the world road race championships in Copenhagen.

    The former Italian national champion has not raced for three months, since breaking his wrist and collarbone during the final stage of the Tour of Belgium in late May. He will be back in action at the Tour of Poland on Sunday but has been snubbed by the Katusha team for a place in the Vuelta. This will leave him with a collection of just 12 days of racing in his legs between now and the world championships on September 25.

    Questions about Pozzato’s fitness have put his selection for the nine-rider Italian team for Copenhagen in doubt. Pozzato was one of the Italian team’s protected riders in Australia last year and finished fourth, close to Thor Hushovd in the sprint. However he has not ridden a Grand Tour this year after also bring left out of the Katusha team for the Giro d'Italia.

    Following the weeklong Tour of Poland, Pozzato will ride the Trittico Lombardo (August 16-17-19), the Hamburg Cyclassics (August 21) and the GP Ouest-France Plouay (August 28).

    “I’ve been training at altitude for 10 days on the Stelvio, with my teammate Luca Paolini and (Enrico) Gasparotto. Now I’m looking forward to seeing how I feel in Poland,” he told Gazzetta dello Sport.

    “I’ve always been loyal to the Italian team, and I’ll always give my all, in a race and in training to earn my place. But if I realise I’m not good enough, I’ll be the first to say it.”

    Italian national coach Paolo Bettini has always considered Pozzato a key rider for the Italian national team but has always...

  • Vos leads Dutch pre-selection for 2012 London Olympic Games

    The new World Cup leader in Huy - Marianne Vos (Nederland Bloeit)
    Article published:
    July 29, 2011, 20:21 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Netherlands team to pre-ride course in August

    The pre-selections for the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London have begun, with the team from the Netherlands leading the way. The national coach Johan Lammerts announced today the nine-rider long team for the women's road cycling squad.

    As expected, the list is led by Marianne Vos, the current top UCI-ranked rider in the women's peloton and the World Cup leader. Previous world cup leader Annemiek Van Vleuten is also on the list, as well as Loes Gunnewijk, Regina Bruins and Ellen Van Dijk for the time trial, although the latter will not be present for team's pre-ride scheduled for August 11-14.

    For the road race, the list includes all five pre-selected time trialists as well as Kirsten Wild, Lucinda Brand, Chantal Blaak, Adrie Visser and Martine Bras.

    The team's visit to London coincides with the London-Surrey Cycle Classic, a race on the Olympic road race course which is for men only.

  • Weylandt memorial vandalized in Ghent

    Wouter Weylandt will be fondly remembered by the entire peloton
    Article published:
    July 29, 2011, 21:43 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Monument to be repaired after being toppled

    Vandals knocked over a brick memorial to Belgians Wouter Weylandt, Dmitri De Fauw and Frederiek Nolf on Thursday night, Sporza.be reported today.

    The stone was dedicated last month after the death of Weylandt in the Giro d'Italia. Patrick Cosyn, who led the effort to create the memorial, was aghast.

    "It's awful - who does a thing like that? People without hearts, in any case," Cosyn said. "The memorial stone is broken in two. The city of Ghent will restore it in two weeks, and I have a complaint into the police. They are doing everything possible to find the perpetrators."

    The memorial sits along the Schelde river next to a path popular with local training groups, and at the point of the final sprint of the weekday ride. Weylandt, Nolf and De Fauw frequented the rides.

    Nolf died in 2009 at the Tour of Qatar of natural causes, while De Fauw committed suicide later the same year.

  • Luisa Jucá – the woman behind the Tour do Rio

    Jucá wishes the peloton well ahead of stage 3.
    Article published:
    July 29, 2011, 23:00 BST
    By:
    Jane Aubrey

    Evolving Brazil with a bike race

    The technical meeting on the eve of the Tour do Rio gave a small insight into race organiser, Luisa Jucá. There, she was frank and claimed "the riders are like my children" and their safety was paramount over the course of the race.

    Jucá is a pioneer, not just in Brazil, but in world cycling as the only female in her field. She makes the experience a one-of-a-kind at the UCI 2.2 event which takes place in the state of Rio de Janiero, greeting you with hugs and kisses several times throughout the day, waving and blowing kisses to the riders as her car drives by the peloton.

    Hailing from the state of Bahia to the north, Jucá makes no excuses for her behaviour.

    "We are different there," she tells Cyclingnews. "We enjoy life and are always happy. The doors to houses are open all the time – I never lock the door to my house; I don't like it. We want to allow the people we love to be able to come to us all the time."

    Bringing rock n' roll to cycling

    Jucá made her name managing the top musical artists in Brazil before being asked by the Brazilian Cycling Federation to bring her expertise to the world of two wheels. The journey started with small one day classics and then she started to "dream bigger" and thought that the Tour do Rio was the next logical step for the sport which does not necessarily fit with ease into her nation's culture.

    "Everybody said: ‘Are you crazy? How do you think you can get away with something like that in Brazil?'" Jucá recalls. "I said of course we can. And they said: ‘But how, you're a woman?'"

    And there lies what Jucá would concede as her doubter's biggest err in judgement. While it's in her nature as a native from Bahia to welcome all with open arms, you should not be fooled by the glamorous exterior.

    "Let me tell you, I am a...